Warsaw 1947 – a warehouse full of boxes of goods. We follow one gentleman in his sixties, GOLDY, as he shuffles through the stacks of boxes, getting closer to the centre. It is dimly lit, but gets brighter as it approaches the centre; the voices heard are faint, but become louder as they approach the centre. The hymn Stabat Mater is played on an old magnetic tape recorder, the kind with two large discs (each about the size of a medium plate) with the tape running between them. The thing is around the same size as a large suitcase.
In the middle of the warehouse is a man stuck in an Iron Lung, VERRAUX, and a much younger man, STELLER. There are also multiple guards around. In the middle is a gold ring, about two metres across, with multiple blood splatters.
STELLER- so what if he doesn’t come.
VERRAUX- then we will go find him.
STELLER- we will?
Notices GOLDY who has just entered from behind some boxes.
STELLER- where is Konstantin?
GOLDY smiles- three of his teeth in a row is missing. He has an old, soft, whispy voice.
GOLDY- Konstantin he will not be coming.
STELLER- then we go find him.
GOLDY- I am here instead of him. I am his father.
VERRAUX- you’re taking his place?
GOLDY- Yes, I think.
VERRAUX- your son, he invaded the territory of another gang. He was selling black market goods to someone else’s neighbourhood.
STELLER – my neighbourhood.
GOLDY- your neighbourhood, ahh, you see it was once my neighbourhood, his neighbourhood. He grew up there, before the war.
VERRAUX- he risks starting another war between the gangs. He instead agreed to the circle
Goldy’s eyes pass to the circle scrawled on the floor, and the blood stains.
VERRAUX – and now you’ve agreed to it.
STELLER- No, no no.
VERRAUX- The two of you enter the circle, one leaves.
STELLER- I will not euthanise this man.
VERRAUX- I allow this.
GOLDY- you allow this- you are?
VERRAUX- I am Switzerland. I keep the peace… you have a gun?
GOLDY- yes I think (he pulls back his coat to show an old service revolver with holster on his belt)
VERRAUX- you step inside the circle, you don’t leave unless you are a murderer or dead, maybe both.
STELLER- I will not do this.
VERRAUX- then you forfeit the territory. You-
GOLDY- Goldy (he pokes his tongue ito the gap in his teeth)
VERRAUX- you offer something in return
GOLDY- if I fail, I fail- you may have the Muranow district.
VERRAUX looks up to STELLER
VERRAUX – Enter or forfeit.
STELLER steps to the circle
STELLER- I don’t want to kill you old man.
GOLDY (smiling)- I don’t want to be dead, but what can we do.
VERRAUX nods to one of his men. He goes over and presses stop on the tape player.
In the silence the two men enter the circle, guns on both their belts.
VERRAUX- touch the back of your right wrists together.
They do so.
VERRAUX- Steller, you are the wronged one. You may choose to pull your gun at any time, but as soon as your wrist leaves his, he can also pull his gun. Goldy- you may not pull your gun until he breaks, or until this tape stops rewinding.
The guard hits rewind on the player; the tape begins to rewind, getting faster with each revolution and will do so until it suddenly stops.
The two men slowly walk around in the circle, wrists touching. STELLER is sick with the guilt of what he needs to do
STELLER – (whispers) lean back.
GOLDY –(smiling) shh, don’t talk.
The rewinding tape gets faster and faster.
STELLER- you need to lean back when you draw, it helps.
GOLDY- (Smiling) Don’t talk. (leans in, nodding to Verraux) he doesn’t like it when we talk during these things.
STELLER’s eyes widen a little. The tape goes faster and faster.
GOLDY (joking, avuncular)- he is Switzerland, yes? Always gets his gold.
Faster and faster.
GOLDY- you think this is my first time in the circle?
Faster and faster and faster, STELLER’s wrist trembles, but doesn’t quite break from GOLDY’s
GOLDY- don’t think of me as old
His eyes dart to the bloodstains on the floor, so does STELLER’s
Faster faster faster, the wrist rattle, almost breaking
GOLDY- just undefeated.
The tape hits its end with a sharp snap.
A man in his late 20s-early 30s sits on the floor in the hallway of his house. He has clearly been crying and looks ragged. He has pulled down the coat stand in a rage and now sits among the scattered clothes. On the floor next to him is a torn envelope; in his hand is letter that looks like he has opened and closed a number of times.
Like a man running his tongue along a rotten tooth, he opens it again. The traditional voice over starts up in a woman’s voice:
SARA- Dear Jack, I didn’t want
He screws up the letter (cutting the voice over short) and throws it against the wall. He stands up and starts walking outside. The writing from the letter starts crawling up the wall in a spidery script. Jack doesn’t pay any attention to it, but it follows him. From here on in the script all normal words are the content of the letter, all italics are descriptions of how it appears on screen.
I didn’t want to do this face to face. I’m not coming home- the “home” is actually formed by an ironic Home Sweet Home sign,
Let’s face it, it’s - this continues up to the door which is slammed shut, but not before it passes a picture of JACK and a smiling woman at a lookout.
Not much of a home – this is a sign outside of the door, in an incongruously happy font, on the door mat.
anyway- written on the T-shirt of a teen walking by. Jack starts to walk faster to get away.
You’ve been drifting away – a pissweak real- estate sign with the guy pointing out of the sign as if you say you could be living here now! He walks up to an intersection.
Face it – the headline of an advert sign totally taped to the street post with the traffic crossing button
We’ve out grown each other – on each of the little tags hanging from the sign
Move on – the Walk/Don’t walk sign, but it’s in red instead of green font. He walks out into the road.
I know you’ve been calling me- going by on a truck, maybe for a mobile plan
STOP – this actually coms from a car horn of someone who’s just stopped short of hitting Jack. He hurries across the road.
You need to look somewhere else – the tattoo on passing woman’s back or legs.
You need to find someone else - an ad campaign in a shopfront window for Drunken Arrow dating site
You need to stay away- this is said outloud by a series of TVs in an appliance store window. It is news broadcast about fires or some such.
This is the only way – a sign pointing up a pathway up a hill to a lookout (the same lookout in the earlier shot).
If you ever felt anything for me, if you ever wanted me to be happy – the graffiti on the pathway as Jack walks with his head down..
Do this. – carved into a tree with a few random “4 evas” and “MK + DF” around it
The last thing I’ll ever ask of you – a sort of heritage sign for the look out.
Turn around – a literal street sign saying turn around. He turns around to the look out
Forget me – the entire city spread out below him is rearranged into these words.
Jack looks out across it.
JACK (softly)- fuck.
The conference at Yalta. The most significant meeting of minds in the 20th century. Here, in the wreckage of a war-torn Europe, great and serious men will meet to re-draw the map of the world: a world which will never be the same.
The lights come up to show Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt and Josef Stalin seated. The music playing is from the opening of Symphony 9 From a New World by Dvorak, with its great stentorian tones. The famous photo of the three of them, surely the of the most impactful figures of the 20th century, is being taken.
Dramatic beat, allowing the historical import of the moment sink in. The photographer takes a shot and checks his camera. Goes off
The three figure relax.
WINNIE- ooh thanks god for a break, me bum’s that sore.
FRANKIE- that’s because of the Das Spanken that Mrs Hitler’s been given you.
WINNIE- oooh you cheeky bitch.
FRANKIE (to Josef Stalin)- inn’t that right, Boris
FRANKIE- Boris says Da.
WINNIE- you’ve got some nerve,
FRANKIE- some nerve, we just bailed you out of two world wars
WINNIE- well you were late for both of them weren’t they Boris.
WINNIE – thank you you big cuddly Russian bear.
FRANKIE- what about out battle of the bulge? We wiped the floor with them.
WINNIE- oh bravo, what’s you’re next big challenge- a flight of stairs?
FRANKIE- what are you saying about my legs.
WINNIE- they’re buggered - Sorry luv didn’t know you didn’t know. Should I call the chorus line ell them the auditions are off.
FRANKIE- are you just sore because it looks like you’ve never won at battle of the bulge.
WINNIE (pulling away and hiding his belly)- ooh don’t you bring irene into this Mrs Roosevelt.
FRANKIE- how do you keep her out of anything Mrs Churchill. That thing protrudes so much I’m surprised it’s not leading the Western charge.
BORIS- DA, you fat bastard
FRANKIE- less is more Boris. I’m just saying is that if not for us England would be the only place in Germany you couldn’t get a decent sausage
WINNIE- if not for you? Well while you’re applauding yourself why don’t you make it standing ovation.
FRANKIE- ooh if I could find them in the soft dough of your face I’d scratch your eyes out.
WINNIE- And you’d be as sunk as the rest of us if ol’ Moscow moustache here wasn’t on the East front, giving the fuhrer what for from the ol’ back passage.
JOEY- Da, right up the shitter.
FRANKIE- I swear he comes from a place that doesn’t have innuendo.
The photographer comes back on- the three pose for the shot.
White, bland automat, a fast food joint in which is effectively a large vending machine- food is served from compartments in the wall. You have to enter a coin to enter to open the relevant compartment. The wall is taken up with rows of compartments 5 by 7.
The place is empty except for a waitress, and six people sitting around two tables haphazardly pulled together. There’s a young GIRL (around 10-12) at one end, an elderly, PRIM woman, a guy in a DUMPY grey suit, a MOUSEY little woman, a large expansive BUSINESSMAN, and an EMO. The other end of the table is empty.
A ceiling fan circles slowly overhead, a large clock like the ones in school rooms is ticking up on the wall: 1150.
PRIM (to the girl) – what do you mean you’re not going to tell us?
GIRL (eating a block of jello of a strangely unappetising green colour) – nope, not going to do it.
PRIM- You have to.
DUMPY- you do have to… doesn’t she.
MOUSEY- I think she/ does
BUSINESSMAN- (rolling right over the top of mousey) I think she does.
PRIM- she most certainly does. It’s only right.
MOUSEY- that’ what i_
EMO- right to who?
PRIM- Whom. Right to the process. (to DUMPY)- don’t you think.
DUMPY- Um, yeah, sure. Sure. I guess
GIRL- nopety nopety no.
BUSINESSMAN (to PRIM)- well, why don’t you start us off.
PRIM- we’re just going to let her- does nobody care for the rules.
MOUSEY- I do
EMO- just tell us, churchy.
PRIM-well, they were already together by the time I came about. Something had obviously happened the night before- (she looks pointedly at the GIRL, who just looks back at her and opens her mouth to show the jello) all they did under my watch was lollygag about, smoke drugs and watch children’s cartoons
EMO- well it is a day of rest.
BUSINESSMAN- (to Dumpy)- and you?
DUMPY- pretty much the same the next day. They said a few disparaging things about me actually and stayed in bed all day. Hurtful but, well, hardly news is it.
MOUSEY- Well I
BUSINESSMAN- yet by the time they got to me they were broken up.
MOUSEY- yes, they-
BUSINESSMAN- a perplexing mystery
MOUSEY- well they-
BUSINESSMAN- I guess we’ll never know, they had a fight and she said that she was leaving town at the end of the week and so if he wanted to apologise he had two days.
EMO- you are so full of woe.
PRIM (to EMO)- so what happened next?
EMO- who’s this ordering em around then
EMO- fuck youm. Nothing happened. They did nothing.
BUSINESSMAN looking at the clock- so I guess we’re just waiting for…
A man in a HAWAIIAN shirt and heavy set of shades burst through the door.
EMO- hey, thank god it’s –
HAWAIIAN- shut up! (he pulls up an empty chair. To himself) why always here. (looks down the table and everyone looks at him expectantly) What’s going on?
HAWAIIAN- well what?
BUSINESSMAN- did you see them
DUMPY- and what did they do?
HAWAIAAN- what did who
MOUSEY- OH JUST FUCKING TELL US.
HAWAIIAN- well, he left it to the last minute. She’s asleep, not really asleep, a bit asleep and she hears this pebble against the window.
PRIM (approvingly)- classic.
HAWAIIAN- and she opens the window and there he is.
EMO- …and? I don’t care, but fugit
HAWAIIAN- and he says he’s been a wanker, and he’s not used to having someone and he thought he wouldn’t want her if he made the first move- his friends told him that
HAWAIIAN- and so she listens to it all, and she laughs and she opens her mouth and…
MOUSEY- don’t you fucking dare.
BUSINESSMAN- then what.
HAWAIIAN- then my shift ended. You want the rest of the story
He gestures to the end of the table, the rest look towards the empty chair where the GIRL once stood. She is happily flouncing to the exit.
PRIM- you have to tell us.
GIRL smiles, thinks for a bit and then opens up her mouth and -
The screen goes white the camera pulls back and we see that it is a box on a calendar- A Saturday with the single word “Train” in it. We’re now in SHE’s bedroom, and she crosses off the Friday and then puts a big line through the Train. She turns around to her bed where HE is lying.
HE- so what to you want to do today?
SHE- I don’t really know. We’ve got the whole day to ourselves.
Jack Bonhom is sitting in a hostel room looking behind a risqué poster up on the wall. It’s all whitewood and bright colours. Suggestive porn-style music is pumping through the speaker. The colours and tone are like a cheap 80s gonna-get-laid late night flick like Porky’s or revenge of the nerds. He’s wearing a Tropicana style shirt, hair frosted up.
JACK – where are you, where are you
What’s he looking for, is it a peep hole?
JACK- ah, gotcha.
He rips he poster off to reveal a large computer monitor, looking about 40 years more advanced than everything else in the room. He starts logging in, shoving the poster into the room speakers to muffle the noise. He dials out. putting on a wireless head-set.
JACK- pick up, pick up.
There’s a knock at the door. Jack pick up some money next to him. Pauses
VOICE 1- It’s the pool boy.
JACK- Fuck off. (back to the screen) Come on!
The connection clicks, a drowsy voice picks up at the other end- there’s no picture, jsu the name- HAMPTON and a connection icon.
HAMPTON- hey Jacky. What time is it- what time did you leave last night?
JACK- Hampton, could you please do me a favour.
JACK- just go down to your basement.
There’s another knock at Jack’s door.
VOICE 2- it’s time for your massage.
JACK- Fuck off!
HAMPTON you okay?
JACK- You there yet.
HAMPTON- just getting on me thongs. Left thong, right thong.
JACK- just head down to the VR machine.
HAMPTON- can I get a coffee first or are we.
JACK- really rather you didn’t
HAMPTON- okay, going down. Down down donw- Where are you anyway, you coming round later because we got… oh.
HAMPTON- You’re here.
HAMPTON- you can see how that’s confusing.
HAMPTON- did you, did you plug into the machine!
JACK- could be.
HAMPTON- which game?
JACK- Welcome to Porntopia.
HAMPTON- (a sliver of terror in voice) Jack, that’s not even out of beta testing.
JACK- getting pretty well tested now, just get me out.
HAMPTON- I can’t get you out.
There’s a banging from next door as two people start having it on
JACK- that’s… disappointing.
HAMPTON- the machine is mainlined to your brain, it uses your brain as the processor.
JACJK- did not know that.
HAMPTON- that’s the whole reason you bankrolled us.
JACK- well, that/ and the porn
HAMPTON- and the porn
JACK- mostly the porn. You can’t get me out?
HAMPTON- I’ll try a few things, but it’s hard if you’re not near a save port.
Jack starts banging o the wall with a broom.
JACK- why do you need save port?
HAMPTON- in case you um,, in case you die.
Pause – the words of the female disembodieed fucker comes from next door
DF- oh yeah baby right there right there.
JACK- I can die in a porno?!
HAMPTON- no.. not if you stay away from the executrixes.
JACK- Executrixes? Jesus
HAMPTON- Jack it’s all consensual, if you’re going to judge other people’s tastes there’s no point in talking.
JACK- no judging no judging
DF- oh yeah, you’re fucking me, you’re fucking me so good.
JACK – stay away from the executrixes, that’s it?
HAMPTON- that’s it. And the vore monster.
JACK- what the fuck is vore?
HAMPTON- it’s a perfectly normal human desire .. to be consumed. Consensually.
JACK- Jesus Holmes Christ!
DF- oh you going to flip me over, baby you going to take me from behind!
HAMPTON- it was in the prospectus!
JACK- I didn’t read the - you had me at porn Hampton!
HAMPTON- you judging
JACK- I’m not judging, not judging
He grabs the broom and smacks the offending wall.
JACK- shut up, shut up!! Learn to dirty talk, you’re just telling him what’s he’s already doing!
Knock at the door.
JACK- Fuck the fuck off!
VOICE 3- it’s pizza.
JACK- oh, shit, good. Hold on.
Picks up some cash and opens the door. There is a smoking hot girl in tight white top reading Got Sausage Pizza but he is focused purely on the pizza.
PIZZA GIRL- hi there. You probably don’t have any way to pay.
JACK- here you go (he throws some money at her).
PIZZA GIRL- Oh (this is counter to programming)…um, well then, (she starts pulling her neck line down) I don’t have any change so I guess I’ll just
JACK- Keep it. (slams the door in her face. Takes a bite)
HAMPTON- so how is it?
JACK- S’allright, not like mommas use dot make or anything
HAMPTON- no, how’s Porntopia?
JACK- oh. First five minutes are nice.
HAMPTON- five minutes?
JACK- five-10 more like 10. Let’s call it an even 15.
HAMPTON- not an even number.
JACK- 20 if we’re going to include about the clothes stuff.
HAMPTON- got to include that.
JACK- I’m going to throw in the seduction in there, which some say is the most erotic part, so 30 minutes.
HAMPTON- sure man, measure from the balls, lots of guys do that.
JACK- It’s a big city Hampton
HAMPTON- Actually porntopia is the world, you’re in the capital city of Dildopolis.
JAKC- I don’t give a shit Hampton… actually that explains the architecture.
HAMPTON- where are you
JACK- I’m in a hostel. There’s a Swedish guy, he just lets you have a room for the night.
HAMPTON- he just lets you have one huh
JACK- …how about we just focus on getting me out of here Hampty.
HAMPTON- yeah I may have a way to get you closer to the save port but you’ll need to get through some ads.
JACK- Ads I can
A drilling sound is heard from the door.
JACK- Hampty old chum, why is my door making a drilling sound
HAMPTON- um,, yeah, um, if you haven’t got laid in a bit the game kind of makes it easier for you. It’s all consensual though.
JACK- Hampton I’ve got no more, I’m spent
HAMPTON- oh I know pal, you should see yourself from this end.
JACK- what’s going on
HAMPTON- it sounds like they’re using the glory hole attachment
JACK- no, no no no no, I don’t want to see that.
HAMPTON- hold on, I think I’ve got you an ad door.
JACK- Hurry, hurry!
A door appears in the wall- Jack goes up to it- there is a warning on the front – are you sure you want to leave
JACK- yes please.
He goes through the door. He’s in another small room with another add about making your junk bigger, he goes through that door , then through door after door, each one an ad selling inane sex things
JACK- where to after this.
HAMPTON- well you’ve got find safe harbour and some help to the get to the save point.
HAMPTON- do you know anyone in the city
JACK- no, why would i-
HAMPTON- how about family members
JACK- where the fuck am I going to find family members?
HAMPTON- … Incest-town.
JACK- I AM NOT GOING TO INCEST-TOWN.!
HAMPTON- it’s all consensual
JACK- NOT THE ISSUE! You’re coming in here.
HAMPTON- Ha - coming.. Oh and, no way
JACK- I need you Hampton, you’re my Virgil out of his erogenous hell.
HAMPTON- are you sure. You really really sure.
JACK opens up the last door and finds himself…. Right back in the room he started.
JACK (deflated) very sure.
The glory hole cut falls out, someone inserts their semi-erect junk in through the door.
JACK- great, now it looks like I’ve got Gonzo’s head mounted on my door.
He picks the broom and tentatively whacks at the cock few times.
Who is that dancing?” said The Rug-cutter
“And why?” said Frisk.
They leaned out from their box well above the arena, turned to at each other and grinned. They were bored of the two duelists twirling in front of them: this was much more rollicking. There was a Square, pale and awkward, practicing her dance moves (could you call them that?) on the periphery, well beyond the crowd.
“She dances almost as well as you, Rug” Rug shot a look at Frisk, and straightened his leg brace with several sharp clicks. Frisk just looked at him in her Holes-in-The-Head, a set of glasses which projected what was immediately behind her head in the lens. She smiled beneath the tunnels in her head.
“Ooh, did that make you gwumpy?” Frisk leaned in “are you vewy gwumpy”
Just then one of the duellists – Queen of the Light Fantastic- executed a perfect twin arm wave. Purple electricity shot out of her curved fingers towards her opponent, who flew back against the wall.
“NOICE!“ The Rug-cutter yelled out, though more from protocol than anything, his eyes kept darting back to the Square. He waited till the stamping had died down and order the circle to open, so he could see the Square better.
“Do you want something, little Square?”
The Square walked through the circle, past the stunned onlookers, and stopped in the middle. She brushed a strand of blonde hair over her ear.
“what is that on her face?”
“Freckles, Frisk. You know those. What do you want?”
“I want to dance.” The circle giggled, Rug smiled.
“A worthy sentiment and well-stated. But little Square-dancer you should be in Uptown, keeping our lights on. I’ll find someone to take you back”
“I’m here to dance”
The Rug-cutter was quiet, but Frisk never was, waving out her studded half-glove.
“I don’t dance squares, I dance circles.” She looked around her “around anyone”
Frisk smiled- she pointed to a girl in torn skin tight pants, a throwing knife attached to a leather band on each wrist. “this, Little Square, is Peek Menage… She dances in circles”
On cue, a person in the crown dangled an orange on a string. Peek whipped out one knife and threw it towards the string, severing it. The orange fell towards the ground. Peek spun around 360 on the spot, whipping the other knife out of her sleeve and sending it through the orange before it hit the ground, pining it to the wall behind.
“Now,” Frisk said as Peek retrieved her blades. “do you really want to dance?”
“Yes,” the square replied “if only to show you how it’s done”
Rug-cutter chuckles. Frisk turned around to him, so fast her lens blurred, then corrected. He looked back at her, innocently – “are you vewy gwumpy?”
Little square and Peek Menege faced on in the circle. Peek had her blades clutched in either hand; the square had nothing. Peek scowled, the square smiled.
The music began
The attack was over in 60 seconds
Pissweak legal office in Florida. The sort of place that advertise on the sides of busses. Sitting a conference room is CLOVIS, a swamp-dweller with a ruddy, shaved face, an ill-fitting suit, a tie that done up too loose and too short. He looks up at the roof watching the fan go slowly around. Next to him is his lawyer, who looks like he has other things on his mind. Across the table is CONNIE, her MOTHER and their lawyer.
CLOVIS is lost in his reverie, there’s not even any sound, until the mother pounds on the desk and shoves divorce papers towards him. He looks at them and to his lawyer, who shrugs. He looks at his wife who doesn’t look up at him. He signs the paper.
The mother withdraws it and holds out a taloned hand. Clovis sighs and puts down a set of house keys with a key ring of a goofy cartoon lamb saying Love Ewe on it. The mother snatches them. Everyone stands, Clovis tries to get a look from Connie but no dice. His lawyer holds out his hand and Clovis goes to shake it but the lawyer shakes it off and gestures for the pen in his hand. Clovis hands it over and walks out.
As he approaches the elevator, he starts, talking to the audience:
Why should I not, had I the heart to do it,
Like to the Egyptian thief at point of death,
Kill what I love?
Casts a look back at Connie holding the keys.
The elevator opens. Now inside the elevator. Standard muzak.
--a savage jealousy
That sometimes savours nobly. But hear me this:
Filling up his pick-up truck and anther cannister. He talks to an old photo of him and Connie blue tacked to the windshield.
Since you to non-regardance cast my faith,
And that I partly know the instrument
That screws me from my true place in your favour,
He pulls down her image, in the background, looking disdainful, is the mother.
Live you the marble-breasted tyrant still;
He scrunches up the photo and throws it in the trash.
Pulls up by his trailer, which has a sign out the front of the goofy lamb on the key ring and the title “The Durrr-minion”.
But this your minion, whom I know you love,
And whom, by heaven I swear, I tender dearly,
He punches out a window and let’s himself in. goes to a high up shelf to get an old pack of cigarettes and to the fridge to get a beer.
Him will I tear out of that cruel eye,
Shuts the fridge revealing a small, dishevelled dog.
Where he sits crowned in his master's spite.
Dog’s perspective, leans in to pick up the dog, screen goes black.
The dog and CLOVIS sit on the back of the pick up truck, empty petrol cannister by them. Clovis is drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette.
Clovis picks up the dog and throws the cigarette butt towards the house.
Come, boy, with me;
Now in the car, as the trailer starts burning brighter behind him.
my thoughts are ripe in mischief:
I'll sacrifice the lamb that I do love,
Runs over the lamb sign on his way out.
To spite a raven's heart within a dove.
A gamer sits in a darkened room, the only light his console. He’s of uncertain age but old enough to know better. He’s been here a while. Stubbled, Red-bull-eyed and ragged. Headphones.
He’s playing a first person shooter- his character is The Porter. He’s running through a hell-scape, the light thrown out from the screen is red.
He speaks out loud but it’s uncertain if he’s talking to someone on the network or just to himself. He’s doing so rather loudly.
Here's a knocking indeed! If a
man were porter of hell-gate, he should have
old turning the key.
Knocking with [here the machine gun fire which is ricocheting through the speakers- on the screen is a patsy that he’s chasing through the rooms of a maze]
knock, knock! Who's there, i' the name of
[on the screen he starts chasing down a patsy through the rooms of a maze]
Here's a farmer, that hanged
himself on the expectation of plenty: come in
time; have napkins enough about you; here
you'll sweat for't.
[He wipes out the patsy, in time for another to start chasing him down]
knock! Who's there, in the other devil's
name? Faith, here's an equivocator, that could
swear in both the scales against either scale;
who committed treason enough for God's sake,
yet could not equivocate to heaven: O, come
[rocket to the face- another one bites the dust- he takes another swig of Red bull- almost spits it out when]
knock, knock! Who's there? Faith, here's an
English tailor come hither, for stealing out of
a French hose: come in, tailor; here you may
roast your goose.
[sure enough, sends another to the way of all things, he reaches for another red bull in the darkness, but can’t get to it in time before…]
knock; never at quiet! What are you?
[At that moment, the light in the basement comes on revealing the mundane surroundings, and standing in the doorway/n the stairs is a pissed off woman (mother or wife) in pyjamas. Busted- he tries to placate her]
this place is too cold for hell. I'll devil-porter
it no further:
[she departs. He turns back to the screen- Curses!]
I had thought to have let in
some of all professions that go the primrose
way to the everlasting bonfire.
Knocking within [as his character is gunned down]
Anon, anon! [possibly he’s saying this to the person shooting him on screen or to the woman who’s now flicking the lights on and off. To the screen] I pray you, remember the porter.
[takes off his headphones and throws them on the desk]
Low easy beat. The song has the main singer, and also a voice in the background (kind of like that One-time guy in the Fugees you always wanted to punch), in italics
Coming at you from the 2-6, y’all
From the heart of suburbia
I’m pumping out proverbia
And if you touch my Hyundai I’ll
Stomp you to the curbia
But my city let discusses
And I’ll tell you all its plusses
And if you ring my bell, hell
You get more Action than the busses
For if you want somewhere fabulous you’ll see what I mean
If you look here in the gap between the Yass and the Quean’
All the pretty shitty cities can pour scorn on my head
But fuck you Melbourne: I’m Northbourne and bred
The setting is sublime
And the ladies are all fine
And our biggest pull’s a flower show
As all the porn went on-line
So you might find it slappable
But let me take the barely rappable
And lift up the skirt to
Expose the Bush capital.
The city’s multicultural
The pollies mostly vultural
The climate is political
The jobs mostly cubicle.
The rails the new umbilical
The fire danger’s critical
And forgive me if I’m cynical:
The weather’s fucking biblical
We got fire, hail, thunder- just let me say
Them all the plagues you got?
FUCKING BRING IT YAHWEH
You on a break Jehovah?
For if you want somewhere fabulous you’ll see what I mean
If you look here in the gap between the Yass and the Quean’
All the pretty shitty cities can pour scorn on my head
But fuck you Melbourne: I’m Northbourne and bred
that’s how we do
oh shit, is it bin night?
FOREMAN – Guilty!
JUROR 2 – Guilty!
JUROR 3- Guilty!J
UROR 4- Guilty!
JUROR 5- Guilty!
JUROR 6 – Guilty!
JUROR 7 – Guilty!
JUROR 8 - Not guilty
JUROR 9 – Guilty!
JUROR 10 – Racism!
JUROR 11 – Guilty!
JUROR 12 – Guilty!
FOREMAN- sigh, ok, let’s try this again. Not guilty
JUROR 2 – Not Guilty!
JUROR 3- Guilty!
JUROR 4- Not Guilty!
JUROR 5- Not Guilty!
JUROR 6 - Not Guilty!
JUROR 7 - Not Guilty!
JUROR 8 - Not guilty
JUROR 9 - Not Guilty!
JUROR 10 - Not Guilty!
JUROR 11 - Not Guilty!
JUROR 12 – Not Guilty!
They all look at JUROR 3.
JUROR 3- Okay not guilty
JUROR 7- anybody want to get a slice, I’ve still got a coupla hours till ball game starts.
A pre-Bond movie which follows the exploits of one of James’ ancestors, Joseph Bond, a man of mystery with the Naval Intelligence Division in the early 1900s. He is a polyglot, an assassin, a master of disguise and deceit, and a lieutenant in the Foreign Office in Tokyo, where he makes no friends among the higher-up
C- They say Bond that you have a disguise for every occasion…
JB- a man can never have too many faces.
C- …and a wife to go with each.
JB- (sips his saki)- as I said.
He previously left Japan in disgrace when, as a midshipman in the Kobe port, he got in trouble for a vice he blames on “that damn yellow fever” of his, in which he deflowered many a young girl, ruining them for a good marriage, and leaving them with nothing but a red silk ribbon to wear around their neck (a rare luxury at the time). Due to his fluency in the language and his association with the underground, he has now been brought back to use his rat cunning to monitor the developments of the Russo-Japanese war; Bond is intent on ensuring that the war does not break out and hence threaten Hong Kong and British interests in the area. Things get heated during a peace summit between Russia and Japan in snowy Hokkaido when a Russian attache Bond was tracking is found dead in the snow, his clothes stripped off.
Bond found the attache and the man’s death casts him in a bad light, as there were no other footsteps to the scene. This is not helped when the Japanese authorities raid his apartment (he is currently tupping the attache’s Russian secretary, because of course he fucking is) and find a series of photos he has taken of the attache on his newly available Kodak Brownie.
As they shove his face into the photos while they handcuff his hands behind his back, he sees something in them he didn’t notice before: in each of the photos of the attache there is a woman obscured in the background, wearing a white dress, her stringy black hair hanging in her face, and a red ribbon around her neck.
He realises that the rumours her heard from suspicious peasant girls was real: the attache was killed by an onryo- a vengeful spirit hungry to destroy the man who has wrong her in life. He realises he must escape from the authorities, track down the spirit, put her to rest and stop the Russo- Japanese war while being stripped of his FO status.
Damn yellow fever.
A stage play.
(with apologies to Waiting for Godot and the Iceman Cometh)
CAMILA sits on the stoop in front of her Mexican villa. She is a striking woman in her late thirties, her stockinged leg sticking out a long slit in her dress. She is bedecked in gold and jewellery, twisting a long necklace in her hands. Next to her is a long tall cactus in a pot with one flower starting to lose its petals.
The MAID walks out of the house. She has a watering can in one hand, and a cloth she throws over her shoulder.
MAID- how long have been here?
CAMILA- how long? How long is a piece of string. How long is the distance one must go between what is ones dreams and what should be
MAID- the repair man- he is here again?
CAMILA (snapping) - a repair man is here again, not the.
The maid sighs and sits next to her. She has been here before
MAID- you think he will come?
CAMILA- I know he will.
MAID- you know that-
CAMILA- I only saw him once.
CAMILA- he was by the road out of town. He was fixing it. I am driven by in my fancy car.
She spits in the cactus beside her
CAMILA- That man, that desgraciado, he is beside me, his fat, greasy hand rubbing against my leg.
She spits again
MAID- he loves you
CAMILA- he owns me. He owns me and he keeps me on his shelf, out of reach.
She spits again.
CAMILA- but him, him by the side of the road, he takes off his helmet and he takes one look at me, one look, and
MAID- your hearts
CAMILA- our hearts they entwine, by bonds that may never be broken. Even on my shelf they reach me!
MAID- it was one second.
CAMILA- it was a lifetime. Someone else’s life. By the time I can get away from that bastardo and go back there they tell me he is gone. They tell me his name
CAMILA- Javier! And they tell me he has gone to learn to fix dishwashers for the houses in the city. That is so like him.
MAID- why don’t you come inside.
CAMILA- why don’t you leave me alone! Am I so much his possession I need to be polished?
She spits into the cactus again.
MAID- Senora I only came to water the cactus. But I see it does not need it.
CAMILA- I SHALL WATER IT WITH MY TEARS. And when he appears it shall blossom into a thousand flowers.
The MAID throws up her hands and goes inside. CAMILA looks straight ahead. Stillness for several seconds.
MIGUEL comes out, wearing a plumber’s uniform of denim, open in the middle to show perfectly chiselled abs.
MIGUEL- Your dishwasher, she is fixed senora. It was a ring clogging up the drain hose.
He presents to her a ring, she doesn’t look at it, he put it on the stoop next to her.
MIGUEL- You must be more careful. This is the third time this month we’ve had to come out and fix it. You don’t want a woman with hands pretty as yours to be washing dishes in the sink.
CAMILA- Si... Do you think they will send Javier next time?
MIGUEL- I know of no Javier, senora.
He leaves, she stays sitting on the steps.
Cue wind machine.
A dojo. Lying in the middle of the room is TOGO, a large, sentient pair of scissors. He has been badly beaten, pounded into the ground, the tatami mats around him shredded. He is barely conscious, moaning as he raises a single twisted blade up.
Into the room rolls STACEY PAPER, who is, sure enough, a sentient piece of paper in the shape of a paper doll cutout. He travels by crumpling himself into a ball, rolling to his destination and unravelling. The expression of his face is like a pencil scribble that changes to suit his mood. That mood is currently shocked.
He rolls up to TOGO.
STACEY- what happened?
TOGO- I tried to stop him.
STACEY- him? No!
TOGO- he’s become too strong.
STACEY- master, I warned you.
TOGO- he was my greatest student… my greatest shame.
STACEY- I’m going to help you.
He goes to pick up his master, but TOGO withdraws.
TOGO- Don’t cut yourself boy- don’t you see: you’re the only one who can stop him now.
STACEY- me? But what can I do?
TOGO- you’re special.
STACEY- you won’t even let me fight with the other scissors.
TOGO- I know what I did! I was afraid you’d get hurt. You’re too important.
STACEY- I’m no one
TOGO- You are our last hope.
STACEY- There’s no way I can beat him.
TOGO- you must try!
STACYE- no, not until you’re safe!
TOGO- No, foolish boy, you’ll cut yourself!
STACEY- some people are worth getting cut for!
STACEY picks up TOGO despite the old utensil’s protestations.
TOGO- Stacey. You’re the only one who can complete the triangle. (as he breathes his last) you must return… the… balance.
He dies. STACEY scrunches up his face in grief then raises his head to the sky screaming
TOGO’s blade cuts off STACEY’s arm and TOGO and the arm fall to the floor. STACEY doesn’t notice, just keeps looking up with his expression of rage.
TITLECARD and VOICE OVER: NEXT WEEK ON: “RPS – Way of the Empty Palm”
Montage of STACEY preparing for his fight with ROCK. Inspiring music comes in in the background.
IN THE DOJO
STACEY trains with another SCISSOR SENSEI, as he stands in the square of a dojo, practising his positions. A red band has been drawn on his forehead
SS- Crane style!
STACEY forms into an origami crane
IN THE CLASSROOM
STACEY stands motionless before a black board showing ROCK > SCISSORS > PAPER. There is nothing linking paper to rock.
STACEY (to himself) Think, think think.
ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP
Up on the windy mountain top STACEY listens to an ancient, yellowed, creased piece of MOUNTAIN PAPER. Stacey holds onto a tree to keep from getting blown off. He is terrified.
MOUNTAIN - There is much you fear.
IN THE VILLAGE SQUARE
STACEY is not apparent here, instead it features ROCKS as they terrorise some SCISSORS- older ones and a couple of kids’ safety scissors.
BACK TO DOJO
SS- Mantis style!
STACEY turns into an origami mantis.
The camera spins around STACEY to reveal heaps more blackboards behind him, filled up with strategies and plans and books of lore.
STACEY still clings to the tree looking out scared into windy void. The old man shot over his shoulder.
MP- but to learn what paper is truly capable of-
The older SCISSORS pleads with the chuckling ROCK.
SCISSORS- Spare him, he can’t even cut hot butter
BACK TO DOJO
SS- Tiger style!
STACEY’s eyes widens, looking at the algorithm. He gets it!
MP- you must let go of fear
Shot from behind of the ROCKS leaning of the SCISSORS- a paper foot steps into the foreground,
The ROCKS turn around to look at this new interloper. The background music starts to crescendo
SS looks satisfied.
SS- you are ready.
Still wide-eyed, STACEY traces a line between paper > rock, forming a TRIANGLE
MP- let go.
STACEY closes his eyes, releases the tree and blows up and back into the stormy sky.
The head ROCK turns around to face the intruder, cracking his knuckles
ROCK- you think you can take me one.
The interloper is STACEY, marked, creased and scribbled on like tattoos.
He throws down his arms to his side and multiple other paper dolls fold out behind him in both directions, forming a classic chain of paper dolls around the whole village square.
STACEY- I think I’ve got you covered.
Rush the camera. Black.
This will be a mockumentary about long-distance trucking in the space lanes. You've got one guy, Trevelyan, who is the sort of Brainiac astronaut you would expect to see on a spaceship, the other is Rumfustian, a standard trucker like dude with his faithful basset hound Flan- velvet on the dash, golden earring on the speakers, that sort of shit. They are independent contractors - Trevelyan decides to invite along a mockumentary crew as a bit of exposure, but doesn't tell Rumfustian - who wakes up to find them all ready on board the long range voyage.
we get some standard doco stuff showing them going about their business, hitting wormholes, dealing with space infestation, outside repairs after hitting some space debris.
then the discoveries start to happen. a female stowaway is found, there's additional cargo in the hold that turns out to be highly explosive fuel that Rumfustian's smuggling to contraband runners- and it's starting to leak. more than anything- they've both overstocked the craft- a craft which needs to be a precise weight in order to make the flight path. So they start wondering what to do- jettison the cargo, chuck out the stowaway, may be even lose the documentary crew...
Enter McGLOIN and the CORONER. The GIRL lays upon the slab
CORONER here McGloin what soul hath you bought me
To warm the grave-side cold of my chamber.
McGLOIN- there be no soul here, doctor, for the ferry-man’s had his coin
What I bring you is but this puzzle of flesh.
A school-girl, so full of learning and life
Emptied upon a butcher’s knife.
CORONER - ahh but she be full of whispers yet
While her lips be still, their colours run
The dead still hath much to teach the living.
Where be that corpse-fly of mine?
ENTER Eustace, the apprentice coroner.
CORONER - and where have you been, you rogue, you rascal, you unwound clock
Be short with your tarrying, my boy, lest you bore our guest to death
EUSTACE Given this be an autopsy my lord,
I though it only fashionable to be late.
CORONER- If the cock kept your hours sir
He should weary himself trying to rise the setting sun.
And what have you there?
EUSTACE- Tis but a sandwich, my lord, one of bacon
Think you the worms shall begrudge me eating before them?
CORONER- Today we shall test that appetite of yours boy.
And it shall be found wanting
EUSTACE- my appetite is always wanting.
CORONER- and you, McGloin, I trust I don’t need to ask if you have authorisation
MCGLOIN- and I trust you will not ask
CORONER- Man, if you hath not the sergeant’s blessing
You had best ask this girl to move over
For you shall share a slab soon enough.
MCCGLOIN- and how does one coax a blessing
From a mouth that forms only curses.
Busy yourself with the departed, doctor
And leave the living to me.
CORONER- I’ll not leave them long, for see the sergeant comes
His face hath all the colours her’s hath lost.
Enter the SERGEANT
SERGEANT- MCGLOIN! Should thou something askew in my gait, sir
And wonder why I sit balanced upon one cheek
It be because the lord mayor, upon hearing your exploits
Hath rendered me a new fundament.
MCGLOIN- and here I was trying to get to the bottom of things
But to find the lord mayor hath beat me to the chase.
SERGEANT- you besport yourself by your own instruction
McGloin, but faith you get results.
But mind: I shall brook no waves from you sir
Not the merest ripple, or I shall hand thee, platter-bound
Thine own arse.
There were a lot of strange men at my mother’s funeral.
They sat a full row back from everyone. Huddled, hunched, face pinched out of dull clay. My sister, Anne, kept darting looks back at them as if they were buzzards waiting their turn.
I knew better. They were publishers. They were the creatures that descended on a corpse once the buzzards were done.
“Why were they here?” she said afterwards, wiping the soap from her hands in the black pleats of her dress. “she wrote one book.”
“Poems no less,” I said, throwing the dishtowel over my shoulder. The house was finally quiet. I poured us both a glass of warm wine and we sat down at the kitchen table, “it didn’t even sell that well”- I smiled quickly. Shouldn’t have said that- another glass.
“But what were they after?” she asked, not moving the glass towards the bottle.
“You have to know publishers. No time when you’re alive, but hey, when you’re dead- the words of a dead person- that can be worth a little more”
“yeah, I mean if she wrote any more. But she…”
Anne didn’t answer. A bird cawed outside. I leant in, the glass shaking slightly in my hand.
“Anne? Did she write any more?”
“hundreds? Where are they?”
She turned away from me to look at the kitchen wall.
“She told me to burn them.”
“Anne. Anne?” she didn’t turn back. “Anne- did you?”
The two men stood at either end of the hall. But they were men no longer, instead, living avatars of vengeance and edged rage.
Hamlet, scion of Denmark, sage of melancholia held up his sword. His raven-cocked foe did the same- mighty Breath-Stealer, a blade as sharp as the cold, as quick as wit.
Claudius, uncle of Hamlet and father of lies, watched with breath abated. A spear of light shot through the window, luminating the slow-rising dust in the room. Nowhere to hide.
A bird rustled on the rafter above. A feather, dislodged, drifted down and upon the prince’s sword. It sliced neatly in two, and before the two sundered parts could reach the floor-
The two foes were at each other. Slice, slash, crash, ring. A stormcloud of blows and fury- its thundering echoed through the chamber and beyond.
In the township, people looked at the castle on the hill as if judgement had come.
The flurry continued- slash, slam, rip, clang.
Miles away, farmers took to shelter and cows soured their milk from the righteous din.
‘Enough!’ - Hamlet sprung up into the air and rested on a chandelier.
Laertes shouted- ‘doth thou dare not to face me! Coward- you yellow the air with your very presence!’ His words shot out like arrows, venom-tipped.
Hamlet parried impressively – ‘I brook no grievance with you, puppet, merely the crude tugger of thy string.’ He pointed his sword like a compass's blade to the king.
‘Ho ho ho’ – sneered Claudius, lavishly – ‘Fool! Know you nothing of nothing?!’
‘I know only your doom!!’- boomed Hamlet as he dove towards the corpulent man like a kingfisher.
‘NO’- Laertes collided with him in mid-air, their blades once again singing out in the violent greeting: one-two-three-four times!
They bashed into the wall behind the throne. It exploded outwards.