Monday, December 12, 2005

Episode 20 - Dawn Of A New Day

SCENE ONE - Stacy's Support Group Meeting

It's almost New Year's and the talk around Cedarville is how everyone hopes the New Year will be better than this past one. As we pick up the scene, we see Stacy's support group meeting, which she's gone to almost religiously since she finally admitted barely a month ago that she was having problems coping with his death, is winding down and she and her newly found friend Tamara are at the group snack table

TAMARA (Talking as we pick things up in mid-discussion): Trust me Stacy, it doesn't any easier.

STACY: I wish it did. Hopefully the New Year will change things.

TAMARA: The more things change, the more they stay the same. There's no escaping it. Even today, there are times I wish John were still alive. But he's not. He died serving our country. And for that, I'll never forget him.

STACY (Not even hearing Tamara's last two comments and thinking misinterpreting her comments to be "high & mighty"): Well at least John wasn't executed by a gang of thugging terrorists like Leo was. Ohh, but I suppose that would change things, wouldn't it?

Tamara has a look on her face that says "Excuse Me?"

TAMARA (Wondering where Stacy's comments were coming from, yet remaining calm): No he wasn't. But it doesn't make his death any less significant. They both died doing what they loved the most outside of us - serving their country by sacrificing themselves for our freedom. We should never forget that sis.

Tamara strolls off as Stacy shakes her head wishing everyone in the group would stop calling her "sis" or referring to her as their "sister"

SCENE TWO - The Al Faheed Household - Kitchen

Khalil al Faheed runs a construction business while his wife Clarita is the owner of a fancy furniture store specializing in Middle Eastern furniture. While his parents are the hard-working Arabs who have fled their homeland because of all the violence, their teenage son Aruba, on the other hand, is hell bent on joining a terrorist cell instead of joining the fighting forces who are fighting the very violence the Al Faheed's fled from. As we pick up the scene, it is the next day and Khalil and his family are all at the breakfast table talking as they consume the first meal of the day before heading out the door.

CLARITA (Trying to make conversation): Got a busy day today?

KHALIL (Responding while still chewing his food): Of course. It's busy every day.

CLARITA (Turning to her son): I hope you have some plans for today Aruba.

ARUBA: Yeah. I've got plans

KHALIL (Looking at Aruba as if to remind him of what he thinks of what Aruba has in mind): Not those plans.

ARUBA (Adamant and acting as though he thinks anything he does shouldn't be any of his parents' business) Yeah. Those plans

CLARITA (Worried & concerned): Ohh....But Aruba. You know how your father and I feel about the matter.

KHALIL (Before Aruba can respond): We disapprove & don't want you seeing those people again.

ARUBA (Rebellious): Yeah? Well I don't care what you approve or disapprove of father. They are my friends and I'll see them anytime I damn well please.

Khalil gets angry, goes around the table as Clarita pleads with him in an effort to keep the peace. Khalil simply goes around her and gets to Aruba, whom he picks up and holds in a threatening manner

KHALIL (Still grasping Aruba's shirt in a threatening manner as Aruba looks at him, almost fearful as Khalil grinds his teeth, shakely looks Aruba squarely in the eye and says the following): Now you listen to me. While you are living in our house - under our roof - You will follow our rules. Do I make myself clear?

ARUBA (His father still holding his shirt with both men seething): Go to hell traitor. Go to hell.

Aruba shoves Khalil in a manner that forces him to let go. Khalil and Clarita look at each other with fear (In Clarita's case), anger (In Khalil's case) and utter shock (Both of them) as Aruba storms out of the house, making certain he slams the door as he leaves.

Cue ATS Standard Open

SCENE THREE - Star Burst Coffee House

Brad is reading the paper when Claudia walks up.

CLAUDIA: Good Morning. Can I get you anything?

BRAD: No, I'm fine. Thanks.

CLAUDIA (Remembering him from the other day): Hopeless romantic huh?

BRAD (A little surprised): Excuse me?

CLAUDIA (Acting as though she's casually flirting with him): Been there myself. Know all the classic symptoms. Trust me, you've got 'em.

BRAD (Testing Claudia's knowledge): Well okay genius. Figure this one out. I'm in love with this woman who just lost her husband. Yet when I try to tell her, I just clam up. It's as though if I tell her, I run the risk of ruining the friendship we have and if I don't tell her, then I be left wondering what if. Ya know?

CLAUDIA: Yeah. But what does she think?

BRAD: Well...Every time we get together and talk, I try to subtlely nudge the conversation over to where I can put myself in a position to tell her. But every time I do, she backs away.


BRAD (Continuing): So one night, I just blurted it out. It wasn't subtle. It wasn't non-chalant. It just came out. It's as though I said it with no emotion. I've been trying to say it with emotion ever since, but she won't even let me get near her now. It's as if we're not on speaking terms now.

CLAUDIA: Well Brad, I think even you have to kind of admit that you took her by surprise.

BRAD: Yeah, but the thing is, it's been weeks since it happened. Until her husband was killed, we were pretty close - And getting closer.

CLAUDIA (Realizing who she & Brad are talking about): Wait a minute. We're not talking about Stacy here, are we?

BRAD (Curious as to why Claudia is acting the way she is): Yeah. What about it?

CLAUDIA (Rolling her eyes and shaking her head): Ohh my god Brad....Ohh my god...

Brad looks on with a stunned look on his face as if he's missing something.

SCENE FOUR - Trish & Michael's Place

Trish & Michael have also awakened and are also eating breakfast and making plans for the day when Michael's cell phone rings. As we pick up the scene, Michael has just picked up the phone and is about to answer it.NOTE: We only hear one end of the conversation

MICHAEL (To the person on the phone):Hello....Yeah....Didn't my office fax those over to you? They should've.

By this time, Trish, who's in a lovemaking mood, moves over to where Michael is and starts to give him a massage until Michael pauses his conversation with his client on the phone

MICHAEL (Annoyed at Trish's untimely massage): Excuse me please. (Now looking at Trish) Babe...Please....Later?

TRISH (Flirtatiously persuasive and leaning on his right shoulder): Mmmm....But I just wanna skip working today and spend the whole day with you my dear lover.

MICHAEL: You know I can't. You know I've got a couple big meetings today.

Trish remains unimpressed with Michael's excuse

MICHAEL (Hoping for forgiveness): Rain check?

TRISH: On one condition.

MICHAEL: What's that?

TRISH (Being very flirtatious now): That we have dinner by candlelight at The Fon DuLac and I'm all yours the whole night.

MICHAEL: Mmm...Baby. You got yourself a deal.

Silence enters the room till it's broken by the tiny squeal of the voice on the phone saying "hello". Michael hears it and realizes he must get back to his conversation

MICHAEL (Turning back to the person on the phone as Trish walks away): Umm....Yes. I'm still here. Yes.....Yes.....I think we can do that.....Who?.....Uhh...Yeah....I thought Al Faheed Construction would be ideal for this....In fact, I called and left them a message.....They should be calling me back sometime today.....Okay cool....Listen...Why don't I get with the construction company and give you a call back....Sound good?....Okay bye.

SCENE FIVE - Clarita's Fancy Furniture

It's now a couple hours later and Clarita has just opened her little shop for the day's business and is busy arranging newly-arrived furniture when Stephanie walks in. She has never been to Clarita's shop or met Clarita before.

CLARITA (Immediately hearing the bells attached to her door ring and noticing Stephanie aimlessly looking around): Can I help you?

STEPHANIE (Responding): Wow. I...I...I've never seen this shop here before. Are you new to the neighborhood?

CLARITA: Uhh...Yes. I just opened up a few months ago. Can I help you find something?

STEPHANIE: Umm....Not really. Just happened to be out for my walk around the neighborhood and noticed your shop here. Strange I haven't noticed it before.

CLARITA: (Trying to give Stephanie a possible reason why she hasn't noticed her shop till now): Well....This is kind of a big neighborhood. Are you sure I can't help you find anything?

STEPHANIE (Trying to dismiss Clarita): Ohh...No. I'll just be looking around.

CLARITA: Okay. Holler if you need me.

With that Clarita goes back to arranging the newly-arrived furniture as Stephanie looks at and picks up a few items in passive fashion much like a shopper would normally behave.

SCENE SIX - Just Outside Fort Cedar

Stacy is outside Fort Cedar as she at her monthly support group meeting when she notices by a small group of women who appear to be trying to organize an anit-war protest, but seem to lack some leadership and organization. Curious though, she nonetheless approaches the women

STACY (Curious) Hello.

MONICA (One of the women in the group): Hello Stacy. Wanna join?

STACY (Knowing that what she sees is not normal): Join? What is this? What's going on here? What's with all these signs?

KELLY (One of the other women): We're holding a protest rally. Wanna join?

STACY (Perplexed): Protest rally? For what?

SARAH (Another one of the women in the group): The war. Why else would we be here holding a protest rally?

Stacy looks perplexed & confused as she really doesn't know how to feel or react to or about the situation

SCENE SEVEN - Just Outside The Cedarville High School Campus

Aruba has just arrived for school. But before he goes into his first hour class, he has a brief meeting with his "friends". The very same ones that are trying to recruit him into a terrorist cell and the very people his parents want him to stay away from

JUAQUENTO: Right on time Aruba. A good sign.

ARUBA (Fearful his father may be watching and is looking around): Can we just get this over with?

JUAQUENDO: Sure. Wouldn't want you to miss class. So, are you in or not? I need an answer NOW Aruba. No more putting it off.

ARUBA: If I say yes, what happens?

JUAQUENDO: Plans will move forward as originally outlined and you will be highly regarded as a warrior hero.

ARUBA: And if not?

JUAQUENDO: Well....It'd be a major disappointment. However, we will not think any less of you. That said though, I cannot guarantee you will not become a casualty once the plan is executed. In short, you will be considered by some in the cell as a traitor to the Almight one and to your own people. The weapons are non-discriminatory.

ARUBA (Feeling excited and inspired): I have never felt more ready in my entire life. Train me. I will not fail. I will not let you down.



* Aruba starts his training, but can his father convince him he's making the biggest mistake of his life? Will Aruba even listen to him?

* Will Brad FINALLY profess his love to Stacy or will he continue to chicken out and deny his true feelings? Will Stacy admit HER feelings for Brad or will SHE continue to deny hers as well?

* Stacy joins the protesters at Fort Cedar, but they want her to LEAD it. Will she do it or will she remain loyal to Leo's legacy?

* A blast from Cedarville's most recent past returns. How much trouble will she cause THIS time?

* Trish & Michael make plans for an evening date, but something else could change their lives FOREVER. What is it?

All this & more on the NEXT edition of AGAINST THE STORM.

Cue ATS Standard Close.