The Call — Act I (pages 1-34)

A lot has changed. I reworked the timeline of events to make more sense, I fixed some scenes and I added a new one with Saul. I think it’s my best effort to date. The only glaring problem I see is that Perry hasn’t spoken yet.

{The Call — Act I (pages 1-34)}

INT. SAM’S OFFICE – MORNING

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 knock at the door.

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

SAM
Come in.

GLENDA FLETCHER, 54, pokes her head into the room.

GLENDA
Do you have a minute?

SAM
Yeah. Come in.

Glenda takes a seat.

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

SAM
(confused)
What?

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

SAM
(in disbelief)
But I’ve been here thirty years. You can’t just fire me.

GLENDA
Well, we have. I’m sorry, Sam.

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

GLENDA
(interrupting)
For Christ’s sake, Sam, you left a scalpel in a patient! 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?

SAM
(defiant)
I make one mistake in the three decades I’ve been here and the first thing you do is fire…

GLENDA
(interrupting)
That’s not a mistake, that’s gross negligence. You almost killed him.

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

GLENDA
(interrupting again)
Having a scalpel..

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

BEAT

GLENDA
Are you drunk?

SAM
What? No!

Glenda goes to smell the mug in Sam’s hands. He pulls it away from her.

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

SAM
It’s none of your fucking business.

GLENDA
I’ve heard rumors that you’re drinking on the job, but I didn’t want to believe them. A drunken cardiac surgeon. Unbelievable. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Glenda turns and walks towards the exit.

GLENDA
Pack your things and be out of here today, please. Stop by human resources on your way out. You’ll have paperwork to sign. I suggest you do it.

Glenda exits.

Sam rubs his finger around the rim of his coffee mug. He leans back into his chair, closes his eyes and takes a drink.

When Sam opens his eyes, a MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN, is sitting across from him with her hands resting gently in her lap. In her hands is a scalpel. Sam is so unnerved he flings his mug into the air spilling the rest of his drink on himself. The mug smashes on the ground.

Sam looks down at the mug. When he looks up, the middle-age woman is gone.

SAM
Shit!

CUT TO:

INT. RESTAURANT – AFTERNOON
A large restaurant in downtown Greektown in Detroit, Michigan. It has three levels that uses a marble slabbed staircase to get up each level.

The first level, other than two small booths directly across from the entrance, is mostly comprised of large booths to host larger parties.

At one of the large booths, ALWAYS near the entrance for Jimmy, is JIMMY DIMITRIOS, 56 with four of his other cronies: ANGELO, NICKOLAS, LARRY and GUS.

The five are having an after-dinner conversation, but the camera doesn’t show Jimmy until he speaks.

ANGELO
(in mid-conversation)
…she’s the fucking nastiest bitch I’ve ever seen at a strip club. I thought that sign “one ugly one” was fake…a joke. I had no idea they actually went out and fucking found an ugly one. And I know it’s Saul. I look over at him and he’s got this shit-eating grin on his face and I’m thinking to myself, “I am going to kill this motherfucker.”

The table laughs.

ANGELO
I’m fucking serious. I thought I was going to take that motherfucker out into the parking lot and kill him. It wouldn’t have mattered though. That fucker probably would have walked away from a bullet in the head. I’ve never seen anyone so goddamn lucky. He’s had, what, a triple-bypass, melanoma cancer, a kidney transplant…

GUS
(interrupting)
Don’t forget that time he fell down the flight of stairs.

ANGELO
Oh yeah, he only broke his arm that time.

LARRY
That time he got drunk and rolled his car over.

ANGELO
Is he a vampire?

Table laughs.

ANGELO
He has to be. He’s a fucking vampire. A wooden stake through the heart is the only thing that can kill him.

LARRY
Speaking of Saul, where has he been?

GUS
I don’t know. I haven’t heard from him. He hasn’t been to church in a while either.

ANGELO
I hope he’s dead.

LARRY
Hey! That’s not nice to…

JIMMY
(interrupting)
Speak of the devil!

Finally we see Jimmy. His face, masculine and rugged, speaks confidence. He has the natural good looks of someone that always gets what they want.

A well dressed old man, SAUL BASS, 71, is fighting with the door of the entrance and the door is winning. The CASHIER runs over to give Saul a hand opening the door. Saul is using a cane and limps through the door using it.

SAUL
(to the Cashier)
God damn! Why do you make the doors so hard to open? You don’t want any customers?

CASHIER
I’m sorry, sir.

JIMMY
(yelling over the restaurant)
SAUL! Never mind the door and get over here.

Jimmy uses his arm to motion him over.

Saul limps over.

SAUL
I swear to God, if I come back and those doors are still there, I’m never coming back!

JIMMY
The doors have been there for fifty years and they’re not going anywhere. Where the fuck have you been?

Saul has a seat at the booth.

SAUL
I just got out of the hospital.

JIMMY
What were you doing in the hospital?

SAUL
My wife ran me over.

ANGELO
What?

SAUL
What, are you deaf?
(yelling)
I SAID MY WIFE RAN ME OVER!

ANGELO
Okay, Saul, quit being a prick.

Saul puts his hand to his ear.

SAUL
(acting deaf)
WHAT? YOU WANT MY PRICK? I knew when you wouldn’t fuck that stripper you were a queer.

The table erupts in laughter.

LARRY
Okay, okay, enough of the bullshit. Why did your wife try to run you over?

SAUL
Eeeeh, she found out about my mistress.

LARRY
You’re mistress? Saul, you’re seventy years old!

SAUL
So? That doesn’t mean I don’t have a dick.

Again the table laughs.

SAUL
I still want to fuck. And if the ball and chain isn’t going to do her job, I’m going to find someone that will.

While Saul was in his conversation a well-dressed handsome man, MARTIN VAKALIS, 42, strolls over to the table and leans into Jimmy’s ear and whispers something.

JIMMY
Excuse me gentlemen, I have some business to take care of.

As Jimmy and Martin walk away from the table we hear Saul in the background:

SAUL
Who do I have to fuck to get a drink around here?

JIMMY
That fucking Saul is something else. So, where did you find him?

MARTIN
He was staying with a girlfriend.

Jimmy leads Martin towards the back of the restaurant and into the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS

The sounds of banging pots and pans, food sizzling and cooks shouting goes unnoticed by Jimmy and Martin as they continue their conversation.

JIMMY
How did you find his girlfriend’s location?

MARTIN
His wife told us.

JIMMY
No shit? Another husband fucking his wife over.

They make their way through the kitchen to a pair of steps that lead into the basement.

INT. BASEMENT – CONTINUOUS

The basement is dark and dingy with cheap wood shelves built to store the restaurant’s supplies. There are small puddles of water in the basement.

Jimmy and Martin descend the steps into the basement.

They walk through the basement to a door located in the back.

Martin knocks.

PERRY KONSTINTINA, 48, a very large man, opens a sliver of the door and peers out. He see’s that it’s Martin and he opens the door.

Martin and Jimmy walk in.

INT. JIMMY’S OFFICE – CONTINUOUS

A large dusky office. Concrete floors. Cheap wood paneling making it even darker. There’s a desk at the far end from the door. Jimmy doesn’t believe in computers. A calculator on the desk with a paper spool. A large floor safe sits behind the desk.

DINO SISTANI, 45, is sitting in a chair across from the desk.

JIMMY
I’m very disappointed, Dino. I never thought I’d have to chase you down.

Jimmy sits on the desk right across from Dino within striking distance.

DINO
I’m sorry, Jimmy, I’m sorry. Look, man, I got in over my head. I was double-crossed. I had a buyer lined up and on the way…

JIMMY
(interrupts)
Dino, I don’t want the labor pains. Just deliver the baby.

DINO
What?

JIMMY
Aren’t women expensive?

DINO
What? Yeah, sure. I guess so.

JIMMY
You guess so? Didn’t Martin find you with your girlfriend, cheating on your wife?

DINO
Yeah. So?

JIMMY
I have a wife. She’s expensive. Always with the shoes, women love shoes and I have no idea why. Anyway, so here I am, with a wife that I can barely afford, loaning you money. And you have a wife AND a girlfriend and you’re borrowing money from me.

BEAT

DINO
I don’t know what you want me to say Jimmy?

JIMMY
I want you to say you have my fucking money!

DINO
But I don’t have the money.

JIMMY
Then where is it?

DINO
I don’t kn….

Before Dino can finish, Jimmy has impaled him in the thigh with a letter opener from his desk.

DINO
AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Perry double checks the door to make sure it is closed.

Dino looks the letter opener protruding from his leg. There’s blood everywhere and he’s afraid to touch it. He’s sweating profusely.

JIMMY
Does that refresh your memory?

DINO
I don’t have it, I’m sorry, I don’t have it. It’s gone, it’s all gone.

JIMMY
So I guess we have a dilemma. I guess, since you spent all my money on your girlfriend, I’ll have to have a girlfriend myself. Martin, go get me a girlfriend.

MARTIN
Yes, sir.

DINO
Jimmy, please don’t. Please. She has nothing to do with it.

JIMMY
Give me my money back and I’ll give you your girlfriend back.

CUT TO:

INT. SMALL’S BAR – NIGHT

A low-brow neighborhood bar. A dark and seedy place. Not the kind of place you’d expect a surgeon to drop by. There is a long bar rail with bar stools and only a handful of booths and tables.

There is no one at the bar rail and only a few people seated at the booth.

The proprietor and current barkeeper, LOU SMALL, 52, looking every part the biker with long gray streaked hair and beard, tattoos running up and down each arm with a white short sleeve t-shirt, blue jeans and silver chain attached to his wallet in his back pocket, is wiping beer steins clean when Sam walks in.

LOU
Hey, Sam. How are you doing?

SAM
Hey, Lou. Give me a glass of your finest scotch. I’m celebrating.

Sam has a seat at the bar.

Lou grabs a bottle of scotch.

LOU
Oh yeah? What’s the occasion?

SAM
I retired today.

LOU
No shit? Well, congratulations!

Lou pours the scotch in a tumbler over some ice cubes.

LOU
How many years were you there?

SAM
Too many. Too fucking many.

Lou plops the drink on a napkin in front of Sam.
LOU

That one’s on me. Congratulations, again.

SAM
Thanks a lot, Lou. I appreciate it.

LOU
Let me pour one for myself and we can toast.

Lou pours the same drink for himself.

Lou holds his glass up.

LOU
To retirement.

Sam goes to pick up his glass, and just before he grabs it, his hand starts to tremble. He snags it with his opposite hand and holds it.

LOU
Is something wrong?

SAM
No. No. I’m fine.

Sam lets his hand go and grabs his drink and holds it up.

LOU
To retirement.

The two tap glasses together and drink. Lou takes a sip. Sam drinks the whole thing.

Sam smacks the glass back down.

SAM
Another, sir.

CUT TO:

INT. EAST JEFFERSON APARTMENT’S HALLWAY – NIGHT

Martin walks down the hall of an apartment complex.

Martin arrives at an apartment and rings the doorbell.

SHERRY FOGLE, 21, is a very attractive female — the kind that makes it hard for men to stay faithful — opens the door as far the chain lock lets her. She peeks from behind the door.

SHERRY
(surprised)
What the hell do you want?

MARTIN
Dino wanted me to pick you up.

SHERRY
I’m not going anywhere with you.

MARTIN
Don’t worry. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Dino’s fine.

SHERRY
(studies him. Cautious)
Then why didn’t you bring him here?

MARTIN
(more serious)
Look, I’m not going to bullshit you. If you want Dino to stay alive, you’ll come with me.

SHERRY
(beat)
Let me get my things.

Sherry closes the door. Martin puts his ear to the door to eavesdrop.

INT. SHERRY’S APARTMENT – CONTINUOUS

Sherry picks up the phone and dials 911. She walks into the kitchen and takes out a chef’s knife from a butcher’s block.

OPERATOR (PHONE/OVER)
Nine-one-one, what’s the emergency?

SHERRY
(whispering)
Yeah, hi police? I have an intruder at my apartment.

OPERATOR (PHONE/OVER)
Is he in the apartment?

SHERRY
No, not yet.

OPERATOR (PHONE/OVER)
Which apartment are you calling from?

SHERRY
East Jefferson Apartments, two-two-seven.

Martin kicks the door in with one swift kick.

SHERRY
Oh, God, he just kicked the door in! Please hurry!

Sherry drops the phone.

SHERRY
Stay away from me! I’ll cut you. I don’t care.

Sherry holds the knife in front of her with both hands gripping it fiercely.

Martin never stops advancing on her position.

MARTIN
(casually)
Why do you have to make this more difficult than it needs to be? We have no interest in hurting you. We’re only protecting our investment.

Sherry takes the knife and quickly lunges at Martin. Martin swiftly grabs the knife hand, twists her arm behind her and forces her to drop the knife. He then puts her into a headlock until she passes out.
Martin slings Sherry over his shoulder and walks out of the apartment.

INT. HALLWAY – CONTINUOUS

Martin whistles as he carries Sherry down the hallway and to the elevator. He pushes the down button. There is no one around. The elevator door opens and he enters.

INT. ELEVATOR – CONTINUOUS

Martin whistles while the elevator descends from the twenty-second floor.

INT. APARTMENT FOYER – CONTINUOUS

Two POLICE OFFICERS enter one of the elevators just as the other elevator opens up for Martin and Sherry. SO CLOSE — They just pass each other.

Martin never stops whistling. Like he’s done this a hundred times before.

CUT TO:

INT. SMALL’S BAR – NIGHT

There are more PEOPLE at the bar than before. It’s a happier more vibrant place, polar opposite of Sam who…

…can barely keep his eyes open and is swaying in his stool. He puts his arm on the bar and starts tapping it to get Lou’s attention.
Lou comes over.

LOU
I’ve got a taxi on the way, Sam. He’s going to take you home.

SAM
I want another drink.

Lou pours him a glass of water.

LOU
Here’s some water.

SAM
(speech is slurred)
I don’t want water. Another scotch!

LOU
I can’t Sam, it’s closing time. The taxi is going to take you home.

Sam closes his eyes.

SAM
I don’t want to go home. There’s nothing for me there.

TIME CUT

More time passes and the bar has fewer people in it.

The TAXI DRIVER, a large black man, 36, enters.

TAXI DRIVER
Lou! Who needs a taxi?

Lou points to Sam who has his head buried into his arms on the bar. He appears to be sleeping.

TAXI DRIVER
Really?

The Driver walks over and, yep, Sam is sleeping.

TAXI DRIVER
You wanna give me a hand?

The Taxi Driver and Lou carry Sam out the door.

EXT. SAM’S HOUSE – NIGHT

The Taxi Driver pulls into the driveway of a large Victorian style home.

INT. TAXI – CONTINUOUS

The Drivers’s eyes are fixed on that big house.

TAXI DRIVER
Yo, my man, you rich?

There is no response.

TAXI DRIVER
YO!

The Taxi Driver turns and sees that Sam is passed out.

TAXI DRIVER
Shit.

EXT. TAXI – CONTINUOUS

The Taxi Driver exits his taxi and goes to the back door. He opens it and reaches in.

INT. TAXI – CONTINUOUS

The Taxi Driver lightly slaps Sam in the face, but Sam doesn’t wake up. So the Driver slaps a couple of more times and keeps slapping harder each time. Sam is unwavering.

TAXI DRIVER
Are you fucking kidding me?

The Taxi Driver climbs out of the car.

EXT. SAM’S HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

The Taxi Driver climbs the front porch and rings the doorbell. No one answers. He rings again. Again nothing.

INT. TAXI – CONTINUOUS

The Taxi Driver starts rummaging through Sam’s pockets until he finds the keys. As he exits, he drags Sam out with him.

EXT. TAXI – CONTINUOUS

The Taxi Drivers slings Sam over his shoulder fireman style and carries him to the house.

The Driver gets to the door and tries three different keys until he finds the right one.

INT. SAM’S HOUSE – CONTINUOUS

The Driver carries Sam in. He sees the couch in the living room and it looks too small and uncomfortable. He looks at the stairs leading up to the second floor.

He pauses. It’s a lot of work.

He starts climbing the stairs.

INT. SAM’S BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS

The Taxi Driver places Sam on the bed and removes his shoes.
The Driver starts rummaging through Sam’s pockets until he finds Sam’s wallet. He opens it and there’s almost a thousand dollars in it with several hundreds, fifties and twenties. The driver pulls out three twenties and puts it on Sam’s nightstand.

The Driver goes to exit the bedroom and stops. He returns to the wallet, opens it and takes all the money. He exits the bedroom.

INT. EAST JEFFERSON APARTMENT’S HALLWAY – NIGHT

The elevator opens and Dino, with his upper thigh wrapped, limps down the hallway towards Sherry’s apartment. As he gets closer he sees a POLICE OFFICER walking out of the apartment. He limps faster, visibly concerned.

He arrives at the door and the Police Officer is preventing anyone from going in.

DINO
What happened?

POLICE OFFICER
Did you know the person that lived here?

DINO
(hesitating)
Um, no. I mean yes. I mean, I live on this floor so I’ve seen her from time to time, but I don’t know her, know her.
(beat)
Is she okay?

POLICE OFFICER
We don’t know yet. We haven’t found her. Have you seen anyone suspicious tonight or recently?

Dino peers into the apartment and sees other OFFICERS and DETECTIVES in there.

DINO
Um, no. Not that I can recall.

POLICE OFFICER
(calling inside the room)
Detective!

One of the Detectives walks over.

DETECTIVE
What is it?

POLICE OFFICER
This gentleman lives here. I thought he should have your card in case he remembers seeing anything.

The Detective pulls out his card and hands it to Dino.

The Detective pulls out a pad of paper and a pen.

DETECTIVE
What’s your name and number.

DINO
Why?

DETECTIVE
I might need some information later. You are her neighbor, right? I’m sure you’ve seen something or someone and just can’t recall right now.

It may come back to you.

DINO
Oh, okay. I’m Fred Elroy. Two, three, five, three, three, eight, two.

DETECTIVE
Thanks, Fred. I’ll be giving you a call.

DINO
Please do.

Dino limps away back towards the elevator.

CUT TO:

INT. SAM’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Sam stirs in his bed and wakes up. He notices his surroundings and realizes he’s home. He climbs out of bed and staggers towards the bathroom attached to the room.

INT. BATHROOM – CONTINUOUS

Sam races towards the toilet and throws up. He finishes and flushes.
Sam goes to the sink and runs the water. He washes his face and rinses out his mouth. He finishes and turns off the water. When he raises his head from the sink, the Woman from his office earlier is standing behind him. She grabs Sam’s head with her left hand pulling it back to expose his neck and uses her right hand to slice his throat with the scalpel.

Sam clutches his throat and falls backwards into the shower, bring down the curtains with him. Blood is spurting everywhere and the Woman is gone.

INT. SAM’S BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS

Sam wakes up gasping for air and clutching his throat. His breathing rate quickens as he continues to suck in air. He looks around the room.

The phone rings, startling him.

Sam lets it ring several seconds before he answers.

SAM
Hello?

VOICE (PHONE/OVER)
Where the fuck is my money?

SAM
What? Who is this?

VOICE (PHONE/OVER)
You know who the fuck this is! Where is my fucking money?

SAM
What time is it?

Sam looks at the clock. It says 3:18.

VOICE (PHONE/OVER)
It’s time for you to pay me my fucking money!

SAM
Couldn’t this wait until tomorrow morning?

VOICE (PHONE/OVER)
Don’t fuck with me. Do I need to send someone over?

SAM
No, that isn’t necessary. I’ll bring your money.

CUT TO:

INT. DINO’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

It’s extremely late. No one is expected to be up at this hour. Dino sneaks into the front door and enters the living room which is pitch black.

Dino hits a light switch exposing a small modest house. It’s well-kept and has been decorated with a feminine touch.

Dino tiptoes into the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS

Dino walks into the kitchen and turns on the light.

LIZ SISTANI, late forties, well past her prime but the remnant of beauty is still there, is sitting at the kitchen table smoking a cigarette and drinking a glass of wine. Tears have caused her mascara to run down her face.

Dino leans against the kitchen wall.

DINO
I’m sorry, babe.

LIZ
Yeah, well, we’re all sorry after the fact.

DINO
I never meant to hurt you.

LIZ
How the fuck is sticking your dick in another bitch not supposed to hurt me?

BEAT

Dino sits down at the table next to Liz.

DINO
I’m in the worst kind of trouble and I don’t know what to do and I know I don’t deserve it, but I need your strength to help me make it through.

LIZ
I don’t have enough strength to help you anymore.

DINO
I’m not getting out of this one.

LIZ
Sounds familiar. How much?

BEAT. Dino does not want to answer.

LIZ
How much, Dino!?

DINO
A hundred grand.

LIZ
A hundred grand? A hundred grand?

Liz smashes the cigarette out into the ashtray. She gets up and angrily paces around the kitchen.

LIZ
A hundred fucking grand, Dino!? What the fuck do you need a hundred grand for? Where’s the money? What did you spend it on?

DINO
It’s gone, Liz. Does it really matter where I spent it?

LIZ
Of course it fucking matters!

DINO
You know me, babe. I’m always trying to make moves. Trying to give you the life you deserve.

Liz stops dead in her tracks.

LIZ
The life I deserve? Is that what you were thinking when you were fucking that teenager?

Dino, again, doesn’t want to answer.

LIZ
Answer me. Is that what you were thinking when you were fucking her?

Liz slaps Dino across the face.

LIZ
Were you?

DINO
Hon…

Liz slaps him again. Dino just sits there taking it.

DINO
I never meant to hurt you. She doesn’t mean anything to me.

LIZ
I don’t believe you.
(beat)
I can’t trust you.
(clutches her stomach)
I’m physically sick to my stomach right now. I just want you to get the fuck out of here and I never want to see you again.

DINO
Please don’t do this to me, Liz. I need you.

LIZ
You don’t need shit but to get out of my house you fucking bastard!

Liz starts flailing her arms and attacking Dino. Dino fights to stand up to defend himself. Once Dino is standing, Liz starts pushing him by the face towards the living room.

INT. LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS

LIZ
Get the fuck out! Get out! I hate you, motherfucker! I hate you! Get out!

Liz pushes him all the way to the front door.

LIZ
Get out, Dino, and I never want to see you again.

Dino manages to open the front door and escape. He turns around to…

DINO
I love you, Liz. I’m…

Liz slams the door on him.

CUT TO:

EXT. SAM’S HOUSE – MORNING

The sun begins to rise through the trees. Birds are chirping, grass is moist and the streets are silent.

INT. SAM’S BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS

Sam stirs in his bed, groggy and hung over. He climbs out of bed and drags himself into the bathroom.

INT. SAM’S BATHROOM – CONTINUOUS

Sam turns on the water and rinses his face. He lifts his head to look into the mirror and the Woman is behind him again. He panics and puts his hands over his head to protect himself, much like a boxer does. As he does this, he quickly swivels to face her, falling backwards, and smashes his head into the mirror breaking it. He looks for her, but she’s gone.

SAM
(screaming)
FUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

EXT. SAM’S HOUSE – MORNING

Sam exits his house, carrying a briefcase, and descends the front stairs. He takes his keys and hits the unlock button on his car. There’s an empty space where his car should be.

SAM
(the light switch clicks on)
Shit.

INT. TAXI – MORNING

The CAB DRIVER is a young white guy, 26.

Sam is leaning back with his eyes closed.

The Cab Driver looks in the mirror and sees Sam is looking a little rough.

CAB DRIVER
Rough night, huh?

Without opening his eyes, Sam replies.

SAM
Uh, yeah, rough night.

CAB DRIVER
Smart man, taking the taxi last night. No need to get a DUI. A cab ride is much cheaper.

SAM
Mmmmhmmm.

CAB DRIVER
I can’t believe people still drink and drive. I read about a DUI accident every day in the paper. You’d think people would use better judgement. Especially since the laws are so much stricter now. A DUI can really ruin your life.

SAM
Hey, look buddy, I just…

Sam opens his eyes. The Woman is sitting in the front seat of the Taxi looking back at Sam. Sam is frozen for a moment.

CAB DRIVER
Yeah?

SAM
(to the woman)
What do you want from me?

She doesn’t answer. She just stares at Sam.

CAB DRIVER
Uh, nothing.

Sam clutches the chain gate that separates the front and back seat of the taxi.

SAM
(to the woman)
Say something! What do you want? Please tell me what you want.

CAB DRIVER
Look, mister, I don’t know what you want. I don’t want anything.

SAM
(to the woman)
Say something, damn it!

Sam closes his eyes and slouches his head down. He’s gripping the cage so fiercely his knuckles are white.

SAM
(to the woman)
Please tell me what you want.

The Cab Driver looks back and realizes he’s talking to someone else.

The Driver parks the car.

CAB DRIVER
We’re here.

Sam looks up and the Woman is gone. He realizes he must look like an ass to the Cab Driver so he tries to compose himself by straightening his coat and tie.

Sam pulls out his wallet to pay. It’s empty.

SAM
Shit.

CUT TO:

INT. BANK – MORNING

Not the typical bank you go into. This one has been set up for the special interests of clients. It is more a collection of offices and people who specialize in different banking needs.

Sam, still holding the briefcase, walks up to a room inside a bank. The title card on the door reads JEREMY FRANKLIN / WEALTH MANAGEMENT.

INT. JEREMY FRANKLIN’S OFFICE – CONTINUOUS

The office is sterile with generic motivational posters on the wall. There’s a desk, monitor, photos of the family and some cabinets hung on the wall above the desk.

JEREMY FRANKLIN, 45, black guy in a nice suit is sitting behind the desk.

JEREMY
Mr. Goldstein.

Jeremy stands and extends his hand. Usual pleasantries.

JEREMY
How are you doing today?

Sam shakes his hand.

SAM
I’m okay. You got the money ready?

JEREMY
Yes, sir. Have a seat.

They both sit down.

JEREMY
I know we’ve discussed this before, but I must again strongly advise against closing out these accounts.

Sam shakes his head in understanding. 

JEREMY
You’re taking massive losses on these accounts for taking them out early. You’re not at retirem…

SAM
(interrupting)
Mr. Franklin…

JEREMY
(interrupting)
Please call me Jeremy.

SAM
Jeremy, I wouldn’t take this money out if there wasn’t a reason to.

JEREMY
Isn’t there any other way to raise the money you need?

SAM
I already have two mortgages on the house. Two other loans out there. I can’t think of any other option.

JEREMY
I see.
(beat)
I just need some signatures here.

Jeremy opens up a folder and shows Sam the little yellow sticky pointers showing Sam where to sign. Sam grabs the pen and starts signing.

SAM
I’m going to need it in cash, please.

JEREMY
Okay.
(hesitating)
I’m not sure if we have that much in the vault, but I can certainly go find out.

SAM
Thanks. And put it in here please.

Sam hands Jeremy the briefcase.

JEREMY
I’ll be right back.

Jeremy grabs the check and exits.

SAM
(to himself)
What am I doing?

CUT TO:

INT. BASEMENT – CONTINUOUS

Jimmy walks through the basement to his office and goes to unlock the door, but it’s already unlocked. He opens it and steps in.

INT. JIMMY’S OFFICE – CONTINUOUS

Saul is sitting at the desk with his reading glasses on and going through Jimmy’s books.

JIMMY
Saul, what are you doing in here.

SAUL
Just going through the books.

JIMMY
Why?

SAUL
I just want to see if you’re making any money.

Jimmy peers over Saul’s shoulder and sees the safe is open. All the money appears to be there but the files are out and Saul is combing over them.

JIMMY
Saul, this is…

SAUL
(interrupting)
Before you say anything…(beat)…my kids have all moved out-of-state. My wife wants to kill me. Fuck, I’ll just come out and say it…I’m bored. I just wanted something to do. I thought I’d come over here and make sure you’re taking care of the family business.

JIMMY
But this isn’t a family business. You sold it to me. You sold me the books. You sold me the restaurant.

Saul takes off his glasses.

SAUL
Jimmy, you’re like family to me. I wouldn’t have just sold this to anyone.

JIMMY
(ceding)
Okay. But, please, next time, let me know you want to come down here. And how the fuck did you get in here anyways?

SAUL
I’m seventy years old. I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR – NOON

Sam is driving. The briefcase is on the passenger seat.

POV — We see that Sam is on the highway.

OFFSCREEN A telephone rings several times.

SAM (V.O.)
Hello?

VOICE (V.O.)
Where the fuck is my money?

SAM (V.O.)
What? Who is this?

VOICE (V.O.)
You know who the fuck this is! Where is my fucking money?

SAM (V.O.)
It’s not easy to raise that kind of money. It took some time.

VOICE (V.O.)
I don’t fucking want excuses.

SAM (V.O.)
It’s not…It’s ready. I’ll bring it by tomorrow.

POV — We see the highway exit sign for JEFFERSON EAST.

Sam takes the exit.

VOICE (V.O.)
Good. I need you to drop it somewhere else, though.

SAM (V.O.)
What? Why?

Sam turns left.

VOICE (V.O.)
There’s too much heat. I’ve got a drop for you.

SAM (V.O.)
Sure. Whatever. Where?

VOICE (V.O.)
East of downtown, where Jefferson and Conant meet, go south on Conant.

POV — We see the JEFFERSON / CONANT street sigh.

Sam turns right.

VOICE (V.O.)
You’ll drive over a bridge. Under that bridge is a trash can, which is weird, because no people should be down there to put trash in it. I want you to put the briefcase in it.

POV — We see the bridge and Sam drives over it.

Sam pulls the car over, grabs the briefcase and exits the car.

EXT. BRIDGE – CONTINUOUS

Sam looks around. It’s the ghetto. No houses for miles. No one in sight. You can see the Detroit river from here.

SAM (V.O.)
Are you fucking with me? I’m not a damn errand boy. Send one of your lackeys.

Sam walks towards the bridge.

VOICE (V.O.)
Hey, asshole! Who owes who money here? Shut the fuck up and do what I say.

Sam descends the hill and trips. He rolls down the hill and lands into a puddle of mud. He stands up and is covered in mud.

SAM (V.O.)
Then are you done with directions or do I need to hire a stenographer?

Sam finds the trash can and stuffs the briefcase in it. The Voice is right — there is no reason there should be a trash can here.

VOICE (V.O.)
The money better fucking be there.

OFFSCREEN We here the click of a phone being hung up.

Sam climbs up and out of the bridge. Gets in his car and drives away.

CUT TO:

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