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The Vapors By William Ayre

INT. PARTY - NIGHT Crowded room filled with young collegiate party goers. JAKE stands alone against the wall sipping from a red cup, he peers around the room and spots HER leaning over the bar. Details of the scene change between shots, aside from the girl who remains the same. Shes wearing a flowing green dress with a red bow that compliments her auburn belt. She turns and smiles as a man enters and hands her a cup. Jake disheartened finishes his drink and grabs his green jacket and a half downed bottle of old number 7 Tennessee whiskey and walks out the door. LUKE, his friend, notices Jake leaving, turns around, sees HER, and follows Jake out the door. EXT. STREET - NIGHT Medium shot of Jake walking alone in the cold with his bottle, in the far background Luke is running to catch up shouting. LUKE Hey Jake, Wait up! Stop man! Jake pauses, turns around, sees his friend and takes a swig. Luke arrives on the scene panting, grasps his knees and catches his breath. LUKE Hey, whyd you leave the party? JAKE Just wasnt feeling it. LUKE Is that why you left? Jake pulls out a cigarette, and considers coming clean but thinks better of it. He pulls out another one and offers it to Luke. JAKE Cigarette? LUKE No thanks, I quit. JAKE Again? Whyd you quit?

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LUKE Why do you smoke? JAKE To remind me Im alive. The first drag reminds me of my own mortality. The ones that follow show how little I care. Jake lights the cig. JAKE Its a matter of choice. Exhales. JAKE Control. LUKE Do you feel you dont have control? Jake takes a swig of whiskey and coughs on the exhale. He wipes his mouth on his sleeve. JAKE As much as anyone else. LUKE What, you dont think people have control over their lives? JAKE You mean like free will, no. Were all just puppets to our history. LUKE Thats pretty fatalistic. Arent you either too young or too old to be that cynical. JAKE Any times a good time to start. Luke ponders for a second, baiting Jake to continue. JAKE At any given point, everything we do and say is predetermined by memory and instinct. Its programmed into our brains. I have no more free will than a light bulb does to turn itself on or off.

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The street lights flicker on in unison, one remains unlit. EXT. STREET - NIGHT LUKE What about randomness, chaos? JAKE I stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. LUKE As I remember it wasnt too long ago before you thought you were engaged in one yourself. Jake turns to his friend, hands clenched. Obviously offended. JAKE Thats besides the point. LUKE Is it? Jake takes another swig. LUKE Is that why you left? JAKE I left because I wanted to. LUKE I thought you said you didnt have any choice... Luke makes air-quotes. LUKE or "Control". Jake looks pissed at his own words being used against him. JAKE Okay, well maybe I dont. But at least I can chose to forget. Jake takes a swig.

(CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: JAKE Whatd you think this is for? LUKE Denial? JAKE Action.

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Jake chugs the rest of the bottle and hurls it into the street. When the glass shatters the environment changes. INT. SUBWAY - NIGHT Jake walks quickly from subway car to car, apathetically trying to lose Luke. Luke persists. LUKE Action? Against what? JAKE Against this. Jake turns and stops. He looks at Luke square in the eye, the damns of his own on the verge of bursting and violently grabs his shirt. JAKE Against me! Against my insecurities. Against my problems. This is me taking control of my life. This is me forgetting everything thats wrong. Breaks down JAKE Cause I have to do something... right? If I can forget I can move on. LUKE Forgetting isnt moving on, accepting is. You cant change your past, you can only change your perception of the present. Accept change. Jake sits in the last the car, in the corner, next to other passengers so that Luke doesnt have a seat. Obstinate, Luke stays with Jake, grabs the rail and stands ground as the subway car comes to a screeching stop.

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LUKE Well? JAKE I need a smoke. Jake takes a cig, packs it on the top of the box. LUKE Were on the subway, or did you forget? Jake puts the cig in his mouth and tries to light it. Luke snatches the lighter. LUKE Jesus man. Jake now sobbing. JAKE Maybe if I had spent more time living and less time obsessing over the past... she wouldnt have left me. Wide shot: train disappears off screen and the location changes. EXT. OCEAN - SUNDOWN Jake and Luke stand, looking out at the ocean, the city behind them. LUKE Maybe youre making the same mistake twice. Jake pauses, speechless. He looks up with a crooked smile. JAKE Youre right. I guess I was just too busy wading in the ripples of my past to appreciate the present... Im done trying to change myself. LUKE Im glad you feel that way.

(CONTINUED)

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JAKE Hey man, tonight might be your last... Jake holds out a cigarette to Luke. enjoy it. LUKE Im not going to die tomorrow. JAKE Someday. Someday, it wont matter. LUKE (playfully) Why do we even talk about these kind of things? JAKE I dont know, but you should stop pretending to quit. Jake takes a long drag, and lights the other cigarette with the first one (buttfucking) and holds it out again. JAKE (exhaling) Live. Luke giggles at the irony and puts the cigarette to his mouth. The pair stand looking out at the ocean, smoking in silence for a few seconds. JAKE Life, without the promise of death...Can anything permanent be beautiful? LUKE Well, nothing lasts forever. Luke takes a few drags, looks at the cigarette and then flicks it into the surf.

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