Episode 19: A Spirited Effort

[SCENE I. KELLY and CELESTE’s house. They have apparently just had a pizza delivered and are about to eat when MELISSA walks in through the front door, looking like she has probably not slept in a while. They both look up in apparent confusion.]

KELLY: I thought I locked that.

CELESTE: You did, I remember.

MELISSA: Doesn’t matter. (She puts a set of glossy photos on the table in front of CELESTE.) Is this your doing?

CELESTE: What? (She looks through the pictures.) I didn’t take a bunch of pictures of the camera strap, if that’s what you’re asking.

MELISSA: I’m being stalked by spirits. It’s getting old. I want you to take care of it.

CELESTE: Okay, at the risk of sounding like someone who just had a crazy woman break into her house to make unreasonable requests, what’s in it for me?

MELISSA: That’s probably a fair question. (Beat.) My undying love and dedication?

CELESTE: Pass.

MELISSA: I’ll contribute to the moral decay of our civilization by buying you booze?

CELESTE: . . . all right, I’ll look into it. Could you maybe tell me what happened?

MELISSA: Well, it all started after the thing with the witches.

(Wavy flashback lines. MELISSA trying to look in a mirror, only to find that the mirror is empty.)

MELISSA: Some sort of spirit stole my reflection. My shadow still kind of flickers in and out but it’s possible that’s like HPPD or something. Anyway, since then there have been weird spirits just kind of hanging around. They move objects around, flip light switches, lock and unlock doors, and tell me that my parents are very disappointed in me.

(A series of images of spirits doing various traditionally poltergeisty things.)

MELISSA: It’s mostly tolerable except they tend to keep me awake, and I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in forever.

(An image of MELISSA trying to sleep, and constantly being poked with nearby objects, having the pillow and blankets removed, etc. Wavy flashback lines return us to the present.)

KELLY: Yeah, you look terrible.

MELISSA: After a certain point, one kind of stops caring.

KELLY: You didn’t even dress up for me?

MELISSA: Well, if–

CELESTE: Would you two stop? (Beat.) It just so happens that I still have most of my ghost-hunting equipment. It’s mostly for, you know, haunted houses, but . . .

MELISSA: When you say “hunting” are we talking Ghostbusters or dubious electromagnetic spectrum thingies?

CELESTE: Dubious electromagnetic spectrum thingies. But with added fairy magic.

MELISSA: Oh, right.

CELESTE: And maybe we can do a seance.

MELISSA: (To KELLY.) I feel like maybe I should have asked someone else.

KELLY: Just because she enjoys this doesn’t mean it won’t help!

MELISSA: True.

KELLY: I mean, it probably won’t, but–

CELESTE: Do you want my help or not, Melissa?

MELISSA: Sorry. Go ahead, cast your voodoo or whatever.

CELESTE: (Sighs.) I’ll go get my equipment.

 

[SCENE II. Later. The living room is dark, save for a circle of candles. MELISSA is sitting cross-legged at the center, looking bored and a little uncomfortable. CELESTE is analyzing her with various bits of dubious-looking equipment. KELLY is watching from the couch.]

CELESTE: So, can you tell if it’s the same spirit haunting you all the time?

MELISSA: Is that a serious question or are you just trying to fill the silence with meaningless ghost hunter babble?

CELESTE: Serious question.

MELISSA: (Thinks about it.) They come in shifts, I think. Different, uh, symptoms at different times.

CELESTE: All right. (She reaches into her bag and produces another dubious-looking gadget, aims it at MELISSA, then squeezes a trigger.) Well, we’ll see where they go.

MELISSA: Did you seriously just tag a ghost?

CELESTE: Yes.

MELISSA: And it’s got, like, a GPS locator and everything?

CELESTE: Yes.

(Long pause.)

MELISSA: I really have no idea how to respond to that.

CELESTE: Check this out. (She grabs an iPad and pulls up an app called GhostTracker. It pulls up a map which centers on the house.) I’ve just set it to notify me when it is more than a hundred feet from here.

MELISSA: You have a ghost tracking app on your iPad. (Beat.) Is it too late to tell you you’re my new favorite person?

CELESTE: Save it.

MELISSA: Then can I stop sitting in a circle of candles? It’s very . . . Twin Peaks. And not in a fun way.

CELESTE: Yeah, I think we’re done here.

(They blow out the candles. KELLY gets up and turns the lights back on.)

KELLY: So, uh, we have pizza. Do you want some, Melissa?

CELESTE: Hey now–

MELISSA: Relax, Gotharella. I have cash, because I am a respectable human with a respectable job at a respectable newspaper.

CELESTE: . . . would you like to join us for pizza?

MELISSA: I’d be delighted.

 

[SCENE III. Much later. The living room is once again dark, and MELISSA is asleep on the couch with her head on KELLY’s lap. There are several protective talismans set up around the couch; KELLY looks alternately bored, tired, uncomfortable, and faintly amused. At about this point, the iPad beeps, and she leans forward awkwardly to retrieve it. MELISSA stirs.]

MELISSA: What?

KELLY: I didn’t say anything. You can go back to sleep.

MELISSA: But, there was beeping–

KELLY: Oh. Uh, the ghost, spirit, thing, is on the move.

(MELISSA sits up and blinks at the iPad’s screen. The ghost is moving quite rapidly along a map of Portland, to a small remote area on the outskirts of town, near a lake.)

KELLY: I don’t think I know that place.

MELISSA: It’s an old office park. I’m sure it’s evil, but it shouldn’t be haunted.

KELLY: Well, it is now.

MELISSA: I’ve got a really bad feeling about this.

KELLY: That’s usually a call to arms, right? Like, ‘I have a bad feeling, let’s go check it out right now?’

MELISSA: (Pauses to consider.) Actually, I was just going to ask you to Google it and I’d pretend to watch until I fall asleep on you again, if that’s cool.

KELLY: Uh, okay.

(MELISSA lays back down. KELLY Googles the business complex outside of town, and, after some searching, visits several soulless-looking pages describing various office buildings and the various amenities they offer. TBC.)

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