Originally broadcasted 04/08/08
Lincoln Park – Night
29 Years in the Future
Fifteen-year-old Joyce Harris sat within the branches of a tree in a city park. She watched a homeless man below creating a makeshift bed on a bench.
“This is absolutely ridiculous,” she complained softly, although no one seemed to be nearby.
From the other side of the paved trail, in another tree, sat another young woman around the same age, perhaps a year or two older. She lightly chuckled.
“Think Jen’s just playing with us newbie slayers?” she asked.
“Well, I can bet neither one of our mothers sat in a tree looking for demons mauling homeless people,” she replied.
Suddenly, Jen’s voice broke over the earpiece, saying, “Harris. Calendar. Cut the chatter, girls.”
“But my butt has splinters,” Joyce grumbled, “And we haven’t seen anything out here all night.” Joyce heard the leaves nearby rustle and turned to look. A squirrel was perched a few branches up. “Great, now I’ve got woodland creatures to keep me company.”
“Enough,” Jen hissed.
Joyce sighed, but the sight of a red dot of light on her arm caught her attention. “Hey guys?” she asked. “Do squirrels glow?” There was a tiny explosion of light near the mark, and Joyce grabbed her arm. “Owww,” she said. She looked closer at the squirrel.
“Are you all right, Harris?” Jen asked over the earpiece.
Joyce moved to her feet on the branch for a better look. That was when she noticed the tiny helmet the squirrel was wearing.
“Holy crap,” she sighed. “Aunt Skye wasn’t kidding – it’s a laser squirrel, and the sucker just hit me.” Hearing more leaves rustle, she turned in the other direction to see ten of them lined up on a branch even with her chest. She looked down to see a large spot right in the middle of her body. “Uh oh,” she said. Then she jumped up, grabbing the next branch just as the lasers went off.
“Harris?” Jen asked.
Joyce began to scale up the tree, grabbing limb after limb as the squirrels followed right along. “Slight problem here,” she said, as the bushy-tailed rodents began to fire.
The other teenager from the nearby tree could see the lights and smoke coming out of Joyce’s tree, and she began to make her way down from her perch.
“She’s in trouble,” Calendar replied as she landed on the ground and took off running toward Joyce’s tree.
By now Joyce was at the very top, with nowhere left to run. The squirrels began to close in on all sides.
“What do I do?” she cried out, as she tried to hang on and kick at them at the same time.
“Jump!” Calendar yelled. Jen looked down to see the other slayer standing several feet below, her arms open. “Come on, drop!” she ordered again.
Joyce heard a high-pitched whine as the lasers on the squirrels began to power up. She closed her eyes and flung her body toward the earth. The other slayer moved closer as Joyce descended. As Joyce touched down, Calendar didn’t catch her outright, but she did steady her fall.
The homeless man sat up to see what the commotion was about. Jen was now on foot as she raced over to Joyce’s tree.
“Are you okay?” the senior slayer asked.
Joyce got up, holding her knee.
“Yeah, I’ll be good,” she replied. “I always thought they were pulling my leg, and if I hadn’t seen it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it, but –”
Suddenly, the sound of a tremendous roar caught the attention of all three women. They watched as the park bench began to transform into a ten-foot creature with long arms and fangs. The arms of the bench were now in the shape of the demon’s arms, suspending the homeless man above its head. Screaming, the man couldn’t escape as the monster pulled him toward its large mouth, starting to devour him.
Joyce seemed frozen in place as Jen and Calendar raced forward to confront the beast. She seemed helpless as the monster tossed the dead man at Calendar and turned to engage Jen.
The experienced slayer managed to get in two good strikes, but it didn’t faze the creature in the least. As Jen tried to move in a second time, the monster used its long arms to snare her. Within seconds it had her head, snapping her neck and dropping her lifeless body to the ground.
By now, Calendar was back on her feet and racing forward. The creature grabbed her before she could even strike once and snapped her back over its knee like a piece of dry wood. Crying out in pain and unable to move, Calendar now lay on the ground as the monster ran toward Joyce.
Still paralyzed with fear, Joyce couldn’t move. She watched, wide-eyed, as the monster bared its large mouth and fangs and then lunged toward her.
Harris Home – Joyce’s Bedroom – Night
Joyce sat up in bed. Her hair and clothes were soaked with sweat. Breathing hard, she looked around at her surroundings. Realizing she was safe, her head went back to the pillow, but her eyes were still wide.
Fade to Black
End of Teaser