Sunday, December 4, 2016

JINXED


Before I was officially banned, in May 2012, I was producer/screenwriter of JINXED – a broad outback romantic comedy. Farce.

I wanted a young (and, I felt, talented) young woman director to work with me. Screen Australia decreed that my close to 40 years of experience as a filmmaker did not equip me to be a producer/screenwriter. No application could be made with me as producer. 

In 2016 Screen Australia will not read or assess JINXED, regardless of its merits, as a result of the ban on me.

No application with my name attached to it – as screenwriter, producer and/or screenwriter - will be considered by Screen Australia for development funding!


1 EXT. OUTBACK AUSTRALIA. LATE AFTERNOON

Pre Credit Sequence

A red dirt road cuts through a vast dry landscape under an impossibly blue sky.

Graphic: THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, 6.18 PM, 26TH JAN 1998

Tracking from above, a bright yellow car kicks up a rooster’s tail of dust as it speeds towards the sun - low in the sky. The car has a small red satellite dish clamped its roof.

A large Prentie (lizard) sitting in red desert sand, watches the yellow sedan screech to a halt in a cloud of dust.

The passenger door opens and JOSIE, 19, sporting short pink hair, is forcefully ejected from the sedan into the red dust.  She shouts to the unseen driver in an English accent

JOSIE
Venus! What the…!

JOSIE leaps to her feet, watches in horror as the yellow sedan speeds off towards the setting sun.

JOSIE is wearing a tattered pale blue t-shirt with PARTY ANIMAL written on it. Wet sticky dark blue patches cover her bra-free breasts. She carries a small backpack.

50 meters up the road the passenger door of the yellow sedan opens. A red suitcase is pushed out. It hits the road; bursts open. Bright coloured garments fly everywhere.

JOSIE
No!

JOSIE runs up the road towards her red suitcase. As she does so she sees, further up the road, a black object thrown from the driver’s window of the retreating yellow sedan.

JOSIE arrives at her suitcase – the colourful clothes it contained scattered alongside the road. She looks at them, distressed, for a moment, then runs towards the black object.

50 meters up the road JOSIE approaches the black carry bag lying in the red dust. 

As JOSIE picks up the black carry bag she catches sight of something moving in the red dirt several feet from her:

A small snake slithering away from her.

She lets out a terrified scream and runs further up the road, looking back over her shoulder as if expecting the snake to be chasing her.

JOSIE, wide eyed with fear, stands in the middle of the road, holding the black carry bag at shoulder height in case she needs it to fight off a snake attack.

She looks up and down the road. Nothing but low desert scrub in every direction.
The sound of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March intrudes. JOSIE reacts with shock.

JOSIE
What the…!?

She looks around for the source of the sound - puzzled, confused; disoriented.

It takes her a while to realize that the music is coming from the black carry bag.
She opens it tentatively, looks inside; reacts with shock.

JOSIE
Holy fucking moley!

She extracts a 7 inch cylindrical pink object that could easily mistaken for a sex aid.

(NOTE: This is a PG film, dear Reader; fear not!)

She examines it, tries to figure where the music is coming from, locates a key pad, realizes it is a mobile phone; presses the ‘answer’ icon. It is a bad line.

JOSIE
Hello!

TERENCE’S VOICE
OK, OK, you win, Venus!

The line is breaking up.

JOSIE
Sorry, this is Venus’ phone but I’m not Venus. I’m Josie..

TERENCE’S VOICE
Didn’t catch that, sweetheart, but I’ve got five grand waiting for you in Sydney and I’ve lined up...

The line breaks up again.

JOSIE
... Hello... hello…
The line is dead. JOSIE exclaims.

JOSIE
Five grand!

A lizard runs across the road, close to her. JOSIE screams, drops the pink mobile phone, runs up the road.

The shot crash zooms upwards revealing JOSIE an increasingly tiny figure in a vast desert landscape. The shot continues upwards until the frame is filled with Australia and upwards further until Planet Earth can seen be seen from outer space.

2 MONTAGE. NUMEROUS LOCATIONS

Opening Credit Sequence. Music Over: Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff’. The shot from outer space zooms back to Australia.

DONNA SUMMER
“Gotta have some hot stuff
Gotta have some love tonight”

Zooms in on the Northern Territory to a fibro house in a small dry outback town.

DONNA SUMMER
“I need hot stuff
I want some hot stuff”

The voice over is that of Boston American accented woman with a mellifluous voice.

VOICE OVER
On 1st. April, in the year of our Lord, 1979, at 2.13 Greenwich Mean Time, as Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain and Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff’ hits number one on the charts...

A baby girl is born. Through the window can be seen a dry desert landscape.

VOICE OVER
...Rhonda Patterson joins the human race in the same moment as, on opposite sides of the planet...

Another baby girl is born. Through the window: a snow-covered street.

VOICE OVER
...Josephine Higgenbottom leaves the warm comfort of her mother’s womb.
Josephine’s vain actress mother (Josephine Senior) surrounded by well-wishing costumed actors cradles her new baby proudly.

VOICE OVER
In 19 years, seven months, two days, 6 hours and 23 minutes, as Presidential candidate Bill Clinton fields...

Rhonda’s mother (Phyllis) stands by the Hills Hoist clothesline, babe in arms.

VOICE OVER
...questions about the sex he didn’t have with Monica Lewinsky, Josephine and Rhonda are destined to meet in the middle of nowhere, though they have no idea of this just now.

Rhonda, 6 months, is baptized in a church. 

VOICE OVER
In fact neither Josephine nor Rhonda, destined to change her name to Venus, have any ideas in their heads just now, though…

Baby Rhonda’s POV: Phyllis raises her eyes to the large portrait of a blonde Jesus Christ hanging on the wall.

VOICE OVER
… this state of affairs does not last long for baby Rhonda.

PHYLLIS
Praise the Lord.

VOICE OVER
Phyllis’ unwavering belief that God has a plan for Rhonda...

Hanging next to the portrait of Jesus is a painting of Adam and Eve and the Serpent tempting Eve with an apple.

VOICE OVER
... is destined to be sorely tested!

Baby Rhonda stares wide-eyed at the Serpent.

Graphic: VENUS' STORY…in a nutshell

PHYLLIS, baby RHONDA on her hip, hangs washing on the Hills Hoist in the yard of a ramshackle old fibro house. There is a caravan parked in the yard.

VOICE OVER
Shortly after Rhonda was born, her mother, Phyllis, lost her husband, Dick, and found God.

RHONDA, aged 3, looks up at PHYLLIS; waiting for an answer to a question she has just asked.

PHYLLIS
The Good Lord took your father away.

RHONDA looks towards the caravan.

CLOSE ON RHONDA as she visualizes:

Her father, DICK, smiling at her as God's huge hand appears from the sky, picks him up and lifts him out of frame.

VOICE OVER
This was not strictly speaking true because Dick returns a few months later…

God's huge hand deposits DICK alongside RHONDA.

DICK tries to scare RHONDA with a small rubber snake but fails. RHONDA’S face lights up as she takes possession of the snake. PHYLLIS appears in the background, a beatific smile on her face; raises her arms in thanks to Heaven!

PHYLLIS
Praise the Lord.

VOICE OVER
…and stays long enough to take out a mortgage on the house...

RHONDA looks through the window of the rocking caravan.

VOICE OVER
…and obey the Lord's instruction to 'Go Forth and Multiply', resulting…

DICK, lying on top of PHYLLIS, looks lovingly into her eyes.

RHONDA, rubber snake in hand, stands beside PHYLLIS, visibly pregnant, watching DICK drive off, towing the caravan.

VOICE OVER
…in Phyllis adding to the already rich store of ideas she has put into Rhonda's head…

PHYLLIS
Your father is a snake in the grass.

RHONDA looks at her rubber snake: its head transforms into her father's head smiling and winking at her.

VOICE OVER
…and in a new addition to the human race.

Phyllis gives birth to a baby girl.

VOICE OVER
Rhonda prayed for a brother but God, in his infinite wisdom, gave her a sister instead - Mary Magdalene Patterson.

RHONDA looks questioningly up at PHYLLIS (BABY MARY on her hip) as PHYLLIS picks up one of several pill bottles from a kitchen shelf, tosses a couple of pills into her mouth.

VOICE OVER
It doesn’t take long before Rhonda is introduced to the magical power of…

PHYLLIS
Mother's Little Helpers.

RHONDA watches PHYLLIS (smiling beatifically) as she washes dishes.

VOICE OVER
The process of putting ideas into Rhonda's head continues for some years before Rhonda starts to have some ideas of her own.

RHONDA (8 years old), MARY (4 years old) and PHYLLIS look into the empty refrigerator

PHYLLIS
The Lord will provide.

VOICE OVER
The Lord, moving as he does in mysterious ways, does not provide, so Rhonda takes matters into her own hands.

RHONDA, in a supermarket, stuffs cheese, milk and bread into her school satchel. Smiling innocently, she walks nonchalantly past the Security Guard at the entrance with her satchel bulging with stolen goods.

PHYLLIS inspects the contents of the now full refrigerator, looks down to where RHONDA stands alongside her. 

PHYLLIS
You see, the Lord will provide. He has a plan. 

VOICE OVER
And so, at the age of eight, Rhonda sets about fulfilling God's plan…

PHYLLIS and MARY kneel; praying. RHONDA (8 still) sits nearby taking notes.

PHYLLIS (praying)
…a new school uniform for Mary, an egg-beater, fish for Friday…
RHONDA (still 8) steals a school uniform, an egg-beater and (most difficult of all!) a fish.

As PHYLLIS cooks the fish in the kitchen, RHONDA picks up a bottle of 'Mother's Little Helpers' and starts to unscrew the lid. PHYLLIS takes the pills from her.

PHYLLIS
God doesn't want little girls to eat these.

RHONDA reads an illustrated story of the Garden of Eden. 

VOICE OVER
The similarity between this prohibition of God's and another does not escape Rhonda's attention.

GOD, dressed in white, issues a stern warning to naked Adam and Eve as Eve looks longingly at an apple in a tree.

GOD
Thou shalt not eat of the Tree of Knowledge. If ye do, ye shalt die.

VOICE OVER
Rhonda knew that Adam and Eve did not die as a result of eating from the Tree of Knowledge…

RHONDA (11 now) watches, puzzled, as the Nun-Teacher finishes writing on the blackboard: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

RHONDA
Why did God curse the Serpent for telling Eve she should eat from the Tree of Knowledge when you…

NUN
Rhonda, its not for you to question the Word of God.

VOICE OVER
It is too late, however, to stem the flow of questions flooding Rhonda's brain.

RHONDA
It's unfair to serpents.

VOICE OVER
And so it is that Rhonda's love of  snakes is nurtured and grows.

Rhonda looks at snakes in glass cages in a pet store.

VOICE OVER
Feeling the need to chose between God's opposition to women's education and the Serpent's more liberal views regarding knowledge…

Rhonda looks at a snake shedding its skin; entranced.

VOICE OVER
…Rhonda sides with serpents. She anticipates some opposition from her mother but is prepared.

Rhonda shows the python to Phyllis, a bandage wrapped around its middle.

RHONDA
She was run over by a car and the Lord asked me to help her in her time of need. Her name is Serpent.

PHYLLIS (beatific smile)
Oh!

Rhonda (12 years old now) inspects the bottle of Mother's Little Helpers in her hand.

VOICE OVER
Wondering if her ‘Mothers' Little Helpers’ have any role to play in God's Plan Rhonda conducts her first chemical experiment and discovers …

She takes a pill and pops it into her mouth.

VOICE OVER
… that 'Mothers Little Helpers' can be divided into two categories.
In her bedroom, RHONDA looks at two small bottles - one green, with GO written on it; one red, with STOP. She opens the GO bottle, takes out a pill, pops it into her mouth.

VOICE OVER
Her continuing chemical experiments lead her to the discovery of new states of consciousness

RHONDA, aged 15,'stoned', watches in awe as Serpent, her pet python, sheds her skin.

RHONDA
I will shed my skin and live forever.

As PHYLLIS prays, RHONDA, starts to shed her clothes. PHYLLIS, her eyes shut, is oblivious to RHONDA'S performance, but MARY (aged 11) opens one eye for a peek and can't help but enjoy what she sees.

VOICE OVER
And so it is that Rhonda, with the help of her friend, Cheryl, discovers an alternative way to keep her mother's refrigerator stocked.

RHONDA, 15, in a school storage room and wearing pink-rimmed heart-shaped ‘Lolita’ sunglasses, performs a strip-tease to the tune of “Jesus loves me this I know” as Cheryl collects money from a group of 16 year old boys. TWO NUNS appear in the doorway and react with horror to the sight of Rhonda dancing in her bra and knickers.

VOICE OVER
Rhonda's education comes to an abrupt halt. This causes her mother some distress at first but Phyllis' prayers...

PHYLLIS, hands on Rhonda's shoulders, eyes raised to heaven.

VOICE OVER
...are answered when Rhonda gets her first job as ‘Venus Aphrodite’...

RHONDA/VENUS puts food in the refrigerator as she answers PHYLLIS' question.

RHONDA/VENUS
I’ve got a job in the service industry.

RHONDA/VENUS (from here on in to be referred to as VENUS), in a brief bikini, wearing her ‘Lolita’ sunglasses, pops out of a huge 'cake' singing “Happy Birthday to you…” to the raucous applause of an assembled football team.

VOICE OVER
That Rhonda aka Venus is still only 15 years old causes some complications with Child Welfare…

VENUS, in her bedroom filled with stolen goods is confronted by THREE UNIFORMED POLICEMEN and TWO CHILD WELFARE OFFICERS.

VOICE OVER
…but it is her re-distribution of goods provided by the Lord that results in her being provided with alternative accommodation…

Juvenile Detention Centre. VENUS sits beside a teenage boy looking at a page torn from a BMW Mechanics Manual, at a detailed drawing of the BMW door-locking system.

VOICE OVER
…and an alternative education.

YOUNG CAR THIEF
All ya need to get past the BMW locking system is half a tennis ball...

The YOUNG CAR THIEF holds up half a tennis ball.

VOICE OVER
And it is in this alternative accommodation that Rhonda discovers her unique talent with computers. A talent…

Juvenile Detention Centre Activities room. Under the watchful eye of a WELFARE OFFICER, VENUS sits in front of a computer. On the screen is the PENTAGON Home Page.

VOICE OVER
…that makes it possible for her to roam freely inside almost any computer in the world that takes her fancy…

We see VENUS hack into the computers of Madonna, Michael Jackson and Brad Pitt.

VOICE OVER
...and become adept at the use of Photoshop.

VENUS puts Bill Clinton’s head on the body of Jabba the Hutt.

VOICE OVER
By the time she is 18, the now multi-skilled Rhonda is too old to utilize this alternative accommodation any longer and so…

VENUS walks out of Juvenile Detention Centre, bag in hand.

3 INT. STRIP CLUB. “GET YOUR ROCKS OFF” NIGHT

VENUS, wearing out-sized sunglasses shaped like Sydney Harbour Bridge, a pink wig and a python wrapped around her near naked body, performs an erotic ‘python dance’ in a crowded smoke-filled strip joint: “Get Your Rocks Off”. Behind her, a sign: VENUS APHRODITE.

VOICE OVER
…with her mother and sister still to support and not wishing to destroy Phyllis' faith in God, Rhonda, who has changed her name to Venus Aphrodite, continues to provide…

VENUS greets PHYLLIS at the front door of her fibro house with a big bunch of flowers, a basket full of food and an envelope filled with cash.

VOICE OVER
And so it is, one day...

4 INT. DRESSING ROOM. STRIP CLUB. NIGHT

VENUS, in the dressing room of the strip club “Get Your Rocks Off” with THREE YOUNG STRIPPERS looks at the TV - on which the bald Tony (BIG TONY) Babbit can be seen pontificating in front of a large banner that reads FAMILY FIRST:

VOICE OVER
...when she sees Tony Babbit on TV:

BIG TONY
Only when this great country of ours embraces traditional family values and stamps out strip joints and other such dens of iniquity...

VOICE OVER
...that an idea occurs to her.

VENUS calls to the other TWO YOUNG STRIPPERS over, tells them her plan. In a MONTAGE:

VENUS, a photo of Tony Babbit at her side, flicks through a book filled with photos of male actors, stops on one; smiles.

VENUS, in a motel room, hands a middle aged actor a wad of money and proceeds to shave his head.

VENUS attaches fake ears to the actor, stripped down to his underwear, so that he now looks very like Big Tony.

VENUS stands behind a camera on a tripod, signals to ‘BIG TONY’, to take off his underpants. Behind her the TWO YOUNG STRIPPERS start to take their clothes off.

End opening credit sequence.

NOTE: It will be apparent by now, despite  their radically different hair-styles, that JOSIE and VENUS look very alike. Whilst Josie and Venus will be played by the same actress, efforts must be made with make-up to make them NOT look like identical twins. Whilst they can be mistaken for each other (particularly when they want to), the audience should mistake them at this point for sisters only; not twins.

5 INT. ‘FETISHES’.

TERENCE, late 40s, thinning hair tied in a pony tail, wearing much too much bling, sits in the deserted ‘dining area’ of a different strip club: FETISHES. On the TV:

Tony Babbitt pontificates.

TONY BABBIT
Strip clubs and other dens of iniquity, run by known gangsters...

In the background, THREE YOUNG STRIPPERS take it in turns auditioning for RANDY, late 20s, in a loud floral shirt.

TONY BABBIT
... must and will be closed down when I am elected.

Signs reveal the club’s name: FETISHES.  TERENCE’S mobile phone rings. He picks it up but keeps his eyes of the TV.

TONY BABBIT
No longer will known criminals be able to cater to the fetishes of depraved men...

TERENCE uses the ‘remote’ to turn the volume down on the TV.

TERENCE
Fetishes. What can I do you for?

VENUS’ VOICE
You don’t know me, Terence, but I know you and I am a big fan. Huge! Venus Aphrodite.

TERENCE (smiles)
I’ve heard a lot about you, Venus Aphrodite. From my friend, Reggie.

VENUS’ VOICE
Oh! (A BEAT) Got any interest footage of Tony Babbit dancing naked...

RANDY, sunglasses propped in his blonde-streaked hair, lifts a film director's viewfinder hanging around his neck, looks through it as a YOUNG STRIPPER smiles seductively at him.

VENUS’ VOICE
...in a motel room with two teenage high school girls?

6 INT. VENUS' CAR. OUTBACK ROAD. LATE AFTERNOON

VENUS drives. She wears her Sydney Harbour Bridge sunglasses; speaks into the pink (tastefully phallic!) cylindrical mobile phone seen earlier in Josie’s hands.

TERENCE’S VOICE
Is the Pope Catholic?

VENUS
Do bears shit in the woods!

7 INT. ‘FETISHES’.

TERENCE watches Tony Babbit on TV as he talks.

TERENCE
Does the Pope shit in the woods? Does Dolly Parton sleep on her back? ‘Course I’m interested, sweetheart. ‘Course I am.

VENUS’ VOICE
Cost ya four grand. 

TERENCE
Whoa! Five grand! That’s a bit steep, Venus!

8 EXT. VENUS' CAR. OUTBACK ROAD. LATE AFTERNOON

Seen from outside, VENUS drives a green car.

VENUS
Blackmail’s an expensive business, Terence?

TERENCE’S VOICE
Give ya three, max!

VENUS
Five grand Terence. Think about it. I’ll await your call.

VENUS hangs up, smiles, throws her mobile into a black carry bag on the passenger seat; turns up the radio. A news report:

RADIO
President Clinton denies all the allegations that have been made by Ms Lewinsky.

9 EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF DARWIN. DAY

VENUS’ green car drives past a sign that reads:

DARWIN 10 kms

BILL CLINTON’S VOICE
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

10 MONTAGE. VARIOUS LOCATIONS

Backstage in a theatre. JOSEPHINE SENIOR and other ctors watch TV. Men at Work sing “I come from the Land Downunder.”

Grahic: London 1983.

MEN AT WORK
“Do you come from a land down under?
Where women glow and men plunder?”

On the TV:
The final few seconds of the 83 America’s Cup in Perth. Australia wins. Prime Minister  Bob Hawke ecstatic!

VOICE OVER
Meanwhile, back in 1983, on the other side of the world, as Australia wins the America’s cup...

Nearby, backstage, 4 YEAR OLD JOSEPHINE, clutching a small pink teddy bear, looks up at racks of colourful theatrical costumes.

MEN AT WORK
“Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder?”

Close on 4 YEAR OLD JOSEPHINE as she explores the costumes with her hands and eyes; smiling happily.

MEN AT WORK
“You better run, you better take cover”

She ignores the admiring smiles of JOSEPHINE SNR and ACTORS in Restoration comedy costumes looking down at her.

Graphic: JOSIE’S STORY...in a nutshell

An AGEING ROUE, his eyes on JOSEPHINE SNR’s ample uplifted breasts, squeezed into a tight bustier:

AGEING ROUE
Beautiful, just like her mother.

JOSEPHINE JUNIOR pays no attention - entranced as she is by the colour and texture of the costumes.

NOTE: (Young Josie and Venus, very similar in looks at all ages, are to be played by the same actresses – with different haircuts etc.)

A park. JOSEPHINE JNR, aged 5, stares at a flower garden.

JOSEPHINE SNR sits on a blanket closeby, sipping champagne with her current BEAU. JOSEPHINES Snr. and Jnr. have identical haircuts.

VOICE OVER
Unlike Venus’ mother, Josephine Senior, does not think that God has a plan but that life’s twists and turns are mapped out in the stars.

In answer to the BEAU’S question, looking at JOSEPHINE JNR.

JOSEPHINE SENIOR
Aries. Such a happy child! (LOUDER) Aren’t you, darling? A happy child?

JOSEPHINE JNR turns and smiles dutifully at her mother. The BEAU glances at JOSEPHINE SENIOR’S ample uplifted breasts.

VOICE OVER
At a very early age young Josephine discovers that the world as she imagines it is much more...
In her imagination JOSEPHINE JUNIOR undresses and re-dresses her mother and the BEAU in costumes made from flowers.

VOICE OVER
...interesting than the world as it is and that bodies...

JOSEPHINE JNR (aged 5), pink teddy bear at her side, pastes a cut out picture of a dress into her Scrap Book.

VOICE OVER
...adorned in beautiful clothes never fail to put a smile on her face.

JOSEPHINE JNR, smiling, is surrounded by photos of models in haute couture clothes she has cut from Fashion Magazines.

VOICE OVER
By the time she is fifteen, Josephine is collecting Fashion Designers also...

TEENAGE JOSEPHINE (15 years old now, to be played for here on in by the same actress who plays teenage Venus) now has a large collection of Scrap Books. The walls of her bedroom bear witness to her love of fashion design. Her pink teddy bear sits on her pillow.

VOICE OVER
...her favorite being the Australian Amaroo Yunipingu, whose designs, inspired by Australian flora and fauna, so shocked the fashion world and gave birth to his label, ‘Feral Fashion’.

Magazine photos of Amaroo’s ‘indigenous’ designs. One, inspired by and partly made of ostrich feathers.

A zoo. TEENAGE JOSEPHINE (15 still) looks at the multi-coloured birds in a large aviary. Closeby, JOSEPHINE SENIOR flirts with a NEW NEW BEAU.

TEENAGE JOSEPHINE’S attention is caught by her mother’s raucous theatrical laugh. In her imagination she undresses and re-dresses her mother in a costume made from multi-coloured parrot feathers. Pleased with the result, she dresses the NEW NEW BEAU in Eagle feathers, his hands (transformed into talons) poised to grasp Josie Senior’s ample breasts.

VOICE OVER
Josie’s early attempts at clothes design…

TEENAGE JOSEPHINE sitting at a sewing machine, surrounded by feathers, hands an imaginatively designed jacket, made mostly of feathers, to her bemused mother.

VOICE OVER
…reveal that her powers of imagination are far greater than her skill with a sewing machine.

As JOSEPHINE SNR tries the jacket on it falls apart.

JOSIE SENIOR
Best to stick with what you are good at, darling.

VOICE OVER
What Josephine Junior is ‘good at’ Josephine Senior assures her daughter, is acting.
TEENAGE JOSEPHINE, a lady in a Restoration Comedy, takes a bow centre stage, smiling at the applauding audience in general and her proud mother in particular.

VOICE OVER
And young Josephine, Josie to her friends now, is indeed a skilled actress.
Backstage, TEENAGE JOSEPHINE smiles enthusiastically as her mother’s admiring friends congratulate her. JOSEPHINE SNR hugs JOSEPHINE JNR, who smiles obligingly.

JOSIE SENIOR
She wants to be an actress when she grows up, don’t you darling?

VOICE OVER
Skilled enough to convince her mother that she loves acting, when in fact pretending to be someone else, does not seem to Josie to be a particularly noble pursuit. Unless that someone is Richard Gere…

TEENAGE JOSEPHINE, clutching her pink teddy bear, watches TV; tears in her eyes:
Richard Gere, in a white officer’s uniform, picks Debra Winger up in his arms and carries her out of the factory.

VOICE OVER
…for whom Josie develops a serious teenage crush.

TEENAGE JOSEPHINE sits in the wings of a theatre, mending a costume.

VOICE OVER
In Josie’s mind acting is not nearly as much fun as making costumes and the...

Onstage, JOSEPHINE SNR, in peasant garb, plays Joan of Arc, about to be burnt at the stake.

VOICE OVER
...free reign the world of theatre offers her fertile imagination.

JOSEPHINE SENIOR (as Joan)
 “I bid you remember that I am a saint...

In her imagination JOSEPHINE JNR re-dresses her mother as a Hooker – her breasts spilling out of a crimson bustier, micro skirt, knee high leather boots; whip in hand.

JOSEPHINE SENIOR
...and that saints can work miracles.”

VOICE OVER
With her mother’s connections and her own natural talent as an actress...

In a darkened theatre, JOSEPHINE SNR sits beside the DIRECTOR of the Acting School.

VOICE OVER
...the course of young Josie’s stellar acting career seems set...

TEENAGE JOSEPHINE (18 years old) strides onstage dressed as a hooker – in the same costume she imagined her mother in - crimson bustier, micro skirt, knee high leather boots.

VOICE OVER
And so it was that she finds herself auditioning for a place in the Royal Shakespeare Company that she is determined not to win.

JOSEPHINE SNR is shocked until she sees that the DIRECTOR of the School is amused.

CASTING DIRECTOR
And what is your audition piece, Miss Higgenbottom.

TEENAGE JOSEPHINE
Joan or Arc, sir.

TEENAGE JOSEPHINE recites the last line of her audition piece. Her attempts to perform badly has a reverse affect to the one intended on the DIRECTOR.

TEENAGE JOSEPHINE(as Joan)
“O God that madest this beautiful earth, when will it be ready to receive thy saints? How long, O Lord, how long?”

TEENAGE JOSEPHINE takes a bow and exits. The CASTING DIRECTOR turns to JOSEPHINE SNR:

CASTING DIRECTOR
She’s magnificent. An original talent. Like her mother. Did you know she was going to play Saint Joan as a...whore?

JOSIE SENIOR
Of course! We’re like that (CROSSES HER FINGERS) two peas in a pod. Josie hides nothing from me.

VOICE OVER
This is not strictly speaking true since Josie, recently turned 18 has secretly acquired her own passport and a tourist visa for 3 months…

TEENAGE JOSEPHINE spins a Globe, measures the distance from London to Australia.

VOICE OVER
…in the furthest English-speaking country from her mother she can find on the planet.

CLOSE ON: Passport photo of JOSIE, with short pink hair. 

PASSPORT CONTROL OFFICER 
G’day Josephine!

At Sydney airport, the PASSPORT CONTROL OFFICER looks from the passport to TEENAGE JOSEPHINE (JOSIE) – her hair short and pink now.

JOSIE
Josie!

PASSPORT CONTROL OFFICER 
And you have $5,000 to support yourself while you are in Oz?

JOSIE nods, hands the PASSPORT CONTROL OFFICER a booklet of Traveller’s Cheques. He flicks through them quickly.

PASSPORT CONTROL OFFICER 
Welcome to Australia, Josie.

JOSIE sits on a bus driving through the Australian desert. She holds her pink teddy bear up to the window to share the view. Open on her lap is her Amaroo Yunipingu scrapbook.

VOICE OVER
Josie’s main reason for being in Australia, actually, is her fervent desire to meet her design hero in the hope...

JOSIE crosses her fingers.

VOICE OVER
...that Amaroo might become her mentor.

JOSIE looks out the window of the bus at a passing sign on the outskirts of  Darwin:

DARWIN 10 kms


JOSIE, dressed in one of her eye-catching outfits, carrying her red suitcase, walks down the street in Darwin and into an upmarket arcade.

11 INT. AMAROO’S BOUTIQUE. DAY

As JOSIE waits at Reception, admiring an array of  imaginatively designed clothes, she catches a glimpse of AMAROO - a handsome thirtysomething man of Chinese/Aboriginal descent - in a back room fitting one of his exotic costumes onto a model. JOSIE, in 7th heaven, hopes he will notice her.

The RECEPTIONIST looks at JOSIE’S outfit, smiles her congratulations, looks into the diary on her desk.

RECEPTIONIST
I am sure Amaroo will want to see you. He’s leaving for overseas tomorrow but I can squeeze you in first thing in the morning...

JOSIE’S face breaks into the happiest of smiles.

A DAY LATER

JOSIE smile has turned into a frown. She is wearing yet another of her daring and imaginative outfits as the immaculately dressed RECEPTIONIST (also in a different outfit) smiles apologetically.

RECEPTIONIST
I’m terribly sorry, but Amaroo had to catch an earlier flight and...

JOSIE tries hard to hide her disappointment.

12 INT. PUB. NIGHT

JOSIE sits on a stool at the bar in a crowded pub sipping a cocktail; drowning her sorrows.
Onstage a band (THE COWBOYS) plays. The lead singer and guitarist, BRANDON, (Marlboro Man good looks) beams a huge white smile at JOSIE when she looks in his direction.

VENUS, in dark glasses and wearing a wig, sits on the vacant stool next to JOSIE’S; a black carry bag hanging from her shoulder.

VENUS pays no attention to JOSIE (whose eyes are on BRANDON) as she scans the bar looking for someone. She sees her DRUG DEALER, makes eye contact, nods.

As VENUS - on edge, nervous - looks down at her shaking hands, JOSIE’S spirits improve exponentially as BRANDON flirts with her with his eyes as he sings a corny love song.

The DRUG DEALER sits alongside VENUS. She slips an envelope along the bar to him. He drops a small packet into her black carry bag. JOSIE notices none of this. Her eyes are on BRANDON  - his eyes staring directly into her own.

VENUS stands, walks out.

BRANDON finishes his song, walks across the Club, stands in front of JOSIE, takes her hand, drops to one knee kisses the back of it, looks into her eyes.

BRANDON
You have most beautiful blue eyes that I have ever seen. 

JOSIE is smitten. She smiles joyfully, turns bright red.

BRANDON sweeps JOSIE up into his arms in a manner reminiscent of Richard Gere in AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN.

13 EXT. PUB. NIGHT

BRANDON, his guitar case on his back, carries JOSIE to his gleaming silver and black Harley Davison parked outside.

14 EXT. MOTORBIKE ON OUTBACK ROAD. NIGHT

JOSIE, the guitar case strapped to her back now, clings to BRANDON as he drives on an outback road under a full moon.

15. INT. BEACH. NIGHT

BRANDON leans up against his Harley, his arms around JOSIE. She looks up at him adoringly. Behind them, the full moon reflects a silver corridor of light off the still ocean. 

JOSIE
Do you believe in destiny?

BRANDON (nods)
Yes, I'm going to be a rock and roll star. And you?

JOSIE
Famous fashion designer. (A BEAT) My eyes are brown, by the way; not blue.
BRANDON laughs. JOSIE smiles. He leans forward to kiss her.

JOSIE
You can’t kiss me.

BRANDON
Why?

JOSIE
Because...because....if you do I’ll..

BRANDON  kisses her.

JOSIE
No, I can’t...you can’t...we can’t...

She grabs BRANDON’S head and kisses him passionately.

16 AMAROO’S BOUTIQUE. DAY

JOSIE, in yet another of her eccentrically beautiful outfits, stands at the RECEPTIONIST’S desk. She shakes her head.

RECEPTIONIST
I’m sorry.

JOSIE tries to hide her disappointment.

MONTAGE
- JOSIE sits at her sewing machine creating yet another outlandish colourful outfit.
- JOSIE in her new outfit in Amaroo’s boutique. The RECEPTIONIST shakes her head. JOSIE  smiles stoically.
- JOSIE sits at her sewing machine working on a new design.
- The RECEPTIONIST shakes her head etc.

Eventually:

RECEPTIONIST
If you leave your phone number I’ll make sure to let you know the minute Amaroo is back in the country.

JOSIE smiles, takes out a pen and begins to write down her phone number.

17 INT. DRESSING ROOM. STRIP CLUB. NIGHT

In the dressing room of Venus’ strip club a black gloved hand lifts Venus’ pink cylindrical phone from her black bag. Venus’ familiar  ‘python dance’ music can be heard in the background, along with the cheering of a happy male audience.

OLIVER, early 30s, alone in the room, sweats profusely as he examines the mobile. He is nervous, fumbles but eventually finds the battery compartment; removes the battery.

18 INT. STRIP CLUB. DARWIN. NIGHT

VENUS, wearing Sydney Harbour Bridge sunglasses, in a hot pink wig, a python wrapped around her near naked body, performs an erotic dance to music in a crowded smoke-filled strip joint. Behind her, a sign: VENUS APHRODITE.
A DRUNKEN MAN slips a $100 bill into VENUS’ g-string and puckers his lips in hopes of a kiss.

OLIVER, twitchy and drenched with sweat, sits at the rear of the strip joint, watches VENUS’ dance as he removes his black leather gloves. He takes a cigarette from a packet and puts it in his mouth.

VENUS approaches the DRUNKEN MAN as if to kiss him – indicating that he must close his eyes. He does so. VENUS presents him with her bottom to kiss. He does so.
OLIVER laughs nervously, the unlit cigarette jiggling up and down between his lips.

19 INT. BRANDON’S HOUSE. NIGHT

JOSIE lies face down asleep on a double bed, barely covered by an Indian silk sarong.  It is a hot night. The sound of a motor bike half wakes her as BRANDON pulls up on his Harley in the front yard, his guitar strapped to his back.

A LITTLE LATER

BRANDON, wearing a sarong, walks up the  bed carrying a tray with two cups of hot chocolate on it, a pile of pancakes and a bottle of maple syrup. JOSIE is sound asleep. He places the tray on the bed gently and lightly massages JOSIE’S back with the tips of his fingers. JOSIE purrs, opens her eyes, smiles and turns over as BRANDON leans in to kiss her on the lips.

JOSIE
Mmmm...

She dips her finger into the moat of maple syrup around the pancakes, puts it in her mouth.

BRANDON grins wickedly, dips his finger in the moat, holds it up to JOSIE’S mouth. She opens her mouth, sucks on his finger, laughs happily.

20 INT. CAR. OUTSIDE STRIP CLUB. NIGHT

OLIVER, sweating profusely, sits in his car; looks at the screen of the laptop computer resting on his lap:

OLIVER’S BOSS sits at a desk - a CIA emblem on the wall behind him. 

OLIVER’S BOSS
She has to be stopped, Agent Pringle.

OLIVER
Yes sir.

In the background, across the road, VENUS can be seen emerging from the Strip Club carrying a heavy basket. 

OLIVER’S BOSS
And it is imperative that we find out what Miss Aphrodite knows. You realize what’s at stake here.

VENUS’ hair is wrapped in a colorful scarf and she is wearing her heart-shaped Lolita sunglasses.

OLIVER’S BOSS
Failure is not an option.

21 EXT. DARWIN STREET. NIGHT

VENUS walks up to a taxi parked outside the Strip Club, puts her basket on the rear passenger seat. OLIVER can be seen parked across the road in his red car.

VENUS reaches into her black carry bag, takes out her pink mobile as she gets in.

OLIVER
I’ve planted a bug and a tracking device in her dildo and..

OLIVER’S BOSS’ VOICE
Her dildo..!?

OLIVER
Her phone. It’s shaped...well, um... doesn’t matter. Point is...I won’t let you down, dad...umm, I mean sir.

OLIVER’S BOSS’ VOICE
I certainly hope not, Oliver. I really do. There are profound implications at stake here for the Australia-United States alliance if she is not stopped.
VENUS punches numbers into her pink mobile phone.

22 INT. OLIVER’S CAR. OUTSIDE STRIP CLUB. NIGHT

OLIVER turns on a tape recorder on the seat beside him, switches on the ignition as VENUS drives by in the taxi, pink mobile at her ear. Terence’s voice emanates from the recording device.

TERENCE’S VOICE
We can give you $3,500 max for the video, darlin’!  

23 INT. TAXI. NIGHT

VENUS, in the back seat of the cab, talks on her pink mobile.

VENUS
$4,000, Terence.

TERENCE’S VOICE
He is naked, right? Big Tony? Like...totally!

24 INT. OLIVER’S CAR. NIGHT

OLIVER follows Venus' taxi. Venus' voice emanates from the recording device.

VENUS’ VOICE
As the day he was born.

On the seat beside him is his laptop computer - on the screen of which can be seen a red flashing dot moving across Darwin.

VENUS' VOICE
He'll shit himself when he sees it. You'll have him by the short and curlies.

Venus' taxi slows; pulls up outside an apartment block.

OLIVER watches her walk from the taxi into the building carrying her heavy 'python basket'.

25 INT. VENUS’ APARTMENT. NIGHT

VENUS sits in front of her computer, typing. ‘Serpent’ is curled up asleep on the floor.

CLOSE ON the screen as THE PENTAGON home page appears.

VENUS finds the sub-heading she is looking for and clicks on it. A “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL” Pentagon web page appears – with a box into which must be typed a password.  

VENUS deftly types in numbers and letters. A moment later, in red flashing letters, she sees: ACCESS DENIED

VENUS crosses off the 10th or so entry in her note-book, starts to type in code number 11.

26 INT. OLIVER’S CAR. NIGHT

OLIVER looks at the laptop computer screen. On the “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL” Pentagon web page Venus’ latest attempt at entering a password can be seen.

OLIVER takes a cigarette out of a packet, puts it in his mouth.

27 INT. VENUS. APARTMENT. NIGHT

VENUS raps her fingers nervously on the table, pours herself a glass of wine. Onscreen: ACCESS DENIED

VENUS minimizes the web page, opens a folder on her desktop entitled TOM CRUISE.

CLOSE ON: Computer screen. A photo of Tom Cruise’s head, turned towards the camera, alongside another shot of a naked man, seen from behind, on a luxury cruiser. VENUS uses Photoshop to move Tom Cruise’s head onto the naked body. 

VENUS smiles to herself, sips wine, kneads her stressed shoulders with her hands and prepares to write. Beside her is the open manila folder filled with sensational gossip newspaper and magazine articles about celebrities – the most prominent of which is the I HAD BILL CLINTON’S LOVE CHILD article. Alongside the folder: several vials of pills. After a moment’s contemplation, VENUS types:

             My first night with Tom was HOT!!!

VENUS’ neck is killing her. She picks up a vial, tips a few pills into her hand, knocks them back with a slug of wine.

There is a loud knocking at the door. VENUS calls out.

VENUS
Who is it?

VOICE
Friends of Reggie’s.

VENUS (sotto voce)
Shit! (LOUD) Be there in a sec.

Moving at lightning speed VENUS dresses, unclamps a small fold-up satellite receiver attached to the window sill, packs it into its red plastic case; packs the blue VHS video cassette case with BIG TONY written on it and her manila folder full of newspaper clippings into her black shoulder bag, along with her pink mobile phone. 

28 INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT

The TWO BIG BURLY MEN stand at the front door. BURLY MAN #1 bangs on the door loudly.

BURLY MAN #1
Hey, Venus,  we don’t got all night!

29 INT. OLIVER’S CAR. NIGHT

OLIVER’S eyes are on the black Mercedes as he hears:

VENUS’ VOICE
Just getting dressed…

OLIVER registers the driver of the Mercedes – a Mafiosi thug out of Central Casing - in sunglasses; his thinning hair tied in a long pony tail. We will get to know him as REGGIE.

30 INT. HALLWAY. NIGHT

The two BIG BURLY MEN exchange looks, agree on the plan of action, charge the door in unison – knocking it to the floor.

31 INT. VENUS’ APARTMENT. NIGHT

The two BIG BURLY MEN search the apartment looking for Venus.

32 EXT. APARTMENT. NIGHT

VENUS, bags and cases hanging from her shoulders, ‘Serpent’ wrapped around her neck, shimmies down the drainpipe at the side of the building. Her black shoulder bag catches hold of the drainpipe and in the process of freeing it, most of it’s contents fall out.

Seen from below: Various items fall past us: the blue plastic VHS case and several pill bottles.

The bottles of pills shatter on the ground – sending pills flying off in all directions.

33 EXT. BACK STEET. NIGHT

VENUS, loaded down with ‘Serpent’ and bags, rushes down a dark suburban street, checking out the cars parked there. When she sees a blue BMW her eyes light up. She takes half a tennis ball from her black bad, places it over the lock and hits it hard. The inside locks jump up.

34 INT/EXT. BRANDON’S HOUSE. DAY

BRANDON is polishing his motor bike on the patio of his house as JOSIE, just inside the French doors, finishes sewing yet another wildly colourful and outrageously designed outfit.

A LITTLE LATER

JOSIE, dressed in her new outfit, looks at herself in a full length mirror - very happy with her work. She traipses out onto the patio and presents herself to BRANDON.

JOSIE
Da da!

BRANDON turns to her with a smile but seems not to notice her new outfit. His attention on the true love of his life - his spotlessly clean, gleaming shiny Harley Davison.

BRANDON
Is that a thing of beauty or what?

JOSIE
More beautiful than me?

BRANDON notices JOSIE’S outfit.

BRANDON
Hey. (A BEAT) Cool.

JOSIE
Yeah!?

BRANDON
I love your beautiful clothes, babe. I really do. But you know what?

He takes her head in his hands, kisses her on the lips.

BRANDON
I love you even more without them.

JOSIE laughs, shakes her head. BRANDON grins, starts to undress her. JOSIE stops him, breaks away.

JOSIE
Wait.

As JOSIE rushes from the room the phone rings. BRANDON answers it.

BRANDON
Sorry, she’s tied up at the moment, can I take a message?

BRANDON writes on a piece of paper alongside the phone. JOSIE reappears wearing a brown suede cowboy jacket (with tassles) and bearing the logo: THE COWBOYS. Underneath the logo is written Brandon.

BRANDON bursts out laughing.

35 INT. PUB. NIGHT

BRANDON and the other members of THE COWBOYS play rock and roll - all wearing tassled suede Josie-designed cowboy jackets with their names underneath the COWBOYS logo.

JOSIE loves the music; dances up a storm with the rest of the crowd. She is the most colourful and  outrageously dressed woman on the dance floor. There is a good deal of eye-contact and smiling between JOSIE and BRANDON.

LATER

JOSIE signals to BRANDON onstage (with a theatrical yawn) that she is leaving. He nods, beams a white smile, blows her a kiss. JOSIE blows a kiss back.

36 EXT. BRANDON'S HOUSE. NIGHT

JOSIE, wearing a light Indian silk sarong only this hot summer’s night, works at her sewing machine on the porch. She yawns, looks at her watch. It is 3 am. She decides to call it a night, gets up and walks through the French doors into:

37 INT. LIVING ROOM. BRANDON’S HOUSE. NIGHT

JOSIE walks up to a futon, lies down, loosens her sarong, closes her eyes.

MORNING

BRANDON, wearing his cowboy outfit and carrying a bottle of Maple Syrup, tip toes through the doors towards the bed, on which JOSIE lies - her naked body covered with her sarong.

BRANDON puts down the bottle of Maple Syrup, takes his shirt off to reveal a trim tanned muscular back. He unbuckles his belt and begins to take off his faded denim jeans.

JOSIE turns her head to look up at BRANDON, whose naked body can be seen from behind. JOSIE, smiling up at BRANDON, slips out from beneath her sarong, turns onto her back.  (Fear not, dear Reader, nothing x-rated here!)

BRANDON picks up the bottle of Maple Syrup; unscrews the cap. JOSIE smiles, reaches behind her, finds what she is looking for and lifts into frame a yellow disposable cardboard camera. As BRANDON begins to pour drips of syrup onto her breasts, JOSIE lifts the camera to take a photo of BRANDON hovering above her, bottle in hand. FREEZE FRAME.

Through the lens of her camera we see:

JOSIE tilt from Brandon's head and shoulders to shoulders and chest (click!), to chest and stomach (click); stomach and…

CLOSE ON JOSIE, smiling as she takes another photo (click!) - closely followed by a loud scream.

JOSIE
Ahhhh

JOSIE'S scream has been elicited by the appearance, on the porch, of three MEN IN BLUE OVERALLS, staring at them.

A LITTLE LATER

JOSIE struggles into a tattered pale blue t-shirt with PARTY ANIMAL written on the front as BRANDON pulls his jeans on. In the background MEN IN BLUE OVERALLS can be seen wheeling Brandon’s motor bike towards the DEBT CONSOLIDATION van parked in the street.

BRANDON
Must have forgotten a few payments…

JOSIE
You've got a memory like a sieve, Brandon Tilbury!

A thought has just occurred to BRANDON that fills him with panic. He looks at the clock on the wall. It reads 8.45.

BRANDON
Babe, I did tell you that Amarroo's secretary called about your appointment this morning, didn't I???

38 EXT. BRANDON'S HOUSE. DAY

JOSIE, carrying her red suitcase, runs out the door past BRANDON - almost in tears as the MEN IN BLUE OVERALLS secure his gleaming Harley in the DEBT CONSOLIDATION van.

BRANDON
You're not going like that!?

He is referring to JOSIE'S pale blue t-shirt, sticking to her wet sticky breasts like a second skin. JOSIE walks fast towards a waiting taxi.

JOSIE
I'll change in the taxi.

BRANDON
Sorry babe!

39 INT. TAXI. DARWIN STREET. DAY

JOSIE, in the passenger seat of a taxi, tries to open the clasp on her suitcase. It is jammed. She takes off one of her shoes and hits the lock of her suitcase: hard. It won't open.

JOSIE
Shit!

She looks at her t-shirt. The wet sticky patches over her breasts have turned dark blue. JOSIE hits the lock of her suitcase with her shoe again. It still won’t open. She looks at her watch.

JOSIE
Shit!

40 EXT/INT. TAXI/ OUTSIDE ARCADE. DAY

JOSIE emerges from the taxi outside the arcade in which Amaroo has his boutique. As the taxi pulls out she realizes she is wearing only one shoe.

JOSIE (shouts)
Wait!

JOSIE watches the taxi drive off, her shoe on the dash board.

41 INT. ARCADE. DAY

JOSIE rushes through the arcade, through some doors, into:

42 INT. LARGE ROOM. DAY

A large room in which half a dozen young men and women - all immaculately dressed and coifed - stand by racks of their fashionable clothes waiting their turn to present their designs to AMAROO - sitting with his ASSISTANT at the other end of the room. 

AMAROO looks at JOSIE - bedraggled, out-of-breath, in grubby cut off jeans, wearing a sticky wet t-shirt with PARTY ANIMAL written on it and only one shoe.

AMAROO
And you'd be?

JOSIE 
Josephine Higgenbottom. I'm sorry I'm…late…I…

AMAROO holds up his hand to stop her.

AMAROO
Lateness is the least of your problems, sweetheart. Next. Nerida Walsh.

AMAROO’S ASSISTANT signals to NERIDA.

Close to tears, JOSIE walks towards the doors. Immaculately attired NERIDA pushes a rack of clothes before her, striding confidently towards AMAROO. Her rack clips the edge of Josie's suitcase. It bursts open, scattering Josie's designs on the floor - shirts, skirts, bustiers, multi-coloured jackets embedded with tiny mirrors, coins and crystals.

JOSIE kneels to retrieve them; sniffling, miserable.

As she repacks her wildly colorful eccentric clothes, two legs appear in frame and then a slender dark manicured hand.

As AMAROO picks up the bustier embedded with tiny mirrors, coins and crystals AMAROO'S changed tone of voice reveals his professional respect for what he is looking at.

AMAROO 
Did you create these?

43 INT. ARCADE. DAY

JOSIE, a spring in her step and a huge smile on her face, speaks excitedly into her mobile phone.

JOSIE
He wants me to be his assistant; to be my mentor. I can’t believe it. I...oh, shit...This is the happiest day of my life. All I have to do is get a new visa...a student visa...

44 EXT. FRONT YARD. BRANDON'S HOUSE. DAY

JOSIE gets out of a taxi, surprised to see Brandon’s motor bike parked in the yard. BRANDON, looking very sheepish, appears on the porch.

JOSIE
How!?....What!?

BRANDON
I borrowed some of your travelers cheques.

45 INT. BRANDON'S HOUSE. DAY

JOSIE looks at Travellers cheques - only the stubs of which remain. She is in shock.

BRANDON 
And you're going to get it all back, babe. Promise. As soon as the advance for our album comes through. Two weeks, max!

JOSIE
But I need that money to get a student visa. (A BEAT) In the next week! You've stolen ALL my money.

BRANDON 
Borrowed, babe, borrowed!

JOSIE stares at him, in shock. There is a knock at the front door. BRANDON opens it to a YOUNG WOMAN - suitcase in one hand, a bottle of maple syrup in the other - smiling broadly.

YOUNG WOMAN
I’m back.

46 INT. CAR. OUTBACK ROAD. DAY

VENUS, wearing her ‘Lolita’ sunglasses, drinks a beer as she drives, jiggles her right leg nervously. She takes one hand off the steering wheel, looks at it. It is shaking badly.

Placing the beer bottle between her legs she reaches into the black carry bag on the seat beside her, extracts a bottle of pills. It is empty. She extracts another. Empty. She chooses another, (seemingly randomly) unscrews the lid, tips the last three or four into her open hand (steering  with her knees), throws them into her mouth and washes them down with a swig of beer.

VENUS
Merde!

The sound of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March emanates from inside her black carry bag. VENUS reaches into it, takes out her slender pink mobile phone. Her hands shake badly.

MARY (telephone)
Hey, sis!
VENUS
Hi gorgeous. 

MARY (telephone)
The Debt collectors are here again…

VENUS
Merde!(A BEAT) How bad is it?

MARY (telephone)
Bad bad. Very bad bad...

VENUS plants her foot on the brake. Her car skids to a halt.

47 INT. OLIVER’S CAR. OUTBACK ROAD. DAY

OLIVER, unlit cigarette in his mouth, slows as he notices that the red dot on the computer screen has stopped moving.

MARY’S VOICE
...and mum’s given the last of her money to...

VENUS’ VOICE
Some Christians in need!

48 INT. VENUS’ CAR. DAY

VENUS has her mobile to her ear. Mary’s laughter is heard.

MARY (telephone)
You’re psycho sis!

VENUS
Psychic, ya mean!

MARY (telephone)
Yeah, that too.

VENUS smiles, does a U-turn.

49 INT. OLIVER’S CAR. OUTBACK ROAD. DAY

OLIVER has pulled to the side of the road; is looking at the laptop computer screen. The red flashing dot is moving towards him. He looks up to see Venus’ car driving towards him. He picks up a magazine, pretends to be reading it.

50 INT. VENUS’ CAR. DAY

VENUS pulls up alongside OLIVER in his bright red car, parked at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere; unlit cigarette dangling from his mouth.

VENUS
You OK?

OLIVER, ever so polite, speaks with an American accent.

OLIVER
Fine thank you mam.

VENUS notices that he is holding the magazine upside down, nods. She is about to drive off when she notices that the glossy magazine OLIVER is reading upside down has I HAD BILL CLINTON’S LOVE CHILD on the cover.

VENUS smiles to herself as she drives off.

51 INT/EXT. PHYLLIS’ HOUSE. DAY

VENUS approaches her mother’s run-down fibro house, pulls up behind a large van with DEBT CONSOLIDATION  written on it – into which the same three MEN IN BLUE OVERALLS seen earlier load a lounge suite, dining table and other household goods.

As VENUS walks up she becomes aware of a shiny brand new green truck parked closeby. Taking out her wallet, VENUS walks up to one of the MEN IN BLUE OVERALLS.

VENUS
How much this time, Roger?

ROGER
G’day Rhonda...Venus. Five hundred bucks. Sorry to…

VENUS, tight lipped, holds up her hand to deter ROGER from explaining; opens her wallet.

52 INT. PHYLLIS’ HOUSE. DAY

As VENUS strides in through the front door she is greeted by MRS SMITH – trying to control a brood of feral children running wild. In the background the THREE MEN IN BLUE OVERALLS can be seen unloading the lounge suite etc. and carrying it back to the house.

A TV set is on in the room (news) - the volume turned down.

VENUS
Who are you?

MRS SMITH
Mary Smith. (A BEAT) The Lord sent us.

MARY, 15 now, walks in and greets VENUS with a hug.

MARY
Mrs. Smith got a message from God that a woman called Phyllis would help the family in its time of need.

MR SMITH walks in, arm in arm, with Venus’ mum, PHYLLIS. 

VENUS
Jesus! With a new truck?

MARY nods, raises her eyebrows.

MR. SMITH
Praise the Lord! 

PHYLLIS smiles beatifically, kisses VENUS on the cheek.

PHYLLIS
Hello Rhonda darling.

VENUS (exasperated)
Jesus, mum! What happened the last time God sent someone to you in their time of need?

PHYLLIS
When the Good Lord tells me to turn a blind eye to the poor and needy I’ll…

VENUS’ attention is caught by an item on the TV news. As she moves to turn the volume up:

VENUS
You almost lost your house!

On the TV screen:

A bald politician (recognizable as ’Big Tony’) stands in front of a large placard which reads FAMILY FOREMOST. The caption identifies him as 'Tony Babbit':

BIG TONY (onscreen)
The mainstay of a healthy community has always been and must remain, the family and I pledge that as your member…

A sedan pulls up in the street.

PHYLLIS
Oh, look, the man from the Bank…Mr. Phillips. Such a lovely man.

MR PHILLIPS walks in. PHYLLIS greets him with a beatific smile.

53 EXT. PHYLLIS’ HOUSE. DAY

MR PHILLIPS, wearing a cheap pitch black toupee over his greying hair, beams an unctuous smile at PHYLLIS and VENUS.

VENUS
Five thousand dollars? By the end of the week!?

MR PHILLIPS (nods)
The last thing the bank wants to do, of course, Phyllis, is repossess your house, but…

PHYLLIS smiles beatifically.

PHYLLIS
I understand, Mr Phillips, but you don’t need to worry because the Lord will provide…

PHYLLIS turns to VENUS with a happy smile. VENUS humours her mother with a smile as she shakes her head.

54 EXT. PHYLLIS’ HOUSE. DAY

VENUS has opened the door to her sedan, turned to talk with her mother offscreen:

VENUS
Mum, the next time someone turns up and tells you God sent them...

PHYLLIS, with ‘Serpent’ the python hanging around her neck, smiles, nods, waits for VENUS to continue.

VENUS
Tell them God has given them the wrong address.

55 INT. VENUS’ CAR. DAY

VENUS drives, pink mobile at her ear.

VENUS
I need $5,000 for the ‘Big Tony’ tape Terence.

TERENCE (telephone)
No can do, sweetheart. Yesterday it was $4,000.

VENUS
Yes, but it is my prerogative as a woman to change my mind.

TERENCE (telephone)
$4,000 max.

VENUS
I need $5,000. Seller’s market, Terence.

56 INT. STRIP CLUB. FETISHES

TERENCE talks on his mobile:

VENUS (telephone)
Got an hour to give me a yea or a nay...

The line breaks up.

TERENCE
Tell ya what, Venus, how about $4,500 and you throw in one of your famous python dances? Hello...hello!

The line has gone dead.

57 INT. VENUS’ CAR. DAY

VENUS
You there, Terence? (A BEAT) Hello...

VENUS hangs up, throws her pink mobile into a black carry bag on the passenger seat, looks at her hand. It shakes badly.

58 EXT. OUTBACK AUSTRALIA. LATE AFTERNOON
JOSIE, still in her PARTY ANIMAL t-shirt, carrying her red suitcase, wearing her small backpack, and with her black carry bag hanging around her neck, sits on the back of Brandon's motor-bike.

BRANDON 
She's my ex…I promise…Babe? Ex. E...X

JOSIE feels too miserable to respond as the motor bike speeds through a dry desert landscape.

A yellow sedan pull alongside as it prepares to overtake Brandon's motor bike.

The driver, VENUS, wearing her Sydney Harbour Bridge shaped  sunglasses, holds her slim pink mobile phone to her ear. 

59 EXT/INT. VENUS' CAR. LATE AFTERNOON

As BRANDON and JOSIE disappear from view, VENUS talks on her mobile. The news, on her car radio is turned down low. 

VENUS
Hello Terence...Terence! It's Venus...if you’re good for the five grand, right? I’ll be in Sydney on Friday... 

TERENCE'S VOICE
Didn’t catch that, Venus! Hello…

The line is breaking up.

VENUS
Hello, hello…Terence? Shit!

VENUS puts the phone in the black shoulder bag on the seat beside her;  unscrews the cap of a bottle of pills; tips it upside down. It is empty.

VENUS
Merde!

VENUS turns up the radio volume.

ANNOUNCER
Pentagon officials would neither confirm nor deny reports that a computer hacker from Australia had accessed top secret files…

60 EXT. ROADHOUSE. LATE AFTERNOON

A Roadhouse at a desert crossroads. VENUS pulls up in the yellow sedan at the gas pump as passengers file onto a passenger bus.

She clamps her small fold-up satellite receiver to the roof rack, connects it to her laptop computer, sits in the passenger seat - her laptop computer resting on her lap, boots up her computer.

Various icons appear - one of them the Home Page for THE PENTAGON.

As the bus begins to pull out onto the highway and as BRANDON and JOSIE approach on the motor-bike, VENUS, deep in thought, flips the lid of her computer shut.

From the back of Brandon's motor bike, as it pulls up close to the Roadhouse, JOSIE watches forlornly as the bus drives past them.

JOSIE
My bus!

JOSIE wipes tears from her eyes, puts on her sunglasses.

Her hands shaking, VENUS replaces the petrol nozzle in its holder, opens the passenger door of her car, rummages around in her black bag - extracts a hand full of credit cards. She flicks through them until she finds the one she wants.  JOSIE and BRANDON can be seen arguing in the background.

61 INT. ROADHOUSE. LATE AFTERNOON

As she processes VENUS’ credit card, the PROPRIETOR can’t take her eyes off her Sydney Harbour Bridge sunglasses and shaking hands.

62 EXT. ROADHOUSE. LATE AFTERNOON

VENUS walks to the yellow sedan parked alongside BRANDON - who sits astride his motor-bike. JOSIE, carrying her red suitcase, wearing her small backpack and with her black carry bag around her neck, stands close-by.

JOSIE
You knew how important being mentored by Amaroo is to me!?

BRANDON 
And you know how important my Harley is to me…I mean…

JOSIE puts on her sunglasses, walks towards the road.

BRANDON 
Babe! I didn't mean that…I'm sorry!

JOSIE sticks her thumb out; hitching. BRANDON calls out:

BRANDON 
Who's going to pick you up out here?

63 EXT. UP THE ROAD FROM ROADHOUSE. DAY

VENUS drives towards pink-haired JOSIE - standing at the side of the road, thumb outstretched: hitching.

JOSIE has her red suitcase suitcase and a small backpack alongside her and a black carry bag slung around her neck.

VENUS pulls up, looks over the top of her Sydney Harbour Bridge sunglasses at:

JOSIE, wearing ‘conventional’ sunglasses, cut off shorts and a pale blue t-shirt with PARTY ANIMAL written on it. There are two sticky wet dark blue patches around her breasts.

VENUS
You got any pills?

JOSIE
Pills!?

VENUS
Uppers...downers...whatever...?

JOSIE shakes her head; looks at VENUS’ shaking hands.

VENUS hides her hands, looks at the sticky wet patches around Josie’s breasts. JOSIE looks down, smiles self-consciously.

JOSIE
Don’t ask.

VENUS
No pills?

JOSIE shakes her head.

JOSIE
Sorry.

VENUS
Hop in.

64 INT. VENUS’ CAR. DAY

VENUS drives through the desert. JOSIE, in the passenger seat, has her black carry bag resting on her lap.

JOSIE
Thank you so much.

VENUS looks over the top of her sunglasses at JOSIE; puzzled.

VENUS
Take them off.

JOSIE takes her sunglasses off. 

VENUS
Jesus H Christ!

VENUS removes her own sunglasses. JOSIE exclaims:

JOSIE
Holy frigging Moley!

VENUS and JOSIE could be twins and they both recognize this in an instant. They are both gobsmacked.

JOSIE
No way!
VENUS
What the...! How did you...!? Who the fuck are you?

JOSIE
I don’t know.

VENUS
You don’t know!

JOSIE
Sorry, I mean, My name’s Josie but I...

VENUS
This is weird. Too weird! Why are you...!? Our here! In the middle of fucking nowhere...!?

JOSIE
I’m trying to find out who I am. (A BEAT) I mean...

VENUS
So, where are you going?

JOSIE
Haven’t got the foggiest idea. I mean...

VENUS shakes her head, looks at her own shaking hands.

VENUS
You don’t know who you are, you don’t know where you’re going!?

JOSIE
No. I mean yes I don’t know...

VENUS
And you don’t have any pills?

JOSIE shakes her head.

VENUS
And you’re a Pom?

JOSIE
Born and bred. First April 1979.

VENUS
Holy fuck! You’ve got to be kidding. My birthday. Same day!

JOSIE
No way.

VENUS and JOSIE stare at each other; gobsmacked.

JOSIE
What do you think it means? Us looking like sisters…maybe twins even?

VENUS
Why does it have to mean anything?
JOSIE
Everything means something.

VENUS
No, nothing means anything.

JOSIE
Oh. You don't believe in Fate? Destiny?

65 INT. OLIVER'S CAR. OUTBACK ROAD. LATE AFTERNOON

OLIVER is parked in the shade of a tree in an otherwise vast treeless landscape. From the recording device on the seat beside him he hears muffled voices:

VENUS’ VOICE
No. I don't believe in anything.

JOSIE’S VOICE
Not even…

66 INT VENUS' CAR. LATE AFTERNOON

JOSIE
…that God put us on this wonderful planet for a purpose!?

VENUS
Wonderful! You’ve got to be kidding! (A BEAT) I don't believe in anything and especially not God.

JOSIE
Oh! But if there is no God…

VENUS
Law of the jungle, sweetheart. What’s your name?

JOSIE
Josie. And you?

VENUS
Venus Aphrodite.

JOSIE
Oh!

VENUS
That's all there is. A fucking jungle. Survival of the fittest. You want something, you go after it. You don't let anything or anyone stand in your way.

The thin sound of Stevie Wonder’s “I just called to say I love you” is heard. JOSIE takes her blue mobile phone out of her black carry bag, looks at the LCD screen: Mum

JOSIE
Excuse me...

JOSEPHINE SENIOR (telephone)
Daaaarling, I had a call this morning from the Royal Shakespeare. They want you. Badly...

JOSIE holds the phone away from her; grimaces.

JOSEPHINE SENIOR (telephone)
...To play Ophelia! Ophelia, darling. This is the opportunity of a lifetime...

VENUS can’t help but smile.

JOSEPHINE SENIOR (telephone)
...To appear onstage with the luminaries of the Royal Shakespeare…

VENUS grabs the phone from JOSIE, mimics Josie’s plummy English accent.

VENUS
Line’s breaking up, mum. Sorry.

VENUS hangs up, grins at JOSIE. JOSIE laughs.

A LITTLE LATER

VENUS drives fast through the desert.

VENUS
If ya hate acting that much, why are ya want to go back and be in that Royal Shakespeare thingo?

JOSIE
My tourist visa expires at the end of the week and...well, it's very difficult to say 'no' to my mother.

VENUS
Tell me about it.

They drive on in silence for a moment. The sound of “I just called to say I love you” again.

JOSIE
My mother!

JOSIE is in two minds about talking to her mother. VENUS grabs the blue mobile from her, speaks in an English accent.

VENUS
Mum, has it ever occurred to you that I might not want to be an actress?

JOSIE grimaces. Josephine Senior laughs incredulously.

JOSEPHINE SENIOR (telephone)
Not want! Not want! What on earth...!?

VENUS
That I might have dreams of my own?

JOSIE grabs the phone from VENUS.

JOSIE
Mum...sorry...I didn’t mean that. You’re right...It’s a wonderful opportunity. I’ll be back in London next week. Love you. Bye.

JOSIE hangs up. VENUS shakes her head in disgust. JOSIE opens her mouth to speak. VENUS holds her hand up to stop her, turns the radio up, switches stations a couple of times before stopping on a news report.

BILL CLINTON’S VOICE
I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.

JOSIE
Liar.

VENUS
All men are liars.

JOSIE does not agree but thinks better of voicing her dissent.

VENUS looks over the top of her sunglasses at JOSIE, down to the dark blue wet sticky patches around her breasts.

VENUS
And the...?

JOSIE (sheepish)
Maple syrup.

VENUS
Maple syrup!?  How the fuck didja get maple syrup all over ya boobs?

JOSIE
Well, you see...um...Brandon...the boyfriend...poured it on me and…

VENUS
Asshole!

JOSIE
No, he was going to lick it off…

VENUS
Lick it off!

VENUS looks at JOSIE incredulously. 

JOSIE
Haven't you ever had a man…you know, use his tongue to…you know…?

VENUS
Yech, no way! Any guy that tried to pull a stunt like that on me would be in deep shit!

JOSIE
Oh!

VENUS
I don't have a very high opinion of men. Assholes the lot of them!

JOSIE
Oh! I love men, but…!

VENUS
But?

JOSIE
Oh, I don't know…(sighs) You know that feeling when you meet a guy and he's charming and everything and has a lovely smile but you have no intention of, you know, sleeping with him or anything…and then he looks into your eyes and kisses you beautifully and before you know it…

             JOSIE                                             VENUS
      You're in love…                            He's getting his rocks off…

VENUS
I'd rather kiss a snake.

JOSIE
Oh! I cant think of anything worse than kissing a snake! I've got a phobia about snakes.

VENUS
So, ya boyfriend pours maple syrup on ya tits and ya decide to go hitchhiking but ya don’t know where to!? 

67 INT. OLIVER’S CAR. OUTBACK ROAD. DAY

OLIVER, an unlit cigarette dangling from his mouth, drives along a dusty desert road.

From the recording device on the seat beside him can be heard crackling static. Annoyed, OLIVER fiddles with knobs on the recording device. A few words of Venus and Josie talking can be heard between crackles.

JOSIE
...need different visa...

VENUS
...different boyfriend...

JOSIE
...if I’m deported...

Also on the seat is his laptop computer – on the screen of which can be seen a red flashing dot moving across an aerial map of the terrain Oliver is driving through.

68 EXT. OUTBACK AUSTRALIA. LATE AFTERNOON

Through an extremely wide angle lens, a red dusty road unfolds in the dry desert landscape.  This is the POV of:

A large Prentie (lizard) peering out through the wire mesh of a makeshift wire cage strapped to a platform welded to a bicycle frame in front of the handle bars.
The bare-chested 28 year old man on the bicycle, NOTCH, his long hair tied in a bun on top of his head, has ‘bush eccentric’ written all over him. He hums ‘Waltzing Matilda’ to himself as he rides – clearly in no hurry to get anywhere.

Hanging alongside the rear wheel of Notch’s bicycle are two large leather panniers.

NOTCH’S humming is gradually drowned out by the sound of a truck driving towards him – with THUNDER DOWNUNDER written in large letters across the front. It bear down on him fast; roars past. NOTCH is lost in a cloud of dust.

NOTCH rides his bicycle out of the cloud of dust – covered in a layer of it but still humming Waltzing Matilda as though nothing untoward had happened.

69 INT. VENUS’ CAR. OUTBACK ROAD. LATE AFTERNOON

JOSIE talks as VENUS drives.

JOSIE
...a disaster! So, unless I can come up with $5000 in the next few days I’m going to be deported.

VENUS
Wotchya gunna do about it?

JOSIE (shrugs)
There’s nothing I can do.

VENUS
There’s always something you can do. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

JOSIE nods, bites her lip, sees the large THUNDER DOWNUNDER truck heading towards them - occupying the entire width of the road. Her eyes widen in fear. She turns to VENUS.

JOSIE
Shouldn’t you, like, move over…

VENUS ignores JOSIE, smiles, puts her foot on the accelerator, moves to the middle of the road. Chicken!

VENUS (sotto voce)
You don’t scare me one little bit mate!

JOSIE is scared shitless, however. The truck is only 50 metres away now, closing in fast. 

JOSIE screams as a head-on collision seems imminent. VENUS laughs. The truck is almost on them when its driver pulls over into the gravel and roars past.

VENUS laughs triumphantly as her car disappears into a cloud of dust as gravel hits the windscreen.

JOSIE’s terror does not diminish as VENUS continues to drive fast into the dust cloud - visibility zero. After a few moments the dust thins.  JOSIE relaxes a little.

JOSIE
What would you do…if you needed money…a lot of money…fast?

VENUS
Whatever it takes. If you want something bad enough, babe, you do whatever it takes. Take no prisoners!

JOSIE nods, bites her lip, wishes she had VENUS’ courage.

NOTCH, on his bicycle, appears up ahead, riding in the middle of the road. 

As VENUS closes in on him she honks her horn to get NOTCH to move over. He ignores her. VENUS slow down, puts her hand on the horn and leaves it there.

NOTCH raises his right hand - index finger extended in response to VENUS’ impatience.

JOSIE, enjoying this battle of wills, reaches into her black carry bag and extracts her yellow cardboard box camera.

VENUS drives up so close behind NOTCH that she almost hits him. She then passes - only inches from him. NOTCH responds by again raising his index finger.

JOSIE lifts her yellow cardboard camera and prepares to take a photo.

NOTCH, his face covered in a film of dust, turns and smiles for the camera, extending his raised finger as close to the lens as he can. Click.

JOSIE laughs, looks back at VENUS – scowling as she watches NOTCH grow smaller in the rear-vision mirror. 

VENUS
Asshole!

JOSIE mimics VENUS’ scowl. VENUS raises her left index finger. JOSIE lifts the yellow cardboard camera and takes a photo. Click.

VENUS grabs Josie’s camera, throws it out the window.

JOSIE
Hey! What the…That’s got…

VENUS
No one takes my photo, right! No-one.

JOSIE
Stop! I want my camera. It’s...

VENUS
Gone. Finito. Kaput.

JOSIE stares at VENUS angrily.

JOSIE
Mad bitch! 

VENUS
What did you say?

JOSIE
Mad bitch. As in…stark raving…

VENUS puts her foot on the brake. 

VENUS
Out.

JOSIE
But… 

VENUS
Out.

70 EXT. OUTBACK AUSTRALIA. DESERTED ROAD. LATE AFTERNOON

The passenger door opens. JOSIE is forcefully ejected from the sedan into the red dust, clutching her small backpack.

JOSIE (shouts)
Venus! What the…!

JOSIE leaps to her feet, watches in horror as Venus’ yellow sedan speeds off towards the setting sun.

50 meters up the road Josie’s red suitcase is pushed out. It hits the road; bursts open. Coloured garments fly everywhere.

JOSIE
No!

As JOSIE runs up the road towards her red suitcase a black object thrown from the driver’s window Venus’ car.

50 meters up the road JOSIE approaches the black carry bag lying in the red dust. 
As JOSIE picks it up the black carry bag she catches sight of a small snake slithering away from her.

JOSIE, wide eyed with fear, stands in the middle of the road, holding the black carry bag at shoulder height in case she needs it to fight off a snake attack.

The sound of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March intrudes. JOSIE reacts with shock.

JOSIE
What the…!?

When she realizes that the music is coming from the black carry bag she opens it, looks inside; reacts with shock.

JOSIE
Holy fucking moley!

She extracts Venus’ pink mobile phone; presses the ‘answer’ icon. It is a bad line.

JOSIE
Hello!

TERENCE’S VOICE
OK, OK, you win, Venus!

The line is breaking up.

JOSIE
Sorry, this is Venus’ phone but I’m not Venus. I’m Josie..

TERENCE’S VOICE
Didn’t catch that, sweetheart, but I’ve got five grand waiting for you in Sydney and I’ve lined up...

The line breaks up again.

JOSIE
... Hello... hello…

The line is dead. JOSIE exclaims.

JOSIE
Five grand!

A lizard runs across the road, close to her. JOSIE screams, drops the pink mobile phone, runs up the road.

When the coast is clear (no snakes or lizards in sight) JOSIE picks up the phone tentatively, sits on the road alongside Venus’s black bag, opens it; extracting:

Two wigs (brunette and red), a pair of outsized pink-rimmed heart-shaped ‘Lolita’ sunglasses, several passports and...

A blue plastic VHS case with BIG TONY written under a photo of a bald man standing at a lectern. Behind ‘Big Tony’ is a poster of his smiling bald self with FAMILY FOREMOST written in large letters. Clearly a politician.

Venus’ pink mobile starts ringing again. JOSIE picks it up, eventually presses the ‘answer’ icon.

TERENCE’S VOICE
Venus! Terence here. You there?

JOSIE
Yes, but...

TERENCE’S VOICE
You drive a hard bargain, sweetheart! I just hope the Big Tony tape’s worth five grand! 

The line is breaking up.

JOSIE
Five grand!…Hello…hello…

The line cuts out. JOSIE looks closely at the blue VHS with ‘BIG TONY’ written on it.

JOSIE
Five grand!
JOSIE pulls from the black carry bag a handful of credit cards with different names. And then:

A worn manila folder that she opens to discover:

Lots of newspaper clippings. Her attention focuses on a glossy‘HOT GOSSIP’ magazine cover with:

A photo of a young woman and a baby and the banner headline: I HAD BILL CLINTON’S LOVE CHILD. The byline: Mystery Clinton lover’s bombshell paternity claims…

JOSIE looks into the setting sun; puts on Venus’ ‘Lolita’ sunglasses to protect her from the glare. 

71 EXT. ROAD. LATE AFTERNOON

As he rides his bicycle NOTCH’S attention is caught by a yellow object at the side of the road. He stops, leans over and picks it up. It is Josie’s yellow cardboard box camera. He slips it into one of the many pockets in his baggy khaki shorts and continues on his way, humming ‘Waltzing Matilda’ to himself.

NOTCH pulls up alongside Josie’s suitcase and the assortment of her colourful and imaginatively designed clothes.

He registers the small figure of JOSIE in the distance, sitting in the middle of the road, her back to him.

72 EXT. ROAD. DAY

JOSIE, wearing Venus’ ‘Lolita’ sunglasses punches numbers into the pink mobile, holds it to her ear, speaks in a broad Australian accent - sounding just like Venus.

JOSIE
Sorry, Terence. Bad reception. Yeah, I’ve got the ‘Big Tony’ tape and…five grand ay?

TERENCE (telephone)
How soon can you…

The line goes dead.

JOSIE
…hello, hello…

NOTCH (voice off)
G'day.

JOSIE as she leaps to her feet in shock, spins around to see:

NOTCH, covered in dust, unshaven, hair tied in a knot on the top of his head, wearing on the otherwise naked upper half of his body a multi-coloured bustier encrusted with beads and tiny mirrors that sparkle in the afternoon sun.

JOSIE (splutters)
It's not a good day. It's a frigging dreadful day.

NOTCH'S eyes lower. He gets only the briefest of glimpses of the slender pink mobile phone resting on JOSIE’S lap (at an unfortunate angle!) before she slips it back into her bag.

NOTCH (grins)
That what I think it is?

JOSIE
No.

NOTCH
Whaddya think I think it is?

JOSIE has turned bright red. Indicating the bustier on NOTCH.

JOSIE
That's my bustier.

NOTCH
Yeah, thought as much. Reckon it'd look better on you than me. So where ya headed?

JOSIE
You offering me a ride!?

NOTCH
Depends where ya going, mate.

JOSIE
Please don't call me mate! (A BEAT) Don't know where I'm going.

NOTCH
Well, if ya don't know where ya going', mate, there's a good chance you're already there.

JOSIE
You a philosopher or something, mate?

NOTCH
Blind man in a dark room looking for a black hat that isn't there, ay? (A BEAT) Wanna ride…mate?

JOSIE looks at the cluttered bicycle, wondering where on earth she could possibly sit.

JOSIE
You've got to be kidding!

NOTCH grins.

73 EXT. OUTBACK ROAD. CLOSE TO SUNSET

JOSIE, clutches the cage with the Prentie in it, balances precariously on the platform where it was resting earlier, facing NOTCH, her legs dangling. She is wearing her small backpack and has Venus' black carry bag slung around her neck. Josie's red suitcase is strapped on NOTCH’S back. JOSIE is terrified of the Prentie - staring at her.

NOTCH  
You got a name, mate?

JOSIE
No, mate, m'mum forgot to give me one!

NOTCH
That was careless of her!

JOSIE
Course I've got a bloody name! Josie Higgenbottom.

NOTCH bursts out laughing.

JOSIE
What's so funny?

NOTCH
Nothing, mate.

JOSIE
Do you have to keep calling me 'mate'?

NOTCH
Don't have to, mate, no.

JOSIE grimaces. Her thighs are aching.

JOSIE
Oooh, my thighs!

NOTCH indicates her dangling legs; his lap.

NOTCH
You can rest 'em here if you like.

JOSIE
No way, mate!

NOTCH (shrugs)
No worries, mate?

LATER

JOSIE has her legs resting on NOTCH'S thighs as he cycles.

JOSIE
You got a name, mate?

NOTCH
Notch, mate.

Mendelssohn's Wedding March emanates from the black carry bag. JOSIE ignores it.

JOSIE
Notch is not a name. It's something cowboys have on their belt.

NOTCH
Ya phone's ringing.

JOSIE
It's not my phone.

NOTCH
Whatever you say, mate.

Mendelssohn's Wedding March stops.

NOTCH 
So, all them fancy clothes of yours…

JOSIE
I'm a fashion designer.

NOTCH
Would you be offended if I told ya you had weird taste in clothes?

JOSIE
Yes.

NOTCH
You've got weird taste in clothes, mate.

JOSIE
You looked at yourself in the mirror lately.

NOTCH
Was just about to ask you the same thing, mate.

He gestures to the sticky wet patches on JOSIE'S t-shirt. She becomes self-conscious, folds her arms protectively to cover her breasts. NOTCH leans forward a little, sniffs.

NOTCH
Smells like maple syrup.

JOSIE
Don’t be ridiculous.

Mendelssohn's Wedding March starts again.

JOSIE
It's not for me.

NOTCH
Maybe it's for me.

JOSIE
Yeah, mate, it's bound to be for you!

NOTCH takes one hand off the handle bars, reaches into Venus' black bag with his free hand, pulls out Venus’ pink mobile; looks at it with raised eyebrows.

NOTCH
Get lonely at night, do you Josephine?

NOTCH presses the appropriate key and speaks in a 'plummy' English accent.

NOTCH
Josie Higgenbottom's residence. Miss Higgenbottom's chauffeur speaking.

NOTCH listens, nods, listens some more, nods.

NOTCH
Hang on a sec whilst I consult with her Ladyship.

NOTCH rests the mobile face-down on JOSIE'S thigh; covering the mouthpiece.

NOTCH
Some bloke by the name of Terence says he's got five grand in crisp new $100 bills for some shiela called Venus.

JOSIE grabs the mobile from NOTCH, puts it to her ear.

JOSIE
Venus speaking…Hello…hello…

The line goes dead.

NOTCH
Though you said it wasn't your phone!

JOSIE
$100 bills?

NOTCH
Yeah, for Venus; not Josephine!? 

JOSIE
If you must know Mr. Notch, I was born Venus but I hated the name so much I changed it to Josie and then my mother married my step-dad - Bruce Higgenbottom...and...and... and Terence is my uncle.

NOTCH
The bloke who's lined up a snake for you?

JOSIE
Snake!

NOTCH
Snake.  Said he's lined it up.

JOSIE
It's a kind of thank-you present… because… because he knows how much I love snakes. 

NOTCH
A bit of a herpetologist are you, Venus?

JOSIE hasn't a clue what a herpetologist is.

JOSIE
Yes.

74 EXT. NOTCH’S HOUSE. CLOSE TO SUNSET

NOTCH, with JOSIE balanced in front of him, her legs resting on his thighs, rides into the cluttered yard of his open-plan ramshackle dwelling.

Notch's house is made from second hand timber and corrugated iron; the furniture from bizarre twisted tree trunks. There are no walls. Geological and indigenous flora specimens speak of Notch's love for the bush. 

NOTCH, carrying his panniers and JOSIE, with her red suitcase, walk under a tree which has a bush shower hanging from a branch.

NOTCH
If ya need a shower, Venus.

NOTCH indicates the bush shower - a bladder filled with water above the nozzle.

NOTCH
Should be plenty of warm water if ya need to...you know...

NOTCH indicates the wet sticky patches over each of JOSIE’S breasts. JOSIE turns bright red again. NOTCH grins, leans close to JOSIE, sniffs.

JOSIE
OK, It is maple syrup! I was... having some pancakes and, you know...and spilt the...

NOTCH (laughs)
Course ya did, mate!

JOSIE is mortified. Closeby there is an old Army Troop Carrier that has been partially restored. Along the side is stenciled FERAL TOURS.

75 INT. NOTCH’S HOUSE. CLOSE TO SUNSET

As JOSIE and NOTCH walk 'into' the house, they pass glass cases with snakes and lizards in them.

NOTCH
Make a bit of a living selling geological and zoological specimens to museums, universities and so on.

JOSIE manages to keep her fear and distaste of snakes and other reptiles secret from NOTCH.

76 EXT. NOTCH’S HOUSE. SUNSET

JOSIE, a towel wrapped around her, hangs a sarong from the tree in an attempt to provide her with some privacy as she showers. It becomes apparent that she has dyed her underarm hair pink. She calls out to NOTCH, twenty of so feet away ‘inside’ his house, unpacking his panniers.

JOSIE
Don't look.

JOSIE turns on the shower, drops her towel.

NOTCH
You got some bits and pieces ya reckon I haven't seen before, Venus? 

JOSIE looks down, smiles. The phone inside Venus' shoulder bag begins to ring. 

JOSIE  (shouts)
Don't answer it!

NOTCH takes the pink mobile from Venus’ bag, answers it.

NOTCH
Hello. Venus Aphrodite’s personal assistant...

JOSIE flails her arms in a frantic attempt to stop him, dislodging the sarong, leaving her nakedness exposed to NOTCH, who averts his eyes as he listens on the phone.

JOSIE clutches the sarong to her, runs 'inside'.

NOTCH
Hang on a sec, Terence. I'll put Venus on.

JOSIE takes the phone, clutching the sarong to her modestly. JOSIE speaks with a broad Australian accent.

JOSIE
G'day Terence. Last bit I got was about five grand in crisp new notes?

NOTCH and JOSIE’S eyes meet. NOTCH smiles, shakes his head. JOSIE blushes, turns away, her bare back and bottom facing NOTCH.

TERENCE'S VOICE
You got it, sweetheart! How soon can you get to Sydney? 

JOSIE
Sydney! That's...more than 3,000 kilometers!

NOTCH takes the yellow disposable camera from his pocket.

Close on Josie’s face.

TERENCE'S VOICE
A few days? Friday?

JOSIE bites her lip, unsure what decision to make. In the background NOTCH can be seen lifting the camera to his eye.

A ‘thought bubble’ appears alongside JOSIE’S  head. In it is VENUS - speaking to her:

VENUS
If you want something bad enough you do whatever it takes, babe.  

NOTCH’S point of view as he takes a photo (‘Click’) of:

Josie's naked back and bottom. FREEZE FRAME.

The shot ‘unfreezes’.

JOSIE
See ya Friday, Terence.

77 INT. ‘FETISHES’

TERENCE speaks on his mobile.

TERENCE
Look forward to it, Venus.

He hangs up, turns to:

A man in a RENT A PET t-shirt standing by two cages with pythons in them - one big and one small(ish).

TERENCE
The big one, I think. Yeah, the big one.

78 EXT. DESERT PALMS MOTEL

Venus’ yellow sedan pulls up outside ‘Reception’.

79 INT. DESERT PALMS MOTEL - RECEPTION. SUNSET

The owners, MADGE and REG (they're wearing name tags) book VENUS in. REG writes “Venus Aphrodite” into his register.

MADGE
That'll be $15 and I'll need some ID, Miss Aphrodite. Driver's license?

VENUS reaches into 'her' black carry bag, lifts out Josie’s small pink teddy bear.
She looks at the teddy with mounting shock, reaches into the bag again and extracts from it a bottle of maple syrup.

MADGE and REG exchange looks again.

VENUS has turned pale and her hands shake badly. The sound of “I just called to say I love you” emanates from the bag.

VENUS takes out Josie’s blue mobile, presses the ‘answer’ icon. Josephine’s loud theatrical voice fills the room:

JOSEPHINE SENIOR’S VOICE
Josephine, darling? It’s your mother! You’ve got some explaining to do, young lady!

MADGE and REG exchange looks again.

MADGE
ID, Miss Aphrodite?

80 INT. NOTCH’S HOUSE. NIGHT

NOTCH sits, eyes closed, at a cluttered table, beer in hand.

JOSIE (voice off)
OK, you can open your eyes.

JOSIE is standing closeby dressed in a very colourful and imaginatively designed outfit.

NOTCH
Wow! (A BEAT) You made that?

JOSIE smiles, nods; excited.

JOSIE
Want to see another one? 

NOTCH laughs, nods.

A LITTLE LATER

In a brief montage JOSIE dresses up in four or five of her outfits - each one an inspired piece of clothing design. One of them has lots of feathers stitched into it.

81 INT. DESERT PALMS MOTEL - RECEPTION. SUNSET

VENUS holds Josie’s passport photo (Josie’s hair is pink) alongside her own face.

VENUS
I married an Englishman by the name of Cedric Higgenbottom, you see, and because he’s a Lord...Lord Cedric Higgenbottom...and related to royalty, he didn’t think it appropriate...

MADGE
Royalty! So you are Lady Higgenbottom?

VENUS
Yes, and because Cedric didn’t think pink was and appropriate colour or Venus an appropriate name for a member of the royal family I started to use my middle name - Josie. And then I got a new passport and...well, Lord Higgenbottom will be here first thing in the morning and...

MADGE (smiles)
Say no more, Lady Higgenbottom. Welcome to our humble motel.

82 INT. MOTEL ROOM. NIGHT

CLOSE ON a glossy fashion magazine double page spread of models in outlandish designer clothes. The headline reads:

ABORIGINAL FASHION DESIGNER TAKES PARIS BY STORM

Prominent is a photo of a young Aboriginal man dressed in outlandish colourful clothes, identified as Amaroo Yunipingu.

The byline reads: “The world of haute couture now has a new name to contend with as Amaroo Yunipingu’s releases his latest designs...”

VENUS reads a little, shakes her head, takes a blue mobile phone out of Josie’s black carry bag.

83 INT. NOTCH’S HOUSE. NIGHT

JOSIE sits at the table, accepts the bottle of beer held out for her by NOTCH.

NOTCH
I’m not big on fashion, but...

JOSIE
Would never have guessed that...

NOTCH
...I reckon ya clobber’s pretty bloody good - except for that feathery thing.

JOSIE
Oh, that’s my favourite.

NOTCH
Bit over the top, I reckon.

JOSIE
Oh.

NOTCH
Just being honest, Venus.

84 INT. HOTEL. NIGHT

OLIVER sips a glass of water, his eyes on a packet of cigarettes as he listens to Notch and Josie talk.

JOSIE (voice off)
Do you think its...I mean, that you have to tell the truth all the time.

He picks the packet up, looks at it, puts it down, picks it up again, takes out a cigarette, puts it in his mouth.

NOTCH (voice off)
Got no time for lies, Venus. Or liars.
He draws on it (unlit) then suddenly crumples it up in his hands, takes the half empty packet and walks into the en suite bathroom.

JOSIE (voice off)
Oh. But...if you told me....like now...

85 INT. NOTCH’S HOUSE. NIGHT

JOSIE and NOTCH sit together at the table.

JOSIE
...that you were not really who I think you are...I mean...

NOTCH
Yeah...?

The sound of Mendellsohn’s Wedding March. JOSIE leaps to her feet, rushes to the ‘kitchen’ picks up the phone.

86 INT. MOTEL ROOM. NIGHT

VENUS, her hands shaking badly, speaks into Josie’s blue mobile phone.

VENUS
I want my bag back. Where are you?

87 INT. NOTCH’S HOUSE. NIGHT

JOSIE speaks animatedly on the phone.

JOSIE
Mum! Hi, yes I’m fine. Hey, can’t talk now, I’m right in the middle of something. Can I call you back. Love you.

JOSIE hangs up, rejoins NOTCH

JOSIE
My mum.

88 INT. HOTEL. NIGHT

OLIVER walks from the en suite bathroom back into the main room. The sound of the toilet flushing can be heard.

NOTCH (voice off)
So, who do ya reckon I think I am...

OLIVER picks up a “BOOK OF MORMON EXPLAINED”, opens it.

NOTCH (voice off)
...that might be different...

89 INT. NOTCH’S HOUSE. NIGHT

NOTCH
...from who you reckon I am?

JOSIE laughs, waves the question away.

NOTCH
More to the point, who do ya reckon you are, Venus?

JOSIE
Maybe not who you think I am.

NOTCH
And who do ya think I think you are?

JOSIE
Um...

NOTCH (smiles)
Apart from being someone that needs $5,000 so she can stay in Australia and study with this Aboriginal fashion designer bloke?

JOSIE
Well, you see, my tourist visa runs out at the end of the week and to study with Amaroo I have to get a student visa and to get a student visa I need to be able to prove that I have $5,000 - which I don’t have. I mean, I did until yesterday, but now I don’t and...

NOTCH
What happened to your five grand?

JOSIE laughs, waves the question away.

NOTCH
Wish I had five grand to lend ya...

JOSIE 
You'd do that!?

NOTCH (nods)
Course, Venus, if I had the dough.

JOSIE
You’...trust me...!?

NOTCH
Yeah, I reckon you’re an honest kind of person.

NOTCH looks directly into her eyes, nods. JOSIE blushes, covers her embarrassment by opening a photo album on the table, flicking through it.

NOTCH
Do a bit of work as a tour guide from time to time to make ends meet…

JOSIE looks at a photo album at a photo of:

NOTCH - dressed in a neatly ironed khaki uniform, his hair tied back  - standing in front of a large OUTBACK ADVENTURE TOURS bus with young backpackers.

JOSIE nods, smiles at NOTCH, flips through the album:
Young backpackers at water falls, standing by huge ant's nests, sitting around camp fires, etc; mostly young women.

JOSIE
You get mostly women on the tours?

NOTCH looks a little embarrassed. JOSIE picks up a loose photo of a pretty young blonde in a bikini. She turns it over. A look of panic crosses NOTCH'S face as JOSIE reads:

JOSIE
“To a bronzed Aussie hunk from a hot German frauline, beast wishes, Helga.” Beast wishes!?

NOTCH
I reckon she mighta meant 'best wishes'.

JOSIE laughs.

90 INT. DESERT PALMS MOTEL. NIGHT

VENUS, dejected, sits on the edge of the bed - the contents of Josie’s black bag laid out on the bed.

Along with the pink teddy bear and bottle of Maple Syrup there are a few Mills and Boone-type romance novels. She picks up one entitled TRUE LOVE, looks at the cover:

A colour illustration of an very handsome young man looking deeply into the eyes of the very beautiful young woman in his arms.

VENUS flips the book over, reads the back cover for a moment before throwing it across the room in anger.

91 INT/EXT. NOTCH’S HOUSE. NIGHT

JOSIE lies in a bed ‘inside’ Notch’s house. NOTCH lies in his swag outside, 20 or so feet away, looking up at the stars.

JOSIE
You know that saying ,”The truth shall set you free.”?

NOTCH
Uh huh. Yeah, I reckon its true!

JOSIE
Well, there’s something...

JOSIE is just about to confess but NOTCH cuts her off.

NOTCH
You got something you want to get off your chest? Other than the maple syrup that is.

JOSIE laughs.

NOTCH
Would you be offended if I asked how that came about?

JOSIE
Yes

NOTCH
How’d you manage to get maple syrup on ya chest like that?

JOSIE (laughs)
Night Notch.

NOTCH
Don’t let the bed bugs bite, Venus.

92 INT. DESERT PALMS MOTEL. NIGHT

VENUS uses Photoshop to touch up the photo of the now naked Tom Cruise (fear not, dear Reader, this is a PG movie) smiling lovingly at the camera.

VENUS, not happy, casts her eyes on the book (’TRUE LOVE’) lying on the floor.

93 INT. NOTCH’S HOUSE. NIGHT

CLOSE ON JOSIE lying in bed in the dark, remembering.

JOSIE
Notch? You asleep?

NOTCH lies outside in his swag looking up at the stars.

NOTCH
Yep, sound...

JOSIE
Do you believe in fate? Destiny? Like…there are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason.

NOTCH
Nah, I reckon we just come up with the reasons after the accidents  have happened…

JOSIE, looking up into the rafters, freezes in fear.

JOSIE
Flipping hell! There's something moving in the roof.

NOTCH
That'll be Basil.

JOSIE 
Basil?

NOTCH
M'pet python.

JOSIE
PYTHON!

JOSIE, her eyes wide in terror, stares up into the rafters.

NOTCH
If he decides to join you in bed don't worry. You're too big to swallow whole.

As the python falls with a heavy plop onto her bed, JOSIE leaps from it and runs screaming out of the house...

JOSIE
Ahhhhh!

...to where NOTCH lies in his swag under the stars.

JOSIE
Holy frigging Moley! Move over.

JOSIE climbs into NOTCH'S swag.

NOTCH
Thought ya liked snakes!

JOSIE
I...I love snakes...but I don't want to share a bed with one.

NOTCH
Reckon it'll be less dangerous sharing a bed with me?

JOSIE
You won't…you know…do anything, will you!?

An animal screeches in the darkness. JOSIE screams; throws herself into NOTCH'S arms.

NOTCH
No, mate, you're safe with me.

JOSIE 
OK, I admit it, I'm scared shitless of snakes, spiders, insects, bugs, creepy crawlies…and I don't know what a herpe…whatever… is.

NOTCH
A sexually transmitted disease, mate. You get it from sleeping with people you don't know. Not to be confused with 'herpetologist', which is an expert in snakes…

JOSIE
Oh!

JOSIE, embarrassed, blushing eases herself away from NOTCH.

NOTCH
Sleep tight, Venus.

JOSIE
'Night Notch.

94 INT. DESERT PALMS MOTEL. NIGHT

VENUS lies in bed reading ‘TRUE LOVE’.

VENUS (V.O.)
He lifted her gently, cradling in his arms the most precious thing he had ever handled, looked deep into her exotic green eyes and uttered the words she had been longing to hear since they met at the orphanage when they were children. “I will worship at the altar of your ruby red cupid bow lips and bubblegum tongue for all eternity and a day. And...

VENUS, hooked, turns the page.

95 INT. HOTEL. NIGHT

OLIVER, an unlit cigarette hanging from his mouth, sits up in bed reading ‘THE BOOK OF MORMOM EXPLAINED”.

OLIVER (V.O.)
“As a good Mormom you must never put anything addictive into your body - especially tobacco products such as cigarettes, snuff, chewing tobacco, cigars…”

96 EXT. DESERT PALMS MOTEL. NIGHT

VENUS, her bags and satellite dish in hand, creeps from her yellow car to a purple sedan, breaks into it, tries to hotwire start it. A loud whirring sound. No luck!

A light comes on in the Reception doorway. Two figures appear: REG (dressed in a towel only) and MADGE (in a short bathrobe).

As they run towards the green sedan. REG'S towel falls off.

VENUS gets the car started as REG (naked) and MADGE throw themselves onto the bonnet.

VENUS
Get off you stupid old farts!

REG and MADGE crawl up to the windscreen as VENUS drives off.

REG (shouts)
Not on your nelly!

VENUS sees the motel swimming pool ahead and drives towards it, increasing speed. REG and MADGE'S hang on for dear life, their bodies pressed up against the windscreen.

VENUS (shouts)
I warned you!

Close to the low fence around the swimming pool VENUS hits the brakes. The car skids to a halt. REG and MADGE become airborne and land in the pool with a big splash.

97 EXT. NOTCH'S HOUSE. PRE-DAWN

JOSIE wakes a little before dawn to find that she is snuggled close to NOTCH; one arm draped over his chest. She looks at him affectionately for a long moment before sliding quietly out of his swag.

98 INT. 'FERAL TOURS' VEHICLE. DAY

JOSIE sits in the passenger seat of 'Feral Tours' as it drives along the red dusty road. She rummages in Venus' bag, looking for something.

NOTCH
Seeing as how we've slept together and all, Venus, do you mind if I ask you a personal question?

JOSIE
Fire away, Notch.

NOTCH
About that maple syrup. How you got it all over your...you know...

JOSIE
Well, Brandon, the boyfriend…ex-boyfriend…wanted to surprise me and…you know…

NOTCH
Surprise you!? With a bottle of maple syrup!

JOSIE turns bright red, returns to her rummaging. NOTCH decides to pursue it no further; watches her rummage.

NOTCH
Need one of these, mate, when ya on the road.

He pats the old worn cloth bum-bag around his waist.

NOTCH
Better for people on the move than one of these.

He indicates Venus' black bag, from which JOSIE extracts a pair of nail clippers.

NOTCH
Bag like that's an open invitation to thieves. 

As she trims her nails JOSIE surveys the interior of the vehicle: old couches, plants in pots hanging from the ceiling. The back fills with dust from the road below.

JOSIE 
Don't think it might be a bit dusty for your average tourist?

99 INT/EXT OLIVER'S CAR. DAY

OLIVER drives along deserted outback road, Notch's muffled words coming through his recording device. On a map on his laptop computer screen, one flashing dot follows another.

NOTCH (voice off)
Couldn't give a rat's arse about your average tourist.

100 EXT. ROADHOUSE. DAY

JOSIE and NOTCH (carrying Josie's red suitcase) walk from the FERAL TOURS vehicle towards the Gas Station/Roadhouse.

NOTCH
Feral Tours'll be real tours of the real Australia. Once I'm cashed up…

NOTCH puts down JOSIE'S red suitcase. There is a moment's awkward silence between them before NOTCH unclasps the cloth bum-bag he wears around his waist.

NOTCH
This might come in handy in the big smoke, Venus.

NOTCH puts his arms around JOSIE to adjust the straps of the bum-bag behind her back. As he snaps the clasp tight behind JOSIE'S back their heads are very close.

NOTCH
Best to keep it on you all the time. Lotta thieves in Sydney they tell me.

JOSIE
All the time?

NOTCH
 'Cept when ya take a shower. And in bed, I suppose, long as you can trust who ya sharing ya bed with.

JOSIE is completely thrown by the proximity of NOTCH'S head to her own. She becomes self-conscious and steps back.

JOSIE
Thanks for everything.

NOTCH
Ya know where to find me.

NOTCH smiles, signals 'goodbye' with an upraised finger, turns and walks off.
A police car cruises past. The POLICEMAN waves to NOTCH. He returns the gesture.

101 INT. GREEN SEDAN. DAY

VENUS, highly agitated, drives into the Roadhouse and pulls up beside a pump - her eyes in the rear-vision mirror, in which can be seen Notch’s “Feral Tours” vehicle pulled up alongside the police car.

102 INT. ROADHOUSE. DAY

As JOSIE waits to be served she opens the bumbag around her waist and extracts a $100 note. She smiles to herself.

103 INT/EXT 'FERAL TOURS' DAY

The Roadhouse 100 metres behind him now, NOTCH has stopped to talk, through the window, to CONSTABLE BERT in khaki shorts and shirt, standing beside his Police car.

CONSTABLE BERT hands NOTCH a clear plastic bag with a big head of marijuana in it. NOTCH takes out a bud and sniffs it.

NOTCH
Wanna come t’my place for a smoke?

CONSTABLE BERT
Nah, gotta investigate last night’s drama at Desert Palms with Marge and Reg?

104 EXT. VENUS. PURPLE SEDAN. ROADHOUSE. DAY

As VENUS fills her tank with petrol, her eyes still on NOTCH and CONSTABLE BERT up the road, she sees JOSIE emerge from the Roadhouse. She returns the nozzle to the bowser and begins to stride purposefully towards her.

JOSIE watches in terror as VENUS, mad as a hornet, gets closer and closer to her. Suddenly a Police Car pulls up between JOSIE and VENUS.

VENUS stops dead in her tracks. JOSIE breathes a sigh of relief as CONSTABLE BERT gets out, walks up to her. 

CONSTABLE BERT
Excuse me miss. You don't happen to be Josie Higgenbottom by any chance?

JOSIE thinks for a moment, cautious.

JOSIE
Has Josie Higgenbottom done something wrong?

VENUS slinks back to the stolen purple car in the background.

CONSTABLE BERT
Assault, fraud, theft of a motor vehicle...

JOSIE watches the purple sedan, with VENUS in it, drive off.

JOSIE
I'm not her. I mean, she’s not me. I’m not Josie Higgenbottom.

CONSTABLE BERT
You have some form of identification, Miss...?

JOSIE
Aphrodite. Venus Aphrodite.

JOSIE hands CONSTABLE BERT Venus' driving license - issued under the name VENUS APHRODITE. 

JOSIE
The photo was taken before I cut my hair and dyed it.

CONSTABLE BERT looks from the photo to JOSIE; unconvinced.

CONSTABLE BERT
Do you mind, ‘Miss Aphrodite’ if I have a look in your bag.

JOSIE stares at CONSTABLE BERT for a long moment. OLIVER, cleaning the windscreen of his red car closeby, calls out: 

OLIVER
Venus, long time no see! My my!

JOSIE turns to watch the approach of OLIVER. He smiles broadly. JOSIE hasn't got a clue who he is.

OLIVER
I didn't recognize you with your new hair! Pink! Hot damn! Pretty. Very pretty!
He kisses JOSIE on the cheek, holds his hand out to CONSTABLE BERT.

OLIVER
Oliver Symes, pleased to meet you, sir. Venus here is an old old friend of the family but we haven’t seen each other for...oh my God, much too long...

105 EXT. DESERT LANDSCAPE. DAY

Oliver's red car drives through a vast desert landscape:

JOSIE  (voice over)
Look, Oliver, I appreciate you rescuing me but my name is not Venus. It's…

106 INT. OLIVER'S CAR. DAY

OLIVER drives. JOSIE looks at OLIVER in bewilderment.

OLIVER
Not the Venus Aphrodite with a pink mobile phone in the shape of… you know…a man's private parts.

JOSIE puts on Venus’ heart-shaped Lolita sunglasses.

JOSIE
I've got no idea what you're talking about.

Venus' phone begins to ring inside the bum bag Notch gave to Josie. She ignores it. OLIVER looks from the bum-bag to JOSIE. He smiles. JOSIE gives up, unzips the bum-bag and takes out the pink phallic phone, answers it.

VENUS' VOICE
I know what you're up to and you won't get away with it.

JOSIE
I don't know what you're talking about, Venus. Hang on, there's someone who’s keen to talk to you.

JOSIE hands the phone to OLIVER.

OLIVER
To whom am I speaking?

VENUS' VOICE
Josie Higgenbottom. Who's this? Put Venus on. Hello…

OLIVER hands the mobile to JOSIE.
OLIVER
Josie wants to speak with you.

107 INT. VENUS' GREEN STOLEN CAR. DAY

VENUS, agitated, angry, (withdrawal symptoms have really kicked in) drives fast on a desert road, Josie's blue mobile phone to her ear.

VENUS
Hello! Hello! Shit!
The line's gone dead. The phone immediately rings again. She answers it aggressively.

VENUS
What!

BRANDON'S VOICE
Babe, I just wanted to tell you I do love you more than my motor bike.

VENUS holds the phone away from her, looks at it; wonders if she just heard right!

108 EXT. GAS STATION. DAY

At a gas station JOSIE walks from the 'Ladies' towards Oliver's car, alongside a gas pump. She stops dead in her tracks when she sees:

OLIVER inside his car, looking through her red suitcase. She watches, puzzled, as OLIVER looks around to see if he is being observed, then continues searching her suitcase.

JOSIE watches as OLIVER, unable to find what he is looking for, scratches his head, takes out his wallet and makes his way inside the gas station.

JOSIE walks nervously up to Oliver's car.

109 INT. OLIVER'S CAR. DAY

Keeping an eye on OLIVER, seen through the glass at the cash register, his back to her, JOSIE opens Oliver's suitcase - on the back seat beside her own. There are neatly folded trousers, shirts etc. Digging a little deeper she sees:

Partly concealed by some pink material, a gun and photos of Venus taken outside the Strip Club by Oliver wearing the Lolita sunglasses JOSIE is now wearing.

JOSIE
Holy frigging Moley!

JOSIE looks up. OLIVER is walking towards her. Terrified, she freezes. OLIVER changes course, veers off to the 'Gents'.

110 EXT. GAS STATION. DAY

A car towing a caravan pulls out from a pump. JOSIE races up; speaks urgently to the elderly couple NEVILLE and DOROTHY.

JOSIE
Excuse me, this is an emergency.

111 INT. DOROTHY AND NEVILLE'S CAR. DAY

JOSIE slides from view as NEVILLE pulls onto the road.

DOROTHY
What kind of trouble are you in, dear?

JOSIE'S eyes are on OLIVER, standing by his car, looking for her.

JOSIE
I wish I knew!

DOROTHY
Whatever it is, dear, if you just give yourself to Jesus Christ, He will take all your troubles on His shoulders.

112 EXT. NOTCH'S HOUSE. LATE AFTERNOON

NOTCH sits in the shade close to his FERAL TOURS army troop carrier, rolling a joint. Oliver’s red car approaches. NOTCH licks the glue on the cigarette paper as OLIVER gets out of the car and approaches. 

OLIVER
Good morning, sir. You'll have to excuse me just dropping by like this unannounced, but I'm trying to find someone and I believe you may be able to help me.

NOTCH eyes OLIVER suspiciously.

NOTCH
And who might you be?

OLIVER
It's a question I ask myself often. Who indeed!

NOTCH lights his joint, looks at OLIVER. OLIVER looks at the joint longingly, then away.

OLIVER
I'm looking for a young woman, short pink hair. Goes by the name of Venus. Australian, but speaks with an English accent at times.

NOTCH
Why would she do that?

NOTCH tokes on the joint as he looks at OLIVER suspiciously.

OLIVER
Doesn't want anyone to know who she really is.

NOTCH
Bit like you, ya mean!

OLIVER
My apologies, Quentin Meades…

OLIVER hands NOTCH his business card, on which is written, QUENTIN MEADES, COMPUTER SYSTEMS ANALYST.
NOTCH
Can't help ya, mate. Sorry.

OLIVER nods, casts a longing look at NOTCH'S joint.

OLIVER
Gave up smoking a few months back.

NOTCH nods. OLIVER'S eyes are on the joint.

OLIVER
But, hey, you've got to die of something. Do you mind if I roll myself one?

NOTCH hands him the joint. OLIVER, expecting to roll his own, is a little puzzled but takes it.

OLIVER
That an Aussie custom, is it… sharing cigarettes?

NOTCH nods. OLIVER takes a puff.

OLIVER
Mmmm… What brand? Interesting taste! Different!

113 INT. DOROTHY AND NEVILLE'S CAR. LATE AFTERNOON

JOSIE, in the back seat of Neville and Dorothy's car, reaches into her bum-bag and takes out Venus' ringing phallic phone.

PHYLLIS' VOICE
Venus, darling, it's your mother.

It takes DOROTHY a moment to figure out what the pink phone reminds her of. When she does, she looks at NEVILLE, smiles.

PHYLLIS' VOICE
That nice man from the bank called about that $5,000. He was wondering when it would arrive?

114 INT/EXT. NOTCH'S HOUSE. LATE AFTERNOON

NOTCH is washing himself in his outdoor shower - a sarong serving as a shower curtain. He has tied his hair up into a bob on top of his head.

In the ‘kitchen’, OLIVER, 'stoned', with the 'munchies' is eating a slice of bread liberally spread with peanut butter.  He calls out to NOTCH.

OLIVER
Hot damn, Notch, please excuse my language but I'm feeling that goddam peckish!
Don't suppose you have any jelly to go with this peanut butter, do you?

NOTCH
You're not wrong, Oliver.

OLIVER hasn't a clue what Notch means but moves on quickly.

OLIVER
You ever feel, buddy, that you got born into the wrong body?

NOTCH pops his head out from behind the curtain.

NOTCH (grins)
Would have liked some decent pecs when I was young.

NOTCH looks at his scrawny arms.

OLIVER
For me it was ears. Never liked my ears. Or my nose. Or my hair. Nothing about my life, actually!

OLIVER smiles wistfully, lost in stoned dreams.

OLIVER
What I really want to be…is a spy…on a mission…to save the world…you sure you don't have any jelly? Mars Bar? Snickers?

NOTCH turns off the shower, takes down the sarong 'curtain', wraps it around his waist; walks towards OLIVER.

NOTCH
Sorry mate, can't help you there.

AS OLIVER turns he sees NOTCH, his hair tied on top of his head and a sarong around his waist, his eyes light up.

OLIVER
You too!

115 INT. DOROTHY AND NEVILLE'S CAR. SUNSET

JOSIE sits in the back of Dorothy and Neville's car looking out the window. Her travel journal rests in her lap.

116 INT. NOTCH'S HOUSE. SUNSET

NOTCH, in his house, is classifying geological specimens spread across the table when OLIVER calls out.

OLIVER
Surprise!

NOTCH turns and sees OLIVER, in a woman's wig, wearing a pink bra and pink thong knickers, his arms held out triumphantly.

OLIVER
I just love Australia. You can be whoever you want to be here.

NOTCH laughs, picks up Josie's cardboard camera, takes a photo. FREEZE FRAME: OLIVER in pink bra and thong knickers.

117 INT. CAR. NIGHT

VENUS drives fast through the desert - a look of determination on her face. Her hands are shaking badly.
118 EXT. NOTCH’S HOUSE. NIGHT

OLIVER, dressed in his normal clothes now, stands by the open door of his red sedan, shaking NOTCH’S  hand.

NOTCH
It’s been my pleasure. Never met a moron before.

OLIVER
Mormon.

NOTCH nods, give OLIVER  the thumbs up. OLIVER smiles, drives off.

119 INT/EXT. SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE. EARLY MORNING

Neville and Dorothy's sedan and caravan drive across Sydney Harbour Bridge. JOSIE looks towards the Opera House.

DOROTHY
We know what its like to be down on your luck, dear, and we'd like to give you a little something to help you on your way.

JOSIE smiles. DOROTHY hands a bible to JOSIE.

DOROTHY
Whenever life gets to be a little confusing…

120 INT. OLIVER’S CAR. SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE. EARLY MORNING

OLIVER drives over the Harbour Bridge, listens to Dorothy's muffled voice.

DOROTHY (voice off)
…just open your bible at any page, pick a passage, any passage, and you'll find the answer to all of life's questions right there.

121 EXT. KINGS CROSS. DAY

NEVILLE and DOROTHY drop JOSIE off in Kings Cross, amidst Strip Clubs and Sex Shops. JOSIE, clutching the bible, smiles as best she can.

JOSIE
Thanks for this.

DOROTHY
Remember, just open any page…

JOSIE nods.

122 EXT. 'FETISHES'. DAY

JOSIE, wearing a red wig and Venus' ‘Lolita’ sunglasses, Notch's 'bum bag' around her waist, black shoulder bag hanging from her neck, carrying her red suitcase and small backpack, walks past ersatz marble statues of naked women leading into 'FETISHES'.  

123 INT. LOBBY. 'FETISHES'. DAY
JOSIE stops a moment, look at herself in the mirrored wall before hearing the crackling of knuckles. She looks around to see a huge hulk of a man:

MAX, looking like a thug in a B-grade gangster movie. MAX appraises JOSIE suspiciously. She smiles nervously.

MAX
Rhonda?

JOSIE shakes her head.

JOSIE
No....Venus. Aphrodite. Venus Aphrodite.

MAX nods, indicates to her to follow him.

124 INT. 'FETISHES'. DAY

MAX leads JOSIE down red carpeted stairs, past a scantily clad smiling Receptionist, (TIFFANY), past painted nude portraits in kitsch gold frames.

MAX
Thought for a sec you was this chick I know called Rhonda. 

JOSIE
A friend?

MAX cracks his knuckles shakes his head.

MAX
Ripped me off bigtime.

JOSIE
Oh!

MAX
If I ever run into that little bitch I'll cut her throat.

MAX runs his finger across his throat. JOSIE smiles as they walk into a dimly lit dining area in which sit TERENCE and RANDY. RANDY is wearing a THUNDER DOWNUNDER t-shirt and has his director's viewfinder around his neck. TERENCE stands; greets JOSIE with a smile.

TERENCE
Venus?

JOSIE pushes the ‘Lolita’ sunglasses back onto her forehead, smiles, holds out her hand, speaks with Venus' Australian accent. Her impersonation of Venus is very good.

JOSIE
Terence?

TERENCE
Good to meet you at last. I've heard so much…

TERENCE
Randy Carnegie…Venus Aphrodite. Randy is a film producer.

RANDY
It's a pleasure, mam!

TERENCE
You've met Max, my business affairs manager. (A BEAT) The VHS?

TERENCE indicates to JOSIE to sit. She does so, takes out the blue VHS case and hands it to TERENCE. His eyes light up.

TERENCE
Big Tony!

RECEPTION AREA:

TIFFANY (Receptionist) looks to where TERENCE, RANDY and JOSIE sit in the background.

As TERENCE laughs, takes out the VHS, inserts it into a VHS player, presses 'play'. VENUS appears alongside TIFFANY. Before TIFFANY recognizes her immediately.

TIFFANY
Rhonda?

VENUS looks at TIFFANY, trying to place her.

TIFFANY
From the Detention Centre. Cheryl. You took me on a tour of the Pentagon website, remember?

VENUS remembers.

VENUS
Cheryl!

TIFFANY (smiles)
Well, it’s Tiffany now…

TV VIEWING AREA:

On the TV screen, a very bald Tony Babbit stands in front of a large placard which reads FAMILY FOREMOST. The caption identifies him as 'Tony Babbit':

TONY (onscreen)
The mainstay of a healthy community has always been and must remain, the family and I pledge that as your member…

Tony's voice continues over:

‘Big Tony’, discretely naked (no X-rated body parts!) dances with the two close-to-naked strippers seen earlier.

TONY (voice off)
…my promise, if elected is to closing down sleazy strip joints and dens of depravity…
TERENCE  looks to JOSIE with a smile, raises a thumb in congratulations. JOSIE smiles, returns the thumbs up, tries to hide her shock at what she is looking at. Then, onscreen:

Venus, naked but for the python wrapped around her and her ‘Lolita’ sunglasses, appears in frame, gyrating provocatively in front of ‘Big Tony’.

TERENCE, MAX and RANDY all look at JOSIE. At her body, actually - mentally undressing her. JOSIE smiles with all the nonchalance she can muster.

In the background, in dim light, VENUS can be seen talking with TIFFANY.
TONY'S line 'dens of depravity' is repeated several times in a loop as:

Tony Babbit dances with Venus - who shortly thereafter drops to her knees in front of him.

TERENCE, MAX and RANDY look at the screen, entranced. We do not see what they see. JOSIE’S eyes are open wide in shock.

TERENCE
Now I know why they call him 'Big Tony'. Anyone got a magnifying glass.

MAX and RANDY laugh along with TERENCE. JOSIE closes her eyes, not wanting to look. When she opens them she is aware that all three men are watching the screen intently and then looking at her in awe. She is mortified.

RECEPTION AREA:

VENUS leans close to TIFFANY, whispers in her ear.

VENUS
Tiffany, I need your help!

TV VIEWING AREA:

TERENCE removes the VHS from the player. 

TERENCE
Venus, I don’t know how to thank you?

JOSIE (smiles)
I’ll be happy with five grand, thanks Terence.

TERENCE laughs, gestures to MAX, who takes out a wad of $100 bills. He is handing the wad to JOSIE when TIFFANY walks up.

TIFFANY
Terence, don't forget Venus's promise to dance for us.

TERENCE
I hadn't forgotten, sweetheart.

TERENCE indicates to MAX to hang onto the money.

JOSIE
My dance!? (A BEAT) Oh, the...snake you’ve lined up!?
TERENCE, RANDY and MAX nod and smile. JOSIE looks at the wad of money in MAX'S hands, leaps to her feet, puts on a pretty good act of being relaxed about her impending performance.

JOSIE
No worries! Right. Let's do it.

125 INT. CORRIDOR. ‘FETISHES’

TIFFANY leads JOSIE down a corridor of ‘themed’ rooms - out of which young women and their thematically dressed (undressed!) clients emerge. JOSIE’S eyes wide in shock.

126 INT. 'THE DUNGEON'

TIFFANY leads JOSIE into a room filled with racks, whips, chains, instruments of torture. JOSIE'S attention is drawn to a python coiled on the floor. Referring to the python:

TIFFANY
I hope he's long enough. The snake. His name's Bruce.

JOSIE
No worries. Length is not a problem.

JOSIE becomes aware of a big dog with metal-studded leather collar lying in the corner.

TIFFANY
Dog's name is Cunnilingus. We have a few women clients. And Cunny just loves his job. (TO THE DOG) Don't you Cunny?

JOSIE'S eyes move between the snake, the dog and TIFFANY.

TIFFANY
I'll go and organize the music.

TIFFANY walks out. JOSIE looks at the python: to herself:

JOSIE
It's just an acting job, Josie. Nothing more. Breathe slowly…

JOSIE, terrified, kneels by the python - trying to be brave.

JOSIE
I can do this…oh shit! Hi Bruce!

She touches the python tentatively. With a look of repulsion on her face she is in the process of picking up the python when the door opens behind her and she turns to see:

VENUS, with a gun pointed at her head.

A LITTLE LATER

JOSIE, seated in a chair, is being tied up by VENUS - whose hands shake badly. She is in an extremely agitated state.

VENUS (edgy)
Look, Josie, I really am sorry about everything but I'm all out of medication and without my medication... Is that too tight?

VENUS is tying JOSIE'S hands behind her back.

JOSIE
A bit, yes...You don't need to do this, you know, Venus. I don't want to be you anymore.

VENUS
I don't want to be me anymore either. 

Referring to the tightness of the rope:

VENUS
Is that okay?

JOSIE (nods)
Your mother called.

VENUS removes JOSIE’S red wig.

JOSIE
Something about the bank. She wants you to call her back urgently.

VENUS puts the red wig on.

VENUS
Shit! Oh, and your mum called, too. I told her I didn't want to be an actress. I mean you didn't want to…

JOSIE
You what! (A BEAT) Thanks. How did she…?

VENUS grasps the python's neck firmly with one hand and lifts its body with the other.

VENUS
Thought you must be on drugs. Had to laugh because you weren't. On drugs. I mean I wasn't, but I wanted to be. On drugs, that is. You haven’t got any, I suppose?

JOSIE shakes her head.

VENUS
Hope springs eternal!

VENUS, the python in her arms now, stands in front of JOSIE.

VENUS
A little kiss for Bruce?

From JOSIE'S point of view, the python's head looms up and fills the frame. JOSIE faints.

FADE TO BLACK. FADE UP TO:
JOSIE regains consciousness. Music can be heard in the background. She tries to wriggle free of the twine. No luck.

CUNNILINGUS, his tongue hanging out, looks at JOSIE.

JOSIE
Don't even think about it, Cunnilingus!

JOSIE has sufficient free movement of her hands to turn her bum-bag around behind her, unzip it, take out her nail clippers. One snip of the twine and…

127 INT. CORRIDOR. 'FETISHES'

JOSIE runs towards the Fire Escape door at one end of the corridor. Music in the background builds to a climax. JOSIE opens the door an inch but there is something jammed against it on the other side. She pushes hard but can't get the door open wide enough to get out.

JOSIE
Flipping hell!

She runs back down the corridor, opens a door, looks inside:
Standing by a colourful Arabic tent erected on the sand-covered floor is a stuffed camel. 

JOSIE
Faaaaaark!

The music is loud now as JOSIE moves to the wings, sees VENUS, naked but for baroque sunglasses, wig and python wrapped around her, dancing for TERENCE, RANDY and MAX.

JOSIE runs back down the corridor to the FIRE ESCAPE door; pushes against it with all her might. It opens a fraction. She can almost squeeze through, but not quite. Suddenly her attention is caught by:

VENUS striding towards her, clutching the wad of $100 bills, the python (around her neck), and Josie's black shoulder bag - which is, in fact, her own (Venus's that is!)

JOSIE - mesmerized, terrified - her eyes focused on the approaching python, opens her mouth to scream.

JOSIE'S point of view of VENUS and Bruce looming.

The frame fills with python flesh and JOSIE faints again.

FADE TO BLACK. FADE UP TO:

JOSIE, wearing the sunglasses Josie was wearing for her dance, the red wig askew on her head, her head resting in RANDY’S lap, unconscious.

FADE TO BLACK briefly, FADE UP TO Josie’s POV as she opens her eyes:
RANDY looking down at her with concern.

RANDY
Are you alright, Venus?

JOSIE shifts her POV to see TERENCE and MAX also hovering above her, looking down at her.

JOSIE sits bolt upright in shock!

JOSIE
What the...!

128 EXT. 'FETISHES'. DAY

VENUS, a nervous wreck, carrying her black shoulder bag, makes her way down the street leading away from 'FETISHES'.

REGGIE appears at Venus' side and walks with her.

REGGIE
Well, well, well, Venus Aphrodite! How you goin', darlin'?

VENUS (nervous)
Hello Reggie.

VENUS is not pleased to see REGGIE.

129 INT. CORRIDOR. 'FETISHES'

JOSIE, sitting up now, looks at TERENCE, MAX and RANDY.

RANDY
Your dance was awesome, Venus. Awesome!

TERENCE
Randy here was so impressed he wants a 'private.

JOSIE
A 'private!?'

130 INT. OLIVER'S CAR. CLOSE TO 'FETISHES'. DAY

OLIVER sits in his car, listening in. A little further down the street he can see VENUS and REGGIE talking.

JOSIE  (voice off)
What's a 'private'?

Terence's laughter is heard.

OLIVER, puzzled, takes out a pair of binoculars; focuses them on VENUS and REGGIE.

131 EXT. 'FETISHES'. DAY

REGGIE and VENUS walk towards where OLIVER is parked.

VENUS
I'm waiting for a cheque to clear, Reggie, honest. Give me a couple more days.

REGGIE
I'll give you one minute…

VENUS
But…

REGGIE
55 seconds.

132 INT. OLIVER'S CAR. CLOSE TO 'FETISHES'. DAY

OLIVER sits in his car, looking at VENUS, talking with REGGIE, walking towards him - without sunglasses, with shoulder length brunette hair.

JOSIE'S voice, (she speaks with Venus’ Aussie accent) emanates from Oliver’s speakers:

JOSIE’S VOICE
Five hundred bucks! For fifteen minutes!

OLIVER is more than a little confused. He compares the photo of Venus and the real VENUS. They look very similar but…

133 INT. CHANGING ROOM. 'FETISHES'

JOSIE sits in front of a mirror applying make-up as TIFFANY takes a blue school uniform from the rack.

JOSIE
And I definitely don't have to do anything...wierd...with…ping pong balls or cigarettes…?

134 EXT. STREET CLOSE TO 'FETISHES'

VENUS and REGGIE are close to OLIVER'S car now. Close also to a limousine, beside which stand TWO BURLY MEN. VENUS looks at the men, at the smiling REGGIE then back to the impassive faces of his goons. 

VENUS
Okay!

She takes out the wad of money, hands it to REGGIE, who climbs into the limo and drives off. VENUS is crestfallen!

OLIVER (voice off)
Are you alright, mam!?

VENUS, close to tears, turns, sees OLIVER get out of his car.

VENUS (desperate)
No, I have no money, if I don't get my medication soon I'm going to die and that man…

OLIVER
Yes, I saw…Most definitely NOT a gentleman. Here, I hope this helps.
He extracts a $100 bill from his wallet and gives it to VENUS.

VENUS
Thanks.

OLIVER
If there's anything else I can do for you…
OLIVER hands VENUS his business card. VENUS looks at the card: OLIVER SYMES; INTEGRITY INSURANCE

OLIVER
If I can be of any help…(A BEAT) Are you familiar, mam, with the concept of the doppelganger? A double who looks exactly like you?

VENUS hasn't a clue what he is talking about.

135 INT. 'PRIVATE' ROOM. 'FETISHES'

The door opens into a ‘classroom’. RANDY stands nervously behind a school desk, in front of a blackboard. JOSIE walks in, dressed as a school-girl - in short blue skirt, white shirt and blue tie, a wig comprising two plaits; the bum-bag that Notch gave her around her waist. She looks up at RANDY with wide innocent eyes; talking like a 13 year old.

JOSIE
You wanted to see me, sir? Have I been a naughty girl?

RANDY
No, I just wanted…

JOSIE
Oh, its so hot in here!

She starts to undo the buttons of her shirt.

JOSIE
You don't mind if I take my shirt off, do you sir?

RANDY shakes his head; breathes deeply. Suddenly JOSIE bursts out laughing.

RANDY turns bright red.

JOSIE
I'm sorry, Randy, but I'm not really who you think I am.

RANDY
But I don't think you're anyone.

JOSIE
Well Thanks! That does wonders for my ego!

RANDY (flustered)
I didn't mean…

JOSIE speaks with her own English accent

JOSIE
I'm not Venus at all. My name is Josie and I just want to get out of this country as fast as I can and I don't care if you tell Terence because being Venus has turned my life into a nightmare and…
The mobile rings in Josie's bum-bag.

RANDY
I don't understand.

JOSIE takes the pink mobile from the bum-bag. 

JOSIE
Just answer it! You'll understand.

RANDY takes the pink mobile, holds it to his ear.

VENUS' VOICE
I want my fucking phone back.

RANDY
Excuse me!

136 INT. PUBLIC PHONE BOOTH. DAY

VENUS, a doctor's prescription pad in front of her, (resting on Dorothy's bible!) fills out a prescription form (using Josie's name) as she shouts into the phone.

VENUS
Tell 'Venus' she can take her bible and shove it up her…

137 INT. 'PRIVATE' ROOM. 'FETISHES'

RANDY puts the pink phallic phone back in Josie's bum-bag.

JOSIE
Well?

RANDY
She suggested you take your bible and...well, I think her suggestion is anatomically impossible!

JOSIE
You see what I have to deal with!?

RANDY
No, actually, but I'm not sure I want to see, Venus…Josie. You see I'm not who you think I am either. I mean, I am who you think I am, I think, but you see I don't really want a 'private', I want a girlfriend. Not a real girlfriend. A pretend girlfriend. That's why I came here to see if Terence, who’s an investor in my film, could…rent me a 'girlfriend' for a few days…and the moment I saw you, even before your dance…

JOSIE
Hang on a second, buster, I'm not that kind of girl.

RANDY looks at her unbuttoned shirt:

RANDY
No, I can see that.

JOSIE buttons up her shirt.

JOSIE  (sniffles)
I'm not for rent! (A BEAT) I'm sure Terence can fix you up…

RANDY
In the next three hours!?

JOSIE
Why so fast?

RANDY
I'm a film producer, you see, and I have to fly to Darwin tomorrow and…

138 EXT. COFFEE LOUNGE. DAY

CLOSE ON the title page of a screenplay: THUNDER DOWNUNDER.

RANDY (voice off)
A down-under outback action adventure comedy set in Kakadu…

JOSIE'S hand turns to page one.

RANDY (voice off)
…destined to be bigger than 'Crocodile Dundee’.

JOSIE
Destined!

JOSIE glances at the first page of the screenplay as she and RANDY drink coffee in an outdoor Kings Cross café.

JOSIE
But why do you need a 'pretend' girlfriend?

RANDY
Well, my boss, the producer, is arriving this afternoon with his new girlfriend and he's dying to meet my girlfriend, Serena. But, you see, Serena…dumped me and...

JOSIE
And...?

RANDY
Well, Larry's dying to meet her.

JOSIE
Why don't you just tell Larry that Serena dumped you?

RANDY
Because I'd look like a loser and Larry loathes losers and we start shooting in a few weeks and we're leaving tomorrow to find locations…

JOSIE
In Kakadu?

RANDY
And it would only be for one night now and one night when we get back from Darwin and… 

JOSIE
You're leaving for Kakadu tomorrow?

RANDY
Yes, and I'll give you three grand for two days pretending to…

JOSIE
Do you believe in fate, Randy? Destiny? I do, because you know what, I know Kakadu like the back of my hand. I could help you…

RANDY
Unfortunately, Venus, we already have a locations guy lined up…

JOSIE
Bet he doesn't know Kakadu like me!

RANDY
You know where we can find crocs, snakes, spiders…creepy crawlies? 

JOSIE
Is the Pope a Catholic?

RANDY
Snakes especially. There's a lot of snakes in 'Thunder'.

JOSIE
I've got a degree in herpetology, Randy...that's snakes, you know...and...and...you give me five grand and I'll not only be your 'girlfriend'...but I'll come with you to Darwin and, you know…

RANDY
Help us with the snakes and crocodiles?

JOSIE nods. RANDY is not so sure.

RANDY
Five grand's a lot of money!

JOSIE 
If you want an expert on snakes, I’m your man...woman!

139 INT. CHEMIST. DAY 

VENUS, agitated, hands shaking badly, waits as the CHEMIST fills out a prescription.  

The CHEMIST arrives at the counter with a bottle of pills.

140 EXT. KINGS CROSS STREET. DAY

VENUS takes five pills from her bottle, swallows them. As she does so she sees, on the other side of the road, a hairdressing salon.

141 INT/EXT. RANDY'S SPORTS CAR. DAY

RANDY drives a flash rented sports car, JOSIE in the passenger seat, extracts two $100 bills from Randy's wallet.

RANDY
You're going to need more than that to convince Larry!

JOSIE smiles and takes out a couple more $100 bills.

RANDY
…and just so that Larry doesn't suspect that you're not my girlfriend…well, if you could…if I could…if we could kiss…just once…when Larry is looking…

142 INT. HAIRDRESSING SALON. DAY

VENUS, agitated, 'speedy' shows Josie's passport photo to the hairdresser: short-cropped pink hair. The HAIRDRESSER nods. 

143 EXT. RANDY'S HOUSE. DAY

RANDY'S car pulls up outside a mansion overlooking Sydney Harbour.

JOSIE is in awe as she walks up the front steps:

JOSIE
Flipping hell!

RANDY, close behind her, looks lustfully at her body.

144 INT. INT. HAIRDRESSING SALON. DAY

VENUS, her short-cropped hair pink, anxious, stressed, 'speeding' looks at her dilated eyes in the mirror.

VENUS scrambles around inside her shoulder bag, yanks out the bottle of pills. In the process she pulls out other things that fall to the ground. She looks at the label: VIAGRA.

VENUS
Jesus H Christ!

She notices Oliver's business card on the ground. She bends down, picks it up, looks at it - her hands shaking badly.

145 EXT. RANDY'S HOUSE. SUNSET

RANDY pulls up in his sports car with LARRY, 60ish, and his elegant late-20s girlfriend, DELORES. LARRY a deeply tanned and silver-haired Lothario (Californian accent) has had one too many face lifts and spent too long under the sun lamp.

LARRY, RANDY and DELORES make their way up the steps leading to the house. LARRY has an Actors Directory in his hands - various pages marked with pink stickers. LARRY points to a photo of a beautiful actress with impressive cleavage.

LARRY
I don't give a damn if she can act! Look at those tits!

RANDY
Which part, dad?

DELORES (American accent)
Obviously not the male lead, Randy!

JOSIE appears by the front door, smiling radiantly - in a stunning dress (one of her own designs, seen at Notch's), and brunette wig - like Venus' before her haircut.

LARRY'S jaw drops as JOSIE glides down the stairs.

JOSIE
Darling.

She kisses RANDY on the cheek.

RANDY
Sweetheart, I'd like you to meet Larry…and Delores. Serena…

JOSIE beams a big smile, kisses LARRY on the cheek. LARRY'S eyes are popping out of his head. DELORES' hackles rise.

JOSIE
Larry…Delores. 

JOSIE drapes an arm around RANDY'S shoulder, smiles at LARRY.

JOSIE
How was your flight, Larry?

DELORES stakes out her territory; puts her arm around LARRY.

DELORES
I took good care of him, Serena, if you know what I mean.

JOSIE
No, I don't know what you mean, Delores.

DELORES
You never heard of the Mile-High Club?

JOSIE, playing the coquette, feigns naiveté.

JOSIE
No. The only club I ever joined was Girl Guides. Dib, dib, dib…

146 INT. OLIVER'S CAR. NIGHT

OLIVER drives. VENUS, 'speeding', unscrews a vial of Valium, pours three into her hand. OLIVER looks at VENUS' pink hair.

OLIVER
Hot damn, Josie, with that pink hair you're a dead ringer for Venus, though you're more beautiful than she is.

VENUS
You think?

OLIVER
Not just on the outside, Josie. On the inside as well.

VENUS
Thank you. Oliver. (A BEAT) And Venus? What do you think of her?

OLIVER
Less said about her the better, Josie. I don't like to speak ill of people but… anyone who could treat poor Madge and Reg at the motel like that is a…I don't want to swear in front of a lady.

VENUS
Bitch?

OLIVER
That's the very word I had in mind.

VENUS
What makes you thinks I'm beautiful on the inside?

OLIVER
I'm a good judge of character.

OLIVER smiles warmly at her. VENUS, a little taken aback, tosses the valium into her mouth.


147 INT. OLIVER'S SERVICED APARTMENT. NIGHT

OLIVER leads VENUS into his serviced apartment.   

OLIVER
Now you just make yourself at home, Josie, and stay as long as you need to get yourself back on your feet.

The sound of Josie's mobile phone ringing.

148 INT. VENUS' BEDROOM. OLIVER'S APARTMENT NIGHT

VENUS picks up Josie's mobile as she boots up her computer.

VENUS
Hello.

JOSEPHINE SENIOR (telephone)
Darling heart, I've got Rodney here from the Royal Shakespeare. He just wants to…

VENUS mimics Josie's British accent.

VENUS
Mum, I don't want to hurt your feelings but really acting's not…not…my cup of tea.
The 'desktop' of Venus' computer suddenly goes crazy - files opening and closing, icons flashing etc. VENUS is shocked, slips back into her Australian accent.

VENUS
Shit! Someone's trying to hack into my fucking computer.

VENUS remembers that she is talking to Josie's mum, reverts to a British accent.

VENUS
A line from a play I auditioned for…gotta go, mum.

The distinctive sound of Venus's mobile phone ringing - Mendelsohn’s Wedding March.

149 INT. KITCHEN. RANDY'S HOUSE

Mendelsohn’s Wedding March continues over. DELORES in the kitchen, looks for the ringing mobile. In the background, on a patio by a swimming pool, RANDY, JOSIE and LARRY stand at a table upon which rests their catered dinner. DELORES sees the bum bag Notch gave Josie, moves across the kitchen, opens it.

150 INT. OLIVER'S BEDROOM. NIGHT

OLIVER looks at his laptop, smiles as Venus' Home Page opens:
Venus, masked and naked but for a python wrapped around her body strategically.

151 EXT. PATIO BY SWIMMING POOL. NIGHT

JOSIE, RANDY and LARRY sit down to a sumptuous meal. DELORES approaches, Venus' pink mobile in her hand.

DELORES
Is this yours, Serena?

JOSIE tries to cover her shock; not sure if she should acknowledge ownership or not.

DELORES
Says she's Venus' mother…and Rhonda's! You have two sisters?

JOSIE takes the mobile from DELORES.

JOSIE (smiles)
Thank you, Delores.

JOSIE takes the mobile walks to the edge of the pool. LARRY, besotted by Josie, turns to RANDY.

LARRY
Can she act?

JOSIE whispers into the mobile, using Venus' voice.

JOSIE
Mum, can I call you back?

152 INT. VENUS' BEDROOM. OLIVER'S APARTMENT NIGHT

VENUS stares in horror at the turbulence on her computer screen. Josie's mobile rings. VENUS picks it up.

JOSIE'S VOICE
Venus, you've got to call your mother immediately. It's urgent!

VENUS is about to say something but Josie hangs up. VENUS shakes her head, looks at her computer screen.

153 EXT. PATIO BY SWIMMING POOL. NIGHT

JOSIE, RANDY and DELORES eat a sumptuous meal. Venus’ pink mobile rests on the table alongside JOSIE. LARRY,closeby, films with a small video camera as JOSIE addresses her dinner companions in the manner of a tour guide.

JOSIE
So, we fly to Darwin first thing...

154 INT. OLIVER'S BEDROOM. NIGHT

OLIVER looks at Venus' Home Page. Through speakers attached to his computer:

JOSIE’S VOICE
...in the morning and I've organized a tour of Kakadu.

155 SPLIT SCREEN: INT. PHYLLIS' HOUSE/ VENUS' ROOM. NIGHT

MARY stands beside PHYLLIS - who smiles beatifically.

MARY
Mum’s wondering when the Lord is going to provide?

VENUS
I wish she’d ask the Lord herself? Tell her...

The file Venus has tried to open before (distinctive red icon), opens: PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA - confidential.

MARY
Tell her...tell her...Shit!

As the file opens there is a knock on the door. VENUS flips the lid of her computer shut.

156 EXT. PATIO BY SWIMMING POOL. NIGHT

JOSIE, RANDY, LARRY and DELORES have finished dinner. As JOSIE leans close to LARRY to refill RANDY'S champagne glass, LARRY, filming, notices JOSIE'S pink-haired armpits. 

LARRY
Goddamn! I never seen a woman before with pink underarm hair.

JOSIE
Randy likes pink body hair, don't you Randy?

LARRY
She's not pink…down below as well, is she, son?

JOSIE
Yes she is, Larry. “My pink pussy.” That's what Randy says when he talks dirty.

157 INT. VENUS' BEDROOM. NIGHT

OLIVER, apologetic, addresses VENUS.
VENUS
Darwin!? Why Darwin?

OLIVER
Um…can't say Josie. But you can stay here and…

VENUS
Oh, can I come with you?

OLIVER
Can't do that, Josie.

VENUS
I thought you thought I was beautiful?

OLIVER
Yes, but…there are reasons…

VENUS (seductive)
Wouldn't you like to find out how beautiful I am…on the inside?

158 EXT. PATIO BY SWIMMING POOL. NIGHT

JOSIE
Pink is Randy's favourite colour, Larry. He loves all my pink bits, don't you, Randy?

LARRY'S eyes are focused on the small video screen. DELORES, not wishing to be upstaged, takes her tank-top off to reveal her ample bosom, barely contained in a pink uplift brassiere.

DELORES
Anyone for a swim?

DELORES steps out of her skirt, revealing a bottom, framed by skimpy pink thong underwear. She stands at the edge of the pool just long enough for them all to get a good look at her body (and for LARRY to refocus his camera) before diving in.

159 INT. PLANE. DAY

VENUS, a colorful scarf wrapped around her head, sits alongside OLIVER - her brow creased with worry.  OLIVER, smiles at VENUS. Her smile in return is polite, forced.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the plane, LARRY, dressed like Mick Dundee, sits alongside RANDY, whilst DELORES sits in the seats behind with JOSIE, who is wearing her brunette wig. 

LARRY (to Randy)
Delores is hot, son! Hot. Best sex I've had in years.

DELORES (to Josie)
Even with half a bottle of Viagra Larry's...well, I’d get more satisfaction from a limp stick of celery.

160 INT. LUGGAGE CAROUSEL DARWIN AIRPORT. DAY

JOSIE, waiting for her luggage is shocked to see OLIVER standing amidst passengers opposite her, waiting for his luggage. JOSIE quickly puts on sunglasses, turns her back, heads for:   


161 INT. AIRPORT BATHROOM. DAY

JOSIE, Venus' pink mobile phone at her ear, walks into a toilet cubicle, closes the door.

JOSIE
Brandon, it's me, Serena...I mean Josie...I'm back in town and there's some really weird, spooky stuff going on, Call me HOLEY FUCKING MOLEY…!!!

Through a crack in the door JOSIE sees VENUS, in a colorful headscarf, checking her make-up in front of the mirror.

VENUS removes her head scarf to reveal short pink hair identical to Josie's.

JOSIE, whose own pink hair is covered with a wig, reacts with shock; watches VENUS walk out of the bathroom.

162 INT. LUGGAGE CAROUSEL DARWIN AIRPORT. DAY

JOSIE walks to the luggage carousel, looking around nervously. She is just about to grab her backpack when VENUS appears in frame to grab her own bag. VENUS, facing away from JOSIE (she would only have to turn slightly to see her), places her bag at her side and presses keys on her mobile - which is, in fact Josie's. JOSIE'S mobile (which is, in fact, Venus') begins to ring inside her bum-bag.

VENUS waits impatiently for her call to be answered. JOSIE, terrified, ignores her own (Venus's!) phone as Mendelsohhn's Wedding March plays.  From where she is standing VENUS can hear the faint sound of Mendelsohhn's tune and looks around to find its source. Before she sees JOSIE, however, she connects with who she was calling and is distracted:

VENUS
Its Josie Higgenbottom. Confirming my booking for tonight…thanks.

VENUS hangs up, picks up her bag, walks towards the 'Exit'.

JOSIE  answers her (Venus’) phone.

BRANDON'S VOICE
Babe, whose phone...!? Are you OK?

JOSIE
Can't talk now. I'll…

BRANDON' VOICE
Where are you staying?

JOSIE
Hotel called the 'Top End'.

163 EXT. AIRPORT. DAY

JOSIE, in sunglasses, walks tentatively from the terminal to where RANDY introduces LARRY and DELORES to the TOUR GUIDE, who has his back to JOSIE; his long hair neatly tied behind his head in a pony tail. LARRY shakes the TOUR GUIDE'S hand.

LARRY
Pleased to meet you, buddy.

JOSIE recognizes the TOUR GUIDE as NOTCH - clean-shaven and wearing a neat khaki uniform with ADVENTURE TOURS emblazoned on his shirt. JOSIE hides behind RANDY.

RANDY
And Delores, Larry's…

            DELORES                                    LARRY
       Daughter…                                        Sweetheart…

LARRY is a little taken aback. DELORES smiles at NOTCH.

DELORES
Just joking, Larry…

RANDY puts an arm around JOSIE'S shoulder, pulls her into view.

RANDY
…and this is my sweetheart, Serena.

As NOTCH turns and smiles at JOSIE, not recognizing her, DELORES leans over to take something from her carry bag.

NOTCH
Serena…

DELORES looks up at NOTCH, smiles. NOTCH'S eyes focus on DELORES' cleavage.

JOSIE takes off her sunglasses, holds out her hand.

JOSIE
And you'd be…

NOTCH, recognizing her now, stares at JOSIE; lost for words.

RANDY
Bruce Cockburn. Our tour guide.

JOSIE  (smiles)
Pleased to meet you, Bruce Cock Burn.


164 INT. TOUR BUS. ROAD. DAY

As NOTCH drives the ADVENTURE TOURS vehicle past the 'Top End' hotel (the sign clearly identifiable), JOSIE makes her way towards him.

NOTCH
OK, folks! The itinerary for this tour is…there's no itinerary, so you won't be sleeping here at the Top End tonight…

NOTCH indicates the hotel with a wave. JOSIE appears at his side; looks back at 'The Top End' as it disappears from view.

JOSIE
But…

NOTCH
…but under the stars. If its movie locations you want, you've come to the right man…

NOTCH lowers his voice a little.

NOTCH
What can I do you for, 'Serena'?

JOSIE
I can explain.

NOTCH
Yeah! Like causing grievous bodily harm to Madge and Reg at the Desert Palms?

JOSIE
What are you talking about?

NOTCH
And having the FBI wanting to 'take you out of the loop' for hacking into the Pentagon computer?

JOSIE is about to say something when RANDY appears, drapes his arm around her shoulders; kisses her on the cheek.

RANDY
Bruce, buddy, good to have you on board.

NOTCH looks at RANDY'S arm, draped around JOSIE'S shoulder, raises his eyebrows, makes brief eye contact with JOISE.

165 INT. 'TOP END' HOTEL RECEPTION. DAY

VENUS and OLIVER walk through the foyer to ‘Reception’. OLIVER, talking on his mobile phone, hesitates for a moment to speak in private. VENUS continues on to the desk - to be greeted by a smiling CONCIERGE.

CONCIERGE
Good afternoon. Name?

VENUS
Josie Higgenbottom...I mean...

VENUS is unsure what name to give. The CONCIERGE looks at her with his frozen smile for a moment before OLIVER steps up and slaps his credit card on the desk.

166 EXT. KAKADU NATIONAL PARK. DAY

The tour bus speeds past the KAKADU NATIONAL PARK entrance. Dark clouds loom ominously is the sky; thunder is heard.

NOTCH (voice over)
…The rainy seasons still with us, so we're going to encounter a bit of mud along the way. Hope none of you are allergic to dirt.

167 INT. HOTEL ROOM. DAY

OLIVER opens French doors onto a patio overlooking the ocean. 

VENUS, her nerves ragged, pops a pill into her mouth and washes it down with a whisky (on ice) from the mini-bar.

OLIVER turns, looks at the whisky in one of VENUS' hands - her other kneading the tense muscles in her neck.

OLIVER
What you need's a good massage. May I?

He moves close to VENUS, hands raised. She is not so sure.

OLIVER
You can trust me, Josie. I'm a qualified masseuse.

VENUS nods tentatively. OLIVER kneads her neck muscles. VENUS lets out a sigh of relief.

VENUS
That feels good, Oliver, Very good.

OLIVER
If you want a proper massage…?

VENUS
Yes, thank you Oliver, but I need a bath first. Do you mind?

168 INT. HOTEL RECEPTION. DAY

BRANDON at Reception - his motor bike parked outside. The CONCIERGE checks his books.

CONCIERGE
Yes, Mr Higgenbottom your, cousin...Josephine...Josie...has checked into room 315.

169 EXT. CROCODILE TOUR BOAT. DAY

JOSIE stands alone at the front of a Tour Boat. A white-clothed food-laden table has been set up at the stern.

RANDY pours champagne for LARRY and DELORES as NOTCH walks up holding a bottle of maple syrup - which he hands to JOSIE.

NOTCH
Brought this along for you especially, 'Serena'. For you and Randy. In case he decides he wants to surprise you!

JOSIE
He's not my boyfriend!

DELORES walks up, a glass of champagne in her hand.

NOTCH
Delores, mate, you're a woman, right…

DELORES
You're not the first man who's noticed that, Bruce.

NOTCH
Right. Well, what would you say about a bloke who didn't know how to surprise a woman with a bottle of maple syrup?

DELORES
That he didn't have a romantic bone in his body.

NOTCH is taken aback. JOSIE smiles triumphantly.

DELORES
Have you got a romantic bone, Bruce?

NOTCH
Ummmm…

DELORES (purring)
Wouldn't you like it if some gorgeous woman crept into your bedroom and saw you asleep on the bed naked in the warm afternoon sun and poured warm golden maple syrup all over your big manly…

LARRY (shouts)
Crocodile! A biggie!Is that a freshwater or saltwater Croc, Bruce?

NOTCH heads back to the stern, closely followed by RANDY.

DELORES (to Josie)
Isn't Bruce gorgeous? Thank God there's at least man on this trip whose bone I wouldn't mind in my body…

170 INT. BATHROOM/BEDROOM. DAY

VENUS, lying in a hot soapy bath, sips another Scotch on ice. She is a little tipsy. On the other side of the door (which is slightly ajar) OLIVER sits nursing a Scotch also.

VENUS
I kissed a boy once, when I was fifteen, but...

OLIVER
But?

VENUS
It made me feel...vulnerable. And I didn't like it.

OLIVER
I understand.

VENUS
You do!

OLIVER

Sure.

171 EXT. PATHWAY TO LOOKOUT. LATE AFTERNOON

NOTCH guides the group along a pathway that opens out onto a vast and magnificent Kakadu view, JOSIE talks with DELORES.

DELORES
Between you and me? I'm getting paid to be Larry's 'girlfriend'.

JOSIE  
Randy's paying me too! But I don't…you know… have sex with him!

DELORES
And I don't have sex with Larry.

172 INT. HOTEL ROOM. DAY

VENUS, in a hotel bathrobe, emerges from the bathroom. OLIVER sits on the edge of the bed sipping his drink.

VENUS
Weird, ay, to have a phobia about kissing? The very thought...ugh...

VENUS heads for the mini-bar to pour herself another drink.

OLIVER
I like your ‘weirdness’.

173 EXT. PATHWAY TO LOOKOUT. LATE AFTERNOON

JOSIE and DELORES walk and talk.

JOSIE
So you never…, you know...with Larry!?

DELORES
Share bodily fluids. Never. 

DELORES nods in the direction of NOTCH, who is walking a little in front of them, talking with LARRY and RANDY

DELORES
But I'd share them with him any day.

174 INT. HOTEL ROOM. DAY

VENUS and OLIVER sit on the bed - each of them knocking back their drinks with gusto.

VENUS (smiles)
I've never talked to anyone about...this kind of stuff before.


OLIVER
Takes trust to reveal your secret self.

VENUS sips her drink nervously, looks at OLIVER. Their eyes meet. VENUS looks away, takes a gulp of her drink.

OLIVER
What I like most about you, Josie, is you speak your mind. I like that. No BS. Most people lie about who they really are. Pretend to be someone they’re not.

VENUS smiles.

OLIVER
I've been waiting all my life to find a woman that I can trust with my true self. The REAL ME!

VENUS (laughs)
And who is the real Oliver?

OLIVER (excited)
You really want to know?

VENUS (laughs)
Yes.

OLIVER looks at VENUS for a moment, makes a decision.

OLIVER
Wait right here.

OLIVER leaps to his feet.

175 EXT. SUNSET VIEWING PLACE. SUNSET

NOTCH stands with JOSIE holding a tray with wine-filled glasses and a bowl of olives. RANDY and LARRY, in the background, set a video camera up on a tripod to get a shot of the sunset. A little to one side of them, DELORES sits by herself, a note-book in her hand.

NOTCH
Couldn’t figure out whether his name was Oliver or Quentin, but then I don’t think he could figure out whether he was Arthur or Martha but...anyhow, he’s looking for you so he can ‘take you out of the loop’

JOSIE
Take me out of the loop! What does that mean?

NOTCH runs his finger across his throat.

JOSIE
Why would the FBI want to kill me!?

NOTCH
Threat to national security it seems.

176 INT. HOTEL BEDROOM. SUNSET

VENUS finishes her Scotch, yawns, flicks through TV channels with the 'remote', stopping on a music one - its romantic sound track lulling her into a half-sleep.

177 EXT. SUNSET VIEWING PLACE. SUNSET

JOSIE confronts NOTCH, unaware of the approach of RANDY behind her.

JOSIE
I am not Randy's girlfriend…

RANDY drapes his arm around JOSIE'S shoulder.

RANDY
Darling, can you believe this view?  Dad's wondering…

JOSIE
Dad!! Larry's your father!?

RANDY
Yes, and he thinks you're perfect to play the lead in Thunder Downunder!

JOSIE
I can't act.

RANDY
Had me fooled with your schoolgirl striptease!

JOSIE
But…

NOTCH shakes his head, walks towards DELORES and LARRY.

178 INT. HOTEL BEDROOM. SUNSET

VENUS, lying on her tummy, dozes on the bed. BRANDON, in cowboy clothes and hat, enters the room through the French doors, makes his way across the room towards her, a bottle of maple syrup in his hand.

179 EXT. SUNSET VIEWING PLACE. SUNSET

LARRY talks to DELORES as NOTCH approaches. 

LARRY
That Serena…She's got the looks, the body…AND she can act! And this location, Bruce! It's perfect! 

180 INT. HOTEL BEDROOM. SUNSET

BRANDON finishes removing his cowboy outfit, stands naked by the bed. (Discretely and inoffensively naked, dear Reader!)He begins to massage VENUS' neck. She half awakens:

VENUS
Mmmm…

181 INT. HOTEL BEDROOM. SUNSET

BRANDON takes the top off a bottle of Maple Syrup, places it on the table beside the bed, slides VENUS' bathrobe down a little to expose her shoulders and the upper back.

VENUS, quite tipsy, smiles but does not open her eyes.

VENUS
Mmmmm…

182 EXT. SUNSET VIEWING PLACE. SUNSET

JOSIE, hands on hips, confronts Randy.

JOSIE
The answer is no. N...O

RANDY
You'd rather be an apprentice fashion designer than star in a movie!?

JOSIE
Yes.

183 INT. HOTEL BEDROOM. SUNSET

BRANDON massages VENUS' shoulders. She purrs with delight. He picks up the bottle of Maple Syrup and pour some of it on VENUS' back.  VENUS, her eyes still closed, giggles.

184 EXT. SUNSET VIEWING PLACE. SUNSET

RANDY pleads with JOSIE.

RANDY
Promise you'll think about it before you make a decision. (JOSIE NODS RELUCTANTLY) Don't look now, but dad's looking at us.

JOSIE
And…!?

RANDY
Could I get that kiss now?

JOSIE sees NOTCH, sitting beside DELORES; flirting with her.

RANDY
For dad's sake

JOSIE notices NOTCH turn to look at her and RANDY.

JOSIE
OK.

RANDY kisses JOSIE more passionately than she would like. 

CLOSE ON: NOTCH, who has watched the first part of the kiss, turning back to DELORES, who is writing in a note-book.

DELORES
…Ever since I was a little girl I've made up stories…

NOTCH laughs. DELORES turns, kisses him impulsively on the cheek as JOSIE watches over RANDY'S shoulder.

185 INT. HOTEL BEDROOM. SUNSET

BRANDON massages Maple Syrup into VENUS' back. She enjoys the massage, purring with pleasure. She sniffs. A thought occurs to her. She opens her eyes, turns to look at her masseuse.  At the same moment that OLIVER walks into the room wearing pink thong knickers, a pink bra, a pink silk gown and with his face made up. VENUS, BRANDON and OLIVER scream in unison.

...to be continued...

If you have got this far with JINXED and want to find out how the story ends, please write to me at: jamesricketson@gmail.com

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