Changeling the Lost: Shattered Dreams - Denver
Chapter 1 Session 4
Chapter 1 – Down the Rabbit Hole
Session 4 Part 1 – Too Good to be True
LilyBeth – When asked about her disappearance, Nicole responds that she is not ready to discuss the details yet, but that she chased after “some guy”. She said that the “guy was older, but that he he “didn’t rape her or anything like that”, but that she worked as a dancer (“not a stripper”) performing folk-style dances “all over”. She explained that her lack of communication with her family was due to her boss’s strict rules and she whole heartedly expressed her regret for what happened to her family in her absence. But she reassures Lilybeth that their Mom would be able to “come home” and that Lily was now free to leave the town (strangely echoing the wish she uttered the night before). Questions about her apparent gain in age and maturity are answered by Nicole laughing and blaming it on her make-up and puberty. Her mother, taken back by Lilybeth’s initial angry reaction to her sister said “this is a blessing. Something that should never be regretted” (again echoing her wish of the previous night). Promising to visit their mother again soon, Nicole asked Lilybeth to take her home.
Samson – While working on his Halloween costume (Iron Man) in his father’s garage, Brent pulls up with a 6 pack of Coke and a bag of pork rinds. Obviously having been crying and most likely gotten little sleep the preceeding night, Brent offers his apologies to Sam about his recent actions and announces his intentions to quit football for good. He also says that he thinks that the wishes they said “were total crap” because he again unsuccessfully tried to convince Debbie to not leave town after graduation. Sam tried to bolster Brent’s spirits by telling him about the good news regarding the mill’s increased demand for business. This immediately encourages Brent who then asks Sam to call Debbie to make sure she comes to his Halloween party that night. After Brent leaves, Sam calls Debbie, who says that she has no interest in going to the party.
After his costume is finished, Sam decides to go to Lilybeth’s house to talk with her about what he learned about the Old Swimming Hole.
Sam pulls into the driveway just as Lilybeth returns with Nicole on Kooch’s bike. Sam is unsure of who Nicole is and is just as surprised when she calls him “Sammy” (a name she and her best friend, his little sister routinely used) and reveals who she is. After some short discussion, Nicole runs into the house to see her grandmother, who has miraculously been recovering and regaining her strength. Lilybeth comments that it is all too good to be real.
Inside the house, Kooch (now mostly recovered from his hangover) is also aastounded at the sight of the beautiful Nicole and quickly retreats to the bathroom to clean up as he realizes that he is covered by his own dried vomit. He quickly leaves the house mentioning that he has no intention of going to Brent’s party, but has determined that it is time for him to steal back the tomahawk taken by Mr. Barker.
Following Nicole up to her room, Sam and Lilybeth overhear her mumble “it looks just as perfect as it did through the window” as she runs into the room and jumps on her bed. When Lilybeth angrily questions her about the comment, Nicole shies away like a beaten dog and winces that she did not say anything. Asking to be left alone so she can rest, Lilybeth and Sam leave Nicole to her room.
Sam leaves to prepare for the party and Lilybeth goes into her room to ponder the last 24 hours and to find some clothes to lend to Nicole (whose old clothes did not fit her anymore). As she goes to give the clothes to Nicole, Lilybeth hears her talking with a man in her room (she initially assumes that Nicole is using a cell phone on speaker). In the conversation, Nicole is obviously scared but pleading with the other party to “let her enjoy being home for a little bit” and that she “knew what she had agreed to do” and that “she remembered the words of the pact”. Deciding against another argument with Nicole, Lilybeth goes into her room to study the library book she had gotten earlier.
Going downstairs to prepare dinner, Lilybeth notices that there is a cold breeze coming from under Nicole’s bedroom door. After knocking and not getting an answer, she opens the door to find the window open, but Nicole is nowhere in sight. Lilybeth enters the room and looks through her sister’s things. She notices that the beautiful dress Nicole wore, now hanging in the closet” looks more threadbare than it previously did. Finding nothing more interesting, she goes downstairs to make dinner.
When dinner is ready, Nicole comes down the stairs, looking tired and drained. When questioned about where she went by Lilybeth, Nicole answers quickly that she went “for a walk” (out of a second story window with no obvious way down) and that Lilybeth needs to stop worrying. She says “now that I am home, you can live your life. Everything will be fine for you (Lilybeth) now”.
Session 4 Part 2 – Halloween Horrors
Sam arrives first at Brent’s house for the annual Smith Senior Class Halloween party. He notes that in addition to students, the party has several adults in attendance, including his father. His father is noticeably worried and stressed out. He tells Sam that they are having some trouble with union labor negotiation and with obtaining adequate raw material to meet the new demand at the plant. Telling his son to have an enjoyable evening and apologizing for reprimanding him the previous night, he goes to the Smith house for a meeting.
Brent sees Sam and questions him about Debbie coming to the party, showing obvious anxiety. Seemingly crestfallen at the news that Debbie refused to come, Brent remarks that he will hit on Lilybeth instead. He goes off to sulk.
Lilybeth arrives with Nicole, who runs off to reacquaint herself with everyone at the party (most in attendance are the older brothers and sisters of her friends, though they now appear younger than her). As Lilybeth anticipated, Nicole is the center of attention as people express joy at her return and disbelief at her changed, grown up appearance. Cutting a hasty retreat to the food table, Lilybeth is approached by a man with a British accent, wearing a Victorian suit complete with top hat and wearing a very realistic skull mask. He introduces himself as William Shylock and a business partner of “Mr. Smith and Mr. Mittal among others”. He congratulates her on her recent fortune of her sister’s return and asks about her thoughts for the future. After Lilybeth provides a completely vague response, he comments that the party he represents offers a program that takes exceptional youth to far off places for education. He provides her his card and remarks that he has a knack for identifying promising and special youth, mentions that he will be keeping an eye on her, and excuses himself.
Meanwhile, Sam has kept his eye on the beautiful Nicole (he is having an internal struggle between his attraction to her and her mere age of 14, even though she looks older than he does). As a song begins to play, Nicole calls to “Sammy” and asks him to dance with her. Though Sam manages to dance well (for someone with no skill in expression), all eyes at the party are drawn to Nicole. Her movements are unbelievably fluid and graceful and her feet never seem to touch the ground. Everyone in attendance find themselves dancing or swaying to the music. Sam’s can’t take his eyes off of her and feels completely lost to and devoted to her in the moment, not in lust, but in awe of her beauty. To Sam and Lilybeth (who is watching from the food table), Nicole’s appearance seems to change: Her eyes seem larger and glow with an internal green light, her skin is flawless and porcelain in color, and her physical proportions take on mythical perfection. Lilybeth notices that as Nicole dances, she seems to drink in the other dancers’ energy around her and her previously fatigued appearance is replaced by vigor and health. Lilybeth notices that the lights from the lamps seem to dim and the lights from the jack-o-lanterns and candles cast longer shadows than they should. A thick fog rolls in and the moon only provides enough light to make the shadows on the dancers take on a devilish appearance. Looking back at Nicole, she realizes that the extreme physical features she noted before are simply the result of makeup and the mood of the moment.
Nicole looks down and notices the fog and suddenly stops dancing. Telling Sam that she needs to go to the little girl’s room, she runs out of the lighted area towards the house. Fearing to lose her sister once again, Lilybeth runs after her.
Drained from the dance, Sam retreats to the punchbowl where he is approach by William Shylock who introduces himself as a business associate and consultant to many in the town, including “Mr. Smith and Mr. Barker”. He comments on the good fortune of the mill and tells Sam about the program for promising youth that he told Lilybeth about. He gives Sam a card and excuses himself.
Lilybeth chases Nicole up the path toward the house. Nicole suddenly turns to a garden archway, caressing the wood on her way through. To Lilybeth’s surprise and horror, Nicole does not come out of the other side. In a panic, she runs to the arch, but can find no sign of her sister. Off in the woods nearby, she hears someone sobbing. Thinking it is her sister, she calls for Nicole and runs to the sound and sees someone in a filthy suit crouching in the dead leaves. As his head turns, Lilybeth feels the now familiar sensation that has preceded every other horrible occurrence in the past few days. To her horror, she realizes that the man is actually Dennis, his face gaunt, one eye rolling with maggots, and his teeth impossibly sharp and long. Responding to Lilybeth’s calls for Nicole, he says in a raspy voice that name is familiar to him and that he thinks that his name was once Dennis. He recognizes Lilybeth and asks where Kooch is. “That’s why I’m here. I need to talk to him”. Dennis also comments that “Running Elk wouldn’t tell me where Kooch is…he wouldn’t listen to me. It’s all his fault.” He warns Lilybeth that he can’t control himself much longer and that she should leave and that the next time he may not recognize her. He also warns her that “others” followed him back and have been attracted to her and Sam by Nicole.
In terror, Lilybeth runs back to the path and sees a pumpkin headed scarecrow on the fence turn its head and look directly at her. She runs back to the party screaming for Sam, but having returned to dancing, he does not hear her. As Lilybeth enters the party area, the electric lights go out and someone screams in pain and terror. Panic breaks out as people run in all directions in complete confusion. Lilybeth tries to get Sam to run towards the house to look for Nicole, but enroute, he sees someone dressed as a scarecrow slash a man with a scythe. Rushing to the man’s aid, Sam sees the scarecrow clearly and notices that the inside of the pumpkin head burns with a bright yellow fire and that the arms are made of only sticks and hay. Terror overcomes Sam as he grabs Lilybeth and runs for the parking lot.
Upon reaching the parking lot, both Sam and Lilybeth recover from their fear and hear more people screaming in terror and pain. Sam revs up his car and tries to ram the scarecrow, but accidentally hits one of his fellow classmates, Sophie Melich, as she flees from the scene. Having swerved to avoid her, Sam crashed his car into a tree. The scarecrow advances on Sam’s car and he swings the door open, hoping to hit it and knock it back. The Scarecrow jumps back avoiding the door and Sam rolls out of the car and is slashed with the scythe. Though his ironman costume offers some protection, he receives a nasty cut across his arm. Lilybeth has started up her bike, grabs a tiki torch and charges at the scarecrow wielding it like a lance. She spectacularly impales the scarecrow and a dark red sticky substance boils from the wound. The scarecrow begins to catch on fire as Sam strikes it across the head with a Mag-Lite. The Scarecrow again slashes Sam who begins to back away from the fight. Lilybeth again tries to lance the creature with a new tiki torch, but misses. She turns and throws the torch like a spear. It hits and the oil reservoir breaks causing the creature to completely ignite and fall to the ground, a pile of straw, broken pumpkin shell and sticks.
They look around and see that two people had been killed by the scarecrow, a business man and their high school gym teacher. They rush to Sophie and use their knowledge of first aid to care for her as sirens from police and ambulances arrive.
In the firelight and flashing lights from emergency vehicles, Sam sees William Shylock looking at him and Lilybeth from the edge of the woods as he claps his hands in approval. Tipping his hat, he steps into the shadows and disappears.