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Warrior
by Ernie Piper (Theakysnief@gmail.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Teen Movies   User Review: ***
A zen parable for growing up in suburbia, Warrior is a coming of age story in a blur of reality. A young boy, Alex, has to realize how different his own private imaginative world and the real world are. He tries to understand the bizarre brand of wisdom his father foists upon him while his eclectic friend Eli trains him to be the perfet warrior, body and soul. Please, leave some comments. I'll be posting another update in about a week, when I've redone some of the more dialogue-heavy scenes. Thanks ---Ernie


This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



WARRIOR

FADE IN:

INT. SMITH HOUSEHOLD - DAY
                                                            
ALEX is walking down the stairs, towards camera. He enters a
living room, where his dad is reading Kafka's Metamorphosis
in an easy chair.
                                                            
                       ALEX
Dad, I've been thinking. There
comes a time in a man's life, as
you've always told me, that one
has to do things with oneself. I
want to become one with myself,
and to do so I need to embark on a
mystical quest.
                                                            
                       DAD
Shh.
                                                            
                       ALEX
      (Angry)
Dad, this is important to me! I
need maybe $23 and probably a
sword and most likely-
                                                            
                       DAD
Happy birthday, son.
                                                            
ALEX is surprised. DAD reaches behind him to pull out a
present. It looks like a wrapped potato.
                                                            
                       ALEX
It isn't my birthday, and this
isn't a sword-
                                                            
                       DAD
It is your birthday. The 21st?
                                                            
ALEX hesitantly unwraps it, still mildy surprised. It's a
potato. An expression of numb disbelief crosses his face.
                                                            
                       DAD
How does it feel to be ten, eh?
Proud? You know, there comes a
time in a man's life-
                                                            
Dad's voice fades out while the video still plays. ALEX
looks around, and sees "Happy 10th Birthday" written on a
card on the wrapping paper. He opens the card. Inside, it

2.

reads:

Is this worldly, or is this sacred?
                                                            
                       ALEX (V.O.)
This was my eleventh birthday. I
didn't make sense to me, either.
                                                            
FADE OUT TO CREDITS
                                                            
 
EXT. OPEN FIELD - DAY
                                                            
Young versions of ALEX and ELI are outside. They have
cardboard armor and cardboard swords, and are staring each
other down before a battle. Dramatic camera work.
                                                            
They charge. Just before they hit each other, screen
freezes.
                                                            
                       ALEX (V.O.)
This is where I met my best
friend, Eli. In my defense, I was
sick that day, and I'd sprained my
ankle already.
                                                            
The word ELI is superimposed over him.
                                                            
Shot unfreezes. ALEX trips, and ELI stabs him. Mock death
and triumphant glory.
                                                            
                       ELI
You fought bravely, good sir
knight.
                                                            
                       ALEX
I tripped! I wanna rematch!
                                                            
                       ELI
Ok. But I get two hits, and you
only get one.
                                                            
                       ALEX
That's not fair! We should both
get two hits, or arm hits don't
count!
                                                            
Arguing continues for some time until MOM calls out across
the field to BOY to come home.
                                                            

3.

                       ALEX
I'll beat you tommorow. Be here,
Ok? After lunch.
                                                            
ELI just stares as BOY gradually turns and runs away.
                                                            
MOM stands beneath a hill waiting for BOY. She is wearing a
very ratty scarf, and is chewing her nails anxiously. When
she sees BOY she perks up.
                                                            
                       MOM
How was the playground?
                                                            
                       ALEX
I met a friend. Could I stay for
justa little longer, please? Can
I? We were havin' fun, and-
                                                            
                       MOM
Oh! What's our friend's name?
                                                            
                       ALEX
He's Eli, and we were in the
middle of somthing important.
could I please-
                                                            
                       MOM
Let's go home. I've got a
wonderful recipe from the Food
Network, we can't let it burn.
                                                            
MOM and BOY start walking home. ALEX is struggling to get
back to playground.
                                                            
 
INT. MOM'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
MOM is driving ALEX home. It is evening. ALEX is in the
backseat staring at his lap. Kids play in the streets.
                                                            
The car pulls into a magnificent house.
                                                            
 
INT. SMITH HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
MOM and ALEX are sitting around the dinner table. MOM
unveils a scary-looking dish. Dad is nowhere to be seen.
                                                            

4.

                       MOM
Alex, could you get your father
back from his zen garden? Dinner's
ready. And, I haven't seen him
since noon.
                                                            
ALEX pushes himself back from the table, and starts
wandering through the house. He makes it to the room which
opens into the yard, and stops facing the door. Camera shows
the room. Camera switches to ALEX's POV.
                                                            
Elements of the room start to become enemies or monsters.
ALEX looks around for a weapon. He sees a stick on the
ground, which becomes a sword on double take. He fights his
way outside.
                                                            
DAD is peacefully raking a sandbox. We see ALEX in the
background, swinging randomly at nothing.
                                                            
ALEX is fighting. He whirls around, and stops an inch from
DAD's leg. The imaginary creatures disappear. DAD doesn't
notice ALEX's presence.
                                                            
                       ALEX
It's time to come in for dinner,
dad.
                                                            
                       DAD
      (Humming to
       himself)
Hm?
                                                            
 
INT. SMITH HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
ALEX, MOM, and DAD are eating dinner around a table.
                                                            
                       ALEX
I met a new friend. His name's
Eli.
                                                            
                       DAD
      (Distractedly)
Well, good for you. Friends are
nice.
                                                            
                       MOM
Try the cabbage.
                                                            
They continue eating in silence.
                                                            
 

5.

EXT. ALEX'S ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
ALEX goes up the stairs, and into his room. He gets some
sticks, and starts winding padding+duct tape around them.
                                                            
                       ELI
      (From outside)
HEY! I'm on your roof.
                                                            
                       ALEX
How did you get up there?
                                                            
                       ELI
Because, I have magical climbing
powers. I can scale walls faster
than a spooky giant spider.
                                                            
ALEX stares for a surprised moment.
                                                            
                       ELI
I say we duel. Again.
                                                            
 
EXT. OPEN FIELD - DAY
                                                            
ALEX and ELI are fighting in the open field.
                                                            
                       ALEX (V.O.)
As you can see, nothing changed
much.
                                                            
                       ELI
Oh, just peachy. You thought for
the barest second that you could
defeat the most fantastic
warrior-king this side of the Rio,
eh?
                                                            
                       ALEX
I just got your head.
                                                            
ELI inclines his head to see a sword on his neck.
                                                            
MOM comes up a hill a ways away. She is wearing a the same
scarf, but rattier.
                                                            
                       MOM
      (Calling)
Alex, it's time for dinner! You
wouldn't want to miss dinner!
                                                            
                       ALEX
I need to go.
                                                            

6.

ELI just stares as ALEX leaves the field for his mother.
                                                            
                       ALEX
Mom, I need to stay out for
another hour or so. Do you see
this sword? The duct tape isn't
scratched! It's--
                                                            
                       MOM
I have delicious scalloped russet
potatoes in the dining room. You
just HAVE to see it.
                                                            
They get in the car and drive off. ELI is nowhere.
                                                            
 
INT. SMITH HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
MOM and BOY walk into the house. MOM quicly makes for
kitchen to check on the oven. She is relieved by what is in
the oven, as it is not burned. She takes it out, and puts it
in the center of an ornately set table.
                                                            
BOY goes for the stairs and hurries to his room. He gets to
a mirror and, pausing, looks at himself. He fiddles with an
interesting necklace (of some sort. undecided which kind.)
He changes out of his sweaty clothes.
                                                            
DAD camly gets up from his armchair. He was reading Kafka's
Metamorphosis. He saunters over to the table, and waits for
dinner.
                                                            
MOM waits until ALEX is at the table. She uncovers, with
great relish, a plate of baked potatoes. DAD and BOY both go
for the potatoes. ALEX is expressionless and eats his potato
rapidly. MOM is beaming.
                                                            
                       MOM
      (comfortably)
So, how was school? How's the, um,
what's it called again?
                                                            
                       DAD
Dueling club?
                                                            
                       MOM
Yes, that's it. How's the dueling
club?
                                                            
ALEX keeps eating. After a long silence, he finishes his
mouthful, looks up at his mother.
                                                            

7.

                       ALEX
I think... that it's going well.
Yes. We send in the proposal
tommorow, and we can only hope
that the pricipal finds it
acceptable.
                                                            
Another long silence.
                                                            
                       DAD
Have you read Kafka yet? I think
you'd really like him.
                                                            
                       MOM
Honey, I don't think he cares
about Kafka.
                                                            
                       DAD
But...he turns into a big bug.
                                                            
DAD quiets down and finishes his potato.
                                                            
BOY leaps up and puts his plate in the sink. He pauses
momentarily.
                                                            
                       ALEX
      (Blankly)
Thanks, mom.
                                                            
                       DAD
Tell all your girlfriends Hi for
me.
                                                            
                       MOM
Don't tease him, let him be.
                                                            
ALEX heads upstairs, back to his room. His swords lie in the
corner of the room, he looks at them excitedly. Suddenly,
they become real swords. He grabs one, and runs to the roof,
and escapes. The image freezes.
                                                            
                       ALEX (V.O.)
Practice in the morning. Go to
school. Duel with Eli. Dinner, and
escape. Every day is a good day.
                                                            
Shots are flashed of ALEX in school, dueling, eating,
repsective to his voiceover. Screen goes back to frozen
image of ALEX on the room. The word "ADVENTURE" is
superimposed on the screen.
                                                            
 

8.

INT. SCHOOL: PASSING PERIOD - DAY
                                                            
Students are crowding around lockers, pulling books,
preparing for their next classes. Camera sweeps around to
reveal ELI nodding acknowledgement. Camera sweeps back to
ALEX nodding back.
                                                            
ALEX almost runs into a group of girls in the hall. He stops
in front of a locker and opens it ceremoniously. We cannot
see what's in it. He nods to the open locker.
                                                            
                       ALEX
      (murmuring)
Every day is a good day.
                                                            
JERK is walking down the hallway with his friends. He nods
at ALEX, then charges down the hall. JERK runs into ALEX (on
purpose), making him stumble. ALEX doesn't seem to care.
                                                            
                       JERK
      (laughing)
Watch it, punk!
                                                            
ALEX closees the locker, and looks straight ahead as he
walks to his next class. He makes no attempt to speed up
when the bell rings.
                                                            
KATIE and group of friends stroll by, laughing. They see
JERK, wave at him, and start giggling flirtishly. ALEX looks
at her, curiously, then shakes his head.
                                                            
                       KATIE
      (Cheerfully)
Hi, Alex!
                                                            
KATIE passes ALEX without a second glance. ALEX doesn't seem
to notice.
                                                            
 
EXT. OPEN FIELD - DAY
                                                            
Kids are playing on the nearby playground. Their sounds die
away and the camera zooms in on ALEX's face. He is
concentrating fiercely. He perks up sudden;y, then dashes
offscreen. There are absolutely no sounds sow, save for the
occasional patter of running footsteps coming from behind
bushes, trees, etc. Shot of ALEX's back. ALEX jumps up and
whirls around to parry ELI's duct tape sword.
                                                            
They stand there for a minute. The strain of the parry is
evident on ALEX's face.
                                                            

9.

                       ALEX
I got that one.
                                                            
                       ELI
      (Nodding downward)
Have you looked down yet?
                                                            
A short, duct tape dagger in buried in ALEX's ribs. ALEX
looks down, sighs, and stands up.
                                                            
                       ELI
I was far too quick for you. You
need to practice harder. Take a
break?
                                                            
                       ALEX
If you say so.
                                                            
BEAT.
                                                            
                       ALEX
I should've seen that one. why
didn't I? I checked my stance, I-
                                                            
                       ELI
Don't worry about it, huh? You
just weren't fast enough.
Something wrong? You're probably
right. I've seen you go faster.
                                                            
BEAT.
                                                            
                       ALEX
I think a Quest is needed.
Something is wrong, and I need to
set it right.
                                                            
                       ELI
A quest? The most sacred of
undertakings? What is this for?
                                                            
                       ALEX
Eli, where is the spirit of the
warrior?
                                                            
                       ELI
Where else? In the Sword lies the
true spirit of the warrior, and
when the sword is merely part of
the greater whole that is the
warrior-
                                                            

10.

                       ALEX
Right, right. But if I can't
fight, then my spirit has left the
sword-
                                                            
                       ELI
And we need to find it.
Understood.
                                                            
                       ALEX
      (Hesitating)
I don't know if that's it.
                                                            
                       ELI
I don't follow, my
comrade-in-arms.
                                                            
                       ALEX
Did the siprit leave for a reason
or not?
                                                            
                       ELI
Does it matter? Just get it back,
I'm sure it cant have gone far. I
hope there's some sort of Dragon
King guarding it. In fact, I think
there is.
                                                            
Dragon rears up out of the ground. It then flakes away and
disappears.
                                                            
                       ELI
Alex? Your spirit really has gone,
hasn't it?
                                                            
                       ALEX (V.O.)
The Quest was a well established
tradition with me and Eli.
Usually, though, they were his
ideas. There was that one time-
                                                            
FLASHBACKS
                                                            
Still shots flash on screen. ALEX's V.O. talks over the
images. First is a series of shots detailing Eli and Alex
defending a kid from several larger ones.
                                                            
                       ALEX (V.O.)
-when we defended Avery from his
hated and feared enemies, the
brotherhood of evil.
                                                            

11.

Alex and Eli have won, but not by a lot. Alex is on the
ground, sprawled with a silly grin. Eli helps him up.
                                                            
                       ALEX (V.O.)
Or the time we defeated a thousand
bandits and their robber bandit
king-
                                                            
Eli and Alex fight trees, stools, etc, anythnig that's not a
bandit warrior.
                                                            
                       ALEX
Eli, go home and prepare. We both
need to cleanse ourselves before
our journey.
                                                            
                       ELI
Right you are. I'll meet you back
here in what, say, ten minutes?
                                                            
                       ALEX
Half an hour. No more, no less.
                                                            
ALEX turns to walk away. He starts to mutter to himself. Eli
doesn't move, just watches him.
                                                            
                       ELI
      (muttering to
       himself)
My goodness! Can't even focus on a
bloody dragon king. The boy is
losing his touch.
                                                            
                       ALEX
      (turning back to
       Eli)
This sword! Is this worldly, or is
this sacred?
                                                            
                       ELI
I assume when you can answer that,
the spirit will have to safely be
back in your sword, where it
belongs.
                                                            
 
INT. SMITH HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
ALEX opens the front door, ignoring the disarray that is his
home. His parents are packing for what looks to be a camping
trip. He tromps up the strairs, and heads for his room.
Shorty after this, MOM goes up and knocks on his door.
                                                            

12.

                       MOM
Alex? Is all your stuff
downstairs? We're about ready to
go.
                                                            
There is a long pause. Slowly, the door opens to reveal a
nonplussed ALEX staring at his mother. He pushes past her to
plod downstairs. He looks up and finally sees the piles of
luggage. His dad amiably strolls in to stand over the
luggage triumphantly.
                                                            
 
INT. MOM'S CAR - NIGHT
                                                            
MOM is driving. Alex is slumped against the car wall,
staring at the ground. DAD is in the front seat, reading
another book (insert a book here) Maybe the metamorphosis
still. The car takes a couple turns (Camera in backseat,
Alex's POV)
                                                            
 
EXT. CAMPSITE - DAY
                                                            
The car, from Alex's POV, drives past the campsite guy who
takes your money, and into an empty campsite. MOM and DAD
step out fo the car. MOM stretches a little, and dad opens
the trunk to fetch the tent, food. etc. ALEX awakens
abrubtly, climbs out of the car, and helps DAD and MOM
unload the stuff.
                                                            
                       MOM
Morning, Alex! how did you sleep?
                                                            
ALEX pauses to think, and the screen fades to black.
                                                            
 
EXT. ALEX'S DREAMS - DAY
                                                            
                       ALEX
Eli? Eli!
                                                            
Screen slowly fades up, still remaining foggy in some way,
maybe even in black and white. ALEX is in the open field,
looking for his friend. He sees MOM waiting for him at the
end of the field. Kids play on the nearby park, swinging and
the merry-go-round, and he goes with MOM to the school,
where he is dropped off. All the people inside have no
facial features.
                                                            
ALEX sees himself walking down the hallway, and a familiar
scene occurs.
                                                            

13.

                       JERK
      (Bumping into Alex)
I exert my dominance over you by
demonstrating my ability to push
you around, which displays my own
insecurity of not being in
control!
                                                            
The passing period scene is re-enacted by the dream members.
This time, however, KATIE giggles and waves, and greets ALEX
on the way to JERK.
                                                            
                       KATIE
      (Cheerfully)
Alex why can't you notice me? I
pass you every day, and every time
you just stare straight ahead. I
need your help to get out of a
complicated relationship with a
controlling jerk...
                                                            
She trails off as she continues down the hallway.
                                                            
                       ALEX
What? Who are you!
                                                            
KATIE's facial features swim into view.
                                                            
 
EXT. CAMPSITE - DAY
                                                            
ALEX shakes his head, and, taking a large pile of sleeping
bags, flops down by the fireside.
                                                            
                       DAD
      (Inhaling robustly)
Nature, huh? I haven't been
camping in months! Let's see...
                                                            
DAD searches his pockets for something, goes into the car to
get a brochure out of his jacket.he stands up and reads it
for ALEX.
                                                            
                       DAD
Let's see. There's fishing, a
hiking trail, paddleboat rentals!
You've never been on a paddleboat,
have you, Alex? You, are in for a
treat.
                                                            
                       MOM
A trail! Fabulous! I'll go for a
walk and let you two have some
fun. I'll get some firewood and
            (MORE)

14.

                       MOM (cont'd)
we'll be able to have some real
fun here!
                                                            
Both adults exit in opposite directions, leaving ALEX alone
on the fireside.
                                                            
 
EXT. CAMPSITE - NIGHT
                                                            
                       DAD
So, that paddleboat was fun,
right?
                                                            
                       ALEX
      (forced)
The lake was very clear.
                                                            
                       MOM
Did you see any wildlife?
                                                            
                       DAD
No, not many birds out today.
                                                            
Loooong pause. Alex takes out a notepad, and begins a
drawing.
                                                            
                       DAD
How was the walk?
                                                            
                       MOM
Oh, it was just spectacular! There
were so many great ferns and trees
and I found some great pieces of
driftwood!
                                                            
Mom reaches into her backpack to bring out the interesting
pieces of wood.
                                                            
                       MOM
I found enough to build a mobile!
I'm just thrilled! Dear, did you
bring the glue?
                                                            
                       DAD
No, no- Alex, what do you got
there?
                                                            
Alex clearly doesn't have a response.
                                                            

15.

                       MOM
Peter, he doesn't have to respond
if he doesn't want to. It's his
drawing. Hear that Alex? It's your
art, you can foster your own
creativity away from critics.
                                                            
                       ALEX
I'm going to bed.
                                                            
 
EXT. OPEN FIELD - NIGHT
                                                            
                       ELI
What gives, Alex? I expected a
duel! One can't duel without
something to duel with.
                                                            
                       ALEX
They took away the swords.
                                                            
                       ELI
What? NO, that's ridiculous. Why
did they-
                                                            
                       ALEX
I'm being punished. I was caught
practising in the school hallway.
                                                            
                       ELI
What happens at school has no
bearing on what happens to you
here, does it?
                                                            
                       ELI
I guess it does.
                                                            
Beat.
                                                            
                       ALEX
Maybe I should try something new.
I mean, Zen Master Rinzai says
that nothing happens without
purpose.
                                                            
                       ELI
Yeah, but so do the Horoscopes.
And as we all know, horoscopes are
absolute crap.
                                                            
                       ALEX
But I still think we should try
something new.
                                                            

16.

                       ELI
No, No! You're losing your focus.
Focus! You can't reach nirvana
without a sword in your hand. You
can't take the first step towards
nirvana if you lose determination
at the first sign of adversity!
                                                            
                       ALEX
Yeah, but this is a real problem.
This isn't an army of warrior
bandits. Let's face it: That never
happened. It was-
                                                            
                       ELI
What? You think that that never
happened?
                                                            
                       ALEX
Well, no! I just...
                                                            
                       ELI
So, if it was "just pretend", let
me ask you this. What makes
fighting your imagination any less
difficult than fighting something
tangible?
                                                            
Long pause as Alex thinks about it.
                                                            
                       ELI
Let's steal them.
                                                            
                       ALEX
Eli, that is completely against
everything. Bushido, Chivalry, the
law-
                                                            
                       ELI
I know, I'm aware of that. But!
We're not stealing them. They are
rightfully your swords, you put
your soul into those duct tape
creations! We are retrieving what
belongs to you.
                                                            
                       ALEX
I just don't think we can break
warrior's honor-
                                                            

17.

                       ALEX
What! Your parents are the
villains here! They took your
honor when they took your swords!
                                                            
                       ALEX
      (Doubtful)
A warrior's spirit is in his
sword...
                                                            
                       ELI
Absolutely. A quest, then. You can
sneak out, right? Meet me here,
outside of the house at midnight.
The witching hour!
                                                            
 
INT. SMITH HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
MOM is standing in a nightgown, tired and angry. She is
berating a very embarassed ALEX in the same place she was
berating him only several hours before. ELI is nowhere to be
seen.
                                                            
                       MOM
The Witching Hour! That's your
explaination for running around at
all hours? I can't believe you
would try to take your swords
right back after I expressly
punished you! Oh, jeez! What am I
going to do with you?
                                                            
ALEX has tried to interrrupt several times with "but-" and
"well-" etc. Finally MOM acknowledeges his intent to speak.
                                                            
                       ALEX
No, that's not the way it is, it-
                                                            
ALEX stops mid-sentece and ponders this.
                                                            
                       MOM
Well? What? Another excuse?
                                                            
                       ALEX
-no. I- no. I think... that...
Well, Eli convinced me to get the
swords...
                                                            
                       ALEX
-but... it was... my fault.
                                                            

18.

                       MOM
      (To herself)
Ok. Take a deep breath, find your
center. Find the center.
      (To ALEX)
Ok, Here goes. I'm glad that you
take responsibility. So, I won't
further punish you.
                                                            
The door opens. DAD enters, with a rake.
                                                            
                       DAD
What's this? It's past midnight?
                                                            
                       MOM
      (Irritated)
Nothing, dear, I've got it
covered.
                                                            
                       DAD
Oh, hello Alex. Did you see the
moon? Or that one constellation,
the... the whatsis.. You know,
that one in the zodiac...?
                                                            
Everybody stares at him for a minute.
                                                            
                       MOM
Your son was running around in the
middle of the night, and I'm
disciplining him now.
                                                            
                       DAD
Oh, yes. I'd like to have a word
with him.
                                                            
                       ALEX
      (Eager to escape)
Well, if dad wants to talk, we
could wait until tommorow,
couldn't we?
                                                            
                       MOM
Oh, no, no no no, I'm not done
with you yet. Peter, didn't I just
tell you I had it covered!
                                                            
DAD crosses to MOM, and starts having a whispered
conversation in the corner. ALEX sits uneasily on the couch.
He looks around, and begins to fiddle with the knick-knacks
on the table, or reading a magazine, etc.
                                                            

19.

                       DAD
Alright, boy, let's talk.
                                                            
                       ALEX
Ok. I really want to know
something. Why did you get me that
potato?
                                                            
                       DAD
      (Surprised)
There's a very good reason for
that.
                                                            
                       ALEX
Dad, every time I ask this
question, you tell me the same zen
koan. Why did you give me the
potato?
                                                            
                       DAD
Y'know, son, when Master Rinzai
was invited to the feast of the
shogunate just as a demonstration
of the shogun's connection to the
spiritual world, he didn't just
take it, did he?
                                                            
                       ALEX
      (Reluctantly)
No, he... he messed with them-
                                                            
                       DAD
Just as a zen master should. Just
when he sat down to dinner, he
asked them, "Master shogun! This
wooden post, is it worldly, or is
it sacred?"
                                                            
                       ALEX
But that's just it, dad! I don't
know! I can answer no more than
the Shogun can!
                                                            
                       DAD
Trust in the potato. I'm going to
bed.
                                                            
 
INT. SCHOOL HALL - DAY
                                                            
Scene opens to Jerk and Katie having a tiff.
                                                            

20.

                       JERK
-Jeez, Katie, why cant'cha lighten
up? it's not like-
                                                            
                       KATIE
Not like what? Not like you and
Jo-anne were-
                                                            
                       JERK
Hey! Ok, if that's what you want,
we can go that way! Fine! We're
through, because you couldn't
handle it! It's completely your
fault, I hope you know that!
                                                            
JERK stomps off leaving KATIE sobbing in the hallway. Camera
switches to ALEX, watching the fight, as are many others.
Eli comes up behind him and stares, confused, at the scene.
                                                            
                       ELI
You really like this girl?
                                                            
                       ALEX
This would seem to end the quest.
                                                            
                       ELI
      (sighing)
Alex, I... You know what? I don't
think so. There is still a part we
need to complete.
                                                            
 
INT. OPEN FIELD - DAY
                                                            
ALEX is waiting for ELI in the traditional field. He is
leaning on a stick. ELI comes up the hill, with another
stick.
                                                            
                       ELI
My friend, we found the spirit.
Though, it doesn't end the quest.
We need to take that wayward
spirit back!
                                                            
                       ALEX
How?
                                                            
                       ELI
We're going to have to find the
one that bears it-
                                                            
                       ALEX
Which we did.
                                                            

21.

                       ELI
Right, we did, and we're going to
have to invoke the ancient gods of
power and ask them for mercy. And
if they won't give it to us, we
come in a-swinging with these
sticks. Once your spirit finds
your new sword, it will fly into
it with, uh, conviction.
                                                            
                       ALEX
What if I don't want this to be my
spirit-sword for all of eternity?
                                                            
                       ELI
      (relieved)
Oh, then spend months making a new
one, and prepare to-
                                                            
                       ALEX
Wait, wait. I thought that my
spirit had left for a reason. I
thought it left to find that girl.
                                                            
                       ELI
      (quickly)
Oh, no, don't be ridiculous.
That's preposterous. That just
plain is impossible. That's-
                                                            
                       ALEX
No! No, no no! I am nothing if not
a warrior, and certainly not
ridiculous! My spirit left to be
with someone else, and there it
should stay!
                                                            
                       ELI
      (pausing)
What?
                                                            
                       ALEX
      (furious)
This is not a quest to retake my
spirit! This is a quest to win
Katie by virtue of my wandering
spirit! There are no ancient gods
guarding her, and not one sword
can stop me from her
                                                            

22.

                       ELI
      (getting
       progressively
       more forceful)
No ancient gods... No dragons, no
bandits, no kings, queens,
warriors, samurai, ninjas, ogres,
giants, kingdoms, wizards, magic!
                                                            
                       ALEX
No. This is a Real departure of
spirit. She is real, and those are
not.
                                                            
                       ELI
That's what you want, Alex? You
don't want what isn't real?
                                                            
                       ALEX
I want her. I think I love her.
                                                            
                       ELI
But... but if you say that... it
means... No. No, I can't let you
forget what matters most. I take
up the sword today, Alex, to
defeat this-
                                                            
He pauses, and drops the stick.
                                                            
                       ELI
Alex, I can't fight you.
                                                            
                       ALEX
That's ok. We have a quest ahead
of us, we can't be arguing before
it starts. Dissention in the
ranks, right? Just like you taught
me.
                                                            
                       ELI
Ok. Ok, we quest to complete the
spirit.
                                                            
 
INT. GENERIC FOR NOW - DAY
                                                            
KATIE is strolling down the hallway. She is oblivious to
ALEX, watching from the sidelines of the hallway. The crowd
patrs, and ELI is seen opposite from him. KATIE is
approaching where the friends are standing.
                                                            

23.

ALEX looks at her, then shies away. ELI nods at her, mouths
"go!" but ALEX just shakes his head. ELI sighs, looks down
the hall. KATIE is still coming. He looks both ways, darts
across the hallway, and shoves ALEX in the middle of the
hall. He changes direction back to ELI.
                                                            
                       ELI
C'mon, just like we practiced! I'm
sure you're able to manage an
adverse moment such as this one!
You're a warrior!
                                                            
                       ALEX
No, no, not, can't do it, won't-
                                                            
                       ELI
Alex, stop, stop! Look. Look!
                                                            
He gestures toward KAITE. ALEX steps out in the hall a
little to see, ELI trips him and he stumbles in her way. He
gets up, glares at ELI, and finds himself face to face with
KATIE.
                                                            
                       KATIE
      (distraught)
What do you want?
                                                            
ALEX garbles what to say for a second or two, when a voice
pops in behind him.
                                                            
                       JERK
Baby, I'm so sorry, I came so we
could just forget about what
happened yesteday, alright?
                                                            
ALEX tries to interject throughout the following
conversation.
                                                            
                       KATIE
To apologize? Is that what you're
trying to do?
                                                            
                       JERK
No, well, yes, but I just want us
back together, y'know-
                                                            
                       KATIE
      (emotional spite)
Oh! Is that how it goes? I'm just
so useless and, and, and wrong,
and it's my fault, but you're
apologizing? Why-
                                                            

24.

                       JERK
Whoa, not like that, baby, I'm
just sayin' that you, that you
were good lookin' and I'm a stud,
and that belongs together! Right?
You can't get enough of me, right?
I mean-
                                                            
KATIE and JERK start talking over one another. ALEX squeezes
out from between them, and taps JERK on the shoulder.
                                                            
                       JERK
Not now, kid, I'm busy.
                                                            
                       ALEX
No. I challenge you to a duel.
                                                            
                       ELI
What?
                                                            
                       JERK
What?
                                                            
                       KATIE
What? Alex-
                                                            
                       JERK
      (Sarcastic)
Um, ok, a duel. With what, pistols
at ten paces?
                                                            
                       ALEX
No, with swords. At (insert name
of park) after school.
                                                            
                       JERK
      (Still sarcastic)
Sure, swords. I'll kick your ass
with anything, kid.
                                                            
                       ALEX
Swords it is, then. Be there.
                                                            
 
INT. ALEX'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
ELI is pacing across the room, muttering. ALEX is on the
roof, swinging his sword.
                                                            
 

25.

EXT. SCHOOL FIELD - DAY
                                                            
It is a sunny day and ALEX's back faces camera. A sword
rests at his side, and his hand is on it, ready to draw. He
takes a deep breath, and prepares to fight.
                                                            
Camera cuts to JERK, flanked by his henchmen. He swaggers
out the doors and laughs to his buddies, looking back to
them. He looks around, and sees a sword on the ground. He
reaches to pick it up.
                                                            
JERK looks behind him, and see ALEX standing, sword drawn.
                                                            
                       ALEX
Take the sword!
                                                            
JERK takes the sword in front of him. He looks at it
apprehensively, and gives it a couple of practice swipes. he
shrugs, and wields it.
                                                            
The henchmen start catcalls and words of encouragement to
JERK. He swaggers through his pals towards ALEX.
                                                            
KATIE Attempts to stop ALEX but he brushes her off. The two
opponents close the distance between them, and start an epic
fight.
                                                            
                       ELI
      (Speaking over the
       fight)
He will be defeated! This is
destiny! Look at him, he may not
know his blade, but he knows that
this is the fight. This is Epic, I
tell you, epic! You represent all
the forces of good and
rightiousness and he is the demon
king, the sublime evil, the
supreme Master of darkness and all
things shadowy! You have to win,
you will win, this is what you
need to do, the princess, the
glory, the story, it all
essentially is distilled into one
clash of the swords. His blade
versus yours. Only you, the
warrior, will prevail this day!
                                                            
During ELI's speech, JERK is backed into a corner by ALEX's
offence. JERK is worried, if not scared. ALEX is drinking in
ELI's words as he fights, his words seemingly improving his
swordsmanship.
                                                            

26.

                       ELI
      (Whispering from
       behind)
Now, strike him down, and win the
legendary battle.
                                                            
"Evil" effects are added to JERK. He looks like a demon
king, or an evil overlord, etc.
                                                            
                       ALEX
      (Wispering)
But what is a legendary battle? Is
it wordly, or is it sacred?
                                                            
                       JERK
      (trying to sound
       confident)
You gotta know when to pick your
battles, man.
                                                            
The world goes silent to ALEX. He gazes at his sword, at
JERK, at ELI, and finally KATIE, who is telling him
(siliently) to stop fighting. ALEX takes another deep
breath, and throws his sword up into the air. The picture
freezes, and while time is stopped, ALEX walks away.
                                                            
                       ELI
Would you believe it? He left!
Right in the middle of it!
                                                            
 
EXT. OPEN FIELD - DAY
                                                            
                       ELI
But, Alex. This girl, this sword,
are they really here? This wooden
post! Are they worldly, or are
they sacred?
                                                            
                       ALEX
No matter what you call it, it is
still a wooden post.
                                                            
ELI ponders this, and smiles.
                                                            
                       ELI
Worldy and sacred? What does that
even mean?
                                                            
ALEX pulls a potato out of his pocket and hands it to ELI.
                                                            


THE END


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From Scott Patrick Date 3/1/2006 ***
The voice over is not needed but I did like the spirit of the story. To qualify for movie status, a movie has to be at least 90 pgs. Or, you can count it as a minute a page. I hope to see more from you.

From Sam Dunham Date 2/19/2006 **1/2
Wow, little Ernie Piper wrote a movie! It seems like only yesterday you were giving me piggy-back rides in M*A*S*H It's an interesting movie, interesting theme. How old are they supposed to be? I'd be specific, because a difference of two years will make a huge difference in the maturity level of these characters. I think that there is a good story here, but it is very unfocused, and leaves the reader feeling confused as far as motivation and needs are concerned. Spend some more time developing the characters and plot. The parable angle is good, but again it feels very unfocused. I want to take a clear, specific, distinct message from this piece. Maybe you want to convey something more broad and general but that's just what I feel would make for a stronger story. I can see this movie going longer, don't be afraid to add on stuff. -Sam Dunham

From AJ Carralejo Date 1/30/2006 ***1/2
I enjoyed the script a lot. I would avoid using a voice-over, because in this situation I think the audience would connect with Alex in a real quirky, original way rather than being standard and uniformly reflective. You should expand it to feature-length so that everyone feels like a living, breathing, three-dimensional human being rather than just a character. Other than that, you've got some good stuff that you should definitely hold onto.


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