Wednesday, June 29, 2016

This Too Shall Pass


Hey there, crime kids. Happy Hump Day. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 3 of THE INVISIBLE GIRL, Bettie confides in her science professor father Bernard about being cyber-bullied by the popular kids at school, to which he gives her valuable advice ...


INT. BETTIE’S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MORNING
Quaint. Homey. Stuffed with
every cooking utensil imaginable.

Standing over the stove cooking is
BERNARD BEE (50’s), Bettie’s father.

Quintessential absent-minded professor.
Shock of white hair.
Kindly eyes. A bit plump.

Right now he’s softly whistling.
He tastes the sauce in the pot
with a wooden spoon.

BERNARD
Mmm. Eat my shorts, Rachel Ray.

Bettie trudges into the kitchen sadly.
Sits at the table. Sighs.
Bernard turns around. Sees her.

BERNARD
There’s my princess. Good MORNING.
(beat)
Why so glum?

Pause.

BETTIE
I’m being -- cyber-bullied.

BERNARD
Cyber-bullied?

BETTIE
I’m being bullied -- online.

BERNARD
I don’t understand.
How can someone bully you
on the interwebs?

BETTIE
Someone shot a video of me
eating ice cream last night
and POSTED it on Friendbook.
Then everybody made COMMENTS
on it and MADE FUN OF ME.

She drops her head.
Sniffles back tears.

BERNARD
Oh, dear.

He comes over. Sits down.
Looks at her with love in his eyes.

Softly touches her chin.
She looks up at him sadly.

BERNARD
Darling, they’re just kids.
Ignore them. Turn the other cheek.
I know it might not seem
like it now, but this too shall pass.
Believe it or not, there IS
life after high school.

BETTIE
I know --

BERNARD
Many of the greatest minds
on the planet weren’t
understood in their youth --
(beat)
I was beaten up
every day after school,
and look how I turned out.

He spreads his arms.
His bathrobe falls open.

We see he’s wearing
hot pink boxer shorts.

BETTIE
(giggles, embarrassed)
Dad.

Bernard looks down. Horrified.
Ties his robe closed.

BERNARD
Your mother got me those --
(beat)
I know what you need --
some breakfast.
Just WAIT until you
taste my pasta sauce.

BETTIE
But, Dad.
Nobody eats pasta for BREAKFAST.

BERNARD
Well, darling -- we’re not
just anybody, are we?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Super Size Me


Happy Tuesday, crime slicksters. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where the girls are hot, the drinks are cold, and the hardboiled-pulp-noir action is non-stop, right here, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 2 of THE INVISIBLE GIRL, overweight teenage nerd Bettie Bee is surprised that her obese BFFF Lonny Schmerzler asks her to be his date for the prom, and lets him down gently. Later that night, Bettie is horrified to find out that the popular kids posted a video on social media of her shoveling ice cream into her mouth ...


INT. BETTIE’S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Bettie picks up the remote.
PUNCHES the TV off.

Shakes her head with wonder.
Digs a big spoonful of ice cream
from the container.
Shovels it in. Swallows.

BETTIE
That’s my favorite movie EVER.

Lonny picks up the last slice of pizza.
Folds it in half lengthwise.
Puts it up to his mouth --
LONNY
It was too scary.
I like funny movies.

And INHALES it.
Bettie watches him. Impressed.

BETTIE
You could win a contest.

He BURPS. Smiles happily.
Tries to get up off the couch.

LONNY
Yeah, well. Anyway. I gotta split.

Lonny tries to lurch forward.
No go. Bettie gets up.

Offers him a hand.
He looks at it, upset.

LONNY
I can do it. Hold on --

He STRUGGLES to move. Bettie sighs.

BETTIE
C’mon, Lonny. We always go through this.
It’s okay. Nothing to be embarrassed about.

Strains to get up. No go.

LONNY
Shit.

BETTIE
Lonny, C’MON.

GRABS her hand. She helps him get up.

LONNY
Thanks.

BETTIE
You can pick the movie next time, okay?

He nods. Looks at her shyly.

LONNY
Uh --

BETTIE
What’s wrong?

LONNY
Nothing.
(beat)
I was wondering if --
(beat)
Uh -- nothing.

BETTIE
What?

LONNY
If you’d, uh --
(beat)
Go to, uh -- the prom with me.

BETTIE
Oh gosh, Lonny.
(off his crestfallen look)
Can I -- think about it?

PUSH IN ON Lonny’s face. Deflated.

LONNY
Yeah, sure.
(beat)
Take your time.

INT. BETTIE’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Swooning teenage girl decor run riot.
JUSTIN BIEBER and TWILIGHT posters.

Science fair and mathlete
prize-winning ribbons.

Odd random stuff. A globe.
Bust of Einstein.

Bettie sits at her desk
in her jammies, ready for bed.

She CLICKS a bookmark with her mouse,
and we see on the screen --

FRIENDBOOK
A social networking site.
She has a TON of posts on
her personal page.

And a link to a video.
She CLICKS on it.

THE VIDEO
Pops up. We see hand-held footage
of Bettie shoveling ice cream
in her mouth in slow-motion.
Eyes glued to the TV.

BETTIE’S
Mouth OPENS.

BETTIE
What the HELL?

She reads the caption below the link:

NOT ABLE TO FIND A MATE,
THE HIPPO WILL FEED UNTIL IT BURSTS.

BETTIE
WHAT?
Tears in her eyes, she starts
reading the posts.

BETTIE
Just got a call from Baskin Robbins.
They said they’re down to three flavors --
(beat)
Muffin Heather? That BITCH.
(reads another one)
Would you hit it?
Yeah, with a two-by-four!
(gasps)
LOL! Now that’s what I call super-sized.
(gasps)
Is it true you use a mattress
for a tampon? LMFAO!

She SLAPS the smart phone closed.
Tears start pouring down her cheeks.

She gets up. JUMPS into bed.
Pulls the covers over her head.
Starts softly SOBBING.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Anti-Social Media


Hey there, crime kids. Happy X. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 1 of THE INVISIBLE GIRL, overweight teen Bettie Bee watches TV with her best friend, the rotund Lenny Schmerzler, both of whom are stuffing their faces with sweets, but what they don't realize is a group of popular kids are videotaping them and fat-shaming them online ...


EXT. SUBURBAN HOME - NIGHT
Crickets CHIRP over --

A small, quaint Craftsman bungalow
with a white picket fence.

One of a row of such homes
safely nestled on a bucolic,
picture-perfect suburban side street.
The stuff of bland.

INT. SUBURBAN HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
A young GIRL (16) and BOY (16)
sit on opposite ends of a
big, sloppy couch watching
a movie on TV.

He’s got a pizza on his lap.
She’s got a giant container
of ice cream on hers.

GIRL
KILL ‘em. Kill ‘em ALL.

Meet BETTIE BEE.
A bit on the chubby side.

If it weren’t for her large ears
that stick out like fins,
she’d be quite cute.

The braces don’t help.
Neither does the short,
pixie haircut.

BOY
(hands in front of his eyes)
Let me know when it’s OVER --

Meet LONNY SCHMERZLER.
‘Fat’ would be a compliment.

His girth threatens to
overpower the couch.

Bettie’s best -- and only friend.
He sneaks a look between pudgy fingers.

LONNY
Oh my GOD.

BETTIE
But this is the best PART.

She SHOVELS IN a mouthful of ice cream --

BETTIE
(burbles)
Carrie gets REVENGE.

And as she speaks, some of it
DROOLS onto her chin.

ON THE TV
We see the climactic
prom scene from CARRIE.

Sissy Spacek is covered in BLOOD --
and is KILLING all the students
that teased her with telekinetic powers.

A FIRE HOSE rises up like a snake
and SHOOTS WATER at them --
causing the kids to FLY into the walls.

EXT. BETTIE’S HOUSE - FRONT YARD - NIGHT
Hiding in the bushes
is a YOUNG KID (17),
aiming a smart phone
at the living room window,
videotaping them.

Meet READY HAND,
a fresh-scrubbed,
good-looking jock type.

ON THE PHONE
We see ice cream drip
down Bettie’s chin.

READY (O.C.)
(whispers)
Sweet.

INT. ANOTHER SUBURBAN HOME - BEDROOM - NIGHT
Another JOCK (17) watches the
video stream on his smart phone.
Chugs a can of Lite Ice Draft.

Meet BRAD STIFLE, captain
of the football team.

You know -- and hate --
the type too well.

BRAD
This is fucking AWESOME.

His cell phone CHIRPS.
He picks up. Listens.

BRAD
Ready? Yeah. I’m watching it --
(listens)
I know. Anti-social media.
(listens)
EVERYBODY’S watching it? NICE.

INT. SUBURBAN GIRL’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Done up like some kind of
Hello Kitty nightmare from hell.

And who the hell has a
George Michael poster anymore?

Watching the stream on her phone
is MUFFIN HEATHER (17),
the most popular girl in school.

Heartbreakingly beautiful.
And mean as a junkyard dog.
She brays into her smart-phone.

MUFFIN
OMG. It’s feeding time at the ZOO.
(listens)
I KNOW. The fat leading the FAT.
(listens)
The White Precious? LMAO.
I SO did not hear you SAY that.
(looks at her phone)
Got another call, BRB --

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rocky Mountain High


Happy Thursday, crime slicksters. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where the girls are hot, the drinks are cold, and the hardboiled-pulp-noir action is non-stop, right here, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In the final chapter of RIDGEWAY, Cate escapes from the cops by running up the mountain on a gravel road that leads to her house, goes inside, sits on the living room couch, exhausted ... then starts counting the cash she made from doing the hit and gets a nasty surprise when a bag of white powder falls out ...


EXT. PARKS AND RECREATION BUILDING - PARKING LOT - NIGHT
A small affair with a gravel road
heading up the mountain behind it.

Cate runs over.
Looks at the sign.

CATE
I don’t fucking believe it.

EXT. FULLER STREET - NIGHT
Spooky in the dim light
coming from houses at the
top of a ridge on either side.

A siren WHOOPS.

Cate JUMPS off the road,
tumbles down into a gulley,
just as another POLICE SUV
comes ROARING by in a
CRUNCH of gravel.

She climbs back up.
Sees it’s gone.

Then starts RUNNING.

EXT. FULLER STREET - MOUNTAIN TOP - NIGHT
Cate makes it to the top, exhausted.
Sees her house on the corner.
Starts trudging toward it.

INT. KAYLA’S APARTMENT - KITCHEN - NIGHT
Cate lurches to the sink.
Splashes cold water on her face.

Leans against the counter.
Every muscle in her body on fire.

Gingerly walks over
to the bedroom doorway.

Sees the lights are out.
And Kayla, sound asleep.

Goes back to the kitchen counter.
Grabs a bottle of whiskey.

Pours a shot. Downs it.
Pours another.

Does a third
for good measure.
Wipes her mouth.

Grabs the bong.
FIRES it up.

Sucks down a big hit.
Holds it in a long beat.

Then BLOWS out the smoke. Sighs.
Grabs the bong. The bottle.
Shot glass. Pads into --

INT. KAYLA’S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Plops down on the couch.
Pulls out the wad of bills.
Starts counting it.

A small glassine envelope
filled with white
powder falls out.

Hits the table
with soft thwap.

CATE
Holy shit.

She dumps it onto
the coffee table.

Cuts a big, fat line.
Leans over. SNORTS it.

Her eyes grow wide.
Then glassy.

CATE
That’s not coke --

FADE TO BLACK

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ozark Mountain Daredevil


Hey there, crime kids. Happy Hump Day. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 29 of RIDGEWAY, after killing the bear, Cate gets chased down the mountain by a pair of cops, one of whom almost gets her ...

EXT. MOUNTAIN RIDGE ROAD - NIGHT
A POLICE SUV slowly comes
down the gravel road, search light
sweeping through the woods.
Pulls to a stop.

IN THE CAR
A pair of local COPS
exchange glances.

OLDER, FAT COP
Gunshots.

YOUNGER, BEARDED COP
(points)
Came from down there.

OLDER, FAT COP
Fuck it, Rady.
We’re gonna get all wet.

RADY
Gotta dead body back there, Grab.

EXT. MOUNTAIN RIDGE ROAD - NIGHT
The cops get out. SLAM the doors.
Switch on HIGH-BEAM FLASHLIGHTS.

Start heading down the steep canyon,
sweeping big, bright beams of light
through the woods.

AT THE BOTTOM
Cate stares at the dead bear.
In shock. Soaked to the bone.

The rain starts letting up.
Sees the lights approaching.

Starts high-tailing it up the hill
in the opposite direction.

THE COPS
Start racing down the hill,
flashlights bobbing.

GRAB
Somebody’s down there.

RADY
STOP, POLICE.

They get to the bottom.
See the dead bear. Stop.

RADY
Holy shit.

GRAB
Go get ‘em.
I’ll call it in.
Catch up with ya later.

Rady nods.
Starts heading up the hill.

CATE
Huffs and puffs.
Makes it to the top.

Out of breath.
Turns around. Looks down.

Sees Rady’s light
heading her way.

CATE
Shit.

Pushes through the foliage.
Arrives at a two-lane paved road
that snakes around in a tight U,
then heads up the hill.

An ancient Parks and Recreation
building sits at the turn,
lit by a lone, Victorian-era
street lamp.

She looks up the long road
that snakes up the mountain.

CATE
Fuck that.

RACES toward the building,
just as Rady appears on the road.

Sees her go behind the building.
Pulls out his gun.

RADY
STOP, POLICE.

GRABS his radio --
as he RUNS after her.

RADY
Got ‘em cornered.
Call for backup.
I’m at the bottom of Ellis Grade,
in front of the parks
and recreation building.

He approaches the side
of the building. Stops.

RADY
I know you’re back there.
If you come out nice and easy,
you won’t get hurt.
(listens)
Back-up’s on the way.
Might as well give yourself up.

Cate comes RACING around the corner.
CRACKS Ray on the head with
the flat side of a shovel.

He goes down, THWUMP.
She RUNS toward
the tiny parking lot in back --

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Gentle Ben


Happy Tuesday, crime slicksters. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where the girls are hot, the drinks are cold, and the hardboiled-pulp-noir action is non-stop, right here, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 28 of RIDGEWAY, after doing a hit for the Dizie mob, Cate hears an approaching police siren, panics and runs through the woods across the mountain top ... and runs right into a huge grizzly bear ...


EXT. MOUNTAIN ROAD - NIGHT
Cate walks down the hill,
boots CRUNCHING on the gravel road.

Hears a siren WHOOP-WHOOP.
Then sees red lights FLASHING.

Starts trying to RUN back up,
but quickly gets winded from
years of too many cigarettes.

She turns, RUNS into the woods --
just as a COP CAR comes
RACING up the road.

EXT. MOUNTAIN SLOPE - NIGHT
Cate DASHES across the steep hillside
through the underbrush and trees.

Stops. Catches her breath. Looks around.
Listens to the crickets CHIRPING.

She hears a twig SNAP. WHIRLS AROUND.
Sees a FAMILY OF DEER.

Momma, Poppa and two young ones.
Staring at her.

CATE
(whispers)
Wow.

They DASH OFF into the darkness.

EXT. MOUNTAIN GORGE - NIGHT
Cate stands at the top of a gorge.
Looks down at the valley far below.

A woodpecker TAP-TAP-TAP-TAPS
like a machine gun.

CATE
SHIT.

She JUMPS, then TUMBLES
down the steep hill --
and CRACKS into a tree at the bottom.
Gets up. Brushes herself off.

Hears a low GROWL.
A GIANT BLACK BEAR
emerges from the foliage.

Flashes HUGE WHITE TEETH.
She stiffens. Shaking with fear.
This ain’t Gentle Ben.

They stare at each other a long beat.
The beast suddenly REARS UP
on its hind legs, ROARS --
and starts CHASING her.

She SCREAMS. Starts climbing
the tree like she’s on fire.

GRABS at a branch above her,
but it SNAPS off.

The beast SWIPES at her
with a meaty paw.

She tries to WHACK it
with the branch,
but it GRABS it away from her. GROWLS.

She GRABS another branch.
Pulls herself up -- just as the bear
SINKS IT TEETH into her boot.
Cate CRIES OUT.

Thunder BOOMS. Lightning CRACKS.
It starts POURING RAIN.

Lightning CRACKS again,
illuminating the bear’s
giant teeth and wild, red eyes.

Cate KICKS his head
with her other foot,
causing him to ROAR
and let go for a moment.

She reaches around.
Pulls the gun from her waistband.

SHOOTS him in the head.
BANG. BANG. BANG.

He SHRIEKS in pain.
Hits the ground with
a sickening THUMP --

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Dirt


Hey there, crime kids. Happy Monday. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.

In Chapter 27 of RIDGEWAY, Dixie Mob boss Big Boy takes screenwriter Cate Salinger to a remote cabin in the woods, where he pays her five thousand dollars in cash ... to shoot someone in the head ...


EXT. OZARK MOUNTAINS - GRAVEL ROAD - DUSK
A brand-new red double-dually
PICKUP TRUCK comes BARRELING
up the road in a CRUNCH of gravel.

An ARMADILLO lazily
skitters across the gravel.

The truck ROARS by and SQUISHES it,
CRACKING its shell with a CRUNCH.

EXT. MOUNTAIN CABIN - DUSK
A shack that looks like it’d
fall over if you sneezed on it.

The gravel road runs by it,
then disappears into a tunnel
of trees across the mountain ridge.

Dim light spills out
from behind dingy curtains.

The truck’s doors OPEN.
Out steps Big Boy and Cate.

INT. MOUNTAIN CABIN - NIGHT
Dimly lit by a kerosene lantern.
We see Hoyt, Jib -- and the Kid
tied to a chair. Badly beaten.

Covered in blood.
Mouth a ruined mess.

Teeth litter the floor.
Softly whimpering.

Big Boy and Cate walk in.
Jib looks at Big Boy. Grins.

JIB
Finally told us.

Hoyt stares at Cate.
Smacks his lips.

HOYT
Who’s the cunt.

BIG BOY
New business associate.

Big Boy pulls a thick, banded wad
of bills from his pocket.
Holds it in front of Cate’s face.

BIG BOY
Five grand.
Like I promised.

Her eyes light up.
She reaches for it --
but he SNATCHES it away.

Pulls out a GUN.
Offers it to her.

BIG BOY
First you gotta shoot this
piece of shit in the head.

CATE
But what about --

BIG BOY
This man stole from me.
Now he needs to pay the piper.
Do you want the fucking money
or not?
(off her look)
You want to write my movie,
you gotta be IN my movie.
(holds up the cash)
Go a long way round here --

She looks at the Kid.
Then at Jib and Hoyt.

Then the money.
Takes the gun in trembling hands.

BIG BOY
Atta girl.

Walks over to the Kid.
Slowly raises it. Pauses.

Looks at Big Boy. He nods.
She takes a deep breath --

Takes aim -- and BANG,
SHOOTS him in the head.

Brains, skull and blood
SPRAY the wall.

Big Boy TOSSES
her the cash.

BIG BOY
She shoots, she scores.
(off her look)
Londell sent you to
get the dirt on me.
Now the dirt’s on you.
(big grin)
You just did a hit
for the Dixie mob.

A SIREN starts WAILING
in the distance.

BIG BOY
Whoops. Gotta go.
(winks)
Don’t spend it all in
once place now, ya hear?