Scene 2Mature

CUT to: Five minutes later.

A large, office-like building is revealed as Melanie pulls into its parking lot. Slowly, almost carefully, she emerges from the car.Melanie remains in a tired yet professional state as she approaches the office, her footsteps echoing eerily through the parking lot.

Same time, same day.

Jacob is tiptoeing through a hallway, shaking in his torn clothing. He sobs under his breath. He is obviously in some type of pain, though it's undetermined whether it's emotional or simply physical. The shouting has since ceased; it's quiet now. The child's cries are the only audible sound, echoing through the house.

After a bit of walking, Jacob peeks into a pitch-black room, listening for any movement within. After hearing nothing, he carefully steps inside.

A few streams of light sneak through windows that have been painted black long ago; this is presumably the front room. The way out. From what the audience can see, Jacob's expression lights up with the thought of freedom. He creeps towards the door, breathing heavily, almost weighed down by his hope.

Jacob comes closer and closer to where the door should be--the light intensifies, as though clouds have moved, revealing the sun. He approaches the doorknob and has almost touched it when a large, burly hand closes over his thin wrist.

The scene is engulfed by silence. Jacob looks at the hand, then follows the arm to a body, then a face--a repulsive one, stained with dirt and grime. This is the face of HERALD JONES, a well-built 30-year-old man with mid-length hair and soulless green eyes.

Same time, same day.

As Melanie enters the front door, the secretary seems to be completely oblivious of her presence. She approaches the desk awkwardly.

MELANIE: Hello, I--

The secretary looks up suddenly. Melanie cuts herself off, almost intimidated, though she keeps her determined air. The middle-aged woman at the desk before her fixes some of the scattered papers on her desk as she blinks her tired eyes.

SECRETARY, somewhat rudely: Can I help you?

MELANIE: I have a small meeting here. I believe I'm listed somewhere, could you check?

The secretary fumbles with her computer, trying to identify Melanie.

SECRETARY, eventually: Chambers?

MELANIE: Miss Chambers, yes.

SECRETARY: Well, you're late. Your boss has been waiting for you.

MELANIE, somewhat quietly: I know.

SECRETARY, raising her eyebrows: Alright. To find him, you can go through the door on the left behind me and down the hall; he'll be there.

MELANIE, confusedly: Out in the hall?

SECRETARY: Yes, in the hall.

MELANIE: Are you--

SECRETARY: Yeah, I'm sure. Just go.

Melanie leaves the desk without any type of farewell, entering the door described by the secretary.

The End

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