Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Flock Of Haircuts


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 36 of THE INVISIBLE GIRL, at the prom, the popular kids start preparing to get their revenge. Meanwhile, chaperones Hart Klavan and Lane Diamond secretly spike the punch ...


EXT. VENISON HIGH GYM - NIGHT
Prom Night. We see a big banner
on the side of the gym that reads
A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER
in big, glittery lettering.

A line of LIMOS is parked in front.
Eager, excited GUYS IN TUXES and
GIRLS IN GOWNS spill out onto the sidewalk.
Walking in pairs toward the entrance.

INT. VENISON HIGH GYM - NIGHT
The joint’s been decorated
within an inch of it’s life
in some over-the-top party explosion.

Scores of glittering silver
stars hang down from the rafters.

A big DISCO BALL spins around and around,
sending shards of bright light
flying around the room.

On the stage is A Flock Of Haircuts,
a group of slightly older kids
dressed in exaggerated eighties drag.

Right now they’re doing a decent cover
of Oingo Boingo’s DEAD MAN’S PARTY.

The LEAD SINGER (late 20’s)
waves his arms like a banshee.
Acting out some imaginary music video.

The joint is packed.
Kids are dancing, having fun.

They finish the song. Everyone CLAPS.
The HOT CHICK KEYBOARD PLAYER
(late 20’s) leans into the mike.

HOT CHICK KEYBOARD PLAYER
HEY. Anybody wanna do some DREAMING?
(beat)
Dreaming is free --

They start playing the Blondie song.
The crowd ERUPTS, starts
dancing their asses off.

UP IN THE RAFTERS
Brad and Emerald look inside a bucket
sitting on a beam tied to a rope
leading down to the stage.

EMERALD
It’s what they use in the movies.
I couldn’t get pig’s blood.
(off his look)
Venison doesn’t HAVE a slaughterhouse --

BRAD
It’ll work. Nobody will be
able to tell the difference.

He points at a net piled up
next to the bucket.

BRAD
What about the net?

EMERALD
It comes down at the same time.

BRAD
Perfect. Gonna catch us
some invisible bitch.
(eyes her)
So, listen.
Muffin’s still mad at me.
What are you doing afterwards?

EMERALD
In your dreams, jock-strap.
You’ll never know MY splendor.

OUTSIDE BEHIND THE GYM
Bert and Whit smoke a joint.
Both of them dateless.

BERT
(passes it)
This is good shit. Hydro?

WHIT
(takes it)
Nah. From the ground. Much better.
More full-bodied. Cleaner high. Lasts longer.

BERT
(nods)
Gimme a shotgun?

WHIT
Sure --

He puts the joint
in his mouth backwards.
Leans in close.

Blows a stream of smoke
into Bert’s mouth.

He sucks it in. They lock eyes.
Whit takes the joint out. Kisses him.

Bert starts COUGHING.
Whit pulls away. Freaked.

WHIT
I’m sorry, man. Just fucking with ya.

BERT
(low, throaty)
Come here --

He leans in. Starts kissing him.

IN A DARK CORNER
Stand Lane and Hart, looking
out of place in formal wear.
Lane takes a sip of punch. Smiles.

HART
They spike it?

LANE
A little bit.

Hart pulls a flask out of his pocket.
Pours some in her cup.

HART
Now it’s a lotta bit --

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Prisoner


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 35 of THE INVISIBLE GIRL, homicide detective Hart Klavan and rookie cop Lane Diamond supervise Lonny's arrest, then get up close and personal ...


INT. VENISON POLICE HEADQUARTERS - CORRIDOR - NIGHT
Pale-puke walls. The usual shitty,
out-of-date institutional ambiance.

A UNIFORMED OFFICER
leads Lonny into a cell.

Closes the barred door.
Locks it. Nods. Shuffles away.

Lane and Hart stand nearby, watching.
See how freaked out he is.
Hart walks up to the bars.

HART
You did real good, Lonny.
Just keep your head up.
It’s going to be okay.

LONNY
How long will I have to stay here?

HART
Your uncle will be
here in the morning.
Then he’ll post bail
and you’ll be released.

Lonny nods.
Looks like he’s about to cry.

LANE
Don’t be scared.
It’s just one night.

LONNY
Okay. Thanks.

HART
Can we get you anything to eat?

PUSH IN ON Lonny’s face.
Starving. Relieved.

LONNY
Could you get me some --
American Burger?

EXT. VENISON POLICE HEADQUARTER - PARKING LOT - NIGHT
Hart walks over to his car.
Presses the auto-lock with a THWIP.

He opens the door.
Starts to get in.

LANE (V.O.)
You were really great with Lonny.

Reveal LANE. Standing nearby.
Fidgeting awkwardly.

HART
(turns, sees her, smiles)
Thanks --
(sighs)
Hopefully this’ll scare
the shit out of him,
get his act together.
(off her look)
What’s wrong? You okay?

LANE
I -- owe you an apology.

HART
What for?

LANE
I lied when I said I was gay.
(off his look)
I say that to keep men away.
After years of being abused
by guys, I don’t trust them.
(beat)
I mean, I’m bi -- but I DO date guys.

HART
Are you hitting on me?

LANE
Hell, no.

He narrows his eyes.
Lips curl into a hint of a smile.

HART
Why don’t we go grab a cup of coffee.
Talk about the prom.

LANE
You mean --

HART
Relax. Strictly business.
So don’t be expecting
a corsage or anything --

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Emergency Room


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 34 of THE INVISIBLE GIRL, Bettie's scientist father Bernard prepares to give her a blood transfusion to save her life, but then gets terrified when he discovers she's been voted prom queen ...


EXT. VENISON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL - NIGHT
Your typical establishing shot of
a picture-perfect suburban hospital.

SQUIRRELS play in the manicured grounds.
A friendly-looking NURSE pushes a
SMILING PATIENT in a wheel chair.

INT. VENISON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL - NIGHT
Quiet at this hour.
A PLUMP NURSE works at her station.

Bernard, Fleming Perkins and a
PUFFY, CHERUBIC DOCTOR
stand nearby chatting.

Puffy, Cherubic nods
his head thoughtfully.

PUFFY, CHERUBIC DOCTOR
We’ll cooperate in any way we can.
(smiles at Fleming)
I’m a big fan, Mr. Perkins.
I greatly enjoyed your book
A Lengthy History Of Science.

BERNARD
Her blood type is O-Negative.
Do you have enough
for a complete transfusion?

PUFFY, CHERUBIC DOCTOR
I think so. I’ll have to check.
If not, we can call
the nearby hospitals.

FLEMING
We’re also going to
need complete privacy.
If word of this gets
leaked to the media --

PUFFY, CHERUBIC DOCTOR
Of course, of course.
You have my word.
What time should we
expect her arrival?

BERNARD
Well, that’s the tricky part --

His cell phone RINGS.
He answers it.

BERNARD
This is Bernard Bee.
(listens)
You DID?
(listens)
Oh, DEAR.
(listens)
At a fast food restaurant?
I see.
(listens)
PROM QUEEN?
(listens)
I see.
Thank you for the update.
(listens)
I’m at the hospital,
making preparations for
her blood transfusion.
(listens)
It’s the only way
we can save her.
(listens)
Okay. Thank you. Goodbye.

He hangs up.
Looks at Stephen and Puffy.

BERNARD
That was the police.
They have good news
and bad news.

FLEMING
What’s the bad news?

BERNARD
They found Bettie --
but she escaped.

PUFFY, CHERUBIC DOCTOR
And the good news?

PUSH IN ON Bernard’s face.
Eyes bright with emotion.

BERNARD
She was elected prom queen.
(beat)
God help us all --

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Night To Dismember


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 33 of THE INVISIBLE GIRL, Bettie discovers that she is going to be crowned prom queen, and realizes it must be a trap. Meanwhile, the popular kids plot their revenge on her on prom night ...


EXT. ELECTRONIC STORE - NIGHT
The wall of TV’s show a familiar face.
It’s Muffin. Being interviewed by
the local TV news in front of the school.

MUFFIN
Well, Dirk -- the prom committee decided
to shake things up a bit this year --
so we’re going to announce who
the prom king and queen are -- right now.
(beat)
Omigod, I’m so excited I could
totally hurl my McFlurry.

DIRK JOE (30’s), local reporter extraordinaire
holds a mike in front of her. Smarmy smile.
Cheap suit. Decent rug.

DIRK
That’s quite the visual image, Muffin --

MUFFIN
LOL.

Pause.

DIRK
So?

MUFFIN
So --

DIRK
The prom king and queen?

MUFFIN
Oh. Right. Sorry.
(stares in the camera with big eyes)
I’ve never been on TV before.
Can I use this for my sizzle reel?

DIRK
I don’t see why not.

MUFFIN
Super. Okay.
(nods excitedly)
The prom king and queen for
Venison High’s ‘Night to Dismember’ are --
(dramatic pause)
Brad Stifle and Bettie Bee.

BETTIE’S APRON AND BAG OF FOOD
Stand in front of the window
full of TV’s. In shock.

BETTIE (V.O.)
I’m prom queen?
(beat)
They must really think I’m STUPID.
Like I wouldn’t realize it’s a TRAP?

She ROARS with laughter.

BETTIE (V.O.)
I’ll show THEM --

INT. SCHOOL CLASSROOM - NIGHT
The prom committee sits around the room.
Brad and Muffin stand at the
head of the class, arguing. Red-faced.

BRAD
I TOLD you, we were working
on a HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT.

MUFFIN
Bull-SHIT.
You were ANTHONY WEINERING her.

BRAD
Jesus Christ on a hotdog
nailed to a stick, Muffin. She’s DEAD.
Could you just CHILL with the accusations?
You’re the only fox for me.
(sings)
The Foxy fox on the run,
you scream and everybody comes --

MUFFIN
That’s NOT going to work
this time, retro-boy.
We’ll talk about this LATER.

An uncomfortable silence in the room.

EMERALD
You were really great on TV, Muffin.

TILA
Yeah, maybe now you can get a deal
for your reality show.

RONNIE
The Unreal Cheerleaders of Venison High.

BERT
Hell, yeah.
I’d Tivo the hell outta that sucker.

WHIT
Will there be the requisite amount
of gratuitous tits and ass?

MUFFIN
Calm down, horny goat-weeds.
The show isn’t just
a display of female flesh --
it’s also a scathing expose of
the deadening ennui of
upper-middle-class suburbia.

BRAD
Alright, alright --
enough about your goddamn TV SHOW.
We have to get our glutes in gear
and start setting up.
Status reports?

EMERALD
(looks at Tila and Ronnie)
We got all the decorations.
We just need everyone’s help
putting them up.

MUFFIN
Solid.

BRAD
(to Bert)
How are the refreshments coming along?

BERT
The teachers are handling
the punch and cookies --

He pulls a gallon of cheap vodka
out of his knapsack.

BERT
And I’ve got the spike that refreshes.

MUFFIN
Nice. What’s your liver damage?
(to Whit)
You got that band you told us about, right?

WHIT
Uh, no -- sorry.
Skull Bong broke up.

BRAD
But they were the best
death-metal band in TOWN.

MUFFIN
Not to mention the only one --

WHIT
Not to worry. I got another band.
(dramatic flourish)
A Flock Of Haircuts.

BRAD
Ohmigod. Not that cheesy
eighties synth-pop band --

WHIT
Sorry. Best I could do on short notice.

MUFFIN
I’m sure they’ll wake us up
before they go-go.
(CLAP-CLAPS her hands)
Okay, people. Let’s get TO WORK.
Looks like we’re gonna
have to pull an all-nighter
if we’re gonna rock the prom.

BRAD
A Night To Dismember -- Bettie Bee.

PUSH IN ON Muffin’s face.
Bugging her eyes out.

MUFFIN
(imitates Sissy Spacek)
It was bad, Momma.
(beat)
They LAUGHED at me --

Friday, August 19, 2016

Unhappy Meal


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 32 of THE INVISIBLE GIRL, it's a fast food clusterfuck of epic proportions when Bettie stops by American Burger and starts fucking with the counter help, the customers ... and the burgers ...


EXT. STRIP MALL - NIGHT
The usual crap. Check cashing joint.
Convenience store. Liquor emporium.

Fast food restaurants. An electronic store
with a wall of TV’s in the window.
We hear footsteps --

BETTIE (V.O.)
Hungry. Need to EAT.

The footsteps stop in front of the TV display.

ON TV
Is a commercial for American Burger.
A group of wildly grinning kids,
like outta some demented GLEE from hell
sing and dance while holding hamburgers.

BIG-CHESTED BLONDE CHEERLEADER
So when you want a tasty treat --

GAP-TOOTHED RETARDED KID IN WHEELCHAIR
And you’re stomach’s craving American meat --

BLACK ATHLETIC TYPE
Then get your butt to the
place that can’t be beat --

HOT ASIAN SMART CHICK WEARING GLASSES
Because American Burger is the place to eat --

SMILING LATIN GUY DRESSED LIKE A VALET
That makes you dance with HAPPY FEET.

Smiling Latin Guy breaks out into
a big tap-dance number.

The other kids start chowing down
and cheering him on.

EXT. AMERICAN BURGER RESTAURANT - NIGHT
Footsteps CLOMP-CLOMP up to the door.

BETTIE (V.O.)
I’m gonna have me a bunch of burgers,
some fries, a few shakes --

The door OPENS -- and the footsteps CLOMP in.

AT THE COUNTER
The place is dead. A couple of
PIMPLY-FACED KIDS hover over a smart-phone.
Point and squeal.

ACNE-SCARRED NERDY GUY
And here’s a shot of her sticking her ass
out the limo MOON-ROOF --

MOUTH-BREATHING FAT CHICK
My GOD. It’s bigger than it is on TV --

BETTIE (V.O.)
Can I get a dozen Freedom Burgers,
six orders of Homeland Fries
and four chocolate Liberty Shakes?

ACNE-SCARRED NERDY GUY
(spooked)
Who’s there --

MOUTH-BREATHING FAT CHICK
What was that?

BETTIE (V.O.)
I SAID -- I WANT A DOZEN FREEDOM BURGERS,
SIX ORDERS OF HOMELAND FRIES AND
FOUR FUCKING CHOCOLATE LIBERTY SHAKES. NOW.

ACNE-SCARRED NERDY GUY
What the fuck? Is this a joke?
Is that you, Reggie?

Bettie GRABS Acne-Scarred by the shirt collar.
Starts SHAKING HIM violently.

BETTIE (V.O.)
LISTEN, retard. I WANT MY FOOD, NOW.

ACNE-SCARRED NERDY GUY
HEY. Wh-what’s going ON?

Mouth-Breather starts freaking out.
She SCREAMS and RUNS to the back of the store.
We hear a door SLAM.

BETTIE (V.O.)
Are you gonna get my FOOD,
or do I have to get it MYSELF?

ACNE-SCARRED NERDY GUY
I -- don’t -- who --
(GASPS)
Who’s there?

Bettie THROWS him across the room.
He HITS the window with a CRACK.
Falls to the floor in a heap, THWUMP.

We hear Bettie JUMP over the counter.
A YOUNG COUPLE on a date come in.
They saunter up to the counter.

BLAND-LOOKING DORKY GUY
I’m gonna have some cheese-rinds --

VACANT-FACED PONYTAILED DRONE
Ooh, I love those. Let’s see --
(reads the menu)
And I’m gonna get some, uh -- fat-sticks.

BLAND-LOOKING DORKY GUY
Mmm. Me, too. I wanna try their
new dipping sauce -- egg cream.
(looks around)
Hey. Is anybody here? We’d like to order.

AT THE BACK GRILL
Bettie now wears an apron.
We see a bunch of burgers on the grill.

One by one, they get flipped,
then tossed onto buns.

AT THE COUNTER
Bland-Looking and Vacant-Faced
look around. Puzzled.

VACANT-FACED PONYTAILED DRONE
Hello. We’re WAITING --

IN THE BACK
A row of MILKSHAKES get poured.

Lids get POPPED on them.
AT THE COUNTER

Bland and Vacant look at each other.
VERY annoyed.

BLAND-LOOKING DORKY GUY
This is ridiculous. C’mon -- let’s go over
to Captain Roger’s Fish and Chunks.

Just as they turn to go, a GIANT BAG OF FOOD
hovers in the air above Bettie’s apron,
then FLIES over the counter --

and heads toward the door,
along with Bettie’s FOOTSTEPS.

Bland and Vacant stare. Open-mouthed.

BETTIE (V.O.)
What’s the matter? Cat got your gut?
Why do you think they call it FAST FOOD?
(beat)
BWAHAHAHAHA -- !

The door OPENS, and the apron,
bag and the footsteps leave.

ON THE SIDEWALK OUTSIDE
Bettie’s apron CLOMPS down the pavement
with the bag FLYING through the air.
A burger POPS OUT and disappears.

BETTIE (V.O.)
So when you want a tasty treat --`
(a bag of fries FLIES OUT,
then gets eaten)
And you’re stomach’s craving
American meat --
(a milkshake FLIES UP)
Then get your butt to the place
that can’t be beat --
(gets SUCKED DOWN)
Because American Burger
is the place to eat --
(BURPS)
That makes you dance with HAPPY FEET.

The apron does a little jig,
and the footsteps CLOMP-CLOMP
like the commercial.

She breaks out into INSANE LAUGHTER.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Stinking To High Heaven


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 31 of THE INVISIBLE GIRL, homicide detective Hart Klavan and rookie cop Lane Diamond discover Lonny's father's dead body and grill him about Bettie's whereabouts ...


INT. LONNY’S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Frank’s body lies on the floor.
Arms up in the air at a
forty-five degree angle.

Lonny stares. About to lose it.

BETTIE (V.O.)
C’mon. You take the legs --

LONNY
I -- can’t.
(beat)
That’s my DAD.

BETTIE (V.O.)
Not ANYMORE he’s not.
Right now he’s a dead, bloated
mass of flesh that pretty soon
is going to start
stinking to high heaven.

LONNY
I know, but -- but --

BETTIE (V.O.)
But WHAT?
You want somebody to FIND him?

LONNY
No, of course not. It’s just --

The doorbell RINGS.
He WHIPS his head toward the front door.

LONNY
Who could that be at THIS hour?

Lonny’s dad’s arms DROP.
We hear Bettie’s footsteps
go to the front door. Then silence.
The footsteps come back to Lonny.

BETTIE (V.O.)
It’s the fucking COPS.
I TOLD you we needed to MOVE him.

LONNY
What are we gonna do NOW?

The doorbell RINGS again.

BETTIE (V.O.)
I don’t know about you,
but I’m getting the hell OUTTA here.

LONNY
But you can’t just -- leave.

BETTIE (V.O.)
Just WATCH me.
(giggles)
Oh, yeah -- that’s right. You CAN’T.
(beat)
See you in the FUNNY PAPERS.

We see her footsteps in the carpet
RACE back toward the kitchen.

Then hear them SLAP on the linoleum.
A door SLAMS.

The doorbell RINGS again.

LONNY
Shit.

OUTSIDE
Hart and Lane look at each other.

HART
I heard voices.

LANE
So did I.

Hart BANGS on the door with his fist.

HART
Lonny Schmerzler.
This is THE POLICE.
OPEN THE DOOR. NOW.

The door opens. Lonny appears.
White as a ghost.

LONNY
Please. You gotta help me.
I didn’t do it.

LANE
Do what?

LONNY
It’s -- my father.
H-he -- had a heart attack.

LANE
We know Bettie’s here, Lonny.

HART
Please stand aside, son.

Lonny nods. Turns around.
Leads them into the house.

INT. LONNY’S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Hart, Lane and Lonny
stand near the body.
Starting at it.

HART
Do you know what caused it?

LONNY
He saw Bettie, and --

HART
Wait. How could he see her?

LONNY
She was eating ice cream
and got it all over her face.

LANE
(looks at the scanner)
SHIT. The reading stopped. She’s GONE.

HART
Where did she go, Lonny?

LONNY
I don’t know.
She saw it was you at the door --
and she, she ran away.

HART
Do you realize how much trouble
you’re in, young man?

LONNY
Yes, sir.

LANE
Let’s go sit on the couch.
I want to hear the whole story,
from the beginning.

He sits.
Looks like he’s about to cry.

Lane sits down next to him.
Takes out her notebook.
Gives him a hopeful smile.

Hart takes out his cell phone.
Moves away. Dials a number.

LANE
So --

LONNY
(sighs)
I was in class a couple days ago,
and I got a text message from Bettie
saying she needed my help --

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Element Of Surprise


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 30 of THE INVISIBLE GIRL, homicide detective Hart Klavan and rookie cop Lane Diamond decide to visit murder suspect Bettie Bee's best friend Lonny Schmerzler and put the screws to him ...


INT. HART’S UNDERCOVER VEHICLE - MOVING - NIGHT
Hart drives down the street.
Lane points the laser-tracker
out her window.

Looks at the LCD display.

HART
So I decided to string together
several short stories I’ve written
about the same private eye,
and realized I had
the start of a NOVEL --

Lane stares the device.
Shakes her head.

HART
I’m sorry. I’m boring you.
When I start talking
about my writing, I tend
to get carried away.

LANE
No, no -- it’s okay.
(sighs)
It’s just -- this is like
trying to find a beer
at an AA meeting.

HART
Tell you what.
In the morning we’ll get
the addresses of all her
classmates and go
by their houses.
Sound good?

LANE
That narrows it down a bit --
to only a few hundred places.

He stops at an intersection.
Lane looks at the street sign.

LANE
Hey. Wait a minute.

HART
What?

LANE
We’re right near
her best friend’s house,
Lonny Schmerzler.

HART
Yeah?

LANE
Well, we didn’t really
get to question him.
We got called over
to that crime scene --
(beat)
And is it just me,
or didn’t he seem
a little -- off?
(off his look)
And isn’t kind of a
coincidence that he was
just getting home
right after the murder?

HART
You have a hunch?
A feeling in your gut?
LANE
(carefully)
Yeah --

HART
That’s the mark of
a good cop, officer Diamond.
There might be hope for you yet.

LANE
You mean?

HART
(turns the wheel)
Let’s go pay him
a little visit.

LANE
Isn’t it kind of late?

HART
Element of surprise,
officer Diamond.
(beat)
Element of surprise --