Thing a Week 40: BLAME GAME

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WAKING UP
Hospital room interior. Night.
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Fade in from black on a hospital room, where our PATIENT is sleeping and his MOTHER and FATHER quietly speak with his DOCTOR.
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MOTHER
(looking worried at PATIENT across the room)
You’re sure?
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DOCTOR
Don’t worry, Ms. Trigger! We’ve run every test, and they all look great. I don’t know what happened to PATIENT earlier, but he’s fine now.
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FATHER
And the… shocks?
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DOCTOR
Vanished, with no traces. We even brought in an electrical expert in the field, and saw nothing out of the ordinary for a healthy, twelve-year-old boy.
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MOTHER
The school said he…
(pauses, fighting a tear)
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FATHER
They said a teacher was hospitalized–in the accident. Do you know if he’s okay? His name is TEACHER.
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DOCTOR
I don’t, sorry. But if you’d like to wait here a moment with PATIENT, I can check on him for you. You said his name was TEACHER?
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FATHER nods, consoling MOTHER. DOCTOR leaves down the hall.
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FATHER
He’ll be okay, dear. Trigger’s are strong, I promise.
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FATHER and MOTHER walk to opposite sides of PATIENT’s bed and MOTHER kneels to hug him. He’s sleeping.
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MOTHER
(whispering)
We’ll find out what’s going on with you, I promise. I love you.
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FATHER
(grasping PATIENT’s hand)
Everything’ll be okay, son.
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DOCTOR reenters, carrying a clipboard and a grim face.
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DOCTOR
I have TEACHER’s chart and it’s not good news. Whenever you’re ready.
MOTHER, FATHER leave PATIENT’s bed and walk back to DOCTOR.
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DOCTOR
I’m afraid TEACHER passed away early this morning from complications in surgery. I’m sorry for your loss.
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MOTHER
Complications?
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DOCTOR
We did everything we could, but unfortunately sometimes that’s not enough. Again, I’m sorry for your loss.
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FATHER
Thank you.
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DOCTOR
We are fortunate that PATIENT here is lucky, or at least resilient. Whatever power surge happened at the school may have left some mild burns on PATIENT, but on the inside he’s fit as a fiddle. You’re welcome to check out and get him home any time you’d like.
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DOCTOR leaves, MOTHER and FATHER return to PATIENT’s bed and wake him up.
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MOTHER
PATIENT, are you awake?
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Silence in the room as both parents look at PATIENT.
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PATIENT
Hey, what? What happened?
(Looking around)
Where am I? Is FRIEND okay?
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MOTHER
You’re okay. Paramedics brought you from school to the hospital, but they just said you’re okay.
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PATIENT
Where’s FRIEND?
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FATHER
(checking his watch)
FRIEND’s fine, PATIENT. He’s probably asleep at home by now; it’s very late. You can say hi to him tomorrow.
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MOTHER
(leaning in, worried)
That is, if you want to go back tomorrow, PATIENT. Do you feel well enough to go home?
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PATIENT
I’m fine, mom! Let’s go home, I’m tired; I’ll talk to FRIEND tomorrow.
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FATHER
You got it, kiddo. Let’s get you dressed and back to your bed.
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Fade to black:
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NARRATOR
The Triggers’ returned home in the middle of the night, and fell immediately to sleep. While their alarms were due to go off just hours later, all three woke without issues and tackled the day head-on.
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The moon falls. The sun rises.
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NARRATOR
PATIENT returned to school, where he found a mixture of former friends and new foes. His… outburst had unfortunately lost the school one of its beloved teachers, and unfortunately neither the students nor the faculty had anyone other than PATIENT to blame.
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Fade in the same hospital room, now with BULLY in the bed and BULLY’S FATHER talking muted to DOCTOR.
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HOSPITAL ROOM:
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NARRATOR
A week passed before PATIENT recognized the bursts of electricity from his body were becoming more frequent and, more importantly, something to hide. A few days later, he realized it was somewhat controllable. A few days after that, he had started practicing this magic in secret. And a few days after that, BULLY mysteriously found himself in the same hospital bed PATIENT had lain in, just two weeks prior.
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