The Study of Leonard Hughes
12.08.2005
 
Autumn Rain

     Locked up inside, autumn rain torrent, forced in front of a TV screen
     Viewing Japanese cartoons of violence. We saw in each hero, hard
     Drinkers with eyes
     Like puddles.
     In the overexposed house, we glanced outside and caught
     Among the darkness, dirty rainwater, rivers in our river rock bed,
     A Radio! From the 1940’s.
     Orange faceplate, brown wooden structure, arched like the pope’s hat,
     A bit of warmth in the blackness of autumn’s menopausal downpour.
     It was drowning. Wood bubbling with the water sprinkling.
     Our black coats went on.
     Hurry.
     Outside, shoe skins boldly pressing on wet concrete and dirty oceans,
     In the curbside groaning. Alone, like a solder’s corpse, we found it,
     Bound it,
     Lamented over it,
     Chattered of varnish, polish, and returning it
     To former glory.
     No man left behind, no radio through which Orson Welles’ voice
Once breathed,
     Left unaided.
     We took it up, took it home, and cursed the artless souls of those,
     Who originally trashed it.
     Our eyes were keener, more refined. We strapped the radio into
     The truck bed of our best friend, smiled, knowing we had saved it from,
     autumn rain,
     The Curbside of
     Forgotten. The Radio we saved.

It lay in the back of his truck bed,
         We never bought any varnish.

12.01.2005
 
A Porcelain Microwavable Drug Peddler

The mug is a sinister bastard,
Loitering on kitchen counter.
How can you trust something so hollow?
The mug’s white porcelain skin shines like veneer,
Wrapped round the mug’s porcelain exterior.
Painted pink flowers and swirls of red hearts,
The mug’s art,
Like a suit worn by a drug peddler.

Foremost among his sinful contents,
The mug holds in drunkenness, which you sip with
Your lips open wide. A million untold secrets jut out,
Giving birth to embarrassments,
Made of broken painted glassware. You do have self-control,
It should keep you on the narrow road.

Yet! (Sometimes) the mug,
Gives you the other drug.
This one perks your heavy lids right up.
Adrenaline gush begin,
As your heart ramps, spinning,
Like a computer tower fan.

On the countertop at night,
Painted pink and hearts clash against the dark,
Picked out like glowing fish,
On that sandy bottom of hid sea. You with the frosty mug,
Brew at that breakfast nook table.

Meanwhile in Columbia,
The white suited drug lord rushes amongst the Trees.
He hopes the marines
Don’t steal his expensive white powder.
He runs from bullets, but his death rattle comes from sanctions,
Signed in congress (twice every hour).
And the porcelain peddler,
Topped with hops, chemicals and barleys,
Goes on to rip a black hole,
Through your once virgin liver.
The mug does it without ever a shot,
Yes, he does it without the slightest of a doleful glower.

11.29.2005
 
Ode to the Bay Area

In the second story of the
            City Lights bookstore,
            I am surrounded by Kerouac’s marijuana and
            Ginsberg’s pronouncements of opium,
            When I begin this poem. I look out the window.

In San Francisco,
             The streets are congested.
             Hindu, Maltese, Lebanese and Northern Italian
             In leather. I inhale sharkskin from the Cuban
             Walking next to my friend. The Spanish
             Are spewing obscenities in the streets,
             Steaming where the French under gas-lamps are laughing.
             I am gawking at blacks with teeth like white meat in the dim
             Bazaar. I see Russians in black coats, buttoned so tight that
             Lenin’s corpse might be buttoned inside,
            Whispering to all passersby.

Take in SBC Park,
             A brick stack, smoky and metallic,
             Structurally skeletal with gaps in its skin,
            Showing clumps of fans cheering,
            They are organs pulsing within.

Picture Alcatraz,
            Where memories of con artist, bootleggers, Tommy
            Gun squeezers and raincoat escapists once breathed.
             I’m told that in the 1920’s,
            Magicians visited this place frequently.
            They liked to be locked in shackled aquariums
             Filled with water,
             Have needles shoved down their throats,
            And for top dollar,
            Throw up fire.

I’m on Columbus Street!
            The smells peak in,
            Garlic burning sweet and foul,
             Mixed with artichoke like cologne in a bar prominent
             With gin. Herein, the wine is woody, the diner’s conversation
             Abrupt, violent.
             I have to walk out to the misty streets for silence.


Chinatown. Take a whiff and try
             Not to drown in soy.
             Instead of chicken, I order the broth,
             Getting tentacles and wide-eyed heads.
             Best of all, the eels.
             Eat their skin, my friends tell me. A rare delicacy!
            It peels.

I am interrupted
                        (thankfully)
            By a trumpet blubbering. Outside the street is cleared,
            Where a limo follows behind a marching band.
            A black suited Buddhist throws out strips of papers,
            Prayers scattering the streets like black pepper on steak.

In the second story of City Lights,
            Where I hide from my native urbanity,
            My comrade asks me if
             This metropolis has rewarded me
            With some stimulation. Why sure, I exclaim!
Just read this poem.

8.29.2005
 
Everlast

by Brock H. Brown


FADE IN:


The sound of a jet engine ROARS into existence.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. BOXING RING – STANTAFORD MATCH


A DEFT PUNCH TO THE JAW! GREGG STANTAFORD goes down like a ton of bricks. Standing over him is BOLIE ROBINSON (25), a chiseled man oozing formidability and radiant anger. The drunken SHOUTS of the crowd obviously favor him.

COMMENTATOR
KNOCKOUT! Ladies and gents, your champ –
Bolie Robinson, THE EVERLAST!


CUT TO:

Bolie is still in the ring. In front of him stands a NERDY REPORTER and at his side is his striking, curvaceous GIRLFRIEND. She obviously doesn’t want to be there.

NERDY REPORTER
Bolie, you’re young, rich and have a
fantastic career. 5-0! Your next opponent,
“Dancin’ Jackson Lavigne” is a firebrand.
Thoughts on the outcome?


Bolie smiles like this is the question he’s been waiting for.

BOLIE
Look at me. Look. Two things separate me
from Lavigne, two things that I will now
rattle off to you so you can print them
in your little paper. One – Dancin’ Jackson
doesn’t like hurting people. The difference?
I do… In fact, I wish the gloves weren’t
there so I could feel the blood on my bare
knuckles. Decadent.


Bolie’s Girlfriend tugs his arm embarrassedly.

GIRLFRIEND
Bolie – Please…


He shrugs her off.

BOLIE
Two – When this fight is over, I will be
remembered. Dancin’ Jackson will not.
Why? Simple: I have the drive to live
forever. That’s something my father
bestowed to me when he died, forgotten by
my all too soon remarried mother. I don’t
want to suffer that. It sickens me. I am
unbeaten in the ring, “The Everlast”. When
I’m dead, there will be two constants in
this world: My legend…and Time itself.

THE NARRATOR (V.O.)
Enter Bolie Robinson, a man and his foolish
challenge.


We pull out to THE NARRATOR standing just outside the ring. A smile rests upon his face – yet, unlike Bolie’s ego-borne grin, this smile seems borne of foreknowledge. The Narrator gestures to the ring behind him.

THE NARRATOR
What Bolie fails to understand is that
his own arrogance will cost him the very
thing he seeks out, the very thing he
lusts. He may be the greatest fighter in
the world, but out there lurks a figure most
unique, a figure with an even greater record
to his name. Yes, Bolie is about to learn
what a real match means.


BLACKOUT

Bolie’s entrance into the ring WIPES the black away. He prances around on the balls of his feet like a conqueror already vindicated.

Before him stands DANCIN’ JACKSON LAVIGNE (26), a wad of a man who glistens with sweat and fear. His lip twitches and the two touch gloves. They walk to their corners… the bell RINGS! The match begins. Dancin’ Jackson turns around from his corner to face Bolie, only, he is Dancin’ Jackson no more. In his place resides a STRUNG OUT, SINEWY and wry YOUNG MAN with a devilish grin playing upon his face. He is clearly no match for Bolie.
Bolie does a double take. Shaking his head, he approaches the center of the ring. The Young Man does so as well. Confused, Bolie can only dance away from the Young Man’s playful swipes. Oddly, he is toying with Bolie. After a few seconds, Bolie gets sick of it and goes in for the K.O.

EXTREME CLOSE UP – BOLIE’S FIST

     He PULLS BACK for the kill. He lets it RIP!

With a deft SMACK, the K.O. punch comes to rest in the Young Man’s stomach. Sweat utterly EXPLODES around them! –-
But the Young Man remains standing. Bolie BLANCHES! The Young Man’s own wrist snaps back for the follow-up. Only, with his action, time itself seems to speed up, to blaze forward like grease lightning. A rocket, his uppercut squarely nails a defenseless Bolie on the side of the face.

EXTREME CLOSE UP – POCKET WATCH

     Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Time moves forward.

CUT TO:

Bolie is down for the count. He tries to shake the blow off. This is when he reaches up to the side of his face to look for blood and finds none. Instead, a jagged scar rests upon his once blemish-free face.

COMMENTATOR (V.O.)
Oh man! That was tough to watch. Bolie
Robinson hasn’t seemed to recover from
his fight years ago with “Dancin’ Jackson”.
The once undefeated champ now seems sluggish
against foe “Bobby One-Two”. Sad to say, his
age is showing.


As we can see, Bolie is indeed older. A new opponent stands over him now, grinning. SUPERIMPOSED over this new opponent though is the visage of the Young Man. He grins knowingly to Bolie underneath layers of muscle and flesh. Bolie twists his head around the ring frantically searching for a familiar face. Next to the ring, his girlfriend shakes her head sadly. Still beautiful, age is starting to show on her as well.

Bolie gets up and dances back a little bit. He tries to get space between himself and the Young Man, who has now resurfaced in place of the Opponent. The Young Man prowls across the ring like a jungle predator. He traps Bolie against the ropes and goes in for a FLURRY of punches. FLASH BULBS GO OFF WITH EACH PUNCH! A final smack keeps Bolie against the ropes.

EXTREME CLOSE UP – POCKETWATCH

     Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Time marches on.

CUT TO:


The REFEREE has pulled the Young Man away from Bolie. Bolie is reeling.

COMMENTAOTR (V.O.)
I tell ya folks this breaks my heart.
Bolie Robinson, once a legend in the ring,
now chases after lost glory. With an assault
like that, it shouldn’t be long before time
catches up with him.


By the ring’s side, his girlfriend’s eyes glisten with tears unshed. She has now aged considerably. And Bolie has as well. Older, sagging, he is no longer the formidable man we once knew. Defeat is imminent.

On the other side of the ring, The Young Man catches his breath. Oddly, with each breath he sucks in, time seems to speed up. The world darkens. And then with each exhale comes the overcrank –- things slow down. A glow is re-infused in the surroundings. The world seemingly breathes with him. Bolie shakes his head dizzily as The Young Man strides up to him.

YOUNG MAN
Tick tock Bolie. Heh, heh…


Bolie’s eyes widen.

THE NARRATOR (V.O.)
It was then Bolie realized that this was
no ordinary opponent. Time had caught up
with him. And his humbling wouldn’t be far
behind.


Bolie jerks forward in a final assault against the eternally young man, against TIME. Blow after blow lands on that smirk. But with each hit Time remains, and Bolie gets a little bit older. TIME finally pushes Bolie away and snaps back for the K.O. Things slow down. The ring darkens. Time glows with the halo of photograph snaps. Then, he unleashes the hit.

EXTREME CLOSE UP – BOLIE’S EYE

     The glove approaches!

BOLIE’S P.O.V.

     The ring spins around dizzily.

EXTREME CLOSE UP – POCKETWATCH

     …TICK…

INSERT: Bolie stands over a defeated opponent.

EXTREME CLOSE UP – POCKETWATCH

     …TOCK… We spin away from the watch towards…

SMASH CUT TO:

Bolie lands with an OOMPH against the ring floor. The match is over. His weary eyes stare up at the ceiling.

THE NARRATOR (V.O.)
Bolie Robinson. “The Everlast”.


EXT. RING – NIGHT


A broken and aged man exits the ring. His girlfriend is nowhere to be seen. At the far end of the street, a gang of kids HOOP and HOLLER for the latest up and coming boxer to defeat Bolie. Bolie takes this in somberly. The Narrator casually steps next to him. Bolie doesn’t notice.

THE NARRATOR
(gesturing to Bolie)
Time taught Bolie a lesson in that match;
he taught him that no man can outlast
the effects of age, of the years that
eventually pile themselves on.


Time steps out of the building and hails a Taxi. Bolie watches him with hungry eyes as the car pulls away. Out of his side window, Time/The Young Man, smiles at Bolie, cruelly.

THE NARRATOR
No man can outlive Time, even in legend.
Bolie Robinson, “The Everlast” learned that
in his match against Time. He had defeated
some of the greatest boxers in his youth,
but it was his age that defeated him.


The Narrator steps away from Bolie. The Match is truly over.

THE END

5.28.2005
 
"IL DIRITTO UOMO"
(THE STRAIGHT MAN)
By
Joshua J. Provost


Fade In:

EXT. ITALIAN CITY – LATE AFTERNOON

A charming Italian city is bathed in golden light as the sun descends towards the horizon. The old world and the new reside in harmony.

EXT. OUTDOOR café – LATE AFTERNOON

The café patio is surrounded by vines meandering through lattice work. The lush growth and striped awning reduce the hustle and bustle of the city to a dull rumble. Golden light cuts through the lattice, casting long crossed shadows of lattice mixed with dancing wistful shadows of vines swaying in the gentle afternoon wind.

In a shaded corner, a lone man lounges peacefully, hands clasped on his stomach, resting his eyes, teetering on the edge of sleep. PIERRO, age 62, is dressed in the finest ivory suit and matching fedora. A crimson handkerchief adorns his breast pocket; an exquisitely maintained moustache graces his upper lip.

A WAITER, clad in black and white, stands attentively by the door. A tall, slender man enters the café. LEONARDO, age 35, wears a dark blue suit, impeccable pressed, lacking even a single wrinkle.

Leonardo chooses the seat opposite Pierro, more directly exposed to the dimming sunlight that chases low across the patio. As Leonardo sits, the chair scrapes against the brick surface, awakening Pierro. Righting himself, he smiles at the sight of the younger man.

PIERRO
Leonardo, e voi. Buon giorno. Buon giorno. (Leonardo, it's you. Good day. Good day)

Leonardo is respectfully amiable, yet staid. His demeanor is no match for the gregariousness of old man, who seeks to accommodate the new arrival.

PIERRO (TO WAITER)
Espresso. Due espressos. (Espresso. Two espressos.)

Pleasantries completed, Leonardo crosses his legs and allows his thoughts to drift. He appears to study his surroundings, as though counting the checks of the tablecloth, or the wooden slats of the lattice, yet his thoughts are far removed from this place.

He is brought back to reality when the waiter arrives at the table and sets the concentrated coffee beverage down, first before Pierro, then before Leonardo. Pierro slides a BROWN FOLDER across and descends to seriousness of his companion. It sits untouched in the center of the table.

PIERRO
Se non potete raggiungere un uomo, raggiungere suo famiglia. (If you cannot reach a man, reach his family.)

Indeed, Pierro betrays his capacity for great congeniality, and for utter ruthlessness. He retrieves a PLAIN BROWN ENVELOPE from his inner suit pocket and places it atop the folder. Leonardo gazes intently at Pierro before pulling the folder and envelope closer to him. He nonchalantly tucks the envelope in his inner suit pocket, briefly revealing a holstered handgun. He remains silent.

Leonardo reaches for the espresso. His large hands dwarf the tiny cup. He sips and turns his attention to the lattice work once again.

LEONARDO (V.O.)
My parents named me after Leonardo da Vinci. Like da Vinci, I often practice my art at the bidding of others.

FADE TO:

INT. CAR – NIGHT

Leonardo is behind the wheel of a stylish, yet not flashy EUROPEAN CAR. It cannot be determined if he is intently focused on the road, or utterly unaware he is operating a motor vehicle.

LEONARDO (V.O.)
Each contract I accept is an opportunity to apply the principles of fine art. Light. Color. Form. Texture. Detail. The execution of each contract is influenced by all of these things.

Leonardo shifts his attention to the butter cream leather passenger seat. On it sits the BROWN FOLDER. As he drives, he flips open the front cover to reveal a BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPH paperclipped to a dozen or so other documents. The photograph is of a radiant young woman, with dark, curly hair. She is smiling.

Leonardo closes the folder and turns back to the road. He is empty.

FADE TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT

Leonardo sits alone at a desk in his near-dark hotel room. His clothing has been pared down to a simple ribbed tank-style undershirt, a tan leather double-holster, and his suit pants. Moonlight trickles through a sheer window covering, but it is a dim lamp that illuminates the materials laid before him on the desk.

Leonardo shuffles the documents before him, moving around the maps, blueprints, and reports as though assembling a puzzle. All things having been arranged to his satisfaction, he pauses to look at the totality of his work. It is then that he notices an edge of the PHOTOGRAPH protruding from behind a street map.

LEONARDO (V.O.)
When Medici contracted da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa, da Vinci imparted subtle beauty and grace to an ordinary woman.

Leonardo draws the photograph to the center of the desk and observes it intently, as though he expects the young girl to guide his next step. He traces the playful curls of her hair and the graceful line of her neck.

LEONARDO (V.O.)
My contract involves a woman who already has all of these things. A masterpiece is not something to trifle with.

CUT TO:

Leonardo is in the bathroom standing before the mirror. BARBASOL shaving cream covers most of his face as he shaves.

CUT TO:

Leonardo sits on the edge of his bed, cleaning his guns. He slams a clip into the gun, and tests the action.

CUT TO:

Leonardo is again in the bathroom standing before the mirror. He has put on a clean shirt. With great care and precision, he attends to his necktie.

FADE TO:

INT. CAR – NIGHT

Leonardo is again behind the wheel of the car. He looks intently at the road.

FADE TO:

INT. GROCERY STORE – NIGHT

From Leonardo's POV, we see the quaint, family-run grocery store. At the counter, the ATTENDANT looks bored, and looks up only occasionally to watch the stores only two customers, a MOTHER and her YOUNG SON.

LEONARDO (V.O.)
Da Vinci did not limit himself to paintings. He was a master of many forms. Sculpture. Science. Invention.

With great focus, Leonardo makes his way towards a door on the back wall of the store. With his left hand, he wrests the gun from its holster on his right side.

The Mother gasps at the sight of the weapon and grabs her son. She is struck with fear. Without hesitation, Leonardo brings his right index finger to his lips, insistent on silence. The Mother is assured and calmed by Leonardo's cool confidence.

LEONARDO (V.O.)
If I were free of contracts, I could practice my art in any form that I desired.
Approaching the door, Leonardo pulls the second gun from its holster. He kicks open the door.

CUT TO:

INT. STORE ROOM – NIGHT

The store room is dark except for a single bright light hanging in the center of the room. Pierro and his THREE SONS are startled by the disruption, and turn from their game of DOMINOS to see Leonardo with firearms drawn.

LEONARDO
Scuzi. (Excuse me.)

Pierro scrambles backwards, disturbing the table and dominos. His sons reach for their weapons. The surprise appearance has left them helpless. Without a hint of hesitation Leonardo artfully fires four quick shots. It is all that is required to kill all four men, who flail in a haze of flying dominos. They all fall to the ground as dominos bounce all around them.

SCREEN BLACK

THE END


5.03.2005
 
THE HOLLOWS
By Brock H. Brown



FADE IN,

EXT. DESERT – DAY


A hot, scorching desert: we pan up to see an UNKNOWN GUNFIGHTER running towards us. He holds his GUN out, constantly turning around as if someone were following him.

Finally, he trips up. Harshly, he lands on the ground. Hacking and wheezing, the GUNFIGHTER laughs silently to himself and looks up. Only now does he see buildings before him – a town!

EXT. TOWN – DAY

Inside, the town is deserted. The HOWLING of the wind gently whistles through the streets, seemingly underscoring the lack of human presence. The GUNFIGHTER strolls cautiously among the ruins.

INT. BARBER SHOP – DAY

He looks inside and finds no one.

INT. BLACKSMITH – DAY

The bellows are silent and the fire gently burns.

INT. BAKERY – DAY

Inside, gray ash and deteriorating brickwork is all that remains.

EXT. SHERIFF’S OFFICE – DAY

Finally, the GUNFIGHTER approaches the Sheriff’s office. With a deep breath he enters…

INT. SHERIFF’S OFFICE – DAY

…And surprisingly finds another man lounging at the Sheriff’s desk, enjoying a drink.


MYSTERY MAN
Howdy.

GUNFIGHTER
Hello. Where is everyone?


The Mystery Man smiles at this question.

MYSTERY MAN
Ain’t you ever heard the tale of this
here town?


The Gunfighter’s silence indicates that clearly, he hasn’t.

MYSTERY MAN
Weeeeelll…pull yourself up a chair and
share a drink with me. It all began ‘bout
a year ago. Folks round these parts were
being hassled. Hassled by a gang of bandits.
(BEAT)
These banditos, they were a cruel bunch.
Took the town supplies, raided the local
businesses, and took advantage the local
barmaids. They were nasty. Aaaaaaan…one
day, they got gutsy. One day they went
and blew the head off the blacksmith’s son.
Then they went and hung the Baker and his
wife, demanding that the town double their
supply requests from the other towns so the
bandits could have even more on their next
visit.
(BEAT)
The townsfolk came to their Sheriff…a real
stupid man – and asked for protection. He
was a cowardly man though, this Sheriff,
and he was hurt by the plight of the people.
The bandits and their cruelty taught him a
lesson though. He waited, waited for days.
Waited for the ruckus to quiet down. And
then –


BEGIN FLASHBACK

INT. BARBER SHOP – DAY


A shadowy figure stands at the door, aiming a gun.

INT. BLACKSMITH – DAY

In the blacksmith’s place, the shadowy figure emerges among the bellows with a gun in hand.

INT. METAL SHOP – DAY

The shadowy figure stalks among the equipment.

MYSTERY MAN (V.O.)
He killed everyone in this town.


END FLASHBACK

GUNFIGHTER
Why?


The Mystery Man smiles glumly and pours another round.

MYSTERY MAN
A town’s easier to protect dead then
alive. He just went ahead and cut off
the one resource the bandits needed to
get their supplies – a terrorized people.
The bandits were sickened. They left
and never returned.


The GUNFIGHTER leans in.

GUNFIGHTER
And the Sheriff? What of him?


The Mystery Man smiles and kicks up his feet on the table. We see the shinning STAR BADGE of the sheriff on his shirt.

BEGIN FLASHBACK

INT. BLACKSMITH – DAY


We pan up and see the Mystery Man holding the gun. He wrinkles his nose and pulls the hammer of the gun back.

SHERIFF (V.O.)
He lived.


FADE OUT,

THE END


4.11.2005
 
WINTER'S DAY
BY JOSHUA J. PROVOST
Based on Alexandre Dumas'
"The Three Musketeers"
Chapter 65, "The Trial"

SCREEN BLACK
Federal agents Atwood, Porter, Archer, and Darden are in a large SUV, driving fast, but controlled, to the location where Mrs. Winter is thought to be holed up.
ATWOOD
I’ve been on this case for three years. Winter has been suspected to be involved in every intrigue to hit Washington since her husband was elected Senator. Murder, assassination, extortion, you name it. This is one bad actor.
ARCHER
Why has it taken so long to bring her in?
ATWOOD
She’s good at keeping her nose clean, and she’s a respected public figure in the social circles. Higher burden of proof.
PORTER
What changed?
ATWOOD
She got in over her head on this last go round with the Ambassador. It got messy. She ran, but we think she’s holed up in a construction site outside of Phoenix. They haven’t made a positive ID, and it was too sensitive for the local authorities. That’s why we’re here, and I can’t wait to see her go down.
FADE IN
EXT. HOME CONSTRUCTION SITE – DAY

Atwood, Porter, Archer, and Darden exit their vehicle and cautiously approach the construction site. Atwood and Darden take position with Moss, who is stationed behind a dumpster across the street from the house where Winter is thought to be. Archer and Porter take position opposite them, behind a palette of roofing tiles. A man in a red suit and tie and sunglasses stands at a distance to one side, fidgeting with a stainless steel lighter.

ATWOOD (TO MOSS)
Status?

MOSS
One female, mid-30s, dark hair, slight build.

ATWOOD
Armed?

MOSS
Not that we can tell.

Atwood takes a hard look at the stranger in red.

ATWOOD (TO MOSS)
Who’s he?

MOSS
NSA, I think. He hasn’t said much. I thought you would know.

ATWOOD
Do we have a visual?

MOSS
Infrared. Bazan is operating the remote cam.

Moss hands Atwood a silver PDA. On the PDA is an infrared video feed from the remote cam. Through a window, Atwood sees the hazy figure of a woman working on a laptop computer. He studies the screen for a few seconds.

ATWOOD
I need to take a closer look. Darden, take the back. Archer, Porter, cover the front.

The agents nod in acknowledgement and deploy stealthily to positions closer to the house, as the man in red coolly looks on from a distance.
CUT TO:
EXT. HOME UNDER CONSTRUCTION – DAY

Archer and Porter arrive at the front porch and crouch below a bay window. Atwood and Darden go to the right side of the house. Darden proceeds around back and crouches below a back porch window, next to a sliding glass door.

On the side of the house, Atwood crouches next to a side window, opposite of where Bazan is operating the remote cam. Atwood gives a signal to remove the cam, and Bazan tucks it into its case. Atwood braces himself, then takes a quick look through the window. From this position, Atwood can positively identify the woman as Mrs. Winter, the suspect he has been watching for three years. Atwood senses that an arrest in imminent, but is cautious, knowing her wily ways.

ATWOOD (THROUGH EARPIECE)
It’s her, be ready.

Archer, Porter, and Darden hear the message through their earpieces and respond by cocking their guns.

At that moment, Bazan’s walky-talky squawks with feedback. Atwood flashes a look at a panicked Bazan, who fumbles to silence the device.

Inside, Winter senses a disturbance and looks up from her laptop. Atwood must be ready for the possibility that Winter heard the squawk, and looks through the window again to confirm. Suddenly, Atwood and Winter’s eyes meet, and Winter springs from her seat and bolts down a hallway.

ATWOOD (THROUGH EARPIECE)
She’s running, close in!
CUT TO:
INT. HOME UNDER CONSTRUCTION – DAY

Darden jumps up, draws his pistol, and enters assertively through the sliding glass door just as Winter emerges from the hallway into the great room. Winter’s momentum caries her towards the back door, but she lurches and turns, panicked, at the sight of Darden.

Now headed towards the front of the house, she is surprised by Arched and Porter, who kick in the front door and storm at her. Two gun barrels inches from her face, she instinctively turns once again, but loses her footing and falls amidst the dust and debris, just as Atwood enters the back door and Bazan and Moss approach to secure the exits.

Darden, ever anxious to shoot first and ask questions later runs towards her, puts a knee in her back, and presses the cold steel of his pistol to the back of her head.

ATWOOD
Back off, Darden! She’s not going anywhere.

Dejected with her sorry situation, Winter blows her hair out of her face, creating another puff of plaster dust. Darden and Porter grab her arms, lift her upright, and seat her on an overturned bucket in the middle of the room. Sitting there, Winter faces an imposing wall of federal agents, four standard issue pistols trained at her head and torso.

ATWOOD
Charlotte Winter, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.

WINTER
You don’t know who you’re dealing with.

Atwood takes a step forward.

ATWOOD
I’d cooperate if I were you, Mrs. Winter.
CUT TO:
EXT. HOME CONSTRUCTION SITE – DAY

The man in red flips his lighter open and closed one final time, then begins to walk towards the house.
CUT TO:
INT. HOME UNDER CONSTRUCTION – DAY

ATWOOD
You’re being charged with the murder of Congresswoman Bennet.
CUT TO:

EXT. HOME CONSTRUCTION SITE – DAY

The man in red walks steps from into the street and continues to walk mechanically.

CUT TO:

INT. HOME UNDER CONSTRUCTION – DAY

ATWOOD
Attempted murder of a federal agent.

CUT TO:

EXT. HOME CONSTRUCTION SITE – DAY

The man in red continues to walk across the street.

CUT TO:

INT. HOME UNDER CONSTRUCTION – DAY

ATWOOD
Murder of federal agent Breeze.

CUT TO:

EXT. HOME CONSTRUCTION SITE – DAY

The man in red walks steps from the street into the dirt yard in front of the house.

CUT TO:

INT. HOME UNDER CONSTRUCTION – DAY

ATWOOD
Conspiracy to murder Senator Ward.

CUT TO:

EXT. HOME CONSTRUCTION SITE – DAY

The man in red steps over a pile of debris.

CUT TO:

INT. HOME UNDER CONSTRUCTION – DAY

ATWOOD
Accessory to the assassination of Ambassador Buckman.

CUT TO:

EXT. HOME CONSTRUCTION SITE – DAY

The man in red steps from the dirt onto the front porch of the house.

CUT TO:

INT. HOME UNDER CONSTRUCTION – DAY

ATWOOD
And the murder of your husband, Senator Winter.


Winter remains defiant.

WINTER
You’ve got nothing. It’ll never stand up in court.

Suddenly a new voice is heard approaching the front door. The agents turn to look as best they can without letting Winter out of their sight.

LELAY
I’ve heard enough from this whore.

The man in red enters the house and the agents clear a path, splitting into two groups. Winter squints to see him as he approaches. Finally, she can make him out, and becomes disturbed and highly agitated.

WINTER
What are you doing here?!

Outnumbered and outgunned, Winter makes a break for the back door, despite the impossibility of escape. The agents begin to pursue, but are stopped in their tracks by the sound of a single gunshot. Collectively, they turn to the man in red, who is returning his sidearm to its holster.

FADE OUT
LELAY
Clean this place up.

THE END


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