For the future (Chapter I)

EXT. RIVERBANK IN THE WILDERNESS – DAY

The sun’s rays reflect on the surface of the water, causing purple and reddish colors between the waves and against the body stucked still in the riverbank. HELEN (36) looks at it, expressionless.

HELEN

It all started last summer, we don’t know who did it first, but we all remember the rumble of missiles and explosions. We all remember the fire that consumed everything we knew.

Helen fixes her gaze on the purple and reddish sparkles in the water.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. WARTIME MONTAGE

A wall of fire rushes forward, buildings collapse and crumble, leafy trees catch fire, turn to ashes. Silhouettes of people melt amidst the fire. From the rubble, three children make their way to the surface and look up, where explosions pierce the sky. The explosions are reflected in the eyes of the children. A loud buzzing sound descends from the sky, thousands of planes fall in flames towards the ground, towards the children.

CUT TO:

EXT. RIVERBANK IN THE WILDERNESS – DAY

Helen closes her eyes, PIERCE (42) reaches and awakens her.

PIERCE

Helen…

HELEN

Where were you?

PIERCE

I’m fine. We have to keep moving.

Helen looks down, avoiding Pierce’s gaze, walks away. Maggie (12) comes to Helen dancing happily and with a smile on her face.

MAGGIE

Mom!

HELEN

(timid smile) Maggie.

Maggie reaches Helen, who bends down to greet her, they hug.

MAGGIE

Mom, look what dad gave me.

Maggie has a flare gun in her hand.

HELEN

Yes, if you ever get lost, don’t hesitate to use it.

Maggie nods.

HELEN

Now keep it safe, don’t lose it.

MAGGIE

Yes, mom.

Unexpectedly, CARTER (45) runs to the riverbank, his expression of fear.

CARTER

The hunters are coming!

Helen immediately turns to Pierce.

HELEN

Pierce!

Carter takes his son TRAVIS (10) in his arms and with his wife CLAUDIA (39) they run away, following the line of the river bank. Pierce runs up to Helen and takes Maggie´s hand.

PIERCE

We have to go, now!

Helen looks at the bags and the tent on the ground.

PIERCE

C’mon!

Pierce runs in the same direction that Carter did. Helen runs after Pierce, she looks back and sees the heads of three people over the line of weeds, at a distance of 15 meters.

HELEN

Pierce!

Pierce turns to Helen as she opens her eyes wide and freezes after seeing another head in the weeds in front of Pierce. Pierce returns to Helen, they crouch down, putting Maggie between them. Helen lowers her head and stares at Maggie, Pierce covers them both with his arms, everyone is silent.

MAGGIE

Mom…

HELEN

(whispering) Quiet, Maggie. Close your eyes.

Helen looks up, into the weeds, the three men who came from behind have joined the man who appeared in front.

MAN I

What did you find?

MAN II

Some crap we don´t need, they didn’t have any food.

MAN III

There were women in the group.

MAN I

Always thinking with your dick, huh? Find them.

The four men scatter into the underbrush, moving away from Helen’s position.

PIERCE

I think we’re ok.

Helen looks to the right side of the river bank, in the middle of an opening between the plants she can see Carter, on the other side of the river, waving to her. Helen, Pierce and Maggie move through the weeds to the shore, meet Carter and his family across the river. Carter points to the right with his arms, toward a log across the river not far from Helen’s position. Pierce nods to Carter and takes Helen and Maggie by the hands, they all advance silently to the log.

PIERCE

You and Maggie go first.

HELEN

But, Pierce…

PIERCE

(inflexible) Go, Helen.

Maggie is the first to climb the log, she crawls forward a couple of steps, the log swings.

MAGGIE

Mom…

HELEN

Keep going Maggie, I’m right behind you.

Helen turns to Pierce, who nods with a smile, holding the end of the log tightly, Carter does the same from the other side. Helen climbs to the log and advances step by step behind Maggie, crawling carefully. The log swings again, Helen clings on with her arms and immediately looks ahead, Maggie keeps moving forward. Helen sighs in relief and continues, making it to the other side. As she does so, she immediately looks back smiling. But her smile fades as she sees Pierce collapse to the ground.

PIERCE

Cof, cof, cof…

Pierce coughs loudly, writhing on the floor.

MAN I

They’re there!

The bushes behind Pierce move.

HELEN

Honey, get up! Get up, now!

CARTER

Shit! I’m sorry, Helen.

Carter drops the log and runs to Claudia and Travis.

HELEN

Carter, what are you doing!? Claudia?

CLAUDIA

Helen… I…

CARTER

Let’s go!

Carter takes Claudia by the hand and pushes her forward, together with Travis they run and move away from the river. Helen grabs the log and turns her eyes back to Pierce.

HELEN

Pierce, please… Don’t do this to me!

MAGGIE

Dad!

Pierce stops coughing, struggles to get up from the floor, but succeeds. Just then, Gerard (46) appears out of the weeds.

GERARD

I found them!

Pierce launches himself onto the log and runs to the other side, however, halfway across he slips, but manages to brace himself with his arms before falling into the water.

HELEN

Pierce! Grab my hand!

Helen reaches out from the end of the log, tries to reach Pierce. On the other side, Gerard climbs onto the log and takes a couple of careful steps, but the log moves immediately, so he stops and tries to keep his balance. The movement makes it difficult for Pierce, who continues to hold on to the log.

PIERCE

Just go… go!

HELEN

No! Don’t say that! C’mon!

MAGGIE

Dad! Move, please!

GERARD

Hey guys! C’mon, help me out!

Pierce makes one last effort and manages to move forward to take Helen’s hand, with her help he manages to cross to the other side of the river.

PIERCE

Hurry!

Pierce and Helen take the end of the log and push it.

GERARD

Shit!

Gerard steps back and jumps to shore just before the log falls completely into the water and is swept away by the river current. Helen helps Pierce up, taking him on her shoulders. She looks back one last time and manages to see the other three men reaching Gerard and helping him up from the ground, before advancing into the forest.

To be continued…

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