WOLF OF PENUMBRA
“Between Light And Shadow” Pilot Created by LittleDevil-888 on Deviantart.com
Last Updated: 01/07/2023 (Final Edit)
First Created: 06/05/2019
CONTENT ADVISORY FOR THIS EPISODE Physical Violence, Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Sexual Themes & Situations, Death, Bullying, Wild Animal Death, Adoption Discrimination
EXT. DEAD ZONE - NIGHT
Remnants of a city lie abandoned, reclaimed by nature long ago. Debris and concrete are coated in lush overgrowth. Moss, grass, and soil fill in the rough terrain.
A black tattered banner flaps in the wind, featuring a white triskelion design, below it the letters “UEA”.
There is a deer nipping at the grass growing on an abandoned car's hollow frame, halfway sunk into the ground, rusted beyond repair.
The deer looks up and bolts, dodging and weaving gracefully through the environment. A smoky shadow slides against the ground, following.
Slowing to a stop…
Illuminated by moonlight, the deer’s shadow stretches out behind it against a broken concrete wall. The silhouette of a werewolf creature materializes behind the deer.
It pounces, pinning the deer to the ground.
The deer’s silhouette struggles and cries. The creature violently drinks the essence out of the poor animal, turning it to ash.
It crumbles away into the wind…
EXT. STILLMORE - DAY
This settlement, Stillmore, stands in stark contrast to the dead zone previously described. The buildings sit heavily upon the earth in thick, blocky clusters. Many of the structures are built together in compact segments or connected by large pipes and wires.
The school: Shutter Creek High. Brutalist architecture. Made largely of concrete and metal—durable, strong, and secure. The flagpole features a flag with a UEA symbol gently waving in the wind.
INT. SCH: MATH CLASSROOM
JACQUELINE, age 16, Asian descent, thin yet athletic frame. She sits at the back of the class, toward the door. Red plaid shirt—frayed edges—and a purple tank top sporting a pumpkin detail. She looks like someone you’d find working in a Halloween store.
She glares at the walls of text breaking down the complex formulas of the math book on her desk. The words become blurry and lose meaning.
Blinking, she pulls away in pain. Jacqueline gazes dimly up at the MATH TEACHER—40s, and definitely wearing a wig—in the middle of a lesson. He gestures to math problems on the board with a pointer stick.
Jacqueline slides her sketchbook a few inches out from under the math book. She continues with a sketch of a werewolf creature. Her knuckles have large scars.
A couple strokes of her pencil in, the BELL RINGS, startling a scratch across the drawing. She hisses in annoyance and closes both books on her desk. The other students in the class filter out.
MATH TEACHER: Jacqueline.
MATH TEACHER: May I see you for a moment?
She rolls her eyes and wanders up to the front desk. The math teacher roots through a filing cabinet. He pulls a stack of stapled papers out and lays it on the desk.
MATH TEACHER: I, uh, was a little curious about some of your answers on last Friday’s test.
He flips a few pages and points to one of the questions.
“If John needs 36 bottles of soda, and he can only carry 4 at a time, how many trips to the store does he need to make?”
“ANSWER: Use a cart.”
Jacqueline gives him a blank, half-lidded stare.
JACQUELINE: I think you should be testing John’s intelligence, because I’m worried for him.
MATH TEACHER: Jacqueline, please take this seriously.
JACQUELINE: I am, John’s an idiot.
The math teacher quirks a brow at her, unamused.
Jacqueline sighs, running her fingers through her bangs, and shifts her weight. The teacher puts a hand on his hip.
MATH TEACHER: I’m aware you have some pretty big shoes to fill. How are you going to do that when you don’t have the math skills to get through the door? This quiz covers material you should already know.
JACQUELINE: It’s not hard, just exhausting working through an hour-long test.
MATH TEACHER: Well, the Umbral Extermination Agency’s exams can be a couple hours long at a time.
JACQUELINE: (groaning) Doesn’t matter. I told you, I’m not joining the UEA.
MATH TEACHER: You say that now, bu—
JACQUELINE: —Are we done? Can I go?
He leans against the desk with a familiar sigh.
MATH TEACHER: Yes, Jacqueline.
JACQUELINE: Thank you.
She picks up her things and leaves the classroom.
INT. SCH: HALLS
Metal, cement, and stone paneling dominate the school's interior in addition to its brutalist exterior. Earthy greys, greens, and tans dominate the color scheme.
Missing people posters cover a message board, and banners that read “Join the UEA!” flank the hallway, as JACQUELINE weaves her way past other students and two UEA officers—casually conversing.
Stopping at her locker, she puts her notebooks away and continues walking down the hall.
WARREN: What happened to my locker?!
Jacqueline freezes mid-step.
WARREN, 16, Hispanic/Native American, thick muscular body, shaggy hair, sporty clothes, stands gawking at the graffitied creature covering the inner locker door.
Standing beside him is ADLEY, 17, Indian, notably short, raven shoulder-length hair tied back, an absurdly muscular body, and gym-style clothing purposefully revealing her midriff.
The two lock eyes with Jacqueline. Cringing, she turns on her heel and runs.
Warren and Adley chase after her. They weave through the traffic of other students.
Adley catches up. She grabs Jacqueline by the wrist. The nearby students clear a space. Some stay to watch.
ADLEY: Keep that Umbral-loving crap to yourself!
Jacqueline jerks out of her grasp.
JACQUELINE: Yeah, well, I could do with a little less UEA bootlicking around here! Looks like neither of us are happy.
ADLEY: The UEA is here to protect us!
JACQUELINE: Sure, but they’re also killers.
Adley growls, swinging at Jacqueline. Jacqueline ducks and kicks the back of Adley’s knee out. She buckles to the floor.
Warren's quick jabs send Jacqueline ducking and weaving. She’s backpedaling, doing her best to deflect the blows.
Adley lunges at her from behind. Jacqueline slips by her only to be caught in a takedown by Warren. She hisses in pain as he slams her on her stomach.
He forces her back to her feet while trapping her in a hold. Jacqueline struggles and kicks Warren, making him flinch a few times. His grip never loosens.
WARREN: Yeah, and what about your “owner?” He a killer too?
JACQUELINE: (struggling) He’s my dad, jackass.
ADLEY: You’re a stray he took in! Little dirty that he’s trying to help people, and you would rather side with the monsters.
JACQUELINE: I’m not—
Adley punches her in the gut. Jacqueline curls in on herself, coughing.
MR. CLOVE: Hey!
The school principal rushes toward them. MR. CLOVE, 40s, wearing a dark suit, short, dark brown skin, buzzed black hair, thin jawline facial hair.
The students make room as he approaches.
ADLEY: M-Mr. Clove?!
Warren loosens his grip. Jacqueline shoves herself away from him.
MR. CLOVE: What is going on here?!
WARREN: She ruined my locker!
Jacqueline shrugs, rubbing where he held.
JACQUELINE: I’ll admit, the head was a little too big.
Warren turns sharply to her.
Mr. Clove snaps at the surrounding students.
MR. CLOVE: All of you, get to class!
He turns back to Warren and Adley.
MR. CLOVE: It saddens me to see such promising students assault each other on school grounds!
He takes a deep breath and forces his shoulders down. He gestures for Jacqueline to come closer. She walks up to him. Head down. Arms crossed.
MR. CLOVE: Ms. Shull, please tell me what happened.
JACQUELINE: I drew a barghest in his locker.
MR. CLOVE: More vandalism? (sigh) You’re going to have to—
JACQUELINE: —Scrub it off after school, I know.
Adley passes her a smug look. Mr. Clove frowns.
MR. CLOVE: And you two are getting a week’s detention! Starting tomorrow.
WARREN: A week?!
ADLEY: But we have training after school!
MR. CLOVE: I’m sure you’ll catch up. Save the physical violence for gym class from now on, hm? And… two against one? Disappointing.
He waves his hand, gesturing for them to leave.
MR. CLOVE: Go on then.
Adley opens her mouth and steps forward. Warren stops her. They settle for glaring at Jacqueline. She sticks her tongue out at them, revealing her tongue piercing.
Warren walks away. Adley looks at her in disgust before sharply turning away and marching off.
Jacqueline walks the opposite way down the hall.
Two boys walk up to her.
HARLEY, 17, Brazilian/Italian, narrow-hipped athletic build, gelled-up brown hair, and green eyes. Wearing a denim vest with ripped sleeves. His tucked plain white T-shirt has small oil stains by the collar.
And DUSTIN, 16—looks younger, short, golden-brown eyes, messy blond hair, small bit of scruff on his chin, pale white freckled skin. His scrawny frame is hidden beneath an oversized green hoodie and baggy jeans.
Jacqueline approaches Harley as Warren and Adley walk away.
HARLEY: Hey, what just happened?
JACQUELINE: A quick scrap, nothing big.
HARLEY: What for?
DUSTIN: D-did you do something?
She quirks a brow at Dustin.
DUSTIN: Hey, just d-don’t drag me into it. We get into enough stuff as is.
JACQUELINE: Don’t worry. I just did a little drawing.
HARLEY: Are you hurt?
JACQUELINE: I’m fine. Thrive kids are more than happy to throw a punch, but they don’t have the guts to do any real damage.
Harley looks at her sympathetically. He opens his mouth to respond, but Dustin cuts in.
DUSTIN: Says you. B-bruises and b-bloody noses are more than enough for me.
Jacqueline shakes her head with a light chuckle. Harley looks off and stops.
He stares at a bulletin board. Dustin and Jacqueline follow his gaze.
JACQUELINE: Oh, I saw that this morning.
DUSTIN: More missing people posters? Jeez, the school year just started.
HARLEY: Why are you guys so calm? I’ve never seen more than three on here before. Now there’s…
He pauses to count.
The BELL RINGS. Jacqueline nudges his arm.
JACQUELINE: You’re gonna make yourself depressed. Come on, we’ll be late for class.
INT. SCH: HALLS - AFTER SCHOOL
JACQUELINE scrubs paint off the locker door.
MS. SHEPARD, 30s, thin and shapely frame, blond hair in a bun, purple eyes, glasses perched on her nose with a chain looping around her neck. Her outfit is formal, as one would expect from a vice principal. She leans against the window sill, arms crossed.
MS. SHEPARD: Make sure you get every inch.
Jacqueline rolls her eyes.
MS. SHEPARD: Roll your eyes all you want, you’re the one who did it. Why you would feel the need to draw such a thing in the first place is beyond me.
JACQUELINE: Why does everyone have such a violent reaction to a drawing of an animal?
MS. SHEPARD: Because they aren’t animals, Shull. They are monsters.
JACQUELINE: People say “monster” when they want to distance themselves from something.
Jacqueline drops the scrubber into the bucket and shakes the water off her hands.
JACQUELINE: If we didn't push them away so much, we would know more about them.
Ms. Shepard snorts and points down the hall.
MS. SHEPARD: Alright Shull, put that away, and you can go. Be careful going home—border curfew begins in an hour.
Jacqueline picks up the bucket and walks off. Ms. Shepard shakes her head.
MS. SHEPARD: Strange girl.
EXT. WILLOWS PARK
Willows Park is, as the name suggests, filled with weeping willows. The park is dense with foliage. The gravel path is clear and easy to ride a bike on. JACQUELINE slows her pedaling and lets the wheels roll free.
Her reflection twists and contorts in the creek’s gentle stream just off the side of the path.
She eventually slows to a stop, looking around. Dead silence. No birds. No people. No wind.
Jacqueline sighs, shakes her head, and begins down the path again.
After a few more moments of riding along the trail, she comes to a rickety old wooden bridge that crosses the creek.
Jacqueline dismounts her bike and leans it up against the wooden handrail before she herself leans against the old wood. It groans in protest.
JACQUELINE: (under breath) It’s pretty peaceful out here, in an eerie kind of way…
A high-pitched SCREECHING comes from behind a couple shrubs. Jacqueline bolts upright.
JACQUELINE: Never mind.
Something flops out onto the path from the bushes.
JACQUELINE: Oh, man…
Her shoulders drop, and she looks pitifully at the small creature before her. A black bird with four wings and six glowing green eyes. A young HARPY, trapped, tangled in a dirty, damaged wire net.
Jacqueline clicks her tongue and approaches the struggling creature. She grips its head and pins it down as she folds its wings through the gaps in the net. It stops screeching.
One of the harpy’s sharp feathers nicks Jacqueline’s palm. She ignores it to pull the remaining wire off.
The harpy gets to its feet and shakes its feathers before taking off.
Jacqueline glares at the old net in her hands.
JACQUELINE: The real monsters are the hunters leaving this crap out here…
She glances at the creek.
Bits of black powder float in the water down the stream, getting steadily more concentrated the longer Jacqueline looks. Her eyes focus, and she leans in a bit farther.
Black sticklike formations spread throughout the goop.
JACQUELINE: The heck…?
As she stares, a rounded black clump follows in the concoction, bouncing and swaying in the current.
It rolls around, partially disintegrating in the water.
It’s a human skull…
Jacqueline stiffens and chokes in surprise.
JACQUELINE: Oh, ok! That’s a dead body! No thanks!
Jacqueline gets to her feet and turns on her heel.
On the opposite side of the bridge, just up the stream, a bipedal wolflike creature stands, smiling back at her as if it had just won a prize. It’s seven-foot build, grazing the willows’ vines. A WULVER.