Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Prairie Home Companion
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 13 of FILLMORE, Fillmore Slim and the other musicians continue their tour of Texas, stopping in a one-horse town for a show, where he meets Peach, a beautiful, young white hooker who takes a shine to him and takes off with him on the road. A little later, they stop for gas, and discover a young woman in distress that Slim decides to help out ...
EXT. SOUTHERN TOWN - DAY
A small, one-horse town with a typical Main Street
lined with shops and businesses.
The car pulls up in front of a theater.
The marquee reads DU-TONE RECORDS REVIEW.
One of the names underneath reads FILLMORE SLIM.
IN THE CAR
Slim looks at the sign.
EXT. POOL HALL - NIGHT
The wagon is parked in front of a pool hall
with signs that reads WHITES ONLY and CLOSED.
Slim gives the OWNER (40’s) some cash.
Owner shakes his finger at him.
POOL HALL OWNER
Now remember, you gotta be out before six-AM, got it?
Slim nods. Owner leaves.
(to the group)
C’mon. We go in round the back.
PUSH IN ON Slim’s face. Pissed off.
INT. POOL HALL - NIGHT
Your typical old, rundown southern pool hall.
Chester, Beau and Gil lie sleeping on pool tables.
Off in a dark corner on another table Slim
sleeps between The Blossoms.
INT. SMALL TOWN THEATER - NIGHT
The review plays to a packed house of LOCAL TOWNSPEOPLE.
We see a series of signs showing where the review plays:
AUSTIN, MARSHALL, LUBBOCK, GALVESTON, MIDLAND.
INT. NIGHT CLUB - NIGHT
Slim’s onstage with the band singing BIG BRASS MONKEY.
In the front row sits PEACH (20’s),
a tall, beautiful blonde white girl.
She eyes Slim appreciatively. He notices.
Drops to one knee and sings directly to her. She swoons.
EXT. NIGHT CLUB - NIGHT
Slim stands outside getting some air after the show, smoking.
(mutters to himself)
Ten dollars a show. I ain’t never gonna get myself a Cadillac.
ACROSS THE STREET
In front of a run-down hotel, Peach is
arguing with an OILY REPTILIAN CREEP (50’S).
He SLAPS her. She STORMS up the steps, goes inside.
Watches her. Tosses his cigarette. Goes back inside.
INT. NIGHT CLUB - FRONT BAR - NIGHT
Peach walks up to the bar. Sees Slim. Sits next to him.
Hey there, blues man.
Hey there yourself, fine young thing. You gotta name?
I could watch you sing every night.
Well, I’m leaving town tomorrow.
You’re gonna have to buy my records
if you wanna hear me every night.
She stares at him. Takes a puff of her cigarette. Thinking.
This is gonna sound crazy --
Take me with you.
Don’t have enough room in the car.
She pulls a wad of cash out of her purse. Hands it to him.
I choose you.
EXT. RUN-DOWN HOTEL - DAY
The wagon is parked at the curb.
Chester, Beau and Ellie sit squeezed in the back.
Cherry sits up front between Slim and Gil.
Peach comes out of the hotel with an overnight bag.
She goes to the passenger-side door.
Opens it. Looks at Gil.
Get in the back, Gil.
But there ain’t enough room.
I said get in the back.
He makes a face. Glares at Peach. Gets out.
Squeezes in the back, Ellie on his lap.
Slim turns. Looks at Peach. Smiles.
Peach smiles, squeezes his arm, and the car TAKES OFF.
EXT. GAS STATION/CONVENIENCE STORE - DAY
Slim pulls the car into an old,
run-down gas station in the middle of nowhere.
Next to it is a decrepit hotel.
As Slim, Peach and the band members get out,
a tumbleweed rolls by.
As Slim starts to follow everyone into the store,
he sees a WHITE GIRL (18) about seven months pregnant
digging around in a trash can.
They lock eyes. She turns away, embarrassed.
An old pickup truck SCREECHES to a stop right in front of her,
kicking up a cloud of dust. Two WHITE BOYS (18) get out.
The girl hurries toward her motel room.
The boys YELL insults at her. See Slim. Give him a dirty looks.
INT. CONVENIENCE STORE - MOMENTS LATER
Slim pays for his gas and a couple of bags of groceries.
Why are you buying all that stuff?
Young girl needs our help. Follow me.
EXT. MOTEL ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Slim and Peach hold the bags of food. He knocks on the door.
An OLDER WHITE WOMAN (40’s) opens it. They go in.
INT. MOTEL ROOM - DAY
A squalid, dirty room filled with despair.
Pregnant Girl lies on the bed.
Slim and Peach put the bags down on a table.
You’re not gonna believe this, but I accidentally bought too much food.
I thought maybe you could help me out and take it.
They stare at him, embarrassed. Slim and Peach turn to leave.
OLDER WHITE WOMAN
Sit for a spell. We’d love the company.
Slim and Peach nod. Sit. The door to the bathroom opens.
A MULATTO BOY (2) walks in. He, too is filthy, looks unhealthy.
OLDER WHITE WOMAN (CONT’D)
(nods at Ben)
When Cricket gave birth to Ben, all hell broke loose.
Her husband threw her out of the house --
and now with another colored baby on the way,
things are gonna go from bad to worse.
Thanks so much for your help.
It means an awful lot to poor folks like us.
With your permission, I’d take them with us,
but we just don’t have enough room.
OLDER WHITE WOMAN
But I want you to know that if Cricket ever comes to San Francisco,
I’d make sure she’d be taken care of. Okay?
OLDER WHITE WOMAN
God bless you, son.