Sunday, April 05, 2009

This extra hour

It's 1993.

The scene opens with a long view of nothing but brake lights - hundreds of cars and trucks - jammed up at a toll plaza.

She sits in a shiny red Mazda Miata talking quietly but urgently into a cell phone.

"I know, I'm sorry, the surgery went long and I had to wait..."

While she's apologizing, she's searching for change to pay the toll. Traffic isn't moving so she looks through her bag, the glove box and between the seats. Nothing. She flips on her right signal to move into the manual lane to pay with cash.

"I'm sorry, really, I'll be there soon...I know. I know. I'm sorry."

Settling in for an even longer wait in the attended toll lane, she's adjusting her mirrors in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid the glaring bright lights of a semi truck behind her in line.

" won't happen, really, I'm sorry...OKAY..."

There's a loud CLICK as the man she's talking with ends the call abruptly.

At nearly the same moment, the lights flip off on the semi behind her. Her face visibly loses tension. She closes the phone, tilts her head back and half smiles.

"That was awfully nice," she mutters.

She looks in both mirrors, trying to catch a glimpse of the semi driver but the truck is too close; she sees nothing but the massive grille.

"Peterbilt," she says. "Old truckers never die, they just get a new Peterbilt."

She inches forward to the toll booth.

"Hi I'd like to pay for the guy behind me, okay?"

In the course of seconds, the toll taker manages to look confused then skeptical then irritated.

"You know it's a buck fifty for trucks, right?"

"Fine, whatever it is, take it out of this please," she says, handing the attendant a $20.

Clearly aggravated at being asked to do rudimentary math, the toll booth worker thrusts the change out to her with a frown.

"Thank you," she says, taking the money.

She hits the gas with a smiling glance into her rear view mirror. Then she turns up the radio. Radar Love.

The scene closes with a view from the semi trucker's cab, focused on her license plate: ELI 90.

The trucker flips his lights back on again.
Explanation: Our alarm clock automatically adjusts for the old version of Daylight Saving Time. By the time we realized what happened, we were already up and well into the morning.

This extra hour. It was a gift of sorts. There were so many things I could've done with it. But I decided to finally sit down and re-write the first scene in a story called 'No Place' I've been working on for more than 10 years.

I don't know the correct format for script writing. But here it is. What I did with the extra hour.

It feels pretty good. I'm thinking of writing the final scene next.

Because sometimes it's a good idea to know where you're going before you start walking down the road.
I am listening to: Batman Begins
I am reading: This little story
And I am: Happy and relaxed


Dave said...

"'Peterbilt,' she says. 'Old truckers never die, they just get a new Peterbilt.'"

Doesn't fit, all the rest is great. I'm trying to count the chapters based on presaging.

Hedy said...

You're right. Thanks, Dave. When you figure out how many chapters it'll be, let me know because I have no idea. :)

Posol'stvo the Medved said...

I can help you with script formatting, if you're talking screenplay. Or I can at least point you to some good resources. Let me know. My email address is published.

Susan's Snippets said...

Hedy -

Not sure what I can do to help..but I love the idea of a beginning and an end with many miles walked inbetween.

wandering from routine

Anonymous said...

Get a program called Final Draft. It is very intuitive and will save you hours and hours in the long run. The basics are all you need... slugline, action, character name, dialogue. Learn the rest at your leisure.
Script readers like to feel like the script is moving along so take this tip to heart... No long blocks of description - keep the readers eye moving down the page!
And finally, don’t write because you want to have your story seen... write because you HAVE to.
Screenwriter of "They Shoot Movies Don't They?"
Next script - "They Legend of Sloppy Joe"
And lover of Hedy and Jim...