The Old House - Episode 1
by E.M. Zakk
Where's Dad?
Where are you?
I'm inside our old house. I still have a key.
Why did you go there? Come home now!
It's so dark in here. Why aren't the lights working?
Honey, please get out of there now.
Why? THIS is home to me.
Or it used to be. When Dad was still here.
What happened to Dad?
Honey I told you.
Is he with you?
No.
Where did he go?
Sara, he’s dead--
I need to find him.
He isn't there.
Wait.
What?
I hear a noise!
What kind of noise?
A clanking.
It's coming from the basement...
I’m going down there.
Please listen to me and get out of there immediately!
OMG Mom. Dad’s eyes.
What did you do to him?
What do you mean?
His eyes.
I think I’m going to be sick.
Sara, that can’t be dad.
You know he’s dead.
No, Mom. He’s here.
And his eyes – he doesn’t have any!
They’ve been –
Gouged out!
Sara, you need to come home.
But his lips –
His lips are sewn shut!
Oh God, they’re sewn together with some kind of wire.
That can’t be true.
Mom, he’s chained to the floor.
He can’t move.
And he can’t look at me.
And he can’t talk.
Sara, that can’t be Dad.
No, Mom, it IS Dad.
The one who wrote and recorded that love song for you.
The one who wrote that lullaby for me.
The one who used to dance around the living room with us.
Sara, are you making this up?
No Mom.
No Mom, it’s his hair, his forehead, his nose.
Did you do this, Mom?
Is that why you’re saying it’s not him?
No. And honestly honey, I’m concerned that you’re in a basement with a mutilated man.
Please get out of there! Now.
No, it’s Dad, and I’m calling the police!
DON’T CALL THE POLICE SARA
I’m coming over there.
Don’t do anything until I get there.
I’ll explain.
Sara puts down her phone and approaches the chained-up man.
Despite what she’s just said to her mom, she isn’t totally sure that this person is her dad.
Dad, is that you?
It’s me! It’s Sara.
In response, the man grunts and clanks his chains with his feet.
Tears pour out of the sockets that once held his eyes.
Sara sobs and rushes to embrace her father.
Oh, Dad, who did this to you?
Was it Mom? Tell me it wasn’t Mom.
Her dad grunts weakly and bangs his feet on the floor.
But Sara doesn’t know what that means.
Suddenly Sara realizes something.
You must be so thirsty, Dad.
I’ll get you some water.
She goes upstairs, finds a glass in a cupboard and fills it with water.
She returns to the basement and tilts her father’s head back...
And then pours the water between the spaces in his sewn-up mouth.
Dad, I’m going to call the police.
Her dad, fortified by the water, grunts more loudly.
But does he mean yes or no?
She dials 911 and her hand hovers over the “Call” button – but then she stops,
The smell of a familiar violet perfume permeates the air…
As Sara’s mom rushes toward her.
Sara, are you alright?!
She looks at the man chained to the floor.
Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.
Are you sure that’s your father?
Suddenly they hear a humming noise.
Sara and her mom move closer to the man and listen.
Her mom falls to the floor and starts crying.
Oh Will, it really is you. Our song. Oh my god. Our song.
This is all my fault. I’m so sorry.
It’s your fault?!
You did THIS to Dad?
No! No, Sara honey…
I’d never hurt your father like this.
But I know who did.
Who?
Alice. It must be Alice.
But who’s Alice?!