EXT. TULSEN FARM, PORCH – NIGHT
Shiro, Gale, Luegon, & Mayla sit outside. Mayla looks up at the clear night sky, amazed at the stars dotting the sky.
SHIRO: Beautiful, isn’t it?
MAYLA: I wish we had this view back home.
SHIRO: The lights in a city overpower the stars.
GALE: Remember when all three of us would just lay outside all night until dawn watching the stars in the sky?
SHIRO: Right now, I’m trying to place myself there.
LUEGON: Long day, huh?
SHIRO: How long have we been here?
MAYLA: About a week…
SHIRO (sigh): Feels like I’ve had more happen in one week than the last ten years. Ni’s powers have changed, I finally found Xena’s ears…
MAYLA: And Mi’s missing.
GALE: Wait, what do you mean “finally found Xena’s ears?”
LUEGON: What were you doing today? I didn’t see you in the fields.
SHIRO: Phone calls from my old job. They’ll take me back if I can find a place back in Arrato, but I don’t have hopes of finding.
LUEGON: Why not find one in town?
SHIRO: I’m in the middle of farm country where hair cutting is a skill most farmers have because the nearest town isn’t worth driving all the way to just to a get a clip. (gets up) Besides, if I get a job & decide to move closer, it would be nearly impossible to find a place with one-bed, much less one that can house seven children.
GALE: But you were popular with the girls in high school.
SHIRO: Because I was good with hair. Not because I was worth dating.
GALE: Not even Clairene?
SHIRO: Co-captain of the cheerleaders my senior year-
GALE: And your prom date.
SHIRO: That was not a date.
GALE: Oh. And what do you call it? Jealousy?
SHIRO: For her ex. They made up that night and took pa’s truck back home around 10. Wasn’t even worth staying for after that. (heads inside) I’m turning in early. Good night.
Shiro closes the door.
Gale notices Mayla’s clothes.
GALE: Have you been wearing those same clothes the entire time?
GALE: I said y’all can borrow mine and Nell’s clothes.
MAYLA: I tried all of them on. They were too big.
GALE: We could resize them.
MAYLA: I have resized some clothes before. I just can’t find any material.
MAYLA: Xena’s wearing one of them now.
GALE: You really think you’re only good to be a housewife, dontcha? (pause) Tell you what, why don’t we go into town tomorrow and get you some new clothes instead?
MAYLA: I don’t mind resizing-
GALE: Ah come on. Have some girl time with your fun Aunt Gale. I can show you around town. What do you say?
MAYLA: I guess if you put it that way…
GALE (whispers): Just between the two of us, (Luegon goes in) Do you want to invite your sisters?
KOBAI (O.S.) (from upstairs): Invitation rejected. I’m more focused on figured out Ni’s power switch.
NI (O.S.): I’m the test dummy!
GALE: Then I guess it’s just the two of us.
MAYLA: I guess so.
EXT.COUNTRY ROAD – DAY
The Dougell truck drives up the road. Thomas drives while Daniel & Sadie ride in the passenger seat. Mi & Tyson ride in the bed of the truck. The bed is filled with hay. Mi lays down while Tyson leans against the side.
MI: I guess this is the largest vehicle you all have.
TYSON: Never rode in the back of a truck before?
MI: My dad got our van this year.
TYSON: We’ll be there in an hour. How’s your side holding up?
MI: Burning like crazy.
TYSON (doubtful): You don’t say.
Tyson thinks about what happened last night.
MI (enjoying breeze): I got to say. This has an advantage over a closed-up van.
Tyson lies down with his feet facing Mi.
MI: Okay, you just ruined it.
EXT. HEATHVILLE – DAY
A small town with the tallest building only reaching four stories. Most of the buildings are made of wood and most of the back roads are unpaved. Traffic is light on cars & heavy on horses. Locals go about their days, doing business, sharing local gossip.
The Tulsen van parks in a dirt parking lot near Haverd Square. Mayla & Gale get out of the van. Mayla looks at how small the town is.
GALE: Welcome to Heathville. Population: throughout the county. Kind of the heart of the area.
Mayla looks around at the small town. An officer on a horse catches her attention. Mayla gazes at the horse.
The officer sees something and heads towards Mayla. Mayla panics some. Gale comes around the van and waves to the approaching officer.
OFFICER BUD, the officer on the horse, rides up to Gale & Mayla. He seems to have a tooth missing.
OFFICER BUD: Morning Ms. Gale.
GALE: Morning Bud. Any arrest lately?
OFFICER BUD: Not really. I had to break up the Johnson boys at the farmers market again.
GALE: Why do those two have to set up separate stalls?
OFFICER BUD: Wish your husband would set one up again. How’s he doing?
GALE: About the same.
OFFICER BUD: Tell him he needs to come back to the market one day. I could use the extra muscle.
GALE: He’s waiting for Josiah to finish teething.
OFFICER BUD: I don’t blame him for that. (sees Mayla) Now who’s this little lady?
GALE: This is my niece, Mayla.
OFFICER BUD (gets off horse): Well now, nice to meet you, Mayla.
MAYLA (nervous): Nice to meet you to, Officer Bud.
OFFICER BUD: It’s all right. I won’t bite. Unless I catch you stealing something.
MAYLA: Sorry. I’ve never seen a police officer up close before.
OFFICER BUD: Neither have I. (to Gale) So who’s kid is this? Your sister’s?
GALE: She’s actually Shiro’s.
OFFICER BUD: No way. When did he get married?
MAYLA: A-actually, I’m adopted.
OFFICER BUD: Oh. Is he married?
OFFICER BUD: So what are a couple of fine ladies like yourselves doing out here on your own?
GALE: Shiro’s place burnt down and they lost everything, so we’re getting Mayla some new clothes and hanging out together.
OFFICER BUD: Well, sorry to hear about that, young lady.
MAYLA: We’re all fine, so it’s not that bad.
OFFICER BUD: Good to here. (gets on horse) Well, I need to get back to it. Hope you girls have a nice time.
Officer Bud trots off on the horse.
MAYLA: I didn’t know you were friends with a cop.
GALE: I’m practically friends with the entire town. Didn’t go to a big high school growing up. So, shall we go find some clothes or get something to eat?
MAYLA: Can we stop by the bank first?
Gale did not expect that answer.
EXT. HEATHVILLE, EAST SIDE – DAY
The Dougell truck parks on the side of the road. Sadie & Daniel stand on the sidewalk.
SADIE: How long do you think you’ll be?
THOMAS: Her shoulder, I think about 2 hours. I don’t know about the phone.
SADIE: Let’s just meet back here by 4.
THOMAS: Okay. (puts in gear) See you later.
Thomas drives off. Sadie & Daniel head inside.
INT. HEATHVILLE CLINIC – DAY
A small little clinic with a small staff of one doctor – DOCTOR ALLEN – and a few attendees.
Thomas carries Mi into the clinic. Tyson holds the door.
MI: You don’t have to carry me.
Doctor Allen sees Thomas and heads for him.
TYSON: He’s doing that in case you’re afraid of doctors.
MI (sarcastic): Ha ha.
DOCTOR ALLEN: So this who Sadie was talking about…
Doc Allen preemptively examines Mi to determine what her injuries arm. He feels her left shoulder. Mi jumps in pain.
DOCTOR ALLEN (leads): Bring her to the room.
Doctor Allen, Thomas, & Tyson head to the back.
EXT. HEATHVILLE – DAY
Mayla & Gale stroll down the sidewalk. Mayla has a bank envelope in her hands.
GALE: I didn’t know Shiro let you start an accountant.
MAYLA: He doesn’t know.
GALE: I’m pretty sure he would have had to sign for something. Most things won’t let you sign for yourself until you’re 18. Learned that the hard way.
MAYLA: Well… I sort of… copied his signature and put it on the form.
GALE: We-he-ell, you’re more devious than I thought.
MAYLA: It actually wasn’t too hard.
GALE: How did you do it?
MAYLA: I accidentally found another use for my hair. Though it’s a very precise thing to do.
GALE: So what made you- (stops in front of store) Oh, here we are.
The shop sign read “GRAND NEW GOWNS.”
MAYLA: The name is very… original…
GALE: It’s just as old as the town. Name’s been the same for 120 years. (heads in) Let’s see if Clairene is working.
Mayla goes in.
INT. GRAND NEW GOWNS – DAY
A women’s-only clothing store that looks like it came out of a western. Different types of clothes line the shelves and racks. The check-out counter gleams with its wood top.
At the register is CLAIRENE – Shiro’s “prom date” and current store manager.
Gale & Mayla enter the store. Mayla is shocked at the size of the place.
CLAIRENE: Gale! (comes out from behind counter) Haven’t seen you in here in a while.
GALE: Well thankfully Josiah wasn’t much of a spitter.
CLAIRENE: You saying your child’s been keeping you away from here?
GALE: More or less. (introduces Mayla) Clairene, this is my niece. She’s in town for the summer.
CLAIRENE: Well howdy. What’s your name?
MAYLA: Mayla Tulsen.
CLAIRENE: Tulsen… (clicks) Oh-ho-ho-ho… You’re Shiro’s kid, huh?
Mayla smiles nervously.
CLAIRENE: I had no idea he had someone special. Who’s your mom? Anybody I know?
MAYLA (repetitive): I’m adopted.
CLAIRENE: Oh. Sorry for jumping to conclusions. So what’s up? Having some family bonding time?
GALE: We’re here to pick out some clothes for Mayla. Their place burned down. I offered her my old clothes-
CLAIRENE: And they didn’t fit her.
CLAIRENE: Come on, everyone at school knows that. Luegon had to fight hard just to keep the other boys off you. Such a gentleman, ain’t he?
GALE: If only we had a wrestling team.
Mayla has no idea what they are talking about.
CLAIRENE: Well, feel free to look around as long as you’d like. We have a snack bar near the back if y’all get hungry. I need to check something in the back. (heads to back) Catch up with y’all lately.
GALE (to Mayla): Well then, shall we get started?
INT. HEATHVILLE CLINIC, EXAMINATION ROOM - DAY
A basic room with a table and some medical tools. Mi lays on the table. Doctor Allen examines Mi’s side wound first. He presses on the wound.
DOCTOR ALLEN: How does that feel?
MI: Like I ate a box of nails.
Doctor Allen removes the bandage around Mi’s side. The wound seems to have been cauterized. Thomas is surprised by this unusual spectacle. Tyson is not as suspicious but has his eye on Mi.
DOCTOR ALLEN (examining): Try to brand her?
THOMAS: She was burning up yesterday. I don’t know how that happened.
Doctor Allen throws away the old bandages, leans Mi up.
DOCTOR ALLEN: Can someone hold her up?
Thomas holds Mi straight up. Doctor Allen wraps a new bandage around Mi.
THOMAS: How bad is it?
DOCTOR ALLEN (wrapping): To be honest, I have never seen anything like this before. The wound seems to have closed up. How, I don’t know. Do you own a branding iron?
THOMAS: I haven’t got anything to use one on.
DOCTOR ALLEN (pins bandages): Then you’ve got a miracle right here. (picks up a syringe) As far as I can tell, it’s healed up fine. (injects Mi, Mi cringes) This should help with the pain.
MI: Pain to get rid of pain. Great.
DOCTOR ALLEN (puts syringe down): Let me see your shoulder.
Mi lowers her shoulder. The bite mark almost reaches her heart and looks worse than her side wound. Doctor Allen takes a closer look. He stares at this wound longer than the side wound.
DOCTOR ALLEN (examines): This is very odd. The bite mark seems deeper than they appear… but the wound seems to be healed. Or at least stopped any further damage.
THOMAS: What does that mean, Doc?
DOCTOR ALLEN: Well, for the most part, it seems to be fine on its own, though I wouldn’t put too much stress it for now. Are you left or right-handed?
MI: Never paid attention.
DOCTOR ALLEN: You’re lucky, you know that. If that wolf had bitten an inch lower, it would have punctured your heart. Be grateful that’s how far it is.
Mi just stares at Doc Allen like he’s insane.
DOCTOR ALLEN (feels for fever): As far as your temperature goes, I’m not sure. All I can say is stay inside, take cold showers, stay hydrated… If that doesn’t help, bring her back in a week. I’ll go write out a prescription.
Doctor Allen leaves the room.
INT. GRAND NEW GOWN – DAY
Mayla & Gale peruse the shelves and racks for clothes to try on.
Mayla tries on a few dresses in the changing room. Most of the clothes fit her personality, but a few hiccups pop up.
Gale finds something and shows it to Mayla.
Gale & Mayla come out of the dressing room dressed as cowgirls. Mayla does not fit that look.
Gale & Mayla sit at a table next to the snack bar. Store bags sit next to them.
GALE: Now that was fun.
MAYLA: I like the selection. It’s bigger than I expected.
GALE: You practically got the same thing.
MAYLA: Is that a problem?
GALE: I think your style fits you too well. Though I’m not one to complain. Besides, clothes don’t make you, you make the clothes.
MAYLA: Did you read that in a magazine?
GALE: It was from a show I watched growing up. Actually, quite a few…
Mayla sees something on the counter. It looks like the plastic thing Michael gave her. Gale sees what Mayla is looking at.
GALE: I guess it’s about that time, huh? If you want, you can use some I have back home. I won’t be needing them for another eight months.
MAYLA: You know what those are?
Gale has been thrown so far off by that statement that words are not even capable of describing her reaction.
EXT. HEATHVILLE PHONE COMPANY – DAY
Luegon parks beside the phone company. Mi & Tyson sit in the bed of the truck.
THOMAS: I’m hoping this will only be a few minutes.
TYSON: Relax Pa, I’ll keep an eye on her.
THOMAS: Keep an eye on the truck for me.
Thomas heads inside the phone company.
Mi feels the spot Doctor Allen gave her the shot.
TYSON: You’ve really never had a shot before, huh?
MI: Have you?
TYSON: Since I was little. Daniel hates them.
MI: I see why.
Something catches Mi’s sight. Gale & Mayla walk down the sidewalk. Mi ducks down in the bed of the truck.
TYSON: What are you doing?
MI (whispers): Get down.
MI (whispers): Just get down, okay.
Tyson looks out and see Mayla & Gale.
TYSON: Do you know those people?
MI (whispers): Quit talking and get down.
Gale sees Tyson.
TYSON: I know Ms. Gale is not your mom.
MI (whispers): WOULD YOU JUST GET DOWN.
Mi tries to bury herself.
TYSON: Hello, Ms. Gale? What brings you to town?
GALE: Hanging out with one of my nieces.
TYSON: Nice to meet you. My name’s Tyson.
MAYLA: My name’s Mayla.
TYSON: Do you have any siblings?
MAYLA: I do and I was wondering if you’ve seen them.
Mi feels cornered. Tyson finds this interesting.
TYSON: What do they look like?
MAYLA: She has red hair, darker than yours, loose clothing, messy, long hair.
Tyson thinks for a second. Mi mouths to him not to tell.
TYSON: Sorry. The only red headed lady I’ve seen is my mom.
MAYLA: Oh. Well thanks anyway.
TYSON: My pleasure.
GALE: Nice to see you Tyson. Y’all should come over some time.
TYSON: I’ll tell my folks.
Gale & Mayla walk away.
Tyson gets down in the bed.
TYSON (beat): Okay, talk.
MI: What do you mean?
TYSON: That thing I saw last night. Tell me what that was.
Mi doesn’t answer.
TYSON: Tell me or I’ll tell your sister where you are.
TYSON: She’s still in view. I can run up to her now and tell her you’re her.
MI: Just don’t tell her.
TYSON (grabs edge of truck): I think I’ll tell her now.
MI: Wait! (Tyson looks down) I’ll tell you when we get home. Okay?
Tyson stares down at Mi. Mi hopes Tyson won’t jump out.
Tyson lets go of the truck and sits down in the bed.
TYSON: Tell me this. Do you hate your sister?
Mi can see that Tyson will not back on his question.
MI: She’s not why I left.
Tyson stares at Mi with some doubt.
TYSON: I know where she lives. Make sure you keep that promise.
Mi has played a dangerous card. The truth might be something that puts her in more danger.
INT. TULSEN FARM, MAYLA’S ROOM – DAY
Mayla & gale put Mayla’s new clothes in her closet. All of them seem to be dresses similar to the kind she normally wears and the one she is wearing.
GALE: And that’s the last of them.
MAYLA: Thank you for helping me, Aunt Gale.
GALE: What are fun aunts for? Though I am still curious. Why do you have a bank account?
MAYLA: Since we don’t have a mom, I’ve tried to be a mother figure to my sisters. One day, dad & I went to the bank and said it was a place for adults to keep their money. (pulls out checkbook) I wanted to be responsible, so I got my own.
Gale takes Mayla’s checkbook and looks through it. Her expression becomes more shocked with each flip.
GALE (highest shock): YOU HAVE THIS MUCH ALREADY?
MAYLA: I guess I act like a housewife because I want to be a responsible adult. Dad took us in. I don’t remember our parents. (tears gush) I guess I just wanted to do something to say… “I’m sorry.”
Gale smiles and bops Mayla on the head with the checkbook.
Mayla takes her checkbook of her head.
GALE: You don’t own anyone anything. (beat) If you ask me, Shiro owes you a whole lot more. (beat) You are more than a great big sister. Way greater. I bet you’d make a great mom someday. How about you just be their sister? That’s all they want.
Mayla wipes away her tears & smiles.
EXT. DOUGELL FARM – EVENING
The Dougell truck rolls into the yard & parks beside the house. Thomas, Daniel, & Sadie get out.
SADIE: I can’t believe they’re going to wait till Tuesday to fix it.
THOMAS: They have to borrow a lift truck from the next town.
SADIE: I thought they buried them.
Daniel runs inside.
THOMAS: Not around here.
Sadie heads inside fed up with today.
THOMAS (to Tyson): You two coming out?
TYSON: She’s asleep.
Thomas walks to the back. In the bed, Mi sleeps soundly.
THOMAS: Boy, those meds do well on her.
TYSON: She fell asleep right after we left town.
THOMAS (picks up Mi): Well, at least we know she won’t rob us in our sleep. (walks to house) I wonder if she’ll be ready by tomorrow.
Tyson watches his dad take Mi inside, still wondering what happened the other day…
Please log in to leave a comment.