script

The Daughter

BLACK SCREEN.

GOD (V.O.) Abraham!

FADE IN: INT. ABRAHAM’S FACE. It is unclear where ABRAHAM is or what time it is.

ABRAHAM I am here.

FADE OUT

GOD (V.O.) Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

FADE IN. EXT. FARM LAND, SUNRISE. The sun just cresting the horizon, casting the land in shadows and light. INT. THE FAMILY HOMESTEAD, EARLY MORNING. Abraham rouses ISAAC from his slumber. ISAAC’S POV Abraham motions towards the door.

ABRAHAM Come, my son. God has given unto us a special task.

BACK TO SCENE Isaac is dazed and confused but obediently follows his father. CUT TO: INT. ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER. ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER awakens as they leave the room. ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER’S POV She watches them leaving. BACK TO SCENE We follow her as she collects a bow and arrow and makes her way outside. INT./EXT. HOMESTEAD, EARLY MORNING. We follow Abraham’s daughter as she – EXT. ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER. She watches from behind another tree. EXT. ABRAHAM SPLITTING WOOD. Abraham splits the wood outside the homestead. We follow him over to the donkey and Abraham loads the wood onto its back. CUT TO: EXT. THE TRAVELLING PARTY, EARLY MORNING. Seen from above, Abraham is with Isaac and the donkey. Two servants join him. ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER’S POV They set off into the sun. CUT TO: EXT. ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER She follows at a distance and is slowly dwarfed by the landscape. Three days pass shown through fast-fowarded focus on the sun rising and setting. EXT. ABRAHAM – DAY Abraham lifts up his eyes and sees the place God spoke of. EXT. MORIAN HILL IN THE DISTANCE – DAY A hill with a rocky outcropping. EXT. FOOT OF THE HILL – DAY

ABRAHAM Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

THE SERVANTS The servants accept the donkey’s reins from Abraham and settle down to wait. ISAAC’S POV Abraham takes the wood and gives it to Isaac. Abraham carries a lit torch in one hand and secures a knife in his belt. BACK TO SCENE. The two of them begin towards the hill. CUT TO: EXT. ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER – DAY We follow her as she sneaks by the servants and confidently navigates the rocky lesser paths to avoid getting caught. CUT TO: EXT. ISAAC AND ABRAHAM – DAY As they climb, Isaac takes hold of his father’s hand.

ISAAC My father.

ABRAHAM I am here, my son.

ISAAC Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for our burnt offering?

ABRAHAM (hurriedly) My son, God will provide himself a lamb for our burnt offering.

CUT TO: EXT. ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER – DAY Listening in, Abraham’s daughter frowns. CUT TO: EXT. ROCKY OUTCROPPING – MIDDAY Abraham, holding the knife, stands before Isaac, bound and laying over the wood on an altar. The fire of the torch crackles in the slight wind. ISAAC’S POV The fire’s light reflects off the knife. CUT TO: EXT. ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER BEHIND A ROCK – DAY We can hear her sharp intake of breathe as she surveys the scene. CUT TO: EXT. ABRAHAM – DAY Abraham raises the knife. EXT. ROCKY OUTCROP – DAY An ANGEL of God appears.

ANGEL (cries out) Hark.

ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER (calling out) Stop! (REVEALING HERSELF FROM HER HIDING PLACE)

ANGEL What is your name, child?

ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER I have none.

ANGEL How can this be?

ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER My father never gave me one.

Abraham brandishes the knife towards Isaac.

ISAAC (wails helplessly)

Abraham’s daughter raises her bow, the arrow pointing directly at the Angel.

ANGEL How darest you, child, defy your father?

CUT TO: EXT. RAM CAUGHT IN THICKET – DAY A ram stumbles in the thicket behind the Angel. ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER She aims for the ram. ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER POV She looses the arrow, which we follow until, seconds later, it is buried in the ram’s eye. ANGEL’S POV Abraham’s daughter quickly draws another arrow and points it towards Abraham, shooting the knife out of his hand.

ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER You better let young Isaac go.

ABRAHAM’S DAUGHTER’S POV

ANGEL (NODDING AT ABRAHAM) Lay not your hand upon the lad, neither do you any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

Abraham and his daughter work to untie Isaac. They embrace. Abraham collects the ram and they watch it burn.

ANGEL (CONT’D) (to Abraham’s daughter) And for thine bravery, thou name is Yael.

THE END.

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Baby Steps

INT. DAY. CLASSROOM.

The classroom of a university. Desks seating two people are arranged in haphazard columns of three or four, with several rows near the front vacant. ALICE sits alone at her desk near the middle of the room. She is an impatient but reserved girl with yellowy-blond hair. RYAN is behind her. He is attractive with light brown hair and blue eyes.

INT. ALICE’S POV.

ALICE taps a pen on her notepad, looking bored.

INT. RYAN.

RYAN leans forward.

RYAN
It’s raining.

INT. ALICE AND CONSCIENCE.

The girl on the next desk leans over to whisper in ALICE’S ear.

CONSCIENCE
Oh my God. He just talked to you!

ALICE
(to RYAN)
Yup.

CONSCIENCE
Try to look indifferent. How?
Um… Stare at your nails!

ALICE contemplates her nails.

RYAN
I think I forgot my umbrella.

ALICE
(still staring at nails)
Damn.

CONSCIENCE
Okay, you can stop staring at your nails now.
Oh for the love of God don’t you dare bite them.

RYAN
Yeah…

RYAN nods his head as he drags the word out.

CONSCIENCE
Now what?

ALICE looks down at her bag, half concealed by the desk.

INT. ALICE’S BAG.

The zipper of the big pocket is open; a pink, polka-dotted umbrella is poking out.

INT. ALICE AND CONSCIENCE.

CONSCIENCE
Don’t say it. Don’t say it!

ALICE
Wanna walk with me?

CONSCIENCE
Damn it! You said it. You idiot. You’re going
to be all tongue-tied for the entire half-hour walk.
Dig a hole and bury yourself in it-

INT. RYAN.

RYAN
Sure.

ALICE digs her fingers through her hair.

CONSCIENCE
Curses on your genetic pool!

INT. CLASSROOM.

The bell sounds. Everyone gets up to leave.

INT. ALICE RYAN AND CONSCIENCE.

ALICE lets RYAN pass and goes to follow him.

INT. ALICE AND CONSCIENCE.

CONSCIENCE
(chasing after ALICE)
Um… okay! You can do this.
Be interesting. It’s not that hard.

INT. DOOR WAY.

ALICE follows RYAN out of the classroom. ALICE clutches the umbrella lethally in one hand.

INT. HALL.

There’s a pile-up at the doors. People are pushing out the girls with the hairspray hair and the skimpy skirts. Little shrieks are sounding every few seconds as a result of this.

CONSCIENCE
Well, don’t all talk at once!

INT. HALL

Marnie Watson and her three followers come down the adjacent hallway.

INT. STUDENTS.

Everyone turns to look at her.

INT. ALICE.

ALICE looks.

INT. RYAN.

RYAN looks.

INT. MARNIE.

MARNIE is a glamorous girl and an extroverted personality.

ALICE
(voice over)
She’s the “prettiest girl in school”, you know?
With wavy, chocolate-coloured hair, hazel
eyes framed by thick dark lashes, perfectly bronzed
long legs and impeccable fashion sense.

INT. ALICE.

Looking jealous.

INT. PINK UMBRELLA.

ALICE
(voice over)
She wouldn’t be caught dead
with a pink, polka-dotted umbrella.

INT. CONSCIENCE.

CONSCIENCE
Serves you right for actually keeping the flaming thing.

ALICE scowls.

MARNIE notices.

ALICE
(voice over)
Oh shit. I’m scowling at her. But it’s Ryan she wants.

CONSCIENCE
N-duh!

MARNIE saunters over to us.

All eyes following her shapely form.

MARNIE runs her hands across one of RYAN’s shoulders, up his neck and down his jaw line before the hands curl off his skin, ever so gracefully.

MARNIE
(purrs)
Baby…

CONSCIENCE
Double-curses on your genetic pool.
Why can’t you look more like her? Then you’d
be confident and talking to him wouldn’t
be like fighting an avalanche.

ALICE
(voice over)
What a bitch.

CONSCIENCE
Oh would you stop looking at her already?
Just because she’s doing some fucked up
tango doesn’t mean that you have to watch,
even if it is with him.

RYAN
Marnie.

INT. ALICE’S FACE.

Hurt.

CONSCIENCE
As if he’d care that you’re there.
Even if he remembered your existence
he wouldn’t stop playing with her.

ALICE
(voice over)
Ignore it.

RYAN
I have to go, Marnie. I’ve gotta get home.

CONSCIENCE
Yeah, maybe he cares. But I doubt it.

MARNIE
Oh, sure thing, darling.

MARNIE extricates herself from him and saunters back down the hall to her hangers-on, making sure her hips rotate practically 360° with every step.

CONSCIENCE

She must be trying so hard to look sexy that she’s walking slow-mo.

ALICE
(voice over)
For once, I have to agree.

RYAN
(turning to ALICE)
So how about that walk home?

CONSCIENCE
And so he didn’t forget about you.

RYAN
(half smiling)
You armed?

CONSCIENCE
With an umbrella, if you wanna be specific.

ALICE
And dangerous.

CONSCIENCE
What a retard. I have nothing to say to you.

INT. ALICE POV.

RYAN grins like crazy, turns and starts to shove and push through the crowd.

INT. SCHOOL ENTRANCE/EXIT.

ALICE follows, leaving the umbrella by her side, half-open and prepared for the torrential rain outside.

EXT. SCHOOL STEPS.

ALICE opens the umbrella and RYAN takes it from her hands. CONSCIENCE follows, not really fitting under but still annoyed by the rain.

EXT. ALICE AND RYAN

CONSCIENCE
My God his eyes are practically golden.
And look, you’re totally lost for words.
I so told you this would happen.
Now you’re just going to waste this entire
opportunity staring into his eyes
instead of getting to know him.

ALICE
(speechless)

CONSCIENCE
Say something. Hell, can you even open your mouth?

ALICE inhales through her nose, holds her breath like she is counting to ten and then exhales through her mouth.

CONSCIENCE frowns.

ALICE goes to speak.

RYAN
(unknowingly cutting her off)
What are you thinking?

CONSCIENCE
A little deep for, you know, the first
conversation you’ve ever had with her
!

ALICE
Uh… mostly it’s my conscience yelling at me.

Cricket noise. RYAN looks at ALICE really strangely.

CONSCIENCE
You’re such an idiot. I don’t even know you.
Why couldn’t I be inside Marnie’s head?

ALICE
Yeah, she keeps telling me to
be more like Marnie Watson.

RYAN
Wh-why would it… she want
you to be like… Marnie?

ALICE
(shrugs)
Something about being able to talk to
guys without swallowing my tongue.

EXT. RYAN’S FACE.

He bursts out laughing.

EXT. ALICE’S FACE.

Surprised.

RYAN
Does – your – conscience – have – a – name?

ALICE
Uhmm… I never really considered it.

CONSCIENCE
Amy. I so want to be called Amy.

RYAN
Let’s call her-

Here the humour completely overtakes him and he nearly falls over.

Warnie.

CONSCIENCE
Say what?

ALICE
Okie-doke.

EXT. RYAN FACE.

RYAN gives ALICE a look like ‘Did you seriously just say that?’

ALICE
She was all for Amy but I like Warnie.

RYAN
Hm.. Marnie Watson. Warnie Matson.

RYAN laughs some more and then they turn down a new street.

CONSCIENCE
Seriously, how could you call me,
like, a guy’s name? And how does
he know where you live? And doesn’t
he fully have like a beautiful, black
Mercedes back at the school parking lot?

ALICE
(voice over)
Oh, piss off, Warnie.

ALICE
(still chuckling)
She better not hear about your field day with her name.

EXT. GARDEN PATH TO HOUSE FRONT.

They turn down the garden path and walk up to the verandah where they stop.

EXT. ALICE.

ALICE steps forward and turns around to face RYAN.

EXT. ALICE’S POV.

RYAN
Then it’ll be our little secret.

RYAN smiles into ALICE’S eyes and kisses her on the cheek.

EXT. RYAN’S POV.

ALICE
(shocked)
Thanks for walking me.

EXT. CONSCIENCE.

CONSCIENCE
Well, it was only your cheek.
Don’t let it get to you.
It’s never going to happen again.

ALICE
(voice over)
Baby steps. It’ll happen.

CONSCIENCE looks infuriated.

THE END.

A Series of Events at Emergency

Lights up.

The set reveals a hospital triage and emergency waiting room. A myriad of health notice posters are tacked to the white walls, including one advising those with cold symptoms to wear a facemask to prevent the infection spreading to other patients, et cetera. A clock ticks loudly and the flickering light and gentle buzz of a television joins the set. A small, bedraggled, fake Christmas tree is perched behind two rows of uncomfortable plastic chairs joined at an angle so the patients might slightly face each other.

NURSE [Side stage] The triage nurse will be with you as soon as possible.
Enter Cathy and Mum. Cathy is a young woman in her early twenties. Her mother is middle-aged. They wear comfortable clothing and each carries a bag. They sit side by side and Cathy pulls out a book, opens it and sits it in her lap. She does not begin to read. Mum crosses her legs. Cathy observes the television, tapping her foot impatiently for a few moments. Then she pushes her book aside.
Cathy This is taking so long! I could be dying.
Mum Are you dying? You are dying, aren’t you? I thought so. You couldn’t eat or breathe and last night you were even snoring in your sleep! You’ve never snored before in your life.
Cathy gasps.
The doctor said to go to the hospital if you didn’t get better.
Cathy The doctor also said the only way you could fight glandular fever is with rest.

I fear the hospital may not be able to fix this. I’m doomed! Snoring. What a catastrophe.

Enter a Nurse wheeling a laptop on a stand that also includes a heart rate monitor and other medical measurement devices.
Hi [Cathy croaks]. What are those things? You’re not going to poke me with them?
Nurse [alarmed] Of course we’re going to poke you with them! Now what’s wrong with you? We have to make it all better, quick sticks.
Cathy [sniffling] I have glandular fever…
Nurse If you know what’s wrong with you what are you doing here? You don’t belong here.
Mum Of course she belongs here! She was snoring last night.
Nurse Snoring! Goodness gracious. We can’t have that.
Nurse pulls out a thermometer and slips a plastic cover over it.
Where do you want it? Armpit, mouth or anus?
Cathy [horrified] Mouth, I guess.
Nurse Well open up, it’s got to go underneath your tongue.
Cathy obeys reluctantly and Nurse unceremoniously inserts the thermometer. All three wait for the resulting beep with their breath held. The machine beeps. Nurse reads the display.
Nurse Well I rather expected something more impressive than that.
Mum What’s wrong with that?
Cathy [over the thermometer still in her mouth] What’s wrong with what?
Nurse You’re not very warm. Let’s take your blood pressure.
Nurse removes the thermometer from Cathy’s mouth and Cathy sags with relief.
Mum Why is this taking so long? You’re practically dying!
Cathy [aghast] Mum!
Nurse We’ll be done when we’re done and if she’s dying this won’t speed it up any. Now, which arm? This or that? I’ll take that one.
Nurse takes Cathy’s arm and wraps a heart rate monitor’s sleeve around it. The sleeve inflates and then deflates and the machine beeps accordingly. Nurse inhales appreciatively.
Nurse Now that’s more like it. One thirty over seventy. You could power a small racehorse.
Mum Surely, she couldn’t.
Cathy Why would I want to?
Nurse packs up her equipment and types on her computer. After a few minutes she turns to Cathy and Mum.
Nurse Well it looks like glandular fever.
Mum

Cathy

No!
Nurse Yes. The doctor will be a while. It’s busy out there. [Nurse indicates stage left with her head]
Nurse exits stage left with her machines. Mum withdraws an iPad from her bag and begins working.

 

Enter Miss Allen, a blond women in late twenties, with a cannula inserted in her hand. Miss Allen sits opposite Cathy and Mum and picks up a magazine. Cathy observes Miss Allen with a pointed expression, picks up her book, opens it and ignores it in favour of further observing Miss Allen.

Cathy [whispered] Mum. Mum! That’s Miss Allen. Miss Allen, the art teacher. You know!
Mum looks at Miss Allen. Recognises her. A look of disappointment flashes across her face.
Miss Allen looks up at Cathy.
Miss Allen Hi. Um… Cathy?
Cathy [pleased] Yes.
Miss Allen [to Mum] And?
Mum Helen. [She smiles.]
Miss Allen It’s not Miss Allen anymore.
Cathy Oh right! You were engaged. So obviously you’re Missus…something?
Miss Allen Smith. How are you? What have you been doing since you left high school?
Cathy [looks around, taking in the emergency room] I’m not that great. Glandular fever. Snoring. But I started uni at the beginning of this year. Philosophy and International Studies at UNSW.
Mum [nodding proudly] All distinctions in her first year.
Miss Allen That is good work.
Cathy Now that you’re a missus and all, are you going to have any kids?
Miss Allen Why does everyone keep asking me that?!
Cathy and Mum share a look.

 

Enter Doctor Julian. Doctor Julian is an attractive man in his mid-twenties.

Doctor Julian Cathy? Is there a Cathy Morgan?
Cathy Oh great.
Mum This one over here! [waving and pointing at Cathy]
Doctor Julian I’m Doctor Julian. If you’ll follow me [gestures stage right].
All exit stage right.

 

Lights down.

 

Lights up.

 

Cathy is sitting on a hospital bed, to the left is Mum and to the right is Doctor Julian. Behind Doctor Julian is a desk with several boxes of gloves and a number of basic medical instruments including a jar of large paddle pop sticks. Doctor Julian withdraws a pair of latex blue gloves from one of the boxes and begins putting them on as he starts to speak.

Doctor Julian How are you feeling tonight?
Cathy I have glandular fever.
Doctor Julian The symptoms?
Cathy [sigh] So two weeks ago I woke up with really swollen eyelids and I went to see my GP and she prescribed me with Amoxicillin. The next day I had all these red spots around my eyes and I was feeling really extra lousy. I dragged myself to work. Made it about twenty minutes before I gave up and went to the medical centre. I work at David Jones by the way. [smirks] So the doctor there took one look at me after hearing that much of the story and told me I had glandular fever. He poked and prodded my liver and spleen and I took the blood tests to be sure but we were pretty sold on it. He said I “ticked all the boxes”. So I’ve had the last week off work and Mum decided…
Mum I decided she wasn’t getting any better and they*** we’d come to the hospital. She couldn’t swallow any food and she was snoring in her sleep!
Doctor Julian [gasps] Snoring!

So you’ve got pretty bad tonsillitis, huh?

Doctor Julian takes a paddle pop stick from his desk and sticks it in Cathy’s mouth.
Cathy Ahhhhhhhhh… OK?
Doctor Julian Yep. [discards the stick and takes out a swab] I’m gonna take a swab from the back of your mouth to see if the tonsillitis is bacterial or viral. We’ll start you on some penicillin anyway and some IV fluids to get you rehydrated.
Cathy Mmmm… Hydrated.
Mum All she’s had to eat is soup.
Cathy I’m starving!
Doctor Julian [laughs]. Ok, and how’s your temperature.
Cathy is suddenly overcome with shivers.
Why don’t we get you some blankets? [exits stage right, returns with a pile of blankets]
Cathy lays down on the bed and Doctor Julian covers her with the blankets. Cathy sighs in relief.
Cathy They’re heated.
Doctor Julian I’ve got to go get you a cannula for your fluids. Just lie here and warm up and I’ll be back in a second. [exits stage left]
Cathy [still shivering, looks around and spots the boxes on the desk] Mum! Can you get some of those gloves?
Mum What? What gloves? Why?
Cathy Because they’re useful and they never have my size in the pharmacies!
Mum crosses the stage and grabs a handful of the blue gloves feeling very guilty.
Cathy Thank you.

I’ve never done this before. [to Mum] Have you ever done this before?

Mum Relax.
Cathy What’s taking him so long?
Mum I’m sure everything is fine.
Nurse [Side stage] That’s another ambulance coming in now. What does that make? Three? Four?
Cathy What are they doing in there?
Mum regards Cathy.
Cathy Ok, I know what they’re doing. I’m nervous.
Mum Oh, really? You don’t say.

It shows.

Cathy, slightly cowed, goes back to shivering. Mum conceals the gloves in her bag. Cathy pulls out her phone and starts texting.
Cathy Do you seriously have nothing at all encouraging to tell me?
Mum Nope [pops the ‘p’ sound]
Cathy But… [Cathy’s phone pings. She quickly reads the message.]

Hey, Mum, what’s a good way to get a photo of this doctor? Ariel wants one.

Mum Why does Ariel know you’re in hospital?
Cathy She saw the pictures on Facebook?
Pause.
Mum Well you could just ask him. Say, “Can I get a photo with you because it’s my first time in hospital?”
Cathy You seriously think that would work?
Enter Doctor Julian stage left carrying a hypodermic needle.
This will hurt but you’ve had needles before.
Cathy You know this is my first time in hospital right?
Mum Well, not your first.
Cathy I’ve never had a cannula before.
Mum But you have.
Cathy [to Doctor Julian] Would you mind taking a picture with me?
Doctor Julian [very surprised] I’d prefer not to.
Cathy Oh ok. Ow!
Mum nods suggestively at Cathy’s phone.
Mum So she has every symptom of glandular fever?
Doctor Julian Textbook. If we had interns in the hospital at the moment we’d bring them in to examine you. You’re the perfect specimen.
Cathy sneakily snaps a photo with her phone.
Doctor Julian They have a bed ready for you in the emergency ward. We’ll decide if you need to stay the night later.
Cathy [As the three exit stage left] Mission accomplished.
Doctor Julian What was that?
Mum Nothing.
Lights down.

 

END.