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Old 05-03-2007, 06:33 AM   #1
ihavebiglips
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Default Memorial Day Entries

Okay folks. I'm starting a new thread to just post the entries to make it easier on those that grace us with reads and votes.

Already got a couple of entries!

Those of you that already contributed: Just remember that you are now allowed two entries, so you've got a month to come up with another idea if you like.

Thanks, any banter and or questions regarding the contest itself, I'll see you back in the original thread.

Peace!
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Memorial Day Entries

The lead off guy steps to the plate:

Entry #1 by Signal30

CODA (1 of 2)

FADE UP


EXT. MIDDLE EASTERN CITY – DAY

The desert sun burns down, air shimmering. Shattered sides of buildings sprout from the debris like windowed tombstones. Dust coils through the avenues.

Across from a mosque, a squad of troopers huddle behind the burned-out husk of a 2012 Mercedes. Gunfire coughs in the distance.

A Chinese jet shrieks by overhead, dropping its payload further down the road. An explosion... screams.

The Mirage bomber pulls up, begins to circle around... oily contrail in its wake. Bad fuel mix.

CAPTAIN DWYER squats, his back against the front passenger door. Camouflage faded, tattered, blotched with stubborn bloodstains. At age twenty, Captain Dwyer still has a good three years on the oldest of his squad.

He shakes his canteen and uncaps it, mudpack of dust and sweat cracking as he opens his mouth to drink. Drains it.

THWACK!

He looks up at the moist sound of impact, the unzipping of air, the cough of the rifle that follows as afterthought.

A young trooper sways on her knees, entry wound a pencil eraser-sized mole on her upper lip, helmet cocked down over her eyes by the exiting round. Her nametag reads VICTOR.

VICTOR
Oh.

She shudders, and her body armor pulls her to the ground.

Dwyer glances to his left: French Caporal-chef La Croix is on one hand and knees at the front of the vehicle, other hand tilting the loosed rearview mirror towards the mosque.

She sits back on her heels and twists around to Dwyer.

DWYER
How many?

La Croix blinks, finally gets what he’s asking. Holds up two fingers... then three. Shrugs.

He nods. Mimes smoking a cigarette. La Croix retrieves a battered pack of Lucky Strikes from her camo top, bats one loose...

Dwyer cups her hands as he accepts a light. Eyes meet. He takes a drag and hands it back to her as he looks back to the fallen soldier. Two of the other troopers have low-crawled over, struggle for her body armor.

Victor is on her back, upper torso bare, pale breasts still heaving raggedly beneath the scorching sun. What’s left of her brains have spilled out into the dust, blood sucked up before it can pool.

MULROONEY has put on the liberated helmet, a pink blob leaving a crimson snail trail down her cheek. Oblivious, she tugs at the vest.

MULROONEY
It’s too damn’ small for you, muthaf*cker.

COOPER tugs it from her grasp, slides his arm in and rolls over onto his back. Struggles to strap it up...

It’s too small.

COOPER
I’m a bigger target, bitch.

Mulrooney’s face pinches... she will have that armor...

Soon.

They continue to snap at each other as...

Dwyer glances over at a young girl in Australian gear, STIRLING. Dull eyes veiled behind oily bangs, she uses two fingers to spoon gray slop from a sun-bleached can. Arabic lettering. Crude cartoon of a dog. She chews with an air of obligation...

... pauses.

Snaps her bangs back with a toss of head and considers the horizon, eyes narrowing.

STIRLING
Oy.

Dwyer follows her gaze...

...as contrails streak in formation, six of them staggered and streaming south. Faster than any jet.

Cooper and Mulrooney pause in their quarreling. Faces go slack at the sight of the ICBMs.

STIRLING
Where they headin’?

DWYER
Turkey? India?

STIRLING
Where they comin’ from?

One of the Chinese jets has pulled up from its bombing run, flies counter to the distant contrails.

Considering.

DWYER
Does it matter? Get on the horn.

Stirling puts aside the dog food and fires up the transmitter. A chorus of shouting squawks from the headphones. Voices fighting to be heard over each other.

DWYER
Channel Nine.

Stirling clicks it over and Dwyer cups a headphone to one ear. Keys the mike.

DWYER
Alpha Charlie Three to HQ.
(beat)
Alpha Charlie Three to HQ.

What’s left of his squad has moved in around him. Wide-eyed. Silent. His nostrils flare as La Croix moves up beside him, a strand of auburn hair spilling from beneath her helmet.

(CONTINUED)
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Old 05-03-2007, 06:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Memorial Day Entries

CODA (2 of 2)

DWYER
Yeah, no... I mean, the men want to know if... well, since the world is ending... do we really need to go on with this?

He pulls away from the radio’s loud squawking.

DWYER
Yes, sir. No problem, sir... right away.

DWYER
What’s that, sir? Oh... you too...

He drops the microphone into the dust.

DWYER
... Sir.

Stirling nods.

STIRLING
Right.

She stands. Dwyer grabs her wrist...

DWYER
Damn it, Stirling...

STIRLING
F*ck you, Sir.

She pulls loose from his grip and walks around the rear of the Mercedes. Crosses the street, pulling her service .45 from its holster. She enters the mosque.

A beat.

Gunfire erupts, muzzle flashes flaring through shattered windows.

Silence. Shadows lengthen as the sun begins to settle.

Dwyer turns to find La Croix considering him.

DWYER
Huh... now what in the hell do we do?

Distant thunder rumbles.

She cocks an eyebrow -- she doesn’t have the slightest idea what he just said.

LA CROIX
Je n'ai aucune idée de ce que vous venez de dire.

Dwyer reaches up, cups her face with his hand. Her face softens... she leans forward.

They kiss. Long, hard... for the last time.

MULROONEY (O.S.)
Don’t even think about it, Cooper.

Dwyer pulls back, blinking.

DWYER
I never did had a chance to...

La Croix smiles, brushes a tear from his cheek with her thumb, dust smearing.

A whistle from above begins to build to a scream...

...they lean in and kiss again...


EXT. CHINESE BOMBER JET – TWILIGHT

The bomber pulls up, jets howling...

... as below, a shockwave ripples across the city streets, a fireball erupting from the epicenter.

Payload spent and no home to return to, the jet continues to pull up...

...up...

...up...

...the fading sunlight glinting against its hull, the jet becomes yet another distant star...

...and then sparks out.


FADE OUT


COMMENTS

-I caught some snatches of unique characterization but I can't honestly say the setting or story did anything for me, and that bleak ending wasn't anywhere near satisfying, sorry. –dp

-Excellently written. A little over written perhaps, but the writer certainly can write. I think if anything, the dialogue let this entry down. It's functional.I'd like to have heard more character in their individual voices. That said it felt realistic and there was clearly a high level of knowledge from the writer regarding warfare. Whether that be an interest/hobby or impressive amount of research, It made entertaining reading.
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Last edited by ihavebiglips : 06-08-2007 at 09:17 AM.
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Memorial Day Entries

Next up:

Entry #2 y OzFade

THE FIGHT

FADE IN:

ON AN UNIDENTIFIABLE VOID

An archaic television set juts out of a porous, scarlet red
ground.
All profound imagery and no substance, didn't tickle my fancy, sorry. –dp

THE FIGHT - Very surreal entry and too short for my taste. Well written nevertheless, and the writer understands the power of imagery. A short and sweet read.



STATIC flares up.

A black and white image slowly starts to bleed in...

A young SOLDIER stoically leans forward against a barrage
of wind and rain.

Another image. An INFIRMARY. Silent cries of the wounded.
Gangrenous limbs, charred faces, bullet ridden torsos.

Another image. A LEGLESS solder gripping the lifeless hand
of another.

An explosion inside a trench.

Fatigued men endlessly marching towards certain doom.

A lone helmet on a scorched field.

A bayonet slicing through the air.

A gun-turret firing round after round.

A tank rolling through smoke.

...people dieing.

...War. Anguish, horror and suffering boiled down to ten
seconds of hell.

And the image skips and starts again.

The young soldier waiting for his death.

The nightmare of the infirmary.

The men, the bombs, the bullets, the deaths.

Loops again.

War.

The clip continues.

In the darkness behind the television set, a flash of
light.

Another television begins playing the clip.

Three more televisions begin the clip.

Ten televisions showing the men.

50 televisions showing the bombs.

100 televisions showing the bullets.

1,000 televisions showing the dead.

The field of televisions stretch on, stuck firmly in the
red spongy ground...

Stuck to a CAPILLARY.

WE'RE INSIDE A BODY

Moving past the cells, the blood, the veins, the muscle,
the flesh.

Moving past the millions of television sets playing the
same harrowing clip.

Pushing through the skin into...

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

An overcrowded hospital room of chaos and confusion, devoid
of any homeliness.

A bustle of patients and workers all taking no heed to a
YOUNG BOY, pale and weary, laying in a bed.

His lips cracked and dry...

His breathing shallow...

His eyelids fluttering...

His hand becoming limp...and his grip on a red crayon
loosens.

It clutters to the floor.

FADE OUT:

The End

COMMENTS


-All profound imagery and no substance, didn't tickle my fancy, sorry. –dp

-Very surreal entry and too short for my taste. Well written nevertheless, and the writer understands the power of imagery. A short and sweet read.
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Memorial Day Entries

Entry #3 by ezread

THE DUNDER SQUAD(1 OF 2)

FADE IN:

JAX, mid thirties, side burns and a mustache, huddles next to a chimney. He hands two grenades to STONY, late twenties, a skeleton with skin.

JAX
Okay private, these are our last two.. so make em count.

STONY
No problem sarge.

Stony peeks around the chimney, his eyes widen at the sight of the two German soldiers sitting in the guard tower.

Stony closes his eyes, takes a deep breath then spins from behind the chimney, hurls a grenade at the tower.

The grenade lands smack in the middle of the German soldiers.

Stony and Jax take cover behind the chimney, plug their ears and wait.. and wait. Nothing.

JAX
Must of been a dud. Try again.

Stony hurls the second grenade. Takes cover. Plugs his ears and waits.. and waits. Nothing.

JAX
What the..

They hear LAUGHTER coming from the tower. They peek around the chimney and see the German soldiers, one FAT one SKINNY, laughing uncontrollably.

JAX
What's so damn funny numb nuts?

FAT GERMAN
Very nice throw.

SKINNY GERMAN
Yes, nice throws. Very nice indeed. But you forgot one thing?

JAX
What's that pencil dick?

FAT GERMAN
You forgot, oh I almost can't believe it, you forgot to take the pins out?

The Germans nearly fall off the tower with laughter. Jax glares at Stony. Stony smiles nervously back at him.

SKINNY GERMAN
I mean really.. who forgets to take the pins out.

FAT GERMAN
(holds up grenade)
Not once..
(holds up other grenade)
..but twice.

Their laughter echo's through the streets.

JAX
Ha Ha, laugh it up monkey boys.

FAT GERMAN
I mean how stupid can you be? Really, I mean, come on. You see this little round thing here..

Points to the pin.

FAT GERMAN
..you just grab that, then pull the pin out..

Pulls pin out.

FAT GERMAN
.. then you see this little lever? You let that fall off..

The lever falls to the ground.

FAT GERMAN
..then you throw it at a chosen target.

He moves his arm through a throwing motion, but holds on to the grenade.

FAT GERMAN
Then you count: one, two, three..

SKINNY GERMAN
Oh shi...

BOOM! The Germans fall from the tower in a fiery heap.

Jax and Stony give each other a look.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

HALF-N-HALF, mid thirties, Three feet six inches tall, stands on a stool and struggles to keep his massive M60 balanced on the window seal as he stands guard.

GIRTH, mid twenties, a fat slob, snores in the corner.

Jax and Stony walk in.

HALF-N-HALF
Did ya get em?

STONY
Yep, went exactly as planned.

JAX
I'd like you guys to meet our new squad member.

VET, late thirties, face shows the wear and tear of many battles, walks in.

VET
Hey guys. I'm nearing the end of my third tour. My wife is giving birth to my third child as we speak. And I just bought a place back home, gonna open my own restaurant..

Half-n-half slips, falls off his stool. His M60 hits the ground. BANG. Vet is shot right between the eyes.

Girth jumps up. Scans the room, gun at the ready.

GIRTH
What the.. were are those Nazi bastards?

Girth sees Vet strewn out on the floor.

GIRTH
Oh my..
(turns to Half-n-half)
..not again. How many does that make this month?

HALF-N-HALF
Kiss my ass.

GIRTH
Can't get that low.

HALF-N-HALF
Oh yeah, let me help.

Half-n-half runs up to Girth, head butts him in the groin. Girth falls to the floor. Half-n-half sits on his face.

HALF-N-HALF
Kiss it, yeah, kiss it.

JAX
That's enough shenanigans. Lets get moving.

CONTINUED
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:05 PM   #6
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THE DUNDER SQUAD (2 OF 2)

EXT. FRONT YARD OF MANSION - DAY

The Dunder squad sneaks toward the Mansion. They encounter no resistance.

HALF-N-HALF
Well this seams easy enough.

JAX
Yeah, a little to easy.

GIRTH
Oh man, why did you have to say that? Don't you watch movies? Nothing good ever happens when somebody says that.

JAX
Stop with the superstitious shi..

Loud GROWLING from behind them. They all slowly turn their heads. Three massive German Shepherds stare back at them.

The squad runs toward the house. The dogs give chase.

Jax is the first to reach an open basement door. He jumps in. Stony follows close behind. Girth lumbers in right after him. They all watch Half-n-half as his little legs pump away, M60 dragging behind him.

STONY
Run Half-n-half, run.

Half-n-half nears the basement door. The dogs are right on top of him. Jax reaches out to help.

CRUNCH.

HALF-N-HALF
Awwwwww.

INT. BASEMENT - DAY

Jax places a bandage on Half-n-half's butt cheek.

HALF-N-HALF
Why didn't sombody shoot them?

JAX
They're dogs. I love dogs.

GIRTH
Yeah, you don't shoot dogs. That's just mean.

HALF-N-HALF
They bit my ass.

JAX
Yeah, that's unfortunate. Hey Girth, Go outside and make sure Half-n-half didn't leave anything.. behind.

HALF-N-HALF
Ha Ha, behind, real funny.

GIRTH
I'll check the front yard. Would you like me to check the Rear too?

HALF-N-HALF
You guys are frickin hilarious.

JAX
Lets just hope those dogs weren't Lactose intolerant. Get it? Half-n-half, lactose..

HALF-N-HALF
Yeah, I get it dick head.

Stony walks down the stairs.

STONY
There are about seven or eight guards up there.

JAX
Don't worry about it. I got a plan.

NEXT TO FURNACE

A tear rolls down Stony's face as he watches Jax throw his rucksack full of marijuana into the furnace.

STONY
Oh the sacrifice.

JAX
Stop your wimperin and close the vent.

INT. MANSION - DAY

Smoke seeps from the vents.

INT. BASEMENT - DAY

The squad makes their way up the stairs and into

THE KITCHEN

Were a German soldier digs through the cupboards. The German spins around. Points a gun at them.

GERMAN
Halt.

They stop, put their hands in the air. The German stares at them for a moment with his blood shot eyes.

GERMAN
Hey, you guys have any Cheetos?

JAX
Excuse me.

GERMAN
You know, Cheetos, Tony the Tiger. Groooowl.

GIRTH
Tony the Tiger is Frosted Flakes. You're thinking of Chester Cheetah.

GERMAN
Whatever dude, you got any?

Girth reaches into his bag, pulls out a bag of Cheetos. Throws it to him.

GERMAN
Oh hell yeah.

The German runs into the next room.


GERMAN(o.s.)
Look guys, I found some.

GROUP OF GERMANS(o.s.)
Sweet dude. Yeah. Bitchen.

Jax turns to Stony.

JAX
Told ya it would work.

STONY
Not worth it man, not worth it.

INT. BEDROOM - DAY

A woman in a white dress sits on the floor. Watches a small TOP spin round and round. Sings a song.

WOMAN
Dradle, Dradle, Dradle.I have a little Dradle. I made it out of clay...

The Dunder squad storms into the room. They point their guns at the woman.

JAX
Oh, sorry miss. Must have the wrong room.

The woman stands up, turns around.

The squad takes a step back, gasps.

The woman is not a woman, it's a man with a tiny mustache the width of his nose, and evil beady eyes. It's HITLER.

GIRTH
That's just wrong.

HALF-N-HALF
Yeah, you Germans are fricken crazy.

JAX
I know. Who wears white after labor day?

The rest of the squad looks at Jax through a raised eyebrow.

WOMAN/HITLER
But it's my favorite.

JAX
Whatever, are you Roth Volker?

HITLER
Nope.

Jax pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket. Reads it.

JAX
This is six six nine Olo street right?

Hitler saunters up to him. Grabs the paper out of his hand. Turns it right side up. Hands it back to him.

Jax reads the paper.

JAX
Ohh, were looking for six nine nine. Sorry to interrupt, carry on sir, mam, sir. Whatever.

The Dunder squad walks out of the room.

Hitler waves goodbye.

FADE OUT:

COMMENTS

-Tries hard to be funny, maybe too hard, corny lines and setups abound but ultimately it ended up feeling like an ad-libbed skit gone wrong, sorry. -dp

-Another odd entry. I made my mind up before I read any entries that I wouldn't give a placing to any comedy. Memorial Day contest just doesn't, in my view, lend itself to comedy. That said it was again well written and an enjoyable read, but it just felt like a bunch of teenagers playing war (in fact I half expected that as a twist) and that felt wrong in the context of the contest.
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Last edited by ihavebiglips : 06-09-2007 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Memorial Day Entries

Got a good one in!

I was sent an HTML file - the formatting is a little different, so it seems a little wordy.

Read it anyway!

Entry #4 by Harbinger

THE DYING SONG (1 of 2)

Code:
FADE IN:
EXT. THE RUE EMILE DES OURTEAUX - ORADOUR - DAY
Sheet rain falls across a quiet street, lined with fire damaged ruins of what were once buildings. The rainwater drips off the crumbled edifices of old French Architecture, all that remains of the old town of Oradour.
The roaring engine of a Mercedes-Benz cuts through the eerie silence, as it screeches around the corner. The stereo pumps a hardhouse baseline through the tranquility of rural France.
The car picks up speed, slicing through puddles. Water sprays an elderly woman shuffling along the side of the road.
ISABELLE, 68, sighs to herself as she glances down at the soaked hem of her dress. She looks up to see an empty beer bottle smash against the ruins of one of the buildings.
Isabelle solemnly closes her eyes as the Mercedes roars into the distance. She collects herself and continues on her way.
INT. THE CHURCH - ORADOUR - DAY
The ruined remains of the old church of Oradour. Isabelle shuffles along the aisle towards--
--a memorial tablet fixed to the wall. A list of soldier's names engraved into the stone and an inscription in French; A NOUS MORTS GLORIEUX GUERRE 1914-1918
Isabelle looks to the church's small side window, then turns back to the tablet. She probes a trembling finger into one of two bullet holes in the tablet. Tears well in her eyes.
INT. THE CRYPT - ORADOUR - DAY
Isabelle inspects an aisle of old artifacts. Charred by fire. Crumbling with age. A number of damaged clock faces catch her eye. All set to the same time.
A GUIDE to the crypt looms over her shoulder.
GUIDE (in French) They're all the same. Stopped dead at four o'clock. That's when the burning began.
Isabelle covers her mouth. She bolts from the church, as fast as old frail legs will carry her.
EXT. CHURCHYARD - ORADOUR - DAY
Isabelle sits on a grassy embankment, oblivious to the rain pelting down. She glances at the sodden ground. Sticks a long bony finger into the wet soil. Draws something in the mud--
--Two letter 'S's side by side. Shaped like lightning bolts.
EXT. GIRL'S SCHOOL - ORADOUR - DAY
A young Isabelle, barely seven years old, stares up at the same image. Two silver lightning bolts on a black background. A badge sewn to the collar of the soldier marching beside her. EDWIN GOTTLIEB, A German trooper of the Waffen-SS.
Dotted all around Isabelle are her classmates. Escorted along the street by other German SS troops in uniform.
Isabelle's TEACHER, a portly woman, calls after her. Voice shaky, desperately trying to hide the fear.
TEACHER Hurry along now, Isabelle. Lets not dawdle.
Isabelle ignores her. Her inquisitive eyes move upwards to Edwin's face. A poster boy for Hitler's master race. Perfect symmetrical features, blonde hair and piercing blue eyes.
Isabelle and Edwin's gaze meet. She stares into his eyes. Stern, unflinching -- then, a flicker. Of something more.
Sylvie, one of Isabelle's classmates, catches up alongside Isabelle. She puts an arm around her shoulder.
SYLVIE They just want to check our papers, Belle. Father says this happens all the time in Limoges. There's no need to be afraid.
ISABELLE I'm not afraid.
She shrugs Sylvie's arm away. Edwin's unflinching eyes watch Isabelle skip nonchalantly ahead to the front of the group.
EXT. THE CHAMP DE FOIRE - ORADOUR - DAY
The march reaches the end of the road. They're met by the children of the Boy's school, escorted by more SS troops, coming the other way. Both parties merge together as they're marched into Oradour's busy market place.
A young SCHOOLBOY saunters up beside Isabelle. He secretly palms her a scrap of paper with a sideways wink.
Edwin's sharp eyes observe everything. He steps amongst the marching children. Snatches the paper from Isabelle's grasp.
Edwin reads what's written on the paper. That same sudden flicker in his eye. He looks first at the boy-- then Isabelle. Both sheepishly avoid eye contact.
Edwin pockets the scrap of paper and separates the two of them. He personally marches Isabelle into the market place.
EXT. THE CHAMP DE FOIRE - ORADOUR - CONTINUOUS
The market place becomes a hive of activity as the children pour into the square, reunited with anxious family members.
Isabelle ducks away from Edwin and joins her MOTHER, stood with open arms beside the well of the market place.
EXT. THE CHAMP DE FOIRE - ORADOUR - LATER
Edwin stands on guard at the edge of the square. He observes the murmur of quiet confusion from the gathered villagers.
A BAKER, still in his apron, remonstrates with a soldier as thick plumes of black smoke emanate from his bakery chimney.
Beyond the baker, Edwin sees Isabelle. She struggles as her mother tries to restrain her. Prevent her running away.
Edwin walks over. Crouches beside Isabelle. His eyes focus on a broach pinned to her coat -- A dove with olive branch.
EDWIN You like birds?
Isabelle doesn't reply. Her mother steps behind Isabelle and protectively rests her hands on her shoulders.
Edwin looks at her, then Isabelle. He reaches into his pocket and takes out the scrap of paper passed to her earlier. He folds the paper in half. Makes a crease along one side. Then another fold - and another, until a shape begins to form.
EDWIN They say the mute swan never makes a sound through it's entire life…
Edwin folds the final wing into place. He places a small paper swan reverently in the palm of his hand.
EDWIN Until the moment it dies when, for the first and last time, it sings the most beautiful heartbreaking song.
Edwin passes the paper swan to Isabelle.
MOTHER What do you say, Belle?
ISABELLE You know an awful lot about swans.
MOTHER Isabelle! (looks up at Edwin) Th... Thank you.
Edwin forces a slight smile. It quickly fades as he spots another OFFICER marching towards him.
The Officer whispers something in his ear. Edwin's face drops. His eyes glaze over. He glances around him.
Across the square a villager offers one of the soldiers a cigarette. Beyond that, soldier and villager share a joke.
On the far side of the market, two SS troops set up machine guns on tripod mounts, pointed at the assembled crowd.
Slowly the troops converge on the crowd. They begin segregating the families. Fathers escorted away from crying children. Wives clinging to their husband's sleeve.
The women and children are herded into one large group and surrounded by SS troops. They're marched out of the square.
Edwin is ordered to follow. He hesitates. A glance to the church spire, visible over the roof of the market barn.
HANZ, a no-necked meathead of a soldier, walks up behind Edwin. Shoves the butt of gun into his back.
HANZ We have our orders.
EDWIN The orders are wrong.
HANZ They're never wrong. We do this for the glory of the Reich.
EDWIN This is the Reich. They surrendered. These are our allies.
Hanz strokes his chin. He looks up as a party of men are escorted to Laudy barn, a turning just off the market place.
HANZ Not today.
EXT. CHURCHYARD - ORADOUR - DAY
Edwin watches the women and children marched into the church. He takes his position, alone, at one of the side windows.
INT. THE CHURCH - ORADOUR - DAY
The women and children crowd into the church. Isabelle is hustled and bustled as she pushes her way along the aisle.
CONTINUED
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Memorial Day Entries

THE DYING SONG (2 OF 2)
Code:
EXT. CHURCHYARD - ORADOUR - DAY Sweat drips from Edwin's brow as he shakily loads his rifle. He's startled by the sound of tapping. He looks up to see-- --Isabelle stood at the window. Innocent. Unaware of what's happening. She presses her index finger against the glass. Edwin checks to see no-one is looking, then walks over. He presses his finger against hers. Only the glass between them. Movement at the church entrance catches Edwin's attention. His eyes grow wide as he watches-- --SS troops carry a large crate into the church. Wires trail from the crate. Behind them a soldier carries the detonator. INT. THE CHURCH - ORADOUR - DAY A panic slowly begins to break out amongst the women as the soldiers place the crate down at the entrance to the church. A soldier crouches to link the detonator to the crate wires. EXT. CHURCHYARD - ORADOUR - DAY Edwin gestures for Isabelle to step back. He slams the butt of his rifle into the glass, shattering the window. INT. THE CHURCH - ORADOUR - DAY --the wooden crate explodes. Women and children incinerated by fire. A cloud of black smoke engulfs the survivors as the panicked mass scrambles back towards the rear of the church. EXT. CHURCHYARD - ORADOUR - DAY Edwin pulls Isabelle outside as thick smoke explodes outwards from the broken window. He quickly lowers her to the ground. He crouches on his haunches. Rests a hand on her shoulder. EDWIN There's an old mill west of here. Run. Whatever happens, don't you ever look back, understand? A tearful Isabelle looks back at the church. ISABELLE Mommy. EDWIN She'll meet you there. ISABELLE You… you promise? Edwin bites his tongue. He looks up to the sound of boot soles crunching on gravel. Marching in perfect unison. EDWIN Go! Now! Isabelle turns and runs. Tears stream down her face. She disappears from view, hidden behind the wall as-- --two SS troops appear from the side of the church. They gesture for Edwin to join them at the broken window. Edwin takes his position beside the soldiers. Like them, he points his rifle through the window. The SOLDIER to his left reaches over. Taps two fingers lightly on Edwin's gun barrel. SOLDIER Women… He pushes Edwin's gun barrel down to just below waist height. SOLDIER …and children. Edwin's finger trembles as he aims the gun, waist height, at the seething mass of terrified women and children. His finger twitches, ready to fire-- Something catches his eye. Isabelle's mother stands near the front of the congregation almost enveloped by thick black smoke. Edwin's eyes meet hers over the gun sight of his rifle. She and Edwin close their eyes in unison as the first gunshot rings out. Edwin hesitates, then squeezes the trigger. He fires the rifle, again and again. Indiscriminate shots into the crowd. Never once opening his eyes. A tear trickles from Edwin's closed eyelid. He finally manages to swing the gun barrel away. His stray bullet slams into the memorial tablet fixed to the church wall. EXT. FIELDS - ORADOUR - DAY Isabelle runs through the fields. The wind roars in her ears, but does little to drown out the echo of sporadic gunfire. She glances back over her shoulder. Thick black smoke fills the air above the town as all of Oradour burns. She stops to rest against a tree. Below her a large group of Oradour's men are herded into a barn. A line of soldiers stand at the barn doors. They raise their rifles in unison. An orchestra of Gunshots. Anguished cries -- Then silence. A soldier steps away from the plumes of gun smoke. He stoops to switch on a radio-- A female Soprano sings her heart out. In the silent aftermath of the gunfire, the music soars. An angelic voice, so pure and saintly-- A dying song. A tearful Isabelle closes her eyes. Feels the music surge through her. The single most beautiful thing she's ever heard. Isabelle reaches into her pocket. Takes out the paper swan. Trembling fingers unfold the paper. Smooth out the creases. INT. THE CHURCH - ORADOUR - DAY Trembling fingers, now old and wrinkled, hold the crumpled scrap of paper, yellowed with age. Childlike writing scrawled across the paper faded, but still legible; I'LL PROTECT YOU. Isabelle's old arthritic fingers struggle as they fold the paper in half. She perseveres, carefully refolding each crease. Until the paper slowly forms a shape once more-- --A paper swan. Yellowed, crumpled and wilted over the years. She wearily crouches at the foot of the memorial tablet. Places the paper swan on the floor beneath the tablet. ISABELLE Thank you. A last glance at the two bullet holes in the tablet, before Isabelle turns and shuffles solemnly away. FADE OUT:
COMMENTS

-Nicely done, interesting opening, good flashback timing, good suspense buildup, good imagery, real characters, humanity shines among the inhumanity. Only thing I didn't quite get was why Isabelle comes back now, after all those years? I'm just saying, a Saving Private Ryan-esque "family tour" angle might fit well, Isabelle is pulled from reverie by her 6-year-old great-granddaughter. Or not. 2nd place. –dp

-Oscar worthy. I cried. This writer is some kind of genius. .and modest...and without any delusions of grandeur!

-I’m not a big fan of the return-of-the-aging-survivor bookends tactic, but this one was well utilized. Although the writing was a little too dense, it still worked for me. Nicely-handled moment of poignancy with the return of the passed note, and a succinct point about the nature of the beast not being in black ‘n white. Solid. Would make a very interesting short.
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Old 05-12-2007, 02:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Memorial Day Entries

Entry #5 by ezread

SNAKE(1 of 2)

INT. MALL - NIGHT

A line, hundreds of kids long, waits to sit on Santa's lap.

Crowds of last minute shoppers scurry around a large
overly decorated Christmas tree.

INT. FOOD COURT - NIGHT

JOSH HARKING, 40's, a man's man with a square jaw
watches his daughter JENNY, 10, devour a hotdog. HOLLY
HARKING, 30's, sits next to Josh, picks through a salad.

Josh watches his family with a sly smile of contentment. He
looks around the crowded food court and sees:

A young BOY tugging at the shirt of a flustered MOM. The
Mom shouts and points at the Boy. The rebellious Boy
slaps his soda onto the floor.

A FAT MAN, carrying one too many bags, slips on the
spilled soda. His bags scatter across the floor.

A young middle eastern man in a suit and tie helps the
Fat man to his feat.

Josh perks up. He studies the middle eastern man's face
a little closer, particularly the scar that runs down his
right cheek.

JOSH
I'll be right back.

Holly nods.

AT ANOTHER TABLE

AHMAD IBRAHIM, 18, places his briefcase on the table.
Unsnaps the locks. Lifts the lid..

JOSH(O.S.)
Ahmad?

Ahmad closes the briefcase, looks up at Josh.

AHMAD
Do I know you sir?

JOSH
It's been a few years.

Josh looks at the empty chair across from Ahmad.

JOSH
May I?

AHMAD
Please.

Josh sits down. Ahmad's eyes narrow, he studies Josh's every move.

JOSH
You were a little out of it back then,
so I'm sure it's all a little fuzzy.

Ahmad looks into Josh's big brown comforting eyes.

AHMAD
A little fuzzy? Who are you?

JOSH
The school.. Afghanistan.

A glint of recognition as Ahmad's eyes widen.

FLASHBACK TO:

Complete DARKNESS

Heavy breathing.

Groans of pain.

Faint sounds of rocks grinding against each other.

VOICE #1(O.S.)
Leave him. This place is going to collapse!

VOICE #2(O.S.)
He's alive.. I can hear him.

VOICE #1(O.S.)
Sergeant, come on!

VOICE #2(O.S.)
Get everybody out of here!

The sound of grinding rocks gets louder.

A beam of light breaks the darkness. Two hands desperately
throw the remaining debris to the side.

Under the debris, a young Ahmad wipes the dust from
his eyes. Blinks. His eyes slowly focus. He looks into
the big brown comforting eyes of his rescuer, Josh.


JOSH
(to himself)
Just a boy.

INT. HALLWAY - DAY

Josh leans down, pulls Ahmad from the rubble. Throws
him over his shoulder.

The building shutters.

Josh runs. Ahmad groans with every step. Small bits
of debris pelt Ahmad's face as the building shutters..
He passes out.

INT. MEDICAL TENT - DAY

Ahmad lays in bed hooked to several I.V. tubes and
monitors. A long gash on his right cheek is held together
with dozens of stitches. His eyes blink open.

Josh sits on the bed just across from him.

Ahmad looks Josh over. Stares for a moment at the
bandage around Josh's elbow. Josh notices his stare,
points to the bandage.

JOSH
We have the same blood type. Imagine that.

Ahmad looks at the ceiling.

JOSH
What's your name?

Ahmad clears his throat.

AHMAD
Ahmad.

JOSH
Well Ahmad you were one of the lucky ones.

Ahmad's eyes well up, he looks at Josh.

AHMAD
How many?

JOSH
Forty seven.. forty seven kids.


INT. FOOD COURT - NIGHT

Ahmad smiles at Josh.

AHMAD
Yes, yes, I remember you.

JOSH
Glad to see you made it out of that
hell hole in one piece.

Ahmad just smiles at him. Josh looks over at Holly and
Jenny. Ahmad does the same.

AHMAD
That you're family?

JOSH
Pride and joy.

AHMAD
They're beautiful.

JOSH
Yes, yes they are.

Ahmad stares at Holly and Jenny for an uncomfortable
amount of time.

CONTINUED
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Old 05-12-2007, 02:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Memorial Day Entries

SNAKE (2 of 2)
AHMAD
I never got a chance to thank you..

Josh smiles.

JOSH
Just doing my job.

AHMAD
..thank you for giving me a chance to
redeem myself..

JOSH
Don't mention it.

AHMAD
..and make up for my failure that day.

Josh's smile fades.

JOSH
Your failure? you didn't do..

AHMAD
Was supposed to martyr myself, but I got
scared, thought I could get out before
it detonated. Guess you can't blame a
thirteen year old for being scared..

JOSH
What are you saying?

AHMAD
Come on, who better to blow up a
school..

Ahmad opens his briefcase.

AHMAD
..than a school kid?

Josh gawks at him in disbelief. Ahmad looks around the
crowded mall.

AHMAD
Now I get a chance to redeem myself.

Ahmad reaches into his briefcase, pulls out a detonator.

JOSH
What.. no.. these people, they're
innocent.

AHMAD
Nobody's innocent, they're all soldiers.

JOSH
No.

Josh leans forward, makes a quick move for the detonator.

Ahmad pulls his hand back.

AHMAD
You're not quick enough old man. Not
quick enough to stop destiny.

Ahmad chuckles. Josh, face red with anger, glares at
him.

AHMAD
This reminds me of that story.. that story
about the nice man and the sick snake.

Ahmad returns Josh's glare.

AHMAD
I'm going to tell my story, and when I'm
done..

Josh jumps from his chair. Runs to his family. Picks up
Jenny.

JOSH
Let's go..

HOLLY
What is it?

JOSH
Now! There's no time.

Ahmad in a slow and deliberate manner tells his story.

AHMAD(V.O.)
There was a man walking home one day,
came across a sick and injured snake..

INT. MALL ESCALATOR - NIGHT

Josh carries Jenny in one arm, holds Holly's hand with
the other as they run down the escalator.

AHMAD(V.O.)
..the man was deftly afraid of snakes. But
despite his fear he picked the poor snake up
and carried it home..

Josh and his family reach the bottom of the escalator.

AHMAD(V.O.)
..took care of it, fed it, bandaged it. Treated
it like his own child..

Josh plows through the crowd toward an exit.

AHMAD(V.O.)
..until slowly but surely the snake began to
take care of itself..

A security officer grabs Josh's shoulder.

AHMAD(V.O.)
..once the snake was back to full health, the
man took him outside..

Josh punches the security officer. Continues toward the exit.

AHMAD(V.O.)
..and to show it's gratitude the snake bit the
man, bit him on his cheek..

They reach the exit.

AHMAD(V.O.)
..as the man lay on the ground, with his last
dying breath he asked the snake. Why..

EXT. MALL PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Josh and his family run as fast as they can away from
the mall.

AHMAD(V.O.)
..the snake replied, because I'm a snake.

Simultaneous explosions throughout the mall send huge
fireballs skyward.

Josh and his family are knocked off their feet.

Josh stands up, brushes himself off. His face trembles
as he watches people run from the burning mall.

He looks down at Holly and Jenny.

JOSH
You guys okay?

HOLLY
Yeah.

JOSH
Good, stay here with Jenny.

Josh heads toward the chaos.

HOLLY
Where are you going?

JOSH
To help.

FADE OUT:

COMMENTS

-Truthfully this wasn't my favorite, subject-wise, but the writing impressed me and the characters felt real. Maybe Josh could have told the security guy there's a nutjob upstairs with a bomb instead of hitting him, giving others a chance, but then again I can see why he'd think of his family first. Regardless, good job and a real contender. -dp

-Well written, compelling, and structurally well contained, although the overt message kind of rankled at first. Although of the lot, this is the one that had me mulling over the message the most. While it comes across at first as kill-‘em-all-or-they’ll-end-up-killing-you agitprop, the protagonist’s actions (screw everyone else, my family comes first) layered the piece with some interesting subtext. Biggest problem was that there was no (identifiable) bridge between the protag’s realization of what was about to happen, and his getting the family out. Also, the concept of a suicide bomber being the only kid to make it out of the backstory blast seemed… odd.

-An interesting attempt. No-one went down the suicide bomber route and the subject matter was crying out for it. The dialogue was effective, but I cringed at the snake story which is a carbon copy of the indian scene in Natural Born Killers. That said were it not for the familiar dialogue it would have been close to placing.
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