Megan Echo; Library Collections

Int. A small filthy apartment. Take out containers, pizza boxes, and unwashed laundry litter the floor. Two young men (Robert and Joey) sit on a well worn couch playing a console game. The entertainment system is of a quality that defies the dinginess of it’s surroundings.

Three crisp knocks are heard from off screen.

Robert and Joey pause the game and looked at each other.

Cut to the front door. Another set of 3 knocks.

Cut back to Robert and Joey.

Joey:
You put pants on and get it.

Robert:
I put pants on yesterday. You do it.

Joey stands begrudgingly and begins searching through the debris for a pair of faded sweats. Another 3 knocks are heard.

Joey:
I’m coming, calm the fuck down!

Joey dresses and heads for the door.

Joey: (over his shoulder at Robert) 
Don’t you un-pause and attack me. I know where my life was at.

He opens the door, interrupting another sequence of precise knocking at two beats.

Joey:
I’m fucking here, calm your ass…

The camera catches his face for a beat as he chokes on his sentence.  We then cut to a hokey  femme-fatale pan (with traditional saxophone) of the woman at the door.  She is dressed like a stereotypical (slightly fetishised)   librarian: shiny black heals, charcoal stockings, dark pencil skirt, messenger bag with pro-reading propaganda images, white blouse, cat-eyed bifocals with chain connecting the frame around her neck, and hair worn in a low bun secured by writing utensils. She smiles.

Megan Echo:
Would you be a Mr. Joseph Giles?

Cut to Joey, he’s staring, dumbfounded.

Megan Echo:
Mr Joseph Giles?

He comes to and is  suddenly very aware of his sloppy, unkempt appearance.

Joey:
That’s me.

Megan Echo:
Excellent!

Ms. Echo drops her bag with an audible metallic crunch and begins to rummage through it. Joey becomes preoccupied with  watching her hemline and backside before  showing marked embarrassment and attempting to conceal his interest in the librarian.

She straightens and turns toward Joey while removing a pen from her coifure, clipboard and paperwork in hand.

Megan Echo: (flipping through pages)
Ah, here we are. Mr. Giles, I am Megan Echo. I come to you as a representative of the Kingsport County Library. A recent audit has revealed that you never returned the item, ‘Animorphs: The Visitor.’ In addition to a back log of fines for the book reaching the maximum one month time frame at five cents a day and the replacement cost I am here to collect eleven dollars and thirty-eight cents.

Joey:
What?

Megan Echo:
Eleven dollars and thirty-eight cents. It’s all right here.

She shows him a form printed on dot matrix paper breaking down the costs. He takes it without looking.  Instead he continues to stare at her.

Joey:
But… I read that book in middle school. It’s been, like, 8 years.

Megan Echo:
Nine years and thirteen days. Both the Kingsport Library System and yourself are lucky today. They do not have a statute of limitations on fines so they can collect on this grossly overdue book and you are lucky that their rules don’t stipulate any sort of interest. It would have cost you a pretty penny if they had.

Joey:
So… you’re like a librarian there, huh?

Megan Echo:
A librarian, yes. However I am only on loan to Kingsport from the Library of Congress to help them collect the overdue fines. It is tough for libraries in these times, I’m afraid. With computers and smart phones and those awful tablets people are not as interested in the printed word as they once were. Funding is hard to come by and so a more direct approach of monetary collections was in order. I am helping the good people at Kingsport with this audit. Now if you please, I would be happy to collect the eleven dollars and thirty-eight cents now.

Joey:
Megan, is that what you said your name is?

Megan Echo:
Miss Echo, if you please.

Joey:
Miss Echo, I’m afraid I don’t have the cash.

 Megan Echo:
Oh, don’t you worry. I can take any form of credit card, personal check – upon verification of course – or money order. Paper currency is not necessary.

Robert: (OS)
WHAT THE FUCK IS TAKING YOU SO LONG!

Joey:
ROBERT! SHUT THE FUCK UP!Sorry bout the screaming Miss Echo…

Megan Echo:
Oh no problem at all, but if you could please promptly pay I am quite busy today.

Joey:
Well I don’t have the money I’m afraid. Since your in town for a short while perhaps you would want to go out for a drink tonight and I could pay you then.

Megan Echo: (no longer smiling)
Mr. Giles, I don’t understand why you would have funds for a date but not to pay back your library fines. Now I must ask you to pay right this minute as you seem to have ample bank to pay for stale beer and takeout pizza.

Joey:
I ain’t paying you, now get out you pushy bitch.

He slams the door.

Cut to living room as Joey enters and sits next to Robert.

Robert:
What took you so long?

Joey:
Girl at the door.

Robert:
Oh? Was she hot?

Joey:
Dude, you wouldn’t believe it. She had a perfect body, but was dressed all prissy like. A total bitch.

Robert:
Good tits?

Joey:
You wouldn’t believe it man. And get this. She was a librarian to collect my fines from fucking middle school.

Robert:
Really? Was she wearing glasses?

Joey:
Yeah, thick ones on a chain.

Robert:
Oh man, would have loved to let her check out my books.

Robert makes a gesture that indicates  he has very little interest in actual periodicals and Joey laughs loudly.

Joey:
Probably needed a man to screw some respect into…

He’s interrupted by the sound of tremendous crash.  They turn to see the door knocked from it’s hinges and Megan Echo standing calmly the glare off her glasses so intense that her eyes are no longer visible.

Megan Echo:
Mr. Giles, as I stated before the library is in desperate need of this money and I will kindly give you one more chance to pay the eleven dollars and thirty-eight cents like a good boy. Now stop fucking around and get your wallet.

Joey:(First stuttering and then in a rage)
My… my door . . . You psycho cunt!

He charges Ms. Echo and attempts to hit her.  (slow motion start) In a fluid movement Echo pulls a pencil from her hair, nimbly dodges the lumbering attack, and jams the pencil deep into the flesh between his neck and shoulder. (slow motion end) He instinctively grabs at the writing utensil lodged under his ear as he stumbles back toward the couch and plunges his free hand between Robert’s legs and under the cushion.

Joey:
Rob… move your ass.

He pulls a pistol out from the stained cushion of the love seat and turns to point it at Ms. Echo (close up)but is met with a large handgun between his eyes.
The muzzle seemed as big as his eye and nearly fills the screen before the camera pans along it’s barrel to an ivory handle, revealing  in an elaborate font that you would expect to see in an old English tome, the name ‘Moby.’

Joey looks up at her face and their eyes lock.  Cut to a close up on Ms. Echo. Without taking her eyes off his, she fires two quick rounds.

Cut to Joey writhing on the ground.  It is clear that the hand that once held his gun and one of his legs is badly injured.

Joey:
FUCK!

Megan Echo:
Oh, a wallet!

Ms. Echo’s face returns to a smile as she cheerfully approaches the dirty coffee table and picks up a wallet.

Megan Echo:
I’m going to have to charge you an extra seventy-two cents for each bullet.

She pulls a twenty from the wallet and exits through the busted doorway.  She can be seen rummaging through her bag in the background as Robert sits frozen staring at his friend on the floor.

Megan Echo: (reentering the room)
You’re change comes to seven dollars and eighteen cents. I have gone ahead and placed it in your wallet for your convenience.

As she places the wallet on the table, Robert jumps back and scrambles into a corner.

Joey:
Robert . . .

Megan Echo:
Robert? Any chance you are Robert Thomson? According to my list you owe two dollars and sixteen cents for an overdue collection of short stories by…

Robert falls to the floor and pulls a wallet from a pair of jeans.  Retrieves a few bills and throws them at her

Robert:
Here!

Megan Echo:
Oh, this is far too much.

Robert:
Take it, please just… just leave.

Megan Echo:
Oh! A donation! Thank you, the Kingsport Library is most appreciative.

She gathers the money off the floor and stepped over Joey’s crippled body and toward the door. Without looking back, she bends over again to arrange the contents of her bag before hoisting it over her shoulder.

Megan Echo:

I’m sorry I had to get rough Mr. Giles but you offered me little choice. Please remember to turn your books in on time in the future and keep on reading!

She exits.