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WHAT LIVES IN THE SHADOWS AND EATS YOUR SOUL a short film by Brian J. Prisco INT.

MILO'S HOUSE -- NIGHT

It's 3 AM. MILO, a dumpy writer in his late thirties, is slouched on the couch in his pajama pants and old T-shirt. His face is bathed in the dull blue of late night infomercials. He hasn't slept in days. Sitting next to him, his arm consoling around MILO's shoulders, is an UNFATHOMABLE HORROR. He's like the end result of Tim Curry in Legend hatefucking Ursula the Sea Witch from Disney's The Little Mermaid. The HORROR pats MILO's shoulder. HORROR It's gonna be okay, buddy. I know. not? MILO It's just...what if it's

HORROR You can't think like that. MILO I can't STOP thinking like that. HORROR I know. MILO rubs his face. MILO I'm pushing 40. I've got a one year old and another one on the way. Probably twins. I'm working a desk job so that I can write during the night. And write what? Crappy horror stories. Hey, buddy. HORROR Awesome horror stories.

MILO If they're so awesome, why isn't anyone publishing them? How long do I keep cranking out nightmares? How long do I keep chasing my fantasies until I'm supposed to actually grow the hell up? Milo, man. HORROR I wish I had the answerse.

2. MILO Me too. I just feel like I should give up. Should I keep fighting? How long until I'm just another pathetic neverwas, still trying to peddle scary stories? People don't even read anymore. HORROR Have you talked to Tracy about it? MILO Of course. HORROR And? MILO And she's supportive. Of course she's supportive. She's a goddamn saint. We're afloat. We've even got a little savings until the babies eat it. We can handle me working less and writing. HORROR Well, there you go. MILO Yeah, but she's supporting us. She's doing all the work. And I'm over here, making monsters like some dumb kid. HORROR You gotta let go of these patriarchal tropes. There's nothing wrong with a female breadwinner. As long as you're happy. Buddy. Are you happy? MILO Don't ask me that. HORROR Are you? MILO Yes. No. Maybe. don't know. I don't know. I

A pair of TENTACLES slithers in from the shadows, leeching towards MILO. HORROR Not now, Jeff. The TENTACLES make a supplicating gesture and slither away.

3. MILO I just worry that everyone's secretly laughing at me. Shaking their heads. Calling me pathetic. Calling me a housewife. HORROR So? Let them laugh. They're just scared and jealous. You've got what they want. A nice house, a beautiful family, an awesome supportive wife, and you're following your dreams. You've got it made! MILO Except success. HORROR You've sold stories. MILO Except tangible current success. HORROR You published a novel. MILO Self-published. Online. A novella. As an ebook.

HORROR Stop looking for excuses. There are a hundred thousand people who'll be willing to tell you you can't do it. That you suck. MILO I've read the Amazon reviews. HORROR Don't you be one of those people. MILO I'm worried about the future. Look. No. HORROR Do you love writing? MILO It's tortuous. I'm Do

HORROR Forget the marketing bullshit. talking pen to paper creating. you love it?

4. MILO Yes. HORROR Is it like breathing? live without it? No. MILO I have to write. It's settled. Could you

HORROR Then there you go. You have to write. MILO But...

HORROR No buts. If you worry about success, that's what'll kill you. You just write. Don't worry about money. You don't need to make a living at it. You just need to create. The money'll find you. MILO But I want my family to have a better life! I want Tracy not to have to work. I don't want to be shackled to a desk until I'm 70. HORROR That's a whole other barrel full of snakes. You can't predict what will or won't sell. You can just create. So do that. Everything works out in the end. MILO That feels like such a cop out. What will be, will be. Let the universe work for you. Man plans, god laughs. That sounds like shirking responsibility. HORROR It's not. You don't jump in a river and just let the current throw you over the falls. You still have to swim. You just don't have to keep fighting the current the whole way. You can let the water guide you. MILO You're very zen.

5. HORROR You watch a lot of late night infomercials. MILO I don't know. HORROR You don't have to. Just do. Create. Worry when you absolutely must. Right now, you're golden. A BABY CRIES from upstairs. MILO Relatively speaking. HORROR I can check on her. MILO looks at HORROR, who shrugs. HORROR (CONT'D) Probably right. Alright, get some sleep. I'll see you in hell, buddy. Yes. MILO Yes, you will.

MILO gets up to care for the baby. END

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