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Tiaras and Trucks

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Her Mother's Pearls

INT – GUEST BEDROOM, DAY

Sunlight streams through a window, curtains pulled back to allow for maximum light.

The room is spotless, a cream shag rug contrasting sharply with the dark wooden floors, clean but worn.

The closet door is firmly closed, the only signs of the room’s inhabitant are the glass perfume bottles and leather jewelry case sitting on the elongated dresser, in front of the mirror.

ABBEY walks into the room, slowly, wrapping her oversized sweater more tightly around her waist.  The rich grey picks up the few strands of silver threaded through her long hair, twisted into a neat chignon, slightly off center.

Muffled voices grow almost imperceptible as ABBEY closes the door to the hallway

ABBEY (V.O.)
My mother always said she lived a very ordinary life…

ABBEY opens the jewelry box and picks up several strands of pearls, letting them slide through her fingers before placing them absentmindedly in the pocket of her sweater, hand remaining in the pocket, closed around the necklace.

ABBEY’S eyes follow the shaft of sun to an old trunk sitting against the wall.  Dust dances in the sunlight as she opens the lid, revealing frame photographs, yellowing journals, and worn books.

“Wonderful Tonight” (instrumental) quietly plays (BACKGROUND)

ABBEY (V.O.)
…blessed by a collection of extraordinary moments…

Kneeling next to the trunk, ABBEY picks up and gently places a wedding photo of Ryan and Angela on the floor next to her, fingers tracing the outline of their faces.

MUSIC fades into “Baby Mine”.

ABBEY places two more frames next to the wedding picture, a pink framed photograph of her as a baby, holding a pink cell phone upside down, wearing a pink gingham jumper, and a black and white photo of DYLAN as a newborn, wearing only a polka-dot diaper cover, fist curled under his chin.

ABBEY (V.O.)
She told me, more than once, that she knew she wanted to be a writer from the time she knew how to write…

She carefully pulls a journal out of the trunk and places it on top of the frames.

Her hand reaches back into her sweater pocket to feel the pearls as she looks back towards the perfume bottles.

ABBEY (V.O.)
…but she said she knew she would be a writer the summer she went to journalism camp at Columbia University.

AIRPLANE TAKING OFF (Background)

Fade to black.


I'd say "be gentle," since I've never even attempted screenplay formatting until now.  But I guess I can't say that, since I helped come up with the prompt.
Obviously, I've taken some artistic license with this piece.

the prompt:

Congratulations! Your best selling memoir has just been optioned by a major motion picture studio, and the producers want you advising on the script.  Write the opening scene for the movie.  Would you begin with a visual montage?  Voice-over? Flashback or forward? A conversation? The trick here is to look through a lens. The camera needs to tell the story through visuals, action, dialogue.

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