Soul Ride

 

An early Screen Story by LR Forgues

(Originally written July, 1996. Transcribed from found hard-copy version and edited for content and pacing)

Scene 1 – Dealing Murder

Smash cut to a wide aerial shot drifting in from over the calm ocean water, toward a large sea-side town at dusk.

-Cut-

Exterior. Dusk. We see a modestly sized parking lot laid out below us. Slowly pulling away from the ocean we can make out in the distance, we slowly pan around 180 degrees to see the mall that the lot belongs to. A few remaining stores go dark, signalling Closing Time. A stiff wind rises suddenly, scattering crispy leaves and litter across our field of vision.

-Cut-

Tight on the illuminated sign that dominates the mall’s façade: Pine Grove Mall. After a moment, the sign goes dark.

-Cut-

We see the Golden Arches of the local McDonalds. They follow the mall’s example and also darken abruptly.

-Cut-

Various quick shots.

We see other businesses follow suit, going dark and locking up for the night.

-Cut-

We see a mountain range in the distance, details lost in the deepening shadows as the last rays of sunlight fade away. We crane down, our view of the dark mountains eclipsed suddenly by the storefront sign of the small, local pharmacy. Like the other stores nearby, it too clicks off. We continue drifting down to ground level, where we smoothly track along.

-Cut-

Tight on a street light mounted beside the pharmacy, marking the edge of a dingy alleyway. The solar sensor activates in the thickening gloom, the bulb below it flickering on with a stuttering buzz.

-Cut-

Back to our tracking shot as we glide over the sidewalk to the alleyway’s entrance, which flickers in the yellow-tinged light from above. The cold fall wind whistles past as the light gains strength, glowing evenly on the dancing pieces of litter scattered about. A scruffy pair of red Doc Martin boots slide into view, one of which is tapping nervously at the asphalt in an indistinct rhythm. We slowly drift up the body of the boot’s owner. We can see that he is wearing an artfully torn pair of black jeans and a worn, light-colored T-shirt emblazoned with a cartoonish marijuana leaf beneath a too-large leather vest. His thin arms, chilled in the cooling night air, are emblazoned with a medley of tattoos, mostly Lovecraftian monsters and nude women. Narrow fingers fiddle with a small, ornate medallion that dangles outside of his shirt, resting against a sallow chest. We slow to a stop.

This is WYATT.

His rodent-like face is thin and his long, stringy hair is tied back with a leather thong. He looks like the heroin junkie that he is. An unlit cigarette is clenched in his teeth and he hums something resembling a speed-metal tune as he stares blankly at the side of the pharmacy.

-Cut-

Tight on the medallion as his fingers drop away. In the nicotine-stained light, we can see that it’s a silver and black pentagram, the star of Satan, hosting an eerily intricate likeness of a demon etched from platinum.

-Cut back-

Wyatt stops humming and cocks his head, listening. Rising on the wind, we can make out the deep bass thud of an approaching car’s stereo. As it gets closer, we can make out the track ‘Cave Bitch’ by Ice Cube. Rack focus – Headlights suddenly turn in at the alley’s far end, sweeping across the litter and the dumpsters as it approaches.

-Cut-

Tight on Wyatt (static shot) as he squints against the glare, staring past us, the light growing in intensity as the car nears.

-Cut-

Partway down the alley, the car, a green and gold 1991 Mustang GT Cobra Interceptor, slows to a stop. The driver is shrouded in shadow, hidden in the glare of the headlights.

-Cut-

Wyatt pauses, waiting. When it becomes evident that the Mustang isn’t going to move further, he curses under his breath, pushing away from the brick wall. We move with him as he sulks his way toward the blinding headlights and the throaty rumble of the 5.0.

-Cut-

Interior Mustang. Driver’s POV as Wyatt slinks closer, squinting against the glare. We hear low, muttered words…

“What the fuck?!”

The view pans over, moving with the approaching junkie as he nears the driver-side door. The window glides down with an electric whir, stops with a mild thud. Wyatt leans down, looking in. He pulls the still-unlit smoke from his lips, saying…

“Hey. Wassup, Milo?”

-Cut-

MILO is a ‘gangsta’ in the most 90’s sense of the word…aside from being white. His steroid-amped torso is clad in a pricey leather jacket and a wool Kangol flat-cap adorns his shaved skull. He also sports several chunky rings, a silver tooth and a neck tattoo. Pulling a toothpick from the corner of his mouth, he glares past us at Wyatt, ignoring the quiet greeting…

“Where’s Vince, shithead?!”

-Cut-

Wyatt draws away, taken aback.

“Um…Vincent couldn’t make it…asked me to collect…”

Milo, threat hanging in his tone…

“Is that so?”

-Cut-

Wyatt cautiously leans back in, hands raised defensively, empty palms out.

“Yeah, man…no bullshit.”

-Cut-

Milo probes his silver tooth with his tongue, eyes sweeping the area as he’s pondering this…

“No bullshit, you say?”

Wyatt, a touch of panic in his voice…

“It’s all good, Milo. Vincent’s gout was acting up and…”

Milo cuts in, snickering….

“Wyatt, you are, beyond a doubt, a colossal fuckin retard. Blows my mind.”

Wyatt stammers, unsure of how to respond. Milo continues, leaning over to flick Wyatt’s dangling medallion…

“My guess is that you’ve been tucking too much of this voodoo Satan bullshit up your ass and it’s popping it’s load all over that mushy brain of yours.”

-Cut-

Wyatt. A wounded expression clouds his features and he reaches up, stopping the swaying medallion, rubbing it protectively with a finger…

“Nah, man. This here…it don’t make ya stupid…it gets you…in touch with…”

Milo interrupts again, waving a hand dismissively…

“Yeah, yeah…whatever, bitch. Whatever the reason for your dumb-ass, you’re too fucking blind to see what’s actually happening up in here. It ain’t no gout keeping that fucker Vince from surfacing tonight…it’s his pussy ass avoiding paying for the last batch I stupidly fronted you cock-suckers last week!”

-Cut-

Wyatt looks nervous and unsure. Hesitantly, he says…

“I don’t know nothin bout that, man. He just asked me to come hook a fix cuz his gout’s flaring up, keeping him off his feet.”

Milo growls…

“Motherfucker! If you think I’m a gonna swallow that….!”

He trails off, momentarily ponderous…then his coarse features brighten, a welcoming grin spreading across, silver glinting in the glare of the streetlight…

“Shit, man. I’m trippin. Sorry bout that. I’m sure Vince will be paying up directly…don’t kill the messenger, right?”

He pops off a quick ‘finger gun’ at Wyatt before continuing…

“Peep this. If you do me a solid and deliver a message to Vince, I’ll just add this here bag o shwag to the outstanding total, which you fellas can hook me up with….sometime…in the very near future. That work for you?”

Wyatt, his expression showing suspicion…

“Um…ok, I guess. What do you need me to tell him?”

Milo shakes his head….

“Nah, just hold up a minute. It’d be better if I wrote it down.”

As he reaches for the glove-box, Wyatt leans in again, holding the cigarette between two fingers, relieved that he won’t have to remember some message word for word…

“Thanks. You got a light, Milo?”

Milo’s left hand flashes into sight from behind the door, grabbing Wyatt’s pendant and yanking. The leather holds, pulling the junkies head down, sharply smashing it off the roof. Wyatt’s nose breaks with a *snap*, and he yelps.

Milo, with a cruel glint in his eye, coldly says…

“A light? Sure thing, buddy!”

His other hand slips out of the shadows, something glinting in the dull street light as it presses to Wyatt’s shirt.

“Here’s your light, you dumb shit!”

-Cut-

Mid shot, from behind Wyatt. Muffled gunshot. We see Wyatt’s back jerk, a burst of crimson punching through, spraying across the brick wall behind, the bullet ricocheting off with a whine.

-Cut-

Ground level. A messy collection of green and black garbage bags piled against the graffiti-laden wall. Wyatt crashes down into frame, scattering garbage and sinking into the pile with a low moan. The hollow ‘tink’ of the spent shell stops, leaving the wind and the patient rumble of the 5.0.

-Cut-

Mid shot. Milo leans out of the window, a nickel-plated .32 Beretta hanging lazily in one hand, a wisp of smoke trickling from the barrel. In his other hand, he holds Wyatt’s torn medallion, swinging it back and forth, grinning stupidly…

“Now that….that was a fuckin rush.”

-Cut-

We see Wyatt crumpled among the trash, unlit cigarette still clamped in his fingers. For a moment, he’s still. With a wet cough, the junkie then stirs, painfully pushing up and back, his Doc Martin’s scratching at the wet pavement.

-Cut-

Milo’s snicker cuts off and a look nearing bewilderment crosses his cruel features. He hadn’t expected Wyatt to survive that.

-Cut-

Tight on the pavement beneath Wyatt. We see the unlit smoke drop into frame, following by a drool of blood from above. We then gently rise to Wyatt’s bowed head, which bobs each time he unleashes a ragged cough. From beneath the long, stringy hair, a low muttering begins.

-Cut-

Milo leans in, trying to pick out words as he smirks…

“Speak up, chief! Not quite reading ya over here!”

-Cut-

Wyatt struggles to raise his head, skin pale and eye-lids fluttering, both hands pressed to the growing blotch of red spreading across his shirt. As he begins to speak around laboured breaths, his eyes open strangely wide and clear, rimmed with tears of pain. Crimson spit hangs in thick strings from his chin as the dark words emerge…

“Please this servant, O Master, if you may, my Lord of the Pit. Grant my plea audience and reap this fool to torment unimaginable…for I am yours.”

Wyatt continues, drifting into an ancient language and an odd stilted cadence, the gurgling in his throat increasing as the dark words spill out. The unknown language ends and Wyatt fixes his dying eyes on Milo, growling….

“You’ll burn, slave!”

With that, he abruptly swings a hand up and across, spraying blood at the dealer that shot him.

-Cut-

Milo yanks back with a disgusted…

“Fuck!”

…as the spatter of red catches him across the face, and side of the car.

-Cut-

Tight on Milo as he turns back, blood marking him grotesquely like war paint, a psychopathic glint in his eye. He snarls…

“Lullaby, bitch!”

The Beretta flashes back up, firing with a *BANG!*.

-Cut-

Tight on Wyatt’s agonized, yet furious face, lit in the muzzle flash. There’s a wet thud and Wyatt violently jerks out of frame.

-Cut-

Tight on the Mustang’s shiny Dayton mags as the engine revs with a howl. The medallion drops into frame, clinking on the pavement as the tires spin, spilling smoke into the alleyway as the car tears away.

-Cut-

Wide overhead shot of the alley as the ‘Stang roars out of frame, slowly descending toward Wyatt’s bloodied, motionless body, sprawled in the trash.

-Cut-

We slowly track along, at ground level, the wide, largely empty parking lot, strewn with blowing leaves and trash spread out before us. The Mustang sweeps into frame, tires screeching in a tight, reckless turn and races away. The rumble of the 5.0 fades quickly and the shrill whistle of the rising wind takes over.

-Cut-

We’re still descending on Wyatt, bathed in the yellow-stained light from the street. As we slow to a stop over him, we see him staring vacantly past us, at the racing clouds overhead. Tilting down, we see his bloodied hand outstretched toward the demonic medallion lying nearby.

-Cut–

Tight on Wyatt’s slack, pale features, blood staining his parted lips. After a beat, we see his eyes dilate as death overtakes him.

-Cut-

Low thunder rumbles ominously in the distance as we slowly push in on the discarded pendant, the demonic face of it seeming to stare accusingly.

-Fade to Black-

End Scene 1

Scene 2 – Dead Reckoning

-Cut from Black-

Forest. Night time. The large fir trees sway in the breeze with a deep, mournful sigh, in the crisp blue-tinged light of the moon. Suddenly, the lower branches are lit by an intensifying glow and we tilt down as the Mustang races past us, along a stretch of deserted forest road, scattering crisp leaves in it’s wake.

Music Cue: ‘Lava’ by Ministry (fades in with the passing of the car)

-Cut-

Tight on the Mustang’s driver’s side rear tire as it speeds over the dark asphalt. After a beat, we track along, gliding toward the driver’s window as the roar of the wind and engine engulf us. As we move, we can make out the spatter of Wyatt’s blood on the car’s skin, creeping across the paint in the wind. We slow to a stop in time to see Milo behind the wheel demonstrate his fury, lashing forward with a closed fist.

-Cut-

Tight on the dash-mounted custom fuel gauge as Milo’s fist slams into it, shattering the glass with a loud crack.

“Goddamn it!”

-Cut-

We are fixed to the car’s hood, holding Milo, lit in the green glow of the dash indicators, in a mid-shot. He yanks his balled fist back, a scowl twisting his features, teeth clenched as he shakes his hand around in the air, as if this will erase the pain. After a moment of futile shaking, he reaches up and wipes at his cheek. Noting the stickiness, he pulls his hand away, glaring at it in the dim lighting. Seeing smeared blood, disgusted he mutters…

“Jesus…Christ!”

He yanks the cap from his bald skull, wiping at his face, staining the expensive wool with Wyatt’s blood. While doing so, he growls…

“Vince…you better enjoy our night…cuz it’s fixing to be your last, bitch!”

With that said, he tosses the soiled Kangol into the back seat.

-Cut-

Tight on the road (bumper-mounted shot) as it blurs past beneath us, the headlights showing the way.

-Cut-

Forest. The road, lit in the moonlight, snakes its way into the distance through the trees. With a throaty roar, the Mustang races past us, hell-bent toward Milo’s destination.

-Cut-

Tight on Milo’s glaring eyes, lit green in the light of the dashboard. After a beat…he glances at something off-screen.

-Cut-

Tight on the Beretta on the passenger seat, the moonlight gleaming off the short barrel. Milo’s hand slithers into frame, grabbing the pistol.

-Cut-

Back to the mid-shot as Milo raises the gun and, while still steering, ejects the magazine to quickly check the load. Slapping it back in, he grips the slide and pulls it partway back, glancing into the ejection port.

-Cut-

Tight on the partially exposed ejection port. We can see a live round nestled in the chamber. The slide closes over the bullet with a faint click.

-Cut-

We see the handgun being placed within easy reach beside the emergency brake.

-Cut-

Tight on Milo. Through his angered grimace, we see him lick his silver tooth again, muttering…

“One useless muthafucka down…one to go. Coming for you, Vinnie. Time for a reckoning, asshole!”

-Cut-

Tight on Milo’s shoe as he hammers the accelerator.

-Cut-

Tight on the car’s tachometer, the needle jumping as the engine roars.

-Cut-

Forest. Wide-shot. The road stretches out ahead of us, disappearing around a bend up ahead. Headlights abruptly sweep around the corner and the Mustang speeds toward us at a dangerous clip. We hold on the car as it approaches. We can hear the engine slow as it nears, the blinding headlights losing speed until they come to a halt before us. We dolly forward, gliding toward Milo over the steering wheel as his expression changes from homicidal rage to irritated bewilderment.

-Cut-

Tight on the Mustang’s glowing brake lights. Slowly and smoothly, we crane up from behind the car. Thick smoke hangs over the road, erasing everything up ahead, seemingly unaffected by the breeze that sways the trees branches nearby. The rumble of the car’s engine underscores the scene.

-Cut-

Milo glares past us, his bewilderment changing back to anger…

“Now what the hell is this shit?!”

He gets no answer and, after a moment of contemplation, presses back down on the gas peddle.

-Cut-

We see the Mustang push forward at a cautious pace, abruptly swallowed by the thick curtain of smoke.

-Cut-

Milo’s PoV. The car’s headlights cut twin, solid-seeming beams into the murk as it creeps along.

-Cut-

Ground level. We see a scatter of shattered glass and twisted pieces of green and gold metal strewn across the asphalt as smoke washes past. We hear the rumble of the car as it enters frame, the tires crunching suddenly across the debris. As the car continues past, we pan left to glimpse what could be a battered Ford emblem in the foreground, it’s mangled shape standing out.

-Cut-

Tight on Milo’s eyes as they dart back and forth, searching through the smoke. From the right…a dull glow emerges.

-Cut-

Milo’s PoV. Through the windshield, we pan right as a fiery mass reveals itself through the haze.

-Cut-

Tight on a cracked car headlight, the shape familiar despite being upside down, the bulb flickering weakly. After a beat…we crane up, the underside of a smashed car stretching out before us, the rear half a fierce inferno that reaches toward the dark night sky. We pan right as Milo’s Mustang rumbles into sight, sliding out of the smoke. He stops.

-Cut-

We see the car’s passenger-side window, bright flames reflecting in the glass, obscuring the interior. After a pause, the window slides down, revealing Milo as he scans the wreckage. Leaning forward and squinting against the sting of the smoke, he smirks….

“Holy shit!”

-Cut-

Milo’s PoV. We scan the burning, smashed remains of the car, stopping at the open driver-side door, where a dark shape lies crumpled, half in and half out. After a beat, the back seat of the crashed car ignites, the fire light swelling to illuminate the shape. It’s a body, bloody and burned…barely recognizable as a male clad in the shredded remains of a leather jacket, arms outstretched lifelessly among glittering shards of glass, something reflective clenched in a fist.

-Cut-

Tight on Milo as he licks his silver tooth, grimacing…

“Shitty for you, pal.”

-Cut-

Tight on the maimed visage of the obvious corpse. Despite the mangled, blackened ruin, the remaining features appear tranquil, at rest in a pool of blood that appears black in the fiery glow. We slowly zoom in. A pause hangs heavily…only the crackle of the flames its soundtrack.

The eyes, milky and glazed, suddenly snap open!

We smash zoom away, spinning, racing at Milo as shock ripples across his face…

“The fuck!?!”

-Cut-

Mid shot. The driver-side seat of the wreck now catches fire, engulfing the corpse’s lower extremities. The body abruptly sits up, mechanically bending at the waist as if with purpose.

-Cut-

The mangled and scorched head, in close up, rises into frame, glaring past us, the firelight reflecting in the eerie white eyes. Heat distorts the features further.

-Cut-

Tight on thick licks of flame spewing from the side of the car. A dark shape, a handgun, its metal hide scorched black, passes through, rising. It looks like a Beretta, the dark barrel looming large in our view.

We hear skin sizzling.

-Cut-

Tight on Milo’s eyes widening in shock.

-Cut-

Tight on the horrific face of the crash victim as it’s pale orbs, in perfect unison, mirror Milo’s panicked eye movement…before breaking into a malicious sneer, dark fluid drooling around smashed and bloody teeth to puddle on the dark asphalt.

-Cut-

Tight on the handgun held in the victim’s vice-like grip, flames consuming the arm behind. A mangled-but-determined finger cocks back the hammer with a sharp click.

-Cut-

Tight on the Mustang’s shifter as Milo slams it into gear.

-Cut-

Tight on the car’s rear tire spinning up with a screech, propelling the vehicle out of frame…leaving the fiery ruin as the victim’s upper torso abruptly goes up in flames, it’s aim never faltering as Milo escapes.

-Cut-

Profile mid-shot from passenger seat. Milo, a stricken expression twisting his feature as he leans into the steering wheel, exclaims…

“No way, man!! Not a fuckin chance! This Twilight Zone shit don’t really happen! I’ve gotta be trippin balls here! What the fuck was THAT?!!”

He glances up at the rear-view mirror.

-Cut-

Forest road. Night. The Mustang screeches into frame, sliding to a quick stop straddling the center line. All falls still. We only hear the sway of trees in the wind, and the rumble of the 5.0.

-Cut-

Tight on the rear-view mirror. The reflection shows a dark, empty forest road at night, the shadows of the trees swaying over the asphalt in the moonlight. There is no hint of burning wreckage. Like it never existed.

-Cut-

Milo leans in, his stricken expression morphing to that of astonishment as he studies the reflection.

“Wha…?”

He spins in his seat, awkwardly craning back to see the view behind the idling car for himself. Reflection confirmed. The road is still dark and empty. He slowly turns back, wide eyes darting around. Without another word, he shakes his head in disbelief, over and over again.

-Cut-

The Mustang’s engine roars and it lurches into motion, racing away, the echo reverberating through the trees.

-Cut-

Tight on the car’s speedometer, the needle sweeping up smoothly as the vehicle accelerates.

-Cut-

Tight on Milo, over the steering wheel. This has been a bad night for him…and it clearly shows, as his expression and body language scream fear and paranoia as he recklessly drives along, hell bent on escape. Navigating a tight corner, he straightens out…and glances up at the mirror again.

-Cut-

Tight on the mirror, same angle as before. There’s a dark shape in the backseat, obscuring the view out the rear window, a view that should lend reassurance and comfort.

The shape is human.

-Cut-

The Mustang speeds into the pool of light cast from a lone street light.

-Cut-

Tight on the man-shape as the car is momentarily bathed in the orange glow, revealing the destroyed face of the car crash victim, eyes still pale and murky, ruined mouth twisted in a skeletal sneer. We see a hint of silver among the ruined teeth. The glow fades out, the streetlight vanishing into the distance behind the car, plunging the monstrosity back into shadow.

-Cut-

Milo yells…

“Motherfucker!”

Spinning to grab his Beretta from where it sits nestled against the E-brake.

-Cut-

Tight on the pistol as Milo snatches it up.

-Cut-

Car crash victim PoV. Milo abruptly twists in his seat, awkwardly leaning around, gun in hand as he thrusts it at us.

-Cut-

Tight on the Beretta’s muzzle as Milo jerks the trigger, the muzzle flash bright as the deafening shot rocks the interior of the car.

-Cut-

Tight on the crash victim as it leaps forward with an angered hiss, ruined arms outstretched menacingly, caught in the strobe.

-Cut-

Tight on the steering wheel as it suddenly spins out of control.

-Cut-

Wide-shot. Forest road. Night. The Mustang races toward us, the headlights bright. We see two quick flashes in the windshield, the muffled gunshots like hollow *pops*, before the speeding car loses control, slewing sideways across the center line. Catching something on the road, it launches, tumbling violently and spraying shattered pieces of itself in all directions. The rear end comes down hard and the gas tank ruptures, exploding into a bright ball of flame. The blast kicks the wreckage aside and it pancakes into the dirt at the road’s edge with an ear-splitting crash and a cloud of sparks, coming to a rest upside down as a wash of dust billows past, the roof barely holding shape.

-Fade to Black-

Smash cut to a tight shot of a headlight, flickering dimly…upside down and looking strangely familiar. We track right, dropping as the driver’s side door abruptly slams open, unleashing Milo’s burned and bloody body to thud on the glass-laden road, Beretta clenched in his fist. He lies there, half in and half out, a tortured wet gurgling sound in his labored breathing, getting worse. Drifting in, we can see that his face is ruined, his features virtually unrecognizable. Gritting his teeth against the agony of his injuries, he groans, incapable of movement. The groan is choked off in his throat and he jerks his head to the side, coughing up dark blood. He freezes, crimson drool hanging. An anguished sneer cuts across the bloody wreckage of Milo’s face and he growls…

“No…fucking…way! It can’t…!”

His strained sentence is cut off by an obscene burble that quickly builds to choking cough. His torso arches violently, blood spattering from the silent scream of a mouth before he falls back, dying. His head lolls to the side, staring vacantly past us as we slowing drift in. His body relaxes and a last breath bubbles free. As his eye fills the screen, we see it dilate in death, widening blackly.

-Fade to…-

Wyatt’s dead eye, framed to match the diameter of Milo’s pupil. We slowly draw up and away, revealing the dead junkies slack features, pale in death.

-Cut-

Tight on Wyatt’s limp outstretched hand. Panning over, we see the black and silver Pentagram, glinting softly in the sickly yellow streetlight. We push in till…it fills our view. Ominous thunder sounds in the distance.

-Cut to Black-

We hear the wind continue for another moment before fading away.

THE END

 

*This was my first non-school related piece of short fiction that I actually completed, simply to see if I could. While it is rough and overly simplistic, it was cool to locate again after all these years and on that merit…I’m still fond of it. I hope you enjoyed it too.

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