Xena: Warrior Princess is copyright MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. All original content of Xena: Warrior Princess 2.0 is copyrighted by the author and is not to be used or modified without permission. All rights reserved.
INT. HOSPICE HELEN'S ROOM AFTERNOON
A YOUNG GIRL enters the cheerfully bright room, decorated to resemble a comfortable bedroom in presentation and feel, yet strangely invaded and taken over by angel figurines. The later, due to the quantity and variation, appear to come from a private collection, likely the patient's.
Holding a pair of flowers in her hand, the YOUNG GIRL approaches the bed. She places a single rose and tulip on the covered chest of the sleeping, elderly woman. Then, just as abruptly, without saying a word or making a gesture, the YOUNG GIRL leaves the room. It's almost as if another will controlled her actions.
EXT. HOSPICE GARDEN BENCH - TWILIGHT
The colorful, humming grounds visually sooth the patients inside and provide respite to their loved ones outside. A few of the latter, in both genders, scatter themselves alone, looking worn and worried. They tend older.
Noticeable among them is an elderly man, looking eighty. What stands out is his manner of dress, and not the old-fashioned kind either it's the cut and quality of the cloth waving the red cape. Anchored by spit shined shoes and topped by a fancy fedora, the outfit draws and arrests the eyeballs. The gentleman in question makes the suit.
The immaculate one sits on a bench, oblivious to the two people bookending him. The MAN and the WOMAN, he dressed in red and she in white, exchange glances but seem unwilling to speak.
After a few moments of alternative silence and exchanges growing more animated, the WOMAN'S body language and firm gaze finally energize the MAN into action.
MAN, tad nervously
The man in the middle, and very much in question, rejoins the world and realizes that his bench has grown in occupancy.
Stanley, hinting puzzlement at abrupt company, politely
MAN, instantly taking comfort in his newly revealed identity, supplying helpfully
Somehow, those are not your real names.
You would be surprised.
Mrs. Tulip, more to Mr. Rose while looking at Stanley, mischievously
You will be surprised.
You think he will?
Mrs. Tulip, throwing it in there casually but watching Stanley's reaction very close
Of course: anything for Helen.
She scores a direct hit.
Stanley, raising his voice and gathering curious interest from around the garden
Now, a minute here. That's my wife you are talking about, a business of knowing her name, let alone mine, lending itself to troubling questions. Who are you really?
If you insist: married.
Not here. If anyone asks why you are talking to yourself, think fast.
Mrs. Tulip leans in on completely befuddled Stanley.
Mrs. Tulip, conspiratorially
We are here from the place where all your worries vanish.
Mr. Rose, prodding Stanley toward the conclusion, gently adding
Your granddaughter's wish brought us.
Stanley, making the connection, incredulous
The twin flowers! It cannot be!
I am losing it.
Mrs. Tulip, sympathetically
There, there dear.
You are as sane as the rest of the Earth's inmates.
Stanley, after a deep breath, patiently working things out to his liking
You are here, you are real enough cause no apparition is that obtuse, you are speaking to me you must want something. What do you want?
Mrs. Tulip does not disappoint.
Mrs. Tulip, warmly
Kids in need are drawn to Her; some adults too. It takes a strong love to speak and special heart to hear.
Mr. Rose, jumping in to muddle the waters some more
She is cursed forever alone; she makes the best of it.
Stanley, taking off his hat and rubbing his temple, pained
You know, you two blow more smoke than a burning tire dump.
The flower pair changes tactics.
Mr. Rose, standing up, shrugging
Guess our help is not appreciated.
Mrs. Tulip, sounding deeply disappointed on her way up
Too bad; if one couple deserved to stay together, it was them. Oh, well.
The flower pair links hands and starts walking away. Stanley panics.
Stanley, desperate for a miracle, pleading
The flower pair ignores him and he leaps to his feet, quite sprightly for his age, and rushes after them.
Catching up in few long steps, Stanley grabs an arm each and stops their progress. He turns them back around and finds wary receptiveness.
Please, I did not mean it.
Stanley, rubbing his face, tiredly
I am ready to listen.
Mr. Rose and Mrs. Tulip again communicate nonverbally and quickly reach consensus.
Mr. Rose, pointing at the object in question
You see that hedge, Stanley?
Stanley, eagerness laced with skepticism
Mr. Rose, dead serious
Take Helen into it.
Mr. Rose, meaning it
Mrs. Tulip, throwing in
Good start is essential.
Stanley, unconvinced and unsure, cynically
You want me to take my terminally ill wife and run head first into a thicket that would make a jungle cry with envy? On a word of people who admit they don't exist?
Mrs. Tulip, correcting immediately
Thank you, honey.
Mr. Rose, straight into Stanley's eyes, sincerely
Helen's time is near dawn.
Grief flashes on Stanley's face and his expression mirrors it. He is ready to believe.
Mrs. Tulip, touching Stanley's arm, gently
See you at Her, Stanley.
This time, they take their leave without interruption.
INT. HOSPICE NURSES' STATION - NIGHT
Stanley walks past the NURSES and NURSING AIDES dividing their attention between spirited yet subdued conversation and banks of monitors. No one sees him reach down and pick up the green wastebasket without breaking stride.
Stanley continues down the hall, recycling container in hand.
INT. HOSPICE HELEN'S ROOM HALLWAY - NIGHT
The place is a chaos of flashing lights, marching along the walls towards the emergency exits without as much as a muffled beep. Way down, clearly on the other side of the building is a mass of GUARDS and NURSES of various stripes and rank; no doubt determining the source and severity of the fire belching profuse smoke but little else.
Closer, a lone POLICEMAN accompanies a NURSE doing quick rounds. Just when the latter heads into the room few doors down, Helen's door yawns open and spits out the gurney powered by none other than Stanley.
There is a moment of surprised eye contact between the POLICEMAN and Stanley and then the cop has to jump clear of the accelerating, portable bed. Unfortunately for him, the POLICEMAN chooses poorly and dives into the open room currently inspected by the nurse.
Stanley whisks by to the sounds of crashing bodies and furniture, his escape route clear. He takes a sharp left at the nurses' station and disappears around the corner.
Fraction before that, the POLICEMAN scrambles free of the room on all fours and his leading head catches Stanley's new direction.
POLICEMAN, shouting into the radio, angry
734, Our Grace Hospice on 2961 S. Atlantic Ave, 207A! 207 in progress! White male, late seventies, formal wear; suspect heading out the back of hospice, one hostage. 734 in pursuit, 10-11!
POLICEMAN'S trouble draws the interest of the gathered crowd at the far end; that and the audible alarms emanating from the nurses' station.
EXT. HOSPICE GARDEN - NIGHT
The gurney enters the green barrier like an icebreaker parting ice, submerging effortlessly into the depths. In mere second it is thru and Stanley follows, inches from outstretched fingers clasping for his shirt.
The POLICEMAN, NURSES, and GUARDS are not so lucky. The entire group crashes into the thick wall of braches and leaves and comes to an undignified and abrupt stop. Whatever allowed the couple to pass did not apply to their pursuers.
Cursing and groaning, the tangle of limbs starts moving and separating; nothing appears hurt except pride.
EXT. MEADOW HER - DAYLIGHT
Stanley and Helen find themselves upright and standing somewhere. They are wearing the same outfits they left with; the gurney is gone.
Ahead of them is sea of tulips and roses, with a massive tree rising in the middle of the giant white and red patch. The small hill she tops does favor to Her presence, not that she needs help in that department. However, things only begin there; there is more uniqueness here than the natural beauty. There is design and intent.
The oak is easily triple the size of its species and the flowers are in pairs, one of each family. There is no sign of any human activity or artifact the place appears isolated in its remoteness.
Helen, focusing on the practical and immediate, surprised
The pain is gone. Are we dead?
Stanley, wonder coloring his tone
It's real. The place is real.
EXT. MEADOW HER - DAYLIGHT
Stanley and Helen carefully approach the mixed flowers and abruptly vanish. At that spot, close to the edge of the red and white carpet, two new plants take their place, springing into existence. One rose and one tulip, a new pair in the collection of thousands.
EXT. MEADOW HER YEARS LATER/MORNING
A teary BOY, looking lost, sniffles his way towards the oak.
Right in the moment of stepping onto the field marking the beginning of the flowers, his foot stops mid-air. Slowly, he takes it back, suddenly entranced.
The BOY stands there for a spell, staring out of focus. Then he bends down and takes the rose and tulip closest to him. Still acting dazed, he then turns around and walks away; flowers held ahead, in awkwardly outstretched hand, mark him under foreign influence.
INT. HOSPITAL BREAK ROOM - EVENING
A WOMAN in her thirties watches the busy street outside, mechanically taking a sip of water every now and then.
There is a discrete shuffle of chairs near her and then two new people intrude on her solitude. Or rather, old; Stanley (in red) and Helen (in white) flank the WOMAN on either side.
I'm Mr. Rose.
WOMAN, halfway standing up, very worried
Are you Grief Councilors? Is there news?
Your son contacted Her and she sent us.
Stanley, voice reassuring, amiably
Margaret, please sit. We are from the place where all your worries vanish
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