20081027

46: The Morning Bell



INT. CONVENIENCE STORE-NIGHT

[C-NOTE: Let's try to keep as much of this as we can in one shot. Preferably let's not cut until the electrician walks in.]

[S-NOTE: I've asked Jerry to find something that sounds like Morricone for incidental. I'm thinking more Corbucci-Morricone than Leone-Morricone. The Great Silence, shit like that.]

EVAN walks into the convenience store. Everything is bright and shiny and new except for Evan and the CLERK who is the only other person there.
Evan looks like he hasn't washed in days.
The Clerk is a teenager dressed in black, he's bent over a notebook, I-pod buds firmly in place he's probably listening to NIN.

Evan walks over to the chips aisle and ducks. We can't see him.

Evan:
[off camera]This must be your busy time.

Clerk:
[oblivious]...

Evan:
[standing up] I hope you don't live on commission.

Clerk:
[finally notices Evan. takes one bud out] Do you need help?

Evan:
[striding up and down the aisle, picking up random snacks and putting them down in the wrong places] Help? I think I'll help myself to a little bit of this, little bit of that. Since I'm in the land of plenty and all.

Clerk:
[putting his bud back in, returning to his notebook] God bless America.

Evan:
Not one for conversation, uh? Well it's late, your business isn't chitchat.

Clerk:
[oblivious]...

Evan walks to the back where they keep the beer, crouches down to the cheap, nasty shit, pulls out three cases and with some effort jogs up to the register and slams the cases on the counter.

Evan:
[catching his breath] Your business is convenience.

Clerk:
[standing up straight, pulling out the buds, and looking really uncomfortable] I can't sell you these.

Evan:
What are you talking about? I have cash.[he pulls out a crumpled bunch of bills and lays them on the counter.]

Clerk:
[pointing to a clock behind him] No it's cut-off. We're past cut-off, I can't sell you alcohol.

Evan:
What.. What's the... Who needs to know?

Clerk:
Mister, I can't do that. I really really can't.

Evan:
Yeah? [he pulls out a beer from the top case, pops it open and starts to sip]

Clerk:
Take it. Take it. I just can't sell it to you.

Evan:
[very slowly] But. I. Have. Money.

Clerk:
It's not my job to get fucked up. Just... please take it.


Evan tries to hop over the counter slips on the surface and falls at the clerks feet. The clerk backs up, still afraid of Evan. Evan gets up and returns to his original mission unembarrassed. He takes the clock of the wall, adjusts it and holds it up to the clerk.


Evan:
Now it's eleven thirty. Problem solved.

Clerk:
[pointing to the register] That receipt isn't going to say 11:30.


Evan puts the clock down and goes up to the register. The clerk has noticed a mop in the corner he's trying to disappear into. Evan pushes the register onto it's side. The clerks hand closes around the mop's handle. The door opens. It's some DUDE probably coming from a late shift, he's haggard looking and sweaty. His shirt reads: "if it's not grounded, it's not dead."

Evan:
[to the Dude] Hey! Hey, you know anything about electronics.

Dude:
[hesitantly] I'm an electrician.

Clerk:
Certified?

Dude:
[Grinning] Almost.

Evan:
Good enough. You have time for a job? A quick one.

Dude:
Who's paying?

Evan:
[pointing to the wad] I am.

The Dude trots up to the register. The clerk is more obviously holding on the mop now, but it clearly functions more as a life raft than a weapon. The two men are not interested in his state of mind.

Evan:
I want this to say 11:30

Dude:
[examining the register] But it's past one.

Evan:
I know. I want the receipt to say 11:30

Dude:
[still scrutinizing] Isn't there a simple clock function.

Clerk:
No.

Dude:
No? I don't buy that.

The Dude comes around the counter and produces a small screwdriver and a flashlight from his pockets. He starts prodding the register.

Evan:
These are your official tools?

Dude:
You're paying for the knowledge. Not the hardware.

The clerk has been letting himself slide down. He's now sitting on the floor, wrapped around his mop.

Clerk:
You can just have the beer you know.

Evan:
[looking at the clerk with some sympathy]I know...

Dude:
Shit!

The register has started sparking. The Dude makes a break for it seemingly propelled by expletives. The sparks are turning into small flames. The clerk snaps to, grabs an extinguisher from under the counter and lets loose a jet of white powder.

Evan, exhausted and defeated walks around the counter. He's facing the clerk now. Things are back to square one except for the dead register and the retardant still hanging in the air.

Clerk:
You can have it you know.

Evan:
I know [he grabs one case] It just didn't feel right.

Evan walks out, case under his arm. The clerk watches him leave, waits a moment then pockets the crumpled wad.


2 comments:

Heather said...

I like that you're not afraid of combining forms/genres. I think you have a knack for conversation, but the scene feels stereotypical to me; it's what I would expect from a convenience store scene. Like in Mystery Train, but with more of a Fight Club aesthetic. I like the violence, it's a consistent theme.

sebastien said...

Still haven't seen m-train, but thanks for calling me on this. This scene does need more dimensions.