4: Saturday Afternoon
[EXT. CITY STREET]
(Christine rides a bus, listening to headphones and looking at her cell phone. Time is just after 2:00)
[EXT. CITY STREET, LOW-RENT NEIGHBOURHOOD]
(Christine walks along a sidewalk trying to find Timeless. Christine is sweaty and seems disgruntled, using her cell phone for directions. Christine stops in front of Timeless, reads the sign, and climbs the stairs. The double-doors are locked. Christine descends the stairs and walks to the edge of the building. Christine looks down an ally-way, where Jamie sits on the ground, leaning against a propped-open door to the building. Jamie does not acknowledge Christine’s approach, staring straight ahead. Christine sits beside Jamie on the ground. Jamie looks at her quickly before looking away)
JAMIE: Are you sitting here for a reason?
CHRISTINE: The doors are locked. Trix told me to come today.
JAMIE: Oh, she told you. No asking for Trix!
CHRISTINE: Um…so, I’m Christine.
(Jamie gets to his feet clumsily and holds out a hand to Christine, revealing old track marks on his arm. Christine notices and hesitates before taking his hand. As Jamie turns his head he reveals a burn scar on his neck that had been covered by his long hair. At the same moment, he notices the scar on the opposite side of Christine’s neck as she stands and her hair falls away.)
JAMIE: Hey! We’re twins!
(Christine freezes. She does not respond)
JAMIE: um…your scar…sorry…I just…
CHRISTINE: More like mirrors, actually.
(Jamie turns away. Christine follows him into the building)
[INT. TIMELESS, ALLY ENTRANCE]
(Christine enters behind Jamie onto a small wire-mesh landing with stairs up and down. The rail is broken and there is not much room for both of them. Jamie reaches around Christine, pulls the heavy door closed and shakes it to make sure it’s locked. Jamie looks down at where his body and Christine’s are pushed together, and smiles wickedly. Jamie runs down the stairs. Christine follows.)
[INT. TIMELESS,BASEMENT LABYRINTH
(Christine trails behind Jamie, who disappears around the corner of the narrow hallway. Christine peeks into dressing-rooms and checks the place out along the way.)
[INT. TIMELESS, JAMIE’S WORKSHOP]
(Christine enters the low-ceilinged workshop. Jamie stands with his back to the door, working at a work table. Something large and heavy falls on the ceiling just above Christine’s head, making her duck. Jamie turns to the door and sees her. Muffled yelling from above)
JAMIE: This is where I live.
CHRISTINE: It’s, uh, cozy.
JAMIE: I’m here all the time, it’s easier. I do production. Like, stage, lights, sound? I work with the mentors and the kids? But mostly I like to make stuff.
(Christine indicates a large tapestry hanging from the ceiling)
CHRISTINE: So this is your work? Really cool! is it a backdrop?
JAMIE: Big show on Friday! Trix wants SPECTACULAR! I got these paints leftover from a production at the Royal. Guy I know there let me take them. Doesn’t look like much now, but when the light hits it, POW!
(Jamie forgets his shyness, slamming his fist into his hand and dancing a little jig of excitement. Christine laughs, and Jamie stops, looking down, then meets Christine’s eyes to laugh with her, bold and happy for a moment before shyness takes over again. Jamie looks down and his body reflects sudden dejection.)
JAMIE: But maybe it’s not that good. I don’t think she likes it. She…
(Jamie bends and starts cleaning up drip-papers from the floor. Christine reaches to help.)
CHRISTINE: Here, I can…
JAMIE (at the same time): You probably want Trix. She’s on stage.
(Jamie points up without looking at Christine. Christine reacts to his sudden shift in mood, and backs away).
CHRISTINE: Uh. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Well, nice to meet you…
(Christine backs towards the door, then turns to leave. Jamie looks up at the last second, the light and angle emphasizing his youth.)
JAMIE: Hey, good luck!
CHRISTINE: Um, thanks…
[INT. TIMELESS, BASEMENT LABYRINTH]
(Christine wanders the basement labyrinth checking out rooms. She finds a promising looking door and pushes, stumbling into the theatre)
[INT. TIMELESS, THEATRE]
(Trix perches on a ladder downstage right, not far from where Christine stands below on the theatre floor. Trix leaps to the stage floor in a crouch with a huge smile)
TRIX: You’re here!
(Trix stands, looking down at Christine sternly)
TRIX: You’re late! Where’s your guitar?
CHRISTINE: I’m between guitars at the moment.
TRIX: And you’re okay with that? Taking a little break from playing?
(Christine doesn’t reply. Trix makes a face)
TRIX: Never mind. You’re here! So, use that one over there for now. Let’s play!
(Trix waves her hand toward two boys who run to remove the ladder as she strides to centre stage)
TRIX: Back at it, people! Now!
(Christine backs away from the stage, looking around and taking in the theatre and the many boys working on renovations around the room. Christine backs up to the few rows of remaining theatre seating and uses her bum to lower the seat. Christine sits facing the stage. On stage, musicians scramble to their instruments. Trix stands centre stage staring out at Christine.)
TRIX: Alright, ONE TWO THREE!
(Band begins playing. Christine listens. Trix stands, unengaged. Christine closes her. Christine moves in her seat with the music, swept up. After a minute, Trix signals a stop.)
TRIX: What song are we playing?
MR. STRAT: Universe Now.
TRIX: You are playing Universe Yesterday. Or possibly Universe An Hour from Now? It’s not working. Try something else.
(Mr. Strat salutes slightly insolently. Trix turns back to centre)
TRIX: Alright, little girl. You didn’t pay admission for this show. Are you a musician? Get up here and play with us.
(Christine wrinkles her nose, makes an irritated face, but gets up and makes her way to the stage. Trix helps her up. The younger guitar player makes a movement to give her his guitar. Trix shakes her head and indicates a cherry Gibson SG, plugged and ready, on a stool. The boy shows surprise)
TRIX: No, she can use this one.
(Christine steps forward and strokes the guitar. Everyone watches tensely, as though she is breaking a taboo)
TRIX; Oh, relax people! It’s mine. They think I’m a bit possessive. See? See! I can share. I don’t even know her and what’s mine is hers. (stage whisper to Christine) But I do know you, don’t I?
(Christine rolls her eyes. Bash and Trace exchange a look. Christine picks up the guitar and sits on the stool. She absently strums the first bars of “The Rainbow Connection.” Mr. Strat begins playing the song with her. Christine looks up, surprised, and the two exchange a smile and continue playing. Mr. Strat begins singing, Christine joins him on the chorus. Through the song, Trix joins on harmony, Bash on bass, and others in the theatre join in for the line “All of us under it’s spell, we know that it’s probably magic.” After that swell, Christine finds herself singing alone, stumbles but continues with her eyes closed. Trix joins her for the last line, then the theatre joins in)
EVERYONE IN THE THEATRE: laaa la-la lee la-la-la, la la-lee la la-lee la OOOOOOOOH…
(Laughter as most go off key. People throughout the theatre hoot and holler in an appreciative way. Christine reacts to this welcome, embarrassed but pleased, excited. Trix seems distracted, waving people back to work. Trix recovers her presence.)
TRIX: Okay, people, now that our Mouse feels more at home, let’s get back to it. Are you ready?
(Casual conversations drop off, people scramble to their places)
TRIX: Let’s try it again – Universe Now – one, two, THREE!
(Band starts playing. Christine stands with the guitar limp in her hands, frozen. Christine closes her eyes. Trix begins a low, keening wail that grows with the music to a crescendo. As the music breaks Christine finds her path to entry and begins playing along.)
(Trix’s acidy, edgy vocals don’t quite work with Mr. Strat’s slightly bluesy guitar. Christine’s playing starts compensating, bridging between them. As the music nears the end of the bridge, Christine experiments with distortion, and uses a natural pause to fill the void with a low, rising wail from the guitar that pitches higher to mimic Trix’s opening wail. A beat of silence, Trix laughs long and deep, and the band crashes back in. Trix dances as though surfing a wave with spins and jumps, her eyes locked with Christine – Christine plays as though to keep Trix moving. The song eases to an end. Christine seems shocked and exhilarated by her daring. Trix sponges off her forehead and armpits with a towel, then immediately signals into the next song)
TRIX: Anti-flow. Ready, 1, 2, 3.
(Music is slower. Christine seems more self-conscious, adds simple background loop and doesn’t experiment. A young trumpet player joins the stage, then a rapper performs over Trix’s croon. People in the theatre respond enthusiastically. Song ends as Chia enters from the arched doorway at the back of the theatre, pushing a cart with plates of piled sandwich wraps. As one, everyone drops what they are doing and runs for the cart. Chia laughs at the attention. Christine watches, and doesn’t immediately notice Trix approach to take the guitar from her hands)
TRIX: Feeding time at the zoo, Mouse.
(Christine reacts to the nickname. Trix leaps from the stage. Christine leaves the stage more carefully and clumsily. Christine takes food and begins eating where she stands, dripping sauce on her clothing, which she attempts to clean. Christine approaches Jamie and sits beside him. Jamie smiles at her, then looks down as though embarrassed.)
JAMIE: You nailed it. I bet you’re in the show!
(Jamie looks at his lap while he speaks, as though shy or uncomfortable even though his conversation is friendly and warm)
JAMIE: Most of the kids subbing on guitar kinda suck lately. Next to them, you’re a rock star. Plus, Trix’ll like how sexy you look with her big Axe in those fast little hands.
(Jamie turns suddenly towards Christine and boldly looks her up and down in a sexual manner. Before Christine can react, he looks down again, shy.)
CHRISTINE: So is that what this was? An audition for something?
JAMIE: You’re not from around here, are you? Trix likes to keep the sound fluid, you know? So she subs in musicians like, all the time. Some kids wait months to get a spot to show their stuff and then you…well, here you are. Anyway, it’s cool, how the songs change when new musicians get into them? She keeps people around while it’s working, then subs in someone else. Some regulars show up? But the only ones who are always here are Trix, Trace and Bash. Well, and me.
CHRISTINE: What about Mr. Strat?
JAMIE: John? He’s amazing, huh? But he and Trix don’t like to share the sandbox. He’s kind of…in and out? He’s Trace’s uncle, and I don’t know if he has that many places to go anymore. So he keeps coming back? Things go better when he’s here, he keeps the calm in the bunkers.
CHRISTINE: The bunkers? What’s that mean?
(All satellite conversations drop off suddenly, all faces facing Trix)
TRIX: We had some great subs today. Thoughts?
BOY: Al Roy!
(Mumbled asset in the crowd)
TRIX: Yes, that almost worked. Let’s jam a few numbers this week and see what sticks. Could be interesting for Friday.
JAMIE: (whispers) I can’t believe Trix went for that – no one gets a big show first time out! He probably just won fifty bucks off his friends.
(Jamie raises his hand)
TRIX: Yes, Jamie, please share your thoughts with the class.
JAMIE: Christine here lit up your sorry stage.
TRIX: Indeed. And she can play, too. Of course we’re keeping you, Mouse. You’ll join us Friday night.
(Christine’s phone buzzes with a text as conversation continues in the background. Christine reads:
SystemiChris: You almost home?
PurC: Sorry, leaving now.
Christine quietly extracts herself from the crowd and heads up the aisle)