Brian, Contra Episode 9

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

Brian and Nina try to figure out a way to protect Brent now that the mafia is after him. Lindsay and Savannah try to recapture their youth now that a possible jail term is staring them in the face. Brent finds it hard to hide after his father turns him away.







“Whistling tunes, we hide in the dunes by the seaside. Whistling tunes, we're kissing baboons in the jungle. It's a knockout. If looks could kill, they probably will, in games without frontiers, war without tears”

  • Peter Gabriel


(We open on a ladle being submerged into a piping hot pot of broth. It emerges and confronts a gloved pair of hands holding a dented plastic cup. The broth is liberally dispensed into the awaiting cup. We pan up to reveal the hand’s owner is Brian Sarandon, wearing raggedy clothing and a knit wool cap. He blows on the soup and nods thankfully at the person manning the soup pot. Brian walks over and sits at a lonely table in the corner of this soup kitchen. Upon sitting down, we see his clothing has transformed into a three-piece suit. He takes a golden spoon out of his jacket pocket and dips it into the soup and brings it up to his quivering mouth. Suddenly, Brent walks over and sits in front of Brian, wearing an exquisite Italian suit)


BRENT: What is this all about, Brian?


BRIAN: I thought this might be an inconspicuous place to meet.


BRENT: We should’ve dressed the part, then.


BRIAN: I did. (Brian looks down at his suit) …Shit. I thought I did.


BRENT: So, what is it?


BRIAN: You need to get out of here. They’re after you.


BRENT: Tell me something I don’t know.


(We pan over to the soup kitchen volunteer doling out soup to a line of vagrants on the other side of the room. He’s eyeing Brent and Brian suspiciously. Brian clocks this)


BRIAN: Listen, I don’t think it’s safe here.


BRENT: You invited me here.


BRIAN: Well, I’m concerned for your safety.


BRENT: So what’s the plan, then?


BRIAN: I… (Brian looks over suspiciously at the guy manning the pot of soup. He reaches into his jacket pocket and produces a napkin. He unfolds it and finds it to be blank. He stares at it, blinking rapidly) I…I don’t know.


(Brent scoffs. The soup kitchen volunteer continually scoops his ladle in and out of the pot of soup, all while giving Brian and Brent the stink eye)


BRENT: Listen, are we done here?


(Brent stands up. The soup kitchen volunteer reaches into the pot of soup and pulls out a pistol. Everyone gasps as he discharges two shots into Brent’s back, one into his neck and one into his head- causing a torrent of blood to coat Brian from head-to-toe. He sits in stunned silence as the soup kitchen empties- save for one determined vagrant in the corner, who is hurriedly finishing his soup. The shooter drops his gun in the soup and takes off. Brent collapses onto the table, finished. Brian examines his chest and finds no bullet wounds)


BRIAN: …The fuck?!


(Cut to Brian waking up in a cold sweat in his bedroom. He’s hyperventilating and he quickly goes for a cup of water on his bedside table, which he inhales in one pull. Then he dips under his bed and retrieves a warm two-liter of Coca-Cola, opens it and begins chugging it as well. Cut to Brian ambling into his living room wearing his pajamas and a robe. Brian spots Lindsay on the balcony, exhaling a plume of cigarette smoke into the night sky, wearing just sweatpants and no shirt. Brian approaches the sliding glass door to the balcony, opens it, pushes the sliding screen door aside, and joins Lindsay, leaning up against the railing right next to him)


LINDSAY: …You can’t sleep either?


BRIAN: Nope.


LINDSAY: Can’t decide whether you want the top or the bottom bunk?


BRIAN: No, it’s not about that.


LINDSAY: Then what’s it about?


(Brian sighs)


BRIAN: …Brent could die. He could be murdered at any time.


(Lindsay shrugs)




BRIAN: Come on, man, we’ve had our problems with him, but we don’t want that.


LINDSAY: Yeah, I don’t want it to happen, but he marched up to the Russian mob and threatened to rat them out. And then DID. What does he expect? It’s like marching up to Al Capone while you’re in the middle of fucking his daughter and then spitting in his face.


BRIAN: How are you marching up to him if you’re in the middle of fucking his daughter?


LINDSAY: The trick is to do it slowly, in big lumbering steps. You also- (Lindsay turns to Brian and mimics thrusting) have to do it somewhat rhythmically, in order to stay on the road to coitus.


BRIAN: Okay, I can see that. (Lindsay nods and returns to leaning on the railing. He takes a drag) But. Shouldn’t we do everything in our power to prevent a murder?


LINDSAY: By doing what? Going to the police? And thus, risking our own asses? I don’t know about you, but I prioritize my life over Brent fucking Loveman’s.


BRIAN: Well, obviously I don’t wanna be greenlit, but if we can find a way to help him without the Gambinos or the Russians ever finding out-


LINDSAY: It’s not worth it. Brent made his bed.


BRIAN: Yeah, but I can’t just ignore my conscience.


LINDSAY: You’ve worked in finance for two years, you’ve been able to do it that whole time.


(Brian rubs his temples)


BRIAN: …I can’t even talk to Nina about this. Obviously.


LINDSAY: She doesn’t know about our relationship with the Gambinos, does she?


BRIAN: …No, I don’t think so. But. Maybe it’s only a matter of time.


(Lindsay pats Brian on the back)


LINDSAY: You can’t worry about stuff like that, too much.


BRIAN: …It’s creating distance between us, is all. (Brian chuckles) You know, I’ve been thinking about my first kiss a lot, lately.


LINDSAY: Hey, we all get nostalgic for college every once in a while.


BRIAN: Fuck off. (Lindsay smiles) It was at Lake Champlain, on the bicentennial, remember?


LINDSAY: Yeah, I remember. I got wasted and fired roman candles from my balcony.


BRIAN: Well, I was fourteen and I wandered into this shed near the lake. Found this girl who was just, hanging out in there.


LINDSAY: Where did this even come from?


(Brian shrugs)


BRIAN: I don’t know. I guess I’ve been feeling nostalgic for better times lately.


(Lindsay nods)


LINDSAY: Aren’t we all?


(Lindsay stubs out his cigarette on the balcony and walks inside. Cut to Lindsay’s bedroom. Savannah is fast asleep in his bed, his sheets obscuring her entire body. Lindsay walks in and slips into the bed, cuddling up next to her. Cut to the morning. We’re in the living room. Savannah is cooking eggs in the nearby kitchen while Lindsay is sitting on the couch, scooping spoonfuls of Cheerios into his mouth and watching the news. He’s watching Peter Jennings on TV reporting for World News Tonight- though a chyron in the bottom corner reads “Originally aired 4/28/86”. The camera pushes in on Peter Jennings, who is accompanied by a graphic featuring a hammer and sickle, an illustration of an atom and the words “Nuclear Accident”)


PETER JENNINGS: There has been a nuclear accident in the Soviet Union, and the Soviets have admitted that it happened. The Soviet version is this. One of the atomic reactors at the Chernobyl atomic power plant in the city of Kiev was damaged, and there is speculation in Moscow that people were injured and may have died. The Soviets may have been fairly quick to acknowledge the accident because evidence in the form of mild nuclear radiation had already reached beyond the Soviet borders to Scandinavia. We begin, with ABC’s Dean Reynolds.


LINDSAY: You hear about this?


(Savannah walks in with a plate of scrambled eggs and sits next to Lindsay)


SAVANNAH: Yeah, I heard  that they’re evacuating everybody, too. Must be bad shit if the Soviets are actually admitting it.


LINDSAY: Well, I’m sure all those Ukrainians turning their stomachs inside out was a decent motivating factor.


(Savannah eats some of her eggs)


SAVANNAH: How does the Cold War end?


(Lindsay scoffs)


LINDSAY: Do you really want me to answer that?


SAVANNAH: No, I mean, neither side wants to destroy the other- not literally anyway. It seems like one side has to essentially give up.


LINDSAY: Or maybe Reagan can stop being a genocidal maniac and agree to coexist peacefully with the Russians.



SAVANNAH: Yeah, but even if Jesse Jackson becomes the next President, that shit’s not gonna happen. So, we have to collapse, or they have to collapse.


(Lindsay shrugs and slurps up the remaining milk in his bowl of cereal)


LINDSAY: Personally, I think the Cold War will end the same way everyone else thinks it will, deep down. (Lindsay stands up) Until then, we just gotta live it up.


(Lindsay walks the bowl to the kitchen, flips on the faucet and starts cleaning it out. Savannah stands up and turns to him)


SAVANNAH: So, we’re gonna be evaporated?


LINDSAY: Probably.


SAVANNAH: Will it happen before or after we go to jail?


(Lindsay chuckles and turns off the faucet)


LINDSAY: Hopefully after, but that’s all the more reason to live it up now.


SAVANNAH: Fine! (Savannah walks over to the counter and rests her arms on it) How do you want to “live it up”?


LINDSAY: Hmmm… well. Have you heard of Cro-Mags?


(Savannah shakes her head “no”. Cut to an establishing shot of CBGB that night. Cut to inside. A throng of punks are waiting in front of a stage that is being gradually set up with drums, mics and amps. There are several booths and a bar area, and the walls are coated in stickers. Lindsay and Savannah sit at one of the booths. Lindsay is sipping on a PBR, while Savannah is nursing a Coca-Cola)


SAVANNAH: Turnout seems light, so far.


LINDSAY: A lot of people are skipping the opening band, I think.


SAVANNAH: What’s their name?


VOICE: (OS) Carthage.


(Lindsay and Savannah look up and see a group of punks approach- the lead with a mohawk and a variety of punk tattoos, piercings, a band shirt reading “Blood Atonement”, a leather vest and skinny jeans. He’s flanked by a similarly dressed young man with a shaved head, snake bite piercings and a sleeve of seemingly religious tattoos adorning his right arm. On the other side is a girl in her late teens with teased blonde hair, piercings, tattoos, a leather jacket, ripped jeans and a band t-shirt for “Carthage”, which uses spiky lettering. The lead guy extends his fist)


LEAD PUNK: What’s up, I’m Joey, these are my friends, Dylan and Haley.


(Lindsay gladly bumps Joey’s fist)


LINDSAY: What’s up, dude- your look is sick, bro.


SAVANNAH: Yeah, definitely.


(Joey bumps Savannah’s fist as she extends it)


JOEY: You guys look dope too- mind if we sit?


LINDSAY: Hell yeah, go ahead.


(Joey, Dylan and Haley sit down)


DYLAN: (Extremely low voice) What are your guys’ names?


(Lindsay and Savannah lean forward)




JOEY: He asked for your names- sorry, Dylan speaks super low because his dad would beat the shit out of him for raising his voice.


SAVANNAH: Jesus Christ!

LINDSAY: My name’s Lindsay, this is Savannah.


DYLAN: Cool, cool.


LINDSAY: So, you guys like the opening act?


JOEY: Fuck yeah, dude, we’re only here for them. Cro-Mags can fuck off.


LINDSAY: Really? I’ve never seen them live, but all my friends in the scene told me they burn the fucking house down.


HALEY: They’re alright, but their lead singer Harley Flanagan’s a little twat.




JOEY: He hangs out with a bunch of high-schoolers, and he shares drugs with them, it’s fucked up.


SAVANNAH: Yeah, that is fucked up!


LINDSAY: He’s barely out of High School himself, isn’t he? He’s like, eighteen, isn’t he?


(A 28-year-old white dude with curly black hair, big ears and a flat nose, wearing black jeans, a jean vest and a Joy Division shirt walks over)


STEVE: Actually, he’s nineteen, and I’ve seen him live several times and I have to say, he comes from a remarkably thrash tradition as much as punk- he reminds me a lot of other NYC thrash-punk groups like Judging Cindy, Slice-Up and Bloody Ramadan-


JOEY: Go the fuck away, Steve.


STEVE: Alright, see ya later.


(Steve walks away)


SAVANNAH: Are you guys straight edge, by any chance?


(Joey, Dylan and Haley flash their wrists. They each possess a tattoo featuring and S- a big X in block lettering, and then an E. Savannah flashes her very similar triple-X tattoo on her hand, and then the Minor Threat tattoo on her shoulder blade)


LINDSAY: Oh, Jesus Christ, I stumbled into a straight edge convention. (Lindsay raises his half-empty drink high and calls out to the room) Could somebody freshen this?!


(Joey, Dylan, Haley and Savannah chuckle)


JOEY: I’m sure we can convert you, dude.


SAVANNAH: Good fucking luck, I’ve been trying for eight months.


DYLAN: (Very low and serious) You’ll find that we’re very persuasive.


(Lindsay and Savannah smirk uncomfortably and exchange looks. Cut to Brent Loveman, waking up on a bare mattress placed diagonally on the ground, in a red-walled room full of caged endangered species. Pangolins, an Eastern Lesser Bamboo Lemur, a mountain tapir, purple quail-doves, Matinan Blue Flycatcher birds and a single Kaua’i ‘O’O bird. Brent is wearing dress pants, an unbuttoned dress shirt and white shirt underneath. Brent groggily rises and rubs his head. Thomas comes in through a false wall, and quietly closes the false wall behind him)


THOMAS: How did you sleep?


BRENT: Not great, those pangolins smell like shit.


THOMAS: Oh, please. (Thomas leans down to the pangolin cage, takes out a petri dish of larvae, unscrews the cap and lets the pangolin eat it) Pangolins never hurt anyone. And never will.


BRENT: What’s that bird over there? The gray one? It was making noise all night.


THOMAS: That’s a Kauai O’O’ bird, they say there’s only one left, but uh, there’s two and this one’s mine. (Thomas walks over and refills the Kauai’s feeder with bird seed) This one’s a girl and the other one’s a guy, but if they start reproducing again, the price plummets, so? What are you gonna do, it’s supply and demand.


BRENT: What’s the plan? Do I just stay here?


THOMAS: No, that’s actually why I came by. (Thomas walks over and sits by Brent) You can’t stay here anymore.


BRENT: Why? Are the feds onto your secret endangered species room?


THOMAS: Through my sources, I’ve heard the mafia have figured out that I’m hiding you. We can’t risk it.


(Brent sighs and rubs his eyes)


BRENT: Where do I go?


(Thomas takes out a scrape of paper and places it in Brent’s hand)


THOMAS: That’s an address to a warehouse in Jersey City where I allow some Dominican illegals I employ to stay for free in exchange for a severe wage cut. They’re nice people, don’t worry. Definitely keep a knife on you, though.


BRENT: …Should I go now?


THOMAS: Yep. I already packed for you and laid out a disguise.


BRENT: Okay, thanks. I love you, dad-


THOMAS: Well, off you go.


(Thomas helps Brent get up and they leave the endangered species room. Cut to the exterior of Thomas’ apartment building. Patrizio and Vito are seen sitting in a black car across the street, surveying the apartment building. Brent emerges from the revolving doors of the apartment building’s lobby wearing a blonde wig, a nurse’s uniform, and lipstick. Patrizio and Vito squint their eyes)


VITO: No fucking way.


(Brent dips into an awaiting Camaro and starts driving)


PATRIZIO: Follow that finook!


(Vito starts up the car, bangs a U-turn and starts following Brent. Cut to Thomas sitting on his couch, chuckling to himself)


THOMAS: Oh, man. He looked like such a homo. (Thomas starts laughing loudly. Thomas’ phone starts ringing, and he walks over to the kitchen an answers it) Hello?


(Cut to Brian using the phone at Annex. Intercut between Thomas and Brian)


BRIAN: Thomas, this is Brian Sarandon.


THOMAS: How the hell did you get my number?!


BRIAN: Your number’s in the phone book!


THOMAS: Jesus, really? I need to change that.


BRIAN: Listen. (Brian looks around and starts whispering) I heard that your son is in danger.


THOMAS: Yeah. All because he told on two Soviet sluts who snuck into my office and planted a bug. His heart was in the right place, but my God, his brain is empty.


BRIAN: Right. Well. I know we’ve had our disputes, but I don’t want your son to be hurt. If there’s anything I can do-


THOMAS: What the fuck would you be able to do? You pay the tithes, they’re on your side!


BRIAN: They threaten us! It’s not our choice!


THOMAS: Tell me what you want or I’m going to hang up.


BRIAN: Just tell me where your son is so I can help him.


THOMAS: Jesus Christ.


(Thomas hangs up. Cut to Brian on the phone at Annex)


BRIAN: Hello? Hello!? (Brian hears a dial tone and hangs up) Fuck.


NINA: (OS) Probably not the best move.


(Brian turns to Nina, who is cleaning glasses. Jack is in the background serving a smattering of patrons)


BRIAN: I can’t just let things happen.


NINA: Isn’t that usually what you do?


(Brian squints)


BRIAN: What does that mean?


(Nina shrugs)


NINA: Never mind.


(Brian walks over to the other side of the bar and plops down in a bar stool)


BRIAN: I miss when things were simple.


NINA: Things are never really simple, Brian, you learn that as you get older.


BRIAN: Things were simple, once, trust me. I voted for Reagan twice so they would become that way again and look at everything! That red-cheeked motherfucker let me down.


NINA: So, are you gonna vote for Mario Cuomo in ’88?


BRIAN: Nah, I’ll vote for Bush.


(Nina sighs and shakes her head)


NINA: Honey, you’re incorrigible.


BRIAN: You know when things were simple? The summer of ’76.


NINA: I lost my virginity in the summer of ’76.


BRIAN: Oh really, to who?


NINA: No, wait, it was the summer of ’67-


BRIAN: Oh GOD, to who!?


NINA: Never mind, it was the summer of ’76.


BRIAN: Thank God!


NINA: So, what happened to you in the summer of ’76?


BRIAN: Well. I was at Lake Champlain in Hansbay, where I grew up. It was the bicentennial.


(We flashback to July 4, 1976. We’re at the shores of Lake Champlain in Hansbay, Vermont, just after nightfall. There are numerous families gathered to celebrate the bicentennial. We see a 14-year-old Brian Sarandon- a chubby kid wearing a polo shirt, shorts and long hair typical of young boys at the time. He’s holding a lit sparkler and holding it close to a 7-year-old Melinda Sarandon, who’s wearing pink overalls and sporting pigtails. 11-year-old Richard Sarandon, a slimmer kid wearing bell-bottom jeans and a Led Zeppelin t-shirt, is also nearby with a sparkler in hand. 42-year-old Spencer and 37-year-old Sydney, their parents, are sitting nearby in lawn chairs, each with a beer in hand. Spencer has sideburns and Sydney has very long, straight hair. Brian puts the sparkler even closer to Melinda’s face and she hides her face with her hands)




BRIAN: What? Are you scared of a little fire?!


RICHARD: Little fire never hurt anybody, Mel!


(Melinda runs over to Spencer and points at Brian and Richard)


MELINDA: They’re trying to burn me!


RICHARD: It was just a joke!


SPENCER: Yeah, Mel, come on, it was just a joke.


SYDNEY: Spencer- Jesus! Richie, Brian, leave your sister alone or we’ll take the sparklers.


SPENCER: Women can’t take a joke, my God!


SYDNEY: She’s seven years old!


BRIAN: Fine, we’ll do a kiddie game. Mel, wanna play hide-and-seek?


(Melinda sniffs)




RICHARD: Okay, you’re it. Close your eyes, count to thirty and we’ll go hide.


(Melinda smiles and puts her hands over her eyes)


MELINDA: 1, 2, 3-


(Brian and Richie split off, running in two different directions)


SPENCER: Remember to be back in time for the fireworks!


(Cut to Brian running past several families sitting out and enjoying the fourth. He runs through a picnic blanket, accidentally stepping in some pie a couple were enjoying)




BRIAN: (In the distance) Sorry! (Brian zigzags around a few more families and then stops to catch his breath outside a nondescript metal shed. He catches his breath and coughs a few times. He approaches the shed and finds the door to it is partially ajar) Good a place as any, I suppose. (Brian walks into the dark shed and it is completely and utterly dark. He feels around until he notices the glow of a cigarette emanating from the opposite wall. He turns) Hello? Who’s there?


PERSON: (Girl’s voice) Who are you?


(A cloud of smoke floats to the ceiling)


BRIAN: I’m, uh, I’m Brian.


GIRL: …You can’t tell anyone I’m here.


BRIAN: I’m-I’m just playing a game with my brother and sister. Are you playing hide-and-seek, too?


GIRL: Pffff. That’s a little kid game.


(Brian laughs nervously)


BRIAN: Yeah, no, totally, I think so, too. This is dumb, I was just doing it as a goof. (Beat) Can I see your face?


(The girl takes a flashlight out of her pocket and shines it on her face. She’s an olive-skinned girl of about sixteen, with black hair and a round face)


BRIAN: (OS) It was at that moment I knew I was in love, for the first time. I knew this because I immediately got a-


JACK: (OS) Guys!


(We abruptly cut back April 29th, 1986 at Annex. Jack has run over with urgency in his eyes)


BRIAN: What is it, Jack, JESUS, I was in the middle of a story!


JACK: I just heard on the radio that a Camaro was shot at by some suspected mafia guys as it drove into the Holland Tunnel!


NINA: Oh shit, that has to be Brent, right? He has a Camaro!


BRIAN: Did he get away?


JACK: They think so. There’s some confusion though because witnesses say a blonde nurse was driving the vehicle.


(Brian and Nina give one another a look)


BRIAN & NINA: Thomas.


BRIAN: Jinx! You owe me a soda!


NINA: Come on!


BRIAN: Also, Loveman has come clubs in Jersey City, so that’s probably where Brent is going.


(Brian grabs his coat from the back of the seat)


NINA: Hey- can I come?


(Brian turns to Nina and smiles)


BRIAN: …Of course you can come, Nina. (Nina smirks, grabs her coat and follows Brian out of Annex. Cut to Brian’s 1983 Mustang driving into the mouth of the Holland Tunnel. Cut to the two of them in the front seats of the Mustang speeding through the tunnel, the onslaught of dim lights strobing across their faces as “Games Without Frontiers” by Peter Gabriel plays. We see them emerge from the Holland Tunnel on the Jersey side and keep going. Cut to Brian and Nina walking alongside several storefronts in Jersey City) Well, I doubt he’s gonna be in public anywhere, but I suspect Thomas has someone hiding him as a favor. Thomas has a lot of friends on this side of the Hudson.


NINA: There could also be people looking for him with less noble intentions, you know.


BRIAN: Yeah, well if you see anyone suspicious-


(Nina points to two Italian-looking guys sitting outside a coffee shop, enjoying espresso)


NINA: Like them?!


(Brian puts her arm down)


BRIAN: Jesus, don’t point! Fuck, let’s go in here! (Brian and Nina duck into a barbershop. Upon entering, a multitude of Italian-looking barbers with dark hair, olive skin and mustaches look up at them, along with their Italian-looking customers) Uhhh…


(The owner, a big guy with hairy arms and dark hair, emerges from his office)


OWNER: (Jersey accent) Hey, welcome to Luigi’s Barber Shop, how can I help ya?


BRIAN: Uh, uh, uh, Buongiorno!


NINA: Ciao.


BRIAN: We, uh, uh, help me out, Nina.


NINA: Abbiamo, uh, bisogno…de-or, di-


LUIGI: I clearly just spoke fuckin’ English to you, what do you goddamn want?


BRIAN: My mom is half-Italian, so you can trust me-


NINA: And I’m full Italian.




NINA: Shave. Close shave.


(Brian glares at Nina. Nina shrugs and mouths “what?”)


LUIGI: Alright, go ahead and have a seat. (Brian takes a deep breath and takes a seat in a barber’s chair. The other barbers go back to their business. Luigi squirts some shaving cream into his hand and slathers Brian’s face with it. He then takes out an ornamental shaving kit, clicks open the box and retrieves a shiny, old-fashioned shaving blade. Brian watches nervously as Luigi puts the shaving blade to his throat. Nina watches anxiously) You always wanna start down here, it’s the hardest place to cut close.


BRIAN: (Quivering voice) Right, of course.


(Luigi smoothly cuts a path up Brian’s neck to the tip of his chin. Brian’s eyes are wide. Luigi then cuts across the broad side of his cheek. A little blood is drawn)


LUIGI: Oops. Nicked you there, sorry about that.


BRIAN: (Shaking) It’s alright… (Cut to Brian and Nina walking down the street, away from Luigi’s Barbershop) Jesus Christ, I nearly got my throat slit because of you.


NINA: Hey! Not all Italians are in league with the fucking mob! The Gambinos don’t even got territory over here!


BRIAN: I know, but Christ, that was not a risk worth taking.


NINA: I’m sorry for trying to make you inconspicuous.


BRIAN: You could’ve just said a haircut!

NINA: You just got a haircut!

BRIAN: WHO CARES?! (Brian and Nina stop at a street corner) Jesus, what are we doing here? This is a needle in a haystack, we’ll never find him.


(Nina squints)


NINA: Wait. We said he probably wouldn’t be at one of his dad’s strip clubs because it’d be too obvious.


BRIAN: Yeah.


NINA: But think about the guy we’re looking for. Like my father would say, he’s not the sharpest cheddar in the cheese box.


BRIAN: What does that mean? What’s a “cheese box”?


NINA: Well, my dad wasn’t the sharpest cheddar in the cheese box, either.


BRIAN: So, what are you saying, he’s at one of his dad’s clubs?


NINA: Probably not, but he’s probably at a club.


(Brian nods)


BRIAN: …Actually, you’re probably right.


(Cut to Lindsay, Savannah, Joey, Dylan and Haley walking down the streets of Manhattan’s East Village. Music and chatter flows from every corner, and they’re surrounded by stumbling drunk punks and convivial smokers)


JOEY: See? They weren’t even that good.


LINDSAY: I thought they were okay.


HALEY: Is that the standard, now? “Okay”? You know, I saw the New York Dolls- (Haley points to a club down the street called “Pump Warehouse”) at the Pump Warehouse in ’76, it was one of their last shows, and they were more than “okay”, they were fuckin’ amazing.


LINDSAY: Holy shit, you were at that show? I was at that show!


SAVANNAH: How old were you?


HALEY: I was nine.


(Lindsay stops on a street corner and turns to Haley)


LINDSAY: Oh my God! I remember you! You were that kid whose dad was real weird and kept preaching to people after they left the bathrooms!


(Haley shoots a look at Joey)


SAVANNAH: No, I don’t think that was my dad. Must’ve been another nine-year-old.


(Lindsay furrows his brow)


LINDSAY: Weird. I only remember one kid being there. (Lindsay keeps walking and the group follows him. Lindsay points at a club called J.J’s) I saw Nick Cave overdose on stage at that place!


(Cut to Lindsay leaning against a tree in Bryant Park, lighting up a cigarette. Joey, Savannah, Dylan and Haley are standing by and talking amongst one another)


JOEY: How long have we been walking?


(Savannah checks her watch)


SAVANNAH: Like, forty-five minutes or so?


LINDSAY: You know what it is, it’s so nice to take in the city like this. You live in this city long enough, you forget to just fucking take it in- (Lindsay slaps his arm) it’s a fuckin’ rush.


JOEY: Yeah, would you say it’s better than drugs?


LINDSAY: Second only to drugs, actually. (Savannah rolls her eyes, and Joey and his friends shake their heads and scoff) Speaking of- do you guys mind?


(Lindsay takes out a vial of coke and pours it onto his hand)


SAVANNAH: Lindsay!


(Lindsay gives it a quick snort. He sniffs several times afterward and closes his eyes)


LINDSAY: Fuck, that’s so much better than looking at New York City, I take it back, it’s not even close.


SAVANNAH: I’m sorry, guys.


JOEY: It’s alright- hey, where are we?


SAVANNAH: We’re in Bryant Park, near Hell’s Kitchen.


JOEY: You guys wanna get into some trouble?


LINDSAY: FUCK YEAH! (Lindsay jumps up in the air) Let’s fuckin’ wreak some havoc!


JOEY: The New York Times building is a stone’s throw from here, and I say we throw stones at it.




HALEY: Because the New York Times fucking lies.


DYLAN: (Low and menacing) They lied about (inaudible)…


LINDSAY: Yeah, FUCK The New York Times! Bourgeois rag! Let’s fuck it up! GOD, I love you!


(Lindsay hugs Joey. Joey smiles and pats him on the back. Savannah looks apprehensive and nervous but smiles awkwardly. Cut to Lindsay, Joey, Dylan, Savannah and Haley hesitantly walking up to the entrance to the New York Times building- an ornate entrance with gold-plated revolving doors, grand windows showing the inside of the vestibule, and a silver mural above it all, and the “The New York Times” written in its iconic lettering above the revolving doors. Each of them has stones in their hands as they stare nervously at the entrance)


JOEY: …Alright, on my count. 3, 2, 1- THROW!


(They all launch stones windows above the revolving doors- each stone shattering the glass and bumping against the other windows on the opposite side)








(They all look over and see a pair of cops running toward them)




(They all take off. Lindsay, Savannah, Dylan, Haley and Joey run expeditiously down the sidewalk as two NYPD officers give chase)


LINDSAY: We can’t run forever, we’ve gotta lose ‘em!


JOEY: Hold on- I think I know a place! (Joey ducks into an alley, and the rest follow him. Joey points to a steel backdoor at the far end of the valley and runs toward it. He opens it) Everyone, get inside!


(Everyone runs in, followed by Joey, who shuts the door behind him. The two NYPD cops run into the alley and stop to look around)


OFFICER FINNIGAN: Did we lose ‘em?


OFFICER O’MALLEY: NO! It couldn’t be! How are we going to avenge the property that they destroyed?!


OFFICER FINNIGAN: Wait! Look! (Finnigan points at the steel door) Maybe they hid in this warehouse!


(Finnigan and O’Malley run up to that door. Cut to inside the warehouse- a brick warehouse full of wooden boxes and large, loud machinery. Joey, Dylan and Haley are hiding behind wooden boxes, while Lindsay and Savannah hide behind a loud piece of industrial machinery- likely an enormous A/C unit. The door is latched shut- but we can hear numerous thuds as the police try to kick it in. Cut to Savannah and Lindsay behind the A/C unit)


SAVANNAH: (Whispering) Why don’t we just give ourselves up!?


LINDSAY: (Whispering) Come on, these dumb pigs couldn’t find a trough to shit in if they had a map, a compass and an omniscient butthole.


SAVANNAH: (Whispering) What?!


LINDSAY: (Whispering) Look, if we’re going down, we’re going down together.


SAVANNAH: (Whispering) I didn’t agree to that!

(The latch breaks and the door flies open. Officers Finnigan and O’Malley walk in, with their guns drawn)


OFFICER FINNIGAN: Alright, you goobers, come out!


OFFICER O’MALLEY: We know you’re in here! (Lindsay and Savannah look at one another nervously) Check behind the A/C unit.


(Lindsay makes a break for it. O’Malley quickly tackles him to the ground and slaps handcuffs on him)




(Savannah turns to run away but is confronted by Finnigan on the other side. She puts her hands up and Finnigan apprehends her)


OFFICER FINNIGAN: You’re lucky you two are white.


SAVANNAH: Wow, just gonna say that out loud, huh?


(Finnigan drags Savannah over to O’Malley. Lindsay shrugs his shoulders at Savannah, while she gives a glare)


OFFICER O’MALLEY: You two will learn for assaulting the gray lady like that. Now, where are those three friends of yours?


(Joey and Haley appear behind Finnigan and O’Malley and knock them the fuck out with lead pipes. O’Malley and Finnigan slump over and fall on top of Lindsay and Savannah)






(Joey and Haley painstakingly push O’Malley and Finnigan off of Savannah and Lindsay. They both stand up, still handcuffed)


LINDSAY: Get these off me!



(Joey uncuffs Lindsay and Haley uncuffs Savannah. Dylan emerges from behind the wooden crates)


DYLAN: (Low and menacing) These cops have to atone for their sins. With their blood.


LINDSAY: Wait- what did he say?!


JOEY: He said these cops have to atone for their sins, with their blood. And he’s right.


LINDSAY: Wait, wait, wait- I’m all for raising Hell, but this sounds like…murder!




JOEY: Ervil LeBaron, a martyr of the LDS Church, and someone that the New York Times smeared as a mass-murdering psychopath.


LINDSAY: Holy shit, you guys follow Ervil LeBaron, the fundamentalist Mormon with 50 wives who enslaved his children!?


SAVANNAH: You guys aren’t straight edge, you’re just MORMON!


LINDSAY: (To Savannah) That’s your biggest issue!?


SAVANNAH: I’m just saying, they lied to us!


JOEY: Are you guys gonna pussy out on us?


(Lindsay and Savannah look at one another, as Dylan and Haley step closer. Savannah shrugs)


SAVANNAH: No, of course not, man, we’re down for whatever. Oh, one thing- I think you have something on your DICK-


(Savannah kicks Joey in the dick, and Lindsay pushes Haley to the ground, causing her to bump her head on a nearby box. They run for the door as Joey holds his crotch in pain)




(Dylan runs after them. Cut to a seedy Jersey City strip joint called “Bazongas Inc”. Brent is sitting in front of the stage, with several crushed beer cans and empty glasses in front of him on his table, as a stripper dances before him. Brent is leaning his head against his hand, and his eyes are half-closed)


BRENT: …My dad…my made me dress up like a nurse…why’d he make me do that…why am I such a fuck-up?


(Nina and Brian enter the strip club and quickly spot him. They walk over and sit on either side of him)


BRIAN: Brent, don’t freak out!


(Brent jumps up and screams. Nearly everyone in the club looks over at him)


NINA: SHHHH! We’re here to help!


BRENT: (Whispering) I don’t wanna die, I don’t wanna die, I don’t wanna die!


BRIAN: Then why are you here?! In the most obvious place you could be?!


BRENT: (Whispering) That safehouse was boring as fuck, and nobody spoke English!


NINA: We’re not here to hurt you, we’re here to help you.


BRENT: (Whispering) Bullshit, you’re gonna deliver me on a plate to the Gambinos!


BRIAN: No! Jesus, no, we’re going to take you to a place where you can never be found-




NINA: Great phrasing there, Brian.


(Everyone looks over at them)


BRIAN: JESUS! No, that’s not what I mean- listen, Brent, I know we’ve had our issues, but do you think I’m a killer? Pudgy old Brian Sarandon from the block, used to bike around the neighborhood, toss the ball around-


NINA: You guys didn’t grow up together-


BRIAN: Do you think he’s a killer?


BRENT: (Whispering) I don’t know! I have no reason to trust you, though!

NINA: Listen, do you really need more attention on yourself, right now? At least hear us out!


(Brent’s breathing slow down a bit as he nervously strokes his chin. The club owner, a fat guy with a bad goatee, walks over)


CLUB OWNER: Everything okay over here?


(Brent, Brian and Nina look up at him)


BRENT: …Yeah, yeah, it was a misunderstanding. (Brent hands him an empty glass) Do this again. (The club owner stares at the glass and glares at Brent. He drops the glass on the table and walks away. Brent turns to Brian and Nina) What the fuck do you want?


BRIAN: For you not to die. Listen, man, I don’t like you, I think the way you’ve treated Nina is unconscionable-


BRENT: I think the way she treated ME was unconscionable-


BRIAN: Either way-


NINA: It wasn’t.


BRIAN: Either way, I can’t sleep at night if I had even a little bit to do with you being murdered.


BRENT: I’ve got it covered, alright? I’m safe. This is my safehouse.


NINA: Not really, we found you pretty easily. So, imagine what the mafia can do.


BRENT: Right, but this is where I feel emotionally safe. (Brent points to his head) Up here.


(Brian points to Brent’s head)


BRIAN: “Up there” is gonna be all over- (Brian points at the stripper right in front of them) Shasta over here if we don’t get you out of here.


(The stripper scoffs and drifts toward another poll)


BRENT: Oh, come on! You still haven’t given me any reason to trust that going with you won’t wind up with the same result!


(Brian sighs)


BRIAN: …Fine, how about this? I’ll finish a story I was telling earlier.


NINA: You’ll have to start over for him.


BRIAN: So, I was in the storage shed with this mysterious girl, and she’s just shown me her face-


BRENT: Dude, you need to catch me up.


BRIAN: FINE! It was July 4th, 1976, my brother and sister and I were playing hide-and-seek, I went off to hide in a storage shed and I found this young girl smoking a cigarette in the dark and I asked her to see her face. She shines a flashlight on her face, and I get a boner, right?


NINA: Ugh.


(Flashback to that moment. The young girl has shone a flashlight on her face in this shed, in front of 14-year-old Brian. She smiles)


YOUNG GIRL: I’m Cindy.


(Brian smirks, and extends his hand)


BRIAN: I’m Brian.


CINDY: Yeah, you already said that.


(Brian nods)


BRIAN: Right. (Cindy shakes Brian’s hand) …Your hand is so cold.


(Cindy relinquishes her grip on Brian’s hand)


CINDY: I run cold.


BRIAN: ...How old are you?


CINDY: I’m sixteen.


BRIAN: Oh. I guess I’m a little young for you, I’m fourteen.


CINDY: Young “for” me?


BRIAN: Well, no, I didn’t mean to say-


CINDY: Come here.


(Brian is thrown off)


BRIAN: Like- closer than I am now?


(Cindy beckons. Brian walks towards her. Cindy puts the flashlight away and brings Brian in for a kiss. He’s shocked, but goes along with it. Cindy wraps her arms around Brian’s shoulders. Brian follows suit and wraps his arms around her shoulders. But Cindy removes his arms and pulls away from the kiss)


CINDY: …Yeah, you definitely kiss like you’re fourteen.


(Brian lets out a nervous chuckle)


BRIAN: Sorry.


CINDY: It’s fine.


(Cindy takes out a cigarette and a lighter and torches it. In the brief glow of the lighter’s flame, Brian notices bruises on Cindy’s arms)


BRIAN: Whoa- what are those?


(Cindy suffocates the flame with the cap)


CINDY: What is what? (Brian grabs Cindy’s arm, but she pulls it away) What the fuck are you doing, small fry?


(Brian furrows his brow)


BRIAN: What are you hiding from in here?


(Cindy dismissively blows a plume of smoke over her head and pouts)


CINDY: It’s none of your business.


BRIAN: Did someone hurt you?


CINDY: You couldn’t do anything about it.


BRIAN: Sure, I can! My dad works at an ad agency.


(Cindy laughs)


CINDY: Well, my dad is the boss of the Cardova Family. So.


(Brian’s eyes widen and he backs up)


BRIAN: Your dad is Donovan Lomeli?!


(Cindy nods and takes a drag on her cigarette)


CINDY: Yeah. That’s why HPD won’t do anything, Mayor Bartlett won’t do shit. Cardovas run this city, you think they give a shit about what my dad does to me?


(Tears glint in Cindy’s eyes as she works to avoid direct eye contact with Brian)


BRIAN: If I were Mayor, I would do something.


CINDY: Yeah, well, you’re not.


BRIAN: But I can still help you. My dad can hide you from your dad.


(Cindy shakes her head “no”)


CINDY: I don’t trust any adult. I’m sorry, that includes your dad.


BRIAN: No- my dad’s a good guy, you can trust him. Come on.


(Brian puts his hand on Cindy’s shoulder, but Cindy pushes him away)


CINDY: Get the fuck off of me.


BRIAN: Come on! (Cindy throws her cigarette down and runs out of the shed. Brian rushes out of the shed and finds Cindy running into the distance) COME BACK!

(Richard walks over and points at Brian)


RICHARD: Nice job hiding, dummy. (Richard taps Brian on the shoulder) You’re it!


(Richard runs away. Brian sighs. Cut back to April 1986, with Brian, Nina and Brent. Brent looks confused)


BRIAN: Cindy Lomeli was never seen again. No one knows what happened.


BRENT: …So you’re saying you’re bad at saving people’s lives?


BRIAN: NO! (Brian sighs) I’m saying I’m trying to make up for not being able to save her- Jesus, learn to read subtext!


NINA: We need to go, before they find you.


(Brent rubs his forehead and closes his eyes. He then nods several times in quick succession)


BRENT: Fine, fuck it, let’s go.


(Brian, Brent and Nina get up and they usher him out. The club owner walks over)




(Cut to Lindsay and Savannah leaning against the metal bar in an elevator. They both look pissed. The elevator arrives at the fifth floor and the door opens up. Savannah looks at Lindsay. Lindsay clears the way for her to walk out first)


SAVANNAH: Thank you, how courteous.


(Savannah walks out of the elevator and Lindsay quickly follows)


LINDSAY: Savannah! (Savannah and Lindsay walk to the door of Lindsay’s apartment and stop in front of it) I’m sorry I ran, okay? It felt like the cool thing to do in the moment.


SAVANNAH: Great, so you abandoned me because it seemed “cool”?


LINDSAY: It was an impulse decision! Those don’t always work out! You get that! Those shoes were an impulse decision, weren’t they?


SAVANNAH: You’re not helping yourself, right now.


LINDSAY: Listen, tonight was stupid. I think we can both agree on that.


SAVANNAH: Yes. We almost died because YOU wanted to feel the wind in your hair, recapture your lost youth, like this is a goddamn Cassavetes movie.


LINDSAY: You’re right! Okay? You’re totally right.


SAVANNAH: We’re not Bonnie and Clyde, okay?


LINDSAY: Well, I know THAT. Because I’m not impotent.


SAVANNAH: Lindsay. You know what I mean. We’re not “going down together”.


(Lindsay nods her head)


LINDSAY: …I know. I’m sorry. (Beat) But if you weren’t ready to forgive me, I doubt we’d be outside my apartment right now.


(Savannah shrugs, as Lindsay takes out his key to unlock the door)


SAVANNAH: What am I gonna do, break up with you when we’re about to go to jail?


(Lindsay opens the door and lets Savannah in)


LINDSAY: I thought you said we’re not going down together?!


(Lindsay closes the door behind them. Savannah walks over to the couch and collapses onto it)


SAVANNAH: We might still go down separately.


(Lindsay sits down next to Savannah and puts his arm around her shoulders)


LINDSAY: How about this? Let’s make a deal.


SAVANNAH: Alright, Monty, what is it?


LINDSAY: What’s that?


SAVANNAH: Monty Hall, like from “Let’s Make a Deal”-


LINDSAY: Sorry, I don’t watch TV- (Savannah rolls her eyes) anyway, if they catch us, just tell them I forced you into it.


SAVANNAH: Forced me into it how? Knifepoint?


LINDSAY: Gunpoint. That sounds cooler.


SAVANNAH: Come on.


LINDSAY: No, I’m serious! You got caught up in our bullshit, you shouldn’t have to go down for us.


(Savannah sighs)


SAVANNAH: Do you even know what the penalty is for this? Maybe it’s not that bad!


(Lindsay shrugs, and fishes a cigarette out of his jacket)


LINDSAY: I’ve been afraid to look it up.


SAVANNAH: Maybe we should hold off on making a deal until we know what it is. If it’s six months in a women’s prison, my God, I could do that standing on my head.


(Lindsay lights his cigarette and puts his lighter away, blowing smoke into the air)


LINDSAY: Fair enough. But we really need to go to the library and microfiche that shit at some point.


SAVANNAH: Wanna do it tomorrow?


LINDSAY: I’m busy tomorrow.


(Lindsay takes a nervous pull on his cigarette. Cut to Brian driving his Mustang on an interstate highway. Nina is in the passenger’s seat and Brent is in the back, looking listlessly out the window)


BRENT: …Where are we even going?!


NINA: We’ve been driving for three hours and you just thought to ask that?!


BRENT: I spaced out!

BRIAN: There’s a safehouse in Hansbay, my hometown.


BRENT: Is it that weird shed?


BRIAN: No, you’ll be staying with my younger brother.


BRENT: Does he have booze?


NINA: You have a problem!

BRENT: I KNOW! GOD! I thought you guys said you were non-judgmental!


BRIAN: When did we say that?


BRENT: Whatever, just turn on the radio so I don’t have to listen to you guys. Goddamn.


(Nina turns on the radio. “Manic Monday” by The Bangles plays as we zoom out to a bird’s eye view of Brian’s mustang traversing the interstate. We cut to a shot of Brian’s car passing a big sign overlooking a city that reads “Welcome to Beautiful Hansbay! Nuclear Test Site Bid Runner-Up (1951)”. Under that it reads “Pop. 900 (1890 census)”. The song cuts out as we show Brian’s fist lightly rapping on an apartment door reading “224”. A 21-year-old Richard Sarandon, a skinny dude with long hair, patchy facial hair and a backwards cap, opens up)


RICHARD: What’s up, brother, come in. (Brian, Nina and Brent walk in. Richard checks out Nina) Who’s the babe?


(Nina scoffs)


BRIAN: She’s Nina. Nina, this is my brother Richard.


NINA: Really? You have nothing to say about what he called me?


RICHARD: Relax, it’s a compliment! Lovely to meet you, Nina.


(Richard takes her hand and tries to kiss it, but Nina pulls her hand away)


NINA: We’ve been on the road awhile and I need to take a shit, can you point me to the can?


RICHARD: Yeah, it’s uh, down the hall.


(Nina nods and walks down the hall and turns the corner. Brian smirks and pats Brent on the shoulder)


BRIAN: This is Brent. He’s going to stay here for a while.


BRENT: Do you have booze?


RICHARD: Hell yeah, dude. I’ve got some bangin’ babes stopping by tonight, too.


BRENT: Really, now?


BRIAN: Richie, just remember that this guy is 45, and also a piece of shit. Keep an eye on him.


BRENT: I’m sure they’re all eighteen, right?


RICHARD: All but one.


BRIAN: That’s all it takes, so seriously, keep this asshole away from them.


(We hear a toilet flushing and then a sink running)


BRENT: I’m- I’m a good guy-


BRIAN: NO. He’s not.


RICHARD: Okay, I got it! Jesus.


(Nina walks out of the bathroom)


NINA: Let’s go.


BRIAN: See ya, Richie.


(Brian hugs Richie and slips him a hundred-dollar bill)


RICHARD: If the mob catches up with this prick and whacks me too, roll my ashes up in a spliff and smoke them.


BRIAN: S-sure thing, Richie. Definitely.


(Brian pulls away from Richie and leaves with Nina. Richard waves as they close the door)


RICHARD: You wanna pre-game with tequila shots?


BRENT: You’re goddamn right I do!


(Richard claps his hands and heads to the kitchen, opens up his liquor cabinet)


RICHARD: I hope that bitch didn’t stink up my bathroom too bad.


(Cut to Brian driving on the interstate, with Nina in the passenger’s seat. “Games Without Frontiers” by Peter Gabriel is playing at low volume on the radio. Nina is looking out the window forlornly)


NINA: …I’m glad we did this.


(Brian looks over at her, and then puts his eyes back on the road)


BRIAN: Yeah, definitely. It was the right thing. Shit went too far, with all this Loveman stuff.


(Nina spots a roadside sign advertising a QuikTrip at the next exit)


NINA: You wanna stop? Won’t be another gas station for a while.


(Brian shrugs)


BRIAN: Sure.


(Brian takes the exit. Cut to Brian walking into the QuikTrip, as Nina sticks a gas pump into Brian’s mustang and leaves it to pump gas on its own. She looks around and then approaches a nearby phone booth. She ducks inside it and plops a few coins into the slot dials a number and puts the phone to her ear. Cut to Spencer sitting at his desk at Sarandon S&L. His phone rings and he picks it up. Intercut between them)




NINA: It’s Nina.


SPENCER: …What do you have for me?


NINA: I just wanted to tell you that Brent is safe.


SPENCER: What do you mean? How do you know?


NINA: Goodbye.


SPENCER: Where is he?


(Nina hangs up. Cut to Brian walking out of the QuikTrip with a two-liter of Coca-Cola. He clocks Nina walking away from the phone booth, and he squints. They meet at the car)


BRIAN: Did you make a call?


NINA: Yeah, I was just checking on my mother.


BRIAN: Is she okay?


NINA: Yeah, she’s excellent- (Nina takes out the gas pump and replace it in the cradle) can we go?


(Brian nods and slips into the driver’s seat. Nina goes around to the other side and sits in the passenger’s seat. Brian unscrews the cap on his liter of Coke and takes a swig. He then starts the car, and they drive off the parking lot and back onto the highway, as “Games Without Frontiers” by Peter Gabriel takes over and we cut to credits)



Submitted: February 23, 2021

© Copyright 2021 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.

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