BACKALLEY STRUT - EPISODE 1 By William Brian McCanless, II

William Brian McCanless, II Savannah, GA 404.514.7825

FADE IN: INT. HAY LOFT OF ABANDONED BARN - NIGHT Thunder and rain pound on the barn’s tin roof. Two open shutters are letting in moonlight. Boxes are piled up to various heights along the walls. The environment is old and dusty. ORLEANS, 23, stands looking out of the window. He takes a pack of un-filtered Lucky Strike cigarettes out of the interior pocket of his leather jacket. He pops one out of the top with a practiced motion of his wrist. He draws the cigarette out with his lips. He puts the pack back in his pocket. He reaches in the side pocket of his jacket and takes out a feminine looking lighter. Orleans stares at the lighter for a moment. He flips the lid. A music box song begins to play as the flame ignites the cigarette’s tip. The top flicks closed. The song shuts off. Orleans puts the lighter back in his pocket. EXT. OLD DIRT COUNTRY ROAD - NIGHT A black car drives slowly down a murky dirt road. It hits a pothole full of rainwater. Mud splashes against the doors. It gets kicked up from the tires’ road-ready tread. This sedan has no place being off the pavement. EXT. ENTRANCE TO ABANDONED BARN - NIGHT POV of Orleans. The car pulls up to the Barn’s entrance below. It stops with the headlights shining. Four well-dressed men step out of each door. One MAN stands by the shotgun seat. He moves forward and looks up at Orleans. He’s angry. He’s angular black man with scruffy facial hair. His face is calm and learned, but angry as hell. You can see it in his eyes. MAN Orleans! INT. HAY LOFT OF ABANDONED BARN - NIGHT Orleans takes a drag from his cigarette and exhales in a sigh. He drops the burning stick to the floor where it joins a graveyard of other butts. He’s been there for a while. Orleans stomps out the cigarette.

2. EXT. ENTRANCE TO ABANDONED BARN - NIGHT POV of Man. He stares up at Orleans’ silhouette. ORLEANS (Casual cool) Hey. INT. HAY LOFT OF ABANDONED BARN - NIGHT POV of Orleans. Man grimaces directly up at him. MAN Son of a bitch! Man looks around frantically at his henchmen. He points at Orleans. MAN Let’s do the damn thing! All the henchmen reach for their guns. INT. HAY LOFT OF ABANDONED BARN - NIGHT Orleans quickly, but calmly, ducks below the window. Pieces of wood ships splinter around the wooden frame from the barrage of bullets. The firing stops for a moment and the henchmen begin reloading their clips. Orleans takes a grenade out of his jacket, pulls the pin...waits a moment. He chucks the green bomb out of the window like a crushed beer can. EXT. ENTRANCE TO ABANDONED BARN - NIGHT The grenade hits the ground near Man’s feet. His angry facial expression turns into that of desperate terror. INT. HAY LOFT OF ABANDONED BARN - NIGHT Orleans leans forward and sticks index fingers in his ears in anticipation of the blast. BANG! Everything in the barn glows orange for a moment. Orleans leans back and relaxes. He takes his pack of cigarettes out and places one in his mouth. There is no point checking the scene outside. He takes his lighter out, flips the lid, and once again stares at it reminiscently. The music box song begins to play. The novelty lighter is what sings the sweet tune. FLASHBACK:


EXT. SIDEWALK UNDER ALEXIA’S WINDOW POV of Orleans looking up. In a haunting light we see ALEXIA, a woman with outstanding beauty. A latina influence, she has a face you’ll never forget, but you don’t know why. She is no vixen. She is no model. It’s an energy that exudes from her inner most being, a strength and off-kilter vulnerability for things in life that are only worth being vulnerable for. She’s vulnerable now, you can see it in her eyes, but the audience knows that if push came to shove -as it often does -- she would not be taken advantage of. She always has a plan. She tosses a lighter out the window. It falls slowly towards Orleans, as if it’s a dream. ALEXIA Catch. Her voice simply echoes. Her accent fades away. Our guts wrench. CUT TO: INT. HAY LOFT OF ABANDONED BARN - NIGHT REAL TIME ORLEANS Still plays every time. Orleans closes the lighter. The song ends. CUT TO: INT. BOSS’S BAR - DAY A nervous, but otherwise good-looking man in his mid 30’s walks quickly into the scant, unassuming, smoky, empty dive bar. He appears distressed, like he’s just seen a ghost. His name is JOE. Joe goes up to the BARMAID. JOE Let me have a chowder. BARMAID You want a mixed drink? JOE Actually, make that a beer. The Barmaid sensually brings over a bottled beer. She makes understanding eye contact. She’s giving Joe “the look.” She (CONTINUED)



leans over and subsequently shows cleavage. She slides Joe a piece of paper and a pen. Joe writes “Petty” on the paper. The Barmaid picks up the paper and studies it for a short moment. She nods towards the back of the bar. Joe nods back in return. He chugs his beer just as quickly as he walked in and slams the bottle down. JOE Thanks. Joe hurries toward the back door of the bar. INT. BACKROOM OF BOSS’S BAR - DAY Two men, MARK and PETTY seem preoccupied sitting across from each other in a small, broom-closet of a room. Ther is a tiny beat-up round table in front of them upon which lays stacks of money and baggies of cocain. We will learn more about them in Episode 2. PETTY Yeah, sure man. But, what I’m saying is that it’s classier. Writers do it. Poets do it. Almost everybody through history’s done it. MARK How the fuck do you know about history? You didn’t even finish high school. PETTY (Sternly) Fuck you. Joe bursts through the door. They both look startled. JOE Orleans is back. PETTY ...shit.

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