Storyteller Prequel Comic Script

SIXTH SPHERE: THE STORYTELLER

Page 1 (4 panels)

 

Panel 1: Longways panel down the side of the page.  It’s an establishing shot of a conference room.  There is a lavish lunch on the table.  Plates are made and drinks are poured, but only one person has even touched his food.  It’s the STORYTELLER, a thin man, not unattractive, with dark hair in his twenties.  Around him sit executives, in fine clothing. Some are looking down into leather folios.  None are paying attention.  A mid-40’s woman, CYNTHIA, is at the head of the table and the only one who is looking at the Storyteller.

 

STORYTELLER:

This is really good sushi.

 

CAP: May 3, 1980

 

Panel 2: The next three panels are adjacent to the long panel, stacked on top of each other.  Cynthia smiles at the Storyteller. She’s clicking her pen, impatient.

 

CYNTHIA:

Chef Miyamoto is a friend. Have seconds.

 

SFX (by pen):
clic-clic-clic-clic

 

Panel 3: The Storyteller helps himself to a heaping roll.  Smiles.  Cynthia clicks.

 

SFX:
clic-clic-clic-clic

 

Panel 4: Cynthia tosses her pen on the table, ready to wrap this up.  One of the other executives lifts his head at the sound of the pen.

 

CYNTHIA:

So, have any other ideas?

 

SFX:

Clic-thunk


 

Page 2 (6 panels)

 

Panel 1: The Storyteller, with a mouthful, leans forward to address Cynthia’s question.

 

STORYTELLER:

Well, yeah.  I –smk smk— got a million of ‘em.

 

Panel 2: Cynthia and the rest of the executives look at him with anticipation. He munches away.

 

SFX (by Storyteller):
smk, smk, smk.

 

Panel 3: Storyteller stops chewing and notices the stares of the others at the table.

 

SFX:

Smk, sm--*

 

Panel 4: The Storyteller wipes his hands.  Cynthia is in frame too.

 

STORYTELLER: Okay, okay.  So you don’t want cops or comedy, but are looking for drama?

 

CYNTHIA:

Religious drama, actually.

 

Panel 5: Center on the Storyteller.  He knows what he’s about to say is good and smiles as he says it.

 

STORYTELLER:

How about we do Lucifer’s war against Heaven? 

 

Panel 6: Storyteller’s POV.  We see the intrigued faces of the executives.  One speaks up but Cynthia silences him with a raised hand.

 

EXECUTIVE:
You mean like The Exorcist or—*

 


 

PAGE 3 One Panel

 

Panel 1: This is the splash page.  In one corner have the Storyteller, but incorporate scenes of his story in the rest of the page.  As if the scenes are playing out in a giant (undefined) thought bubble around his head.  Like a dense collage, but have fun with it.

 

STORYTELLER:
Nope, I mean angels vs. angels.  Maybe some demons.

 

STORYTELLER:

We start at creation and show how Lucifer was God’s favorite and all.  Then we show the mortals and how he gets jealous—perhaps we can even reimagine the Eden story a bit—and goes to war.

 

STORYTELLER:

But here’s the kicker, the war takes place outside of normal time.  Imagine time is a circle.  The starting point is the end of the war, which is the start of our existence.  As our mortal existence draws to a close, vis-à-vis the apocalypse, it’s when the war begins.  Our mortal characters will think they are stopping the end times, but in fact are just helping the cycle to begin again.


 

Page 4 (4 Panels)

 

Panel 1: The Storyteller picks up the rest of his sushi and starts chowing down.  All of the executives we can see are surprised, Cynthia smiles.

 

SFX (by Storyteller):

Smk-smk-smk

 

CYNTHIA:
How would this all work?

 

Panel 2:  The Storyteller is in profile, we see Cynthia, but we also see a corner of the room we’ve not seen yet.  In this corner a man stands in the shadows, with pale skin and wearing a dark suit.  He is scowling.  The Storyteller sees him out of the corner of his eye.

 

STORYTELLER:
Well get a contract to my agent for a treatment or a first draft and then I can show you.

 

Panel 3:  Same framing, but the Storyteller spins his head to look in the corner.  It’s now empty.  Cynthia’s eyes cut to the corner as well.

 

CYNTHIA: Well-played. The offer will be in the mail tomorrow.

 

CYNTHIA: Ah? Are you okay?

 

Panel 4:  Same framing, or not, but keep the spirit of the previous two panels.  The Storyteller faces her again, smiling, his thumb pointing behind him. Everyone else at the table is laughing.

 

STORYTELLER:

Yup. It’s Hollywood. Someone’ll stick a knife back here if you’re not lookin’

 

SFX:

ha-ha-ha


 

Page 5 (5 panels)

 

Panel 1: This page will be three wide panels stacked on top of each other and two split panels at the bottom.  It’s after the meeting and in a gloomy neighborhood.  The street is dark, but CIRCLES of yellow light are illuminated by streetlamps. The sidewalk is empty, save for the Storyteller walking into frame, stage right.  His hands are in his pockets, collar upturned.  It’s unseasonably windy and cold. In spite of this, he’s smirking.

 

CAP: Later

 

Panel 2:  Same scene, only the Storyteller is at the middle of the panel now. No Dialogue.

 

Panel 3: Reverse Angle.  We see the Storyteller in profile, just off-center of the panel, and over his shoulder we see the man in the dark suit, just outside of one of the circles of light.  The Storyteller again catches him in his periphery.

 

Panel 4: Close on the Storyteller, who turns his head to look at the man directly.

 

Panel 5: We are now looking through his eyes, and the street is empty.

 


 

Page 6 (5 panels – same as last page)

 

Panel 1: We see the Storyteller head-on now.  His eyes are closed and he’s smiling.  A half-outline or translucent overlay of the man in the suit is shimmering in behind him. 

 

STORYTELLER:
Paranoid douche…

 

Panel 2:  The man in the suit is fully materialized behind the Storyteller with a hand on top of his head.  (Note: Ensure that the lettering for the dialog indicates his voice is deep and scary.) The Storyteller’s eyes are closed, mouth agape.

 

MAN:
Sleep.

 

Panel 3:  The man has lifted the now-unconscious Storyteller onto his shoulder.  His scowl is unchanged since we first saw him. 

 

Panel 4: The man turns, seemingly walking into a wall, carrying our unconscious hero.

 

MAN:

[Spell written in Demontongue that serves to let demons into and out of Hell.]

 

Panel 5: Same scene, but the man is gone and all that remains is a wisp of dark, black smoke. 

 


PAGE 7: 12 panel grid

 

Panel 1: No dialogue. Close on the Storyteller as he wakes up in an ancient-looking stone chair that has bound his hands and feet in stone. You don’t have to show the whole thing in the first panel if it won’t fit.

 

Panel 2: Same shot, but further back from the Storyteller, his eyes now fully open.  Offscreen a character is talking, but we only see the speech balloon. 

 

OFF-SCREEN VOICE (a few hazy, unclear words before): …he’s not looking for a deal or anything.  He has information.

 

Panel 3: Storyteller’s POV.  In a ramshackle room in hell, well actually the outskirts of hell.  The walls are thin, perhaps similar to corrugated steel.  There are no windows.  There are two demons in the room, one male and one female.  The female is CELESTE, voluptuous and wearing a sheer dress.  We can easily make out her nipples beneath the fabric.  The male is the man in the suit, his name is MAX.  In hell, they are in their “demon forms” which should be still mostly humanoid, with subtle indications of their otherworldliness. 

 

CELESTE: What kind of information? You know the rules about bringing live mortals here.

 

MAX: Trust me, kid. This guy knows about the war.

 

Panel 4: Same shot, but Max notices that the Storyteller is awake.

 

CELESTE: You’re taking an awful risk.

 

Panel 5:  Storyteller and Max are in the frame, Max leaning down so his face is even with his prisoner’s. 

 

MAX: It’ll be worth it when he tells us what he knows. Isn’t that right, Storyteller?

 

Panel 6: The Storyteller is panicked.  He squirms in the chair, even though it’s futile.

 

STORYTELLER: I have no idea what you are talking about. Who are you? Please, don’t hurt me.

 

Panel 7: Max smacks the Storyteller.  Celeste has her hands raised, urging him to stop.

 

CELESTE: Max! Stop. Bringing him here is bad enough, if he dies here…

 

Panel 8: The Storyteller’s head lolls against his chest. Max rubs his hand, but faces Celeste, smirking.

 

MAX: Trust me, love, I know what I am doing. 

 

Panel 9: Close-up on the Storyteller.  His lip is split from the smack, but there is not a lot of blood yet.  His eyes are raised, looking at Max off-panel, pleading.

 

STORYTELLER: Look, Max. Please, I don’t know—

 

Panel 10: Max gives him another one. More force this time. No dialogue.

 

Panel 11: Max’s face is close to the Storyteller’s.  We see a new wound above his eye, this one bleeding more.  Max is screaming at the Storyteller.

 

MAX: YOU DON’T TALK UNLESS YOU ARE TELLING ME WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT THE WAR!

 

Panel 12: Storyteller’s profile in the foreground of the panel, lower-left, maybe even just the top half of his head. The eye wound is bleeding even more.  In the background of the panel, we see Celeste and she is scared out of her mind.

 

Celeste (small text, indicating she’s talking to herself): Porlock. Help.


 

Page 8: 8 panels

 

Panel 1: A quarter page panel (four panels if on a 12 panel grid).  We see the full room now.  Celeste in the corner, her hands clasped to her chest.  The Storyteller with a puffed-up cheek to go with the even bloodier eye-wound. Max rubs his knuckles with his other hand.

 

MAX: I can do this forever. Literally. Tell me what you know.

 

CELESTE (small text): Max?

 

Panel 2: If we divide the rest of the page into quarters, these next two panels split the top half of the second quarter-page. Max turns to Celeste, angry.  Celeste is a wreck. 

 

MAX: WHAT?

 

CELESTE: Don’t be mad, okay?  I had to call him. Please don’t be mad at me…

 

MAX: What did you do?

 

Panel 3: Similar panel to page 7, panel 12, except the reverse angle.  A fat, slobbery demon named Porlock has appeared.  He looks more monstrous than the other two.  He is scowling and smoking what could be a cigar, but upon closer inspection would be a human finger.

 

PORLOCK: If you two aren’t the dumbest fucks in all creation…

 

Panel 4: This panel takes up the entire bottom half of the “second quarter” of the page. The Storyteller is at the far left. He’s bloodied, but no blood has dropped to the ground yet.  Max and Celeste are in the middle of the panel and Porlock is standing on the right side.  Max glares at Celeste, who in turn has pleading look on her face.  Porlock is pissed.

 

PORLOCK: You low-level, dealmaking assholes brought a mortal into hell?  Are you trying to be smote into nonexistence? ARE WE BORING YOU?  Speak or I will use your intestines as floss for the next millennia.

 

MAX: It’s not a deal, Porlock. He has information about the war. He knows, man.

 

CELESTE: We just wanted to please you.

 

MAX & PORLOCK: Shut up!

 

Panel 5: The next quarter page is divided into two panels, split vertically.  It’s a close-up of the Storyteller’s face.  Drops of blood are dangling from his jawline, about to drip to the floor.  Off-panel Porlock continues to yell.

 

PORLOCK (Speech balloon only): I don’t care if he knows what the Shaper jerks off to, you never bring a mortal into hell against his will.

 

Panel 6: Porlock stands over the two demons who are cowering on the floor.

 

PORLOCK: But since I have to fix this cock-up of yours and the meatsack is here, we might as well find out what he knows.

 

Panel 7: Another quarter page panel, the blocking of the characters is much the same as Panel 4.  Max is standing closest to the Storyteller though.  A drop of blood has finally broken free of his jawline and falls to the ground.  Porlock is relighting the finger he was smoking with a flame from his fingertip.

 

MAX: Excellent idea, sir. He told people about the war, I am certain he knows more than he is saying.

 

CELESTE (small text again): thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you…

 

Panel 8: Inlaid, small panel at the bottom right of Panel 7. It shows the drop of blood hitting the ground and sizzling, white smoke rising from where it falls.  Perhaps the ground even cracks beneath it.

 

SFX: SSSSSSS…


 

Page 9: 6 panels.

 

Panel 1: Based off of a 9 panel grid, this first panel is a single square.  Porlock touches the Storyteller’s face and he is reacting to this touch as if it is painful.  Smoke pours from his wounds.

 

PORLOCK: But, we can be civilized. First, let me fix you up. This’ll hurt.

 

STORYTELLER: AHHHHHHHH!

 

Panel 2: Same panel size as previous, but the Storyteller is healed.  Porlock conjures a steel chair in front of the Storyteller out of thin air. 

 

PORLOCK: Now, I’ll free you straight away, but first let’s “rap.”

 

Panel 3: Same panel size as previous.  Porlock sits in the chair with his chest against the back rest. Like a half-naked, demon teen counselor. 

 

PORLOCK: It’ll all be over, just as soon as you tell me everything you know about God, the Devil, Angels, and such-and-such.

 

STORYTELLER: HA-HA-HA.

 

Panel 4: These next three panels take up the rest of the page.  The Storyteller is laughing, madly.  Porlock is annoyed and Max and Celeste are puzzled. 

 

STORYTELLER: Ha-ha, I’m an atheist.  I don’t believe in any of this. 

 

STORYTELLER: Hahahahaha-hoo-hoo-hahahaaa.

 

MAX: I think we broke him.

 

Panel 5: Same set-up but Porlock, Max, and Celeste are laughing too.  No dialogue other than some “HA HA HA”s thrown in as SFX. 

 

Panel 6: Everyone stops laughing and looks concerned.  The walls and ground are shaking.

 

SFX: Ha--!

 

SFX: RUMMMBLE


 

Page 10: 2 Panels

 

Panel 1: Inlaid panel at the top left of the page. Close up on the outside of the shack being blown apart from the inside.

 

SFX: BOOM

 

Panel 2: Full page drawing of the front door of Hell.  The gates are as described by Dante in Inferno, complete with “Abandon all hope…” quote.  Feel free to add any other hellish ecoutrements that strike your fancy. Just off-center, to the left of the page is Edriel.  A member of the Authorities, an angel, he’s dressed in two robes, one light, one dark.  He has an extended aura of divine light around him.  His wings are extended, but they are made of white fire (but white fire that kind of looks like feathers, if you can).  He is angry, in full “avenging angel” mode.  The Storyteller is next to him, his head hanging down (kind of like a certain messiah on a cross).  The demons have been knocked on the ground, strewn about on the right-hand side of the page.  Porlock is flat on his back, round belly pointing toward the sky. Celeste is on the ground almost as if she had “swooned.”  Max is down on one knee, his arm covering his face. 

 

EDRIEL: I am Edriel of the sixth sphere of the host, of the Authorities, of the Powers, here because mortal blood has been spilled in Hell.  Release the mortal to me at once.  


 

Page 11: 5 panels

 

Panel 1: Longways panel down the side of the page.  Edriel stands there, not in a defensive position.  Max is the closest to him.  With fury in his face, he lunges for the angel.

 

EDRIEL:…make any move against me…

 

MAX: He’s mine, you winged f—

 

Panel 2: Large panel, about two-thirds of the page in height, half of the remaining length.  Edriel vaporizes Max with a touch.

 

EDRIEL: …and you will be obliterated.

 

Panel 3: Smaller panel than previous. Close-up of Celeste, pain and disbelief on her face. 

 

CELESTE: NOOOOO!

 

Panel 4: Same size as previous.  Close-up of Celeste, now on her knees, Max’s ashes in her hands and spilling out between her fingers onto the ground.  Tears stream down her face.

 

CELESTE: No, no, no, no, no.

 

EDRIEL: Ah, Celeste. Now I understand.

 

Panel 5: The entire bottom third of the page adjacent to Panel 1.  Porlock is on his feet again, Celeste is still weeping into the ashes.  Porlock’s hands are raised in surrender.  Edriel has helped the Storyteller to his feet.  The chair is rubble behind him. 

 

PORLOCK: No need for violence, Edriel. It was all these two. Well, the girl and Ashes McGurk over there.  In fact, I had just healed our mortal friend and was about to release him. Just go, no hard feelings even about icing my guy…


 

Page 12: 6 Panels

 

Panel 1: Longways panel again, down the side of the page.  Where Edriel and the Storyteller had been standing there is a smoking crater, indicating they left.  Celeste is in the foreground, still weeping over Max.  Porlock stands looking at the crater, flipping the middle finger to where the angel had been standing.

 

PORLOCK: Self-righteous flying fuck. Good riddance.

 

Panel 2: The remaining panels fit on a six panel grid in the rest of the page.  Close-up on Celeste.  This entire time she was meek, almost always afraid.  Now, she has a steely, evil resolve, her tear streaks are like war paint.

 

CELESTE: I will have my revenge. Edriel will pay for killing my beloved.

 

Panel 3: Celeste is in the foreground, maybe just the top of her head.  Porlock stands there, his finger-cigar relit.  He’s scowling again.  Just to the right edge of the panel, there is a large geyser of dark smoke.

 

PORLOCK: Yeah right, princess.  Whatever you say.

 

Panel 4: One long panel taking up the entire second row of the six panel grid. Celeste and Max are at the left of the panel and a serious demon (mostly humanoid, but with long fingernail-claws and folded bat wings on his back, teeth all fangs) has arrived, Azazel.  He has a goatee, but scruffy not sleek. Tiny nubby goat horns are at his hairline.  Celeste is still all steely resolve, Porlock is unpleasantly surprised, perhaps with a raised eyebrow.

 

PORLOCK (Small text): Oh shit.

 

PORLOCK: Lord Azazel, hello--*

 

AZAZEL: Mortal blood has been spilled and a member of the host has been here in hell.  You will tell the Morningstar why that happened, demon.

 

Panel 5: Porlock looks genuinely scared for the first time since we’ve seen him.  His finger cigar falls from his slobbery maw.  One stubby, clawed hand points toward Celeste as he comically backs away from the Prince of Hell.

 

PORLOCK: Now hold on a damned minute, this stupid bitch brought all that down on us. I had nothing to do with it. You don’t need me, take her!

 

Panel 6: They all disappear, a tendril of the dark smoke lingers where they were standing.  The speech balloon seemingly comes from that tendril of smoke.

 

AZAZEL: I will take you both and let him decide…


 

Page 13: 9 panel grid

 

Panel 1: Edriel and the Storyteller materialize on the street where he was taken. Storyteller is healed, but still visibly shaken.

 

STORYTELLER: What the fuck is happening?

 

EDRIEL: If mortal blood is spilled in hell, one of us comes to stop it.  I am sorry that happened to you, Storyteller.

 

Panel 2: The Storyteller sits down on a conveniently placed ledge. Edriel remains standing, arms folded, hood on his outer robe down.  He no longer has the wings.

                                       

EDRIEL: I am afraid it is your destiny. You have a role to play in things to come. 

 

Panel 3: Storyteller stands, arms up in frustration.

 

STORYTELLER: What things? When? Why? Why me?

 

EDRIEL: The “why” should be obvious, so you can tell the story of what happens.

 

Panel 4:  Storyteller walks away from Edriel, rounding a corner.

 

STORYTELLER: Fuck you, pal. I can make up my own stories.  Shit, none of this was probably even real.  It didn’t happen.

 

Panel 5: Storyteller has rounded the corner, but has run right into Edriel.  He’s startled, to say the least.  Edriel still maintains a calm, serene pose.

 

STORYTELLER: Ah!

 

STORYTELLER: Shit.

 

EDRIEL: To ignore your destiny is your right, but simply because something is impossible doesn’t mean it can’t happen.

 

Panel 6: They are now walking down the sidewalk together.

 

EDRIEL: We in the sixth sphere are the keepers of the stories, we watch history to see if it goes in accordance to the Shaper’s plan.  Some of us, myself for example, also watch possible pasts and futures.  The events that didn’t happen.

Panel 7:  Edriel has stopped to touch the leaves of a dead window plant. A soft energy glows at his fingertips.  The Storyteller is close on his heels, but Ed is ignoring him.

 

STORYTELLER: You’re talking nonsense.

 

EDRIEL: Yet, even though I have seen countless events that have come to pass and events that have never transpired, I lack the very simple ability you have to imagine a story.  You can create entire universes with a thought.

 

Panel 8: They start walking again; only now the window plant is vibrant and lush.

 

EDRIEL: Your ability to imagine combined with free will is what “in His own image” means.

 

STORYTELLER: This is insane. You’re talking about history that hasn’t happened?

 

Panel 9: They stop walking.  Edriel puts his hand on the Storyteller’s shoulder. 

 

STORYTELLER: Who writes destiny?

 

EDRIEL: You have no faith.  Here, let me show you.


 

Page 14: 7 panels

 

Panel 1: Based on a 12 panel grid, this first panel takes up the entire top row.  Edriel and the Storyteller are in that same pose at the center of the panel.  On the left side of them, it’s the same present-day, street scene they were just in.  On the right side, they have been transported to 1920s Paris, France.  No dialogue.

 

Panel 2: Double-sized panel. Edriel and the Storyteller have come to rest outside of a French café.  There is a horse near a table of people.  At the table are Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, John Dos Passos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and two Parisian beauties (ignoring the fellas and paying attention to Ms. Stein).  Hemingway is standing near the horse, holding an almost empty whiskey bottle.  He is wearing a flat cap. 

 

STORYTELLER: Oh my god, is that…?

 

EDRIEL: These are some of your favorite storytellers, yes?

 

Panel 3: For the next two panels, the focus should be on the table of dead writers.  Ed and the Storyteller’s presence should be sidelined or in the background.  Hemingway has put the cap on the horse and is draining the whiskey bottle. Disapproving looks from the others at the table. 

 

EDRIEL:  I believe it was this time in these writers lives, the experiences they had here that shaped the way their imagined realities unfolded.

 

STORYTELLER (small text): Fitzgerald, Stein.

 

EDRIEL: Yes. I have taken you into what you perceive to be the past.

 

STORYTELLER: You-you can do that?

 

Panel 4:  Hemingway has turned away from the horse, still wearing his cap, and tossed the empty bottle over his shoulder, which shatters on the ground, right next to the horse’s forelegs. The horse rears.  The others at the table are not looking in his direction any longer.

 

EDRIEL: They painstakingly design the choices of their characters and the consequences of their actions.  This is where your world differs from theirs.  Free will.

 

STORYTELLER (small text): That’s Dos Passos. Is that Eliot?

 

SFX (small, by the bottle):KRRRSHH

 

Panel 5: Double-sized panel.  The horse takes off, trampling Hemingway beneath his hooves. If we can see it, there is fear in Papa’s face.  The others at the table are surprised as well.  Gertrude Stein stands, concerned. 

 

EDRIEL: You have the luxury of considering the consequences of your actions or ignoring them altogether. According to “destiny,” as you describe it, Ernest Hemingway was supposed to die.

 

Panel 6: The horse has run off, Hemingway lies broken and dead in the street.  The others gather near his corpse.  Edriel turns away from the scene, but the Storyteller is stunned.

 

STORYTELLER: That was Hemingway? But…he didn’t…what is this?

 

EDRIEL: A possible “past” or “future” depending on your perspective. Instead of being here, the Hemingway you know was struck by inspiration and spent the day at his typewriter. 

 

Panel 7: Indistinct background.  I am not sure how to describe it visually, but in this panel, they are “in between” realities.  Things should look drastically different, more abstract. The Storyteller—his expression, posture, everything—should reflect the weight of these revelations to him.  The veil has been lifted.  Capture his complete and utter despair. 

 

EDRIEL: Come.

 

STORYTELLER (small text): Please, no more.


 

Page 15: 2 panels.

 

Panel 1: Edriel and the Storyteller are in the same pose as the previous panel, but in the center of the page.  Surrounding them – mirroring the style of the splash page on page 3 – are scenes from history that haven’t happened.  Including, but not limited to: An elderly Julius Cesar waving to an adoring Roman populace, Christopher Columbus’s ships sinking into the ocean, A “Welcome Titanic banner” and the ship pulling safely into dock, New York harbor decked out in Nazi regalia and the Statue of Liberty being converted into a statue of Hitler in “full-heil” mode, Soviets on the moon, nuclear war, and a woman who looks a lot like Hillary Clinton being sworn in as President. 

 

Panel 2: Inlaid panel at the bottom left of the page.  Close-up of Edriel. Although the speech balloon can be outside of this small panel and in the bigger one.

 

EDRIEL: All that has happened, or didn’t happen, is because of the miracle of free will. Choices made by mortals who can never know what horrors have been averted because of them.  There is a plan, but your miracle is that you can ignore it entirely. It’s why we all envy you.


 

Page 16: 9 panels

 

Panel 1: Longways panel down the side of the page. Edriel and the Storyteller have materialized on the roof of a building in New York City on September 11, 2001.  They have a clear view of the skyline and of the Twin Towers on fire.  

 

STORYTELLER: Holy shit. When was this supposed to happen?

 

EDRIEL: You’re asking the wrong questions.

 

STORYTELLER: Is this supposed to happen?

 

Panel 2: The remaining page is divided into a 12-panel grid (or a whole-page 15 panel grid where the first panel takes up the entire first column).  This panel is double-sized.  Edriel is facing the Storyteller now, who watches as the South Tower collapses. 

 

EDRIEL: Almost the right question.

 

STORYTELLER: How can I go on in a world where things like this happen?

 

EDRIEL: What are you asking, Storyteller?

 

STORYTELLER: What’s my destiny?

 

Panel 3: Double-sized panel.  The Storyteller is face-to-face with Edriel now, the smoke from the Tower collapse is surrounding them, swallowing up the skyline.  This will be a transitional device. 

 

EDRIEL: You shouldn’t know too much, even if I could tell you. But I do not have access to those kinds of revelations.  However, from my experiences already, I can tell you a little…

 

Panel 4: A picture of an older woman’s hand placing a plate of breakfast on table next to an open history book and high school worksheet. 

 

EDRIEL (as a caption): You will encounter a mother and a daughter…

 

Panel 5: A collection of items in a cloth-lined briefcase: A black feather, a gold coin with a skull-and-crossbones stamped on its face, a pirate’s dagger, and a tallow candle on its side.

EDRIEL (as a caption): …a criminal and prophet…

 

Panel 6: A Roman Catholic priest’s vestfront, the collar unbuttoned, lying on the floor next to a pair of red panties.

 

EDRIEL (as a caption):…a holyman and a truthseeker…

 

Panel 7: A close up on the business-end of a bloody katana blade.

 

EDRIEL (as a caption):…a soldier…

 

Panel 8: Double-sized. They are standing on the same rooftop, but the Twin Towers are intact and it is moments before dawn. They are back in 1980.

 

STORYTELLER: Are we…?

 

EDRIEL: It is only a few hours after you were taken. You’re back where you started.

 

STORYTELLER: Well, at least when. What am I supposed to do with all this? What about these people?

 

Panel 9: The sky begins to brighten as the sun rises over New York City. Edriel has turned away from the Storyteller to watch the sunrise.

 

EDRIEL: You do what comes naturally, Storyteller. You write it all down.


 

Page 17: 4 Panels

 

Panel 1: Half-page panel.  The Storyteller and Edriel watch a glorious sunrise.

 

EDRIEL: It never gets old, does it?

STORYTELLER: Does this mean I am a prophet?

 

Panel 2: The next three panels are equal size along the bottom half of the page.  Edriel smiles.

 

EDRIEL: Ha-ha, no. Prophets get advance warning about the plan, then do their best to ensure it happens. You’re more of a historian.

 

Panel 3: Storyteller’s back is to the sunrise now. He is slumped against the ledge on the roof. 

 

STORYTELLER: I always considered myself an artist.

 

EDRIEL: So will anyone who reads it. No one will believe your stories are true.  Living through them will not be…

 

EDRIEL:…pleasant.

 

STORYTELLER: Great.

 

Panel 4: Edriel has moved closer to the Storyteller, who looks up at him. He reaches in his robe, into a hidden pocket (one imagines).

 

EDRIEL: Storyteller. I have something for you.


 

Page 18: 5 Panels, a 4 panel grid with one inlay.

 

Panel 1: Edriel hands the Storyteller a very nice pen.

 

EDRIEL: This will help you, regardless of what you choose to do.

 

Panel 2: Inlaid into the first panel, a close-up of the pen changing hands. No dialogue.

 

Panel 3: The Storyteller, now standing again, holds it up in front of his face. Edriel lingers in the background. He’s radiating that divine energy again. Some shit is brewing.

 

STORYTELLER: It’s—it’s lovely.

 

STORYTELLER: But, I write on a word processor. How will an antique pen help?

 

EDRIEL: Faith and patience, Storyteller.  So long, we will meet again.

 

Panel 4: The Storyteller wakes up in his bed, jolting upright. His alarm clock is ringing.  On his nightstand, we can see the pen sitting there.

 

SFX: BRRRRINNNNG

 


 

Page 19: 9 panel grid.

 

Panel 1: The Storyteller is up and dressed, about to walk out of his bedroom door, but sees the pen for the first time. It scares the shit out of him. No dialogue.

 

Panel 2: He is next to the nightstand, holding the pen in front of his face as if he is examining it to see if it’s real.  No dialogue.

 

Panel 3: The pen is back on the nightstand, the lights in the room are out, and the bedroom door is swinging shut.

 

Panel 4:  The Storyteller is walking into a coffee shop.  It’s the 80s, so it isn’t a chain, just a local java store and bakery.  A sign in the window says “Best Muffins in Creation.”  No dialogue.

 

Panel 5: The Storyteller is at the counter, a clerk hands him a cup of takeout coffee on the right of the panel.  To the left, a beautiful fresh-faced brunette woman sits with a steaming teacup in front of her. She is looking at the Storyteller. Her name is Clio, she one of the muses but looks passably human.

 

Panel 6: The Storyteller approaches her with a Styrofoam cup filled with coffee. On her table is a sugar dispenser.

 

STORYTELLER: Uh, excuse me? Do you mind if I use that sugar? 

 

Panel 7: Clio hands him the sugar.

 

CLIO: I’ve seen you here before, haven’t I? 

 

Panel 8: Storyteller adds sugar to his coffee. 

 

STORYTELLER: Maybe? I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t notice a beautiful girl noticing me.

 

Panel 9: Clio smiles, the Storyteller sits down with her.

 

CLIO: What do you do for a living?

 

STORYTELLER: I’m a writer.

 

CLIO: A storyteller?

 

 


Page 20: 5 panels.

 

Panel 1: This page is a 6 panel grid. The Storyteller is wary hearing her say that.  She is still all smiles and warm feelings.

 

STORYTELLER: What? Who are you?

 

CLIO: Clio. I am a girl who loves stories.

 

Panel 2: Double-sized.  Clio and the Storyteller are walking through a park. In the background, in the distance, are children’s playground structures, but these two are walking closer to the woods.  Clio has taken the Storyteller’s arm.

 

CLIO:…and that’s how I got out here.

 

STORYTELLER: Well, Arizona’s loss is our gain, I suppose.

 

STORYELLER: Mind if I walk you home?

 

CLIO: I wouldn’t, but I don’t have one. Like I said, it’s been tough to find work. I was staying with my sisters but it got…complicated.

 

Panel 3: They have stopped walking and are standing face-to-face. The Storyteller has taken her hand in his.  He’s earnest, she’s still smiling.

 

STORYTELLER: You can stay with me. I have plenty of room. You shouldn’t be on the streets, for god’s sake. It’s not safe.

 

CLIO: Less safe than moving into the house of some perfect stranger?

 

STORYTELLER: I—uh—you-um…

 

Panel 4: Clio has put her other hand on top of the Storytellers’. 

 

CLIO: On the other hand, it’s the best option I’ve got.

 

CLIO: And you’ve got a nice face.

 

Panel 5: Clio and the Storyteller walking away from us, down a winding path into the woods.

 

STORYTELLER: I think you’ll like it. And I could use the company.

 

STORYTELLER: Who knows, maybe you’re my muse.

 

CAP: CONTINUED….

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