Atlanta

Synopsis: Crystal Benson loves to have her parents read her the story of Atlanta, which her father wrote and earned a Newberry Medal for. One night Crystal wishes on a star and the next day, she saves a boy from drowning with the transformative power Atlanta possesses. She becomes the subject of scientists' fascination—attention she never wanted in the first place.

~*~ CAST ~*~

Crystal Marie Benson:

Katharine Benson: (Crystal's mom)

Thaddeus Benson: (Crystal's dad)

Lance Eli Benson: (Crystal's younger brother)

Louis Maximillian Martinez: (rescuee)

Girl #1:

Girl #2:

Boy #1:

Boy #2:

Lance Marc Benson: (Thad's father)

Elise Ann Benson: (Thad's mother)

Powder the cat:

Lucinda the cat:

Dr. Lina Fine:

Dr. Nathan Brisby:

Dr. Samuel Azulay:

Dr. Nisreen Azulay: (his sister)

Dr. Gerard Pomme:

Scene 1—Tucking In His Princess

Crystal: (kicking against her covers, full of energy) Read Atlanta to me again, dad !

Thaddeus: (smoothing her hair) But, honey ! I read that to you last night. (chuckle)

You never tire of that tale, do you ?

Crystal: (bouncing a bit) Yay ! You know what ?

Both parents: What, sweetie ?

Crystal: I wish I could be exactly like Atlanta, heroine of the seas !

Kathy: (pats her daughter's hand) Simmer down, baby. You know it's time for bed.

Crystal: I will, mom. Just as soon as dad reads Atlanta to me again ! (beams a contagious smile that makes the two parents chuckle, they hug each other)

Thaddeus: Alright, hon. (opening up Atlanta)

(As Thaddeus reads Atlanta, the symphonic theme for Neverending Story plays. No sooner has Thad begun reading that Crystal has fallen fast asleep.)

Kathy: (giggling lightly) She always falls asleep once you start reading to her. Must be something comforting about that lyrical tone of yours.

Thad: You know how to flatter me, my love. (kisses her) It's hard to believe my book is so popular now. At least the interviews have stopped and I can spend time with you...and the coming baby. (Thad places his hand atop Kathy's growing stomach and caresses it gently)

Kathy: Precious wonder that he is.

Thad: 'He' ? You so certain the baby will be male ?

Kathy: (wide grin, turning around to kiss him lovingly) Definitely. I was thinking of naming him Lance after your dad.

Thad: Dad would be tickled pink if he heard ! Since Atlanta's book deal I haven't had much time to contact him, or mom.

Kathy: Maybe it's time that we contacted them. Email's simply not enough.

Thad: (caressing her hair) You're absolutely right, my dove. For now, I think it is best for both of us to get some rest. After all, we promised dear Crystal that we'd go to the park tomorrow for a swim date.

Kathy: (yawning) You're right. We both need our strength for tomorrow's activities.

(takes his hand and they head into bed before peaking in at Crystal) Goodnight, my angel.

Thad: Goodnight, princess.

(scene fade)

Scene 2—Topsy Turvy

(The next day, at the park, everyone is frolicking around, rollerskating, rollerblading, skateboarding, etc. Summertime plays in the background while Crystal and her family relax and savor ice-cold lemonade.)

Crystal: (euphoric sigh after a sip of lemonade) This is the life ! The weather is perfect !

Look, there aren't even any clouds in the sky ! Dad, mom ! You couldn't have chosen a better day to bring me here !

Thad: Luck of the draw, I guess.

Crystal: (eagerly) I can't wait to start swimming. I've yearned all year for this !

Katharine: (ruffling her daughter's hair affectionately) Don't let us hold you up, we can finish lunch by ourselves. You wolfed down your food like a ravenous dog !

Thad: (playfully, poking her atop her nose lovingly) Or a cute little piggie...Oink, oink !

Crystal: (merrily, pushing her nose up) Oink ! (laughs) I'll be back. Make sure you eat plenty of heathy food for my little brother, ok ?

Kathy: (a bit surprised) Sure !

Crystal: (runs off, as if she is an airplane) Whee !

Thad: Do you think she overheard us talking about the gender of the baby ?

Kathy: Anything's possible, you know. Crystal's a unique girl, and very spiritual. Who knows, she might be right about him being male, just like I believe he will be. But we still have a lot of time to find that out.

Thad: True. Yet, she gave you very sound advice...Go on, honey, eat that melted sub before it gets cold !

Kathy: I swear, you're as bad as mom sometimes.

(The two laugh and continue eating)

(Scene shift to the pool. Upbeat music plays in the background,most likely something from an oldies station..."Vacation" could be one of those songs. Crystal is having a blast in the water. Suddenly, a boy, Louis, begins to drown unexpectedly.)

Crystal: Oh no ! Hang on, kid. I'm going to help you ! (she dives into the water, and turns into a swordfish, helping the kid surface) Breathe, kid ! Breathe !

Louis: (gasping for air, and opening his eyes) Oh, thank you...I don't know how I would've...AHHHH, SWORDFISH !

Girl #1: Everyone, get out of the water, there's a swordfish in the pool !

Girl #2: Where ?

Boy #1: Over there, see ?

Girl #2: (gazes, and screams)

(Everyone scrambles out of the pool, the lifeguard calls for some oceanographers to assess the situation, and they arrive on scene very quickly.)

Crystal: (Confused, thinking to herself) I just saved that young boy's life. I don't receive one 'thank you'. Everyone just starts running away. I don't understand. Who are these people, and why are they injecting me...(scene goes black)

(scene fade)

Scene 3—Unfamiliar Cooridors

Crystal: (opening her eyes) Wh-what happened ? Where am I ? Why are these people in labcoats looking at me so intently ?

Dr. Brisby: Fascinating. Simply phenomenal. She was a swordfish when she got here, and now she has transformed into a splendid bottlenose dolphin. And it seems she can understand English of all things.

Dr. Azulay: Indeed, Nathan. I was curious as to what other abilities 'she' as you call her, might have. She's nothing like we've seen before.

Nathan: I think it's astounding that she has abilities akin to Beastboy, only aquatic.

Sam: (chuckling) I think you read too many comic books, Nathan !

Dr. Nisreen Azulay: I think we should continue running tests on her, Samuel, my brother.

Samuel: I concur, Nisreen. I couldn't have sugguested a better plan myself.

Gerard: (rushing in, catches his breath with Dr. Fine) Wait a minute, everyone. Stop !

(The doctors gaze at Gerard impetuously, except for Lina, who sense something is most assuredly out of the ordinary with this 'creature' they've rescued from a public swimming pool.)

Nathan: Why should we, Gerard ?

Lina: Wait, hear him out. Please.

Gerard: I don't know if this is coincidence or not but I received an Amber alert just recently on my smart phone. A girl disappeared from the public park seconds before we pulled our subject out of the water. I may be going out on a limb here, but I feel that the missing girl is our subject.

Lina: I've heard of stranger things...but after seeing the photo of Crystal Benson and comparing it to the eyes of this porpoise...I'm starting to think that she is the porpoise.

Samuel: (unabashed) You're both daft ! If you're implying that a girl could have the ability to trasform herself into different aquatic creatures, I would suggest you be institutionalized.

Gerard: (hurt but unpreturbed) That's a bit harsh, Dr. Azulay.

Lina: Can't we stop the research for a bit and let this poor being get some rest ?

Nathan: Dr. Fine, we are still unsure as to how she is able to transform so quickly and how many variations of species she is capable of becoming.

Lina: I hate to say this but I am no longer a part of this research...it's too cruel.

Gerard: (boldly) I agree with Lina.

Crystal: (watching intently, trying to be brave)

Gerard: (to Crystal, quietly) Don't worry...It won't be much longer and we'll find a way to release you from this plexiglass fortress. Lina and I are on your side.

Crystal: (blinking back tears) Thank you, both !

Nathan: Do whatever seems right to you. It's not like we need your help anyway, Dr. Pomme.

(Gerard and Lina take their leave and the doctors continue their research)

Crystal: (sadly, but with hope, she begins to sing 'Save Me' as she takes different forms once she is 'shocked' into them)

Chorus:

No one is here to help me

Save me from this trecherous plight

How I wish that I were free

Back to the world of light

Verse 1

Never want what you don't have

Wisdom from mom and dad

I should've listened but was a fool

Sometimes fate sure can be cruel

Chorus

Verse 2

Alone and cold and lonely

Miserable, locked in a cage

I'd love to be home, nice and cozy

Not behind bars with bottled up rage

Chorus

2x til fade

(scene fade)

Scene 4—Searching

(The next scene is carried out sans-dialogue with Crystal's parents to Beetoven's Pastorale. At the end of the day, the Lifeguard gives them information that is essential to locating her.)

(Scene Shift)

Scene 6—Tearful Reunion

(That night, in the lab, Lina and Gerard release Crystal, who has begun to turn into a girl again.)

Gerard: (in a reverent tone) We were both right about her to begin with. Somehow, someway, this child had the ability to become any aquatic creature.

Crystal: (hugging them, unexpecteldy) Forced to become most of them you mean.

Lina: We're sorry that those unfortunate incidences occurred. We would've released you earlier had we thought we could've gotten away with it.

Gerard: (sullen) We would've been barred, indefinitely, though.

Crystal: (smiles) I understand and forgive you, as well as them. All I want to do is go home. I'm hoping I can find the boy whose life I saved and make amends with him.

Poor kid must still be shell-shocked !

Kathy: Crystal ?

Thad: Apple blossom ?

(They come toward her and pick her up, hugging her with tears in their eyes)

Crystal: How did you find me ?

Thad: (chuckling) We got a tip from a rather frazzled, stunned Lifeguard about the entire incident.

Crystal: (relieved) Boy have I ever learned my lesson. I am definitely never going to want to be something I'm not ever again. It was fun being able to do so many different things underwater, but being under constant watch was a bit unnerving.

Kathy: We're just happy you're safe and sound.

Crystal: (graciously) And I'm glad I can go back home to a nice, soft, cushy bed.

Thad: (laughs) Amen, indeed.

(Scene fade)

Scene 7—Reconnecting With Louis

(The next day, Crystal and her family return to the park. Crystal emerges from having a 'tea party' and bumps into Louis.)

Louis: You're that girl that morphed into a Marlin !

Crystal: (awkwardly) Yes. The recipient of a rouge wish.

Louis: (disbelief) No...way.

Crystal: What I say is true. Anyway, I'm Crystal...I saved your life not too long ago.

Louis: (surprised) Incredible. (a bit awkwardly) I'm sorry I didn't thank you before.

Name's Louis. Louis Maximillian Martinez.

Crystal: (shaking his hand vigorously) Pleasure to make your acquaintence, Louis.

Seems we both like to swim...Do you have any other hobbies ?

(The two begin to talk and 'Queen's You're My Best Friend' plays in the background while the two play water volleyball against a group of other kids, play on the swings and eat ice cream together.)

Crystal: (waving to Louis) See you later sometime, Louis !

Louis: (waving back) Sure think, chica !

Kathy: Right on time. Powder will be wondering where his best friend went.

Crystal: That mangy furball always seems to follow me wherever I go.

Thad: (surreptitiously) Who was that boy you were talking to, hmm ?

Crystal: (a bit embarassed, shyly) Dad ! (kicks a stone idly) His name's Louis Martinez.

I saved him the day before. He's a pretty cool kid. He's got a huge family and we've got plenty of things in common.

Thad: That's wonderful sweetheart.

Kathy: We're happy you're finally making friends here.

Crystal: He's even got a cat he's nicknamed 'el gato loco'. She's called Lucinda, or Lucy for short. I bet she and Powder would get along amazingly. Maybe we could have him and Lucy over someday.

Kathy: Perhaps. It's late, and we need to be going home and getting you to bed.

Crystal: (slight pout, disappointment) Awww, but it's not even dark.

Thad: We'll be coming back soon, no worries, princess.

Crystal: (hop, skip, jump) Yay ! Can't wait !

(She dances gayily to the car and starts humming 'Firework' merrily.)

Scene 8—Brother Makes One More

(Powder and Lucy are running around playing with one another. Lance is on the ground, playing with Grandpa Lance and Grandma Elise.)

Grandpa: Look at how big you're getting Lance ! What a clever boy you are !

Lance: (cooing and giggling as he rolls the ball back to grandpa)

Grandma: It's unbelievable how long Lance is.

Kathy: I keep thinking about that myself. His birth was easier than Crystal's ! I guess what they say about second borns is true. Their births are more facilitous.

Crystal: (playing Battleship with Louis) B17 !

Louis: (feigning disappointment) Aw, man ! Chica ! You sunk my battleship...again ! You're too good at this !

Crystal: Blame dad. I have been playing it against him for years now. (polishing fist, dusting it off, slightly boasting) I'm a pro now.

Thad: Strategist, yes. Pro, eh, I wouldn't go that far, sweetheart.

(They all laugh)

Crystal: (narrating) Since the 'marine' incident, I have grown. Now I have a little brother to look out for and a new friend. His brother, Carlos comes over to baby sit every so often. Grandma and Grandpa visit every day, it seems like, but I enjoy having them here. It feels great to have the whole family back together. Just like it should be ! (pausing, we see her running after Lance as he crawls toward some stairs that could be perilous and cradling him as she kisses him) (spoken line) You silly monkey ! Where did you think you were going ?

Huh ?

Lance: (cooing)

Crystal: (narrating) I never realized a little brother could be so much work, but I couldn't be happier. As long as I live, I'll be the best big sister and positive role model that I can possibly be.

(End Scene, roll credits)

(Home Again plays in background)

Chorus:

Home again, home again

Jiggity jig

Arms open wide

With a smile this big

I admit it was fun to roam

But I am glad to be back home

Verse 1

Family, mom dad and me

New brother makes one more

Quiet days become noisier

But them and him I adore

I've learned my lesson, thank the stars

Loving who I am

Knowing now I have 3 people

Who are my biggest fans

Chorus

Verse 2

Nothing more comforting than a nice warm bed

Someplace safe to rest my head

Nightmares are past, I've safely returned

Silly desires and wants are spurned

Chorus

2xs til fade