SETTING: ‘Old Goth Estate’, Neucrest
‘Goth Estate’, Willow Creek
YEAR: 2020, autumn

~

Cassandra Goth, 24, sits alone in a large house in Neucrest. She puts down a hairbrush and emits a heavy sigh. She pulls out from a desk drawer her cell phone, a large, dated device.

She scrolls through a short list of contacts to find ‘Alex’, her younger brother. His contact photo shows a young boy with an uncertain smile. He is about ten years old.

CASSANDRA 

(after two rings) HEY ALEX. HOW'S IT GOING?

There is a pause before Alex responds. Something is caught in the silence between them.

ALEXANDER 

OKAY. (pause) YOU?
CASSANDRA 

I'M OKAY. WORK IS KEEPING ME BUSY. NEW JOB IS ... SOMETHIN'.
ALEXANDER

YEAH I HAVE A PROJECT DUE MONDAY TOO. I GOTTA BUILD A CASTLE OR SOMETHING.

CASSANDRA is silent for a moment. But ALEXANDER, too, seems to want to dwell in the quiet. It is just peaceful for the siblings to hear each other on the phone.

CASSANDRA

HOW IS DAD DOING?

ALEX doesn’t respond.

CASSANDRA 

ALEX?
ALEXANDER 

WAS MOM HAVING AN AFFAIR?
CASSANDRA

(shocked) WHERE DID YOU HEAR THAT, ALEX?
ALEXANDER 

JUST 'CAUSE ... DAD...
CASSANDRA

ALEX, CAN I COME PICK YOU UP?
ALEXANDER 

YEAH... SURE.

CASSANDRA leaves her room and exits through an untidy conservatory. A number of plants lay abandoned in their planters. She locks the door and gets into a sporty red convertible.

When she reaches the GOTH ESTATE, it seems as if she’s been driving for some time. Her loose hair, secured in a simple ponytail at the back of her neck, is untidy from the wind. ALEXANDER is sitting on the sheltered front stoop, writing in a black&white composition notebook. He hears the car arrive and closes the notebook. He joins her in the car without greeting.

CASSANDRA is about to drive off when her father, MORTIMER, runs out of the house carrying a golden URN.

MORTIMER 

CASSY~!
CASSANDRA

(with pause) HI, DAD. 

MORTIMER walks up to the car. ALEX is fiddling with his seatbelt, and seeming to take as long as possible to avoid his father’s gaze.

MORTIMER 

CASSY, CAN YOU TAKE YOUR MOTHER TO THE CONSERVATORY? I THINK SHE'D LIKE --
CASSANDRA 

(interrupting) YEAH DAD, NO PROBLEM.

CASSANDRA reaches under her dash and pops the trunk. MORTIMER places the URN in the net affixed to the inside of the trunk. He uses a few bungie cords to attach the urn. When he’s finished, he comes around to the side of the car to talk to his children. The car idles noisily.

CASSANDRA 

I'M JUST GOING TO TAKE ALEX FOR A DRIVE. HE'LL BE BACK BY EIGHT. 
MORTIMER

THAT'S FINE. (to ALEX) YOU FINISHED YOUR HOMEWORK?
ALEXANDER 

(looking at the sideview mirror) YEAH DAD. I JUST HAVE MY PROJECT LEFT.
MORTIMER 

DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME LEFT TO FINISH --
ALEXANDER 

(interrupting) YEAH DAD, DON'T WORRY. I'LL BE HOME AT EIGHT. 
CASSANDRA

SEE YA, DAD. I'LL MAKE SURE MOM GETS WHERE SHE'S GOING.

MORTIMER awkwardly waves as his children drive off. CASSANDRA, ALEX sit in silence for a while; ALEX stares intently out the right side of the car. The young boy maintains his gaze while breaking the silence.

ALEXANDER 

SO HOW'S YOUR NEW JOB?
CASSANDRA

(pause) IT'S OKAY. (pause) I THINK OUR RECEPTIONIST HAS A CRUSH ON ME.

ALEXANDER refuses to answer. Her attempt at humor falls on a cold shoulder.

CASSANDRA

BUT --
ALEXANDER 

I THOUGHT YOU WERE DATING THAT GUY KEVIN.
CASSANDRA

KEVIN?! (strangled cough) HEH, NO, WE'RE NOT --
ALEXANDER 

YOU DO KNOW HE'S A VAMPIRE, RIGHT?

A thick silence falls over the car. CASSANDRA’s attention drifts as a driver rudely cuts her off.

ALEXANDER 

I READ ABOUT HIM ON THE --
CASSANDRA

(fiercely) ALEX, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

The two are embarrassed. CASSANDRA is blushing.

CASSANDRA

(pause) AND WE'RE NOT DATING.

Silence.

CASSANDRA

HE'S MY NEIGHBOR AND HE'S HELPED ME DEAL WITH THAT CREEPY ASS HOUSE, OKAY? I'M SORRY ABOUT WEDNESDAY --

Silence.

CASSANDRA

YOU ... (pause) READ SOMETHING ABOUT ...
ALEXANDER 

I READ ABOUT HIM ON THE WINTRA-NET.
CASSANDRA

WHAT? WHAT DID YOU READ?
ALEXANDER 

HE'S FAMOUS, CASSIE. HE'S A VAMPIRE THAT KILLS VAMPIRES.
CASSANDRA

OKAY ENOUGH OF THE VAMPIRE SHIT.
ALEXANDER 

(defiant) I'M FUCKING SERIOUS!
CASSANDRA

VAMPIRES AREN'T --
ALEXANDER 

YES THEY ARE!

Traffic on the road is heavy, keeping CASSANDRA occupied. But ALEXANDER has turned to face his sister.

ALEXANDER 

THEY'RE REAL, I'VE SEEN THEM. I'VE READ ABOUT THEM. THEY'RE FUCKING REAL. LIKE REALLY --
CASSANDRA 

(interrupting) CAN YOU PLEASE STOP WITH THE 'F' BOMBS?
ALEXANDER 

CAN YOU PLEASE STOP BEING LIKE DAD?

CASSANDRA grimaces. She cuts off someone in traffic and produces a rude hand gesture.

CASSANDRA 

(after a moment) WHAT ARE YOU READING, WHERE ARE YOU READING?
ALEXANDER 

NOT FUCKING RED--
CASSANDRA 

OKAY OKAY ENOUGH ALEX! GEEZ! I'LL DRIVE YOU HOME RIGHT NOW!

A regretful silence. CASSANDRA seems uncommitted to disciplining her brother over cursing.

ALEXANDER 

SOME FORUMS. I LOOKED HIM UP AFTER WE PLAYED RACING ON WEDNESDAY. HE'S A VAMPIRE VAMPIRE HUNTER.
CASSANDRA 

WHAT THE FUCK ALEX WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?
ALEXANDER 

I'M NOT DOING SHIT, IT'S FUCKING TRUE.
CASSANDRA 

ALEX YOU CAN'T TRUST EVERYTHING YOU READ --
ALEXANDER 

ON THE COMPUTER. YEAH. THANKS DAD.

CASSANDRA is struggling to hold back her anger. She brakes suddenly and glares to the passenger seat.

ALEXANDER 

I CHECKED MULTIPLE SOURCES. HE'S FAMOUS. 

In a moment, her attention is back to the road. Another light and she quickly begins chewing gum she pulls from her cupholder.

ALEXANDER 

ANYWAY -- YOU'RE THE ONE WHO THOUGHT MOM WAS A WITCH.
CASSANDRA 

I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU NEVER BRING THAT UP AGAIN.
~