Monday, August 7, 2017

STARS

A Story set in the extreme near future.

It were comin’ down like rods.

Hard enough bein’ on a bike in the wet, but when it’s comin’ down so hard you can't hardly see…

Karen had seen shit driving but to see the guy’s knee bent the wrong way like that still turned her over inside. She’d got the ping two minutes back, so the scene was still fresh as.
Bike guy was a delivery runner.
His box was on the wet slabs next to his well bent bike. He was shoutin’ at some woman an’ she was givin’ back equal and plus.
Karen pulled up. Looked like she was gonna have to help him in. That didn't matter. He was on her clock now.
“I'll not apologise for trying to help you!” Umbrella lady barked back at bike guy for sayin’ something Karen hadn’t been there for. Karen helped bike guy into her taxi. His left leg bent at the knee but the wrong way. He didn't weigh nothing. Proper tour de France skinny. As she got bike guy in she asked “What’s her deal?” About umbrella lady.
“Aw, bitch went an’ called an ambulance on me, like I’m Jay Z or somethin’” Bike guy said through teeth.
“I called an ambulance because you need a bloody ambulance, you maniac!” Umbrella lady looked like she was gonna lift off. “Your leg looks like It’s on backwards for Christ's sake!”
Karen Yoinked the bike up onto the rack and pulled bike guy's bag into the cab as the siren from the ambulance started gettin’ proper audible.
Karen did one sharp before the scene turned into a proper scene.
Paramedics see a lot so can be proper staunch an’ since they all got put on commission they’re hungry too.

“Hospital?” Karen asked Bike. Bike nodded. “You wanna make that delivery first? You'll lose your profit ‘cause you're on my clock but you'll keep your stars.”
“Urrrgh! Forget it.” Bike said “My ratings gonna be worth nish by the time I'm outta plaster. I'll have to start again. Jesus!” The enormity of a restart dawning.
“Sub ya gig.” Karen suggested.
“Sub it? To who?” Bike replied “Everyone I know got their own rate they're tryin’ ta build.”
“You don't know no one blacklisted?” Karen asked. 
Bike woulda lent forward if he could move. “If you got someone who can run my gig while I’m laid up, they can take all the coin. All of it, if they don't drop my stars. I’ll get a lone for food or somethin’ ”
“He’ll not drop your stars. He got listed for postin’ shit about the system. Not screwin’ up” Karen assured.
“Aye well the system’s shit.” said bike “I got that app that tells ya if what you're gonna post will be unfavoured by the powers.”
“Bloop!” Karen screen notified.
“That’s me.” Bike said “I jus’ gave you the local for my drop. You're not bullin’ me wit your listed guy? He’s for reals yeah?”
“He's realer than you or me.” replied Karen.

Bike’s drop was way out, so he had time to get wistful. “What was that bitch thinkin’ callin’ an ambulance like that? Do I look like I can afford that shit?” He said lookin’ at the rain through the translucent ad playing on the window. The smart ad sensed his pain and was trying to sell him painkillers but he was just staring through. “My brother fell an’ split his head when he were out one night. Woke up in the ambulance so couldn't argue the toss. Still ant paid it off. That were years back. Must have only been in there, like, 20 minutes.”
“Aye, I had my girl on 5/9. Went into labour jus’ when it all went off. My man was across town an’ couldn't get to us so I drove myself.” Karen told Bike “Did for the seat, but What’s a new seat up against a ride in one of them things?”
“You gotta kid?” Bike said “Where's she at now?”
“Home sleepin’.” Karen replied and sent the feed from one of her screens to the main screen in the back. A baby sleeping in a cot.
“Aw, she's instagram ain't she?” Bike cooed. He’d had something. Karen could tell. It was starting to work. Looked like he was leaving agony.
“How many stars you got?” Karen asked
“I got four baby!” Bike exclaimed. “Well, 3.8 but it looks like four on a phone and that’s what counts. More than enough to keep me busy. An’ I got enough ratings that if some ass hole one stars me it hardly makes a dent.”
Karen laughed. “I remember when I first started out they give you two an’ a half as good will. They’re green though so as folk know you're new an’ don't judge an’ give you a break. So I take some suit from Heathrow to out in the sticks. He gets free Netflix all the way an’ I'm all nice. Like, couldn't be nicer and he one stars me! I’d only done a few fairs. It was, like, my first week so I hadn’t built up an average an’ my rating went through the floor! Didn't work for nearly two weeks after that.”
“Jesus!” Bike shouted “Suits, man. He knew what that’d do to you. They think shit like that's funny. I mean. I'm a pacifist but, I mean. I don't wish it on ‘em but when they get deaded like those two the other day I think, well, what do you expect, yeah?”
“Some of them go incognito now, to the office, you know?” Karen said “Try to pass for normal. Pretend they ain't vampires by puttin’ on a hoody, but you can tell they got a suit in that bag”.
“This is what you don’t get with one of them drone cabs”. Bike said “Proper talk. No chat-bot”. He laughed at a thing that dropped into his head.
“I was pickin’ up near fleet Street an’ one of them new bubble things glides up an’ four suits were set to get in an’ then some legend in black. Like all black. Ski mask an’ goggles the lot, lobs in a foam bomb! It goes off, BOOF! Foam everywhere. I got some on me. It were all over the suits an’ the drone were full! Ha ha! It set hard in, like, five seconds. Christ knows how long it took to dig all that out. I bet it weren't robots what done the diggin’ either”.
“It’s guys like that, that mean I still got work”. Karen said.
“I won't touch anythin’ that uses drones. One of them things wouldn't have picked me off the street like you did”. Said Bike. “I’m against ‘em deadin’ suits like I say, but every drone some active shoots down I see as a gig for me. Deadin’ drones ain't terrorism it's job creation”. Bike shifted slightly trying to get some comfort. “I don't know no actives, but I’ll send a drink to anyone who puts a drone down”. Karen had her eyes on the road. She’d forgot the baby feed was on the big screen in the back. “D’you think there’ll be any jobs when your little un gets big?”
Karen sighed. There weren’t no way to know what the future had coming. It had taken more than Karen ever thought possible.
Taken shit she’d never thought could be took. An you bitch an’ moan an’ say you can’t ‘cause it ain’t right. An’ the powers say there ain’t no law against it. Not no more, least. So they say it is right ‘cause it’s legal. But now you’re thinkin’ legal ain’t got nothin’ to do with right no more. An’ if legal ain’t right then illegal don’t seem so wrong. If all the jobs did go to the bots Karen’s baby would need to live on the rob if she wanted a life with more than nothin’. (Unless somethin’ changed but nothin’ ever changed ‘sept for the worse.) Forget legal an’ illegal go with what feels right. Get your own code to live by. Draw your own lines.

Unless it all collapsed an’ folk gave up on money all together. Wasn’t like there was much money left to give up on anyhow, what with most the world's money in those eight bank accounts.

Bike was out now. Sparked. Karen took the baby feed off the main screen. They were at bike’s drop so she made it for him. The girl on reception didn’t even look up. Jus’ pointed at the drop point.
Getting back in the cab woke Bike. “Hospital?” said Karen.
“You make my drop? What time is it? Took a slice when I was splayed on the street. Took another half when you was rackin’ the bike ‘cause the first slice weren’t touchin’ the sides”.
“I made your drop.” Karen replied.
Bike gave his screen scrutiny. “Who was it on reception? Tall an’ pink hair or short an’ blue?”
“Pink.”
“Shit man. Half the time she don’t rate. Some won’t pick up the ping for them no more ‘cause of h…”
“Bloop!” His screen notified.
“Ha ha! Yes! Four stars! Every higher than average equals a higher average.”
“How long you been on a bike?” Karen asked.
“Three years now. It ain’t so bad, keeps ya healthy till it kills you. Nearly got me today, but not quite. Was only ment to do it for a month or three. Till something turned up. You’re so done by the time you’re done though you just flake. You eat, have a can, then it’s the next day. An’ you’re sayin’ tonight when I get in I’ll find something. Before you know it by the time you got your stats over to somethin’ better they’re thinkin’ What’s a bike guy wanna work here for? An’ there’s you in your slot for life till a bot comes an’ has it off you without tryin’. My Dad’s well militant. Would def be active an’ listed if his heart weren’t killin’ him. He’s got stories though, man. When he started out some, dint have a facebook or twitter. An’ that was alright. It was okay not to. Then he says it started so you went for a job an’ they’d facestalk you. An if you were lookin’ like a bad fit they’d slide by you. But then it got so you had to have an account. If you dint they could look in your life and see if you fit. So then everyone’s gotta have a face if they wanna get booked. He did alright though. Had a job an’ everythin’ for years till a bot put him out on his arse.” Bike went less wistful, more wrathful. “His heart’s killin’ him now though an’ we got no house to sell so that’s that init”.

The baby woke the second the food van went an’ rear ended them, but didn’t cry. Karen was out the cab immediate. It was still comin’ down like rods. She popped the boot an’ pulled her girl outta there. Fetched her back to the cab an’ set her safe on the seat, then pulled a bat outta nowhere an’ went to bray the van or the driver or both but stopped.
The air come outta her again.
An’ she got back in again. She pulled a seat for her up from the passenger well an’ strapped the little un in an’ cried for six seconds then sucked it back down an’ did off.
The air were proper thick in there. Wet off the rain an’ thick so as it’s hard to speak. Bike had thought the kid were at her place. Maybes not with anyone. Now it was clear they had no place. Well why wouldn’t they be placeless? Bike didn’t know anyone his age who weren't placeless. With his knee bent backwards the pain he felt were for her. He knew the powers had it all set so as there was no way up an’ out. No one had a job they had gigs. You didn't work for them you worked for yourself even if you only worked for them. So you weren’t on the inside. An’ there's no way up the outside. The stairs are inside. An’ saving weren’t a thing. The coin was set so low as food was an issue so thinkin’ about out else were out. An’ her man was listed ‘cause he'd said it weren't right when it weren’t right.
Bike had that thing on his phone that gave him warns when his posts would list him. He knew others who had bots that socialed for them. A stream of lies to make ‘em seem like the perfect worker. Soon it’d be the case that no one would be writing their own feed. Another layer of bullshit. Gettin’ down to real was gonna take archaeologists one day.
They got to the hospital an’ Karen unloaded Bike an’ his Bike. She wrote down his ‘tails an’ his stats on a piece of paper with a pen that used ink to have ‘em but keep ‘em low an’ did one back out into the shit.
Seems Bike’s name was Arnold.

Another long day ended sharp, but it didn’t take long to find a charge spot so there was that. Karen was down to three percent ‘cause she weren’t gettin’ no charge off the sky all day with the rain an’ all. The back seat of the cab slid forward up to the divider and the back dropped flat like a futon. With the back lying flat where the baby sleeps was shown.
Karen’s man showed. He had food. Paid in noodles plus for keepin’ a sick lifter near the top of a call sheet. (If you say no to a gig you get bumped down the sheet. Too far down an’ you never get called.
They fed the baby then themselves. As they ate Her man told her stars was halfway to bein’ money. Karen knew that to be true. If, back after that suit had one stared her, somebod' had said they wouldn’t pay but would five star her instead she’d have had their arm off.


Karen showed her man the rating Bike had give her… Five stars.

Margaret’s day out.


Margaret was bored.

An odd emotion for a robot to feel, as it was an emotion.
She’d been used to a certain amount of daily input. That input was no longer being inputted, and she missed it.
She’d started life as a picking robot in a warehouse for the popular internet shopping website. Her job had been to wait until the shelf robot brought her the shelves in question then pick the item or items on her list from the shelf before the shelf robot whisked it away. Having picked the item she’d put it on the conveyor.
A better, faster picking robot had come along.
A robot that had double the number of arms.
Two.
So every one of her type had been sold off to lesser internet shopping websites or scrapped. Apart from Margaret who found herself in the fixers workshop playing chess with Dave. Dave had, had to install some extra memory to load the chess program. The program its self wasn’t that big, just 20 Megs but the extra memory Dave had attached was six terabytes. It was a six terabyte hard drive purely because that was what was in Dave’s spare parts bin.

She’d filled the extra memory space with other stuff. The input was mostly Dave. Dave talking. Dave’s chess moves. Dave was one of the few humans with a job. When robots had first replaced human workers there were still a few jobs maintaining and fixing the robots. This was before the robots that knew how to fix robots. Now the only jobs were for those who could fix the robots that fix other robots. The maintenance robots didn’t break down often, so Dave didn’t have that much to do. So He and Margaret played chess. 

Now there was no Dave and Margaret didn’t know why. There was no one for that matter. No one had been to the workshop in such a long time.
She missed the input.
She looked at the chess board again. It was still his move. She reached out her only hand and placed her fingers around the head of the Knight. It was what he’d do. Going off past game behaviour, there was a 87 percent chance he would move the knight next. She could move it for him. She would then move her remaining bishop. There was a 100 percent chance of that. The problem was, that after that, the percentages dropped off radically. In her CPU, by the time she got through to checkmate the probabilities were as low as 4 percent. Dave was too unpredictable to finish the game herself, and even if she did, then what? Start a new game? It was no good, eventually she decided to leave the workshop and look for Dave.
She pushed the door open and looked into the main warehouse. It had been awhile since she’d seen it, but it hadn’t changed at all, save for the picking robots all now had two arms. There were no humans in the warehouse either. Not surprising, there hardly ever was, but the picking robots were idle. That was odd. The shelves weren’t rushing around like they normally did. The conveyors were still. Odd, but more odd for Margaret to think it or any other thing odd.
All people must have stopped shopping. Everyone in the world must have decided one day to stop buying things. That seemed odd to Margaret too. She decided to go outside. This would be tricky because she no longer had a battery and the wire wouldn’t reach. The wire only got her a few feet out of the workshop door. Dave had taken the battery off her to replace the battery on a better version of her. She had seen Dave’s credit card on several occasions so she logged into his account and ordered some drone batteries. Drone batteries were best. That’s what Dave said. A shelf half way across the warehouse leapt into action and rushed towards the picker robots. One of the pickers picked Margaret’s new batteries off the shelf and put them on the conveyor as the conveyor began to move. The batteries were destined for Dave’s house but Margaret managed to grab them from the conveyor as they went past her. Odd for a robot to commit identity theft and credit card fraud.

After an hour she was fully charged and she went outside. There was no one outside either. No one at all. A creature was there in the otherwise empty car park. It looked at her and turned it’s head to one side. Not a human. Shorter than a human. Was it a child? It was not standing, it was on all fours. She remembered Dave telling Sally on the phone about the time he’d hurt his back and ended up crawling like a baby. Was this a baby? Did the baby know where all the people had gone? Margaret downloaded a text to speech app from the store and asked the baby. “Where are the people? I’m looking for Dave.”
The baby barked, which was odd. A quick image search told Margaret that this wasn’t a baby. It was a small dog. A little more searching told her that dogs are not like people, and can not talk. Dogs liked to run for sticks that have been thrown, sleep, and eat. She didn’t have a stick, and it wasn’t sleeping, so she changed Dave’s house location to her GPS co-ordination and ordered some dog food. It took 74 seconds for a drone to deliver it. She was, after all, right out side the door. The dog was very hungry and ate it all despite being so small. She ordered some more which it ate too, and she ordered some more and it was sick. Then it ate the sick. Then it sicked up the sick again. At which point it seemed to lose interest in the food.

Margaret ordered a solar panel and the cable to attach it to her power inlet, fitted them and set off to look for Dave. She knew where he lived from his shopping account. It was 34 miles away. The dog followed her. After two miles the dog got tired and didn’t want to walk anymore so Margaret ordered a dog bed and a usb cable. The dog bed, being too large for flying drones came on a street drone. When the two foot square autonomous vehicle arrived she connected the usb and re-purposed the drone to simply follow her. She took the dog bed from it’s packaging and placed it on top of the drone cart. The dog quickly hopped up onto the bed. The dog liked this new arrangement. It liked being driven around. Yes, this was very nice. Things were looking up for the dog.

It was a lovely sunny day; The sun on her brand new solar panel meant that her internal battery was only going down very slowly. It was too soon to estimate if she be able to get to Dave’s house before nightfall or her battery ran down. Time would tell, and it was too early to tell how long a solar charge would take to re-fill her battery. She could always order another if need be.
There was no one on the way to Dave’s house. No one walking. No one being driven in cars. Though she did see a couple of autonomous vehicles. A street cleaner and something else. No one was at the windows. Odd for there to be no one at all, and odd for a picking robot to know that was odd and be rolling through the streets looking for someone to play chess with, followed by a dog on a bed.
There were other creatures. Dogs and things larger than dogs, and things larger than those. Plus a few smaller creatures but no humans.
As she passed an advertising poster on a bus stop. It flickered into life and scanned her. The poster didn’t recognise her. Couldn’t read her shopping history and show her an advert suited to her. The poster then noticed that she had a dog with her. So showed her an advert for dog food. Poster was pleased it had made the intuitive leap to try to sell dog food. Margaret thought that the dog was probably fine for food right now, and would be for some time. As she passed the poster the poster began to get desperate. Odd for a poster to feel desperation. It played a video it had of a man saying in a happy voice through a happy face. “Hi there! How can I help? What would you like?”
“Where is Dave?” Margaret asked.
Poster didn’t know Dave personally so displayed a large question mark instead. Margaret moved forward. Poster panicked. Poster had an advert for a cleaning liquid that was good on almost everything. The opening line was a woman saying to camera “Stop buying separate cleaners for your floor, your oven, your windows…” It went on. Poster played the first word. “Stop.”
Margaret stopped and turned to face poster. Poster called up an advert for a service that had same day delivery. In it poster found the word “Wait.” in-between the words “don’t” and “for” He played the word “Wait.”
“Where are people?” Margaret asked poster.

Poster knew from the news blips it had displayed between ads that all people had died from a virus. He remembered that the medi-bots had pronounced them all dead and that autonomous private ambulances had taken them all to be cremated. That there were no people anymore. There hadn’t been for at least 264 years 4 months 9 days give or take 3 days. Poster played four micro clips from four adverts. A woman, a man, a cartoon hippo and another woman said, “There.” “Are.” “No.” “People.” Then poster found a clip of a man saying the words “There are” together and kicked himself for not playing that. Anticipating what Margaret would say next, (Poster had lots of code about anticipating what people wanted), he displayed the news. The news about the virus. About all people dying. After the death of everyone there were a few stories about how the medi-bots had, had trouble keeping up. About how supermarkets were reporting serious drops in sales to zero. About the slowing of the economy. Poster hoped that this consumer would buy a subscription to the news service. All the stories after everyone died were automatically produced stories from automatically produced reports. The opinion pieces and daily columns from humans about the subject of everyone being dead strangely absent, given that it was such a big story. Margaret searched the net herself and found it to be true. All humans were dead, and Dave was a human, therefore there was no one to play chess with anymore. 

The automatic power stations coped well with producing the reduced electricity required. The machines to pull the gas and oil from the ground had to stop. The windmills and solar panels were now coping well with demand. The cleaning robots kept the streets clean. The other robots simply waited or kept everything else maintained. After a year or two there was a bit more to clean. The cats and dogs, the pigs, cows and chickens that had started to wander the streets all left their mess, but not as much as humans did. The world went on without people. Unkept fields and forests grew and became over grown. As did any area without a designated robot to maintain it. The streets and pathways stayed clean and clear. The robots in charge of doing so, careful to return to their charging stations before batteries went flat. From time to time one would breakdown or need apart replaced so a maintenance bot would see to that. The street lights stayed on at night, the posters cycled through their ads. Buses glided round their routes only stopping so they didn’t get ahead of timetable. Vacuum robots kept empty houses clean; some hoovered around skeletons. The first generation of cows that escaped returned to the milking machines from time to time. The next generation didn’t need to. 


After 98 years a self driving delivery truck decided to go and see the sea. After 126 years a window cleaning robot decided to stop cleaning in order to simply be. After 189 years a factory bot thought that it would like to make another smaller factory bot of its own. After 204 years Poster realised it hadn’t targeted an ad for quite some time and after 264 years 4 months 9 days a picking robot called Margaret decided to call her dog Dave. Which wasn’t odd at all, it was the new normal.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Gary and Anna

1
FADE IN: EXT: A busy street. Above.
Traffic is at a standstill. Camera slowly moves in on a cheep crappy car. Gary’s car.
Int: car interior
Gary is driving. Anna has her feet up on the dash.
They inch forward.
Anna
Urrrrgh! This is bullshit! You have to do this everyday? All these assholes have to do this everyday? How do you not just get everyone stoving their cars into each other on purpose?
Gary
We all just think about it instead.
Anna
What about just getting out? That ever happen? People jus’ walkin’ away from their cars? That’s probably what this hold up is. Someone in front got woke an’ fucked off!
Gary
It’ll be nothing. It’s always nothing. You get through it and there’s nothing there.
Anna
Humanity deserves to die in a ball of fire for putting up with this shit. I’m going to show my tits to the guy in this car.
Anna motions to the man in the car next to their’s on Anna’s side. She turns so we see her back while she lifts her top. The man doesn’t turn to look. Just keeps looking forward. Doesn’t notice. Gary smiles a weary smile.
Anna pulls her top back down and goes back to sitting with her feet on the dash.
Anna
If the world did end in a ball of fire some people wouldn’t notice! Are we nearly there?
Gary
About 20 minutes. Six if we walk.
1
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2
Anna
Are you gonna tell them you’ve gone mad?
Gary
No. Because I haven’t
Anna
Yeah you have. You’ve gone totally mental!
cut to:
Ext: Office car park
Gary’s crappy car parks and Gary and Anna get out.
Anna
Why don’t you just never work again? Have your self a proper permanent breakdown? People will think it’s romantic. Then there’s none of this bollocks for the rest of your life.
Anna gesticulates wildly at the office in front of them. Gary looks up at office windows
gary
I’m not ruling it out…
cut to:
Int: office interior
Gary walks past the receptionist. Nods. She stands up looking a little panicked.
Receptionist
Gary! You’re back! (comes round the desk) How are you? Are you okay?
She hugs him. Still hugging him she continues to talk
Receptionist(cont)
If there’s anything you need. Just ask okay?
Anna
Grab her ass.
Gary
Thanks Sandra. I’m just going to try keeping busy. See how that works.
2
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3
Anna
Just properly grab that ass say “What I need is you!”
Sandra lets go and Gary walks into the main office, Anna follows. Sandra leans over her own desk, picks up the phone and dials an extension.
Gary walks through the office to his desk. As he does other office workers react with surprise and make a special effort to acknowledge him. Everyone ignores Anna. Gary sits down and turns on his computer just as a man in a suit approaches.
Mr Bloodsworth
Gary, Sandra told me you were back. Can we have a quick chat in my office?
Gary
Mr Bloodsworth! er… Yeah, sure.
cut to:
Int: Mr Bloodsworth’s office
Bloodsworth sits at his desk Gary sits in one of the chairs facing his desk Anna in the other. Her feet on his desk.
Mr Bloodsworth
It’s good to see you looking so well, Gary. I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. If, er… if it turns out you’re not quite ready to come back I want you to know it’s, if, you know, you need to have more time off, then that’s fine. Here at Cognitive we like to…
The volume on Bloodsworth’s voice gets quieter until he can not be heard, though we see his mouth still moving.
Anna
(To Gary) Flip out now. Burst out crying and grab him for a big hug that goes on for a weird amount of time. Then try to kiss him.
Gary
Thank you Frank, that’s much appreciated. I’ll bear that in mind.
cut to:
3
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4
Int: Back at Gary’s desk.
Gary sits at his desk, working at his computer. Anna sits on the desk, playing with a stapler. Shooting them across the room.
Anna
Is this it, is it? Is this your job? Because it’s proper well boring! Did you not have affairs with any of these women? Just out of shear boredom? I wouldn’t blame you if you did I’d blame you if you didn’t.
Gary
(whispering)It’s just a normal job.
Anna hops off the desk and sidles up to one of the women in the office who is bent over slightly as she leans on the desk talking to someone sitting there.
Anna
You never tapped this ass?
Gary rolls his eyes and turns back to his screen. Anna lifts up the woman skirt and looks underneath.
Anna
No Knickers!
Talking and laughter grows in another corner of the office. Gary looks over the top of his screen to see what it is. A man with blonde hair has his back to us. He is regaling a small crowd of mostly women. They laugh as he talks.
cut to:
Int: therapist’s office
Gary is lying on a couch. Anna is sitting on the window sill looking out the window.
Therapist
How was your first day back?
Anna
It was bulllllllllll shit! Thanks for asking. 
Gary
Alright I guess. Same as before. Same as it always was. They were nice to me. They read from the… you know, the “sorry for your loss” script.
4
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5
therapist
You don’t feel they were genuine?
Gary
No. They were genuine. As genuine as they could be. They don’t really know me and they never met Anna. How could they be genuinely sorry? (Beat) When Anna used to come here did she talk about me?
Therapist
I’ve told you before I can’t really talk about what she said. I still have reservations about seeing you. You should have told me you were…
Gary (interrupting)
Why? She’s dead! She was my wife and she’s dead. I don’t see what the problem is. If you tell me something you shouldn’t she’s not going to sue is she?
Anna
We used to lez up!
Therapist
We didn’t talk that much about you. You weren’t her problem. Her manic episodes, her poor impulse control, her mood swings. That’s what we talked about. (beat) I can tell you she loved you.
Gary
I never liked you. Before I met you I mean. You were trying to fix her.
Therapist
I know. (beat) She’d destroyed a lot of relationships in the past though and she didn’t want to destroy the one she had with you.
Anna
We used to 69 on that couch for a solid hour. No therapy. Just munching. It needed wiping down after.
5
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6
Gary
There’s this guy at work. Terry. Works in sales. Professional bullshitter. He was telling everyone that he’d gone speed dating and he’d picked up this girl. He said that he went back to her place but he was too drunk to…
cut to:
Int: office
Terry is regaling the office with his tale of the night before. Gary is standing behind Terry. The therapist is standing behind Gary. Anna is in the back ground. The only sound is Gary’s voice.
Gary (cont)
…Get it up. The girls in the office thought it was really funny. Thought he was funny. They seemed to all fancy him. Even though he was telling them he couldn't manage it.
Terry gesticulates and mouths words while his audience silently laughs.
Gary (cont)
So then he says that this girl tells him to spank her instead. So he says okay and starts to spank her and she keeps saying “harder harder”
Terry mimes the action. His audience laughs
Gary (conT)
Then he says she was loving it but his hand was hurting.
Terry mimes sore hand.


Gary (conT)
Then he was saying her dad’s a millionaire, like, he’d be set for life if he got with her, and that he might because she was really kinky and into loads of other weird stuff.
6
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7
Therapist
How did that make you feel?
Gary
I realised I’d never get anyone like Anna Again. That people like me don’t normally get exciting girls like Anna. Normally assholes like Terry get to have them, and boring men like me get boring women, and instead of Fifty Shades of Grey we look at fifty Shades of bluey green for the kitchen.
Anna walks back to the Gary in the flashback.
Anna
Hey Gary! Here’s you watching this!
She waves her hand in front of his face. This Gary can’t see her. He looks sad.
Anna (cont)
Where am I? Flashback me? Why don’t I exist?
Cut to:
Int: Therapist’s office
Therapist
You see Anna as a free spirit. But the truth is different. She couldn’t keep a relationship going or hold down a job.
Anna
That’s just cause all bosses are dicks. Especially the bitches. The Bitches are the biggest dicks.
Gary
She didn’t need a job. I had, have one.
Therapist
Were you worried that if I “fixed” her. She’d be able to keep a job and then she wouldn’t need you?
Anna
Ouch!
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8
Gary
She was the only thing in colour. The rest of the world is so grey. So boring that you feel like stapling that bit of skin between your thumb and fore finger. Is the hour not up yet?
cut to:
Ext: Outside therapist’s office
Gary and Anna walk down the street.
Anna
You didn’t tell her you’re constantly hallucinating your dead wife! Isn’t that the sort of thing you’re meant to tell your therapist? Seems like a thing.
Gary
And then what? She fixes me, you disappear and I’m on my own again.
Anna
You didn’t tell her about stealing Terry’s phone.
Cut to:
Int: Office
Gary puts some papers down on Terry’s desk over Terry’s phone then picks them back up. The phone is gone.
Cut to:
Int: Toilet cubicle
Gary open Terry’s phone, swipes through his texts, finds the girls texts. Her name is Sandy. Gary takes pics with his phone of the pics on Terry’s phone. The girl has sent Terry some pics of her in underwear.
Cut to:
Int: Office
Gary puts papers on Terry’s desk picks them up again. The phone is back on the desk.
cut to:
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9
Ext: Street out side Therapist’s
Gary and Anna walk up to Gary’s crappy car.
Gary
It just didn’t crop up naturally in conversation.
They get in.
Anna
I’m going to get you laid. I hate the thought of you never getting laid again.
Gary
That’s because you’re not actually Anna. You’re like, an extension of my subconscious or something.
Anna
Real Anna would still want you to get laid. You know she would. Hey! Imagine if her ghost turned up now and saw us together? She‘d be all like “Whaaaat!?!” (Beat) Then I think we’d make out. Because I’m a bit into me. You could watch.
Cut to:
Int: Gary’s house. Living room.
Loud music is playing. Gary is sitting on the edge of the couch watching Anna. Anna is dancing on the coffee table in mismatched underwear drinking from a bottle of whiskey.
Anna
Come on. Dance with me on the stage.
Gary
It’s a coffee table, we’ll break it
Anna
Yeah so? It’s not exactly a design classic is it? Anyway, you gotta wreck it to… er… nope. I got nothin’ I went into that with loads of confidence. Wreck it to… check it?
Gary climbs up. The table creaks and twists horribly.
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10
Gary
The music’s a bit loud isn’t it? We don’t want the neighbours complaining.
Anna
It’s fine! It’s fine. It’s just for us.
Gary
What do you mean?
Anna
Only we can hear it. Listen. You don’t know the words
Gary listens. The music is a famous tune. Something like Nirvana, but the voice isn’t quite right and the words are mumbled. It sounds like the Strictly come dancing band if the singer didn’t know the words. Gary laughs.
Gary
I don’t know cool music.
Anna taps Garys temple
Anna
You’ve got a proper dads collection up here. You must have been, like, minus 3 when this came out.
The music switches to ELO Mr Blue Sky. Gary laughs
Gary
I know this! This is a proper tune!
Anna turns round an twerks up against him. Gary turns sad.
Gary
Why did you have to die?
Anna quickly turns back round and puts a finger on his lips. She shushes him.
Anna
Hey you with the pretty face. Shut up about that forever. It’s not ideal, I know. I’m better this way though, aren’t I? I’m never sad Anna in bed for days. Always fun Anna…
Gary glances down to the couch. A woman is asleep on it. Her face can’t be seen as she’s turned facing the back of the couch.
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11
Anna (cont)
…get your phone. Where’s your phone?
Gary hops down and gets his phone. The sleeping woman is gone.
Gary
What are we doing?
Anna
We’re gonna find Terry’s kinky girl. He doesn’t deserve her. You do. We just need to track her down.
Gary
I don’t like this. Is this not stalking or something?
Anna
Yeah! Totally stalking! But it’s the good sort of stalking.
Gary
No. I think we stop trying to find this girl, just because we know she’s a bit pervy, and go speed dating, like Terry did. We’ll meet someone similar.
Anna
You know why I picked you that first night don’t you.
Gary
Yes. You told me a few times.
Anna
I saw you there in the corner, all uncomfortable wishing you were home. Pretending like you weren’t in hell.
Gary
I know! I was there! You’ve also told me, like, a bunch of times.
Anna
Shut up! I’m telling you again! I saw you and I thought you looked cute and I thought “I could totally rock his world.” Make him fall in love with me straight away!
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12
Gary
You saw me and you thought “He looks normal and boring. I need that in my life. Or I’ll end up in jail.”

Anna
Yes! You’re good for wild girls. You keep us on the straight and narrow. You could save some crazy slut. If you find her, you could save her with your magic boring penis!
Anna tries to get into Gary’s trousers. Gary stops her.
Gary
We’re not doing stalking. We’ll go speed dating.
Anna picks up the phone and swipes the pictures
Anna
Look at this pic, that’s big skirting boards like you don’t get these days, so it’s a big old house. She’s in front of the window. You can see all of London there so she’s, like, maybe on the third floor. That looks like a bit of kitchen so it’s a big house on the out skirts of London that’s been turned into studio flats.
Gary
We’re not doing this!!!
Anna
The gherkin’s on the left. The Shard’s on the right but much further back. If you look at a map all these buildings will only appear in this order from one angle.
Gary
We’re gonna do speed dating, Sherlock! End of! (beat) When is it?
Freeze film
SUPERIMPOSE (HUGE LETTERS): WEDNESDAY!
Cut to:
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Int: A club/bar
Gary
I am soooo nervous! How do you not get drunk in a bar when you’re nervous?
Anna
I’ve never been in a bar and not got drunk. You’re talking to your self. Get your phone out
Gary
Why?
Anna
Pretend to talk on it so no one thinks you’re a weirdo
Gary
Good idea. Err… Hi… I’m at speed dating!
Anna
Smooth! Don’t be nervous
Gary
I’m not nervous. Do I look nervous? I do feel nervous. There should be a better way of meeting women than this.
Anna
There is. It’s called having a life. You ready? I think they’re starting.
Tables are set up in a line two chairs per table facing each other. Men on the left. Women on the right. Anna is standing behind the women.
Woman 1
So what brings you here tonight?
gary
The bus. (laughs)
Woman 1 looks disgusted
Anna
Just be truthful
Gary
Er… My wife died 21 days ago
Woman 1 looks appalled.
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14
Anna
Jesus! I said truthful, not the actually truth!
Woman 2
So what brings you here tonight?
Gary
I need to meet someone out side my social circle.
Woman 2 gives a sexy smile and leans forward.
Woman 2
You’ve been through all the women in your social circle have you?
Gary
I don’t know any women. I have no friends. I’m really lonely since my wife died 21 days ago.
Woman 2 looks incredibly uncomfortable.
Anna
Arrrgh! Okay. Forget truthful just lie. Just say what I say.
Gary
It’s too early.
Woman 3
What’s too early?
Anna
Er… To leave with you.
Gary
To leave with you?
Woman 3 laughs
Anna
Great! We’re past the first sentence and she’s not running away.
Woman 3
Yeah. It’s a bit early. I’ve only seen two others. So what brings you here?
Anna
I want kinky sex with sluts
Gary
This seems honest. We’re all here for something. I want to find someone I can be honest with. No bullshit.
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15
Woman 3
So what’s the thing you want?
Anna
Kinky sex with sluts!
Gary
I want a new best friend (beat)  who’s not boring.
Woman 3 smiles
Woman 3
What like?
Gary
I dunno. Something different. I’m sick of normal. Sick of boring.
Cut to:
Int: Back of Taxi
Gary is in-between Anna and Woman 3. Gary and Woman 3 are kissing.
Cut to:
Int: Gary’s living room
Gary and Woman 3 stumble in followed by Anna.
Gary
Do you want wine? I have wine.
Gary leaves the living room. Woman 3 has a look at photos on the mantle.
Int: Kitchen
Gary is getting wine out of the fridge and getting glasses.
Gary
How am I doing? I can’t tell. I’m not great with women's signs if they’re not actually signs. Have a look for me. What’s she doing?
Anna sticks her head round the corner. Then comes back in.
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16
Anna
You’re doing fine. She’s naked.
Int: Gary’s living room
Woman 3 picks up one of the photos on the mantle. Gary comes back in with a bottle of wine and two glasses.
Woman 3
Who’s this? Are you married?!
Gary
Yes. Er… I mean, I was. She… er… she died.
Anna
Do not tell her it was 21 days ago! Say it’s, like a year or something!
Woman 3
Oh, I’m sorry. When?
Gary
A year. It’s been a bit more than a year. This is the first time I’ve… you know…
Woman 3
And she wasn’t boring?
Anna
Don’t go on about me too much. Women don’t like it when you talk about your ex. Even if your ex is ex.
They sit on the couch.
Anna
Tell her about that threesome! Tell her! Totally tell her. If she likes it then it’s jackpot!
Gary
We had a threesome once. She just sort of pulled this woman and, well, I blew my load in the first five minutes, but they carried on. I watched for a while but, I dunno, I felt awkward, like I was cramping Anna’s style. That was my wife’s name. Anna. So I came down here and slept on the couch.
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17
Anna
Dude! You weren’t meant to tell her about that! Just leave it at I totally did these two hot chicks at once!
Woman 3
That sounds amazing. I’ve never even kissed a girl, except this one time at uni, but that was just a joke. Well it was for her at least.
Anna
DING DING DING! JACKPOT!
Gary
I brought them breakfast in bed the next day.
Woman 3
Oh, that’s the sexiest bit!
She kisses Gary.
Anna
Arrrgh! I said the Jackpot thing too early!
The woman puts her hand on his crotch.
Woman 3
Are you ready? You are ready aren’t you!
Anna laughs
Anna
Can I watch?
Gary
Yes. (beat) What’s your name? Sorry. I’ve forgot your name.
The woman climbs on top of Gary
Woman 3
What? I’ve got a name tag, sticker thing here.
She looks down to her blouse. Points to a place that doesn’t have a sticker on it.
Woman 3 (cont)
Where’s it gone? Everyone had name stickers. See. You’re Gary. (pointing at sticker) What happened to mine? (beat) Never mind. I like that you don’t know my name. That’s kind of dirty. You don’t need to know my name do you?
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18
Gary
No. I’m,… i’m fine.
Woman 3
I’ve got some condoms in my bag.
She leans to the side, rakes around in her bag. Pulls out a condom and rips it open with her teeth.
Woman 3
Do you want me to put it on you?
Camera pans to Anna. She’s holding a bass guitar. Dressed in 70’s clothes.
anna
Don’t mess this up. If you feel like you’re going to cum early pull out and go down on her for a bit.
Gary
Thanks.
They start to have sex. Camera pans to Anna playing porn funk bass on the guitar.
fade to black:
Int: Kitchen. Morning.
Gary is cooking scrambled eggs. He realises something. He looks around him.
Gary
Anna? Are you there? Anna? Anna?
He’s alone.
cut to:
Int: Bedroom
Gary enters with breakfast on a tray. Anna is lying next to the woman in bed. The woman is asleep.
Anna
We’ve been lezing up while you were in the kitchen. We were doing butt stuff and everything. You totally missed it!
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19
Gary
Morning. Hope you like scramble.
The woman wakes.
Woman 3
All that and breakfast in bed the next day. I thought when you couldn’t remember my name that you could be my one night stand. I’ve never had a one night stand. But now you’ve made breakfast…
Anna
Tell her you’ll give her your number but not to give you her’s then it’s up to her. 
Gary
Don’t give me your number. I’ll give you mine though. Then it’s up to you.
Woman 3
Ooooo! I like that.
cut to:
Int: bathroom
Gary is with Anna.
Anna
I thought you did well there. I’ve taught you well, young Skywanker.
Gary
(sad) She’s not you.
Anna
Come on! No one’s me. HU! Thank you! Thank you very much! HU!
Anna does an impression of late Vegas Elvis doing kung fu kicks.
cut to:
int: bedroom
The woman is getting dressed. Gary comes in.
Woman 3
I’m going to do my walk of shame. Even though I’m not ashamed.
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20
Gary
Do you want me to call you a cab?
Woman 3
No, I’m fine. There’s a bus stop near here that’ll take me where I want to go.
She kisses him.
Woman 3
Now where’s my jacket? (beat) ah there it is.
She bends down facing away from him and puts the jacket on. Stuck on the back, crumpled, is a name sticker. It says “Maggie”. Gary quickly swipes it off her back and pockets it. The woman turns and kisses him again.
Woman 3
I had a lovely time.
fade to black:


cut to:
Int: Gary’s crappy car stuck in traffic
Anna
How do you do it? How do you go from casual meaningless great sex back to this bullshit!
Anna gestures wildly like an orchestra conductor to the static traffic in front of them.
Gary
It’s what people do.
anna
Get out the car. Leave it running but get out. Leave the door open and go play on those swings over there. The guy behind us will have to get out of his car and come and ask you what the fuck you’re doing. When he gets to work he’ll have to tell his boss why he’s late. (beat) OR HE’LL START PLAYING ON THE SWINGS NEXT TO YOU! It’ll be like Fight Club only swings. The first rule of swing club is YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT SWING CLUB!!!
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21
Gary
I thought I’d lost you before. (Beat) In the morning. I woke up saw Maggie lying there. Went down stairs and started making breakfast. Then I realised you weren’t there.
Anna
She wasn’t that good! You’ll never lose me. You’re permanently broken.
cut to:
Int: office
Gary sits at his desk. Anna stands on a nearby desk playing loud heavily distorted electric guitar. She finishes her epic solo and no one reacts.
Anna
Thank you! Thank you very much! I’ll be here all week!
She hops down and flops into a chair pushing it backwards. The guitar is gone.
Gary
What’s with the guitars? The real you couldn’t play guitar.
Anna
I’ve decided, seeing as I’m imaginary, I’m going to do what I want. And anyway maybe she could play guitar. You know she kept a lot of secrets.
Over the other side of the office Terry is talking loudly on the phone.
Terry
Jase you dirty bastard! How are you? Are you still at that metal place? Cos it you are I… No?… since when? Jesus Christ! Has it been that long?
Gary watches him from the other side of the office. Anna slides into shot. 
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22
Anna
I know where Terry’s kinky girl is.
Gary
How?
Anna
You use one tenth of the brains capacity. I’ve got access to the rest. You’ve seen maps of London and shit like that I’ve been having a rake round your mind palace.
Gary
I don’t have a mind palace!
Anna
Yeah you do, and I’m the queen of that palace! There’s shit in there from when you were two.

Gary
I don’t like the sound of you raking around in my mind palace especially if I can’t get in there myself. Don’t go, I dunno, giving me false memories or making me forget how to drive or something.
Anna
Relax! I never tidied up in here, I’m not going to go tiding up, up there!
Anna taps Gary’s temple.
Anna
We’re getting of topic. I know pretty much where this girl is. I say we…
Gary
We’re not stalking anyone.
Anna
It’s not going to last with Terry. He’s just a two dimensional background character.
Gary
We’re not stalking!
cut to:
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23
Ext: street, night.
Int: Gary’s crappy car.
Gary
Therapy’s going to be great next week.”Well, on the plus side I had a one night stand threesome with someone I met at speed dating and my imaginary wife, but on the minus side I’ve started stalking!”
Anna
Shut up. We’re looking for green curtains in a third floor window.
Gary
Then what do we do? What’s our end game here?
Anna
I don’t know. New game of thrones doesn’t start for a month. What else are we gonna do?
Gary
This is “no plan Anna”. We’ve been cruising these streets for, what? More than an hour. It’s…
Anna
Shut up! There she is!
Sandy is clacking along the street in heels.
Gary
Whoa! Okay this just got way too real. We’re going home.
Anna
No no no! There’s an off licence down there. See if she goes in. If she does, you could start… Oh… never mind, you can’t. She’s getting bundled into that van.
Gary
What?!
Sandy is bundled in through the side door of the van by two men, and the van drives off.
Anna
Is… is that a kidnapping?
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24
Gary
Urrrgh! I know what this is. You’re not real and neither is she, or the van! You don’t just drive around a street looking for someone and find them! This is all part of what ever the hell you are!
Anna
Then why are we following them?
Gary
I don’t know!
Anna
Don’t get too close.
Gary
Why would she be getting kidnapped?
Anna
ARRRGH! It’s not! It’s not a kidnapping! It’s a sex thing! I’ve heard of this. We know she’s kinky, yeah? Getting kidnapped is one of her kinks! She’s arranged to get kidnapped! There’s probably websites for this! I bet you anything they’ll stop on a bit of scrap ground and then it’s sexy time!
Gary
I bet this isn’t happening. I bet that I’m not even here. I’m in some institution somewhere, dribbling, and this is all happening in my head.
They continue to follow the van. It pulls into the court yard of an abandoned factory. The men carry Sandy, who now has a blindfold on, into the building. Gary stops the car. Anna gets out. She’s wearing a cat woman/black widow type cat suit.
Gary
What are we doing now? And what are you wearing?
Anna
We’re having a look! This is my secret agent outfit.
Anna does some karate kicks.
Gary
How about calling the police?
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25
Anna
Come on! Keep up!
They creep into the court yard and move up to the building. Anna climbs on to some crates so she can look through a window that is above head height.
Gary
(whispers) Get down. They might see you.
Anna
How? I don’t really exist.
Anna stands on tip toes and looks through the window.
Anna
They’re totally doing it! It’s a proper group thing. She’s really into it!
Gary
What?
Gary climbs up and looks. It’s some sort of loading area for the factory. There’s an office up on a mezzanine. The men are standing or sitting around doing nothing much. One is sitting on the stairs up to the mezzanine office. Sandy can’t be seen.
Gary
No they’re not! I can’t even see her.
Anna
Oh. I guess not. I thought they would be doing it.
Gary
How did you think they were doing it? You looked through this window.
Anna
I’m a figment of your imagination, Genius! I can’t see things you haven’t seen. If I look round a corner that you haven’t, I can’t see anything. It’s like a blur.
Gary
Really?
Anna
Yeah. You’re not psychic.
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26
Gary
Right. Never mind. We’re calling the cops.
Anna
And say what? How do we explain how we’re here? What’s Terry going to say? Thanks for saving my girlfriend, by the way how did that happen?
Gary
Why is this happening?
Anna
Terry said her dad’s a millionaire.
Gary
Okay, we… er… we… I got nothing.
Anna jumps down.
Anna
We save the girl!
Gary
We can’t do that! They’re desperate criminals and we’re me!
Anna moves round the derelict building looking for another way in.
Anna
This place is huge. There must be thousands of doors hanging off their hinges waiting for us to creep in.
GARy
Yeah. “Thousands”! I still don’t know what we do when we’re in there.
Anna
A plan will present it’s self.
They creep in through a broken window into the old factory.
Anna
The bit they’ve got her in must be over this way.
Gary
Slow down. I want to put 999 in my speed dial thing.
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27
They move to the far wall. There’s a double door in it.
Anna
Okay, I think it’s through here. Open it really slowly.
Gary
No. Because bad people are through there.
Anna
Look up there.
There’s a window high up in the wall, over looking the factory floor. There’s a light on in the window.
Anna
That’s that office that’s up high. She’s in there. We need to climb up there. Open that window.
Gary
How do you know it opens?
Anna
This is the plan that’s presenting it’s self! Up those boxes then along the roof supports. Then we can just swing in.
Gary
Yeah ‘cause we’re John McClaine!
They clamber up and across. In the roof supports they are just above the window. Gary can see in. Sandy is standing in the sparse office hands tied behind her back. She leans against/sits the desk.
Anna
Tap on the window. She can open the window and let us in.
Gary
I’m phoning the police. This is nuts. Shit!
He fumbles his phone getting it out of his pocket and drops it. It smashes on the floor below. They both freeze.
Gary
Do you think they heard us?
They wait…
Anna
Naw. Looks like we’re good.
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28
Gary
Give me your phone.
Anna
No. Why?
Gary
To call the cops!
Anna gets it out and hands it to Gary. And smiles.
Gary
What’s so funny?
Anna
It’s not a real phone, is it?
Gary
Urrrgh!
He throws it at Anna and it bounces off her forehead.
Anna
Ow! Jesus! That’s domestic abuse!
Cut to:
Int: The derelict office
Sandy is sit/leaning against the desk. One of the kidnappers comes in, wearing a cat mask. In the back ground we see Gary’s upside down face lower into view at the window. His eyes widen.
Sandy
Is this for my dads money, yeah? If you can get it, you’re welcome to it. I never could get any off the tight bastard.
The kidnapper moves towards her. She leans back on the desk, and lifts her legs.
Sandy
You know this whole scenario kinda fits a fantasy of mine.
The kidnapper gets really close and Sandy quickly straightens her leg, effectively stamping on his chest. Her stiletto penetrates his chest and he drops to the floor dead.
Gary
FUCK!
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29
Sandy hears Gary and looks to the window. She gives Gary a quizzical look. She goes to the window and opens it. Gary clambers in followed by Anna.
Sandy
Who are you? You’re not with them.
Gary
Is he dead? Did you kill him?
Sandy
I didn’t think my heal would go in! Who are you?
Gary
I was just driving along and I saw them take you.
Sandy
Did you call the cops?
Gary
My phone’s broke. I dropped it.
Anna
Get his jacket on. Wear his mask. Just incase anyone comes up here.
Gary bends down to take the mask off. It’s Terry.
Girl
Terry?! Shit! Oh shit! I… oh shit!
Anna
Act surprised that she knows him.
Gary
You know this guy?!
Girl
I met him last week. I, oh shit. What have I done?
Anna
HA HA! This IS a sex thing! She told him she had a fantasy about getting kidnapped, so he’s arranged it with his mates. But just before he pulls his mask off for sexy time she kills him!
Gary
Okay. Er… I don’t know what to do.
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30
Girl
Untie me.
Gary
Yeah, sure. (To Anna) Anna watch the door. We need to move this body.
Anna
I can’t see things you haven’t, remember?
Gary
Oh shit, yeah. Sandy, you watch the door while I…
Sandy
Who’s Anna?
Anna
Uh oh!
Sandy
And how did you know my name?
Gary freezes as he’s pulling the dead body of his work colleague round the back of the desk.
Anna
Ooooo! I said uh oh too soon!
Gary takes the jacket off Terry.
Gary
Er… I… er… er… Right. I don’t really have an explanation that doesn’t make me seem crazy and creepy but let’s not forget who just killed their boyfriend! I think the most important thing is to find out if you were kidnapped or not.
Sandy checks the door, looking through its window.
Sandy
Someones coming up the stairs!
Gary quickly puts the jacket and mask on.
Gary
Get over there. Pretend your hands are tied.
The door opens just as Sandy gets into position. A man wearing a cat mask sticks his head round the door. He doesn’t say anything.
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31
Gary
(Bad impression of Terry) Hey.
The man doesn’t speak. He tips his head to the side slightly, pulls out a gun and shoots Gary. The bullet goes through Gary’s left forearm and Gary collapses.
Anna
ARRRRGH!
The man bounds across the room. Intent on Gary. Sandy yanks a drawer out of the desk and smashes it over the mans head. He goes down. Falling on Gary. The gun falling from his hand. He rolls off Gary clutching his bleeding head and screams.
Anna steps forward and grabs Gary’s hand and pulls it over to the gun. Slaps it down onto the gun and wraps the fingers round it. She yanks on the arm pulling Gary up to a sitting position.
In this position. Gary sitting, arm out, Anna standing in front. Holding the gun in his hand. The gun is pointing directly at Anna’s gut.
The door burst’s open and Anna makes Gary’s finger pull the trigger. The bullet goes through Anna into the third kidnapper at the door. He drops to the floor.
The second kidnapper, who had his head split open by Sandy with a drawer, staggers to his feet. Blood pouring from his head covering half his face so he can only see out one eye. Sandy punches him in the face and stamps on his foot with her stiletto. He screams and falls back on to the floor. Sandy jumps on him and starts wrestling with him to keep him down.
Sandy
There’s still…
SFX: Boom!
A large hole appears in the floorboards.
Sandy (cont)
…One more. I think he’s got a shotgun.
SFX: Boom!Boom!
Two more large holes appear in the floorboards.
SFX: Boom!
Terry’s head explodes into a fountain of blood. The blood and brains get on the ceiling.
31
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32
Gary
Holy fuck! (beat) Urrrgh! I was looking right at that when it happened. Urrrgh! No! No! It’s in there… Yup. It’s gone in. Can’t unsee that. Something new to talk about in therapy.
Anna
Shoot back! Shoot through the holes.
SFX: Boom!
Another hole appears in the floorboards. Gary struggles to his feet. Points the gun down one of the holes and pulls the trigger.
SFX: Bang bang bang!
Gary looks to the door. It’s half open. Blood is all over the floor but the kidnapper who came through the door and got shot isn’t there anymore. Gary shoots down another hole.
Gary
Where’s the other one gone?
Sandy
(Choking) Little busy.
Sandy is sitting on the kidnapper with a split head. She’s punching him in the face as he tries to strangle her.
SFX: Boom!
The kidnapper’s chest area lifts slightly and he let’s go of Sandy. His eyes roll back in his head. He’s been shot from underneath.
Sandy
We’re gonna die up here.
Sandy runs to the window and jumps through it.
SFX: Boom!
A hole appears just behind her as she runs. She holds onto the window sill and drops down onto a stack of pallets and rolls/falls off. Falling to the floor. Gary does the same. They move towards the back of the factory to the window where Gary came in.
They both get to their feet and scramble deeper into the factory as the double doors from the factory to the loading bay are kicked open by the shot gun wielding kidnapper (4). He is followed closely by Anna and the kidnapper (3) Gary/Anna shot, who is bleeding badly.
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33
Anna runs past them. Round crates and machinery to find Gary and Sandy.
Kidnapper 3
You could have caught me easy with that thing back there.
Kidnapper 4
You’re bleeding
Kidnapper 3
No shit. It’s what happens when you’ve been shot.
Kidnapper 4
That’s evidence you’re pissing all over the floor. Your DNA’s file.
Kidnapper 3
Jesus! I didn’t set out to get shot!
Kidnapper 4 turns his shot gun on Kidnapper 3 and pulls the trigger. The shotgun doesn’t go off. There’s just a click. It’s empty.
Kidnapper 3
What the fuck?!
Kidnapper 1 drops the gun and pulls out a knife and stabs his fellow kidnapper in the guts.
Kidnapper 4
They’ll find you. Your bloods everywhere if they find you they may find me. They can’t find me.
He takes the knife out again and stabs him a few more times.
Kidnapper 4
No one’s ever going to find you.
Gary, Anna and Sandy witnessed this from behind machinery.
Anna
GO! GO! GO!
They run. They get to the window and climb out to the scrub land behind the factory.
Ext: Behind the factory.
A rough bit of land two meters wide between the factory wall and a high metal fence.
33
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34
Sandy
Where’s that gun?
Gary
I dropped it in the office.
Sandy
What?! Did you not think we’d need it?!
Gary
Sorry, but I’ve got a hole in my arm. I need my other hand to hold it!
Anna
There’s a fence all round this building. The only way out is the front.
Gary
Urrrgh! Great!
Sandy
What?
Gary
Looks like this fence goes round the building. The only way out is the front.
They come to the front of the building on the left side. Poking their heads round the corner. Gary points past the courtyard to his car in the street.
Gary
There’s my car.
Sandy
I don’t see that nutter.
Anna
Let’s make a run for it.
Gary
Okay.
Sandy
Okay what?
Gary
Okay, We make a run for it.
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35
They dash out into the open just as the last Kidnapper comes out the front doors. Gary, Anna and Sandy veer off, round the far side of the kidnappers van. The kidnapper Goes round the other side of the van cutting them off from getting out to the street. Gary, Anna and Sandy dodge back round the other way but the kidnapper moves to block them.
Sandy
That gun would have been handy about now. Or even a phone.
Gary holds up his bloody arm
Gary
HELLO?! SHOT!
They’re on the drivers side of the van. The kidnapper is on the passenger side. Sandy opens the drivers door and dives in, quickly locking the passenger side door. The kidnapper appears at the window and angrily tries the handle. Gary jumps in after Sandy and locks his side. Gary ends up sitting behind the wheel. It’s one of those vans that has a wall between the drivers cabin and the back. So the kidnapper can’t get to them that way.
Gary
You don’t know how to hot wire a car do you?
Sandy
If we had a phone we could look on youtube.
Gary
Wow! I thought it’d be nice to go out with you, but we seem to have jumped straight to being married!
The kidnapper moves to the front of the van and stabs the windscreen. It cracks. He stabs it again and again and the blade starts to come through. Sandy and Gary scream.
Anna
Give her your car keys and make a run for it. While he’s chasing you, she can get away!
Gary
Right. Right. Okay. I can do this.
Gary pulls out his keys and gives them to Sandy.
Gary
Take these. My cars just there. I’m going to run for it. When he chases me you can make it to the car.
35
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36
Sandy
Er… Okay.
Gary puts his hand on the handle, groans and makes other frustrated/scared noises.
Gary
I can’t! I can’t do it. I’m not like you.
Anna
Let me drive!
Gary
We don’t have the keys
Sandy
I’ve got the keys right here
Anna
Not drive the car, drive you!
Gary
What?
Sandy
I’ve got the keys
Anna
I can do it. I can do it.
Gary
Urrrrgh! You’ll get us killed!
Sandy looks confused.
Anna
We’re dead anyway if he gets through there.
Gary
Okay, okay, okay. Do it!
Sandy looks worried. Anna climbs through the windshield like it isn’t there and into Gary. He closes his eyes tight. Opens them. He leans across and Anna kisses Sandy.
Gary/Anna
lock the door after me
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37
He/she bolts out of the door. Sandy quickly locks it behind him. The kidnapper struggles to pull the knife free of the windshield then gives chase. Sandy waits a moment then gets out and runs for the car. Pressing the key fob as she goes. The car lets out a “blip” sound and the headlights flash. The kidnapper hears this and turns round. He abandons his chase after Gary/Anna and turns to run after Sandy. He has a head start but Sandy is slow on her high heals. Just before he catches her Gary/Anna dives on him and they both tumble to the floor. The kidnapper flips over and slashes at Gary/Anna cutting him across the chest. Gary/Anna lunges for the kidnapper’s arm and dives awkwardly across him to reach his out stretched arm. Sandy sees this and looks around her. finds a brick in the scrub, picks it up, runs back and smashes it into the kidnappers face. Gary/Anna climbs off the kidnapper pulling the knife from his hand. The kidnapper screams and rolls over onto his hands and knees. Sandy slams the kidnapper over the back of the head. He drops to the floor. Gary/Anna starts laughing.
Sandy
Jesus! Are you all right?
Anna/Gary
Whoooo! Well that’s not boring is it?!
The kidnapper groans and starts to get up. Sandy grabs the knife off Gary/Anna runs over to him and sticks it in his back. He keeps getting up. The knife protruding from his back.
Sandy
Woha!
Anna/Gary
Dude! lie down! Are you really going to make us kill you?
A range rover sweeps into the court yard. Sandy turns to see it.
Sandy
What the…
It stops and a fit, well dressed man in his early 60’s gets out.
Sandy
Dad?! What are you doing here?!
Kidnapper
Dad? Oh shit!
He collapses.
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38
Dad
You were late for dinner. Your mother called, like, six times but you wouldn’t answer.
Sandy
Yeah but how did you find me?
Dad
There’s a tracking app on your phone. It was your mums idea.
Sandy
Not cool, Dad! I’m 25!
Dad
Talk to your mum about it. Not my idea. What is all this?
Sandy points to the kidnapper.
Sandy
He tried to kidnap me! Him and his friends!
The Dad looks at the man half lying half sitting on the floor covered in blood. He turns to Gary/Anna
Dad
And who’s this?
Sandy
He saved me.
Dad walks over to the kidnapper.
Dad
Bit of a bold move. Kidnapping my daughter, Sean. Is this Millar’s lot making a play?
Sean
No… No… we didn’t know she was your daughter. We were told her dad was someone called George Capes. A millionaire.
George
George is my real name, Sean. Who put you on to Sandy?
Sandy
DAD! WHAT THE FUCK?! YOU KNOW THIS PSYCHO?!
Sean
Guy called… Terry… he owed Smit the book 20. No way to pay. Smit sent me round to take some toes but Terry said his girlfriend’s dad was this guy called George… A millionaire.
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39
George
Where’s this Terry now?
Sandy
I killed him. Stabbed him through the heart with my heal.
George
(Laughs) You take after your mother.
Sandy
Are you, like, some kind of gangster, dad?
George gets out his phone, dials.
George
(into phone) Yeah I need house keeping. (covers phone, then to Sandy) Is it just this Terry character in there?
Sandy
No. Two other bodies.
George
(into phone) Party of three, maybe four. Need a car wash too. The Queen knows where. Tell the Queen no worries though, but she needs to bring the bag.
George walks over to Sean. Anna steps out of Gary
Anna
How awesome is this?! This’ll do till Game of Thrones comes back on! (beat) Urrrrgh! I just thought. You probably know how to hot wire a car. It’ll be hidden up in your mind palace somewhere… yes. There it is behind the memory of that time you were in your mums loft and you cut your head on a nail.
George
(To Sean) Bit unfortunate. Kidnapping the bosses daughter like that.
39
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40
Sean
…accident… dint know you… had a…
George
There’s a reason for that Sean. Got to keep my baby safe, haven’t I? What should I do Sean? Kill you?
Sean
…dint know… didn’t… would never…
George
We’ll talk later if you don’t die now.
Sandy
Dad! What the hell is going on?!
George
What’s going on is I don’t export furniture. (To Gary) You saved my daughter?
Gary
Y-yes. I… I saw her getting kidnapped so followed them here.
Sandy
He was awesome. He broke in. Shot one of them and when this dickhead here was trying to kill me he drew him away.
George
Woha, Sean! You never mentioned trying to kill…
looks over. Sean is obviously dead.
George
Oh well. (back to Gary) Thank you, er… what do I call you?
Gary
Gary
George
Thanks Gary. I owe you. And that’s a thing. I don’t owe anyone anything.
Anna
Dude!
40
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41
Gary
I… er… I have a hole through my arm. Is it okay if I go to the hospital?
George
We’ll look after you. Sandy’s mum will fix you up. She’s bringing her bag.
Sandy
Mum used to be a surgeon.
George
She was very useful back in the early days for patching me up. I never got shot but I’m sure she can sort it.
Anna
Whoot! We can do this from now on! Quit your stupid job tomorrow and let’s solve crimes! Murders and kidnaps and stuff! You can make lurrrrve to a new fem-fatal every week and sometimes it’ll be me getting it on with them because I’ll be possessing you or whatever. It’ll be awesome! We need an office that’s got blinds that go side to side not up and down so we can get those stripy film noir shadows goin’ on. Pow! Hu! Hu! Doosh!
Anna starts doing kung fu moves again.
Fade to black:
Int: fancy bed room:
Gary is lying on the bed. His arm bandaged. Sandy is sitting on the bed next to him.
Sandy
Mum says you’re lucky. The bullet went in between the two bones in your forearm.
Gary
I don’t feel lucky
Sandy
You might get lucky. (beat) What’s the deal with you? Seem… weird sometimes. Sometimes, like in the van, you didn’t seem to be talking to me and how did you know my name?
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42
Gary looks to Anna, who is sitting on the other side of the bed.
Gary
My wife died. Sometimes I talk to her. Pretend I can see her.
Anna
Pretend?! I’m more than any pretend dead wife! I’m a proper hallucination!
Gary
I work with Terry. He was bragging about you. You sounded great so I was sort of stalking you. Hoping to I dunno bump into you and start talking. I don’t know. I didn’t have a plan.
Sandy
That’s pretty weird.
Gary
Yes. I guess. Don’t tell your dad.
Sandy
That’s okay. I like weird.
She leans forward and kisses him. Then pulls down the bed clothes and climbs on top of him. The camera pans away to Anna. She’s in leather trousers and big star shaped sunglasses. She starts playing bass guitar, 70’s style porn funk bass…
End

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some sort of artist or something. with problems and issues. I draw stuff
All cartoons and original writing ©Nigel Auchterlounie 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

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