The Devil Made Us Do It (Part I of IV)

I wrote a short screenplay a couple of months ago. Although I’d tried my hand at a 2-page screenplay before, this was the first time I’d completed anything over the 2-page mark. It was written in a hurry in order to submit it to a local ‘competition’. I was alerted to the competition by a director friend a week before submissions were due. This was the result of a frenzied attemtp to write something (anything!) to submit. Faithful followers of my blog will recognize the characters 😉
Because I’ve heard nothing back from the competition, I’m going to assume that it went nowhere. So I now feel comfortable posting the script for you to read. Comments and criticism are most welcome. I apologize for incorrect formatting in the transition from screenplay software to WordPress.
Enjoy!

INT. MR. SHIKONGO’S BEDROOM – DAY

MR. SHIKONGO (60’s), a thin old African gentleman, sits on his bed and gazes out the window. It is sunny outside. Some of the other folk of the old age home pace the length of the lawn or sit on benches chatting to one another. Mr. Shikongo is delighted and transfixed, as if it is the first time he has watched the scene.

EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY

JOHANNES (late 30’s) is only metres away from the entrance to his workplace at the old age home. He is obese and unfit, and so sweats heavily from walking.

NICK (50’s), wearing a black top hat, a long tail coat and a handwritten sign strung around his neck that says THE END IS NIGH!, leaps in front of Johannes, blocking the way to the old age home.

NICK

You, sir. Are you alone in this world? Are you tired of not making a difference? Do you want to change?

Johannes looks at Nick who offers him a flyer, but does not take it.

JOHANNES

Are you saying that because I’m fat?  Are you bullying me?

NICK

(Persistent)

I can see it in you. The loneliness. The sadness. The desire. Am I right? I am, aren’t I?

Johannes looks at the ground, shakes his head and tries to walk away, but Nick blocks him, waving the flyer frantically in the air.

NICK (CONT’D)

You can’t run away from it. You must confront it. Overcome it. You are chosen.

Johannes extends a cautious hand to take the flyer and his finger bumps up against Nick’s. The two men lock eyes for a moment; an unspoken recognition. Nick nods to Johannes as he leaves.

INT. LOCKER ROOM – DAY

MAGGIE (20) tugs the bottom of her tank top. It barely covers her solar plexus. Her brown skin is covered in a light sheen of sweat. Her top is royal blue with her name printed in pink cursive letters on it. She wears red hotpants.

The door to the locker room clangs open. DON (50’s) sneaks his head around the corner. He wears his cap backwards and masses of jewellery hang from his neck.

DON

Hey, babe. Two minutes, okay?

Maggie controls her breathing.

She completes her warm-up routine with a couple of slow stretches.

She glances at the clock, then sits down on the nearest bench and shuts her eyes.

EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY

JOHANNES and ERNEST (30’s), another orderly in a white coat, each take one of MR. SHIKONGO’S arms and lead him to the entrance of the old age home.

JOHANNES

Come inside, Mr. Shikongo.

A RECEPTIONIST (20’s) wearing too much lipstick smiles from behind the reception desk as the trio enter.

RECEPTIONIST

Mr. Shikongo, you naughty boy. Find any lovely young ladies out there today?

MR. SHIKONGO

I… I… don’t remember.

The escorts help Mr. Shikongo down a corridor. He wears pyjamas and slippers. He is disoriented.

MR. SHIKONGO (CONT’D)

I need to piss.

JOHANNES

Alrighty.

They walk to the men’s bathroom.

MR. SHIKONGO

Gimme five minutes.

ERNEST

You gonna be okay on your own?

MR. SHIKONGO

Yeah.

INT. LOCKER ROOM – DAY

DON’S hand comes to rest on MAGGIE’S shoulder with a clink from all the jewellery around his wrist.

Startled, she opens her eyes – it takes a moment for her to readjust to the locker room.

DON

Bad news. Evelynn ain’t making it. That gig a couple days ago left her more messed up than she thought. She needs rest. Good news is there’s some young guy available. They’ll double the dough if he don’t put gloves on.

Maggie rocks back and forth while she examines her calloused knuckles.

MAGGIE

Think I can take him?

DON

I think you can take him. They expect you can’t. That’s why the fee doubled.  They figure it’ll be your last fight.

MAGGIE

I’ll do it.

DON

That’s my girl.

Don pats her back and leaves the locker room. Maggie remains seated and shuts her eyes again.

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9 thoughts on “The Devil Made Us Do It (Part I of IV)

  1. Kay Camden

    As soon as I got to “Evelyn ain’t making it” I recognized it. I didn’t recognize the Mr. Shikongo part, but that’s probably my fault.

    I don’t know anything about screenplays but as it reads to me, it’s great. I can see it all so clearly, and I want to see more. Is there more?

    Reply
  2. Val

    I like this a great deal. The writing is precise and I can see the characters and get a bit of a feel for them. I agree with sparrowsong about adding more detail. I would do that as well with the characters so that the reader will know a bit more about the temperament of each of the individuals. For example: when you introduce Johannes give us a bit more of a character sketch. Does he have any mannerisms that you can insert, like a twitch or does he chain smoke. The detail about his being obese and being sensitive about it is wonderful but add just one or two more little things that define him so that later on you can incorporate those habits into whatever scene he is in to give him more presence.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of this! I love the premise and can’t wait to see where it goes. 🙂

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      That is great advice about adding the character details. I was very much in two minds about the amount of detail to add. Some directors like a lot, others not as much. But I think in this instance that you are quite correct and that I could add more in the way of their individual mannerisms.
      Thank you very much for your insights. I really do apprciate it.

      Reply
  3. sparrowsong

    The only thing that jumps out at me in the way of criticism is the lack of location description; even a minute detail like the specific name of the old folks home can give a more visual description of where we are. A place called “Lake Winchester Home for the Elderly” is going to give the audience a different feel than one called, say, “Sunny Days Retirement Center”.

    Reply
    1. screen_scribbla Post author

      That was a great insight about the name for the home. Thanks very much for suggesting it. I’ll be sure to include that detail in my next draft.
      Thank you for reading and commenting and helping to improve my writing.

      Reply

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