Herricanes: Invisible Part One
Script for 22 Pages
By Nicolas Wilson
Just a very wee bit of dead space at the top of the page for the title and credits.
LOGO : HERRICANES:
TITLE: INVISIBLE, PART ONE OF THREE
Kari is laughing, sitting in the back room of a bar. The room is ringed on one wall with a bar and red-seated barstools, but the bar is only a foot deep, and the chairs uncomfortable, and the place is only half full, so people are spread out amongst smaller table, most of which were designed with seating for two in mind, but accommodating more. Kari is sitting across from Calvin, talking about her computer science classes, and he is smiling warmly at her. Kari has short blond hair that frames her face, a realistic version of manga hair. She wears a light amount of make up, just enough that it isn’t obvious she wears any, except on her lips, which she tries to accent because she feels they’re too thin. She has a sharp, distinct nose that makes her self conscious, and a strong jaw. She has very plain brown eyes. She’s wearing jeans with a small percentage of elastic in them, and they hug her hips rather tightly, although she feels they just underline her lack of an ass. She’s wearing a playful pink t shirt with a cartoon ninja punching outward on it. She’s athletic but feminine. She runs, lifts weights, and stands about 5’8,” a couple of inches shorter than Calvin. Calvin is a fairly generic boy next door. He’s going to do a bad thing, but I don’t want to demonize him, or making him look evil. Not ever. Because the point here is that this can happen with normal people, too. Rape is a cultural problem, and while individuals are responsible for their actions, it’s important to keep Calvin relatable. He’s wearing a black leather jacket that’s a bit too big for him, loose fitting blue jeans, Converse sneakers, and a black t shirt with white printing that, if we ever see it all, says, “TRUST ME, I’M A DOCTOR.” He has soft brown eyes, and brown hair parted down the center, no moose or gel. He’s clean shaven.
Calvin turns around to smile at his friends, who are cheering him on from their table on the other side of the room, beside a large screen muted television showing a football game with scrolling subtitles, and a speaker playing ambient music.
Calvin turns back around. Kari continues to talk, trying to make eye contact; she’s obviously irritated that he’s looking at her chest.
Kari stares into her empty glass, and pokes at ice cubes with her stir stick. She’d been drinking a Jack and Coke. She’s bored, weighing the irritation of the walk home.
Kari looks up at him, and with an even mix of apathy and apology says.
KARI: IT’S LATE, AND I’M GOING TO GO.
Kari stands up, and puts on the thin faux leather jacket that was on her chair. Calvin’s up, with his hands in the air, saying “Whoa” to slow her down, but he’s tipsy, so the gesture’s a little exaggerated. The placement of the word bubbles needs to make the reader go over Calvin’s speech, then look at their body language, then get to her response. And her response is anything but spirited, but still not a negative reaction, she’s just ready for home.
CALVIN: LET ME GET YOU SOMETHING FOR THE ROAD.
Close on the bar as the tender pours from a bottle labeled Wild Goose, 101 Proof. The glass has barely any ice in it, and it’s one of those several shot glasses. There’s a ten spot on the bar underneath the glass.
Kari pours it all down, fast.
Kari looks up at him. She’s smiling an inebriated smile, blushing because of the liquor. It could easily be misconstrued as come hither, but it isn’t.
KARI: WILD GOOSE.
Kari hands him the glass. She’s drunker than she realizes. The urp comes in a smaller dialogue balloon linking the other two balloons together.
KARI: I APPRECIATE A MAN WHO CAN TAKE NOT GETTING ANY
KARI: WITH SOME CLASS.
Calvin’s eyes are lowered, and his face is somewhere between disappointed and malevolent. But it could just be the light. He isn’t evil; he’s just reacting to bad news.
Exterior of the bar, in a small parking lot. It’s dimly lit, but you could tell if someone was lurking in the shadows. Kari is lurching across the parking lot, unconsciously reaching out to a car to catch herself if she falls, with her house keys in her hand.
Calvin runs his fingers through his hair. He’s nervous. He’s just trying to be a nice guy.
CALVIN: LET ME WALK YOU HOME.
Kari laughs, perhaps too much and too loud, then smiles wide. The laugh happens between panels, but she’s sporting a grin that would make Jack Nicholson proud.
KARI: MAYBE I WASN’T CLEAR.
KARI: I’M GOING HOME ALONE.
Kari pokes him the in the chest, leaning towards him in a jokey way.
KARI: THAT MEANS WITHOUT YOU.
KARI: THAT YOU DON’T GET TO… TO…
Kari falls backwards, and a surprised Calvin catches her.
Calvin has Kari’s arm over his shoulder, walking up a sidewalk on a hill. Up that hill and across the street are small homes built in the 1980s, kept up by and large by the people who live in them. Straggly grass grows down the hill from them, leading down to an apartment complex.
CALVIN: DO YOU FEEL OKAY?
Calvin and Kari are in silhouette as they walk down a very dark street. On the other side of the street, in front of a small convenience store with bars on its windows is a single sickly street lamp that only lights a tiny circle underneath it.
CALVIN: A FRIEND OF MINE HAD TO HAVE HIS STOMACH PUMPED WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL.
CALVIN: HE NEARLY DIED.
Calvin holds her up while fumbling with her keys. She’s almost slipping from his grip. Kari’s words are small and out of alignment, and she’s barely awake enough to say them.
KARI: I’LL BE OKAY…
View inside her apartment from the front door, clean except for the kitchen. Her roommate cooked lasagna for lunch, and went to work right after, so the kitchen is a minor disaster. Calvin is carrying her off to the right, to Kari’s room. It’s dark outside and there’s only a small nightlight in the apartment beside the front door, so it’s fairly dark as well.
Her room is dark, and he doesn’t turn the light on. The room is sparsely decorated, with a very plain desk with a few papers scattered around it, and a desktop computer beneath it with a flat screen monitor. Her room is small, with only enough space for her bed in addition to the desk, with a single swivel chair pushed up against the wall to make room enough to walk to the bed. Calvin carries her into the room.
Calvin lays her down in her bed very softly.
He smoothes the covers over her.
Silhouetted in the doorway, Calvin unbuttons his shirt. His expression is muted, not happy, sad, excited, angry. You can’t tell what he’s thinking at all. This might be best played by having his face covered by shadow.
Same as last, only Calvin has moved off panel. Kari has regained some of her composure, and her dialogue is not as weak or stilted as it was when he walked her into the apartment.
KARI (OFF PANEL): NO, CALVIN… I DON’T WANT YOU IN MY BED…
Kari’s apartment, only it’s early morning. Kari’s roommate, Thema, is home, although she’s still off panel at this point, she’s opened the door, letting she sun shine in. This is the same view from the front door as page four, pic 4.
THEMA (OP) : KARI?
Thema is an inch shorter than Kari, but much larger. She’s big in the way Ving Rhames is, but not in a scary or butch way; she’s just built like a brick house. Her grandparents came from Ghana, although her father has Cuban and Native American blood. She works nights as a security guard for the school, and even carries a gun. The school guards have a great deal of authority, falling short only in that they need municipal police to arrest someone, but they can write tickets for most offenses. Her uniform should look like a cop’s from far away, but be just slightly gray in color. She walks through the same panel as the last one, looking to the right, towards Kari’s bathroom. She’s got a tall coffee in her hand.
THEMA: IT’S MORNING, GIRL.
THEMA: AND I GOT A MOCHA LATTE WITH YOUR…
Pic 3 & 4;
Kari is spread out across the bathroom floor, with her arm up on the toilet rim. Panels 3 & 4 butt up against one another at around Kari’s midsection. She has socks on, but partially off, and has managed to get her bra and underwear back on. There’s dry blood on her thighs, and stained into her underwear, and she’s crying softly into the mat at the base of the toilet.
Thema steps into the bathroom, setting the latte on the bathroom sink as she steps over Kari. Kari, hearing her roommate’s voice, tries to get up.
Thema helps Kari halfway off the ground. Kari’s hair is a torrent, her face swollen and puffy from sobbing. She has some bruising, on her left wrist and on her right side. She’s sobbing and hyperventilating, and her dialogue comes out broken.
KARI: I JUST…
KARI: I JUST NEED TO TAKE A…
KARI: A SHOWER…
Thema holds her up. She’s like a rag doll, limp, and Thema strokes the hair away from her face.
THEMA: NO, GIRL. YOU NEED A DOCTOR.
Thema helps Kari balance against the counter, enough that she can hold her own weight. She’s too beaten and broken to even react to her reflection in the mirror. Her free hand is groping for the brush.
THEMA: BUT WE’LL GET YOU CLEANED UP FIRST.
Thema is driving Kari through a neighborhood. She’s been superficially touched up, but it’s obvious she hasn’t washed, hasn’t changed, hasn’t put on make up. Kari is blankly looking out the windshield.
KARI: I THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO A DOCTOR.
In the middle of a lush, green lawn is a wooden sign, less than a year old. It was carved by hand, and blue letters tell us this is the HERRICANE FOUNDATION, WOMEN’S CENTER. Only the corner of the center can be seen, with a porch and steps. The building was originally a small home, lived in by a little old lady who only needed enough room for herself and her plants.
THEMA: THEY HAVE A NURSE HERE.
THEMA: AND A COUNSELOR.
Thema opens the door for Kari, but Kari doesn’t look like she’s going to move. Thema has her hand offered. She looks very motherly as she tries to coax her out of the car.
THEMA: THEY CAN HELP.
THEMA: AND I’LL BE WITH YOU.
Kari, carrying a change of clothes with her in her bag, walks behind Thema, still in her work uniform. The Center is larger than it might have first appeared, because it was added on to, and combined with the house on the next lot. Inside it has sleeping quarters for 10 women, two doubles with a bathroom, a small gymnasium like a middle school dance studio, a clinic with two examination rooms and a laboratory, and a lobby with two offices. Behind the offices are a kitchen and the former owner’s bedroom, now occupied by Katrina.
Katrina peers through the open front door. In the door there is a dead bolt, and a peep hole, and she’s opening the chain because she recognizes Thema. Katrina is a slightly older woman, in her late twenties, early thirties. She used to exercise regularly, and probably peaked at about 180 lbs., twenty five of it extra muscle. When she stopped spending so much time exercising, her muscle turned to fat. She’s overweight by a bit, but not obese. She has a pleasant, motherly face.
KATRINA: OH, THEMA.
KATRINA: COME IN.
Kari and Thema enter a hallway leading into the lobby. Katrina turns to Kari and introduces herself.
KATRINA: AND YOU MUST BE KARI.
KATRINA: MY NAME IS KATRINA, AND I OPERATE THE CENTER.
Thema walks past Kari, leading the way into the lobby. Kari stands frozen. She’s partly
amazed, and partly in a stupor. “The Herricane” appears as a big, superhero logo within
the speech bubble. This is the only comic booky element in the entire first issue, so keep it fun enough that hero geeks will giggle, but that normal joes get it and move on without shaking their heads at the cheese of it.
KARI: YOU WERE…
KARI: THE HERRICANE.
Katrina smiles kindly, but the mention of her past seems to age her. Light wrinkles show on her forehead and at the corners of her eyes.
KATRINA: A LIFETIME AGO.
The three of them are seated in the lobby. They’re sitting in generic, slightly uncomfortable-looking dentist waiting room chairs. Kari is sitting with her legs folded under her, sipping on some tea, still steaming. Thema sits next to her, and Katrina is leaning forward.
KATRINA: THERE ARE OPTIONS FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN ASSAULTED.
Kari stares at the faint reflection of herself in her tea, she’s a little sad, but she hardly notices it as she stares vacantly at the other, darker her.
KATRINA: AND WE CAN GO OVER THOSE IN MORE DETAIL IN A LITTLE WHILE.
Thema is holding Kari’s change of clothes. She’s been through this before, because it’s not uncommon on her shift to get called to women who report sexual assault, but Kari is her roommate and her friend, and this hits closer to her. She’s glancing over at Kari, concerned. Kari, mostly off panel, sets her tea down on the magazine table beside her.
KATRINA: RIGHT NOW, I’D LIKE NURSE SIMA TO GIVE YOU AN EXAMINATION.
Katrina stands, because she’s going to lead them to the clinic, and Kari starts to stand as well. Thema is a little slower on the draw.
KATRINA: I KNOW IT CAN BE EMBARASSING AND INVASIVE, BUT THEMA AND I CAN ACCOMPANY YOU.
KATRINA: ONCE THAT’S THROUGH, YOU CAN SHOWER, AND PUT ON SOME CLEAN CLOTHES. THEN WE’LL TALK MORE.
Katrina looks at us from Kari’s point of view.
KATRINA BUT THERE’S ONE THING YOU NEED TO KNOW RIGHT NOW.
KATRINA: NONE OF THIS WAS YOUR FAULT.
Kari stares at her for a moment.. She’s tried to be so strong through all of this, to soldier through. He didn’t win if she didn’t cry.
Same as last. Tears run down her cheeks, but her expression is the same.
Kari collapses against Katrina, wrapping her arms around her, sobbing.
Kari is sitting on an examination table. She’s in a paper gown, and her clothes are all folded in a pile, laying on a sheet of the same paper as is on the table. She’s holding onto her knees just a little protectively. Thema is in the room, sitting in the chair, watching Kari quietly. Sima, the nurse, has just entered the room, and her hand is extended to Kari. Sima is from India. She’s tall, just a hair under six feet tall, and gangly. Her long black hair is put up. She doesn’t have the dot on her forehead because she isn’t married, and isn’t the type to wear it for fashion’s sake. She doesn’t ware make up, but has a lovely complexion. She’s wearing scrubs and no make up. She has a slightly bulbous nose, but not large enough to make her unappealing. Her face is slightly round.
SIMA: MY NAME IS SIMA.
Kari shakes her hand self-consciously, slightly avoiding eye contact. Her face is pointed towards her clothes piled on the counter, but she isn’t really looking at them, just avoiding having to look at Sima.
SIMA: LIKE THE GIANT?
Sima has walked over to the counter, and has a drawer open. She is putting on a pair of gloves.
SIMA: I HAD A BROTHER WHO WAS REALLY INTO THE NORSE GODS.
SIMA: ESPECIALLY THOR.
Sima pulls out plastic bags from a drawer. Kari has her hand partially raised, as if she were trying to get her teacher to notice her, leaning forward to insert herself into the moment.
SIMA: HE CHASED ME AROUND WITH A PLASTIC HAMMER HE CALLED… MULLNER?
KARI: WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH MY CLOTHES?
Sima starts to bag individually each article of clothing. Kari looks sad, because she liked that shirt, and didn’t think it was tainted enough to be rid of it, but she understands. Although she is against the wall, and farthest to the right in the panel, her word balloon extends to the center of the panel, to place it where it needs to go between Kari and Sima’s dialogue.
SIMA: THEY’RE EVIDENCE.
THEMA: THAT’S WHY I BROUGHT YOU A CHANGE OF CLOTHES.
Sima is kneeling down, and Kari’s legs are open, and Sima is combing her pubic hairs for foreign hair. Since Thema is in the room, to both give her a degree of privacy and to keep from being too visually graphic, she is concealed beneath a cloth. Kari is embarrassed and uncomfortable.
SIMA: ARE YOU A STUDENT?
Sima swabs the blood on her legs. Kari tries to look at the wall, to avoid thinking about the fact that there’s a wet cue tip cleaning dried blood off her thigh.
SIMA: WHAT’S YOUR MAJOR?
Sima swabs Kari’s vagina beneath the blanket. Kari is in a little bit of pain. Her eyes are closed and she winces, and her shoulders tighten up. She asked her question through clenched teeth.
KARI: COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING..
SIMA: I’M A REGISTERED NURSE, BUT I’M WORKING MY WAY THROUGH MED SCHOOL.
Sima is standing in front of Kari, who’s legs are now closed. She swabs the inside of
Kari’s mouth, which is open.
SIMA: COULD YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH FOR ME?
Sima has a few strands of hair by the roots, about to pull on them. Kari has her eyes closed, because she knows Sima is about to yank them out.
SIMA: I’M GOING TO COLLECT A HEAD HAIR SAMPLE.
SIMA: BRACE YOURSELF, THIS IS GOING TO HURT.
There’s a vial connected to a tube and butterfly needle in Kari’s arm just below the elbow. It’s connected to a vial sitting on a small metal table on an arm attached to the table Kari’s sitting on, and the vial is filling with blood in gushes.
SIMA: THE HOSPITAL WILL TEST THE BLOOD, AND WE’LL LET YOU KNOW IF THEY FIND ANYTHING.
Sima covers the puncture with a piece of gauze as she retracts the needle.
SIMA: PUT PRESSURE HERE.
SIMA: I’LL GIVE THE REST OF THE KIT TO AN OFFICER AT THE HOSPITAL.
Sima wraps tape around the gauze.
SIMA: DETECTIVE KRENTZ WILL CONTACT YOU TO TAKE YOUR STATEMENT.
SIMA: IF YOU WANT, KATRINA CAN HELP YOU FILL OUT A VICTIM IMPACT FORM.
Sima seals the blood, in a small plastic vial with a seal around the cap, in a plastic bag with a tag on it, and places another seal over its mouth.
KARI: WILL I HAVE TO TESTIFY?
Sima tries to be gentle, but she’s also firm, when she tells her this. She maybe overdoes it a little, because her expression is a little stern.
SIMA: OF COURSE NOT.
SIMA: BUT WITHOUT YOUR TESTIMONY THE CASE WILL BE WEAKER.
Thema stands up, and stand partly between the two of them. Sima is a little confused, but quietly, because while she believes she should testify, but feels bad for even voicing her opinion on it; she knows Kari has enough on her mind.
THEMA: YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING YOU AREN’T COMFORTABLE WITH.
Kari has just showered, and her hair is still a little wet, despite blow-drying. She’s also changed into the spare clothes she was carrying earlier, a baggy blue sweatshirt with a hood and a pear of baggy jeans. She’s following Katrina away from the clinic and back down the hallway that leads from the gym and clinic, past the dorms, and into the lobby. Thema is following behind, looking at the pictures of former women residents on the walls.
KARI: I… APPRECIATE EVERYTHING…
KARI: BUT I DON’T THJINK I’M READY TO TALK…
Kari looks behind them to Thema. She’s been awake all night long, and she’s really starting to drag, and her eyelids are starting to droop. Kari hasn’t slept either, but she’s very naturally trying to deflect from herself, and she’s also concerned for her roommate.
KARI: AND I’M SO TIRED.
KARI: AND THEMA’S BEEN UP ALL NIGHT.
Katrina smiles softly, and knocks on the door they’ve all stopped in front of.
KATRINA: WE HAVE PLENTY OF BEDS IF YOU’D LIKE TO REST.
KATRINA: ANGIE, WE’RE COMING IN, SWEETY
Katrina stands in the middle of a small bedroom with three beds. There is a dresser on the far side of the room, and a window with heavy curtains over it, keeping the room dimly lit. A fifteen year old girl with stringy blonde hair is sitting on the bed closest to the dresser. She’s wearing fashionably grungy clothes that have been cut to fit her. She’s thin to a sickly degree. She barely registers their presence in the room, because she’s busy with her demons. Kari waves timidly. Thema is still standing in the doorway.
KATRINA: KARI… THIS IS ANGIE.
Katrina sits on the bed next to Angie. Angie smiles weakly, as if for the first time noticing that she isn’t alone. She’s skinny and lanky, and she’s wearing a pair of jeans and a faded cartoon bear t-shirt.
KATRINA: SHE AND THEMA ARE GOING TO SHARE YOUR ROOM TODAY.
KATRINA: THEY’RE GOING TO TAKE A NAP.
Angie shakes her head side to side for no, as Kari and Thema walk over between the other two beds.
KATRINA: JARED IS GOING TO GO TO THE STORE FOR ME.
KATRINA: DO YOU WANT TO GO WITH HIM?
Thema takes off her belt while unbuttoning her work shirt. Kari simply peels the blanket and sheet back on the bed. Katrina stands up from her place on Angie’s bed. Angie kicks her legs off the bed.
KATRINA: ALL RIGHT, BUT DON’T BOTHER THEM WHILE THEY’RE SLEEPING.
Kari lies awake in bed while Thema sleeps.
Kari looks over at Thema, sleeping soundly. Her gun belt is on a wooden chair beside her bed, displayed rather prominently.
Kari looks over at Angie. Angie doesn’t look back at her. It isn’t clear if she’s sleeping or awake, but she’s tense, with her fingers still laced around her legs, and her back against the wall. She’s not too subtly facing the door, as if she expects someone to be entering at any moment, and wants to be prepared.
Kari rolls over, away from Angie. She’s looking at Thema again, and at her gun, and making a decision between these two women and their extremes.
Kari shuts her eyes, and looks a little more peaceful.
It’s night time, and there’s a small TV on animal planet as Kari, Thema and Katrina talk. Katrina made them all some finger sandwiches on a plate, and Thema is still eating one of them.
KATRINA: I HAD THE GYM BUILT BECAUSE ONE OF MY FRIENDS WAS GOING TO RETIRE WITH ME.
Thema looks over at the TV, at a bunny hopping through the field. Kari is engrossed in Katrina’s story.
KATRINA: SHE WAS GOING TO TEACH SELF DEFENSE CLASSES.
KATRINA: BUT SHE WAS DATING THIS GUY WHO WANTED TO PARTNER UP INSTEAD.
Katrina is more animated than she’s been yet. She’s gesturing with her hands thrown up in the air because she can’t understand her own rotten luck.
KATRINA: SEVEN MONTHS AGO I LIINED UP AN INSTRUCTOR FROM SEATTLE, BUT HER MOTHER TOOK ILL…
KATRINA: THE POSITION’S CURSED.
Kari knows Tai Chi. She’s taken some other martial arts classes, and she’s excited, and really wants to volunteer to teach self defense. She’s not Bruce Lee, but she can handle herself in most situations.
But she can’t. Maybe because of shyness, maybe from the shame of knowing that she wasn’t able to protect herself, but the result is the same, the fire in her eyes shrinks, and she doesn’t even mention it.
Kari is still despondent, but tries to deflect the conversation, trying to hide her sadness.
KARI: WHY’D YOU QUIT BEING THE HERRICANE?
The sadness and the age creep back into Katrina.
KATRINA: I WAS WITH THE GROUP THAT TRIED TO ASSIST WITH THE STORM IN LOUISIANA.
KATRINA: BACK WHEN IT WAS TROPICAL STORM MEL.
Katrina stares past her carpet, remembering events.
KATRINA: I SUFFERED A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, AND I LOST CONTROL OF MY ABILITIES.
KATRINA: AND I MADE EVERYTHING WORSE.
Katrina rubs her eyes. She isn’t crying, but telling this story makes her very tired, even down to her eyes.
KATRINA: THE PRESS RENAMED THE DISASTER HURRICANE KATRINA.
Kari leans forward, with her hand reaching out to Katrina’s knee. She’s suddenly feeling very empathetic.
KARI: THAT’S AWFUL.
KATRINA: BUT IT WASN’T THE HORRIBLE THINGS THEY PRINTED ABOUT ME THAT MADE ME QUIT…
KATRINA: IT WAS THE LIVES I DAMAGED.
Katrina’s pain seems lessened in this panel. She still feels badly for the hurt she caused in Louisiana, but some of what she’s done since she feels mitigates that.
KATRINA: SO I USED MY LIMITED CELEBRITY TO ESTABLISH THE HERRICANE FOUNDATION.
KATRINA: AND OPENED THIS PLACE.
KATRINA: I THOUGHT IT WAS BETTER TO DO GOOD ON A SMALL SCALE, ADDRESSING THE ISSUES NO ONE ELSE WAS.
I apologize in advance for this page, which is really just talking heads. I know, I know. But this conversation needed to happen.
Katrina looks down at her watch.
KATRINA: IT’S GETTING LATE…
KATRINA: BUT I HOPE YOU’LL THINK ABOUT EVERYTHING WE TALKED ABOUT.
Katrina, looking off panel to Kari.
KATRINA: YOU’VE MADE SOME BIG STEPS ALREADY.
KATRINA: TALKING ABOUT IT, FINDING SOMEONE TO CONFIDE IN, IT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU CAN DO.
Both women look down the dark hall, in the direction of Angie’s room.
KATRINA: THAT’S ANGIE’S TROUBLE.
KATRINA: SHE DOESN’T FEEL SAFE WITH ANYONE.
KATRINA: WHEN HER FATHER GETS BAD ENOUGH, SHE COMES HER WHILE HE SLEEPS IT OFF.
Katrina consciously directs their attention to Thema, who so far has really been the hero of the story.
KATRINA: BUT SHE DOESN’T HAVE ANYONE.
KATRINA: NOT AT HOME, OR SCHOOL, OR ANYWHERE.
KATRINA: SHE LIKES JARED, WHO YOU HAVEN’T MET YET…
KATRINA: BUT SHE STILL WON’T TALK TO HIM.
Katrina looks very tenderly at Kari.
KATRINA: BUT SWEETIE…
KATRINA: IF YOU EVER NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO, OR A SAFE PLACE TO STAY…
Katrina yawns wide.
Kari glances in Thema’s direction, who’s looking at her watch, but also is looking away as she comes to a decision.
KARI: THEMA’S GOT TO BE AT WORK, SOON…
KARI: BUT I THINK I’LL STAY.
Page Twenty One;
The panels on this page get progressively smaller, and the majority of the page is simply black.
Close on Katrina, sleeping in an oversized, satiny shirt. She’s under a brown comforter, dreaming. Her dreams are starting to take a turn, and her forehead is wrinkled with worry.
TEXT: IT ISN’T HER VOICE THAT ECHOES.
TEXT: BUT THE WORDS COULD AS EASILY BE HERS.
Same shot of Calvin in the doorway to Kari’s bedroom as page five, panel four, only it isn’t Calvin, it’s Katrina’s stepfather, Gene.
TEXT: I WANTED TO FIGHT HIM.
TEXT: TO FIGHT BACK.
A shirtless Gene holds Katrina at nine years old down on the bed. She’s wearing a pretty yellow dress, like little girls wear on Easter. Her hair is shorter, in pig tails, and she even has a few light freckles.
TEXT: BUT I FELT SO WEAK.
TEXT: AND HE WAS SO STRONG.
In silhouette, he’s holding her down, tearing the dress from her with one hand and holding her down with the other.
TEXT: AND MY VOICE WAS SO SMALL.
TEXT: I WAS SO SMALL.
Darkness, taking up most of the page. The last three words are split up, falling one right after another, like stairs, and the last one breeches the border between this panel and the next.
TEXT: AND I COULDN”T
Katrina’s eye opens. Her face is recognizable, but her eye is only borderline human. She looks like she’s about to force herself into an aneurism, and her face is beginning to flush. Her lips are starting to curl, and if we watched her for another three seconds, we’d hear her say something akin to, “Kate Smash!” But we won’t. Because for right now, the build up is better.
Page Twenty Two;
There’s a bit of talking head syndrome on this page, but leave room for the last panel to be suspenseful.
Kari rushes off panel, into an office and passed a secretary. It’s still very early morning, and the sun has a pale blue quality to it, seen through the glass wall of a skyscraper, a dozen stories up. Her mother’s secretary has jumped to her feet excitedly
SECRETARY: I’M SORRY MISS. MISS. YOU CAN’T JUST GO IN WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT. MISS.
Kari whirls around, a little angry, a little upset, but really on the verge of breaking down.
KARI: SHE’S MY MOTHER.
Kari bursts into the room, and her mother isn’t surprised, or shocked, or even concerned, she just has this look of professional inconvenience written on her face.
ANNIE: KARI. YOU SHOULD HAVE CALLED.
Kari collapses into the chair- completely collapses, physically, mentally, emotionally.
Kari is trying desperately not to retreat into herself. She came here so sure she could tell her mother but the cold demeanor of her is scarier that what she wants to say.
Kari withers under her mother’s gaze, and just mumbles the words.
KARI: I WAS RAPED…
There’s a hole in the wall of Katrina’s bedroom. Beyond the hole in the wall is a trail of destruction, like a bulldozer drove straight through a neighborhood, or someone fired a giant rifle through the city. There’s smoke, and small fires. Jared is standing just inside the wall, looking outward. If any of him is visible, he’s slightly taller than Kari, very clean cut and conventionally handsome. He is the poster child for metrosexuality.
JARED (OP): YUMI? YEAH. I THINK KATE DID IT AGAIN.
JARED (OP): HOW DO I KNOW? I GUESS YOU COULD SAY MY SPIDER SENSE IS TINGLING.