[ScenePlay] Narrative Card System Playtest / AP

edited January 2015 in Make Stuff!
This is the Actual Play thread. For the metathread, please go here.
Players: Draw your hand here.

TEMPLATE: TV SITCOM "TWO PROBLEMS"

This box up here is where I'll keep track of points and tokens, as well as Brainstorms and Free Cards (Characters and Locations). Items in bold have been Established; they are locked in to the story and may be used for free. Items that aren't bolded are still just "Brainstorms" and have not appeared in the story.

CHARACTERS:
· Tom (PROTAGONIST) [Jude Law] - Despite college education, Head Janitor at his old school
· J.D. (PROTAGONIST) [Asa Butterfield] - and
· Miggy (PROTAGONIST) - who have been adopted by...
· Murphy Patterson (PROTAGONIST) - Tough but likeable School Admin, in relationship with...
· Marsha Bainbridge (PROTAGONIST) - Guidance Counselor
· Dr. Camiré (ANTAGONIST) - Dean of Special Studies, from France
· Carlton Speck (ANTAGONIST/FOE) [Michael Madsen] - a very thorough auditor
· Mrs. Harris - the boys' teacher
· Charlene - Tom's daughter
· The Spirit of the School - Pawnee Spirit
· Griselda Huckabee [Linda Hunt] - art teacher & mystic

LOCATIONS:
AT GABE KAPLAN CHARTER SCHOOL:
· Administrative Office Cluster - "Home Base" (principal set)
· Maintenance Room - filled with raccoons
· Shack on the Hill - Murphy's moonshine still
· Dr Camiré's Office - Starling Furniture desk, fancy-shmancy
· The Art Annex -
· The Baseball Field -

BRAINSTORMS:
____________________________________________________

POST-PRODUCTION COSTS: - 4

TOKENS:
Tod - 6
Chris - 7
Aldona - 5
David - 3
      POINTS:
Tod - 41
Chris - 44
Aldona - 46
David - 60
Bonus (collective) - 69

Comments

  • edited November 2014
    First we need to build the "TEASER" - the first 2 or 3 minutes of the show, prior to the title credits and initial commercial break. See the template for the 3 Key Scenes (minimum) we have to hit for this Sequence.

    BRAINSTORMING: Murphy Patterson, a tough but likeable charter school administrator, a little on the heavy side (CHARACTER)

  • edited November 2014
    BRAINSTORMING: Murphy realizes that the raccoons in the school ventilation system need to be gone before the state auditors arrive! (NEED)
  • edited November 2014
    ESTABLISH A SCENE
    I use the following cards from my hand: character, location, color.

    Blackness. The sound of a thin metal plate being slowly shaken. Tom was the top student in his class. The yearbook said that he was the most likely to succeed. He managed to escape the shitty not-even-important-enough-to-be-on-a-map city where he grew up. He escaped to make a career. He went to Yale, for God's sake! That was ten years ago.

    Heavy breathing. Tom finally finds his flashlight, and the light shows the audience the face of Jude Law. He's in a ventilation system. But Tom got his eyes on something else. A glimmer from small eyes ten feet from his face. Sharp teeth. Sound of tiny paws scurrying away from him. Tom clenches his teeth together. "Come here, you little shit!".

    A short cut and the camera is filming the exit of the ventilation. A short pause, followed by Tom pulling himself out. Another cut showing his whole figure as he stands up. His eyes focused on the target. The raccoon scratching on the glass doors. Rain is throwing itself on the doors from the outside. The tiny animal throws a worried look over at the animal handler. A smile is spreading over Tom's face as he slowly hooking off a net from his belt and entangle it. A short glimpse of madness in his eyes.

    A quick throw and the animal is caught. The camera moves around Tom as he raises the raccoon in the same height as his face, with an incredible satisfied look on his face, showing the corridor of the school behind him. Tom is totally unaware of the twenty-something raccoons scurrying across the floor, sitting in the garbage bin eating, and climbing on top of lockers.

    The camera "moves" outside, out in the rain, away from this madness.

    Welcome back, Tom.

    Welcome back to the school and city you once left.

    OT: I guess I used all my tokens in that one. Three cards = 3 tokens. One A-list celeb = 9 tokens.

    [edit]

    Character: (protagonist) Tom. A botched career made him return to his city where he grew up, and had to take a job working as "pest control"(?) [retcon] head janitor for the school.

    Location: (home base) Gabe Kaplan Elementary. The middle-school where Tom once went.
  • edited November 2014
    A child's voice: "Come on..."

    Cut to the Administrative Office Cluster, a giant room broken up by thin dividers into several decent-sized, 3-walled, square offices which all open toward the Superintendent's desk, which is itself at one end of the giant room. Behind the empty superintendent's chair, we see floor-to-ceiling windows which look out into the school parking lot. In that parking lot, adolescent skateboarders are seen attempting simple tricks in the distance.

    "Turn around, you ignoramus!" comes the child's voice, in an excited, loud whisper. We pan to enter one of the offices, with a name tag on it, Marsha Bainbridge, Guidance Counselor. We zoom past the divider-walls, passing uplifting slogans cheaply printed in garish colors on paper or cardboard -- "Success comes from within!", "Dare to reach your dreams!", "Greatness from humble beginnings", "Everyone can shine! Have patience to find your light!" -- and then past a desk cluttered with papers, magic markers, a mirror, and a floppy homemade teddy bear. At the back wall of the office is a small window facing out into the raccoon-filled corridor. Two boys are peering out the window.

    Miggy Rojas, a thin 12-year-old in clean blue jeans and a baggy Spider-Man T-shirt, has his right eye pressed up to the window and is leaning on the wall, excitedly drumming his fingers on it. Leaning over his shoulder, with one knee on the room's rounded plastic magenta chair, is J.D., another 12-year-old boy. J.D. has not-quite-short dyed black hair sticking out in an obviously intentional mess, and wears a beat-up black leather jacket, Che Guevara T-shirt, combat boots, and black jeans. The jacket has small spikes along the tops of the shoulders.

    Cut back to the corridor, where we see Tom's wallet, keys, work gloves, and a brown paper bag sitting atop a low bookcase. A raccoon paws through them, chomps down on the key ring's leather oval, and trots off with it. Hearing the jingle of keys, Tom spins around.

    Cut back to Miggy & J.D. Miggy's eyes go wide and J.D. leans in closer. They hear Tom scream, "No! Get back here! What- what- oh God no!"

    Miggy jumps up and down, waving his hands and silently guffawing. J.D. just stares through the window, a wide smile on his face, shaking his head in awe. "No... friggin'*... way. That was perfect. Did you see that?"

    Miggy nods enthusiastically.

    "Hum de doo, here I am, catching a raccoon," J.D. says in a stupid voice, bugging his eyes out, unfocused, "oh, what, there's a little jingly sound?"

    Miggy laughs aloud, then throws both hands over his mouth.

    J.D. does a dramatic slow-motion turn and adopts a look of dawning horror, "My keys! A raccoon! There's two! No... there's..."

    Miggy lurches against the counselor's desk, thrashing with stifled laughter.

    "It's ALL the raccoons!" J.D. lets out in a quiet, slo-motion scream. He smiles as Miggy continues to crack up.

    "Man," J.D. says, returning to normal speech. "I can't believe you did it. Do you think we could flood the gym with snakes or something next?"

    Casting: Miggy is some no-name actor. J.D. might be a no name, or he might be Asa Butterfield, depending on how much Asa would cost.

    Cards: character (protagonist), location (office cluster = home base), progress (however Miggy gets animals into the school = new skills/tech).

    *Stupid P.G. rating. J.D. would actually say "fuckin'" there.
  • edited November 2014
    SCENE 3.
    LOCATION: INTERIOR OFFICE CLUSTER
    CHARACTERS: MURPHY, MARSHA, MIGGY, J.D.
    CARDS: Murphy (free), Marsha (character), Motivation

    MARSHA BAINBRIDGE, an attractive and voluptuous middle-aged woman, opens the outer door and enters the office cluster with a clipboard in hand. Behind her follows MURPHY PATTERSON, who is rifling through a voluminous stack of folders and sheaves of paper in his big arms. He looks overwhelmed and trying to be patient. The moment they hear the door, Miggy and J.D. race to sit quietly in nearby chairs, beneath a poster of a small potted sunflower with a caption reading "Be Patient With me; I'm Still Growing". They quickly pick up magazines and try to appear to be reading intently. Marsha is talking a mile a minute; the adults are too self-involved to notice the kids at first.

    MARSHA: ... and of course the whole staff is glad to help get the boys settled in here, I've made sure everyone knows. Kaplan is the best Charter School in all of Seattle, and you're the reason why.

    MURPHY (flattered, mock coy): Oh Marsha, I bet you say that to all the guys. Of course it doesn't hurt that...

    MARSHA (gesturing at the stacks in his arms, which are beginning to get out of hand): And of course I'll go as fast I can, but I'll have to set aside some of my workload. There's so much paperwork still to do before you can legally be considered their guardian, I'm literally drowning in it!

    SFX - [laugh track]

    MURPHY (setting the papers down on a desk just in time): Marsha, why are you so interested in rushing this through? Why are you so motivated to help me adopt these boys?

    MARSHA (lowering her voice): It must be terrible, like being raised in a circus...

    MURPHY: Marsha, there were raised in a circus. My sister is a professional entertainer.

    MARSHA: Professional doing five years in prison for animal murder, you mean?

    MURPHY: We've been through this. She didn't know the laws in California. In Kentucky, geekery is a perfectly respectable career.

    MARSHA (whispering harshly): SHE BIT THE HEADS OFF RODENTS, FOR GOD'S SAKE!

    MURPHY: I still don't see...

    MARSHA (coming closer to him): Murph... You're a good man. You're a good administrator. You'll be a good father (then quickly adding) -figure.

    MURPHY: It's not their fault. They deserve a chance like everybody else.

    MARSHA: It's the right thing to do, Murph. And it'll be good for us. (He eyes her quizzingly.) You. It will be good for you. You'll see.

    They come closer and closer, and they are about to kiss, when the boys, who have been watching from behind a partition, come bursting into the central area.

    J.D.: Ew, gross much?

    MIGGY: Quiet, I think they're gonna make babies!

    Marsha and Murphy separate, looking at each other and smiling.

    MURPHY (tousling their hair and putting his hands on their shoulders): Don't you worry about that, Migster, I've got my hands full with YOU guys. You take up all of my time.

    MARSHA (moving the papers to her desk): Oh speaking of time, the state auditors will be here for a general inspection in two hours. I've had Tom check every little thing. We're in tip-top shape and ready for our recertification!

    MURPHY (following Marsha into her cubicle): Good, good, at least that's ONE thing off my mind. If it weren't for you and Tom, I think I'd bite the heads off a few rodents myself!

    SFX - [laugh track]

    CUT to CLOSE-UP of Miggy and J.D. Miggy nudges J.D. and points. They both unwrap candy bars without even looking and begin eating them quietly while staring at something past the camera. Their eyes have a remotely amused expression, like they're watching something funny in the distance.

    CUT BACK to Murphy and Marsha, they are looking down, digging through papers on her desk.

    MURPHY: Say, where is Tom anyway? I want to thank him for looking after Miggy and J.D. while we were at the federal building. (He raises his voice so the kids can hear) Has anybody seen Tom lately?

    CUT to OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT of the kids' POV. We see Tom out in the parking lot, rain drenching him from head to foot, running like hell to get his wallet back from a raccoon which easily evades him.

    J.D.: Nope.

    MIGGY: Nope.

    # # #
  • SCENE 4.
    LOCATION: INTERIOR OFFICE CLUSTER
    CHARACTERS: Murphy and Dr. Camiré
    CARDS: Murphy, Dr. Camiré ("free" character slot)(1), Need (previous brainstorm), Exposition (1)

    Dr. Camiré, dressed in his usual foreign suit, strides into Murphy's office, holding the memo about the auditors that was sent out the week before. He waits for the administrator to look up at him where he towers above the desk, before controlling the unpleasant smile. Camiré holds the memo out to Murphy expectantly as Murphy sighs, dreading yet another of these ridiculous confrontations.

    MURPHY: "What is it now?"

    CAMIRÉ: Giving the memo a little expectant shake and rolling his eyes, "The auditors. From the state? Do you really think now is a good time for this?"

    MURPHY (exasperated): "Sure, why not? I think we have everything to be proud of here."

    CAMIRÉ (gloating just a bit): "Oh!? Do you suppose they will appreciate an infestation of rabid beasts? I am continually surprised by the things Americans value, but this seems quite unimaginable."

    MURPHY: "Wait, what? What are you talking about?"

    CAMIRÉ: gestures off toward the rest of the school somewhat effetely. "The memo says the auditors will be here in ninety minutes. Do you intend to have something done with the bandit-hogs before then? They are urinating in the corridors." As Murphy's attention wanes, Camiré is forced to clap twice, quite loudly. "When I came here from France I was assured that, being in a big city, and being in a new building, things would be quite satisfying. When Mrs. McKnight hired me, it was quite clear that the school was, in fact, a modern facility. You are new here, and not so bright, so let me be plain -- the implication was that I could expect that problems such as this would not take place. To be fair to her, she was correct as long as she was in charge. Her promotion is a pity."

    Camiré turns, leaving Murphy's office before the administrator has fully digested the news of his current disaster. The camera closes in on Murphy's sweating face as he yells for Marsha.
  • edited November 2014
    BRAINSTORMING
    Playing a card from my hand.

    RELATIONSHIP
    [Catalyst] [Opposition] [Complication] [Crisis] [Resolution]

    Marsha Bainbridge (PROTAGONIST) - Guidance Counselor
    Tom (PROTAGONIST) [Jude Law] - Despite college education, Head Janitor at his old school

    Were a couple in high school.
  • edited November 2014
    SCENE 5

    Dr. Camiré sits in a small office, one foot up on his desk, using a giant wad of tissues to gingerly wipe a tiny spot of raccoon shit off the toe of his shoe. The office is immaculate, and all furnishings look expensive -- vibrant purple carpet, bamboo folding chair against the wall, abstract blown glass desk sculpture, oak bookcase, shiny brown ceramic lamp with intricate ornamental carvings.

    As Camiré holds the tissues at arm's length to drop them into a wicker waste basket, his other hand briefly strokes the thin mustache that adorns his otherwise clean-shaven face, and then fishes a cell phone out of his pocket. He clicks a few times and then we hear one ring, followed by a quiet but gruff, "Hello?"

    "Mister Auditor," Camiré says dramatically, "I think my friends here at the Kaplan..." He wrinkles his nose, "...place... are having some difficulties." He smiles smugly. The voice begins to reply but then Camiré's eyes suddenly jump to the side. "Wait!" he hisses. "Just a moment."

    Cut to the dark, rainy parking lot, as a raccoon bats at the key chain that's gotten tangled up in its fur along with a bunch of random crap like gum, string, and candy bar wrappers. The raccoon suddenly jumps to the side as Tom goes flying past in a full-out dive, trying to tackle the animal.

    "Grrrrgh!" Tom screams, as his bare arms scrape along the asphalt. He slides to a stop, face down, clenches his fists in frustration.

    "Tom!" comes Marsha's voice from nearby.

    Tom squeezes his eyes shut, clenches his teeth, then sighs, and creakily gets to his feet.

    Marsha stands a few feet away, holding a big yellow floral-patterned umbrella over herself. "What the... the heck is going on here?!"

    "Raccoons," Tom mutters. "It doesn't make any sense. Vents are closed. Very little food garbage in the building. It makes no sense!" he yells, defensively. "Since when do raccoons break into a locked building to just, just crawl around?! Huh?!"

    Cut to office cluster, as Murphy watches Tom and Marsha out the window. "That Tom..." Murphy mutters.

    "Is he, like, in trouble?" J.D. says in a bored voice, with a slight smirk. Miggy looks at him with disgust.

    "I'm sure we'll work it out," Murphy says, not turning to look at the kids, his voice angry.

    "I'ma get a soda," Miggy says in a friendly tone. He gives J.D. an angry look and J.D. follows him out of the cluster.

    At a soda machine in a hallway between office doors: "Did you hear?" Miggy whisper-yells. "They're getting audited! We might get them in real trouble!"

    "Yeah," J.D. chuckles.

    "I'm serious!" Miggy points to his Spider-Man shirt. "With great power..."

    J.D. rolls his eyes. "Yeah. Your souped up phone is a super hero." But as Miggy pulls out his phone, J.D.'s gaze is immediately drawn to it with a look of respect and almost awe.

    [David throws the Item card on the table, pointing to "Unique/Powerful"]

    "When I tweaked the speakers and then uploaded those baby raccoon cries, I didn't even know if it would work. But it worked -- it really worked! With the range of frequencies I can get out of this thing... man..." Miggy shakes his head.

    "Snakes next?" J.D. grins.

    "I think maybe we should get the raccoons out of here." As Miggy speaks, a door in the wall behind him, already open a crack, silently opens wider. "We can take the screens back off the grates, bring the phone outside, turn on the sound again..."

    "Ah ha!" yells Camiré, yanking the phone from Miggy's hand as he emerges behind the boy.

    Miggy and J.D. both jump in surprise.

    "You naughty little boys are the problem here, hmm?" Camiré says with a nasty smile.

    "Hey!" Miggy reaches toward his phone.

    "I think we should all march! Right down! To the office! And then you can tell that silly, silly man how you have been taking advantage of his good will!" Seeing the look of terror on Miggy's face, and rage on J.D.'s, Camiré continues, "Or! I... can hold onto this... and no one needs to say a thing. I will give it back to you in class on Monday. For now, it is confiscated!"

    J.D. and Miggy look at each other, mouths open.

    "Good!" Camiré spins, walks back into his office, and slams the door shut. He raises his own phone and says, "I beg your pardon," into it, before sitting back down at his desk. "Mister Auditor?"

    "Speck," the voice replies. "Mister Speck."

    "Yes," Camiré says, idly turning on Miggy's phone. "Mister Speck, you are aware of my standing with the state board of education?"

    "You're some kind of a big deal, huh?" The voice sounds mildly irritated.

    "Very much so," Camiré says. He's now tapping the screen and button on Miggy's phone, eagerly looking for something. "My cachet is part of what brings parents to spend the money you Americans charge for these charter schools. And the board knows it. They know it's good business to keep me... looked after. And I am not finding the current administration to my liking!"

    The voice grunts.

    "All that I ask is that you make no delay in your inspection. Surely it's not out of bounds for an inspector to show up a bit early? And to leave no stone unturned? A very thorough examination, I think, is called for here."

    Cut to the back seat of a black luxury sedan, mouth speaking into a phone. "Mister," the mouth says, as the camera zooms back to reveal a stern face and dark, reflective sunglasses, "my examinations are always very thorough."

    [Dave throws the Problem card on the table, pointing to "The situation changes drastically, or time is running out." This is for the whole bit since Camiré grabbed the phone.]

    The zoom out finishes, revealing that Mr. Speck is played by Michael Madsen.

    (That's Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs. Bad motherfucker. C-list actor, so I assume I spend 1 token.)

    [Dave throws a Character card on the table. Carlton Speck, Antagonist/Foe.]


    Cut back to Camiré. He smiles, hangs up, and tucks his phone away. He clicks another button on Miggy's phone and then drops the phone with a gasp as a bunch of shrill squeaks come out of it. The phone bounces off the desk, onto the ground, and in between two bookcases. The squeaks continue as Camiré strains to reach the phone. After much grimacing, he finally fishes it out. "Pfah!" he yells triumphantly, and taps a button.

    The squeaking from the phone stops, but there's still squeaking. Movement catches Camiré's eye and he spots a scurrying mouse come to a stop near his right foot. He lets out a girlish shriek and jumps. His gaze darts across the room, and he sees at least a dozen mice darting to and fro across his carpet, under his chair, up his bookcase...

    With a series of panicked shrieks, Camiré leaps onto his desk and proceeds to jerk his feet away from every direction in which he sees a mouse, resulting in a sort of spastic dance. A final prolonged shriek lingers as we cut to black.

    Aaaaaaand, commercial!
  • edited November 2014
    - COMMERCIAL BREAK -
    - TITLE CREDITS -
  • edited December 2014
    SCENE 6
    LOCATION: INTERIOR OFFICE CLUSTER
    CHARACTERS: MURPHY, MARSHA, TOM, MR SPECK, MIGGY, J.D.
    CARDS: Office Cluster, Murphy, Marsha, Tom, The Trouble-makers, Carlton Speck, Reversal(1), Problem(1)

    FADE IN on the Office Cluster. Murphy, Marsha and Tom all look very nervous. Tom's uniform is filthy and he has small abrasions in various places. They're sitting on chairs arranged in a semicircle, with Mr Speck in the center. Speck is dressed in black from head to foot. He's pacing back and forth and gesturing to a whiteboard on a easel behind him, on which can be seen a neatly-sketched map of the school grounds in different colors of dry-erase marker. Clearly noticeable to the right of the building are a number of rectangles each with the word "TRAP" inside.

    SPECK (like a military officer wrapping up a tactical briefing): "...and when the vermin follow Team A's trail of offal through the ventilation system and out to the parking lot, that's where they'll encounter the traps set by Team B, baited with smelly tuna fish, rancid butter, and other putrescence..." (he glances at Murphy) "...which I'm certain you possess in abundance."

    Murphy is insulted, he looks like he wants to say something, but Marsha puts her hand on his knee and stops him. He double-takes between Marsha and Speck several times, mouth open, but finally closes it. Speck smiles thinly.

    CUT to shot of J.D. and Miggy. They are crouching behind a partition, spying on the adults. They duck back out of view. They speak in semi-whispers.

    MIGGY: "Oh man, I didn't think this would happen!"

    J.D.: "Just be cool, huh? This guy knows what he's doing. He's gonna catch the raccoons, take em away, and in a week they'll forget all about it!"

    MIGGY (thinks about this): "Ok... I guess you're right."

    J.D.: "Of course I'm right. It'll be cool. This guy is a pro. He's gonna solve everything."

    MIGGY (relaxes for a second, then remembers): "But what about Doctor Gamma-Ray? He has my phone!"

    J.D.: "Well..."

    MIGGY: "What?"

    J.D.: "I got a plan."

    Miggy leans forward expectantly.

    CUT BACK to the adults in the center of the office cluster.

    TOM (raising his hand like an obedient child in class): "Excuse me, sir. I'm Team A, right?"

    Speck glares at him like he's an idiot.

    SPECK (snarkily): "Would it be easier for you to remember if we called you 'Team T'?"

    TOM: "Ok, I mean, I just want to make sure I got this straight. I'm the one who has to go into the airvents and lay the trail, right?"

    Speck crosses his arms impatiently and looks at his watch, then back to Tom. Waiting for him to "get it".

    TOM (growing more uncomfortable, he loosens the collar of his jumpsuit): "Ok, I just want to know... Why just me? How come everyone else gets to be on Team B out in the parking lot?"

    SPECK gestures at Murphy and Marsha. "Do you really expect these... eh... specimens to squeeze their exceptional girths into the shafts of the ventilation system?"

    MURPHY (angry, standing up): "Now HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!"

    [Tod lays down the PROBLEM card. This is much worse than Murphy thought.]

    SPECK cuts him off with a shriveling glare and pushes a thin finger into Murphy's chest. "No YOU hold it right there, you ignorant backwoods excuse for an administrative official. Before you open your beer-hole, you may wish to consider that it's your job hanging by a thread here, not mine."

    Murphy opens his mouth but can't think of anything to say.

    SPECK: "No worries, you'll be back to Pabst Blue Ribbon and NASCAR soon enough. But first things first. As soon as the problem of the quadrupedal fauna has been dealt with, we will turn our attention to the eradication of the human vermin in this educational establishment."

    The two men stare into each others' eyes for several seconds. Murphy's hands clench into fists. He's trembling with anger. Speck is unflinching, unmoving, unphased. Marsha stands and places a hand gently on Murphy's shoulder. He relaxes slightly. They both glare at Speck but say nothing.

    CUT to medium shot on Tom. Miggy and J.D.'s heads pop into view in the background, once again watching the adults, but out of Speck's line of sight. Tom breaks the awkward silence, raising his hand again, and then putting it down, embarrassed. He stands up. "Mister Speck, what I mean is... Wouldn't we cover the area more efficiently and effectively if you and I BOTH were on Team A?"

    SPECK steps calmly into Tom's personal space. He looks Tom up and down for a moment. He cocks his head, and he has a strange smile as he says "No, I must be on Team B. To render The Final Solution."

    Pause for a beat on Tom's registration of this term. This is not a term someone uses lightly. There's something weird about this guy...

    TOM: "Wait - did you just say 'Final Solution'? Are you serious?"

    SPECK turns away from Tom, nonchalantly pulling on a pair of exquisite black leather gloves and admiring his hands. Suddenly he looks rather like a Nazi.

    SPECK: "What did you expect, dinner and a movie? One shot to the head. Perfectly humane. We certainly can't leave them alive."

    CUT to J.D. and Miggy as they duck back behind the partition. They turn to face each other, both in shock, eyes wide.

    [Tod lays down the REVERSAL card, using it as a Catalyst for J.D. and Miggy. They are "Character A" and this is the "A-Problem."]

    MIGGY AND J.D. (simultaneously): "He's gonna KILL THEM!"

    Pause for a beat.

    MIGGY AND J.D. (simultaneously): "We gotta GET THE PHONE!"

    # # #
  • Scene 7
    Location: A clearing in the big woods behind the school, snowy mountains in the background, a twenty-minute rough hike from the school grounds proper
    Characters: Murphy and Marsha
    Cards: Murphy, Marsha, Location(1) and Revelation(1)

    Scene opens with Murphy stomping quickly up some mossy goat-trail along side a tiny rivulet of a creek; cursing, obviously about Speck; while Marsha follows along imploring ineffectively for an explanation about where he's going. After a few seconds, they reach a clearing in the dense woods with a ratty old shack, smoke trickling out of a stove-pipe chimney. The camera, now across the clearing and beyond the shack, frames Murphy and Marsha now facing each other as they recover their breath and start to talk, but also reveals through a back wooden screen-door that the shack contains an active pot-still -- steel kettle, copper coils and glass jars.

    MURPHY "It'll take Tom an hour or more to gather up the bait for that A-hole."

    MARSHA (interrupting) "I don't care about that -- what's gotten into you? Where are we?" She looks at the shack with concern. "Does this have to do with the raccoons?"

    MURPHY "Marsha, I have no idea what's going on with those animals. But this does have to do with Speck. I can't lose this job. I spent two years scouting this location and building this place out and I'm not going to lose it." Murphy raises a hand to quiet Marsha's impending interruption. "This is where I make my shine, you see. I'm set to take the state championship for regionally crafted moonshine this year. This is where I've been those times you couldn't find me. I know I didn't need to keep it secret, but it was just my little thing."

    MARSHA "Little thing? You could go to jail! And you're an educator!"

    MURPHY "It's going to be fine. I just need to get rid of Speck."

    Marsha doesn't like the sound of that and she's hurt and confused by Murphy's secret, but she allows him to show her around his operation. She is humorously ill-equipped for taking a swig of the shine that Murphy offers her, contorting her face and dancing around a little.

    MARSHA "So why are we here now, anyway? With or without this place, you should be down there, getting rid of raccoons. And who is that guy...he doesn't seem like a state employee?"

    MURPHY "I think once we find him with some crazy back-woods hooch and a weapon, calling the police and having him removed will be our only option. At that point, they'll never keep him in his position and we'll get some breathing room to take care of our problem."

    Marsha looks dubious, but oddly happy as the two walk back down the hill toward the school with a jar of clear liquid.
  • edited December 2014
    SCENE 8
    LOCATION: INTERIOR OFFICE CLUSTER
    CHARACTERS: MURPHY, TOM, MRS. HARRIS, CHARLENE
    CARDS: Office Cluster, Murphy, Tom, Character: Mrs. Harris (1), Character: Charlene (1), Feelings (1), and my brainstormed relationship card.

    An aroma is spreading. Rays of after-rain sunshine showers over the office cluster through the windows. Murphy's face has a big smile on it. The sound of coffee poured into a cup. A relaxed sigh. Murphy is holding up a Maxwell House Original Roast Ground Coffee towards Mrs. Harris, the teacher for Miggy and J.D.

    Rickard plays a Character card and points at Extras. (In Sweden, we got a designated teacher for the same class up to 7th grade. I guess it's somewhat similar in the States.)

    MURPHY: "There is nothing like a good cup of coffee."

    Mrs. Harris got a posture that tells that she didn't expect this kind of conversation.

    MURPHY: "I usually grind the beans back home."

    MRS. HARRIS: "Uhuh." with a slight disinterest. She takes her sandwich from a counter and walks away. Murphy put the packet of coffee into the cupboard, closes his eyes, puts the cup under his nose and inhales for a long time. He starting to zip on the coffee, being careful not to burn himself.

    Tom enters.

    TOM: "Murphy!"

    Murphy holds up a finger to silence Tom while putting his lips to the mug to slowly, very slowly, indulge that black liquid. Tom stops and stands still, as if he was waiting to act. A pause of several seconds while the camera shows Murphy drinking his coffee.

    MRS HARRIS: "Good afternoon, Tom." The camera switches to Mrs. Harris who is passing by Tom. "How are things going with that vermin infestation?"

    TOM: "It's horrible. I've been stuck in the ventilation shaft the whole morning and you can see what they did to my clothes." Tom makes a gesture towards his uniform. "Those suckers even stole my car keys."

    MRS. HARRIS, with a disbelief on her face: "Really?"

    TOM: "Yeah, and with my luck they probably got a driving license too." Tom is hiding his amusement. "I imagine my car will end up in Brazil, and a new population of raccoons will make their entry to Rio de Janeiro. They will probably do the carnival too."

    MRS. HARRIS: "All right?"

    TOM: "No, but seriously. They've been a real pain. Been in the cupboards and peeing all over the place. I'm here to throw everything in the cupboards away."

    Murphy spits out the coffee that he got in his mouth.

    MURPHY: "WHAT?!"

    TOM: "I tried to wa..." Murphy runs out of the office. "...rn you."

    MRS. HARRIS: "Oh, my Lord." She accompanies Murphy to the toilet as a moral support to see how he's doing.

    Tom smiles. A bright sound is heard, and he takes out his Samsung Galaxy S 5 Sport from the pocket. The camera switches focus to the phone and a picture of Marsha is seen with the text "New text message". Tom clicks on the icon and the text message says:

    MARSHA: "Hey, how are you holding up?"

    TOM: "Soaking wet, full of scratches. It's like a Saturday out."

    MARSHA: "We need to talk."

    TOM: "I know."

    Rickard plays Feelings and points to "A Character responds emotionally to an Event, Location or memory."

    A shot at Tom's face when he looks into nothing thinking. He looks down at his phone again. Camera focuses yet again on the phone and how Tom switches through old photos of him and Marsha being a couple. The smile fades on his face and he locks the phone. A cupboard is opened and a packet of cookies is removed. Tom walks out the office and hands the cookies over to his daughter Charlene. A young red-haired girl, around ten years old.

    TOM: "Here you go. Save some for when we get back home."

    Rickard plays a Character card and points at Extras.
  • edited December 2014
    SCENE 9

    Close-up of a smoke detector. A black-gloved hand reaches up and plucks it from the ceiling. Zoom out to show Speck turning it off, replacing it, and then lighting up a cigarette. He smokes and leans against a wall as various noises filter in -- mostly raccoons chittering and scurrying and knocking stuff over. There are some clanking noises in the walls that might be Tom in the ducts; not clear. There's an animal screech and a clatter, as of a cupboard worth of office supplies being knocked to the floor. Speck shakes his head in amusement, with a very slight smile. The zoom out has continued and now we see that the raccoons have really trashed this area right outside the main office cluster; dirty paw prints and shredded paper are everywhere. Speck straightens up and stretches, looking as if he's the lord of the chaotic scene.

    A raccoon darts past, and Speck flings his cigarette at it, just missing.

    Speck digs his phone out of a jacket pocket, dials, waits, and then begins speaking. "You're still not answering? I thought you'd be out here to revel in these yokels dashing around in panic. Big important guy like you needs to get his money's worth." Speck sighs. "Well, one way or another, these critters will be gone soon, and I'll have quite the report on how much they messed up the school, and the... heh... disgusting lengths... necessary to get rid of them."

    Cut to a close-up on the edge of a polished dark cherry desk. On the side, the letters "Starling Furniture" span the width of the screen. Something wrapped in black cloth sits atop the desk.

    Speck's voice continues. "Don't forget to remind your buddies on the board who's the Man, Camiré. Your turtle act is not filling me with confidence. You probably want to come by soon." During this speech, we zoom out, revealing the black-clothed object to be Camiré's knee, and Camiré's entire body is curled awkwardly atop his desk, one leg hanging limply over the side, twitching slightly as mice scurry past it.

    [David plays a Location card for Camiré's office.]

    The camera pans around to show Camiré's face. His eyes are rolled back and barely open. Faint, rapid breaths hiss out of him. Occasionally an arm twitches.

    Across the room, a figure is visible, out of focus. It appears to be a tall person in dark blue clothing and a baseball cap. "Safety... is... our number... one... concern," a deep voice calls out, as if from far away.

    Cut to the faculty parking lot beside the school. Miggy and J.D. shuffle along in a crouch, quietly approaching a basement-level window that peers out from the school's brick wall just above the sidewalk.

    The boys get on all fours and press their eyes to the window.

    "Can you see if Camiré's even there?" asks J.D. "It's hard to see through these blinds."

    "There's something there," Miggy points. "On his desk. What is that?"

    "Well, looks like he's not there," J.D. says, pressing his hands up against the window frame. "Let's see if this is locked."

    Miggy starts to protest, but seeing J.D. already in action, he looks quickly around and then adds his strength to J.D.'s. Together, they awkwardly slide the window up, and then the screen behind it.

    "I can't see shit," says J.D.

    "We're blocking all the light," Miggy replies. "Once we're in, it'll be better."

    J.D. squeezes himself through the window and drops with athletic grace behind Camiré's chair. He then helps Miggy through, with much wincing and panting on Miggy's part. The two boys now look across the room, with the high-backed chair still obscuring their view of the desk.

    "Well, let's- Gah!" As J.D. walks past the chair, he sees Camiré unconscious on the desk.

    Miggy leans forward and sees him too. His eyes go wide and his jaw drops.

    "Shit!" J.D. jumps up and pulls himself toward the window. "Fuck!" he yells quietly, getting his arms through the opening.

    "Wait!" Miggy hisses. "Should we... We should call 9-1-1, right?"

    "Come on!" J.D. yells, pulling himself through the window, then turning around to offer a hand toward Miggy. "We gotta get out of there! Oh, no, wait! Get the phone!"

    "The phone?!" Miggy mouths in disbelief, not moving from Camiré's side. He points at the man's body angrily. "Are you even seeing this?!"

    "Yeah, the phone [bleep]ing did it!" J.D. whisper-yells through clenched teeth. "Remember you said the frequencies could fuck with brains of, like, spastics or something? Doc must have had, like, epilepsy, or, like, a heart thing! He [bleep]ed around with the phone and..."

    Miggy shakes his head, "No, no, no way..."

    "Do you want to face a murder- be accused of murder? Find the phone and come on!" J.D. yells.

    "We can't just leave him!" Miggy yells back.

    J.D. wraps his leather jacket over his fingers, wipes the window sill as if to remove fingerprints, and sprints away.

    "Mother... [bleep]er." Miggy mutters angrily.

    [Dave plays a Character card, separating J.D. off as his own character and converting "J.D. & Miggy" to just "Miggy".]

    Miggy feels for Camiré's pulse and finds it. He listens and hears the man's breathing. Seeing his phone clutched in Camiré's hand, he reaches over to pry it out, muttering, "9-1-1... 9-1-1, it's a... a seizure, maybe, or a stroke, or maybe a cardiac arrest..."

    The door swings open and Speck strides in. "Found your office at last, you-"

    Miggy jerks the phone free and then drops it with a clatter.

    Speck blinks a few times in surprise.

    Miggy opens his mouth to speak, but shrinks in terror as the imposing inspector moves toward him.

    [Dave points at "B-Problem" on the template sheet.]

    Cut to the faculty parking lot, J.D. moving away at a quiet run, looks back at the window, then turns and almost runs smack into an old man in denim overalls and a faded white baseball cap with blue mesh sides & back. Both garments say "Kaplan School" on them. The man looks to be about seventy, but he's tall and broad and his posture is unbowed.

    "Yii!" J.D. gasps.

    The man's slack jaw quivers and his eyes look through J.D. and past him as his deep voice rumbles, "Safety... is... our number... one... concern."

    As J.D. stumbles to the side, the light from one of the street lamps falls full upon the man... and upon the street behind the man, revealing him to be slightly translucent.

    [Dave spends an SFX token.]

    "The Spirit of the School..." J.D. whispers, terrified.

    [Dave plays another Character card.]

    [Note: I do not actually intend for Miggy's phone to induce epilepsy. I had another reason in mind for Camiré's condition. I know that may wind up not being my call; I'm mentioning it just because I don't want y'all to feel constrained by the "phone" explanation.]
  • edited December 2014
    SCENE 10
    LOCATION: Camiré's Office
    CHARACTERS: Miggy, Murphy, Speck
    CARDS: Reversal (1)

    Murphy opens the door, looking angry and worried. Miggy is seated in a chair across from the door. Speck stands between them, looming over the boy, preventing him from leaving.

    MURPHY (to Speck, as he enters the room): "What now, for Pete's sake, I don't have time for -"

    His sentence ends abruptly as he takes in the scene, his eyes darting around the room: Miggy cowering in the chair, Speck (who doesn't even turn to acknowledge him as he walks in), the open window (burgundy drapery blowing in the cold wind), and the crumpled, slightly twitching form of Camiré on the desk. His eyes go back to Miggy.

    MIGGY (sheepishly waving with his fingers): "Hey, Uncle Murph."

    Murph's eyes go around the room again. His mouth hangs open. He's unsure which problem to deal with first. He decides on Camiré. Moving quickly to the desk he places his fingers on the dean's neck, feeling his pulse. He grabs a set of keys off his beltloop and flashes a small flashlight into Camiré's eyes as he pulls them open with his stubby fingers. Camiré makes a slight sound of discomfort but barely moves. Murphy looks up at Speck. "What happened to Doctor Camiré?"

    SPECK: "According to your little windowman here, he was that way when they found him."

    MIGGY (earnest): "It's TRUE! We didn't do anything!"

    Murphy glances at the open window, then back to Miggy.

    MURPHY: "You call break-in and entry 'Not doing anything'?"

    Speck smiles, pleased with the doubt and accusation in the air. He takes a step back and turns to face Murphy.

    SPECK: "The doctor seems to be in a state of shock. I've alerted the paramedics, they're on their way. As for contacting the authorities, I've decided to leave that to you. Juvenile delinquency is not my department."

    Murphy stiffens at the words "Juvenile delinquency". He glares at Miggy, who is trying to shrink even further into the chair.

    MURPHY: "Thank you, Mister Speck. I'll handle it from here."

    SPECK: "I have my doubts, Mister Patterson. You seem to have exceeded your capacity some time ago. However, your man Tom has informed me that the traps have been laid and the vermin are taking the bait as we speak. Since I have other things to attend to..." He pulls his jacket to one side to reveal a pistol in a shoulder holster, "I shall leave you to perform what - for the moment at least - is still your job."

    Speck turns on his heels and exits. Murphy waits until he's gone, crosses the room and closes the door, and returns to Miggy.

    MURPHY: "Start talkin'."

    MIGGY (his words rushing out frantically): "We didn't do anything to him Uncle Murph, I promise, he was that way when we found him! I just wanted to get my phone back!" He points at the phone, still laying on the ground near the desk. Murphy picks it up, turning it over in his hands.

    MURPHY: "You wanted to get your phone back..."

    MIGGY: "Yeah!"

    MURPHY (doubtful): "...which just happened to be in Doctor Camiré's office."

    MIGGY: "He STOLE it from me!"

    MURPHY (crossing his arms and giving Miggy a no-nonsense look): "Don't you even THINK you can lie to me, young man. There's no reason on Earth why Camiré would steal your phone."

    MIGGY: "But it's TRUE!!!"

    MURPHY (sarcastic): "Ok, let's say it's true. Camiré stole it. Tell me this: WHY would he do that?"

    Miggy is looking really nervous now. He bites his lip. He doesn't want to talk.

    MURPHY: "I'm giving you only one chance to answer me, Mig."

    Miggy opens his mouth, then looks down and closes it again, then looks up and opens it again, but he doesn't say anything.

    [SFX: Sound of sirens arriving outside]

    MURPHY: "Fine. I don't know what you did to send Doctor Camiré into shock, but we'll let the paramedics deal with that problem. As for THIS problem..." he holds up the phone, "It's off-limits to you now. I'm confiscating it, and I'm grounding you." He opens the phone and removes the battery, then slips both items into his pocket.

    [Tod lays down the Reversal card, pointing at "Someone is heading in the exact wrong direction, or making things worse without knowing it". I am putting this forward as "A Problem Escalates".]

    MIGGY: "But..."

    MURPHY: "Oh NOW you want to talk, huh? NOW you have things to say?"

    Miggy shakes his head slowly. Murphy points at the door.

    MURPHY: "I have to go talk to the paramedics. You're coming with me to the office cluster, and you're going to sit your butt down in a chair and NOT MOVE FROM THAT SPOT. Do you understand me?"

    Miggy nods. Murphy opens the door and holds it. Miggy walks out, head down, hands in his pockets. Murphy follows him out. The door closes.

  • - COMMERCIAL BREAK -
  • SCENE 11
    Location: Administrative Office Cluster -> The Art Annex
    Characters: Miggy, J.D. and Griselda Huckabee - art teacher (played by Linda Hunt)
    Cards: location (Art Annex), character (Griselda), item (weird altar), pursuit (ally pursues antagonist)

    As the camera fades in, Miggy is planted in one of the chairs where in-trouble students wait to see his uncle. Murphy is out of the office and Marsha is out of the frame, but her murmur of mundane phone calls can be heard in the background. Emotions -- upset, impatience, worry, boredom and guilt pass across Miggy's face as the camera lingers. He stretches to see out the windows but gives up.

    Behind Miggy, in the doorway to the office, we see J.D.'s head pop around the corner, his eyes looking left to right. "Psst!" Miggy cranes around, keeping his butt on the seat and recognizes his companion. J.D. makes it obvious through gestures that he wants Miggy to come with him. Over thirty seconds, Miggy refuses several times, glances over in the presumed direction of Marsha's desk a couple times and eventually gives in.

    MIGGY: "What is it?"

    J.D.: "Dude! I've got it...I ran into the spirit of the school! He's following me! But maybe we can get him to get rid of that psycho for us!"

    MIGGY: Miggy wears his skepticism openly. "J.D., we're in real trouble. Gamma-Ray might be dead or something...a vegetable!" J.D. snorts with a grin and Miggy hits him half-heartedly. "I need to stay here if you don't have something serious."

    J.D.: "Dude! I am serious. Look, you remember that girl who graduated, Jilly Popcorn or whatever? She lived in that old school-bus? It was haunted and she got the art teacher to get rid of her ghosts or whatever. We can get her help, too!"

    MIGGY: "How's that going to work?"

    J.D.: "I dunno, let's go find out!"

    The boys hem and haw for a few seconds before J.D. (as usual) gets his way and they jog down a long hall to the art annex, leaping twice over errant raccoons. As they enter the first room's lights are off, but they see light from the far end of the little hallways that connects to Griselda's office and another classroom from which they can hear the local NPR classical station. It's clear from their body language that they don't really spend time here, but after a moment, J.D. leads the way deeper into the Annex.

    They come into a well-lit room where Griselda Huckabee sits at an industrial sewing machine with her back to the door. Budadbudabudabudabuda goes the machine between the adjustments she makes to her work's positioning. The boys stand, a little bit in awe, silently watching. The camera shows discomfort or mild horror dawn on their faces just ahead of the art teacher's turning around, hair and eyes wild, with a coon-skin cap in hand.

    GRISELDA: "Well, hello boys! My, but you startled me...what can I do for you?"

    Miggy pushes J.D., a clear indication that he's supposed to talk.

    J.D.: "Uh, Miss Huckabee..."

    GRISELDA: The teacher interrupts, "Call me Griselda!"

    J.D.: Hesitating over her name and then the rest in a rush, "Griselda, uh, I ran into the spirit of the school and now he's following me and we want you to sic him on the psycho auditor or whatever instead of me!"

    GRISELDA: "Oh really?" Her eyebrows raise and she wears a quarter-smile. "Why don't you tell me about it?" as she puts the newly finished fur cap on her head, the camera's focus shifts and we can see weird runes and glyphs on the wall behind them.

    The camera and sound fade as the two boys engage in a rapid-fire tag-team summary of the story so far, from their perspective and the crazy plan to get the school spirit to chase off Speck.
  • SCENE 12

    Location: The baseball field
    Characters: Miggy, J.D., Griselda Huckabee, Tom, Murphy Marsha
    Cards: LOCATION (baseball field), REVELATION


    GRISELDA: [bundled in an oversized rain poncho and Wellingtons, leading them outside]That was by far the strangest story I have yet heard in this school. Which is saying something. I was here when old Gabe Kaplan surveyed an ancient Indian burial ground for this very school! Don't worry [hastily, seeing the boys' eyes widen] we cut a deal. The Gabe Kaplan Pride of the Pawnee baseball team are not only the most respected team in 14th place in the district, they are also upholding a longstanding peace treaty. Now! On to your problem...

    [hard scene change to the boys standing sullenly on the pitcher's mound, eyes tracking TOM as he chases one free-spirited raccoon through the bleachers. Pan to GRISELDA sitting in the front row, barely tall enough to clear the guard rail. She's holding a Pride of Pawnee pennant and cheering. An ambulance is parked in the distance, in front of the school.]

    JD: I think this is the dumbest I've ever felt.

    MIGGY: [under his breath] Should be used to it...

    JD: What?

    MIGGY: I said this should do it...[he pitches a ball over home plate.]

    [The air begins to shimmer and the School Spirit appears, carrying a pennant similar to GRISELDA'S and a foam #1 finger. ]

    GRISELDA: [cackling in the stands] He's never missed a game, you know!

    MIGGY: Uh.. Mr. Spirit...Pawnee...sir!

    JD: [to his brother] Oh, jeez. Don't ruin this. Just shut up. [yelling] Hey! Listen, we were wondering if we could maybe discuss something with you? [the Spirit does not move.] Uh...please?

    SCHOOL SPIRIT: [nods curtly, solemnly waving his foam finger]

    Camera pulls back to the entrance to the field where Murphy is casually throwing garbage, opening more bags as he gets further from line of sight of the school, and closer to his still.

    MURPHY: Now, we just wait for the rats to take the bait, and then we lure that dumb, bigoted, small-minded auditor di--

    MARSHA: Murphy! Look! [she's pointing back towards the school, where an ambulance waits.]

    [Even from this distance, CAMIRE is recognizable. He sits up on a stretcher, exaggeratedly makes a move like he's swallowing a pill and lightly jumps to his feet. He shakes hands with the paramedics and looks around suspiciously as the ambulance drives off.]

    MURPHY: He's okay?! Oo, that scummy, lying "professor." I'm going to put him in his place, or I'll be a son of a bi--

    [A loud BEEEP that signals the changing of classes rings over the grounds.]

    (the revelation is that Camire is back up on his feet and still on school grounds, which the boys do not yet know.)




  • SCENE 13

    Speck's voice: "In conclusion, the final state of the school at the completion of my inspection was... it was a disaster. Ah. It was nothing short of a total disaster."

    Close-up on Speck as he talks into his phone, which he cradles between his cheek and shoulder, hands apparently occupied. "Piss... Urine in the office supplies, offal in the air vents, garbage in the halls, and, uh..."

    The camera zooms out to see him eyeing his gun clip. "Dead raccoons." Speck smiles. He slides the clip into the pistol's handle with "Beretta" in big letters across the top. "Dead raccoons everywhere."

    Speck grips the gun with his right hand, moving his left to the phone. "End dictation."

    "Ending dictation," says the automated phone voice.

    Speck puts his phone away, straightens up from the wall he's been leaning against, and gently scratches his cheek with the side of his gun, giving us another good look at the label on the handle. He then heads off down the hall toward the exit, following Murphy's garbage trail.

    Behind Speck, Tom turns a corner, sees the inspector, and ducks back around the corner. He clenches his jaw and looks nervously at his phone. "Dammit, Marsha, where are you? Are we going to get this figured out or...?"

    The phone bubbles out an "incoming message" sound. We see over Tom's shoulder that it's from Marsha. It says, "Going to discredit Speck and get him off our backs."

    "Off Murphy's back, you mean," Tom mutters angrily.

    "Looks like he's taking the bait!" Marsha texts again. "Looking for raccoons to kill, but all he'll find is liquor. Wish me luck! We'll talk after."

    Tom bites his upper lip, stares at the ceiling, and exhales loudly. "Murphy... I could totally screw you, man... but Marsha..."

    "Hey!"

    Tom jumps at the voice from behind him. He turns to see an impatient-looking EMT holding out a clipboard. "Do you work here?" the man asks.

    "Uh. What? Yeah, I work here. What's this?" Tom looks at the clipboard.

    "That guy with the little mustache, Mister Cay-mire..."

    "Camiré?"

    "Yeah, whatever." The EMT thrusts a pen toward Tom. "He ran off before we could finish tests and get his signature stating that we've advised him of the risks for his condition. He needs to stay away from mice until he can get some serious counseling for that phobia. If this place isn't mouse-free, he should go home."

    "He's... That stroke... er, seizure he had," Tom's look of confusion turns to amusement. "That was from seeing some mice?"

    "Shit," the EMT growls. "Forget I said that, alright?" The man looks pleadingly at Tom.

    Tom hides an evil grin in his shirt, then looks up with a helpful smile. "Don't worry -- confidentiality, I understand, no problem. I hardly ever see the guy, it won't come up." Tom grabs the clipboard. "He's a hard one to get ahold of, right? I'll just sign this so you can get out of here."

    "Thanks!" the EMT sighs in relief. "Just leave this top copy here in his mailbox or something, yeah?"

    "No problem."

    Having handed back the pen and clipboard and taken the sheet of pink paper, Tom watches the man leave. He tucks the paper into his pocket, and looks back at Marsha's text. "Well, Murphy?" he mutters to himself. "Should I? Or..."

    At the sound of approaching footsteps, Tom looks up to see Camiré coming toward him from one of the school's interior halls.

    "You!" Camiré calls out, slightly out of breath. "Update me! What is going on with those animals, and that inspector, and Mr. Patterson, and those children?!"

    Tom drums his fingers on his phone, smiles, and looks up with a suddenly serious expression. "Oh, I'm glad you're here!" he says, as the doctor reaches him. "I have something big to tell you. Really big..."
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