Sunday, February 20, 2011

"The Scenic Route" - a screenplay excerpt

For Sample Sunday this week, I'm posting an excerpt from my screenplay, THE SCENIC ROUTE. (NOTE: THIS IS NOT IN PROPER SCREENPLAY FORMAT. I modified the format to make it easier to read on small handheld devices and across multiple platforms.)

The Scenic Route is the story of Luther and Sol, a pair of young bank robbers who have been on the run pretty much their whole lives. They just pulled off a big robbery but got lost during the getaway and then more lost, and more lost.

As of this point in the story, they have shaken off the cops, and others who are chasing them to take the money from them. They've gained a friend in Brenda, a retired show girl who needed a ride, and they finally have got some great directions on how to get back to the interstate. Well, pretty good directions, anyway....

by Camille LaGuire


The Cutlass is parked at a stop sign. The road here ends at a crossroad and river. Luther, Sol and Brenda stand beside the river, staring across.

SOL: She said we should cross the river.

BRENDA: Maybe she meant swim.

LUTHER: We're on the wrong road is all. We're still going in the right direction.

BRENDA: How do you figure that?

LUTHER: We're supposed to cross the river, and there's the river. We've just got to go along and find a bridge.

SOL: Okay. Which way?


He points right. Sol nods and heads back to the car.

BRENDA: Oh my god. I don't believe this.


BRENDA: What way did you just point?

Luther points again.

BRENDA: No, say it. Which direction, right or left?

Luther can see what's coming. He drops his arm.

LUTHER: They're just words.

BRENDA: I can see how you boys got lost. You can't tell right from left.

LUTHER: I pointed.

BRENDA (to Sol): And neither can you.

Sol shrugs.

SOL: That's how we hooked up. Skipping special ed together.

BRENDA: You're dyslexic, right? Can you read?

LUTHER: Of course I can. I'm not stupid.

BRENDA: I didn't say you were. But if you were skipping class....

LUTHER: I can read just fine. I can't write so good, and I get a little confused on left and right. That's all.

She nods and starts to reply, but he interrupts.

LUTHER: They're just words. People get all hung up on left and right but you know, you turn around and left isn't left anymore. All of a sudden, it's right. That's stupid. There's that way and that way. If I say "left" and point right... (he points left) ...Sol knows what I mean.

SOL: Yeah. That way.

He points the same way. Brenda sighs and shakes her head.

BRENDA: There are tricks you can use to remember.

LUTHER: It's not memory. It's a different way of seeing things.

BRENDA: If you hold up your left hand, your finger and thumb make an L for left. See?

She holds up her hand to illustrate. Luther holds up his right in mirror image.

LUTHER: So does your right hand. The L just points the other way.

SOL: We learned that one when we were five.

LUTHER: If either of us really have to figure it out, we just gotta stop and think for a minute. A left turn goes across traffic. Right turn on red.

He points, and for the first time his gestures match the direction he's talking about.

BRENDA: Sorry, boys.

LUTHER: No problem. I mean, we're lost. Right and left are just meaningless concepts.

SOL: Constructs.

LUTHER: Right, constructs. Like right and wrong. We're outlaws, and we're lost, so we don't care what right is. It's all arbitration.

BRENDA: Arbitrary.

LUTHER: That too.

They all head back toward the car. Luther pauses before they get in.

LUTHER: That was a joke.

BRENDA: I know.

LUTHER: I'm not dumb. They gave us a test in juvenile hall once, and it showed I wasn't dumb. Sol's even smarter than me.

BRENDA: I thought you'd never been caught.

LUTHER: As a kid, yeah, but not as an adult. Which proves I learn pretty good, doesn't it?

In tomorrow's post I will give you some background on the writing of "The Scenic Route."

NOTE: The Scenic Route is currently not available for purchase (some vendors might still have it around, though).  I am going to revamp it, maybe novelize it. It will be re-released as a new book later.

(Warning, The Scenic Route is an R-rated crime comedy -- with bad language and mild sexual situations, and main characters who have trouble with right and wrong as well as right and left.)


Eugenia Parrish said...

I love Luther and Sol, and look forward to reading more. And you know -- they're right. About left and right, at least, if not about wrong and right.

The Daring Novelist said...

Thanks Genie!

I've got to write more about Luther and Sol. I have some ideas for short story series about a burglar who does good deeds.... I might see if the stories suit them.