Friend

Friend

The following flash fiction/script originated from a nightmare that left the writer in a panic. How does the act of creation serve to transform negative experiences into positive ones? Is art the defining feature of humanity — the primary difference between us and all other animals? Though art has the potential to be dark and disturbing, it often exalts features of our human condition unlike any other act. What can we learn about ourselves through the art we create from confusion and suffering?

FADE IN:

EXT. FRONTYARD – DAY

FRIEND is standing in front of a house that she bought today. Camera shows a close-up of FRIEND’s creepily smiling face. FRIEND is wearing odd bright makeup that looks sloppy, like it’s been drawn by a child. She’s holding a bouquet of flowers. Wearing a white sleeveless dress. Dirty blond hair pulled into a red-ribboned ponytail at the top of her head. 

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. HOUSE – DAY

FRIEND can be seen at various distances, starting as a close-up of her face and ending with her seen from a distance in an extreme long-shot. Fast movement backwards through the house shows FRIEND in a close-up first through the front window of the house creepily smiling into the house, then from the middle of the house in a long-shot, and finally through the back window of the house in an extreme long-shot so that FRIEND can still be seen smiling creepily into the house from the front window, though the picture is now framed with that of the back window. Further movement backwards shows FRIEND framed by both windows, though the angle of the picture is angled down so that the house and FRIEND can be seen from above in an extreme long-shot.

The house is a one-room studio with everything (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom) in the same small square. The outside wood is painted periwinkle blue, though the paint is chipping off and the structure of the house appears weathered — the elements have worn it down into a semi-dilapidated shack that could crumble into kindling with the force of a single heavy storm. 

CUT TO:

INT. HOUSE – DAY 

The next day, FRIEND moves in. She pulls a clear vase from her brown bag, puts the flowers in — that are now wilting and browned – fills it with water in the kitchen sink, which is attached to a bar that overlooks the rest of the room. She pulls a ratty towel – covered in ambiguous brown spots that appear to be old blood stains – out of her bag, lays it on the floor and lays down on top of it. Closing her eyes briefly, she opens them and goes to sleep smiling at the ceiling. 

FRIEND wakes up. There’s furniture everywhere. She’s in her white dress. Makeup is sloppier but she is still smiling. She starts bustling around, fluffing the pillows, rearranging furniture, folding and refolding the same dirty ratty grey-blue, brown-smeared towel she had slept with while sitting in the middle of the floor smiling at the front door. 

FRIEND looks around and then a thought appears: she wants to have a housewarming party.

A cabinet appears against one wall with a medium-sized TV turned on and glowing lightly in the background. There appears to be a small fire in a fireplace on the adjacent wall – the wall opposite the kitchen bar and also adjacent to the front door/window.  FRIEND goes to the kitchen, fills a big glass with water, takes a blue pill, smiles at her hands. Closes her eyes.

Camera shows a close-up of FRIEND’s face as she opens her eyes. One friend [RED LIPS] has arrived, and the camera pans to the open front door where RED LIPS is standing. She has brown messy dirty hair yanked into a bun at the top of her head. She is taller than FRIEND. She is wearing a black high-collared tank top, baggy blue jeans. She has bright red sloppy lipstick and thick unplucked eyebrows. FRIEND hands her a blue pill and a tall glass of water. Takes one herself. Laughs maniacally. 

CUT TO: 

INT. KITCHEN – DAY

FRIEND and RED LIPS stand in the kitchen, facing each other, in a zombie-like stupor with blank expressions and slight drool dripping from the corners of their mouths.

Two more friends arrive [male – no names]. The two new friends are talking and laughing and pointing at the TV and making plans to leave and go somewhere else. FRIEND brings them all beers and fills up their wine glasses with dark red wine. The two new male friends are talking about going out to a bar or a diner or another friend’s house. FRIEND gets mad and pulls out a gun from behind her back. 

FRIEND

YOU CAN’T LEAVE. THIS IS WHERE THE PARTY IS AND IT’S MY HOUSE AND MY RULES AND YOU CAN’T LEAVE ME BECAUSE I WENT TO ALL THIS TROUBLE TO MAKE EVERYTHING PERFECT FOR YOU AND YOU SHOULD APPRECIATE WHAT I DID. 

RED LIPS pulls out a different kind of gun and points it at her own head and FRIEND shoots her in the foot, is yelling at all of them, flailing the gun around and throwing blue pills at them.

FRIEND (CONT’D)

TAKE MORE! YOU WILL FEEL BETTER IN A MINUTE — JUST TAKE ONE MORE. 

FRIEND manages to strap the two male friends down with black duct tape on the couches – which have now turned into dentist chairs – and she puts guns in their mouths. She has wire and thread and manages to knock the gun from RED LIPS and to pin her down and sew the wire into the skin above RED LIPS’ hip bone. FRIEND takes the other end of the wire and sews it into the skin above her own hip bone so they are attached. It is her leash. 

FRIEND starts pacing around the room jerkily, purposefully, so that RED LIPS’ flesh is yanked and she starts bleeding and crying out in pain. FRIEND doesn’t care, doesn’t feel the pain, keeps walking and yelling and pointing the gun at RED LIPS and at herself. FRIEND has been pulling at her ponytail and chunks of her hair are missing. Her dress is ripped on the left side. Her fingernails are bloody and she keeps rubbing and scratching at her left thigh which is streaked with blood and red angry scratch marks. She is barefoot and her ankles are bloody. She is pounding her head with the side of the gun. Movements are jerky.

FRIEND is seen in one place in the room and from one angle, then in another place and from a different angle, then again in another and another and another, all from different angles. Camera movements are sporadic and nothing is fluid.

RED LIPS

LET THEM GO! JUST – AHHH – LET THEM – LET THEM GOOO!

RED LIPS is shrieking and crying but FRIEND looks absent, distant, almost calm.

FRIEND

No, I will not. You – dear friend – you have not admitted your sins yet. You haven’t read the Bible and confessed that you are a sinner. 

FRIEND is suddenly holding a massive leather-bound Bible, the spine streaked with blood. 

There is a frenzied knocking on wood that sounds like it is coming from the front door but then FRIEND starts pounding her heel into the wood floor at the same pace as the knocking and hitting her head with the gun at the same pace so that the noise is understood to be coming from within her own mind. 

FRIEND shoots the two male friends in the dentist chairs in the face. RED LIPS is screeching, screaming, sobbing, clawing at her own face. There is blood everywhere. 

CUT TO: 

INT. ROOM – NIGHT.

Extreme long-shot of room. All four walls are covered and dripping in blood. 

The knocking continues. FRIEND goes to the front door and it’s RED LIPS with a bloody envelope in her hand. RED LIPS’ eyes are glazed over and there are giant blue-black bags under them and the majority of her hair is yanked out of her bun and is tangled around her face. The skin around RED LIPS’ hip is gone; there is now a giant bloody patch. FRIEND looks down and sees the bloody wire dangling from her own hip. FRIEND shoots RED LIPS in the face. Closes the door. 

Camera pans to the middle of the room where FRIEND is now standing. She opens the envelope. Camera pans and follows her movements. She walks to the back door. Opens the screen door, walks out. 

CUT TO:

EXT. HOUSE – DAWN

Long-shot of FRIEND as she unfolds the white paper. Reads it. Looks up. The sky is golden, the sun is just barely coming up. The air is frigid in that early-morning freeze kind of way and there are birds chirping. 

Camera pans to an extreme long-shot of the whole cabin shown from above and FRIEND is standing in the frame of the back door. It is shown that the cabin is on the edge of the woods, in a clearing of white stones. 

Long-shot of FRIEND as she drags herself out of the door, to the right of the clearing – tattered white bloody dress trailing at her ankles, crumpled bloody piece of paper barely clasped in her right hand, dark grey gun wavering between thumb and forefinger of her left hand. FRIEND walks hunched, crumples to the ground, falling to her bloody knees on the white stones. 

Close-up of a large butcher knife as it appears in her right hand. FRIEND grips the knife, shiny silver blade glinting in the morning sun. FRIEND’s reflection is seen in the blade of the knife; her makeup is smeared across her face. She stares blankly at her reflection. FRIEND starts carving into her left arm, cutting the skin off. She is skinning her arms. 

Camera shows a close-up of the letter that is now on the ground in front of her as she sits, knees bent and legs tucked up underneath her. Her dirty feet are exposed. A clump of bloody skin drops on the paper, just above the words: You Are Evicted Effective Immediately. 

Close up of paper as she drops the knife over the words. 

Camera zooms out and an extreme long-shot shows the whole scene of FRIEND crumpled over a pile of white stones with a bloody paper and knife next to her, and a pool of blood staining the white stones around her.

[END]



Kara Someday

Kara Someday is a novelist and fiction writer. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published in The Ignatian Literary MagazineShort Fiction Break, and FIVE:2:ONE Magazine‘s #thesideshow. She is currently seeking publishers for her first novel, Things That Fly.

karasomeday.com

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