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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Cold Smoke by John Staat (short script available for production) - post author Steve Miles

Cold Smoke by John Staats

A ski patrol rookie finds the lure of cold smoke an irresistible temptation. It pays to listen to the professionals.

How about something a little different for the new year? 

For most, the thought of breaking trail up a snowbound mountainside only to slide back down again is one seldom dwelled upon.

But for a dedicated few, winter in the mountains is the sweet soul-food of life itself, and every storm pure mana from Ullr.

John Staats’ Cold Smoke embraces not only those few but does so with a virtual reality script. It’s a little different to what some may be used to, yet the simple storyline and crisp writing leave no doubt as to the writer’s intent.

We join a trio of ski patrollers on a dawn mission for fresh tracks. Rookie patroller, Brownie, leads the way, breaking trail under the watchful gaze of veterans Squat and Buckster. A breathless hike later and they’re staring into Hidden Canyon and two feet of pristine powder.

Brownie, with his youthful energy and cocksure approach, thinks he’s got it all figured out. But the others are soon to warn him to the finer points of mountain safety. Beneath the surface lurks a greater danger. One that no amount of experience or caution can ever fully predict.

Yet for Brownie, like countless others before him, temptation proves too great. With the call of cold smoke ringing in his soul their warnings are quickly forgotten and Brownie soon discovers that one wrong turn can (literally) bring down a whole mountain of trouble. Will Brownie live to see Taco Tuesday? Or did the rookie just call last run?

Cold Smoke is a great short script for an experienced filmmaker looking to try their hand at a new technique, or even a public body looking for an entertaining and informative way to educate the next generation of skiers and snowboarders in backcountry travel. Cold Smoke puts you right there on the mountain with fun characters and an insight that could make for an exciting and practical piece of film making.

Cold Smoke is based off an actual event whereas the character Squat was the author, John Staats. The VR format is a new frontier that he ventured into on his own free will.

About the writer: John Staats currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, after living in resort and old mining communities throughout the Rocky Mountains. A former professional ski bum and current safety manager, John writes for a creative outlet and hobby. He has completed three features and a multitude of shorts that can be found on ScriptRevolution. His feature Impasse has also been published as an e-book on Amazon. John can be contacted at jestaats(a)hotmail.

Read Cold Smoke (10 pages in pdf format)

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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.

About the reviewer: Steve Miles started writing scripts around five years ago after realizing that his social life was vastly overrated. He enjoys writing in a variety of genres but leans toward raw, grittier characters and the worlds they inhabit – from the deadly serious to the darkly comic. Drinks coffee, owns an unhealthy amount of plaid and uses a calculator for the most basic of sums. Check out more of his work at sjmilesscripts.webs.com

Monday, March 19, 2018

Unrelated – Short Script Review (Sold!) - post author Guest Reviewer

Unrelated by Pia Cook

SOLD! (script no longer available)

A young man presents his new fiance to his family – only to uncover a horrible secret

Of all shared human experiences, love is the most compelling. How many memorable stories are cast around that traditional tale! You know the one I’m talking about: boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy proposes to girl, boy finds out that girl is his sister. Wait, hang on just a sec!

Easy and breezy like its characters, Unrelated tells the story of a young man’s quest to find “the one”, a pursuit continually thwarted by the unending sins of his father’s past.

As Unrelated opens, our hero Stan is introduced as a young lad with a dreamer’s perspective. Giddy with newly discovered love, he presents newly minted fiancé Tilda to his parents at a family barbeque. His mother Lisa is pleasantly surprised. But father Hank – a flirtatious man with roving eyes – cannot abide by the news. For some mysterious reason…

All of Stan’s hopes for a future are dashed when Hank reveals the horrid truth: that Tilda was born of an affair he had with her mother. In other words, Stan and Tilda are brother and sister!

Needless to say, Stan is forced to foreswear Tilda and start again. And so begins a long pursuit to find a female whose lineage is not tied to his own… a woman to whom Stan is unrelated.

A well spun narrative with a clever resolution, Unrelated is a subtly subversive tale, not to mention an easy film to make: only three locations set in one home and a small cast of characters. What’s even more important is this story is one that resonates with a wide audience, relatable to the human experience of love.

This script is not one to pass on. Not if you want to wow them at festivals!

Budget: Very low. Just invest in some good actors.

About the writer: Born and raised in Sweden, Pia Cook is director of the short film Them That’s Dead and writer of produced feature films Finders Keepers: The Root of All Evil and Blackout. She started writing screenplays in 2006 and has written over sixty short screenplays and ten features. She can be reached at gatortales – “AT” – gmail.

Read Unrelated (5 pages in pdf format)

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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.

About the Reviewer: Faith Rivens is an aspiring author and filmmaker. New to the business, storytelling is a passion born innately within her. It doesn’t matter the genre, or the medium. What matters is the story woven within. Her first two books in the Iníonaofa Chronicles, Eléonore and Heralding are available on Amazon. Want to drop Faith a line? Reach out to her at AliasFaithRivens.wordpress.com. Or, follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Noob – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Hamish

Noob by James Barron

An alien-made artificial intelligence faces its greatest challenge: teaching a cantankerous, technology-averse 80-year old human how to work an iPhone.

Old people vs technology: it’s a perennial battle of the ages. And as technology gets more and more advanced, it ain’t gonna get easier any time soon!

Which doesn’t mean one can’t have multiple laughs at its expense…

That’s exactly what James Barron’s satirical Noob aims to do. Lead character Henry’s a grizzled war vet – the kind of guy who thinks physical prowess proves a man’s worth. So when his daughter buys him an iPhone, he struggles to understand the basics – and we mean really “basic”… like turning it on.

Frustrated by failure, the old man’s grief is multiplied when his wife suggests getting help from experts. But Henry’s determined to lone wolf this operation. At first, that doesn’t seem like such a bad idea – Henry calls the correct number for his queries. But then he accidentally changes the language to Spanish. Qué desastre!

Already confused, Henry’s utterly baffled when the weather suddenly changes and a large metallic craft appears. He’s being abducted! So it seems.

As it turns out, his abductor is a computer sent by a technologically advanced species to observe human behaviour for academic reasons – and poses no danger to Henry’s health.

But Henry poses a great threat to the computer…

…because he thinks it’s the Apple support system! And while he didn’t know how to work an iPhone, he certainly doesn’t understand the requests the AI makes – leading to a massive series of escalating communication breakdowns.

Threatening the poor bot’s circuit-sanity.

Hilariously ironic with a brilliant payoff, Noob is a clever commentary of the universal love-hate relationship we have with technology. It’s guaranteed to have everyone laughing – with or without the Genius Bar!

Budget: Okay, there’s a bit of FX called for here. But nothing a touch of post or CGI can’t handle.

About the writer: James Barron is a former law student turned screenwriter who loves to write comedy along with the occasional horror/thriller.

Read Noob (11 pages in PDF format)

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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.

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Skinny Samaritan – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Hamish

The Skinny Samaritan by Mark Lyons

After a local hero is released from the hospital for being on a hunger strike, people at a nearby bus stop discuss the events that made him a legend, and possibly a martyr.

Though they claim to unite us, titans of politics and civil rights movements divide opinion regularly.

From Christ to Churchill to Clinton, public figures who preach their values and views often stir up as much conflict as they aim to quell.

In Mark Lyons’ The Skinny Samaritan, Kenneth – the titular character – may not be running for commander in chief or world savior. But his recent release from a hospital provokes heated debate among commuters, anyway.

You see, Kenneth’s earned his nickname by going on a hunger strike. As far as his motivation goes, not everyone thinks he’s justified.

He should be punished, exclaims Rosalie. He should be praised, retorts Greg. As these two bus stop regulars bicker, Jarvis – the new guy in town – asks “what’s up with Kenneth?”

Boy – did he step in it with that one!

What exactly is Kenneth’s cause? What has he done to nudge it along? And which “side” is more sympathetic in your eyes? You’ll have to read The Skinny Samaritan yourself (and ponder the question) to decide.

No matter one’s political leanings, one constant remains true: audiences hunger for films that make them think. If you’re a director that craves intelligent drama, Samaritan’s a tasty offering. One you shouldn’t push away.

Budget: Pretty low – all that’s needed is a decent cast, and a bus.

About the writer: Mark Lyons is a four-time award-winning screenwriter from Youngstown, Ohio. He’s written several scripts, including The Ephesian, which won Best Drama at the 2015 Austin Revolution Film Festival (which also garnered him a Best Screenplay nomination), and was selected Best Drama for the Cinema Constant 2015. He also penned Best Film award-winner “God’s Empty Acre”, which was filmed as Girl(s) at the 2013 Winter Shorts Film Festival and Best Drama at the 2013 World Independent Film Expo. He was also nominated for a Best Screenplay award at the 2016 Action on Film Festival. Check out his author page on Amazon and his other scripts. He can be reached at markielyons1107 (a) gmail

Read The Skinny Samaritan (10 pages in pdf format)

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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.

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Our Time Deserves a Love Song – Short Script Review (Available for Production!) - post author Hamish

Our Time Deserves a Love Song by Marnie Mitchell-Lister


An aging musician relives his first love when someone asks what inspired him to write a particular love song.

Fact: The worlds oldest song, an Ancient Egyptian melody in 1400BC, was a love song; a tribute from a man to his wife.

And judging by the current charts, the magic of love has and continues to perennially create thousands of spellbinding sounds for our ears to enjoy, many based on personal experiences of the artist.

Our Time Deserves A Love Song delves into the backstory of “Love Song”, an unreleased track by acoustic legend Adam Stern. Asked by a superfan on a chat-show TV interview about the origins of the tune, we’re whisked back over 3 decades to his teenage years in Cape Cod.

At first, there’s not even a note of love in the sea air. His parents are divorced, and his middle-aged Dad’s driving him to his former other half. Also in the car is Father’s new girl, a beauty half his age. Of course, Adam’s parents end up relishing the chance to insult each other when they arrive.

But adults aren’t the only ones insulting one another – Adam’s non-conforming music taste and fashion sense sees him ostracized by the local cool kids.

Yet it’s at this point when the first verse begins:

            GIRL (O.S.)
Don’t sweat them retahds.

Sure, it ain’t the most romantic sentence, but this girl, Mary, turns out to be perfectly in tune with Adam.

As they bond through their love of music and having family problems, it’s clear these two go together like guitar and drum, complimenting one another perfectly.

Sadly, as with all good songs, this one ends suddenly and far too soon. So Adam does the only thing he can do: compose a tribute to this brief romance that’s so beautiful the audience cannot help but applaud loudly when he performs it.

And if you show this film at festivals, real life audiences will have a similar reaction!

In fact, this is one script that’s already proven it’s appeal: As an August 2009 One Week Challenge selected script. And it’s been successfully table read as well. You can listen to that here:

Budget: Moderate. Though, get a good tune for this one!

About the writer: An award winning writer and photographer, Marnie Mitchell-Lister’s website is available at BrainFluffs.com/. Marnie’s had multiple shorts produced and placed Semi-final with her features in BlueCat.

Read Our Time Deserves A Love Song (12 pages in pdf format)

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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.

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Cure for Loneliness – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author Hamish

A Cure for Loneliness by Richard Russell

A psychiatrist searches for a way to connect his lonely patients.

Loneliness. One of the paradoxes of our time. We’re more “connected” to others in the world than ever thanks to technology, but no-one seems to be willing to connect in reality. Why bother to talk about the relative dullness of life when there’s eons of excitement available at your fingertips?

Our protagonist in A Cure for Loneliness, Joel, has both verbal and observational evidence to prove this point. As a psychiatrist, many of his patients confess their feelings of isolation to him in the office. And outside of work, his commute features the all too familiar sight of people addicted to the bleeps of their new iSurface Pro 7, and conversations between fellow residents of his high-rise flats are trite and depressingly short:

     JOEL pulls his mail from his box. Next to him, a WOMAN, professional,
     attractive stops to get her mail.

            Joel
Hello.
            WOMAN
Hello.

Truly Shakespearean stuff. But neither person has any motivation to continue talking – they don’t know each other.

However, the motivation in arrives in the form of a sudden crime wave in Joel’s high-rise block. At first, it’s only a few break-ins, but as the offences escalate in seriousness, the community response escalates too. Locals begin to monitor the floors and organise fundraisers to upgrade security. Town hall meetings, usually emptier than a Donald Trump rally in Mexico become more packed than most trains at rush hour. Copious community cooperation returns. But at a price.

And will this price increase? Will the crime spree continue? Who’s behind the nefarious activities, and why?

Warning! A Cure for Loneliness has multiple side effects, like forcing your hands to applaud when the dose is fully digested. It also induces your brain into asking unpleasant questions. Why does it take negative events to bring people together? Do we need to rethink our relationship with technology? You’ll certainly have your own personal questions to ask after reading this script, so challenge yourself and delve right in to this one!

Budget: Low to moderate. A few settings and good actors is all you need.

About the writer: Richard Russell lives in North Carolina where he plays golf and writes. He has been writing since college when his short stories appeared in the university literary magazine. He loves writing screenplays, and THE CALL, written with his partner, Felice Bassuk, is one of their best. They have written an award-winning feature, THE KOI KEEPER, which they hope to see on the screen in the not too distant future. Richard has a trove of shorts and feature length screenplays and continues to add to the inventory. Writing remains the sole source of sanity in Richard’s chaotic world. Write to Richard at wordmstr007 (a) gmail!

Read A Cure for Loneliness (8 pages in pdf format)

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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.

About the reviewer: Hamish Porter is a writer who, if he was granted one wish, would ask for the skill of being able to write dialogue like Tarantino. Or maybe the ability to teleport. Nah, that’s nothing compared to the former. A lover of philosophy, he’s working on several shorts and a sporting comedy that can only be described as “quintessentially British”. If you want to contact him, he can be emailed: hamishdonaldp (a) gmail. If you’d like to contact him and be subjected to incoherent ramblings, follow him on Twitter @HamishP95.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Daysleeper – Short Script Review (Available for Production) - post author David M Troop

Daysleeper by John Cowdell

A determined salesman attempts to sell life insurance to a vampire.

The history of Dracula and vampires on film almost dates back to the invention of the movie camera itself. The classic silent film “Nosferatu” and Bela Lugosi’s 1931 original “Dracula” began Hollywood’s love affair with a legion of blood sucking cinematic tales.

Then, somewhere along the way, some studio head thought, why can’t Dracula be funny? So, in 1948 Universal Pictures dug up Bela Lugosi to reprise his iconic Dracula in the comedy “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.”

Since then, there have been slews of vampire comedies: including “Dracula Dead and Loving It,” “Love at First Bite,” and of course, the hilarious “Twilight” trilogy.

Which brings us to the newest vampire comedy, Daysleeper written by John Cowdell.

Peter is an insurance salesman determined to sell Vincent, obviously a vampire, the deluxe life after death policy.

Boy, did you pick the wrong house, Pete!

Vincent tries, to no avail, to convince Peter he simply has no need for life insurance. He’ll be literally dealing with those premiums forever, with no final payday.

But, being the stubborn, don’t-take-no-for-an-answer salesman he is, Peter talks himself into Vincent’s lair.

Not to mention, just in time for lunch.

Daysleeper is a light and fluffy take on the vampire genre. Directors of both horror and comedy can surely sink their fangs into this one.

Budget: Low. One minor FX shot with a floating toothbrush. And you may have to dig up a coffin from somewhere. You might even consider doing this one as an animated short!

About the Writer, John Cowdell: I have been writing short scripts for over ten years. Most recently I have been reviewing films and TV as well as creating video content for Squabblebox.co.uk, and can be reached at iommi80 (a) yahoo.co.uk

Read Daysleeper (4 pages in pdf format)

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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.

About the reviewer:  David M Troop has been writing since he could hold a No.2 pencil. In 2011 he began writing short films for MoviePoet.com and Simplyscripts.com. His produced short scripts include INSOMNIAC and THE DINER. Born on the mean streets of Reading, PA, Dave now resides in Schuylkill Haven with his wife Jodi and their two lazy dogs Max and Mattie. He can be reached at dtroop506 (a) gmail.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Quality Control – Short Script Review (Produced!) - post author David M Troop

Quality Control by Ammar Salmi

…has been produced by Tin Mirror Productions.

A clone has to prove to an observer that he deserves a second chance in order to avoid incineration.

Trailer

Official Site
Imdb

Read the review by David M Troop:

Science Fiction – it’s such a complicated bag, full of staggering subcategories. Fantasy swordplay ala Star Wars. Swash-buckling action via Guardians of the Galaxy.

But the analysis of social conflicts – that’s what makes SF special. Ask any hardcore Science Fiction fan – the true beauty of the genre is the ability to examine hard-hitting social issues – spotlit by futuristic light. Along with the pleasures of Star Trek, are true classics such as these:

Soylent Green -a police detective discovers the government’s secret ingredient, designed to feed a world ravaged by the greenhouse effect, and overpopulation.

Planet of the Apes – an astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet dominated by primates – the theory of evolution turned upside down.

Minority Report – Tom Cruise solves homicides via a special police unit – who negate the concept of free will, and arrest murderers before they commit crimes.

Then there’s screenwriter Ammar Salmi’s Quality Control – depicting a futuristic society where clones are routinely grown – almost like slaves. At least, if they’re allowed to live…

Witness if you will, Clone 36. A “man” who’s been accused of a crime. Confined to a cell, and deemed chattel, our protagonist’s future dangles in the hands of Dave – a faceless pencil-pusher who would rather terminate the offending Clone… just to save himself needless paperwork.

As the script opens, the three hour observation breezes by. Will Clone 36 convince Dave of his innocence? Or suffer an animal’s brutal fate?

Heavy on the drama, but feather light on FX, Quality Control is limited location – and a sterling choice for directors with an intelligent bent. Like the best of breed in SF, QC is a thought provoking treatise about the dangers of the legal system. And the potential violation of human rights.

Budget:Low. One special effect done in post: overlays of charts and data on screen.

About the Author: Born and raised in Bir El Ater, Algeria, Ammar Salmi majored in computer science at USTHB university. He found interest in screenwriting when he was 19 – falling in love with it only two years after reading “The usual suspect” script. Ever since, he’s been learning, reading, and writing (his words). Though not produced yet, Ammar’s gearing up for his first feature, and can’t wait to see what the writing future has in store!  Interested in QC? Reach out to Ammar via realxwriter (a) gmail. 

Read Quality Control (five pages in pdf format)

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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.

About the Reviewer: David M Troop resumed writing in 2011 after a twenty-five year hiatus.  Since then, he has written about 50 short scripts, two of which have been produced.   Dave would like to make it three.  He is a regular, award-winning contributor to MoviePoet.com.  Born on the mean streets of Reading, PA, Dave now resides in Schuylkill Haven with his wife Jodi and their two lazy dogs Max and Mattie.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

O, Brave New World! – The Scripts of the 2WC - post author Don

We had a writing challenge on the discussion board.

Create a realistic world where a certain major world event never happened. At the same time, the altered event is not your story, your story simply takes place in the altered world.

This was a difficult challenge. I think we had more people drop out then entered. This topic engendered quite the lively discussion.

Thanks to Sean “Mr. Blonde” Chipman (writer of Christmas Crime Story for leading the challenge and coming up with a stumper of a theme.

ScriptWax is sponsoring the challenge this month and will be audio performing the “Writers Choice” script.

The scripts of the “Brave New World” Two Week Challenge

(note, each link opens the discussion thread. Once there, click on the title of the script to read the script in pdf format. The scripts are submitted anonymously. Writers will be revealed next week.)

Signal Fire by Neil Percival Young – How will anyone find their way in a brave new world? 13 pages (Short, Adventure)

A New Plan For Fat Man by Ny Name Here – Leaders of the United States Armed Forces debate whether they should declare war with Germany or stay home and savor their victory in the Pacific. 11 pages (Short, Drama)

Fire and Water by Deep Throat – Ben Bradlee’s decision to ignore the Watergate break-in comes back to haunt him four years later as Woodward & Bernstein try to prevent the Presidency of E. Howard Hunt. 15 pages (Short, Crime, Thriller, Drama, Political, Historical Fiction)

Sapere Aude by Kant – The leader of a boys’ club for troubled teens finds himself in a war with the most powerful, corrupt, cruel entity in the world, the unchecked Catholic Church. 12 pages (Short, Adventure, War, Religion)

Miss Yemmie by Hollis Brown – The Soviet Union’s plan to restart its failed Sputnik Program prompts the United States to build a new space center at the remote home of an aging prostitute. 11 pages (Short, Drama)

Not Even God Himself by Buckwheat – When a travel agency undertakes the most ambitious voyage into space in the history of mankind, the men responsible are faced with the consequences of endangering a hundred thousand lives. 13 pages (Short, Sci Fi, Drama)

Operation Downfall by Night Train – The atomic bombings against Japan never happened. The invasion of Japan did. 15 pages (Short, Action)

The Broken Kingdom by Some Guy – Set in an alternate timeline in which Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators blew up parliament and overthrew the monarchy. On the 513th anniversary of this historical event, a French-American businessman, on his first visit to Great Britain, finds himself on the run and embroiled with terrorists after he inadvertently commits an act of heresy. 14 pages (Short, Fantasy, Historical)

The 13th Generation by E Pluribus Unum – Texting obsessions takes over a company’s communication as a car designer gets a promotion. 15 pages (Short, Comedy, Satire)

Full Circle by Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Logline – {no logline} 11 pages (Short, Drama)

Olympic by The Sullivan Brothers – Two US marines and two young schoolgirls must find a way to survive the American invasion of Japan. 14 pages (Short, War)

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