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The Bewitching Turnabout

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July 23rd, 8:22 AM

Wright Anything Agency

 

The air is humid and relentless.

ATHENA: She fans herself with legal documents as she lounges in Phoenix’s desk chair. She’s been reduced to wearing only her yellow skirt, white button-up, and Widget, her other pieces of clothing having been strewn around the office in a flurry. She sighs loudly. “It’s too hot in here!”

TRUCY: She’s moving around two hula hoops, clicking them together in confusion. A third colorful ring idly sits against the front of the desk. “Sorry, but air conditioning costs money…so we’re cutting back a little.”

ATHENA: (On the hottest day of the year?! This is just torture!) “Don’t you think this is more than just a ‘little?!’”

TRUCY: She finally discovers an opening where the first hoop detaches, and her face lights up. “Finally!” She allows the rings to intersect at that point.

ATHENA: She sets the legal documents down. “Did you get it to work?”

TRUCY: “Yeah! Now I just need…” She picks up the final hoop. “…to do it all over again. Then I can finally practice!”

ATHENA: “I thought you already were practicing!”

TRUCY: “No, silly! I had to get the hoops to match up first! And now that I see where the openings are, then I can do my trick!” She continue clicking the hoops together, feeling it on all sides. She then glares at Athena. “But I’m not telling you how it works, so don’t ask! It’s magic!”

ATHENA: She laughs a bit. “I won’t! Don’t worry about me!” She spins around in the desk and faces the myriad of paperwork, sighing to herself. (That’s the thing about Wright’s daughter – nothing gets past her, not even the smallest little thing. I have a feeling she’s some sort of genius herself, she just never talks about it. I wonder if she learned it from Mr. Edgeworth.) She sinks further into the chair, flicking her moon-shaped earring, deep in thought. (While she acts really oblivious all the time, I can hear it in her voice. She’s constantly got other things on her mind. What does a kid have to worry about? Well, her dad’s a notorious lawyer, she basically lives here at the office with him, and that means she gets involved in a lot of his cases. And it’s summer break…a pretty quiet one, at that. All of her friends left on vacation, so she’s just stuck here wondering about them all. It’s kind of sad, really…)

TRUCY: “Athena? Are you gonna answer that…?”

ATHENA: She snaps out of her train of thought. “Huh?”

Sure enough, Widget is sounding off around her neck.

WIDGET: “Phone call! Phone call! You have a phone call! Phone call! Phone call!”

ATHENA: She spins around in the desk chair and quickly grabs hold of her glove from off of the lamp. She puts it on, flexes it for fit, and then puts her fingers up to her mouth and ear as if it were a ‘phone’ gesture. “Yellow, this is Athena Cykes; how may I help you?”

SIMON: His voice comes in on the other end of the line, but not without hesitation. “I hate to ask a favor of you so soon. However…”

ATHENA: “Simon? What is it?”

SIMON: “I have…” He sighs loudly. “…something that I require some assistance with.”

ATHENA: “Oh? What is it?”

 

July 23rd, 11:04 AM

Scissor Pier – Outside (Right)

 

The sun is blistering hot. As the name suggests, the pier cuts off into two diagonal sides, stretching out to the ocean. Both sides of the pier have their own features, and Athena walks up onto the rightmost pier, looking all around at the various vendors and people.  At the time, it seems that the supports meet directly with the water.

ATHENA: She hasn’t restored her outfit, and, in fact, appears to be wearing yellow shorts and a white tank top with a blue, wavy design on its center instead. She’s even traded her boots for sandals. Despite this effort, she’s sweating like crazy. (Outside, on a day like this…?! I hope Simon brought sunscreen, because I already feel like I’m burning to a crisp!) She reaches the very end of the pier.

 

July 23rd, 11:06 AM

Scissor Pier – Masque Theater Stage

 

There, at the end, is a large, open stage. Caution tape is lined around the scene, and the police are everywhere. There is a small group of people who watch as the scene is being cleaned up.

ATHENA: Her eyes widen as she meets the line of people murmuring. She looks all around the place, and she listens closely. (They murmur with slight panic…it’s something that a group of strangers would usually never have all at once. Something bad happened here, even if I can’t see because of all the people….)

SIMON: His voice rings out from behind her. “There’s fear. You can hear it, can’t you?”

ATHENA: She turns around to meet his gaze.

SIMON: He’s dressed completely normally, even in the insane heat. “A collective public consciousness rarely possesses such fury. You can tell through their voices alone that something isn’t right, and a grisly scene stands before the crowd.”

ATHENA: She tilts her head to one side. “How is it you know exactly what I’m thinking?”

SIMON: He smirks. “The scene we’ve stumbled upon is the same. It only makes sense, then, that we would draw the same conclusion.”

ATHENA: She nods, feeling somewhat outside of herself. “So…what did you need help with?”

SIMON: He frowns. “There’s someone I’ve been trying to speak with, and they refuse to talk back. You may get further than I did.”

ATHENA: She raises an eyebrow. “’Further…?’”

SIMON: He looks away. “This is important, Athena. That’s why I had to call you. I didn’t think anyone else could help with it.”

ATHENA: She’s surprised. (Wow…does he trust me this much? I wasn’t sure if we’d gotten off on the right foot after last time, but…if he thinks I’m capable enough that he can leave something like this in my hands, then I have to do my best.) She then appears confident. “I can do it! Show me what you’ve got!”

SIMON: He looks over her and out to the pier. “Hmph. You seem awfully excited about an investigation you still know nothing about.”

ATHENA: “I just wanna help, that’s all!” (Really, it’s just because you got me so hyped up over it!)

WIDGET: “I’m hyped! Let’s do this!

SIMON: He nods. “Very well. Please follow me.”

 

July 23rd, 11:10 AM

Scissor Pier – Masque Dressing Room Tent

 

There’s a fan that blows directly on the opening of the tent. Inside are various costumes and wigs, and there’s even a wall full of over-exaggerated masks.

SIMON: He leads the way, heading inside the tent first.

ATHENA: She follows him, but she stops immediately once she feels the cool wind of the fan. She pauses for a moment and breathes. (Ah, relief, at long last…!)

WIDGET: “This feels so good!

SIMON: He impatiently clears his throat.

ATHENA: She jumps at the sound. “Sorry!” She then dashes over to stand by his side.

There are currently a few police guarding the premises, a lady dressed in a long green skirt and blouse with her curled hair partially falling down as she reads a magazine, a man with a crown on his head and a sword sticking out of his chest as he applies makeup, and a young boy who looks completely out of place in the scene.

ATHENA: She blinks, then seems horrified, looking at the actor with the sword impaled through his chest as he dusts his face with powder. She shrieks.

BRUTUS: The actor shrieks in return, throwing his makeup compact her way. “Don’t hurt me! I didn’t do it, I swear!”

ATHENA: The compact hits her face and falls onto the ground. She doesn’t move from her freaked position.

SIMON: He exhales strongly. “Athena, keep your head on your shoulders."

ATHENA: She normalizes, letting her shoulders slump as she calms down. (Oh! Right…this is a stage production. The man’s probably just an actor…)

SIMON: He gestures towards the man. “This is Brutus Goldheart, the actor cast as the king.” He then gestures towards lady. “This is Ida March, the actress cast as the queen.” He then looks at Athena with sternness. “I’ve brought you here to speak with the child. He refuses to say a word to me.”

ATHENA: She smirks a bit. “What, having a little trouble with the kids these days…?”

SIMON: He mumbles. “Hmph. Do you think I didn’t try?”

ATHENA: “No, but judging by the sound of your voice, I can guess you failed spectacularly.” Her smile fades. She speaks in a softer tone. “Can you give me a little bit of information about what I’m getting out of this kid?”

SIMON: He glances at the child, then back to her. He quickly turns around and marches back over near the fan.

ATHENA: (Come on! It can’t be that bad!) She follows him back to the fan and crosses her arms.

SIMON: His softer tone of voice is solemn, almost being unintentionally sweet. “We have three witnesses and three victims. We have no idea who could have done this, and we have no idea why they did it. The actors so far have provided spotty testimonies at best, and this child is scared to pieces. If he knows anything, anything at all, then that information would be essential to us finding the culprit.”

ATHENA: She shrinks into herself, thinking. “…three victims…?”

SIMON: “Precisely! Do you see the urgency now?”

ATHENA: (That poor kid…I can’t imagine…no…that’s a lie, I can…the horror of being faced with death…even that of a stranger.)

SIMON: He studies her face patiently.

ATHENA: She looks up at him and nods. “I don’t know what’ll come of it, but…if I can help, in any way, I’m going to!” She, now alone, approaches the center of the tent and looks around.

Brutus sits at a vanity, applying makeup. Ida is across from him on the left side of the room, reading a magazine against a few tables full of wigs and headwear. The child is standing at the far back wall, quivering in fear.

ATHENA: (There’s no denying it…he’s seen something he shouldn’t have. Remember, Athena! This is a child! You can’t get mad for no reason…!) She a deep breath, collecting herself, and she approaches the child. She kneels to reach his level. She smiles. “Hey, what’s your name?”

NICO: He sniffles. “My name is Nico…wh-when can I leave…?”

ATHENA: (Great…already getting questions I can’t answer…) “Not yet, I’m sorry.”

NICO: He starts crying.

ATHENA: “Wait…I had a question for you…”

NICO: He looks at her, confused and afraid.

ATHENA: “Do you know what happened here? Why are all these people so sad…?”

NICO: Further sniffling ensues. “I…I…I don’t know…!”

ATHENA: She tilts her head to the side, speaking even softer. “That’s not true, though, is it…?”

NICO: He shakes his head. “No…!”

ATHENA: “Nico, I want you to tell me everything you saw, even the bad parts. You’re not in trouble. In fact…if you tell me, then we can take you back home, okay?”

NICO: “Promise…?!”

ATHENA: She nods. “I promise.”

 

July 23rd, 11:23 AM

Scissor Pier – Outside (Right)

 

The sun is still reigning supreme over the pier. Families and couples pass by, talking amongst themselves. Simon sticks out like a sore thumb as he waits outside of the tent.

SIMON: His arms are firmly crossed. (I could have tried anyone else, but no, she just happened to be my first guess…That was all, just a guess, nothing more. And now she makes me wait! This should have ended ages ago!) He takes deep breaths. (I’m not suited for this kind of weather…Athena was actually thinking when she decided to dress down for the occasion…) He turns his gaze to the people around him. (Come to think of it, I’d never seen her out of her usual court attire before…) His face becomes hotter. He glares at the sun menacingly. (Damn this heat! Damn this sun! Damn it all!) He looks away, realizing that he is, in fact, staring directly at the sun, and puts a hand to his forehead. (Focus and composure. Focus and composure…)

ATHENA: She exits the dressing room tent. She puts a hand on Simon’s shoulder. “Ouch!” She then immediately retracts it in pain.

SIMON: He turns around and looks at her quickly.

ATHENA: She shakes her hand. “Quelle folie! You’re wearing all black in the sun! How are you not literally on fire right now? You’re hotter than an oven!”

SIMON: (I’d like to know the answer for that myself, frankly. I’m practically baking over here…) He then notices something at Athena’s side and seems slightly surprised.

NICO: He’s holding onto Athena’s hand, looking timid still.

ATHENA: She looks to Nico, following Simon’s eye line. She then smiles warmly at the child. “Don’t worry, Nico! Your grandma said she’d be up near the parking lot, so we should head over there!”

NICO: He nods solemnly.

ATHENA: She leads Nico down the pier, away from the tent.

SIMON: He seems to understand, and he decidedly stays put.

ATHENA: She glares back at him and calls out. “Simon! Come on!”

SIMON: He seems put off by her insistence, and after a short bout of hesitation, he reluctantly follows.

 

July 23rd, 11:35 AM

Scissor Pier – Parking Lot

 

It’s even hotter around the asphalt. There’s a small convenience store right across the street, and the other buildings look more like apartments. The parking lot has numbered spaces, and there are a few meters close to the entrance of the pier.

ATHENA: She stands on the sidewalk, beside a parking meter, looking out onto the quiet parking lot. One of her hands is occupied, holding his hand. (I can feel my brain melting inside of my skull! How can Simon stand this?!) She glances to her side, looking up at him.

SIMON: His face is completely red, and he’s swaying back and forth a bit.

ATHENA: She seems startled by his appearance. “Simon!”

SIMON: He glares down at her with ferocity. “What is it, woman?!”

ATHENA: “You look like you’re gonna pass out!”

SIMON: “I do not!”

ATHENA: She stands on her toes to see him closer. “You’re sweating buckets!”

SIMON: “As are you!”

ATHENA: “Nuh-uh! I came prepared! I wore clothes that I knew would be right for today! And here you come, wearing your big ‘ole getup, looking like you’re on your way to Antarctica!”

SIMON: “For your information, my undershirt is made of highly breathable cotton!”

ATHENA: “Your undershirt isn’t the thing I care about! You have, like, two coats on! You could at least take one off!”

NICO: Watching the two interact perplexes him.

SIMON: “This jacket is a symbol of pride and dignity! It wasn’t removed at my arrest, it wasn’t removed at my freedom, and it will not be removed at the likes of you!”

ATHENA: She gestures at the sky. “Oh, please! You can’t beat the sun! It’s unstoppable!”

SIMON: “The sun is an unstoppable force against my immovable coat! It will not be removed under any circumstances!”

ATHENA: “What if you really do pass out, though?! You think the paramedics aren’t gonna throw it off you immediately?!”

SIMON: He clutches it, obviously anxious by that assertion. “If they do, I’m going to immediately spring back to life and end them where they stand!”

ATHENA: “I’d like to see you try, because we’re gonna be at that point pretty soon if you don’t remove that coat!”

SIMON: “If I remove my coat, then you have to remove something, too!”

ATHENA: “Oh, come on! I know you, Simon! You can’t trick me into doing your d…” She processes his words fully, and then her face goes beet red. “Simon!”

SIMON: He’s realized what he just said. “I…I didn’t mean…” He waves his fist in the sun’s direction. “Hmph! Blast this heat; I’m speaking nonsense!”

ATHENA: (Ack! His voice! That was so fake! Which means…he really did want me to just strip!)

WIDGET: “You pervert!”

SIMON: He glares at her with his immense, hot ire. “I thought nothing of the sort! I was making a comparison! Removing my coat in the street would be akin to you just casually walking around in the nude!”

ATHENA: (I’m still not buying it! Stop making me think about being naked!)

WIDGET: “Pervert! Stop making me think about getting naked in front of you!”

SIMON: He looks away from her. “Silence that thing immediately!”

ATHENA: She closes her eyes, speaking loudly. “You, first! You made me think about it!”

A car honks its horn out in the parking lot.

ATHENA: She turns her attention to the sound.

SIMON: He does the same.

NICO: His face lights up.

ATHENA: She looks to Nico and changes her tone to a happier one. “Is that her?”

NICO: He nods quickly and runs over to the car.

ATHENA: She waves at the car, letting her grin be seen.

A hand waves back at her from the window as Nico leaves into the car. When all is well, the car then departs.

SIMON: He’s resilient until the exchange is over. Once the car is out of sight, he coughs once and wheezes, slacking his posture.

ATHENA: She turns to him quickly. “Let’s get back to somewhere cool!”

SIMON: His voice falters into a growl. “Such as…?!”

ATHENA: She thinks for a moment and then looks around. “How’d you get here?  By car?”

SIMON: “You think I would drive a car?! I have a bike!”

ATHENA: His words strike actual terror into her heart. “What?! You ride a bicycle to court?!” (I thought only Mr. Wright did that!)

SIMON: He sounds genuinely offended. “Not a bicycle! A motor bike!”

ATHENA: She lets out a sound of frustration. (You’re such a pain!)

WIDGET: “You’re such a pain!”

SIMON: “Hmph…! Must I do everything myself?!” He starts marching across the parking lot.

ATHENA: She stomps after him. “I sincerely doubt you have air conditioning on your motorcycle, Prosecutor Blackquill!”

SIMON: He walks right through the lot, almost ignoring her, and goes to the crosswalk. He presses the button on the nearby stoplight.

ATHENA: She follows and stands directly beside him. (Ugh, the heat’s irradiating off of him!)

WIDGET: “You’re too hot!”

ATHENA: She glares at her talking necklace. “Widget…! That’s it! The moment we get to the office, I’m reprogramming your phrasing protocols!”

The lights change, and the crosswalk becomes available.

SIMON: He makes his way across with the stride of a man about to die from heat exhaustion.

ATHENA: She glares at him as she tries to keep up with his pace. “Slow down!”

SIMON: He coughs further, covering his mouth with his sleeve.

ATHENA: She actually seems a bit surprised by it. (Wait…I forgot. He really, genuinely is suffering under all those layers, isn’t he…? I guess I got carried away in the tension of the moment…) She puts in an effort to keep up after he does so.

 

July 23rd, 11:47 AM

Convenience Store

 

The lights of the convenience store are florescent. There are shelves of useless knick-knacks, chips, candies and souvenirs. Towards the back, there are freezers. One of these freezers is held open.

SIMON: He stands in the middle of the freezer’s doorway, facing away from Athena, and his rigid shoulder holds open the door. His eyes are closed, and he’s just standing completely stiff there as if his only thoughts are on the cool air.

ATHENA: Her arms are crossed. (Well, at least he looks happy…from what little I can tell.)

SIMON: He rotates around and faces Athena again, eyes still closed. “…Did the boy tell you anything?”

ATHENA: “Yeah. It turns out he was just in the audience watching the show that night.”

SIMON: He opens his eyes, looking slightly confused. “Why was he in the dressing room this morning if he was in the audience the night before?”

ATHENA: She flicks her earring with her finger. “Well, it sounded like he kind of ran off from his parents and went back there. Then, he hid, confused and afraid when the actors showed back up afterwards. Apparently he stayed there all night behind a bunch of hung-up clothes.”

SIMON: He nods. “Surely he heard something, then?”

ATHENA: “That was tricky to get out, but I managed to get a bit of a murmur about a ‘witch.’”

SIMON: He nods. “Hmph. A ‘witch’ might be a member of the cast.”

ATHENA: “You think so?”

SHOPKEEPER: He approaches them both angrily. “Hey! You can’t just stay in here! You gotta buy somethin’!”

SIMON: He sends his glare in the shopkeeper’s direction.

SHOPKEEPER: He jumps in place, horrified simply by Simon’s gaze. “…That is…later! You don’t have to now! It seems like you’re still looking! Take your time! Or don’t! I don’t care! I just work here! Have a nice day!” He then rushes off behind the counter where he subsequently ducks behind it and pokes his head up to watch them from afar.

ATHENA: She rolls her eyes before turning back to Simon. “Maybe it’d help if we knew what the play they were doing was about.”

SIMON: “How so? They’re all actors. That’s all I need to know.”

ATHENA: (But I seriously doubt it’s gonna be as easy as that!)

SIMON: “Did you get contact information from the child? More questions are bound to come of this case.”

ATHENA: She nods. “I still have his grandma’s cell phone number.”

SIMON: He thinks, crossing his arms. “There are still so many unexplained things with this case…”

ATHENA: “You mentioned the two actors in the tent had testimonies?”

SIMON: “They did.”

ATHENA: “…Maybe they saw Nico, then…? We could go ask.”

SIMON: “You keep using that word.”

ATHENA: “Huh?”

SIMON: “’We.’”

ATHENA: “W…Well, yeah. Because we’re working on this case together.”

SIMON: He shakes his head. “’We’ aren’t doing anything. I’m a prosecutor on this case, and you were brought in to help with the child. Nothing more.”

ATHENA: She’s offended. “Are you kidding me? I went through all the work of helping a little kid go home just so you could tell me you don’t need me anymore?” She stomps. “Simon Blackquill, I refuse!”

SIMON: He smirks. “You refuse to help me any further? Good.”

ATHENA: She clenches her fists. “Heck no! I refuse to not help you! In fact, now you’re stuck with me, buster!”

SIMON: He looks aggravated. He then takes a deep breath, steps out of the freezer, and lets the door close behind him.

ATHENA: (Yes! I convinced him!) She’s already prideful.

SIMON: He turns and faces her. “I’ll concede, but only if you keep this in mind:” He leans low, closer to her face, speaking in a deep tone of voice. “We’re dealing with a psychopath who decided to poison three young actresses, mutilate their corpses with cuts on their faces and bodies, and display their stiffs on the stage for the public to discover in the morning, all strung up, posed, hanging, naked.”

ATHENA: She gulps. (I didn’t know that…!)

SIMON: “We aren’t dealing with an accident. This is the work of someone who had their work cut out for them. A pre-meditated tragedy. What we’re dealing with is murder most fowl of the first-degree.”

ATHENA: She shakes her head. (No! I can do this! I’m not scared!)

SIMON: “And – keep in mind – one of those witnesses may be lying. Perhaps both, even. So, not only are we looking for this killer, but we’re most certainly going to be talking to them.”

ATHENA: She holds herself for a moment. (Strung-up bodies?! Actors? Cuts all over?! What’s the meaning of all of this…?)

SIMON: He backs away, standing up straight. “Or, you could go home.”

ATHENA: She’s silent.

SIMON: He glances at the aisles of chips. “Hmph. What will it be? I’m not a patient man. You should decide now.”

ATHENA: She goes from a grumble to a growl. “I can do this! Stop treating me like I haven’t dealt with homicide cases before, you jerk!” She stomps on his foot, but almost immediately after, she holds said foot in pain. “Youch!”

WIDGET: “That hurt!”

SIMON: He sounds unimpressed. “Have you never heard of steel-toe boots?”

ATHENA: She makes a sound of frustration and leans up against the close freezer doors, rubbing her foot. “Either way, I’m not leaving! You can’t manipulate me into not coming with you! And if you try, I’m gonna manipulate you back!”

SIMON: “So says the amateur.”

ATHENA: She grumbles and crosses her arms, lowering her foot back to the floor. “Should I remind you how investigation even works? What if someone points out the fact you just brought ‘some girl’ in from nowhere for five minutes and then just left?! Do you know what that’d look like?”

SIMON: He glares at her.

ATHENA: “It’d look like you were tampering with evidence or a suspect or the crime scene or something else! But if I’m just there, following you, you can at least say I’m helping!”

SIMON: “I don’t need you pestering me.”

ATHENA: She points at him. “Hey! I got you your favorite noodle shop back! The least you could do is let me help you!”

SIMON: “Hmph.” He twitches his head to one side, thinking. He then twitches his head to the other.

ATHENA: She keeps her eyes on him. The color of the mood matrix is red.

SIMON: He sighs once more and then raises his hand. It lands straight on top of her head.

ATHENA: She looks confused.

SIMON: He pats her head a few times before crossing his arms. “You’re somewhat…how should I put this…’cute,’ when you’re angry.”

ATHENA: The mood matrix shifts to yellow for just a moment before it immediately flicks back to red. She blushes, still kept within her stance of anger.

SIMON: He shakes his head, smiling. “If you wish to follow me around, have at it. However, you’re not going to help me with every little detail, and it’s only for today.”

ATHENA: “Ugh, fine!”

WIDGET: “You jerk!”

SIMON: He glances at the freezer door, opens it again, and pulls out a seemingly random can of carbonated lemonade. “Let’s be on our way, then.” He approaches the front counter.

ATHENA: She takes a deep breath. (That was way more stressful than it needed to be.) She then follows him up front.