Entries - Summer writing challenge

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  • Entries - Summer writing challenge

    By popular request... I think maybe someone asked for this... here are the 2 (count 'em) entries that were received.

    Posted with permission from the authors.

    This is just for a fun read, it's not a contest, so don't state your preference.

    For posterity the discussion thread is here.
    dpaterso
    Member
    Last edited by dpaterso; 07-24-2022, 02:08 PM.

  • #2
    Code:
    STAYCATION
    
    FADE IN.
    
    INT. WAREHOUSE - DAY
    
    The warehouse floor is large and dark with residential themed
    exhibits  staged throughout; A bedroom, living room, bathroom
    and office spaced out and surrounding the kitchen stage/
    exhibit in the center. Each stage is lit from above by
    spotlight and roped off with stanchions.
    
    JOHN, young, short and muscular sits in the kitchen exhibit
    eating cereal and watching BETH and HAROLD, a friendly couple
    in their 30's, as they slowly peruse the exhibits.
    
                                 BETH
                  So you 100% live here?
    
                                 JOHN
                  Yep, these are my things. Water and
                  electricity works fine. It's
                  actually quite a bit more
                  comfortable than my old apartment.
    
    Harold is staring a photo on the wall. The photo depicts two
    boys and a grown man staring into the sky. While one boy sits
    happily on the mans lap the other boy is turning from the sky
    in terror.
    
                                 JOHN
                  That's my Dad and my brother Pete
                  and me.
                        (pause)
                  You remember that balloon boy stunt
                  from like ten years ago?
    
                                 BETH
                  The hoax thing?
    
                                 JOHN
                  Yea.  My Dad's telling us he can
                  see the balloon in the distance and
                  then he starts screaming that he
                  sees someone falling out. He's
                  screaming and tickling Pete and
                  Pete's laughing but I'm thinking
                  they are both horrified and I kind
                  of lost it...
                        (thinks)
                  My dads sense of humor tends
                  towards mean.
    
                                 HAROLD
                  Jeez..
    
    John finishes eating his cereal, sets his bowl in the sink
    and steps out of the roped area.
    
                                 JOHN
                  Now if you'll step over here I will
                  pose for a selfie in the frame of
                  your choice.
    
                                 HAROLD
                  If we take a picture of you its not
                  really a selfie is it?
    
                                 JOHN
                        (thinking)
                  No, I suppose not but it makes for
                  a cool picture. The red frame on
                  the black backdrop has a kind of
                  Olan Mills vibe I think.
    
    John moves into position turning his face to accentuate the
    light and clutches the bottom of the frame with his hands.
    Beth takes out her phone to capture the moment.
    
                                 BETH
                  That is very nice lighting.
    
                                 JOHN
                  I know right. Did you get it? OK
                  lets move to the bedroom.
    
                                 BETH
                  So you actually sleep here? Is the
                  museum open when your sleeping?
    
                                 JOHN
                  Is that something you would pay to
                  see?
    
                                 BETH
                  Maybe...maybe not. Maybe you could
                  live stream your sleep.
    
                                 JOHN
                  Why would people come to the museum
                  if its on the Internet?
    
                                 BETH
                  Well what if its streamed only to
                  your computer. Kinda an Internet of
                  John. The Web of John...the
                  InterJohn?
    
                                 HAROLD
                  Sex worker vibe.
    
                                 BETH
                  I'm just spit-balling.
    
                                 JOHN
                  I like it.
    
    A bell rings twice and moments later CLARENCE THE GASMAN
    enters the room followed by another couple in their 20's
    (PADDY and CLIFF).
    
                                 JOHN
                  Business is booming! Good afternoon
                  and welcome to the Museum of John!
                  I am John.
    
                                 CLARENCE THE GASMAN
                  Good afternoon! I am Clarence and I
                  am looking for the gas meter? The
                  lady out front says its in the
                  basement?
    
                                 JOHN
                  Oh, yea. Come with me. Ill show you
                  to the stairs. Uhhh... Welcome to
                  the museum of John. Ill be with you
                  in just a moment. Feel free to look
                  around.
    
    John and Clarence the Gasman head out of the room while the
    two couples glance at each other and then awkwardly at the
    exhibits.
    
                                 BETH
                  So, the museum of John...
    
                                 PADDY
                  Yea, the lady in the booth charged
                  me four dollars to use the bathroom
                  but let us in here for free. What's
                  he famous for?
    
                                 BETH
                  Hes not. But hes got a cool selfie
                  wall and a mean dad. And if you
                  look over here you'll see his mom
                  has a keen sense of style.
                        (turns to Harold)
                  Oooh, the JohnyWeb!
    
    John returns to the room.
    
                                 JOHN
                  JohnnyWeb. Thats pretty good. I may
                  have to hire you for my idea team.
    
                                 BETH
                  Do you have benefits? A 401K
                  perhaps?
    
                                 JOHN
                  Free future entry to the Museum of
                  John?
    
                                 BETH
                  I'll let you know John. Its been a
                  pleasure, thanks for the tour!
    
                                 JOHN
                        (addressing the other
                        couple)
                  Now if you all step over here I'll
                  start the tour of John in the
                  bedroom.
    
    
    EXT. STREET - DAY
    
    Beth and Harold exit the building and wave to the lady in the
    glass ticket booth as they stroll away from the building.
    
                                 HAROLD
                  How did we not get the special
                  urination rate?
    
                                 BETH
                  Well we made a conscious decision
                  to visit the place which costs...
                  you know...money. Besides you gotta
                  support the local arts.
    
                                 HAROLD
                  Was that art? Well, who are we
                  supporting tomorrow. My random
                  Google map selection method has set
                  the bar pretty damned high.
    
                                 BETH
                  You will find out tomorrow won't
                  you...

    Comment


    • #3
      Code:
      WE LOVE YOU, SPACE PRINCESS
      
      FADE IN:
      
      EXT. HIGHWAY ALONGSIDE CORN FIELD - DAY
      
      A car slows and pulls over into the side.
      
      
      INT. CAR - DAY
      
      At the wheel, CHARLIE WILLOUGHBY.  Midlife, receding
      hairline, weary.  He switches off the engine.
      
      Charlie leans forward and peers up at the sky, searching,
      searching.
      
      In the back seat, his sons, HEAD and LEGS, which is what
      Charlie calls them.  Eight and five years old, respectively.
      
                            HEAD
                Can you see her, Dad?  Can you?
      
                            LEGS
                I want Mom, where is she?
      
                            CHARLIE
                Don't start.  Just, give her some
                time.  She said she'd be here.
      
                            HEAD
                You always say that!
      
                            CHARLIE
                She said she'd be here, okay?
      
                            HEAD
                Okay.
      
      But Head looks away, disappointed, he does not believe.  
      It should be noted that Head never takes his hands away
      from his head, as if he's holding it in place, stopping it
      from bursting open.  Like it's a broken eggshell, waiting
      to come apart.
      
                            LEGS
                I need to poop.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Dammit, I told you to go before we
                left the house!
      
                            LEGS
                I didn't need to poop then!
      
                            CHARLIE
                Dammit.
      
      Charlie opens his door and climbs out.
      
      
      EXT. CAR AT SIDE OF HIGHWAY - DAY
      
      Charlie opens the back door and lifts Legs out, because
      Legs, bless him, can't walk.  Charlie carries him around
      the car and goes down on one knee.  He sits Legs on his
      other knee, pulling his britches down in a smooth motion.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Okay that's you, l'il buddy, let
                'er rip.
      
                            LEGS
                I can't poop when you're watching!
      
      Charlie takes sunglasses out of his shirt pocket and puts
      them on.
      
                            CHARLIE
                There, I can't see a thing now.
      
                            LEGS
                You better not be peeking!
      
                            CHARLIE
                I promise I won't.
      
      Legs strains and grunts.  Charlie tries not to let his son
      see his disgusted expression.
      
      Head climbs out the car, he walks off a bit on his own,
      holding his head.  He looks up at the sky.  Searching,
      searching...
      
      A distant THUNDERCLAP BOOM is heard.
      
      Charlie looks up at the sky.  Did he imagine that?
      
                            HEAD
                I heard it, too!
      
      They all look up at the sky.  Watching... hoping.
      
      Legs points at something up there!
      
                            LEGS
                There!
      
                            CHARLIE
                My God.
      
      Several seconds pass as they all look...
      
                            HEAD
                It's not her, it's a plane.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Dammit.
      
                            LEGS
                You said "My God."  Mrs. Langston
                says we shouldn't blaspheme.
      
                            CHARLIE
                That's not blasphemy.  Blasphemy
                is when you do something crappy
                and say it's God's will so you can
                get away with it.
      
                            LEGS
                I'm going to tell Mrs. Langston
                you said that.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Yeah that's what I'd expect a little
                sneak like you to do.
      
      They both laugh, but then Legs gets serious.
      
                            LEGS
                Did you bring toilet paper?
      
                            CHARLIE
                I... did not bring toilet paper.
      
                            HEAD
                I can feel a change in air pressure!
      
      Charlie doesn't even question this.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Is it a weather front?
      
                            HEAD
                No.  No I'm sure of it.  It's more
                like--
      
      But he stops talking, because there, above them, as if
      suspended on an invisible wire, is a woman, a vision of
      loveliness with a mane of shiny pink-blue hair that cascades
      down over the shiny silver body-fitting catsuit she wears.
      
      This vision... let's call her SPACE PRINCESS... descends
      regally and touches down on her shiny silver boot tip-toes.
      
                            HEAD
                Mom!
      
                            CHARLIE
                Thank God, thank God it is you.
      
      Head runs forward and thumps right into Space Princess,
      throwing his arms around her waist.  She laughs and hugs
      him back.
      
      Charlie lifts Legs off his knee and puts him on the ground,
      far from his poop.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Back in a second, champ.  See if
                you can find some grass to wipe
                with.
      
      Charlie walks over to Space Princess.  They stare at each
      other for a moment.  Then embrace and kiss passionately.  
      Head steps back, not wanting his head crushed.
      
                            CHARLIE
                I hoped and prayed you'd come back.
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                I told you I would, didn't I?
      
                            CHARLIE
                No, the ghostly voice whispering
                to me from Alexa told me you would,
                I could hardly make out the words,
                never mind tell it was you.  I
                thought I was going insane.
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                Sorry, it was the only way I could
                get through to you without being
                intercepted.
      
                            LEGS
                Mom!  I'm here too!
      
      Space Princess smiles and detaches herself from Charlie.  
      She goes over to Legs, crouches down and hugs him.
      
                            LEGS
                I missed you so much, Mom.
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                I missed you too, sweetie.  I've
                been thinking about you.  I have
                something here...
      
      Space Princess fishes inside her outfit and pulls out a
      pair of boots.  How they fitted in there, no one knows.
      
                            LEGS
                What's that?
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                I asked some friends if they could
                help with your condition.  Here,
                let me help you put them on.
      
      She puts the boots on Legs's feet.  Legs's legs begin to
      shake violently.  It scares him a little.
      
                            LEGS
                What's happening?!
      
                            CHARLIE
                Yeah what the hell's happening?  
                Are you hurting him?
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                Just wait.
      
      Legs braces himself and unsteadily gets up, standing on
      his own legs.  He wobbles, but manages to stay upright.
      
                            LEGS
                Dad!  Look at me!  I can walk!
      
                            CHARLIE
                We see, son, we see.  It's a
                miracle.
      
      Charlie looks at Space Princess.
      
                            CHARLIE
                How could you not do this before?
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                It didn't exist before.  The
                greatest minds on the Galactic
                Science Council worked on it,
                because I asked them to.  It
                took them years to develop.
      
                            CHARLIE
                I suppose we ought to be grateful.
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                No one's asking for gratitude.  
                When I told them our children were
                mutants, they looked for solutions.
      
                            CHARLIE
                "Mutants"?
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                You know what I mean.
      
      Legs jumps around, delighted his legs are working.
      
      Head, watching this, frowns in disappointment.  His brother
      is cured but he still has to hold his head to stop it from
      popping open!
      
      Space Princess walks over to Head.
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                I have something for you, too.
      
      Somehow a helmet appears in her hands, it's a big dome
      with gold etching all over it like veins, and a weird third
      eye the size of a fist right in the middle.
      
      Gently, she puts it over Head's head.  He hesitantly takes
      his hands away.
      
                            HEAD
                It's containing the pressure!
      
      Head turns around, hands free for the first time in ages.
      
                            HEAD
                My head isn't going to explode!
      
      Head and Legs skip around each other, deliriously happy.
      
      Space Princess returns to Charlie and they embrace again.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Finally they can lead normal lives.  
                Will they always have to wear them?
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                I'm not sure.  They're made of a
                nano-bio material that should repair
                their screwed-up mutant DNA.
      
                            CHARLIE
                It'll do what?
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                Charlie.  You know that despite
                our physical similarities, you and
                I are different species.  I should
                not have been able to procreate
                with you at all, but somehow these
                two miracles happened.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Don't wear one, you said, I want
                to feel you gushing inside me, I
                can't come without it, you said.
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                How was I to know?
      
                            CHARLIE
                Then you did it a second time.
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                You could have pulled out.
      
                            CHARLIE
                And denied you the pleasure of my
                manly gushing?  No way.
      
      Charlie looks at his sons, who are still dancing around.
      
                            CHARLIE
                I don't suppose we could, you know?  
                In the car?  Just a quickie?
      
      Space Princess bites her lip and looks away.
      
      Charlie holds her at arm's length, stares at her.
      
                            CHARLIE
                You're not staying, are you?
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                Darling, you don't know what it's
                like out there.  There's a terrible
                war being fought all over the galaxy
                and my people are part of it.  If
                the darkness wins, uncountable
                trillions will perish.  You're
                secluded here, hidden in your little
                backwater spiral arm.  And that's
                how I want things to stay.  But my
                place is out there, leading the
                crusade.  My people need me.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Yeah yeah, you told me already.  
                But what about us?  What about
                your family?  We need you too.
      
      Space Princess looks at their sons, she emotes sadness.
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                It's the toughest decision I'll
                ever have to make.  Please don't
                make it even harder.
      
      They both turn to look as a black SUV screeches to a stop.  
      Doors open and serious men in dark suits climb out.  They
      show badges and draw guns.
      
                            MAN IN BLACK
                FBI agents!  Charles Willoughby,
                you are under arrest for harboring
                an alien being from another world,
                in contravention of international
                agreements.  And you, whatever you
                are, don't even think about moving.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Gotta be kidding me.
      
      Head steps forward and the gold etching in his helmet glows.  
      The third eye emits a burst of energy that blinds us.
      
      Charlie shields his eyes.  When he lowers his arm, the FBI
      agents are gone, no sign of them anywhere.  Just gone.
      
      Head and Legs dance and laugh, that was hilarious!
      
                            CHARLIE
                What just...?
      
      Something on Space Princess's catsuit belt goes BLEEP.
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                Damn, I was hoping we would have
                more time.  I'll call you again as
                soon as I can, promise.  Take good
                care of the munchkins.
      
      She kisses him again.
      
                            SPACE PRINCESS
                I love you, Charlie Willoughby.
      
      Space Princess closes her eyes and without any fuss she
      rises into the air, higher and higher, until she's gone.  
      Charlie stares up at the sky.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Me too.
      
      When he looks round, Legs is running through the corn field
      at full speed and Head is running after him, emitting energy
      bursts into the sky, laughing.
      
                            CHARLIE
                Hoo boy.
      
      FADE OUT

      Comment


      • #4
        I read both of these and both used a lot of imagination and handled the picture prompt well.

        I liked the way "Staycation" took a very odd situation and treated it "matter-of-factly." If I was going to criticize, I would say that it was a little hard to follow the characters' movements in the last third of the script. Still, I liked the mood and tone.

        "Space Princess" was very imaginative -- a little "out there" and frenetic but fun to read. I personally think the "R"-rated dialogue didn't fit the (otherwise) family-ish theme, but I understand the type of humor the writer was going for (so this probably mostly me). If I was to make a suggestion, it would be to edit the story down a little.

        At any rate, thanks for writing these (and thanks to dpaterso) for posting them and to Bioprofessor for the prompt.
        STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for your thoughts Centos, much appreciated!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dpaterso View Post
            Thanks for your thoughts Centos, much appreciated!
            We must be in the "dog days" of summer. Not much posting here in the last few weeks.
            STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

            Comment


            • #7
              These two entries are great! I love how the kid believes he needs to hold onto his head. Hilarious. Thanks.
              Until I find a quote from the Pope regarding licking one's butt in the Vatican:
              Summer Writing Challenge: Photo Prompt


              Comment


              • #8
                Centos, you ain't wrong.

                Mark, thanks for reading and saying so!

                Comment

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