Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

Because nobody demanded it

I am taking a web-based screenwriting class for kicks. I've decided to post one of my homework assignments here to disillusion anyone who thought I had any sort of talent at the whole writing thing. I suck in ways that mortal men could not come close to understanding. I think I shall stick my head into an oven and bake an apple brain betty.


               FADE IN: 

               EXT. A MANHATTAN STREET -- DAY

               BEN walks down the street, headphones blaring music, head in 
               the clouds.  

               He's in his mid 20's, overweight, walking with the brisk and 
               sure gait of a native New Yorker.  The street is sparsely 
               populated at this time of morning and Ben barely pauses at 
               corners to check for oncoming traffic.  He's got somewhere 
               to be.

               As he passes a storefront a sweet-faced young man steps out 
               in front of him, blocking his path.  Ben looks the stranger 
               up and down, taking him in.  MOISHE is dressed in black, 
               with a yarmulke and prominent forelocks.  An Orthodox Jew.

                         Hello, are you Jewish?

               Ben tries to get around him, but Moishe blocks his path, 


               He pulls off his headphones.

                         Are you Jewish?

                         My mom was.  Look, I'm sorry, I gotta 

               Ben shoulders past the still-smiling Moishe, and takes off 
               at a blistering pace, sliding his headphones back into place.  
               Moishe watches him go as something dark creeps into his eyes.  
               The smile never wavers.

               EXT. A DESERTED AVENUE -- LATER

               Ben is still walking briskly, small beads of sweat forming 
               on the back of his neck.  He checks his watch and glances at 
               a street sign, trying to get an idea of how late he is.  

               As he rounds a corner he runs into a wall of black cotton 
               and falls on his ass.   

               Ben looks up and finds himself looking at AARON, the largest 
               Orthodox he's ever seen.  The man's 6'10" if he's an inch, 
               and his biceps look like watermelons with skin stretched 
               over them.  He's wearing a black fedora, a black tank top, 
               and jeans.  He doesn't look happy.

               Aaron drags Ben back to his feet.


                         You should watch where you're going, 

                         Yeah, I'm sorry.  It's the headphones.  
                         I should be more careful.

               Ben tries continue on his way but finds that Aaron is holding 
               onto his arm with one of his vice-like hands.

                         What's the hurry?

                         I have an appointment

               He tries to pull free.  Nothing doing.

                         What about your appointment with 


               A young redheaded woman rounds the corner, walking her dog.  
               She looks at the two of them with puzzlement.

                         What's going on here?

                         Beat it, shiksa.

               The woman's dog whimpers and she beats a hasty retreat.

                         What's wrong with you?

                         Watch your head.


               Aaron slams a forearm into Ben's temple.  Ben collapses on 
               the sidewalk, his head bouncing off the concrete.

                         I said watch your head.

               He slings the unconscious man over his shoulder and takes 
               off down the street, walking briskly.


               INT. AN APARTMENT -- EVENING

               The room is a smallish study, crammed with various Jewish 
               artifacts.  There are two exits, at opposite ends.

               Ben comes to tied to a chair on the other side of a desk 
               from an old man with a long white beard.  His clothing 
               indicates that he, too, is orthodox.  On either side of the 
               man stand Moishe and Aaron, their arms crossed.  Ben's 
               clothing is gone, replaced by garb identical to that of the 
               other men.  On his head is perched a yarmulke.

               They can hear Jewish music filtering up from the street below. 

                         Where am I?  Who are you?

                                     OLD MAN
                         You have questions.


               The old man looks at him expectantly. 

                                     BEN (Cont'd)
                         I just asked them.

                                     OLD MAN
                         Who I am is not important.  It is 
                         what I can do for you that matters.

                         What can you do for me?

                                     OLD MAN
                         You tell me.

               Ben shakes his head, clearing cobwebs.

                         Is this some kind of joke?  Let me 

                                     OLD MAN
                         That I cannot do.  You have been 
                         brought here for a reason.

                         Do you get off on being cryptic or 
                         are you padding your word count?

               The old man reaches into his desk and pulls out Ben's iPod, 
               placing it on the desk.

                                     OLD MAN
                         You want to come to god.  I can tell.  


               The old man gestures at the music device

                                     OLD MAN (Cont'd)
                         Is a cry for help.

                         My iPod?  Lots of people have them.

                                     OLD MAN
                         Chumbawamba?  Marcy Playground?  
                         Your life is not missing something?

                         So?  I like Sex and Candy.

                                     OLD MAN
                         Everybody likes Sex and Candy, 
                         Benjamin.  Not everyone buys the 
                         whole album.

                         Just let me go.  I don't want to be 
                         part of your cult!

               Ben kicks out against the desk with his legs, trying to push 
               his chair back.  He succeeds in tipping it over and falling 
               to the ground, his legs flailing in the air.  The old man 
               shakes his head sorrowfully.

                                     OLD MAN
                         He's not ready.  Break his thumbs 
                         and come in for dinner.  We're having 

               Ben's eyes widen as the old man gets up to leave and Aaron 
               comes around the desk, a widening smile on his face.  Ben 
               struggles against the ropes to no avail, he's trapped.  As 
               Aaron's grip tighten's around Ben's thumbs the old man's 
               watch alarm goes off.

                                     OLD MAN
                         Stop!  Stop!  It's 6 o'clock.  No 
                         work on the Sabbath.

               Aaron pauses for a moment, muscles twitching with 
               anticipation.  Reluctantly he releases his hold on Ben's 
               hand and walks towards the others.

                                     OLD MAN
                         Perhaps 24 hours tied to a chair 
                         will make our young friend more 
                         amenable to the wisdom of the Lord.

               They exit, Moishe shutting off the lights before closing the 
               door.  Now Ben's alone in a darkened room, the only sound 
               the faint music from below.


               After a few seconds of lying there on his back Ben starts 
               rocking the chair back and forth and manages to tip over 
               onto his side.  From there he twists his body so the chair 
               lifts off the ground and manages to get on to his knees.  He 
               shimmies back and then, using the desk as leverage, pushes 
               himself onto his feet.  

               Hunching over as he walks he makes his way to another door 
               on the opposite end of the room from where the men exited.  
               He opens it and goes through, moving through a hallway to 
               the front door of the apartment.  He manages to pull the 
               door open and stagger out on to a stairwell landing.  

               As he makes his way on to the landing he slips and tumbles 
               down the flight of stairs,  shattering the chair that held 
               him and knocking himself unconscious.

               INT. THE STAIRWELL -- NIGHT

               Ben comes to lying on top of the shattered remnants of the 
               chair the held him.  The music from before is still playing.  
               He pulls the ropes from his body and staggers to his feet.  
               He checks his watch.  9:45 PM. He pushes the door open and 
               exits onto the street.


               Ben straightens his clothing as he tries to blend in to the 
               foot traffic on the darkened street.  He passes a van covered 
               in Jewish writing.  It's the source of the music.  He glances 
               inside and finds himself staring into the eyes of a familiar 
               face.  Moishe.

                         Oy, he's getting away!

               Ben starts to run down the street, shoving people out of his 
               way.  Out of the van spill 4 COMMANDOS wearing combat 
               fatigues.  They give chase.  Behind them the sound of music 
               is replaced by a loud alarm, echoing through the night like 
               a shofar on Yom Kippur.


               Ben rounds a corner running frantically.  The commandos are 
               gaining on him and he's short on breath from the exertion.  
               Looking around wildly he spots a sandwich shop with a big 
               poster advertising a ham and cheese special.  He sprints 
               towards it and darts in, the door slamming behind him as his 
               pursuers round the corner.  They look around in confusion.


               Ben allows himself a glance over his shoulder as he approaches 
               the counter of the sandwich shop.  The pursuers are on the 
               street outside, searching for him.  He watches them from the 
               corner of his eye as the line moves forward.  Fishing in his 
               pocket he pulls out a ten dollar bill.  


                                     COUNTER PERSON (O.S.)
                         Hi, can I help you?

                         Yeah, I'll take the ham and cheese.

                                     COUNTER PERSON
                         That's trafe!

               Ben looks at him for the first time.  It's an orthodox Jew.

                                     COUNTER PERSON
                         You would prefer the whitefish 

               Ben backs away from the counter in horror.  The counter person 
               whistles loudly and the pursuers glance into the shop.  Seeing 
               Ben they head in.

                         No!  No!

               He looks around the shop at the other patrons.

                                     BEN (Cont'd)
                         Someone help me!

               A NAZI and a SPANISH INQUISITOR, dining at one of the tables, 
               look up.

                         Don't look at me, I'd love to help, 
                         but can you imagine the headlines 

                                     SPANISH INQUISITOR
                         Me neither, we're still getting flack 
                         for the 1500s.

                              (to the inquisitor)
                         I actually wasn't expecting you to 
                         be here.

                                     SPANISH INQUISITOR
                         Nobody ever does.

               Ben is backed into a corner now as the commandos make their 
               way into the shop.  They've got him cornered.  He looks at a 
               busty blonde BEAUTY CONTESTANT getting a Snapple from the 
               refrigerator, his face etched with pleading.

                                     BEAUTY CONTESTANT
                         Don't look at me, I'm just eye candy.  
                         I don't even have a line!


               The commandos close in.  Ben tries to scream but one of them 
               clasps a hand over his mouth and soon he is overwhelmed.  As 
               they drag him from the store the Nazi and the Inquisitor 
               star to thumb wrestle.  The Beauty Contestant preens.

               INT. BEN'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT

               Ben awakens from his slumber in a cold sweat, realizing that 
               he hasn't done his homework for his Gotham Writer's Workshop 
               class.  He looks at his computer.  There's a screensaver 
               flashing across the monitor.  Getting up he goes over to it 
               and presses the any key.  The saver vanishes and is replaced 
               on the screen by a text document with the preceding screenplay 
               typed on it.  Shrugging he logs on to the class and submits 
               it under his own name.

               He goes back to sleep.

               FADE OUT. 

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