Baptism (chapter I)

OVER BLACK:

“Before the end, angels descended from the heavens and in flames she left her grief behind…” Sara 12:2.

INT. MOTEL ROOM – NIGHT

Elle (26),beautiful, black top with rhinestones, black miniskirt and panties on her knees.

She opens her eyes slowly, lying on the bed in the bluish room, partially illuminated by the red neon lights in the window.

A naked man sleeps beside her.

She gets up, holding her head with both hands.

On the bedside table there’s a newspaper.

The front cover reads “neighbors alerted by new religious sect established outside of town”.

On top of the newspaper, Elle sees a wad of money. She takes it and gets up.

INT. MOTEL ROOM BATHROOM – NIGHT

The bathroom light turns on, Elle staggers in.

Dizzy.

She looks in the mirror, an incipient bruise on her left eye.

Gagging overcomes her.

Leads her straight to the toilet bowl.

She vomits a colorless liquid.

EXT. EMPTY CITY STREETS – NIGHT

(Music starts “Posign in Bondage by Japanese Breakfast”)

The red Oldsmobile cutlass rolls down the street.

Swaying lightly from side to side, leaving in its wake a long trail of smoke from the cigarette Elle holds in the open window.

The first lines of the sun appear in the blue sky.

Elle dances along with the music against the dark blue sky (6:00 am on the dashboard clock).

She takes a last puff on the cigarette and flicks it into the street.

Glowing sparks onto the asphalt.

EXT. STREET OUTSIDE ELLE’S HOUSE – NIGHT

The oldsmobile slows down to a near stop, then speeds up sharply and comes to a screeching halt.

The engine stops.

(music stops)

Door opens.

Elle struggles out of the car, leaves the window open and approaches the entrance to the house.

She enters.

INT. ELLE’S HOME – NIGHT

Elle opens the door and enters, but drops the keys and they fall to the floor, making a clatter.

She bends down to pick up the keys.

MARIE (O.S.)
Who’s there?

ELLE
It’s me mom, get back inside.

Elle sighs, takes the keys, gets up, pushes the door shut.

Elle walks down the hallway and to the open door.

MARIE’S ROOM

Elle leans on the doorway, avoids the eyes of MARIE (63), lying in bed.

MARIE
Where were you?

ELLE
You know where.

MARIE
Honey, your eye…

Elle looks over to the side of Marie’s bed, where the folded wheelchair is leaning. Pill bottles on the nightstand.

ELLE
I’m tired, okay?

She gets up from the doorway and walks down the hallway to the next door, her room.

MARIE
Elle…

Elle slams the door shut.

CUT TO:

INT. ELLE’S ROOM – DAY

(screaming outside)

Shouts of people enter from the open window. Elle jumps up, startled.

WOMAN OUTSIDE
(desperate)
John!

She gets out of bed, walks over to the window, white curtains gleaming in the sunlight.

WOMAN OUTSIDE
John!

Elle slams the window shut, goes back to bed and covers her head with the pillow.

Screaming continues.

She opens her eyes and sighs.

INT. ELLE’S HOUSE BATHROOM – DAY

Elle turns on the shower.

Water falls.

The room fills with steam as she looks at her face in the mirror.

The bruise more pronounced now.

Glass fogs up.

Elle rests with her eyes closed under the shower stream.

She turns off the shower faucet, sighs.

takes the towel and dries her hair.

New screams are heard.

Elle covers her body with the towel and walks over to the bathroom window, looks out.

Outside, in the next door patio, she sees a woman crying.

People running back and forth across the street.

HOUSE CORRIDOR

Dressed, Elle walks down to Marie’s room.

ELLE
Mom? I think something happened outside.

She arrives at the door, it’ s closed.

Elle knocks on the door.

ELLE
Mom?

No answer, she opens the door and enters…

MARIE’S ROOM

Inside, the room is empty.

The wheelchair, the pills, all in the same place.

Elle notices a gray stain on the pillow, approaches the bed.

She touches the stain with her fingers, it looks like dust.

Elle lifts the bed cover, dust is scattered in the air.

A large scorch mark in the middle of the mattress forms a figure similar to a human body.

ELLE
Mom?

Elle releases the bed cover, the burn is covered.

HOUSE PATIO

The door bursts open, Elle steps out in desperation.

ELLE
Mom!? Mom!?

Her screams are joined by the screams of all the people around.

The sound melts into WHITE NOISE as we move farther and farther away, revealing the entire space of the countryside town.

CUT TO:

TITLE: “BAPTISM”

(to be continued…)

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