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”

HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 22

Heart of Clouds

by Adrienne Wilson

*adaptation my novel to film

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

INT. DEVLIN DREAMING. NIGHT

Devlin cuddles his new puppy, sleeping peacefully, not fitfully as other nights. A quiet and beautiful dream of Tut and Teenie on the beach, montage clear blue sky, hawk circling, exquisite ocean waves, clean beauty of the sea

GRANDMA JESS

Stands watching him at the door to his bedroom, her face soft, she has been concerned, tonight different, she is grateful for the pup calming his sleep, no nightmares

INT. CHRISTINA BEDROOM. DIM BLUE LIGHT

CHRISTINA

(to the ceiling)

Jax why did you have to leave me?

(runs a bath, swallows the first of what will be many pills)

(looks at self in mirror, as if she can’t recognize herself, close in, pasty white face, lost eyes)

Why is life so hard?

Jax, why did you leave?

FLASHBACK

Christina in her male Doctors Office, he sits listening to her.

CHRISTINA

My nerves are like glass

DOCTOR

(pulling out many random samples, writing prescriptions, no care to take a proper history)

Let me give you some of these, and these

(close in on pill bottle after pill bottle)

CHRISTINA

Sometimes I feel like a window that has shattered into a million tiny pieces and no one will ever be able to put me back together again.

DOCTOR

Take these, you’ll feel better in a day or two

INT. PRESENT. BATH. GHASTLY WHITE LIGHT

CHRISTINA

(in the bath, memories)

Montage of Jax asking her to marry him, slipping ring on her finger, her wedding dress

JAX

Christina, I will love you forever and ever

CHRISTINA

(effects of pills taking hold, she slips under the water several times)

If something happens to me who will take care of Teenie?

Who will take care of my little girl?

(she swallows more pills)

INT. DEVLIN BEDROOM. MORNING. HAPPY LIGHT

GRANDMA JESS

Wake up sleepyhead

DEVLIN

(smiling, to puppy, cuddling him, laughing)

Hey little guy are you okay?

(puppy licking his chin, pulling collar of his pajamas)

Hey quit that

Hey cut that out

(puppy barking and lunging, full of life)

What am I going to do with you?

You nut

GRANDMA JESS

(smiling at the antics)

Come on downstairs, Devlin. I’ll get breakfast ready. Have you decided what to name him yet?

DEVLIN

I’m working on it, Grandma.

You little monster

Brownie. i think I’ll name you after my favorite dessert because that’s what you look like that to me.

DEVLIN

(yelling and happy)

He’s Brownie, Grandma!

(Devlin hugging puppy, heads downstairs to breakfast)

I’m taking you to the beach right after breakfast

*chapter is Sleepytime to page 146 in the novel

HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 19

Heart of Clouds

by Adrienne Wilson

*screenplay adaptation of my novel, Heart of Clouds for kids

*Chapter “Lost Worlds” p. 119

EXT. BEACH. MORNING.

Devlin makes his way down the beach crying at all the plastic waste, while Tut watches.

INT. TEENIES APT. BLUE DIM LIGHT.

Christina lies on the couch in a ball surrounded by her prescriptions, watching the news of The Wave. Newscasters show images of all the plastic inside the stomachs of birds and fish eating microplastics. She cries feeling powerless, looks at all her bottles.

CHRISTINA

(whispers to ceiling)

I don’t want to really be on all of these pills

EXT. BEACH. MORNING.

Devlin kicks at the mound of plastic bottles.

Why is everyone so lost? Why is everyone taking all of these pills anyway?

FLASHBACK

Devlin and his father at the doctor’s office, as the doctor wants to prescribe something for him after his mother’s death.

DEVLIN

I don’t need those. I can get through this alone Dad

(Devlin skateboarding, wipes away tears)

TEENIE

(watching Devlin through the cracks in the driftwood hut)

Devlin parts the seaweed curtain, and stands in doorway

It’s you isn’t it?

DEVLIN

It’s me.

TEENIE

Hi

DEVLIN

(grinning)

So do want to go for a walk?

TEENIE

Okay

DEVLIN

(they step out into the sun)

Wow.

TEENIE

What?

DEVLIN

Your hair

TEENIE

Is it okay?

DEVLIN

It’s so beautiful

TEENIE

It is?

DEVLIN

I wish you could see it the way I can, backlit against the sun like that

TEENIE

(smiles shyly)

DEVLIN

(reaches to hold her hand, close in on fingers curling)

Come on. I want to show yout he place i found the abalone. All the best shells wash up there.

OCEAN CREATURES

(a cacophony as they say)

He found her Tut!

DOLPHINS

He found her Tut!

VOICEOVER BLUE WHALE

(whale sounding, tail flapping)

The whales began to sound all over the world and all the penguins were dancing too, they spread the message to the polar bears, who spread the message to the eagles, who spread the message to the wolves, who carried the message to the deer, who carried the message to the cattle, who carried the message across the prairies, who sent it to the swallows, who flew it to the tadpoles, who carried it to a trout, who told the butterflies.

(we see all the animals resound with happiness that Devlin and Teenie have met)

FLYING FISH

(lands on Tut’s shell)

He found her Tut. He’ll save us.

TUT

And so will she, for she carries the language of the heart, and the whole world would go dark without it

FLYING FISH

The world almost forgot that language, didn’t it?

BLUE WHALE

(near to Tut, eye to eye, Tut brushes him with his flipper)

It almost did, my friend

TUT

They speak our language now

Tut and the oceanic squadron watch Teenie and Devlin running down the beach hand in hand

*to page 125, in the novel of mine – adaptation is for FILM

HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 18

Heart of Clouds

by Adrienne Wilson

*novel adaptation to FILM

*page 113 – Chapter “Seachange”

EXT. OCEAN WAVES. VOICEOVER. BLUE WHALE

one of my images – dreaming sea

BLUE WHALE

As Teenie Alexander made her way to the sea hut, she had no idea that she was part of something much much larger. How could she have known that eons ago an ancient turtle had foretold her birth. That she would be the last girl on the planet who could speak the Language of the Heart. The thing of it is, we just never know what we are going to grow up into, do we?

Photo by Rudolf Kirchner on Pexels.com

EXT. BEACH. MORNING. SUNNY

Teenie walks down the beach to the sea hut as the ocean brims with sea creatures dipping and diving, alive. She stops to collect shells along the way, marvelling at the sea glass.

Teenie parts the seaweed curtain, climbs in and sees that Devlin has left her a red rose on top of the abalone shell.

TEENIE

(opens Dev’s note)

He wrote the word LOVE, just like I did

(presses the rose to her heart)

Close in on her hand writing these words:

If I thought of something that could show the language of the heart what would it look like?

Teenie begins to draw in her journal, and decides to write Devlin a special poem

TUT

(floating offshore watching)

(Close in on his ancient eye and flippers moving, as he watches Devlin walking down the beach)

They are the last two humans who know the secrets of the heart

MONARCH BUTTERFLY

(flies near Tut)

Tut, he’s getting closer

DEVLIN

(walking down the beach skipping stones)

I wonder what she will say?

Photo by Ricardo Esquivel on Pexels.com
Photo by Ferbugs on Pexels.com

TUT

Grandfather, I kept my promise, as I told you I would

DEVLIN

(notices all the plastic bottles on the sand)

one of my pix of plastic on the beach

This is just like my dream. It’s so ugly I can’t stand it.

TUT

(ancient eyes fill with tears at the sight of Devlin)

TEENIE

(watches Devlin skipping stones as he pauses on the beach)

Out to sea, the ocean is alive with dolphins swimming toward the two of them, and flying fish, and sparrows watching to see the two of them meet

*to page 119 in book Heart of Clouds

HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 13

Heart of Clouds

by Adrienne Wilson

(for Walter Halsey Davis, of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference)

*chapter FIRST KISS p. 89 in my novel

EXT. DEVLIN’S CASTLES. LOON POINT. SUNNY

Devlin watches Teenie walking by the sea, she is the first girl he has ever thought of as pretty.

*establishing first feelings for a girl

Shakes his head, to and fro. He runs down the beach like a race horse to get back to the driftwood hut, finds her note hidden in the abalone shell.

FLASHBACK

Teenie kissing her note to him with an invisible kiss. Then pocketing his note to her.

*establishing first feelings for a boy

Devlin has paper and pen in his uke case. Scribbles a next note, in all CAPS.

MEET ME HERE TOMORROW AT TEN O’CLOCK

Love, Devlin

Photo by Yelena Odintsova on Pexels.com
Digital Camera

EXT. HONEYGARTEN HOUSE. GARDEN GATE. MELLOWMAN

Teenie rides her bike to Mr. Honeygartens, and Melloman has been waiting for her at the gate. Her feelings for Devlin make her want to ask Mr. Honeygarten about Claire. She stops to inhale one of his exquisite old red rambler roses along the picket fence.

old house in Carp, with look for Honeygarten house
image for look of Honeygarten fence, this is next door to the yellow house above in Carp.

TEENIE

(calls up to his upper windows)

Mr. Honeygarten are you home?

HONEYGARTEN

(his face appears smiling down at her, from the high window)

Hello, my dear

Would you like some tea?

TEENIE

Yes I would Mr. Honeygarten

HONEYGARTEN

Why don’t you go and get the shears and bring some of those roses in, my dear. Take Mellowman along with you.

(Mellowman leaping and clowning around, tail wagging, garden scenes, tangled English garden look)

(Teenie moving along the fence picking the lush red roses)

INT. HONEYGARTEN HOUSE. PARLOR

Mr. Honeygarten has made tea and is arranging his delicate cups and saucers for the two of them, as well as petits fours.

HONEYGARTEN

Aren’t they the loveliest?

TEENIE

(arranging roses in a vase)

They are, Mr. Honeygarten

HONEYGARTEN

Sit down my dear. Tell me how you have been?

TEENIE

Fine

HONEYGARTEN

Any wild adventures?

TEENIE

(looks away shyly thinking of Devlin)

Well….

Mr. Honeygarten?

HONEYGARTEN

Yes my dear

TEENIE

Who was Claire?

HONEYGARTEN

Ah, Claire. Why Claire was the most beautiful girl I have ever seen

TEENIE

She was?

HONEYGARTEN

Yes my dear. She was.

TEENIE

When did you know her?

HONEYGARTEN

When I was fifteen

TEENIE

Really?

HONEYGARTEN

Yes my dear, and I have never, ever forgotten her. Not once in all these years.

*image of Mary Pickford in Stella Maris — Mr. Honeygarten’s “Claire”

HONEYGARTEN

(eyes, dreamily remembering Claire, he takes a sip of tea and reaches for a petits four)

TEENIE

She must have been very special Mr. Honeygarten

HONEYGARTEN

She was my dear. In fact she stole my heart.

TEENIE

(puzzling over what Mr. Honeygarten has just said)

HONEYGARTEN

(sighs deeply)

Claire was the love of my life, my dear

TEENIE

She was?

HONEYGARTEN

Yes, Teenie she was

TEENIE

Well how did she. I mean

HONEYGARTEN

How did I fall in love with her?

TEENIE

(smiling at Mr. Honeygarten, while secretly thinking of Devlin)

HONEYGARTEN

Oh my dear, where shall I begin?

(pauses, close in on kind eyes smiling at Teenie)

I suppose my dear, she was a bit like you

TEENIE

She was?

HONEYGARTEN

Yes, she was. I suppose I shall just have to tell you that story, won’t I?

I don’t suppose you might bake another apple pie for me once I finish?

TEENIE

Mr. Honeygarten if you tell me about Claire, I’ll make you an entire pie. Just for you.

(Fire crackling in the hearth, Mr. Honeygarten and Teenie savor the petits fours and cakes, while sipping tea, as Teenie pours, watching the little elf on the teaspoon, it seems to smile at her)

Where did you get these little teaspoons, Mr. Honeygarten

HONEYGARTEN

Claire gave them to me, my dear. I’ve had them all these years.

TEENIE

She did?

HONEYGARTEN

Yes, in fact we had tea together almost every day as children

TEENIE

You did?

HONEYGARTEN

(nods, solemnly)

All these little spoons were given to me by her. I have four. For the four birthdays we shared together.

TEENIE

You saved them all these years?

HONEYGARTEN

Nothing in the world would ever make me part from these spoons

TEENIE

You must have loved her very much Mr. Honeygarten

HONEYGARTEN

I did my dear. More than anything in the whole world.

*to page 94 in my novel, Heart of Clouds

HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 12

Heart of Clouds

by Adrienne Wilson

(for Walter Halsey Davis, of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference)

*chapter “Seadreams” p. 81

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. MORNING. SUNNY.

Teenie is amazed to see that there is a seaweed curtain like a door. She parts the curtains and enters, captivated. Finds Devlin’s note in the abalone shell after shaking it to and fro. She hugs the note to her heart, rocking back and forth, listening to the sounds of the ocean.

TEENIE

(speaking softly to horizon, out to sea, to islands)

Dad I think you would like this boy

FLASHBACK

(Jax and Teenie the day he told her about writers and hats and they had shopped for one)

JAX

Every writer needs a hat Teenie

PRESENT

Teenie pulls the hat down, smiling and remembering her father. Unfolds Devlin’s note carefully, sees his signature, marvels at how much he said on paper. Close in on her face, reading intently, absorbing each word.

TEENIE

Pulls her journal and pen from pocket and begins to write back to him

*establishing EMPATHY

Teenie answers each line he has written we close in on his words, then hers.

Hi, Teenie

I’m really glad you left me this letter, because I really wanted to meet you

Hi Devlin,

thank you for writing this really long letter back to me. I really wanted to meet you too from the minute I saw you that day on the dunes, but it was like you ran away before I could say hi.

That day I saw you on the beach you were crying and so I didn’t want to bother you, even though you were in my secret driftwood castle.

I totally wondered if you built this sea hut, ever since I saw you. Nobody here ever built one of those like you did. I didn’t realize it was a castle though, until today when you added the door!

I’ve been really missing my old friends and that’s how come I wanted to be friends with you. I’ve only been here about two months and school is going to start pretty soon. I’m going to be in eighth.

I’m going to be in eighth, too! Maybe we’ll be in the same classes and stuff. I’m sorry that you miss your friends from back home. Do you like living with your grandparents? It must have been really hard at first, Devlin. It must have been really hard to move here and then have to start all over and make new friends. Right before school starts too.

I was like thinking you were my age too – but I wasn’t sure. It looks like you really miss your Dad a lot.

I do really miss my Dad, Devlin. He’s been gone for a really long time now and that day you saw me crying it was about him. I just missed him so much and it seems like nothing is any fun without him. He and my mom lost their jobs and he used to be a reporter for the newspaper in the Village. He worked there my whole life. He’s gone because he had to go south and try and find a new job. We had to sell our house too, and move. Sometimes I look up at my old house and I just get so sad walking by it. It’s that big white one on the hill. That pretty house.

Your mom sounds kind of cool – like she cares about the ocean a lot. It’s my favorite place too.

My Mom totally cares about the ocean, Devlin. She keeps on watching the news though and she is so worried about The Wave coming that she just sits there most of the time all day long in front of the TV. The doctor told me she had something called a “depression” and they gave her a whole bunch of pills to take. She doesn’t even seem like my Mom anymore, sometimes.

I hope we can meet again sometime

I hope we can really meet each other, too.

Sometimes it’s really hard to talk to anyone about how I really feel. Do you ever feel like that?

Devlin Underwood

Sometimes I do feel like it is pretty hard to explain my feelings to people, Devlin. It was like this summer when it got the hardest. My Dad was the one I talked to most. I could tell him anything and it was like he just understood me. It’s totally easy to talk to you though in a letter and I don’t know why, even. It just is.

Love, Teenie Alexander

TEENIE

(sits looking at what she has written to Devlin for a long time, exhales softly)

Dad you told me writers were always outsiders. Remember when you got me this hat?

EXT. DEVLIN’S CASTLES. LOON POINT. SUNNY.

Digital Camera

*Images from location at Loon in magic hour light

EXT. DEVLINS CASTLES. GOLDEN LIGHT. ATOP BLUFFS AT LOON.

Devlin has been watching Teenie from above, sitting crosslegged atop the bluffs, in his castle, unbeknownst to her, watching. He has his uke and harmonica with him.

*core musical theme plays, sweeping sound

Devlin watches Teenie leave the driftwood hut, and walk in the waves with her pant legs rolled, until she rounds the bend out of sight.

DEVLIN

(softly out to sea)

Maybe we can really meet each other soon, Teenie

Close in on his hand drawing a heart in the sandy blufftop. He draws the letter T inside it.

(picks up his uke and plays a song his grandfather taught him)

(hawks circling, images of dolphins out to sea, seals)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Photo by Jonas Von Werne on Pexels.com

*to page 87 in novel.

Photo by Barthy Bonhomme on Pexels.com

HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 11

*adapting my novel Heart of Clouds – p.72 Chapter is EMOTIONS

HEART OF CLOUDS

by Adrienne Wilson

(for Walter Halsey Davis of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference)

INT. DEVLIN BEDROOM. EARLY MORNING

Devlin awakes from a strange dream about a giant’s hand rearranging his seahut)

DEVLIN

(tosses and turns, sits up bolt awake)

Oh no!

(rushes to dress, checks to see if Teenies notes are in his wizard box, sighs with relief, races down the stairs)

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. BEACH. MORNING

example of the driftwood and stone stacks – these at Butterfly Beach

INT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. MORNING

Devlin scans the rafters for a note hoping she left one for him, when a gull lands on the peak of the shelter and screeches at him, cocking its head.

DEVLIN

(glances and sees she put a shell near the feathers he left, frantic to find her note)

Oh no. Maybe I’m too late or maybe she didn’t write anything, or?

(shakes head back and forth, defeated)

GULL

(cocking head and looking him right in the eye, shrieks and flapping its wings)

Photo by Jonathan Faria on Pexels.com

DEVLIN

Well gull what happened

GULL

(brazenly walks inside hut and riffles through the sand in the abalone shell, and extracts Teenies note)

DEVLIN

Hey wait a minute, that’s mine

Hey come back here

(a giant flock of gulls arrives)

Photo by Karol D on Pexels.com

DEVLIN

Hey come back here, you

Give that back

GULL

(cockily teases him by running down the beach carrying note in its beak)

Two red tails arrive and scare the gulls away. Devlin reaches to grab it before the wave washes in

INT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. MORNING. SUNNY.

Devlin carefully unfolds her note and marvels at her handwriting.

DEVLIN

I know her name now. Teenie.

Teenie Alexander. Wow.

(he cannot believe how much attention she put into her note back to him, begins to read in her handwriting)

Dear Devlin,

I think you have a really cool name. I don’t think I’ve met anyone with that name before.

You said I was a sad girl, but I’m not all the time. You know how you said your Mom died? Well that day you saw me crying it was because of my Dad. He’s gone away and I really really miss him. So, I guess like, I can understand a bit about how you feel. Sometimes I just feel really alone since he has been gone and most of the time it is really hard to talk to my Mom.

She is just always watching TV and she always talks about the Wave and the extinctions and about the tuna fish sandwiches she used to eat when she was little and stuff and about how people have ruined the planet and there aren’t going to be any more fish in the sea and stuff like that.

Anyway I just wanted to thank you for that feather and for this beautiful shell because that was a totally bad day for me. Remember that day I saw you running up the beach dunes? I wanted to say Hi but then you were just gone.

Bye,

Teenie Alexander

DEVLIN

Wow, she said she liked my name, and it was a cool name, and she wanted to talk to me too, that day she saw me on the dunes.

Devlin races back home, while a giant flock of gulls watch him.

INT. DEVLINS HOUSE. GOLDEN LIGHT, FIRE CRACKLING

GRANDPA JESS

(sitting with Grandma Jess before a crackling warm fire full of the pine cones they had collected)

You look you are in quite a hurry, son

(Devlin nods, and takes the stairs two at a time, to his room)

INT. DEVLINS ROOM. GOLDEN LIGHT.

*establishing first feelings for a girl

Devlin locks his door, and puts all her notes on the floor before him. He feels like he can say anything to Teenie, and takes pen and paper to compose an answer. He practices signing his name, over and over and over, until he feels it looks perfect.

He begins to write back to Teenie.

Hi Teenie,

I’m really glad you left me this letter because I really wanted to meet you. That day I saw you on the beach you were crying and so I didn’t want to bother you even though you were in my secret driftwood castle. I’ve been really missing my old friends and that’s how come I wanted to be friends with you. I’ve only been here about two months and school is going to start soon. I’m going to be in 8th grade. I was thinking you were my age too, but I wasn’t sure. It looks like you really miss your Dad a lot. Your Mom sounds kind of cool, like she cares about the ocean a lot. It’s my favorite place too. I hope we can meet again sometime. Sometimes it’s really hard to talk to anyone about how I really feel. Do you ever feel like that?

Devlin Underwood

Devlin signs his note with his signature in a fantastic flourish, then carries the note back down to the beach to the driftwood hut.

EXT. BEACH. DRIFTWOOD HUT. SUNNY, GOLDEN LIGHT

Devlin scans the beach, and decides to make a seaweed curtain for the hut, just in case that gull might come back and steal his note to Teenie.

*to page 79 in novel Heart of Clouds

*establishing how two teens can be friends, in letters

*establishing first crush between teens

this is from a great location at Butterfly Beach, where there is a set of stone seats, surrounded by this plant the Tamarisk.

HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 10

image of the hills Dev and Grandpa Jess drive up, location for Big Rock mountain was Figueroa Mountain, so area is Paradise Road. This is up by Vedanta Temple here in town.

EXT. RED TRUCK. BACKCOUNTRY DRIVE. SUNNY.

GRANDPA JESS

(gestures at driver’s seat)

You take the wheel son. It’s high time you learned to drive

DEVLIN

(face lights up in sheer shock at this offer, smiles broadly at his grandfather, can’t believe it, moves into driver’s seat)

I get to drive?

Really?

GRANDPA JESS

(laughing as Devlin grinds the gears a little, til he manages, they take off up the road)

You’ll get the hang of it son. Why I wouldn’t be surprised if by the end of the day

DEVLIN

(braking suddenly at the wonder of seeing a Bobcat with huge golden eyes in the road)

GRANDPA JESS

We’ll be to the top in no time

Photo by Gabriele Brancati on Pexels.com
I had this over in pinterest, location is Figueroa Mountain where Dev and his Grandfather go for the cones, picnic spot

EXT. PICNIC. BIG ROCK MOUNTAIN. DAY, SUNNY

Devlin and Grandpa Jess sit at Big Rock Mountain and open the picnic basket which overflows with all the things packed inside.

GRANDPA JESS

Your grandmother sure loves herself a nice fire, Dev

DEVLIN

She told me it warms her spirit

(the two of them enjoy the lunch, while we pan on the wildlife and flowers of location)

*sound quiet winds on the mountain

Devlin and Grandpa Jess collect the cones all day in burlap sacks, as evening falls, dusk light. Thoughts of Teenie at the beach float through his mind like butterflies, he realizes they won’t be home before dark, so he will miss being able to get to the driftwood hut.

INT. CHRISTINA’S KITCHEN. DISMAL BLUE LIGHT. MORNING.

Christina in her kitchen, opening the cabinets, frustrated by the lack of food, missing her husband Jax, She can hardly cope. Nothing in cabinets except for a jar of peanut butter and macaroni and cheese, boxed. She closes cabinets, rests her head against them. Realizes she has to find the strength to go shopping. Decides to make Teenie soup they can share.

CHRISTINA

(says to ceiling)

All the fun has gone out of my life. All the fun is gone.

TEENIE

(comes from the beach)

CHRISTINA

Honey where were you. I was worried, you didn’t leave a note. I got up and the house was just empty this morning.

TEENIE

I just went down to the beach Mom

CHRISTINA

Do you want some lunch

TEENIE

I’m starved

CHRISTINA

I made you some soup

TEENIE

You did?

CHRISTINA

It’s on the stove. Want to sit down together?

TEENIE

That would be nice Mom. You weren’t watching TV today?

CHRISTINA

No honey. I wanted a day off from it.

TEENIE

Mom how come the news is always so bad

CHRISTINA

It’s just how the world is now, Teenie

TEENIE

What was it like when you were a girl?

CHRISTINA

Well, it was the same world, just different. People had problems then too, Teenie, but it didn’t seem quite as hard as it is now.

(Teenie watches her mother at the stove stirring the soup. She is happy they will be sitting together, even if her father isn’t with them.)

CHRISTINA

I missed Jax a lot today, Teenie

(she ladles two bowls of the fragrant soup, and we close in on the colors she is putting into the bowls. Sudden life in the dismal blue light.)

*Teenie and Jax fave soup, Christina has made it, scratch

I really missed him Teenie

TEENIE

I miss him too, Mom

(smiles, as she takes her first spoonful, warmth filling her)

I think about Daddy every day

CHRISTINA

Oh honey. Most of the time I do too.

(pauses, wistful look into distance)

Jax used to love this soup, Teenie

*at page 72/Chapter is EMOTIONS

I

HEART OF CLOUDS – Adaptation SCREENPLAY – 5

Heart of Clouds

(for Walter Halsey Davis, of SB Writers Conference, my teacher)

by Adrienne D. Wilson – adapting her novel Heart of Clouds for film.

INT. TEENIE APT BATHROOM. SILVERY LIGHT

Teenie while pie is baking and filling the apt. with scent, goes to the bathroom mirror, thinking of the boy who left her the abalone shell. She recalls the other teen girls at school, talking about pretty, and putting on make-up.

TEENIE

(asking mirror)

What is pretty? Is it like that abalone shell and all the colors that he left for me?

Devlin is the first boy she has ever thought about, on this cusp of her 14th year.

She goes to her bedroom, after trying on a bit of lipgloss, and wondering. Sitting crosslegged on her bed, she takes out her notebook again and draws a picture of the pie, while waiting.

She writes a note to leave at the driftwood hut, as if Devlin is an imaginary friend.

Close in on her hand and handwriting:

boy of the dunes

boy who was running like a wild horse

boy who wears plaid shirts and flannel

boy who I wish was my friend

what can I do to make you see me like I’m pretty?

CHRISTINA

Teenie what are you doing in there

TEENIE

Just writing Mom, I’m waiting for the pie to cool

CHRISTINA

It looks nice honey

TEENIE

Mom, I told Mr. Honeygarten I would take him some

CHRISTINA

That’s nice of you Teenie

TEENIE

He’s a really nice man

CHRISTINA

I know he is honey

TEENIE

Can you help me cut him a piece

CHRISTINA

Come on, let’s cut a piece of that beautiful pie and taste it

Teenie runs to her mother’s side and hugs her tightly

TEENIE

I love you Mom, I really do

CHRISTINA

(tenderly smoothing back her daughter’s hair)

I know you do

TEENIE

I just want you to feel better Mommy

Teenie and her mother taste the pie, then wrap a piece in waxed paper for Mr. Honeygarten.

EXT. HONEYGARTEN HOUSE. GOLDEN SATURATED LIGHT. DAY.

Teenie rides her bike through the village to his house. Melloman greets her at the fence, tail wagging and barking around, sniffing her hands carrying the pie.

TEENIE

(laughing)

Mello, it’s not for you but maybe you can taste some

Mr. Honeygarten waves at her from a second floor window with old fashioned lace

curtains.

HONEYGARTEN

(calling down to her)

Teenie dear whatever do you have in that basket

TEENIE

(smiling up at him)

The pie! You knew I’d be bringing it

HONEYGARTEN

Well, I was hoping so my dear. It isn’t often that I get to have such a wonderful piece of pie, now is it? come in and let’s have a seat in the parlor.

Mr. Honeygarten goes to his special china cabinet and takes out a beautiful tea set with old fashioned flowers and gilded rims. The silver had different fairies carved on the handles, a gift from his grandmother when he had been a boy.

HONEYGARTEN

Oh what a lovely piece of pie that is my dear. I’ll just put the kettle on for tea, dear and you serve the pie why don’t you?

Teenie carefully arranges the tea set, and slices the pie.

*this pin from my “pleinairella” storyboard space on Pinterest for Mr. Honeygarten style. Formal, Victorian, a gentleman, the tea set. I have props for the teaspoons.

Teenie and Mr. Honeygarten settle in comfort to have pie and tea.

TEENIE

Mr. Honeygarten?

HONEYGARTEN

Yes, my dear

TEENIE

Am I pretty?

HONEYGARTEN

Why Teenie whatever makes you ask that?

TEENIE

Am I?

HONEYGARTEN

Why of course you are my dear

TEENIE

Are you sure?

HONEYGARTEN

Why, Teenie I do believe what I can see with my own two eyes, dear

TEENIE

(sigh of relief)

Oh good

HONEYGARTEN

(kind eyes, smiling, close in)

Why on earth would you ask such a question?

TEENIE

Well, I just wasn’t sure whether I was or not

HONEYGARTEN

Well you are dear, and prettiness is something women grow into. It takes a very long time, by the way. I suppose you are just at the beginning of that rather long journey, yourself.

Mr. Honeygarten and Teenie sit sipping the tea. Silence, as they taste the pie.

HONEYGARTEN

Is there a boy, my dear? Is there a boy involved in all of this asking about prettiness?

TEENIE

(utterly blushing)

There is

HONEYGARTEN

You know my dear, when I was a boy, there was a certain girl I thought was the most beautiful girl in the world. Her name was Claire.

*the character Claire is based on the looks in the image above. It is from very old Hollywood, Mary Pickford.

*to page 39 in my novel, the chapter is Secret Smile