View Full Version : Halloween short

10-13-2004, 12:31 AM

A flame burns bright against black. A wider perspective reveals it's burning within a triangle. Wider, still, it's the eye of a jack-o-latern. Its mouth and jagged teeth come into view. Kids cackle and shout in the background.

Trick or treat.


JANE LOVELACE (39) , a 21st century version of June Cleaver smiles down at her only child . . .

MASON LOVELACE (12), dressed in a pristine white collared shirt, khaki pants and sensible black lace-up shoes. He looks up at her, deadpan.

But, Mom . . .

He holds up a window squeegy by its handle.

Why couldn't I be Neo?

Jane sets a khaki cap on his head like it's a king's crown. The embroidered logo reads: ACE WINDOW WASHERS.

They'll be a dozen Neo's,
I'm sure. You will be . . .
(adjusts his cap)
unique. Now, go on, don't be
late for your little party.

He drags himself to the front door in that 'life is unfair' way kids do.

Aren't you forgetting something,
young man?

An orange trick or treat bag dangles in front of his eyes.
He takes it, there's weight to it.

He reaches inside and pulls out - - a full bottle of Windex, only the liquid is clear instead of the usual blue. Mason raises an eyebrow.

Tap water. We can't risk
hurting our little friends'
eyes. Now, can we?

She tweaks his nose.

Mo-om - -

Off you go.

She swings open the door. Mason drags himself out.


Parents escort their grade-school ghosts and goblins door-to-door.

Mason storms past past them, his head locked down in low-profile mode, the handle of the window squeegy in one hand, the orange bag in the other.

Up ahead, four 12-year-old boys loiter under a corner lamplight, all of them, dressed like Neo.

NEO #1
Oh, this is too easy.

He cocks his head toward the approaching Mason. The others snicker.

NEO #2
Mason Lovelace . . .

He blocks Mason's way.

NEO #2
Give me one good reason
why I shouldn't beat you
into the ground.

Mason takes a nano-second.

Tasha Snow.

Neo #2 backs off, the other Neo's take pause, too. Tasha Snow clearly has street cred. Mason continues down the street in a slightly better mood.


The entire front yard, a masterpriece of Holloween decorations. Headstones marked R.I.P. in the flower beds.

A boiling cauldron, stirred by a WITCH at least 100 years old, what a make-up job. Or, maybe it's not a make-up job. She drops two frogs into her brew.

Skeletons dance in the air, their bony toes twitch inches above the lawn. They must be suspended from wires. Or, maybe they're not.


an eight-foot-tall Frankenstein-esque DOORMAN in a Versaci suit looks beyond the velvet 'club' rope and surveys the endless line of costumed wanna-be partygoers. At least we hope they're costumed. It's all very retro-Studio-54-ish.

Hip music pulsates behind the front door. On it, a giant bat dangles from the scull-and-crossbones brass door knocker. The bat flaps its wings and flies off.

The Doorman unhooks the rope and waves in . . . a Yoko Ono look-a-like dressed in black lace and escorted by what looks like a post-mortem John Lennon after more than two decades in the grave.

He flashes the Doorman the peace sign and the front door magically creaks open. John and Yoko slip into the blaring MUSIC, the door closes with a definitive THUNK.

The others moan as the velvet rope clicks back in place.

Excuse me, excuse me.

Mason edges between two WEREWOLVES in red, silk, wife-beater tee-shirts, and pops through to the front of the line. One Werewolf GROWLS to himself. The other smoothes the hair on his forearm.

Mason, my man. Let me guess.
Wait, I know. You're that,
um, guy. The guy who. Ummm.
Wait, I'll get it.

He thumps his head with his huge hand. A spark of electricity arcs above his head.

A window washer.

Right. Oh, man, way cool.
Unique, even.

He drops the rope, the door swings wide and Mason enters . . .


ten times bigger than the exterior of the home and it's packed, wall to wall. This is "the" Halloween party of the year. Everyone who was anyone in a horror or supernatural or sci-fi flick is in attendance.

Over there, Dracula chats up Carrie in her post-fire prom dress. He eyes her jugular. Her mouth twitches. The collar of his cape ignites. He swats at the tiny flame - -

(in Transylvanian
with subtitles)

Over here, the main GHOULS from Dawn Of The Dead (the original, of course) break dance in perfect synchronization, much to the delight of . . .

JASON, CHUCKY and FREDDY, plus a few other horror characters we all know and love - - CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, THE THING, SWAMP THING, umm, THE OTHER THING, oh, you get the idea. Beyond them . . .

every ragtag space creature from the bar scene in Star Wars hangs out at, well, the bar, of course.

Mason strains to look over the crowd of ghouls and monsters and things that go bump in the night, all of them drunk as skunks.

You there.

Mason looks up at . . a tall, graceful ALIEN from Close Encounters.

Allow me.

A wave of his hand and Mason levitates above the noisy crowd, his squeegy and orange bag dangling at his sides. His face lights up at the sight of . . .


a teenage good witch, her long dark hair spills over her shoulders to the slim waist of her pearlescent gown as she chats with God-Only-Knows-What-It-Is, it drools green slime.


Mason bobs up and down in mid-air as he waves, the epitome of pre-teen dorkiness, and she's thrilled to see him.

Mason, you made it!


in a shadowy alcove, Tasha and Mason sip from straws stuck in skulls.

No, I mean it. I really like it.
Especially the squeegy.

You lie.

A good witch never lies.

She snatches the cap from his head and snugs it onto her own head. And Mason likes it, a lot.

Suddenly, the happy HOWLS, SCREECHES and CACKLES shift into a tone of pure panic.

A flock of bats beat their wings out of there. Creatures run for their lives. Mason and Tasha get separated in the pandemonium. It's, it's . . .

M. NIGHT SHAMALAMA-DING-DONG and he looks mighty mad. A hush falls over the few remaining monsters, although they stand off to the side clearly in fear of this gate crasher.

Why wasn't I invited?

He stamps his foot, his face contorts into a mask of horror, way more realistic than that alien of his in Signs. He stamps his foot again.

Huh? Huh?

His body contorts, he grows . . . taller. His bloodshot eyes scan his remaining victims, um, I mean his theater audience. His nostrils flare.

Dracula steps forward, his cape swings wide, he raises his hand, the great Grand-Daddy of boogey men has something to say. M. Night locks his murderous eyes with Drac's.

(in Transylvanian
with subtitles)
Um, nevermind.

Dracula dissolves into the shadows. Beat.

M. Night throws a full-blown hissy fit. More frightening than anything ever seen in his films. The floor cracks, the walls shake, dust floats down from the ceiling which threatens to cave in. And then his eyes fall upon . . .

Tasha, her back against the wall and no way out. M. Night closes in her, one slow deliberate step after another.

She waves her wand but he keeps coming.

She utters a spell - -

Mindor. Mandor. Children
of the Corn. Make this
writer-director wish he
was never been born.

But he keeps coming.

Umm, umm.
Gyspsies, tramps and thieves - -

And he's right there, his jaw drops, his greedy pointed teeth glisten. His voice booms - -

Why wasn't I invited?
Am I not this generations'

She takes a deep breath. What can she do, a good witch never lies.

Umm. No. You're not.

He erupts into a tornado of rage about to engulf her whole but . . .


A mist of fluid shoots M. Night, right between his eyes. He freezes in place. Mason steps up, wielding his bottle of Windex filled with tap water. He shoots again - -


M. Night HOWLS as he decomposes before our very eyes and, POOF, he's gone. Silence.

Mason, lowers his Windex bottle, looks to Tasha and shrugs - -

Well, Sixth Sense was okay.

Tasha slips her arm around him, they make a cute couple, even though he's an inch shorter. But, he'll grow, soon.

Oh, I don't know about that.

Mason flings his squeegy into the air, it twirls end-over-end
in slo mo and . . .

The MUSIC cranks up, the monsters and creatures emerge from the shadows, the party is back in full swing. Tasha and Mason weave their way through the crowd.



10-18-2004, 04:15 AM
Heh - it was cute, though I would have had M. Night melt like the witch in the Wizard of Oz... seeing as how you were going for all the movie references ;)

I loved the line:
Mason takes a nano-second.
Very cute.

hot sticky white goo
10-18-2004, 09:58 AM
(This message was left blank)

10-27-2004, 12:26 PM
You have a lot of very funny stuff in this. It was enjoyable to read.

From a screenwriting point of view, The story construction and characters really took a back seat to all the visuals. It seems a lot of screenwriters do this and I think it's one of the top reasons scripts don't get sold. What was the reason for Mason coming from a modern Leave It To Beaver home? Why would the bullies not know that Mason and Tasha were friends? What was all the supernatural stuff at the party? Why did Mason act so casual to all the wierd stuff at the party? Why did tap water melt M. Night?

I think too that you wasted a lot of space by trying to be seductive with stuff that can't be filmed, like:

"Or, maybe it's not a make-up job."

"They must be suspended from wires. Or, maybe they're not."

"At least we hope they're costumed."

I think you sacrificed story and characters to impress the reader with your style and that's a big mistake.

Still, this is only an exercise and I did enjoy reading it. Very Halloween.


10-27-2004, 12:34 PM

I, for one, enjoy a bit of "They must be suspended from wires. Or, maybe they're not." type stuff. It adds flavor to the script and in this specific instance makes the point that you DON'T see wires, which is important to the story.

10-27-2004, 05:16 PM
Thanks for the feedback.


This was a fun short, inside joke thingy I knocked out for DD at 3 am one night in honor of all the horror films of the past. My 'real' pages are not written in this style. But to answer your questions in order:

- Mason's leave-it-to-beaver home was a contrast to Tasha's home of horror: visually, thematically, blah-blah.

- Bullies are dumb, they have to be reminded of things. It was also a subtextual threat. Better than Mason saying: "I'll have my preteen witch friend turn you into a frog." Which would have given the next scene away.

- He acted casual because he's been there before and knows what to expect. The doorman knew him, that was the hint.

- The tap water melting M. Knight (1) I was poking fun at this tap-water thingy that stopped the aliens in M.Knight's film: Signs and (2) also a homage to Wizard of Oz but, as the other poster said, I should have clarified it. (3) I was looking for an easy way out of this short, I think I wrote it in under an hour. ;)

The 'or maybe it's not,' is not something I use in my 'real scripts,' well, not that often, anyway. It was my way of hinting these were "real" witches, gobins and monsters, not people in costumes.

Thanks again.