Pages one and two.

I’ve heard from several that opening with the phone call wasn’t the way to go. I like it, but it’s been said by more than a couple of people, so I’m going to try to go another way with it. I might make the first call the first plot point.

This is the new opening. Sam is now a doctor.

(pages 1 & 2)

Modest office. White walls, two chairs facing a desk. A computer on the desk accompanied by a photo of a pretty middle-aged woman. Some nice artwork decorating the white walls.

SAM WEINSTEIN, 63, sits behind the desk wearing a lab coat. He’s staring at the photo of the woman. He pulls a small flask from his desk and pours some alcohol into a coffee mug half-filled with coffee. He uses his finger to stir his drink and takes a gulp. He leans back in his chair firmly gripping his coffee mug.

There’s a knocking at the door.

Sam hurriedly straightens up in his chair and stuffs the flask back into his desk.

Come in.

CAROLYN FLETCHER, 54, sticks her head into the door.

Do you have a minute?


Carolyn takes a seat.

The disciplinary board has decided to terminate your contract here at the hospital.


We’re going to offer you a severance package, but as of today, you no longer work here.

But I’ve been here thirty-five years. You can’t just fire me.

Well, we have. I’m sorry, Sam.

What the…you’ll be hearing from my lawy…

You left a scalpel in a patient Sam! You know how much that’s going to cost us? We have to let you go just so we can afford the malpractice insurance that’s sure to go up. Jesus, Sam, what were you thinking?

I make one mistake in the three decades I’ve been here and you can’t wait to fire..

That’s not a mistake, that’s gross negligence. You almost killed him.

He’s fine. He was back on his feet the next…

(interrupting again)
Having a scalpel..

(interrupting her)
Jesus Christ! Will you stop interrupting me?

They just sit there in silence for several seconds.

Are you drunk?

What? No!

Carolyn gets up and puts her head near his coffee mug that still in his hands. He pulls it away from her.

I can smell it from here. You’re drinking whiskey at nine in the morning?

It’s none of your fucking business.

Carolyn turns and walks towards the exit.

Pack your things and be out of here today, please. I’ll send human resources later to take care of your severance package. You’ll have paperwork to sign. I suggest you do it.

Carolyn opens the door and just as she’s about to leave, she turns and says..

Claire’s been dead for over two years. It’s time to stop feeling sorry for yourself and get over it.

Carolyn exits.

Sam rubs his finger around the rim of his coffee mug. He closes his eyes and finishes the drink.


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