Armed and Dangerous: Screenplay Part 1

FADE IN:

EXT. TRAILER PARK – DAWN

An early model Toyota Corolla idles outside a trailer home with the driver barely visible behind the tinted glass.

INT. TRAILER HOME – DAWN

A littered space with dirty laundry and dirty dishes.  Raman Noodle wrappers overflow from trash can.  A baby girl sleeps in a cardboard box.

NATHAN SMALLS, twenty-something college student in jeans and T-shirt hovers over a small table with an open algebra book, a spiral notebook, and a cheap looking .22-caliber revolver (Saturday night special).  A toilet flushes.  MARY PATTERSON, twenty-something girlfriend, enters from the bathroom in jeans and checks her sleeping baby.  Nathan looks up from his homework.

                         NATHAN

          You ready?

                         MARY

          I can’t leave her.

                         NATHAN

          We’ve been over this a hundred

times.  I can’t pull it off

without you.

                         MARY

          I’m not leaving our baby.

          Not now.  Not ever.

                         NATHAN

          Well she’s not coming with us.

Long beat.  Nathan puts his hand on Mary’s shoulder.

                         NATHAN

          We’ll be back before she’s up.

                         MARY

          What if she wakes up crying?

          What if she stops breathing?

          What if someone steals her?

                         NATHAN

          Look, we need this.

Nathan glances at the box.  Sees baby outline.

                         NATHAN

          For her.

                (beat)

You got a better idea, let’s hear it.

Mary struggles in her head.

                         MARY

          Fine.  But if anything happens

to us…

                         NATHAN

          It won’t.

                         MARY

Promise me.

                         NATHAN

I promise.

               (beat)

Get your shit together.  Mrs. Abbott

said she’ll be here.

                         MARY

          When?

Nathan checks his watch.

                         NATHAN

          Soon.

Mary wraps her hair in a bun.

Nathan takes the .22 off the table and checks the cylinder. It’s loaded.  He stuffs the gun in his pants and covers it with his shirt tail.

                         NATHAN

          Let’s go.

EXT. TRUCK STOP PARKING LOT – DAWN

The sun rises over a vacant gas station and a Waffle House diner across the street.  JON REECE, an Army Private with a buzz cut and a green duffel bag stands in line to board a Greyhound bus. He’s nervous, fidgety, distracted while the last few passengers board.

FROM ROAD POV:

The bus pulls away, LEAVING JON IN THE PARKING LOT ALONE.

JON’S POV:

Jon’s thousand yard stare focuses on the diner across the street.  He blocks the sunlight with his hand and starts walking toward the diner.

A LOUD HONK from a tractor trailer prompts him to jump back as the eighteen-wheeler veers off toward the diner parking lot.

EXT. DINER PARKING LOT – DAWN

Jon approaches the diner entrance.  He sees CARL DAVENPORT step out of the Mack truck wearing boots, a jean jacket, and a wallet chain hanging from his back pocket.  A road warrior, tough-as-nails man with a scruffy beard and weathered face.

Jon and Carl cross paths but say nothing.  Jon notices the early model Toyota Corolla with tinted windows FACING AWAY FROM THE DINER AT THE OPPOSITE END OF THE PARKING LOT. Jon can BARELY see the driver’s silhouette through the tinted glass.

INT. DINER – DAWN

Jon and Carl sit at separate booths. DARLENE MADISON, a thirty-something manager with nice features, scrubs dishes in the sink behind the counter.

                         DARLENE

          Morning.

Carl takes a menu from another table.  A customer leaves change on the counter and exits.

The fifty-something short order cook, SIMON THORTON, scrapes the grill.  He wears a pony tail with a white apron around his jeans.  Turquoise rings and bracelet.

                         SIMON

          Grits are empty.

                         DARLENE

          I thought you ordered more.

                         SIMON

          I don’t get paid to inventory.

          I get paid to cook.

JON’S POV:

Stares through a window at the parking lot.  A Volvo station wagon with a man and woman inside parks near the restaurant.

EXT. DINER – DAY

Middle age couple, HAROLD MEEKS(pharmaceutical sales rep) AND BETTY MEEKS(homemaker), exit the Volvo wagon.  They bicker as more cars arrive in the diner parking lot.

                         HAROLD

          The hotel has free breakfast.

                         BETTY

          I can’t face another bagel

with cream cheese.

                         HAROLD

You could have had something else.

                         BETTY

          I could have stayed at a better

place.  One with room service.

                         HAROLD

          You wanted to tag along.  Maybe

next time you’ll think twice.

                         BETTY

          There won’t be a next time.

                         HAROLD

          What’s that suppose to mean?

                         BETTY

          Forget it.

Harold and Betty enter the diner.  A two door Mazda COUPE parks beside the Toyota Corolla.

MAZDA POV:

Lambda Theta Alpha sorority sisters KELLY, HILDA, and LINDSAY exit the Mazda.  They stretch and squint.

KELLY (cute, bubbly, cheerleader type).

HILDA (shortest and thinnest of the three, woozy, about to puke on her shoes).

LINDSAY (prudent, responsible, designated driver more or less).

Hilda staggers, bumps her car door against the Corolla.  She cringes.  Can’t discern the Corolla’s occupants behind the tinted windows.  She holds her hand to her mouth about to puke.  SHE SEES HER CELL PHONE ON THE BACK SEAT.

Lindsay locks the car with the keyless remote.

                         HILDA

          I left my phone.

                         KELLY

          You won’t need it.

GIRLS’ POV:

A FORD STATION WAGON pulls in front OF THE DINER as a SHERIFF’S CAR parks at the OPPOSITE END OUT OF SIGHT FROM THE COROLLA.  Kelly, Hilda, and Lindsay enter diner.

FORD STATION WAGON POV:

Waitress, Abby Smith, gets out and SLAMS THE DOOR.  She holds her apron and blows smoke.  Flicks her cigarette butt.  Her nametag hangs crooked on her uniform.  The station wagon drives away.

INT. DINER – DAY

Darlene hustles behind the counter with a tray of drinks.  Bacon SIZZLES on the grill.  Simon searches the fridge for supplies.  Abby enters.

                         DARLENE

                 (to Abby)

          You’re late.

Abby ties her apron.  She’s angry.  Pissed at being there.

                         ABBY

          It’s my day off.

                         DARLENE

No one would cover the shift.

               ABBY

And that’s my fault?

                         DARLENE

Table five hasn’t ordered.

Twelve still needs coffee.

                         ABBY

          Where’s Paula?

Darlene carries orange juice glasses to Harold and Betty’s table.

                         DARLENE

          She quit.

Abby takes her notepad from her apron pocket.  She grabs the coffee pot.  The place is buzzing.

                         ABBY

          Since when?

                         DARLENE

          This morning.

                         ABBY

          Where’s Cheryl?

CHERYL WILKINS, a black waitress and community college student emerges from the back room counting money.

                         CHERYL

          I need change.

                         DARLENE

          Take it from the register.

                         SIMON

                 (to Darlene)

          Order up.

HAROLD AND BETTY POV:

Harold waves his coffee mug.

                         HAROLD

                 (impatient, to wait staff)

          I need a refill.

                         BETTY

                 (to Harold)

          You can’t find good help anymore.

                         HAROLD

I told you we should have stayed

at the hotel.

                         BETTY

          Quit bitching.  You sound like

          your mother.

DARLENE’S POV:

Darlene delivers a plate of over-easy eggs and toast to Carl’s table.

                         DARLENE

          More coffee?

Carl looks at his food.

                         CARL

                 (gruff)

          I asked for scrambled.

Darlene forces a smile.  She takes the plate.  Going to be a long shift.

JON’S POV:

Jon watches the parking lot intently.  He’s startled when Cheryl brings his waffle with bacon.

                         CHERYL

          Can I get you anything else?

Jon shakes his head.  Cheryl leaves the check.

SIMON’S POV:

He’s flustered.  Tickets crowd the counter.  He knocks a serving spoon off the counter and picks it up.  Tosses it in the sink with piled dishes.  He grabs a hot pan handle and burns his hand.

                         SIMON

          Shit.

He stares at an order ticket and taps Darlene’s arm when she tries to walk by.

                         SIMON

          What is this?

Darlene reads the ticket.

                         DARLENE

          Wheat toast, no butter.

                         SIMON

          Spell it out next time.

          I can’t read your scribble.

INT. SHERIFF PATROL CAR – DAY

Deputies CHUCK AVERY and DALE WILSON unbuckle their seatbelts.  Chuck stuffs a clipboard beside the riot shotgun mounted between the seats.

                         CHUCK

          You want something?

                         DALE

          Black coffee.

Dale reaches for his wallet.

                         CHUCK

          I got it.

EXT. PATROL CAR – DAY

Chuck exits the patrol car and swaggers toward the diner entrance.  Wears shades, mustache, and an ego the size of Texas.

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