A Hard Fall

Daniel Meagher

Deakin University

Scene one:

FADE IN:

Natalia Kills, ‘Mirrors’ is playing.

INT. APARTMENT.

Extreme close up of a right eye, left of screen.

Contrast ratio 300:1.

Green, unfocused but intense. Blonde hair to the right of screen.

FLASH. Light exposure reduces. 300: 80.

CUT IN.

Lips, red, closed. Unsmiling but welcoming.

FLASH. Reduced exposure. 300: 160.

CUT IN.

A defined neck bone; she is thin, but not underweight.

FLASH. Reduced exposure. 300: 250.

CUT IN.

Silhouette of a curved waist. Camera lowers to her hips, thighs, knees, shins, heeled shoes.

A cord lies several inches from her feet on a polished floor.

FLASH. Camera doesn’t jump but CUTS AWAY before following the cord away from the feet, sided by the skirting board. Dust thickens the further the camera retracts from the woman who is fading from view.

Flashes increase in frequency but over exposes the visual less and less, as though we’re becoming accustomed to it.

Screen is near black when we change direction like the cord.

CLOSE UP of the rising cord.

The woman is seen in the background unfocused, changing her pose with each flash. Cord rises past a fan as the camera zooms out to a VERY WIDE SHOT of the room. Cord ends – it is plugged into one of three now visible cameras on tripods –  auto take.

An alarm sounds and the music stops. Crossing the room, she pushes a button atop each camera, flashes stop.

SILENCE.

WIDE SHOT of a woman holding a handheld mirror, her face hidden but her hair frames the mirror. After considering herself, she grabs a yellow bag with black seams.

EXTREME CLOSE UP of her phone as she picks it up, silencing the alarm.

BLACK.

Natalie Kills – ‘Mirrors’ continues, but slightly muffled as it is being heard through headphones. Footsteps.

Screen lightens. EXTREME CLOSE UP of the back of stilettos walking. Camera rises up from the back of her shoes, slowly twisting around her body to the left, climbing higher, still in ECU. Side of her leg, waist, arm, shoulder, face. Headphone cord is now visible beside her face (reason for almost muffled use of music).

BLACK.

 

Scene two:

EXT. TOWN STREET.

VERY WIDE SHOT of a street in a typical rural township. Feels old, used.

WIDE SHOT of a woman walking down the footpath with defiant footsteps, as though the music playing (still through headphones) is controlling her pace. A construction site for the new Town Hall comes into view to the left as the camera retreats from the woman as she walks closer. She continues past the site.

EXTREME CLOSE UP of a man’s mouth, scruffy facial hair around it.

MAN:

Oi, sweetheart.

CLOSE UP of the woman’s hips from behind as she walks down the street, ignoring the whistles and sleazy slurs from surrounding men. The man’s voice can be heard as the camera continues to focus on her hips.

MAN:

            Tease.

BLACK.

 

Scene three:

INT. COUNTRY PUB.

WIDE SHOT. High stools line the walls, seated beneath even higher tables. Standard wooden tables sit between them and the bar, in which an older man is serving beer to what appears to be his regulars. Pushing through the pub door, large sunglasses on her face, the woman is met with looks of disgust from the women and lust from the male patrons.

CLOSE UP. Slow motion, camera at head height to the side as the woman glides from the right side of the screen to the left- heads unfocused in the background following.

Normal camera speed. As it rounds on her, following her to the bar from behind, BARTENDER comes into view in front of her.

BARTENDER:

            You’re a long way from home. Hard fall, Angel? I’ve got a couch for you.

WOMAN stops, the camera almost hovers behind her as if deciding what to do.

MID SHOT from bar height. Bartender, now in the background, is smiling a cracked smile. Her face comes into view- her hair hiding him. Picking up a pen, she starts scribbling on a napkin.

EXTREME CLOSE UP of a hand, swinging with its owners movements. The camera followed it as it swings and hits as the bartender advances behind her, slapping her ass. The camera zooms out as if the impact bounced it away.

WIDE SHOT of the bar. Two fingers outstretched, she pushes the napkin to him and steps up into the outdoor area, disappearing under the cameras current view.

CLOSE UP behind her again- centred on the back of her head. Looks left and right. Crosses the room to a door, hidden out of view of the bar. Door shuts. Camera zooms into an EXTREME CLOSE UP of the disabled toilet sign on the door as it slams.

BLACK.

 

Scene four:

INT. DISABLED TOILET.

BLACK.

Music, still muffled.

CLOSE UP behind her. She faces the wall and strips. Her oversized shirt falls over her head- her hair slips across her braless back. Camera descends.

Sound of a belt jingling overcomes the music as she pulls it off. Camera begins a rotation (opposite direction to before). Hip, pants are pulled down. She bends over to pull them off.

Camera rounding to the front, ZOOMING. She straightens up.

Music stops and as her headphones fall into and out of view, a bulge is seen in her underwear (Calvin Klein boy trunks).

BLACK.

 

Scene five:

Silent CLOSE UP view of the disabled door. A rough but thin man in his 20’s exits. A black bag by his side, yellow seams. His face is cleanly shaved, green eyes.

BLACK.

 

Scene six:

INT. BAR.

VERY WIDE SHOT of the bar. The bartender, recovered from the woman earlier, is leaning on his elbow, talking to an overweight female in her 40s. Other patrons at the high tables are conversing. The thin man walks in.

BARTENDER:

            Strange sorts around here, boy.

EXTREME CLOSE UP of the young man’s hips, behind.

YOUNG MAN:

(Ties apron around his waist)

            What do ya mean, Dad?

BARTENDER:

Remember that sheila from last week? She came in again and gave me this.

EXTREME CLOSE UP of the napkin.

(Pushes the napkin across the bar with a closed fist)

Fucking tease, that bird. Musta snuck out back. Fucked in the head, that one.

CLOSE UP shot looking up at the young man.

YOUNG MAN:

            Closer to home than you think. And a shitty futon is not a couch.

Placing the napkin in the bin, the young man grabs the pull-tabs of the bag and starts tying them shut, the camera still looking up.

BARTENDER:

Fucking nice ass though, Mikey. Fucking nice. You don’t get that around here very often. We’ve got this saggy shit on droopy over there.

EXTREME CLOSE UP of poorly painted red lips, hair lining the top one and liquid oozing from the corners of her mouth. She gives a short choking noise before swallowing the last of her brew.

DANA:

Ah, fuck off!

VERY WIDE SHOT of the bar, as if being seen through a coloured security camera.

BARTENDER:

Mikey, when am I meeting this broad of yours that you’ve been hiding? I’ve seen her gees and skimpy shit all over ya floor. More of her shit in your place than your bloody own.

MIKEY:

            She’s shy.

A few more patrons leave. Though it is the middle of the day, lunch breaks are ending and numbers are thinning. The tables are scratched, the padding on the chairs is worn and the carpet is as hard and flat as the bar itself. DANA remains firmly lodged in her seat, her legs dangle over, failing to touch the ground.

BARTENDER:

You been getting into fights again, MIKEY?

MIKEY:

(looking up)

What the fuck are you on about? Stupid old man, ya loosing ya mind.

DANA smothers a laugh, but BARTENDER remains serious.

BARTENDER:

Then what the fuck is on your eyes, MICHAEL?

Camera moves to behind MIKEY.

CLOSE UP of BARTENDERDANA is in the background looking at himBARTENDER has crossed his arms, puffing out his chest. DANA dismounts her chair and waddles to the bar. The camera is still focused on BARTENDER.

DANA:

Christ, that’s fucking makeup if ever I’ve seen it, Billy! You fucking faggot now, MIKEY?

Camera turns slowly to MIKEYcrossing DANA and leaving BILLYMIKEY’s hand can be seen fumbling behind him. He looks down towards BILLY as the sound of a wooden bat clinks the bar. MIKEY turns violently and runs the other way.DANA and BILLY can be heard screaming in the background.

BILLY:

My son is no poof, ya cunt!

DANA:

Suck dick ya faggot!

CLOSE UP follows behind MIKEY. No noise can be heard –  no footsteps, breathing – nothing. Each jerking movementMIKEY makes is mimicked by the camera. MIKEY lunges at the back gate, and as he pushes through, the camera stops and the sounds return. Shouting and fading footsteps can be heard as the camera watches MIKEY continue in his escape.

 

Scene seven:

EXT. TOWN HALL CAFE.

VERY WIDE SHOT of two women sitting alone at the middle of three tables outside a modern looking hall, talking seriously.

CUT TO EXTREME CLOSE UP of the first woman’s cup of tea, her reflection seen in the liquid’s surface.

WOMAN:

But he still has all your shit, KIT. And the farm! Surely you can get some money out of the property?

KIT:

We had a fucking pre-nup! Was I a fool, or what?

The women fake a small laugh until WOMAN looks up. The camera follows her gaze to someone approaching.

WOMAN:

Oh my god …

KIT:

(follows WOMAN’s gaze)

What is thatMAZ?

OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from behind MIKEYwho is making his way down the street, of the two women staring. The women keep talking, their voices carry to MIKEY, though less audible than before.

MAZ:

Oh. That. That’s MIKEY.

KIT:

So it’s a guy?

As MIKEY passes the women, the camera ‘falls’ from him and lands on the ground, slightly tilted.

VERY WIDE SHOT OF THE STREET as MIKEY enters the shot, shoes first. A singlet clings to his body as rogue strands of a tattered wig cling to the bristles on his chin as he looks back at the women.

KIT:

What the fuck?

MAZ:

He used to work down at the bar with his dad, BILLY? Yeah. Anyway, got onto drugs or some shit. Now, he is just insane. Spends his days walking around like that.

Abbe May, ‘Blood River’ starts to play.

The women continue their conversation, though the words can’t be defined as they reduce in volume, succumbing to the music. MIKEY keeps walking away, the camera still lying on the ground watching him as he goes.

The screen slowly fades to black. Music continues.                                        

END.

***

Daniel Meagher is a second year Creative and Professional Writing student based in Geelong. Working as an editor, picking out other people’s mistakes is not only enjoyable but a profitable activity to compliment his degree. One day, his house will be made of candy, quills, a Quidditch World Cup or two, and black diamonds.