Episode 27: Portland Gothic

[SCENE I. NICHOLAS and KELLY’s house. KELLY has loaded a number of bags up for a camping trip. She is sitting on the couch drawing; NICHOLAS is sitting in the computer chair, talking to her.]

NICHOLAS: You’re doing this just to annoy me, aren’t you.

KELLY: Believe it or not, I’m doing this as a favor for Melissa.

NICHOLAS: Yes, Melissa, whose sole purpose in life is to annoy me.

KELLY: Mostly she doesn’t seem to remember you exist when you’re not around.

NICHOLAS: She’s even got you lying for her! What’s she offering you?(Beat.)Actually, no, don’t answer that. I don’t think I want to know.

KELLY: You’re a terrible person.

NICHOLAS: I’m not the one who’s–sorry, not going into that. Jesus.

(A knock on the door. NICHOLAS stalks out of the room in disgust; KELLY answers the door. CHARLOTTE is waiting there with a backpack in tow.)

KELLY: Hey! Looks like you’re all packed.

CHARLOTTE: Yep! I’m all ready to go. I even brought snacks for the road.

KELLY: Thanks for coming. It’ll be good to get out of the house for a weekend. (Beat.) It, uh, probably won’t be that long of a trip though. But snacks are always good.

CHARLOTTE: Oh, I thought we were going out of town?

KELLY: Yes, but not . . . far out of town. I thought maybe you’d like to get to know the Portland area a little better.

CHARLOTTE: Well, you’re the boss.

(They grab the bags KELLY has packed and set out.)

 

[SCENE II. MELISSA and SARAH’s house. MELISSA and MELINA are on the couch drinking tea, watching a mindless action movie. SARAH is curled up on a chair nearly overgrown in flowers, also drinking tea, looking miserable.]

SARAH: Listen, not to sound ungrateful, but–

MELISSA: But you’re not particularly grateful for the services we’ve rendered.

LINA: Which, in fairness, were not particularly useful services.

MELISSA: How was I to know she was going to suddenly decide to go on a camping trip?

LINA: I was going to suggest “choosing someone more reliable”–

MELISSA: But reliable isn’t really my strong suit, is it?

SARAH: I was hoping maybe you had a plan B.

MELISSA: (Thinks for a moment.) You haven’t tried drinking weed killer, have you?

SARAH: That’s a terrible idea.

MELISSA: This is me we’re talking about.

LINA: We had a bet once.

MELISSA: Not now, Lina.

LINA: I had this friend, and she agreed to do whatever the opposite of Lissa’s advice was for a month. Ended up as class president.

MELISSA: Didn’t she make a small fortune selling cookies or something?

LINA: Yeah.

SARAH: Well, that doesn’t–

MELISSA: This was back when Lina only befriended people who felt that the more metal you had in your face the cooler you were.

SARAH: Oh, her! I didn’t know that was you.

(LINA nods, remembering fondly.)

SARAH: Everyone loved her! I–oh.

LINA: Exactly. All Lissa’s ideas are terrible.

MELISSA: I’ll just be over here, crying quietly into my tea, if you two decide you need me for something.

SARAH: (Aside to MELINA.) Is this what you two feel like all the time?

LINA: Pretty much.

 

[SCENE III. The woods. CHARLOTTE and KELLY are on a hike. KELLY is in the lead, with CHARLOTTE following behind. KELLY looks like she is looking for something.]

CHARLOTTE: You must know these woods really well.

KELLY: (Distracted.) I suppose. It’s nice out here.

CHARLOTTE: I’ve just never seen someone look so purposeful when they’re out hiking. It’s almost like you’re–

KELLY: Here it is! (She stops in front of a hollowed out tree trunk.)

CHARLOTTE: Looking for something. What are we doing, Kelly?

KELLY: Looking for an old friend. Coming?

CHARLOTTE: Sure, why not?

(KELLY enters the tree trunk, and motions for CHARLOTTE to follow. After a few moments she does so hesitantly. They arrive in a clearing which is covered entirely in eye-searingly bright flowers, under a strange purplish sky.)

CHARLOTTE: Huh. All right.

KELLY: Aren’t you going to ask if I’ve drugged you or something?

CHARLOTTE: Nope. Lead the way.

(KELLY picks her way through the clearing until they are greeted by a GOBLIN.)

GOBLIN: I know you! You are an honored guest here!

KELLY: I’d like to speak to the Goblin King, then.

GOBLIN: Right away! Come, come!

CHARLOTTE: You must have a reason for coming here.

KELLY: A friend of mine is . . . sick. I’m hoping we can find a cure here.

CHARLOTTE: I thought maybe you were making that up to annoy your brother.

KELLY: It’s more fun when it’s true.

CHARLOTTE: Fair enough.

(They wind through a garishly springtimey forest path.)

 

[SCENE IV. MELISSA and SARAH’s house. MELISSA is interviewing two GOTHS, RAVEN and VICTORIA, at the dinner table. She has apparently provided each of them with a drink of some sort.]

MELISSA: So, now that the requisite bribes are out of the way. Do you think you could help me? I think my friend has been hexed–

VICTORIA: It wasn’t us.

MELISSA: I didn’t say it was. But you’re the only people I know who have actually put a hex on anyone, so I hoped maybe you could help in hex-related matters.

VICTORIA: We’re not into hexes anymore.

RAVEN: Come on, she clearly needs help, maybe–

VICTORIA: Anyway, if it’s these flowers growing everywhere, we can’t help you.

MELISSA: But you know what they are?

(VICTORIA sighs dramatically and gives MELISSA an “of course I know what they are” look.)

MELISSA: You’re very annoying, you know that?

RAVEN: Sorry, but she’s right, there’s nothing we can do.

VICTORIA: I ought to–

RAVEN: Come on, we should go.

VICTORIA: But she–

RAVEN: Vicky.

(VICTORIA seems to deflate, and turns and walks towards the door. RAVEN offers an apologetic look before following. An ominous shadow passes over the house as they open the door, however, and the dark silhouette of CELESTE blocks their exit. She is wearing a long, flowing gown that appears to be made entirely of shadow.)

CELESTE: Ladies. Excuse me.

(The goths give her astounded stares as she glides past them and stops next to MELISSA, who is also staring.)

CELESTE: I hear you’ve got a little problem.

MELISSA: (Blinks, looks up.) Sorry? I wasn’t paying any attention. That dress is amazing.

CELESTE: (A little annoyed.) I said I hear you’ve got a little problem.

MELISSA: Oh. (Beat.) Shit, did I ruin your dramatic understatement?

CELESTE: A little.

MELISSA: Sorry. (Beat.) You should maybe try looking slightly less amazing so you don’t overwhelm my faculties next time. (Beat.) Right, the problem! She’s upstairs. Sarah is, I mean. Uh, just follow me.

(They head upstairs. RAVEN and VICTORIA remain, looking at each other.)

RAVEN: I guess we should see ourselves out?

VICTORIA: That girl had better have answers.

(They depart.)

(Fin.)

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