by Captain Reid
Story about wrong turns and opportunities. And ghost dogs.
|SECOND HAND HEARTS
CARLOS PATRICK REID
A young boy, Wesley, is fleeing from a crash scene. Behind
him, a smoking wrecked pickup truck is nosed into the ditch. A police car slides to a stop behind the wreck.
The teenager is limping. Blood is dripping down his right calf from a
fractured bone. He is pursued by a lone determined
policeman, RUSTY patiently follows the panicky
teenager into a creek bed. The police chief stops in the dry
creek bed and looks up at the fleeing child. Wesley’s right
leg makes a snapping noise and he screams and begins sliding
down the creek bank. He is now directly in front of the
uniformed chief of police. He is defiant at first even as
the chief points the gun at him. He glances down and sees a
Bible in the policeman’s left hand. His eyes widen and the
child starts begging for his life. At first the policeman
aims the .40 cal Beretta semi automatic into the boy’s face.
Then after pause he levels the barrel with the boy’s stomach
and squeezes the trigger. Brown color blood explodes from
the boy’s belly. WESLEY screams in agony. The cocky attitude
is gone as pleads for mercy. The policeman holsters the
pistol and begins reading the bible verses "ashes to
INT. PAT’S APARTMENT MORNING
Pat is cleaning up beer bottles and liquor bottles. He files
away pictures of ex-wife. He gently wipes the portrait of a
beautiful woman and places it in a box. He piles condolence
cards on top. He pulls a black wreath from his door and puts
it into a garbage bag. He shaves. He is clearly making a new
start. The phone rings; it is POP’s other daughter KATHY
from Washington State.
Hi Pat. I was wondering if you
could check on Pop. He hasn’t
returned my calls.
That sounds like him.
I know. But I have a bad feeling.
He will usually check in, at a crazy
hour and leave a voice mail so that
he won’t have to talk.
He hates me.
He hates everyone. I know it’s
hard but I really need you to do
this. I could call the police but I
hate to cry wolf.
No problem. I will check on him
Hangs up and he is swiftly out the door.
INT JACKIE’S TRAILER
Jackie is rushing in the door. She grabs a EPT from the
paper bag. She rips at the hard plastic wrappings and
eventually grabs the edge of the package with her teeth and
rips it violently as she runs to the bathroom.
Seconds later she is watching her watch. She watches the
minutes countdown. While she is waiting she remembers.
INT RESTAURANT PREVIOUS MEETING
Felicia is checking makeup in a pocket mirror in a cafe.
She presses at the crows feet around her eyes. She begins
admiring the waiter by peering over her menu. She watches
his approach. Sensing his arrival she fluffs her hair and
exposes her neck.
Felicia smiles confidently and lowers menu.
Thanks...I just had my
She stops when she sees him staring out the window. Jackie is passing by and looks stunning in a simple thin dress.
I am sorry ma’am. You were saying.
Oh nothing. That’s Jackie she is
my old friend. She is very
beautiful. My first husband had a
huge crush on her.
(she takes a
bread stick, gnaws on it and mumbles to herself)
Nothing changes. I have always
stood under that bitch’s shadow.
Sweet Jackie. Lovely Jackie. Cant
you be like Jackie. Why are you a
bitch? Be nice like Jackie. Blah.
(she looks up at the
Cancel the tea.
Bring me a Mojito!)
Jackie enters and sits by Felicia.
Is that a new dress? You look
I got it at Wal-Mart for 9.95. Do you think that it is pretty.
Sure for 10 bucks it makes you look great.
Felicia. I am so happy.
You deserve it. I can’t believe you
caught him. I didn’t think he would
be serious about anyone. After his
He has been suffering. He is so
Sweet… and he would never be cruel
No more black eyes honey. You
deserve this guy. Do you think he
wants kids? I know that you always
dreamed of a family.
No. Hell no. He was clear on that.
He made me promise. He is over that
phase in his life.
I can understand that. Every young
woman married or single has been
throwing themselves at him. They
want his money. Still how do you
feel about that? I mean the child
I am older now. I can let that
dream go. It just wasn’t meant to
be. If I was supposed to have a
baby, God would have given me one.
Probably best. Any pregnancy would
be high risk. I am sorry that your
dream didn’t come true. My four kids
have been a blessing especially on
I am good with it. Pat is a
dream. We grew up together. Did
you know that I have loved him
Kindergarten? Are you kidding?
No. It is true. He would build me
straw houses on the playground when
I was a little girl. If only I had
been 2 more years older.
It is like we have been just missing each other.
Wow. You have come full circle. At
least now you will be rich.
I feel like I am alive for the
Felicia watches Jackie leave. She looks up and the waiter is
standing beside the table watching too.
Is she married?
No. She has herpes. (downs the
Mojito). Shut up and get me another
one of these!
INT RESTAURANT ROMANTIC CANDLE LIGHT
Pat and Jackie huddle close and speak in whispers.
I am ready. But you have to promise me.
I promise. You can trust me.
He kisses her passionately. She sighs.
INT JACKIE’S BATHROOM
The cell phone timer goes off. She peeks over reading
glasses at the early pregnancy test stick. She begins
crying. She is pregnant. She is 40+ and pregnant. She has
betrayed her one true love.
EXT DIRT ROAD
Pat drives by a house where crime scene tape and police cars
are pulled over. Rusty the police chief somberly waves at
him. Pat continues down the road and stops at a beautiful
house on a hill. He exits the car. And knocks on the door.
No answer. He walks around to the kitchen and looks in. He
sees POP sitting at the kitchen table petting Rebel
INT POPS KITCHEN
Pat is reaching for the dog.
(Tears on his face)
Pop. Give Rebel to me. Pop.
(mumbling something.) No.
Pop. Please. He is gone.
No. he is sleeping. Go away.
Pop look at the brush.
Pat notices the fur is coming off the dog. It is dead.
Perhaps for a couple of days.
EXT POP’S YARD
Pop and Pat are standing in a corner of the yard marked by
little pet headstones. They have just buried Rebel. The old
man’s face is covered in tears. But still he is proud and
Pop. He was so old.
Pop wont you come to my house and
stay with me.
(Rusty the police chief walks up.)
George. We have had another home
invasion. It would be best if you
stayed in town till we sort this
thing out. It is not safe for you
to be out here all alone.
Pop snatches his head around.
I wouldn’t be alone. If this son of
a bitch hadn’t killed my daughter.
Pop stumbles back to his house.
It’s okay. He doesn’t mean it. But
he is right.
Pat it isn’t your fault. She had
We could have caught it. She wanted
to save her baby for me. It was a
boy. She wouldn’t start the chemo.
I should have made her.
That is not fair. (pauses)
Pat. I can’t tell you how bad it
is. But we have some sick animals
attacking old people. They tied
Margaret up and then strangled her
with the mouse cord from her
computer. It is worse but...
What is wrong with this world? I
will call Kathy; maybe she can talk
him into moving into town. But he
is stubborn. I doubt it. I will
(Rusty looks at all the little headstones. Pat starts
pointing at the stones.)
That there is Yankee a golden
cockier spaniel. Sam over here was
a huge Siamese cat with a black
The old guy puts on a tough front.
But he is a softy. He loves puppies.
Their whole family is like that.
They have a hard time saying I love
you to people. The pets open their
hearts. (he looks away)
I saw a Maltese at the pet store.
Why don’t you just walk away? My
god this is painful to watch.
(softly)I don’t know.
INT ROACH INFESTED APARTMENT IN PROJECT
Wesley and a group of crack heads are binging on drugs
scored from their latest home invasion. Rap music blaring
INT POPS KITCHEN
The old man is picking up Rebel’s toys and crying.
INT OF RESTAURANT
Pat and Jackie are having a romantic dinner. But the subject
turns to the violence.
What kind of animals would hurt
sweet Miss Margaret?
Rusty didn’t say much but it was
I hope they catch them soon.
Pat tries to change subject.
I want to go buy Pop a new puppy.
Would you help me?
Sure. I would really love too. But
he is so mean to you. Are you sure
you want to put yourself in his
He is all I have left. (Pat look
away back remembering)
I think that would be sweet. You
Both take bites of food and drink wine. After an thoughtful
and awkward silence.
I cleaned up. I mean I packed up
her things today.
Are you okay?
Yes. I have to move on. I just
booked a trip around the world for
two. Will you come with me?
What will everyone
think? (reluctant because..her hand moves to her belly)
Nothing. I was hoping we could stop
off in Vegas and get married.
Jackie begins crying violently. She looks him in the eyes as
she backs out of her chair.
Yes. I have to leave now. I will
Pat is left there stunned.
INT ROACH INFESTED APARTMENT IN PROJECT
The gang of youths has weapons out and are walking around
Pointing hand symbols and making like gangsters. One girl is videotaping the
ridiculous posturing. Gangster party. One punk is polishing a shiny semi-automatic pistol. They are getting
ready to attack someone.
INT JACKIE’S APARTMENT
Jackie on the phone with Felicia. Jackie is a wreck from
He asked me to marry him. He will
hate me if he finds out that I
(scowling)Don’t tell him; just
do it. You will have lots of
(sobbing)I have an appointment in
Joplin. Reynard clinic on "abortion
You really don’t have a choice. No
one can blame you.
Why would god do this? I wanted a
child my whole life. Why ...why..
Pat’s wife died in child birth. He
will be so disappointed if he finds
out that you got pregnant.
Especially with all that mess with
that whore at the dinner claiming
he was her baby daddy. Sure the
paternity test cleared it up but it
nearly destroyed him. His father
in law went crazy with anger. This
is lousy timing.
He never has to know.
(Felicia is smiling and her eyebrows are arched. He will
INT ROACH INFESTED APARTMENT IN PROJECT
Door crashes open as heavy metal music blares. Guns drawn,
police raid the apartment. Led by an enraged RUSTY.
He has kicked in the door. He is on the trail of the killers. He
clears the apartment and smashes the CD player.
A deputy enters.
They aren’t here.
Where do you think they are now?
They... are killing someone.
INT POPS KITCHEN
A hammer smacks downward with a sickening thud. Glimpses of
punks beating POP. POP is battered and bleeding. The old man
crawls while the punks trash and search for valuables.
Where is that old man?
I don’t know man. I think he
Punk points out the window.
There he is outside with that
I don’t see no dog. I will finish
(Bumps fist with punk.)
WESLEY AND PUNK
EXT PET GRAVE IN YARD
Pop is lying on Rebel’s grave and talking to him. Wesley and
the punk swagger outside with a hammer. They pimp stalk up to the
old man. Pop is delirious.
Rebel! It’s time to come in. Rebel.
What is wrong with you old dude?
Pop looks to the side. And sees a wavering vision of Yankee, a shiny cocker spaniel.
Yankee. Oh Yankee. Help me.
Punk and Wesley are confused. They are sweating and high but
they still don’t see anything. They strain their eyes
searching the darkness. The punk looks at the area Pop is
Get him Yankee.
Punk is paranoid and now afraid. Panic. He shoots in the
direction. He is terrified. Now he sees the dog. He sees
teeth and red eyes. He shoots all his bullets and is
clicking. He screams as a hoard of ghost dogs attack him. He
is dragged screaming into the night. Wesley panics and runs
for the truck. Two other punks now enter the yard confused
and are surrounded by the spirits of the dead pets. They
swing knives and hammers at the ghosts with no effect. The
dogs converge as a pack. They swarm supernaturally over the
two punks and rip them to pieces. Screams fill the night
EXT RENARD CLINIC
Morning shot of Jackie reluctantly entering the abortion
clinic. The camera pans down the sidewalks we see 50 other
EXT POPS YARD
Pat drives up to see firemen, ambulances, and emergency
personnel...heavy duty crime scene.
Pat jumps out of the car and runs up. POP is being loaded
into the ambulance.
Wait. (gasping) My son.
(The ambulance attendants stop and allow Pat forward.)
Pop are you okay.
(shakes his head, no) Rebel
came last night. He saved me.
You are going to be okay. We will
get you help.
No (gasping) going with Rebel. I
have to tell you.
..not..(gasps..dying) your fault.
She knew the risks of the cancer. I
know it was her choice...she told
You can’t go Pop. You are all I
(eyes stir) No. You have a
Medics shove Pat aside and begin CPR. No use but they
continue. He is gone. Pat is weeping. Pat hears dog barking
and looks around. Snapping out of it. He pulls his phone out
and dials Jackie’s number.
"The number you have dialed is not in service."
Pat has a flashback of Jackie running out of diner last
(Pat smiles with tears in his eyes. he feels a warm glow in
the pit of his stomach. )
I am going to be a father.
INT FELICIA’S OFFICE
Pat. I promised I wouldn’t say
anything. What? How did you find
out. Yes. She is pregnant. You
aren’t mad. Well she is getting an
abortion in Joplin right now. She
doesn’t want to miss that trip to
Vegas because of an inconvenience.
The clinic...she didn’t tell me the
name. (hangs up with evil delight)
Pat is driving like a madman. while goggling map directions
for clinics in Joplin.
Pat is thrown out of a clinic by a security guard. And again.
He looks down the street at the many offices. It is
hopeless. On the corner a little white dog is barking at
Pat runs after the little dog. He chases it across several
streets and ends up in front of the Reynard clinic. Jackie
walks out of the clinic holding her stomach and crying. She
gasps as she sees Pat. She runs. She turns into a dead end alley. Pat block her exit. Pat begins crying.
I (sniff) couldn’t betray. I am
(drops to his knees) No.
Jackie walks forward and Pat hugs her thighs.
I am sorry. I couldn’t kill our
baby. I will raise it. I don’t want
your money. You won’t see us again.
(Pat is stands up. Smiling as she babbles.)
I want our baby. We are going to
have a son.
You are just saying that to make me
feel better. You are lying. You are
just being noble. I don’t want you
to have to marry me. I want you to
love me. You are free to travel.
I do love you.
No. How could I know the truth?
(She pulls away. And turns her back to him. She begins to
I have loved you since
Jackie freezes and holds her breath.
Please don’t walk away. I have spent my whole life watching you pass by.
You don’t remember this, but when
you were a little girl. I would
build you houses of straw. You were
too little to remember.
I have always been in love with
Jackie turns and runs to him.
I remember. I remember.
(Passionate kissing. Desperate embrace.)
EXT IN THE CREEK
Rusty stands reading from the Bible. Boy is pale. Face looks
bleached from blood loss. A pool of blood makes a puddle at
his feet. Police chief stops reading the bible verses.
You are a good man. You don’t want
to do this.
Margaret was my Sunday school
teacher when I was just a boy.
Look. I am sick. I am crazy. I am
innocent because I am crazy.
Crazy don’t make you innocent. It
makes you guilty.
(Screams) NO! Daddy no.
Bang. A single gunshot echoes in the valley.
INT FELICIA’S APARTMENT
Felicia has dark circles under her eyes and is taking
prescription sleep medicine.
Can’t sleep. Damn dog barking.
Stop barking, damn it!
Felicia asleep. Quits breathing. Her fingers uncurl and the
pill bottle rolls across the bed sheets.
A dog barks in the