Narr: Carousel, New York was your typical suburban town and Pandora Darling
used to be its typical teenage resident. A happy, healthy, gorgeous
young woman, Pandy used to spend her time at tennis practice, hanging
BFF Tabitha Wentworth, and daydreaming about going to homecoming with
local hunk George Batista. But junior year had brought real nightmares
never could have anticipated. It started with discovering her mother,
bloody and breathless, standing over a dead body in their living room one
afternoon. A terrifying ordeal of subliminal and oh-so-concrete training,
theories, fights, car chases, romantic encounters, presidential imposters,
and close family deaths later, Pandora found herself a lonely and confused
orphan who was lucky the police weren’t after her. She had watched
both her mother and her grandmother die. Her father's parents were missing,
also probably dead. Her father herself had died when she was young. She
had only one place to stay, and that place was haunted by echoes of pain,
panic, fear, and death: her mother’s house. Having been declared
independent by the State due to extreme circumstances, Pandora could
on her inheritance, but it was a cold comfort indeed. Now, as she heard
the doorbell ring, she knew that the one person in the world who was
offering her support and company was on the other side of the door,
his rented tuxedo. She took a deep breath and opened the door to find
Bobby fiddling with the button and zipper of his fly.
Pandy: (trying not to laugh) Uh…hi, Bobby.
Bobby: (totally embarrassed) Oh! Uh, hi, Pandy. How…uh, how are you…
Pandy: I’m alright, all things considered. Thanks for convincing me
to do this, I really need to get out of the house. I can’t believe it’s
been a month since I’ve seen…almost anyone.
Bobby: Everyone’s been thinking good thoughts for you. They’ll
be happy to see you.
Pandy: Well, not everyone.
Bobby: She’ll get over it, Pandy. You guys are best friends. Tabby’s….stubborn,
but there’s too much history there to let go like that. She’ll
Pandy: Yeah, well, I hope so. She hasn’t called me once. And I can’t
imagine tonight will make things any better.
Pandy: (determined breath) All right. Let’s do this.
Narr: Despite the nearly fatal events of late, and the terrible tragedies
Pandy had suffered, Bobby could not help but feel a little gleeful as he escorted
Pandora to the passenger’s side of his car. He had been gathering the
courage to ask her to Homecoming for months, and now his dream had come true.
She looked beautiful in her long pink gown and her hair falling loosely in
curls around her bare shoulders. She had even put on eye shadow and lip gloss.
She was a light pink beacon of light in what seemed like a dreary storm cloud
over the quiet village of Carousel. Even the changing leaves of October seemed
grey, but Pandy had taken the time to make herself pretty for Bobby, and nothing
in the world could have kept him down tonight. They arrived at the high school
gym, and a nervous Pandy suggested they make for the refreshment table and
get some punch. As Bobby turned to hand her her glass, something startled
him and he dropped it, spilling kiwi-mango-strawberry punch on the bosom of
Pandy’s beautiful pink dress.
Tabby: You’re always so good at accessorizing, Pandora.
Bobby: Gee, Pandy, I’m so sorry.
Pandy: (coldly) Hello, Ms. Wentworth.
Tabby: So this is why you were brushing me off?
Bobby: Tabby, I’m sorry I didn’t talk to you about this, but-
Tabby: Save it, Bobby. I’m sick of playing sidekick to Barbie here.
I hope you two are happy together.
Pandy: (yelling after Tabby) Thanks for calling me, by the way! I’m
doing fine! (at normal volume, to Bobby) What was that all about?
Bobby: Well, uh…I didn’t exactly tell Tabby I was bringing you
Pandy: I don’t understand.
Bobby: She kind of asked me to go with her.
Pandy: (disappointed, maybe slightly betrayed?) Oh. I see.
Bobby: I didn’t know how to tell her I was taking you, since you guys
are…(rush the next three words) not getting along, so I just kept telling
her I’d think about it or I didn’t know.
Pandy: Well, I’m glad you took me.
Bobby: (relieved to avoid an awkward silence) Hey, I think Principal Mondi
is going to announce the results of the vote.
Mondi: Good evening, students. This is the moment I’m sure you’ve
all been waiting for – the results are in for Homecoming King and Queen.
So, without further ado, your Homecoming Queen is… (pause to open
envelope) Oh my goodness! Everyone, please give an extremely warm welcome to your fellow
classmate whom we have missed dearly, and your Homecoming Queen, Pandora Darling!
Narr: Pandora’s heart skipped a beat as she made her way to the stage,
and Bobby’s heart beat faster as the prospect of being Homecoming King
entered his mind.
Pandy: Wow, I’m…I’m speechless. Just…thank you all
for your support. It means a lot to me.
Mondi: And now, the vote for Homecoming King…(same
pause) George Batista!
(FX: applause and cheering, which dies down for him to speak)
George: Thanks, everyone. You made the right choice!
(FX: same as above)
Mondi: Okay, okay, settle down, everyone. As is customary, the Homecoming
King and Queen will have a dance together. So clear the floor!
Narr: Pandy ignored Tabby making vomiting motions by pretending to put her
finger down her throat as she took the floor with George.
George: Welcome back, Pandora. We missed you.
Pandy: Thanks. It’s good to get out of the house.
George: And good to be where you belong, eh?
Pandy: What do you mean?
George: Well, dancing with me, of course.
Pandy: (embarrassed) Oh. Wow.
George: You know, I was going to ask you to go with me.
Pandy: (faking surprise) Really?
George: Well yeah. But you weren’t around so much for the few weeks
before the dance, so I ended up asking Tabitha Wentworth.
Pandy: (uncomfortably) Oh. Well, she looks very nice tonight.
George: So what are you doing with that dork-o anyway? A girl of your breeding
and…looks should be with someone of equal stature.
Pandy: I see. And that would be you, I presume?
George: Well of course. You know who my father is, don’t you?
Pandy: Yes, I do. And I’m beginning to see who you are too.
George: I’m not sure what you mean by that.
Narr: Pandora was about to give George Batista a piece of her mind when the
song ended and Principal Mondi took the microphone again.
Mondi: Everyone give a round of applause to our Homecoming King and Queen,
and to our band, Caleb and Special K. The band is going to take a break now,
but they’ll be back in 15 minutes. Feel free to get some more refreshments
while you’re waiting.
Pandy: Wait – what did she say the band was called?
George: Caleb and Special K? They’re a brand new band from the city,
Tabby arranged for them to-
Pandy: Oh my god.
George: Are you okay? You’re practically white.
Pandy: I-I have to go.
George: Running back to your loser boyfriend?
Pandy: Shove it, George.
George: (yelling, since she’s hurrying away from him) Oh you shove
it too, Pandy!
Narr: Panicked, Pandy searched the gymnasium for Bobby, but he was nowhere
to be found. She looked to the stage, where the band was clearing the stage,
and locked eyes for a moment with the bassist. She looked away quickly.
Pandy: (to herself, under her breath) What am I doing? I was no good at seeing
them. Besides, I swore I wasn’t going to get into this. This is ridiculous,
there is no conspiracy. Just calm down, Pandy, you’re being silly…where
on earth did Bobby go? Maybe he’s outside…
Narr: Pandora opened the doors to the gym and found herself outside with
no one- including Bobby- in sight. She turned to go back in the gym when she
felt a sharp pain in the back of her head and blacked out. She woke up about
twenty minutes later unable to see anything. She had the all-too-familiar
sensation of being horizontal, cold, and enclosed. But this time she knew
her mother was not on the other side of the box. Slowly, Pandora tried to
take stock of her surroundings. She moved her arms and legs as much as she
could, feeling for her purse. As expected, it was not in the box with her.
Exploring the sides of the box with her fingers, she found a small metal lock
on the left wall. Slowly, Pandora inched up the skirt of her dress until the
tops of her thigh-highs were exposed. She reached to the garter on her right
stocking, where three lock picks were pinned. Just as she was removing one,
an intercom above her head clicked on.
Voice: (muffled through the intercom) Good evening, Pandora. I know you know
your way out of a locked box, so I will keep this brief. You are invited to
search for your friend, if you are prepared for what you will find at the
end. Good luck.
Narr: Moments later, Pandora sprung open the box and leapt out, landing instinctively
in a fighting pose, to find an empty room. She scanned her surroundings quickly,
noticing only a table with her handbag on it. She grabbed it and headed for
the door, kicking it open and bulldozing through to the outside. She ran for
two blocks before recognizing a street then ran the remaining six blocks to
the high school, where she stopped to catch her breath on the front stairs.
Pandora: (under her breath, to herself) Dammit! I didn’t want to get
involved with any of this! This isn’t supposed to be happening to me.
Why can’t life just be normal!? Okay. Okay. Think. Can I go home? They
probably know where I live. But if they wanted to hurt me they would have
done so when they had me. They want me to find Bobby. (beat) I want to find
Bobby. There’s no one else who knows what’s going on, no one I
can consult. Why can’t Tabby just be friends with me again so we can
put our heads together? (beat) That’s it, I’m going to find her.
She’s my best friend, she’s got to help. And if not for me, then
for Bobby. I’ll just- Oh!
Nielson: Hello, Pandora, I didn’t mean to startle you.
Pandora: Oh, it’s okay. I…I just came out to get some air.
Nielson: I saw you run out before. I didn’t want to pry, but the dance
is ending so I thought I’d check on you. I didn’t get a chance
to welcome you back.
Pandora: Well thanks. I was just going back in…
Nielson: Actually, I was hoping you had a minute to talk.
Pandora: Well, uh…I guess I have a minute, sure.
Nielson: I know we’ve talked before, and I know how difficult things
were…and are. I just wanted to remind you that I’m here if you
need someone to confide in.
Pandora: I know, Mr. Nielson, and I appreciate it. But I’m okay right
now, and I have my friends to talk to.
Nielson: Really? I’m sorry, I don’t mean to press you too much,
but I couldn’t help but notice that you and Tabitha didn’t seem
to be getting along, and I saw your…date leave so quickly, so I-
Pandora: You saw Bobby leave?
Nielson: Well I saw him go out through the gym doors when you were on stage.
Nielson: I don’t want you to think you have to be alone, Pandora. Here.
I got you something. Something that provides me comfort in times of desperation.
Pandora: The….Bible. Gee, Mr. Nielson. Thanks so much.
Nielson: Any time. I’m helping to clean up, so I’ll be inside
if you need anything.
Narr: Mr. Nielson got up and went back inside the gym. Pandy looked down
at the stair next to her and saw a large dagger sitting where Mr. Nielson
had been. Confused, she looked up to ask if it belonged to him, but he was
already gone. She picked it up and hurried around the corner into the parking
lot in order to beat the crowd that would be leaving any minute. She intended
to meet Tabby at her house to convince her to help. As she crossed the parking
lot, she saw the band loading up their van from a back door of the gym. Three
of the band members headed back into the gym, and the bassist was left to
rearrange things in the back of the van. He turned when he heard her walking.
Pandora narrowed her eyes, trying to “see” him. Making a quick
decision, she threw her arm forward and snapped her wrist. The dagger sliced
through the air and landed in the bassist’s gut. He stumbled backward
into the van. Pandora ran up behind him, closed and locked the back door,
took the keys out of the lock, and ran to the driver’s side of the van.
She peered inside gymnasium door and saw Mr. Nielson moving some things around.
Pandora: (loudly whispering) Mr. Nielson, you said to come to you for help
if I needed it. And if I ever needed help, it’s now.
Nielson: What’s going on?
Pandora: No time to talk here. Get in the van?
Nielson: What!? Pandora, what’s going on?
Pandora: I’m driving away in this van whether you’re in it or
Nielson: Okay, okay.
Narr: Pandora got into the driver’s side and started the engine as
Mr. Nielson jumped into the passenger’s side and barely got his door
closed before Pandy tore out of the parking lot.
Pandora: We need somewhere safe to go. Any ideas?
Neilsen: (weirded out but trying to help) Well, I guess we could go to my
Pandora: Not safe enough.
Neilsen: Well…there’s always the church. But we should probably
go to one a few towns over if it’s that bad. A few details might help.
Pandora: Bobby’s been kidnapped and I think he has something to do
Narr: Mr. Nielson followed Pandy’s thumb, which was pointing to the
back of the van, and discovered the unconscious bassist with a dagger jutting
out from his gut and his blood all over the floor.
Nielson: Pandora! Please tell me you didn’t kill this man!
Pandora: I’m not sure if he’s dead.
Nielson: (panicking) When I asked you before if you had ever committed murder,
I meant had you ever hated someone, not had you ever actually killed a man!
Pandora: Well it’s a little late for that. We need to get him – and
us – somewhere safe.
Nielson: We can’t take this man to a church!
Pandora: Thanks, Sherlock.
Nielson: Well, what was your brilliant plan?
Pandora: I don’t know. If Mother were alive she’d know where
to go. Or Grandma. But they’re not here, and I don’t know where
Narr: At that moment, they heard a groan coming from the back of the van.
Mr. Nielson looked back to see the bleeding bassist’s head rolling back
and forth, his hands clutching his stomach. Just as Pandy started to say-
Pandora: He’s alive!?
Narr: -Mr. Nielson opened his blazer, pulled out a small pistol, aimed, and
fired one silenced shot into the bassist’s head, stilling him.
Mr. Nielson: I know where we’re going.
Narr: What secret life does Mr. Nielson have? Should Pandora have trusted
him? Will she find Bobby before it’s too late? Tune in next week for
episode two of Like Daughter: Thou Shalt Not Kill.