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Random Wisdom

“Negative words, especially negative labels have enormous power. They are tornadoes of stereotypical destruction. They remain as salt in the wound never allowing prejudice to subside and never allowing hate to fade. Indeed they continue to spread the disease of the mind from one generation to the next.” — J. D. Moss



Broken Promise – Screenplay

BROKEN PROMISE

Published in the Rio Review – 2007

FADE IN:

EXT. CHURCH – DAY

A beautiful large brick church is surrounded by overcast skies as a steady rain-washes over the area. Despite the dreary day part of the sun has found it’s way out from the clouds and we see a bright ray of sunlight hitting the stained glass windows.

INT. CHURCH – DAY

The mixture of sunlight and rain on the stained glass windows has created a spectacular rainbow hue, yet no one inside the church seems to notice.

Thirty-seven year old REVEREND MATHEW SMITH is giving his Sunday sermon. He is charismatic, good looking and dressed in a tailored suit wearing an expensive silk tie.

Reverend Smith

When watching a sunset we are reminded of the day gone past.

The church is filled with men, women and children all wearing their Sunday best.

Reverend Smith

We remember the things we did, the fun and frustrations, the pain and love.

Reverend Smith’s eyes move across his congregation, giving the appearance that he is talking to each member personally.

Reverend Smith

Following the sunset comes the night.

As Reverend Smith talks we see SARA SMITH behind him in the choir. She is one year younger with a natural beauty, wearing only a hint of makeup. She has a smile meant for show.

Reverend Smith

It is a time of rest, a time for quiet meditation, and sometimes a time of sorrow.

INT. BAPTISMAL FONT OF THE CHURCH -DAY

Fifteen-year-old PAUL SMITH is standing on top of a narrow white wall. He too is wearing an expensive silk suit and tie. We can hear the sound of the rain from outside and see the reflection of water on the walls around him.

Reverend Smith (v.o.)

There’s nothing wrong in this.  It’s ok to ask the questions that never seem to have answers.

Paul removes his tie and drops it in the water below.

CUT TO:

Reverend Smith

It is ok to cry. It is ok to be angry. It is what the night is for.

CUT TO:

Paul is now standing on the wall leaning over while he attaches a rope to a pulley.

Reverend Smith (v.o.)

Just remember that when the night is done, a new day arrives. A sunrise awaits behind the night.

CUT TO:

Reverend Smith

There are lessons to be learned from the sunset, which can enrich our current sunrise.

CUT TO:

Paul is holding the rope in his hand. The end of the rope is tied into a noose. He slowly takes the rope and places it over his head and tightens the noose around his neck.

Reverend Smith (v.o.)

If we choose, we can allow our minds to open, our hearts to heal and our souls to love.

Paul leans forward and falls.

CUT TO:

INT. CHURCH

We see Reverend Smith at the podium and the curtain behind him that covers the baptismal font. As he is speaking the curtain opens suddenly and we see Paul’s body fall and than is stopped abruptly by the rope.

Reverend Smith

As we gather here today, brought by a common thread of love and respect..

The congregation erupts in panic, some scream, some pray, some rush forward. Those on the stand act more slowly, not understanding what has happened. One by one they turn toward the baptismal font, acting in similar ways.

Sara Smith turns and screams. Her legs buckle, tears begin to flow, someone holds her. Reverend Smith is the last to turn around. For a few seconds he is stunned, yet quickly recovers.

Reverend Smith

Paul!

He rushes forward.

INSERT. THE PULLEY ON THE LIGHT FIXTURE

The rope sways slightly as it tugs at the pulley. The weight of Paul’s body strains the light fixture. We see the light fixture bending and hear it pulling away from the ceiling.

Back to the church

Reverend Smith reaches the baptismal font just as the light fixture breaks and Paul falls out of sight. We hear a splash.

Reverend Smith

Paul!

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