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Blind Leonard's Blues
by Pat Chaney (ebonyauthor2@aol.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy   User Review: **
Leonard Silverstein loves,lives, bleeds, and would die for the Blues...it may come to that when he meets an old Delta Bluesman on his mail route who tells him about the BluesWarp Legend.


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.



FADE IN:

INT. MR NEAL'S OFFICE - DAY
                                                            
LEONARD SILVERSTEIN leaned his long lanky body against the
wall and listened to his supervisor yell at other postal
employees over the phone. He drops his mail bag on the floor
tucks his long curly black hair under his cap and nervously
eyes the man behind the desk.
                                                            
NEAL reaches into a desk drawer opens a roll of Tumms pops a
handful into his mouth and chomps while glaring at Leonard.
                                                            
                       MR NEAL
Damn lazy ass carriers!
                                                            
Neal rubs a chubby hand over his bald head.
                                                            
Leonard gawked at the confederate flag on the wall behind
Neal that declared The South Will Rise Again. He noticed how
the raised black letters framed the unpleasant man's bald
pate like a halo. The desk was a mountain of papers but
Leonard's gaze found a photo of Neal and some army buddies
and one of his fat wife and kids.
                                                            
Leonard's body tensed-he shoved his hands into his pants
pockets and waited.
                                                            
                       MR NEAL
      (smirking)
Starting tomorrow your mail route
will be on the West Side.
                                                            
                       LEONARD (VO)
So what you smug bastard! You
think I'm afraid of the black
folks on the West Side...far from
it!
                                                            
                       MR NEAL
      (smirk disappears)
So...you have no objections to
working with the Bro-thers over
there in the Ghet-to?
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (grinning)
Hell no...it's just a j.o.b. man.
                                                            
Neal rares back in his chair and squints his little pig eyes
staring hard at Leonard. His red face shows obvious
disappointment.
                                                            

2.

                       MR NEAL
      (sarcastically)
Well we'll see how long your pale
ass lasts over there with the
Bro-thers in the Ghet-to.
                                                            
Leonard pulls a harmonica from his pocket and plays his best
Blues version of I Wish I Was In The Land Of Dixie just to
piss off Neal.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (singing)
Look away! Look away!Look aw-aa-y
Dixie Land!
                                                            
                       MR NEAL
Get out of my office!
                                                            
Leonard ducks out the door closing it behind him as the
sound of a heavy object thrown at the door crashes against
it. He walks away smiling to himself.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
 
INT. TIME CLOCK IN EMPLOYEE BREAK ROOM/CONTINUING - DAY
                                                            
Leonard slides his timecard into the clock then feels a tap
on his shoulder and turns to see ALFREDO LUNA standing there
with a concerned look on his face.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (stroking his
       goatee)
Hey man..I heard Neal bestowed on
you the kiss of death.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
Not to worry-you know I don't trip
like that.
                                                            
Leonard snatches his timecard from its slot and clocks in
his time.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (peering over his
       wire frame
       glasses)
Glad to hear it cause those routes
on the West Side ain't no
joke...even for me and I grew up
over there.
                                                            

3.

CLOSE UP-Postal employees coming and going and the routine
hustle and bustle and noisy din of many voices rushing to go
home after shift change.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (chuckling)
Bet Neal thought he had your ass,
huh?
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (nonchalantly)
Correction...Neal is an ass.
                                                            
                       FREDO
When we gonna get together again
to jamm...I got some peeps who
might wanna join us.
                                                            
The two men walked together through the maze of hallways:
Leonard tall and lanky with a casual stride, Fredo shorter
in stature with pep in his step.
                                                            
                       FREDO
My sax has cobwebs in it...I need
to fire it up again!
                                                            
                       LEONARD
Yeah. I know what you mean. But
lately I've been feeling tired and
drained all the time...haven't
been playing my guitar that much.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (frowning)
That ain't like you...you love you
some blues guitar. Maybe time for
a physical eh?
                                                            
The two stepped out into the 107 degree inferno of the
Fresno summer and shrank back for a moment shading their
eyes. Leonard immediately put on his darkest sunglasses.
                                                            
Both men held back hesitant to walk to their hotter than a
firecracker cars parked in the direct sunlight since there
was no shade in the post office parking lot.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (agreeing)
I thought it was just the heat but
you may be onto something.
                                                            
                       FREDO
Look into that soon,eh?
                                                            

4.

Fredo sprints toward his car.
                                                            
                       LEONARD (VO)
Soon's I learn my new mail route
I'll make an appointment to have
some tests done.
                                                            
Leonard took a deep breath and jogs slowly towards his own
oven of a car.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. WEST FRESNO/CALHOUN PERKINS FRONT PORCH/MORNING - DAY
                                                            
WIDE SHOT-Small blue stucco house with screened in front
porch and rickety wooden fence. Old black man sits in a
rocking chair with a hound dog at his feet.
                                                            
Leonard walks up to the front porch with mail and hands it
over to the old man CALHOUN instead of placing it in the
rusty mail box. The old man accepts the mail grudgingly.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (cantankerously)
Why you postmen always flippin out
and killin up folks?
                                                            
The old man sizes up Leonard.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (taken aback)
I s..suppose it's due to the
stress of the job sir.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (indignant)
Stress! Son I can tell you bout
some stress...low down and dirty!
                                                            
Cal pulled off his white sweat-stained baseball cap
revealing short gray kinky hair. He scratched his head then
rubbed his salt and pepper beard. His wise brown eyes still
had a twinkle that lit up his face as he smiled widely.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (chuckling)
I spect that what happened to the
one before you...that boy couldn't
deliver my check on time if his
life depended on it.
                                                            

5.

                       LEONARD
      (smiling)
That so?
                                                            
                       CAL
Sure is...but you and me gonna get
along just fine if you can get it
here before noon...think you can
handle that?
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (now grinning)
I believe so.
                                                            
Heat waves shimmered up from the West Fresno sidewalks and
streets even though it was only 10 am. Meager shade on the
porch provided little relief from the hellish heat. Leonard
pulled off his postal cap and wiped his forehead with the
back of his hand.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
Could you spare a cool glass of
water?
                                                            
Leonard replaces his cap.
                                                            
                       CAL
Sure can, come on in outta the
heat for a minute.
                                                            
Cal got up slowly from his rocking chair and opened the
screen door. The gray and white speckled hound lifted his
head, gazed at Leonard a moment, woofed and flopped his head
back down. Leonard followed Cal into the small house all
the way back to what served as the kitchen.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-In a corner sat an old antique refrigerator with
the generator housed on the top. A whirring sound filled
the room.
                                                            
Cal opened the door of the refrigerator and poured Leonard a
tall glass of ice water. Leonard gulped it down and held
the glass out again for a refill. Cal obliged.
                                                            
                       CAL
Best not get dee-hydrated in this
killer heat.
                                                            
Leonard drained the second glass and wobbled unsteady on his
feet.
                                                            
                       CAL
Son is you alright?
                                                            

6.

The old man steadies Leonard with one hand.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (paler than usual)
It's the heat. I need to finish
up my route and get back in.
                                                            
Leonard slowly moves towards the front door and spies a
wooden guitar propped in the corner with the initials T.B.
carved into the body.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (perking up)
Do you play guitar?
                                                            
                       CAL
Yep. Harmonica too.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (excitedly)
Mr Perkins can you play the Blues?
                                                            
                       CAL
What else!
                                                            
Leonard's color returns and he throws his mail bag down on
the floor. He picks up the guitar and hands it to the old
man who accepts it, reaches into his pocket for a pick, and
walks outside to the chair on the porch. Leonard follows.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (to the hound dog)
Gonna play a little Blues for our
new postman D.O.G.
                                                            
D.O.G. opened one drooping eye, watched a bit, then closed
his eye and went back to sleep. Cal strummed the guitar and
tapped his right foot to the beat.
                                                            
Leonard sat on the rough porch railing ignoring the
splinters. He was transfixed as he watched the old man play
and witnessed a dreamy,faraway, expression flood into Cal's
eyes.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (singing)
I got to keep on movin
Blues fallin down like hail
I got to keep movin
Blues fallin down like hail
Mmmmm Blues fallin down, fallin
down like hail
And the day keeps on worryin me
there's a hellhound on my
            (MORE)

7.

                       CAL (cont'd)
trail...a hellhound on my
trail...hellhound on my trail
                                                            
Leonard sprang up from the railing.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (beside himself)
That was awesome! Where did you
learn to play like that?
                                                            
                       CAL
      (proudly)
Son I'm a Bluesman.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (astonished)
Robert Johnson wrote that song!
                                                            
                       CAL
      (matter of factly)
He sure nuff did. He died in my
hometown of Greenwood Mississippi.
Folks say he was poisoned by a
jealous woman and died barkin like
a dog.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (continuing)
Mmmm,mmmmm.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (animated)
Did you hear him play?
                                                            
                       CAL
Nope. But my daddy did. Said he
could make a guitar talk. Could
make it sound like three guitars
at the same time.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (plaintively)
I want to play the Blues like
that! I want to be a Bluesman more
than anything in this world.
                                                            
                       CAL
Hey..hey..hey. You cain't never
become a true Bluesman till you
sperience The BluesWarp.
                                                            

8.

                       LEONARD
      (wondrously)
BluesWarp...what's a BluesWarp?
                                                            
                       CAL
      (singing)
Mmmmm, Blues fallin down like hail
Blues fallin down like hail
And the day keeps on worryin me
There's a hellhound on my trail
                                                            
Cal closed his eyes and continued to tap his foot. A smile
and a sly expression crept over his face. Leonard studied
and tried to decipher the old man's mood.
                                                            
Cal stopped playing, leaned down, and scratched D.O.G.
behind the ears. The hound grunted with pleasure.
                                                            
                       CAL
Thought you was in such a hurry to
get back to the post office.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (anxiously)
I got time.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (teasing)
I don't want you gettin in trouble
down at the post office considerin
all the stress you postmen claim
to be under. Don't want none of
that on my conscious.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
Come on Mr Perkins...I've
researched all the Blues Legends.
I don't recall anything about a
BluesWarp Legend.
                                                            
                       CAL
Call me Cal. Hmmmpf! You ain't
gonna find nothin bout the
BluesWarp in no books! It comes
from down deep in your soul!
                                                            
Leonard sat back down on the railing. Fascinated now he was
oblivious to the scorching heat.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (serious)
Member I grew up in the Dirty
South when it was really dirty. I
know all the Legends that never
            (MORE)

9.

                       CAL (cont'd)
made it into books.
                                                            
The old man was silent for a moment appearing to be lost in
memories. Then visibly he shook himself loose of ghosts
from his past.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (sadly)
Believe me son...you cain't never
become a true Bluesman till you
sperience the BluesWarp.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (eagerly)
And just how does one do that?
                                                            
Before Cal could answer a ELLA a tall stout black woman
dressed in a white jogging suit and running shoes marched up
the driveway. Silvery curls peeked out from under her white
straw hat. Leonard judged her to be in her early sixties.
                                                            
                       CAL
What ya got there Ella?
                                                            
Ella carried a large orange tupperware which she handed over
to Cal. D.O.G. raised up and sniffed at the container.
                                                            
                       ELLA
I brought you some lunch. Pork
Chops, Cabbage, and Cornbread.
                                                            
Ella placed her hands on her ample hips and beamed at Cal.
                                                            
                       CAL
This here's my new
postman...what's your name son?
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (standing up)
Leonard...Leonard Silverstein.
Nice to meet you.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (waving her hand)
Oh sit down chile.
                                                            
                       ELLA
It's way too hot to be bothered
with manners. Uncle Cal telling
his Mississippi stories again?
                                                            
Ella glanced at Leonard then Cal.
                                                            

10.

Leonard smiled but said nothing. Cal grunted.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (laughing)
Thought so. Once he gets on that
subject you can't shut him up.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (to Cal)
You going to church with me
Sunday?
                                                            
Cal rolled his eyes Heavenward.
                                                            
                       CAL
Now you know church ain't no place
for an old Bluesman like me.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (fanning herself)
Okay...okay just thought I'd ask.
Never know you might change your
mind.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (grumpily)
This woman always tryin to save my
soul.
                                                            
                       ELLA
Nice meeting you Leonard. Don't
let Uncle Cal keep you out in this
heat too long...person can catch a
heat stroke out here.
                                                            
Ella hugs Cal and hurries down the street. Cal watches her
stride away.
                                                            
                       CAL
Love her like a daughter...she my
only living relative you know.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
Seems like a nice lady.
                                                            
                       CAL
She a widow...need to find her
another husbund so she can make
him go to church wid her.
                                                            

11.

                       LEONARD
      (reminding)
Finish telling me about the
BluesWarp.
                                                            
                       CAL
Where was I?
                                                            
                       LEONARD
You were about to tell how to
experience the BluesWarp.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (sighing)
Oh yeah...only one way to do
that...and it taint easy.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (continuing)
Comes a time in every true
Bluesman's life where he will
suffer pain and grief so deep he
will believe he would rather die
than keep on livin.
                                                            
Leonard hung on every word.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (continuing)
I'm not talkin bout physical
pain...I'm talkin bout the
ultimate agony of the BluesWarp.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (respectfully)
You mean like the slavery of the
Black Race who suffered and as a
result the Blues was born?
                                                            
                       CAL
      (spooky tone)
It goes beyond that...beyond
race...beyond color...beyond
hatred...beyond this world we
know.
                                                            
Leonard stood and paced back and forth on the small porch.
His imagination sparked...his heart began to beat faster.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (earnestly)
Mr Perkins, I've been told I'm a
talented Blues Guitarist...but
there's something I'm missing that
            (MORE)

12.

                       LEONARD (cont'd)
would take me to the next
level...this could be it.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (gruffly)
I done tol you to call me Cal.
                                                            
Cal takes his cap off and fans himself. For the first time
he really listens to what the serious young man is saying.
                                                            
                       CAL
Son stop pacing. You makin me
tired!
                                                            
Leonard abruptly stops. He stares at Cal.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
How do I make it happen?
                                                            
                       CAL
      (resigned)
Happens different for each
one...triggered by pain and grief
down deep in your soul...a power
or force whatever you wanna call
it takes possession and puts you
in a trance...then and only then
will you realize your full
potential as a Bluesman.
                                                            
Cal breathes hard and places one hand over his heart. D.O.G.
sits up, looks at the old man, and whimpers.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (repeating the
       question)
How do I make it happen?
                                                            
Cal has a coughing fit. Leonard waits patiently until it
passed.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (still coughing a
       bit)
You...you will know only when the
time is right...that's all I can
tell you.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (pointedly)
So...Cal have you experienced the
BluesWarp?
                                                            

13.

                       CAL
Does a bear shit in the woods?
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. BLUES 4 U NEIGHBORHOOD BAR & GRILL/EVENING - NIGHT
                                                            
Leonard and Fredo are seated at the bar having a beer. The
place is empty except for a few local patrons.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (sipping his beer)
I met this old Mississippi
Bluesman on my mail route. He
spun me a yarn about a legend
called the BluesWarp.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (skeptically)
You sure he wasn't yanking your
chain. You know how those Vijitos
roll always making up stuff.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (thoughtfully)
Maybe. But, it had a ring of
truth. Reminded me of The Lucid
Dream Theory I researched where
you can make anything happen once
you realize you're dreaming.
                                                            
                       FREDO
Yeah, yeah. You told me about
that when you were looking at new
ways to get to the next level in
your guitar playing.
                                                            
Fredo is listening to Leonard but his attention is really on
the pretty senorita seated at the opposite end of the bar.
He winks at her. She tips her glass to him.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (licking his lips)
She looks good.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
I'm serious man. You know I live,
breathe, and bleed the Blues. This
may be the Omen I've been waiting
for.
                                                            

14.

Leonard shoots Fredo a dirty look as he is still watching
the senorita. Fredo tears his eyes away from the pretty
woman.
                                                            
                       FREDO
I got your back. You find a place
for us to practice and I'll set it
up for the others to join us.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (taking a last sip
       of beer)
My place is too small. The
neighbors will complain.
                                                            
                       FREDO
Maybe the Blues Vijito might know
of someplace, eh?
                                                            
                       LEONARD
He just might...he just might.
                                                            
Leonard gets up and walks toward the door while Fredo eases
over to the senorita and whispers in her ear. Leonard stops
at the door and looks over his shoulder.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
Later Fredo.
                                                            
Fredo is too busy smoozing the lady and does not hear
Leonard who lingers a moment then continues on through the
door.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. ST REST BAPTIST CHURCH/WEST FRESNO/SATURDAY - NIGHT
                                                            
WIDE ANGLE SHOT-White church building with asphalt parking
lot in front. Two huge Elm trees on either side shade the
building. Cal and Ella sit at a picnic table under the
largest tree. D.O.G. rests at Cal's feet.
                                                            
Leonard and his passenger drive up in the his faded blue
Chevy Blazer. He sees Cal and Ella and honks the horn.
Leonard and Fredo exit the car and walk over to the picnic
table. D.O.G. barks hello to Leonard.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (to D.O.G.)
Hey there boy!
                                                            

15.

                       LEONARD
Hi Miss Ella. How you doing today
Cal?
                                                            
Both Ella and Cal smile their hello.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
This is Fredo the Sax man...the
others should be here pretty
quick.
                                                            
                       FREDO
Nice to meet you both.
                                                            
Fredo and Leonard sit down at the table. D.O.G. sniffs at
Fredo suspiciously.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (continuing)
Nice perro...
                                                            
                       LEONARD
Cal I just want you to know how
much I appreciate you vouching for
us to practice here.
                                                            
                       CAL
You can thank Ella for that. This
here her church.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (gratefully)
Miss Ella thank you from the
bottom of my heart.
                                                            
                       ELLA
Understand I'm just opening up...I
ain't sticking around. Uncle Cal
can close up and return the keys
to me.
                                                            
                       CAL
Sure thing baby girl.
                                                            
A black van pulls into the parking lot. Fredo and Leonard
walk over to meet it. Three doors fly open at once. On the
front passenger side TAMARA a petite ginger-brown woman with
a cupie doll face stepped out. Her long corn-row braids
pulled up in a haystack pony tail.
                                                            

16.

                       FREDO
      (lecherously)
Hi Tamara...you looking good as
usual.
                                                            
STICKS a slender young dark skinned black man dressed in a
dashiki and knee length baggy shorts with short ropy
dredlocks giving him the appearance of a present day
Buckwheat climbed from the back seat twirling drumsticks
between fingers of both hands in a blinding blur.
                                                            
                       FREDO
Yo Sticks!
                                                            
                       LITTLE T
      (heckling)
They call you Sticks because
you're so good with those
drumsticks?
                                                            
                       STICKS
      (winks at T)
Naaa...they call me Sticks cause
my mama say I got legs like
sticks.
                                                            
The three laugh loudly while Sticks does a hilarious version
of the Funky Chicken flapping his arms and legs then changes
to a furiously fast version of The Running Man all the while
twirling the drumsticks behind his back and up in the air.
                                                            
BIG Q joined the others watching the spectacle known as
Sticks.
                                                            
                       BIG Q
      (deep voice)
Stop it man..you're killing us!
                                                            
The musicians move over to the picnic table where Leonard
introduces everyone to Cal and Ella. They get acquainted
for a few minutes while Ella opens up the church.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (skeptically)
So this is it? I cain't wait to
see what you boys and fine lady
puttin down.
                                                            
                       ELLA
Can't believe this is the only way
I can get you into church.
                                                            
Ella surveys the group then goes to open the church up.
                                                            

17.

                       CAL
      (feigning
       irritation)
Never you mind that little lady
this is Blues bidness.
                                                            
The musicians giggle and laugh at the statement and go to
the van and Blazer to retrieve their instruments. Q and
Sticks carry T's keyboard and T carries Q' Bass.
                                                            
Ella returns and hands the keys over to Cal.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (warning to Cal)
And don't you take that dog into
the Lord's house either!
                                                            
Ella starts walking away and gets to the end of the parking
lot then turns back to wave.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (continuing)
I mean it about the dog!
                                                            
WIDE ANGLE SHOT-The parking lot was empty except for one
scraggly black alley cat creeping across the still
smoldering asphalt like a panther. The feline's eyes
glittered eerily in the descending heavy veil of the
sweltering Fresno darkness...and he hissed his displeasure.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
 
INT. INSIDE ST REST BAPTIST CHURCH/CONTINUING - NIGHT
                                                            
Cal took a seat in the front pew while D.O.G. settled next
to him on the floor. Leonard and Q tuned their guitars
while Sticks and T set up her keyboard. Fredo blew a few
random notes on his Sax which echoed and bounced back to him
due to the great acoustic climate in the old building.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (pleased)
Alright then!
                                                            
Cal crossed his leg and waited expectantly while the
musicians pushed the podium back and took their places on
the bandstand. Sticks inspected and tested the church's
drum set and found it to be sufficient.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (nervously
       clearing his
       throat)
            (MORE)

18.

                       LEONARD (cont'd)
How about we start with Stormy
Monday...everbody know it?
                                                            
Everyone answered in unison. Leonard sat on a stool with
one long leg stretched out in front of him.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
A one...a two...a three...
                                                            
Leonard began the intro on his Telecaster. Q fell in on his
Bass smooth and effortless. Dark rich riffs complemented
Leonard's playing adding meat to his potatoes. Leonard
closed his eyes and immersed himself in the Blues.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (continuing)
They call it Stormy Monday but
Tuesday's just as bad
I said they call it Stormy Monday
but Tuesday's just as bad
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Leonard's face with eyes tightly closed. His voice
has an uncanny quality to it. Each lyric pregnant with
heartache and pain. If you closed your eyes and listened
you would never know he was NOT black.
                                                            
Cal's eyes grew wide. He sat up straight and uncrossed his
leg leaning forward in the pew.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (continuing)
Wednesday's worse and Thursday's
always sad...yeah...yeah...yeah
                                                            
Fredo knew exactly when to jump in and blew some forlornly
lonesome notes that testified to the heartache of the lyrics
sung by Leonard.
                                                            
Cal stood up from his seat and slapped his thigh. D.O.G.
scrambled up to see what all the commotion was about.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (amazed)
Well I'll be damn...these guys got
somethin...somethin good.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (continuing)
Yeah...the eagle flies on Friday
and Saturday I go out to play
You know the eagle flies on Friday
and Saturday I go out to play
But on Sunday you know that's the
            (MORE)

19.

                       LEONARD (cont'd)
Lord's day I go to church then I
kneel myself right down to pray
                                                            
The musicians shared the same heartbeat and timing. T
pounded the keyboard, Q locked into her wavelength with
Fredo close behind...his sax once again took flight. Sticks
backed them with strong chops. They found the magic and
followed Leonard into pure Blues artistry.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (continuing)
Let's take it on home...Lord have
mercy
Lord have mercy on me...my heart's
in mis-ery cause I'm crazy bout my
baby please send her back home to
me
Send her back ho-me to m-eee.
                                                            
Cal clapped loudly. Leonard kept his eyes closed lost in
the moment. When he opened them he realized everyone was
clapping for him. His face flamed red.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (praising)
Son that was good...real good. I
didn't know you could sing like
that.
                                                            
The others were silent waiting for Leonard's answer.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (continuing)
But why you keep your eys shut
tight like that?
                                                            
                       LEONARD (VO)
      (opening his eyes)
Truth is I imagine myself black.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (continuing)
Habit I guess...a conduit to
channel the Blues.
                                                            
                       CAL
Con-doo-it? You sure can do
it...it's workin. I bleive I'm
gonna start callin you Blind
Leonard...yeah that's it.
                                                            

20.

                       LEONARD
      (sheepishly)
That's alright by me.
                                                            
They jammed late into the night clicking together like five
pieces of a jigsaw puzzle powered by one heart and one mind.
Five musicians entered St Rest Baptist Church that night but
The Blue Collar Bluesmen emerged.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. WEST FRESNO/CAL'S FRONT PORCH/TWO WEEKS LATER - DAY
                                                            
The floorboards on Cal's porch squeaked under Leonard's
weight. He shifted his body and leaned against a post. Cal
sat in his chair wiping his face with a hanker chief. D.O.G.
was in his usual spot.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
So you wouldn't mind sitting in
with the band sometime and showing
us a few tricks?
                                                            
                       CAL
wouldn't mind atall...you youngins
may need some musical direction
now and then.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
I'd appreciate it.
                                                            
The two were distracted by a loud commotion. Two small
black boys barreled up the driveway on their Big Wheels and
screeched to a halt inches from Cal's bottom step.
                                                            
                       OLDER BOY
Hi Mr Postman. Hi Mr Cal. Where's
D.O.G.?
                                                            
                       CAL
He right here.
                                                            
                       YOUNGER BOY
Can we play wid him?
                                                            
Leonard watched the old man and boys amused by the
comparison.
                                                            
                       YOUNGER BOY
      (disappointed)
Oh...
                                                            

21.

                       CAL
      (chuckling)
Fraid not. D.O.G. is an old hound
got to have his rest just like me.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (still chuckling)
Little devils. What's on your mind
son?
                                                            
The boys made a U turn in their Big Wheels and rocketed back
the way they came wheels clacking in the distance.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (tentatively)
I'm a Little worried...my hands
have been getting numb and
tingling lately when I play.
                                                            
                       CAL
Maybe you over doin it...cut back
some.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
It's my therapy. I love it. It
calms me.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (assuring)
Take it easy. You boys are good
and I mean that from my heart. I
know what I'm talkin bout.
                                                            
Leonard considers Cal's advice as he lifts his mailbag over
his shoulder and cringes in his sweat drenched uniform
shirt.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
Yuck! Can't wait to get home and
take a cold shower. See you
tonight at St Rest's.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Cal fans himself with his cap then shakes his head
slowly back and forth and watches Leonard walk away in the
unforgiving mid-day heat.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. INSIDE ST.REST BAPTIST CHURCH/EVENING - NIGHT
                                                            
All the band members are in attendance. Cal is dressed in
white undershirt,khakis,and suspenders. D.O.G. is at his

22.

side.
Word has gotten around and now there's a crowd every
Saturday night during their practice sessions.
                                                            
                       LITTLE T
      (to Leonard)
You look beat. You work too hard.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
Anyone who works for the P.O.
works too hard.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (continuing)
I have a question for everyone.
Why do you suppose that no one
else can sing the Blues the way
black people can?
                                                            
                       LITTLE T
      (thoughtfully)
No other people on this planet
have suffered the way my people
have.
                                                            
                       STICKS
That's how the Blues was born my
man!
                                                            
Sticks looked around at the others moving his thick black
eyebrows up and down Groucho Marx style.
                                                            
                       BIG Q
Hey now...that can apply to other
races. The Japanese have their
version of the Blues.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (singing)
Don't forget the Mexicans. La
Cuc..ca...racha. La
cuc...ca...racha.
                                                            
Leonard shot Fredo a dirty look. Cal listened to the
conversation with no comment. The Dog Pound section of the
crowd listened closely to the debate and began to bark and
hoot.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (making a point)
Let's not forget the Jews who
suffered through the
Holocaust...they have reason to
            (MORE)

23.

                       LEONARD (cont'd)
sing the Blues too.
                                                            
                       STICKS
Hold up...what about the white
people?
                                                            
Every one turned their attention to Q who surrendered with
both hands in the air.
                                                            
                       STICKS
Now you know they the ones gave
everybody else the Blues in the
first place!
                                                            
Everyone including the crowd broke into laughter that rocked
the church to its beams.
                                                            
                       BIG Q
      (laughing)
What can I say...guilty as
charged.
                                                            
After the laughter died down Cal blew a few notes on his
harmonica. The righteous blues notes surrounded him and
echoed off the walls and ceilings.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (solemnly)
Blind Leonard I know what you
askin. Truth be told I don't
blieve there's another race on
this earth coulda endured what the
Black race did and not die out.
                                                            
Cal blew more soulful notes. A hush fell over the church.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (continuing)
We was ripped from our Homeland.
Stripped of all humanity and
dignity...face it...reduced to
animal status.
                                                            
Hand clapping and Amens came from the crowd. A
Sunday-go-to-meeting atmosphere prevails.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (continuing)
Blues was a part of our survival
instinct. It comes from our souls
our very DNA. We don't have to
learn it...we born wid it.
                                                            

24.

Cal ends his dialogue with a Stevie Wonder type riff on his
harmonica. The speech struck a chord with everyone but
wounded Leonard who compensated by making a show of tuning
his guitar.
                                                            
The silence was overwhelming until Q launched into a mixture
of Peter Gunn and Batman laced with heavy blues riffs. T
fell in with her funkifized keyboard. The crowd went wild.
                                                            
A tall older black gentleman dressed in a suit walked down
the aisle and made his way over to Cal. The two men talked
for a moment then shook hands and the man left. Cal took
his place on a stool next to the bandstand. He gave Leonard
the nod.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Leonard and Cal sat next to each other. Their close
bond obvious to all.
                                                            
TBCB launched into The Thrill Is Gone and the crowded church
went wild. People stood up and danced in the aisles and
sang along.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. OUTSIDE ST. REST BAPTIST CHURCH/MIDNIGHT - NIGHT
                                                            
MUCH LATER THAT NIGHT
                                                            
Leonard opened his back door so D.O.G. could jump in. The
hound couldn't quite make it so Leonard gave him a little
boost while Cal locked up the church. Jingling the keys in
his pocket Cal met Leonard at the Blazer and slapped him on
the back.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (happily)
Best time I had in a long time. We
killed in there! Crowd loved it.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (concerned)
About that...Miss Ella is not
going to like us turning her
church into a Blues Club.
                                                            
                       CAL
What she don't know cain't hurt
her.
                                                            

25.

                       LEONARD
      (incredulous)
Do you really think she hasn't
heard what goes on here?
                                                            
                       CAL
      (smiling)
Long's pastor gets his cut ain't
gonna be no problem.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (unbelieving)
You're charging people money to
see us practice?
                                                            
                       CAL
Pastor don't consider Blues the
Devil's music long's he gets his.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (nervous)
I sure hope Miss Ella does not get
mad at me.
                                                            
Leonard climbs behind the wheel and Cal climbs into the
passenger seat. Leonard is silent as he still can't believe
Cal is charging admission to the church. Cal hums happily to
himself.
                                                            
                       CAL
By the way Pastor say he can get
you a gig at a local club. You
decided on a name for the band
yet?
                                                            
                       LEONARD
Yeah...The Blue Collar Bluesmen.
                                                            
                       CAL
Guess that'll do. Anyway you can
cut your teeth at this
club...pretty hardcore tho.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
      (curious)
Oh? What's the name of the club?
                                                            
                       CAL
Jerico.
                                                            
Leonard pulled the Blazer into Cal's driveway. Cal hopped
out and opened the door for D.O.G. The hound bounded for
the porch.
                                                            

26.

                       LEONARD
Is it new? I never heard of it.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (hurriedly)
Been around a long time. I'll tell
you more about it later.
                                                            
Cal rushed into the house without looking back.
                                                            
                       LEONARD (VO)
Hmmm...now that was strange.
                                                            
Leonard slowly backed the Blazer out of the driveway and
headed home.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. OUTSIDE JERICO NIGHTCLUB/FRONT VIEW - NIGHT
                                                            
Leonard's Blazer and Q's black van pull up in front of The
Jerico Nightclub. Leonard, Cal, and Fredo exit the Blazer
and walk over to the van.
                                                            
WIDE ANGLE SHOT-The club is a whitewashed stucco building
that was once a grocery store. Above the door painted in
large ragged red letters read JERICO. Underneath in smaller
letters was 'AND THE WALLS CAME TUMBLING DOWN.'
                                                            
                       BIG Q
      (to Leonard)
What kind of place is this?
                                                            
Leonard shrugged his shoulders and shot Fredo the be quiet
look.
                                                            
                       CAL
It's alright. I know the owner. I
got the keys to open up. Go ahead
and unload.
                                                            
Q, Sticks, and T get out of the van shooting each other
worried looks. They busied themselves unloading the
instruments while Cal opened the front door to the club.
                                                            
                       STICKS
Mr Cal I ain't gonna get cut in
here am I?
                                                            
Cal stopped and turned around to look at Sticks.
                                                            

27.

                       CAL
      (irritated)
Ain't no Bluesman scared of gettin
cut. I thought you was the Blue
Collar Bluesmen?
                                                            
                       STICKS
      (dramatically)
I'm too young to die!
                                                            
INSIDE CLUB JERICO
                                                            
The BCB entered trough the door and headed for what served
as a bandstand. T had on high heels and almost tripped on a
loose floor tile. Sticks' caterpillar eyebrows were at the
top of his forehead as his eyes took in the shabby exterior.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (disgusted)
What a dive!
                                                            
                       CAL
      (to Fredo)
You got's to pay your dues if you
wanna play the Blues.
                                                            
The BCB set up and soon patrons began drifting in. Leonard
was quiet making a big production of tuning his guitar. He
had monster butterflies.
                                                            
                       BIG Q
      (whispering)
Sticks, locate the exit in case we
have to bail.
                                                            
Sticks stuck his drumsticks in his back pocket and
nonchalantly walked towards the back of the building
whistling to himself. He kicked at the hard packed dirt
floor and checked out a fist sized hole in the wall by
sticking in his hand to measure.
                                                            
                       CAL
Got a little somethin for the
nerves.
                                                            
Cal pulled out a small silver flask and passed it around.
Everyone took a swig as Sticks returned and whispered to Q.
Cal offered the flask to Sticks who declined.
                                                            
                       STICKS
      (pulls out a joint)
Naaaa...I got my own.
                                                            

28.

Jerico was quickly filling up with the Saturday night
juke-joint crowd. It got hot and noisy. Clouds of smoke
hung low near the ceiling. The air was stale and musty.
                                                            
MR WILLIE a fat man with a Don King haircut smoking a big
brown nasty cigar walked in and went behind the bar made
himself a drink and took a sip. He spotted Cal and the BCB
and ambled over to them shaking Cal's hand.
                                                            
                       MR WILLIE
Glad to see you made it! This the
band you tol me bout?
                                                            
The bug-eyed geezer watched T lecherously.
                                                            
                       CAL
This is them and they is good!
                                                            
                       MR WILLIE
Alright then. I'll go head and
introduce em.
                                                            
Mr Willie waddled up to the mike.
                                                            
                       MR WILLIE
      (continuing)
Evenin folks...we got a treat for
you tonight...please welcome...
                                                            
Mr Willie looks at Cal who's dressed in a sharp maroon suit
and burgundy brim and walks over and whispers the name to
him.
                                                            
                       MR WILLIE
      (continuing)
The Blue Collar Bluesmen!
                                                            
Mr Willie exited the bandstand. The noise level in the club
lowered a bit. Leonard cleared his throat and stood in
front of the mike.
                                                            
                       LEONARD
We are the Blue Collar Bluesmen
and we're so happy to be here
tonight!
                                                            
Sticks, Fredo, T, and Q were anxiously looking around. Cal
stood off to the side with his flask.
                                                            

29.

                       LEONARD
      (continuing)
On drums Sticks Taylor...Fredo
Moon on sax...Big Q on bass...and
Little T on keyboards and harp.
                                                            
                       DRUNKEN MALE VOICE (OS)
Cain't no woman play no Blues
Harp...what Little T stand for
anyway...little titties?
                                                            
Loud obnoxious laughter, barks and hoots follow; men and
women alike. Leonard cringed and steals a look at T who had
fire in her eyes and was fuming. He then stole a glance at
Cal who stood by silent and stoic. Leonard forged ahead.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (confidently)
No-sir-ee! T stands for TALENT!
You will hear and see for
yourself!
                                                            
Q launched into Funky Blues Batman and the others fell right
in.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (continuing)
And me I'm Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       DRUNKEN FEMALE VOICE (OS)
Ya dosen't look blind to me ba-by.
Ha...ha...ha...I can make you see
the light for sure!
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Blind Leonard cheeks redden with embarrassment. A
twinkle glitters in his green eyes and confidence shines
through lighting up his homely yet handsome face.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
No maam...just blinded by the
Blues. Hit it T!
                                                            
T stepped out from behind her keyboard and lifted the
harmonica to her plump red lips and played a funky scale.
Her fingers slid expertly up and down the harp. Cal grabbed
a stool and sat next to Blind Leonard on the bandstand with
his guitar.
                                                            
                       CAL
Let's show em what we got Blind
Leonard!
                                                            

30.

T's lips caressed the harmonica coaxing sexy raunchy sounds
from it. Soulful notes floated out over the crowd and
bathed them in the essence of the Blues. Now they had their
audience's attention.
                                                            
Twirling his drumsticks in the air and behind his head
Sticks delivered some hellacious beats on his drums and even
threw in some bongo. Fredo blew some sassy notes heavy
with the Blues vibe.
                                                            
                       RASPY VOICE (OS)
      (croaking)
Hey That's Walkin' Blues!
                                                            
T held them in her power. Ripe full notes kept coming. She
worked the crowd into a frenzy. Her cupie doll face
glistened with perspiration. Her black dress now glued to
her body with sweat.
                                                            
Blind Leonard accompanied by Cal played the first bars of
the song backed by BCB.
                                                            
                       CAL
      (mellow rich blues
       voice)
Woke up this mornin met the Blues
walkin like a man
Woke up this mornin met the Blues
walkin like a man
                                                            
The audience becomes energized as Blind Leonard joins in.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (eyes closed)
I said worried Blues give me your
right hand
I said worried Blues why don't you
give me your right haa-aand
                                                            
                       RASPY VOICE
That white boy can saang!
                                                            
WIDE ANGLE SHOT-A plump woman hopped up from her chair and
did a sanctified dance rocking up and down first on her toes
and then her heels.

She capered around in a circle arms flapping head bobbing up
and down.

AMENS and RIGHT ON'S shouts could be heard from the hyped up
crowd.
                                                            

31.

Cal, Blind Leonard and the BCB blazed through the next two
sets exhilarated in the knowledge that this performance was
their baptism of fire.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. COLLAGE/TCB AT VARIOUS NIGHT CLUBS IN FRESNO - NIGHT
                                                            
The BCB with Blind Leonard and Cal played at all the well
known Blues Venues such as The Wild Blue Yonder, Club Fred,
and other community functions. The unique Blues band with
the old Mississippi Bluesman and hot female
harmonica-keyboardist built a strong following in the area
and beyond.

A local news channel interested in the colorful mix of
musicians did a story on the band that was picked up
nationally and they started getting calls from people in the
music industry.

The BCB were on their way.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. WEST FRESNO/CAL'S PORCH/3 MONTHS LATER - DAY
                                                            
Blind Leonard bounds up the steps to find Ella sitting in
Cal's usual spot with D.O.G. at her feet. Her eyes are red
and swollen.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (afraid)
Miss Ella what's wrong?
                                                            
                       ELLA
Uncle Cal...he's gone.
                                                            
Ella hugs herself while D.O.G. whimpers. Blind Leonard
steels himself.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
Gone where?
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (softly)
He died in his sleep.
                                                            
Blind Leonard went down on his knees.
                                                            

32.

                       BLIND LEONARD
      (distraught)
No...no...it can't be!
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (continuing)
I wanted to tell you in
person...didn't want you to find
out from somebody else. Uncle Cal
is at peace now...and he was
happy.
                                                            
Ella places a hand on Blind Leonard's arm and gazes at the
young man before her.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (sniffling)
You and your band made his last
days happy ones. I thank you for
that.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (sobbing)
I can't believe he's gone...it
can't be!
                                                            
Ella stands and pulls Blind Leonard to his feet. She looks
solemnly into his green eyes.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (continuing)
Why...why now when we are on our
way?
                                                            
                       ELLA
It was his time...the Lord called
him home.
                                                            
Blind Leonard chokes back sobs and tries to digest Ella's
words. He looks a mess in his crumpled uniform.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (concerned)
I'm worried about you too. Look
how your uniform is bagging off
you. How much weight have you
lost?
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (mumbling)
Don't know...don't care.
                                                            

33.

                       ELLA
      (scolding)
Well I care and Uncle Cal would
have cared. Take care of yourself
before you get sick.
                                                            
Blind Leonard stares into space.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (continuing)
Give me your phone number and I'll
call you about the services.
                                                            
Blind Leonard numbly scribbles his phone number on the back
of a letter he was delivering to Cal and with trembling
hands gives it to Ella.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. BLIND LEONARD'S LIVING ROOM/TWO WEEKS LATER - DAY
                                                            
EARLY EVENING HOURS
                                                            
Blind Leonard slouches over the dark green leather couch.
His long arms and legs spread akimbo. He is a picture of
grief as images of his old friend Cal float thorough his
thoughts.

The TV is on and he half listens to Jimmy Carter's latest
speech.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
      (choking back a
       sob)
You been gone a week but I swear I
miss you a year's worth of lonely.
                                                            
Blind Leonard could clearly see the feisty old black man
with crinkly gray hair wise in his old age and now gone from
this earth.
                                                            
He picked up a photo of the BCB from the table and studied
it.

CLOSE UP-There they all were; Cal with his guitar and a big
smile creasing his face mischief dancing in his eyes. He
stood in back of Cal with his arm fondly around the old
Bluesman's shoulder.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Damn those were good times!
                                                            

34.

Blind Leonard sighed deeply and walked to his kitchen.
Through the window he watched D.O.G. in his back yard. He
feared the hound would pine away because he too missed Cal
so much. He opened the door and let the dog inside.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (to D.O.G.)
You miss him too don't you old
man?
                                                            
D.O.G. looked up at blind Leonard with sad eyes and thumped
his tail half-heartedly. Cal's guitar now propped in the
corner of his living room caught Blind Leonard's attention.
He recalled The BluesWarp Legend.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
Dammit! Why'd he have to leave me!
                                                            
Blind Leonard found his Telecaster and stroked the shiny red
body drawing comfort from it. He plugged it in and began
playing every Blues song he knew trying to erase Cal's death
from his mind.
                                                            
Soon he lost track of all time. Every nerve in his body felt
raw and exposed. His mind, heart, and soul melded with his
guitar...they became ONE.
                                                            
Blind Leonard's skin tingled, the hair on the back of his
neck stood at attention. His fingers were on fire; red and
blue sparks flew from his fingernails.
                                                            
An electric current started at the top of his head flashed
in his brain and jolted his chest. The smell of ozone
invaded his nostrils.
                                                            
Lightening exploded in the pit of his stomach scorched his
groin and drained through his feet and toes.

D.O.G. howled to high heaven.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. DUSTY DESERTED COUNTRY ROAD/EVENING - DAY
                                                            
DUSK
                                                            
Blind Leonard looked left then right. As far as the eye
could see were miles and miles of beautiful green cotton
fields. He breathed in the fresh country air.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
My body feels so different.
                                                            

35.

Taking long strides arms pumping he felt the guitar strung
over his shoulder knocking against his back. Glancing down
at his hands he saw long dark fingers.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (excited)
Hah! I did it! I don't know how
but I actually did it!
                                                            
He did a James Brown in the middle of the road kicking up
dust.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (singing)
I feel good! I feeel good! So
good! So good!
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
I don't where I am but it damn
sure ain't Fresno.
                                                            
Hearing a rumbling Blind Leonard turns to see a battered old
flatbed truck rolling up behind him leaving a cloud of dust
in its wake. His heart sped up and panic gripped him as he
recalled stories of Klan Lynchings.
                                                            
                                         PAN TO:
                                                            
A man's friendly black face appears through the driver's
window of the truck.

A women sat next to him holding a fat baby. The couple
recognized Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       BLACK MAN IN TRUCK
      (motions to the
       flatbed)
Hey Preacher Man! You wanna a
ride? Hop on in the back.
                                                            
Blind Leonard took his strapped guitar off his shoulder and
gladly hopped onto the back of the truck. He leaned bak
against the cab and stretched out his long legs.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
This guy called me Preacher Man.
Cal told me his best friend's name
was Preacher Man.
                                                            
The truck chugged along while Blind Leonard watched the
landscape of rundown shacks and ragged children both black
and white who played happily in the dirt. The children
waved to Blind Leonard but PREACHER MAN waved back.
                                                            

36.

                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
I know I'm in The South but where
exactly?
                                                            
The truck passed a black and white highway sign.

CLOSE UP: Sign-Greenwood 10 Miles.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
      (sighs)
I'm finally going home.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. COUNTRY STORE IN GREENWOOD/CONTINUING - NIGHT
                                                            
INSIDE THE COUNTRY STORE
                                                            
Overcome with an all consuming thirst Blind Leonard walked
into the store and looked for a cooler. He was struck by
how old and just plain shabby everything looked. The black
man behind the cash register nodded hello.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
I must be dehydrated...I can't
remember ever being this thirsty
in my life.
                                                            
Finally locating the old cooler he flipped up the top door
and fished out a Coke in an old fashioned bottle. A bottle
opener hung on the wall so he opened the Coke and drank it
down in one long gulp then walked to the counter to pay.
                                                            
                       MAN BEHIND CASH REGISTER
That's on the house...you playin
at the dance tonight Preach?
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Behind the cash register a rectangular mirror
covered the length of the wall. Blind Leonard glimpsed his
reflection as he was about to answer the man. He blinked
repeatedly at the image.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (distracted)
Wh..what were you asking?
                                                            
Astonished Blind Leonard could not tear his eyes away from
the mirror's reflection. Gone was the long curly black
hair, close set green eyes, and large nose. The face that
stared back was the handsome ebony face of Preacher Man.
                                                            

37.

                       MAN BEHIND CASH REGISTER
      (concerned)
You alright? You sound kinda
funny.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
Just tired's all. What did you ask
me?
                                                            
The man pointed to the calendar next to the register.
                                                            
                       MAN BEHIND CASH REGISTER
      (reminding)
Tonight's the FireCracker Dance.
Everbody will be there.
                                                            
Blind Leonard studied the calendar and saw the month and
year of July 1941. After quick calculations he realized Cal
was twenty-four years old that year. Still thirsty he asked
the man if he could fill the Coke bottle with water. The man
was happy to oblige.
                                                            
                       MAN BEHIND CASH REGISTER
      (continuing)
See ya tonight.
                                                            
Blind Leonard ventured out to the street and walked. There
was not much to see except shacks and dirt streets. Everyone
he passed nodded as if they knew him. He strolled along
hoping to find the dance.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Has to be close around here. This
town isn't that big.
                                                            
Strains of Blues wafted through the early evening air. Blind
Leonard's body picked up the vibrations like a tuning fork.
The lusty throbbing beat drew him like a magnet in the right
direction.
                                                            
He followed the soulful sounds to a decrepit barn of a
building.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
A few old raggedy cars and trucks were parked in front.
Rough looking men were shooting dice off to the side while a
group of fast women looked on.
                                                            
Blind Leonard slipped through a side entrance and moved
through the crowd. He noticed most of the men inside were
dressed in worn patched work clothing. Looking down at his
own clothes he saw he was dressed in a finer quality...all

38.

black...Bluesman garb.

He waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
I made the BluesWarp happen...I
made it happen!
                                                            
Through the smoke filled haze Blind Leonard saw a makeshift
bandstand at the rear of the building and beelined for it.
Halfway there his path was blocked by LETTIE a pretty
big-eyed very pregnant woman.
                                                            
                       LETTIE
      (hands on hips)
Troy Butler! Where you been? Bet
you was with that floozie Ora Mae!
                                                            
Blind Leonard gawked at the woman. She was addressing him
but he had no idea who she was or what she was talking
about. He played it by ear and said nothing.
                                                            
                       LETTIE
      (continuing)
You know I worry bout my lil
brother!
                                                            
Lettie's huge stomach prevented her from hugging Blind
Leonard tight. He felt a pang of regret because he already
knew her fate.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (changing the
       subject)
Where is Cal anyway?
                                                            
                       LETTIE
He on his way had to change outta
his work clothes.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
I need to talk to him.
                                                            
                       LETTIE
Bout what? You shoulda came round
earlier Mama wanted to see you.
                                                            
Not knowing how to reply Blind Leonard ignored the question
and comment. Hurriedly he made his way over to the
bandstand and took his place among the other musicians.

Once again he made a big production of tuning his guitar

39.

which he now noticed had the initials T.B. carved into the
wooden body.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
I get it now...Troy
Butler...Preacher Man is Cal's
brother-in-law.
                                                            
Blind Leonard as Preacher Man easily blended in with the
band. He somehow knew most of the songs and the ones he
didn't he faked his way through by improvising...easy to do
when playing the Blues.

Soon he saw a tall muscular brown man walk up and hug
Lettie. The man lovingly patted her swollen stomach and
Lettie whispered in his ear. YOUNG CAL waved to Preacher Man
and Blind Leonard waved back.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
I would know my old friend
anywhere! Please God let me stay
in this dream or BluesWarp or
whatever it is forever!
                                                            
The band was awesome. They played old standards and
improvised as they went. Blind Leonard belonged. He
couldn't take his eyes off Cal and Lettie.

Now he saw Cal walking towards him...his heart was about to
beat right out of his chest.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
I've been given a second chance.
                                                            
The band took a break as Blind Leonard/Preacher Man went
through the parody of tuning the guitar with T.B. carved
into it. He knew he was grinning but he just couldn't stop.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Why you grinnin like a simpleton?
                                                            
Young Cal pulls out a red harmonica and plays the scale then
steps onto the stage watching Blind Leonard/Preacher Man
closely.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (almost beside
       himself)
J...just glad to see you Cal!
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (serious)
Boy you is actin stranger and
stranger all the time. You sure
            (MORE)

40.

                       YOUNG CAL (cont'd)
some gal ain't put some roots or
hoodoo on ya?
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
Nope...nothing like that.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Well then Preach you ready to turn
this place out?
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (ecstatic)
Yes-sir-ee!
                                                            
Young Cal continued to eye Blind Leonard/Preacher Man
curiously as the band launched into the song Down In
Mississippi which caused a frenzy on the dance floor.
                                                            
Men and women shimmied and shook across the hard packed dirt
floor. Dust clouds rose like fog casting an eerie slow
motion ghost-like quality to the revelers who also appeared
to sometimes float.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Ghost Dancers in Mississippi...
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man, Cal, and the band played fast
and furious foot-stomping music all night long.
                                                            
Mississippi Delta Dawn was just breaking as Cal, Lettie, and
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man walked wearily but happily home
together. Their shack was not far from the dance along a
winding dirt road.

All the shacks looked identical with outhouses in the back.
Lettie walked slowly in the middle with Cal on one side and
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man on the other.

The roosters crowed joyously welcoming the threesome home.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. CAL AND LETTIE'S SHACK/CONTINUING - NIGHT
                                                            
EARLY MORNING HOURS
                                                            
Blind Leonard was unprepared for the poverty and squalor of
black people in 1941 Mississippi. Eyes wide he blinked
repeatedly. He tried to hide his shock as he stepped into
the two room shotgun shack behind Cal and Lettie.
                                                            

41.

                                         PAN TO:
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Bare plank floors where you could see through to
the ground underneath, a shaky wooden table, and four box
crates for chairs. Food was stored in a rusty ice chest and
an old black pot-bellied stove was used for cooking and
warmth.
                                                            
In stark contrast the place was neat as a pin in all its
shabbiness. Cal unfolded an old army cot and an exhausted
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man lay down to sleep.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Does one sleep inside a
dream...will I wake up back in
Fresno...
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
THE NEXT MORNING
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man's sleep is disturbed by a
sound...insistent the tinkling noise nudges him from
slumber. Muffled voices further rouse him. He opened his
eyes to see Lettie hovering over him.
                                                            
                       LETTIE
Want some breakfast?
                                                            
Lettie eyes PreacherMan lovingly.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man stretched out his long arms and
legs yawning widely as he looked around his surroundings
groggily.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (sitting up)
I could eat something but I really
need some water. Can't seem to
quench this thirst of mine.
                                                            
                       LETTIE
      (scolding)
You need to eat more...you gonna
dry up and blow away!
                                                            
Preacher Man/Blind Leonard sat up showing his smooth brown
chest and heard the tinkling sound again. With Lettie's
every movement the sound got louder. Blind Leonard/Preacher
Man spied a silver bell around Lettie's neck. It tinkled
beautifully.
                                                            

42.

                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (curious)
Where'd you get that bell?
                                                            
The bell was silver pewter and looked expensive, so did the
chain.
                                                            
                       LETTIE
Stop playin!You gave it to me when
we was lil kids...made me wear it
always so's you'd know where I
was.
Said you found it...
                                                            
The last sentence was laced with heavy skepticism.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (lying)
Oh yeah...now I remember.
                                                            
Young Cal came into the room wearing a dress shirt and clean
work pants. Tall muscular and handsome he stood in back of
Lettie and wrapped his strong arms around her big belly and
all.
                                                            
Preacher Man/Blind Leonard sighed as he looked at them and
sensed the bond between Troy and Lettie and the great love
of his sister and his best friend.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Gettin close to her time.
                                                            
Young Cal nuzzles Lettie's neck.
                                                            
                       LETTIE
Mama Rosie will be with me. You
know our daddy don't want Mama
coming round here.
                                                            
Lettie leans back into Cal.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (angrily)
Bad enough he disown his own son
cause he chose to play 'the
Devil's Music' and become a
Bluesman...
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man feels sad for Lettie and his new
old friend Young Cal. He felt a pang in his heart for the
ill fated couple.
                                                            

43.

                       YOUNG CAL
      (continuing)
How can a man of God disown his
sweet daughter cause she married a
Bluesman?
                                                            
The question hung heavy in the air.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
IN THE BACK ROOM/LATER THAT EVENING
                                                            
Preacher Man/Blind Leonard is shaving using a pan for a
basin and a wall mirror. He's still getting used to his new
appearance and can't help staring at himself in the glass.

He's about the same height but with broad shoulders and a
slim waist. Funny how he was comfortable in Preacher Man's
body.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (glued to the
       mirror)
Cal have you ever regretted
marrying Lettie?
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL (OS)
Hell NO! She the best thing ever
happen to me.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man stared closer at his light brown
eyes,full sensuous lips, dimples, and white teeth.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Had no idea Preacher Man was a
pretty boy...works for me.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man turns his back and checks out his
butt in the mirror then begins shaving the stubble from his
face with smooth strokes of the razor.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL (OS)
Just wish I could make a better
life for her. My job on the levee
is back breakin work and we barely
get by.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man listened to Young Call intently.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
I don't know how you do it man.
                                                            

44.

PreacherMan taps the razor on the basin knocking off the
excess hair from the blade.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL (OS)
Truth be tol I'd rather do it than
be a sharecropper...it's plain
robbery what they do them
folks...forty or fifty dollars for
a whole years work!
                                                            
Young Cal poked his head into the room to see what Preacher
Man was up to.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (continuing)
White man got a saying all a
sharecropper need is a cotton
patch and a corn cob...damn shame.
                                                            
Young Cal hits the wall with his fist. Preacher Man/Blind
Leonard washes and dries off then runs his hand over a now
smooth face.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Cal must really love Lettie to
have basically given up his music
to work on the levees.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
My one and only regret is that
cause of me your daddy won't have
nothin to do with my Lettie.
                                                            
Young Cal walks out of the room. Leaving Blind
Leonard/Preacher Man thinking about what he'd just shared
with him.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (winging it)
Cal I can take some of the blame
for that...he wanted me to follow
in his footsteps...he's a bitter
man.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL (OS)
I preciate just havin you round
makes it easier for Lettie you
know.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
I plan on sticking around for a
long long time.
                                                            

45.

                       YOUNG CAL (OS)
      (warning)
If that so you best stay clear of
that Ora Mae...hear tell her old
man gettin out soon.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Cal I can take care of myself.
                                                            
                                         PAN TO:
                                                            
The front door flies open and HERMIE a ragamuffin of a child
bursts into the front room of the shack. He's barefoot and
his pants have patches on both knees.

Preacher Man/Blind Leonard walks into the room and the boy
actually sees Blind Leonard and waves his hand shyly in
greeting.
                                                            
                       HERMIE
      (explaining)
I come to stay with Miss Lettie
while you mens go to the party.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
That so?
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man fishes around for a nickel in his
pants pocket gives it to the boy and pats him on the head.
Hermie does a happy dance-jig around the floor.
                                                            
                       HERMIE
Thank you mister! Im'a give this
to my Granny to buy us some food.
                                                            
Lettie comes in and offers Hermie a biscuit drenched in
homemade syrup. The child gobbles it down while syrup
dripped from his chin. Licking each and every brown finger
he watched Lettie with adoring eyes that childhood would
never forget.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
About that thing we was talkin
bout...all I'm sayin is watch
yoself.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. LARGE NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE WITH A PORCH - NIGHT
                                                            
WIDE ANGLE SHOT-Young and old couples sat on the porch
drinking whisky and enjoying the cool fragrant country air

46.

which acted as an aphrodisiac on Blind Leonard.

The pretty black women had hunger in their eyes and tried to
catch Preacher Man's attention...Blind Leonard/Preacher man
did notice them and felt his nature rise.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (tugging Blind
       Leonard's sleeve)
Save that for later.
                                                            
The two friends dressed in their Saturday night best pushed
through the crowd until they heard someone bellow out Young
Cal's name. Both turned in the direction of the shouting.
                                                            
                                         PAN TO:
                                                            
CLOSE UP-BISCUIT HEAD BENNETT a gigantic man with massive
shoulders and legs like tree trunks moved toward them. Atop
a neck as thick as a lamp post rested a huge round head. The
man smiled showing square white teeth that contrasted
sharply with skin so black it appeared blue.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (surprised)
I'll be damn! Biscuit Head
Bennett!
                                                            
The two friends slapped each other on the back while
Preacher Man/Blind Leonard looked on and a pretty woman
pressed her ample breasts against his back as she pushed
past in the crowded house. Again Blind Leonard felt his
nature rise.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (continuing)
Preach this here a old friend of
mine...Biscuit Head Bennett.
                                                            
Blind Leonard's attention was on the woman with the nice
breasts.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (absently)
Nice to meet you.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (scanning the
       crowd)
Glad I run into you fore I headed
back out to Clarksdale.
                                                            

47.

                       YOUNG CAL
Where you stayin?
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
Sleepin on the floor at my
Auntie's. How's that wife of
yourn?
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Gettin ready to have our first
youngin any day now. You gotta
come by and say hello fore you
leave here.
                                                            
The three pushed their way through to the bandstand and
joined in. Blind Leonard payed close attention to the
musician's style. He was mesmerized by an old man called
Shortie who used a broken bottle neck to play his guitar
with the same slide technique Old Cal had shown him in his
other life.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
This is the real essence of the
Blues.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-The old man's gnarled hands fingered the chords as
veins stood out like road maps. He used the bottle-neck
slide with amazing speed and dexterity. Leathery fingers
never let the bottle-neck slide rest. Blind Leonard took
note.
                                                            
A young man loitered near the bandstand nervously fingering
a tarnished harmonica. When the band stopped for a break he
hesitantly approached Shortie.
                                                            
                       JUICE JOHNSON
      (hopefully)
Sir...I was wonderin if I could
sit in with the band...I play harp
pretty good.
                                                            
                       SHORTIE
What's your name and where'd you
learn to play?
                                                            
                       JUICE JOHNSON
Juice Johnson...friend of my Pa
name Sonny Boy. He say I got a
good feel for it.
                                                            
The young man stroked his harmonica nervously.
                                                            

48.

                       SHORTIE
You know 'I Been Dealin With The
Devil'?
                                                            
Without answering Juice blew some train sounds to warm up,
stopped then raised the harmonica again to his lips.

Mournful melancholy notes escaped his harp. He lowered the
harmonica and his plaintive voice sang lyrics evoking all
the sadness, pain, and despair he'd experienced in his young
life. The musicians fell in soulfully behind him.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
How can I convey that kind of
sorrow? I've never suffered the
way these people have.
                                                            
Juice played on. The crowd grew quiet. Many had their eyes
closed and swayed back and forth. A lump formed in Blind
Leonard's throat. He swallowed hard.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
I'm an outsider...I'm experiencing
the Blues but then what? Can I be
satisfied with just seeing Cal
again...will I ever be worthy?
                                                            
The crowd opened up just enough to let a small frantic child
through to the bandstand. Blind Leonard recognized the boy
in an instant and froze where he stood.
                                                            
                       HERMIE
Mr Cal! Mr Cal! Mama Rosie say for
you come quick!
                                                            
Hermie tugged at Cal's pant-leg to get his attention. Young
Cal lept from the bandstand feet hardly touching the floor
and was out of sight before Blind Leonard and Hermie made it
to the porch. Hermie had tears streaming down his face as
he tried his best to keep up with Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       HERMIE
      (breathing hard)
Mister please wait for me!
                                                            
Blind Leonard slowed down scooped up the child and ran the
rest of the way dreading what was to be.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
 

49.

INT. BEDROOM AT LETTIE AND CAL'S SHACK/MIDNIGHT - NIGHT
                                                            
Weak hazy light from a kerosene lamp flickered and cast
shadows of the ancient woman MAMA ROSIE bent over Lettie.
Animated the shadows played tricks by exaggerating the old
crone's features against the wall giving her the appearance
of a witch.

Blind Leonard shivered at the sight and waited. The air was
stale and heavy. A sickly sweet odor saturated the room.
The scent reminded him of raisins drying in the the hot sun
of Fresno's many grape fields.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Lettie feels like family...like my
own sister.
                                                            
A shriveled arthritic hand motions Blind Leonard/Preacher
Man closer. Young Cal stands next to the bed holding
Lettie's hand. Next to Lettie in the old iron post bed is a
tiny bundle wrapped in a worn white sheet.
                                                            
                       MAMA ROSIE
      (sniffling)
Youngin didn't make it. Cord
wrapped round the neck. Lettie
may not last the night...lost too
much blood tryin to push em out.
                                                            
Tears glisten in the old woman's cataract covered eyes and
fear seizes Blind Leonard. Lettie stares at Young Cal a
long time then calls to Preacher Man/Blind Leonard in a
voice barely above a whisper.

Preacher Man/Blind Leonard moves closer and Lettie reaches
out to her brother and presses something into his hand.
Heartbroken Blind Leonard/Preacher Man clutches the object
without looking at it.
                                                            
                       LETTIE
You and Cal take care of each
other always, okay?
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man's eyes well up with tears. He
can't bring himself to look at Young Cal. Lettie's
breathing becomes erratic and Mama Rosie leans over her
again to soothe her then leaves the room.
                                                            
                       HERMIE (OS)
      (sobbing loudly)
Miss Lettie! Miss Lettie!
                                                            

50.

Lettie turns her head one last time to cast her beautiful
eyes on her husband.
                                                            
                       LETTIE
      (voice fading)
I love you always Calhoun
Perkins...
                                                            
Young Cal's legs buckle under him and he falls to his knees
next to the bed still holding Lettie's lifeless hand his
face buried in her hair.

Blind Leonard/Preacher Man places his hand on his new old
friend's heaving shoulder and feels a sharp stab in his own
heart deep enough to bleed the Blues.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. GREENWOOD COLORED CEMETERY/ONE WEEK LATER - DAY
                                                            
Mourners dressed in black stand gathered around an open
grave site while an energetic Preacher said a last prayer
sending Lettie and her baby home.

The day was hot and there was no breeze as Young Cal,
Biscuit, Hermie, and Reverend & Mrs Butler sat in chairs
with umbrellas to shade them.

Blind Leonard/Preacher Man watched Lettie's parents who
faced forward never looking his way. The Reverend face was
stone with a hard bitterness about the mouth.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
I was right on the money about the
Rev...the S.O.B. won't even
acknowledge me OR Cal.
                                                            
Hermie dressed in an over sized suit and shoes tearfully
listens to the sermon but keeps his gaze fixed on Blind
Leonard/Preacher Man the whole time.

Everyone bows their head as the prayer ends and slowly the
mourners file past the plain pine casket. Family and close
friends remain seated except for Hermie who eases next to
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man and whispers to him.
                                                            
                       HERMIE
      (knowingly)
You gonna member me when you go
back to where you come from?
                                                            

51.

                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
This kid is creeping me out...it's
like he can see the real me.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (reassuring)
How could I forget a brave little
man like you?
                                                            
                       HERMIE
      (satisfied)
Write a song bout me then.
                                                            
Blind Leonard wondered about the boy's strange request as he
watched two burly men lower the casket into the grave with
ropes then stand back.
                                                            
The mourners passed by a mound of freshly dug black
Mississippi earth each grabbed a fist full of the stuff and
threw it on top of the casket along with wild flowers they'd
picked.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Black explosions of soil decorate the homemade pine
casket where a large cross and a tiny cross are carved into
the lid.

Young Cal, Blind Leonard/Preacher Man, Biscuit, and Hermie
listen to the soft thuds in the Deep Delta quiet.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. RED ROOSTER INN JUKE JOINT/ONE WEEK LATER - NIGHT
                                                            
WIDE ANGLE SHOT-Large roadhouse type juke-joint with many
cars parked in a paved lot. A few of the cars are later
models.
                                                            
By himself now Blind Leonard/Preacher Man strolls inside
with his guitar strung over his back and sits down near the
band. Lost in his sadness Blind Leonard/Preacher Man
listens to the band until ORA MAE a beauty of a woman steps
into his line of vision. Her gray cat-eyes glinted at him in
the dim light while she parted her red lips suggestively.
                                                            
                       ORA MAE
      (sultry voice)
Preach, I sho was sorry to hear
bout your sister.
                                                            

52.

Blind Leonard/Preacher Man stared unabashedly at her long
legs, shapely hips, and tiny waist. He drank in her cafe 'au
lait skin and glossy cap of loose curls. He said nothing
but felt his nature rise.
                                                            
                       ORA MAE
      (batting sooty
       eyelashes)
I been missin you.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man melted.
                                                            
The musicians stopped for a break and one of the young men
eyed Ora Mae wolfishly as he passed and winked at Blind
Leonard/Preacher Man.
                                                            
                       ORA MAE
      (seductively)
Ain't you in need of some consolin
tonight?
                                                            
The room felt hot as a furnace and began to spin. Blind
Leonard/Preacher man attempted to maintain his composure
after all he was a Bluesman.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Okay...this is the woman Cal
warned me about...a Goddess.
                                                            
The musicians were wandering back one by one but Blind
Leonard was torn between leaving now with Ora Mae.

He needed more time to think.

Reluctantly he took his place amongst the musicians.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (whispers to Ora
       Mae)
Meet me outside after this next
set.
                                                            
The sienna seductress pulled her chair closer to the
bandstand and crossed her long leg provocatively locking
eyes again with Blind Leonard/Preacher Man.
                                                            
Inspired by the sexy woman Blind Leonard played his guitar
better than ever. The musicians gave him props. All he
could think of was the beautiful vision before him...then he
saw her stand and disappear into the crowd.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man raced outside after the set and
circled the building. He took a deep breath and leaned back

53.

against the wall. He scanned the area and his eyes found the
image of Ora Mae silhouetted in the moonlight.
                                                            
                       ORA MAE
Come here Preacher Man!
                                                            
The gorgeous creature cast an eerie spooky but seductive
shadow undulating and urging Blind Leonard on.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man covered the distance in a
heartbeat. Ora Mae removed the guitar from his shoulder and
let it thud onto the ground.

He drew her tightly to him and kissed her ripe red lips.
Fire flowed in his veins and brain.
                                                            
                       ORA MAE
      (purring)
Ooooo...ba-by.
                                                            
Hot blood and hot bodies took over. Their sizzling juices
of passion flowed like lava. Blind Leonard's nature rose to
heights he'd never imagined possible.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man and Ora Mae stole silently and
slyly though the misty Mississippi morning.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
ORA MAE'S BEDROOM-NEAR DAWN
                                                            
WIDE ANGLE SHOT-Blind Leonard/Preacher Man and Ora Mae lay
across a huge oak bed both are spent. White lace curtains
move gently from the breeze that cools off the lovers hot
naked bodies now glistening with sex sweat.
                                                            
                       ORA MAE
      (suspicious)
You seem different.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man has his arms under his head
staring at the ceiling enjoying the moment. He is amazed
that he has not only Preach's good looks but also his sexual
prowess and stamina.

Ora Mae lies on her side head propped up with one hand
staring adoringly at the beautiful black man beside her.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Different how?
                                                            
                       ORA MAE
We never did it like that before!
                                                            

54.

                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (dreamily)
Like what?
                                                            
                       ORA MAE
All wild like...then tender.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man turns over pulls her to him and
looks into her smoky gray eyes.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Do you like the way I make you
feel?
                                                            
                       ORA MAE
Hell ye-ah!
                                                            
Ora Mae punches Blind Leonard in the arm playfully.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (singing to her)
Cat-Eyes maaa-ke my nature
riii-se...
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man pulls her even closer to him in
the bed. Their bronze bodies fit together perfectly.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (continuing)
Your Cat-Eyes make my nature
riii-se...yeah...yeah...yeah
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. OUTSIDE CAL AND LETTIE'S SHACK/ONE WEEK LATER - DAY
                                                            
WIDE ANGLE SHOT-A shiny root beer brown automobile with a
massive checkerboard grill and ribbed headlights was parked
in front of the shack.

The flanged fenders had parking lights atop the bumper and a
sharp dip in the center with shiny chrome everywhere. The
fantastic car looked absurd there in its shabby
surroundings.
                                                            
Young Cal and Blind Leonard/Preacher Man walked outside to
see Biscuit sitting behind the wheel of the magnificent
chariot smiling from ear to ear. Blind Leonard/Preacher Man
circled around and around the car in awe.
                                                            
                                         PAN TO:
                                                            

55.

CLOSE UP-Sun glinted off a silver winged griffin that
crowned the radiator on the hood of the awesome piece of
machinery.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
This is a Terraplane just like the
one Robert Johnson sang about!
This car coupled with the myth of
the Bluesman's power over women
could only mean trouble....
                                                            
Biscuit exited the vehicle dressed in a new brown seersucker
suit and a pork-pie hat on his big head. Blind
Leonard/Preacher Man climbed behind the wheel and looked
down its long hood.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
This car would inspire envy in
anyone black or white.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
Preach this car can go eighty-five
to ninety...fiddy-five in second
gear.
                                                            
Reaching inside the glove compartment Biscuit pulled out
papers and showed them to Young Cal. The two friends put
their heads together while Blind Leonard/Preacher Man
continued his inspection of the motor car. Young Cal
grunted after viewing the papers.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (continuing)
Paper say car's mine that all that
matter.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (not convinced)
Yep...that's what it say.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man spotted what he knew to be a
National Steel Guitar in the back seat of the Terraplane.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Biscuit how'd you lay hands on a
National Steel...that's a whole
lot of money?
                                                            
Biscuit reached in and pulled out the guitar and leaned back
against the hood of the Terraplane. A mile-wide smile lit up
his dark face. The sight of the giant black man with the
renowned guitar and the famous Terraplane was almost too
much for Blind Leonard.
                                                            

56.

                       BISCUIT
      (singing)
I feel so lone-sooome you hear me
moan

I feee-l so lonnsome hear me moan

Who been drivin my Terraplane for
you since I been gone...since I
been gone?
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man whooped and danced around as if
he'd lost his mind. Young Cal and Biscuit laughed hard at
the young Bluesman not understanding why he was so jubilant.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (doing a jig)
Whoohoo! Whoohoo!
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (strumming the
       National Steel)
Now you know and I know what R.J.
was talkin bout when he wrote
that...
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man looked back and forth expectantly
between his two friends.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
It ain't bout no damn car Preach!
It's bout his bad luck wid wimmen!
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (admiring the car)
Man I'd love to drive this baby.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
I'm takin a trip down Yazoo City
thought you and Cal could help me
wid the drivin?
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man looked to Young Cal who was
already shaking his head no.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (pleading)
Come on Cal. It would do us good
to get away a while...just a
little while.
                                                            
Young Cal ran his hand down the hood of the Terraplane and
kicked a tire.
                                                            

57.

                       YOUNG CAL
      (giving in)
Okay...but not too long...
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Whoohoo! Whoohoo!
                                                            
Both Biscuit and Young Cal watched Blind Leonard/Preacher
Man curiously and shook their heads.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (handing over the
       keys)
Preach you drive first.
                                                            
Young Cal and Blind Leonard/Preacher Man dashed inside threw
a few things into burlap bags and one suitcase and returned
to the Terraplane.

Biscuit climbed into the roomy back seat. Young Cal rode
shotgun while Blind Leonard/Preacher Man took the wheel.
                                                            
WIDE ANGLE SHOT-The Terraplane flew along the Mississippi
Highways where trees were lush and a deep emerald green in
sharp contrast to the rich black earth that stretched into
infinity.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. GAS STATION IN YAZOO CITY/DUSK - NIGHT
                                                            
A white man in his thirties glared at the three when they
pulled the Terraplane up to the gas pump. Hate reflected in
his blue eyes. He made no move to help them.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (exiting the car)
I'm going to take a walk and
stretch my legs.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (warning)
Preach member what I tol
ya...watch yoself!
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (sternly)
Yeah...you ain't in Greenwood
where folks is used to seein you
around.
                                                            

58.

                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (yawning)
I'm not going far...just want to
see what the town's like is all.
                                                            
Biscuit opened the hood of the Terraplane and started to
check the oil and water while Young Cal handed money to the
sullen gas attendant who took the money from Young Cal's
hand gingerly as if it was something nasty.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man looked both ways and headed
toward the neon lights walking three blocks. Fascinated by
the sights he didn't notice a fat surly white man until the
man purposely bumped him with his big belly.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Excuse me.
                                                            
Blind Leonard moves to the edge of the sidewalk but keeps
walking.
                                                            
                       FAT WHITE MAN
      (large belly
       quivering)
What you mean scuse me!
Disrespectful Nigger you better
step off until I pass!
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man froze. His heart sped up first in
fear then in anger. Wanting to strike out at the man he
clenched and unclenched his fists.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Step off that's what the rappers
say to each other...
                                                            
A crowd gathered. Blind Leonard saw only hostile white faces
closing in on him. Scorching humiliation consumed him when
he realized the ignorant whites saw him only as a handsome
young Buck.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (shakily)
Sir I didn't mean any disrespect.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man inched backward off the sidewalk.
He took in large gasps of air preparing himself to run for
his very life.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
I sure hope Biscuit and Cal have
the car gassed up and ready to go!
                                                            

59.

                       LITTLE WHITE GIRL
      (gleefully)
Eeeny...meeney...miney...moe.
Cath a Nigger by the toe...
                                                            
                       LITTLE WHITE BOY
      (laughing)
If he holler let him go.
                                                            
The children's ditty launched Blind Leonard/Preacher Man's
adrenaline fueled body into a flight for his soul. He ran
hard too scared to look back.
                                                            
                       CRAZED MANIACAL VOICE (OS)
Get that Nigger! Don't let em get
away!
                                                            
Twenty or more men-women-children chased Blind
Leonard/Preacher Man throwing rocks sticks whatever they
could lay hands on. Blind Leonard/Preacher Man pushed his
body. His lungs burned and a stitch pierced his side.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Please god let them be ready!
                                                            
The gas station was in view...the crowd was gaining on him
but he mustered all his strength and willed his rubbery legs
with one last superhuman effort. He pulled away from the
bloodthirsty mob and made it to the gas station. The
Terraplane was gone.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Blind Leonard/Preacher Man's face is contorted with
horror. In the back round the attendant watches him with
amusement.

Blind Leonard/Preacher Man looks around like a frightened
cornered rabbit when tires squealed thunderously as the
Terraplane slid around the corner on two wheels. Young Cal
hung outside the car with the passenger door open.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Jump in Preach!
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man ran along side the car but tired
now just couldn't catch up. Biscuit was not slowing down
for him. The mob would catch up to the Terraplane if he
did.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Come on! You can do it Preach!
                                                            

60.

                       CRAZED MANIACAL VOICE (OS)
Where them Niggers get a car like
that? We know you stole it!
                                                            
Fists were raised in the air...one held a noose. The mob
was further enraged that Niggers would possess such a fine
car as the Terraplane.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Is this how it ends...
                                                            
With a herculean effort Blind Leonard/Preacher Man thinking
of Ora Mae reached down deep within himself and ran faster.
The mob was now practically at his heels. Young Cal leaned
all the way out of the car holding on with only one hand to
to the ceiling and reaching out with the other to his friend
Preacher Man.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Preacher Man's long slender fingers grasp Young
Cal's fingertips then lost contact. Biscuit drove on afraid
to slow down. Young Cal is now leaning so far out of the
car he's in danger of falling. Fearlessly he grasped
Preacher Man's wrist and pulls him alongside the door
dragging his feet on the ground then hoists him inside.
                                                            
                       CRAZED MANIACAL VOICE (OS)
They's gettin away!
                                                            
Biscuit accelerates and the Terraplane rocketed easily away
leaving the angry mob in a cloud of dust. He didn't slow
down until he'd put a lot of gone between them and Yazoo
City.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man drenched in perspiration raised
up and weakly climbed over to the back seat while Young Cal
slumped in the front breathing hard and sweating.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
Preach them crackers thought they
was gonna have a lynchin party
tonight.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Biscuit's angry and knowing eyes reflected vividly
in the rear view mirror.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (continuing)
I blieve you dodged the Devil
tonight my friend.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man shivered.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 

61.

EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF VICKSBURG MISSISSIPPI - DAY
                                                            
WIDE ANGLE SHOT-The Terraplane is parked in front of a
rundown shack just off Highway 49. The hood is open and
steam rises heavenward from the radiator as the three
Bluesmen look on.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (directed at
       Preacher Man)
I reckon that run from them
lynchers in Yazoo City caused it
to overheat cause I didn't have
time to put in water at the
station.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (points at shack)
Well we'll just rest a while and
let it cool off. Maybe the folks
in this shack can spare us some
water.
                                                            
The three walked to the shack and witnessed the saddest
family Blind Leonard had ever seen. Mother and Father were
human skeletons a perfect picture of poor white trash
dressed in rags.

Six emaciated children with swollen stomachs attached to
spindly stick legs hovered in the back round. Huge eyes in
small shrunken faces haunted Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
This is a damn shame!
                                                            
                                         PAN TO:
                                                            
CLOSE UP-In a corner the two youngest babies suckled at the
dried and shriveled teat of a skinny female hound. Another
toddler licked a piece of stained greasy meat wrapping
paper.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man watched Young Cal and Biscuit for
a reaction to the pathetic family...there was none. The
wasted parents gladly offered water in a bucket from their
well. The children followed listlessly to watch Young Cal
and Biscuit fill the radiator glassy eyes tracking every
movement.
                                                            

62.

                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (to no one in
       particular)
Did you ever see such pitiful
looking kids?
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man emptied his pockets and gave all
the change to the woman who hurried over to show her
husband.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
The Delta got many sad sights and
sad tales to tell in this life.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man made no reply but continued to
stare at the scarecrow parents and their scrawny ragamuffin
offspring.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. VICKSBURG MAIN STREET/EVENING - NIGHT
                                                            
On the busy streets of Vicksburg the Terraplane drew
attention as people stopped and stared at the awesome
machine and the Bluesman driving it. People waved and
Preacher Man waved back. Biscuit directed Blind
Leonard/Preacher Man to the outskirts of town and he pulled
over in front of a whitewashed house and honked the horn.
The big man got out.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-A brown female face appeared in the front window
then the door flew open. Out ran BERNITA a mahogany amazon
and threw her arms around Biscuit who picked her up and
twirled her around.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
This here's Bernita...You know Cal
and this is our friend Preacher
Man.
                                                            
                       BERNITA
      (nodding)
Hey there Cal...nice to meet you
Preacher Man. Any friend of my
Puddin is a friend of mine.
                                                            
The foursome go inside and Bernita serves whiskey while they
catch up. Blind Leonard/Preacher Man wrinkles his nose from
the smell of fried hair but soon becomes accustomed to it.
                                                            
INSIDE BERNITA'S HOUSE/LIVING ROOM
                                                            

63.

                       BERNITA
      (proudly)
I make a good livin straitening
and curling black ladies hair. Got
most everything I need...except a
good man.
                                                            
The voluptuous hairstylist winked at Biscuit.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
Ahem...Dumplin when I get ready to
settle down you just the kinda
woman I want.
                                                            
Bernita sat down next to Biscuit and put her arm around him
while Young Cal and Blind Leonard/Preacher Man watched in
amusement. Her cherubic face couldn't hide her affection
for Biscuit.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
What do you know about the
BluesWarp Legend Biscuit?
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
I know Cal tol this story before
but I'll tell you how I heard it.
                                                            
Bernita and Blind Leonard listened intently as Young Cal
took out his shoe shine kit and began polishing his shoes.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (continuing)
The legend was first tol by slaves
that come here from Africa. They
kept it alive and passed it down
through generations.
                                                            
Blind Leonard watched Biscuit as he told the story but it
was Old Cal's voice he heard on that hot summer day in
Fresno. He shook his head to dispel the image.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (continuing)
Ya see them first Africans did
Voodoo and Wichcraft over
there...they had dealins with the
spirits and could tap into their
powers by singin chantin and
trancin.
                                                            
Young Cal stopped shining his shoes for a moment. The three
eyed Blind Leonard/Preacher Man with puzzled expressions.
                                                            

64.

                       BISCUIT
Preach you listenin?
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Yeah Biscuit I'm listening.
                                                            
Blind Leonard snapped out of his Fresno daydream.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (resumes)
Them same chants turned into songs
and spirituals slaves used to send
messages to each other so the
overseer wouldn't understand. I
bet they sang Wade In The Water in
your father's church.
                                                            
                       BERNITA
      (singing in a deep
       sweet voice)
Wade in the water children...wade
in the water...God's gonna trouble
the water.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Reason they went thru water was
so's bloodhounds couldn't track
em.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (explaining)
That there song was the signal tol
slaves when it was safe to
run...many years later Bluesmen
change it up a little to fit the
Blues.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
So...Biscuit have you yourself
experienced the BluesWarp?
                                                            
Young Cal chuckled at his two friends while he finished up
his shoe shine. He put the kit down and waited for
Biscuit's answer.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (indignant)
Why sho! I couldn't call myself a
true Bluesman if I didn't!
                                                            
                       BERNITA
You is my Bluesman!
                                                            

65.

Bernita smacked Biscuit on the lips leaving a bright red lip
print.
                                                            
Young Cal passed the shoe shine kit to Biscuit and reached
for his tattered suit case. Pulling out red suspenders he
snapped them playfully at Preacher Man/Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (to Preacher Man)
What I wanna know is why you keep
askin bout the BluesWarp when you
already know it.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Just like hearing it is all.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (winks)
I know bout the CrossRoads too and
I can show you the zact spot.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. KING SOLOMON'S JUKE JOINT/LATE - NIGHT
                                                            
An old renovated red barn owned by one of Bernita's patrons
overflowed with people from all around.
                                                            
INSIDE KING SOLOMON'S
                                                            
Bluesmen of all ages lined one wall waiting to show their
stuff. Pretty women were everywhere willing able and
available while a MYSTERIOUS BLUESMAN appears and zeroes in
on Preacher Man/Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       MYSTERIOUS BLUESMAN
      (to Preacher Man)
You playin tonight?
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man turns to see a hard-looking black
man no older than thirty but his dark leathery skin appeared
ancient. The stranger had wolfen features highlighted
eerily with light brown eyes.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
      (spooked)
This guy's looking at me like he
can see the real me.
                                                            

66.

A thick jagged scar began near the Bluesman's right eye and
extended to his upper lip pulling it up in a perpetual
sneer. He carried his guitar slung over his shoulder and
smiled showing tobacco stained canine teeth.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Blind Leonard/Preacher Man visibly shudders as the
hair on the back of his neck stood at attention. The
mysterious Bluesman didn't wait for an answer.
                                                            
                       MYSTERIOUS BLUESMAN
That Biscuit's car out front?
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Y...yeah he's right over there.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man starts to point but the man was
gone...vanished into the crowd. Bluesmen got busy playing
requests and favorites. Biscuit challenged every Bluesman
in the house and when they accepted shot them down one by
one.

He and his National Steel stood out...the guitar
gleamed...the resonator screamed and howled above the rest.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (bellows)
Any more takers out there?
                                                            
The place got quiet as people milled around.
                                                            
                       MYSTERIOUS BLUESMAN
Right here!
                                                            
Heads swiveled around. The crowd parted. The scar-faced
Bluesman dressed in black with his hat rakishly over to one
side strode confidently to the bandstand. His pale eyes
glinted menacingly in the dim light as he took out his
guitar.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-The crowd gasped when he produced another National
Steel. A low murmur surged through the throng.

Blind Leonard/Preacher Man pushed his way through the crowd
to Young Cal's side. Biscuit threw back his shoulders and
adjusted his guitar strap.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Cal who is that man?
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Night Train Newton. Thought he
might be here tonight.
                                                            

67.

Biscuit grinned a broad toothsome smile and issued the first
challenge.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
We'll let the house decide this
one. May the best Bluesman win!
                                                            
Blind Leonard heard riffs and sounds from the guitars he'd
never thought possible...he knew how Jimi felt. Biscuit's
thick fingers coaxed voices from his strings that mimicked
human screams of anguish.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
This is it! The true meaning of
the Blues...how can I possibly
channel this?
                                                            
Night Train answered with an equally chilling sound. Never
had the people witnessed anything like this; women moaned
men cried. The two National Steels glinted and winked at
each other. The supernatural guitars roared and shrieked up
to the Heavens and all the way down to Hell.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Preach whacha think bout that
Biscuit?
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (clapping)
He's out of this world!
                                                            
Night Train proved to be a worthy opponent but he was no
match for Biscuit who wore him down until he had nothing to
come back with. It seemed Biscuit could play the National
Steel forever if he had to. Exhausted and weak Night Train
bowed out disgraced and humiliated.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (proudly)
Preach owning a National Steel
don't make you the best. Only
true talent does that.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. COUNTRYSIDE OUTSIDE VICKSBURG/NEXT DAY/EVENING - NIGHT
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man is behind the wheel of the
Terraplane with Young Cal riding shotgun and Bernita and
Biscuit in the back seat. The area is heavily wooded and
unpopulated with miles of forest and brush. The car leaves
the highway and now is traveling on a dirt road.
                                                            

68.

                                         PAN TO:
                                                            
CLOSE UP-The Mississippi sun has made its descent and
painted the sky a burnished orange with streaks of gold.
                                                            
The three Bluesmen and Bernita climb out of the Terraplane
spread out an old horse blanket and each took a spot on it.
They savoured the cool clean country air and drank whiskey.
The whiskey and the harmonious sound of crickets soon had
its effect and all fell fast asleep.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Biscuit sitting back against a tree with Bernita in
his arms. Young Cal used his suitcase as a pillow and Blind
Leonard/Preacher Man had fallen asleep with his arms under
his head staring at the twinkling stars overhead. Hours
passed.
                                                            
A heart-rending scream tore through the comfort and peace
fullness of the black-velvet darkness and echoed forever in
the stillness. All four sprang to their feet. Bernita
clutched Biscuit. Young Cal looked around wildly. Blind
Leonard/Preacher Man trembled all over. Biscuit motioned
for them to be quiet.
                                                            
In the distance through a clearing blazed a giant flaming
cross that lit up the night. They all recognized it as a
blazing beacon of hatred.
                                                            
                       BERNITA
      (hushed tone)
We been hearing bout the Klan. Got
them some group called The White
Knights. Only purpose is to keep
Niggers in they place.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (angry)
Preach you and Bernita stay here.
It's too late for whoever that
scream came from.
                                                            
                       BERNITA
      (pleading)
I don't wanna stay here!
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (continuing)
It be alright. Me and Cal go see
who out there. We ain't back in
and hour Preach take the
Terraplane and get as far away you
can and fast!
                                                            

69.

                       YOUNG CAL
If it's who I think we don't wanna
cross paths. Sides they'll never
catch us in the Terraplane.
                                                            
Biscuit and Young Cal struck out in the direction of the
burning cross. Blind Leonard/Preacher Man placed a still
trembling arm around Bernita who clutched him fearfully.
Both of them jumping at every little noise...minutes dragged
by.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
What if they don't come back? No
way I'm leaving without them...
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Something moved in the brush. Blind
Leonard/Preacher Man and Bernita's eyes were riveted to a
copse of Cottonwood trees. Both were inching towards the
Terraplane ready to flee.
                                                            
Biscuit and Young Cal burst through the trees bent over with
the weight of a burden. Bernita and Blind Leonard/Preacher
Man exhaled breath with relief when they saw their friends
drenched in sweat and out of breath lay the burden gently on
the ground. Bernita stifled a scream realizing what they'd
found.
                                                            
                                         PAN TO:
                                                            
CLOSE UP-A black teenage male whose eyes were burnt out
leaving charred empty sockets along with severed hands
exposing ragged bone and gristle...something else...
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
Jesus he's just a kid! Those
bastards cut off his...his...
and stuffed it in his mouth!
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man just made it to the trees before
he lost what was left of his dinner. Slowly he made his way
back over to the others.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
Dumplin you ever seen this boy?
                                                            
                       BERNITA
      (cringing)
That's the Washington boy...heard
he keepin company with white
prostitutes...his people warn em
but he don't listen. I know his
people.
                                                            

70.

                       YOUNG CAL
      (sadly)
Can you show us where his people
stay? Least we can do is make sure
his people get his body.
                                                            
                       BERNITA
      (between sobs)
I...I can show you.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
You sure it's safe...the K...Klan
might still be out there?
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (grimly)
We saw em head off in the other
direction probly celebratin by
now.
                                                            
The three Bluesmen wrapped the teenager's body in the horse
blanket and placed it in the trunk of the Terraplane. In
silence they started the journey to deliver him home.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
      (chokes back a sob)
Old Cal once told me Mississippi
was the state known for the most
lynchings of black people...called
it a legacy of Delta Blues and
Delta Death.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. SOMEWHERE NEAR MISSISSIPPI HIGHWAY 61 & 49 - DAY
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man is once again behind the wheel of
the Terraplane and giddy to be going back to Greenwood and
Ora Mae.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (to Biscuit)
Don't forget your promise to show
me the CrossRoads.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (chuckles)
I ain't forgot just thought you
was in a hurry to get back to that
gal.
                                                            

71.

                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Cal said it might be a little out
of our way.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
It's fifteen miles past Mound
Bayou...I'll tell you where to
turn off.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man drove on. The long straight
highway threaded through the lush green Delta. A black and
white highway sign loomed-Mound Bayou 5 miles.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Next turn Preach.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man let off the gas and exited off
the highway guiding the Terraplane onto a dirt road. After a
few miles the terrain changed no longer the rich flat land
he was used to.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (alarmed)
Hey I don't member none of this.
                                                            
The sky was a strange mixture of bright purple streaked with
black and orange. Out of nowhere volleys of thunder boomed
and crashed. Chain lightening sizzled and cracked.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Blind Leonard/Preacher Man placed a hand over his
heart it was about to beat out of his chest. Hair on the
back of his neck and forearms stood up.
                                                            
A jagged cobalt blue bolt of lightening struck next to the
Terraplane jarring the ground like an earthquake. The
ground had taken on the appearance of a bombed out landscape
and the smell of sulfur filled the air. A second scarlet
lightening bolt lit the area and revealed in its wake the
CrossRoads.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
      (warning)
Preach it ain't safe out there!
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
This is it...BluesWarp or
CrossRoads...I don't care which.
I'm digging it!
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher man tried to ingest any element of
either legend that might still linger there. Inhaling
deeply and slowly his body tensed and relaxed.
                                                            

72.

                       BISCUIT
      (looking around)
I don't know what to make of this.
                                                            
Stroboscopic lightening continued. Through a blood red
shimmering haze Blind Leonard saw the Terraplane disappear
and re-appear.

Blackened skeletal trees with outstretched arms beckoned to
him from a Hell on Earth. A freak orb of light highlighted
a lone figure under one of the charred trees.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
What the hell is that?
                                                            
The transparent wraith had an unmistakable guitar slung over
his shoulder and hat pulled down low over its face. The
apparition held out a claw-like hand palm outward signaling
DANGER.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
I...I...can't move or breathe...
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man was motionless suspended in time.
An all consuming sadness and foreboding engulfed him like a
fog. He stared at the figure and felt the utter despair and
desolation of so many Bluesmen who crossed over before him.
Tears streamed down his face but no sounds came.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-The figure turned slowly and disappeared into the
landscape. Maniacal laughter reverberated trough the air
and a demonic voiced screamed...I'M COMING FOR YOU BLIND
LEONARD....
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
Somethin's wrong with Preach!
                                                            
Biscuit and Young Cal shook Blind Leonard/Preacher Man whose
eyes were wide open and unblinking. Young Cal slapped him
in the face with no reaction so they walked him back to the
Terraplane and put him in the back seat.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Biscuit let's get the Hell outta
here now!
                                                            
Biscuit and Young Cal jumped in the Terraplane. Biscuit put
the pedal to the floor and the car responded with raw power.
The Bluesmen didn't know what was wrong with their young
friend but they knew they had to leave that place.
                                                            

73.

                       YOUNG CAL
I dunno Biscuit there might be
somethin to that Crossroads
bidness...
                                                            
The Terraplane barreled down the dusty country road as if
Biscuit was in a race with the Devil himself. Miles of dust
clouds followed the car's exodus.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
      (chuckles)
I doubt old Lucifer got a chariot
could keep up with my Terraplane.
                                                            
Young Cal peered into the back seat at Preacher Man/Blind
Leonard. The more miles they put between them and the
CrossRoads the more alert he became. Finally Preacher
Man/Blind Leonard coughed and blinked as if he was coming
out of a trance.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
Boy you had us scared! How you
feelin?
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (still out of it)
I'm okay...t..thanks for showing
me that place.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-Biscuit's eyes reflect blood-red in the rear view
mirror staring hard at Preacher Man/Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       BISCUIT
I ain't no religious man. My
advice is make no deals with the
Devil.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
      (wondrously)
Something did happen...a higher
power allowed me to exchange souls
for a brief moment with a true
Bluesman.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (to Biscuit)
I think I know that better than
anybody.
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 

74.

EXT. COLORED CEMETERY IN GREENWOOD - DAY
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man is kneeling at Lettie's grave. He
runs his fingertips over the rough grooves spelling out her
name on the plain wooden cross. Sighing deeply he looks
around at the other graves overgrown with weeds. A hound
dog's mournful howl reflects his inner turmoil and he
remembers D.O.G.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (eyes closed)
Lettie by now you know who I
really am. I believe the BluesWarp
sent me here for a reason. You
might know why.
                                                            
Blind Leonard pictured her pretty eyes and beautiful smile
and heard the faint tinkle of a bell. When he opened his
eyes the sound stopped.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (continuing)
Please can you send me a sign.
                                                            
A peaceful feeling came over him. Standing he took one last
look at the grave.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (sadly)
Goodbye Lettie.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. RED ROOSTER INN JUKE JOINT/MIDNIGHT - NIGHT
                                                            
The juke joint is filled to capacity with standing room
only. Patrons and musicians jocky for position in the
crowded space in anticipation of seeing their favorites
including Biscuit.
                                                            
                       YOUNG CAL
I heard talk Ora Mae's old man is
out...be careful is all I'm sayin.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man nodded but didn't respond. He
watched Ora Mae from the bandstand while she fidgeted eyes
darting from the bandstand to the front door.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
Cal...Biscuit I'm going to sit
this one out.
                                                            

75.

Blind Leonard/Preacher Man left the bandstand and hurried to
where Ora Mae sat and put his arms around her kissing her on
the forehead.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
What's wrong baby?
                                                            
Loud music combined with voices and raucous laughter drowned
out her answer. Suddenly people in the juke joint scattered
overturning chairs and tables.

Blind Leonard/Preacher Man turned to see why the band
stopped playing. He saw Young Cal throw down his guitar and
leap from the bandstand with the blue-black titan Biscuit
right behind him. The two struggled to push through the
panicked crowd.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD (VO)
      (confused)
Something bad is about to
happen...
                                                            
The frenzied crowd parted around a burly freckled OGRE of a
man with bulging eyes and ugly face that fury had twisted
into a mask of rage. His jaw muscles worked while spittle
sprayed from his lips and veins stood out on his neck.
                                                            
                       ENRAGED FIEND
I'm lookin for a nigger called
Blind Leonard!
                                                            
Fear gripped Blind Leonard.
                                                            
Blind Leonard/Preacher Man turned to Ora Mae whose eyes were
huge. Horror contorted her beautiful face as she opened her
mouth but sound never escaped her throat. A loud shot rang
out and her face was shattered.
                                                            
                       PREACHER MAN/BLIND LEONARD
      (screaming)
Nooooooooo!
                                                            
Warm blood and gore splattered Preacher Man/Blind Leonard as
he reached for Ora Mae and cradled her in his arms. Around
them people stampeded to get out of the juke joint.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-The crazed husband stood over Preacher Man/Blind
Leonard breathing hard with the smoking gun at his side.
                                                            
                       ENRAGED FIEND
I done told this whore I kill her
if I catch her wid another man. If
you be Blind Leonard you is a dead
man! Is you Blind Leonard...Blind
            (MORE)

76.

                       ENRAGED FIEND (cont'd)
Leonard...Blind Leonard
                                                            
His name echoes in his ears as Blind Leonard holds the
beautiful Ora Mae in his arms. Then he was moving...no
wind...no air...he knew he was no longer in Mississippi. It
was ending.
                                                            
Blind Leonard looked around him but all he saw was a
mist...nothingness. He felt a mental tug and acknowledged
it. The tug pulled harder. A different force drew him in
another direction. Blind Leonard recognized the tug as
Mississippi and the force as Reality. The tug won.
                                                            
ABOVE THE FRAY AT THE RED ROOSTER JUKE JOINT
                                                            
Below him people ran. Chairs, tables, and broken glass were
everywhere. Young Cal and Biscuit continued their futile
struggle against the tide of frightened revelers. Preacher
Man crouched holding the lifeless body of Ora Mae.
                                                            
CLOSE UP-In slow motion the shotgun raised...a click echoed
like a cannon. Blind Leonard saw Preacher Man's gaze move
from Ora Mae to the shotgun. Sadness and Sorrow showed in
the young Bluesman's eyes...
                                                            
                                         DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. MICU/VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER - DAY
                                                            
BLIND LEONARD'S HOSPITAL ROOM
                                                            
WIDE SHOT-Leonard is connected to various monitors and
machines that beep continuously. Unconscious pale and waxen
he appears to be clinging to life by a slim invisible
thread.


CLOSE UP-Fredo's face is plastered to the window of the MICU
room staring at his friend's still body in the hospital bed.
Gone is his usual cockiness and carefree attitude as he
whispers a prayer for Blind Leonard.



Two bleary-eyed doctors on their rounds stop near Fredo and
take a chart from the rack over the door and pour over its
contents. Unaware of Fredo they discuss the condition and
prognosis of his non-responsive amigo.
                                                            

77.

                       INTERN
Man, looks like this guy barely
dodged a bullet.
                                                            
Startled by the statement Fredo moves closer still the
doctors are unaware he's listening to them.
                                                            
                       RESIDENT
      (flipping through
       the chart)
Yeah, his kidneys were on the
verge of failing. Looks like the
Insulin has stabilized him for the
time being but he's not out of the
woods yet.
                                                            
The two doctors enter the room leaving the door ajar and
Fredo is about to follow when the Charge Nurse rounds the
corner and sees him.
                                                            
                       NURSE
      (finger pointed)
Young man! I already told you ONLY
immeditate family are allowed in
to see the patients in this unit.
                                                            
The nurse spots Fredo's foot holding the automatic door open
and wags her finger but Fredo does not budge.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (pleading)
I'm this guy's only family...have
a heart eh?
                                                            
                       NURSE
Rules are rules...
                                                            
The nurse hurries away with a conspirital glance over her
shoulder as she rounds another corner. Fredo stealthily
eases into the room behind the curtain while the doctors
continue their assessment of Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       RESIDENT
      (serious)
Mr Silverstein is young and strong
but the longer he stays in this
coma the slimmer his chances of
pulling through without severe
damage.
                                                            
The young intern stands over Blind Leonard and observes
Leonard's eyes moving rapidly back and forth behind his
eyelids. He studies him for a few minutes.
                                                            

78.

                       INTERN
      (thinking outloud)
It's almost as if he's in some
kind of dream limbo that he does
not want to leave...
                                                            
Fredo's ears perk up at this statement and for the first
time since he found Leonard's unconcious body he's hopeful
and smiles happily as he formulates a plan.
                                                            
                       RESIDENT
      (sternly)
We have to stimulate him out of
this or he may not...
                                                            
The two doctors are distracted by movement and look up in
time to see the door to Leonard's room close behind someone
leaving in a hurry.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
 
INT. ELLA'S HOUSE IN WEST FRESNO - DAY
                                                            
LARGE RECTANGULAR KITCHEN
                                                            
Ella dressed in a jogging suit with an apron over it is
stirring a large chrome pot on the stove with a wooden spoon
while Tamara sits at the table watching her. A letter is
on the table near Tamara.
                                                            
                       LITTLE T
      (worried)
Miss Ella, Blind Leonard just
isn't getting any better maybe
your church can pray for him?
                                                            
Tamara picks up the envelope and notices Blind Leonard's
phone number scribbled on the back and frowns.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (softly)
Honey, I been praying for that
young man every since I met him.
                                                            
Ella stops stirring the pot and turns around to see Tamara
frowning at the letter. She walks over and sits down across
from Tamara at the table and takes the letter from her.
                                                            
                       ELLA
Leonard delivered this letter to
Uncle Cal the day after he
died...see there's his phone
number so I could reach him about
            (MORE)

79.

                       ELLA (cont'd)
the services.
                                                            
Ella rubs the letter remembering the day Cal died and how
she had to break the news to Blind Leonard.
                                                            
Tamara looks at the letter then at Ella sensing a connection
to Blind Leonard in some way. She waits for Ella to
continue.
                                                            
                       ELLA
I'll make sure my church prays for
Leonard until he pulls
through..something told me that
boy was sick losing all that
weight.
Seems every time I saw him he was
looking paler than Casper the
friendly ghost all clammy-like.
                                                            
                       LITTLE T
Yeah, the doctors say he's got
Diabetes Type One...no telling how
long he had it.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (sighing)
That's the bad one ain't it?
                                                            
Ella places her hand over her heart and fans herself with
the letter.
                                                            
Tamara looks down at the table but does not answer.
CLOSE UP- Her eyes brim with tears that she tries to blink
away.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (brightens)
I opened this letter only
yesterday...it's from my cousin
Herman. When Uncle Cal passed he
was over in Europe promoting his
new Blues Artists.
                                                            
Tamara listened to Ella's words but her mind was on her
friend Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (continuing)
He was devastated he couldn't make
it in time for the services...but
a while back Uncle Cal had
contacted him about yall's band...
                                                            

80.

Ella stood up and placed her hands on her hips all the while
watching Tamara's downcast face.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (forcefully)
Did you hear me child! Herman is
coming here and he wants to sign
your band to his recording label!
                                                            
Tamara lifts her tear-stained face to meet Ella's eyes.
                                                            
                       LITTLE T
      (haltingly)
Wha...what?
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (yells)
I saaaid Cousin Herman is coming
here to sign yall to his label, he
should be here next week.
                                                            
Ella does a sanctified church dance around the kitchen
bopping up one side and down the other waving the letter in
one hand. Then to Tamara's surprise she does a football
touchdown dance in Tamara's face. Out of breath she stops
and pulls Tamara up from her chair and hugs her.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (laughing)
This here will wake Blind Leonard
up outta that old coma!
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER/FRONT ENTRANCE - DAY
                                                            
HOSPITAL FRONT LOBBY
                                                            
Nurses, doctors, and hospital personnel are coming and going
finishing up their duties at this busy hospital as it's
nearing 3 pm change of shift.

Fredo and Sticks enter the lobby dressed in white technician
coats and survey the quickest route to MICU. Fredo is
pushing a dolly containing a large box labeled 'EKG
Equipment'.

The two head to the nearest elevator going up and get on.
They are the only ones on the elevator.

A low woof emanates from the box and Fredo kicks the box
with his foot.
                                                            

81.

                       FREDO
      (sternly)
Quiet...we're not there yet!
                                                            
Sticks studies the box nervously concern written all over
his face eyebrows waaay at the top of his head.
                                                            
                       STICKS
Man I hope this works and we don't
get thrown in jail...I think I
might have a warrant.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (chiding)
Esay! Who ain't got a warrant!
Blind Leonard loves this hound dog
it reminds him of the vijito.
                                                            
The elevator stops on the third floor and the two impostors
get off and walk towards Blind Leonard's room but are
stopped near the automatic door by a bored Security Guard.
                                                            
                       GUARD
      (officially)
Hey, where are you going?
                                                            
Sticks looks at the guard and then looks at Fredo.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (sucking up)
Good Afternoon Sir. We were
dispatched to Room 301 to replace
a defective EKG Monitor STAT.
                                                            
A hoarse woof escapes from the box and catches the guard's
attention. Immediately Sticks begins coughing imitating the
dog's sound.
                                                            
                       GUARD
      (suspicious)
Are you going to be alright?
                                                            
Sticks spots a water fountain right outside the automatic
double door and heads for it. Fredo waits for the guard's
next move.
                                                            
                       STICKS
      (coughing)
Just a tickle...all I need is some
water and I'll be okay...probably
our bad air quality.
                                                            

82.

The guard turns around to address Fredo who has already
walked past him and is through the door with Sticks. The
guard shrugs his shoulders and continues his stroll on the
floor.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (chuckling)
Man, that guy was no threat, did
you see that gut on him?
                                                            
The two walk on towards Room 301 Blind Leonard's room. The
coast is clear.
                                                            
                       STICKS
      (laughing)
Yeah, we could run circles around
that fool.
                                                            
They stop at Room 301 and both peer through the window at
their fallen friend. His face is whiter-than-white and his
eyes are closed. He looks close to death.
                                                            
                       FREDO
Now remember you keep watch at the
window in case someone shows up. I
think we have a little time
because it's shift change.
                                                            
                       STICKS
      (serious)
You got it man.
                                                            
INSIDE BLIND LEONARD'S ROOM
                                                            
Fredo opens the door and pushed the box inside while Sticks
stands adjacent to the window so he can see anyone
approaching from either side.
                                                            
                       FREDO
Okay perro I'm going to let you
out so you can wake Blind Leonard
up,okay?
                                                            
An excited howl comes from the box and Fredo hurriedly opens
the lid and D.O.G. bounds out heading straight for Blind
Leonard's bed.
                                                            
                       STICKS
      (nervous)
How long you think it will take?
                                                            

83.

                       FREDO
Dunno, maybe D.O.G. got the mojo
Leonard needs...
                                                            
The hound dog wagged his tail happily and tried to jump up
on the bed but his old bones wouldn't allow him that feat.
                                                            
                       FREDO
Here you go, we all need a little
help from our friends sometimes.
                                                            
Fredo lifted the heavy hound onto Leonard's bed.
                                                            
                       STICKS
      (watching at
       window)
So now what happens?
                                                            
D.O.G. howls happily and licks Blind Leonard's hand and then
licks his face but the hound's attention is on something or
someone in the far corner of the room.
                                                            
Fredo follows the hound's gaze and sees nothing there but
dust swirling in the afternoon sunlight from the window near
Blind Leonard's bed.
                                                            
                       STICKS
Why does that dog keep looking
over in that corner?
                                                            
Sticks and Fredo realize that D.O.G. seems to be following
instructions from someone or something they cannot see or
hear. Fredo leans over Leonard and sees his eyes moving
rapidly behind his eyelids as D.O.G. keeps licking his paler
than pale face.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (afraid)
Okay this is creepy...something is
about to happen....
                                                            
The alarms on the monitors all go off loudly and
simultaneously while D.O.G. howls mournfully to high heaven
as Blind Leonard begins seizing his body flopping up and
down and thrown around on the bed as if by invisible hands.
                                                            
                       STICKS
      (scared)
Holy shit! Here they come!
                                                            

84.

Sticks jumps out of the way as doctors and nurses rush into
the room. D.O.G. doesn't budge but howls even louder. Fredo
and Sticks hover in the corner as a voice came over the
overhead intercom announcing a CODE BLUE.
                                                            
                       INTERN
      (shouting)
Get that dog out of here and get a
crash cart in here!
                                                            
An orderly pushed Sticks and Fredo from the room and drew
the blinds down over the window. They hear chaos from
inside the room and fear the worst for Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (sadly)
Oh man, I hope they can save him.
                                                            
                       STICKS
      (resigned)
All we can do now is pray.
                                                            
A nurse leads Fredo and Sticks to the MICU waiting room and
tells them a doctor will come in and speak with them when
they know something and closes the door behind her.
                                                            
The silence is as painful as the thought of losing their
friend so neither one speaks until Fredo looks around and
realizes the hound is missing.
                                                            
                       FREDO
Where's D.O.G.??
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. BLIND LEONARD'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
The room is full of hospital personnel shouting orders back
and forth to each other. The EKG monitor shows a flat line
on the screen as the intern is poised over Blind Leonard
with defibrillator paddles ready to go.
                                                            
The EKG monitor quivers but remains flat line as the team of
nurses and doctors get to work.
                                                            
                       INTERN
      (shouting)
Everyone stand clear!
                                                            
Everyone moves back away from Blind Leonard's bed and watch
as the Intern shocks his patient then lifts the paddles and
watches the monitor.
                                                            

85.

                       INTERN
Damn nothing! Let's try it again,
everyone stand clear!
                                                            
Over near the wall D.O.G. is wagging his tail happily and
staring at something in the corner with his head tilted to
one side.
                                                            
                       CRAZED MANIACAL VOICE (O.S.)
BLIND LEONARD...BLIND LEONARD...WE
MEET AGAIN...
                                                            
The determined Intern zaps Leonard again with the paddles
and steps back. A faint blip can be heard on the monitor.
                                                            
                       INTERN
      (cursing)
Come back damn you!
                                                            
Blind Leonard is floating in a place where sadness takes on
a life of its own becoming his friend and holding him in its
arms like a comforting lover. A place where there is no
hope, dreams, or disappointments...a place where he could
stay forever.
                                                            
                       CRAZED MANIACAL VOICE (O.S.)
BLIND LEONARD...BLIND
LEONARD...YOU CAN'T ESCAPE...
                                                            
                       INTERN
      (shouting louder)
You can do it man!
                                                            
A second blip appears on the monitor. The sun is setting
creating a hazy golden glow on the window near Blind
Leonard's bed. Old Cal appears inside the glow looking down
on his young friend as he struggles from the other side.

Blind Leonard hears Old Cal's voice inside the nothingness
that contains and imprisons his soul.
                                                            
                       CAL (O.S.)
      (softly)
Blind Leonard wake your ass
up...wake up.
                                                            
Three rapid beeps follow each other on the monitor...then a
steady beep. There's a shout of joy from all the hospital
personnel in the room.

D.O.G. howls excitedly over in the corner.
                                                            

86.

                       CAL (O.S.)
      (louder)
Son you did it! You survived The
BluesWarp! It ain't your time...go
back good things wait for you.
                                                            
                       INTERN
      (excited)
That's what I'm talking about!
                                                            
The blips get stronger and the flat line turns into a
heartbeat on the monitor. The intern shouts new orders to
change the IV and medications while they stabilize Blind
Leonard.
                                                            
                       INTERN
      (bending over
       Leonard)
Welcome back to the land of the
living Sir!
                                                            
Blind Leonard's eyelids flutter open and he sees the vision
of Old Cal emblazoned on the window. With his eyes now wide
open he tries to speak to the intern but no words come.
                                                            
                       INTERN
      (reassuring)
It's okay, you've been through a
lot, just relax for now.
                                                            
Blind Leonard's eyes are fixed on the window and unblinking
which alarms the intern who turns around to see what his
patient is focused on. There's nothing there except a trick
of sunlight against hot glass giving off what appeared to be
a psychedelic poster of an old black man with white hair.
The sleep deprived intern shook off the image.
                                                            
                       CAL (O.S.)
      (proudly)
You are a true Bluesman go ahead
and live your life like one.
                                                            
Tears trickled down Blind Leonard's face as the image faded
away in the early evening sunset and what was to be the
sunrise of his new life.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. MICU WAITING ROOM/THREE HOURS LATER - DAY
                                                            
Fredo, Tamara, Sticks, and Big Q sit quietly with their
heads bowed as Ella says a prayer for Blind Leonard.
                                                            

87.

                       ELLA
Dear Heavenly Father please guide
Blind Leonard back to his earthly
family who love him dearly...
                                                            
The waiting room door creaks open and the intern is met by
five pairs of frightened eyes attached to five worried faces
who all held their breath.
                                                            
                       INTERN
      (carefully)
The good news is Mr Silverstein
pulled through and will be fine
with the right medication and
followup....
                                                            
An audible exhalation of breath fills the room as relief
washes over Blind Leonard's friends.
                                                            
                       ELLA
Hallelujah! Our prayers have been
answered!
                                                            
All five are jumping up and down in the small waiting room
when Fredo stopped and grabbed the intern by the arm.
                                                            
                       FREDO
      (concerned)
Wait a minute...what's the bad
news?
                                                            
The others abruptly stopped their celebration to hear the
answer.
                                                            
                       INTERN
Oh...that...we couldn't save the
dog.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. MEDICAL FLOOR/TWO DAYS LATER - NIGHT
                                                            
BLIND LEONARD'S ROOM
                                                            
WIDE SHOT-Blind Leonard is sitting up in bed, weak but
getting stronger. He is still hooked up to various monitors
and the IV is running continuous glucose. Tamara and Ella
are seated at his bedside.
                                                            

88.

                       ELLA
      (happily)
I prayed for you, I knew you would
pull through.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (breathing hard)
Thank you Miss Ella.
                                                            
A look passes between Ella and Tamara.
                                                            
                       LITTLE T
We all prayed for you. The guys
will be here later to see you if
you're up to it.
                                                            
Blind Leonard looks forlornly out the window over looking
Fresno's east side residential neighborhoods. He was amazed
at how many Palm trees dotted the landscape.
                                                            
Another look passed between Ella and Tamara.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (soothing)
Son why are you so sad? Is it
because of D.O.G.?
                                                            
Blind Leonard continues staring out of the window.
                                                            
                       LITTLE T
      (guessing)
Is it because you have to give
yourself insulin injections now?
                                                            
Blind Leonard sighs deeply and forces his attention back to
his concerned visitors.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (monotone)
D.O.G. is better off now, he was
pining away...I don't mind the
shots...I have to do what I have
to do. It's just that...
                                                            
                       ELLA
Just what son?
                                                            
Blind Leonard looked at Tamara while he tried to summon the
words to express his feelings. She smiled at him
encouraging him on.
                                                            

89.

                       BLIND LEONARD
      (hesitantly)
First I lost Cal...and it seems
like I found what I was seeking
but lost something important to me
in the process. I don't know if
it was worth it.
                                                            
                       ELLA
You just knocked for a loop, it's
going to be alright. I got some
good news for you.
                                                            
Ella reached into her purse and withdrew the letter waving
it in the air.
                                                            
                       ELLA
Recognize this?
                                                            
Blind Leonard looked at Tamara curiously and shook his head.
                                                            
                       ELLA
This is the last letter you
delivered to Uncle Cal. It's from
Cousin Herman who owns his own
Blues Record Label...called
Mississippi Mayhem.
                                                            
Blind Leonard perked up and looked back and forth between
the two women.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
I heard of them supposed to be one
of the best out there.
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (smugly)
Well Uncle Cal contacted Herman
about you guys and he's coming
here next week. He wants to sign
yall up.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (grinning)
Are you shitting me?
                                                            
                       ELLA
      (scolding)
Watch your mouth! And no I'm not!
                                                            

90.

                       LITTLE T
      (excited)
Let him read the letter for
himself.
                                                            
Ella hands the letter over to Blind Leonard's trembling
hands and they wait in silence as he reads the contents.
Ella and Tamara witness his whole demeanor change as he
digests what the letter means for him and his band.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (thoughtfully)
This is what he was trying to tell
me when I was in the coma...I saw
Cal and he told me good things
were going to happen for me.
                                                            
                       ELLA
He put that plan in motion way
before he passed.
                                                            
At that moment Fredo, Sticks and Big Q barged into the room.
                                                            
                       FREDO
I didn't mean to kill your dog!
                                                            
Blind Leonard laughed so hard one of the monitors started
beeping which soon started the others to laughing too. The
nurse came into the room to see what all the ruckus was
about.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (between guffaws)
I'm starting to feel like I might
live after all...thanks to a wise
old friend of mine and these good
people who wouldn't give up on me.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. COURTYARD OF VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER - DAY
                                                            
ONE WEEK LATER
                                                            
WIDE ANGLE SHOT-Blind Leonard sits by himself in the hot
Fresno sun strumming Cal's guitar and working on a new song.
He's dressed in hospital pajamas and his shoulder length
hair is caught up in a a pony tail.

A tall black man in his late forties dressed in a business
suit stands in the shade of the Oak trees listening intently
to Blind Leonard's song.
                                                            

91.

                       BLIND LEONARD
      (singing)
Whoohoo!
Old Cal was a wise man who showed
me the BluesWarp
Lettie Sweet Lettie could sing
like a lark
The Biscuit sure could play some
mean harp
Yahoo!
A boy named Hermie showed me the
BluesWarp
Whoohoo!
                                                            
CLOSE UP-The silver hair at his temples belies the black
man's boyish features as his eyes grow big hearing Blind
Leonard's lyrics. A slow smile spreads across his handsome
face as HERMAN BAPTISTE walks towards Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       HERMAN
That's an interesting tune you got
there.
                                                            
Blind Leonard stops singing and shades his eyes as he looks
up at Herman. A faint flicker of recognition crosses his
mind then disappears just as quickly leaving him with a
puzzled expression on his face.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (distracted)
Have we met?
                                                            
                       HERMAN
Uncle Cal told me about you...said
you were good and from what I just
heard he was right.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
So you own Mississippi Mayhem?
                                                            
                       HERMAN
Yep, me and a partner. Hey why
don't we move over to those tables
underneath the trees, it's kinda
hot out here in the sun.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (standing)
Sure I was just working on my tan.
                                                            

92.

Blind Leonard followed Herman over to the picnic tables and
they both sit down. Herman scrutinized every thing about
Blind Leonard because he reminds him of someone that he
can't put his finger on at the moment.
                                                            
                       HERMAN
      (intrigued)
Why don't you finish that song for
me?
                                                            
Blind Leonard adjusts the strap and lays Cal's guitar across
his thigh. Herman does not miss the initials carved into the
body of the guitar.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (clears his throat)
Bear with me...I'm working out the
lyrics as I go.
                                                            
Herman sits back crosses his leg and nods the go ahead to
Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
I once was a sad man consumed by
the Blues
My misery ruled me I had nothing
to
lose
Which way-which way do I choose?
He sent me a sign so I finally
broke through
                                                            
Herman had his eyes closed immersed in Blind Leonard's
Blues. A crowd of people had gathered to listen to the pale
Bluesman in the hospital pajamas sing his sad song.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (continuing)
Back there in Greenwood I saw evil
things
Preacher Man-Preacher Man who is
your God?
You gets what you gets what ever
life brings
A Blueman's lot is always at odds
                                                            
A fat black woman in a wheelchair was feeling the Blues
waving her chubby arms in the air along with the crowd of
people who started clapping captivated by Blind Leonard's
Blues.
                                                            

93.

                       BLIND LEONARD
      (continuing)
Greenwood was home to the love of
my life
She had smoky grey cat eyes
But she was another man's wife
The PMan and OraMae's love will
survive
I said the PMan and OraMae's love
will survive
                                                            
Herman's eyes flew open and he stared hard and long at the
young man before him. Blind Leonard strummed a few more
moments then stopped. The crowd clapped loudly then began
to disperse.
                                                            
                       HERMAN
      (intense)
Did Uncle Cal tell you stories
about Greenwood?
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (timidly)
Just about the BluesWarp.
                                                            
                       HERMAN
Then how did you know about
Preacher Man and Ora Mae?
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (hesitant)
If I tell you you might think I'm
crazy....
                                                            
                       HERMAN
Why don't you try me?
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (sadly)
It started when Cal died...I lived
another lifetime in 1941 Greenwood
but I wasn't myself. I was Troy
Butler aka Preacher Man and Cal
was a young man and Lettie was
there and Biscuit...
                                                            
Herman hung on Blind Leonard's every word then recognition
showed on his face followed by a secretive smile.
                                                            
                       HERMAN
Did a little boy named Hermie ask
you to write a song about him?
                                                            

94.

                       BLIND LEONARD
      (incredulous)
How could you possibly know that!
                                                            
                       HERMAN
      (gushing)
Because I'm that little boy. I
loved Miss Lettie and was
devastated when she died. After
that my Granny died and Cal took
me in and raised me as his
own...from him I inherited my love
of the Blues.
                                                            
Blind Leonard stared at Herman and in his still boyish face
recognized Hermie the little boy who creeped him out because
he thought he could see him for who he really was.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (astonished)
How can this possibly be?
                                                            
                       HERMAN
      (philosophically)
Don't you see? Uncle Cal saved
me, then he saved you...simple as
that. Who knows what would have
happened to me after Granny died,
I had no other relatives.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (in awe)
I believe it was the BluesWarp
just like Cal told me.
                                                            
                       HERMAN
BluesWarp, God's Will, or
Karma,it's all good. You are now
signed with Mississippi Mayhem, my
partner will come by tomorrow with
the paperwork.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
When you say you that includes all
of us...the whole band?
                                                            
                       HERMAN
You got it! I saw a tape of one of
your live performances and I like
how yall flavor it up.
                                                            

95.

                       BLIND LEONARD
      (satisfied)
I just want to be clear where I go
my band goes.
                                                            
Blind Leonard and Herman Baptiste stand shake hands then
hug.

FLASHBACK- Preacher Man and the child Hermie shaking hands.
                                                            
                                         FADE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. BLIND LEONARD'S HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The lights are low and the hospital floor is quiet as Blind
Leonard exhausted but joyous from Herman's visit and
further validation of his BluesWarp journey has drifted off
into a light sleep.

A beautiful sound prevents him from surrendering fully. The
tinkling comes from afar but seems to move closer and
closer.

The sound is familiar.
                                                            
                       SULTRY FEMALE VOICE (O.S.)
      (cooing)
Preacher Man...Blind
Leonard...Preacher Man...
                                                            
The tinkling bell draws closer and closer beckoning Blind
Leonard back from a deeper slumber until with a start he
sits up in bed opens his eyes and tries to focus.
                                                            
                       SULTRY FEMALE VOICE (O.S.)
      (echoes)
Blind Leonard...Preacher
Man...Blind Leonard...
                                                            
Silhouetted in the dim light of the doorway was the shapely
outline of a leggy female with a tiny waist.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (disoriented)
Who's there?
                                                            
Dressed in a body hugging black dress and high heels what he
believed was a beautiful vision of Ora Mae carrying a brief
case spoke to him. BELLE BAPTISTE asked him a question as
she stepped into the light near his bed.
                                                            

96.

                       BELLE
      (sultry and sexy)
Blind Leonard? I'm sorry it's late
but I wanted to get these papers
to you before visiting hours were
over.
                                                            
Blind Leonard was speechless as his brain tried to process
what his eyes hungrily savoured. The face before him was
that of Ora Mae; the same grey cat-eyes, full lips, and
loose black curls.

His heart bumped in his chest.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (spooked)
Who...who are you?
                                                            
                       BELLE
      (all business)
My name's Belle Baptiste and I
co-own Mississippi Mayhem.
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (taken aback)
What is Herman to you?
                                                            
                       BELLE
He's my father, silly. I bet you
thought he was my sugar daddy huh?
                                                            
                       BLIND LEONARD
      (stunned)
You look just like her...
                                                            
                       BELLE
      (continuing)
Did I mention I'm also an
entertainment lawyer?
                                                            
Belle opens the brief case and removes papers and places
them on the bed next to Blind Leonard.
                                                            
                       BELLE
      (not missing a
       beat)
I've been hearing all my life how
I look just like my daddy's Auntie
Ora Mae but I assure you I ain't
nothing like that woman.
                                                            
Blind Leonard looks at the contracts and then at Belle and
laughs out loud.
                                                            

97.

                       BLIND LEONARD (V.O.)
I guess the joke's on me but I can
dig it!
                                                            
                       BELLE
      (smiling
       seductively)
I'm going to take good care of you
Mr Blind Leonard.
                                                            
Belle extends her hand to Blind Leonard who accepts her hand
and holds it in both of his. Around her neck he sees
Lettie's chain with the silver tinkling bell and takes it
as the sign he asked for.

With the warm touch of her soft hand Blind Leonard feels his
nature rise.
                                                            


FADE OUT.


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From Nick Hanks Date 1/13/2009 0 stars
wow dude, wow...

From Kevin Mitchell Date 10/2/2008 ***1/2
I'll be honest I wasn't keen on reading it once I saw it was about the blues. I'm GLAD I DID though. Interesting premise. I also loved the masterful dictation throughout. I could really imagine a southern black blues player when I read the words out loud in my head. It had a nice authenticity about it. I would work on the parenthesis a bit. Some structural issues which is why I didn't give it an all out 4 stars but with a bit of tweaking and adjusting, I would be happy to change it to a 4. Overall a great story and let's see more! Beef it up to at least 90 pages, it can easily be done.


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