The Valley of the Tools Episode 13

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic


Ryan is invited to join a band by a lackadaisical stoner on his street, but soon finds out the tremendous risks involved, Luther meets a robotic young woman at a karaoke bar and Rob meets his match
with an egotistical director CBS Studios picked up to do AstroManda

Submitted: July 31, 2018

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Submitted: July 31, 2018

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THE VALLEY OF THE TOOLS

 

“LITTLE DARK AGE”

 

TV-MA DLSV

 

“Forgiving who you are, for what you stand to gain, just know that if you hide, it doesn't go away. When you get out of bed, don't end up stranded. Horrified with each stone on the stage. My little dark age”

  • Andrew VanWyngarden

 

(We open on Rob, Whitney and Hannah sitting in Whitney’s office on couches around a conference call device. Rob is scrolling through his phone)

 

WHITNEY: So, that’s when I cut out Mayo completely.

 

HANNAH: That’s great, babe, but how was that such a hard task for you?

 

ROB: Oh, shit.

 

WHITNEY: What? Did another Trump tape leak? Please tell me he made Michael Cohen call him “daddy”.

 

ROB: No, Leslie Moonves just got accused of sexual harassment and assault.

 

HANNAH: Isn’t that-?

 

WHITNEY: The CEO of CBS, yep.

 

HANNAH: Well, good. Piece of shit, he should be fired.

 

ROB: Yeah, I agree, but why did it have to happen today, though?

 

HANNAH: Would you have preferred women at CBS suffer a little longer?

 

ROB: No, why couldn’t it have happened before we partnered with CBS Studios? Now they’re going to be in a shitty mood on the phone!
 

WHITNEY: Let’s just not mention it. BONNIE! Get the cavalcade ready.

 

BONNIE: (OS) Okay! (On the phone) Mr. Payne, Mr. Pollard and Mrs. Lyvers are on.

 

ROB: Hi, everybody. Rob Altmire here, with Whitney Stone and Hannah Delaney, how’s everyone feeling?

 

MEGHAN: (On the phone) A little distracted, to be honest.

 

WHITNEY: Yes, we heard.

 

MEGHAN: It’s obviously bad timing considering the, nature of your company.

 

HANNAH: I think that it’s more than-

 

(Rob clears his throat)
 

ROB: Well, we should let the investigation play out and get to the bottom of what happens.

 

MEGHAN: Yeah.

 

ROB: Hope you’re enjoying Lilly.

 

MEGHAN: Yes, she’s a sunflower on a sunny day, can we get to business here?

 

WHITNEY: Sure, I think we’re here to discuss Joss’ pages.

 

JOSS: (On the phone) Thank you.

 

ROB: She didn’t compliment your pages, Joss.

 

JOSS: Appreciated.

 

ROB: I thought they were, adequate, however. Really adequate stuff, good job.

 

JOSS: Thanks.

 

MEGHAN: Yeah, we had some mixed feelings about the pages, honestly-

 

ROB: Totally agree. Hundred percent.

 

(Whitney glares at Rob. He shrugs his shoulders)

 

JAY: (On the phone) Excuse me, Jay Pollard here, just had some thoughts about the pages.

 

ROB: Oh. Okay.

 

JAY: I know I’m just a director, but, I have to say, what about these pages DRAW me into the story? And I don’t mean, make me care, make me invest in the story- I mean what about these pages makes me feel like I’m there?

 

WHITNEY: Uh-huh.

 

JAY: I want to feel emotionally connected to every single character here- AstroManda, her trusty dog, even Chief Flamethrower.

 

ROB: But, Chief Flamethrower is a villain.

 

JAY: Right, but I want to identify with the villain too, you know? Not in a, “I want to be him” way, but in a “I understand where he’s coming from” way.

 

ROB: You want to understand where he’s coming from when he blows up the Puppy Orphanage Planet?

 

MEGHAN: I think we’re getting off track here. The pages are confusing and hard to follow, why does AstroManda’s dog fly into a wind turbine near the end?

 

JOSS: It’s a comment on, you know, environmentalism. You know how wind turbines kill a bunch of birds?

 

WHITNEY: Yeah. But I don’t think we should kill off her dog in the first episode.

 

JAY: There is something to be said about subverting the audience’s expectations, though. (Rob puts his head in his hands) If you introduce this dog character, a loveable little scamp, the audience thinks he’s gonna stick around, but then, whoa- he’s gone. It keeps them on the edge of their seats-

 

(Rob’s head shoots up)

 

ROB: We’re not killing the goddamn dog!
 

MEGHAN: Yeah, no way in Hell.

 

WHITNEY: Agreed. We’ll have Joss and Hannah work on some new pages for you guys.

 

MEGHAN: Okay, great. Talk to you all soon.

 

ROB: Talk to you soon, bye!
 

HANNAH: Bye!
 

JOSS: Goodbye.

 

JAY: I really appreciate all of your input-

 

(Jay is cut off)

 

BONNIE: (OS) They’re off.

 

ROB: Thank you so much, Bonnie. Good Lord.

 

HANNAH: Joss is impossible to work with. His mind is that of a desperate college freshman’s.

 

ROB: Your guys’ pages were fine, but, what the hell is Jay going on about?

 

WHITNEY: Yeah, his comments were, overwrought.

 

ROB: I don’t give a fuck what he thinks about Joss and Hannah’s pages! He’s a director, not a writer! I don’t give a fuck that he got nominated for an Emmy! It’s not the fuckin’ Academy Award!
 

HANNAH: What have you gotten nominated for?

 

ROB: “Best Bod”, Redondo Beach Muscle Man Contest, 2015.

 

WHITNEY: I thought it was “Most Improved Bod”?

 

ROB: I-I-I don’t remember, it was a long time ago. All I’m saying is, maybe we should tell CBS we can’t work with Jay.

 

WHITNEY: Whoa, come on, Rob, he’s kind of annoying, but CBS hand-picked him. We don’t want to rustle a lion that just got a sexual harassment case dropped on its head. Or, it’s…mane?

 

HANNAH: Huh?

 

WHITNEY: So, CBS is a lion, right?

 

ROB: Fine. Whatever. I’ll deal. Ugh. I need a smoke.

 

(Rob walks towards the door)

 

WHITNEY: Rob! (Rob turns around) Remember, dinner with head of Drama Development Yelena Chak tonight. Gotta convince her to put the show on CBS, as well.

 

(Rob rolls his eyes and walks out of Whitney’s office. Cut to McKenzie, Kevin, Bonnie, Miles and Luther sitting in a booth at a karaoke bar. McKenzie takes a tied cherry stem out of her mouth, and everyone but Kevin applauds)

 

KEVIN: She has another one in there at all times.

 

MCKENZIE: Shut up! I do not.

 

KEVIN: You’re deceived by this wench’s lies, but I am not.

 

LUTHER: Did he get you talking like that?

 

(McKenzie laughs)

 

MCKENZIE: He’s just a jokester.

 

(McKenzie kisses Kevin on the cheek)

 

KEVIN: Got the “class clown” thing in high school yearbook. Also, never got laid in High School, but those can’t be two related facts.

 

MILES: I appreciate the whole “singles night” thing, but, I don’t know if I’m actually single right now.

 

KEVIN: That means you are.

 

MILES: Well, if Clark would just text me back!
 

LUTHER: You think he’s ghostin’?

 

MILES: No, he just takes forever to text back, and they’re short responses. He handed me CBS, is it too much to ask for a committed, long-term relationship? Or, you know, at least a handjob in a broom closet?

 

MCKENZIE: Forget about him! You all will find your true loves tonight, I promise. If you don’t, we’ll just have to try another night. You’re our missions.

 

KEVIN: Isn’t that really non-irritating?

 

MCKENZIE: What about you, Bonnie, how’s the search for love?

 

BONNIE: Oh, “love”? I don’t know if I believe in it, really, it’s all hormones.

 

KEVIN: Do you love your mom?

 

BONNIE: No. I don’t know who she is.

 

KEVIN: Oh. Sorry.

 

MCKENZIE: Luther?

 

LUTHER: I’m not…I’m not great on the bar scene, to be honest. I’m kind of shy- (They all go “awww”) but not in the cute way. (They all go “oh”) So, it’s not like I’m gonna be able to straight-up walk up to a lady I like at a bar- (A skinny white woman, wearing all black, with brunette hair, pronounced cheek bones and no facial expression comes in and goes up to the bar. Luther stands up) Excuse me, real quick.

 

(Luther gets up and walks towards her)

 

MCKENZIE: Yay! This is already working.

 

KEVIN: You’re a mad man, you know that?

 

(McKenzie smiles. Cut to Luther sidling up next to the woman at the bar. He doesn’t look at her. She doesn’t look at him. The bartender walks up to Luther)
 

BARTENDER: What can I get you?

 

LUTHER: Whiskey-Coke, more Whiskey, less Coke.

 

BARTENDER: Gotcha. (To the woman) You?

 

THE WOMAN: (Monotone, robotic) I would like the same.

 

(Bartender nods and begins making two of those. Luther turns to the woman)

 

LUTHER: Is that your usual?

 

THE WOMAN: I like to have a regular drink order, so I can never be caught off guard.

 

LUTHER: That’s smart. What’s your name?

 

THE WOMAN: Evelyn Prost. And yours?

 

LUTHER: Luther Moon.

 

(Evelyn extends her hand, Luther shakes it. They retract their hands)

 

EVELYN: What do you do for a living?

 

LUTHER: I’m in a development team at a production company.

 

EVELYN: Oh, so you’re in the industry?

 

(Luther chuckles)

 

LUTHER: Yeah, I guess so. What do you do?

 

EVELYN: I’m an actress.

 

LUTHER: Oh, no shit? I’m an actor too.

 

EVELYN: Yes. Well, I am also a grocery store manager. But that’s supplemental income.

 

LUTHER: Hey, respect. I know that hustle.

 

EVELYN: Hustle I do, indeed, hustle, I do.

 

(Luther smiles as they both receive their drinks and sip them. Cut to the rest of them at the table, observing)

 

KEVIN: She’s positively…mechanical.

 

BONNIE: I can’t decide if this bitch is a robot or a vampire.

 

MILES: Why can’t she be both?

 

KEVIN: The Robo-Vamp? But that’s unheard of!

 

(Cut back to Luther and Evelyn)

 

LUTHER: You’re really beautiful, by the way.

 

EVELYN: Thank you. My physical beauty is very important to me, though not nearly as important as my goals and aspirations.

 

LUTHER: I can dig that.

 

(Evelyn points at Luther’s friends)

 

EVELYN: Are those friends? Co-workers? Acquaintances?

 

LUTHER: A little bit of all three.

 

EVELYN: I’d love to meet them.

 

LUTHER: Oh. Okay, sure. (Luther and Evelyn go to the table and sit down) Guys, meet Evelyn.

 

EVELYN: Prost. Evelyn Prost.

 

KEVIN: How are ya?

 

EVELYN: Terrific. Excited to belt out a tune.

 

KEVIN: You look excited. Or so I’m speculating.

 

(McKenzie nudges Kevin)

 

MCKENZIE: Where are you from?

 

EVELYN: China.

 

MCKENZIE: Excuse me?

 

EVELYN: China, Texas, it’s located in South Texas, near Beaumont. Its population is roughly one thousand people.

 

LUTHER: I wouldn’t have pegged you for a Texas girl.

 

EVELYN: I am not really, I moved to California when I was three years, seven months and four days old.

 

(Luther puts his hand on her leg)

 

LUTHER: (Whispering) Do you want to get out of here?

 

EVELYN: I could use a cigarette break, sure.

 

(Evelyn pulls out an unlit cigarette)

 

MCKENZIE: Oh, I’ll join you.

 

(Disappointed, Luther moves out of the booth to let Evelyn and McKenzie get out and leave the bar)

 

KEVIN: Are we sure she wasn’t manufactured in China?

 

(Kevin gets out of the booth as well wielding a pack of cigarettes)

 

LUTHER: China, Texas.

 

(Kevin smiles and leaves the bar. Cut to Kevin, McKenzie and Evelyn smoking cigarettes outside of the bar)

 

MCKENZIE: So, are you attracted to Luther?

 

EVELYN: I am. But I’m very particular.

 

MCKENZIE: He’s a little bashful, but he’s the best.

 

EVELYN: I just need to get him to sing.

 

KEVIN: That won’t improve his standing with you, trust me.

 

MCKENZIE: SHHH!

 

(The camera swings over to a bar cattycorner from the Karaoke bar they’re at. The camera heads inside the bar to find Ryan, Alec and Tara sitting in a booth with beers in front of each of them. “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger is playing in the bar)

 

ALEC: (Singing along) MOTORIN’! What’s your price for life? Finding Mr. Right!

 

TARA: It’s “price tonight”, Alec.

 

ALEC: No. I refuse to believe that.

 

(Ryan sips his beer)

 

RYAN: This bar could use a band. Or, anything.

 

TARA: It’s not great, but it’s cheap.

 

RYAN: The beers are five dollars!
 

ALEC: Cheap for California, she means.

 

RYAN: Ugh. (beat) Hey, we’re all in the same state for another three weeks, why don’t we make some music while we’re here?

 

TARA: I don’t know. We’re kind of busy these days. Alec has his summer camp-

 

ALEC: Tara has her acting career.

 

RYAN: Have you gotten work?

 

TARA: I got hired as a laugher on the Tonight Show.

 

RYAN: Oh, nice.

 

ALEC: But, yeah, we don’t really have time to do music. I mean, you’re leaving in less than a month anyway.

 

RYAN: Alright. I guess I’ll just spend the rest of my time here smoking drugs and hailing Satan.

 

ALEC: Sounds good to me.

 

(Alec sips his beer. Ryan gets a text)

 

RYAN: Speaking of which.

 

(Ryan heads outside the bar and sees Rainstorm)

 

RAINSTORM: Hey, man.

 

RYAN: S’up?

 

(Ryan hands Rainstorm a forty and Rainstorm surreptitiously slips him a bag of ecstasy)

 

RAINSTORM: You take care, a’ight?

 

RYAN: Sure will, man.

 

RAINSTORM: You like a son to me.

 

RYAN: I- uh, thanks.

 

(Ryan waves and the two go their separate ways. Cut to Ryan waking up in his cottage and turning over to check the time; 1:20 PM, Saturday, July 28th. He sighs. Cut to Ryan showering. He’s crying as the water falls upon his head. Cut to him walking down his street, wearing a Siouxsie and the Banshees T-shirt. He passes a young man with stubbly facial hair, a baseball cap and a brown shirt and loose jeans. He turns to Ryan)

 

YOUNG MAN: Hey, do you play drums?

 

(Ryan turns to the man)

 

RYAN: Uh, no, I don’t. Sorry. I sing, though.

 

YOUNG MAN: Oh, cool. I ask because of your shirt. I thought you might be a musical person.

 

RYAN: I am. I used to have a band, actually.

 

YOUNG MAN: Oh really? Have I heard of it?

 

RYAN: Well, there was Green Museum and Depraved Hallway-

 

YOUNG MAN: Haven’t heard of ‘em. I’m Willy, by the way.

 

(Willy and Ryan bump fists)

 

RYAN: Cool to meet you.

 

WILLY: Same. We’re looking for a drummer, but no one seems to know any drummers. Not even my ex, who cheated on me with a drummer.

 

RYAN: Sorry, I can’t help you there. I’d love to see your set-up, though, where do you live?

 

WILLY: 112 Hart Avenue.

 

RYAN: Oh shit, I live at 116 Hart.

 

WILLY: Dope, I can show you our set-up.

 

RYAN: Let’s do it.

 

(Willy and Ryan start walking)

 

WILLY: We have a drum kit called the “Pussy-Melter”-

 

RYAN: (Grossed out) Oh.

 

WILLY: Well, it’s not called that anymore, because it’s 2018 and shit-

 

RYAN: Right.

 

WILLY: But it’ll always be that in our heart of hearts, bro-

 

RYAN: Right.

 

WILLY: Not because we’re sexist, we love women. Women rule, dude.

 

RYAN: My mom’s a woman.

 

WILLY: Mine too, dude, how could I not like women?

 

(Cut to Willy and Ryan entering Willy’s living room. It’s a veritable wonderland of equipment- a drum set, numerous microphones, guitars, amps, distortion pedals, etcetera. A number of California slackers are hanging around on couches, smoking marijuana)

 

RYAN: Oh, shit!

 

WILLY: Welcome to Willy Mankiewicz’s Bomb-Ass Tunes factory.

 

(Willy closes the door)

 

RYAN: This is incredible- (Ryan goes over to an amp) How much was this amp?!

 

SLACKER: (Holding back smoke) Bro, that’s a rude-ass question.

 

(He exhales the smoke)

 

WILLY: Oh, my bad, this is Ryan. Ryan this is Ted, Connor and Sherman.

 

TED: Yo.

 

SHERMAN: What up?

 

CONNOR: Hi.

 

RYAN: Hey there.

 

CONNOR: If this isn’t a new drummer, Willy, I’m gonna lose it.

 

WILLY: It’s not-

 

CONNOR: I’ve lost it.

 

WILLY: He’s just a cool guy who’s been a lead singer in a few groups.

 

(Ted takes a toke)

 

RYAN: Do you mind?

 

TED: Bro, what did I tell you? This guy is rude!
 

WILLY: Just give him the goddamn joint.

 

(Ted gives Ryan the joint and he inhales. Cut to Rob, Whitney and Hannah at a fancy dinner with CBS Drama development executive Yelena Chak. They’re all dressed business casual in a bustling French restaurant in Hollywood. Yelena is laughing)

 

ROB: So, I kicked this tweaker out of a club in downtown Boston- and the son of a bitch literally starts kissing my feet, begging to be let back in.

 

YELENA: (Laughing) Stop it! Stop it! No more!
 

ROB: No, Yelena, no, you’re not off the hook yet!

 

(Hannah rolls her eyes)

 

YELENA: Okay, keep going!
 

ROB: This tweaker had the strength of ten men, NONE of our bouncers could pull him off of my feet, so, until the Fire Department got there- I had to let people into the club while a meth-head made out with my feet.

 

(Yelena wipes away tears of laughter)

 

YELENA: Oh my God, Rob…

 

ROB: I think he was just into feet, really.

 

YELENA: Rob, you’re hysterical.

 

(Yelena and Rob sip their wine)

 

WHITNEY: Right, so, we were thinking an early evening time-slot would allow people of all ages to watch the show, because it’s a show that’s truly for everyone.

 

YELENA: Huh? Oh yeah, uh…what about the dog-killing thing?

 

HANNAH: We’re not killing the dog.

 

ROB: No way in Hell.

 

(Jay comes over)

 

JAY: Look at this! What a coincidence! (Jay sits down. Rob looks infuriated) How is everyone?

 

ROB: Jay. What are you doing here?

 

JAY: I was just dining with some friends- (Jay points in a vague direction) when I saw some even better friends.

 

ROB: (Gritted teeth) Is that right?

 

JAY: Did you know I had a dream last night?

 

WHITNEY: Really?

 

ROB: Why would we know that?

 

JAY: It gave me an idea. We’re talking about making this show as feminist as possible. A good way to do that is to be honest about the female experience. Now, of course, I’m unfamiliar with that experience.

 

ROB: (Under his breath) Unfamiliar with females too, I bet.

 

JAY: But, I think it would be a good idea if one of AstroManda’s arch-nemeses was an ex-boyfriend. A dirtbag ex-boyfriend. It could be a subtle way of teaching kids about the realities of abuse, and how to fight back against it.

 

(Yelena pauses for a beat, in thought)

 

YELENA: Yeah, I like that idea.

 

HANNAH: It doesn’t happen in the books-

 

YELENA: But it’s honest. We don’t have to be faithful to the books entirely. Hannah, you and Joss should take a look at including that.

 

HANNAH: Uh, alright. Sure, we’ll look at it.

 

(Rob looks too angry for words)

 

ROB: I’m gonna step out for a second.

 

(Rob gets up and walks out of the restaurant)

 

JAY: Well, thanks for letting me share my idea. I’ll get out of your hair now. I think my friends left and went to 1 Oak.

 

(Jay smiles and leaves the restaurant. Cut to Rob standing outside smoking. Jay comes out of the restaurant and Rob gets in his face)

 

ROB: Listen to me, Jay, I don’t like you, you don’t like me-

 

JAY: I like you.

 

ROB: Not for long. But, thank you, I’m very likeable. (Composes himself) Anyway! Don’t you dare come in and fuck with my show. You’re not a writer. You’re a director. You’re a hired hand. Didn’t you go to film school?

 

JAY: Yes?

 

ROB: Well, I didn’t, and I still know that the director does not reign on a TV set. The producer does. And that’s Whitney and I. So, back off and go direct some film about genocide that no one will watch. (Rob throws his cigarette down and extinguishes it under his foot) Or your ass will be on the street.

 

(Rob walks back into the restaurant. Jay smiles and walks away. Cut to Rob sitting back down at the table. Yelena’s not there)

 

WHITNEY: Waiter?

 

(The waiter comes over)

 

WAITER: Yes, ma’am?

 

WHITNEY: More wine, please.

 

(Whitney hands her wine glass to the waiter)

 

WAITER: Of course, ma’am.

 

(The waiter walks away)

 

ROB: Drowning your sorrows?

 

WHITNEY: What sorrows? Jay had some good ideas.

 

ROB: Are you kidding me? Where’s Yelena?

 

HANNAH: She went to the bathroom.

 

ROB: Good. Because I know she liked the idea, but, Christ, we can’t have a story of abuse in a kid’s show!
 

WHITNEY: I think if we do it right, it could work. We’re not gonna show Astro-Manda with a black eye or anything.

 

HANNAH: Yeah. She won’t be like “oh, I just fell down the interplanetary escalator, don’t worry about little old me!”

 

ROB: Jay’s a DIRECTOR! And he’s a pain in the ass! Whose side are you on here?!

 

WHITNEY: I’m sorry, Robert, but it’s not about taking sides. It’s not about whose dick is bigger, yours or Jay’s.

 

ROB: It’s mine, for the record.

 

WHITNEY: It’s about telling a story. Think about that, would you?

 

(Yelena comes back and sits down. Rob bites his tongue)

 

YELENA: Sorry about that. The line for the cocaine stall went on forever. (Sniffs) So, let’s talk financing, huh?

 

(Whitney smiles. Rob smirks. Cut to Luther and Evelyn singing a terrible, off-key rendition of “Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy. Bonnie, Miles, McKenzie and Steven look on in horror)

 

WHITNEY & EVELYN: (Singing) Honey came in and she caught me red-handed creeping with the girl next door! Picture this, we were both butt-naked, bangin’ on the bathroom floor! How could I forget that I had given her an extra key? All this time, she was standing there, she never took her eyes off me!
 

BONNIE: Why did we push so hard for him to sing?

 

KEVIN: And the fact that he would only do it with Evelyn just…made it so much worse.

 

(Cut to Luther and Evelyn outside the bar, leaning against the building)

 

LUTHER: Your uber is coming, huh?

 

EVELYN: Yes, it should arrive momentarily.

 

LUTHER: Would you mind if I, checked out your crib?

 

EVELYN: Of course not. Although, I do think of it as more of a “pad”.

 

(Luther smiles and kisses Evelyn. The two of them start to make out. McKenzie, Bonnie and Kevin come out of the bar)

 

MCKENZIE: (Whispering) At least someone’s getting action tonight.

 

BONNIE: I’m just not ready yet. The guy you set me up with was…

 

KEVIN: A shithead?

 

BONNIE: Yeah.

 

KEVIN: Most of my friends are.

 

(The uber pulls up and Luther and Evelyn get into it. It then drives away)

 

MCKENZIE: Yay!

 

(Cut to Evelyn and Luther entering Evelyn’s apartment. It’s a spacious, comfortable apartment with two bedrooms. A plate on the kitchen counter holds a few sandwiches)

 

EVELYN: Welcome to my home. (Evelyn turns to Luther) Feel free to take a complimentary sandwich. There is a variety, ham, turkey, impossible. You name it.

 

LUTHER: Did you just have those lying around?

 

EVELYN: I like to be prepared for visitors. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to slip into something more comfortable. (Evelyn walks into her room as Luther smiles excitedly. Luther walks up to the sandwiches and takes one. He nibbles it for a beat or two) Feel free to come in!

 

(Luther puts the sandwich down and enters Evelyn’s room. She’s completely naked and has placed herself into a state-of-the-art fuck swing)

 

LUTHER: Whoa.

 

(Cut to Evelyn)

 

EVELYN: Hello. This is my State-of-the-Art Fuck Swing. Its ergonomic design, durability and swaying power allows for both to achieve a maximally satisfying coital experience.

 

(Cut back to Luther, whose clothes are already off)

 

LUTHER: I believe you.

 

(Luther runs over and begins fucking Evelyn. Luther and Evelyn’s moans and grunts grow in intensity and passion. After a while, a white male, early 30s, with Einstein hair and a white coat, walks by and stops)

 

WHITE COAT GUY: Ugh, close the door, please!
 

(Luther stops and turns his head)

 

LUTHER: Sorry.

 

EVELYN: My apologies, Westley.

 

(Luther pulls out and quickly closes the door and turns to Evelyn)

 

LUTHER: Is that your roommate?

 

EVELYN: Yes.

 

LUTHER: Okay.

 

EVELYN: But, he’s also my brother.

 

LUTHER: What?! Jesus Christ!
 

EVELYN: It’s quite alright. I walk in on him balls deep in big booty bitches quite often.

 

LUTHER: Is he a scientist? He was dressed like, you know, a mad scientist.

 

EVELYN: No, he’s an actor. He most likely just returned from a set.

 

LUTHER: Fuck was he shooting, an Ed Wood movie?

 

EVELYN: Can you return to fornicating with me, please?

 

LUTHER: Oh, right. My bad.

 

(Luther re-inserts himself. Cut to Luther sleeping next to Evelyn in her bed. Luther is sleeping on his side while Evelyn is neatly tucked under her covers, lying on her back. It’s still dark outside. Her phone’s alarm goes off. It’s 6am, Saturday, July 28th. Her eyes shoot open. She shuts off her alarm and nudges Luther)

 

EVELYN: Luther? (Luther grunts) Luther, please awake.

 

(Luther turns over, eyes barely open)

 

LUTHER: What is it?

 

EVELYN: Thank you for your services, but I’m afraid it’s time to leave.

 

LUTHER: …What? What time is it?

 

EVELYN: It’s 6am, the sun is about to rise.

 

LUTHER: We…we fell asleep three hours ago!

 

EVELYN: I do not vary my sleep patterns, it throws me off. Have a good morning.

 

(Evelyn grabs a cigarette from the pack on her bedside table, lights it and walks out of the room. Luther gets up and starts putting his clothes on in a huff. Cut to Luther emerging from Evelyn’s room, fully clothed. The sun has risen. Evelyn is smoking a cigarette in her bra and panties while she waits for a sandwich to heat up in the microwave. Luther walks into the kitchen)

 

LUTHER: Will I see you around?

 

EVELYN: Impossible to predict. However, not entirely unlikely.

 

(Luther stares for a beat, sighs, and leaves. Cut to Ryan, Willy, Ted, Sherman and Connor in Willy’s house, sitting around, getting high. Willy has the joint)

 

WILLY: So, you sold some albums, huh?

 

(Willy exhales smoke and hands the joint to Ted)

 

RYAN: Yeah, we did. We had our fifteen minutes. But, you know how that goes. Just like life, really. Down the shitter.

 

TED: All roads lead to the sewers.

 

RYAN: Damn, right.

 

(Ted takes a toke and hands it over to Connor)

 

CONNOR: When is this guy coming? We’re running on empty.

 

WILLY: Should be here any moment.

 

RYAN: What guy?

 

WILLY: A new drug dealer we got. His name is…something that starts with an A.

 

TED: Alex, maybe?

 

SHERMAN: Aaron?

 

(Ashton enters)

 

RYAN: Ashton.

 

(Ryan stands up, clearly fearful)

 

ASHTON: Well, shit. It took me a couple weeks, but I finally found you.

 

WILLY: …You two know one another?

 

TED: Are you ex-lovers?

 

ASHTON: No. Though, it did feel like you were my mail-order bride when you came to Japan.

 

RYAN: Fuck you, Ashton. (Ryan turns to Willy and his friends) This brociopath has been trying to track me down and kill me for a year!
 

WILLY: What?

 

ASHTON: It’s none of your business.

 

RYAN: How did you find me?

 

ASHTON: I figured out you lived in Santa Monica through your Instagram posts.

 

RYAN: Fuck.

 

ASHTON: Figured I’d start dealing in the city and eventually find you since you’re an incorrigible junkie.

 

RYAN: What do you want?

 

ASHTON: Come with me.

 

RYAN: (To Willy & his friends) You guys can’t let him take me!
 

WILLY: Yeah, what the fuck, dude?! Leave him alone!
 

ASHTON: The place is surrounded by my goons. It always is just in case this happens. (Ashton pulls out a walkie talkie) And all I have to do is give them the go ahead and you’ll be fucked, Donahue.

 

(Ryan looks around)

 

RYAN: …Why do you even want to kill me?

 

ASHTON: I don’t really remember. I just don’t like people escaping my grasp. (Into Walkie Talkie) I’ve cornered Mall Goth. Move in.

 

(Ashton’s goons, fellow bros with baseball caps, tank tops and Kevlar vests, wielding guns, move into the house through the back and sliding porch doors. Ryan, Willy, Sherman, Ted and Connor look around in fear)

 

RYAN: …Well, how are we gonna get out of this one, gang? (Cut to Ryan sitting in Ashton’s ratty apartment, tied up on a chair near a radiator) I guess we won’t.

 

(Ashton enters the frame)

 

ASHTON: What?

 

RYAN: Huh?

 

ASHTON: You said something.

 

(Ryan shakes his head)

 

RYAN: Forget it. What do you want from me?

 

ASHTON: Hmmm…let me think. (Ashton takes out a cigarette, lights it, and exhale the smoke) For you to die.

 

RYAN: Then kill me already. Don’t be a typical, dilly-dallying villain asshole.

 

ASHTON: Oh, I will. But I want it to be on tape, as a warning to my enemies not to fuck with me. My minion is out buying a camcorder real quick.

 

RYAN: Of course. There’s always an excuse.

 

ASHTON: Hey! Fuck you! You’ll be dead soon enough, just be patient!
 

RYAN: Why can’t you use your iPhone camera?

 

ASHTON: Come on, my followers expect better resolution than iPhone can provide.

 

RYAN: You’re gonna put this on YouTube?!

 

ASHTON: No! I’m not stupid! (Beat) Vimeo.

 

RYAN: Oh. Okay.

 

(Ashton gets a call on his cell phone. The caller ID says “Goon”. Ashton picks it up, annoyed)

 

ASHTON: What?

 

(Cut to a nameless goon in a muscle shirt at a local Best Buy, looking at cheap camcorders. Intercut between them)

 

GOON: Hey, boss, do you want to go with a Canon, or like a GoPro?

 

ASHTON: What’s the price difference?

 

GOON: About fifteen dollars. It’s about a hundred for the Canon, eighty-four for the GoPro.

 

ASHTON: Anything cheaper?

 

GOON: Not without risking a drastic reduction in quality, or at least that’s what the guy told me.

 

ASHTON: He’s trying to up-sell you, look it up online.

 

GOON: Aye aye, boss.

 

(Ashton hangs up and turns to Ryan)

 

ASHTON: The Reaper is walking up the street, spinning his scythe like a cane, Donahue, you just wait!

 

RYAN: Alright.

 

(Cut to Willy, Sherman, Ted and Connor hanging out in their house. Willy is pacing around, freaking out)

 

WILLY: …So, the police?! Are we calling the police?!

 

TED: Bro. Chill out. No one’s calling the police on this house, understand?

 

WILLY: Weed is legal in California, dumbass!
 

TED: But coke ain’t.

 

WILLY: What?

 

(Rainstorm, the leader of the Weathermen, comes in)

 

RAINSTORM: Yo, what’s up, man?

 

(Ted and Rainstorm bro-hug and Rainstorm gives Ted a baggie of cocaine)

 

TED: You know, just livin’. Thanks.

 

RAINSTORM: No prob.

 

(Ted hangs him a wad of cash, which he gladly accepts)

 

WILLY: Since when can you afford cocaine?

 

TED: Since when did you get so nosy? Shit!
 

RAINSTORM: That’s real shit, man, you should back off.

 

WILLY: Back off?! Ryan’s gonna die tonight if we don’t do something and it’s FREAKING me out!!

 

CONNOR: Bro, we don’t know him, why would we put our dicks on the line-?

 

RAINSTORM: Yo, hol’ up! Ryan who?

 

WILLY: He’s some kid named Ryan, uh, Donagee or something?

 

RAINSTORM: Donahue?

 

WILLY: Yeah! Do you know him?!

 

RAINSTORM: Yeah, I know the nigga. Why’s he gonna die?

 

WILLY: He-he-he was kidnapped! By some, some, long-haired bro-dude!
 

RAINSTORM: Hell nah. He ain’t killing my best customer. What’s this motherfucker’s name?

 

WILLY: I don’t remember exactly, do you guys?

 

TED: It’s Ashton.

 

RAINSTORM: ASHTON! That fuck. He sellin’ on my turf lately. I know where that ratfuck live. Don’t worry, y’all, I’m on top of it.

 

(Rainstorm sprints out the door)

 

WILLY: Thank God.

 

TED: Cool, can we talk about something else now?

 

(Cut to Ashton and his goon bickering over how to set up the camcorder on the tripod, while Ryan sits in the background, increasingly anxious-looking)

 

ASHTON: No, no, that’s the menu, but how do you get it to record?

 

GOON: You press the button-

 

ASHTON: BUT IT’S ON THE MENU! HOW DO WE GET OFF THE MENU!?

 

(Cut to three escalades pulling up to an apartment complex, one after the other. Emerging from these Escalades are Rainstorm and his fellow weathermen- Ricardo, Lupe and Naruto, all armed with glocks)

 

RAINSTORM: This is where the ratfuck lives.

 

LUPE: Guess you could call it his “Rat’s Nest”.

 

RAINSTORM: You could, Lupe, you could. (Lupe smiles, proud of himself) Let’s go.

 

(They move towards the building. Cut to Ashton and the goon, the camera pointed at a terrified Ryan, bickering over the lighting)

 

GOON: It looks fine to me-

 

ASHTON: No, see, this is why I’m the boss and you’re the goon. The lighting’s all wrong, the light from the window shrouds him in darkness.

 

GOON: Why does he need to be-

 

ASHTON: Motherfucker, I want people to know who he IS!

 

(Cut to Rainstorm and his crew rushing up to apartment 9392. They all look at each other. Rainstorm counts to three with his fingers, and busts in, to discover a family of white people sitting down for dinner. They stand up and scream)

 

FATHER: DON’T HURT US!! WE’RE WHITE!!!

 

RAINSTORM: Our bad. Have a nice night.

 

(Rainstorm and his crew close the door and leave. Cut to the goon manning the camera while Ashton stands beside Ryan, whose mouth has now been taped, and looks utterly horrified, wielding a knife and wearing a cow mask)

 

ASHTON: Are we filming?

 

GOON: No.

 

ASHTON: Why, the fuck not?

 

GOON: The date’s wrong.

 

ASHTON: Who gives a fuck!?

 

GOON: I’m just saying, we want people to know we did this recently, not in January.

 

ASHTON: JUST START FILMING, FUCKER! (Goon presses record. Ryan starts screaming through his tape) Hey. This is a guy I don’t like. Don’t make me not like you and you won’t end up like him.

 

(Cut to Rainstorm and his crew in the hallway outside Ashton’s. They hear the muffled screams)

 

RAINSTORM: (Whispering) In here!
 

(Cut to Ashton bringing the knife to Ryan’s neck)

 

ASHTON: Remember, this snuff video is sponsored by SquareSpace-

 

(Rainstorm and his crew bust in and point their weapons at Ashton and his goon)

 

RAINSTORM: SLIT HIS THROAT AND I SLIT YO’ THROAT! WITH BULLETS! (Ashton is astounded, as he throws down the knife. Ryan is visibly relieved) HANDS IN THE AIR!
 

(Ashton puts his hands up)

 

ASHTON: How did you-

 

RAINSTORM: Shut the fuck up. Search him.

 

(Ricardo and Lupe go over and pat him down, head to toe. They take a pistol and a pocket knife and put them in their pockets. Naruto rips the tape off Ryan’s mouth)

 

RYAN: Jesus, that was so close.

 

(Naruto unties Ryan and he stands up, as Lupe fishes Ashton’s wallet out, and reads his I.D.)

 

LUPE: Ashton Delay, huh? You must be the motherfucker that’s been costing us money.

 

(Ryan faces Ashton)

 

RYAN: This is what happens when you ONLY makes enemies, Ashton.

 

ASHTON: Ryan, if you tell them to let me go, I’ll never bother you again. Shit, I’ll leave California. Salt Lake City has a killer underground Viagra scene, I’ve heard.

 

RICARDO: What makes you think we take orders from him?

 

RAINSTORM: No. (Rainstorm takes out his gun and puts it right up against Ashton’s head) For this moment only, we do. (Beat. Ashton looks panicked and sweaty) What’s the word, boss man?

 

(Ryan looks intrigued and conflicted as Ashton sweats profusely and quivers)

 

ASHTON: Ryan. Come on. I know you. You’re not like them. You’re not like me. Turn me in, but don’t do this.

 

(Ryan stares at Ashton for a few beats)

 

RYAN: You’re right, Ashton. I’m not like you. However, I do owe whatever it is am, to you. (Beat) Do it.

 

(Ryan turns around and walks towards the door)

 

ASHTON: WHA- NOOOO-

 

(Ashton closes his eyes as Rainstorm blows his brains out. Ashton drops to the floor, dead, as his brains and blood splatter against the wall. Ryan closes the door to the room and we track him sauntering down the hall, stone-faced. Cut to Bonnie, Noel, Miles, McKenzie and Luther hanging out in the break room on Monday morning, a coffee in each hand)

 

MCKENZIE: Did you guys hear about, Coke prices going up because of the trade war, thing?

 

MILES: Coke prices? I haven’t heard that-

 

BONNIE: Coca-Cola.

 

MILES: Oh, got it.

 

BONNIE: Yeah, I heard.

 

MCKENZIE: I’m just saying, we are farmers the only ones who get paid off? What about sugar addicts?

 

NOEL: What about Russian oligarchs, am I right?

 

(Noel puts up his hand. Bonnie languidly high-fives him)

 

BONNIE: Have you guys seen Rudy Giuliani all over TV the last couple days? The motherfucker’s dementia may be more advanced than Trump’s.

 

LUTHER: When he says the President wasn’t at the Trump Tower meeting, I believe him.

 

BONNIE: But nobody said he was!

 

LUTHER: So you’re saying Rudy is right?

 

(Bonnie laughs)

 

BONNIE: Shut up!

 

NOEL: He knew about the meeting, that’s all that matters. He lied, that’s clear.

 

MCKENZIE: Cool. Just a couple more lies, and we can finally impeach him. And then finally, we can start focusing on real issues, like getting universal healthcare-

 

BONNIE: How was putting your penis in Evelyn’s vagina, huh?

 

(Everybody chuckles, but Luther squirms)

 

LUTHER: It was cool. She’s, uh, very particular. But very good. And- do you want me to keep answering?

 

BONNIE: Yes.

 

(Miles nods)

 

LUTHER: Okay, her brother told us to shut the door.

 

(Everybody laughs)

 

NOEL: I am so sorry.

 

LUTHER: And the motherfucker was dressed like a mad scientist. At two in the morning, mind you!
 

MCKENZIE: He obviously built her.

 

(They all laugh. Luther rolls his eyes)

 

LUTHER: Nah, she said he’s just an actor.

 

MCKENZIE: Well, good. I’m glad you got laid. That was, at least partially, my goal. Think you’ll see her again?

 

LUTHER: No, she made it clear as day that it was a one-time offer.

 

MCKENZIE: Oh. I’m sorry.

 

LUTHER: It’s cool.

 

MILES: …Do you mind going into further detail about the sex?

 

(Cut to Rob walking into the office. He sees Ryan at reception and grabs the LA Times from the counter)

 

ROB: Morning.

 

RYAN: Morning.

 

(Rob looks at the LA times headline- “Trump Threatens Government Shutdown, Says He’d Meet With Iran’s Leader)

 

ROB: Meeting with Iran’s leader, negotiating with North Korea AND the Taliban? What’s with Trump the peacenik lately?

 

RYAN: You know he drops a bomb every twelve seconds, right?

 

ROB: Well. I can’t wait to vote for Kamala Harris so we can get that up to a cool twenty-five interval. (Rob flips the newspaper over to the crime section. Finds a small article entitled “Santa Monica Apartment Murder Likely Drug-Related, Police Say”. He scans the details and finds, “Santa Monica Police tell the Los Angeles Times that the murder of 23-year old Ashton Delay at an apartment building on Kansas Street over the weekend was likely drug-related”) Whoa. Shit, Ryan, did you hear about this?

 

RYAN: Hear about what?

 

ROB: “Santa Monica Police tell the Los Angeles Times that the murder of 23-year old Ashton Delay at an apartment building on Kansas Street over the weekend was likely drug-related”.

 

RYAN: Oh. Wow.

 

ROB: Ashton’s dead. (Rob looks at Ryan) I guess you have a lot less to worry about.

 

RYAN: I guess so.

 

ROB: (Reading) “Police said no weapons were find in the apartment where Delay was discovered. His wallet was emptied and all that was left was a tripod and trace amounts of cocaine scattered across the floor. Locals say Delay was a well-known drug dealer who was new to town and quickly made many enemies”. I guess you know where to send the “thank you” card.

 

(Rob smiles and walks away. Ryan breathes deeply)

 

RYAN: (Under his breath) Thank God they remembered to take the camera.

 

(Cut to Rob walking into Whitney’s office and sitting down on the couch around the speakerphone. Whitney is cuddling on the couch with Hannah)

 

WHITNEY: Nice of you to show up.

 

ROB: Nice of you to resist the urge to screw your girlfriend right in front of me.

 

WHITNEY: I didn’t do that for you.

 

(Hannah smiles and kisses Whitney)

 

ROB: Can we get started? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking.

 

HANNAH: That can’t be good.

 

WHITNEY: BONNIE! ARE YOU READY!?

 

BONNIE: Yes! Yelena and Jay are on.

 

YELENA: (On the phone) Hello!

 

JAY: (On the phone) Hey, everyone.

 

WHITNEY: Good to hear from you all, it’s Whitney, Hannah and Rob on this side.

 

YELENA: It’s a pleasure. Oh, and just to ease your mind, CBS made a decision on Les Moonves.

 

WHITNEY: What’d they decide?

 

YELENA: They’re doing nothing.

 

JAY: Nada.

 

YELENA: So, you can rest easy, it’s all copasetic over here.

 

(Hannah bites her tongue)

 

WHITNEY: That’s…anyway, just to follow up on the proposed changes to Hannah and Jay’s pages-

 

HANNAH: We really liked your ideas, Jay.

 

JAY: Thank you.

 

ROB: We did, and we want to adopt some of them. Just one thing, though, we need to get rid of Joss Payne.

 

(They all look at him quizzically)

 

YELENA: …What was that?

 

ROB: Hannah is a terrific writer, but all of Joss’ contributions to the pages are borderline gibberish. The ravings of a syphilitic mind.

 

YELENA: I’m not inclined to disagree with you, Rob, but we agreed this would be a collaborative process.

 

ROB: Exactly, that’s why I was thinking we could hire Jay to replace him.

 

(Whitney glares at Rob)

 

JAY: Me?

 

ROB: Yeah. You’re coming up with so many great ideas, I think we should just cut out the middle man and let you start writing.

 

(Jay nervously chuckles)

 

JAY: Rob, I’m not a writer-

 

ROB: I know, but I figured since you like to order them around, you should at least be one of them.

 

(Whitney looks at Rob with a grudging respect)

 

WHITNEY: I think what Rob is saying, is that, we value your input, Jay, and we think it’s being wasted on directing.

 

ROB: What do you say?

 

JAY: …I…you know, I’ll leave writing to the writers. And Emmy-nominated directing to the Emmy-nominated Directors.

 

ROB: If you insist. I guess Hannah works alone, then.

 

(Hannah smiles)

 

YELENA: That’s fine with me. She knows the material better than any of us.

 

HANNAH: I appreciate your trust in me. I’ll have new pages for you guys as soon as possible.

 

ROB: And Joss will be gone before the day’s up.

 

YELENA: Sounds good. Talk to you guys later.

 

WHITNEY: Goodbye!
 

JAY: Goodbye.

 

(Rob waves as they hang up)

 

BONNIE: (OS) They’re all off.

 

(Whitney and Hannah look at Rob)

 

WHITNEY: You are the most benevolent egoist on the planet.

 

(Rob shrugs)

 

ROB: Yes, I am.

 

HANNAH: Why’d you do it?

ROB: I wanted to put Jay in his place, using the crushing force of my phallus. Plus, I hate Joss. And third on the list, I think it’s dumb that men are calling the shots on this story. You’re the one who read the book, and you have the lady thing going on, why do we need to interfere?

 

(Hannah nods)

 

HANNAH: That’s number three on your list?

 

ROB: Yep. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to savor the shit out of firing Joss.

 

(Rob stands up and leaves the room, as “My Little Dark Age” by MGMT starts playing. We linger on a shot of Whitney and Hannah dumbfounded and delighted. Cut to credits)

 

THE END


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