Archive of Written words by Shaun

Looking for artist to collaborate with, drop me a line at SanguineTales at gmail dot com!
All scripts have been previously published and commented on elsewhere on the internet; so if you steal, people will know.

3/31/17

PJ WC #112 - Life Events

Life Events

PG 1

PN 1
It’s a beautiful sunny day in a clean, idyllic park. Smiling families picnic and fly kites.

OVERSEER CAPTION
“Who’s next?”

PN 2
John Condit (white male, 37) walks through the park. He’s dressed in a light colored suit but clashes with the happy families. He is burdened by several large paintings under his arm.

FEMALE COUNCIL MEMBER CAPTION
“John Condit. Office Manager. Single. No kids.”

PN 3
Angle on one of the paintings under John’s arm, a painting of a similar idyllic park scene.

FEMALE COUNCIL MEMBER CAPTION
“Looks like another hobbyist.”

PN 4
John has his back to us and is crossing the street towards a neo-classical governmental building. The streets are clean and reminiscent Rockwell’s America. The cars in the street are futuristic and sensible.

OVERSEER CAPTION
“Another? Don’t these people value their own lives?”



PG 2

PN 1
John Condit stands in a dark room flanked on either side by his paintings of idyllic daily life. A holoscreen projected above him displays his various social network feeds. A collage of photos, John looking awkward at a party, John sleeping at his office cubicle, John in a painting class.

JOHN
I took up painting this year, I think these show my progress.

PN 2
We’ve swapped angles to John’s POV. Five Council Members sit behind podiums in the darkened room. Chief among them is the OVERSEER, a handsome man in his mid 40’s, confident in his power. The rest are mixed races and ages, but one is a black FEMALE COUNCIL MEMBER in her mid 50’s.

OVERSEER
We’ve reviewed your feed, Mr. Condit. No engagements, no promotions, really no meaningful life events at all this year?

PN 3
On John, nervously gesturing to his painting of a boy and his father on a sailboat, both wearing fake, almost disturbingly blank smiles.

JOHN
But, I have new hobbies. And I took another writing class.

PN 4
On the female Council member, swiping a floating multi-touch interface holoscreen with disinterest.

FEMALE COUNCIL MEMBER
Your third year in that class and you still haven’t been published?

PN 5
On John imploring us, his hands outstretched in frustration. John’s blowing it and he knows it.

JOHN
My father died in March, don’t I get a bereavement period?

PN 6
On the Overseer, looking almost bored, leans his cheek against his fist.

OVERSEER
We had to terminate that policy. Too many people were murdering their loved ones to remain in the collective.


PG 3

PN 1
On the holoscreen above John; the photo collage has changed photos, now we see John practicing the flute, in an archery class, whittling wood.

OVERSEER CAPTION
“You’re a hobbyist, Mr. Condit. Every year you pad your life with silly diversions.”

PN 2
On the Overseer, looking serious.

OVERSEER
You know we have limited resources in the collective. Anyone who doesn’t show significant life events has no place here.

PN 3
John rushes forward as two large bailiffs race to restrain him.

JOHN
Don’t send me into the Wasteland! Please--
(linked – burst)
I beg you!

PN 4
We’re stationed over the council member’s shoulders, they’re all on their feet in alarm. The bailiffs have John by either arm and are dragging him back. 

JOHN
I have friends who get married just to divorce the next year. All to post a life event! You must see it.
(linked)
They’re hamsters on a wheel!

PN 5
The bailiffs are dragging John from the room. John looks distraught and behind him the council, now seated, are bathed in the light of the holoscreens.

OVERSEER
At least they’re moving, Mr. Condit.
(linked)
The council finds you are not living your life to its potential and must be purged.  


PG 4

PN 1
The Overseer and the female council member stand in front of a large wall in a wooded area. They’re dressed casually. Two armed guards stand beside them.

OVERSEER
It’s still shocks me that some people would rather die than live a meaningful life.

PN 2
John walks toward us, his head bowed. He has changed into dark clothing and wears a backpack. He’s flanked on either side by armed guards.

OVERSEER (off panel)
I only wish we had learned the secret to utopia before destroying half our world.

PN 3
The overseer and the female council member have parted for John to pass. The wall behind them is in the process of opening to allow John out. Through the crack in the wall we see only light.

NO COPY

PN 4
The overseer hands John a black book. John looks surprised by the gift.

OVERSEER
Die well, John Condit.

PN 5
The female council member leans in close to whisper to the overseer.

FEMALE COUNCIL MEMBER
What’d you give him?

OVERSEER
A journal. He liked to write.

PN 6
On John walking towards us through a scorched desert wasteland, devoid of life albeit a few skeletons. In the distance behind him the massive wall of the collective and buildings therein.  

OVERSEER CAPTION
“Maybe in death he’ll find the meaning his life lacked.”


PG 5

PN 1
John treks through the desert, his sleeves torn off and used as head wraps. He still wears the backpack but it looks less full.

JOHN CAPTION (in handwriting on lined paper, from his journal)
Day 9. Water ration gone. Endless desolation. Did the overseer give me this pencil to kill myself?

PN 2
John kneels beside a stream, whittling a stick. He’s shirtless, his face is scruffy and he looks trimmer.

JOHN CAPTION
Day 21. All my hobbies and life padding seem to be coming in handy.

PN 3
John fires a bow and arrow at a fleeing deer. His pants are cut short, his beard is thick.

JOHN CAPTION
Day 45. Radiation levels must be low. Flora and fauna seem healthy.

PN 4
On John, lounging beside a tree at dusk. He’s dressed in animal fur. A small campfire burns beside him. He writes in his journal with the nub of a pencil.

JOHN CAPTION
I’ve lost track of the days. The Overseer must know the truth of the wasteland. For me it provides what I always wanted…

PN 5
Tighter on John, the journal resting on his lap, his hands by his side. His head back as he drifts off to sleep.

JOHN CAPTION
…An uneventful life.


2/27/17

Heaven is a Place WC#111

Another writing competition story dump. Theme is risk vs. reward.


HEAVEN IS A PLACE

PG 1
1.1
John is an average white guy in his 30’s, with receding hair and a bit of a belly. He stands in a baby’s room at night. There is no baby though. John’s dressed in a black suit and gazing at the ground, looking especially forlorn. 

JOHN
I can’t believe they’re gone

1.2
On the baby monitor resting beside the baby’s crib. 

1.3
John is in his bedroom sitting on his bed. His jacket lay beside him, his tie loosened. A matching baby monitor rests on the nightstand beside the bed. 

JOHN
If I had driven to the store instead Beth could’ve stayed home with Emma and—
(linked)
No! I can’t think like that.

1.4
On the baby monitor resting on the nightstand table. On the nightstand beside the monitor is a framed wedding photo of John and Beth, John looks happy and younger, with more hair and thinner.  

1.5
Same framing.

BETH (tail to the monitor)
John? 



PG 2
2.1
John is looking over at the baby monitor in profound, color-draining shock. 

JOHN
Beth? 

2.2
John is clutching the monitor with both hands. A desperate man. Frantic. 

JOHN (burst)
Beth is that you?!

BETH
John, it’s me! I love you! I’m with Emma. We’re okay, baby.

2.3
John storms into the baby room clutching the monitor. The room is empty. 

JOHN (burst)
Beth?!?

BETH (tail to the monitor in his hand)
I’m not there, John. I’m not anywhere. 

2.4
John has melted to his knees on his daughter’s colorful rug. The baby monitor is cradled in both hands as he looks down on it with wild eyes. 

JOHN
Who-- Who is this?! Is this some sick joke?!

BETH
I’m so sorry John. But it’s real. It’s me. The same girl you proposed to on our first date. And then asked me not to tell anyone. I never did.

2.5
Tight on John’s face – barely processing.  

BETH
But now I need you to do something for me, honey.
(linked)
I need you to kill yourself. 


PG 3
3.1
John sits at the kitchen table, a spoon in his cornflakes. He’s laughing shyly. The baby monitor sits on the table beside his cereal bowl. 

JOHN
Of course I remember our song but you know I can't sing!

JOHN CAPTION
I knew it was her. No scammer could fake her laugh. Or the things she knew. 

3.2
On John in bed, on his side, clutching the baby monitor to his chest and sleeping like a rock.

JOHN CAPTION
She couldn’t explain, she said I just had to see it. I only wanted to see her

BETH (bracket with music notes)
In this world we’re just beginning-
To understand the miracle of living
(linked)
Baby, I was afraid before
But I’m not afraid anymore!

3.3
John is at his desk at work. He holds a pen limp in his hand, his mind is a million miles away. 

JOHN CAPTION
The range was limited so it got to be where I couldn’t bear to leave the house. 

3.4
John is in a church confessional, the light cast on his face as checkered as his frame of mind.

PRIEST (OP)
My son, you have your whole life ahead of you.

JOHN
But Suicide is a sin, right? No heaven?

PRIEST (linked)
Trust that God will show you the path.

3.5
John walks along a bridge at night. 

JOHN CAPTION
My mind had become unmoored. Could I trust that any it was real? Should I wait forty or fifty years to find out?

3.6
On John’s face, he looks stunned. The background is a large HONK sound effect. 

JOHN (soft)
Not again. 



PG 4
4.1
A car on the bridge has plowed head long into a pick up truck. Both vehicles look totaled. 

4.2
John is beside the totaled car and peering inside for survivors.

JOHN
Are you okay in there?!

4.3
View from inside the thrashed car. John is pulling out a woman from behind the wheel. She is bleeding from the head and looks in bad shape.

JOHN 
Stay with me, lady. I’ll get help!

SFX (from radio) 
[Musical notes]

4.4
Same framing, inside the car. John and the woman are gone. 

RADIO (bracket with music notes)
You pull me close and we start to move
And we’re spinning with the stars above

4.5
Same framing only John is back, gazing at the radio with a stunned look. John is covered in the woman’s blood. 

RADIO (bracket with music notes)
Ooh, baby do you know what that’s worth?
Ooh, heaven is a place on earth!
(linked)
They say in heaven, loves comes first
We’ll make heaven a place on earth!

4.6
Tilted angle. John walks from the wreck, past the woman bleeding out on the ground. He’s walking in the direction of the edge of the bridge.  

RADIO (tail to the car)
Can you believe that Belinda Carlisle hit turns thirty this month?! 

JOHN (soft)
God will show me the path.



PG 5
5.1
Two men in movers uniforms walk the mattress out of John’s bedroom. Most of John’s stuff has become the contents of the cardboard boxes stacked up around the room. Each box has GOODWILL written on it. 

MOVER 1
Creepy, man. Movin’ a dead guy’s stuff?

MOVER 2
You know what’s creepier? Not havin’ a job. 
(linked)
Hurry up, huh? 

5.2
On one of the cardboard boxes. The top has not been sealed. Inside we can see the familiar baby monitor atop the nightstand effects, including the framed photo of John and Beth. 

5.3
Push in on the monitor, so it dominates the panel.

5.4
Tighter still on the monitor.

5.5
We are now close enough to the monitor to only see the slats of the plastic revealing the speaker underneath.

SFX (from speaker/ faint)
[musical notes]

12/23/16

PJ Writing Contest #110: "Masks" - GASP

Shaking off some rust with this one. It's been a while since I've written short form. It's lacking something and I may need to go back and tweak it but I wanted to put it up before things get busy with the holidays. Thanks for reading.


GASP

PG 1.
7 Panels

Pn 1
We have a high, wide establisher of the factory district of a near-future metropolis. The tops of the buildings are obscured by a dense pollution. This pollution should look suffocating. One of the factories center frame is surrounded by a throng of protestors (their signs give them away).

Pn 2
A teenage BOY is among the protestors. It’s chaos on the ground level. Signs proclaim, “BAN THE POLLUTERS”, “TOPPLE THE 1%”, and “DEATH TO DROIDS”. The boy, like all the others, wears a half-face respirator mask to filter out the toxic air.

Pn 3
The Boy looks off panel to the sounds of fevered voices.

VOICE 1 (OFF PANEL)
It’s one of those factory droids!

VOICE 2 (OFF PANEL)
Don’t let him get away!

Pn 4
We are over the shoulder of the boy; three protestors have cornered a humanoid factory droid in an alley beside the factory fence. This droid was not build for lifelike aesthetics but should look human enough that the dread on his face touches a nerve. There is so much smog in the alley that everyone is visible mostly torso up, making the scene slightly dreamlike.

BOY
What’ya doin?

PROTESTOR 1 (to the Boy)
What’s it look like?

PROTESTOR 2 (to droid)
You’re the reason we can’t get no jobs!

Pn 5
Protestor 3 is in the act of swinging a protest sign at the droid’s head but the Boy has grabbed his arm – stopping him.

BOY
This won’t accomplish nuthin’. They’ll just replace it!

Pn 6
The other two protestors grab the boy and pull him away.

PROTESTOR 2
I bet he works for the company!

Pn 7
Protestor 3 bashes the droid’s lower jaw with the picket sign. The jaw partially detaches from the skull.

SFX FROM IMPACT
WHACK!


PG 2.
5 Panels

Pn 1
The boy is punched hard in the stomach.

BOY
Oof!

Pn 2
The droid is stabbed in the chest with a protest sign, issuing a crackle of sparks.

DROID
Please don’t--

Pn 3
The boy is slashed across the face with a knife – severing the strap of his toxin filtering mask.

Pn 4
The protestors stand close to each other and look down at the boy in fear at what they’re just done.

PROTESTOR 1
Shit, you broke his mask!

PROTESTOR 2
Not on purpose. ‘Sides he’s one a them!

PROTESTOR 3
Screw this, I’m outta here!

Pn 5
The boy lies on the ground gasping for air. The pollution is slowly suffocating him. In the distance behind the boy the three protestors run from the scene.

BOY
*KOFF-KOFF*


PG 3.
6 Panels

Pn 1
The severely damaged droid looks down on the Boy.

DROID [mechanical font]
Your respirator has been terminally damaged.

Pn 2
The droid runs around through the protestors toward the Factory gates. The protestors stand back in awe. The droid is a living firecracker, sparks fly from his neck and he spews black smoke.

Pn 3
Riot police, also wearing toxin masks, guard the gates and train their weapons on the droid.

COP 1
That droids malfunctioning…

Pn 4
Close on the cop, the oncoming robot is reflected in his helmet’s visor.

COP 1
Issuing primary command - seize motor functions!

Pn 5
Close on the robot, it’s jaw hanging by a ribbon of fake flesh. The boy sputtering against the droid’s chest.

DROID [mechanical font]
Protect human life supersedes all—

Pn 6
Close on the cop’s face, same as panel 5 only now the robot’s reflection looms larger.

COP
Nothing gets past us!
 (linked)
LIGHT HIM UP!




PG 4
5 Panels

Pn 1
The droid has spun around to absorb the police’s bullets and protect the boy. Several errant shots wound and kill protestors nearby.

SFX FROM POLICE GUNS
BLAM – BLAM – BLAM


Pn 2
The protestors surge forward in a blind rage.

PROTESTOR
They’re shooting! Get ‘em!


Pn 3
The droid has collapsed to the ground still cradling the boy. The protestors push past the droid and the boy, overwhelming the riot police and damaging the gates of the Factory.


Pn 4
The boy struggles to his feet gasping for air and clutching his chest. Around him protestors tear the riot police limb from limb.

BOY
*koff koff*


Pn 5
The boy slips through a gap in the Factory fence.



PG 5
7 Panels

Pn 1
A man in a tuxedo stands at a podium gestures to another tuxedoed man who is walking toward the podium.

HOST
His new droid roll out cut costs and upped production by fifteen percent!
(linked)
Let's hear it for our CEO!


Pn 2
We are over the boy’s shoulder as he staggers onto the Factory floor, which has been dressed to entertain the hundred or so high society guests. They've all stood to applaud, unaware of the gasping boy. The damage of the toxins have already done their damage to his brain.


Pn 3
The CEO stands at the podium bathed in the warmth of a spotlight.

CEO
Thank you. Ya know a lot of people were surprised by my choice of venue-


Pn 4
Medium shot of the boy, blood dripping from his nose and mouth, his color gone and his skin gaunt. He raises a hand in desperate plea but no words come. Dinner guests nearby recoil in horror.

CEO (OFF PANEL)
This is where we make our living. We should not be ashamed.
(linked)
I remember my father’s words--


Pn 5
On the CEO at the podium, his face looks conflicted by what he’s witnessing. He’s stunned but wants to soldier on.

CEO
He said… um…


Pn 6
On the boy’s face, dead on the ground, his eyes staring up lifelessly.

CEO (OFF PANEL)
Through our deeds we will live forever.



PN 7
Back on the CEO, his hand covering his eyes from the spotlight. He is trying to see around the light at something beyond the boy.

CEO
Is that-- are those protestors?!
(linked)
EVERYONE RUN!


THE END.

7/25/16

Hyena available soon in Alterna Comic's IF Anthology


 One second is the simplest measurement of time and it can be enough to save a life. Or lose it. 

What if you had the ability to see seven seconds into the future? 
Its enough time to dodge a punch, or a bullet... but is it enough time to save your city from the corrupt? 

In River City there is the myth of a man who sees seven seconds into the future. Those who prey upon the weak will soon learn he is no myth.

But are mere seconds enough to save us from unchecked evil? 
How is this gift possible?
And who is...

THE HYENA


I'm very excited to see my story, The Hyena, as drawn by the super talented Chris Winters, featured in Alterna Comic's IF Super Powers anthology available this November. 



7/24/16

The Escape


PAGE 1

PN1
A wide shot of the High Command space fleet. Two dozen battleships, clustered around the small moon of Nicada, which is in the orbit of a large gas giant.

SPEECH BALLOON (tail leads to the largest ship)
Are you SURE he swallowed it?!?

PN2
TEGAN (human female, late 20’s, mixed ethnicity, petite and fit) crouching over a fallen marsupial humanoid in an officer’s uniform. His chest has been torn open and Tegan is pulling out the creature’s guts and organs with an exasperated expression.

TEGAN
How am I suppose to find anything in here!

PN3
NOX (war droid, seven feet tall) kneels on the ground, having just picked up a matchstick sized data drive in his blood splattered claw. His expression is show through in his eyes, which are wide with surprise.

NOX
Oops...
(connected)
I guess he dropped it before he had the chance to swallow it.

PN4
Tegan is standing, a red smear of blood left on her forehead, as she finishes dragging her forearm to wipe sweat from her brow.

TEGAN
Not cool, Nox.
(connected)
So should we, like… put him back together?

PN5
High and wide shot of Tegan and Nox mushing the corpse’s vital organs back into their cavity. The image quality here should be a bit distorted since we are viewing through a CCTV.

SPEECH BALLOON (no tail)
Vulgarians!


PAGE 2

PN1
ADMIRAL BOEMAN (Human, late 50’s, tall and austere) stands over a bank of monitors and crew. Ideally this is a low angle to make him imposing.

BOEMAN
Send a team to intercept them at the docking bay.
(linked)
Those schematics must not fall into the separatists’ hands!

PN2
Tegan, carrying a blaster pistol, and Nox are racing into the large ship docking bay. Tegan looks alarmed.

TEGAN (soft)
Bad plan.

PN3
A few dozen humanoid aliens and some humans wait for them. All wear military uniforms similar to the slaughtered marsupial and all tote advanced looking blasters. A SOLDIER reacts upon seeing them.

SOLDIER
There they are!

PN4
Tight on Tegan, she closes her eyes in concentration. If possible there might be a glow effect. She is igniting an alien power.

NO COPY

PN5
Same as panel three only the soldier’s blasters have all blown up in their hands. Not massive explosions but enough to kill the user. A few blaster emit a laser blast but nothing threatening our heroes.

PN6
Tight on Boeman, monitoring from the safety of the bridge.

BOEMAN
It’s impossible. Her kind is extinct!


PAGE 3

PN1
Tegan and Nox race toward the nearest landing craft in the hanger.

NOX
Was it wise to reveal your ability to control machines, Tegan?

TEGAN
Wiser than dying.
(linked)
Besides what’re they gonna-

PN2
A massive Rhino-humanoid lumbers into the hanger wielding a huge battle axe. He wears the pants of the High Command uniform but is too big for the shirt.

RHINO SOLDIER (elect)
Hey!

PN3
Head on at Tegan and Nox. Nox looks on, horrified. Tegan regards her paltry blaster pistol.

NO COPY

PN4
Same panel only now Tegan looks at Nox with a meek smile.

TEGAN
Alright, do your thing!

PN5
Same framing only Tegan is running away from Nox, up the bridge to the landing craft. Nox has the same concerned expression.

NOX
What is my… thing?


PAGE 4

PN1
Nox ducks as Rhino soldier swings his axe with lethal force.

NO COPY

PN2
Tegan stands in the landing craft’s cockpit. Her head lowered and arms outstretched, she is communicating with the machinery. The machinery inside should be lit up.

TEGAN (elect)
All systems online.

PN3
Rhino soldier’s axe is lodged in a cargo ship, having missed its target. Nox’s shoulder affixed gun has fired at Rhino but the shots do nothing to distract him from retrieving his axe. Behind them the landing craft has lifted off the ground.

TEGAN (no tail/ over ship’s PA)
Heads up, Nox!
(linked)
I’m gonna make us a door!

NOX
Not yet!

PN4
The landing craft has fired its two laser cannons at the interior hanger wall.

NO COPY

PN5
The landing craft flies out of the newly exposed hole in the wall. Nox and the rhino solider are now weightless.

TEGAN (no tail)
Would you quit playing?!


PAGE 5

PN1
Tegan and Nox sit in the cockpit. Tegan holds the data drive in her hand and considers it passively.

TEGAN
I wonder what’s on this thing anyway?

NOX
Should we’ve asked before we joined the separatists?

PN2
On Tegan’s angry face.

TEGAN
We’re not doing this for them, remember?!
(linked)
I just want to watch the High Command burn.

PN3
Stationed between and behind Tegan and Nox a hologram of Boeman’s face has appeared in front of them.

BOEMAN
You may have been able to deactivate our pursuit fighters-
(linked)
But trust me when I say we will hunt you to the ends of the galaxy!

PN4
Tight on Boeman’s holographic head, an eyebrow raised and nose snarled in disgust.

BOEMAN
I will personally--
(linked)
What is that? Are you trying to say okay?!

PN5
On Tegan’s defiant face, she holds up her thumb to her index finger creating a circle.

TEGAN
This is how many fucks I give.

11/27/13

PJ Writing Competition #93 - "Girl Power"

Art by Harry Clarke
circa 1920


The Silence Holocaust

Pg.1-

Pn.1
A young woman, CORA, still in her early twenties, gazes down at a baby in her arms, AMELIA. The mother looks on the child with wonder and awe, ‘this thing came from me. This thing IS me’. The woman’s clothing and the room’s decorations are non-descript and period neutral. Amelia is wrapped in a pink blanket.

SPEECH BALLON (tail off panel)
Cora, the doctor is here. It’s time.

Pn.2
We’ve shifted focus over Cora’s shoulder so we can see her husband, RICHARD enter the room. He smiles warmly at his wife, the kind a husband knows to use when broaching a touchy subject. Standing beside him is the DOCTOR, a squat, red faced little man, holding a scalpel.

RICHARD
Don’t act dramatic again.
(linked)
She’s always acting up.

Pn.3
On Cora, clutching the baby close to her chest like some treasure want for protection.

DOCTOR
You’re not the first mother to be nervous, Cora.

Pn.4
Cora has bowed her head and extended the baby to the Doctor. The Doctor has reached out to take the child, the scalpel carefully pointed down for safety.

DOCTOR
That’s a smart girl. You know there is no other way.

Pn.5
In one movement Cora has turned her shoulder with the child, shielding her from the Doctor and with her free hand she has grabbed the scalpel.

Pn.6
Cora clutches the baby in one arm and with the other she brandishes the scalpel like a threat. Richard and the Doctor keep their distance. All look on in shock. Cora’s face is a stone mask of determination.

RICHARD
Cora! Have you gone mad! Where do you think you’re going?!


PG.2-

Pn.1
We are on a wide shot of the CITY with its bustling streets and vibrant billboards. It might look like any major city in any developed country, save for a second glance. For at a second glance it’s clear there is something amiss with this city. All the billboards feature hyper-sexualized models, not one or two but all – and even for products sex is never used to sell. Men strut down the street with their chests puffed out while all the women have their gaze fixed on the ground. This is a patriarchal society on steroids.

Pn.2
Cora ducks into an alley with baby Amelia in her arms. The baby is screaming and Cora looks over her shoulder as she goes. She is on the run.

BABY
Whaaaaaahhhhhh

SPEECH BALLOON (tail off panel)
I know that scream. It’s hunger!

Pn.3
The speaker advances toward us through the gritty alley. This is a STRANGER, dressed in rags with a mottled beard and sharp eyes. Dangerous eyes.

STRANGER
I’m good at figurin’ things an’ know about more’n most hunger pangs.

Pn.4
We are on a two shot as the Stranger has approached closer to Cora. She clutches the baby to her chest and looks on at him nervously.

STRANGER
Oh, pink bibs, eh? You got yourself a girl then?

Pn.5
Tight on the stranger, a devilish grin on his weathered face.

STRANGER
All that big noise an’ you a runnin’.
(linked)
Bet I can figure what you’re runnin’ from too!


PG.3-

Pn.1
Cora is walking towards us in the alley. Behind her the Stranger follows amused. He knows this alley is a dead end.

STRANGER
You wouldn’t let ‘em do the cordectomy would ya?
(linked)
You wouldn’t let ‘em cut her vocal chords!

Pn.2
Cora has reached the concrete end to the alley. She looks for a way beyond or past or through, anything to escape another man who wants something from her. The Stranger approaches behind her.

STRANGER
What you think, you gonna raise her in some cave in the woods?
(linked)
How you gonna teach her to talk? She’ll end up a mute either way!

Pn.3
Cora has spun around, her back to the wall. One of her hands has discreetly ducked into a pocket, fishing for the scalpel.  The Stranger approaches.

STRANGER
The system won’t allow it. Every woman’s got to get cut!

Pn.4
On the Stranger, reaching out to take the baby. A sick smile plastered on his crazy face.

STRANGER
Might be they give a reward for that little girl, hand her over!

Pn.5
Cora has lashed out with the scalpel – slashing the Stranger across the throat. Blood splatters all over her and the baby in violent steams. He might still have a sick grin.

BABY
Whaaaaaahhhhhh


PG.4-

Pn.1
Cora walks through the wilderness. The sky is painted brilliant reds and oranges like a blooming flower field as the sun sinks into darkness. Cora looks exhausted, sweat and dried blood and dirt mix into a batter, which coats her face in a mask of weariness. The baby in her arms has become an anchor.

SPEECH BALLON (no tail)
How will you raise her and care for her?

BABY
Whaaaaaahhhhhh

Pn.2
Cora looks down at the child, over Cora’s shoulder at Amelia’s face. Contorted in tears the baby needs changing and feeding and sleep, which is pretty much everything a baby can need.

BABY
Whaaaaaahhhhhh

SPEECH BALLOON (no tail)
You haven’t thought this through, have you?

Pn.3
Cora spins around, clutching her crying baby to breast. Standing behind her is the source of the voice, a WOMAN; a handsome woman with wide shoulders who is built and dressed for living off the land. The Woman has a thick mane of hair and speaks with a clear voice.

WOMAN
You’re not imaging my voice. I speak, therefore I am.
(linked)
And I’m not alone.

Pn.4
The woman gestures to the forest behind her. While Cora has fallen to her knees, partly from exhaustion and partly from exultation – there are others. She has not doomed her daughter, perhaps not even herself.

WOMAN
We live off the land and away from a society with no place for us.
(linked)
It is not an easy life but it is freedom. And at night we sing.

Pn.5
On Cora, the baby in one arm she gestures meekly to herself with her free hand. Her face is contoured in a well-practiced piteous shape. She looks like a tamed creature who has found pity the only means for getting what she desires.

WOMAN (tail off)
You? No. You will only hold her back.

Pn.6
The woman, now holding Amelia, steps back from Cora. Cora, still on her knees, hangs her head in shame. In the distance we see the shapes of approaching figures. It is too dark and they are too silhouetted now for us to make them out.

WOMAN
You have made the right decision. Cora.


PG.5-

Pn.1
Cora leaps to her feet in rage, slashing wildly with the scalpel. Several male COPS grab Cora roughly. These are a paramilitary breed, their faces masked and their hearts cold. Cora cries out in horror but there is no sound, at most a whisper like a soft breeze.

SPEECH BALLOON (tail off)
Book her. Her punishment will be swift and severe.

Pn.2
The “Woman” pulls off her wig with one hand, revealing a tightly cropped haircut. He has soft features but is clearly a man. The Doctor scoops Amelia out of his other arm.

MAN
I can’t believe your crazy plan worked, Doctor.
(linked)
She must have been truly exhausted to believe such a place could exist!

Pn.3
On the Doctor as he cradles baby Amelia in his arms and stares down at her with rapt attention. The Man stands behind the Doctor, watching him leave.

MAN
The trouble we’d all have if such a place existed, eh?

DOCTOR
Some would have you believe such a world did exist once!

Pn.4
The paramilitary dogs have formed a circle around Cora, who is curdled up beneath them as they all take whacks at her with clubs and whips. They don’t even take turns, so great is their pleasure in other’s pain. The Doctor walks past, cradling the baby. A military Jeep waits nearby for him.

BABY
Whaaaaaahhhhhh

DOCTOR
And all they spoke was gossip and scorn for one another.
(linked)
Can you imagine-

Pn.5
We are in a hospital. Baby Amelia is strapped to a table and her mouth has been propped open. The Doctor, attended by several male doctors and nurses, reaches the scalpel delicately into the baby’s throat.

DOCTOR CAPTION
Having a voice and not using it?

BABY
Whaaaa---


END