Late! Sorry!

(Rather than being thrilled, we’re treated to a close-up of HENRY, bleary-eyed, sullen-faced, and shabby-looking, parked in front of that same television on that same garish couch, slumped lazily and flipping idly through channels. He occasionally makes a grunt or a sigh, but other than that all that is heard is the constant intermittent blips of momentary program clips as he surfs through at lightning speed. Eventually, as the scene just borders on tedium and utter despair, HENRY flops over onto the couch with a groan, letting the remote control thud onto the shag carpeted floor.)

HENRY: Oh, what’s the use.

(He closes his eyes, hoping that maybe forced sleep will yield a better tomorrow. Although, as the camera pans in to his eyes, we hear the telly in the background getting louder and louder, growing from incidental background noise to something the audience can actually hear and understand, ending with…)

TELEVISION: Herman: Who is he? That’s the topic of tonight’s "Word on the Street" report. Apparently, the number one name on bug’s lips these days is that of Herman, a mysterious manifesto man whose bold ideas have been quickly taking Britain’s insect kingdom by storm.

(HENRY rockets back up to a seating position, blinking wildly and leaning as close as he can to the screen.)

TELEVISION: The movement, and its anonymous author, have begun to preach a message of acceptance and open celebration of love and life, often while flying in the face of conventional tradition and resonating with the silent majority of insects here in the city. Reports tell us that some had heard of the small movement in the weeks prior, but the full-blown campaign sprang up about a week ago in a literal storm of bright pink pamphlets brought on by a canvassing of Lawndale Square done by one Miss Cecelia Brown of Lawndale. I caught up with Miss Brown earlier in the week to ask a few questions.

(the television switches to a rapid interview conducted whilst CECELIA is walking down the street, obviously in a hurry to get away from the camera.)

REPORTER: Miss Brown, Miss Brown, tell us, are you Herman?

CECELIA: (testy, but polite) No, I’m not Herman.

REPORTER: Then, who is?

CECELIA: For safety, I can’t tell you that.

(HENRY smiles)

REPORTER: So you know him?

CECELIA: I wouldn’t go throwing any madman’s pamphlets out my window now, would I?

(HENRY grins and leans further forward on the couch, to the very edge)

REPORTER: Are the two of you lovers?

(CECELIA, on camera, becomes very flustered. HENRY falls off the couch with a thump.)

CECELIA: That’s about enough of that!

(she pushes a raptorial arm into the camera lens and it all disappears into static, switching back to the newsroom and the same reporter.)

REPORTER: This "Herman" whomever he is, is starting to change the way we bugs think about our lives, and the lives around us. One can only wonder when the next words will appear from the mysterious author, cementing his place as more than a fluke to our cultural sensitivities. The public has begun to rally around the words of Herman, proving that one bug really can make a difference.

(during this, the camera begins a slow pull into HENRY, with music swelling up slowly and finally climaxing with the final line on a shot of HENRY’s now-radiant face.He dashes out of the shot, the camera hurrying to keep up as he bounds up the stairs, to the right, and into his parents’ bedroom. Doing so makes both his parents leap out of bed as if a massive electrical current had been run through it, HYACINTH in a flouncy pink dressing gown and RICHARD in a long nightshirt. The former is screaming bloody murder and the latter brandishing a table lamp to ward off imaginary invaders.)

RICHARD: I’m warning you, take one more step and I’ll… son? What are you doing here?

HYACINTH: It’s the middle of the night, darling, please let us sleep.

RICHARD: (to his wife) Come now, Hyacinth, he may have a reason for bursting in here.
(to HENRY) Well, son… do you?

HENRY: (breathing heavily) Mum…Dad… thanks for everything. I’ve, er… I’ve got to go.
(he is visibly jittery with giddy energy)

HYACINTH: Go? Henry, sweetheart, it’s three AM, where on earth do you have to go?

(HENRY smiles)

HENRY: Where I belong.

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