Just not tonight.
For [Non]Fiction Friday I'm posting a short screenplay I wrote for class. Hopefully the formatting isn't strange, I'm just copy and pasting it from Word.
EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD – DAY
The neighborhood is rundown. The rain is coming down extremely hard. The streets and sidewalks are covered in puddles being pelted by huge raindrops. There’s a low rumble of thunder.
There’s litter floating in the puddles and stuck to the sidewalks and grass. On one telephone wire, there is a pair of shoes hanging from it, dripping with rain. Even the trees look rundown.
I once learned about the role that weather plays when it comes to story telling.
The houses are less than impressive. Many are falling apart. Some have boarded up windows or doors. There are missing shingles and chipped paint.
Supposedly, when it storms, it usually means something bad is about to happen.
One house in particular looks really pathetic. The yard is small with a once white picket fence. The fence starts at one corner of the yard and lasts about two feet. There’s only a few patches of grass throughout the tiny lawn; the rest is mud.
Foreshadowing, it’s called.
The three steps leading up to the door are old and look like they’ve been marched on for years. The left-hand side of the second stair is missing and there’s a large hole in the middle of the third one.
INT. BATHROOM – DAY
ALEXIS YOUNG (16) stands in a bathroom so small it should be marked “standing room only.”
Stormy weather is also used to show times of suffering. You know, hard times?
She is wearing all black. She stares at her clouded reflection in a chipped, cracked and scratched mirror. She slowly fixes her hair, combing through it with her fingertips.
She makes eye contact with herself. Her eyes are slightly bloodshot and have bags underneath them.
The rain cues the audience to feel a certain emotion—helps them understand the mood and the desperation of the situation.
She reaches down and turns on the faucet. There’s a slight clanking and the water starts to flow a weak, light brown stream. She sighs and watches until the water clears.
I didn’t know that it happened in real life too.
Alexis puts her hands together and lets the water fill the makeshift bowl. She begins to bring the water to her face when a baby cries. She drops the water into the sink and lets out a slow, long sigh.
INT. BEDROOM - DAY
Alexis is sitting on a mattress on the floor holding her sister, DESI YOUNG (5 months). She is rocking Desi, trying to calm her. After a moment, she hears a car horn and she peeks through a sheet covering the window to see a small, rundown car in front of her house. The rain is still pouring and the thunder rumbles again.
It started raining the day my mom was killed.
INT. CAR – DAY
Alexis puts Desi in the back seat of the car, in a car seat and closes the door, then gets into the front seat.
And it hasn’t stopped since.
In the car is Alexis’ friend, TONI TYSON (17). When Alexis is buckled into the car she looks over at Toni, who gives a weak, sympathetic smile, puts the car into gear and drives off.
I guess art really does imitate life.
EXT. CHURCH – DAY
The car pulls up in front of the church. Toni turns off the engine, but Alexis doesn’t move, she just looks out the window towards the church doors.
Toni gets out of the car and goes to the backseat to grab Desi. Before she brings Desi out of the car, she puts up an umbrella to keep them both dry.
Alexis still hasn’t moved by the time Toni starts to walk towards the church.
INT. CHURCH – DAY
The church is small on the inside. It is just one room with only a few rows of pews on either side of an aisle.
There is a modest, closed casket centered at the front of the church and very little flowers.
Toni walks in with Desi. There are about ten people scattered throughout the pews. Toni takes a seat in one of the empty ones.
The room is practically silent—the only sounds being heard are the shifting of the people in their seats and the rain and thunder outside.
After a few moments, Alexis walks into the church. Everyone turns to watch her. She stops in the middle of the aisle and stares back at them.
The ORGANIST is playing a hymn. Faint sounds of crying are heard.
Reverend Dixon told me that the casket should be closed because whoever it was that shot her, shot her in the face. He said she didn’t look the same.
After a few measures, Alexis gets up and walks very slowly and cautiously towards the casket.
Reverend told me not to, but I had to see her face. When she was alive, it was filled with the sweetest beauty. I had to see what they did to it.
Alexis gets to the casket and runs her hands along the edges. Finally, she opens it. Small gasps are heard and the organist stops playing.
The room is silent again as Alexis pulls the casket all the way open. They all watch as she stares at her mother’s body.
Alexis looks at the puffy mess that used to be her mother’s face. She slowly she reaches into the casket and touches her mom’s face gently, as if trying to soothe her pain.
She can’t hold back tears any longer and finally starts to sob. She sits on the ground in front of the casket, rest her elbows on her knees and her face in her hands as she continues crying.
Shortly, Toni, still carrying Desi, gets up from her seat, sits next to Alexis and puts an arm around her.
INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
Alexis sits on the mattress with Desi lying next to her. Just a few candles light the room. Alexis uses a tiny flashlight to read a book. After a moment, Desi starts to fuss. Alexis picks Desi up, stands, and starts to rock and bounce.
I don’t know what we’re going to do without her.
Desi just cries louder as Alexis continues to try to calm her.
Kind of a downer, I know, but I'm in a downer sort of mood.
Hope you're all well.
Title Song: 'Her Diamonds' - Rob Thomas