Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #28

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Episode #28
Immediately After #27

A frantic crowd of SKATERS has gathered. At the center is an injured COURTNEY, along with JASON and SANDY.
JASON: Courtney, what happened?
COURTNEY: My knee—
JASON: What’s wrong with it?
COURTNEY: I was just standing here, when all of a sudden I felt something hit the back of my knee! I just crumbled!
JASON: Who hit you? Did you see them running away?
COURTNEY: No, not really. It was a guy, I know that.
SANDY: Who would do something like this?
Courtney, in terrible pain, searches for some kind of answer to this question. She glances around before her eyes settle on SHANNON, who stands towards the back of the crowd, trying to look concerned.
Courtney grits her teeth and casts a hateful look at Shannon while trying to fight back tears. Shannon simply smiles at her innocently. There is obviously a great deal of tension and anger between the two girls right now.
Out on Courtney’s face, twisted with anger and despair.
DIANE paces around.
DIANE: (sotto voce) Why do I have such a terrible feeling about this whole thing? I just feel like this whole plan is gonna blow up in my face. (beat) But it’s my only chance of winning Tim.
She walks over to her desk and picks up a letter, which she unfolds.
DIANE (CONT’D): (sotto voce) And this – him – it’s the last thing I need right now. I can’t believe he sent this to me. It took a lot of guts – but then again, he’s a madman. One slip from him and my whole plan could be shot too.
She stares at the letter in disbelief.
TIM and CLAIRE sit in their cage. They now appear to be waiting for something, as opposed to sitting hopelessly. In her hands Claire holds a BLUEPRINT of the compound.
CLAIRE: I can’t believe we actually tricked Alan into giving us this blueprint. It could be our ticket out of here.
TIM: I know. At least we were able to sketch out an escape path … and now we know where Travis is being held.
CLAIRE: I miss him so much, don’t you?
Tim nods as tears well up in Claire’s eyes.
CLAIRE (CONT’D): He’s already a couple of weeks old and we barely know him at all. This wasn’t how I imagined this at all.
TIM: Well, very few new parents have to trek to the jungle to rescue their child from his psychotic grandfather.
Claire manages a small laugh.
CLAIRE: Good point.
TIM: But we’re here now – there’s no turning back. We might as well make the best of it and try to get Travis back and get out alive.
CLAIRE: We have to – otherwise our baby will be raised to follow in the footsteps of that monster.
COURTNEY is on the ground clutching her injured knee. She is surrounded by a crowd of SKATERS, including JASON and SANDY.
She glares at SHANNON, who smiles back innocently.
JASON: Is there anyone who might have wanted to do this to you, Courtney?
Courtney manages to pull her eyes off Shannon and looks back to Jason to give an answer.
COURTNEY: Actually—
She interrupts herself.
COURTNEY (THINKING): If I say something about Shannon now, I risk revealing that I’m in love with Jason and that Shannon is obsessed with him. And I’d need time to get proof. She could try to kill me!
COURTNEY (CONT’D): Actually, no. I can’t imagine why anyone would do this to me.
SANDY: I’m gonna call for an ambulance. We need to get that knee taken care of.
Courtney tries to subdue her nervous breathing.
Shannon steps away from the crowd.
SHANNON (THINKING): This is amazing; it’s better than I’d imagined. Courtney will definitely be out of commission for a while. (beat) But why did she hesitate to turn me in? I saw that look in her face when she glared at me. Maybe she’s actually intimidated by me now. Good – that just helps my chances of landing Jason.
TIM and CLAIRE remain in their cage. Next to them is the BLUEPRINT of the compound.
TIM: It’s gotta almost be time for our bathroom break, right?
CLAIRE: I would think so. It’s usually right after our nasty dinner.
TIM: (joking) I think they’re trying to kill us with the food itself.
CLAIRE: I wouldn’t be surprised, knowing my father.
The steel security door opens. Enter ALAN.
ALAN: Bathroom time!
TIM: You make it sound like such a treat.
Alan pulls a lever that brings the cage in closer to the walkway. He unlocks the door with a KEY, letting Tim and Claire step out onto the walkway.
ALAN: You’re lucky you’re still alive to get to go to the bathroom.
Tim sneers at him.
ALAN: Follow me.
He begins to walk through the door. Tim and Claire follow, but behind his back exchange an "Are you ready?" look.
ALAN, TIM, and CLAIRE all walk into the hallway. Alan points across the hall to the bathroom they are to use.
CLAIRE: I’ll go first.
Claire goes in. Time passes before she reemerges.
CLAIRE (CONT’D): It’s not working.
ALAN: What?
CLAIRE: It won’t flush.
ALAN: Fine … I’ll have the service staff give it a look. Get back to the cage.
TIM: Hey! What about me?
ALAN: You’ll have your chance later.
TIM: No! I want it – I need it now!
ALAN: That’s too bad, buddy. Now let’s get moving.
TIM: Wait, hold on! Isn’t there another bathroom in this whole building – anywhere – that I could use?
ALAN: There are other bathrooms, but no, you may not use them.
TIM: (obviously enjoying himself) Would you prefer that I went to the bathroom in our cage? What if it all fell into the acid? Who knows what would happen?
Alan considers this. Tim tries to persuade him with a look. Finally Alan caves, outsmarted.
ALAN: Fine. There’s one in the servants’ quarters you can use. They’re all out doing whatever they do right now, so you won’t get in the way.
He leads them down the hallway. Tim and Claire fall into step behind him.
CLAIRE: (whispering) So far, so good.
COURTNEY sits on a table while DR. SMITH examines X-rays.
COURTNEY: How bad is it, Dr. Smith?
DR. SMITH: Pretty bad.
COURTNEY: When will I be able to skate again?
DR. SMITH: At least not for a few weeks, maybe months!
Courtney is stunned.
DR. SMITH (CONT’D): Don’t worry about it, Courtney. You can always take up a new hobby – like pinochle, for instance.
COURTNEY: Sounds like a thrill.
DR. SMITH: Anyway, I’m gonna go get some crutches for you. You can get dressed.
COURTNEY: I don’t need to stay here?
DR. SMITH: There’s no reason. You’ll need to come in for some check-ups and physical therapy, but other than that, you don’t need to be monitored.
COURTNEY: Okay, cool.
DR. SMITH: (mysteriously) Remember … the pineapple flies at midnight.
Exit Dr. Smith.
COURTNEY: (sotto voce) That man is insane!
She gathers up her clothes.
COURTNEY (CONT’D): (sotto voce) I know Shannon is behind this. I don’t quite know why or how, but I know she’s the one who had this done to me. Now all I need to expose her is some solid proof.
DIANE looks over the mysterious LETTER again. BRIAN enters without knocking. Startled, Diane tosses the letter onto her desk.
DIANE: Didn’t your mother ever teach you to knock?
BRIAN: Yeah, but I decided I didn’t care. (beat) What’s that you’re reading?
DIANE: Nothing. Just a letter.
BRIAN: Then why’d you jump sky-high when I came in?
DIANE: Because you completely freaked me out! (beat) So what brings you here?
BRIAN: Actually, I just wanted to let you know that I’m done with that folder of stuff you gave me.
DIANE: (distracted) Oh, good. Thanks.
BRIAN: What’s wrong? You seem a little out there.
DIANE: (wasting no time) I’m really worried about Tim.
BRIAN: No one’s heard from him or Claire?
DIANE: Not even his family. I spoke to his father, and he knows less than I do. (beat) I just hope Tim is okay. Losing him would ruin my life.
BRIAN: You do realize that this is about more than just you now? There’s a baby involved.
DIANE: I know. And I want that child to be raised with both its natural parents in a loving family, not some ridiculous set of custody arrangements.
BRIAN: That’s good to hear. Well, anyway, I’ll be going now.
DIANE: Okay. Thanks for getting that stuff done.
BRIAN: It’s my job.
Brian leaves the room, closing the door behind him. Diane exhales heavily.
DIANE: Good thing he didn’t see this letter! Even though he’s my closest confidante – no one can see it! James makes it very clear in this letter that if I tell anyone where he is or what’s going on, he’ll kill Tim, baby Travis, and me!
But at least I know that Tim is safe right now … I’ve got to hide this letter. If anyone finds it, my whole plan will be ruined.
She moves over to her file cabinet and starts to file it away.
ALAN leads TIM and CLAIRE into the living area.
ALAN: Go down the hall – I think it’s the third door to the left.
Tim leaves.
CLAIRE: Why don’t we wait in the hallway, Alan? I feel weird standing here in these people’s space.
ALAN: I guess that’s fine.
They walk out to the hallway.
ALAN and CLAIRE step into the hallway and lean against the walls, opposite each other.
CLAIRE: (seductively) You know, I’m glad we have these few moments alone.
Alan is caught by surprise.
ALAN: Huh?
CLAIRE: (seductively) I’m beginning to see more and more that Tim is boring. He’s an idiot! But you – you’re the kind of man I want. Adventurous, daring … I like danger.
ALAN: Really?
CLAIRE: (in the same tone) Of course. And the fact that you work for my daddy just makes it easier … I’m sure he’d approve. As a matter of fact, it might help to show him how sorry I am for betraying him.
Claire now has Alan pinned up against a wall, practically speaking into his lips.
ALAN: Are you serious?
She pulls him into a deep kiss.
CLAIRE: (sexily) Did that feel serious?
ALAN: Oh, yeah.
She pulls him into an embrace and begins to nibble on his ear.
As he stares over her shoulder, Alan looks pleased.
As she looks over his shoulder, Claire rolls her eyes and smiles mischievously.
JASON is driving COURTNEY home.
JASON: I still don’t believe this.
COURTNEY: Neither do I. This is completely ruining my life.
JASON: You can’t let it. You’ve got so much more to live for than just skating – and you’ll be able to do that again too, no matter what Dr. Smith tells you.
COURTNEY: That guy is truly weird.
JASON: I know! He always says the strangest things! (beat) Isn’t it ironic that on the day you were gonna make your comeback you ended up with another injury?
COURTNEY: It’s not ironic at all! This was completely and utterly intentional!
JASON: Who would have done this?
COURTNEY: I think I know who would.
BILL is reading a newspaper at the kitchen table. Enter PAULA.
PAULA: It’s nice to have you home for a day!
BILL: It feels good, believe me.
PAULA: You know, I still can’t believe what happened to Courtney. She’s never done anything to deserve this.
BILL: I know … but sometimes life is a little less than fair. I’m worried about Jason, too. How will this affect him?
PAULA: Well, he’ll just keep skating with Shannon.
BILL: At least they skate well together, and they do get along pretty well. (beat) But he and Courtney have been together since they were kids … it would’ve been so nice for them if they could’ve spent their careers together.
PAULA: I know. I just hope Jason takes it okay. (beat) I’m also really worried about Tim and Claire.
BILL: So am I.
PAULA: No one’s seen them in weeks, but I went over to their apartment, and it looks like they planned this vanishing act ahead of time.
BILL: I was discussing it with Sarah, and we only came to one conclusion.
PAULA: What would that be?
BILL: That they went to chase James and get Travis back themselves!
Paula is stunned.
CLAIRE has ALAN pressed against a wall seductively.
ALAN: How do I know that you’re not trying to trick me?
CLAIRE: What would I get out of that? It’s not like we’re escaping here – Tim’s in the bathroom, after all.
ALAN: Good point. (beat) So, you’re definitely serious?
CLAIRE: I swear. I’m tired of Tim – I want you.
He pulls her into a deep kiss.
CLAIRE (THINKING): The thought of kissing this guy makes me wanna puke – but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
TIM is checking that the door is locked. Once he makes sure, he scans the room and sees what he wants. He approaches the telephone.
TIM: (sotto voce) This is our ticket outta here …
He picks up the phone and begins to dial a long string of numbers, making an overseas call. Finally someone picks up on the other end.
TIM: Brent, it’s me, Tim. You’ve gotta come help Claire and me …
BRIAN enters his cubicle and takes a seat.
BRIAN (THINKING): What is going on with Diane? There’s more to that letter she was reading than she let on … she went to hide it so quickly. (beat) Every instinct I have is telling me to not get involved in this scheme of hers – she could ruin so many lives. But on the other hand, it’s exciting – almost exhilarating – to do something like this. I just hope she knows what she’s getting herself into … and I hope she keeps in mind that there’s an innocent baby mixed up in all this now.
JASON is driving COURTNEY home.
JASON: Who do you think did this to you?
COURTNEY: Isn’t it obvious, Jason?
Jason looks puzzled.
COURTNEY (CONT’D): It was Shannon! Doesn’t it make perfect sense?
JASON: Why would she do that?
COURTNEY: She hates me!
JASON: Are you sure? How do you know?
COURTNEY: I’m positive! Remember I mentioned to you that I thought she liked you?
JASON: Yeah.
COURTNEY: She was threatening me about skating with you.
JASON: What? Why?
COURTNEY: She kept saying that if she couldn’t skate with you, she had no chance with you.
JASON: Why didn’t you say anything before?
COURTNEY: I didn’t think it would come to this! I figured she’d do something like this if I said anything about her little obsession with you, so I just kept my mouth shut! But this has gone too far!
JASON: I know … I just don’t believe that Shannon would do something this terrible to get me.
COURTNEY: I’m sure she would. I’m telling you, something’s really wrong with that picture. There’s something about her we don’t know, but something is definitely wrong with her. She’s unstable.
Both of them are silent as she waits for Jason to respond.
COURTNEY (CONT’D): You don’t believe me, do you?
JASON: It’s just— I don’t know— I just can’t believe she’d actually do this to you. Why now?
COURTNEY: I don’t know.
JASON: It was certainly good timing.
JASON: No, there’s more. (beat) Sandy had told me that I had to make a decision to either keep skating with Shannon or to skate with you. I was going to pick you—
COURTNEY: You were?
JASON: Of course! But then this happened … I don’t know how Shannon could have gotten wind of what I was planning to do! She didn’t know I had a decision to make.
COURTNEY: Regardless, she knew I was making a comeback.
Jason seems skeptical but is also reluctant to disregard Courtney’s idea.
COURTNEY (CONT’D): Don’t you see? It makes perfect sense! The only way for her to get what she wants was to make sure I was out of the picture! She did what she had to do. (beat) Now you don’t have to believe me – yet. But I am going to prove that Shannon was behind this, and when I do, she’s gonna have hell to pay.
BILL and PAULA are discussing their children’s predicaments.
PAULA: I just can’t believe how messed up our lives have gotten in the past year. No matter what we do, there always seems to be more trouble waiting for us. This family is cursed or something, I swear.
BILL: We’re not cursed, Paula—
He is interrupted by the ringing of the telephone. He answers it.
BILL: Fisher residence. (beat) You did? Wow! Where are they? (beat) You’re not serious … Oh, God. (beat) Good luck. Okay, bye.
PAULA: What was that all about?
BILL: It was Brent. (beat) He heard from Tim and Claire.
PAULA: He did? Where are they? Are they alright? Did they find the baby?!?
BILL: You’d better sit down for this.
Paula takes a seat.
BILL (CONT’D): They tracked James and the baby down to a jungle in South America.
PAULA: What?!?
BILL: James has this compound or something down there – he caught Tim and Claire and is holding them captive. But the good news is that both of them and Travis are alright.
PAULA: Oh, that’s such a relief to hear!
BILL: Tim managed to get to a phone for a few seconds and called Brent. They’re sending cops down there to rescue the three of them now.
PAULA: Oh, no. I hope everything goes smoothly.
CLAIRE and ALAN finish kissing.
ALAN: I hate to cut this short, baby, but that husband of yours is taking a little too much time in there. I should go in and check on him.
He pulls out a key to the servants’ quarters.
CLAIRE: No, Alan, please – just wait for him to finish. We can amuse ourselves until then, if you know what I mean.
ALAN: Claire, I’ll get you out of the cage later and bring you to my room.
CLAIRE (THINKING): I really hope it doesn’t go that far.
ALAN (CONT’D): But now, I’ve gotta check on him.
Alan turns the key in the door and opens it up.
CLAIRE: No, Alan, wait—
ALAN and CLAIRE burst into the room. TIM, stunned, drops the telephone in the midst of hanging it up.
ALAN: What the hell do you think you’re doing?
TIM: Nothing. I, uh—
ALAN: Give me that.
He listens to it for a minute.
TIM: I swear, I didn’t use it yet. It’s fine.
ALAN: You had to have used it. I don’t hear a dial tone, just silence. You just finished talking to someone.
Tim and Claire both appear petrified.
ALAN (CONT’D): You called home, didn’t you?
ALAN: I should’ve expected this!
He turns to Claire.
ALAN (CONT’D): And you – you tricked me! That was just a distraction! How could you?
CLAIRE: Apparently pretty easily.
ALAN: Shut up, both of you!
He pulls out a cell phone as he backs up to block the door so they can’t escape.
ALAN (CONT’D): (on phone) Boss, it’s me. I just caught your precious little daughter and that husband of hers trying to trick me into escaping. (beat) No, I’ve still got them here, but they, uh— (beat) Well, they kinda called King’s Bay. (beat) Uh, okay. Send some others down to help me. Fine.
He hangs up.
ALAN (CONT’D): Come with me, you two! We’ve gotta get outta here before the cops find this place!
He drags them out of the room as two other GUARDS enter to restrain Tim and Claire, who are put in handcuffs.

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