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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How It All Began: Screenplay

This week's RemembeRed prompt:  Congratulations!  Your best selling memoir has just been optioned by a major motion picture studio, and the producers want you advising on the script.  Write the opening scene for the movie.  Would you begin with a visual montage?  Voice-over?  Flashback or forward?  A conversation?  The trick here is to look through a lens. The camera needs to tell the story through visuals, action, dialogue.  
*Editor’s Note: Let’s keep it under 500 words. Economy of words is crucial when writing for the performing arts!


A child’s bedroom dominated by the color pink. A single bed lines up one side of the wall.  Next to it, a small desk, on which sits a pile of textbooks and scattered hand-written papers.  A single pencil and an eraser with dark, rounded edges lie abandoned on top of a half-filled paper.

7 year-old SWEATY sits on the edge of the bed.  Tear-marks streaked her reddened cheeks, where her MOTHER had repeatedly slapped her earlier. Her head bent low, she tries to stiffle a cry and avoid her mother’s eyes.

She tries to stay as still as possible.  Her stiff arms glued to the sides of her body, palms tucked in underneath her bottom in an effort to stop herself from shaking.  The fistful of hair that her mother had yanked out lay tangled, awkwardly separated from the lopsided ponytail that now hangs low on her back.

Mother stands a feet away from Sweaty and looms over her.  Her left hand is on her hip, while she waves her right hand in the air as if trying to make a point.  One sees anger blazing in her eyes, the muscles in her neck and face bulging as she shouts every word.

How many times do I have to tell you? Which part don’t you understand?? What are you, a stupid idiot???
You know what you are? A stupid, inconsiderate, spoiled little brat!!!

Sweaty bends her head even lower as Mother leaned closer. Her body stiffens up even more, preparing for more blows that are sure to come.

Why you, ungrateful child!  Isn’t it enough that I work day and night for you, while that bastard you call Papa is out there having the time of his life, dating different women... not giving a damn about earning enough money to help me raise you!  You still have to give me this crap at the end of the day??  When are you going to start thinking about other people instead of yourself?!?

Mother points towards the papers on the desk.

I hate it when you put me in this position!  It’s late, I’m tired, and I still have to teach you this how many more times? Think!

At her mother’s scream, Sweaty starts to tear up once again, but quickly bites her lower lip to quell her sobs.

Mama, I’m sorry...

Mother points her finger, and uses it to push Sweaty’s head backwards.

Sorry? Sorry?? Bullshit!
Let me tell you something, Sweaty, and you better listen.
(speaks loudly)
There are only three kinds of people who makes it in this world. Those who are rich, those who are beautiful, and those who are smart.
You are not rich, and most certainly not beautiful. That leaves you with smart. So think, Sweaty, what’s left for you if you’re not even smart?

CLOSE UP, Sweaty crying and shaking with sobs.

I submitted this post for's Lovelinks # 25
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  1. Oh Sweaty, OMG this was so dramatic and amazing to read. You did a fantastic job with this prompt. But coming from a house where my mom and dad hit me out of anger and frustration heart just broke, my hands shook and I want to hug you. I felt this way so many times...and living it through it with you was just heartbreaking. You are more than your! Xo

  2. This post was amazing! It was really intense and shook my insides. As usual I loved it

  3. Well written.
    Although I'm feeling so much heartache for you. How sad she couldn't see how beautiful and smart you are. And not all riches are money.


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