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.
Christina and Jax eloping, her mother’s face a mask of cruelty.
Don’t expect any help from us, Christina
You made your bed and now you have to lie in it
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.
Finds her mother passed out, in bed. Teenie is scared, when she cannot rouse her.
Mom wake up.
(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
(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.
Heart I need you to speak to Mommy
I need your heart to talk to my heart, Mom
Please talk to my heart Mom
Mom I was so worried
(tears, seeing her daughter, blurred as through gauze)
I love you so much Mom
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
(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.
He has such a sweet soul Jess. The dearest boy in all the world.
(reading the paper)
How’s that pup doing this morning, son?
(smiling and laughing, cuddles pup)
He’s great. I think he’s going to chew up everything I own though. All my shirts.
(bursts out laughing at the antics of pup squiggling)
Guess what I named him?
I knew you’d figure out a name pretty soon Dev
Well son, I don’t think I could have come up with a better one myself. He does resemble a brownie doesn’t he?
(hands the pup to his grandfather)
(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
Today is going to be his first day at the beach. Grandpa
Guess you have to get him used to it, son
(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?
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)
He’s such a little dear isn’t he?
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?
Cheese for me
Spinach and cheese
(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)
(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
Why Devlin, that’s wonderful
What is she like son?
I think she might be an artist. Or a writer. She was crying the first day I saw her
Do you know why?
Sort of. She sort of told me how sad she was since her dad had been gone
Where did he go?
She said he had to leave the village to search for a job
He used to be a reporter for the paper, Grandpa
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
I’m glad you met a new friend Devlin. What else have you found out about her?
Not too many things so far, she has beautiful hair, though
You should see the way it looks when the sun shines on it
(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.
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.
(winks at Devlin)
When you get to know her a little better maybe she’d like to come for dinner?
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.
You go on then son
(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”