Footprints: An Online Soap -- Episode #55

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Episode #55
Shortly After #54



A group of SKATERS has gathered around a bulletin board marked “RESULTS.” Victorious squeals and defeated groans are heard as the skaters learn their final standing in the competition.

A pair of doors swing open and JASON enters, looking distressed. He makes his way over to the results board and waits silently for the crowd to disperse. His face twists with discomfort as he recalls a scene of several minutes ago.

          FADE TO:




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.

          FADE TO:


At last, the crowd has begun to clear. JASON steps up to the results board and scans quickly over several sheets of paper until he finds one marked “Junior Pairs.” He runs his finger from the bottom of the sheet upwards, searching for his placement. Finally he sees it:

“3. Shannon Parish & Jason Fisher, King’s Bay Figure Skating Club.”

JASON: Third place?!?

In his shock, he fails to notice another COUPLE standing behind him. Jason turns around, still in awe, and nearly bumps into them.

GIRL: You guys came in third?


GIRL: That’s great. You skated really well.

JASON: Thanks. So did you guys. (beat) Where’d you end up?

The guy has just finished looking for their names on the sheet.

GUY: Second place.

JASON: Great job!

GIRL: So, I guess we’ll all be going to Nationals together, huh?

Jason’s agony is obvious as he realizes that although he and Shannon qualified for Nationals, they won’t be making the trip.



A sweating DIANE lay in the bed, exhaustion visible in her face. TIM stands beside her. Across the room, DOCTORS and NURSES are still working.

DIANE: I can’t believe it, Tim -- I did it!

TIM: I know you did. I’m so proud of you.

Their hands are still joined from the delivery. He squeezes hers tightly and looks into her eyes. The animosity that has existed between them in previous weeks is not apparent here.

NURSE: Would you like to hold your baby?

DIANE: Of course I would!

The nurse gently places the BABY GIRL, all wrapped up, in Diane’s arms. She and Tim look down at their new daughter’s face. Tim runs a finger across the delicate, soft skin. Clearly, Diane and Tim are bonded by their love for this child.



CLAIRE is now holding TRAVIS in her lap. MOLLY and BRIAN are seated to her left.

MOLLY: I wonder how everything’s going in there.

CLAIRE: It could be a long labor. You never know.

BRIAN: Anything could happen, right? Hopefully the baby will be all right.

CLAIRE: It’s nice to hear someone talk about the baby, for once.

MOLLY: What do you mean?

CLAIRE: Every time we try to tell Diane that she shouldn’t be hanging off a ledge or she shouldn’t create any more tension than necessary with Tim and me, she acts like she’s the only one it concerns. She never manages to see that there’s an innocent kid mixed up in all of this.

BRIAN: I see your point.

He appears guilty, but neither of the women take notice.

CLAIRE: She has continually tried to scheme to get things to go her way, but she never stops to think that by putting herself in physical danger, she’s putting the baby in danger, or by straining relations with Tim and me, she’s making it that much more difficult for the baby to have a stable childhood. (beat) I guess it just drives me crazy that this pregnancy has become a contest for attention more than anything else.



As darkness falls over Phoenix, BRENT stands beside a police car, speaking on his cell phone.

BRENT: Okay, no problem. We’re bringing her in now. (beat) All right ... bye.

He opens the back door of the car, revealing a handcuffed SHANNON.

BRENT (CONT’D): Get comfortable, Shannon. We’re going for a little ride.

SHANNON: Gee, I can’t imagine where.

Brent slams the door on her sarcasm as SARAH approaches from the rink.

SARAH: Are we all ready to go?

BRENT: Just about.

SARAH: Can you hold it for like five minutes?


SARAH: Courtney would like to have a few final words with Shannon.

BRENT: She can’t do anything stupid ...

SARAH: I think she just needs to clear some stuff up. This has been a terrible time for her, Brent.

BRENT: I understand. Where is she?

SARAH: She’s coming--

COURTNEY: I’m here.

COURTNEY is headed towards them.

BRENT: Do you wanna have a few words with the prisoner?

COURTNEY: You might say I’ve got a few choice words for her. But before I completely bitch her out, there’s something I need to ask her.

Brent opens the door to the police car and he and Sarah step aside, keeping an eye on the car but trying not to eavesdrop.

SHANNON: What do you want? Aren’t you satisfied yet?

COURTNEY: Oh, I’m plenty satisfied right now. There’s just one thing I’d like to know.


COURTNEY: It occurred to me that you’ve obviously used every possible situation to your advantage, so that you could keep Jason away from me, right?

Shannon nods reluctantly.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): So isn’t it convenient that Jason just headed to your house and drank himself into a stupor, which is something that Jason would never, ever do?

SHANNON: Yeah, it was nice and convenient. Helped me out a whole bunch.

COURTNEY: What happened that night could ruin my friendship with him forever if I don’t get this cleared up.

SHANNON: Sucks to be you.

COURTNEY: What I’m trying to ask is this: What did you do to Jason that night to make him sleep with you?

Out on Courtney’s furious face as she awaits an answer from her rival.



JASON is in the midst of a conversation with another SKATING COUPLE.

JASON: I’m not so sure about that ...

GIRL: Why not? You qualified for Nationals.

JASON: I know, but there are ... circumstances.

GUY: Are you guys thinking of breaking up? Not skating together, I mean?

JASON: Right now, that’s a distinct possibility.

GIRL: That’s a shame. You skated so well; you deserve to go to Nationals.

JASON: Thanks. Congratulations, by the way.

GIRL: You too.

The guy and girl walk away. Jason is left standing alone. He sighs heavily.

Meanwhile, two WOMEN, both middle-aged, are standing nearby. They do not see Jason, but he recognizes them as mothers of two of his competitors.

WOMAN #1: Did you see the police car outside?

WOMAN #2: Yeah! That Parish girl was getting in.

WOMAN #1: What do you think is going on?

WOMAN #2: I don’t know, but something is definitely wrong with the whole picture. (beat) I just wonder why she’s being arrested, especially right after a competition.

Jason listens on, his appearance downcast at the recent turn of events.



As BRENT and SARAH look on, COURTNEY leans into the police car as she questions SHANNON.

SHANNON: What are you accusing me of?

COURTNEY: Not anything in particular. I just get the feeling that there’s more to the whole situation than there appears to be.

SHANNON: How dare you--? Leave me alone!

COURTNEY: No! Not until I get an answer.

SHANNON: You want an answer? Here’s an answer: Jason slept with me because he wanted me, not you!

Courtney is momentarily stunned, but quickly recovers.

COURTNEY: That is such a bunch of crap! You know it, I know it, and Jason knows it. (beat) Now tell me, what did you do to Jason that night?

Shannon is infuriated by Courtney’s questioning and finally explodes.

SHANNON: You wanna know what happened? I gave him hot chocolate, okay? It just so happened that I also put alcohol in it. Is that good enough for you?

COURTNEY: Plenty. (beat) Are you sure that’s it, or are you just telling me that to hide something else?

SHANNON: No, that’s the truth.

COURTNEY: That was easier than I thought ... but why did you give in so easily?

SHANNON: Because--

She leans menacingly closer to Courtney.

SHANNON (CONT’D): --regardless of what I did, the fact remains that I had Jason that night, not you.

Out on the tension passing between them as Shannon stabs Courtney through the heart with these words.



MOLLY and BRIAN are speaking with CLAIRE, who is holding TRAVIS on her lap.

MOLLY: The fact remains, Claire, that you have Tim and Diane doesn’t. He has said a million times that he loves you; he has nothing but contempt for her after what she’s done.

BRIAN: Believe me, I think Diane knows deep down that she can never have Tim. Somewhere in her mind, though, she thinks that she can at least hang on to him in some way by crying out for attention.

CLAIRE: That’s all this baby is to her.

MOLLY: I know ... which is exactly why you and Tim will get custody.

CLAIRE: I hope you’re right, Molly.

A joyous TIM bursts into the room.

CLAIRE (CONT’D): How’d it go?

TIM: Very, very well! I have a daughter!

Claire hugs him. She is pained by hearing her husband speak so happily of his child with another woman.

He sees Molly and Brian.

TIM (CONT’D): Hey, guys! It was nice of you to come down here and keep Claire company.

MOLLY: It was no problem.

TIM: Anyway, Claire, you might wanna think about heading home. I could be here for a while longer.

CLAIRE: You know, maybe I will. (beat) Are you sure you don’t need me to stick around?

TIM: No, I’ve got it under control. I just think Diane might need some company for a little while.

BRIAN: Do you think I can go see her yet?

TIM: Yeah, she’s in a regular room now. The number is 5E, if I’m not mistaken.

BRIAN: Okay, thanks. Molly, do you mind?

MOLLY: Not at all. She’s your friend -- go ahead.

Brian heads off.

TIM: I can’t believe it! This is so cool!

He takes Travis from Claire’s arms.

TIM (CONT’D): And pretty soon, you--

He pokes Travis on the nose playfully with a single finger.

TIM (CONT’D): and me and Mommy and your new sister are all gonna be a big happy family, okay, Big Guy?

Claire forces a smile.



PAULA, BILL, ANDY, and DANIELLE are still down near the ice.

PAULA: I just can’t get over what’s happened here, with Shannon being arrested for murder and for setting up the attack on Courtney.

DANIELLE: She had it coming to her. She thought she could screw with half the world and still get off scot-free.

BILL: (chuckles lightly) Couldn’t have said it better myself.

PAULA: I never got to hear the whole thing explained -- why did Shannon kill those people, and why was she posing as Lisa?

DANIELLE: That’s the really interesting part.

ANDY: Shannon’s name is really Shannon Powell.

Bill and Paula suddenly understand.

ANDY (CONT’D): She had been away at boarding school, training for skating, for several years. When she came home, she simply couldn’t deal with her parents, I assume. I doubt they were the best parents anyway, but it was hardly a reason to kill them.

PAULA: That’s awful!

ANDY: Tell me about it.

DANIELLE: So, anyway, she waited a few months until she turned eighteen and then set up the arson to kill them. There was no solid evidence against her, so she got away. She started training at Jason’s rink and had her name legally changed so no one would connect her with the Powells’ deaths. Meanwhile, while she waited for the inheritance money to come through, she posed as “Lisa,” the Fitches’ maid.

BILL: So she could make money?

DANIELLE: And so, while making money, no one would know she had taken a lowely maid’s job.

Danielle shakes her head.

DANIELLE (CONT’D): That girl has some serious psychological problems.

BILL: I can’t believe that she left all that evidence behind.

ANDY: It seems that she just wanted to forget about it, and my mother promised her it would be destroyed. Unfortunately, Mother gets a little forgetful ...

PAULA: I’m just glad Shannon was caught before she caused any permanent harm to Courtney or Jason.

BILL: Shannon may not have given them lasting physical harm, but the damage she has done to their psyches and their relationship will stick with them for the rest of their lives.



DIANE is lying in the bed, sitting up, when there is a knock on the door.

DIANE: Come in!

The door opens and BRIAN enters.

DIANE (CONT’D): Hey! What’re you doing here?

BRIAN: Actually, I was already here.


BRIAN: Molly was babysitting for Tim and Claire when they called and told her you had gone into labor. I was there hanging out with her, so I offered to come along.

DIANE: Sounds like you two are getting pretty close.

BRIAN: We are … I just need to be careful that she doesn’t find out about me working with you on your little “plans.”

DIANE: My lips are sealed.

She mimes the action of pulling a zipper closed over her mouth and tossing away the key.

BRIAN: So, how was it?

DIANE: Excruciating! I’m exhausted!

BRIAN: You want me to go so you can sleep?

DIANE: No, no. I’m worn out, but I’m also so excited that I wouldn’t be able to sleep. It’s nice to have some company.

BRIAN: It looks like you’ll have some for quite awhile.

DIANE: What do you mean?

BRIAN: Tim just came out into the waiting room and told Claire to go home with the baby, because he’d be here with you and the baby for a while.

DIANE: Oh, good! (beat) I tell you, holding that baby was the most magical moment of my life. It completely changes the way you look at love.

BRIAN: Are you trying to say you’re over this Tim thing?

DIANE: Not even close. It’s just made me realize how close he and I can be if I just work at it.

BRIAN: Diane, don’t do anything foolish.

DIANE: Have you ever known me to do anything foolish?

He opens his mouth to speak, but she holds up a finger to cut him off.

DIANE (CONT’D): Don’t answer that. All I know is this: Tim loves that baby and so do I. It’s our love for our daughter that’s gonna bond us into a real family … I just know it.



JASON is pacing the floor, stopping occasionally to look through the glass to the rink below and watch whatever skater happens to be performing. He is leaned against this glass when, suddenly, a hand gently grabs his shoulder. He turns around and sees that it belongs to COURTNEY.



The tension that existed between them before Jason left King’s Bay for the competition now exists only as a formality. Both are aware that the recent events have changed their relationship completely and are eager to make amends, but are aware that they last left each other on bad terms.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): I just wanna say I’m sorry--

JASON: You don’t have to. I’m the one who should be sorry -- sorry for now believing you, sorry for betraying whatever feelings I have for you by sleeping with Shannon.

COURTNEY: No, I mean it: I’m sorry.

JASON: It’s not necessary, Courtney. I’ll completely understand if you never wanna see me again. I did so much to screw up our relationship.

COURTNEY: And so did I. So we’re even, right?

He is taken aback by her upbeat behavior.

JASON: Are you serious?

COURTNEY: Absolutely. Sure, you didn’t believe me about Shannon hiring that hitman, but the pictures were found, right? I got a chance to show everyone my proof.

JASON: Still ... what about the other thing?

COURTNEY: That’s what I really need to talk to you about.

The excitement on her face confuses him.



CLAIRE is driving home. TRAVIS is strapped into a baby seat in the back.

CLAIRE: (sotto voce) I thought Tim couldn’t be taken in by Diane’s little plots anymore, but now I’m not so sure. He seemed so excited about spending time with her and the baby ... I just know that she’ll try to use that time to draw him closer to her.

She gazes out the window momentarily.

CLAIRE (CONT’D): I trust Tim, though. He loves me and that won’t change. (beat) It’s Diane I’m worried about.



DIANE is bidding farewell to a departing BRIAN.

DIANE: I’ll see you later, okay?

BRIAN: Yeah. Get a good night’s sleep. Bye.


Brian opens the door to leave. As he exits the room, TIM enters. They exchange brief greetings as they pass. Once fully in the room, Tim closes the door.

TIM: How are you holding up?

DIANE: Perfectly.

TIM: How do you feel -- physically?

DIANE: Pretty good. Obviously it’s not the most comfortable thing to go through ...

TIM: You had a pretty easy labor, but it still takes a big toll on the body. Claire’s labor was fairly easy, too, and she was really uncomfortable afterwards.

Diane cringes at the mention of her rival’s name.

DIANE: You know, I got to thinking about something while you were gone.

TIM: What’s that?

DIANE: What are we gonna name our daughter?

TIM: That is a very good question.

He pulls up a chair and sits down next to the bed.

TIM (CONT’D): Did you have anything particular in mind?

DIANE: You know, I was thinking maybe we could name her after your mother, or one of your sisters.

TIM: Not a good idea.

DIANE: Why not?

TIM: Because --

He pauses, aware of what she is trying to do but not wanting to return to the topic of their relationship.

TIM (CONT’D): --it would be absolute bedlam to have two of anybody running around. I want this kid to have her own name.

DIANE: How about Samantha, then? I’ve always loved that name.

TIM: You know, my mom was gonna name Jason “Samantha” if he had been a girl. That’s a terrific idea.

DIANE: Do you like it?

TIM: I do.

DIANE: Good. What about middle names?

TIM: I’ve got that one: Michelle.

DIANE: I like it. I like it a lot. (beat) So it’s settled -- Samantha Michelle.

She stares silently at Tim for a moment.

DIANE (CONT’D): Oh, Tim, I’m so happy!

She pulls him into a hug of sorts. He allows it, but over her shoulder his face appears somewhat annoyed, as if there were somewhere he’d rather be -- such as home with Claire.



JASON and COURTNEY are talking. The previous discomfort between them is gone; in its place is their familiar fondness.

JASON: What do you mean?

COURTNEY: I just talked to Shannon.

JASON: You did?

COURTNEY: I got Brent to let me talk to her before they drove her away in the police car.

JASON: What’d she say?

COURTNEY: That’s the interesting part. I got her to admit that you didn’t just get drunk that night.

JASON: I didn’t? What?

COURTNEY: She gave you hot chocolate and spiked it, apparently.

He strains, trying to remember this.

JASON: I vaguely remember having some hot chocolate ... Are you sure about this? Why did she admit it so easily?

COURTNEY: She thought it would be enough that “she had you that night and I didn’t.”

She makes air quotes and exaggerates her facial expression while saying this.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): But you know what? I don’t care.


COURTNEY: She got you drunk on purpose, Jason. How could you have known? It’s just another example of the way she manipulated us every step of the way.

JASON: Are you serious about this?

COURTNEY: Totally.We’ve been screwed with way too much to have had a fair chance at anything, Jason. All I want right now is a clean start for ... for us.

He stares at her in amazement.

COURTNEY (CONT’D): So, are you with me?

Jason snaps out of his shock.

JASON: Of course I am!

They hug, at first reservedly, but they soon fall into each other comfortably.

COURTNEY: So, do you wanna sit down and talk about some of this?

Jason considers this for a moment.

JASON: You know what? It’s been a hell of a day. Why don’t we wait until we get back home to talk about this stuff?

COURTNEY: Are you sure?

JASON: Yeah. (beat) Right now, let’s just forget about everything else and go catch a movie. Tomorrow begins the first day of the rest of our lives.

He grabs her hand and leads her out of the building, though she is anything but unwilling to follow. As they depart, laughing, they appear for the first time to be a normal, young couple in love.


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