Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #54

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Episode #54
Immediately After #53



MOLLY is sitting on the floor, playing with baby TRAVIS, who is sitting up and stacking up a series of blocks. Enter BRIAN, carrying two glasses of soda. He hands one to Molly and sips from the other himself.

BRIAN: So, what’s this little guy up to now?

MOLLY: He’s busy developing some kind of architectural breakthrough.

She stands.

MOLLY (CONT’D): I’m glad you came over to hang out with me. I hate being by myself lately.

BRIAN: After what happened with your ex-fiancé, I’m not surprised.

He stares into her warm eyes for a moment.

BRIAN (CONT’D): And believe me, I’m more than happy to do it.

MOLLY: That’s--

She is interrupted by the ringing of the phone. She makes her way to the side table and answers it.

MOLLY (CONT’D): Hello?

TWO-WAY CONVERSATION --Scene alternates between Molly and CLAIRE, in the entrance of the hospital.

CLAIRE: Hey, Molly.

MOLLY: What’s up? Are you guys done already?

CLAIRE: Not quite -- there was a little interruption.

MOLLY: What do you mean?

CLAIRE: Just as the hearing was beginning, Diane went into labor.

MOLLY: Are you serious?!?

CLAIRE: Completely. (beat) Anyway, Tim and I will probably tied up at the hospital for quite a while, so if you wanna bring Travis over here, that’s fine. You probably have stuff to do.

MOLLY: No, I’m pretty much free. You know what? I’ll come over there with the baby and keep you company, okay?

CLAIRE: Sounds good to me. Thanks, Molly.

MOLLY: No problem at all, Claire. See you in a little bit.

CLAIRE: Okay, bye.

Claire hangs up the payphone.


BRIAN stands behind MOLLY as she hangs up the phone. TRAVIS remains seated on the floor, playing with blocks.

BRIAN: What was that all about?

MOLLY: I’ve gotta get the baby all put together for a trip.

BRIAN: To where?

MOLLY: The hospital -- Diane’s in labor.

BRIAN: Then I’m coming, too.

MOLLY: Are you sure?

BRIAN: Positive.

As they look at each other, it can be seen that each genuinely cares for the other.



PAULA, BILL, SARAH, BRENT, DANIELLE, and ANDY have gathered to congratulate JASON, SHANNON, and SANDY on a job well-done after their clean long program.

Shannon looks oddly distant, darting quick but brief glances at Andy.

SHANNON (THINKING): What is he doing here?!? I wonder if he recognizes me. That can’t happen ...

DANIELLE: Anyway, we just wanted to tell you what a great job you both did. We’re really proud of you, Jason -- and Shannon.

VOICE (OS): Or is it “Lisa”?

Everyone turns to see COURTNEY standing on her crutches at the end of the otherwise empty corridor, her arms folded as she stares Shannon down.



The doors swing open and in come MOLLY and BRIAN. She is pushing the stroller which TRAVIS is asleep in, and he is carrying a bag of the baby’s things. CLAIRE rises from her seat to meet them.

CLAIRE: Hey! Thanks for coming.

She seems surprised by Brian’s presence.

CLAIRE (CONT’D): You too, Brian. What are you doing here?

BRIAN: Well, I was hanging out with Molly while she babysat, and then you called. Diane is my boss and a friend, so I figured I should be here.

CLAIRE: Fair enough. How was Travis?

MOLLY: Amazingly behaved. Not one single crying fit the whole time.

CLAIRE: Now that, my friend, is amazing.

She looks down at her son, asleep in his stroller.

CLAIRE (CONT’D): Look at him. He’s living proof of the love between Tim and me.

MOLLY: Which is why you’re so upset about Diane having Tim’s baby, correct?

CLAIRE: You got it.

MOLLY: Nothing can break the bond between you and Tim, especially not Diane. She’s tried time and time again, but it hasn’t worked, has it?

CLAIRE: No, I guess you’re right. (beat) I’m just afraid that this child may give Diane something else to work with.



COURTNEY stands at the far end of the corridor, arms folded. She stares down SHANNON, whose face is frozen in disbelief.

The reactions of those present vary. PAULA, BILL, and SANDY are confused. BRENT, SARAH, DANIELLE, and ANDY have known this moment was coming since planning the trip and therefore are awaiting further action. JASON is intrigued by the situation but also by Courtney’s presence.

SHANNON: What are you talking about?

COURTNEY: Don’t play stupid, Shannon. It’s over.

SHANNON: (unconvincingly) I -- I don’t understand what’s going on.

ANDY: What’s going on, “Lisa,” is simple: You’re busted.

JASON: What are you guys talking about? And who is “Lisa”?

BRENT: Actually, it’s quite an interesting little story. But there’s another matter we should get cleared up first.

Courtney reaches into her pocket and pulls out a stack of photographs. Shannon’s jaw drops, realizing what they are.

COURTNEY: Do these look familiar, Shannon?

There is no response.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): They certainly should -- you’re in them. Why don’t we give everyone here a look at these?

She moves closer and hands the photos to Jason. After examining them for a moment, he hands them to Sandy. Bill and Paula also crowd around them. None of them have any idea what is going on.

JASON: What are these pictures supposed to mean, Courtney? Who’s the guy in them?

Courtney looks to Shannon for an explanation.



DIANE, in a wheelchair, is being pushed by a NURSE. TIM follows. Soon they reach the door to the delivery room.

TIM: Good luck, Diane. I’ll be waiting.

DIANE: Whoa, whoa, whoa.

TIM: What?

DIANE: You’re not going anywhere.

TIM: What’s that supposed to mean?

DIANE: You’re the father of this baby, and that means you’re gonna be in the delivery room when this child is born ... our child.

She flashes him a look to confer the fact that this is an order, not an option.



CLAIRE, MOLLY, and BRIAN are seated. Claire has the stroller holding a still-sleeping TRAVIS next to her.

MOLLY: It’s so odd that this is happening. I mean, I’m gonna be an aunt again, for the second time in under a year.

CLAIRE: And Tim will be a father again ... only this time I’m not involved in it.

MOLLY: Don’t be jealous of Diane. Tim loves you, not her. The only bond they will ever have is this child -- and hopefully you guys will get custody of him or her.

BRIAN: Molly’s right. Just keep your head up, Claire. It is a strange situation, but everyone just needs to make the best of it. It’s gonna be awkward for this kid no matter how it turns out.

CLAIRE: You’re right, Brian. We all need to remember that there’s a child in the middle of this, and that’s what’s really important. That kid needs to be the focus.

MOLLY: And you’re definitely right about it being a strange situation.

CLAIRE: There’s no denying that. (beat) Brian, I’m kinda curious to know, when did Diane tell you that Tim was the father of this baby? How did she explain the whole situation?

Brian gulps, suddenly put on the spot.



SANDY, BILL, and PAULA are examining the photos. JASON is waiting for an answer from COURTNEY, who simply nods toward SHANNON. DANIELLE, ANDY, BRENT, and SARAH merely look on.

COURTNEY: You might want to ask Shannon those questions.

Jason turns to his skating partner, who is obviously distressed by the situation at hand.

JASON: Who is this guy, Shannon?

SHANNON: Just, um, a friend of mine. That’s all.

JASON: I don’t get why Courtney would fly all the way down here just to show me pictures of you and your friend, Shannon. What’s going on?

COURTNEY: That guy is a friend of hers, all right. A friend of her money, that is.


COURTNEY: This is the guy who attacked me at the rink that day, Jason. That guy is the reason I’m on these crutches.

SANDY: And I take it Shannon isn’t meeting with him to discuss the local clothing drive.

COURTNEY: You got it, Sandy. Shannon has -- how shall we say? -- business interests in this guy.

Jason is struggling to absorb all that is happening. Even as he speaks, he has to force the words out, as if he can barely believe what he is hearing.

JASON: So you were right all along, Courtney?

She nods triumphantly. Jason turns to Shannon.

JASON (CONT’D): I knew you were crazy, but this is ridiculous! You hired someone to take out Courtney’s knee?

SHANNON: Jason, I can explain--

JASON: I seriously doubt you’re gonna be able to talk your way out of this one, Shannon. Give it up -- it’s over!

SHANNON: If you’ll just--

JASON: I don’t wanna hear any ridiculous excuses! This is the end of the line, Shannon.

Out on Shannon’s fear, knowing she she could very well lose everything that is important to her.



CLAIRE, rocking TRAVIS’S stroller, and MOLLY innocently await an answer from BRIAN.

BRIAN: Well, she, uh ... she never told me any details about it until you and Tim found out the truth. Then she was so upset that she called me and had to tell someone, I guess.

MOLLY: I still can’t believe all the tricks she pulled to try and come between you and Tim, Claire.

CLAIRE: It blows my mind. She’s truly off her rocker. And that stunt she pulled on the ledge on New Year’s Eve was the worst -- she was putting that poor, innocent baby in danger as well as herself.

BRIAN: I don’t think she was even thinking at the time.

CLAIRE: That’s the problem. She does stuff without thinking. Like tricking Tim into sleeping with her -- did she actually consider the possibility she might end up pregnant? Did she think for a moment that Tim might not divorce me to be with her?

MOLLY: Probably not.

Brian looks very uncomfortable.

BRIAN: I’m gonna go to the you-know-where, okay? I’ll be right back.

MOLLY: Okey-doke.

Brian heads for the bathroom. Claire waits until he is out of earshot.

CLAIRE: I didn’t know you guys were so close. I thought you were just dating on a casual basis.

MOLLY: We are -- we were. I don’t quite know. I really like being with him, though, which is a nice start.

CLAIRE: It always helps.

MOLLY: I just wanna take things slow. I’d hate to blow a chance at a perfectly good relationship just because I’m not quite over everything that’s happened -- with Craig and all -- just yet.



JASON stares angrily at SHANNON. COURTNEY looks on, leaning on her crutches. BRENT, SARAH, DANIELLE, ANDY, PAULA, BILL, and SANDY are also present.

SANDY: How could you do this, Shannon?

SHANNON: I swear, I didn’t--

COURTNEY: Cut the crap! No one believes you!

SHANNON: I’m innocent!

SANDY: We have pretty good proof right here.

Sandy dangles the photos in front of Shannon’s face.

SHANNON: I swear, he’s just a friend of mine. This is all wrong.

BRENT: Actually, we brought those photos down to the jail and paid Dave a little visit.

Shannon realizes her excuse is completely blown.

BRENT (CONT’D): He admitted that you hired him to attack Courtney.

SHANNON: Damn him! He sold me out!

JASON: How could you have done this, Shannon? All of us trusted you -- at some point ... a little.

SHANNON: I did it because I love you, Jason!

Those gathered utter a collective gasp.

SHANNON (CONT’D): It was all for you! I was scared that if Courtney got to skate with you again, I’d lose my only connection to you, and I’d lose you entirely!

Jason makes a disgusted face at Shannon’s show of melodrama.

JASON: That’s not love, Shannon -- it’s an illness.

SHANNON: Jason--

She throws her arms around him desperately. He wiggles out of her grasp.

JASON: The least you could do is try to maintain some dignity. You disgust me -- you absolutely disgust me!

Shannon breaks down into tears.

SHANNON: (screaming through her tears) Fine, I admit it! I hired Dave to go after Courtney! I did it once and I’d do it again, if that’s what it would take! All she wanted from the very beginning was to make me miserable!

She stares at Courtney with the fire of hell in her eyes, nostrils flaring with each rapid breath.

SHANNON (CONT’D): I hate you, Courtney!!

Jason grabs her and holds her back before she can charge Courtney.

JASON: Stop it! Just stop it already!

Shannon stands still and subdues her breathing in an effort to calm down.

PAULA: What I’m wondering is this: Why did you all call her “Lisa” before? Who is that, anyway?

Danielle steps forward, ready to tell the remainder of the story.



A group of DOCTORS and NURSES bustle about the room as DIANE lay in the bed, looking uncomfortable. TIM stands nearby, clad in hospital garb.

DOCTOR: (to a nurse) How far apart are the contractions?

The nurse shows the doctor a stopwatch.

NURSE: Good enough for you?

DOCTOR: Plenty.

He turns to Diane.

DOCTOR (CONT’D): Okay, Diane, this baby’s coming, ready or not!

DIANE: Are you serious?

DOCTOR: Completely. And here are the words you’ve been waiting to hear for the last nine months: Push! Push!

Diane tries, but succeeds only in looking uncomfortable.

NURSE: Please, Ms. Bishop, you’ve got to try harder.

DIANE: I can’t! It hurts!

DOCTOR: Just give it another shot, okay?

DIANE: Fine.

She looks to Tim.

DIANE (CONT’D): Tim, please, hold my hand. I won’t be able to get through this without you!

He extends his hand and she quickly clasps her own around it, grunting in pain as she pushes a second time.

Though a good portion of his face is covered by the hospital mask, Tim’s eyes unmistakably convey the circus of conflicting emotions he is feeling: disdain for Diane, loyalty to Claire, guilt over getting Diane pregnant, and love for his children, both Travis and the one on its way.



The assembled crowd, consisting of PAULA, BILL, SANDY, JASON, BRENT, SARAH, COURTNEY, DANIELLE, and ANDY, look to SHANNON for an answer. Her face is white as a sheet; her silence is nearly as daunting as her previous threats.

JASON: That’s a good question, Mom. What is this “Lisa” business, anyway?

DANIELLE: I think Andy, Brent, Sarah, and I can all explain -- with a little help from our pal Shannon, of course.

BILL: Then let’s hear it.

ANDY: Well, everything began to unravel when Danielle was hired as our new maid. The last maid, of course, had quit rather abruptly, leaving us in something of a bind.

DANIELLE: I was cleaning out my new room when I found a box of the old maid’s things. I tried to move it, but the bottom fell out. Inside the box I found a red wig, a diary, and a bunch of clothing.

ANDY: The diary detailed plans for an arson -- at least most of it did. The final entries seem to have been written after the plans had been carried out. They talked about how glorious the fire had been, how wonderful it was to see two people die in the sea of flames.

PAULA: That’s terrible!

ANDY: I know. But believe me, it gets worse.

DANIELLE: That it does. (beat) Not long after, we found a key taped inside the wig. Andy recognized it as being from the bus station -- his father had left something inside a locker there when he died. So we went to the bus station and looked in the locker. In it, we found a video, which turned out to be videotaped footage of a burning house -- most likely the arson detailed in the diary, we figured.

BRENT: At that point, Danielle brought the case to me. After watching the video, I thought I knew exactly what case we were dealing with.

SARAH: There was an arson about two years ago that killed a wealthy couple. This was the first break in the case so far -- it had gone unsolved.

BRENT: At that point the Fitches’ former maid became our primary suspect.

Throughout this story, Shannon’s face has been growing tighter and tighter with trepidation.

JASON: I don’t see how this is related to anything going on here.

BRENT: Oh, it is.

Jason looks at him questioningly.

BRENT (CONT’D): The maid’s name was Lisa -- Lisa Stafford.

His words rock everyone present, opening up a new realm of possiblities regarding the mystery at hand.



BRIAN reenters the waiting room. He stops upon seeing CLAIRE and MOLLY talking. They fail to see him as he watches.

BRIAN: (sotto voce) After what I’ve done, I don’t deserve Molly. Why was I stupid enough to help Diane in her schemes against Tim and Claire?!? She’s my friend, but that’s no excuse at all.

He looks at Molly with passion in his expression.

BRIAN (CONT’D): (sotto voce) But there’s no reason Molly -- or anyone else -- has to know about any of that. It’s over now ... I can make sure Diane doesn’t say anything about it. That’s what I have to do; I have to keep Molly from finding out about my helping Diane.

A wave of determination overrides the sullen expression of guilt previously spread over his face.



TIM clutches the hand of a sweating DIANE, pushing with all her might to force the baby out. She continually looks to Tim for reassuring glances, which he provides halfheartedly. The group of DOCTORS and NURSES, meanwhile, work to make sure everything goes as planned with the labor.

DOCTOR: I see a head!

DIANE: What?!?

DOCTOR: This baby is on its way out right now!

Diane looks up at Tim.

DIANE: Can you believe this, Tim? Our baby is here!

Stung by her choice of the word “our,” Tim returns her hopeful glance after a brief pause.

DOCTOR: Push!!

Diane pushes harder than before, grunting with all her might.

NURSE: Here we go ...

After about a minute and screams, grunts, and pushes, Diane heaves a sigh of relief.

DOCTOR: Congratulations!

Diane opens her eyes.

DIANE: Is that it?

NURSE: That’s all.

DOCTOR: You two are the parents of a beautiful baby girl.

Diane’s eyes grow wide. She turns to Tim.

DIANE: Can you believe it, Tim? We’re parents!

She pulls on his sleeve in excitement.

Tim looks back at her, and for the first time during the delivery, he appears excited
by the birth of this child. Pulling down his mask, he smiles back at Diane.




PAULA: So you think the maid killed those people?

SARAH: You’ve got it, Mom.

PAULA: But why?

BRENT: Because “Lisa” was not who she said she was.

He casts a suspicious glance at Shannon.

BRENT (CONT’D): And that’s why, as my last official act as a member of the King’s Bay Police Department --

He pulls out a set of handcuffs.

BRENT (CONT’D): -- I’m placing Shannon Parish under arrest for the murders of Ron and Lydia Powell.

Yet another collective gasp is heard as Brent makes this announcement.


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