Scene 12

Right on schedule, the doorknob of the little hidden weather station began to rattle.

Melody held her breath, and she assumed the others did the same. Without much fanfare the door slowly and casually opened, and a woman dressed completely in white stepped through it.

“She’s still alive,” Melody thought to herself, smiling. However, she quickly realized the irony of the statement and grimaced.

The all white visage of Madeline held up her arm up over her eyes to protect them from the bright lights once again.

Malika gasped. “She looks so real.”

Chazz began to quickly tap away on her laptop, checking some readings. “Heat showing at 82 degrees Fahrenheit, electrical impulses negligible. Body appears solid.” She looked over to Malika. “She is real.”

“Who’s there?” said the woman in white. “Who’s out there.”

“Cut the lights,” Chazz said to Bernie, who turned off the main spotlight after some fumbling. “Use the dim, and the infrared.”

Malika stood up. “We don’t mean you any harm,” she said.

“We?” The woman in white appeared confused when she put her arm down. “I can’t see you. How many are ‘we’? Why are you out here on my lawn?”

Get away from the door, Melody thought to herself, digging her nails into the sides of her legs.

“My name is Malika, and I’m here with my friends.” She began to name everyone in the group one by one. “We’re worried for your safety.”

“Safety?” The woman in white took a step backward.

Malika gasped again, and took a few tentative steps toward Madeline. “Please don’t run away,” she said. “We’re here to help you.”

Shouldn’t we be getting her away from the door, Melody thought wildly, digging her nails in deeper nearly breaking the skin. She tried to think back to the tape. How long did she have until the Bardo emerged to grab her? Not long. Less than a minute. “We need to get her away from the door,” she said, leaning into Chazz.

“Try to draw her towards us, Mali,” Chazz said, still tapping away.

“We’re friends,” Malika said, taking a few calming steps towards Madeline. “We think there’s someone chasing you. Do you know who this person might be?”

The woman in white froze for a moment, and seemed to consider this question. A tear suddenly began to stream down her face. “Jacob,” she said, slowly wiping it away. “Jacob, where did you go?”

Lonnie leaned way over, behind Bernie, and whispered to Chazz, “Jacob was her husband.”

Chazz nodded. “Yes,” she said. “I read your clips.”

“Do you think Jacob is the Bardo?” Melody asked, looking confused.

“No,” Chazz said, resolutely. “I assume that Jacob was the target of the original Golem, and Madeline had something to do with that creature becoming the Bardo.”

From Behind Madeline, the door knob began to rattle again, with its tell-tale sign of an emerging presence.

“GET AWAY FROM THE DOOR, MADELINE!” Melody said, jumping to her feet.

Madeline turned and screamed, as though all of the conscious memories of the looping suddenly struck her. “What do you want?” she screamed, although no one was sure if Madeline was addressing the invisible party, or whatever was now coming through the door.

The door opened fully, and the empty face of the Bardo with its gaping mouth hole appeared. She turned and paused as though frozen in place. From her throat came a mewling of desperation.

“Get her out of there!” Melody scolded, but made no move herself to save the woman as she was also frozen in place.

Both Chazz and Malika ran towards the woman in white. However, as she was closest, Malika got to her first.

“I’ve got you,” she said, grabbing Madeline's hand. “Don’t be afraid.”

A grayish brown arm came out of the black opening and clamped down on Madeline’s free hand. The woman in white found her voice once again, and her scream of terror filled the neighborhood.

“I’ve got you,” Malika said, soothingly. She seemed almost in a trance. “I’ve got you. Don’t let go.”

The Bardo, however, was much stronger than the frail Malika, and began to pull the woman in white back towards the portal.

Chazz grabbed Malika’s free hand, and dug her feet into the steps.

Malika let out a horrific scream of pain, but Chazz refused to let go. “If we start to lose her, Mali, you need to let go!”

The Bardo grunted. It was the sound of annoyance. With one sharp flick of his wrist, he pulled the woman in white inside the little room. Still hanging on tightly, both Malika and Chazz were also dragged towards the door.

“MALI, LET GO!” Chazz yelled. However it was no use. The bulky hand of the Bardo reached through the doorway and grabbed Malika around her waist, and wrenched her from Chazz’s grip. Once Malika was inside, the door slammed behind her, leaving Chazz lying at the top of the steps, sobbing, pawing at the door and calling out her name.

The Jackson family could only look at each other, too stunned to speak. However, out of the corner of her eye, Melody could see two dark figures standing in front of their house watching the scene dissolve. She turned to her parents. “It’s the Cowboy and Hairy Mike,” she said.

As if suddenly invigorated, both Lonnie and Bernie got up from the grass and headed over towards their house.

Neither of the men took any notice of their arrival, or haughty expressions.

“So,” Lonnie said, pointing over to the heartbroken Chazz on the stoop. “Is this what you wanted to see. Some form of tragedy to satisfy your blood-lust?"

“Nope,” the cowboy said, matter-of-factually. “Not really.”

“Then what then?” Melody jumped in. “Morbid curiosity?”

“Nope,” said the cowboy, dryly. “Just looking for a way home.”

“What the hell are you talking about?”

The cowboy shook his head. “It’s over now,” he said. “I can’t go back.” He seemed sad, but did not elaborate. He then turned away and walked slowly towards the van.

It Happened on Lafayette Street

Season One: Episode One

Melody Jackson

vs. The Woman in White

by BMB Johnson

Scene 12

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