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S A Robinson

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The Blitz
By S A Robinson
Sunday, August 20, 2006

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Black screen. An air raid siren is heard. White letters say
“For 57 consecutive nights”
Edward R. Murrow standS on a rooftop broadcasting from a blacked out city, flames all around the adjacent buildings, searchlights scanning the skies. He is speaking into a silver microphone.
"This...is Trafalgar square...”
Black screen with white letters saying
“66 out of 67 days”
Inside a Spitfire cockpit. It is silent, except for the heavy breathing of the pilot. The camera pans up over the shaking arms and hands of the pilot and instrument gauges and look out the window. The sky is filled with 500 German bombers and fighters.
Black screen with white letters saying
“They came”
A little girl inside of a brick shelter. Bombs are falling close by; she is rocking back and forth, over and over repeating “I think I’m going to die, I think I’m going to die, I think I’m going to die”
Black screen with red letters saying
“The Blitz”
as Winston Churchill is heard saying, “If the British Empire, and its commonwealths, last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘THIS... was their finest hour.’”

EXT.—PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS SILHOUETTED AGAINST THE SUNSET

EXT.—NIGHT—SIDEWALK—FULL MOON

The family and neighbors all walk to the nearest shelter.

ROSLYN:
Do you think there’ll be room?

MRS. FITZGIBON:
Dunno. They say only a fifth of the
neighborhood stays in their houses at night.

EXT.—NIGHT—BRICK BOMB SHELTERS—FULL MOON

The group approaches a cluster of five brick shelters. They are turned away from the first two because they are full. Two men are outside the third shelter, smoking and talking as the group passes them by.

MAN OUTSIDE BOMB SHELTER:
It’s getting to be more than flesh and blood
can stand, night after night like this.

2ND MAN OUTSIDE BOMB SHELTER:
My wife, I’ve got to get her out of it. As soon
as the siren goes, she’s like a mad woman.

INT.—BOMB SHELTER—NIGHT

The group writes their names on a paper held by a NURSE, then enter the shelter, and try to find space to put their belongings. A row of houses are visible as the front door is shut for the night. There are about thirty-five people already inside, some standing, most sitting. A few people reluctantly move the chairs they brought with them so that the group can stay together.

MR. FITZGIBBON:
(To no one in particular)
We should have stayed at your house. We’re
tempting fate by coming here.

NAOMI:
What’s that?

MR. FITZGIBBON:
No two bombs fall in the same place, ever.

The nurse, who has been sitting quietly watching the people, suddenly gets up, pastes on a smile, and begins handing out earplugs.

ROSLYN:
No, I don’t want any.

NURSE:
They’ll help you relax.

ROSLYN:
You can’t hear the whiz if you’ve got them in.

A woman leans over and addresses Roslyn.

1ST WOMAN IN BOMB SELTER:
I imagine a bomb dropping STRAIGHT on top of
me exploding. I know it couldn’t really be like
that, but that’s how I feel.

2ND WOMAN IN BOMB SHELTER:
Give me the use of me own ears, any day.
With your own ears you can hear if it’s quiet,
and you know it is quiet and you can rest like.
With them things in, you’d never know if you
was copping it or not.

No one else takes any of the earplugs offered, and the nurse sits back down as conversations start up around the room.
Naomi stands up.

NAOMI:
Well, you all seem set, I’m going to go.

DENNIS:
What?

NAOMI:
I’m meeting Michael at the cinema.

DENNIS:
No you’re not.

NAOMI:
Look, it’s just as safe inside the theater as it
is here.

Dennis rises to stop her, but Naomi has already left. Mrs. Fitzgibbon grabs Dennis’ arm and stops him.

MRS. FITZGIBBON:
We’ve had our time, let her have hers.

Dennis retreats to his seat and smokes agitatedly. He suddenly rises.

DENNIS:
Right! I’m going out for a pint.

Before Roslyn can object, several other men decide to join him. Sirens start to go off. Everyone stops, then go back and sit down. Dennis lights another cigarette. All of the men who stood up with him light up as well, nearly simultaneously. People are staring at the roof, huddling even closer towards one another. The Nurse watches them all. She puts down the bag of earplugs and stands up. After a quick breath, she raises her arms and walks the length of the shelter.

NURSE:
(Singing)
Roll out the barrels! We’ll have a barrel of fun!

She is smiling at everyone, swinging her arms in time with the melody. She reaches the end of the shelter and turns around.

NURSE:
Roll out the barrels! We’ve got the blues on the
run!

3RD WOMAN IN BOMB SHELTER:
Stop that rot!

The nurse hesitates, looks around at the rest of the crowd, sees no one wants to sing, and then sits back down. A nearby anti-aircraft gun goes off, causing everyone to wince.

1ST MAN IN BOMB SHELTER:
(Shouting at the roof)
That’s it boys! Give ‘em a taste of it!

Muffled voices are heard from the nearby shelter.

VOICES:
(Singing)
Roll out the barrels! We’ll have a barrel of fun!

Bombs begin falling, shaking the shelter
.
4TH WOMAN IN BOMB SHELTER:
My house! It’s come on my house! My house
is blown to bits!

DAUGHTER OF FORTH WOMAN:
(Leaning in, beginning to cry)
Oh, is it true ? Is our home really down?

After a minute, there is a lull in the bombing. People get up to stretch. People begin removing jackets and sweaters. Everyone is perspiring. A mother sees her son leaning against the shelter wall.

5TH WOMAN IN BOMB SHELTER:
Stop leaning against that wall you bloody
fool! Get off it you bastard...do you hear...
my god, we’re all going mad!

A teenage girl opposite them starts yelling at her Mother.

IRRITATED GIRL IN BOMB SHELTER:
Oh, you get on my nerves, you do! Shut up!
You get on my nerves!

Bombing starts again, this time with much greater ferocity. The Nurse stands back up, trying to be heard over the bombs and quarrelling people.

NURSE:
ROLL OUT THE BARELLS...!

OLDER MAN IN BOMB SHELTER:
Shut your bleedin’ row! We’ve got enough
noise without you...

Another young girl, laying on the floor on her stomach, lifts her head from under the blankets.

LAYING GIRL IN BOMB SHELTER:
I wish they’d bloody well stop talking and let
me sleep! They talk such rot. Such rot it is!
That man...
(Pointing)
...he’s got a terrible voice. Tell him to stop.
(Turning back towards her parents)
Tell him I said to stop.

2ND OLDER MAN IN BOMB SHELTER:
(To grandchild)
Why don’t you start singing?

GRANDCHILD:
I can’t! I don’t want to!

6TH WOMAN IN BOMB SHELTER:
If we come through this, we have only the
good Lord above to thank for it.

7TH WOMAN IN BOMB SHELTER:
I don’t know if there is such a one, letting us
suffer like this!

ROSLYN:
I hope the Germans are getting it just as bad.

4TH MAN IN BOMB SHELTER:
What a thing to say!

There is a small girl sitting alone opposite them, she is repeating the same phrase over and over again. You cannot hear what she is saying at first, but the words slowly become audible.

SMALL GIRL IN BOMB SHELTER:
(Rocking)
I think I’m going to die. I think I’m going to die.
I think I’m going to die. I think I’m going to die.

A bomb lands close by, knocking out the lights, and turning the screen dark.

INT.—MODEST HOUSE—NIGHT

There are the sounds of air raid sirens, anti-aircraft guns and the drone of bombers. Figures can be seen moving in the darkness. An explosion lights up the inside of a modest house. A young woman is hurrying across the room, pushing a young girl in front of her.

GERMAN MOTHER:
Anna!
(Another bomb explodes)
...unter das Tishlein!

The girl ducks underneath a small table. The Mother stands back up as a bomb hits the house. The force of the impact blows in the windows and window frame, decapitating the Mother. Her head is sent straight at the camera.
Screams are heard. The little girl stands up. Both of her arms have been blown off.

GERMAN GIRL:
Ear piercing scream)
Mutter!

INT.—BOMB SHELTER—NIGHT—FULL MOON

Bombs are falling sporadically now, mostly far away. Most everyone is sleeping. Two men are arguing over where they think the majority of bombs have landed. All clear signal goes off. People begin to collect their belongings and head towards the door. The people at the door aren’t moving, and the crowd begins pushing, trying to force their way out. People start gasping. Nearly the entire row of houses across the street from the shelters are destroyed. Chimneys are leaning at distorted, impossible angles; there are giant craters in the road. Raised train tracks have been sheared away. Three of the other four shelters are completely destroyed. The night is alight with fire everywhere, though the area near the far off docks is burning brightest.

8TH WOMAN IN BOMB SHELTER:
(Mumbling, hand at mouth)
My God.

A woman next to her starts weeping inconsolably. Men in a daze stare at the devastation as busses and ambulances begin to show up.

EXT.—BOMB SHELTERS—NIGHT—FULL MOON

People are digging in the rubble of the shelters, like men possessed, trying to retrieve survivors. There is a line of sixty bodies all covered with sheets. Stretcher-bearers are beginning to put the bodies in ambulances, but there are too many corpses, too few ambulances. The crowd from the shelter slowly starts towards the bodies. Three fresh bodies are now being covered with a sheet.

3RD MAN OUTSIDE BOMB SHELTER:
Who is it?

1ST STRETCHER-BEARER:
Chap and his Wife from down the road.

1ST WOMAN OUTSIDE BOMB SHELTER:
(Jostling through the crowd)
My God, even a shelter’s not safe.

4TH MAN OUTSIDE BOMB SHELTER:
Of course they’re not.

5TH MAN OUTSIDE BOMB SHELTER:
Did you see that one up Walton Street?
Smashed to bits it was, just like these.

2ND WOMAN OUTSIDE BOMBSHELTER:
It’s bloody awful.

6TH MAN OUTSIDE BOMB SHELTER:
It’s happening all around.
(Pointing)
Smoke up there, glass down there. It’s
everywhere the same, there’s no escape.

3RD MAN OUTSIDE BOMB SHELTER:
We’re heading up west tomorrow night,
mate.

5TH MAN OUTSIDE BOMB SHELTER:
What’s the use? They’re bombing the west
now too. It’s the same everywhere.

INT.—BUS—NIGHT—FULL MOON

The stretcher-bearers begin taking the bodies covered in sheets and putting them in the bus. The corpses slide, so the men tie them with rope to the seat backs.

EXT.—BOMB SHELTER—NIGHT—FULL MOON

Roslyn and Dennis are now close enough to the busses to see what is happening.

ROSLYN:
(Looks at the bodies in horror, starts screaming)
Naomi!
(Starts running towards the street)
NAOMI!

Dennis goes after her, trying to comfort her. A man on top of a radio van is transmitting. He is an American, speaking in a South Carolinian accent, describing the scene.

AMERICAN REPORTER:
...London is burning. London is burning.
London is burning. Lond...


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Reviewed by Kenneth Seay 8/20/2006
Hmmm. Now that brings back memories. Wonder what the real war story was?


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