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Clean Plate: an original screenplay

Clean Plate: an original screenplay

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Published by S. A. Scoggin
Mark does not return to his Boston-area college for his senior year, choosing instead to forsake an aeronautical engineering degree for playing bass in a small-town band.
Mark does not return to his Boston-area college for his senior year, choosing instead to forsake an aeronautical engineering degree for playing bass in a small-town band.

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Published by: S. A. Scoggin on Mar 22, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/19/2013

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CLEAN PLATEa screenplaybyS. A. ScogginRegistered WGA and©2009sascoggin@gmail.com 
 
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INTERIOR. BOSTON: A COLLEGE DORM. NIGHT. A small dorm room. On the walls local signage: a Bruinsposter, a Red Sox game schedule. From downstairs drift the muffled laughs and thumping bass line of a lively party.MARK is pacing back and forth in his room just a bit toofast to be in time with the beat. He opens the door andthe sounds of the crowd burst in. It doesn't seem to makehim any happier. MARK walks out onto the landing and looksdown the stairwell, pausing a moment before stepping slowlydown the stairs. He stops halfway down and sits on a step,looking at the party through the bannister. MARK does notnotice the pair of attractive legs that appear behind him until one knee touches him. He looks up at a willowyBlonde.BLONDEYou were going to call me eventually, Isuppose.MARKSorry.BLONDEYou are. I'm going to get a beer.Have a very good story ready.She brushes by him and goes down into the crowd. MARKrises and goes back into his room, closing the door. Heturns around in a slow spin, seeing the whole of his room,then collapses into his desk chair as though helpless andapathetic. On the desk are two cassettes. One is labeled"INXS: DON'T CHANGE", the other just "DON'T CHANGE". Hepicks up the second one and puts it into a tape deck. Thefirst ethereal notes whistle out above the thumping of thefloor. Outside, the night sky is pitch black. Large puffysnowflakes drift through a thin shaft of light from astreetlight.The live version of the tune slowly overlaps with andfinally becomes the original, crackling from the oldspeaker of a pickup truck. The snow is cottonwood cottoncaught swirling in the headlights. MARK is driving. It isa hot summer night. The dark fields on either side arealive with frog and insect songs. MARK is singing along.He has a strong voice, but the signal is fading in andout, overpowered by a country station. He tries worrying
 
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 with the tuning knob, but his song is buried:RADIO...fifty thousand watts of countrypower serving western Nevada and theSierras. It's ten-fourteen in the PMand the temperature is eighty-fourdegrees here in the big melon, Fallon,Nevada. Heading to a low of aboutsixty overnight, going back up near toone hundred degrees tomorrow. Let'spick up our Agfeed Top Ten Countdown with number four, Garth Brooks with-Cursing vigorously, MARK grabs for the knob and spins it.The next station he finds is in the middle of "Ob La Da".He keeps going. More country. Led Zeppelin. Country. Heflicks the radio off and mumbles, then suddenly beginssinging "I Want to be Sedated".EXTERIOR. NEVADA: A SMALL TRAILER HOME. NIGHT.MARK parks beside a battered old aluminum trailer. Someoneis playing drums inside. He bangs on the door. CARSON, ayoung man with long curly hair, opens the door. He isslight and wiry, and his hands can't help keeping anervous, twitching rhythm.CARSONWelcome back to planet earth.MARKCarson.INTERIOR. NEVADA: A SMALL TRAILER HOME. NIGHT.MARK mounts the high step. The trailer is clean and neat. A trap set fills up most of what was intended to be adining area. The interior is decorated with found art:road signs, plastic toys, sun-bleached animal skulls, andpostcards.CARSON

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