[New Wales County high school, Saturday morning, fall, 2022. An ISS room. Few windows that are small. Special desks designed to stop students from cheating lining three of the walls (or implied since one of these walls will be where the audience will be), an empty teacher's desk with a phone on it along the fourth wall and at least 9 regular desks in the middle. There's a clearly visible clock, that the audience can tell the time from. If two clocks are needed, that's fine. Behind the teacher's desk there's a chalkboard. On the celling there's black balls, which are supposed to be cameras. In one corner of the room are several flags: The U.S. flag; the Pennsylvania State Flag; and the county flag which consists of a sapphire blue field, a gold and platinum white coat of arms, and a ruby red and emerald green dragon resting on top, there are also the words "New Wales County" "Pennsylvania" "Justice and Kindness to ALL".]
[Max Wellings walks in when the clock is at 8:40. He's a 14-year-old Eurasian boy with short natural red hair, dark brown body hair (Including eyebrows) and may have ginger facial hair (no other color). He's wearing jeans and either a Monty Python shirt or a Minecraft shirt. If it's October, he will be wearing a sort of costume. He sits down at one of the regular desks and takes out his school issued laptop from his backpack and starts typing. His body is naturally sparkly.]
[At 8:43, Currie Edison nervously walks in. She's a 14-year-old girl wearing an outfit that fits the school dress code even though it's Saturday (clean non-revealing collared shirt and bottoms that are either tan, navy or black). Her legs must be covered. When she sees Max, she smiles and sits next to him.]
CURRIE: (Quietly to Max) Why are you here so early?
MAX: (Stopping his work to talk to Currie) Cause I wanted to.
CURRIE: I thought I'd be the first one here.
MAX: Well, you're second. That's better than being third.
CURRIE: (Shrugging) I guess.
[More students enter as the clock counts down to 9:00. Lex Surry, a gender-non-binary sophomore or junior dressed all in black who sits in the back after circling around the room, causing Max and Currie to look at her weird.]
[Ada Williams a junior wearing a work uniform enters talking on her phone.]
ADA: (As she's entering and taking a seat) Look, I'm sorry! But the school gave me detention until 3 and it'll take me more than 10 minutes to get there!
[Ian Foster a sophomore wearing a shirt that reads, "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave", jeans and a bag that has rainbow buttons on it. He may have a jacket, fleece or hoodie on. He has a few bruises and scars on him. He takes a seat at one of the regular desks and takes out his phone.]
ADA: (Still on phone) Look, I'll try, but I can't make any promises.
[Gilbert Martin an exchange student from France. He looks rather confused and takes a seat near Ian and Ada.]
ADA: K bye. (Hangs up and puts her phone away and takes out some work)
[Ray McJames a sophomore who's wearing a Hamilton shirt and distressed jeans. His bag also has rainbow buttons, buttons relating to the U.S. and buttons with the bisexual flag. He takes a seat near Ian and Gilbert (or just Ian). May engage in a friendly conversation with them.]
[Lee Butcher a junior girl with natural straight dark hair that's been dyed red and curled. She's wearing expensive clothes. She has some bruises and scars that are concealed with make-up. She glares at Ian who glares back, and sits far away from him.]
[At 9:00 the Vice Principle, Saxer, a grouchy man wearing a suit, enters carrying a clipboard. He glances around the room then reads from his clipboard.]
SAXER: Lee Butcher.
LEE: (Dryly) Here.
SAXER: Currie Edison.
CURRIE: (Nervously) Here.
SAXER: Ian Foster.
IAN: (Dryly) Here.
SAXER: Gilbert Martin.
GILBERT: (In a native French accent) Here.
SAXER: Ray McJames.
SAXER: Max Wellings.
SAXER: Ada Williams.
SAXER: Julie Woodlyn.
[Everyone looks around, no one answers.]
SAXER: Looks like Julie's not here. (Sarcastically) What a surprise.
[When the clock is about to strike 9:01, Julie Woodlyn slams open the door. She's a senior dressed in ripped jeans and leather. She casually strides in as if she owns the place.]
SAXER: (As Julie takes a seat near Lee) You're late Wood.
JULIE: (Resting her feet on the desk and smirking) Detention starts at 9 o'clock, and I got here when it was still 9. Technically, I'm on time.
IAN: That's true sir.
SAXER: Stop being a smart aleck!
JULIE: We're just following and stating the rules, Sax.
[Saxer angrily storms over to Julie and puts his hands on the desk and stares her in the eye.]
SAXER: You think you're real cleaver, huh?
JULIE: (Not at all fazed) Well Sir, I have managed to make it to my senior year without fail, so I guess I am.
SAXER: You know, I could give you another Saturday detention for backtalking.
JULIE: I wonder how likely anyone would believe that.
SAXER: (Leaning in closer) You know I have access to your records right? (Julie nods) Good. So you know that you've had a few run-ins with the law.
JULIE: I'm working to get my juvie record cleared. It may by 2022, but it's still possible.
SAXER: Yeah, but from my experience, once a criminal, always a criminal.
JULIE: People change, Saxer.
SAXER: (With venom) Hardly. And it takes too long. (Eyes Lee, then says to her) Surprised to see you here. (Walks towards Lee) You have such an ambition for being on top, and yet here you are, 2nd day in a row of detention. Yesterday you were serving time for ditching class for something stupid, and today you're serving more time for starting a fight with (points to Ian) the Protester over there.
[Ian is about to say something, but stays quiet.]
LEE: Sir, with all due respect, all I did was voice my opinion about Mr. Kennedy. Ian was the one who responded with violence. I was merely acting in self-defense. I don't see how that can be seen as starting a fight.
IAN: (To Lee) If you weren't being so rude, then I wouldn't have been violent! I told you that you were being disrespectful to the best teacher in this school and you wouldn't back down. I tried to avoid violence, but your prideful mouth wouldn't shut up!
LEE: I was making my point!
SAXER: (Yelling) Enough! (Quieter) The two of you are in here because the Principle thinks that by spending six hours in here with little other company, you two will make up and get along. Now, if I had it my way, you'd both be suspended. But I'm just the Vice Principle. (Sees Lex) What are you doing here, Surry?
LEX: I had nothing better to do.
SAXER: Then why didn't you go to one of our county's Libraries?
LEX: Didn't feel like it.
SAXER: I should kick you out, (pause) but since I don't want to have a student roaming around aimlessly on my watch, you may stay here until you come up with something productive to do.
LEX: (Humbly) Thank you Sir.
SAXER: But be warned, you have to tell me first. Or else I'll give you detention, and you'll be forced to come here.
LEX: Understood Sir.
JULIE: Can I leave?
SAXER: When detention's over at three.
JULIE: What if I have to use the bathroom?
SAXER: Then you may ask permission. (Glaring at Julie) You know the rules.
JULIE: (Rolls her eyes) Yeah, but you always deny me.
SAXER: Not always.
ADA: Um, excuse me?
SAXER: Yes, Miss. Williams?
ADA: I was wondering why I have to be here all day.
SAXER: You Athletes are all the same. (Makes his way over to Ada) You think that just because you're athletes you can get out of trouble, or avoid full punishment.
ADA: Actually Sir, my dad needs help at his restaurant and my job is demanding that I be there by 3:10. The school is well aware of my family's-
SAXER: (Interrupting her) Your job, Miss Williams, should understand that you are a student first. And if your father is so desperate for staff, then you shouldn't have missed all those classes.
ADA: (Pleading) But sir, I'm sure you can empathize.
SAXER: (Coldly) The school has done all it can for you and your family, Miss Williams. Punishments need to be given.
ADA: (In defeat) Yes sir.
JULIE: Sax, you know punishment only works if it properly addresses the problem.
MAX: She's right Sir. History has proved time and time again that-
SAXER: I don't need you to teach me history Mr. Wellings. Even if you are an overachiever.
RAY: I thought I was the overachiever?
[Saxer glares at Ray.]
SAXER: (Pointing at Ray) You are the Loudmouth. No matter what we do you just can't learn when to shut up.
RAY: I did a pretty good job keeping quiet earlier this morning.
SAXER: That's besides the point.
RAY: What is the point?
SAXER: I'm done talking to you. (Turns to face Max.) (Gently, shocking Max) You know, you have so much potential. You're an honor student, in multiple clubs and sports, choir and according to my records, you and your sister have auditioned for, and stared in, every school performance you could.
SAXER: Alice graduated years ago.
MAX: I know, but my foster sister has three biological sisters, one of whom attends this school, and they also participate. Last year, when my middle school, Hamilton Middle School, became the first school ever to do a full-length production of Hamilton, which by the way was uncensored and me and my family had a hand in creating, Rita and Lulu's twins played flash-back versions of them to help with the stage magic.
RAY: Yeah, I saw that, it was great.
MAX: Thanks. Irl, tv, or YouTube?
RAY: TV and YouTube. You were Alexander right?
MAX: Yep. And Rita and Becky were Angelica and Lulu and Lucía were Eliza.
RAY: Who was the blonde who played Peggy?
MAX: Annie Smith. She's now in 8th grade.
RAY: How did you feel kissing them?
MAX: Weird. I mean I see Lulu and Lucía as my sisters, so it just felt like incest. And I see Annie as just a friend, so yeah, just weird. And her protective brother was playing King George, so yeah. (Shrugging) But we're actors.
JULIE: Great actors. Very convincing.
SAXER: Enough. You may finish this conversation later, I have a lecture to finish. (To Max) And you're also a polyglot who doesn't show respect for subs.
MAX: Well Sir, I respect all teachers. But she was being a bad teacher, and it just exploded out of me. Also, I had no idea that one of the French teachers was in earshot and could translate.
SAXER: Well, next time you should be more considerate. And learn to express your anger in a more, constructive way.
MAX: (Mumbling) I could've fought her.
SAXER: What was that?
[Saxer stares at Max, unsure of whether or not to believe Max.]
SAXER: Keep it that way. (Walks to the front of the room.) Any more questions?
[Gilbert raises his hand.]
SAXER: Yes, Mr. Martin?
GILBERT: (Native French accent) I still don't fully understand why I'm here.
SAXER: You're here because of that little prank you and your friends pulled on Thursday.
GILBERT: I understand that, Monsieur, but why is my punishment just two days of detention when Louis got ISS yesterday and Jeff got OSS.
SAXER: I'm not sure how things are done in France, but here in the U.S., punishment is given based on the people involved and their severity of involvement. (To everyone) Now, since I have paperwork to complete, I won't be able to be in here during the whole six hours of your detention. But before you get any ideas, I'm looking at you Wood, and you McJames, know that I'll be checking in from time to time and this room has security cameras. (Sadistic grin) Also, beneath the windows are roses with razor sharp thorns.
Beat. Then Saxer's grin disappears and he goes back to normal.
SAXER: If you need me, you may call me (points to an office phone on the teacher's desk) with this phone here. The number is, (Grabs a piece of chalk and writes on the chalkboard as he talks) 0003. (Faces away from the board to the students) Try not to need me. (Puts chalk away)
ADA: I wonder if the cameras are faulty?
JULIE: Trust me, they aren't. Learned that the hard way.
LEE: (To Julie) You were barely on time.
JULIE: (To Lee) Well Princess, if you weren't clued in by Saxy, I've been here before. And trust me, those cameras are never faulty. (To Ada) And what are you gonna do? Break out of here and risk Saxy seeing you missing?
ADA: I have things to do.
JULIE: We all do. (Looks at Lex) Well most of us.
[Silence overtakes the room as everyone finds things to do. Stage darkens, clock changes to 10:00 and the stage relights. Lex is sitting on top of her special desk, curled up like a cat. Ada is sitting at a special desk busily going through her family's finances. Julie is laying in her desk, throwing a ball in the air and catching it. Max is finishing up an essay on his school-issued laptop. The other boys are busy talking, and/or doing work.]
[Max, being done, gets up and stretches weirdly and nosily, gaining the attention of the other students, who stare at him.]
MAX: (Noticing the staring) What?
RAY: You stretch weird.
MAX: (Sarcastically) Well sorry.
[Max stretches his legs by walking around the room.]
RAY: Didn't you stretch enough?
[Max ignores Ray's comment and continues walking. He nears Ada, and out of curiosity, he looks at what she's working on. Ada is too busy to notice.]
MAX: (Making Ada jump) Why are you doing your family's taxes and budget? Sorry.
ADA: (Defensively as she covers her papers) Why are you looking?
MAX: I was stretching my legs, saw you and got curious.
ADA: Well, it's none of your business!
JULIE: (Has somehow gotten next to Ada unnoticed by her and Max. Looking over the papers) He's right you know.
ADA: How did you get there?
JULIE: (Dryly) I walked. (Normal) He has a point though. Kids shouldn't be doing family budgets and the only taxes we should do are sales taxes when we buy things and tax deductions from our paychecks. (Staring Ada in the eye) Care to explain?
JULIE: Aw, c'mon! Ya know we're just gonna peg ya until you tell.
GILBERT & CURRIE: I won't.
ADA: Thank you.
JULIE: (Pointing at them) Aside from them. And Lex.
MAX: Who's Lex?
JULIE: Surry. They've been in a few of my classes, and detention is they're idea of "fun".
JULIE: Gender Non-binary.
RAY: (Shouting to Lex) Yo, is that true?
JULIE: They don't talk much. So the complete opposite of you.
[Ray glares at her, and tries his hardest not to give her the finger. Julie rolls her eyes and returns her attention to Ada.]
JULIE: So, you still haven't answered our question.
ADA: (Sighs) If I tell you will you go away?
JULIE: Yes. Max?
ADA: (Takes a deep breath) If you must know,
JULIE: And we do.
ADA: If you must know, ever since my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, the bills have just been pilling up. And my parents just can't keep up. So, I've taken on the task of handling the finances while Mom goes through treatment and Dad runs the restaurant.
MAX: Don't you have any siblings?
ADA: They're all younger. I can't bear to have them worry about money. They're already worried enough.
[Max wraps an arm around Ada in comfort.]
MAX: You know, my Grandma had cancer.
MAX: Yeah, and she was cured. It took an intervention and the removal of a boob, but she was cured.
ADA: I wish it could be that simple for my mom.
[Before anyone can ask why, Lee's phone rings. She takes it out and answers it.]
LEE: Hey Charlie. … Yeah, it's just me, my fellow inmates and the cameras. … Don't worry, I'm sure this is fine, I mean what else am I supposed to do? … Already done. … Yeah, it took less time than I thought. … That senior girl who's always getting into trouble,
[Julie gets angry]
JULIE: (Aside) I'm not always in here!
LEE: some nerd who's dressed in the school uniform,
[Currie feels embarrassed]
CURRIE: (Aside) I know I shouldn't have worn this, but I don't have many street clothes. I barely have any!
LEE: that smart but weird jockey theater kid who's dating his sister,
[Max gets angry. His irises gain amber specks and his hair may flame]
MAX: (Aside) I'm not dating Rita, we're just close. Sure we share the same bedroom and refuse to get separate ones, and sure sometimes we share the same bed, and I'm not gonna deny that the way we act towards each other could be seen as couplely, but that's just us. And besides, where's the border between platonic and romantic? Also, why is being actively invoved in many different things weird?
LEE: some weirdo who wants to be here,
LEX: (Aside) Why is it weird to want to be at school?
LEE: the exchange student who was involved with Thursday's prank,
GILBERT: (Aside) She's talking too fast. I can barely understand her! Why am I even in this country!
LEE: some jock with a sob story,
ADA: (Aside) It's not a sob story! It's true! Sure my mom's terminally ill, and I've been forced to step up, but that doesn't qualify my life as a sob story!
LEE: and those two kids I fought with yesterday.
RAY: (Aside) I didn't fight her! I was trying to break up the fight. Sure I might've gotten carried away, but still!
IAN: (Aside) Ray didn't fight her! He was trying to stop it! Sure the hottie was on my side, but still! Wait, did I just call Ray a hottie? I think my crush has gone too far.
LEE: (In to her phone) Yeah, apparently the school thinks that this'll force us to make up and get along. (With an eyeroll) Like that'll ever happen. … I know right! If it weren't for Mr. Kennedy, I wouldn't even be in here! I'd be hanging with you and the others!
JULIE: (To Max, Currie, Ray, Ian & Gilbert) Ok, so which one of us is going to take her phone?
CURRIE: Why? There's no rules against her having and using her phone here, and she has the right to talk what she wants to as long as she's not causing any harm.
JULIE: Well Nerd, if you haven't noticed, she's annoying us and needs to be knocked down a peg.
IAN: (Proudly and holding his fist in the air) I second that!
RAY: (Raising one arm in the air, and using the other one to clap Ian on the back) So do I!
[Ian is momentarily shocked by the unexpected touch from Ray. He quickly smiles and blushes.]
CURRIE: I'm sure we can wait until she's done.
MAX: (Whining) That could take hours! (Normal?) I'm serious, my Mom can talk on the phone for up to 3 hours!
RAY: Well she must be a chatty-Kathy.
MAX: She is. That's one of the reasons why me and my sibs don't hang at my parents house that much. Or with her that much.
[Everyone wasn't expecting Max to be so serious, their faces reveal this. Lee is still blabbering and listening to gossip and stuff on her phone, oblivious to how loud she's being, or that everyone's been talking.]
JULIE: I'm taking it.
[Julie walks over to Lee and in one swift move, takes Lee's phone.]
LEE: Hey! (Tries in vain to get her phone back, as Julie holds it high above her head) Give it back!
JULIE: Make me!
[Julie jumps on top of an empty special desk, still holding the phone high above her.]
LEE: You're gonna be in so much trouble!
CHARLIE: (Voice coming from phone) Lee, what's going on?
LEE: That Criminal took my phone!
JULIE: Because you're annoying us. (In to the phone) Bye! (Hangs up)
[Lee is clearly furious. She goes to take her phone and maybe punch Julie, but the older girl throws the phone.]
JULIE: (Shouting as she throws Lee's phone) Catch!
[Ian catches the phone. With a smirk, he continues the game, eventually tossing it to Gilbert.]
IAN: (As he's throwing the phone) Keep away from Lee!
[Lee is even more furious. Everyone plays 'Keep Away' with Lee's phone. The clock moves to 11:00.]
LEE : (Shouting at the top of her lungs) I'm calling Saxer!
[All of the other students stop dead in their tracks. The phone falls to the floor and breaks.]
LEE: My phone!
MAX: Don't worry! I can fix it!
MAX: Do you believe in magic?
LEE: Magic doesn't exist.
RAY: Actually, magic is just science we don't understand, or can't explain yet.
LEE: Wasn't talking to you!
[Max rolls his eyes and goes to the broken phone. He carefully gathers the phone pieces and puts them together. He holds the phone with his left hand, and points at it with his right hand.]
MAX: (Whispering) Reparo.
[The phone seemingly repairs itself.]
MAX: (Aside) I love that spells from Harry Potter and Disney work for me.
[Smiling, Max hands the phone back to Lee.]
MAX: Here. Sorry about the damage, we were just having fun.
[Lee stares at the phone and tests it.]
LEE: (In disbelief) It's like it was never broken.
RAY: (To Max) How did you do that?
ADA: (To Max) Are you a Wizard?
MAX: No. Fairy. Shit, why did I just say that?
GILBERT: (In disbelief) Fairy?
MAX: (Aside) I can't erase their memories. Well I could, but I'm not that skilled yet.
[Max scans the room for cameras. He swirls his hand and the cameras are covered in a force field.]
[Max takes a deep breath and reveals his wings. They're corn yellow and look like a butterfly's wings. Everyone is in shock. He hovers in the air.]
MAX: (Pleading) Please don't tell anyone.
MAX: Because then I'll end up like Spongebob in that episode where he gets flying pants. That and people's distrust of magic is why we tend to keep a level of secrecy.
JULIE: Then why are you telling us?
MAX: Because I need to explain myself and I don't know how to erase memories yet, and altering y'all's memories is going to take too much work and will likely fail.
RAY: Well someone's a pessimist.
MAX: (Nonchalantly) Hey, I'm just examining the situation. Besides, I couldn't let Lee get us into trouble over a phone. Besides, you'll probably forget by tomorrow.
Ray: Why ya so sure?
Max: Human nature.
JULIE: (Holding up both of her hands) Well, I promise not to tell.
RAY, GILBERT & IAN: (Raising their hands) So do I.
CURRIE & ADA: (Raising their hands) So do I.
LEX: I won't tell.
[Everyone looks at Lee.]
LEE: What? (Everyone stares at her) Fine. (Holds up her hands. Dryly) I promise to keep your secret.
[Max lands on the floor. He retracts his wings and removes the force field from the cameras. There's an awkwardness around the room. Max goes back to his desk and pulls out his phone. The others find things to do.]
[Saxer enters, making everyone sits up straight.]
SAXER: I hear there was some sort of disturbance?
JULIE: Too late for that.
JULIE: Yeah, we resolved it on our own.
RAY: No thanks to you.
[Saxer glares at them. Then he goes over to the teacher's desk.]
SAXER: Well since you lot seem to have a habit for getting into trouble, I'll be staying here for a while.
[The students let out a collective groan. Saxer smiles as he sits down. The stage darkens and the clock changes to 11:30. Stage relights.]
SAXER: Well since it's almost lunch time, anyone have to use the bathroom?
[Everyone raises their hands.]
SAXER: Ok then. Follow me.
[Everyone marches out of the room. In single profile.]