"THE TEPPER" BY YUNA SHONO
EXT. A DESERT ISLAND. MIDDLE OF THE DAY.
Liz wakes up from a deep slumber. She appears disorganized as she rubs her head with one hand, the other is shielding her eyes from the sun.
Where am I?
There is only silence. Liz stands up from a sitting position and spots a town in the distance. She decides to walk towards it before being interrupted by a gust of wind coming from the East. A loud yell is soon heard after.
Greetings! How may I be of assistance?
The stranger holds out his hand from the floating vehicle he is in, it mostly made of glass. Liz stares at the vehicle for a moment before shaking the stranger’s hand.
Who are you?
The stranger pauses for a second, studying Liz before realization befalls him.
Ah. New in town? We don’t get a lot of those nowadays, but this desert is known for lost souls. I guide them back to town.
No, you don’t understand. I’ve never been here before.
Another gust of wind blows. The stranger looks behind him, tapping his fingers on the glass dashboard in thought and impatience.
No time to discuss this right now. There’s a storm coming in from...
The stranger stops and pulls out a measuring device, laying it flat in his palm, and rotating it to find out the direction of the storm. He waits for the beeping noise to stop before continuing.
The East. It’s heading straight for the town. We must warn them. Get in the hovercraft, we can discuss this later.
INT. A QUIET BAR.
The smell of alcohol makes Liz feel sick while the stranger appears unfazed.
Ah! Our first customer of the day. The regular, Tepper?
Tepper nods his head, sitting down at one of the booths. Liz follows, sitting down opposite him.
Is that your name? Tepper?
No. It’s just another name for people like me. Those who guide the lost souls like you.
Liz looks at the man in disdain but doesn’t say anything. The bartender comes forth with a whiskey on the rocks. Liz eyes the drink.
Tepper takes a sip of the drink.
I don’t drink often, but when I do, whiskey on the rocks is the way to go.
He taps his fingers on the tabletop before letting out a sigh of exhaustion.
I’m still not sure why I’m here.
Tepper raises an eyebrow staring at the drink in front of him.
I’m not sure why you’re here either. All I know is that the lost souls get forgotten in their world and find their way down here.
Liz catches on the sadness and gives him a sorrowful look.
I never thought I was a lost soul.
No one ever does until they’re forgotten. Never found again.
So are you a lost soul too? To have found your way down here?
The Tepper doesn’t reply, opting to stand up from his seat and shoot a coin at the bartender who catches it in a plastic cup. Liz stands up as well, hurrying after the Tepper.
EXT. Outside the bar.
Where are you going?
The Tepper doesn’t reply, circling around the back of the small building. Liz runs after him, catching up and grasping his arm to stop him.
I said, where are you going? You’re a Tepper right? A guide for lost souls? And if I’m lost, you have to help me.
The Tepper shakes his head, exasperated and lets out another sigh.
You don’t understand. No lost soul ever gets this far. You’re probably a mix-up. You were never meant to be here.
Liz stands still, staring at the Tepper in disbelief.
Well how do you know?
How do you know I’m not a lost soul and what do you mean no lost soul ever gets this far?
The Tepper shakes his head and turns around, trying to get his hand out of her grasp. He finally succeeds.
The more you know about this world, the more likely it is for the queen to kill you.
Liz stands still as the Tepper leaves the scene and she is alone.