by Chris Bartlett

1.

FADE IN                                                        

EXT. VERY OLD CITY CENTRE PUB – DAY

2016 – In the middle of York tucked down a cobbled alleyway is The Old Grey Old Mare; a crooked faced, listed Georgian building.

INT. A SMOKY OLD SALOON BAR

CHRIS, Average; slim, in his late thirties, slightly scruffily dressed, he has the melancholic beaten air of a little fat girl who always wanted to be a Ballerina.

He walks over to a young woman sitting in the corner who’s surrounded by half full and empty pint glasses.

CHRIS

There you are…is everything okay? I got your note.

BLUE, slightly odd looking but pretty, in her mid-twenties, she dresses goth/steam punk, with red and black hair in a thick shiny bob. She has the sort of big blue eyes that you could go swimming in.

BLUE

Here…I took the liberty of ordering you one, I hope lager’s okay, it’s all equally fizzy and disgusting, but it does the job.

He sits down at the table.

CHRIS

I’ll get the next lot, if you want another?

BLUE

Nah, its fine, your money wouldn’t be any good in 1976 anyway.

CHRIS

I know I’m almost certainly going to regret this, but I’m going to ask anyway…what on earth are you talking about…?

2.

BLUE

We’re currently sitting in a pub on August 19th 1976…It’s okay, just a simple quantum bubble is all… call it a little extra insurance….it keeps our meeting that bit more secure… Plus it makes me happy.

CHRIS

Secure? Secure from who? …I’ll assume that there are there things going on here that I don’t know about?

BLUE

…Aren’t there usually?

CHRIS

Well it’s obvious something’s up…Bloody hell, how much have you had?

BLUE

I stopped counting after five…

CHRIS

I doubt I’m going to have the first clue…and I’m not even going to try and hazard a guess, so you might as well just spit it out.

BLUE

Okay…okay…Look…So I didn’t tell you the whole truth, when we met before…These men, those blokes in raincoats, or macs or whatever you call them. I’ve been catching very brief glimpses of them for weeks…you know blink and miss them sort of thing. But…but then, I thought I spotted them in the wall mirrors at the café…only this time for much longer.

CHRIS

…And that’s why you rushed off?

3.

BLUE

Yeah, but then when I got outside, there they were again… reflected in a shop window… can I trust you? … I mean REALLY trust you? 

CHRIS

Yes of course you can, who am I going to tell?

BLUE

I put together this little device…it goes off when it detects surges in certain forms of power… it’s very basic, but it does the trick.

CHRIS

Jesus, you people are all so clever…The best thing I’ve ever come up with is mixing cream crackers with tomato soup. 

BLUE

Trust me, smarts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, they can get you into a lot of trouble… as I think I may be about to find out to my cost.

CHRIS

…And this alarm thing you made…that’s what went off when we were sitting at the table? 

BLUE

Yes, which proves that it does actually work, and that these men…these things, are very real…and in all likelihood, extremely dangerous…Please…I really don’t want to end up as a scorch mark on a toilet floor.

 CHRIS

Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere…I’ll do whatever I can to help… Although to be honest, I’m still not quite sure what use I could possibly be

4. 

BLUE

I’ve sent a message to some friends… this morning, and I’m waiting for them to get back to me…all I need is somewhere to stay… it won’t be for long…promise.

CHRIS

Yeah of course, no problem… But what about the others; Freddy, or Mumford…?

 BLUE

No, I’m trying to stay away from her, there’s just something about that woman I don’t trust…it’s the way she looks at me, and Freddy, well he’s sweet but he’s in her pocket, and the only other option is Wilder, and I don’t have to tell why that one’s not even on the table.

CHRIS

Hmmm…Well you’re more than welcome to stay, but you’ll have to dodge round all the toys and books…And I snore….loudly.

BLUE

Thank you so much.

CHRIS

So…how long have you lot known each other?

BLUE

I’d say about a year or so, it was Mummy that got everyone together, she’d always been the sort of unofficial chairperson, she seemed to know all about the boxes, and that there was a missing one. She spent years trying to track it down and apparently thought she knew who had it, but could never quite pinpoint them… Until you showed up on the radar and Freddy found you. He was over the moon of course, put him right in her good books.

5.

CHRIS

You all seemed to get on okay though.

BLUE

Yeah, don’t get me wrong, we used to meet roughly one Tuesday a month, we each took turns in choosing the venues; with Mummy and Freddy it was always nice restaurants or tearooms, me and Wilder liked the pubs, and with Strangely, well it was always gallery or museum cafes. Everything was fine at the beginning; it was nice being able to swap stories and ideas. I even went on a couple of Trips with Wilder, until he nearly got us hung… I mean literally nearly got us hung sometime in the early 1800s.

CHRIS

Shame I missed it…I bet there were a few interesting tales.

BLUE

Mmm… I suppose there were…and we had a laugh, even Mummy joined in, though she can be a bit po-faced sometimes…Anyway, everything was all coffee and cakes until she introduced this idea of networking all the devices… but there had to be a certain number of them for it to work properly… she’d tried alternatives apparently, but they’d all ended in disaster. Then Strangely vanished and that’s when it all went sour, she became more and more obsessed with finding the missing box, and all the backstabbing started… For some reason she became fixated on finding out more about me.

CHRIS

And is there anything to know?

BLUE

No…No not really, well nothing that’s strictly relevant…Anyway, that’s more than enough about me and my theories…So what’s your story then…?

©Chris Bartlett, 2016

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