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Janice -- a screenplay

Script By: siriuslyriddikulus
Mystery and crime


This is a screenplay I wrote for my Film class. I hope you enjoy it; I'm quite proud of it.

P.S. I tried to format it to make it sort of look like a screenplay, but it's not perfect. I suppose we'll have to make do.


Submitted:Apr 11, 2010    Reads: 80    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


INT. APARTMENT - DAY

Dark and gloomy. Gritty light is streaming in through the few openings in the blankets draped over the windows. We creep across the floor, revealing random garbage, dirty laundry, and several empty liquor bottles. We find JANICE, 33, depressed, on the couch with a bottle in one hand and a cigarette in the other. She stares blankly at the empty television screen, until she finally turns her head to look down at the newspaper beside her.

JANICE'S POV - HEADLINE SAYS "YOUNG NEW YORK TIMES JOURNALIST RISES...ONLY TO FALL."

The phone RINGS three times until Janice grudgingly picks it up.

JANICE:

(croakily)

"What?"

MALE VOICE:

"Are you alright, Janice?"

JANICE:

"I'll give you three guesses."

MV:

(sighing)

"We're really going to miss you at the office, but you know I can't tolerate that kind of behavior."

JANICE:

"One."

MV:

(not listening)

"I know it was mainly an accident, but you were way out of line."

JANICE:

"Two."

MV:

"She'll adjust, you know. But Janice, she doesn't blame you."

JANICE:

(detached)

"All out of guesses."

The receiver CLANGS back into the cradle. Janice puts her head into her hands, rocking slightly. After a while, she looks over with watery eyes at a frame on the wall, inside of which is a Certificate of Achievement.

FLASHBACK - INT. NEW YORK TIMES - DAY

Janice's boss waves a Certificate of Achievement over the heads of all of the employees that have vacated their cubicles in order to crowd around Janice. All sounds have a slight echo to them, as if they happened in a whole different lifetime as glasses are CLINKED and Janice is APPLAUDED. She is bright with excitement and looking very confident as she receives her award.

BOSS:

"Only for the finest. Good work, Janice, you've really earned it."

JOURNALIST:

"Do a reading!"

The crowd starts chanting "Reading!" as Janice grins and starts to comply.

INT. APARTMENT - SAME TIME

Janice gets up from the couch and walks unsteadily toward the kitchen. She leans into the hallway wall and her attention is drawn to a green and brown bracelet dangling from one of the key pegs. A stoic look takes over her face as another memory comes rushing back.

FLASHBACK - INT. NEW YORK TIMES - DAY

Janice is walking through a row of cubicles. The sounds of TYPING and printers HUMMING surround her. She stops at a cubicle where a woman is moving her stuff in.

JANICE:

"Hey, I heard there was a new girl so I thought I'd come over and welcome you."

Janice extends a hand, and they shake.

LAUREN:

"Thanks, that's nice of you. My name is Lauren."

JANICE:

"Well it's nice to meet you, Lauren. Hey--I like your bracelet."

LAUREN:

(looks down at the green and brown bracelet on her wrist)

"Oh, you do? Well you can have it if you want. I make them, I have tons of them."

Lauren takes it off and holds it out to Janice. Janice takes it and looks down at it, smiling.

JANICE:

"Hey, thanks, kid."

INT. APARTMENT - SAME TIME

Janice rips the bracelet from the hook, stumbles quickly into the kitchen, and throws it down the drain. She irrationally turns the garbage disposal on, and beads go flying. One strikes the window above the sink, putting a crack in it. Janice's eyes well up as her breathing becomes heavier.

FLASHBACK - INT. NEW YORK TIMES - DAY

There is an excited commotion surrounding Lauren's cubicle as Janice sits dejectedly in hers. Employees clap Lauren on the back, but the boss is the only one noticing Janice's solemn mood. He leaves the group and comes over to talk, noticing as he does so that Janice rips off her bracelet and flings it into the corner.

BOSS:

"Come on Janice, you have to admit Lauren is a good--"

JANICE:

"She's only been here for what? Two weeks? It took me TEN YEARS to get where I'm at. You have to admit that there's something weird going on."

BOSS:

(shaking his head)

"No. Janice. It's quite simpleā€¦she's just an excellent writer..."

JANICE:

"Fine. You don't see it now, but I'll find out how she's doing it. I'll make you see."

BOSS:

"She's a great addition to the paper. Just forget about it and focus on your own work."

The boss leaves and Janice turns to look at the abandoned bracelet, her face devoid of emotion.

INT. NEW YORK TIMES - LATER

The edges of Janice's memories start to get fuzzy and indistinct. Janice is confronting Lauren in the center of all of the cubicles, where there is a sitting area with a few chairs and a glass coffee table. They have the attention of all the other journalists, who are sticking their heads out of their cubicles or standing up to get a better view.

JANICE:

(fighting to keep her voice steady)

"How did you do it?"

LAUREN:

(wary)

"Do what?"

JANICE:

"How were you able to rise to the TOP of this paper in
two weeks when it took ME ten years? "

Janice starts to advance menacingly towards Lauren, making her retreat slowly in fear. Now, along with the blurry image, voices are starting to become distant and muffled.

LAUREN:

"I d--I don't know what you m--"

JANICE:

"Don't give me that shit. It has to be something illegal. Are you getting outside help?"

Janice gives Lauren a little push, trying to intimidate her further.

BOSS:

"Janice! That's enough!"

JANICE:

"Young little Lauren, fresh from college..." (scoffs) "...but nonetheless determined to do whatever it takes to beat the best writer at the New York Times."

LAUREN:

(begins to hold her ground)

"W-what, you think I did something illegal? Like
plagiarize or something?"

Janice and Lauren are now practically nose to nose. Janice looks insane, with her hair falling out of her bun and into her face.


JANICE:

"Do I hear a confession? That's it. That has to be it. Plagiarism. You're
disgusting! "

Janice throws Lauren away from her, but with a little too much force. Lauren falls, hitting the back of her neck directly on the edge of the glass table, putting a long jagged crack in the top of it. She falls limply to the ground, knocked out. Janice is stunned, staring at the small spot of blood that Lauren left. Her eyes move to the crack instead, focusing on it as a few employees rush to Lauren's side. The image swims, gray fuzziness taking over. The action around her seems to become slow motion as sound starts to fade.

INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT

The crack in the table becomes the crack in Janice's kitchen window and the phone is heard RINGING off the hook. We see the kitchen counter, where a knife block sits with one missing. We see the lower cupboards, revealing a bloody hand print. Janice is dead on the floor, her arm swimming in a puddle of blood as the phone continues to ring.

The end.




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