The Accident Call

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

FaDE IN:

INT. house: basement/ cellar – day

C/U: a mobile phone which starts ringing. Display reads CALLER UNKNOWN

A man, middle-aged, world-weary, sitting at a desk with a PC in front of him. Looks at the phone and picks it up.

TOM HENDERSON

Tom Henderson.

Unknown female

(By rote:)

Is that Mr… Henderson?

TOM HENDERSON

(Sighing)

Yes, this is Tom Henderson

UNKNOWN FEMALE

(Script reading style)

Mr. Henderson, I am ringing from Blue Line regarding your recent accident in which you were not responsible…

TOM HENDERSON

(Sighing again – this is clearly a man who sighs a lot)

Yes…

UNKNOWN FEMALE

We have your details and I am ringing to…

TOM HENDERSON

Is this the car accident, the plane accident or the scaffolding incident?

UNKNOWN FEMALE

(sniffing blood and going into the next stage of her script routine)

I am just going to put you through to my supervisor.

TOM HENDERSON clucks his tongue and presses SAVE on the document he is currently working with on his PC.

TOM HENDERSON

Here we go…

There is a pause- no music- because there’s not enough of a gap for that and then there is a man’s voice – young and confident sounding from the outset.

Patrick

Mr. Henderson, this is Patrick Johnson, I’m a senior partner here at Blue Line. I understand you’ve been talking to my colleague about your recent accident?

TOM HENDERSON

Well, she called me. I wasn’t actually aware that I had an open case with you.

PatrICK

(Smoothly – he’s used to this)

We’re going to be taking your case forward Mr….

(slight pause as he presumably re-checks screen details)

Henderson… May I call you Tom, Mr. Henderson?

Tom HENDERSON

Why not?

PATRICK

Thank you Tom.

(He’s going to use this as much as he can now that he’s got permission to do so) )

Now, about your accident…

TOM HENDERSON

Which one?

PaTRICK

I’m sorry?

TOM HENDERSON

Which accident are we talking about here?

PaTRICK

(Just short of shouting out ‘ker-ching’)

Ah. We’re ringing about the… vehicular incident…

(almost a fishing “?” at the end)

TOM HENDERSON

I don’t think I’ve had a ‘vehicular incident’. I had a car crash…

PATRICK

Yes, that would be the incident we’re calling about… the ‘car crash’

Tom sits back in his comfortable writing chair. He cracks his fingers, ready to get into whatever comes.

TOM HENDERSON

Ah, the car accident. Yes…

PaTRICK

So, if you could just give me a couple of details. When did the incident take place?

TOM HENDERSON

(apparently thinking hard on this one)

Well let me think. I’ve been out of hospital a month now. The coma was six weeks, so… July?

PATRICK

Coma? I’m sorry, did you say you were in a coma?

TOM HENDERSON

(nonchalantly)

Yes, six weeks. Well, that’s what they tell me. I assume it’s not some elaborate joke they played on me…

PatrICK

A ‘joke’, sir?

TOM HENDERSON

Yes – a joke – you know, like you see in the films. I could have been in it for ten years, and they’re just breaking it to me gently.

(Pauses, considering the possibility)

I don’t think so though… it would be a pretty elaborate ruse I suppose, what with all my calendars and appointment books. I mean, my computer for a start… No, I’m pretty sure it was six weeks. 

PATRICK

(Not 100% sure what to do now- this isn’t in his script tree, but he’s a professional and will carry on…)

Of course not, no. That’s… that’s terrible. I hope you’re fully recovered now?

TOM HENDERSON

Thank you. That’s kind of you to enquire. I’m in the process of recovering, Patrick, and that’s the best we can hope for, considering. You don’t mind if I call you Patrick, do you?

PatrICK

No, sir. Not at all. Please do so.  

TOM HENDERSON

Excellent. We’re going to get on famously, I can tell. If I may say, you speak very well, Patrick – your language is very ‘correct’. There’s not enough of that around these days – it’s all jargon, text speak and contractions.

(Pauses, thinking on what he’s just said)

You see? Even I did it just then. ‘It’s.’

PATRICK

It’s what, sir?

TOM HENDERSON

‘It’s’ – ‘it’s’ a contraction. It IS a contraction.

PATRICK

Yes, ah… indeed. Well. If we could, ah… Let’s talk about the accident.

TOM HENDERSON

Yes, of course… That was a contraction there, Patrick.

PaTRICK

Ummm… Yes… It was?

(Getting back on track, while trying to avoid another contraction)

So. You were involved in a very serious accident. And you believe it wasn’t… it was not your fault?

TOM HENDERSON

Oh, I don’t just ‘believe’ Patrick. Well, I DO believe, I’m actually a very strong believer. But no, in this case I know.

PATRICK

And can you tell me why you believe… why you know that to be the case? Perhaps if you can tell me a little more about the incident in question.

TOM HENDERSON

The car crash? The ‘vehicular incident’? 

PATRICK

Yes. The car accident

Of course Patrick. It was a warm evening…

PATRICK (CONT’D)

Was it good visibility, would you say?

TOM HENDERSON

Hmm? Oh, yes. A lovely evening. I was just leaving Church, with the twins in the back seat of the old family fun wagon, and the driver slammed into us.

PATRICK

I’m sorry to hear that. Would you be able to estimate what speed the driver of the other vehicle was travelling at when he collided with you?

TOM HENDERSON

When he slammed into us? Oh, he must have been doing sixty miles an hour… well, that obviously slowed down a lot once he hit us.

PATRICK

And do you happen to know what the speed limit is in the area where you were… ‘slammed into’, Tom?

TOM HENDERSON

(Thoughtful, doing his best to get the detail right)

Well Patrick, I’m not altogether sure – I’m not sure that one is covered in the highway code.

PaTRICK

(helpfully)

Well, were you on a main road, a dual carriage way, a motorway?

TOM HENDERSON

Oh, no Patrick – we were still in the church carpark.

PATRICK

You were still in the… the church car park?

TOM HENDERSON

Mmmm. Yes, indeed. We hadn’t really had much of a chance to move before…

PATRICK

And the other driver was doing sixty miles per hour?

TOM HENDERSON

(thinking hard about it – making sure he’s got the facts right)

I’d say so, yes. Somewhere between sixty and seventy seems about right.

PATRICK

That’s a… a significant speed, Tom. I don’t know what the speed limit is in a car park, but I’m sure…

TOM HENDERSON

Yes…I was quite surprised he managed to get so much momentum up to be honest – it’s not even as if it’s a big car park. If it hadn’t been for the tires squealing…

PATRICK

Do you know who the other driver was, sir?

TOM HENDERSON

I thought we’d got on to first name terms Patrick? My father was Sir. I’m just Tom. Sir. Henderson of Chiswick.

PATRICK

(lost by this garbled sentence)

Sir? Henderson? Tom? 

TOM HENDERSON

Yes – that’s what I’m saying: he was ‘Sir’. Sir Henderson. I’m just Tom…well. Not just Tom. Tom Henderson. But, you know…Tom is fine between us.

PATRICK

Right. Yes. OK. Tom. And did you see the other driver?

TOM HENDERSON

Well, only at the very last minute. You know? As the impact happened…

PaTRICK

And did the other driver stop or slow down?

TOM HENDERSON

Oh yes! Well, he had to really, Patrick – once his car was embedded into mine. He slowed once he hit us and then stopped… eventually. If I were to divide the change in velocity by the time taken for the change… hmm, been a few years since Physics, but I suppose I could try to calculate…

PaTRICK

Ah, no sir. Tom… I’m sure we can come back to that… do you know whether the other driver was arrested?

TOM HENDERSON

Arrested?

PATRICK

Yes. Arrested. By the police. Did they arrest the man at the scene?

TOM HENDERSON

No, no. I don’t believe they did. Not then.

PATRICK

Did the driver flee the scene?

TOM HENDERSON

I don’t think so… I was pretty unconscious at the time – that whole coma thing I mentioned?

PATRICK

Of course. I’m sorry. Yes… you wouldn’t have been able to… Ah, so, have the police spoken to you since you… since you came out of the coma?

TOM HENDERSON

The police? Yes, they spoke to me at the rehabilitation centre afterwards. Just checking in, I suppose. When I was getting back on my feet, as it were. Except I wasn’t, of course… ‘getting back on my feet‘ I mean. That would be a ‘metaphor’ I used there, Patrick.

PATRICK

(Confused – this is getting away from him a bit now)

So you were injured in the accident?

TOM HENDERSON

Well, some would say a coma qualifies as a form of injury, Patrick…

PATRICK

Of course, of course. I meant – you said you required rehabilitation following the incident?

TOM HENDERSON

Yes, indeed. You know – trying to learn how to get used to the prosthetics and what not…

PATRICK

Prosthetics?! You’ve clearly suffered a major physical injury, Mr. Henderson… are you telling me that you haven’t engaged a solicitor?

TOM HENDERSON

‘Tom’, Patrick. I’m sorry – I’m a little confused. I thought you were my lawyer? Have I missed something here? I’m afraid the old noggin is still a bit swiss cheese at times…

PATRICK

(Hastily, but careful with his wording.)

No indeed. We are, of course, looking into your case and able to advise on the legal implications.

TOM HENDERSON

So you ARE my solicitor?

PATRICK

We’re here to help you in your very difficult case, Tom – and we’ll ensure all bases are covered.

TOM HENDERSON

The car case.

PATRICK

The car case? Yes, I mean…

TOM HENDERSON

Sorry – as I say, the old brain is still a bit shaken up. I wasn’t sure whether we were still talking about the car, or the plane thing…

PatrICK

The… ‘plane thing’?

TOM HENDERSON

(casually)

Yes. The plane incident. The ‘aviation action’ if you like. That’s going to be a big compensation situation, believe you and me Patrick – but don’t worry – I’m back with you now. We’re talking about the car. The ‘vehicular incident.’ Back from Planet Tom eh? That’s what the twins say.

(Laughs a little shakily)

Well, you know, what they used to say.

PATRICK

The..twins?

TOM HENDERSON

Yes, the twins. My twin girls – Ren and Stimpy… not their real names of course, that would have been cruel: just the nicknames I gave them.

PATRICK

And how old are your daughters, the twins, Mr. Henderson?

TOM HENDERSON

(Sadly, slowly)

Eighteen. They would have been nineteen next week.

PATRICK

Sir, are you saying that your daughters were…

TOM HENDERSON

In the car? Yes… yes, they were. Well, to begin with.

(tails off)

PATRICK

And you’re saying they…

TOM HENDERSON

They…?

PATRICK

They were… injured in the accident?

TOM HENDERSON

(Reassuringly)

No…no….no. Injured? The twins? Ren and Stimpy? Injured…no.

PATRICK

(Relieved? Disappointed? Difficult to tell…)

Well that’s something to be gratef…

TOM HENDERSON

(Interrupting, almost casually)

No, they were killed outright.

PATRICK

(Shocked now. Definitely shocked)

Fuc…

(catches himself)

… My goodness. I… I’m so sorry for your loss…

TOM HENDERSON

(as though it has just come to him)

Well, thank you Patrick. But – haven’t you got all this detail down in your records?

PATRICK

(caught unexpectedly)

Our records?

TOM HENDERSON

Well, it’s just when the young lady rang me earlier, and then you said you were representing me, I assumed you would have records about this whole thing…

PATRICK

Yes, of course. We… ah, we do. It’s possible they might just need updating with uh-uh, the complete detail. The…

TOM HENDERSON

Minutia?

PATRICK

The what sir?

TOM HENDERSON

The minutia Patrick. The precise detail of things; the small or trifling matters.

PATRICK

Yes. Yes. We’re possibly missing a little of the min-oosh-i. So, if you can just help me with that Sir…

TOM HENDERSON

So, my twin daughters’ deaths. That’s the sort of thing you need more detail on.

There is a slightly squawked sound of awkwardness from the other end of the line. 

TOM HENDERSON (CONT’D)

(still apparently nonchalant)

Yes, indeed – better get those records updated, hadn’t we?

PATRICK

(trying to recover and get back into routine)

Yes indeed. Ah – Computers, what can you do with them? So much easier when it was all down on paper… And you… you say the police did not make an arrest at the time of the incident? That seems…

TOM HENDERSON

Lax? Well, obviously I wasn’t in any position at the time to insist that any indictments got tossed around, being as comatose as I was and so forth… So, in my absentia, it was left up to our priest to speak to the police at the scene of the…well, I don’t want to say ‘Crime‘… That seems quite a strong word to use.

PATRICK

(incredulous)

Sir! It’s not ‘strong’ at all. Your daughters were killed! You were put into a coma!

TOM HENDERSON

Well, yes. I suppose when you put it like that it does sound quite bad. But Father Daniel took care of the details at the time, and since then… well, I just haven’t managed to get around to it.

PATRICK

So you haven’t pressed ANY charges since you… woke up.

TOM HENDERSON

No. No I haven’t. I have to confess, I did think about it for a while, but after speaking to Father Daniel, I thought it wasn’t really worth it…

PATRICK

(back to incredulous)

So just to ensure I am understanding this correctly… your priest advised you that you should not take any action?

TOM HENDERSON

Yes. Indeed. He said, “What’s done is done.” He suggested there was no going back and it would be raking up muck – “No use crying over spilled milk” I think was the phrase he used. 

PATRICK

But Sir! Your Priest shouldn’t be advising you in these matters, you need a lawyer… or someone like us to be advising you in such a case. Someone who knows the details. Someone who can…

TOM HENDERSON

(interrupting again)

Sorry to interrupt you there Patrick, but to be fair I think Father Daniel was probably more aware of the circumstances than most…

PATRICK

(interrupting back, unable to stop himself)

I understand he was there. And that he is your priest. That he was able to talk to the police while you were… in the condition you were in, but…

TOM HENDERSON

Well, Patrick, it was a bit more than just being there. He was driving the car, after all.

A moment of complete and utter silence as the words and the revelation apparently seem to take a bit longer to travel: a slow connection somewhere between Tom’s mouth and Patrick’s comprehending brain.

PATRICK

(Completely stunned now)

He was… the priest. Your priest was…

TOM HENDERSON

(patiently)

Did I not mention that? Oh yes. I suppose I probably should have. I thought you would have it in your records. Yes. Old Father Daniel was the other driver – quite speedy that old Porsche of his – I never took him for such a speed demon, but I suppose after a couple of glasses of the old blood of Christ… well, you live and learn…

(pauses, considers this statement…)

Well, you know. I lived and learned – Ren and Stimpy… obviously not so much…

PATRICK

(Now fully into flabbergasted)

Sir!

TOM HENDERSON

“Tom.”

PATRICK

“Tom”… Can I ensure that I am understanding this correctly.

You were in an accident that was not your fault.

TOM HENDERSON

I’d say that’s fair…

PATRICK

You were put into a coma as a result of this accident.

TOM HENDERSON

Yep. Full ‘bleurgh’…

PATRICK

And your two daughters were killed?

TOM HENDERSON

Twin daughters. Killed. Yes.

PATRICK

And your own priest was the person who was responsible for this accident…

TOM HENDERSON

Well he said it was God’s will, but yes: Technically I suppose you could say that he was at least partly responsible for it.

PATRICK

And that same priest has told you not to pursue this accident – the accident that he was responsible for. He has told you that you should not press any charges.

TOM HENDERSON

‘God’s Will’, he told me. Yes. He said that Ren and Stimpy will come back to me some day…

(pauses, thinking about this for a moment)

and you know something Patrick? I think they will. Recently I’ve even…

PATRICK

(unable to stop himself interrupting)

And you’ve not taken any action against this man – you have not reported him to the police, you have not issued proceedings against him – you have not sued him for the tragic death of your beloved daughters? 

TOM HENDERSON

Twins. Patrick. And, I don’t mean to sound rude, or… well, I have to say it feels as if you’re putting words into my mouth there a little bit… I mean.. I’m not saying that they weren’t beloved…but…

PATRICK

Sir! You must do something about this! You HAVE to take action!

TOM HENDERSON

(Slightly impatiently now)

Well, I don’t know about that Patrick. To be honest, so much of my time these days is taken up with this whole Plane business. I mean. It sounds to me as if you’re saying there might be some sort of financial gain… but, frankly – if I wanted to make money from these terrible events, then it’s the plane company that I’d be looking at… you do understand what I mean, don’t you Patrick?

PATRICK

(Clearly not knowing ‘what he means’)

The plane company“? Mr. Henderson – are you telling me that you are currently suing an airline?

TOM HENDERSON

(Emphatically)

Indeed I am. And there will be money. Not that that’s the key thing of course, it the principle, but the money…

PATRICK

(unable to help himself butting in to ask)

What… what did the airline company you are pursuing action against do. Mr. Henderson?

TOM HENDERSON

(Indignantly)

Lost my luggage Patrick… they…

There is a muffled voice from somewhere O.S. at TOM HENDERSON’s end. He looks up, questioningly. The muffled voice comes again – still not clear enough to hear what it is saying.

TOM HENDERSON (CONT’D)

…Lost my whole bloody suitcase.

PATRICK

(back to incredulous, sounding worn out)

They…lost your luggage?

TOM HENDERSON

Absolutely – the whole bloody suitcase. Had some important stuff in that old thing…

PATRICK

But the vehicular… the car accident… the money…

TOM HENDERSON

(disinterested: he’s got himself angry thinking about the plane incident)

Money? What’s money Patrick? How can you put a price on a life? That’s what Father Daniel asked me. That’s how he put it. At first I wasn’t sure I agreed but… but maybe he’s right. How much CAN you put on a life?

PATRICK

Up to £200,000 in pain and suffering alone, Mr. Henderson!

TOM HENDERSON stops, looks at the phone as if he doesn’t quite understand how it works, or what language the person on the other end is speaking.

TOM HENDERSON

£200,000?

PATRICK

In pain and suffering alone. Punitive damages, funeral costs, loss of earnings, the list is almost endless…

TOM HENDERSON

£200,000?

PATRICK

(Exasperated)

YES!

TOM HENDERSON

Each?

PATRICK

YES!

TOM HENDERSON

Even Stimpy? I mean, she was always a bit…

PATRICK

(Trying to keep his patience, not wanting to let this opportunity to go)

Mr. Thompson…

TOM HENDERSON

“Henderson”, Patrick. Not Thompson. Tom Henderson…so Mr. Henderson. But I thought we’d got past that anyway – Tom, please.

PATRICK

Mr. Henderson. TOM, I think the mental anguish this has clearly caused you…

TOM HENDERSON

Mental anguish? I’m not sure I follow what you…

There is another muffled voice O.S. from TOM HENDERSON’s end… not quite as indistinct as last time, but still not wholly intelligible. It might, at a stretch, sound like ‘Dad’…

TOM HENDERSON (CONT’D)

Did you hear that, Patrick?

PATRICK

Did I hear what, Sir?

TOM HENDERSON

(thoughtful almost wistful)

It sounded, for a moment there…

PATRICK

Are you still there, Mr. Henderson? (Then catching himself)

Tom?

TOM HENDERSON

TOM HENDERSON looks up to the direction the muffled sound came from and then, slowly back to the phone.

Yes, yes. I’m still here Patrick. I just thought I heard… sometimes, you know, it doesn’t seem like they’ve gone. That they’re still here. That any moment now they could…

Off screen voice

(A girl’s voice. And now clear enough to make out a plaintive word, somewhere between a moan and a whine…)

Daaaaaaaaad

TOM HENDERSON

You MUST have heard that Patrick?

PATRICK

(unnerved a little)

Are you alone there, Mr. Henderson?

Is there someone else there with you?

TOM HENDERSON

(laughing shakily)

You know, Patrick. I thought I was alone. But I’m not too sure… could you hold on Patrick? While I wheel myself out of here… it might take a while – it’s not easy bum shuffling up these stairs…

PATRICK

(Growing a little alarmed – both at losing the call, but potentially, whatever is going on here…)

Mr. Thompson, you should really…

TOM HENDERSON

(ignoring or not hearing him now)

I heard her, Patrick. I heard her up there. Father Daniel has told me it’s just my imagination, that I…

OFF SCREEN VOICE

(now clear enough that we can make out the words: us, and Patrick)

Dad? Dad? Why are you ignoring me?

TOM HENDERSON

(To Patrick, to himself, and to whoever might be listening in this room)

Father Daniel told me to ignore her, Patrick – he told me there was nothing to hear. That she was gone. That both of them were gone. But she always said she’d never leave me. She won’t stop Patrick, she won’t let me ignore her…

PATRICK

(panicked)

Mr. Thompson… you…

OFF SCREEN VOICE

(Louder – sounding as if at the top of the stairs now)

Dad! Dad! I know you’re down there…

TOM HENDERSON

(very agitated now. Looking around a little wildly)

You heard that, didn’t you Patrick, you couldn’t not hear that!?!

PatRICK

(deeply uncomfortable now)

Mr. Thompson…

TOM HENDERSON

(Angrily)

HENDERSON!!!!

PATRICK

(Getting as hysterical as TOM now)

HENDERSON! Mr. Henderson! Please I don’t…

TOM HENDERSON

(urgently)

Patrick! Patrick! Listen to me…

PATRICK

Mr. Henderson, I don’t think I can…

TOM HENDERSON

(interrupting, frantic now)

Patrick! Listen to me! You have to call Father Daniel! You have to call him now…!

PATRICK

(getting desperate now)

Mr. Henderson I can’t…

TOM HENDERSON

(Shouting over him…)

You HAVE to call him Patrick, tell him to get here as quickly as he can, within the speed limits…

A foot appears on the top rung of the stairs that TOM HENDERSON is looking up at – they’re free form stairs, so looking up he can see the foot moving down from the top stair, to the next… as the foot takes a tentative first step downwards.

OFF SCREEN VOICE

Dad? I know you’re down here. I’m coming down…

PATRICK

(frantic now- as frantic as Tom was a moment ago)

Mr. Henderson… I can’t ring your priest! I’m…

as frantic as PATRICK is, it is nowhere near the level we see TOM HENDERSON has reached as he looks up and sees the foot, now on the second step, the other one on the top step… she’s coming down

TOM HENDERSON

01877 762344! Ring it now Patrick, tell him to…

OFF SCREEN VOICE

(not fully off screen now: we can see her foot as she’s walking down less cautiously now)

I’m back Daddy…I’m back…

TOM HENDERSON

(almost gibbering now)

Oh God Patrick… she’s coming down the stairs. She IS back… Please don’t let it be Stimpy… please don’t be Stimpy… PATRICK! HELP ME!!!!!

The phone clicks off in his hand.

TOM HENDERSON (CONT’D)

(whispering/ sobbing into the phone)

Patrick? Patrick? Are you there? PATRICK!

Patrick is clearly not there. He’s rang off, to leave Tom staring at the phone in dread. And the footsteps are at the bottom of the stairs…

ECU on tom’s face

OFF SCREEN VOICE

Daddy. I’m back…

M/S and we see a teenage girl – probably around 18 years of age – possibly even 19 next week, standing looking at him, half amused, half exasperated.

StIMPY (Formerly OFF screen voice)

Oh, Dad. Are you being a dick again?

TOM HENDERSON

(tone changing as dramatically as the look on his face which breaks into a smile)

Hi Stimpy, good day at college?

STIMPY

(Sighing. And shaking her head – not phased.)

The usual. Double literature. O Henry. Did you ever read him? The Open Window?

TOM HENDERSON

(Distractedly as he looks at the now silent phone)

“Romance at short notice was her speciality.”

STIMPY

Yeah. That was the line.

(She smiles sarcastically)

Can you believe anyone would ever be as dickish as that woman?

TOM HENDERSON

What woman, sweetie?

STIMPY

(Knowingly)

The woman in the story – the one with the fake story about dead relatives returning…

TOM HENDERSON

(nodding)

Indeed – quite unrealistic…

TOM HENDERSON starts to write something down on the scrap of paper next to him.

TOM HENDERSON (CONT’D)

‘A Shooting party…’ hmm, possibly. That could be interesting. 

StIMPY

 And all just because she’s bored and decides to tease some poor shithead who’s trying to do his job…

TOM HENDERSON turns and we see a large white piece of paper on the wall. On it is a list which reads:

RING OFF/  PHONE PUT DOWN IMMEDIATELY/  LESS THAN 5/ 5-10/  10+.

There are numerous markings alongside each – a tally. By far the most are in the 5-10, but the 10+ numbers are catching up – he’s clearly getting better at this.

Stimpy (CONT’D)

You’ve got to get back into work Dad. Baiting scammers isn’t a career. 

TOM HENDERSON

(Standing up on what are, obviously, perfectly good legs)

I am more than filling my time in, in this ‘practicing for retirement’ period, Sugarplum.

STIMPY

(sighing)

How long have you been down here anyway – have you even eaten anything today?

TOM HENDERSON

Hmm? Oh…I don’t think so. I had a cup of tea this morning…

(pauses, as if a thought has just struck him)

Where’s your sister?

There is a long beat, and a change comes across STIMPY’s face as she looks at her father, now shuffling papers on the desk, distractedly.

STIMPY

(Sadly. Indulgently. Softly)

She’s dead, Dad. Two years and she’s still dead.

TOM HENDERSON seems to half-consider this for a moment, nods distractedly, as though he doesn’t quite understand what she’s saying.

He turns the computer off and gets up to leave.

TOM HENDERSON

I probably do need something to eat. Would you care to take a walk into town with your old father? Get some fresh air?

STIMPY

(Taking him by the arm gently as he turns from his desk towards her)

That sounds like a remarkably good idea. We’ll stop for a cup of tea on the way in. Maybe get you a sandwich…? 

TOM HENDERSON puts a paternal arm around her shoulder as she slips her arm around his middle; a loving daughter.

They start to ascend the stairs, and STIMPY gives only the briefest glance back at the chart of mischief on the wall by her father’s desk.

TOM HENDERSON

What day is it?

STIMPY

Thursday.

TOM HENDERSON

(brightening a little from the brief moment of depression he seemed to slip into a moment ago)

Thursday? Already? The religious mob will be out at the park, how about we walk that way?

STIMPY

(O/S – they’re both up the stairs now, and her final words coincide with her switching off the basement light.)

Of course, Dad, whatever makes you happy.

INT. house: basement/ cellar – day

The camera pans in on the desk, lit by only the small office lamp next to the computer now, where it shines on an old Polaroid also stuck to the wall. A picture of a younger TOM HENDERSON with two young girls with him. As it closes in, TOM HENDERSON’s forgotten phone starts to ring. On the screen reads, ‘Unknown Caller’.

Fade OUT.

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