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the express (short)
by xavier j. juarez (x.juarez@gmail.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Drama   User Review:

In this "Short" two brothers reunite at a train station to deal with some family affairs. It doesn't take a while for them to start reminiscing on there childhood. Sooner or later good old nolstagia finds a way to invade the cabin and take them for a ride.

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 shot opens up on a train station platform. This scene is
in black and white. It is very Michael Gondry/ "Death to the
Tin-Man" inspired with the background just being a
projection. It's light out, but maybe a little foggy. A
cloud of smoke rolls past the camera. The setting should be
really simple.
A man is standing by himself waiting. He looks around as if
there are a lot of people on this platform. He looks at his
watch. He see's someone.
Hey yo Mikey!
Oh there you are...Damn you're
getting shorter.
You're a frickin giraffe; Get over
here man (Hugs Him) Missed you
man. (Notices) You still smell
Still the same Johnny.
You bet.
I can smell Moms cooking already.
Yeah I can smell it all the way
from here. (Hugs him) Come on we
got to get going.
Yeah yeah yeah.
We got some business to take care
of first.


What are we doing picking up some
stuff for pops. You know he ain't
suppose to be eating those
spumoni's. He'll be shitting
stomach acid out for weeks.
Naw hero…we got some other
Just some business.
Oh that kind.
What we doing counting numbers.
We're gonna bury someone.
Who is he? What's is resume?
Some Mercutio kid. He seems to be
having financial issues.
What he do?
He stole from company.
It happens.
But the money wasn't from the
company it was from Pops.
So he stole from Pops?


No one steals from Pops.
That's right.
They gotta be in one of those
loony bins to steal from the Big
This guy doesn't belong in a loony
bin, he should be laying face down
in the earth, fertilizing the
mulberry bush.
We'll we gotta do something about
But we got to make it silent.
Train Whistle blows.
That's us.
They begin walking down to the train. Mikey pulls out a
snack. It's cheese.
You want some?
Do I want some cheese?
Yeah you want some?
You trying to kill me?
No…why… (Realizing) Oh that's
right sorry man. Totally forgot.
How can you forget?


I dunno I guess when you haven't
been around things are harder to
remember, my brain slowly fades.
You don't remember that
thanksgiving when I got rushed to
the meds over Aunt Lucy's cake?
That's right.
I specifically asked her, "You put
milk in here?" "Of course not",
she says. Minute later I'm
swelling up like a damn sponge. My
gills were giving out.
You were always a soft one as a
A soft one! What the hell are
talking about, I'm allergic. It's
not like "Hey lets not go to the
circus, I'm don't mess with
clowns". I'm not afraid of cheese.
I'm just afraid of being in the ER
pinned down while the doctor has
his meat cleavers in my throat.
They hop on the train. We don't really see the train. We
just see a little bit of it. Just mainly the stairs. They
walk into the cabin. Its made entirely of cardboard with two
benches facing each other. With a big open window cut out.
It has a projection screen outside the window also playing
as the background. From outside we see trees. They put there
stuff away. They dialogue should be continuing going as all
this takes place.
That's not what I'm talking about.
I'm just talking about us as kids.
I wasn't wearing no leotard


I know… but remember (Laughs as if
looking at the past) we use to
dress up, and pretend to be
He stairs out the window, which displays trees passing by.
The camera zooms in on the window. It slowly begins to
change into a form of a nolstagic flash back, but displaying
out the window.
Oh yeah.
They are both staring out the window, looking at there past.

The camera slowly dollys across there faces looking out the
window. They are grinning ear to ear in awe.
I was always Python and you were
Slam. We used to throw the couch
cushions on the floor and have a
The film style should be very old looking. But not cliche
old style with the grainy film and pre-set film scratches.
But it should feel like a home video. We show the window and
its showing a living room.Two younger versions of the
brothers, about 7-12 years old, walk in carrying couch
cushions. One is has a towel wrapped around his neck, and
underwear on his head. The other has underwear over his
shorts, with a rope as a tail. They throw there cushions on
the floor center. We hear a ding. They begin to wrestle on
these cushions.
You always cheated. You always got
me when back was turned
The brother begin acting like they are commentators for a
WWF wrestling match. The camera cuts back and forth to there
faces and the flashback.
See! Look at you always getting in
me in the back.
What are you talking about? The
bell has already rung.


The younger versions of them continue the wrestling. Younger
Mikey hops on the couch and jumps on his brother, as if he
were jumping off the top ropes. They older brothers laugh.
We then show younger Mikey pulling his hair.
But look at you, you were always
aiming low. Look playing a like a
girl. Who pulls hair?
You got to do what you got to do
to win.
Younger version of Mikey pins the other brother. We then do
a shot of older Mikey smiling, and he mouths the count,
showing his fingers when he does this, as if he were the
ref. "1, 2, 3". The Bell Rings. And we dolly across there
faces again smiling. We then show younger Mikey gloating as
if this were a championship match. Younger Johnny is on the
floor being over dramatic in his pain. The flash back slowly
begins to deteriorate to the real world, and the trees slow
begin rushing by.
Ok I'll give it to you, you pinned
me. But you weren't pinning the
All you got was Martha from down
the street, and her parents shaved
her head when she got lice.
Hey but when it grew back, she was
But the rest of the time, she was
wearing a mop on her head! I
Wanted to lather her in pine sol.
Remember that one time, when we
snuck out to go see that Stallone
movie. Remember mom…


      (In a womans voice)
"This movie is too violent for my
      (In a womans voice)
"They're gonna get bad thoughts in
their head and do something
stupid…like Hitler or something."
Was she crazy or was she crazy.
Our whole family is violent. Uncle
Rudy…you remember when we saw him
pop some that guy with the lazy
Yeah…said he was looking at him
Remember what he told us. "Family…
"…Never goes in front of
business." Yeah I remember. And
that's why we got to settle the
score. Exterminate this rat.
Where we stopping at?
Forrest Hill.
It's coming up.
So what have you been up to?
I'm the manager at the pizza place
down in the city.
Down in Charleston?


Yeah… "Chicago's Original Deep
Dish Pizza"
You're in Charleston.
Charleston, Chicago.
None of these thick-headed people
will know the difference. They see
a sign that says "Original" or
"World's Best" and they start
flocking like sheep.
Good stuff.
What about you?
I'm still in the business with
Pops. Do what I do. Lil' Elijah
turns eight this year. I'm taking
him to go see a ball ball. We got
some good seats, four rows from
the plate.
Man… he's turning eight… I
remember when he was a couple
months, drool hanging from his
lip. Mom used to think he retarded
or something. I can't wait to see
Well…I wasn't supposed to tell
you… but Pop's wants you to come
back. Since were running low on
cash…and you know how we don't
like outsiders, he just thought
that you could make a comeback or
something. (Pauses and stares at
him) I miss you Mikey. We miss
you Mikey.


The background turns white for a second. Then resumes back
to trees.
You serious.
Yeah ever since you got locked
up…the back bone of our business
was gone. You got more spine then
a book, kid. And plus you been out
for ten years. Parole is up next
month. Think about it. You can
finally move back. It's been kind
of lonely at home. Mom misses
you…she talks about you all the
time. Can't keep her mouth shut.
(Laughs) She misses you…Last night
she was blubbering over you. Right
before I hopped on the train to
get you, she pulls my arm, and
says (He grabs Mikey, Struggling
with these words, almost in
tears.) "Don't you let anything
happen to my Mikey"
She said that?
Yup, things been so weird without
She really said that.
What, you think I'm lying to you?
Naw…Your nose ain't growing.
We're almost here.
Cool…where this fella live?
Across the street from the
station…but hey.


(His head is down) What?
Look at me. (Mikey looks at him)
We miss you. We want you back. (He
stands up) I love you…don't you
forget about that…
Mikey gets up in slow motion. As this happens, the
projection out the window goes white. Then vivid color
flashbacks begin to roar across the screen. There mom
talking to Johnny.Blue. Trees. Them playing as kids. Heavy
clouds.Kids running. The running flashes back with trees.
Water hoses. Mom giving them hugs. Flashes of color.
Yellows.Trees. Dad teaching them how to shoot a B-B gun.
Stars.Then them lying in the grass like lions. Vivid Stars.
Then Them running. Running so hard that it looks as if there
hearts are going to give out. They hug.
      (With emotion)
I always got your back. just
because YOU'RE far away doesn't
give you the right to act like a
stranger ok?
At this moment Mikey is feeling his brother's love. He then
becomes stiff and his bones lock up. He stares harshly at
Johnny. His eyes are wide, and his mouth begins to lock up.
We had a few roaches but never a
rat in the house. Next time you
decide to steal from Pop, you
better make sure your rat isn't a
Mikey is then breathing heavily, and his eyes never shut.
Johnny pulls the knife out of his back, which shouldn't be
seen until he puts it back into his pocket. He is paralyzed
and his whole body goes limp to where Johnny is only
supporting him. He can't move a bone. Johnny then picks him
up. Puts his body in a chair, closes his eyes, and makes him
look like he is sleeping. He kisses his forehead.
"Family never goes in front of


He then walks out of the door frame, glances left to right.
He exits and as he is The horizon is blazing with vicious
colors, that you can only see Johnny's silhouette amidst the
WAR. Train Whistle Blows
                                         BLACK OUT.


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