7 minute short films
In the dark
27 September 09 – First Draft
“In the dark”
INT LOUNGEROOM NIGHT 1.
The TV is on with something more interesting than reality TV.
GREG and LAURA are sitting beside each other. They’re geeks — both working in the IT industry where they met — and are a contented couple.
They laugh at a scene.
There is a knocking.
They look at each other. WTF?
Another knock. It’s at the window beside the front door.
GREG gets up.
It’s not that late.
We track with GREG as he walks through the kitchen to the front door.
A girl of about 17 is standing there. Her name is ANNA. She’s bawling her eyes out and has blood running down the side of her face.
INT KITCHEN TABLE NIGHT 2.
GREG is at the table, staring into space. A cup of coffee is sitting before him slowly cooling.
INT BEDROOM NIGHT 3.
LAURA is sitting on the bed beside the girl.
The police are on their way
ANNA is shaking like a leaf, adrenaline and fear all at once.
Who did this to you?
Someone hurt you. Don’t take it on yourself.
She kneels before the girl. There’s only about 10 years difference between them.
Sweety, it’s going to be okay.
ANNA meets LAURA’s eyes and takes a deep shuddering breath.
NO IT’S NOT! IT’S NOT GOING TO BE ALL–
She begins to sob.
LAURA turns at the sound of running footsteps. GREG arrives at the doorway, shocked by the yelling.
LAURA shakes her head and GREG looks on sadly, then turns — there is a knock at the door.
We follow him through the house and he opens the front door expecting to see the police there. Instead there is a young man of perhaps twenty.
Where is she? Where’s ANNA?
This is a problem. GREG isn’t sure if this is the boy that assaulted ANNA.
The… police are on their way. You can’t come in.
PETER tries to rush GREG who manages to get the door partially closed. PETER is fighting to get inside.
As GREG is battling with the door, he hears running footsteps. ANNA arrives with LAURA not far behind.
She is really glad to see him.
GREG is even more confused now, and PETER forces his way through.
PETER and ANNA embrace and they fall to their knees, crying just as outside the street is illuminated by blue lights.
INT DINING TABLE NIGHT 4.
PETER is sitting at the table with GREG and LAURA. The police are in the bedroom talking with ANNA. Everyone is quite strung-out.
GREG stands and walks to the kettle.
Don’t have any more coffee. You’ll be up all night.
Can’t see us sleeping now.
LAURA has to agree.
We’ll take a sickie tomorrow. It’ll be okay. And we’ve got a good reason to.
She’s talking basically to break the horrible silence.
You want one then?
GREG nods to PETER who has been silent since he was separated from his sister ten minutes ago.
She gets a reaction.
Would you like a coffee?
He considers a moment, then shakes his head. There are tears welling-up in his eyes.
Have you called your parents?
He shakes his head.
The kettle boils in the background and coffees are poured.
They don’t know about any of this.
I don’t understand.
I was supposed to protect her. And look what happened.
You can’t hold yourself responsible for what other people do.
GREG arrives with the coffees and the biscuit jar. These are geeks, so there won’t be any Arnott’s assorted in this container — it’ll be good quality biscuitage.
Have a biscuit.
PETER takes a biccy from the jar — a block of chocolate with a wafer-thin offering of biscuit — and takes a bite.
Do you know who did this to her?
PETER glances up at LAURA then away. He shakes his head.
LAURA and GREG exchange glances. This is even more confusing now.
She wasn’t beaten up?
(thinking it was rape)
Oh god. That’s horrible.
They told me she’d be kept out of it.
Out? Out of what?
They all look up as the officers enter the room. ANNA is handcuffed between them.
GREG and LAURA are speechless. PETER is shocked but unsurprised.
They all follow as ANNA is led from the house and pushed carefully into a van.
PETER approaches the car and is accompanied to one-side by one of the officers and they have an impromptu chat.
What’s going on?
This is unbelievable. If she was raped why are they taking her away like that?
The car draws away and they are approached by the officer.
Thankyou for your help this evening.
What’s going on? Has she been charged?
I can’t talk about that, sir. You’ll see something on the news tomorrow I expect.
What’s that supposed to mean?
She was hurt. She’d been seriously hurt.
I can’t talk about this as our investigations are continuing.
Should we give you our phone numbers’
The officer hands them a card with his number on it.
We’ve got your number from the call. I doubt we’ll need to talk with you, but we’ll be in touch if we do.
Will PETER be okay?
We’ll take care of him. If you need anything, call me on the number on this card.
He hands LAURA a white business card with his name and telephone number on it, then walks in the direction of his colleague who is still speaking with PETER
GREG and LAURA are at a bit of a loss. Slowly they walk back inside their home and close the door.