A five-minute-film about death, love, and the power of each over the other.
Wake Up, Amanda Jane
An Original 5-Minute Feature
INT. YOUNG AMANDA’S BEDROOM – DAY
We see the image of a child’s closed eye. This is YOUNG AMANDA at approximately ten years old. Her mother RUTH JANE calls out.
RUTH JANE (O.S.)
Wake up, Amanda Jane!
The eye opens and we see Amanda’s bedroom. It is bright and welcoming. There is a dresser with a mirror facing the bed on the far side of the room.
Hurry up or you’ll be late for school.
I had a nightmare.
Ruth Jane crosses to the dresser and pulls a gold-chained cross necklace from a small jewelry box.
Oh? Here sweetie. Grandma gave this to me when I was about your age. It always used to keep away my nightmares.
INT. AMANDA’S APARTMENT – BEDROOM – DAY
20-year-old AMANDA wakes up in her apartment bedroom panicked. She dreamed of her mother again.
YOUNG AMANDA (V.O.)
Don’t ever leave me mom.
RUTH JANE (V.O.)
Baby, I’m not going anywhere.
Amanda, in a baggy T-shirt and pajamas, gets out of bed and crosses to her dresser. She puts on a gold-chained cross necklace and picks up a clipped out newspaper obituary for Ruth Jane.
Miss you, mom.
INT. AMANDA’S APARTMENT – LIVING ROOM – DAY
A TV is on showing a young NEWS REPORTER. A darkly tortured-looking man, MICHAEL, sits in the armchair smoking a cigarette and watching the television with a look of sorrow and knowing. Michael narrates for the remainder of the film.
NEWS REPORTER (O.S.)
North Korea continues to issue threats of nuclear attack on the United States. Homeland Security issued a-
The whole damn world’s gone to hell. Not that I personally believe in such a place. I’d take a surreal lake of fire over the dark complexities of living any day.
Amanda enters and he quickly shuts off the TV.
Morning love. Hope the TV didn’t wake you.
My name is Michael and that’s Amanda. We’ve been seeing each other for a year now but it feels like just a few days.
No, I could barely sleep. I was thinking about my mom.
Well that’s only natural today. Are you hungry? I’ll make us breakfast before we head out.
Michael walks to the refrigerator. He is alarmed to find it completely empty barring a single bottle of “Black Horse Vodka”. He picks up the bottle and looks sadly at the horse image on the label before putting it back and closing the fridge.
Looks like we’re out of just about everything.
It’s all right. I’m not hungry anyway.
Of course not. I don’t have the heart to tell her this is her last chance to eat. There’s a lot I haven’t told her actually. The truth is, in about thirty minutes Amanda will be dead.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – NIGHT
Amanda lies hooked up to monitors. Her heart rate monitor beeps steadily and her face is cut up and bloody with dirt and bits of glass. Michael stands in the doorway.
No, this isn’t it. This was a year ago. The night we met. The night I failed to do my job for the first time.
Hey. Are you the doctor?
No. No, I’m not a doctor.
Well then who are you?
Good question. I’m not even sure I know that myself anymore.
I’m nobody. I just saw you from the hallway. You looked like you could use some company.
My mom should be here somewhere.
Shit, they haven’t told her anything yet. I hate doctors.
I’m sure she’ll be in here any minute.
Will you stay with me until she comes back?
Of course I will.
I don’t know how it happened: falling in love. I would have never even believed it was possible for me. Something about that look in her eye is what did it. Not what I expected to happen after taking her mother’s life.
EXT. GRAVEYARD ENTRANCE - DAY
A thin man, JOSHUA, and a malicious looking woman, ERIN, play chess on a nearby picnic table while watching Michael and Amanda get out of their car. Joshua moves the white knight.
EXT. GRAVEYARD - DAY
Michael and Amanda stand in front of the grave of Ruth Jane. Amanda is holding flowers and Michael is smoking a cigarette.
It should’ve been me.
Don’t be that way. It’s not every day someone survives being struck by a drunk kid going eighty. You’re lucky.
I can’t believe it’s been a year already. (beat) Michael, what do you think happens...when you die?
I don’t know. I guess you get to see those you’ve lost. And you get to start out fresh. I bet it’s nice.
I’m sorry. Today should be happier. It’s the day we met. I remember you were the first thing I saw when I woke up.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I told her everything. Would she even believe me? I wish I could die with her but somehow I don’t think it’s going to work that way.
A tall uniformed Army officer, MARS, is parked across the field. He is standing up against a bright red Mustang convertible.
This is it. The end. The final curtain. No Hollywood earthquakes or crumbling landmarks or heroic final stands. Just a quick bright light and everything will be gone.
That’s the end of the world, Amanda.
Joshua, Angel of Conquest, moves the white knight across the chessboard.
And behold a white horse: he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
Mars, Angel of War, is parked across the field. We prominently see the horse logo on his bright red Mustang.
And another horse that was red: and power was given to him to take peace from the earth.
Michael picks up the bottle of “Black Horse” vodka. Erin, Angel of Famine, sits across from Joshua at the picnic table.
And I beheld, and lo a black horse: Famine.
It’s all right. I’m not hungry anyway.
The TV with the news reporter is talking about North Korea’s threat of nuclear attack.
The four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind.
EXT. GRAVEYARD – DAY
Michael looks at his empty “Pale Horse Cigarettes” pack. Amanda stands by Ruth Jane’s grave, touching her necklace and staring at Michael with a strange acceptance. They kiss passionately.
My name is Saint Michael Thanatos and I am the Angel of Death. One year ago I was sent to take Amanda’s life, but I fell in love with her instead. And, ironically, she now takes whatever is left of my soul beyond my reach. Today I lose the woman I love: a nightmare I’ll never wake up from.
A bright flash explodes. We see an image of a child’s eye.
Wake up, Amanda Jane.