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Old 09-08-2019, 06:45 AM   #1
dpaterso
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Default Entries - Winter is Coming contest

Alas no last-moment emails have appeared, so we have 6 entries, and the titles are:

It's A Dog's Life
Winter is Coming excerpt (I think that's the title)
Nuclear Winter
Winter is Coming for the English Patient
Them Bones
Odd Man Out

Read 'em and pick your top 3 favorites, and PM or email me your choices in the format,

1st - title
2nd - title
3nd - title

...which helps enormously.

Please don't vote for your own entry, if we could do this then everyone would, so it would just cloud the voting.

If you don't like the code boxes, which preserve formatting, then select Thread Tools > Show Printable Version

The preparation process isn't perfect, sometimes I have to edit or re-type something that's gone askew, if you find anything odd then blame me not the author!

Have at it, shout if problems. Just saying, I scribble some notes as I'm reading so I can remember what I liked (or didn't) and this helps me decide what I'm voting for.

Send your votes by next weekend, is that okay? You don't have to be a contestant to read and vote, feel free to join in.

For posterity the discussion thread is here and the results thread is here.
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Last edited by dpaterso : 09-15-2019 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Entries - Winter is Coming contest

Code:
IT'S A DOG'S LIFE OVER BLACK A DOG'S RAPID PANTING is heard throughout. FADE IN: INT. APARTMENT KITCHEN - NIGHT DOG POV, down near floor level. We do not see the dog, we are the dog. MIKE and HANNA, a 30s couple, are arguing. Dog only sees them from the waist down. HANNA You can't just bring a dog home with you! MIKE He was wandering in the park. HANNA Someone's there right now, looking for it! MIKE He, and no one was looking for him, he doesn't have an owner. HANNA How do you, how do you know this? MIKE He wasn't wearing a collar. HANNA How come it's wearing one now? MIKE I bought him a collar, he needed a collar. Stop calling him "it," he can hear you. HANNA And you bought him those bowls, and that food? MIKE What do you want him to eat, lasagna? HANNA When are you going to get your phone repaired? MIKE I don't, what, why would I-- HANNA If it was working, you would have called me from the park and said, "Honey, is it okay to bring this strange dog home with me?" and I would have told you NO, f*ck off. MIKE Aw don't be like that, you didn't see him, wandering all alone, looking lost. HANNA It's someone's dog. They're going to want it back. MIKE For your information, when a dog doesn't have a collar, that means he doesn't have an owner. There is no owner. He is a masterless dog. HANNA I have a great idea! MIKE If this "great idea" includes the words "return" and "park" then let me stop you right there. HANNA I don't want a dog, you have to ask me, do you want a dog? And I have to say yes, before you bring a f*cking dog home with you. MIKE You should have seen the look in his eyes. HANNA How close were you to him? Were you on the ground, rolling around in the leaves? MIKE His eyes said help me, nobody loves me, they just abandoned me, I'm cold and I'm hungry. HANNA He. Goes. Back. MIKE Don't be so cruel, it's dark out there and it's going to be freezing temperatures tonight. You can't cast him out into the cold. HANNA He's wearing a fur coat. MIKE Well okay, here you go, here's his leash, take him. HANNA No, it's not me, don't dare. MIKE Put on his leash, put on his leash while you look into his eyes and see the pain there, as he realizes what's happening to him. HANNA You are a f*cking drama queen. MIKE You're asking me to put a dog outside, to abandon him in the park, when it's going to be freezing tonight, when he could literally freeze to death and not wake up. HANNA Or his OWNER, who has been looking for him ever since you STOLE him from the park, and is out of his goddamn MIND with worry, will find him and take him home. MIKE Do I have to explain the collar thing over again? HANNA His collar could have got caught on something and fallen off, you don't know. Look at him, he's a healthy dog, are you trying to tell me no one's looked after him, taken him to the vet, given him his shots? He has a family and that family loves him. You know what you are? You're a dognapper. MIKE No such word. HANNA It's been in the news! Dognappers snatch dogs off the street and call their owners and demand a ransom. MIKE Yeah right. HANNA That actress, the one you like, the blonde, with the big lips, she had her poodle snatched. MIKE Aw come on, that's reality show bullsh*t. HANNA She got her poodle snatched and they called her at home and said, fifty thousand bucks or the dog gets it. I heard it, on the news. MIKE Bull. Sh*t. HANNA She wasn't laughing, she was in tears, she pleaded with the dognappers to bring her baby back. MIKE She could get a thousand poodles for fifty grand. HANNA She didn't want a thousand poodles, she just wanted Twinkie. MIKE Twinkie the poodle. You're pulling my twinkie. HANNA The dognappers were texting her, cops couldn't pin them down, they used disposable phones, a different number every time. MIKE What did she say, "I want to hear his bark, I want to know he's still alive." HANNA You're trying to make a joke out of this but you're the goddamn dognapper here. That dog, right there, belongs to someone. Maybe they have kids, they're crying their eyes out, worried sick. MIKE Did she receive an ear in the mail as a warning? HANNA You're joking about a dog having its ear cut off? MIKE What's her name, what was she in? HANNA I don't know, that one with DeNiro. MIKE The bank heist or the hunt thing? Did she pay the ransom? HANNA She wanted to pay but her husband wouldn't let her, and the cops said no, like we don't negotiate with terrorists, that stuff. It was heart-rending, I couldn't stop crying. MIKE Oh who's the drama queen now? HANNA I wish you'd seen her, you might not be such a sh*t about it. Anyways, enough crap, get that thing out of here, take it back to the park and kiss it goodbye. MIKE Jesus, will you just-- HANNA Before you say anything else, consider how much your back hurts when you sleep on the couch. MIKE Look, I'm not wanting an argument. I just need you to show a little compassion. HANNA Says dog ear man. MIKE A little compassion for a dog who is going to be cast out into the cold and will be lying shivering under a bush, wondering why you did this to him. HANNA You f*ck! This isn't on me! You brought it here, you take it back, and I mean now. MIKE You know what, I'm sleeping on the couch tonight, through choice. I can't bear to be with someone who's so heartless. HANNA Hey, wha'd'ya know, I might actually get some sleep for a change. Mike approaches Dog, crouches down, we see him for the first time, sadface as he looks into camera. MIKE I'm sorry, Pushkin, mommy doesn't want you here any more. HANNA F*ck off. Mike shows puzzlement. MIKE Oh you got the collar off, guess you didn't like it. Harry goddamn Houdini. HANNA Take it back to the store tomorrow, take everything back, get a refund. Mike stands up, walks to the door. MIKE Come on Pushkin. Looks like you and me are going for walkies. Dog POV follows mike to the door. Mike opens the door, Dog POV exits the apartment. POV changes, on HANNA as the door closes and the lock CLICKS. Mike and Dog are gone. PANTING STOPS. Hanna leans against the counter, sips her coffee. HANNA "Pushkin," for f*ck's sake. She looks at the counter, sees the collar and leash. She puts down her coffee, picks up the collar. Twirls it around her finger. Smiles. INT. APARTMENT LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Hanna stands at the window, peering out through the curtains at the dark night. She's as naked as the day she was born. Except for the dog collar she's wearing. The leash is attached and she holds the loop in her hand so the leash is tight. KNOCKING at the door. Hanna sighs. HANNA Yes, yes forget your keys, why don't you? She walks through the kitchen, to the door. She unlocks it and opens it, and as she does so she lifts the leash up over her head. INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE APARTMENT - NIGHT As Hanna opens the door and says-- HANNA Walkies? She shows surprise and so does the TALL MAN standing there gaping at her. TALL MAN Good God, I'm sorry-- HANNA No I'm sorry, I thought you were my husband. He half-turns as if to leave. TALL MAN I'll just-- HANNA Let's not be embarrassed, we're both adults. I'm sure you've seen a naked woman before. If not, this is what one looks like. What can I do for you? Tall Man opens his mouth to say something, gets distracted by Hanna's unashamed nakedness, he closes his eyes for a moment, sucks in a deep breath, tries again. TALL MAN I know this might sound stupid, but I'm looking for my dog. Someone said they saw a man with a dog that sounded like mine. I've been knocking on all the doors. HANNA I wish I could help. I'm sure he'll turn up soon. Dogs always do. He's probably sniffing a drainpipe or something. (sniffing loudly) My God, this smell, I must know who she is. TALL MAN Hah, I hope so. HANNA Until he does... Hanna offers him the leash. HANNA You wanna take me for walkies? Tall Man swallows hard and runs his finger inside his collar as if letting steam out. He takes the lead and steps inside, closing the door, and we catch a glimpse of Hanna's wide smile. EXT. PARK - NIGHT Mike looks around, puzzled. No sign of Dog. MIKE Pushkin? Pushkin? FADE OUT
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Entries - Winter is Coming contest

Code:
EXCERPT FROM A LARGER WORK EXT. WIDE VALLEY - DAY The mushroom cloud boils skywards. Darkening after the initial explosion. The vast starship struggles away. A vast pyramid. The base five hundred meters a side, the peak six hundred meters from the base. Black and silver. The shadowy green of the force field is gone. It's wide open. The main impellors aren't designed for travel. A quarter are damaged now. A whole flank of ventral thrusters are trashed. One side of the pyramid is a scorched shredded mess. Sections of panel have been torn away. Smoke wafts from fifty places. Flame here and there. It's a mess. But it's still functional. It strikes a mound. A hundred thousand tons, even at walking pace, has a sh*t-ton of inertia. The starship bulldozes off the hill. Dirt tumbles down the slope. Fifty year old trees snap like matches. Deployed for berthed static defense (AKA dealing with uppity natives) are a ring of eight plasma weapons. They are high on the pyramid. Excellent fields of fire. Only two are firing. Maybe the others aren't manned, maybe they're damaged. Doesn't matter. We're more interested in the targets. Men and women. Humans. Armed. Hostile. An army. EXT. BRUSH FILLED GUT - CONTINUOUS MORRIS FLETCHER peeks out. Fletcher is dark, tall and gaunt. Faded tattoos cover his arms. He's dressed in a military uniform. But it's tatty, hand made, old, patched. It brands him as a one star general. FLETCHER Damn! PAUL MORGAN shares the same hole. Morgan is shorter, blonder, and a lot younger. He wears no uniform. But his clothing looks hand made too. MORGAN We missed our chance! FLETCHER 'Taint over til it's over boy. Fifty meters away men tear camouflage from a howitzer. The weapon is old. The paint has been worn away. The rubber wheels are gone. Wagon wheels replace them. MORGAN It's just survived a nuclear bomb! BOOM! Five hundred meters away the shell slams into the starship. No explosion. Just sparks as the solid steel shell penetrates deeply, ripping through several bulkheads. EXT. SHIPSIDE PLASMA STATION - CONTINUOUS A Plasma weapon jerks, aims, responds with a flash. EXT. HOWITZER POSITION - CONTINUOUS The gun and it's crew are incinerated. Spare artillery ammo cooks off. Spectacular explosions. FLETCHER Sh*t, that was fast! The nuke damaged it, took out the shields. Now we know we can hurt them. MORGAN One shell! How many more guns in this valley? FLETCHER Eighteen, twenty. Depends who arrived and what they brought with them for this party. All around the valley small arms are peppering the stricken vessel. Their effect is minor. But they're drawing fire from the plasma weapons. EXT. LEADING LEAD OF THE STARSHIP - CONTINUOUS A hundred meters from the starship foxholes open up. Twenty men and woman with shoulder fired antitank weapons. They ripple fire inside five seconds. Every round explodes against the starship. Then the shooters duck down. The plasma weapon can't track that close. Flashes of energy. Overshoot! The men high five. Some reload. The alien pilot's (an Octopod) tentacles flicker over the controls. It breathes heavy under stress. Neck frills flutter wildly. The ship grounds itself. The twenty are crushed, entombed in their own foxholes. A man sprints in from the flank. With natural agility he finds foot and handholds up the shredded fuselage. He appears unarmed. We see wires hanging from his back pack. Two other follow. Neither reaches the ship. Both die in seconds. INT. CONTROL ROOM - SIMULTANEOUS The ship defense officer (a Gray) sees the man. DEFENSE OFFICER (subtitled) Boarders! Motive level three! Shore patrol attend! INT. SHIP BARRACKS - CONTINUOUS Waiting armed soldiers storm from the barracks. A wild mixture or reptilians and hairys. A sole Gray commands them - from the rear. They see the boarder almost at once. He dives to cover. They open fire a split second late. DEFENSE OFFICER (subtitled) Registering crude explosives! The shore patrol unleash again. He's hidden. The boarder smiles and mouths "F*ck YOU!" Triggers the explosive backpack. EXT. STARSHIP - CONTINUOUS A new explosion casts debris from the ship. A few alien bodies too. FLETCHER Yes! The starship strikes the Earth again. It's A single massive support leg plows into a low ridge. The crest of soil grows. Immovable object, irresistible force. The starship turns on the leg. One hundred thousand tons pivoting out of control. INT. CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS The pilot's tentacles are a blur. The defense officer clings to his seat. DEFENSE OFFICER (subtitled) We only have two plasma weapons operating. Gunners get to your stations! Relief gunners get to your stations! Anyone who can use a plasma weapon get to the batteries and help! Various beings race for battle positions. EXT. WIDE VALLEY - CONTINUOUS Three ancient tanks roll out of revetments. Three guns thunder. Three shells strike the starship. One plasma weapon brackets a tank but they're made of harder stuff. They fire again before the first explodes. More artillery join in. The gunners aiming and slamming new shells in as fast as possible. The plan? Keep firing until they die. INT. GUNNERY STATION - CONTINUOUS The alien weaponmasters are panicking. Two plasma stations are manned, then three, then four. Out-going fire grows in weight. Most shots go wild. EXT. WIDE VALLEY - CONTINUOUS Another tank explodes. Fuel and ammo cooking off. A vast explosion. The turret pirouettes through the air. Two artillery pieces follow suit. Men and machines incinerated. Fletcher and Morgan watch the starship. It's closer. Almost on them. But scarcely moving. Explosion after explosion tears at it's structure. But it's f*cking immense. The light weapons are eroding it. But they need a ship killer. They hear a scream of rockets. FLETCHER Our airforce! IN THE AIR... Seven dark dots become seven aircraft. The aircraft that lumbers into shot are odd. Handmade jets. Identical but not. Each leaves smoky trails of sparks and half burnt fuel. They wallow in the air, heavy, staying airborne through sheer thrust. Energy pluses flash it them. Most are hit in seconds but they're tougher than they look. Three become flaming meteors. Four survivors kamikaze into the starship. ON THE GROUND... FLETCHER That's better! Nope! It's not. Somehow the starship shrugs off the blows. Two of the plasma weapons are gone. Fires are raging. But humanity's last airforce is gone. MORGAN It's still coming. The f*cker's going to escape! It's scarcely levitating. The twelve great landing struts are ripping the earth open more often than they're levitated. The speed is less than walking speed. It stops, the starts again. The third and final tank explodes. It has fired ten rounds. Struck the starship ten times. Ten hard punches. Three artillery pieces are still firing. Then two, one, none. Then only small arms. Fifty cal down to 5.56. But there are literally hundreds of humans there. Every single one armed. The plasma weapons respond. More often than not, effectively. INSIDE THE SHIP... The shore patrol fires. Several drop. OUTSIDE, EVERYWHERE... Soldiers are killed. Shooting dwindles. Men and women are breaking. Going to ground. Finding whatever cover they can. Several run. MORGAN They've won! FLETCHER The hell they have! MORGAN What's left in the bucket Fletcher? Fletcher looks blank. FLETCHER Just warm bodies. Morgan tries to grab him. MORGAN No! FLETCHER Ready the attack. A signalman lights the fuses to a rack of wooden rockets. No radios here. Fifteen lift off. All explode red. FLETCHER (cont'd) Red means run son. MORGAN What? We can't. FLETCHER Sar'major! Pipe 'em up. The sergeant major stands, blows into his bagpipes. The drone starts. Then the pipes. All over the valley men and women hear the pipes calling. They ready themselves. Another piper starts, and a third. Fletcher stands. FLETCHER (cont'd) Winter is coming, you son's of bitches! You can die in the cold or you can die in the fire of battle but no one lives for ever! Armed only with a huge sword he clambers out of the hole. Screaming he runs at the starship. There's a moment's hesitation, where he's alone but for the keening pipes. Then, from all over the valley two and a half thousand men and women rise from trenches, foxholes and bunkers. Screaming they charge at the stricken space craft. They are decimated. Literally. Two hundred dead. In seconds. Then more. The closest unleash with RPGs and grenade launchers. A hundred tank killing missiles. they explode like machine gun fire. Chunks of the ruined craft fall away. But surviving shore patrol members have assembled in the ruined face of the pyramid. They snipe back. A PLASMA WEAPON BRACKETS FLETCHER ...but he's only carrying a sword. It resorts targets. A soldier reaches throwing range. He dumps ten grenades on the grass. Then hurls them into holes in the fuselage. Several detonate among the shore patrol. Enough to force a breach. Human soldiers storm through. Fletcher is in their midst. BERSERKING! His sword is slick, red and green and black. Blood of a dozen alien races. INT. CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS PILOT All crew abandon all non essential areas. I'm taking all power for... The pilot gives everything to the impellors. Suddenly the ship lifts, a few centimeters, thirty, eighty, two meters. Then at four meters it can't climb any higher. For a moment fifty or so humans fighting their way aboard control the fate of their planet.
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Last edited by dpaterso : 09-09-2019 at 02:40 AM. Reason: updated, cleaner copy
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Entries - Winter is Coming contest

Code:
NUCLEAR WINTER FADE IN: INT. UNDERGROUND BUNKER -- DIM Dingy. Dim. Dusty. Light bulbs are strung along the ceiling illuminating the concrete walls that line the intersecting hallways. Most are burned out. A FLASH and another light bulb dies just as a SMALL ROBOT rolls by, its badly repaired tread clomps along as it slowly travels along the cement floor. We follow it into a wider hall, where more barely working ROBOTS collect in front of a sign that reads ASSEMBLY HALL. INT. ASSEMBLY HALL -- CONTINUOUS Theater seating looking down at the stage where a tattered curtain mostly hides what's behind it. Suddenly, harsh, out of tune, synthesized music as the curtain slowly rises to reveal... Four ROBOTS assembled at the middle of the empty stage. They don what's left of their human masks and the first one speaks in "mechanical" French. FIRST ACTOR L'écho silencieux d'un mot jamais prononcé... (The silent echo of a word never spoken...) SECOND ACTOR La silhouette invisible d'un visage jamais vu... (The invisible silhouette of a face never seen...) THIRD ACTOR Le parfum de parfum sans odeur jamais flotté ... (The odorless fragrance of perfume never wafted...) FOURTH ACTOR Le calme d'une brise printanière fraîche jamais soufflée... (The stillness of a cool spring breeze never blown...) And then... an "imposing" VOICE crackles over the tinny speakers... VOICE Welcome to the 150,475th production of NUCLEAR WINTER. Written by the esteemed Âme Mécanique. The small crowd of ROBOTS in the seats half heartedly applaud, many incapable of moving their corroded appendages. Props are slowly shoved into place and the cast of Robots, in creepy human masks, methodically work through the play. Then... The last, dramatic line by a DECREPIT ROBOT, who can barely move. DECREPIT ...And then, at last, we shall return, the long winter finally past. The breeze of spring wafting through the trees. For the first time there is momentary enthusiasm as the curtain falls. INT. OUTSIDE THE ASSEMBLY HALL -- LATER The Robots silently file out of the Assembly Hall and limp away, passing... PIP, a VERY SMALL ROBOT, barely animated, who stares at a blinking GREEN LIGHT. His one working arm points to it, while his dull eyes blink in unison to the light. Pip tries to speak but the sound is garbled. Two "TWIN" SERVICE ROBOTS, FLIP and WILSON, stop and pat Pip on the head. FLIP Poor addled little thing. Obsessed with that light. Pip jabs at the light with his tiny arm, his garbled voice louder, agitated. Wilson stares up the light, chuckles, then pats Pip on the head again. Then he tilts his head slightly. WILSON Seems like, long ago, that light on the left used to be lit instead of the one on the right... FLIP No, I'm sure it was always the same. WILSON You're probably right. It just... Flip's POV, a blinking grey light, a world of black of white television. Wilson's POV, the same. Pip's POV, a bright, blinking GREEN LIGHT in a dull, dimly, colored world. An unlit RED LIGHT to its left. FLASHBACK: INT. LABORATORY -- BRIGHT JOHN BUSBY, 40s, in lab coat is angry. JOHN Damn, incompetent idiots. None of these sensors are in color. How in the hell am I supposed to create robots who aren't color blind? Pip squeaks in alarm. John picks him up and nestles him in the crook of his arm. JOHN It's okay, Pip, I'll use my smartphone sensor for you. You'll be the only one who will be able to see color and you'll have the most important job of all... FLASH FORWARD 20 YEARS: INT. HALLWAY -- BRIGHT The hall is spit shined, sleek robots whir through the halls, busy and content. No humans in sight. Pip is staring at the blinking red light. He sings in a trilly little voice. PIP Song sung blue... everybody has one... Song sung... POP. A puff of SMOKE. Pip's tries to speak. PIP Ackdoykjey! BACK TO PRESENT: INT. HALLWAY -- DIM ALARMS sounding. Flip and Wilson respond. We follow them down the hall into... INT. HUGE ROOM -- DIM Thousands of STASIS PODS cover the floor. Most are unlit and dark. But nine, in one corner have lights, two are blinking. Flip yells at the panel. FLIP What happened? PANEL VOICE (O.S.) Their generator fuel line burst. They're gone. FLIP And the fuel? PANEL VOICE (O.S.) Lost. WILSON (shoulders slumping) Only seven left. INT. HALLWAY -- LATER Pip's eyes are dimmer, no longer blinking with the light. LITTLE JOHN, a LIMPING Robot in a BROWN ROBE and COWL creaks as he stoops down to Pip, a tiny oil can in his hand. LITTLE JOHN I don't have much to spare, little one, but at least we can keep your one good arm working. Little John lightly oils the mechanical arm, but Pip's eyes go dull, blink out. Back on momentarily. Then they flicker out. Gone. Little John tries to close the metal eyelids, but has to put a little oil on them first. He makes the sign of the cross... LITTLE JOHN Requiescat in Pace... We FLOAT away from Pip, gaining speed as we fly up the hall, through a STEEL BANK VAULT DOOR into another set of hallways, where supplies, marked "Fuel," "Generators," "Light Bulbs" are stored in dusty boxes. We see a FLASHING GREEN LIGHT and fly through another steel vault door, through it and into another level. We gain speed as we fly through several more levels of the same, green blinking light, supplies ready... and then... Popping through through the LAST steel door we're high above GREEN VALLEYS, TALL TREES, BLUE WATER and WHITE CAPPED MOUNTAINS. HERDS of animals graze on grass. INT. HALLWAY -- DIM LITTLE JOHN You're free at last, little one. FADE OUT:
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Entries - Winter is Coming contest

Code:
WINTER IS COMING FOR THE ENGLISH PATIENT FADE IN: SUPER: EUROPE 1945 EXT. MONASTERY -- DAY Large sections of the once beautiful courtyard walls are blasted away. The yard is cratered. The main building suffers blasted out walls as well. Bullet pockmarks lace the walls with the graffiti of battle. A pile of leaves swirls from a blast of wind. INT. MONASTERY Debris is scattered everywhere. ISABEL CROFT, twenty, wearing a coat, plays something vaguely like a tune on a baby grand piano. The piano is missing a leg and sits in a pile of rubble tipped at an angle. Through a large hole in the wall... EXT. MONASTERY We see LIEUTENANT RAHUL MISHRA, late twenties, an East Indian sapper in field fatigues run towards the building brandishing a gun in one hand while trying to balance an ornate turban on his head with his other hand. He stops for a second. To get Isabel's attention he fires a round up into the air while looking straight into the monastery and yells... RAHUL Stop! We move with the BULLET as it travels upwards far overhead at a formation of German bombers. The bullet hits the lead aircraft in the formation injuring the pilot. The copilot sees the pilot slumped over the steering wheel and panics. He slams on the breaks causing the airplane to completely stop in mid air. The other aircraft behind the lead slam into the plane, and a pile up of all one hundred bombers ensues. INT. MONASTERY As Rahul enters the building through the large hole in the wall he holsters his gun. Looking over Rahul's shoulder, out through the large hole in the wall, we see all of the German bombers crash into the mountain followed by a loud rumble. Hearing the crash Rahul looks from side to side. He then continues... RAHUL Please stop. Stop playing and get away from the piano. Isabel plays on. RAHUL Miss, your life is in danger. ISABEL My mother used to say the same thing about my music. RAHUL You don't understand... ISABEL No you don't understand. My whole life it's been, Isy don't do this, Isy don't do that. Or Isy, don't put kitty in the stove. Isabel stands and turns to face Rahul. Rahul fights to keep his turban from slipping off his head. RAHUL You put your cat in the stove? A voice from upstairs. Raspy and yet strong... ENGLISH PATIENT (O.S.) Wouldn't surprise me a bit. She reminds me of a woman I met in Tunisia or was it Afghanistan? Anyways we were both on a motor bike being chased by bandits. She fired two submachine guns, one in each hand at our pursuers. When all of a sudden... Rahul hands Isabel the huge turban, kneels at the side of the piano and runs his hand along an edge. RAHUL What wouldn't surprise you? Isabel is undressing Rahul with her eyes. ISABEL Oh that's my patient upstairs... No Kitty was my little sister. ENGLISH PATIENT (O.S.) Your patient? I'll have you know I spent three weeks walking through the desert trying to find a restroom... Isabel studies the turban at arms length. She leans in close behind Rahul. She closes her eyes and breathes in. She stands. ISABEL I'll be right back. Rahul continues to inspect the piano and the surrounding debris. We hear footsteps go up a stairs then across the room overhead. ENGLISH PATIENT (O.S.) Oh good I haven't had a sponge bath in weeks. ISABEL (O.S.) Here. I'll fluff up your pillow for you. A struggling muffled groan for a few minutes... AAAND yet a few more minutes. Then a final gasp. We hear footsteps across the upstairs room, then the sound of quick footsteps down the stairs. Isabel watching Rahul... ISABEL What are you doing? RAHUL The Germans used this monastery as a Mime school during the war. I'm checking for trip wires. Isabel sits down close to Rahul, grabs his turban and fluffs up some droopy feathers. Sneezes. ISABEL Ohhh ah Mimes. That would explain all the makeup and boxes of umbrellas in the kitchen. So I guess there might be mimes upstairs, too? She continues to stroke the feathers on the turban till they're rigid. RAHUL Yes. I should check upstairs as well. We've been discovering Mime fields throughout the country side. Isabel checks her handy work. ISABEL You needn't bother. Upstairs is probably OK. War is hell. Would you like to help me take a shower? ENGLISH PATIENT (O.S.) I'll say war is hell. I dropped by the hospital for a lube job and next thing you know here I am. This is like when I was in Cairo on an errand for the British consulate and was having tea and crumpets with a short bald man and his tall bald wife... Or was it the other way around... Anyways... Isabel's jaw drops. She looks around. She smiles at Rahul ISABEL I'll just be a minute. We hear footsteps run up the stairs and across the upstairs room. ENGLISH PATIENT (O.S.) Oh you're back. I feel so refreshed after my last nap... Oh the pillow again. A muffled struggle for a few minutes. Then a few more minutes of struggling followed by large thumps, bangs and crashes. Dust and debris falls around Rahul as he continues to check around the piano. Again we hear footsteps running down the stairs. Out of breath Isabel collapses to the floor. As Rahul looks under the piano. RAHUL You're not staying here alone, are you? Rahul cautiously moves some of the rubble and points to a Mime. The Mime acts like he's trapped in a box. ISABEL No. I'm caring for a burn victim. Well hopefully not anymore. ENGLISH PATIENT (O.S.) Funny thing is I wasn't a burn victim when I went to the hospital. I was a little dehydrated from being in the desert for a few weeks. Not burned at all really. I had plenty of hot cocoa. You see there were two of us at first and yet no restroom. Not a one... I did have an airplane. Did I tell you about my airplane? Isabel jumps up and runs upstairs. Loud fast FOOTSTEPS across the upstairs room. Suddenly the Mime is no longer trapped in a box and leaps up and runs in place. Rahul creates an imaginary lasso. He twirls it over his head then flings it over the Mime. The Mime stops and fights the lasso. Rahul pulls the Mime towards him and ties the Mime's hands with an imaginary rope. Upstairs there's pounding, sawing and hammering. More muffled struggling as a sheet is torn. More muffled noise. Isabel rejoins Rahul downstairs. She picks up Rahul's turban and cleans it off. She notices some metal piping across the room. She runs over and starts digging out a huge pile of debris uncovering the pipes for a large pipe organ. RAHUL (to Isabel) You're a doctor? ISABEL I'm a nurse. A dirty dirty nurse who needs a shower. I had the hospital convoy leave me here with my patient. We didn't think he'd make the whole trip. And I think we were right. The Mime's head rocks from side to side like a metronome. Rahul calls out... RAHUL Private. A Soldier enters the room followed by a brisk breeze. RAHUL Take this Mime outside to the open field behind the monastery. Isabel lights a gas torch and is building some metal pipes and connections from the baby grand piano to the organ pipes she just found. She sees the mime. ISABEL Why is he doing that? RAHUL He's a time delay Mime. The Mime's head rocks faster. RAHUL (to soldier) Quickly, Private. Quickly. Isabel gets back to work and finishes the piping. She notices Rahul's turban, reaches under her shirt behind her back, and pulls off her bra. Isabel fastens the bra to the turban to make a chin strap. She strokes the feathers on the turban. Sighs. She hands Rahul his new turban. RAHUL Well ... ah thanks. We will be in the area working. Please be careful. Isabel wraps her arms around his neck, gives him a big kiss and humps his leg. ISABEL You saved my life. How can I ever repay you? Rahul peels Isabel away. RAHUL Ah your music. The piano is okay now. Please continue your playing. Rahul pulls on the modified turban. The bra cups on each side of his face. EXT. COURTYARD - MONASTERY Rahul climbs into the passenger side of a truck with a sign painted on it: "MIME DISPOSAL AND CATERING - BATTALION 76" "ASK US ABOUT GROUP RATES". As the truck drives off. KABOOM. A large explosion from behind the monastery followed by a deafening scream. PRIVATE Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Covered with bright colored clown makeup the Private lands head first several yards in front of the truck. RAHUL (to driver) Stop. Grab a shovel. Rahul jumps out of the truck. RAHUL I keep telling him it's the red wire. INT. MONASTERY -- NIGHT Isabel sits at the baby grand piano but now when she presses the keys the organ pipes blare out. We now see steam punching through the night air from pipes running straight upwards into the English patients upstairs room. EXT. COURTYARD - MONASTERY We move up to see the English patient strapped to his bed as the platform the bed is on, framed by huge mechanical geared trusses, moves slowly upwards into the night sky. The wind whips snow and sleet at the English patient... Bach's Toccata and Fugue thunders into the air over the sound of steam drives and gears grinding. We can barely make out... ENGLISH PATIENT ... then through the fog a plane moving at tremendous speed clips our bathtub. That's when you know it's time to get another room and another bathtub. Did I tell you about my car?... THE END
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:50 AM   #6
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THEM BONES FADE IN: INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY Shabby dim, neglected, old, with peeling paint, a vintage TV, a small sofa, an easy chair and three SKELETONS. The two smaller skeletons, ZEKE and ERNIE, sit on the sofa, the larger one CLAY, fills most of the easy chair. CLAY I liked bar-b-q. My mouth is fixin' to water just thinking on it. ERNIE Seems like a waste of good meat, but to each their own, my friend. ZEKE I liked mine as sweet sour pork. INT. JIM'S GROCERY - DAY JIM around fifty, a little overweight and a little bald, watches a small TV, behind the counter. JERRY, a small, old man, with an eye patch and a cane rummages around bare shelves, searching in the dimly lit store. JERRY I can't see a thing in here. Why don't you get some lights? JIM They're ordered, probably next week. JERRY That's what you said last week. Jerry grabs a box of Grape Nuts and slowly hobbles to the counter. JERRY What s the expiration date on that? Jim reluctantly pulls his attention away from the TV. JIM September thirteenth. JERRY This year or last year? JIM Last year but they're still good. JERRY That's what you said last time. When I opened them, they were full of white, fuzzy maggots. He's lost Jim's attention who's once watching the TV. JERRY Just the eggs and the milk. Mechanically, Jim rings them up while watching the TV and give Jerry change for his five dollar bill. Jerry bags it himself and hobbles toward the door. JIM Gonna be a cold one tonight. Jerry stops in his tracks. JERRY How cold? JIM Around ten, wind chill of five. JERRY Sh*t. INT. LIQUOR STORE - DAY Bright, well stocked and tidy, ANN, middle-aged, dressed neatly but practically, finishes ringing up an order for a young couple. They hold the door for Jerry as he slowly enters. JERRY Thank you. They nod and leave. ANN (smiling) One bottle of rotgut coming right up. JERRY Make it four. She hesitates, looking him over, concerned. He waves at her and smiles. JERRY Don't worry, I'm not drinking alone. EXT. SIDEWALK - TWILIGHT The wind stirs up dead leaves and they blow around the old man, who tries to tighten the coat around his neck. In front of him, an old neglected house. He makes his way to the porch, working his way up the steps with difficulty. INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS The skeletons jump up and run into the closet, closing the door just as Jerry comes in. Jerry sets the sack of rotgut down on the coffee table and shuffles out of the living room with other bag. When he returns he removes his coat and sits down on one end of the sofa. JERRY You might as well come out and make yourselves comfortable. For awhile, nothing happens. JERRY You heard me, now get out of the closet. Slowly the closet door opens and Clay looks out. JERRY Come on out -- it's obvious you were here before I got home. The thermostat is set at ninety. CLAY Well, we all get a chill in our bones. Winter's comin'. JERRY I know, me too, come on out. Eventually, the skeletons all come out and "stare" at Jerry. JERRY Well, don't just stand there. Grab a bottle of rutgut, sit down. INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER Bottles half empty they re all laughing -- somebody just made a joke. They quiet down and Jerry looks down at his feet, looking serious. JERRY Sorry I did you you all in. I was pretty unstable back then. There s an awkward silence. Ernie reaches over trying to comfort Jerry by touching his hand with a bony finger. ERNIE Well, you know, it happened. ZEKE Water under the bridge, I say. JERRY It wasn't personal. I was into animal rights back then. Big into it. A total nut job. ERNIE Now I get it -- you found out Ernie's New and Used Cats was really a scheme to sell cat's meat. JERRY And Zeke's Chinese sweet and sour pork was... ZEKE ...really sweet and sour cat. JERRY Yep. You want to know what the ironic thing about this whole mess is? I hate cats now. ZEKE Why? JERRY One of those bastards I rescued clawed my eye out! All of them have a good, long laugh but Clay quits soonest. CLAY What about me? Why me? JERRY Sorry Clay, I told I was a sick man back then. CLAY But why? JERRY Because you had a bumper sticker on your truck that said "Cat the Other, Other White Meat". CLAY That was a joke. JERRY I know. CLAY You done killed me for a joke? JERRY I'm very sorry. I... ERNIE Come on, Clay we all some have skeletons in our closet. And with that Clay just busts out laughing. ERNIE It wasn't that funny. Finally when Clay quits laughing. CLAY Nah old buddy, it was something else I was thinking on. ERNIE What? Clay has another bout of laughter. CLAY The day Jerry done me in, I was hauling thirty five pallets of frozen cat meat. And things just get silly after that. THE END FADE OUT:
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Last edited by dpaterso : 09-09-2019 at 02:41 AM. Reason: updated, cleaner copy
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:50 AM   #7
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ODD MAN OUT FADE IN EXT. BILL'S HOUSE - NIGHT A suburban McMansion in a quiet, sleepy street. Quiet until a dozen cars come roaring up and squeal to a stop. Horns blare the opening notes of DIXIE. If you don't know what that is, are you even a real American? At least 30 HOODED MEN climb out, it's like an annual Klan meeting. They carry baseball bats and pick ax handles. The hooded men gather on the lawn, HOOD LEADER in front. They stare at the house, radiating vigilante menace. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT BILL sits up in bed, a panic moment, he's heard the cars. He shakes his wife DAPH awake. BILL Honey, wake up. DAPH Jesus what-- Bill's up and out of bed, dressing fast. BILL Take the kids into the garage. Do it now. Daph wakes up, cottons on to what's happening, she throws covers aside and leaps up, grabs clothes, dresses herself on the move. INT. KIDS' BEDROOM - NIGHT Daph throws the door open and switches on the light. Two beds, occupied by young kids, fast asleep. DAPH GET UP! EXT. BILL'S HOUSE - NIGHT The whole neighborhood's awake now, people are looking out their windows, watching what's going down. Hood Leader looks up and sees Bill at an upstairs window. He raises his arm, points at Bill. HOOD LEADER You were warned! Hood Leader turns his head left and then right, looking at his men. It's the signal they've been waiting for, they charge the house, whooping! INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT Daph half-carries, half-drags their SON and DAUGHTER downstairs, wrapped in bedsheets, they're whining and groaning and confused. Bill follows her downstairs. At the bottom, Daph turns and looks up at Bill. A look passes between them. It might be I love you, it might be goodbye, it might be both. No time for words. Bill nods. Daph runs along the hallway to the back of the house, with their kids. Bill looks at the heavy front door, which is barred and bolted. He hears the whooping men getting closer. SLAM! -- the door shudders like it's been hit by a rhino. Bill just stands there, doesn't run. SLAM! -- and the door frame woodwork begins to split, screws loosen. Bill licks his lips, takes short panic breaths. SLAM! -- and the door just can't take it, the bolts give way, the bars bend. THE DOOR SLAMS OPEN and the hooded men pour inside, yelling! INT. VARIOUS ROOMS - NIGHT Bill is off his mark like an Olympic sprinter, he runs through the house, drawing the hooded men away from Daph and the kids. The hooded men jam each other in doorways and trip over each other and bang into furniture, but they keep coming after Bill, who goes from room to room, slamming doors shut behind him, throwing down chairs, stools, anything, to trip them up. The men crash their way through, determined to catch him. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT Bill slams the door shut and with desperate strength topples the fridge onto its side so it blocks the door. BANGING and CURSING from the other side. The hooded men are stopped. But the door and fridge move a fraction -- then another fraction -- enough for someone to stick their fingers through the gap. Bill kicks the door! Someone SCREAMS and the fingers are pulled back. Bill puts his weight against the fridge. Behind Bill, the outside door opens silently and Hood Leader enters. Four hooded men stand outside, watching. Bill spins round, sees Hood Leader. He pulls a big knife from the knife block and raises it to defend himself. Hood Leader pulls off his hood, revealing his big ruddy face and white hair, an untrustworthy politician type. (We will still call him Hood Leader to avoid confusion.) Bill gapes in shock, recognizing him. HOOD LEADER Bill, Bill, give it up. It's over, can't you see that? BILL One more f*ckin' step, and I swear-- HOOD LEADER Any sensible man would've learned to keep his trap shut. If not for himself then for his family. But no, not you. You just had to keep on yakkin'. Hood Leader gestures to the men outside, they enter and fan out so they can come at Bill from all sides. HOOD LEADER Now look what it's come to. Behind Bill the blocked door is slowly opening, inch by inch, as the fridge is pushed aside. Bill is f*cked and he knows it, there's no way out. HOOD LEADER Why don't you put the knife down before you hurt yourself? BILL Why don't you make me? Come on, big man, show your c*cks*cker followers how brave you are. Fast as a snake, Hood Leader picks up a stool and throws it at Bill, who has to duck, and that's when the hooded men rush in and grab his arms and twist the knife out of his hand. Bill struggles to get free but it's no good. Hood Leader shouts to the men trying to break in past the fridge: HOOD LEADER We got him! Activity there dies down. BILL Coward son of a bitch. You pay other men to do your dirty work for you. HOOD LEADER Nobody's being paid. Don't you see? It's the Lord's work they do. Take him out! The hooded men wrangle Bill outside. EXT. BILL'S HOUSE - NIGHT They bring Bill around the side of the house, to the front. Hood Leader has put his hood back on. Bill freezes and digs his heels in when he sees the giant cross that's lying on his lawn. Some of the hooded men have shovels, they've dug a hole for the cross to slide into, so it can be pulled upright. People have come out of their houses into the street and are watching. A silent, fearful crowd. HOOD LEADER Do it. Bill is dragged to the cross, forced to lie down on it. Lengths of rope have been nailed to the cross arms and body, and these are tied around Bill's wrists, torso and ankles, securing him. The hooded men loop longer ropes around the top and sides of the cross. They're getting ready to pull it upright. Bill struggles frantically but he can't break free. Hooded men pull on the ropes and lever the cross up until it's settled in the hole they dug, and Bill is hanging there like Jesus. WHOOPS and YIPPEES from the hooded men, they fill in the hole and jam their shovels around the cross as wedges. Bill groans, the ropes cut into his wrists, he's bleeding. Hood Leader looks up at him. Bill hawks and spits at him but it falls short. Bill realizes Daph is standing among the crowd, with the kids, watching. Bill tries to puzzle this out. Daph just watches, no reaction. Hood Leader turns to address the townsfolk. HOOD LEADER We did not want to do this! None of us wanted it! None of us asked for it! He points up at Bill. HOOD LEADER This man was warned. He was told not to speak out against the plan. We asked him politely. We asked him more than once. We explained how he was just causing panic, and worrying folks who had plenty worry already. (politician's pause) But no, he would not relent. Him and his friends, those so-called "scientists" who claim to know everything, they insisted, they God-dang insisted on spreading their lies. (another pause) We cannot trust them. They have been peddling their foolish views for years, and where has it got us? Everything they ever said has been proved false. BILL Don't listen to him! He's the liar! HOOD LEADER Everything they said has been proved false, and offers no salvation for any of us. He sweeps his arm toward the sky. HOOD LEADER We know what's happening. We feel the changes, year on year. And we know it's gonna get a lot worse. God help us all when it does. (another pause) That's why, that's why the big boss, the big man, that's why he's doing what he's doing. It's the only way to change things back to the way they were. BILL It will destroy the atmosphere. It will create a nuclear winter that will lay waste to crops and doom the human race. Hood Leader bows his head, taking deep breaths. The hooded men pour gasoline around the base of the cross. The crowd shifts, uncertain, whispering. HOOD LEADER You hear what he's saying. You understand the meaning of his words. But you all know, deep in your hearts, that this is another falsehood. The big boss has figured it all out. He's gonna launch them nooclear rockets. Tomorrow night the sky is going to light up. Its glow will cleanse us and it will cleanse our planet. The climate will return to what it once was. We shall flourish in a new Eden. The hooded men light pitch torches, these are distributed to the crowd. Flames crackle and spit. Bill watches in anguish as Daph takes a torch. He turns his head away as his children are given torches. HOOD LEADER And so we are come to this. We are come to this, because nothing must stop the plan. This man, He gestures wildly at Bill without looking back at him, HOOD LEADER cannot be allowed to sow his lies, his deceit. Not any more. It stops now. (another pause) We do not do this lightly. But punishment must be meted to those who will not listen to reason. BILL Detonating nuclear bombs is not the answer! For God's sake, listen to me! You have to voice your objections before it's too late, and stop this madness! Hood Leader looks at Daph. HOOD LEADER Daphne, will you be first? Daph steps forward. She looks up at Bill. Bill pleads with his eyes. Daph looks at the torch in her hand, and frowns. Bill enjoys a moment of hope, she won't do it. Daph chucks the torch down and the gasoline catches fire. The flames leap up, touching Bill's shoes. Daph steps back and beckons their kids forward. The kids throw their torches into the flames. They don't look up at their father. And everyone else throws their torches into the bonfire. The flames creep up the cross and begin to eat at Bill's feet and legs. Daph leads the kids away, they don't look back as Bill's AGONIZED SCREAMS fill the night. Behind them the light from the blaze illuminates the street, the people. Hood Leader falls into step beside Daph. He takes off his hood, folds it and slips it inside his jacket. Daph leans against him and puts her head on his shoulder. DAPH Oh Daddy, I am so sorry. HOOD LEADER None of this was your doing. He and only he is responsible for his fate. Remember this. DAPH I will. Another hooded man joins them and he takes off his hood, he's a big handsome fellow. He looks down at the kids and smiles. HANDSOME MAN Are you kids doing okay? BILL'S DAUGHTER Yep. BILL'S SON Are you our new daddy? HANDSOME MAN Reckon I might be. Depends on your mommy. He smiles at Daph and she smiles back. Somewhere behind them, flames crackle and reach up to the starlit sky. FADE OUT
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