i totally break the voice-over rule, but fuck-it. it’s about packing it into 5 pages.

Hiroshima

INT. CHILD’S NURSERY/JAPANESE HOUSE – DAY

INSERT TITLE: MAY, 1945

A small, bare Japanese bedroom with a tatami bed is being
transformed into a joint bedroom-nursery.

An elderly handyman (MR. YAMAMOTO), his face and hands world
worn, assembles a bamboo crib as a luminescent pregnant woman
in her 20’s, her long, beautiful hair neatly pleated to frame
her smooth, radiant face, sits near a window, knitting. This
is HANA TAKAHASHI, 6 months pregnant. On the dresser, is a
black & white wedding photo of her with her husband, TAKAO, a
handsome man in a pilot’s uniform.

MR. YAMAMOTO
Where is Takao now?

HANA
Flying supplies in Manchukuo. He
can’t say much about his missions,
but he hopes to be home in time for
the baby.

Hana looks out the window towards the blue skies. Her face is
stoic but can not hide the worry.

MR. YAMAMOTO
(kindly)
You and Takao will have a long and
blessed life with this child.

HANA
Thank you, Mr. Yamamoto.

There is a knock at the door, and Hana lumbers to her feet to
answer. It is a TELEGRAM MESSENGER, a young boy with head
bowed, hands her a telegram. He can not meet her eyes. She
rips open the envelope and reads.

HANA
No…

Mr. Yamamoto runs and catches her before her body hits the
ground.

INT. CHILD’S NURSERY/JAPANESE HOUSE – LATER

Hana wakes to see the worried face of Mr. Yamamoto. She is
laying on the tatami, a wet towel over her forehead.

MR. YAMAMOTO
I made tea if you’d like…

Hana struggles to sit up.

MR. YAMAMOTO
Please, lay. Too much excitement is
not good for the baby.

HANA
Takao–

MR. YAMAMOTO
Yes, the telegram.

HANA
Dead.

MR. YAMAMOTO
Missing.

HANA
Missing means they haven’t
recovered the body.

MR. YAMAMOTO
You must not think such thoughts.
Until you know, do not open your
door to darkness.

Outside, the sound of low-flying planes buzzes the air, a
patrol squadron, but the sound floods Hana’s heart, a single
tear falling, leaving a wet trail of sorrow.

INT. CHILD’S NURSERY/JAPANESE HOUSE – DAY

INSERT TITLE: JULY, 1945

Hana is sitting in her usual spot by the window, knitting.
Her stomach is bigger now. In the corner, the crib sits,
assembled. Every sound of planes draws her eyes to the sky. A
KNOCK comes at the front door. It’s the MAILMAN with a
letter. She opens it and lets out a scream of joy.

TAKAO (V.O.)
Dearest Hana. I am writing to let
you know I am alive.

EXT. PLAINS/MANCHUKUO – DAY

A plane crashes to the ground. It’s a terrible crash. The
navigator slumps in the back, the pilot is bloody but
breathing.

TAKAO (V.O.)
Our plane went down in the
uninhabited plains of the mainland,
my navigator Kenji was killed on
impact. It was only by sheer
miracle that I lived, though my
body was crushed and useless. For 4
days, I lay trapped, the only water
from light rainfall, no food,
waiting to be rescued, waiting to
die, waiting for some way out of
the twisted metal that had become
my world. Days into night, I felt
the crushing hopelessness, as
overwhelming as the pain of my
broken body. I would have gone
insane if it wasn’t for you–your
spirit, your voice, whispering in
my ear at my most desperate
moments, to hold on. By the 3rd
night, I was overcome by fever,
convinced I was nearing the end.

EXT. OCEAN – NIGHT

A man is struggling in the water under a full moon.

TAKAO (V.O.)
In fever, I dreamed, of a dark
ocean smelling of metal, burning
and death. The smells of war. In
the distance, I could hear the
moans of the dying. I was drowning
in it, wave after wave like human
hatred, pushing my head underwater.
I screamed your name over and over,
Hana…I wasn’t ready to let you
go. Suddenly, I looked up, and
there was a little girl standing
above me. You wouldn’t believe it.
She had your eyes, your long,
beautiful hair, an angel. She said
her name was Fumiko, and she’d come
to save me. She reached out a tiny
hand, and I took it, and with
complete ease, she pulled me into
the moon, a place so white and full
of grace, the black waters could no
longer drown me. I knew I was
saved. When I woke, I was in a
hospital in Changchun, having spent
weeks in and out of consciousness.
Hana, they say as soon as I can
walk, I’m coming home. Please
forgive me for what grief I have
caused you, a husband lost for
dead. My body is broken, but your
love saved my life. Just know that
I am fighting to get back to you,
and soon our lives will be one.

INT. CHILD’S NURSERY/JAPANESE HOUSE – DUSK

Hana clutches the letter to her chest, looking out the window
at the darkening sky. She cries tears of relief.

INT. CHILD’S NURSERY/JAPANESE HOUSE – EARLY MORNING

INSERT TITLE: August 6, 1945

Mr. Yamamoto is painting the walls a clean, cream color. Hana
brings in a tray of tea. She hands him a small cup and he
comes to sit next to her.

MR. YAMAMOTO
Takao will be here by the end of
the month?

HANA
Yes, he’s coming by train. He uses
a cane, but he can walk.

MR. YAMAMOTO
A miracle. You can’t ask for more.

Suddenly, Mr. Yamamoto’s expression changes to one of
confusion. Hana follows his gaze out the window.

MR. YAMAMOTO
I saw a flash.

As they look out the window, the sky suddenly turns red and
the air in the room wavers with heat, the glass of the window
seeming to bend. Air raid sirens SCREAM. Mr. Yamamoto pulls
Hana to the floor just before the glass bursts. Everything
rumbles around them.

Hana cries in pain. Her water breaks.

EXT/INT. TRAIN – DAY

Takao sits on a train, staring at the passing scenery. A
group of soldiers nearby are tuning a handheld radio
broadcasting Emperor Hirohito’s address of surrender. ANGRY
UPROAR. A SOLDIER with a bandaged arm that ends with a stump
sits down next to him.

SOLDIER
It’s over now. We’ve lost.

Takeo shakes his head.

SOLDIER
Where’s home, brother?

TAKAO
Hiroshima.

INT. CHILD’S NURSERY/JAPANESE HOUSE – NIGHT

Takao rushes in, leaning on a cane.

TAKAO
Hana?

By the window, Hana turns, a warm bundle in her arms. Her
hair is long and sleek, down to her back. She bounds towards
him and they embrace, tears flowing. She holds out the baby.

HANA
Fumiko.

TAKAO
The angel who saved my life.

Takao takes the bundle, and holds her, her tiny hand reaching
out for him. He clasps it in his.

TAKAO
And to think, each day, her hands
will never be this small again.

He looks at his wife, eyes full of love. He embraces her like
he’ll never let her go and kisses her. But something’s wrong.
Her hair hangs limply against her back from his hand. He
looks up and sees that she is bald, her hair a wig that’s
fallen. She’s sick. Her face is wet with tears.

HANA
I’m so sorry, Takao.

genre: comedy
location: pawn shop
object: bulletproof vest

A Lesson Before Dying

EXT. CITY STREET – NIGHT

Police cars and SWAT vans haphazardly parked in the middle of
the street, a crowd of gawkers held back by yellow tape.
Policemen evacuate stores as SWAT members in full gear–helmets,
bulletproof vests, automatic rifles–move into
position. The center of attention appears to be MAURY’S PAWN
SHOP, a tiny glass-front affair sandwiched between an A-OK
BAIL BONDS and a LAUNDROMAT.

INT. MAURY’S PAWN SHOP – NIGHT

INSERT TITLE: ONE HOUR EARLIER

The bells above the door jingle as a haggard-looking MAN
steps through the door. Old man MAURY is behind the counter.

MAURY
Back so soon, Mr. Tolberg? How’s
your wife?

MAN
I’d like to see your guns…

INT. MANAGER’S OFFICE/QUICKIE CAR WASH – DAY

INSERT TITLE: ONE DAY EARLIER

The phone on a cluttered desk rings incessantly. A flustered
middle-aged man with his arms full of dirty rags bursts
though the door, lunging towards the phone. This is the same
guy from the pawn shop–TOM TOLBERG.

TOM
Quickie Car Wash, manager speaking.

INT. MINIVAN – DAY

The woman on the phone is CAROL, Tom’s frazzled wife. She’s
driving and talking on the phone while two 7 year-old
identical twins battle each other noisily in the backseat.

CROSSCUT between Tom and Carol.

CAROL
Your sons’ principal called to say
they’ve been suspended for putting
a “kick me” sign on a classmate.
(to kids)
Stop hitting your brother, Eric! A
stapler is not a toy!

TOM
Sounds harsh for just a prank.

CAROL
They attached the sign with a tack.

TOM
Oh.

CAROL
They’re terrorists, Tom. Devil
spawn.
(to kids)
Do you want me to turn this car
around? Because I will. I’ll turn
this car around and drop you two
right off a cliff you don’t start
behaving.

A shoe comes flying from the back, hitting her on the head.

CAROL
WHO THREW THAT SHOE?

They each point to each other.

TOM
Calm down, Carol. They just need a
lesson in respecting authority.
Kick ‘em out of the car and tell
them to walk home. Pick them up in
half an hour. That should scare
some sense into them.

CAROL
No way. That’s abusive.

TOM
It worked on me. A kid only has to
walk 6 miles home in a blizzard
once to know where the line is.

Another shoe bounces off the windshield followed by giggles.

CAROL
Fine. But anything goes wrong, I’m
holding you responsible.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – DAY

Carol is struggling to forcibly pull the boys out of the
minivan.

CAROL
This is for your own good.
Having…parents…is a privilege.

She slides the door closed, gets in the driver’s seat and
takes off, the boys running behind the car, wailing.

Half a block away hidden in the bushes, a MOTORCYCLE COP
watches, arms crossed. He’s quite unamused.

EXT. QUICKIE CAR WASH – DAY

Tom is drying off a black Mercedes as the OWNER points out
spots he’s missed. A FEMALE EMPLOYEE hurries up.

FEMALE EMPLOYEE
Tom, your wife’s on the phone.

TOM
Tell her I’ll call her back.

FEMALE EMPLOYEE
She says she’s calling from…jail.

Tom looks up as the customer eyes him, totally judging.

INT. BAIL BONDS OFFICE – NIGHT

A blubbery bondsman with a combover reviews the paperwork.

BONDSMAN
Reckless endangerment of minors.
Problem is, she pulled a new judge
who wants to make an example of
her. Bail’s set at $20,000. I’ll
get her out for 10%.

TOM
We’re barely scraping by! I don’t
have that kind of money.

BONDSMAN
As they say in my trade, be in jail
til dawn or you’ve got to pawn.

INT. MAURY’S PAWN SHOP – DAY

The bells above the door jingle and Tom enters with a
cardboard box, placing it on the counter in front of Maury.

TOM
I need $2000 or my wife’s gonna
kill me.

Maury looks him over kindly, a man who’s heard it all.

MAURY
Cup of tea?

INT. VISITING ROOM/JAIL – DAY

Tom sits at a table as Carol, wearing an orange prison
jumpsuit, is led into the room by a GUARD. Her hair is in
thuggish cornrows and she’s got FISH written across her
forehead in lipstick.

CAROL
(brink of tears)
You need to get me out of here. I’m
not strong enough for this.

TOM
Bail is being processed and they
said you should be out by tonight.

CAROL
Oh thank God!

TOM
But you should probably know, I had
to pawn some things.

CAROL
What things?

TOM
Like…the good china.

CAROL
Okay.

TOM
Some jewelry. Actually, all of it.

CAROL
What else?

TOM
Um…your Coach purses, laptop,
breadmaker, and that ugly
collection of porcelain clowns you
never liked anyway.

CAROL
You mean that antique collection of
porcelain collectibles my dead
mother left me that you never
liked? Didn’t you pawn any of your
own stuff?

TOM
Sure…uh, my wedding band.

Carol looks at him like she could kill him. Instead, she
gives him a terrifyingly cold smile, pats him on the hand.

CAROL
We’ll talk about this when I get
home.

Tom is terrorized. Every married man knows what this means.

INT. MAURY’S PAWN SHOP – NIGHT

Same scene as earlier–Tom, looking haggard, walks in.

MAURY
Back so soon, Mr. Tolberg? How’s
your wife?

TOM
I’d like to see your guns…

MAURY
Oh? Anything in particular?

TOM
Doesn’t matter.

Maury takes out a small snub-nosed revolver and puts it on
the counter. Tom immediately picks it up and points it at
Maury.

MAURY
Mr. Tolberg, it’s not even loaded.

TOM
I’m really sorry about this but
please…call the police and tell
them you’re being held up. My wife
is angrier than I’ve ever seen her
and I’m too scared to go home. I’m
just hoping that maybe in 10 to 12
years, she’ll have cooled off by
then.

Okay, here’s the story I wrote for the 2nd assignment that won 1st place, even though i liked the complexity of the first piece better.

genre: fantasy
location: diner
object: a stretcher

No Man’s Land

logline: A young waiter drifting through life meets a mysterious stranger in the middle of the night.

INT. DINER – NIGHT

A stout, exhausted COOK tosses two plates of burgers with
fries up on the kitchen ledge and bangs a nearby bell.
Seconds later, RAHUL, a frazzled young man in his 20’s,
sweeps in and picks up the plates, putting them down in front
of a couple, moving quickly to another booth to take an
order. His eyes are exhausted and his shoulders hunched from
the weight of life, but he has the natural graceful movements
of a dreamer–someone who gets things done quietly and
efficiently without actually being present.

A bell DINGS.

Rahul returns and picks up more food.

TIME SPEEDS UP. Hours fly by as CUSTOMERS come and go, RAHUL
canvassing the room, bringing food, taking orders, bussing
tables, the hands of the clock on the wall above the cashier
register swinging around and around, marking the passage of
time. 11…12…1…2…

RAHUL (V.O.)
The graveyard shift. The underbelly
of time. But there’s a method to
the madness. After 1, you get
people coming off night shifts.
After 2, you get drunk crowds
stumbling in after the bars close.
But 3am to the break of
dawn…that’s No Man’s Land. That’s
when the rock of society lifts up,
and something…different crawls out.

The crowds thin as the hours pass. When the clocks hands
swing into position marking 3 o’clock, time returns to normal
speed. The bells above the front door chime behind a
departing group. The only customer left is an OVERWEIGHT MAN
in a green fishing hat reading a worn paperback romance novel
at the counter. In the kitchen, the cook is frying something.

Rahul takes out his notepad and doodles, drawing the man. His
drawing is detailed and well-done. He has talent. He looks
away and suddenly notices a man sitting in a booth right in
front of him shuffling playing cards.

The man is black with smooth skin, a slight frame, wearing a
neat black suit, white shirt and thin, red tie. Sneakers.
Next to him is a shiny vinyl backpack. His unlined face, the
sparkle in his eye and his unusual attire make it hard to
tell his age–he could be anywhere from a 17 year-old kid
coming from a school dance, to an eccentric 40 year-old.
We’ll call him DEE. Rahul approaches with a menu.

RAHUL
I’m sorry, I didn’t even hear you
come in.

DEE
No worries, I’ve got nothing but
time.

RAHUL
Can I bring you anything to drink?

DEE
Just coffee since I’m working.

Rahul returns to his station–pours the coffee just as the
cook puts down a plate of a giant brown mass swimming under a
lake of gravy. Rahul brings the plate to the guy at the
counter and brings Dee the coffee. Dee closes his eyes, flips
a card face up, opens his eyes, then puts the card in one of
two piles. Repeats.

RAHUL
If you don’t mind me asking, what
are you doing?

DEE
Just a little game to pass the
time. Testing my psychic abilities.

He flips one face up so that Rahul can see it but he can’t.

DEE
9 of Diamonds?

Rahul is looking at the 6 of Hearts.

RAHUL
Nope.

Dee’s face breaks into a devilish grin.

DEE
Guess I’m not psychic.

RAHUL
(amused)
Well, maybe it’s for the better.
It’s probably a burden to be able
to see the future.

DEE
That’s true. For most people, it
probably wouldn’t even make a
difference.

RAHUL
What do you mean?

Dee points to the guy at the counter wolfing down his chicken
fried steak.

DEE
Take that guy. If I walked up to
him and said, “Hey bud, in a few
minutes you’re gonna have a heart
attack and land face first in that
gravy so you should make the most
of the time you have left,” do you
think he’s going to stand up and
call his kids to tell them he loves
them, forgive his wife for leaving
him, and make peace with the world?

RAHUL
He’ll probably just think you’re
nuts.

DEE
Yes, probably. And your cook there.

He points at the cook half hanging out the back door of the
kitchen, smoking a cigarette.

DEE
If you told him that he’s going to
die in a fire at the age of 54
after falling asleep with a
cigarette in his mouth, do you
think he’s going to quit smoking
and start making each day count?

RAHUL
(uncomfortable)
You said you’re not a psychic.

DEE
I’m not. You don’t have to be to
know that each and every person in
this world is going to die. And
that’s the point. Every single
person knows they’re going to die
someday, and yet, it doesn’t seem
to motivate them to start living.

RAHUL
How do you know those guys aren’t
living their lives?

Dee laughs. His teeth are perfect and straight. He leans in
looking deep into Rahul.

DEE
Rahul…are you living your life?

Rahul looks flustered.

RAHUL
How do you know my name?

Dee points at Rahul’s nametag. Rahul self-consciously covers it with his hand.

DEE
You seem smart, talented, young.
You still have promise. So what are
you doing waiting tables in the
middle of the night?

RAHUL
I–I dropped out of law school. I
hated it, wasn’t doing that well so
I left to figure out what to do
with my life.

DEE
And how long ago was that?

Rahul stares hard at Dee.

RAHUL
Why do I get the feeling you
already know?

DEE
We’re just two strangers meeting in
the middle of the night and having
a conversation.

RAHUL
Two years ago.

DEE
Uh huh. And what have you figured
about your life since?

RAHUL
I have to get back to work. It was
nice talking to you…

He pauses, doesn’t know the guy’s name. Dee smiles broadly,
openly.

DEE
Death.

Rahul turns, rolling his eyes.

RAHUL
(under his breath)
Of course it is, you morbid fuck.

Rahul goes back to the cash register. He stares at Dee who’s
engrossed in his cards.

COOK
You alright, Ra?

RAHUL
Yeah, couldn’t be better.
(beat)
And you should quit smoking.

Suddenly, there’s a CRASH. The man in the fishing hat at the
counter has face-planted into his plate of food. Rahul rushes
over and lifts the guy’s head up, but his eyes are rolled
into the back of his head.

RAHUL
Call 9-1-1!

The cook rushes towards the phone. Rahul looks around
desperately. In the back booth where Dee had been, there is
only a full cup of coffee, but no other trace of him.

INT. DINER – LATER

The paramedics roll the body of the man out on a stretcher in
a body bag. Rahul, looking weary, approaches Dee’s booth and
picks up the coffee cup. There are two dollar bills and a
small piece of paper under the saucer. He picks up the paper.

On it is written: RAHUL SOMASETTY OCTOBER 29, 1982 –

Rahul stares at the piece of paper for a long time. Finally,he takes a deep breath and turns it over.

Written in large block letters: MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT

Competition rules–48 hours to write a 5 page script with the following parameters:

Genre: Romance / Location: Wax Museum / Object: Bag of Potato Chips

I dedicate my story to my father.

(non-screenwriter’s key: INT = Interior, EXT = Exterior, VO = Voice Over, OS = Off Side)

Sleepwalker
by (thanks, Mercury) BC Chillum

INT. WAX MUSEUM – NIGHT

ALVIN (V.O.)
In 1979, while in college, I worked
as a night guard at a wax museum.

Ghostly shadows in pockets of dark and light. James Bond.
Genghis Khan. Cleopatra. Elvis. Frozen wax statues. The
silence is so alive it breathes. A wall clock strikes 3am.
And then suddenly, echoing between the walls…

VOICE (O.S.)
Hullo?

A young, scrawny GUARD hurries down the hall, bobbing
flashlight in one hand, open bag of potato chips clutched in
the other. His name tag reads: Alvin.

VOICE (O.S.)
Is anyone here?

Alvin runs past the Greatest Presidents exhibit, rounding the
corner and shining his light on…JOHN WAYNE. The great cowboy. John is standing in front of an eerie tableaux of the Last Supper. He uses a stiff hand to shield his eyes from the light.

JOHN WAYNE
Are you God?

Alvin stares in shock at John’s waxy face and lifeless eyes.
The bag of chips falls to the ground. John examines his own
waxy hands, palms up, palms down, flexes his fingers.

JOHN WAYNE
Am I dead?

John Wayne–frightened and confused, a lost wax golem.

ALVIN (V.O.)
My mother was a sleepwalker. There
were nights when I was a little boy
and I would wake up to the front door opening.

EXT. TRAILER HOME – NIGHT

A WOMAN, barefoot and in a nightgown, long curly hair wild,
hurries out the door into the night, stars shining. Eyes open
but blank. She lifts her head up towards the moon as though
taking communion.

ALVIN (V.O.)
I would run after her and lead her
back to bed.

An 8 YEAR-OLD ALVIN gently leads her back inside. She cranes
her body back towards the treeline and moon, as if
magnetized.

YOUNG ALVIN
C’mon, mom. You’re sleepwalking.

ALVIN (V.O.)
It wasn’t so different.

BACK TO SCENE

Alvin has John gently by the elbow and is leading him back to
his spot between a wax ALFRED HITCHCOCK and a wax JIMMY
STEWART. John steps up behind the display reading, JOHN
WAYNE, his hands drop into his familiar pose and he freezes.

ALVIN (V.O.)
Over the next few weeks, it
happened two more times.

Alvin walking through the Prehistoric Man exhibit.

JOHN WAYNE (O.S.)
Hullo? Is anyone there?

Alvin breaks into a run.

Alvin leads John down a dark hall, passing the Exhibit of the
Pope.

JOHN WAYNE
Is this heaven?

ALVIN
Shhh…you’re just sleepwalking.

ALVIN (V.O.)
I never told anyone. No way people
would ever believe me.

INT. BREAKROOM/MUSEUM – NIGHT

Alvin is starting his shift, putting his car keys and a
bagged lunch into his locker. Another guard, CARL, a paunchy
man with a red beard, washes out his thermos at the sink.

ALVIN
How long have you been working here?

CARL
Me? About…3 years.

ALVIN
Ever work the graveyard shift?

CARL
On and off, but not since my wife had the twins. Why?

ALVIN
It’s just…strange things at night.

Carl examines him with the weary eyes of a new father. He
shakes water from his thermos and throws it into a backpack.

CARL
It’s just nerves, kid. Bring a
radio or something. Nothing good
ever happens when you let your
imagination run wild. They’re just
statues.

INT. CHAMBER OF HORRORS – NIGHT

Alvin stares at an evil SPANISH INQUISITOR standing over a
man being pulled apart on a rack. He pokes the statue in the
eye. The thing is creepy.

ALVIN (V.O.)
I hoped Carl was right. There were
some evil characters in that
museum. John Wayne was harmless if
not a bit quirky. But some of these
other guys…

Alvin is having a staring contest with evil Hitler when…

JOHN WAYNE (O.S.)
Hullo?

He nearly jumps out of his skin.

ALVIN (V.O.)
Then one morning, I read in the
paper that John Wayne died.
Stomach cancer. That night, I spent
most of my shift looking at his
statue.

ALVIN sits on the floor, flashlight beamed at John Wayne’s
face, staring with vigilant hope in his eyes. Checks his
watch. 3:06am. Silence.

ALVIN (V.O.)
He never woke up again.

INT. CHILD’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

A middle-aged Alvin holding his INFANT DAUGHTER, her tiny
hand around his pinkie. She stares into his face like he’s
her entire universe. You couldn’t imagine a greater love.

ALVIN
I met your mother a few years
later. I took her to the museum on
our first date.

INT. WAX MUSEUM – DAY

Alvin, dressed clean, nervous, hair carefully slicked, and a
slim young woman with bright eyes. His future wife, CLAIRE.

They enter the Room of Entertainers. Claire walks slowly,
examining the figures — Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Alfred, Jimmy
— then stops in front of John Wayne.

CLAIRE
My dad loved John Wayne.

ALVIN
He’s actually my favorite.

Claire looks at him.

ALVIN
He, uh…he means a lot to me.

ALVIN (V.O.)
One day, I got reall
y sick with the
flu, and she came over, surprising
me with soup and a stack of John
Wayne movies. She stayed and
watched all of them with me even
though I knew she didn’t care for
westerns. Truthfully, I don’t
really like them either.

INT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

The sounds of gunfighting as Alvin and Claire sit on the
couch, wrapped together in a blanket, Alvin looking slightly
under the weather. He looks at Claire, their faces dancing by
the glow of the TV, but it can not hide the love in his eyes
for this woman.

ALVIN (V.O.)
That was the night I knew without a
doubt who she was to me…

INT. CHILD’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Alvin tenderly smooths his daughter’s wisps of hair, looks
into those big bright eyes, her mother’s eyes.

ALVIN
But I never told her this story. I
always wondered if, those nights I
would hear that voice call out and
find John’s statue wandering the
museum, if somewhere, the real John
Wayne was dreaming of waking up in
a wax museum. I thought about
writing him a letter…but it
seemed crazy, and then he died.

Alvin reminisces. Through the open window, crickets chirp.
Behind him, the hands of the clock shift. It’s 3am.

ALVIN
And now, sweet girl, you’re the
only one who knows daddy’s secret.
These eyes…just waiting for the
world to show itself to you. This
world has so much mystery and
magic. Things you can barely
believe, even as you look right at
them. Like you being here, in my
arms. Maybe someday, when you
figure out the secrets of this
life, you’ll explain it to your old
man so he can rest in peace. And if
you ever meet a ghost wandering in
the middle of the night, don’t be
afraid. Maybe he just needs a
little help finding his way home.

The baby in his arms closes her eyes with a faint smile,
sighing a wisdom beyond human years.