Episode 17: A Moment For Reflection

[SCENE I. MELISSA’s bedroom. She is apparently asleep. The light of the moon breaks through the curtains and falls across her face, and her shadow seems to get up and take the form of a ghostly doppelganger of MELISSA. It is dressed and looks exactly like she does. She stirs in her sleep as her DOPPELGANGER rises, all pale and insubstantial, and, with a sinister smile, it passes through the window and disappears. Time lapses, and eventually MELISSA rises in the morning and looks in the full-length mirror hanging on her door, only to find that she has no reflection. Indeed, she doesn’t appear to cast a shadow at all. She runs out of the room and downstairs, where SARAH is calmly drawing on the couch downstairs.]

MELISSA: Sarah, I think I have an evil double walking around or something.

SARAH: (Not looking up.) Pretty sure you have exhausted your supply of twin jokes a while ago.

MELISSA: I’m not talking about Lina.

SARAH: Are you triplets?

MELISSA: Look, just follow me.

(SARAH sighs and puts the sketchbook down and follows. MELISSA leads her to the bathroom.)

SARAH: The bathroom?

MELISSA: You will note that I have no reflection.

SARAH: That’s because you’re a vampire.

MELISSA: I’ve had a reflection all the days before this one.

SARAH: Maybe you only just became a vampire?

MELISSA: I don’t remember making out with any sparkly pale people recently. Also, I don’t think I have a craving for blood.

SARAH: You’re just not hungry yet.

MELISSA: This is going to make putting on a costume for the party this weekend difficult.

SARAH: I can help!

MELISSA: But can I trust you?

SARAH: Probably! (Beat.) Also should we try to figure out why you are suddenly without reflection?

MELISSA: (Sighs.) I guess. But not yet. I need tea. Make me tea.

SARAH: Buy your own damn fries.

MELISSA: You are such a slave-driver. (She gets up and makes her way into the kitchen.)

[SCENE II. The mayor’s office. NICHOLAS is working at his desk when the DOPPELGANGER arrives. She is wearing a very gothy black dress and some chunky boots, and looks very much like MELISSA on a day when she is trying to impress or seduce someone. She stands in his doorway.]

DOPPELGANGER: Hey, Nicholas.

NICHOLAS: (Looks up.) Oh, great, it’s you. Are you here to gloat?

DOPPELGANGER: About what?

NICHOLAS: Charlotte broke up with me over the whole grand jury thing. As if you weren’t the first person the entire city council thought of when I mentioned that we had an outbreak of witches.

DOPPELGANGER: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. You shouldn’t worry about it. Sometimes you just need to take care of the witches, you know?

NICHOLAS: That’s . . . oddly forgiving of you.

DOPPELGANGER: The grand jury really made me rethink my life. I’m turning over a new leaf. I want you to be a part of that.

NICHOLAS: Aren’t I more of an old leaf, that you hate and like to abuse all the time?

DOPPELGANGER: Oh, Nick. I’m done with that. I want to make amends.

NICHOLAS: Well, I wouldn’t say no to dinner tonight–

DOPPELGANGER: It just so happens I have a reservation to Le Petit Repas for two this evening.

NICHOLAS: Isn’t that expensive?

DOPPELGANGER: Oh, don’t worry about that. I’m buying. (She makes a gesture.) Shall we?

NICHOLAS: Uh, I guess I’m not working on anything I couldn’t finish up later, so–

(She grabs him by the arm and pulls him to his feet. He manages to recover some dignity and manages to look as if he is escorting her from the office.)

[SCENE III. JEREMY’s house. MELISSA is being subjected to various sciencey-looking tests by JEREMY, while SARAH watches.]

JEREMY: Normally this is the part where I say something like “you’re completely normal,” except–

MELISSA: This is going to be a joke about how I’m weird, right?

JEREMY: –except there’s nothing normal about you, yeah. Sorry.

MELISSA: Try to stay focused. Is there anything wrong with me? Wait, don’t answer that.

JEREMY: You’re fine. I can’t find anything unusual that might cause you to lose a reflection.

SARAH: Or shadow.

JEREMY: I wish I could be more useful.

MELISSA: Well, I didn’t expect anything, but I like keeping my bases covered.

(JEREMY’s cell phone rings.)

JEREMY: Hello? (Beat.) Oh, hey. How’s it going? (He walks out of the room to talk.)

SARAH: So, if doing science to it doesn’t work–

MELISSA: We could try Celeste. She knows a worrying amount of things about the occult.

SARAH: Or you could call the wizard.

MELISSA: I feel like I already owe him like seventeen favors.

SARAH: Okay, true. But this could be important! I think it’s probably a bad sign that someone stole your reflection.

(JEREMY returns.)

JEREMY: So, that was Gavin. Nick says he is on a hot date with Melissa right now.

MELISSA: What, seriously? Someone steals my reflection and the best thing they can think of to do is seduce Nicholas? I’m kind of over it.

JEREMY: Well, he does wield all the power of the mayor’s office.

SARAH: And he has a history of being seduced by you.

MELISSA: Okay, but–

SARAH: A long history.

MELISSA: All right, but–

SARAH: Full of tears. And sloppy makeouts.

MELISSA: Yes, thank you. Did you mention that I was here to Gavin?

JEREMY: I thought it best not to mention it.

MELISSA: Thank God. I’m going to need to lay low for this one, I think. My reflection is up to something. If people start suspecting I’m living a double life we can’t get close to it and figure out what that is.

JEREMY: I have some cool spy gadgets we could use. You know, hidden cameras and microphones. So you can watch us from your saferoom or whatever.

SARAH: Eeee!

MELISSA: I was going to say it probably won’t be necessary, but you know what? Sure, that sounds cool.

JEREMY: You can use the lab as a saferoom. I’ll make sure nobody stops by.

MELISSA: Excellent. I bet we’ll have a chance to find out what’s going on this weekend at Gavin’s party. Both of you should keep your eyes out for more information. We can plan our attack then.

JEREMY: So, are you staying here until then, or–

MELISSA: Well, clearly. If she goes home I don’t want her running into me.

SARAH: I’ll try to befriend fake-Melissa. I’ll let you know how you rate compared to her.

MELISSA: I already know that I’m superior, thanks.

SARAH: We’ll see. (Beat.) This is exciting! Mystery, intrigue, spy gadgets. (She gives MELISSA a hug.) Be brave! The witches, cultists, demons, or other deranged creatures that stole your reflection can never win so long as you have heart!

MELISSA: I think I traded my heart to fairies in exchange for silky soft skin.

SARAH: Then you’re fucked. You were a good friend, even if you were too mean sometimes and a little bit crazy!

MELISSA: Yes, yes.

JEREMY: I’ll bring some monitoring equipment and hide it around the house. I want to see this reflection of yours.

SARAH: I’ll drive!

(JEREMY collects some equipment, hands some of it to SARAH, and departs, leaving MELISSA alone in the lab.)

MELISSA: Well, this won’t be boring at all.

(TBC.)

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