INT. DINER – NIGHT, STORM (Prologue)
A 50’s style diner.
4-year-old Mayla sits in a booth with Shiro across the table. The basket is on sitting next to Mayla.
SHIRO: What were you doing out there in this weather?
Mayla is uncertain of Shiro and does not respond.
Shiro can tell that the girl in front of him does not trust him.
A waiter comes up with a sundae. They place it in front of Mayla. Mayla sees the sundae in front of her but does not know what it is.
Shiro hands Mayla a spoon.
Mayla takes the spoon & looks at the sundae. She is piecing together what to do with the sundae. She takes the spoon, dips it into the sundae, and tastes it. She slowly puts more of it in her mouth. She cannot believe what she is eating, sweet and colorful. She beings to dig into the sundae.
Shiro can’t help but see such a cute face scarf down the sundae, but still wonders what she was doing in the alley.
EXT. TULSEN FLAT – DAY, RAINING
A mirky day. Mayla, Xena, & Mi look out a window.
CU Mayla’s gloomy expression through the window.
MAYLA: I hate the rain. It makes my hair melt.
PAN TO Xena’s gloomy expression.
XENA: I hate the rain. It takes forever for my hair to dry.
PAN TO Mi’s expression.
MI: I hate all weather, especially the rain. Can’t use my fire.
EXT. EMPTY LOT – DAY, RAINING
An empty lot adjacent to the apartment. The Tulsen flat looks over the lot. The girls are barely visible from the window.
The girls sigh.
Ni galivants in the empty lot in her soccer clothes.
INT. TULSEN FLAT – DAY, RAINING
Kobai is reading on the ceiling. Calif preps a water-color set. Mayla sighs at the dreary sky.
KOBAI: What are you working, Calif?
CALIF: I’m trying out watercolors.
KOBAI: Perfect day to start that, huh?
Shiro walks in.
XENA: Welcome back, Daddy.
SHIRO: Thanks. Did I see Ni in the empty lot?
MI: She definitely fits in with the scenery.
SHIRO (walking to his room): Make sure she cleans up before dinner.
Shiro leaves the room.
MI: Is it just me or has Dad been distant lately?
MAYLA: Maybe something’s on his mind.
XENA: Or he feels lonely.
KOBAI: Those seem like reasonable conjecture.
MAYLA: What do you mean?
Kobai closes her book and comes down from the ceiling.
KOBAI: How old is Dad?
KOBAI: 30. 33 precisely. He is a single male with seven daughters and only leaves when he either has work or something that involves one of the five of us that go to school. Reasonable, he is suffering from an acute case of loneliness. (girls lost) So what is the most reasonable cure?
The girls think.
XENA: A pet?
CALIF: A stuffed animal?
MAYLA: A hobby?
MI: A date.
MI: You know, like on those random soap operas the T.V. gets stuck. A man & woman out for dinner or a movie, just the two of them.
MAYLA: How did you come up with that?
MI: I’m surprised you didn’t come up with. You must have had a fight with Michael.
MAYLA: When are you going to give that up?
MI: Maybe when you admit it yourself.
XENA: But how do you know that will make Daddy happy?
KOBAI: There is only one obvious cure for loneliness-
MI: Please don’t quote one of your lame romance novels.
KOBAI: How many times do I have to tell you that I do not read romance novels?
Ni bursts in holding a rabbit.
NI: Hey, look what I found! (pause) Did I miss something?
INT. SHIRO’S ROOM – NIGHT
Shiro sits on his bed & looks at the letter from the basket, still unopened. He wonders whether to open it or not.
Shiro decides to stop for the night. He places the letter in a drawer. He still wonders if he should open it.
INT. TRIPLET’S ROOM – NIGHT
All six of the girls are in the room. Kobai is at her desk. Ni hangs on the edge of her bed. Mi shares her bed with Calif & Xena, who is scratching herself. Mayla stands up.
NI: So, how are going to get dad a date? Kidnap her? Pay her? Bribe her? OH! Tell her she will get a month of free hair appointments!
MI: Ni, paying one will only last one date.
CALIF: And no one gets more than one haircut in a month.
Mi sees Xena scratching on the bed.
MI: Xen, you shedding already?
XENA: I don’t like this either. I have to change my bed every day.
MI: If you’re going to shed, would you mind not doing it on my bed?
XENA (stands up): Sorry.
MAYLA: Are we out of itching cream? I mean, I was planning on buying some tomorrow-
MI: Hey, can we bring the conversation back to what we were talking about, thank you?
KOBAI: As for how to attract one without Dad finding out what we are doing, we need to find out the best possible method to accomplish this.
NI: Can you please translate that?
MI: “We need to figure out how to find a woman for dad.”
CALIF: How about a take one of my portraits of him and show it around?
KOBAI: That seems too ambiguous.
MI: How about you, Mayla? How did you & Michael meet?
MAYLA: First, we are not dating. We are just good friends. And besides, I met him in school, like all of us with our friends.
NI: I didn’t know Mi made some.
MI (flaming up): How about I make some pancakes right now?
KOBAI: Either way, you have a consistent friendship with a male, so you have more experience than any of us here.
CALIF: That’s not true. I am making great friends with the boys in my class.
Mi & Kobai stare with a look of doubt.
NI: Wait, I just thought of something.
MI: There’s a first.
NI: Mayla hasn’t been on a date with Michael, has she? So are they dating?
The room astonished at how long it took Ni to realize.
MAYLA: Ni has a point.
MI: 2 for 2, sis. You’re on a roll.
KOBAI: Which could apply to all of us. The only knowledge we have is from viewing fictious representations designed to appeal to an audience to continue watching.
CALIF: But don’t they do that stuff in real life?
KOBAI: I believe so.
NI: Oh, I got an idea.
MI: Ladies, tonight is one of miracles.
KOBAI: What is it?
NI: I need to go to practice tomorrow.
MI: False alarm, folks.
EXT. HAIR SALON – DAY
A sign in the door reads:
CLOSED FOR LUNCH
Will be back at 1 p.m.
INT. HAIR SALON – DAY
Shiro has lunch with Cassandra & Maki. Something is clearly on his mind.
CASSANDRA: Something eating you up?
SHIRO: I’m a bit confused on something.
MAKI: Oh, “The Great Shiro of the Clippers” has been stumped by something. I guess you finally realized that you are not cut out for this job.
CASSANDRA: Young lady, if you have any reason to be scrutinizing your senior co-workers, you better step up your own game if you want to say stuff like that.
MAKI (continues eating): Yeah yeah…
CASSANDRA: Something at home bothering you?
SHIRO: You know that I adopted my girls, right?
MAKI: Really… You could have fooled anyone.
SHIRO: Now I know where one of them gets their personality from.
MAKI: Oh, why thank you.
SHIRO: Your mother must have locked you in your room for years at a time.
Maki chokes on what she is eating.
CASSANDRA (chuckling): Even downed, you can handle trouble with ease.
SHIRO: Speak for yourself. Your kids must have caused you some.
CASSANDRA: If told properly, boys can be less trouble in their teenage years.
SHIRO: Less emotional?
CASSANDRA: Tyler had some issues, but he grew up just fine. (beat) Is there something wrong with your girls?
Shiro considered what he is about to say.
SHIRO: I think I found a letter from their parents.
Silence falls on the room. Even Maki looks concerned.
MAKI: What does it say?
SHIRO: I haven’t opened it. I don’t even know if I can read it.
CASSANDRA: How did you find it?
SHIRO: When I found the girls, one of them was holding a basket with some eggs in it. They must have been Easter eggs. They were colored. A couple of weeks ago, on the day I adopted them, they placed the basket on the table in the kitchen. I saw the letter in the weaves of the basket.
MAKI: Why don’t you open it? I don’t know what could be in it, but it might be something important. What if they were left with an inheritance? You wouldn’t want to hold that from them… would you?
SHIRO: “Ten years. In the rain.” If I open it, it will probably fall apart. I just don’t know what to do.
Silence falls on the room again.
CASSANDRA: What is important to you- (Shiro looks at Cassandra) Your girls’ happiness now or one that may not be? You are their father, you are there for them, and nothing more.
SHIRO (smirks): I guess when you raise three boys, you just get right to the point.
Cassandra and Shiro continue eating.
EXT. ARRATO HIGH, PRACTICE FIELD – DAY
Another joint practice between the boys’ & girls’ soccer team. The teams are having a 10-minute break. Coach Long & Carter discuss something.
Nathaniel sits with a few of his team members. Ni rushes over.
NATHANIEL: Ni. Uh, what’s up?
NI: Do you want to see a movie after practice?
Nathaniel is caught off guard.
NATHANIEL: Why the sudden invitation?
NI: Do you want to see a movie?
Nathaniel isn’t given much time to think or keep up with what is going on. His teammates are just as lost.
Morgan & her clique walk up.
MORGAN: Trying to ask a boy out, Ninny-Ni?
Ni does not like that nickname.
NI: How would you know?
MORGAN: I’m surprised you would even think about having a boyfriend. Although, I guess you have to make the first move. Even the real men are scared of you.
NI: At least they know what I can do. What can you even do? Apply more blush with a ball flying directly at your face? Yeah, that will impress the guys. (to Nathaniel) So, what do you say?
NATHANIEL: How about tomorrow?
NI: Friday? Wait, tomorrow’s a school holiday.
MORGAN: Oh look girls, the boar of the field can keep time.
NI: Says the girl who has been late almost 15 times the last two months.
MORGAN: Well you can’t blame me. With this air as it is, it takes forever to get my hair just so it doesn’t frizz up out here. (Ni sparks a little) Although I guess you wouldn’t understand.
Everyone, except Ni, looks at Morgan with a stunned look.
NI: Not really but I can see what you mean.
Morgan is confused by Ni’s statement. She sees everyone looking at her funny. She looks up.
Morgan’s hair has exploded into a frizzy mess.
Morgan is shocked & petrified unable grasp how this happened. She looks around to see everyone staring at her.
An embarrassed Morgan bursts off the field. Ni cheekily waves Morgan off.
NI (to Nathaniel): Do you want to meet somewhere?
NATHANIEL: Do you know that bakery down the road from the theater?
NI: Yeah. Mi gets her chocolate ducks from there. So, it’s a date?
NATHANIEL: Well, not that, but- you know- just two friends hanging out… seeing a movie together…
Ni stares blankly at Nathaniel.
NI (smiles): Okay.
Nathaniel wonders what has just happened.
A few feet over, Michael heard the whole thing.
At the edge of the field, Mi & Mayla saw everything.
MI: Have you also given up on asking what Ni has done?
MAYLA: Not yet…
INT. TULSEN FLAT, MAYLA’S ROOM – DAY
Mayla, Mi, Calif, & Kobai are in the room.
KOBAI: Ni asked a boy out!?
MAYLA: Michael heard the whole thing.
MI: Tell the part about the snotty girl’s hair again.
KOBAI: Focus Mi.
CALIF: We were talking about how none of us know anything about dating. Maybe she is doing this to see what one is like?
KOBAI: An experimental date? I never thought Ni would think of something like. Though doing a spur-of-the-moment test date sounds like her.
MAYLA: How is this supposed to work?
KOBAI: If we know how Ni thinks… she has no idea what she is doing.
MI (looking around the room): Anyone else surprised? Anyone? No? Well everybody’s on board, so let’s get to the “Slap Ni Straight Plan.” I suggest we do that.
KOBAI: Hold on, Ni might not have thought this through, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use it to our advantage. Did Michael say what movies they were going to see?
MAYLA: I don’t think she even knows what’s playing.
The room is filled with dread.
MI: Who’s going to tell his parents what happened?
KOBAI: Let’s hope he makes it.
INT. TULSEN FLAT – MORNING
Shiro gets up. He sees that only Xena is having breakfast.
XENA: Good morning, Daddy.
SHIRO: Morning. Where are your sisters?
XENA: I don’t know. They were talking about something last night.
SHIRO: Probably decided to do something. I wonder what they could be doing now that would have Mi out of bed.
SHIRO: They may have found a sale. Girls never change.
Shiro gets his breakfast together.
XENA (scratching): Are you working today?
SHIRO: Sorry, Xena, but that’s how it goes. Maybe they’ll be home in a bit. (sees Xena) Maybe tonight I’ll give you the “special job.”
XENA: Thank you, Daddy.
Xena scratches harder.
EXT. BAKERY – DAY
A small, local bakery on a two-lane road surrounded by other smaller businesses. Nathaniel waits outside for Ni.
Around the corner of another building, Mayla, Mi, Kobai, & Calif, in disguise, spy on Nathaniel. Mi wears a mustache.
MI: See her yet?
MI: Leave it to Ni to give vague instructions for-
MI: Excuse me, who’s the rude one in this family? Me. So don’t go think you can be rude to me just because I am.
MAYLA: Why are you wearing a mustache?
MI: We’re following Ni. You could be stark naked and still fool her.
An uncomfortable image forms in Mayla’s mind.
MAYLA: But why a mustache?
MI (snark): I wanted to know why Dad has one.
Calif spots something.
CALIF: Look, over there.
The girls look at where Calif is pointing.
On the other side of the block, Michael looks around a corner.
MAYLA: What’s Michael doing here?
MI: He probably-
MAYLA: I told him nothing.
KOBAI: But Ni did. Why he is here-
Mi spots something.
MI: Here she comes.
The girls fall back.
Down the block, Ni comes rushing towards Nathaniel.
NI: Sorry I’m late! I got the bakery and the candy shop mixed up.
NATHANIEL: It’s okay. I wasn’t waiting long.
Ni comes uncomfortably close to Nathaniel & looks at his hair.
NI: Did you do something to your hair?
NI: It looks different.
NATHANIEL: That’s because we only really see each other at practice.
NI: True. Let’s go!
Ni & Nathaniel head down the street. They walk right past Michael, not noticing him.
MI: Geez, how dense can you be?
KOBAI: I believe ‘dense’ only describes part of her problem.
MI: Can we measure her density?
Michael signals for Mayla, Mi, Kobai, & Calif to come over.
Minutes later, Michael, Mayla, Mi, Kobai, & Calif walk down the sidewalk the same way as Ni & Nathaniel.
MICHAEL: I had a feeling the four of you would stake out your sister on a date.
MI: If that’s what this is.
MAYLA: Why are you following them?
MICHAEL: Seeing how Nathaniel is on the field, I’m more worried for how this will go for him.
MI: Your concern is well placed, my good sir. Mayla, when’s the bachelorette party?
Mayla & Michael are tired of the joke.
KOBAI: I’m surprised you know what that is.
MI: I don’t. I only know it’s an all-girl party before a wedding.
EXT. MOVIE THEATER – DAY
An old theater that is still in use.
Ni & Nathaniel have purchased their tickets.
NATHANIEL (grabs tickets): Thank you.
NI (grabs Nathaniel’s hand): Come on, let’s go!
Ni drags Nathaniel into the theater. The boy behind the counter watches them enter the theater.
KOBAI (O.S.): Excuse me-
The boy returns to his job.
Kobai, Mi, Calif, Mayla, & Michael stand in line.
KOBAI: What movie are those two seeing?
INT THEATER, THEATER #7 – DAY
A normal movie theater. Almost no one is there.
On screen, a cheesy, clearly low-budget movie plays on screen. It looks like a basic “monsters storming the house” scene. The effects are horrendous.
In the front, Ni enjoys an epic action film. Nathaniel sits next to her and pays more attention to Ni’s overly enthusiastic viewing. (Clearly one is more interesting than the other.)
NI: Go, Drake, Go! Slice that zombie’s head in half!
NATHANIEL: You must really like this film series.
NI: Are you kidding? I have seen all 7 Zombie Horror Party movies & have a collectable bobble head of shirtless Drake from Zombie Party 4 in my room still in the box.
NI: I looked it up and they only made 500 of them. I have a collector’s item in my room. I could make a fortune if I sold it.
NATHANIEL: That sounds exciting…
SHRIEK Female character scream. Ni comes back to the film.
NI (throws popcorn): OH shut up! You were expendable from the start!
In the back, Mayla, Michael, Mi, & Kobai sit as far back as they can. Kobai & Mi have the same face: why are we even here?
Mayla is scared by the film. Mayla & Michael are having a stereotypical “Guy & Girl watch horror movie” situation.
MI: Do you think this a date?
MI: So Ni was just being Ni?
MI: And we just waited 60 bucks?
ZROOM Chainsaw cutting a body. Mayla cowers behind Michael.
MI: As much as those two need this moment, I think May should have gone with Cal.
KOBAI: You feel bad for her?
MI: I feel bad for all of us, Michael especially.
KOBAI: I think Nathaniel has it worse.
Mi & Kobai stare at the screen.
Something nasty appears on the theater screen. Mayla can’t handle it.
MICHAEL: Come on. (to Mi & Kobai) Sorry.
Michael takes Mayla out of the theater.
MI: Want to bail out?
KOBAI: I would, but I’m concerned for Nathaniel.
Mi shrugs it off.
The two continue to stare at the screen.
MI: I think I saw the camera in that mirror.
KOBAI: And the crew.
The two continue to stare at the screen.
INT. THEATER, LOBBY – DAY
Mayla calms down from the somehow frightening Z-movie. Michael looks after her.
MICHAEL: I didn’t know you didn’t like horror movies that much.
Calif comes out of theater #4.
MAYLA: I don’t know why myself.
Mi & Kobai come out of theater #7.
KOBAI: You alright?
MAYLA: I think I can manage.
MICHAEL: How did it go?
MI: We just learned you can make anything.
KOBAI: He meant the date.
MI: Oh, probably just as good as the movie.
Michael is disturbed.
CALIF: How good was the movie?
MI: It’s that zombie series Ni likes. What do you think?
CALIF: I could have gone in with you guys. I saw one of them and I didn’t find it scary at all. I could have watched the date as well.
Mayla looks as though she is about to upchuck.
MICHAEL: I think Mayla needs to get home.
KOBAI: Could you walk her home for us? We need to drag Ni out.
MICHAEL: If it’s okay with you.
Michael takes Mayla out of the theater.
MI: Now what?
Moments later, Ni & Nathaniel walk out of the theater.
NI: Aw, that was so amazing. I can’t believe he took off his own hand and replaced it with an axe. (in Nathaniel’s face) Right? Huh? HUH?
NATHANIEL (uncomfortable): Yeah. Uh, I have something I need to do, so-
NI: Oh, okay. Bye then.
Nathaniel slides away from Ni.
MI (O.S.): Enjoy your gore-fest?
Ni looks around. Beside her, Mi, Calif, & Kobai sit on a bench.
NI: What are you guys doing here?
KOBAI (standing up): Well, let’s see, you had an idea, Michael heard everything & told us, you did your plan, we followed, observed, and evaluated the condition of your date.
NI: So, how did I do? Did I nail a home run?
MI: You struck out each time.
NI (deterred): So, that wasn’t a date?
Mi, Kobai, & Calif sigh at Ni’s stupidity.
EXT. THEATER – DAY
Pull out from theater.
NI (O.S.): Did I do something right, at least?