Monday, December 14, 2009

Pause Button (II)


For a change of pace Short Story Monday is a 1995 screen play treatment I wrote based on an undeveloped story idea. Dr. Rollie Michaels has developed a machine that has the ability to stop time. The machine is housed in a room of his house which is (for reasons inexplicable, but necessary to the premise) not affected by the stoppage of time. His nephews, Buzz and Zoomer, accidentally break the machine after messing with it. With everything frozen, they take a car and head for an adventure.


Judy and Edith have a fight because Edith doesn't care if the boys get lost in a time warp. They have been nothing but trouble since their father left, anyways.
Edith finally agrees to try to help get the boys. They take two vehicles. Rhonda, Dad and Lisa go in one. Diane and Edith take the other car. (30)

Lisa talks her dad into driving past her high school first. She writes a love note to her boy friend, roasts the principal on the chalk board and corrects some of the answers on a recent test. (32)

Thinking Rollie will take care of finding the boys, Judy talks Edith into driving somewhere else, too. Judy wants to check in on Rhonda's boyfriend... to make sure he is worthy of her daughter. (34)

Buzz and Zoomer moon a traffic cop's face.

Judy looks at the home of Rhonda's boyfriend. Is impressed by their wealth and sophistication. Fascinated by their bookshelves. Decides to borrow a book from them, intending to return it some day. They go up to his room and he is frozen in the process of writing a letter to Rhonda. It is a romantic and moving poem. Judy comments that Rollie used to write poetry, and Edith is astounded that Rollie ever had one romantic bone in his body. (36)

Buzz and Zoomer go into a Strip Club.

Rhonda and Rollie prepare to leave the school. Can't find Lisa. Search all about in the halls and classrooms. Despondent, they return to the car and find she is waiting for them, eager to catch the bad boys. (38)

Buzz and Zoomer exit Strip Club, panting and sweating, just slightly overwhelmed by the experience.

Edith talks Judy into going to the house of her ex-husband, Donald Gordon. Edith's pretext: maybe the boys went to see their father. (40)

Buzz and Zoomer on the Boardwalk.

We see Rhonda, Rollie and Lisa driving up and down the roads along casino lane trying to find the vehicle of Buzz and Zoomer. (42)

Buzz and Zoomer enter the Taj and have a party. Faces of people frozen at moments of winning and losing.

Rhonda, Rollie and Lisa go into TropWorld because Rollie has never had time to do this and always thought Lisa would like it. Lisa enjoys herself at the Amusement Center. Rollie waxes philosophical. Rhonda hits the jackpot on a slot machine.

Rollie walks outside and notes that the sun is still in the same place. There is no wind. The extent to which time has been stopped begins to sink into his consciousness. He runs inside to try to explain it to Rhonda. Rhonda asks where Lisa is, since she is not with Dad. Panic. (47)

Edith and Judy arrive at Edith's ex's and find no boys' car there. Judy sees that Edith had her own reasons for coming here. Edith and Judy enter house, and her ex looks very sad and lonely. Edith feels sympathy for him. The house, it is agreed, needs a woman's touch. This guy is so helpless in the realm of homemaking. Edith admits she is lousy with teen-age boys, and was as much a part of the problem as Donald was. (52)

Buzz and Zoomer get in car to go to airport. They mistakenly reason that if they get killed trying to fly a plane it won't hurt them because when time starts again, the whole thing will be as if it didn't happen.

Rollie explains why the boys MUST be found. And how there is a possibility that they will be lost forever in this lateral space in time if they don't return to the room when time starts again.

Buzz and Zoomer driving out of casino see Armored Truck that is open. They take bags of money, but acknowledge it isn't worth as much here in timeless zone. First hint that they are having a change of perceptions about what is important.

Judy and Edith head back to the house, thinking everyone must be back by now.

Buzz and Zoomer turn around and enter a car dealership they drove past. We see them eyeing the hot cars. They pick up the keys from inside and drive away in two very hot speedsters. Drag racing on the highway. (54)

Rollie and Rhonda are looking for Lisa. They return to the car, but she's not there. Lisa has gone down the Boardwalk...toward Pier One. Rollie and Rhonda split up. "If we don't find him by dark, we'll have to call the police." Oops. Sun hasn't moved since time stopped. (57)

Buzz and Zoomer try racing a number of different cars. It is teen heaven. (59)

Judy and Edith arrive at the house, hoping the boys have been found and everyone is waiting for them. No such luck. They decide to head into Atlantic City. (62)

Buzz and Zoomer have a collision. Fortunately, the accident occurs while they are accelerating and not while they are at top speed. Still, Zoomer's car spins out, off the road, and rolls. Buzz finds him unconscious, but alive. A fearful moment, but Zoomer comes to. Bad headache. Realization that this whole experience is not a game. They could get killed out here. A serious moment of insight. The boys decide to head back to Uncle Rollie's. (70)

Judy and Edith find Rollie and Rhonda, but where is Lisa? And where could the teens have gone? (72)

Buzz and Zoomer arrive at the house. They find the cables all connected, but no sign of anyone here. What would happen if we started time again? Zoomer almost pushes the button. (75)

Rollie explains again why they can't start time without everyone in the room. They could be forever lost. Lisa and the teens MUST be found. Judy has hot flashes at thought of losing her daughter in a lateral space of time. (78)

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