Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
TEASER EXT. DOWNTOWN PROVIDENCE - NIGHT The murky din of the city streets emanates into the blackened shroud of the night sky. It is very late, and only those sketchy enough to brave the metropolis at this hour roam through the dark. There is a TELEVISION in the window of a small bodega, tuned in to the eleven-o’clock news.
TV REPORTER #1 Providence authorities are saying that this is now the ninth reported casualty connected to the rash of dangerous street racing activity in the Greater Rhode Island area... Through the commotion a fierce-looking woman, MARYANNE PALMER (early 40s), struts past the television wearing dark SUNGLASSES- peculiar, being as it is night.
TV REPORTER #2 In other news, a violent spree of reported city bus robberies has the police force on constant watch and the general populace terrified... She stops, and glances at the broadcast for a brief second.
TV REPORTER #1 ...Providence officials are asking the public to remain vigilant and not to do anything to provoke the assailants should they be spotted.
TV REPORTER #2 Well Diane, it looks like I’ll be biking to work next week.
TV REPORTER #1 Oh, who are you kidding Hank? You drive a Prius.
She scoffs, shakes her head, and continues on her way. Not far ahead she notices an obvious JUNKIE buying drugs from his menacing DEALER. They glare at her threateningly, but disregard her presence as she walks onward. Her path is suddenly blocked by a rather trashy-looking MARILYN who is quite obviously a hooker.
PROSTITUTE #1 You lookin for some fun tonight suga’?
MARYANNE (with a noticeable New York accent) Sorry hun, you’re not my type.
PROSTITUTE #1 (scoffs) Your loss.
Maryanne chuckles and continues walking.
MARYANNE (to herself) I doubt it...
She then casually takes a CIGARETTE out of her pocket. As she puts it to her lips, it appears to light all on its own, just as she turns the corner into an alley. She exhales a billowing cloud of smoke and continues walking down the deserted alleyway. As she comes to a crossroad, she looks to her right to see another STREET-WALKER who appears to be having an argument with her pimp- a ruthless gangster going by the name of "K"- behind a nasty-looking DUMPSTER.
K Yo, where’s the rest of it?
PROSTITUTE #2 (pleading while handing him a wad of cash) That’s all I got K. I’m sorry.
K throws the crumpled up wad of cash aside and smacks the woman across the face. She falls helpless to the ground. Maryanne continues staring and takes another drag of her cigarette.
K You’re sorry?
He kicks her and she squeals in pain.
K (CONT’D) (yelling) You’re sorry bitch?
(he takes a GUN out of his JACKET and points it at her) Not as sorry as yo’ kids gonna be without they momma.
Maryanne turns the corner and walks toward them.
PROSTITUTE #2 (cries out) OH GOD PLEASE NO!
K cocks the gun.
MARYANNE (i.e. K) You know, I don’t think you’re gonna get too lucky with that thing.
K (startled) What the? (now points the GUN at Maryanne) Who the fuck is you?
MARYANNE (smirking and walking forward slowly) I’m just sayin’ man... A dead girl can’t make you any money.
The hooker tries to get up, but K kicks her back down and stands with one foot on her back.
K (i.e. Maryanne) I don’t give a FUCK who you think you is bitch! You ’bout to be dead as this sorry ass-
MARYANNE (steps forward, with confidence) I don’t think so.
K grips the gun. As he is about to pull the trigger, Maryanne adjusts her SHADES.
MARYANNE (CONT’D) I’ve been looking all over for you.
The metal on the firearm suddenly becomes WHITE HOT, searing the skin on K’s hand. He drops the weapon and falls to the ground howling in pain. The prostitute screams in horror.
MARYANNE (i.e. Prostitute #2) Go on. Get out of here. Forget you ever saw me.
She nods, frightened out of her mind, then grabs the CASH off of the ground and runs away. Maryanne smirks and walks over to the writhing mess.
K (whimpering) The fuck are you man?
MARYANNE (she chuckles, towering over him) Trust me. You don't want to know.
She KICKS him square in the face.
BEGIN ACT ONE
INT. PALMER RESIDENCE - MORNING (7:00 A.M.) The next morning, Maryanne’s ALARM CLOCK blares on the FM radio playing "Super Freak." She groans, rolls over in her bed, and SMACKS the off-button. Then she rolls back over, struggling to get away from the comfort of her RED SATIN SHEETS. A moment later, she walks into her seventeen year-old daughter CADY PALMER’s room, just down the hall. She stands in the doorway next to her sleeping daughter’s bed.
MARYANNE (yawning) Cady, honey, it’s time for school.
Cady groans and rolls over. Maryanne tries to shake her.
MARYANNE Come on, it’s time to get up.
CADY (groans in a daze) Go away.
MARYANNE (pokes her) Cady wake up.
MARYANNE I am not in the mood Cady. Wake up.
CADY (annoyed, covering her face and disheveled dark hair with her pillow) Bite me Mom.
Maryanne shrugs, and leans over to bite her daughter’s arm. Cady shrieks.
INT./EXT. MARYANNE’S JEEP - MORNING About a half-hour later, they climb into Maryanne’s Jeep and buckle up. Both of them are inconspicuously wearing dark SUNGLASSES, though the sky is rather cloudy. Cady looks at her arm.
CADY For Christ’s sake Mom, I’m calling Hazmat.
MARYANNE We don’t say Christ honnie. You’re half-Jewish remember?
They start to back out of the driveway.
CADY Yeah, well Dad’s not here... And anyway, Grandma’s Catholic.
MARYANNE True, true... But Grandma’s kind of a bitch.
CADY Mhmm... And speaking the Lord’s name in vain is offensive to Catholics.
MARYANNE (laughs) Aha! I always knew you were my favorite.
She playfully touches her daughter’s shoulder. They both laugh and the Jeep flies off down the road. The Palmer’s HOUSE and GARAGE come back into view.
INT. PALMER RESIDENCE, GARAGE LOFT - MORNING Above the Palmer’s garage is the loft where Maryanne’s older daughter, ALISE KYLE (26) sleeps next to her boyfriend DAVIE GUTIERREZ (20’s). A slew of empty Monster and beer CANS is strewn across the disheveled room. A single, peeking ray of sunlight shines through the curtain onto Alise’s nose which appears to be slightly disturbing her slumber. Davie tries to put his arm around her, but she smacks him, groans, and pulls the blanket around her.
EXT. HIGH SCHOOL, PARKING LOT/INT. MARYANNE’S JEEP - MORNING
The Jeep pulls up outside the front doors of the school. The BELL RINGS.
MARYANNE Aw crap Cady! You’re late again!
CADY (gives her mother a hug and kiss) It’s fine Mom. I’m acing English as it is.
MARYANNE (smiles) Of course you are.
Cady steps out of the Jeep.
CADY (through the window) By the way, you’re taking me for my rabies vaccination after school.
She turns and walks up the stairwell toward the front doors.
MARYANNE (smiles and waves) Have a good day! Try not to infect anyone!
Maryanne takes a PACK of cigarettes out of her purse and puts ONE in her mouth. Her CIGARETTE again appears to light all on its own.
SLOW MOTION: Her CIGARETTE again appears to light all on its own. CONTINUOUS SLOW MOTION: Cady reaches for the handle to the DOOR but does not touch it. As she brings her hand back, the DOOR seems to follow as if on an invisible string. RETURN TO NORMAL SPEED: The JEEP pulls off as Cady enters through the front doors.
MARYANNE (V.O.) So I guess... you’ve probably got a few questions for me.
Maryanne pulls up to a stoplight and takes a drag of her cigarette.
MARYANNE (V.O.) My name is Maryanne Palmer. Once upon a time, I was a bad-ass chef slaving away at a five-star restaurant in New York City...
INT. RESTAURANT KITCHEN - NIGHT (FLASHBACK) The frantic sounds of a busy restaurant flood through Maryanne’s mind. She stands in front of the HOT-LINE, SHADES donned, frantically tossing PANS and stirring POTS on the STOVE TOP.
MARYANNE (V.O.) Bein’ a working Mom was alright I suppose. But my job got me started drinking...
She takes a bottle of white wine and splashes it into a saute pan, then takes a swig.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) ...a lot.
She puts the bottle down and continues tossing.
MARYANNE (to one of the DISHWASHERS) Hey Sammy, where’s that package of endives I asked for like twenty minutes ago?
SAMMY (poking his head out from the dish pit) I checked back there. Ain’t none left!
MARYANNE (exasperated) Check again! I told you I hid an extra one behind the bell peppers! Come on, come on kid! I need that damn salad!
Sammy obliges begrudgingly and runs out of the kitchen. Maryanne rolls her eyes in frustration.
Suddenly, her snooty boss FRANCOIS LAROUX (50’s) approaches her in a tizzy.
FRANCOIS (with a wicked French accent) Maryanne! Hurry ze’ fuck up wit’ zose’ scallops!!!
Maryanne bites her LIP.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) ...And for good reason I might add.
MARYANNE Three minutes Francois.
FRANCOIS Well move your skinny ass, woman! We don’t have all day.
She clenches her FISTS.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) But sometimes the stress was...
FRANCOIS (CONT’D) And for fuck’s sake! Take off zose’ creepy sunglasses. This is Relais and Chateaux not a Cory Hart music video! (mumbling as he turns to walk away) Fucking vampire.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) ...unbearable to say the least.
Maryanne angrily whips around to face him.
MARYANNE (at the end of her rope) Excuse me?
Suddenly, as if by magic, all of the BURNERS on the stove roar up in an inferno as Francois begins to open his mouth sending POTS and PANS flying in every direction. The other COOKS scream and try to dodge the incoming missiles.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) That was my very last day.
Francois turns around and screams. He then frantically rushes to find the fire extinguisher as the stovetop fire continues to rage on. Maryanne rolls her eyes and shrugs, looking down at the floor to see the SCALLOPS she had worked so hard to make in a sploshy mess. She squishes one down into the floor tile, grabs the BOTTLE OF WINE off of the counter space, swigs it, and struts out of the kitchen.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) I told him that he had unsafe working conditions.
INT. MARYANNE’S JEEP - MORNING (CONTINUOUS) The stoplight turns GREEN and Maryanne pulls off.
MARYANNE (V.O.) So I suppose that’s where your questions lie... Like, "What the hell was that?"
She takes another drag of her cigarette.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) Guess I’d ought to fill you in on my family’s dirty little secret...
INT./EXT. MARYANNE’S PARENT’S ESTATE, 1986 - DAY (FLASHBACK) Maryanne, at the age of sixteen, ferociously makes out with a young teenage BOY. They seem to be getting hot and heavy as they make their way through the doorway. She SLAMS the DOOR shut with her foot, and they flop onto her bed.
MARYANNE (V.O.) My family and I, we’re... different.
Young Maryanne giggles and the boy grunts aggressively. They rip each others clothes off.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) I know, what a lame thing to say. I mean it’s so goddamn cliche’, but when I say different, I mean DIFFERENT.
YOUNG MARYANNE Do you like... have a... you know?
BOY Naw, but I’ll be careful. I promise.
Maryanne concedes and they start to make love.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) Careful my ass. Ten months later I was an unwed teenage mother. But I digress... There’s people like us all over the world. We come from a long line of genetic freaks who develop special "gifts"- as my mother calls them- usually during the teenage years. And these "gifts" generally come around at the worst possible moments.
END FREEZE FRAME:
Young Maryanne’s opens her eyes and her BROWN IRISES suddenly change into a fluorescent FIERY-BLUE. Outside the house, we hear her scream with pleasure, and suddenly, a small part of the estate EXPLODES.
INT. MARYANNE’S JEEP - MORNING (CONTINUOUS)
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) Yeah, tell me about it. Oh, and that weird eye thing? It happens pretty often. So we have to keep ’em covered.
Maryanne adjusts her SHADES and tosses her CIGARETTE out the window.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) It’s hard sometimes- never really getting a chance to know people, and having to hide who you are from the entire world. It’s something my family and I know all too well...
The Jeep flies off.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL, CLASSROOM - DAY Cady sits in the back of her Physics class, next to her preppy cousin, WESLEY KYLE, who is a little short for his age. The SHADES over her eyes give her an impassive look. MR. FELMAN, the attractive male teacher, stands in front of a diagram of the earth.
MR. FELMAN The value of the earth’s gravitational acceleration is...
CADY (muttering, bored) ...approximately nine-point-two meters per second squared.
Another STUDENT raises her hand, and Mr. Felman calls on her for the answer.
STUDENT #1 Approximately nine-point-two meters per second per second.
MR. FELMAN Very good. Now, in conjunction with...
He continues his lecture on which the rest of the CLASS seems to be genuinely interested.
Cady slowly nods out and falls asleep on her desk. Mr. Felman’s voice quickly fades into the background. After a few moments, her DESK suddenly begins to rise off of the ground as if by magic. Wesley finally notices after a few seconds as both his cousin and the DESK continue to float.
WESLEY (whispering) Cady! Cady!
In response to her unresponsiveness, he picks up a small pink ERASER and flings it at her.
WESLEY (aggressively whispering) DUDE! Wake up!
The eraser THUDS off of her head. She jolts to attention, and the desk comes crashing to the ground, alerting the entire class, including Mr. Felman. Everyone looks at her suspiciously.
MR. FELMAN (to Cady) Is there a problem Miss Palmer?
CADY (coughs sheepishly) Oh no sir. I’m uh- a huge fan of... gravity.
She smiles, embarrassed, and Mr. Felman shakes his head. He returns to his lecture and Wesley give Cady an accusing glare. After class, Cady and Wesley walk out of the classroom toward Cady’s locker across the hall.
WESLEY Dumbass. You really need to be more careful. You came like THIS close to getting busted.
CADY Yeah, that WAS pretty close.
Cady opens her LOCKER.
CADY (CONT’D) (she playfully punches him in the shoulder) Thanks for having my back Wes.
WESLEY Hey, what's family for? (he reveals an antique POCKET WATCH and opens it) Shit man, I’m gonna be late for Trig. I’ll catch you later.
CADY (sarcastically) Jolly good then, Sherlock.
He playfully flips her off and walks away.
WESLEY Fuck you Watson.
CADY Hey, sidekick or no I’m still the brains of this family!
WESLEY (laughs) Well then, consider us all royally screwed.
She flips him back off and shakes her head, returning to the books in her locker. A couple of STUDENTS stare at her bewildered.
STUDENT #2 She’s so creepy.
STUDENT #3 Yeah, what is she? Blind?
Cady glares back at them.
CADY Can I help you with something?
They walk away shaking their heads and muttering barely audible insults.
CADY (CONT’D) (muttering) Bitches...
Suddenly, her PHONE beeps as she closes the locker door. She takes it out of her PURSE and blushes. There is a text message from someone named EDDIE. The opened MESSAGE says:
"Can’t wait to see you."
She closes her phone as an obnoxious HALL MONITOR approaches her with his PAD of pink slips.
HALL MONITOR (while writing) Using cell phone during school hours...
CADY Oh come on. Seriously dude?
HALL MONITOR (he hands her the SLIP) That’ll be Friday at three-thirty. (he smiles slyly) Enjoy.
She glares at him, aggravated.
HALL MONITOR (CONT’D) (muttering while walking away) Freak...
Cady hears him and is appalled. She watches as he gives out another pink slip to another very annoyed STUDENT. As she causally taps her NOSE, the monitor’s BELT BUCKLE unfastens by itself and his pants drop to the floor. He trips over the fallen JEANS and falls flat on his face. BLOOD gushes from his nose.
HALL MONITOR (howling in pain while holding his busted nose) GOD DAMN IT! I told my mom not to buy me clothes at the fucking GAP!
For a second Cady stares in horror at the scene, but she quickly sneaks away, shamefaced, as a couple of passerby STUDENTS help the monitor up onto his feet.
INT./EXT. GROCERY STORE - DAY Maryanne stands at the cash-register, her groceries already bagged. The CASHIER, an older, seemingly dim-witted woman smiles at her.
MARYANNE (V.O.) Being on the outside gives us a unique perspective from the rest of the world.
CASHIER Do you have any coupons dear?
MARYANNE (politely) Uh sorry, no I don’t.
CASHIER (cheerfully) Well, it’s your lucky day. I believe I have one for those cans of tuna fish... Let me see...
She bends down, picks up a coupon catalog from behind the counter and starts flipping through the pages.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) Sometimes we just don’t understand the trivial things that most people relish in.
CASHIER (CONT’D) Hmmm... I know it’s in here somewhere.
MARYANNE (hiding annoyance) It’s like ten cents hon. It’s really no big deal...
CASHIER Now, now. Every penny counts right? Maryanne forces a smile.
She looks to her right to see a suspicious-looking SKINHEAD eyeballing an ELDERLY WOMAN’s purse.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) But we always know when shit’s about to go down.
She stares at him for a moment but the cashier breaks her focus.
CASHIER Aha! Here it is! I knew it was in here somewhere... And look at that- twenty cents! See, more than you expected right?
MARYANNE (chuckles, barely hiding even more frustration) Fantastic. Thank you, really.
She takes her credit card out of her purse and hands it to the cashier.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) And it always does.
Suddenly, the ELDERLY WOMAN screams.
ELDERLY WOMAN Hey that’s my purse!
Maryanne looks over to see the skinhead running out of the store, the PURSE in his hands.
MARYANNE (mumbling to herself) Goddamn it...
Maryanne bolts after him, leaving her GROCERIES behind.
CASHIER (yelling after her) Will that be debit or credit?
Maryanne runs out of the front doors to see the thief run into a nearby alleyway. She rolls her eyes and chases after him.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) But luckily, I can do things that most people can’t.
In the alleyway, the skinhead thief looks back to see Maryanne behind him. He books it. When Maryanne realizes that he is beginning to get away, she stops, and takes a deep breath. Though her eyes are masked by her SHADES, it is obvious that she has closed them, concentrating, and she raises her hand to eye level.
Suddenly, a SPARK ignites, and giant WALL OF FLAME appears out of nowhere, blocking the thief’s path.
SKINHEAD (horrified) What the-?
He turns around, pale-faced, to face Maryanne who marches up to him, completely out of breath. She puts up her pointer finger, commanding him to wait for a second. After recovering, she grabs the PURSE right out of his hand without any resistance. The skinhead stares, wide-eyed, in disbelief.
MARYANNE You might wanna pursue another pass-time dude. Maybe sailing, drawing, gambling even. Something that doesn’t involve snatching purses from little old ladies.
He nods in compliance- his eyes still bulging out of his head. The fire-wall behind him CRACKLES as it quickly dies out and he jumps, panicked.
MARYANNE (CONT’D) Awesome.
She punches him in the face, and he lands sprawled out on his back, groaning. A victorious Maryanne turns and walks nonchalantly back toward the store.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) I guess it’s our duty really- to help those who can’t help themselves.
She reenters the store and kindly hands the elderly woman her PURSE. The crowd of CUSTOMERS cheers at her triumph.
MARYANNE (i.e. elderly woman) You might wanna buckle that next time.
MARYANNE (V.O.) And in the end...
She then turns back to the cashier, who still has all of her groceries bagged and waiting.
MARYANNE (V.O. CONT’D) ...we do it with a smile. MARYANNE (smiles) Debit please.
END ACT ONE