A story written for the screen or stage. Condensed and concentrated. Best read at a slow pace. Skimming not advised. Nuances and feelings play a large role. Adult themes.
|Product dimensions:||8.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.43(d)|
Read an Excerpt
By Maura Campbell
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2013 Lance Osadchey
All rights reserved.
EXT. A REGAL COUNTRY HOME—UPSTATE NEW YORK—PRESENT
We see a beautiful three story brick home, beautifully manicured lawns and wide expanses of field behind it. Beyond that are mountains.
Legend says that long ago, two young men were out hunting when from out of nowhere came a beautiful maiden dressed in white buckskin. One of the hunters looked upon her and, recognizing her as a sacred being, lowered his eyes. The second hunter approached her with lust in his eyes. The beautiful woman beckoned the lustful warrior to her, and as he approached a cloud of dust arose around them. When it settled, nothing but a pile of bones lay next to her. As she walked toward the respectful young hunter, she explained to him that she had merely fulfilled the other man's desire, allowing him, within that brief moment, to live a lifetime, die and decay.
In the field we see the image of a WHITE BUFFALO. We get closer until we are seeing into its beautiful brown eyes.
A large bedroom, the furnishings are dark and masculine giving it an almost claustrophobic atmosphere. Huge clouds of cigarette smoke billow in the bedroom's air.
DARIEN, a woman in her thirties, but ageless, her long fingers fasten a CAMEO NECKLACE. She looks at herself in the mirror, her eyes searching for something of significance.
For a fleeting moment in the mirror's reflection she can see her HUSBAND walking from the bathroom to the stairs and the SOUND OF HIS VOICE.
Darien's bright eyes register the intrusion of her husband, then she turns and walks out of the bedroom and down the hall. Stopping briefly, she opens the hallway window half way to let some fresh air in.
Edgar has finished his eggs and noisily finishes the rest of his coffee. He pulls out a GOLD POCKET WATCH from his breast pocket. He can see the reflection of his fifty-five year old face in the watch's face.
Darien looks at the wall clock in the kitchen.
He squints at the clock.
My grandfather gave me this watch.
For emphasis, he pats the breast of his thousand dollar suit.
It's a hundred years old.
He bought it with his first commission check. So if it says eight fifteen, in my book that's what time it is.
He gets up abruptly leaving his dishes on the table. Darien looks at them, and then clears his place.
INT/EXT. DOORWAY TO HOME—SOON AFTER
Edgar walks down the stone walkway to his car, igniting his 3rd cigarette of the morning. His driver stands at attention. Edgar turns to Darien who stands in the doorway.
Since it's your birthday, I want to take you shopping and to a fancy restaurant. Might as well have dinner at the Charboneaux. I've got tickets to....
All right, that sounds fun. I'll take the train in.
You're wearing that?
Darien's hand instinctively goes to the brooch. She smiles.
My grandmother gave me this brooch.
I mean the whole outfit.
What would you like me to wear?
I don't know. Something with buttons. Put on some lipstick. It's a big day.
He blows Darien a kiss, then gets in the car and drives away.
She walks outside now and feels the sunshine on her face. We can see a better view of their house, a large, brick wonder with expanses of lawn and gardens of flowers. This is her space, the outdoors.
The wind picks up a little and blows her hair around her face. She turns on the garden hose and gently waters her flowers. She hums something, a haunting melody.
In the near distance she hears A DOG BARKING. She stands up straight and listens carefully, moving her head, making small adjustments. The sounds becomes FAINTER but in some way, it is more meaningful for her. She runs into the house leaving the hose running in the grass.
INT. DARIEN'S HOUSE
We now get a better picture of the house she lives in. The living room is formal with large framed photos of Edgar and his ancestors, large, mustached men, hunting scenes, group shots of grandfathers and uncles with politicians. He is a man's man and this house is his home.
Furniture is polished cherry and mahogany, pieces handed down but hardly used. Somewhere in this house there must be a shrine to Darien but it is not for public view.
There is a dining room, as well, large and formal, again, a room that hardly looks used. Heavy brocade drapes would keep out the sunshine, but the house faces north. One can imagine perhaps pheasant served or venison, food that the patriarch and his entourage have shot the day before and the servants have prepared.
We then turn and go up the stairs, also dark and gleaming, sixteen to the first landing, then we go up another twelve to a small attic room where we find Darien.
INT. DARIEN'S ARTISTIC ROOM
The walls of this room are PAINTED MURALS, A GODDESS is in the center and she wears a multi-colored cloak and in the folds lives children and animals and behind and above this goddess is a celestial sky.
In the three dimensional world, this goddess and this sky are finite. But look at it with another eye and it expands forever. This is how Darien sees it at this moment.
She picks up a paintbrush, yes, this is her work. And she paints the outline of a large feather and puts it in the Goddess's hand.
Then she gets up and goes to a closet. Inside are various dresses and blouses, perhaps more to her husband's liking? She selects a red silk blouse and gray skirt, takes off her brooch, and changes into them.
The colors suit her. Darien is beautiful. She finds a ribbon and creates a necklace for the brooch and hangs it around her neck. Then she opens a drawer and takes out a small felt hat with a beautiful feather and walks out of the room.
The scene moves to and lingers on the photo album. It is a picture of an OLDER WOMAN; she looks very much like Darien but from another time. Her dark hair is plaited. She wears the same CAMEO NECKLACE.
INT. SUBWAY—A FEW HOURS LATER
Outside a thunderstorm is forming. Darien sits on the subway. It's the usual assortment of fellow passengers, truant kids with IPODs, elderly women with packages, business men with shiny shoes. The train rumbles and jerks.
There are two thugs in the train car with her. There are a few other people. One of the thugs has a scar on his right cheek. The other has a snake tattoo on his arm. Both are of medium height and muscular. Wearing thug clothes T-shirts. They are glancing at her giving her winks and nods and smiling trying to get her attention. She does notice them but ignores them.
You want company?
Darien glances up at him.
No! Get lost!
He smiles and sits down beside her and makes pick-up talk. She ignores him.
Suddenly a MUSICIAN/PAN HANDLER comes up the aisle. He is African American, a Mr. Bojangles, with a homemade guitar. He sings.
Darien is the only one who watches him. The businessmen read their newspapers, the kids are lost in their own musical worlds, plugged into their IPODS. One or two older women throw a few coins in his tip can but only Darien seems to enjoy his singing.
He looks at her. He winks and continues strumming.
As she listens, behind her, the city landscape rushing past becomes a wilderness and something, or someone, seems to be running through the woods as fast as the train.
Darien senses its presence and she turns to look but it is now the station and the train slows down.
INT./EXT. TRAIN PLATFORM
Darien is looking through the train doors as they close on Mr. Bojangles. She has stuffed his tip can with twenty dollar bills.
EXT. 8TH AVENUE NEW YORK CITY
Outside Penn Station, the world has arrived, tourists, taxis, the rush of humanity on the road to nowhere.
Darien stands on the street.
Missy, hey you missy, you taxi?
Darien sees a man in a taxi. He has rolled down the window and leaned over. Dark hair in a pony tail, Indian. Eastern Indian.
INDIAN TAXI DRIVER
Darien gets in and the taxi speeds off in a blaze of smoke. The smoke takes shape in a vaguely human form and follows the taxi.
EXT. 78 WALL STREET, HUSBAND'S OFFICE—SOON AFTER
The exterior of the building is cold and grey. In GOLD LETTERS A SIGN READS: BAER AND SONS FINANCIAL SERVICES. A DOORMAN, resplendent in his uniform opens the door for Darien and she enters. A gush of wind enters behind her and a single feather floats just behind her head.
A magnificent chandelier looms over the polished marble floor. Its glittering light sprays light as Darien walks toward the gleaming elevator. It opens. TWO BUSINESSMEN in black suits stand at attention. Darien steps inside.
The doors close. We see a back view of the men and Darien. Underneath of the men's hats, we get a glimpse of his shaved head and a bit of tattooed letters. This is not your average businessman. Nor is his friend.
INT. BAER AND SONS OFFICES
Darien stands in front of a medium sized mahogany desk with a plaque that reads, RECEPTIONIST. The RECEPTIONIST looks up at Darien and smiles a perfect smile.
Big day, huh? Get yourself some ice tea over there, It's really good.
Darien goes to the alcove and with her back to the secretary pours herself a large glass of ice tea and gulps it down rapidly, then puts the glass down, very gently.
Thanks that was just great.
Darien follows the secretary's big ass down a long, wide hallway toward a door.
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM
Edgar and his son, PHILLIP, SEVERAL HARD BOILED EXECUTIVES and their WASPY WIVES, and a MAN WITH A PONY TAIL stand around a big table with a MAGNIFICENT CAKE surrounded by appetizers and bottles of champagne. The cake reads, CONGRATULATIONS SON.
Phillip comes forward to greet Darien, his perfectly manicured hand takes hers and he kisses her a little loudly on the cheek. He smiles at her. His once handsome face is a bit bloated but every hair on his head is in place.
So glad you could share this day with us, Darien. His face DISTORTS GROTESQUELY for a nano-second and then returns to normal.
(to the crowd)
You all know my father's wife.
Someone get her a glass of champagne!
The pony tailed man is at Darien's side. He hands her a glass.
I think everyone is here? Well, well, well, I hope nobody here takes this as a sign of my getting old, rather that my son has at last ... matured.
Appreciative chuckles all around. Phillip smiles broadly, except for his eyes then his face hardens but the smile remains.
We had disagreements and I said and did things that, well, I profoundly regret. And I apologize. I ask your forgiveness.
Edgar signs documents that make Phillip a full partner. Phillip goes to his father and they embrace. A tear falls from his eye. But Darien is seeing Phillips reflection in the window behind him.
INT. JEWELRY STORE, 5TH AVENUE—LATER
Edgar and Darien are looking at displays of colorful gemstones set in necklaces, bracelets and rings. A SALESLADY, young with very dark hair wearing TURQUOISE JEWELRY smiles at them.
Can I show you something?
Darien looks at one of the Saleslady's rings, a large piece of turquoise set in silver.
This is most unusual.
Oh yes. But you won't find anything like it here.
The Saleslady smiles.
EXT. THE STREET
Edgar and Darien hail a taxi.
There's a store near the restaurant that sells imported furniture.
They get in the taxi.
INT. FURNITURE STORE
Edgar and Darien look through the ornate Mediterranean furniture. Darien pauses to admire a beautiful table.
Would you like that?
Darien seems surprised.
What? Oh, no, I just like looking at it.
Edgar frowns a little bit.
In the two years we've been married, you have hardly ever let me buy you a gift.
He takes her hand and looks deeply into her eyes.
Why is that?
Seeing these beautiful things with you is enough to satisfy me.
Darien chooses her next words carefully.
If you never accept a gift from someone, it can never be taken from you.
He shakes his head at his beautiful wife, but smiles.
Can I at least buy you dinner?
Darien turns her head in the direction of the street.
Mm, can you smell that?
Now she smiles.
She pauses and considers.
And I smell roses. Roses on the tables.
They walk outside.
EXT. THE STREET
Darien looks up at the sky. Storm clouds gather.
INT. THE RESTAURANT
Edgar and Darien are being seated at a table next to a window overlooking a river. On the table is a small vase of roses. The MAITRE 'D holds out Darien's chair and places menus in front of them.
So wonderful to see you again, sir. And your lovely wife.
Edgar smiles at Darien and opens the wine list.
The WAITER puts dinner plates in front of EDGAR and Darien. They have both ordered steak béarnaise with baked potatoes, green beans and salad.
Darien cuts into her steak. It is very, very rare and blood rushes out. Edgar raises his eyebrows at the sight.
It's how I like it.
She puts a bloody piece of steak in her mouth and chews.
INT. LINCOLN CENTER—LATER
Edgar and Darien watch as TONY dies in MARIA'S arms in West Side Story.
EXT. THE STREET—AFTER THE SHOW
Edgar and Darien are among the throngs of theater goers who spill into the street. Now a light unpleasant rain starts.
We can pick up the Metro over on 72nd.
Darien and Edgar cross the busy two lanes in front of Lincoln Center.
They start down Broadway and Darien notices a BLACK LABRADOR RETRIEVER huddled in the shadows of the darkened alley, next to some garbage cans. The dog looks intently at Darien as if she is trying to communicate something. Darien instinctively puts her hand to her neck and her Cameo necklace.
From the alley TWO THUGS emerge. The street is suddenly and inexplicably deserted.
Little late for you to be out, isn't it? Hey I know you.
At that moment Darien senses the THUGS want more than to rob them.
We're just catching our train—
Edgar tries to push through the two thugs but they block his way. One thug takes out a SWITCHBLADE.
What you got in your pockets?
Edgar immediately takes out his wallet.
You can have it. There's a couple hundred dollars. Take it.
Darien narrows her eyes.
Let's have that purse.
He jerks it out of Darien's hands. The Second Thug frisks Edgar. He finds his GOLD WATCH and holds it up to admire.
I always wanted one of these.
Then he looks at Darien's Cameo.
SECOND THUG (CONT'D)
Darien touches the Cameo protectively. She smiles.
My grandmother gave this to me. She'd rather you didn't have it.
The First Thug is tickled by this.
Oh, she'd rather, would she?
The thug looks menacingly at her and steps towards her. His eyes dilate and beads of perspiration form on his upper lip and his lip quivers.
Before he can make his move, Darien gives the Dog a slight nod. The Dog bares her teeth and growls menacingly.
FIRST THUG (CONT'D)
What, I've got to take care of you, too?
The dog jumps at the first thug, biting him on the thigh as the thug whips the knife downward at the dog. As the knife cuts the dog on the shoulder area, Darien swings her left palm flat out into the thug's throat. He chokes and the knife flies up out of his hand as he bends forward gasping for air.
Darien jumps high and grabs the knife in midair by the handle and as she comes back to the ground brings the knife directly into the second thug's chest. She then pulls the knife out and replants it again into his chest. Blood flows and he drops dying to the ground.
Excerpted from Lakota by Maura Campbell. Copyright © 2013 Lance Osadchey. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.