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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1777433
Rated: GC · Script/Play · Horror/Scary · #1777433
A group of boys decide to commit small, seemingly motiveless murders.
EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET – AFTERNOON

Countless droves of faceless drones swarm the small downtown area, attacking the sidewalks, crosswalks, and storefronts.  They move in unison, speaking in a collective, undecipherable hum.  The world seems to flow in one direction, while one man works against it, pushing between the bodies, struggling for air, before emerging onto the open street.  His feet pound against the pavement at a steadily increasing pace, his fingers tighten and release.  His eyes stare straight, but see nothing.

EXT. SUBRUBIA – EVENING

Marching down the sidewalk, the man glances from house to house, scanning the addresses.  A dog barks at him, but he hears nothing, his mind swept away by a sudden, paralyzing realization.

                   TOD [V.O.]
         I know this place.

Looking across the street, he stops.  An old, thoroughly middle class home looks back at him.  The driveway is full of cars, tightly parked.  The man crosses the street and treads up the walkway.

Without knocking, he enters.

EXT. PARKING LOT – DAY

Two young men, just past twenty, exit a grocery store and walk into the lot.  One, NEIL, juggles three paper bags in his arms, constantly trying for a proper, balanced hold.  The other, CALVIN, pulls from his jacket a candy bar, which he makes disappear as quickly as possible.

         CALVIN
Listen…  It’s not that I’m blindly in favor murder, I’m just saying that, for now, regardless of motive, the whole situation is totally working for me.

         NEIL
Regardless of motive?  There was no motive.  He just walked in and shot a man.

         CALVIN
Exactly.  How is that not amazing?  Such blatant disregard for…  All the rules, is admirable at least.

Another young man, JAMES, around the same age, approaches from behind, a backpack slung over his shoulder, his hair matted and sweaty.  He walks with a bicycle beside him.
         
JAMES
Hey, Neil, what’s up?

         CALVIN
Hey, James.

         JAMES
Calvin.

         NEIL
Did you here about this whole Tod Strom thing?

         JAMES
Who?

         CALVIN
The “Tod Strom Scandal” is what I’m calling it.  It’s pretty much insane.

         JAMES
What happened?

Neil struggles with his grocery bags.

         NEIL
Hold on, we’ve just heard it ourselves.  We’ll tell you and By when we get to the car.

INT. CAR – DAY

The vehicle is a light blue, four door 1988 Toyota Camry.  Neil sits in the drivers seat, looking out the window.  Calvin is beside him, opening a bag of potato chips, handing them back to BYRON, another young man, who sits in the center of the backseat, feet resting between the two front seats.  James leans in the open window just behind Calvin, reaching in and helping himself to the chips.

         CALVIN
Okay, so this is some pretty second hand gossip, from very unreliable third parties, so don’t take it as truth.  But it’s a fairly simple tale, I don’t see how it could’ve gotten that mucked up.

Neil sighs.

         BYRON
Shut up.

         CALVIN
Right, so anyway, this is what I’ve heard.  This guy, Tod Williams, we went to school with him remember?  He graduated and just disappeared.  Like, where did he go?  Who knows?  I don’t know. 

Calvin pulls another candy bar from his jacket.

         CALVIN [CONT’D.]
No one knew where he went, but, I mean, no one cared, really, the guy was a doofus.  I mean, he wasn’t stupid but he wasn’t very interesting, y’know?  Whatever.

Calvin shoves half the candy bar into his cheek.

         CALVIN [CONT’D.]
So he reappears, like, a month ago, showing up all over town, weird-ing people out, causing trouble.

         JAMES
Like what?

         NEIL
He threw up at the library.

         JAMES
Seriously?

CALVIN
Yeah, dude, for real.  All over the place.  And nobody knows where he’s staying, right?  His parents moved right after he left, and, as far as I know, he’s got no friends.  None around here, anyway.
         
NEIL
It’s not like we’ve never slept outside.
         
BYRON
Shut up.

         CALVIN
So, then there’s this party, some birthday bash, and everyone’s there.

         NEIL
Except us.

         CALVIN
Except us.

         JAMES
Who’s birthday was it?

         CALVIN
Doesn’t matter.

         JAMES
What’d he do?

Calvin turns around in his seat.

         CALVIN
I’m going to tell you.

Calvin looks straight again.

         CALVIN [CONT’D.]
Tod Strom shows up, just before they cut the cake, everyone’s hanging around, everyone’, like, right at their peak, right?  And Tod Strom shows up and he just, he just pulls out a gun and blows Brian Dixon’s face off.  Right in front of everybody.  And then he does himself.  Just under the chin.

Calvin mimics the suicide, forming his fingers into the shape of a gun and placing the barrel under his jaw, making a gunshot sound with his voice.  Calvin, pleased with himself, sits silently with the rest of the car as the information is processed.

         JAMES
So it was Brian’s birthday?

         NEIL
Absolutely.

         JAMES
Shit, I knew that guy.  He was an asshole.

         BYRON
Don’t you mean Brian Mason?  I’m pretty sure Brian Dixon joined the Navy, right?

Calvin thinks for a moment, then looks over to Neil.

         NEIL
Fuck, he’s right.  Yeah, had to have been Brian Mason.

         JAMES
Shit.  That dude was an ass, too.

         NEIL
Yeah, he was.

Calvin reaches back and grabs a handful of chips, cramming them into his mouth.

         CALVIN
Happy birthday.

         JAMES
Hey, can I get a ride back to your place, Neil?

Neil sighs.

         NEIL
Yeah.

EXT. PARKING LOT – DAY
We see James trying his hardest to fit the bike in the trunk, while Neil attempts to bungee the door shut.

         CALVIN [V.O.]
Man, Tod Strom.  What a psycho.  You gotta’ respect that.

INT. CAR/EXT. ROAD – DAY

The car moves through various downtown streets, moving into a more residential area, snaking past parks and around elementary schools, moving into a sparsely occupied area, more heavily populated with plant life than people.

         BYRON
So, do they know why he did it?

         NEIL
No.

         CALVIN
I hope they never do.  Any explanation would be bullshit anyways.  If I had done it, I wouldn’t’ve…  I wouldn’t’ve…

         NEIL
Killed yourself?

         CALVIN
First of all, why would you ever waste a bullet on yourself?  Why stop at one?  You have a whole room full of worthless, lifeless bodies to tear apart, why would you stop?

         JAMES
Cal –

         CALVIN
Secondly, when you kill yourself, you’ve ultimately decided that what you’ve done is wrong.  You let them win.  It’s a cowardly move.

         BYRON
What?

         CALVIN
If I were to kill anyone, I’d make sure I stuck around to explain myself, especially if the motive is ambiguous.  Not that I would ever commit a crime with any real motive.  And I suppose that’s what I’d want people to know.  That there was no motive.  So then they can’t make one up for me.  I’m not crazy, I’m disgruntled, I’m not heartbroken, I just want to kill.  Because what’s the point?
         
         JAMES
Calvin?  Would you ever actually kill someone?  Do you really think you could?

         CALVIN
Absolutely.

EXT. PUBLIC POOL – DAY

The four boys sit at a picnic table perched on a grassy hill over looking a swimming pool, all of them eating ice-cream.  Neil pages through a newspaper as the others look down on the water.  Calvin is extra jittery.

         BYRON
So who would it be, if you had to choose?

         CALVIN
It depends, Byron.  Are we going for psychotic or safe?

         JAMES
Define “psychotic”?

Calvin motions to three young boys playing near the edge of the pool.

         CALVIN
We’d follow those little chuds out on their way home.  Tear their arms, tear their legs, bash their heads in.  Maybe cut one of their bellies.  Maybe leave one alive, to bleed to death. 

         JAMES
That’s really scary Calvin.

         CALVIN
It’s about blood.  “Psychotic” is all about the art of the kill, the ritual spirituality of the act.  It’s harder to keep things clean, though.  Evidence-wise.  You don’t want to sully the scene with bleach or ammonia.  But I feel like it’s a lot more satisfying in the long run.

         NEIL
Where do you get all this shit?

         CALVIN
It’s all common sense, Neil.

         NEIL
It’s fantasy.

         BYRON
Let’s go with “safe”, hey, Cal.  What’s that all about?

Calvin takes in a large mouthful of ice-cream, cringing at the cold.  He nods towards an obese man lying on his back, sleeping in the sun.

         JAMES
The fat man?

         BYRON
Why him?

As Calvin struggles with his ice-cream, a girl – MORGAN, slightly younger than the boys, appears over Byron’s shoulder.  She approaches, placing a hand on his shoulder and leaning down to kiss him on the cheek.  He pulls away at first, turning to face her.  Then he smiles and kisses her passionately on the lips.

         NEIL
Gross.

         JAMES
Hi, Morgan.

Morgan manages to tear her thoughts away from Byron just long enough to say hello to the other boys.

         MORGAN
Hello, James.  Calvin, how are you?

Calvin smiles insincerely and fills his mouth with ice-cream.

         MORGAN [CONT’D]
And Neil?  Any interesting –

Neil closes the newspaper, marking his place with his thumb, and looks up at Morgan.

         NEIL
I dislike you.

         MORGAN
I know, but it doesn’t mean we can’t be cordial.

Neil goes back to his paper.

         MORGAN [CONT’D]
Well, I’ll be swimming today at the pool, if any of you would like to join me.

         BYRON
You go on ahead, Morgan, I’ll be down in a bit.

Morgan kisses him once more and carries on down to the pool.  Ice-cream drips from the corners of Calvin’s mouth.

         CALVIN
I like her.  She’s nice.

         BYRON
So why the fat man?

Calvin swallows some ice-cream, pausing before answering.

         CALVIN
He’s weak.  Isolated by his appearance, somewhat repulsive.  He’s the type of person the public doesn’t mourn.  There’s no public outcry for the murder of a fat man.  No one cares.

         JAMES
Also, he’s slow.

         CALVIN
Also, he’s slow.  How hard could it be to murder a fat man?

         BYRON
Alright, so we shoot a fat man, then what?

Calvin begins licking his ice-cream dish.

         CALVIN
No, no, no, no, no.  We don’t shoot the fat man.  Guns are out of the question for now.

         JAMES
Well?

         NEIL
Guns are traceable.  They’re loud, and conspicuous, and dangerous.

         BYRON
Guns are dangerous.

         CALVIN
For now we keep things Cro-Magnon.

Calvin tosses his ice-cream dish.

EXT. NEIL’S BACKYARD – AFTERNOON

The sun is high in the sky as James and Calvin sit on Neil’s back deck.  Neil is tooling away at his bicycle, which is turned upside down on the grass, headphones up to his ears.  We hear the dull fuzz of his music drifting through the air.
                   
CALVIN
Listen.  There’s no God, there’s no governing force, so who’s making up these morals?  Everybody’s so concerned, so bloody, fucking anxious, and because of what?  All of this, this world and everyone in it, it’s all pointless.  You can work all your life to meet the ridiculous expectations of the world, but, in the end, I can still just kill you and make it all moot.

         JAMES
What the fuck are you trying to say?

         CALVIN
I’m saying that I just don’t care about any of this.  Cars, jobs, world hunger, taxes – I just can’t make myself care.  So why not kill people?

         JAMES
How can you say that?

         CALVIN
I like to think it’s because I’m a man of extremes.

         NEIL
So go skydiving.

INT. NEIL’S KITCHEN – AFTERNOON

Calvin and James sit at the kitchen table eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Neil stands at the counter, making one for himself, still listening to his music.

         JAMES
I don’t believe that.  I don’t believe that you believe that.  I think you’re just afraid to die without letting the world know just how bitter you are.

         NEIL
Like a little baby.

         CALVIN
I’m not afraid to die. I’m only afraid that, with a life as empty as mine, I won’t be able to die with any sort of romance or controversy.

Neil removes his headphones, stepping away from his bike.

         NEIL
You’re such a fucking dick-shit.

Byron appears with a soda in his hand, sitting himself at the far end of the kitchen table.

         CALVIN
Why should I be afraid to die?  What the fuck do I have to live for?  I hate my family, I hate my job, I hate women, I hate everyone.  I hate myself.  Death would be a luxury.

         NEIL
So go die.  Go swallow some pills.  You’re doing us any favors. 

         CALVIN
That’s my point.  I can’t just die.  I need the world to know how much I despise it.

INT. NEIL’S BASEMENT – AFTERNOON

Calvin and Neil sit on a couch in the center of the room, playing videogames.  James and Byron sit nearby.  Byron digs through an old shoebox full of Sega Genesis cartridges.

         NEIL
You really think you could kill a man?

         CALVIN
Fuck that.  I’ve been told all my life that killing another human being is the absolute worst thing anyone can do.  Fuck that.  I’d do it, and enjoy it, just to prove them wrong.  Just to spite the world.
         
JAMES
I don’t believe that.

         BYRON
Why haven’t you, then?

Calvin thinks for a moment as he stands, passing his console controller to Byron.

         CALVIN
It’s a delicate procedure, murder.  It takes planning and preparation.

         BYRON
How would you do it?

         CALVIN
Probably as haphazardly as possible.  To be methodical is to be safe, and to be safe defeats the purpose.

         NEIL
I can’t agree with that.  If you’re going for numbers – body count – safety is the key.  You’ve got to do it properly if you want to do any real damage.

         BYRON
But where’s the romance in that, eh, Calvin?

Calvin smiles, shaking his finger at Byron.

         CALVIN
Exactly.

         JAMES
Is that what it’s about, Calvin?  The drama?

         NEIL
I feel like, with a thought process like that, you’re not saying anything.  You’re just a flashy news story.  You’re a character in primetime crime drama, or a cheap summer thriller.

         CALVIN
Isn’t that what we all are?  A group of kids trying our hardest to turn our lives into primetime dramas?  That’s the only version of adulthood I’ve ever been privy to.

         NEIL
I’m more interested in breaking from the formula.

Byron stands, passing the controller back to Calvin, heads to the corner of the room, and leans against the wall.

         CALVIN
So instead of trying to be a super hero, let’s put on a mask and rob a bank.

         NEIL
That’s not breaking anything, that’s perfecting it.

         BYRON
You two talk about being a monster as if it were choice.  It has nothing to do with planning or preparation, it’s all about impulse.  It’s about what you feel growing inside you, and the satisfaction of a violent release.

         CALVIN
A lust for blood.

         BYRON
A lust for power.

         NEIL
Lust.  I can agree with that.

James stands.

         JAMES
What have you all just decided?

Neil drops his controller and leans forward to switch off the console.

         CALVIN
That we’re all fucking insane.

EXT. LIBRARY – DAY

Byron and Neil sit at an outdoor table, a stack of books between them.  Neil scans the back of each dust-cover, reading each synopsis, as Byron pages through a thick volume of collected contemporary art.  Neither attempts to make eye-contact with the other.

         NEIL
In a town like this, what do you think our chances would be?

         BYRON
With no motive, and no witnesses, and no body, and no murder weapon, where would you start, if you were a policeman?

         NEIL
Cops don’t worry me nearly as much as Calvin.  Or James.

         BYRON
We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

INT. JAMES’ GARAGE – EVENING

The enclosure is large enough for two cars, but is currently wide and open, poorly lit by a dull, fluorescent light bulb.  Pacing past a pegboard, James inspects an array of tools.  However, he quickly grows tired and unsatisfied, and finds himself sitting, cross-legged, in the center of the garage.

EXT. CALVIN’S BACKYARD – EVENING

Calvin sits on a cement step, just beneath his back door, his pocketknife in hand, carving into the end of a large stick, creating a crude point.

INT. CAR – DAY

The car is parked.  Neil sits slouched behind the wheel, staring out the window, distracting himself in his casual dismissive way.  Byron and James sit in the backseat, James staring at his feet, Byron staring at Calvin.  Up front Calvin sits jittering and fidgeting, his eyes fixed forward.  All of them wear hats and gloves, dark clothing, and sturdy running shoes.

         JAMES
This doesn’t feel right.

         CALVIN
It’s in our nature to kill, James.  It’s instinct.

         JAMES
Why do I feel guilty already?

         BYRON
You haven’t committed to anything yet.  None of us have.  We haven’t done anything.  If you leave right now James, I’ll follow you.

         NEIL
I’m staying.

James thinks for a moment, glancing at Byron, inspecting his fearful eyes.  After a moment, Byron looks away.

         JAMES
Yeah.

         CALVIN
Here we go.

Calvin reaches for the door handle and pushes his way out of the car.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – NIGHT

The night is cold but clear and the air lies still on the empty street.  The street lights in this part of town are few and far between, creating large gaps of dark, unseen spaces.  Out on her late night walk, an older WOMAN, in her late fifties, marches at a steady, speedy pace along the edge of the road.  There is no sidewalk, so she moves along the street, pumping her arms at her sides, trying her hardest to regulate her breathing.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL AREA – NIGHT

Calvin rushes recklessly through backyards, around trees and bushes, and over fences, struggling to remain silent.  He moves quickly, burdened only with a medium sized spear.  Even in the dark we can tell he is smiling.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – NIGHT

The old woman huffs along, sweat rolling down her forehead, dripping into her eyes.  She  lifts her shaky wrist up to her face, wiping away the moisture.  She turns over her hand, stroking the length of her face with her palm and fingers, and inspects her findings as she reaches the light of an overhead street lantern.

Looking down at her hand, distracted by her exhaustion, the woman doesn’t even notice Calvin, who races toward her from behind.  His face quickly turns from a smile to a sneer, and finally to wrinkled, disgusted growl within his last few steps.  He lowers the spear in both hands, holding it tightly at his waist, and launches himself at the woman’s torso, heaving with all his weight.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL AREA – NIGHT

Byron and Neil try to follow Calvin’s path, edging around darkened houses, angling through shadows.  James has fallen far behind them.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – NIGHT

Arriving at the empty street, Neil and Byron immediately focus their attention on the figures at the edge of the streetlight’s reach.  Standing tall and mighty, Calvin looks down on the wheezing body of the old woman. 

She lies on her stomach, face turned to the side, one arm outstretched.  Her eyes are wide and cognizant, deep set and bloodshot.  She breathes heavily, with a thick crackle in the back of her throat.  Either due to the intense pain, or the potential severing of her spine, she is clearly unable to move.  She blinks, releasing tears of fear and helplessness.

Calvin hides his sick with a grin.

         NEIL
How did you know she was early?

Neil stands beside Calvin, looking down at the body, a purely clinical look in his eyes.  A short distance away stands Byron, looking down at the body, uncomfortable, but clearly excited.  James arrives, out of breath, and is immediately stricken with fear.  He attempts to turn away, but cannot keep his eyes off of the body.

         JAMES
She’s not dead?

         CALVIN
Don’t worry, boys.  She will be.

Calvin kneels down beside the woman, stroking her hair, caressing her face with the back of his hand.  He places his heel at the base of her neck and tugs at the spear.  On the second try, the weapon breaks free.  He stands, removing a folded, black garbage bag from his back pocket and, snapping the stick, places it in the empty sack.

         CALVIN [CONT’D]
She’s fucking disgusting.

Neil turns to Byron, handing him a large buck-knife.  His face holds no mercy, no concern, no compassion.

         NEIL
As of right now, this is a group effort.

Byron lets his eyes drift from the glittering sheen of the knife to the bleeding, broken body.

         CALVIN
Neil, you should be first.

         JAMES
Shouldn’t we move her out of the light?

Neil steps up to the body, bends over casually, and stabs the woman, just beneath the ribs.  The knife goes in smoothly and comes out clean.  He stands and holds the knife out to James and Byron.  They both stare at it.

         NEIL
Let’s go.

Byron quickly looks to James, who has no intention of taking the knife, before grabbing the blade for himself.  He marches up to the body and, squatting beside it, he rolls it onto it’s back.  He stares into her eyes for a long moment before letting his gaze fall to her lips, then down to her neck.  He reaches out with his fingers, letting them slip just beneath the bottom edge of her sweatshirt, feeling the cold, wet flesh of her shivering body.

         JAMES
Byron, we don’t have to –

With both hands Byron lifts the blade, and with every ounce of his strength he drives the blade into the woman’s chest.  The first strike glances off the sternum, tearing her shirt and skin, splattering a few warm droplets of blood onto Byron’s cheek.  Unsatisfied, he stabs again, this time landing just above her collar bone, again releasing a spray of blood, thick and dark crimson.

         NEIL
That’s enough.  We have to keep this tidy and quick.

Calvin helps Byron to his feet, dragging him from the body, and takes the knife from his hand, placing it in the trash bag.  Neil turns to James.

         NEIL [CONT’D]
Your turn, James.

James is dripping with sweat.

         CALVIN
She’s already dead, Neil.  I think that last one got her.

Neil looks back at the lifeless, old woman, then back at James.

         NEIL
You stay here and clean up.

Calvin tugs at the woman’s legs, pulling her away from the bulk of her spilled blood and further out of the light.  As the other three march back to the car, James retrieves a jug of ammonia from his backpack and begins dowsing the area.

EXT. FIELD – NIGHT

Light rises from the ground, reflecting off of the naked bodies of James, Neil, and Byron, who place their clothes in a small pile beside them.  Calvin collects the pile, dropping it on the already burning body at the center of the clearing.  Calvin tosses more gasoline on the flame.  James turns to vomit.

EXT. BRIDGE – NIGHT

Neil’s car slows to a stop in the center of the long bridge, Calvin’s arm reaching out for a moment, tossing a bundled trash bag into the tumultuous waters below.  The car pulls away, driving off into the night.

INT. CAR – NIGHT

James is catatonic, frozen with fear and guilt.  Byron exhibits apparent shame, but only to hide his excitement.  Neil is silent.  Calvin’s knee bobs up and down, his body leaned forward in the front passenger’s seat.

         CALVIN
Boys.  That was redonkulous.

INT. BYRON’S BEDROOM – EARLY MORNING

Byron lies in bed, fully clothed, head resting against the wall.  He looks down at his cluttered floor, at the light of sun spread across the clumps of clothing and stacked books. 

INT. BYRON’S KITCHEN – EARLY MORNING

Crossing the dark room, Byron opens the refrigerator, scanning the empty shelves.  He closes his eyes, letting the cold air cool his damp forehead.

EXT. BYRON’S DRIVEWAY – EARLY MORNING

The sky is glowing, but not quit illuminated, with early morning sunlight.  Byron walks slowly down the gravel driveway, setting off the security light.  He makes his way to the street and pauses, in the center, and looks both ways, sliding a cigarette between his lips.

EXT. SUBURBIA – EARLY MORNING

Byron walks aimlessly and endlessly through the quiet expanses of his rural hometown, the unlit cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth.  He watches, patiently, as the world slowly awakens.  A world he does not quite understand.

INT. GROCERY STORE – MORNING

Entering through the automatic doors, Byron finds a small society of people already wide awake and working.  Customers drift through aisles and stand in register queues, chattering mindlessly with one another.  Byron finds himself inspecting their faces, their movements, finding nothing of himself in them. 

He is different now.  Maybe he always has been.

EXT. GROCERY STORE – MORNING

Byron exits, tossing his unlit cigarette, and negotiates his way through the parking lot obstacle course of shopping carts, SUVs, and hurried customers.

INT. CAR – DAY

The car is parked, windows rolled down, lodged in downtown, street-side parking.  Bodies and vehicles move past the passengers on either side.  Neil and James sit in the front seats while Calvin lies sleeping in the back.  Neil reads the local newspaper.

         JAMES
It’s been a month.

         NEIL
Mhmm.

         JAMES
And…  Nothing?

         NEIL
Nope.

         JAMES
Should I be relieved?  I almost wanted to get caught.  I had my confession all planned out.  The longer it takes them to catch us, the harder it’ll be to fake a guilty conscience.

Neil closes his newspaper.

         NEIL
James, you didn’t do anything.

         JAMES
I would’ve.  I know I would’ve.  Thinking back, I just…

         CALVIN
It’s been long enough.

In the back seat, Calvin’s opened his eyes but continues to lounge.

         CALVIN [CONT’D]
You want another chance, James?

EXT. PARK – DAY

The four boys are collected beneath a grouping of large, old trees, sitting, watching the children at play.

         CALVIN
I’m concerned that it wasn’t properly cathartic, at least not for you boys.  I’m still feeling plenty of angst and curiosity.

         JAMES
Well, it was kind of a selfish plan, wasn’t it?

         CALVIN
Well, it was an old plan.  I’ve had that one brewing for ages.  Had to get it out –

         NEIL
Maybe this one should be a joint effort, hey?

         JAMES
I know a man.

         CALVIN
A man?

         JAMES
I see him late at night, when I’m biking home.  He threw a bottle at me once.  He always looks so lonely.

         NEIL
Have you ever seen him with anyone?

         JAMES
He’s a drunken asshole.

         BYRON
What’s his name?

James and the others seem confused by the question.

         JAMES
I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know about this.

         CALVIN
Don’t be such a faggot, James.

INT. BAR – NIGHT

An older man, maybe younger than he looks, his body broken and world weary, sits at the bar, resting on his elbows.  His head is sunken down into his shoulders, heavy with liquor.  Behind his eyes is a quiet, undecipherable sadness, a dowsed flame where life once shone brightly.  Dirty fingers capped with splintered nails wrap loosely around an empty mug.

Behind him a younger, more active crowd covers the cracked, sticky floorboards, mostly groups of hopeful men clustering around unattractive, promiscuous women with promising eyes.  He scowls at them in the mirror, cursing their optimism, growing sick at the sight of their happiness.

As he stands to leave a man’s elbow catches him in the ribs, an unforgivable accident.  The OLD MAN starts to shout, but swallows his words, turning them into a coarse, throaty growl.

EXT. BAR – NIGHT

Bursting from the pub, his arm outstretched and rigid, the man turns to stumble down the empty sidewalk.  However, after a few limp-legged steps he stops, leaning against a telephone pole, before turning back in the other direction.

His shoulder bouncing against the bricks on either side, the man turns and tumbles through a arrow walkway between the bar and the neighboring building.

EXT. ALLEY – NIGHT

The mans body falls headlong into the dirty alleyway, the resulting gust lifting frayed, plastic shopping bags drifting into the air.  He lies there for a moment, releasing one or two deep, chesty coughs, before bending his arms beneath himself, and pushing his body back into an upright position.

Looking to his left, down to where the alley meets the street, he sees, through inebriated eyeballs, a dark figure standing in the center of the passage.

         OLD MAN
Hey!  You!

In an oddly fluid motion the man lowers his shoulder, letting his arm sweep down, and lifts an empty, discarded bottle, hurling it in the direction of the figure.  The bottle misses its mark, falling far too short.

As the man turns to walk in the other direction, his body meets another, dropping him on his ass.  He cringes at the fleeting pain in his boney backside and in his frail wrists.  He looks up at the second figure, a sour grimace on his face.

James stands looking down on him, his eyes soft and his body looking rather limp.  In his hand he holds a well-weighted crowbar.  The cold steel of the object is the only thing keeping him sober.
         
         OLD MAN
Well wouldja’ watch wear yer…  Hey!  I’m…

James lifts the crowbar, catching the other end in his free hand, holding the weapon close to his chest.  His eyes continue to stare into the old man’s.

         OLD MAN [CONT’D]
I don’t know whatch you’re looking at, but I’m…  I’m…

The old man looks up at James, his hatred fading away just slightly.  He lowers his head and raises his arm.

         OLD MAN [CONT’D]
Would you help me up? Help me up, help me up, son.  Help me get back on my feet.

The old mans arm snap mid forearm, his body twisting sharply at the impact.  James quickly lifts and drops the crowbar, landing another blow just beneath the man’s shoulder blade.  Soon three other figures appear, some holding weapons, some attacking with just their fists and feet.  The gang beats the old man mercilessly, with only a few short, sickly shouts of protest.

EXT. VACANT LOT – NIGHT

James drops a match into a battered, aluminum trash can, fire rising up from its open mouth.  Calvin and Byron stand nearby.  Calvin steps forward to drop a baseball bat into the flames.  He stands for a moment, looking into the heat, watching the flesh burn away from wrinkled, broken fingers.

Behind them Neil digs a hole into the rocky earth.

         CALVIN [V.O.]
That was better…

EXT. NEIL’S BACKYARD – DAY

We return to Neil’s backyard, the boys back in their usual positions.  Neil is again working on his bike, his headphones up to his years.

         CALVIN [CONT’D]
But it just doesn’t feel right.

         JAMES
We should do someone younger.          

         BYRON
We should do someone we know.

         NEIL
No.  That’s rule number one.  One connections, no motives.  No one we know.

         CALVIN
Did you have someone in mind?

         BYRON
We’ve been doing this all wrong.  It’s not the blood, it’s the face behind it.  It’s more mental than physical.

         CALVIN
I’m game.

         NEIL
No, there’s too much risk.

         JAMES
He’s right, though.  When we were…  Fighting that man, I was imagining every face I could think of.  Every stupid, stuck-up girl, every narrow-minded authority figure, my parents, my teachers, my bigoted neighbor –

         BYRON
But in the end, you still wake up in the morning, and they’re still there.

Neil stands, stepping away from his bicycle.

         NEIL
You can kills bums.  You can kill old ladies.  But you can’t kill your high-school teacher and think you’ll get away with it.

         CALVIN
Why not?  Would anyone really suspect us?  Why would they?

Neil closes his mouth and moves back to his bicycle.

         CALVIN [CONT’D]
So who do we hate, that no one knows we hate, that no one will ever mourn?
© Copyright 2011 Elbo Carbert (caleb42 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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