April 2, 2017

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An Except From: The Aurora Project

NIGHTMARE SEQUENCE – EXT. CITY STREETS – MIDNIGHT

REVA NOVAK and her husband, JACOB, dressed to the nines, walk down the strikingly clean street hand in hand, a picture of health and happiness, their love still very much alive. Taking her hand, Jacob twirls Reva under his arm, dipping her and bringing her back to her feet in one smooth motion. He wraps his arms around her waist as he leads them in a soft, simple waltz in the middle of the street. Reva lays her head on his chest, her hands clasped behind his neck, a smile playing on her lips.

As they dance, Reva feels something warm spreading where their bodies meet. Pulling away from Jacob, she gasps, his shirt stained by a spreading spot of blood starting near his heart. He appears paler. Reva glances at the blood on his chest and down at her hands. She stops breathing.

In her hands is a gun, the culprit of the crime at hand.

Reva panics, the gun droppping from her hands and clattering heavily on the ground at her feet. Jacob takes a step back from her, hands up in defense.

JACOB

How could you, Reva?

Reva wraps her arms around him, sobbing into his shirt. He protests, trying to pull away from her. His weight leans against her as she settles them both down on the ground, Jacob crumbling with the movement. He looks up at her, helpless and betrayed.

CUT TO:

INT. NOVAK HOUSE – REVA’S BEDROOM – THREE IN THE MORNING 

Reva wakes up in a cold sweat. Pushing herself to a sitting position, she tucks her knees up to her chin and sobs.

A KNOCK at her door and her son, PHILIP, enters. Seeing his mother, so helpless and small on her bed, the eleven year old crawls up beside her and hugs her. He wraps her comforter around them both and sits with her in complete silence.
EXT. ELEMENTARY SCHOOL – AFTERNOON 

Philip sits alone on the curb, his chin resting in his hands, propped on his knees. His backpack sits beside him. Everyone else has already left. The only signs of life other than Philip are a few passing cars. With a sigh, he stands and returns inside the school.

INT. NOVAK HOUSE – LIVING ROOM – A LITTLE LATER 

Toys and trash litter the living room floor in the Novak house. It looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in weeks. The pictures on the wall–mainly of Philip, with a few of Jacob and Reva, including their wedding photos–hang on the wall, dust gathering in their glass, some hanging askew.

Reva sits, staring blankly ahead, on the couch, a blanket tucked around her shoulders. Dirty dishes sit on the coffee table in front of her, coffee mugs and soup bowls. Some have sat there for days without being touched. Reva makes no effort to do anything other than stare off into nowhere.

The door flies open and Philip waltzes into the room, knocking his mother back to reality. Reva brushes the tears from her face as she greets her son with a hug. She looks up to see that her mother has followed the boy inside. She frowns.

REVA

Mom, what are you doing here?

SUSANA KUMAR, a nicely dressed woman in her mid 50s to early 60s, plants herself on her daughter’s couch.

SUSANA

You can’t keep doing this, sweetie.

Reva playfully pushes her son towards the hallway.

REVA

Philip, why don’t you go get started on your homework?

Philip glances between his mother and his grandmother before nodding and heading off down the hallway, his backpack still sitting at his mother’s feet.

Reva turns to her mother, sinking further into the couch. Before she can speak, her mother interrupts.

SUSANA

Don’t say you were tired or you forgot. I know that you remembered him.

REVA

Don’t do this, mom.

SUSANA

Why? If I don’t, no one ever will, Reva. You need to wake up.

Reva stands, turns away from her mother, head in hands.

REVA

I just don’t have the energy to do anything right now.

SUSANA

Are you still not sleeping?

Reva stays silent as her mother urges her to sit back down. When she finally gives in, she curls into her mother’s shoulder, like a sorrowing child. Susana instinctively wraps an arm around her.

SUSANA

Reva, honey, I think you need to get help.

REVA

Mom, no.

SUSANA

Sweetie, you can’t deny that you experienced something incredibly traumatic. Witnessing the violent death of your husband–

REVA

I don’t want to talk about it.

SUSANA

And that’s where your problem lies, Reva. You won’t get better if you keep pushing it down instead of dealing with it.

REVA

I said I don’t want to talk about it. I’m fine. Philip is fine. We’re fine.

She stands, pointing to the front door.

REVA

I want you to leave.

Susana reluctantly heads towards the door. She pauses in the open doorway, looking back at her daughter.

SUSANA

Philip isn’t fine, sweetie. If you can’t get help for your own sake, at least do it for his. He needs you.

When Reva refuses to respond, Susana exits. Reva slumps back into the couch, glancing over at the pictures hanging on the wall. On impulse, she runs over to the wall and tears down every picture with her and Jacob, every picture of him alone, throwing them on the ground, revelling in the sound the glass makes as it shatters.

INT. NOVAK HOUSE – PHILIP’S BEDROOM – SAME TIME

His back against the door, Philip listens to his mother’s violence in accepted silence. 

***

Prompt: Share something you’ve been working on. This is an excerpt from the rough draft of a screenplay I’m writing for one of my classes. Formatting is off because I’m  (a) on mobile and (b) writing it not using the software. 

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