Monday, 29 February 2016

Two Sour and One Sweet (3 screenplay intros)


CLOSING DOORS - THE LAST DAYS OF TONY HANCOCK

(Warning - Strong Language and Adult Situations)

“ONE BY ONE HE SHUT THE DOOR ON ALL THE PEOPLE HE KNEW, THEN
HE SHUT THE DOOR ON HIMSELF.”
SPIKE MILLIGAN ON TONY HANCOCK

This is just the first few pages of an early script about the last days of Tony Hancock  (British Comedian)
Tony went to Australia to attempt to revive his Television career but without the support of his writers and pals (all of whom he dumped), the revival failed and he took his own life at the age of 44 in the basement of his producer’s house.

This is an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Hancock died by suicide, by overdose, in Sydney, on 24 June 1968. He was found dead in his Bellevue Hill apartment with an empty vodka bottle by his right hand and amphetamines by his left.
In one of his suicide notes he wrote: “Things just seemed to go too wrong too many times”.

BLACK SCREEN

TITLES:
“ONE BY ONE HE SHUT THE DOOR ON ALL THE PEOPLE HE KNEW, THEN
HE SHUT THE DOOR ON HIMSELF.”
SPIKE MILLIGAN ON TONY HANCOCK

BLACK SCREEN
DIRECTOR (V.O.)
Okay Tony, can we take that line
again?

HANCOCK (V.O.)
“Oh no, I’ve got the giraffe again,
I’ve got three of these, why can’t
I get the packet with the
hippopotamus?”

Silence.

HANCOCK (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Does that sound funny to you? It
doesn’t sound funny to me.

BELL RINGS.

DIRECTOR (V.O.)
Take twenty everyone, there is some
noise on the tape.

TITLES: “June 1968, ATN-7 Studios, Sydney, Australia.”
FADE IN:

INT. TV STUDIO – DAY
TONY HANCOCK, forty four going on sixty.
Tony is walking towards his trailer. His PA hands him a cup
and his PRODUCER walks beside him.

HANCOCK
Well?

PRODUCER
What Tony?

HANCOCK
Does it sound funny? These are no
Galton and Simpson.

PRODUCER
Give them a chance.

HANCOCK
Give them a chance? Give them a
chance? Listen matey, I’m out of
chances. Me.

The producer places his hand on Hancock’s shoulder. Hancock
stops and kills the moment with a look.
The producer’s hand retreats.
Hancock continues walking but the producer stays where he is;
he knows better.
Hancock enters his trailer.
SLAM….a closing door.

INT. TRAILER – DAY
Hancock, life-tired, sits staring into an unforgiving mirror.
He opens a Qantas Airline Bag or should that be
pharmaceutical central?
Some tablets are placed on the table, a bottle of vodka is
retrieved from under the table – it’s been taped there – and
is poured into Hancock’s cup.
He swallows the lot.

KNOCK.

HANCOCK
What?

PA (O.S.)
It’s me.

HANCOCK
Wait.

The airline bag is closed and the bottle taped back under the
table.

HANCOCK (CONT’D)
Enter.

PA
It’s the sound men; it was a bird
they picked up on the tape.

HANCOCK
So?

PA
Well they’re trying to shoot it out
of its hiding place using a
catapult and some moth balls.

HANCOCK
You couldn’t make this stuff up and
unfortunately neither can my
writers.

PA
It’s just….

HANCOCK
…it’s just what?

The PA turns towards the door and there are some fans waiting
to talk to Hancock.

Hancock gets up and goes over to the door.

HANCOCK (CONT’D)
Fuck off.

He slams the door shut and then approaches the PA. Their
faces are an inch apart.

HANCOCK (CONT’D)
What do you think I am? A tin of
beans.

The PA slides away and out the door.

INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT
A TELEVISION is on.
The room is empty and someone is showering in the bathroom.
We will find out that this is Hancock.
On the television is an interview with Hancock and John
Freeman.

TELEVISION HANCOCK
“It’s partly true that I’m a lonely
person. There are times when you’re
desperately lonely, standing in the
wings, at say, the Palladium….”

Going around the room we see the items that reflect his life
at the moment.

TELEVISION HANCOCK (CONT’D)
“….You’re out there alone. To be
shot at, shouted at, booed, have
rivets thrown at you (which I’ve
had) and seven pence ha’penny
thrown at me at Bristol – which I
picked up carefully off the stage
and bought myself a half of
bitter…”

A script lying open on the bed.

TELEVISION HANCOCK (CONT’D)
“How do you make comedy? You don’t
make it with measured ingredients -
it’s not cake. You make comedy with
feeling…..”

The Qantas bag on the bedside table.

TELEVISION HANCOCK (CONT’D)
“What I play on television is an
extension of myself and the
idiosyncrasies of other people
combined…”

Two bottles of brandy and a bottle of vodka.

TELEVISION HANCOCK
“You are, after all involved in
life, and you do certain stupid
things yourself. So if you are
going to stand there and throw
stones, at what point of perfection
do you stand? If one is going to be
critical without any chance of
comeback, it’s like hitting a
child”.

A HAND turns off the television. It’s Hancock’s. He slumps on
the bed in a towel , pours a vodka into a glass and smiles to
himself.
He picks up the ‘phone.

HANCOCK
Get me Mrs Sennett in Bournemouth,
England. (Pause) That’s right, my
Mum.

While he waits, he picks up a couple of tablets from the
bedside table.
He washes them down with vodka.

HANCOCK (CONT’D)
Mum. Guess who?

INT. TV STUDIO – DAY
PEOPLE doing things. Carrying cables, scenery. People
painting.
The PA exits from Hancock’s trailer.

PRODUCER
How is he?

The PA crosses his fingers and moves on.

PRODUCER (CONT’D)
Come on now people. We have a show
to put on.

The producer spots some of the team, watching.

PRODUCER (CONT’D)
I thought it was your day off?

STAGE HAND
Tony Hancock is in town.

PRODUCER
Hope he’s worth it.

The producer claps his hands.

PRODUCER (CONT’D)
Move. Someone get Tony. You.

A YOUNG GIRL is selected.
She nervously goes over to the trailer and knocks the door.
There is no response. She knocks again.

PRODUCER (CONT’D)
Just leave it. I’ll get him.

The girl runs off.
The producer loudly knocks the trailer door.

PRODUCER (CONT’D)
(shouting)
Coming in.

INT. TRAILER – DAY
The producer enters.
Tony is somewhere between Sydney and the moon.

PRODUCER
For fuck sake, what did you take?

HANCOCK
(slurred)
You know….what Sid said about me?
He said….what was I talking
about? Oh yes, Sid. He said….that
I have the best timing in the
business. The best.

Hancock is not in charge of moving his head; it has its own
life.

INT. TV STUDIO – DAY
There are many EXPECTANT FACES as Hancock and the producer
emerge. However this turns to disappointment as the producer
supports Hancock from the trailer. He carries him to the set.

PRODUCER
Come on people. We have episode six
to put in the can.

The enthusiasm has eroded in the studio, everyone is going
through the motions.

STUDIO LATER
Hancock stands ready, however his face shows that although
the light may be on, nobody is home.

DIRECTOR
All you have to do is pick up the
‘phone.

Hancock nods like a drunk.

DIRECTOR (CONT’D)
And action.

Hancock lifts the receiver, dials very badly then ‘speaks in
tongues’ into the phone.

DIRECTOR (CONT’D)
Cut. That’s the sixteenth take and
that bastard is incapable of saying
a line.

Hancock stands lost and sweating from head to foot.

DIRECTOR (CONT’D)
Hancock, you c*nt. Get out there
and act.

Hancock is in turmoil. He is practising ‘Chinese burns’ on
his wrists.

DIRECTOR (CONT’D)
(to producer)
Are you going to fucking call
someone?

The producer nods. A PA hands him a phone.

PRODUCER
(into phone)
Get me the Managing Director.

INT. HOTEL ROOM – DAY
This is another time and another place. Hancock is shaved,
dressed and sober.
He sits reading the paper and drinking coffee.
A KNOCK at the door.

HANCOCK
(with gusto)
Enter.

The producer enters.

HANCOCK (CONT’D)
Coffee?

PRODUCER
Please.

The producer sits as he pours him a cup.

HANCOCK
So, did you see yesterday’s rushes?

PRODUCER
Ehm…no, not yet.

HANCOCK
Well, we can look at them today.
I thought yesterday went well.

These two guys are remembering different days.

PRODUCER
If you say so.

HANCOCK
Of course, I say so.

Hancock gets up.

HANCOCK (CONT’D)
Well, come on. Let’s get a move on.
Hancock is already out the door.

HANCOCK (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Come on.

INT. CAR – DAY
The producer looks at Hancock, not sure who is riding in his
car.
Hancock is happy and smoking.

HANCOCK
I’ve got to get me Mum something.

Silence.

HANCOCK (CONT’D)
I hear the contract is for 26
shows. I was thinking I might do it
in three batches and head home. See
Mum and Joan. What do you think?
Silence.

HANCOCK (CONT’D)
Have I upset you?

PRODUCER
No. The Managing Director wants to
speak to you when we get in.

HANCOCK
Any idea, about what?

The producer looks at Hancock. Then shakes his head.

HANCOCK (CONT’D)
Can’t be too serious then.

There is a look on Hancock’s face as if he may know what the
talk is about.

HANCOCK (CONT’D)
We could always take the whole
thing back to England.

PRODUCER
If you don’t do it here, it’s all
over. If you fuck up in Australia,
there’s no where else to go.

The car pulls into the studio gate.

INT. PRODUCER’S HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT
The producer sits going through some paper work.

The phone RINGS.

PRODUCER
Hello.

HANCOCK (V.O.)
Evening.

PRODUCER
Tony.

HANCOCK (V.O.)
I’ve decided. I’m going to take the
cure.

PRODUCER
Where are you?

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – NIGHT
Hancock sits in a hospital gown.

HANCOCK
Cavell House Private Hospital at
Rose Bay. That bastard said it was
this or the first bloody ‘plane
back to Blighty

...........to becontinued

boy
2.BURIED  
(Warning – Strong Language and Adult Situations)

First Ten Pages of a Script

Episode One –  “The House of Tricks”.

BLACK SCREEN
FRAN (Voice over)
It’s sad when you get hurt so much that you can finally say,
‘I’m used to it’.

CAR ENGINE.
FADE IN:

EXT. STREET. 1966 – NIGHT
A DARK CAR cuts through the night like a shark.

INT. CAR. 1966 – NIGHT
Ribbed leather rear seat of an expensive car, probably a 1960s Rover.
Light from the occasional street lamp sweeps across the seat.
The car slows then stops, and a back-door opens.
The driver CLICKS the dial of the car radio, it sweeps through radio stations. It settles on something SOULFUL.

A CHILD, FRANKIE, his face is 14 years old, his eyes are ancient, slides onto the seat.
FRANKIE smiles over to someone, probably the driver. Then the usual terror makes his face adopt a grimace.

This kid has done all this, too many times, before.
Frankie closes the door.
The car drives off.
The street lights illuminate a thoughtful boy with a million things on his mind.

LATER
The car slows once more, and stops.
This time, DAN, 10 years of age and terrified, slips onto the seat next to Frankie.
Frankie doesn’t look at the kid, he just slides over.
Tears are forming on DAN’S FACE.

With both boys staring straight ahead, Frankie places his hand on top of Dan’s, then puts his fingers between Dan’s (as if to say, I’m here too).
SOMEONE outside the car, straightens Dan’s clothes, pats down Dan’s hair, and then closes the car door.
The CAR SPEEDS away.

INT. WESTMINSTER SQUARE. 1966 – NIGHT
Dan looking haunted out of the window of the car.
CAPTION: “LONDON – 1966”
The CAR drives around WESTMINSTER SQUARE.

EXT. GARAGE. 1966 – NIGHT
The CAR drives through the entrance of an UNDERGROUND PARKING AREA.

INT. GARAGE. 1966 – CONTINUOUS
The car stops beside several Bentleys, Rollers and Jaguars.
A LARGE BOUNCER TYPE – (we take it he’s the driver) – gets out and opens the door for the kids.
Frankie has done this all before, he knows the routine and where his place is in things.
The Bouncer waves to the boys to get out. Frankie stands beside the door – he looks back and sees Dan is sitting, petrified.

FRANKIE
Come on.

Dan still doesn’t want to leave the car.

FRANKIE (CONT’D)
I said, come on.

Frankie takes Dan’s hand and leads him out.

FRANKIE (CONT’D)
I’ll look after you.

Frankie means it.

DAN
I’m called D….

Frankie puts his hand over Dan’s mouth.

FRANKIE
Don’t tell me your name.

The two boys and the Bouncer walk across the garage to a private elevator.

INT. ELEVATOR. 1966 – CONTINUOUS
The lift doors open onto a sumptuous apartment.
This is a room full of MONEY and very little else. LUST has chased COMPASSION out of the door.
It is populated with the British establishment doing what they do best.

INT. THE HOUSE OF TRICKS. LOUNGE. 1966 – CONTINUOUS
Cravings being satisfied in every corner.
Frankie and Dan are standing in the middle of the room as OLD MEN eye them up.
As Dan becomes more anxious, Frankie squeezes Dan’s hand tighter.

SOMEONE grabs Frankie by his neck and drags him off to a room.
Frankie struggles to look back at Dan. Frankie smiles at him.
Dan is upset after being separated from his protector. Dan is standing isolated in a room of predators.

DAN
Don’t let them take me. Please, someone help me. Please. My name is Dan! Help me!

SOME OF THE ROOM turn for a second, smile at the boy, then turn away.

DAN (CONT’D)
Dan! Da….

Dan starts to cry. AN ARM picks up Dan and lifts him off to a waiting room.
Dan tries to hold on to the door frame, but his little fingers just scrape the paint and he’s pulled into the bedroom.

JIMMY (25) is the man who is keeping an eye on the room. He is watching and you can tell his mind is never on deep conversations; he is superficial.
Jimmy is conversing with several men. The ‘MINISTER’ is in his forties and overweight.

JIMMY
As you can see, new talent comes in all the time.

MINISTER
Fresh, delectable meat.

The Minister licks his lips and the OTHER MEN, laugh.

JIMMY
I prefer to say ‘fresh talent’.

MINISTER
Whatever you say James. Your parties are always a triumph.

JIMMY
You flatter me.

The Minister stuffs extra money in Jimmy’s jacket pocket.

MINISTER
I’ve had one helluva day in the House, so let me see the bait.

JIMMY
If you gentlemen will follow me. (To a TOPLESS MUSCULAR MAN)
My friends’ glasses are empty.

Jimmy snaps his fingers. The muscular man fills glasses.
The Minister rubs his hands, then grabs the bottle from the muscular man.
The Minister pushes himself to the front of the men and enters the room where Dan has been taken.

INT. THE HOUSE OF TRICKS. DAN’S BEDROOM. 1966 – NIGHT
A terrified Dan is tied to a bed and a LARGE MAN stands next to him. Dan’s mouth is silenced by tape.

MINISTER
Wonderful. Simply magnificent.

The Minister turns to the men.

MINISTER (CONT’D)
Gentlemen, behold the delicious quarry.

The Minister bends down beside Dan. He runs his finger over the scared boy’s hair, then lets his hand caress the boy’s face.

MINISTER (CONT’D)
Beautiful and fresh and ripe.

The Minister rips the tape from Dan’s mouth.

MINISTER (CONT’D)
I like to hear the whimpers – it makes me feel all warm inside.

The Minister looks at the men with him, and they all LAUGH.

The Minister puts his two fingers over the little boy’s mouth, who is about to say his name.

MINISTER
Shh, little one!

INT. THE HOUSE OF TRICKS. FRANKIE’S BEDROOM. 1966 – NIGHT
Frankie keeps looking back at the door, even although he is lying almost naked, face down on a bed.
The YOUNG MAN, who is surprisingly young (mid twenties), FORCES Frankie’s head to face forwards.
Frankie is ‘matter-of-fact’ about the process.

The Young Man is stripping off in the background.
The Young Man’s view of the naked Frankie lying face down on the bed.
The Young Man bends over and inspects a birth mark on Frankie’s lower back. From his accent and manner, this guy has been jettisoned out from a fifties’ public school.

YOUNG MAN
Interesting.

FRANKIE
What?

YOUNG MAN
That thing on your back.

The Young Man traces the mark with his fingers.

FRANKIE
The woman who delivered me was drunk.

YOUNG MAN
It rather looks like a strawberry. It’s…..pretty. Just like you.

The Young Man smiles to himself, then leans forward and kisses the birthmark.
The Young Man stands up.
The back view of the Young Man, naked. He has ROPES in his hand.

INT. THE HOUSE OF TRICKS. LOUNGE. 1966 – MORNING
THE MORNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE. The sun is shining in the windows and bleaching away the debauchery of the previous evening.
The Rich and Famous have long since departed. They never spend the night in this type of place.

A TEENAGE BOY lies sleeping, half-naked on a sofa.
The CLEANER shakes the boy awake, who then starts to dress himself.
This is a business and everyone does their bit.

INT. THE HOUSE OF TRICKS. FRANKIE’S BEDROOM. 1966- CONTINUOUS
Frankie is sitting on the edge of the bed. He looks terrible but then again, he’s survived another night.
Bed sheets are strewn around the room, whatever went on in this place was wild.
The Cleaner enters and tries to ignore the boy. The Cleaner knows better than to say anything, but he can’t help himself and hands the boy his sweater.

FRANKIE
Thanks.

CLEANER
That’s all right.

The Cleaner smiles and continues cleaning up.

INT. THE HOUSE OF TRICKS. LOUNGE. 1966 – LATER
Frankie walks through the lounge and takes in the aftermath.
He heads for Dan’s Bedroom – he wants to make sure Dan is all right.

INT. THE HOUSE OF TRICKS. DAN’S BEDROOM. 1966 – CONTINUOUS
The room is empty except for the stench of depravity. There is blood on the sheets. Dan didn’t give up easily.
Frankie RUNS from the room.

INT. THE HOUSE OF TRICKS. BATHROOM. 1966 – CONTINUOUS
Frankie THROWS UP in the toilet. He probably does this every time.
Frankie has a gulp out of the water tap and then splashes his face.
Outside the bathroom, and reflected in the bathroom mirror, are TWO MEN (BIG MAN and FAT MAN) carrying a BODY wrapped in bed-clothes.

They continue into the lift.
The lift doors close.

INT. THE HOUSE OF TRICKS. LOUNGE. 1966 – CONTINUOUS
Frankie sneaks out of the bathroom and decides not to follow them by using the lift.
Instead, he uses a STAIRWELL that he has obviously used before.

INT. THE HOUSE OF TRICKS. STAIRWELL. 1966 – CONTINUOUS
Frankie looks carefully over the edge of the bannister.
NOISES from the guys in the garage, below.
Frankie creeps down.

INT. GARAGE. 1966 – CONTINUOUS
BIG MAN and FAT MAN dump the body on the ground, like a piece of meat.
Big Man opens the boot of the car and both men throw the body in the boot.
The door is SLAMMED shut.

BIG MAN
I’m going for a piss. Make sure he don’t run.
Big Man exits smiling at his own joke.
Fat Man smirks. He goes around the vehicle and lights a cigarette.
Seeing that the coast is clear, Frankie crawls over to the back of the car.
Frankie carefully opens the car boot, a little.

Fat Man, smoking, thinks he hears something, but sees a RAT moving across the floor and pretends to shoot it with his fingers.
Frankie holds the boot while pulling the cover off of the body.
Frankie jumps back.

There is Dan’s battered little face staring back at him. COLD and DEAD. His mouth is taped up.
Frankie has let the car boot swing up. This spooks Fat Man.
Big Man takes a gun from his jacket. Frankie scuttles behind the other cars. Both men search under the them.
Frankie crawls under from one car to another, as one of the men tries to grab Frankie.

BIG MAN
Come out you little shit.

Fat Man’s arm is attempting to grab under the car at Frankie.
Frankie scuttles quickly from underneath one car to another.
Frankie’s POV of the men’s legs walking around the other direction.
Frankie pushes himself out and runs for a door. It opens. He stumbles as he’s running so fast, but he scrambles up.

INT/EXT. TUNNEL. 1966 – CONTINUOUS
Frankie runs along a tunnel. In the background, Big Man and Fat Man are entering.
The door at the other end of the tunnel is BLOCKED by a PILE OF RUBBISH on the outside.
Frankie keeps kicking at the door. The rubbish slides and the door opens – enough to let someone the size of Frankie squeeze through.

EXT. LANE. 1966 – CONTINUOUS
Frankie runs down a lane behind the buildings.
At the end of the lane is a HIGH STREET, full of PEOPLE. Frankie disappears into the crowd as Big Man and Fat Man reach the end of the lane.
Big Man and Fat Man split up to search. Inside the crowd is Frankie getting lost and running.
MUSIC  plays and continues over the start of the next scene.
Camera lifts up over London and into the big blue yonder. We travel over distance and time, landing in…

EXT. RUGBY PARK. FIELD. PRESENT – DAY
MEN GRUNTING.
CAPTION: “PRESENT DAY”
THE CRUNCH of a RUGBY SCRUM. We are in the middle of it all, the grunts and the sweat.
A REFEREE looks into the scrum, then blows his whistle.
The MATCH is OVER.
The BULKY MEN head to the clubhouse.

We are interested in FRANCIS (60s). This is an old man’s league and these are old men.
CHARLIE (60s) one of the players from the opposing team slaps Francis on the back.

CHARLIE
Played well, Fran…..considering.

INT. RUGBY PARK. SHOWERS. PRESENT – DAY
Francis is showering in among the usual banter. These are all MAN BEASTS who have played this sport to a good level, once upon a time.
Francis turns his back to us in order to wash. On Fran’s back is the strawberry birthmark we saw earlier. It might be older, and more tired, more wrinkled even , but it’s still the same one.

INT. RUGBY PARK. BAR. PRESENT – DAY
Charlie, from earlier, is at the bar, he brings over the TWO BEERS to the table, where Francis is sitting.

CHARLIE
Fran.

FRANCIS
God bless, Chaz. God bless you my friend.

Charlie sits down.

CHARLIE
Not enough to let us win, apparently.

FRANCIS
What can I say, the man upstairs supports Heaverbrook Over 60s. Always has.

CHARLIE
How’s life, anyway, you old scoundrel? How’s the family?
……..to be continued.

Dinosaurs-Cartoon-Style-Vector
3. FRANKIE & DINO

A couple of pages out of a script written for a US kids’ animation

EXT.DINOCAVE. DAY
DINO (pronounced Deeno) the young dinosaur is watching his
father (his hero), FRANKIE brushing his hair in the mirror.
Dad likes what he sees.
Next to the mirror is a photo of a dinosaur who resembles
Dean Martin.

FRANKIE
Did I ever tell you how your mom and I came to name you, Dino?

DINO
(to himself) Yes, dad it …

FRANKIE
It was after that great dinosaur
singer, Dean Martinsaurus.

FRANKIE gives the photo a polish while he starts to SING.
DINO covers his ears.

FRANKIE (CONT’D)
“When the moon hits your eye like
a Jurassic sky, that’s
Dinosauria”

With the singing over, DINO takes his paws away from his
ears.

FRANKIE (CONT’D)
Ain’t you excited? Heck! I know I am.Me and my son in our first
trek into…
(Frankie sings this bit)
“ta..ta. ta.ta..the Unknown
Forest”
FRANKIE looks at DINO.

FRANKIE (CONT’D)
Ain’t you even the slightest bit
excited?

DINO
Sure, dad but why do they call it
the Unknown Forest?

FRANKIE
It’s not the (Frankie uses rabbit
ears quotation marks with his
fingers) “Unknown Forest”. It’s
the
(Frankie starts to sing
this bit again)
“ta..ta. ta.ta..the Unknown
Forest”

DINO
But why, dad?

FRANKIE
Because, it’s unknown and it’s a
forest.

DINO
But fathers and sons go there
every year. Don’t they know it
even a little bit by now?

FRANKIE
Dino, it’s not good to ask too
many questions.

DINO
That’s not what my teacher says.

FRANKIE
She’s doesn’t know what she’s
talking about, she’s just a
Microraptor.

DINO
She’s smart.

FRANKIE
She’s small. Small raptor, small
brain.

DINO
She says you’re the smartest man
in Dinosauria.

FRANKIE
She said that?

DINO
Sure did, dad.

FRANKIE
You must introduce me next time.
FRANKIE looks back at the mirror and GROWLS at what he
sees.

FRANKIE (CONT’D)
You monster!
FRANKIE winks at his reflection.

INT.PATH ON THE WAY TO THE UNKNOWN FOREST
FRANKIE and DINO trudge on. 
 
DINO
Are we there yet?

FRANKIE
We’ve only just left.

DINO
So we’re not there yet?

FRANKIE
No. Patience, my son.

DINO
Are we there yet?

FRANKIE
Can’t you do something? What about Eye-Spy?

DINO
Dad, that is so last ice age.

FRANKIE
Well what about that thing you’re carrying?

DINO
Oh, okay dad.
DINO takes a large shell he’s been carrying and puts it to his ear. DINO seems pleased.

FRANKIE
So what is that thing?

DINO
It’s a SyPod, dad. You can hear the sea. All the kids have got one.
FRANKIE walks on totally amazed.

FRANKIE
What will they think of next? Jeez…
FRANKIE and DINO reach the edge of the Unknown Forest. 
There is a long QUEUE of DADS and KIDS.
As FRANKIE and DINO arrive at the back of the queue, the rest turn.

ALL
HI!  

DINO/FRANKIE 
Hi. 
HERBIE, the Unknown Forest guide, is walking down the queue selling stuff from a basket. 

HERBIE 
(to FRANKIE)
Map of the Unknown Forest?

FRANKIE looks at DINO who is looking back at his hero. 

FRANKIE
No thank you sir, we don’t need a map of the
(Frankie starts to sing
this bit again)
“ta..ta. ta.ta..the Unknown
Forest”

HERBIE
Whatever.

HERBIE starts to walk on, when DINO’s back is turned. 
FRANKIE whispers.

FRANKIE 
(whispering)
Can I have a map, just in case?

HERBIE
Hey I ain’t got all day, bud.

FRANKIE hands over the money and HERBIE hands him the map. 
DINO turns around. 

DINO
What’s that you got there, Dad?

FRANKIE hides the map behind his back.

FRANKIE
It’s a surprise.  

The Queue moves 

DINO
Is it a free pass to all the rides in Dinosauria?

FRANKIE
Nope. Now looky here, the queue’s moving. Let’s walk.

DINO
Is it a lifetime supply of DinoCola?

FRANKIE
Nope. Where do you get this stuff?

DINO sees it’s just a map. 

DINO
It’s just a map, Dad.

FRANKIE
It’s not just a map. There’s where you’re wrong.It’s a map
to (Frankie starts to sing
this bit again)
“ta..ta. ta.ta..the Unknown
Forest”

DINO
If you say so. (to himself) It’s not that unknown, then.

FRANKIE and DINO are now at the entrance to the Unknown Forest. AVOLONIA is there to greet and meet. 

AVOLONIA
Hi boys! Aren’t you two cuties.

FRANKIE
I like to think so.

AVOLONIA
So welcome to the  

(She sings
this bit)
“ta..ta. ta.ta..the Unknown
Forest”

FRANKIE looks at DINO with ‘I told you so’ expression.  

AVOLONIA
If you two boys could just shuffle over to the Father/Son Welcome Area,
little old me would be real grateful.

FRANKIE
Let’s go son into the….

DINO
I know, Dad. ‘Ta…ta…the unknown..’

 Excited FRANKIE is already way ahead.

……..to be continued


bobby stevenson 2016





Friday, 26 February 2016

Lives in 100 words....

New York City, December 1963
Central2
I remember fighting a rather lonely wind as I crossed Central Park on that particular Wednesday before Christmas; an old faded newspaper flapped in the breeze against a wooden seat but I could still make out the headline: ‘JFK Dead’. They would be coming soon, those wise men from the east, the Beatles with their new English beat music. Perhaps we could stop grieving and begin to move on. I clambered up the hill, crossed Central Park West sliding in to 72nd Street and as I passed the Dakota building, a cold chill made me pull my coat in tight.

Going Home

wall
“Fourteen…………fifteen……………sixteen”   He stopped counting because the soldier had stopped walking. The soldier turned and the boy started to count again. Once more the gap was sixteen seconds, or at least sixteen of the boy’s counts. That’s all the time he had. Sixteen seconds between life and death. Off to the right were two builders, placing bricks upon bricks, and not paying much attention to anyone. None of this was his fault, all he had done was make his usual weekend trip to see his Grandmother in eastern Berlin and now, in front of him, was a wall stopping his return.


Another Walk In The Park

road
It was one of those bright yellow days; not quite Winter and not quite Spring as I lit my last cigarette (after all it was 1951 and smoking didn’t give you cancer back then). I noticed as I walked across the park how the rain tasted sweet, as if someone had seeded it with sugar. In the distance, I could hear a dog howling, as the wind carried its cries off towards Columbus Circle – there it drowned among the squeals of the speeding taxi cabs. “Read it!” You’d said. So I sat, opened your manuscript, and began ‘On The Road’.

Where The Citizens Are...

Ad_Block_2
When they set it all up – they knew what they were doing. They called it ‘The Sewer’ and that was all it was used for. Of course the Proles thought they were expressing outrage, revolution even, but really they were only pissing in the wind. No world order changed because of it - nothing changed because of it. Only the belief from the Proles that they were doing something worthy. They called it many things – Twitter, Facebook, EyeLook but all the Proles achieved was to let those upstairs – the masters - know who were the troublemakers and where they slept.


Last Walks - A Final Breath of Air
Breath
He had made the excuse to the staff that he wanted a cigarette. After his father had died his mother had no longer allowed smoking in the house. Now she was gone and only the family dynasty was left. He could smoke wherever he wanted; after all it was his empire now. The truth was, he just wanted five more minutes with his own company. Things would never be the same when he walked back in there and the person, he was, who he had become, would be lost and swallowed up in world that would take all of him.

Last Walks - Three Out of Four
rain-photography-15
They were waiting for him at the end of the jetty. The boat had been in trouble when the storm had risen out of nowhere. They had sent out a Mayday a few hours earlier. By the time the rescue team had got to them only one had been found alive. The other three had gone overboard and their bodies picked up. There had been four kids out there in the bay and each of them had been sailing all their lives. Now three were gone, but which three?  And as he walked, he prayed that it wasn’t his son.


Last Walks - Lost and Found
aberdeen
It was the woman from the society who had contacted him. Although if he was being honest, he had thought about doing it when he was about eighteen years old. Not long after that he had joined the army and it had all gone from his mind. So when he got the phone call to say they’d found her and that she wanted to speak to him, he decided he had nothing to lose and perhaps a mother to gain. One who had left him when she was only sixteen, in an orphanage. He took a deep breath and knocked.

Last Walks - Feeling Like A Million
blog2
If he got to the end of the street without seeing another person then he’d tell her, for sure. I mean, she deserved to know that he’d won 100 million on the lottery. Hadn’t she brought up his kids? Their kids. Hadn’t she stuck by him when things were tough? But then he’d forgiven her when she’d run away to Myrtle Beach with that pastor. And this morning, hadn’t she called him a worthless individual? Still, she'd improved, she didn’t hit him much anymore. He was just at the end of the street when he met Mrs Tully. Shame. :-)


Last Walks - Paris 1940
Paris
There was still the smell of cigars on her coat as she took that one last walk. The dinner party at the little bistro in Neuilly had been everything she’d hoped it would be. Somewhere over by the woods she could hear a wind chime; its one last defiance in playing a pretty tune. They would be here soon and it was the reason they had all departed early. The army was on the outskirts of Paris and soon she would no longer be welcome in her city. There was a distant cry of ‘Vive La France’ and she wept.

Last Walks - A Street
sad_man_with_umbrella_walking_in_a_lonely_street_digital_art_artwork-1920x1200
Both he and the Sun rose early in those days. An empty street and a full life lay in front of him and the potential tasted so sweet; anything and everything was possible. The smell of rain on the sidewalk lifted his spirits even higher. It made him feel like running but instead he just stood and looked up at the apartment where his life had changed in the last few hours. It was his final walk alone and nothing would ever be the same. It was as beautiful as they said it would be, he had fallen in love.

Last Walks - A Farewell
road
He had never meant it to happen, they would have to be clear on that point. It had been an accident, a grade one accident, pure and simple. He hadn’t seen her step out of the trees but then maybe he’d been driving a little too fast, only a little mind, not enough to have done all that damage. And no, don’t insult him, of course he hadn’t been drinking, a beer and that didn’t count. It had been Harry’s farewell and he was expected to be sociable. He sadly wondered what his father would have said about it all.

Last Walks - East Germany 1962
Lonely-Street-453553
Her brother had disappeared into the army and had never returned, so when her mother had finally shut her lost eyes, she felt that maybe it was time for her to have a life. To find a husband and if it wasn’t too late (although she thought it probably was) to raise a family. That was the plan and so she found it hard to understand why she was taking the old road out of town that morning in ’62. She was going to try and go over the Wall into the West. There, she heard, the sun always shone.



Glasgow, Scotland 1960
glasgow
He kept saying it over and over to himself as he lay in bed: “6”, “0”.
The numbers felt exciting on his tongue as he said it. 1960 was a new age, and it had just started and everything was possible.
It was Sunday afternoon and the sun shone straight into his room, not helping his hangover. He’d just finished his National Service and the whole decade lay ahead of him.  He wanted to go to college, maybe Glasgow University and study English. But that could wait, at least until his head stopped hurting.
He turned over carefully and smiled.

Moving - California
family-of-nine-travel
I swear on a whole stack of the Good Book, that Pa just walked in one day in ‘37 and said we were all going to California. Ma didn’t even question it, so I guess she knew it was coming. Pa bought an old truck from Halo James and stuck a house on top of it. He then told us seven kids that we were to be ready to go by sun up the next morning. Pa had been bringing home little or no food in those days and he said that going west would be the answer to everything.



Moving - Chicago
calif
When Steven, my older brother, won a whole heap of money from somewhere that we ain’t too sure of, he bought this crazy automobile and then said that we all going on a trip. After our parents died, Steve promised to take care of us all, so one day he said that we were off to Chicago where he’d got a job as a tax man for some guy called Al Capone. He was taking his favorite gal, Sally who was working in a speakeasy and needed somewhere to roll her stockings down (I don’t know what that means either).

MovingThe Other Side of The Desert
steampunk1
He was known in the neighborhood as Captain Fantastic on account that he was always doing amazing things. So when he invited everyone in the Big House to cross the desert in his Big Palloosa, we all jumped at the chance. He was going to squeeze all six of us into his palace on wheels. He slept in a big bed on the top and boy could he snore. We kept cool on the real hot days by standing in our shorts and keepin’ all the windows open. Last I heard he got buried in it, a few years back.






Ameicana....
americana-end

light
Americana - 1880 I found the name on a map when I was a child in Scotland and it came to my mind that that was where I was going to someday; Wabash, Indiana. I was 17 when I got there and I found work on the new Presbyterian Church after I told them about my religious folks back home. One evening, Mr Charles Brush asked that we all meet him at the Courthouse. That was the night that sunshine came to the city. When he switched on his electrical lights, the darkness  turned to day; we were the first city, anywhere.

amish
Americana - 1969 It was early evening in Strasburg and the July heat was still causing him suffocation. It took all of the energy he had just to lay still. He counted to ten and then he stood, somehow lifting the window that opened on to South Decatur Street. After hearing someone on the sidewalk shout that Neil Armstrong was just about to step on the Moon, he switched on the hotel TV. He noticed at the window was the face of a little Amish kid smiling in wonder at his television and at a world one quarter of a million miles away.



4th
Americana - 1976 Everything was red, white and blue except perhaps for the little crazy man who was singing a Beatles’ song: Eight Days a Week. Suzie lay in the warm air listening to the excitement carried in the voices of others and waiting for the fireworks to explode over her city. There was something small and comforting about DC, yet it represented everything that was big in the world. The rockets rose with all the colors and splendors of the universe and were reflected in the mirror of the Potomac. Her country was 200 years old and she couldn’t stop the tears.

1934 Fremont Street looking East
Americana - 1930   Hotel Nevada stood at the corner of Fremont Street; he’d driven out west in ’29 when things got real tough back home. His plan was to head for California where they were  making Talking movies. The problem was that he’d stopped off in this one horse town, run up a liquor bill and was working fourteen hours a day to pay off the debt. Jake, who worked in the Hotel Apache, had asked to pull their greenbacks and invest in a small casino but he had to say ‘no’. Who was going to come to a place like Las Vegas?


taxi
Americana - 1948 From that little room in the cold-water apartment you could smell Harlem. The top window being stuck open with the paint that was probably put on around the time of Pearl Harbor. Cooking smells danced in along with thumps and arguments from far off places.I decided that I needed fresh air and I headed down to 8Th avenue where the folks were drinking canned-heat and digging the sex and the sax. In the dark corner of one coffee shop was Ginsberg and Kerouac talking ‘bout this and that and  not seeing anything of the outside world; God bless 1948.

hotel
Americana - 1950 The day after he buried his mother, he sat suppin’ on a scalding mug of Java and listening to the World Series on the radio. He didn’t have a plan yet, ‘cept that he’d packed a small bag the night before just in case they chased him from the house. When he’d finished, he picked up the keys to Bill’s old Plymouth then threw his stuff in the rear seat and set off along route 30.He had one final stare from up on the ridge. Tomorrow he’d be in Ohio and everything was gonna change.

car
Americana - 1940 The air tasted different; fresher even - perhaps sweeter. Stan was about to drive himself and his dad to Princeton where he was eager to study aeroplanes. He drove passed his old high school and the Baptist church, passed Mary Sweeney’s home and passed the cemetery where Steve lay (although he would always carry him inside). The sun shone all the way to New Jersey and both of them wished his mom had been here to see her boy. If the war in Europe didn’t spread to the US then a brave new world would lie ahead for him.

tinker_street
Americana - 1966  Somewhere between Woodstock and Bearsville there had been an accident, he was sure of that fact. He was sitting on the wooden steps in Tinker Street waiting on the New York City bus. He liked to watch who got on and who got off. Someone said that it might have been a motorcycle crash and that you-know-who had been involved. What kinda played with his head is that he was almost sure he had seen you-know-who driving passed in a VW about fifteen minutes earlier going in the opposite direction. But this was Woodstock and to hell with the truth.

chris
Americana - 1954 Her Daddy says she ain’t to come back into the house until she asks the Lord for forgiveness and that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon given that she ain’t done nothing wrong. The runt, he called, and that hurt real bad. She can see her Mom praying at the window and wishing her youngest would just say the things her husband wants to hear and then they could all get on with their lives. One day she is gonna keep on walking but until then she ain’t gonna listen to no old man tell her she can’t dance to Elvis.

lady
Americana - 1943 She remembers the days of them walking passed each other and the excitement of being in the same room. The nerves when standing next to him in the canteen and the things she meant to say but never did; cursing herself that she never took the opportunity to start a conversation. Then she got moved and only saw him across the courtyard from time to time, finally one day he just disappeared. Even although his work meant he didn’t have to go overseas, she’d heard he’d signed up and was somewhere in the Pacific. She could only wait on him.



mainstreet
Americana - 2013 If you close your eyes real tight and then do nothin’ but listen you can hear them. I swear to you, cross my heart and may Jesus never talk to me again. Go on, do it, real tight now and no peekin’. Listen.  You can hear Annie squealing as she plays on the sidewalk; she used to live in that soup store across the street with her grandpa. She ran away the day he got took to hospital and then there’s Eddie chasin’ after his dog he called ‘Spots even ‘though it ain’t got any. They're all gone now. Shame.

shake
and finally...The Boy Who Told Stories.
That harsh winter came without warning, which meant that we spent so much of our time indoors. I knew him as the man who gave away money. He was a friend of the family and, as such, was always in our home.
“Tell me another story”, he would say, and I had those stories by the hundreds. “Ask the boy”, my father would tell folks, “He can conjure up such wonderful worlds”.
I always wondered what happened to the man. I hear tell that he left his family and went to London; imagine that, our Mister Shakespeare in London Town.

bobby stevenson 2016
photo @ flickriver.com  "Glasgow Tenement by Billy McDonald"