Tuesday, April 30, 2013

30 Days: "H.O.M.E." (a screenplay)

By Lynsey Mitchell


A crowd is gathered in a stone courtyard below a balcony on
The Homestead (a futuristic Capitol made of glass and metal;
pastel lights lazily drift through the walls). The crowd
pours out of the courtyard below a metal archway into the
streets beyond. The crowd wears plain clothes in blacks and
browns and is very solemn.

COUNCILMAN TERRENCE, a middle-aged picture perfect
politician with salt and pepper hair, is standing at the
edge of the balcony. He raises his arms above his head,
smiling broadly.

The crowd cheers.

Councilman Terrence addresses the crowd. His voice booms
across the courtyard.

Welcome, fellow citizens! I’m so
happy to see so many loyal and law
abiding friends here with me today.
The more of you I see below me,
instead of next to me, the happier
I am.

JOAL KEW, typical teen hearthrob, is in the crowd. He rolls
his eyes at the double meaning.

Sounds about right...

Councilman Terrence points to three shackled, abused
prisoners standing next to him.

The crowd starts booing and jeering at the criminals.

This! This is what happens when you
disrespect the laws. Our laws are
here to protect you! These poor
wretches didn’t understand that;
they are Unforgivable! You
beautiful people do understand!
Unfortunately, there is a price to
pay for their sins. And that price,
as you know, is extracted by The
Conductor. Step forward, my dear.

The crowd goes silent again.

Councilman Terrence holds his hand out to CLAIRA GIVENS. She
is a pretty, but unhealthy looking 18 year old. She has pale
skin, delicate features, and long dark hair. She has a scar
on her lip.

Joal sucks in a breath and his body tenses. He looks at the
ground and curses.

Claira steps forward and surveys the crowd. Her movements
are fluid and non-human. Her gaze is distant. Sparks hover
around her fingers, her eyes glow blue, and several of her
veins course with electricity.

So this is me. I haven’t exactly
got the best gig around, but a
job’s a job, right? I wasn’t always
this heartless killing machine. I
used to be just a regular heartless
teenager. And these
"Unforgivables?" They didn’t do
anything. But my body and my boss
both want me to kill them, so who
am I to argue?

Claira cocks her head to the side, watching the prisoners.

Puffs of steam emit from the mouths of those on the balcony.
Several people shiver. The air has grown colder.

One prisoner, A MAN, stands proud, gazing past her, looking

The second prisoner is an OLD WOMAN. She laughs
hysterically, as if she has been driven mad.

The third prisoner is a TEENAGE GIRL similar to Claira. She
meets Claira’s gaze and cries quietly.

Claira thrusts her hands towards the prisoners.

Jolts of electricity shoot out of her fingertips and strike

They are encased in cages of electricity, their mouths
gaping open in silent screams for just a moment, before the
cages implode and the prisoners disappear into clouds of ash
drifting towards the floor.

I wasn’t always like this, but
after years of mediocrity, it’s
actually kind of nice to be good at




A glob of molten glass at the end of a blowpipe is removed
from a furnace.

A GLASSBLOWER (mid 40s, sharply dressed) rolls the blowpipe
back and forth across a table. He holds a thick pad and
shapes the glass.

At the other end of the rod, an APPRENTICE (male; 15; also
dressed nice) puffs into the blowpipe.

The Glassblower dips the molten glass into a pile of colored
glass shards. He puts the piece back into the furnace.

Claira watches the process. She stands at a grocer’s kiosk
next to the glass blowing stand. A GROCER watches Claira
watch the glassblower. She is an ugly, stout women in her
50s with a shaved head and an angry expression. She has a
scratchy voice.

You gonna buy anything or not,

(looking back at Grocer)
Oh, sorry. It’s beautiful don’t you

Gorgeous, I’d say. Downright
gorgeous. Just like the line of
customers you’re holding up. So
hows about you buy something or go
daydream in front of somebody
else’s goods, eh?

Claira surveys the food being offered. Everything looks limp
and old. Her eyes linger on a small but shiny apple at the
top of the stand. They settle on a hearty looking loaf of

She sets a few, small plastic cards on the counter.

Just the bread, please.

(looking at the cards)
That’s not enough.

It was last week!

Look, girlie, I don’t know if you
know much ’bout business, but if
the supply goes down and the demand
goes up? So do the prices. And that
(points to pile of cards)
ain’t enough.

Wait! What about...

Claira reaches into her bag. She pulls out a wad of cloth.
She unfolds it and reveals a small glass orb with colors
swirling around inside. She offers it to the Grocer.

What if I gave you this, too? It
was my mother’s...she made it.

The Grocer studies the glass orb. Her expression softens.

Your name is Claira Givens, ain’t
it? I knew your parents. Before
the, well, accident. They were nice
folks. Always willin’ to help a
fellow man out. And that sister of
yours, that girl was smarter than--

I know who my family was. And a lot
of good it did them, too. Now do we
have a deal or not?

The Grocer spits in her palm and extends her hand. Claira
spits in her own hand and shakes the Grocer’s.

They exchange goods, and Claira eyes the apple again.

A family heirloom is worth an
apple, too, don’t you think?

(with a sly smile)
Aye, that it is, girl.

The Grocer tosses her the apple. Claira catches it and nods
her thanks. She takes a big bite. The Grocer begins to cough
violently. She covers her mouth with the hand she used
during the transaction.

Claira does not ask if she’s ok.

She darts through a colorful and noisy menagerie of outdoor
vendors and stalls. It is an eclectic mix of identifiable
produce and goods, plus strange space age gadgets. The
Market is crowded with all walks of life.

She walks past a small, tattered stall. It is run by a DIRTY
WOMAN in her thirties. She has missing teeth and looks like
a starved drug addict. She sells used sneakers, none of
which look wearable. Behind her is an electronic sign
advertising "affordable plastic surgery".

A 10 YEAR OLD BOY with striking blue eyes stands next to the
woman. He sees Claira’s loaf of bread and hurries over to
stop her. He looks starved and his eyes are desperate.

Claira notices him eying her bread. She walks around him.

(over her shoulder)
Sorry kid, times are rough for


Claira walks into her apartment. Everything looks sleek and
modern, but plain. It is all made of white plastic panels.
There is a couch, an end table, a bed, and a kitchenette. A
small bathroom occupies the space next to the bed.

Claira sets the bread and her bag down on the counter of the
kitchenette. She sways a bit and grabs the edge of the
counter to regain her balance.

She shakes her head and blinks rapidly to clear her mind.

She sits down on the couch and rubs her temples.

She lays down and stares at the ceiling.


Claira is asleep on the couch.

The panel on the wall across from the couch flashes blue
around the edges. The words "Accept" and "Reject" appear on
the panel. A ringing sound fills the apartment.

Claira wakes up. She looks at the panel and groans.


The panel becomes a screen. BO SINGH (Late 20s; Indian; ear
length curly hair; straight up sexy) appears. He stands in
front of a bar. The background is noisy with people and
trance music.

Hey, Sleeping Beauty, you coming in
to work today? Hugh and I were
starting to worry. You’re over an
hour late. It’s not like you.

Claira glances at a clock on the end table. The clock says
9:47 PM.

There is a picture of Claira’s family next to the clock.
Claira is about 8 years old. She has the same scar on her
lip. She is standing next to her sister, who looks like
Claira only older. Her mother and father stand behind. They
are all smiling.

Crap. I’ll be right in, Bo!

Alright, see you soon. Glad you’re

The call ends and Bo’s image disappears.

Claira rubs her face to wake herself. She coughs into her
shoulder a couple times.

She picks eye boogers out of her eyes.

She takes a pony-tail holder off her wrist and puts her long
hair in a messy bun on top of her head. She exhales against
her hand and sniffs to check her breath. She shrugs.

She stands and grabs her bag off the counter.

She rushes out of the apartment.

1 comment:

Julie Daines said...

This looks like an interesting and cool story. I love reading an occasional screenplay. Thanks for sharing!