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, acting as the backdrop to the intricately carved face of a demon.

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 the unmistakable sound of a bump of cocaine being swiftly inhaled, followed by 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, 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 glovebox, 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 flashed into sight from behind the door, grabbing Wyatt’s pendant and yanking. The leather held, pulling the junkies head down, sharply smashing it off the roof. Wyatt’s nose breaks with a snap, and he yelped.

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

“A light? Sure thing, buddy!”

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

“Here’s your light, ya 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, scattered on the cold wind. 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 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.

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!’ as Milo squeezes the trigger.

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 car 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. With a howl, 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 – Redemption

Cut from Black

Forest. Night time. The large fir trees sway in the breeze with a deep, mournful sigh, lit 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, suddenly 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 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 snakes 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 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 Mustang 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 smoke.

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 as 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 now catches fire, engulfing the corpse’s lower body. The body abruptly sits up, mechanically, 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. Rising 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 eyes, in perfect unison, mirrors Milo’s eye movement…before breaking into a malicious sneer, dark flood drooling around smashed and bloody teeth to puddle on the dark asphalt.

Cut

Tight on the handgun held in the victims vice-like grip, flames consuming the arm behind. A mangled 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 again, 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 rictus 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 raises 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 muzzle flash.

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 jumps, tumbling violently at us 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 washes past.

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. His eyes widen as something nearby glints in the firelight.

Cut

We slowly snake through the debris field at ground level, coming up on the source of his attention. It’s Wyatt’s pentagram medallion and it lies among the shards of glass and twisted debris, the flames reflected like a mirror on its polished surface.

Cut

A 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 medallion, framed to match the diameter of Milo’s pupil, lying under the dark night sky. The back seat of the destroyed Mustang suddenly ignites, the reflection glowing brightly. We pull away, drifting upwards. The wind picks up with a shrill whistle as smoke blows across frame. After a moment…it thickens, blocking out everything.

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.