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I Am Combustible........David


Act I:

Scene: Friday morning
              An ordinary room.  

The camera shoots from the rear of the room, and closes in on the back of an overstuffed armchair.  The shot comes over the top of the chair, over a blonde head, and comes in on two hands, small and smooth with well manicured nails polished a pale shade of rose.  They are holding a magazine - not a thick glossy magazine, but a Sunday supplement that would be found in the newspaper.  On the page that we can see, there is a picture of Maddie and David with the headline " Hayes and Addison Take the Case at Blue Moon."

Woman's voice:  Very good, Mr. Shaughnessy.  How did you manage to get an advance copy of this?

A man moves into the picture and stands opposite the chair.  He wears a rumpled trench coat, and is a bit seedy looking.

Shaughnessy:  We private investigators have our ways……a contact at the Tribune is a good one to have.

Woman:  You've done an excellent job…..your check will reflect my appreciation.

Shaughnessy:  Anytime ma'am.  Always eager for the work.  I'm just a little curious…..these two are pretty normal people, and you didn't ask for anything unusual in the investigation.  You probably could have called their offices and gotten the same information.  I just wonder why you needed a detective to investigate these detectives.

Woman:  Just suffice it to say, I needed the information before I renew my acquaintance with the Blue Moon Detective Agency.   Are my motives a concern of yours?  Do you feel some kind of an affinity with these people because of your common occupation?
Shaughnessy:  Lady, I've gotta eat.  Feelings are a luxury I can't afford.  Besides, I can't see anything I have in common with people from a Beverly Hills detective agency.  Look at them……..class with a capital "C".

Woman:  Sometimes what looks like class isn't class at all, Mr. Shaughnessy.  Do you make a commitment to your clients…that your work is confidential, that you will stand by them?  That you won't betray the trust they put in you?

Shaughnessy:  Well, sure…I guess……unless something illegal is involved.

The woman seems to become irritated with him.

Woman:  I have no time to be hashing over all of this.  I will ask you again, can you guarantee that this matter will be kept confidential?

Shaughnessy:  I honor my agreements.

Woman:  Good.  I am sure I will be calling on you again.  Thank you.

The hands are shown giving the detective a check.

Shaughnessy:  Thank you ma'am.  It's been a pleasure doing business with you. I'll let myself out.  

He leaves the frame, but the camera still continues to shoot over the back of the chair, focused on the photo in the article.  It shows a smiling David and Maddie, exchanging a glance, as if they share a secret.

Woman:  Well, well, well Mr. Addison, Miss Hayes….we meet again.  Looks like things are looking up for the two of you.  It doesn't seem quite fair.  If the two of you hadn't interfered, I'd be living as I always dreamed …..with the one love of my life.

She wrings her hands.

Woman:  Instead, he's gone…and I'm alone…..and I blame you.  

The hands carefully, deliberately crumple the magazine into a ball.

Woman:  Well just you wait and see…..see if you're still smiling when I'm finished with you.  Two minus one equals just what you deserve.

She tosses the ball of paper into the fireplace where it rests on the logs for just seconds, and then bursts into flames.  We hear her laughing softly to herself as the camera zooms in on the fire.

Scene:  Maddie's office on Friday afternoon.

Maddie is sitting at her desk, reading some mail, when David bursts through the office door.  He is waving something in the air.

David:  Here it is!

Maddie:  Here it is?

David:  Here it is!  The thing we've been waiting for.  The one thing that's gonna launch us from moderately successful to the elite - the crème de la crème of detective agencies.

Maddie:  Lou LaSalle's going out of business?

David:  You wound me, madam.  Are you saying we here at Blue Moon are no match for Lou LaSalle?

Maddie:  Give it up, David.  His is the best-known detective agency in Los Angeles.

David:  True but………..true!  But what has he got that we haven't got?

Maddie:  Multiple offices, paying clients, professional employees…..

He interrupts.

David:  No need to be so literal, Madolyn.  And anyway, this is going to change all that.

He flaps the sheaf of brightly colored sheets in the air.

Maddie:  And pray tell, what is that?

David:  Our fame…but even more important, our fortune!

Maddie:  Addison, for gosh sakes, it's only an hour show.  Spit it out.

David:  But this is a two-parter.  I can afford to wax poetic.

Maddie:  And then everyone will get up and go to the bathroom.  Do you wish to be responsible for a major drop in water pressure AGAIN?

David:  Will we have to call this episode "The Big Flush"?

He works off Maddie's look.

David:  OK, OK, just look.  Hot off the presses - it's our advance copy of the Trib's Sunday magazine, with our article in it.

Maddie:  Uh oh, I've been dreading this.

David:  How come?

Maddie:  I think we might have been a little hasty about granting this interview…….I'm afraid it might not have been in our best interests.

David:  I don't agree.

Maddie:  I'm stunned.  You and I don't agree about something? But I guess it doesn't really matter, it's over and done with now.  Let's see it.

David hands the magazine to Maddie.  She takes a magnifying glass out of her top right drawer and holds it up to the lower corner of the magazine.

Maddie:  Oh there it is, that teeny little thing down there -  "Hayes and Addison Take the Case at Blue Moon"……looks like a small but pivotal article.

David:  Page fourteen --- and who knew you had that piece of detecting paraphernalia in your drawer?

Maddie:  That's me - full of surprises.

David:  Put it in your purse for later - I'll show you a big surprise.

Maddie looks at a label on the handle.

Maddie:  Hmmm…look at this disclaimer:  Objects may not be as large as they appear .

David rolls his eyes at her.

David:  Go on, spoil the mood.  Want me to read you the article?

Maddie:  Been practicing, have you?

David:  I'm all the way up to "See Spot run.  Run, Spot, run."

Maddie begins to read aloud.

Maddie:  "A small business that has come a long way, Blue Moon Investigations is in its seventh year with Maddie Hayes as a managing partner.  After a successful modeling career, Hayes teamed up with David Addison back in 1985 at "City of Angels Detective Agency", giving it a new name and a new attitude."

David:  Kinda descriptive…….kinda historical…….cool!

She continues.

Maddie:  "But these two are just not a couple of pretty faces.  Their combined efforts have solved murder mysteries, located missing persons, and recovered lost and stolen property.  They have handled many unusual and unconventional cases, notably the well-publicized BMW case, in which they helped police recover more than a million dollars in illegal drugs."

David:  So far, so good.

Maddie continues to read. The article details much more information about Maddie's past career, David's checkered past, and information about some to the cases they have been involved in together.

 Maddie:  Listen to this……"So, what makes a detective agency work?  When posed the question, David Addison flashed this reporter a devastating grin, and responded, "We're an unbeatable team.  I couldn't do it without her - and I know she'd tell you the same thing.  We fill each other's holes……...  We don't always agree…in fact we often disagree - but that is what lets us explore all the positions - do the best possible job for our clients."

Miss Hayes, of the enigmatic smile continued, "We don't seem to attract run of the mill cases - I guess that's what keeps it fresh and exciting.  It's truly a partnership."

Hayes ducked a question about theirs being more than a business partnership, while Addison commented, a little less than seriously, that they seemed to do a lot of undercover work"

Maddie looks at him, appalled.

Maddie:  David, you didn't !

David:  Don't jump out of your tights, Wonder Woman.  I thought I was being kind of clever.

Maddie gives him a face.

David:  Is that the end of the story?

Maddie:  No, there's a little more. "Whatever the reason, this little company has made themselves a presence in the L.A. investigative community.  And whatever the secrets for attaining success, Hayes and Addison seem to be on top of it."

David:  Hey, that's pretty good.

Maddie:  You think?

David:  Sure thing, babe.  It's an unqualified rave!

Maddie: (sarcastically)  Says he of the devastating grin.

He flashes it.

David:  Always like to start out an episode with a healthy dose of jealousy.  Insures that I'll get lucky later on.

Maddie:  David!

David:  That we'll get lucky, honey.  Remember, we're a team.

She rolls her eyes, then continues.

Maddie:  There's just something in there that bothers me.  Maybe it's a little too irreverent, too tongue in cheek.  I'm afraid it's going to attract some clients who could be…well, weirdos or deviants, or…….

David:  And how would you weed them out from the other weirdos or deviants that walk in here on a regular basis?

Maddie:  Point taken.

David:  Maddie, this has to be a good thing!  All across Los Angeles, people will be saying Blue Moon Investigations and thinking --  I wonder if my wife is sleeping with the mailman……….I bet cousin Nancy is the one who stole Aunt Florence's diamond earrings ……maybe, somebody left ME money, and I don't know it!  Maddie, this is going to be a cash flow bonanza!

Maddie:  I guess.

David:  Are you feeling OK?  Still got a touch of the dementia from that bug you had?  Since when have you been so unenthusiastic about money?  Don't forget lady, we've just taken two vacations that we have to pay for.

Maddie:  Not counting the bill for the damages at Disney World.

David:  Not counting them at all.  Did we ever find out how much a Flying Dumbo goes for anyway?

Maddie:  Not yet, but I'm guessing quite a bit.  I know you're right about the article.  I've just got a funny feeling.

David:  I'll take care of that for you tonight.  Meanwhile, should we gear up for Monday morning?  Bring in some temp help…nah, wait a minute.  We brought Viola in as temp help and he never left.  How `bout just some extra chairs - I'll call the funeral parlor.

Maddie:  Why don't we play it all by ear?  Most people get that part of the paper delivered on Saturday.  Maybe by Monday the "hysteria" will have died down.  Anyway, all of the staff will be here - and you and I, of course.

A skeptical expression passes over his face.  Maddie picks up on it immediately.

Maddie:  Addison, I've seen that look before….that "playing hooky" look --- is there some reason you don't expect to be here Monday?

David:  Who scheduled this magazine to come out on the weekend of my bowling banquet?

Maddie:  But that's Saturday.

David:  And last year, it went on till Wednesday.  It's the bash of the season!  Harem Scarem has gone all out - it's our turn to run the thing….and we've got an Arabian Nights theme.

Maddie:  Wonderful - slaves and masters and belly dancers.  How original.

David:  Yeah, it's kind of like the biggest bachelor party on earth, but no poor sucker has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Maddie:  Are we trying to make this season a showcase on your views on marriage?

David:  Sorry.  Well, just let me think……….

He walks around behind her and starts to massage her neck.

David:  So, why don't you come with me?  It could be fun - then we could go back to your little den of iniquity, let those curtains down, and……

He sings:

          "Midnight at the oasis, send your camel to bed…..
          Shadows painting our faces, traces of romance in our heads."

Maddie :  Not a chance, pal.  It's just not my kind of party.  

David:  Awwww…Lefty's girlfriend is coming.

Maddie:  Lefty's girlfriend is one of the dancers, isn't she?

David:  Party pooper.

Maddie:  Compromise?  You go - I stay home.  Come by after - I'll wait up.

David:  Hmmmmm.  That sounds promising.

Maddie:  And then, we'll be sure you're bright eyed and bushy tailed for Monday morning.

David looks at her and laughs.

David:  You are a witch, woman.  But a very bewitching witch.  Who could ever turn down an offer like that?  Even though I know full well the devious intent behind it.

Maddie smiles.

David:  Is that your enigmatic smile?  I've always liked that one.

Maddie:  Not half as much as I like that full of you-know-what grin of yours.  Are you about ready to get out of here?

David:  You're the boss, lady.  We're still on for the film festival at the Addison hacienda tonight, right?  Can't wait to see "The Attack of the Forty Foot Woman".

Maddie:  Yuck…….am I ever going to get to pick the movie?

David:  Not while there is still a foreign films section at Blockbuster……or while I have breath in my body.

Maddie opens her mouth to speak.

David:  Don't bother …..that could be arranged, right?

Maddie:  You said it, I didn't.

David:  I'll give you a perfectly logical reason why you don't pick the movie.  Subtitles…who gets a movie if they want to read???  You get a book if you want to read……….you pick up a Playboy if you wanna read……..

Maddie:  HA!!  Again with this reading thing?

David:  You know what they say - those that can, do…….and those who can't get to neck at the movies instead.

Maddie laughs.

Maddie:  I concede - for tonight.  Next time, I pick.

David:  Let's do next time at your house.  Those new comfy couches seem like they'll be just perfect for sleeping.

Maddie just shakes her head.

Maddie:  Ok, we've just got to swing by my place and pick up Miss Me.

David:  Why don't you drop me off first…..I'll start the hot dogs and warm up the car.  I sure do like this - having a drive in theatre in my own living room.

Maddie:  Hot dogs?  I thought we were having pasta?

David:  No way, toots!  Do you know how hard it was getting that sauce off of the seats?  I'm not doing that again.  We are having classic drive in food…hot dogs and popcorn.

Maddie:  Sure…that way you get to show off your expertise with the microwave.  

David:  Don't knock my microwaving skills.  You remember the warm chocolate?

Maddie:  Vividly.  Those were my sheets!

David:  Anyway the menu is dogs and popcorn, and I'll meet you in the front seat at seven………and the back seat by eight!

Maddie:  That car doesn't have a backseat.

David:  I've never tried the trunk.

Maddie:   David!  Well, I guess I'm making up for all the things I missed in high school.

David:  I knew that someday all you Goodie Two Shoes would be coming around to my way of thinking.

Maddie:  Yeah, who knew?  Go get your stuff and let's go.

David winks at her and exits towards his office, singing:

          "Heaven's holding a half moon, shining just for us
           Let's slip off to a sand dune, real soon, kick up a little dust."

Maddie stands for a moment, appreciating the view from the rear, and smiling.  She then picks up the magazine, and scans the article again.  She shrugs, tosses it on her desk, and picks up her purse and briefcase.

She heads out the door, and we can clearly hear her singing David's tune.

          "And you don't need no harem, honey, when I'm by your side.
           And you don't need no camel, oh no, when I take you for a ride."

Act II

Scene:  Maddie's bedroom on Saturday afternoon.

It seems a typical lazy Saturday.  There is music playing, and the camera focuses on Maddie.  Casually attired, she is lying on her side on the bed.  Miss Me is snuggled against her back, as Maddie, propped on one arm, leafs through a photo album.  There are several other albums scattered around the bed.

The telephone rings, and Maddie reaches over to answer.

Maddie:  Hello.

Split screen to David - hair rumpled, sleep in his eyes, dressed in boxer shorts and a disreputable muscle shirt.

David:  I'd like to file a missing person's report.

Maddie smiles when she hears his voice.

Maddie:  You're missing somebody?

David:  I don't know - last night when I went to bed……there was this woman - tall, blonde, gorgeous, has those cute little freckles right where…..

Maddie interrupts.

Maddie:  Hey --- just the facts, sir!

David:  I don't know - when I woke up, she was gone……just like a one night stand.  I feel so cheap!

Maddie:  I tried for a solid hour to get you out of that bed this morning.

David:  Usually doesn't take me that long to get you in.

Maddie:  Whatever……I told you at least three times I was leaving, but you were dead to the world.

David:  Still am.  Lord, you do wear me out, Blondie.

Maddie:  Must be getting old.  Can't keep up the way you used to.

David:  Did you leave an objective pronoun out of that sentence?  Anyway…what are you doing?

Maddie:  Having a calm, quiet day, thank you very much.  I finished all my errands and I'm just putting some pictures in photo albums.

David:  Pictures of me, of course  -- hope you got my good side.

She holds one up.

Maddie:  Here's one shot taken from the back.

David:  Right, my good side…….or one of them.  Let your eyes slowly move south and……….bingo!

Maddie lets that pass without comment.

David:  I guess I'd better get going - I have to pick up my dry cleaning.  What time is it, anyway?

Maddie:  Three o'clock.

David:  Damn!  They're closed already.

Maddie:  What's the matter?  A wardrobe crisis?

David:  Maybe not…….do you think I need to wear a clean bowling shirt to this shindig?

Maddie:  David - a bowling shirt?

David:  Kidding…remember, it's a themed night - all I need is a robe and a turban…….maybe some underwear.

Maddie:  Don't get caught speeding.  I don't relish catching that picture on the six o'clock news.

David:  I'd be a trendsetter…..a celebrity….the flavor of the month!  People from miles around would be looking for me - trying to catch a glimpse.

Maddie:  Staring in amazement - yeah, quite different than the reactions you get on a regular basis.

David:  Bragging or complaining?

Maddie:  You figure it out.

She chuckles.

Maddie:  What time's your party?

David:  Dinner's at seven…before the obligatory brawl, I think.  Provided there are no major disasters - or great moments - I should see you sometime around midnight……..unless you've changed your mind and want to come with me.

Maddie:  I'll be here.  I think I'm going to indulge myself - take a nap for a while and then have a beauty night.

David:  Should I tell you that every night with you is beauty night?

Maddie:  Should I tell you to stow that shovel somewhere?

David: Nasty, nasty, Miss Hayes.  Too good to mingle with the average bowling populace…and then turns on one who only lives to admire her.

Maddie:  Take that violin and put it away with the shovel….you are not getting me to that Arabian nightmare.  

David laughs.

David:  I give up.  Go take your nap….sounds like you need it. Probably a good idea anyway  - rest up before I get there….conserve your strength.

Maddie:  I'm not the one who couldn't get up this morning.

David:  Not one of the lines that are in my head would make it past the censors.  I've gotta go deal with some laundry.  See you later.

Maddie:  Have fun tonight.

David:  I'm sure I'll have a fine time - later, babe.

The screen flips back to Maddie, as she moves the albums aside, lying back against the pillows.  She stares up at the ceiling smiling as Stevie Nicks begins to sing.

Somewhere out in the back of your mind
Comes your real life and the life that you know
It seems like it was the creation of some of those same old things
It seemed to be the only thing left out in the light
She had trusted many
But been unfamiliar with
Almost everyone but you.

Well maybe I'm just thinking that the rooms are all on fire
Every time that you walk in the room
Well, there is magic all around you, if I do say so myself
I have known this much longer than I've known you.

She had trusted many
And then there would be someone who would enter into her presence
     That she could sense for miles
     She dreamed of her wanton luxury
     And she laughed and she cried and she tried to taunt him
     And he hated to be separated
     From that picture..No

     Well maybe I'm just thinking that the rooms are all on fire
     Every time that you walk in the room
     Ooh, well there is magic all around you, if I do say so myself
Well I have known this much longer than I've known you

Long nets of white cloud my memory
Long nets of white cloud my memory
Ooh there is magic all around you
Every time you walk in the room

Well maybe I'm just thinking that the rooms are all on fire
Every time that you walk in the room
Well there is magic all around you, if I do say so myself
Well I have known this much longer than I've known you.

Focus on a digital clock………numbers change to 8:00 pm.

Still in Maddie's bedroom, we catch glimpses of her as she walks back and forth between the bedroom and the bathroom.  She is dressed in an old, baggy gray sweat suit (think disreputable, grungy, possibly David's).  She wears no makeup and her hair is piled on top of her head, smeared with a hot oil conditioning treatment, which is topped off with a plastic bag.  She is barefoot and comfortable. This is generally not the way the audience gets to see our favorite lady detective.

The entertainment center on the wall is open, and the TV is on, but is basically functioning as background noise.  Maddie continues to go back and forth, performing small tasks.  A news bulletin flashes onto the screen, and draws Maddie's attention, and she stops to watch.

Voice:  We interrupt this broadcast to bring you a special news bulletin.  We take you to Tracey Jordan in West LA.

Tracey:  Thanks, Jim.  A three-alarm fire is raging out of control in the Fairfax district of West LA. This small apartment building at 8327 Blackburn has been in flames for several hours now.  There are six apartments in the structure, and there seems little hope that any of them will survive the extreme heat or flame.  In addition, the buildings in this area are very close together, and flames seem to be posing a threat to several other apartment buildings.  So far, there is no word regarding any casualties or fatalities.  Stay with ABC news for further updates as we receive them.

Maddie stands as if she has been frozen, the blood draining from her face.  The telephone rings, and she lunges for it.

Maddie:  David? …………..No, Agnes, he's not here……….yes, I just saw it….I've been here all day - he has that bowling banquet tonight…….I don't know - I don't know……….I have to go!

She slams the phone back into the receiver.

Without a backwards glance, she grabs her handbag from the bedside table, and flies down the steps, out the front door, and into the car.

She drives and talks to herself

Maddie:  It's going to be fine…….it's got to be fine……I'm sure he's fine……

She flies through a red light, as the music and tempo pick up speed.

The radio plays.

          I'm driving in my car, I turn on the radio.
          I'm pulling you close, you just say no.
          You say you don't like it, but girl, I know you're a liar
          `Cause when we kiss, fire.

          Late at night, I'm takin' you home.
          I say I wanna stay, you say you wanna be alone.
          You say you don't love me, girl, you can't hide your desire.
          `Cause when we kiss, fire.

          You had a hold on me right from the start
          A grip so tight I couldn't tear it apart.
          My nerves all jumpin', acting like a fool
          Well your kisses they burn, but your heart stays cool.

          Romeo and Juliet, Samson and Delilah,
          Baby, you can bet, their love they didn't deny.
          Your words say split, but your words they lie.
          `Cause when we kiss, fire.

She turns the corner, into a street that is blocked off - almost running into a police officer.  He heads around to the driver's side as she jumps out of the car.

Officer:  Hey lady, you need to move that car out of the way.

Maddie starts to rant, almost incoherently.

Maddie:  You don't understand…..David….my partner………my……well, he was in there……I don't know….if he's in there…I have to find him.

The officer looks at her unsympathetically.

Officer:  I'm telling you, you can't leave that car there.

Maddie (screaming):  Don't you hear me?  I need to find somebody who might be in there.

Officer:  If you don't move that car, I'll have it towed.

Maddie:  Tow it…do whatever you want……I have to get in there.

She turns to head towards the apartment, and slams directly into a blue brick wall of a man.

Sergeant:  What's the problem here?

Officer:  Lady won't move her car.

Maddie:  Does your medical plan provide for hearing aids?  I said I have to get in there.

Sergeant:  Lady, lady, calm down.

Maddie:  The only way you are going to get me to calm down is to let me find my partner, and make sure he is all right.  I've got to get in there.

Something in her desperate tone lets him know she will not be dissuaded.

He calls to the officer.

Sergeant:  Hey Henderson, do me a favor.  Take the lady's car and park it out of the way.

The officer shakes his head.

Officer:  If you say so, Sarge.

Sergeant:  OK now lady, take it easy.  I'm sure whoever you're looking for is fine.

Maddie looks up in horror as she gets her first sight of the building.  It is fully engulfed in flames, and smoke billows around.  

Maddie:  My God, look at the place.  How did it happen?

Sergeant:  We don't know that yet.  But we're pretty sure everybody got out fine.  I'll take you to where the people from the apartments are.

The street is chaos……….firefighters, police officers, paramedics everywhere.  The firefighters continue to point hoses at the blaze, pouring gallons of water on the building.  More soak the surrounding buildings, trying to keep them from becoming involved.

Maddie is basically oblivious to all around her, craning her neck for the one person she longs to see.  We catch a long shot of David, on the outskirts of a small crowd of onlookers.  He is clad only in a towel, slung low around his waist.  Next to him is a cardboard box containing record albums and a large picture frame.  He is watching the fire.

Maddie spots him, and takes off down the street towards him.  Almost as if he feels her presence, he turns towards her as she approaches.

She throws herself into his arms, and they embrace - as if they were long separated lovers……like a  soldier returning from war…… people afraid they wouldn't see each other again.

He whispers into her ear.

David:  Hey, hey, hey…I'm fine……Maddie, really, I'm fine…..I'm the original asbestos man -----  Maddie, honey, you're really shaking.

He pushes her slightly away from him.

David:  Look at me, baby, I'm fine.  Honestly.

He continues to hold his hands at her waist, as she starts to babble.

Maddie:  God, David, I was so scared.  I saw it on the news.  I had no idea what to do.  I jumped in the car and drove over here at about a hundred miles an hour.

David just stands, staring at her, and waits for her to finish talking.

David: Maddie, do you know you have a plastic bag on your head?

She snatches it off, then thumps her fist on his chest.

Maddie:  I might murder you if I weren't so glad you're alive.  I'm lucky I didn't run  somebody over on the way here - I wasn't really concerned about making a fashion statement.

He pulls her back into his arms.

David:  Good thing - this look is definitely a before picture.

They look at each other in silence, before David speaks seriously.

David:  Scared you, huh?

Maddie can only nod.

David:  Me too.

He pulls her close.

Maddie:  Jesus, David, do they have any idea of what happened?  How did you get out?  Is everybody OK?

David:  I think everybody got out……...that's the important thing.  We can talk about the rest later.

There is a crash from the building, and they turn to see debris falling down from an upper floor.  Maddie takes a blanket from a rescue worker, unfolds it and wraps it around David from behind.  Her arms stay wrapped around his waist, and she leans her head on his shoulder as they both stare at the fire.

The commotion goes on around them, as they stand watching and music plays

     Walk through the fire
     Walk through the fire, walk through the fire
     Through the dust and ashes
     As the building crashes
     Walk through the flame, walk through the fire
     No trace of indecision
     Lion keep his vision clear.

     Moving out
Across the water
The wet leaves quiver in the heat
Darkness heavy on my shoulder
Smell the smoke, sickly sweet
The body's weak, the shadows strong.

Walk through the fire, walk through the fire
Through the dust and ashes
While the building crashes
Walk through the flame, walk through the fire
No time for doubt or caution
Taken by the strong emotion
Walk through the fire, walk through the fire
No trace of indecision
Lion hold his vision clear.

Walk through the fire, walk through the fire
Walking in the path of angel
Walk on down below, walk on down below,
Walk on down below, walk on down below.

Their attention is drawn by an elderly man who is sitting on the back bumper of an ambulance as he talks to emergency worker.

Elderly Man:  I don't know what I'll do.  I've lived here for thirty years.  Everything I own was in that apartment.  My wife died two years ago……..the only things I had left of her were in there.  All the pictures of the kids, our wedding picture…things that can't be replaced.  Where do I go now?

Red Cross Worker:  Don't worry, Mr. Flynn.  We'll get you someplace to stay, contact your children……help with whatever we can.

Elderly Man:  I'm seventy-eight years old.  Who wants to start over at that age?

David is watching this, almost with a morbid fascination.

Maddie:  David, how long have you lived here?

David:  Ever since I came from New York……….ten years.

Maddie:  That long?  And everything's gone…you've lost everything.

David:  No, Maddie, I lost stuff.  And not even important stuff…..

He indicates the box on the ground, and then pulls her closer.

David:  Everything I need is right here with me - now!

Maddie gives him a tentative smile.

David:  I am gonna miss that car though.  I don't know what chance I'll ever get again to own a classic Corvette, even one without a motor.

Maddie:  I have a feeling that we will remember that car fondly for years to come.

She looks at him seriously.

Maddie:  I'm just glad you're OK.

David:  Me too, Blondie.

They continue to stand close together, side by side, maintaining bodily contact, touching at all possible points.  If one moves slightly, the other shifts his/her body to fill the void, almost as if they are using the physical contact for reassurance.

They are approached by the police sergeant.

Sergeant:  Looks like you found him, ma'am.

Maddie:  Officer, I wanted to say thank you so much.  I think I forgot to do that.  I hope I didn't act too crazy.

Sergeant:  It was understandable ma'am.  I'm glad everything worked out OK for you.  Here's your car keys.

Maddie:  Thanks.

Sergeant:  Are you David Addison?

David:  In the flesh…so to speak.

Sergeant:  I've got to ask you.  Is it true you had a car in your apartment?

David smiles self-consciously.

David:  Sure did.  Great way to pick up girls……No really, it was the chassis of a 1953 Corvette.

Sergeant:   No motor? No gas?  Nothing flammable or anything that could throw a spark?

David:  Nope, I swear, just the chassis.  It never had even been used on the street. It was just for fun.  A present from the lady here.

Sergeant:  How come all I ever get are ties that I don't wear?  I think you better hang on to that lady.

David smiles.

David:  I think I will.  Listen, everybody got out all right, didn't they?  No casualties or injuries?

Sergeant:  Yeah, thanks to somebody who pounded on all the doors and got people out………some guy dressed only in a towel.

The sergeant grins but David just looks at him, with an unreadable expression on his face.

David:  Nobody was hurt, right?

Sergeant:  We just had to take a firefighter to the hospital.  He fell off a ladder.  Looks like his leg is broken.

David:  If there is nothing else we can do here, any objections if we get out of here?

Sergeant:  No, just leave us an address and phone number where we can reach you.  We'll probably send someone to ask you some questions.

David:  Blue Moon Investigations. 15555 Century Park East in Century City.  213-203-2020.

Sergeant:  Great, thanks.  Now, the Red Cross is talking to people, getting them set up in a hotel.

Maddie:  Don't worry about that.  He's coming with me.

David looks over at her, with a quizzical expression on his face.  He then turns back to the sergeant.

David:  Don't worry about that.  I'm going with her.

Sergeant:  OK……take care now.  We'll be in touch.

David looks over at Maddie.

David:  You ready to go?

Maddie:  Please.

David leans down to pick up the box.

Maddie:  Here, do you need help with that?  Let me grab that frame before you drop it.

David quickly tries to grab the box out of her reach.

David:  No….I can get ----

Maddie pulls the frame from the box, and realizes it is a photograph of her - one of the ones that had recently been removed from her bedroom walls.

She looks curiously at David.

David:  You caught me.  I stole it.  Seemed a shame for all those pictures to disappear……thought maybe I could sell it, maybe make a little money.

Maddie:  Keep talking Addison………

David:  Let's face it…it's a veritable antique.  Maddie Hayes - Cover Girl - the way she looked the first day she walked into my office.

Maddie leans over and kisses him.

Maddie:  You're not fooling anybody, sheik.  Let's get you home before you catch pneumonia.

David:  I feel like I've just gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson…….I could use some sleep.

Maddie:  I'm not sure I could sleep…..I think I'll be seeing that fire every time I close my eyes.

David:  So we'll stay awake…….it's all over and we're OK.  I guess we can't ask for anything more than that.

They walk towards the car, arms around each other's waists.   At the end of the street, behind a police barrier, are a group of reporters, who begin to shout questions as Maddie and David approach.

David:  No comment.

The reporters continue to badger them.  David becomes absolutely still and quiet, then begins to roar.

David:  Have a little respect, you damned vultures.  People are homeless, they've lost everything they have. Give them a little time.  Leave us the hell alone.

Lights flash and cameras whirr as he shouts.  Maddie grabs his arm and continues to lead him towards the car.  A reporter follows them….Rebecca Redd.

Rebecca Redd:  Mr. Addison, Ms. Hayes.  I'm so sorry.  What a shock!  Would you like to say anything at…………

She is paralyzed by the expression on David's face, and his cold tone…very different than the guy she had interviewed for the Sunday magazine.

David:  Not now, Rebecca……not now.  Maybe sometime later, but definitely not now.

Maddie and David continue their walk to the car.

The camera catches a movement in the shadows across the street.  It moves in close up, and focuses in on a pair of vivid blue eyes.  It holds on the eyes as they peer across the street.  Then the eyes become the camera, as they watch Maddie and David walking to the car.  Flash back again to a close up of the eyes glaring.

                    COMMERCIAL BREAK


Scene:  Maddie's Bedroom
              Later that evening

David is reclining on the bed.  He is wearing black sweat pants, and a black T-shirt.

Music echoes from the stereo system - Springsteen.

          Hey little girl, is your daddy home?
          Did he go away and leave you all alone?
          I got a bad desire.
          I'm on fire.

          Tell me now, baby,  is he good to you?
          Can he do to you the things I do?
          I can take you higher.
          I'm on fire.

Maddie walks to the bedroom door, wine bottle and glasses in hand, just in time to catch David reaching for the remote.  He clutches it in his hand, emphatically pointing it at the stereo.

David:  Take that!

The music clicks off.  Maddie watches him quietly for a moment, as he tosses the remote onto the bed.  She continues into the room.  He looks up as she enters.

Maddie:  Bad choice of music?

David:  I've heard better.

He indicates the wine.

David:  What's this, room service?  Knew I came to the right hotel.

Maddie: If there were any excuse needed to have a drink, I think perhaps we've got it.   I thought we could both use a little liquid relaxation.  Care to join me in this?

David:  Might be a little cramped, but you know I'd join you anywhere, Blondie.

Maddie:  This OK?  Would you rather have beer?  Or something a little stronger?

David:  Maddie Hayes asking David Addison if he'd like to increase his alcohol consumption….who'd've thunk it………, that's fine, thanks.

Maddie pours them each a glass of wine, and sits cross-legged on the bed next to David, raising her glass as if to toast.

Maddie:  Here's to making my hands stop shaking.

She is trying to get some response, but David's face is curiously devoid of expression.

Maddie:  See you found some clothes.

David:  Yep - it was either this or that blue silk number in your closet.  I figured I'd save that for tomorrow.

Maddie smiles and shakes her head.

David:  I'm lucky I never made it to the cleaner's.  At least I'll have enough suits and shirts to get me through the week.  Course, the shoeless look might start a new trend.

Maddie:  Well, you've got all of tomorrow to get whatever you need.  It'll probably take a couple of weeks for the insurance claim to be processed, but you can charge anything you need to the business account, and we'll settle up when it comes in.

There is no response from David.  Maddie looks at him suspiciously.

Maddie:  David…….you did have renter's insurance, right?

David:  Nope

Maddie:  None at all?

David:  Let's count.

He ticks off on his fingers to illustrate his point.

David:  Clothes, bed, TV, microwave - that's about everything in the apartment I owned, besides the car.  Hardly seemed worth it.

Maddie:  But now you have to replace all those things

David:  Well, it shouldn't be real tough to refurnish an apartment just like the old one - except for the car, of course.

Maddie is silent for a moment, weighing her words.

Maddie:  A new apartment……any idea of what you'd be looking for?

David:  I don't know.  I did like that place, that neighborhood.  Maybe something around there…maybe furnished this time.  There's a great complex - Park La Brea, but I think they've got a waiting list.

Maddie:  Oh yeah, I know that place.  It's huge.  It's a lot different from your old place.  Is that what you really want?

David:  It's got all the creature comforts - pool, health club, convenience store, dry cleaners.  And it sure beats the old place -- bad electricity, hardly any hot water………that charred look around the edges.

Maddie:  How about the rent…….all that comfort usually comes at a price?

David:  It's Los Angeles, it's 1991 - things cost!  Whatcha gonna do?

Maddie (hesitatingly):  You know, David, there's really no big rush for you to run out and get another apartment.

David looks up hopefully.

David:  No?

Maddie hedges a bit.

Maddie:  No, well, you don't want to jump into anything…end up stuck with a lease on a place you don't like……..

Her voice trails off.

David:  Of course not….that wouldn't be smart.

Maddie:  There's no problem with you staying here as long as you need to ….until things are……you know……..settled.

David:  Good to know.

Maddie:  Good to know?

David:  Good to know.  But I'll get cracking right away.  I know you mean it now, but who knows whether you'll change your mind once we start doing this twenty four seven.

They look at each other a bit uncomfortably, and David changes the subject.

David:  Mind if I turn on the TV - catch the sports?

Maddie:  Sure, go ahead.

She heads towards the bathroom as the TV clicks on.  The screen is filled with images from the fire, as a voiceover recounts the story.

Voice:  This was the scene earlier this evening in the Fairfax section of West LA, as a six-unit apartment building burned to the ground, leaving its tenants homeless, and residents of three neighboring buildings evacuated.  One firefighter was taken to Cedars Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation, and another broke his leg in a fall from a ladder.  The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.  Stay tuned to ABC TV for more news as it becomes available.

David clicks off the TV.

Maddie:  Change your mind about the sports?

David is uncharacteristically silent, staring into space.  Maddie looks at him warily, then walks over, and again sits next to him on the bed.

Maddie:  Listen, David, I know this is a terrible thing, but it's going to be OK.  We'll replace what you need to replace, take care of the details.  It'll all be just fine.

David:  I'm not so sure, Maddie.  Two firemen were hurt….people lost their homes.

Maddie:  You lost your home!  I guess it's bound to be a little unsettling.

David:  I lost a place to flop, Maddie, not a home.  Some of those people have family, possessions, heirlooms.  You saw that old guy, Maddie.  He lost everything.  He lost things he can't ever get back.  And so did lots of other people.

Maddie:  And all of them will do what they need to do to get past this and bounce back.  It happens, David.  You can't worry about everybody else.

David looks over at her, then away, reluctant to meet her eyes.

David:  But what if I did it?

Maddie:  What do you mean?

David:  What if the whole thing was my fault, Maddie?  What if I started the fire?

Maddie:  What are you saying, David?

David:  I am saying that I, David Addison, master of disaster, probably started that fire.

He jumps up from the bed and starts to pace, clearly agitated.

Maddie:  David, start from the beginning.

David:  Well, I talked to you on the phone at around three thirty.  I needed to do some wash, so I took a basket of stuff down to the laundry room, and tossed it into the washer.  I came back upstairs, and started to watch the ball game.  The Dodgers were playing the Phillies…I had talked to Richie earlier, and we had a bet on who would win.

Maddie nods her assent.

Maddie:  Go on.

David:  It was a really good game…..lots of hits, but still real close.  I lost track of time. Next time I looked at the clock, it was after six and my clothes were still in the washer.  I ran down to the laundry room, figured I'd toss them in the dryer, take my shower, and they would be somewhat dry when I got out of the shower.

Maddie wrinkles her nose at the picture of "somewhat dry".

David:  Anyway, I grabbed the damp clothes out of the washer, and went to put them in the dryer.  There was a small sign, taped over the coin slots that said "Out of order".   After a few chosen remarks about the dryer manufacturer's parentage, I grabbed the clothes and took them upstairs.

Maddie:  What were you going to do with wet clothes?

David:  I thought I would iron them dry.

He reacts to Maddie's look.

David:  Yes, I do…….well, I did own an iron.  After all, I just needed socks and underwear.  But it was getting too late, and I still needed a shower.  I had just read an article in the newspaper about new technologies, and they had a whole section about microwave dryers being the wave of the future - that microwaves could dry clothing in half the time as a regular dryer by turning the water to steam, and evaporating it.

Maddie:  David, what did you do?

David looks at her with a pained expression on his face.

David:  I tossed the socks and underwear in the microwave, set it for twenty minutes, and hopped in the shower.

Maddie:  You what?

David:  Do you really want me to repeat it?

Maddie shakes her head no.

Maddie:  (a bit sarcastically)  You put wet clothes in your microwave oven?  What, did you forget you had a stove?  I guess you skipped the part about microwave technology not being perfected yet, huh?

David rolls his eyes at her.

David:  Anyway….next thing I knew, the smoke detector starting blaring.  I ran out of the shower and the whole kitchen was in flames.  I wrapped a towel around myself, and ran up and down the stairs, yelling for people to get out - and to call 911.  I ran back into the apartment, and the fire was everywhere.  I grabbed my records, and your picture, and hightailed it out of there.

Maddie sighs.

Maddie:  David, I don't know what to say.

David:  Well, there's a first……..I'll tell you what to say, "  Addison, you jackass, how could you be so stupid?  Because of you, there are now two firemen lying at Cedars, and the homeless population of LA has risen to new heights……..aren't you proud of yourself?"

Maddie:  David!  I'll grant you, this is definitely not the brightest thing you've ever done……

He interrupts.

David:  You think?

Maddie shakes her head.
Maddie:  You have done some pretty dumb things.

David:  Thanks for your support.

Maddie:  You know what I mean.  

David:  Yeah.  But, most of the dumb things I've done have only hurt myself, not other people.

He looks at her.

David:  Present company excepted, of course.

Maddie looks at him for a moment.

Maddie:  No visible scars or bruises.  And our past is not the topic of this conversation.  What are you going to do?

David:  I'm going to tell the police.  Is there such a thing as being criminally stupid?

Maddie:  I don't think that applies.  You had no intent, no malice of forethought - hell, there was hardly any forethought at all in that decision.

David:  You're not making me feel any better.

Maddie:  Is that what you want?  Are you looking for somebody to nod an empty blonde head at you, and say, "It wasn't that bad"?  Or do you want a partner who is able to say, "Hey you screwed up.  Let's see how we can fix it"?

David looks at her intensely.

David:  I think you know the answer to that question.

Maddie:  Then what do you want to do?

David:  I think I'll call the police.

Maddie:  Can I make a suggestion here?  It's after 1 AM.  You're exhausted.  Do you think that it might be better to get some sleep, and talk to the police in the morning?

David:  You think that's OK?

Maddie:  Nothing's going to change between now and then, and you'll probably make a little more sense in the morning.

David:  You talked me into it. I don't know if I'll be able to sleep, but I'm willing to give it a try.   You coming to bed?

Maddie:  Let me take these glasses and things down to the kitchen.  I'll be back in just a minute.

She leans over and kisses him, smiling softly.

Maddie:  Don't go anywhere.  I'll be right back.

David:  I'll save your spot.

Scene:  Several moments later.

Maddie reenters the room.  David is asleep in the bed, burrowed under the comforter.  She sits in a chair, just looking at him.


     Close your eyes, give me your hand, darling.
     Do you feel my heart beating?
     Do you understand?
     Do you feel the same?
     Am I only dreaming?
     Is this burning an eternal flame?

     I believe it's meant to be, darling.
     I watch you when you are sleeping
     You belong with me.
     Do you feel the same?
     Am I only dreaming
     Or is this burning an eternal flame?

     Say my name, sun shines through the rain
     A whole life so lonely
     And then you come and ease the pain
     I don't want to lose this feeling

     Close your eyes, give me your hand, darling.
     Do you feel my heart beating?
     Do you understand?
     Do you feel the same?
     Am I only dreaming?
Is this burning an eternal flame?
Maddie sighs, rises from the chair and heads towards the bed.

Scene:  Another bedroom
        Somewhere across town

Another woman sits in shadow.  A sliver of moonlight reflects off her blonde hair.  She holds a picture frame, its back towards us.  She addresses the photo in the frame.

Woman:  I thought I took care of them this time.  Stupid, stupid………who knew he would get out of there before the fire spread.  Darling, I swear, they will pay for what they did to you… us. They had to meddle…..had to call the police.  Well, if I can't have you, I'll be damned sure she can't have him - no matter what I have to do.

She reaches over, and turns off the light.

                         COMMERCIAL BREAK

Act IV

Scene:   Maddie's house
         Sunday morning 8:30 AM

Maddie is sitting on the sofa in the living room.  She is wearing a nightgown and robe, but she does not look well rested.  She stares out into the room, and we read her thoughts.

It has been a difficult night. David has slept very little, hence she has slept very little.  One moment, he had been curled up against her, then thrashing around, tossing off the covers, and mumbling in his sleep the next.  At one point he had snuck out of bed, careful not to disturb her, and spent an hour staring out the window into the night.  Then he had wandered the house, finally coming back to bed at around six.  Maddie herself had crept out of bed at seven, once she was sure he was finally asleep.

She shakes her head as if to dislodge the thoughts that are lingering there, and picks up the newspaper from the sofa beside her.  She looks again at the pictures and article on the front page.  There is a full color photo of the fire scene, and a smaller picture of the crowd of people watching.  She and David are quite visible in the picture, David in his towel, and she in her plastic bag.

Maddie smiles in spite of herself.

Maddie:  Well, he said he was looking for exposure.  Although I'm not quite sure this is the kind of exposure that either one of us imagined.  We both look like hell.  Let's see how David feels about publicity after this.

She reacts as she hears the water start to run in the shower upstairs.  She had expected………had hoped that David would sleep a little later.  It would have been so much easier if they could have just stayed up all night, talking this out, and supporting each other, instead of lying there next to each other, avoiding.

She smiles slightly to herself, and speaks out loud.

Maddie:  But that's not what we do.  Maybe we need to start.  In any event, what I need to do now is keep him calm.

She puts down the paper, and reaches for the carafe on the chest in front of her.  She pours a cup of coffee, and carries it upstairs, through the bedroom, and into the bathroom.  The room is full of steam, and unusually silent - we hear none of David's typical shower songs.

Maddie:  David, I brought you a cup of coffee.

David's head peeks out of the shower.  He looks terrible.

David:  I would give you everything I own for a cup of coffee.  At this moment, everything I own wouldn't pay for a cup of coffee…….

His voice trails off as Maddie walks towards him.

Maddie:  I'll take it on account.  Morning.

She kisses him on his scratchy cheek, and hands him the cup.  He retreats back into the shower.

Maddie takes a seat, and tries to converse lightly.

Maddie:  There is an article about the fire in the newspaper.  In fact, it's front- page news.

David's voice comes from behind the curtain.

David:  What does it say?

Maddie:  Nothing more than we know, really.  Talks about the building, the people, all that.  It does say that the two firefighters are in good shape.  They are both expected to be released from the hospital today.

David:  Well, at least that's good news.  Anything about what they think caused it?

Maddie:  No.  There is a little bit about the building being up to code in its most recent fire inspection.  It says they are still looking for the cause.

David:   Well, give me about fifteen more minutes, and they will have their cause.  I'm going to call the police as soon as I am done here.

Maddie:  David, I think we should take this real slow.  Don't go off half-cocked.

David:  I never go off half-cocked.

Maddie:  No one knows that better than I.

David:  Ba dump bump……….rim shot!

Maddie:  Listen, I'm going to go down and make you some breakfast, and we will talk about this before you make any phone calls, OK?

David:  You're making me breakfast?  You must really be worried about me.  What is this…the prisoner ate a hearty last meal?

Maddie:  You're familiar enough with my cooking to know that I wouldn't be the choice to make anybody's last meal.

David:  You can say that again.

He peeks out from behind the curtain, hands her the empty coffee cup, and gives her a sardonic half smile.

David:  Don't burn anything down.

Maddie shakes her head and leaves the room without comment.  As she walks down the steps, the doorbell rings.  She walks to the door and opens it slightly.

Rebecca Redd, the Tribune reporter, stands on the doorstep.

Rebecca:  Miss Hayes, I am sorry to bother you so early.

Maddie:  Rebecca, as you can imagine, this is not really a good time.

She steps out onto the doorstep, and leaves the door ajar behind her.

Rebecca:  I understand that, Miss Hayes, but I don't think you understand what to expect here.  A few minutes ago, the fire commissioner made a statement about the fire in Mr. Addison's building.  He said that they believe it started on the second floor, and they have not ruled out suspicious causes.

Maddie:  What does that have to do with us?

Rebecca:  You two are very visible people, Miss Hayes. Your pictures are on the front page of today's paper.  You have a feature article in the magazine in tomorrow's paper.  You're a famous former fashion model.  You know the drill - it's all news.  Very shortly, you should expect reporters at your door.  I just got here first because I knew where to go.  I'm telling you, they are out there looking for Mr. Addison, looking for you, to get any information possible.  And they will go to any lengths to get it.

Maddie:  And you?

Rebecca:  My methods are a bit more subtle.  I'm a feature reporter…I don't need to scratch and claw daily for my stories.  I'm here because this seems like an interesting follow-up for my feature.  And I promise I would be fair.

Maddie:  Rebecca, right now, I can't even think about this.

Rebecca looks over her shoulder.

Rebecca:  Well, you'd better get ready, Miss Hayes, because here come the troops.

We see a long shot of a news van with cameraman and reporter coming out the side door.  Several other reporters make their way up Maddie's driveway, and cluster around the door, all shouting at the same time.

Reporters:       Miss Hayes, Miss Hayes………
          What can you tell us about the fire?
          How well do you really know your partner?
          Where's Addison?
          Did you have anything to do with this?
           Where were you last night?

Maddie:  I'm sorry I have nothing to say to you.

Reporter A:  Aw, come on babe…what have you got to hide?  Give us the scoop on you and Addison.  Do you and your partner get along?

The front door swings open.  David stands there, dressed almost exactly as he had been the night before - a bath sheet wrapped around him and trailing on the floor.

Reporter A (sarcastically):  Guess we've got our answer to my last question.

David glares.  Maddie turns around and softly whispers to him.

Maddie:  David, we probably don't need another front-page picture with you wrapped in a towel.

David is trying hard to hold his temper, as the reporters descend on him, Maddie's presence almost forgotten.

David:  If you've got any questions, direct them to me.

Reporter A:  What is the relationship between you and Miss Hayes?

David:  What kind of a question is that?  What the hell are you doing here anyway?

Reporter B:  Do you know anything about the fire?  Any suspicious people around that you know of?

Reporter C:  Anybody have a reason to try and get back at you for anything?

Reporter D:  You and your partner been getting along lately, Mr. Addison?

The questions continue, the cameras roll, and the flashes flare.

David and Maddie stare incredulously at each other, then David speaks.  

David:  That's it………no comments, no interviews - nothing!

Reporter A:  What are you people hiding?  Any lover's spats recently?  This seems to be a clear case of arson……either of you willing to make a statement about that?  What about you honey?

David explodes.

David:  That's enough, you freaking bottom feeders.  You don't want to know what really happened.   You people aren't interested in news - you are interested in sensationalism, and interrupting people's lives and privacy.  You're gonna make up fifty percent of what you print anyway.  I want you all out of here, now……before I decide it's about time to take out the trash.

 Three men walk up the driveway, one, the uniformed Sergeant from the evening before, and two men in civilian clothes.

Sergeant:  You heard the man….everybody out.  This is private property, and you know the rules.  Back off the curb……..there are a couple of policemen out there who will be happy to show you if you've forgotten.

With grumbling comments, the reporters begrudgingly make their way back towards the street.  Rebecca Redd lingers for a moment, but receiving no encouragement, walks away with the rest of the reporters.

Sergeant:  Miss Hayes, Mr. Addison, I'm Sergeant Daly.  We met last evening.  These two gentlemen are Detectives Stone and McCarthy.  We'd like to ask you a few questions.

David:  Sure.  Can you give me a few minutes to put my pants on?  I didn't even stop to think about what I was wearing when I heard those vultures at the door.

Sergeant Daly:  Most of them aren't bad.  Just doing their job.

David:  If you say so.  I'll be right back.

He reenters the house, and Maddie leads the men into the living room.

Maddie:  Can I offer anybody a cup of coffee?

Sergeant Daly:  Thanks ma'am.  We got a pretty early start this morning.  We're here to ask a few questions about the fire.  We know already that you weren't on the scene when the fire started.

Maddie:  That's right.  I was here when I heard about it on the news.

She lifts the carafe.

Maddie:  I'm afraid that I need to make another pot of coffee.  It'll just take a minute.

David reenters the room, now dressed in jeans and a t-shirt.

David:  That's what she says……no harm in hoping.

Maddie smiles at him, trying to be reassuring.

Maddie:  I'll be right back.

She leaves the room.

Detective Stone:  Mr. Addison, we'd like to talk to you about the fire.  It has been determined that the fire started in your kitchen area.

David:  Ok, let's cut to the chase.  I know I'm responsible.  I was just getting ready to call you guys when those reporters showed up.

Detective McCarthy:  You started the fire?  What do you mean?

David:  I had some clothes that I needed dried quickly, and I had the stupid idea that if I put them in the microwave, they might dry faster.  I put them in, and then got in the shower.  That's when I heard the fire alarm.

The three men look at each other and burst out laughing.  The sound brings Maddie back from the kitchen.

Maddie:  What's going on?

Her question only makes the detectives laugh harder.

David:  They seem to think there is something funny about me telling them I started the fire.

Sergeant Daly catches his breath.

Sergeant Daly:  Mr. Addison, you didn't start the fire.

David:  I didn't?

Detective McCarthy:  Do you believe this guy…..thought he started the fire by putting clothes in his microwave?

Maddie:  Do you have an idea how it started, officers?

Detective Stone:  It's a clear case of arson.  There is chemical residue from some sort of incendiary device present.

David:  Well, I can tell you that is a relief.

Sergeant Daly:  Don't be relieved so soon.  Of course, we had to investigate you as a suspect originally.

Maddie:  And you eliminated him as a suspect?

Detective McCarthy:  It didn't take long.  No insurance, no way to gain financially from the crime.  And everybody we interviewed spoke glowingly of how you worked to get every last person out of the building.

Detective Stone:  It's also extremely rare for an arsonist to plan a fire when he himself is at home, in the shower.

David:  So what are we looking at here?

Sergeant Daly:  Remember when I told you not to be relieved so soon?  This device was clearly planted in your kitchen, and I am assuming, by someone who was trying to cause you harm.

Detective McCarthy:  Can you think of any suspicious characters that you have seen around your apartment building?  

Detective Stone:  In your line of work, you must meet some unusual people.  Anybody you think might be holding a grudge?  Anybody whose case didn't turn out quite as expected?

Maddie and David exchange looks.

Maddie:  Let's just say that in some of our cases, some of the clients who have hired us have landed up in jail.

Sergeant Daly:  That's exactly the kind of thing we're talking about.  We are going to need to ask you to provide us with some information on some of those cases.

Maddie:  Whatever you need.  We can put together a list of all of our cases, and highlight those that ended, shall we say, unconventionally.

David:  Blue Moon has been in existence for seven years.  Do you think it might go back that far?

Detective Stone:  It wouldn't hurt to look at all of them.  Maybe somebody has gotten out of jail, and decided he has a score to settle, who knows.

David:  How about if we meet you at our office later this afternoon, and you can look at some of the files while we pull the information?

Detective McCarthy:  How's three o'clock?

Maddie:  We'll be there.

Detective Stone:  Until then, I guess we don't need to warn you to be careful.  If there is someone out there with a grudge, you want to be alert to the danger.  We can assign some protection if you'd like.

David:  I don't think you need to do that.  We'll be careful.

He avoids Maddie's look of indignation.

Detective Stone:  OK, we'll be on our way.  See you at three.  Hey Miss Hayes, keep this guy away from your microwave.

They exit the house, laughing.

David looks at Maddie sheepishly.

David:  So, what do you think of that?  All that worry about nothing.  Guess I look like a big dope.

Maddie:  A tremendously big dope, and it has nothing to do with the microwave.  Why on earth would you turn down police protection?

David:  Do you remember what happened to this house the last time you had police protection?  And you just redecorated!

Maddie:  Clever answers are not getting you out of this one, Addison.  Turning down protection is a stupid thing to do.

David:  Worried about me?

Maddie:  I'm worried about you not being worried about you.  It's cocky, and unwise.

David:  Maddie, Maddie, Maddie…I'm a detective.  It's my business to be aware, to root out the suspicious.  It's in my instincts.

Maddie:  Where were your instincts when this crazy person planted a bomb in your kitchen?

David:  You're overreacting.  How's this?  I promise you, when we start to investigate this, if I think I'm in any danger at all, I'll call the police begging for protection.

Maddie:  I am not going to leave you alone on this, David.

David grabs her around the waist.

David:  Have I ever asked you to leave me alone, Blondie?

He changes the subject.

David:  Hey, what happened to my breakfast?

Maddie:  The reporters….the police……..

David:  That's OK.  I don't feel much like breakfast anyway.  Now that I'm feeling better, what I really could go for is a nap.  What do you say…….trade in the porridge for some sack time, Goldilocks?

Maddie:  David…………

He grabs her by the arm and pulls her towards the stairs

David:  Maddie…………….

Maddie:  Ok, but we `re not finished talking about this.

David:  Absolutely.  Whatever you say, honey.

He looks into the camera.

David:  What can I say?  I'm irresistible.

They walk up the steps, arms around each other.

Scene:  In a car
         Across the street from Maddie's house.

The camera peers in through the driver's side window to see a blonde woman, scarf wrapped around her head, wearing large dark glasses.  She is watching everything that is going on at Maddie's house.

She sees the reporters banished to the street, when the police enter.  She smiles, as she anticipates the scene - surely the police would arrest Addison for the arson, or at least detain him for questioning.

She flips down the sun visor…………there is a picture of a familiar man.

Woman:  My darling Jim.  We've suffered through so much.  Once Melissa was gone, I thought all the obstacles had been removed.  It was fate that we would be together.  But those stupid people couldn't let well enough alone.  We both would have been free and together if they had left us alone.  But now, we'll never be together.  And if Addison isn't dead, maybe he will just rot away in prison for the rest of his life.  Let Maddie Hayes find out what it's like to cry yourself to sleep every night.

There is activity across the street.  The woman observes the three policemen leaving……..but only the three policemen.

Woman:  Something is wrong.  Why isn't Addison with them?  Have I failed again?

She looks up at the picture again.

Woman:  I'll just have to make sure the next time I won't fail.  I'm doing this for us, Jim.  Addison is history.

Music plays from the car radio.

               I'm the keeper of the flame
               My torch of love lights his name.
               Ask no pity, beg no shame.
               I'm the keeper of the flame

               Played with fire and I was burned
               Gave a heart but I was spurned
               All these times I have yearned
               Just to have my love returned.

               Years have passed by
               The spark still remains
               True love can't die
               It smolders in flame
               When the fire is burning off
               And the angels call my name
               Dying love will leave no doubt
               I'm the keeper of the flame.

                         FREEZE FRAME

                         END OF PART ONE

     Music Selections:

               Midnight at the Oasis by Jerry Garcia
               Rooms on Fire by Stevie Nicks
               Fire by Bruce Springsteen
               Walk through the Fire by Peter Gabriel
               I'm on Fire by Bruce Springsteen
               Eternal Flame by The Bangles
               Keeper of the Flame by Nina Simone

Thanks to the usual cast of characters:

The Virtual staff……..for fanning "The Flame"

Lizzie ……..good friend and inspiration.  Couldn't do it without you.

Sue……….. my song lady, and beta extraordinaire.  Thanks for the confidence.

Sarah……...the keeper of the site……you keep me young, brat.

To all the faithful readers…….who again and again say all the right things.  You make it easy for us to feel inspired.

To GGC, Cybill, and Bruce…… did your job so well that it makes it easy to do mine.