// MARSCAPONE SUMMER HOME //
The day of the week is Sunday. The usual day of the week for MYRTLE MARSCAPONE’s grand feast.
Today, KEVIN MARSCAPONE prepares to rise from bed. His back aches, as it usually did after a night of sleep. And yet, he did not long for the coffin he once took peace in.
No, that life had denied him any possibility of peace.
It’s early, but it barely seems it. The spring has brought with it the light of the Sun.
He rolls over, trying to ease the pain in his back’s curvature. But it provides little relief. He’s in a foul mood.
PLEASE, FATHER. WAS THAT YOUR MEMORY? MOTHER AND YOU ALONE ON A CRUISE SHIP?
KEVIN has had an unpleasant dream.
I didn't see.
I can't, at the moment, recall a time your mother and I enjoyed a vacation.
IT WAS A LAND OF ICE. AND A NUMBER OF FROZEN LOCKS.
I FELT THAT I WAS ON TOP OF THE WORLD AND EACH ICY SLIDE, LEADING OUT FROM A CENTRAL POINT LIKE A STARBURST, LED TO ITS OWN PROGRESSION OF FALLING LATITUDES.
IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.
I JUST DON’T KNOW WHY MOTHER NEEDED TO BE THERE.
THAT’S WHY I WONDERED IF IT WAS ONE OF YOURS.
She wasn't always old, you know.
It’s time to get up from the bed. KEVIN wanders into the bathroom. He eyes himself in the mirror.
(thinking) Gotta work in a shower and a shave if I’m going to see Mom today.
Have you noticed the hairline?
KEVIN reaches up and pulls his hair back from his forehead. It’s always been a source of irritation for him; he had started to notice thinning about the temples soon after his teenage years had neared their end.
It had seemed to worsen after his father’s death.
It's growing back.
KEVIN continues to hold back his hair, leaning in toward the mirror, inspecting the tiny vellus hair.
I HAD SUSPECTED AS MUCH BUT I HAVEN’T BEEN PAYING MUCH MIND.
Matters concerning vanity had been slipping from his concern. The façade a necessary evil, occasionally an inconvenience: a window to the emotional torrents within.
That is certainly an unexpected result of your meditation.
DOES IT BOTHER YOU? THAT YOU MUST FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO PESTER?
You know I can't wander the dream in this state.
YES, I’M AWARE.
The darkness is akin to torture.
But I'm getting used to it.
You always come back to me before I get too lonely.
I like the hair, by the way.
Don't know where the red comes from. Maybe your mother's side. Her mother died long before I met her.
Who knows, some ginger mountain dwellers may decorate the edges of her family tree.
YOU NEVER SOUGHT THE DREAM FOR…
No, I suppose not.
I had enough on my plate back then.
It's, what, Sunday?
Myrtle will be expecting you.
You could always get a little more work in and try an instantaneous teleport.
Your mother would be so proud of you.
I’D RATHER NOT.
I ENJOY THE DRIVE.
Tell the truth. Your buddy Mandarc and his theory on collapsing time has got you down.
KEVIN is silent, a morose sort of silence honored by both occupants.
Well I can't say it's impossible.
But then again, I've always struggled with conceptualizing time. If it's a bounded dimension then we're all in trouble.
That being said.
Wasting hours of your life sitting behind a steering wheel sounds like a collapsed timeline to me.
IT KEEPS MY REFLEXES SHARP.
You just like the car.
MAYBE I DO.
// MARSCAPONE SCHOOL OF MAGIC //
After a grueling drive, KEVIN has arrived in central Queens, where rests the complex of apartments that once housed his mother’s school dubbed by some THE MAGICADEMY.
The main building sits on the corner lot, the first numbered lot on CHURCH STREET. To the right are the auxiliary units, today occupied by AVAEL and the vampire CEDRIC. Only these apartments boast a driveway.
KEVIN has to exit the car to unlock the gate in order to park his car.
I always preferred this side.
Young wizards make far too much noise. Always shouting whatever nonsense comes to mind.
It’s partly cloudy, but cold. A week of unseasonably warm weather had teased summer days.
I enjoyed my time here, though.
People shuffle by, using the sidewalk. KEVIN tries to feign normalcy.
(thinking) When you weren’t off on one of your quests.
I was away a lot.
KEVIN walks out of the gate and toward the sidewalk. He locks the iron gate.
(thinking) I didn’t know how much the world was falling apart. But I suppose I always suspected it.
(thinking) It was Mom that really missed you.
I might not have married her if I'd known how much pain I was going to put her through.
At the rate we're going, she'll soon leave for Elysion.
KEVIN eyes the dark brick corner lot. He notices the beginnings of the spring plant.
(thinking) It may be that’s what she believes she wants.
(thinking) Her progress on her potion has slowed to a standstill.
(thinking) She probably thinks she’ll be with you again.
I have no way to know for sure, but I don't think she'll ever see me again.
Can you please impress this upon her?
(thinking) I’ll try, but I doubt it will be heard.
KEVIN reaches the front stoop and proceeds slowly up. Simultaneously, he reaches into his pocket to pull out a set of keys. He knocks on the door, warning anyone in earshot, and fits the key into the lock.
The inside of MYRTLE’s home is immaculate. Rugs are laid perfectly against their boundaries. Several umbrellas and a few pairs of shoes line the entry, shadowed by a wooden coat cabinet.
A red-haired man, gaunt and pale, stands in the entry. He is flipping two Go stones back and forth between his fingers and palm.
His name is GEORGE HENRY, and he is, or was, a dear friend of the ‘late’ VINCENT MARSCAPONE. Hailing from the Amerrkan-South, he has always been insistent on the art of polite address.
GEORGE HENRY has been a friend of the family since before KEVIN was born.
GEORGE preempts the obvious question.
YOUR MOTHER IS OUT AT THE SUPERMARKET.
STRANGE. SHE ALWAYS USED TO …