Tuesday, November 27, 2012
SHIPS IN THE NIGHT # 2
TRACY (voice off) Squeeze me!
MATT looks up. TRACY smiles at him with bright red lips.
TRACY Can you drive me home?
MATT nods in the direction of the head of the rank.
MATT Gotta take the first cab in the rank.
TRACY Ouch! What did you do to your hand?
MATT dismisses the question with a gesture, looks back down at the greeting card.
TRACY For someone you love, ay!
MATT Sorry, but you gotta take the first cab in the rank.
TRACY When my boyfriend gives me a present it’s usually because he’s fucked up bigtime.
MATT nods, notices TRACY playing nervously with a silver ring on her finger. She points to the head of the rank.
TRACY First cab in the rank?
MATT nods. TRACY nods, smiles and, as she turns to walk off, waves goodbye to MATT like a young child: thumb outstretched and four fingers moving, flapping up and down: ’ta ta’.
MATT watches her for a long moment as she walks to the head of the rank. He picks up his phone, calls Juliet again, holds the mobile to his ear:
MESSAGE The person you have called.
MATT looks at his mobile for a long moment - with mixed feelings about the call he is about to make: “S”, “E”…Serena. After several rings, Serena answers the phone.
SERENA’S VOICE Hey…
MATT Hey…(SILENCE) Just…I’ll be there in 45 mins, max. Okay? (SILENCE) Unless…!?
A long silence. MATT grimaces; waits
SERENA’S VOICE Okay.
Another awkward silence. MATT’S attention is caught by BLUE at the head of the rank arguing with someone obscured from his view.
MATT But not if you don’t want me to…
SERENA’S VOICE Forty five minutes, right?
MATT Sixty max…
SERENA’S VOICE Okay.
Serena hangs up. MATT hangs up, sighs, looks to the head of the rank where, judging by his body language, BLUE is losing his argument.
MATT returns the mobile to his left jacket pocket, looks at his bloody knuckles for a moment, then down at the greeting card. He writes:
The deep base throbbing of a revving car engine. MATT sees, in the mirror at the side of his car, a ‘pimped out’ purple sedan (outsize wheels, gold dragon decals along the sides) cruising slowly up behind him.
The purple sedan pulls up alongside him for a moment as its DRIVER and passenger, who we will get to know as GBH. GBH has a shaved head with skull-and-crossbones tattoo. He looks to where BLUE is arguing. A malicious smile appears on his face.
MATT tilts his head slightly to read the letters tattooed beneath the skull-and-crossbones in italic script: GBH.
GBH turns, sees MATT looking at him. His face becomes contorted with an angry snarl (“What the fuck are you looking at!”) as he looks directly into MATT’S eyes – challenging him to look away. MATT holds his gaze, shakes his head ever so slightly: (“Sorry, mate, I’m neither intimidated nor impressed!”)
GBH raises his fist aggressively at MATT, who raises his bloody-knuckled fist in response. Macho standoff!
The DRIVER draws GBH’s attention to the fact that BLUE has interrupted his argument and is looking towards them. As BLUE runs off GBH gestures to the DRIVER to drive. He puts his foot on the accelerator and the purple car careens down the road, tires screeching, in the direction that BLUE is running.
MATT watches as the purple car pulls up close to BLUE, running. GBH – a tall solidly built man carrying about 30 kilos too much weight – leaps from the car and, with surprising agility, gives chase to BLUE who, in an attempt to evade him, rushes onto the road. GBH catches him in the middle of it, lifts him by the scruff of his jacket off the ground. BLUE, tiny compared with GBH, waves his arms around, talks fast, trying to placate GBH. GBH relaxes his grip, lowers him to the ground, whereupon BLUE lifts his knee hard between GBH’S legs.
MATT watches GBH crumple to the ground in agony as BLUE races off, disappearing from view.
GBH struggles to his feet and hobbles back to the purple car, bashing the bonnet hard with his fist before getting back in. The purple car then performs a radical u-turn – tires screeching – and drives back in the direction it came from.
MATT catches a glimpse of GBH as the purple sedan passes – his face expressing both his rage and his humiliation.
MATT’S attention returns to the gift card in his hands. As he thinks about what he is going to write, he sees:
At the head of the rank TRACY leans towards the driver talking to him through the window. MATT looks back down at the card, writes tentatively – not just because his hand hurts but because he is uncertain how to express himself. He continues with his writing:
You know how much…
MATT looks up, sees:
TRACY, two cabs in front of him, leaning close to talk to the driver through the window. The driver, not won over by her bright smile, shakes his head. TRACY looks back at MATT, grins, shrugs her shoulders. MATT shakes his head.
TRACY moves to the cab in front of MATT. She leans to talk to (and smile at) the driver through the window, lifting one leg slightly in the air in a ‘sexy’ gesture she has seen in some movie. She is trying to play the role of vamp but hasn’t quite got her performance right yet.
MATT looks back down at the card, continues writing, pauses, thinks what to write next.
You know how much I…
TRACY walks up, grinning cheekily.
TRACY You are the first cab in the rank, now.
...to be continued...