II-V: THE GARDEN III
The lonely aesthetic of a dead mall’s parking lot.
NARRATOR: (voice-over) Some forty-five minutes after witnessing her sister and several others devoured by the ancient evil lurking in a trippy cosmic void several miles below her local mall, Cassie was escorted out by mall security.
A lone SECURITY GUARD on a segway escorts Cassie out of the mall.
SECURITY GUARD: (tired, don’t care) Thank you for shopping at The Garden. You are now banned from The Garden for eighteen months. Please vacate the premises immediately.
CASSIE: Wait. So, that’s it?
SECURITY GUARD: What, were you expecting a big chase scene and more ritual sacrifice?
CASSIE: (shrugs) Maybe.
Security Guard’s radio SQUAWKS and a VOICE speaks from the other side.
VOICE: (radio) Frank?
SECURITY GUARD: (to VOICE) Yeah. Go ahead.
Another SQUAWK of the radio.
VOICE: (radio) Peter’s under the escalator again.
SECURITY GUARD: (sigh) Goddammit. (to VOICE) I’ll be right there. (to self) They don’t pay me enough for this shit.
Security Guard turns around, disappears into the mall.
Cassie’s phone RINGS, she answers.
MOM: (phone) (drunk) Hiya, Sweetie. I’ve been trying to get a hold of your sister, but she’s not answering.
MOM: (phone) (drunk) She left me an awful voicemail – all this shouting and screaming.
CASSIE: (emotional) Mom. Brennifer’s dead!
An uncomfortable silence. Then…
CASSIE: Mom? Mom are you–
MOM: (phone) (drunk) Hello? Sweetie?
CASSIE: Yes, Mom. I’m trying to–
MOM: (phone) (drunk) Stupid phones never have any–
CASSIE: Brennifer’s dead, Mom!
Another silence. Then…
MOM: (phone) (drunk) Cassie? Hello? Cassie, are you there?
CASSIE: Yes. Mom. I’m–
MOM: (phone) (drunk) Hello?
CASSIE: Mom! I’m trying to tell you about Brenn–
MOM: (phone) (drunk) Nevermind your sister.
CASSIE: (puzzles this) Are you drinking?
MOM: (phone) (drunk) Does boxed wine count?
Yet another uncomfortable silence. Then…
CASSIE: (sighs) Yes, Mom. Boxed wine–
MOM: (phone) (drunk) Anyway!
CASSIE: (repressed rage)
MOM: (phone) (drunk) You’re not gonna believe this, but I gave you the wrong receipt! (cackling) I feel like such a doofus!