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Keeping Up With the Deverauxes
By Jennifer-Lynn D'Anna
Episode 4

The night the lights went out in Salem

[IT IS NOW LATER ON THAT NIGHT AND A STORM HAS SET OVER SALEM. ABBY AND JENNIFER HAVE JUST GOTTEN BACK FROM VISITING ALICE. JACK IS ALREADY HOME AND IS SITTING ON THE SOFA READING THE PAPER.]

JACK: (TO HIMSELF AS HE IS TURNING THE PAGE ON THE SPECTATOR) Awful....awful.

[JENNIFER AND ABBY HAVE JUST COME RACING THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR AND ARE BOTH SOAKING WET. JENNIFER IS CARRYING ABBY'S BACKPACK AND A BAG FROM SALEM VIDEO]

ABBY: That was fun! We should race more.

JENNIFER: (HELPING ABBY TAKE HER JACKET OFF) We should, Baby. Only when it is more dry outside. Boy, is it really coming down out there.

JACK: (STEPPING OUT TO GREET THEM) My, is that my little Abigail there? Could it be? It kinda looks like a (NOTING HOW WET SHE IS)...well, it kinda looks like a fish. Can you step up here for a moment? I want to get a better look at you (KNEELING TO GET A BETTER LOOK). Yup, yup, just as I suspected. Gills. What have we got here? What do you have in your gills? (HE REACHES UP BEHIND HER EAR AND PULLS OUT A QUARTER) Have you been swimming in the wishing wells again?

(JENNIFER IS SMILING AT ALL THIS)

ABBY: Daddy, you are so funny! It's raining out, silly. Mommy rented some movies for us to watch and tomorrow she said we might go to the zoo. You want to go to the zoo with us, don't you, Daddy?

JACK: I'd go to the moon with you, Abigail. Now run along and change into some dry clothes. We don't want you catching cold now do we?

(ABBY GOES TO RUN OFF BUT JACK CALLS HER BACK)

UH-UH.

(HE HANDS HER THE QUARTER)

For your piggybank. Remember what I taught you.

ABBY: A quarter saved is a quarter earned. When trading, buy low, sell high.

(BOTH JACK AND JENNIFER LAUGH AT THIS AS ABBY RUNS OFF TO CHANGE. JACK STANDS UP AND LOOKS AT JENNIFER. HE NOTICES THAT SHE IS SOAKING WET AND IS WEARING A NEARLY SHEER SHIRT)

JACK: You had a good day, I suppose?

JENNIFER: (WALKING PAST JACK TO THE LIVING ROOM AND SETTING DOWN THE VIDEO BAG) Yeah, I did, Jack. Hope and I did a little shopping. I can't believe how much Salem has changed since we left. The new shopping center is great.

JACK: (REALIZING THAT SHE WAS PROBABLY AT SALEM PLACE WHEN HE WAS AND HOPING THAT SHE DIDN'T SEE HIM WITH GRETA) So, you were at Salem Place today?

JENNIFER: Yeah, Jack. Where else would I go? (BEAT) What did you do today? (REALIZING THAT SHE ACTUALLY CARES AND DOESN'T LIKE IT) Actually, you know what? Never mind on that, Jack. I don't want to know. I don't actually care. It's like I said--"Separate Lives". (SHE TURNS AROUND SO THAT HER BACK IS TO HIM)

JACK: Actually, Jennifer, I was doing a little shopping today myself. (STEPPING TOWARDS HER) I, too, was actually down at Salem Place and I ran into the Princess Von Amburg. You do remember her, don't you?

JENNIFER: (STILL FACING AWAY FROM JACK AND GETTING ANNOYED AT THE MENTION OF GRETA) How could I forget Jack?

JACK: (SMILING BECAUSE HE KNOWS SHE IS JEALOUS) As I was saying, I ran into the Princess and we started talking patio furniture. I'm thinking that since summer is coming, it would be nice to have somewhere to sit outside and bask in the sun. Maybe you could plant some flowers out there if you'd like. Delphiniums would be nice, don't you think? I know you like those.

JENNIFER: (TURNING AROUND TO FACE HIM) They are my favorite flowers, Jack.

JACK: (SCRATCHING THE BACK OF HIS NECK) Yes, yes, I remember now. Actually the princess was buying some today for your brother Lucas' room. That's what made me think of them.

JENNIFER: (SMILING AND RELIEVED THAT THE FLOWERS WERE NOT FOR GRETA) Oh, so you didn't buy any flowers today, Jack? You just tagged along?

JACK: (NOT KNOWING THAT JENNIFER SAW HIM WITH THE FLOWERS) No, I...well, why would I? You know I never really liked flowers. They die so quickly. Sure they are nice and smell...

(SUDDENLY THERE IS A LOUD CRACK OF THUNDER AND THE LIGHTS GO OUT. ABBY SCREAMS FROM UPSTAIRS. JENNIFER, OUT OF HABIT, JUMPS INTO JACKS ARMS).


Scene 2: The lights have just gone out in Salem. Jennifer and Jack are in each other's arms and Abby is upstairs. She is frightened and has just screamed.

JACK: Wha...wha...what was that? (NERVOUS BECAUSE HE HAS JUST NOTICED THAT JENNIFER IS RIGHT UP AGAINST HIM AND IT HAS BEEN SO LONG SINCE SHE HAS BEEN THERE)

(ABBY SCREAMS AGAIN. JACK YELLS BACK TO HER)

ABIGAIL! ABIGAIL! CAN YOU HEAR ME?

ABBY: DADDY?! I'M SCARED!

(JENNIFER IS LOOKING AT JACK WITH GREAT CONCERN. SHE IS SCARED AND DOES NOT BUDGE)

JENNIFER: (WHISPERING) Jack, we've got to get to her.

JACK: (ALSO WHISPERING TO JENNIFER) I know. I know. Give me a second. (YELLING TO ABBY)

ABIGAIL! (THERE IS NO ANSWER) ABIGAIL? ABIGAIL, ANSWER ME!

ABBY: DADDY! I'M SCARED! I WANT TO BE WITH YOU AND MOMMY!

JACK: (LOOKING AT JENNIFER WITH CONCERN AND THEN YELLING BACK TO ABBY)

ABIGAIL, YOU STAY PUT! JUST STAY WHERE YOU ARE! DADDY (LOOKING AT JENNIFER) WILL BE RIGHT THERE. DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME? STAY WHERE YOU ARE!

ABBY: HURRY DADDY! I DON'T LIKE THE DARK!

JACK: (KNOWING HOW SCARED ABBY IS AND SCARED FOR HER) OKAY, ABIGAIL, THERE IS NOTHING TO BE SCARED ABOUT. DO YOU REMEMBER THAT GAME WE USED TO PLAY WHEN WE WENT SWIMMING? THE ONE I TRIED TO PLAY? WHERE I SHOUT AND THEN YOU ANSWER ME?

ABBY: Uh huh.

JACK: WE'RE GOING TO PLAY THAT NOW. ARE YOU READY? YOU START!

ABBY: OKAY. (BEAT) MARCO!

JACK: (SMILING THAT SHE REMEMBERS AND THAT JENNIFER IS RELIEVED) Hehehehehe. POLO!

(HE STARTS TO MOVE TOWARDS THE STAIRS BUT JENNIFER GOES WITH HIM)

(WHISPERING TO JENNIFER) What do you think you're doing?

JENNIFER: (WHISPERING BACK) Going with you, Jack. She needs both of us. I'm not staying by myself down here.

JACK: Well, it is certainly not going to work with me trying to find her backwards. Give me your hand...No, no, that's not going to work, I need those to feel the wall. (BEAT) Okay, okay, I got it. Get on my back.

JENNIFER: Jack-

JACK: Look, it's the only way. All aboard (HE PATS HIS BACK).

(JENNIFER, SMILING, GETS ON JACK'S BACK AND HE LETS OUT A GRUNT)

My chiropractor is going to hate me for this.

(THE SCENE ENDS WITH JACK AND JENNIFER MOVING TOWARDS THE STAIRCASE AND ABBY AND JACK CALLING MARCO POLO TO ONE ANOTHER)


Scene 3: Jack and Jennifer are on their way to find Abby. Upstairs, they find her and to pass the time she asks them to tell her a story.

JACK: (LABORING FOR BREATH BECAUSE JENNIFER IS STILL ON HIS BACK) My turn. MARCO!

ABBY: POLO!

(JACK AND JENNIFER ENTER ABBY'S ROOM WHERE SHE IS SITTING IN THE BED. JENNIFER RUNS OVER AND HUGS HER. JACK TRIES TO CATCH HIS BREATH AND IS RUBBING HIS BACK AS HE MAKES HIS WAY OVER TO HER)

JENNIFER: Baby, don't cry. Daddy and I are here now. It's all better, you see?

JACK: (SITTING DOWN ON THE BED WITH THEM AND HUGGING HER) The lights just went out, that's all. Sometimes lots of thunder and lightning does that.

(THUNDER CRASHES AND THEY ALL JUMP A BIT)

(SEEING HOW UNEASY JENNIFER AND ABBY ARE, JACK DECIDES TO MAKE THE BEST OF THE SITUATION)

You know, what? This might not be so bad after all. (HE SCOOTS OFF TO BED TO FACE ABBY) Abigail, you know who the Indians are, don't you?

(ABBY NODS)

Well, then you know that the Indians, they live in teepees, right?

(ABBY NODS AND JENNIFER JUST LOOKS AT JACK WONDERING WHAT HE'S UP TO)

And these Indians (STARTS TO PICK UP A SHEET AND APPEARS TO BE MAKING A TENT WITH IT) they didn't have any electricity, either. So, you know what they did? They sat around in the teepees at night and told stories.

(HE FINISHES THE TENT AND STANDS BACK TO SHOW IT OFF)

Abigail Johanna Deveraux, may I present to you your very own teepee

(THE SCENE ENDS WITH JACK SMILING NERVOUSLY AND JENNIFER AND ABBY SMILING AT EACH OTHER)


Scene 4: Jack, Jennifer and Abigail are now in the teepee that Jack built. Jack has rustled up three flashlights and some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and is returning to the teepee. He has tied his tie around his head and has placed a feather from a duster in it to make a headdress. Jennifer and Abby have braided their hair.

JACK: (OPENING THE TEEPEE FLAP AND ENTERING) Well, it's not buffalo, but it will do (HE SETS THE PLATE OF SANDWICHES DOWN). And for a little beverage refreshment (HE BRINGS OUT THE MILK AND PAPER CUPS). And the piece de resistance....war paint! (HE HOLDS OUT JENNIFER'S LIPSTICK AND EYELINER)

JENNIFER: (SMILING) My makeup, Jack?

JACK: Hehehehehe. Well, it's not as if I had a lot to work with here. Now if we could. (HE PAINTS SOME ON HIS FACE AND THEN TURNS TO ABBY AND PAINTS HERS)

ABBY: Don't forget Mommy, Daddy. She needs some too.

JACK: Oh, yes. (HE NERVOUSLY LOOKS AT JENNIFER) May I? (HE BEGINS TO DRAW ON HER FACE AS THEY BOTH LOOK AT EACH OTHER WITH LONGING. HE SUDDENLY GETS NERVOUS AND BREAKS AWAY, EMBARRASSED) Well, that does it. Now on to the stories. What would you like to hear about Abigail? Bears, Clowns, You name it, you got it...

ABBY: I want to hear about you.

JENNIFER: About Daddy, Baby?

ABBY: No, about both of you. I want to hear about how you fell in love.

JACK: (NERVOUSLY LOOKING AT JENNIFER) Are you sure about that, Abigail? It is rather boring...hehehehe.

ABBY: But you said I could hear about anything I wanted...

JACK: That I did, but....

JENNIFER: We'll be happy to tell you, Baby.

JACK: (LOOKING AT JENNIFER AS IF SHE WERE CRAZY) We will?


Scene 5: Jack and Jennifer are reluctantly telling the story of their love to Abby. Both are very nervous about this.

JACK: Well, Abigail, you see...your mommy used to work for me. I was her boss.

JENNIFER: Was my boss. We worked together at a newspaper called THE SPECTATOR. Daddy was a really hard boss-

JACK: Only because I knew that mommy had potential. She was a good reporter, you see. I only wanted what was best for her.

JENNIFER: Only what Daddy thought was best was for me to go away and work somewhere else.

ABBY: I want to know about when you fell in love, not when you worked together. When did you two fall in love?

JACK: Well, Abigail, that's the thing. We (BEAT) we're in love, even then.

ABBY: (LOOKING AT JACK) You were? Why did you want Mommy to go away then?

(JENNIFER IS MOVED WITH EMOTION WITH THIS STATEMENT)

JACK: Well, I...well (BEAT) I didn't want her to know how I felt. I didn't know if she loved me back.

ABBY: (LOOKING AT JENNIFER) But you did love him back. Didn't you, Mommy?

JENNIFER: Yeah, Baby, I did. Daddy and I just didn't do things the normal way. (BEAT. LOOKING AT JACK) We never did.

ABBY: Like now. You two are not married but living together. That's not normal.

(JACK AND JENNIFER ARE TAKEN BACK BY THIS STATEMENT AND TRY TO EXPLAIN THEIR SITUATION TO ABBY)

JENNIFER: Baby, I don't think you understand-

JACK: Abigail, Mommy and Daddy lo-

ABBY: It's okay. You don't have to explain. I want to hear more of your story.

(JACK AND JENNIFER LOOK WARY ABOUT CONTINUING BUT DO)

JACK: As Mommy was saying , I wanted her to go work somewhere else...

JENNIFER: So I did.

JACK: But Daddy didn't like that, so-

[THE SCENE ENDS WITH JENNIFER AND JACK RECOUNTING THEIR LOVE STORY TO ABIGAIL, WHO IS LOOKING BACK AND FORTH AT THE TWO OF THEM AND EATING HER SANDWICH. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT SPEAKING OF THIS BOTHERS JACK AND JENNIFER, BUT THEY DO IT ANYWAY)


Scene 6: Jack and Jennifer finish their love story, or so they say.

JACK: And then you were born. You came into our lives in that cabin and we were never so hap-

JENNIFER: Jack.

JACK: py. You were the most perfect baby.

JENNIFER: Jack.

JACK: (FINALLY REALIZING THAT JENNIFER IS SPEAKING) Jennifer, could you please? I'm trying to finish a story here.

JENNIFER: Jack, she's asleep.

JACK: What?

JENNIFER: She's asleep.

JACK: (LOOKING AT ABBY WITH GREAT LOVE) So she is. How long has she been out?

JENNIFER: (SMILING) Since the jade plant, Jack.

JACK: Well, I told her it was boring (BEAT) You should've told me. I would've shut up.

JENNIFER: Jack Deveraux, you never shut up. Besides, I wanted to hear it.

JACK: You should wait for the movie. It's much better than the book.

JENNIFER: I know, Jack. I lived the movie.

JACK: I guess you did, huh? (BEAT. LOOKING DOWN TO ABBY TO AVOID LOOKING AT JENNIFER) It seemed to pacify her, though.

JENNIFER: Yeah (LOOKING DOWN AT ABBY ALSO AND THEN TO JACK). It seems like so long ago.

JACK: It does, doesn't it? (BEAT) It also doesn't seem like the same lead characters.

JENNIFER: (UPSET AT THIS COMMENT) Well, you know what they say, Jack. People change. (SHE LAYS DOWN NEXT TO ABBY) I'm going to try and get some sleep now. You should try to do the same.

JACK: (LAYING DOWN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF ABBY. CONFUSED BY JENNIFER'S ACTIONS) Yes, I should if I plan on being a hundred percent for the zoo tomorrow.

JENNIFER: Oh and Jack?

JACK: Yes, Miss Horton?

(THEY BOTH SMILE AT THIS REFERENCE)

JENNIFER: You were an awful boss.

[THEY BOTH GO TO BED SMILING AT THIS COMMENT, KNOWING THEY ARE GROWING CLOSER ONCE AGAIN AND SECRETLY ENJOYING EVERY MINUTE OF IT].

END OF EPISODE 4

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