Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #44

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Episode #44
Immediately After #43



MOLLY walks into the room, wearing a light blue evening dress. Her hair is done up, as is her makeup. JASON comes down the stairs.


MOLLY: Oh, hi, Jay ... how are you doin’?

JASON: I’m okay. Not too great, but I’ll survive. (beat) So what are you all “gussied up” for?

As he says this, he makes air quotes with his fingers.

MOLLY: (sticking her nose into the air jokingly) I have a date.

JASON: Well, aren’t you lucky? With whom?

MOLLY: This guy Brian Hamilton. He works with Tim. We met at the hospital after your accident, in the cafeteria.

JASON: Ah, yes. Bad food, bad smells, dying people -- great place to pick up chicks.

MOLLY: Shut up! Anyway--

She is interrupted by the ringing of the doorbell.

MOLLY (CONT’D): And that, my friend, must be him. I’ll see you later.

JASON: Have a good time, Molly.

MOLLY: I plan to.

Molly heads off-screen to open the door as Jason looks on after her.

JASON: (sotto voce) Good luck, Molly.


ANDY and DANIELLE stare in shock at the television screen, on which the video is playing. As they watch, a house erupts in flames.

DANIELLE: Oh my gosh ...

ANDY: What kind of person would do this?

DANIELLE: I couldn’t tell ya.

ANDY: This is insane! It’s disgusting! (beat) Maybe-- maybe this is part of a movie or something.

He obviously doesn’t believe what he has just said, but seems to be hoping for the best.

DANIELLE: Looks pretty damn real to me.

Andy nods in agreement.

DANIELLE (CONT’D): Do you realize what this means?

Andy looks at her, awaiting the answer.

DANIELLE (CONT’D): The diary -- remember? It talked about an arson! This is the video of that crime!

Andy’s eyes widen as he makes the connection between the two.


DIANE stands before TIM, who holds the LETTER, and CLAIRE, who steps into the room from the back hallway with arms folded.

CLAIRE: You heard me, Diane. Give it up -- it’s over.

DIANE: What are you doing here?!?

CLAIRE: Well, after Tim found that letter, he called me. We thought it would be much sweeter if we were both here to expose you.

DIANE: Expose me?

TIM: You know exactly what we’re talking about, Diane.

Anger sweeps over Diane’s face as she realizes she’s been set up.

DIANE: You mean -- this whole thing -- moving in, everything? It was all a trick?

Tim nods, a satisfied smile on his face.

Out on Diane’s horrified face.



The WAITRESS puts the menus down on the table and departs. BRIAN pulls out MOLLY’S chair for her and then sits down himself.

BRIAN: I love this place.

MOLLY: I know. It’s beautiful ... really sets the mood for a nice evening.

BRIAN: Do you come here much?

Molly recalls a prior visit to the restaurant.

          FADE TO:



CRAIG and MOLLY sit at a table over a candlelit dinner.

CRAIG: So do you think you’re ready to move this relationship further along?

MOLLY: I think so, Craig. I think so. I just hope I’m ready emotionally.

CRAIG: I’m sure it’ll all work out for the best. For instance, if this whole business hadn’t happened, then we’d never have become friends.

MOLLY: (introspectively) Right you are.

          FADE TO:


BRIAN looks across the table at MOLLY, trying to read her face.

BRIAN: What’s wrong?

MOLLY: Oh, I’m sorry. It’s nothing, really.

BRIAN: Molly, if something is bothering you, you can talk to me about it. If we have any hopes of ... well, of building some kind of relationship here, we need to feel comfortable with each other. So what’s bothering you?

MOLLY: This is actually the place that my ex-fiancé took me on our first date.

BRIAN: Really? (beat) Well, I promise that I will never, ever do anything like that to you.

MOLLY: Oh, you’d have to try pretty hard to upstage Craig.

BRIAN: That’s one record I’d rather not break, thank you very much.

MOLLY: That’s definitely nice to hear.

BRIAN: Why don’t we change the subject a little? So, how’s your little brother doing?

MOLLY: He’s feeling a lot better. I just think ...

As Molly continues talking, the view pans out so that their conversation can no longer be heard.


DANIELLE and ANDY continue to watch the video.

ANDY: This is crazy.

DANIELLE: Do you realize that we’re actually dealing with a real, live psychopath over here?

ANDY: I do.

DANIELLE: We really need to just sit down and sort out what we know so far.

Andy’s face suddenly brightens up.

ANDY: That gives me an idea.

DANIELLE: What would that be?

ANDY: Why don’t we discuss it over dinner?

Danielle seems pleasantly surprised by this idea.


TIM, holding the LETTER, and CLAIRE stand in front of DIANE.

TIM: Why don’t you just make it easy on everyone and explain this whole situation to us, Diane?

DIANE: I-- I have no idea what you’re talking about.

TIM: Like hell you don’t! Something fishy is definitely going on, and I have a pretty good idea of what it is.

DIANE: What are you talking about?

CLAIRE: Don’t play stupid. Tim, let’s refresh her memory.

TIM: Ah, yes.

He unfolds the letter and begins reading an excerpt from it.

TIM: (reading) “I just want to warn you, Diane, that this is no game. I know you’ve been involved in all of this, practically from day one. That night at the hospital -- I could tell you were up to something. I’ve been doing this for so many years; I’m highly aware of all the tricks and the way they make a person act.”

He looks up, straight into Diane’s terrified eyes.

TIM (CONT’D): Need I go on? Or does that sufficiently refresh your memory?

Out on Diane, trying to decide her next move.



DANIELLE and ANDY approach their table, led by a WAITRESS. They sit and the waitress leaves.

DANIELLE: Could you hang on a minute? I’ll be right back.

Danielle heads off to the ladies’ room.


DANIELLE enters. The room is empty except for MOLLY, who stands before the mirror fixing her makeup.

DANIELLE: Well, this is some coincidence.

Molly sees her in the mirror.

MOLLY: Oh, hi! What are you doing here?

DANIELLE: I’m on a kinda-sorta date.

MOLLY: With whom?

DANIELLE: Remember that guy Andy I told you about?

MOLLY: Your boss’s son?


MOLLY: Sounds like things are going smoothly on that front, then.

DANIELLE: Yeah, we’ve been getting a lot closer lately. We’ve had to spend a lot of time together.

MOLLY: Because you work in his house?

DANIELLE: Not just that. Listen to this: I found a box of the old maid’s stuff in my room there. I found a wig -- which Andy said looked exactly like the woman’s hair. There was also a diary, which detailed an arson. And inside the wig we found a key to a bus station locker, where we found a video of a burning house!

MOLLY: Wow! Looks like you’ve got a mystery on your hands, huh?

DANIELLE: Big time. (beat) So who are you here with?

MOLLY: I met this guy last week at the hospital. He works with Tim ... Anyway, we hit it off, and he asked me out to dinner tonight.

DANIELLE: How’s it going so far?

MOLLY: I’m definitely enjoying myself. It feels like this is a good first step to getting my life back on track.


TIM and CLAIRE are confronting DIANE.

TIM: So, do you have something to explain to us?

DIANE: No! I don’t have any idea what’s going on! Who is that letter from, anyway?

Claire has been standing silently, but she suddenly explodes with rage at Diane’s denial.

CLAIRE: Give it up, Diane! It’s all over! You know damn well who it’s from -- my father!

DIANE: But--

CLAIRE: You have wreaked havoc for way too long! You caused me to question my trust in Tim, something I never should have done! I should have taken his word over yours in a split second -- unfortunately, you had us all fooled. Now, why don’t you just tell us exactly what’s happened?


CLAIRE: I think you’d better reconsider that, Diane. You can’t pull the wool over our eyes anymore! Now explain to us exactly what happened regarding you and my father!

DIANE: I don’t have to tell you anything!

CLAIRE: Then how about we just let your name pop up in the investigation into my father’s life?

DIANE: It won’t matter -- that letter clears me of any crimes!

Diane realizes she has just slipped up. Tim and Claire are intrigued.



MOLLY returns to her table, where BRIAN is waiting.

BRIAN: And here she is.

MOLLY: Thanks for waiting. (beat) You’ll never guess who I ran into in there.


MOLLY: My brother-in-law’s sister. She just came to town a few weeks ago, but apparently she’s meeting people already.

BRIAN: That’s always good. To tell the truth, I’ve lived here all my life, and I still feel like a little bit of an outsider at times.

MOLLY: Why’s that?

BRIAN: I’m not sure. In high school I was really passive -- I guess I still am in a lot of ways. I’m happier to just sit on the sides and watch, or do things behind the scenes. I just was never one to really open up to other people that easily. (beat) I am finding it exceedingly easy with you, though.

MOLLY: That’s something I like to hear.

Conversation pauses for a moment as they stare at each other. An attraction is visible.

Across the restaurant, DANIELLE has rejoined ANDY at their table. They are now sipping champagne.

DANIELLE: Molly’s looking a lot happier lately. For a while she was really a wreck.

ANDY: What exactly happened to her, if you don’t mind me asking?

DANIELLE: Not at all. You see, she began getting threatening messages about a year ago. Brent and Sarah -- my brother and his wife, who are both cops -- set up some protection for her once they realized she was being stalked. But it turned out that her fiancé, Craig, was really the one stalking her. He was doing it to keep her close to him.

ANDY: He sounds a little bit crazy.


ANDY: Was?

DANIELLE: He tried to kill her, but luckily Brent saved her just in time. Craig was killed in the process.

ANDY: That’s quite a story. (beat) Speaking of psychos, what are we gonna do about this “Lisa”?

DANIELLE: I don’t know yet. I think we should definitely turn this evidence over to Brent.

ANDY: I think it’s safe to assume that “Lisa Stafford” was merely an alias.

DANIELLE: I agree ... which means one thing: We have a crazy woman on the loose, and we hardly have any clues at all to her identity.



TIM and CLAIRE await further explanation from DIANE.

CLAIRE: So you are familiar with this letter after all, huh?

DIANE: Fine! You got me! Yes, your father did send me that letter.

TIM: My question is this: What contact did you have with James prior to the time he kidnapped Travis?

DIANE: It was nothing -- really. Nothing at all.

TIM: Diane ...

DIANE: Fine! He came to see me not long after he came to the hospital with Claire. He warned me to stay out of your lives.

CLAIRE: At least he was right about that.

DIANE: But I didn’t do anything! I swear!

TIM: You are so full of it. This is unbelievable.

CLAIRE: She’s crazy, Tim.

DIANE: Shut up, you bitch!

CLAIRE: Oh, how silly of me! You’re the one who tricked my husband into sleeping with you, who tried to split us up by making up a fake story about that baby’s conception, and who continues to hide things from the man you allegedly “love.” Yet still, I am the bitch. Yep -- pretty stupid of me.

DIANE: Shut up.

CLAIRE: Tim, shall we read her any more of the letter? Is there something else in there that might help Diane “remember” anything important?

TIM: Right here--

DIANE: Okay, okay! I was the one who told James that Tim had remembered everything. But I didn’t mean for him to kidnap the baby! I just thought he’d come over and cause a fight between you two -- I expected Claire to take his side.

CLAIRE: Well, that’s just another example of you underestimating the bond between Tim and me. (beat) So this whole thing was your fault!

DIANE: I didn’t say that! In fact, I figured out where James was hiding. I was the one who sent you that fax that said he was in the jungle!

TIM: How thoughtful of you.

They all stand in silence for a moment.

DIANE: (to Claire) What do you mean, I tricked your husband into sleeping with me? Listen, he was just drunk that night -- I didn’t trick him!

TIM: Remember the hospital, Diane?

DIANE: (stunned) You remember that?!?

TIM: (pointing to his head) It was up here all along. I was gonna remember it sooner or later ... Unfortunately for you, it was sooner.

DIANE: Fine! Just get out!

Tim and Claire don’t budge.

DIANE (CONT’D): What are you waiting for? What are you gonna do now?



“Viva Forever” by the Spice Girls is playing in the background. DANIELLE and ANDY are eating dinner.

DANIELLE: This is nice. I’m really enjoying the whole evening.

Andy flashes her a charming smile.

ANDY: So am I.

          FADE TO:



KATHERINE and ANDY are in the middle of a discussion.

KATHERINE: But yes, the new maid is moving in today.

ANDY: She’ll be staying in the quarters the last maid used, I presume?

KATHERINE: Of course. Why are you so interested, anyway?

ANDY: No particular reason.

She eyes him suspiciously, studying his face.

KATHERINE: I see that look in your eyes, Andrew. Please, please tell me that you are not thinking of anything other than a professional relationship with Danielle.

ANDY: Mother!

KATHERINE: Forgive me if I’m wrong, Andrew, but it seems to me that you’ve got a “thing” for her. Take my advice: Forget all about it!

ANDY: Why, Mother? I’ve managed to spend some time with her in the past few days, and it seems to me that she is an intelligent, kind, funny, attractive woman ... (sarcastic) Then again, I do see how that’s the kind of woman you’d absolutely hate for me to bring home.

KATHERINE: That’s exactly the problem! If you brought her home it would be one thing. It’s quite another, though, when she is on our payroll! Now please, speak no more of this.

          FADE TO:


ANDY looks back towards DANIELLE, more seriously than before.

ANDY: Uh ... but anyway, we really need to do something about this situation with “Lisa.” There’s a dangerous killer on the loose somewhere; we need to hunt her down.

DANIELLE: I just don’t understand why she left all this stuff behind. Isn’t that kind of asking for trouble?

ANDY: Sure seems like it to me. But I have read things about criminals -- some of them see these crimes as art. They love to receive recognition for their work, even if it means getting caught.

DANIELLE: Whoever this “Lisa” really is, we need to catch her -- before it’s too late.

On the dance floor, MOLLY and BRIAN are dancing closely.

BRIAN: This feels really nice, Molly.

Molly rests her head on his shoulder, but becomes alert when she recognizes the song.

          FADE TO:



BRENT and SARAH dance, as do JOSH and MOLLY.

          FADE TO:


MOLLY and BRIAN are still dancing. She sighs heavily and drops her head down on his shoulder again, closing her eyes in frustration.


DIANE opens the door, trying to usher TIM and CLAIRE out.

DIANE: You can’t do anything else! Just get out!

TIM: We’re goin’, we’re goin’.

CLAIRE: And this time, I’m taking my husband with me.

They begin to leave. Halfway out the door, Claire turns and faces Diane.

CLAIRE: Expect a call from our lawyer.

DIANE: You can’t press any kind of charges. That letter clears me of everything!

TIM: Oh, this isn’t about criminal charges, Diane. That’s over with.

DIANE: Then what are you talking about?

CLAIRE: This behavior is hardly that of a good mother, Diane.

Diane absorbs this statement for a moment.

DIANE: You don’t mean--?!?

CLAIRE: Yeah. We’re suing you for custody of that baby.

Out on Diane, clasping her hands over her open mouth in shock.


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