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This is your first scene. Last edited by Bransby, on 09/23/2008. 0 comments. More scene info.

INT. Sarah's car. — 18.00 Decemer 6th

Bransby - on 09/23/2008

Sarah sits in her car stopped at traffic lights somewhere in central London. It is rush hour on a cold, wet and windy winter night a few weeks before Christmas. Christmas lights can just be seen through the raindrops on the car windows. Sarah is returning home from a day at UCL. Suddenly the passender door opens, and a man steps in. He is wearing a light shirt on which can be seen a spattering of rain drops, and he is carrying a folded leather jacket. From under the jacket can just be seen the muzzle of a semi-automatic pistol. As he steps in Sarah starts to speak.

Bransby - on 09/23/2008 2 versions.

Sarah

Err, sorry, what the-

Bransby - on 09/23/2008

The man shows her the gun.

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Mike

Stay calm and do exactly what I say, turn left at the next set of lights, stay on the A40 and head towards Oxford. Do this and I won’t hurt you, this will all be over very soon.

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Sarah stares at the gun in horror, and reaches for her seatbelt, fumbling with the door handle at the same time. Mike grabs her hand away from the seatbelt catch.

Bransby - on 09/23/2008

Mike (CONT'D)

This is not the time to panic; this is the time to do exactly what I just told you to do. This is a Ruger SR9 pistol and it is loaded, and I will shoot you if you do not move off slowly, take the next left and head out of London towards Oxford.

Bransby - on 09/23/2008

Sarah stops struggling, stares straight ahead, puts the car into gear and moves the car away from the lights slowly.

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Mike (CONT'D)

Good, good. Just stay calm, do exactly what I say and this will all be over very soon. I don't want to hurt you, I just want to get to Oxford.

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Sarah

OK, OK, just be careful with that, please!

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Mike

Don't worry, I know what I'm doing, you just concentrate on the road.

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Sarah

God, no, I mean why would I worry? Man with a gun, making me drive to Oxford, what's to worry about?

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Mike

That's right, just do as I say and this will all be over very soon.

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Sarah

Yeah you keep saying that, but you know it might actually take quite a while to get to Oxford. You know, traffic and everything, it's like, you know, rush hour.

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Mike looks from Sarah to the road and back again, momentarily he looks unsure what to do.

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Mike

Well... ok, that's fine, just take it slowly, just stay calm and it'll all be over- it'll all be fine, just do what I tell you to do, and everything will be fine.

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Sarah

Yeah ok, I'm just saying, you know, it's rush hour, it's a Friday, few weeks before Christmas. I think there's still roadworks up by Gypsy Corner. You know, you just-

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Mike

I just what?!

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Sarah

Just the train's really quick, you'd be there by 7, I could drop you at Paddington-

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Mike

You'll drop me at Oxford, alright?! Just shut up! Oxford, we're going to Oxford, you're driving me there, and that's the end of it ok?

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The silence in the car is broken only by the rush of buses going by in the bus lane and motorbikes squeezing through the traffic.

Bransby - on 09/23/2008

Mike (CONT'D)

The bus lane! Drive in the bus lane, go on!

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Sarah remains motionless, as does the car.

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Mike (CONT'D)

Do it! Now, get in the bus lane, it's clear all the way up there!

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Sarah

Sorry, look, I'll take you to Oxford but... look the buses have all got cameras on and there's like a £60 fine or something, and I imagine you wouldn't want to get stopped by the police or anything, so maybe we should just-

Bransby - on 09/23/2008

Mike

Fine! Right! Stay here then, look, just go, the lights are green, go!

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Sarah

That's the filter light, they're turning right.

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Mike

Shit!

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Sarah

It's ok, ours are changing now. Look, we're moving now, it's ok, we'll get there, it's ok.

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Mike

OK, go! Move, move!

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The car edges forwards about 10 metres then stops again. The traffic is gridlocked all the way down the Euston Road.

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Mike (CONT'D)

Oh, for God's sake!

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Sarah

I know, it's a joke eh! That's the problem though you know, the congestion charge is all well and good, but people still have to drive into town, I mean, I would get public transport and everything, but I'm often in uni late, and there's all kinds of weirdos out at that time. Plus I sometimes go straight from work to see my folks up in Preston, and there is no way I'm getting the train up there, you know it's actually cheaper for me to drive up there than to get the train, it's unbelievable how much they charge, and that's with the tax, insurance, and petrol what it is, and I sometimes do the toll road coz, you know, if you don't that can be an extra hour on your journey and it's not worth it if you're only going up for the weekend and-

Bransby - on 09/23/2008 3 versions.

Mike

Shut up! Just shut up! For god’s sake woman, I’ve got a gun here! A gun! Understand? I am carjacking you and forcing you at gunpoint to take me where I want to go, could you please get it into your head that this is not a situation where you want to make small talk? You’re in serious danger, you are not just giving a lift to a mate!

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Sarah stares straight ahead her face turning red with anger and fear. She starts to sniff and her lip trembles.

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Mike (CONT'D)

Oh God! Don't cry, I'm sorry ok?

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Sarah

Oh you're sorry are you? What for exactly? The loaded gun you're pointing at me? Kidnapping me? Or just being really horrible?

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Mike

No, I'm not, I'm-

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Sarah

Because I've done everything you told me to do! I'm taking you to bloody Oxford despite the fact that it's miles out of the way and you obviously should have got the train. I'm going to be really late home, and I just wanted to have a glass of wine in front of the telly. I was going to watch Charmed, I've had such a crappy week. And I've got to go back into uni tomorrow anyway and finish off those tests, but I'll be really tired now because I'm going to be late home because of you, and I'll probably have to do the tests all over again, and it's going to take me ages to find the right donors again, and it'll put me back weeks, and I'll never get this bloody thesis finished, and I'll never get a bloody job and-

Bransby - on 09/30/2008 2 versions.

Sarah breaks down crying. Mike looks on awkwardly, bewildered. Up ahead the lights are changing to green.

Bransby - on 09/23/2008 2 versions.

Mike

Err, the lights, they're green...

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Sarah

Oh yes fine! Right, can’t be late for bloody Oxford, can we? I’m so sorry to keep you waiting!

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The car lurches forward a few metres and stops again.

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Mike

So what are these tests you're doing?

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Sarah

I’m looking into the potentially carcinogenic effects of high levels of free radicals in muscle tissue after extreme physical exertion.

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Mike

Really? Wow. That’s… that sounds really interesting. What, is it like a degree or something then?

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Sarah

It’s a PhD, actually.

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Mike

Oh right, so you’ll like be a doctor then will you?

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Sarah

I’ll have a doctorate, yes.

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Mike

So, is there, you know, much money in that?

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Sarah

Not if I can't get a bloody job, no!

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Mike

But, what sort of job would you get, if you could get one?

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Sarah

I want to stay in research, it’d be nice to stay at UCL. The department’s really nice, the head’s a really good guy, you know, he’s well into research and everything, they’ve got a really good programme running, so it’d be a great place to stay, but not many positions come up each year, and there are some really bright cookies working there so I don’t think it’s likely that I’ll be in with much of a chance. I mean there are other places, I could move back up North, be nearer mum and dad, but I like it down here, I like city life, and London’s really different from everywhere else, you know, there’s so much going on, mind you everyone always says that about London don’t they, but then how many people actually go out and do things? I mean, I’ve been saying for ages that I want to go to the theatre but I still haven’t seen anything, and yeah, I’ve been to the Tate Modern, but then who hasn’t, right? But then there are so many other galleries, never been to the portrait gallery, or the Tate Britain, still haven’t been to the V&A, really would love to go the The Globe, that’s almost like the problem though eh? There’s so much to do that it’s hard to know where to start, I mean on the rare occasion when you’ve got a weekend free, how do you decide what to go out and see, I mean, a lot of it’s free but-

Bransby - on 09/23/2008

Sarah continues talking, Mike sighs and rolls his eyes. Fade to black.

Bransby - on 09/23/2008

Fade up on same scene, Sarah still talking.

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Sarah (CONT'D)

So what's your story then?

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Mike

Eh? Sorry?

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Sarah

I'm Sarah by the way.

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Mike

Mike. Err, yeah, my name's Mike.

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Sarah

Really? Is that really your name or have you just made that up?

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Mike

No, really, that is my name. Look, Sarah, I'm sorry about all this. I just- I really need to get to Oxford, I've only just got back in the country, I've got no money, I didn't know what else to do.

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Sarah

Hitch-hike, call a friend, get a job, walk - all things you could do rather than carjacking an innocent young woman on her way home from uni. Where did you get the gun anyway?

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Mike

This? Oh, I got it off some raghead in Basra.

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Sarah

What?!

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Mike

I'm a soldier, was a soldier anyway.

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Sarah

Well couldn't you get a lift off another soldier or something? Can't you go and see those blokes with the horses up near Whitehall? Again, lots of options other than kidnapping me!

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Mike

No, no I can't. Can't really do any of those things. Well walking or hitch-hiking maybe...

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Sarah

So what's going on? Why are you doing this?

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Mike

Oh Christ! It wasn't meant to happen like this, it really wasn't. I'm just so tired, and I've messed everything up so badly. I just wanted a bit more cash.

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Sarah

Well you're a soldier, can't you go for a promotion or something?

Bransby - on 09/23/2008 2 versions.

Mike

No, well yeah obviously, but no. I mean, I was out in Iraq right and I've never been promoted. I suppose because I never really bothered trying. I've been in the army 8 years now and I've pretty much just dicked about the whole time. Then I'm out in Iraq and still getting paid peanuts, but now I'm like, in a life-threatening situation, and, well, you heard of Blackwater?

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Sarah

In Iraq? They're like a security firm or something aren't they?

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Mike

Yeah, there's loads of 'em out there, private contractors, don't have to worry about only shooting in defence or any of that crap. Law unto themselves basically, but they get paid a fortune, and they've got all the best gear, you know, some really cool toys. Basically there's laods of people out there making a mint in private security or whatever, and then there's me, in the army, definitely not making a mint. Cut a long story short, I went AWOL.

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Sarah

AWOL?! Like Jean-Claude Van Damme in that awful film with the foreign legion and he goes off to avenge his brother or something. What was that called?

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Mike

AWOL

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Sarah

Yeah he goes AWOL and goes off roundhouse kicking his way to vengance! What was it called?

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Mike

AWOL! The film was called AWOL!

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Sarah

Oh god yeah! God that was crap wasn't it?

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Mike

I love that film.

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Sarah

So can you like, do a roundhouse kick, and the splits and everything?

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Mike

Oh bugger off!

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They are both laughing now, but when the laughter dies down Mike is staring out of the window.

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Sarah

So what happened then?

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Mike

Well, I fancied myself as a mercenary right? but to be a mercenary you've got to like, either be in, or have a private army, or at least have a bunch of guns and stuff. But I'm a prat right? When I snuck off the base, I felt guilty about taking my rifle and kit and stuff, coz, well, it's taxpayer's money isn't it? So I left it all behind. I started my mercenary career with nothing more than a fairly good knowledge of how to use a shooter. Course, the thing about Iraq is that the average 9 year old is pretty good with a shooter. So my life as a mercenary pretty much ended there and then. I mean, I went into town, bought this, but then it suddenly dawned on me. I'm carrying a British passport, I've got an American sidearm and not much else, and I'm about to rock up at the front door of Blackwater HQ and ask for a job? Suddenly I felt a bit of a tit. By that time it was too late to go back to base so I made my way back here over land. It's taken me weeks. And now I've got no money, it's pissing down with rain. I've thrown away the one thing I had that looked like a career, and now I've kidnapped a perfectly nice girl at gunpoint, and I've just made a total balls up of everything.

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Mike catches himself, as tears well up in his eyes.

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Sarah

Aww, now come on soldier, it’s ok, there there, it’ll be alright, we’ll get you to Oxford, then you’ll be home and everything’ll be alright.

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Mike

I’m not even going home though. I don’t even have a home. My mum and dad died years ago, I’ve got a sister up in Scotland that I haven’t spoken to since, and I’ve always lived in barracks. The army’s been my life. That’s why I’m going to Oxford; Jase is getting married there tomorrow.

Bransby - on 09/23/2008

Sarah

Who's Jase?

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Mike

Jase is my mate; we served together in Croatia and in Afghanistan. He got his life sorted though. Quit the army before he had to go to Iraq, but he learned a trade while he was signed up. He’s a plumber now, got his own business and everything, and he’s getting married tomorrow. I’ve got the invite in here, it’s somewhere near Oxford.

Bransby - on 09/23/2008

Mike attempts to unzip the inside pocket of his jacket, searching for the invite, but can't manage with the gun in his hand. He absent-mindedly puts it into the cubby hole beneath the car stereo and tries to unzip the pocket. Sarah grabs the gun and points it at Mike.

Bransby - on 09/23/2008 2 versions.

Mike (CONT'D)

Sarah! No! It's loaded!

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Sarah sits with the gun pointed resolutely at Mike. She looks from the gun to Mike, then out at the traffic in front which is still gridlocked as far as the eye can see. She sighs and hands the gun back.

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Sarah

Just put the bloody thing away.

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Mike snatches it back and immediately points it back at her. She stares ahead, he looks from the gun to Sarah, then to the traffic in front. He pulls back the chamber and takes out the bullet, pushes a switch on the side and releases the magazine. He puts the parts into the inside pocket of his jacket and zips it closed.

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Mike

Sorry Sarah.

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Sarah

It’s ok, I’ll stop over in Oxford at a Travelodge or something, we’ll get you to your mate’s wedding.

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Camera pulls back our of the car, up and over the traffic showing London's Christmas lights and traffic. Fade to black. END.

Bransby - on 09/30/2008 2 versions.
 
 
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