Monday, November 24, 2008

The Dollar

This is something I thought I'd toss on here while I'm finishing up another short story.

This is a script that I actually filmed twice, once as a mostly silent film and again as a completely silent film. Sadly, neither version exists. Hard drives crashing can be a bitch, since I was really happy with the second one.

INT - UNKNOWN LOCATION

CLOSE ON a desk.

Two hands slap a wrinkled dollar bill on the desk.

They ably tape the two pieces together, flip the bill over and tape the other side.

CLOSE ON the hands putting a stack of cash and the "dollar" in a deposit envelope.

I/E. CAR - NIGHT

CLOSE ON the hands driving--steering--with the deposit envelope in one hand.

EXT. BANK NIGHT DEPOSIT - NIGHT

CLOSE ON the hands depositing the envelope in the night deposit slot.

Track back to see a HOBO sleeping outside the bank.

LONG SHOT of the hobo sleeping on his bench.

The depositor gets back in his car and pulls out of the bank driveway, driving away.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

The car speeds away, waking the hobo.

He gets up and walks.

EXT - CENTER STREET - NIGHT

The hobo walks down the downtown street in the fog...

FADE OUT:

EXT. PARK - MORNING

The hobo sleeps on a park bench.

A bird chirps, once again waking him.

EXT. BANK - MORNING

An SUV pulls up to the bank drive-thru. The DRIVER is rich, a jocular swine sort of fellow.

He's making a withdraw.

DRIVER
My account number is 188409.
I need to withdraw...

INSERT a computer screen with a web page advertising the SUPER BASS-O-MATIC TK-421 bass car stereo system at the local S-Mart. It costs $354.

DRIVER (Cont'd)
...Three Hundred and fifty four dollars.

I/E. SUV - CONTINUOUS

He waits patiently...

We hear the tube going...

He gets his money...

TELLER
(filtered)
Thank you for banking with us,
have a nice day.

On the top of the stack of cash he gets is the wrinkled, filthy dollar.

The driver pays no mind yet...

He drives away from the bank and plays his bass-filled music far too loud.

He counts his money, finally taking noticing the dollar.

His face recoils in disgust and he lets out an annoyed sigh.

In an act of sheer hatred for this torn dollar, he tosses the bill away, out the window of his SUV.

EXT. CITY STREET - MORNING

The HOBO is walking as the SUV whizzes past him.

The dollar bill floats out of the window, hits the street and blows into the gutter.

It creeps up over the curb and rolls over the hobo's feet. He looks down at it and his face brightens.

He picks it up and continues his walk.

INT. COFFEE SHOP

The hobo uses the dollar to buy himself a warm cup of coffee.

He sits in the window and enjoys the warmth while drinking it.

EXT. CITY STREET

The hobo walks toward the horizon, hands in his pockets, starting another day...

FADE TO BLACK

Sunday, November 23, 2008

GUEST STORY: An Interview With God

Jason Young is back again, this time with "An Interview With God".

I'll be here in a few days with something of mine, so be on the lookout.

(FYI, if anyone else wants to have me post their short stories here, get in contact with me and we might be able to work something out...)

Jason Young: For the record, would you please tell us who you are?

God Almighty: Yes, (clears his throat) I’m everyone’s heavenly father, God Almighty.

JY: And what is it you do exactly?

GA: Well first off I created the world, and everything on it. I make sure…….

JY: Okay, whatever. Next question. What is Heaven?

GA: Well there's clouds and all that jazz, but mostly it’s the place good people go when they die to spend all eternity.

JY: That doesn’t sound so great to me. Eternity is a scary word.

GA: I didn’t say it was great, simply what happens.

JY: What “happens” to the bad people?

GA: Well they go to hell to spend all eternity.

JY: That doesn’t sound much different from heaven.

GA: Well notice I didn’t mention the clouds. (Giggles to himself)

JY: God, this is a serious subject if you please.

GA: Okay, okay. Continue.

JY: What is the meaning of life?

GA: Jason, I’m not going to lie to you. I put people down their to test them, see if their ready for Heaven.

JY: I see, so would it be fair to say there is no meaning to life?

GA: I guess you could say that.

JY: Okay I will, there is no meaning to life. Next question.

GA: Shoot.

JY: What is your favorite creation?

GA: Why human beings of course, and puppies. (Takes a sip of water)

JY: Good answer. Where do babies go when they die before they are properly “Tested?”

GA: (Spits out water) I love all babies.

JY: (Wipes water off face) That hardly answers the question sir.

GA: I’m just saying, I love all babies, and it would be a very difficult decision to send one to hell.

JY: Fair enough, next question. In Heaven is everyone really my brother and sister?

GA: Yes.

JY: Even my wife?

GA: Yes.

JY: So your telling me once I cross over, I will immediately have to deal with the fact that I’ve had sex with my sister?

GA: I guess……….It sounds bad when you put it like that.

    JY: What gives you the right to create conscience?

GA: Well nothing I suppose, to be honest it was sort of an accident.

JY: Are their other consciences alive in the universe?

GA: Yes.

JY: Were they also your creations?

GA: No.

JY: Do you know how they came about?

GA: Science mostly, are you familiar with the big bang?

JY:….

GA: Well there was a lot of stuff happening back then, and there were some other planets that didn’t need ol’ God to look over them, it’s actually quite a miracle.

JY: I’m surprised to see you use that word “miracle” are their other Gods in the universe?

GA: I don’t really want to get into that with you.

JY: I’m going to take that as a yes. Were you also created?

GA: I’d like to think so, and that after this life I’ll go to a better place.

JY: Oh, brother.

GA: (Wags his finger) Father.

JY: Lets continue. It’s said that we’re all created in your image, is this true?

GA: Well for the most part yes, but as you can see I moved the genitals down off the forehead, but other than that, our anatomy is basically the same.

JY: If you’re so powerful, couldn’t you just fix all of our problems and make everyone’s lives a lot better?

GA: Yes.

JY: Why don’t you then?

GA: Wait, wait, wait. Let me ask you a question. Why are you putting me on the spot like this? I just want everyone to be happy.

JY: Isn’t it you that’s putting us on the spot our whole lives? What did you call them “tests”?

GA: Jason, can we take a break? I would like to get some more water.

JY: No. Next question. Is it important for us to worship you?

GA: Yes, I think so. I created you; you can’t give up one day a week for your creator?

JY: But if it’s so important that we worship you, why do you keep yourself such a secret? Why don’t you tell us what the right church is? What’s the harm in us knowing the real you, can’t we be properly tested without faith?

GA: Of course it matters! Can you imagine how crowded it would be in heaven if we didn’t filter out the skeptics? I’d be ass deep in losers faster then Jesus can scarf down a chilidog!

JY: Wow, ummm…… Next question, do people really have souls?

GA: Nothing attached, what the soul actually is, is a document I keep in my office for every person that’s born.

JY: please explain.

GA: All right, so we print you up a soul. You start out with twenty points. I take away points for everything you do that I don’t like. Once you run out of points I just throw it away, hence “Losing your soul.” There are some things you can do for bonus points, but once I throw it away, it’s gone.

JY: What are some of the things you lose points for?

GA: Well it’s different from case to case; I once took away all twenty points because someone fell asleep in church.

JY: So not everyone is held to the same standards?

GA: All I’m going to say about that is a lot more women make it to heaven since they invented breast implants. (Winks.)

JY: Moving on, can you actually sell your soul?

GA: It’s not even that hard a process. I once honored the purchase of a five year olds soul to Ronald McDonald; I just change the name on the soul and move along.

JY: So people can actually buy and sell their way in and out of heaven?

GA: Free market capitalism at it’s finest!

JY: Science has improved drastically since the time when the bible was authored; many of the events can be disproved without question. Take Adam and Eve, we know that evolution happened, turning their tale into a fairytale. How can you expect people to believe in you when you are surrounded by blatant fiction?

GA: Jason, people are going to believe what they want to believe, no matter what you or I tell them. Most people seek out belief in me for a relief from the reality of life. If you go around telling people that they’re going to rot in the ground after they die and never love, touch, or think again. You’re going to turn more of them to me then away from me. Is it so selfish to be a little ignorant and save your self a lot of pain? Most of these people are just trying to live good lives.

JY: So we should just embrace ignorance and not live in reality?

GA: What’s the difference if they think they’re going to go somewhere better after they die or not? Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. If someone believing in me saves them from being scared their whole life, do you really want to take that away from them?

JY: No, but….

GA: No, but what?

JY: What I’m trying to say is, don’t you think it’s a little naïve to say ignorance is bliss, what about all the horrible things that take place in the name of religion? The Holocaust, the Salem witch trials, suicide bombers. Every war I can think of is fought in your name.

GA: Who’s being naïve now? Do you really think there wouldn’t be any wars simply because everyone was an atheist? Get your head out of your ass.

JY: I’m not suggesting that the worlds problems would be solved simply because people stopped believing in you. But if everyone were living in reality and believed in what they saw instead of what they were told to see, maybe they would make civic-minded decisions on their own.

GA: Your way will never work. People aren’t going to be good just because it’s the right thing to do. If you take me out of the picture murders will go up twenty fold, not to mention suicides, people won’t be afraid of being what they really are. I’m the only thing that keeps the sick’o’s in check. How many pedophiles do you think resist their urges on account of me?

JY: I…..I don’t know.

GA: It’s a rhetorical question douche bag.

JY: I still don’t think ignorance is the answer.

GA: What’s the alternative? You don’t have any answers! You don’t even know the questions! You’re just as ignorant and blind as they are. The earth has been around for sixty billion years; Humans have been around for almost two hundred thousand of them and what do you know? Nothing! And you never will! I teach people to believe in something, a void you are never going to fill, unless you start lying to them like I do. In fact I’ve got a proposition for you; I’ll give you five minutes to prove to me there is no afterlife. Go!

JY: I hardly think that’s fair. I could just do the same thing to you. Prove there is an afterlife. Go!

(God looks at his watch)

JY: This is stupid, neither one of us is going to change, can’t we just declare some sort of truce.

GA: Never!

JY: What If I told you that I don’t think you are completely wrong, and I think you’ve have made some excellent points?

GA: You………..You really think so?

JY: Sure I do. How about this, you start letting gay people back into more of your churches, be more tolerant about things that don’t really matter like masturbation and pre-marital sex and I’ll stop telling people you don’t exist?

GA: What? And let the fudge packers win?

JY: Is it really that bad?

GA: I’ll see what I can do, but the popes not going to like it.

JY: Your telling me the pope hasn’t packed his share of fudge?

GA: I am definitely not saying that.

JY: So were agreed then or what?

GA: Aren’t you afraid that letting this go is going to eventually cause another massacre?

JY: I don’t know what to believe. It seems to me that fanatics are going to use religion as a scapegoat no matter what. But maybe if you aren’t getting caught up in such petty shit, and more openly teaching tolerance then maybe people can be happier without such a downside.

GA: I can see the wisdom in that. I’ll get to work on that immediately. Is that all, can I go now?

JY: Just one more thing, can you stop telling people the world is going to end soon, it makes it really hard to get people to care about anything if they think it’s all going to end next year.

GA: Heh. You don’t want ol’God to have any fun at all do ya? I guess that isn’t completely unreasonable. GOD OUT!

JY: I guess that means good-bye.

GA: It sure does. (Stands up)

(Jason stands up then shakes hands with God)

-Fin