EXT. TULSEN FARM – DAY, CLOUDY
The sky is blanketed by dark clouds and the wind blows with an almost eerier feel. Shiro & Luegon stand on the porch, keeping an eye on the foreboding clouds.
Ni runs around the yard looking up at the sky.
NI: Oh! Those clouds look pretty dark. Do you think it’s going to storm? I’ve never seen a storm out in the country. (giddy) OOOOOOOH! I hope it’s a tornado!
Ni bounds around the yard.
LUEGON: Better hope not. Their saying this season’s going to be the worst in 38 years. (to Shiro) What do you think?
SHIRO: Not the right color. Hopefully it’ll just rain.
LUEGON: I hope Gale & Mayla get back soon.
SHIRO: Mayla knows how to shop back home, but that took her some time.
LUEGON: What do you mean?
SHIRO: The first time she got the groceries, it took her two hours and all the frozen spoiled before she got back. She’s a super shopper and knows when to get a good deal.
LUEGON: Hopefully Gale gets her through quick.
ROAR Thunder happens in the distance.
Behind the house, Xena takes a bucket and wide brush into the stable.
LUEGON (CONT’D): You think you & Kobai can give me a hand in the cow barn?
SHIRO: I guess you need Kobai’s ability for something.
LUEGON: The roof’s leaking and I can’t find the place where it is. You two mind helping me find it so I can patch it up?
SHIRO: Knowing Kobai, she’ll want to be in a separate building than Ni right now.
NI (in the air): YAHOOO!
EXT. DOUGELL FARM – DAY, CLOUDY
The weathervane spins rapidly. The chickens scurry into their coop. Thomas & Sadie tie the truck down to the ground. Tyson & Mi fix the door. Daniel looks out the window worried by the weather.
MI: Aren’t your parents overreacting?
TYSON: Last time a storm this strong came through, we found it in the middle of the road. It’s mainly a precaution.
MI: Come one. It can’t be that bad.
SNAP The wind vane on weathervane flies off and lands in front of the porch. Daniel freaks out.
MI: Never mind.
Tyson sees that Daniel is panicking.
TYSON (shouts): MA! I think Daniel needs to go in the shelter!
SADIE (shouts): Go ahead! We’ll finish up out here!
TYSON (to Mi): Want to see the shelter?
The weathervane falls over.
MI: Need you ask?
Tyson & Mi grab the tools.
EXT. HEATHVILLE – DAY, CLOUDY
Mayla, Gale, & Calif load the truck with groceries. Calif gets in the back.
INT. TRUCK – DAY, CLOUDY
Gale gets in the driver’s seat. Mayla gets in the front passenger seat.
MAYLA: Sorry this took so long.
GALE: It’s okay. Calif got to see the town. (to Calif) The store was nice, right?
Calif clutches a new art set in her hands with a pouty expression on her face.
MAYLA: She gets like this every time she gets a new art set. She won’t budge until we get home.
GALE: Better do so. (starts truck) I don’t like this weather.
The truck drives out of town.
INT. DOUGELL FARM, SHELTER – DAY, CLOUDY
A storm shelter located underneath the shed. It needs a bit of cleaning. A ladder leads to a hatch above.
Tyson opens the hatch. Daniel & Mi with her jacket look down. Tyson goes on down. Mi follows.
Tyson flips a switch revealing more of the shelter. The shelter has a room on the right from the entrance with a closed door.
Tyson opens the door, revealing a spacious room that could fit about 10 or 12 people. Straw lines the floor and piles up here and there. Beams line the place. A small light stands hangs in the center of the entire room, limiting light to one side. Another door blocks what acts as an underground outhouse.
Tyson & Mi walk in.
MI: Nice place.
Behind them, Daniel climbs down the ladder.
TYSON: We’ve made use of it.
Tyson turns on the light. The bulb flickers & shorts out.
TYSON: Eh. Who needs light?
Daniel walks in and flops on a straw pile.
BOOM The hatch closes up top.
MI: Please tell me we’re not trapped down here.
TYSON: If we are, my dad can get us out. Until they get here- (falls back on straw) Might as well wait.
Tyson lays back. Mi joins Tyson on the straw pile.
INT. TULSEN FARM, COW BARN – DAY, CLOUDY
The winds crash onto the side of the barn. The cows are surprisingly calm. Kobai, Luegon, & Shiro stand in the center of the barn.
KOBAI: So the plan is to wait until a steady drip comes through, I hold a puddle above the roof so you can see it better, then once the storm subsides, you will patch it?
LUEGON: That’s the idea.
KOBAI: Quite frankly, would it not be simpler to locate the spot by coming to the barn after the leak and finding the source by looking at the mud spot left by the drip then looking up?
SHIRO: What if it lands in the cow pen?
KOBAI: I suppose that is a factor.
TAP TAP TAP Raindrops hits the roof. The storm is coming.
LUEGON: Guess it won’t be long till we find out.
SHIRO: I just hope the girls are back.
KOBAI: Well, we already know where Ni is.
EXT. TULSEN FARM – DAY, CLOUDY
A metal pole stands in the middle of the field. It was not there before. Ni is tied to the top. She looks ready to fight the storm.
NI: I have seen your younger siblings in my land. NOW I SHALL FACE YOU!
INT. TULSEN FARM, COW BARN – DAY, CLOUDY
KOBAI: Is Xena inside?
SHIRO: You know she curls up with Shell when it thunders. She’ll be fine.
LUEGON (hand on Kobai’s shoulder): Besides, she & Josiah have been getting along fine. I’m sure those two are playing right now.
Kobai removes Luegon’s hand.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD – DAY, STORM
The storm begins to rage across the countryside. The truck drives along the soaked road.
INT. TRUCK – DAY, STORM
Gale drives with Mayla beside her. Calif clutches her art set with a pouty face that looks as if she’s about to blow.
MAYLA: We should have waited until tomorrow to do this.
GALE: Josiah was outgrowing his diapers anyways.
MAYLA: I guess cloth diapers are useful when you can’t walk to the nearest store.
GALE: Especially when he was younger. We’re thinking it’s about time to start potty training him. That might help.
MAYLA: I heard that potty training can be a challenge.
GALE: Did your dad have to train y’all?
MAYLA: Not like babies. See, we hatch at about-
POP Tire blows. Gale pulls off the road. Nothing within miles on the empty road except fields and rain.
GALE: So what was this about hatching?
INT. TULSEN FARMHOUSE, 2ND FLOOR – DAY, STORM
Josiah comes out of his room.
BOOM Thunder shakes the house. Josiah calls out for Gale and Luegon. No one answers.
Josiah calls out ‘TE-TE,’ his word for Xena.
INT. TULSEN FARMHOUSE – DAY, STORM
Josiah calls for Xena. No one answers.
INT. TULSEN FARM, STABLE – DAY, STORM
The stable creeks & rattles with the ongoing wind and rain bombarding from all sides. A puffed out Xena shakes in the center of the stable.
INT. DOUGELL FARM, SHELTER – DAY, STORM
Mi & Tyson lay in the hay. Daniel plays with the straw.
MI: They’re taking their time, aren’t they?
TYSON: Sounds like the storm’s rolling on through.
MI: You know you made a mistake, right?
TYSON: Why’s that?
MI: I just found a good napping spot.
TYSON: Yeah. It’s a nice little crawl space. (stretches) Perfect time for one. Wouldn’t you say?
Mi’s eyes are closed. Tyson closes his eyes. Daniel continues to play in the straw.
INT. TRUCK/EXT. COUNTRY ROAD – DAY, STORM
Gale, Mayla, & Calif wait out the storm in the truck. The ditch next to them fills up rapidly. Calif’s pouty expression looks more like a silent tantrum.
MAYLA: How long do you think this storm will last?
GALE: Don’t know. It could be hours before it even settles down.
Calif looks as though she is going to pop.
GALE (checking Calif): How long is she going to be like that?
MAYLA: Calif, don’t open that in here.
Calif claws at the wrapping.
MAYLA: Can you drive with a flat?
GALE: It won’t get good mileage like that and it can tear up the chasse if it rubs against the ground. (takes keys out of ignition) We’ll just have to wait until it blows over.
MAYLA: I guess so.
Calif shreds the wrapping of the art set up. Mayla saw that coming. Gale unbuckles.
INT. TULSEN FARM, COW BARN – DAY, STORM
A steady leak drips into a pen. Kobai observes the leak.
KOBAI: I believe we have located the source of the problem.
Kobai halts the stream. Luegon puts on a poncho.
LUEGON: Okay then, let’s get to work.
KOBAI: You are planning to fix this in torrential rain?
In the background, Shiro puts on a poncho.
KOBAI (CONT’D): Isn’t that far too dangerous enough to call it life threatening?
SHIRO: We used to do it all the time with my dad when the house was leaking. Said he’d rather break his leg than flood the house.
KOBAI: Well then, I suppose I shall go out as well.
Luegon is confused.
EXT. TULSEN FARM, COW BARN – DAY, STORM
Kobai, Shiro, & Luegon stand inside looking out an empty door. Kobai walks outside. A bubble about 20 feet in diameter forms around her, blocking the rain and wind.
LUEGON: Boy, your kids are very helpful.
SHIRO: Thanks Kobai.
Kobai just looks at her father as if she is the only sane & intelligent one in existence.
INT. DOUGELL FARM, SHELTER – DAY, STORM
Mi & Tyson nap soundly on a pile of straw. Daniel continues to play in the straw.
Mi stirs a little. She wakes to see Tyson asleep as well. Mi tries to wake Tyson up. Tyson wakes up.
MI: Is it morning yet?
Tyson looks around. He sees Daniel still playing in the straw.
TYSON (rolls over): No. (stretches) You get a good nap?
MI: That’s why I’m asking.
TYSON: Daniel usually stops playing with something when he goes to sleep. It’s probably about 3.
MI: Never thought I’d sleep through lunch.
Tyson gets him & Mi off the pile and heads over to the other side of the rafters. In a pile of straw next to a beam, Tyson uncovers a box. He opens it, revealing a stash of snacks & drinks. Tyson tosses Mi a snack.
TYSON (grabs a snack): Hope that’s fine.
MI: Oh man. If that were a bed, I’d be back at home right now.
Mi opens her snack and flops on a pile of straw.
TYSON (sits next to Mi): Pays to be prepared, though I don’t know how good these are.
MI: This stuff? It could last through a war and still have a year left.
TYSON: I try to restock every now-and-again just to make sure no one starves down here.
MI: Does Daniel know of this?
TYSON: I can see that he tried to hide a bag. I don’t mind.
Mi scarfs down her stack.
TYSON (CONT’D): I’d hate to you see when you're starving.
Mi crumples her bag & tosses it to the side.
MI: Should we go find your parents?
TYSON: They’re probably in the house right now. Daniel gets really scared of storms, so I bring him down here and my folks get us once it’s over. If it’s a tornado, then it’s a different story. What about you?
MI: Back home? We’ve never had one this strong. Thunder & lightning, yes, but not one where your head can be decapitated.
TYSON: Scared of them?
MI: I just hate the rain.
TYSON: And your sisters?
MI: I have one that likes to play outside during one, hoping to get struck by lightning.
TYSON: Hard life?
MI: No she’s nuts. My oldest sister doesn’t like them either but for a different reason. Xena is still scared of thunder.
TYSON: Is she youngest sister?
MI: I have one more younger than her. By about a year.
TYSON: How old?
MI: 8 & 9. They’re birthdays are four days apart.
TYSON: A year and four days.
MI: 361 days. The 8-year-old’s comes first.
TYSON: Do they celebrate on the same day?
MI: Yeah. Believe me, with seven of us, sharing a birthday is common.
TYSON: It must be interesting having a birthday when you’re a triplet.
MI: Don’t get me started there. That is not something you want to do.
TYSON: Complete opposites?
MI: Totally. You can’t tell if Ni’s ate the whole cake or not and Kobai would prefer to lock herself in a closet.
TYSON: Kobai. What kind of name is that?
MI (beat): Don’t know. We don’t where we came from. Our dad adopted us right of the street. We don’t even know what we are.
Tyson sees that he has hit something hard.
TYSON (beat): So, getting back to it, when’s your birthday?
MI: None of your business.
TYSON: What if I tell you mine?
MI: Do you really think telling me your birthday will make me want to share mine with you?
TYSON: Will you?
TYSON: January 12th.
MI: The 12th? Thirteen years ago?
TYSON: That’s what my mom says.
MI (awkward): We’re exactly 5 months apart. That’s weird.
TYSON (beat): So your birthday is in a few days. You and your sisters’ birthday.
Silence falls on the room. Mi has been put in an awkward position.
TYSON: Do you plan on going back then?
MI: I don’t know. I still haven’t figured out what to say to my dad. He’s probably searching for me.
TYSON: In this storm?
MI: He might just do so.
Silence covers the conversation.
CREEK Tyson & Mi look towards the door. Daniel goes into the outhouse room. Mi sits up.
MI: Can you keep a secret?
Tyson looks at Mi, a bit uncertain how to answer.
Mi holds up her hand. A small little flame sits in her palm. Tyson sits up amazed at what he is seeing.
MI: Remember when I said I burnt our home? (snuffs fire) I skipped school that day and found a television sitting around. My sister was able to convince the fire department that the television was faulty. I was mad at my dad. He found out about my grades. I kept asking him why school even mattered. All he said was “This reflects you.” I don’t even know what that means. I smashed our dinner table, I skipped school, almost beat up someone… put my sister in danger. (pause) All I really did was push everything to the side. My family, my schoolwork… I’m just lazy. I did nothing and it almost killed my sister. (realizes) I could have killed my sisters.
Tears flows down Mi’s face.
MI (CONT’D): Xena can’t even go outside either. She’s scared of people. She can’t take a step outside. I can go outside. I shouldn’t have even been home. I shouldn’t have been there. I-
Mi, unable to finish, breaks down and cries her heart out. The room fills with her bellowing anguish. The storm drowned out.
Tyson, watching this new side of Mi, can only imagine what is going through her mind. He knows what it’s like to care for a sibling.
Tyson tries to comfort Mi by putting his arm around her. He sits there and waits for Mi.
Tyson sees the wolf’s tooth in Mi’s pocket. He pulls it out and looks at it.
TYSON: I think you’ve stayed long enough.
Mi calms down some and looks up. She does not understand what Tyson is saying.
TYSON: When you first got here, my mom thought you were nothing more than a lazy city slicker who couldn’t even make her own food. When you started helping on the farm, I didn’t see you stop even when you were complaining. Maybe you had your answer longer than you think.
Tyson wipes a tear of Mi’s face.
Daniel walks back into the room.
DANIEL: I made stinky.
TYSON (to Daniel): Okay. Make sure you bury it. (to Mi) He still hasn’t figured out the toilet down here.
A little smile paints itself on Mi.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK Someone knocks on the hatch.
THOMAS (O.S.) (through door): The storm’s over. Y’all can come on out.
Daniel rushes outside.
TYSON: Shall we?
Tyson takes Mi and leads her outside.
EXT. TULSEN FARM – DAY
Xena eases out of the stable. The sky clears up and mud covers the ground. Xena heads for the house.
Something catches Xena’s attention. Whatever it is, it has Xena confused.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD – DAY
Gale tightens a bolt on a tire. The old tire lies next to her. Mayla stands outside.
GALE: There we go.
MAYLA: I’ll get the jack for you.
GALE: Are you sure?
Mayla grabs the jack and turns. The jack is hard for Mayla.
GALE (CONT’D): If you can’t, I don’t mind-
The jack slips from under the truck. The truck lands on the ground.
CALIF (O.S.): AH! MY PAINTING!
GALE (blows up): That’s why I told you to get out! If I find any paint stains in there, I will have you clean them out for not listening! You hear me!
MAYLA (nervous): I’ve never seen you get serious before.
GALE (to Mayla): Get inside!
Mayla freaks out and hurries on in the truck.
Gale kicks the old tire into a flooded ditch, throws the jack and wrench into the back, and storms into the truck.
The truck starts and screeches down the road.
EXT. TULSEN FARM, COW BARN – DAY
A new panel tops the roof.
INT. TULSEN FARM, BARN – DAY
Luegon, Shiro, & Kobia put some tools up.
LUEGON: Well, that went pretty smooth. Thanks for the shield, Kobai.
KOBAI: Should you ask me, the action was unnecessary at the moment in which-
SHIRO: Take the complement Kobai. He’s still your uncle.
KOBAI: Fair enough. (to Luegon) You're welcome, Uncle Luegon.
EXT. TULSEN FARM – DAY
Shiro, Kobai, & Luegon come out of the barn. The truck drives around back and parks violently.
GALE (storms out): -and it don’t matter what color it is, (Calif gets out) You will get back out here and scrub that seat until you can see your face in it!
Shiro, Luegon, & Kobai watch the show go on. Calif walks to the back door with her art set and a pouty face.
GALE (puts foot down): Get back here missy and give me that art set right now!
Gale storms inside after Calif.
Shiro opens the passenger side of the truck. Mayla looks as if she just got off her first roller coaster.
MAYLA (stiff): H-H-H-Hi Dad.
Shiro looks at the back seat.
SHIRO (to Mayla): Did you have a good time?
A nervous smile carves through Mayla’s face. Shiro opens the back, grabs the groceries, and takes them inside.
SHIRO: I’ll be back in a second.
Luegon checks the truck to see a stiffened Mayla. Luegon unbuckles Mayla.
INT. TULSEN FARMHOUSE, NI & SHELL’S ROOM – DAY
Xena folds some dirty clothes. Shiro walks by and sees Xena doing something different.
SHIRO: Xena. What are you doing?
XENA: Changings Shell’s clothes.
Shiro & Xena stare at each other.
SHIRO: Okay. (beat) Have you seen Calif?
Xena shakes her head no.
SHIRO: If you see her, make sure you tell your Aunt Gale.
GALE (O.S.) (downstairs): CALIF!
Xena has a lot to catch up on.
EXT. DOUGELL HOUSE – NIGHT
Mi lays out in the straw behind the shed. Many things run through her mind. Tyson comes out & joins her. The two stare at the night sky surrounded by silence. A gap in the sky marks the new moon.
EXT. TULSEN FARM – NIGHT
Ni is still tied to the top of the pole in the field.
NI: I’m STILL WAITING!
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