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Rated: 13+ · Script/Play · Drama · #2031032
Shrink (W)rap
Short film
BY: Derek Thorpe


The doctor is moving into his new office from a different city. He is alone and unpacking books and other personal items from boxes. The office is beginning to take shape but there is still packing plastic on some of the furniture. slacks and a dress shirt only. A manila chart sits on his desk. There’s a knock from the outer door and he stops and goes down a short hallway to answer it.


Dr. Fornace

Yes, may I help you.

Young woman looking down to the floor. Black brim hat and shades. She raises her head and deftly side steps inside the office.

(looking at piece of paper)
Hi I’m looking for Dr. Forn...ace.

Dr. Fornace
It’s Forn-a-chi but people mispronounce it all the time. I am he. Are you the young lady that was supposed to be here at two?

I suppose so.....I had a few things to take care of first.Is there anyone else here?

Dr. Fornace
No we are alone. I assumed that you were no longer coming, which was fine by me as I am not quite ready to receive patients as yet.

Ashleigh takes off shades and hat to reveal stunning good
looks. Long Black hair and well made up face. She looks
around the office with slight contempt. He motions for
her to follow him down the short hallway.

Dr. Fornace
Follow me back.

Arrives into inner office and goes to desk to pick up
folder. she’s just arriving when he speaks.

Dr. Fornace
Can I get your signature on this piece of paper?

Can’t wait to get my autograph already?

Dr. Fornace
No. I need you to sign this release form to get
started. Why would I want your autograph?

Everyone wants my autograph. You don’t recognize
(turning full frontal)

He looks at her blankly then to his chart.

Dr. Fornace
My note says Ashleigh....L E I G H..no last name.
What IS your last name?

There is no last name. I’m Ashleigh.....you know
‘ASHLEIGH’........‘fire inside’ .......‘Love and

Dr. Fornace
Nope. Doesn’t ring a bell...but whomever you are it
was enough for the chairman of the Psychiatric
Academy of America to ask me to see you today as a
personal favor to him even before my office is
officially opened......Sign here please.

(stunned visually....signs papers)
She sizes the doctor up. Takes off coat and gestures for
him to hang both the coat and the hat up on the rack. He
gestures back that she should hang them up herself. she

Dr. Fornace
So let’s get started. It’s already late. Pardon the
mess but unpacking is tedious. You’ll be sitting on
the couch over there.

The couch is still covered in shrink wrap.

Really!?....it’s still got the plastic wrap on it.

Dr. Fornace
Whup. Let me get that for you.

He gets a box cutter and proceeds to cut away the shrink
wrap. She looks at his arms and his back while he cuts
away the plastic. She notices his greying temples and
firm thighs and decides that he’s an attractive older

he finishes up but leaves some residual plastic around
the edges. He puts his sports jacket on and sits in the
arm chair beside he couch.

Thanks... Why did you put your jacket on?

Dr. Fornace
It’s more professional don’t you think? Have a seat or a recline if you like.

She sits.

Dr. Fornace

It’s just Ashleigh....It’s how the world calls to
me. I told you.

Dr. Fornace
So Miss Ashleigh.. What brings you to my office
with such an urgent appointment?

Well for starters......bullshit aside, I really
don’t want to be here. I can think of 750 things
I’d rather be doing than sitting in a shrink’s
office. Although, pound for pound I guess they
could have picked a worse looking psych for me to
talk to.
(smiling, twirling hair strands)

Dr. Fornace
I appreciate you moving the ‘bovine excrement’ out
of the way. So who is “they” that you speak of?

They? my peeps.....my management team and recording
producer. They think I need a little.....
adjustment I guess. Big deal...So I fly off the
handle every once in a while. Sheesh.

Dr. Fornace
By ‘fly off the handle’, you mean get upset in
unjustified situations?

Well I think the situations are very justified.
People just like to piss me off!
(pauses...wants to change the subject)
So Doc...You really don’t know who I am for real?
You never heard that song ‘fire inside’?

Dr. Fornace
I’m sorry but I can’t swear that I have. The music
industry is so littered with one-named-one-hit
artists that it’s hard to keep up.Is it so
important that I know that about you though?
Don’t pesky fans bug the crap out of you?

Hey! I’m no one-hit-wonder Bub! and yes I hate
annoying fans.

Dr. Fornace
Let’s get some ground rules in place young lady:
I’m not your “Bub”. You may call me Doc if you
want. You can show high emotion..anger even, though
not at me......We’re good?

(Shrugging shoulders)
We’re good....ok cool.

She looks at him again and can’t decide if she’ll seduce
him for fun or if she really is attracted to him.

Dr. Fornace
(looking through folder)
Ahh..There’s a note here that was delivered with
the file. I hadn’t had the chance to open it. Let’s
have a read shall we?

He opens and reads the letter while she slips off her

You mind if I lie down?

She lies with her head facing away from the doctor in
the classic shrink/patient configuration.

Dr. Fornace
(He reads and gestures to relax)
Be my patient...
Hmmmm. Miss Ashleigh. It seems that there is some
ultimatum element to your forced appointment. Says
here that the promoters to your nation wide tour
will not insure you until you ‘Seek and begin
psychiatric evaluation for your precipitous
personality’. Hmmm when does the tour begin?

(pillow over her face and mouth)
I’m set to play Miami in three days Doc!

Dr. Fornace
So are you what is called in the industry ‘A diva’?

She raises her hand in admission of the title, when
it falls back to the couch she feels and notices
remnants of the shrink wrap still attached to it. She
begins to gather it slowly behind her head.

I’m not that bad really. I know what I want and I
want what I want. It’s simple enough.

Dr. Fornace
What do you want?

What ever catches my eye. Nothing ridiculous
actually. I have a list of things that I need on
stage, in my dressing room and in my hotel room.
When that stuff isn’t there in the way that I want
it someone will definitely hear it very loudly from
me. I mean....it’s written down. Numbskulls
surround me sometimes.

Dr. Fornace
I see. Reasonable enough....care to give me an

Oh I don’t want to talk about this. Ahhhhh...Ok say
for instance, everyone knows I love love grapes and
cherries. I like them served in a
bowl together. But for good luck, depending on the
city I’m playing, the grapes should be on top then
the cherries or the other way around. It’s
simple. If the name of the city is two words
like St louis, grapes on the bottom. But if the
name ends in a vowel; grapes on top.

Dr. Fornace
So what happens in San Diego?

Duh. Grapes on top obviously. It’s a BIG
city....makes me so mad when they get it wrong
‘cause then the concert has bad karma. Big cities
trump everything.

Dr. Fornace
Yeah I see your frustration...except that I don’t
believe that you particularly like grapes or
cherries at all. If you did, your love for them
would override the urge to throw or scatter them
about. sort of clever how you can make grapes or
cherries on top for which ever city you’re playing.

Ooooh. You’re quick and you’re good Doctor.I think
I’m going to reward the Doctor for being so smart.

She continues to rip the shrink wrap remnants from the
couch. She sits up and begins to twist the plastic into
a short rope and proceeds to self bind her wrists
together. Seductively looking at the Doctor.

Would you like to see me tied up for you Doctor
This shrink wrap is strong enough to act like
handcuffs. You want to have your way with a sexy
rock star Doctor?

He remains motionless, no emotion. Legs crossed pen in
She pivots around to lie in the opposite direction
facing him now.

Here I am Doctor. Alone in your office all tied up.

She sees he remains calm and continues her seduction.
She bends her knees up and parts her legs so he can see
up her skirt.

I’m feeling so warm all over. Tell me what you see

He’s motionless...dispassionate still.

Dr. Fornace
I see a small black G-string covering your vulva
and a little tattoo on your inner thigh. Was there
something else? Did I get it all?

Surprised at his lack of enthusiasm

Come and hold me down and discover more.

Dr. Fornace
No! I think I’ll stay here miss Ashleigh. Close
your legs and fix your clothing.Better than you
have tried my dear.

She gasps and straightens her skirt. Embarrased she
stands up trying to entangle her wrists from the
plastic. Frustrated she entangles herself more. He
motions for he to step forward. In slow motion he cuts
the middle with the box cutter tool. She turns her back
and walks away slowly towards the bookshelf. She begins
to look at the titles and rearranges some books to a
tidier placement on the shelf.

Better than me huh?

Dr. Fornace
How often does your mother come to your concerts?

Almost never....I think she’s like been to one
maybe two.

Dr. Fornace
How come?

She says she doesn’t like loud music, plus she’s
busy working.

Dr. Fornace
What does she do?

She’s a nurse in Denver.

Dr. Fornace
Is that where you grew up?

Pretty much....Until I left at 16, ten years ago.

Dr. Fornace
Does your father come to your concerts?

Hah! He might, come to think of it. I surely
wouldn’t know. That bastard took off when my mother
was pregnant. Never looked back since. Seen some
old photos of him and he called one time when I was
13 to say happy birthday.

Dr. Fornace
Do you miss him?

Miss him? How can I miss someone who doesn’t exist.
How is that even remotely possible to miss that
weak deadbeat who never made an entrance in my


Are you having fun mucking around in my head
doctor? Are you in shrink heaven over there?

Dr. Fornace
If I say Nagasaki you say.......


Dr. Fornace
What would you say would be the two most popular
sports in New Zealand?

That would be rugby and cricket.

Dr. Fornace
Name two major cities in Turkey.

Ankara and Istanbul......Duh.

Dr. Fornace
So grapes on top for Ankara.

Nope. Grapes on top for both.

Dr. Fornace
But Istanbul ends in an ‘L’.

But there’s a clause. If the former name of the
city ends in a vowel as in Constantinople then the
former name trumps the newer name.... Grapes on
top. Ahhhh I had them going on that tour....Why the
20 questions?

Dr. Fornace
I just wanted to get a sense of your knowledge
base. You’re not as silly as you would have people
believe are you?

Ashleigh is still sort of moving along the shelf and
fixing books nonchalantly. She comes across a set of
framed pictures in a box.

So how text book am I Doctor? Petulant and angry at
the world even though I have everything I need. The
need to control everything and have things my way
because my father took off and my mom didn’t care

Dr. Fornace
Ooooh. Not bad...not bad at all... You almost got
it except for one major thing...You secretly crave
the restrictive guidance. You make your
indiscipline so outlandish You’re almost begging
for a reprimand......But of course no one in your
circle has the courage to defy you. That is until
your career begins to decline.

When my career tanks huh. Well by the looks of
things might not be anytime soon.
(she holds up a few of the framed photos)
Is this you with the lamb chop side burns?

Dr. Fornace
Graduated second in my class. Then went onto med
school at USC.

Are these your kids?

Dr. Fornace
No they are my nephews.

Ok. How many kids do you have? Are the pictures in

Dr. Fornace
I don’t have any kids. Come sit back down We’re
almost done with our first session.

And who is this pretty lady?

Dr. Fornace
One that will not be going up in this new office.
That would be my ex-wife Deanna. Put the photos
down Miss Ashleigh. Let’s get back on track.

ooooh A little touchy about Deanna are we?

Dr. Fornace
Usually the case with ex spouses. Pretty standard

Must be a recent break up if her photo is still
hanging around.

Dr. Fornace
I’ll be doing the psychoanalysis around here if you
don’t mind.

Awww come on. Give me a try.You said I was good.
Maybe I can do this after my career tanks.

Dr. Fornace
I was being a little generous.



Dr. Fornace
You get three questions and that’s it. That is your
one and only perk for being a celebrity.

I want four.

Dr. Fornace
Then you get none.

Three it is.....But I expect 100% honesty. Here
goes......... Why are you so boring?

Dr. Fornace
That’s your lead question? You got three and you
waste it on that?

Never mind. Just answer the question ....Fully!

Dr. Fornace
Ok. I’m naturally studios I don’t deny. But I
wasn’t always that way. In fact I used to be into
mountain climbing in my college years before you
were born. Until I had a bad fall from a cliff face
in Colorado. Got busted up pretty bad. Spent three
months in a rehab hospital over there. Guess that
scared me off from all the fun stuff.

Next question:How many times did you cheat on your

Dr. Fornace
That’s another easy one. Never saw a need to. So
that’s not the reason why we got a divorce if
that’s what you’re thinking.


Dr. Fornace
Truth...and that was your third question.

No that one does not count. Here it is. How many
women have you truly been in love with

Dr. Fornace
Ahhh. The ‘Piers Morgan’ question.....Once only
with Deanna.......Well maybe one and a half
times..Hmmm it was a long time ago. I kind of got
attached to my rehab nurse after the fall you
know. I got better and I left.
Ok that was your three questions. Good job.. my
turn back to you now. Lie back on the couch.

Ashleigh lies back on the couch.

Why don’t you have children?

Dr. Fornace
Question time is up for you.

(more insistent, louder)
Why can’t you have children?

Dr. Fornace
That’s enough young lady. I’ve answered all the
questions from you today. Now.....

Is it from the testicular cancer!?

Dr. Fornace
(Surprised Aghast now!)

Is it from the loss of your testicles as a result
of your cancer?

Dr. Fornace
What.....How in the hell can you know something
like that? Who told you that.
(clearly agitated and a bit angry too)

Been thinking about you alot as much as you have
been of me. Not a single man has ever been able to
resist my ‘goodies’ if you know what I mean. I
don’t think you’re gay so there must be something
else that causes you not to be interested.

Dr. Fornace
Yes! It’s called professionalism.

Perhaps.....mixed with really low testosterone. I
guessed right didn’t I? So if you didn’t cheat on
your wife she must have left you because you
couldn’t give her a child.

He pauses takes a few breaths takes of his glasses and
cleans them.

Dr. Fornace
You young lady are not welcomed inside MY head
‘mucking around’ as you call it. You’re paying me
to do that to you. But you’ve gained access by
stealth and deduction. Bravo. The answer is yes and
I hate the fucking bitch, pardon my French, for
being so selfish. “For better or Worse” for crying
out loud!..........After the radiation and the
surgery she just lost interest. The scorn was
palpable and she saw no future for us if I could
not sire an heir. Everything went downhill after
the fall. Pun intended. My pelvis and upper legs
was shattered and I think the cancer started from
having too many X-rays to that region during my
recovery. Skeeter warned them about that......

Ashleigh bolts up and lets out a loud bloodcurdling
banshee raising scream that scares the doctor. His
folder goes flying. The papers rain down in slow motion.
He recoils in abject confusion!

Dr. Fornace
Jesus H. woman. What in the world is wrong with
you. What? Why are you screaming?

(She’s trembling, breathing short, gasping)
You rehabbed 27 years ago at the freaking Elmhurst
Center for Orthopedic Rehab in Denver Colorado!!

Dr. Fornace
Oh my God..again... How can you know these things?
This is extra ordinarily creepy. You....

Shut up! Shut up! What was the name of that nurse
you had sex with at the clinic?

Dr. Fornace
Holy shit... No!.......No! Skeeter Monroe is she?
She’s your mother!!!!!!!!

She nods yes shakily sobbing hand over mouth looking at
the doctor. They stare at each other for a few more

Dr. Fornace
It doesn’t prove anything.

They both go wide eyed and say the next line at the same

Dr. Fornace
(together softly)
New Zealand.

They get up and scramble to each other and begin to rip
at each other’s clothing. She removes his jacket and
rips open his shirt. He also rips open her blouse and
takes the right bra strap off that shoulder. Both reveal
at the same time the identical red birthmark in the
shape of the two islands of New Zealand in the same
configuration in their right pectoral region! They sob
and put their fore heads together hands at their sides.
The camera rotates around them. She hits him in the
chest one time over the birthmark.

Skeeter said she chose my name as ‘I was an ASH
from the Furnace’ Now it makes perfect sense.

Camera pans down to the his name plate on the desk
saying Dr. Fornace-- Psychiatrist and a strip of shrink
wrap plastic next to it.

Fade to black


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