RU IN

 

Tree

INT. HOME, DOWNSTAIRS – MORNING

We begin in the lounge.

It’s dark and barely dawn. The family home is all quiet. The
odd light on here and there. Kids toys poorly packed away in
large wicker play basket in a corner of the lounge. The
lounge which joins seamlessly through to a modern kitchen.
The scars on the wall indicating some unfinished DIY. The two
rooms knocked through and not yet completed.

On the kitchen bench an half filled mixing bowl and dirty
utensils. Cake mix more on the bench than in the bowl. The
tiny hand prints of a little chef in the making across the
cool black granite top.

We coast through the house some more gently getting a lay of
the downstairs before we slide up the exposed wooden steps to
the landing and past a “Thomas the Tank Engine” toy sitting
near the top step.

INT. HOME, UPSTAIRS – CONTINUOUS

Once up on the landing we meander down the hallway and stop
at a door ajar with a home made cardboard sign telling the
world that this room belongs to ALFIE.

We gently peak into Alfie’s room and see the four year old
turn restlessly pushing his duvet off whilst mumbling
dialogue from some epic dream.

Backing out of Alfie’s room we turn and continue down the
corridor past the over-lit bathroom. It’s harsh white
fluorescent light made all the more by the clean white tiles
and matching towel now left in a crumpled wet heap on the
floor.

Next to the towels and in between the sink and toilet is a
wicker basket. This one the size of a waste bin. Full of
still wet dollies and dinosaurs.

Across the hall is LILAH’s room. The door opens and a bleary
eyed six year old princess steps out with a tooth brush in
one hand a floppy eared bunny in the other. We follow her a
moment whilst she pulls the plastic stool up to the sink
allowing the little girl to reach the taps.

For a moment we watch her brush her teeth then we glide back
up the hallway to the parents bedroom.

INT. HOME, MASTER BEDROOM – MORNING

Inside fast asleep is AARON. Builder’s physique fast asleep
one arm dangling off the bed much like his son. On the other
side by the window KAREN stirs.

She shakes Aaron who refuses to wake.

KAREN
(Whispering)
Aaron wake up.

AARON
No.

She shakes him again.

KAREN
Aaron. Lilah’s doing it again.

AARON
It’s just a phase.

KAREN
A phase?

AARON
Go back to sleep.

KAREN
I can’t. Don’t you think it’s
strange?

Aaron’s back asleep.

KAREN (CONT’D)
Aaron! Wake up!

AARON
Really? For christ sakes she’s just
brushing her teeth.

KAREN
Yeah but it’s four in the morning.

AARON
So she’s sleep brushing.

Karen pushes him.

AARON (CONT’D)
Ok ok.

KAREN
Go and see if she’s alright.

AARON
I’m going. I’m going.

But he doesn’t.

After a moment Aaron realises he’s not getting any sleep and
Karen’s not going to let him off the hook so he gets up and
goes to the bathroom.

INT. HOME, UPSTAIRS – MORNING

He stands a little way down the hallway and watches his
daughter have a conversation with her rabbit.

What they’re talking about Aaron can’t tell.

His little princess leaves the bathroom and gets about
halfway back to her room when she turns and sees him.

She looks at him a while with eyes beyond her years. Eyes
like her Mother.

LILAH
Are you ok Daddy?

AARON
Are you ok?

LILAH
Yes.

AARON
How many times do you brush your
teeth?

LILAH
In a day?

AARON
Yeah. In a day.

LILAH
Three maybe four times.

AARON
Three or four times?

LILAH
Uh.uh.

AARON
You’re not afraid you’ll rub your
teeth away?

There’s a long pause then she smiles.

LILAH
Daddy you’re funny.

Then she goes back into her room.

LILAH (CONT’D)
Nighty night.

AARON
Sweet dreams princess.

After she disappears he checks on Alfie and he’s still
battling dragons or something.

Aaron smiles happy to be a dad.

INT. HOME, MASTER BEDROOM – MORNING

Aaron climbs back into bed ignoring Karen’s look of “Well!”

BEAT.

AARON
We sure she’s six?

FADE OUT.

INT. HOME, MASTER BEDROOM – MORNING

WE HEAR the ALARM BLARING.

Aaron reaches for the button and fumbles it. He nearly makes
it when Lilah and Alfie come jumping on his bed and scupper
that plan.

AARON
No it’s my day off

Aaron tries to escape under a pillow.

LILAH
Time to get up!

Alfie just grins loving jumping on the bed. The alarm still
blaring.

AARON
(protesting not too
hard)
Uh, no. Saturday.

Alfie jumps on Aaron’s chest almost winding the man.

ALFIE
Time to get up!

AARON
Oh this means war.

Aaron grabs Alfie and starts tickling him causing him to
squeal high pitched making Lilah laugh. She tries to pull him
off.

AARON (CONT’D)
Oh you want some?

Aaron swaps victims and starts tickling Lilah till she starts
squeezing too.

LILAH
No Daddy!

He then grabs Alfie back and starts tickling them both.

WE HEAR a phone ring.

Aaron scrambles to grab it and shut off the alarm as he is
attacked by his kids.

He misses the call and clocks the number. The momentary flash
of seriousness is interrupted by more shenanigans from his
kids.

KAREN
Oi you lot. What you doing?

All three look guilty then crack up. Karen reaches over and
switches off the alarm.

KAREN (CONT’D)
You two come on down for breakfast.

Then to Aaron.

KAREN (CONT’D)
And you.

AARON
It’s Saturday.

Karen grabs the sheets and pull them off the bed.

AARON (CONT’D)
It’s my day off.

The kids laugh so Aaron tickles them increasing their
squeals. Karen’s not amused and a little stressed.

KAREN
Come on. Lilah’s got ballet.

Aaron whispers in Alfie’s ear.

ALFIE
Mum. Can I tell you something?

KAREN
What’s that Alfie?

ALFIE
I have to whisper it…in your ear.

Karen leans in.

ALFIE (CONT’D)
Closer.

Karen leans in closer.

ALFIE (CONT’D)
Closer

Close still…

Alfie goes to say something holding his finger to his mouth
like it’s a secret and just as quickly licks his finger but
Karen is wise so before he can complete his plan Karen has
already done the same and stuck her soggy finger in Alfie’s
ear.

ALFIE (CONT’D)
Ew!

KAREN
Too slow.

She points into Alfie’s chest and he looks down and she
flicks her finger up into his chin.

KAREN (CONT’D)
Two for one.

Alfie rolls away in a sulk. Everyone goes quiet.

Karen moves to comfort Alfie who’s now sulking in the corner
of the room.

AARON
Hey Alfie.

Karen again tries to touch Alfie but he spins around and
squirts Karen in the face with a water pistol.

Karen is not amused. Aaron is.

KAREN
(Angry)
Alfie!

The smile is wiped off The boy’s face and seeing that he’s in
trouble and that Aaron isn’t coming to his rescue Alfie runs
out of the bedroom.

WE HEAR Alfie stamped down the hall, skid and slam straight
into a wall.

For a moment the air is still.

And all is quiet…

Then Alfie starts to cry.

CUT TO:

INT. HOME, KITCHEN – MORNING

Alfie stands in the middle of the room. Karen fusses over him
placing a large pad over the lump on the kids head.

In the background Lilah stands dressed ready for Ballet.

LILLAH
Mum?

KAREN
Ok honey.

Aaron eats a sandwich whilst Standing over the pair.

AARON
He’s fine. Right buddy?

Alfie looks up at him.

LILAH
Mum!

KAREN
Just a minute!

AARON
He’s fine.

Aaron hands him the second half of his sandwich to which the
kid chomps down.

AARON (CONT’D)
See. Tough as his old man.

Karen stands back and asks with her eyes if he’s ok, to which
Alfie nods back.

Lilah pulls at Karen.

LILAH
Mu-uumm!

KAREN
Ok. Ok.

AARON
Go.

He kisses her and Karen is torn but Lilah’s now pulling on
her with all her might. Alfie continues to chomp on his
sandwich.

LILAH
MUUUUMMM!

Karen heads out of the house and off to ballet. Karen pulls
against Lilah shouting back into the house…

KAREN
Make sure you call me the moment
the Doctor sees you and make sure
you fill that giant hole Alfie
made.

Then she’s gone.

All is quiet and the two boys regard each other.

AARON
Ice cream?

CUT TO:

INT. HOSPITAL A&E WAITING ROOM – DAY.

Aaron and Alfie are sitting in hard plastic seats waiting to
see a nurse or doctor. Alfie swings his legs back and forward
his feet nowhere near the ground.

He’s almost finished the lolly and most of it has ended up
all over him.

Sitting a couple of seats over is an old lady who just stares
straight at Alfie.

Almost straight.

One eye is open the the other held firmly She looks like a
wizened Popeye without the pipe.

Alfie stares back unsure what to make of her.

The two stare at each other for a while until Aaron clocks
this.

AARON
Hey Alfie it’s rude to stare.

Alfie continues to do so. The old lady hasn’t even blinked.
Aaron motions to Alfie to knock it off.

Aaron is starting to get agitated.

Over the PA WE HEAR the tinny computerised announcer.

QUEUE ANNOUNCER
Number 57

Aaron looks at his ticket and throws his head back in
despair.

Alfie looks back at the old lady who seems to be sucking on
something.

Alfie is fascinated.

She pushes out the sweet and it’s a round white gobstopper.
Looks kinda like a shiny cue ball.

Aaron looks back at her and She pops it back into her mouth.

Did Dad see it? Wonders Alfie.

What did I just see? Aaron stares back at Alfie.

Alfie shrugs.

Aaron goes back to staring into the void.

The old lady turns her attention back to Alfie and when he’s
returned attention to her she flashes the sweet again.

Slowly rotates the gobstopper almost 180 degrees then snaps
her lips shut again?

Aw come on, motions Alfie.

After a moment she open her mouth again and we see that the
gobstopper is a glass eye ball and she’s now opened her
Popeye showing it’s deep black hole.

She spits the glass eye out and pops in back into the waiting
socket. The glass eye points up at a weird angle. She whacks
the side of her head and the eyeball pops back to it’s
rightful place.

Both Alfie and Aaron stare agasp.

QUEUE ANNOUNCER (CONT’D)
Number 58

A Nurse comes into frame – her back to us she remains unseen.

NURSE
Come on Mrs Latner. You know you
can’t hang around here.

Aaron recognises the nurse.

MRS LATNER
But it’s cold outside.

…and Aaron is uncomfortable.

NURSE
It’s 29 degrees.

MRS LATNER
Exactly. I’m Spanish.

The Nurse turns and she sees Aaron.

NURSE
Aaron?

MRS LATNER
You know this woman? I don’t think
she’s really a nurse at all.

AARON
Hi.

He didn’t say her name. This didn’t go unnoticed by the
nurse.

NURSE
Is this Alfie?

AARON
Erm. Yeah.

NURSE
Hi Alfie. I’m Nicki. How are you?

Alfie is suspicious.

NURSE (CONT’D)
I’m a friend of your fathers. You
bump your head?

Obviously – Alfie infers.

NURSE (CONT’D)
Mind if I take a look?

Alfie Pulls back.

MRS LATNER
Hey.

Aaron stares at Nicki – You Okay?

She’s not.

MRS LATNER (CONT’D)
Oh so you’re not interested in me
anymore?

NURSE
Mrs Latner. I’m Sorry.

NURSE
Well it was nice to meet you Alfie.

Alfie’s not so sure.

NURSE
See you Aaron.

Aaron can feel Alfie’s stare and it’s not helping.

AARON
Bye Nicki.

That cuts her.

NURSE
Come on Mrs Latner let me walk you
down stairs.

MRS LATNER
Me and the little fella here were
having a great ol’ time. You’re a
party pooper. You know that.

NURSE.
I know come on.

The nurse helps the old lady out of her seat and the two
waddle off.

Aaron looks at the ticket the old lady left behind.

AARON
Grab the ticket.

ALFIE
Who was that woman?

AARON
No one. Go grab that ticket.

Alfie just looks up at him.

AARON (CONT’D)
Fine.

Aaron gets up and retrieves the ticket. Reads it grins and
replaces his ticket for the old lady’s. Small Victories.

Alfie’s not so sure.

AARON (CONT’D)
It’s fine. Trust me.

QUEUE ANNOUNCER
Number 59

AARON
Come on, short round.

CUT TO:

EXT. HOSPITAL A&E, OUTSIDE – DAY.

Alfie has fresh bandages and another lolly as Aaron talks on
the phone.

AARON
…Yes he’s fine. Yes. No they
didn’t do any X-rays. No need. No
contusions…I’m telling you he’s
fine. Yeah we’ll be home soon. Love
you too. Bye.

Aaron looks down at his son.

AARON (CONT’D)
Come on fella you can help me fill
that hole you made when we get back
ok?

Alfie’s in a world of his own. An ice lolly world.

The two walk out into the car park watched unseen by The
Nurse.

CUT TO:

EXT. HOME, OUTSIDE – DAY.

Aaron and Alfie pull up to the house and climb out of the
car. Aaron leaves the car with a packet of “pollyfilla” and
They walk up to the house picking up the post on the way in.

INT. HOME, KITCHEN – DAY.

Aaron throws the mail, the packet of “polyfilla” on the
kitchen surface and flips the kettle on. Alfie goes to switch
on the TV and sits down in front of it and start’s watching
cartoons.

AARON (SHOUTING)
Karen. Karen you in?

He turns to the back bench and taps the kettle and it’s hot.
He looks inside then flicks it back on.

Aaron’s goes to the hallway cupboard and pulls out a plastic
plaster splattered bucket that rattles with tools.

Aaron’s phone rings. He drops the bucket onto the bench next
to the letters looks at his phone and ignores it.

He continues to sort through the mail and comes to a brown
envelope about a5 size. It has no markings on it. It hasn’t
been posted. It’s been hand delivered.

He shakes it whilst staring over at Alfie.

AARON (CONT’D)
Hey Alfie don’t sit so close.

Alfie shuffles back a couple of inches as the kettle clicks
off.

He makes himself a cup a then returns to the envelope and
empties it onto the bench top.

Out falls a Polaroid picture. Face down.

Aaron picks it up and the picture is a blurry mess.

In the photo, is that a tree? A bush maybe?

He plays with the photo trying to understand it.

His phone rings again.

He looks at it.

This time he answers it.

TOMMY
(the caller)
What’s up wanker?

AARON
Tommy.

TOMMY
You avoiding my calls?

AARON
Sorry mate just got back in. Alfie
ran into a wall this morning.

TOMMY
He ok?

AARON
Yeah. Fine. Karen’s stressing but
you know her.

TOMMY
True. You’re coming out tonight.

It’s not a question.

AARON
Listen. It’s still a little tough
round here.

TOMMY
Jesus it’s been six months. Hasn’t
she forgiven you yet? You’ve been
in the doghouse longer than my
marriage lasted.

AARON
That’s because you’re a prick and
you married a lady boy.

Alfie looks around – Daddy!

AARON (CONT’D)
(to Alfie)
Don’t tell mum

TOMMY
Ha ha.

KAREN
Don’t tell me what?

Karen enters dressed in a robe – hair wrapped in a towel. She
grabs the bucket off the bench and hands it to Aaron.

ALFIE
Daddy said a rude word.

Who me? Aaron gestures whilst looking for somewhere to dump
the bucket.

Karen’s not impressed.

KAREN
Is that Tommy on the phone?

No fooling her.

TOMMY
Hi Karen.

AARON
Tommy says hi.

Karen sticks he middle finger up at the phone in a way that
Alfie can’t see.

AARON (CONT’D)
Karen says hi.

TOMMY
She still in love with me? So I’m
picking you up at eight.

Karen looks at Aaron waiting for the question. But instead
his body language asks where should the bucket go?

KAREN
Backdoor.

AARON
Listen I’ll have to pass. We’ll do
it later.

TOMMY
Fuck you we’ll do it later! This is
what we do. This is tradition.

AARON
Mate. listen to me.

TOMMY
NO! You listen to me.

Aaron drops the bucket near the back door and heads into the
garden.

AARON
(whispering)
Tommy shut the fuck up! I am trying
to fix things here and I will do
whatever it takes to make it right.

TOMMY
This is important!

AARON
My marriage is important. My kids
are important. My fucking life is
important.

TOMMY
And this isn’t?

AARON
No. Not as.

As Soon as Aaron says this he wishes he hadn’t.

TOMMY
I can’t fucking believe you. Have
you forgotten what happened? You’re
a fucking piece of shit. We owe
each other this day. We made a
promise. This is what we do. This
is what we always do.

AARON
Maybe it’s time to stop revelling
in the past…

TOMMY
It ain’t about reliving the past
you stupid fuck…

AARON
Tommy…I didn’t say reliving…

TOMMY
…You call me a prick but I know
what happened and I ain’t trying to
forget. Mackey can’t forget. Sid
can’t forget. Well fuck you cunt!

Tommy hangs up. Aaron goes to throw the phone but stops
himself from releasing it.

AARON
(under his breath)
Fuck.

Karen slides a hand around Aaron and nestles her chin into
his shoulder.

KAREN
As much as I hate the prick. You
should go.

AARON
No I shouldn’t

KAREN
Yes. Yes you should.

Aaron kisses her back and the two hold on to each other as
Aaron slips the Polaroid into his back pocket but not before WE SEE the picture is of an open grave.

 

Hope you liked that. That was just a teaser. Head back to the home page where you’ll be able to read more than just teasers.

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