THE PACT. Karen Nilson. Devereaux Smith

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1 THE PACT By Karen Nilson Devereaux Smith Karen Nilson th Avenue West Seattle, WA (206)

2 FADE IN: EXT. BACKROADS IN WYOMING - NIGHT Yellow truck drives along an unpaved road. In the distance is a big neon sign saying, CAMPGROUND, with an arrow. INT. CAB OF THE YELLOW MOVING TRUCK NIGHT, 26-year-old woman, from Chicago. Driving cross-country with roommate before they go separate ways. Using a flashlight to read an atlas in the passenger seat., 26-year-old woman, from Chicago. Moving crosscountry after her mother dies. Driving the truck, looking intently at the road. Are we sure this is right? Starts flicking flashlight in driver s face, in fun. Ducks the light in her eyes, annoyed, but laughing. I dunno, look at the Triple A book. Hey, stop, I can t see the road. Crunches the map, finds tour book, flips pages. It says the campground is in sight of Devil s Tower. I can t see anything but that damn sign, guess we follow that arrow. We should go ask. It s pitch black out here, and we need gas. Yeah, okay, but we do not admit we re lost. Truck comes to stop on gravel road, and sets brake. Let s go meet the natives. 2

3 (laughing) Be nice. INT. COUNTRY BAR/ CAMPSTORE NIGHT Screen door slams, and they enter a narrow bar., middle-aged woman, friendly, tends the bar and runs the store and campground. Wyoming native. Ladies. How can I help you? Yeah, hi. We need gas, and it looks like that s a few miles from here? If so, we may need a campsite., middle-aged ranch hand, friendly and relaxed, recently cleaned up from the day. Looks like you got that right. Bill s right. Gas station is likely closed by now. But, you re welcome to camp out back. $10.00 a night. (to ) You want to look first? (shrugs) I think it s late, and we re here. Can we still get dinner? Sorry. The kitchen is closed. RANCH HAND 1 AND RANCH HAND 2, young men, still in dirty work clothes. RANCH HAND 1 looks up, chuckling with friend. RANCH HAND 1 Yeah. Since

4 You boys butting in for a reason? We can manage a conversation without you for one minute. (to ) No kitchen, but a bag of chips is free with the first drink. I guess its Doritos and a shot of Jack Daniel s for me. Same for me, how much do we owe you? moves toward the cash register, and hands a form. Start by filling this out with your name and license plate number. My name s Shirla. Where d you drive from? Taking a form, and a finding pen. Karen. We left South Dakota this morning. We re driving west. My mom died and I m moving back to live with my sister. Eyes fill with emotion, quickly looks away. Oh, I m sorry. Just wondered, that yellow truck you re driving isn t set up for sightseeing. You re not kidding. Doesn t even have a radio. And, its way too big. What used to be my whole life doesn t even fill half of it. and finish transaction over the cash register. moves over to the stool next to. Name s Bill, what s your name? 4

5 Dev, and she s Karen. Nods toward, and opens Doritos. Nice to meet you, Deb. What brings you two to the great state of Wyoming? A little detour. And, the name is Dev, with a v as in Devereaux. Not Deb. Devereaux, now that s a shiny name, I like it. We re all set for the night, you ready? Ready. and drink their whiskey shots simultaneously. Bill watches with admiration. Whoa. Now that, is a credit to Women s Liberation. I would be honored to buy you another round. Shirla! walks over with the bottle and pours two shots. Pace yourselves, girls. These guys don t see many women like you all. And you sure as shit don t want their boots in your tent. Laughing, toasting the air toward. Not when you say it that way! 5

6 Shirla. Casting doubt on our character? (to, ) You ladies headed north? West. We have a few days of adventure before we go our separate ways, and Devil s Tower was on the list. What about you? Do you live out here? Me? I m from Oklahoma. This time of year I hire out, going ranch to ranch with my hay baler. I ll get back home the end of October. That s a while, are those two with you? Naw, they re just working the season, like me. Hey, since you girls are here, would you like to see something amazing? (skeptical) Like what? Nature s callin right now, but when I get back, let s take a drive. It s a full moon and you should see a piece of the real West. He climbs off the barstool, and leaves out screen door. We re not doing that right? Are you serious? Something amazing! Please. Although, he seems pretty harmless He s old, if he tried anything, the two of us could take him. Definitely. Okay, we go. Girl Pact? 6

7 Girl Pact. (finish drinks together) Returns through door, puts on his cowboy hat. All right then, ready? INT. PICK-UP TRUCK CAB, BACK ROADS NIGHT,, and in front seat, driving along narrow dirt road, dark except for headlights. Side looks at each other, no talking. Truck stops, Bill sets the brake, turns off the motor and leaves the lights on. The three of them step down out of the truck. EXT. DIRT ROAD - NIGHT We ll walk from here, so we can listen. The three of them start walking without talking. elbows, points up and whispers. The stars, look up. Yeah, stars are brightest at the new moon, but you need a full moon like tonight to see the alfalfa glow. walks along the side of the road, away from the women. His hand brushes the top of the alfalfa. Tomorrow we mow it all down, and this, will be gone. (pause, slows his walking) Here s the clearing. All three stop, silent, the clearing is lit by moonlight. After a few minutes they see and hear the alfalfa moving, and suddenly several deer appear from grove of trees. They graze slowly through the glowing alfalfa fields. FADE OUT: THE END 7

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