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The Pier
by Larry P. Zaffuto (lightsout1089@comcast.net)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Miscellaneous   User Review: ***1/2
A man who is about to commit suicide on the end of a lonely pier is given a life lesson from a mysterious stranger.


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.



THE PIER

FADE IN:

EXT. A PIER. - DAY
                                                            
The scene is a lakeside park. A man sits on a bench at the
waters edge. NATHAN ROSS looks out over the water.
                                                            
                       PARK PA
      (V.O.)
May I have your attention...the
park will be closing in 15
minutes.
                                                            
Nate doesn't budge. Several people walk by him on their way
out of the park. He looks anxious. He looks over his
shoulder and sees park security gathering by a building. He
glances at his watch, then looks nervously back out over the
water.
                                                            
                       NATE
      (softly to himself)
That's quite a bit of security for
a small park like this. Would
there be this much security if it
was just a "myth". Twelve more
minutes.
                                                            
Nate slowly brings the pistol to his head.
                                                            
                       NATE
      (V.O.)
...I hope you understand, my love.
I can't go on any longer without
you...
                                                            
Suddenly a child's voice.
                                                            
                       
      (V.O.)
...Your family has had enough. We
just can't sit back and watch you
kill yourself anymore. I didn't
say a word when you walked away
from med school and the
scholarship that you worked so
hard for. But since then, you've
lost your job, the house we worked
so hard for, and now it appears
your willing to lose your family
without a fight. Sara cries
herself to sleep at night waiting
            (MORE)

2.

                        (cont'd)
for her daddy to come home and I
miss the man I once loved
dearly...
                                                            
Cut to shot of Autumn sitting on a bed with Sara crying in
her arms. Autumn tries to rock Sara to sleep as she looks
out the window into the darkness of night.
                                                            
                       
      (V.O.)
...I won't subject your daughter
to this anymore. Which is why I
have taken Sara with me to my
mother's house. I truly hope that
you can get past this someday and
find yourself again...
                                                            
Cut to shot of Autumn boarding a bus with Sara in her arms,
then fade back to Nate at the pier.
                                                            
                       
      (V.O.)
...We love you very much. Autumn.
                                                            
Nate put the letter in his pants pocket, then pulls a gun
from his jacket pocket. He stares at the gun for a moment,
then looks over to the playground area.
                                                            
                       NATE
      (Crying.)
I'm sorry, Gavin. I've let
everyone down. I miss you so much,
son. I don't know what I'm doing
anymore. This seems to be the only
answer.
                                                            
                       
That's never the answer, kid.
                                                            
Mason Crowder seems to have appeared out of nowhere. He
stands a few feet away from Nate and stares out into the
lake.
                                                            
                       
I knows it's not my business, but
take it from me, that's never the
answer.
                                                            

3.

                       NATE
      (Still wiping his
       eyes.)
I don't know what your talking
about.
                                                            
Mason takes a few steps forward and leans forward against
the guard rail. He is still reluctant to look at Nate, so he
continues to look out into the lake.
                                                            
                       
I take it your not fishing with
that gun.
                                                            
                       NATE
Listen, man. Is there something
you want? Because I don't have
time for this.
                                                            
                       
Sorry. I'm not trying to patronize
you, kid. Truth is, I don't have
much time, either. I just figured
we could both use a friend.
                                                            
                       NATE
      (Sarcastically)
Is that what you figured? What
makes you think I need a friend,
pal?
                                                            
                       
Do you have a family?
                                                            
                       NATE
I don't see how that's any of your
business.
                                                            
                       
Forget it. Just thought you needed
somebody to talk to. I meant no
harm, kid.
                                                            
Mason starts to walk away. After getting several steps away,
Nate speaks up loud so that Mason can hear him.
                                                            
                       NATE
I have a wife and daughter.
                                                            
Mason stops, turns around and walks back. He leans against
the rail again.
                                                            

4.

                       NATE
I had a son, but he passed away
almost a year ago from leukemia.
                                                            
                       
I'm sorry. I'm sure he was a great
kid.
                                                            
                       NATE
Yeah, he was.
                                                            
                       
Well, you still have your wife and
daughter.
                                                            
                       NATE
Actually, I managed to chase them
away. The way I've been lately,
can't really blame them for giving
up on me.
                                                            
                       
Are you sure it wasn't you who
gave up on them.
                                                            
                       NATE
What do you mean by that.
                                                            
                       
My father once told me that
there's only room for one at the
table of self pity. So you push
the ones you love away. That's the
same as giving up on them.
                                                            
                       NATE
What are you, a shrink?
                                                            
Mason pulls a picture from his wallet and hands it to Nate.
                                                            
                       
That's Ben, my youngest. 17 years
ago, I selfishly took him with me
to go get another bottle of
whiskey. We were in an old van
with bad breaks. Ben wasn't in a
car seat and he wasn't wearing a
seat belt. I was too drunk to
stand, much less drive. I ran a
red light, clipped a car and
rolled the van. I got jail time,
but didn't get a scratch. Ben got
a broken back and a wheel chair
for life. I never looked him in
            (MORE)

5.

                        (cont'd)
the face again. The guilt was just
to overwhelming. Shortly after
that, I walked out the front door
and never looked back. It took a
while for me to realize that it
wasn't just the accident that I
was ashamed of, but how I ran away
and left him...like a coward. I
destroyed my family and victimized
my son for a second time. That's
what I've been walking around with
for 17 years. It wears on you,
kid. Grinds you down like
sandpaper.
                                                            
                       NATE
Why not go back to them?
                                                            
                       
My wife divorced me soon after I
left. Now she remarried. My kids
have all grown up and moved on
with their lives. Ben teaches
history at a junior high near
Chicago.
                                                            
                       NATE
Must be hard carrying around all
that regret.
                                                            
                       
You have know idea, kid. Too late
to change it now, but it's not too
late for you. The way I see it,
you can keep running away and
become a regretful old man like
me. You could take the cowardly
way out and eat a bullet. Or you
could chose option c.
                                                            
                       NATE
Option C? What's option C?
                                                            
                       
You can hand me the gun, turn
around and go get your family
back.
                                                            
                       NATE
Your friggin' nuts!
                                                            

6.

                       
You think your plan's better?
Death will always be waiting for
you. Life? Well, it will pass you
up if your not paying attention.
And once it does, it's gone
forever. Take it from someone who
knows first hand.
                                                            
Nate pauses a moment.
                                                            
                       NATE
Say I give you the gun. Then what?
What if the cops pull you over.
                                                            
                       
If it makes you feel better, I'll
toss it into the lake. Now, hand
it over before you do something
stupid.
                                                            
                       NATE
Why are you doing this?
                                                            
                       
Because no one did this for me.
Maybe if they had, my life would
have turned out a different.
                                                            
Nate thinks a moment, pulls the gun out of his pocket, looks
at it and hands it to Mason. Mason glances down at the
pistol, glance up at Nate and smiles, then turns and throws
the pistol far out into the lake. Mason takes one long look
out over the lake then turns and extends an envelope to
Nate.
                                                            
                       NATE
What's this?
                                                            
                       
Just a little something I've been
waiting to give to a friend.
                                                            
                       NATE
Listen, You've done enough for me
today.
                                                            
                       NATE
Well, then. You can do me this one
favor...and take this, kid. I have
no one else to give it to.
                                                            

7.

Looking confused, Nate takes the envelope and extends his
hand to Mason. Mason shakes his hand.
                                                            
                       NATE
I'm Nate, by the way.
                                                            
                       
Mason.
                                                            
Nate smiles at Mason then turns and begins to walk towards
the pier's exit. After a few steps, Nate stops and turns
back towards Mason.
                                                            
                       NATE
Thank you, Mason. Thanks a lot.
                                                            
                       
No...thank you, Nate. Now go on,
kid. They're waiting for you.
                                                            
Nate turns and continues towards the pier's exit.
                                                            
 
INT. A PIER - DAY
                                                            
Cut to Nate approaching the steps at the entrance to the
pier.Suddenly he is rushed by several law enforcement
officers pointing their weapon at him.
                                                            
                       NATE
Whoa! Don't shoot!
                                                            
All the law enforcement officers have their weapons drawn on
Nate.
                                                            
                       
That's not him! Sarge, get this
guy out of here and have the rest
of your men clear this park. Be
aware, Mason Crowder is armed and
dangerous! Lets move!
                                                            
Numerous law enforcement personnel scatter into position. An
officer directs Nate to the base of the steps, where he
looks back towards the pier.
                                                            
AT THE PIER
                                                            
The Camera focuses on Mason. Facing out into the lake, he
reaches under his shirt and pulls out a different gun from
his waistband. He holds it in front of him as he stares
quietly out into the lake. He looks as if he is at peace.

8.

Several law enforcement personnel slowly move towards him
from behind with guns drawn down on Mason.
                                                            
                       
Your surrounded, Crowder! Put your
hands up where we can see them! Do
it now!
                                                            
Mason pauses for a moment. A tear runs down his face. He
takes a deep breath, grips the gun tightly, then turns and
points it at the police behind him. The camera goes black as
the sounds of gunfire ring out. Then the camera view
switches back and forth between Mason and Nate. As it does,
they both appear to stumble backwards. Mason stumbles back
into the rail, Nate stumbles back onto some steps . The
collision with the rail causes Mason to lose hold of the
gun. It falls. Nate lands on his behind, causing him to lose
his grip on the envelope he received from Mason. The
envelope falls. The gun hits the ground and bounce
harmlessly away from Mason, while the envelope just lands
softly onto the pavement in front of Nate. Then the camera
fixes on Nate. He sits on the steps, quietly looking down to
the pier, where Mason's body lies still on the pier
pavement. Nate watches as law enforcement approach Mason and
confirm on the radio what Nate already assumes. Nate hears
it over the radio of an officer who is standing close by.
                                                            
                       
      (Voice over the
       radio.)
Dispatch be advised, shots have
been fired. Go ahead and roll
E.M.S.. The suspect is down,
possible D.O.S.. No law
enforcement injured at this time.
                                                            
Cut to shot of aftermath of shooting. Officers begin
securing the scene, taping off the area with yellow police
tape. A lump under a white sheet is in the middle of the
secure area. It is Mason's body. Agent Brock surveys the
scene. He motions to one of the officers to come over.
                                                            
                       
Officer, You can secure that
weapon. Make sure you clear it,
then bag and tag the bullets and
the gun seperately.
                                                            
                       
Yes, sir.
                                                            

9.

Agent brock turns around and begins to talk to other
officers. Several moments later, Officer#1, interrupts Agent
Brock.
                                                            
                       
      (With Mason's gun
       in hand)
Agent Brock!
                                                            
Agent Brock turns and acknowledges Officer#1.
                                                            
                       
The weapon has no rounds in it.
                                                            
Agent Brock isn't sure he heard that correctly.
                                                            
                       
Excuse me?
                                                            
                       
The gun, sir. It's empty.
                                                            
Agent Brock just stares straight head, as if trying to find
an answer.
                                                            
Cut to close up of Nate as tears roll down his face. He
stares forward for several moments. A slight wind moves the
envelope Nate dropped just a bit. It is enough to grab
Nate's attention. He suddenly snaps out of the daze and
reaches down and grabs the envelope. Nate opens the
envelope. It's a card. Nate opens up the card and a key
falls to the ground. He picks it up, then reads the card.
                                                            
CARD FROM MASON
                                                            
                       
      (V.O.)
To whom this may concern,
Thank you for allowing me to touch
your life. My hope is that this
gesture gives you the life that
has so painfully eluded me. Please
accept this gift with the
knowledge that you were the only
friend I had left in this world.
Mason
                                                            
Nate then looks at the key. There is a tag on it. It reads,
"Ace storage facility, Lot #21." On the back, it includes
the address. Nate shows a confused look on his face.
                                                            
 

10.

EXT. A STORAGE FACILITY - DAY
                                                            
The scene is a large storage facility. They are marked with
lot numbers. Nate wanders around the facility until he finds
the garage door that reads, "Lot #21". Using the key, he
unlocks the lock and slowly lifts open the door to the lot.
Inside the lot it is dark, but the outside light illuminates
the room enough to see. The only thing in the lot is a large
duffel bag. It sits directly in the middle of the room. Nate
walks up and opens it. It is filled with money. Nate smiles
then grabs the bag. He walks out of the storage lot and
shuts the door. The scene cuts to his car. Nate stares into
the trunk at the large duffel bag for a moment. He shuts the
trunk and reaches in his pocket. He pulls out a flask of
whiskey, unscrews the top and starts to raise it to his
lips. Just before taking a drink, he stops for a moment,
then puts the top back on. He walks over to the garbage and
tosses the flask in. He then walks back to his car and
drives off.
                                                            
INSIDE NATE'S CAR.
                                                            
The scene is Nate driving in his car. He turns on the radio
in time to hear the news.
                                                            
                       PARK PA
In local news today, police and
federal agents are still
investigating the fatal shooting
of Mason J. Crowder, a notorious
bank robber wanted in three
states. Police say that Crowder is
suspected of over 30 bank heists
throughout the Midwest. Police
recovered the weapon that they say
Crowder pointed at them before he
was shot and killed. It was
reported as stolen from a local
man over a month ago. Police also
say they are unable to locate any
of the estimated two million
dollars it is believed Crowder
stole during his two year crime
spree....
                                                            
Shot of Nate behind the wheel as the scene fades to black.
                                                            
 
EXT. FRONT OF A HOUSE / SUBURB - DAY
                                                            
The scene is a quiet suburb. Trees line the street as
the camera follows Nate's car slowly up the street as it
comes to a stop in front of a beautifully manicured ranch

11.

house. Nate exits his car and looks towards the house. A
little girl plays on the lawn, oblivious to Nate's arrival.
The door of the house slowly opens. It's Nate's wife,
Autumn.
                                                            
                       
Sara, time to come inside...
                                                            
Autumn is distracted after seeing Nate on the front
sidewalk. It takes a moment, but Sara looks up at her mom,
then looks back to the sidewalk to see her Dad, Nate.
                                                            
                       CLIF
Daddy!
                                                            
Sara runs and hugs her dad. As they embrace, Nate looks up
to see Autumn approach. Autumn has a blank look on her face.
                                                            
                       CLIF
What are you doing here, daddy?
                                                            
                       NATE
I'm here to bring you and Mommy
home.
                                                            
                       CLIF
But we don't have a home anymore,
daddy.
                                                            
                       NATE
Well now, I guess we'll just have
to go find a new one then, won't
we?
                                                            
Autumn gives Nate a confused look. Nate smiles back at
Autumn as the camera fades to black.
                                                            
 
EXT. A PIER - DAY
                                                            
1 YEAR LATER.
                                                            
The scene is the same pier where Nate met Mason a year
prior. Nate sits on the same bench with Autumn and his
daughter, Sara. He thinks to himself as he looks out over
the lake.
                                                            
                       NATE
      (V.O. of Nate
       thinking to
       himself aloud.)
It's been over a year since I met
you. Over a year since you altered
our lives forever, my family and
            (MORE)

12.

                       NATE (cont'd)
I. I couldn't begin to express how
grateful I am for a second chance
at life. A simple thank you seems
so inappropriate. So I brought my
family with me today. I wanted you
to meet them and see that I did
not waste the opportunity you've
given me. I've gone back to med
school. This money won't last
forever, so I might as well invest
some of it into my future. Autumn
is still a bit skeptical about the
sudden fortune my rich uncle has
left us, but she barely questions
it anymore. I guess she figures
not to look a gift horse in the
mouth. She's just glad to have her
family back. So am I. I bought a
house close by. I come here every
chance I get. This is where I find
peace. I hope it is where you
finally found peace, too. Please
give Gavin a hug for me.....
                                                            
                       
What are you thinking about,
honey?
                                                            
                       NATE
Just thinking how lucky I am. And
how beautiful this place is.
                                                            
                       CLIF
Can we get ice cream?
                                                            
                       NATE
Of course we can, sweetie. Let's
go.
                                                            
                       
You've never told me why you love
this place so much.
                                                            
                       NATE
This is where a debt was paid...
                                                            
Nate glances down the pier. Mason stands there holding a
little boy's hand. It's Gavin. They are both smiling and
waving back at Nate. The camera pans back to Nate. He smiles
back. When the camera pans back to the pier, it is empty
again.
                                                            

13.

                       NATE
...And a life was saved.
                                                            
Shot of Nate, Autumn, and Sara sittng on the bench as the
camera fades to black.
                                                            
FADE OUT
                                                            


THE END


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From anthony Date 3/25/2010 ***1/2
nice, maybe you could of tossed in a bank robbery scene then cut to 1 week later they meet.

From Britt Date 3/29/2009 ****
one of the best short scripts i have read today. bravo!

From Jay Williams Date 1/12/2009 ***1/2
I really enjoyed this one. I really liked the story and moral behind it. I'm a filmmaker and this script is something I'd love to make into a short film.

From Kevin Isaacson Date 1/7/2009 ***
Good story. You had a nice twist and it made it interesting. The dialogue was natural and flowed. Just a few formatting suggestions. At the beginning...instead of putting voice of Nate's wife...put in the description "He looks down at a letter his wife, AUTUMN, has left him." Then in the dialogue, put V.O. for voice over. On page 3, you repeat yourself. You say "Nate speaks up loud" but then in the dialogue you say "speaking loudly." Just put it in one or the other. On page 5 I think you meant to have one of the speaking lines be Mason but you have Nate for both. Some of the descriptions get long. Put them in blocks of 4 sentences max. It makes it a little easier read. Overall though, good job.

From Grant Date 12/30/2008 ***
Good story, good drama, and good writing. The only thing is there are a lot of grammatical errors, but of course those are easy to fix. It seemed like maybe there should have been a scene showing the audience how exactly Nate gets his family back. Good job!


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