"THE FORTH FRANK"

by
Steve Remen


It's morning at the Franks’ household, and we find the Franks playing a game of some sort. They are bored and try to figure out what they would rather do instead of playing the game. Just then, the doorbell rings, and they hear Big Frank answer the door o/s. The Franks walk into the living room to investigate and discover that Big Frank's twin brother, Uncle Frank, has dropped by for a visit. But, Uncle Frank is not alone- he's with his daughter, the Franks’ cousin, Claudia.

char_tim_franks

Claudia is one year older than the Franks and is a bit more mature. Although the Franks have met Uncle Frank before, this is the first time that they've met Claudia. Big Frank introduces the boys to Claudia. Claudia is unimpressed with the Franks. As Big Frank and Uncle Frank discuss old times, the Franks’ take Claudia outside to play and show her around.

The Franks decide to show Claudia around the woods, close to their house, that the Franks like to play in. They show her: a big felled tree, a small stream with sucker fish in it, a grotto, and a mud pit. As they show her each of these glorious locations, they tell her some of the games they like to play in each of them. Claudia thinks that the games are silly and that the Franks are immature. She questions the boys about their names being the same and teases them about it.

The Franks think that Claudia might like it at the school playground and decide to take her there. Once at the playground, they run into Timothy and Claude. The Franks introduce Claudia to Timothy. Before they can introduce her to Claude, she interrupts, teasing the Franks, and says, "Don't tell me... this is Timothy's brother - Timothy?"

char_tim_timchar_tim_claude

"Hardly," scoffs Claude, as he walks away. Claudia is a bit smitten with Claude.

A short time later, the Franks are playing ball with Timothy, when they realize that Claudia is not with them. Timothy points out that she is with Claude. Claudia invites Claude over to the Franks house to play, "the Franks are boring." Claude agrees to visit later. The Franks interrupt and leave, to return home, with Claudia.

Later that day, back at the Franks house, Claudia and the Franks are finishing their lunch. The boys ask her if she wants to play a game, and she declines, "No thanks, I'm having a guest over."

The Franks are surprised, "huh?"

Right then, the doorbell rings and Claudia exits to answer the door, "Ah, my guest." The Franks follow her to the living room to see that she is standing at the front door with Claude. They are surprised, and then ask if they can tag along. "Sorry- one Frank is company, two Franks are a crowd." Claudia and Claude leave.

As Claudia and Claude walk and talk they relate well to each other. They discuss similar interests. Reading, etc.

The Franks walk to the living room, where Big Frank is reading the newspaper, and asks him, "Why are we both named Frank?" Uncle Frank enters with some snacks and, together with Big Frank, they explain that Frank is named after the Franks’ Grandfather, Frank, and that Frank is named after their other Grandfather... Frank.

Back to Claudia and Claude at the edge of the woods. Claudia suggests to Claude that she will go hide and that he should try to find her. Claude agrees, and starts to count up against a tree. Claudia runs into the woods and runs across the grotto and hides in it. As Claude is counting, he glances at his watch and realizes that he has to run home to get ready to go out to his Grandmother's for a visit. He stops counting and calls out to Claudia that he has to leave. He assumes that she heard him, as she couldn't have gone far, and leaves. In the grotto, Claudia hides, but she can barely hear Claude and just assumes that he's shouting, "ready or not, here I come." So she waits.

Time passes and she continues to wait. She realizes that Claude isn't coming, and leaves the grotto. It's getting dark and she is having trouble finding her way out of the woods. She realizes that she's lost. She remembers that in school she was taught that if you are lost in the woods, you should stay in one place so someone can find you. So she finds a spot where she is visible, and waits.

Back at the Franks’ house - Sunset. Uncle Frank asks the Franks where Claudia is. They explain that she went out with Claude. Right then Big Frank sees Claude walking down the street with Claude's father. All the Franks exit the house to greet Claude and ask him where Claudia is. Claude explains the situation. Uncle Frank becomes very worried. Claude's father scolds Claude for not making sure that Claudia heard him. They all split up and search the woods for Claudia.

The Franks remain behind to come up with a plan. They have an exchange:

Frank #1
I know! We will be like bloodhounds and smell for her!

Frank #2
(sniff sniff) I can only smell you.

Frank#1
Then I will smell for Claudia to find her, and you will smell for me so you don't lose me!


And so, off the Franks go, single file with their noses out in front, into the woods, sniffing.

Now it's getting really dark and Claudia is starting to get scarred that she won't be found. She starts to cry. Just then, the Franks walk right past her, sniffing all the way. Claudia sees them and shouts to them with more joy than you can shake a stick at. She runs up to them and gives the Franks a big hug. She makes peace with the boys (but they are such sweethearts that they don't even know what there is to forgive), "...and I'm sorry about making fun of your names." Right then the Boys decide to make Claudia and honorary 'Frank.' She happily accepts this great gift.

We hear Big Frank and Uncle Frank calling in the distance and the Franks and Claudia call back. Uncle Frank sees that Claudia is all right and gives her a big hug. Wide on the scene as Big frank and Claude, and his father, walk up to the group. Truck Out, and Fade to Black.

THE END

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