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Scene #8 – Sleeping in Custody

October 30, 2011

Jail

INT – Police Station.

Camera – direct shot.

Tom sits lopsided on a bench. He is nursing a nosebleed. His eyes are unfocused, his hair is a mess, and he is also sporting a huge stain on his shirt. Evidently, Tom is drunk.

TOM

I wasn’t even harassing her!!

He slides over to the other side of the bench next to a couple.

TOM

Tell him that I wasn’t flirting with your girl okay?

MAN

Hey, ‘she’ – my partner – is a man. I have been telling you that for the better part of tonight already.

MAN’S PARTNER

Officer, when can you go let us go?  And why are we even held custody with him when we brought him here in the first place?

Man’ is muscular, well dressed, and a lot smaller than his partner. ‘Man’s Partner’ for his height, is about 150 pounds away from what one would consider a comfortable weight for him.

TOM

(Rubs his eyes)

No, she is not. Look at her boobs!

With his arms outstretched, Tom reaches over to Man’s Partner chest area.

Enraged, Man slaps Tom’s wrist away and gets up from the bench.

TOM

What are you doing? I am gonna destroy you with my Tai Chi skills that I learned from the mystic mountains of Wu Dang!

We see Tom leap onto Man until –

Cut.

We see Tom handcuffed to the bench.

TOM

Ok, ok, ok. I get it.

(A beat.)

Chris? Chris? Get up.

Chris is sleeping at a corner next to Tom.

 Cut.

The couple is released.

TOM

Why do they get to go?

TOM

(Flails his legs at the direction of the camera)

LET ME GO!

Cut.

Tom sits smugly in between a bunch of gangsters. The scene is completely quiet except for Chris’s snoring. Tom coughs.

Cut.

The gangsters are gone. We see Tom try to pull himself out of the handcuff.

Cut.

Tom finally tires himself. He slouches onto his side trying to fall asleep until Chris’s snoring stop.

TOM

Chris? Wake up.

No response.

TOM

Chris, I know you are awake, Chris.

No response.

TOM

If you don’t wake up I am gonna piss on you.

(Gets up and unzips his pants.)

I am going to do it! I swear I am going to do it Chris!

No response.

TOM

I am gonna do it! Piss dripping down on your face!

We hear some water drip.

TOM

…uh-huh

Chris is in fact sleeping, but Tom’s little act didn’t interrupt it one bit. Chris carries on snoring.

TOM

Sorry Chris, totally lost control there, didn’t mean to piss on you. Sorry, sorry.

(Takes off his shirt and wipes Chris’ face.)

Chris snores.

TOM

Sorry Chris.

Chris turns on his side and a red half-emptied Gatorade bottle is revealed. However, the bottle is stripped of its normal packaging, replacing the packaging is a piece of paper that says “PLEASE DRINK ME”.

TOM

(Picks up the bottle)

Uh. What have you been drinking Chris?

(A beat.)

LET! ME! GO!!

Cut.

TOM

I am so thirsty! Can I get a drink? Water please?

 

No response.

TOM

Officer? I am dehydrating in here!

No response.

TOM

I need water to moisturize my hoarse throat that’s been screaming for the better part of the last 3 hours! Water!

No response.

Tom eyes the red “PLEASE DRINK ME” bottle. No matter how one looks at the bottle, the origin of the bottle and why it says “PLEASE DRINK ME” is highly suspect.  Tom measures up the bottle suspiciously. He turns and tries not to look at it. But unable to contain his thirst, he turns to look at the bottle again.

Camera – zooms into the bottle.

Tom picks the bottle and finishes all its content, right down to the last drop. He heaves a satisfactory sigh. We hear Chris’s snoring again. This lasts for a short moment until Tom too, drifts into sleep.

Cut to Scene #9.

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Scene #7 – Stranger Danger!

October 8, 2011

The Stranger

EXT – Outside the café

Tom rushes out of the café followed by Chris. Tom does two quick swings to survey the scene. We see pedestrians carrying on their business, in other words, no sign of Aubrey. A bus passes, Tom runs over. There’s an extra skip in his step, as Tom waltzes and springs onto the bus.  Chris follows but doesn’t seem to share Tom’s enthusiasm.

INT – Bus

Tom and Chris sit down. Tom is beaming like a little boy and his constant grin is only interrupted by his occasional chuckles. Tom remains in this state for a good minute until Chris breaks the silence.

 

CHRIS

So I assume you are going off to find her?

TOM

(Chuckles as if he thought of something funny in his head.)

Yes.

CHRIS

So how are you, I mean, we are going to start looking for her right now?

TOM

Well to start, a person’s handwriting can tell you a surprising amount of information about that person. An expert would be able to tell a person’s level of concentration, mental state, habits, desires, preferences, personality, and even the person’s lifestyle. And what’s on this paper is not just her name, what’s on this paper is her signature. Jackpot!

CHRIS

I don’t know. Looks a whole lot like she’s just writing her name on the paper and her number so you can call and find her. See these discontinued strokes underneath her name? I think she was in too much of a hurry and didn’t notice that she had ripped page off and left her number behind.

[A beat.]

Besides, you might be able to read that she likes doughnuts by how her “R” curls but how are you going to locate her with just this piece of paper, Sherlock Holmes?

TOM

I understand that what just happened was pretty incredible. Borderline miraculous. But humor me. Why would a girl come up and propose to me, hands me a piece of paper, and runs off for no good reason? Would I be more important than, I don’t know, a class that she is attending?

CHRIS

So what you are saying is that she is giving you a test.

 

TOM

Exactly. What if it’s an invitation – “come and find me”?

CHRIS

So girls just randomly purpose to random guys in cafés. And you are just accepting that? You are just going to go and seek her out?

TOM

Chris, the point was I am interested in her! That makes it a win-win!

CHRIS

Wow. Dude. OK. I think what just transpired is making you a bit excited. And it’s clouding your judgment.

TOM

I know what you are thinking but just have a little faith.

CHRIS

I think you think you know what I am thinking, but it is not what you think I am thinking. In fact, I don’t think you know what you are thinking.

TOM

(Ecstatic)

HEY! What if it’s a test to see if we think alike? Like, if we were truly made for each other, then no matter where I go, we’d bump into each other right?

CHRIS

Are you even listening?

TOM

Okay, from now on, I am just going to walk where the road leads me. And who knows, maybe I will bump into her.

CHRIS

You are going at this like you have never heard of “stranger danger”!

TOM

(Confidently smiles)

Actually Chris, I never did.

[A beat.]

Let’s get off here.

Cut to Scene #8.

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Scene #6 – And Audrey Was Her Name

September 28, 2011

INT – Café.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Hi, my name is Aubrey.

TOM

Uh…

AUBREY

Will you marry me?

TOM
Huh?

Tom sits there, arms frozen, and jaw dropped. He is stunned to silence at this abrupt unfolding of events.


AUBREY
Oh, Sorry.

(Coughs to clear throat)

Bonjour, mon nom est Aubrey. Veux-tu m’épouser?

TOM

Huh?

Tom stares blankly at Aubrey, she pauses and nods.

AUBREY

您好,我的名字是奧布里 。 我們結婚吧?

TOM & CHRIS
Hmm?

AUBREY
당신은 한국어 통화할 수 있을까요?
(Pauses)
あなたは日本を理解していますか?

TOM
Wha –

AUBREY

Können Sie Deutsch sprechen?

TOM

My name is Tom?

AUBREY
¿Quieres casarte conmigo?

TOM
Wait, stop!

AUBREY

You speak English?

CHRIS

(Snickers)
What! Don’t stop?

AUBREY
Sorry, I am in a really big hurry, I have to go, wait.

 (Writes in her notebook and rips a corner)

Take this,
(Hands the paper to Tom)

See you.

TOM

Hm. Ok. Bye.

Aubrey storms out of the café. Tom and Chris instinctively waves.

[A beat.]

Tom shifts in his chair and turns around to look at Chris.

TOM

What. Just. Happened?

CHRIS

Je ne sais pas, je ne sais pas. And that’s French for “I don’t know” if you don’t know.

Chris smiles cheekily. Tom rolls his eyes.

CHRIS

I don’t know about you, but that was down right trippy.

Tom looks at the piece of paper that he was handed.

TOM

Uh. The paper only says, “Aubrey”?

Tom hands the paper to Chris.

CHRIS

(Inspects the piece of paper)

 I am clueless. But if we were in a movie, you’d go looking for her using this piece of paper alone.

TOM

(Snatches the paper from Chris’s hand)

Who knows, Chris, who knows.

Cut to Scene #7.

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Scene #5 – Dude

September 2, 2011

INT – Café.

CHRIS

Is it weird or is it weird that I am thinking about Kimberly right now?

[A beat.]

TOM

Not unless if you are fantasizing me as her while we are enjoying a delightfully made latte in a lazy afternoon.

Chris looks away and scratches his nose.

TOM

Oh, no you are not.

Chris turns to look into Tom’s gaze. Tom awkwardly shifts in his seat.

CHRIS

 Ok, this is awkward right?

TOM

Right.

CHRIS

(Coughs, and then smiles)

You have really dreamy eyes you know that?

TOM

Ok, this is getting truly disturbing.

[A beat.]

Truce?

[Offers to shake]

CHRIS

Truce.

[Takes handshake]

TOM

Did you see the girl that just walked out?

CHRIS

The one with the endless wavy dark locks? The one in the yellow summer dress?

[A beat].

Yes.

TOM

God, I wish I had a pause button or something.

CHRIS

That just sounds wrong on so many levels. And what are you waiting for?

TOM

What?

CHRIS

Go after her!

TOM

Thought about it for a second. I don’t know. Not my character to run after someone.

CHRIS

Character? Then what’s in your character to do?

TOM

I am a “charming talker to a stranger who happen to sit next to me” or a “coincidental discoverer of many common interests to the girl who spilled coffee on me” type of character.

CHRIS

So not a character of initiative.

TOM

Nope. Can’t say that I am.

CHRIS

So in what way is she the girl of your dreams if you are not willing to run after her?

TOM

I don’t know.

[A beat.]

I think that was…love at first sight?

CHRIS

Dude.

TOM

What?

CHRIS

Dude.

TOM

Stop. Don’t dude me. I hate it the double “dudes” to show surprise or disapprove thing. That only happens in bad buddy movies.

CHRIS

I am just sayin’.

TOM

What the heck does that even mean in this context? They say that we humans are getting dumber and dumber. I believe them.

CHRIS

I am saying, implying, that I disapprove of this “love at first sight” statement. I mean I totally get the whole thing about a girl matching all the qualities that you are looking for. But love as in she’s the only one for you? I don’t buy that at all. “Love” is dangerous territory.

TOM

Why? What’s love then?

CHRIS

Again, “love” is dangerous territory. To even begin to describe love would ruin its purity. So I won’t go there. And think about the simple probability of meeting the girl that matches all the qualities that you are looking for.

TOM

And I thought you hated math.

CHRIS

There’s just too many of them. Say we have 7 billion people on Earth. Half that and we have 3.5 billion women on Earth. Say that we take 1/3 of that 3.5 billion.

TOM

Because?

CHRIS

Because I am assuming that you won’t be dating anyone older than 60 and I pray to god that you are not going to date 6 year olds either.

TOM

Ok.

CHRIS

So one-third of 3.5 billion is…

[Pauses]

…1 billion for easier math.

Let’s just say that the chance of a woman meeting all your “mating criteria” is 1% of 1% of 1%…and that would be…

TOM

One thousand.

CHRIS

And one thousand’s hardly a small number. Does that mean you have one thousand true loves lying around on Earth? And if that’s correct, how are they ‘true’ loves in any sense if there’s more than one?

TOM

You have been hanging with Peter Joel lately haven’t you?

CHRIS

(Smirks)

You mean, Peter “MoJoJo” Joel?

TOM

(Annoyed)

Yes.

CHRIS

Yes, I mean, dude might seem like a total crackhead, and I submit, maybe he shouldn’t have embarrass you –

TOM

(Grabs Chris’s arm)

Don’t talk about it.

CHRIS

But he does make a bit of sense sometimes. He was talking what defines “value-creating” work one day. He was telling me that just because you are working, it doesn’t mean that you are necessarily creating any value. This is because the value that you created by doing your job can easily be replicated. Another person can take the same job can create just as much value. You are not ‘creating value’. You are ‘filling in value’. Kind of make sense right?

TOM

So you are trying to say that my ‘love at first sight’ is just one of many and the one that I just saw is not unique? That’s totally cynical!

That would be like saying that a banker who gets paid a six-figure salary creates just as much value as a weed dealer because, as you say, both jobs can be done by another person. But that’s saying that you don’t get any satisfaction out of getting a job, which is not true. And on the topic of weed dealers, I have a suspicion that Peter Joel’s been selling weed on campus, I caught him–

CHRIS

Uh, dude.

TOM

Stop. Don’t dude me.

Someone taps Tom on the shoulder. Tom turns around.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Hey…

CHRIS

Dude.

Cut to Scene #6.

 

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Scene #4 – Goodnight

May 27, 2011

EXT. Street, rainy night.

Tom an umbrella in hand, escorts Dark-haired Girl to an apartment complex.

TOM

Here we are.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Yea.

Tom smiles. Dark-Haired Girl beams, her entire face lights up when she smiles. Tom heaves a sigh when he sees that smile. He is so in love/in awe of her smile.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

So I guess this is goodbye?

TOM

I guess so…bye.

Dark-Haired Girl doesn’t even turn. Her eyes locked in Tom’s.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Goodnight.

TOM

Sweet dreams.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Night.

TOM

Nighty night.

Dark-Haired Girl chuckles, she can see where this is going.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

See you around.

TOM

Until tomorrow.

DAIR-HAIRED GIRL

Peace out.

TOM

Laters.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Au Revoir.

TOM

Ciao.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Sayonara.

TOM

Zai jian.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Adios.

TOM

An Yong.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Namaste.

TOM

Errrrrr…auf…auf…

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Auf wiedersehen?

TOM

Go to bed damnit.

Dark-Haired Girl smiles again. There is a beat of silence, but the good kind of silence. Dark-Haired Girl turns to enter her apartment building. She waves, Tom waves back.

Tom walks back home twirling his umbrella round and round.

Cut to Scene #5.

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Scene #3 – Kim

May 2, 2011

 

INT. Café. Afternoon.

CHRIS and TOM are continuing their conversation from scene #1.

CHRIS

Hey, are you listening?

Tom snaps back to reality.

TOM

Yea…no. What?

CHRIS

(Serious)

Anyway, I need to tell you one thing.

[A beat.]

I am madly in love.

TOM

Uh…ok.

Tom is still reeling back from his thoughts. He forces himself to focus on the conversation.

CHRIS

Dude, I am in love. Where is the reaction?

TOM

(Sarcastic laugh)

As in the part where I fake a reaction? As in the point where I congratulate you, shake your hands or give you a fist pump? Or the part where I say “Shit! No way! Not you too!” and I pretend I am shocked and angry?

Chris shot a “really, Tom, really?” look.

TOM

I am sorry. So how are you in love?

CHRIS

(Leans forward)

She passed the list.

TOM

The list?

CHRIS

Yes, Tom, the list. I told you about the list.

TOM

You mean that list you made when you were drunk after Gloria dumped you? I thought you were just kidding!

CHRIS

I had a moment of clarity Tom. I realized I wasn’t happy. We weren’t meant to be. It’s just that…Gloria wanted to break up first. That’s all. And know what I realized? It’s not worth going through all that time and effort to see if another person is right for you or not. Life is short. So why don’t I put every prospective girl to an admission exam? If they pass the cutoff, then it’s worth a look. It’s about increasing the probability of success and minimizing the effort.

TOM

So apart from sounding like the biggest ass on Earth, you found the girl that made your list?

CHRIS

She met every one of them. It’s crazy. She’s 167cm, give or take 1cm. She’s an animal lover. She has spotless skin. She’s feisty but shy. Her hair length is longer than shoulder length. She’s got an older brother. She’s optimistic and a charming smiler. She’s perfect. A plus plus.

TOM

I don’t know. I’ve a bad feeling about this.

CUT to:

INT. Night. Apartment.

Chris is drinking from a vodka bottle while Tom is watching. Chris suddenly stands up and pours vodka all over his body. Pulling a lighter from his pocket, he attempts to light himself on fire. Tom jumps up and grabs Chris’s arms.

TOM

Whoa, calm down!

CHRIS

LET ME DIE! LET ME DIE NOW!

CUT to:

INT. Café. Afternoon. Back to TOM and CHRIS’s conversation.

 

TOM

Ok, details please.

 

CHRIS

Kim. Behavioral genetics class. Met her 5 weeks ago. Facebook and number. Lunch-ed and coffee-ed twice. Found out I loved her this Monday, two days ago.

TOM

Not bad.

CHRIS

(Serious)

I haven’t felt this good since winning $10,000 from the lottery. And in a way it’s like winning the biological lottery right?

TOM

I guess.

[A beat.]

You know, I think I just saw the girl of my dreams too.

CUT to Scene #4.

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Scene #2 – Search

April 23, 2011

 

EXT. Ocean. Morning.

A majestic blue whale shoots water out of its blowhole several tens of feet into the air, and then dips steadily into the water. Its enormous spine follows next, slowly streaming back under the surface. Waves ripple gently to rhythmical movements of whales. A small ship of tourists arrives on scene. Tom and Dark-Haired Girl are standing in the front.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

(Smiles gleefully)

Wow, look at that! That’s something isn’t it?

TOM stands closer to side of DARK-HAIRED GIRL, propping his body to the rail of the boat.

TOM

(Looks at Dark-Haired Girl)

Yes, absolutely.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

(Turns around to look at Tom)

Isn’t it amazing? Look at that pair. (Points) I wonder how they found each other and decided they were right for each other.

TOM

Well, well, stop there, lady. That is if they are a couple! What if they are just bros who just decided to come up to the surface for a little breather? That’s a hugely uncomfortable situation that you just put the poor whales into!

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

I am sure the LGBT community would love to hear you speak.

TOM

Easy. But yea, how does this whale-lady decide that this whale-man is her fish?

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

I wonder if love has any meaning to the whales? I wonder if these whales feel a sentiment like love? Whale-lady swims all around the world. Whale-man swims all around the world. Then they found each other. And it just clicked. What clicked?

TOM

I don’t know. Maybe whale-man has the most muscular fins she has ever seen? Or really good teeth?

The blue whale rises slightly to the surface again, blowing water into the air. The tourists in the background cheer.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

(Laughs)

…or the most beautiful blow-hole in the world?

TOM

(Joins the laughter)

…or a really deep husky voice?

A gust of wind sweeps across the ocean. Dark-Haired Girl strokes her bangs back in place behind her ear. She points at one of the whales.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

So what’s that one? 8? 9?

TOM

I’d give him a 9. He’s got a nice personality. He paces himself pretty well, he doesn’t rush, seems like an all-around cool guy.

[A beat.]

Oh, and he is shielding her from traffic (points to the ship). My mom always taught me not to let my girl walk on the side of traffic. This guy is a one…gentle-fish! Except…

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

…Except?

TOM

…Except he’s such a show-off. The entire world don’t have to see you make-out in public.

Tom winces in pain for comedic effect. Dark-Haired Girl smiles slightly. Whales swim up for a breath again.

TOM

Ok, apparently she doesn’t think so.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

I hope she thinks he’s 10 in her eyes. That’s all that matters. She traveled around the world to find him!

TOM

Hey, don’t discredit the guy. He also traveled the world to find her!

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Fair enough. And they just happened to find each other. Don’t you think that the part that clicked, the part that we can’t explain why it clicked and why it didn’t click, is love?

TOM

I guess?

Dark-Haired Girl leans in to peer into Tom’s eyes. Her eyes are clear but intense. Tom is taken aback. The change in topic, her sudden seriousness, and her gaze make him nervous. Actually, her gaze is probably the primary reason that made him nervous.

DARK-HAIRED GIRL

Tom…what’s love to you?

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CUT to Scene #3.