(from the notes of Dax Worthington)
a. It’s a beautiful Saturday morning, and the first sunny day of the year is working to melt the patches of snow still on the ground. The school is almost deserted for the weekend, leaving Dax, Logan, Britney, Heather, and Rich practically alone in the building with Mrs. Crowley, the English Teacher supervising detention. The teenagers glumly stare out the first floor window of the brick building as Mrs. Crowley plops a copy of Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” in front of each of them, telling them they are to, in the next six hours read the first four chapters and turn in a two-page essay.
b. Crowley leaves the room, saying she’ll be back in five minutes, after confiscating Logan’s walkman and locking it in a drawer, leaving the kids to their own devices. Logan settles a backwards cap back on his head and straightens his overlarge, ketchup-stained T-shirt. Britney tries to make sense of the book, but just can’t seem to follow what’s going on, and settles for worrying at the bare threads in the knees of her distressed jeans.
c. After a few minutes listening to the intermittent hiss of the radiator, Dax slyly reaches into his black bomber jacket for a straw, tears off the corner of a piece of paper and, after working the paper in his mouth for a moment, shoots a spitball straight into Rich’s ear. Rich pops up and tries to plant the spitball on Dax’s paper, but Dax blocks the attempt with a swipe of his hand saying, “Wax on!” when Rich continues to loom, Dax sallies, “Keep it up buddy, and I’ll wax you off!” Becoming further enraged by the innuendo, Rich knocks Dax over with a sharp blow to the jaw, and the two teens square up for a fight. Logan hurries to block the door with a chair so they can have fight club in privacy.
d. The incipient brawl is interrupted as Heather’s eyes roll back in her head and she starts to shake, asking the room at large, “Why is Mrs. Crowley dead?” Dax, Logan, Rich and Britney stop what they were doing to question her but she professes ignorance of her recent fugue state, apparently sincere about her lack of recollection.
e. Leaving the recent oddness aside, Dax and Logan decide that it’s been longer than five minutes, so they should go and find out what has happened to Mrs. Crowley. Prior to departing, Logan picks the lock on the desk and gets his Walkman, as well as a switchblade apparently confiscated from prior miscreants. He also notices a slip of paper with the numbers 172435 on it. He flips open the switchblade, prompting Dax to take it from him and put the blade away hastily.
f. Rich, fuming at his mistreatment and off balance due to the creepy trance he just witnessed, says he’s going to the principal to report the fighting and general misbehavior. Everyone else trails after him down the hall to the shuttered concession stand (where the Principal is taking inventory) and overhears them talking about Crowley checking in on the kids. Everyone but Logan scurries back to the detention room (Logan stuffs himself into a locker instead). They only make it to the door before the adults emerge from the concession stand and see them, but Britney convinces the principal that they were just investigating a weird noise.
g. Logan unfolds himself from the locker and creeps back to the concession stand, where he overhears Mrs. Crowley talking about getting something away from “her” and that she just needs more time. Jenkins admonishes her that she should not try to do “it” by herself. Logan hurries back to the detention room at this point and eagerly regurgitates her recent eavesdroppings. Despite Logan’s assumption that the conversation was about Britney (:P), Dax concludes that they must have been talking about Heather, and he demands that she tell him what they were talking about. Initially she insists that she has no idea, but soon she starts to shake again and her eyes roll back. She begins to babble about Mrs. Crowley being dead in a circle of blood in the boiler room.
h. After some debate, and more denial of any recollection of her recent words by Heather, the group decides to investigate this, but not before Logan scares up a roll of duct tape (Dax tries to find something for a staff but fails). On Dax’s urging, Logan defaces his beloved Elvis cassette tape so that he can record Heather’s next otherworldly outburst. Britney convinces Rich, through an elaborate combination of playmaking on the whiteboard and cheerleading, to stay and give any teachers a line of crap about where everybody else went, and the intrepid teens depart for the boiler room. Taking a left out of the English room, then a right down the big hall between the main buildings of the school, the group proceeds through the double doors by the gym and down the ramp to the boiler room.
i. Logan is first through the door, plunging headlong into a hellish scene. Crowley stands in a cheesy robe and plague mask, chanting in a circle of blood (presumably from the nearby limp body of a chicken) over a music box. Logan slips in the blood and sees a figure twirling inside the box. Instead of a ballerina or some such, the figure is a nightmarish creature that grows with each revolution, becoming a hazy demonic presence, suspended over the box. On the front of the box is a dial combination directly under the upraised latch, the numbers spinning wildly. Confronted with such a grisly scene, however, Logan’s mind goes blank in terror.
j. Britney, Dax, and Heather surge into the room after Logan. As Dax tries to puzzle out the right course of action, Britney front flips through the congealing blood on the floor, bringing her foot down on the lid of the box. The lid slams down but cannot close completely due to the upraised latch. The demon becomes more ethereal as the aperture narrows, but it starts to gain substance again rapidly. Heather extends a hand toward the box and exerts her will, causing it to fly toward Dax. Dax catches it and shrieks to Logan for the combination.
k. As Logan babbles in fear, Britney once again exercises her Powers of Cheerleading to exhort Logan to call out the numbers from the paper in Crowley’s desk. Dax tries to fix
the spinning numbers on the dials in the correct order, but the inexorable demonic force motivating them is too much, and he fails. The rapidly-solidifying demon lashes out, catching Mrs. Crowley a heavy blow that sends her crashing backward into the boiler.
l. Dax pulls out a screwdriver to force the latch over and close the box, but can’t force it shut one handed. Sensing this may be their last chance before the demon fully manifests, Britney rushes over to hold the latch open with the screwdriver, allowing Dax to finally lever the box closed. Logan piles on and clicks the combination dial to the right position and the latch snaps closed once more, causing the nearly solid demon to evaporate with a tortured scream.
m. As the gang stands panting around the closed box, Heather lays her own hands on it and her back arches as her mouth opens in a silent scream. As blood begins to leak from her nose and ears, Heather projects a vision into the minds of the other teenagers. A younger Heather’s grandma in another plague mask (much more ornate than Mrs. Crowley’s) is conducting ritual stuff with other robed figures. The scene shifts to terrifying collection of Precious Moments figurines, as well as a number of boxes similar to the one the kids are clustered around, in a secret room. The vision melts to a roiling hell of demons like the one they just vanquished, screaming in frustration at their captivity. Another shift of scene and the old woman, much as she looks now, gives Heather the box now in the center of the group of teens, clearly on her 16th birthday. Now Mrs. Crowley, Ms. Carson the gym teacher, and the Principal, are sneaking into Heather’s house, up the stairs and into Heather’s room, making off with the box.
n. As the vision clears, Heather begins to slump unconscious to the floor before she is caught by the other kids. Principal Jenkins’ distinctive footsteps echo in the hallway, coming down the ramp. Britney and Dax flee out the side door with Heather. Logan records the interplay with the jiggered Walkman as Jenkins berates Crowley, and Crowley confesses to trying to steal the glory for herself. The walkman squeals and the Principal goes to investigate, Logan escapes out the back window.
o. Dax drapes Heather over his handlebars and they bike over to Heathers house. Heather’s grandma thanks the other teens for bringing back Heather and the box and relates that she is part of a coven that used to trap demons. Her next move will be to try and convene the coven to blank out people’s memories of the demons in the boxes.
p. Cut back to the school at night, Rich is waiting in the English room, occasionally plainting, “Hello? Can I leave yet?”
Character(s) interacted with
i. Britney Connors (16): Head Cheerleader of immense popularity
1. Strengths: Skilled at Gymnastics, Cool Under Pressure
2. Flaws: Conceited, Demanding
3. Being popular means everything goes her way, right?
4. Treats the unpopular kids like they’re beneath her.
5. Thinks Logan is good for a laugh
6. Could regain status by humiliating Dax (by countering a rumor that she kissed him behind the bleachers)
ii. Logan (15): Gender-fluid Conspiracy Theorist (He/Him)
1. Strengths: Intuitive, Skilled at technology
2. Flaws: Blunt, Slovenly
3. Thinks people are smuggling things through the town and that bait shop around the corner is not just a bait shop.
4. Would go as far as needed to prove a pet theory (if the town is at stake).
5. Britney loudly shamed Logan for digging up a field behind the school looking for a time capsule, so Logn doesn’t care for her much.
6. Cares about Dax (more than Dax cares about him) because Dax seems to listen to him. Sometimes Dax goes to the bait shop before a fishing trip, putting himself at risk of running afoul of the smuggling ring (IHO). Logan is determined to prove the shadiness of the bait shop to Dax.
iii. Davenport (Dax) Worthington (16): Weirdo Loner who compensates for his lack of a social life by getting into martial arts
1. Strengths: Prepared, Skilled at karate
2. Flaws: Secretive, Paranoid
3. He’s happier fending for myself because he doesn’t have patience for other people, and they don’t like him anyway, so why bother?
4. Envies the cool kids because he wishes a lot of people liked him
5. Tries to model Britney’s confident way of dealing with people
6. She told everyone that she would never, ever kiss him behind the bleachers, which humiliates him, so he’s not too pleased with her.
7. Has a mutual weird love of putting HAM radios together with Logan
8. Logan’s fanatical insistence that there are smugglers in town scares him.
1. Britney slapped her when she was spreading the Bleachergate rumor, thus getting into detention.
2. Petite, black, straightened hair
1. Tall jock (basketball), friends with Andy (who Dax punched)
2. Meteors jersey, motorcycle boots
a. Blank, Montana in March 1993
i. On the edge of the mountains and plains. Used to have mining, now mostly cows.
ii. “Icin Bison” ice cream parlor
iii. Something about a weird shack
iv. Table river has a monster
v. 13 people died in the phone booth on 13th and 9th (?)