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Humans [a screenplay-in-progress]


by Smiley McGrouchpants


EXT — BUS ISLAND — DAY

A WOMAN in a yellow top with bangles necklace and denim skirt is lugging a suitcase (hardshell, sharp kind) as WE, in THE BUS, pull up to her.

And STOP.

SHISSHH!!

The BUS lowers and she makes with the requisite patience/alertness to board, once the door opens, which it soon does.  She's the only one there.

She starts up.

INT — CHEAP/REASONABLE MOTEL ROOM — SUMMER/EARLY NIGHT (DISCERNABLY/OBVIOUSLY)

She FLOPS the suitcase on the bed.  As the door CLICK/CLUNKS closes with the whirr of air-pressurized motion, inward.

She's ON THE PHONE already with the next cut.

WOMAN
(hearing brrr . . . brr . . . THEN:)
(she's removing her earrings
while doing this:)
Yeah?  Yeah, I'm here . . .

Puts earrings on dresser, one-handed.

WOMAN
Yeah, Bernice . . . I'm safe . . .

She looks around the room, a bit wide-eyed: As if for cracks.

WOMAN
. . . you could call it safe.

EXT — NIGHT — BREATHING/LOW LEVEL ACTIVITY OUTSIDE HOTEL/PARKING LOT

INT — MORNING/6AM-ISH — HOTEL ROOM

The WOMAN wakes up and pops on the TV (via remote.)

TELEVISION
. . . in breaking news, over
a hundred people have died
in what's presumed to be —
(scrolling banners:
“TERRORIST ATTACK”
“LEFTIST GROUP”
“BAADER-MEINHOF TIES”
“Is America Safe?”)

The PHONE rings.

CLOSE SHOT of the woman's head, phone to ear:

WOMAN
Hello . . . ?

EXT — INTERIOR OF CAR ON HIGHWAY — DAY

The DIALOGUE continues.

OTHER VOICE
They want to get rid
of us, don't they?

WOMAN
Looks like it!

OTHER VOICE
You feeling hustled along,
Juanita?

JUANITA
Yes.  Duly.

She STARTS to signal for a change, and LOOKS to pull off the highway at the next exit.

EXT. — REST AREA — DAY

She comes out of the RESTROOM and stares at the VENDING MACHINE.  There's nothing else at the rest stop.

OTHER VOICE
You know they'd make it look like us . . .

JUANITA
Pretty convincing.

ONSCREEN, after a deliberating scan, she goes PUSH on a single button.  And waits.

JUANITA
Like something out of the Panther Moderns, or something . . .

OTHER VOICE
. . . they gotta have ideas, too!

She BENDS over and retrieves a bag that says POTATO CHIPS on it.  Her dress is vaguely sweaty.

OTHER VOICE
Call me when you get to the checkpoint.

JUANITA
Ha, ha!

OTHER VOICE
What does that mean?

INT — CAR ON HIGHWAY AGAIN — DAY

JUANITA carefully places a chip in her mouth while keeping her eyes scanning wide-eyed open on the road.  She reaches down and CAREFULLY brings another one up and places it on her mouth.

JUANITA
I forgot to mention . . .

She puts her BLINKER on and looks in the REARVIEW MIRROR.

EXT. — SMALL CABIN IN THE WOODS — DAY

A few people, JUANITA included, get out of a VW Bug and walk up to the cabin.

JUANITA
. . . something came up.

SCREEN TITLE:

Ten Years Earlier
(white w/black trim,
bottom of screen)

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