THE GUM TREE By MANDY BOTTRELL & EMMA CHAPMAN

EXT. ALLEYWAY. NIGHT. Open on a dark alleyway in downtown Springfield, MO. Although we see no one, we hear the distant voices of people enjoying themselves as well as live music. From around the corner appears Dallas, a 22 year old with a tough exterior. She’s mysterious and guarded. Her clothes offer a provocative assumption. She lights up a cigarette. She seems deep in thought. Dallas finishes her cigarette and heads out around the corner where we see small groups of people socializing on the sidewalk. INT. CAFE. NIGHT. Dallas walks into a cafe. The girl in front of her, June, is paying for her drink. June puts a $5.00 on the counter. CASHIER I’m sorry, the total is $5.95 Miss. JUNE Oh, OK. June grabs into her purse and pulls out a quarter and a penny and slaps it on the counter. JUNE OK? CASHIER No. $5.95 June dumps her purse over the counter and tampons, pads, bubblegum (used and unused), a couple old photographs and some pennies fall out. CASHIER (EMBARRASSED) Do you not have the change? JUNE I do not have the change? DALLAS Here. Dallas slaps down a dollar bill. DALLAS (CONT.) Keep the change- or better yet, give it to her. Dallas nods towards June. June looks at Dallas in silence, taking her in.

2.

DALLAS You’re welcome. June takes her drink and walks to a table in the back. CASHIER You forgot your change! June doesn’t respond. DALLAS I’ll take it. I want a small coffee- black. The Cashier pours it while Dallas takes a moment to study June. The cashier hands Dallas her drink and Dallas walks over to a table across from June. June awkwardly looks at Dallas as if she would like to talk to her but is too afraid. Dallas notices this and walks over to her table, knowing she needs a place to stay for the night and this might be an opportunity. DALLAS Do you want your change? Dallas sets June’s change down in front of her and then sits down at the table with her. June looks a bit startled and confused. DALLAS What’s a matter? You saving this seat for someone? June is silently frantic trying to figure out what to say. DALLAS What? You act as though no one has ever spoken to you before. JUNE No. DALLAS OK... So, what’s your name, kid? JUNE June Simon. DALLAS June. That’s cute. I’m Dallas. So, June...

3.

JUNE I had a Dog named Dale, which is kind of like your name Dallas... but he died. DALLAS That’s a pity. What kind of dog was it? JUNE It was... um, a little one. Blond, like me. (Beats) DALLAS So, do you not like coffee? JUNE No. It tastes like, gross and... (searching for the word) ya. DALLAS I never used to like it when I was younger. JUNE But I’m not younger, I just don’t like it. DALLAS What makes you say that? I bet I’m older than you. How old are you? JUNE I’m twenty-one. DALLAS Well, I’m twenty-two. I win. JUNE But you’re gonna die first. So, I win. Ha! DALLAS (Smiles) You’re probably right about that. So, what do you do? JUNE You mean now? DALLAS Ya, now?

4. JUNE I don’t usually talk to people like you, or I mean, like people. DALLAS So, you’re kind of a loner then. JUNE Well, ya, I help my neighbor sometimes. I water her plants and I feed her cats when she’s gone. DALLAS You’re into landscaping then. June looks puzzled. Laughs DALLAS I mean gardening. You like to garden. JUNE I water plants. DALLAS That’s cool... Do you have any cats of your own? JUNE No, just the dog Dale. He died. But did I tell you what happened? DALLAS No, you didn’t. What happened? JUNE My neighbor, she ran him over. And he went "woof" and that was it. But she gave me some money to buy a new one, if I wanted. But my mom and dad said "No". DALLAS Oh, do you live with your mom and dad? JUNE Ya, they live with me. Where do you live? DALLAS Well, I’m sort of traveling right now. So I stay different places all the time.

5.

JUNE Where are you going to? DALLAS Wherever I want. I guess. Today I wanted to come here. JUNE Here’s good. Here’s OK. DALLAS Ya, it seems nice. Maybe you could show me around a little ’cause I don’t really know the cool places to go. JUNE Ya, I have to be home soon. DALLAS OK JUNE I could show you my room. DALLAS OK. That would be cool. JUNE Ya, it’s really cool. I like it. Beat. DALLAS Do you mean right now, or...? JUNE Well, you have to finish your coffee. Dallas takes a sip of coffee. EXT. EVENING. Dallas and June walk to June’s bike. She starts to untie her unique, homemade "bike chain". DALLAS So, you ride a bike?

6.

JUNE Ya, her name is Molly. DALLAS Molly. Molly the bike. Do you want me to just walk behind? JUNE No! We’ll ride together. DALLAS OK. How far is your house? JUNE Not that far. Put this on. (Hands Dallas a helmet) DALLAS Oh, that’s OK. Really, you can have the helmet. JUNE (Serious) You don’t wanna die like Dale. "Woof" Dallas puts helmet on and climbs on the back. They ride off. INT. NIGHT. JUNE’S HOUSE June and Dallas walk in. June’s parents are watching TV. JUNE This is my new friend Dallas. I’m going to show her my room. DALLAS Hi. Awkward silence, waiting for parent’s response. DAD Lynn, get me another beer. Mom walks off to kitchen. June takes Dallas’ hand and leads her upstairs to her room.

7. INT. JUNE’S BEDROOM JUNE I want to show you something. Entering through door. We see a taxidermy dog. JUNE This is Dale. Dale say "Hi" to Dallas. "Woof" DALLAS I thought you said he got hit by a car. JUNE Ya, he did but we put it back together. Instead of buying me a new dog we got Dale fixed. They said it was cheaper and they wouldn’t have to worry about feeding it. DALLAS Right. I’m not going to lie, June, that dog freaks me out. But, if it makes you happy, whatever. June sits by Dale and pets him. DALLAS Look, it’s getting kind of late. I think I’ll take off... Dallas turns to leave hoping June will ask her to stay, but June is still petting Dale. DALLAS Actually... June, would you mind if I crashed here tonight? JUNE Ya. I’ve never had a sleep-over. DALLAS Great. Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it. Uh... could I maybe take a shower? JUNE No. We don’t have that. But you can take a bath. Bath’s are better anyway.

8.

DALLAS OK. Thanks. Uh... which way is it? JUNE It’s downstairs to the right. Dallas exits toward shower. INT. JUNE’S BEDROOM June tries to clean up room and find somewhere for Dallas to sleep. She makes up a little bed for Dallas but as Dallas enters June notices a messy stain on the sheet and throws the sheet aside. INT. BATHROOM Dallas in bathroom looking in mirror. Getting stuff out of her bag. Scurrying past parents with towel on head. INT. JUNE’S BEDROOM Dallas enters June’s room as June moves stuff. DALLAS What are you doing? JUNE I made you a bed, but... um... do you want to sleep with me? DALLAS Uh, that’s fine. If you don’t mind. But really I can sleep on the floor- I do it all the time. JUNE Oh (Disappointed) Dallas is getting her jacket out of her bag and a bunch of Polaroids fall out. JUNE What’s that? June starts looking through the pictures. DALLAS Just pictures of places I’ve been.

9. JUNE Wow! You’re been a lot of places. How long have you been traveling? DALLAS Oh, a few years, I guess. I try to capture the feeling of every town. JUNE That’s Amazing. These are beautiful. DALLAS Thank you. I really like taking pictures. Actually, I used to want to be a photographer. JUNE You should be, you are one. Who are these people with you? DALLAS Oh. That’s my dad and my sister. JUNE Where are they now? DALLAS I don’t know. Look, June, I’m really tired. I think I’m just going to go to sleep. (Rolls over) Goodnight. INT. JUNE’S ROOM DAY Dallas wakes up, looks at Junes bed and sees that she is not there. She is decides that this would be an opportune time to pack up her things and leave. As she reaches the front door June hears her and calls from the kitchen. JUNE Dallas, are you hungry? Dallas? Dallas briefly looks out the front door, wondering if she should just slip out or if she should stay. DALLAS Sure. JUNE Okay...I’ve got, I found some almonds and cheese and juice-it’s orange.

10.

Dallas sees June’s parents’ money lying the the coffee table and takes it. DALLAS That’s okay. Let’s go out to eat, I’ll buy. INT. RESTAURANT DAY Dallas and June sitting at restaurant table, looking at menu’s. DALLAS You can get anything you want. JUNE No. Really? DALLAS Yea, anything under ten bucks. JUNE Wow. Okay...oh I know! DALLAS You know what? JUNE What I’m getting. DALLAS Ok-so what are you getting? JUNE You’ll see. What are you getting? A waitress enters to take their order. WAITRESS How are y’all doin’ today? What can I get for you? DALLAS I’ll have the buttermilk pancakes, scrambled eggs, hash browns and chocolate milk. WAITRESS Well, you must be one of those lucky girls who can just eat whatever they want and not gain a pound.

11.

Dallas shoots her a subtle sarcastic glance that says, "its none of your business." JUNE I want the ice cream sundae with extra hot fudge and extra EXTRA cherries! Please? WAITRESS For breakfast? JUNE For breakfast! Yes ma’am. The waitress exits to put in their order. JUNE I’ve never had ice cream for breakfast before. It’s like a dream come true. DALLAS (Dallas smirks a little) A dream come true? Thats not a very big dream. You could get ice cream for breakfast anytime you want, you know? JUNE No I couldn’t. I mean...I just wanted to say "thanks." Thats all I wanted to say. DALLAS Well, your welcome. But you really don’t have to say thanks because you let me crash at your place last night so now we’re even. So you don’t have to say thanks. JUNE Well I just did so...there. And I think you’re really awesome and I’m glad that we’re friends. DALLAS Ok. JUNE I’ve never had a friend before, like a best friend. And your kind of like a best friend because you are the best friend I have. And we (MORE)

12.

JUNE (cont’d) can do all those best friend things like get matching necklaces and grow up and live by each other and have families and be best friends forever. DALLAS June, that would be great and all but...I have to leave. I mean I have to leave now, after we eat. JUNE But you don’t have to leave because you don’t have to travel cause you can live with me... DALLAS June, I do have to leave. I have to leave today. JUNE Why? Dallas tries to answer when the waitress interrupts and brings their food. WAITRESS Here you go girls. Holler if ya need anything else. There is a moment between them as they look at their food, as if JUNE is still waiting for Dallas to answer her question. DALLAS Let’s just enjoy our breakfast. Dallas starts to eat and eats quickly as she always does. Time lapse, cuts to end of meal and waitress leaving check. Dallas pulls out money she stole and leaves all of it. The girls prepare to leave the restaurant. Dallas heads to the door and exits. June follows close behind. EXT. RESTAURANT DAY DALLAS Well, have a nice life. Dallas starts to walk away but June quickly calls out to her.

13. JUNE Uh, but, I wanna show you something. Can I just show you something. Really quick. DALLAS No, June. I really got to take off. JUNE Please. Please, please, please. DALLAS What? What do you want to show me? JUNE It’s a surprise. DALLAS (she hesitates for a moment) Ok. Where is it? JUNE That way. (she points) The girls begin to walk in the direction June pointed, getting further and further out of town. DALLAS Listen, I know you just want to show me something because you don’t want to me leave. But I am going to leave. After this I have to get going and thats just the way it is. And its ok. Its ok to be alone in life. JUNE But not alone is better. Ya, But And its DALLAS not alone is better I guess. its not always possible, ok? this is one of those times when not possible. I’m sorry.

JUNE But it is possible. Why do you keep saying that you have to leave? You don’t have to leave, you chose. Just stop being so grumpy. Look around-its a beautiful day, I’m your friend, everything is good so why do you want to change it?

14.

DALLAS June, everything is not good, just because the sun is shinny does not mean that everything is good. And I am not your friend, just because we... JUNE SHUT UP! Dallas says nothing as they keep walking. June is in front leading the way as they walk down the street. Dallas realizes that she can sneak away, she starts to turn to leave as they have approached a pizza place where a mascot is outside dressed as a pizza slice with balloons telling people about a special discount they are running. PIZZA SLICE (yelling to passing cars and people) Two pizzas for the price of one. Two for one Tuesdays! JUNE notices the balloons in his hand. JUNE I love red balloons! Dallas do you want a balloon? DALLAS (She realizes she is caught and can’t escape) No. I’m good. JUNE I want one. Can I have that one? PIZZA SLICE Ya, sure. You want this red one? Pizza Slice gives June a red balloon and she appears happy. And they keep walking. DALLAS So where are we going again? JUNE We’re going to my favorite place. Gary showed it to me. DALLAS Who is Gary?

15.

JUNE He lives right next to it. He’s really nice. He likes to be with me at the, at the, hmm...you’ll see. Do you want some gum? DALLAS Ok, sure. EXT. CEMETERY OUTSIDE DAY June and Dallas walk towards a cemetery. DALLAS Is this part of the surprise? JUNE No, it’s a shortcut. They walk through the graveyard. DALLAS Cemeteries really creep me out, because they’re so peaceful. They continue walking and June notices a flowerless tombstone surrounded by heavily flowered tombstone. JUNE Oh, Look at that lonely tombstone. DALLAS Yea, but look at the one next to it. Somebody really loved them. June looks at Dallas for a moment as Dallas looks at the graves. Suddenly June bends down and takes half the flowers off the grave and puts that half on the other grave. She then pulls off one single flower and offers it to Dallas. A Grounds-keeper sees the girls moving the flowers and yells out. GROUNDS-KEEPER Hey!!! Put those back!!!! June and Dallas have a marvelous moment of "what’s going to happen next" and then they take off running out through the graveyard as the Grounds-Keeper chases after them.

16.

EXT. GARY’S HOUSE DAY The girls continue walking till they are near a park and they see a man outside his house pulling weeds. It is Gary and he calls over to them when he sees June. GARY Hey, June! Who ya got with ya today? They hug and it lasts a little awkwardly long and Gary seems to enjoy it a bit too much. JUNE Gary! Hi! This is my best friend, Dallas. (Whispers to Gary) I’m taking her to the special place. Gary gives Dallas a look-over. GARY Hello, Dallas. Is your last name Texas? (Laughs) DALLAS Yea. I get that a lot. Through-out the interaction Gary is constantly touching June. GARY I just love it when you smile. Doesn’t she have the cutest dimples? JUNE Oh, Gary. GARY You’re lookin’ scrawnier than last I saw you. You been gettin’ enough to eat? I told you ya could come over for dinner anytime you want, I’ll fatten you right up, good and healthy. JUNE No, I’m good. Thanks. GARY You know, a womans breasts are her livelihood, you wouldn’t want to lose your livelihood would ye?

17.

Gary overtly gropes Junes boobs. Dallas stops it. DALLAS What do you think you’re doing? GARY Chill out, baby. June and I are friends. She likes it. DALLAS June, this guy is not your friend. Dallas starts to pull June away. JUNE What? What happened? Why are you upset Dallas? Did I do something wrong? DALLAS No, June, you didn’t do anything wrong. But, Gary did. JUNE Oh. DALLAS Let’s just go see your surprise. JUNE Okay. They walk off. EXT. GUM TREE DAY The girls near the place that June has been leading them. JUNE Close your eyes. DALLAS June, I don’t really... JUNE Just close your eyes. Please. DALLAS Okay.

18.

Dallas closes her eyes and June leads her to right in front of the gum tree. The camera has stayed on the girls until Dallas opens her eyes so that the first time Dallas sees the tree is also the first time the audience does. DALLAS Geez, thats a lot of gum. Did you put all of that on there? JUNE No, Silly! Ha! I would have had to start chewing gum in my momma’s tummy! DALLAS Right. (beat) So this is your favorite place. I like it. JUNE Yea, it’s really beautiful because people make wishes that come true. DALLAS How do you know they come true? JUNE Because it’s a wishing tree. DALLAS Have you ever made a wish on it? JUNE All the time. I love it. DALLAS Is that why you gave me this gum earlier? JUNE Yup. See? Aren’t you glad you stayed and came with me? See how life gets better all the time? Like, before I met you I didn’t have a friend and sometimes I was sad, but then you showed up and that was really beautiful. And before you said life wasn’t good because the sun didn’t make it good, but then I took you here and it’s better, it’s good. Life. Isn’t it? See?

19.

DALLAS June...its just a tree. I mean, making wishes is great and you can do that if it makes you feel better but it doesn’t mean that they will happen. It doesn’t mean that life will be good. It’s just a nice thought. JUNE Well, just make a wish and then we’ll see about that. June takes her gum out and looks at Dallas as if to say "take your’s out now". June closes her eyes and is apparently wishing "very hard" as Dallas drops her gum to the ground and walks off. June opens her eyes and sticks the gum on the tree. Then she turns to where Dallas previously stood and sees her walking off in the distance. She looks as though she is going to say something, call after her, and steps forward- right into Dallas gum. She looks down at her shoe and realizes what it is as she loses grip of her balloon and it floats up into the Gum Tree. The camera pans away as if on Dallas’ shoulder looking back on June and the Tree. The End

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