HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 23

Heart of Clouds

by Adrienne Wilson

*adaptation of my novel to FILM

(for Walter Halsey Davis, of the SB Writers Conference)

*note on sound for Christina, scene in bath with too many pills –

INT. CHRISTINA BATHROOM. TUB. Ghastly Brittle White Light

Christina slumps in the tub, she has swallowed so many pills, she is senseless. Memories of Jax and she, happy, at work, the absence of Jax. She does not know how to go on. She manages to get up, and stumbles to her bedroom. Looks at her wedding dress. Camera lingers on her hands smoothing the fabric, symbolism of the lace. She holds it up to the mirror, studies her face, fallen, all hope gone. Everything gone.

FLASHBACK

Christina and Jax eloping, her mother’s face a mask of cruelty.

CHRISTINA MOTHER

Don’t expect any help from us, Christina

You made your bed and now you have to lie in it

one of mine, an image of Christina, mood as she is at lowest ebb.

Christina manages to fold the wedding dress, replaces it in layers of tissue paper, before she collapses on the bed. She swallows the last of the pills.

TEENIE

Finds her mother passed out, in bed. Teenie is scared, when she cannot rouse her.

Mom wake up.

(in tears)

Mom

(whispers in her mother’s ear)

Mom wake up.

Takes her mother’s hand and notices a tiny freckle. Christina’s hand is ice cold.

Mom wake up, please

Please Mom

(close in on Teenie’s tears falling on her mother’s hand)

Please mommy don’t leave me alone

Teenie places on of her hands on her own heart, and another on her mother’s heart, barely beating under the thin bathrobe.

TEENIE

Heart I need you to speak to Mommy

I need your heart to talk to my heart, Mom

Please talk to my heart Mom

CHRISTINA

(eyes fluttering)

TEENIE

Mom I was so worried

CHRISTINA

(tears, seeing her daughter, blurred as through gauze)

Oh honey

TEENIE

I love you so much Mom

CHRISTINA

I love you too

You’re my little girl

You’ll always be my little girl Teenie

Always and forever

You mean everything in the world to me

TEENIE

(wraps her arms around her mother)

The two of them lie quietly in the brilliant white light, no longer garish, we pull back until two small figures, in the light

INT. GRANDPA/GRANDMA JESS. KITCHEN. WARM GOLDEN LIGHT.

Grandma Jess, bustles in her old fashioned kitchen cracking eggs for omlettes. She is making three different kinds, their favorites. She’s been so worried about Devlin, and so glad to see the pup and effect it has had on the boy.

GRANDMA JESS

He has such a sweet soul Jess. The dearest boy in all the world.

GRANDPA JESS

(reading the paper)

How’s that pup doing this morning, son?

DEVLIN

(smiling and laughing, cuddles pup)

He’s great. I think he’s going to chew up everything I own though. All my shirts.

GRANDPA JESS

(bursts out laughing at the antics of pup squiggling)

DEVLIN

Guess what I named him?

GRANDPA JESS

I knew you’d figure out a name pretty soon Dev

DEVLIN

Brownie

GRANDPA JESS

Well son, I don’t think I could have come up with a better one myself. He does resemble a brownie doesn’t he?

DEVLIN

(hands the pup to his grandfather)

GRANDPA JESS

(pup squiggling and licking his face, chews his shirt collar)

A pup is a pup is a pup. And this pup has all the energy in the world

DEVLIN

Today is going to be his first day at the beach. Grandpa

GRANDPA JESS

Guess you have to get him used to it, son

GRANDMA JESS

(brings out a little red collar and leash for Brownie)

I thought red would make a good contrast to his fur. Think he’ll like it?

DEVLIN

It looks great Grandma. Your first little collar Brownie

(Devlin tries it on him, while Grandma Jess finds two dishes for water and the pup’s food)

GRANDMA JESS

He’s such a little dear isn’t he?

GRANDMA JESS

All right my dears, what sort of omlette would you like this morning. We have spinach and cheese or mushrooms and cheese or just plain cheese, or nothing at all except egg. What shall it be?

DEVLIN

Cheese for me

GRANDPA JESS

Spinach and cheese

GRANDMA JESS

(secretly teaching Devlin how to cook)

Devlin will you help me with the spinach?

(uplift, happy music, as the two of them make the omlettes, a golden sizzle)

DEVLIN

(begins to tell his grandparents about Teenie)

I met a girl on the beach the other day

A really special girl

(hugs Brownie on his lap)

I can’t wait to show Brownie to her because I think she might love him too

GRANDMA JESS

Why Devlin, that’s wonderful

What is she like son?

DEVLIN

I think she might be an artist. Or a writer. She was crying the first day I saw her

GRANDMA JESS

Do you know why?

DEVLIN

Sort of. She sort of told me how sad she was since her dad had been gone

GRANDMA JESS

Where did he go?

DEVLIN

She said he had to leave the village to search for a job

He used to be a reporter for the paper, Grandpa

GRANDPA JESS

(loud sigh)

I’m surprised that industry is still in business in America, after what they have done to all those poor people. I’m sorry to hear that son.

(shakes his head back and forth)

Making a little girl cry because her father had to leave town to look for another job

GRANDMA JESS

I’m glad you met a new friend Devlin. What else have you found out about her?

DEVLIN

Not too many things so far, she has beautiful hair, though

You should see the way it looks when the sun shines on it

GRANDPA JESS

(smiling ear to ear looking at Grandma Jess, twinkling)

It sounds like the day I first saw your grandmother, Devlin. I had my harmonica with me that day, though. I thought she had the prettiest smile I had ever seen.

GRANDMA JESS

Oh Jess, let the boy finish his breakfast now

She sounds like a very nice girl, Devlin. I’d love to get the chance to meet her.

GRANDPA JESS

(winks at Devlin)

GRANDMA JESS

When you get to know her a little better maybe she’d like to come for dinner?

DEVLIN

Okay Grandma. One of these days maybe I’ll ask her. I want her to meet the two of you, too. But first I just want her to meet Brownie.

GRANDPA JESS

(smiling)

You go on then son

DEVLIN

(cradling the squiggling pup, pulling on Dev’s collar)

I’m not going to have any shirts left at all

(the three of them laughing)

We’re going to my castle. You’ll see Brownie.

*to page 158 in novel, Chapter “Chances”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s