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Happy Birthday by Daysha Perez
 

Prom King

by Isabelle Kim-Sherman


INT. RORY’S BEDROOM - AFTERNOON


Rory hits his head on his bookshelf.

 

INT. LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON

 

Rory’s MOM, a weary middle-aged woman, sits across the coffee table from OLIVIA, in a nice prom dress. Muffled crashing and banging can be heard coming from upstairs.

 

OLIVIA

Is…everything okay up there?

 

MOM

I’m sure he’ll just be a moment. Would you like some juice?

 

INT. LIMINAL SPACE - DARKNESS

 

SATAN

You cannot run from your destiny, my boy.

 

RORY

Shut up! Just shut up!

 

He claps his hands over his ears and squeezes his eyes shut.

SATAN

It is your duty to join me.

 

A pause.

RORY

(infuriated)

Well, what about your duty?

 

SATAN

What?

 

RORY

You never showed up! You were never around! It’s just been me and mom my whole life! You never even visit except to come and bother me about going to Hell with you. Why should I do anything for you when you haven’t even let me see you?

 

SATAN

Don’t speak to me that way, young man!

 

Silence. Satan sighs.

 

SATAN

(cont’d., gentler)

I know that I have failed you as a father, Rory. My duties in Hell have kept me from visiting your world, and you have suffered as a result. For that, I am sincerely sorry.

 

RORY

Yeah, whatever.

 

SATAN

You are getting older, and your responsibilities and your relationships will keep you tethered to your mortal life. It will become more difficult for you to join me.

 

Another pause. Rory still looks skeptical.

 

RORY

What about Mom? What about my friends? What about Ollie? I can’t just leave them so soon.

 

Satan sighs.


SATAN

I was just like you once, my boy. I loved my life on earth, and I wanted to put off my destiny for as long as I could. And when I met your mother, I fell in love with her. I knew I had to leave, but it always felt like the wrong moment. Then she had you.

 

I stayed as long as I could, but I couldn’t escape my destiny. Nobody can. Your mother has raised you alone not because I left so soon, but because I left too late.

 

INT. LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON

 

Olivia and Rory’s mom are seated at the coffee table in silence. Olivia holds a glass of juice.

 

Rory’s mom hesitates before speaking.

 

MOM

You know, Rory might be moving away soon.

 

OLIVIA

Moving where?

 

MOM

To live with his dad.

 

OLIVIA

Doesn’t his dad work in England or somewhere?

 

MOM

Something like that.

 

OLIVIA

Oh. He didn’t tell me about that.

 

INT. LIMINAL SPACE - DARKNESS

 

Rory nods, deep in thought.

 

RORY

Ollie and I have been talking about living together next year. We’re going to the same school. I figured I’d go and join you after we graduated college. But I don’t…know if I’d be able to do that to her.

 

He sighs.

RORY

Yeah. I’ll join you now.

At the last moment, he hesitates.

 

RORY

(cont’d.)

Just…could you let me have this one evening first?

 

INT. LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON

 

Rory comes downstairs, fully dressed.

 

RORY

Sorry about that. It was hell getting this tie on.

 

Olivia stands up.

OLIVIA

Hi, Rory.

 

RORY

Hi. You look nice.

 

His mom stands, wielding a camera.

 

Rory goes to his mom, gives her a tight hug.

 

RORY’S MOM

Oh! Thank you, sweetie.

 

He lets go of her awkwardly and goes to Olivia. He reaches into his jacket pocket, pulls out a rumpled corsage.

 

OLIVIA

Thanks. It’s really pretty.

 

RORY

Thanks.

 

 

RORY’S MOM

Let’s get some pictures.

 

Rory groans, but acquiesces. He and Olivia stand by the stairs. He puts his hands around her waist and they pose stiffly.

 

RORY’S MOM

Smile!

 

They smile. Rory’s mom takes a picture. In the flash of the camera Rory’s eyes glow red.



Isabelle Kim-Sherman is a writer from Santa Barbara, California. Her work has been published in Tablet Magazine, by the Jane Austen Society of North America, as well as in two California Poets in the Schools Statewide Anthologies. She has attended the California State Summer School for the Arts with a focus on creative writing and the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio with a focus on TV writing. She enjoys filmmaking as well as playing the violin and the piano.


Daysha Perez is a 9th grader at Douglas Anderson school of the arts. She is a visual arts major who has always had a passion for creative artistry, particularly painting. Most of the art she creates is acrylic paint on canvas considering she has been painting with acrylic since elementary school. She fell in love with the medium ever since and works with it frequently.

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