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The Lemming
by Steve (rbiggunson@yahoo.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review:

A short script. On a foggy night on the California coast, a man must come to terms with his ignorance and overcome perilous odds to survive.

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.


                       A VOICE (V.O.)
      (deep, rumbling
       disembodied voice)
David...David. Tonight is the
night. The night that shall set
you free of your complete and
utter ignorance. A night of
redemption and downfall. Tonight
is a test of strength and of
willpower. For a great and vicious
evil awaits you. An ominous malice
that shall try to shatter your
very soul and bring sudden despair
upon it. Pay close attention to
your surroundings. It is
imperative that you succeed at the
task! This is your last chance
Opens with the main character, DAVID opening his eyes.
Camera zooms outward to reveal him lying on his bed. He sits
up while rubbing his eyes. He then places his hands on his
thighs and and breathes outward.
      (exhaustedly, to
What the fuck? What a weird dream.
DAVID stands up. His hair is slicked back, while some of the
strands fall over his eyes. His eyes are a deep brown,
sullen, with purple bags under them. His nose large, like a
bird's, protruding from his beet-red face. His undeniably
dim-witted grin shouts imbecile to any passerby, yet he does
not notice, having the mentality of an oblivious man, a
content man lost in his own world of ignorance and apathy.
He scratches his beer gut and pulls lint out of his bushes
of body hair. His apartment is completely trashed. Beer
bottles cover the poker table he plays on every night.
Cigarette butts fill up ashtrays placed all around the
living room. Clothes pile high on the floor at the foot of
his bed. The air is stale and reeks of alcohol and
cigarettes. He picks from the pile of clothing a large white
T-shirt. The word IGNORANT is written across the chest in
large, bold black letters. He walks toward the front door.


Camera cuts to DAVID walking toward his car. As soon as he
is inches from opening the driver's side door handle, he
stops. He turns around and snaps his middle finger and thumb
      (to himself)
Ah, shit. Almost forgot the beer.
As DAVID walks into the liquor store, he is greeted by the
CLERK wearing a slight smile of recognition. He is a small
man, late 40's, part Oriental and part Caucasian. A fluffy
gray beard covers his stumpy chin and plump cheeks. He wears
a white T-shirt around his back, similar to DAVID's. The
word BIGOT is written in bold black letters across his
      (wearing a smile
       of appreciation)
Hey, David! My man, what's up?
Ah, not too much, just gettin'
some beer. What's new with you?
Haven't been workin' for a while.
Where'd ya go?
Vacation, man. Just had to get
outta this town, ya know? Went
down south, saw family for a
couple of weeks. My sister's
gettin' married, saw my nephew,
went fishing, just kicked it, ya
Ah man, I gotta get the hell outta
here too. I've had tons of fuckin'
people comin' over and shit,
gettin' hammered. Oh my god, it
was so fuckin' funny the other
night. Mikey fuckin' got all drunk
and almost beat the shit outta
Tyler and shit.
Hell, over what?


      (With a sigh)
Over bullshit. Fuckin' poker. But
I took all Tyler's money from him
last night, won me about two
hundred dollars! Fuckin' idiot
just kept throwin' down twenties
like it was a titty bar or
      (with a chuckle)
Ha! He better watch that little
habit of his, or else he's gonna
be in a world of hurt pretty soon
      (arrogance in his
The guy's an addict, dude. Last
night, after everyone left, he
kept ballin' to me about how that
was the last of his money and the
rent was due the next day.
What a dumbass.
Yeah, now he's a broke one too.
Ha! Well, anyway, what are you up
to tonight?
      (As he browses the
Oh, I gotta get somethin' for the
old lady. She wants to meet in
Santa Cruz at some place by the
wharf or some shit. I dunno, could
be the last of her, who knows.
I hear ya man. How long you been
seein' her?
About a year or so, not even worth
it though. I've given up. She
didn't speak to me for like two
weeks and then suddenly, she wants


                       DAVID (cont'd)
to meet me down there, so we'll
see what's goin' on.
Well, shouldn't she be comin' up
Hell no. I don't want anybody
comin' up to my place to want to
play poker and shit while she's
around. Uh-uh, I'm not dealin'
with that bullshit tonight.
Yeah, I hear ya, I hear ya.
As DAVID wanders the aisles, he seems unable to decide on
what to purchase. Making his way slowly but surely down the
aisles of wine, he reaches the coolers at the far end of the
store. Knowing that time is of the essence, he makes a quick
decision. He opens a glass door to the cooler and picks out
a cheap twelve pack of beer, then begins to walk through the
middle aisle back toward the CLERK. As he approaches the
counter, he is gazed upon by a look of muse which paints the
small man's face.
That'll be $16.25.
Hey. You got time for a smoke?
Umm...sure, a quick one.
Cuts to the two men standing next to eachother, cigarettes
in hand. The night is chilly with a slight overcast, the fog
rolls high in the hills.
Sure is a nice night.


David, let me ask you something.
Why do you drink?
I don't know...I like it I
You suppose you like it, or do you
think your'e conditioned to like
Um, what do you mean?
What I mean is do you think that
you have been trained to like
drinking from sitting in that
shitty little apartment watching
ESPN all day? Have you ever
noticed how many beer commercials
are played throughout the day on
that channel? A lot. They shove
'em down your goddamn throat all
day. Why do you suppose that is?
Well, they're just commercials.
      (looking DAVID
       straight in the
Bullshit. How do you explain all
of the coffee and energy drinks
that are constantly advertised?
Why do you think the media wants
everybody drunk on the weekends
and buzzed from sugar highs during
the week? Can you answer me that?
No, you can't. You see David, it's
a simple matter of control.
Imagine, figuratively speaking,
that you are living the life of


                       CLERK (cont'd)
wrench. You are one wrench humbly
leading an existence of ignorance
amongst millions more. You are
expendable and worhtless. They
advertise beer to keep you
unaware, uninhibited and docile,
like cattle. They advertise coffee
and other stimulants to help you
work more efficiently for them. To
give you an illusion of
responsibility, of self-worth.
David, you are conditioned to be a
product and taught to think one
way: Uncle Sam is your daddy. He
owns you and will care for you as
long as you put up with his absurd
shit and if you keep your mouth
shut. A curious guinea pig is a
troublesome one. You think they
don't know that you haven't payed
your taxes in years? You think
they don't know your'e evading
jury duty, bro? You think they
aren't AWARE that you are a leech,
man? I mean, c'mon, David! Think
about it! So, you see?...It IS
true to say that ignorance is
bliss. The undeniable truth is a
very dangerous weapon. It can
become an immense burden upon a
man's soul, or can lead it to
salvation. The choice is yours.
When you open your eyes, you shall
see. When you open your mind, you
shall know.
      (with a look of
Uhh...sure, dude whatever the fuck
you say.
      (throwing his
       cigarette down
       and slamming
       DAVID into the
       brick wall with a
       look of intense
Hey, don't you fuckin' bullshit me
man! I'm serious! You can either
take my advice or you can keep


                       CLERK (cont'd)
living life like a fool! You know
why drugs aren't legal, bro?
Because they don't want you to
think, they just want you to do.
Why should you want to think, when
they can do it for you, huh? They
are infringing on our personal
right to expand our level of
concsiousness and abolishing the
pathway to enlightenment. And you
know who THEY are, David?
      (staring sternly
       back at the clerk)
Who? Who the fuck are THEY, huh?
The clerk pulls from his jacket pocket a dollar bill. He
turns it to the back and points to a symbol. A pyramid with
an open eye, behind it are rays of shining light. His finger
points directly to the eye.
The Illuminati. THE MAN, David!
The ultimate BIG fuckin' BROTHER!
The one who sees all and knows
      (pushing the clerk
       away from him)
You're fucking nuts! Fuck off!
DAVID stomps madly through the alley way toward his car.
Behind him, he hears the CLERK shout something.
      (hands cupped
       around his mouth)
Hey fuck you David! Do yourself a
favor and pull your head out of
your ass!
DAVID arrives to his car parked in the apartment complex
parking lot. He opens the door and as he is about to place
the case of beer into the back seat, he realizes that it is
non-alcoholic. He looks downward and shakes his head in
shame. Quickly renouncing his mistake, he places the vehicle
in reverse and drives out of the parking lot.


Camera cuts to DAVID smoking a cigarette while meandering
down the mountain highway. The driver's side window is
rolled down. There is a chill to the night's air. The wind
howls its sorrowful lament, blowing ashes out the car window
and into the dead of night. DAVID can feel it creep into his
bones. He throws the cigarette through the open window and
rolls it closed.
We now see DAVID approaching a building. The illuminance of
lights make it clear that it is a gas station. He slows down
and turns into it and stops at a pump. As he gets out of the
car and walks into the building, two men walk out, side by
side. Both of them are white males, in their mid-thirties.
Each man is wearing a suit and sunglasses, with expensive
looking shoes to match. They walk upright and with backs
rigid, with pride and discipline, so pristine and proper,
tainted by the filth of conformity. Both men's facial
expressions are blank, drained of any emotion. He walks
right next to them, completely unaware of their
We see DAVID stroll out of the building and toward his
vehicle. A full-sized white conversion van is parked at the
pump next to his. Its mass seems to dwarf DAVID's vehicle.
As he pumps his gas, he looks over his shoulder at the van.
He begins to stare at one of the men, who is sitting
patiently in the passenger seat, gazing straight ahead. The
man removes his glasses and turns his head to look at DAVID
through a pair of empty, intimidating eyes. DAVID quickly
turns away, hoping not to cause any confrontation. When his
gas is finished pumping, he walks around the rear of the car
and opens the driver's side
door to get in. He starts the engine and drives away.
Unaware that he is being followed, DAVID continues to drive
at a normal speed. The night is still young, although DAVID
is running a little late, he can at least enjoy the crisp
ocean breeze.
We see a woman sitting at a table in the far corner of a
seaside restaurant alone. Candlelight illuminates her sleek
features and her long, curly black hair. She is wearing ruby
red lipstick and a navy blue v-cut dress. High heels
decorate her delicate feet, displaying a sense of class.
Dressed to kill, you might say. Her eyes are shaped like
almonds, with a slight shade of green. Elegance and charm


resonate from this woman, being the kind to walk into a room
and silence even the most thunderous of commotion. She is
God's template for what physical beauty should be. We hear
conversation from all around her. She purses her lips to sip
her martini from time to time.
Camera cuts to DAVID pulling into the parking lot of the
restaurant. He looks for his girlfriend's car. He sees it,
parked near the front entrance. He finds an empty parking
space in the nearest aisle. Before getting out, he pulls
down the driver's side mirror and slicks his hair back and
lets only a strand fall to the front. We see him walking
toward the building with a stride of confidence and
cockiness mixed into one. Deep in his mind, DAVID knows what
the undeniable outcome of this encounter. She had reassured
him in the past of how much she's loved him, and he knew it,
too. Nothing will ruin tonight. He takes a deep breath of
clean salty air into his lungs.
Camera cuts to the woman sitting alone sipping her martini,
still patiently waiting. She sees him, he walks into the
restaurant and begins to look around. She calls his name.
      (waving him over)
David! Over here!
      (walking hurriedly)
I'm so sorry. I hurried down here
as fast a-
You know, David...I was just about
to walk out that door. What the
hell took you so long?
I had shit to do. Jesus I'm sorry!
I came down here as fast as I
could, ok?!
And what the fuck is that your'e
wearing? Look at you! You look
like shit. Plain and simple. You
are an idiot, David. A fucking


      (sternly and under
       his breath)
Don't you fuckin' call me that,
ok? You have asked so much of me
out of this relationship and I
haven't gotten shit for starters,
but you sure as hell have. Fuck
you! Cunt! Why didn't you just
come up to see me, huh? I gotta
drive thirty miles to see you?!
Don't bullshit me!
David, I hate your friends, your
house is a shithole, and I don't
bullshit you.
      (crossing his arms)
You done? Are you done?
Look, David I just wanted to talk
to you but why did you need to be
late? Couldn't you have called or
I'm sorry I was late, ok? I
just...I was just expecting a
better night. Is this why you blew
me off for two fuckin' weeks,
though? Because of fighting?!
      (looking down in
I wanted to tell you something...I
haven't spoken to you in a couple
weeks because I was ashamed. I
didn't want you to leave me. I
wouldn't be able to handle that.
Well, what is it?
I'm pregnant.


Is it mine?
Of course...David, I love you and
I want this to work, but you need
to pull your head out of your ass,
ok? I want to know if you can
handle being a father. Can you?
      (long pause before
...Well, all I have to say is that
this fucks me. What the fuck? Can
we even afford a child? Cause I
sure as hell can't!
      (angrily pointing
       her finger)
If we work together we can!
      (wiping his
Ya know what? I gotta go take a
piss. Just give me a minute to let
this settle in.
Then I'm going outside.
DAVID sits up from his seat and walk toward the bathroom
while JACQUELINE stands up, grabs her jacket hanging on the
back of her chair and walks toward the restaurant entrance.
Camera cuts to DAVID washing his hands in the bathroom sink.
He looks into the mirror. Sullen, empty eyes gaze back at
him. He gathers a small pool of water into his cupped hands
and splashes onto his face.
      (to himself)
Fuck, what am I going to do now?
Camera cuts to JACQUELINE sitting on a bench placed under a
wooden gazebo outside of the restaurant. The night is
growing colder and the breeze makes her body shiver. She
closes her sweater around her torso and folds her arms to


keep herself from freezing. The fog can be seen slowly
rolling in from the hills as a waft of sea salt follows it.
Her cigarette burns between her fingertips. Placing it to
her lips and inhaling a small drag, tears begin to swell in
her eyes and slide down her cheeks in tiny rivers. She
stares at the mist and thinks of David. She thinks of her
child and wonders what the future holds. She debates in her
mind if she is even ready for a child. Fighting her
uncontainable urge to weep violently, JACQUELINE sniffles
and wipes the tears from her face. She then tosses the
cigarette butt to the ground.
DAVID walks out front and sits next to her. They sit in
silence for a moment.
You better quit that habit,
I know. But you have to quit
drinking, ok?
       toward the ground)
David...you have to ask yourself,
do you want to live like this?
      (looking her in
       the eyes and
       pointing to
Look...I have obstacles that I'm
overcoming and I will do it. I
WILL overcome them. My life is at
an even moving pace and I like it
like that. I'm trying the best I
CAN. So just let it be. Ok?
Pause momentarily.


      (long pause before
       looking up at him)
Well, do you want to come over to
my place? You can spend the night
if you want.
No, I just wanna go home and pass
out. I have some stuff I want to
take care of, too.
Can you at least call me
tomorrow? I want to see you,
I'll just give you a call
tomorrow. Alright?
Call me tonight if you have time.
If I have time.
Ok. Well, give me a kiss and I
guess we'll talk about this later.
DAVID reaches over and gives her a small peck on the lips.
He puts his arms around her and holds her, feeling her
warmth. His hand moves up and down on her back. Her forehead
falls onto his shoulder.
I love you.
Love you too.
Oh, I forgot my wallet. Hold on,
I'll be right back.
DAVID walks into the restaurant. He spots his wallet lying
untouched on the table. He walks over, grabs it and places a
ten dollar bill on the table and then puts his wallet into
his pocket. He takes a sip of the barely touched martini and
begins to walk back toward the front door. When he exits the
building, he is confronted by JACQUELINE still waiting


patiently on the bench. She stands up and they say goodbye.
DAVID walks toward his car with his eyes to the ground,
still taken aback by the night's events. He arrives to his
car and unlocks the door. As he opens the door, DAVID sees a
pair of headlights switch on in the far corner of the
parking lot. They illuminate from the blanket of darkness
like the eyes of a demon. Screeching pierces the night as
they move rapidly toward the front of the parking lot.
Street lamps reveal the lights belong to a large white
conversion van. It thrusts forward and shrieks like a
banshee, a hellbent monstrosity sent by the false idol and
driven by animosity.
DAVID's eyes widen in terror as it moves in JACQUELINE's
direction. He sees the van stop directly behind her car and
both doors open simultaneously. The driver and passenger
jump out and grab hold of JACQUELINE. They are dressed in
suits and ties. They look like wallstreet brokers from afar.
The driver locks his arms underneath JACQUELINE's armpits
and places a small rag over her mouth, causing her to fall
unconscious in his arms. The two of the men quickly carry
the limp body to the back of the van, throw her inside like
a rag doll and speed off. DAVID watches as the van turns
around and comes straight for him. He quickly and nervously
climbs into his car and reverses it out of the parking lot,
praying to God that he is able to escape these men. His
heart begins to race as adrenaline pumps through his veins.
This is the turning point. DAVID is now faced with a dilemma
only dumb luck could bring upon him. A dilemma he did not
Like an avalanche, questions begin to burst through DAVID's
mind. He questions why this is happening to him, why right
now, who are these men, and especially, how is he going to
escape? He erratically drives through a maze of residential
streets, constantly looking in his rearview mirror. He sees
the pair of lights in pursuit, the eyes of a bloodthirsty
demon. JACQUELINE runs across his mind. He asks himself why
they had to target her of all people? What had she done?
Will she be alright? Will their unborn child be safe?
Suddenly, DAVID hears a tremendous popping noise. He pulls
his car over and stops. He gets out and looks at the front
tires. The right tire is fully deflated, with a chunk of
sheet metal jutting from it. Having only minutes before the
van catches up to him, DAVID opens the back door to look for
anything that can be used in self defense. Beneath the seat
he finds a toolbox. Inside that he finds a large phillips
head screwdriver.


We see DAVID running aimlessly, screwdriver in hand and the
ice cold wind numbing his face. Behind him, lights draw
near. He knows it's them. In the distance, he spots an
office building. He focuses on arriving there in time. Pure
fright hastens his pace and forces him not to look back. He
hears the van gaining speed, its vicious engine growling
like a rabid beast.
DAVID finally arrives at the enormous glass structure,
searching for a way in. The building towers over him,
standing tall and proud, a true testament to the
glorification of man's ingenuity. He finds a locked door. A
window is built into it at eye level. He shatters the window
with the butt end of the screwdriver and unlocks the door
from the inside. As he opens the door, the van pulls into
the parking lot. Already knowing his position, the van comes
to a halt and the two men both get out, guns in hand. DAVID
jolts up a flight of stairs.
At the top of the stairs, DAVID sees a door and above that,
an illuminated exit sign. He opens it and runs his hand up
the left side of the wall, feeling for a light switch. He
locates it and flips it on. The room is an office complex,
one of many, with a hallway in the center and standard
cubicles lined up in a row on either side. He makes a quick
decision and jumps behind a cubicle on the right near the
middle of the aisle. Behind him sits a desk cluttered with
work papers and pictures of someone's family, two children,
and man and wife, all of them gleaming their grins of joy.
DAVID kneels down and raises the screwdriver above his head,
gripping it tightly, feeling its hard rubber grip. Sweat
drops bead down the sides of his round cheeks and hang onto
his chin. Tears swell in his eyes. He closes them and takes
a deep breath, hoping to calm himself. He then waits and
listens, keeping his eyes closed.


DAVID now hears footsteps trotting up the staircase. They
come closer. The door to the office opens and closes. Each
footstep is now a thunderous clap, sending a shockwave
through the floor. DAVID grips the handle of the screwdriver
now even harder. Silence. He carefully opens his eyes. Two
feet are standing before him. A shot is fired as he plunges
the screwdriver into the man's right foot with every ounce
of force he musters. The man shouts out in agony. DAVID
feels an intense pounding erupt in his head as warm liquid
gushes from his left ear. He tries to fight the urge to
scream from the throbbing pain as he tears the screwdriver
from the suited man's impaled foot. He then thrusts the tool
into the man's belly. DAVID stares into his eyes with a
maniacal look as he begins to pull the weapon from the man's
mid-section. The man falls backward onto the bloodstained
carpet floor. He then grabs a hold of the dying man's hand
that holds the gun and places it to his temple. He pulls the
trigger. The man's skull explodes along with brain fragments
onto the foor next to the exit wound. Blood begins to ooze
out of the wound, forming into a puddle. DAVID suddenly
hears shouting in the hallway to his right. It is the other
accomplice. He turns the corner on the far end of the hall
and aims his gun directly at DAVID, locking both arms. DAVID
points his gun in the man's direction and shoots. A superb
shot, straight through his esophagus. He slams his back
against the wall behind him and grabs hold of his punctured
neck. Desperately gasping for air and coughing up blood, the
dying man slowly slides down the wall and sits down. Blood
runs through his fingers and pours down his chest, staining
his clothing. His lazy gaze stares into the floor, as if in
a deep, lethargic coma.
In a daze and still in pain, DAVID stumbles out into the
still night and toward the parked van. He prays that
JACQUELINE is unharmed, yet in the back of his mind, he
knows the truth.
Upon arriving at the van, DAVID notices a symbol etched onto
the back doors. A stone pyramid, and at the top is an open
eye with rays of light shining behind it. The all seeing
DAVID thinks back to what the liquor store clerk had said.
He suddenly remembers the argument they had and regrets not
listening to him. The dream he ad only hours before sweeps
across his mind. He opens the doors to find JACQUELINE lying
in the middle of an empty floor. She appears to be dead. He
crawls into the van and looks into her face. A bullet hole
punctures the center of her forehead. DAVID screams. He
begins to cry violently as he climbs out of the van and away


from the girl's limp body. He then squeezes his fists and
yells as loud as he can into thin air, releasing all of the
built up aggression and sorrow into one ferocious, booming
He sits against the rear tire of the van and pulls a
cigarette and lighter from his jacket pocket. He ignites it.
He takes long drags and breathes the cigarette smoke in his
mouth out in slow clouds that evaporate in the cold air. He
had no plan on what to do next. No idea, no clue. Nothing to
look forward to, like before he met JACQUELINE. She had been
the best thing that has ever happened to him. Now, he was to
go back to his existence as before. His lonely apartment.
His life as a leech.
DAVID notices that dawn is only minutes away. He stands and
begins to walk aimlessly, still smoking his cigarette. He
doesn't even know where he'll go.
After walking for a little over a half an hour, DAVID
reaches the cliffs above the beach. Waves crash into the
bottom of the cliff and the sea salt smells nice. It
welcomes him. The ocean breeze pushes his hair back.
Seagulls fly overhead in perfect unison as it is clearer
that night is steadily becoming day. He then walks to the
edge of the cliff and looks out into the never ending ocean.
He reflects on the previous night's occurence. He reflects
on his life. He looks down at himself. He hadn't realized
how much blood was staining his skin and shirt. He reaches
to feel the wound at his ear. The tip of the ear is gone,
leaving only a half stub caked with drying blood. He lets
out a sigh of anxiety. Oddly enough, a sigh of relief as
well. He suddenly sees what he must do. He understands now.
He places one foot off of the cliff and closes his eyes. He
leans forward and falls to his death into the tumbling waves


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