Thursday, May 12, 2016
Be It Ever So Humble
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 continues her grueling drive across America's heartland in the 100 degree summer heat ... without air conditioning ...
INT. CATE’S CAR - MOVING - MID-AFTERNOON
Cate drives, sleepy from the heat.
Bobby leans out the window,
ears flapping in the breeze,
tongue hanging out.
She takes a drink
from her water bottle.
Pops in a fresh stick of gum.
Lights another smoke.
FRIDAY FOSTER (V.O.)
Kelsey rabbit-punched him in the throat.
He doubled over in pain, gasping for air,
clutching his ruined windpipe.
EXT. AMERICA’S BEST VALUE MOTEL - EARLY EVENING
Beyond shitty. Cate’s car sits
in the almost empty parking lot.
CARS and TRUCKS FLY BY on the highway.
Welcome to Winslow, Arizona.
In the middle of nowhere.
What the fuck were The Eagles thinking?
INT. AMERICA’S BEST VALUE MOTEL - ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Wood panelling. Ripped, stained carpet.
But it’s cheap. And you can smoke.
And have a dog.
There’s even a vintage Mr. Coffee.
Be it ever so humble,
there’s no place like dive.
Cate sits on the bed cross-legged
working her laptop.
On the night table is a beer,
a bottle, her mini-bong,
a pack of smokes and
a tiny glass ashtray.
Cate on the highway,
listening to books on tape.
Sipping water. Chewing gum.
Bobby in his seat,
tongue hanging out in the heat.
Clock reads 9:00.
A sign reads ENTERING NEW MEXICO.
Miles and miles of nothing
as far as the eye can see.
Flyover state, indeed.
Another America’s Best Value Motel.
Cate drags her bags into the room.
SUPER reads MORIARTY, POP. 1,910.
Morning. Cate trudges to the
complimentary breakfast in the lobby.
Tiny, crusty mini-donuts.
Weak orange juice. Scary-looking bacon.
She loads a plate, heads back to her room.
Back on the highway.
Pulls into a Navive American
gas station/gift shop/rest area.
Walks Bobby in the scrub brush outside.
A FERAL DOG in a pickup truck BARKS at them.
Driving again. Brain turning to mush.
A sign reads WELCOME TO TEXAS --
then another -- $2000 FINE FOR LITTERING.
Cate LAUGHS. WINGS a cassette out the window.
DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS.
Yet another America’s Best Value Motel.
Super reads AMARILLO, TEXAS.
Cate drags her bags out to her car.
Cate eats outside at a McDonald’s
at a picnic table with Bobby.
No one else around, since
it’s as hot as a furnace.
Sign reads YUKON, POP. 24,128.
yes, folks, there it is -- wait for it --
another America’s Best Value Motel.
Welcome to Oklahoma, where the wind
comes sweeping down the stains.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Much smaller than the room we saw before.
And shittier. No coffee machine.
Big, old TV on with the sound off.
Cate sits on the bed.
Fires up her laptop.
Does a shot of bourbon.
Chases it with a sip from her longneck.
Then a hit from her mini-bong.
She tries to connect to the internet.
What the fuck?
She reaches over.
Picks up the phone.
Dials the front desk.
Yeah, hi. This is room two-thirty-four --
The internet connection’s not --
Too many people are -- ?
She SLAMS the phone down.
Closes the laptop.
Does another shot.
Grabs the remote.
Turns the sound up.
Come on down to Norm Hurley Auto
on Garth Brooks Boulevard --
we got prices that can’t be beat.
PUSH IN ON Cate’s face.
Wishing she was anyplace else.