Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Two Broke Girls


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 11 of RIDGEWAY, Kayla takes Cate on a shopping spree at the local supermarket, which ends on a disappointing note when Cate discovers her food stamps card has been cancelled ...


EXT. GROCERY STORE - DAY
A down-home country store.
Adjacent to a laundromat
and a bait and tackle joint.

Sign reads:
SHIRT AND SHOES REQUIRED. NO WEAPONS.

A handful of cars and trucks
in the parking lot.

A LOCAL HOTTIE (40’s) in tight denim
and teased hair pushes
a shopping cart to her car,
cigarette dangling from her lips,
stilleto heels CLICK-CLACKING
on the cracked blacktop.

INT. GROCERY STORE - DAY
Not terribly well-lit.
Approaching grimy.

Country music plays at a low volume.
The few SHOPPERS we see sport beards,
big bellies and cowboy hats
straight outta Deadwood.

Cate pushes a cart, cruising
the aisles with Kayla.
Sees something. Gets excited. Grabs it.

CATE
Mini-pepperonis.

KAYLA
They’re four dollars.

CATE
Relax, I told you,
my food stamp card still works.
Doesn’t matter what state I’m in.

DOWN ANOTHER AISLE - LATER
The cart is almost full.

CATE
Fucking producer bailed.
Said my fee’s too high.
Cheap asshole fucktard.

KAYLA
You’ll find another one.

CATE
I better.
Bank account’s getting low.
Trip out here cost a lot more
than I thought it would.

KAYLA
Relax. I make enough.
We’ll be okay.

CATE
I know.
I just don’t want to be a burden.

AT THE CHECKOUT AISLE
The CHECKOUT GIRL (40’s), a big gal
with thick glasses and a friendly face
cheerfully finishes ringing them up
while a SKINNY KID (18)
bags their groceries.

CHECKOUT GIRL
That’ll be a hundred-thirteen dollars
and seventy-seven cents.

Cate swipes her food stamps
debit card on the machine.

Pushes a series of buttons. Waits.
Checkout looks at her screen.

CHECKOUT GIRL
Sorry. Says ‘declined.’

CATE
Can I try it again?

Checkout gives her a big smile,
revealing a missing tooth.

CHECKOUT GIRL
Sure thing.

Cate swipes it again.
Pushes buttons. Waits.

CHECKOUT GIRL
Nope. Sorry.

Kayla sighs.
Digs out her card.
Hands it over.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Not The Sharpest Knife In The Drawer


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 10 of RIDGEWAY, Cate and Kayla have lunch with Kayla's sister Halene and her husband Londell, a local sheriff's deputy, where they reveal that their daughter wants to be a boy, and don't know what to do about it ...


EXT. KIRVIN HOUSE - DAY
A multi-colored Victorian house on a bluff.
Narrow in front, long in back,
with a basement level down the hill.

The by now ubiquitous
red pick up truck comes flying by,
pulling a rickety trailer
filled with rusted appliances.

EXT. KIRVIN HOUSE - REAR DECK - CONTINUOUS
Spacious, with a killer view
of the leafy canyon below.

Kayla and Cate sit a big,
crude wood table with a MAN (40)
and a WOMAN (38) eating a hearty lunch
and drinking beers.

WOMAN
(to Cate)
Kayla kept telling me how
gorgeous it was here,
so I came to visit,
fell in love with the place,
and didn’t want to go back.

Meet HALENE KIRVIN, Kayla’s sister.
Dark-haired, pretty.

Jeans and T-shirt try but
fail to hide her lushness.

Intense eyes flicker brightly.
The very definition of ‘a handful.’

HALENE
And then I met Londell --

LONDELL
And the rest is history.
(looks at Halene)
Or should I say herstory.

Meet LONDELL KIRVIN.
Football captain good looks
going to seed, with a bit of a
paunch and a receding hairline.

One of Echo’s finest, but not
the sharpest knife in the drawer.

CATE
Kayla tells me you’re a --
children’s art therapist?

HALENE
That’s right.

CATE
That must be very rewarding.

HALENE
Oh, it is. I’m truly blessed.
Working with children is a gift --
(brightly)
But enough about me. I mean, gosh --
it’s not every day one gets to meet
a real-life Hollywood scriptwriter.

CATE
Don’t be too impressed.
I’m not very successful.

KAYLA
Now don’t go all modest on us.

(to Halene)
She’s got a series in development
at one of the cable networks.

LONDELL
Really. What’s it about?

CATE
A female private eye.

KAYLA
Cate writes these really dark,
fucked-up crime stories.
Her next one’s gonna take place here.

HALENE
Here? In Echo?

LONDELL
A TV show?
(smiles)
Need someone to play a cop?

KAYLA
Gotta do some research first.
Just got here.

LONDELL
Well, hell.
You gotta have Big Boy in it.

CATE
Big Boy?

LONDELL
That’s his nickname.
Real name’s Zane Burkette.
Rumor has it he’s in the Dixie Mafia.

CATE
The Dixie Mafia?

LONDELL
Some people call ‘em the Redneck Mafia.
Used to be small-time -- sellin’ weed,
moonshine, running whores --
but lately they’ve been
flooding the town with heroin.

CATE
Heroin? Here?

LONDELL
Government cracked down on pills.
Now you got all these people
addicted to opiates, and now
they need something else.

CATE
But this is such a small town.

LONDELL
That’s how they operate.
Set up shop in a backwater
where the cops are a joke --
except the joke’s on them,
cause we’re gonna kick their ass.
(nods)
Gotta new sheriff, set up an
organized crime task force,
put me in charge of it.

CATE
Would it be -- safe
for me to talk to Big Boy?

LONDELL
Oh, yeah.
He’s got a legit front in real estate.
Also owns a motel on the highway.
And he runs the bluegrass festival.

CATE
Why haven’t you been able
to pin anything on him?

LONDELL
Know the slogan for Kessler’s whiskey?

CATE
No. What is it?

LONDELL
‘Smooth as silk.’

LES (15), their daughter
appears in the doorway.
Tomboy deluxe in baggy jeans,
baggier T-shirt and no makeup,
but what really seals the deal
is the buzz cut.

LES
Goin’ over to Lance’s.

HALENE
Okay. Have fun.

LONDELL
Leslie. Don’t be rude.
Say hello to Kayla’s friend Cate.

HALENE
Londell --

LONDELL
Sorry, Les.

CATE
Nice to meet you.

LES
Yes, Ma’am.

HALENE
Run along now. Scoot.

Les nods curtly. Dashes inside.

KAYLA
What the hell happened to her hair?

LONDELL
Found my clippers. Did it herself.

HALENE
(to Cate)
We’re a -- little concerned.

CATE
Well, she is seeing a boy --

LONDELL
Yeah, right.
Boy’s a fudge-packer in training.

HALENE
Londell --
(to Kayla)
We were wondering if you’d
take her out to dinner,
find out what’s what.
(off her look)
She won’t talk to us.

LONDELL
Afraid she’s gonna go full-Chaz Bono
on us and chop off her tits --

Thursday, May 19, 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 Chapter 9 of RIDGEWAY, Cate takes Bobby out for a late night walk taking in the sights, sounds and solitude of life of her new home on the mountain top. Moments later, Kayla tries to make love to Cate, with surprising results ...


EXT. RIDGEWAY AVENUE - NIGHT
Pitch black. A million crickets
chirp in the distance.

Competing with the loud thrum
of the cicadas.

A cracked, narrow country road
lined with smallish houses.

A lone street lamp glows at the end,
making the cul de sac kinda spooky.

We’re not in California anymore, Toto.

Cate walks Bobby down the street,
looking at the mostly dark windows.

She passes a bed and breakfast,
sees a sad-looking MAN (50’s)
in the window by himself
on a couch watching TV.

Passes the next house.

A butch/femme FEMALE COUPLE (40’s)
sit on their porch in the dark,
cigarette embers glowing.

Keeps walking.

Sees a small spring
in a tiny front yard.

Hears a frog CROAK.
Stops. Listens.

Another CROAK.

Continues on. Stops. Looks up.
Opens her mouth in surprise.

THE SKY
Is filled with a zillion stars.

In the absence of city lights,
every single one twinkles
in the inky black sky.

CATE
Stares.
Eyes filled with wonder.

INT. KAYLA’S APARTMENT - BEDROOM - A LITTLE LATER
Funky. Lit by a single candle.
Cate lies on her back.

Kayla slowly gives her head
under the covers.
Cate moans softly.

Then stops. Kayla pops out.
Sees Cate has passed out.

Kisses her on the cheek.
Gazes at her a long beat.

KAYLA
I still can’t believe you’re here --

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Bohemian Rhapsody


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 8 of RIDGEWAY, just as Cate gets settled in her new home with Kayla, she discovers that the gas company mistakenly shut off their hot water, so she can't take a much-needed shower after her long road trip. Later that night, while watching a movie with Kayla in the living room, she discovers the perils of living with cats when one of them sneezes and sprays her bare leg with snot ...


INT. KAYLA’S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - DUSK
Cozy and dark with the shades drawn.
Indigo walls. Funky furniture.

Primitive, spiritual art. Tons of candles.
Bohemian rhapsody in blue.

Cate finishes setting up her stereo.
Turns it on. We hear some pretty,
Smiths-like new wave song.
Kayla walks in the room, pissed off.

CATE
Got the stereo hooked up --
(sees her expression)
What’s wrong?

KAYLA
There’s no hot water.

CATE
What?

KAYLA
The creep upstairs moved out
and the gas company was
just here to it shut off --
but they shut off ours, too.

CATE
I was really looking forward
to taking a shower.

KAYLA
I know, I’m sorry.
I’ll call the gas company.

CATE
Hey. I’ve got something
that’ll cheer us up.

She walks over to her suitcase.
Pulls out a heavily sealed plastic bag
the size of a paperback. Holds it up.

KAYLA
What’s that?

CATE
Ounce and a half of sticky bud.
OG Kush. Surfer Tom triple-sealed it.
(smiles)
Ready to fry the friendly skies?

INT. KAYLA’S APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
Cate and Kayla cuddle on the couch
watching the flat screen, candles lit,
both really high, eyes druggy slits.

Cate downs a shot of bourbon,
takes a pull on her beer.

Kayla sips a glass of wine.
Can you say ‘rocky mountain high?’

ON THE SCREEN
We see glam brit-rockers
Suede performing onstage.

Singer Brett Anderson, a Ferry/Bowie
hybrid of decadent beauty croons
a fragile ode to the devastation of heroin.

BRETT ANDERSON
(electronic)
Where’s all the money gone?
All up the hole in your arm --

CATE
Sways to the music,
softly mouthing the lyrics.

Kayla loads the bong.
Takes a big hit.
Cups the top with her palm.

Passes it to Cate.
She does one.
Both hold it in.

Then look at the cats on their laps. Smile.
Then BLOW the smoke in the felines’ faces.

One of them SNEEZES, blows
snot all over Cate’s bare thigh.

PUSH IN ON Cate’s face. Disgusted.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Retail Hell


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 12 of RIDGEWAY, Kayla takes Cate to the gallery/gift shop she works at where she meets Kayla's coworker Vivi, who Cate quickly realize is going to be trouble. Then, shortly afterwards, Cate has to navigate the steep uphill walk up the mountain to return to her new home ...


EXT. MAIN STREET - DAY
Kayla, Cate and Bobby
walk down the narrow,
picturesque main drag
lined with shops.

It’s like out of a movie,
with a breathtaking view
of the mountains above
the storefronts.

CATE
This is amazing.

A SCRUFFY TROUBADOUR (20’s)
wearing hippie threads
and a stovepipe hat
carrying a guitar walks by. Nods.

SCRUFFY TROUBADOUR
Hi.

KAYLA
(to Cate)
Told ya.

INT. DREAMLAND - DAY
Kayla and Cate stand
in the middle of the store.

Vivi sits at a work table
sifting through a
tray of jewelry parts.

Clumsily trying to assemble
a cheap plastic necklace.

CATE
(looks at the paintings)
Love the colors.

KAYLA
Cate, this is Vivi.
I told you about her.

CATE
Oh, yeah. Hey.
Nice to meet you.

KAYLA
Be right back.

She heads off to
the back office.

VIVI
(weird grin)
I suck at this.
(beat)
But I guess Kayla
told you that.

CATE
Yes, she did.
(beat)
Kidding. I’m kidding.

Kayla returns.

KAYLA
Ready to go?

CATE
Yeah.
(to Vivi)
Nice meeting you.

VIVI
You, too.

They head toward the door.
Vivi watches them go.

VIVI
Bitch.

EXT. PINE STREET - A LITTLE LATER
Kayla and Cate walk
back up the steep hill.

Cate, huffing and puffing.
Red in the face.

CATE
Hold on a sec.
(stops)
Smoke too much --

KAYLA
Wanna sit down?

CATE
(catching her breath)
I’m okay --

Monday, May 16, 2016

Four Cats, No Waiting


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 11 of RIDGEWAY, Kayla takes Cate on a tour of the breathtakingly beautiful mountain streets of downtown Echo Springs ...

INT. CATE’S APARTMENT - KITCHEN - DAY
A large, sunny room with
tons of original cabinets.

Big double sink.
Old-school stove.
Giant fridge.

Big wooden table against the window
with Kayla’s computer in one corner.

The cats stare at Bobby
drinking from his bowl of water.

KAYLA
(points)
That’s Mona Lisa -- Henry --
Mingus -- and Ernie.

CATE
Four cats, no waiting.
(beat)
And they’re okay about Bobby?

KAYLA
I told them he was coming.

CATE
Bobby’s totally chill with cats.

KAYLA
I have to go to the store
to get my paycheck.
Wanna come with?
Show you around a bit
if you’re not too tired?

CATE
Yeah. That’d be great.
(sees something)
Oh, shit.

KAYLA
What’s wrong?

ANGLE ON:

A DOG TURD on the hardwood floor.

CATE
Bobby took a shit.
(grimaces)
Sorry --

EXT. PROSPECT STREET - DAY
Old and cracked, with an amazing view
looking down the mountain.

And the mountains across the way
in the distance.

Kayla, Cate and Bobby
stroll down the street,
taking in the sights,
Cate overwhelmed by all the beauty.

CATE
Steven Wright was asked in an interview
why he lived in upstate New York
insteade of the city, and he said
‘my body reacts well to nature.’
(smiles)
My body’s reacting well to nature.

A TROLLEY goes chugging by.

KAYLA
That’s the trolley.

Cate watches it go down the street.
Shakes her head.

A MODEL T FORD drives by.
The OLD MAN (60’s)
behind the wheel waves.

Another comes by.
The DRIVER (50’s) also waves.

KAYLA
It’s Model T weekend.
In the summer, every
weekend has a theme.

CATE
Does everybody wave at you?

KAYLA
Yeah. And they also say ‘hi.’

CATE
Nice change from the
‘fuck you’ in LA.

They make a turn.
Start walking down a
very steep, narrow road.

Pass by a series of
tiny Victorian cottages.

CATE
When’s lesbian weekend?

KAYLA
Oh, that’s year-round.
(beat)
Actually, we have three
diversity weekends a year.

CATE
You mean gay pride?

KAYLA
Yeah. Echo’s very progressive --
but it’s still Arkansas.

They continue down the steep hill.

CATE
I’d pay good money
to see drag queens in heels
navigate these hills.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Petticoat Junction 2.0


Hey there, crime kids. Happy Friday. 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 10 of RIDGEWAY, Cate finally arrives in the mountains of Echo Springs, Arkansas after a very long drive, completely exhausted ... but happy to be in paradise ...


EXT. CATE’S CAR - MOVING - EARLY AFTERNOON
A two-lane highway lined
with fast food joints.

It’s a wonderful day
in the neighborhood. Not.

The power-punk of The Jam’s
THICK AS THIEVES snap, crackle
and POPS on the car stereo.

Cate drives, looks beyond exhausted.
Riding on fumes.

Bobby sticks his head
out the window, ears flapping, smiling.

The expanse of salt, sugar and fat ends,
and suddenly the road plunges
into gorgeous, green countryside.

A SIGN
Displays an arrow that twists
and turns like a Gordian knot.

Speed limit fifteen miles
per hour. Yikes.

IN THE CAR
The road takes a sharp right
down a steep hill.

Cate slows, turns
the wheel carefully.

AERIAL POV
The car goes up, down
and around the mountain --
followed by a line of cars
close behind it.

EXT. MOUNTAIN ROAD - DAY
Cate pulls into a rickety
gas station/general store.

An OLD MAN wearing overalls
sits on the porch in a
ratty old chair
fingering a smart phone.

Petticoat Junction 2.0.

The cars behind Cate
HONK as they drive by.
She gets out.

Takes Bobby onto a patch
of grass to pee.
Pulls out her cell.

CATE
Hey, it’s me.
I’m almost there.
(listens)
I’m at this old gas station.
Had to let Bobby out,
stretch my legs,
let all the cars
behind me pass.

INTERCUT WITH:

INT. KAYLA’S APARTMENT - KITCHEN - DAY
Kayla sits at the kitchen table
surrounded by all four cats
on the floor, counters, the table.
Lights a smoke. Excited.

KAYLA
You’re early.

CATE
I’m the early bird, baby.

KAYLA
And I’m your worm-hole.

CATE
I can’t wait to see you.

KAYLA
That makes five of us.

EXT. KAYLA’S HOUSE - DAY
Kayla stands in the tiny
front yard on her cell.

KAYLA
It’s an orange house with
yellow and red trim on the corner.
Can’t miss it.

Cate’s car comes down the street.
Parks in the drive.

Gets out with Bobby.
Kayla RUSHES over. They hug.

KAYLA
I can’t believe you’re here.

CATE
I can’t believe I made it.
(beat)
I can’t tell you how much
I need a shower --