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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1395945-Photograph
by Vik
Rated: 18+ · Script/Play · Drama · #1395945
Two soldiers face the enemy on their own.
1. EXT. FOREST, MORNING.

The air is covered in smoke; there is hardly any visibility ahead. We see SGT. DENNIS LONG has been lying in the ground covered in dirt and snow; he slowly lifts his head and tries to assess what had just happened. We hear the faint sounds of artillery shells hitting their targets from a distance. He abruptly stands and calls for his MEN.

Super title: ‘Bastogne, December.24 1944, 6AM’.


SGT. LONG
ANDERSON, WILSON, SPICOLLI!

He then starts moving steadily through the thick smoke holding his M1 riffle and pointing it to the direction of where his men where suppose to be, we see the area ahead as it starts to clear. SGT. LONG slowly drops his riffle and falls to his knees.

SGT. LONG
Shit!

SGT. LONG slowly puts his hand on his mouth in order to prevent himself from throwing up. We see three mangled bodies sprawled in front of him near a crater large enough to be a foxhole. Their limbs torn from their sockets with their organs exposed. One SOLDIER still alive lifts his arm.

SGT. LONG
MEDIC! Goddamnit I need some help here!

SGT. LONG stands but not leaving his place. He stands motionless and expressionless until a group of MEDICS arrive to treat the wounded.

FADE OUT.

TITLE

PHOTOGRAPH

FADE IN.

2. EXT. COMPANY HQ. MORNING.

The camp is filled with and tired and scruffy looking SOLDIERS, most of them are sitting around a small bonfire trying to keep warm. We see SGT.LONG sitting alone under a tree looking at a photograph in his hand. His uniform is wet and dirty, his face is unshaven. CAPTAIN MARKS emerges from one of the tents and walks over to SGT. LONG.

Super title: ‘7:15AM’.


CAPTAIN MARKS
DENNIS, may I have a word with you?

SGT. LONG
Yes sir.

SGT. LONG puts the photo in his left jacket pocket, gets on his feet and walks over to CAPTAIN MARKS. CAPTAIN MARKS then takes his helmet off and reaches for SGT. LONG placing his hand on SGT. LONGS shoulder.

CAPTAIN MARKS
I am sorry about what happened to your men.
It’s a terrible way for anyone to go.

SGT. LONG
They were good people sir; the artillery barrage caught us completely by surprise.

CAPTAIN MARKS
In any case I’m glad to see you’re ok. We’re getting some replacements soon, and I want you to take command of one of them.

CAPTAIN MARKS takes out a folded map from his pocket and shows it to SGT. LONG. We see the map of the area, and it is filled with various points that resemble the main line of resistance (MLR).

CAPTAIN MARKS
I need you and the new guy to occupy your old outpost position in the forest, guard it from any entry. Our defenses are pretty thin right now and the krauts can easily slip through our MLR.

SGT. LONG
Permission to speak sir?

CAPTAIN MARKS nods.

SGT. LONG
Sir, I think it is a bad idea to post a new recruit in that area where heavy fighting is possible. These kids, they have no clue as to what they are about to face and do.

CAPTAIN MARKS
I know it is tough trying to train replacements in the field but it is important that the enemy does not get through and take this position. Do the best you can for the kid DENNIS.


SGT. LONG replies with a salute as CAPTAIN MARKS walks back into the tent. SGT. LONG walks towards the other SOLDIERS sitting near a campfire. He stretches his arms out near the flame to warm his hands.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN.

3. EXT. COMPANY HQ, MORNING.

We see an Army jeep as it arrives and stops in the middle of the camp. A young SOLDIER steps down from the jeep in full battle gear. He is young and clean cut. His uniform is spotless and not wrinkly. He looks around as though trying to find something then starts walking towards the officer’s tent.

Super title: ‘7:30am’.

4. INT. CAPTAIN MARKS TENT, MORNING.

The SOLDIER walks into the tent full of confidence. We see CAPTAIN MARKS facing a map attached to a blackboard; his back is facing the SOLDIER.

SOLDIER
PRIVATE MICHAEL PRUITT reporting for duty sir!

He salutes the CAPTAIN, his posture in full attention. CAPTAIN MARKS continues to read the map then turns to face PVT. PRUITT. CAPTAIN MARKS takes a cigar out of his shirt pocket and starts lighting it. He puffs the cigar twice then looks at PVT. PRUITT.

CAPTAIN MARKS
Stand at ease, so how was your trip? Not to rough I hope. I’m surprised you made it passed the enemy snipers unharmed! This area is very dangerous even during the daytime.

PVT. PRUITT stands at ease and takes his helmet off.

PVT. PRUITT
Actually I was hoping the KRAUTS would ambush us so I could finally get some action. I volunteered to join this outfit because of all the achievements this division has accomplished. I hope to become part of it and do some good here sir.

CAPTAIN MARKS looks intently at the young SOLDIER in disdain.

CAPTAIN MARKS
We’re practically surrounded by three SS PANZER DIVISIONS and our M.L.R. is constantly attacked at all sides. Your current attitude is inappropriate. I suggest you save your bravado for when it matters.

PVT. PRUITT immediately loses the half smirk in his face, and momentarily snaps back to attention. CAPTAIN MARKS puffs his cigar as he gives PVT.PRUITT a serious glare.
SGT LONG enters the tent and stands at attention facing the CAPTAIN. We see him giving the young PVT.PRUITT a quick glance before fixing his eyes on the CAPTAIN.

CAPTAIN MARKS
This is SGT. LONG; he will be in charge of your well being at your observational post. Listen to him, he’s been in this outfit long enough to know things about our job. Is that understood?

PVT. PRUITT
Yes sir!

PRUITT replies while standing at attention with a salute.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN.

5. EXT. FORREST, AFTERNOON.

We see PVT. PRUITT running through the forest, he is carrying his riffle. From a distance the whistling of the artillery shell grows louder as it closes in near his position. As PVT. PRUITT approaches the foxhole he yells.

PVT. PRUITT
Get down, incoming!

As PVT. PRUITT leaps into the foxhole, the artillery shell exploded a few feet from their position. Another shell hits one of the trees near them. Both MEN in the foxhole are lying on their stomachs face down on the dirt. The attack lasts for sometime until it abruptly stops; slowly they lift their heads.

Super title: ‘1pm’.

Both MEN step out of the foxhole holding their riffles up towards the direction of the enemy line. THEY are both covered in dust and snow, SGT. LONG lowers his riffle and grabs PVT. PRUITT by the collar.


SGT. LONG
What the hell happened?

PVT. PRUITT
I was checking the ridge when I saw a KRAUT taking a piss. I really didn’t know if he saw me or not so I shot him just to be sure.

SGT. LONG pushes PVT. PRUITT to the ground.

SGT. LONG
Are you fucking stupid? You alerted the artillery battery and gave away our location. I’ve dealt with arrogant new pricks like you before all itching to kill a KRAUT. This is war, not some fucking game of tag. Your stupid mistakes will get us killed!

PVT. PRUITT
I am sorry sir I just…

SGT. LONG
Shut the fuck up! If they decide to send a platoon to take us out we don’t stand a chance. It is just you and I in the immediate area, no one else!

We see SGT. LONG walking back to the foxhole while PVT. PRUITT picks his riffle up and getting on in his feet and following the SGT.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN.

6. INT. FOXHOLE, NIGHT.

The sun has set hours ago and the temperature drastically drops. Both MEN can hardly keep themselves warm in the foxhole. SGT. LONG is gazing upon the darkness in front of him with his riffle beside him, while PVT PRUITT is standing next to him. Both MEN stare into the darkness, watching and waiting.

Super title: ‘10pm’

PVT. PRUITT
This is going to sound like a stupid question but; what was it like when you killed your first KRAUT?

SGT. LONG turns his head to face PVT. PRUITT.

PVT. PRUITT
That KRAUT taking a piss was my first kill. I honestly don’t feel any different.

SGT. LONG
Killing is never a good thing; you lose a piece of your soul every time you take someone out. When you’ve done it so many times you almost feel as though you’ve…

SGT. LONG looks away from PVT. PRUITT, he resumes his post and keeps watch. We see them rubbing their hands together to fight the cold off.

PVT. PRUITT
Do you think the KRAUTS are freezing their asses too?

SGT. LONG
I doubt it; they’re pretty well dug in. Their supply lines aren’t cut off so they’re probably eating like pigs.

PVT. PRUITT
Lucky bastards! I miss food; I miss Christmas Eve dinner at my GRANDPARENT’S home in Astoria in Queens. The snow in New York doesn’t get as thick as the snow here, so we get to play outside even after dark. What about you SARGE how do you spend Christmas Eve back home?

SGT. LONG
Same as everyone else I guess, opening presents back at the farm. I haven’t seen my PARENTS or my GIRLFRIEND in two years. The last time I laid eyes on them was before leaving for basic training.

SGT. LONG reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls a slightly folded photograph. He unfolds it and we see it is a picture of a woman, his GIRLFRIEND.

PVT. PRUITT
Can I see?

SGT. LONG hands the photo to PRUITT. We see PRUITT smiling mischievously when he sees the picture.

PVT. PRUITT
Oh boy! She’s cute.

SGT. LONG quickly snatches the photo from the hands of PVT. PRUITT.

SGT. LONG
No Private, she’s fucking gorgeous when I get back home after this shit’s over and done with, we’re getting married. I’m putting all this behind me, and live the rest of my life in peace.

PVT. PRUITT
You’re a lucky man SGT. LONG.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN.

7. INT. FOXHOLE, NIGHT.

We see SGT. LONG sleeping on the ground, PVT. PRUITT is taking the first shift guarding the foxhole. He suddenly hears faint VOICES in the distance.

Super title: ’11:30pm’

PVT. PRUITT
SARGE did you hear that?

SGT. LONG remains fast asleep, PRUITT tries to wake him up but SGT. LONG does not respond. We then see PVT. PRUITT get up and take his riffle and search where the VOICES are coming from.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN.

8. INT. FORREST, NIGHT.

PVT. PRUITT has been following the VOICES to their source for quite some time, he could hear them speaking in German.

Super title: ’11:47pm’

PRUITT gets on his knees and cautiously crawls towards them. He spots five SS TROOPERS camped in the area. We see the SS TROOPERS dressed in thick black winter clothing and appear to be well fed, due to the roast beef cooking in their campfire.

PVT. PRUITT immediately gets on his feet and slowly makes his way back to his foxhole.

He accidentally steps on a twig, upon hearing the crack he stops moving. The SS TROOPERS suddenly stop talking and raise their riffles in an alert manner. In panic PRUITT starts to run without looking back. A shot is fired from behind him. The bullet whistles past him barely missing his head.

FADE OUT.

FADE IN.

9. INT. FOXHOLE, NIGHT.

SGT. LONG is suddenly roused by machine gun fire in the distance. As he seizes his rifle he sees that PRUITT is nowhere in site.

Super title: ’11:47pm’

SGT. LONG can hear the ENEMY shouting in German. A flare discharges from a distance illuminating the surroundings for a moment. He catches a glimpse of a silhouette running towards him from afar.

SGT. LONG
PRUITT where the fuck are you?

More shots are fired, and a bullet whistles towards SGT. LONG’s direction. He points his riffle into the direction from where the shots came from.

Another flare is discharged from the SS encampment, and the area is once more briefly visible. SGT. LONG sees two SS TROOPERS heading in his direction He fires two shots, and kills the two SS TROOPERS.

As the last flare dies off, darkness covers the area.

SGT. LONG
PRUITT if you can hear me say something!

PVT. PRUITT
SARGE I can’t see shit, I don’t even know which direction I’m headed. Christ I could be walking towards KRAUTS.

SGT. LONG hastily moves out of the foxhole and slowly walks forward.

SGT. LONG
Stay where you are I’ll find you. Keep talking so I can follow your voice.

PVT. PRUITT
Sir, what’s her name, your GIRLFRIEND?

SGT. LONG
Her name is…

We hear a shot fired, SGT. LONG feels a jolt in his leg, and fell to his knees. Another shot is fired, it rips through his chest the impact throws his body to the ground.

PVT. PRUITT charges in the direction where he heard the last two shots were fired. He sees SGT. LONG lying on the ground, the blood coming from the exit wound in his back starts to spread quickly on the snow.

PVT. PRUITT
Oh no, fuck GOD no!

PVT. PRUITT opens a pack of sulfur powder and dusts it on the wound. He then puts his hand over the chest wound to stop the bleeding.

PVT. PRUITT
Common SARGE, don’t die on me. You’re going to make it you’re going home, and you’re going to see all your loved ones again. You’re going to put this shit behind like you said.

SGT. LONG takes the photo out of his bloodied jacket pocket and hands it to PRUITT.

SGT. LONG
(Whispering)
Her name is…GENELLE.

SGT. LONG closes his eyes; he dies.

Super title: ’12 midnight’

FADE OUT.

FADE IN.

10. EXT. COMPANY HQ. EARLY MORNING.

The DIVISION is being relieved from the area; PRUITT is sitting in the troop transport with the rest of SOLDIERS. All the MEN are dirty and tired from defending the MLR all night. PRUITT takes the bloodied photo of GENELLE out his pocket and gazes at it for a moment. He then looks at the sunrise; we see tears in his eyes.

Super title: ‘Bastogne, December.25 1944, 6AM’

FADE OUT.

Roll Credits.

The End.
© Copyright 2008 Vik (vpaquino at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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