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GUTSHOT

01x01 - "THE SUCKOUT"

written by

Anthony Pittore

Based on Some Real Shit

©2021
EXT. PITTSBURGH, PA - NIGHT (DECEMBER 2003)

Industrial smoke stacks obscure a majestic red & green-


bedecked skyline.

One skyscraper blinks out “CHRISTMAS 2003.”

The Allegheny River sloshes islands of ice under rusty iron


bridges throughout the city.

The Allegheny MERGES with the Ohio River and carries on toward--

EXT. MCKEES ROCKS BRIDGE - NIGHT

We float with the river under a wide arch of gnarled steel above
the water.

All is calm for a moment, then--

A MAN’s body FLAILS over the edge of the bridge.

FALLING MAN
You son of a--

The man BELLY FLOPS into the river with a wicked SPLASH. He
submerges for a moment.

Two FACES watch over the side from above.

BOY ON BRIDGE #1
Is he dead?

BOY ON BRIDGE #2
Who gives a fuck? Let’s go!

The man floats face down along the river. He wears a gold ring
with K.O.C. emblazoned over an intricate silver seal.

Tires SQUEAL on the bridge as the car SPEEDS away.

Over the reflection of the city on the icy river:

TITLES:

GUTSHOT
2.
INT. DACOSTA HOME - KITCHEN - NIGHT

A dim light in the modest eat-in kitchen. Mostly untouched by the


two males that live there.

SUPER: Two days ago.

Expensive appliances are shoved aside for a small 13” TV on the


center island. It plays the 2003 World Series of Poker final table
where CHRIS MONEYMAKER pulls in a huge pot.

Two teen boys play cards at a round dinner table.

ALEX DACOSTA (16, White) shuffles the deck with a tight snap. He
flicks the cards across the table. Two sleepless eyes stare out
from an otherwise focused young face.

ELIJAH
Don’t start with that.

ELIJAH WRIGHT (16, Black) shakes his head with an over-this


demeanor. He leaves his cards on the table and pats down his
athletic frame for a pack of gum.

ALEX
Start with what? Dealing cards?

ELIJAH
That stare of yours.

Elijah points a finger at Alex. Playful, but he means this shit.

ELIJAH
It’s like a shark trying to look
into my soul. I honestly feel a
little violated.

Alex keeps a straight face. Like he always does at the table.

ALEX
Why are you so nervous? We haven’t
even looked at our cards.

Elijah straightens up. A blow to his burgeoning manhood.

ELIJAH
I’m not nervous. Why would you say
I’m nervous?

He pulls his hoodie up like a defense mechanism.

ALEX
Then let’s play the hand.

ELIJAH
Fine.
3.
ALEX
Fine.

Elijah dares to peek down at his cards. He barely reacts before--

ALEX
(instant)
Oof, that bad huh?

Elijah SLAPS the table.

ELIJAH
You son of a bitch.

He mucks the hand.

ELIJAH
How did you know?

ALEX
I was joking!

Alex gathers the card to re-shuffle.

The overhead kitchen light BLINKS on. A blinding white washes


over the room.

Alex’s Golden Retriever NUGGET (4) grumbles at the disturbance.

CHARLES
Alex, I’m leaving.

CHARLES DACOSTA (50s, White) appears in the doorway. A small


suitcase sits next to him. Stern, stoic, cold. A gold badge hangs
on his belt to match his definitely-a-cop haircut.

Alex’s demeanor tanks in an instant. He sits taller more out of


fear of correction than out of pride.

ELIJAH
Hey Mr. DaCosta.

CHARLES
Yeah, hi Elijah. You staying here
while I’m gone?

ELIJAH
That’s the plan if it’s cool.

CHARLES
Just don’t let Smokey the Bear burn
the house down. Don’t need any more
wiseass remarks from the fire
department at softball.

Alex keeps his eyes on the cards. Tension shimmers in the air
like a highway in summer.
4.
CHARLES
Money’s on the table with the hotel
number. And don’t stay up all night
playing cards or watching MTV or
whatever kids do. You two have school
in the morning.

ALEX
School. Got it.

ELIJAH
Roger dodger, Mr. D.

CHARLES
Right. Be back Saturday.

Charles disappears toward the front door.

ALEX
Make it Sunday.

CHARLES (O.S.)
It’ll be Saturday.

The front door SLAMS shut. Elijah scrambles from his chair.

INT. FRONT HALL - NIGHT

Elijah watches through the front window.

An unmarked police car reverses out of the driveway.

ELIJAH
I don’t know why you give your pops
such a hard time.

Alex stops at the wall of photos. His eyes find a family beach
photo. Alex (10), Charles (40s), his mother MARYANN (40s), and
older sister JOSEPHINE (13). All smiles.

ELIJAH
You ready?

ALEX
(refocuses)
Always.

Alex lifts his most recent framed yearbook picture. Same tired
eyes. He pulls out a wad of cash. Pockets it.

Elijah holds him up at the door.

ELIJAH
You’re taking all of it?

Alex holds up three fingers, scout salute.


5.
ALEX
Always be prepared.

He opens the front door, exits.

ELIJAH
Weren’t you a Brownie?

ALEX
That’s for girls.

ELIJAH
I know.

EXT. FRONT PORCH - NIGHT

Alex & Elijah wait outside in the chilly winter air.

ELIJAH
Fuck, it’s cold. We told him 7, right?

Alex’s flip phone DINGS from his pocket. On the screen:

SADIE (TEXT)
Crew meeting 2nite?

ALEX
Shit.

ELIJAH
Your pops already?

ALEX
No, it’s Sadie. We forgot the meeting.

ELIJAH
Big deal, we’ll catch her in school

Headlights FLASH TWICE from next door.

ELIJAH
There he is.

Elijah steps off the porch. Alex hesitates. Then texts back:

ALEX (TEXT)
Sry, dont feel good. tmrw?

ELIJAH
Alex!

ALEX
Alright!

Alex adds a sad face emoji to the end of the text and SENDS.
6.
EXT. FRONT LAWN - SAME

Elijah and Alex cross the snowy grass toward the street.

ALEX
Why’s he at your place?

ELIJAH
Because he’s Dylan and Dylan is an
idiot. You want shotgun?

ALEX
Hell no, it’s your turn.

ELIJAH
I’ll do your chem homework.

ALEX
You’re worse at chem than me.

ELIJAH
I can get you a date with Sadie.

ALEX
Gross, dude. I’m good.

INT./EXT. DYLAN’S CAR - NIGHT

Alex & Elijah arrive at the duct-tape-detailed sedan.

ELIJAH
I thought you liked Sadie.

ALEX
It’s more I don’t like trading
dates like Pokémon cards.

The passenger window rolls down. 50 Cent’s “Wanksta” BLASTS from


the radio.

DYLAN
You bitches gettin’ in or what?

DYLAN MCELHENNEY (17, White) leans across the seat. A year older
than the boys, but the same grad class. The wildest of wildcards.

Elijah slumps into the passenger’s seat. Alex in back.

ELIJAH
Suburban white boy bumpin’ 50 Cent?
Somehow this seems racist.

DYLAN
Fitty’s my shit. Fuck off.
7.
ELIJAH
Your shit? Really? Where’s your iPod?

DYLAN
What? Why?

Dylan tries for the iPod. Elijah SNATCHES it first. He hits the
back button. Michelle Branch’s “EVERYWHERE” comes on.

DYLAN
I share it with my sister. This shit’s
not mine. Did you guys bring any food?

ALEX
Why would we bring food?

DYLAN
I don’t know. I’m just hungry.

Dylan puts the car in gear.

INT./EXT. DYLAN’S CAR - TRAVELING - NIGHT

Dylan navigates through the trickle of traffic left on the


parkway after rush hour. Pittsburgh suburbs flash by the windows.

ALEX
How much further this place?

ELIJAH
The library game’s like 5 minutes
away from us.

DYLAN
Alex said he wanted to shake things
up this week.

Elijah look back at Alex, surprised he didn’t know.

ALEX
Those weren’t exactly my words. I just
said that game was a little soft. Even
you two were winning.

DYLAN
What’s that supposed to-- Oh shit,
that’s our exit!

Dylan CRANKS the wheel in front of a HONKING minivan.

EXT. BRIGHTON HEIGHTS - NIGHT

Brighton Heights has seen better days. Houses sit vacant.


Abandoned cars line the street.
8.
ELIJAH
You sure this is the right exit?
This area isn’t exactly your type
of place.

DYLAN
That’s offensive. I’ll prove it.

He turns without a signal into the lot of--

EXT. SHADY GAS STATION - NIGHT

Dylan jumps out of the car.

DYLAN
Who’s going in?

Elijah turns back to Alex.

ELIJAH
I took shotgun. Your turn.

ALEX
(groans)
Uuuggggg--

INT. SHADY GAS STATION - NIGHT

The entrance bell DINGS.

ALEX
--ggggghhhhh.

Alex smiles at TYSON CHISOLM (30s, Any), the clerk behind the
counter, who doesn’t return it.

ALEX
Want anything from in here?

Alex opens the cooler and pulls out an iced tea & Red Bull.

Dylan tries to respond. Chunks of doughnut spray out instead.

ALEX
(panics)
What the hell are you doing?

Dylan’s mouth overflows with Krispy Kremes. The self-serve


container hangs open in front of him.

DYLAN
Don’t make it so obvious, dude.
9.
ALEX
I am not getting arrested for fucking
doughnuts!

Alex heads for checkout. He refuses to even look at Dylan.

TYSON
Two-fifteen.

Alex opens his wallet. No cash. Tyson’s attention strays to


Dylan. Alex tries to keep focus on him.

ALEX
Uhh, how’s your night?

TYSON
I work at a gas station. How you
think my night’s going?

Alex reaches for his money roll in his pocket. He blindly pulls
out a $100 bill and hands it to Tyson.

TYSON
Man, I can’t break this.

ALEX
Right, sorry. Hang on.

Alex exchanges the hundred for a $5 bill. Tyson grumbles to


himself as he rings up. Then he spots the surveillance mirror.

TYSON
Hey!

A hunk of doughnut dangles from Dylan’s mouth. He tries to make a


run for it.

TYSON
Hell no!

Tyson cuts him off at the exit with a mini baseball bat.

DYLAN
No no no, I’m a minor!

TYSON
You don’t look like a minor.

DYLAN
I am, man. Blame the HGH or
whatever. Check my ID.

Tyson hesitates. Alex fights himself to say something. No help.

TYSON
Thief’s a thief.
10.
He raises the bat again.

INT./EXT. DYLAN’S CAR - TRAVELING - NIGHT

The boys sit in tense silence. A bruise swells on Dylan’s face.

DYLAN
Could’ve had my back, dude.

ELIJAH
Shh, listen...

Elijah CRACKS open his Red Bull.

ELIJAH
That’s the crack of the whip finally
striking back at the white man.

DYLAN
Whatever.

Dylan touches at his swollen jaw. He squints at the back of a


business card.

DYLAN
They said it’s a red brick
building.

ALEX
You’ve never been here?

DYLAN
Nah. It’s my dad’s spot. He and his
buddies used to-- Shit! That was it.

Dylan cranks a U-turn. He SLAMS into a parking spot.

DYLAN
Let’s rock & roll, boys!

Elijah & Dylan climb out of the car.

ALEX
Hang on.

Alex unfolds a few bills from his bankroll. He hides the rest
under the floormat.

EXT. KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS (K.O.C.) - NIGHT

The boys cross the street to the squat brick building across the
street. A few DEGENERATES hang out in front of the entrance.
11.
ELIJAH
My standards were low as hell, but
even I was expecting more.

ALEX
What is this place?

DYLAN
Heaven.

Dylan holds up the ring on his finger in front of the Knights of


Columbus sign. The sign & ring share the same silver seal.

ELIJAH
Neither of us know what that is.

Dylan flashes the ring at KHALIL LEE, a brick-shithouse of a


bouncer. Lee nods at Dylan and opens a red rope for him.

DYLAN
(haughty)
They’re with me too.

Elijah nudges Alex. He nods at Khalil’s MP-5 submachine gun that


hangs under his other arm.

Off Alex & Elijah’s exchanged looks--

INT. CASINO - NIGHT

A high roller’s paradise and stark contrast to the drab outside.


Chandeliers with Christmas lights and holly hangs over the gaming
tables filled with chain-smoking MEMBERS.

ALEX
Holy shit.

The boys stare in awe. Elijah’s gaze more on the COCKTAIL SERVERS.

DYLAN
Told you to trust me.

INT. CASHIER’S WINDOW - SAME

Alex scans the room. His eyes stop at the poker tables. One in
particular has EVANGELINA “LINA” SAMUELE (17, Mixed-race) in the
dealer’s seat. A good soul born in and of this seedy world.

She catches Alex’s eyes with a quick flick of her own.

ALEX
Shit.

Alex blushes. Tries to play it cool. Lina snickers. Elijah &


Dylan follow Alex’s gaze. They spot Lina.