Scene 13Mature

Same time, same day.

The room is engulfed in a natural sunlight seeping through the window shades, bright and even friendly. The light shines on a large and cluttered table in the middle of the room (the only major piece of furniture). Men sit around the table and converse among themselves in a casual tone. Each man is in a different position; some sit on the table, others lean back on their chairs and put their feet up. But as soon as the men hear footsteps outside of the door, they slowly return to their seats, shouting the remainder of their conversations across the meeting table.

Daniel and Melanie eventually enter the room. As the door opens and the men see Melanie, they start to quiet down and simply stare. She keeps her eyes locked on those who stare at her as she sits as close to Daniel as possible.

DANIEL: Men, this is Miss Chambers. She's my top employee.

DON, (one of the men) under his breath: His only employee.

DANIEL, ignoring the remark, he turns to Melanie: Melanie, these are the police detectives of the area.

A few men mumble 'hello,' others simply raise their hand in a type of wave. Melanie nods awkwardly.

DANIEL: Miss Chambers has the proof you need to see.

ROBERT, an overweight man who possesses an obviously large amount of confidence: Let me have that.

Daniel throws him the pad, which he easily catches. Melanie flinches slightly.

ROBERT, after looking through the pad: Alright, alright. But this only supports your theory. This doesn't catch the Keeper.

DANIEL: Yes, we know. But look at what she's picked up; this can help us identify him.

ANDREW, a tall, lean man with little emotion, speaking to Melanie: How can you come to conclusions about all of this?

MELANIE: I suppose you need to know where to look.

ANDREW: But this kid barely said or did anything!

MELANIE: He said enough.

There is a short silence. Melanie doesn't waver. Daniel looks around the room, evaluating each slightly shocked face, then attempts to resume the conversation.

DANIEL, with a disciplinary (and slightly lofty) tone: Listen, this kid knows everything we need to know in order to find this man. Pause. I think that what we need to do is get him to speak. Someone's got to open him up.

A few men look downwards, avoiding the topic. Melanie, all business, waits for Daniel to continue without realizing he's speaking about her.

DANIEL, gesturing to Melanie: I know she can do it.

Melanie jumps at the sudden question. The detectives form mocking expressions, laughing at her apparent incompetency.

ANDREW, mockingly: Well, I suppose, Dan.

DETECTIVE #1, joking along with him: If you really think so.

The men laugh.

DON, to Melanie: Do you think you can handle it?

Melanie grows uncomfortable as they continue to jeer. She eventually turns to Daniel and whispers:

MELANIE, after a deep breath: Daniel (Daniel gives her a look.)--Mr.Jones--I told you I wasn't good with children.

DANIEL: And I told you it didn't matter. He gestures for Melanie's notepad, which Robert gives to him. Daniel hands it to Melanie from there.

DANIEL: So, men, what do you say? Will you let me try?

ANDREW: You can try, but I don't think you're going to accomplish anything.

Daniel gives Andrew a disapproving look, then turns to Melanie.

DANIEL, quietly and privately: You should see him tomorrow.

MELANIE: But he--

DANIEL, interrupting her: I'll contact the police station tonight and they'll call you later. He stares at Melanie, forcing her to hold eye contact. You're not going to back out of this one. It's important to me. Melanie doesn't respond. Alright?

Melanie swallows as a look of disappointment crosses her face.

MELANIE: Alright.

The End

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