Baptism (chapter III)

EXT. PLANTATION FIELD – DAY

The day is intensely sunny.

The heat drawn in the tanned color of the skin of the people working the land.

In the profuse sweat on their foreheads.

Among these people is Elle, crestfallen, silent.

Concentrating solely on plowing the earthen space in front of her.

In the area surrounding the plantation, armed individuals walk around the perimeter.

A man on horseback rides swiftly through the center of the plantation, skillfully holding the whip that strikes the air with violence.

The sun going down to the horizon, dyeing the field of orange, reddish colors.

Elle arranges the vegetables in the basket.

She wipes the sweat from her forehead.

Next to her, GLORIA (51) and SARA (13) pick their vegetables together.

Suddenly.

Gloria collapses on the ground, immobile.

SARA
Mom?

Sara moves Gloria on the floor, tries to revive her.

SARA
(frightened)
Mom!

Elle watches Sara silently.

Picks up her basket and walks away.

Sara’s screams behind her.

VEGETABLE DELIVERY POST – DAY

Elle hands her basket of vegetables to the manager.

The rest of the people do the same, then walk away.

Looking at the ground.

Away from the plantation.

Towards the houses in the distance.

Two armed guys pass by with Sara crying in their arms, pushing her towards the rest of the people.

Elle looks toward the plantation, Gloria’s body still lying on the dirt.

The brightness of the sun loses intensity on the horizon, transforming into a fiery red line under a dark blue sky.

Elle joins the group of people from the plantation walking crestfallen down the dirt road to the houses.

On the side of the road, three dead people crucified on wooden crosses, crows feeding off their eyes.

A sign reads:

“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Revelation 3:19”

Looking out of the corner of her eye towards the crucifixes, Elle sees a person among the crosses.

The silhouette appears to be that of Marie, greeting Elle.

Elle stops in surprise.

She turns to look, but sees no one among the crosses.

The group of crestfallen people arrive—

OUTSIDE THE RESTING HOUSE

Elle continues walking, confused.

She looks up at the crosses one more time, nothing.

Then.

A GUARD approaches Elle, touches her shoulder.

He smiles and his yellow sickening teeth make Elle cringe.

INT. BARN – NIGHT

Elle, expressionless, leaning against the wall and half-naked.

She endures the onslaught of the guard, who penetrates her with force.

She fixes her gaze outside.

Towards the plantation.

There is a woman standing in the middle of the darkness, her eyes shining through the black night.

Elle keeps her eyes on the woman.

INT. RESTING HOUSE – NIGHT

Silently, Elle enters the house and walks to her bunk bed.

The silence of the place is interrupted only by Sara’s sobs, the rest of the people try to ignore her and sleep.

Elle lies down, she closes her eyes.

Sara’s sobs continue.

Elle stands up and looks at Sara, who notices, they both stare at each other.

Elle smiles warmly at her.

CUT TO:

INT. RESTING HOUSE – DAY

Elle wakes up, gets up from the bunk bed.

Looking towards Sara, she notices that her bed is empty.

CUT TO:

EXT. PLANTATION FIELD – DAY

Elle and the rest of the people are all lined up in a single line in front of the plantation.

HEAD GUARD
Seems that some of you haven’t gotten the message yet!

The guards walk around the line menacingly, pointing their guns at the people.

HEAD GUARD
You’re all sinners!

One of the guards rides the horse.

Another group of men walk to surround the plantation.

HEAD GUARD
You cannot escape!

Elle looks toward the plantation, toward the back.

Marie is standing there.

LAST LINE OF THE PLANTATION

Sara is crouched down, hidden among the plants, she nervously watches the guards approaching her.

PLANTATION FIELD

Elle breathes deeply, she understands.

The HEAD GUARD (46) continues to speak, but the sound fades from Elle’s mind.

She keeps her eyes on the plantation under the intense sun.

On the guards surrounding the place.

On the one on horseback crossing the center of the field, straight towards Sara.

Elle’s heartbeat overpowers the silence.

Bum, bum, bum… faster and faster.

LAST LINE OF THE PLANTATION

Sara looks through the plants once more, the man on horseback is almost upon her.

PLANTATION FIELD

Elle’s eyes dilate fully, the ambient sound returns.

Elle suddenly breaks into a run.

Running at full speed towards the side of the plantation.

The guards, surprised, unprepared.

HEAD GUARD
Stop her!

LAST LINE OF THE PLANTATION

Hearing the shout, the man on horseback stops, turns around and backs away at full speed.

Back towards the beginning of the plantation.

The rest of the guards follow.

PLANTATION FIELD

Elle keeps running without stopping, almost reaching the fence.

A bullet pierces the air.

Elle is hit in the right shoulder, falls to the ground.

The ambient sound is swallowed up by a new silence, interrupted by the low thuds of the horse’s steps on the ground.

In pain, Elle tries to get up.

The man on horseback has already reached her position.

He circles around her, kicking up the dust.

Two guards come up to Elle, grab her by the arms forcefully.

They drag her back towards the line at the request of the Head Guard, who points with his hand.

The guards drag Elle to the feet of the Head Guard.

HEAD GUARD
We are gonna have to teach you by example…

Elle spurts blood from her mouth, pale, numb with pain.

HEAD GUARD
What sinners deserve!

A group of guards drags a wooden cross to Elle, dropping it on the ground.

Dust rises from the ground, the slabs vibrate with the blow.

They take Elle and put her on the cross.

Take her hands and feet and stretch them.

She resists without success.

While some guards hold her stretched out on the cross, another guard takes a hammer.

Other puts the long nails onto the palm of her hands.

Pum!

The hammer hits the nail, buries itself in Elle’s flesh.

Pum!

Elle screams desperately, squirming without being able to let go.

The guard hits and hits the nails, over and over until Elle is completely attached to the wood and very close to losing consciousness.

HEAD GUARD
Now God will be the judge of her sins!

One of the guards finishes digging a hole in the ground.

The rest of them take the cross and lift it with difficulty, put it upright in the hole.

Elle screams once more, screams with all the strength she has left to resist the pain caused by hanging from her limbs nailed to the wood.

MOUNT OUTSIDE THE PLANTATION

From the height, Sara looks towards the plantation, sees Elle crucified from a distance.

PLANTATION FIELD

In front of her, all the people in line.

Elle barely manages to open her eyes to look, however, as she does so, she sees Marie among them.

They both stare at each other.

Elle smiles through the intense pain.

The people in line are shocked to see Elle smile, the Head Guard looks confused.

Without losing her smile, Elle looks up at the sky,

She sees something there.

Hears something.

Nods positively.

Unexpectedly, Elle and the cross catch fire. The flames rising fast.

Frightened, the guards recoil.

People watch in amazement as Elle’s body desapears on the flames.

Until only ashes remain.

FADE TO BLACK

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