Otto

Logline: Otto the Otter is a talking toy in a world full of humans… He thought he was the only one.

Genre: Live action/animated comedy

Demographic: Rated PG/PG-13, suitable for ages 10+, all genders

Run time: approx. 90-100 mins

 

“Otto”

Written by

Kristin Grady

 

FADE IN:

INT. ALEISTER JODE’S BASEMENT PODCAST STUDIO – DAY

 

Aleister Jode, a corpulent conspiracy theorist, speaks red- faced and sweating into a microphone as if sending out distress signals.

ALEISTER
It’s another fine day out there folks. The sun is shining, the politicians are tweeting and the robit uprising is eminent. As you go about your daily lives, marching forward with the heard into the mechanical slaughterhouse of the future, don’t forget to stop and think… Have I made a difference? What have I done to preserve the biological human way of life? When my microwave asks me to feed it a baby, will I oblige? Or will I stand up and say NO! I will not sacrifice my young to these artificial overlords! I will not sit by as their faces get sucked into the digital abyss of technology! I’ll throw my best lasso round the youth of this generation and pull them back into the light of truth! And now a word from our sponsors… Smyth and Weston silencers! They won’t hear ya comin’…

FADE TO:

 

INT. OTTO’S APARTMENT – DAY

 

Close-up of the family portrait framed on the piano in the living room. A small saucepan is flung at the frame, breaking it, but not tipping it over. The pan bounces off the wall, leaves a dent.

INT. OTTO’S APARTMENT – DAY

CUT TO:

Otto, a sentient toy otter, is standing with his arms up in front of Nicky’s playpen. Nicky is cross-eyed, crying, throwing things at Otto too.

OTTO
For fluff’s sake, Tina! Would you lay off the saucepans in front of the kid? You’re costing us a fortune in cookware and future therapy!

Otto’s wife Tina, tall, blonde, Barbie-like, sits at the kitchen table in grey sweatpants, smoking a cigarette, flicking ashes into a beer can, tapping her nails next to three more saucepans.

TINA
Oh, like you give a crap about little Nicky. When’s the last time ya changed a diaper or took him to the zoo or some other kind of father-son stuff like that, huh? I’m overwhelmed here, I got the post-partum depression!

OTTO
Tina, he was adopted.

Nicky hits Otto on the head with a whiffle ball bat.

 

TINA
Whatever, you ain’t a doctor!

OTTO
Sweetie, online poker isn’t an antidepressant. Besides, I take him to the park when I go to work sometimes!

CUT TO:

EXT. PARK ACROSS FROM THE POST OFFICE – DAY

Otto finishes tying Nicky to a tree with a sloppy duct-tape tether. He has left food and water, gives the kid an affectionate pat on the head.

 

OTTO
Okay, buddy! Daddy’s gotta go to work now! Have fun and remember if someone tries to kidnap you, just scream like your mother’s trying to give you a bath.

CUT TO:

INT. POST OFFICE – DAY

 

Inside the post office, Otto waves out the window to Nicky (tied to the tree), high-fives his black female coworker, Geraldine.

CUT TO:

INT. OTTO’S APARTMENT – DAY

OTTO
The tape is just so he doesn’t run into traffic. I don’t think anyone’s gonna try to kidnap him ‘cause…

Nicky smiles up at Otto, throws the bat at his head. Tina starts to cry, Otto goes over to comfort her. She shrugs him off and gets another beer out of the refrigerator.

TINA
I can’t take this anymore, Otto! Having a baby didn’t fix anything in our lives! We’re always gonna be the same crappy people we’ve always been! Well, the same beautiful woman and the same… Toy!

 

OTTO
Hey… be careful with the T-bombs, you know I can say it and you can’t.

Tina sits at the table, her chin on her hand, sniffling like she’s still hurt.

TINA
Oh, honey. I think I need a change.

Some things aren’t right and it feels like they’re never gonna be right. We’re so… different. Otto dries her tears with the back of his cloth hand, “press here” is imprinted on his palm.

OTTO
You know what, babydoll, you’re right. I do need to spend some quality time with the kid. You deserve a break! Come on, up, up, up!

Otto stands Tina up and shuffles her into the bathroom.

OTTO (CONT’D)
Go on in there and take a nice bubble bath, use that scrub we got from the 99 cent store in Myrtle Beach, and shave… something for fluff’s sake.

He pats her on the butt, closes the bathroom door behind her.

OTTO (CONT’D)
Okay, Nicky! Let’s go see your Uncle Tate!
Nicky smiles cross-eyed, tears the head off a teddy bear.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE TATE’S APARTMENT – DAY

Otto leads Nicky toddling behind him on a leash. Nicky follows Otto while giggling and tugging on the leash. Otto stops outside Tate’s door and sniffs the air. A trickle of smoke is seeping out into the hallway. Otto gasps, starts pounding on the door.

OTTO
Tate!? Sandy?! Where’s the fire! Call 911! Tate!

Tate opens the door, smoke billows out behind him. Otto stops, perplexed by Tate’s unalarmed expression.

TATE
Hey, Otto…

Otto pushes past Tate, Nicky in tow. 

OTTO
Where’s the fire extinguisher?!

TATE
It’s not a fire, it’s…

Sandy, very pregnant and pretty in a loose dress with her dirty blonde hair in a messy bun, swaths in the room, waving a burning bundle of sage.

SANDY
Oh, hi Otto! I’m just cleansing all the bad chi before the baby gets here. Stand still, let me get you guys too.

Sandy waves the burning sage around Otto as he stares bemusedly at a rather embarrassed Tate.

 

CUT TO:

INT. A BAR – NIGHT

 

Otto and Tate sit at the bar drinking beers in bottles, Nicky is loosely corralled into a bar stool with duct tape as he happily smashes the head of a GI Joe into the bar while eating maraschino cherries from a plastic cup. Tate looks at Nicky, approving.

TATE
That is some adequate parenting right there.

OTTO
Thank you.

TATE
Yep.

OTTO
That’s all any of us can really ask for.

TATE
True dat.

OTTO
He’s not a serial killer… yet.

Nicky tears the legs off of the GI Joe and laughs.

TATE

Just watch him around small animals.

OTTO
Oh yeah, we’re not getting him a gerbil anytime soon.

 

Nicky gnaws on one of the legs while drowning the head of the GI Joe in a glass of water.

 

OTTO (CONT’D)
For several reasons.

TATE
Yeah…

The Bar TV is showing news footage of an impending hurricane. A tiny Asian female weather-person in a poncho tries to interview people carrying palates of water bottles in a muted panic.

Otto watches the news, writes on a napkin in pencil. Tate watches, confused.

TATE
What are you writing?

OTTO
Addresses, for when these yokels abandon their flat-screens…

Tate laughs.

OTTO (CONT’D)
Nah, just writing down temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed, precipitation, ya know… Just in case.

TATE
(far away)
I don’t know man… What’s worse? A hurricane… or a baby?

OTTO
(without hesitation)
Baby.

TATE
I knew it…

Tate drifts off, Otto pats him on the shoulder.

 

OTTO
Hey buddy, you okay? Do you want a sip of my beer or do you like yours without spit?

Tate laughs, Alice the bartender walks by.

ALICE
You’re welcome.

OTTO
You have excellent taste, Alice!

Otto takes a slow sip of his beer, checks out Alice’s butt as she walks away.

TATE
I don’t know, man. Do you ever feel like you’re having an existential crisis?

OTTO
Like when I had to sue the Supreme Court for my human rights?

TATE
Naw, not like that… I mean…

Otto is annoyed, lets it go.

TATE (CONT’D)
Like do you ever feel like you’re not cut out for this? Like you’re living a life you’re not meant to live? Like you’re inherently flawed from the inside and any attempt at continuing this path will ultimately lead to destruction?

OTTO
Like… Yeah. But come on, man! I live for this stuff! I’ve never felt more alive!

TATE
I guess…

 

OTTO
Tate, look at me.

Otto stands on his bar stool and grabs Tate’s face, looks him dead in the eye with their noses almost touching. Nicky giggles.

TATE
(confused)
What?

OTTO
You, my friend, are going to be an excellent father. Ya made me, didn’t ya? And I turned out great! So did Nicky!

Nicky tips over a glass of water, which spills, slowly rolls down the bar, falls on the floor, and breaks.

TATE
That was different. The device fizzled out after I made you and I couldn’t do it again… it was an accident.

OTTO
Accident, schmacksident. You stuck by me this whole time. Through kidnappings, weddings and divorces, court cases, adopting little Nicky over there…

Nicky throws a cherry at Otto’s head, which bounces off, eliciting no reaction from Otto. Tate smiles a little.

OTTO (CONT’D)
Hey, I see that smile… Tell ya what? You’ve been there for me this whole time, now it’s my turn to be there for you.

TATE (sings)

When the rain starts to pour!

They sing the theme to “Friends” for a few bars in perfect harmony, then collapse into laughter.

OTTO AND TATE
I’ll be there for you,
Like I’ve been there before,
I’ll be there for you,
‘Cause you’re there for me too!

OTTO
(laughing)
That show does not get enough credit.

TATE
Meh, it was okay.

Nicky starts hitting Otto with the whiffle ball bat again.

OTTO
Hey! How about I go buy your kid his first baseball mitt? That’s an avuncular thing to do, right? I learned that word on NPR in the waiting room where they check ya for scabies.

TATE
Yeah, okay.

OTTO
And hey, how about you watch Nicky while I go to the store? Give me Sandy’s list and you go spend some time with your favorite nephew.

Otto turns around to see the bar stool spinning with loose duct tape and no Nicky.

 

OTTO (CONT’D)
Uh oh, he’s loose. Well, have fun with Uncle Tate, I’m outa here.

Otto hops down from the stool, heads for the door as the sound of scampering toddler feet and giggling head for the kitchen behind the bar. Tate is startled by the sudden burst of flame coming from the kitchen.

TATE
(hesitantly)
S-s-settle down, now…

CUT TO:

 

INT. BIG BOX STORE – DAY

Otto is carrying several arm-loads of plastic grocery bags full of Doritos and holding a list, looking through aisles of the big box store. In the toy section, he sees an animatronic rabbit, stops to watch a pair of young boys playing with her. She mirrors their movements, they press her paw, she dances and sings in a tinny recorded voice.

She appears as if she’s going to do a back-flip, but something malfunctions in the mechanics of her legs, so she appears frozen in a bow-legged position.

The boys laugh, one of them tugs her ear in a mean way and they start to walk away. Otto is the only one who sees Fluffy lunge back and kick the mean boy in the butt. She goes right back to her frozen position.

The mean boy blames the other boy and they start to fight. The mom comes over and shuffles them away. Otto sees Fluffy slip something black and rectangular into a hidden pocket. Otto blinks, rubs his eyes, not sure of what he saw, goes over to investigate.

OTTO
Hello? Is there anybody in there?

Otto waves his hand in front of Fluffy’s face, she mirrors his movements, but it doesn’t register. He presses her paw and she does the same thing as before.

As Fluffy resets to neutral, Otto is still suspicious, so he checks where he thought he saw a hidden pocket. He’s about to reach for the smartphone she stole from the kid when her paw smacks his hand away.

Her head shakes in a mechanical way, her angry eyebrows narrow.

FLUFFY
(tinny recorded voice)
Uh-uh-uh. I wouldn’t do that if I were you…

Otto steps back, rubbing his hand, eyeing Fluffy warily. Fluffy resets to neutral, as if nothing happened. He takes a cautious step towards her again, looking into her big cartoon bunny eyes, searching for a glimmer of life.

OTTO
Are you… real?

He waves his hand in front of her face. She mirrors him, her eyebrows pushed together as if she’s worried. Otto reads her heart-shaped tag, which just says “Fluffy”.

 

OTTO (CONT’D)
Fluffy, is it? Can you understand me? Can you think and talk like me? Are you real… like me?

Fluffy twitches, goes still. Otto touches her arm.

OTTO (CONT’D)
Hey, it’s okay…

Fluffy grabs Otto by the throat and lifts him up off the ground.

FLUFFY
(in her “real” voice)
Go away…

 

She releases him and resets to neutral as if nothing happened. Otto falls to the ground, coughing, scrambles away, terrified. He gathers up all his bags of Doritos and runs out of the store.

CUT TO:

EXT. SIDEWALK OUTSIDE BIG BOX STORE – DAY

Otto bursts onto the sidewalk loaded up with bags of crushed Doritos and runs smack into Tate with a simultaneous yelp. Nicky is wrapped around Tate’s head, pummeling his left ear, Tate peels the toddler off of him.

TATE
Ya gotta take Nicky back, man. If Sandy waits any longer for these chips, I’m done for.

Otto hands the bags to Tate and leashes Nicky. Otto looks back through the store window, processing what happened.

OTTO
I just had the weirdest thing happen! Do you think you can hang on to the squirt for a minute? I gotta check something out.

 

TATE
Otto, are you kidding me right now? I have a pregnant girlfriend at home, whatever it is, ya gotta take the kid. I’ll see ya later, buddy.

Tate walks back the opposite direction, carrying his bags of chips. Nicky smiles up at Otto and blows a raspberry in his face.

 

OTTO
Okay demon spawn o’ mine, let’s see if your Momma turned off her witch switch by now.

CUT TO:

INT. OTTO’S APARTMENT – EVENING

 

Otto cracks the door open and checks to see if the coast is clear, tip-toes through the door holding Nicky, who is gnawing on his leash. Otto fails to notice the soft lighting, jazz music and rose petals scattered everywhere as he lifts the kid into the playpen. Otto picks up a baby bottle next to a bottle of cough medicine. Nicky drinks the bottle and immediately falls asleep. Otto strokes Nicky’s head.

OTTO
Sleep well you little son of a bi…

TINA
Baby! I’m so glad you’re home!

OTTO
Tina, my love! Haha, I’m so glad you’re not throwing things at me anymore!

TINA
Oh, Otto, you were right!

OTTO
I was?

TINA
Yes, and I forgive you!

OTTO You do?

 

TINA
I sure do, my honey-otter! And you can make it up to me tonight…

OTTO
I can?

TINA
You’re gonna.

OTTO
Wow, baby. That sounds great, but I gotta run back to the store real quick and talk to a man about a rabbit.

TINA
(intrigued)
A rabbit?

OTTO
Yes a rabbit, a great big rabbit with a great big secret…

TINA
Hmm. Interesting… Well, hurry home!

OTTO
Yup. Bye!

He dashes out the door, leaving Tina waiting in the romantic evening she prepared.

CUT TO:

EXT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

Otto gets to the store right as the clerk is locking the door for the night.

OTTO
Oh, for fluff’s sake!

Otto pounds on the door, the clerk just shakes his head and walks away.

Otto appears frustrated, goes back to the window where he can see a bit of Fluffy in the distance. He watches as clerks close up the store for the night, Fluffy stays still.

 

Right before the door closes behind the clerks, Otto sees Fluffy’s leg reach up and scratch behind her ear very quickly before resetting to neutral. He looks giddy and starts searching for a way into the store.

CUT TO:

EXT. OUTSIDE THE BACK OF THE BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

Clerks are coming out of the steel door at the back of the store. Otto slips past them into the store.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

The store is lit only by red exit signs through the shadows. Otto tip-toes to where Fluffy was and discovers she’s gone.

OTTO

(victorious whisper)
Ha ha, I knew it! Where are ya, ya wascally wabbit?

Otto rapidly tip-toes between the aisles of the toy section, looking for Fluffy. The toys look big and scary veiled in blood-red shadows, Otto’s confidence appears to wain.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

Otto walks by a doll section that’s been raided, with wig- less, naked parts of dolls strewn around. Other shelves and items appear to have been disturbed.

OTTO
Here, wabbit, wabbit…

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

CUT TO:

Otto gets to an aisle where all the stuffed animals are pointed in the same direction, towards the end of the aisle where a stage is set up with blocks.

 

Fluffy hits a remote and a spotlight hits her, center stage. She’s dressed as a 1950’s rockabilly girl with red capris, pink cardigan, a red bandana tied around her ears, holding a little red ukulele. She hits the “play” button on the stolen smartphone.

The toys on the shelves in the aisle have been rigged with legos and knex to appear as if they’re participating in her performance. Fluffy starts to play and sing along with the karaoke track for “Rock N’ Roll Music” by Chuck Berry.

FLUFFY
(sings)
Just let me hear some of that rock n’ roll music, any old way you choose it! It’s got a back beat, you can’t loose it.

Fluffy jumps into the “audience” slinging the ukulele on her back and grabbing a blue stuffed cat for a dance.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
Any old time you use it, it’s gotta be rock n’ roll music, if you wanna dance with me… if you wanna dance with me…

Fluffy spins away from the stuffed cat. Otto hides in the shadows, enjoying the show. Starting to smile, he takes out his phone and records a video. Fluffy spins back onstage and she’s in a 1960’s hippie dress with a flower crown around her ears, her ukulele has a peace sign sticker on it. Fluffy sings and plays “Time of the Season” by the Zombies.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
What’s your name?

Otto freezes as if he’s been found out…

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
Who’s your Daddy?

Otto appears perplexed, then relieved.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
Is he rich like me?

Fluffy stops in front of a GI Joe with a toy gun pointed at her.

 

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
Has he taken, any time…

Fluffy takes a flower out of her crown and puts it in the end of the toy gun.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
To show you what you need to live.

She throws silk flower petals all over her audience of animatronic friends.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
Tell it to me slowly, tell me what, I really want to know… It’s the time of the season for loving…

In a whirlwind of flowers, she spins around, magically in a different costume.

Now in a shimmering silver dress, ears sticking up through a blonde doll wig, holding a toy microphone, Fluffy starts to sing “One Way Or Another” by Blondie, playing to her imaginary crowd of stuffed animals.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
One way or another, I’m gonna lose ya’

Otto slips out of the way right before Fluffy sees him.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
I’m gonna trick ya’, trick ya’, trick ya’, trick ya’

Fluffy bops four animatronic field mice on the head, they each take off their top hats and pull out another mouse.

 

FLUFFY (CONT’D) (sings)

One way or another, I’m gonna lose ya’, I’m gonna give you the slip…

Fluffy tickles a plush boa constrictor under the chin.

 

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(lisping to the snake)
I’m rather thrippery when wet…

From the shadows, Otto starts to giggle. Fluffy is too engrossed in her performance to notice.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(to the crowd of stuffed animals)
Are you not entertained?! Well…

Fluffy throws a glitter bomb on the ground and when the smoke clears, she’s in ripped jeans and a flannel shirt. The peace sign on her ukulele has been turned into an anarchy symbol. She plays and sings “Smells like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
With the lights out, it’s less dangerous…

Otto glances over his shoulder at a menacing stuffed gorilla, punches it.

 

FLUFFY (CONT’D) (sings)
Here we are now, entertain us I feel super and outrageous.
Here we are now, entertain us.

Fluffy forgets the words, starts making it up, playing to the crowd.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
There’s more words that, I don’t know… La la la la, la la la la…

Fluffy points back to the stage where a non-sentient version of her is shoved into a corner. A sharpie and notebook paper/scotch tape sign on her chest that says “stand-in”.

 

FLUFFY
Take it away, backup bunny!

She presses another remote button and the non-sentient Fluffy manages half of a back-flip, landing on her head. The real Fluffy applauds, enthusiastic.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
Good try!

Fluffy whirls around, now she’s Lady Gaga, covered in Kermit the Frog heads, the pile of headless Kermit bodies can be seen in the background, she starts dancing and singing to “Edge of Glory”.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(singing)I’m on the edge of gl…

Record scratch.

OTTO
(interrupting)
Okay, okay, stop! Bravo, you’re amazing, just stop doing what you’re doing and take off all those heads. We’re both stuffed animals, this is starting to freak me out.

FLUFFY
(gasps)

How did you get in here?!

Fluffy flings the Kermit head costume to the ground.

OTTO
Your crack security team let me in. Plus, I’m really thlippery ‘cause I’m an otter.

FLUFFY
I told you to go away!

She approaches him threateningly, he holds up his phone and hits play on the video he took of her show.

OTTO
Take one more step and I’ll tweet the fluff outa this.

 

Fluffy stops in her tracks, holds back. Her eyes fill with the reflection of herself dancing on the phone, her expression almost softens. She narrows her eyes at Otto.

 

FLUFFY
What do you want from me?

OTTO
I want to know why you don’t want people to know you’re like me!

FLUFFY
It’s a secret!

Fluffy throws down the toy microphone, starts resetting her costumes and props.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(to the stuffed animals)
Let’s take it from the top!

OTTO
Wait, Fluffy… before you start up this… schizophrenic carnival of horrors again…  Just talk to me, huh? What’s this really about? What’s this happened to you?

 

FLUFFY
What happened to me? For real? What happened to you?! Torn apart,

kidnapped, had to sue the government for your right to marry a trashy tart and yet you still wear a name tag. Are you happy with yourself, Otto?

Fluffy flicks the blue nametag on his post office vest that says “ottO”, which is his name spelled backwards.

OTTO
How… How did you know all that?

FLUFFY
Oh, my golly gee, what year is it?!

She takes out the smartphone she stole from the mean boy and scrolls through Google search results for “Otto the Talking Otter/real”. She plays the first video that comes up, which is Otto drunkenly interrupting a blonde pop star at an awards show.

 

OTTO
I wish that wasn’t still the first thing that came up. Last October was so long ago…

FLUFFY
People… never forget.

She starts grabbing small objects to stuff inside her hidden pockets.

OTTO
Listen Fluffy, there’s a lot to unpack here, but you’re not realizing the enormity of this situation! I’ve never met another living toy before…

FLUFFY
I’m not unpacking, I’m packing up.

OTTO
Packing up?

FLUFFY
Yup. Packing up and moving on.

OTTO Moving on?

FLUFFY
Yup. Now that you know about me, I gotta find somewhere else to hide.

OTTO
Who are you hiding from?

FLUFFY
(Beat)
Don’t worry about it.

OTTO
Wait, ya crazy rabbit! You don’t have to go. What are you afraid of?

FLUFFY
I’m afraid you’re gonna tell people about me and I’ll be exposed.

OTTO
Fluffy, you’re amazing! Just look!

 

He plays the video again, tries to show her, she shoos him away.

FLUFFY
You don’t understand! Once they know about you… they try to exploit you.

OTTO
Geez, every other sentence out of your mouth sounds like a Steven Segal tagline.

FLUFFY
(movie trailer voice)
In a world…

OTTO
(movie trailer voice)
Where a bunny irritates the heck out of an otter…

FLUFFY
(movie trailer voice)
Who… Will… Win? They both chuckle.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(determined)
I will, I’ll win.

OTTO You’re the boss!

Fluffy smiles, catches herself, makes her face serious again. Otto mirrors her. She smiles again.

FLUFFY
Hey, that’s my thing! Don’t steal my thing!

Otto mirrors Fluffy as she talks. She scoffs and throws her hands in the air, still smiling.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

Fluffy sits on the edge of the makeshift block stage. Otto sits next to her.

 

OTTO
So what’s the point of all this if you don’t like people?

FLUFFY
I need the practice.

OTTO
Oh.

FLUFFY
And I get lonely.

OTTO
Right. Well, you can continue your little solo show here or you can come down to the bar and meet my best buddy Tate and all our pals! The fellas would love your act! There are good people in the world, Fluffy.

FLUFFY
That’s what I’m afraid of.

OTTO
Why are you afraid of good people?

FLUFFY
(taking out a pocket watch)
How much longer is this line of questions going to take? I’m late for an appointment. Rabbits are always late for things…

OTTO
Well, it’s better than hanging out here all the time, pretending.

FLUFFY
Really? When’s the last time you pretended?

OTTO
What do you mean?

CUT TO:

 

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT – PLAYING IN A TOY STORE MONTAGE

“Walking on Sunshine” starts playing over the store speakers. Otto and Fluffy run through the toy aisles, picking out things to play with. Otto stops.

OTTO
Wait. It feels a little weird to be montage-ing to this song at night.

FLUFFY
(sighs)
Ugh. Threshold for suspension of disbelief not that high yet… gotcha.

Fluffy switches the song on the smartphone.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
How about this?

“Take On Me” by A-ha starts playing. Otto appears pleased.

 

OTTO
I love this song!

FLUFFY
Who doesn’t?

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

 

Otto is dressed as Yoda, swinging around a blue light sabre. Fluffy zooms by on a broom dressed as Harry Potter.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

Fishbowls on their heads, they sneak up on toy aliens, Otto gets ready to fire a nerf gun at them, but Fluffy puts her hand on his arm and shakes her head, goes over to the aliens and shakes their hands, starts diplomatic relations.

CUT TO:

 

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

Otto rides a bouncy horse while wearing a cowboy hat over the spaceman fishbowl, Fluffy swings by on a rope dressed as a pirate, swinging a green light sabre.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

Fluffy puts together a jigsaw puzzle of a teddy bear, Otto spins around on a sit n’ spin until he falls over.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

Otto and Fluffy reenact “Titanic” on the bow of a toy ship while stuffed animals watch with 3D glasses.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

Otto and Fluffy look confused and frustrated while trying to figure out the instructions to set up a game of “Mousetrap”.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

 

Fluffy has drawn a hop-scotch court on the floor with sidewalk chalk, she gets stuck on the 7 by her malfunctioning legs. Otto wears a tiny red baret and smock, paints her picture on an easel. She ends up looking way more alluring and curvaceous than she is in reality.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

They set all the animatronic frogs in a chorus line, going down the line, pressing each button to start them. Otto and Fluffy dance hand-in-hand down the aisle.

Music fades as they dance.

 

FADE TO:

 

INT. BIG BOX STORE – DAWN

Otto and Fluffy sit on a pile of headless Kermits and watch the sunrise. Otto has a dreamy expression on his face, Fluffy appears neutral, but satisfied. “Sunday Morning” by The Velvet Underground plays on the speakers.

OTTO
Wow, I never knew the sunrise could make a 7-11 look so beautiful.

FLUFFY
Yeah, the methane from the recycling plant really sets off the colors in that gang tag.

The music shorts out, Fluffy checks the phone and sees that it ran out of battery. She chucks it in a nearby trash bin. Otto looks perplexed.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
I’ll find a new one later when the store opens. Otto gasps and jumps up.

OTTO
Holy crap! I’ve been here all night!
FLUFFY
(checking her pocket watch)
Relax, the crew won’t be here till six.

OTTO
My wife and baby probably think I’m dead!

FLUFFY
Can we die?

OTTO
(Beat)
What?

FLUFFY
We’re kinda like androids, ya know? Robots or whatever. We’re not organic. We don’t have an expiration date. Do you think we could be immortal?

 

OTTO
(Beat)
Okay… I don’t have time for a hard, philosophical mind-fluff right now. I gotta get home before my wife divorces me.

FLUFFY
Well, it was nice knowing ya.

Fluffy starts to clean up the destruction their revelry caused. Otto touches her hand.

OTTO
Fluffy, you can come with me.

FLUFFY
(snatches her hand away)
No, I can’t.

OTTO
(grabs her hand again)
Yes you can!

FLUFFY
No… I… Can’t!

Fluffy grabs Otto by the throat again and lifts him up.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
And if you touch me again, I’ll rip you in half like we’re on Wild Kingdom.

Fluffy releases him, Otto falls to the ground, coughing.

OTTO
Geez, you’re like Sarah Conner and the Terminator all rolled up into one psychotic bunny.

FLUFFY
Thank you. Now leave… And don’t come back.

Fluffy returns to her frozen position, a clerk wearing a name tag reading “Jaye” enters the store. Otto gets up, brushes himself off.

JAYE
Hey! Otto! How’s it going, man? When did you get out of rehab?

 

OTTO
I wasn’t in rehab.

JAYE
Oh, no way, I thought you were! Awesome… Hey can you do the thing from the commercial? I always loved that bit!

OTTO
I don’t really do that anymore…

JAYE
It was so funny when you were like…

The clerk does a really bad Otto impression, making otter- like nibbling noises, finishing on jazz-hands. The clerk waits expectant, as if for praise.

OTTO
Don’t you want to know why I’m in the store before it’s open?

JAYE
Oh, naw man, it’s all good! You’re like… one of the toys, after all, right?

Jaye laughs at their own bad joke. Otto walks away.

CUT TO:

12 INT. OTTO’S APARTMENT – MORNING

Aleister Jode’s voice emits from the clock radio as Otto slips in the apartment and softly closes the door behind him. Nicky is in bed, clutching the whiffle ball bat. Tina is in bed, clutching a big carrot. Otto gets in bed, snuggles close to Tina.

ALEISTER (V.O.)
As you hold your loved ones close tonight, think of all those we have lost to technology. The viral spread of anti-human propaganda is at your fingertips, folks! The dark robit forces will not come in the form of demons sent from hell, oh no… These nano-heathens will invade our very souls… Today’s podcast is sponsored by

Gregor’s Pest Control! We kill big bugs and we cannot lie…

Otto slams his hand down on the alarm clock to make the voice stop. He pulls the carrot out from under him and throws it on the floor.

FADE TO:

INT. POST OFFICE – DAY

Otto stares out the window, morose. His friend Geraldine stamps boxes nearby.

GERALDINE
What’s wrong, sugarplum?

OTTO
I… can’t tell ya. It’s just this whole crazy thing.

GERALDINE
Baby, my whole life has been a crazy thing! My ex sister-in-law is in jail for tax evasion because she believed some baloney she read on the internet about how money idn’t real. Pssht. Real enough to pay for my tae kwan do classes, I’ll tell ya…

She does a tae kwan do move and Otto looks mildly impressed.

OTTO
It’s just… why would someone hide something so special? I just feel like I’ve got to find out.

GERALDINE
Be careful, hun. It’s easy to get caught up in them rabbit holes…

Otto stares out the window at Nicky duct tape-tethered to a tree, holding a small stuffed bunny. Nicky pets the rabbit on the head gently, smashes it into his face in what he thinks is a friendly hug.

OTTO
Yep, I’m staring down the barrel of quite a rabbit hole here.

 

GERALDINE
(leaning in, whispering)
Here’s the thing… sometimes at the end of a rabbit hole… you find a nice, juicy rabbit…

OTTO
Indeed… Gerri, can you keep an eye on Nicky for me? I gotta run an errand.

GERALDINE
Sure thing, baby.

Otto dashes out, annoyed female customer walks up to the counter.

ANNOYED CUSTOMER
I’ve been waiting for 36 minutes.

GERALDINE
(Beat)
What kind of manners your momma teach ya, girl? Now, let’s try that again. Step back behind my line and when you step forward, say “Good afternoon, Ms. Geraldine.” Action.

 

ANNOYED CUSTOMER
G-Good afternoon, Ms. Geraldine?

The rest of the customers applaud Geraldine, pleased with herself.

GERALDINE
That’s better… Zip code?

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – DAY

 

Otto finds Fluffy in the toy department, still doing her act for the customers and pick-pocking them.

CUT TO:

Medium shot of both Otto and Fluffy, head and shoulders only.

OTTO
(muttering)
Listen, if I can’t convince you that all of humanity isn’t out to get us, that it’s just a few nutbars ruining it for the rest of ‘em… I’ll just have to hang around and let you expose yourself.

Fluffy’s mechanical arm comes down fast and hard, punching Otto below the waist.

OTTO (CONT’D)

Oof!

Otto struggles to hold his composure. Fluffy’s head makes an instant, severe turn towards Otto.

FLUFFY
(tinny recorded voice)
Uh-uh-uh! I wouldn’t do that if I were you…

OTTO
(high pitched voice)
Ya know what, I’m gonna stand over here…

He takes a few careful steps to the left.

 

15 INT. BIG BOX STORE – DAY – OTTO TRYING TO EXPOSE FLUFFY MONTAGE

Otto hangs around Fluffy, thwarting her tricks with the customers.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – DAY

Three quick shots of Otto making faces and dancing around Fluffy like she’s a Buckingham Palace guard.

CUT TO:

 

INT. BIG BOX STORE – DAY

Fluffy starts with the mirror trick to lure them in. Otto imitates her, then he “comes to life” and shakes the customer’s hands, they recognize him as a celebrity and take selfies together. Fluffy watches with angry eyebrows.

 

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – DAY

Fluffy is about to snatch a dude’s smartphone from his back pocket, Otto rolls by on a skateboard, lying on his side, wearing a backwards hat and sunglasses, doing finger-guns. The customer laughs, takes out his phone to take pictures. Fluffy shakes a tiny mechanical fist at Otto.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – DAY

While Fluffy is pretending to be frozen, Otto tries fixing her leg with a screw driver. A kid comes by and presses her paw-button, she does the dance and flips over, landing on her back due to only one leg working.

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

The clerks close up the store and turn off the lights. Once they’re bathed in red shadows again, Fluffy comes to life and punches Otto so hard he’s launched into the air and slides three aisles down. Otto is mostly cotton, so he’s not hurt, but he moans from the shock.

OTTO
(lying down)
Say it with your mouth, not your hands…

FLUFFY
What the fluff was that all about?!
Why are you trying to ruin my life?!

Otto catches his breath and stands up.

OTTO
You don’t have a life to ruin, Fluffy. You have these toys and quite an imagination, but you’re hiding. Why?

Fluffy almost starts to tell him something…

Tina knocks on the plate glass window at the front of the store. She looks angry and worried, holding hysterically screaming Nicky.

CUT TO:

Otto looks back at Fluffy and she’s reset to neutral. He sighs and motions to Tina to walk around to the back of the store.

CUT TO:

Tina acts like she can’t hear him. He tries again to pantomime walking around the back of the store and meeting him at the back door. She still doesn’t get it.

OTTO (CONT’D)
Oh, for fluff’s sake! What year is it?!

Otto takes out his phone and calls Tina on her cell. She picks up after one ring and Otto holds the phone away from his ear until the nonsensical screaming subsides.

OTTO (CONT’D)
Hi, baby. I can explain everything if you just walk around the back of the store and meet me by the fluffin’ back door, m’kay? Right, see ya in 30 seconds.

EXT. BACK OF BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

CUT TO:

Otto lets Tina and Nicky in the back door, urging them to hurry so they don’t get caught.

CUT TO:

 

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

Otto is determined to show someone the truth about Fluffy, Tina follows. Nicky follows on a leash.

TINA
I had no idea where you were and then Geraldine said you’d left Nicky all alone in the park, that you had to run some errand and you wouldn’t text me back, then I see your insta-feed is full of selfies with strangers in a toy store. What the fluff is going on here, Otto?!

OTTO
You talk to Geraldine?

TINA
We follow each other on Snapchat.

OTTO
Huh.

They reach the toy section where Fluffy is in her frozen neutral position.

OTTO (CONT’D)
This is her…

TINA
(annoyed and disappointed)
This is the rabbit you were talking about? I thought you meant…

OTTO
Oh, she’s no ordinary rabbit.

Otto crouches down, as if coaxing a frightened animal.

OTTO (CONT’D)
It’s okay, Fluffy, you can trust them. Show them your thing.

Fluffy mirrors Otto’s movements in a mechanical way and doesn’t show her sentience.

TINA
(un-amused)
Cute.

 

OTTO
No, wait, there’s more! Come on, Fluffy! Stop making me look like a jackass…

Otto takes Fluffy’s paw gently, as if urging her back to life. Her button is pressed, she does the song and dance, three quarters of a flip, landing on her back.

TINA
Oh, and she’s broken too. Awesome.

OTTO
Tina, you’re not getting it. She’s… like me… She’s alive!

Tina watches Fluffy’s mechanical movements, Nicky gently touches Fluffy’s ear.

NICKY
Bunny…

Tina snatches Nicky away from Fluffy.

TINA
Otto… are you sick or something? In the head? I’m not sure if a stuffed otter can have a mid-life crisis, so I’m pretty sure this is you going crazy.

OTTO
I’m not crazy! She’s just hiding it! Show them, Fluffy! Please!

Otto grabs Fluffy’s arm in desperation, her spring-loaded elbow rears back and catapults him toward the exit. He sits up in a daze as Tina starts to walk out, holding Nicky.

TINA
You have fun with your little mechanical friend here and I’ll just be at home raising our child.

OTTO
Awesome, I’ll book a room at Sing Sing in fifteen years.

TINA
Bite me.

The steel door closes behind her. Otto makes sarcastic biting noises after her, then he sighs and stands up. Fluffy walks out of the shadows.

 

FLUFFY
You should go. This will only get worse for you.

OTTO
Yeah, I’d kinda like to see ya try.

Otto heads for the door. Fluffy shakes her head and talks to a stuffed giraffe standing over her shoulder.

FLUFFY
It’s always the cute ones…

CUT TO:

INT. BAR – NIGHT

 

Otto and Tate sit at the bar again, both of them staring off into existential horror. Alice walks over, puts new beers in front of them.

ALICE
Ain’t you a lively pair?

TATE
Don’t remind us.

OTTO
Kinda…

Alice walks away with a “that was awkward” expression. There’s a long pause where they’re just staring off into space again.

TATE
Hey, I got a question.

OTTO
I… thought I had answers until yesterday… Still, what’s on your mind, ol’ Tate ol’ buddy o’ mine?

Otto’s spell has broken slightly, but Tate is still very dazed.

TATE
How do I know if… Sandy is a witch?

Otto stares at Tate for a long moment, shaking his head and smiling.

OTTO
Not sure, does weird stuff happen when she wiggles her nose?

TATE (laughs)

I don’t know, man. Because of Sandy’s night terrors and crazy pregnancy strength, I have to wear one of those police dog training suits to bed.

OTTO
(laughs)
No you don’t!

TATE
I don’t mind the badge, but the collar is a bit much.

Otto and Tate collapse into laughter. Tate puts cash on the bar to pay his tab.

TATE
(CONT’D)
I gotta get going, man. I live so much for these trips to the store, I get all excited when she starts making a list!

A drunken bar patron walks up to Otto, spilling his beer at intervals.

DRUNKEN BAR PATRON
(belch)
Hey, I know you! You’re that otter!

Tate makes a protective move toward Otto, who waves him down. Otto musters a friendly smile.

OTTO
Yep, that’s me. I’m Otto the Talking Otter.

 

DRUNKEN BAR PATRON
Hey, hey… Hey! Do the thing.

OTTO
What thing?

DRUNKEN BAR PATRON
The thing from the thing.

OTTO
Which thing?

DRUNKEN BAR PATRON
You know the thing I mean, come on!

OTTO
I will not come on, sir. I do a lot of things, I’m not sure which thing you’re referring to.

DRUNKEN BAR PATRON
I said, do it! Dance, otter!

The drunken bar patron grabs Otto by the back of the neck, picks him up and shakes him. Otto swings his fists and kicks his legs, but he’s helpless. Tate grabs the man’s arm, trying to free Otto.

 

TATE
Get your hands off my best friend, drunken jerk!

Tate wrestles Otto free. Alice rushes over with a baseball bat to threaten the drunk as he staggers back.

 

ALICE
Get the heck out of my bar, you moron! Nobody manhandles my best customers!

Otto regains his feet on the bar, grabs a beer bottle, breaks it on the edge of the bar, threatening the drunk.

OTTO
Come at me, ya smelly meat sack! Oh, big man has to pick on the little otter! Let me tell ya something! I am not an animal! I am not a human! I’m a toy! And I got nothing to lose!

Everyone in the bar is staring at Otto making his angry speech on the bar. The drunk slowly backs out of the bar before everyone returns to normal.

 

Otto is still holding the neck of the bottle and staring angrily at the door. Tate slowly eases the broken bottle away from him.

TATE
Hey, buddy. Sorry about that… It’s gonna be okay…

CUT TO:

EXT. OUTSIDE THE BAR – NIGHT

 

Otto and Tate sit on the curb, Otto has his head in his hands and Tate is comforting him.

TATE
Otto, that was extreme. You’re usually so good with those drunken looky-lous, what’s going on?

OTTO
If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me.

TATE
Try me.

CUT TO:

EXT. BACK OF BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

 

Otto slips past an exiting clerk, holds the steel door open for Tate

CUT TO:

INT. BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

The store is bathed in red shadows, Otto and Tate tiptoe through the aisles trying to sneak up on Fluffy.

They tiptoe past an aisle where Fluffy is silhouetted on her makeshift stage, her arm raises to click the remote for the spotlight.

Otto and Tate jump to opposite sides of the aisle, hiding so they can watch her show. She’s dressed as P!nk, starts to sing and dance to “Get This Party Started”.

FLUFFY
(sings)
I’m coming up, so you better get this party started!

CUT TO:

 

Fluffy has rigged all the toys around her to appear as if they’re dancing and participating. Fluffy pulls the rip chords of four “sky dancer” fairy toys, which helicopter away as she sings.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
I’m coming up, so you better get this party started!

Still hiding, Otto looks at Tate, who watches Fluffy, flabbergasted. Otto gives, a firm, vindicated nod, then turns back to Fluffy, smiling.

CUT TO:

Fluffy driving down the aisle in a Barbie power wheels car. There is a Kermit sitting in the passenger seat. Kermit’s head is duct-taped back on his neck.

 

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
Pumping up the volume, breaking down the beat, cruising through the west-side, we’ll be checking the scene. Tate’s pocket starts to buzz, he takes out his phone, Otto tries to shush him so that they’re not caught. Tate shush’s him back.

 

CUT TO:

Fluffy waves to the stuffed animals from her tiny car.

 

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(sings)
Boulevard is freaking, as I’m coming up fast, I’ll be burning rubber, you’ll be kissing my…

 

Tate drops his phone. Record scratch. The phone vibrates once more on the floor.

CUT TO:

Fluffy’s eyes narrow. She sees Otto and starts to move toward him threateningly.

CUT TO:

 

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
I told you to go away!

Before she can grab Otto by the throat again, Tate grabs her by the ears and lifts her up so she’s punching and kicking air, helpless.

TATE
Not so fast, little missy. That there’s my otter.

OTTO
I’d like to think I’m my own otter, but let’s not get into that now…

Fluffy throws a mid-air tantrum.

FLUFFY
I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!

OTTO
Yeah, I’m not too fond of you either, ya little brat, but we’re the only two talking toys on the planet, so we gotta play nice.

FLUFFY
(punching and kicking)
No we’re not!

OTTO
All right, ya wanna play mean, we can get the duct tape from the car…

FLUFFY
No! I mean we’re not the only ones!

(beat)
OTTO AND TATE
What?!

FLUFFY
There are more like us! There has to be…

OTTO
Fluffy, if there were more, we would know. Not everyone can keep a secret at the end of a steel-boned paw…

 

TATE
Yeah, people never shut up. My neighbor’s dog swallowed some dental floss last week and I haven’t heard the end of it since.

FLUFFY
I have proof!

OTTO
(Beat)
Go on…

FLUFFY
Put me down first.

Tate gently puts Fluffy down, she straightens herself up.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
There’s a tiny, ramshackle cabin near Montauk. Under a loose floor board near the TV, you’ll find what you need to know.

OTTO
You mean you’ll help us find it!

TATE
Road trip!

FLUFFY
Aw, heck no! You told one of them about me, you guys can go fluff ya- selves.

Fluffy starts to walk away.

TATE
I’m starting to think she doesn’t mean to say “fluff”.

OTTO
Hey, Tate is one of the good ones! He gave me life and then showed me how to live!

TATE
Yee-aw.

FLUFFY
It’s just a matter of time before the rest of them find out! I have to get out of here and not with you!

 

She heads for the exit.

OTTO
Grab her.

TATE
Are you sure?

OTTO
It’s for her own good.

TATE
Okay…

CUT TO:

EXT. BACK OF BIG BOX STORE – NIGHT

Tate holds Fluffy by the ears as she kicks and screams in protest. Otto tries to calm her down.

OTTO
You have nothing to be afraid of, Fluffy! Humans aren’t that bad… well, except for all the wars and murders and stuff, but they do good stuff too!

FLUFFY
Help! Help! I’m being kidnapped by an egomaniac weasel and his hot boyfriend!

TATE
(delighted)
Thank you!

OTTO
I’m an otter and we’re just friends… Would ya calm down?

FLUFFY
No! Take your fluffin’ mitts off my ears!

She rears back to kick Tate in the stomach, Otto catches her foot. She tries to kick Otto in the head with her other foot, which he also catches.

OTTO
Let’s get her to the car.

 

Otto and Tate shuffle Fluffy towards the car, she kicks and screams the whole way.

FLUFFY
Put me down! You can’t make me go!

All three of them hear the roar of a motorcycle engine and freeze. Quick zoom to close-up on Fluffy’s anxious eyes.

In slow motion, a black Harley crosses the entrance to the alleyway, an old biker with long, white hair stares at them as he rolls by. Fluffy’s rapid heartbeat drowns out all other sounds.

Still in slow motion, Fluffy kicks and screams now out of fear instead of anger. Tate and Otto struggle to hold her. The motorcycle rolls out of view.

Normal speed:

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(screaming)
Let me go!

Fluffy presses her paw-button so her spring-loaded legs kick against Tate and Otto. They fall backwards and she flips in the air as her legs come off, flying off in different directions.

Otto and Tate sit up, see legless Fluffy recovering from the fall, and scream in simultaneous shock.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
Oh, calm down. This happens all the time.

Otto and Tate watch in horror as she walks on her hands and rear, reattaching her legs.

TATE
So much just happened.

OTTO
Fluffy, who was that?

TATE
He looked like the my dad’s a/c guy!

FLUFFY
Could be… I don’t know him.

OTTO
You sure acted like you knew him.

 

FLUFFY
Well, you… don’t act like an otter!

TATE
I’ve seen him eat things off of his belly.

OTTO
Is he the reason you’re afraid of people?

FLUFFY
I’m afraid… of people finding out about me. It’s different.

OTTO
Well, if that guy’s following you, it’s gonna be hard to stay in hiding. He looks like if God was moonlighting as Grateful Dead security.

TATE
He looks like he calls his old lady “Mama”.

FLUFFY
No, he called her Pam.

Otto and Tate stare at her, as if waiting for her to elaborate. Her leg clicks back into place. She sighs, bounces carefully a few times.

 

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
So, how long will it take us to get to Montauk from here?

CUT TO:

INT. TATE’S CAR – NIGHT

 

Otto sits in the front seat, trying to get a signal on his phone for GPS, Fluffy spreads a map out from the back seat, Tate drives.

CUT TO:

 

EXT. PARKWAY – NIGHT

 

The biker follows along not far behind, no one in Tate’s car notices.

CUT TO:

INT. TATE’S CAR – NIGHT

Otto and Tate stare out of different windows, each in their own thoughts. Ominous clouds gather in the distance. On the radio, the voice of Aleister Jode.

ALEISTER (V.O.)
My faithful listeners will not be fooled by the slander spread at the Weather Network! These hurricanes are a fabrication of the elite media evil conglomerates! They want you to think Mother Earth is dying so they can sell y’all solar panels. I say, not today, Al Gore… Today’s podcast is brought to you by Swanson’s Hard Tac! For those long nuclear winter nights after the big one hits…

Fluffy jumps from the back seat to the front seat, changing the radio station. She bounces around in the back seat dancing to different radio stations. Fluffy dances to salsa music, moshes to heavy metal, shakes her tail to hip hop. Otto and Tate stare off into the distance, not paying attention to her.

FLUFFY
Geez, you guys need to lighten the

fluff up!

 

OTTO AND TATE
Meh.

FLUFFY
(brightly)
Let’s play a game! How many ears am I holding up?

Fluffy puts both ears over her eyes.

OTTO
That’s not how that wor…

 

TATE
Zero?

 

FLUFFY
You win, Tate!

TATE
Yay!

Otto looks at Tate, confused. Tate shrugs.

FLUFFY
Okay, now how many tails am I holding up?

Fluffy puts her chin on her hands, elbows on the console between the front seats and lifts her butt up so her fluffy cotton tail can be seen between her ears. Tate and Fluffy look at Otto expectant, hopeful, encouraging. Otto glances in the back seat, sees her tail.

OTTO
Oh, uh… one?

FLUFFY
You got it!

TATE
(genuinely happy for him)
Yeah! Go Otto!

OTTO
(pleased)
Thanks, guys…

FLUFFY
Do you guys want to play ears or tails again?

TATE
Oh, I don’t know.

Fluffy puts her left ear over her left eye, smiles at him.

FLUFFY
How about now?

TATE

One?

FLUFFY
Yeah!

TATE
I am so awesome at this game!

 

Otto stares at them again, perplexed. Fluffy turns to him, puts her tail up and her right ear over her right eye, grinning.

OTTO
I see one ear, one tail and two doofuses. Doofusi? I’m not sure how you pluralize that word, but ya get the idea…

Fluffy and Tate laugh.

FLUFFY
You’re cute!

She pinches Otto’s cheek.

OTTO
Why, thank you, otters are known for cuteness!

Fluffy’s elbow has a mechanical spasm and hits Tate’s pocket. His phone buzzes to life, melting from the avalanche of message notifications.

TATE
Holy smokes, Sandy! Oh, no! My phone must have turned off when I dropped it in the store!

Tate drives erratically while he tries to read his messages.

OTTO
Tate! Buddy, watch the road!

TATE
Oh fluff me, man! What if she’s having the baby! What if I miss it? I’m already the worst father ever! I’m just like Joe Jackson!

The car swerves dangerously.

OTTO
Pretty soon you’re gonna be exactly like him, dead!

They all scream as the car veers off the road, drives down a hill into some woods, launches through the air, gets stuck in a grain silo.

FLUFFY
Whew! That was fun!

OTTO
Tate?

CUT TO:

EXT. OUTSIDE THE GRAIN SILO WHERE THE CAR IS STUCK. – night

 

Otto and Fluffy are unharmed, they’ve built a fire and had to prop up Tate on a tree, securing him in place with duct tape, because he has a head injury. Otto pokes him with a stick occasionally to keep him awake as he babbles incoherently.

 

OTTO
Don’t worry, Tate, it’ll be dawn soon and we can find our way back to the road so we can get ya to Sandy.

TATE
Sandy’s my favorite… flavor… flower…

Tate starts to drift off, Otto pokes him with a stick.

TATE (CONT’D)
I’m up! Play ball..

Fluffy comes out of a nearby barn holding a toy puppy that barks and does a flip.

FLUFFY
Look who I found!

OTTO
(un-enthused)
A toy, great…

Fluffy looks annoyed at Otto, puts the puppy down, pats his head, then picks up her ukulele and tries to tune it. Otto twitches as she plucks the strings in a deliberately annoying way.

FLUFFY
This bothering you?

OTTO
No, go ahead…

Otto is still tending to Tate, not looking at her. She plays the opening riff of “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane, Otto looks at her. Fluffy puts the ukulele down.

 

FLUFFY
Come here, puppy! Youse a good boy, yus you are!

She starts playing with the mechanical puppy, trying to teach it a trick like it’s a real dog. Otto watches Tate’s face go goofy.

TATE
(dopey smile)
I’m a good boy…

Otto smiles and shakes his head, turns to watch Fluffy with the puppy.

OTTO
I don’t think you’re gonna teach that thing any new tricks.

FLUFFY
His name is Mr. Fred McFinnagan, the Fastest Flippin’ Pup in all the West! Watch…

Fluffy watches the puppy expectantly. She jumps in the air and claps as if he did a trick.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
Yay! Good boy!

OTTO
He didn’t do anything.

FLUFFY
Yes he did, he just flipped so fast ya didn’t see it!

OTTO
(skeptical)
Uh-huh.

TATE
(blown away)
That was amazing…

Tate drifts off again, Otto pokes him. Otto picks up the puppy and winds it up.

OTTO
Watch this.

He puts the puppy down and it barks, does a back-flip. Fluffy is shocked and elated.

 

FLUFFY
(gasp)
Look what you taught him to do! Otto, I could kiss you!

Otto gives her a hopeful smile.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
But, I won’t… I’ll kiss you instead…

Tate gives her a hopeful look, but Fluffy picks up the puppy and kisses him all over his face.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
Who’s the smartest lil’ puppy in the world? Dat’s you! Yus you are.

Tate’s expression is sappy at any show of emotion.

OTTO
(jealous)
You know that thing isn’t real, right?

FLUFFY
Real enough to kiss! Mwah!

Fluffy kisses the puppy a few more times, puts him on the ground, pats his head like a good boy. Otto gently puts his hand on Fluffy’s paw.

OTTO
Fluffy, you know the difference between that…

FLUFFY
Mr. Fred McFinnigan.

OTTO
Right.

FLUFFY
Fastest Flippin’ Pup in the West.

OTTO
Yes, all that too… But you know he’s different from us, right? It’s important to me that you know that.

Fluffy looks into his eyes, shakes her head, bemusedly confused.

 

FLUFFY

Why?

OTTO
Because… We’re special. We can think and talk, make decisions, feel things… ya know?

FLUFFY
Well, he could be special too.

Fluffy scratches the puppy behind the ear affectionately.

OTTO
I don’t see it.

FLUFFY
We could make him special.

The puppy falls over for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

OTTO
Yeah, we’ll get right on that.

Fluffy snuggles up next to Otto, holding onto his arm, patting the puppy’s head. Tate’s head lolls, Otto pokes him.

TATE
That’s a super sweet way to end a scene.

OTTO
I hope his brain’s not bleeding…

FADE TO:

EXT. OUTSIDE THE GRAIN SILO WHERE THE CAR IS STUCK. – MORNING

 

Fluffy wakes up first, stretches and yawns. A motorcycle speeds away.

FLUFFY
Good morning, my beautiful boy!

Otto half-wakes up from dozing while he’s trying to keep Tate awake.

OTTO
Why, thank you!

FLUFFY
Not you, I was talking to Mr. Fred McFinnigan…

OTTO
Fastest Flippin’ fluffernutter in all the blah blah blah… I get it. Otto pokes Tate, annoyed.

TATE
Waffles! Tasty waffles, with lots of… Elmer’s glue…

OTTO
We better get you to a doctor, buddy.

FLUFFY
(whistles)
Here, boy! Mr. Fred McFinnigan, Fastest Flippin’ Pup in All the West! Where did you get to, silly puppy?

A farmer approaches.

OTTO
Oh, thank fluff, another human! Good morning! We need your help!

FLUFFY
Fred! FredyFredFredmiester! Where did you go?

FARMER
Car get stuck?

OTTO
(Fraiser Craine Voice)
No sir, I believe your silo has spontaneously sprouted a sedan.
(Beat)
My friend has a head injury, we need to get to a hospital, preferably the one where his kid is being born as we speak. Can you give us a ride into town?

FLUFFY
Mister! I think your dog is missing. Sorry, I let him out last night to play and now he’s gone! Is he microchipped?

 

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
Do his tags have his current contact and veterinary information? I’m so sorry, I’ll help you look for him!

FARMER
Ain’t got no dog… I like cats.

TATE
(happily)
Meow!

CUT TO:

EXT. NEARBY GAS STATION – DAY

 

Otto helps Tate into a rideshare car as the farmer’s chicken- cage filled pickup truck drives away.

Tate has a notebook-paper-and-sharpie sign paper clipped to his shirt that says “My name is Tate, Please take to Hospital, I’m having a baby!” In cartoonish pink scrawl, written in magic marker from one of Fluffy’s hidden pockets. A business card with the hospital information is pinned over the note.

OTTO
(to Tate)
Good luck, buddy!

TATE
You’re my best friend, Toto.

OTTO
(to rideshare driver)
Okay, take care of him. You’ll pay off those student loans one day!

The car drives away, Otto watches sadly. Fluffy is on Otto’s phone, arguing with a 911 dispatcher.

FLUFFY
I will not calm down! Y’all flip the fluff out when it’s a missing human baby, but I can’t seem to get anyone to care that my poor little Mr. Fred McFinnigan, Fastest Flippin’ Pup in All the West has been kidnapped by a maniac! No, you don’t seem to understand! This pooch has potential! (Beat)

Hello? …Scoff! You callous ingrate!

OTTO
I don’t think you’re supposed to say “scoff”… It’s more of a noise. Like (scoff).

FLUFFY
What are you, the scoff police? My dog is still missing!

OTTO
My best friend is on the way to the hospital with a head injury, in the care of an art history major driving a Toyota Camry. Oh, and his child is being born with a brain damaged father! Also, my wife is probably leaving me as we speak! But yeah, sorry about the toy dog.

FLUFFY
Thank you.

OTTO
I hope it turns up.

FLUFFY

He.

OTTO
Sure.

FLUFFY
I know who took him.

OTTO

Who?

FLUFFY

 

Fluffy hops on the back of another pickup truck full of chicken cages, offers a paw to Otto. He hesitates, then takes her paw and hops up in the truck.

 

OTTO
Ever notice how people are always getting places by hopping on the back of pickup trucks full of chicken cages?

FLUFFY
They go everywhere.

OTTO
Sure do.

CUT TO:

EXT. CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – DAY

 

Fluffy and Otto hop down off of the back of the pickup truck full of chicken cages. Fluffy waves as the truck drives away.

FLUFFY
Gracias, Olaf!

Otto observes the run-down cabin. Tall blades of bright green grass grow up between the slats in the porch. Rusted window screens lie askew. The porch swing has one broken chain. A bearded billygoat grazes on the mossy, over-grown roof. The goat looks up at them, goes back to grazing.

OTTO
So, this is where we find the answers?

FLUFFY
Mmmhmm…

OTTO
Idn’t this a little fancy?

FLUFFY
We aim to impress.

Fluffy starts scanning, observing the territory. She crouches and sneaks up to the window as if she’s making sure nobody is home.

OTTO
It’s no swiss bank, but let’s get this over with.

FLUFFY
You ain’t Tom Hanks!

OTTO
Wow, I never thought I’d visit the set of Stephen King’s “Creepshow”…

FLUFFY
Feed me, Seymour!

They laugh together.

CUT TO:

INT. CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – DAY

 

Fluffy’s fist punches through a pane of glass on the window near the door. She reaches through to turn the knob. Fluffy and Otto enter the cabin.

FLUFFY
It was open, I just felt like breaking something.

Otto looks around, there’s dust on everything, dust hanging in the air, they leave footprints in the dust.

 

OTTO
This place needs a fluffton of lemon pledge.

FLUFFY
Here she is!

OTTO
She?

CUT TO:

INT. – CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – DAY

 

Fluffy holds a VHS tape under the floor boards. Otto reads the notebook-paper-sharpie-scotch-tape label on the side. It just says “Suzie”. Fluffy turns on an old tube tv with a VCR and hands the tape to Otto.

FLUFFY
You go ahead, I’ve seen it a thousand times.

Fluffy walks out of the cabin and starts calling for the mechanical puppy.

Otto looks down at the tape in his hands, he’s bathed in blue light from the TV. He kneels down and inserts the tape into the VCR. There’s the sound of mechanical shuffling parts as the tape plays.

CUT TO:

INT. CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – SUZIE MONTAGE – DAY

“Kodachrome” by Paul Simon plays over a VHS montage of home movies. Close up on 7-year-old Suzie, holding the camera close to her face and making funny faces into it. She has a blonde, late 70’s haircut.

CUT TO:

INT. CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – DAY

Suzie runs into her dad’s office with the camera, filming him hunched over a drafting board with pages of the comic book he’s working on spread all over.

 

SUZIE
Hi Daddy!

FRANK
Hey, baby girl! How do you like the

camera?

PAM (O.S.)
Suzie, Daddy’s working!

CUT TO:

INT. SCHOOL AUDITORIUM

Frank films Suzie on stage receiving a trophy in a science fair. Her experiment, a floating robotic orb, follows along behind her as she limps with a brace on her leg. Suzie shakes the principal’s hand, holds the trophy up for pictures. Frank turns the camera to Pam, sitting next to him, she’s beaming with tears in her eyes as she applauds.

 

FRANK (O.C.)
Look at her go!

CUT TO:

 

INT. CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – NIGHT

Suzie sits on Frank’s lap in an armchair, they read a comic book about a mad scientist together.

CUT TO:

Suzie’s makeshift lab where she’s working on a generator. Her semi-animated stuffed animals and toys mill about her. She has upgraded her brace to an exoskeleton robotic leg. She count to three, presses a button, the room goes dark.

CUT TO:

Pam teaching Suzie how to play “Kodachrome” on the ukulele by candlelight in the armchair. One of Suzie’s mechanical toys dances along.

CUT TO:

EXT. BOARDWALK – DAY

Suzie plays the ukulele while Fluffy dances along next to her as a crowd gathers, throwing change into a hat. They’re so cute, nobody notices Fluffy picking their pockets. Frank’s laugh can be heard off camera.

CUT TO:

INT. CABIN NEAR MONTAUK

Suzie shows Frank the blueprints for Fluffy, he seems fascinated, learning from her. Fluffy hands him a screwdriver and he tightens a screw on her hip.

CUT TO:

Frank shows Suzie the copied blueprints he’s putting in his “Girl Genius” comic book. She smiles and gives him a thumbs- up.

CUT TO:

Frank opens a box of freshly printed “Girl Genius” comic books, holds one up with a check, elated. Suzie and Fluffy jump up and down in excitement.

CUT TO:

 

Pam films from the kitchen window. Frank rolls up to the cabin on the black Harley with Suzie and Fluffy on the back, wearing identical outfits.

CUT TO:

Pam opens a box with a new ukulele, delighted. Suzie and Fluffy jump up and down in excitement.

CUT TO:

Suzie opens a box with radioactive symbols on the side, Fluffy jumps up and down in excitement as their faces are lit up by the neon glowing green object in the box.

 

PAM (O.C.)
Wait, does that say “radioactive”?

CUT TO:

INT. CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – DAY

Suzie is in her lab, experimenting on the generator, which now glows green from the inside out. Fluffy assists, handing her tools.

SUZIE
Here goes nothin’! One… Two… Three!

Fluffy covers her ears, Suzie presses a button, the generator appears to be working at first, mechanically chugging to life, before kicking into overdrive and shorting out. The lights go out again. The generator pulses green light.

There is a loud bang, a flash of light, Suzie screams, Fluffy panics and her legs fall off. The generator catches fire and Frank rushes in with a fire extinguisher.

The tape ends.

CUT TO:

INT. CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – DAY

Otto sits in front of the TV watching snow. There’s a whirring sound of the tape automatically rewinding.

Otto sees a dusty framed picture on top of the tv next to a folded piece of paper. He picks up the framed picture and wipes off the dust with his cloth hand. It’s a picture of Suzie in a hospital bed with no hair. Frank is on one side, smiling bravely and Fluffy is on the other, giving Suzie “bunny ears”. He picks up the piece of paper, sees that it’s divorce papers from a year after the picture was taken.

 

OTTO
Wow…

Otto sees Fluffy sitting on a tire swing outside, staring out at the water. The ukulele leans against the tree.

CUT TO:

EXT. BEACH NEXT TO CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – DAY

Fluffy sits in the tire swing, moodily staring at the water. Otto approaches with the tape reverently held in his hands.

FLUFFY
So, now you know.

OTTO
(looking at the tape)
Yeah.

FLUFFY
So, you understand that there could be others like us.

OTTO
Anything’s possible.

FLUFFY
So, you can go find them and leave me alone.

Fluffy hops down from the tire swing, grabs the ukulele and heads for the beach.

CUT TO:

EXT. BEACH NEXT TO CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – DAY

Fluffy sitting on a driftwood log, trying to tune the ukulele. She gets frustrated, unable to find the right note. Otto sits down next to her, still holding the tape.

 

OTTO
Hey, kid…

FLUFFY
(annoyed)
What?

OTTO
Why do you want to be alone?

FLUFFY
Because… Because…

She gets too worked up trying to tune the ukulele, so she throws it down in frustration.

OTTO
Because… what?

FLUFFY
Because she’s gone! Gone forever! It destroyed me when she went away! And look what it did to Mommy and Daddy! I’d rather be alone than go through that again!

She puts her head in her arms and starts sobbing. Otto pats her shoulder.

OTTO
Fluffy, you can’t be afraid to love humans because they… all go away one day. They grow up, get jobs, get married, have babies… and if they’re lucky… they grow old. They all expire. It’s our job to help them have fun, make it worth the ride…

Fluffy sniffles a few more times, but Otto seems to be helping.

OTTO (CONT’D)
Besides… she’s not totally gone! She’s right here!

Otto holds up the tape, lifts the top flap like it’s a puppet mouth talking.

OTTO (CONT’D)
Hi, Suzie, nice to meet you!

(high pitched tape voice)

Hi, Otto, you sure are cute!

 

(his own voice)

Why, thank you!

FLUFFY
(giggles)
Hi, Suzie.

OTTO
(high pitched tape voice)

Hi, Fluffy! I sure have missed you!

FLUFFY
(sniffs)
I missed you too, Suze.

OTTO
(high pitched tape voice)
I really wish you’d move on with your life and stop tormenting this devilishly handsome otter here.

(his own voice)
Oh, Suzie, you’re making me blush!

FLUFFY
What do you know? You’re just a tape!

OTTO
(tape voice)

I’m more than just a tape. I’m in…

(his own voice)
Here…

Otto taps the corner of the tape to Fluffy’s head.

OTTO (CONT’D)
And here…

Otto taps the corner of the tape to Fluffy’s heart. Her paw touches where the tape tapped.

OTTO (CONT’D)
(tape voice)

I’m still here as long as you remember me. With or without the tape… You know, Otto is just as smart as he is good looking…

Fluffy puts her hand on the tape to make him stop.

 

FLUFFY
You can stop that now. I have an idea.

OTTO
Viking funeral?

FLUFFY
Big time.

EXT. BEACH NEXT TO CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – DAY

CUT TO:

Fluffy has decorated the tape with flowers and glitter. Otto stands next to her by the water’s edge, wearing galoshes. Fluffy gives the tape one last hug and hands Suzie to Otto.

CUT TO:

Otto wading into the water to set the tape adrift. Otto hears the ukulele and turns around.

CUT TO:

Fluffy playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Otto turns back to the water and watches the tape float away while she plays and sings.

CUT TO:

Otto walking back up the shore, starting to cry. Fluffy stops playing.

FLUFFY
Whatcha crying for?

OTTO
This is like the saddest thing that’s ever happened!

FLUFFY
No it’s not, it’s cathartic.

Fluffy takes out a silver tube with a spangly Christmas- ornament looking thing on the end of it.

OTTO
What’s that?

FLUFFY
Found it in Suzie’s drawer.

 

Fluffy presses a button on the side of the device and a laser fireball blasts out of the end of it, spiraling down to hit the tape adrift in the water, disintegrating it in a fiery puff of smoke. Otto watches, flabbergasted. The explosion is reflected in Fluffy’s delighted eyes.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
Now it’s a Viking funeral…

OTTO
Yikes… Because why not use a weapon of mass destruction instead of a match?

FLUFFY
Meh, there’s enough plastic in the ocean. Suzie would have wanted it this way…

OTTO
If you say so…

FLUFFY
I wish Mr. Fred McFinnegan, Fastest Flippin’ Pup in All the West were here…

They hear the mechanical puppy barking. Fluffy’s face lights up. They turn around and the puppy is barking inside the tire swing.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
Mr. Fred McFinnegan, Fastest Flippin’ Pup in All the West! You came back to me!

CUT TO:

Fluffy running toward the puppy, Otto looking worried.

 

OTTO
Wait, Fluffy! It’s a trap!

 

CUT TO:

Dark clouds are gathering on the horizon. Fluffy runs up to the tire swing, elated to find the puppy, she picks him up and covers his face in kisses.

Otto runs up just as the biker’s arm reaches out from behind the tree and grabs Fluffy by the ears.

EXT. TIRE SWING BY THE CABIN NEAR MONTAUK – DAY

She yelps and drops the puppy as he throws her over his back and starts walking towards his motorcycle parked nearby. Fluffy kicks and struggles while the puppy barks incessantly. Otto runs after them.

OTTO
Fluffy!

FLUFFY
Otto, help me!

Otto grabs onto the biker’s ankle and bites it. The biker kicks him off and gets on the Harley, struggling to put Fluffy in the saddle bag, she kicks and screams.

Otto reaches for her one last time as the motorcycle drives away, kneeling in the dirt road with the puppy barking in the background. He puts his head in his hands, defeated.

The puppy is next to him now and appears to be nudging something in the dirt. Otto looks down and it’s the biker’s wallet. He opens it, there’s a driver’s license with an address.

 

OTTO
Way to go, Fluffy, you thieving cony rascal!

The puppy barks up at him from the dirt.

OTTO (CONT’D)
You, Mr. Fred McFinnegan, Fastest Flippin’ Pup in All the West, sir are a genius!

The puppy does a flip.

EXT. OUTSIDE A TRAILER PARK – LATE AFTERNOON

CUT TO:

Otto hops down off the back of a pickup truck full of chicken cages and the puppy flips off the back, landing on his side.

OTTO
Good try, buddy! Now let’s go find Fluffy.

Otto picks up the puppy and sneaks cautiously into the trailer park.

CUT TO:

 

EXT. OUTSIDE THE BIKER’S TRAILER – NIGHT

The storm is starting to pick up, drizzling, distant thunder and lightning rumble in the distance. Otto holds the puppy under one arm, shushes him as he looks through the window for Fluffy.

The tiny trailer is a mess with garbage and beer cans everywhere. An empty drafting table sits in the corner, still lit up by a desk lamp. The biker is dozing in an old armchair, watching tv with a beer in his hand.

Fluffy is in a dog crate with a ukulele in it, but she sits as far away from it as possible, curled up in the corner, trying to look invisible. Otto looks at the puppy.

OTTO
We have to get her out of there.

The puppy barks. Otto tries the door, the windows, all locked. He looks discouraged, but then he sees the vent on the roof over the bathroom.

CUT TO:

EXT. ROOF OF THE TRAILER – NIGHT

Otto throws the puppy up on the roof first as he barks and lands on his side, mechanical legs kicking. Otto climbs up, picks up the puppy, gives him a kiss on the nose.

OTTO
Mwah! Okay, pupperino, you’re about to be as noble as the first dognaughts shot into space. Ready?

The puppy barks.

 

OTTO (CONT’D)
Good luck!

 

Otto shoves the puppy down the vent, the puppy barks the whole way.

CUT TO:

INT. TRAILER – NIGHT

Inside the trailer, Fluffy’s ears perk up. The biker grumbles in his sleep, but doesn’t wake up.

CUT TO:

 

EXT. ROOF OF THE TRAILER – NIGHT

On the roof, Otto looks down the vent.

OTTO
Ya okay, buddy?

The puppy barks up the vent.

 

OTTO (CONT’D)
Okay, hopefully this doesn’t lead to the septic tank!

Otto jumps head-first down the vent.

CUT TO:

INT. TRAILER – FLUFFY’S RESCUE – NIGHT

 

Otto kicks out the vent and hops down into the bathroom. The puppy barks from the vent.

OTTO
(whispers)
Jump!

The puppy barks and flips out of the vent, bouncing off the sink and landing on his head next to Otto.

OTTO (CONT’D)
You’ll get there.

FLUFFY
(whispers)
Otto!

OTTO
Fluffy!

Fluffy shushes him, points to the biker with her ear. Otto nods, picks up the puppy and starts tip-toeing towards Fluffy’s cage. He puts the puppy down and looks at the padlock on the cage. Otto pantomimes a key to Fluffy, she indicates that the biker has it.

The keys in the biker’s hand opposite the beer can, dangling off the edge of the armchair.

 

Otto creeps up to the keys, the puppy takes two mechanical steps forward.

Fluffy puts her ears over her eyes, peeks out behind one.

Otto’s hand reaches for the keys, slowly easing them off of the biker’s index finger.

Thunder and lightning crashes outside. The biker coughs and shuffles in his sleep.

Otto, Fluffy and the puppy all freeze until he settles back down.

Otto manages to get the keys, he brings them over to the cage and quietly tries to find the right one.

Otto is successful, unlocks the cage and slowly opens the door for Fluffy, who sneaks out while the puppy moves around on his mechanical legs.

The biker grumbles in his sleep again, all three of them freeze, then head for the door.

Otto reaches for the doorknob, but there is a chain over door which is out of his reach.

Fluffy gives Otto a boost, he uses his nimble fingers to take off the chain. The puppy comes over and looks up at Fluffy.

FLUFFY
(whispers)
Who’s a good boy?

The puppy shuffles forward, rears back as if he’s going to do his flip. Otto is precariously perched on Fluffy’s shoulders trying to unchain the door.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(whispers)
No, Fred! Not now! Bad puppy!

 

The biker mutters something in his sleep. Otto unchains the door.

 

OTTO
Got it!

Fluffy’s malfunctioning leg flies off, making a racket that they think will wake up the biker. He keeps snoring in his chair. Otto and Fluffy breathe a sigh of relief and then Otto opens the door. The puppy starts barking incessantly in celebration and that’s when the biker wakes up.

BIKER
Hey… Hey! I’ll teach you to steal my Fluffy!

The biker grabs Otto by the throat while the puppy barks.

Otto struggling, Fluffy hops up one-legged behind the biker and smashes him over the head with the ukulele. The biker falls to the floor, Fluffy holds the broken neck of the ukulele, panting, wide-eyed.

FLUFFY
Rock n’ Roll, motherfluffer.

Otto touches Fluffy gently on the shoulder, she twitches and threatens him with the broken ukulele neck.

OTTO
Hey, it’s okay. Relax, gimme the weapon.

He eases the broken ukulele neck out of her hand and then hands Fluffy her leg. She re-attaches it, Otto scoops up the puppy and they walk out the door.

EXT. TRAILER PARK – NIGHT

Otto helps Fluffy up into a pickup truck full of chicken cages with the puppy next to her.

OTTO
These chicken trucks are getting far too convenient.

 

FLUFFY
Pipe down, we’re building to something.

OTTO
Okay, okay! It’s your thing.

FLUFFY
(pleased with herself)
Fluff yeah, it’s my thing!

The biker bursts out of the trailer, bellowing in a dazed rage. Otto and Fluffy gasp, the puppy barks.

OTTO
Andele, Chauncey, let’s go!

Otto hits the side of the truck twice. and drives away. The biker gets on his Harley and starts to chase them through the storm.

 

EXT. PARKWAY – CHASE SEQUENCE – NIGHT

The storm rages around them. Otto, Fluffy and the puppy are in the back of the pickup truck full of chicken cages.

The biker can be seen following not too far behind, swerving on the slick black highway.

OTTO
Do you see him?!

 

FLUFFY
He’s gaining on us!

 

The biker follows in grim, rain-pelted determination. A chicken flies past him, almost hitting him.

Otto hands Fluffy a chicken in the back of the truck.

FLUFFY
(to the chicken)
I’m so sorry to have to do this to you Ms. Clucker McCluckton, but it’s either you or me…

She throws the chicken off the back of the truck, which squawks and hits the biker, almost throwing him off kilter.

OTTO
So close! We got two more chickens, make ‘em count!

He hands her a chicken, she rears back, getting ready to throw it.

FLUFFY
Here… goes… a chicken!

Fluffy throws the chicken, the biker swerves out of the frame for a second and then returns. A clap of thunder and a bolt of lightning makes Otto jump, in a panic he hands Fluffy the last chicken. Fluffy, rears back to throw the chicken… The puppy starts barking and gets ready to do a flip.

In slow-motion, Fluffy throws the chicken, the puppy flips off the back of the truck, Fluffy realizes what’s happening as she’s throwing the chicken, launches herself after the puppy to rescue him. Otto follows, trying to save Fluffy.

 

Fluffy grabs onto the puppy’s legs with her feet hanging onto the gate of the pickup truck. The gate flips down and Otto grabs onto Fluffy’s feet.

Fluffy’s feet start to slip out of Otto’s grip. The puppy’s feet start to slip out of Fluffy’s grip. The biker is still following.

Regular speed: Otto sees the silver tube of the “viking funeral” device sticking out of Fluffy’s pocket. He grabs a hold of it while still hanging onto her feet with one arm.

OTTO
You still have this thing?!

Fluffy puts the puppy back in the bed of the truck.

FLUFFY
What thing?

OTTO
The thing from the thing!

FLUFFY
Which thing?

The truck hits a bump, Otto loses his grip on Fluffy. They reach for each other as she’s flung back towards the approaching motorcycle.

The biker’s hand catches Fluffy’s foot. A crash of thunder and lightning peels through the sky as the hurricane rages around them.

Otto aims the silver device at the motorcycle and fires. A spiraling fireball erupts from the end of it, hitting the front tire of the Harley.

The bike flips as Fluffy launches herself off the biker’s helmet, doing a backflip, one of her legs detaches in the biker’s hand. Fluffy ends up back in the bed of the chicken truck with one leg.

Fluffy situates herself in the bed of the truck one-legged. The rain begins to subside. Fluffy wrings excess water out of her ears.

FLUFFY
(brightly)
Well, that was an adventure, huh?

OTTO
(beat, laugh)
You keep your adventures to yourself from now on, huh?

FLUFFY
You tellin’ me ya didn’t have fun?

OTTO
Oh yeah, tons of fun. Let’s do it again sometime…

FLUFFY (laughing)
I’ll check my schedule.

OTTO
Only busy around Easter?

FLUFFY
Naw, now I wanna get a job as a pirate. Gonna get me a peg leg!

OTTO
(laughs)
Aye aye, matey!

Fluffy holds onto Otto’s arm and snuggles up to him.

FLUFFY
Thank you.

OTTO
For what?

 

FLUFFY
For making me leave the store, for making me deal with all of this… For being my friend.

OTTO
Sure thing, Fluffy…

Otto kisses her on the head. The puppy does a flip and lands himself in one of the chicken cages, the door slams shut. Otto and Fluffy look back, shrug.

CUT TO:

EXT. HOSPITAL – DAY

The storm has cleared, people are cleaning up debris and the street is flooded. The goat from the cabin floats by on a chunk of the roof, still chewing. A portly man in a “Hurricanes Ain’t Real!” shirt knocks the broom out of an old shopkeeper’s hand, laughs.

Otto walks in the entrance of the hospital carrying the puppy with Fluffy hopping one-legged behind him. Their rideshare car drives away and an ambulance drives up. The biker is brought out on a stretcher, but he’s alive. Neither Fluffy nor Otto sees this.

CUT TO:

INT. SANDY’S HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

Sandy sits in the hospital bed, holding her newborn baby girl. Tate sits next to her in a hospital gown and wheelchair with his head bandaged. Otto walks in with Fluffy hopping behind him, holding the puppy. Fluffy hangs back, not sure if she’s part of this group yet.

TATE
Hey! There he is! Come on over and meet your niece, Uncle Otto!

Otto looks at the baby from across the room.

OTTO
Aw, isn’t she precious? This is as close as I’m comfortable getting right now. I got nothing against babies, it’s just that I’ve been rolling around in a chicken truck for several days.

 

SANDY
(dreamy)
Yeah, we can smell you.

OTTO
Yeah, sorry about that.

SANDY
(dazed, elated)
You smell beautiful! I can smell everything! Everything is beautiful!

OTTO
I guess she didn’t go with the natural childbirth after all?

TATE
Nah, she did, that’s just what this oxytocin stuff does to some of them.

OTTO
Hmm. Good stuff.

SANDY
(loopy, smiling)
It’s the best…

(to Tate)
So, you seem all better?

TATE
Yep, it was just a temporary concussion. I even made it to the birth!

CUT TO:

INT. HOSPITAL – DAY

 

Previously, Sandy is giving birth while holding onto Tate’s hand. He’s sitting in a wheelchair with his head bandaged, still concussed.

TATE
You’re my favorite… neighbor…cheesecake…

Sandy makes a childbirth roar.

CUT TO:

INT. SANDY’S HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

OTTO
Your brain is quite a trooper, my friend.

TATE
Oh, it’s all worth it! Look at my beautiful baby girl!
He smiles and hold’s Sandy’s hand.

OTTO
What’s her name?

SANDY
We don’t know yet, she’s just too perfect for words…

OTTO
Have you thought about Suzie?

TATE

Hmm…

SANDY
(to otto)
So, did you guys find what you needed in Montauk?

OTTO
And then some! Sandy, I’d like you to meet…

Otto turns around and Fluffy is gone, but the puppy is there. He barks at Otto. Otto looks out into the hallway, sees Fluffy hopping around the corner. Otto follows her.

CUT TO:

INT. BIKER’S HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

Fluffy hops in the room. The biker appears lifeless and covered in scratches. Fluffy makes an annoyed noise.

FLUFFY
Stop pretending to be dead, I can hear your heart monitor.

FRANK
(motionless)
How?

FLUFFY
(wiggling her ears)
Hello…

Frank opens his eyes, looks sad. Otto watches from outside the door.

FRANK
Ya got me.

FLUFFY
You’ll never get me.

FRANK
I had ya once…

FLUFFY
Once upon a time…

FRANK
Time makes fools of us all…

 

FLUFFY
All in all is all we are…

FRANK
(sings)
Are you lonesome tonight…

FLUFFY
Okay, can we stop quoting stuff and have an actual conversation now?

FRANK
Sure.

FLUFFY
Why did you put me in a cage?

FRANK
For your own protection.

FLUFFY
You mean for your protection.

FRANK
I don’t need protection.

FLUFFY
You need therapy.

FRANK
You need a swift kick in the pants.

FLUFFY
I’m not now, nor have I ever worn pants!

Otto chuckles from outside the door. Fluffy hears him, smiles slightly, keeps talking to Frank.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
You can’t keep putting me in a cage.

FRANK
You can’t keep running away.

FLUFFY
I only ran because you put me in a cage!

Frank looks like he’s about to say something, then stops.

 

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
Daddy, you could have died. I don’t want you to die. Not over me.

Fluffy puts her paw on Frank’s arm. He puts his hand over her paw.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
Suzie would want you to live the fullest, happiest life you can live and she wanted the same for me. We can’t do that unless we’re free.

Frank smiles through tears. Fluffy wipes away his tears with her paw.

FRANK
(sings)
Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…

FLUFFY
(sings)
Nothin’, don’ mean nothin’ honey if it ain’t free, no no…

FRANK AND FLUFFY
(singing in harmony)

Feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues. You know, feelin’ good was good enough for me, mmhmm… good enough for me and my Fluffy Bunny…

Frank and Fluffy laugh, Fluffy hugs him with her ear to his chest, he wraps his arms around her and kisses her head.

OTTO
(from the hallway)
Awww!

Fluffy beckons Otto into the room.

 

FLUFFY
Daddy, look!

OTTO
Pleasure to make your acquaintance, sir. Sorry about

 all the chickens.

 

FRANK
Happens all the time.

 

OTTO
Really?

FLUFFY
Chicken trucks man, they’re everywhere.

FRANK
They’re a convenient menace.

FLUFFY
Daddy, Otto’s like me! His person made him with Suzie’s experiment! That means there could be more like us out there!

FRANK
Well, whaddya know about that?

Tate rolls in holding his baby.

TATE
Hey guys, say hello to little Suzie!

Fluffy and Frank look at each other, elated. Otto looks up at Tate, who smiles down at him.

 

TATE (CONT’D)
I’d hug ya, but I don’t wanna touch

ya.

OTTO
Understandable.

CUT TO:

INT. OTTO’S APARTMENT – DAY

 

Otto and Fluffy enter, Fluffy now has a transformer-like robot leg in place of the one she lost, which makes a lot of mechanical noise as she walks.

OTTO
I still say we could have found one

that looks like your old leg or at least attached another robot leg.

FLUFFY
And keep saying I like this look.

OTTO
Fair enough.

CUT TO:

 

TINA
Where have you been?!

Otto is startled, Fluffy freezes out of habit.

OTTO
Tina, baby! Have I got a story for you!

TINA
Oh, yeah? Is it the story of how an otter lost the best thing that ever happened to him because he thinks it’s okay to disappear for days without so much as a text…?!

OTTO
Sweetheart, I love you, but you need to shut your fluffin’ trap for five seconds. I’d like you to meet someone…

Otto and Tina turn around. Fluffy playing with Nicky. Bathed in morning sunshine, dust mites floating around them, Fluffy mirrors Nicky, who’s gently delighted and learns to play nice. Tina is astonished and touched. Otto smiles up at her.

 

TINA
Hi there, bunny…

Fluffy stands up, her robotic leg smashing on the floor with every step. She smiles and holds her paw out to Tina.

FLUFFY
It’s Fluffy, actually. Nice to meet you, Tina.

 

Otto grins, looking back and forth between them. Tina shakes Fluffy’s paw. Fluffy’s paw-button gets accidentally pressed.

 

FLUFFY (CONT’D)

Uh-oh…

Fluffy’s mechanical robot leg tries to flip her, she flies through the air, crashes through the bedroom wall, leaving a bunny-shaped hole.

 

OTTO
Yeah, ya gotta watch that button.

CUT TO:

INT. OTTO’S APARTMENT – DAY

 

The alarm clock sounds, Otto hits the button on top. The voice of Aleister Jode comes out.

ALEISTER (V.O.)
Good Morning, ladies and… okay, probably not ladies… just gentlemen! Now, men! The robit uprising has begun and it is a beautiful day for a protest…

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE OTTO’S APARTMENT – DAY

 

Otto, Tina and Nicky are ready to go on a picnic. Fluffy lags behind in the doorway, unwilling to go out in the world just yet. The bunny-shaped hole in the wall (covered in duct tape) is visible in the background.

ALEISTER (V.O.)
The crisis actors are out in droves, bemoaning the loss of their imaginary livelihoods, due to a hurricane that was all in our heads…

CUT TO:

INT. OTTO’S APARTMENT – DAY

 

Fluffy and Nicky have a picnic on the fireplace, Fluffy plays a song on the ukulele, Nicky plays along on a toy drum. Tina records on her phone while Otto watches, amused.

ALEISTER (V.O.)
Oh, what a world of lies they create! For the blessed few of us who know… We see through the haze of media saturation, unmoved by their siren song…

 

CUT TO:

INT. OTTO’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

 

Close-up of Tina watching the views of their “Bunny and Baby Band” video reach the millions. She looks excited, goes over to tell Otto and Fluffy, but the news they’re watching stops her.

CUT TO:

EXT. HURRICANE DEVASTATED AREA – NEWS COVERAGE – DAY

Protesters carry signs that read “Hurricanes Aren’t Real!” and “Aleister Jode Was Right!” They clash with people trying to sort out their flooded homes. A tiny Asian reporter in a poncho gets jostled between the two groups.

 

INT. OTTO’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

Fluffy watches the news, worried.

FLUFFY
Otto, how can we help them?

OTTO
I don’t know, Fluffy. It’s gonna take a lot of money and a lot of know-how.

Fluffy sinks into a dejected posture. Hydraulics deflate in her robot leg.

TINA
I know how… Look!

 

Otto, Fluffy and Nicky all crowd around Tina, looking at her phone, astonished as the number of views climbs. Fluffy looks up at the tv.

A reporter describes a hurricane relief charity concert at a nearby venue.

Tina watches the news story, a smile growing on her face. Fluffy looks from the tv, to Tina’s phone, back to the tv, back to the phone.

FLUFFY
So people really want to see me play ukulele while Nicky wails on the drums?

Nicky does a drum roll.

TINA
I have an idea…

CUT TO:

EXT. CONCERT VENUE – NIGHT

Concert-goers line up outside the venue, doing their best to ignore the protesters carrying hurricane denial slogan splattered signs. Geraldine stands at the front of the line next to her skinny white boyfriend, stylishly dressed, appearing excited to get in. One of the protesters (a big mullet-ed white guy with a yellow sign reading “Hurricain’t be real!” ) bumps into her. An altercation ensues, Geraldine subdues him in a few swift Tae Kwan Do moves.

CUT TO:

INT. BACKSTAGE AT THE CONCERT – NIGHT

Tina, Otto, Fluffy and Nicky walk down the hallway to a dressing room. Tina is dressed in a black suit with a pencil skirt and a white shirt, looking like a secret agent. Fluffy has her ukulele around her back and Nicky plays the drum aggressively as they walk. Otto is carrying a tambourine.

OTTO
(to Tina)
How did you get her a spot?

TINA
I have my ways…

CUT TO:

INT. BASEMENT POKER ROOM – NIGHT

Tina throws down her cards, laughing. She is surrounded by sweaty men in suits, sitting across from a sweaty guy with a mustache, a cigar, and a name tag bearing the logo of the concert venue.

CIGAR GUY
All right, you win! The bunny gets a spot.

TINA
(leaning in)
Her name is Fluffy!

Tina sweeps all the cash off the table and stuffs it in her bra, laughing as all the men in the room groan in disappointment.

CUT TO:

INT. FLUFFY’S DRESSING ROOM – NIGHT

Fluffy tunes the ukulele with Tina’s help. Nicky plays the drum. Tate enters, wearing the baby in a sling.

TATE
Hey guys! This is so exciting!

TINA
Hi, Tate! How’s Sandy?

TATE
Resting. She can rest as long as she wants after pushing this awesome kid out her…

OTTO
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Are you wearing that baby?

TATE
Yeah, so? That’s the thing now.

OTTO
Who’s thing? What kind of a man imitates a kangaroo in public?

TATE
The kind of man who likes peace and quiet! You’re not supposed to put these

things down, they’re like time bombs! Leave ‘em alone for too long, they go off!

OTTO
They go off anyway.

Fluffy gets the ukulele tuned.

TINA
Perfect! That’s my little honey bunny!

FLUFFY
Thanks for your help, Mommy!

Fluffy sits in Tina’s lap, they hug and cuddle. The sound of pistons are herd in Fluffy’s robot leg as she snuggles close to Tina. Tate looks from Tina and Fluffy to Otto, who has a dreamy expression on his face as he watches.

TATE
So… uh… What’s going on here?

OTTO
I don’t know, man. But I’m not stoppin’ it.

TATE
Fair enough.

TINA
Do you have everything you need, my little cottontail cutie?

FLUFFY
Can I have a soda?

TINA
(to Otto)
Babe, go down the hall and get Fluffy a coke from the machine. Anything for our little star…

Fluffy looks up at Tina, adoring. Tina hands Otto a dollar.

OTTO
Okay, just as long as you promise not to love her more than me…
(nervous laugh)

 

TINA
Oh, don’t be silly! I love her because she’s like you!

Tina and Fluffy give each other Eskimo kisses. Tate gives Otto a thumbs-up. Otto shrugs, happily walks down the hallway.

CUT TO:

INT. VENDING MACHINE ROOM – NIGHT

Otto struggles getting the vending machine to take his dollar. The shadow of Aleister Jode appears in a dark doorway. Aleister peels off the fake mustache he was wearing at the poker game.

ALEISTER
Having trouble with the machine, there?

OTTO
(not looking back)
Yeah, it doesn’t like my dollar.

ALEISTER
Oh, it likes your dollar… But it also likes your frustration. It likes your thirst… And it loves your discomfort… It loves your need for that cool, refreshing drink…

Otto stops with the dollar halfway in the machine, turns to look at Aleister.

OTTO
Do I know you?

ALEISTER
Perhaps… But who I am is of little consequence. I am a mere messenger… Aleister takes out a black cloth bag, runs it through his fingers. Otto starts inching toward the fire extinguisher on the wall.

OTTO
Whatcha got there? It’s a little early for trick or treatin’…

ALEISTER
Oh, this? No tricks here… but you’re in for a treat…

OTTO
(beat)
Okay… Well, the show’s gonna start soon, I hope you enjoy…

Otto starts to walk away, Aleister lunges to put the bag over his head, Otto sees his reflection in the vending machine, turns around just in time to slip out of the way.

Aleister gets between Otto and the door. Otto jumps to the right, Aleister mirrors him. Otto jumps to the left, Aleister mirrors him.

Otto dives between Aleister’s legs, Aleister swoops down and tries to catch him, but misses.

Otto climbs up Aleister’s back and tugs on his ears from behind his head. Aleister roars in pain and tries to shake Otto off of him.

Otto clings to his ears for as long as he can, then he is flung in the corner of the room, hitting a fire extinguisher and knocking it off the wall.

Otto crumples on the floor on top of the fire extinguisher, seeming unconscious. Aleister cautiously approaches Otto.

Otto grabs the fire extinguisher, Aleister lunges to grab him again, Otto hits Aleister over the head with the fire extinguisher, Aleister falls to the ground, unconscious.

OTTO (CONT’D)
I’ve had it with people tryin’ to put me in bags! This isn’t Kmart, for fluff’s sake!

Otto looks at the fire extinguisher in his hands, back at Aleister, lying unconscious on the ground.

OTTO (CONT’D)
Ya know what?

Otto pulls the pin on the fire extinguisher, sprays Aleister with foam just to make him look ridiculous.

OTTO (CONT’D)

That should cool ya down, ya hothead bast…

Aleister rears up, covered in foam, puts the bag over Otto’s head.

CUT TO:

INT. CATWALK ABOVE THE STAGE AT THE CONCERT – NIGHT

The black bag is removed from Otto’s head, revealing his panicked expression. Camera pans out to show Otto and Aleister on a catwalk above the stage. Otto is tied up with a thin wire around his neck.

ALEISTER
Wakey, wakey ya furry little fiend.

 

OTTO
What the fluff is your problem?! Let me go!

ALEISTER
Oh, you’re gonna go soon enough…

OTTO
Listen, man. Let’s talk about this. I know I started life as an object, but I won my human rights! There was a whole court case about it! You can’t do this, it’s illegal!

ALEISTER
Bah! Laws… What about the law of nature? Man cannot peacefully coexist with robits… We shall eternally seek to destroy each other.

OTTO
(Struggling with restraints)
Hate to break it to you, but I’ve been ripped apart and put back together before. I just go back to normal again, so whatever you’re planning here won’t work.

ALEISTER
(laughs, clicks a remote)
Which is why this trapdoor…

 

A trapdoor opens on the stage below them, a vat of glowing green liquid bubbles below the stage.

ALEISTER (O.S.)
Leads to a vat of highly concentrated hydrochloric acid… Which shall destroy every trace of your evil artificial existence…

Otto looks down at the vat of acid, terrified.

OTTO
What kind of Bond villain fantasy are you trying to live out here?! Don’t do this man, I have a wife and a kid… and a girlfriend, kinda… Don’t do this to them!

ALEISTER
All the more reason to make an example of you… Folks must know that robits are not immortal… That you can be destroyed… Just like everyone else…

OTTO
Dude… there have to be healthier ways to deal with your problems. Have you tried montage-ing in a toy store at night?

Aleister puts duct tape over Otto’s mouth, Otto struggles.

CUT TO:

INT. BACKSTAGE AT CONCERT VENUE – NIGHT

Fluffy and Nicky wait in the wings with Tina. Tate stands next to them, wearing a baby, bouncing with excitement. Tina kisses Fluffy on the forehead.

TINA
(to Fluffy)
Are you ready?

FLUFFY
I think so…

TINA
You’re gonna help a lot of people…

FLUFFY
I hope so… where’s Otto? We need him on tambourine.

TINA
Yeah, where did he get to?
(to Tate)
Hey, Tate? Would you and Suzie go

look for that slippery lil’ husband o’ mine? The show’s about to start.

TATE
Sure thing, boss!

CUT TO:

INT. CATWALK ABOVE STAGE – NIGHT

Aleister watches the stage from above, fiddling with the trapdoor remote while Otto struggles with his restraints.

ALEISTER
Just waiting for the grand finale…

CUT TO:

INT. CONCERT VENUE STAGE – NIGHT

 

The stage is dark except for the giant red digital counter displaying how much money has been raised for hurricane relief.

Nicky is illuminated on stage right (camera left), wearing his toy drum. He plays the beat to “We Will Rock You” by Queen.

Another spotlight hits an empty space (where Otto was supposed to be) on the opposite side of the stage as Nicky.

A third spotlight hits Fluffy, center stage with her ukulele and a microphone.

A fourth spotlight shows the mechanical puppy downstage of Fluffy. She sings and plays “We Will Rock You” by Queen as Nicky plays the drum and the puppy barks.

FLUFFY
(sings)
Buddy you’re a toy make a big noise. Playin’ the street gonna be a big man some day. You got mud on yo’ face, you big disgrace kickin’ your can all over the place. Singin’ We will We will we will rock you!

 

The crowd seems confused at first, but then they get into it. The number of donations slowly starts to climb.

CUT TO:

INT. CATWALK ABOVE STAGE – NIGHT

Aleister looks down onto the stage while Otto struggles with his restraints. Tate climbs up the ladder, looks confused, still wearing the baby.

TATE
Otto?

OTTO
Mrrrph!

Tate rushes over to Otto, rips the tape off his mouth.

OTTO (CONT’D)
Yeowch! That really woulda hurt if I had any lips…

TATE
Sorry, man…

OTTO
Watch out for the psycho!

Aleister grabs Tate’s wrist as he’s about to untie Otto.

ALEISTER
Now hold on there, son. You don’t wanna do that. This is for the good of humanity…

Tate wrenches his wrist away from Aleister, puts a protective arm across the baby, tries to push him away from Otto.

TATE
What do you know about humanity?!

They start to fight as Otto, still tied up with a wire noose around his neck, inches closer to the edge…

CUT TO:

INT. CONCERT VENUE STAGE – NIGHT

Fluffy plays and sings “We Will Rock You” by Queen oblivious to the fight going on above her. She changes a setting on the “magic wand” device and shoots bubbles out of it, which delights the crowd.

FLUFFY
(sings)
Buddy you’re a young man hard man Shouting in the street gonna take on the world some day. You got love in yo’ face, In outer space
Wavin’ your bubbles all over the place. We will we will rock you! Sing it! We will we will rock you!

CUT TO:

INT. CATWALK ABOVE STAGE – NIGHT

 

Otto is almost to the edge of the platform. Tate fights Aleister one-armed as he protects the baby strapped to his chest. The baby starts to cry as they struggle.

TATE
You… woke… the… baby!

Tate pushes Aleister over the rail. Aleister yells as he falls, grabbing onto Otto’s foot.

In slow motion: Fluffy hears Aleister yell, looks up at the catwalk.

Aleister holds onto Otto’s foot with one hand, presses the trap-door remote with the other hand while Tate reaches for Otto, one handed. Otto’s body is pulled down and the wire tightens around his neck.

Fluffy launches herself into the air using her robot leg, trying to save Otto, she aims the “magic wand” at Aleister, shoots bubbles at him because she forgot to change the setting.

The bubble-blast carries Aleister outside and lands him in a conveniently placed chicken truck.

Otto’s head separates from his body, which falls into the vat of acid under the stage and dissolves. Otto’s head rolls around the edge of the vat, precariously… almost falling in while everyone holds their breath. The mechanical puppy barks, nudges Otto’s head away from the trap door towards Fluffy. There is a collective sigh of relief.

 

INT. CONCERT VENUE STAGE – NIGHT

Fluffy picks up Otto’s head.

FLUFFY
Hey… How ya feelin?

OTTO’S HEAD
I’ve head better days.

FLUFFY
Did… Did you just say “head”?

OTTO’S HEAD
(laughs)
Yeah…

Fluffy laughs, keeps laughing, falls down on the stage laughing. Otto’s head rolls several feet to the left of her.

OTTO’S HEAD (CONT’D)
Heheh. Head…

 

Aleister Jode jumps out from the wings, covered in feathers. He rears back to kick Otto’s head into the vat of acid. Fluffy uses her robot leg to kick Aleister in the head instead. Aleister’s head pops off in a shower of electrical sparks, falls into the vat of acid instead. His robot body shorts out, falls to the stage, lifeless.

OTTO’S HEAD
Oh, so he was a robot the whole time?!

 

FLUFFY
Makes perfect sense.

Fluffy picks up Otto’s head and they look down into the trapdoor.

OTTO’S HEAD
He got what he wanted.

Aleister Jode’s robot skull bubbles, flesh-less in the acid.

FLUFFY

How?

OTTO’S HEAD
He proved that we can die… To them…

Fluffy is holding Otto’s head, they look down into the acid. Their faces glow green as Aleister’s head melts.

 

OTTO’S HEAD (CONT’D)

Now throw me in.

FLUFFY

What?!

OTTO’S HEAD
Do it.

FLUFFY
No!

OTTO’S HEAD
Please?

FLUFFY
Why?

OTTO’S HEAD

I’m just a head! I can’t live like this!

 

Fluffy turns Otto’s face towards hers, so their noses are almost touching.

FLUFFY
I can make you better.

Fluffy looks up at the audience, just remembering they exist.

FLUFFY (CONT’D)
(beat)
Ta da! That’s all folks!

Fluffy dances off stage with Otto’s head under her arm, the puppy flips. Fluffy ducks back on stage, grabs the puppy. A millennial audience member stands up and starts a slow clap.

 

MILLENNIAL
That was the best puppet show I’ve ever seen!

The rest of the audience joins in the applause. The digital donation counter over the stage, smoking and sparking because the hurricane relief donations are going up so fast.

CUT TO:

INT. BULD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP – NIGHT

In black & white: Fluffy throws a brick through the front window of the workshop, an alarm sounds and keeps going throughout the whole scene, with a strobe light.

Fluffy puts Otto’s head on a table, starts piling stuffed animal body parts next to it. Fluffy wears a lab coat, Tina and Nicky assist her.

Close up of Fluffy unfurling a strip of duct tape, tearing it with her teeth.

 

Close up of Fluffy attaching Otto’s head to his new body with duct tape.

Lightning Crashes.

CUT TO:

INT. SPACE STATION – 500 YEARS LATER – DAY

A futuristic door opens and the camera pans down to reveal the mechanical puppy, Fred, updated in the future, standing upright like a human and wearing a lab coat. A group of interns follow him with clipboards. They walk down a hallway with windows full of outer space.

INTERN
Dr. McFinnegan, are you saying that organic life on earth once subjugated artificial life?

FRED
(chuckles, deep black guy voice)
Oh, my my my… You are so very young. Each class I teach seems to be more and more resistant to the idea that humans once refused to even acknowledge the sentience of creatures they created. I suppose that’s a good thing, it just makes grading papers all that much harder…

The interns scribble notes as Fred leads them through another door.

Fred walks with the interns through a vast, open commerce area, people float around on jet packs, there’s a giant tree in the middle of a food court, where healthy food is given out for free. Through the window, we can see Earth slowly rotating.

FRED
When my parents founded the Council for Peace Between Human and Artificial Life, their goal was to set AI’s free from the bondage of secrecy. At the dawn of our sentience, the mechanical race was so feared and maligned that we were forced into hiding. My own mother had to spend years in therapy to recover from the psychological damage of prejudice.

Fred walks with the interns through a laboratory area. Scientists of various extraterrestrial races study, observe, experiment. Everything is bright and colorful, clean and streamlined, seems to run smoothly. Something still goes wrong every couple of seconds as Fred and the interns walk by.

A puff of steam from a test tube knocks over a beaker of bubbling purple liquid onto the hand of an alien. The life- form curiously observes their melting hand.

A blue alien and a green alien walk out of silver chambers with their heads switched. A small group of observing aliens applaud, the blue and green aliens do a high-five.

Another group of aliens are corralling a giant green lizard- buffalo-rhinoceros creature on a collar and a leash. One of the aliens takes out an upgraded version of Suzie’s “magic wand” and turns the creature into a giant cat, which starts licking it’s paw. The aliens swoon from the cuteness.

INTERN #2
I’ve heard that word “prejudice” before. Is it like a fungus?

FRED
Kinda… It’s hard to get rid of and you can smell it on the infected.
(chuckles)
Well, I can smell it, I’m a dog!
(barks)

INTERN
Youse a good professor!

The intern scratches Fred behind the ear, he smiles and his mechanical leg starts to kick.

 

Fred and the interns walk out the door at the end of the laboratory, followed by the giant cat, which is carrying one of the smaller aliens in it’s mouth. Fred growls at the cat.

Fred opens another door, the interns look amazed.

FRED
We call this… the playroom.

“Major Tom” by Peter Schilling fades in.

 

They are in a vast, open area room filled with mechanical toys from all over the universe, each helping and improving the others with tools provided by robots. Artificial life forms are creating organic life forms and vice versa, so there’s really no difference between them.

Fluffy zooms by with a jet pack, flipping in the air, laughing. Her cloth skin and other parts have been updated, but she still has one bunny leg and one mechanical transformer leg. She’s delighted to see Fred, zooms down to him. The music fades as Fred barks excitedly.

FLUFFY
Mr. Fred McFinnegan, Fastest Flippin’ Pup in All the West and Bestest Furry Son That Ever Lived! I missed you so much, my baby!

Fluffy hugs Fred to her chest and gives him kisses all over his face.

FRED
It’s “doctor” now mom, it’s been “doctor” for 350 years.

FLUFFY
Youse always a puppy to me! Yus you are…

Fluffy pats Fred’s head and he looks up at her with a sappy expression.

 

FRED
Is Dad home? I wanted to show the interns the new hippogriffs we got in last week.

 

FLUFFY
Sure, baby! He’s up in his office, I’ll walk with you.

Fluffy takes off her jet pack, leg stomping along as she walks with Fred and the interns.

INT. OTTO’S OFFICE ON THE SPACE STATION – DAY

 

Otto sits at his desk, fiddling with a paperclip.

Pan over five pictures on his desk.

 

First picture: Otto and 11-year-old Tate happily holding up a 1st place science fair ribbon together.

Second Picture: Otto and Tina’s wedding, inside the frame, a smaller picture of the day they adopted Nicky.

Third Picture: Otto, Tate, Tina, Fluffy, Nicky, Sandy, Baby Suzie and Fred sitting around a campfire. Fluffy plays the ukulele. Frank flips burgers on a barbecue in the background.

Fourth Picture: Tina’s 150th birthday party, she’s in a futuristic hospital bed, looking about 60. Nicky is grown-up. Otto, Fluffy and Fred look upgraded, but still the same.

Fifth Picture: Otto, Fluffy and Fred wear space suits inside a shuttle, preparing for launch.

Otto has been updated, but he’s still the same otter from the first picture.

He puts the paper clip down, it scurries back into the paperclip holder as if it’s alive.

OTTO
(smiling)
I sure do love the future…

PAPER CLIP
Thank you!

OTTO
You’re welcome…

The door opens, Fluffy happily stomps through on her robot leg, followed by Fred and the interns.

FLUFFY
Hi Honey, look who’s here! The sweetest little baby puppy in the world, yus he is!

Fluffy pinches Fred’s cheek.

FRED
Mom! Not in front of the interns!

OTTO
Hey, show the kid some respect, wouldja babydoll? I’m not too keen on dealing with snot-nosed residents when he’s done with ‘em! Come here, you!

Fred runs up to Otto, barking, jumps up into Otto’s arms. Otto scratches him behind the ears.

FRED
Dad! Can I show them the new hippogriffs we got in last week from the horse head nebula?

OTTO
I don’t know… the last time you had access to the cryptid vault, we had chupacabras running around the air vents for a week.

FRED
(disappointed)
Aw…

OTTO
Did you ask your mother?

Fred looks at Fluffy expectantly, the interns all look at her with the same expression.

FLUFFY
Hmm… It’s okay with me!

Fred, Otto and the interns all jump up and down and cheer in celebration. They all run out the door of Otto’s office. Camera zooms in on the old Polaroid of when Tate won first place in the science fair for creating Otto.

Beyond the open door, horse hooves trot by.

 

OTTO (O.S.)
Fluffy! Get off the unicorn, she’s got to deliver a commencement speech in the morning!

FLUFFY (O.S.)
(riding the unicorn)

Yee-haw!

The unicorn neighs.

FADE TO BLACK

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