Monday, December 10, 2012
SHIPS IN THE NIGHT # 10 (final segment)
This is the final installment of that I would refer to as an ‘interim draft’ mid-way between a first and second draft.
…continued on from SHIPS IN THE NIGHT # 9
BLUE, beaming a stupid smile, starts to make his way towards Matt’s cab also – just as the purple sedan pulls up closeby. GBH gets out, moves fast towards BLUE.
39 EXT. GLUTTONS. NIGHT
MATT runs full tilt towards the entrance as BLUE drops his food and drinks and tries to make a run for it. GBH grabs him and is just about to flatten BLUE with a backhander when MATT arrives behind him, grabs his arm, spins him around, holds him firmly - speaking calmly but authoritatively:
GBH is disoriented for a second, unused as he is to meeting opposition of any kind. He recovers quickly, however.
GBH extricates himself from MATT’S grip. MATT doesn’t put up any resistance but stands his ground, looking directly into GBH’S eyes. BLUE moves to run. Without taking his eyes off MATT, GBH grabs BLUE by the scruff of his shirt.
MATT Let him go.
GBG smiles maliciously.
GBH Go fuck yaself cunt. Mind ya own fucking business.
MATT Let him go ya big fucking useless tub of lard.
GBH lets BLUE go, grabs MATT by the scruff of his shirt, snarls menacingly, his face close to MATT’S.
GBH What the fuck you just say?
MATT Said you’re a big useless tub of lard. A useless waste of fucking space. A…
GBH throws a fast right hook that connects with MATT’S face and sends him sprawling. As MATT lies stunned on the ground, JULIET runs to help him as TRACY races up to GBH, leaps onto him and starts bashing him with her fists, pulling his hair.
TRACY Fuckin’ arsehole!
GBH is in such a rage that he barely notices TRACY hanging off him, beating him. He has his fists ready for the next round as MATT struggles to his feet.
JULIET Dad, don’t…
GBH flicks TRACY off. MATT, on his feet now, ignores JULIET – his nose bloodied, his lip bleeding. He walks back up to GBH – whose fists are at the ready, shifting his weight from one foot to the other as if he was in a boxing ring. MATT stops a few feet from him, watches GBH for a moment, shakes his head, smiles. GBH slaps him across the face with a backhander.
GBH You fucking want me to beat the shit out of you?
MATT Nah, not particularly, GBH, but nor do you…
GBH looks to his mates – who are clearly eager for him to beat the shit out of MATT. GBH snarls, slaps MATT again.
MATT If your mates weren’t here, there’d be no-one to impress, ay?
GBH is completely thrown by this. This is a script that he is completely unfamiliar with.
He points to BLUE.
GBH But…this little cunt owes me money!
MATT How much?
GBH Eight hundred bucks.
MATT Eight hundred bucks? So, if he gives you eight hundred bucks you wont need to beat the little cunt up?
GBH I guess…
MATT Wait right here, GBH. And don’t lay a finger on the little cunt, okay?
GBH nods, avoids the dirty looks from his mates. MATT strides back to the cab, drops into the driver’s seat.
40 INT. CAB. GLUTTONS. NIGHT
MATT takes out his night’s earnings, counts it.
He takes out his wallet, extracts a couple of fifty dollar notes but still hasn’t got enough.
MATT’S attention is caught by a cracking sound. He looks at the window – the cracks growing a few more inches as he watches. He shakes his head, smiles, looks down at the seat beside him, makes a decision, opens the cab door.
41 EXT. GLUTTONS. NIGHT
MATT hands cash to GBH.
MATT $650 and something worth $150.
GBH takes the money first, then the parcel. He holds it as if it really was a present for him - the beginnings of a smile appearing on his face. His MATES look on, disgusted.
GBH Can I open it? Now?
GBH starts to undo the ribbon carefully. MATT sees the greeting card, slips it out of the envelope. As he unwraps the parcel GBH is careful not to tear the paper. He is now just a kid opening a present. Inside he finds a Kindle.
MATT Should be able to get $150 for it…
GBH This is one of those things ya can read books and stuff on, right?
GBH I never been a big one for reading.
BLUE You should read ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, GB. Fucking awesome!
GBH nods, trying hard to hide his excitement from his MATES..
A LITTLE LATER
MATT and JULIET stand a little distance from where BLUE is giving GBH a quick lesson in how to use the Kindle.
MATT …I didn’t come to Melbourne to be close to you, like I’d promised… because…this is not an excuse…just an explanation…it broke my heart so much every time I had to say goodbye to you and…(A BEAT)…you remember what I was like…
MATT And your mother said to me if I was going to cry like that every time I saw you she…she’d rather I didn’t come…which is why I stopped coming to the house…
As BLUE gives him a quick Kindle lesson, GBH is aware of the disapproving looks on the faces of his TWO MATES – standing beside the purple sedan.
BLUE And this controls the size of the font…the letters…
MATT …and remember, we’d meet in the park or at the pier or somewhere ‘safe’ where your mum wouldn’t have to see me?
MATT And then when you stopped wanting to hug me…
JULIET It wasn’t because I wanted to but because mum said…and not just mum, but school…everyone…that now I was a young woman…
BLUE’S Kindle lesson has finished. GBH nods, tries unsuccessfully to slip back into his tough persona; turns and walks awkwardly to the purple sedan. He moves to get into the front passenger seat but one of his MATES is sitting there. GBH climbs sheepishly into the back seat.
JULIET And then you stopped coming to Melbourne. I mean, every second weekend…
MATT Because I didn’t think you wanted me to…like you were pushing me away.
JULIET I was, because it hurt so much that you weren’t there and I thought it might hurt less if I didn’t see you than if I saw you just sometimes…but then I was angry that you didn’t come more often and…
MATT shakes his head.
JULIET smiles, nods.
MATT Why didn’t you tell me any of this…?
JULIET You know why, ay?
JULIET I didn’t come to Sydney for Harmony’s birthday.
MATT I know.
JULIET Why didn’t you tell me? (A BEAT) Faark! (THEY BOTH SMILE) I came to see you. I had all these things I wanted to say but was scared to say, in case…
MATT Me too. Why is that?
JULIET shakes her head.
JULIET I don’t know. You’re the adult here. Aren’t you supposed to know things like that?
MATT I guess. A slow learner. Your mother’s right about that, at least.
JULIET laughs. MATT takes her in his arms, holds her tight. JULIET reciprocates, tears in her eyes. She smiles.
42 INT. GLUTTONS. NIGHT
TRACY, BLUE and JULIET sit in a cubicle eating fast food. JULIET stares at TRACY in shock:
JULIET (incredulous) A virgin! No way!
TRACY nods. JULIET looks at BLUE for confirmation.
BLUE (nods) Way!
BLUE grins, looks at TRACY. She smiles, takes his hand, entwines their fingers, rests her head on BLUE’S shoulder.
TRACY But ya know what, I been thinking…!?
TRACY remembers something, reaches for her mobile phone.
43 INT. CAB. NIGHT
MATT drives, a contented smile on his face. Music plays on the radio. The sound of rooster crowing. MATT lifts his mobile to his ear.
TRACY’S VOICE Hey, ya never did tell me why ya wanted me to tell you about my dad!?
MATT (smiles) Listening practice.
TRACY’S VOICE If ya need any more lessons…
Ever lose your wallet again…
A LITTLE LATER
MATT drives, turns the music on the radio up, bops along to it, looks at the knuckles – the blood dried now. The end credits begin to roll over MATT driving.
Up ahead, seen through the cracked windscreen, a figure stands at the side of the road, arm outstretched, trying to flag MATT down. As he drives past the tall figure, his face lost in shadow, MATT gestures ‘Sorry’. The figure waves back: OK. Only when MATT glances in the rear-vision mirror does he realize that the figure is GBH – a forlorn hangdog expression on his face, his body slumped in defeat – clutching his new Kindle; its screen blue.
MATT keeps driving, his mind is racing. Suddenly he slams on the brakes, skids to a standstill. He looks at the rear-vision mirror – in which GBG can be seen loping towards the cab.
44 EXT. CAB CITY STREET.NIGHT
A wide shot. MATT’S cab is parked at the side of the road. GBH runs the final 10 or so meters to the cab, stands by the driver’s door talking to MATT. The credits continue to roll as MATT and GBH talk. Their conversation, unheard, goes on and on. The end credits continue as MATT and GBH talk.
Fade to black