The Gift of the Zombi by Julie Hoverson (with a wink and a nod to O. Henry) 19 Nocturne Boulevard's Reissue of the Week
Manage episode 349404258 series 2034979
Ben and Mia, young zombies in love, search for the perfect xmas present in a world of the walking dead.
Mia - Brenda Dau Ben - Derek M. Koch of Mail Order Zombie Geek - Glen Hallstrom Tick - Frankenvox Chuck - Bob Noble Andy - Reynaud LeBoeuf Doris - Julie Hoverson Sheri - Crystal Thomson Ted - J. Spyder Isaacson Voicebox - Beverly Poole Fred & Bob - Big Anklevich & Rish Outfield of Dunesteef Audio Magazine Ben's Double - Danar Hoverson Mia's Double - Julie Hoverson
Other zombies: Al Aseoche, Jacquie Duckworth, Reynaud LeBoeuf, Jack Hosley, Sidney Williams, Glen Hallstrom, Bob Noble, Brian Weingartner, Ferguson and family, Robyn Keyes, Kim Poole, Michael Hudson.
Music by Jason Shaw (Audionautix.com) Show theme: Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech.com) Editing and Sound: Julie Hoverson Cover Design: Brett Coulstock
"What kind of a place is it? Why it's an apartment on the wrong side of town, can't you tell?"
GIFT OF THE ZOMBI
[Opening credits - Olivia]
Mia, zombie (20s) dating Ben
Ben, zombie (20s) dating Mia
Ted, zombie (30s), Mia's horny neighbor
Andy, henpecked zombie (40s)
Doris, Andy's wife (40s)
Geek, a broker (30s)
Sheri, a lovelorn friend (20s)
Tick, an unscrupulous intact (human, 30s)
Fred, a zombie (any)
Bob, another zombie (any)
Chuck, overseer zombie (any)
Voicebox - mechanical translator
ALL ZOMBIES (unless noted as exceptions, below) have dual vocal tracks - the "zombie-voice" track, which is unintelligible, but vaguely mirrors the normal voice and events, and the "mind voice" (sounds like a voiceover), which is how they sound to each other.
/n = normal"mind voice"
/z = "zombie voice"
There are places where we only hear the zoombie voice.
DORIS has no "mind voice", just incoherent shrieks
GEEK only has a zombie voice, but he is clearly understandable, if still zombie-like
TICK is human, and has no zombie-voice.
NOTE: The zombie apocalypse has come and been dealt with more or less. Zombies might still attack humans, if they see them, but humans tend to live in the walled cities and have become somewhat mythological to the zombies outside.
Zombies still are self-aware, but they think and speak so very slowly that they are difficult for humans to understand. Conversely, to a zombie, humans seem to speak incredibly fast - almost incomprehensibly so. That's why humans developed the voicebox to take what they say and slow it down enough for a zombie to understand.
OLIVIA Did you have any trouble finding it? What do you mean, what kind of a place is it? Why, it's a crumbling apartment building, can't you tell?
SCENE 1. MIA'S APARTMENT
SOUND WIND-UP ALARM GOES OFF
SOUND FLIES IN THE B/G THROUGHOUT
MIA/Z [distant moan of awakening, which continues, sporadically, punctuating the narrative]
MIA/n I hate Mondays.
SOUND ALARM SLAPPED OFF TABLE, STOPS RINGING
SOUND STUMBLING FOOTSTEPS
MUSIC VAGUE WARPED CHRISTMAS CAROL PLAYS SOMEWHERE
MIA/n It doesn’t help that it's two days til Christmas and I haven’t got Ben his present.
MIA/z [roar of anger]
SOUND SOMETHING CRASHES TO FLOOR, GLASS BREAKS.
MIA/N The holidays just bring out the worst in me.
SOUND DOOR OPENS, FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE
MIA/N [sigh] Checking my stitches in the mirror - nice to see nothing weird happened in the night. I love the hot pink against my pale skin. [beat] I know I'm swimming against the tide, but I still like to look nice, even when no one else gives a hang. They're welcome to run around unwashed, in raggedy-ass clothes, just leaves more Prada for me.
SOUND SPRAY CAN PSSHT, FLIES STOP, TINY DROPPING NOISES
MIA/n A little spray - no water, that's just asking for mold - and I'm ready to face the day.
SOUND [under the next] SHAMBLING FOOTSTEPS OUT OF BATHROOM AGAIN, STRUGGLES FEET INTO SHOES, NOW SHAMBLING FEET ARE IN HEELS.
MIA/n Ben's gift is the big problem. I know what I want to get him, but it won't come cheap. There just aren't that many floating around out there.
SCENE 2. OUTSIDE
SOUND NO TRAFFIC. JUST BIRDS, SHAMBLING FOOTSTEPS, OR OCCASIONAL BREAKING THINGS.
SOUND STRUGGLE WITH OBJECTS, THINGS FALL AWAY
BEN/z [moans, fighting his way to his feet]
BEN/n [hungover sounding] Wow, what did I do last night?
BEN/z [shake head noise]
BEN/n Oh, crap - Mia'll be expecting me--
SOUND SHAMBLING FEET SPEED UP
BEN/n For all her persnickityness, Mia is totally the greatest babe around, and I am sooo lucky that I'm the one she's into. I figured for the longest time that she was just slumming with a grot like me - right up until we really did it. Went whole hog and did the handfast. It's like always having a piece of her with me.
[note: in this case, the handfast was actually trading hands. zombies can buy and sell body parts and trade them with one another]
BEN/z [yo! How's it going?]
ANDY/z [falling moan, ending in a squeal]
BEN/n Don't I know it! Man, if ever a guy was whipped, Andy is the poster boy. He's gonna catch hell for not getting home to Doris last night. Almost tempting to stay and see the fray, but meeting Mia is the only thing on my maggoty little mind right now.
SCENE 3. MIA'S STAIRCASE
SOUND BODY FALLS DOWN STAIRS, FOLLOWED BY THE CLATTER OF A SHOE.
MIA/z [distraught moan]
MIA/n Darn stair carpet. Darn heels.
SOUND FEELING AROUND FOR THE SHOE AND PUTTING IT BACK ON
MIA/n Alas, vanity doesn't come cheap. Ben loves my little foibles. He understands why it matters so much to me, to be beautiful for him. Looking back at my pink stitches, almost tripping as I crane my neck to see, I wonder whether he will like them as much as I do.
SOUND SHAMBLING FEET IN HEELS AGAIN, ANOTHER SET OF FEET COMES ON
TED/z [moan approaches, vaguely suggestive]
MIA/z [dismissive moan]
MIA/n Not today, Ted. I don't have time for any of your nonsense.
TED/z [moan ending in a squeak/question]
MIA/n I'm with Ben, Ted. You know that. I'm not giving up what I have with him. He has my hand, and my promise. He even has my heart ... just in the old-fashioned way.
TED/z [mournful and pissed moan]
MIA/n Yeah, yeah, yeah - if you were the last one on earth, maybe.
MIA/z [roar/moan as she brushes him aside]
SOUND STUMBLING FEET QUICKLY TO DOOR, SLAMS OPEN, TUMBLES THROUGH
MIA/z [roar of triumph]
MIA/N First time!! [made it on the first try!] This is gonna be a great day!
SCENE 4. OUTSIDE, NEAR BEN
ANDY/z [cursing groan]
ANDY/n Come on, Ben. Doris likes you! If I say you needed my help, she'll buy it!
BEN/z [dismissive groan]
SOUND SHAMBLING FEET MOVING AWAY, STUMBLING AFTER
ANDY/N Dude! Come on--
DORIS/z [distant strident squeal]
ANDY/n Oh, crap!
SOUND SOMETHING WET SPLATS ON PAVEMENT, THEN DISTANT FEET APPROACHING
ANDY/z [strange gurgling warble]
ANDY/n [sigh] I lose more tongues that way.
DORIS/z [strident squeal, closer]
SCENE 5. OUTSIDE NEAR MIA'S BUILDING
SOUND HIGH HEEL SHAMBLE
MIA/z [low moan]
GEEK/z [he speaks clear enough to understand, but still zombie-like] [hey, fingers!]
MIA/n Yeah, what's it to you?
GEEK/z [you got any to spare?]
MIA/n No! I like mine right where they are.
GEEK/z [get you a good price. Fingers are always top value.]
MIA/z [sharp moan of anger]
MIA/n Look - these five are my boyfriend's, and this one says--
MIA/z [fuck you]
GEEK/z [you'll be back [louder] they always come back!!]
MIA/n Damn parts brokers - [jealous] always have the best tongues.
SCENE 6. OUTSIDE, ELSEWHERE
[note: throughout the rest of the show, unless otherwise noted, appropriate zombie noises play under]
MIA [calling] Hey babycakes!
BEN [off] Yo sweet thang!
SOUND PLODDING FOOTSTEPS COME TOGETHER
MIA Mm. Missed you!
BEN Double that.
SOUND DISGUSTING SLOPPY LICKY KISSY NOISES
MIA [mild slurp, then hot] You are such a good kisser.
BEN Don't know how I'd get up each day without you to look forward to.
BEN Let's walk. Want to show you something.
MIA Oh? Well, I've got a little time before hitting the old treadmill.
BEN You know I'd support you if I could--
MIA I like looking after my own needs. [flirting] Leaves you to look after my wants.
SCENE 7. OUTSIDE, NEAR STORE
SOUND PLODDING FEET
MIA I should have worn more convenient shoes.
BEN Sorry! Almost there.
MIA What is...it...? [awe] Oh!
BEN I thought you might say that. Just saw them. Of course, they're not cheap.
MIA [drooling -- zombie noises under get really slobbery] Patent leather, thigh high - oh, I'd never have to take them off!
BEN The heels aren't too high, are they?
MIA [sigh of ecstasy] I love stacks...
SCENE 8. OUTSIDE, Later
BEN [bummed] I was right, she loved the boots.
ANDY And how much did you say they were?
BEN More than I've had in living memory.
ANDY At any one time?
ANDY Woah. Well, suppose you can hit the mills like the rest of us schmoes - if you're truly that desperate.
BEN [scoff noise] The mills? It'd take me ten years - and they'd probably sell by then.
ANDY What, then? Go out snatching? That's pretty much your only other option.
BEN [sighs] I thought I might ask around, see what I could borrow--
ANDY Woah, there! You know Doris holds the purse strings!
BEN If I was going to snatch anyone, I'd snatch her - she's got enough body for three.
ANDY [musing] You know... That's not a bad idea.
BEN [disturbed] Serious?
ANDY Nah. I'd fall apart without her keeping me moving. I guess that's love.
BEN [agreeing hmph]
SCENE 9. TREADMILLS
SOUND HEAVY WHIRRING NOISE UNDER. DISTANT NORMAL STREET SOUNDS
OTHER ZOMBIES [Morning!] [nice to see you!] [Mia! Looking good!]
SOUND MANY PLODDING FEET
MIA Hey Chuck! Got a space?
CHUCK For you? Always, babe. Wanna lose the heels first?
MIA Brought my work shoes. Just need a moment at the bench.
CHUCK I'd offer to help, but...[chuckles] Thank god for velcro, eh?
MIA Hah! I have all my fingers.
CHUCK [chuckles] Coulda fooled me - [teasing] That looks like your fellow's hand...?
MIA [chuckles] Jealous?
SCENE 10. OUTSIDE, ELSEWHERE
[note - Ben has zombie noises under, geek does not - he always sounds like a zombie trying to talk]
GEEK [heard you were having some money troubles.]
BEN What's it to you?
GEEK [I might be able to help you with that.]
BEN I don't think so. I don't have anything I feel like selling.
GEEK [You got some extra fingers. An entire hand that looks... spare]
BEN No way. Man! That's - that's Mia's hand! I should smack you with it just for suggesting that!
GEEK [Hey! I don't want no trouble! I'm just a businessman!]
BEN [spits out the word] Businessman. You're a parts broker.
GEEK [Yeah, and we both know you come to me when you need something, then you spit on me when I try to help you out.]
SOUND SHUFFLING FEET START TO LEAVE
BEN What - what's in high demand?
BEN I mean, if I was... going to sell something ...just if... what would you be [reluctant, forcing the words out] paying the best prices for?
GEEK [[chuckles] See? When you need me--]
BEN Cut the crap and tell me.
GEEK [Appendages are always good. Fingers, noses, ears. And soft parts, like tongues and, uh.... [suggestive] you know.]
GEEK [Toes not so much - most just get by without - unless you have a complete foot somewhere - those are collectible, but only in pristine condition. Eyes are pretty good, and you hardly need two.]
BEN What about parts that - aren't mine?
GEEK [Stolen parts? What makes you think I trade dirty?]
BEN Your type always does.
GEEK [[pissed again] My type? My type? I think you just talked yourself out of a good deal, pal.]
BEN Shit, I--
GEEK [incoherent roar, as he leaves]
SCENE 11. TREADMILL
AMB - underlying zombies moans, many many plodding feet
MIA [no specific moaning for this speech] Being on the treadmill gives you plenty of time to think. You stare at the back of the guy in front of you and wonder what's going through his head. Ben doesn't like the nine to five, but I figure - heck, you gotta do something, and if you feel the urge to walk, might as well get paid for it, right?
SOUND SOMEONE CLIMBS ON THE TREADMILL
[vocals have zombie noises under again]
TED Hey Mia!
MIA [sigh] Hi Ted.
TED Funny running into you here. Shove over?
MIA Right. Like I don't do this every day. No room.
SHERI Hey Mia! [warm] Hey Ted.
TED [dismissive] Sheri. [wheedling] Come on, Mia, squeeze in a little. There's space next to you if you make room.
MIA Sorry, Ted [she's not]. Been saving that for... Sheri.
TED Sheri won't mind - will you?
SHERI I - I guess not...
MIA Oh, no Ted. We have girl talking to do. Bye-bye. Hop up Sheri.
TED Fine. See you at end of shift?
MIA [muttered] Not if I see you first.
SOUND TED FLOPS OFF
MIA [up] I don't know what you see in him, Sher.
SHERI Neither do I. Pheromones I guess.
MIA Well, he does smell.
SHERI [on an ecstatic sigh] Yes.
MIA [ugh] Hey, Sher, I gotta problem.
SHERI Oh? [horrified] You didn't... break up with Ben?
MIA No! Why would you say that?
MIA Did you hear something, or are you just worried that Ted might somehow luck out and catch me on the rebound?
SHERI Um. The second one.
MIA Kinda thought so. O-K, passing over your insecurity, can we discuss my problem?
SHERI [relieved] Sure!
MIA I found the perfect present for Ben, and I don't know how I'm gonna afford it.
SHERI You mean...um...what you said he's missing?
MIA Yeah. All his fleshy parts haven't lasted so well - I keep telling him that sleeping rough isn't good for him, but he hates being cooped up. Says being nibbled on by rats is preferable to a cage.
SHERI You live in a cage?
MIA He means an apartment.
SHERI Oh. Well, I'm sure he looks fine without one. You see plenty of missing ones out there every day.
[NOTE: they're discussing noses, but it makes it sound like something more suggestive]
MIA I know, but he would - well, from things he's said, he would actually LIKE one. Make him feel like a new man. I thought I might get him one of those artificial ones - you know, cast in plastic? In a skin tone, though - not one of those weird colored ones.
SHERI They're all the rage with the trendoids these days, the neon ones. I guess they figure if it's gonna look fakey, might as well make a statement. And some of them get freakishly big.
MIA Well, I found a place to get something real high quality. Won't look fake at all. They'll even tint it to match his skin. And it won't rot or fall off. Guaranteed to last. Not even a nibble.
SHERI It won't make him smell any better.
MIA No, but I get the feeling he would be more secure in our relationship if he - well - if he fit more the image he thinks I'd go for.
SHERI Someone with all their parts?
MIA Oh, heck. I'd love Ben with or without any number of parts, but he seems to think I'd like him better if he actually had a nose.
SHERI [hmm] I could maybe loan you a little--
MIA No, this guy charges a bunch. I'm actually tempted to sell a part or two - something I don't use, or not so much, you know?
SHERI Don't go there. Starts out simple, a finger here, an ear there, and then - voila! You end up checking people in at work like "Chuck, the torso" - stuck in admin cuz you got no limbs left. Or worse - that guy who talks out his neck since he woke up one morning and his head was gone.
MIA [sigh] You're probably right.
SCENE 12. OUTSIDE, ELSEWHERE
AMB SLIGHT ECHO - AND A DRIP SOMEWHERE
SOUND FLOPPY STEPS IN WATER
[note Tick speaks slowly and has no zombie echo, Ben sounds completely zombie - no voice over - for this scene
TICK You looking for me?
BEN [gasp] [what?]
SOUND STUMBLE FLOPPY STEPS IN WATER
TICK Don't bother - just stand still.
BEN [you're a - an intact?]
TICK And you're a dead lump of shit, but maybe we can help each other.
BEN [moan of acceptance]
TICK Good. Now stay quiet while I tell you what we're doing here.
BEN [slurpy gasp]
TICK That's disgusting. But I need a heap like you to front for me. I have some... parts... to be disposed of, but I can't just wander into maggotville myself.
BEN [Why me?]
TICK My source says you're tough and desperate. And stupid.
BEN [stifled annoyed noise]
TICK So maybe he's wrong.
BEN [I am desperate]
TICK [snort] Fine. Here's the deal - I don't give a flying fluck about your crappy corpse cash. On the other hand, I like having folks - dead or alive - who owe me.
BEN [What you need from me?]
TICK I'll tell you when it comes up. Right now, I just need this bag of ... parts to vanish.
BEN [It's illegal.]
TICK [cajoling] They're nice and fresh. [impatient] Fine. Clock is ticking. Tick tock. Tick tock. You even remember what "time" is, maggot?
BEN [It's almost Christmas. [beat] I'll do it.]
SCENE 13. TREADMILL
SOUND TREADMILL, FEET PLODDING
SHERI You ever wonder what they do over there?
MIA [lost in a daze] Hmm? Over the wall?
SHERI Yeah. The [awed whisper] In-tacts?
MIA Don't know. Don't care. Except for when they come over here and drag off my friends, I say leave them alone.
SHERI But you do believe in them, don't you?
MIA Believe in them? What's to believe - we see them marching on the wall, and they're the ones who shell out for us to walk on this damn treadmill day and night. They're as real as ... as... shoes.
SHERI Some say we all came from in-tacts, way back when.
MIA [lightly sarcastic] Yes, and a wasp nest in your head is a sign of good luck and not just poor hygiene. I swear Sheri, you'll believe anything.
SHERI You believe they carry people off, though?
MIA Well, yeah - we've all seen that. They appear from nowhere, in those dark helmets and suits, and by the time you catch your breath, someone's vanished.
SHERI [awed] I saw one once.
MIA A kidnapping?
SHERI An in-tact.
MIA [half-teasing, half worried] You know, they say if you mentioned them three times, they'll appear out of thin air.
SHERI [agreeing, distant] They are really fast.
MIA [exasperated] Sheri! Don't--
SHERI I did, though! I really saw one. Not just in a suit and helmet like they usually are, but one right... up... close.
MIA [sighs, feels her pain] Tell me about it?
SHERI It was a guy, I think, and the funny part is he looked so much like a regular person. Just that he was so fast and he was - well - he had everything. His skin was perfect, no holes or anything, and it was this warm rosy color. I... yearned to touch him, but when I reached out, he turned and ran away.
MIA [uncertain] That...must have been ....weird.
SHERI [almost teary] It was like I saw an angel, and it saw something horrible in me.
MIA Oh, Sheri--
SHERI Maybe that's why Ted won't love me? Because I'm horrible inside?
MIA Aw, Sheri. [reassuring] We're all horrible inside. And if anyone's seen an angel here and not realized it, Ted's the one. He sees you every day and misses out every time he turns his back.
SHERI [sniff sniff]
SCENE 14. OUTSIDE, ELSEWHERE
SOUND BAG PASSED WITH A SQUISH
GEEK [you sure you don't want any of them?]
BEN [upset] I... don't need any girl parts, thanks.
GEEK [Squeamish? All you had to do was lug a bunch of fresh merchandise here to my humble workshop.]
BEN I've never.... felt... they were so [disgusted] warm.
GEEK [Fresher just means it'll last longer. Nothing more. You want your pay or not?]
BEN [down] Yeah.
SCENE 15. TREADMILL
SHERI --you know that guy Sam I was dating?
MIA [worn down] Yeah?
SHERI And how he was always mouthing off about--
SOUND WHISTLE, END OF SHIFT
MIA [heartfelt] Oh yesss! What a relief!
SHERI [not getting it] Yeah! Let's go somewhere - I was in the middle of telling you about Sam.
MIA [almost panicky] Nah, save it for next time - I have to meet up with Ben.
SHERI It's so great to have someone to talk to while we walk - Tomorrow, same time?
MIA [transparently lying] Sure! Oh, no - wait - I promised I would do this thing with Ben tomorrow.
SHERI What thing?
MIA [panicky, trying to cover] You mean I didn't mention the thing? I--uh--
SOUND DISTANT ZOMBIE NOISES AND SCREAMS
SHERI What the--?
MIA Come on!
SOUND SLOW PLODDING. LARGE GROUP OF ZOMBIES GATHERING
SCENE 16. OUTSIDE, ELSEWHERE
SOUND SLOW PLODDING, ONE SET OF FEET
ANDY [distant] Ben! Ben!
SOUND PLODDING STOPS
SOUND ANDY'S FEET APPROACH
ANDY [panicky] Ben, man, am I glad to see you - it's Doris! Jeez, she slipped and I think something's broken!
BEN [muttered] Lucky you. [up] What do you mean?
ANDY Her leg - it snapped and now she can't get up! What am I gonna do, Ben?
BEN Andy, Doris is such a--
ANDY I know I know. She gives me hell and treats me like a dog, but what can I do, Ben, I love her! You gotta help me. I'll do anything!
BEN Let me take a look.
SCENE 17. ALTERCATION
SOUND LOTS OF SHAMBLING FEET, MOANS
MIA What happened?
SHERI Where's everyone going?
FRED It's one of the overseers!
MIA An in-tact? What happened?
BOB I seen the whole thing! He fell off the wall and someone made a grab fer him!
SHERI Oh no!
FRED Oh, yeah! He's somewhere in the middle of the dogpile there.
MIA Isn't anyone helping?
BOB What are you, some kind of pervert? This is an [spits out the word] In-tact. [excited] They're tearing him apart!
MIA We should get out of here!
SHERI B-but - They're gonna kill him!
MIA [sad] I know, and there's nothing we can do about it. And we want to be out of here before they bring out the big guns.
SOUND DRAGGING, SHUFFLING AWAY FROM THE FRACAS
SHERI But what if he's that same one I saw before?
MIA By now - you probably wouldn't know him.
SCENE 18. ANDY'S PLACE
DORIS [squeals piteously]
BEN Yep, that's a bad one. Twisted all up like this.
ANDY Can't we do anything?
BEN I'm no reconstructor. Maybe some duct tape and a stick?
DORIS [Squeals angrily]
ANDY He's just trying to help, honeybuunny.
BEN Yeah, chill honeybunny.
DORIS [squeals again, sort, sharp, warning.]
ANDY [quiet] You gotta help me, Ben - you're the only one I can turn to!
BEN Jeez Andy... [sigh] You'll pay me back?
ANDY You know I'm good for it! Soon as that leg's on, we'll both hit the treads every day til we cover it.
BEN [down] Sure. I--
BEN [muttered] I didn't like the way it felt anyway. [up] Here.
SOUND PACKAGE CHANGES SLOPPY HANDS
ANDY What - is it?
BEN Enough to get her fixed up - you might go ahead and get her a new tongue while you're at it.
ANDY [very quiet] Oh. No. Let's not go completely overboard...
SCENE 19. OUTSIDE, LATER, TOGETHER
SOUND OUTSIDE. SHUFFLING FEET APPROACH
MIA There you are - I was beginning to worry.
SOUND BODY FALLS TO THE GROUND "ben relaxes"
BEN [oof, then] It's been a really... weird day.
SOUND BODY FALLS TO THE GROUND "mia relaxes"
MIA [oof, then agreeing] Tell me about it.
BEN [muttered] I would if I could.
BEN Nah. Doris broke her leg and Andy needed help with getting her fixed up.
MIA They better get her a good big leg. She goes through so darn many.
BEN Really? It's happened before?
MIA Every couple of years. I think the last time was before you showed up here.
BEN I am such a sucker.
MIA Whenever you start thinking like that, just look at Andy. That'd make anyone feel superior.
BEN You always know just the right thing to say.
MIA Can't help it. We're in tune.
BEN Yeah, I guess we are. About Christmas--
MIA Don't worry - I love the boots!
BEN Oh, the boots...
MIA But only if you can afford them. If you can't, I might be able to get them myself. [sexy] You still get to enjoy them, though.
BEN [grim] I'll get them--
MIA [sorry] I was just teasing.
BEN Don't worry. [softening] Like I said, it's been a really strange day.
SCENE 20. SEWER AGAIN
TICK [really fast] Yeah what?
BEN [slow gasp]
TICK [fast] crap. [deliberately going slower, down to normal speed] What do you want?
BEN Geek said you have another job?
TICK Not so much a job as a favor.
BEN Need money.
TICK What happened to the packet I gave you before? Never mind - don't want to know. [speeding up a bit] Look. I'm not some magic money tree.
TICK [slowing again] See right now, you owe me a favor - but I can be gracious about it. You give me what I need, and I will advance you what you need against the next job I give you. Sound good?
BEN [carefully articulating] You pay now for next job if I do favor?
TICK There you go. [quick] not so damn stupid after all.
SCENE 21. MIA'S APARTMENT
SOUND ALARM CLOCK
SOUND KNOCKED OFF TABLE
MIA [just like at beginning] I hate Mondays.
SOUND DOORBELL RINGS
SOUND BAREFOOT SHUFFLE
SOUND DOORBELL RINGS AGAIN, QUICKLY AND REPEATEDLY
MIA/Z Hold your damn horses!
SOUND DOORKNOB FUMBLES, DOOR IS SLAMMED OPEN.
SOUND BODY FALLS
MIA/Z [annoyed] hey!
SOUND FEET MOVE QUICKLY INTO APARTMENT, SLAM DOOR
MIA/Z [scared] Who are you--?
SOUND SUPER-QUICK WHISPERED VOICES IN BACKGROUND
VOICEBOX [mechanical voice] You were at the altercation near the wall yesterday.
VOICEBOX Yes or no. We ask yes or no questions. Answer yes or no.
VOICEBOX Did you take part--
VOICEBOX Did you see any of those who did?
MIA/z [uncertain] no.
VOICEBOX There was another female with you. Did it see anything?
VOICEBOX Please identify this female.
VOICEBOX That was not a question. Identify the female that was with you.
MIA Yeah, right.
MIA/z [incoherent moan]
VOICEBOX Speak clearly.
MIA/z Naaame isss [incoherent moan]
VOICEBOX We are prepared to remove parts if you do not cooperate.
SOUND STRUGGLE, KNIFE SNICKS OPEN
MIA No! that's Ben's! [the hand they're threatening]
VOICEBOX Last chance. The name.
MIA/z Naaame isss shhh-jerry
MIA/z [reluctantly agreeing] Uh-huh.
VOICEBOX Good. [commanding, disgusted] Let it go.
SOUND BODY FLUNG TO FLOOR
MIA/z [moans unhappily]
SOUND FEET MARCH CRISPLY AWAY
SCENE 22. SEWER
BEN You want WHAT?
TICK Not like you'll miss it.
BEN I-I don't--
TICK Hey, take it or leave it. You owe me, but not like I'm gonna wrestle you down and steal it from you. I got people - and your kind - who can do that for me.
BEN When you need?
TICK [irritated, speeding up] What do you mean when? You think I don't mean now? [like the crack of doom, slowly and clearly] Now!
BEN [moans uncertainly, then glumly] yeah...
SCENE 23. OUTSIDE, ELSEWHERE
MIA/z [muffled whispered moans]
SHERI Mia? What's with the getup?
MIA Get over here!
SHERI/z [whiny querulous moan]
MIA Ok, no one can see us--
SHERI You look like a clown.
MIA Shh! Sheri, have any of the overseers [gulps] "talked" to you?
SHERI In-tacts? No!
MIA They found me. They'll find you. They want to know who killed that - in-tact - yesterday in the riot.
SHERI Gary? Why?
MIA No-no-no-no! I don't WANT to know who did it! They're asking, and they threatened to cut... off-- [sob] Th-they threatened me!
SHERI [still not understanding it] Why?
MIA They want to get the one who did it, I suppose! They'll come after you!
SHERI How will they know to come for me?
MIA [evasive] Well - how did - how did they know to come for me?
MIA So now you're warned - stay away from the treadmill!
SHERI [annoyed moan]
MIA Well, I wanted to warn you.
SOUND MIA STARTS TO WALK AWAY, STRANGELY LIMPING
SHERI What's wrong? Mia? You're limping.
MIA Nothing. Figured if I can't make the treadmill for a while, I'd need something to live on.
SOUND STUMBLING FEET APPROACH
SHERI and MIA [gasping moans]
FRED [gasp] Oh, hey! Don't tell anyone I'm here.
MIA They found you too?
FRED I - I heard they're coming - how'd you know?
SHERI We saw it happen.
FRED Woah! You better hide. Least for a while. They're taking folks again.
SCENE 24. MIA'S APARTMENT
SOUND TAPPING ON DOOR, DOOR CREAKS OPEN
BEN [worried now] Mia?
TED [off, questioning moan]
BEN You Ted?
TED yeah [affirmative moan, voice getting clearer]
BEN Where the hell's Mia?
TED She took some stuff and left. What's it to you?
SOUND SHUFFLE TURN
BEN I'm Ben.
TED Ugh! What the hell does she see in you?
SCENE 25. OUTSIDE, ELSEWHERE
MIA [off a bit] Ben?
BEN [phantom of the opera cringing noise] What?
MIA Ben - I'm over here.
BEN Mia - don't look.
MIA [almost laughing] What?
MIA All right. I'll close my eyes.
SOUND SHUFFLING STEPS TO MIA
BEN Why are you hiding?
MIA I saw something - there are in-tacts maybe looking for me. I don't know.
BEN They're just full of surprises, aren't they?
MIA Are they?
SOUND MOMENT OF JUST PLODDING ALONG TOGETHER
BEN Helluva way to spend the holidays.
MIA It is Christmas, isn't it? [beat] Can I look now?
BEN No! [short barking laugh] I - I know it's silly for me to be vain, but, uh - I lost something.
MIA I got you something!
BEN Don't turn around-- Ohhhh. [disappointed]
MIA [concerned] What happened?
BEN Some guy named Gary needed a new face.
MIA [concerned for him] I hope you got something good for it.
BEN Actually I did. Take off your shoes.
MIA [more panicked than should be] No!
BEN Don't worry - I'll carry them for you.
MIA No - I... I kind of needed to make a trade too.
BEN Your leg--?
MIA I guess feet with toes are sort of collectable.
BEN Oh. I hope ... [chuckles] I hope you got something good for it.
MIA [laughs a bit]
SOUND STICKY SOUND AS SHE STROKES HIS RAW FLESH
MIA At least you kept your lips.
BEN Are you kidding? Had to keep those - they're my best feature.
MIA Well, here's a new one, but I don't know how it will go on - you might have to wait until you have a place to hang it again.
SOUND PACKAGE UNWRAPS, OPENS
BEN It's beautiful.
MIA It's latex. It won't rot or get chewed on by rats. I think I got the right color, but now -
BEN It's a fine nose.
MIA Not too big? I mean, I never saw you with--
BEN It's perfect.
MIA We should get going. If they're still after me, we'll have to ... find some place else to--
BEN Waitaminute. Now you have to open yours.
MIA Oh, you--!
SOUND UNWRAPPING OF PAPER
MIA The patent leather!
BEN Yeah. You know, maybe you could brace and stuff them--
MIA It's just the one foot.
BEN Ok, stuff the one, and still walk on it.
MIA Not if we're going a long way - I don't want these puppies to get worn out on any stupid road trip. [ecstatic intake of breath] This is the best Christmas ever!
BEN You know? I think you're right... Here, take my hand.
MIA [teasing sweetly] That's my hand.
BEN Come on. [grunt to help her up]
MIA Which way?
[their voices, along with their moaning and plodding footsteps, begin to slowly fade out]
BEN A wise man once said "the sun never sets on those who ride into it". [the quote is from the end of Shock Treatment]
MIA Which wise man was that?
MIA Are we talking like "three wise men" kind of wise man?
BEN Um - no. I think it was... Richard O'Brien.
BEN You know, the time warp guy.
MIA Oh, man - I haven't been to THAT movie in months.
"The Gift of the Magi" is a famous story by O. Henry where a newlywed couple (around 1900) each sell something to buy the other a present - He sells his watch to get her a fancy hair comb and she sells her long hair to get him a new watch fob. The entire story is inspired by this.