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Alan Abrams

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In the Park
By Alan Abrams
Sunday, September 05, 2010

Rated "R" by the Author.

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A cast off fragment from a screenplay, standing alone on its own wobbly legs

IN THE PARK: A ONE ACT SCREENPLAY

By Alan Abrams

 

THE CAST

Evelyn Templeton, a vivacious young woman

Terry Addams, a hapless young man

Grace Gardener, an assertive but canny police officer

Angelo Michaels, a clumsy but obedient police officer

 

FADE IN:

Ext. A Wooded Lane - Night

The driving rhythm of Chris Isaak's "Wrong To Love You." A pickup truck winds along the lane. A young man is driving, and a young woman is sitting close to him.

INT. TRUCK CAB - NIGHT

"Wrong To Love You" continues on the radio. The young woman lays her head on the young man's shoulder, but he concentrates on driving. Ignoring her, he starts getting into the music. She gets annoyed and turns off the radio.

EVIE

That place was weird, Terry.  I mean the burger was delish, but what a dive!  Down those creepy steps, the pipes hanging from the ceiling... 

TERRY

I know, maybe that's why I like it.  You just go there, you don't have to be anybody, you just go there and be yourself.

EVIE

but ewwww, the lady's room--I didn't want to touch anything.  And that waitress, the way she leaned over to take your order, I thought her boobs were going to fall out on the table.

TERRY

Oh, that's just Sara.  That's the way she is--it doesn't mean anything. 

EVIE

She seemed to know you pretty well. Did you like, ever go out with her?

TERRY

You gotta be kidding.  She's been there forever--used to do that same routine for my old man, back when he would take us there.  He'd order himself two beers, and she knew to serve one to me, even though I was only 16 or 17.

EVIE

Sorry, guy, I should'na brought it up.  Thanks for taking me, though.  It was kinda nice to talk, and get to know you a little.  And the pie was pretty good, too.

TERRY

Yeah, it was ok.

Terry clams up and drives on.  Evie gazes out her side window for a while and then shifts in her seat toward Terry.

EVIE

What's up, Terry, you seem a million miles away.

TERRY

I'm sorry, it's been a long week. Sometimes I think the old man gets off on riding my ass.

EVIE

Cheer up, guy, it's Friday

TERRY

Yeah, and I gotta work tomorrow. We're a week behind schedule with the trim work.

EVIE

So why do you work for that guy? He sounds like a complete jerk.

TERRY

Who knows? It's not like I don't have a support payment due every month. Funny thing is, the other day he was ragging at me for something, some sloppy miter joint I think, and he reminded me of my old man.

EVIE

He's dead know, right? Your dad, I mean.

TERRY

Yeah, massive stroke, about five years ago. Bam, just like that.  He died right after Juniper was born. At least he got to see her.

Evie sighs. Terry bobs his head and taps the wheel, still hearing the song in his head. They drive on in silence for a while.

TERRY

Sorry, kid, guess I'm not much of a first date.

EVIE

That's why you gotta relax tonight, Terry. Why don't you find somewhere to park?

TERRY

You mean here?

EVIE

Yeah, here, somewhere-anywhere. Why not?

TERRY

I dunno, Evie, I guess cause...

EVIE (with a devilish look)

'Cause I got something you might like.

Terry turns toward her, frowning. Evie pulls an Altoids tin from her purse and opens it, and shows him the contents. The tin holds several generous joints and some strike anywhere matches. Terry's eyes light up.

TERRY

Wow, Where'd you get those? I haven't seen any of that stuff since high school.

EVIE

Omigod, Terry, where you been keeping yourself, under some rock?

TERRY

Jeez, Evie, Cortney never liked it, and after Juniper was born, things were different.

EVIE

Cortney! I can't figure what you were doing with that bitch anyway.

TERRY (looks downcast)

That's not fair

EVIE

Well, from the stories I've heard about her...she sure sounds like one to me. Did she really come after you with a knife?

TERRY (surprised))

Where'd'you hear that?

EVIE

Word gets around, Terry.

TERRY (Exasperated)

God, what else do you know? Nevermind--don't answer that. Anyway, it was a salad fork.

EVIE

Still, it sounds pretty scary.

TERRY

We'd been drinking, you know.

There is a lull in the conversation, and they drive on.

EVIE

Do you still drink alot?

TERRY

Once in a while--but not like that anymore. Not since we broke up. You know, she wasn't always like that. She's pretty young to be a mom. I guess I haven't been Mr Wonderful, either...a college dropout, carpenter's helper, not much of anything.

EVIE

I'm sorry, Terry, you know what I mean. Come on, let's pull over. Look, up ahead.

(pointing ahead to a parking area)

Terry pulls off at the parking area. A sign reads "NO PARKING AFTER SUNSET."

TERRY

Uh-oh. We better go.

EVIE

Don't worry, nothing's gonna happen.

TERRY

I dunno about this. It's the old man's truck.

EVIE

Terry! You're such a stick in the mud. You need some of this weed, it's frickin' awesome!

TERRY

Well, we can't smoke it here. We're sitting ducks for a cop.

EVIE

Doofuss! I didn't mean right here.

Evie reaches over and puts the Altoids tin in his shirt pocket and kisses his cheek. Then she slides away and opens her door.

EVIE

Come with me. I think I know a place we can go.

Evie springs out of the truck.  Terry grabs the keys and gets out.

TERRY

What the...hey! Where are you going...

EXT. A PARKING AREA - NIGHT

TERRY

Hey, wait up!

Evie dances off toward a gap in the trees and turns toward Terry.

EVIE

Yo, slowpoke! Follow me, comeon!

Terry dashes after her. Evie pauses and takes his hand, and leads him into the woods.

EXT. A WOODED PATH LEADING DOWN TO A CREEK - NIGHT

Evie skips and bounds down the path, laughing, while holding Terry's hand. She reaches the bank and stops shortly, grabs his hand with both of hers and swings Terry toward the creek. He stuttersteps toward the creek and regains his balance by pulling her toward him, until they are almost embracing, tottering at the bank.

EXT. A CREEK - NIGHT

Breaking away, Evie shrieks with laughter and tiptoes out onto some rocks in the creek. Once again she takes Terry's hand and leads him along.

They go maybe halfway across and find there are no more rocks within reach.

EVIE

Oh dear. Well, I think there's a bridge somewhere. Let's go back.

TERRY (blocking her path)

No way, kid, not now!

Terry scoops Evie up in his arms, effortlessly, like he would lift a child. Then, carrying her, he plunges into the water, well above his knees.  Evie kicks her legs up, slinging arcs of water, and squeals with delight, hugging him tightly around his neck.

EXT. THE FAR SIDE OF THE CREEK - NIGHT

They reach the other side, a sandy spot, sort of a nook defined by boulders and vegetation. The moon illuminates the two figures, partially obscured by branches.  Music rises:  “Save Me” by k.d. lang

Terry gently sets her down. Evie, viewed from behind, keeps her arms around his neck, and Terry, somewhat gingerly, holds her, just touching lightly her on the shoulders. She leans into him and kisses him, and backs away.

EVIE

Terry, I take back what I said about being a stick in the mud. Do you forgive me?

TERRY

I guess so--I mean no--I mean I was sorta agreeing with you.

EVIE

Oh Terry! You're too much. Hey, fire up a number. It'll help get your head out of your butt.

TERRY

Wow. I really mean it, I haven't done any pot since I was 18.

EVIE

Oh come on. I'm tellin' ya, this is some nice stuff.

TERRY

OK, for old time's sake.

Terry takes the tin from his pocket and removes a joint and a match. He puts the joint in his mouth and strikes the match against the boulder, and lights up. When he gets it going, he passes it to Evie.

Evie takes a dainty hit, with the sound of air hissing between her lips. She smiles and passes it back.

Terry takes a massive hit and holds it in. His eyes are scrunched shut and his cheeks bulge. Then he leans his head back and lets it out slowly, issuing a long stream of smoke.

TERRY

Wooo-oooohhh! Oh man! What a rush.

They pass the joint back and forth a few times, giggling.

CUT TO:

EXT. A WOODED LANE - NIGHT

A police car driving down the lane, approaches the parking area.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE FAR SIDE OF THE CREEK - CONTINUOUS

TERRY

Wooohhh, that went straight to my head.

EVIE

Me too. Feelin' a little better?

Terry does not reply. He sets the roach on the boulder and faces her. This time he initiates an embrace, and they kiss again.

Evie pulls back a little and smartly pulls her t-shirt over her head, and drops it. She shakes out her hair, and reaching back, unsnaps her bra, and lets it fall away. She is still facing away, towards Terry, but what is seen of her back is shapely and alluring.

Shuddering ever so slightly, Terry pulls back to admire her. He runs his hands along her shoulders and down her arms.

TERRY

You are so beautiful.

Evie smiles and unbuttons his shirt. Terry slips it off and sets it on the boulder. He is lean, but chiseled. His eyes are fixed on her as he picks up the roach and takes another hit. They kiss again, languidly, completely absorbed in one another.

CUT TO:

EXT. A PARKING AREA - CONTINUOUS

The police car pulls in next to the truck. A short blonde Officer gets out with her flashlight and investigates the truck. Her hair is in a bun. She has the stiff rolling gait of a small person encumbered by body armor, a sidearm, and other equipment--but not without a little swagger in her move, too. Even so, she is vaguely attractive.

She places her hand on the hood of the truck and finds it warm. Then she raises her head and twitches her nose.

She walks over to the passenger side of the police car and makes a "roll down the window" gesture. The window rolls down.

OFFICER GARDENER (to someone inside, unseen)

Angelo, you smell something?

Officer Michaels's head leans out the window. He is not wearing a hat, and a bald spot is visible on the back of his head.

OFFICER MICHAELS

No, Grace. What's up?

She sniffs the air.

OFFICER GARDENER

I think I smell a bust.

OFFICER MICHAELS

You sure?

OFFICER GARDENER

Pretty. Check it out yourself.

OFFICER MICHAELS

I can't smell shit. I got allergies. This goddam park beat makes it worse, too.

She wrinkles her nose again.

OFFICER GARDENER

Now I'm sure. Come on, Ange, let's go crash the party.

The car door swings open and a burly, weary cop gets out and puts on his hat. He is so heavy the car rises up noticeably when he stands.

Officer Michaels crinkles his nose. He notices the smell and pauses. Then, the sound of giggling is heard. Both officers turn in the direction of the creek.

OFFICER GARDENER

It sounds like they're across the creek. There's a bridge just up to the right. Keep your light off--let's not scare'em away.

Officer Gardener moves out in a stealthy crouch; Officer Michaels plods along after her, arms out, struggling to keep his footing.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE FAR SIDE OF THE CREEK - CONTINUOUS

Terry and Evie are kissing tenderly. Evie still faces away. Terry's hands caress her back, and slowly move down the sides of her thighs.

EVIE (breathlessly)

Oh Terry.

Still in his arms, Evie fumbles with the snap of her cutoff jeans for a moment, and they fall away. Stepping out of the cutoffs, she is clad only in panties now.

TERRY (whispers)

Oh my.

They hug quietly for a moment, gazing into each other’s eyes.

EVIE (moaning)

Take me.

They sink to their knees. Evie undoes Terry's belt buckle and fly buttons. His jeans slide down around his thighs.

Terry spreads out her shirt on the ground and begins to lay her down on it.  Just then they HEAR the crack of a breaking branch.

OFFICER MICHAELS (O.S.)

Goddammit!

EVIE (hissing)

Ditch the shit!

Terry springs to his feet and pulls up his pants. With one hand, he holds up his pants, and with the other, he snatches his shirt from the boulder and hands it to Evie.

TERRY

Put this on.

OFFICER GARDENER (O.S.)

Police!  Freeze!

Flashlight beams play around them, and then focus on them. He faces the light, shielding Evie from their source as she gets up and puts on his shirt.

The officers appear. Officer Gardener is in the lead, shining her flashlight in Terry's face.

Officer Michaels unsnaps his holster. Officer Gardener reaches across and stays his hand.

OFFICER GARDENER

OK guys, lemme see some hands.

Terry, standing, and Evie--in Terry's shirt, which comes down to her knees--raise their hands. Terry's jeans slip down again, and the unbuttoned shirt spreads open.

TERRY

We're unarmed!

OFFICER GARDENER

I can see that. 

Officer Michaels, aiming his beam at Evie, is transfixed.  Officer Gardener reaches across and pushes Officer Michaels's beam away from Evie.

OFFICER GARDENER (to Evie and Terry)

Please put your clothes back on, folks.

(to Officer Michaels)

Angelo, you better go back to the car and meet backup.  Tell'em we're under control.  I'll finish up down here.

OFFICER MICHAELS

Alright, Grace, see ya back at the car.

Officer Michaels glances at Officer Gardener, then back at Evie, and ambles back out of site.

OFFICER GARDENER (To Terry)

Sir, am I correct in identifying the smell of marijuana from this area?

TERRY

Marijuana?  I don't smell...

Just then Evie leans forward to pick up her cutoffs.  The tin falls out the shirt pocket, lands on the rocks with a clatter, and opens. 

Officer Gardener shines her light on the area, and sees the remaining joints laying on the ground.

OFFICER GARDENER

Ma'am, would you mind handing me those reefers?

Evie kneels and gathers up the joints, and hands them to Officer Gardener.

OFFICER GARDENER

Thank you, please get yourself dresssed.  Then I need to see some ID.

Terry pulls out his wallet and hands her his drivers permit.

TERRY

I'm really sorry about this.  It's all my fault; the girl had nothing to do with this.  It was all my idea.  Please let her go.

EVIE

But Terry...

TERRY (Cutting her off)

I talked her into it...

OFFICER GARDENER

All right, all right.  Ma'am, some ID please.

EVIE

It's back in the truck.

OFFICER GARDENER

OK ma'am, why don't you go back to your vehicle and wait.

Evie glances back at Terry, and then turns and walks off screen.  Officer Gardener turns aside and calls Officer Michaels on the walky talky.

OFFICER GARDENER

Angelo, run a check on Terrence Addams with two d’s, soundex [reads number].  Check the truck, too.  Got all that?

OFFICER MICHAELS (O.S.)

(scratchy indecipherable sounds from walky talky)

OFFICER GARDENER

Roger all that.

Hands on hips, she turns back to Terry.  Terry is still without a shirt on.  Moonlight highlights his chest and arms.

OFFICER GARDENER

Who does that truck belong to, Mr. Addams?

TERRY

Paradise Design Build.  I'm a carpenter...I mean a carpenter's helper there.

Officer Gardener

I know that name.  Is that your project on Eden Road?   With the dumpster hanging out into the travel lane?

TERRY

Yes, ma'am.  The owner wouldn't let us get it any closer to the curb.  He was worried they'd break a branch off his tree.

Officer Gardener's walky talky crackles.

OFFICER MICHAELS (O.S.)

(on walky talky)

No priors on Terrence Addams, Grace.

OFFICER GARDENER

(into walky talky)

Thanks, Ange.  When the girl gets back, check her out, too.

(to Terry)

Mr. Addams, you seem like a nice young man.  I really don't want to spend 2 hours writing you up, know what I mean?  Is this all the shit you were holding?

TERRY

Yes, ma'am.

Officer Gardener walks over to the edge of the bank and tosses the joints into the creek.  They swirl for a moment in the current and then flow downstream.

OFFICER GARDENER

Since I don’t have any evidence, I can't write you up.  But I am issuing you a parking ticket.

Again Officer Gardener's walky talky crackles.

OFFICER MICHAELS (O.S.)

(on walky talky)

No priors on Evelyn Templeton.

OFFICER GARDENER

(into walky talky)

Roger that, Angelo.

(to Terry)

You OK driving?

TERRY

Yes ma'am.

OFFICER GARDENER

Good.  You go back to your vehicle and take that young lady somewhere a little more discreet, OK?  Then promise me you'll stay out of trouble, OK?  I really don't want to see you again in circumstances like this.  You got all that?

Officer Gardener hands Terry back his ID.

TERRY

Yes, ma'am, thank you, ma'am.

Terry begins to walk away.  Officer Gardener interrupts.

OFFICER GARDENER

Mr. Addams...

TERRY (Turning back)

Yes, ma'am?

OFFICER GARDENER

What in hell were you thinking?...oh, never mind.  Drive safely, sir.

(strains of “I’m In Heaven” by ATC)

FADE OUT

 

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