INT. CLOTHES STORE – DAY
DAKOTA DEMING (16), a very stylish bully with a spit-curl and leather jacket, is buried in the discount section, slowly peeling through the brighter colored items.
ARTHUR MCDUFFIE (16), a heavily repressed teenager and also this small town’s local vigilante, passes through and sees Deming. Does a full body double take, stepping forward and backward, leaning dangerously far to take a gander at her.
Both Deming and Arthur, by the end of this film, will be using she/her pronouns. You know how I know that? Because I’m trans and I can clock a closeted transgirl from a mile away.
Arty smirks and reaches into her backpack, partially pulling out her Dark Claw uniform, an uninspired rehash of the Zoro ensemble.
Have no fear —
Arty jumps into a clothes rack just as Deming turns to see the heroine.
The clothes ripple and part as Arty dives out, Dark Claw uniform still in hand, unknown to her. She strikes a pose as if she is in her hero garb, but is now clad in a stylish sleeveless dress and heels, curly mop of hair now behind her shoulders and elegantly styled. Make-up too!
Dark Claw’s here!
What’s up with the dress, Arty?
Arty checks herself, and sees that she is indeed fully decked out in femme wear. Looks up, stuttering, pressing the wide brimmed cowboy hat to her flat chest.
— what’s up with you and the — um — discount clothes?! HUH?!
Deming SHRIEKS and shoves the clothes out of her hands, as if it will help disassociate her from them.
I just happen to have an eye for bargains, okay?!
Meanwhile, Arty slaps on the gauntlets, mask, hat, and cloak of the Dark Claw uniform. Deming turns to see Dark Claw and SHRIEKS again.
Dark Claw! Wow! You know, babe, when you wear the dress, you look real good. Where’s Arty though, we were just talking?
RANDOM OLD MAN (75), an aged transdude decked in tattoos, glances up from his paper and TUT-TUTS at Deming.
RANDOM OLD MAN
How do they not see it?
Dark Claw motions for Random Old Man to stop outing her. Random Old Man slacks his jaw and nods back.
RANDOM OLD MAN
I didn’t say anything!
Dark Claw shakes her head and points a mighty finger at Deming.
You’re under arrest, Deming!
For vandalism and multiple counts of robbery!
Deming points a finger with the intent of objecting, but freezes. Looks up thoughtfully to the sky, then dives into the clothes rack.
Dark Claw leans back in her heels to a proper fighting stance.
Deming pops out of the clothes rack in her villain ensemble: ski mask, Jack Skellington T-shirt, checkered belt, and brass knuckles, armed with a water rifle.
DARK CLAW (CONT’D)
How did you do the costume swap so easi–
A water bullet POUNDS Dark Claw in the cheek, skewing her makeup. Deming makes a break for it.
DARK CLAW (CONT’D)
Hey, stop! Deming, you need to —
Honey, let me fix that.
Two CLERKS (17) grab Dark Claw from behind under the arms, pulling back her head while they readjust her makeup.
DARK CLAW (CONT’D)
Oh hey, thanks.
No problem, girl. You’re gonna look great.
CLERK #2 slips some bows and other accessories into Dark Claw’s hair while quickly braiding it.
Random Old Man stares at Dark Claw impatiently. Dark Claw waves a hand at him.
Don’t just stand there, do something!
Random Old Man nods aggressively, and hunches his shoulders up, and runs as fast as his withered legs will carry him. Dark Claw leans forward .
DARK CLAW (cont’d)
Girls, I gotta go —
Wait, just try these.
They slip her gauntlets off and replace them with long, lacy black gloves to match the ensemble.
Love it! Thanks.
Dark Claw plows past them and darts through the store, heading off Deming next to a row of mannequins. Deming skims to a halt.
Dark Claw swings her leg and SLAMS Deming right in the chin. She stumbles back, roaring in pain.
Dark Claw’s bare calves pumping with adrenaline, she VAULTS into the air, dress and cape twirling in-sync with each other. Deming looks up just in time for Dark Claw’s legs to wrap around her neck, the two of them throttling to the floor.
Deming crashes first, already seeing stars, as Dark Claw’s waist slams into the floor beside her. A little overkill, Dark Claw SCREAMS from the impact and rolls off of Deming.
Deming rushes to her feet and casts a nervous glance over to Dark Claw, and then kicks the FIRE EXTINGUISHER hanging on the wall. It falls off the wall and hooks onto her boot. She lets the extinguisher slide onto the floor and begins tying the nozzle to the water gun …
Dark Claw, vision hazy, looks up at Deming. Deming leaps on top of the extinguisher and looks over to Dark Claw like a nervous child.
DARK CLAW (cont’d)
Deming shuts her eyes and lets loose the extinguisher. The water jet that fires from her gun blasts out HARD, carrying Deming with it. She sails over the store in an arc.
SAYONARA, DARK CLAW! NYUCK NYUCK NYUCK.
Dark Claw is at a loss for words. Deming lands right at the exit and stampedes out of the store.
Dark Claw shakes her head and still in immense pain, limps over to the same exit in a hurry and steps outside the store only for —
BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.
The alarms to go off.
Dark Claw stumbles, hair whipping as she looks around, then freezes. Glances to a nearby mirror to see her stolen outfit. Sweating.
PARKING LOT: Deming’s halfway across the lot.
Dark Claw swears under her breath and dashes to the register.
Sorry, sorry! I forgot, I was — uh — let me just buy —
Dark Claw aims for her wallet but instead her hands smack her thighs. Pats her body all over looking for the wallet, then her eyes widen. Pats her stomach and —
CLOSE ON STOMACH: The utility belt is pushing up against the skin-tight fabric.
Dark Claw rolls her eyes and checks Deming again.
PARKING LOT: Deming is leafing through her wallet to pay off a HOT DOG GUY who appeared out of nowhere with his cart. She lifts her ski mask up to her nose so she can do that weird thing people do where they stick their tongue out while counting.
Dark Claw whips off her cape, which twirls around her in a cyclone, tossing her hat and mask into the air as well as the dress, but the cape spins fast enough around her to cloak Dark Claw’s body.
REGISTER GIRL sighs and checks her imaginary watch.
Above the cyclone, we see Arty raise an eyebrow as she opens up her utility belt to get the wallet.
As the wallet pops out of its compartment, Arty looks above the cyclone cape.
How much do I owe you?
Register Girl counts on her finger. 1-2-3-4.
Five hundred twenty four dollars and ninety six cents.
The cyclone stops and Dark Claw’s clothes land in a pile at her feet. Her face goes beet red as she scoops up the pile, bunching it up at her chest, immediately getting goose bumps.
Yeah, women’s clothes are expensive, dude.
Um…I…I don’t know if I should —
Tears come to Dark Claw’s eyes. She looks over to the escaping Deming.
PARKING LOT: Deming slurps up one hot dog and punches her chest to get it down. Thumbs up to the Hot Dog Guy and she digs back into her wallet for yet another hot dog.
Okay, yeah! Yeah! Let’s do this!
RANDOM OLD MAN (O.S.)
Arty turns to the Random Old Man who eagerly brings over a wagon of pennies that would definitely equate to the needed funds
RANDOM OLD MAN (cont’d)
I got you, girl.
Arty smiles. Spins again — costume lifting from her arms and spiraling around her, this time she comes out of the spin back in full costume, her foot STOMPING the floor dramatically. A brief gust of wind knocks up her hair.
Dark Claw offers the Random Old Man a thumps up.
She storms out the door only to see Deming flying into the air, soaring on a stream of tap water this time, her arms filled with a massive pile of hot dogs.
Hot Dog Guy falls to his hands and knees, screaming to the Heavens.
HOT DOG GUY
THAT SON OF A BITCH STOLE FORTY OF MY HOT DOGS! THAT’S AS MANY AS FOUR TENS! AND THAT’S TERRIBLE!
Thanks for reading. This is just a random scene I felt like writing the other day. Not sure what to do with it but there it is. It’s based on characters featured in the movie I made in high school. Trying to do something with them and make it something else entirely different.
As always, you can sub to my newsletter here.