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What They See

A screenplay

By Marshall StarkweatherPublished 2 months ago 4 min read
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What They See
Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

1 INT. INTERCITY APARTMENT - MID-MORNING - CHICAGO, 1973

MARIE DAVITSON (25, MIXED FEMALE) lounges in an armchair, nose deep in a green book about the biography of Adolf Hitler. She licks her finger and thumb and turns the page. The phone, plugged into the wall and settled on the kitchen counter, rings. MARIE dog-ears the page of the book and gets up to pick up the phone.

MARIE DAVITSON

Hello?

She listens for a second or two, then pulls on her coat.

MARIE DAVITSON

I’m sure it’ll rain.

She walks out the front door, as if forgetting about the phone in her hands.

2 EXT. MIDDLE OF THE STREET - NOON - CHICAGO, 1975

SAM STERN (30, WHITE MALE) strides down the middle of the street, dressed in a blue suit, white button down, and matching blue tie. A brown briefcase is in his right hand; he holds a Motorola DynaTAC “brick” phone to his ear, blabbering arrogantly into it.

SAM STERN

Stocks! Yes! You asshole, I bet you don’t make as much as me! Ha! 15k a year! Oh, boo-hoo, you got laid off! Try being smart like me, hey?

He jabs his first finger towards his head, his hand still attached to the briefcase, and laughs obnoxiously.

3 INT. CHICAGO - FILM PRODUCTION SET - NOON - 2016

SAM STERN walks past the camera crew and director, still randomly yelling into the brick phone. He walks through the back door.

4 INT. CORRIDOR - MID-AFTERNOON - 2016

ETHAN CHEN (23, ASIAN MALE) steps out into the corridor, in white button down and black slacks. He wears glasses and speaks into an iPhone 7 against his ear. He holds a file in his right hand. He hears his name called behind him.

VOICE (off-camera)

Mr. Chen!

ETHAN jerks his head up nervously and walks back into the room behind him.

5 INT. 14TH FLOOR OF OFFICE BUILDING - CHICAGO - 2021

ETHAN CHEN (28) strides confidently into the office, talking on an iPhone 13. His colleague calls his name.

STEVEN O’BRIEN

Mr. Chen!

STEVEN helps ETHAN into a dark gray suit jacket, while ETHAN tucks his phone in the inside pocket. His assistant hurriedly matches pace with him.

MS. KRYSTAL

Coffee, sir!

She gives him a cup of coffee. As he’s taking a sip of it, another man (24, Arab American) approaches him, holding up a clipboard and pen.

QUENTIN PEARCE

Mr. Chen! The contract!

ETHAN snatches the pen from QUENTIN PEARCE and quickly signs it. His assistant calls him impatiently.

MS. KRYSTAL

Mr. Chen, sir? You have-

MR. CHEN

Yes, Ms. Krystal! I’m aware I have a meeting!

ETHAN takes the briefcase from his assistant and exits through the side door.

6 INT. FILM PRODUCTION SET OF AN OFFICE - CHICAGO - 2022

WILLOW EBERSOLE (22, BLACK FEMALE) walks off set, past the camera crew and director. She snags a script from a side table and starts walking towards a chair, flipping through the packet. Suddenly, she freezes.

7 INT. LIVING ROOM - CHICAGO - 2023 - NIGHT

BODHI DEVI (21, Indian) sits on a couch in pajamas. He holds the remote to the TV, thumb hovering over the pause button. WILLOW EBERSOLE, in the film, is frozen on the TV screen. BODHI leaves the remote on the couch and walks through the door beside the TV.

8 INT. FILM PRODUCTION SET OF AN OFFICE - CHICAGO - 2022

BODHI walks past WILLOW EBERSOLE, who looks up from her script and stares after him. He strides onto the office film set, past the camera crew and director. She leaves her script and follows him.

9 INT. 14TH FLOOR OF OFFICE BUILDING - CHICAGO - 2021

BODHI walks past ETHAN CHEN, who cleans his glasses and stares after them. He leaves his glasses and follows them through the door.

10 INT. CORRIDOR - MID-AFTERNOON - 2016

BODHI, ETHAN, and WILLOW arrive in the hallway. Someone calls BODHI’S name.

VOICE (off camera)

Bodhi!

The three turn around and walk back through the door.

11 INT. CHICAGO - FILM PRODUCTION SET - NOON - 2016

The three walk past SAM STERN, headed for the film set of Chicago. SAM grumbles, throws his briefcase haphazardly on the ground, straightens his suit jacket, and marches after them.

12 EXT. MIDDLE OF THE STREET - NOON - CHICAGO, 1975

The four walk in the middle of the street in Intercity, Chicago, the sun at high noon. BODHI stops at an apartment on the right and raises a hand to knock on the door. It opens and the four walk inside.

13 INT. INTERCITY APARTMENT - MID-MORNING - CHICAGO, 1973

The four situate themselves in MARIE DAVITSON’S living room, MARIE going to shut out the lights, except one.

14 INT. MARIE DAVITSON’S APARTMENT - NIGHT - CHICAGO, 1973

MARIE stands in the center of the living room, holding a poster board flipped away from view. The characters lay a hand on her arm and shoulders, each looking to stare at the camera. She flips her board around. It reads: WE SEE YOU.

15 INT. MARIE DAVITSON’S APARTMENT - NIGHT - CHICAGO, 1973

MARIE pulls out a TV remote from her pocket and points it at the camera, pressing the power button.

THE SCREEN GOES BLACK

[END]

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About the Creator

Marshall Starkweather

I started writing when I was 13. At first it was an escape, but now, it is the gift that gave me my purpose. I dream of becoming a best-selling author. Reality isn't so bad when you're a page away from traveling to another dimension.

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