Tag: script

Echo: Charlie 1.1



…introducing the Grubber 3 by Grub-o-Matic, America’s number one name in food printing!

We see white and the camera pans, bringing into view a machine the size of a refrigerator with a deli counter window built into the front. The box is black. It’s sexy. So’s the MODEL waving an elegant hand toward the machine.


With our new 360 design, you’ll get all the features you’ve been waiting for!

Hamburgers? Check!

(a hamburger appears in the model’s hand)

Pizza? Check!

(the hamburger morphs into a pizza slice)

Chinese food? Check!

(a bowl of noodles takes the slice’s place)

The food disappears as the Model shoves the bowl toward her face. A satisfied smile crosses her lips as she mouths the announcer’s words.






Static 1.1

Roommates.com, Roomster, Craigslist; Mercer Hekel had tried them all. He met with evangelicals who harbored ill will toward “libtards,” a couple of “straight guys” who wanted a roommate who was “okay with nudity,” and a recovering meth addict nurse who was just trying to get her shit together. Her twenty three year old daughter shared her bedroom so that they could fit a fifth person into their three bedroom house.

And then there was Sandy. She was witty and perked up at the sound of his stable job. He was a few years older than she was thinking; she was twenty eight, her roommate twenty nine and a half, but thirty five wasn’t “too too old, so, sure! Let’s get together and make sure we’re not serial killers or walking clichés!”


Mercer was surprised at how much space they weren’t using. He was prepared for the tiny bedroom, but the unfinished basement was huge, and the only things down there were a mattress and some camping equipment.

“All of this would be yours,” Sandy told him.

“I dig it,” Mercer replied, stifling his awe. He admired the yard from the glass door in the back corner. “It’s $450?” he asked.

“Yeah, sorry. I was going to say $400, but-“

“$450’s fine,” he assured her.

They made their way upstairs, through the fireplaced living room, past the piano, the couch, past a cat, and into the garage, where Mercer found himself astonished by a recliner and loveseat.

“This is awesome,” he said matter-of-factly.

“We like to sit,” Sandy nodded. “You can have the chair if you want,” she offered. “I usually sit over here.”

“Is that, uh,” Mercer began and drew a blank on the other roommate’s name.

“David’s chair? Yeah,” Sandy filled in.

“Right,” Mercer said with a snap.

“No worries,” she said. “He should be home soon. He’s an engineer. Designs skyscrapers or something.”

“Oh, that’s cool,” Mercer said, taking the chair with a controlled plop.

“Yeah. You sell mattresses, right?” she asked.

“Yep.” Mercer nods. “I manage the Home Towne Mattress on 56th.

“Oh, that’s right,” Sandy said. “That’s not too far a drive, is it?”

“Nah,” Mercer said. “That’s the first thing I checked when I saw your ad.”

“Nice,” Sandy said.

“Yeah, it only adds about ten minutes with traffic.”

“That’s not too bad,” Sandy said.


It went on like that for nearly forty minutes, the two of them trading information and telling all the superficial get-to-know-you anecdotes that everyone has hidden away for such occasions. David and Sandy had met in college. David’s job wasn’t really as fancy as it sounded. Sandy’s job as tech support wasn’t interesting enough to go into. Mercer hated cucumbers. The usual.

And then…

“So, uh,” Sandy asks, “I did ask you if you smoke, right?”

Mercer looked at the cigarette in his hand.

“Yeah?” he intoned.

“No, like, smoke,” she said and pointed at the bowl on the side table.

“Oh,” Mercer responded. “I can’t believe I missed that.”

She laughed.

“Must be used to it,” he said.

She grinned, “Good.”

She opened the table drawer, and a sack of bud came out to say hello. She packed the bowl and handed it to him.

“You’re so generous,” Mercer said.

“You’re welcome.”

He sparked the grass, took only half the green hit, and passed it back while holding his breath.

“Manners!” Sandy exclaimed before taking her puff.

He exhaled.

“I like that,” she croaked, passing it back.

They fell into the rhythm of smoking. There was a good vibe set, and a comfortably tense silence washed over them.


“Is this the guy?” David asked a few minutes later. He carried a cheap lager and gestured an offer to Mercer.

Mercer waved it off graciously. Sandy nodded, lighting a cigarette.

“You gonna introduce us, weirdo?” David asked Sandy impatiently. His look asked Mercer if he could believe what was happening.

“I’m so glad,” Sandy said to Mercer, “that someone finally gets to see the kind of abuse I put up with.”

“Abuse?” David said, offended. “Fucking abuse, she says!”

“You heard me,” Sandy shot back. And then to them both, “Mercer, Davey, Davey this is our new roommate, Mercer.”

“Don’t call me Davey.”

Mercer’s laugh broke their bit, and they all shared a chuckle.

“What’s up man, I’m David.” He stressed the second syllable.

“Mercer. Nice to meet you.”

They went for the same type of handshake. A good sign.

“New roommate, huh?” David asked and pulled a lawn chair from seemingly nowhere.

“I just decided,” Sandy said.

“Nice,” Mercer said.

David laughed, “Well, I guess you’re in, man. Congrats.”

He took his seat.

“Now you can tell me about yourself.”


It was all the same information, but this time, Sandy took her turn when Mercer skipped something. They soon dug deeper and began sharing self-deprecating stories.

“I survived falling out of the raft in category four rapids, I hiked all the way to the top of the waterfall and jumped off, and then I sprained my ankle getting into the truck to come home!”

Sandy was red-faced as she spoke, and the guys were breathless.

“How?” Mercer managed to ask.

“I don’t know!” Sandy gasped.

And later, “I thought it was spinach dip or something,” David said. “That’s what it tasted like.”

“It was cheese dip from, like, six months earlier!” Sandy exclaimed.

“It was green,” David winced and Mercer gagged.

Mercer jumped in to move the subject to something less revolting. Sort of.

“We used to go camping a lot when I was a kid. I thought I was a daredevil, and I’d take these great big running leaps over the fire pit.”

The others were already cringing.

“And then one day my foot got caught in the grill.” He sighed. “Down I went.”

“Ouch!” David cried. Sandy was covering her eyes, trying to block the mental image of seared flesh.

“I still have some scars from it,” Mercer concluded, pointing at his leg. “After that,” he said, “Dad moved us away from the mountains, and we went to the beach instead.”

“Probably safer,” Sandy said.

Mercer shook his head. “Not really.”



To be continued…

Meddle 1


City lights sparkle, reflecting in puddle mirrors just minutes after a storm’s dying gust. On a neighborhood street amid newly gentrified housing, a 2020s sedan – post hybrid – sits exquisitely out of place. It’s just odd enough to notice, yet eccentric enough to forget.

“I learned how to play the guitar today,” says Deel, a 30-something in the driver’s seat.

“Huh,” grumbles the codger riding shotgun. “I could have sworn I’ve seen you play before.”

“You know what I mean.”

“I really don’t.”

The younger man turns his athletic physique toward the heavyset other.

“Fine. Okay. Do I know an impressive number of songs? Sure. Do I impress an impressive number of women with my sweet licks and my lyrical prowess? Of course. But I’m telling you, Franks, I learned all of those songs note by note, rote by rote, and never once did it ever occur to me to learn a scale!”

“A scale?” Franks asks.

“Where all the notes actually are?” Deel says.

“Sounds useful.”

“No shit,” Deel says, and turns his attention back to the street.

“And just how long have you been avoiding these scale things?” Franks asks.

Deel thinks. “Fif-no. Sixty years? That sounds right.”

Franks nods, contemplating. “There are a lot of trees in the forest, I guess.”

Franks’s old analogue wristwatch interrupts with a trio of beeps. Deel leans forward and wipes fog from the windshield.

“I see her.”

Franks grunts a nod.

“You want to take her now?”

“Nah,” Franks answers. “It’s easier when they think they’ve gotten away with it.”


Rose Somethingorother, dressed in black from head to toe, strides with confidence down the wet sidewalk. She makes sticking to the shadows look natural, slinking between pools of fluorescent street light, her gaze alert and appraising. A quick shimmy of her hips is the only warning before she disappears into the inkwell of a recently refurbished brownstone.

“Yeah?” Deel poses.

“Post up.”

The men exit the vehicle, Franks with a groan and Deel with a curse.

“These damn steering wheels,” Deel complains once he’s untangled his legs.

“Facing forward the whole time,” Franks adds with a huff.

Deel steps into the street.

“I’m glad I was born later.”

“Aren’t we all,” Franks replies.

They make haste to the building entrance, weapons drawn and ready. Franks points to the hedge row. Deel nods and pulls on the hood of his jacket. He crouches among the shrubbery, and his torso begins to change color. Soon, he is nearly imperceptible in the foliage.

Franks takes point just out of sight from the door. He lazily checks his watch.

“90 seconds,” he says softly.

Deel’s hand shoots from the bushes giving a thumb up.


Franks almost misses it. He tries to focus on the black hole of a doorway, but his eyes keep sliding toward the light. Rose’s form leaks out of the shadow and merges with the night. She’s halfway down the stoop, nearly lost to the darkness, before his brain registers the motion.

“Rose!” Franks calls cheerily. “Fancy seeing- STOP!”

She’s already down the steps, passing directly under a lamp in her haste to escape.

“I’m pointing a stunner,” Franks warns her well lit back. “I don’t miss.”

She catches herself, and in her hesitation, Franks gains ground.

“Hands up.”

She complies.

Franks pulls a metal tube from his belt, flicks it, and a strand of blue material whips toward her upstretched left wrist. It coils around, synching into place when Franks pulls it tight.

Rose cries out in surprise, adrenaline taking over. She yanks her arm down and spins to meet her attacker.

Franks, pulled off balance, squeezes the stunner’s trigger and fires a ball of lightning into the street. Rose kicks him in the chest. The restraint flies from his grip, zipping up and close to her arm. She whips around to make a break for it, but Deel is there, his jacket now reflecting the street scene. The blue glow of his stunner is aimed dead center.

“Stop!” he commands.

Rose slows to a stuttered halt in the street.

“They say no one here,” she mutters to fate.

She’s too calm.

Franks groans as he makes it back to his feet, distracting Deel for a split second – plenty of time for Rose. When his eyes snap back his target, she’s crouching with one hand on the asphalt.

“Don’t, Rose. Don’t make me-“

She jumps. Deel fires.

The speed of Rose’s movements baffle him, and his shot misses its mark, the bolt catching her hip instead of her torso. Rose cries from the jolt as she flies into the air.

“What the hell,” Deel demands.

“Mods,” Franks replies, finally catching up. “Keep an eye on her.” He hustles toward the car.

Deel can hear Rose cursing her wound, but he cannot see her. He can only assume that she’s atop the nearest building. He’s proven correct when he catches her shadow leaping to the adjacent roof, heading in the direction from which she’d come.

“She’s running!” Deel calls.

He chases her streaking shadow.

Franks pulls the whispering Sedan to a screeching stop next to a hunched over Deel trying to catch his breath. He’s pointing up, and Franks’ gaze follows just in time.

The block ends with a wide intersection before moving onto another row of housing. Rose doesn’t take this leap lightly, and Franks can see her flittering from end to end of that last building. Is she judging her distance and required velocity?

Suddenly, she’s flying again, off of her building and high over the intersection. A trail of sparks pour from her damaged mechanics.

And she bursts into flames.

“Holy shi-“

The fleshy meteor falls out of the sky and makes a wet thud in the middle of Main Street.



“And then we put her out and called for backup,” Franks says, adjusting his sore back in the uncomfortable office chair.

“She just burst into flames,” Marjory Dunning says coldly from behind her desk. She’s reading the official account from a thin sheet of smartform.

“Yes, Ma’am,” answers Deel. “We believe that the power required for all that jumping-“

“Catastrophic systems failure,” Franks finishes.

“You had to shoot her in the hip?” Marjory asks Deel.

He shrugs an apology.

“Who was the Historian on the ground?” she demands.

The men look to each other.

“Which one, Ma’am?” Franks asks.

Marjory scowls. She snatches up the smartform, crumples it, and tosses it into the recyclobin. Her features settle closer to serenity as the microbots whir to life and claim their meal.

“That’s better,” she sighs. “You,” she points to Deel, “Go away.” She turns to Franks. “I need a minute.”



to be continued…