// WEASLIE HOUSE //
The winter season has finally begun to hang up its cap in Saint Louie. The threat of snow has subsided and early-bird flowers are peeking their heads out from underneath moist earth. Green is beginning to make a comeback.
It is mid-morning. FRIDAY PERKINS is sipping a hot cup of coffee. She would have ordinarily summoned this cup but she feels a guilt wash over her each time she summons food without cause.
BRONALD WEASLIE waxes nostalgic often about how his mother insisted that the best cooks summoned the best food. He seems to think matters of skill weave their way into the arcane arts. Regardless of her personal feelings, she remains a guest in the house and has adopted some of the local customs.
Her coffee is over-roasted and watery, but potable.
She is somewhere in the middle of her morning rituals. The thin white dog DEXX sniffs toward her coffee cup hopefully.
EY MUTT. YOU NEED TO GO OUT?
DEXX looks up at her and gives his tail a half-wag.
ALL-RIGHT. LET’S GO.
As PERKINS makes her way toward the front door, DEXX begins to skip, jumping about. She opens the door and he bolts, running for his the first spot on his inspection list.
PERKINS steps into the sun, coffee in hand. It’s a beautiful day, just a few small clouds wispy and high in the sky. A gentle breeze winds through the trees, just enough to bring fresh air into the lungs but not enough to chill.
DEXX continues to bounce about the yard. PERKINS leaves her coffee mug on the edge of the porch’s fence. She walks down the steps and approaches the mailbox.
It’s still early for today’s mail, but the papers haven’t been collected in a few days; the young inhabitants aren’t regular about the habit. The chunk of mail is bound together with a rubber band. A number of colorful adverts stick out of the sides.
PERKINS retreives her coffee and walks toward the front door. DEXX is still making his rounds.
She considers giving him a call, looking out and feeling the nag of impatience. But something encourages her to pause and allow him a few additional moments. The burgeoning spring, perhaps. The promise of warmth and prosperity.
She retraces her steps and takes a seat upon the first stair off the porch. The rubber band is removed from about the mail and she begins to sort through the mail, dividing it into junk, junk, more junk…
But a bright envelope catches her attention.
It is full-width, just barely off-white. The address is penned in a fine script, highly regular and hand-written in black ballpoint. The return address is no one she recognizes.
MR. BRONALD WEASLIE, HUH.
The rest of the mail is segregated, destined for the recycling pile. She appreciates the fine day for a few more seconds.
DOG-A-DOG! TIME TO GO INSIDE!
The dog resists her call, engrossed in sniffing at a bush.
The forcefulness of her tone works and he obeys, bounding up the steps to greet the now-standing young woman.
She opens the door and he runs in the house. PERKINS follows after him, depositing all but the reserved letter upon the corner of the desk.
She yells up the stairs.
EY RON! YOU GOT SOMETHIN’!
But the sound is muffled and he can’t make out her words.
THE MAIL! YOU GOT SOMETHING!
PERKINS sits down at the desk. DEXX plops on the floor and takes a rubber bone between his paws and begins to chew vigorously.
The sound of footsteps soon echo into the living room. BRONALD WEASLIE, red-headed and waifish, enters.
YOU GOT SOMETHING IN THE MAIL.
DID YOU OPEN IT?
PERKINS scoffs quietly.
IT’S ADDRESSED TO YOU. I AIN’T OPENIN’ YOUR MAIL.
She picks it up and holds it toward him over her right shoulder. But her curiousity gets the better of her and she swivels clockwise to get a view of him once the letter’s in his hands.
PROBABLY NOTHIN’ BUT…
WEASLIE runs his finger underneath the seal and pries open the letter.
He removes a single tri-fold letter from the envelope, holding it in his right hand, using his left to hand the torn envelope back to PERKINS. She places it atop the pile of junk mail.
The pair are silent while he reads over the words. DEXX’s toy squeaks in the background.
PERKINS restrains herself for just a quick moment.
…YEAH? WHAT IS IT?
PERKINS eyes the paper. It’s a quality paper, just a hint of texture giving a hint of its thickness.
IT’S… IT’S A NOTICE FOR A JOB.
A NOTICE FOR A JOB?
YEAH. WEIRD, BUT IT’S A GUY WRITING ME LETTING ME KNOW THERE’S BIDS OPEN FOR A CONTRACT WITH THE NSR.
IT’S ELECTRICAL WORK. WE DON’T USUALLY DO A LOT OF THAT BUT –
A HANDWRITTEN LETTER?
MANNY’S USUALLY MY GUY FOR THAT BUT HE’S OUT ON VACATION…
SOMEONE TOOK THE TIME TO WRITE YOU A LETTER ABOUT A JOB?
YEAH. I DON’T KNOW.
WHO? OH, IT’S UH–
WEASLIE looks back at the letter.
He reads out the name, enunciating with mock seriousness.
MISTER: LENARD TRELAINE.
The name means nothing to him, but it clearly means something to PERKINS, whose eyes widen and mouth opens to gasp at breath.
TRELAINE SENT YOU A LETTER ASKING YOU TO BID ELECTRICAL WORK?
YEAH. SEEMS WEIRD. YOU KNOW THE GUY?
PERKINS is baffled, irritated, at his lack of reverence.
KNOW THE GUY? OF COURSE I DO!
DEXX continues to chew on his toy, changing the position of his paws, sending the heavy bone to klonk against the wooden floor.
WELL, ADMITTEDLY – NOT PERSONALLY.
HE WAS PERSONA NON GRATA WITH STRAUD AND HIS CRONIES.
I DON’T KNOW WHY, BUT…
THEY NEVER TALKED ABOUT HIM, REALLY. NOT ANYTHING SPECIFIC.
BUT I GOT THE SENSE HE WAS A REALLY POWERFUL WIZARD.
SENDING PAPER LETTERS OUT TO CONTRACTORS?
HAVEN’T DONE ANY WORK FOR THE NSR.
AND WE’RE KIND OF BUSY THESE DAYS.
I DON’T KNOW.
WEASLIE turns around, letter still in hand, and approaches the dog. He lowers the paper toward the dog’s face.
DEXX barely tears his attentions from his toy.
WHATD’YA THINK, BOY? WHAT’S IT SMELL LIKE?
But the dog ignores him.
MAYBE HE WANTS TO MAKE A CONNECTION WITH YOUR FAMILY?
WEASLIE is still looking at the dog, but has ceased trying to get his attention.
He is disappointed.
WELL IF HE IS A WIZARD, THAT WOULD EXPLAIN WHY HE’S STILL USING THE MAIL SERVICE.
COULDN’T SEND ME AN E-MAIL?
… WE HAVE A WEBSITE, YOU KNOW.