84 INT. GALLERY. NIGHT
The PATRONS are gone now. DANIEL stands in front of the photo of Honey, dejected. The GALLERY OWNER is switching off lights. DANIEL lifts the photo of Honey from the wall.
HELEN and JASPER stand in the doorway watching him.
DANIEL looks over to HELEN - a desperate look in his eyes. His hands shake. HELEN starts to walk towards him. JASPER follows.
Jasper, I want to speak with your father. Alone.
JASPER nods, stops reluctantly. HELEN walks up to DANIEL.
Darling, don't be a drama queen. It's a hiccup, not a death sentence.
HELEN indicates the photo in DANIEL’S hands.
We’ll track her down, get her consent...
DANIEL stares at HELEN - a haunted look in his eyes.
I don't want Jas to see you like this. (A BEAT) I mean...
From the other side of the gallery, JASPER watches as HELEN talks with DANIEL. HELEN’S attempts to cajole him do not work. She gives up, walks back towards JASPER. DANIEL, his head lowered, stares at the floor.
JASPER walks towards DANIEL, passing HELEN half way across the gallery. HELEN gestures to her to leave her father alone. JASPER ignores her, walks up to DANIEL, wraps her arms around his waist, hugs him tightly. DANIEL tries to smile.
DANIEL’S and HELEN’S eyes meet.
85 INT. CAR. NIGHT
HELEN drives, JASPER in the passenger seat.
If you had just one wish, one wish in the whole wide world, what would it be?
Your father’s going to be OK.
You’re just saying that to shut me up.
No, that’s not true. (A BEAT) OK, I wish that you'd stop asking me so many questions....so many difficult questions...so late at night.
What’s difficult about saying what you want?
HELEN thinks about this for a long moment.
What’s difficult is...not being sure what you want.
Telling the truth.
But...you think I don’t tell you the truth?
JASPER does not answer.
JASPER looks out the window. HELEN is annoyed.
86 EXT. HIGHWAY. NIGHT
The wheels of a motor bike spinning on an asphalt road.
DANIEL, wind in his hair, drives his Harley Davison fast - crash helmet and a blue duffle bag strapped to the back.
DANIEL opens the throttle, roars down the deserted highway.
87 YOUNG HONEY'S BEDROOM. NIGHT
YOUNG HONEY looks out the window of her bedroom at:
HONEY'S MOTHER, in a white night dress, moving around in a storage shed in the back yard - filled with old furniture, boxes etc. Her movements are purposeful but it is difficult, from YOUNG HONEY'S POV to make out just what she is doing.
HONEY’S MOTHER picks something up that is out of view.
YOUNG HONEY watches.
HONEY’S MOTHER picks up a can of petrol, unscrews the cap.
As the significance of what she is looking at dawns on her, YOUNG HONEY'S fear turns into terror. She opens her mouth to scream.
88 INT. JUVENILE DETENTION CENTRE CELL. NIGHT
HONEY jolts awake in her bed - her face pale, wet with sweat. She sits for a long moment, reaches for her journal, flips through to a page with a photo of a giant squid. She gently removes the sticky tape holding the photo in place. Hidden behind it is a razor blade.
89 EXT. DIRT ROAD. BLUE MOUNTAINS. DAWN
DANIEL is off the beaten track now, on a dirt road. As he leans into a sharp curve in the road the bike slides out from under him, skids sideways along the road, disappearing in a cloud of dust.
The dust clears. DANIEL lies beside his motor bike in the bush, opens his eyes, looks at the gash on his arm for a moment, feels his body for other wounds, stands, grimaces a little, rights his Harley, kick starts it, drives off.
90 EXT. CLIFF FACE. SUNRISE
DANIEL reaches into the blue duffle bag tied to the back of his Harley, takes out his climbing shoes and a leather pouch of chalk, which he attaches to his waist.
A LITTLE LATER
A foot, in a rock-climbing shoe, seeking out a cleft in the rock 20 feet from the ground.
DANIEL, 'solo climbing' (no ropes), clings to the face of a cliff - his concentration intense. He releases one hand, dips it into a leather chalk pouch at his waist, reaches up, his chalk-white fingers searching out something he can grip. He finds a small rock extrusion, explores it with his fingers, grips onto it. He releases one of his feet - moving it to a small cleft on the rock face.
91 CLIFF TOP. DAY
DANIEL, sweating, sits on top of the cliff looking out over a mountains and valleys, oblivious to his bleeding arm. The only sounds: the wind and occasional bird cries. He takes a cigarette packet from his pocket, extracts a cigarette, holds it between his fingers, looks at it closely for a moment, puts it in his mouth, draws on it, unlit.
He takes out a box of matches, lights a match, watches the flame, lets the match burn right up to his fingers. He does not flinch as the flames burn him. The match burns itself out. DANIEL looks at his white burned fingers.
92 INT. KITCHEN. DAY
JASPER, dressed for school, eats her breakfast cereal.
You know how in fairy tales, the Prince and Princess always get to live happily ever after!
HELEN laughs, nods.
But even if they do live happily ever after, they still die like grandma and…
HELEN, smiles, holds a finger to her lips.
Shhhh! Eat you cereal. That’s an order!
JASPER opens her mouth to respond. HELEN runs a finger across her lips - zip. JASPER smiles, runs her finger across her lips - zipping them shut. A game they play.
93 INT. CAR. DAY
HELEN drives. JASPER beside her, school backpack on her lap, is deep in thought. Out of a long moment of silence.
I don't want to die.
No one wants to die.
That's not true.
What do you mean?
JASPER looks directly at HELEN, does not answer. HELEN breaks eye contact with JASPER.
94 INT. FOYER. OLD FACTORY. DAY
DANIEL, mobile to his ear, walks into an upmarket complex of studios for photographers and others involved in the advertising and fashion industries.
TRACY, early 30s, appears in a doorway, frowning, tapping her watch, shaking her head: “You naughty boy!”
95 INT. PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIO. DAY
From a high perspective, framed by colourful Indian cloth, DANIEL can be seen walking through the door with TRACY into a large studio space - the furniture and interior design of which bespeaks his success as a commercial photographer.
You forgot, did't you?
DANIEL looks across the studio to a glass-enclosed conference room in which 3 ADVERTIZING EXECUTIVES sit at a table. He grimaces, starts to walk towards them. TRACY stops him.
She takes his hands, looks at them.
DANIEL’S fingers are stained with white chalk dust.
TRACY shakes her head, wets her fingers with her tongue, wipes the chalk stains from his fingers. DANIEL submits to this sheepishly. TRACY notices the wound on DANIEL'S arm, shakes her head.
96 INT. DANIEL'S STUDIO. CONFERENCE ROOM. DAY
DANIEL, all smiles and good cheer, a band aid on his wounded arm, walks into the room.
Sorry, sorry, sorry…traffic!
The 3 AD EXECUTIVES smile effusively: “Not a problem.”
A LITTLE LATER
A mock up for an ad that features a family - mum, dad, son and daughter (Anglo-Saxon) smiling as they eat in a fast food restaurant.
AD EXECUTIVE (VOICE OFF)
We love this 100%…OK, 95%...
The text: “FAST? Yes. NUTRITIOUS? Yes? CHEAP Yes? Let your taste buds be the judge.”
DANIEL sits at the table with the 3 AD EXECUTIVES. Referring to the mock-up ad in front of him:
…it's just…the daughter…her smile…
DANIEL'S attention is on his mobile phone on the table, vibrating. A message.
…perhaps there's something you could do in photoshop to make her look…happier…
Not a problem. How much happier? 10%? 20%? 50%?
The AD EXECUTIVES look at DANIEL, exchange glances.
Just joking. I’ll fix it, don’t worry. Now....(if you’ll excuse me)
DANIEL reaches for his phone, reads the message, walks out, leaving the AD EXECUTIVES looking confused.
97 INT. JUVENILE DETENTION CENTRE. DAY
DANIEL and REBECCA (Welfare Officer, early 30's) walk down a corridor. DANIEL carries a large leather portfolio, crash helmet and his camera case slung around his shoulder.
She won't tell us her name. Has no ID so we don't...There's nothing we can do if we don't know who she is, where she's come from…
HONEY (VOICE OFF)
Give it to me! Fuck you, Melissa.
As DANIEL and REBECCA turn the corner they see:
HONEY, kicking and screaming, held by TWO YOUTH WORKERS to prevent her attacking a YOUTH WORKER (MELISSA) who holds her journal. DANIEL and REBECCA stop a little distance away.
You going to behave yourself?
HONEY turns to REBECCA.
Tell her to give it to me.
MELISSA addresses REBECCA.
She won't do what she's told.
I don't have to obey your fucking rules. I shouldn't even be here.
REBECCA nods to MELISSA: “Give her journal back to her.” MELISSA thrusts the journal into HONEY'S hands aggressively.
MELISSA (SOTTO VOCE)
HONEY drops her journal, picks up a chair, throws it through a large window. Glass flies everywhere. The YOUTH WORKERS jump on HONEY. REBECCA joins them. HONEY puts up quite a fight but is quickly subdued.
Held fast, HONEY registers DANIEL - staring at her. The beginnings of a smile appear on her face.
98 EXT. JUVENILE DETENTION CENTRE RECREATION AREA. DAY
HONEY, clutches her journal, sitting alongside REBECCA. DANIEL sits next to REBECCA. In the background boys and girls (aged 12 - 16) are engaged in various leisure activities.
I don't want that slut to know my secrets.
HONEY looks past REBECCA at DANIEL.
Or anyone else…
Well, you can relax, 'someone' because I definitely don't want to know your secrets.
No-one can hurt you if they don't know who you are.
REBECCA pats HONEY affectionately on the knee.
Yes, but no-one can love you either if they don't know who you are.
You love me, Bec, and you don't know who I am.
They should name a hurricane after you. 'Hurricane…'someone''…
HONEY smiles, puts her arm around REBECCA, rests her head on her shoulder, but keeps her eyes on DANIEL.
Love is what hurts the most, eh?
But you can't live without love.
I'm not going to live without it.
HONEY looks at the crash helmet in DANIEL'S lap - against which he raps his fingers.
Bit old to be riding a motor bike, aren't you?
I'm going to leave you two to it.
REBECCA tries to stand. HONEY holds onto her.
Like men with comb-overs driving sports cars…
REBECCA disentangles herself from HONEY, stands.
No more chairs through windows, OK? Staff'll go on strike.
HONEY holds her hand out to DANIEL.
DANIEL opens his portfolio, takes out the photo, hands it to HONEY. She looks at it for a long moment. REBECCA walks off.
Who is this girl?
DANIEL watches HONEY, fascinated, as she looks at the photo.
It's not me.
HONEY looks at DANIEL. He raises his eyebrows questioningly.
I guess it's a little bit of me.
You got a cigarette?
HONEY looks at DANIEL'S nicotine-stained fingers.
HONEY takes DANIEL'S right hand, looks at it.
How many times?
HONEY touches DANIEL'S white blistered fingers.
How'd you burn your fingers?
HONEY points to the sticking plaster on DANIEL'S arm.
Accident. Motor bike.
Show me your arms.
DANIEL holds his arms out, palms upwards - more scars.
Rock climbing, motor bike…
We've got something in common, eh?
HONEY holds out her arms, palms held upwards. Her arms, from wrist to elbow, are covered in hundreds of scars.
Both accident prone.
Except mine aren't self-inflicted.
Whatever you say Mr Photographer. (A BEAT) So, you're gunna pay me to use this!
DANIEL nods, hands HONEY an envelope. She opens it, looks at the $100 bills, closes the envelope quickly, looks around to make sure that no-one has noticed, stuffs it in her pocket.
I’m going to need a name, though...
DANIEL takes a folded contract out of his pocket.
'Someone' won't be enough.
I can be whoever you want me to be.
But can you be whoever you want to be?
I try, but fuck it's hard. First figuring out who you want to be and then figuring out what you have to do to be that person. (A BEAT) Or are you just born how you are and you just have to live with that?
Ah, big question…
And the big answer?
DANIEL smiles, shakes his head.
You're the grown up here, you're supposed to have the answers, Daniel?
DANIEL laughs. HONEY looks directly into his eyes, making him feel a little uncomfortable.
And how about you, Mr. Photographer? Are you who you really want to be?
'I try but fuck it's hard.'
Two things in common, eh?
HONEY nods, smiles shyly as she looks at DANIEL. He is confronted by this sudden intimacy. Referring to the photo:
Which bit is you?
I don't know, Daniel. She's a mystery to me this girl.
HONEY looks at DANIEL, head tilted a little to one side. There is a moment of intense intimacy here that DANIEL shies away from.
And the man who took the photo?
HONEY looks directly at DANIEL. He laughs, shakes his head, looks at his watch.
He's running very late and…
DANIEL waves the contract in the air. HONEY takes it, looks at it, positions her pen as if to sign it.
If he comes to visit me tomorrow she'll tell him her name and sign his contract.
He's busy tomorrow.
The next time he's not busy. And she'll make him a little list of things for him to bring.
DANIEL smiles, shakes his head.
DANIEL holds out his hand. HONEY shakes it. Laughs happily.
99 INT. REBECCA'S OFFICE. DAY
REBECCA stands at the window of her office, looking out to:
DANIEL and HONEY on the other side of the Recreation yard.
JOHN (VOICE OFF)
But I'm her father!
REBECCA turns, faces JOHN, seated closeby.
I don't set the bail conditions Mr.Williams.
JOHN, indignant, looks through the window at:
HONEY writing in her journal; DANIEL standing beside her.
100 EXT. JUVENILE DETENTION CENTRE RECREATION AREA. DAY
HONEY finishes compiling a list, tears the page from her journal and hands it to DANIEL. He looks at it, laughs.
OK. I’ve...(got to go)
HONEY nods, smiles. DANIEL is unsure how to take his leave. HONEY walks up, stands close; very close.
My name's Honey. Short for Honesysuckle. Honeysuckele Williams. I'm not really bad and I'm not really mad, ‘but I am, it is true, a little bit sad’. That’s from one of my poems.
No more chairs through windows, Honeysuckle Williams, okay?
HONEY (nods) Promise?
HONEY smiles, nods, turns and runs off to join her friends, not looking back.
DANIEL watches HONEY, in something of a state of shock.
101 INT. REBECCA'S OFFICE. DAY
JOHN, his face set hard, looks out through the window into the yard, his attention focused on DANIEL, looking at HONEY and her friends for a moment before turning to walk off.
...to be continued...