pandemo (pandemo) wrote,
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pandemo

Act I, Scene I PatM (WC: 2194)F


http://pandemo.livejournal.com/642702.html

FADE IN:

EXT. ISOLATED IOWA HORSE FARM - OBIE'S FRONT PORCH - SUNSET

O. B. HORSEFEATHERS (OBIE) sits alone on a bench as usual. She affectionately cuddles three unweaned kittens.

        OBIE
    Welp, cats, the mosquito sunset has ar-
    rived.
Sunset-streaked rain clouds build off to the northeast.

        OBIE (V. O.)
    Looks like rain off to the north.
Obie lowers the latest trio of kittens to the steps.

        OBIE
    Crawl back in under the porch. Being
    cats, you’ll discover you don’t want to
    get wet.
      (Addresses the various mother cats.)
    Show the little guys the holes you've
    dug under the skirting so they know
    where to go.
SUNSET MONTAGE - POV OBIE'S PORCH - CONTINUOUS

-MS of a pink reflection of the clouds that glistens on the smooth surface of neighbor’s pond visible to the southeast below Obie’s hill.

-a DEER bounds swiftly through another neighbor’s hay field along the creek bed to the south.

-We end on a shot of a RABBIT as it hops through a low piece of the woven wire fence on the west side of Obie’s circle drive.

END MONTAGE

        OBIE (V. O.)
    They don't need to undergo a soaking.
    It's time you quit carrying them every-
    where, anyway.
EXT. PORCH

Obie inserts a used envelope as a bookmark into Robert Ruark's SOMETHING OF VALUE (or some other, equally weighty, tome). Her knees CREAK as she hoists herself up. She stretches the kinks out.

        OBIE
      And if you want my advice,
    (groans)
      don't get old.

    INT. OBIE'S MOBILE HOME - LIVING ROOM - BEDTIME

    Obie enters the house, meticulously latches the screen door securely behind her, and carefully shuts the interior door.

          OBIE (V.O.)
      I wonder if the wind will get very
      gusty.

    EXT. OBIE'S DRIVEWAY - Later

    A low-slung Jag turns into the house driveway at emergency marker 920/1. It cautiously straddles the gully coming downhill to keep from dragging.

    INT. OBIE'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

    HEADLIGHTS flash in a semicircle on Obie’s wall as the car turns into the circle drive at the top of the hill where Obie’s house sits.

    Obie HOPS up, RE-HOOKS her jeans, rejects the top she'd worn that day, JERKS on a man's oversized white t-shirt, and HEADS toward the front door.

          OBIE (V.O.)
        (mumbles grumpily)
      Now who'd be pulling into the driveway
      this late with only the back light
      showing? Seems as if a body would know
      that's a sign of goin' beddy-bye.

    INT. KITCHEN

    Obie peeks out the kitchen window as she passes.

          OBIE
        (emits an appreciative WHISTLE)
      As if anyone from around here could af-
      ford to drive a sleek little number
      like that! If it stays here any length
      of time, the neighborhood gossips will
      have a field day deciding how it got
      here, who owns it, and how they're re-
      lated to ME.

    EXT. OBIE'S DRIVEWAY

    The car door SLAMS. A tall, well-dressed stranger, (JEREMIAH), confidently approaches the front porch and REACHES out to open the screen door .

    INT. OBIE'S LIVING ROOM

    Obie continues to the front door, switches on the porch light and puts her eyeball to the peephole.

          OBIE
      Man sure matches his car. Definitely
      not local.

    INT. OBIE'S LIVING ROOM - DOORWAY

    Obie YANKS the door open to find JEREMIAH holding the screen open just as he REACHES for the door knocker.

          OBIE
        (acerbically)
      If you'll give me some breathing space,
      we can set on that bench there.

    Obie stares level, eyeball to eyeball, with Jeremiah due to the added height advantage given by the doorway. She exudes menace.

          OBIE
      You're a tall one, aren't ya?

    Obie looks Jeremiah up and down thoroughly, as if he were a horse she plans to purchase, then steps down and circles around him.

    EXT. OBIE’S PORCH - CONTINUOUS

    Obie scowls throughout the inspection. She intimidates him completely.

          OBIE
      Twenty-something, right?

    Jeremiah exhibits signs of unease and embarrassment. He is very good looking and normally gets positive feedback from the women he deigns to talk to.

    Jeremiah swallows uncomfortably, disconcerted.

          JEREMIAH
      Just. Almost out the top.

    Throughout the rest of the conversation, both Obie and Jeremiah slap repeatedly at mosquitoes, apparently drawn by the PORCH LIGHT.

          OBIE
      Good ol' boy before you got all yuppi-
      fied?

    Jeremiah gestures helplessly.

          JEREMIAH
      I guess.

          OBIE
      That car, these duds -- tailor made to
      attract attention. So, why're you all
      flustered when you get it?

    Jeremiah widens his eyes.

          JEREMIAH
      It's unexpected, the way you do it.

    Obie places her hands on her hips belligerently.

          OBIE
      So is a stranger's arrival, unan-
      nounced, this late in the evening. As
      a bona fide member of the good ol'
      boys, you ought to know that.

          JEREMIAH
        (stammers at first,
        then his voice gains
        confidence)
      The travel time estimate was way off.
      I should have gotten here around five
      or six o’clock.

    Obie eases her hostile manner a bit.

          OBIE
      That happens.

    Obie studies Jeremiah's face intently.

          OBIE
      Do I know you from somewhere? You look
      vaguely familiar, but not in that get-
      up.

          JEREMIAH
      Unlikely. I found you on the Internet.

    Obie eyes him shrewdly. She frowns.

          OBIE
      It's a little late to be horse shop-
      ping. Lots of good horseflesh running
      around here, though, show and endurance
      stock, some breeding packages.

          JEREMIAH
      Horses? No. Decidedly not.

    Jeremiah still feels uncomfortable under her intense scrutiny, but his natural cockiness is beginning to return.

          JEREMIAH (CONTINUOUS)
      Do you plan to check my teeth, too?

    Obie plunks herself down on the bench.

          OBIE
      They got the plot map on line now?
      It's a little late to get the lay of
      the land today, too.

          JEREMIAH
      Your farm's on the market?

          OBIE
      Nope. Worked too hard to get it free
      and clear. My nephew gets it when I'm
      gone.

          JEREMIAH
      No kids of your own, then.

          OBIE
      Or maybe just none I like very much...
      Snoopy thing, aren't you?

    Jeremiah shrugs noncommittally.

          JEREMIAH
      You're older than I thought.

          OBIE
      Don't give it a thought. Happens to
      the best of us. It's not as if we plan
      to date, or something.

    Obie and Jeremiah examine each other for an uncomfortably long period of time. Finally, Obie raises her eyebrows.

          OBIE
      Ball's in your court, Mystery Man. I'm
      plum out of sensible possibilities.

    Jeremiah enchants her with his prize-winning grin.

    OBIE describes it as a SOAS (SEX ON A STICK) grin in her thoughts in response to his thinness.

          OBIE
        (thinks)
      SOAS grin to the max.

          JEREMIAH
      Actually, I'm here about your Travels
      Far Saga.

    Obie is obviously blown away, all trace of her former rancor gone.

          OBIE
      What?

    Jeremiah tips his head toward Obie, eyes sparkling.

          JEREMIAH
      Despina and Cu?

          OBIE
      That story's not even finished yet.

          JEREMIAH
      Scriptwriters always muck things
      around, anyway.

          OBIE
      It's a novel, not a script.

          JEREMIAH
      It's talky, like a script.

          OBIE
      Yeah, in parts. It was my first book.
      I didn't consider the parts finished
      until I'd shown, not told, so lots of
      characters' facial expressions, the
      main character's actual words and
      quirky thoughts, lots of dialog, very
      little scene-setting. The characters,
      even minor ones, are pretty well
      fleshed out, with individualized
      voices.

      You an agent?

          JEREMIAH
      Nah, but I can recommend you to a few
      good ones, if you need one.

          OBIE
      When I get it revised, I'll think about
      shopping it around.

          JEREMIAH
      But I'm the right age NOW.

          OBIE
      What? People can read at any age,
      nearly, or be read to.

          JEREMIAH
      No! I want to PLAY CU.

          OBIE
      Play with Cu? What? Interactive gam-
      ing? I'm not much into role-playing
      games. I heard you could get rich
      quick in RPG's if you got lucky. Is
      that what you did?

          JEREMIAH
      No. I want to BE CU.

    Obie eyeballs Jeremiah in shock.

          OBIE
      There are obviously a few problems with
      that. First, you're a good four-five
      inches too short, tall as you are.
      This guy and his brother are pro bas-
      ketball player tall. Then you're the
      wrong race. He's Native American.
      You're Caucasian. Your hair's dark enough,
      but your eyes are brown flecked, not
      blue.

          JEREMIAH
      Colored contacts. Height can be
      concealed/enhanced by camera angles.

          OBIE
      I suppose they can do that now,
      can't they?

    Obie examines his eyes intently, tipping his head so the light falls more fully on them.

          OBIE
      I don’t know. I’m no expert, but with
      an asset like those, I’d be careful of
      covering them up. Besides, the book's
      not finished. Nothing's ready to BE
      PLAYED.

          JEREMIAH
        (Laughs with delight.)
      Talk about backhanded complements!

      So, what do you think is missing?

          OBIE
      You're not built right.

    Jeremiah looks surprised. He flexes his muscles, revealing a build good enough not to be scoffed at.

    Obie again circles his body, studying it intently. She stops opposite his face, one porch step up from him, fingering along his cheekbones with a feather-light touch.

          OBIE
      You need higher cheekbones, a different
      facial structure, rounder.

    Obie runs her fingertips down his ski-slope nose.

          OBIE
      A more aquiline nose, and darker, red-
      der skin -- you know, to BE Native
      American.

    Jeremiah frowns.

          OBIE
      I think it's degrading to keep trying
      to foist off obviously White actors as
      Native Americans, especially when we
      have the real McCoy readily available.

    Jeremiah opens his mouth to speak, but Obie runs on, oblivious.

          OBIE
      It's insulting to the intelligence of
      the movie-going public to force them to
      suspend their disbelief in such fix-
      able, obviously WRONG ways.

          JEREMIAH
      Theoretically, I agree. But this guy
      turns out NOT to be all Native Ameri-
      can, nor even mostly Native American.

          OBIE
      But he looks the part, except for his
      eyes, not like the descendant of a cap-
      tive White, and lives in a land attuned
      to the difference. One of the themes
      deals with that prejudice. Using a
      White actor is just not an option.

    Jeremiah nods in acknowledgment as he slaps a mosquito.

          JEREMIAH
      What's missing, plot wise?

          OBIE
      The falling action.

          JEREMIAH
      That's quite a downfall. But I read
      the ending. I don't remember feeling
      that things were left out -- that there
      was a huge gap that stretched my credi-
      bility.

          OBIE
      Too much speed-reading?

      That's enough of this.

    Obie CIRCLES back around Jeremiah, yawning hugely.

    INT. OBIE’S HOUSE – DOORWAY - CONTINUOUS

    Obie OPENS the storm door and quickly STEPS in. She pointedly does not invite Jeremiah inside. Instead she HOLDS the door open.

    Jeremiah smiles engagingly as he holds out his hand.

          JEREMIAH
      Jeremiah Hagrath.

    Obie ignores Jeremiah's outstretched hand.

          OBIE
      I once had an ethnic Russian acrobatics
      pilot refuse to shake my hand through
      the open doorway... Some sort of
      sutishperous, spurshioutius, supersti-
      tious bad luck mumbo-jumbo.

    Obie gives a self-conscious shrug.

          OBIE
      I hate that! I’m dyslexic. Normally
      I’m fluent and well-spoken, with a su-
      perb vocabulary. But sometimes, the
      stuff scrambles itself around in my
      head, and when it spills out, I can’t
      get my tang untungled, and the twords
      come out all wisted.

      Obviously, it intensifies whenever I’m
      nervous or upset.

    Jeremiah pecks her impulsively on the cheek.

    EXT. – OBIE’S PORCH - CONTINUOUS

    Obie steps out and takes his hand firmly in hers, giving it a hearty shake and squeeze.

          OBIE (CONT'D)
        O. B. Horsefeathers.

      Jeremiah flashes his quirky grin.

            JEREMIAH
        Surely a pseudonym. You can't fool me.
        I'm no cowboy, but even as citified as
        I am, I know horses don't have feath-
        ers.

      Obie finally responds to his contagious SOAS grin with one of her own.

            OBIE
        Surely.

            JEREMIAH
        You ought to use that smile more often.
        It's quite high wattage and transforms
        your entire face.

        Shall we adjourn this discussion some-
        where relaxing over supper? I prefer
        my blood unsampled, even though you
        have minuscule mosquitoes compared to
        the mammoth dive-bombers we have in
        Minnesota.

      Jeremiah gallantly takes her arm to escort her down the plank walkway to his car.

      Obie tugs unsuccessfully, but not very vigorously, to free herself.

            OBIE
        There might be something still open in Des
        Moines.

            JEREMIAH
        I just came from there. That's a good
        hour and a half drive. Closer? I'm
        hungrier than that. And a room for the
        night?

      EXT. OBIE’S DRIVEWAY - CONTINUOUS

      Jeremiah opens the car door, hands her in with practiced ease, and locks her seat belt snugly around her.

      INT. JEREMIAH’S CAR - CONTINUOUS

      Obie looks bemused at the belt. She tests its tightness.

            OBIE
        Okay, but remember, you're the one who
        wanted to slum.

      Obie directs Jeremiah to Ludlow's Steak House in Corydon, a mere seventeen miles one way, and also home to the closest motel.

      Obie studies Jeremiah's profile intently as they travel.

            OBIE
        I DO know you, at least in an on-screen
        persona. Pearls Thrown Before Swine.
        Donato. Cute in a Speedo. Nice dim-
        ples, cheek AND chin. Under the palm
        tree sex scene, fronds waving back and
        forth, artistically hiding bits of the
        action, sort of... Hot, hot, hot!

      Obie blushes.

      Jeremiah glances over and notes the darkening of her face by the dashboard lights.

            JEREMIAH (CONTINUOUS)
        All fully scripted, choreographed,
        even; every action carefully faked.

      Jeremiah reaches over and pats Obie's tense hand as it grips the armrest.

            JEREMIAH
        Have no fear.

      Jeremiah’s face lights with another devilish grin. He turns back to the empty road.

            JEREMIAH
        I'm harmless, mostly.

      Last updated 12/10/09 Removed duplicate a stranger (JEREMIAH) from the action statements; Changed she to Obie in action statement; added OBIE describes it as a SOAS (SEX ON A STICK) grin in her thoughts in response to his thinness.

            OBIE
          (thinks)
        SOAS grin to the max.

      ; changed White to Caucasian Added , and lives in a land attuned to the difference. One of the themes deals with that prejudice. Using a White actor is just not an option. Added contagious SOAS grin; 6/20/08 - Being cats, you’ll discover you don’t want to get wet. (6/19/08 - Obie studies Jeremiah's profile intently as they travel. 12/31/07. All fully scripted, choreographed, even; every action carefully faked. Added every action. 12/25/07, added red corrections from printed pages run 10/11/07. 12/11/07, ice day. Added action statements bottom page 11 on. Modem went out around 7:30 with electricity. Converted Act I, Scene I to Pages script format on Mac Pro Laptop. 6/9/07 -Finished format update, correcting action statements, OB to OBIE, and some slight rewordings. 6/3/07 - Changed shucks into to tosses on after checking shuck in dic.) Updated actions vs. ways of saying things, redid first speech 10/7.

      Word Count: 2194
      Readability: 5.3)
Tags: patm
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