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The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners

 
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The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners - 13/7/2007 5:22:35 PM   
Maria Noir


Posts: 2803
Joined: 1/6/2006
From: Café 5 to 2: Just follow Cheryl down Bachman Road.
Month 10 (Final) - Winner: Cillitbang  Prop: A pebble
 
 
Only Twice
 
EXT. DRIVE –DAY
A tiny, battered white car pulls into a long driveway, leafy trees on both sides and a huge, white mansion at the end. The car trundles to the end of the drive and stops next to the mansion. After a moment, the motor cuts out, and the driver's door opens. Out steps CLARA, who takes in the huge white façade of the building she stands in front of.
 
MS: The front door opens and an aging beauty steps out: Daisy Emmett, now much older than her prime, wearing white linen with short, white hair cut into a bob. She is smiling slightly. She shuts the front door, making a loud noise.
 
CU: Clara snaps out of her reverie and looks at Daisy like a deer caught in headlights.
Daisy speaks quietly, with a tinge of Texas.
 
DAISY
You must be the reporter girl.
 
INT. LOUNGE –DAY
A wide, near-empty, white, bright room. A set of French windows adorn the far side, and through them we can see a leafy garden, big but filled with plants of many different colours. Next to the windows, on a white wicker armchair, sits Clara, and on a white wicker sofa with blue cushions sits Daisy, perusing Clara with deep blue eyes. Clara has a notepad and pen in hand, and is writing.
 
CLARA
Daisy Emmett, film star.
 
DAISY
Faded film star.
 
Clara smiles, then continues.
 
CLARA
So…you married Philip Harmer, the film producer, and had a child, James Harmer, the child star?
 
Daisy nods.
 
CLARA
Oh-kay…
 
She flips over a page in her notebook.
 
CLARA (cont'd)
Facts straight…
 
She continues flipping, then finds the right page and looks up at Daisy.
 
CLARA (cont'd)
Let's get to the real heart of the story.
 
Daisy smiles, then gestures for Clara to begin.
 
CLARA (cont'd)
Who would you say is the person who's had the biggest effect on your life?
 
Daisy closes her eyes. Clara waits for a moment, then speaks, quietly, concerned.
 
CLARA
Your husband?
 
Daisy's eyes remain closed.
 
CLARA
Your son?
 
Daisy's eyes are still closed. Then, a memory.
 
EXT. BRIDGE –NIGHT
Total black. A face with a prominent, American Hero jaw, thin cheeks and a crewcut steps forward out of this darkness, into light and into torrential water pouring on him from above, like rain. He speaks clearly and loudly, although he doesn't shout, and he has a Texas accent.
 
AL
You better come out of that rain.
 
Cut to:
INT. LOUNGE –DAY
The white lounge. Daisy opens her eyes. Clara is intrigued.
 
DAISY
I only met him twice. His name was Al.
 
EXT. BEACH –DAY
It is a bright sunny day, somewhere on the east coast of America. A group of adults sit on rugs on a beach, talking and laughing. Around them, children play- catch, Frisbee, sand castles. A man stands on the outskirts of the adults with a barbecue, cracking jokes with another man. The camera pulls slowly out and comes to rest just behind a dune, on which a teenage girl is sitting. She is Daisy, aged 14.
 
DAISY
Trust my parents.
 
CU: Her hand dips into the hot sand, and she brings it out again, letting the sand run through her fingers.
 
DAISY
Bring me to the middle of nowhere to a place where there aren't even any kids my age.
 
CU: Her hand dips into the hot sand, and she brings it out again, letting the sand run through her fingers.
A voice sounds from behind her.
 
AL (O/S)
Hey.
 
Daisy turns around.
Silhouetted against the burning sun, standing high above her, is a 14-year-old AL. Daisy holds her hand up against the sun and looks up at him.
 
DAISY
I thought there were no other teenagers here.
 
AL
Didn't we all.
 
He sits right of her, looking towards the adults. She looks at him, and he seems oblivious to her stare. He then turns to her.
 
AL
I'm Al.
 
He offers his hand to her.
 
AL (cont'd)
Hi.
 
She smiles at him for a moment, evaluating his presence, then reaches out her hand and shakes his.
 
EXT. BEACH –TWILIGHT
The two teenagers sit side by side, the sun setting in front of them.
 
DAISY
It's not like I have any friends.
 
Al looks at her, expressionless, listening.
 
DAISY
It's not like anyone likes me.
 
AL
Maybe you don't like yourself.
 
Daisy is silent. She bows her head and fiddles with the sand. Al looks towards the sunset, then back at her.
 
AL
I like you.
 
DAISY
Really?
 
AL
Yuh-huh.
 
He begins to get up. Daisy twists her neck to follow him.
 
DAISY
Where're you goin'?
 
AL
Home.
 
He looks towards the sunset, then back at her.
 
AL
Here.
 
He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a tiny pebble, black and smooth. He hands it to her.
 
AL (cont'd)
Remember- I like you, and you should like you too.
 
Daisy rolls it around in her hand, feeling how smooth it is. She looks at it, mesmerized, then up at Al.
 
DAISY
Thank you.
 
Al looks at her, then turns and walks away, towards land.
 
Cut to:
INT. LOUNGE –DAY
We are back in the white lounge. Clara is spellbound. Daisy is still on the sofa.
 
DAISY
I walked along that beach 'til night came and we had to go home.
 
She looks away into the middle distance, fingering her necklace. She looks back at Clara.
 
DAISY
But I didn't see him again, not 'till years later. When I made my big debut-
 
CLARA
"Black Tiara"?
 
Daisy nods.
 
CLARA
You were brilliant.
 
Daisy smiles.
 
DAISY
Well, that's what everyone said at the time- still do- but it got to my head.
 
She bows her head like a 14-year-old on a sand dune.
 
DAISY
Everyone wanted a piece of me. It was too much.
 
Clara is engrossed.
 
DAISY
Before I knew it I was standing on the edge of a bridge in California.
 
EXT. BRIDGE –NIGHT
A bridge in California stretches over a deep ravine. It is raining, the kind of rain that drenches through and through, and a 20-year-old Daisy Emmett is crying, leaning against the side of the bridge.
 
Slowly, sobbing, she brings one foot up on the wall, then another. She balances precariously on the thin barrier.
A familiar but older voice comes from a man in shadows further down the bridge.
 
VOICE (O/S)
You better come out of that rain.
 
Daisy doesn't turn around.
 
DAISY
Don't tell me what to do!
 
She is almost screaming, not just to the voice but to the world. The voice remains calm.
 
VOICE (O/S)
Come down, Daisy.
 
DAISY
You know my name, but you don't know me! No-one knows me! You all just think I'm a pretty face!
 
She takes a deep breath. She is exhausted, on the edge of giving up everything.
 
DAISY (cont'd)
But I'm not!
 
She is reduced to a whisper.
 
DAISY (cont'd)
There's so much I could do!
 
The rain is not letting up.
 
VOICE (O/S)
Then why don't you?
 
She recognises something in the voice, finally, and turns her head. A slightly older Al steps forward, out of the shadows, and stands with outstretched arms. Daisy cannot believe what she is seeing. The shock and her exhaustion are too much, and she faints. She falls silently off the bridge. Rushing wind, lashing rain and, for a moment, beating wings, can be heard.
 
Cut to:
 
INT. LOUNGE –DAY
 
Clara watches Daisy, utterly involved with the story.
 
DAISY
The last thing I saw was his face. When I woke up, I was in a hospital bed. Al had brought me in, explained who I was and then left. I never heard from him again.
 
She wakes from her memories and talks lightly.
 
DAISY (cont'd)
And then, of course, I met Philip, we had James, and Philip passed away last-
 
She stops herself.
 
DAISY (cont'd)
But, of course, you know this, don't you?
 
Clara nods slowly, thinking.
 
CLARA
But I, ah-
 
She thinks for a moment.
 
CLARA (cont'd)
I didn't know about the suicide attempt.
 
DAISY
Well, it was never reported. Lots of people knew I had problems, but I only ever told Philip about that night.
 
CLARA
But- why tell me?
 
Daisy thinks for a moment, then shrugs.
 
DAISY
I had to get it off my chest, I guess.
 
EXT. HOUSE –DAY
Daisy is at the door with Clara.
 
DAISY
Good luck with the article!
 
CLARA
Thanks. And thank you for being such a good interviewee.
 
Daisy makes a sweeping gesture at herself.
 
DAISY
Practice.
 
INT. HALL –DAY
Daisy waves out of the open door.
 
DAISY
Bye!
 
She stops waving, and shuts the door. We hear a car engine start, then drive away.
 
INT. LOUNGE –NIGHT
The white lounge, later. Daisy lies asleep on the sofa. The room is dark, but not pitch black- moonlight dapples on Daisy and the room, coming in through the French windows. All is quiet but the crickets. Daisy awakes with a start. She looks around herself, then tries to push herself up off the sofa. Suddenly, her left arm collapses and she rolls off the sofa, landing on the floor. She tries to move, but cannot. Her left arm spasms and she sobs in confusion.
 
DAISY
Help!
 
She looks around, desperate.
 
DAISY
Somebody, help!
 
POV: Daisy. We see a light, like an afterimage on a retina but growing, pulsating and becoming brighter. Out of it comes a voice.
 
VOICE
Don't worry. It'll be alright.
 
Daisy looks up. Al stands above her, not aged at all since he was 20, wearing bright white clothes.
 
DAISY
Al? Is that you?
 
AL
The one and same. Let me help you.
 
He reaches out a hand. Daisy is feverish, hysterical.
 
DAISY
But Al; it hurts so much!
 
AL
I know. Just let it go now.
 
DAISY
It's like fiery knives in my side!
 
AL
It'll be better soon, I promise.
 
She hesitates, then reaches out with her right, and takes his hand. Suddenly, the spasms stop. Daisy's face no longer contorts in pain; her surprise is evident. Al helps her up, slowly and tearfully. They stand side by side, looking into the light, holding hands. Daisy looks behind her- her body lies on the floor, eyes open. Daisy looks back.
 
DAISY
What was that?
 
AL
Stroke.
 
Daisy looks back again, then to Al.
 
DAISY
So what does that make you?
 
Al smiles at her. Something clicks, and Daisy smiles back.
 
DAISY
Of course.
 
They hold each other's hands, and walk into the light. The light shrinks, the room becoming darker, until it is gone. Daisy's body lies sprawled on the floor. In her outstretched left hand is a pebble: tiny, black and smooth.


< Message edited by Maria Noir -- 17/5/2008 10:49:27 AM >


_____________________________

The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19 - Look Through The Looking Glass

"And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death."

"- Are we going to let politics get in the way of our friendship?
- Friendship? You told people I lured children into my Gingerbread House!
- Haha. Yeah. That was just a lie."
Post #: 1
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners Showcase - 3/9/2007 8:30:30 PM   
Maria Noir


Posts: 2803
Joined: 1/6/2006
From: Café 5 to 2: Just follow Cheryl down Bachman Road.
Month 11 - Winner: Igotnewlegs  Prop: A lighter
 
A JAR FULL OF PICKLED MURDER

EXT. NIGHTCLUB – NIGHT

SAM MARKHAM stands outside a dimly lit night club, rain cascading from his worn grey fedora. He finishes a cigarette, throws it to the floor and puts it out with the bottom of his tan leather shoes. He reaches into his long grey overcoat and pulls out a matchbook. Flipping it open we see the words, 'CC, Blue 44, 258344', in black, inked handwriting that begins to run as the rain strikes it. Sam flips the matchbook shut and puts it back in his coat. He looks up and spies the name of the nightclub in dim, flickering lights above the door; BLUE 44.

INT. NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT

Inside the club it's also dimly lit. Now carrying his fedora, Sam approaches a WAITRESS and grabs her arm. The waitress doesn't look impressed.


WAITRESS
Hey!

SAM
Can it sister. I'm looking for CeeCee.

The Waitress wrestles her arm away and points to a table where a man and a woman sit.

WAITRESS
She's over there, jerk.

The man at the table is over-weight but wears a sharp-looking suit. He holds the woman's perfectly manicured hand with both of his hands. Sam begins to walk over.

SAM (V.O.)
There she was - the mysterious Candy Clay, A.K.A. CeeCee. Golden blonde hair flowing down to her shoulders and a body that'd make a man want to travel the world for the rest of his life studying every religion there is so that when he got on his knees to thank God for making her, he was damn sure he was thankin the right one.

Sam nears the table but neither the Man nor Candy acknowledges him.

SAM
Candy Clay? I need to speak to you. In private

MAN
Get lost Pal, she's with me.

SAM
Beat it Goodyear. Go buy yourself a double bacon cheeseburger before I call your wife and tell her that business trip you're on involves you, a broad, a seedy hotel room and, I'm guessing, several cans of whipped cream and a tub of Ben & Jerry's.

The man grudgingly gets up from his seat now holding one hand over the other to conceal the wedding ring Sam had obviously spotted. He scurries away without saying a word. Candy looks unperturbed by the situation.

CANDY
To what do I owe the pleasure, Detective…?

SAM
Cut the jazz doll-face, you know who I am.

CANDY
Sure, I've seen you around, asking questions.

SAM
Then you know why I'm here.

CANDY
To ask me questions?

SAM
Leave the detective work to me sweet cheeks.

Without asking Sam takes a seat opposite Candy.

SAM (Cont'd)
Let's can the small talk and get right to the point. What do you know about the strangulation of Robert Tavoni?

CANDY
Ain't never heard of him.

SAM
That so? What about this then?

SAM reaches into his coat and pulls out the matchbook. Coolly, he throws it in front of Candy. She leans forward and picks it up. Upon opening it we see all the ink has now run leaving the words that were there completely illegible. Candy looks back at Sam and says dryly:

CANDY
It's a book of matches.

Sam looks over and sees that the ink has run. He tries to act cool

SAM
Of course they are, and -- your fingerprints were found all over them. It was found on his body.

SAM (V.O.)
I had to improvise. I hope she couldn't tell it was a straight up lie.

CANDY
Wait. You mean Bobby Two Shoes. Bobby 'Two Shoes' Tavoni. Sure I knew him.

SAM (V.O.)
Thank Christ for that.

SAM
Bobby a regular in this joint? What he do to upset you so bad?

CANDY
Listen Detective. Bobby was an asshole – he treated this place like it was his own personal playground. Used to get real friendly with the dames around here without giving anything back, if you get my meaning.

Candy lets this sink in with Sam.

CANDY (Cont'd)
I tell ya, he woulda been banned 50 times over if it weren't for the amount of C's he'd put behind the bar. It didn't help he was friends with Tony Frascetti, the owner of this hole neither.

SAM
So, he tried to get friendly with you too and for once you turned a guy away.

CANDY
Cute, detective.

Candy lifts her glass and takes a drink.

CANDY (Cont'd)
In fact we did sleep together –- once. But let's just say that he didn't like to hear the no word. He could get a little rough after a half dozen martinis.

SAM
So the motive's there…

CANDY
Sure it is but I didn't do it, haven't got it in me. But boy whoever did strangle that filthy rat bastard did the whole world a favour.

Sam sits back and smiles.

SAM
Sweetheart, you've just made your first mistake. I never said he was strangled.

A beat

CANDY
Yes you did.

SAM
No I did not.

CANDY
You did a couple of seconds ago. You said, and I quote, 'What do you know about the strangulation of Robert Tavoni?'

SAM (V.O)
I was pretty sure I didn't say that but time wasn't my best buddy right now. I had to move on, quickly.

He pulls out a notepad and flips it open.

SAM
Listen pumpkin, I've got a whole host of partygoers that swear they saw you fleeing down Chandler Street away from the scene of the crime. I got prints that put you at the murder scene and I got one helluva motive. You cooperate now and the judge may go easy on ya.

He flips the notepad closed and places it back into his coat.

SAM (V.O.)
I hadn't actually got any of that. I made it all up to see what her next play would be.

CANDY
I thought he was murdered on his private yacht five miles out to sea?

Sam shifts uncomfortably.

SAM (V.O.)
Maybe I should have put more thought into that last bluff.

CANDY
Yeah, maybe you shoulda. Detective.

SAM (V.O.)
Crap! Had I just said that aloud? I'd only been a Private Detective for a week now and was really struggling with this whole inner monologue thing. I needed to relax.

SAM
You mind if I light up?

CANDY
Well, actually…

Sam reaches into his pocket and pulls out a cigarette box. He flips open the packet and takes out a lighter. He then flicks the bottom of the pack attempting to force a cigarette to pop up. It doesn't work. He tries again to no avail and then a third time. This time three cigarettes shoot out and fall to the floor. Not taking his eyes off Candy he leans over and picks them up. He places two back in the pack, the other in his mouth, which he lights.

CANDY
You know that's illegal now right, to smoke in an enclosed public place?

Sam coughs on the smoke, almost choking and quickly puts out the cigarette on the table due to the absence of an ash tray. He takes a second to regain his composure.

SAM
Okay then sugar plum fairy, you got me. Whoever killed Tavoni knew what they were doing alright. I got nothing – no prints, no means of escape from the boat, no witnesses. All I got is one surprised looking dead fat guy and a smell so bad they could bottle it up and use it as a method of torture.

CANDY
Then I guess we're through here Detective?

Reluctantly, Sam stands up.

SAM
Sorry to have wasted your time Ms Clay. I'll be on my way.

He takes out the notepad again and writes something on it. He rips out the page and gives it to Candy.

SAM
Here's my number, in case you think of anything that might help.

Candy takes the note and without looking at it puts it on her lap. Sam begins to turn away when;

CANDY
It's missus.

SAM
Excuse me?

CANDY
It's Mrs Clay, not Ms Clay

SAM
You're hitched? What would your old man say about your extra curricular activities?

CANDY
Probably nothing, on account of him being dead.

Sam sits back down, intrigued.

SAM
Yeah? How'd he go? If you don't mind me asking.

CANDY
Murdered. Someone broke into our apartment and shanghaied my entire stash of ice. Charley must have wondered in and disturbed 'em.

She takes a long drink from her glass.

CANDY (Cont'd)
Next day I come home and find him spread-eagled on the floor with a slug in his uncle Ned. That was two years ago now but I still miss him like hell. Every-God-damn-day.

SAM
Don't suppose you did it did you?

Candy throws Sam a stern look.

SAM (Cont'd)
No?

CANDY
They never caught the bastard. For a two-bit cat-burglar he wasn't half careful covering his tracks.

A beat

CANDY (Cont'd)
There was one thing though.

SAM
Yeah?

CANDY
A crane -- An origami crane. It was lying on Charley when I found him

SAM
My God…

CANDY
What is it?

SAM
How did a crane get into your house and why was it lying on the stiff? Sorry, your dead husband.

Candy looks quizzically at Sam

CANDY
An origami crane.

SAM
Is the breed important?

CANDY
Origami –- the art of Japanese paper folding. It was a paper crane.

SAM
Oh…

CANDY
The thing is Charley had a morbid fear of paper. He couldn't touch the stuff. Weird, I know.

Suddenly Sam stops in his tracks and remembers something.

INT. YACHT – NIGHT - FLASHBACK

Its dark and we see a man waving a flashlight around the inside of a yacht. Suddenly the light begins to flicker.

SAM (V.O.)
How could I be so stupid? How could I have forgotten that? It seemed like nothing at the time.

The light goes out and the yacht is now in complete darkness. All of a sudden we hear the sound of metal against metal as the man sparks up a Zippo lighter. The light reveals its Sam. Holding on to a table he bends down to examine the floor. A white outline of a man takes up a huge amount of space. A bad smell still lingers, which forces Sam to get back up a little too quickly and bang his head on the table.

SAM
Damn it!

He rubs his head and looks at the offending table but something beyond that catches his eye on top of some cupboards. He walks over to them and reaches up to bring it down. He holds it up to the flame to reveal it's an origami crane. To get a better look he puts the lighter closer to the object. The crane bursts into flames. He frantically waves it about trying to put out the flame and runs out to the deck.

EXT. YACHT - NIGHT

Manically looking for a way to put it out he runs to the back of the yacht but trips and falls, crashing into the ocean. He surfaces and looks sheepishly back at the boat.

SAM (V.O.)
I really should stop doing my investigations at night.

INT. NIGHTCLUB – NIGHT - PRESENT

SAM
There was an oregano crane on that yacht too. I didn't think anything of it at the time -- which is why it was left out of the police report.

CANDY
You don't think whoever killed Bobby also killed Charley?

SAM
I sure as hell do now sweet… potato. But what in God's name is the connection?

Sam puts his hand to his chin and thinks. Then something comes to him. He clicks his fingers.

SAM (Cont'd)
My God. CC! Charley Clay! It wasn't your name on that matchbook –- it was your husband's -- your now defunct husband's! But what did he have to do with this club apart from a wife who whores herself out in it? No offence.

CANDY
Tony.

SAM
What?

CANDY
My husband used to own this joint but when he bought a one way ticket to deadsville he left it all to Tony. I wasn't exactly ecstatic about that I can tell ya. Tony was also real friendly with Bobby 'Two Shoes'.

Sam leaps from his chair and puts his hat back on.

SAM
Then I need to have a little tête-à-tête with Mr Frascetti.

He starts to walk away from the table but stops and turns.

SAM (Cont'd)
You got my number toots. Call me sometime.

CANDY
Sure thing Detective. Sure thing.

Sam turns, smiles to himself and strides away towards the manager's office out of view of Candy.
Candy remains expressionless as she brings the note Sam left her from her lap to the table. However, we now see that the note has now been folded in such a way that it now resembles a crane. Candy screws it up, throws it behind her chair and smiles.
FADE TO BLACK.



_____________________________

The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19 - Look Through The Looking Glass

"And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death."

"- Are we going to let politics get in the way of our friendship?
- Friendship? You told people I lured children into my Gingerbread House!
- Haha. Yeah. That was just a lie."

(in reply to Maria Noir)
Post #: 2
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners Showcase - 27/11/2007 1:04:35 PM   
M


Posts: 1632
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Kilwinnkie
Month 12 - Winner: monkeyfish Prop: A balloon
 
  Lost Girl
 

SCENE ONE

Ext. Fairground. Night

A park in an average British town, which has been temporarily taken over by a busy, bustling travelling fair. It's tacky, gaudy and filled with people, young and old, devoting themselves to childish delight and the lethal cocktail of excessive sugar and rapid spiralling motion. All the senses are over stimulated. Bright neon lights in multiple colours flash on and off all around, rides swirl wildly, seeming barely in control as the sounds of people's shrieks of intermingled joy and fear rise above the dance remixes of pop hits blasting from heavily amplified speakers, the base turned up to bone shaking levels. Towering above the whole park, lit up against the dark backdrop of the night sky, a ferris wheel rotates at a pace somewhat more sedate than some of the surrounding rides.
A young girl aged about five or six stands in the centre of the crowd, a single static point amongst the ebbs and flows of people distractedly wandering, their attention on all the rare and trashy pleasures on offer, drifting without noticing those around them. The girl is dressed in a pink dress with blonde hair tied in plaits. In her hand she is holding a string at the top of which flutters a helium balloon in the shape of an elephant. She stares with a worried, lost expression on her face, looking around, slightly panicked. She speaks in a slightly absent, strangely distracted manner, as if not quite sure who she is addressing.

        GIRL
Help me please...

A man walks by close to the camera, blocking off the view of the girl for a few seconds. When he has passed, she has been swallowed by the crowd and is no longer visible. The man is about thirty, dressed in jeans and a leather jacket but has the look of someone who works in a highly paid white collar world. He views the chaos and excitement around him with a certain disdain as he walks through the crowd, watching people, rides and stalls. The camera now mostly follows him as he walks through the crowd, occasionally focusing instead toward things he watches as he walks by. The man's mobile phone rings, his ringtone (the X-Files theme tune, giving an obvious suggestion of how he spent his 90s youth) sounding out briefly against the cacophony of other sounds.

        MAN
[Answering phone] Hello....Yeah, I'm here...At the fair. Where are you?....Well it was your idea....

Standing beside one of the stalls, a man dressed as a clown is selling helium balloons. He is dressed in a jumpsuit covered in all manner of different clashing colours and oversized bright yellow shoes. His face his covered with white make up and his hair with a lurid green fluffy wig. A bright red smile is smeared around his mouth but his face below clearly doesn't reflect this mock up cheeriness, his real mouth instead locked in a sarcastic sneer. In his right hand, he holds a great mass of strings for helium balloons in the shape of cartoon animals.

        CLOWN
[To the man, as he passes, in a deadpan tone, whilst holding out his bunch of balloons] Balloon?

        MAN
[Trying to brush him off] No, thanks. [Back on the phone] So, do you want to arrange some place to meet?

        CLOWN
[Persisting, picking out a blue dolphin balloon and offering that] How about this one, only a pound.
        
        MAN
[Irritated] I already told you no. [Back on the phone] Sorry, I didn't get that.

        CLOWN
[Scowling. Picking out an elephant balloon] Or maybe you'd prefer this.

        MAN
[Turning angrily to the clown] Look, just piss off, mate, ok?! [Back on the phone, still adopting irritable tone] No, I wasn't talking to you....No, just some clown....No, I mean literally a clown, white face, stupid wig, creepy grin, the full works. [He has now walked beyond the clown but is distracted by something behind him once more] What now? I already told you three times...[Stops mid sentence as he sees the clown walking off in the opposite direction. Looks down to see his attention has been distracted by a young blonde girl, about five or six in a pink dress. She is holding the elephant balloon]

        GIRL
Help me please...

        MAN
[To girl] Sorry, I'm kind of in the middle of something here. [Turning to walk away as he replies to her. He gets back on the phone] Where were we?.....Yeah, somewhere to meet up....I don't know, the big wheel?

As he says this, the sound of gunfire breaks through the wall of other noise. He turns to see he is standing alongside a shooting range. A grizzled looking middle aged man has just hit the bullseye. The man running the stall looks grudgingly at him.

        STALL OWNER
[Indicating the rows of shelves behind him stacked with soft toy animals of all species, real and mythical]
You can take any prize from the middle two shelves.

        PRIZE WINNER
[Chewing it over in his mind] Alright then...I'll take that, erm, tiger there...

The stall owner turns and picks a large, round edged soft toy tiger off the shelf and hands it to the punter, it's about two feet long. He turns away quickly, and addresses another passerby, trying to make up for having to give away a prize by luring in more custom.

        STALL OWNER
How about you, sir? Hit the target three times and it's any prize from the bottom shelf here [indicating the tiny cheap toys]. Another three and you can have anything from this shelf.
The man turns away and returns to his phone conversation.

        MAN
[Raising his voice in a desire to be heard over the loud music playing in the background] No, the big wheel....You'll find it easy enough....[Becoming annoyed] Well, it's the big wheel shaped thing...

His attention is diverted once again as he looks across at a food stall selling candyfloss. A group of greasy looking teenagers are standing around beside it. One of them is holding a balloon in the shape of an elephant. He is ordering food while his friends stand around mocking him.

        TEENAGER
[To his friend with the balloon] Don't be gay. Get yourself some proper food.

        TEENAGER WITH BALLOON
It's just sugar.

        TEENAGER
[Sarcastic] Duh. I know. That's the point.

        TEENAGER WITH BALLOON
Come on. I already had four hotdogs and I'm not feeling too great.

        TEENAGER
Don't be so fucking lame.

        TEENAGER WITH BALLOON
Oh, for fuck's sake. [Turns to food seller] Alright then I'll have some candyfloss. The biggest one.

His friends seem to approve of this and laugh as he gets handed a stick covered in enough candyfloss to cover his head and he takes a comicly big bite out of it. The man now turns away from this scene and turns his attention back to the phone.

        MAN
[Back on the phone] I don't know, what time is it now?

As he says this, the boy with the balloon who had been eating the candyfloss rushes over, pushing him violently out of the way and throws up, vomiting all over the ground just beside the man's shoes. Disgusted, the man looks over at the kid's friends who are simply pointing and laughing at their unfortunate friend who has staggered off to be sick some more. Beside the group, looking lost and confused, stands the little blonde girl in the pink dress. Now, instead of her elephant balloon, she is holding a soft toy tiger. It's rather large for her and she is struggling to hold it. She looks out into the crowd and mouths something but whatever she says is lost in the noise which drowns everything out.

        MAN
[On the phone] What? Didn't get that at all....No, it's kind of hard to concentrate here...

He is now walking by where the ghost train is. A large facade, gaudily painted with all kinds of ghouls, ghosts and vampires hides the no doubt slightly disappointing experience behind. The words "The Helltrain" in flaming letters are painted across the middle of the picture. A doorway is cut into either side of the thin, wooden facade where the tiny train carriages pass through. A shabby looking man in an unironed suit, face covered in pale makeup is attempting to drum up interest in his old fashioned experience as punters continue to walk by, distracted by the flashing lights and nauseating twirls of the more exciting rides. Like his ride itself, his patter and showmanship belong to a bygone age which no longer captivates today's public.

        SALESMAN
Step right up! Step right up! For an experience in gruelling terror you will not soon forget! You will be chilled to the very core of your bones! Behind these doors, horrors await that will disturb and disgust! Afright and appall! Due to the truly petrifying abominations contained within, The Helltrain cannot take passengers under ten years old.

The sound of recorded screams and wails intended to create an appropriately unsettling atmosphere can be heard from behind the flat frontage. Amidst these sounds, one high pitched human scream of genuine fear briefly cries out, causing the man to turn and watch as the train comes out of the exit doors. It is mostly empty except for a bewildered and panicked young woman sitting in the place behind the young blonde girl in the pink dress, now reunited with her elephant balloon and with no soft toy tiger to be seen.

        MAN
[On the phone] Alright then. Let's say, outside the big wheel, at nine. That'll give you about ten minutes to get here...OK...OK...Yeah, you too. See you then.

He hangs up the phone. He has been wandering towards the ferris wheel. He glances over towards it. Next to him is an attraction that has managed to accumulate a queue of people. "The Sizzler" is a rapidly rotating ride in which cars move both round and round very fast but also up and down. This is the source of much of the screams of excitement, some more anxious than others. The man looks over and watches the hypnotic turning of the ride as he walks by. His attention is diverted by a helium balloon, an elephant shaped one, that someone on the ride has obviously lost control of, it flies up into the air above the ride, floating off into the distance above the ferris wheel.
As the man looks down, he is confronted with another balloon, exactly the same. Another grey cartoonish elephant. Holding onto the balloon is the little blonde girl in the pink dress. She looks up at him with a lost, confused expression.

        GIRL
Help me please...

The man, no longer distracted by his phone conversation, looks on her with more sympathy.

        MAN
Hello, I've seen you around a lot this evening. What's wrong?

        GIRL
I'm lost...

        MAN
You've lost you're parents? [Girl nods] Well, maybe I can help you find them. [She looks confused and holds out the balloon to him. He looks at it] You want me to take that? I guess maybe your parents will be on the look out for it. If I hold it then it'll be higher up. They might see it better.

Girl smiles and nods. She hands him the balloon. He takes it and looks pleased with himself for doing a good thing.

        MAN
I hope they spot it, there seem to be a lot of these balloons about tonight.

CUT TO

SCENE TWO

Ext. Fairground. Night

It is a few minutes later. Now the camera is following a young woman, about twenty five. She looks stressed and in a hurry. She keeps checking her watch as she pushes through the crowd towards the ferris wheel. As she gets there, she looks around but obviously doesn't see whatever or whoever she is looking for. She stands in front of the ferris wheel, scanning the crowd, tapping her foot impatiently, talking to herself.

        WOMAN
Come on, come on. We said nine, right? It's ten past now. Where are you? [She is fishing around in her handbag, searching for something] I'll give him a call.

She finds her mobile eventually and scans through the phonebook, finds the number she wants and rings it. A couple of seconds later another mobile phone rings out. The ringtone is familiar both to her and us, the X Files theme tune. Hearing it so suddenly and close up, the woman jumps in surprise and turns to look round. Standing behind her is a little girl in a pink dress, her blonde hair in plaits. She is holding a balloon in the shape of an elephant in one hand and the ringing phone in the other. She looks at the woman with a confused expression.

        GIRL
Help me please....I'm lost...


END


_____________________________

I like to watch.

(in reply to Maria Noir)
Post #: 3
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners Showcase - 17/3/2008 9:47:46 AM   
M


Posts: 1632
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Kilwinnkie
Month 13 - Winner: igotnewlegs Line: "You're my lucky star."

The Secret to Happiness

INT. OFFICE – EVENING

ANTHONY CAUL sits alone at a computer in an open plan office strewn with design material like rules, setsquares and pens. He's of average build, in his mid thirties and wears a white striped shirt with a tie hung loosely around his neck. He drinks a cup of coffee whilst tapping away one handed on the keyboard. He places the coffee down and uses the mouse to bring up his emails. As he brings each one up he deletes almost all of them straight away

ANTHONY
Dead relative in Africa. Mmm, Delete. Medication I need? Delete. A free degree. Delete. Erectile dysfunction? Erm, delete.

As he deletes the email the lights in the office all of a sudden get really bright and then cut out completely leaving the monitor as the only light source in the room. Anthony tries his best to look around and find the source of the outage.

ANTHONY
Shit!

He turns back to the monitor and sees another email with the heading: '[SPAM?] Customer service message'. In the preview pane we can see the message says, 'If God is omniscient, why did he create Satan knowing he would fall?'. In the dim glow of the monitor we see a slightly bemused look on his face as he clicks the delete button. As he does the hum of the computer stops and the monitor turns off leaving Anthony in complete darkness.

ANTHONY
Right. Fantastic.

Suddenly the cordless phone on his desk rings. He lets out a sigh. The glow of the phones display lights up Anthony's face as he answers.

ANTHONY
Walker and Matheson's.

He exhales exasperatedly as he hears the response.

ANTHONY
You know, now's not the best time. I'm quite happy with my current rate anyway so…

A beat

ANTHONY
No. Not interested one bit. How'd you people even get this number? It my damn work phone.

A beat.

ANTHONY
Please don't call this number again it's for business use only. Thanks.

He hangs up and lets out another sigh as he is once again bathed in complete darkness.

INT. CAR – EVENING

A car drives along a busy road past shops and houses. Anthony sits in the driver's seat staring straight ahead. His phone rings. He reaches to his dash board and picks up a blue tooth head set, which he attaches to his ear. He presses the phone and answers the call.

ANTHONY
Hi.

A beat

ANTHONY
No, I had to leave. Powercut or something. All the lights went off and the PC went down.

A beat

ANTHONY
I'll get it done. I'll work over the weekend. Not as if I had anything planned anyway.

A beat

ANTHONY
You know, I probably should spend more time with her, you're right. But, I gotta tell you, this thing is one of the best we've ever done. It's going to double their current sales.

A beat.

ANTHONY
No, I'm fine but thanks. Been a little stressed with trying to get this done by deadline but nothing I can't handle. You know me.

As he listens to the reply we suddenly hear a loud humming noise. Anthony reaches for his earpiece and grimaces in pain. His eyes dart back to the road as the noise continues and something catches his eye. It's a billboard lit up top and bottom by a row of lights. On the billboard are a woman and child in a bathroom . Both have a smile on their face as she helps the boy brush his teeth. It looks like it's advertising toothpaste but as the car drives by Anthony just makes out what's written below the bathroom scene. It reads 'If God is omniscient why did he create Satan knowing he would fall?'

The noise stops.

ANTHONY
Hello? Sorry. You hear me alright?

A beat

ANTHONY
I don't know. I got some feedback on the blue tooth or something. Might have to get it looked at.

A Beat

ANTHONY
OK. You too buddy. Speak to you later.

Anthony pulls off the earpiece, looks at it disapprovingly and throws it on to the passenger seat. He looks at his watch before reaching over to turn on the radio. The radio comes on at its loudest volume causing Anthony to jump and steer close to an oncoming car. All we can hear is incredibly loud static as Anthony fumbles for the volume buttons attached to the steering column. When it reaches a more audible volume the radio jumps to the nearest station to reveal a voice over. It sounds like the station is in its ad break.

ANTHONY
For Christ's sake!

The voice over on the radio continues.

RADIO VOICE 1
But I'm so stressed, what with deadlines at work. And boy, it certainly doesn't help I'm getting unwanted phone calls in my office from credit card companies. Why, its even got so bad I have to take my work home with me!

Anthony looks down at the radio and laughs.

RADIO VOICE 2
Does this sound like you?

ANTHONY
(laughs) Yeah, just a little bit.

RADIO VOICE 2
Are you a stressed out, workaholic man in his mid thirties sitting in his midrange sporty car on his way home to a wife he doesn't spend enough time with?

A confused look comes across Anthony's face as another voice continues.

RADIO VOICE 2 (Cont.)
Well, you need worry no more. New from Shwentzer, - Mountain Spring renew shampoo and conditioner! Discover the meaning of existence and escape from your turgid life with Mountain Spring 2 in 1. Proven to be enhance your happiness by at least 25%.

CHORUS OF FEMALE VOICES
(sings) Freshen up your life with Mountain Spring, Mountain Spring, Mountain Spring.

The radio returns to static. Anthony glances down at the radio looking slightly confused.

ANTHONY
And I thought some of mine were abstract.

He reaches down and hits the off button.

EXT. DRIVEWAY – EVENING

Anthony pulls up into his driveway and exits the car. He opens the boot and takes out his bag, which he hangs on his shoulder. As he closes the boot he sees his neighbour SIMON standing by a fence that divides their gardens, looking at him. Anthony walks over but as he approaches he hears a loud, low buzzing noise that seems to be coming from his neighbour's direction. He continues to walk over but has now got his hands against his ears. As he nears the noise stops and he takes his hands away from his head.

ANTHONY
Jesus Sy, you got some big, fuck-off vibrator over there?

Simon doesn't reply. Instead he stands there drinking from a bottle.

ANTHONY
How you doing anyway?

SIMON
Have you tried this Tony (referring to the bottle)?

ANTHONY
Er, don't know, why?

SIMON
Well you should. It's been drastically reduced in sugar, yet still retains its great flavour. It's light and refreshing Tony.

ANTHONY
I'll bear that in mind Simon, thanks.

SIMON
But there are absolutely no calories from sugar. I've noticed the difference. (pats his stomach)Already!

ANTHONY
Right.

SIMON
And don't forget you can currently buy on get one free from selected retailers. Buy it now.

Anthony is a little taken aback.

ANTHONY
You know, I've just been to the shop. Plus, I'm not thirsty so I'll pass, cheers.

Simon doesn't look happy and stands with his both arms to his side looking at Anthony.

ANTHONY
Anyway, I'm sure dinner will be ready so I'll head…

Simon cuts him off.

SIMON
You can't have any. It's all mine.

ANTHONY
What?

Simon doesn't reply but turns and heads to his house. Anthony looks bemused but turns away and heads to his own front door.

INT. HOUSE – HALLWAY – EVENING

Anthony shuts the door as he enters the house.

ANTHONY
(shouts) Hi honey, we're moving house!

His wife doesn't reply. Anthony places his bag on a table in the hallway and hangs his coat up.

INT. HOUSE – KITCHEN - EVENING

Anthony's wife MARIE stands by the sink washing dishes. To the right of her a pile of dirty dishes are waiting to be washed and to her left is a stack of shiny clean dishes. Anthony walks in and stops just before reaching her.

ANTHONY
Hi babe.

Anthony looks at the washing up

ANTHONY
Did we have a party?

Marie turns around.

MARIE
Oh, you! Look at the mess you've made all over the floor!

Anthony looks behind him and sees dirty footprints all over the kitchen floor.

ANTHONY
What are you talking about? I haven't even got shoes on you daft mare!

MARIE
It's a good job we've got new Zoom!

She walks over to the other side of the room and fetches a mop and bucket.

MARIE
This'll get through even the toughest of stains! This will banish all those unsightly kitchen problems.

She looks up at a wall.

MARIE
(motioning to Anthony) Except him!

Anthony steps back.

ANTHONY
What the hell are you talking about? I've had enough weirdness happen to me today without you contributing.

A beat

ANTHONY (Cont.)
I'm going to sit down.

He walks out of the kitchen into the hallway. As he does two children rush up to him. The children are around four and six respectively. One child has curly blond hair whilst the other has long brown hair. They both stop just in front of Anthony.

ANTHONY
(shouts to Marie)
We looking after random kids now too?

The children each grab Anthony's legs.

CHILDREN
(together) Daddy! We missed you! Did you bring us a surprise?

ANTHONY
Daddy?

CHILDREN
Wow daddy, you did bring us a surprise!

He looks down at the children and sees they both have a bag of sweets.

ANTHONY
Jesus, what? Think you kids have got the wrong guy!

CHILDREN
We love Fizzles daddy! Thank you!

They start to hug Anthony but he gently pushes them away.

ANTHONY
(shouts) Marie! What the hell is going on?

Marie doesn't reply.

ANTHONY
Marie?

The children attempt to hug him again but he pushes them away with more force this time. However, they continue to smile and start to eat their sweets. Anthony walks towards the kitchen and opens the door. As he does he's greeted by a blinding light and a wall of sound. Once again it's a loud, low buzzing noise. He puts his hands to his head attempting to shield his eyes and ears. After a few moments the noise stops and the light cuts out. However, the door no longer leads to the kitchen but to a large green garden. The night has also now turned into a balmy summer's day. Anthony takes a step back and braces himself against the door frame.

EXT. GARDEN - DAY

ANTHONY
(quietly) What?

He looks behind him to the house, which now looks bright. Every surface he can see looks spotless and shiny. He turns back to the garden and tentatively steps out. As he does he sees his wife come into view alongside three other people he recognises.

ANTHONY
What are you guys doing here? What's going on?

They don't reply. Suddenly, music starts up even though there seems to be nowhere it could be coming from. Anthony looks around and above him trying to figure out where it's coming from. Then his wife and her companions begin to sing.

GROUP
You are my lucky star
I saw you from afar
Concerned, Anthony attempts to get back in the house but the door is now gone. He swings back round as the group continue to sing.

Group (Cont.)
Two lovely eyes at me
They where gleaming
Beaming
I was starstruck

The group are now all dancing

GROUP (Cont.)
You're all my lucky charm
I'm lucky in your arms

Anthony starts looking for a way to get back into the house but can't find a way in.

Group (Cont')
You've opened Heaven's portal
Here on earth for this poor mortal

Anthony drops to the ground and looks on as the group finish the song. He doesn't say anything but begins to smile as the music fades out.


< Message edited by M -- 17/3/2008 9:48:35 AM >


_____________________________

I like to watch.

(in reply to Maria Noir)
Post #: 4
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners Showcase - 17/5/2008 10:47:38 AM   
Maria Noir


Posts: 2803
Joined: 1/6/2006
From: Café 5 to 2: Just follow Cheryl down Bachman Road.
Month 14 - Winner: Monkeyfish  Character Type: A Disillusioned War Veteran

THE VIEW FROM THE WALL


Ext. Day

A spring morning on the North York Moors. In the valley down below is the small, historic village of Feldham. The rest of the landscape stretches around mostly wild and empty, fields with stone walls crumbling and occasional sheep grazing. The sky above is a white-ish shade of grey with gathering darker clouds in the distance promising at least the potential of rain later this morning. Occasional bursts of sunlight break through the cloud cover to play on the reddish bracken to give it an attractive orange hue.


A tour guide leads a small group of tourists up a gentle slope, scrambling over a wall and into a field that looks pretty bare and unremarkable. It is flat and muddy, with the grass along one side particularly trampled suggesting it is a commonly used path way. A single tree hangs over the broken wall on one edge of the field. It is mostly dead, the thick, brittle branches swaying in the wind, looking as if they are about to break off at any moment.


The group contains about ten people, a couple of them families with young children, the others being a young couple. All are dressed for a morning outdoors in the English countryside, in wellies, waterproof coats and carrying backpacks. The tour guide leading the group is an older man in a long, waxy looking dark green jacket and hat and thick glasses, he has a book in his hand.


As the group crosses the field, one child, the youngest, peels off from behind them, distracted by something. He stops and turns his attention towards the tree and the broken wall beneath it.

MOTHER [voice, off screen]

Come on, honey, we're not leaving you behind.

The child doesn't seem to be listening, his attention is held by something beneath the tree. Everything else slips out of focus. The ambient sounds die away into an eerie quiet broken only by the twittering of a bird. There is something a little unnatural about that tree, it suddenly seems far clearer and more defined that everything surrounding it. It holds a sort of hypnotic draw that the child can't turn away from. He takes a step towards the tree. Every step he takes nearer to it, the rest of the scene fades out further, even the sound of the bird can no longer be heard.


Suddenly, the illusion is broken. The child's mother breaks into the frame and he turns away. In that moment, reality floods back in, the sounds of the wind, the birds and the background chatter of the rest of the group come back up. The grey reality of this dreary, cloudy day returns.


MOTHER
What are you looking at? Come along, there's nothing there.

They turn away and continue to walk across the field. Just before he goes, the boy picks up a stone off the ground and hurls it at the wall. It clatters against the stone wall with a loud crash and dislodges some of the stones which crumble to the floor.


As the attention of all the group is turned on the other end of the field, it becomes apparent that there is something about that space of crumbling, ancient stone wall that is a little bit out of the ordinary. Two human figures, not quite solid, even a little translucent, but definitely there in some sense seem to emerge from nowhere, sitting, watching.

Perched on top of the wall, there is a man dressed in the style of a 17th century soldier in a brown leather jerkin, heavy iron breastplate and a helmet with a wide brim and a high peak. Sitting leaning his back against the tree is another soldier, less simply dressed with lace flourishes around his neck and sleeves and a large hat covering his long, curled hair. He has a small, pointy beard which has obviously taken a lot of care and effort to style. The roundhead is looking annoyed and moody while the cavalier appears relaxed and amused.

In the background, the tour guide's monotonous voice can be heard intoning tedious facts and details to a no doubt riveted audience...


GUIDE [voice, off screen]

This was the sight of one of local history's great battles. Many people fought and died on this spot, a lot of them are buried right here in this field. The Battle of Feldham was fought in 1644 and was one of the decisive moments of the English Civil War. An important victory for Oliver Cromwell's so-called "Roundheads", it was one of the battles that turned the tide of the war in favour of the Parliamentary forces..

The spectral figures listen as this is said. The smartly dressed cavalier appears to be enjoying this even though he has clearly heard it hundreds of times before.


CAVALIER

Hooray. Good for them.... Oh yeah, I was on the other side. Oh, well, never mind. Well done to them anyway...

ROUNDHEAD [Not listening, he's heard it all before too.]

He saw us. He was looking right at us.

CAVALIER [Interrupted from his train of thought]

Huh? What? Who?

ROUNDHEAD

That kid, the one who chucked that stone at us. He turned and stared. And then he threw that stone at us. The bastard!

CAVALIER
Maybe he didn't see us at all.

ROUNDHEAD
Then what was he throwing that stone at? There's nothing else here.

CAVALIER
I don't know what you're so moody about. People seeing you is a good thing isn't it?

ROUNDHEAD
I was hoping for a better class of person.

CAVALIER
Well, now, that's just your problem isn't it. Too picky. That's why you're still here after four hundred years.

ROUNDHEAD
So why are you still here?

CAVALIER
I like it here, what's your excuse?

ROUNDHEAD
What's there to like? There's nothing here but rocks and trees. And dumb people who don't pay any attention to the world around them.

CAVALIER

And yet you've lingered on here for centuries, waiting to pass on to the other side.

ROUNDHEAD
Yes, well I can't really do that on my own now, can I? Otherwise I'd be long gone.

CAVALIER
I know, you need the help of a living person. And you could have got it many times over if you made a bit of an effort. All the others did.

ROUNDHEAD
Maybe I don't want the help of some petulant little twerp like that. I'm a war hero, I deserve better.

CAVALIER

Just because you died in a war doesn't make you a hero. Just look at me... Never really wanted to be in the war in the first place. I was trying to get away from the fighting. I was riding away from the field when it happened. A musket ball straight through the chest. Best thing that ever happened to me. It freed me from all the concerns of the mortal world. Being as we are is a very liberating experience. I just like to watch the world go by. Watch it grow and change and know that it won't affect me in any way.

ROUNDHEAD
Who knows about the world? You can't leave this field.

CAVALIER
That's part of the fun of it. Our whole world view comes from the people who come traipsing across this field. And after a few centuries of it, even you have changed to speak like them.

ROUNDHEAD
That just makes it worse!

CAVALIER
There could be so many strange, new, incredible things that have passed us by if they don't come by this field. So much has changed unrecognisably since we were alive. I mean, I know what a television is. I've heard them talked about in snippets of conversation for decades. I even have a pretty clear picture in my head of what one might be like. But, we've never seen one, there was nothing like it when we were alive, when we could go to other places than this one. My image could be completely wrong. Maybe if I stick around long enough then that's the kind of thing I might find out.

ROUNDHEAD
Not with the bloody television again. I've heard it all before. Sometimes you seem to forget that. I've been hearing you say the same things every day for what seems like forever. And you know what I think. I hate seeing the world change while we remain perpetually the same. I hate to think that the cause I fought for, the cause I died for, means nothing at all to the world today.

CAVALIER

Of course it means something. Look at these people! Coming here like pilgrims to see the spot where we died.

ROUNDHEAD

Oh great. I died for a tourist attraction. And not a very good one at that! These people don't know what the battle or the war was all about and they don't care either.

CAVALIER
Neither do I. It's been over for centuries. Let it go.

ROUNDHEAD

I believed in what we fought for and I gave my life for it, thinking I had died honourably and my death might mean something. There is no more depressing thing than seeing the cause you died for become completely meaningless.

CAVALIER
But your lot won. You died winning this bloody battle and you won the war, killed the king and ruled the country without one.

ROUNDHEAD

That's the most bleakly horrible thing about it all. To think that we won and yet in less than twenty years there was a king back on the throne of England and things just went back to the way they were before. If you wait long enough in time you realise that every war that was ever fought is just a tiny blip in the whole of history. They don't matter for anything, they don't change anything important. Nothing changes that wouldn't have in time anyway. And yet millions of people have given their lives fighting for something they thought could make a difference.

CAVALIER
Wow. You're in a cheerful mood today, then.

ROUNDHEAD

Shut up. Sometimes it just really depresses me. The state of the world.

CAVALIER

Like I said before, you could always leave the world behind. Move on to something else... If there really is some other place you can move on to.

ROUNDHEAD
If only someone would come up here with a bit of sense and spirit. Someone a bit better than this lot...

As he says this, the tour group walk passed on their way back down the hill. For a second the small boy looks over at the wall again before shaking his head and walking on by with the rest of them.

CAVALIER

Unfortunately for you, it isn't often the more rational, sensible types who tend to be the ones who see the undead spirits of soldiers killed in distant wars.

A moment's pause as the two consider this, before he goes on in a brighter tone.


Still, you never know what tomorrow's group might bring.


ROUNDHEAD
I've heard you say that before. After four hundred and fifty years waiting, it doesn't seem that likely.

CAVALIER

Alright. Same again tomorrow, then?

The roundhead scowls at his companion as the spectral figures begin to fade away. In a few seconds all we are left with is the quiet country scene, the decaying wall and the drooping tree and the gathering grey clouds. The only sound once more is the twittering of bird song.

This scene lingers for a moment then FADE TO BLACK.


< Message edited by Maria Noir -- 17/5/2008 10:48:16 AM >


_____________________________

The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19 - Look Through The Looking Glass

"And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death."

"- Are we going to let politics get in the way of our friendship?
- Friendship? You told people I lured children into my Gingerbread House!
- Haha. Yeah. That was just a lie."

(in reply to M)
Post #: 5
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners Showcase - 10/9/2008 11:10:52 AM   
Maria Noir


Posts: 2803
Joined: 1/6/2006
From: Café 5 to 2: Just follow Cheryl down Bachman Road.
Month 15 - Winner: Punchdrunk [draw]: Challenge: Brothers' Grimm Adaptation


The Gingerbread House
 
 
Adapted from 'Hansel and Gretel'
 
EXT.WOODS-DAY.
 
HANSEL, A Blond man in his 20's, holds a screaming little boy, KID#1 in a headlock.
 
Hansel
What do you not do to mein house?

The child screams again, His group of four friends are locked in a group in a mixture of squirming awkwardness, anguish, laugher and confusion.
 
Kid#2
Just say it!

Kid#1's eyes welled with tears lock onto his friend and his screaming ceases.
 
Kid#1
I will not eat your house ever again.

Hansel's grip releases from Kid#1's head.
 
He pushes Hansel and hurries away brushing the crumbs from his mouth and the tears from his eyes.
 
Hansel glances to the window of the house, a dark shadow shifts across the inside.
 
The bright red fell from his face, his breathing eased, he walked to the white picket fence, kicked it with the side of his shoe, it splintered a sugary white spray onto the small glazed path.
 
He pulled out a post cracked it in half on his knee; he offered the pieces over to the Kids.
 
Kid#2 rushed over and took the candy-fence-panel shards from Hansel's outstretched hand.
He rushed back and broke the halves into further pieces passing them to the other Kids.
 
They raise cursing gestures at Hansel as they move away into the woods chewing on the crumbling sugar.
 
INT.GINGERBREAD HOUSE-DAY.
 
GRETEL, 18 years old stands at the window, her thin frame resting a spindly hand on the window ledge.
 
She jumps, as the door opens, Hansel stops on the spot as she spins around startled.
 
Hansel
It is just me Gretel.

Gretel
I watched you walk up the
boiled sweet path and still
I jump.

She laughs, smoothes down her long tatty dress, Hansel looked at her olive skin in the sunrays.
 
Hansel
You need to see the sunlight.
 
Gretel
I went out into the Garden
Only today. I watered the
Liquorish tree.

Hansel
It is a liquorish tree Gretel,
Why do you think it needs water?

Gretel moves to the Kitchen table, she sits at a chocolate wafer chair and stares at the oven.
 
Gretel
I have to live in hope the tree needs
Water (beat) Not magic!

Hansel closes the front door moves across the room.
 
He holds Gretel, as she begins to weep.
 
Hansel
She has gone.
 
Gretel looks up from his dampened shirt breast.

 
Gretel
Sometimes I think, she still
lives on, in us.
 
Hansel holds tightly to Gretel's head, stroking her hair Gretel stares at the Oven.
 
EXT.GINGERBREAD HOUSE, GARDEN-NIGHT.
 
Gretel looks up through the branches and leaves, swaying in the night breeze.
Stars from the night sky, glimmer in her eyes, her grip tightens on a watering can brimming with water.
 
She stars down at the water; the reflected stars glow brightly and begin to spin.
 
Gretel drops the watering can and rushes back to the house.
 
She stops in the gingerbread doorway, runs her finger along the crusty entrance.
 
The crumbling gingerbread oozes a thin batter, which repairs the weakened area.
 
Gretel turns to the garden; the watering can drips a dark liquid onto the grass.
 
Gretel
I'm not scared of you.
 
Dust swirled across the garden, the wind blew hard against Gretel's face.
 
Then all fell silent.

 
Witch
(V.O)
Maybe it is Hansel, the now
Older wiser Gretel should
fear.

Gretel holds her chest, stumbles forward, she corrects herself.
 
The wind blows again.
 
Gretel's dress and hair swirled in the torrent of wind.
 
She shouted in audible curses.
 
Gretel
(Wailing)
...We killed you!

The wind fell silent again, Gretel held her mouth.
 
Witch
(V.O)
Could that be the first
time you admitted to
yourself (beat) that you
had. Cruelly, savagely
Murdered an innocent old Frau?

 
Gretel fell to her knees.
 
Gretel
You weren't ino-no-cent.
You was a witch!

From the trees, a shadow forms on the ground in the shape of a dark hunched figure of the Witch.
 
Witch
I took you and Hansel in.
What of you parents did
they ever come looking for
you?
 
Gretel
We left a breadcrumb trail for
them.
 
Witch
Is that why they didn't come?
They lost the trail.
Your new bruder Leasel on the
way, another mouth to feed in
those tough times.
 
Gretel bit the back of her hand.
 
Gretel
Mein mutter and Vater are
dead.

The famous witches cackle resonates from within the shadow of the Witch.
 
Witch
It is easier for a child to
think that, isn't it.

A wolf whistle sounds out in the night.
 
Hansel
Gretel! Why tell that mutter
and vater are dead, this is
something the night knows
already.

Gretel turns to Hansel her face cold and numb.
 
She walks quickly past him into the house.
 
Hansel looks out into the night, the tree branches sway, in the distance nocturnal animals cry out.
 
The Witches shadow is cast by A Raven, which sits on a branch, the moonlight shining brightly above.
 
The Watering can creaks on the grass, surrounded by a glistening dark mass.
 
Hansel treads onto the sharp grass his feet sinking deep into the tufts.
 
He reaches for the Watering can.
 
His eyes fall heavy.
 
Fade to black.
 
INT.BEDROOM,GINGERBREAD HOUSE-DAY.
 
Gretel sit on the edge of her sugar cane bed, the marshmallow mattress sinking beneath her thighs.
 
She reaches for a Jug on the bedside dressing table with a cracked mirror.
 
From the Jug, she pours butterscotch into a bowl.
 
She lowers her hands into the bowl, splashes it onto her face, and rubs it into her skin, under her eyes and across her forehead.
 
She splashes some under her arms and reaches down rubbing the butterscotch into her legs.
 
The butterscotch drips soaking her nightshirt, she reached for a towel, then stops, admiring herself in the cracked mirror, she sucks in her stomach and pouts her lips slightly.
 
Gretel
Well of course, I will
attend the dance with
you sir.
 
She sighs.
 
Gretel
But first you must ask for mein
bruders blessing. Which he
Neeee-ever gives!

She slams down the butterscotch filled Jug and jumps as the sound resonates around the room.
The house falls silent.
 
Gretel
Sorry Hansel, that was just
me!

Her voice echoes around the room and the house fell silent again.
 
Gretel
Hansel? Did you hear me? I
said I am sorry.
 
She laughs nervously.
 
Gretel
Are we to play one of your
games? You pretend to
leave poor Gretel alone in
the woods. You know I hate
that game!
 
A knock came from the next room.
 
Gretel
Hansel? Get that and Stop
playing.

She gets up from the bed, pulls on a thin sugar paper dressing gown.
 
The knock came again.
 
INT.ENTRANCE, GINGERBREAD HOUSE-DAY.
 
Gretel opened the door; a man stands at the door in a Generals Military uniform.
 
Gretel
Can I help you?
 
General
Sorry to wake you at such
an early hour. It seems late
to me being in the service,
I forget that normal people
get to sleep in late.
 
Gretel
You're apology is accepted,
Herr?
 
General
Herr Hunter. Frau?
 
Gretel
Gretel, Frau Gretel.
 
She blushes.
 
Hunter
Why are you so shy?
 
Gretel
You are the first mann to
come to this door, except
mien bruder.

General Hunter looked her up and down.
 
General
You should not hide away here,
A beauty like yours is rare in
these parts.
 
Gretel taps her fingers on the doorway.
 
Gretel
Excuse mein rudeness General
Hunter, but why are you at
mein door?

General Hunter takes out a stitched handkerchief wiping his moist hands.
 
General
Mien Mutter owned this house,
I left her here to make mein name.
 
He rubs the handkerchief on his cheek and then places it in his pocket.
 
Gretel's eyes widen.
 
Gretel
Why come back now?

General
I missed the house of mien
youth, mien large estate
mien servants have never
filled the gap left when I
walked away from this
Gingerbread home.

Gretel stands back from the door; General Hunter arched his head low under the doorframe, looking around the entrance.
 
Gretel
Nobody came to take her
things.

General
I was the only person she
had.
 
Gretel
Your mother was mad.

General
When you look at death,
sometimes it looks back at
you and changes you.

General Hunter stares at the floor.
 
General
So, how did you kill her?

Gretel backs away slowly, her breathing quickens, her spindly hand raises and pointed to the Oven.
 
The Generals boot heels crushed into the Gingerbread floor and swings open the Oven.
 
His stony face brakes into colourful pinks, his eyes swell with tears.
 
General
That is where; I will lay it
to rest.

Gretel looks through the open door; at the end of the shiny humbug, tiled path is a large kitbag.
 
Gretel
What about me?

General turned to her, his eyes wild and his fists tighten.
 
General
What do you think I am? A
monster!

He holds her chin in a grip and then slid his hand, across her neck.
 
General
I could never hurt you
Gretel. I will protect you,
I will give you everything
you desire from life.

Gretel shifts awkwardly on the spot; General Hunters breathing blowing her thin hair, Gretel closes her eyes.
 
Gretel
So what is in the bag on the
path?

General Hunter holds Gretel's shoulders turning her to the door.
 
General
It is the old life, mine and
yours. We will burn it together
and be free to make our lives
new.
 
Gretel
I don't think I can live
without it.

Gretel presses her thigh back against General Hunter's body; she sighs deeply and bites her lip.
 
Gretel
Oh savage grace, long have I
waited for your sweet embrace.
 
EXT.GINGERBREAD HOUSE-DAY
 
Gretel turns in the doorway wrapping her arms around General Hunter's chest; she pushes closed the door with her foot.
 
General
Let me get this fire started.

A Raven lands on the humbug pavestone it hops and lands on the grass, next to the Kit bag.
 
Its sharp beak pecks at the kit bag material.
 
The sky rumble and storm clouds gather, as smoke begins to rise from the Gingerbread House chimney.
 


< Message edited by Maria Noir -- 11/1/2009 11:23:56 PM >


_____________________________

The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19 - Look Through The Looking Glass

"And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death."

"- Are we going to let politics get in the way of our friendship?
- Friendship? You told people I lured children into my Gingerbread House!
- Haha. Yeah. That was just a lie."

(in reply to Maria Noir)
Post #: 6
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners Showcase - 10/9/2008 11:15:52 AM   
Maria Noir


Posts: 2803
Joined: 1/6/2006
From: Café 5 to 2: Just follow Cheryl down Bachman Road.
Month 15 - Winner: UncleJun [draw]: Challenge: Brothers' Grimm Adaptation

Funtime For Nago
 
Adapted from 'Little Red Riding Hood'
 
INT. POLICE STATION – INTERROGATION ROOM – DAY
 
A fist crashes down on a steel table.
 
HUNTER
You're lying!
 
The camera pulls back to reveal a tall, thick-bodied man looming aggressively over the table. This is DETECTIVE HUNTER, fifty-one years old. Behind him, seated in the corner of this drab room, is DETECTIVE WILLOWS. Sat in the chair behind the table and the focus of Hunter's outburst is NAGO, a grey-haired wolf. Nago is jumpy and speaks uneasily.

NAGO
Detective Willows, can you control your partner?
 
Hunter edges his face closer to Nago.
 
HUNTER
I'm talking to you right now. He had his time. This is mine.
 
Nago looks at Willows over Hunter's shoulder. Willows sighs. Hunter places his hand on Nago's face and forces him back into his field of vision. He wipes his hand on his trousers.
 
WILLOWS
(Firmly)
Detective.
 
HUNTER
Okay.
(Smiling broadly)
Mr. Nago. Would you care to tell us your version of events?

Hunter sits down opposite Nago.
 
NAGO
I've been trying. You won't listen.

WILLOWS
He's listening.

NAGO
This is all a big misunderstanding.

HUNTER
Uh huh. A misunderstanding. You had nothing to do with this.
(Turning to Willows)
What do you think? Are you happy? Shall we let him go?
 
Willows shrugs.
 
HUNTER
Okay, you can go. Go on, get going.
 
Nago stands slowly. He makes a small movement towards the door. Hunter jumps out of his chair, which hurtles backwards and slams into the wall.
 
HUNTER
SIT DOWN!
 
A petrified Nago drops into his chair.
 
HUNTER
What do you think this is? Funtime? I'm not having fun. Are you having fun, Detective Willows?

WILLOWS
No, I'm...

HUNTER
Nobody is having fun here. Except you.
(Sing-song)
Funtime for Nago!

NAGO
I...

HUNTER
Shut up. You've got nothing to say unless I say so. And I say you stop lying your ass off and tell us a little bit of truth. I'll ask again. Tell us what happened. What really happened.

NAGO
Nothing happened. It was all a...

HUNTER
I don't wanna hear anything about a misunderstanding! We know you did it! We have the evidence. We have all the proof we need. But we'd like to hear you confess.

NAGO
Can I please tell you my side?

HUNTER
Sure, why not? It's only a matter of time before you tell us everything we want to know. I'm a patient man.
 
Hunter retrieves his chair and sits down opposite Nago.
 
NAGO
So...can I start?
 
Hunter nods.
 
NAGO (CONT'D)
I was in the woods. I was enjoying the sunshine. We haven't had a day like that in a long time.
 
Hunter rolls his eyes.
 
NAGO (CONT'D)
I was heading down this long, narrow path...


FLASHBACK

EXT. WOODS – PATH – MORNING

Nago strolls along a dirt path, pausing to smell the dense foliage on either side.
 
NAGO
(Sniffing)
Ahh! Just marvellous.
 
Nago carries on down the path, whistling as he goes. Up ahead, where several paths converge, Nago arrives at...

EXT. WOODS – CLEARING – MORNING

Nago sits in the middle of the clearing, taking a good look down each of the two remaining paths. From the right path, he hears a scuffling noise. He turns quickly to see a young girl approaching the clearing. Dressed in a red sweatshirt, JENNY, fourteen years old, scuffs her feet and stares at the ground.
 
NAGO
Ahem.
 
Jenny looks up at Nago, surveys him briefly and sombrely heads up the left path.

Nago glances around before following Jenny along the same path.

EXT. WOODS – PATH – MORNING

Nago trots along behind Jenny, keeping his distance. He steps on a twig and it cracks loudly. Jenny spins around angrily.
 
JENNY
What?

NAGO
What?

JENNY
You must want something. You followed me all the way up here.

NAGO
Maybe I was going this way anyway.

JENNY
Whatever.
 
Jenny carries on walking up the path. Nago follows.
NAGO
I'm Nago.

JENNY
Jenny.

NAGO
Where are you going, Jenny?

JENNY
Australia. Am I going the right way?

NAGO
Funny. Where are you going?
 
Jenny spins around, her anger intensified.
 
JENNY
God, what does it matter?

NAGO
I was just wondering.

JENNY
Fine. I'm going to visit my grandmother. Okay, Bobo?

NAGO
Nago. Where's your grandmother?

JENNY
(Sighing heavily)
At the hospital. Anything else?

NAGO
Why is...

JENNY
(Rapidly)
She's ill! My parents have forced me to visit my sick grandmother, when I should be at Nat's birthday! They'll all be having fun, getting trashed, and I'm on my way to see a sick old woman and get ambushed by a wolf! Happy?

NAGO
You should be thankful you have a grandmother.
Jenny looks at Nago, puzzled.
 
JENNY
Yeah.

NAGO
You should. You can learn a lot from them. They're very special, grandparents.
 
JENNY
Great.
 
Jenny once again carries on walking the path.
 
NAGO
Flowers!

JENNY
What?

NAGO
You're not taking flowers?
 
She stops dead in her tracks. Nago catches up with her.
 
JENNY
Am I holding any flowers?

NAGO
You have to take flowers. She'll appreciate them.

JENNY
The shop's way back there.

NAGO
Silly! Look around you. Flowers everywhere. I bet you can make a beautiful bunch from these.

JENNY
If it'll shut you up.
 
Nago walks along the edge of the path, picking an assortment of brightly coloured flowers and handing them to a 'couldn't care less' Jenny. She soon has more than a handful.
 
JENNY (CONT'D)
Finished? Good. The sooner I get there, the sooner I can leave.

Nago watches Jenny as she marches along the dirt path, slapping the bunch of flowers repeatedly against her leg. He races after her and trots along at her side.
 
JENNY
Back again.

NAGO
I was wondering, can I come with you?

JENNY
To see my grandmother? You want to come and visit my grandmother?

NAGO
I do. I love grandparents.

JENNY
Don't you have anything better to do?

NAGO
What could be better than listening to the stories of someone who has seen history change?

JENNY
Anything.

NAGO
Jenny, your grandparents won't be around forever. Or your parents. Family is very important. Cherish them.

JENNY
Thanks.

NAGO
You don't want regrets. Trust me. Make the most of your family.

HUNTER (V.O.)
Are you kidding me? How much more of this do we have to listen to?

WILLOWS (V.O.)
Detective.

HUNTER (V.O.)
Jesus. Go on.
 
EXT. WOODS/ROADSIDE – MORNING

Nago and Jenny reach the end of the path and emerge at the side of the road. Across the street and bathed in sunlight is the hospital. Jenny begins to hurry across. Nago grabs the tail of her sweatshirt in his mouth and yanks her back roughly. A bus rockets past, its horn blaring. Jenny breathes frantically. A piece of her red sweatshirt dangles by a thread. Nago tears it off.
 
NAGO
Be careful Jenny!
 
Jenny throws her arms around Nago's neck and embraces him tightly.
 
JENNY
Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou.
 
Nago smiles coyly.
 
NAGO
That's okay. Now, let's go and see this grandmother.
 
They walk across the street together, Jenny's fingers gently stroking the top of Nago's head.

INT. HOSPITAL – CORRIDOR – MORNING

Nago and Jenny stand in a sterile corridor, peering into a doorway. Jenny points to a bed in the corner of the room. An elderly woman lies in the bed, her head buried in a book.
 
JENNY
That's her. Ready?
 
Nago nods and they head into...

INT. HOSPITAL – WARD

Nago and Jenny walk into the ward, past the empty beds and head over to GRANNY. The moment she sees Jenny, she smiles with delight.
 
GRANNY
Jennifer! My darling, I'm so happy to see you.
 
Granny grabs Jenny and hugs her. Jenny squirms for a moment before embracing her in return.
 
JENNY
Hi, Gran.

GRANNY
You grow more and more with each visit. Which is not nearly often enough, young lady.

JENNY
I know. I'm sorry.

GRANNY
That's quite alright, lovely girl. When I was your age, I too...
 
Her attention is caught by Nago. She eyes him suspiciously.
 
GRANNY
And who is this young...man?

JENNY
This is my...friend, Nago.

NAGO
(Nodding)
Ma'am.

JENNY
He wanted to meet you. Hear some of your stories.

GRANNY
Oh! Well, that's a request that I'm more than happy to meet. Let's see. Let's see. Ah! I could tell you about the day that I met Montgomery Clift.

NAGO
Wow!
 
An enraptured Nago moves closer as Granny launches into her story.

INT. HOSPITAL – WARD – MORNING

Later, we find Granny in the middle of a story.
 
GRANNY
...not believe it. In walked Dean Martin! As you can imagine, I was speechless. But, I mustered the courage to...
 
HUNTER (V.O.)
That's it, stop, that's it, I can't listen anymore.
 
INT. POLICE STATION – INTERROGATION ROOM – DAY

Detective Hunter slouches in his chair, staring at Nago with pure hatred.
 
HUNTER
I'm done.

NAGO
But...I'm not finished.

HUNTER
I don't care. Just get to the part where you eat the both of them!

NAGO
Excuse me? Eat...Jenny? Eat Granny?

HUNTER
Yes! We know you did it! Now stop embarrassing yourself with this rubbish and confess.

NAGO
I'm sorry, Detective, but I didn't...
 
Detective Hunter lunges across the table and grabs Nago around the neck. Detective Willows springs to his feet and wrestles the two of them apart. Hunter grabs Willows and pushes him towards the door. He opens the door and throws Willows out.
 
HUNTER
You stay out there, you hear me?
 
Hunter bounds over to Nago, pushes the table out of the way and stands over the terrified suspect.
 
HUNTER
No more of your bullshit. I want the truth.
 
Nago looks at the door. His nervous demeanour disappears and he smiles confidently.
 
NAGO
I did it. I tore them to pieces. First, little Granny. She didn't see it coming. Jenny stood there, frozen. I took my time with Granny. She was sweet. And Jenny?
(Sucking air in)
Sweeter. She fought back. I like that. Most of them give up. Not this one. When I finished with her, she didn't look like a girl. Didn't look like a person. Just a slab of meat.
 
Hunter gulps.
 
NAGO (CONT'D)
And then I was caught. I've never been caught before. I must be getting old. So there you have it, Detective. The full confession of Nago.

HUNTER
Why now? Why go through that song and dance? Why deny it for so long? Were you just playing with us?

NAGO
Why? Why. When you eat two people, Detective, it fills your stomach. A meal like that can last me for hours. But there's always another hunger, just around the corner. You see, the thing about Jenny and Granny was that I knew they could never be a challenge. But two grown men, both of whom have guns? That's a challenge. In my youth, it would've been over in the blink of an eye. But age has come upon me. Together, you would surely best me. But separately, I could hold my own.
 
Nago licks his lips.
 
NAGO (CONT'D)
We've been in this room for hours. Plenty of time for that next hunger.
 
Hunter looks towards the door nervously. He turns to Nago. They stare into each other's eyes. Hunter reaches for his gun. With exceptional speed, Nago pounces on him, sinking his teeth into Hunter's face. Hunter's scream is quickly ended as Nago wraps his jaws around his neck. Crack. Hunter slumps to the floor with a thud.

Detective Willows bursts into the room. His eyes flit between the mauled body of his partner and the bloody-mouthed Nago.

Willows steps backwards out of the room and closes the door.

Nago removes his head from Hunter's neck. His chin dripping with blood, he buries his head in the thick fur of his chest. He pulls out a small piece of red fabric and places it gently on the floor. He places his paws on the cloth and buries his head in them.
 
THE END


< Message edited by Maria Noir -- 11/1/2009 11:23:14 PM >


_____________________________

The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19 - Look Through The Looking Glass

"And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death."

"- Are we going to let politics get in the way of our friendship?
- Friendship? You told people I lured children into my Gingerbread House!
- Haha. Yeah. That was just a lie."

(in reply to Maria Noir)
Post #: 7
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners Showcase - 11/1/2009 11:22:40 PM   
Maria Noir


Posts: 2803
Joined: 1/6/2006
From: Café 5 to 2: Just follow Cheryl down Bachman Road.
Month 16 - Winner: Uncle Jun: Challenge: Past Times


Commander Allsbrook


INT. HOUSE – BEDROOM – MORNING - 1969

In Santa Fe, Texas, on July 20th, BENJAMIN ALLSBROOK, 71 years old, opens his eyes. Lying in bed, he stares up at the ceiling. His bedside alarm goes off; a piercing ring. Benjamin sits up, throws his legs over the side of the bed, reaches over and shuts the alarm off before it has time to even finish a single full ring. Benjamin leisurely hops to his feet and over to the chest of drawers in the corner of this small and modest bedroom. He pulls one of the drawers out; inside lies a brown, crumpled suit.

INT. HOUSE – KITCHEN – MORNING

Benjamin slurps down the remnants of a cup of coffee and places it on the kitchen table. He crosses the room into...

INT. HOUSE – LIVING ROOM

Benjamin walks over to a circular mirror and brushes his wiry, silver hair with his hand. The mirror shows him what the rest of the world sees; the wrinkled features of a long life and blue eyes that have lost their sparkle. He peers down at the suit's reflection. Benjamin turns around to a faded, lime green sitting chair, currently occupied by his beagle, STORM.
 
BENJAMIN
(Clearing his throat)
Whaddaya think?

Storm lifts his head up; he looks Benjamin up and down. His suit is ill-fitting and badly in need of a wash and iron. Benjamin waits patiently, a hopeful smile across his face. Storm turns around and buries his head in his chest. Benjamin rubs the sleeves of his jacket and straightens his tie.
 
BENJAMIN
So it's not perfect! It's all I have. And you're one to talk. Yours is the worst coat in the state.

He returns to the mirror and dusts his collar.
 
BENJAMIN (CONT'D)
I do need to look my best today. Maybe I'd better give it a quick going over. Then again, today means more than suits.

Benjamin catches sight of a wall clock in the mirror.
 
BENJAMIN (CONT'D)
Oh! Silly fool, no time for this.
 
He hovers on the spot for a few moments, his eyes darting around the room. He hurries over to a small table next to the sitting chair. He picks up a set of keys, gives Storm a pat on the head and heads to the front door. He picks up a black briefcase, heads out and shuts the door. Storm waits for the jangling of keys to stop, then readjusts his position.


INT. MISSION CONTROL CENTRE - CLOSET – MORNING
Through an ajar door, a slim shaft of light shines onto Benjamin as he pulls a set of dirty, dark blue overalls over his suit. He retreats into the darkness of the room. Noisy CLANKING and a discordant SQUEAK emanate from the shadows. Benjamin opens the door and there he stands in the light; a MOP and STEEL BUCKET at his side. He walks through the door, into...


INT. MISSION CONTROL CENTRE - CORRIDOR
At the MCC in Houston, Texas, Benjamin wheels his mop and bucket down a cold, sterile corridor. His every step echoes. To the left and right, the corridor shoots off into equally long and undistinguishable directions. He approaches a security guard stood halfway between the closet and a security door in the distance. NELSON, 48 years old and a giant of a man, looks down at Benjamin and gives him a warm smile.


NELSON
Mornin', Ben.

BENJAMIN
(Nodding)
Nelson.

He looks Nelson up and down, taking in his relaxed posture and whimsical expression.


BENJAMIN (CONT'D)
You look calm.

NELSON
No reason why I shouldn't.

BENJAMIN
(Incredulously)
No reason? This is no ordinary day. This is far more than that. History in...

NELSON
In the making? I know. My daughter tells me the same thing.
 
Nelson points a finger down the corridor, where frosted glass double doors lead the way to the CONTROL ROOM.

NELSON (CONT'D)
For them, it is a special day.
(Pointing upwards)
For them too. But for me, for you, it's the same old thing. It's not for us to get involved.

The doors to the control room open and a senior technician walks through, towards Benjamin and Nelson. A perplexed Benjamin looks at Nelson.

BENJAMIN
You and I have come to be friends over the years, Nelson. Hell, you're the only one who knows my name. But I gotta say, I think you're wrong here. Today is for everyone.
The senior technician, HAMILTON, 25 years old, with a very young face, walks up to the two of them and stops. He waits expectedly.

BENJAMIN
Yes?

HAMILTON
Yes, what?

BENJAMIN
What do you want?

HAMILTON
"Yes, Sir?"

BENJAMIN
Why are you calling me Sir?

HAMILTON
(Frustrated)
No. You call me Sir. You say, "Yes, Sir?"

BENJAMIN
Oh. Sorry.
(Pause)
Sir.
 
The three men stand awkwardly; nobody knows what to do.


BENJAMIN
So...what did you want? Sir?

HAMILTON
I couldn't help but notice that neither of you were working. You're paid to be here, shouldn't you be doing something? Not having a nice, relaxing chat whilst the rest of us make sure that this day goes smoothly. You do have work to do, don't you...
(Reading Ben's nametag)
...Benjamin?

BENJAMIN
Suppose.

HAMILTON
Then get on with it.
 
Hamilton looks up at the hulking Nelson and nods politely, before walking away.


BENJAMIN
Sir?

HAMILTON
(Turning)
What?

BENJAMIN
Well, Sir, I was wondering, Sir, if perhaps today, Sir, I could be allowed to perform my duties, Sir, in the Control Room, Sir. I've always wanted, Sir, to see it for myself, Sir.
Hamilton is not impressed. Nelson turns his head to hide his soon-to-erupt laughter. Hamilton strides back over to Benjamin.


HAMILTON
You? In the Control Room? And exactly what qualifies you to do that?


Benjamin tries to speak. Hamilton cuts him off.

HAMILTON
Do you perhaps have an engineering degree in mopping? Or has your years of cleaning up after other people given you the valuable expertise needed to be responsible for lunar ascents?
 
BENJAMIN
I only want to be in the room. I won't touch anything.

HAMILTON
That's right you won't. Because there is zero chance of you getting into that room, or any room that requires a little more knowledge than how to clean up a puddle of shit in the toilets.

NELSON
The hell is wrong with you?

HAMILTON
(Backing away)
I'm just trying to help him. The sooner he realises his place, the happier he'll be.
Hamilton heads up the corridor. Nelson turns his attention back to a dejected Benjamin.

NELSON
The number of times I've wanted to throw him through a goddamn wall.

BENJAMIN
He's probably right.

NELSON
What?

BENJAMIN
He's an asshole, sure, but he might be right. Why do I deserve to be in there?

NELSON
'Cause you've wanted to be in there for a long time. I've had to listen to you chirping away about today for longer than I care to remember. That not enough for you?

BENJAMIN
Uh huh. Well, now I know I waited for nothing.
 
Benjamin walks away. There's nothing Nelson can say.

INT. MISSION CONTROL CENTRE - CLOSET - AFTERNOON

In the now lit closet, a meagre collection of furniture and cleaning products are strewn messily around. Benjamin stands before a single wall of newspaper cuttings showcasing the progression of the Space Race. His eyes move over the photos of JFK, space shuttles and astronauts. He removes a clipping from the board, crumples it up and tosses it into the corner of the room. One by one, he does the same with the rest. A highlighted quote below a picture of JFK catches his attention before he can destroy the remaining cuttings.
"But in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the Moon. If we make the judgement affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there."
Benjamin sticks the cutting back onto the wall. A flicker of a smile falls upon his lips. Benjamin removes his overalls, exposing the matured brown suit. He dusts it down and heads to the door. He opens it and peers down the corridor; lifeless aside from Nelson at his post. Benjamin grabs his mop and bucket and wheels it down the corridor.

INT. MISSION CONTROL CENTRE - CORRIDOR
 
Nelson looks up as the squeaking bucket disturbs his floor staring.


NELSON
A cleaning man in a suit. Not your everyday sight.


Benjamin keeps his eyes on the security door behind Nelson.

BENJAMIN
(Distracted)
Yeah, gotta look...good. It's...good suit.
 
A technician emerges from a corridor behind the men and walks past them, heading towards the security door.
 
BENJAMIN
You know, I almost forgot. I saw a man without a security pass walk past my closet earlier. Never seen him before. Headed towards the canteen.
 
NELSON
Yeah? I'd best take a look. Keep an eye out, will ya?

BENJAMIN
Sure.
 
Nelson walks up the corridor and into one of the adjoining corridors. The technician approaches the door; Benjamin props his mop against the wall, picks up his bucket and hurries after him. He stops ten feet behind the technician and kneels down, placing his hand on the rim of the bucket. The technician enters his code and the doors slides open. As he walks through, Benjamin moves closer. He propels the bucket as hard as he can towards the closing door. His hands cover his mouth as he watches nervously. The bucket moves quickly. The doors slide...
CLANK
The bucket wedges itself between the doors. The doors shake. Benjamin stands quickly and rushes as fast as his 71 year old legs will allow. He slips through the small gap and kicks the bucket back up the corridor.

INT. CONTROL ROOM - AFTERNOON

Benjamin is in. Under white, fluorescent lighting, row upon row of grey monitors are manned by smartly dressed technicians. Some white shirts, some blue. Some with headsets, some with clipboards. The monitors face a series of screens on the wall, depicting a wealth of information. Mystifying to Benjamin, he nevertheless is awed by it. Two screen in particular catch his eye; a view from inside the Apollo 11 shuttle of the Moon below it, and a live feed of the astronauts in the shuttle.
Two technicians, MITCHELL, 33, and GRAVES, 31, stand nearby, mid discussion.
 
MITCHELL
...4F-B is down. There's a slight problem with 2D-C and Henry is reporting a fault with his station.

GRAVES
I'll see to that.


Benjamin moves closer to them.


BENJAMIN
Boy, it's something, isn't it?
 
They look at the old man before them. Mitchell shrugs.
 
BENJAMIN
(Pointing to the screens)
That. It's amazing.
 
They turn away, apathetic, and continue their chat. A bemused Benjamin scans the room. The various technicians are occupied with their monitors. Tired and uninterested faces fill the room. The large screens on the wall go unwatched by all but Benjamin. He walks down the aisle between the monitors. A cacophony of informational chatter pounds his ears; numbers, codes, details.
 
HAMILTON (O.S.)
What are you doing in here?
 
Benjamin spins and comes face to face with an irate Hamilton.
 
HAMILTON
I told you that you cannot be in here. Leave. Now!
 
Hamilton's outburst draws the attention of the room. All eyes are on Benjamin.
 
BENJAMIN
(Quietly)
This isn't right.

HAMILTON
What was that?

BENJAMIN
This...none of this is right. I don't understand. You're all preoccupied with your little screens and numbers.
(Gesturing to the wall screens)
This is magnificent. Have any of you looked up at it? You're missing it all. Look at that view.


Hamilton beckons security over. They promptly rush over.


HAMILTON
You need to leave. You can't be in here.

BENJAMIN
Why? Because I can see what you can't? Man is visiting another world! This is more important than broken stations and a bunch of numbers.

HAMILTON
That "bunch of numbers" ensures the safety of those men. Without them...
 
BENJAMIN
No! You don't get it. This is an experience. But none of you see it. None of you are awed, I can see it in your faces.

HAMILTON
(To security)
Get him out of here.

The two security guards each grab one of Benjamin's arms and usher him towards the door. He thrashes.

BENJAMIN
It's not about the technology! Look at those screens! Look what's happening. It's about the spirit of people. It's only a small step for man, but for mankind it's a giant leap! It's for everyone!

Mitchell takes a notepad and pen from his shirt pocket and makes a note on it. The guards drag Benjamin to the door and haul him through it. Mitchell approaches Graves and hands him the note.

MITCHELL
(Excitedly)
I've got it. I've got the opening line. Commander Armstrong will love this.

GRAVES
(Reading)
"...leap for mankind." Wow.

 
EXT. MISSION CONTROL CENTRE – EVENING

On a bench outside the entrance, Benjamin sits with a small cardboard box of personal belongings. Nelson exits the building, sees him and sits down.
 
NELSON
Nice trick you pulled. I was looking for that guy for half an hour.

BENJAMIN
Didn't get you in hot water, did I?

NELSON
Nah. They were more concerned with the nut that snuck into the Control Room and attacked them for not looking at a screen.


Benjamin smiles.

NELSON (CONT'D)
They let you go?

BENJAMIN
They did. Can't work for a government agency again, so they say. "Breaching security protocol". They made the right choice, I reckon. Can't have any old body in a room like that.

NELSON
What? No, no, no. You're the exact kinda guy that a room like that needs. Someone who's impressed by it all, like a little kid would be.

BENJAMIN
Yeah. You know, I used to be proud of working here. Time was, I'd tell anyone who looked at me that I worked for NASA. Course, I didn't say what I did for them, but that didn't matter. NASA is NASA. But, being in that room today...I don't know what I was expecting, but that wasn't it.

NELSON
(Standing)
I hope you keep trying. Can't let one lousy firing stop you. Well...take care of yourself, Ben.
 
They shake hands.
 
BENJAMIN
You too. Goodbye.
 
Nelson begins walking away. He stops and turns back to Benjamin.
 
NELSON
Maybe it's not in there that you really want to be.
(Pointing upwards)
Maybe it's up there.
 
Nelson walks away. Benjamin laughs. He looks up. In the dark blue sky, the moon shines down.
 
BENJAMIN
I am there, Nelson.
 
EXT. MOON

The barren surface of the Moon stretches out in the distance. The silence and stillness is interrupted as a lone figure in full astronaut attire strides along, his each step a lengthy bounce across the pale land beneath him.
Static crackles over the small radio attached to his waist.
 
TECHNICIAN
Commander Allsbrook. Come in, Commander Allsbrook.
(Pause)
When you're quite finished fooling around up there, you have work to do.
 
A pair of familiar eyes, their sparkle returned, looks down through the helmet at the source of the disturbance. Benjamin removes his radio and tosses it onto the floor. He skips off into the distance, laughing to himself. The radio crackles to life again.
 
TECHNICIAN
Commander Allsbrook! COMMANDER ALLSBROOK! Where are you?
(Pause)
I knew it was a mistake letting him go up there.


THE END


_____________________________

The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19 - Look Through The Looking Glass

"And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death."

"- Are we going to let politics get in the way of our friendship?
- Friendship? You told people I lured children into my Gingerbread House!
- Haha. Yeah. That was just a lie."

(in reply to Maria Noir)
Post #: 8
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners Showcase - 10/5/2009 10:42:50 PM   
Maria Noir


Posts: 2803
Joined: 1/6/2006
From: Café 5 to 2: Just follow Cheryl down Bachman Road.
Month 17 - Winner: Monkeyfish: Challenge: "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?"

Forward and Backward

A regular, rhythmic sound swinging back and forth like a metronome or the ticking of a clock against a black screen.

FADE IN
INT. CAR. EVENING
Rain drums heavily on the windscreen as the rhythmic sound resolves itself into the sound of the windscreen wipers swinging from one side to the other. The dark ahead means everything is difficult to see through the driving rain.

CUT TO:
EXT. HOUSE. EVENING.
A young man dressed in scruffy, casual clothes with a number of cuts and bruises on his face stands in the doorway of a large gothic mansion. Most of it is in darkness but there is a light in the entrance hall behind the thick, heavy doors. He pulls a chord and a distant bell tolls. The rain continues to pour, soaking him right through as he waits for an answer.

MAN
There'd better be someone in…

The door is opened with a creak and a woman in her fifties or early sixties dressed in black opens it. The hallway inside is lit with candles and she has a flickering candlestick in her hand.

WOMAN
Well, well. Who can this be? We aren't expecting any more visitors tonight, especially not in this cursed weather! What can I do for you young man?

MAN
My car broke down, on the road back there. I was wondering if I could use your phone?

WOMAN
Phone? Oh no, I'm afraid not. I'm sorry but we don't have one. This house has been a bit lost in time, I'm afraid. [Beat] Well, at least come in out of the rain. We'll get you dried off and someone will be ready to take you to Marlowe in the morning, that's the nearest town. As it happens, you're just in time for dinner!

CUT TO:
INT. CAR. EVENING
The driver, the same man who just rang the doorbell, seems panicked and is breathing heavily as his jittery movements cause the car to take a corner far too tightly, sliding the car into the next lane where a large truck races towards it.

CUT TO:
INT. BEDROOM. EVENING
The storm still rages outside. The man is alone in the room. A large, oppressive space of dark wood and heavy velvet. His attention is focused on a large, thick leather bound book. It is held with a clasp that he is trying to figure out how to undo and open the book. The door opens and in walks the woman. The man guiltily looks up from what he was doing and tries to act like he wasn't snooping around. The woman is carrying a dinner suit, which she hands to him.

WOMAN
Here you are. I've found this, it should fit you just fine. Our host likes everyone to be dressed right for dinner. He's something of a traditionalist. Dinner will be served promptly at seven.

MAN
[Indicating a clock across the room]
But, it's seven now.

WOMAN
Oh, I wouldn't trust any of the clocks in this house. They never seem to run right. It's only the big one that works. Wait for the bell to strike. That will summon you.

CUT TO:
INT. CAR. EVENING
The man swerves the car with an incredible screech back into his own lane as the truck flies by with its horn blaring.

CUT TO:
INT. BEDROOM. EVENING
A bell tolls seven times. The sound echoes and reverberates around the house. The man is looking into the bedroom mirror. He is dressed in his dinner jacket. He looks stiff, awkward and uncomfortable as if unused to dressing in this formal style. His cuts and bruises do not look nearly as bad as they seemed. As he adjusts his tie, his attention wanders to the frame of the mirror. The unsettling shapes recall human faces, mouths and eyes wide open in fear.

MAN
Ok. Dinner it is. Hopefully then I can get a lift into the town, this place creeps me out.

CUT TO:
INT. CAR. EVENING
Back in the correct lane, the driver breathes a sigh of relief. A sign flashes by reading "Marlowe - 7”.

MAN
[To himself]
Come on Edward, keep it together.
 
CUT TO:
INT. DINING ROOM. EVENING
A large room with dark wood panelled walls. In the centre of the room is a long table overlaid with a white table cloth. There are three people, a man and two women, sitting at the table already and places laid for two more. There is a large centrepiece on the table covered in fruit. A grand ornate clock hangs on the wall. It's hands show the time to be exactly seven. The woman carrying the candle comes in with the man from the car crash.

MAN
It's Edward, Edward Leach.

WOMAN
Well, Mr. Leach, allow me to introduce our other guests. This is Mr. Book.

She indicates the man sitting at the table. He is about her age, rather portly with receding white hair. He looks up as she says his name.

MR. BOOK
[Somewhat dryly]
Charmed.

WOMAN
And this delightful pair are the young Misses Bell.

Now, she indicates the other two guests seated at the table, a pair of identical young women, both attractive, slender but very pale with dark ringlets for hair that toss about whenever they laugh, which is often.

MISS BELL - THE ELDER
I am the older sister. And the prettier.

MISS BELL - THE YOUNGER
I am the younger sister. And the prettier.

LEACH
You both look pretty fine to me.

They both giggle flirtatiously in unison, a light, musical sound that seems to echo from one to the other.

WOMAN
Well, that's the introductions done. Now, have a seat Mr. Leach and we'll move on to dinner.

LEACH
But, you haven't told me your name.

WOMAN
Oh, I'm terribly sorry, so I haven't. It's Candle, Mrs. Candle.

LEACH
[As he sits in a vacant place]
Well, it's good to meet you Mrs. Candle. Thanks for helping me out.

MRS. CANDLE
Not a problem, young man, not a problem. Always happy to be of service. And with that in mind, let me bring out the first course.

She leaves the room. There is a moment of quiet punctuated only by the loud ticking of the clock.

MR. BOOK
Do you mind if I say grace?

LEACH
Go ahead.

Leach and the Misses Bell all bow their heads at the same time as Mr. Book who begins to intone the Latin in a voice much deeper than his speaking tones.

MR. BOOK
Benedic, Domine, nos et haec Tua dona, quae de Tua largitate sumus sumpturi.

As Mr. Book speaks with his eyes closed and head bowed, Leach opens his eyes and glances across at the Misses Bell. Both are sat looking forward. As Leach watches, they each reach out and grab a grape from the centrepiece, moving as if each is a reflection of the other.
Sensually licking their lips, each woman places the grape between the teeth of the other and bites into her own with relish. Leach watches as the grapes now appear to be eyeballs leaking blood as the two young women bite into the pale corneas. Leach gasps but before he can speak, the clock loudly strikes seven and he turns to look at it.

MRS. CANDLE
[Entering the dining room, carrying a tray of soup]
Here we go, soup for all.

MR. BOOK
Amen.

When Leach looks back, the two women are clearly eating grapes and not eyeballs.

CUT TO:
INT. CAR. EVENING
Leach rubs his eyes in time with the windscreen wipers as the rain continues to pour.

LEACH
Come on, keep focused. Not far to go now.

CUT TO:
INT. DINING ROOM. EVENING
All five guests are seated round the table in front of bowls of pale orange carrot soup. There is a moment of silence through which all that can be heard is the ticking clock and the slurping of soup.
The clock strikes seven.

MR. BOOK
Are you a religious man, Mr. Leach? Do you have faith?

LEACH
I lapsed. I was raised in the church, but I've strayed a little since.

MR. BOOK
Ah, Mr. Leach, every man has lapsed some time or another. The importance is in whether beneath your behaviour you believe.

LEACH
I don't know. I was never really convinced, to be honest. I would like to think that I'm in control of my own actions, really.

MRS. CANDLE
Well, Mr. Leach, I think that there's something of a difference between what we'd like to believe and what we do believe. Isn't that right, Miss Bell?

MISS BELL - THE YOUNGER
There's a hair in my soup

She pulls a long string of dark hair from her soup bowl.

MISS BELL - THE ELDER
And in mine!

She pulls an identical hair from her own bowl and holds it up alongside her twin's. They laugh together at the sight.

Leach looks down at his bowl. There is a hair floating in his too. He reaches to pull it out and brings out not just a single hair but part of a whole scalp. He looks sickened.

LEACH
What the….?

He notices that there is nothing in his hand at all now and looks a little bewildered.

CUT TO:
INT. CAR. EVENING
A flash of lightning lights up the night sky causing the on edge Leach to jump and swing the car out of the right driving line.

LEACH
Goddamn it! Without this cursed storm I'd be home and dry!

CUT TO:
INT. DINING ROOM. EVENING
The meal has progressed onto another course. In place of the soup, the guests now have set before them a small starter of a prawn cocktail.
The clock strikes seven.

MISS BELL - THE ELDER
Are you married Mr. Leach?

MISS BELL - THE YOUNGER
Do you have a wife waiting for you?

LEACH
No, not married.

MRS. CANDLE
There is somebody though, isn't there? We can always tell. Isn't that right, Mr. Book?

MR. BOOK
Oh yes, always.

LEACH
Yeah, there's a girl. But, it's kind of complicated, I guess. These things usually are.

Mr. Book has a prawn in his hand, as Leach watches he lifts it to his lips and bites into it. Suddenly, it appears to be not a prawn at all but rather a little finger with a sparkling ring around it.

LEACH
W..Wait. What is that you're eating?

With obvious relish, Mr. Book tears the finger apart at the joint and chews on one part as the other remains in his hand. He waves this at Leach.

MR. BOOK
Why, Mr. Leach, it's a prawn. You know, a small crustacean. It's just what you're eating.

Shaking his head clear, Leach can see that this is indeed what Mr. Book is brandishing.

CUT TO:
INT. CAR. EVENING
Leach is trying to occupy his attention with both the road in front of him and the glove compartment in which he is feeling around.

LEACH
Hungry…Damn, I'm hungry. There must be something here…

He pulls out jam donut, looking solid and stale. Still, he bites into it and sends the sticky filling all over his clothes.

CUT TO:
INT. DINING ROOM. EVENING
Another course is now laid before the diners. This time a main course consisting of a variety of roast meats. The half picked carcasses of which lie strewn along the centre of the table.
The clock strikes seven.

MRS. CANDLE
Such a shame that our host couldn't be here for this.

LEACH
I thought this was your house.

MISS BELL - THE YOUNGER
[Laughing]
Mrs. Candle! Own this place!

MISS BELL - THE ELDER
[Echoing her sister's laughter]
Oh! I don't think so!

MR. BOOK
No, this is the home of Dr. Black. A most esteemed gentleman.

As he says this, Mr. Book picks up a piece of meat from his plate in his hands and bites into it. It becomes apparent that this is a human hand and forearm. In a panic, Leach glances across at Mrs. Candle. She too is devouring a piece of meat with some eagerness. It is a human thigh. Leach turns towards the two Misses Bell. Both are biting and tearing at large joints of meat that are made up of a human ankle and foot each. There can be no mistaking now that this is really happening.

LEACH
What in hell is this? What are you doing?

MRS. CANDLE
This is your dinner, Mr. Leach.

MR. BOOK
This is what you brought to us.

MISS BELL AND MISS BELL
[In unison]
This is what you brought on yourself.

Leach looks down, in his own hand is the piece of meat he is eating himself. On the plate is the severed head of a dark haired young woman. He is biting into the neck and the blood is dripping down onto him.

CUT TO:
INT. CAR. EVENING
Leach takes his hands off the wheel and brushes himself down, trying to wipe the donut filling from his clothes. Suddenly, there is a flash of lightning in the sky.

CUT TO:
INT. DINING ROOM. EVENING

LEACH
You're mad! All of you. Completely mad! I'm getting out of here.

He springs to his feet as the other four look around at him with bemused expressions.

MRS. CANDLE
Are you sure you won't stay for coffee?

LEACH
[Wild eyed and manic]
Get away from me!

MRS. CANDLE
So be it!

The two Misses Bell giggle once more in musical unison as the clock strikes, ringing out seven clear sonorous strikes. As the last one rings, Mrs. Candle blows out the light in the middle of the table and it plunges the whole room into instant darkness.

CUT TO:
INT. CAR. EVENING.
At the wheel, Leach peers through the rain trying to calm his nerves. Suddenly, a bright flash of lightning lights everything around. Leach blinks, his vision blurred for a moment. A white shape dashes out into the road right in front of the car. Leach slams on the brakes and turns the wheel to avoid it, sending the car skidding off the road. The last thing Leach sees is a wide tree trunk as the car slams right into it, shattering the windscreen.

CUT TO:
EXT. FOREST. EVENING
Leach runs panicked through the woods, pushing his way through the trees as the rain hammers down. He looks around him in a frightened fashion. A shaft of lightning lights up the skies for a moment, startling him. Disoriented, he dashes out into the road and into the headlights of an oncoming car. The car swerves to avoid him and skids off the road into a tree.

CUT TO:
EXT. FOREST. EVENING
Leach pulls himself from the wreckage of his car, he is badly cut and bruised but otherwise seems alright. He looks over his ruined vehicle.

LEACH
Goddamn it! That's all I need right now.

Through the rain and the trees, all he can see is one distant light.

LEACH
I guess I'd better try there. Let's just hope somebody's home.

CUT TO:
EXT. FOREST. EVENING
The car is crumpled up against a tree. Leach is slumped over the wheel, his face cut up from the glass of the windscreen. An ambulance has pulled up alongside the crashed car and a paramedic has walked over. He opens the boot of the car and gasps with shock. Inside the boot is the body of a young woman bundled in a blanket, her throat slit and bloody.
Inside the car, the broken LCD display on the dashboard blinks with the number 19:00. The paramedic comes round to examine Leach as his eyes open wide with surprise and fear.

FADE TO BLACK

TITLE:
"Bell, book, and candle; candle, book and bell,
Forward and backward, to curse us to hell”
- Doctor Faustus

< Message edited by Maria Noir -- 10/5/2009 10:44:38 PM >


_____________________________

The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19 - Look Through The Looking Glass

"And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death."

"- Are we going to let politics get in the way of our friendship?
- Friendship? You told people I lured children into my Gingerbread House!
- Haha. Yeah. That was just a lie."

(in reply to Maria Noir)
Post #: 9
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners Showcase - 4/7/2009 12:15:58 PM   
Maria Noir


Posts: 2803
Joined: 1/6/2006
From: Café 5 to 2: Just follow Cheryl down Bachman Road.
Month 18 - Winner: TheDudeAbides: Challenge: "Picture This!"
PICK-UP
(BASED ON PHOTO J)
FADE IN:


EXT. TEXAS DESERT - MORNING
The sun dazzles in the sky over a brick and clapboard gas station next to a road which shimmers in the intense heat. In the reflection of a large chromium sign next to the door of the station store advertising tires, a fifty year-old man is crouched on the ground, shaving. This is Ell Waters. The razor is clasped tightly in his rough hand. It is dead silent, stultifying.

Scrape. He looks slowly upwards. A bird hovers in the sky, lets out a long caw. He looks back down to the mirror.

Scrape. Behind him, the slow, increasing rumble of an approaching vehicle. He runs his tongue over dry lips.

Scrape. His reflection begins to tremble as the vehicle gets closer. He wipes the blade clean on his trouser pocket with a slow, steady stroke.

Scrape. The motor, now very close, chokes to a halt. The man shifts a hand across his chin, wiping away the traces of foam. A car door opens, then closes in the background. The man gets up from his crouch, puts the razor in his shirt pocket. He turns.

A young man about nineteen is walking from a pick-up truck parked at the roadside towards him.
They stare at each other and away from each other by turns. It is a long moment. Ell swallows hard before saying:

ELL
Cass. How you doing?

Cass seems to be struggling to respond. Finally, he makes a wry face.

CASS
How am I...? It's kind of a long story, Dad.

The ice broken, they both smile with obvious relief. Cass, his stance more relaxed, jerks a thumb down at the mirror.

CASS CONT'D
What was it you're doing down there?

ELL
(gesturing to the razor)
Thought maybe you wouldn't recognise me otherwise.

Ell picks up the small sports bag at his feet and heads to meet Cass. The two walk back to the battered blue pick-up. Cass swings himself up into the cab and starts up the engine. Ell gets one foot up on the running board, then pauses.

CASS
What's up?

Ell is staring at Cass' legs under the dashboard, frowning absent-mindedly. He clears his throat.

ELL
Funny thing. Last time I saw you, your feet wouldn't have even touched those pedals.

Cass does not say anything, pulls on his baseball cap. Ell steps up to the passenger seat.

INT. PICK-UP CAB - DAY
The sun is higher in the sky now. The two men are silent, and it is evident that this has been the case for some time. Cass chews gum as they trundle along a desert road, whilst Ell looks out the window, his arm hanging outside.

ELL
So, what did you think of your Uncle Jack's place?

CASS
Jack's?

ELL
Right. You reckon I'll like it okay?

CASS
It's all right. I guess you will. I've only been there once, last year. Until I got this -
(nodding at dashboard)
- I couldn't get down there.

Ell looks around the interior of the cab, and then out the rear window, which looks onto the flatbed. He starts to open his mouth to speak:

ELL
Where'd--

CASS
--Ron got it for me. From a friend. Suspension's lousy, but it goes.

ELL
Suspension's not so bad. How's Ron and your mama getting along, anyhow?

Ell asks the question casually, staring steadily out of the window at the rolling plains of sand, but his fingers drum agitatedly against the paintwork of the truck.

CASS
Fine. She says for me to send her best wishes.

ELL
Her best wishes...

He makes a show of considering this, then looks sideways at Cass and asks:

ELL CONT'D
Folks usually send love, don't they?

Cass presses his lips and says tightly:

CASS
I don't know if folks send love or what-all else. She don't, anyway.

Ell smiles at his stiff reply, nods his head, repeating to himself.

ELL
'She don't, anyway'. Okay. Must have been a mistake on my part or something.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INT. PICK-UP CAB – LATER

Cass is swigging from an unmarked water bottle, one hand guiding the steering wheel. Ell is staring down at his folded hands. Cass offers the water with a rushed, awkward, gesture. Ell waves it away with a shake of his head.

ELL
So what'd they say about you coming down here to get me?

CASS
Not much. There's nothing they could do, anyway. This is my truck, my gas.

ELL
Your old man.

CASS
All right. Anyway, I wanted to come back to Texas again. Haven't seen it in ten years.

ELL
Neither have I. Unless what I could see between the bars counts, but I don't reckon it does.

CASS
How was it? Prison.

Ell stares dreamily into the landscape. His voice seems to come from nowhere.

ELL
It feels like a parade's going past your window, only you can't get up off the floor. Feels like that.

FADE OUT

FADE IN

INT. PICK-UP CAB - NIGHT
Ell is dozing in the corner of the passenger seat. They are in an urban area now, with the pale white glare of electric lights streaking over them. Ell stirs.

ELL
Lemme drive.

CASS
I'm all right. You don't need to.

ELL
You ought to get some sleep.

CASS
I ought to? Look, I don't need an ex-con who barely knows me telling me which way to button my pants. Don't get me wrong, I know you're only trying to help, but that's what I needed ten years ago. Not now.

He falls silent sharply, gritting his teeth firmly and staring at the road ahead.

ELL
'An ex-con'. That's what I am to you, alpha and omega, beginning and end?

Cass chews the inside of his cheek nervously, still looking hard out ahead. His face is pale, and he is trembling slightly. Ell's maintains a placid expression with evident difficulty, then finally shrugs in resignation.

ELL CONT'D
I suppose there's no reason for it to be any other way. I tried to write you often, but I guess it isn't much the same...

CASS
Maybe not, but I shouldn't have said that. There wasn't anything else you could do. Besides, Mama never brought me to see you after the first coupla months, after we moved with Ron. I mean, that must have been tough.

Ell, now wide awake, nods. Cass shoots him side glances as he drives, anxiously.

ELL
Uh-huh, it was. But they got this saying there – 'you do your time in the prison you've got'. I guess that was mine. Knowing I'd put myself there on my own hook and that was an end of it. That when I walked out again, you'd be a man and I wouldn't be anything more you than a stranger. Yeah, that was mine.

He takes to playing with his lighter, flicking the cap up and down with slow deliberation. Cass sighs off the heavy silence:

CASS
You're out now.

ELL
Yeah. Are you going to be sticking around at Jack's for a while?

CASS
A few days at least. I'm not sure this piece-a-shit'll make it back to Maine without a good looking-over. Anyway, Uncle Jack's a cool guy.

ELL
That sounds about right. When we were first married, I always used to ask your mama how come she never took up with him instead of me.

CASS
What'd she say?
Ell grins, runs a tongue over his bottom lip.

ELL
She said she didn't like his friends and that he would end up in trouble.

They catch each other's eye, and an irrepressible snigger slowly erupts from both.

CASS
Boy, she sure could pick 'em.

FADE OUT


FADE IN

INT. PICK-UP CAB - NIGHT
The pick-up turns off the road with a crunch, onto the drive of an isolated rural house. It is pitch dark except for an electric lantern hanging from the door frame, which illuminates walls which are a strange patchwork of brick and wood. The engine cuts out, the lights fade, the pick-up sits in the drive. Then Ell and Cass climb out, stiff-limbed. Cass commences to stamping up the driveway with heavy, clomping steps, rubbing his hands in the cold night and hunching his shoulders.

CASS
My legs are all messed up, feel like there's no bones left in 'em. I can't stand sitting down off my feet so long. How're yours? Way you were sleeping, they must be dead as hell.

ELL
I'm used to it.

The voice comes from behind him, and he turns around. Ell is leaning against the edge of the bonnet, looking out into the black desert under the stars as though lulled into a trance. Cass paces slowly closer to him.

CASS
I guess this is your parade. How's the view from the window?

A smile hovers around Ell's lips.

ELL
There ain't no window. That's enough.

He pushes himself gently up from the bonnet, but does not turn from the scene.

FADE OUT

END


< Message edited by Maria Noir -- 4/7/2009 12:19:40 PM >


_____________________________

The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19 - Look Through The Looking Glass

"And our bodies are earth. And our thoughts are clay. And we sleep and eat with death."

"- Are we going to let politics get in the way of our friendship?
- Friendship? You told people I lured children into my Gingerbread House!
- Haha. Yeah. That was just a lie."

(in reply to Maria Noir)
Post #: 10
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners - 9/4/2010 1:41:44 AM   
wgamador


Posts: 20320
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...
Month 19 - Winner: Monkeyfish: Challenge: "Through The Looking Glass"




SNOOZE

Based on Character: Q and Rooms: K, L, S,M and A.



FADE IN.

INT. BEDROOM. DAY.

An anonymous modern apartment. Everything is nicely but sparsely furnished, a double bed and a TV being the main objects. No bookshelves, no paintings on the wall. One side of the room is taken up by a series of windows. The curtain is drawn back to reveal an equally anonymous cityscape against the dark blue backdrop of dawn. The opposite wall is filled with a series of cupboards and wardrobes.

A man is asleep on the bed. Beside him on the wall is a panel that displays the time – “05:55”.

At this point the display begins to flash, accompanied by a bleeping alarm. The man turns over looking red eyed and groggy. He rubs his eyes and then hits a button that reads SNOOZE beneath the alarm display.

The display switches to reading “SNOOZE – 5 MINS”. There is a whirring sound of something mechanical starting up and a light switches on inside one of the chrome doored wardrobes along the wall.
The man rolls back under his duvet and is quickly asleep once more.

LATER.

The alarm starts to beep again and the display flashes with the new time – “06:00”. The man still looks kind of dopey as he sits up and presses the snooze button again, this time tapping it twice so it reads “SNOOZE – 1 HR”.

After a moment’s thought, instead of going back to sleep, he yawns, stretches, pushes back his duvet and gets up, staggering bleary eyed across the room.
He is a young man dressed in a vest and boxers. His hair is neither short nor long, messed up and standing in all directions. He looks at his reflection and tries to flatten it a bit. His face is covered with a mess of stubble.
As he is about to exit the room, he turns back to the bed and looks over to reveal that he has not been sleeping alone. The other person in the bed is still asleep with their back to him so all he can see is the back of their head and hair on the pillow. He leans back over and pulls the duvet up to cover the sleeping figure, tucking them comfortably in. Then he turns and stumbles out of the bedroom door.

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM. CONTINUOUS.

The bathroom is spacious but almost as empty of furnishings as the bedroom. A bath with shower stands against an exposed unpainted brick wall adorned with nothing but a towel rack set of nondescript paintings of sailing ships.

The man walks in and looks once more at his sleepy reflection in a mirror over the sink. He fills the basin with water and splashes it on his face, waking himself up a little.

He positions himself on the empty bathroom floor and starts his morning work-out, running through a series of callisthenic exercises - some stretches, sit-ups and crunches. As he moves from push-ups into squat thrusts, he livens up, seeming more awake and more agile and athletic. His breath comes heavier with muttered sounds of self encouragement against the regular rhythm of his bare feet slapping against the bathroom’s linoleum floor.

Finishing his exercises, he turns on the shower and lets the water run warm as he strips off his vest and boxers. He steps into the bathtub and under the warm water of the shower, just standing there for a moment and letting the water run over his face and down his body, shaking those last bits of sleep from him.
As he washes himself in the shower, he starts to hum happily to himself before breaking into song over the constant sound of falling water.


MAN [Sings]
Go go, go Johnny go go!
Go go, go Johnny go go go!
Johnny B Goode!



LATER.

With a towel wrapped around his waist, the man stands once more at the mirror over the sink. He brushes his unruly hair into a neat, professional style. Covering his face with shaving foam, he slowly and methodically rids himself of the stubbly beard.

After admiring his neater, clean shaven look, he puts on a dressing gown and leaves the bathroom, heading for the living room.

CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM. CONTINUOUS.

The walls and floor are all white and totally clean. The furniture is black leather and chrome. Everything, from floor to fixtures and fittings is polished to a mirror shine. There are very few decorations, shelves or personal touches.
The man walks in and turns on the TV as he picks up a shirt and trousers drying on an airer in one corner of the room. He gets an iron and ironing board from a white and chrome cupboard in the wall.
On the TV there is a news bulletin showing a weather forecast. The weather man stands in front of a grey, rainy scene.


WEATHER MAN
And you know, you can expect hazardous travel later today with that –



He is cut off mid-sentence as the man switches the channel over to watch a Roadrunner cartoon. The man proceeds methodically to iron his shirt and trousers as he watches the cartoons, the morning silence occasionally punctuated by “boing” and “meep” sounds from the TV.
Rather than getting dressed, the man neatly folds the clothes and puts them on a chair by the door. He checks his watch, it tells him the time is 6:45, then turns off the TV and goes into the kitchen.

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN. CONTINUOUS.

The kitchen has white walls and a black and white tiled floor. Once again, there are few pictures but for a calendar. A bowl of fruit stands on the small table in front of double doors that lead onto a balcony or terrace.

The man walks over to the fridge, opens it and stares inside as the bright fridge light stares back at him. Like the apartment, the fridge is sparsely but neatly stocked. He grabs a packet of bacon and a box of eggs and shuts the fridge.
The man fills the kettle with water and sets it to boil. Meanwhile, he takes out a frying pan and cracks the eggs into it. He fries the eggs and bacon, hearing the sound of them sizzling and cracking. As he flips the bacon over, he turns on the radio to hear the traffic report.


TRAFFIC REPORTER
Traffic is going to be pretty backed up with stormy weather predicted. Anybody looking to travel into the city centre in time for work is going to have to get going pretty soon.



Seeming unconcerned by this, the man continues to fry breakfast in his dressing gown. He checks his watch and then turns off the gas and the radio. He puts the eggs and bacon onto a plate. The kettle boils and he pours it into a mug of coffee.
He puts the coffee and plate of food down on the table. Rather than sitting down to tuck into his breakfast. The man pulls out a pad of paper from a kitchen drawer and scribbles down a note before heading back into the living room.

CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM. CONTINUOUS.

The man pins the note to the door out of the apartment and then goes back into the bedroom.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM. CONTINUOUS.
The sleeping figure in the bed is stirring a little. The clock display now reads “6:59”. The man glances at this, then at the second hand of his watch, waits a moment and then, quite unprompted and unexpected, climbs inside the wardrobe beside the alarm display. The door shuts with a whirring sound as the alarm starts to flash and beep.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM. DAY

The alarm beeps. The display flashes. It reads “5:55” and flashes to “SNOOZE – 5 MINS”. The wardrobe whirs. The man is in bed, hair a mess, stubble still on his face. He rolls over, pulls the duvet around him and goes back to sleep.

The wardrobe door swings open and out steps the man, clean shaven, hair tidy, dressed in the dressing gown. He looks down at his own sleeping form in the bed, before pulling back the duvet and climbing in alongside himself. He turns to face away from the other him and quickly falls asleep again.

LATER.

The alarm beeps and the display flashes “6:00”. Having just gone back to sleep, the man only stirs a little. Beside him, the bedcovers are disturbed by the other man, the other him, getting up. After a few seconds, however, he is neatly tucked back in.

LATER.

The man sleeps soundly, now stretched out in the whole bed. From the next room can be heard the grunts of physical exertion and the sound of bare feet slapping against a linoleum floor.

LATER.

Running water can now be heard from the next room, soon followed by the muffled sounds of singing. In the bed, the man stirs, rolls over, and wraps a pillow around his head to drown out the noise.

LATER.

The man slips into a deeper sleep, beginning to snore a little over the cartoon sound effects coming from the TV in the other room.

LATER.

The sound of sizzling bacon coming from the kitchen makes the sleeping man begin to stir. He sniffs the air, as if the smell of fried breakfast is beginning to penetrate his sleep.

LATER.

The man lies between sleeping and waking, just holding off from getting up that moment longer. Meanwhile, the other, earlier version of him walks into the room, watches him lie there. He keeps his eyes shut while the other him looks over him and then climbs into the wardrobe.
The wardrobe door shuts with a whirring sound as the alarm starts to flash and beep. The display reads “7:00”. The man yawns and rolls out of bed, looking considerably more rested than the first time, his eyes not bloodshot, his hair still neat. He walks out of the bedroom.

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN. CONTINUOUS.

The man sits down at the table and sips his just nicely cooled coffee. Having coffee ready for him as soon as he gets up perks him up nicely. He proceeds to tuck in to the plate of just fried bacon and eggs, polishing off the breakfast with some relish. Breakfast finished, he heads into the living room.

CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM. CONTINUOUS.

The man picks up his clean, ironed clothes from chair by the door and gets dressed. In a couple of minutes, he is wearing a neat suit and heading for the door to leave for work.
He sees the note pinned to the door and remembers something. The note reads “Have a great day. Don’t forget your umbrella! Love – yourself.” He smiles to himself and picks up an umbrella as he exits the apartment. He looks at his watch. Despite only getting out of bed at 7:00, it is still just 7:15.

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE. DAY.

The blinds on the windows are down. Outside the sound of thunder and heavy rain can be heard. The workstation by the window is a complete mess. A battered computer, phone and TV monitor share the desk with haphazard piles of books and files.

The workstation next to it is the complete opposite. Everything is clean, neat and in its right place. The man sits behind the neat desk typing at his computer. The messy desk is completely empty until a second man comes hurriedly into the office.
He is dripping wet, dressed in a dishevelled suit, his hair a mess and a couple of days stubble on his face. He sits at his desk and glances anxiously at the clock.


MAN
Just getting in?



CO-WORKER
Yeah, traffic was a nightmare. The weather’s terrible. I didn’t see that coming. How come you’re here in such good time? We live a couple of streets apart, I know you were out late last night too and yet here you are every morning, immaculately turned out, wide awake and early for work. What is your secret?



MAN
If I told you that it might disrupt the space time continuum.



CO-WORKER
Asshole.



FADE TO BLACK


< Message edited by wgamador -- 9/4/2010 1:42:48 AM >


_____________________________

"And as he, who with laboring breath has escaped from the deep
to the shore, turns to the perilous waters and gazes..."



(in reply to Maria Noir)
Post #: 11
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners - 3/11/2010 8:09:33 AM   
monkeyfish


Posts: 1234
Joined: 18/9/2006
From: Under the sea
Month 21 - Winner: Rgirvan44 Challenge: Icons


WE ALL FALL DOWN

CHARACTER: ROBIN HOOD


EXT – THE MIDDLE AGES – OUTSIDE TARVEN – NOTTINGHAM – AFTERNOON

Three men on horseback approach a tavern.All around them are signs of poverty and squalor. The faces of the townspeople are haggard; the smell of death and smoke hangs in the air.

The leader of the group, CAPTAIN MATTHIAS, broad shouldered, suspicious, but armour which has seen better days, gets off his horse.

Behind him the two others follow -

KENT – Young, nervous, a novice

BOYD –Beard, robes. A book under each hand.

Matthias indicates for the group to enter the tavern, ignoring the begging and misery surrounding them, Boyd holds his cloak up to his nose as they walk in -

INT - TARVEN – NOTTINGHAM – AFTERNOON

The interior is a place that used to have laughter, and joy. All that remains is a barkeep with a face full of regret and sadness. The room is practically empty. A loan figure sits at the bar.

Matthias appears to recognise him, and nods to the rest of the men to find a table.

The one at the bar is old. So very old. His bones have history in them.

OLD MAN
You be the son then?

MATTHIAS
I am.

OLD MAN
(Chucking)
You look like him.

MATTHIAS
You know my purpose?

OLD MAN
A trip into the forest?

MATTHIAS
I need your help.

OLD MAN
Heed my advice. Don’t walk in there. It’s a changed place.

MATTHIAS
Fairy tales do not interest me.

OLD MAN
They should. In my time the woods were green and bright. Now they are grey and dead. The spirits there are troublesome. Tricksters with magic and games. Not least the Hood.

MATTHIAS
He lives?

OLD MAN
In a way.

MATTHIAS
Where was the camp?

OLD MAN
Your father was a braver man than many. Heading into those woods by himself. I see you have some friends with you?

MATTHIAS
Interested parties.

OLD MAN
Arrows as fast as a flicker of light.Only second to him.Will, they would say to me, one day you will best him. But I never did. And he is gone; they are gone and a little bit of the fun faded from the world.


Matthias brings out A MAP. It is of Sherwood Forest.

MATTHIAS
Just point to where.

OLD MAN
A long time ago sir. Now I sit and drink and remember and wait for death to take me.Do you think I would be sitting here if I knew where it was?

MATTHIAS
If you made a promise.

OLD MAN
You must have been a bairn when your father passed on.

MATTHIAS
Murdered.

OLD MAN
(Hooting)
Yes! Bless him. Such a tragic end for a most noble man!

MATTHIAS
Careful with your words old man.

OLD MAN
(Muttering to himself)
Tell him about the woods. How it changed us, Robin.

MATTHIAS
Sprits do not scare me.

OLD MAN
(Coldly)
They should. You want to follow the stream at the edge of the wood, follow it until the green turns to brown. There you will find what you are looking for.

MATTHIAS
(Throwing some coins to the old man)
For your touble.

OLD MAN
Much obliged sirs!


Matthias walks straight out of the door. His men quickly follow behind, as the old man starts to sing a traditional children’s rhyme.

EXT – BORDER OF SHERWOOD FORREST – EARLY EVENING

The three men are travelling by a small stream. The sounds of birds, their only comfort.

KENT
Sir, we should stop. Say a prayer.

BOYD
A prayer will be of little use in those woods. Matthias, we must be careful. Brigands will stalk those woods. That old man might have tricked us?

KENT
Where’s your faith?

BOYD
In my books, and in my head. Maybe you will have been more confortable back at the priory.

MATTHIAS
Both of you be quiet.

BOYD
We should stop. Give me some time to record the events of the day.

MATTHIAS
We went to a shit hole of a town, spoke to someone, and are now heading to the woods. There. I’ve recounted the epic tale so far.

BOYD
I don’t think you appreciate the skill of putting a balled together.

MATTHIAS
Later.

KENT
Perhaps we should wait until morning?

MATTHIAS
I will not spend another night knowing it’s out there! Stay with your prayers and books if you must.


Matthias starts galloping. Kent and Boyd look at each other and follow him.

EXT – SHERWOOD FOREST – EARLY EVENING

The woodland is empty and silent. There are no birds.

KENT
The devil is in these woods.

BOYD
Nonsense. The winter months are approaching. It’s the thieves you need to keep an eye out for.

MATTHIAS
Enough of your piss and vinegar. Both of you.


The group turn a bend. As they do so, the colour of the woodland changes from dark greens to autumn browns. There are no leaves on the branches.

MATTHIAS
Well, I suppose we are going to the right way.

KENT
A footpath sir!


A small footpath, is seen heading into thick woodland and bush.

BOYD
Not enough room for the horses.

KENT
We can’t abandon them here!

MATTHIAS
It is the only way in. Would you care to wait with them?


EXT – THICK FORREST – EVENING

There is a stillness in the air as the group cut their way through the seemingly impenetrable forest.

KENT
We should give prayers before heading further.

BOYD
Oh for goodness...

MATTHIAS
He has a point. A short prayer to protect ourselves.


Kent smiles. Boyd rolls his eyes.

KENT
Lord. We ask for your protection in the coming hours. As your humble servants on this earth we look to you for the courage and guidance...

BOYD
And may logic preserve us from this insanity.


Kent throws him a dirty look. Matthias gives himself a small smile.

KENT
...and hope that even the weaker among us (OFF CAMERA: laugh from Boyd) are given the strength of faith...


There is another voice laughing. Brighter, and more full blooded than the others.

KENT
Lord preserve us!


Matthias brings out his old sword.

MATTHIAS
Show yourself!


There is a sudden breeze in the air.

The voice fades.

BOYD
Someone is playing tricks on us.

MATTHIAS
We move quickly!


The group picks up the pace. Kent has terror in his eyes.

Matthias is hacking at the branches in front of him. More and more branches. A thick, twisted braches -

He hacks and hacks -

Breaking it, a skull made of wood falls out. Its hollow eye sockets facing upwards -

The laughing, now giggling starts up again. The wind getting louder -

BOYD
We must follow the laughter!

KENT
No, we must turn back!


Matthias runs on. Boyd follows not far behind. Kent almost grabs his cloak and follows.

- running, through the dark and the trees. Branches cutting their faces -

- louder and louder the laughter gets –

- until...

EXT – CLEARING – EVENING

The group stumble into a clearing, circular in shape. Moon light hitting the ground. Looking up they see hundreds of wind chimes, the sequence of which gives off the noise of laughter.

At the opposite end is a stone table. Around it statues. Desecrated, but retaining their heads.

Sitting on the table is a skeleton, still wearing rusted, rotten armour.

Matthias runs towards it.

MATTHIAS
Father!


Kent closes his eyes and starts to pray to himself. Boyd is looking across the scene, his eyes taking in everything he sees.

MATTHIAS
Kent! Get over here. Give him the blessings!


Kent stumbling over himself tries to get to Matthias, but falls. A voice is heard from in the forrest.

VOICE
You come to my kingdom, you will bow!


Matthias draws his sword.

MATTHIAS
Who are you? Come out here!

BOYD
Your tricks won’t work!

VOICE
Tricks? There are no ticks here man of logic. You see the world for what it is. I am what I am. I am here in the air. I am in the trees. I am in the very soil you are standing on.

MATTHIAS
Release the boy!


We see Kent on the ground. As if taken by fear itself.

VOICE
I am doing nothing to the child of god. The demons of fear and terror have taken his senses.

MATTHIAS
You are the Hood?

VOICE
I was. I am.

MATTHIAS
You took the life of my father!

VOICE
Took? I suppose so. He did try and kill me.

BOYD
For witchcraft!

VOICE
And now his soul rots in eternal damnation.

MATTHIAS
And you? Your spirit is here!

VOICE
My spirit has always been here. I have always been here.

MATTHIAS
Kent! Ignore his words! I need you here!


As he speaks, the skeleton hand grabs Matthias.

SHERRIFF
Release me son! Release me!


Matthias falls back in horror. The skeleton returns to its position.

Boyd runs over and grabs Kent.

BOYD
Get up!


In the darkness around the circle. A pair of bloodshot eyes can be seen.

VOICE
The Hood they called me. The Hood of Sherwood Forrest.Deceiver of decent people.Destroyer of homes. But even I was loved. Oh yes. Loved by some.


Kent struggles up. Rosary beads in his hands.

The ground around them starts to move.

MATTHIAS
Give him the blessing!

KENT
(Nervously)
Our father...


Hands and feet start to slide out of the ground. Creatures.Halfway between human and the forest.

VOICE
We had such good times!


As Kent recites The Lord’s Prayer, Matthias sees the wood creatures, dressed in worm eaten robes, march towards the table. Boyd, horrified can only look on.

Matthias, his sword drawn, turns to Boyd and Kent.

MATTHIAS
Complete the prayer. Then run! Good be with you!

VOICE
First comes the father, then the son. The trees, and the grass and the leaves cannot be defeated. We have not given over ourselves to mortar and brick and stone!


Matthias charges the beasts. Cutting and hacking.

But to no avail.

Hands, covered in moss, begin to grab his face.

Kent continues the prayer.

KENT
And lead us not into temptation...


Matthias starts to be dragged into the soil itself. Blood streaming from his face.

KENT
...but deliver us from evil. Amen!


The skeleton on the table turns to dust.

KENT
Captain! It is accomplished!


Looking up Kent no longer sees Matthias. Only a sword on the ground. The creatures are gone. Boyd stands shaking.

BOYD
Leave! Now!


Kent tries to run. Something has caught him.

A branch.Moving. Like the tentacles of a squid.

VOICE
You think prayers are enough to save you? You have stolen from me child of god. Repayment must be given.


Kent is dragged onto the table by the branches. He is held down-

Sliding up across the table a mossy green substance, crawls to towards him-

Boyd runs forward, but for every branch he breaks, two more appear -

Kent can barely speak, reciting the Lord’s Prayer –

The moss grows over him. Consuming him. Kent screams in agony –

Boyd falls back –

The moss eats Kent. As it fades all are left is bones.

VOICE
The debt is repaid. And now you, man of words.

BOYD
Mercy!

VOICE
You doubted our power. What say you now?

BOYD
Please do not take me!

VOICE
Perhaps not. Perhaps you have a greater purpose. One I could use.

BOYD
Anything!

VOICE
(Laughing)
We will put your skills to great use.


CUT TO


INT – CHAMBER ROOM – DAYTIME

Boyd is seen writing on parchment paper.

CUT TO


Boyd talking to a large assembly of people, his hands animated.

VOICE
(V.O)
I will live on. In the memory. One day stone will rule. Yet I will survive.


CUT TO


Art work of Robin Hood is seen being drawn by an artist.

VOICE
(V.O)
But as an angel.


CUT TO


Printing machines publishing a book entitled “The Adventures of Robin Hood”

VOICE
(V.O)
This will be my true legacy.


CUT TO


Images of Hood, in paintings, films and television.

VOICE
(V.O)
And that is the escape you shall give me man of words.


CUT TO


EXT – NOTTINHAM CASTLE – MODERN DAY

The statue of ROBIN HOOD as we pan in.

VOICE
(V.O)
Who I am. What I am, will be forgotten. But I will remain.


CLOSE UP ON STATUES EYE

Waiting.Loved.


CUT BACK TO


CLEARING

Boyd, his eyes awestruck.

VOICE
(V.O)
What say you?

BOYD
Yes, my lord.


Boyd, starts to laugh hysterically. The wind chimes join him. As we move away from the clearing, the wind and laughter fades out, and gently a creaky LP version of the theme from the The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1955) begins to play.

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, with his band of men
Feared by the bad, loved by the good
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood...


FADE OUT

END


_____________________________

What became of the Empire Script Challenge?

Bring it back, I say!

(in reply to wgamador)
Post #: 12
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [Film Forums] >> Filmmakers' Workshop >> The Empire Script Challenge: Past Winners Page: [1]
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