Two Lights In The Water
Young Emma (12 years old)
Emma's Father, Frank
Young Robert (12 years old)
Robbie/Robert/Young Man (adult)
Mrs. Porter and Extras
1. CREDITS. EXT. PRIVATE BEACH. NORTHPORT, MAINE.
Twenty-nine-year-old EMMA exits her beach house, walking head down to her private beach, head down, wrapping her button-up sweater tightly around her. Her long wrap-around skirt is being ruffled by the light breeze that's blowing. The camera pans ahead in the direction that she's walking, showing the sand and some high cliffs off to one side.
2. EXT. THE CLIFFS ON EMMA'S PRIVATE BEACH.
EMMA begins to climb up the semi-steep slope of the beach cliffs, her breaths coming steady as she ascends. The full moon is shining brightly and it's glow illuminates the features on EMMA's face, showcasing grieving eyes and a deep frown.
3. EXT. A GRASSY BACKYARD.
Flashback with a softer focus for emphasis: TWELVE-YEAR-OLD EMMA is playing with TWELVE-YEAR-OLD ROBERT. They are building a “fort.” They're using wooden poles and white sheets.
C'mon Emma. Hold your side up higher. (Impatiently) It's going to fall.
YOUNG EMMA is tugging on her side, trying to stretch the material tighter as she pulls on the wooden pole.
I'm trying! I've almost got it....
4. EXT. TOP OF THE CLIFFS ON EMMA'S PRIVATE BEACH.
Standing, EMMA pulls off her sweater and drops it onto the rocks beside her feet. She slips her sandals off and sets them beside the deposited sweater. EMMA then looks out onto the moonlit ocean and listens to the waves as they crash against the cliffs, tucking a lock of hair behind her hair as the wind ruffles it and her skirt again.
EMMA (voice over)
It is time again to flip that coin. The one that says “life” or “death” on it.
5. EXT. EMMA'S PRIVATE BEACH.
Flashback with a softer focus for emphasis: A close-up flashes of YOUNG ROBERT'S bright blue eyes.
6. EXT. EMMA'S PRIVATE BEACH.
Flashback with a softer focus for emphasis: YOUNG ROBERT and YOUNG EMMA are sitting on a picnic blanket at the beach with their PARENTS. Each person is eating a slice of cake.
Happy Birthday Emma.
YOUNG ROBERT stuffs another big bite of cake into his mouth and chews heartily.
Yeah Baby. Happy Birthday.
EMMA'S MOTHER stretches her legs and lifts her head into the sun. Everyone else finishes their cake.
It's so nice out here today! This was a good idea, wasn't it Frank?
EMMA'S FATHER, FRANK, nods in agreement between bites of cake.
7. EXT. EMMA'S PRIVATE BEACH.
Flashback with a softer focus for emphasis: YOUNG EMMA is chasing after YOUNG ROBERT as he begins to clamber up a set of steep cliffs that run beside the beach. He pauses a few steps up and adjusts his bright blue nylon shorts before continuing his quick assent. YOUNG EMMA scurries after him, breathless.
Robert. Come on. You're gonna fall and then I'm gonna laugh at you!
Yeah. I bet you are!
YOUNG EMMA climbs slowly up the cliff, watching her footing carefully. She glances up at YOUNG ROBERT and sees he's reached the top. His arms are outstretched, the wind ruffling his t-shirt. He's smiling brightly.
Hurry up Emma! You gotta see this view!
YOUNG EMMA looks back down to her feet, her feet slipping a little on some loose dirt.
Hold your horses. I'm almost there.
YOUNG EMMA looks up and YOUNG ROBERT is no where to be seen. She scrambles up to the top of the cliff, a semi-panicked expression on her face.
YOUNG EMMA looks down towards the water below, the camera staying on her face. Her eyes widen and she screams.
8. EXT. TOP OF THE CLIFFS AT EMMA'S PRIVATE BEACH.
EMMA is gazing down at the water below, a saddened expression on her face. She glances away to the moonlit ocean and then over towards where her beach house sits. Then she returns her focus towards the waters below.
Do the dead remember their lives?
EMMA swings her arms slightly in front of her, takes a deep breath, and half-jumps, half-steps off of the cliff. Time slows down as she falls towards the waters below, her hair lifting up and her wrap-around skirt pulling high against her legs with air resistance. Everything is silent except EMMA'S slightly accelerated breathing and heart beats. Her arms raise above her head like a ballerina about to lift onto one toe.
9. EXT. CLOSE-UP
There is repeat close-up of YOUNG ROBERT'S bright blue eyes; this close-up lasts about three seconds.
10. EXT. OCEAN. EMMA'S PRIVATE BEACH IN NORTHPORT, MAINE.
Time returns to normal as EMMA crashes loudly into the water below the cliffs. Her body is pulled below the water as her skirt gains weight from water saturation. On impulse, EMMA begins to move towards the surface, and then stops herself, her arms raising again above her head just as she's about to reach the top. She begins to sink down again, holding her breath and waiting for her lungs to begin to burn.
EMMA (voice over)
Just let it happen.
Suddenly, EMMA notices two small bright lights off to her right side. They almost look like they're flickering. She starts to swim towards the beams of light. It appears as if she's being pulled towards the lights, heading towards the famous “tunnel.”
11. EXT. ON THE SAND ON EMMA'S BEACH.
EMMA is back on the beach, nearly doubled over as she involuntarily coughs and gasps for air. Her fingers dig into the sand as she catches her breath. Her arms and legs are trembling from their exertion.
EMMA (between gasps)
Guess the coin chose “life” again.
EMMA hears someone sighing and turns her head to one side, away from the ocean. Sitting a few yards up the beach is a YOUNG MAN, sopping wet, with a small smile on his face. His arms are folded over his knees and a puddle has formed at his feet, soaking into the sand. EMMA looks at his eyes. They appear cat-like and reflective, and this surprises EMMA, causing her to gasp softly. EMMA blinks, looks back towards the ocean, sits up slowly, rocking back onto her legs, and then looks back in the direction of the YOUNG MAN. He's still sitting where he was when she saw him a moment before, but his eyes appear normal now.
I wish you'd be more careful Emma. I don't want to save you all the time.
The YOUNG MAN gingerly kicks at the sand with his foot. EMMA raises an eyebrow in confusion.
Do I know you? I don't think we've met, but this is private property...
The YOUNG MAN cuts her off with his reply.
Sorry. I, uh, saw you out in the water and it looked like you may be in trouble. Thought to help you out. Wasn't trying to scare you.
The YOUNG MAN stands up and slaps some sand off of his bright blue nylon shorts and his plain t-shirt. EMMA stands up quickly in response. She takes in the YOUNG MAN'S appearance more fully. The camera pans in, noting a dark mop of wet hair, pale skin, and long legs with shorts that don't quite reach the YOUNG MAN'S knees. The YOUNG MAN is dressed out of style. EMMA furrows her brows in confusion.
EMMA (voice over)
But he is just sitting here on the beach.
Looking as if the YOUNG MAN reads EMMA'S thoughts, he replies.
Yeah. You've been kinda out for a few minutes. I sat a bit aways to wait 'till you got your bearings.
The YOUNG MAN walks up to EMMA and extends a hand in her direction.
EMMA slowly extends her hand, glancing away to look down the beach. The camera pans in the direction of her gaze, but nobody is around. EMMA looks back at ROBBIE and takes his hand gently.
Emma, (arching an eyebrow), though you already seem to know my name.
ROBBIE and EMMA finish shaking hands and EMMA shifts her weight awkwardly. The camera pans up to ROBBIE'S face, holding briefly on his blue eyes, before panning back to EMMA. EMMA shakes her head dazedly, as if to clear it.
I don't think you told me how we knew each other. You seem—familiar, but I...
The Porter's Christmas party last year. You were there with your husband. I was mostly in the crowd, but we spoke briefly.
11. INT. CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE PORTER'S.
Flashback, with softer focus for emphasis: EMMA is standing in a crowd of party-goers, a Christmas tree a few feet behind her. There is a soft commotion of people, conversations that cannot quite be made out, Christmas party music in the background. EMMA'S holding a champagne glass and fingering the neckline of her long cocktail dress. MRS. PORTER walks up to EMMA and gives her shoulder a comforting squeeze, asking a question that looks like “Are you having a good time?” before she walks away to meet with other guests. The camera pans away from her, scanning the crowd of people in the party. ROBBIE is nowhere to be seen.
Then, there is a quick flash of white light, briefly blinding EMMA'S vision, and then ROBBIE is standing in the crowd across from her, looking in her direction, a quirky smile on his face. The camera pans back away from the party-goers, back to EMMA, and ROBBIE who is standing beside her, laughing softly over a joke that cannot be heard. EMMA is smiling back at him as she sips champagne from her glass.
12. EXT. EMMA'S PRIVATE BEACH.
Yeah. (EMMA rubs her temple). I think I remember speaking with you.
Yeah. Well I'd hope you'd remember me Emma.
EMMA stretches her back. Her limbs still tremble a little. ROBBIE hands her the sweater and shoes she'd set down at the top of the cliff before she'd jumped.
I figured you'd be needing these again.
Another look of surprise plays on EMMA'S face. ROBBIE had not been holding the sweater and sandals a moment ago. EMMA reaches out and takes the items, dropping the sandals to the ground, and then slipping her feet into them. She shrugs into her button-up sweater and wrings some water out of her wrap around skirt.
Well. It's too late to be swimming anyways. Guess I should get back to the house.
EMMA starts to slowly walk up the path leading to her beach house, her sandaled feet dragging in the sand. She stops and glances over her shoulder at ROBBIE who is still standing where they'd been talking, a peaceful expression on his face. She waves an arm in a “follow me” gesture and ROBBIE begins to trail after her, water still trickling off of his clothes.
13. EXT. IN FRONT OF EMMA'S BEACH HOUSE.
EMMA and ROBBIE walk towards the porch of EMMA'S beach house. The house sits alone with soft light flowing out of two long vertical windows. A small car is parked alongside the house.
Where's Ruffie? He's always meets you after your walks.
How'd you know about—Ruffie isn't here anymore. My husb- (Emma catches herself) My ex took him.
ROBBIE frowns thoughtfully as he and EMMA reach the porch of her beach house.
That's too bad. I love petting Ruffie's silky coat. Woulda been nice right now. (Pausing briefly) So what happened with JOE? I didn't know you two got divorced.
EMMA'S mouth drops slightly and then she starts to walk up the porch stairs, half-stomping as her temper flairs.
God! Everyone's gotta ask about Joe.
EMMA turns the door handle of her beach house with a violent twist and steps hurriedly into her living room.
14. INT. LIVING ROOM OF EMMA'S BEACH HOUSE
ROBBIE follows EMMA into the living room, leaving a trail of wet footprints in his wake.
Ah. Well, don't answer then. It's okay. I'm just a good observer.
EMMA pulls off her sandals and tosses them carelessly into a corner. Then she notices that her clothes are still dripping.
Well. Yeah. Wait here. I'm gonna get you a towel.
EMMA turns toward her hallway and walks down towards her bedroom, leaving ROBBIE to wait in the living room, arms crossed over his chest. He walks over the mantle of EMMA'S fireplace, leaving more wet footprints behind him. He picks up a picture frame that contains a photo of JOE hugging RUFFIE around the neck, a big smile on JOE's face.
15. INT. THE BEDROOM/BATHROOM OF EMMA'S BEACH HOUSE.
EMMA throws her salt-encrusted wrap around skirt over the door of her shower. Then she slips on a pair of khaki shorts. She grabs a hair tie out of a vanity drawer and ties her hair into a messy ponytail. Then EMMA pauses in front of the mirror, a frown forming on her face.
EMMA (voice over)
I have a near-stranger out in my living room. What the hell am I thinking?
EMMA rubs her hand against her cheek as she continues to stare into the mirror. She's appears to be looking for the sudden appearance of crow's feet.
16. INT. THE LIVING ROOM OF EMMA'S BEACH HOUSE.
EMMA walks back into the living room, carrying a towel which she hands to ROBBIE. He takes the towel, holding it in his hands, but doesn't begin to dry himself off. He still appears damp, but water is no longer dripping from his body. EMMA looks down at the floor where ROBBIE is standing. A big puddle of water has formed there and she cringes at the sight.
(softly and pain-stricken) My poor floorboards.
EMMA suddenly catches herself chuckling softly over her concern for the flooring after she's just attempted suicide. EMMA walks over to her dining table, pulls out a chair, and takes a seat, folding her hands carefully in front of her. ROBBIE walks over to the dining table, footprints still trailing water, hangs his towel over the back of a chair, and then sits in a chair adjacent to EMMA.
Well. Guess we've got some time to talk.
(Rubbing her temples) It's kinda late. I figured you'd be on your way soon—
But I'm not finished making sure you're alright.
EMMA'S brows knit tightly as she rubs her temples, acting as if she's experiencing a headache. ROBBIE glances at her, a sober expression on his face.
I want to know why you tried it Emma? Why'd you jump?
This isn't exactly the kind of topic I discuss with strangers. And besides, I didn't “jump” like you seem to think. I just went for a swim.
EMMA begins to get up out of her chair, looking suddenly uncomfortable with the conversation. She turns on her heel, but begins to slip on some of the water that's still puddled on the floor.
17. INT. THE DINING ROOM/LIVING ROOM OF EMMA'S BEACH HOUSE.
Suddenly, ROBBIE grabs hold of EMMA'S wrist, stopping her fall, and helps steady her on her feet.
Careful. Don't need you hurting yourself.
(looking shocked) But! How did you—
EMMA wraps her arms tightly around herself, suddenly looking resigned. She returns to her dining room chair and sits back down. EMMA tilts her head up and stares off into the ceiling.
Joe finalized it today. I guess it's... done.
I'm sorry Emma. He shouldn't have done that.
Well. He did. And I—
EMMA looks over at ROBBIE who's staring intently at her. Her eyes narrow on him.
And why am I telling you my life's story? How stupid! You must be so—
It's okay Emma. Don't worry about it. What else?
EMMA lets out a big sigh.
What else? I want my damn dog back. Work sucks. I'm getting older. And I just remembered a birthday again from eons ago. Guess all that was enough to set me off.
A chuckle escapes EMMA and she places her palm to her forehead.
That. And I can't resist another game of what I like to call the “Coin Toss.” Been doing it each birthday for a few years now. Heh.
ROBBIE frowns slightly, then glances past EMMA towards the front windows.
18. INT. EMMA'S DINING AREA AT HER BEACH HOUSE.
EMMA follows ROBBIE'S gaze and glances out the window herself. The sun is beginning to peek over the waves of the ocean. This fact startles EMMA.
What? I coulda swore it was around midnight or something! (rubbing her temples) I guess I am just really tired.
EMMA stands up and stretches. She walks over to the window to watch the sun as it begins to crest over the waves. ROBBIE stands beside her, closer than he's stood near her before, but still not making physical contact with EMMA.
Happy Birthday, Emma.
EMMA looks away from the window towards ROBBIE and her mouth goes semi-slack. ROBBIE has become semi-translucent, the rays of the sun piercing through his form.
(smiling awkwardly) Gonna have to be going soon. But I wanted you to know that I'll be around more.
ROBBIE takes EMMA'S hand in his own.
19. INT. AN ELEMENTARY CLASSROOM
A quick flashback with a softer focus for emphasis: YOUNG ROBERT and YOUNG EMMA are attacking each other playfully with glitter and glue, their teacher chiding them for making a mess.
20. EXT. EMMA'S PARENTS' BACK YARD.
A quick flashback with a softer focus for emphasis: YOUNG ROBERT and YOUNG EMMA are laughing at YOUNG ROBERT'S 11th birthday party. YOUNG ROBERT opens a birthday card and a bunch of confetti sprays into his face, causing him to sneeze.
21. INT. THE DINING AREA AT EMMA'S BEACH HOUSE.
ROBBIE and EMMA are facing each other and holding hands. EMMA'S eyes are closed and she laughs as the flashbacks play in her mind. EMMA'S eyes open and she looks up at ROBBIE with an expression of realization on her face. This look morphs into a look of recognition.
Oh my god. (timidly) Robert?
EMMA'S hands drop away from ROBBIE'S/ROBERT'S hands and she steps back a foot as if appraising her assumption of his identity. Then a large smile lights EMMA'S face and she lunges her arms around the semi-translucent figure.
I thought I was going crazy! I knew you were so familiar. I knew you! How?
I'm not sure. I think it's almost a form of reincarnation or something.
ROBERT pulls EMMA out of his arms and looks at her. Tear marks are staining EMMA'S cheeks. She drags the back of a hand below her eyes.
I get a moment to make you happy. And more moments will come. (pausing briefly) He shouldn't have left you Emma. You're so special.
But I didn't want Joe! I wanted you! Why'd you have to be so stupid? You could have lived. Could have been here—with me.
I remember when you bought this home. I know you did so you could feel closer to me. But you've been sad. I've felt it. Joe felt it too. Even that silky mutt felt it! We all felt sad with you, Emma.
ROBERT is nearly visible now. EMMA reaches out but feels nothing but air. ROBERT smiles at her again, a quirky, awkward smile.
Don't worry Emma. I'll be back again soon. I love you—
© Copyright 2016 altaira reve. All rights reserved.
Poem / Humor
Poem / Historical Fiction
Poem / Poetry
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