School of Hard Knocks - Halloween Short

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  • School of Hard Knocks - Halloween Short

    Did another Halloween short, as it allows me to do so in the rules. Took some more time on this one than I did my first, and used some of the advice given to me to improve my style.

    Title: School of Hard Knocks
    By: Jesse Stilwell aka HeatMagnet aka herf aka Symun
    Date: October 21st, 2004.
    Pages: 10 on the nose.

    Code:
        
    
                   FADE IN:
    
    
    
                   INT. BECKY'S BEDROOM - DUSK
    
                   BECKY, a spunky teenaged girl, lays on her back on her bed
                   talking on the phone with her best friend, AMBER.
    
                   Becky is smiling as they discuss plans for the night.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Ok, so, we've done something every
                             Halloween night since we were kids,
                             so what's the plan for tonight?
    
                                       AMBER (V.O.)
                             Well, my sister goes to this
                             private school called Pine Spring. 
                             She keeps telling me these stories
                             about how it's haunted and stuff.
    
                   Intrigue makes its way across Becky's face.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Yeah, I used to go there.  That
                             story's been around forever,
                             though.  A janitor hung himself in
                             one of the bathrooms or something.
    
                                       AMBER (V.O.)
                             Oh, I didn't know it was real, I
                             thought it was just little kids
                             making stuff up, ya know?
    
                   Becky shifts to lay on her side.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Well, I don't even know if it's
                             real because I was a little kid
                             when I heard it.
    
                                       AMBER (V.O.)
                             We should go there tonight and see
                             if we can get in.  We can call
                             Sandra and Aidon and make them go
                             with us, too.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Sounds good.  Where do you want to
                             meet?
    
                                       AMBER (V.O.)
                             Your house is kinda in the middle
                             of all of ours, so let's meet in
                             front.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Ok.  Do you want me to call them or
                             do you want to?
    
                                       AMBER (V.O.)
                             You go ahead, I need to get ready
                             anyway.
    
                   Becky nods.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Alright then.  See you in about 30
                             minutes I guess.  Bye bye.
    
                                       AMBER (V.O.)
                             Seeya then!
    
                   Amber's side of the phone CLICKS as BECKY hangs hers up,
                   picks it up again.
    
                   MONTAGE OF BECKY CALLING FRIENDS:
    
                   1. Becky calls Aidon, who immediately agrees to come.
    
                   2. Becky calls Sandra, who reluctantly agrees to come.
    
                   2. Becky briefly gets ready in her mirror.
    
                   4. Becky walks downstairs.
    
                   END MONTAGE
    
    
    
                   INT. BECKY'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
    
                   The room is dimly lit by a corner lamp.  Becky's MOM and
                   little sister MARY are on the couch watching a kid's
                   Halloween movie.  Becky's DAD is reading the newspaper in his
                   favorite recliner.
    
                   Forced indifference washes over Becky's face, she tries to hide
                   something.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Bye guys, goin' out!
    
                   MOM pulls herself away from the TV long enough to catch Becky
                   before she leaves.
    
                                       MOM
                             Where are you going?
    
                   Liar's guilt enters Becky, her voice cracks.
    
                                       BECKY
                             To a haunted HOUSE with Amber and
                             Sandra.
    
                   Mom is oblivious to the lie, her focus wanders back to the
                   TV.
    
                                       MOM
                             Well, take your sister with you.
    
                   Becky violently shakes her head, no.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Mom! She's only in the 4th grade,
                             it'll freak her out.
    
                   Mom remains fixated on the TV.
    
                                       MOM
                             Mary, do you want to go with your
                             sister to a haunted house?
    
                   Mary snaps to attention.
    
                                       MARY
                             Yes!
    
                   Becky slaps her forehead.
    
                   Dad removes his focus from the sports section long enough to
                   acknowledge the situation.
    
                                       DAD
                             Becky, don't argue with your
                             mother.  Take Mary and have a good
                             time.  If you don't, you're not
                             going either.
    
                   Becky hesitantly gives in to the idea, defeated.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Fine.  Come on runt.
    
                   Mary HOOTS.
    
                   The two head out the door, Mary practically breathing down
                   Becka's neck, she follows closely.
    
    
    
                   EXT. BECKY'S FRONT PORCH - NIGHT
    
                   The porch lights attract a multitude of bugs.  Amber, Sandra,
                   and Aidon sit on the porch chattering.  The door opens, Mary
                   and Becky exit their house.  The group of friends looks back
                   to them.
    
                                       AMBER
                             Why is she here?
    
                   Becky grins.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Heil Mom.
    
                   Mary perks up.
    
                                       MARY
                             We're gonna have so much fun!
    
                   The group groans, including Becky.
    
                   Becky's attention turns to Sandra, who's completely dressed
                   in black.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Sandra.  Why are you dressed like a
                             ninja?
    
                   Sandra's posture is defensive.
    
                                       SANDRA
                             I don't want to get caught.
    
                                       AIDON
                             We're all dressed normally, Sandra.
    
                   Sandra looks away.
    
                                       SANDRA
                             Maybe I'm the only one that won't
                             get caught then.
    
                   The group laughs under their breath, Mary is inquisitive.
    
                                       MARY
                             Get caught doing what?
    
                   Nobody answers her.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Alright, well, let's go then.
    
                                       MARY
                             Get caught doing what?
    
                   Nobody answers again, they start walking down the sidewalk.
    
    
    
                   EXT. OUTSIDE PINE SPRING - NIGHT
    
                   The group, in exception of Mary, looks triumphantly at the
                   front doors of the school.
    
                   Horrified, Mary recoils.
    
                                       MARY
                             No!
    
                                       EVERYONE ELSE
                             Yes.
    
                   The bushes in front of the school rustle.
    
                                       MARY
                             It's a ghost!
    
                   A cat walks out, licks its paws.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Who ya gonna call?
    
                                       AIDON
    
                             Animal control.
    
                   All laugh, except for Mary, still scared.
    
                   Amber walks towards the door, Becky and Aidon follow, Sandra
                   and Mary hesitate.
    
                                       AMBER
                             Oh, come on.  Don't be wusses.
    
                   Aidon continues walking and opens the door.  He looks back.
    
                                       AIDON
                             Come on, it's unlocked.
    
                   He walks in.  Becky and Amber hastily follow, leaving Sandra
                   and Mary looking at eachother.  Sandra realizes she's as
                   scared as a kid and follows after them.  Not wanting to be
                   alone, Mary runs after them.
    
                                       MARY
                             Wait! Wait!
    
    
    
                   INT. SCHOL ENTRYWAY - NIGHT
    
                   It is pitch black inside the school until Aidon pulls a
                   flashlight from his back pocket, turns it on.
    
                                       AIDON
                             Good thing I remembered it was
                             night time, eh?
    
                   Becky shuts the door behind them, startling the whole group.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Chill, chill.  Just didn't want a
                             cop to drive by and see it open.
    
                                       SANDRA
                             So what do we do now?
    
                                       AMBER
                             Just walk around, I guess.
    
                   Mary shakes her head.
    
                                       MARY
                             Let's just go home.
    
                   Their combined attention is grabbed by a DARK FIGURE holding
                   a flashlight walking into a room at the end of the hall.
    
                                       AIDON
                             What the hell was that?
    
                   Mary sneers.
    
                                       MARY
                             Awwww, you said the H word.
    
                                       BECKY
                             Shut up, Mary.
    
                                       MARY
                             No, you shut up.
    
                   Amber butts in.
    
                                       AMBER
                             Both of you shut up.  Let's go see
                             what that was.
    
                   Sandra shakes her head vehemently.
    
                                       SANDRA
                             We're gonna get in trouble.  What
                             if it was a cop?
    
                                       AIDON
                             Why would a cop be roaming around
                             in here at 9 O'clock at night?
    
                                       MARY
                             Why are we roaming in here at 9
                             O'clock at night?
    
                   Becky grabs Mary's shoulder.
    
                                       BECKY
                             For the last time, please shut up.
    
                   Three LOUD KNOCKS echo throughout the hallway, seeming to
                   originate from the door behind them.
    
                   The group takes off running down the hall, scared out of
                   their minds.
    
                   Before they reach the room at the end of the hall, Amber
                   holds out her arm to stop them.  They slowly come to a halt,
                   pushing Amber foot-by-foot, closer to the room.
    
                   Sandra looks suspiciously at the doorway of the room.
    
                                       SANDRA
                             What's that glow?
    
                   Mary whimpers.
    
                                       MARY
                             It's a portal to the bad ghost
                             place!
    
                                       AMBER
                             Hell?
    
                                       MARY
                             Aw..
    
                                       BECKY
                             Shut up, Mary!
    
                   Just then, a toilet FLUSHES and the glow moves around in the
                   room.
    
                                       AIDON
                             Woops, there goes our souls, down
                             the portal.
    
                   Sandra's body freezes, she whispers.
    
                                       SANDRA
                             It's moving.
    
                   The older kids stand completely still, Mary is slightly
                   shaking.
    
                   The light that was making the room glow grows more focused as
                   the figure carries the flashlight into the hall.  One by one,
                   it shines the light on the kid's faces.
    
                                       DARK FIGURE
                             What are you kids doing here?
    
                   None of them respond, Mary is scared witless.  She charges
                   the figure and kicks it in the shin.
    
                                       DARK FIGURE
                             Ow!  What'd you do that for!
    
                   Mary lightens up a little.
    
                                       MARY
                             You're not a ghost!
    
                   The older kids cover their faces with their hands, ashamed to
                   know the girl.
    
                                       DARK FIGURE
                             I'm a janitor!
    
                   Sandra is scared, thinking she's in trouble.
    
                                       SANDRA
                             We didn't do anything!
    
                                       JANITOR
                             I didn't say ya did, kid.
    
                   The lights begin to flicker on and off.  The janitor,
                   revealed with every flicker, is an older black gentleman.
    
                   Mary freaks out and runs down the hallway, begins to struggle
                   with the door, which appears to be locked now.
    
                   The kids, who were looking at her run, turn around back to
                   face the janitor, he's gone.
    
                   The KNOCKING continues on the door, this time more
                   feverishly.  Mary falls down, tries to travel backwards on
                   her butt.  A black fog takes form in front of them, further
                   down the hallway, revealed only vaguely by the flickering
                   lights.
    
                                       AMBER
                             Do you see that?
    
                                       BECKY
                             See what?
    
                                       AIDON
                             There's a cloud or something in the
                             hallway!
    
                                       SANDRA
                             What.. Is that?
    
                   Becky squints.
    
                                       BECKY
                             I don't..
    
                   The cloud moves right in front of them at great speed, hovers
                   in front.  It speaks in the janitor's voice.
    
                                       CLOUD (V.O.)
                             How 'bout now?
    
                   Becky is taken aback, regains her sure-footing and takes off
                   towards the door with Aidon, Amber, and Sandra close behind.
    
                   Mary has regained her footing, fights with the door, and is
                   screaming.
    
                                       MARY
                             Let me out! Let me out!
    
                   All of the kids start to push on the door, it won't give.
    
                   A mop flies from down the hallway to the door and begins to
                   swat at Amber.
    
                   Amber swats air all around her head trying to get it off.
    
                                       AMBER
                             Stop it!
    
                   Flashlights shine through the windows of the door. 
    
    
    
                   EXT. OUTSIDE PINE SPRING - NIGHT
    
                   The door flies open and the kids tumble out, down the stairs,
                   and to the ground.
    
                   TWO COPS are standing at the door.  They look at eachother,
                   then at the kids, who are scrambling to their feet.
    
                                       COP #1
                             Every year.
    
                                       COP #2
                             Yup.
    
                   The cops smile in the kids direction, who've gotten up and
                   are bolting the opposite direction of the school, screaming.
    
                   The cloud appears at the door, but shifts form back into the
                   janitor.  Instead of fear, the cops smile at it.
    
                                       COP #1
                             Remember when this bastard got us?
    
                                       COP #2
                             I had to change my pants, I tell ya
                             what.
    
                   The cops laugh.
    
                                       JANITOR
                             This year's batch was the most fun
                             I've had in awhile.
    
                                       COP #1
                             They looked it.  Especially that
                             one dressed like a ninja.  Alright,
                             Mr. Gibson, just making sure
                             everything was alright.
    
                                       JANITOR
                             See you guys next year.  I won't be
                             going anywhere.
    
                                                             FADE TO BLACK.

  • #2
    Okay, I know I kinda slammed you in your first short. This one... MUCH better, IMHO. I liked the story, I liked how the Janitor was something a little more than human, and I like how the cops knew the janitor from way back when (though I would have liked it better if the cops hauled them all away, and one of them stayed behind to reveal they knew him from years ago).

    Nice story

    Comment


    • #3
      I found the total lack of parentheses distracting.

      Comment


      • #4
        Argh.

        I sense sarcasm, and it briefly worked.

        Gold star for you

        Although, I should have used O.S. for the phone sequence, as well as (filtered) or whatever for the dialogue, but it would have put me over 10 pages. I did originally use them, but edited out to make the 10 page limit.

        Comment

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