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A Fan Writer's Mind

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1        INT.  A FAN WRITER'S SKULL

 

          Normally a very cluttered place, and now is no exception.  The location is currently furnished in a cross between hospital ICU room and a cozy mountain cabin.  Mental notes and the bits and pieces of several discarded ideas litter the site.  The Fan closes the just emptied idea file.  Undaunted, she lays the file aside and makes another mental note:

 

 

2        INSERT        MENTAL NOTE

 

          (SPECIAL EFFECT: mental notes are written in fiery purple letters on thin air, inside a border of the same fiery material.)  This one says in all capital print:

 

          THINK UP A NEW WAY TO TRASH HARRISON AND IRONHORSE TODAY.

 

 

3        ANGLE ON SUDDEN DISTURBANCE

 

          In the middle of the ICU cabin a swirling, neon green vortex appears.  In the middle of the vortex the vague outlines of the face of Frank Mancuso Jr. can be seen, alternately stretching and shrinking in hideous contortions, looking like he is about to pop into a million bits with the next stretch.  Something is obviously about to happen. . .

 

 

4        ANGLE ON FAN

 

          Profoundly startled, but enjoying the sight of Mancuso writhing.

 

 

5        ANGLE ON DISTURBANCE

 

          which, with a sudden FLASH and POP! becomes, incredibly enough, two other minds inside this skull-space.  These inadvertent intruders are HARRISON BLACKWOOD, a weird and wacky mind, and LT. COL. PAUL IRONHORSE, a somewhat prim but hardy mind.

 

 

6        ANGLE ON FAN

 

          Startled but obviously delighted.

 

 

7        ANGLE ON HARRISON AND IRONHORSE

 

          They glance around at their new surroundings.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          All right, Blackwood, how'd you pull this one off?

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          Me?  I have—

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

Never.  Never again will I let you try to hypnotize me.  What was I thinking?  Where the hell are we?

 

 

8        THE SCENE

 

 

                                                          FAN

          Hi!  You're in my mind.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          Who's she?

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          I haven't got a clue, Colonel.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

(to the fan)  How much did he pay you, and how the hell did you get past security?

 

 

9        CU - FAN

 

                                                          FAN

Me?  Nothing.  And you really are in my mind.  Good thing, too, I have a deadline and I haven't had a good trash plot for days.  Maybe you can help me?

 

 

10      ANGLE ON IRONHORSE

 

          Reacting to that.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          'Trash plot'?

 

 

11      ANGLE ON FAN

 

 

                                                          FAN

You see, I really have to get a story done.  I can't afford to buy zines.  (smiles)  Gosh, I'm not being much of a hostess, am I?  Please, make yourselves at home.  Then we'll talk.

 

 

12      THE SCENE

 

          Harrison and Ironhorse move about, inspecting their shared quarters.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          (to Harrison)  Pretty weird taste in decor, don't you think?

 

 

13      ANGLE ON HARRISON

 

          who is inspecting the hospital bed with an eye toward a nap.

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          Works for me.

 

 

14      ANGLE ON IRONHORSE

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          Why am I not surprised?

 

15      THE SCENE

 

          Harrison sits on the bed, testing it.  Ironhorse moves to a file cabinet that's stuffed full of old ideas and plots.  The drawers are half open and some ideas spill out, creating a small drift on the floor.  The colonel reaches down and picks up a few and reads them.

 

 

                                                          FAN

          Run into any old enemies lately, Colonel?

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          Not recently.

 

 

                                                          FAN

          Too bad, that's always a good one.

 

 

16      ANGLE ON HARRISON

 

          who watches the Fan watch Ironhorse as he digs deeper into the drawer.

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          (to Fan)  What's wrong?  You look like you've seen a ghost.

 

 

17      ANGLE ON FAN

 

          who is now watching her relatively short life play out on a small screen set up in the corner of the room.

 

 

                                                          FAN

          He's going to kill me!

 

 

18      ANGLE ON IRONHORSE

 

          who looks up from the ideas with not murder, but incredulity in his eyes.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          Harrison!  This— This— She's—

 

 

19      THE SCENE

 

          Harrison slips off the bed, sidestepping the Fan, who runs for cover in a corner closet, slamming the door shut behind her.

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          Calm down, Colonel.  What's wrong?

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          Our security's been breached!  That woman must be an alien!

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          Colonel, English, please.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          (extending a mixed bag of ideas)  Look!

 

 

20      ANGLE ON HARRISON

 

          as he reads, his eyes growing wider with each word.

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          My, my, my… she doesn't like you very much, does she?

 

 

21      ANGLE ON IRONHORSE

 

          He displays his own ideas about what he thinks of the Fan's ideas.  (Details are censored in order to keep from acquiring NC-17 rating.)

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          Keep going, it gets worse!

 

 

22      ANGLE ON HARRISON

 

          flipping through the Fan's ideas with rapt curiosity and obvious enjoyment.

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          Why, Colonel, I didn't realize you could be so… so… expressive.

 

 

23      THE SCENE

 

          The Fan sneaks from her closet to watch while Ironhorse paces back and forth across the space, wearing a rut into the floor.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

'Expressive'!  You'd be expressive too if you'd gotten shot, stabbed, whipped, beaten, poisoned, drowned and blown up!

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

Not to mention bonked on the head, dropped into freezing water, tossed off a cliff and attacked by lust-crazed Amazons.  Lucky bastard.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          And that's not the half of it!

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          Oh my!

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

 

          That's the other half!

 

 

24      ANGLE ON HARRISON

 

          reacting to the last bunch of ideas to pop out.

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          Why, Paul, I never knew—

 

 

25      ANGLE ON IRONHORSE

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          I'm not!  I am not in love with you, Harrison.  Not – not - NOT!

 

 

26      THE SCENE

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          Then it really is Norton you—?

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

No!  Not you, not Norton, not Suzanne!  (he pauses, then shrugs)  Okay, maybe Suzanne…

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          But it says right here, I'm your soul-mate.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          Over my dead body!

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

          Careful, Colonel, we don't know where we are, remember?

 

 

27      ANGLE ON FAN

 

          as she makes a few alterations in the space.  WE PAN DOWN TO:

 

 

28      DESK TOP

 

          which blurs, becoming a buffet, complete with all the trimmings, including champagne.

 

 

                                                          FAN

          A little food for thought, gentlemen?

 

 

29      SEVERAL FULL BOTTLES.  DISSOLVE TO:

 

 

30      SEVERAL EMPTY BOTTLES.  PULL BACK TO:

 

 

31      THE SCENE

 

          It is some time later.  All three minds are comfortably fuzzy around the edges.  They've all been swapping stories and an interesting selection of memories is scattered across the floor.

 

 

                                                          FAN

You're both welcome to stay.  You're great company.  Even better than I could've imagined.

 

HARRISON

          We'd love to, but—

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          We have a lot of things we have to do.  Besides, what would we do?

 

 

                                                          FAN

          Well, you know all the real details of the War of the Worlds, and – I know!

 

 

LIGHTS COME ON all over the skullspace, restoring it to its usual brilliance.

 

 

32      ANGLE ON FAN

 

 

                                                          FAN

          We're going to write scripts!

 

 

33      ANGLE ON HARRISON AND IRONHORSE

 

          who are both blinking rapidly due to all the sudden illumination.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          Scripts?

 

 

34      ANGLE ON FAN

 

 

                                                          FAN

Yes!  And the first one is going to be about the sudden, horrible demise of a television producer named Frank Mancuso Jr.

 

 

35      THE SCENE

 

          Ironhorse's eyes narrow as the Fan remembers what the so-call producer did to him.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          All right, I have a few ideas.

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

Yes, Colonel, we have to stop the producer from killing you off, but I want a chance to try some of these other plots.

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          Don't hold your breath, Blackwood.

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

Maybe if it wasn't really you who blew his head off… if it was another clone…

 

 

                                                                   FAN

          Oh, I like it!

 

 

                                                     HARRISON

And when you escape the aliens and make your way back to us you realize that I am your soul-mate, and—

 

 

                                                    IRONHORSE

          No!  Absolutely not!

 

 

                                                          FAN

          (nodding to Harrison)  I can see it.

 

 

36      THE MENTAL NOTE

 

          which is still hanging in mid-air.  A fiery check mark appears next to it and it flutters down, fading away as it does.

 

 

          We PULL BACK, leaving the Fan happily absorbed in her work, Harrison standing behind her, watching over her shoulder, nodding.  Ironhorse frantically searches for an escape…

 

 

FADE TO PURPLE