The Wonder Land

The Mad Hatter is a bank robber and Alice is mad.
A young girl who travels to Wonderland isn't something that's new to you, in fact you've all read the story before. However, listen closer and in this tale you might find something rather different.

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2. The Scale of Heroism

 

Episode #2

“The Scale of Heroism.”

 

 

Teaser

FADE IN:

INT: A DARK ROOM

The scene begins in total blackness. All you can hear is the heavy breathing of Alice.

ALICE

Hello? Hello! Anyone there?

No answer. You can hear Alice moving around slowly, kicking things this way and that. Suddenly a torch illuminates the room and you can see Alice holding the torch aloft in her hand.  She slowly twirls to see the whole room. The room, still somewhat dark, is a round hall completely devoid of any doors in or out except the one behind her. When she tries that door, it seems to be locked. The floor is scattered with random items, books, pencils, musical instruments, clocks etc. Finally, the light glints of something. There was a mirror taking up the entirety of the back wall, it had a simple frame and a wide lens. Alice walks up to the mirror, placing the torch by her feet as she nears it.

Alice places her hand on the mirror, another hand pulls her down into the looking glass. She screams...

DOWN THE LOOKING GLASS

 ...and keeps screaming as she tumbles over and over again down a never-ending hole. She frantically grabs at the walls which are hung with paintings, ancient maps, cracked mirrors, demonic masks, etc. She pulls out books, jam jars, a crystal ball, a monkey’s hand and a human skull in her frantic effort to stop herself. She sees a rabbit in a waistcoat and he smiles as he joins in her screams. And down she falls. It begins to grow dark as she fell continuously. And still she falls. Finally, after what seems like hours...

EXT: THE CHECKERED COURT YARD – NIGHT

WHAM! She hits the bottom, smacking her head on a mattress.

ALICE (CONT'D)

Ah!

Wind knocked out, she gasps for air, and then she sits up, rubbing the bump on her forehead with a frown. Looking around she finds that the mattress is abandoned in a checkered court yard. The court yard is set up almost like that of a chess game with two statues of queens at either end. She stands up, wavering on her feet, before looking around.

                                                            CUT TO:

ON ALICE – FROM BEHIND A STATUE

We hear low voices as they watch Alice from behind the statue at her far left.

DODO (O.S.)

You’d think the old mirror would bring someone…

(He pauses)

More favorable.

THE DORMOUSE (O.S.)

This has to be the right one this time, if not, that’s it, we’re done for.

DODO (O.S)

Stop being dramatic.

EXT: THE CHECKERED COURT YARD (CONTIN)

Alice begins to walk to her right to inspect one of the statues, it is huge looming over her. Behind the statue lays a dense forest, roots almost sprawling onto the border of the court yard.

ALICE

Where am I?

She walks behind the statue and walks into the forest.

EXT: THE FOREST

She enters a fantastical world. The forest is bizarre, illogical yet strangely beautiful. Alice hears a bellow/sneezing sound as a pink pig with tiny wings hovers quickly past her. The TALL FLOWERS have gaunt, haunted, sleepy FACES. SHABBY, THIN BIRDS walk on stalk legs then leap into the sky to join a battle. DRAGONFLIES, HORSEFLIES and gigantic bees do fierce battle in the sky above yet stop at the sight of the birds.

ALICE

                           (Laughing)

This is so weird.

She stays there for a few moments, listening to the sounds of the forest.

A MALE VOICE (O.S.)

Alice!

Alice looks around wildly.

ALICE

Who’s there?

A MALE VOICE (O.S.)

You’re dreaming!

She starts running blindly through the forest whacking overhead branches away from her to clear a path. She can faintly hear the sounds of someone crashing through the undergrowth with her, behind her.

ALICE

Who are you?

A MALE VOICE (O.S.)

Wake up!

The forest melts before her eyes. The vibrant colours melting into one and the forest going entirely quiet. The forest pools at her feet and comes up like waves in the ocean. She is dragged under the colours.

INT: WHITTINGHAM HOSPITAL – EARLY MORNING

Her eyes snap open and she isn’t drowning, nor is she in the forest. She is in the library at the hospital and an old man sits in front of her on an armchair, his cane resting neatly cross his crossed legs.

OLD MAN

You with me girlie?

ALICE

                           (Shocked)

How do you know my name?

OLD MAN

                           (Leaning forward in the chair)

You’re the talk of the town here kiddo.

Alice leans back in her hair, closing her eyes briefly.

OLD MAN (CONT'D)

You having a dream just now?

ALICE

It was so incredibly vivid.

Alice looks lost in thought as she remembers the forest, the image of it appears briefly at the window to her left, then fades into the cloudy day outside.

ALICE

I want to go back there, I don’t want to be here.

OLD MAN

They must have had you on some serious drugs I want to be on kiddo.

(Pause)

None of us want to be here girlie.

The old man laughs boisterously and looks at the camera with wild eyes.

                                                            SMASH CUT TO:

MAIN TITLES.

End of Teaser.

 

Act One

EXT: A LONG PATH JUST OUTSIDE CHESHIRE

Lydia is running along a long pedestrian path, she is wearing running gear and has loud music playing through her IPod clutched in one hand. She holds a large water bottle in the other. She stops for a moment to breathe heavily before hearing a BUZZ. Lydia checks her phone – a new text.

(Note: IMs are in italics)

TAYLOR (TEXT)

                                 Bank manager wants to talk.

Lydia sighs and rolls her eyes.

LYDIA (TEXT)

On way. Give me a few.

Lydia pockets her phone and looks forward. The welcome sign is in the distance.

INT: POLICE OFFICE 1

Taylor sits at the table with the bank manager – WARREN GRAY (30) – tapping his fingers nervously against the desk. The silence is deafening.

He picks up his phone.

TAYLOR

Damnit, I said for her to be here.

TAYLOR’S POV

Lydia enters the office. The phone is in her hand.

As the phone rings through:

LYDIA

I’m here, no need to get your knickers all in a twist.

Lydia then swiftly hangs up her phone and takes a seat at the table.

TAYLOR

                                 (Grumbling)

I don’t have knickers to twist.

LYDIA

Shush, we have a guest.

Lydia smirks at Taylor. She leans over the table to shake hands with Warren.

LYDIA (CONT’D)

Lydia Davenport, pleased to meet you, and you are?

WARREN

Warren Grey, the executive manager of Cheshire bank.

LYDIA

So you were the manager of the manager who was killed yesterday?

Warren nods solemnly and folds his hands in on themselves.

TAYLOR

We enquired on Sean McCarthy and Warren here was so overjoyed to comply so he came in early to discuss it.

WARREN

Sean McCarthy was employed to fill a position previously abdicated by a former employee named Daniel Irving.

LYDIA

Why was this Daniel abdicated?

WARREN

He went missing and a few days later we got a letter detailing forgery and fraud committed by Mr. Irving. When the police checked the letter it came back positive for his handwriting and DNA.

TAYLOR

Was Daniel ever found?

WARREN

No.

Warren rubs the back of his neck.

WARREN (CONT’D)

                                 (Clearing his throat)

Sean was someone who fit the criteria perfectly, he had experience in a bank in London which checked out. Upon his first few days of working he was excellent for the position.

LYDIA

What happened after the first few days?

WARREN

He became more withdrawn, less likely to be sociable with colleagues and customers. We left him to it, maybe it was work jitters, and he still filled the employment void.

TAYLOR

Why did he quit?

WARREN

Some colleague said something about him being tense and Sean just flicked a switch. They argued and before we knew it Sean threw a punch, we pulled them apart before it could go any further. Sean walked out and never returned until he did with his notice in hand.

LYDIA

If this Sean is indeed among the ranks of the Masked Men then he probably became more withdrawn as he was given more tasks to perform in secret at the bank. This pressure became too much closer to the heist date and he pretty much just lost it I’m afraid.

WARREN

Are you saying that I willingly let my bank be robbed?

LYDIA

You didn’t know he could have been involved.

WARREN

We already have a reputation for Mr. Irving, this just looks bad for the company.

TAYLOR

If you don’t tell we won’t.

Warren looks incredibly relieved.

LYDIA

We are going to need to see security footage of the movements that Sean made, every move he’s made is vital to this investigation.

WARREN

I can do that.

TAYLOR

Thank you sir.

Warren gets up and shakes the hands of Taylor and Lydia. He then exits.

Taylor turns to Lydia.

TAYLOR

Where were you this morning?

LYDIA

What’s it to you?

Taylor shrugs.

LYDIA (CONT’D)

I was running.

TAYLOR

You run?

LYDIA

Hey!

Lydia flips Taylor off when he looks at the board.

LYDIA

I didn’t count on the manager arriving so bloody early, otherwise I would have still been in bed.

TAYLOR

Our job means less sleep then normal.

LYDIA

Then I might just have to quit.

The two laugh before looking back at the board.

TAYLOR

The information just there does nothing for us at the minute. We know that they are short fused.

LYDIA

They are, however, pressured, if we make them think that we’ve cornered them then we can get some leverage.

TAYLOR

We might make them run instead.

LYDIA

They’re too confidant for that to happen, they’ve targeted the town so it must be special to them in one way or another.

Taylor grimaced.

TAYLOR

They weren’t always that way.

LYDIA

What do you mean?

TAYLOR (CONT’D)

When they first came to life they weren’t exactly criminals; they were breaking up fights, catching muggers, saving victims.

Lydia rose an eyebrow.

LYDIA

                                 (Shocked)

I can’t quite believe it.

TAYLOR

Believe it, I myself saw them.

                                                                 CUT TO:

EXT: A DARK ALLEY – NIGHT, PAST

A young woman walks nervously through the alley, she holds her bag close to her and looks this way and that. A shadow quietly follows her. The sound of the safety being turned off on a gun is heard. The young woman stills.

Fast steps are heard behind the woman. The woman slowly turns around. A man in a ski mask is in front of her.

CRIMINAL

You’re going to give me your handbag and your jewelry or you get a head of lead.

The young woman instantly hands over her handbag, dropping it on the floor. She is terrified.

CRIMINAL

And the necklace.

The young woman’s hand goes to her throat, where a string of pearls hang.

YOUNG WOMAN

Oh.

CRIMINAL

Do it or else…

VOICE (O.S)

Or else what?

The criminal turns sharply around to see four men standing at the end of the alleyway. One of them holds a bat and is slapping it gently against his hand.

CRIMINAL

Or else you’ll die.

VOICE

I don’t think that’ll happen to be honest.

CRIMINAL

Let’s find out.

The man shoots his gun. The four men seem to be unharmed. The criminal has no bullets left and still the men are still standing.

VOICE

That was anticlimactic.

The criminals tried to run but the four men catch up with him. We see that one of the men is the Mad Hatter.

MAD HATTER

                                 (To the young woman)

Get to safety.

The young woman picks up her handbag and runs out of the alley.

CRIMINALS POV

The criminal runs until he meets a dead end. Turning back he sees that the four men block his only way out.

The criminal tosses his gun away. He punches the Mad Hatter – the Mad Hatter goes down hard. The Mad Hatter picks himself up, dusts himself off.

MAD HATTER

That seriously hurt.

With a single point from the Mad Hatter all four of them rush the criminal all at once. All four of them fight skillfully and hard, flipping the criminal between them. The criminal hits the ground unconscious before - SIRENS – a police car raises into the alley. Two police officers exit the car.

POLICE OFFICER

That’s enough.

MAD HATTER

Your welcome officers.

YOUNG TAYLOR

Don’t get too cocky, or you’ll go where that man is going.

MAD HATTER

I don’t think you can catch us officer.

The four of them climb up the alley wall while the police officer’s torches track their progress. The police officer draws a gun to shoot at them. Young Taylor puts a hand on the police officer’s arm to stop him. He shakes his head.

YOUNG TAYLOR

Let their egos get them caught.

                                                                 CUT TO:

INT: POLICE OFFICE 1

Lydia sits shocked in her chair.

LYDIA

You wouldn’t think it of them. However, you could excuse it for beating the hell out of that criminal.

TAYLOR

They also saved my life once.

LYDIA

Now that I can’t believe.

EXT: A CROWDED STREET - PAST

A man with a gun stands in the center with the gun rested on the temple of Taylor's head. Taylor doesn’t look afraid but calm. The man is clearly afraid of being caught by the police.

The March Hare exits a shop, and pushes past the Mad Hatter to the man with the gun.

MARCH HARE

You don’t want to shoot a police officer boy.

SHOOTER

Why would I listen to you?

MARCH HARE

Because I am your voice of reason here, your jail free card.

The young shooter scoffs.

SHOOTER

What would you know about what I should do?

MARCH HARE

I don’t know what your life is like but I know that you wouldn’t survive in jail long enough to find out what it could be.

SHOOTER

Police failed to save me from my father, why I should I save the police officer?

MARCH HARE

 Because you wouldn’t want to become the monster your father was. Could you live with yourself then?

The shooter shakes his head. Lowers the gun.

Young Taylor arrests the shooter. He is saved.

                                                                       CUT TO:

INT: POLICE OFFICE 1 – NOW

TAYLOR

Even if I do hate them now, I owe my life to them in a way.

LYDIA

I wonder what made them change.

TAYLOR

They were actually good people, vigilantes even, at one point. But true monsters can’t hide too long.

LYDIA

Something had have been their stressor. But when you think of it like that…

She pulls out her laptop and starts to search.

LYDIA (CONT’D)

It looks like the security footage got sent to us.

Taylor waved a hand dismissively.

LYDIA

It looks like Sean only got one punch in before he was pulled off. Although he doesn’t even look remotely angry, just bored and frustrated. The pressure of his missions must have got to him so much he just snapped that day.

She shakes her head and pulled the laptop closer to her.

LYDIA

Of course they didn’t record him doing anything suspicious or it would’ve been reported. But it could just have been getting information on the bank itself.

TAYLOR

The daily routine and things to make the entry and exit easier.

LYDIA

In the heist footage, it’s all about time so they would’ve checked the time limits on how long it would be before police noticed, or it could be a competition for them.

TAYLOR

If that’s so then they are incredibly sick in the head.

Turning the laptop towards Taylor:

LYDIA

Look here.

The laptop shows a footage of Sean looking guilty and reaching under the table.

TAYLOR

They planted a bug.

He was already getting up of his seat.

                                                                       CUT TO:

INT: CHESHIRE BANK

Lydia and Taylor walk briskly to where the footage shows Sean placing the bug. Taylor gets on his hands and knees to check. It is still there.

TAYLOR

Damn, they’ve been hearing us the entire time.

LYDIA

Does anything surprise you about them anymore?

TAYLOR

Cecilia Smith did.

                                                 FADE OUT:

End of Act One

 

Act Two

FADE IN:

INT: A CHARITY FUNDRAISER – EVENING

A woman in her twenties in an evening dress – CECILIA SMITH – steps off a lift and stares in awe at the penthouse surroundings and its guests.

WAITER

Need some liquid courage, Miss?

Cecilia turns to see a waiter in a penguin suit holding a silver tray of champagne.

CECILIA

Thanks.

She takes one of the glasses and nods at the waiter.

WAITER

Have a good night Miss.

CECILIA

You too.

She presses her lips to the glass and takes a swig before sashaying into the hoard of people and converses politely with them. The crowd silences and reacts as a LOUD ROAR drowns out the conversation… Cecilia leans and looks out.

EXT: PENTHOUSE HELIPAD – CONTINUOUS

A CHOPPER touches down and a woman similar to Cecilia yet slightly older – CORDELIA SMITH - walked out with a model on her arm.

INT: PENHOUSE CHARITY FUNDRAISER – CONTINUOUS

Cordelia and her model enter the penthouse.

CORDELIA

A queen is never late; she sets her own time. Nevertheless, I’m glad that you started without me! I would like to say thank you for coming but we also hold a great thanks to my sister. Where is she?

Cecilia cringes visibly and the crowd part around her as Cordelia spots her.

CORDELIA (CONT’D)

Cecilia Smith – my sister. Without her I wouldn’t be in the position that I am today. It is because of her that we are all standing here right this moment. She has helped me through so many things.

                                                                 CUT TO:

INT: THE PENTHOUSE MASTER SUITE

CORDELIA (V.O)

Through our parents death.

The scene shows an old couple lying in bed, they seem to be peacefully sleeping. A CARER enters and opens the curtains of the room, she mimes greetings to the old couple and when she gets no reply she goes closer. She tries to talk to them again. Still no reply. She gingerly lifts a finger to their necks. She withdraws it with a gasp. The Carer leaves the room and enters again with the two sisters, slightly younger, Cordelia collapses to her knees near the bed and takes her mother’s hand. Cecilia puts a hand on her sister’s shoulder. 

INT: A PLAIN OFFICE ROOM

CORDELIA (V.O)

To setting up this charity.

The sisters are in an office both signing a document. Once it is signed they both still for a moment and then hug enthusiastically laughing and crying at the same time.

INT: THE PENTHOUSE - PAST

CORDELIA (V.O)

To being the amazing writer that she is.

Cecilia is seen to hold a newspaper article with her name on the bottom, she smiles and jumps in joy.

INT: THE PENTHOUSE CHARITY EVENT

Cordelia raises a glass of champagne and the crowd followers her motions, all except Cecilia herself.

CORDELIA

Our charity has been credited to getting young children off the streets and protecting orphans who are at a loss to the world due to death. That charity and this event tonight has been an item in my sister’s brain box and so it is to her that this toast goes out to. To Cecilia Smith.

Finally Cecilia smiles and accepts the toast.

CORDELIA (CONT’D)

Now, get out your checkbooks and open up your pockets to ensure that my sister’s brainbox continues to save Britain’s children! But more optimistically enjoy the party!

The crowd cheers yet Cecilia frowns for a moment before finding another waiter to accept another drink, placing her empty glass back on his tray.

EXT: DECK, CORDELIA’S PENTHOUSE – EVENING.

Cecilia walks out to the edge of the balcony and looks over Cheshire. She hears someone coming up behind her – Cordelia.

CORDELIA

                                 (Cheerfully)

C’mon little sister why are you out here hiding away from the world?

CECILIA

                (Looking over her shoulder at Cordelia)

I’m not hiding; parties just aren’t my scene.

CORDELIA

Oh, I know.

Cordelia takes a heavy swig of her glass and places it on the wall of the balcony.

CECILIA

What’s that supposed to mean?

CORDELIA

You’d rather sit all day behind a desk writing than socializing, I’m only worried for you little sister.

CECILIA

I enjoy my job you know that.

CORDELIA

I know you do little sister but you could always be doing more.

(Pause)

You’re wasting your potential little sister.

CECILIA

You’d want me to be more involved with the charity wouldn’t you, to spend my money on luxuries and funding?

CORDELIA

Well, it’s doing nothing just sitting there in the bank.

Cecilia sharply turns around to face her sister, her arms crossed over her chest.

CECILIA

Just a while ago you were singing my praises about writing!

CORDELIA

You are good at writing but you could do so much more.

(Taking a step closer to Cecilia)

Our parent’s wouldn’t have wanted this.

CECILIA

God you’re so a hypocrite!

(Pointing a finger at Cordelia’s chest)

 You’re actually wasting our parent’s money on things that don’t matter, helicopters and fancy buildings and designer labels. When you die that’ll mean nothing but money to some poor collectors and estate agents! And you have the right to tell me that our parent’s wouldn’t want me to do this. Why don’t you look in a mirror Cordelia?

CORDELIA

There’s no need to be such a drama queen little sister, I only want what’s best for you. I thought this party showed you that.

CECILIA

This party is to raise awareness for homeless orphans and the need for better facilities and care for them, not to show how much you love me.

CORDELIA

I can multitask.

CECILIA

I’m not going to change just because you told me to.

CORDELIA

That’s not who you are I know. But the charity needs the money.

CECILIA

You’ve actually blown your inheritance and now you need mine to fund your little habits.

CORDELIA

That’s not what I said.

CECILIA

That’s what you meant.

(Pause)

No.

CORDELIA

What?

CECILIA

I say no because I can’t do this anymore. I can’t bail you out this time, I’ll be there for the charity and for appearances but I’m done always cleaning up your mess. From now on we’re done.

CORDELIA

You don’t mean that.

CECILA

This time I do.

Cecilia exits the balcony ignoring how her sister called after her.

INT: PENTHOUSE, LIVINGROOM – NIGHT

Half the guests are on their cellphones while the other half chat amicably between themselves. Cecilia walks past them and exits the penthouse. 

EXT: STREET, THE WAREHOUSE DISTRICT – NIGHT

A black van does donuts in an empty parking lot. It stops haphazardly under a street light and the men exit, they all wear masks. The Mad Hatter drags a man with a bag over his head from the back seat.

MAD HATTER

Fresh air, isn’t that nice Mr. Bank Worker?

The man in his hands tries to speak but the bag over his head just makes it sound like muffled shouts.

MAD HATTER (CONT’D)

                           (Chuckling)

I forgot that you can’t speak with that on, sorry mate.

The Mad Hatter ties the man to the lamp post and takes the bag off. The man underneath it is in his 30s with a beard – DANIEL IRVING.

DANIEL

Just let me go, I haven’t done anything.

WHITE RABBIT

On the contrary.

MAD HATTER

You have something that we want, and we always get what we want one way or another.

DANIEL

(Stuttering)

 I don’t have anything of yours, I just work in a bank. Do you want money or something?

MARCH HARE

                           (Handing the Mad Hatter a knife)

Oh, we have plenty of money don’t worry.

MAD HATTER

You’re not just a bank manager are you?

Daniel looks confused and worried as he shakes. The Bloodhound comes closer to the rest of his teammates and stares at the man tied to the lamp post.

BLOODHOUND

You’re a criminal like us.

Daniel shakes his head profusely.

MAD HATTER

(Ticking off fingers)

Money laundering, making dodgy deals with the lesser folks, gathering Intel on hitmen for other hitmen, fraud and burglary. You’ve been a busy man Mr. Bank Worker.

DANIEL

I’m – I’m not like you.

MAD HATTER

I hate to repeat myself Mr. Bank Worker.

(Going to untie the man)

Now, you’ve made me annoyed so I’m going to go to my plan B.

DANIEL

You’re letting me go?

MAD HATTER

Again, on the contrary. Did I say something about repetition?  

Daniel rubs his wrists from the tie and sits there looking perplexed.

WHITE RABBIT

We want intel just like those hitmen you sometimes work for.

MAD HATTER

And we want it fast.

DANIEL

                                 (Looking overjoyed)

That’s easy – on who, what?

The group of criminals laugh boisterously.

MAD HATTER

I think you already know.

DANIEL

                                 (Shaking his head and stuttering)

I can’t give you that, I’ll be…

MARCH HARE

Look here, you’re going to give us what we want or else.

BLOOD HOUND

Steady there Hare.

MAD HATTER

We haven’t give him his terms yet.

The White rabbit pulls Daniel up so he is dangling by his feet so that their faces are close together.

WHITE RABBIT

You’re either going to tell us what we want to know or you and I are going to fight until you do.

(Pause while grinning wildly)

The winner is the one still breathing.

                                                       CUT TO:

EXT: THE WAREHOUSE OUTSKIRTS – NIGHT

Cecilia walks along the path, rubbing at her arms to keep them warm. She looks angry and mumbles as she walks quickly.

CECILIA

Damn it Cordelia, of course you have to tell my driver you’ll take me home.

(Exasperated sigh)

That makes storming out of the house completely impossible.

                                                 CUT TO:

EXT: THE WAREHOUSE DISTRCIT – NIGHT

The Masked men have now assembled around the White Rabbit and Daniel who are brawling madly in the parking bays. Daniel looks worse off and splutters once and a while. After a purposely hard hit he pauses and wheezes.

DANIEL

Nope. Not telling you bastards anything.

WHITE RABBIT

Then hell is your reward.

They continue to brawl violently. Nobody notices Cecilia make her way up the street and stop briefly upon seeing the men.

CECILIA

Hey!

She starts to run towards them. The men turn but the White Rabbit and Daniel continue their fight. The Mad Hatter raises an eyebrow yet looks to recognise her.

MAD HATTER

What’s up journalist? Gimme your exclusive.

The group looks calm. Cecilia looks terrified.

CECILIA

No problem. Just let that man go.

MAD HATTER

Do you really want that? He’s a criminal just like us, in fact worse than us.

CECILIA

Then send him to jail not to death.

MAD HATTER

Jail doesn’t do anything to contain the nutters like us doll face.

CECILIA

Just let the man go, please.

The White Rabbit delivers a powerful punch to Daniels jaw and sends him reeling to the ground, unconscious.

WHITE RABBIT

Does that do it for you?

Cecilia looks even more terrified as the group crowds around her menacingly.

MAD HATTER

Are you still going to write us in your pretty news headlines?

The group crowd around her so close that you can no longer see Cecilia. A shot can be heard suddenly.

                                                                 CUT TO:

EXT: THE WAREHOUSE DISTRICT – EARLY DAY

The March Hare exits the still parked van and walks over to Cecilia Smiths body framed in a pool of blood. He drags her over to the lamp post and handcuffs her. He withdraws some red face paint and steadily paints her face. He places a paper crown on her head, also withdrawn from his coat pocket. When he is done he stares at her deeply and brushes a stray hair out of her face.

MARCH HARE

We were actually trying to save you.

                                                            FADE OUT:

End of Act Two

 

Act Three

FADE IN:

INT: ANGELO’S SPORTS BAR

Incoherent chatter fills the room. Taylor sits at the bar nursing a beer, he surveys the area around him which is filled with mainly men. The bar tender cleans a glass and watches Taylor intently.

TAYLOR

Am I interesting to you?

BAR TENDER

Huh?

TAYLOR

You keep looking at me so am I interesting?

The bar tender places the glass on the bar top.

BAR TENDER

Never seen you before.

TAYLOR

I tend to frequent bars but not here per se.

BAR TENDER

You look out of place.

TAYLOR

I’m waiting for a friend.

(Pause)

Except she won’t get out of the car and into the bar.

BAR TENDER

                                 (Chuckling)

That rhymed.

The bar tender goes to serving another customer and essentially ignores Taylor.

The camera zooms in on the clock.

                                                       CUT TO:

INT: ANGELO’S SPORTS BAR – 30 MINUTES LATER

The clock has moved forward from the previous shot by thirty minutes. This time Taylor is in front of a darts board. As he balances on one foot aims his dart, sips a beer, and eats a handful of peanuts:

TAYLOR

I guess now is a better time than any to get a bullseye.

He misses the board completely.

Laughs go up in the bar.

TAYLOR (CONT’D)

Just watch…

This time he gets a bullseye.

There is dead silence in the bar.

Broken only by the sound of high heels outside.

 

TAYLOR’S POV

Turning his head he sees Lydia entering the bar.

 

BACK TO SCENE

Taylor pretends to stab his eye with one of the darts.

TAYLOR

How come it takes you half a bloody hour to come into a bar?

Lydia ignores him.

LYDIA

                                 (Disgusted)

You come here often?

Taylor nearly chokes on a swig of his beer.

LYDIA (CONT’D)

                                 (Embarrassed)

That wasn’t a pick up line. I meant it literally.

TAYLOR

You’d be surprised how much people spill when they’re drunk, plus I rather like the atmosphere in this joint so you could say that I come here often.

Lydia didn’t know how to answer that, the bartender places a glass of wine on the bar due to a prompt from Taylor. She takes a sip.

TAYLOR (CONT’D)

I know that you didn’t mean it as a pick up line.

Lydia slaps his shoulder.

LYDIA

And you let me suffer in humiliation?

TAYLOR

                                 (Chuckling)

Keeps you on your toes.

Lydia takes a larger sip from her drink.

LYDIA

Why are we here?

TAYLOR

Before you said that we should stress them out to make it look like we have the upper hand. That stresses me out so I’m here.

LYDIA

What if I said that while I was in the car, I came up with an idea?

TAYLOR

That would stress me out a little less.

Lydia pulls out a folded piece of paper out of her handbag, unfolding it she places it on the table. On the paper is a spider diagram with the words Newspaper Article in the middle.

TAYLOR (CONT’D)

You want to release an article about the Masks?

LYDIA

About how we are hunting them down. It’s perfect because Cecilia Smith was a journalist, from the police interview from her sister we know that Cecilia was busy writing up an article about the Masks herself. They became volatile after the death of Cecilia Smith, so something alike her situation will make them less cautious once more.

Taylor just nods weakly and finishes his beer.

TAYLOR

Do you ever have the feeling where you don’t know whether this is the right thing to do?

LYDIA

All the time. I think it’s because this group is a bit of good and bad. I don’t think they’re vigilantes because heroes have others in heart. Clearly, if they did so many wouldn’t have died. But they have done good things and you can’t excuse that. 

TAYLOR

But what can be classes as a heroism and what can be classed as villainy?

Lydia laughs.

LYDIA

You make it sound like we live in a comic book.

TAYLOR

Sometimes I wonder if we do.

There is silence between them as they listen to particular conversations in the bar. Suddenly, Taylor tenses up.

TAYLOR

Finish your wine; we have a job to do.

LYDIA

But we just got here.

TAYLOR (CONT’D)

You’ve just got here, I’ve been here for over half an hour.

Lydia downs the rest of her drink. Taylor looks at her appreciatively.

EXT: THE CARPARK.

Lydia and Taylor walk to the car, Taylor pulls out his keys before putting them back in his pocket.

LYDIA

What are you doing?

TAYLOR

I’ve had a couple of drinks so I’m calling a taxi. Do you want us to be killed?

Lydia shakes her head.

INT: THE TAXI

Lydia has crossed arms in the back of the taxi.

LYDIA

Where are we going?

TAYLOR

To see Cordelia Smith to get Cecilia’s article.

INT; THE PENTHOUSE APARTMENT.

Cordelia looks angry. Taylor looks calm. All three of them sit on the couch in the living room.

CORDELIA

No way are you getting her laptop.

LYDIA

Miss Smith this could help us catch your sisters killers.

CORDELIA

An hour ago I didn’t even know that The Masks had killed my sister.

TAYLOR

But you had your suspicions so that doesn’t even hold.

Lydia looks at Taylor with an annoyed look.

LYDIA

Look Miss Smith all we want to do is look at her article, if you have it, so that we can have some ideas on our article. Your sister was one of the greatest.

CORDELIA

I didn’t even know until I went through her computer, ever since her death I haven’t went through it again.

TAYLOR

We understand.

LYDIA

We can easily go and get a warrant if you want, but then we’ll come back with the whole force.

CORDELIA

That isn’t necessary.

Cordelia leaves the room and returns with a silver laptop in hand. She nearly flings it into Lydia lap.

When Lydia opens it the username and password is on a post it note on the keyboard. She types it in.

LYDIA

Do you mind giving me the directory?

CORDELIA

What more do you people want?

TAYLOR

                                 (Deadpan)

World peace.

CORDELIA (CONT’D)

Go to documents, journalism, research, new and the document called Unmasked.

LYDIA

Thank you Miss Smith.

Cordelia looks down at her lap.

LYDIA (CONT’D)

                                 (Reading aloud)

Unmasked by Cecilia Smith. The local vigilantes or the local enemies? The new group The Masks have divided societies opinions on who they really are. After all there isn’t a scale for heroism in reality, that’s just in fiction. My opinions are as equally divided as the rest of them. On one hand they save women from assaults, police officers from sudden death and the public from bomb scares but on the other hand they vandalize, kidnap and kill as many as they can. They sure are motivated whatever category they fall into. Or maybe the lines are blurred in this particular case. Despite their unsure loyalties to a side the group seem passionate, searching for someone or something to reach their end goal. What is their end goal you say? One may never know with this enigma.

TAYLOR

Is that it?

LYDIA

That’s it.

TAYLOR (CONT’D)

Cordelia is there anything else you want to tell us?

CORDELIA

What does that mean?

Taylor and Cordelia argue, their voices turning into indistinct chatter.

Lydia pulls out a memory stick and places it in the computer, looking to make sure that Cordelia was distracted, she copies Cecilia’s files onto the memory stick. Once they are downloaded she retrieves the memory stick.

LYDIA

Thank you Miss Smith that will be all today.

She pulls Taylor up and exits the penthouse.

EXT: TAYLOR’S CAR.

Lydia twirls the memory stick around in her hand.

TAYLOR

You do know that what you did is illegal right?

LYDIA

But it’s going to get that article done.

TAYLOR

Cordelia will know and she will sue.

LYDIA

We’ll work our way around it.

TAYLOR

You’re scary, I’m just starting to notice.

Lydia smirks.

LYDIA

Let’s go and get this leverage printed.

                                                                       CUT TO:

INT: TAYLOR’S APARTMENT – THE NEXT DAY.

Taylor is drinking a cup of coffee while waiting for his clothes to wash when Kira – blonde hair and mid-twenties – bursts in.

KIRA

You know when I said that you needed to get off of the desk this isn’t exactly what I meant.

She slams a newspaper article down on the top of the washing machine. It has pictures of Taylor and Lydia under a headline: The Masks being hunted to be unmasked.

KIRA (CONT’D)

I’ve been gone two months and this is what you get up to?

Taylor raises his eyebrows, smiling slightly.

TAYLOR

Welcome home, sister.

KIRA

                                 (Glaring)

Taylor, I’m not kidding.

TAYLOR

You told me to get off of the desk and back on the field. I’m only doing what you asked me to do.

KIRA

I didn’t ask you to demand to be assigned to the most dangerous case in the police district.

TAYLOR

They’re some cracked up hero’s Kira.

KIRA

You tried to be a cracked up hero three years ago and almost killed yourself.

(Pause)

I nearly lost you. I can’t do it again.

TAYLOR

You aren’t.

Kira doesn’t look convinced.

TAYLOR (CONT’D)

How about we make a deal? I tell you where I’m going, with more phone calls and I’ll update you on the case as I know it.

Kira looks on wearily as Taylor leans against the washing machine.

KIRA

Fine.

Her shoulders visibly deflate. Kira goes to hug Taylor who bristles and doesn’t return the sentiment.

KIRA (CONT’D)

You know that you weren’t the only one to lose people in that fire? Know that you aren’t alone, you will never be alone.

TAYLOR

Don’t talk about it.

Taylor returns the hug but it is short, he then exits.

                                                                 CUT TO:

EXT: A HOME – NIGHT, PAST

A public home in the main town near Cheshire is engulfed in flames. A young Taylor tried to barge in the door but fails. A phone is in his hand as he screams down the line at the fire brigade. Taylor himself, is blackened with smoke from the fire, his hair is slightly scorched.

TAYLOR

                                 (Frantically)

Emily! Emily!

INT: INSIDE THE HOUSE – NIGHT, PAST

A young woman is trapped under a beam near the door, she coughs under the heavy smoke in the house.

EMILY

Taylor, listen to me.

Taylor

                                 (From outside)

You’re going to be fine.

EMILY

Just in case…

TAYLOR

You’re going to be fine.

Emily coughs and tries in vain to lift the beam from her chest. She coughs some more at the smoke.

EMILY’S POV

The camera zooms down to her left hand where a ring sits on her wedding finger, she stares at it for a few moments before giving up trying to move the beam.

EMILY

Taylor, I love you, never forget that.

TAYLOR (OUTSIDE)

I love you too, you’re going to be fine.

Darkness starts to creep in her vision.

EMILY

Taylor…

Her hand falls to her ground. Her eyes close.

BACK TO SCENE

The fire becomes more violent.

                                                                       CUT TO:

EXT: A HOUSE – NIGHT, PAST

Taylor is forced smashes the glass with his fists, forcing his way into the engulfed home.

INT: INSIDE THE HOUSE

He pushes his t-shirt to cover his mouth and crawls along the floor. He nears Emily’s body and lifts the beam. He tries to lift her body. The room sways. He tries to lift Emily again, falling to his knees under the assault of the smoke on his body. He collapses.  

EXT: OUTSIDE THE HOUSE

There are the sounds of sirens as the ambulance, fire brigade and police pull up.

                                                                       CUT TO:

INT: TAYLOR’S HOME – NOW

Taylor drains his coffee and goes back to the washing machine to retrieve his clothes. Noticing the newspaper article still there he picks it up.

TAYLOR

                                 (To the image of The Masks)

I am going to beat you. Just wait and see.

The screen fades to black.

TAYLOR (O.S)

Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. Henry Anatole Grunwald.

                                                                 FADE OUT:

End of Act Three.

 

Roll credits. 

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