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by Zachary Murdock (zacharybednar90@gmail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: War Movies   User Review:

Unfinished. Written for fun.

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.


Two US Army deserters walk along the shoreline.

The beach is completely empty. They trek through the sand,
toward nothing in particular.

The taller and more muscular of the two soldiers is PVT.
DUNKEL, mid to late twenties. His pants are bloodstained and
his the firearm in his hand quivers in his grip.

PVT. DAHL, late teens to early twenties, is shorter and
skinnier. He looks soaking wet, but unlike Dunkel, his
uniform is not bloodstained. He looks scared.
They have been walking for so long that their march appears
much more like a stumble. A lot less enthusiastic than it
probably once was.

Dahl stops to drink water from his canteen.

Dunkel waits for him. He looks around at the emptiness of
everything and waits.
Dahl takes a good chug.

He wipes his mouth with his sleeve when he's done.

And they continue down the shoreline.
Dunkel and Dahl gather sticks and leaves and hard rocks of

Dunkel intends to use his book of matches to start a fire.

Dunkel and Dahl have a fair amount of trouble getting the
fire started.

Dunkel and Dahl pull out letters from their packs and begin
to feed the flames with them.

The fire catches, and soon both soldiers are convinced that
it is here to stay.


Dunkel and Dahl stand in the ocean with makeshift harpoons
and spear at fish.

Quite a few tries are had before Dunkel actually spears a
good sized grouper.

They smile at each other as it flops around in Dunkel's
Dunkel and Dahl eat the grouper by the fire and look out at
the ocean in silence.
By morning, Dahl is out in the ocean with his makeshift
spear attempting to catch them breakfast.

Dunkel watches from camp as Dahl prods and lunges down into
the water, with little luck.

Dahl stands perfectly still. He spots another grouper.

He slowly raises the spear above his head, in the zone.

And then he plunges downward and actually sticks it.

He smiles at his bounty on the end of his spear.

He turns when he hears Dunkel clap in mock applause.

He does not smile at him.
Dunkel and Dahl continue down the shoreline.

It isn't long before they see what looks two mounds of

They approach the mounds cautiously, guns drawn.

One mound turns out to the mutilated remains of an enemy
soldier. The other mound is the corpse of an American
soldier, his face blown off, and pistol still in hand.

They study the corpses in silence.


Satisfied, Dahl begins to walk away.

Dunkel takes a longer time examining the bodies. Especially
that of the dead American.

He wonders to himself if he could ever do that.

By the looks of it, it was a true fight to the death.

He also contemplates suicide.

He wonders if he has a threshold. If he could be pushed far

He doesn't think so.

Dahl doesn't wait for him. Dunkel has to catch up.
They continue down the shoreline.
Dunkel an Dahl have set up another camp and made another
small fire out of letters and scrap materials.

Dahl lays down in the sand by the firelight.

Dunkel sits by it, reading a crinkled up letter over and
over again.

Dunkel points at it with a sly grin.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
It's my Dear John letter.
Dunkel looks it over again, for what seems like the
hundredth time.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I got it almost a week ago. I was
so excited to see her name on it.
But I already knew what it was. I
knew what it was going to say. I
knew she had met someone.
Dunkel's got some tears in his eyes, but he doesn't cry. He
lets his eyes water up, but that's all he lets them do.
Dunkel looks over at Dahl and smiles. On the verge of tears
and still smiling.


                       PVT. DUNKEL
Says he's a reporter. She's
mentioned him before in her other
letters. She said I should meet
him sometime. But I don't really
want to anymore.
Dahl doesn't know what to say. He knows he should offer some
comforting words. But he's never seen Dunkel so vulnerable.
He decides that the quiet approach is what's best. Just
listening to him.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
A real ladies man by how she used
to talk about him. I guess he
really was irresistible. Now the
love of my life is just another
trophy in his case. And I guess
she's fine with that. With fucking
Dunkel gazes down at his blood stained pants.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
She must like fucking him. And I
must like getting fucked. Because
this shit is a blessing in
disguise. I had been numb for so
long, I forgot how emotions were
supposed to feel. But now I
understand depression, he and I
have been reacquainted. And I
understand betrayal and longing.
Embarrassment and shame. I
understand how it feels to be
emasculated and covered in another
man's blood.
Dunkel closes his eyes.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Oh, God. I do understand
emasculation. I understand how it
feels to lose. I understand
property and seizure. I understand
defeat at the hands of a man. His
defeat does not mean to fortify,
it means to debilitate. His war is
won, and he never even had to look
me in the eyes. Before too long,
I'll be a casualty of two wars.
Dunkel looks again at his letter.


                       PVT. DUNKEL
They're fucking right now. I can
feel it. She's got his cock so far
down her throat and he's grinning
like some cheap, filthy King.
Dunkel looks at Dahl again.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
When he cums in her, it's about
victory and manhood. And I can
feel every time he does it, and it
takes chunk out of me every time.
Then his eyes go back to the letter his hands.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I bet she likes how he tastes. She
craves for it.
Dunkel shakes his head.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
A fucking journalist.
He looks at the fire.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Some rich kid reporter who has
never known courage. Some spoiled
little intellectual brat.
Dunkel drops the letter in the fire and watches it burn.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
A scared little boy who ran away
from everything, joined the army,
and ran away.
He gets lost in his gaze.
When he snaps out of it, he looks over at Dahl who has
fallen asleep.
Dunkel looks up at the stars and lays down in the sand.

And cries very softly to himself.
Dunkel and Dahl continue aimlessly down the shoreline.


The empty, quiet shoreline.

Dahl hangs back and stops in his tracks, exhaustively
bending over, cradling his gut.

Dunkel stops walking, looks back at him and waits.
                       PVT. DAHL
Where are we going, Dunkel?
Dahl looks positively defeated.
                       PVT. DAHL
Dunkel points ahead. At the big nothing.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Down there.
                       PVT. DAHL
Dunkel, there's nothing down
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Well, we know what'll happen if we
turn around. We know what's behind
                       PVT. DAHL
Dunkel, it's been days. DAYS. This
place is deserted and we're
running out of water.
Dunkel doesn't have anything to say to that.
Dahl looks around at the big nothingness.

And SCREAMS at the top of the lungs in frustration.
Showing a great amount of discipline and restraint, Dunkel
patiently waits for Dahl to speak.
                       PVT. DAHL
We should never have ran. We
didn't have anywhere to run to.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
But that was the choice we made.
                       PVT. DAHL
It wasn't a very smart one. We're
not very smart people.


                       PVT. DUNKEL
But we ARE people. At the very
least, we're still people. We're
human beings, Dahl. I have lost my
pride, my woman, my innocence, and
my world. I will NOT lose my soul
as well. If we had stayed to fight
another day, I would have. I know
Dahl spins around in a full circle and flaps his arms.
                       PVT. DAHL
We might die out here! Can't you
see that? We need to find some
place to go.
Dunkel doesn't say anything, he just looks around.
                       PVT. DAHL
And our souls are still up for
grabs. Regardless of how safe you
think yours is out here.
Dahl drinks from his canteen. His hands are shaking.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
When we ran, we did it because it
was the only thing left for us to
do. Remember that, Dahl. There's
no going back.
Dahl storms past Dunkel, up the shoreline with purpose and
And calls out into the emptiness:
                       PVT. DAHL
      (at the top of his
Dunkel watches him.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I wouldn't do that. You don't want
the wrong people to pick up that
message, do you?
Dahl confronts him.


                       PVT. DAHL
And just who are the 'wrong
people', Dunkel? Doesn't everybody
fall into that category? Is there
anybody out there who we can
trust? Or will we run away from
them for the rest of our lives?
                       PVT. DUNKEL
We'll run until we know we can't
                       PVT. DAHL
Dahl jabs a finger in his face.
                       PVT. DAHL
You're a coward, that's what you
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I was afraid and so were you.
                       PVT. DAHL
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I'm only human.
                       PVT. DAHL
You and that fucking Dear John
letter. You are so GODDAMN
pathetic, you know that? Were you
like this back home too? Back in
fucking Ohio? Have you always been
this much of a FUCKING coward?
                       PVT. DUNKEL
You need to calm down.
                       PVT. DAHL
And you need to man up. Your
fiancÚ's off sucking some two-bit
reporter's dick and what do you do
about it? You fucking run away
from it. You run away from
                       PVT. DUNKEL
What CAN I do?


                       PVT. DAHL
You can be man. You can go back to
Ohio and put a bullet in him.
They stare each other down.
                       PVT. DAHL
It's what he deserves, isn't it?
Dunkel doesn't say a word.
                       PVT. DAHL
Well? You've got to do something
about it. You can't just run away
from every war you sign up for.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Why does everything I sign up for
turn out to be a war?
                       PVT. DAHL
Because that's the kind of person
you are, Dunkel. You just don't
know it yet.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
And what kind of person are you?
Dahl doesn't say a word.

He turns away and continues the trek down the shoreline.
Dunkel and Dahl sit a few feet away from each other,
watching the sun set over the ocean.
                       PVT. DAHL
We ran for the right reasons,
Dunkel looks Dahl over, who's lost in the view of the ocean.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I know we did, Dahl. I know we
                       PVT. DAHL
They wanted us to kill for
something that didn't make sense.
They wanted us to die for a cause
that they didn't bother explaining
to us. We were expected to hold


                       PVT. DAHL (cont'd)
down the hill. But for what
purpose? So our country could have
one more hill to it's name? For
                       PVT. DUNKEL
One more hill and a thousand dead
soldiers. For conquest.
Dahl pauses a moment to pick through the sand with his
fingers. Dirty fingernails.
                       PVT. DAHL
We did what we had to.
Dunkel and Dahl sit in silence as the sun continues to set.

They think silently of their own memories of the battle on
the hill.
                       PVT. DAHL
When I first enlisted, they gave
me a nickname. They called me
'Muntzy', after Arthur Muntz. Do
you know who that is?
Dahl looks over at Dunkel.

Dunkel shakes his head.
                       PVT. DAHL
He was a military deserter in the
Civil War. Arthur Muntz deserted
the Confederate Army after The
First Battle Of Bull Run and was
subsequently hunted down and
executed by his fellow soldiers as
a result of it.
Dunkel digs his fingers absent-mindedly into the sand as he
                       PVT. DAHL
Even then, they knew I was a
coward. In simulated training
sessions of warfare, I just froze
up and became completely
unreliable. But I did good every
once in a while. Back then, I
wasn't so dumb. I was good with
explosives. I still am. Explosives
serve a function in all armies and
that was my duty. But they called


                       PVT. DAHL (cont'd)
me 'Muntzy'. And I never liked
that. Then the name calling
changed when I got married.
My wife was a beautiful girl. And
no one could ever understand why
she went with someone like me. So,
they stopped calling me 'Muntzy'
and began to refer to me as 'Pvt.
Dahl'. They actually called me by
my name. They started to take me
out on furloughs with them, nights
on the town, and they decided to
include me in their group. The
marriage didn't last very long
after that.
They put me on the spot one night
with this German whore. I was
incredibly drunk and feeling
pretty good about my new friends.
Privileged. They called it a
belated wedding present. They took
me out on the Bachelor Party I
never had. And they threatened to
torment me again if I didn't sleep
with her. And I was drunk enough.
So I did.
Dahl looks at Dunkel seriously now.
                       PVT. DAHL
The next morning my commanding
officer grabs me from my cot and
hurls me into his office. My new
friends were all there, every one
of them. They had told him all
about the whore. He made me call
her, Dunkel. He made me call my
wife right then and there. I
begged him but he had a zero
tolerance policy on infidelity
within his unit. He had morals to
uphold and serenity to perpetuate.
He made me put the phone on
speaker and tell her what I had
done. He made my platoon watch me
do it. And they were laughing.
Dahl shakes his head.


                       PVT. DAHL
Since then, we all got split up
and shipped elsewhere. But I swear
to God. Not one month has gone by
where I don't receive a picture in
the mail. Sent by a member of my
old squadron. They...
Dahl spits in the sand and continues to shake his head back
and forth.
                       PVT. DAHL
They have all fucked my wife. They
each send me pictures doing it.
And they're smiling in them,
laughing at me, and she doesn't
know its all a joke. They all come
with writing on the back: "Hey,
Muntzy. Been Thinking Of You".
Dahl rises to his feet.
                       PVT. DAHL
So you should be extremely fucking
thankful that all you got was a
letter. A considerate and
thoughtful letter. What I got's
still coming to me. What I got
never ends.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Dahl, I'm sorry. That's horrible.
                       PVT. DAHL
Is it though? Or is it what a
person like me deserves? Because
that sort of thing has been
happening to me my entire life.
It's almost as if my purpose on
this earth is to be the brunt of
an inside joke.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I don't think you're a joke.
                       PVT. DAHL
Well, it's not like you have a
very credible opinion anyway. It
was your idea to desert the hill.
Not mine. Not 'Muntzy''s. It was
yours, remember?


                       PVT. DUNKEL
I remember. I also remember it was
you that followed me. I never
asked you to come with me. You
just did.
                       PVT. DAHL
I'm never safe anywhere. And I'll
always be a coward.
Dahl glares at Dunkel.
                       PVT. DAHL
What happens when you get yourself
into something you can't run away
from? What ever will you do then?
Dahl walks several more feet away from Dunkel.

And lays down on the ground, and starts to make his own
fire. At his own camp.
They continue their trek down the shoreline.

This time, they can't be called a unit.

There's enough distance between the two of them for three
cars to fit into.

Dahl leads the way, with Dunkel trailing behind.

Dahl stops and looks out at the ocean.

Dunkel stops as well and tries to figure out what he's
looking at.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
What is it?
                       PVT. DAHL
Can you see another shore out
Dunkel squints his eyes and stares hard out into the ocean.

There is no shore in sight.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I don't see anything.


                       PVT. DAHL
Look harder.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
What do you think I'm doing?
There's nothing there.
                       PVT. DAHL
I swear I can see an island out
Dunkel looks Dahl over.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
How's your canteen holding up?
Dahl grabs his canteen and takes a swig of water.

And then he jiggles it.
                       PVT. DAHL
Almost tapped.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Go easy on it. Mine's still three
quarters full. Don't drink more
than you need to.
Dahl grins at Dunkel.
                       PVT. DAHL
Why not? When I'm done with mine,
I could just take yours. You're
not gonna do anything about it.
You're pretty used to having
things stolen from you.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
As are you.
                       PVT. DAHL
True. But given the chance, I'd
kill every last one of them.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I honestly doubt that.
                       PVT. DAHL
Think what you want, Dunkel. Just
don't get in my way.
Dahl starts to continue down the shoreline.


Dunkel remains frozen in place. In disbelief, in anger.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Is that a threat?
Dahl stops and turns to look at him.
                       PVT. DAHL
It is what it is.
Dunkel grins now.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I asked you a question, Muntzy,
and I expect to get an answer.
Dahl's face goes grim.
                       PVT. DAHL
What did you just call me?
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I think you heard me.
Dahl goes for his pistol and Dunkel does the same.

They stand on the shoreline with their guns drawn on each
                       PVT. DUNKEL
You won't do it.
                       PVT. DAHL
Neither will you.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Then what's the point?
                       PVT. DAHL
To remind you what I'm capable of.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I think I'm aware of that,
                       PVT. DAHL
Don't ever call me Muntzy.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Don't ever threaten me.
                       PVT. DAHL
No one calls me Muntzy.


                       PVT. DUNKEL
I beg to differ. According to you,
an entire squadron calls you
                       PVT. DAHL
Not to my face, not anymore.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
But they would. You know they
would. You think they tell your
wife about your little nickname?
You think they tell her what they
call you before they fuck her? Do
you think they laugh, Private
Dahl's eyes go intense and fiery.

Dunkel chuckles softly at him.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Who do you think laughs more about
it? Your wife or the man that's
raw fucking her?
Dahl begins to walk slowly toward him, pistol still locked
                       PVT. DUNKEL
You don't threaten me, boy. I'm
not someone to quarrel with. You
may think I'm a coward but I too
had a nickname with my first
regiment. And it wasn't very nice
either, but believe me, no one
laughed at it.
                       PVT. DAHL
I ought to kill you where you
where you stand.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Maybe you should. But you won't.
I'll prove it to you.
Dahl stops in front of him and Dunkel puts his pistol back
in its holster and stands there empty handed with a gun
shoved in his face.

He is defiantly calm and confident.


                       PVT. DUNKEL
Whenever we get out of this, I'm
going to find your beautiful young
wife and I'm going to make her
suck my dick. She'll be thirsting
for it by the time I finally let
her have it. I'm gonna make her
gag and scream my name. And I'll
send you a picture, Muntzy. To
show you that you're still on my
mind. How would you like that?
Maybe you could even jerk off to
it. Maybe I'll fuck her twice.
Dahl has fired his gun and sent a bullet blasting clear of
Dunkel's head, into the far distance.

He didn't have the guts.

Dunkel simply smiles.
Dahl drops his pistol in the sand and SCREAMS at himself.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Are you done?
Dahl is ashamed.

He refuses to look Dunkel in the eyes.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Is your temper tantrum over with?
Can we continue?
                       PVT. DAHL
... you fuckin...
                       PVT. DUNKEL
You've got two options, Dahl. You
can either cry yourself to sleep
for the rest of your life or you
can get over it.
                       PVT. DAHL
You fucking hypocrite. I can HEAR
you at night. You're crying.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Looks like we both have a choice
then. It's up to the both of us.


                       PVT. DAHL
It hurts. It hurts so bad.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Maybe it'll never go away. Who
                       PVT. DAHL
I want to kill a lot of people.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
So do I.
                       PVT. DAHL
But we won't.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Because we can't.
                       PVT. DAHL
Why can't we?
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Because we don't got the stones to
kill a man who actually deserves
to die.
Dunkel and Dahl look each other over.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Come on, let's go.
                       PVT. DAHL
Why, Dunkel? There's nothing out
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Come on.
Dunkel continues down the shoreline.

Dahl takes his time, but soon enough, he's following in
Dunkel's footsteps.
They have been walking for hours.

Their feet are sore and they look exhausted.

They walk along the shore in the pale blue moonlight.


                       PVT. DUNKEL
Isn't it strange how things like
to fuck themselves up? Isn't it
strange how we're forced to
understand our mistakes without
the opportunity to change them?
                       PVT. DAHL
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I knew my fiancÚ was drifting away
from me for years, man. It was
clear as day. And somehow I still
feel shocked about her leaving. I
never really paid attention to her
the way I should have, the way she
deserved. But God, if I could turn
back time and right all the wrongs
and change everything, I would.
                       PVT. DAHL
Wouldn't we all?
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Memories aren't gifts, they're
nightmares. Because I can look
back and see every instance where
I did the wrong thing. Why did I
do the wrong thing when the right
thing was just as easy to do? I
was a ghost, I simply wasn't there
for her. This, this is all my
fault. This is the kind of
treatment I deserve.
                       PVT. DAHL
No one deserves to have a broken
heart. I wouldn't wish that on my
worst enemy.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I do. I deserve this broken heart.
When I look back, it's as though I
was begging for it our entire
                       PVT. DAHL
Don't trust everything you see in
hindsight. Memories have a bad
habit of being dishonest when they
no longer add up to the present.


                       PVT. DUNKEL
Everything adds up. It always adds
                       PVT. DAHL
Why does there have to be someone
who's wrong and someone else who's
right? Why are you blaming
yourself for things that you could
never change? Even if you did
everything perfect, this still
would have happened. Some things
are preordained. It's like the
adage goes, "there's nothing in
the dark that wasn't there when
the lights were on".
                       PVT. DAHL
You know what, Dahl? You're
actually quite insightful when
you're not shoving a gun in my
                       PVT. DAHL
You still shouldn't have said the
things you did.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I'm sorry I called you Muntzy.
                       PVT. DAHL
Not that. That's whatever. I'm
talking about what you said about
my wife.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
You know she shouldn't be your
wife anymore, right, Dahl?
                       PVT. DAHL
I'd divorce her if I were
stronger. But I don't know if I
can live without her. When she's
with me, I'm the only one, and she
makes me feel important.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Yeah but when she's with other
people, she's having sex with
them. I'd think that would be
incredibly hard to live with.


                       PVT. DAHL
Dunkel. I'm an incredibly hard
person to love. I actually found a
woman who does, for the most part,
love me.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
If she loved you, she wouldn't
treat you like this.
                       PVT. DAHL
No. I think she would. Don't you
think there's part of your fiancÚ
that still loves you?
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Oh I'm sure there's a part of her
that will love me forever. But I'm
also certain that there's another
part of her that will never forget
the ghost I became. I also don't
think that those two parts of her
can live in harmony with each
other. I'm sure she feels a lot of
things for me but the only way for
her to make peace with all of the
ups and downs is to ultimately
remedy the situation by removing
them from her life.
                       PVT. DAHL
Why do you blame yourself for
                       PVT. DUNKEL
Because I pushed her away in my
own peculiar way.
                       PVT. DAHL
Not just that. You have honestly
blamed yourself for everything.
How could you survive this long
after determining your guilt over
and over and over? Time and again?
You've spent your life in self
condemnation. You're always
talking about how many things
you've run away from, and how many
wars you've deserted, when it's
you who's been abandoned this
time. Maybe you just don't like
the way it makes you feel.


Dahl pauses to drink the last of his water.
                       PVT. DUNKEL
I thought we agreed you were gonna
take it easy on the water.
Dahl turns his bottle upside down to show him his canteen is
                       PVT. DAHL
We're never gonna make it
anywhere, Dunkel. So what's the
Dahl sighs and lets the canteen slip out of his hands and
into the sand.

Dunkel looks up at the moon in want of nothing.
Dahl sits there in the sand next to where he dropped his
canteen. He lets the rising tide reach his legs and does

Dunkel is seen a few feet away, trying to make a fire with
damp seaweed and driftwood.

Dahl peers out into the distance. He quints his eyes. He
swears he can see an island out there.
Dunkel reaches into his pocket and pulls out his father's
pocket watch. Dunkel smiles down at it, checks the time, and
puts it back in his pocket.


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