// MARSCAPONE SR. RANCH //

MYRTLE is listening to music in her tidy ranch home when her moment of serenity is interrupted by her phone buzzing.

MYRTLE

(thinking) What now…

KEVIN//

I have to come pick you up. Cassandra is entertaining an uninvited visitor.

MYRTLE decides not to text him back. She doesn’t want him… texting and driving.

She steps out on the stoop and sits down in a chair. She reflects on her childhood habit of curling up in chairs and laments that the years have passed faster than she’d have liked.

While she waits, MANDARC steps out on the porch.

MANDARC

I HEARD A LITTLE OF WHAT’S UP. CEDRIC IS ON HIS WAY.

MYRTLE

CEDRIC, EH. ARE YOU COMING?

MANDARC is silent for a moment.

MANDARC

NOT TODAY.

KEVIN//

Almost there. Traffic.

~

It has been some time since MYRTLE MARSCAPONE has been to the OLD GOTH ESTATE. The house is in a state of disrepair.

KEVIN parallel parks on the street. CEDRIC, MYRTLE exit the teal sedan and the cloudy day seems to overwhelm them, choking them in melancholy. The three walk cautiously through the unlocked steel gate and up the steps of the large house.

KEVIN bangs on the door.

KEVIN

(yelling) CASSANDRA? YOU OKAY?

A long moment passes and CASSANDRA slowly opens the door but does not turn to face them. She says nothing. Her right hand still has a gun, aimed toward the dining room table. Therein sits a blonde woman in an orange parka.

VINCENT//

Gently...

MYRTLE takes a few steps inside, flanked by the two men, and raises her hand. In an instant, the young woman LUCIA is encased by ice to her chest, binding her to the chair. Her arms and lower body are imobilized.

MYRTLE

YOU CAN PUT THE GUN DOWN, CASSANDRA.

CASSANDRA has a wide-eyed look of utter shock on her face. It takes her a few moments to react, but she does, lowering her gun, looking toward MYRTLE, then toward LUCIA.

VINCENT//

She had been a reluctant non-believer.

MYRTLE steps toward the intruder.

MYRTLE

(fiercely) WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH THE WHITE WITCH?

LUCIA

I’M LUCIA EKS–

Before she can finish, a fine choker of ice condenses around her neck, preventing her from speaking.

MYRTLE

A FAKE NAME.

MYRTLE snaps her fingers and the choker crumbles in a sparkling show of dust. LUCIA takes a deep, heaving breath.

MYRTLE

A FAKE NAME BUT THE REST OF IT IS TRUE, ISN’T IT, GIRL?

YOU’RE ONE OF THE NORTHERN BRATS.

YOUR KINGDOM IS NO LONGER YOUR OWN, YOUR FAMILY CAUGHT IN A DREAMLESS SLUMBER. BUT NOT YOU.

MYRTLE walks toward the girl and takes her braid in her hand. LUCIA does not recoil.

MYRTLE

YOU STILL DREAM, AND BY THE FEEL OF IT (handling the braid) QUITE WELL.

MYRTLE walks away from LUCIA, catching the eyes of CEDRIC, KEVIN. They stand attentive, but relaxed, off to the side.

MYRTLE lowers her head to look toward LUCIA’s position over her shoulder.

MYRTLE

YOU’RE WEAK. BUT NOTHING THAT CAN’T BE WORKED OUT OF YOU.

MYRTLE again snaps her fingers and part of the ice shatters, leaving her upper body free but her legs still bound to the chair. She clasps her arms around her body, trying to recover from the cold.

MYRTLE turns toward CASSANDRA and her tone softens.

MYRTLE

SO THIS IS YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S ESTATE?

I SEE YOU’VE ADDED SOME OF YOUR OWN DECORATIONS.

It is difficult to tell whether she means the bright curtains or the abandoned pullover on the couch.

CASSANDRA

I HAD NO IDEA…

She trails off, unsure of what else to say.

MYRTLE

THAT YOUR MOTHER…? SHE KEPT IT A SECRET FROM YOU?

MYRTLE again snaps her fingers and the entire ice block disappears. LUCIA collapses on the floor, chilled but more in shock than genuinely injured.

MYRTLE

YOU HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR FROM THIS ONE. SHE HAS NOTHING TO GAIN AND EVERYTHING TO LOSE.

As MYRTLE moves forward to watch LUCIA, clutching her arms, KEVIN steps toward CASSANDRA.

KEVIN

THESE ARE LIKE WHAT WE’VE BEEN TESTING BUT MORE POWERFUL.

KEVIN removes a few small vials from the inside of his labcoat and gives them to her.

KEVIN

TRY THEM IF YOU FEEL UNBEARABLE FEAR, INSATIABLE HUNGER –

CASSANDRA

KEVIN… I HAD NO IDEA.

KEVIN

WE’LL STAY FOR A WHILE, HELP THE PRINCESS GET SETTLED.

CASSANDRA

SETTLED? SHE’S STAYING HERE?

MYRTLE

(interrupting) YOU’RE ALONE AND YOU SHOULD NOT BE.

THIS YOUNG WOMAN WILL PROTECT YOU IF SHE KNOWS WHAT’S GOOD FOR HER. SHE MAY PROVIDE USEFUL TO YOU.

WE’LL TRAIN HER – A NOVICE CAN BE EVEN MORE DANGEROUS THAN A TRAINED WITCH.

CASSANDRA

… KEVIN?

CASSANDRA looks toward KEVIN but his attention has turned to MYRTLE.

VINCENT//

You must tell her... something.

KEVIN lowers his head toward CASSANDRA, but continues to face away from her, his head hung in a sort of shame.

KEVIN

THIS IS MYRTLE MARSCAPONE, MY MOTHER.

VINCENT//

Wife -- Ex-wife.

KEVIN

SHE’S A SORCERESS. THERE IS MORE TO THE WORLD THAN YOU CAN SEE PLAINLY.

YOU MUST LEARN TO THINK IN THE SHADOWS OF THE UNKNOWN.

At this, LUCIA begins to speak, albeit quietly, still shaken by her ordeal.

LUCIA

YOUR MOTHER SHOULD HAVE TOLD YOU!

MYRTLE

AND WHAT DO YOU KNOW OF IT! QUIET, GIRL!

LUCIA seems to be recovering from her imprisonment.

LUCIA

I CAME SEEKING BELLA. IT SEEMS AS IF SHE KEPT HER FAMILY IN THE DARK. AND FOR WHAT? SO SHE COULD DIE ALONE WITHOUT THE RITES?

MYRTLE

THAT WAS HER DECISION, FOLLY OR NOT. YOU’LL BE TRAINED BY ME. AND MY SON.