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The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19: READ ONLY

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The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19: READ ONLY - 11/3/2010 11:03:57 PM   

Posts: 20310
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...

"Through The Looking Glass"

Anyway for this month's challenge, I have decided to build you a dollhouse (no need to thank me!). I have also given you a number of potential "dolls" or characters to use. What you have to do is write a script that takes place in one or more of these rooms using at least one of the prescribed characters. You are of course, free to invent additional characters but you must only use the rooms provided.

Room A

Room B

Room C

Room D

Room E

Room F

Room G

Room H

Room I

Room J

Room K

Room L

Room M

Room N

Room O

Room P

Room Q

Room R

Room S

Character A

Character B

Character C

Character D

Character E

Character F

Character G

Character H

Character I

Character J

Character K

Character L

Character M

Character N

Character O

Character P

Character Q

Character R

Character S


1. All scripts must be between 2-10 pages long, when set out correctly. Use Courier New, size 12 font.

2. All scripts must incorporate the challenge requirements - any script which does not will be asked to be re-written, or disqualified.

3. Scripts containing pornographic or otherwise objectionable material will not be accepted. If you submit such a script we will give you a warning and ask you to re-write. Failure to comply will result in disqualification.

4. The time limit for each script is one month from when the challenge was posted. If you cannot meet this deadline, please send a PM to let Maria Noir know. Scripts submitted after this date with no warning or explanation will not be accepted.

5. To keep all scripts anonymous please send them to the following address - Otherwise PM them me and I shall post them. That way voting cannot be prejudiced. I ask you to remain honest so that this may be a fair competition.

6. To suggest a topic for next month's challenge, please send a PM.

7. At the end of each month, a public vote will decide the monthly winner. At the end of a set amount of time, the monthly winners will be voted on to find one overall winner. The final decision is just that, and cannot be argued with.

There will be two threads. One for scripts specifically and one for comments about them and any script chatter. The script thread will not be made until the first script has been submitted so until then all talk about the challenge should stay in here. When the deadline is up votes will be submitted in the already made voters thread located in this forum.

Maria Noir
Pigeon Army
Willie Mayes Hayes
Epiphany Demon
Justified by Grace



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



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.


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.



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!


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.



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.

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.



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 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.



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


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.



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.



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.

Just getting in?

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?

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



< Message edited by wgamador -- 20/3/2010 4:22:46 AM >


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

Post #: 1
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19: READ ONLY - 15/3/2010 1:55:02 AM   

Posts: 20310
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...
Oh! What A Lovely Wall

Based on Rooms: A, M, O.



A typical teenager’s bedroom. Piles of clothes, magazines and junk strewn thick everywhere. Posters on the wall show images of THE EXPLOITED, BLACK FLAG, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and CHE GUEVARA. ADAM MCKENZIE, mid teens, is sitting at his computer desk. He wears original punk style clothes, sports a Mohawk haircut, and has several piercings. He is cutting into a piece of card with scissors, while occasionally glancing a look at the computer monitor. On the screen we can see in bold black military style font the words “FREE PALESTINE”.


Hey Adam. Do you want this breakfast or not?

Yeah, yeah. Keep your hair on.

ADAM hurriedly finishes off cutting the card, sticks it in a BLACK BACKPACK and also packs in several tins of SPRAY PAINT found lying on the room floor. He switches off his computer using the power button and heads on downstairs with bag in hand.



A small kitchen/dining area that is fashioned to a “70’s chic” style. ADAM sits alone at the table, head down, eating cereal from a bowl. His MOTHER washes dishes with her back to him. Wearing a red apron and a matching hairnet, his MOTHER looks like a woman in her mid forties, not mid fifties. The blaring noise from a T.V can be heard off screen. ADAM’S MOTHER turns round 180 degrees and rests on the kitchen counter.

So. Hear anything back from the fruit van about a job for the summer?

Yeah. They told me to apply again next year. Something about “scaring the customers”.

ADAM looks up at his MOTHER and they both share a giggle.
ADAM’S SISTER DEBBIE interrupts them. DEBBIE heads straight for the fridge. She takes out a carton of ORANGE JUICE and begins to pour some into a glass that she has in hand. DEBBIE, tall and slender built is wearing a short summer dress. Her hair is sandy blonde, long and wavy. She wears a flower clasp to the side of her head.

What’s on the agenda today Johnny Rotten? I hear that civil unrest has broken out in Sri Lanka. Why don’t you fly on over and give those pesky terrorists a good old what for?

Well, if the “terrorists” you are referring to are the Liberation Tigers Of Tamil Eelam, commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, then I’m afraid I’ll be joining them. Not fighting them.

DEBBIE finishes pouring her glass of juice and looks at ADAM in a mixture of disgust and bewilderment.

You are such a loser. No wonder no one likes you.

You are such a tart. No wonder everyone likes you.

Right! Enough is enough.

DEBBIE walks off sticking her middle finger up behind her back as the sound from the T.V becomes more audible.

…We now join our reporter who is live at the scene. David, has there been any progress on talks overnight?

The factory workers had hoped that bosses would cave into the demands from trade union leaders last night. However, this has not happened. An indefinite strike has been called, leaving an entire mobile phone manufacturer with no production and fifteen hundred people with no pay. Bosses from both sides are not backing down, reminiscent of the miner’s strikes of the Thatcher era.

The T.V is switched off. ADAM’S FATHER enters the kitchen. He wears pyjama bottoms and a wife beater vest that emphasizes his large paunch. His hair, although still there, is thinning and greying. He is a retired policeman in his mid-fifties with a very conservative outlook on life.

They bloody trade unionists! Best thing this country ever had was Thatcher! Gave that Scargill and the rest of them a right good kick in the balls. Unions have never been the same since.

ADAM’S FATHER knows this kind of talk is an easy way to rile his son into an argument. Surprisingly, ADAM do’s not rise to the bait and continues to eat with head down. ADAM’S FATHER persists.

That’s what they Arabs are missing too. Somebody like Thatcher to keep them in line.

ADAM stands up abruptly from the table, grabs his backpack and kisses his MOTHER on the cheek.

Bye mum.

Bye son. Have a look out for more jobs. You can’t sit around here all summer.

The loud THUD of the door can be heard as ADAM leaves.

That fucking kid! I know they all go through phases, but this. Sticking safety pins through your nipples and reciting the communist manifesto. That isn’t a phase. That’s a disgrace. That’s what it is.

ADAM’S FATHER paces around the kitchen, still thinking of his only son’s rebellious teenage behaviour.

I mean…my father God rest his soul. His grandfather. That’s exactly what he fought against in Korea. Now he’s desecrating his grave by talking all this Karl Marx, Fidel Castro mumbo jumbo.

ADAM’S FATHER stops and looks at his wife who continues to wash up. His blabbering has fell on deaf ears.



An empty, damp and dingy, basement level, public toilet. Lighting in the room is uneven. Some lights are on, some are off and some flicker. The décor of the place is such that the white of the ceramic tiles under the GRAFFITI is barely noticeable on some walls. FOOTSTEPS can be heard getting louder. ADAM enters the rooms and sits his bag on the wet floor. He quickly scans the room and spots a nice untouched area of wall to begin his ‘art’. He pulls the necessary equipment out of his bag, stands on the drainpipe of the toilet to gain access, and begins to SPRAY PAINT over a card stencil which he had prepared earlier.

A light noise from behind ADAM alerts him to turn his head. A MAN with the look of an Italian footballer dressed in a smart cut suit and carrying a leather satchel stares up at ADAM intently. ADAM pauses for a second, stares back, and then slowly carries on with his work. The MAN takes a draw of a cigarette and continues to watch


ADAM closes his eyes and mouths the word ‘FUCK’.

ADAM climbs off of the drainpipe and starts to pack up his bag, ignoring the MAN. The MAN flicks his cigarette butt into the nearby urinal and exhales.

Is that it? FREE PALESTINE. Not much of a social statement is it?

Well that’s your opinion. Not meant to be a social statement. It’s more a cry for recognition and equality for the Palestinian people.

Yeah… but you’ve missed the point. Every single person who comes in here, people of all ages and political leanings, will take one look at that message and not think about it ever again. Messages like that are seen on just about every wall, bridge and train around the globe. It’s lost all it’s power to convey the message you so wish to spread, due to the amount of people like yourself who feel it necessary to write it on every piece of urban landscape that doesn’t already have FATHERS 4 JUSTICE or STOP THE WAR COALTION on it.

ADAM feels embarrassed by this, having the latter stencil in his bag.

However… You must be commended my young friend. It takes a lot of guts to stand up anonymously in a western democracy and call for things no-one else believes in- like peace and justice and freedom.

ADAM smiles at the stranger like you would an old friend. The MAN returns the smile and shakes ADAMS hand.

Now. Where was I? Yes. FREE PALESTINE. Two small simple words. But with nothing else to grab someone’s attention, they are instantly forgettable. However… a picture paints a thousand words. How about adding an image to get people thinking and then hopefully acting?

Sounds good. But my free hand isn’t very neat.

Not to worry. You got card, scissors, glue, scalpels?

All in my bag.

Well let’s not waste anymore time then.

You reckon we have enough time though? A thirty second stencil is one thing, but trying to do the Mona Lisa without so much as a drunk wandering in is another.

Remember crime against property is not real crime. People look at an oil painting and admire the use of brushstrokes to convey meaning. People look at a graffiti painting and admire the use of a drainpipe to gain access.

ADAM can only continue to smile. He is convinced. The MAN takes off his suit jacket and rolls up his sleeves. ADAM hands him the bag. However, the MAN refuses.

No you’re doing it. A lot of people never use their initiative because no one told them to.

This talk excites ADAM. Someone on his wavelength at last he thinks. ADAM picks up some card and begins drawing onto it. The MAN looks on and smiles.



ADAM and the MAN stand back from the finished work and observe.


We see a stencil art work of a Palestinian kid above the toilet pan. The kid wears a ‘suicide belt’ and has a ‘McDonalds’ fast food restaurant hat on. There is a straw that runs from the kid’s mouth to the top of the toilet cistern, which has the lid removed. The text “A VISIT TO THE WEST BANK MAKES YOUR DAY” is curved over the top of the image in rainbow shape and colour.


It’s a fucking masterpiece! If there is a sudden increase in the amount of gift aid sent to the Palestinian people, you my friend, are wholly responsible.
ADAM can barely hide his grin but retorts.

Doubt it. We’ve been the only people in here for an hour.

But the night is young. You wait and see my friend.

ADAM bends his knees and begins packing away his kit. With his back turned ADAM continues chatting.

I never got your name. Mine’s ADAM. ADAM MCKENZIE. My dad would be so proud to see my do this! Anyways I was thinking…

ADAM turns his head up to continue chatting to the man to find him gone. Vanished. He quickly looks around. No one but ADAM.

ADAM returns to pick up his bag, have one last look at his masterpiece and leaves the toilets with a proud look and swagger.



ADAM sits alone at the breakfast table. He eats toast while studying the book ‘STENCIL GRAFFITI’ by TRISTAN MANCO. The T.V from the adjacent room can be heard blaring again. His MOTHER and SISTER DEBBIE are jointly washing and drying dishes while in mid-conversation.

So I said to her. “Well there is a new cold meat counter up the back of the SPAR shop and I hear it’s reasonable” and she say’s to me “Well let me tell you this. Janie Smith bought a quarter pound of gammon from it and said it wasn’t fit enough to feed her dog”. I think I’ll just be sticking to McCallum’s the butcher if that is the case.

DEBBIE reply’s with a series of ‘Hmm-mmh’s. Her MOTHER’S daily tales of small town gossip seldom require any other reply. ADAM’S MOTHER continues to rabble on as the sound from the T.V get louder.

(O.S)…The factory workers and union remain defiant and have blocked all traffic from entering or leaving the site. The strike action continues. And now lastly, Police have cordoned off and are guarding a run-down public toilet in Glasgow’s St. Vincent Street today, as they attempt to stop hundreds of people squeezing in to see controversial street artists BANKSY’S new work. We join our reporter David, live at the scene. David, has the graffiti art been confirmed as a real BANKSY?

ADAM’S jaw hits the floor as he hears the T.V. He is speechless.

No not yet. BANKSY’S P.R firm have neither confirmed nor denied these claims, but did admit that the artist was indeed in Glasgow. As BANKSY’S identity still remains anonymous, his whereabouts at this moment in time remain unknown. For all we know he could be in the crowd right behind me.

A LOUD cheer is heard from the crowd on T.V.

What about the image David, have you seen it for yourself and can you describe it if so?

Yes I have seen it. Anyone familiar with BANKSY’S art will instantly recognise it as a hybrid from all his past work, including the collection of his work seen on the Gaza strip wall in Israel. I can only describe it as an anti-capitalist, pro-Palestine work. Could be his most striking and daring work yet. I did notice the work was ‘untagged’, meaning he has not signed his name personally to the work. However, since his rise as a street-artist, many of BANKSY’S later works remain ‘untagged’. That’s all from me. Back to you Simon.

Thank you David. BANKSY comes to Glasgow concludes today’s News. Now onto Heather with the weather.

ADAM rises to his feet. He points to the T.V screen in astonishment. His father has switched the T.V off and enters the kitchen. ADAM continues to point.

That…that was me. It wasn’t BANKSY, it was me.
Well it was me. And BANKSY. I think.

ADAM’S FATHER laughs mockingly. He looks to his wife and daughter who are trying hard to contain their laughter.

Oh forgot to say. I won’t be home for dinner tonight. I’m going on tour with Beyonce!

ADAM’S FAMILY all laugh loudly.

My only son. Unknown street artist BANKSY. Still pissing the bed and living on a tenner a week pocket money.

The laughter continues as ADAM storms out of the kitchen.

Enough with the laughing you two. You’ve just hurt his feelings.

ADAM’S FATHER and SISTER are laughing so hard that they are wiping the tears from their eyes. His MOTHER gets back to the dishes.



ADAM thrashes around the messy room looking for something. He throws clothes and magazines around until he finally finds what he is looking for at the bottom of a pile of books. Last years forgotten about Christmas present from DEBBIE.


The book is titled BANKSY: WALL AND PIECE

ADAM skims the book pages. We see stencil graffiti in various styles. A page ADAM stops upon has an African child wearing A McDonald’s fast food restaurant hat. A few pages on and ADAM’S heart nearly stops. We see the quote on page while simultaneously hearing the MAN’S voice.

It takes a lot of guts to stand up anonymously in a western democracy and call for things no-one else believes in- like peace and justice and freedom.

A few more pages on. We see another quote.

Crime against property is not real crime. People look at an oil painting and admire the use of brushstrokes to convey meaning. People look at a graffiti painting and admire the use of a drainpipe to gain access.

ADAM continues to skim the book. Another quote is seen.

A lot of people never use their initiative because no one told them to.

ADAM’S face is focused. He throws the book back to the floor and readies his graffiti utensils into his bag. ADAM picks up his MP3 PLAYER from his computer desk and plugs in his earphones. He takes a black hooded top from his wardrobe and puts it on. ADAM smiles like the time he first met the MAN and leaves the bedroom. We hear the quote again.

A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.


< Message edited by wgamador -- 20/3/2010 4:15:50 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 wgamador)
Post #: 2
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19: READ ONLY - 15/3/2010 1:53:58 PM   

Posts: 20310
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...

Based on Characters : H, M and Room: J



A wing disturbs the darkness. It sways back and fourth
caught in a blur of movement. Feathers are huge, enormous in
fact. Too large to belong to any kind of bird. Too
beautiful. The wing ceases to move and the darkness engulfs
all once more. A solitary feather floating gently through

The feather comes to rest atop a ruffled duvet, besides a
still hand.


A shaft of morning light breaks through drawn curtains,
penetrating a musty air and illuminating various medical
equipment. The walls are bare but for stains in the wall
where christian symbols were once fixed. They have left
their mark long after being removed.

The light continues to stretch up across a bed top, inching
over the duvet and towards across singular large white

Beyond the feather sits ARTHUR (CHARACTER M), a visibly ill
man pushing fifty, upon the edge of the bed with holding an
oxygen mask to perched lips with a frail hand. He has just
woken and breathing heavily, as if his lungs refuses to

I still dream of you. The same
dream every night. You come from
the heavens and you take me to the
stars. You gave me my meaning.

Besides Arthur an array of tablet containers litter a
bedside cabinet. He grasps at a bottle, lowers the oxygen
mask and takes his dosage.

But I wake to my tower riddled with
my disease.

An O.S. knock disturbs ARTHUR from his thoughts. He turns
his head to the doorway.


ARTHUR struggles up the apartment block stairwell, pulling
himself up every step with a harsh wheeze. He occasionally
stops to gather his breath before continuing his almost
impossible task. He reaches a clear white door, leading on
to the roof-


-And out into dull clouds stretching out towards a distant
horizon tucked behind a cityscape. All is silent. All is

The stairs are becoming harder to
climb. The reward for my
efforts, pitiful.

Across the rooftop rows of wire mesh pens stand, full with
tens of carrier pigeons. They begin to coo as ARTHUR steps
into the open

Not even my birds stir much
anymore. They don’t have the
passion for life I used to see
burning behind their eyes. This
life is now dull. Once sharp as the
tip of knife now blunt as a worn

Arthur limps across the space and opens the cage doors,
fumbling with each lock. They do not fly; instead they
wander aimlessly, content with the home they have made for

But what is a carrier pigeon
without a message to carry? No more
than a shell. A vessel in vain.
I’m dieing. Have been since the
cancer found me. But I can’t quite
bring myself to make that leap.

Arthur taps the wire mesh in the hope to provoke them from
contentment. The pigeons scatter, revealing a lifeless shell
in the center of the cage. Arthur sighs heavily and reaches
inside the pen.

I guess some part of me still has a
grasp on hope. The hope that one
day I’ll have a message of my own
to carry. Maybe then I too can be

He pulls the dead bird into his chest, sheltering it from
view of the other birds, and whispers towards it. Arthur
hurries past the pens and towards the balcony, all the while
whispering toward the limp body.

A moment passes as he stops to survey the land below. Life
bubbles as usual. Without hesitation, Arthur hurls the bird
into the air and to surprise it flies away, up towards the
clouds. It has a message.

I send them to find you. They never

Meanwhile, watching on with eager eyes, Arthur takes a small
medicine bottle from his trouser pockets, pops the lid and
takes another dosage before turning away and back to the
pens, shuffling along with weak legs.

Arthur reaches inside the pen once more, takes a handful of
loose feathers and places them in his pocket
before shuffling back towards the stairwell. The cage
remains open, the birds remain still.


ARTHUR’S struggles down the bare hallway, his body against
the wall for support. He approaches his room with a key in
hand when-


Startled, Arthur turns with a hand racing up to his chest.
Behind him stands an aged woman (CHARACTER H), once
beautiful though now fading like the red in her hair.
However there is still life in her skin and energy in her
features. She’s a far cry from the ARTHUR’S frailty.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.
Are you okay?

Arthur holds up one hand in apology as he takes a puff on an
inhaler with the other.

It’s... okay. I’m fine.

He looks at her.

Do I know you?

My name’s Alison. I just moved into
the apartment across from you. I
just wanted to say hello. Make my
presence known as it were.

ALISON smiles a toothy grin. She looks and sounds younger.

You knocked on my door earlier?

Yes. I’ve knocked on every door
down this hallway.

How’d that work out?

Nobody answered

Arthur begins to laugh. It soon turns into a chesty cough.

They never do.
(Collecting himself)
Sorry. It’s just that nobody lives
here anymore. Not before you,

The idea of me knocking on empty
apartments tickled you?


Don’t be! It’s a funny thought. So,
why do you stay?

Somebody has to keep the birds.

There must be someone else who-

There isn’t. It’s just me.
And now you.

Arthur turns to his door and opens it.

I’m sorry, I don’t mean to keep

You’re not. There’s not much to do
here but sit and wait here anyway.

Wait for what?

Arthur ruffles his brow as he searches for the right answer.
It alludes him. Instead Arthur turns back to the doorway and
steps inside. He turns back.

Do you want to come in? I could do
with some company.

I don’t mean to impose...

You’re not. Come.

Arthur shuffles down the apartment hallway and out of sight
leaving Alison behind. She stands there momentarily,
debating whether or not to follow. Her decision made she
enters the apartment and closes the door behind her.


ALISON walks down the bare walled hallway and into a small
cramped dining room. A table stands before a window. The sun
beams in.

ARTHUR is out of sight.


I’ll be back in a second. Take a

Alison looks at the table and its two lonely chairs. They
collect dust. She remains standing.

Arthur enters the room from the kitchen, clutching loose
feathers in his hand. He places them on the table and takes
a seat.

Please, sit. This wont take long.

Alison seats herself.

He begins to rifle through the feathers, separating them in
two piles. One full of thick long immaculately white
feathers, the other with shriveled dull feathers.

What are you doing?

You can tell everything of a bird
from the quality of its feathers.
It’s health, age, sex. Where it’s
been. Who it’s met. How high it’s
flown and for how long. Everything.

But why collect the feathers?

I like to know my birds are of good
health so that they may leave
whenever they wish to.

Do they?

(With a heavy sigh)
(Picking himself back up)
But I like to know they can.

And if they were to fly?

I don’t know. I guess I’d wait for
them to return.

Seems kind of pointless.

That depends on where they’ve been,
who they’ve seen and what they
bring back. If they come back.

And how will you know?

(Motioning to the table)
Feathers dear.

Alison laughs. She’s looking more and more youthful by the

Of course.

Arthur examines his last feather and places it in the ’good’

So, what’s the verdict? Have your
birds been anywhere nice.

Just the roof. They never leave.

Why not?

I guess they’re waiting too.
Waiting on their own little message
to take with them.

So, why don’t you give them
something to say?

Because I don’t have a message to
send. I only have questions.

So you’re waiting on answers?

Well, whatever it is I don’t have
much longer to wait.

Arthur takes another dosage of his medicine. Alison stands
up and takes a step towards Arthur.

You’re dying.

Alison stands in front of Arthur, she looks down on him with
loving eyes swelling with tears.

(Matter of factually)
I know.

But you wont die. Your body is
riddled with death but your mind
refuses to let go.

Arthur leans back slightly.

Who are you?

I’m your replacement. Here to tend
to your flock when you have gone.

Arthur stands up suddenly and pushes away, his arms
outstretched and his eyes wild. Alison stands in front of
the window, the light engulfing her.

No! They’re my birds! My
responsibility! I keep them, I feed
them! You can’t take them away from

I’m not here to take them away from
you. I’m here to send them with
you. You don’t need messages. Death
doesn’t need meaning.

It does! Everything has a meaning!
It must! Her death needs to mean

Alison holds out her hand.

You’re ready, Arthur. You’ve waited
long enough... so has she. You can
let go now.

Arthur’s eyes widen. He see’s Alison framed between two
beautiful wings. They glide back and forth in an hypnotic
trance. Arthur takes her hand. The background changes behind
her, engulfed by a sudden burst of light and dimming to


The stairway door is open.

The bird pen is empty but for a flutter of immaculate
feathers. The door swings at the will of the wind.

At the edge of the rooftop stands an ANGEL. It’s majestic
white wings stretch out across the skyline in a display of
beauty. Though the Angel doesn’t bear Alison’s features.

Arthur smiles and then begins to laugh. His laughter rises
without falter, clean of disease. Tears stream down his

It’s the same dream every night.


A shaft of setting light breaks through drawn curtains,
penetrating a musty air and illuminating various medical
equipment as well as a framed photograph of a younger Arthur
embracing his love. It’s Alison.

You come from the heavens and take
me to the stars.

The light continues to stretch up across a bed top, inching
over the duvet and towards a motionless body. It’s ARTHUR.
His face is still, lips blue and eyes open, forever staring.

A uniformed MEDIC makes his way around the bedroom. He
checks Arthur’s pulse and turns to his colleague with a
shake of his head. A third medic brings in a black body bag.


The stars begin to blink through their shroud of light as
the sun disappears behind a distant skyline. ARTHUR bends
his knees with ease and jumps out into the air, his eyes up
towards the twinkling stars. He ascends.

Below, three medics pull a stretcher outside of the
apartment block and make towards an open ambulance. Upon the
stretcher sits a body bag with Arthur inside. They load the
stretcher into the ambulance and close the doors.

I hope I never wake up.

As the engines start and the ambulance begins its journey we
come to rest on a dead carrier pigeon lay upon the pavement.
It’s wings outstretched and broken. It’s eyes staring


< Message edited by wgamador -- 20/3/2010 4:15:26 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 wgamador)
Post #: 3
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19: READ ONLY - 20/3/2010 3:03:10 AM   

Posts: 20310
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...
The Greenhouse Effect

Based on Characters : M & P and Room: N


A Scraggly bearded old man, FLOYD, stands hunched in the aisle of a long greenhouse. It stretches away, lit by flickering strip-lights. Ordered rows of varying types of bright vibrant plants line the Greenhouse.

On his shoulder a pigeon shifts, following his movements.

Floyd sprays the plants. The chemical fizzes, as it hits the dry leaves, A hazy smoke rises.

He reaches into his cardigan pocket and raises up a handful of bird seed.

The pigeon eats from his hand.

The bird stops pecking for a beat.

Then the pigeon pecks at Floyd’s plaster covered finger.

A flash of red flows to the surface of the plaster.

Floyd releases the seed, the grains fall to the floor as he gasps and swipes out in panic.

He Flails wildly, as the pigeon takes flight.

The shock turns to anger and Floyd takes chase.

The pigeon flies low, near missing plants.

Its flight path Sends delicate flower petals into the air, they hit Floyd's face as he follows behind wheezing.

He stops, wipes the petals from his face while supporting himself on the metal frame holding a potted rare orchid-like plant.

His cracked lips spread into a smile.

He leans across the aisle and hit’s a button on the wall.

A mechanism whirs into life, gears grind. Across the Greenhouse a bird squawks.

Floyd walks around the vines and picks up a fallen pot plant, balancing it back up eyeing it and with a testing finger prods the broken vine.

He breathes in sharply, through gritted teeth.

On the floor the pigeon hops dazed, feathers float around it.

Floyd moves to the Greenhouse entrance, the mechanism whirs.

The glass rattles, as the door shakes on the frame, the mechanism appears to be forcing it to close beyond its means.

Floyd grunts. Pulls a wire on the mechanism and the system falls silent.

At his sandaled feet the pigeon regains its faculties.

Floyd reaches into the other pocket, takes out a small notebook and jots down: ”Adjust cut off point for door shutter“.

He takes a thoughtful beat, pulls at one of the hairs on his chin, it comes loose and he places it on his tongue sucking it like it’s a lozenge.

He looks at the damaged wire in his hand, Writes: ”Purchase New wire from store“.

He Slides the pencil into the binding of the notebook and returns the book and to his cardigan pocket.

He turns on the pigeon in anger, looks at his bloodied finger, holds it towards the bird.

The pigeon hops a few feet around, searching the ground.

Floyd grips the seed in his pocket and launches a handful at the pigeon.

The pigeon flaps in surprise.

The bird lands, quickly pecks at the seed settled on the moist concrete floor of the Greenhouse, picking between fallen soil and moss patches.

Floyd spots a SHOVEL leaning against one of the glass panels, he slowly reaches for it.

Craning his vision, he raises the shovel, takes aim.

A small hand grips his wrist and steadies his arm.

Floyd stumbles, releasing his grip on the Shovel, the pigeon takes flight, as the Shovel slides past it.

Looking up at him, with a scowl, is a young GIRL. Her long matted hair fallen across her forehead cannot hide the dark eyes beneath. She wears an Adult sized lab coat tied tightly around her waist the Photo ID card pinned to the lab coat chest says “DR Floyd, Botanical Research Division” with a scowling image of the old man.

She releases her grip on Floyd‘s arm.

He turns, moves to the door slides it open, jumps out and pulls it closed behind him.


He pulls himself together as he breaths in the night air, steam swirls from his mouth.

He stares at the girl through the moss tinted glass.

She stomps a foot, turns and walks back into the greenhouse.

He moves around the outside watching her walk, the vision of her distorts through the thick glass on the greenhouse, he struggles to keep up with her.

She passes behind a dense collection of plants.

He continues on.

He stops cranes his neck, breathes on the glass, a light condensation spreads and he quickly wipes away the grime with the back of his hand.

We can see only plants.


Floyd grips the Shovel, his hand poking at the dense collection of plants.

He looks at the windowpane, with a clean wiped patch, makes an angle with his hand in it’s direction to where he is stood.

He kicks a moss patch and looks around, baffled.

On the ground next to long thin vine, he sees a few grains of seed.

He crouches down.

He raises the gain up to his eye, inspecting it.

His blurry eyes focus on the grain.

As he lowers the grain, he stares at something behind it.

He is kneeling in front of a large flower bud, 3 foot high, a thin pink slit down the centre.

He reaches out, his hand probes the slit.

As his fingers reach the top of the plant it begins to open.

Floyd takes a few steps backwards, his sandals slip on the moist concrete and he stumbles.

As he finds his footing, he looks back to the Flower bud has opened.

From inside the bud, steps the Girl, in her hands she holds the pigeon tightly.

Floyd steps closer looking at the girl then to the flower bud and finally to the pigeon in her hands.

Her fingers appear to be buried deep beneath the feathers, the pigeons head shakes erratically, then bobs for a moment and then shakes violently.

The Girls eyes are fixed shut, Floyd looks down at her bare feet at the base of her heel a thin fleshy vine stretches to the bud.

Floyd scratches his beard, pulls at a loose hair and places it on his tongue. His spittle audibly slops, as he rolls it in his mouth.

He leans forward taking the pigeons legs, carefully begins to draw it out of the grip of the girl.

The pigeon flops into his grip, feet first its body dangling connected by vines that flow from the fingers of the Girl.

On closer inspection the vines are drawing fluid from barbed incisions in the pigeons side.

Shocked, Floyd drops the pigeon and it dangles loosely from the web like hold the girl has on the it.

The barbs retract and the Bird is released.

It falls to the concrete as the vines rescind into her fingers.

The girls eyes open, fix on Floyd as she steps back into the large Flower bud.

The Bud closes around her.

Floyd breaths heavily, holds his chest, he eases himself to sit on the concrete keeping his eyes on the sealed Flower bud.

He scratches at his beard.

Takes a strand of hair, places it on his tongue, as he marvels at the giant flower bud.

His eyes fall heavy, flick open, he shakes his head, his eyelids fall. Black.

Sound of: Footsteps slapping on Damp concrete.
Floyd's eyes open.

In front of him, the Flower bud appears to have doubled in size and is hanging wide open.

Floyd stumbles to his knees.

He sees a woman hurrying away through the Greenhouse.

He pulls himself up and takes chase.

He slides to a wheezing stops at the quick lock button he presses it, then curses, as it sparks and electricity fizzles.

He makes his way to the entrance of the greenhouse. He looks up and sees the woman stood on the metal frame above him.


The sun is raising, revealing the rows of neighbouring greenhouses, Sprinklers spring to life spraying water across plots of unusual looking plants.

The Infrared security beams flicker as droplets cross their proximity lights sensor.

Floyd looks up at the woman, She stares down at him.

She stretches out her finger, bites at the tip. A thin thorn raises to the surface just below her nail.

She flicks her wrist and the thorn shoots from her finger hitting Floyd in the soft skin below his right eye.

Floyd cries out in pain, reeling back reaching up to his eye to remove the thorn.

His fingers hesitate as images begin to spread across his field of vision.


Text Reads: 1 Month ago.

P.O.V: Floyd is looking down at the Flower bud, he writes on a file. The vision is hazy and fades when Floyd is still, his movements seem to produce the image that the Flower Bud receives.

P.O.V: Floyd's finger moves towards the bud, increasing in size until it presses on the soft (seemingly) transparent surface of the Bud.

P.O.V: Beneath the buds surface, a small spike ended tube raises towards the finger and pricks out.

P.O.V: Bright red flows into the Bud. The blood separates revealing Bright colours, which are assailed by probing vines from within the plant.

P.O.V: The finger pulls away, the colours remain shifting and manipulated by the tiny vine networks. They cocoon the swirling colours.

P.O.V: Time passes- Slowly the vines unravel, revealing a small pink foetus, it bobs in the plant fluids.

P.O.V: More time passes- the Foetus has grown, features have formed. The vision flows up the vines into the heels of the developing baby and flows through it’s body up to it’s eyes.

P.O.V: The vision quality increases as the eyes adjust to the pod.

P.O.V: The Babies legs grow rapidly, down into the Flower Bud. Arms extend towards the slit of light in the bud.


The Girls fingers break through the Flower bud and it opens at her touch.

She stumbles as she hit’s the air of the greenhouse. Gasps as her lungs fill with air, she vomits plant fluids.

She shivers, her eyes dart around the Greenhouse.

On a rusty nail hangs a lab coat, she pulls on the large coat and secures the tie.

Wrapping her arms around herself, she coughs and wipes away the fluid using the sleeve of the lab coat.

A cough echo’s hers. She freezes and crouches.

She sees Floyd pass on the other side of the Greenhouse, the pigeon on his shoulder obscuring his face.

She cranes her head creeps forward, following Floyd through the Greenhouse…


The visions fade as Floyd pulls the thorn from the skin under his eye.

A small trickle of plant fluid falls from the incision point.

Floyd wipes the wound with a snot soiled handkerchief and returns it to his cardigan pocket.

The Sun surrounds the Woman, as she stands on the top of the greenhouse roof, the lab coat glows bright white.

The back of the Lab coat spasms and tares.

Two large wings sprout, adorned with leaves.

Floyd's tearful eyes widen.

She steps from the edge of the edge of the Greenhouse and begins to glide above the gasping old man.

Her winged shadow spreads shrouding him, a loose leaf flutters past his eyes.

He watches her wings flap once in the air. Before she descends sharply crashing into the large compost bin.

The contents spray across the test site, mixing with the sprinkler water breaking the infrared beam.

A small alarm sounds out, the woman looks up as red alarm lights flash across her field of vision.

She shields her ears with hands soiled by the decaying compost mix.


Floyd guides the dazed woman into a bright white room, stainless steel tables, a Office arranged desk with a computer half way. Beneath their feet tiled floors with easy drainage.

Ahead of them the HEAD SCIENTIST is feeding a Iguana through the bars of a cage, the woman looks past the scientist at the reptile crunching, the cricket.

She moves up to the cage, the scientist stares at the wings hanging from her back.

He moves across to Floyd, shakes his hand briskly.

Floyd passes over a file, with samples and photos charting the Flower buds development.

The scientist scans the document: “…Erratic development… doubles in size…Defensive to touch…Low maintenance…”

The woman’s fingers recoil from the cold steel Iguana cage, she turns to the Scientist and Floyd they are looking over the report.

She looks at the open door and to the Reptile in the padlocked cage.

She makes a dash across the room. Her wings spread, flapping, doubling her speed.

The two men look up as she crosses their vision.

Floyd takes up the futile chase.

The Scientist takes a calming breath, leans over the desk and presses a button underneath. The Lab door slams shut.

The Woman’s feet slide on the tiled floor as she attempts to stop and crashes into the sealed door.

A cloud of leaves fill the air, Floyd nears her and looks down at her weeping eyes.

He jumps, startled as the Scientist pats him on the shoulder.

The Scientist eyes the woman, a large smile spreads across his lips.

As Floyd looks at her, a flash of the young girl’s wide eyes fills his vision.

Girl (V.O)

He turns and walks away from the woman’s wounded gaze.

His hand quivers as he reaches and pulls at his beard.

Three long hairs come away in his fingers, he sits on a swivel chair at the lab desk.

Places the hairs on his tongue.

Closes his eyes and rolls the beard hairs in his mouth.

Behind him the Scientist helps the subjugated Woman to her feet.

His steel toe capped boots crushing the shed green leaves from her battered wings underfoot.

The End.

< Message edited by wgamador -- 20/3/2010 4:14:59 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 wgamador)
Post #: 4
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19: READ ONLY - 20/3/2010 3:53:27 AM   

Posts: 20310
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...

Based on Characters J, A, L, E and Rooms : S, B, C, E, G.

A high window gives a little twilight illumination to this room, a dark basement with a harsh metal staircase and a dusty, unswept floor. Apart from a few scattered scraps of plywood, the only thing in the room is a little girl- 8, maybe, or a little older- who sits cross-legged against a wall in the corner of this basement. She cries quietly, holding her thick black-rimmed glasses up with her hands, the salty water collecting against her palms. Her name is AMY. Above her, the sound of knocking on the oak front door can be heard. She wills herself to stop crying, shaking with the effort. Another knock sounds. Her resolve breaks and she sobs out.
Above, a man shouts out.


Amy shakes, her mouth open, tears streaming down her face.

Hello? Miss Sheen? Hello?

Amy, on hearing her mother’s name, bursts out in a sob.

Hello? Are you alright?

Amy shakes, no longer making noise.

I’m breaking the door down, okay?

The front door can be heard breaking, and heavy footsteps in the hall above. A MAN, wearing the uniform of a FedEx man, runs down the stairs of the basement. He gasps when he sees Amy.

Oh, Jesus!


Early morning light illuminates the bedroom of ANNA, a young woman with brown hair in curlers. The telephone on her bedside table- with a flashing red button on it, one of many cutesy-oldsy pieces cluttering her room- rings constantly. Anna sits up, slowly, then grabs the phone up.


Hi, Anna.

Hey Julie. Is there a new kid?

Yup, she’s a little sweetie with big black-rimmed glasses and she needs a home, at least for a few nights.

Anna sits up and scratches her head.

What’s the story?

Well, parents both deceased, both at home, nobody realised until Fed Ex guy broke in yesterday evening.

How long?


How long between the parents dying and her being discovered?

Let me just check.
There is a pause on the phone. Anna cups her hand around her mouth to smell her breath, and winces.

Well, the coroner reports aren’t back yet but they estimate at least a week.

Anna exhales sharply.

I know. Poor little sweetie.

Amy sits on a leather armchair facing DR. FELDMAN, a young child psychologist with brown eyes, who sits on one part of a leather couch.

So, do you have a favourite flower?

Amy looks at him blankly.


A rose, perhaps? Or a dandelion?

Amy shakes her head.

No favourite flower?

I prefer trees.

Y’know, every little girl I’ve ever met has said sunflowers. Would you like sunflowers, taped up to those glasses so that you could see nothing but beauty all day long?

Amy looks at him blankly.

Taped up to the lenses?

No. And if I had to choose a flower, it’d be a black tulip.

In Anna’s bright, funky, filled to the roof with knick-knacks-kitchen, Dr. Feldman sits with a cup of coffee. ANNA- tall, hair in rollers still but with pink opaque tights on- re-enters and sits opposite him.

Sorry about that, delivery guys, y’know?

Oh that’s fine, I really just came to drop off this paperwork, you didn’t have to-

He gestures at the coffee, Anna cuts him off.

Please, it’s my pleasure!

She sits, and Feldman picks up his coffee.

So the lady on the phone said something about behavioural difficulties?

Well, not exactly. I mean, when you were a little girl, were you happy?


I mean, as a little boy, I was pretty happy. You know, I could get upset about stuff, but at the end of the day I was pretty happy. Compared to now, y’know?

Anna frowns.

But this little girl, well- she’s not happy. At all.

But- her parents only died a few months ago-

But that’s not the whole story. She’s got no capacity for happiness, it’s like…

He looks down at his coffee, and sips a little. He sets it down and looks at the corner of the table for a minute, biting the inside of his cheek.

I believe that as a child, you innately see the good in the world. Everything is beautiful. As you grow up, you realise that there’s actually some pretty bad stuff going on. For her, it seems, things have gone the other way: she only sees the bad in things, and she’s never been taught to see the good. Do you know what I mean?

I think so, yeah.

She looks around the kitchen.

Poor little thing. You think she’ll like it here?

Feldman smiles at her.

She should. And if she doesn’t, just put some black tulips out.

Through the flimsy net curtains flits a smoky kind of light, and Amy and Anna sit facing each other on separate cream armchairs.


So you’re my foster carer because you’re bright and kind?

Anna considers it, then nods.

Probably. And thanks.

She smiles. Amy doesn’t.


So you wanna see your bedroom?

Amy shakes her head.

I’ll see it eventually, won’t I?

Fair enough. Would you like something from the kitchen?

Amy is about to shake her head again, then her stomach rumbles.

Amy stands at the entrance. Anna flicks the kettle on then looks at the little girl.


It looks like a rainbow threw up in here.

Anna cracks a grin and laughs.

Yeah, I like things bright.

I can see that.

Anna nods.

So what’d you like to eat?

She looks at her watch, an oversized affair with a blue face and a pink strap.

ANNA (cont’d)
It’s only 4, how about some sandwiches or something?

What’ve you got?

Peanut butter, jelly, whatever you need.

Peanut butter.

Anna turns to the cupboard.


Anna smiles back at the little girl.

Anna turns off her light and settles into bed. After a moment, Amy can be heard sobbing. Anna lies still for a moment, unsure as to what she is hearing, then her eyes crinkle. She slides out of bed, ties a robe around herself, and steps through her door. It stays open as she can be heard shuffling down the corridor in her gown; then, through it, the sound of another door creaking can be heard. The crying intensifies.

Oh, honey.

Anna sits at the table in a tartan robe composed of wild blues and flaming reds, a coffee in her hand. Amy shuffles in bleary-eyed, glasses already on. Anna sips her coffee and smiles.

Good morning.

Amy sits at opposite Anna and puts her head on the table.

Coffee, tea?

I’m not allowed, I-

Anna looks back at her.


Well, you’re old enough to choose, I think.

Amy says nothing, and sits still, blinking.

I have juice, too?

Amy nods. Anna grins and turns to the fridge.

So what do you want to do today? I mean, it’s a weekend, no school?

I don’t really want to do anything.

Anna turns back from the fridge with a glass of orange juice.



Amy shakes her head, and accepts the juice from Anna.

Fair enough.

She sits opposite the little girl and sips the coffee. Amy sips her juice.



Amy shakes her head.



You can’t give me any sort of speech. It’s too early.

But I wasn’t-

You definitely were.

She sips her juice. Anna laughs and shakes her head.

I was exactly like you at your age.

Far happier, though.

Anna looks down at her coffee.

Anna sits opposite Dr. Feldman in his kitchen, a small, poky place with two windowed doors looking onto a dark garden.

She just keeps looking at me like I can never understand what’s happening to her.

You mean about her parents?

Exactly. I mean-

She looks up at Feldman.

Larry, how do I tell her that I know exactly what that feels like?

Feldman nods, then- and with exacting hands- takes off his glasses and holds them against the fabric of his shirt, rubbing them to clean the lenses. First, the left, then the right.

Well, Anna there are all sorts of things in our lives that we find difficult to tell people about.

He looks up at her; she nods. He lays the glasses down on the table and looks at her.

Mostly it’s just fear of what the person’s reaction will be. But I don’t think that’s true here, I mean-

He smiles-

I don’t think that’s the kind of thing that phases you.

He laughs and looks her in the eye. She smiles and actually blushes.

But have you thought it’s something else? I mean, you know what it felt like.

I’m not sure what you mean.

Maybe she doesn’t want to feel like someone understands- she has to deal with it by herself.

Outside, the night has fully come.

And I think you know that.

Anna looks down at her hands.

You did it, and you’ve become someone anyone would be proud to be.

He touches her hand, and she looks up at him.

So help her be that kind of person too.

She smiles back at him.

You have such a tender smile.

He smiles, and puts his glasses back on. He laughs suddenly.


She laughs back.

A door slams, and Amy can be heard shouting out.


Footsteps grow louder, and Amy steps into the kitchen in school uniform.


She looks around.

Amy steps into the living room. On the table is a vase of sunflowers; on the windowsill, a row of little mugs, all filled with a little water and a handful of sunflowers. Hung on one of the walls there is even a painting of sunflowers. Anna leans against the windowsill, a faux sunflower stuck in her hair. A wry smile is on her face.

There’s still happiness in the world, no matter how you feel. And I’m here for you.

Amy trembles- so does Anna- and she looks around. Everywhere, sunflowers, and the light floods in through the open window.
Amy smiles.

< Message edited by wgamador -- 20/3/2010 4:14:39 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 wgamador)
Post #: 5
RE: The Empire Script Challenge: Month 19: READ ONLY - 20/3/2010 4:07:49 AM   

Posts: 20310
Joined: 17/1/2006
From: A polluted womb...
Etre, ou ne pas être

Based on Characters: O, M and Rooms: D, B.


The setting is a large, cavernous and partially destroyed theatre (Room D). The room is completely empty and the floor is covered in rubble and dust. On stage two men appear suddenly, MATT (Character O) and GASTON (Character M). They walk over to the edge of the stage and peer over the precipice.

Meticulous, bloody meticulous. (He pauses and drags on the cigarette he’s holding) You’ve got some nerve with this one.

(With a strong French accent) This is only the beginning! It has been a painstaking procedure, but it is a labour of love.

Well gaffer, whatever you’re doin’ seems to be working well enough. Just make sure the ceiling doesn’t fall in.

Oh it won’t. There are a series of stainless steel ballasts supporting the entire roofing structure. It could withstand a direct hit!

Well let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, otherwise all your work would be for nothing. (Pause.) Anything else to show me?

Of course, of course!

GASTON scrambles off the stage and MATT follows him. He stands at the back and whistles long and hard. After a moment SOFIA (Character A) walks out onto stage and stands directly in the middle.

This is Sofia. She is something of a muse for me.

Very nice work Gaston. Very nice. (Shouting up to SOFIA) How are you love?

(Interrupting) Oh, she speaks no English. But she doesn’t need to open her mouth! Just look at her!

I’m looking and I’m liking. You’ve built on sure foundations, and that’s a quality I respect.

I’m glad that you and the boss are pleased.

Oh I shouldn’t like to speak for the boss myself, but I shouldn’t foresee any problems.

I’m am eternally indebted to you! You who saw the magnitude of my vision, who came out here just to assure yourself that I could achieve what I had promised! And I shall deliver!

Well that’s very nice of you Gaston, but my plane is taxiing at the airport so I’d better hit the tarmac before the wheels leave it. But I shall be back with the boss for opening night. I’m sure he’ll love it.

I am sure he will too. (Offers his hand to MATT and they shake firmly) It has been an honour to present my work to you.

Alright, see you in a couple of weeks.

As MATT walks off he pulls out a phone and keys in a number. After a moment someone picks up.

It’s me. Matt! You muppet. He seems to have sorted himself out well enough. What? I don’t know, we could probably squeeze a thousand in here. Of course we better! If we don’t you’ll have to learn how to get an honest bloody job! What? One that doesn’t involve pretending to be a gangster, perhaps? One that doesn’t involve pretending to have money that we don’t have, perhaps? One that doesn’t involve financing theatre projects in Bag-Fucking-Dad, perhaps? Alright, I’ve got to go and find somewhere I can stay for the next two weeks. I’ve got thirty quid. Yer, I know. It’s shit.

He hangs up the phone just as he is about to leave the theatre. He is greeted by blistering sunlight and the sounds of the streets of Baghdad.


The theatre is now packed with people who are milling around. Gradually everyone goes silent and looks toward the stage. SOFIA walks on in a spotlight.

Etre, ou ne pas être, c'est là question. Y a-t-il plus de noblesse d'âme à subir la fronde et les flèches de la fortune outrageante, ou bien à s'armer contre une mer de douleurs et à l'arrêter par une révolte ?. Mourir... dormir, rien de plus ;... et dire que par ce sommeil nous mettons fin aux maux du coeur et aux mille tortures
naturelles qui sont le legs de la chair : c'est là un dénouement qu'on doit souhaiter avec ferveur. Mourir... dormir, dormir !

Moving away from the stage we see MATT alone behind the crowd of people. He looks satisfied and content with life. JIMBO sidles up to him.

Well, it all came right in the end eh ?

Yeah, i guess.

She is quite something. (He stares at SOFIA) Possibly the most attractive Hamlet i’ve ever seen.


What’s wrong ?

Just, no...

Look, we’re young, we’re rich, we’re attractive and we’re in Baghdad. We have everything we ever wanted !

I know, i know. It’s just, well.

We can fly back tonight if you like.

Look Jimbo i should tell you something. For some time now i’ve been harbouring a raging passion for...

Suddenly out of the blue the ceiling crumples amidst the noise of loud explosions. The thousand people inside the theatre begin to run towards the exits as the structure begins to collapse.

Merde ! The bastards !

The bomb went off inside ! They’re inside the theatre, they are going to kill us all !

Amindst the general panic JIMBO streaks off towards the door, but MATT plunges back into the theatre against the swelling crowds of people.

(Screaming.) Matt, you daft prick !

JIMBO continues out of the door and MATT is seen scampering onto the stage and then running off.


MATT seems to be alone as he walks down the stairs into the cellar beneath the theatre (Room B). It is dark but the boarded up windows have been blown open and light is beginning to stream in.

Sofia ? Sofia ? Where are you ?

The room is expanding in visibility as the light cast by the window opens even more.

Sofia ? Talk to me ? I love you ! Sofia ? Where are you ? Please !

More light becomes visible until the back wall is exposed. There SOFIA stands with an AK-47 strapped around her and pointed at MATT.

Sofia ?

She fires fire rounds into MATT’s chest.

Ne pas etre.


The theatre is completely ruined. Rubble is everywhere and all is still. Suddenly there is movement from the middle. The rubble shifts and a hand claws the rocks away to expose the face of GASTON. From beneath the rubble he pushes up a pigeon which climbs out and flies away.

Fly away ! Fly away !


< Message edited by wgamador -- 20/3/2010 4:14:08 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 wgamador)
Post #: 6
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