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J off course
10-29-2004, 07:24 PM
INT. HOUSE BATHROOM - NIGHT


A hand holding a hammer pounds away at a stubborn window lock until it slides open. STEPHEN, 20's lifts up an old window until it won't budge any further. He puts his face against the screen and breathes in as though lacking air.

His POV

EXT. YARD

A bare tree sways from a winter gust. Leaves and debris scatter across the backyard like mice.

INT. BATHROOM

He backs away from the window.
Nearby a toilet tank covered by a variety of household cleaners.
Stephen makes a quick scrub of the toilet bowl with a bristle brush and flushes.

He looks around the bathroom. All is spotlessly clean except a spot on the medicine cabinet mirror. He takes a cloth and starts to wipe it away, noticing his reflection.

STEPHEN
Stephen, my man, I do
believe this will be the
first time you get a
cleaning deposit back.

INT. HALLWAY

Stephen passes an empty room until he comes to the top of a stairway.
A cellphone RINGS in his pocket. He sits on the top step and answers it.

STEPHEN
Hello? Yes. Well, I was going
to leave around nine. Pretty
much finished up around here.
Actually, I need it out of here
tonight. The landlord is
making a sweep in the morning.
You can't find a truck?
Well..I'll wait. Sure. Yes. Two hundred
dollars. Ok.

He hangs up the phone, gets up and goes down the stairs.

INT. LIVING ROOM

A bare space except for a box. An old but attractive upright piano sits in the corner.
Stephen goes to it and plays a sad little tune.

STEPHEN
Hate to part with you
but I can't afford this
place any more. No room
for you at moms.

He leaves the piano and goes into the...

INT. KITCHEN

A window sits over the sink. A thin branch from the backyard tree scrapes against the window. The gusts pick up outside. The lights flicker.
He opens up the refrigerator. There is nothing in it but one beer. He takes it out and opens it, bringing it back to the steps where he takes a seat.

INT. STAIRS

He dials a number on his cell and waits for a response.

STEPHEN
So, you are going to
let me go back to Wilkes-Barre
without talking? Did you think
I wouldn't notice how you
act around him? It's bullsh*t
Todd. You know how I feel
about you. Ok, I'll give it a
break. Like is anyone giving me
one?

He hangs up and bangs his head against the wall.

The phone rings and he answers.

STEPHEN
You don't want me
acting like this. OK.

He hangs up.

The moonlight shadows lengthen on the piano keyboard.

EXT. YARD

The wind picks up and the tree sways like a drunk at midnight.


INT. STAIRS

Stephen sleeps on the stairway with the beer at his side on the steps and his hand grasping it.
He awakes and looks at his watch.

STEPHEN
Eleven O'Clock. Damn.
Where are those buyers
for the piano? Sh*t.

He gets up and goes to the front door.

INT. FRONT DOOR

He opens the door and looks out.

His POV

All is quiet and dark. Not a soul or vehicle moves.
He closes the door with a shiver and returns to the stairs.

INT. STAIRS

He hits the star sixty nine on his phone.
Someone answers and he hangs it up quickly.

A louder scraping sound from the kitchen draws his attention and he gets up to go see.

INT. KITCHEN

Stephen flicks on the light switch but the current is dead.
A branch scrapes against the window, but there is something else that draws him closer. A long shiny liquid filament hangs down outside the window. It shimmers and undulates in the moonlight.

Stephen stares at it as though it were something alive and menacing.

A creak of floorboards from above. He races upstairs...

INT. BATHROOM

He quickly shuts the window and locks it. He puts down the toilet seat and sits on it.

He hits a number on the cellphone.

STEPHEN
I knew you'd still be
up because you never liked
windy nights. They remind you
of horror movies. Remember
that alien one we saw together.
Scary, huh? Ok, I'm trying
to get back into your good
graces. Tell me it's not working
and I'll hang up.

He hangs up.

Stephen
That fuc*ing piano.
I should just push it
out the door and off
the front porch and let
the trash men lug
the sh*t away.

INT. KITCHEN

Stephen stands at the doorway of the kitchen looking at the window above the sink. The filament is still there. It moves like it is dripping down from the roof.

The house shudders in the wind.

STEPHEN
What do you want?

EXT. YARD - MORNING

The morning sun peeks over the tree. A spider web hangs outside the kitchen window.

INT. STAIRS

Stephen again asleep. He wakes up. The morning sun from a curtainless window blinds him as he checks his watch.

STEPHEN
Fu*k.

He gets up and looks around.

INT. LIVING ROOM

The piano is gone.
He hesitates, then picks up the box on the floor and goes to
the front door and goes outside. He closes the front door behind him.

EXT. FRONT PORCH

He takes a notebook and a pen from the box and writes a note. He tacks it on the door and rushes away.

The note on the door;

Mrs. Roberts
I left the place as I found it;
with some help.
Stephen



EDITED TO ADD: added and corrected the sluglines. I must have been asleep when I first posted this.

sarajb
10-30-2004, 04:19 PM
J, I'm lost beyond help. I think this is how people feel when they read my stuff, however in both cases, it's probably me. The protag was likable. I love anything with a piano, but overall I didn't get it.

After the contest is over, do your charity work for the week and shed some light for a dimbulb if you don't mind. :p :D

KWVillen
10-30-2004, 06:22 PM
I have to agree with Sara, J, I didn't have a clue what this story was about.

KW

hot sticky white goo
10-30-2004, 07:13 PM
same here. i didn't say so earlier because i didnt want to be mr negativity.

the other thing was how he always speaks to himself. turned me off. unless thats part of the mystery that all of us were unable to solve.

i read it again. is he schizophrenic or something?

to be honest. id rather you rewrite it with more clarity and post again than just tell us in a response post. because i am curious. but id rather discover the truth in the story.:D