Jedemi Chronicles SE – Taming of Viv – 002

Synopsis:  In the previous episode (001) of the Jedemi Chronicles SE** – Taming of Viv – 001, the owner of Jedemi Cafe, Viv, has an encounter with a Voice who she later finds out is named Frankie.  They chitchat about movies, and the concept of Third Place.  When Viv closes up and leaves for the evening, Frankie rejoins “the Gang” to discuss how the first encounter went.

**Serialized Edition appears in four installments.

INT. JEDEMI CAFE
The cafe is fairly dark. There’s some light coming from behind the counter and shining in from a streetlight right outside the cafe. Frankie speaks.

FRANKIE
Okay guys. Thanks for your
patience. The coast is clear.

The audience doesn’t see who Frankie is talking to. But they hear another voice with a bit of a New York accent, JOEY chiming in from across the room.

JOEY
Yo Frankie! Nice performance there
– smooth as silk…

FRANKIE
Thanks Joey… I’ll take that as a
complement…

JOEY
Uh… It was a complement — did
you hear sarcasm in my voice?

FRANKIE
Still getting used to your humor I
guess.

A Third Voice, a female, FRANNIE speaks.

FRANNIE
Yeah, I hear you. Joey can be a
tough read some times.

JOEY
Tough read? (he protests)

FRANKIE
You’re brilliant, witty and you’ve
got a really dry sense of humor.

FRANNIE
(to Joey) Just roll with it baby.
Come on, Joey. We’re your pals and
love ya for who you are.
(to Frankie) Anyway… Frankie, I
have to admit, I really thought you
were off your gourd when you talked
about trying to actually interact
with the folks here. But maybe
you’re onto something. Plus,
starting off with the owner is a
brilliant idea! Getting her buy-in
is a huge step.

JOEY
Yeah. And this is kind of fun and
exciting. For sure — it beats
just hanging around.

FRANKIE
I got to admit… I was getting
kind of nervous… especially when
it seemed like she was really going
to grill me.

Just then the Jukebox starts up — and it is playing HISTORY REPEATING (PROPELLER HEADS). Some of the track lighting has come on too — and uncharacteristically begins pulsating– adding to the energy of the place.

FRANNIE
Aha! It’s playing our song again.jukebox-icon-100w
Let’s dance.

JOEY
Sounds good to me.

FRANKIE
Me too.

FRANNIE
What do you think about the lights?

JOEY
Interesting… I see the boys have
been busy.

So now the music is getting louder and on the wall, opposite the jukebox, we can see shadows dancing. We can’t quite make out what the shadows are. But we can tell they are moving with energy, enthusiasm — pure joy.
The choreography is fun. And there appears to be one shadow, not dancing, but flying. Doing all kinds of loop-de-loops.
Then, all of the sudden, the Jukebox goes quiet and the lights dim until the cafe is in semi-darkness, like it was right when Viv left.

JOEY
That’s not a good sign.

FRANNIE
I don’t know… it could just be
a… a gremlin, huh Frankie? You
mucking with the power now?

FRANKIE
Very funny… And to answer your
question — NO!

JOEY
Could we have blown a fuse? We
being collective here — who knows
what the boys downstairs have been
up to.

FRANKIE
Fuse? Doubt it. We’re not drawing
that much current. It could be
some sort of signal though…

FRANNIE
Signal?

Just then, rattling sounds are heard from the direction of the front door.

FRANKIE
Shhh!

All is silent. The camera view is from above (near the rafters) of the cafe.

FRANNIE
(whispers) What if it’s someone
breaking in… What if…

JOEY
(whispers) No worries. We’ll think
of something… won’t we Frankie.

There’s no answer. Joey repeats.

JOEY
Right, Frankie?

It’s still all semi-dark and silent.
The sound of keys in the lock of the front door can be heard, followed by the door opening and closing. Then there’s a sigh followed by footsteps.

FRANNIE
Hang on Joey. Don’t look now…
(pause) okay. Go ahead and look.

They see Viv as she walks briskly through the cafe towards her office.

JOEY
Guess she must have forgotten
something.

FRANNIE
Uh-Oh! You know what that means.

JOEY
He’ll be at it again.

FRANNIE
So much for letting the taming
process happen gradually, huh?

JOEY
I get the feeling that Frankie only
heard what he wanted to hear when X
was explaining it.

FRANNIE
Yeah. You could be right about
that… Then again, I think he’s so
timeline conscious– that he only
knows to set a goal, move with a
purpose, achieve the goal, set
another goal… Seriously, if he
wasn’t that driven, he would have
never gotten his films done ahead
of time and under budget. It’s the
only thing he knows.

Just then, they see Viv walking quickly back towards the front door with an envelope in her hand. As she get closer to the door, she stops and picks up a napkin on the floor.

VIV
Again?

Just as she is about to squish it in her hand, Frankie speaks up.

FRANKIE
Hang on… You might want to
read it.

VIV
Aha! Of course…My little gremlin
is at it again. Don’t you sleep?

FRANKIE
Sleep’s overrated. Besides, I take
my share of cat naps… Anyway,
please take a look.

Viv picks up the napkin and moves closer to the light source as she squints and holds the napkin up at different angles trying to make out what’s on it.

VIV
You’re kidding, right. This
actually says something… in the
English language?

FRANKIE
Ah come on… Sure it does. You
just have to…

VIV
Oh yeah — almost forgot.

Viv reaches into her pocket and pulls out her reading glasses. Then she goes through the same routine.

VIV
Not any better really… Let me
see that looks like the word
“mystery” (pause) “mystery too
over…” over what?

FRANKIE
It isn’t that bad, is it? It says,
“When a mystery is too
overpowering, one dare not…

VIV
dis-oh-bay… disobey… Wait a
minute! Of course! Le Petit Prince
(said with a French accent).
I love that book.

FRANKIE
I know. Its on a shelf in your
office…

VIV
My office? When were you in my
office? Did I forget to lock the
door again?

FRANKIE
Easy there Viv… I didn’t go into
your office… Actually my mate, X,
did. He’s always flying around
surveilling. Doing the
reconnoitering thing…

VIV
Okay…now you’re making me
uncomfortable…

FRANKIE
Oh… don’t be. I think he noticed
it from outside your office anyway.
Besides, he was so impressed that
you had a copy of it, that he
encouraged me to reach out to you.
Said you’d be receptive.

VIV
Great (sarcastically)… I’ve got
tag-team gremlins…

Viv is looking at her watch.

FRANKIE
I know. I know. It’s late and you
have to go. Have a good evening.
Rest well. I’ll see you tomorrow.

VIV
Thanks… Sure… Right.

Viv opens the door to let herself out and just before she turns the key, she opens it back up to talk to her new invisible friend.

VIV
You know, I usually say ‘see you
when I see you’… but since I
can’t actually see you — well —
as Nicole would say, ‘Later, Dude!’

FRANKIE
Ah… Sure. That’ll work…
Back at you. Later Dude-ette!

Viv is just about out the door when Frankie calls out to her.

FRANKIE
Wait, wait, wait, Viv! — Sorry
but there’s one more thing.

VIV
And what’s that?

FRANKIE
Is my writing really that bad?

VIV
Well, frankly speaking…

FRANKIE
You mean ‘Vivly’ speaking don’t
you?

VIV
That’s it. I’m out of here.

FRANKIE
But I was just…

VIV
… Just about to delay me again.
Good night Frankie. And yes —
your handwriting needs work.
Better yet, get yourself a ghost
writer… you know what I mean?

FRANKIE
Yeah … Thanks for your candor.
Good night Viv.

VIV
Enjoy the rest of your evening…
doing whatever it is you and your
pals do. And — just for my peace
of mind — stay out of my office,
okay?

FRANNIE
Sure, Viv! Whatever you say.

The door locks and the cafe grows silent for a moment. Looking out the window, a VW Van is seen driving by the window (Note: Those familiar with the Jukebox story will recognize this van as Viv’s).
Then the Jukebox picks up where it left off. And the dancing continues.

FRANNIE
You’re a rascal, Frankie… you
know that, right?

FRANKIE
Yeah, Frannie… I know… but I’m
a lovable rascal.

FRANNIE
Indeed you are.

JOEY
Enough yammering for the evening.

They continue dancing as the scene fades to black.

FADE TO BLACK.

FADE IN:

INT. JEDEMI CAFE
It’s the next day/ early evening. The cafe is still bustling with activity. The Voices (Chorus) are heard talking amongst themselves.

JOEY
So, Frankie. What’s your game plan
for the evening?

FRANKIE
Game plan? (pauses) Well… I sort
of figured I’d pick up where I left
off with Viv.

JOEY
Oh yeah? And where was that
exactly?

FRANKIE
She seemed to relax when I talked
about movies, so I think I’ll do
that again.

JOEY
No doubt… leading to a smooth
segue to talking about some of your
own? Is that it?

FRANKIE
Not exactly. I’m just going to
wing it. X says that’s the best
approach.

JOEY
He’s a pilot — winging could mean
something entirely different than
what you think it means.

FRANKIE
Oh yeah… I totally forgot. But
come to think of it, in this
context…

JOEY
What? What else did he say?

FRANKIE
That it is really important to do
it around the same time of day.
Rather than interact with her at
all random hours.

JOEY
And that’s because…?

FRANKIE
He said that way, she’ll actually
start to look forward to our
conversations.

JOEY
Really?

FRANKIE
Yeah, something like that. Now I
just need to ponder what this
evening’s ice breaker will be

Just then the view cuts to a table near the front of the cafe. Viv has her things in her hands and is heading out the door.

PATRON #1
So, Viv! You’re leaving us early
this evening?

Nicole jogs over and hands Viv her sweater.

NICOLE
You might need this. It could be
cold in there.

VIV
Thanks, Nicole. You sure you’ve
got it okay? I mean, I could do
this another time– maybe next
week?

Nicole nudges her gently towards the door while talking to Patron #1.

NICOLE
She’s off … to a pleasant evening
– at the renovated Stanford
theater
. You know… the one where
they show old movies. If I don’t
kick her out, she’ll miss the start
of the show.

Patron #1 gets up to open the door while Nicole motions Viv to get a move on.

VIV
You are too kind. I’ll report back
tomorrow, I promise.

Viv leaves and Nicole turns back to Patron #1.

NICOLE
She works way too hard and totally
deserves some time to relax, take
her mind off things and recharge
her batteries. And besides, she
trained us well.

The Patron smiles.

PATRON #1
That she did…

FADE TO BLACK.

 


In the next episode (The Taming of Viv – 003), we learn more about The Gang. Also, the concept of “Nudging Napkins” is introduced.



Bugs Bunny cartoon featuring a Gremlin.


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  1. […] the next episode (The Taming of Viv – 002), Frankie meets up with his buddies and the Enchanted Jukebox makes its first […]

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