WEIRDLAND: THE LONG PUSH

Friday, February 16, 2007

THE LONG PUSH

I am presenting to you, dear readers, some excerpts from an excellent script entitled "The Long Push", a continuation from the "Brick" story, which I asked him for permission to be published here. I read it, and I thought you could enjoy of some "noir-genre" reading. I must say Jason's story blew me away, for its literary definition and cinematographic echoes.

Note: for questions of time and structuring text pasted into the blog I've selected the highlights scenes, if someone was interested contact the author, Jason's e-mail: lost2@easystreet.com, and he'll send the interested readers a copy from the full novella, a real "Piper-Heidsieck" of detective tale, smart as a whip:


"The Long Push" by Jason Ferté.

Based on characters created by Rian Johnson

Copyright 2007 © Jason Ferté

1. FADE IN:
EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD – EARLY MORNING
A big empty field behind a high school.
Mostly empty -BRENDAN FRYE stands stiff as a board in the middle of the field, staring down at the body of a young man. His shell-shocked eyes take in: A GUN Lying a few feet from the body.

EYEGLASSES
With fat glass slabs for lenses sticking out from the dead face, vacant eyes staring at nothing. A red-rimmed hole shows starkly on the young man’s temple.

TITLE CARD OVER BLACK: “2 DAYS PREVIOUS”

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET – DAY
A mail box. Quick hands open the mail box, toss something in and close it. A lone figure trudges down the street to the mail box, opens it. A something falls out. Brendan catches the something – a black rubber ball. He looks up and down the street, looks at the ball: a small hole is drilled through it. He closes the mail box, stuffs the ball in his pocket and walks on.

EXT. SUBURBAN HOUSE – DAY
Brendan knocks on the front door. A young girl opens it, she’s eating toast and has jam all over her face.

BRENDAN
Hi, Sidney. Is your brother home?
The girl opens her mouth and shows him more jam and toast. Brendan brushes past her.

INT. THE BRAIN’S BEDROOM
Brendan knocks and opens the door and walks in, he flicks the light switch.

BRENDAN
Brain—?


9. BRENDAN
Uh, yeah sure, Brain. I thought you might know about—

THE BRAIN (screaming)
JUST DROP IT AND LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!

Brendan drops the phone like it’s lava. He picks it back up: dial tone.

LATER
7:19 by the clock. Brendan paces. It’s a small room, back and forth.

LATER
9:27. Brendan lies on top of his bed fully clothed, staring at the clock. His eyes smolder – suddenly he’s up from the bed and grabbing his jacket and bolts from the room.

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET – NIGHT
Brendan lies stretched out on his stomach, chin cradled on the back of his hands, under a pickup truck parked across the street one house down from the Brain’s house. He yawns. The Brain’s house is completely dark. Brendan twists his wrist to see the time on his watch: 12:45.

A rat darts out from under a shrub across the street, Brendan watches it run up the block and scurry behind a garbage can left out on the curb. The Brain’s garage door swings open and the rat takes off. Brendan peers intently.

A darkened sedan backs out of the garage and stops and a tall figure, a man, gets out on the driver’s side – when the map light clicks on Brendan can see someone slumped in the passenger seat, he can just make out the top of their head but not who it is. The tall man swings the garage door shut and climbs back behind the wheel, the map light clicks off.

The sedan backs into the street in front of the pickup, its backup lights illuminate Brendan like a spotlight. Brendan holds his breath. The brake lights come on and paint him deep red, the sedan’s gearbox thumps and the dark car glides forward. Brendan watches as the sedan approaches the cross street, its headlights finally coming on and its right blinker flashing like a neon sign.

11. EXT. NEXT BACKYARD
Brendan dances along the side rail of a deck, jumps down.

EXT. FEEDER STREET
Brendan slides down a weedy slope to the unfinished edge of a curvy four-lane feeder street, the headlights of an oncoming car pinning him as he looks to: THE NEXT INTERSECTION

It’s signal-lighted – and the signal changes and the sedan pulls out to turn but in the opposite direction from Brendan.

The oncoming car passes Brendan and he races across the first two lanes to the raised meridian, keeping the sedan in sight. He glances over his shoulder – and headlights coming from the other direction blind him, he tries to stop but his momentum carries him into the lane, he raises his arms and skids – KA-THUMP!

BLACKNESS

Brendan opens his eyes: he’s lying on his back in the street, a coming-into-focus and frantic woman is running up to him from the car stopped just ahead. Brendan has only been out a few seconds. His glasses lie next to him, twisted and one lens popped out, he grabs them. He stands and immediately drops to one knee, clutching his left arm and grimacing in pain. The frantic woman helps him up, her mouth moves but he can’t hear her. He raises his glasses to his face and looks up the street: It’s empty, the sedan is gone.

Brendan pushes the woman away and staggers across the last lane and breaks into a gimpy jog. Cars drive silently by. Brendan reaches an unlighted side street. He stops, bent over and sucking wind, he looks up the side street, glances back up the feeder street – and a big truck blows by him at full volume. He tumbles over and lands on his hurt arm and screams. He rolls onto his knees, gets one foot up, the other foot and he’s standing and gulping big mouthfuls of air. He turns and trudges up the side street.

EXT. SIDE STREET
The side street is steep and curves off and the houses are set back from it. Brendan struggles along, past hedges and low brick and stucco boundary walls. He peers up driveways, not seeing the sedan.

12.
Brendan trips on a curb, catches himself on a mailbox pillar, a name in iron scrollwork with a little decorative rocket ship blasting off above it: “THE BRAMISH’S”.

Brendan glances up the circular driveway, the backend of a car shows at the bend. He hikes up the driveway, more of the car is revealed – it’s the sedan. Brendan approaches it slowly, he scopes out the house: all quiet, a far portico with a light left on. He reaches the sedan and cups his hands and looks in the passenger window but the car is empty. He straightens, sees a figure coming up behind him reflected in the window and turns – THWACK! BLACKNESS

EXT. BRENDAN’S HOUSE – EARLY MORNING
Brendan opens his eyes: daylight, birds are singing. He sits up in his own front yard, his jacket and jeans are soaked with dew. The paperboy rides by on his bike and tosses a newspaper onto the porch. Brendan fingers his lip, it’s split but scabbed over, he moves his left arm and nearly screams, sucks in air through his teeth. He gets stiffly to his feet cradling his arm.

EXT. FOOTBALL FIELD – EARLY MORNING
Brendan walks along the edge of the field, he looks over at something lying in the middle of the field. He stops, stares at it. Brendan walks up to the Brain’s body. He takes in: THE GUN A small automatic, lying a few feet from the body.

THE BRAIN’S EYEGLASSES
Black plastic frames sticking up at an angle and looking like a tarantula crawling over the Brain’s dead face, vacant eyes staring

at nothing. A red-rimmed hole shows starkly on the Brain’s temple. This is almost too much for Brendan, his face contorts and tears well up in his eyes and he hyperventilates. After a moment he gets himself back under control, breathes deep. He stares at his friend, his eyes glimmer wetly then focus in, he makes a decision: Brendan picks up the gun and wipes it clean, sets it back down. He turns and stares at the school’s various buildings like they’re alien structures.

20.
She writes her phone number on his cast. JODI (cont’d)
When you’re better, and you can take me to coffee. And pie. (waves) Bye. She leaves.
Brendan smiles a quick small smile but it fades just as quickly.

INT. BRENDAN’S BEDROOM – DAY
Brendan slowly dresses, putting his casted arm carefully through the sleeve of a dark suit jacket. His face is still discolored and with a couple bandages stuck to it. The rubber ball sits on his desk half-covered by random paper.

EXT. CEMETERY – DAY [...]


36. BRENDAN
Okay. (turns to go, turns back) Thanks.

Steve smiles at him. Brendan smiles back sheepishly, he turns and walks down the driveway, angles into the street, walks on. His hands shake uncontrollably, he stuffs them in his pockets.

INT. BRENDAN’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Brendan – still shaking, an all-over shake now – strips off his jacket and heels off his shoes and crawls into bed. He pulls the blanket up to his chin, closes his eyes.

BLACKNESS
Jodi moves towards us out of the blackness, a sly smile painting her lips. She beckons and we follow her back into the blackness, it swirls around us and we see: A SCHOOL HALLWAY

Students stare at us accusingly as we glide past, Jodi blithely leading us on. The Brain steps up and speaks, his voice is out of sync with his mouth.

THE BRAIN
This isn’t for you—

Sidney pokes her head out from behind the Brain, that accusing stare again. We glide on, Nelly turns her back on us, Trueman shakes his head at us. At the end of the hallway we come to:

A WALL OF RED VELVET
Jodi, still smiling, leads us into the crushing redness, the red swirls to purple and Jodi looks back at us but it’s not Jodi it’s Laura and we’re at: THE FOOTBALL FIELD

It’s early morning and Laura is walking away from us. We look down at: A BABY
It’s wrapped in a blanket at our feet. We look up again at: STEVE

Standing beside us, smiling at the baby, he smiles at us.

48. BRENDAN
You know it.

JODI
I do, a bit... I remember who you had eyes for, heard you were together. For a time.

He struggles for something to say here but he’s too slow.

JODI (cont’d) When she... died, were you still in love with her?

Images flip through Brendan’s head: EMILY Smiling in the sun;

EMILY AND BRENDAN Together in a laughing embrace; EMILY Dead

in the stream in front of the runoff tunnel, water swirling through her hair.

BRENDAN
Yes.

JODI
I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have asked that—

BRENDAN
It’s alright.

JODI
I’m so stupid sometimes, I don’t think about—

BRENDAN (grabs her hand)
Hey. You’re not stupid. It’s alright, really. I loved her, but we weren’t... together, at the end.

(she looks a question at him) She wanted something else.

JODI
I find that hard to believe.

(IT WILL CONTINUE...)

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Very noir style, indeed. The story seems good so far, I really liked the movie "Brick", thanks for posting parts of this draft. I have curiosity about the next scenes, Kendra. What a suspense!

Jason said...

Hey there anonymous,
You can always email me for the complete script, it's a small (218kB) pdf file (address in post header). Glad you like the bits Kendra has been gracious enough to post.
Cheers, Jason