Disclaimer: Daria and all related characters are the property of MTV

Steve Mitchell

Prologue: This story is the third in the "Unseen Phenomena" series. It takes place approximately one and a half years after the story "All Good Things". To understand where this story line comes from it would be beneficial to read the stories that precede this one in order.

1. A New Experience
2. All Good Things
#. Season's End

(It is nighttime and all are asleep within the Morgendorffer household. Daria lies sleeping within the confines of her own padded room rolled up in her blanket as if she had been tossing and turning throughout the night. Within Daria's mind the scene has suddenly changed from the nightmare she had been having about having to identify Quinn in the mall. The scene now is very different from what it had been. As Daria looks around she notices that she is standing in the center of a paved road. The entire area is dimly lit as a result of the lamp inside a nearby phone booth and a clear midnight sky allowing a full moon to cast its ghostly glow upon everything underneath it. Daria looks about her in an attempt to discover her location and possibly the method by which she got here but all she can see are the shadows cast by short trees lining either side of the road. Not your typical trees either, but the ones you typically see growing among the sand dunes at the shore to keep the sand from shifting.

It is quiet here, there is little sound with the exception of maybe some crickets somewhere in the bushes, obviously a lost cause to attempt to silence. Daria takes several steps down the road hoping to come across something that would give her a clue as to her location when suddenly she becomes the focal point of a very intense beam of light. She freezes in her tracks and shuts her eyes until the beam of light moves off of her and as she opens them again she can see the beam of light tracking far out in front of her still moving away. In the distance a long and low pitched foghorn is heard and as Daria looks up at the horizon just above the trees, she spies the source of what had at first seemed like a close encounter of the third kind. It was a light house standing tall along the coastline. This was an obvious clue as to her general location, "Where the hell am I" she thought. As she said this A warm summer breeze picked up, blowing through the trees and as the moving air passed around her it caught a few loose strands of Daria's hair and suspended them out away from her. The breeze felt very soothing and served to calm her. Daria closed her eyes for the moment and figured she might as well enjoy the moment before something goes sour and turns the whole experience into another haunting nightmare. The next thing Daria knew she was lying in her bed that morning having just woken up from her sleep.

Daria came down the stairs sometime around noon that Saturday dressed in a summer attire that is unlike her typical garb. For once Daria is actually wearing a light colored T-shirt and a pair of black jean shorts. Her hair is still damp from her morning shower, she figured the summer heat would do a pretty fair job at drying it for her so why waste the electricity on a hair dryer. She walked into the kitchen right past her parents who were sitting at the kitchen table. Helen is drinking her coffee as usual and Jake was reading his paper in silence.)

Daria: (Sticks a couple pieces of bread into the toaster and turns to her parents expecting to hear some sort of either bickering between them or a lecture from Helen about calling in if she's going to be late or if their's absolutely anything out of the ordinary. But not a peep was heard from either of them. Daria after several minutes decides to break the apparent war of silence, something she thought that she would certainly regret.) Um....hey, is something going on this morning? I mean, mom...your home,... and your not even on the phone. (Scowls) What's wrong?

Helen; (looks up from her coffee) Huh....OH, nothing's wrong sweetie. I just couldn't drag myself out of bed this morning so I figured that it was probably time for me to take a day off and sort of relax. There's no point in working myself to where I would have heart attack like your father.

Jake: (looks up from his paper breifly) HEY! I didn't do it on purpose you know.

Daria: (Takes a step backward) Are you feeling alright, mom? You taking a day off from work is like death asking me if I want a job. (VO) Ugh, I should be careful what I ask for.

Helen: Oh Daria, why do you always have to be so negative.

Jake: (looks up from his paper....again) A job in death? DAMMIT, Daria if you even think that I'm going to let my daughter take a job as a professional hit man, then your more out of your mind than I am. Um..I mean,....wait give me a minute.

Helen: (pinches her sinuses) Oh for gods sake Jake, just read your paper and let me handle this.

Jake: But Helen, I was actually going to make a point.

Helen: I'm sure you were, now go back to reading your paper and let me handle this.

Jake: I ALWAYS have to go back to the paper don't I. (Mumbles a few more things and flips the page of his paper)

Helen: (turns back to Daria with a resentful look) Daria, I just needed to take a break for one day, I CAN do that can't I?

Daria: Yea, of coarse you can. It's just unusual for you to think of anything in the morning but an important case. And your phone isn't even ringing at all.

Helen: (sounding very irritated) For god's sake Daria, I turned the damned thing off. Checking my voice mail later is probably going to be hell but it's worth it not to have shove the thing in my ear every five minutes.

Daria: (Daria's toast pops up out of the toaster and Daria takes this as her Que to make a quick exit before either of her parents comes to their senses) (VO) Okay Morgendorffer, exit stage right and live to fight another day. (out loud) Right then, Um...I guess I'm going to go over Jane's and see what she's up too. (Daria grabs the toast and quickly walks out of the kitchen and out of the front door and gets in her car, backs out of the driveway and heads for Jane's)

(Upon hearing Daria's car pull away, both Jake and Helen quickly get up and go to look out the front window)

Jake: Do you think she bought it?

Helen: Maybe, but I actually thought she was going to stick around to try and see what we're up too.

Jake: Dammit,....we should have faked one of our arguments. I bet that would have been convincing.

Helen: Well whatever....she'll be gone for the day. (She turns to Jake and smiles as she gives Jake a wink. Jake gets the idea and goes into the kitchen to get a bottle of wine from the cabinet. While he's in the kitchen Helen calls over to him) Oh Jakey, why don't you take a run up to the bedroom first and grab some of that massage oil we picked up the other day.

Jake: Oh YEA...now we're talking. (Jake briskly walks out of the kitchen and heads up the stairs)

(Cut to Jane's house)

(Daria Stood on the front steps of Jane's house ringing the doorbell and half expecting her friend to answer the door, but to her surprise Amanda answered the door. The fact that she was even home at all was enough to warrant amazement.)

Amanda: (smiles cheerfully as if she were going to start with that butterfly rant Jane had told her about so many times.) Oh....Hello.

Daria: Um hi,.....is Jane home?

Amanda: Oh....no, she left this morning with Trent. He was going on a trip with his band I think.

Daria: She left already? She didn't even say goodbye, hell she didn't even say when she was leaving.

Amanda: Maybe she forgot, but if you want. When I see her I'll tell her you said...HI.

Daria: Um....right, you do that.

Amanda: Bye.

Daria: Mmmph,...bye. (Daria walked back to her car and reluctantly opened the door and climbed in, and sat there for a moment before driving off. About ten minutes later Daria sat in the drivers seat of her escort as she drove slowly down Newbold's corner road, at the same time that she was looking for a friends house she was also thinking of the multitude of events that had transpired in the past year and a half. Quinn's death was the largest event on her mind at the moment but for the most part Daria had allowed herself to accept what had happened in order to move on with her life. Now there was this, it wasn't the largest of deals but Jane leaving for a road trip without even saying goodbye or saying when she'd be back was certainly something that caused her some worry. And the fact that she didn't even ask her to come along, Jane always does that. No matter though, At least wherever they were on the road Daria knew that they would be alright as long as Jane could keep Trent from nodding off at the wheel.

Daria looked at the names on the passing mailboxes as she drove slowly down the street, finally she came upon a grey mailbox with raised white letters spelling out the name Macleod. Daria stopped her car in front of the mailbox and looked the house over. Maria had told her the address to her house once which is how she had been able to find her way here, but she had never been able to tell her what the house looked like due to the fact that Maria had never seen it herself. Daria sighed and pulled the car up to the curb in front of the house and shut her car off. She looked over at the driveway, somebody was obviously home as there was a single pickup Truck with firefighter tags and a blue light-bar on the roof parked in the driveway.

Daria: Well, At least somebody's home. Watch this end up like one of those screwed up cartoons where they greet unexpected guests at the door with a shotgun shoved against the edge of their noses.

(Daria exited the vehicle and walked up the driveway to the front door and rang the bell. Daria waited about three minutes and another ring of the doorbell before sighing and turning to walk back to her car. As Daria is starting to walk away the slight metallic screech of a deadbolt is heard and the door opens to show Maria standing there while wearing her typical blue jeans and purple turtleneck shirt, expecting someone to be directly in front of her)

Maria: Hello? (waits for a few seconds) Is anybody there?

Daria: (Turns in surprise that someone answered the door after so long) Oh....hey Maria.

Maria: Daria? This is a surprise,...what brings you by?

Daria: Um...Jane mentioned something about leaving for a road trip but for some reason failed to tell me when she was leaving and now she's gone. By chance do you know when she left?

Maria: (Frowns) Not really,....but then again I haven't heard a whole lot from either of you since graduation. I saw Jane once in a great while when I stopped by to see Trent but that's about it. I was wondering if everybody had forgotten about me. You two are about the only friends I've got, It gets kind of lonely around here you know.

Daria: (looks down at the ground for a moment) Yea...I'm sorry about that. I've had a lot on my mind lately, and Jane leaving for a road trip without saying goodbye isn't helping. That's no excuse, though. And... I understand if your mad at me.

Maria: (smirks) Come on in, your libel to get either a sunburn or be eaten alive by mosquito's if you stand out on the front steps all day. (Thinks for a moment) At least I THINK it's sunny out, for all I know it could be dark out. (Maria takes a few steps backward to allow Daria enough room to move past her and then closes the door after she hears Daria's footsteps go past) Well, whatever the reason for your visit. I'm still glad you came by, I don't get very many visitors outside of the occasional relative from over seas and maybe a mobility instructor at the beginning of the year back in highschool.

Daria: What about Trent?

Maria: Are you kidding? It's the highlight of my day when he shows up, but he tends to sleep late so when I do get to see him it's not for as long as I'd like it to be.

Daria: Okaaay....I take it your not slighted by our accidental lack of communication then?

Maria: (Smiles as she extends her left arm to the wall in search of a reference point and begins to make her way towards Daria's voice) It takes more than you and Jane to slight me, Daria. I've dealt with taunts on my blindness, accent, and height all through grade school and middle school. I can pretty much roll with the punches so to speak.

Daria: I know you've never really told me a whole about yourself so perhaps you could explain that last part because you're losing me on the accent part here. You sure sound like a typical American to me.

Maria: (Smiles again and begins to speak with a mild Scottish accent) I was born In Falkirk Scotland and moved over to the US when I was five, one of the first things the other kids would tease me about in grade school was my accent so I worked as hard as I could to hide it. (Pauses for a moment and then resumes an American accent) You mean you've never heard me slip?

Daria: (scowls) You tried to hide your speech because kids made fun of you? What the hell is that about, I've been dealing with that sort of crap all of my life.

Maria: No, I tried to hide my accent because it was ONE of the things I was made fun of for, it was ALSO the only one I could control. Hey, you try making it through first grade with kids saying "Hey look, Nessie's here"

Daria: Well I can't exactly say I survived assaults of THAT manner, but Aside from being an outcast for being a brain and having my sanity attacked constantly...I'm sure my personal traumas could compete with that one. I just fought back with extreme sarcasm, and it seems to have done a pretty good job so far at keeping the vipers at bay.

Maria: Maybe, but venomous amounts of sarcasm have never been my forte'

Daria: (Walks over to a nearby recliner and has a seat) That's too bad, With you, Jane, and myself together we just might have been able to generate enough venomous sarcasm to take over the world. (Beat) But as I mentioned before, since you've never really told me much about yourself. You might as well continue with your stories of persecution.

Maria: Sorry, I didn't mean to gripe.

Daria: Hey everybody's got to have a hobby, but seriously...At the moment we haven't found anything else to occupy our time. So let's hear it.

Maria: (finds her way to the couch across from Daria) To be brief, kids used to move things around on me such as my chair as I was about to sit in it to make just one example. Shenanigans like that continued off and on until about sixth grade. THAT year was a damned nightmare of awkwardness, that's when my body decided that it liked life in the vertical.

Daria: Ah yes, I've been wondering how you wound up so tall. I was beginning to suspect that your parents had once placed you on the rack, But I guess that theory doesn't hold as much water as it once did. Personally, I didn't have many of my own but I guess I can relate to the awkwardness, my whole life being a prime example.

Maria: Yea, but these were growth spurts from hell. In one school year I went from being four foot ten to five foot four. I was happy if I went through a day without tripping over myself.

Daria: Take it this way, at least you didn't leave holes in the ceiling when you stood up.

Maria: Ha, ha, I'm just rolling on the floor on that one.

Daria: Relax , it was just a simple joke. So you spent the school year tripping over your own two feet,...and anything else that was in the way.

Maria: Yea well, there's that and since it didn't take to long for kids to notice that I was soon taller than most of the teachers they stopped calling me Nessie and started asking me for weather reports.

Daria: Sounds like you had a ball growing up.

Maria: Oh yea, I was wearing one HUGE happy hat. At least I finally stopped growing up in sophomore year.

Daria: Oh come on, being tall isn't all that bad. Look at basketball players.

Maria: I don't know a single basketball player who was six foot four at age fifteen. BUT... it wasn't over then. Nope, god decided that I wasn't proportioned adequately enough in the chest area. The result being these magnets for male hands.

Daria: You make it sound ten times worse than it is, you have an attractive figure.

Maria: (blushes slightly) Yea, yea...That's enough about me, flattery will get you nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

Daria: I take it your done ranting?

Maria: Hey, you wanted to hear it. It's your own damned fault for listening. (Leans forward in her seat) SO... anything else new? What did you want to do today?

Daria: I'm not sure, I'd settle for almost anything at this point.

Maria: Sick Sad World isn't on today?

Daria: (mumbles) It was pre-empted for the Democratic National convention.

Maria: Those Bastards! I'll have Cheyenne chew their limbs off immediately!! (Whistles for Cheyenne who comes into the room from the kitchen) Cheyenne...go kill a democrat!! (The dog just stares at Maria as if she's on crack and then heads back into the kitchen)

Daria: (Smiles) I suppose it would help if she knew what a democrat WAS.

Maria: I guess that's something I'll have to teach her should I ever take an interest in politics. (Sighs) So SSW has been pre-empted, and Jane disappeared on a mystery road trip. Is it me or does that sound like something MTV would be directly responsible for?

Daria: Probably, but at the moment I'm all out of tactical nuclear weapons small enough to send through the mail in show of my appreciation.

Maria: (throws her arms up) It's always something isn't it. (Shakes her head) I hope I wasn't your LAST resort for something to do.

Daria: No, that would have been hanging out with my parents. Now THAT would have been a scary sight.

Maria: Gah, there's hope Daria. You still have time to turn back... (chuckles) Well we've established that your arrival at my door wasn't just to kill time. So what do you want to do then?

Daria: I don't know but I know I'm not in the mood for pizza that's for sure.

Maria: Blasphemy! There's always room for food in the day.

Daria: For YOU there is, you're the one who can eat anything and not gain an ounce. I think if I ate as much as you do I'd be wearing spandex right now.

Maria: Okay, judging by your tone of voice I'm guessing that looks bad right?

Daria: I'm no fashion fiend but I know a damned ugly sight when I see one, I think it would rank right up there with that woman a few streets over who wears a mumu.

Maria: Okay, so the pizza king is out. What to do, what to do...

Daria: (Sighs) Well, the summers half over and I haven't been to the shore yet. There IS something that I wouldn't mind checking out down there. Do you want to take a run down to the board walk?

Maria: The boardwalk, That's a bit of a drive isn't it?

Daria: About an hour and a half, it'll kill some time to say the least. Maybe we can trick a hitchhiker into thinking we're going to pick him up and then run over his luggage, I mean as long as we're on our way in that direction anyway. We might as well make it interesting.

Maria: Daria, remind me never to be in the area when you're behind the wheel. Do you think we'll be able to do any swimming while we're down at the shore?

Daria: I doubt it, the surf is probably still to rough from that noreaster we had last weekend.

Maria: Damn weather. If I know your luck the way you've described it, if you went in the water you'd get pulled away from shore by a rip tide only to find out this Ruttheimer/upchuck person from school, or whatever his name is, would be the lifeguard on that particular beach area.

Daria: (Shivers) I think at that point, I'd consider drowning a blessing in disguise.

Maria: Well, I guess we COULD take a walk on the board walk to keep ourselves occupied being as you may have lost any palate for the surf, rough OR calm.. You're not going to want to hold hands or something are you?

Daria: Um...I think I can go with a no on that one. And I don't suppose you have any BETTER ideas than going to the shore?

Maria: (Shakes her head reluctantly) Nope, not a one. (Sighs) All right then, let me get changed into something a little cooler and I'll be right with you.

(Maria gets up from her seat and makes her way to the stairs and begins to make her way up to her room. Daria in the meantime trying to keep busy begins to look through a couple of magazines that are sitting on the coffee table that is positioned near the recliner. A few of them are regular magazines complete with text articles and pictures. Some of the others are in braille and have raised pictures)

Daria: They make braille magazines? (Daria flips through one of them trying to make sense of the multitude of raised dots that make up the braille text) How the hell can she read all of this? (Daria puts down that magazine and picks up another braille magazine, this one was partially buried under all of the others. Daria opens the cover and notices that THIS one has a lot more of the raised pictures than any of the others. Daria holds the magazine at different angles attempting to make sense of them since they are harder to distinguish as they are the same color as the rest of the manilla paper they are on.) Is this what I think it is....? (Daria flips through a few more pages and then puts the magazine back and patiently waits for Maria to come back)

(After about twenty minutes Maria makes her way back down the stairs into the living room. She has changed into a white T-shirt and a pair of jean shorts and now has her tied back with a scrunchie)

Maria: Okay, I'm ready...did you want to change or anything?

Daria: No I'm okay, Lucky for me I decided to wear shorts myself. There's usually a breeze down at the shore and I'm afraid my skirt would get lift.

Maria: Hey, think of it as a spoiler for the guys.

Daria: No thanks, having guys whistle at the sight of my butt isn't exactly one of my more pronounced goals in life. (Beat) Um... anyway,....I was looking through some of the stuff on the coffee table, I didn't know they made magazines in braille.

Maria: Yea, they're hard to get but if you know who to get a hold of down at the commission for the blind then it's usually possible if you wait long enough.

Daria: (Smirks and picks up the last magazine she was looking at and hands it to Maria) Even THIS one? (Maria grabs hold of it and begins to browse through it with her fingertips, then after a moment blushes heavily)

Maria: Um........no, the commission doesn't supply these. I'm sorry, I should have hid that better.

Daria: It's cool,... I guess. There's nothing wrong with curiosity as long as your not slobbering over the pictures.

Maria: Don't worry about me...I'm not the slobbering type.

Daria: Good thing too, Your dog might think she had competition.

Maria: Can't have that now can we.

Daria: Not unless you really WANT to be in direct competition with your canine companion. (Beat) All right then, I guess we should get going.

Maria: Sounds about right. (Pauses for a moment) Um....speaking of canine companions, do you mind if I bring my dog? I really hate using a cane.

Daria: (frowns) My elbow isn't a good enough guidance system for you? Perhaps we should resort to some experimental form of echo location. You could go around screaming all day long and listening for the rebounding sound waves to determine where things are with respect to yourself.

Maria: Your elbow is fine Daria, but do you really want to have to drag me around for the whole day? You may want to go browse in a store or go use the bathroom in private or something. Or do you really want me holding onto your elbow for guidance while you try to do such things?

Daria: (Thinks for a moment) I suppose you have a point, (sighs) Do you have a blanket for her to sit on? My back seat isn't worth saving, I know. But I can imagine anyone who sits there in the future not wanting dog fur on their butts.

Maria: Understandable....I'll get a beach blanket to cover the seat with. (Maria turns and makes her way to the hall closet and finds a large blanket and then turns to where she thinks Daria is and holds it up) Is this big enough?

Daria: I'm over here, Maria. (Maria turns in the direction of Daria's voice) Yea, that'll work.

(Maria gives a whistle and Cheyenne comes out of the kitchen again and places herself at Maria's side and she grabs hold of the leash)

Daria: Um....heads up,..chin up,....let's go?

Maria: I'm sorry Daria, I'm afraid only Jane does that little phrase any justice. You should try coming up with your own little catch phrase.

Daria: Somehow I don't think "damn the torpedoes" would do me any justice. Besides, I hear it's taken.

Maria: There can be only one??

Daria: No, that's my world domination slogan. I plan to use it when I slaughter the countless morons and crown myself absolute monarch of the world.

Maria: How about hell is other people, so lets run away from them as quickly as possible.

Daria: Oh hell, let's just go.

Maria: That works too. (The both of them head out the door to Daria's car and leave)

(Cut to Daria's escort as they make their way out onto the main highway. Daria slows the car as she yields to oncoming traffic and then accelerates as quickly as the car can. The engine is obviously struggling with this task but once it is up to speed it seems to be able to hold it's own on the road)

Maria: This car sounds a bit tired Daria, have you thought about retiring it?

Daria: Yea, probably soon. I'm trying to hold onto this one as long as I can, I really don't want to be in debt for five years just so I can have another car.

Maria: Don't make it sound so bad, at least YOU can drive. I'd give it a try myself but I'm afraid our chances of getting where we want to go would be astronomically slim, especially without getting somebody killed. (Several moments of silence pass) So what is it that you wanted to check out at this particular section of the shore? I mean, I know there's a beach at least half an hour closer. My parents have taken me there several times.

Daria; I just have the urge to check THIS one out.

Maria: (Shrugs) Okay, does this place have a name?

Daria: Barnegate light.

Maria: I'm sensing an underlying reason here, care to share it with me? Or do I have to remain even more in the dark then I already am.

Daria: (waits a moment and then decides to give) I've been having this reoccurring dream about a a light house down at the shore.

Maria: Cool, what happens in the dream?

Daria: Nothing, but that's not what bothers me. I just keep having this simple benign dream several times a week for the past month. I'm just standing on a roadway near the beach at night, and every now and then I hear a foghorn and the beam from a lighthouse crosses over me. I figure regardless of content, if a dream keeps reoccurring so often it's GOT to mean something.

Maria: COOL! What do you think it means?

Daria: How should I know, Do I look like a psychoanalyst?

Maria: I don't know, You told me of how your father goes off and rants all the time. Maybe you finally have the experience to qualify as one. Anyway, the dream probably means SOMETHING, it's just extremely vague.

Daria: That's putting it lightly.

Maria; So that's why you were looking for Jane? You were hoping she could help you figure this whole thing out?

Daria: I was hoping BOTH of you could help me.. Frankly, trying to figure it out is driving me nuts because there are no symbolic clues to draw upon.

Maria: So your hoping going to a place with a lighthouse will help you figure it out.

Daria: It's worth a shot at the very least.

Maria: Sounds like a plan to me.. (Thinks for a moment) I'm sure Jane didn't mean to leave without saying goodbye.

Daria: Yea, I know. It's just so unlike her, even when she's mad at me for something she still tells me about when and where she's going.

Maria; Eh, I wouldn't worry your head off about it. Maybe she left a message and you just missed it or something. (Maria rolls her window down all the way after remembering that the AC does not work in Daria's car. Upon doing so Cheyenne is quick to stuff her head past Maria's headrest and sticks it out the window to let her ears flap in the wind.)

Daria: I guess it's possible, I DID forget to bring my cell phone with me today.

(The scene cuts to Jane and Trent)

(Trent and the rest of Mystic Spiral are busy loading the van out side of a pub in Sicklerville after their latest performance on the road. Jane is in the front seat of the van attempting to account for how much money the band had taken in on their little tour and how much was going out to expenses. Trent finishes loading the last amplifier into the van and slams the door shut. He then proceeds to the front of the van where Jane is situated presently trying to correct a mistake in her calculations.)

Trent: (As he approaches the passenger side door of the van) Hey Janie, how are the figures coming?

Jane: (smacks her pencil down in frustration as she gives up on the books long enough to talk to Trent) They're coming along slowly but I'll get there. Damned mathematics, you make a small mistake halfway through your work and it screws up the whole damned thing.

Trent: Whoa Janie, take it easy. We're not in a rush so we've got plenty of time.

Jane: Yea, but I'd like to get this done before we actually need money for gas. And once this beast of a van gets on the road that could be pretty damned soon.

Trent: I suppose, but like I said we're not in a rush or anything. (Beat) Hey Jane, how come you didn't invite Daria along with us. She always comes with us on a road trip.

Jane: Eh, road trips were never her thing. I dunno, I just didn't think she'd want to be cooped up in a van with us for the day.

Trent: It's never bothered her before, why would it start to now?

Jane: (Shrugs) I don't know really, just lately I've had this feeling that I should probably give Daria some space before we all go off to college. We've had our share of arguments during my break up with Tom, and even a few after. I've kind of made it a habit of jumping down her throat a lot if you know what I mean.

Trent: That's funny, I thought you two had completely resolved that problem.

Jane; You mean me jumping down Daria'a throat? (Jokingly) We did, I made it pretty clear that I'm not the deep throat kind of girl.

Trent: (smiles) Whatever.

Jane: Anyway,... It still seemed kind of awkward, I was afraid we'd end up having another argument if we were stuck together for too long.

Trent; Hmm, I suppose. But I doubt it would have been anything the two of you couldn't have worked out. Your friendship has lasted this long, I don't think it's going anywhere.

(Jesse comes out of the back door to the pub and calls over to Trent)

Jesse; Hey Trent, we're all done with the stuff. Max and I are going to grab a bite to eat before we get going.

Trent: No problem, we'll be in ourselves in a bit. (Jesse turns and heads back into the pub and Trent continues his talk with Jane)

Jane: (Waits until Jesse disappears from sight before she resumes where she left off) Yea, I guess. (Jane makes an attempt to change the subject and divert the attention away from her and Daria) But speaking of dragging people along, why didn't YOU bring Maria. You two have been together for a while, don't you suppose it's about time you started dragging her everywhere you go, addressing her as the old ball and chain, various little displays of affection like that?

Trent: What brought THAT up?

Jane: (gives an evil grin just before she gives her reply) Just turning the tables amigo. So what gives, I've never seen you kiss her or do any of that obnoxious stuff guys do.

Trent: What?

Jane: You know, grab her ass or other parts of her anatomy. Manly Stuff like that.

Trent; (Smiles briefly) You KNOW I'm not like that Jane. (Beat) I don't know, I really care about her. We definitely click and stuff but....when we're alone, I just feel weird about myself. Like I'm taking advantage of her and stuff. You know?

Jane: She's blind Trent, not stupid. Her other four senses give her a pretty good idea of what your up to.

Trent: Yea, I guess. I still feel weird I guess, I'd feel better if I knew what she wanted.

Jane: I swear you're hopeless Trent. If you feel so awkward then why didn't you go after somebody who you WERE comfortable with. Daria for instance, you know she liked you for the longest time.

Trent: Yea, well...Daria's a good friend, but there wasn't anything more between us than a crush. Daria's great, she's smart and funny and she's great outlook on things. But I just never felt it you know. And then when I let the two of you down on that school project....I just knew more than ever that it couldn't work between us. I just haven't gotten around to getting my act together yet, and Daria. Well, she won't have any problems getting started in life. I'd be holding her back and she'd never be able to realize her dreams or anything.

Jane: The only dream Daria has is surviving long enough to get away from her parents.

Trent; That's everybody's dream, Jane.

Jane: True, but Daria's parents are especially screwed up. So that makes her dream a lot more real than any of ours.

Trent: (Laugh/coughs) I guess you've got a point there, but still. I just don't feel anything with Daria, I wanted to... but it just wasn't there.

Jane; (pinches her sinuses) Okay, fine. But clear one thing up for me, what the hell is there between you and Maria that wasn't there between you and Daria? I mean she must have some pretty damned redeeming qualities for you to go after her instead of Daria.

Trent: Daria only had a crush on me Janie, they fade after time and most of them never work out even if you do hook up for a while.

Jane; (Sighs) Yea, I know. I just can't help feeling the way I do. And YOU ya big dork, I worked as hard as possible trying to get you and Daria together and you fall for her FRIEND at a funeral for gods sake. Now tell me if that's not a severe case of back stabbing?

Trent: Daria and I were never together, so I can't see how I stabbed anyone in the back. Your just pissed because you're scheming backfired. It's hard to say really why things happened they way they did. I admit finding a girlfriend at a funeral wasn't my idea of a way to get a date but she tripped and fell into my arms and I don't know, something just clicked I guess.

Jane; Yet you feel awkward and like you're taking advantage of her in some way when your together?

Trent: Only when we're alone, like in a way where we could be intimate or something.

Jane: Why don't you just make a move on her a see what happens, maybe it's all just in your head. Maybe something freaky will happen like, oh I don't know. Maybe she'll LIKE it.

Trent: (smiles) I just know what my conscience tells me.

Jane: I swear I'll never understand you, Trent.

Trent: (Laugh/coughs) That's cool, I don't think I'll ever understand MYSELF.

Jane; Not until it's too late, anyway. I still say you should Give Daria another try, I'd bet my life savings that it could work between the two of you.

Trent: You don't HAVE a life savings, you don't even have a job yet.

Jane: Exactly, it's a win, win situation for me. I have nothing to lose.

Trent; Whatever, look Let's just go get some breakfast.

Jane: What? Don't tell me your forfeiting the argument.

Trent: Nope, just suspending it until after Breakfast.

Jane: (sighs) Dammit....

Trent; What?

Jane: (looks down at the ground) I just realized something you and Maria have in common.

Trent: Your kidding, what's your discovery?

Jane: (looks up at Trent and Smirks evilly) You both have an appetite from hell. (Trent Laugh/coughs)

Trent: Well,... lets hurry up and eat so I can send it back to hell where it belongs.

Jane: Wouldn't that be cruel and unusual punishment? I mean, why do you think you're stomach escaped in the first place?

Trent; Simple, it knew that with me it would be well fed.

Jane; And it sure called that one right didn't it. (Snaps her fingers) I know how I can get you and Daria together, I should just lock you both in the bathroom together. It's only a matter of time before one of you has to go and then you'll have no choice but to show off your equipment to each other. Even Daria has to have hormones SOMEWHERE in her body.

Trent: (lifts an eyebrow) You've got a sick mind Janie.

Jane: (Takes a bow) Thank you, where do you think all of my artistic talent stems from. (Thinks for a moment) So what was your first clue anyway?

Trent: About what?

Jane: That you clicked.

Trent: (Thinks for a moment) I dunno really, it just did.

Jane: What no heart palpitations, no weak knee's, no classic symptoms of that sort?

Trent: Not really, I mean the hair on the back of my neck stood on end but that was about it. Probably because her fall was unexpected and I jumped to catch her or something.

Jane: (Shakes her head) Hair standing on end huh, sounds like a load of static to me.

(The two of them walk into the pub to join Jesse and Max before beginning their day long trek back to Lawndale)

(Cut to Daria, Maria and Cheyenne on the boardwalk about an hour and a half later)

(From Daria's position on the boardwalk she can see the light house which isn't that far off now, maybe about a half mile. She would have parked closer but with summer traffic there just weren't any closer parking spaces to be found. The one that Daria DID find was not a designated beach parking spot but one with a parking meter. As a result Both Daria and Maria were forced to empty their pockets of any silver and feed it to the meter to avoid getting a ticket during the coarse of the day. Maria didn't seem to mind the walk as this was an opportunity to get out and go somewhere other than around the neighborhood)

Maria: (inhales deeply) I love the smell of the ocean.

Daria: Maybe YOU do, it just reminds me of how far I'd have to travel to get away from Lawndale.

Maria: By all means then, start swimming. Let me know when you get to Scotland so you can look up some of my relatives.

Daria: No thanks, I have this fear deep down inside that I'll meet the loch ness monster first and he'll want to engage me in some sort of odd conversation.

Maria: Hmm...you may have a point, being so old a legend it will probably just want to reminisce about the old days or the people it's eaten. And it's a Her...

Daria: Excuse me?

Maria: The loch ness monster, it's supposed to me a her.

Daria: It's just a stupid legend, does it really make that much of a difference?

Maria: Hey, just keeping the facts straight.

Daria: (smirks) This from a person who hides an accent in an attempt to avoid being made fun of as a child.

Maria: (scowls in irritation) It's no worse than you trying to hide the fact that you actually give a crap in an attempt to keep everyone else as far from you as possible. We all cope in our own way, it's one of the benefits of being your own person. Don't you agree?

Daria: I admit to nothing, but I agree with you on that last point. I'd rather be my own person than associate with anyone remotely similar to the fashion club back in high school.

Maria: So Basically what your saying is that you would prefer to avoid about ninety nine point three percent of the people on the planet.

Daria: I think you left out a few decimal places, we want to get the facts straight remember.

Maria: (Laughs) And you make it sound like it was so long ago, and yet if you look on a calendar it's only a matter of weeks. I hate it the way time screws with you like that.

Daria: I'm sure the elderly population of this planet would be able to sympathize.

Maria: In the few cosmic seconds they have left to live anyway.

Daria: (laughs and then assumes a more serious face) I don't suppose we could get back to the task at hand?

Maria: (Sighs) Look Daria, I know you've got a lot of things on your mind bugging you, and I know we came here to try and resolve at least one of them. But to my knowledge, neither one of us has been to the shore at all since summer began so as long as were down here can't you at least try to enjoy yourself a little bit? Besides, we'll both be heading off to college in the fall so who knows when we'll be able to hang out again.

Daria: I guess it wouldn't hurt TOO much. I just would feel better if Jane were here.

Maria: Yeesh, I didn't know I was such lousy company.

Daria: (looks hurt) I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that.

Maria: I know, you just worry about your friendship with Jane to much for your own good. Your arguments were never as traumatizing to your friendship as you make them out to be. Just give it some more time. I'd bet you five bucks that there's a pretty good reason why she left without saying anything. Anyway....last time I checked I was your friend too, right?

Daria: Of coarse.

Maria: Good, Then lets go have some fun. The answers your looking for are more likely to present themselves to you when your NOT looking for them.

Daria: You WOULD have to make a good point. So what sort of "fun" did you have in mind?

Maria: You've got me, you're the one with functioning retinas. Take a look around and tell me what you see.

Daria: Well, on a disappointing note for YOU. The surf has calmed down a lot more than I thought it would have. People are going in the water without a problem, we could have gone in like you wanted to if we had brought our suites.

Maria: (Smiles evilly at the mention of swim suites) Not a problem, there's a lot of stores on the boardwalk from what I'm told. I'm sure ONE of them would be able to supply us with something that fits. Or at least something that would fit YOU.

Daria: What? No way...Jane tries to railroad me into stuff like that all the time, and I hate to shop for clothes.

Maria: Yea, but there's difference. Jane would try to get you to buy the most uncomfortable and revealing thing she could find, at least that's what Trent tells me. Where as I would have no idea HOW you look in it. I'd just care if it fits.

Daria: Good, then you won't mind if we shop for yours first.

Maria: Well that could be a problem.

Daria: (grins evilly) Don't worry, I won't pick out anything for you that I wouldn't want to wear myself.

Maria: So I take it your going to pick out a swim suit with legs on it?

Daria: I'm not THAT bad, but now that you mention it. It probably would be a lot more comfortable than the stuff they try to squeeze you into these days.

Maria: So find us a store that your comfortable with then.

Daria: We could be searching all day for a store like THAT

Maria: In that case just pick one, either that or I'll have Cheyenne lead us from store to store until we find the right one. And she's not very particular about stuff like that either, she could decide to lead us in circles through the same few stores all day long.

Daria: All right already, I'll pick one myself.

Maria: So glad I could help in the decision making process. So what stores are in the vicinity?

Daria: Nothing of any real interest, mostly arcades and stores selling food or useless junk.

Maria: Well, we'll just keep walking then. Where's that lighthouse from here?

Daria: Down at the northern end of the boardwalk from what I can tell.

Maria: Cool, then we can do something fun and still head towards your objective for the day.

Daria: Are you mocking me or something.

Maria: Would I do that to you?

Daria: You tell me.

Maria: No, I'd much rather continue a pleasant and intelligent conversation with you. For two main reasons, want to know what they are?

Daria: Oh please, do enlighten me.

Maria: Absolutely, one you're my friend and I understand that your bothered by what may or may not have transpired during the course of the day, and two you're my ride home so pissing you off would be counter productive.

Daria: (smirks) So your day rests in my hands does it?

Maria: That's about the size of it.

Daria: Good, then we can forego the clothes shopping. If by some act of god that we do get wet, then we get wet and we get to go home tonight with our shoes making that squishy, squishy sound like they're a sponge full of water.

Maria: Oh good, then I DO have something to look forward to.

Daria: Yea, yea...just make sure that you dry off your dog if she gets wet. Wet seats I can deal with, wet dog not only looks nasty but it smells down right awful.

Maria: (shrugs) Yea so? We can put that little air freshener you have hanging from the radio knob to the test. We already know it's capable of taking over the scent of the entire car. What made you put such a powerful little bugger in your car anyway. Did you have some sort of bad experience in there at some point? Maybe there was a day where you were a little less than fresh?

Daria: (Daria gives Maria a light punch in the arm) That'll be enough of the menstrual cycle jokes if you don't mind.

Maria: Ow! (Rubs her shoulder) Who's talking about THAT? I was referring to B.O , I know Trent tends to come back from Mcgrundies smelling a little rank after he plays a gig there. I just thought that since you hang out with him from time to time at the same place that maybe..you know.

Daria: You noticed his little problem too huh?

Maria: I make that boy take a shower if he ever comes over directly from a gig. Bastard, he's embarrassed to let me come in with him too.

Daria: Aha...an even better subject than Trent's little B.O. problem. Let's talk about you and Trent for a bit, maybe I can make you come down with a special little rash.

Maria: Oh god..., if I could see where my knees were going to land I'd drop down on them and beg you for mercy. I don't suppose we could change the subject?

Daria: Oh no, You tried to make me go clothes shopping, now you pay the penalty my friend. So give, You say you spend as much time with Trent as you can. What do the two of you do?

Maria: (sighs reluctantly) Um...not much really. We talk, we go out from time to time, and that's pretty much it.

Daria: What, no fun time? You've been going out for about a year now, you can't tell me you don't fool around at all.

Maria; (Shakes her head no) Nope....I don't understand it either. Am I a turn off or something?

Daria: I'm not really the person you would look to for an answer on a question like that.

Maria: I get the feeling that he wants to from time to time when we're alone, but then for some reason he backs off. I mean, DAMN. Not even a kiss yet. I don't know Daria, maybe I should get Jane to try and play match maker with us or something, she told me that she used to do it with you and Trent before I came along.

Daria: Jane told you that I used to have a thing for Trent? Why that little traitorous.......

Maria: It's no big deal, Daria. I can understand why you liked him so much, but...and please don't take this the wrong way....I'm glad it didn't work out between you two.

Daria: Um..okay, I'm not sure if I should feel slighted or not.

Maria: I hope you don't, I may not be getting any....but know how I feel about him.

Daria: (Feeling a bit uncomfortable) WELL....now that we've thoroughly covered the topic of your sex life we can change the subject now. Yes..definitely I think we can change the subject now.

Maria: Okay, let's talk about what happened with you and any love life you may or may not have.

Daria: (scowls) Let's NOT.

Maria: Okay then, um.....how about your dream. Have you come across anything on our little walk that could give you some sort of insight into it?

Daria: No...I think,..... (Daria is interrupted by a familiar voice from behind them. Daria turns around to discover that Jodie is walking up to them at a fast pace.)

Jodie: Daria! (Maria now turns to face the person speaking) Hey Maria, it's good to see you too.

Maria: I wish I could say the same thing. By the way, who are you?

Jodie: It's me....Jodie, from highschool. I was the senior class president. (Notices by the expression on Maria's face that she still doesn't remember her.) I showed you around when you first came to the school.

Maria: OH....Oh, okay. Now I remember you. You kept trying to get me to join extra curricular activities from day one.

Jodie: Yea, that's pretty much how everybody remembers me.

Daria: I know that's how I did. So what's up? How did you manage to escape your bondage to college preparation that your parents delivered you into straight from birth?

Jodie: I didn't. (Jodie holds up a stack of pamphlets that she is carrying) I'm down here at the shore doing community service for the blood drive. (She holds up a leaflet) See, blood supplies are really low this year so I'm trying to get people to stop by the blood mobile at the high school in this area to donate blood.

Daria: What, no shredding of some senators incriminating documents this summer? How did you weasel your way out of that one?

Jodie: I Didn't, the guy I was supposed to work for got busted on some sort of racketeering scam. SO I had to pick an alternative, and frankly this option beat out all of my other choices by far.

Daria: Hey, nothing says I beat the system like getting people to willingly open their veins for you.

Jodie: Maybe you guys should donate, you might save somebodies life.

Daria: No thanks, a vampire got most of mine and I'm afraid if I lose anymore I'll become like HIM.

Maria: I don't know, flying around at night and killing people off doesn't sound like such a bad change of pace, not to mention that you'd be able to fulfill your dream of spreading rabies.

Daria: No, that was Jane's dream.

Jodie: (Shakes her head) And what about you Maria, what's YOUR excuse for not giving?

Maria: (Shivers) Ugh....needles. Not a chance in hell, I've always been worried that my doctor will someday try to shove one right into my eyeball. I've been wondering about that guy for the longest time.

Jodie: (looks at her in disgust and then sighs) Well, it was worth a try at least. So what are the two of you up too? I didn't expect to see you down at the beach, Daria.

Daria: Not a whole lot really, just doing a little bit of research but we keep getting sidetracked by personal amusements.

Jodie: Like what?

Maria: We some how got on the topic of Trent's B.O and it sort of went from there.

Jodie: (Looks disgusted) Isn't that topic a bit childish?

Maria: Probably, but it still beats sitting at home talking about nothing at all.

Jodie: Please tell me that this one topic, regardless of how personally amusing it may have been, didn't dominate your conversation for the whole day.

Daria: No, just for about five minutes or so. Then you came along and we started talking about people cutting their wrists willingly so they can give their contaminated aids infected blood to someone else.

Maria: Don't you just love her outlook on things? Now I know why I like her so much.

Jodie: I'm not even going to ask.

Daria: You'd be much better off, trust me. So did you want to take a break and hang out with us or something? I'm sure it would be a lot more interesting than handing out pamphlets asking people to slit their wrists for a good cause.

Jodie: I wouldn't put it so Gothically, but I could use a break. I've been at this since early this morning and I REALLY don't think I'm getting anywhere.

Maria: You mean people actually thought you were asking them to commit suicide, which caused them to ponder their meaningless existence only to discover the fact that life really does suck so what's the point?

Daria: (stares at Maria) I thought dishing out the cynical remarks was supposed to be MY job.

Jodie: (shakes her head) Well so far my day has gone something like this, about three quarters of the people I encountered today totally blew me off like they didn't see me or something. And the rest of them took pamphlets only to have me see them throw it away about two minutes later. So all in all, I've come to the conclusion that people just flat out don't dive a damn anymore.

Maria: (turns in Daria's direction) She's just NOW figuring that out?

Daria: You know, you can't blame her for having some sort of optimism.

Jodie: (smiles in light of Daria's support) Thanks Daria.

Daria: If there were no optimists in the world, How would we have a basis for comparison to show us that life really DOES suck.

Jodie: (frowns) HEY!!

Daria: Just a little friendly humor there Jodie.

Jodie: Whatever... listen, are you guys serious about wanting to get something to eat?

Daria: Yea, I guess we've starved Maria for long enough. What are you in the mood for?

Jodie: Preferably something with as little grease in it as possible.

Daria: (looks around at the local food stands to see just about every greasy food you could imagine being cooked up.) Oh yea, good luck finding something like that around here.

Jodie: I wonder what heart attack potential that food has.

Daria: Well, I can't tell you the exact figures but I can tell you it probably has a very high blood coagulation factor.

Jodie: How reassuring, lets just keep walking until we find something a little more palatable. How about it?

Daria: Works for us, lead the way. (A rumble of thunder is heard from not very far off and heads quickly turn to the sky above to see an ominous mass of dark clouds settling over the area)

Jodie: Um...I think that may have to wait, nature seems to have other plans for the people at the shore today.

Daria: Wonderful, and here I was perfectly content with staying all nice and dry.

(The winds begin to pick up at Daria's mention of staying dry followed by a few large rain drops here and there which over a period of several minutes grow more and more numerous until a hard steady rain has developed along with a brisk wind. Daria, Maria, Jodie, and Cheyenne all moved to seek cover as soon as the first rain drops began to fall. Finding only an awning out in front of an old shop available for cover as most of the stores had closed their doors in light of the deteriorating weather.)

Daria: Well this is just peachy, how long do you think we can stay here without catching some form of pneumonia?

Maria: (is about to reply optimistically when a sudden high gust of wind blows the once steady downward falling rain into a slant thus invading their once dry space for a moment or two.) On second thought...maybe not long at all.

Jodie:(chuckles at her now soaked comrade) Um... maybe you should have worn a T-shirt that was other than white in color, Maria.

Maria: What,....why?

Daria: Because your shirt is soaked now.

Maria: Okay, I'm in the dark in more ways than one here, what happens to a white shirt when it gets wet?

Daria: Let's just say it's a good thing all the guys retreated indoors already or they would be getting a peep show. (Extends her arm and grabs hold of Maria's shirt pulling it away from her skin before letting go) There, that's a little better at least.

Jodie: Well, either way we have to get out of this rain before we end up swimming home. (Jodie tries the door to the old shop behind them and to her surprise it is unlocked) Hey, it's open!

Daria: Good, then lets hope they don't have a rule about loitering.

Maria: What?

Daria: (pushes Maria forward as Jodie opens the door) IN!

(Jodie follows Daria and Maria as they enter the old shop which once inside appears to be one of those old Tarot card shops. Where people claiming to be psychics try to cheat people out of a buck. The place has appears to have been around for about as long as the boardwalk itself, towards the back wall there are burn marks here and there along the seams where two walls meet indicating that the building had once survived a fire. There is dust covering most of the old jars on the shelves as well as a counter top off to one side, this place was probably once a pub or something Daria thought to herself)

Maria: (sniffs the air) This place smells pretty old, is there anybody even in here besides us?

Daria: Not unless the place is haunted, it doesn't look like anybodies been here for quite some time.

Jodie: It's just as well I guess, at least nobody will have a problem with us hanging around until the storm passes.

(A few moments later a young brunet wearing a cobalt blue dress and a small diamond pendant around her neck appears out of a doorway in the back of the room, and as soon as she see's the visitors she turns back through the doorway and says something in Russian.)

Maria: (Perks her head up) So much for your haunting theory, Daria.

Daria: Okay, so the people who own this place aren't exactly neat freaks. Who knew?

(A few moments later An elderly but stocky Russian woman comes slowly though the doorway at the back of the room while leaning on a cane while she walks, she is followed by the young brunet who had come into the room earlier)

Russian woman: (heavy accent) Ah my god, we have visitors.

Daria: (turns to Jodie) Is it me or did we see this scene once in an old mob film? (Jodie just looks at Daria and shrugs)

Russian woman: (Makes her way over to a chair near where the group is standing and has a seat on a dusty old cushioned chair. You can almost hear her old bones creak as she does so) Eh...it's so hard to get around when you get to be my age. Is true, yes?

Daria: Uh...I guess so.

Russian woman: Ah look at the window, it takes so little time for the weather to turn sour. It saddens my heart so. (The young brunet says something in Russian to the old woman) Ah forgive me, Young ladies this is my assistant Laura. She helps me with my errands during my day.

Jodie: And you are?

Russian woman: Ah...when you get to be my age names are no longer as important as they once were. I assume the weather brings you to my doorstep, yes?

Maria: You could say something like that, yea. (Cheyenne looks at the old woman oddly and suddenly leaves Maria's side to approach the old woman)

Russian woman: Ah, a big dog. She is your seeing eye companion?

Maria: Your observant, most people take a good while to even notice that I can't see.

Russian woman: (Groans) The world is covered in ignorance, child. Take pity on such people.

(Cheyenne begins to actively sniff about the old woman's feet and then about her dress, before letting out a weird bark and relieving herself on the woman's left foot)

Jodie: Oh my god, Maria....call your dog!

Maria: Cheyenne,...come!! (Cheyenne lets out a grunt at the old woman and a cheerful bark this time before returning to Maria's side) Did she do what I think she did?

Daria: And then some.

Jodie: Oh god, we're sorry. Her dog is, well.... you know what, I don't know what the dogs problem is. But I'm sure we can replace the shoes if they can't be cleaned.

Russian woman: (Gives the dog a sour look before returning her attention to Jodie and the others) Do not fret it, I have suffered worse in my time. (She removes her shoes and tosses them over into the nearby corner) So what can I do for you today?

Daria: Simple, don't toss us back out into the rain. That way we can avoid any problematic health issues.

Russian woman: I do not care for how long you stay, in my age it gives me something to do with my day. I meant what can I do for you as long as you are here.

Daria: Well, that all depends one what it is that you do here during the coarse of the business day.

Russian woman: Oh I dabble in all sorts of things, some of it's a ruse, some of it isn't.

Daria: Let me guess, You're a self proclaimed psychic or something and you want to read our palms,... and then possibly suck some money from us, right?

Russian woman: Such a bite for a tongue so young, not everybody is out to make a buck these days. As I said before, I'm getting up in the years and there's not much any more to fill my day like there once was. If I can pass some time and maybe teach somebody something in the process, than maybe perhaps it is worth the effort to an old woman. (Daria wears a slightly hurt expression for only a moment before returning to her stoic face)

Jodie: (apologetically) Your right, and we're sorry. What did you have in mind again, palm reading?

Russian woman: (swats at the air) Ah.....that old game is for phonies trying to cheat those who are gullible and willing to believe anything to get ahead. I don't tell the future very well, the cards....they can only seem to foretell the very near future, and even then it is never one hundred percent. Personally, I like to look into a persons eyes and tell them things about themselves that supposedly only they know, and sometimes things that they don't. It is a challenge for myself, I like to think.

Daria: (unimpressed) Do tell?

Russian woman: It is so,...you do not believe me? (Daria turns to look at Jodie who only shrugs back at her)

Jodie: Ah hell, it doesn't look like we're going to be going anywhere anytime soon. Can you show us what you mean?

Russian woman: I thought you would never ask child. (Turns to Daria and Maria) Do you wish to participate, or remain a skeptic?

Daria: And miss the chance to see you miss most of the answers to our questions? No way, we're in on it.

Maria: Ah hell, what have I got to loose?

Daria: She could always mistake eye of newt for something else and accidentally switch YOUR mind with your dogs. (Jodie laughs in the background at this)

Russian woman: So who would like to participate first? (Daria and Jodie both exchange looks of indecision, Maria just stares ahead seemingly oblivious to their motions however her dog has positioned herself between Maria and the old Russian woman.)

Daria: Ah hell, why not. It should be good for a laugh at least. (Takes a step forward)

Russian woman: Thank you child, I was beginning to think you would all change your minds leaving me with another wasted day in my life.

Daria: So glad I could be of service.

Russian woman: Have a seat child.

Daria: Um okay, where? (The young brunet brings over a chair for her to sit on) Guess that solves THAT mystery. (She takes a seat and looks around) Not much for cleaning around her are you.

Russian woman: (ignores Daria's last comment and removes Daria's glasses for her) Now, let's take a look shall we.

Daria: Hey, I need those back. I can't see without them.

Russian woman: They will not go anywhere, and you do not need them for the moment. (The old woman leans forward and begins to gaze into Daria's eyes for several moments before saying anything. Finally she speaks) Interesting...such depth in a woman, this is a rare thing in today's world.

Daria: You noticed the rarity thing huh?

Russian woman: When I was your age, it was common for people to believe in their principals with such passion.

Daria: (VO) Wasn't that when there was a high risk that your family would be eaten by dinosaurs before they were twenty? (Out loud) Really, you don't say?

Russian woman: (chuckles) So you say out loud at least.

Daria: (looks slightly embarrassed to know that the woman could tell that Daria was thinking something sarcastic) Um...yea, I guess.

Russian woman: So back to the task at hand....

Daria: Ah yes, do tell. What have you discovered so far?

Russian woman: You use the bite of your tongue to hide your feelings from others, you do not wish them to become close to you.

Daria: I thought that was obvious to everybody at this point?

Russian woman: (looks amused and decides to go deeper) Your sister passed a while back, she came to an unfortunate end and you hide the pain from this incident deep within you.

Daria: (eyes widen for a moment) Okay, Now I'm slightly impressed. How did you know that?

Russian woman: How is not all that important, just that it's true.

Daria: All right, I'll grant you that. You got one right, congratulations. Have you anything else that you want to impress me with?

Russian woman: I could,...but I get the feeling that you don't wish me to divulge anything else in the presence of your friends. You feel as though it would be an invasion of your privacy, yes?

Daria: You could say something like that, yes. So what's next?

Russian woman: That all depends on you, what would you like to know?

Daria: You're not going to try to talk to the dead are you. Try to convince me that you've contacted my sister or something.

Russian women: (chuckles) I told you before that some of things you hear about my profession are a ruse to cheat idiots out of their money.

Daria: Yea?

Russian woman: That's one of them. I wouldn't insult you by trying such a thing.

Daria: Thank you for that.

Maria: (Speaks up) Let's hear your future, Daria.

Jodie: You don't really believe people can do that do you?

Maria: Who knows, I just want to listen to what gets said.

Russian woman: (sighs) I could consult the cards, but as I said before. They are not 100 percent accurate, in fact they can be down right vague. Do you still wish me to proceed?

Daria: Sure, I'm up for a game of cards. As long as it's not strip poker.

Russian woman: (her assistant brings her a deck of tarot cards and then pulls over a nearby end table) You have a unique sense of humor.

Daria: Hey, whatever passes the time until the rain lets up right.

Russian woman: That's been my position all along my dear. (Shuffles the cards and then begins to place one at a time on the table and then sighs) Well this is interesting.

Daria: Yes....?

Maria: (speaks up again) Hey, Daria doesn't get busted sometime down the road does she. I wouldn't mind listening to her beat the hell out of some dumb ass cop.

Russian woman: (rolls her eyes) Are you ready to hear this?

Daria: Sure, what else have I to do?

Russian woman: (sighs again) You've come to the shore on a small quest, you will find the answers you seek in a short time although they will not be immediately apparent when you find them. You will cross the path of a little mermaid during your travels home, when you do stay in that location until someone crosses your path.

Daria: Um.....right, a little mermaid, how cryptic. Right then,....Um,....I'll be sure to keep my eyes peeled. Do the cards say anything else?

Russian woman: (takes another look) Death is your friend, you have a long life ahead of you.

Daria: Why does that not make me feel any better?

Russian woman: Interpret it as you wish, but that is what I see in the cards.

Daria: (rolls her eyes) Great, well I think I've had my fill for the day some I'm going to relinquish the helm to another of my colleagues.

Russian woman: As you wish, who else wishes to participate.

Maria: Jodie, after you.

Jodie: Gee, thanks. (Walks forward and has a seat) Okay, lets hear it.

Russian woman: (Leans forward and looks into Jodie's eyes) You are pushed in your life a great deal, your parents are responsible for most of this, yes.

Jodie: Sounds like two for two so far, she's not so bad at this, Daria.

Russian woman: You have a man in your life, you have been seeing him for many years. You're feelings for him are strong, but you give them little time to grow.

Jodie: So far so good, what about my future?

Russian woman: (picks up the cards and puts them back in the deck) You do not need the cards, you already know what your future should be and how to make it happen. You need only to carry out your wishes, perhaps moving out on your own would benefit you greatly. Relieve the pressure from your family some.

Jodie: Gee thanks...so much,...I guess. (Jodie gets up)

Russian woman: A word of advice for you.

Jodie: (Stops) Yes?

Russian woman: This man you are seeing, you believe you will end up with him, yes?

Jodie: Anything's possible I guess, why?

Russian woman: You should take the time to show him your commitment to the relationship, spend time alone with him and expand upon your relationship.

Jodie: (looks awkward) Um......Maybe some time, but I'm not sure if I'm ready for something like that right now. Uh...thanks for the advice.

Russian woman: Mere words unless listened to, then they become advice.

Jodie: Yea well, whatever. (Walks away from the chair)

Daria: What the hell was that about?

Jodie: You've got me. You still want your turn Maria? This woman seems to give out some weird advice if you ask me.

Maria: (Smiles) Wouldn't miss it. Forward Cheyenne. (Cheyenne leads Maria over to the chair and after a moment she finds her way into it)

Russian woman: (Removes Maria's dark glasses) Ah what pretty eyes....

Maria: I'll have to take your word on that.

Russian woman: So be it then. (Looks into Maria's eyes) This would be easier if you could hold them still for me.

Maria: Can't help you much there, I can't even tell that they're moving.

Russian woman: Do you're best then. (After several moments) Ah, thank you child. That is much better. Hold it there for as long as you can.

Maria: It's a work in progress.

Russian woman: Tsk, tsk,....Why do you hide from yourself?

Maria: What?

Russian woman: You once hid from yourself because others were cruel to you. You thought that if you do not act as yourself, others will not see you for who you are?

Maria: And who am I?

Russian woman: (looks deeper into Maria's eyes) You're father once took a picture of you wearing an odd looking skirt....I believe you call it a kilt, yes? Blue with black stripes?

Maria: Family colors, at least that's what he told me.

Russian woman: You miss your home.

Maria: Not much to miss, I left when I was five.

Russian woman: The best memories are when you are young. This kilt, you have one that fits you now?

Maria: My dad got it for me a few years ago.

Russian woman: My advice to you,...Wear it for yourself once in a while. You will feel better if you allow yourself to be who you are, not what you think you SHOULD be.

Maria: Um....okay, I guess. What else have you got to tell me?

Russian woman: What is it you wish to know that you do not already.

Maria: I don't know really, I was expecting something cryptic that I would have to figure out for myself. Like you told Daria, or you could play around with those cards I heard you shuffling earlier.

Russian woman: (laughs) You know what you want, what you need to do is take the initiative. Do this and things will fall into place for you, trust me.

Maria: I guess that's it then, thanks. (Starts to get up)

Russian woman: Before you go, I have something for you.

Maria: (sits back down) Really?

Russian woman: (Her assistant brings over a small bowl with a clear liquid in it. The old woman dips her fingers in it, then places her hand over Maria's eyes and wipes them downward) It is not much but you will like it.

Maria: (Pulls back) OW!! Dammit, that stings like hell.

Russian woman: It will fade in a moment. (Leans back in her chair) And by the looks of the window the storm has moved on, I'm guessing you will wish to go on about your business soon.

Daria: Um...That probably sounds about right I guess. Thanks for letting us hang out here.

Russian woman: Thank you for giving me something to do with my afternoon. (Maria gets up and Cheyenne leads her toward her friends)

(Daria, Jodie, Maria, and Cheyenne all make their way out of the same door that they came in through to find out that not only has the storm passed but it has also cleared up and is bright and sunny. As bright as it usually is in the late afternoon that is.)

Jodie: (looking up at the sky) I can't believe the skies cleared up this quickly, I was expecting it to still be overcast, or mostly cloudy at the very least.

Daria: (looks up as well) What, After a sudden storm like that we don't even get a rainbow? Isn't that a jip. (Looks over at Maria) Well, at least YOU got what you came down here for.

Maria: (Perks her head up and turns in Daria's direction) What?

Daria: You got wet just like you were hoping.

Maria: I suppose, but I was hoping to go about it in an entirely different manner.

Daria: Jodie and I could always toss you into the surf if you like.

Maria: I'll pass, I'm wet enough for one day.

Daria: Suit yourself.

Jodie: Well, as much fun as all of this has been, I think It's about time I started heading back.

Daria: (pretends to whine) But mom, our curfew isn't until nine.

Jodie: (chuckles) I Hate to be the party pooper, Daria. But I have to get up at seven and come back down here again tomorrow to do the same thing all over again.

Maria: So basically, it'll be like you're caught in a temporal loop and your doomed to repeat yourself for all eternity, only it's voluntary.

Jodie: (an odd look appears on Jodie's face) Gee, when you put it like that it sounds like the high point of my life.

Daria: So you might as well break out the razor blades now and do yourself a favor.

Jodie: Not Quite, thanks. Even if it IS repeating the same events as today, I think I can manage to skip getting drenched in a rainstorm and then having a weird old woman tell me I need to get laid.

Maria: I don't know, it didn't sound like such bad advice to me.

Jodie: Oh yea, I can just picture myself listening to her right now.

Maria: (pretends she's Jodie) So tell me Mike, will that be single or double bag tonight?

Jodie: That's very nasty Maria.

Maria: (shrugs) Sorry, my mind likes to wander in the mud sometimes.

Daria: (smirks) And right now You're hip deep in it. (Maria laughs) (Daria turns to see the sun preparing to dip down below the horizon) Ah hell, I guess we might as well head back with you Jodie.

Jodie: What made you change your mind, Daria?

Daria: It's getting late, that's all.

Maria: It's not anything else is it, or lack thereof?

Daria: (scowls) NO!

Maria: Okay,...okay, just checking.

Jodie: What's she talking about, Daria.

Daria: Nothing important, Jodie.

Jodie: (Looks slightly worried but then dismisses it) Okay.

(The group turns to walk back in the direction from which they first came and we watch as they walk further and further away)

(Cut to inside the old Shop)

(The young brunet stands looking out from one of the front windows watching as Daria and her friends walk away from the shop)

Russian woman: (Morph's into a taller and somewhat thinner man dressed in a suit that is gray from top to bottom and begins to talk in plain English.) They're not going to come back, Laura. So I don't know why you're staring out that window. (The brunet turns to face him)

Laura: I'm not concerned about them coming back, (1) Nick. If you recall one of them is my assignment and I'm keeping an eye on her.

Nick: You Guardian's,...sometimes I think you worry about your job just a little TOO much.

Laura: Powerful words coming from the mouth of fate, if YOU screw up you can just find a way to work it into the path that life follows. If I screw up, somebody gets hurt or dies.

Nick: (shrugs) Okay good point , I take it back.

Laura: (sighs) Okay, so I played along like you wanted. Now spill the beans, what was all that crap that was flying out of your mouth a while back?

Nick: (Smiling from ear to ear) Just doing my job, that's all.

Laura: Uh huh, and enjoying every minute of it as I can see rather well. Now spill it....

Nick: Each of them has a path in life, I'm just getting the ball rolling.

Laura: I'm seeing a lot of gum flapping here, yet I hear nothing.

Nick: Need it in detail do you?

Laura: Do bears defecate royally in the woods?

Nick: (Almost laughs) I've set Daria up to find the answers to a dream she's been having,.....in a rather unique way you could say.

Laura: Riiiiiiiiiight,... what about the others? (Picks the bowl up with the liquid and sniffs it, then makes a face) What is this Visine that you rubbed on my assignments eyes?

Nick: (chuckles) It made for a great effect don't you think? I planted some images in her mind to go along with many of her memories, that way...at least when she dreams, she'll get her wish of being able to see at times. Other than that, I just gave her some friendly advice.

Laura: (frowns) You ARE an angel you know, you have the authority to perform small miracles. Why didn't you just give her the ability to see?

Nick: It would have blown our cover and decimated everything I was trying to accomplish. I may have started them down a certain path, but they still have to make the choices on how to follow it. If I revealed myself, they would feel inclined to follow my instructions as fact and they would no longer be following their own lives as they saw fit.

Laura: Eh, I suppose you may be right. Now What you told the Landon girl is what's really bugging me, why would you advise her to become sexually active.

Nick: (defensively) Hey, I did it in a relatively subtle way.

Laura: (crosses her arms) That's still completely unlike you, now what was you're motive for THAT?

Nick: (shrugs) I had my reasons.

Laura: Uh huh, you know when I was alive I wasn't known for having the curiosity of a cat for nothing. (Pulls a palmtop computer from somewhere behind her back and begins to call up some data.)

Nick: Maybe, but that was back in the thirteen hundreds. Having the curiosity of a cat back then meant that you actually asked a guy questions instead of keeping your mouth shut.

Laura: (ignores him) Jodie Landon,...Jodie,... what's this goofball of a colleague up to..... Oh damn.....!

Nick: (nods slowly) Yea, sucks huh?

Laura: That early in life,... a hysterectomy?

Nick: Cancer can be a bitch, and it sucks even worse when we're not permitted to do anything about it. She might as well enjoy herself while she's young, and maybe have a kid while she's able to.

Laura: (looks up from her computer with a sad face which slowly grows into a sly one) Giving her a head start on life are we?

Nick: (coughs) Dammit, I think that softening heart of (2)Paul's is contagious.

Laura: Maybe you're not such a jerk like everyone says after all.

Nick: (smirks) No, I am. I'm just your kind of jerk. Anything else your itching to know?

Laura: Yes, as a matter of fact there is. What was with the dog? Because the way she acted made that little incident seem more like an act of revenge than a natural reflex. (Pauses for an answer) Or is it just me?

Nick: (mumbles) Yea,.....it was revenge.

Laura: (grins from ear to ear) Care to enlighten me?

Nick: I used her in one of my plans a while back and I guess she didn't take too kindly to it.

Laura: Used her how?

Nick: I jumped in front of her and scared the hell out of her.

Laura: (laughs) And despite your little disguise she still recognized you.

Nick: (Sniffs himself) Yea, I didn't even know I HAD a scent. (Walks over to Laura and places his hand on her shoulder) Come on, you've got somebody to watch and I've got work of my own to do. Let's get out of here shall we.

Laura: Hey, not so close B.O. boy.

Nick: Har,..har, let's just go shall we? (Laura nods and they both walk towards the back of the shop fading from view as they go)

(Cut to the beginning end of the board walk early that evening. The sun has already set taking with it the shadows that had chased everything that had been in direct sunlight for most of the day. The surroundings are now only made visible by the remaining twilight, and even that is fading quickly. Jodie had since parted with Daria and Maria given that her car was in a parking lot farther down the street, so she chose to stay on the boardwalk until she made it down to the correct cross street.)

(Daria, Maria and Cheyenne approach Daria's old escort, Just before unlocking the car Daria stops to note the remaining time on the parking meter and then the ticket that is being held in place just underneath the drivers side windshield wiper)

Daria: Dammit!!

Maria: What?

Daria: The meter ran out sometime before we got back and as a result I got a parking ticket. Dammit again!

Maria: I'm sorry Daria, If I'd known we were going to be so long I would have brought more change with me.

Daria: It's not your fault Maria, we were held up by the weather.

Maria: Held up by the weather...hmmm, sounds like something you'd hear on SSW.

Daria: Excuse me?

Maria: Meteorological mugging's, NEXT on sick sad world.

Daria: (smiles) You know the world is sick when the weather turns to a life of crime. (Daria unlocks the car doors) Let me know if that dog has to go again, leather boots aren't exactly washable you know.

Maria: I don't know what got into her earlier, I guess she just didn't like the woman for some reason.

Daria: Don't take any chances, warn me if you can..

Maria: No problem, if I open an umbrella then you'll know right off the bat. I'm sorry about the ticket, Do you want me to help you pay for it?

Daria: (sighs) No,...it isn't too bad. It's going to run me twenty five bucks, I can probably compensate by squeezing a bribe that out of my mom. I'll probably have to agree to let her do something to my room while I'm away at college. Worse comes to worse I have to cough up with my own money.

Maria: You would let your mom touch your room, Are you feeling alright? I don't even know what mine looks like and I wouldn't let my mom touch it if she started cutting off my limbs one by one.

Daria: I'm fine, thank you very much. Besides, I plan to find my own place by the time I'm done with school anyway. Preferably the sooner the better, my mom's increasing inquiries as to my whereabouts at any given time are becoming intolerable. I'm thinking of recording her as she badger's me over the phone and then I'll play it back to her while she's trying to sleep at night.

Maria: Cruel and unusual retribution huh?

Daria: Hey, anything else is just substandard.

(Daria unlocks the car and they climb in to head for home)

(Cut to fifteen minutes later)

Daria is driving down a narrow two lane highway as she is just departing from the township of Barnegate, Apparently she is taking a different route home in an attempt to avoid the evening traffic from the shore. The surrounding seems to be a sort of wildlife preserve as can be noted by the fact that most of the brush and trees that thickly line either side of the road are completely wild in growth. Any remaining twilight has since faded and the road is only lit in front of the car as a result of Daria's driver side headlight.

Daria: Dammit, I knew I shouldn't have waited to replace that damned thing. It's bad enough that there aren't any street lights.

Maria: Replace what?

Daria: A headlight.

Maria: Blown headlights are bad, right?

Daria: Unless I've suddenly become equipped with night vision, yea. I've still got the one though.

Maria: If your luck holds out, that is.

Daria: Out to jinx me are you?

Maria: Not really, I'd like to make it home without any reassembly required if you don't mind.

Daria: I think I can live with that, I haven't learned enough about the human anatomy yet to be able to piece you back together. I fear you'd end up in the same hole as humpty dumpty, and he's still waiting for an egg shell donor.

Maria: In that case Break out Jane's stickmata 5000 and get to work.

(In the distance a small light can be seen on the side of the road, as the car gets closer to it, it becomes just distinguishable as the interior light of a roadside phone booth.)

Daria: Well, I'll be damned.

Maria: What, is Sasquatch thumbing a ride or something?

Daria: No, but on this stretch of road it's probably just as unheard of.

Maria: Well don't leave me on the edge of my seat here, what sort of mind boggling cosmic phenomena are we talking about?

Daria: A sign of civilization, a phone booth to be specific.

Maria: Your jumping up and down in your seat over a phone booth? We had to have passed at least one on the way here, right? What makes this one so special?

Daria: Nothing, It's just the first of anything I've seen on this road so far.

Maria: We're not taking the main highway?

Daria: Back road, I was hoping to avoid the rush hour traffic. Shore traffic is always bumper to bumper this time of day.

Maria: I've never actually noticed, lack of vision you know.

Daria: You don't say, Good thing you told me. I might have asked you to drive us the rest of the way home.

Maria: Wouldn't want that would we, unless you actually WANT a scenic tour of the woods.

Daria: I'll pass on that one, thanks.

Maria: Suit yourself.

(A slight reflection of light catches Daria's eye from the far right as she is talking to Maria, for a moment Daria dismisses it as a reflection on her glasses from the dash lights until suddenly it moves to dart across the road and Daria comes to the realization that this would be reflection was actually Daria's parking lights reflecting off of the eyes of a deer, which has now decided to run out across the road in front of her car. Daria lets out a quick yelp and stomps on the brake peddle just before swerving the car into the other lane in an attempt to evade the animal but to no avail, the deer continues into the other lane maintaining it's position in front of Daria's car and a split second later, WHAM!! The escort impacts the deer crumpling the pathetic aluminum frame on the front of Daria's car and sending the deer several yards down the road still out in front of the battered old car. The escort comes to a skidding halt about the same time as the animal and thanks to the seat belt and driver side air bag, Daria and Maria are none the worse with the exception of being shaken up and experiencing some aches across the shoulder and chest area as a result of being held in place by the seat belts.

Daria pushes her deflating airbag towards the steering column in an attempt to regain her bearings before turning to Maria who is groaning and holding her right shoulder)

Daria: Are you all right?

Maria: OW!! Dammit, what happened.

Daria: I said, Are you all right?

Maria: (Finds the clasp for her seatbelt and removes it, then proceeds to rub her shoulder some more) I'll live I guess, what the hell happened?

Daria: I think we hit a deer.

Maria: Wonderful, getting some practice in before moving up to humans are we?

Daria: (scowls) That's not funny, I didn't mean to hit it. It ran out in front of me. (A saddened look appears on Daria's face) Oh my god, I've killed an Deer! I'm an Deer killer!

Maria: Remind me to slap the cuffs on you later, right now I need to get out of this car and move around. Are there any cars coming?

Daria: (Achingly turns to look in the mirrors) Figures, not a soul in sight.

Maria: Fabulous, in an attempt to avoid traffic our pent up road rage turns to bambicide, NEXT on sick sad world. (Maria gropes around the door in search of the handle until she finds it and shoves the door open then slowly proceeds to stumble out of the car)

Daria: (As she exits through the driver side door) Don't try to make me feel better about this, I killed an innocent deer.

Maria: Who's trying to make YOU feel better, I'm trying to calm MYSELF down. Anyway, you said it walked out in front of you right? Who's to say the thing wasn't suicidal and just couldn't find a decent tree to hang itself from. Look around, maybe you'll find a note or something.

Daria: You know this really isn't time for jokes like that.

Maria: Better now than never, at least we're alive to tell them.

Daria: Good point. (Daria reaches back into the car and grabs a flashlight from under the drivers seat, then she turns it on and walks out in front of the car to where the deer is only to see it struggling to move while lying on the ground. There is blood on the asphalt from where one of the deer's front limbs came away from the shoulder joint on impact as well as several areas of missing fur revealing some nasty road rash) Oh my god,....it's still alive!!

Maria: (turns in the direction of Daria's voice) Are you serious?? What the hell do we do with it now? I don't want to listen to the thing die slowly, can't we put it out of it's misery or something?

Daria: Yea right, I couldn't even shoot my own mother with a paint ball gun. Besides, we're exactly one gun short of actually having a gun to put the damned thing out of it's misery WITH.

Maria: (Shakes her head) Details, details,....So what then?

Daria: Well, there's that phone booth we passed about fifty yards back before THIS happened, We can at least call for help.

Maria: Well in that case get your butt over here and point me in the right direction,....Oh my god, Cheyenne!! Daria, where's my dog?

(Daria walks over to the car and looks in the back seat to see Cheyenne lying down on the floor with her paws covering her eyes.)

Daria: Cheyenne, are you all right? (The dog uncovers her eyes and grunts, then gets up and works her way out of the back seat and past Daria trotting to Maria's side) Looks like she's okay to me, I guess she just doesn't like the bumper cars.

Maria: (chuckles) Lets just call for help shall we?

Daria: I suppose that could be arranged. (Daria Walks up to Maria and places a hand on her shoulder to guide her and the two of them as well as the dog start walking down the road to the phone booth. After several minutes of walking they finally arrive at the booth, Daria picks up the receiver and is about to try to make a collect call when she notices that there is no dial tone. Daria Looks down at the phone and comes to a rather dubious realization, the phone cord is severed.) Oh you've GOT to be kidding me.

Maria: What is it?

Daria: Some kind, caring soul decided to take it upon his or her self to vandalize the phone by cutting the cord.

Maria: The phone's dead,... oh this is just getting better and better. We're on an isolated road with no one in sight, the car is smashed, there is a deer lying in the road dying slowly, and our only means of calling for help has been rendered inoperable by someone with nothing better to do with his or her time.

Daria: Feel better now that you've summed up the situation for us?

Maria: We're screwed Daria, what the hell are we going to do now?

Daria: How the hell should I know, give me a few minutes to... (Daria and Maria become the focus of an intense beam of light which subsides after a short moment as it moves away over the surrounding brush, a moment later a low fog horn is heard)

Maria: What the hell was that?

Daria (Looks towards the source of the light for a moment before replying) I guess somebody had the bright idea of getting the light house going for the night.

Maria: Bright idea,... light house. I get it.

Daria: Yea, funny as hell. I'm just splitting my sides over it under the circumstances. (Daria turns and is about to lead Maria back to the car when something glossy on top of the trash in the receptacle next to the phone booth catches her eye. Daria leans closer to check it out and notices that it is an empty case for a VHS cassette of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" complete with detailed pictures on the front. Daria Pauses as the words spoken by the old woman earlier in the day pass though Daria's mind.)

Maria: What are you doing, Daria?

Daria: Huh? Oh, nothing.

Maria: Um...okay, so you were saying something about what we were going to do next?

Daria: (Drums her fingers against her leg in thought then decides to dismiss the idea) The only thing I can think of to do at the moment is to walk back to the car and hope somebody comes along. Either that or we can build a fire and start sending smoke signals.

Maria: Somehow I don't think anybody in the area is familiar with that form of code, so I guess it's back to the car for us. Cheyenne, can you take me to the car girl? (The dog places herself in a position where Maria can find the leash and after she grabs hold, Cheyenne begins to lead her toward the car with Daria close behind)

(As Daria, Maria, and Cheyenne are arriving back at the car, a pair of headlights can be seen approaching their position from far in the distance)

Daria: I don't believe it, there's somebody on this god forsaken road besides us.

Maria: So flag the stupid shit down already. Or do you WANT to stay out here all night?

Daria: Can you wait until it gets closer? Whoever this is isn't going to see us at this distance, especially in the dark.

Maria: Dammit, why is it that light has to play such an important role in sight anyway? (Daria doesn't reply, she just gives Maria an odd look)

(As the vehicle approaches within an acceptable distance Daria moves away from the car and is about to try to get the drivers attention when it becomes apparent that the driver has already seen them. A set of flashing blue lights comes to life on the vehicles roof and it slows until it comes along side of Daria and stops, the driver rolls down the window to reveal a stocky dark haired man with blue eyes. The man takes a long slow look around before saying anything.)

Man: (Scottish accent) Damned deer, you'd think that after the car was first invented the things would have eventually figured out that cars are dangerous. (Looks at Daria and then notices Maria silhouetted by his headlights in the background) Maria, what the hell are you doing here?

Maria: (Perks her head up as she recognizes the man's voice) Duncan...? I could say the same thing about you.

Duncan: I'm on my way to do a little surf fishing, my favorite spot is down this way. The blues down this way give up a righteous fight. What about you?

Maria: We're on our way back from the board walk and we ran into a little car trouble.

Duncan: An understatement to say the least, are you two all right?

Maria: We'll live.

Daria: You know this guy Maria?

Maria: Of coarse I know him, this is my older brother Duncan. Duncan, this is my friend Daria Morgendorffer. Daria, By brother Duncan Macleod.

Daria: (looks amused) Your name's Duncan Macleod? Let me guess, there can.... (Duncan cuts her off)

Duncan: DON"T say it, I hate those bloody jokes. It's been none stop since that damned series came out, I can't stand it.

Daria: Right then, in that case instead of a bad joke can you help us out?

Duncan: Aye, I thought you might be asking something like that sooner or later. Right then, no problem, never leave the house without a portable. (Daria lowers her head and begins to mutter to herself over having forgotten her own) How's the animal by the way?

Daria: (looks up) It's pretty gruesome, I hate to say it but I'm pretty sure it needs to be put down

Duncan: (gets out of the truck and follows Daria over to the deer) Bloody shame too, that's a nice buck. It'd be a shame to waste a nine pointer like that

Daria: (scowls) I don't suppose you could stop marveling at the catch long enough to call for some help?

Duncan: All right lass, don't get you're undie's in a bunch. (He pulls his cell phone out of his pocket and begins to dial as he walks back to the truck)

Daria: (mutters as she walks back over to Maria) Jerk!!

(About an hour later a state trooper appears on the scene along with a tow truck and someone from animal control. After the animal control officer haggles over the radio with the barracks captain the ok is finally given for the trooper to discharge his weapon. He waits for the tow truck to leave with Daria's car before moving in to carry out this duty. As Daria, Maria, Duncan, and Cheyenne all climb in to Duncan's pick up, Maria Jumps as the loud report is heard from the troopers nine millimeter side arm.)

Duncan: (calms Maria) Don't worry about it lass, it's not in pain any more.

(By strange coincidence during the long ride home, Daria ends up stuck in the middle with the stick shift between her legs and with Maria by the window who eventually falls asleep against it, and Cheyenne riding in the back with her ears flapping in the wind the whole way home. Yet regardless of how uncomfortable Daria was due to her position in the truck, little is said by anybody the entire time. The truck arrives at the pizza king back in Lawndale around ten O'clock that same evening, it had been unanimously decided that the evenings unfortunate ending would better stomached if some actual food were applied to the equation. As the truck enters the parking lot, Daria spies the Tank sitting there unoccupied)

Daria: Figures, NOW Jane turns up.

Maria: Huh,... what's up?

Daria: The Tank is here.

Duncan: (looks at Maria momentarily) That rusted out old shit box your boyfriend drives half the time? (Chuckles) It's a miracle the way they keep that thing running, the mechanic who works on it should be canonized as a saint when it dies.

Daria: (turns to Maria) How is it that everyone else I've met so far seems to know your brother yet strangely, I've never heard a whisper of him?

Maria: (shrugs) It never came up I guess, Trent's been over my house numerous times so It's not at all surprising that they've met each other.

Daria: Uh huh, has Jane met him too?

Maria: Once or twice. She rides in the car with Trent from time to time, remember? What are you jealous or something?

Daria: NO!

Duncan: Good god, does it really matter? You two could probably go on like this like a couple of banshee's all night long. There are better things to worry about than who's met the likes of me, Daria, your car is smashed, a deer had to be put down and wasted. God, what a bloody shame that was. Anyway, none of you was hurt and you got a ride home so count your blessings and let's go eat. (Opens the driver side door and gets out to head for the front door to the pizza king)

Daria: I guess I can't argue with logic like that.

Maria: Who's arguing, lets get out of the truck and catch up with him before he finds Trent and cleans the restaurant out.

Daria: You mean to tell me that between Trent and yourself, I actually stand a chance at getting something to eat?

Maria: (Climbs out of the truck and Cheyenne immediately jumps out of the back and moves to her side) You can crack all the jokes you want, I'm hungry. Cheyenne, catch up to Duncan. (The dog leads her off at a quick pace towards the restaurant Daria sighs and climbs out of the truck herself before walking after her. Once inside, Trent, Jane and the rest of the band can be immediately spotted off to the left consuming a large quantity of pizza while discussing the bands latest performance)

Jesse: So what good does it do if Trent goes to an open D on the down beat if your rhythm on the drums is going in the opposite direction.

Max: Hey what difference does it make, the crowd still loved it.

Trent: That's not the point, man.

Jane: (Cuts Trent off as Daria, Duncan, and Maria approach the table) Hey Daria, what's shaking?

Daria: Good to see you too, Jane. Though it would have been nicer had you at least said goodbye.

Jane: Hey, I left you a couple of messages saying I was going. I just figured you could use some space before we went off to college this fall.

Daria: (Daria thinks of the fact that she had forgotten her phone early in the day and as a result could not check her messages) I've got enough space, what I need are friends to make use of that space.

Jane: Okay,...okay, I'm sorry. I assumed too much after our last argument, do you forgive me? (Waits for Daria to answer) Aw come on, Daria. Till we come to bad ends we're freakin' friends. Remember?

Daria: (sighs and has a seat next to Jane) Who taught you THAT defense, Jonny Cochran?

Jane: Actually, he stole it from ME but much to his dismay it didn't gain much sympathy from the jury during OJ's trial.

Daria: Even after the glove didn't fit? How could it not have?

Jane; (shrugs) I guess the jury was frozen at heart instead of hung like OJ wanted.

(Trent looks up from his food and notices Duncan and Maria)

Trent: Hey Maria, it's good to see you.

Maria: I wish I could say the same, Trent. (Trent gets up from the table and walks around to give her a hug) Hey Duncan, still in the fire biz?

Duncan: Oh yea, Pyro's start them and I hose em' down. It's a regular blast.

Maria: (while Trent's arms are still around her Maria reaches up and feels around Trent's face with her fingers until she comes across his goatee) Enough chit chat you two, now Trent I Haven't seen you all day so I need you to tell me something.

Trent: Really, and what's that? (Maria grabs his goatee and pulls him close the kisses him) OW!

Maria: Why haven't we done that sooner? (Trent blushes as she lets go)

Jane: (laughs) Grabbing the bull by the horns so to speak eh, Maria?

Maria: Just taking some friendly advice, that's all.

Jane: Do tell, care to enlighten me?

Maria: Nope, it's my ears only kind of stuff. (Jane just sits back and smirks)

Jane: (laughs and looks over at Trent) So much for the awkwardness, eh Trent? (After a moment) So are you people going to join us at the table like Daria or just stand there like a couple of horses all night long.

Duncan: Well I don't know to be honest with you, This place has a fine soft lawn out there. I may just decide to go chew a bit of it now that you mention it.

Jane: Hey, and maybe you could swat a few flies around your butt while your at it.

Duncan: You're hysterical Jane, But I can tell you this much. There'll be no insects hanging around the likes of MY arse. It just totally ruins the dining experience. (Jane bursts out laughing at his pronunciation of the word) What? (Has a seat across from Daria)

Jane: (still laughing a little) Okay, that's enough body humor for one sitting. So did anything interesting happen during the coarse of your day, Daria?

Daria: Eh, nothing I'm proud of. We went to the shore, got rained on a bit, then came home. All in all a mediocre day.

Duncan: You make such short work of your stories lass. Your friend here is lucky to be alive, the girl nailed a deer on the way home from the shore. The car is all smashed up and everything. (Turns to Daria) You'd be better off getting another car, it would cost just as much to fix that one you had.

Jane: Oh god, Daria. And not a scratch on you, how lucky can you get?

Daria: I could have been lucky enough to take the main route home, that's how lucky I could get.

Jane: Oh excuses, excuses...., Duncan's right, things could be worse. Right Maria? (Looks over to see Maria snoozing on Trent's shoulder) How do you like that, she gets one kiss from my brother and she contracts his sleeping habits that quickly.

Daria: Guess there's no hope for those two, is there.

Jane: Not any more, Damn and I almost had Trent sold on the idea of going after you instead.

Daria: You'll never let that crush I had on him rest will you?

Jane: Not as long as I'm still breathing, my friend.

Daria: You know, That's a problem I could EASILY rectify.

Jane: (smirks) So you're into anal now are you? (Daria just gives her a completely disgusted look)

(Trent gives a yawn and Gently nudges Maria off his shoulder)

Trent: Hey Janie, I can feel sleep catching up to me as well so I'm going to take sleeping beauty here and cut out for the night. (Turns to Jesse and Max) You guys coming? (They all get up and Trent moves to Wake Maria up)

Jane: Oh let her be, Trent. Be a gentleman and carry her to the car.

Trent: Nah, I'm afraid I might hurt my back or something.

Jane: Yea, that lack of movement thing during your long hours of sleep has probably atrophied you muscles. I'm surprised you can move at all.

Daria: And besides, people might get the wrong impression and think he was getting ready to stuff a body into the back of the van. We don't need the cops showing up and beating the living hell out of him.

Jane: Or maybe we do, it'd make for some great sketches. What do you say Trent?

Trent: (just smiles and wakes Maria up) Time to go, love. (She groans and eventually climbs to her feet and Then Trent leads her towards the door with the rest of the band and the dog following close behind)

Duncan: (calls after Trent) Keep your eyes peeled for any deer ye' daft bastard, the Damned things are suicidal tonight. (Trent and the others just keep walking)

Jane: Well so much for the opportunity of good art presenting itself. (Looks at the table and notices that there is only one slice left) But as long as you guys haven't eaten yet, I might as well go order another pie. I'll be right back. (Jane gets up and heads up to the counter)

Duncan: Is it me or is it rather odd how everybody just up and disappeared at the same time like that?

Daria: You noticed that little coincidence too, huh?

Duncan: Aye, I did.

Daria: Um...listen, I didn't say anything earlier so I might as well just get it out of my system before I forget and give the false impression that I'm ungrateful or something.

Duncan: You're welcome. And sorry about acting like a bloody jock back there, I just hate to see things wasted. Even if it's by accident.

Daria: Apology accepted. (After about ten minutes of silence Daria Looks around) Where's Jane with that Damned pizza?

Duncan: Probably eating it at the counter, but since we're still waiting do you want that last slice?

Daria: Um...no, that's okay you can have it.

Duncan: Actually, I was offering it. Take the thing I can wait.

Daria: No, It's alright. (Thinks for a moment and then decides to take the slice anyway just as Duncan is reaching for it himself and they end up grabbing each others hand by mistake and then withdrawing their hands in embarrassment) Sorry about that, I just thought you weren't going to take it and like you said about wasting things and all.

Duncan: Aye, I thought the same. Tell you what, I'm going to go see what's keeping the food. You eat the last of that. (He gets up and walks up to the counter to meet up with Jane. Daria picks up the last slice with both hands and is about to eat it when she stops and reaches around to feel the back of her neck to notice that the hairs are standing on end)

Daria: (confused) It's not even cold in here.

(Cut to later that night Daria is seen at her doorstep as Duncan and Jane pull away in his truck after dropping her off for the night)

Daria: (places her keys in the lock and prepares to open the door) Great, now that I'm home how the hell am I going to explain that my car is smashed without my parents acting like a couple of nutcase's? (Daria opens the door and walks in to see Helen and Jake sleeping on the couch in the buff with only a blanket wrapped around the two of them to grant any dignity) Oh the hell with explanations, where's the damned camera?

~The end~


1. In reference to "All Good Things" Nick is mentioned as being the angel of Fate.

2. In reference to both "A New Experience" and "All Good Things" Paul is known as being the angel of death.