Daydreamer (Chapter I)

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Image by Rainer CS (Rainer CS (artstation.com)

EXT. DREAM DIMENSION – NIGHT
The nightmare in which we met.

Amidst traces of yellow mist, against an endless purple sky, sitting on the frozen and lifeless ground, little PENELOPE (5) waits in silence. The tears that flow from her eyes fall mute on the nightgown that covers her body. Penelope’s sobs stop when a heavy footstep echoes on the floor. The girl’s eyes open wide, nervously scanning the space around her. New footsteps approach and press on the little girl’s heart.

PENELOPE
I want to wake up, I want to wake up, I want to wake up.

A deep growl interrupts Penelope’s prayer, an imposing shadow pierces the fog. The Dantesque figure reveals its true appearance as it emerges from the mist, it is an anthropomorphic being covered in darkness, it almost looks like a shadow. The figure of the creature changes shape constantly, as if affected by a distortion (similar to the distortion in the image of old televisions). Because of this distortion, the demonic figure constantly deforms, producing spikes in the outline of its body.

PENELOPE
I want to wake up, I want to wake up, I want to wake up.

Penelope closes her eyes tightly. The spikes on the creature’s outline grow in intensity and frequency, accompanying the aggressive growls and red eyes that remain fixed on her. The beast’s body grows along with the spikes in a deafening roar.


ELLIOT
Hey monster, get away from her!


The beast runs its gaze to the side and takes a full blow to the face from the guitar’s body, the force of the impact severing its head. The creature’s body recoils, loses its balance and falls to the ground. Penelope watches in terror.

Then…


ELLIOT (7), a boy with shaggy hair, dressed in white two-piece pajamas and sporting a long red scarf, runs up to Penelope and grabs her hand, still running.

ELLIOT
Come on, don’t let go!

Penelope is dragged forward by Elliot, she manages to get up and presses Elliot’s hand so as not to let go, they both run away from the place. The anthropomorphic creature with red eyes scans the ground with its hands and finds it, grabs it with both hands and puts it back in its place.

ELLIOT (Running)
Child, what is your name?

PENELOPE
Penelope, my friends call me Pen.

ELLIOT
Pen. Do you have a place where you like to hide?

PENELOPE
Hide?

ELLIOT
Yes, like when you play hide and seek.

PENELOPE
Under the bed.

ELLIOT
Well, imagine you’re there now.

PENELOPE
Why?

ELLIOT
Just do it! before he catches up with us.

Penelope closes her eyes and concentrates. Surprisingly, the bed appears in front of her. Elliot and Penelope stop by the bed.

ELLIOT
Well done!

However…

A resounding roar launches shock waves that erase all traces of fog and only the endless purple space remains.

ELLIOT
It’s found us!

The monster grows in size and two new legs grow on its body.

ELLIOT
Quick Pen, under the bed.

PENELOPE
Yes.

Penelope nods and gets under the bed, as she does so, both she and the bed disappear.

Then!

With a jump, the nightmare leaps through space and launches itself at Elliot. The creature falls heavy in front of Elliot and kicks up a dust, which quickly dissipates. The nightmare feints to attack, but stops when it notices that Elliot is aiming at it with the body of the guitar he is holding in his left hand from the bridge. Elliot’s scarf flutters against the pressure of the wind that the nightmare has generated in its movement.

ELLIOT
Listen buddy, it’s not cool for you to go around scaring people.

The nightmare roars and its body generates huge spikes that cover its entire body, but Elliot keeps his serious gaze on it.

ELLIOT
I understand, we’re not going to solve this by talking.

The spikes grow in size and then advance rapidly, but they bury themselves in the ground after the agile leap Elliot takes to escape the attack. A second onslaught of spikes finds Elliot still in the air, unable to evade the attack, Elliot receives the impact with the body of the guitar as a shield. Elliot is pushed backwards, but manages to land on the ground with great agility. The nightmare remains in the position where the bed and Penelope are.

ELLIOT
So you’re hell-bent on attacking Pen.

The nightmare walks in circles around the space where Penelope’s bed is, pounding the space on the floor violently. Penelope screams in terror from her hiding place.

PENELOPE (terrified)
Aaaaaaaah!

ELLIOT
Don’t worry, he won’t be able to find you unless you come out.

PENELOPE
But he’s so close!

ELLIOT (Confident)
I tell you it’s all right.

PENELOPE (Irritated)
And how am I going to believe you!

The creature hits the ground once more.

ELLIOT (touches his nose with his thumb).
Ah, trust me. I’ll take care of everything.

PENELOPE
How can I trust you, I don’t even know who you are!

ELLIOT
Let me introduce myself.

Elliot stands in front of the nightmare’s path, forcing her to stop.

ELLIOT (Smiling)
Listen monster, this has not been your lucky day, you’ve run into Elliot, the monster hunter!

The nightmare looks at Elliot, confused. Penelope looks at Elliot, confused.

ELLIOT
Come on, I’m Elliot, the hunter… ah, never mind.

Elliot holds the guitar tightly, taking it from the bridge, brings it back, ” holstering” it and assuming a samurai ” sword drawn” stance. Eyes closed, he concentrates and a whirlwind rises around him. The wind forces the creature back. Penelope watches in astonishment from under the bed.

PENELOPE
Unbelievable…

Elliot’s body is covered in silvery flames. The flames rise from the ground and shoot through Elliot’s body to the guitar, causing it to burst into flames. The monster roars loudly and manages to break through the wind barrier that propels it backwards, contracts and launches spikes from all around its body, all in the direction of Elliot, who opens his eyes at the imminent attack.

ELLIOT
I’m ready now.

Elliot inhales a lungful of air through his mouth, causing the silver sparkle in the pupil of his eyes to grow. Then he launches himself against the nightmare at great speed, evading the spikes that pierce the space like lightning flashes. One by one he leaves them behind with agile and determined movements, continuing to advance and evading the creature’s attacks, until he reaches it.

ELLIOT
I call this blow… HUNTER’S REQUIEM!

Elliot launches a powerful blow with the flaming guitar, straight at the body of the nightmare, using both hands to release the powerful attack that disintegrates the monster in a whirlwind of fire. Penelope stares up from under the bed, amazed at what she has just seen.

Then…

Elliot smiles victoriously amidst the flaming sparks in the air. Penelope pokes her head out from under the bed, causing it to lose its invisibility, and meets Elliot’s smiling gaze. Incandescent bits of the creature and the flaming aura that enveloped the guitar still circulate in the space between them.

ELLIOT (V.O.)
That was the day I met Penelope, I didn’t mean to intrude on her dream, I just couldn’t stand by and watch another nightmare happen.

ELLIOT (V.O.)
But wait, I haven’t told you anything yet, what occurs is that I’ve had this ability since I was very little, the ability to wake up in a dream and travel into other people’s dreams.

Elliot helps Penelope out from under the bed, surrounded by the flaming pieces floating in the air.

CUT TO:

I/E. SCENE MONTAGE – DAY/NIGHT
Recap.

Penelope is chased by a nightmare in the shape of an octopus, she leads the creature to Elliot’s position, they both smile. Elliot hits the creature with the guitar and destroys it.

ELLIOT (V.O.)
That thing that was chasing Pen is a nightmare, there are many nightmares going around between dreams.

The nightmare explodes, Elliot and Pen celebrate by dancing along with the pieces floating in the air.

ELLIOT (V.O.)
In the dream world we could do whatever we wanted. We faced monsters and imagined unbelievable worlds that we traveled ad nauseam. But then…

Elliot and Pen run through the interior of a gigantic palace, the dark interior of a dungeon, run through the clouds in the sky.

CUT TO:

EXT. BLUE-GREEN MEADOW WITH LEAFY WALNUT TREES – DAY
Last day.

The orange leaves of the large walnut tree break from the branches and escape from the leafy canopy of the tree that crowns the small blue-green hill, glistening next to the sun’s rays in the late afternoon. Penelope struggles to remember the notes on the guitar, sitting under the shade of the walnut tree, while Elliot writes his and Pen’s name on the trunk of the tree, using a small penknife.

PENELOPE
Play a song, Elliot.

ELLIOT
I learned to play only one song and it’s not worth playing.

PENELOPE
Why do you say that?

ELLIOT
Because I do, trust me.

Pen desists somewhat irritated and strikes one of the guitar strings.

PENELOPE
I don’t understand, it’s just a song.

Elliot stops carving and buries the razor above the names, in the trunk of the tree. Then he lies down next to Penelope. The faint wind gently moves the upper branches of the walnut tree.

ELLIOT
Now this is life.

PENELOPE (Moderate annoyance)
Mmm…

Elliot closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.

PENELOPE (Intensified anger)
Mmmmm…

ELLIOT ( Uninterested)
I could sleep here forever.

PENELOPE (Ultra-intensified anger)
Mmmmmmmmmm…

Elliot stands up obfuscated.

ELLIOT
All right, all right! I’ll play the song.

Penelope smiles satisfied, Elliot sits cross-legged on the grass and receives the guitar. He brings his left hand to the bridge and slides between the strings to finish the movement by striking a chord with his fingers. Elliot plays the guitar, Penelope closes her eyes and listens intently, the melody growing in intensity with each moment. As Elliot plays his guitar, gray clouds gather in the once clear sky. The sunlight grows dimmer and dimmer, an icy wind lifts the foliage off the ground and moves the top of the walnut tree with such force that birds fly into the sky. Elliot stops playing. Penelope opens her eyes.

PENELOPE
Elliot…

Faint thunder rumbles from the completely overcast sky.

ELLIOT
It’s a sad melody. It’s not worth playing.

Elliot puts the guitar down and gets up, walks to the walnut tree and watches the birds flying away, then turns to Penelope, who looks at Elliot with a look of terror.

ELLIOT
Pen, what’s wrong?

PENELOPE
I don’t know…

An intense beam of light breaks through the squally clouds and lands on Penelope, illuminating the area around and kicking up the dust on the ground, an intense air leads Elliot to cover his face with his arms, still looking at Pen.

ELLIOT
Pen!

PENELOPE (Frightened)
Elliot, what’s happening?

The beam of light intensifies and Penelope’s body gently rises from the ground.

PENELOPE
Elliot?

ELLIOT
Pen, wait!

Elliot runs desperately towards Pen, who continues to soar skyward at an ever-increasing speed. In one leap he manages to reach her and grabs her hand, but he can’t stop her from continuing to rise.

ELLIOT
Don’t let go, Pen!

Pen makes the greatest effort to hold Elliot between his hands, but slowly, Elliot’s hand slips through Pen’s fingers. They are both lifted by the beam of light into the clouds, faster and faster.

PENELOPE
Don’t let go of me!

ELLIOT
Never!

Elliot and Pen look at each other for the last time, the hands of both are separated before they are surrounded by an intense golden light that makes everything disappear.

CUT TO:

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY
Awakening.

Elliot opens his eyes and rises briskly from the bed.

ELLIOT
Pen!

The beeping sound of the machines recording his body’s activity dominates the space, the pale sunlight merging with the white hospital curtains in the open window. Looking to the side, Elliot meets SOPHIA (39), Elliot’s mother.

SOPHIA (Surprised)
Elliot, you woke up!

Sophia embraces Elliot effusively, squeezing him so tightly that Elliot loses all the air in his lungs. Sophia releases Elliot, who has his tongue hanging out and his eyes unfocused.

SOPHIA
Elliot, Elliot?

ELLIOT
I died again…

SOPHIA
Elliot!

ELLIOT
I’m fine, Mom.

Tears well up in Sophia’s eyes glistening with emotion.

SOPHIA
It’s a miracle!

Elliot looks at Sophia, confused.

ELLIOT
No… wait, what do you mean.

SOPHIA
Elliot, you’ve been in a coma for the last two years.

ELLIOT
Two years… that means… WHAT!

Elliot jumps back on top of the bed.

CUT TO:

TITLE: DAYDREAMER.

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