Home Screenwriting Products Screenwriter Community Screenwriting Store
ScriptBuddy - Screenwriting Software for the Web

Screenwriter Community

Back to List of Published Screenplays
View/Leave Feedback

Cigarette Thieves
by Edward Washington (washington.edward.john@gmail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review: *1/2


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. APARTMENT - BEDROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
ELMORE BROWN, a black teen sits at his desk - before him, an
overflowing ashtray and computer.
                                                            
Smoke clouds rise in the dimly lit, shadowy room.
                                                            
In one hand - a burning cigarette, in the other, a document,
he reads with concern.
                                                            
                       ELMORE (VO)
Your major paper for this course
is due for submission in my office
Monday, December 12th by 7am.
                                                            
Elmore nervously places the computer's mouse over the clock
in the toolbar - a popup appears stating "Sunday, December
11th, 10:05 PM".
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Fuck!
                                                            
He continues examining the document.
                                                            
                       ELMORE (VO)
This paper should be 18-20 pages
and deal with at least five
readings from this course.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Damn.
                                                            
                       ELMORE (VO)
This paper will be worth 90% of
your overall course grade.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
God!
                                                            
With a color drained face, he places the smoked cigarette
into the ashtray.
                                                            
He nods his head - lighting up another one, as he continues
reading the academic syllabus.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
CLOSE UP - DOCUMENT
                                                            

2.

DOCUMENT TEXT (in bold): "I cannot give an extension for
this assignment. Please be aware you must submit a hard
copy of your work on time for it to be graded so you receive
your course credit."
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Shit. I'm fucked!
                                                            
He immediately opens Microsoft's Word. While it loads, he
retrieves a textbook from a backpack at his side.
                                                            
He continues smoking with the textbook haphazardly balanced
across his lap - highlighting text, flipping pages and
inputting text into Word.
                                                            
With the cigarette almost finished, he has generated about a
page of text but most of it, highlighted by spell-check.
                                                            
As he extinguishes the cigarette, interrupting his academic
progress, a Skype request from his father appears.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Man, not now...
                                                            
Elmore declines the request and tries to resume with the
Word document but is again interrupted - this time with a
Skype Instant Message that pops-up.
                                                            
He reads it.
                                                            
                       ELMORE (VO)
Haven't heard from you in a while,
everything OK? Your mom wants to
know if she should get your old
room ready for your return?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Dumb-asses!
                                                            
He lights a new cigarette before writing his reply.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
CLOSE-UP: CHAT WINDOW:
                                                            
"Newportz: Busy now! I'm gonna pass everything & stay, OK?!
                                                            
He closes the chat window, which immediately re-opens.
                                                            
DaddyE: OK. Good. CUL.
                                                            
He re-closes the chat window.
                                                            

3.

                       ELMORE
Good, you idiot.
                                                            
He continues smoking, working with the textbook and the Word
document.
                                                            
(SMOKE) DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT - BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
CLOSE UP: COMPUTER SCREEN (Microsoft Word)
                                                            
On page four according to the document, Elmore extinguishes
the currently cigarette into the ashtray.
                                                            
He reaches into the pack before him for a new one to
discover, none remain.
                                                            
Stunned and in disbelief, he literally looks inside the box
to find only scattered crumbs.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Gotta be kidding me?!
                                                            
He goes to the dresser's top drawer, removes a wallet, sits
down to open it and discovers it's empty (cash-wise).
                                                            
Back at his desk, he looks online for his dad but he's
offline with an away message "Sleeping".
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Freakin' great!
                                                            
He tries to resume his assignment but emotionally can't -
preoccupied with the need for a cigarette.
                                                            
Frustrated, he finally gets up and exits the room.
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
The television is on and his roommate Chris, is sitting back
on the sofa, watching Family Guy on DVD. His feet crossed
on-top of the nearby coffee table. Beer in hand. Empty
cans stacked before him.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Yo Chris... where's Buddy?
                                                            

4.

                       CHRIS
Buddy went home for the weekend.
Be back... he told me, Tuesday.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Damnit!
                                                            
                       CHRIS
Why? What's up?!
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Dire need of a cigarette...
                                                            
                       CHRIS
Aw.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Hey man. I know I don't talk to
you guys much and stay locked up
in my room but hear me out...
                                                            
Chris puts down his beer, pauses the DVD and gives Elmore
his undivided attention.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Thanks.
                                                            
BEAT.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
I've been on academic probation
this semester. I doubt that's a
shocker!?
                                                            
BEAT.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Anyway, so I've been limited to
two courses. Both must be passed
with a "C" or better or I'll be
academically terminated.
                                                            
                       CHRIS
Shit!
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Shit is correct. Not meeting these
probation requirements will ban me
from this University for a period
of five years!
                                                            
                       CHRIS
Fuck dude!
                                                            

5.

                       ELMORE
The problem is, I somehow forgot
about an assignment, for one of my
classes. A major assignment due
tomorrow. I fail this and it's
back home with the overly
Christian parents you met when
they moved me in... And with that
pressure to join the military.
                                                            
                       CHRIS
That's not good, man.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Your telling me?!
                                                            
Chris re-grabs his beer and takes a heavy sip.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
I'm being real because I need to
ask a favor.
                                                            
                       CHRIS
I hope I can help... shoot away.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Can I borrow, just three damn
bucks? Enough to buy me a pack of
something generic and get through
this hell of a night?
                                                            
Chris empties the beer and adds it to the stack of cans
before him.
                                                            
                       CHRIS
I'm penny-less, dude! Spent the
last of my spare change on the 12
pack of beast you see me killing
as we speak...
                                                            
                       ELMORE
It's my problem dude, thanks
though.
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT - BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Elmore re-enters his room. Sits at the desk and angrily
minimizes the Word document on screen before him.
                                                            
After staring at this overflowing ashtray, he gets up and
goes back into the dresser.
                                                            

6.

He removes a pack of rolling papers and sits back down.
                                                            
He begins emptying the "butts" from the ashtray - they are
too short to re-smoke but contain minute amounts of tobacco
he removes just before the filters.
                                                            
He eventually yields a pile of smoke darkened tobacco that
he rolls into a fresh cigarette using the last paper in his
pack.
                                                            
He grins at his accomplishment before lighting it up.
                                                            
He reacts with a violent cough from the harsh smoke of the
unfiltered cigarette.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
I need a real cigarette, man,
fuck!
                                                            
Displeased, but continues taking drags/hits from the
cigarette.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
This ain't working!
                                                            
(Smoke) Dissolve to:
                                                            
 
INT. APARTMENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Chris' POV:
                                                            
Slouched more-so on the couch - he watches Elmore exit his
room and lock the door.
                                                            
Elmore is wearing an awkward raincoat, underneath a
backpack, with over-sized boots - puffing on the remainder
of his hand-rolled cigarette.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Don't even ask....
                                                            
                       CHRIS
You smoking -- ?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Does it smell like - ? Come on,
this smells like ass...
                                                            
                       CHRIS
      (Chuckling)
Partying with Gordon Fisherman?
                                                            

7.

                       ELMORE
Shit's not funny! Look outside. I
have to go out in that to hunt
down a cigarette!
                                                            
                       CHRIS
Good luck, in all seriousness...
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Thanks. Problem is - one
cigarette won't do me shit. I
can't even ration one cig. through
the night. Whatever. My addiction
is deciding my moves and is in the
controller's seat.
                                                            
                       CHRIS
Be smart. Your time is ticking,
man!
                                                            
 
EXT. COMMMONS / DINING HALL - NIGHT
                                                            
Elmore stands outside the University dining hall, taking
cover, under the canopy, rainfalls, and next to him is a
three foot tall, cigarette dispenser.
                                                            
He looks around, watching people, enter/exit.

The ones entering the building - glad to get out of the
rain.

The ones exiting - apply hoods, zip/button coats or expand
umbrellas.
                                                            
Elmore finds himself alone, takes out his phone and checks
the time.

"11:30 PM"
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Damnit!
                                                            
He re-tucks his phone - shielding it from the rain - looks
up and startled to see a dis-shelved, old man, approaching
wearing "homeless" plaid attire.
                                                            
                       HOMELESS MAN
Don't mind do ya?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Huh? I'm just waiting for someone
to smoke... trying to bum one...
                                                            

8.

                       HOMELESS MAN
Fuck being a bum....
                                                            
The man picks up the cigarette dispenser, upside downs it,
spilling cigarettes out.

Elmore watches quietly as the man bags them up and takes off
like a thief in the night.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Not a bad idea... Had I papers to
re-roll...
                                                            
A female exits, busy talking with a friend.
                                                            
                       GIRL #1
Damn rain!
                                                            
Girl #2 puts her hood on, Girl #1 zips up her coat, which
doesn't have a hood.
                                                            
                       GIRL #2
Don't forget the umbrella!
                                                            
                       GIRL #1
Oh yeah...
                                                            
Girl #1 removes a compacted umbrella from her pocket
standing at the top of the staircase. While doing so, a
wallet falls to the ground, unnoticed.
                                                            
The girls - hooded up tightly and expanding the umbrella,
don't realize the wallet-loss.
                                                            
They "bitch" about the terrible weather and all the work
they have for "finals", eventually proceeding down the
stairs.
                                                            
Elmore looks around, then doesn't hesitate to grab up the
fallen wallet before he himself, marches down the stairs.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. TRAIN TRACKS - NIGHT
                                                            
After hesitating, Elmore walks from the lit street - moving
along the train tracks which continue across the road and
into a dark section behind a string of closed businesses -
total darkness until the next intersecting road about a half
mile ahead.
                                                            

9.

Elmore walks on, as he moves, stepping over muddy gravel,
along the tracks with light falling drizzle.
                                                            
He hears noises from the parallel brush, scared, he
increases his speed. Continuing to hear noises,he advances
quicker and quickr, until reaching the next road
intersection.

Thankful for the accompanying light, he can now see.

He crosses the road, after a car passes and walks along the
closed businesses and approaches "Shore Stop" - a
gas-station/convenience store that is certainly open.
                                                            
 
INT. SHORE STOP - MOMENTS LATER
                                                            
Elmore enters.

He wipes the mud drenched boots on the purposely placed rug.


After removing his raincoat hood, he eyes the only employee.

He works a mop, next to a "wet floor sign".

After hearing the bell on the door / Elmore's entrance, he
drops the mop and advances to behind the counter.
                                                            
                       CLERK
And how can I help you?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
A pack of Newports. Actually... a
carton.
                                                            
Elmore releases the backpack from one shoulder, unzips the
lower portion and from within the girl's wallet (invisible
to the clerk), removes a folded wod of cash -- two twenties
and a ten.
                                                            
                       CLERK
Sure. Will that be it?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Yeap. But please confirm the
price...
                                                            
Elmore counts the cash below the counter as the employee
scans the box.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
$49.50?
                                                            

10.

Elmore reads the total reflected on the cash register after
the carton is scanned.
                                                            
                       CLERK
Yes sir.
                                                            
Elmore hands over the funds.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Barely enough...
                                                            
The clerk returns Elmore's change.
                                                            
                       CLERK
Like a bag?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Nah. It's going right into my
backpack.
                                                            
                       CLERK
Go to Salisbury?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Yeap, and hopefully, I graduate...
                                                            
                       CLERK
Why you say that?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
It's a long story. Essentially, I
have an all-niter to pull off, a
20 page essay by the morning - if
not, I fail the class, and the
University's done with my ass.
                                                            
                       CLERK
Damn. Then what's your plan?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
None. I'll HAVE TO move back home
and with that, non-stop pressure
from the 'rents to join the
military.
                                                            
                       CLERK
Blows...
                                                            
                       ELMORE
I'll get through. Now that I got
my cigarettes... Running out was
my biggest roadblock.
                                                            

11.

CUT TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. TRAIN TRACKS - NIGHT
                                                            
Walking off the sidewalk - Elmore follows the tracks back
into the darkness.

Cigarette in mouth.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
No more until I'm working.
                                                            
He takes the opened pack from his pocket and places it back
into the carton box inside the backpack.
                                                            
Inside his backpack, he takes notice of the girl's wallet.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Ditch that shit in the sewer...
                                                            
He continues walking along the tracks, with his only light
source, the cigarette cherry and lights from the next road
intersection ahead.
                                                            
Suddenly an old raspy voice - too close for comfort - calls
out.
                                                            
                       MAN
      (raised voice)
A'...
                                                            
Elmore continues along faster, ignoring the man, scared.
                                                            
The over-sized boots and immediate darkness prevent him from
running.
                                                            
                       MAN
A' I know you here me!
                                                            
Elmore continues moving, not stopping.
                                                            
                       MAN
It's slippery, man. Just hold
up...
                                                            
Elmore realizing the man is right behind him, confronts the
unseeable man.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
I can't even see your ass, man!
                                                            

12.

                       MAN
I just saw and figured you could
bum me a cigarette? That's all...
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Ok... ok...
                                                            
Elmore takes the backpack off and unzips it.

The man activates a huge lighter giving amazing light and
revealing the carton, as Elmore takes a cigarette from the
opened pack.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
      (angrily)
Cut it. I'm good.
                                                            
The man deactivates the lighter and Elmore puts the backpack
back on.

He extends the cigarette out to the partially visible
stranger in his presence.
                                                            
The man hesitates to accept it, baffling Elmore.
                                                            
                       MAN
Can I ask you something?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
What?! I have to go! Here man...
                                                            
                       MAN
Economy is bad. Times are tough...
                                                            
                       ELMORE
I know that! And?! Shits no better
for me.
                                                            
                       MAN
Can I get a pack?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Your asking for my whole pack?!
                                                            
                       MAN
Just one pack.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
What? No! All I have is a pack!
                                                            
Elmore continues to extend and offer the cigarette to the
dark shadowy figure but growing tired and scared.
                                                            

13.

                       ELMORE
And Lord knows I need my pack.
Take this man... I have to go...
                                                            
                       MAN
Why you going to lie to me?
                                                            
                       ELMORE
What? I'm not. I'm trying to be
nice. But if you don't want it...
                                                            
Elmore starts to walk off, cigarette in hand, along with his
still burning, when the man leaps for the backpack, knocking
both cigarettes out of Elmore's hands.

Elmore tries to run but cant even move being held and pulled
by the backpack.
                                                            
                       MAN
I was trying to be nice... now,
give up the backpack!
                                                            
Elmore scared to death, removes his arms from the bag's
straps - releasing it to the man with all it's contents.
                                                            
                       MAN
      (calmed)
A' I need this more than you,
believe me, son.
                                                            
The man calmly walks off in the opposite direction of
blackness.

Elmore realizing his loss, foolishly trails the man,
pleading.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
Please man. You win. Please, can I
just get one pack? I need to at
least get through the night...
                                                            
                       MAN
I just wanted a pack... Get lost!
                                                            
Elmore stops and watches the thief take off, his immediate
reaction is for a cigarette, he reaches and hopes there is
one, somewhere, but of course, none.
                                                            
                       ELMORE
      (to himself)
Fucker! I hope he gets picked up
and busted with the girls wallet.
                                                            


FADE OUT.


Back to Top of Page
Leave Feedback
Feedback
From John Bradley Date 1/8/2013 *1/2
Use more discrition with your character introductions, don't worry so much about what they look like as what their "essence" is. Instead of "(VO)" it's "(V.O.)" For spec scripts, instead of saying "CLOSE UP - SOMETHING" just put SOMETHING then describe it on the line below, like this. You obviously have an understanding of script structure. Just keep studying, reading other screenplays, and editting.


Back to Top of Page
Leave Feedback
You must be logged in to leave feedback.
Home    My Account    Products    Screenwriter Community    Screenwriter's Corner    Help
Forgot Your Password?    Privacy Policy    Copyright 2018, ScriptBuddy LLC.    Email help@scriptbuddy.com