Saturday, September 18, 2010

Readers' Choice Winner(s)

Well the votes are in - from all over the place. I'm sorry to report that you were no help at all! ;D Out of four choices, you voted in a three-way tie for first place. *Sigh* So I will just rely on your helpful comments to make these better.

Today's installment is Episode 1 of the web-series thriller, Favorite Haunts.

Favorite Haunts


Kim Anderson

All rights reserved to the author. 2010.

Mother-Lode Media


Seventeen-year-old LEXI stands on her front porch, checking her wayfinding gear. She looks up, noting the surveillance cameras at the corner of the house and on the light pole down the street. There is absolutely no one on the street. She scrolls through various screens on her cell phone, showing the nanny-cam views of the interior and exterior of her house. LEXI sees herself in the porch shot. She takes a step casually and disappears from the nanny-cam screen.


(Nodding with satisfaction)

I’m in the zone!

She frowns, scrolling through the screens again.


Where is he?


(grinning from the bush beside the porch)

I’m in the zone, too!

Twelve-year-old TROY is loaded with hiking gear, all ready to go.


You weren’t thinking of leaving without me?!


No, just worried about being off the grid too long.


(nodding sympathetically)

Yeah. Dad will go all renegade on us. Do you think we should wait til after the evening sweep?


No, we’ll lose the light. We’d better hurry.

They begin to walk away from the house, under a tree that screens them from the cameras. They flip their cell phones to screens that show maps of camera angles along their street, and navigate a course that leaves them out of camera sight. As they walk they converse.


Don’t worry. I’ve been working on a project that will allow us to be gone as long as we want without tipping Dad off.





LEXI thumbs off the camera-plot map on her cell phone to play a nanny-cam recording of herself studying, then one of herself making dinner.


That only works for you!

LEXI snaps down to a recording of TROY playing a video game.


If Dad sees that for hours, I’ll still get killed! Maybe we should just file for a hiking permit like everybody else.


Relax! I’ve got lots more. I just need a few more cuts and I’ll be able to patch it into the security cams on a loop I can control from here. Besides, you know we’d never get one without a "responsible adult" on the request.

She taps her cell phone. They have arrived at the end of the street. Pavement is locked off at the entrance to a hiking trailhead. The sibs hesitate, peering into the trees. TROY still has the camera-plot map up. The display shows a solid barrier of camera-coverage lighting up the edge of the forest for as far as the display shows.



Remember when Mom used to bring us here and we thought it was a game walking single file in her footsteps?


(nods, trying to be brave)

I miss Mom....It’s like all the air went out with her.


Yeah, the accident changed everything....(she gathers herself) I hope it didn’t change the song.

They stand in the last camera-free zone and whistle a 3 or 4 note signal. They look at their cell phone maps. Nothing changes.


Maybe we weren’t loud enough to trip the jammer.

They try again. This time the camera coverage blinks off their cell phone maps. They sigh with relief and start running.


A law-enforcement office bristling with computer monitors. It is lit only by the many computer screens. One monitor has a blinking light and and irritating claxton sounds in time to the blink. The officer manning the monitor swings around in her chair to call her supervisor.


Sir! Surveillance perimeter breach: sector 5!


(Leaning in to look at SAM’s display, reaches down to adjust the view.)

That’s right down the street from my house!

We see the same display the kids were seeing on their cell phones.


Shall I arm the perimeter lasers?

Cut to LEXI and TROY slamming a button on an electrical device in a plastic bucket buried under a fallen log. They collapse in relief.

The blinking light on the police monitor goes off. The display is back to normal. We see the two officers’ faces peering at the screen.


Probably just a wildlife bogey. Curfew is in 30 minutes. No lasers. Post Sector 5 sweep officers early, and make sure they go door to door tonight.


TROY and LEXI are circling a huge, live tree, searching for something that isn’t there. A dead tree has fallen against the tree, lodging solidly with the upper part of the dead tree resting in the crook of a large branch of the living.


The web entry said it was gone...


Maybe some fool left food inside and a coon got to it.

LEXI leans against the living tree, her shoulder just under an arrow pointing up crudely scratched into the trunk.


(pointing at the arrow)

Things might be looking up!

They look up and see a squirrel’s nest just about where the dead tree connects with the living. TROY scrambles up the dead tree, using its branches as ladder-rungs.


Whoa! Amazing!


What! What is it?


A new improved cache - but it isn’t our placer.

He lowers an ammo box down by a pulley which has been anchored to the tree in the squirrel’s nest.


Hey! This nest is big enough for me! Kinda pointy, though...Waaaiit! This isn’t a squirrel’s nest. Just looks like it. There’s a platform. A man-made platform!


Get back down here! This is weird!

TROY comes to look into the box with LEXI. They start to unload it.


Our old logbook. Two self-charging flashlights. Two MREs. Two space blankets (she pauses significantly) non-reflective.


Are you thinking it?


Resistance...But why here? Our placer coordinates are still out there.


Yeah? Someone reported that cache missing or damaged. Check the logbook.

They open the book to the last page. A string tied to the spine of the book swings free.


Our signature stamp is gone.


(pointing to the last page)

It was here just two weeks ago. Look! And....


It’s...Mom’s...signature stamp and a rubbing of her forest geo-coin.



Mom!...We saw her...

We see in memory, a small plane taking off. Then close-ups of flames, emergency vehicles, flashing lights. We hear sirens, screams.

Suddenly we realize the sirens are in the present. The sibs are frantically re-packing the ammo box. LEXI tears the last page of the logbook out, stuffing it into her shirt.



Early sweeps!


(climbing the tree)

Hurry! Tie it on! Hurry!

They hoist the box to the squirrel’s nest. And race for home.


Chloe said...

COOOL concept! I like the dynamic growing between the kids. Love that we don't know quite if this is a spy thriller or a kids game. Good tension building to the climax.
The dialogue is a little stiff and the kids sound like the same person talking, if you know what i mean. they don't have distinct voices yet.
Fun overall though! I can't wait to read more - or maybe produce some!! =D

Kim Anderson said...

Thanks for the encouragement. Point taken about the voicing between the sibs.

hajarwan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. Great post, concise and easy to understand. I like this post.

I found out that this blog is very interesting and informative. Nice sharing.
Best of luck to you!

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