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Sunday, October 28, 2012
(8 Page Script, Genre: Drama) **Revised on 11/25**
hospital room in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.JUAN holds up a fat, palm-sized white seashell with sparkly-eyed glee
for bedridden ISABEL.They are both
eighteen years old, and while Juan is fit and handsome, Isabel is approaching
the end stage of cancer.Her frame is
frail and her hair is all gone, but she still has a pretty face and big, dark
eyes.Juan’s enthusiasm elicits a meek grin
from Isabel.There is a window opposite
the door to the hallway, and across from Isabel’s bed hangs a standard analog
clock.It is roughly 6:00pm.
The best shell I ever found!Can you believe my luck?*
But it looks the same as all the others.
*Translated from Spanish.
raises a finger, a mischievous smile accompanying it.Isabel crosses her arms, her head leaning to
one side to suggest playful doubt.We’re
going to keep the true nature of their relationship purposely ambiguous, but
they are not brother and sister.
Isabel, I’ve been collecting one shell a week since we
were five years old.
Let me tell you--not a single one of them looks the same.
snatches the shell away from Juan in a sudden burst of energy, all of which
makes Juan nervous.
And when do you plan to return them all to the
Well, I don’t know.
closes his hands around Isabel’s hand, which still contains the shell.They lock eyes.
But I want you to have this one.I found it for you.
It reminds me of you, actually.
inspects the shell in her hands more closely, depression apparent in her features.
Of me?Am I so
grimaces, disgusted with himself, a hand resting on Isabel’s shoulder.
Of course not!And
neither is the shell.
I see so much color.
Panel 3.Isabel gives
Juan a pensive stare.He doesn’t really
know what to make of it.
Like with leaves?
There are places where the leaves turn beautiful colors
in autumn.The leaves never change color
rolls over in her bed in the foreground, facing toward the window (and us) and
away from Juan, but she continues to clutch the shell.Juan, feeling disconnected from her now, has
backed up closer to the doorway.
I wish I could see the leaves change color.
hospital hallway.Juan stands in place
with his head down, his eyes and mouth scrunched tight, a single tear headed
down his cheek.“Pabellón del Cáncer”
(cancer ward) is printed on a sign on the wall.Children’s drawings colored in crayon litter a pin board.There is a calendar displaying “octubre”
(October, naturally).No dialogue.
Panel 1.Sunset on
the beaches of Aguadilla.The water
looks like liquid gold.Juan sits in the
sand, not too concerned about dirtying his clothes, staring out toward the
horizon.There is a small, harmless Caribbean
hermit crab nearby.No dialogue.
gives a half-hearted smirk to the hermit crab, which has ventured away from him
a little bit.Let’s not show anything
behind Juan, so that we can afford for someone to sneak up on him on the next
I’m going to take your shell too?
You should see my collection.It’s so big I have to stash it in three
It’s a fifteen minute drive to pick them all up by car.
stares back out to sea.
I only collect the white ones.
middle-aged BEACH BUM clad in a garish open shirt and shorts has inadvertently
snuck up on Juan, startling him.The
beach bum wears shades and has a thick moustache to go with a thicker head of
hair.There are a few standard palm
trees in the area.
1 BEACH BUM:
So you’re the one.Everyone ‘round here’s heard of you, kid.
agitated and worried in equal portions, gets to his feet.The beach bum puts up his hands in a
disarming “don’t hit me!” posture.
Yeah, well, what’s it to you?
3 BEACH BUM:
Oh, sorry, don’t mean no harm.
4 BEACH BUM:
Just wondering what a guy does with all those
stares with a pout back at the hermit crab, which continues to inch away.
Why do I have to do anything with them?
Isn’t it enough that I appreciate them?
Panel 4.The beach
bum kneels down to take a clump of sand in his hand.Juan watches intently.
7 BEACH BUM:
Maybe.But why the
white ones?Why not the blue ones?Red?Purple?
Because the white ones are better.They can become any color they choose.
9 BEACH BUM:
So a white shell’s better than a blue shell because it
can become a blue shell?
Yep.If it wants.
Panel 5.The beach
bum throws the clump aside, tossing it to the wind.Juan goes wide-eyed.
11 BEACH BUM:
But don’t you know a shell out of water will only ever staywhite?
Panel 1.Back to
Isabel in the hospital.Days have
passed, and it is roughly 10am.Isabel
is sitting up, still captivated by the sea shell in her hands, while a female
NURSE tidies her pillow.A quiet sadness
has overtaken Isabel, and so she looks even frailer than before.
Lovely morning, isn’t it?
Panel 2.The nurse
places a tender hand on Isabel’s head.Isabel stares blankly.
Is something the matter?
Panel 3.The nurse
puts a hand to her chin with a melancholy grin.
It’s been a couple days since that handsome boy has
visited, hasn’t it?
appears in the doorway, beaming with all the energy of his first appearance on
Page 1.He is holding onto the handles
of a vacant wheelchair.
Handsome boy?Haven’t seen him.Guess you’ll
have to settle for me.
extends a hand toward the nurse, who, like Isabel, is quite pleased see to him.
Do you think I could take Isabel for a walk today?
Panel 6.A shot of
palm trees against the morning sun.
8 CAPTION (JUAN):
“There’s something at the beach she should see.”
Pages Six and
Double-page spread of approximately 700 red, yellow, and
orange seashells strewn along the beach.Juan holds hands with Isabel, who is in the wheelchair, as they gaze out
at the spectacle.If it isn’t completely
obvious, this is Juan’s seashell collection, which he has hand-painted to look
like autumn leaves.Maybe you can’t see
it from this angle, but Isabel still has the seashell Juan gave her at the
hospital in her lap.No dialogue.
shrugs as Isabel looks up at him, her mouth a giant toothy grin.
In unrelated news, I found out how expensive paint
can be in the last couple days.
Panel 2.Isabel admires
the shells, mouth agape, eyes tearing up.
You gave me leaves.
lifts the white seashell from Isabel’s lap for her to inspect again.
Nah, just shells.But that’s the best a guy can do in Aguadilla.
bends over so he and Isabel may embrace.Isabel’s tears are more evident now, and she is holding the white
seashell.Their eyes are closed.