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Name: Pilot
Series: Hearts of Hallowan
Written by: LostInRiverview
Release date: February 26, 2011

Previous chapter: N/A
Next chapter: Monday Morning

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Pilot - Episode 1.01
1.02 - Monday Morning

Main Street was abuzz with the movement of traffic as cars moved back and forth on an early Monday morning. The sun shone through crystal clear sky, hitting the east-facing windows of the Old Stone Cafe. Mary Lisa Stone, an aging waitress, wiped off a table alongside the window, then moved along to the next table where a pair of men sat drinking hot coffee and talking about the stories in this morning's Hallowan Herald. "Can I get you any more coffee, Blake? Or you, Gabe?"

Gabriel peeked out from behind the Herald and pushed his empty coffee cup towards the waitress, while Blake shook his head, took a sip from his coffee, then said "Nope, I'm good. Thanks Mary."

From the cafe kitchen came the sound of food being fried, as a young cook rang a bell and set a pair of platters on the kitchen window. Another waitress, this woman much younger than Mrs. Stone, walked up quickly to the counter, picked up the platters, and moved them to a man and woman eating together at the lunch counter. From outside the cafe, a businesswoman walked briskly by and caught the eye of Blake, and her face contorted to a less-than-satisfied expression, as if the mere vision of Blake Morril caused her a bad taste in her mouth. Blake quickly kicked Gabriel's leg underneath the table as if to signal to him, and Gabriel peeked to his left as the businesswoman walked by. "Please keep going... please keep going..." Gabriel whispered as the woman rounded the corner and headed towards the cafe door. Immediately, as if on cue, Gabriel grabbed his paper and darted behind the lunch counter.

"You can't hide from her forever, Gabe," Mary said with a grin as she slipped past him and picked up the half-drunk coffee from the table, just as the businesswoman walked into the cafe. "Good morning, Mrs. Ullman," Mary said cheerily to the businesswoman, "Anything for you this morning?"

"Thank you, no," Mrs. Ullman said to Mary, a cross expression on her face, "I'm only here to have a discussion with Mr. Morril here." While saying this, she moved towards the chair that had just seconds before been occupied by Gabriel. "Where's your guest, Morril?" she said, an even more revolted expression on her face.

"That's hardly your business, Jane." Blake retorted.

"Mr. Morril, you seem to forget that everything in this town is my business," Janie said as she moved the chair and sat down. Gabriel moved further behind the counter to avoid Mrs. Ullman's gaze. "Now, please explain to me how last night a lawn chair found itself in my swimming pool?"

"Could it possibly be one of your kids?" Blake asked, a look of displeasure on his face.

"You know perfectly well what I'm talking about. You tell your brat Wesley to stay out of my yard, or I'll call the police!" Jane pounded the cafe table, causing both Blake and his coffee cup to jump. "How dare you accuse my family of..."

Jane's tirade was interrupted by the squawk and radio chatter of a police dispatcher, blasting through a radio attached to Gabriel's police uniform.

"Gabe, please respond, we have a report of a collision on Hale and 3rd... Gabe?" Gabriel, knowing he had been caught, slowly stood up from behind the lunch counter. All eyes, including the two steely eyes of Mrs. Ullman, were fixed on him.

"Gabriel! What... WHAT WERE YOU... With... AAAHHH!" Jane screamed and jumped so quickly that the table was toppled over, breaking Blake's coffee cup.

"Jane... please..." Gabriel said, moving behind the lunch counter, edging towards the cafe door... "I have to respond to this call..." With that, Gabriel darted out the cafe door, chased close behind by the stern businesswoman. The cafe sat in tense silence for a moment until its normal noisy atmosphere returned.

The sun shone through crystal clear sky on Hallowan, a quaint town situated along Lake Hallowan. At Central Park, a warm breeze shook loose a pair of golden leaves from a tree; autumn is quickly taking hold. A pair of bicyclists rode past slowly in conversation. Marci Ullman, the youngest of the Ullman clan, laughed as her friend Tori Levenarc continued his story about some unknown escapade he had participated in. The pair seemed to slow down further as Hallowan High School loomed ahead.

The school grounds were abuzz as well, with cars moving into the parking lot, school buses dropping off their passengers, and numerous teenagers walking, biking, or skateboarding towards the large front doors. Marci and Tori reached the school's bike racks and locked up while waving or saying hello to a number of classmates that walked by, before being caught up in the rush of students moving moving collectively in through the front doors. As Marci and Tori crossed through the doorway, a bell ahead rang signaling 10 minutes before the start of classes. Marci and Tori parted ways as each moved towards their lockers. But then, in a massive horrible scene, the ceiling of the school hallway fell from its lofty position and crushed young Tori Levenarc, causing his immediate death. Marci screamed, the other students screamed, and an alarm began to scream as well down the hallways of the school. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP Marci's alarm clock rang, and Marci awoke at once from her nightmare to look at her clock... It was nearly 9:00. "Wha!?" Marci yelled as she leaped out of bed and began scrambling to gather her clothes. Classes started in less than 10 minutes and she was severely late. Worse yet, all her siblings and her parents had already left, leaving her without a car to drive to school in. Not worrying about her appearance, Marci ran to her desk and threw as many books and notebooks into it as she could manage before running out of her room, down the hallway, down the stairs, and out the door to the family garage. There she found her bicycle and quickly jumped on and began to pedal, only to find that the bike's tires had gone flat. Quickly, she pulled out her father's old bicycle and pulled it out, stopping only to close the open garage door and to look at her cell phone - 4 minutes.

She lept on the bicycle and raced down the Ullman family driveway and straight onto the road. Marci pedaled as fast as her legs could manage, not even bothering to stop at stop signs. She was within sight of her high school, so she again looked at her cell phone - one minute to go! Without stopping, Marci put renewed effort into her pedaling...

SCREECH!! Marci was flung along with her bicycle, ten feet into the air as a speeding car flew through a stop sign and hit her in the side. Marci's mangled body landed in a heap on the green grass of a neighborhood house as the sound of screeching brakes filled the air.

By the time Gabriel's squad car reached the corner of Hale and 3rd, the sky, which had minutes ago been clear, clouded over and poured out a drenching rain, as if summoned suddenly by a magic spell. A small group of neighbors had gathered around Marci's body as she lay motionless, her eyes closed. A twisted heap of metal which used to be a bicycle laid just off to the side of her. The car that had hit her was nowhere to be found, but skid marks were visible on the pavement.

Gabriel stepped out of the squad car. "Dispatch - we need an ambulance here. I can't tell if this lady is still alive... I can't even recognize her, I don't know who it is.."

"Right, Gabe, I'll call in a paramedic. Stay on the scene," the dispatcher responded as Gabriel parted the crowd. "Stand back, please. Please, everyone stand aside. Go back to your homes, it's pouring out." Gabriel reached out and felt for a pulse.... "Oh please, girl... please..."

Marci's eyes bolted open, and her mouth opened, but Gabriel stopped her, "Don't speak... you're going to be OK." Sirens could be heard approaching as Gabriel noticed for the first time - the unknown victim did not have any blood on her. Gabriel moved in to examine her, but stopped as the ambulance screeched to a halt along the curb.

The paramedics jumped out of the back of the ambulance with a stretcher. By this time, the crowd had only grown in size. One of the medics looked at Marci; her eyes were wide open now and her mouth was moving as if to speak, but no sound came out. "She's in shock," said one of the paramedics, "Can we ID her?"

"Hold on... brush that hair out of her face..." The first paramedic complied, and brushed Marci's long wet brown hair out of her face.

"Oh.... oh my..." Gabriel said as he stumbled backwards, then fell over as he tripped over the mangled bicycle... "No...."