Title: Act 1 – The Bookshop
Alshina: Found your favourite book?
Aena (off panel): Quiet day, huh?
Alshina: Hardly anyone comes in on sunny days.
With her back to Aena, Alshina finishes putting the books away on the shelf. Aena sits on top of the counter, her knees bent over the edge, legs crossed, facing the storefront door.
Aena leans back, toward Alshina, winking.
Aena: Guess that gives you time to do homework, then.
Alshina is not amused; an annoyed expression is visible on her face.
Alshina: I don't think so.
Alshina: Sigh... I miss Koru.
Aena leans toward Alshina, a look of concern on her face.
Aena: He's been gone over a year now, hasn't he?
Alshina rests her head in her hands; her arms bent, elbows on the counter top.
I missed him the last time he was here – about a month ago.
Aena thinks for a moment.
Aena smiles cheerfully.
Suddenly Alshina's worried.
Alshina: He didn't say he was seeing someone else – did he?
Aena (side text): Are you nuts?
Aena smiles and hugs Alshina. Alshina smiles back.
SFX: bell on the storefront door jingles.
SFX text: Jingle, jingle.
Zalanda and Kasha are seen walking down the main aisle, shortly after entering, with the main doors directly behind them. On either side of the doors there is a set of two chairs and a chess table below a large window. In the foreground, Alshina and Aena lean close to each other talking quietly.
Alshina: Isn't that Zalanda?
Alshina: Aren't you going to say “hi?”
Aena: She's just my sister.
but look at who she's with.
Aena leans forward, recognizing her idol. She covers her mouth with a hand, visibly surprised. Posters are seen on the wall in the background. One is a romantic couple; the other features the winner of the Elven Championships, Kasha.
Fan service: Kasha, with shoujo bubbles and flowery background. Aena starts raving about her, off panel.
Aena (off panel): She's so beautiful!
Fan Service: Side view of Kasha holding a
bow and arrow, ready to shoot; front view of Kasha conjuring a fireball, and bird's eye view of Kasha in the middle of a fight.
Aena gets starry eyed and stares at Kasha, in complete awe.
Aena (side text): Oh wow!
Aena (contained within a blue banner): The reigning Queen of the Elven Championships for the last two years!
Aena: I wonder what her last school was like?
Kasha performing a spell with a ball of light in her hands, with a stack of magick books and candles on the side.
Alshina: Another private school. I think they specialize
in spells and magick training.
Since transferring, she comes here quite a bit. Mostly gets books of spells.
Alshina: Why don't you just introduce yourself?
Aena freaks out.
Aena: I couldn't do that!
Alshina doesn't understand. She puts a finger to her mouth, considering the situation.
Alshina: But she's with your sister...
It's the perfect opportunity.
Aena doesn't say anything. She just sits there, nervously. Very nervously.
SFX: spiky lines around Aena's shoulders
SFX text: so nervous!
Alshina: I've heard people say she's a vampire.
Aena: A vampire?
Alshina (off panel): She stalks the woods at night, looking for victims...
(pause for dramatic effect)
Alshina (of panel): ...and sucks their blood.
Aena gets very worried and envisions being bitten by Kasha, who looks like a vampire. Bats fly around in the background, and blood drips from the top of the page.
Alshina (off panel): They prefer the blood of young virgins, you know.
Alshina looks very cheerful and smiles at Aena.
Aena's eyes are bugging out in worry and she's sweating nervously.
Aena (side text): Wha?!
Alshina grins widely.
Alshina: She won't bite.
Aena gets dizzy and suddenly falls over, backward, off the counter.
SFX: psychedelic background
SFX text: CRASH!
SFX text: Smack!
Bird's eye view of Alshina leaning down to check on Aena. Aena looks up at her friend,noticeably annoyed.
Alshina: I was only joking!
Aena: Nice joke.
Zalanda is suddenly peering over the counter, down at Alshina and Aena.
Zalanda: Don't you have some sort of policy to keep customers from going behind the counter?
Alshina: She works here part-time, anyway, Zalanda.
You know that.
Aena sits on a stool with a hand to her aching head. Alshina rests a hand on her shoulder, looking concerned.
Alshina: I'll get you some ice, okay?
Alshina leaves via a staff door.
SFX text: click!
Zalanda: You're just a walking "happen" waiting for an accident, aren't you, Aena?
Aena (side text): Owww...
Kasha appears, holding Zalanda's purse.
Kasha: That's not a very nice thing to say.
Zalanda is taken aback and Aena is somewhat surprised by Kasha's concern. Zalanda motions with an arm in Aena's direction and explains.
Zalanda: Aena's a klutz. She always gets into accidents; it's never anything serious. Besides, she's just my little sister.
Zalanda raises an eyebrow and looks at Kasha with scepticism.
Zalanda: You don't have any siblings, do you?
Kasha: Well, no. But...
Zalanda brushes her off.
Zalanda: Trust me, I know Aena. She'll be perfectly fine. It's nothing.
Zalanda leans against the counter, relaxing a bit, facing the store entrance. Kasha is still concerned, not quite convinced by Zalanda.
Aena: It's okay. I'll be fine.
She smiles at Kasha, in appreciation of her concern.
Alshina turns her attention to Kasha and Zalanda.
Alshina: I'm sorry; can I help you?
Kasha: Yes, I wanted to know if any of the books I ordered came in yet.
Alshina runs a check through the computer.
Alshina: Let me see... Yes, we have one – Advanced Forest Spells:
Growth and Healing. It's in the back; I'll go get it for you.
Kasha: Thank you.
SFX: bell on storefront door jingles again.
Three young men enter.
Xico, Mazai: Hey, Zalanda!
Zalanda and Kasha are looking in their direction. They recognize them as students from their school. Aena recognizes the boys and tries to hide behind Zalanda.
Zalanda: Hi, boys!
Xico and Mazai go to search for some books in the shelves. Suko approaches the counter.
Suko: Hi Zalanda, Kasha.
Zalanda: Hey, Suko. Getting some books?
Suko: Returning, actually. I just rented these for a couple weeks.
He can see that someone's hiding behind Zalanda, but can't tell
who it is.
[Insert panel] Suko's a bit confused.
Suko: Um... Who's that?
Alshina (off panel): Here you go.
Kasha flips through the pages, inspecting the book's quality.
Kasha: Great. I'll take it.
Alshina (side text): You've pre-paid for this one.
Alshina: Have a great day!
Kasha (off panel): Thanks.
Zalanda turns to walk away, grabbing Kasha's arm.
Zalanda: Ok, let's go. Bye, Suko; bye, Alshina. See you later, little
Kasha: Bye. It was nice meeting you, Aena.
Aena (thought): Darn it...
Aena forces a smile.
Zalanda and Kasha look at some magazines on their way out.
Suko: Hi, Aena. I didn't see you there before.
Suko conjures a couple of books in his hand. Aena laughs nervously.
Aena (side text): Heh heh heh...
Suko (side text): I'm returning these.
Alshina (side text): Okay.
Alshina scans the books and clears them from Suko's account. Suko appears confused, while looking over at Aena.
Suko: So... um, what happened to your head?
Aena is embarrassed. She blushes profusely.
Aena: Uh, well...
Zalanda returns with a magazine in hand and explains before Aena can say a word. She smiles at Suko flirtatiously.
Zalanda: She fell over, the little goof.
Suko is surprised at Zalanda's quick appearance behind him, as well as her hand grabbing his butt.
Alshina interjects, on Aena's behalf.
Alshina: She was sitting on the counter and leant back too far. She bumped her head, but she'll be fine.
Aena looks down at the counter, dejected after Zalanda's blunt retelling of what happened.
Suko: You should be more careful, Aena.
Aena: I'll try.
Suko: Good. I like to see you smiling.
He smiles. Front view. View, from right, of Zalanda as she mocks Aena.
Zalanda: It's not a question of being careful. Aena's just
Box pointing to Aena: Ruined my moment.
Zalanda: See you, Aena.
Zalanda heads to the door, waves flirtatiously.
Zalanda: Bye, boys!
Alshina: Sorry, Aena. It's my fault…
Aena: Sigh… It's ok. I just hate that she's right.
Suko: Accidents happen. Don't let your sister make you feel bad about it.
Suko goes to leave with his friends.
Suko: See you at school.
Alshina: See? It doesn't matter what she says. Suko's still nice to you.
Alshina smiles. Aena smiles, blushing.
Aena: Yeah. Sigh... ♥
Alshina: Aena, you're so cute.
Aena: I just really like him. He's so nice to me.
Alshina: Not bad looking either.
Alshina winks, jokingly.
Aena: Alshina! What about Koru?
Alshina laughs and sits on top of the counter, facing Aena, her back to the storefront door.
Alshina: I love him. But I'm not blind, silly. Besides, I think
you and Suko would be cute together.
Alshina leans back on her arms, braced by her hands.
Alshina: Oh? What's this?
She picks up a card from the counter.
Alshina: I forgot to give his card back!
She holds the card out to Aena.
Alshina: Aena, you take it to him – I can't leave the store.
Aena: I can't... It's weird.
Aena fiddles with the ice pack in her hands.
Alshina: Please, Aena. I'd really appreciate it.
Aena: Oh, all right. But you owe me…
Alshina: Thanks so much!
Alshina gives Aena a quick hug and rushes her out of the store.
Alshina: Quick, before he gets too far. Take your coat. And don't
forget the card. Thanks! See you later!
Aena: Sheesh. Practically kicked out the door.
Aena: Brr… it's cold.
Aena pulls her coat closed.
Aena: Now, where did he go?
Flicking the card in her hands, looking around, she spots him with his two friends.
She runs off to catch up to them.
She gets within earshot, but is too tired to fully catch up to them. She tries to catch her breath as she walks behind them.
Aena: Going … to … fall … over …
SFX: huff, puff
Mazai (pretending to be Aena): Oh, Suko! I hurt my head! Please kiss it better!
He makes a kissy face.
Xico (pretending to be Zalanda): I'm Zalanda, look at my breasts! Aena's annoying! She's a klutz!
He walks around, exaggerating. He swings his hips and tries to suggest Zalanda's curvy body. He pushes Mazai.
Mazai: You're so mean to me! Suuuuuuuuuukoooooooooo… make
Suko: Quit it, guys.
Mazai: Whatever. Your life with those sisters is like a soap opera.
Xico: I wish I could get that much attention from girls.
Mazai: You and me, both, buddy.
Xico: That Zalanda has some body on her.
Aena continues trailing behind, a little angry, one of her eyebrows twitches.
Aena (thought): Ugh.
Xico: If I could have just one of those two, it'd have to be her.
Aena (thought): Ouch!
Suko is sceptical.
Suko: Are you saying Aena's ugly?
Xico: Oh she's cute, all right. But If I was just going by looks, you know...
Mazai: What do you mean “if?”
Suko: He's right. We all know you have just one thing on your mind.
Xico: One? I have TWO things on my mind.
He motions with his hands, indicating sizeable breasts.
Xico: If you know what I mean.
Aena: How disgusting!
Mazai: “If?!” I think you need to look up that word, man.
Xico: Well, I've got to make sure I'm not being too subtle, you know – just gotta get my point across.
He winks, jokingly.
Mazai: Please! I don't think I've seen anyone less subtle
in my life!
Suko: You realize she's more likely to kick your ass than go out with you, right?
Xico: I might like that...
Suko: I hardly find near death experiences erotic.
Xico: You have your fantasies, I'll have mine. And don't even try to tell me that you don't have erotic fantasies about –
Suko slaps a hand over Xico's mouth.
Suko: Shut up! Say her name and I'll kill you!
Xico breaks free.
Xico: Ah –
He bursts out laughing.
Suko: What's so funny?
Xico: You're bright red, man!
Mazai and Xico laugh.
Mazai (singing): Suko's a pervert!
Suko reddens even more.
Suko: Shut up! I'll kick both of your asses!
Suko knocks their heads together. Aena is still trailing behind. She quietly mumbles to herself.
Aena: Is that really all they care about? Sigh...
Aena (thought): What about Suko; am I just “cute” to him too? Would he really rather have Zalanda because she's the voluptuous one?
Aena: Oh, how depressing...
She looks at the card in her hand.
Aena (thought): I wonder if I should bother giving this to him now. Those guys are such jerks... Why is he even friends with them?
She puts the card back in her pocket.
Aena: At least I'm on my way home...
Aena trails farther behind them, out of earshot. She seems really depressed.
A while later...
Mazai: Bye! See you tomorrow!
Xico: Hey look, Suko! Isn't that your girlfriend?
Suko turns around to look.
Suko: Huh? Aena?
Xico: See you later!
Suko turns back to look at his friends, waving as they run off; Aena notices them leave.
Suko: Bye, guys!
Aena (thought): This day really sucks. First I fell for Alshina's vampire joke, then I fell over the counter and hit my head... And Zalanda made fun of me.
Aena (thought): I did get to meet Kasha though; she's really cool. And Suko was nice to me, even though Zal was mean and made me look stupid in front of him.
She looks up at the sky.
Aena: Sun will go down soon...
She looks back down at the ground, kicks some snow, then continues walking.
Aena (thought): I followed Suko to give him back his card. And I heard his friends say mean things. But I really don't know what he thinks.
She sniffs, and wipes tears from her eyes.
Aena (thought): I need a hug...
She pulls her arms out of her coat pockets and wraps them around herself.
Aena looks up and sees Suko a few feet away from her. She stops walking.
Aena (thought): Please don't make fun of me.
She bites her bottom lip and tries to stop herself from crying.
She looks back down, toward the ground. Suko walks toward Aena and stops about a foot away from her.
Suko: Are you okay?
He tries to see her face, but she won't look up. He puts a hand under her chin and tilts her face upward.
Suko: What's wrong? Why are you crying?
Aena: Do you... agree with your friends?
Suko: You heard them? Look, don't pay any attention to them, okay?
Aena: Do you agree with them?
Suko: Of course not. I'm sorry they upset you. Is there anything I can do?
Aena looks down, closing her eyes.
Aena (whisper): I need a hug...
He pulls her close, wrapping his arms around her. Aena is surprised at first. She slowly pulls her arms away from her chest and wraps them around Suko. She hugs him tightly.
Aena: Thank you.
Tears start falling from her eyes. She tries to wipe them away. Suko pulls back, looks at Aena.
He wipes the tears from her face.
Suko: Don't let those idiots upset you. It doesn't matter what they say, it doesn't mean anything. Come on, I'll walk you home.
He holds her hand and starts walking with her to her house.
Aena (thought): You're so nice, Suko. I'm glad you tried
to cheer me up.
Aena: Oh! I forgot!
Aena pulls the card out of her pocket. She smiles triumphantly and hands it to him.
Aena: I brought this for you. You left it at the bookshop.
Suko accepts the card with a chuckle
Suko: So that's why you were following us.
Aena: I got a bit tired though. So I couldn't catch up all at once.
Suko looks off to the side and gets an angry looks on his face, thinking about his friends.
Suko: So you heard those two mouthing off...
He looks at Aena and smiles.
Suko: Thanks for bringing it to me. That's sweet of you.
Aena smiles up at him, blushing.
Aena: You're welcome.
Suko: I'm sorry about my friends though, they tend to be real morons when they joke around.
He puts the card in his wallet.
Suko: I can still walk you home though, right? Even though you're smiling now?
Aena blushes, smiles.
He continues walking her home.
Suko: I promise I'll beat them up for making you sad.
He winks, jokingly.
Aena: No! Don't do that! I'm okay! Really!
Aena: Why are you laughing?
Suko: You're just so cute.
He smiles. Aena blushes.
Suko: ...And I like that about you.
He grins, causing Aena to blush even more.
Aena: Thanks. Would you promise me something?
Suko: What is it?
Aena: Don't tell them that they made me cry. I know they'll just be mean.
Suko: Sure thing.
Suko: But you have to promise me something too.
He puts an arm around her and pulls her close.
Suko: Tell me when you're sad so I can make you smile again.
Aena: You don't have to do that.
Suko: I know. But I like to see you smile; I like you better when you're happy.
Overwhelmed with joy, tears well up in Aena's eyes.
Suko: What's wrong now? Please don't cry.
Aena hugs him, giggles.
Aena: I'm not going to cry – I'm not sad. You've made me happy, Suko. Thanks.
Suko smiles. Aena smiles back.
Suko: I'm glad.
Aena (thought): Me too.
Holding her hand, Suko walks Aena home as the sun sets in the distance.