The draft of a screenplay I’m working on. It’s about anarchists and other fringe members of society. Would love to hear what you think so far!
INT. MESSY BEDROOM, MADE BED- NOT EVEN DAWN YET
Alarm clock shrieking, kids yelling, babies crying, objects crashing outside the room. WATCH’s small eyes jolt open. Though the room around him is swarms with AARP magazines, infomercial exercise gear and computer tablets, the bedding below WATCH remains made. His wife, to his side, large yet barely noticeable, sleeps under her half of the covers, turns over and tucks in. WATCH rubs his flat nose, his smooth chin, his spiraling hair. Everything in his body emits the absolute dread for the day to come, bracing for what he’s about to do.
QUICK MONTAGE OF WATCH’S MORNING ROUTINE
1. He showers, too tall for the shower head.
2. He cleans up the various feminine bathroom products clotting the bathroom sink and cabinet.
3. He makes the bed. Wife has left it.
4. he dresses one of the babies, a boy.
5. he dresses one of the babies, a girl
6. he clears a path through the toy-stricken living room.
7. he makes three beds in one of the rooms
8. his hand cracks an egg on the kitchen counter
INT. Yellow Kitchen- DAWN
All the stovetops on the oven burn as WATCH flips eggs on four pans, each one a different style. To his side, bacon fries on a separate cooker. The news plays on a propped up tablet next to him.
Protestors in New Caveton have surrounded the area’s police station and courthouse, while the world watches to see whether Officer Aaron Baak will be indicted for the death of Afra Abd Al-Rashid. Baak claims Abd Al-Rashid reached for his gun, but critics of this story ask why he responded with twelve shots into the Muslim woman and her cat. Most of the witnesses, comprised of minorities, have been jailed for unknown crimes. The protests remain peaceful, though no one can say for certain how long.
The news cuts to a protestor interview
As long as that police station thumbs its big nose at us, we’re reminded that this is a free country only for the rich and white. My friends, my brothers, will continue to protest with civil disobedience. But as long as these atrocities continue to emerge from there? It’ll only be a matter of time before uncivil disobedience comes to town.
The eggs are done. WATCH divides them into four plates, then carries the plates over to the table where the other five members of the family scream, chat, and shout. He sets down plates one by one.
His eldest son, when his breakfast is set down, pushes it off the table and laughs. While the boy’s mother begins an ineffectual scolding, WATCH bends down the clean the gooey mess off of the floor.
INT. MESSY BEDROOM, MADE BED- After breakfast
WATCH walks into the room with deliberate steps. He carries an envelope, which he places on his pillow. It’s thick with money. Attached is a note written with a chaotic, yet legible scrawl: “For the best.” WATCH walks out.
INT. YELLOW KITCHEN- DAWN (LATER)
WATCH, briefcase in hand and tie grasping him, stands to leave the mess of running kids, greasy plates, and strewn chairs. His wife kisses him on the cheek.
It’s a cute, inconsequential joke, and WATCH treats it as such. He opens the door and exits the house.
quick montage of watch looking at camera.
1. WATCH at a train station. his face is pale.
2. watch on a crowded train. his features are still.
3. Watch at a dirty bus stop. his breathing can’t be seen.
4. watch on a metallic bus. his skin is cold.
5. watch in a talkative and crowded elevator. his eyes are glazed over.
INT. CUBICLE FARM- OBNoXIOUSLY LIT
They haven’t answered WATCH yet. He holds up the phone tight to his ear, refusing to lean back and wrinkle his perfect collared shirt and tie. He turned 60 a month ago.
He looks around and smiles, because he’s the only one in the office who’s not surfing Reddit or snoozing off or contemplating hanging himself on a doorknob. He is a responsible man, and proves it with each deliberate motion.
But the phone rings. And rings. And rings. And rings. And rings. And his desk is neat: he has no work to catch up on.
So he grabs a pen and throws it at the ceiling. The pen sticks for a while, then falls into WATCH’s hand.
INT. CUBICLE FARM- FROM THE FLOOR
We see a woman’s sensible business shoes traverse across a spotless floor. From here, the whiteness of the cubicles is nearly overwhelming.
INT. CUBICLE FARM- WATCH’S SPACE
WATCH has made an ‘A’ with a crescent on its side out of the holes his pen dart imprinted on the ceiling. The pen falls again into WATCH’s hand, the same hand checking a pocket watch. He throws the pen back up.
OFFICE LADY, the same woman with the sensible shoes, arrives and stands right underneath the stuck pen. She’s higher up on the corporate ladder than him, but in a different field of work, not that she cares.
We need to talk.
It’s my final call before lunch.
OFFICE LADY steps forward and presses the receiver button on the landline phone’s base. As she steps back into place, the pen in the ceiling wobbles a bit.
I’m concerned for you. And because I’m concerned for you, I reported your behavior to Mr. Fring. I would like an apology.
What shall I apologize for?
When you’re a part of the Public Relations team, there are certain sensibilities, which means attitudes, one must convey at all times. You should have them in your notes. They are: constant cheer, unwavering loyalty to the company’s message, and the focus on our product. We are a team, and that means deferring to the decisions of others, no matter what you may think is a better route to take. When that woman sent her suicide bombing threat on our Facebook page, Tom replied with the same proactive spirit (that means can-do spirit) and company-focus that represents who we are as an enterprise. When you interrupted his dialogue with the woman to give the number for a suicide hotline, it sends the wrong message. We are a feel-good company, and we focus on the product so we can then help our customers through the product. This is what Tom established with his exchange with the woman, and you interrupting to send an off-message missive, which means-
It wasn’t about the woman.
I beg your pardon?
The longer that message train got, the worse it made us look.
The point is that this isn’t an aspect of the situation that you were allowed to take into your own hands. Tom has complained to me several times about how this makes him look to both the woman and the company. And I found out that that number does not lead to a suicide hotline.
It’s my number.
And putting your own number-
I can’t trust just anyone to help her. She came to us first.
Mr. Guillory, you cannot put out information that separates you from our Facebook page. Doing such a decision shows a manner of irresponsibility that ill fits the company, especially when it’s not even the correct number.
I know about feeling helpless.
Mr. Fring has suspended your administrator privileges on the Facebook page. You need to apologize to Tom for superseding his authority, apologize to Mr. Fring for violating company policy, and apologize to me for bringing me in to sort an issue that you must know better about.
I will apologize.
SILENCE. OFFICE LADY looks expectant at WATCH. The pen in the ceiling begins to slide.
The sooner I apologize to the others, the sooner I’ll apologize to you. If you’ll excuse me.
Good day, Mr. Guillory.
OFFICE LADY walks further down the hall, then turns a corner. WATCH stands up, and exits the cubicle. The pen falls on his neatly shaped hair, but he ignores it.
Close up of watch:
WATCH walks down the hallway, his face as blank as before. OFFICE LADY steps out of the room. This is when the bomb goes off. With the BANG, we see the flash and the flying debris from the same enclosed room OFFICE LADY just walked out of. She falls, then scurries away. The screams begin. With smoke comes fire alarm and the shower from the sprinklers.
WATCH keeps walking. His expression does not change.
He enters the nearby elevator.
INT. ELEVATOR- STERILE
The elevator doors close on WATCH. The moment he’s alone, he loses composure, holding his ears and pain and crying out.
Son of a bitch that hurts!
INT. OFFICE BUILDING LOBBY- NOON
“Comfort Eagle,” by CAKE, plays as the elevator doors open and WATCH walks into the lobby with big sunglasses on. He runs a hand through his hair to mess it up.
EXT. BIG CITY- NOON
A hand pulls out a car key and presses the button. The lights flicker on a white van labeled FRING ELECTRONICS REPAIR in faded bright colors. WATCH clutches the keys tighter and walks towards it.
He sees a piece of gum on the sidewalk. With the smoke of the building behind him leaking into the big white sky, he picks up the gum and walks down the block to put it in a trash can.
EXT. GRAFFITI-COVERED ALLEYWAY- NOON
TIE’s name comes from the impossibly black tie around her teenage neck and in front of her loose t-shirt. She’s talking with a police officer and gesturing to the big red anarchist ‘A’ recently sprayed onto the wall next to them. TIE looks concerned. The cop takes diligent notes, absorbing every word she says.
Suddenly, there’s a HONK. The cop turns to see the FRING ELECTRONICS REPAIR van in the alley.
When he turns back, TIE sprays him with a can of paint. She runs to the van. As the cop screams and clutches his face, we see the paint’s the same shade of red that makes up the big ‘A’.
The cop finally takes his hands off his face, and looks up to see the van. The van begins chasing him down the alley.
EXT. Synagogue- noon
CANE is so named because he walks around with a wooden cane with a vulture head, and only seems partially aware how to support himself with it. He looks way too young for it. He speaks into a bullhorn, holding up a copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Behind him is a table covered in copies.
A Jewish man grabs his table by the side and flips it over, sending books everywhere.
CANE turns to face him, and we see the swastikas tattooed on both of CANE’S backhands.
Just then, we hear a HONK. The van arrives. CANE gives a wave goodbye to the Jewish man, a wave that looks suspiciously like a Nazi salute, then runs toward the van.
A hobo walks by and picks up a book, then gets immediately swatted at by the Jewish man.
EXT. CIty SIDEWALK- Noon
They call her NECKLACE because of the long necklace of animal figurines that goes the length of her teenage torso. She watches two women argue by the crosswalk. One of the women has a dog on a leash that keeps pulling away from her.
NECKLACE pulls out a dog treat from her pocket and gives it to the hungry dog.
She sets another treat a few meters away, then pulls out scissors and cuts the leash.
The dog runs to the treat. By the time the dog owner notices, NECKLACE has picked up the dog and is running to the open door of WATCH’S van.
EXT. MOUTH OF ALLEYWAY- Noon
BEARD, at the age of 16, has already grown an impressive and long black beard. He prostrates on a mat, praying to Mecca.
A heavyset man with a gold cross necklace looks over BEARD, then takes one of the many bags by BEARD’S side and makes a run for it.
BEARD looks up, smiles, then pulls out a remote.
The heavyset man turns the corner.
BEARD presses the remote.
We hear an explosion. The heavyset man runs back, screaming and on fire. He’s no longer carrying the bag.
BEARD waves to him, grabs the other bags around the mat, and tosses them into the open door of the van that just pulled up.
EXT. DIFFERENT CITY SIDEWALK- NOON
MANIFESTO carries a huge stack of papers wherever he goes. He is tall, and big-boned, and glossy-eyed.
A girl on the street offers him a leaflet about opposing capital punishment. MANIFESTO punches her.
He sees another man, who just took a leaflet form the girl. As he approaches, the man runs, leaving the leaflet behind.
MANIFESTO takes the leaflet and puts it on the same stack of leaflets by the crying girl covering her nosebleed. He mouths “You’re welcome.”
The van has pulled up. MANIFESTO lets the wind blow back his hair, then slowly walks inside. The door closes, the van pulls away.
Ext. double lane highway- day (LATER)
The van travels down the sparsely-populated highway. There’s green on all sides of them. We hear the inhabitants of the van laugh.
“Comfort Eagle” fades out.