The Somewhere Truth

A Screenplay:
by:

Jeff Montgomery

&

Danon Troy H.

Jeff Montgomery (616) 848-4936 jeffmontgomerv@yahoo.com Danon Troy H. (714) 232-1239 danontroy@rocketmail.com
website: www.conceptkings.on!

WGA Registration-#1202660

..

FADE

IN: PHOTOS and splendor. HEADLINES covering a century of

INSERT: A collage of Hollywood's fame and EXT. LOS ANGELES

CITYSCAPE

- NIGHT The speckled of activity, landscape is the structured

The vast black carpet unfolds below. alive with red, blue and silver gems chaos of millions. Silhouettes of concrete and steel ghosts in the city of testament to mans power and The the ~HOLLYWOOD" letters hope and promise in HOLLYWOOD

glass sprout up like a garden angels. these monoliths stand imagination. upon the hills, of dreamers.

of as

a

are a crown a generation "1971"

illuminating

SUPER:

CALIFORNIA

A FLURRY OF NIGHTLIFE is revealed while MOVING STRIP past points of interest. Stopping at the front of the modest structure of the ~STARLIGHT EXT. STARLIGHT LOUNGE - SAME

down the SUNSET curb directly in LOUNGE".

An attractive YOUNG WOMAN in a short skirt and a BRAWNY COWBOY spill out of the FRONT DOOR clearly intoxicated. As soon as the door closes it's LOCKED behind them. Suddenly scurries COWBOYS' at GROUND LEVEL behind the COUPLE an eight inch RAT between the WOMANS HIGH HEELS, startling her into the armS with a LOUD SHRIEK! WOMAN thing's

Oh as The COWBOY

my my

god that cat! cradles

as

big

easily

HER

off

the

ground

in

safety.

Good

COWBOY (loves the contact) lookin' out there varmint.

WOMAN You had that all planned out didn't ya' cowboy? My hero, now gimme a kiss! The COUPLE engage in a passionate 6f the Hollywood night. KISS, bathed in the neon glow

~-----

2 SHOT PANS - To ground level catching at the enterance to the alley. EXT. ALLEY - SAME deeper into the alley negotiating a maze of oba pipe, over some pallets, around a small puddle, four arriving at the lip of a large trash dumpster. the RAT frozen momentarily

The RAT sticles. then up

scurries Through a two by

A wisp of smoke floats up like a white string, drawing the RAT to the opposite end of the dumpster. The trail of smoke is followed down to its source, a female hand holding a cigarette A long ash falls from the cigarette as the cherry is now right on the unmoving fingers. A male hand, which is missing its ring finger easily enters the frame and takes the cigarette from her hand. Following the hand, he brings the smoke to his The bright ember illuminates the risky face of MANUEL "LONELY BOY" RAMIREZ. lips and draws hard. twenty-five year old

MANNYs' POV - The beautiful face of nineteen year old COURTNEY BAKER, sits huddled at her end of the beat up couch covered from her neck down in pancho. Looking closely, COURTNEYs face reveals a severe level narcosis in full effect. The COUPLE occupy oppisite ends of the couch that sits against one end of the dumpster obscurring them from the alley opening. MANNYs' eyes relapse again over COURTNEY as he takes the final drag of the smoke, scratches his face, looking down between his legs now The PUDDLE stops him. His distressed countenance stares back in dark mirrored reflection. Shaking his head, he flicks the butt into the puddle, destroying the image. MANNY rises with loaded legs, paces the length of the couch, rubs his face, looks around, uncertain of his next move, he walks a few feet away coming to a 69' VW. He SLAMS a hand on the roof! COURTNEY barely shifts with the noise. MANNY (spanish accent) Girl ... you in a world a

shit.

Pacing again, MANNY reaches into his Army jacket, pulls out a zippo lighter and pack of smokes, exposing the handle of a pistol. Lighting the smoke and tossing the empty pack into the dumpster. COURTNEY tone as is now rubbing her she stirs completely stomach, unaware MOANING in a painful of MANNY who watches the high, comes in one hand and euphoric her.

MANNY glances at his watch, shakes off and leans over, roughly grabs her face MANNY Courtney, Courtney! he'll know what to kill his kid ...

to COURTNEY shakes

I call Stoney do. I aint gonna

3

MANNY more aware looks towards the street. EXT. MANNY booth INT. FRONT bends a few PHONE OF STARLIGHT

around

before

making

his

way

out

of

the

alley

LOUNGE of the alley the enterance and hurries to the of the lounge. phone

the corner out feet away from BOOTH

MANNY retrieves and dials from INT. ALLEY

a dime from his pocket, shoots memory before looking around.

it

into

the

phone

- SAME from side to side, eyes flutter, state pulls her in MOANING - NIGHT - DREAM SEQUENCE chest

COURTNEYs' head now tosses heaving, her violent dream EXT. MOUNT ZION, ILLINOIS

ON SCREEN DOOR -- SLAMMING SHUT on the back porch of an old farmhouse. The innocent face of seven year old COURTNEY BAKER coalesces behind the screen door. Eyes wide, face panicked she watches -Her father, mother down BIG the JOHN BAKER, carry porch stairs. BIG YOUNG Mama ... ? BIG JOHN stops in the middle of the yard. He turns slightly, looks back to COURTNEY with a maniacal shame dominating his face. The tears streaked face turns away staggering out around the corner of the house towards the walls of corn, out of COURTNEYs' sight now. INT. FARMHOUSE - SAME grip the screen door tightly, if to wake her mother or stop RATTLING the her father -the beaten lifeless body JOHN staggers across the of her yard --

COURTNEY

COURTNEYs tiny hands door in confusion as

Wake BACK EXT. TO ALLEY

YOUNG COURTNEY (whimpering) up marna -- wake up!

ALLEY

- SAME distress and pain and nightmare. the pancho and now. She tries now while trapped in the

COURTNEY is in clear heavy drug influence Her hands writhe over full pregnant stomach

tear it away revealing to sit up but can't. blown labor the

the

FROM ABOVE - The struggling COURTNEY in full MOANS and YELLS fill the dank dark alley.

4 ON COURTNEY - Knees drawn back and spread against her shoulders. Unconsciously clutching her underware under the dress. She TEARS them away! The hyper BREATHING and GRUNTS come harder now COURTNEYs' face contorts as her crowns. Still in a semiconscious BABY is born without a cry. EXT. PAY PHONE - SAME from anyone now. SLAMS the receiver eight month old state, eyes at premature child full R.E.M, her

MANNY waiting for an answer into the cradle three times

Fuck,

fuck,

MANNY fuck Stoney! his dirty hair, hand, trying to then momentarily squegather his composure.

MANNY runs a hand through ezes his temples with one EXT. ALLEY

COURTNEYs now in and hands before falling QUICKFLASHES

out of consciousness, looking back in to the nightmare -DREAM

at

her

bloody

- COURTNEYS'

-- The silhouette of a scarecrow protrudes the wind sways the corn to an erie rhythm -- COURTNEYs' face is badly mother bruised sits and alone at beaten. the end

from the corn field against a red sky. of a kitchen table.

as

Her

Run

Courtney

COURTNEYS' ... run!

MOTHER

-- BIG JOHN BAKER drags a frightened little COURTNEY by the wrist and throws her across the room onto a bed removing his belt in a drunk slobbering rage as he closes in on the horrified child. BIG JOHN like your to block

You're COURTNEY raises

just

mama! the belt lashes.

her

arms

No END

COURTNEY daddy ... no! BACK to be TO ALLEY off her father with bloody hands.

QUICKFLASHES: appears

COURTNEY

fighting

Oh EXT. PHONE

my

COURTNEY (comes out of it) god, no, no ...

BOOTH a patrol alley. car that

MANNY marches back towards the alley and notices cruises a block away. He quickly darts into the

5 EXT. ALLEY

MANNY retraces his path into the dimily lit recesses of the alley. His stride is arrested when he reaches COURTNEY. What was bad -is now worse. COURTNEY me ...

Manny

help

MANNY takes control of the situation, cOllecting some newspaper and discarded rags, kneels down and delicately gathers up the lifeless infant and afterbirth. He makes his way to the dumpster and carefully places the bundle inside. MANNY crosses himself in the typical Catholic fashion --

MANNY (looks to the sky) Forgive me father for what gatta' do ... just business.

I

COURTNEY looks at her trembling bloody hands. Now becoming aware and out of her borderline overdose. Still frozen she looks at MANNY who is now coming towards her with pistol drawn. She drops her head in SOBS as MANNY puts the gun to the back of her head -COURTNEY -- help me -- my plea. the trigger. loudly at the head of the alley. MANNY

Manny MANNY His balks at

bay

-- be •.•

her

finger

fondles

O.S. - A COMMOTION echoes spins around to see

A drunk WILLY BLAYLOCK, his black skin, black suit and black guitar case is hard to see staggering towards MANNY with an unlit cigarette hanging from his mouth. WILLY stops and pats his chest for a lighter and notices some movement up ahead. MANNY quickly in his coat. The movement breaks the situation down, jamming the pistol back

prompts

WILLY

to

ask

--

Hey for MANNY ignores

my man, a blues Willys

WILLY you gotta light -playa' extrawdinair? as he shields COURTNEY and thinks.

request

WILLY A little to much gin for wailin' willy tonight ... (staggers and falls down) haa ... ha ... that's better now.

6

Damn MANNY grabs shoulder in

you

MANNY chica ... of flour, draping her over his

COURTNEY like a sack a firemans carry.

WILLY is occupied with the inability himself about life as a bluesman. MANNY first looks

to

stand,

while

MUMBLING

to

struggles down the alley with COURTNEY CRYING. He turns corner, coming to the back door of the Starlight Lounge. around before TAPPING on the door in code. the door pulls open. looks worried at the BARTENDER ... what's gain'

the He

After a moment BARTENDER that

MANNY rushes In past a surprised bloody mess on MANNYs' shoulder.

Lonely

on

man?

LONELY (turns and throws him a set of keys) Shut up and listen. Move that car ~round the corner ... (Manny turns to go up a dark staircase and turns) .when Stoney comes in tomorrow you didn't see this! The worried BARTENDER follows orders bolting MANNY disappears up the stairs, he GRUNTS as INT. SECOND FLOOR APARTMENT - SAME he flicks the small sparsely light furout to move the COURTNEY MOANS. car.

ON DOOR It BURSTS open! MANNY enters winded, on and kicks the door shut. Marches across the nished room towards the bathroom. INT. BATHROOM

From inside the Shower/tub, the cheap plastic curtain fills the frame. In a flash the curtain'S RIPPED open with COURTNEYs bloody dress and MANNYs sweating face close. He sets her down in the tub. MANNY chest turns on the rocking back bath water as COURTNEY pulls her and forth with traumatized MOANS COURTNEY you do this .. ? knees to her

How

could

Clean COURTNEY INT. MANNY quila in

MANNY yourself up! mass, shivers and gives him the look of death.

a huddled ROOM

LIVING

comes out tearing his off the fridge heading

coat off. He snatches a bottle of to a small shanty kitchen table.

te-

7 MANNY swings a chair backwards and sits down. Sets the pistol on the table takes a deep breath for the first time then tips the bottle with a long bubbled pull. His eyes touch the still shaking COURTNEY. that sits with quiet authority, demanding go back and forth, he finds a solution by EXT. ALLEY - SAME He looks at the pistol a decision. His eyes the expression change.

WILLY finally gathers his balance, picks up his guitar case and staggers down the alley towards the dumpster. Suddenly he's hit with the unmistakable CRY of an infant. WILLY stops with a puzzled look, turning to the dumpster, the CRY comes again -INSIDE THE DUMPSTER - WILLYs' face slowly appears over the edge.

WILLYs' POV - Finds His hand enters the paper and rags. The

the bundle of wet newspaper that moves slightly. frame and starts peeling back the layers of BABYs CRIES pierce the early morning air. into a welcoming smile at this

WILLYs look of concern transform most precious discovery. WILLY what do LOUDER,

Well The infant BOY

well, SCREAMS

we

have

here? his first human voice.

acknowleding

WILLY Now now, dont'cha get'ta fussin' Willy Blaylocks here son. INT. APARTMENT - SAME

MANNY rises from the table. Bottle in one hand, pistol in the other. Slowly walking to the bathroom, he leans against the door-jamb and watches COURTNEY carefully while steam billows out around him. INT. BATHROOM

COURTNEY feels his presence but doesn't look at him. MANNY reaches over and turns the WATER off. He taps her on the shoulder with the bottle, snapping her out of the cradled hostile trance. MANNY a drink. snatching the leans back on bottle from his the door-jamb --

Take

COURTNEY makes fierce eye contact, hand. MANNY with a disturbed stare MANNY drink!

I said

COURTNEY obeys, taking a healthy guzzle, she ing her mouth. Her head drops onto her knees down next to the tub, pistol at the ready.

COUGHS and SNORTS as MANNY crouches

wip-

8

MANNY I remember when you drank that shit like water ... (pulls hair off her face she pulls away) .somebody must be looking out for you chica -- cuz yer' "pose ta' be dead. COURTNEY doesn't look at him, pulls again clenches the bottle tighter, anger welling white knuckled and trembling hand becomes COURTNEY him) sonofa'bitch! from the bottle. up in her eyes, still. She the

You

(faces soulless

MANNY I'm the bad guy? I follow orders you burn Stoney like that, think you jus' gonna walk away? Two keys and fifty G's ... (laughs lights a smoke) ... you gotta choice ta' make. COURTNEY, in a blur violently swings the bottle up, SMASHING it off the top of MANNYs' forehead sending glass and tequila flying! COURTNEY tries to get up and run, but MANNY is barely phased by the blow and easily slams COURTNEY back into the tub! Rising up, MANNY grabs COURTNEY by the hair, yanks her head way back. He jams the barrel up under her chin, she struggles. MANNY has blood streaming down his face, it drops off into the already pink bath water. MANNY Like I said bitch, you got a choice ta' make ... (shakes her head) ... you can fucken die right here, you can go ta' prison for the death a that baby, or you can disappear for good! COURTNEY You've already killed me ... you just murdered Stoneys' child ... MANNY (tries not to show fear at that realization) .sure it was I'd like ta' finish this right here, but I ain't cleanin' up another fucken mess ... (gives her head a swift shake) ... now what's it gonna be?!

9 COURTNEY (heavy sobs) I'll go -- I'll gooo me alone ... please ... !

leave

MANNY releases her then darts back into the living room. He yanks some clothes off hangers in the closet and returns to COURTNEY who still MOANS in a disturbed trance as MANNY drops the clothes on the ground and pulls the plug in the tub -MANNY Get MANNY turns to dressed! the sink, examining his cut in the mirror.

What

COURTNEY (emploring) -- what was it? his eyes find COURTNEY in the mirror and

MANNY cleans his gash, then back to himself

He COURTNEYs' POV ever increasing blood disappear

was

dead,

MANNY thas'

what

he

was.

- Looking at the pink water that slides into an funnel. Her VISION BLURS as the last streaks of down the drain with the life she once knew. FADE TO BLACK:

EXT.

CHINO,

CALIFORNIA LEVEL, shoes

- DAY black lot. FOR spit-shined class

At GROUND a military SUPER:

the CRACK and cadence of march across the parking "2002" CHINO

PRESENT

DAY,

INSTITUTION

WOMEN

An immaculately dressed CHANCE PRESTON RILEY in full Navy whites, at 30, looks ageless with that all American look. Reminding of the clean impact of when Torn Cruise and Richard Gere had their Navy roles. CHANCE with his disarming smile holds the door for an attractive FEMALE correctional officer who can't help but flirt. INT. PRISON VISITING BUILDING - SAME

CHANCE removes his military cover, walking with pure confidence to the processing counter. He looks around the vacant building finding a lone OFFICER hidden behind a newspaper behing his desk. The OFFICER peeks over the top of his paper almost bothered

Can

I help

OFFICER you? CHANCE see Inmate

I'm here B ak e r .

to

Courtney

10 OFFICER Well, visiting days are Friday. Saturday, Sunday. Hope you didn't travel far. CHANCE I will be seeing Ms. Baker today, so if you're not to busy ... go ahead and call who you need to call. The OFFICER shoots CHANCE a look of rebuke while SMACKING his gum. After appraising the situation, he drops the paper and picks up the phone turning to conduct HUSHED CONVERSATION. OFFICER (glances back) I didn't catch'er name? CHANCE Commander info then

Lieutenant The OFFICER relays the

Riley. hangs up.

Go ahead and will be with CHANCE ON up remains at the

OFFICER take a seat. you shortly. a look

The

Lt.

counter,

of

little

patience

brewing.

POLISHED HALLWAY - A large fit 50ish to the counter with stiff authority.

BLACK LIEUTENANT struts Removing a toothpick --

What

can

VISITING LIEUTENANT I do for you Mr. Riley?

CHANCE Like I said, I'm here to Inmate Courtney baker.

see

VISITING LIEUTENANT And as my officer informed you -visiting days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday ... and that's only if you're an approved visitor. CHANCE reaches card. He drops into his coat pocket, it on the counter and CHANCE approved. card and reads it not impressed. removing fingers a plastic buisness it to the Lt.

Oh, The Lt. picks

I'm up

the

VISITING So what, anyone can government card ... ... turn it number and

LIEUTENANT hand me a

CHANCE (MORE) over and call that find out ...

cell

I

1.--- -

----~~

---

11

CHANCE (CONT'D) ... listen Lieutenant. I'm on a tight schedule. If you don't want to end up manning one of those gun towers out there, I suggest you make that call, now. Oy, go get Ms. Baker -- now. The OFFICER watches his superior get checked and almost laughs.

That The LIEUTENANT business card. The OFFICER

right? snatches There'S at

VISITING LIEUTENANT We'll see about that! the phone an awkward CHANCE who and dials moment of winks back the number silence -with a off the

smiles

smirk.

Hello, His demeanor

who

VISITING LIEUTENANT am I speaking with? aggressive to obedient.

shifts

from

VISITING LIEUTENANT (eyes Chance) Governor. Sir, I have a Mr. Riley ... (he shuts up) ... certainly, right away, yes sir, all righty ... yes thank you! The LIEUTENANT softly hangs up, turning with a pseudo smile --

VISITING LIEUTENANT (turns on Officer) Well Miller, get hot, don't just sit there, get Ms. Baker down here! (hands Chance his card) Commander Riley you've just been aproved and I'll be escorting you to your visit -- is there anything else you might need? CHANCE will do.

Ms. INT. CONTROL

Baker

ROOM

- LATER panel while a gate --

A tough watching

looking female CONTROL OFFICER works control a FEMALE INMATE on close circut tv approach OFFICER (into intercom) and number? (O.S.)

Name

COURTNEY Baker ... W-S9316

12 The OFFICER activates the door release.

The steel door SLIDES open with an older, still beautiful COURTNEY walking through. Her hair is pulled back into a ponytail and is fitted in deniru blues. She follows the red line on the concrete towards the visiting room a bit unsure of who is waiting for her. To her left, the wall gives MOTION her and and rising beauty. from way to three large panes of glass.

COURTNEYs'

POV

- SLOW

Through the glass she finds CHANCE looking at his seat with a powerful presence of strength COURTNEYs' glass ever

eyes are arrested as one unconscious so delicately sliding along with her

hand touches to the door.

the

Thirty-one years of seperation and question filled days evaporate at that ver instant. The maternal bond between comes tangable and realized for the first time. BACK INT. TO NORMAL SPEED: ROOM

and nights them be-

VISITING

The door opens and COURTNEYs' arms immediately fold across her womb. Taking slow and measured steps, both never break eye contact as she arrives in front of her statuesque son. The gratitude and adoration scream in her being. SERIES OF SHOTS After a poignant - MOTHER moment and SON lost in their individual need.

COURTNEY (left hand over mouth) Wow ... look at you. I must'uv played this moment out a million times ... COURTNEYs' arms return to her physical boundaries. We sense CHANCE Yeah ... I know what CHANCE breaks the energy womb allowing him her need to touch to establish him -the

you

mean ... to the coffee machine.

pointing

Would COURTNEY soaking

you in

CHANCE like some the

coffee?

resemblances.

I'm sorry, have a cup CHANCE crisply close with his touch him, but

COURTNEY sure, yes, I'd of coffee with

love you.

to

walks to the back to her, doesn't.

coffee machine with COURTNEY following she comes close, wanting so much to

13 CHANCE removes some cash off a billfold as COURTNEY appears at his profile taking in his stature. He turns, feeling her eyes CHANCE making me

Quit

it,

nervous.

... I'm

COURTNEY sorry, I just ... dunno ... CHANCE you like

... how COURTNEY suffers

do

your let

coffee with

ma'm? the formal address.

a momentary

down

COURTNEY sugar please. (wipes away a tear) ... you don't strike me as of man who gets nervous. Cream'n CHANCE (pushes buttons with faint smile) This's true -- most of the ON COFFEE DISPENSER - The paper with the steaming tan liquid. cup

the

type

a time. down and is filled up

drops

You get

COURTNEY must have some kind'a in here on a Tuesday.

pull

to

CHANCE (hands her the cup) I wouldn't call it pull like torque. CHANCE selects his coffee and then

more

they

move

to

a table

and

sit.

I followed

CHANCE your case. COURTNEY means a lot.

Thanks,

that

CHANCE Five years ... I would of testified for you, self defence. They should give you a medal ... COURTNEY This was my cross to bear. Could've been worse, out of the blue some hot-shot lawyer shows up, says he'll take my case pro bono ...

I

14 CHANCE well, he's a better he is a drummer.

Yeah than

lawyer

That

wasn't

COURTNEY a coincidence.

CHANCE ... we played ball in high school, started a garage band then he went Harvard Law, I went Annapolis. COURTNEY that.

I appreciate

CHANCE Look um ... we got about to make sense of this. on a flight tonight ...

four hours I gotta be

COURTNEY settles in, recognizing this as her make Chance understand how it all went down. COURTNEY We better get started then. Lets start at the begining ... (deep breath) Well, in sixty-nine I was seventeen

moment

of

truth

to

..• DISSOLVE:

EXT.

MOUNT

ZION, SEQUENCE

ILLINOIS - AERIAL

- DAY SHOT Corn as far ROARS past. as the eye

FLASHBACK

A checkerboard landscape fills the frame. can see. Suddenly, a crop dusting biplane SUPER: MOUNT ZION, ILLINOIS agile "1969" plane over the

The PILOT jockeys the with perfect timing.

tips

of

corn

and

SPRAYS

In the distance a farmhouse appears, closing the gap quickly and with little room to spare the PILOT pulls up, banks left and circles up and around the tiny speck of farmhouse amid the green sea. From the farmhouse and rusted windmill ON WIMDMILL rusty blade down to the level, the crop then continuing duster floats behind out of the frame. the broken

VANES - After of this tired ground.

a quiet moment, a rock TINKS off the structure. Following the rock BOUNCING

From behind, 19 year old farm boy DUSTY SHAW, and a T-shirt. He holds a bat on his shoulder up Dodger ball cap and tosses up another rock the bat, sailing deep into the cornfield.

wearing faded jeans and adjusts a beat which EXPLODES off

15 DUSTYs' mischievous smile of Major League dreams. and perfect swing, complete the picture

(sweet I heard they

YOUNG COURTNEY (O.S.) country accent) put a man on the moon.

DUSTY with one eye closed and a slow point of the bat, CRACKS another rock deep, startling a CROW that sits defiantly perched atop an apparently useless scarecrow. DUSTY turns while swinging the bat up behind his neck and fixes his hat DUSTY Yep, a man can do just if he has a mind to.

about

anything

DUSTYS POV - Sitting on a swing that hangs from a huge oak lS the angel faced COURTNEY at 17. Her dress and long hair flowing gently in the summer breeze. COURTNEY (slightly bothered) Yeah ... well so can a WO -DUSTY spits, working the plug of chaw.

tree, are

MAN! He swaggers towards her --

DUSTY (drops the bat) Heck Courtney, they'd never put a woman in a space rocket ... (starts pushing her) ... shoot, before ya' know it, she'd be tryin' ta' fix the place up all pretty like -- what with curtains and doilies and such. COURTNEY smiles at her best friends ignorance. ished country charm raidiates naturally While COURTNEY (looks to the sky) I wouldn't mind goin' to the moon. As a matter a fact, I Wouldn't mind gain' anywhere someplace without corn or scarecrows and the people gotta be friendly. DUSTY ... some young people like us, not bunch a old drunk crusty farmers. COURTNEY What about the ocean ... you about the ocean Dusty? Throws the tobacco plug out and wipes Her innocent, swinging. pol-

a

ever

think

his

mouth.

I
~---

16 DUSTY that all

I

think

a

the

time ... spins her around eyes -- he leans to In face and

DUSTY seizes the ropes of the him. Looking at her with love steals a quick kiss

swing, in his

" .we

gotta

DUSTY get atta' COURTNEY foolish -nothin'!

here

Courtney.

Quit bein' nowhere on DUSTY lets a sweeping her go. circle,

we

can't

get

Picks up the bat, swirls then points hard towards DUSTY west.

it over his the setting

head sun.

in

I say

we

go

COURTNEY (teasing) Why cuz that's where Dodgers are? DUSTY that's where

your

No ocean The and EXT. A TWO the

cuz is.

your

share a moment corn with its - DUSK pick-up

while dusk takes scarecrow guardian

a seat upon the Baker farm dances in the Illinois wind.

DRIVEWAY Ford

1965

creeps

along

the

dirt

road

to

the

farmhouse.

INT.

TRUCK

BIG JOHN BAKER sits heavily behind the wheel, filling the erea up with his massive frame of 6'6 350 pounds. TWANGY COUNTRY MUSIC pours out of the open windows. He reaches over for the only passenger, an unlabled bottle of homemade grain alcohol. INT/EXT. BIG JOHN pulls up to a stop in front of the house. He takes a long sloppy pull from the bottle while listening to the TUNE. EXT. BACK YARD - SAME her fathers arrival, COURTNEYs' anxiety with DUSTY who now frowns at her fear. COURTNEY go. You know over-

With the SOUND of throws the moment

You

better

how

he ...

,

r---

17
DUSTY How he what? How he drinks damn much and hits on ya'! COURTNEY it Dusty -- he DUSTY don't beat to

Stop

don't.

... 0'

he

on

you She

huh? can't lie to the only person

COURTNEY is embarassed and upset. that shares her pain and secrets.

DUSTY (angrily points) You're gonna end up just mama girl!

like

yer'

DUSTYs' point leads to a small fenced off grave yard with a white cross stuck in the ground. COURTNEY (climbs off the swing) Stop it Dusty! I can't take it anymorel (walks away to the house) Just go. I'll see ya' tomorrow. DUSTY (yells) I can't take it no more neither ... (picks up his bat) ... walkin' five miles home, worried sick about'yal INT. HOUSE - SAME - BIG JOHN RUMBLES as the screen door through RATTLES

site

across

the

ON FRONT DOOR clearly drunk INT. KITCHEN

with bottle shut.

In hand

and

ON BACK DOOR - COURTNEY sneaks in quietly, not letting slam shut. She turns with a caught expression -BIG JOHN (raspy redneck I tell you'bout

the

door

What COURTNEY contact. BIG out

growl) that boy? sink without making eye

meekly shuffles to the kitchen She starts doing dishes. to the dinner table in then STAMPS the bottle continues

JOHN STOMPS a chair and

his filthy overalls, down on the table. washing knowing the

pulls

COURTNEY from her

jumps slightly and father will corne.

rage

18 BIG JOHN (falls into chair) dishes should'a been me up somethin'! her hands, moves to

Them heat COURTNEY a large dries bowl

done

the

stove

and

ladles

stew

into

COURTNEY I had it heatin' a while ago for ya' papa ... did you get the parts we needed for the tractor? She pulls a plate full of buscuits from the oven. The small talk doesn't work as she brings the dinner to him clearly affraid. EXT. BACK YARD SAME

DUSTY is marching through the corn, angry with bat ln hand. He stops at the wood frame holding the scarecrow in place. He gives his hostile eyes towards the BAKER home, in a flash DUSTY unloads with a flurry of SMASHES, easily destroying the SCARECROW, IT FALLS! INT. KITCHEN and returns to the sink. She looks a confused expression, the cornfield

COURTNEY sets the food down through the kitchen window, is missing something -BIG JOHN flash of

SLIRPS the stew and takes a bite of anger takes over his face, dropping BIG JOHN (hits the bottle wipes his mouth) over here ...

a biscuit. the spoon

A in

clear the bowl.

and

Come

COURTNEY (timid) .somethin' wrong papa? BIG JOHN here! and lowered eyes slowly steps to the

I said

come

COURTNEY with folded table in submission. In a blur, taking her of fear as

arms

BIG JOHN YANKS COURTNEY towards him by the arm, almost off the ground! A familiar SCREAM turns to a WHIMPER he wrenches her close to his enraged face -BIG JOHN (by the hair, put her face close to the bowl) You call that hot you stupid little whore!?

COURTNEY

knows

better

than

to

speak,

she

can

only

endure

his

wrath.

L

19 BIG JOHN takes the half mouth with unreasonable crying face -eaten biscuit and stuffs it into COURTNEYs' force! Then spoons Some stew over her

BIG JOHN I work all goddamned day to come home and eat cold food! Why? So you can be out whoring around with that little fucken nobody Dusty Shaw! (lets her go, she stands) I'm done talken ... I'm gonna teach you how ta' be proper. COURTNEY (backs up in defence) papa ... please don't papa! SAME violent CRASHES the corn. of DISHES and YELLING can

... no EXT. ON be BACK YARD

KITCHEN WINDOW - The heard all the way to KITCHEN

INT.

BIG JOHN finishes ering traumatized

throwing the dishes. He now looms over the cowyoung girl who is pinned against the counter.

BIG JOHNs hand comes to his belt buckle as he undoes it, with a slow pull, he removes the belt as COURTNEY shakes and PLEAS! In a large wind-up, his arm comes back down WHIPPING her over the head and back as she tries to protect herself from this animal. BIG JOHN respect me

You

gonna

and

my

rules! to be thrown back SCREAMS out as nowhere, the behind!

COURTNEY attemps to get away and take cover, only into the original spot and STRUCK again. COURTNEY BIG JOHNs' arma winds up for another lash, out of strong hand of DUSTY catches BIG JOHNs wrist from DUSTY try hittin'

Why dont'cha that coward?!

me

like

BIG JOHN is shocked and turns to catch the beautiful swing of DUSTYs' bat as it THUDS against JOHNs' ribs! His GROAN indicates some broken ribs as DUSTY pulls back and takes out his leg with a hard SMASH to the knee that sends the YELLING GIANT down with ease. DUSTY (stands over John) How'dya like that you piece

a shit?!

COURTNEY is in a huddled mass of shock at these events. She can only watch her friend champion her. She remains SILENT as DUSTY takes flight and PUMMELS BIG JOHNs' legs and body!

20

DUSTY Didn't anybody teach you it ain't right ta' hit on girls ... (looks at Courtney) ... go getcha things, we're leavin'. COURTNEY almost father and runs INT. BEDROOM protests from the but doesn't. kitchen into She stands, a hallway looks at her

COURTNEY rushes to the closet and grabs a bag. She wastes no time in filling it,runs to the dresser and opens a droor when her movement is arrested by her MOTHERs' PHOTO which is stuck in the corner of the mirror. She reaches over removing it with a deep breath. INT. KITCHEN in pain and rage as DUSTY a slow taunting circle

BIG JOHN is on the floor still HEAVING twirls bat in skilled hands walking in BIG JOHN kill you boy.

I'm

gonna

Waiting for these words, DUSTY jabs the tip of the barrel-end DUSTY (face to bloody today you aint!

flips the bat into both hands into JOHNs FACE three times

and

face)

Not

DUSTY turns the semi-conscious body on its wallet and keys. Taking the cash he SMACKS face and puts the cash in his pocket.

side, removing the wallet off

his JOHNs'

COURTNEY enters with the bag and a ready look. She for a moment at the beaten and broken man WRITHING DUSTY (grabs the liquor ready girl? COURTNEY papa ... then tips as he lay the bottle seething.

can only look on the floor.

bottle)

You

I'm

leavin'

DUSTY takes a good swig and dousing JOHNs' bloody face,

up sid e d o w n

Enough

COURTNEY (grabs Dustys ... lets go. DUSTY kill the before KIDS lawn the

arm)

It's

ta'

infection. TWO storm the front door exiting leaping ground.

DUSTY SPITS on him Courtneys' prison.

ON SCREEN DOOR - The off the porch to the II
~-

corne flying out, hand where COURTNEY tumbles

in hand to the

21 With pick INT. BIG bat in up the KITCHEN JOHN is getting to his knees at all costs. the truck. DUSTY SLAM the doors shut. hand, DUSTY stops spilled articles. and helps COURTNEY up while both

COURTNEY and DUSTY throws the bat and INT. TRUCK

race to bag in,

seperate doors of they slide in and

DUSTY jams but doesn't

the key 1n to the ignition, fire. He tries again with DUSTY (punches the dash) on honey, come on! nothing happens

twist and no luck.

the

MOTOR

SURGES,

Come On the third

attemp,

and

he

STRIKES

the

wheel

--

COURTNEY (realizes) Oh yeah, you gotta jiggle battery or somethin' .. _ DUSTY fully

the

jumps out and throws the hood up. He disappears obstructing COURTNEYs' view of the house behind DUSTY it! (O.S.)

underneath DUSTY --

Ok

--

hit

COURTNEY twists the key and the old work drops the HOOD and gives her a smile. COURTNEYs' smile turns to the front porch to fear as her

mule

FIRES

UP.

DUSTY

eyes

look

just

past

DUSTY

Run

COURTNEY (screams) Dusty -- hurry! the frightning a double-barrel image of Shotgun. BIG JOHN staggering DUSTY bolts for the

DUSTY turns to find onto the porch with drivers side door

I'm

gonna

BIG JOHN cut'chu in

half

boy! the gun over his forearm

With bloody hands BIG JOHN levels off and BLASTS the first pair of slugs

The open door is SHREDDED just as DUSTY dives in landing in in COURTNEYs' lap_ He sits up and GRINDS the stubborn gears reverse and GUNS the gas to the floor! BIG JOHN he SNAPS spits out a gob of blood with a tooth the gun shut for the second round and onto aims the

into as

porch

22 INT. DUSTY sends BIG INT. TRUCK PUNCHES the brakes while looking out the truck ~nto a 1800 turn, drops it FIRES both barrels, sending him the back window, into second and off his this goes

JOHN

almost

feet!

TRUCK

With a ROAR, the rear window EXPLODES in a shower of glass! They BOTH duck instinctively and when DUSTY comes lip, the truck is to far left, PLOWING DOWN twenty yards of fence line before gett~ng back onto the driveway towards the main road. DUSTY Are ya' hit?

1 ...

COURTNEY think so. (looks at h~s neck) .but. yer' bleedin'!
1 don't

COURTNEY opens the glove She quickly comes to his The beam shard of down his

box, pulls out a flashlight aid while he drives.

and

napkins.

of light casts a white circle over glass protrudes from DUSTYs' neck. neck when COURTNEY pulls the shard COURTNEY goin'? DUSTY -- west.

the wound, a one inch A crimson bead snakes free.

Where

we

Like EXT. TRUCK

I said

A cloud of dust trails down the road into the EXT. DECATUR ILLINOIS

the new

fading beams unknown.

of

light

as

they

bounce

- NIGHT with activity. TRUCKERS

From above, a well lit truck stop HUMS refueling and laying in for the night. ON CLEAN PETERBILT - At the rear tires is EARL BANKS, 50, crouched easily by what he finds DUSTY and COURTNEY creeping and activity. Their lights shredded drivers side door of his down,

rig, checking his attention

the back is grabbed

by on the outside of the army of trucks are off, the blown out back window and defines their situation.

EARL (rises with a smile) California bound ...

~.---

23 EXT. BACK LOT OF TRUCK STOP - SAME and COURTNEY cautiously looking

The TRUCK rolls slowly with DUSTY around for a place to hide -INT. TRUCK

DUSTY We gotta ditch this truck cops'll be looken for it. COURTNEY (points to the there ...

field)

Over

DUSTY cuts the wheel sharply, allowing the truck to be swallowed up by the corn. After they're well hidden, he kills the motor and comes to a stop. DUSTY looks at COURTNEY with new commitment in his eyes. COURTNEY sees this man in a greater light now. DUSTY You DUSTY Comes ready? under the seat. When he

leans down grabbing the bat from up he's met by COURTNEYs' kiss. COURTNEY I love you.

DUSTY ... this's what friends do right?! Now quit'cher blubberin' and lets get the hell atta' here. COURTNEY (smiles) .alright. DUSTY shoves handle. They way from the INT. DINER the bat inside COURTNEYs' bag, still revealing the BOTH slide out of the drivers side and make their field hand in hand towards the all night diner.

- SAME a booth drinking coffee and reading a sports page. jolly WAITRESS buzzez in and tops off his cup. WAITRESS Earl or headin' EARL I'm pushen week. WAITRESS California? EARL Yep.

EARL sits at A heavy set,

Layin'

in

out?

Thank'ya, 0' through this

straight

I

24

ON FRONT DOOR - DUSTY and COURTNEY enter the busy met by the same WAITRESS at the front counter -WAITRESS Hey kids, it's gonna be a minute, why dont'cha ... gosh darlin' you have trouble shaven? DUSTY (touches his Yeah .•. sometimes.

diner

and

are

wound)

I'll soon

WAITRESS getcha' a table as I can. stay close sit looking paper,

just

as

DUSTY and COURTNEY chairs where they EARL turns from

together a little over

while finding a pair of lost and out of place. his reading glasses

his

peering

Hey you join me leavin'

EARL to two, yer' welcome if you'd I ike, 1'11 be soon. where the bat

DUSTY grabs COURTNEYs' hand they amble over to the table EARLs easy smile welcoms them. They slide in. DUSTY sets bag next to him on the floor. EARL returns to his paper, seemingly oblivious across from him. COURTNEY gives DUSTY a queer whizzes by carrying a handful of dishes WAITRESS (never stopping) we got some fresh apple want some?

of the pair seated look. The WAITRESS

pie,

ya'll

DUSTY/COURTNEY (famished and eager) Please/yeah! DUSTYs' CU: BIG attention PHOTO OF is drawn to the front IN article of CUBS EARLs' UNIFORM paper.

FERGUSON

JENKINS

A CHICAGO

DUSTY I wish the Dodgers could'a Ferguson Jenkins ... EARL folds up the paper against DUSTYs' wound. smiling at

got

Dusty.

COURTNEY

dabs

a napkin

You

EARL a baseball fan?

A

DUSTY fan ... mister, I'm

a player.

25 COURTNEY Oh you should see'm, he's a fine player can hit the ball a country mile! EARL right?

Is

that

DUSTY That's right. I'm gonna ball for the Los Angles The WAITRESS of milk. She appears with sets it down two and

play Dodgers. of pie and two the register. glasses

huge pieces moves on to

COURTNEY Thank s ... EARL (eyes the bat/bag) that thing go everywhere you? DUSTY Pretty The kids are deep much. into their pie.

Does with

EARL My name's Earl Banks. call me Ebee. DUSTY (gobbles pie) Pleased ta' meet'cha' this here's Courtney. EARL grabs both checks and rises.

My

friends

I'm

Dusty,

EARL It was a pleasure allow me ...

meeting

you

two,

Well

thank'ya

DUSTY mister.

COURTNEY (elbows Dusty) .thanks Ebee. EARL smiles at this, before carrying register where talks to the WAITRESS for a second before EARL leaves. COURTNEY like a real DUSTY to ask'm himself effortlessly and pays, they watch to the the kids

He

seemed

nice for

man. a

I was tempted ride out.

26 The WAITRESS comes out of the back with a greasy bag in hand.

Better

WAITRESS (stops at their table) finish up there ... stops at the front door engaging

In the front window an big rig its air brake with a WHOOSH.

vlAITRESS .looks like yer' rides here. (hands Courtney the bag) .there's some grub fer the trip, you can trust Earl, he's a good man but he ain't gonna wait long. They BOTH look at each and scurry towards the other front like they door. hit the lotto, jump up

COURTNEY (stops and turns Howd'ya know?

back)

WAITRESS Honey yer' not the first kids runnin' away from a farm. EXT/INT. The door TRUCK swings CAB - SAME with EARLS friendly face waiting.

open

EARL Can't get ya' a tryout Dodgers, but I can get

with the ya' ta' LA. two seats and

COURTNEY enetrs first, fitting herself between the the sleeper opening. DUSTY jumps in with the bag. DUSTY Ebee ... EARL there. gear.

Thanks

... I've EARL EXT. throws TRUCK the

been

truck

into

The black smoke lurches forward INT. TRUCK

SPITS from the twin and down the road.

chrome

pipes

and

the

truck

COURTNEYs' She spots

taking in a six inch

the details of the cab while DUSTY settles BUDDHA stuck to the middle of the dash. COURTNEY little fat

in.

Who's

the

man?

27 EARL (questionable Buddha. DUSTY (laughs) kind a name's glance)

That's

What

Buddha?

EARL A very old name, of a very man, he was a teacher. COURTNEY teach?

wise

What

he

EARL He taught about the spirit. Kinda like Jesus did you have heard of Jesus right? DUSTY who hasn't

Why

sure,

heard'a

Jesus?

EARL Well, they were both teachers. Only Buddha was a lot -- well, fatter ... They all look at each AND other and erupt ROAD with LAUGHTER!

MONTAGE The

- DUSTY THREE

COURTNEYs' the St.

TRIP looking on 1-70 up in wonder. the Western

under

Louis

Arch, Tunnel

Coming out of the Eisenhower slope of the Rocky Moutains. -- Crossing INT. BOTH make TRUCK the Golden Gate MONTAGE the the

down

Bridge,

Dusty

gives

Courtney

her

ocean.

- DAY - END to at

KIDS pasted funny faces

window at the Hollywood scene. They variety of people and pop culture. EARL Tinsel sign.

Well, The truck comes

here'S to

Town

kids. shakes EARLS hand

a stop

DUSTY

Thanks

for

DUSTY the help

and

the

lift.

Don't tummy

EARL forget to rub for luck •..

Buddhas'

DUSTY gives it a quick rub and jumps out. COURTNEY swings out from the back giving Earl a big hug and kiss on the cheek. Thanks fer' COURTNEY everything Ebee.

~-----

28

COURTNEY EXT.

jumps

out,

FORGETTING

to

rub

the

Buddha!

HOLLYWOOD

- SAME

They all exchange waves before EARLS' truck pulls out of the frame. DUSTY and COURTNEY watch the truck wind back onto the freeway then turn around in awe of the big city and HOLLYWOOD sign. DUSTY see's COURTNEY crying and throws an arm around her. From behind to the four SUPER: the way COUPLE, a "2001" stop, completely DAY "2001" black Lincoln blocking out Navigator pulls up COURTNEY and DUSTY.

THANKSGIVING

ON DRIVER SIDE WINDOW - Driving is CHAttCE, in casual civilian clothes. Looking both ways before going forward, now DUSTY and COURTNEY have disappeared. INT. SUV - SAME on a

CHANCE with a relaxed smile and gleam in his eye places a hand his wifes thigh. AMANDA MILLS RILEY, 32, turns to give her man warm smile while placing her left hand over his. AMANDA are we staying CHANCE sound rough.

How

long

this

time?

You

make

it

AMANDA The Riley family ... holidays a little challenging. CHANCE parents aren't

... it's

Sorry

my

monks.

AMANDA (hits his arm) My parents are not monks, missionaries. EXT. The INT. BEVERLY SUV SUV her head, pulling rolls HILLS to a - SAME stop, then makes

they're

a right

up

into

the

hills.

AMANDA reaches above from the sun visor.

a nice

leather

journal

Anything

AMANDA new. CHANCE one down journal,

I scrathed AMANDA peruse's his

this

morning. the most recent entry.

finding

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