Not Your Standard Phobia M.jpg

Not Your Standard Phobia

by

Johnny Stitches

(Atrium Dynamics Audio Script Format)

Speaking Cast:  

Fiona Frey – A tired woman in her early 30s trying to live with a horrid phobia

Grace Frey – Fiona’s chipper older sister who’s very successful in her mid 30s

Coffee Shop Attendant – A nice guy that serves coffee, he is in his late 20s

Dr. Rudolph Finster – A polite but strange and mysterious doctor in his late 50s

Anna Friday – A stenographer/assistant for Dr. Finster.

 

 

*Open Scene

Fiona walks through the rustic wooden door to a coffee shop that is located in the bottom of a historic stone building. A small bell chimes as she enters, followed by the shake of the large plate glass housed in the old frame of the door. The ambience is low as there is not much traffic in the quaint little business. Her flats click across the old hardwood as she walks up to the register, removing her small wallet from her minimalistic purse. The attendant behind the bar walks up, his shoes clicking on the same hardwood.  (SFX)

 

Fiona Frey

Tired, but polite:

“Hi.”

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Smiling back:

“What can I get for ya?”

 

Fiona Frey

Tired, but politely stating what she wants, only to be cut off by the attendant’s cell:

“Yeah, I want medium iced caramel macchiato, but can you add…”

 

The vibrating of the attendant’s cell interrupts Fiona’s order. (SFX)

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Frantic with excitement, pleading as Fiona responds before he can finish:

“Hey, do you mind if I take this? I’m so sorry but it’s just that…”

 

Fiona Frey

Still smiling politely, but let down a bit:

“Of course… go ahead.”

 

The attendant takes a few steps over to the side of the counter with one finger on his open ear and with his cell phone firmly pressed against his other ear. The bell rings again as the door opens to another customer in the background. (SFX)                

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Frantic with excitement:

(Indiscernible excitement from the other side punctuates his responses)

“Hey, babe! …What?No shit, you got the part? Wow, I’m so happy for you!  ...Yeah, yeah, sorry, happy for us! Anyway babe, I’ll call you back on my break. I have a customer at the counter and another just walked in...  Yeah, I will as soon as I can. I love you. Bye.”

 

The attendant takes a few steps back over to the counter, pocketing his cell phone and he walks. (SFX)

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Apologizing, but with the excitement of his news still interwoven within his tone:

“I am so sorry, ma’am. I usually never keep my phone on me during work. What was it you wanted, an iced latte?”

 

Fiona Frey

No longer smiling, but still polite:

“No, it was a medium iced caramel macchiato and you don’t have to apologize. It sounds like you got some exciting news. I just wanted a small pump of extra vanilla in it.”

 

The attendant clicks the order in on the small tablet-based register. (SFX)

 

 Coffee Shop Attendant

Happily responding:

“Yes ma’am, it was some amazing news! My girlfriend was casted to be in a horror movie that is being filmed in Georgia! I can’t believe it! Anyway, again, I’m sorry. So that’s one medium iced caramel macchiato with a small pump of extra vanilla in it, right? Is that gonna be it?”

 

Fiona Frey

Smiles fake-like, slightly embarrassed as she speaks:

“Yes… Hey, stop apologizing. You should be happy! And you don’t have to call me "ma’am." I don’t look that old, do I?”

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Happily responding:

“No, not at all! It’s a habit. That will be $4.47.”

 

Fiona unzips her wallet and pulls out her debit card. (SFX)

 

Fiona Frey

Tired, but polite:

“Is debit ok?”

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Tripping over his words at first, but then responding professionally:

“Yes, ma’a... I mean, sure thing, miss. It’s a chip reader. Please go ahead and insert it.”

 

Fiona inserts the card. After a few seconds it makes a loud error noise. (SFX)

 

Fiona Frey

Worried:

“What’s that noise mean?”

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Responding professionally:

“Your card failed to read.”

 

Fiona Frey

Worried:

“Failed? I failed?”

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Sympathetic:

“No, not you. Your card. Swipe it this time. That chip reader is always messing up.”

 

Fiona swipes the card. After a few seconds it makes the loud error noise again. (SFX)

 

Fiona Frey

Worried and a little crazed:

“No, no, I have money in that account! Why is it saying that I’m failing!”

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Put off and confused:

“Ma’am, it's not you, ok? Let me see the card.

 

The attendant clicks the card number into the register and it dings happily. (SFX)

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Happily responding and rambling to overcome the awkwardness, but interrupted:

“See, there we go! I told you it wasn’t you. All is good now. I miss our old credit card machine. The owner was sold by this company out of…”

 

Fiona Frey

Worried and a little crazed:

“It’s only because you touched it. I fail at everything. Everything.”

 

The door rings again as another woman enters, walking up to Fiona. (SFX)

 

Grace Frey

Chipper:

“Fiona! Sorry I’m late!”

 

Grace pulls a ten-dollar bill out of her purse and hands it over to the attended.

 

Grace Frey

Chipper:

“Hey, I’ll take a small iced, sugar-free, vanilla latte with soy milk and just bring hers to the table with mine. Thanks!”

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Put off and even more confused:

“Ma’am, there was another gentleman waiting ahead of you, behind this lady.”

 

Grace Frey

Turning and smiling at the guy behind them:

“Oh, it’s ok. Look, he doesn’t mind, do you?”

 

The guy behind them sighs in aggravation. (SFX)

 

Grace Frey

Chipper:

“See! Plus, this is my sister Fiona. She was just holding my place!”

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Aggravated:

“Fine, take a seat you two and I will have these out to you shortly.”

 

Grace Frey

Chipper:

“Fabuliso! Keep the change, honey!”

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Happily questioning as they walk away:

“But, Ma’am this is a Ten?”

 

Grace walks Fiona over to the nearest small table, pulling the chair out for her. Fiona sits down almost catatonic in her movements. Grace pulls a chair out and sits across from her sister. (SFX)

 

Fiona Frey

Worried and a little meek:

“Gracie, I can’t even order coffee without messing it up.”

 

Grace leans over the table, which creaks as she moves, and takes her sister’s clamoring nervous hand. Stretching their arms out she eases back into her chair, their hands still locked. (SFX)

Grace Frey

Sympathetic and warm, but worried too:

“Fiona, it will pass. It's just depression. I am here for you now, but I need you to be honest with me, ok? Are you off the pills again? Is that why you have called me here?”

 

Fiona Frey

Still docile but warming up:

“It’s amazing that you grabbing my hand like that still claims me down. Grace, I wish I had your ability.”

 

Grace Frey

Sympathetic and warm, but worried too:

“My ability? What are you talking about? Fee? What happened to you?”

 

Fiona Frey

Just meek:

“You have no problem achieving your dreams, you never fail at anything you touch, but I, well… I ruin everything that I do. These last few years I can’t commit to anything because I know I will just fail. I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this.”

 

Grace Frey

Concerned and scared:

“Fee, let me in more. You can’t keep doing this to yourself. I really thought you were doing all right. You said on the phone earlier that you wanted to take me to someone? Did you meet a guy? I’m really confused here, Fiona. I am.”

 

Fiona Frey

Just docile:

“He is a doctor.”

 

The attendant walks up with a small tray, holding two plastic cups. (SFX)

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Happily hands out the order, but is distracted by the sadness of the two women:

“Ok, ladies! Here’s the small iced, sugar-free, vanilla latte with soymilk and here’s your medium iced caramel macchiato with a small pump of extra vanilla in it. ...Uh? Is everything ok with you two? Something else I can get for y’all?”

 

Grace Frey

Sympathetic and warm:

“No sir, we are good. Sorry about earlier.”

  

Coffee Shop Attendant

Sympathetic and warm in return:

“No worries, I’m used to the rush. Anyway, y’all ladies let me know if you need anything else.”

 

Grace Frey

Sympathetic and warm:

“Ok thanks, I think this will do us.”

 

The attendant walks away and Fiona grabs her coffee, but Grace interrupts her before she can take drink. (SFX)

 

Grace Frey

Concerned and lost:

“A doctor? What the hell are you doing? Aunt Helen is our doctor.”

 

Fiona Frey

Just docile:

“Aunt Helen can’t help me. Not with this. Her pills just hide it. They don’t get rid of anything.”

 

Grace Frey

Aggravated:

“So you have stopped your meds.”

 

Fiona Frey

Angry and frustrated, almost in tears:

“Medicine doesn’t fix it! You don’t understand! You see… you are already being failed by me right now. The disappointment and embarrassment is filling your eyes. BUT! I’m trying, ok? Until now, this morning was a good one, almost normal… almost. I just want the success you have. What everyone else has because they are not like me, they are not afraid to try.”

 

Grace Frey

Lost at the delusions of Fiona:

“They are tears, Fee. Not disappointment or embarrassment, but goddamn tears. I am worried about you. Everything I have you can have to. You just need to stay on your pills and apply yourself to the real world!”

 

Fiona Frey

Lightly sobbing:

“Easy for you to say… you have a law degree and I didn’t finish my second semester for my associate's. Thomas loves you and I can’t even get a second date. (Sobs) And the coffee server guy’s girlfriend is going to Georgia to be in a horror movie, but not me. I can’t complete anything I start. Nothing is good enough. All failures.”

 

Grace Frey

Sympathetic and warm:

“Fiona, your singing and your painting skills are so amazing! You’re like a prodigy, only with two talents. I can’t hold a note and I can barely draw a stick figure. Hey, you are good person that has dated a few losers, but they are not you, Fee. You're burning bright.”

 

Fiona Frey

Sniffling, but smiling:

“There you go again, always making things better. I love you, Gracie”

 

Grace Frey

Sympathetic and warm:

“I love you too. You’re my little sister, Fee, and I want to help you anyway I can, but you need to open up to me before it gets to this point. Ok?”

 

Fiona Frey

Smiling:

“So will you go with me to meet this doctor then?”

 

Grace Frey

Rolling her eyes and giving in:

“Fine! When is the appointment?”

 

Fiona Frey

Smiling:

“11:15”

 

Grace Frey

Caught off guard:

“Shit Fee, that’s in like, (checks watch) in thirty minutes?

 

Fiona Frey

Smiling:

“No, Gracie. At 11:15pm tonight.”

 

Grace Frey

Confused:

“What kinda doctor sets appointments that late?”

 

Fiona Frey

Darkly:

“One that practices Nocturnal Medicine.”

 

  

*Time shift to the Next Scene

Dr. Rudolph Finster and his assistant, Anna Friday, are sitting in the consultation room with Fiona and Grace. Anna is typing notes on a very old typewriter as they discuss Fiona’s case.

 

Fiona Frey

Worried:

“What is it, Dr. Finster? Do you think that I can be cured of this without medicine?”

 

Anna Friday types that sentence (SFX)

 

Dr. Rudolph Finster

Softly speaks in a very well-mannered tone:

“All right, let's start with the results of the test you took online and then we will go from there. I believe you're are suffering from Kakorrhaphiophobia (kak·or·rhaph·io·pho·bia) and no, I did not just make that up. (Slight chuckle) Though it is not your standard phobia, it is very real and very hard to live with, but we have a tested method to remove it. And no, you will not need medication after this procedure.”

 

Grace Frey

Not buying it:

“So it’s surgical then?”

 

Anna Friday doesn’t type when Dr. Rudolph or Grace speak. (SFX)

 

Dr. Rudolph Finster

Softly speaks in a very well-mannered tone:

“Yes Grace, that is correct.”

 

Fiona Frey

Let down:

“I don’t have the money to cover my insurance deductible for an operation. Please, Grace, I need you to help.”

 

Anna Friday types that sentence (SFX)

 

Grace Frey

Confused:

“How come that lady only types on that loud old thing when Fiona is talking and not me or you?”

 

Dr. Rudolph Finster

Softly speaks in a very well-mannered tone:

“Because Fiona Frey is the patient in our study, not us.”

 

 

Fiona Frey

Let down by Grace and pleading:

“Please Grace, I brought you here to support me, not make this harder.”

 

Anna Friday types that sentence (SFX)

 

Grace Frey

Not buying it:

“Fee, don’t you get it? This is a scam. They are just gonna take the money and run. I mean, think about this for a minute? Meeting us this late in an old building with no computers, no other nurses or doctors, it’s all just wrong. Let's get out of here!”

 

Anna Friday

Asking permission:

“Doctor, may I speak to Ms. Frey’s sister?”

 

Dr. Rudolph Finster

Softly speaks in a very well-mannered tone:

“You may.”

 

Anna stands up, her high heels clicking on the hardwood as she walks over to the two seated Frey sisters. Then leaning against the desk that Dr. Finster is sitting behind, she speaks. (SFX)

 

Anna Friday

Scarily close and with a know-it-all bite to her words:

“Grace, I grasp that you and most people just brush off phobias and that is in part due to the fact that you don’t understand their nature. To you it’s just an irrational fear, something Fiona and ones like her should just be able to get over. However, I’m sure you have one too, you just don’t have to deal with it on a daily basis. Four to five percent of the US population is clinically diagnosed every year, but most people don’t seek help because of people like you! You are hurting your sister by supporting the blind, comatose ambitions of the pharmaceutically controlled society we live in. She doesn’t wish to be comatose. She longs to be free!”

 

Dr. Rudolph Finster

Softly speaks in a very well-mannered tone:

“Very well put, Ms. Friday. You may continue with the documentation of Fiona’s case now. 

 

Anna stands up, her high heels clicking on the hardwood as she walks over to the small desk she was typing at before and sits down. (SFX)

 

Dr. Rudolph Finster

Softly speaks in a very well-mannered, apologetic tone:

“As you can tell, Ms. Anna Friday here is very passionate about the work we are doing. She is not that fond of uneducated skeptics when it comes to the subjects we have based our life’s work around.”

  

Grace Frey

Outraged but interrupted by Fiona.

“Uneducated? I’ll have you know that… ”

 

Fiona Frey

Angry with her sister:

“Grace, stop. Why don’t you go ahead and wait for me in the lobby? I have to discuss payment for the procedure! Please leave!”

 

Anna Friday types that sentence. (SFX)

 

Grace Frey

Outraged and worried:

“Fiona, please listen to me. This whole thing is nuts! You need to leave with me, please!”

 

Dr. Rudolph Finster

In a stern, non-negotiating tone:

“Please leave or I will have to have security remove you from the room.” 

 

Grace Frey

Outraged and worried:

“Fiona! Don’t stay! Please!”

 

Fiona Frey

Docile and dazed:

“Grace, leave. I will be fine. You go wait in the lobby, ok?”

 

Anna Friday types that sentence. (SFX)

 

Grace Frey

Outraged and worried:

“Why is she talking like that! What did you do to her?”

 

Dr. Rudolph Finster

In a stern command:

“Ms. Friday, call them!” 

 

Anna Friday pushes a black button next to her typewriter. All at once, the room starts to reverberate and pulse, accompanied by a large, ominous heartbeat. Walking through a now eerily radiating portal, two cloaked figures reach through the ether and pull at Grace. (SFX)

 

Grace Frey

Screaming at the top of her lungs in fear:

“Fee! Turn around! They are gonna get me! Fee! Look, goddamn it! What are those things? Ghost? FEE! No! No! Help me! Get away from me right now, you monsters! HELP! FEE!

 

The cloaked, wraithlike beings reach their claws into Grace as a crunching sound ensues with the continued reverberating pulses of the room. Seconds later it is accompanied by Grace's screams. (SFX)

 

Fiona Frey

Docile and crazily dazed:

“Sorry, Grace. I needed payment. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but now you know fear and what it feels like when it grips into you.”

 

Anna Friday types that sentence amid all the chaos and screams. (SFX)

 

Anna Friday

Speaks:

“As the Ancient Ones process your payment, Fiona, please note that this transaction can’t be reversed or voided. Do you want us to continue?”

 

Fiona Frey

Docile and crazily dazed:

“Yes, you may.”

 

Anna Friday types that sentence amid all the chaos and screams and soon the sound of a soul being stripped from flesh and bone fills the room. Then it all goes silent and the wraiths disappear. (SFX)

 

Dr. Rudolph Finster

Softly speaks in a very well-mannered tone:

“Fantastic! Now that the payment is processed and accepted we can begin. Do you have any questions? 

 

Fiona Frey

Docile and dazed:

“Yes, a few. Should I already be feeling different? What happens to Gracie? Where did she go? And lastly, what if I fail and don’t make it through the operation?

 

Anna Friday types that sentence

 

Dr. Rudolph Finster

Softly speaks in a very well-mannered tone:

“Of course I don’t mind the questions. That’s why I offered. This is kind of an unorthodox clinic after all. So, those first two questions are one and the same. I will in the next hour have granted what you asked for on your application: “To have the power to overcome your fears and live a life very close to that of one Ms. Grace Frey." Unfortunately for your sister, that meant her… let's call it her "essence," has been fed to the hereafter, but the parts you wanted are already fusing themselves to your soul. It doesn’t have to make sense. This time tomorrow you’ll be a new you. You will not fail in that and you will not have to ever fear failing ever again. Making a mistake will be as easy as breathing. Now come, there are a few physical adjustments I have to make before your transformation is complete."

 

 

*Time shift to the Next Scene

Grace walks through the rustic wooden door of the same coffee shop. The bell chimes as she enters, followed by the shake of the large plate glass housed in the old frame of the door. The ambience is the same, as there still is not much traffic Her heels click across the old hardwood as she walks up to the register, removing a ten-dollar bill from her purse. The attendant behind the bar walks up, his shoes clicking on the same hardwood. (SFX)

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Smiling:

“Hey, welcome back! What can I get for ya? Wait, let me see if I can remember … hmm... ok, it was a small or medium iced, sugar-free, vanilla latte with soymilk. Am I right? I remember the ten-dollar bill.”

 

Grace Frey

Flirting and very chipper:

“Nope! Nice try though. That was my little sister’s order. Mine was a medium iced caramel macchiato with a small pump of extra vanilla in it. Just to sweeten it up a bit. ”

(Little flirty giggle)

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Confused that he got it wrong, but enamored by the cutie before him:

“Oh well, I tried. What was she so upset about yesterday? I remember her being crazily scared after her card messed up or something?”

 

Grace Frey

Flirting and very chipper:

“Yeah, she had some changes coming up in her life and was moving on. Scared of those changes, scared of failing. I’m Grace, by the way.”

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Satisfied with her answer:

“Oh yeah, change can be scary, but it can also do you good, as they say.”

Grace Frey

Flirting and very chipper:

“That's how the song goes. Tell me coffee man, what scares you?”

 

Coffee Shop Attendant

Masculine and confident:

“Nothing, darling. I don’t fear anything.”

 

Grace Frey

Evilly grins:

“How about that… do go on…” 

END

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