Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #36

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Episode #36
The Morning After #35



A BELLHOP wheels a cart loaded with luggage up to the hotel’s front doors. Not long after, JOSH, DANIELLE, and BOB follow behind it.

BOB: All right, you two. I’m gonna go check out. I’ll be right back.

DANIELLE: Okay, Dad.

Bob goes over to the front desk.

JOSH: I can’t believe you’re staying here, Danielle.

DANIELLE: It kinda surprised me that I decided on it so quickly. Usually I let these things take forever. (beat) But hey, I’ve got a job interview today, so who knows? Maybe I’ll get really lucky.

JOSH: I hope you get the job. It would be a nice way to meet some people around here. What kinda gig is it?

DANIELLE: Actually, it’s a maid job.

JOSH: You? A maid?

DANIELLE: It’s not such a dumb idea. I kept our house clean for all those years after Mom died.

JOSH: No, I trust that you can handle the job. I just thought you were really gunning for a recording contract.

DANIELLE: I’m a singer, first and foremost. But I need to support myself while I try to get that record deal. Besides, the pay they offered is awesome, and they said they’ve got a huge staff there already, so it can’t be a ridiculously excessive amount of work.

JOSH: I see your point.

Bob comes back over to them.

BOB: Okay, we’re ready to go, Josh. Start hauling the luggage.

He and Josh both pick up a few pieces of luggage.

BOB (CONT’D): Are you gonna stay here for a few days, Danielle?

DANIELLE: Until I find an apartment, yeah.

JOSH: Well, good luck -- with everything.

He gives his sister a kiss on the cheek.

BOB: We’ll miss having you around all the time.

DANIELLE: Don’t worry, Dad. Brent and I will come visit all the time.

BOB: As long as you promise me that, okay?

DANIELLE: I absolutely, totally promise you.

BOB: All right, then. Good luck. I love you.

They hug.

BOB (CONT’D): Okay, Josh, we’d better be on our way.

DANIELLE: Have a safe flight!

JOSH: Bye, Danielle!

BOB: Bye!

DANIELLE: Bye, Dad! Bye, Josh!

Josh and Bob exit the hotel, carrying their luggage. Danielle is left standing in the lobby, arms folded.

DANIELLE (CONT’D): (sotto voce) Well, I guess I’d better go get ready for that job interview.


FIVE OFFICERS are standing around the office.

OFFICER #1: I wonder why the Commander called us in.

OFFICER #2: I’ll bet it has something to do with last night.

OFFICER #1: I know ... I just hope we’re not in trouble.

The door opens and BRENT enters.

BRENT: Okay, people, you’re probably wondering why I called you in. You’ve all made a very serious mistake that could cost you your jobs.


The office is empty. The door opens and in walks TIM, looking haggard and exhausted.

TIM (THINKING): I can’t believe I had to sleep at my parents’ last night. And it’s not like I got much sleep after what happened with Molly. But I’ve got to get Claire to believe me about this Diane thing. I know I didn’t sleep with her! I can’t be the father of her baby! That’s why the sooner I get this paternity test taken care of, the better.

He slumps down into his chair and picks up the phone. He dials a number.

TIM: Hello? Dr. Smith, please.

He waits.

TIM (CONT’D): Hi, Doc. It’s Tim Fisher. Listen, I was wondering if I could schedule a -- well, a paternity test -- for later in the day.

DR. SMITH (OS): For your wife?

TIM: Actually, no. For a Ms. Diane Bishop.


DR. SMITH is speaking on the telephone.

DR. SMITH: I’m afraid it’s too late, Mr. Fisher.



The doorbell rings. BILL enters the empty room and opens the door. SARAH enters.

BILL: Hi, honey. How’d you wind up sleeping last night?

SARAH: Let’s just say badly. Brent and I didn’t get in until 3 AM.

BILL: You want some coffee?

SARAH: Yeah, please. Where’s Molly?

BILL: She’s in the kitchen, eating. (beat) Just between you and I, I don’t think she’s taking any of this very well.

SARAH: Well, she just found out that her fiance was really a psycho out to kill her. Then he wound up getting shot and dying right in front of her ... I’m surprised she has an appetite at all.

BILL: No, I mean, she’s barely speaking. She’s moving mechanically.

SARAH: She’s in a mild state of shock. It’ll take time for her to snap out of it.

BILL: Why are you over here so early, anyway?

SARAH: A call came in for her early this morning from Craig’s lawyer. He needs to see Molly immediately.

Bill looks puzzled.


DANIELLE walks up to the front door, admiring the grand house in awe.


She rings the doorbell. The door is promptly opened by a BUTLER.

BUTLER: How may I help you, Miss?

DANIELLE: My name is Danielle Taylor. I have an interview for the job opening here.

BUTLER: Ah, yes. Come on in.

Danielle steps inside and the butler closes the door.


DANIELLE gazes all around, stunned by the glamorous interior of the mansion. The BUTLER departs. Soon after, KATHERINE FITCH enters. She wears an elegant dress and a great deal of jewelry. Her hair is swept up in an attempt to look younger than her sixty years, but the lines in her face and the look in her eyes express years of sadness as well as good fortune.

KATHERINE: Well, hello, Ms. Taylor. I’m Mrs. Fitch.

DANIELLE: Please, call me Danielle. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

KATHERINE: All right, Danielle. Why don’t you come with me into the living room and we’ll talk this job over?


Katherine leads the way, marching out of the room ahead of Danielle. Danielle remains behind for a brief moment, giving one last sweeping look at the majestic foyer. She then takes off after Katherine.


TIM is speaking on the phone.

TIM: Why, Dr. Smith? Why is it too late?


DR. SMITH is on the telephone.

DR. SMITH: Well, Ms. Bishop came in early this morning. We drew the necessary fluids to run the test. I’m afraid she beat you to it.

TIM (OS): (taken aback) Oh, okay. What do I need to do?

DR. SMITH: I’ll need you to come by later to give a blood sample.


TIM is talking on the phone.

TIM: Sure. I’ll drop by, say, around 3:00.

DR. SMITH (OS): Fine. See you then.

TIM: Thanks, Doc. Bye.

Tim hangs up the phone.

TIM (CONT’D): I can’t believe Diane already went ahead and had the test done. Why is she so anxious to do this? I can’t possibly be the father -- she has to know she’ll be caught at one point or another.

He yawns and props his head up with his hands.

          FADE TO:



DIANE drops down slowly on top of TIM and kisses him.

          CUT TO:


TIM sits up straight in his chair, jarred by this flashback.

TIM: (sotto voce) What does that mean? I never slept with Diane -- did I?!?



BRENT stands at the head of the room, speaking to FIVE OFFICERS who are standing before him.

BRENT: All five of you made a major mistake last night. You were assigned to guard Ms. Fisher day and night, to make sure absolutely no one had unauthorized access to her apartment.

OFFICER #3: We were there the entire time, I swear.

BRENT: It doesn’t matter if you were there after what happened! The stalker managed to get into the apartment and attack her. If I hadn’t been there, she might’ve been killed!

OFFICER #3: But nothing happened, Commander. As it turns out, the stalker guy was her fiance anyway, right?

BRENT: Correct.

OFFICER #3: So even if we’d been perfectly on guard and stopped every person who came within a hundred miles of the apartment complex, he had complete access to both the apartment and her at any time.

BRENT: That’s true, but-- Ugh! You’re missing the point!

OFFICER #4: Somehow he managed to slip by us, but no one besides him got hurt, did they? No. So what’s the big deal?

BRENT: The big deal is that she might have been killed! This was -- is -- an important case! Not only to the department, but to me personally!

OFFICER #3: What’s wrong, are you falling for this chick or something?

Brent looks taken aback by this comment.


BRIAN is waiting for DIANE when she comes into the room holding a cup of coffee. She locks the door behind her.

DIANE: What’s up?

BRIAN: I just had some papers to give you. I left them on top of the desk.

She looks over the papers quickly and then looks back up at him.

DIANE: Is there some other reason why you’re here? A reason why you’re just standing around?

BRIAN: Actually, I kinda-- Well, I wanted to know what happened with Tim and his wife yesterday. How’d it go?

DIANE: Oh, was it good! The timing was absolutely perfect. Claire came in just in time to hear me tell Tim he’s the father. Then she ran away crying, he chased her, blah blah blah ... They came back to the conference room and I told them the story we made up.

BRIAN: He didn’t say anything about the hospital?

DIANE: I honestly don’t think he remembers. He was so desperate to disprove my story, but he made no mention of that whatsoever. He demanded a paternity test, so I went to the hospital bright and early this morning and had that taken care of.

BRIAN: Good. That should show him you’re serious.

DIANE: It should show both of them that I have no doubt that he’s the father of my baby.

BRIAN: We’ve just got to pray that he doesn’t remember that you tricked him into sleeping with you in the hospital. Otherwise the whole thing could blow up in our faces, right?

Out on Diane nodding her head nervously.



MOLLY is mechanically eating some breakfast, although the plate looks barely touched. SARAH and BILL are also seated at the table.

BILL: So Craig’s lawyer said he’s ready to read the will already?

SARAH: Apparently.

MOLLY: Do we have to go?

SARAH: You need to be present.

MOLLY: Look what I went through last night. Couldn’t they just tell you about it or something like that?

BILL: Yeah, Sarah ... look at her.

SARAH: You know, you’re right. Especially after what his client did to you, you don’t need to be dragged around town at this point like this.

MOLLY: Thanks a lot, Sarah. I’d rather just stay inside today.

SARAH: That’s fine, Molly. I understand what you’re going through.

MOLLY: It’s just that -- Why did he have to do this to me? Why did everything have to turn out so screwed up? Just for once, I’d like something to turn out normally for me. And now I have no one.

Sarah begins thinking about the previous night.
          FADE TO:



CRAIG has MOLLY pulled close to him, with a GUN held to her head. BRENT stands halfway between them and the front door.

BRENT: What about the bomb in the office?

CRAIG: I knew it wouldn’t hurt her -- it couldn’t. You guys figured that out pretty quickly too.

BRENT: Our experts figured that it was rather harmless, yeah.

CRAIG: That was when I first told Molly I loved her. I needed something to make her say it back to me.

MOLLY: But then I accepted your marriage proposal.

CRAIG: I know, Molly. I thought it was finally time to stop all this. I felt I finally had you all to myself, that I didn’t need to use any more tactics to keep you close to me. But that-- that connection with him--

He gestures with disgust towards Brent.

CRAIG (CONT’D): -- I saw that it was so strong. At the wedding last week--

BRENT: When Sarah and I renewed our vows?

CRAIG: Yeah. At the wedding, I saw that Molly was in love with you, not me. I’m nothing more than a security blanket to her. Aren’t I just that, Molly?

He begins to stare her down.

CRAIG (CONT’D): Aren’t I?

          FADE TO:


SARAH, BILL, and a distressed-looking MOLLY are all seated at the kitchen table.

BILL: Don’t say that, Molly. You’ve got us.

SARAH: Molly, you’re my big sister. I’ll always be here for you.

MOLLY: I really appreciate everything you and Brent did for me last night, Sarah.

SARAH: It was no problem. Really.

SARAH (THINKING): But this whole situation with Brent and Molly is turning into a bigger disaster than I ever feared it would.


Late morning sunlight streams in through the large bay windows at the front of the room. The decor is classy but timeless. KATHERINE and DANIELLE enter.

KATHERINE: Please, have a seat.

Danielle obliges. Katherine sits down on the same couch.

KATHERINE (CONT’D): Would you care for some tea?

DANIELLE: That would be wonderful.


The BUTLER (WALTER) enters the room.

KATHERINE (CONT’D): Walter, please fetch some tea for both Ms. Taylor and me.

BUTLER: As you wish.

Walter exits.

KATHERINE: So, you’re interested in the position of maid, correct?


KATHERINE: Shall we go over your qualifications?

DANIELLE: To tell the truth, I haven’t had much experience in personal service. I was a waitress for several years, but I suppose my biggest “qualification,” if you’d even call it that, was taking charge of my household growing up. My mother passed away when my brothers and I were young, and I took the responsibility for cleaning house and whatnot. You might say it helped me to grow up a little more quickly. Also--

She stops speaking as a handsome MAN in his late 20’s/early 30’s enters the room. He sees her and exits without saying a word, a peculiar smile on his face.

After he is gone, Danielle continues to look after him.



TIM is seated behind his desk.

TIM (THINKING): Could I actually have slept with Diane?

          CUT TO:



An image of DIANE kissing TIM flashes quickly in his mind three times.

          CUT TO:


TIM is seated behind his desk.

TIM: (sotto voce) But when? And how? I think I’d remember a thing like that, wouldn’t I? There’s only been one time in my entire life that I didn’t remember anything, when I got shot and had amnesia--

He stops himself in mid-sentence as he realizes something.

TIM (CONT’D): (sotto voce) Which also happens to have been the period where I thought Diane was my wife. Is it possible that she took advantage of my memory loss? Could she actually be that evil?

He ponders this possibility silently.


BRENT stands before the FIVE OFFICERS he has assembled.

OFFICER #3: Do you have the hots for this chick or something?

Brent struggles for a response.

          CUT TO:



CRAIG has MOLLY pulled close to him, with a GUN held to her head. BRENT stands halfway between them and the front door.

CRAIG: This wedding coming up ... it’s nothing but a sham. You don’t want to marry me -- you know it, I know it. I’ve known it for too long. But what could I do?

BRENT: I have no idea what’s going on here, Craig. Would anyone care to fill me in?

MOLLY: I don’t--

CRAIG: Let me tell him, dear. I’m surprised he doesn’t already know what’s going on. It seems pretty damn obvious to me.

BRENT: What, Craig? What is so obvious?

CRAIG: She’s in love with you, Brent! Duh! It’s not that hard to figure out!

          CUT TO:


BRENT stands before the FIVE OFFICERS he has assembled.

BRENT: (defensively) Of course not! How-- How dare you?! That’s my wife’s sister!

OFFICER #3: Sorry! Just teasing you, Commander! Calm down!

Brent takes a deep breath.

BRENT: All of you, listen up. You really dropped the ball last night. One more slip-up like this and you’re fired. We can’t afford to have this kind of half-assed service. Now get out of my sight -- all of you!

They file out of his office, leaving him alone with his thoughts.

BRENT (CONT’D): (sotto voce) If Craig thought Molly was in love with me, could it be true? Or maybe he just picked up on my feelings for her ... I can’t believe all of this could have been my fault. Besides, anything I feel for Molly has to be kept quiet -- forever. I could never do that to Sarah.



The kitchen is empty. The telephone rings and BILL enters to answer it.

BILL: Hello? (beat) Hi, Sarah! How’d it go with the lawyer?


SARAH is talking on her cell phone.

SARAH: He read me the terms of Craig’s will. It turns out he left everything to Molly.

BILL (OS): What?!?

SARAH: Everything. All of it. Every last dime. It turns out he really had no family left that he felt was close enough to leave everything to. He really was in love with Molly.


BILL is talking on the phone.

BILL: More like obsessed with her. This whole thing just keeps getting weirder and weirder. (beat) Is that it?

SARAH (OS): Pretty much, yeah. I’m gonna come back over there to hang out with Molly for a while.

BILL: It’s really great that you’re spending this time with your older sister, Sarah. It must mean a lot to her.


SARAH holds the cell phone to her ear, letting the last comment sink in. She gives a pained look, obviously torn between the love she feels for her sister and the anger she feels over the budding feelings between her sister and her husband.


KATHERINE and DANIELLE are seated in the living room, sipping tea.

KATHERINE: To be perfectly honest, Ms. Taylor, we’re in quite a hurry to fill this position. The last maid left us rather abruptly and put us in quite a predicament. As you can see, we haven’t had much cleaning done lately ...

She glances around the room and frowns with disapproval.

DANIELLE: (half-mumbling) Looks pretty good to me.

KATHERINE: You sound like just the woman for the job, if I do say so myself. So if you could have the necessary references sent to us, we’d like to have you start as soon as possible.

DANIELLE: That’s wonderful! Thank you! Thank you so much!

KATHERINE: You’re quite welcome. Now, I’ll have Walter show you to the door. (beat) Walter!

WALTER enters and Danielle rises to follow him.

DANIELLE: Thank you again, Mrs. Fitch!


WALTER leads DANIELLE into the foyer. The MAN from before also happens to walk in at that moment as well.

DANIELLE: Well, hello again.

MAN: Hi. I-- I’m Andy. Andy Fitch. You just met my mom.

DANIELLE: Nice to meet you, Andy. I’m Danielle Taylor.

She shakes his hand.

Walter opens the door and Danielle begins to step outside.

ANDY: Hope I’ll be seeing you again soon.

DANIELLE: You can pretty much count on it.

With that, she exits. Andy continues staring at the door. From the lit-up look in his eyes and the smile on his face, he is obviously smitten.


DANIELLE steps outside and pulls the door closed behind her.

DANIELLE: (sotto voce) I am definitely going to like working here. (beat) Definitely.


TIM picks up the phone and dials a number. He waits and four rings can be heard on the other end.

CLAIRE ON ANSWERING MACHINE (OS): Hi, you’ve reached Tim and Claire. We’re not available right now, but if you’d please leave a message, we’d be glad to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!

The beep from the answering machine is heard. Tim hangs up.

TIM: (sotto voce) Dammit, Claire, where are you? This can’t wait! (beat) When I get ahold of you, you’re gonna here all about what I think is going on ... and Diane will never give us any trouble again.


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