INT. THERAPIST’S OFFICE DAY
(A comfortable office painted in soothing greens. Chairs have been arranged in a semi-circle. A THERAPIST sits in a large leather chair with a notepad. Her group is comprised of VARIOUS FICTIONAL CHARACTERS from a book long in progress, THE SWEET FAR THING.)
THERAPIST: So, it’s good that we could all meet today. I understand you’re having some trouble with the author of your book?
MRS. NIGHTWING: It isn’t our trouble. She’s the one who should be cleverer.
THERAPIST: (nodding) Ummm.
ANN: She’s rewritten the ending eight times.
THERAPIST: Must feel very frustrating.
FELICITY: (texting) I think we should do her in.
CIRCE: Second it.
THERAPIST: Gemma? Any thoughts about that?
GEMMA: (smiling) There’s a snogging scene. I’m in it.
THERAPIST: I see. So you feel satisfied with the direction the book has taken?
GEMMA: For the most part. My brother Tom is still a horse’s ass, though.
ANN: Second it.
(Kartik glowers in a corner. He looks exceptionally hot while he glowers.)
THERAPIST: Kartik? Did you have something to add?
FELICITY (texting like a fiend): He has issues.
GEMMA: He doesn’t!
FELICITY: (sing-song) Is-sues…
(Pippa enters ten minutes late and holding the bloody head of a goat. There is blood around her mouth and down the front of her dress. The other group members stare.)
THERAPIST: Pippa, group started ten minutes ago.
PIPPA: I was hungry. I stopped to pick something up. (giggling) It’s yum-my!
FELICITY: You cow! Did you bring enough for everyone?
PIPPA: No. (grinning) But I’ve got berries that will damn you for eternity! Delish!
THERAPIST: Does anyone else think that Pippa is acting out at this moment?
(All hands go up except for Circe’s. Gemma glares at Circe.)
THERAPIST: Gemma, I sense some tension between you and Circe.
GEMMA: She killed my mother.
THERAPIST: So it feels like she’s struck a blow against your foundation, you sense of security, your sense of self.
FELICITY: She means literally.
ANN: Also, she killed several school girls.
GEMMA: And Kartik’s brother.
CIRCE: And a parking attendant in Chiswick. (Everyone stares) I don’t tell you everything, now, do I?
MRS. NIGHTWING: Right. Let’s get on with it. I’ve a school to run and an East Wing to sort out.
THERAPIST: We were discussing your challenges with the author.
MRS. NIGHTWING: There are no challenges to discuss. She should get on with it. She’s only a week to go, and just last night I caught her trying to strangle her computer.
ANN: We’re still stuck in the Winterlands.
FELICITY: And it’s not a pretty place, I can tell you.
PIPPA: (licking her fingers) Speak for yourself.
CIRCE: And then there are these two.
(She indicates Gemma and Kartik who haven’t stopped mooning over each other. Kartik crosses and uncrosses his arms. It only adds to his hotness.)
FELICITY: Oh, would you stop? Glowering and hotness only gets you so far.
CIRCE: (sighing) Really. You have no idea how annoying it gets. (puts a hand to her forehead) “It’s forbidden!” “Kiss me!” “Alright–but no tongue!”
THERAPIST: Kartik, I want to help you express yourself to Gemma. If you could say what you feel to her right now, what–
(Kartik and Gemma leap from their chairs and make out furiously.)
(Simon pops his head in the door.)
SIMON: Sorry–am I late?
ANN: A bit.
THERAPIST: Um, Gemma? Kartik? All we do in here is talk…
PIPPA: (offering the bloody head) Goat?
MRS. NIGHTWING: These are the times that try men’s souls.
CIRCE: I’ve tried men’s souls. Delicious–just like chicken.
(The Therapist pulls Gemma and Kartik apart.)
GEMMA: You’re right. It would never work.
KARTIK: Yes. I must go back to hot glowering again.
CIRCE: I’m so bored. Isn’t it time for someone to die? Can’t we make the author kill someone in a ghastly manner? Where are the Poppy Warriors when you need them?
SIMON: Still in hair and makeup.
ANN: I want to go to the theatre. Why can’t she write me a scene at the theatre?
FELICITY: (still texting) Realms. Me. Partying. Now.
CIRCE: I want to take over the world. It’s a small thing, really.
KARTIK: Sticking with hot, thanks.
SIMON: I’m not sure about the balance of scenes between the realms and London, frankly. I think I need more “page time.”
ANN: I’m not sure about the five-act structure.
CIRCE: I want a monologue. I should have a monologue.
PIPPA: I think she should add the word “scrotum.” Just for good measure.
THERAPIST: What about–
(Miss McCleethy comes in, takes something from a drawer and walks out again.)
SIMON: What the devil was that?
FELICITY: She’s being mysterious.
ANN: (nodding) It’s her schtick.
THERAPIST: Mrs. Nightwing, would you like to talk about your feelings about–
MRS. NIGHTWING: I don’t “feelings talk.” I’m English.
(The group erupts into squawking and arguing about the progress of the book, the character and story arcs, etc. Finally, Gemma jumps up.)
GEMMA: Do NOT make me open up a six-pack of Victorian crazy magic on your asses! I can and I will.
(Everyone settles. Felicity continues texting. Pip goes back to gnawing her goat’s head.)
THERAPIST: Good, good, Gemma. Getting your feelings out can be really helpful–
GEMMA: I can turn you into a large chicken. I swear it.
ANN: (nodding) She can.
PIPPA: (mouth full) I think the author should just leave the last ten pages blank and put in a small sound chip that plays Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
SIMON: (to Kartik) I know, old boy. You could turn to the redhead and say something along the lines of, “We’ll always have the realms.”
(Kartik glares at him.)
SIMON: By god, you ARE a sexy beast. Even I want to kiss you.
FELICITY: Ooh! I know! Car chase!
ANN: It’s Victorian.
FELICITY: Carriage chase? (sighs) Look, she’s got 800 pages to wallow around in. I don’t see why she can’t throw in one little carriage chase.
MRS. NIGHTWING: I think it’s all very, very silly.
THERAPIST: These are all very interesting theories. I’m afraid our time is up. By this time next week, the last draft of the book will be finished. You’ll all know your fates definitively.
CIRCE: HA! Nothing’s definitive with this one. She can’t even order pizza without changing her mind.
THERAPIST: Well, I’m sure everyone will have a lot of feelings about the end, and we can discuss it next week when we meet again.
SIMON: (grinnig at therapist) You are quite enchanting. What are you doing later? Did I mention I’m a Viscount’s son?