Turn And Face The Strange



Scene Title Turn and Face the Strange
Synopsis She's always worked there.
Date May 31, 2018

A coffee pot percolates in a quiet cafeteria.

I watch the ripples change their size

Morning sun finds its way through the tinted windows, tracing shadows against the wall.

But never leave the stream

Sera Lang stands with a cup of coffee cradled in both hands, drawing in a deep breath before slowly exhaling a steady sigh. Turning on her heels, her black and orange Converse sneakers scuff across the tile floor on her way back to the lobby. Today is her last day on the job. So to speak.

Of warm impermanence

Raytech NYSZ Headquarters

Jackson Heights


Emerging from the break room, Sera Lang carries herself with a bounce in her step. The radio she's left at the front desk plays a classic David Bowie song, broadcast from WSZR New York. The broadcast is crisp and clear here, and her soft-soles flats scuff the tile floor underfoot as she walks. Setting the coffee cup down and snatching a maple-frosted donut from a box on the desk, Sera places it in her mouth and wheels over to her keyboard.

And so the days float through my eyes

The phoen rings, and juggling her coffee in one hand, donut in her mouth, and now fumbling with the receiver with her last free hand Sera offers a muffled, "Huhwuh?" to whoever is on the other line. "Mnh suhwuh, Muhtuh Wuh sunt uhn wut nuh." Donut trapped between teeth, Sera sets down her coffee and grabs a pen, scribbling a name out on a notepad beside her. Avi Epstein, easy enough to remember. A phone number is added next.

But still the days seem the same

Tearing a bite out of her donut, Sera sets it down on a napkin and swallows what was in her mouth. "Does, uh, does Mister Ray— is he expecting your call?" Nodding to the voice on the other end, Sera marks a frownie-face next to Avi's name. "Mnhmm, ok. I'll be sure he gets your message." Next she scribbles, killer robots next to his name and a date in early June which she marks on her desk calendar.

And these children that you spit on

"Okay Mr. Epstein, thank you." Sera says with a chipper voice, but the moment she hangs up she adds, "for being a cantankerous ass." She lowers her brows, slides to the side on her wheeled chair, and digs the heels of her flats into the ground as she stops at the donut.

As they try to change their worlds

"Hello my sweet," Sera whispers, picking it up and admiring how much of it is left. "Where did you think you were going?"

Are immune to your consultations

Sera Lang applied for this position when the Raytech offices first opened, lives in her run-down mill apartment, and feeds pigeons in her spare time. If you ask anyone, she's always been here.

They're quite aware of what they're goin' through

Well, almost anyone.

Staten Island Trade Comission

Arthur Kill, Staten Island


A small battery-powered radio on a rough formica-topped desk plays a tinny bassless version of a David Bowie classic. Black and orange Converse sneakers scuff across the hardwood floor underfoot, and the six foot tall, willowy woman behind the desk rifles through an accordion folder full of handwritten notes, receipts, and sales information. Satisfied with what she finds, she sets it down atop the desk and pivots in her old metal-backed roller-foot chair and looks to the ground-floor window overlooking the water.

Turn and face the strange

Sweeping her hair back from her face, Mara Angier catches a glimpse of herself as reflected in the glass of the window. Sliding up to her feet, she strides across the floor, experimentally plucking at her suspenders, then rolling up the sleeves of her button-down shirt, revealing a pair of tattoos in flowing script inside of each forearm. One reads a la debandade the other l’appel du vide. She runs a thumb over her chipped and broken nails, the corner of her mouth rising into a smirk.



"Look, are you gonna fucking ignore me all day? Or do I have to talk really fucking slowly?" Standing in the office, a rough-looking man with a shaved head and too many tattoos on his neck slowly takes step forward, perturbed by Mara's transfixion. "I told you, I paid Mr. Black all'a that shit last month. You wrote it down so you musta' just misplaced it." Mara offers the young man a sidelong look.

Don't tell them to grow up and out of it

"I don't misplace things, chere." Mara is quick to note, and the broad-shouldered young man seems ill at ease with her answer. "You owe Mr. Black seven hundred and fifty-six dollars for his investments in your venture. With compounded interest that's— "


"Fuck you" He shoots back, "Fuck you an' fuck Mr. Black. I ain't payin' either of you shit. I didn't see a fuckin' dime from any of that business 'bout runnin' water. Who the fuck sells water, man? I wanted a cut of that Refrain business but you little bitches don't even got in on it do you?" Stepping forward, he slants his head to the side again, flexing his hands open and closed. "So we done?"

Turn and face the strange

"Oui," Mara notes, turning around and approaching the young man. "We done," she mocks, then reaches up and grabs him by the gold chain around his neck and yanks him forward. Her fist strikes his nose, shattering it in a single punch. Blood sprays down his mouth and the front of his white tanktop. He reels from the blow, lofting his hands only to have them swatter aside as Mara steps in and strikes another punch to his chest, then once to his jaw, then a right hook to his cheek.


He falls back with that punch, collapsing onto the hardwood floor with a crash and a clatter of his necklace, now in pieces. Mara shakes her hands at her side, spots of blood dappling the floor. She strides back to her desk, picking up a notepad and hastily scribbling a message on it. Then, walking over to the unconscious young man, she affixes the Post-It note to his forehead. "With compounded interest," Mara reiterates, "that's nine hundred and forty-five dollars." The Post-It note reads the same amount.

Where's your shame?

The young, nearly unconsciou sman exhales a groan through bloody lips, one hand reaching up to try and touch the sticky note, but unable to make the coordinated effort. Mara walks over, placing the heel of her sneaker down on his chest gently. "We expect payment in full at the end of next month, or I'll be calling you in for another audit."

You've left us up to our necks in it

Mara raises one brow slowly. "You don't want that."

Time may change me

"Do you?"

But you can't trace time


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