Tommy Sherman's Ghost is Haunting Lawndale High
(with apologies to Leslie Fish)
J Osako, 25 April 1998
Last Revised 7 June 1998
Daria is owned by MTV Networks. Used without permission. Daria created by Glenn Eicher. World of Darkness and related trademarks owned by White Wolf Games. Used without permission.

[Editorial Note : This takes place about three months before "Blood and Irony", a week after the the events in "Misery Chick".]

Opening scene, Jane's bedroom. Jane is lying face down on her bed, looking noticably depressed. Daria is sitting on a stool a few feet away, facing her.

DARIA : Jane, are you listening to me?

JANE : No...I mean, what'd you say?

DARIA : I guess not. What's with you lately? Aside from the usual things.

JANE : I've been distracted...

DARIA : I'll say. You're not still caught up on the Tommy Sherman thing, I hope.

JANE [turning toward Daria] : Actually, I am...

DARIA : You're kidding. Everyone else in school's forgotten about it already, even the ones who aren't terminally shallow. Do you still feeling guilty about it or something? (pause) Oh, hell, that's its it? I told you before, it wasn't your fault.

JANE : I'm not so sure of that.

DARIA : This is getting wierd even for you. All you did was say you wanted him dead. You didn't make the goalpost fall on him.

JANE : Yeah. Whatever.

DARIA : Damn it, Jane, snap out of it. Watch some TV. Paint something. Break into you mom's liquor cabinet, anything. This town is depressing enough as it is, I don't need you doing anything to help it along.

JANE : Listen, I'm just gonna go to sleep, OK? I'll see you in the morning.

DARIA : Uh, sure. [standing up] Should I lock the door or something when I leave?

JANE : Don't bother. It won't stop...anyone, its a really cheap lock.

DARIA : Sure. No problem.

Scene 2, Football field. Coach Sevrin is drilling the football team.

COACH : OK, you girls, look alive out there! Kevin, I want you to work on crossover plays. [Editorial Note : OK, so I don't know football. Sue me.]

The team lines up and runs a drill formation. Mack and another reciever go out, and cross over at midfield. Kevin, looking confused, throws the ball right between them.

COACH : Dammit, MacKenzie, quit goofing off! Look where you're going next time! [to Kevin] Mighty good throw there, son.

KEVIN : Yeah? I mean, YEAH!

COACH : ...but you really should be watching your receivers. Especially that tricky sonofgun MacKenzie, he's just not putting enough effort in.

KEVIN : Mackdaddy? But he's our best catcher...uh, know.

COACH : Well, do it for the school, anyway, son. We want to be at our best for this week's game.

KEVIN : There's a game this week?

COACH : I guess I didn't mention it, I could have sworn I did. We'll be playing Cromwell High, and it should be a real walkover [thinking: For them]. There'll be a special ceremony, too. They're renaming this the Tommy Sherman Memorial Stadium, you know.

KEVIN : Oh, yeah. I remember him. Didn't he used to go here?

COACH : Oh, and don't forget to bring that pretty lil' gal of yours to the party afterwards. She's mighty fine girl, I must say.

KEVIN : Sure! She'll love to go!

COACH : All right then. Why don't you try that run one more time.

The team sets up, and runs the same play. Kevin, for once, isn't confused by the cross over, and throws a perfect pass - except that, for a few seconds, the ball seems to hover in midair, motionless, then seems to bounce backward a few feet.

COACH : Mackenzie!

MACK : But Coach, I wasn't even the receiver!

Scene 3, school lunch room.

DARIA : So much for sleeping last night. Your snoring in Mr. O'Neill's class could've be heard in Highland.

JANE : Sorry...

DARIA : Don't apologize. It did wonders for his lecture. What's with the insomnia?

JANE : It's kind of hard to explain. I'm not sure you'll understand.

DARIA : Try me.

JANE : Uh, OK, but [pauses] do you promise not to call me crazy?

DARIA : Why should I? We settled that issue months ago.

JANE : I mean it.

DARIA : Oh, all right. I won't call you crazy.

JANE : Yeah, sure. [lowering her voice] Have you ever, uh, thought about, er...ghosts? I mean, thought you saw one or something?

DARIA : Sure. All the time. Look, there's Tommy Sherman right now...

JANE [looking around, panicked] : Where?

DARIA : What's wrong with you? It was a joke. You really didn't think I saw a ghost, did you?

JANE : His ghost...

DARIA : I'm begining to regret that promise. Are you telling me you've been seeing Tommy Sherman's ghost around in school?

JANE : Not so loud, they haven't called the nuthouse yet. Yeah, I see him here some times, but mostly at home, lately.

DARIA : Oh, so his ghost is as perverted as the rest of him...

JANE : me that I killed him somehow. That's why I've been feeling so guilty. May be I really am guilty.

DARIA : I know its a long shot, but do you think it might just be your conscience getting to you?

JANE : That's what I thought at first, too. That was scary enough, I never thought I had one before. But there are other things, too.

DARIA : I'm going to hate myself for asking this, but what other things?

JANE : Well... I've been able to tell when something's about to break or fall apart. I just get this feeling about it. I mean, I was always able to, sort of. But its like the volume has been turned way up on it.

DARIA : Well, that's pretty wierd, all right. Anything else?

JANE : I think I'm becoming telepathic or something...

DARIA : OK, we've officially entered the Twilight Zone with that one. What do you mean, or something?

JANE : I don't know how to put it. Its as if I always know when someone's lying, and sometimes I hear what someone's going to say before they say it. (pauses) Sometimes when I'm painting something, I can hear conversations, or feel a wind coming out of nowhere. I haven't picked up a paintbrush in three days.

DARIA : Well, this is too wierd for me. [the bell rings] OK, Carrie, I'd better get you to class.

JANE : I told you you wouldn't believe me. I knew you wouldn't.

DARIA : That doesn't take mindreading to figure out. Listen, I know you pretty well, and I know you mean it about all of this. If I promise not to call the men in white coats, will you tell me about any more crazy things happening to you?

JANE : Sure. But I don't know how to convince you about it all.

DARIA : Don't bother trying. But I won't do anything about it, either. (both get up from table to leave)

Scene 4, an outdoors gym class field hockey game. Daria is standing in front of the goal, leaning on her hockey stick, showing her usual enthusiasm.

STUDENT #1: DARCY! Will you, like, pay attention or something?

DARIA : Why should I? You guys don't even know my name.

STUDENT #1: OHH! You're, like, the goalkeeper! We'll lose if you don't, like, play real good!

DARIA : Of course. I'd be crushed for life if we should happen to lose this game.
(Thinking to herself) Well, I think I can safe ignore this waste of time. I've got to think of something to snap Jane out of this. There has to be some way to prove to her that its not real.
If I know Jane, she already had some of those crap ESP cards. She's always been to big into that kind of thing, I guess it finally just went to her head. I'll run a couple of those tests and that'll convince her...

ANDREA [charging up to the goal] : YAAH! [slams the ball as hard as possible at Daria]

Daria looks up just as the ball is about to hit her square in the face. The ball stops short, and everything around freezes. Daria's heart can be heard pounding.

DARIA : [thinking] OH, SHIT! This must be one of those moments you here about, where time just sort of seems to go slow just before something terrible happens. I'm gonna be standing here like this and and have to suffer every microsecond of this impact like a spectator. [out loud] wait a minute, this makes no sense. [steps out of the way of the ball] I don't believe it. It really did stop. [looks around at the immobile students, teachers, birds, etc.] What happened?

Suddenly, time returns to normal, and the ball swings into (and through) the netting the goal. A whistle blows somewhere.

DARIA : How... [swaying dizzily]

FEMALE COACH : High stick penalty! Andrea, go to the sidelines. You could have serious hurt Dana over there!

ANDREA : [flipping the bird] Fuck you, bitch!

COACH : ANDREA! GO TO THE PRINCIPAL RIGHT NOW!!!! OK, let's have that... Oh, no!

Everyone looks toward the goal. Daria is lying on the ground.

Scene 5, Daria's room. Daria is lying in bed, with a wet towel draped undecorously over her forehead. Jane is sitting on a corner of the bed, half-facing Daria.

DARIA : And the next thing I know, I'm lying on the cot in the nurse's office. They said they couldn't find anything wrong with me, and the ball definitely didn't hit me anywhere, but my mom insists I stay in bed.

JANE : Well, I don't feel so bad about things now.

DARIA : Misery loves company, I guess.

JANE : Yeah. So what now?

DARIA : There's obviously something really going on. The only thing now is to try and figure out just what we can do.

JANE : You're serious. What do you have in mind?

DARIA : [reaches over and picks a coin up off her table] Have you ever read Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead?

Scene 6, Daria's room, much later.

DARIA : I don't believe it. That's seventy heads in a row.

JANE : [tossing coin] There's no way it could just happen like that. [flipping coin]Tails?

DARIA : Whew. I was getting scared there. I guess its just chance after all.

JANE : Daria, that's a crock. Just because I get tails once doesn't mean that the rest wasn't something unusual.

DARIA : It doesn't mean it was, either. There's always a chance of a run like that, its just really unlikely.

JANE : I don't buy it. [frown] You just said you didn't believe it. Were you serious?

DARIA : Of course. You don't think that had something to do with it?

JANE : Why not?

DARIA : Because its a copout. You end up sounding like every other fake psychic around.

JANE : You think this is fake?

DARIA : No, but...I mean, there has to be an explanation.

JANE : Don't back down on this, Daria. You said yourself you couldn't explain about the ball today.

DARIA : I know, but...its all so wierd and all, so unexpected. I feel like I should be on Sick Sad World for this.

JANE : So do [terrified look on her face]...Oh, no....

DARIA : What is it?

JANE : (standing up) GO AWAY! LEAVE ME ALONE!

DARIA : What the hell are you...

JANE : (hands over her ears) I DIDN'T KILLYOUJUSTLEAVEMEALONE! [continues on like this for several seconds]

DARIA : Jane! Snap out of it!

JANE : Can't you hear him? He keeps yelling...

DARIA : Oh, shit...

JANE : GOAWAYGOAWAYGOAWAY...Oh hell...[sitting down, shaking visibly] Oh god...

DARIA : What the hell was that?

JANE : Didn't you see him? It was Tommy. He's still...he still blames me... he says that I somehow made the goalpost fall on him.

DARIA : I didn't see or hear anything.

JANE : [crying] Oh, shit.

DARIA : Calm down, OK? I guess it works differently for me, that's all. Listen, why don't you sit there, and I'll try the coin test, OK? All you have to do is count for me.

JANE : Sure...I... [slightly calmer] OK.

Daria picks up the coin and flips it. Her expression shows hard concentration. The coin begins to fall...and doesn't.

Both stare at the coin for a long, long time...