Shapeshifters: Episode 1

PRINCESS STEPHANIE is adoring the beauty of her reflection in her vanity mirror.  As she brushes her long blonde hair, she notices a patch of skin on her right cheek turn scaly green.  A sense of alarm adorns her face as she stops brushing her hair and feels the normal cheek skin with her hand and notices that when she removes her hand, her reflection appears to return to normal.  She SIGHS and continues to brush her hair but then a patch of scaly, green skin appears once again on her cheek.  She screams and drops her brush.




The Manager, MS. STREICH, of an orphanage for Native American Children, is showing the orphans how to bow and curtsy.

MS. STREICH:  And when King Elias and Princess Stephanie arrive and you are selected to go on an outing with them, you must first address him as...?


THE ORPHANS:  Your Majesty.

MS. STREICH: And then...?


MS. STREICH:  And you will first address the princess as...?

THE ORPHANS:  Your Royal Highness.

Ms. Streich then notices two eight year old twins, MARK and MATT, goofing around in the back.  The rest of the orphans look back at the boys and the boys realize that everyone is watching them and look at Ms. Streich.

MS. STREICH:  I want you boys to come with me.  Ms. Horner, will you please take over for me.

Ms. Streich walks to the back of the class and grabs the collars of both boys and leads them out of the room.



Princess Stephanie and King Elias are in the back of a limousine.  Princess Stephanie brings a handheld mirror to her face which reveals the square bandage on her cheek.  

PRINCESS STEPHANIE:  Oh, I look hideous, father.


KING ELIAS:  It'll be alright, sweetie.  We're almost there. 

King Elias pats her on the thigh and Princess Stephanie gasps.


She pulls up her dress to reveal the thigh that has patches of scaly, green skin on it.

PRINCESS STEPHANIE:  Oh!  I can't hold form.  I need blood now.

KING ELIAS: We mustn't panic.  We'll look for the frightened ones.  Their blood will be more highly charged.

PRINCESS STEPHANIE:  Why must we drink tainted blood?

KING ELIAS:  Our consumption of Aryan blood must be limited.  If too many Aryan children go missing, it would be noticed.  



Ms. Streich is at her desk in her office and Matt and Mark are sitting in chairs opposite her.

MS.  STREICH:  Perhaps, the two of you aren't ready to meet royalty.

MARK:  We'll be good ma'am, we promise.  


MS. STREICH:  Hmmm.  Perhaps the two of you need to be separated.  You seem to get into mischief whenever you're together.

MATT:  Please don't separate us.

MARK:  We're always together.  We're sorry ma'am.

MS. STREICH:  Hmmm, we shall see.  The King and Princess should be here soon.  Go and join the rest in the hall.

The boys get up and leave her office.  

They enter the hall where the rest of the orphans are.  They join a brother and sister, IGGY (age 6) and JESSICA (age 8), who are their friends.  

IGGY:  Ooh, you guys got in trouble.

JESSICA:  Did Ms. Streich paddle you?

MARK:  Not this time.  

An older child, CLAY, of 13 years, comes up to the group of friends.

CLAY:  You dopes hope they pick you?

MARK:  Only if they pick me and Matt together.

JESSICA:  Yeah, me and Ig too.

CLAY:  You know what happened the last time the king and princess came?

JESSICA:  No, that was three years ago.  I was only five.

Mark gestures to himself and Matt.

MARK:  We weren't here then.

CLAY:  Well, I remember and I DO NOT want to get chosen for an outing with them. 

MATT:  What happened, Clay?

CLAY:  The kids that were chosen... never... came back.

JESSICA:  Were they adopted by families?

Clay chuckles.

CLAY:  That what Streaker said but I don't believe it.  Two of my friends, Tommy and Jason, were chosen.  I heard that Jason got away but he told people what happened to Tommy.  Nobody believed him.

JESSICA:  You're just trying to scare us.

MARK:  No, Clay's just jealous because he's too old and ugly.  No King or Princess would ever choose him.

Mark, Matt, Jessica and Iggy all start laughing.  

CLAY:  Listen you idiots!  They will kill you and drink your blood if you are lucky and if you aren't lucky, they will...

Ms. Horner stands right by Clay.

MS. HORNER:  Clay, are you scaring these children again with your horror stories.

Clay look down.

CLAY:  No, Ma'am.

Ms. Horner then walks  away and claps to get all of the kids attention.

MS. HORNER:  Fall in line, children.  Ms. Streich is about to bring the King in.

The children get into lines and get quiet.

Mrs. Streich enters the hall with King Elias.  The females curtsy and the males bow and all say:  your majesty.

KING ELIAS:  I'm sorry that the Princess is not well enough to meet all of you today.  But she will be able to meet a selected few among you assuming she is feeling better soon. 

MS. STREICH:  We hope she is feeling better soon, sir.

KING ELIAS:  Thank you.  Now, to get back to the reason for my visit to this lovely orphanage.  I am here to select a lucky group of children to go to lunch with myself and Princess Stephanie.  I have met with Ms. Streich about which children might be appropriately prepared for the occasion and have reviewed your information.  The children I have chosen are:  Rebecca Quinn.

A shy, seven year old girl, REBECCA, raises her hand.  Ms. Horner goes over to her.

MS. HORNER:  You mustn't be afraid, Rebecca.  This is an honor and a privilege. 

Ms. Horner takes Rebecca's hand and leads her to the King's side.  Rebecca starts to cry.  Another little girl, TAMARA, raises her hand as she begins to talk.

TAMARA:  Ms. Streich, can I go in Becky's place if she doesn't want to go.

MS. STREICH:  Mind your matters, Tamara.

The King pats Rebecca on the head and gives her a sucker from his pocket.  Rebecca looks at Ms. Streich who nods at her.  Rebecca opens the wrapping and begins to suck on the sucker.  King Elias looks at his index card of names.

KING ELIAS:  Now, back to business.  I would also like to invite Ignatius Jessup.  

Matt, Mark and Jessica look at Iggy whose mouth is opened wide in shock.  Iggy looks at his sister.

JESSICA:  Go ahead, Ig.  It's okay.

Iggy stands next to Rebecca.

KING ELIAS:  David Cross, Alicia Vickson and Kenna McKay.

Three more children go up to stand by the king.

KING ELIAS:  And perhaps, one more... Matthew McKnight.

Matt looks at his brother, Mark, and at Clay who looks away.

MARK:  It'll be okay.  You know Clay lies...

Matt nods.

MARK:  Tell me everything when you get back.



King Elias and the chosen orphans get into the back of the limo where Princess Stephanie is sitting.

PRINCESS STEPHANIE:  Thank God.  I'm so thirsty.

IGGY:  Wow, it's so big in this car.

He looks at the Princess.

IGGY:  What happened to your face?

Iggy points to the bandage on Princess Stephanie's face.  

ALICIA:  Iggy, don't be so rude.  I'll apologize for him, your royal highness.

PRINCESS STEPHANIE:  Well, at least somebody has some manners.

One by one, the rest of the kids address her as "your royal highness."

Once the King has entered the limo and everyone is seated, the car starts to move.  

Matt looks around.

MATT:  It's dark in here.

KING ELIAS:  They're called tinted windows.

ALICIA:  Where are we going for lunch, sir?  

KING ELIAS:  It's a surprise.

REBECCA:  I don't like surprises.

Alicia glares at Rebecca.

ALICIA:  Don't be such a scaredy cat, Becky.

A moment of silence ensues and Matt looks at the Princess and she looks back at him.  He sees the shape of her pupils change and he recoils.

PRINCESS STEPHANIE:  Is something wrong, child?

Matt shakes his head.

KING ELIAS:  You know, it isn't polite to stare.  

MATT:  I'm sorry.  

King Elias touches a button and all the doors lock.  Becky and Matt shudder.

ALICIA:  This is a really nice car, your majesty, your royal highness.

Princess Stephanie manages a smile.

PRINCESS STEPHANIE:  Why, thank you dear.  Perhaps, you shall be first.

KING ELIAS:  Go for the jugular, Sweetie.

Princess Stephanie and King Elias then shapeshift into reptiles and bite into the necks of the children who begin to scream in horror.



Clay, Jessica and Mark are at a dinner table in the hall along with all the other kids.

MARK:  I thought they'd be home before dinner.

JESSICA:  I'm worried.  I told Ig to go.

Jessica starts to cry.

Ms. Streich sits down at their table next to Jessica.

MS. STREICH:  You mustn't cry, dear.  I have some good news.  The King was able to find families to adopt Iggy and the other children.

MARK:  But Matt and I were supposed to be adopted together.

MS. STREICH:  You don't get to decide that.


JESSICA:  So, I'll never get to see Iggy again?

MS. STREICH:  You mustn't be selfish, dear.  You must be happy for your brother.  He has parents now... unlike the rest of you lot.

Ms. Streich gets up and walks away.

CLAY:  She's such a bitch. 

MARK:  Were you lying earlier?

CLAY:  Um... yeah... I was just pulling your chain.  The kids that are chosen are really set up to be adopted by rich White folks.  That's why they change our names.

JESSICA:  My name isn't Jessica?

CLAY:  You don't remember your real name?

JESSICA:  Do you remember yours?

CLAY:  Yes, but I'm forbidden to speak it here.


The children are in their bed in the sleeping quarters.  Jessica and Mark have beds that are next to each other.

Mark is laying wide awake and Jessica is crying with eyes closed.

Mark whispers Jessica's name.

MARK:  Jess?

Jessica opens her eyes.

MARK:  Something's wrong.

JESSICA:  What do you mean?

MARK:  Something happened to Matt.  I feel it.

JESSICA:  You mean, he was adopted by bad parents.

MARK:  No, I don't think he was adopted at all.  I think something bad happened to him like Clay said...

JESSICA:  I can't believe that.  I won't believe that.  

MARK:  Jess, we need to get out of here.  We need to find out what really happened to Matt and Iggy.

JESSICA: They were adopted by nice families and we should be happy for them.

MARK  You can't tell me that you really believe that BS!

Jessica turns her back to Mark.