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Joe's Retirement(Short)
by kwane jackson (lennoxave128th@yahoo.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Action/Adventure   User Review:

This is an action packed short film with a twist in line with the Twilight Zone.

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.


We hear an ALARM CLOCK beeping. We see JOSEPH PALMER'S eyes
open just as he rises to silence the alarm. Then we see
Joseph picking out a suit. Next we see him straightening his
tie as he enters the kitchen area. We see MARIE PALMER
making a cup of tea in the kitchen, while their teenage son
sits playing video games on the couch.
You going out again tonight?
I'll be back soon.
What's happened to us? Is this
life you wanted for us, me
worrying about you night after
night? Is this the kind of life
you want for your son?
Tonight is the last job. After
tonight neither of us will ever
have to work again. I'm doing this
for you and for Randall.
I know you want the best for us.
But at what cost? You need to
spend more time with Randall. He's
been sneaking out nights and
hanging out until ungodly hours of
the night. I'm worried about him.
Tomorrow I'll take'em to a movie
and I'll put some bars on his
We hear the doorbell.
Look, that's Zack now. I gotta go,
but I'll be back soon.
Joseph opens the door. Zack enters.


Yo! What up! You ready get busy or
Upon seeing Marie...
Oh, hi Marie. Didn't see you
standing there.
Hello, Zack, please take good care
of my husband tonight.
Don't I always? I'll make sure the
two of you live out your sunset
years in style.
Let's go.
Joseph and Zack are looking up examining the fire escape
outside of the building.
I'm getting to old for this shit.
The faster we get this over with
the faster you can go home and
soak your knees.
Zack jumps and grabs the rickity fire escape pulling the
rusty iron ladder to the ground. They put on black ski masks
and backpacks seemingly filled to capacity. They both climb
the ladder rung by rung, floor by floor, until they reach
the roof.
You sure your cousin is working
Relax, I spoke with him earlier he
said he'd leave the door on the
roof unlocked. Can you believe
they let him watch this building?
The motherfucker's been to prison
twice. They'll give anybody a


                       ZACK (cont'd)
gaurd card.
And he's working alone...tonight?
Would you relax?
Zack tries the door. It opens on cue.
See, try to stay close old man.
The enter the dimly lit stairway. They arrive at rows of
empty glass showcases. They make their way through the
jewlery store and stop in front of a large safe.
Ok, unzip me and hand me my tools
so I can get to work.
You really should say shit in your
head before speaking?
Just open my backpack.
Zack obeys.
Now go keep watch. And don't touch
anything. If you touch the glass a
gate drops down and we're trapped
inside until the police arrive.
Then we both go to jail.
Got it.
You're going to miss me one day ya
      (while he's
No...I won't. I taught you
everthing I know about this
business. Consider the torch


You're getting soft old man. Next
you'll be telling me-
Zack straightens to attention and strains his ears in the
You hear something?
No, it's cool. Just hurry up
Almost done.
We see Joseph applying small amounts of C4 explosive puddy
to the safe. Then once they find cover, Joseph blows the
safe with a sleek remote detonator. Inside the safe we see
several small boxes. Joseph grabs one at random and opens
it. It's filled with sparkling jewels. Joseph pours a few
into his hands and examines them.
Jackpot! Let me see.
Zack races over to the safe to inspect the rocks for
Let's bag these and get out of
Moments later their work is complete.
Ok. That's it. Let's go home.
With bags in hand they both freeze upon hearing FOOTSTEPS.
Then we see a close shot of the footsteps while newly
hearing the soft "CHINGA CHING" of the keys bouncing around
the gaurd's belt.

The gaurd's eyes dart left two right, searching for the
source of the disturbance that caught his attention.
We see his flash light cutting through the darkness. At
times the light shines mere inches from the hiding places of
Joseph and Zack which we now see despite the dim lighting.

We hear another sound. The gaurd hears it too. He slowly


takes off in the direction of that sound to the relief of
both Joseph and Zack. We see the guard slowly removing his
weapon from its holster careful not to make a sound. We
follow the gaurd whose weapon is now drawn as he navigates
through the darkness with his flashlight.

He's near the safe.

He stands there frozen as he realizes what's happened. Then
suddenly from the darkness Joseph appears from behind the
gaurd. In one quick move, Joseph pins the gaurd's arm
carrying the gun and with his other hand cover's the gaurd's
nose and mouth with a white cloth. The gaurd struggles a bit
but after a moment his legs go limp and he lies helpless in
Joseph's arms.

Joseph drags the gaurd to a shaded area out of sight.
This doesn't look like your cousin
We see Marie packing several suite cases inside her bedroom.
We follow her as she exits the bedroom, down the hall, until
she reachs the day room. Here we see Randall still sitting
in front of the big screen playing video games.
Honey, I think you've played video
games long enough don't you? Go
finish packing. We are leaving
first thing in the morning and you
need your rest.
Randall follows her instructions and walks begrudgingly over
to turn of the game and heads to his room.
Thank you dear you'll see, things
will be different after tomorrow.
We follow Randall to his bedroom. He enters closing the door
behind him. He walks over to his closet and grabs a jacket.
After putting it on, he gently opens his window and exits
his bedroom closing the window just as softly.


Joseph and Zack are removing their backpacks and masks. They
gather the clothes they don't need and throw them in a
nearby dumpster.
How long's the gaurd going to be
Not long.
On cue we see the gaurd walk through door of the roof entry.
Still groggy he stumbles a bit but makes his way over to the
edge. They both watch as the gaurd struggles to get a leg
over the edge to climb down the fire escape.
Time to go.
The gaurd gives up on making it down the fire escape. He
stumbles to the north edge of the building facing the street
and peers over the ledge. He see's a police officer on the
Theif! Help theif! Theif!
The gaurd suceedes in getting the officer's attention points
towards Joseph and Zack just as they exit the alley now
dressed in three piece suites and carrying brief cases.
We have to split up! Meet me at
the spot in thrity minutes and if
you're late, you're on your own.
I'll be there.
The police officer makes his way towards Joseph and Zack.
I'll make sure he follows me.
The police officer now stands in front of Joseph and Zack
staring at them with a suspicious eye.


Whose breifcases are those?
Well that's a silly question
officer. Who's holding the
Well now, that's a great question.
Show me some I.D. fellas!
Sure thing!
Zack reachs into his inside jacket pocket and pulls out his
hand flipping the officer the bird. Then he pretends to slap
the officer while making "wooo wooo wooo woo woo" sounds ala
Curley from the three stooges.

They take off in oppisite directions. The officer persues
Randall. We see them running along the sidewalk barely
dodging pedestrians.
We see Joseph making his way through the crowd carrying his
briefcase. He hails down a cab and hops in.
We see the police officer chasing Randall through the
street. Randall spots a subway and quickly sprints for it
followed closely by the police officer.
Zack hurriedly weaves his way through the crowd still
followed by the policeman. Zack is headed for a subway train
that is boarding and about to depart. He slips through the
trains doors narrowly escaping the policeman.


We see a dark shadowy area. We see Joseph waiting in side a
vehicle. Moments later Zack enters the shot and heads
towards the passengerside of the vehicle.
What took you so long?
That's it! Next time your the
fucking bait!
At the very moment that Zack's hand grabs the passenger door
handle, we see the handle of a gun come crashing down on his
left temple. From anothe angle we see a guy built like a
mack truck standing over Zack's lifeless body targeting his
gun now on Joseph. From the darkness we hear clapping. A
figure comes forward from the darkness.
Bravo! Palmer you've done it
again. Bravo!
In the flesh.
What do you want?
What do you think I want? I want
the score. From tonight and last
month too. I heard you were
I hear things too! I heard you got
kicked out of the marines for
ordering an Iraqi village burned
to the ground.
You remember how it was, some
reckless PO gets drunk and pisses
on a Koran in the middle of town
square, next thing I know we're up
to our ass in pajama jockeys with


And the women and children? What
about them?
A beat. Then we hear Zack groan.
      (in anguish)
I'm going to fucking kill
Zack tries to stand up and is meet with resistance from Mr.
Mack Truck.
No. It's ok. Let him up.
Mr.Mack Truck reluctantly cooperates.
      (to Zack)
Welcome to the party.
Who the fuck are you supposed to
Joseph and I are old friends.
Ain't that right Joseph?
I don't have the stones on me now.
You know that. We were on our way
to the pick up spot just now.
I know. I know you're smarter than
that Joey. I want you to get them
for me and bring them to me.
Zack suddenly chops Mack Truck in the throat causing him to
immediatly drop his gun. Then throws a quick elbow to the
mid-section of Mr. Mack Truck. Zack now holds Mack Truck's
very own gun. He instinctivly points it at the head of the
now hunched over Mack Truck, but equally as fast Staag draws
his gun and aims it at Joseph.
Drop it!


      (to Mack Truck)
You're fired!
Staag fires two quick shots into the chest of Mr.Truck and
instantly has his gun on Zack.
Drop your weapon son.
Staag I need him.
Bullshit you never needed anyone
My knee. It got worse over the
years. The kid helps.
Slowly lower your weapon. I'll
count to three...1...
Fuck you!
Drop it Zack.
      (lowering his
Fuck you! Joe, if this mothafucka
shoots me while I'm lowering my
weapon you better FUCKING BLOW HIS
Zack slowly lowers his gun to his side. Staag reflexivly
lowers his weapons.
The kid's got balls. I see why you
keep him around. But just to make
sure you understand that I won't
look fondly on your disobedience
in the future. Listen to this.


Staag pulls out his cell phone. On the phone we see Randall
blind folded and tied to a chair. He appears to be
frightened but still in one peice.
Zack pulls out his gun again and aims it at the back of
Staag's head.
Zack no! He's got snipers to the
north and east of our location.
Very good soldier. We caught him
sneaking out of your house. How
does it feel for a loved one to
sneak around on you?
Ok Stagg you win. Where do you
want to meet?
On an deserted highway we see Staag and his men waiting as
Joseph slowly stops his vehicle. He has parked quite a
distance from Staag. We see Joseph getting out of his car.
He is carring a gray and black backpack.
                       STAAG (v.o.)
We'll meet in a nice open space. I
know you are too smart to allow me
to triangulate your position
again. You'd neutrilize my snipers
before I arrive. We'll meet
tomorrow at Huntington Beach. No
cops, no funny business. Then
we'll trade your son for my
diamonds. Come alone.
Joseph makes sure the coast is clear then taps his inner ear
and clears his throat. He is careful to speak without moving
his lips.


Zack, are you there?
                       ZACK (o.c.)
      (from Joseph's ear)
I hear you loud and clear.
We see Zack tightly curled into position in a very cramped
space big enough to fit only him and his high powered sniper
You really going to give this guy
those diamonds? Let me shoot this
prick and call it a day.
                       JOSEPH (o.c.)
Too risky. He has my son.
We see Joseph walking towards Staag and his men. They are
still fuzzy outlines standing near a vehicle not yet close
enough to come into focus.
Besides, I'm only giving him the
flawed ice. He's not bright enough
to know the difference. He won't
learn what we've done until he
tries to sell them and even then
he won't care because he's
desperate. Thankfully, he doesn't
know we've been twice as busy for
my retirement.
Joseph has gotten much closer to Staag and his henchmen.
I see them.
Angle on Zack testing the silenced rifle's alignment. He
cleans the lens on the scope to make sure he gets a good
image of his intended targets.
Moving into position now.
Joseph is now considerably closer to Staag and his three
Wait right there Joe!


Joseph stops short in his tracks. Two of the henchmen begin
walking towards Joseph. When they reach him, HENCHMAN NUMBER
ONE grabs Joeseph's backpack and opens it while HENCHMAN
NUMBER TWO frisks Joseph. Both satisfied, they give Staag
the "all clear" signal with a firm head nod.
Where's my son?
Staag gives the remaining henchman a head jerk. Upon seeing
the gesture the henchman opens the trunk of their vehicle.
We see Randall lying in the trunk still bound and now
How is Marie?
We see Zack emerge from his underground hiding space. He was
buried below the sand and now he and his rifle are completly
isolated. He's careful to make sure he's not seen. The
camara sweeps from Zack to Joseph and his party revealing a
great distance between them.
She's fine Staag. You have what
you want now give me my son!
We see the back of Henchman #1's head from the crossed POV
of a sniper rifle.
Target in sight.
You know,...the night she told me
about the two of you...well that
was quite a shock. I mean we were
engaged for Christ's sake.
That was a long time ago.
                       ZACK (o.c.)
What the fuck are you guys talking
about? Get Randall out of there
Staag, let my son go. You have the
diamonds. Just let him go.


You took something very precious
from me.
We see Staag pull a pistol from his back waistline.
Well, today I take something
precious from you.
Staag aims his gun towards the trunk of the vehicle and
rapidly fires three shots into the trunk of the vehicle.

Instantly the back of Henchman #1 head explodes from a muted
lead cartridge. Joseph viciously hammer punches Henchman #2
in the testicles causing him to buckle over crying out in
pain. Just as quickly, Joseph grabs the individual by the
neck and breaks it easily and spins the body qucikly around
protecting himself from shots now being fired by Staag.
Joe, look out!
Staag's first shot misses Joseph's head by inches but his
second two sink squarely in the chest of Henchman #2. The
body slowly slumps to the ground leaving Joseph unsheltered
and outnumbered. Both Staag and the remaining henchman aim
there guns at Joseph while running for cover. Before the
remaining Henchman can even fire a shot, his forhead thrusts
forward violently dropping his bloodly lifeless body to the
ground leaving Joseph and Staag alone.
Call your sniper off or I'll
Staag has taken cover behind his vehicle. We see Zack
adjusting his aim.
He can't see me and I know that
kid of yours isn't good enough to
get me before I get you.


There is a pain in Joseph's face known only to those who've
witnessed someone grieve from a lost child. He soon locates
that favored emotion on the stairway leading from disbelief
to acceptance. Anger. Staag exposes himself for a hundrenth
of a second in an attempt to fire a shot at Joseph but
that's opportunity that Zack needed. A single shot from
Zack's rifle disarms Staag.
Get him Joe.
Joseph stares coldly at Staag. Staag gestures to "bring it
on". Joseph accommodates him supremely. They trade jabs. Joe
is the better striker but Staag wallops him with a couple
power punches. Winded, Staag misses badly with an uppercut
exposing his solar plex. Joseph bashes an elbow through
Staag's midsection. Then Joseph uses a knee to the bridge of
Staag's nose end the fight. Staag falls flat on his back,
too exhausted and too hurt to continue. Joe drops to his
knees beside his rival. Using an old Ju Jitsu move he
learned in Iraq, he uses Staag's own shirt collar to
suppress the air flow to Staag's brain. Staag futily
struggles for a moment, then his efforts cease. Joseph
stares at Staag's motionless body.
He's dead Joe.
Randall is now standing next to Joe. He lays a consoling
hand on his shoulder.
It's over.
My boy?
He's gone. I'm sorry.
Unbearable torrment washes over Joe's face. Tears begin to
fill the wells of his eyes. He makes his way to the trunk of
the vehicle to inspect the remains of his son. His face
tells us all we need to know. It's not pretty. Joseph
becomes lightheaded and loses his bearings. He faints
plunging to the ground. We zoom in close on his face. We
faintly hear Zack calling Joseph's name.


Still close on Joseph's face we hear an alarm clock beeping.
We see Joseph Palmer's eyes open just as he rises to silence
the alarm. Then we see Joseph picking out a suit. Next we
see him straightening his tie as he enters the kithcen area.
We see Marie Palmer making a cup of tea in the kitchen,
while their teenage son sits playing video games on the
You going out again tonight?
A long pause. Joseph recognizes that he's experienced a
premonition of what may very well be his immediate future.
He eye's his son and smiles fondly.
No. Last week was my last job.
He moves towards his son and flops down on the couch with
him. He picks up a controller and joins the game.


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