INT. DOUGELL HOUSE, ATTIC – DAY
A small attic with some boxes scattered about, cleaner than most. A standing mirror lies among the boxes. The staircase is along the side. A mat lies in the center. On the mat is Mi’s jacket and the wolf tooth.
Mi puts on a red-platted button-up shirt and looks in the mirror. She looks at herself in the mirror, an unfamiliar version who is about to actually do work. It’s almost as if she is saying goodbye to an old friend.
INT. DOUGELL HOUSE, KITCHEN – DAY
Mi walks into the kitchen. Some breakfast is on the table. Sadie is also there eating hers. Sadie sees Mi but shoves the thought out of her mind and picks up a newspaper.
MI (heading to table): Morning.
SADIE (at newspaper): Morning.
Mi sits down and grabs her something.
MI: Where’s everyone else?
SADIE (at newspaper): Thomas & Tyson started early this morning. Daniel’s with them. (to Mi) You just get up?
MI: Never worn a shirt with buttons before.
Mi eats her breakfast. Sadie looks at the newspaper.
MI: You read the news?
SADIE: Mainly the weather. They’re saying this year is going to be the worst season in 38 years. Dang weather people. Think they can say right away what it’s going to be like.
MI: So, is it going to rain?
Sadie closes the paper. She grabs her plate, heads for the sink, and places her plate in the sink.
MI: So what’s the plan for today?
MI: Anything in particular?
Sadie turns around and gives Mi a cold look.
SADIE: Everything we can. (walks out) Hurry up & finish your breakfast. I’ll see if I have a spare pair of gloves.
Mi continues her breakfast.
EXT. DOUGELL FARM – DAY
Sadie loads some tools onto the back of the truck. Mi walks outside.
MI: Need a hand?
SADIE: I’ve already loaded everything. Get in.
Sadie gets in the driver’s seat & cranks the truck up. Mi gets in the passenger side.
INT. TULSEN FARM, STABLE – DAY
Gale cleans the stable. Xena enters & sees Gale at work.
GALE: Well hey, sweetheart. Whatcha up to?
XENA (uncomfortable): I wanted to see the horses.
GALE (reaches into pocket): Okay.
Gale kneels and holds out her hand. In her hand are some sugar cubes. Xena does not understand.
GALE (CONT’D): This is the quickest way I know how to make friends with them.
Xena cautiously approaches Gale. Gale waits for Xena.
Xena reaches for the cubes. She hesitates.
Xena snatches the cubes out of Gale’s hands and scurries back to where she started.
INT. TRUCK/EXT. DOUGELL FARM - DAY
The truck drives down a dirt path in the fields. Mi looks at the corn stocks already loaded with ears.
MI: I thought harvest time was in the fall.
SADIE: Corn’s easy. Grows like weeds. If there’s enough rain.
Sadie pulls the truck up to a broken fence post. The bottom part is still intact but is buried deep in the ground. She & Mi get out.
SADIE: Ever fixed a fence before?
Sadie kicks the bottom part of the post.
MI: So we just pull it out and put in a new one?
Sadie grabs two shovels out of the back of the truck and tosses one to Mi. Mi picks the shovel up.
SADIE (walks to post): Thing’s at least three feet deep. (drives shovel in around post) Try to stay as close as you can.
Sadie starts digging around the post.
Mi breathes in and gets right to work.
The hole around the post is about two feet deep. Mi shovels some dirt. She catches her breathe and tries to keep her hair back. Sadie digs with no effort.
SADIE: Right. (stakes shovel) Let’s pull her up.
Sadie squats down and grabs the post.
Mi drops her shovel and squats down on the other side.
SADIE: Ready. Pull.
Sadie & Mi lift the post up. Mi struggles to keep up with Sadie. Her hands feel like they are being ripped by razors. The base of the post gets about halfway up the hole.
SADIE: To the truck.
Sadie & Mi tilt the post towards the truck. The post falls to the ground. Mi leans over and catches her breath, hiding under her hair.
SADIE: You okay, Rapunzel?
MI (catches breath): Why didn’t you ask your husband to do this?
Sadie picks up the top of the post.
SADIE (lifts post): If you think this is hard (slides onto truck) Might as well call it a life. We’ve still got to replace it.
Mi straightens up & forcefully drags herself to the truck.
Mi grabs the end of the new post sticking out. She tries to yank the poll. The poll does not budge. She pulls the poll and the poll slides off the bed. Sadie grabs the other end as it approaches.
Mi & Sadie carry the poll over to the hole. Mi lowers the post into the hole.
SADIE (lifting up): Push up from your end.
Mi pushes her end up. The poll slides into place and drops down into the hole. Mi exasperates and catches her breath.
SADIE: Let’s get these boards in place.
Sadie grabs two hammers and some nails out of the back. Mi tries to put up with it.
INT. TULSEN FARM, STABLE – DAY
Xena holds out a sugar cube to Mavis. Mavis pays Xena no attention. Gale shines Mavis’ saddle.
GALE: She’s not a big fan of sugar.
Gale gets up. Xena flinches.
GALE: Mavis is one you got to coax into trying one. Try getting up to her mouth.
Xena climbs up the gate. She is eye level with Mavis. Xena holds out a sugar cube.
Mavis reaches for Xena’s hand. Xena jumps back and falls off the gate. Luck neighs as if he is laughing.
GALE (to Luck): Luck.
Luck shuts up.
Gale helps Xena up. Xena freezes up.
GALE: The thing about horses is that sometimes they can be stubborn-
Gale lets go off Xena. Xena flees to the other end of the stable & puffs up into a ball of fur. Gale thought she was getting closer to Xena.
INT. TRUCK/EXT. DOUGELL FARM – DAY
Mi’s left hand is painted with bruises from using a hammer. Sadie drives the truck through the yard.
SADIE: Next time try to hit the nail.
Mi looks at her hand dissatisfied.
Sadie slams on brakes. On the road is a rooster.
SADIE (pokes head out): HENRY? (rooster clucks) What in blazes are you doing out here?
MI: Isn’t that-
Rooster jumps on the hood of the truck.
Sadie pulls herself back into the truck and floors it. The rooster holds on.
EXT. DOUGELL FARM, CHICKEN COOP – DAY
Chickens and chicks scratch all about outside the coop. The entrance is wide open. The truck drives up to the coop. Sadie can’t believe what she is seeing.
SADIE: WHAT IN BLAZES?
The rooster jumps off the hood of the truck. Sadie storms out of the truck. Mi gets out with her.
MI: Aren’t they supposed to be inside that cage?
Sadie checks the coop’s latch. It’s intact.
SADIE: Something must have opened it up and let them loose. It’s too early for raccoons.
Chickens scurry around the place.
MI: Shouldn’t we get these guys back in?
SADIE: That’s the plan. Round them up. I’ll get any stragglers.
Mi has no idea how to round them up. The chickens trot around her.
Mi jumps at a chicken. She misses & the chickens scurry away from her. Sadie watches the idiot doing whatever.
A chicken walks up to Mi. Mi reaches for the chicken. The chicken gets away. Mi falls on back. Sadie can’t watch this anymore.
SADIE (steps in): Stand on the other side. Make sure none get loose.
Mi gets next to the coop and stands on the other side of the entrance away from the entrance.
Sadie steps in and herds. The chickens get together and head for the coop. Mi stands on the other side, funneling the flock. The rooster goes in on his own.
Mi grabs the gate & slams it shut. Sadie locks the coop.
A single chick runs up to the coop. It tries to find a way in. Sadie picks the chick up, opens the gate, and puts her hand in. The chick jumps out of Sadie’s hand. Sadie closes the coop up again.
Mi has never scene Sadie’s motherly side before.
SADIE (beat): What was that?
MI: Someone who’s never met a chicken before.
SADIE: Have you even had a pet before?
MI: I’ve got six sisters and we lived in the slums of a city. Tell me if you would have had a pet in those conditions.
Sadie slaps Mi in the face.
SADIE: We only had 206 acres & these chickens when we started. Every inch of this place is worth more than you can see right now.
MI: Isn’t 206 a lot?
SADIE: Do you talk back to your parents like that?
Mi turns away in regret.
SADIE: You don’t know how things work around here. Do you know how much work goes into putting a single egg in your fridge? How many hours it takes to make a cup of milk? Do you know how much corn it takes for us to even be able to buy an ear’s worth? I’ll say what it takes to do it. Hard work. Nothing more.
Sadie walks to the truck. Mi watches Sadie get in. Sadie starts the truck & waits for Mi.
Mi walks over to the truck.
INT. TULSEN FARM, STABLE – DAY
Xena hides in her puffed fur at the back of the stable.
NEIGH Xena pokes her eyes out. Terry stands up & sits back down. She does it a couple of times. Xena watches.
EXT. DOUGELL FARM, COMPOST SHED – DAY
Sadie backs the truck up to a lone shed farther away from the house. Four shovels & pitchforks stand against the shed and a big door paints the front side. Sadie & Mi get out of the truck.
MI (sniffs): What’s that smell?
Sadie grabs a shovel and opens the door. Inside, fertilizer creates a small wall at the base of the door. In the back on top, compost decays into the fertilizer below. Mi can hardly stand the stench.
SADIE: Grab a shovel and start digging.
MI (gagging): Oh my- Don’t you have a machine for this?
SADIE: That’s what you and the truck are for. Now start shoveling.
Sadie thrust her shovel into the fertilizer and chucks it into the truck bed.
Mi begrudgedly grabs a shovel. She thrust her shovel into the fertilizer and slings it onto the truck. She’s surprised that it doesn’t smell.
Mi & Sadie keep loading the truck.
EXT. DOUGELL FARM, FIELD – DAY
Sadie drives the truck fully loaded with compost & a rake onto the edge of a newly planted field. Mi sits on top of the roof.
SADIE: I’ll drive. You let down the bed. Try to spread it as even as possible.
Mi grabs the back. Sadie glides the truck onto the field & coast from there.
Mi lets the latch go. The back falls, dropping compost and Mi onto the field. Mi gets back on and rakes compost off the back.
Sadie checks her mirror. Mi seems to be working diligently. Sadie can’t figure out what Mi is thinking.
The truck rolls on through the field with compost leaving a trail behind.
-At the shed, Sadie & Mi load the truck with compost.
-Sadie drives down the field. Compost falls out the back. Mi rakes the compost off.
-Sadie back the truck up to the shed.
- Sadie drives down the field. Compost falls out the back. Mi rakes the compost off.
-At the shed, Sadie & Mi load the truck with compost.
- Sadie drives down the field. Compost falls out the back. Mi rakes the compost off. Mi realizes that this is getting easier.
EXT. DOUGELL FARM, FIELD – EVENING
A field covered in compost as far the eye can see marks. The truck stands parked by the side of the field. Mi lies in the bed exhausted after her first ever hard day’s work.
A bottle lands next Mi. Mi grasps the bottle & opens it.
SADIE (sits down): You worked harder than I was expecting.
Mi guzzles the bottle.
SADIE (opens bottle): Still a green horn.
MI (finishes bottle): How do you do this every day?
SADIE: Years of struggling and pain. Not that a wuss like you would understand.
SADIE: Slacker. Lazy bones. I can keep going but we’ll be here all day.
MI: You sound like my sister. Can’t shut her up until she’s done.
SADIE: You said you have six. They around as well?
MI: Yeah. I’m just the rebellious one that ran away.
SADIE: I can see that.
MI (lays down): Did you have any siblings?
SADIE: I was an only child.
MI: Did you run away from home?
SADIE: You ain’t got no right asking about my past. You’re still a freeloader.
MI: A freeloader who can return home. (beat) I think. My dad will probably skin me clean once I get back. I haven’t found the right time to go back. Though I probably should soon. My sisters are- maybe miss me.
Mi stares up at the sky, wondering about everything. Sadie looks off into the fields. She takes a huge chug of her drink.
SADIE (buzzed): At least you have someone to return to. My dad was a jackass. He spent most of his time on an affair or whatever whore he could find at the time, wasting all his money on booze or liquor or… moonshine. Whatever he could get. Damn fool couldn’t keep a single penny in his pocket.
Mi listens to Sadie’s rant.
SADIE (CONT’D): One day, my mom left. I was coming home from school. My dad was the only one at home. Since my mom left, he used me as a whipping post and took everything out on me. That night, I ran away too. (Mi sits up) I got my hair dyed. I got a job with the railroads. Took my first shot at fourteen. Ironic how I picked up one of his habits when I hated him. (beat) Then one day, I somehow found myself on the doorsteps of a stranger’s house. Can’t tell you happened that night. I was hammered beyond belief.
MI: Then what happened?
SADIE: I met Thomas. His folks got me a place. I helped on their land. We kissed, got married, and had Daniel. And since that day, I told myself I would never see my father again. The bastard could be in prison or the ground for all I care.
MI: I guess that explains your mouth. My dad would give me a streak across my face that would last a month if he caught me talking like you.
SADIE: Well congrats, you got a father that cares. You know how many of those exist? I can name one and he takes fine good care of my own.
MI: Yeah. I guess they are lucky. I guess they are…
Mi looks at the setting sun. Everything Sadie has said feel familiar, harsh yet kind, almost too confusing to grasp how simple a mistake she made.
SADIE: Hey. Want to learn how to drive?
EXT. TULSEN FARM – EVENING
Gale & Shiro search the place.
SHIRO (calling out): XENA!
GALE (calling out): XENA DEAR! WHERE ARE YOU!
Xena stumbles out of the stable dazed and confused. She can’t walk straight.
GALE (kneels): Xena!
Xena flops into Gale completely out of it.
GALE (CONT’D): Are you okay?
Xena can’t speak.
NEIGH A high-pitched horse sound come out of the stable.
SHIRO: When did you get a colt?
Something clicks in Gale’s mind. She dashes off to the stable.
EXT. DOUGELL FARM – NIGHT
Thomas & Tyson sit out on the porch. The truck jerks its way to the house.
A drunk Sadie gets out of the passenger side, stumbling in her steps. Thomas goes to help his wife. Mi gets out of the driver’s side.
GALE (throws herself into Thomas): Hi there, you loving piece of man.
THOMAS: Looks like someone had a good time.
SADIE (drunk): Thank you for letting me have some.
THOMAS: I figured today might get rough. (to Mi) How did you do?
MI: Probably as bad as she thinks.
SADIE (drunk): I think perfectly fine. I can tell you my birthday if I wanted to.
THOMAS (leads Sadie to house): Okay dear. I think we can call it a day. We’ve got another one ahead of us.
SADIE (drunk): Have I ever told you how much I love you?
THOMAS (opens door): I don’t think you can tell me enough.
Thomas takes Sadie inside. Door closes.
TYSON: Sorry you had to see her like that.
Mi & Tyson walk to the porch.
MI: I bet my dad would do the same.
TYSON: Does he?
MI: No. (sits on porch) But he does do our hair against our will sometimes.
TYSON (leans against poll): “Does your hair?”
MI: He’s a fancy barber. He’ll punish us sometimes by making us be his guinea pigs. And most days are school days. Do realize how annoying it is to have people look at you because your hair is different than normal?
TYSON: Never understand that. (beat) My dad keeps an eye on her. He lets her have a few once-in-a-while, mainly at parties & such.
MI: If I were him, I’d let her have them more often.
TYSON: I think she’s scared that she might turn out like my grandfather. (stands straight) She hasn’t told me. She got a call one day from him & I was listening in the other room. I don’t even know how to describe it. But I can guess that’s why.
Tyson squints at Mi, gets down next to her, and pulls out some compost.
TYSON (beat): A bit of work, eh?
MI: You try shoveling all day with this in your face.
TYSON: Then cut it. Or tie it back.
MI: Haven’t got anything for it.
TYSON (gets up): Then how about we get my mom to cut it for you?
MI (jumps up): No way if I'm letting her touch my hair. I like it as it is.
Tyson heads inside. Mi follows, telling Tyson not to get his mom.
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