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The Job

Here's a short film I was writing for a friend and his step-dad as some type of acting exercise but never finished. It would have been good. I found the beginning I wrote for it, but decided to rewrite it for the ol' short story blog.

I hope it doesn't suck too bad.

(Also, expect another short story proper in the next week or two...)

And lease bear with me on the format, blogger still just doesn't like any semblance of screenplay format.

I/E. CAR - CITY STREETS - DAY

SHADE drives through town, headed to a specific destination. He’s talking on his cellphone, presumably to his mother.

SHADE
...it was just great, I still can’t believe it.
(beat)
Yeah. That’s what I thought, too.
But when he just sort of hit
me with it, he said, this is
what he said, he says, “Son...”

He’s interrupted...

SHADE (CONT’D)
Yeah, totally. He called me “son.”
Can you believe that? Anyways, he says, he
says, uh, “Son, there is no one I would
rather have on the ground in Madrid.”
And then he grabs me, like, by the
shoulder, and he shakes my hand and
says, “In all my years of management,
I have never felt a boy your age was
ready for a position like this until you came along.”
(beat)
Yeah. Then he started going on
about how unprecedented this
was and how happy he was with me.
(beat)
Oh, totally.
(beat)
I know. I mean, I’ve never even
been outside the state, so yeah,
Madrid is certainly going to be a change of pace.

Shade maneuvers his car around a turn and pulls into the parking lot of a mid-sized hotel.

SHADE (CONT’D)
No, I didn’t call him. I kinda
wanted to surprise him.
(beat)
No. I’m at the hotel now.
(beat)
I know. He’s going to be doing flips.
(beat)
Sure. Okay. I love you, too, mom.
(beat)
Yeah, I’ll call and tell you what he says.

Shade hangs up the phone and puts it in his pocket.

Proudly, he exits the car, a new man.

EXT. HOTEL PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS

Shade crosses the distance between his car and the office.

INT. HOTEL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

A CLERK stands behind the front desk, watching TV. Apparently business is a little slow this time of day.

Shade comes in and asks:

SHADE
Hey man, is my dad around?

CLERK
I haven’t seen him around in, like... A half an hour?
(beat)
Hold on, let me check it out for you.

The Clerk gets on the phone and turns away from Shade, who is beaming.

CLERK (CONT’D)
(into phone)
Hey, you guys see the manager
down in housekeeping at all?
(beat)
Yeah?
(beat)
Where at?
(beat)
One-twelve? Okay, thanks.

He hangs up the phone and turns back to Shade.

CLERK (CONT’D)
I guess he’s re-training a maid or something.
They said he’s down in one-twelve.

SHADE
Hey, thanks alot, man.

Shade leaves, heading for room 112.

EXT. ROOM 112 - MOMENTS LATER

Shade knocks on the door as a token gesture as he walks right in...

...to see his dad, BOYD, the manager, scrambling to get his pants on while the maid, naked, dives for the bathroom door, locking it behind her.

Shade, in an instant, goes from prideful joy to defeated shock...

SHADE
Dad...?

Boyd gets his pants buckled and under control. He’s wearing slacks, a knit t-shirt and a suit jacket.

Now that he’s dressed, he can address the problem.

He approaches Shade with his hands up slightly, trying to calm Shade as one would talk to an animal.

BOYD
Now listen, son. This isn’t what it looks like?

SHADE
(backing up)
It’s not?

BOYD
No. It’s not what it looks like at all.

SHADE
Then what the hell is it, Dad?

BOYD
It’s... It’s nothing.

SHADE
Nothing?

BOYD
We were... It was...
(beat)
...It’s not that big of a deal.

SHADE
Not that big of a deal?

BOYD
Exactly. Now you’re talking
some sense. It’s not that big of a deal at all.

Shade pulls back further, searching for something to say.

SHADE
This... This just isn’t right...
BOYD
What is right, son? This is as
natural a thing as anything else...

SHADE
But mom...

BOYD
You’ll understand one day, when you
wake up every morning next to a person
you don’t even know anymore. And you
look into their eyes and there’s
nothing left. None of that joy...
It’s all just... Gone.

SHADE
So you fuck the help?

BOYD
It’s not as coarse as all that.

SHADE
Jesus fucking Christ.

BOYD
You’ll understand someday.
You’re just going to have to trust me.

SHADE
(disgusted)
Trust you?

BOYD
I’m still your father, goddamnit.

SHADE
You’re still her husband.

BOYD
I suppose that’s fair.

SHADE
Get fucked. I can't believe you.
I came all the way down
here to tell you I got the job.
(beat)
Now I just...

Shade has trouble finding words. He’s close to tears.

BOYD
Hey, it’s okay...

SHADE
(crying)
Fuck you!

And with that, Shade leaves his father, turning and leaving the room.

Boyd hangs his head. Shamed.

The toilet flushes from the bathroom and the other woman comes out, dressed now.

BOYD
I... I suppose you heard all that.

She nods.

Boyd crashes into a sitting position on the bed, his head buried in his hands.

She places a consoling hand on his back...

The sounds of him crying fade to nothing with the picture.
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