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by E.K. Sandoval 3 years ago in art
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A Screenplay about Mental Illness

Could not find artist original. Not owned by me or anyone affiliated with me. Copied Image.



The shot opens on FINNLEY’s face. He is wearing a smile with his eyes closed. Finnley is dreaming of the ocean and his own world. He is dreaming of a better place.

His smile begins to fade, as he wakes up. As soon as he wakes, the shot shows how unhappy Finnley is. The shot pans outward to reveal a well put together room. The room almost looks military style, it is so neat and clean. The colors of the room are bright and vibrant, sticking out in the darkness. Finnley hears the overwhelming sound of silence and he sits up as the first voice speaks.

DARK FINNLEY (V.O.) (several of these voices clamor over one another): You…are…nothing.

Finnley stares frighteningly at the closet. A blackness seems to emanate from it. The audience sees a hand that is pale grey with long gross fingernails begin to creep out of the closet.

ANGEL FINNLEY (V.O.) : My dear boy, what seems to be frightening you?

Finnley begins to hyperventilate. Finnley opens his drawer to his nightstand. The drawer houses his various asthma medications. He pulls out the inhaler and does two puffs. These puffs are a minute a part from each other. His attack begins to subside, but the audience can hear his heartbeat.

TINKER FINNLEY (O.S.) : Two times the x, where x is the experience we will have at… if you continue to decide this then the universe will take away everything…

TINKER FINNLEY is working at an imaginary chalkboard. He has chalk in his hand. He is deep in thought. NERD FINNLEY appears sitting down on the floor surrounded by comic books. He is making lightsaber noises up until he speaks. He is holding a pen. He has a journal directly in front of him.

NERD FINNLEY (with a nerd lisp and know it all voice, writes in the journal as he speaks) : Oooooo… I could put this here. But then if he attacks the group then it would be too soon. Peace is a lie… check your phone I bet there is a new trail-

Finnley looks around the room, taking in everything. He visibly starts to become anxious again. He begins breathing heavily. All of the voices begin to overlap each other. Finnley becomes overwhelmed and lays back down. He pulls the covers up, covering the bottom half of his face. He is visibly frightened. Finnley closes his eyes.

FINNLEY : (whispering to himself) It’s just a dream. It’s not real. It’s just a dream. It’s not real.

DARK FINNLEY : You want it to stop?

EMO FINNLEY (V.O.) : (whispering but trying to scream) Help… help… help me.

DARK FINNLEY steps out of the closet and slinks over to Finnley. He floats above Finnley’s face.

DARK FINNLEY : All you have to do is take this tiny little pill-

Dark Finnley a little white pill in front of Finnley’s face teasingly. ANGEL FINNLEY blasts Dark Finnley against the side wall. All of the voices stop.

ANGEL FINNLEY: ENOUGH! (a beat) I cannot stand by and let this boy suffer and wither away.

DARK FINNLEY : Oh, come on. Life is so hard, don’t you just want to lay down and take a nap?


ANGEL FINNLEY : No! We must not give in.

CHILD FINNLEY appears. He is wearing a 90s style colored shirt with shorts that have a stretchable waistband. He also has on light up sneakers.

CHILD FINNLEY : Then our dreams won’t come true.

Finnley becomes uncomfortable and walks over to the window.

ANGEL FINNLEY : That’s right! Your world will crumble. Everything you worked for will lie in shambles. Don’t you see all the people on the street?


ANGEL FINNLEY : Open the window.

Finnley opens the window to reveal a bleak world outside. There are HOMELESS PEOPLE begging as cars go by. There a few huddled around a trashcan trying to keep warm. There is a field full of tents. Angel Finnley comes up behind Finnley and puts his arm around Finnley’s shoulder. Finnley looks at the hand wrapped around him and then becomes comfortable in his anguish.

ANGEL FINNLEY : This is who you will become. The world will become unkind to you as you have become unkind to it.

FINNLEY : What are you talking about?! The world is already “unkind” to me. And who talks like that? “Unkind.” What the actual fuck? You think you can come in here and just make everything better? Every day the world is “unkind” to me. Every single day. I get up and I write. I get up and I help someone. I pay it forward. I do everything you are supposed to do. Everything! I do laundry, I brush my teeth. I shower. I make sure everyone else is taken care of before myself. I wait… for my return. I wait for the day that I can finally help the world change in a major way for the better. I get up…

Finnley turns back to the window and gestures to outside.

FINNLEY : (defeated) I get up to look out the window, and maybe one day, I don’t have to see this anymore. So that one day all of these people will have a home. Something that inspires them. Or at the very least someone that cares about them…

MOM (V.O.) : Not good enough.

DAD (V.O.) : Not good enough.


ANGEL FINNLEY : Getting what you want takes time-

FINNLEY : TIME?! You wanna talk about time?! How much time? I have done my time! I have suffered enough! I am done!

Finnley shuts the curtains and the room becomes darkened again. He goes to his bed and slumps back under the covers. We begin to hear clapping.

DARK FINNLEY (Evil laughing while talking): Hahaha… Well done. Well done. (Laughing stops) I couldn’t have said it better myself. That was beautiful, dark and particularly melancholy. My favorite.

Angel Finnley glares at Dark Finnley.

ANGEL FINNLEY : Are you quite finished?

DARK FINNLEY : Actually I was just getting started.

Dark Finnley gets the pill he had earlier out of his jacket pocket. He slinks around the room as he speaks.

DARK FINNLEY (CONT’D) : You see… all Finnley here has to do is take this little pill. If he does, then he doesn’t have to work so hard. He can just lay in bed all day. (To Finnley) Pick up your phone and look up articles on your favorite celebrities. What about all the nerd things you need to know? So many unanswered questions. You can stare up at the ceiling and think about nothing. Absolutely nothing. Look into the void and accept it. All you have to do is take this tiny little white happy pill and you will go away to the Neverland of your dreams.

Dark Finnley goes to hand Finnley the pill. Angel Finnley tackles Dark Finnley. They wrestle around the room and fight each other. Dark Finnley has shadows overtake Angel Finnley and bind him.

Angel Finnley grows brightly and blasts off the bindings. He throws blasts at Dark Finnley. In the meantime, the pill has been dropped on the bed. Finnley is staring at it.

The fight continues. Each Finnley exchanging blows. The Tinker Finnley, Nerd Finnley, and EMO FINNLEY have surrounded the bed. They keep talking to Finnley and overlap each other when speaking. The camera is from Finnley’s point of view.

TINKER FINNLEY : Logically speaking if you were to take the pill, you will be unaware of the side effe-

EMO FINNLEY : I am so tired of cutting out the pai-

Emo Finnley reveals his arms are scarred with cuts all along them from years of cutting himself.

NERD FINNLEY: Actually, we definitely know the bad dude is up to know good, just like in Amazing Serpent-man #132, you have-

The continue talking over each other. We now see this is completely unbearable for Finnley. He continues staring at the pill intently.

DAD (V.O.) : Not good enough. Why couldn’t you be more like him?

MOM (V.O.) : Not good enough. Why can’t you be more like your brother?

BROTHER (V.O.) : I care about you… It’s me and you ‘til the end.



The camera is through Finnley’s eye. Two teenagers are in the room, almost ghost like apparitions.

Finnley’s brother, ELIJAH, is standing to the right with a concerned look on his face. Finnley is sitting on the floor and clearly angry.

ELIJAH : Hey man, I care about you, what’s going on?

GHOST FINNLEY : Is this another one of your talks about how I’m a bad person?

ELIJAH: (caring) No dude, it’s not. You aren’t a bad person. You just are doing something wrong, and you keep doing it. Why do you keep doing this to me?

DAD (V.O.) : Why can’t you be more like him, son?


ELIJAH : Finn, it’s me and you til the end, remember?

GHOST FINNLEY : I said… get… OUT!

ELIJAH : I am not leaving until you tell me what is going on. Talk to me, man.


Finnley’s ghost forcibly pushes Elijah’s ghost out of the room and slams the door. Finnley’s ghost disappears. Elijah is sitting outside the door. He slumps down against the door and begins to cry. He wipes away his tears and stands. He turns around and goes to knock on the door again. He stops himself.

ELIJAH : Hey buddy, I am gonna go for a drive. Do you want anything? (a beat) I love you, man. (to himself) Me and you 'til the end.

Elijah begins to walk away from the door.

FINNLEY : No! No! Eli come back! No! Don’t go! Not this time! NOT THIS TIME! THIS TIME you stay!

Elijah can’t hear Finn and disappears after we hear the sound of a car starting. We hear a car driving. Then we hear a car accident. Ghost Finn reappears by himself watching TV.

NEWS ANCHOR : (from the TV) Reports are coming in that there was a fatal car crash Westbound on I-70.

On the TV are pictures of the cars that crashed.

NEWS ANCHOR : Two were wounded and are in critical condition at the hospital on 5th street.

FINNLEY : No, that’s Eli’s car.

NEWS ANCHOR : Two died on impact. The first is a 17-year-old boy from-

The news throws up a picture of Eli…

FINNLEY : No… no… no!

All of that disappears.



The room becomes loud again with all of the different Finnley’s. Angel Finnley and Dark Finnley are still fighting. Angel Finnley seems to be winning. Angel Finnley eventually pins Dark Finnley.

DARK FINNLEY : I win. Hahaha… I always win.

Dark Finnley points towards the bed. Finnley is about to take the pill.


Finnley takes the pill and the screen goes white. Dark Finnley is laughing as everything fades into the distance.



Finnley is having lunch with ERICA. He has had his eyes closed for much of the conversation but seems to be listening. Finnley’s eyes shoot open.


ERICA : Geez, no need to be all dramatic. I just asked what you wanted to eat.

Finnley calms down.

FINNLEY : Sorry, I don’t know what got into me.

Finnley begins to look at the menu with Erica. The camera pulls away to reveal a large shadowy figure behind Finnley. No one seems to notice.




About the author

E.K. Sandoval

Hi! I'm just a guy writing about this thing we call life. I journal about my exp and struggles with mental health and life in general. I occasionally dabble in Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Stay hopeful reader and may your wildest dream come true!

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