Thursday, June 2, 1947
It began on a warm night, thanks to a bunch of Spanish-speaking thugs who wanted the TV.
It is a warn night, unseasonably so for early summer, but not too humid.
It is midnight. Most honorable citizens would be abed at this hour, but some are not.
Roseline is busy helping Madame Cobb finish up a sewing contract for a well-to-do resident of Bunker hill. The curtains they are working on are covering the regular furniture of the ground floor. They are hemming and sewing pannels, bent over their sewing machines in concentration. The TV went off some time ago, and the radio is on — some drivel of a romantic radio play.
The door opens as Mark and Stacey return from working late shifts. Stacey was helping out at one of the clubs (not an opening act, but at least she got on the stage). Mark took a double-shift today. He’s so tired that he left the factory still wearing his welding mask. They met on the streetcar (Line 9) coming up from downtown.
Madame Cobb points them to sandwiches in the ice-box, if they’re hungry. While Roseline and Stacey dig out the sandwiches and a few cold drinks, Stacey talks briefly about her night.
Mark grabs a sandwich, cracks a window and lights a cigarette. The air feels good, somehow cooler and certainly better-smelling than his workplace. When asked, he admits he’s working on Military stuff, and can’t talk about it.
Angelo starts down the stairs and stops when he sees the assembly below. He’s dressed in his pajama bottoms. He comes down for a sandwich and acts quite distracted. Seems Angelo invited some friends over to play cards and said they could use the dining room table. Just then, there’s a knock at the back door.
Rosey grabs up her purse from nearby and clutches it to her chest.
Stacey goes to answer it and refuses when the stranger tries to force his will upon her to let him in.
Outside, people mutter in Spanish.
Angelo goes slack, and he walks to the door. Mark tries to stop him, and fails.
Angelo opens the latch and the door slams open.
A large man in a tight suit fills the doorway.
A smarmy hispanic man wearing a zoot suit thanks Bill and steps around him.
He tips his hat and introduces himself as Jose.
Jose Diaz explains they’re here for the test: To enter a house and take something that isn’t theirs.
Rosie suggests Ms Cobb goes upstairs and she pulls something out of her purse.
Mark asks if this is a dance or a fight, and slugs the first thug close enough to hit. One of the thugs succumbs to the strike, his glass jaw shattering. He falls to the floor.
Jose snaps his fingers and Mark slumps forward onto a kitchen chair, suddenly woozy.
Big Bill flicks his wrist, sending Stacey out of the way; passing everything and everyone he heads for the TV.
A frying pan flies off the wall and hits Jose in the head, knocking him over. Stacey gets up and off the counter. (Power stunt : Stacey is now fatigued.)
Madame Cobb locks the front door and closes the chain.
Angelo goes to Bill and tries to convince him to stop.
Three thugs push their way in. Two try to grab Mark and pull him down. He tries to wriggle his way out of it. One looses his hold, but the other does not.
The third one squeezes by Bill and tries to push Rosie out of the way. But she dodges it.
(Something happens to the TV, it performs a “mild reconfiguration”, but no one was watching.)
Rosie dons a mask and screams at the thug and Bill to “Get. Out!” All the curtains lift up a bit and do a wave towards the thug (Raphael) and Bill. Raphael screams and falls over twitching and gasping in fear. Bill’s cigar fades half to ash. Madame Cobb draws a deep in-breath. She backs out of grabbing range of Bill.
A man seems to feel something… He looks about, questioningly.
Back at the house
Mark takes a swing at the guy still holding onto him. “Mits off buddy.” but he misses. His t-shirt tears and he stumbles into the chairs in the kitchen. He’s trying to shake off the fatigue as he leans into the chairs.
Bill is still unnerved, screams and charges towards Rosie like a mammoth. Suddenly, from Rosie’s point of view, everything becomes grey, with the people being stark white (Madame Cobb) or black (Bill). the guy on the floor is not visible. Bill charges through where Rosie was and plows through the table. Wooden splinters and curtains fly all over. Bill grabs a leg of the table and flings it in Rosie’s direction, it goes through her and plants itself deep into the parkey floor. Rosie notices then that Bill’s eyes are completely black.
Jose tries to force Stacey to stay put, but again she resists him; yawns and tells him “You’re boring me Jose.” So he pulls out a gun and moves away.
Stacey disappears and tries to hit the minion attacking Mark, but misses.
Angelo shakes off the fear, goes over and yanks out the table leg from the floor. He succeeds in hitting Bill, but there’s no effect.
“Where’s my shotgun!” demands Madame Cobb.
The last standing thug tries to punch Mark. He succeeds, but Mark still doesn’t go down.
The thug in the living roo, goes towards the TV. He tries to lift it, and fails. He calls to Nicolo to come and help; but Nicolo is busy struggling with Mark.
(The TV send out radio calls for help on the police band. Car 40B responds, and is on its way.)
Rosie turns off the light to the front room. Now, the only light left is the dim light that comes from the kitchen, and the moonlight from the open window. Rosie reaches out over 10’, passed Angelo’s shoulders, to strike at Bill with a phantom arm. Bill reals back, catching his mouth and dazed from the blow.
Mark tries to deck the thug, and misses.
Bill strikes out at Angelo in a blind rage. He hits and Angelo goes flying. Angelo strikes the far wall and crumples like a rag doll.
Jose directs the gun at Madame Cobb and tells her to lie down. Madame Cobb looks up towards him and he grabs his head in pain while she tisks him “You’re twice uninvited, in my house and in my mind.”
Stacey repeats Madame Cobb’s words, and rotates them randomly around Joes’s head; sometimes louder, sometimes softer.
Jose shoots the gun randomly up into the air, demanding “Stop that!”. The light turns on on the second floor. There is a siren in the distance.
Madame Cobb rushes to Angelo’s aid.
The thug tries to strike Mark again, hits again, but again Mark shakes it off. “Either I’m too tired or you’re too wimpy.”
Raphael calls for Bill’s help. Raphael lets go of the TV, and goes to the front door to unlock it.
(The TV changes again. It (he?) learns that Angelo is dying from a cracked neck.)
Rosie screams at the thug opening the door to “Get. Out!”
Mark hits the thug, sending him sprawling at last. He puts on the goggles and moves up to Jose.
Jose aims towards Mark and fires, and misses.
Sam, from upstairs, yells for us to keep it down. “I have a rally in the morning.”
Bill screams and moves towards the last remaining thug.
“Ahhh! No gangs worth this. Screw the Rojatoro.” Says the last thug as he turns and runs out the door.
Stacey knows the Rojatoro to be a Sspanish bar of bad reputation that the mob wannabes hang out in. She tries to calm Bill down by singing to him, but he ignores it.
Madame Cobb screams out “I think,… I think he cracked his neck. Someone call an ambulance.”
(The TV extends a …limb(?), flat along the floor, mimicking the surface of the floor. He starts flowing over Angelo, enveloping his wounds, and eventually healing them. Angelo takes a sudden deep breath. “I think I fixed him.” says Madame Cobb.
Rosie backhands Jose with an overlong phantom arm. Jose resists it.
Mark moves up and tries to strike Joes. He missed. The smell of ozone fills the air.
Jose reacts badly to the sparks spreading from Mark to his gun. “Marde dios!” and he fires off his fourth shot. The bullet veers slightly away.
Bill turns back around and yells, heading towards Mark.
Stacey begs Bill to calm down, becoming a teary-eyed starlet. Bill shrinks down and asks “Jose. What’s going on? Did we get the TV?”
Madame Cobb grabs hold of Angelo and runs to the stairs. Angelo stumbles to his feet.
Rosie takes another swing at Jose. She moves into range, closer to the Television, and strikes out. She misses.
Mark strikes at Jose, and misses.
Jose screams “Lets get the hell out of here!” he dashes towards the front door. Bill follows.
Rosie runs to the door and locks it behind them. The electrical hum dies away and the ozone does down. The lights go back on.
There are three guys on the floor.
Sam and Ernesto come down the stairs, Sam with a switchblade, Ernesto has a baseball bat. The cops are pounding on the door! Rosie lets them in.
Rosie starts speaking wildly at the policemen, describing what happened.
Two police officers come in, secure the premises. They take our stories after securing the three young men. They use the phone to call in the descriptions, and learn that the fourth thug was caught.
At some point, the cops go upstairs because they hear screaming. It nearly gets ugly, as Ernesto’s wife learns of Angelo’s involvement in the fracas.
Eventually the police depart with the thugs in tow.
After some discussion, Madame Cobb takes out the Canadian Club Whiskey.
More than half the curtains were safe. Madame Cobb stays up trying to fix the remaining ones, but sends the rest of the people to bed.
Through the night, Rosie dreams of a woman in a house. There are men coming to take her. She takes out a knife and kills herself. The house is exotic and familiar at the same time. The men watch her stab herself with a knife, bow and leave. And the mask is outside of her bag, resting on the vanity.
June 8, 1947
The next day dawns bright and warm.
Stacey visits Maria, aAnd eventually speaks to Angelo. He says the “Happening cats” go to the Rojatoro. Angelo wanted to go there too; but to get in they had to prove themselves — so Angelo said that Madame Cobb had a TV. Taking the TV would be a good test, to bring it back to the bar as a trophy. They smoke up (reefers) and they became bigger. Bill especially. Jose’s eyes glowed a bit. The smoke glowed a bit too.
They told him to open the door to the back. We were supposed to all be asleep.
Jose is nasty. Angelo saw him take a bottle to his opponent once. Jose and Bill always hang out together at the RojaToro at night. No clue where they hang in the day.
In the day, Angelo finds Mark and Rosie and apologies profusely to each of them. Rosie says he’s better than the thugs who attacked last night. Mark tells Angelo he got really lucky.
The rest of the household are relatively accepting of his apologies. His siblings tease him, his father gives him the silent treatment and his mother drags him to church for further atonement.
The television decides to study the household members closely. 40 years of watching television has misinformed him greatly regarding how humans work. Mark registers as mutated, but Stacey can do things that don’t seem to register at all.