Saturday, March 5, 2016

Short Story: Abe Zanarkand Rides Again

Abe Zanarkand Rides Again


[1] INTERIOR. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CLASSROOM. DAY.

We see ABE ZANARKAND's steely face. He's clad in a fedora and trench coat. He asks a question and then another. He raises his voice and asks yet another question.

ABE ZANARKAND:
Where were you?
What happened? 
What did you have for lunch?!

Then we see his foe. Six year old ZACH. Sitting behind a child sized desk. They're in a classroom.


ZACH points out the window, silent, unfazed.

V.O.:
He thwarts my question yet again as he points out the window. 
We've been playing this cat and mouse game for too long. 
I grit my teeth, realizing I won't be able to get any information out of this suspect, 
I ask another throwaway question.



ABE ZANARKAND:
Did you see anything?

V.O.:
No response. It’s amazing how stupidity can almost be mistaken for genius. 
If this kid wasn’t four years old, he’d be great at thwarting interrogations.
Instead, it’s time to change his diaper.

Zach's teacher MS. LANDON calls from her desk, just a few feet away.


MS. LANDON:
Mr. Zanarkand, I think that’s enough.

ZANARKAND turns in the tot sized plastic seat to face her, coat tails dragging the floor, knees to his chest.

ABE ZANARKAND:
I understand you are his teacher and have a job to do,
but he's got answers, I intend to extract them.
 
MS. LANDON:
This is not the matter to go about it.
 
V.O.:
I'd think a school teacher could form a better sentence, then again, 
what does I know? My knees hit the tiny table as I struggle to rise from the small chair.

ZANARKAND rises, scowling at the teacher. He stretches his limbs, moments earlier constrained to a child's chair. ZANARKAND turns to ZACH.



ABE ZANARKAND:
That's enough kid, you can run home now.

ZACH glances from Abe to the door and walks towards it. MS. LANDON jumps up to stop him.



MS. LANDON:
Zach, wait! I’ll walk with you.
 
 V.O.:
I follow them to the door, maybe I can corner the next snot nosed kid without Ms. Prim breathing down my neck.
 
 MS. LANDON:
Mr. Zanarkand, I'll bring the next child when I return.

ABE ZANARKAND:
I’ll save you the trouble and retrieve it myself.

MS. LANDON:
NO, you won’t. Wait here.

V.O.:
The gall this woman had to order me around like I was just another brat. The mighty have indeed fallen, but that's no excuse to stop watching this film. I'm going to get to the bottom of this pint sized problem because Abe always gets his man... or tot.
 
Cue title card: ABE ZANARKAND RIDES AGAIN

[2] INTERIOR. CLASSROOM. DAY
ABE ZANARKAND paces the room, waiting for the next child. The room has all the trappings of an elementary school.
 
V.O.:
It happened like this. Ms. Prim, whom you just met, her principal called on my expertise. It seems while Ms. Prim turned her back, one kid bit another amid the skirmish that ensued when her eyes were averted. These kids were keeping mum, they just wouldn't turn on each other. It was up to me to take it up a level. Let's turn on the heat.

ZANARKAND wheels around to see MS. LANDON at the door.

MS. LANDON:
Sir, these are only children, you know.

ABE ZANARKAND:
Yeah, you might believe that a child is innocent and precious, but inside each and every one of these kids is a skilled manipulator with years of experience. That's how they get through life. It seems it's too late for you.

V.O.:
Maybe I took it too far, I wasn’t sure.

MS. LANDON:
You have gone too far!

V.O.:
The old bat was about to flip, maybe she was the biter.

[3] INTERIOR. CLASSROOM. DAY
ZANARKAND is sitting in a pint sized chair again. KADEN lets go of MS. LANDON's hand and sits down across from ZANARKAND.

MS. LANDON:
Here is the next child Mr. Zanarkand.

V.O.:
She said my name with a sneer, maybe she was protecting the culprit.

MS. LANDON:
Kaden, you just sit right there. Everything is going to be ok.

V.O.:
Yeah, it will be ok if you cooperate.

ZANARKAND smooths the front of his coat and adjusts his hat.

ABE ZANARKAND:
Where were you when it happened?

KADEN:
I want some crayons.

ABE ZANARKAND:
Did you see anyone bite or get bitten?

KADEN:
I like dinosaurs.

ABE ZANARKAND:
Surely you heard Rachel scream after she was bitten?

KADEN:
I like dinosuar nuggets. I bite the heads off.

V.O.:
Antlers attached to my skull would be more helpful, and likely, less painful.

ABE ZANARKAND:
You can take this one away, Ms....uh.

V.O.:
Lukcily I caught myself before I said prim.

MS. LANDON:
It’s Ms. Landon. The same as when I introduced myself twenty minutes ago.

V.O.:
She was feisty, I like that in a woman.

MS. LANDON:
I’ll be right back with the next child.


[4] INTERIOR. CLASSROOM. DAY
ZANARKAND is visibly tired/bored. MS. LANDON enters with another child, RACHEL.

V.O.:
I hate waiting, and I wasn’t sure I’d get any info out of these kids.

ABE ZANARKAND:
Have a seat kid.

V.O.:
I decided it was time to pick a kid and go for it. 
This day wasn't getting any shorter.

ABE ZANARKAND:
Why’d you bite your classmate, Rachel?

MS. LANDON:
Mr. Zanarkand, she was the one bitten. That’s a fact.

ABE ZANARKAND:
How about you let me continue my investigation, and 
I”ll let you continue grading papers at your desk.

V.O.:
I gave her one of those stop talking looks, but I wasn’t sure she got the message.
 
MS. LANDON, offended walks to her desk and takes a seat. ZANARKAND smirks.

ABE ZANARKAND:
Tell me Rachel, why did you bite your classmate.

RACHEL:
I was bitten. There’s the mark right here.

ABE ZANARKAND:
You’ve been biting kids, and I want you to admit it right now.

ZANARKAND rises, towering over the child.

RACHEL:
I... I... I did the biting.

MS. LANDON:
What? That can’t be true. You...

ABE ZANARKAND:
Ma’am please, let me handle this.

ABE CONT (turning to Rachel):
It’s ok, tell me what happened.


RACHEL:
I bit Samantha during recess. She bit me back during class.

RACHEL begins crying, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand.

RACHEL (CONT):
I didn’t want to get in trouble, so I didn’t say anything.

ABE ZANARKAND:
And why did you bite poor, sweet Samantha?

RACHEL:
Because she always takes the good basketball during recess, and today I said no, 
but she wouldn’t listen.

RACHEL is tense, upset. ZANARKAND rises, pleased with himself.

ABE ZANARKAND:
Well, Ms. Landon, I think you have your culprits. this concludes the terms of my service. 
I’ll show myself out.

V.O.:
Yeah, I picked a kid and went with it. I picked the one that was bitten, 
I mean, why not, right? Sometimes it pays off, and when you’re Abe Zanarkand, 
it always pays off.
Blogger Widget