Tag: Fiction

On Fire – Script Conversion 1

RYAN (V.O.)

I am two people.

INT./EXT. CHURCH VAN – COUNTRY ROAD – OVERCAST DAY

Unbroken stretches of Georgia pine. The van’s a billboard for WILMORE FIRST BAPTIST.

RYAN (30s), a lone disheveled man in the middle row, stares out the window in a daze. He mindlessly scratches the CAST on his forearm.

The DRIVER fiddles with the radio. LYNYRD SKYNYRD plays.

RYAN (V.O.)

I am now. And I am then.

INT./EXT. RYAN’S CAR – I75 – SUNNY DAY

That same Skynyrd TUNE, and Ryan sings along. He’s wearing a pressed shirt and a loose tie. He’s young. He’s excited.

Atlanta’s on the horizon

INT./EXT. CHURCH VAN – INSTITUTION GATE

The sign reads: WILMORE WELLNESS CENTER

The van comes to a stop as the GATE GUARD approaches, happy to see DRIVER.

GATE GUARD

Hey, Pete! How’s that boy of yours?

PETE (DRIVER)

Tom, I tell ya, I ain’t never

seen him throw this good.

TOM (GATE GUARD)

Amen to that, brother.

We’ll need him this year.

PETE

I hear ya. I’ll let him know

you’re rootin’ for him.

TOM

We’ll put him on the prayer list, too.

PETE

We could use all the help we can get.

TOM

Everybody could, ain’t that true?

(gesturing)

This the guy, I guess?

PETE

(undecipherable)

Ryan isn’t paying attention to the men anymore. He sees

CENTER GROUNDS

BALDY wearing a grey-blue jumpsuit. Baldy is standing at a side door, leaning and smoking, and staring across 30 yards straight into Ryan’s soul.

VAN

Ryan scratches his cast.

CENTER GROUNDS

The propped open door swings wide. ORDERLY 1, looking like an angry mountain, gestures to Baldy, who flicks his cigarette into the grass and heads inside.

VAN

The GATES open.

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from Ghostwriting – 1

I didn’t mean to quit my job. Just like I didn’t mean to move back into my parent’s guest room. Just like I didn’t mean to get a common-law divorce. Just like I didn’t mean to get her pregnant and throw my hands in the air after weeks of arguing about everything to do with her body being her decision. If I could have carried the damned thing, I would have. Reality bites, the Gen Xers said.

I was shattered. I was grieving the loss of potential. I was afloat in a sea of what ifs and shoulda dones. I was infected by a disease known as The Fuckits, and I didn’t know where to go. So I went home. Fifteen years on my own, and I crawled back with my tale between my legs. It was only made worse by how easy it was. My job let me transfer. Mom and Dad were happy to see me. My dog was glad to have a backyard.

I quit my job as a mattress salesman about 4 months after the move. I just woke up one day and realized that I was done pretending. I hate sales. And sure, I’m pretty good at convincing people to buy something they already want to buy, but saying the same ten sentences to every person who walked through my door for 15 years was in no way fulfilling. The only reason I still had the job was because it pays better than it has any right to. 50k/year for about 4 hours of actual work each day. The fuck is everyone else working so hard for, I always wondered.

And then I figured it out. You work hard for a sense of accomplishment. You work hard so that when you turn around and look at what you’ve done with yourself, you don’t feel absolutely fucking worthless. I never worked for much of anything. I felt pretty fucking worthless.

Scenes – Caroline 1

FADE IN:

INT. CAROLINE’S TRAILER – NIGHT

SERIES OF CLOSE UPS

Gaudily framed family photos. Great-Granny. Grampa. Mom. Daughter. No father needed.

A ripped signed Aerosmith poster tacked to the wall.

A refrigerator covered in kindergarten art and holiday cards.

A pink wall covered with crayon doodles.

Dolphin tchotchkes littering an entertainment center.

An ashtray full of butts on a fingerprint-smeared glass coffee table.

INT. CAROLINE’S TRAILER – LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Light from the kitchen casts shadows.

On the sofa sits DAVID (20s), bare-chested. Rigid spine. Knees bouncing another hole in his jeans. He bites his thumb nail.

Eyes flick to a DOLPHIN CLOCK.

11:30.

David huffs and stands. Three steps to cross the room, fingers separating the blinds so he can see

Nothing. There’s nothing to see. He drops his hand, shaking his head. He turns toward the hall.

INT. CAROLINE’S TRAILER – HALLWAY – NIGHT

Quiet steps leading to soft pink LIGHT spilling from a doorway.

INT. CAROLINE’S TRAILER – APRIL’S ROOM – NIGHT

David peeks into the room to find APRIL (6) softly snoring, clutching a stuffed animal.

He pulls the door nearly shut.

INT. CAROLINE’S TRAILER – KITCHEN – NIGHT

11:47 reads the clock on the stove.

David leans against the counter, distracting himself with his phone.

11:48.

He trades his phone for a pack of cigarettes. He lights one while checking the scene through the window.

EXT. CAROLINE’S DRIVEWAY – NIGHT

A clean white pickup pulls in fast, headlights bright and clear, LEDs flashing purple to green along the undercarriage.

BASS thumps.

INT. CAROLINE’S TRAILER – KITCHEN – NIGHT

11:52.

David watches through the window. Takes a relieved drag from his cigarette.

EXT. CAROLINE’S DRIVEWAY – NIGHT

The truck’s passenger door opens.

Electronic MUSIC spilling into the night. GIGGLING follows.

                    CAROLINE

          Okay!

               (more giggles)

          Oh my GOD, STOP!

               (a delighted squeal)

One long, bare leg is joined by another. The giggles introduce us to CAROLINE (20s) as she finally manages to pull herself out of the truck. She’s dolled up in country chic. Blonde hair high with product. Tank top showing bra straps. Short skirt.

She’s carrying her shoes with her small purse.

CAROLINE

          Okay, Weirdo!

She SLAMS the truck door.

HONK

She slaps the hood of the truck as she stumbles past it.

Dogs BAY at the hubbub.

                    CAROLINE

          SHHH!

               (laughing)

          Asshole!

She tiptoes her way through the grass to her trailer, fumbling through her purse.

INT. CAROLINE’S TRAILER – KITCHEN – NIGHT

11:59 on the clock.

A smoldering cigarette butt in the ashtray on the counter.

INT. CAROLINE’S TRAILER – BEDROOM – NIGHT

David, in bed, pulls the sheet over his jeans.

Caroline makes a RACKET opening the front door.

David reaches for the lamp on the nightstand and turns it off.

BLACK