// WEASLIE HOUSE //

It has been months since BRONALD WEASLIE brought the young witch FRIDAY PERKINS back to his family home in Saint Louie. The pair have settled into a quiet standoff; a few flirtations thrown back and forth but a few choice arguments have kept the pair from cementing anything beyond mutual toleration.

Today, WEASLIE awakes to the sound of the dog growling. When he sits up and spies the dog, he’s chewing on a shoe. One of his own shoes.

He raises his hand and voice.

WEASLIE

SCAT DOG, SCAT!

The dog runs away. WEASLIE tidies himself up a bit in front of the mirror and prepares to enter the living space. PERKINS is playing a game at the computer.

WEASLIE

D’YOU KNOW THIS DOG WAS CHEWING ON MY SHOE?

PERKINS

YEAH?

WEASLIE

MY GOOD WORK SHOES!

He looks toward the dog in irritation. He’s since taken up chewing one of his toys, playing the innocent.

WEASLIE

WHAT IS UP WITH HIM LATELY? HE SEEMS…

AGITATED.

PERKINS

I DUNNO.

But PERKINS does know what’s up with the Dog. He hasn’t been the same since one evening, when WEASLIE was out late at work, MANDARC showed up unexpectedly. ‘Here to visit the dog.’ he’d said, and darkly pushed himself inside the house. The dog had greeted him warmly, licking his face, possibly formerly unaware that his former Master was still alive. But since the visit, the dog had been testy, grumpy.

PERKINS had decided to keep the unwelcome visit from WEASLIE.

PERKINS

HE’S ALWAYS BEEN AN AGGRESSIVE PIECE OF SHIT.

DEXX faces toward the door, passionately chewing a rubber ball. Slick squeaks grates on their ears as he forces it back and forth between his jaws.

WEASLIE

YEAH, I’VE JUST NEVER HAD A DOG BEFORE SO IT’S… I DON’T KNOW.

STRESSFUL.

HE SEEMS ANGRY.

I’VE BEEN TRYING TO PLAY WITH HIM.

PERKINS

ARE YOU GOING TO WORK TODAY?

WEASLIE had been struggling with an illness over the past few days.

WEASLIE

YEAH, I FEEL A LITTLE BETTER TODAY. I’VE TAKEN OFF ENOUGH DAYS AS IT IS.

PERKINS

YOU WANT BREAKFAST TODAY?

WEASLIE

YEAH.

PERKINS

CONJURED OR COOKED?

WEASLIE

YOU’RE HOPING TO PRACTICE? GO AHEAD AND SEE WHAT WE GET.

The pair head upstairs to the kitchen, located on the second floor of the house. It had been a strange remodel, done when BRONALD was a child, but had worked for their family.

WEASLIE

YOU DIDN’T, LIKE, CHANGE HIS FOOD OR SOMETHING, DID YOU?

PERKINS groans in irritation.

PERKINS

NO I DIDN’T, LIKE, CHANGE HIS FOOD OR SOMETHING.

I’M TRYING TO FOCUS.

PERKINS opens up a small rift in spacetime and pulls out a short wooden wand. She grasps it in her right hand and sparks fly as she moves it around.

PERKINS

BRING US…

BREAKFAST!

The warm smell of family dinner fills the air. On the dining room table appears a roast chicken, complete with garnish.

PERKINS

NOT EXACTLY BREAKFAST FARE.

The clatter of dog claws scratch against the floor. DEXX enters the room, rubber ball in mouth, and plops down on the floor to chew vigorously.

WEASLIE stands.

WEASLIE

I’LL GET A KNIFE.

He retrieves a large carving knife and fork from the kitchen drawers and reenters the dining room, first cutting the legs from the chicken. It’s hot.

He has barely finished cutting the second leg from the chicken when his phone alarm goes off. ‘BEEP BEEP BEEP…’ it cuckoos, before WEASLIE silences it.

Without asking, he presents PERKINS with the first cut leg, and takes the second for himself.

WEASLIE

I GUESS WE’LL BE HAVING SOUP LATER.

PERKINS

CHICKEN SOUP?

WEASLIE

YEAH CHICKEN SOUP. I LOVE CHICKEN SOUP.

They eat in silence, both trying to exert their very best manners upon the table.

WEASLIE

SO WHERE DO YOU THINK IT COMES FROM?

PERKINS

SOUP?

WEASLIE

THE CHICKEN.

She pauses.

PERKINS

IT’S CONJURED. CREATED.

WEASLIE

WHAT IF IT’S NOT?

I ALWAYS WONDERED IF IT WAS ACTUALLY A SPELL OF THEFT. LIKE… SOMEONE SOMEWHERE WAS SITTING TO EAT THIS CHICKEN AND POOF –

THE CHICKEN JUST DISAPPEARS.

OFF THEIR TABLE AND APPEARS ON OURS.

PERKINS

BUT IT’S THE SAME THING EVERY TIME.

WEASLIE

SURE IT’S THE SAME CHICKEN EVERY TIME.

BUT SOMETIMES IT’S PIZZA, SOMETIMES IT’S HOT DOGS.

YOU EVEN GET HOT ‘N’ GREASY MAC AND CHEESE SOMETIMES.

ANY NUMBER OF EDIBLE FOODS.

PERKINS

YOU EVER HEARD REPORTS OF STOLEN FOOD?

WEASLIE

EH. PEOPLE WOULD THINK THEY’RE CRAZY.

PERKINS clears her mouth of food.

PERKINS

AND FOR EVERY GROUP OF CRAZIES WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN MAGIC, THERE’S ONE MORE CRAZY WHO’D REPORT HIS STOLEN CHICKEN TO THE COPS.

WEASLIE

MAYBE YOU’RE ACTUALLY STEALING THE CHICKEN FROM AN ALIEN TIMELINE.

ANOTHER UNIVERSE.

SO WE’D NEVER HEAR ABOUT IT ON THE NEWS.

PERKINS

YOU EVER HAD A CHICKEN STOLEN FROM YOU?

WEASLIE

NO BUT MY DRYER IS ALWAYS EATING MY SOCKS.

Even PERKINS cannot stifle her amusement. It’s a small chuckle, but not unnoticed.

PERKINS

BRON…

NO WONDER YOU’VE MASTERED SO FEW SPELLS.

WEASLIE

HEY! THAT’S NOT NICE!

PERKINS

I’M JUST SAYING.

YOU THINK TOO MUCH ABOUT THIS STUFF.

WEASLIE

DIDN’T YOUR MOTHER EVER TEACH YOU THAT STEALING IS WRONG?

She casts an angry stare his way. Her eyes were… well, always red, but they seemed to glow with an exceptionally red glare.

PERKINS

SOME WAY TO SHOW THANKS TO THE WOMAN WHO CONJURED YOUR BREAKFAST.

I’LL CONCENTRATE MY FOCUS NEXT TIME AND MAKE SURE I ONLY STEAL FROM THE RICH.

WEASLIE

SO YOU ARE STEALING.

PERKINS

NO PROOF ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. BUT FOR YOU, SURE. I’LL TRY HARDER.

They take a few more bites of the chicken. DEXX continues to masticate noticably.

PERKINS

DID YOUR MOTHER COOK?

WEASLIE

MY MOTHER WAS A GREAT COOK. I THINK SHE FOUND IT…

THERAPEUTIC.

PERKINS

I KNOW A FEW BAD JOKES ABOUT WOMEN IN THE KITCHEN.

WEASLIE

I’M SURE YOU DO.

I THINK MY MOTHER BELIEVED THAT THE BETTER YOU COULD COOK, THE BETTER YOUR CONJURATIONS WOULD BE.

THE MORE REFINED YOUR SENSE OF TASTE, THE BETTER YOUR CREATED FOOD WOULD BE.

PERKINS

HOW DOES THAT JIBE WITH YOUR THIEVERY HYPOTHESIS?

WEASLIE

IT DOESN’T.

Silverware clink and clank.

PERKINS

SO, ARE YOU GOING TO TRY?

WEASLIE

WHAT?

PERKINS

TO CONJURE A SIDE.

WEASLIE

MUST I?

PERKINS

YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT PRACTICE.

WEASLIE

CAN I USE YOUR WAND?

PERKINS

NO YOU MOST CERTAINLY CANNOT.

BESIDES. YOU DON’T NEED IT.

I DO.

WEASLIE

OKAY.

FORGIVE ME.

WEASLIE frees himself from the tyranny of his utensils. He focuses and sparks emit harmlessly from his florishes.

WEASLIE

DELICIOSO!

In his hands appears a crumpled, already-open bag of flavored corn chips.

WEASLIE

SEE…! BURGLED.

He examines the bag.

WEASLIE

AND IT’S NACHO CHEESE, TOO. NOT MY PREFERENCE.

He offers them toward PERKINS.

WEASLIE

YOU?

She produces a face of utter disgust and gestures refusal with open palms.

He rises from the table and goes to throw the bag away in the kitchen.

PERKINS

ANYWAY, I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR WORK.

WEASLIE

YEAH? HOW’S IT COMING?

YOU STILL IN FOR ROBOTICS?

Re-entering the dining room, he eyes the dog, dutifully chewing.

(thinking) I should walk that dog before I go to work…

SEEMS A WASTE, A TALENTED MAGUS TEACHING SERVOS TO WALK AND TALK.

PERKINS

WELL, WE’LL SEE, THE JOBS ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN.

BESIDES, I COULD SAY THE SAME FOR YOU.

JUST A CONVENIENT EXCUSE TO SPY PEOPLE’S METERS.

WEASLIE throws his hands up in a mock gesture of surrender and flashes a showy smile.