Hole
“Alix’s Reply”
New York, NY
Rainy
S01 E02

A spinning helicopter seed miraculously drifts in through the tiny gap at the top of Alix’s cracked window and lands on their forehead, but that’s not what wakes them. Their phone is buzzing with notifications. Alix sits up in bed, ignoring the helicopter seed, and checks their phone. There’s a missed call from Hana and some questions from Pilot.

What’s your favorite sound to fall asleep to?
  • Fan
  • Static
  • Crickets
  • Rain
  • Ocean
  • A ticking clock
  • Silence
Do you draw comfort from leaving the lights on around your house at night?
  • For sure
  • Nope

Rain is coming down in sheets outside. Alix had forgotten to close the window, and now there’s a good puddle or two on the floor below the sill. Alix’s tea is cold and the sun is gone. A record, having reached the end of its final track, spins aimlessly in the other room, filling the house with a rhythmic crackle.

Do you believe in ghosts?
  • I do
  • I don’t

“Alix,” a desperate voice shouts from outside.

Alix pushes the window open, letting even more water into the apartment, and pops their head out. Hana’s standing in front of the apartment building, three stories below, their denim jacket raised above their head to shield them from the rain.

“Hey,” Alix mumbles, half asleep still.

“You never replied to my email,” Hana shouts.

“I’m still thinking about it.”

The patter of rain fills the silence.

Could you see yourself retiring in a busy city?
  • Sure
  • No way

“Can I come up?” Hana yells, as patiently as humanly possible.

Alix snaps out of their fog. “Sorry, yeah.” They fumble around the bed sheets, finally locating their house keys between the pillows.

“Catch.”

Alix drops the keys out the window. They fall with the rain, collecting droplets as they cut through the air. Hana catches them, the impact of the keys stinging the palm of their hand. Alix watches Hana scramble into the building and slams the window shut. Still discombobulated, they float through the apartment, which is sparsely furnished and littered with knick knacks they are unable to let go of. They land in the kitchen.

When something breaks…
  • Replace it
  • Fix it
Do spelling mistakes bother you?
  • Yes
  • I don’t mind

Alix puts the chipped enamel kettle back on the stove and plunks down on a stool, imagining Hana climbing each flight of stairs before entering the door. Lost in thought, their eyes wander over the faux-stainless surface of the fridge. Letter magnets, spelling nothing at all, pin up a tiramisu recipe, a picture of Hana from 1998, a sunbleached postcard depicting the Los Angeles skyline that they bought for themselves long ago, and a junk mail advertisement featuring a dog cuddling with a cat. The ad says something about unlikely friendships. Hana is taking their time. Alix goes back to their phone.

Do you like travelling alone?
  • Yes
  • No
  • Sometimes
For the most part, what keeps you from traveling as much as you’d like?
  • Money
  • Time
  • Relationships
  • Anxiety
  • Laziness
  • Something else
Do sudden changes in plans stress you out?
  • No
  • Yes

Alix hears the keys turning in the door and it swings open. It’s Hana.

“Yes,” Alix says before Hana can close the door.

“Yes, what?”

“I’ll go.”

“Really?”

Alix smiles and shrugs. Hana struts towards them, soaked from head to toe, reaches for Alix’s hair and runs two fingers through it. Alix closes their eyes. When they open them again, they see Hana holding a helicopter seed inches away from their face. Alix squints at it, confused.

“It was in your hair,” Hana explains.

Hole
“Aesop and Frank”
Santa Teresa, California
Sunny
S01 E03

“Why’d you bring these?” Alix asks, holding up a crayon.

“Just as a reference,” Hana responds, in full seriousness.

It had only taken a few hours for Alix and Hana to make the Airbnb their own. At first, Hana had made an attempt to neatly store their belongings in the cabinets, but after Alix’s arrival everyone’s stuff ended up all over the place. Most of it is spilled across the bed, along with Alix and Hana.

“Why’d you bring so many crystals?” Hana asks, eying six or seven colorful stones lined up on the windowsill.

“They’re for protecting us from the spirits.”

Hana pauses to process this information.

“You know,” Alix continues, now fully in Hana’s spotlight, “like the spirits that could potentially be locked on this property. C’mon. You can’t tell me you know for sure what is and isn’t lurking underneath all this.”

Hana finally responds, “Soil, dirt, probably some rocks. Worms.”

“Hey, I’m just looking out for both of us…” Alix says, unearthing a massive citrine and pyrite crystal from their luggage.

Hana’s eyes widen. “They let you fly with that?”

“Yeah. Spiritual safety is important business.”

Hana reaches into Alix’s pile of stuff and pulls out a bag of marshmallows and a flimsy volume of scary stories written for children, featuring grotesque black and white illustrations of decaying horses and an emaciated woman with spiders crawling out of a hole in her cheek. You know what we’re talking about.

A packet of hot sauce falls out from between the book’s pages. They both stare at the hot sauce packet, now lying suspiciously still on the bed sheets in front of them.

“Was that a bookmark?” Hana asks.

“That’s just some hot sauce.”

Hana laughs.

Alix sighs, picking up the hot sauce packet and fishing a bottle of damascan rose facial serum out of Hana’s toiletry case. Holding one in each hand, Alix puppets the hot sauce packet and serum bottle, giving each a toy soldier-like swagger.

Hana opens their mouth to say something clever, but Alix interrupts in a lower voice than usual, pretending to be the hot sauce packet.

“Oh. Hey, Aesop.”

Alix switches to another voice, goofier and airier, meant to come from the facial serum bottle.

“Hey, Frank. What’s up?”

“Just wondering what’s over that mountain,” Frank says, motioning towards a nearby pillow.

“Are you asking me on a hike?” Aesop asks.

Alix looks up from the puppets, making eye contact with Hana.

“Why’d you stop?” Hana asks.

“You’re the screenwriter,” Alix says. “Help me out.”

Hana takes a deep breath.

“Okay,” they start. “So, it’s definitely not a hike.”

“Oh yeah?” Alix asks, getting excited.

“They’re stranded in a desert. They have been for days. And that’s not a mountain. It’s a sand dune. Maybe the last sand dune they’ll ever cross, if they even make it that far.”

Alix turns serious and walks the hot sauce packet and serum bottle closer to the pillow/sand dune.

“Aesop sees a well at the top of the sand dune,” Hana continues.

“C’mon,” Alix makes Aesop say. “I think I can see a well up there. We just have to go a little further.”

“Okay,” Alix says in Frank’s voice.

Alix walks Frank and Aesop to the top of the pillow, and then looks to Hana for the next plot point. Hana closes their eyes.

“It was a mirage, wasn’t it?” Alix asks. “Yeah,” Hana confirms, sadly.

Alix looks down at Frank and Aesop, letting Hana’s sadness wash over them.

“Wait, no, it can’t be a mirage,” Hana blurts, anticipating Alix’s disappointment. “One of them would’ve known it wasn’t there already. They wouldn’t have — ”

“No,” Alix cuts Hana off. “Frank knew it wasn’t there. They just went along with Aesop because they love them.”

“Oh. Well… I guess this is where it ends.” Hana says. “For Aesop at least. Frank the hot sauce packet can survive the heat, obviously. They’ve been hot all their life. But the facial serum was never tested in such extreme environmental conditions.”

They’re both quiet.

“Sorry,” Hana concludes.

Alix thinks for a second.

“I know what to do,” they say in Frank’s voice.

Alix tears open the bag of marshmallows and spills them onto the bed. They move the hot sauce packet towards the pile of marshmallows. Frank picks up the marshmallows, one by one, and begins to stack them in a circle. Hana watches in silence, masking their excitement.

After a couple minutes of watching the hot sauce packet stack marshmallows, Hana realizes what Frank is building: an igloo, just big enough for one 0.9 ounce facial serum bottle.

Frank finishes stacking the marshmallows, turns to Aesop, and says,

“Okay. Go cool off before it melts. I’ll look for water.”

Alix and Hana are quiet, digesting the happy ending.

“Wow,” Hana smiles.

Alix’s face lights up. “You’re so romantic that you forgot that when ice melts it turns into water.”

“Oh yeah,” Alix laughs. “Oh well.”

They’re both quiet again, and calm, gazing at each other. Hana’s eyes start to wander around the room.

“Look,” Hana gasps, pointing to the window. “You can see the sheep from here.”

Alix saw the sheep earlier. Their eyes are still locked on Hana.

“Cute, right?”

“Yeah.”

Hole
“There Will Be Sheep”
New York, NY
Humid
S01 E01