Here is the next installment to either enjoy or loathe. Here, Thomas meets up with a travel buddy on his way into the city, where his punishment awaits for the whole bribe incident. Things get a bit weird towards the end of this piece, but what else would you expect?
Thomas enters the front section of his home, near the front
door, through the door of his bedroom. He is a few steps
into this area when he stops in place and instantly generates
a shocked look.
What is this?!
The three men that stood along the wall of the supervisor's
office now stand before Thomas, shoulder to shoulder,
blocking his front door. All of their hands are balled into
fists, though their arms hang to their sides with ease.
The man in the middle takes one step forward, gesticulating
while he talks with his fists still clenched.
The two other men slide together in front of the door,
touching their shoulders.
We are from Quality Control. The
supervisor dictated that you would
receive your reprehension today.
Yes, I was aware of that, but-
The middle man, now known as QC #1, interrupts.
Then you are ready to go?
QC #2 moves forward, pointing a fist in Thomas' direction.
QC #3 centers himself with the middle of the door.
You are to attend counseling for
your actions. Immediately.
A car is outside, and will take you
to the city at once.
But I have to be at work soon. I
was not told about this.
QC #1 moves his fists about while talking.
You need not worry about your post.
It has been filled by another. And
when you return from counseling,
you will return to the position in
which you began your tenure.
Thomas looks slightly enraged.
I have been demoted to the bottom?!
But it took me six years to obtain
my current position.
Your former position.
This is an outrage. Unfair!
QC #2 stands inches from Thomas, staring him in the eyes.
Justice has been done.
Challenging justice as you have the
workplace will result in the
severest of penalties.
Thomas jumps back about a foot away from QC #2. Thomas gasps
a short breath.
QC #2 walks backwards, standing in between QC #1 and QC #3,
who still guards the door.
The car is waiting for you.
Thomas folds his arms and stares at the QC men, looking like
a stubborn brat.
You will go to counseling. Or
Thomas slowly unfolds his arms.
QC #1 moves his fists about.
You would not like the alternative.
Thomas strides forward, towards the door.
QC #3 does not move. He stabs his fist to the side, pointing
it at the small table next to the door.
The briefcase is gone, replaced by an envelope, which rests
on top of the table, alone.
Give the envelope to the driver.
Thomas timidly reaches for the envelope. A fist strikes the
table, next to Thomas' outstretched hand.
Thomas jumps a little, and faces the three men.
You are only to deliver this to the
driver. It is not for your eyes.
Thomas nods his head in agreement, and then slowly lifts the
envelope from the table.
The QC men back away from the door, staring at Thomas.
Thomas opens the front door and exits.
EXT. SIDEWALK - DAY
The three QC men stand shoulder to shoulder in front of the
car- a long, black sedan.
Thomas slowly steps towards the car, the envelope in both of
The QC men make way to expose the rear door of the car.
Thomas glances at all three men, his look returned with three
Thomas opens the rear door and enters the back seat of the
INT. CAR - DAY
Thomas sits down in the back seat of the car, passenger side.
He forcibly squeezes into a seated position because the
passenger seat is drawn far back into his space.
The rear door is slammed shut from someone on the outside,
causing Thomas to jump in his seat.
The DRIVER, a middle aged and stone-faced man, faces Thomas
with an extended hand.
Thomas hands the driver the envelope.
The driver takes the envelope, faces forward and inspects the
contents, shielding them from Thomas.
Sharing the back seat with Thomas, seated directly behind the
driver, is a PASSENGER, early 40s with a waxed handlebar
mustache and dressed sharply in pinstripes.
The passenger smiles and pinches the brim of his derby,
tilting it down and then back up but an inch.
A good day to you, my friend. My
name is Isaac Matthew Peterson.
Thomas nods his head in response, but with a blank
The driver sharply turns around in his seat, placing a
scowled face in line with Thomas.
You will be quiet!
Thomas presses his back against the seat quickly, shockingly.
It will be good to have some
company for a change.
One's travels become less tedious
with a companion.
Isaac leans back and stretches his legs in the empty space
afforded to him behind the driver. He looks Thomas up and
down with a derisive smile.
It seems strange that we share the
same vehicle, when it is quite
apparent that our destinations
Thomas sneaks a glance at the back of the driver's head, and
then shifts his eyes in Isaac's direction.
But it is the journey, and not the
destination that matters, is it
The driver turns around again, his eyes flared.
Thomas flinches and lowers his head.
Isaac, raising his head slightly, rolls the tip of his
mustache in his fingers.
Hopefully our journey will be a
fortuitous one, my friend. A
defining one, it will be for
Thomas simply nods his head.
The driver once again scolds Thomas with a grunt and a stare.
In the future, our present becomes
The car is started, and pulls forward onto the road.
Isaac laughs as Thomas contorts his cramped body between the
front and rear seats.
INT. CAR - LATER
The car continues to be driven at an easy pace. Isaac sits
tall in his seat, brushing lint off of the leg of his pants.
Thomas, with his forehead up against the back of the front
passenger's seat, looks out of the window.
Nothing like the serenity of the
open road to clear the mind, yes?
Thomas pivots his head away from the window and towards
Isaac. He then leans back, staring into the front seat of
In the rear view mirror, the eyes of the driver are focussed
Thomas pulls his head down and remains silent.
Or does it force your mind to
wander and explore hidden thoughts
Thomas peers at Isaac, who is now looking out of his window.
Isaac fidgets slightly, pinching his thighs together.
The set of eyes remain in the rear view mirror.
Either way, it is healthy,
The car is driven ahead, all three passengers are sitting in
silence. The eyes never leave the rear view mirror.
EXT. ROAD - LATER
The car pulls over to the side of the road. The engine is
The driver exits the car, circles around to the trunk and
opens it. He pulls out a duffle bag and a hand gun. He
closes the trunk and sets his items on top of the closed
The driver lights a cigarette, picks up the bag and gun, and
then wanders off of the road and into a dense hedgerow of
Isaac and Thomas sit together in silence. Thomas moves with
great discomfort, Isaac leaning back with his leg draped over
his other knee.
Thomas looks out of every window.
Where did he go?
Who can say?
I hope he isn't gone long.
Where do you have to be? In such a
Thomas timidly avoids eye contact with Isaac.
Oh! What for?
Isaac appears disinterested. He turns his attention back to
staring out of his window.
Isaac and Thomas sit quietly in the back of the car. The
driver's seat is empty. Isaac still stares out of the
window, while Thomas stares at the back of the front seat as
if in deep thought.
Isaac faces Thomas, holding his derby in his hands.
The driver has been gone for quite
Thomas looks at Isaac and shrugs his shoulders.
I doubt that he is going to return.
Have a little patience.
Hmmph! Patience? It is not a
virtue, but an inconvenience!
Isaac opens the door to his left. With one leg out of the
car, he looks at Thomas with a sly grin. He sharply turns
away and exits the car completely.
Isaac immediately opens the driver's side door and sits down
behind the wheel of the car. He spins around and faces
Come up front, my friend. The view
will be more to your liking.
I think that we should wait a
And sit idly at the hands of both
time and boredom? I think not!
Get up here.
Thomas, sitting in the passenger seat up front, looks down at
the space in between himself and Isaac, who is inspecting the
numerous dials and knobs on the dashboard.
The envelope is seen lying on the seat.
Isaac turns the car on, and slaps the steering wheel in
You will drive me to my
I promise that you will arrive at
Good. We have lost a lot of time
waiting for the driver-
Tell me, were you informed as of
when you were to arrive?
Well, no. No exact time was given,
but I imagine that I should get
there as soon as possible.
You were just told that you had to
Thomas nods his head.
Then we will travel at our leisure,
so as long as you eventually
Let's not take too long now.
Whose fault will it be then? Ours
for taking time to smell the roses,
or theirs for not dictating a set
Thomas looks confused.
I blame them already. Now let us
Isaac revs the engine loudly, and pulls out with excessive
speed and force, throwing both he and Thomas backwards
against their seats.
Thomas looks frightened, while Isaac is enthralled by the
speed at his disposal.
The car speeds and swerves along the long, vacant road,
disappearing around a turn in the road with the sound of
EXT. INN - AFTERNOON
The car, with its engine heard racing aggressively, nears an
inn, which is set off on the right hand side of the road.
The inn is one of rustic construction, yet apparently sturdy
in its wooden exterior.
The car's brakes are applied forcefully, sliding partially
sideways while skidding to a stop in an empty lot along side
the inn. Theirs is the only vehicle around the inn.
Isaac lets out a guffaw while turning off the engine. He
turns to Thomas, who sits with a pale face in the passenger
Well now. This is as good as any
place to stop for a spell.
Isaac exits the car.
Thomas removes his white-knuckled hands from the dashboard,
his finger indentations slowly evaporating from the dashboard
while he bends and wiggles his fingers.
Thomas looks out of the driver's side window and watches
Isaac striding towards the inn with a slight gambol.
Thomas gets out of the car, but before closing the door
behind him, he takes a long look at the envelope sitting on
the front seat.
After a moment, Thomas nabs the envelope and tucks it into
the pocket of his coveralls.
The car door is shut.
EXT. INN - FRONT - MOMENTS LATER
Thomas climbs the front steps of the inn, where Isaac is
waiting before the door. Without turning to face Thomas,
Isaac removes his hat and fixes his hair.
Isaac opens the door to the inn, and with it, a clamor of
activity is heard as patrons are seen dining at tables and
drinking at the bar.
Isaac steps into the inn, while Thomas timidly looks through
the doorway before entering himself.
The front area serves as a restaurant and bar. Tables
occupied by well dressed patrons and covered with food-laden
dishes are scattered about. The people at the tables are
full of life, feasting with greed and engaged in robust
The bar is completely occupied with patrons. So much so that
people stand bunched together in areas absent of stools.
They drink merrily as if everyone at the bar knows each
A fat, red-faced man leads a small group in song, keeping the
tempo produced from the string band heard in the background.
A few couples dance in the area in front of the entrance.
Isaac walks through the dancers, untouched and without
altering his direct and straight path. He disappears from
our sight in the crowd.
Thomas moves forward a bit, searching the room sporadically
as soon as Isaac has vanished.
Thomas, like a lost sheep, nervously searches the restaurant,
moving around the tables and almost colliding with a few
Thomas spots Isaac in the middle of the area of tables. They
make eye contact, with Thomas responding with a silent sigh.
There! Claim that table!
Thomas nods his head and then weaves in between occupied
tables until he reaches the one pointed at by Isaac.
It is a small, round table, completely barren except for a
powder blue table cloth.
Thomas sits down at the table, well-behaved. He cranes his
neck around, searching behind him without success.
Thomas snaps his neck around towards the voice.
A heavyset couple in their late 40s stand at the table, their
large coats draped over their folded arms.
The HEAVY MAN, who is easily the tallest man in the room,
stands over top Thomas, making him appear with even more
height next to the seated Thomas.
You are sitting at our table!
Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know.
Stand up when you are in the
presence of a lady!
The HEAVY WOMAN, wearing red-tinted eye glasses that match
the color of her bee hive hairdo, clears her throat.
Such a lack of manners!
Thomas timidly stands up from his chair.
Indeed, my flower.
You disgust me. Leave my sight
before I lose my appetite, young
The heavy woman lumbers towards Thomas' vacated seat, bumping
Thomas with her hip, taking Thomas off of his balance.
The heavy woman stands between the table and her chair,
staring at Thomas with an agitated look.
Aren't you going to help me with
For heaven's sake, boy, are you
that deficient of social graces?
Thomas slowly helps the heavy woman, sliding her chair
forward with great exertion since she sat down before he
could time it right.
The heavy man takes his seat opposite his wife.
The heavy woman flaps her hand at Thomas without looking at
Thomas quickly distances himself from the table, treading
with great speed and misdirection, until he stops at a fair
distance, still at the heart of the tables.
Thomas pans his eyes around the restaurant from this new
vantage point. A waving arm catches our eye.
Isaac, sitting alone in the distance, waves to Thomas with a
Thomas quickly arrives at the table, and seats himself
immediately next to Isaac.
What happened to you? I got the
table you told me to, but it was
apparently already promised to
Isaac takes a sip of tea, and then rests the cup on a saucer.
Isaac gently touches his chest with the tips of the fingers
of his right hand.
My apologies! I found this table
The table is filled with plates and a bowl. All the food has
been eaten, utensils litter both the dinner ware and the
surface of the table.
Thomas looks at the mess on the table.
Oh, I have just finished my meal.
Feel free to the rest.
Thomas searches the table for anything to eat. All he can
collect is pieces of bread and a pitcher of water. He places
the bread on a napkin and begins to eat.
Isaac, perched in his chair with the strictest of postures,
looks at everything in the restaurant, except for Thomas.
We'll have to get rooms for the
We're staying here?
I can not drive while I am this
exhausted. I could sleep a
I should really get to the city. I
have wasted enough time already.
You call this a waste of time?
Food and drink in the company of
those that would otherwise spit at
you on sight in any other
No, I didn't mean it that way.
Eat, drink and be merry, my friend.
Thomas looks at the piece of bread in his hand with mild
Isaac stands up from the table and saunters towards the bar.
Thomas remains at the table, feeding maliciously on his
A GIRL, early 20s, reaches into the middle of the table and
collects the plates and bowls left unattended.
Thomas looks at the girl, leaning back in his chair to give
her more room.
The girl collects as much in her arms as possible, and then
carries the dinner ware away.
Thomas follows her with his eyes. He pours a glass of water
and drinks it empty. He fills the glass again.
The girl returns to the table. She wipes it with a towel.
Pardon, me, miss?
I would like a room for the night.
Can you help me out?
The girl stops her work, focussing her attention by pouting
Sorry. We have no vacancies. That
man right there-
The girl points towards the bar.
Isaac is seen walking from the bar to a flight of stairs in
the corner of the restaurant.
-he took the last room. A double.
Oh, he got a double. All right.
Quite a lot of space for himself.
For himself? Didn't he say he was
No. He said that the room was only
for him, and not to bother him
until the morning.
Thomas lets out a grunt of frustration, pounding the table
with a fist.
The girl looks sad.
What am I going to do?
Do you need a room?
Desperately, it seems.
The girl sits down next to Thomas.
Well, if you really need a place to
rest, you can stay in my room.
Thomas quickly stares at the girl in shock.
Yes. I rarely use it.
Are you sure?
The girl stares into Thomas' eyes. A moment of silent gazing
between the two.
It is no inconvenience.
Thank you, very much.
Come on, I'll show you the way.
Thomas and the girl leave the table, Thomas following her to
the corner of the restaurant where Isaac had ascended