ELEVEN FIFTY ONE

By
Hafsah Mijinyawa
FADE IN
GNARLED CANVAS. Pure white. Then -- a BRUSH, dripping with
red. Painting a flourish.
A BEEP. Then, a phone’s answering machine. A robo-bill
collector:
ANSWERING MACHINE
Hello. This call is for “Victoria
Winters”. If you are not “Victoria
Winters”, please hang up or
disconnect. This is a call from
Federal Action Financial Services
Association.
INT. VICTORIA’S APARTMENT/STUDY - DAY
The artist -- VICTORIA -- sitting at the canvas,
engrossed in her work. Her hands and arms smudged with
paint.
THE STUDY
is cluttered with artistic paraphernalia. Abstract and
vividly colored paintings lying around. This is her world.
And it’s being rudely interrupted by a voice.
Victoria glares in the direction of the phone. She gets
up...
ANSWERING MACHINE (CONT’D)
This is an attempt to collect on a
past due balance and any
information obtained will be used
for that purpose. Please contact us
about an important business matter
as soon as possible at 1-800-666 --
...mashes a button on the receiver. Ends the call.
INT. VICTORIA’S APARTMENT/LIVING ROOM - DAY
XCU: The TELEVISION. Playing some Hitchcock movie. Spellbound
or something referential.
RINGING. A phone.
A can of POP and some MAIL are placed on the coffee table
next to a remote control.
Victoria picks up the remote. Kicks back on the couch,
reaches for the pop can. Opens it. Turns up the volume on the
TV. Watching with vague interest.
With a faint BEEP, the ringing phone switches to the
answering machine.
The TELEPHONE rings.
Victoria just stares at it.
RING. RING. RING. BEEP. Answering machine.
ANSWERING MACHINE
Hi, this is Angela at Kensington
Photo, I’m just calling to let you
know that your prints are ready
whenever you want to stop by and
pick them up!
EXT. PLAZA - DAY
A PAPER BAG rustles. Held in Victoria’s hand. She walks down
a sidewalk, earbuds in her ears.
ELSEWHERE ON THE PLAZA
A FLYER GUY is passing out phamplets to passersby.
FLYER GUY
Hey, opportunities for a summer
job, check it out.
Nobody’s biting, but he keeps at it.
Victoria comes down the sidewalk towards him. She’s trying to
avoid him, but eye contact has been established. He reaches
out to her with a phamplet.
FLYER GUY
Hey, you looking for work this
summer? I’ve got a great gig with a
local company!
VICTORIA
(smirking)
You mean the one you’re doing now?
She breezes past. He regards her. Frustrated.
Victoria stops at the sidewalk. Waiting on a light. She
notices one of the phamplets the Flyer Guy was passing out,
taped to a nearby pole. She peeks at it.
THE FLYER - very simply designed. A business card stapled to
it. Black and white pictures of smiling, successful looking
students with backpacks and Macbooks. "SEASONAL, FULL AND
2.
PART TIME POSITIONS FOR YOUNG PROFESSIONALS! WORK
GUARANTEED."
She grabs the phamplet off the pole. Looks back to see if he
noticed.
Yep. He’s facing her, having just been ignored by another
pedestrian. He saw. But his face is expressionless.
Light’s green. Victoria tucks the phamplet under her
shoulder, hurries across the street.
INT. VICTORIA’S APARTMENT/LIVING AREA - DAY
CLOSE ANGLE - PHOTOGRAPHS and NEGATIVES spread out on the
coffee table. Some sketchbooks. Some mail. A carelessly
opened electric bill.
Victoria, studying the photographs. Glances up when --
THE PHONE RINGS.
RING. RING. RING.
Victoria, still studying the photos.
RING. RING. RING.
Then -- with a subtle electronic CLICK -- the lights go off.
The TV goes off.
The FAN goes off.
Victoria looks around -- what the hell? -- and rises. Walks
to the...
LIGHT SWITCH ON THE WALL
She switches it on and off a couple of times. No effect. She
leans against the wall beside the switch. Closes her eyes.
VICTORIA (CONT’D)
(a murmur)
Shit.
INT. VICTORIA’S APARTMENT/LIVING AREA - NIGHT
Victoria lies under a blanket on the couch. She watches the
SHADOWS on the wall. They move, altered by the cast of car
headlights outside.
A SLIVER OF LIGHT moves across the PHAMPLET on the table.
Bringing the businesscard stapled to it in prominent view.
3.
She eyes it. Reaches over and picks it up.
THE CARD, a simple white business card. Completely blank on
the back. On the front, in elegant type, letterpressed:
1151 SYCAMORE CIRCLE, ANN ARBOR
Contact: Ms. Evelyn Hollingsworth
THE LLC
EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY
The front door of a nice house. Isolated. Expensive.
Door #1151. The numbers are set into the door, just above a
brass door knocker.
GLOVED HANDS use the knocker. Victoria. She glances around.
Unsure.
No answer.
She knocks again, a little louder.
No answer.
She stalls. What’s she doing here anyway. This is dumb.
She’s going to turn and go when the door UNLATCHES from the
other side. It opens slightly. A BESPECTACLED LADY in her
middle years peers out.
VICTORIA
Hi...I’m looking for a
Ms...Hollingsworth?
The lady regards Victoria for a brief moment. Then, opening
the door, and with a warm smile...
EVELYN
I think that would be me,
sweetheart. Come on in.
INT. EVELYN’S HOUSE/LIVING AREA - DAY
Evelyn pours two cups of tea. Moves the cup across the
coffee table to Victoria who sits, somewhat uncomfortably,
in an opposite sofa.
EVELYN (CONT’D)
I understand you’re here about a
job.
Victoria regards the tea -- and Evelyn -- suspiciously.
4.
VICTORIA
Apparantly so. I...was given a
flyer.
EVELYN
A flyer?
VICTORIA
Yeah, some guy downtown...he was
handing them out. Your card was in
it. With this address. I would have
called but there was no...
EVELYN
...phone number, yes I know. Our
company is rather between numbers
right now. We always have a central
location in the area so that we can
conduct interviews with potential
employees. Makes it more personal
anyway, I think, than a phone call.
Evelyn puts down the tea, reaches for a tablet of her
stationary.
EVELYN (CONT’D)
...What did you say your name was
again?
VICTORIA
Victoria Winters.
Evelyn jots something down on her tablet.
EVELYN
That’s a very pretty name. How old
are you?
VICTORIA
Twenty seven.
Jotting again.
EVELYN
And you said you were a student,
yes?
VICTORIA (CONT’D)
Yes.
EVELYN
Studying?
5.
VICTORIA
Psychology.
EVELYN
Mm, that was my minor back in the
day. Are you on any medication,
recovering from any surgeries,
anything like that?
VICTORIA
Not that I’m aware of, no.
EVELYN
Do you have any family in the
immediate area?
A pause.
VICTORIA
No.
EVELYN
What’s your income level?
VICTORIA
Well, I’m a student. So not much.
EVELYN
Are you married?
VICTORIA
No.
(a beat; then...)
Sorry but -- I kind of thought
you’d be asking questions more
along the lines of..."tell me about
yourself; why do you want this job;
why should we hire you..."
Evelyn looks at her for a moment. Then takes off her glasses
and places them on her lap.
EVELYN
Well darling. You are a young
unemployed collegiate lady. The
assumption is that you came to my
office for the explicit of
acquiring work, and as the phamplet
said, work is guaranteed.
Victoria just stares, a bit surprised, then --
6.
VICTORIA (CONT’D)
Well...um...then maybe, in that
case, I should, I may, rephrase my
question.
EVELYN
Yes, you may.
VICTORIA
Honestly Ms. Hollingsworth, I’m
kind of vague as to what kind of
work it is, exactly, that your
Company does. Could you maybe
explain that a bit?
Evelyn regards Victoria critically.
EVELYN
At some point, Ms. Winters, an
employee must trust that her
employer has her best interests at
heart.
Victoria. A glare. This is getting weird(er).
VICTORIA
I don’t think I’d be out of line to
ask what exactly I’d be doing. Is
this canvassing, is it
telemarketing, am I killing people?
(nervous laugh)
I mean...what is The Company?
Evelyn begins writing something on her stationary.
Victoria, frowning. This lady is fuckin’ weird.
EVELYN
The opportunities that you will be
given during your work with this
Company will take you far, far
beyond wherever it was that sent
you to this point. To my door. Into
this office.
Evelyn carefully tears the piece of paper out of her
stationary. She hands it to Victoria.
7.
EVELYN (CONT’D)
And if you are indeed interested in
accepting the position offered to
you -- and which I have no doubt
whatsoever that you will be more
than qualified to undertake -- then
that will be all you’ll need to
know.
Evelyn takes up her tea, sits back in her chair, and regards
Victoria. Suddenly the nice lady has become calculating,
aggressive. A little scary, even.
EVELYN
Please sign and date on the bottom.
Victoria hesitates...this isn’t what she expected. And she
still has time to get the fuck out of there.
...pensively, she scribbles her signature and date.
Evelyn smiles and nods crisply.
EVELYN
You will be contacted sometime this
week by a Company representative.
He or she will fill you in on all
the details you’ll need to
officially begin working.
Evelyn sticks out her hand. Hesitantly, Victoria takes it.
EVELYN
Congratulations Miss Winters.
INT. VICTORIA’S APARTMENT/STUDY - DAY
PAINT squirts onto a palette.
Victoria dips a sable brush in water.
Across from her, a window is open, blinds drawn, letting
sunlight surge in. A DARK CAR sits by the side of the block.
It’s windows dark -- tinted. A DARK MAN in a trench coat
emerges from the car.
She sees him, and is distracted from her painting. Makes a
bad stroke. But the man seems more interesting at the moment.
She watches him cross by the window...
...follows the trajectory of his walk with her eyes as the...
...DARK MAN disappears around the building. She looks towards
8.
the front door, the brush in her hand suspended. She’s quiet.
Nervous.
AT THE DOOR, FOOTSTEPS....then, a soft SHUFFLING. A LETTER
slips under the crack of the door. FOOTSTEPS pad softly
away.
Victoria looks back towards the window. The DARK MAN walks
back around the building, across the street, steps into his
car and drives away.
VICTORIA’S APARTMENT/THE FRONT DOOR
The door opens. Victoria looks down at the letter on the
ground. She picks it up, opens it.
An EVENT PASS and a BROCHURE. Tri-folded and glossy.
INSERT - BROCHURE: Attend the Alekson LLC Professional
Administrative Seminar at the Kass Peterson; a fabulous
rooftop venue located in the heart of downtown Montreal.
EXT. KAAS PETERSON ROOFTOP VENUE - DAY
Victoria emerges from an (elevator/doorway) onto the roof,
looking confused. She explores, cautiously glancing around.
There’s a sound. Faint...but it’s there. The musical
RINGTONE of a not-too-distant cellphone.
She walks towards the sound. Crosses the path of a BIZARRE
LOOKING STATUE and some furniture. She stops suddenly.
Startled. Frozen.
A BODY. A man, sprawled flat, face down. The ringing
cellphone perched on his back.
Victoria stares, numb. She takes a step back...then
hesitates...should she? Shouldn’t she?
She steps gingerly forward. Leans towards the body. Picks up
the phone. Answers.
VICTORIA
...hello?
A pause...then, a mechanically distorted voice intones:
DISTORTED VOICE
There is a car parked in the lower
level of this building. The trunk
is empty. There is a junkyard off
of South Nelson. Take the car and
it’s contents there. If all goes
well, a representative will be
9.
contacting you regarding your
payment and next assignment.
CLICK. Victoria lowers the phone. Looks around. Looks at the
body. Well, fuck.
EXT. EVELYN’S HOUSE - DAY
KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK. Victoria raps the knocker.
The door opens. But it’s not a nice middle-aged lady -- it’s
an irritated looking GUY. He’s barefoot, in his shorts and
holding a bottle of Heineken.
GUY
Yeah?
She regards him for a second -- then:
VICTORIA
Hi there, listen, I have a bone to
pick with Ms. Hollingsworth, is it
possible I could see her today?
The Guy -- a blank, slightly stoned stare.
GUY
...dude, I’m not totally sure
that’s even a name.
VICTORIA
Look, I know this is her address, I
need to see her. It’s urgent.
GUY
Sorry, nobody named "Hollingsworth"
lives here lady.
He starts closing the door. She stops it with her hand:
VICTORIA
Hey -- listen, one way or another
I’m going to get some answers! If I
have to call the cops --
GUY
Back off before I call the fucking
cops!
He slams the door.
INT. VICTORIA’S APARTMENT - DAY
THE KITCHEN
10.
The sink faucet drips. Drip. Drip. Drip.
On the kitchen counter, a knife, wet with the juice of
the halved apple lying next to it.
THE LIVING ROOM
A bottle of Coke on the table. The television on. Victoria,
on the couch, her finger against her temple. Lost in
thought about her increasingly complicated life.
Her attention is drawn towards the door. SHUFFLING.
Something hits the door.
She glances over. Hesitating. She grabs a nearby broom,
brandishing it like a weapon and heads carefully for
the door.
Slowly...stealthily...she opens the door.
SEEN THROUGH THE DOOR CRACK - Mr. Nobody. All is clear. But
down, lying at her feet...what’s that?
She opens the door wider.
A small box.
AT THE COFFEE TABLE
Victoria opens the box. She stares into it for a moment. We
don’t see what’s inside just yet. She removes a letter from
the box. Opens it and pulls out a thin slip of paper.
FROM HER POV, we see the letter, positioned over the open
box. It’s a check. Signed to her. With a lot of fucking
zeros. Six in front of a one, to be specific. One Million.
She stares at it. Then there’s a SOUND, like a vibrating
cellphone.
FROM HER POV, her hands move away so that the letter no
longer obscures the box.
Inside the box, a SWITCHBLADE KNIFE and a CELLPHONE, which
is vibrating.
She hesitates. It’s the roof all over again. But this time
she makes her decision quickly and picks up the phone.
VICTORIA
...hello?

11.
DISTORTED VOICE
A person of interest requires a
reliable escort out of town before
tomorrow. You will be able to meet
him at the Lamplight Club tonight
at 8:30.
VICTORIA
And what if I don’t? What are you
going to do then?
She waits for the response. No answer. Not even breathing.
VICTORIA (CONT’D)
Listen to me whoever you are. I’m
not taking orders from you anymore.
I’m getting rid of this phone, and
I won’t take your money. I want no
part of this. Don’t contact me
again.
She flips the phone shut and drops it in the box. Clasps her
hands. She’s shaking. She’s fucking scared.
INT. VICTORIA’S APARTMENT/LIVING ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
She lies awake on the couch, staring at the ceiling.
ON THE CEILING
A blank white ceiling.
ON VICTORIA
Staring. Still. AMBIENT SOUNDS drift in...WHISPERS...FAINT
MUSIC.
ON THE CEILING
This time -- A DARK FIGURE LOOMS OVER HER! It stands against
a stark blue sky. Surreal and eerie.
ON VICTORIA, staring at it. Her face a blank. Like a
sleepwalker.
The FIGURE raises a old fashioned camera with a mounted flash
attachement. Victoria’s face is FLUSHED with INTENSE,
BLINDING LIGHT as...
...the FIGURE depresses the shutter.
FLASH -- the figure. FLASH -- Victoria. FLASH -- the figure.
Each flash, the SOUNDS intensify and are intermittently cut
12.
by a FRAME OF AN IMAGE: random numbers; flashing colored
lights; the retreating back of a FIGURE; the word "EXECUTE".
ON VICTORIA, the sounds abruptly stop.
ON THE FIGURE -- but it isn’t there anymore. It’s just the
dark living room. Empty. Full of shadows.
Victoria sits up.
A MONTAGE: She zips up her jacket. She pulls back her hair.
We move with her, close and jerky, as though we are perched
on her shoulder. She opens the front door and walks into
BLINDING LIGHT. As she moves, the lights color changes,
swirling, nebulae-esque.
Beyond her, in the light, the faint frame of a MAN’S
BACK. She walks towards him, concentrating. Aware. As we
move with her, the light dims out, draining into blurred
forms in motion and distant flickering light. Atmosphere
pours in through the dim haze, and as that faint music
swells, it becomes apparant that we are on a...
INT. NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT
...crammed dance floor. A blinding whiz of colorful strobe
lights. Full of moving bodies. Victoria walks steadily
towards...
...THE MAN, who still has his back to her, oblivious. As she
approaches, he turns right into her. They regard each other
for a moment, then his expression changes. He looks sick.
Victoria steps back from him, jerkily. He clutches his
belly. She looks down.
She’s holding a KNIFE.
The man collapses. Beyond the strobe lights and thumping
beat, nobody notices. Victoria conceales the knife under her
sleeve and shoves through the crowd.
EXT. NIGHTCLUB - DAY
A SIGN outside of the club doors reads: THE LAMPLIGHT CLUB.
Victoria heads down the sidewalk, towards THE DARK CAR.
The passenger side door opens.
She stands staring into the car for a moment, then enters it.
The door shuts.
INT. VICTORIA’S APARTMENT - THE NEXT DAY
13.
THE KITCHEN
ANGLE ON - A tea kettle, WHISTLING.
THE LIVING ROOM
The TV on. Entertaining no one.
THE BATHROOM
Victoria is sitting on the toilet lid, cellphone cupped to
her ear. The door is open a crack.
Caked RED is still on her hands. She’s shaking. Her eyes red
from crying.
VICTORIA
...I don’t know what I did last
night.
FRIEND (V.O)
Were you drinking?
VICTORIA (CONT’D)
No. I don’t...I don’t think so. Can
I come over?
FRIEND (V.O)
I’d kick your ass if you didn’t.
I’m worried about you. Want me to
come get you?
VICTORIA
No...I’ll be fine. See you in a
little bit.
EXT. VICTORIA’S APARTMENT - DAY
Setting down a couple of bags, Victoria locks the front
door. She swings her gear over her shoulder and turns to go
-- but stops suddenly.
The DARK CAR is parked in front of the building. The
passenger side door opens. The vague FIGURE OF A MAN is
inside.
INT. THE BLACK CAR - DAY
Victoria sits stiffly in the passenger side seat,
regarding...
14.
...THE DARK MAN. His face is cast in shadow.
THE DARK MAN
I sense you have a...yearning to
become more than what you are, am I
correct?
Victoria just stares at him, a mix of fear and anger...and
maybe curiosity.
THE DARK MAN (CONT’D)
We are more than willing to give
you that opportunity. You were not
called or summoned in any way,
Miss Winters. This is you, taking
your life and your career into your
own hands. Your...desperation has
brought you here. Allow it
to bring you just a little further.
He passes her an unmarked envelope.
THE DARK MAN
Go to the Espresso at exactly 12:30
PM. You will meet a man named Tash
there. You are to accompany him to
one of our warehouses. Drop him off
with the secretary. At that
juncture your current contract with
us will be done. Ask no questions
and complete your assignment in a
timely manner, before 2PM. Any
later and you forfeit compensation.
I would not recommend accessing the
local authorities or informing
anyone else about the nature of
your business between the time of
this assignment or at any point
afterward.
(a beat)
We know everything about you, Ms.
Winters, and would hope that your
eventual separation from our
Company will remain on...good
terms.
A dark, gloved hand sticks out towards her. Hesitantly, she
shakes it.
THE DARK MAN
It’s been a pleasure, Ms. Winters.
15.
EXT. ESPRESSO - DAY
Victoria walks up to the window of the cafe. Through the
window, she sees a LONE MAN sitting at a table, stirring a
cup of coffee. TASH.
INT. ESPRESSO - DAY
Victoria enters the cafe and heads towards Tash. She
approaches his table. He doesn’t seem to notice her, just
keeps stirring his coffee.
She sits down in front of him. He keeps stirring the coffee.
She regards him -- the way Tash is hunched at the table seems
odd. His left hand is holding his belly. The hand is covered
with crimson.
Victoria visibly numbs. The man in front of her is bleeding
to death.
Tash laughs weakly to himself, as if understanding what she’s
just realized. He groans in pain a bit. Looks right at her.
TASH
You know what you’re doing, right?
You know this isn’t a joke. I’ve
been where you are. What’d the nice
little lady tell you? That they’d
take you to the next level? That
they’d change your life? Bullshit!
You’re clueless, vulnerable and
poor. You make a mistake, kindly
Ms. Hollingsworth isn’t gonna help
you. When the cops get you -- and
they will eventually -- because you
don’t have a fucking clue what
you’re doing -- the "Company" that
"hired" you won’t come help you
either cuz you know what? It
doesn’t exist.
The bloody hand shoots out -- grabs her wrist! She flinches
backwards as he leans in.
TASH
Help me. Get me to a hospital. I
can make all of this stop. That’s
why they want me dead. You still
have a choice.
His eyes plead to her.
TASH
16.
Please.
His eyes plead to her. Victoria sits, numb. Realizing the
gravity of her situation. And how important her next choice
will be...
CUT TO:
THE DARK CAR.
Sitting in a...
EXT. WAREHOUSE LOT - DAY
...bare warehouse lot. Victoria stands beside the vehicle.
Checks her watch.
Another car pulls up and parks. A woman emerges -- THE
SECRETARY. She joins Victoria by the Dark Car.
THE SECRETARY
Is Mr. Tash well?
A beat. Victoria regards the Secretary icily.
VICTORIA
He’s in the car.
The secretary nods. Understands. Removes an unmarked envelope
from her coat and passes it to Victoria.
VICTORIA
Am I free to go?
THE SECRETARY
You are, Ms. Winters. ...But there is
one last thing.
EXT. PLAZA - DAY
A GUY walks down the plaza. Ipod blaring in his ears. In his
own world.
We follow him down a familiar sidewalk -- the same where
Victoria was first passed the flyer.
...and here she is, a stack of flyers in hand. Trying to pass
them off to passersby.
VICTORIA
Hey, opportunities for a summer
job, check it out.
17.
The guy breezes by, absent-mindedly snagging a flyer as he
goes.
Victoria watches him as he heads down the block, across the
street.
FADE OUT
18.

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