// OLD GOTH ESTATE //

CASSANDRA GOTH wakes up in her grandmother’s house. She peels off the thick down comforter – it’s almost time to go to work.

She walks downstairs, where she’s set up a number of easels, trying to get inspiration from… somewhere. CASSANDRA is uneasy on her feet but drags herself over to the coffee machine. She is about to pour coffee grounds into the coffee maker when an unwelcome sight causes her to drop the bag.

There is a tent on her lawn.

She runs upstairs to retrieve a gun from underneath her mattress. Clearly in a state of panic, she rushes outside and points the gun toward the tent.

CASSANDRA

COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR. I’M ARMED AND I’M NOT AFRAID TO USE IT.

After a moment, the tent unzips and from it emerges a young woman with blonde hair, about sixteen years old.

UNKNOWN INTRUDER

I’M SORRY, I –

CASSANDRA

HANDS WHERE I CAN SEE THEM!

The woman comes out of the tent, stands, and slowly raises her empty hands to cup the back of her head.

UNKNOWN INTRUDER

I ARRIVED LATE LAST NIGHT AND I DIDN’T WANT TO WAKE YOU, THINKING THAT –

The woman stops mid-sentence, expecting CASSANDRA to interrupt her again. The two make eye contact. CASSANDRA’s steely-hazel eyes meet the woman’s blue.

I AM SEEKING ASYLUM IN THE HOUSE OF BELLA GOTH.

CASSANDRA is shocked to hear her mother’s name, almost lowering the gun. But instead she tenses her muscles, pointing it ever more vigorously.

CASSANDRA

WELL SHE’S NOT HERE. YOU’VE JUST GOT ME TO DEAL WITH.

UNKNOWN INTRUDER

MY NAME IS LUCIA. LUCIA EKSTROM. I KNOW YOUR MOTHER, I KNOW YOUR BROTHER.

CASSANDRA

WELL I DON’T HAVE ANY IDEA WHO YOU ARE. WHY THE HELL ARE YOU ON MY LAWN?

LUCIA

I’M SEEKING ASYLUM. PLEASE LET ME COME IN.

LUCIA removes her hands from behind her head and shows them again to CASSANDRA.

PLEASE. YOUR MOTHER… IS A FRIEND. YOUR BROTHER –

CASSANDRA

DON’T SPEAK OF MY BROTHER!

LUCIA pauses, trying to collect her words.

LUCIA

HE’S… TEN, ELEVEN, TWELVE? I HAVEN’T MET HIM IN PERSON YET BUT HE’S A GOOD, LOYAL –

CASSANDRA

I SAID DON’T SPEAK OF HIM!

(thinking) What trouble has his internet snooping got me into?!

They make eye contact again, intensely. CASSANDRA notices LUCIA’s braid is untidy, her clothes wrinkled and unwashed. Maybe slightly damp.

LUCIA

IS HE HERE? HE MIGHT BE ABLE TO SPEAK FOR ME.

CASSANDRA

(pause) MY BROTHER IS NOT HERE.

I’M GOING TO CALL THE COPS.

(thinking) But then I’d have to lower my gun…

LUCIA

NO, NO, PLEASE. ANYTHING BUT THAT. I’M… I’M A PRINCESS.

CASSANDRA

YOU’RE A PRINCESS.

LUCIA

PLEASE FIND YOUR MOTHER, SHE’LL VOUCH FOR ME.

CASSANDRA’s face twists in anger.

CASSANDRA

MY MOTHER IS DEAD.

LUCIA’s face reflects genuine shock.

LUCIA

YOUR MOTHER… BELLA…

CASSANDRA

IS DEAD, GODDAMN IT! NOW GET OFF MY LAWN OR I’M CALLING THE GODDAMN COPS!

LUCIA

CALL YOUR BROTHER! LET ME SPEAK TO HIM! HE’LL KNOW WHO I AM!

CASSANDRA

(cooly) NO.

PACK UP YOUR PILE OF SHIT AND GET OFF MY PROPERTY.

LUCIA looks down at the ground, feeling defeated. A silence passes.

LUCIA

(slowly) DID YOU KNOW –

CASSANDRA

(interrupting) DID I KNOW WHAT?

LUCIA erupts in a rush of anger.

LUCIA

DID YOU KNOW YOUR MOTHER WAS A WITCH?

CASSANDRA’s face twinges, puzzling LUCIA’s claim.

LUCIA

YOUR MOTHER WAS A WITCH AND I AM TOO!

CASSANDRA

PROVE IT!

LUCIA

I… CAN’T RIGHT NOW. I NEED A TEACHER. THAT’S WHY I’M HERE! THERE WERE A FEW SMALL TRICKS I COULD DO BACK HOME BUT I SEEM TO BE UNABLE TO ACCESS MY MAGICKS HERE.

CASSANDRA

SO YOU’RE NUTS TOO.

CASSANDRA renews her gun’s aim at LUCIA.

LUCIA

OKAY OKAY! I’LL TRY ONE!

LUCIA slowly brings her hands down and flattens her fingers, spreading them. She curls them just slightly and as she does so, a globe of pale yellow light begins to condense between her palms. But the show is cut short when a crackle of flame rips across the tent behind her, pouring the stench of burning plastic through the morning dew.

Taking her gun in one hand, CASSANDRA leaves the woman and runs toward the house to retrieve a fire extinguisher she keeps in the conservatory.

When she returns, LUCIA is stamping the tent with her feet, trying to stifle the fire. She’s been mostly successful.

CASSANDRA

OUT OF THE WAY!

She depresses the handle of the extinguisher and frothy white water coats the tent, collapsed from LUCIA’s stomping.

After she stops, the lawn is silent once more and the pair are staring at the mess.

LUCIA

LIKE I SAID, I NEED A TEACHER.

They look at each other, strangely.

CASSANDRA

(with pause) YOU CAN COME INSIDE. DOESN’T MEAN YOU CAN STAY.

As she leads LUCIA into the house, anxiety wells up inside of her.

(thinking) I could call…

She thinks down her list of friends and family, but no one seems right.

LUCIA is sitting at the dining room table when CASSANDRA has again picked up her gun, after putting the fire extinguisher back in the conservatory.

Again she aims it at LUCIA and LUCIA raises her hands.

CASSANDRA

NO FUNNY BUSINESS! ENOUGH OF THIS ‘MY MOTHER’S A WITCH’ CRAP OR WHATEVER NONSENSE YOU’VE BEEN SPEWING! TELL ME THE TRUTH! WHY ARE YOU HERE?

LUCIA pauses.

LUCIA

YOUR MOTHER’S FAMILY AND MY FAMILY ARE OLD FRIENDS. I WAS HOPING YOUR MOTHER COULD TRAIN ME IN THE WAYS OF WITCHCRAFT. BUT IF SHE TRULY IS DEAD…

CASSANDRA

SHE’S OUT IN THE YARD IF YOU WANT A LOOK.

LUCIA

IF SHE TRULY IS DEAD THEN I MUST FIND MYRTLE MARSCAPONE.