by Steve Good
Superimpose THE SHOOTING SCRIPT over a photograph of a bullseye.
The sound of a bomb exploding, sirens and shouts can be heard.
“They smell your breath
lest you have said: I love you.”
“They chop smiles off lips,
and songs off the mouth.”
(the stage screen is black)
VOICEOVER: Quiet on the set! Lights! (the screen is suddenly ablaze
in light) Sound! Camera! Action!
(an office projected on the stage screen – a picture of “The Gambler” is on the wall. Sitting in the corner is a Middle Eastern looking man, the Boss. Jack sits at his desk texting on his smart phone) (dissolve to the stage)
JACK: (he looks up) Come in Mo. Sit down.
(Mo enters. He wears a T-shirt with the slogan “STOP WATCHING US”. Mo sits down)
JACK: How long have you been here?
MO: Nine years.
BOSS: (from a corner) So what are you doing about it?
MO: (frustrated) Met with the chief, the lady chief. Lot of clerks sitting all over desks and the lady says “The papers not here”. They’re in Missouri, Nebraska, Texas. Don’t even know where. Says, “If I get ’em back, I’ll call you.” So I go back. Tells me “No appointment”. Come back tomorrow. So I go back. And she says “My hands are tied.”
BOSS: Because you are a Muslim. (beat)
No green card you have to go back.
MO: I can’t go back!
BOSS: I have sources. I’ll call up a friend. I’ll say for you.
MO: The new law? They don’t want us. They don’t like us.
They don’t want us in the country.
BOSS: You let me worry about this. Leave it to me.
A favor for a favor. Okay? (Mo nods YES)
A word to the wise.
(he touches a finger to his tongue and holds his finger up to warn)
(quietly) Women will fuck you up. (pause)
(with loving concern) Dear little habibi, you know what I’m talking about.
(camera closeup of Mo slowly lowering his head in shame)
(an urban street is projected on the stage screen) (dissolve to the stage)
(the Friends are hanging out) (Sarah enters)
GIRLFRIEND 1: So where you been hiding?
SARAH: Well, you know-
GIRLFRIEND 2: We know…Mo, Mo, Mo and Mo– Mo. So——? We’re your friends right, so tell us.
GIRLFRIEND 1: (singing) He puts me sleep.
SARAH: Get some coffee.
GIRLFRIEND 1: (singing) When it’s cold?
GIRLFRIEND 2: (playing her bass guitar) You like this?
SARAH: Love it.
Jupiter and Mars
The moons go round Jupiter
Mars has life on it
GIRLFRIEND 1: What’s that supposed to mean?
SARAH: It’s an old song my mother used to sing-
(sings as both girls join in)
Jupiter and Mars
The moons go round Jupiter
Mars has life on it
Things you’ve never seen
It’s all that
GIRLFRIEND 2: Step back. What’s your mother going to say about him?
GIRLFRIEND 1: You’re really in the shit now.
(a modern kitchen is projected on the stage screen)
(Mo leans against the entryway/Jack fills a glass of water from a pitcher as he eyes Mo)
JACK: I’m glad you could make it. (looking around his kitchen) Nice huh? -I just had it remodeled. (he hands Mo the glass) Relax.
MO: If they pick me up they’ll deport me.
BOSS: Someone’s been watching you. He likes you. Don’t say his name.
MO: (puzzled) What do you mean, he’s been watching me?
BOSS: He sees many things, our friend. He has eyes all around the city. Eyes. He’s God’s Pure. I speak for him. He told me to tell you to make a “delivery.”
All you gotta do is leave, and leave it in a bus and get off.
MO: (slowly puts his glass down-) What is it?
BOSS: What is it? Don’t wanna know. Don’t be concerned. If you know or don’t know. A “thing.” He’ll be watching. He’s powerful. You
MO: (he thinks for a moment)
BOSS: Put distance between you and it. Well? (expectant pause)
There’s a great deal to be done. I may need an assistant when you come
back. It’s good money. And we’ll get you papers.
MO: (he makes to leave as Jack steps before him)
JACK: We need you. You need us. It’s just a deal man.
(the room is silent as the Boss closes in on Mo)
BOSS: You will do this….(camera closeup)
What’s inside of you. (he grips Mo’s face with great pleasure) You fuck with me, I get you no matter what it takes.
(an interior entry door of a house is projected on the stage screen)
MOTHER: (listening at the door) Who’s there?
(she hears “Sarah” and opens the door in state of shock)
You finally came home! Come in.
SARAH: (she enters, both stare into each other’s eyes) I don’t know what’s going on- the streets are crawling with soldiers. Searching everyone. It’s really crazy.
MOTHER: Did you hear about the bombing? They’re looking for the murderers.
SARAH: (shakes her head No) I’m in love.
MOTHER: Oh, my God.
SARAH: Mo loves me.
MOTHER: He’s a murderer like all of them.
SARAH: He’s not like that.
MOTHER: No more. No more with that boy. (she fondles Sarah’s Jewish star and lovingly caresses Sarah’s face)
(softly) -Some people forget where they come from. (her hands grip Sarah’s face)
I forbid it! Before it’s too late. (both are silent for a moment)
SARAH: It is too late.
MOTHER: (she steps back, aghast) (closeup as she looks into the camera)
This is what you do? My flesh crawls, my scalp wrinkles. CONTAMINATED!
(a dark interrogationroom is projected on the stage screen)
(on stage, Jack is bathed in a harsh bright light, he kneels on both knees, waiting)
DANNY: (Voiceover) Tell us what you’ve done.
JACK: (he squints into the light) I did nothing wrong. Nothing.
DANNY: (Voiceover) Tell us what you’ve done wrong.
JACK: What can I tell you if I did nothing?
I have rights! I want my lawyer.
DANNY: (camera Point of View through Jack’s eyes as Danny leans down closer)
Why are you lying! You’re lying.
This is called question and answer. I will ask you two questions, and I want the answers to be yes.
One, did you make the bomb?
Two, did you plant the bomb?
JACK: No! (camera closeup: Danny bends over Jack’s ear)
DANNY: You answered my question.
JACK: What kind of cop are you?
DANNY: A different kind of cop.
JACK: Yeah. The “don’t ask, don’t tell” kind.
DANNY: (as Jack spits on the floor, she kneels in front of Jack and dangles a blackjack)
I can crack your skull with just a flick of the wrist. (she flicks her
DAVID: (appearing behind Danny, grips her shoulders)
Danny let’s take a break.
(a living room is projected on the stage screen. Mother sits staring at nothing on stage. She speaks directly to the camera)
MOTHER: I don’t understand the role I’m playing: I take her back in -what else can I do? (beat) I feel doomed… I-see-it: no matter how much you love ’em, TOO MUCH IS TOO MUCH!
(project a rooftop to the stage screen)
(on stage, Danny and David are taking a break outside in the golden sunlight)
(light a white wall)
DANNY: (she takes out a joint and light it)
DAVID: If you don’t stop smoking so much-/ (Danny cuts him with a glare)
DANNY: I’m trying to make him talk and you interrupt me!
DAVID: We can’t kill him.
DANNY: I-get-the job-done. Don’t tell me what I can’t do.
DAVID: When was the last time you went to a funeral? It’s like going to the movies. They ask for your pictures, and they put ’em on a tape, and they show one picture after another of your life. We’re celebrating-/
DANNY: -/have a party. It’s cleanup time. Don’t sweep me up.
DAVID: Carlos Castenada said live each moment as if it were your last dance on earth.
DANNY: I heard that before.
DAVID: Yeah, that’s a good statement. What’s it say to you?
DANNY: Even if I wake up feelin’ crappy, it is another crappy day.
DAVID: You know what? I don’t believe you know how to be happy.
DANNY: (she takes a drag of the joint) Hate works for me. (beat)
DAVID: (he gives her an amused look) Maybe.
DANNY: What do we got on him? Nothing and more nothing…and he knows it.
DAVID: He’ll give us bullshit your way.
DANNY: I know he did it.
DAVID: What you thinking?
DANNY: I’ll get a good night’s sleep. (beat) Usually, I deal with demons when I go to sleep.
DAVID: (his hand goes out for the joint) (he puts on a deep voice)
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of man?
Has God put us in a show? (he takes a deep drag of the joint)
I don’t care to play anymore. I’m tired of performing. (beat)
Dante says, “senses cheat when objects are remote”. I’ll talk to him.
DANNY: Who, God?
DAVID: I wish.
DANNY: (she straightens David’s tie) Have yourself a love fest. Go.
Go feed the baby.
DAVID: (David starts thrusting his hips and speaks in a heavy accent) Why you no let me make you baby?
A little biff, bam, boom.
DANNY: (she laughs) Kiss me my ass. Go! Go get that motherfucker!
(project a prison cell to the stage screen)
(Jack is sitting on the floor with his back leaning against the wall. His knees are raised and his arms wrapped around his legs. David sits down and offers a cigarette, which Jack accepts. David lights the cigarette for Jack.)
DAVID: How old are you?
DAVID: You’ve got some education, obviously.
JACK: I’m self-educated.
DAVID: Is that right? The bombing: do you know how many children were incinerated?
JACK: No. Listen, I don’t admit to anything. I want a lawyer.
DAVID: (tenderly, desperately) Where is your heart?
JACK: I want my lawyer.
DAVID: (shakes his head NO) That was before the Emergency Protection Act. (beat) Christ, you’re in trouble – you realize that?
You can sit here forever. (it sinks in)
Talk! Fuck it, I’m tired of playing games with you.
(David is suddenly behind Jack, he grips Jack’s shoulders.
Jack turns left and right) Oh yes, we have you now.
(softly, sadistically) You’re like the guy dying
inch by inch. Has a hole in his throat, pulls in and he sucks air
(he makes a wet SUCKING)…What did you say? (laughing) What?
(camera closeup: David is in front of Jack, inches from his face)
You assisted in connection with the suicide bombing.
JACK: No I didn’t.
DAVID: Danny’s got plans for you. Lock your ass up tight.
Sticking it in your anus. Ass rape.
JACK: (scared) I only recruit. I don’t do operations.
DAVID: I really don’t care.
JACK: Something’s coming. The Boss told me something’s coming.
JACK: I don’t know.
DAVID: You don’t know? You don’t know?? You don’t know???
JACK: I don’t know shit…I swear!
DAVID: (he searches Jack’s eyes)
You don’t? You don’t?? You don’t??? (beat)
(softly) What’s going on? What’s he going to do? Who’s behind him,
and who’s he got working for him?
(he softly touches Jack’s hand and whispers-) You will help us, won’t you?