just a little something to move it along…

(The sheild bug skids senselessly to a halt a few yards away, and the camera swings left to see a very unhappy, very unhealthy HENRY, his breath coming in heaving gasps, his arms hanging almost dead at his side, as if he expended the very last of his energy in that uncharacteristic punch.)

HENRY: (still gasping) That’s… that’s enough of that…

(LEW is, to say the least, baffled. He stands there, mandibles agape, his gaze shifting from one bug, upturned in a filthy rubbish bin, and the other knocked batty on the sidewalk. The few pedestrians on the street that early are beginning to crowd around and gawk a little, which is never a good thing.)

LEW: Oh, bollocks…Henry, Henry, mate, snap out of it! Hank!

(he attempts to get HENRY moving, but nothing doing. Between the hangover, the frustration, and his still tense feelings over CECELIA, he’s absolutely given up. Sure enough, before long a pillbug police officer comes strutting up, knee-deep in the stereotype. He spins a short nightstick on one of his arms as he totters by.)

COP: Oi, oi, what’s all this now?

(LEW immediately tries to remedy the situation.)

LEW: Terribly sorry, officer. We were on our way to work, see, and these two, y’see, they just, er, I mean, they were really gettin…y’know…

COP: S’alright, boy. I know you shield bugs ain’t th’ brightest. How bout your strange lookin’ friend, there? Does he have anything to say, mm? Looks in a dreadful state, I’d say… (he eyeballs HENRY) well, ye great tall thing, can you tell me what happened here? You look a fright!

(HENRY looks at him with bleary eyes.)

HENRY: I feel awful, officer.

COP: Ah! A nice bit of honesty so early in the mornin. Warms me heart, it does. So can you tell me, son, what happened here?

HENRY: (flatly, without embellishment) These two bugs were giving my friend trouble, so I stopped them.

COP:(clutching at his chest) Oh stop, son! Any more blatant honesty an’ I’ll die of disbelief!

LEW: Officer, he’s not in his right mind, he’s had a rough night, and…

COP: (dismissing him) Don’t worry, boyo. These two ruffians have been givin’ the neighborhood a black eye for some time now. Sure if I wasn’t on duty I’d congratulate you two for what you did, but I’m not, so I can’t… (he uses the club to tip his hat back worriedly) and protocol says I’ll have to process all four of you down at the station, so I’m sorry…but you’ll have to come with me, all right?

LEW: (resigned) All right.

HENRY: (still flatly) Sure.

(the COP radios for help, and leads all four of them away, and eventually the crowd disperses…except the few ladies from the Bath & Body Shop, still stunned with what has happened.)

CLARICE: Oh, my goodness…

LADY: What are we going to do?

OTHER LADY: Oh, poor Lewie…

(etc etc. Finally, VERA speaks up.)

VERA: Oi, you lot! Are we just gonna stan’ here, chunnerin’ about how orful this awl is…or are we gonna do somethin?

(She strikes out resolutely, and the rest of the ladies follow.)

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