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"LEAVING" by Steven J. Fauquier First Draft E-Mail June 13, 2005. email@example.com
FADE IN: EXT. HOME - DAY A split-level home is in full view. A perfectly manicured lawn, tall oak and maple trees sway in the cool breeze. The sky is ocean blue; the clouds full. A 'Sold' sign is posted on the front lawn, the smiling face of a real estate WOMAN on the front of it. One of the doors is open in the double garage. A station wagon is parked in the open space. Their is a large black tarp tied on top of the roof with a yellow rope, holding nothing at all. ED, middle-aged, balding, walks up a side hill from behind the house. He has a green hose coiled around his shoulder, the rest of it drags behind him. His disappears into the garage. INT. KITCHEN - DAY A seemingly spotless kitchen. MARY, middle-aged with blond hair and brown roots, is on her hands and knees wiping down the tile floor with a wet towel. Ed enters, sweating. He looks down at Mary. ED And the point in doing that is... ? Mary turns her head in Ed's direction, but keeps cleaning. MARY I don't want people to think we were slobs, Edward. Just let me clean, okay? Ed shrugs defensively. ED Okay. You're the boss. But it still seems rather pointless. I mean, you wouldn't clean up for the cleaning lady, would you? Mary shakes her head, scrubbing vigorously. Ed steps over Mary and opens the refrigerator. He begins to rummage through various items behind the door.
2. ED Everything's ready to go. MARY Okay. ED Where are the kids? MARY Upstairs. Saying their goodbye's to their friends. Ed comes out of the refrigerator with a piece of cold pizza. He takes a large bite. ED Do you think they'll miss much? Mary gets up and shakes the remnants of the towel into the sink and rinses it down with the tap water. MARY Don't even get started with that. We've had this planned for too long. Ed stares at Mary. beat. ED You're right. I apologize. Mary begins to clean the inside of the sink with the towel. Ed watches with a peculiar smile. He turns to leave... ED I got to have one last bowel movement before we leave. Mary quickly looks up. MARY Don't you dare! Ed laughs and turns back around. ED I'm kidding. He chuckles and takes another bite of the cold pizza. Mary scowls and continues cleaning the sink.
3. Ed watches her for a beat before heading over behind her. He wraps his arms around her stomach. His mood suddenly turns very serious. ED Wherever we end up. At least we'll be there together. Mary stops cleaning and closes her eyes, leaning back into Ed while rubbing his arms with her hand. ED Nothing will change for the worse. Only for the better. For our family. I'm sure of it. Mary turns around as Ed kisses her. Ed drops the cold piece of pizza on the floor. Mary quickly pulls back. MARY Jesus, Edward. She drops to her knees, picking up the pizza and scrubbing the stain that was made with the towel. Ed rolls his eyes. Mary looks up. MARY Sorry, I just... you know. Ed forces a smile onto his face. ED Cleanliness is next to Godliness, I know. Ed steps back over Mary and leaves the kitchen. Mary continues to scrub the tile floor. ED (o.s.) Kids! Time to go! We'll meet you in the car! You've got five minutes max! INT. BEDROOM - DAY A WOMEN'S MOAN is heard coming from some other room.
4. SAMANTHA, seventeen, overweight, shifts the phone from one ear to the other. She takes a final drag of her cigarette, blowing the smoke out of a nearby open window. She sits atop her large bed, surrounded by dirty clothes and posters that have been torn down from her wall. She pushes the cigarette butt into an ashtray near the phone. Samantha reaches over to the nearby stereo and presses a button. The speakers play a 'Destiny's Child' track. SAMANTHA (Into phone) My pervert brother is whacking off to porno again. He's such a little creep. (beat. listens) Shutup. You're not going to 'give him a hand', slut. (beat. listens) Aaannnyway... on to another topic please. This is totally grossing me out. (beat. listens) Yeah, I wanted to turn eighteen at least... so I could have a huge bash here, but you know, shit happens in a shitty place. (beat, listens; Laughs) What-ever. Besides, he never even called me after that party anyway. I gave him my number that night. He said he'd call, but he never did. Typical... ED (o.s.) Kids! Time to go! We'll meet you in the car! You've got five minutes max! Samantha looks up. SAMANTHA Aw shit. She alternates the phone back to her other ear.
5. SAMANTHA (Into phone) Just my Dad. We're leaving now. (beat. listens) I know. I'll miss you too. (beat. listens) I don't even know if where we are going has any telephone lines to tell you the truth. (beat. listens) Yeah, we're becoming Amish. Didn't I tell you? (beat. listens; Laughs) So you might want to wait until... well, until I call you I guess. (beat. listens) Okay then. I gotta go now or my parents will kill me, like literally. (beat. listens) I love you too. Always. Samantha slowly hangs up. Standing up she walks in front of her mirror on the wall. She studies herself, not at all pleased with her chubby appearance. She heads over to the stereo and turns it off. She hears a door CREEK somewhere down the hall. Unplugging the stereo from the wall, Samantha carries it over to the mirror, looks at herself one last time, and throws the stereo through it with a SMASH! The mirror shatters to the floor in a heap of broken, reflective glass. Samantha gazes at herself in one of the broken pieces. Her eyes begin to well up with tears as she slowly moves her hand over her heart. INT. DEN - DAY A dark room, the only LIGHT comes from the GLOW of a computer screen. Hunched over the keyboard, JASON, sixteen, skinny, leans his face closer to the screen. His left hand moves furiously back and forth in his pants, his right is trying to adjust a dial on a speaker.
6. Suddenly the volume peaks, a WOMEN'S MOAN echo's throughout the room. Jason grimaces with the sound. His left hand stops moving. JASON (Whispers) Shit! Shit! Shit! He looks around the room, listening, waiting. He hears some MUSIC come on lightly in another room. Jason looks back to the screen, his left hand starts to convulse again. He removes his right hand away from the dial on the speaker. His eyes go wide. JASON (Whispers) Oh fuck. His mouth opens a little bit. His left hand quickly pulls out of his pants, his right hand enters and begins to shake furiously. JASON (Whispers) Oh yeah... His right arm moves faster. Jason GROANS as his arm starts to slow down. His head tilts back, his skinny chest heaving. beat. ED (o.s.) Kids! Time to go! We'll meet you in the car! You've got five minutes max! Jason quickly sits up; he closes down the Media Player playing the porno and clicks off the internet page providing it. Then another page pops up, he closes it. Then another, he closes that one too. He proceeds to shut down the computer. Jason makes a quick adjustment in his pants, stands up, and walks hunched over to the door. He opens it, the door CREEKS. He is greeted by the natural SHINE of the sun through a window. He squints and heads out.
7. INT. HALLWAY - DAY Still hunched over, Jason silently makes his way across the hall to the bathroom. Just a few steps away when - - SMASH! Glass shattering from another room. Jason's posture lurches upright as the sounds frightens him. He quickly jumps into the bathroom, shutting the door and locking it behind him. INT. BATHROOM - DAY Jason listens as he hears footsteps outside the door. SAMANTHA (o.s. Muddled) Hurry up queer boy... Mom and Dad are waiting. JASON Alright! Christ! Just gimme a minute. INT. HALLWAY - DAY Samantha rolls her eyes and heads down the stairs, holding a magazine. INT. BATHROOM - DAY Jason listens as the heavy footsteps descend to a lower level. He looks down to his white T-shirt, a stain has soaked through. Jason shakes his head and makes his way to the toilet paper, hunched over. INT. GARAGE - DAY The door leading from the house to the garage opens. Jason emerges, wearing a black T-shirt, he shuts the door and tests it to make sure it's locked, it is. He makes his way down toward the car. INT. CAR - DAY Jason opens the door and gets in. His sister is seated next to him reading the magazine. Ed is at the wheel. Mary sits shotgun reading a book. Ed turns around and smiles at Jason, then faces the front again.
8. ED Good. Everyone's here. Ed places the keys in the ignition and starts the ENGINE. He then promptly opens the door and steps out. Mary looks up from her book. MARY Umm, where are you going? Ed leans down so he can see Mary. ED Just to double check. Mary returns to her book, flipping the page. Ed walks out of view, behind the car. Beat. MARY What took you so long? Jason shifts in his seat. JASON Uhh, taking a dump. Samantha, eyes still on her magazine, shakes her head. Mary quickly looks up from her book and turns to face Jason. MARY You what!? Dammit Jay, I told you no - - JASON Sorry! But what do you expect? I had to go, okay!? Please get off my case about it. MARY I most certainly will not. You have to learn to listen when I tell you to do something. Do you want people to think we were an unhygienic family? Do you? Jason pounds the seat with his fist.
9. JASON Christ Mom! I don't tell you not to have your periods do I? Mary's eyes widen. Samantha looks up from her magazine, now intrigued. MARY That's not even the same thing. Where did you learn about that anyway? JASON I'm sixteen Ma'. Mary studies Jason as he looks out the window. Samantha looks back down to her magazine. SAMANTHA He does 'research' on the computer. Jason spins around, glaring at Samantha. JASON You fat bitch! MARY Jason! Samantha throws down her magazine on the seat. SAMANTHA You're a pervert who whacks off to porno twenty-four seven! So I'd shutup if I were you. Jason's eyes go wide with rage. JASON Yeah well, I'd chain the fridge shut if I were you. Then I would kill myself for being such an ugly, fat-ass pig! Samantha SCREAMS with anger and punches Jason in the shoulder. Jason returns the punch to her arm. MARY Hey! Both of you stop this! How old are you two! Stop that now! Samantha and Jason are now tangled up in a ball hitting and cursing at each other in the backseat.
10. MARY How can you two possibly fight at a time like this?... Ed! Ed makes his way to the front, he gets in the car a SLAMS the door shut with so much brute force that it rattles his window. Samantha and Jason jump with fright. They pull off of each other and sit still. Ed turns around, his face red. ED The next person that hits someone has to deal with me... and I hit back, hard. (Smiles) Now let's try to have a nice family trip for once. It's going to be our last, as you all well know. So I want you two to hug now. You are family and you love each other. That's why you feel comfortable enough to fight and hate each other, isn't it? Samantha and Jason glance at each other for only a moment. ED C'mon now. We are about to leave here for good. MARY You two don't want your last memories of this place to be bad ones, do you? Samantha and Jason sit in silence, facing away from each other. MARY After we leave... memories are all that we will have. Samantha and Jason return glances before embracing with a quick hug. MARY That's sweet. Thank you kids. ED Good. We are a family again. Make sure your windows are rolled up, and let's blow this popsicle stand.
11. Ed hits a button on the small garage opener clipped on to the back of the flip-down mirror above him. The GARAGE DOOR activates, GRINDING as it moves. Samantha and Jason laugh. SAMANTHA You're so corny Dad. Jason leans forward. JASON Yeah, what's up with that old man? Jason gives him a playful shot in the arm. Ed looks to his arm, then back to Jason. ED That's it, it's go time! Ed jumps in the back seat and begins to horse around with his kids. Mary watches and laughs... then suddenly turns very solemn. EXT. HOME - DAY Both of the garage doors are now shut. The split-level home seems lifeless. Empty. INT. CAR - NIGHT Ed switches hands on the wheel as he yawns; staring ahead into the blackness. Mary continues to read her book, wearily. Samantha puffs away on a cigarette. A thin layer of smoke has filled the car. Jason stares outside his closed window at the darkness. He COUGHS. Ed and Mary slowly turn around to check on Jason, they look to Samantha's cigarette. They both turn back to face the front without a word. No stars are seen outside, no moon, nothing beyond the blackness.
12. ED Hey Jay... you still remember why you wanted to leave right? JASON Yeah. ED And why is that? Jason looks ahead. JASON C'mon Dad. ED C'mon nothing. It's important not to be ashamed of why we are leaving. Jason takes a long, labored breath. JASON 'Cause of my cancer. ED Cancer of what? Jason shifts around in his seat. JASON Testicular cancer. Mary covers her mouth with her hand. ED And you, Sam? Samantha takes a long pull on her cigarette, blowing the smoke out into the car. SAMANTHA (Routinely) Because I have a weak heart. Mary's hands begin to shake as she sobs. ED That's right. (Nods head; Choked up) That's right. Ed puts an arm around Mary, consoling her.
13. JASON Dad? Ed turns around, tears filling his eyes. JASON What about you and Mom? Why are you coming with us? Mary looks up at both of her kids. MARY Because our son has cancer. And our daughter has a weak heart. That's why. Ed wipes his eyes and faces around to the front. Mary stretches over to the back seat and grabs Jason and Samantha, bringing them together for a hug. MARY I love you both very, very much. Forever and always. She kisses both of them before taking her seat at the front. Ed, Mary, Samantha, and Jason sit in silence for a long beat. The sound of the ENGINE running is all that is heard. Jason looks back out at the dark nothingness outside the window. He COUGHS again. JASON (Weakly) Are we almost there? Samantha COUGHS for the first time. She has lit another cigarette. ED Almost son... almost. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. HOME - DAY Another picturesque day. The split-level home is once again in full view. Birds CHIRP in the oak and maple trees on the lush lawn. A van pulls up into the driveway.
14. The back doors open and two young KIDS, a BOY and a GIRL, jump out and race each other to the front door. A middle-aged WOMAN steps out of the passenger-side door smiling; marveling at the beautiful house. She heads to the front door; her kids have each other in headlocks. The woman places a set of keys in the lock and opens the door. The kids rush in, the woman shuts the door behind her. A middle-aged MAN steps out of the van's driver-side door, looking around at the property. The van's ENGINE continues to run. The man makes his way down to the 'Sold' sign on the lawn. He carefully rips it out of the ground and smiles, placing the sign under his arm. Heading back to the driveway, the man puts the sign up against the side of the van and leans in, turning off the engine. He gets out and shuts the door. But an ENGINE is still heard, somewhere nearby, somewhat muddled. The man looks in the direction of the sound; staring directly at the two closed garage doors. MAN (Quietly) What... ? The man reaches into his pocket; he pulls out a small garage door opener and presses a button on it. The GRINDING sound of a garage door opening sounds very similar to that of it closing. As the door opens, smoke pours out of the garage in a massive, cloud-like wave. The man COUGHS and is forced to cover his face with his shirt. The sound of an ENGINE running is prominent now. The man waves away the smell and peers in to find a vehicle parked in the garage. A large black tarp is draped over the windows. Smoke is escaping from underneath the tarp, on the driver's side.
15. MAN (Muddled by his shirt) Jesus Christ... The man moves to the driver-side door. He pulls on the black tarp, it doesn't move. He looks on the roof to find that it is tied down with a yellow rope. He reaches over the roof and carefully unties it. He pulls off the black tarp with one strong pull. A station wagon; blanketed with thin, mist-like smoke. The man heads to the driver-side door. The window above is slightly cracked, letting out the smoke into the garage. The man carefully grabs the handle and opens the door; a middle-aged, balding man tumbles out of the station wagon and drops still at his feet, lifeless. The man GASPS and stumbles backward. He now spots a green hose attached to the station wagon's tailpipe. He shakes his head with sudden realization. The carbon monoxide quickly vents out of the open car door towards the gushing wind outside. As the car clears, we see a woman with blond hair and brown roots slumped over in the front seat, a teenage boy with a black T-shirt leaning up against his window, and a teenage girl collapsed on her chubby stomach, all of them completely drained of life. EXT. HOME - EVENING Police cruisers and ambulances are parked on the road in front of the once peaceful home. Their sirens flashing, yet making no sound. Several news trucks are parked up alongside the curb. Both garage doors are open. The station wagon is now gone. Yellow caution tape surrounds the area. The many neighbors stand on their lawns, watching the scene unfold with blank faces. Standing outside their van, the man and the woman hold each other in their arms. Their two kids sit in the backseat, silent and still. WOMAN We can't stay here. We need to leave.
16. The man looks to the congested street as an ambulance pulls out from the curb and drives slowly passed the house. Following close behind, an empty station wagon is towed away. MAN What we need is a nice long vacation. The woman looks to her kids in the backseat. WOMAN What should we tell them? The man looks around at the many neighbors staring back at him. MAN Home is where your family is. We will tell them that. FADE OUT.
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