Episode 1: A Timely Intervention

[SCENE I. SARAH and MELISSA’s house. MELISSA is lounging on the couch, staring at the ceiling, looking bored. SARAH is in the easy chair drawing in her sketchbook.]

MELISSA: I don’t think I have ever been more bored.

SARAH: You say that all the time.

MELISSA: This time is different! I feel like nothing has happened for months.

SARAH: We’ve done lots of things, Melissa.

MELISSA: Lots of boring things, maybe.

(Just then, her cell phone rings. She answers it.)

MELISSA: Hello?

GAVIN: Melissa, hey! It’s Gavin.

MELISSA: Oh, hey.

GAVIN: Don’t sound too excited. Listen, what are you doing this weekend?

MELISSA: Are you asking me on a date?

GAVIN: You wish. I’m thinking of throwing a time travel-themed party. Except I wanted to make sure you could make it this time before committing to a date.

MELISSA: I’m free. At the rate things are going I’ll be free for the next thirteen years.

GAVIN: Good. This Saturday, then. My place.

MELISSA: I’ll be there. (Beat.) Why do you care so much if I come?

GAVIN: Well, nobody else will admit it, but you’re kind of the life of the party.

MELISSA: That’s true, I suppose. Who won’t admit that, though? I thought it was obvious.

GAVIN: I’m not naming names.

MELISSA: Fine. We’ll be there in futuristic jumpsuits.

GAVIN: All right. See you then.

MELISSA: Till then. Later. (She hangs up.) Well, that’s odd.

SARAH: What?

MELISSA: Well, Gavin’s having that time travel party.

SARAH: It’s about time.

MELISSA: Right, I thought it was about time. But I remember things in the future being different than they are right now.

SARAH: Well, time can be rewritten, right?

MELISSA: I suppose. Anyway, we’d better get some futuristic jumpsuits for the party.

SARAH: Oh, I bought them as soon as you told me about your foray into the future. I’ll go get them.

MELISSA: . . . all right. I guess I’ll dig up that mask and dress I was wearing, to give to myself.

(They head upstairs. MELISSA goes into her room and digs around in piles of clothes for a while before she notices that the WIZARD is sitting on her bed.)

MELISSA: You might have knocked.

WIZARD: Apologies. (Beat.) I just thought you might want this. (He holds up a masquerade-style mask.)

MELISSA: Where did you get that?

WIZARD: The future. You were meant to bring it back with you, but you apparently left it on the floor of Gavin’s bedroom.

MELISSA: You can travel through time at will?

WIZARD: Look, try not to worry about it. (Beat.) Actually, no, this is incredibly important. It’s important that your past self wears this mask, then forgets it in Gavin’s bedroom. Then you need to give it to me after the party so I can go back in time and give it to you. Otherwise this timeline will collapse.

MELISSA: And that’s bad?

WIZARD: That’s bad.

MELISSA: (Trying to sound nonchalant; failing.) Well, I guess I can try to arrange for the same circumstances that happened last time to happen again. If it’s really necessary.

WIZARD: Excellent. I knew I could depend on you.

(He departs. MELISSA continues digging around, finds a black dress, and admires it.)

MELISSA: This should be fun.

 

[SCENE II. The Jaded Old Crone. GAVIN and JEREMY are having lunch.]

JEREMY: I thought you were tired of themed parties, Gav.

GAVIN: I was. But, well, I woke up this morning with the idea fully-formed. It was a bit odd but I’m not one to question flashes of brilliant insight.

JEREMY: I guess it has been a while since we’ve had a good party.

GAVIN: It’s also been a while since Melissa came. That’s no coincidence.

JEREMY: You think so?

GAVIN: I’m sure of it. As Melissa goes, so goes every other lady that we know.

JEREMY: I think that’s a slight exaggeration.

GAVIN: Sophie doesn’t count.

JEREMY: Okay, fair point. It’s just that you’ve been sort of avoiding Melissa for a good while now.

GAVIN: To be honest I can’t even remember why. It’s time to let bygones be bygones. Anyway, she agreed to come, so I don’t see the problem.

JEREMY: No problem. It’s just odd, is all.

GAVIN: Oh, come on. What could possibly happen?

 

[SCENE III. The streets of Portland, Saturday afternoon. SARAH and MELISSA are walking around, wearing their silvery futuristic jumpsuits. As they walk by, PAST MELISSA hobbles out of an alleyway.]

PAST MELISSA: Sarah! Melissa!

(The two of them turn.)

SARAH: Isn’t that you, Melissa?

FUTURE MELISSA: I do believe it is. (She looks herself over.) Did you hurt your ankle?

PAST MELISSA: Uh, yes.

FUTURE MELISSA: I guess you’ll just have to lean on me. We were just on our way home.

(Some people in non-futuristic jumpsuits walk by.)

PAST MELISSA: You know, I was sort of hoping that the future was just full of people wearing futuristic jumpsuits. It’s not, is there?

SARAH: Time travel-themed party tonight.

FUTURE MELISSA: I share your disappointment, Melissa.

(They walk on in silence until they reach their house. The MELISSAE sit down next to each other on the couch, while SARAH produces PAST MELISSA’s costume: a Victorian-style black dress, a black cane, and the masquerade mask.)

SARAH: So, you’re from the past.

PAST MELISSA: 2012. I was kidnapped by some skeleton king–

FUTURE MELISSA: Who opened a portal into the wrong time?

PAST MELISSA: Yes. (She seems relieved.) I’m glad you remember. Can you tell me what happens?

FUTURE MELISSA: Well, yes and no. See, the things that I saw when I was you are different than what’s happening right now.

PAST MELISSA: Such as?

FUTURE MELISSA: Well, when I was you I remember me saying that I didn’t remember going back in time. And I didn’t have your costume for the party all laid out, so I wasn’t sitting here next to you.

PAST MELISSA: Which is a shame, because it’s a lovely experience. (PAST MELISSA leans her head on FUTURE MELISSA’s shoulder.)

SARAH: I know I’ve said it before, but I just want it on record that it’s really, really unfair how happy you are right now.

PAST MELISSA: Hey, you get to be happy all the time. We only get this once.

FUTURE MELISSA: Well said. (Beat.) Would you like me to help you into your costume? I mean, bad ankle and all–

PAST MELISSA: Oh, would you? That would be great. (They make their way upstairs.)

SARAH: You are both so gross. (She shakes her head and curls up with her sketchbook in the meanwhile.)

(TBC.)

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