Feels Like Falling (14 pages, pdf format) by Eric Wall
An elevator operator finds his simple job becoming much more complicated when he tries to talk one of his building’s tenants out of an abusive relationship.
As film buffs, some scenes linger in our memories long after the lights come up. Remember when Kyle MacLachlan as Jeffrey Beaumont found the severed ear in Blue Velvet? Or when Jimmy Stewart as the wheelchair bound L.B. Jeffries in Rear Window aimed his binoculars at the apartment across the way? Now recall the unforgettable No Country For Old Men and the chain of events that followed Josh Brolin in the role of Llewellyn Moss after a fatal prick of conscience led him back to a dying man in the desert.
Of course Llewelyn should never have absconded with two million dollars, L.B. could simply have ignored the scream of a dying woman, and Jeffrey Beaumont should have never gone snooping into other people’s private affairs.
Sticking your nose into other people’s business can get you into a world of trouble.
On the flip-side: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Eric Wall’s character Marcus Kirby is a good man, a man of honor. Estranged from his wife he’s still as old fashioned and principled as his finely tailored suit. Marcus operates the elevator of a residential apartment block, and as such he is privy to some of the occupants’ daily trials and tribulations.
Enter, Sophie Gardner. On the outside she’s a confident and assertive young woman and dedicated teacher to her first grade charges. But appearances can be deceptive, or in this case revealing.
One particular day on the ride up in the elevator Marcus recognizes the tell-tale signs of domestic abuse. Though Sophie is determined to shrug it off and blame it on exuberant kids Marcus is well aware that David, Sophie’s husband, has a violent temper and a heavy hand to match. Indeed Marcus knows a thing or two himself about growing up in the hard school of knocks, and he knows just what it feels like to break free of the shackles of abuse.
Marcus tries his darnedest to impart some of his wisdom to Sophie:
Alright. Way I see it, you’ve
only got two choices. You can go up
there and spend the rest your life
trying not to look too afraid, or
talk too loud, or say the wrong
thing, or look the wrong way…
Sadly, Sophie’s like a lot of women caught in the cycle of abuse and it’s going to take more than a well intentioned pep talk for her to make the break. However, a break does come in the form of serendipity. When Marcus and Sophie next see one another Sophie’s in an ebullient mood, glowing with the news she’s pregnant. Finally the resolve she’s needed to escape David’s clutches.
And then, a shocking turn of events.
Sophie turns up dead. Deemed a Suicide.
But that’s not all. Did I mention David is a Police Officer – and a drunk to boot? Sophie’s apparently killed herself with her husband’s service revolver after first firing a shot into the floor? Who does that?
Marcus tells the investigating officer it’s not possible – Sophie would never take her own life. When he offers to provide a statement to that effect he is given short shrift and told they’re quite capable of running the investigation without him. It appears the police have closed ranks around one of their own.
And when David adds insult to injury:
She got what she deserved.
Marcus is now forced to make a decision which may have far reaching consequences.
Feels Like Falling examines the larger themes of power and corruption, miscarriage of justice, and vengeance. Inspired by a true life account and one of two entries tied for ‘Reader’s Choice’ on Simply Scripts One Week Challenge – Feels Like Falling is a suspenseful drama with a poignant message, and powerful dialogue.
Filmmakers, feel like falling on your feet and reaping the rewards? If you know what’s good for you you’ll do this one justice. Case closed.
Budget: Medium. Only two main characters (with strong supporting roles such as David), and the primary location – an elevator. But bear in mind – this one deserves a robust enough budget to be done right!
About the writer: Eric Wall is a New Jersey based screenwriter who has written several short scripts, two features and is at work on multiple TV specs. He can be reached at e_wall1498 “AT” yahoo!
About the Reviewer: L. Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.
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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.