Monday, March 16, 2015

A Mall Story

Remember when malls were a thing?  You went there to hang out with your friends.  Then all of a sudden things started to turn, shops started to close, the clientele changed with the whiff of racial tension.  Here is a story about that....

"Mall Story"

FADE IN:

ext. Metro west mall - late morning

A helicopter flies overhead looking down on the outside of a suburban mall. 

It's a beautiful summer day except for the heat.   A man   sitting on a curb outside the mall begins to wipe a bit of sweat off his brow.

A sign reads "Metro West Shopping Center".

A tall chain link fence with barbed wire on top of it surrounds the mall. 

Cars pass through the two entrances that have electronically controlled gates.  A passenger waves at the security guard who sits in a small booth near one of the entrances.

There are people putting up signs and banners with the name "Wheat for Senate", "Wheat-- grown in America", and "Wheat-- fostered to lead" on them.

MATT a young man in his mid twenties directs the people.

matt

No, no.  Put that up higher. And I want each sign or banner no less than thirty-five feet from each other.  Got it?  Are you guys listening to me?

Near one of the mall entrances a line of young people stretches out through an open door and onto the sidewalk.  The kids are subdued as if all of them are unusually hungover.

Two black kids around eleven years old, Kenneth and DEE, ride on the same bike through the open door.

int.  metro west mall - late morning

Many of the shops in the mall are just opening, raising their overhead gates and are turning on their lighted signs. 

All the usual suspects are present:  B.Dalton's, Waldenbooks, A Dillard's outlet store, J.C.Penny, Montgomery-Ward, Shoe Stores, Record Stores, lots of women's clothiers, and many vacant areas.  By the looks of it, recently, about one in every six shops are vacant. 

The line of young people stretches around a corner and into the Grapefruit Records store.

Several old people walk briskly by on their morning constitution.

DEZ, a record store employee, wearing the yellow Grapefruit Records standard issue Polo shirt with a white long sleeve shirt underneath walks down the line of kids.  He holds a box full of plastic cards upon which there are numbers.

He stops and begins speaking loudly.

dez

OK.  Like I told the group up in front, the tickets this morning are going to be sold in a lottery system.  Everyone draws a number. Then we'll call the number and you come up towards the counter to buy the tickets.

Dez looks to his right and sees LORI and her friend standing in line.  The girls are attractive, but ditzy looking. A little bit too made up and overdressed for this particular crowd.

Lori approaches Dez and whispers.

lori

Hi! Wow, I just had to come over and ask you something.

dEZ

What could that be?

lORI

My friend over there thinks you are super hot and cute and...

Dez interrupts.

dez

I'll see what I can do.

Lori scans him up and down.

His sleeve has crept up his arm a bit, revealing an intricate pattern tattoo.

lORI

Is that a tattoo?

A GUY yells at Dez from the line of people.

guy

C'mon, buddy, let's go!

Dez pulls his sleeve down.

dEZ

Just draw a number.

lORI

Are you a secret rocker guy?

Dez holds the box with the numbers in them up to her face.

Lori looks disappointed but then draws a number.

Dez moves on.

Lori walks back to her friend.

lORI (cont'd)

Fifty-one.

Her friend grabs the number.

An old man in a jogging suit and running shoes, SYDNEY, bumps into the back of them.

sydney

Excuse me.

Lori and her friend don't move.

Sydney pushes at them so he can get by.

sYDNEY (cont'd)

Excuse me, young ladies.

He walks past them.

lORI

Hey. I know that old guy.

Her friend taps Lori on the shoulder and points towards a mall cop, HENRY, that is standing a ways down the hallway near a wishing well.

fRIEND

There's your man.

Lori sees Henry.

lORI

I can't talk to him right now.

int.  metro weST MALL, near wishing well - LATE MORNING

The mall is beginning to fill with the usual customers about whom half of them are black.  Henry is walking towards Lori and her friend when Kenneth and Dee come speeding by on their bike and almost run into Henry.

Kenneth brakes the bike to avoid Henry but Dee falls off.

Henry jumps out the way and yells at the kids.

henry

Hey, you kids.

Henry runs over to them.

henRY (cont'd)

You put your bike in the bike rack where it belongs.

Kenneth

I don't gotta lock.

hENRY

Just put the bike up now.  Hey, you got anything on you?

KennETH

Shit, man.

henRY

Empty your pockets.

int.  stage setup- in center of the mall - late morning

There are several PEOPLE rustling about erecting a stage area and putting up various banners and bunting.

Matt sits in a chair in front of the stage area looking at his Palm Pilot (personal organizer mini-computer).

He is looking at a mock-up design of the stage area.

mATT

Whoa.  The microphone...

A WORKER looks at Matt as he places a microphone stand on the stage.

mATT (cont'd)

Over to the rightÉa little more.  Good.  No, wait a second. Just a little more...

Matt becomes frustrated and puts his Palm Pilot down and jumps up to the stage and adjusts the mic stand six inches to the right.

An older man, George, a senior advisor to candidate Wheat walks to where Matt was just sitting.  He is holding a Styrofoam cup of coffee.

George

Matt!  Would you come down here for just a moment?

MATT

Sir, can it wait just a second? I, uh...

Matt looks at George with the mic stand in his hand.  He sees that George is staring intently at him.

mATT (cont'd)

I'll be right down.

Matt jumps off the stage and heads over to George.

mATT (cont'd)

Things are shaping up. It's not perfect but it's getting there.

George hands the Palm Pilot to Matt.

geORGE

Can you assure me things will go smoothly here?

mATT

Yeah, I mean, that thing in Bakersfield-- Candidate Wheat can tell you himself that none of that was my fault.

He takes a long sip of coffee.

mATT (cont'd)

There are donuts backstage.

geORGE

I realize you have a special relationship with the candidate but if anything goes wrong it's my reputation that's on the line.

maTT

Maybe I could avert any misgivings that you might have...

George interrupts.

geORGE

I'm a little worried about the security in this social environment.

mATT

I understand this isn't a country club type area but it isn't the ghetto either and that's what Arthur, uh, Mr. Wheat and I agreed was so special about coming here. It hits our target audience without looking like we're pandering to blacks.

geORGE

I'm aware of the polling, Matt, and I'm sure you're doing a fine job.

The worker on stage drops a big banner.

Kenneth and Dee set the bike along the backside of the stage.

They nod at each other.

int.  record store - late morning

Lori and her friend stand near the mall entrance of the record store. 

Lori holds the tickets in her hand. 

lORI

I guess the seats aren't bad.

FriEND

They're not great.

Dez walks in front of the girls.

lORI

Thanks a lot.

Dez moves quickly along and says nothing.  He does grin devilishly.

fRIEND

We're late.

lORI

I'm breaking up with Henry.

They walk out of the store and into the mall.

int. mall hallway - late morning

fRIEND

So what are you gonna do with the extra ticket.

lORI

I'm gonna, I'm gonna tell him I'm pregnant.

fRIEND

I could bring my friend, Bobby.  He's wanted to fuck Michael Stipe for years.

lORI

If I tell him he'll never let me get an abortion.

fRIEND

You're breaking up with Henry?

int.  ReCORD STORE - LATE MORNING

Dez is unpacking some Backstreet Boys CD's when three young Junior high age teenagers approach Dez. 

The two boys, Animal and B.O., are dressed in punk and thrasher gear. B.O. has a really crappy looking Mohawk hairdo and wears a leather jacket in the middle of the summer.  You can make a guess of his intelligence.

The girl, P. J., has one half of her head shaved and whatever hair is left over is dyed jet black.  She wears a tank top  cut out of a Rush T-shirt which she has taken a marker to and X-ed out the Rush logo, Johnny Rotten style.  She is attractive although gangly in only the way a thirteen year old girl can be.

animal

Dez, I found your old band's seven inch.

Dez looks up and sees his minions.

dEZ

Can you not scream, please?

P. J. puts her hands on Dez's butt.

P. J.

It was so good, Dez.  It made me want to suck your dick so much.

B.O.

What doesn't?

P. J.

Fuck off.

DEZ

Guys, please! Not so loud.

He looks around and shoves the box of CD's against a display.

dEZ (cont'd)

Let's go over there.

They all head towards the poster section.

dEZ (cont'd)

What record are you talking about?

ANIMAL

Kill your pets.

Dez's eyes light up.

deZ

I remember that one.  We played at the Hurricane the night that was released.  That was the first night I played with my amp.

anIMAL

Huh?

DeZ

I thought I told you guys about the amp I made from two old speakers and a Fender head.

B.O.

Oh, yeah.

anIMAL

You made it yourself?

dEZ

Pretty much.  I used to be pretty kick ass with electronics.

The minions draw closer.

deZ (cont'd)

Check this out.

Dez pulls up his shirt and reveals a back full of tattoos.  He points to a particular tattoo.

dEZ (cont'd)

See this one?

The tattoo is a foot smashing a kitty cat that is dressed in a businessman's suit.

B.O.

Kick ass.

aNIMAL

That's the picture on the cover.

Dez puts his shirt back down.

dEZ

I designed it.

B.O.

That shit rocks.

Dez looks around towards the front of the store.

dEZ

Say, I don't mean to be a dick but I've got a lot of work to do.

ANIMAL

What?

dEZ

I'm serious.

Dez walks back over to the box of CD's.

The minions walk past him.

aNIMAL

Whatever, Dude.

P. J. leans in a whispers in his ear.

P. J.

I'll be back soon.

She licks his ear.

Dez pulls back.

dEZ

Ehh.

P. J. puckers her lips and blows a kiss.

They all walk off.

Dez takes his shirt and stretches it up to his ear and wipes out the ear that was licked.

DEZ (cont'd)

Goddammit.

int.  poster shop - late morning

Kenneth and Dee are looking through the posters on display in a poster shop called, "The Poster Shop".  The shop contains posters all over the walls and has several accordian-like browsing areas where someone can look through many posters.  They are not categorized in any particular order.

dEe

They got it?

kENNETH

I'm lookin'.

At the checkout counter is the Pakistani owner, ALI, and his good-looking young daughter, MIRA. 

Ali speaks with a considerable accent while his daughter's accent could pass for someone born and bred in this country  which, of course, she was.

ali

They come in here and they just hang around.  They don't buy anything.

mira

They're just kids. Maybe they just want to beat the heat.

alI

Well, they are not going to beat it in this place.

miRA

Dad, please.

Ali heads over to the boys who are loudly making fun of some of the posters.

kENNETH

Look at this ho.  Madonna's tired.

alI

Are you boys going to purchase anything?

dee

Boys?

KeNNETH

Hey, did you get that Biggie poster I asked you guys to order?

alI

What are you talking about?  Biggie?

kENNETH

The girl said she'd hook us up.

alI

What?

Mira (o.s.)

He's a rapper.

alI

Rapper?  No, there will be no rappers in this store.  You can forget about it.

kENNETH

Why don't you got any black folks in this bitch?

alI

This shop is not racist, Mr. Spike Lee.  We have Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and uh...

kENNETH

That's it?

alI

And the Tyra Banks.

keNNETH

We just wanted to give you all some green.

Dee

This is fucked up man.

Kenneth and Dee leave.

Ali turns to his daughter.

Ali

This mall is changing, Mira.

miRA

So are you.

int.  Dillard's department store - late morning

Lori is working in the fragrance section at the Dillard's department store.  Her boss Marsha also sits behind the counter.

Marsha is an older woman in her sixties.  It is apparent she was once good looking with high cheek bones and a svelte figure.

Marsha holds a clipboard and is marking off inventory in her section.

Lori is arranging a Calvin Klein display.

marsha

Goodness, sweetie, you were late again.

Lori glares at Marsha immediately after that she knocks over the display and starts over.

lORI

Shit.

marSHA

You know, Honey, I don't like to pry but you can't keep a man by drinking all night.

Lori picks up the cardboard display and sees that a bottle of perfume has broken and spilled on the floor.

lORI

I didn't...shit.

mArSHA

Goodness! I'll call the custodian.

Lori reaches for the phone but Marsha grabs the phone first.

marSHA (cont'd)

We need a clean-up in fragrance.

(to Lori)

Honey, we can't have the cursing during business hours.

(back into the phone)

Yes, thanks.

lORI

Would you please just get off my ass.

Marsha points her head to the front of the counter. 

Lori turns and sees and older lady customer.

lORI (cont'd)

Can I help you?

Lady customer

I don't think so.

The customer leaves.

marsHA

This is why you're unhappy.

lORI

What?

Marsha finally puts down the clipboard.

marSHA

These confrontations you enjoy so much. Men don't like ladies to be so, so...

lORI

Aggressive.

marSHA

That's what you call it?  How's Henry doing?

Lori appears more agitated.

lORI

He probably will be doing better when I break up with him.

Marsha starts to adjust the display.

MarSHA

I knew it.  No matter what year it is ladies should not ask a young man on a date.  They will misread your intentions.

lORI

Listen, can I get the third off?

marsHA

Why?   You're scheduled?

lORI

Yes, but I have tickets to a concert.

marsHA

You'll have to ask Jennifer to fill in.

LORI

She's going with me to the show.

Marsha shrugs.

marSHA

Can you please finish my inventory? I'm going to find the custodian.

Marsha leaves.

Lori looks around and makes sure Marsha is gone and begins to write on the clipboard.

Her friend walks up to Lori.

FRIEND

How's it going?

lORI

I'm just screwing up her majesty's inventory and signing her name.

She signs it with a flourish and looks up at her friend.

fRIEND

She's still not retiring, is she?

Lori shakes her head no.

int.  near baCKSTAGE - LATE MORNING

Matt walks around the back of the stage and trips over a bicycle almost dropping his prized Palm Pilot.

He looks around to find someone but there is no one around at this moment.

mATT

What's this thing doing here?

Matt walks the bike out of frame.

ext.  near mall entrance - late morning

Henry approaches three state troopers who are congregating near the mall entrance.  They are smoking and laughing at some joke that was told minutes before.

Henry is dressed in full mall cop regalia except that instead of wearing the traditional footwear he sports ridiculously new Air Jordan's.

Henry rubs the handle of his gun as he watches the troopers.

One of the troopers shakes his head as Henry approaches.

HENRY

Howdy, officers.

TRooper #1

Hey.

Henry plays with a rock with his foot.

hENRY

What are you boys doing out here this fine morning?

The other troopers look at Trooper #1.

TROOPER #1

Uh, well, hasn't mall security been briefed about the senator's visit?

Henry looks up at the trooper.

hENRY

Oh, yeah, sure.  I just wondered if you are with that outfit or with something else.

Trooper #2

Huh?

TrOOPER #1

The plan is no one comes in after fourteen hundred hours.

hENRY

Right! We don't want anyone dangerous disrupting things.

tROOPER #1

As far as danger goes this assignment's a cupcake.

hENRY

I don't know about that. This mall's getting pretty rough.  Over the past year or so a lot more African Americans have been frequenting the shopping center. You know what I mean?

tROOPER #1

Have you ever been shot at? Uhh...

HENRY

Henry.

tROOPER #1

You ever been shot at Henry?

hENRY

Not exactly, but...

Trooper #1 interrupts.

tROOPER #1

Ever had a gun pointed directly at  your face?

hENRY

Other than my dad, not really.

Trooper #1 flicks his cigarette butt on the ground.

tROOPER #1

Your mission is respectable, son, but there is little tangible danger.

He stomps out the burning butt.

hENRY

Respectfully, sir, I might disagree.  The other day there were some teenagers that came running straight at me.  Well, from behind...

The troopers motion to each other and they re-enter the mall.

hENRY (cont'd)

...and I thought they might have a gun but it turned out not to be. Hmm. 

int.  recorD STORE - LATE MORNING

WEDGE, a young record store employee who appears to be around eighteen years old yells at Dez from across the store.

Wedge

Hey, Dez.  Telephone.

Dez hears Wedge and runs into a woman who is holding several CD's.  He knocks them out of her hands.

dez

I'm sorry. Jeez.

He bends down and frantically picks up the CD's.

dEZ (cont'd)

Here you go! It's my fault.

Dez yells at Wedge.

dEZ (cont'd)

I'll get it in the back.

int.  record Store, Back office - late morning

Dez enters the back office of the record store.  No one is in the office that is cluttered with all kinds of artist promotional materials, posters, papers, etc...

Dez takes a deep breath and picks up the phone.  He appears very nervous.

dez

Hello! Hang up, Wedge.  Cool.  This is Dez speaking.

A voice on the other line sounds menacing in it's clinical-ness.

voice (Filtered)

Look, we know about the political thing and we're going anyway.

dEZ

OK.

vOICE (filtered)

We're keeping the time at three o'clock. You trip the bank's power.

deZ

Sure.

vOICE (filtered)

You sound nervous. Everything'll be fine as long as you don't muck it up.

dEZ

Right.

Wedge busts in the room. He looks exasperated and speaks quickly.

wEDGE

Dez, man.  It's a nightmare out there. The register's fucked up again.

vOICE (filtered)

Who's that? What's going on?

dEZ

Nothing. Just the normal shit.  Everything will be cool.

Dez hangs up and takes another deep breath. He has dry mouth.

wEDGE

Thank god, you're off. You gotta help me man.

Dez scratches his arm and reveals his densely layered tattooed arm.

dEZ

Look, I'll help you but then I'm taking a break.

int.  near the wishing well - late morning

Matt sees Henry from behind and taps him on the shoulder.

Henry, startled, turns around quickly reaching for his gun.

maTT

Jesus!

HENRY

Sorry, sir, but you shouldn't sneak up on a guy with a gun.

Matt not missing a beat reaches out his hand.

MATT

Matt Robinson -- aide to future senator Wheat.

Henry slowly reaches out and grabs his hand and they shake.  Henry tries to out-squeeze Matt.

HenrY

Nice grip.  Can I help you?

Matt almost crying shakes his hand.

mATT

You look familiar. We might have gone to school together. I graduated Bishop in ninety-one.

HENRY

I'm not Catholic.

mATT

Well, maybe we played sports against each other.

hENRY

I'd remember you.

mATT

So, anyway, I was told I needed to speak to a Henry. Uh, Henry...

Matt sits on the bench next to him and pulls out his Palm Pilot.

mATT (cont'd)

I've got space age batteries in here. They last practically all day.  Here we go, Henry Mustaine.

hENRY

That would be me.

MATT

You're in charge of policing the mall?

hENRY

The shopping center.

mATT

Well, good.  I'm going to need you or someone in your office to cut the fountains behind the stage.

hENRY

That's really sort of a custodial matter.

mATT

They told me to talk to you.

hENRY

I'll get back to you about that.

Matt begins typing on his Palm Pilot.

mATT

All right.  Here take this walkie. I'll be on eleven.  You call me when you find out.

Henry adjusts his genitals.

hENRY

So, who is this Wheat guy?

Matt leans in towards Henry.

mATT

Mr. Wheat is a neo-progessive inclusive populist who shuns big money special interests while always keeping an eye on what matters to people the most.

hENRY

What matters?

mATT

Well, the polling indicates that it's lower taxes, crime, and insuring personal freedoms.

hENRY

I like that.

mATT

Well, then, I'm sure you'll like what Mr. Wheat says today even more.

hENRY

Maybe I'll poke my head in.

maTT

We're hoping a lot of people like yourself do.  I've got to go but see about turning off that fountain.  Call me ASAP! OK?

HeNRY

Yeah, sure.

int.  near the music store - late morning

Dez is walking down the mall but stops to take a bite out of his cookie sandwich.

He looks around the corner towards the Lowery's music store and sees AMY playing the organ in front of the music store. 

No one is patronizing this almost all but forgotten cubby hole in this large shopping mall.

Amy is an attractive young woman who wears a conservative pants suit with black Dr. Martens shoes.

He watches intently as she breaks into "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath.

dEZ

Bitchin'

Dez bobs his head up and down as she plays the proto-metal tune.

After a moment or two Dez starts to walk up to Amy.

He looks down at his hand and sees his cookie sandwich.

He throws the cookie in a trash can and begins again to walk over to the intriguing female.

Before Dez reaches her she turns and sees him.

She stops playing the Black Sabbath immediately.  She begins to play the whirling Muzak that is traditional in these types of shops.

Dez tries to speak to her and raises his voice to be heard over her playing.

dEZ (cont'd)

Hey, I really dig the Sabbath.

She acts as if he wasn't there.

Dez moves around so he is directly in front of her.

She looks down and refuses to look up.

dEZ (cont'd)

What's your name?  Mine's Dez.

He stops for a second trying to take another tact.

dEZ (cont'd)

Uh, You seem pretty cool. I, uh, used to play in some bands.  You heard of The Strangers?

She gives no acknowledgement of his existence.

dEZ (cont'd)

Maybe not, then.  It's been a long time, I guess. 

She plays louder.

dEZ (cont'd)

Maybe we can talk later.

int.  near backstage - late morning

Kenneth and Dee walk towards the back of the stage.

dEe

What's up?

kENNETH

Let's get my bike outta there.

They approach the space where he put his bike.

The bike isn't there.

Kenneth starts looking everywhere around the area for the bike.  Dee looks as well but only in one little spot.

kENNETH (cont'd)

It ain't here.  Shit!  It ain't here.

Kenneth looks up and sees a worker.

kENNETH (cont'd)

Hey, mister! Did you see my bike here?

The worker shrugs.

kENNETH (cont'd)

Damn.  This is not a good day.  Say, man, are you sure you didn't see a bike?

The worker shrugs again.

kENNETH (cont'd)

Today ain't gonna get much better, man.

dee

Word.

int.  diLLARD'S DEPARTMENT STORE - LATE MORNING

Henry walks into Dillard's and heads for the fragrance section.

He approaches the fragrance section.  Marsha is the only one there.

marSHA

Henry, so good to see you. I take it you are looking for our Lori?

hENRY

Yeah! Where is she?

marSHA

She stepped into the powder room. She's mad at me. Seems she wants to go to a rock concert when she's already scheduled to work.

hENRY

Rock concert?

At that moment Lori arrives back at her post.

lORI

Hi.

hENRY

Rock concert?

lORI

You wouldn't like them.

She addresses Marsha.

lORI (cont'd)

Thanks.

henRY

So what're you doin'?

lORI

We need to talk privately.

marSHA (o.s.)

You just took a break.

Lori walks from behind the counter and pushes Henry away from her station.

lORI

Let's get together at lunch so we can talk. OK?

hENRY

No, you can tell me now. I know I've haven't been spending enough time with you lately.

lORI

This stuff isn't easy to say.

hENRY

Since I got my promotion I've been a little obsessed with my career but I'm ready now to let my hair down a bit.

LORI

You and I, we're never on the same page.

hENRY

You're always right. That irks me but, I admit, I think we have what it takes.

lORI

The sound of Henry's walkie appears.

Matt (filtered)

Henry,come in, Henry.  We need you to take a look at some lights that need to be moved.  Over.

lORI

I just think we ought to break up.

hENRY

Damn.

lORI

I know.

Henry shakes his head and picks up his walkie talkie.

hENRY

I'm starting to hate this guy.

He talks into the walkie.

hENRY (cont'd)

I'll be right there.

To Lori.

hENRY (cont'd)

Duty calls! Sorry.

He leans to kiss her.

She backs away.

hENRY (cont'd)

What's the matter?

lORI

Did you hear what I said?

Henry grabs her with both hands on her shoulders.

hENRY

I'll spend more time with you.

He turns to leave.

She starts to go after him but Marsha yells at her.

marsha (o.s.)

Lori, dear, we need you over here.

Lori walks past the fragrance counter.

lORI

I've got to go to the bathroom.

int. near the stage - late morning

Man is standing next to a volunteer who is holding a box with a bunch of "Wheat" signs.  The volunteer is a middle-aged black woman.

Matt is frantically searching through them.

mATT

None of these are the new ones are they?

volunteer

They just sent me over with these.

mATT

We have to have the new ones.

Matt picks up the sign.

mATT (cont'd)

You see how "for senate" is script.

The volunteer nods her head.

mATT (cont'd)

The new ones are block letters which are specifically designed to appeal to working class males.  Males-- these are the rotary club signs!

The volunteer replies sharply.

voluntEER

What do you want me to do then?

Matt physically tries to calm himself down.

mATT

OKÉOK. 

He takes a deep breath and pulls open his Palm Pilot and begins typing.

mATT (cont'd)

There is enough time for you to get back to the north office.  There are new signs there. I saw them myself yesterday.  123rd and Mitchell.

She starts to pick up the old signs.

mATT (cont'd)

Leave 'em.  I'll think of something to do with them.

He closes his Palm Pilot and sets it on the stage behind him.

Dez walks by.

int.  near main electric breakers - late morning

Dez walks over to a cubby hole which leads to a door reading "private".

He opens the door a crack to see if anyone is there.

He looks in and the room is empty.  The room contains some janitorial equipment and several main breaker boxes. 

He opens the door a crack from inside and spies the bank that is visible, partly, around the corner.

He opens a couple.  He starts frantically searching for something on the boxes.

dEZ

Where's that mark I left?

He looks some more but no luck. 

He grabs some masking tape, takes a deep breath and puts some tape on a particular breaker.

dEZ (cont'd)

I think that's it.

int.  diLLARD'S DEPARTMENT STORE - LATE MORNING

Marsha is impatiently waiting for Lori to return to her post by tapping her fingernails on the glass counter.  It makes a horrible noise.

Marsha looks off towards the direction of the bathroom.

Out of seemingly nowhere, Sydney appears.  He wears the same jogging outfit as earlier in the morning.

sYDNEY

Good morning, Beautiful.

marSHA

Huh? OhÉ

She turns and sees that it's Sydney.

MarSHA (cont'd)

Hi.  Well, it's about time you came by today.

sYDNEY

Well, I, uh...

Marsha interrupts.

marSHA

I was beginning to worry that you had lost your crush over me.

Sydney puts his head down a bit in discouragement.

sYDNEY

Well, sure.

marSHA

Sure.  I hope you mean "sure you didn't."

SyDNEY

Yes.

marSHA

Because, I don't know what I'd do without your delightful visits every day.

sYDNEY

You workin' hard today.

MarSHA

No.  But tell me when are you going to take me up on that dinner invitation?

Sydney laughs.

sYDNEY

Sometime soon.  IÉI've got to meet my friend Earl over in men's wears. I'll see you real soon.

Sydney leaves.

Marsha slumps back onto her stool looking like she just lost the World Series.

int.  reCORD STORE - LATE MORNING

Dez walks back into the record store. 

Wedge greets him with a wild look in his eyes.

wEDGE

Gee,thanks for leaving pal. I got it together, though.

dEZ

I knew it.

wedGE

Yeah, well. Now I've got a different problem.

dEZ

Yeah, me too.  I saw the most interesting girl at the music shop.

weDGE

I've seen her. Jimbo comes in and bets me twenty bucks that I won't know what the Sandpeople's weapons are.

They walk behind the counter.

Wedge starts to check a YOUNG WOMAN out.

dEZ

She's so cool, into herself.  Almost like she's meditating.

wEDGE

What are the Sandpeople's weapons called?

dEZ

She wouldn't talk to me, man. Wouldn't even tell me to fuck off.

Wedge finishes checking out the woman and turns to Dez.

wEDGE

Star Wars, episode 3.  What are the Sandpeople's weapons called?

dEZ

She'sÉhuh?

weDGE

Do you know the answer?

dEZ

I've never seen Star Wars.

weDGE

You're kidding.

dEZ

Let's not get into it. I've been hiding it from you for this long. Let's pretend this conversation never happened.

wEDGE

That movie was a turning point in cinema history-- leading us directly into a digital age from which we never return.

Dez leans his back against the counter.

dEZ

You don't know the answer.

wEDGE

It's killing me.

dEZ

You let me take a break at two-thirty and I'll let you in on a dude who probably knows the answer

wEDGE

OK. But I'm breaking before you do.

dEZ

Fine.  Spencer's gifts.

wEDGE

Leo.

DEZ

Leo used to run a head shop out of there.  You know what a head shop is?

wEDGE

Sure.

dEZ

No, you don't. In the early eighties head shops sold all kinds of dope paraphernalia and it was all legal.  I bought my first bong from Leo.

wEDGE

So.

dEZ

All he talked about for two years was Star Wars.

weDGE

Then what?

dEZ

Then nothing. The cops shut him down. He opened up Spencer's and no more Star Wars.

int.  arcade - late morning

Kenneth and Dee walk from one game to another.  The place is sparsely populated with various minority kids.

kENNETH

Say, man. gimme that five. I'm getting hungry.

Dee looks down at the floor.

kENNETH (cont'd)

Motherfuck!  Where is it?

dee

Maybe on the Mortal Kombat.

They rush to that machine.

No five dollar bill anywhere to be found.

kENNETH

This ain't my day, shit.

Kenneth goes up to every KID in the arcade.

He sees an older kid.

kENNETH (cont'd)

Say, did you see a five on the Kombat?

The kid shakes his head.

Kenneth approaches a group of several kids.

kENNETH (cont'd)

Look, if any you all found a five on the Kombat machine it's mine. I really need it to eat.

kid #1

So?

keNNETH

So.  Fuck you.

Kenneth shoves him.

Kid #1 shoves back and the other kids try to jump in but Dee fends them off.

The ARCADE WORKER sees the fight and runs over to them.

arcade worker

I'm gonna call security if you boys don't stop!

The older kid walks over and pushes Kenneth off kid #1.

Everyone starts to disperse.

Kenneth and Dee walk to the mall entrance.

The group of kids is already walking down the hallway.

kENNETH

You got lucky, bitch!

He turns to Dee.

KENNETH (cont'd)

This ain't our day.

int.  dillard's department store - LATE MORNING

Marsha sits back on her stool and sighs.

Lori walks behind the counter.

Marsha doesn't react to Lori's presence.

Lori makes some loud noises with the register. The register doesn't seem to be cooperating.  Lori keeps hitting the same button and continues to get the same annoying beep.  

Marsha still has no reaction.

Lori finally tries another button and the register opens.

lORI

Hey, I'm sorry I left you here alone.

No reaction.

lORI (cont'd)

Is something the matter?

Marsha turns towards Lori.

mArSHA

Oh, everything is fine now that you're back, dear.

lORI

Whatever.

Lori begins looking at some of the perfume boxes on the counter.

mArSHA

You do know why you're having man problems?

loRI

Actually, I do know.

mArSHA

You always tell Henry everything.   You've got to be more mysterious.

Lori puts down the perfume box she is holding.

lORI

That's exactly why I'm not telling him that I'm pregnant.

Marsha looks a bit sick.

marSHA

What?

lORI

I'm just going to get an abortion and be done with it.  I mean, I can't even make my car payment.

Marsha falls to the ground.

Lori looks and sees Marsha lying unconscious on the ground.

lORI (cont'd)

Goddammit.

A WOMAN working at the jewelry counters yells over at Lori.

Woman

Oh, my God!  What happened?

Lori just stares at Marsha.

womAN (cont'd)

You better call an ambulance.

Lori looks over at the woman at the jewelry counter.

lORI

You call.  You call.

Lori leaves her counter.

Sydney rounds the corner.  He address Lori as she walks past him.

sYDNEY

Where's Marsha? 

Lori doesn't answer him as she continues walking.

int.  NEAR BACKSTAGE - LATE MORNING

Water from the fountains near the stage is audible.

Matt is sitting on a folding table with his Palm Pilot on his lap.  Henry stands near him.

mATT

So, do you want to go over your role when the candidate arrives again?

HENRY

I've been trying to tell you that mall security are not supposed to leave their rounds, no matter what.

Suddenly, Kenneth and Dee run in between Matt and Henry.

dee

Give it up, bro. It's mine.

Kenneth has a glow in the dark yo-yo and is holding it out in front of himself as he runs by.

Dee follows Kenneth.  But he accidentally steps on Henry's toe.

hENRY

Ow! God damn!

Henry looks at Matt.

mATT

We do have the authority to override your typical protocol.

Henry looks over the kids as they run away.

hENRY

Boys, hold up!  I wanna talk to you.  They probably stole that toy.

Henry starts to walk away.

Matt puts down his Palm Pilot and grabs Henry's shirt.

mATT

Look, Henry.  It's just kids.

HenRY

Yeah, but...

Matt stands and looks Henry in the eye.

Two E.M.T.'s rush down the mall in the background.

mATT

But I need your people at the entrances so the State Police can handle crowd control.  The candidate's due here at three and we've already got news people crawling around that I've got to entertain. 

HENRY

Whatever.

mATT

It's not...Can I count you?

Henry

Yeah, OK, but I'm gonna need confirmation from the Metro West security director.

Matt rubs his face with his hand.

mATT

Fine. 

Henry relaxes his shoulders.

mATT (cont'd)

Now, I still need those fountains turned off.

int.  record store - LATE MORNING

P. J., B.O. and Animal are hanging around the hard-core section. 

P. J. and Animal are standing and  shoving each other back and forth.

B.O. sits between them.  He leans against a CD rack

P. J.

You're such an asshole!

He shoves her.

aNIMAL

At least mine's not as wide as yours.

B.O. laughs.

B.O.

You could drive a truck through hers.

P. J. leaps at B.O..

P. J.

I hate you, too!

She starts hitting him.

B.O. gets in a couple of good blows.

Dez runs over to them.

aNIMAL

Dude, punching girls ain't cool.

B.O. leaps at Animal. 

Dez intercepts B.O.. 

B.O. continues to try to flail at Animal but to no avail.

dEZ

Guys, c'mon.  You can't do this in here.

P. J.

Why?  There's no customers.

dEZ

There's a few.

P. J.

Whatever.

Dez lets go of B.O..

dEZ

You know?  You're right.  Who gives a shit?

P. J. rubs Dez's crotch area.

P. J.

Come have lunch with me.

Mira approaches Dez.

miRA

Um, sir?

Dez turns and faces Mira forcing P. J. to drop her hand off his crotch.

dEZ

Can I help you?

P. J.

What do you want, Punjab?

Mira looks past Dez over to P. J..

miRA

Fuck off, dog-breath.

deZ

Don't mind them.

B.O. grabs Animal.

B.O.

Let's get some lunch.

B.O. and Animal walk away to leave but P. J. stands staring at Dez and Mira.

B.O. grabs P. J..

B.O. (cont'd)

C'mon. I'm hungry.

Dez walks with Mira down the aisle.

DEZ

Watcha need?

miRA

Nothing. I just wanted to thank you for recommending that Firehose CD.

dEZ

It's some good shit. Hey, don't you work at the..

miRA

Poster shop. Yeah, my parents run it.

deZ

Yeah.

The two of them look at each other for a few seconds.  It is only a moment but it's one of those moments.

miRA

Do you want to grab some lunch?

dEZ

Yeah, I could go for a burger.  Oh, I'm sorry.  We could get some chicken or something.

Mira smiles.

miRA

Hindu's don't eat cows.  I was born in Pakistan.  We're Muslim so we don't eat pigs.

deZ

So, we'll get a burger.

miRA

Whatever.

int.  near main electric breakers - noontime

A custodian surveys the breaker room.  He sees some tape that is half-fallen off on one of the breakers.

He rips the tape off

int.  dillarD'S DEPARTMENT STORE - noontime

Marsha sits leaning up against the counter.  Two emergency technicians are leaning over her.  Sydney and the jewelry counter woman stand behind them.

E.M.T. #1

We need to take you to the hospital.

marSHA

I told you I'm fine. It's my co-worker, Lori, you should talk to.  She's pregnant and she won't even bother to tell the father.

E.M.T. #1 sighs.

E.M.T. #1

OK, ma'am.  But we need to take you to see a doctor so they can run some tests.

marSHA

No. I'm not going.

She looks up and sees Sydney.

marSHA (cont'd)

Sydney, ohmages.  I hope you didn't see me fall.

syDNEY

I think you should go see a doctor, dear.

E.M.T. #1

You'll have to sign some papers, ma'am.

marSHA

Did you hear about Lori?  Dreadful.

E.M.T. #2 hands Marsha some papers and a pen.

Marsha takes them.

mArSHA (cont'd)

Maybe we can get some lunch, Sydney?

Sydney suddenly looks down at his tennis shoes.

syDNEY

Uh, I'm supposed to meet my wife at the Cracker Barrel.

Marsha swallows hard.

marSHA

Oh.  OK.  Well, you have a fine day.

She turns away from the people.

E.M.T. #2

The papers, ma'am.

Marsha

Oh yes, OK. 

Marsha just stares at the papers.

E.M.T. #2 points at the bottom of the papers.

E.M.T. #2

Right there, ma'am.

A tear rolls down Marsha's cheek.

int.  neAR THE MUSIC STORE - noontime

Lori walks by the music store.

Suddenly the bouncing beat of Muzak breaks into "Cherry Pie" by Warrant.

Lori takes a step or two.

Lori stops and looks over at Amy who immediately returns to playing the Muzak.

Lori shrugs and starts walking again.

"Cherry Pie" returns to the air.

Lori immediately stops.

She turns towards Amy.

lORI

Hey!

Wedge, walking with head down, runs into Lori.

lORI (cont'd)

Jesus!

Wedge looks up at her eyeing her expansive breasts and smelling her perfume.

weDGE

Hey there. 

Lori pushes the young man away.

wEDGE (cont'd)

You could be my queen. We could rule the galaxy together.

lORI

Take off.

Lori walks quickly away.

int.  in front of the stage - noontime

Volunteers scurry on the stage and around the stage putting up signs, bunting, and various dressings.

In front of the stage Matt sits clacking away at his Palm Pilot.

Kenneth and Dee play at war against each other in between the rows of folding chairs. 

Kenneth and Dee both sport identical plastic imitation ray guns.

KENNETH

You're dead, motherfucker.

Dee pokes his head up from behind a chair.

dee

Bull!

Matt is humming "Hail to the Chief" to himself.

His spell is broken when George tugs at his shirt sleeve.

geORGE

I need to talk with you for a second.

dee (o.s.)

Bam, motherfuckin'! Bam!

Matt doesn't even look up at George.

mATT

Shoot.

George clears his throat.

geoRGE

Walk with me.

Matt looks around for his Palm Pilot case. He sees the boys out of the corner of his eye.

Kenneth speaks to Dee.

kENNETH

Shit, dude, mine don't work.

dee (o.s.)

It ain't your day.

Matt continues to look around for the case as George speaks.

geORGE

Would you just set that damn thing down.

George walks towards a quiet corner of the stage area.

A young man, VOLUNTEER #2, approaches Matt.

volunteer #2

Sir, sir.

mATT

Uh, I can't talk right now.

Matt tries to push past the young man.

George stops and turns around looking at Matt and the vivacious young man.

geORGE

I have a plane to catch.

George points at his wrist where a watch would be but George wears no watch.

Matt puts his attention on the volunteer.

mATT

What is it?

The volunteer gazes at his shoe-tops.

volunteer #2

Uh, well, I, uh, the other guys...

Matt puts his hand on the volunteer's shoulder.

mATT

Tell everyone to take a lunch break but remind them all to keep their receipts.  Can you do that?

volunteer #2

Yeah. OK.

Matt walks with George.

mATT

Sorry about that.  I almost forgot the time.

geORGE

You may need to cut snack-time short.  Mr. Wheat will be arriving an hour early.

mATT

Two o'clock.

georGE

Two oh-seven.

MATT

That doesn't give us much time.

George smiles.

mATT (cont'd)

Did you alert the media?

George opens up his briefcase and pulls out a sheet of paper.

GeORGE

That's your job.

George hands Matt the paper.

GeORGE (cont'd)

I've got to appear on Inside Politics this afternoon but you'll be able to handle all this OK.

maTT

I see.

GeORGE

Better put the new info that little contraption of yours.

Matt folds the paper.

mATT

Right.

Matt looks around for his Palm Pilot.

It is nowhere to be found.

mATT (cont'd)

Oh, no!

int.  pOSTER SHOP - noontime

Mira stands behind the register as her father. Ali stands in front of the counter with his back to Mira.

Ali flips through a Car and Driver magazine.

Mira leans forward.

miRA

Dad?

alI

Yes, Mira.

He flips a page.

miRA

I'm hungry.

alI

So am I, Mira.

miRA

It's lunchtime.

He flips several pages at once.

AlI

That it is.

Mira looks towards the mall entrance and sees Dez.

He ducks back behind the corner.

Mira sighs determinedly.

miRA

Dad?

alI

Yes, Mira.

He pulls the magazine closer to his eyes.

miRA

I'm hungry.

alI

Someday I will buy a Porsche.

mirA

It's lunchtime.

alI

Possibly, I could rent a Porsche.

Dez looks in from around the corner.

Mira waves at Dez.

miRA

Can I please go to lunch now?

He turns around and faces her.

alI

You may go.  Half an hour.

Mira rushes out of the store.

alI (cont'd)

Half an hour!

int.  Mall, outside poster shop - noontime

Mira walks into the mall turning her head and looking for Dez.

Dez sneaks up behind her and squeezes her hip.

dEZ

Ma'am, would you like to dine on the right side of the food court or the left side today?

miRA

Whatever.

int.  STAGE SETUP, IN CENTER OF THE MALL - noontime

A circle of state patrolmen including sergeant brophy surrounds Matt.

mATT

It was right here.

Matt points to a an empty folding chair.

Matt's hand scrounges through his hair.

He turns around and looks in the opposite direction towards the stage.

mATT (cont'd)

Or, here.

sergeant Brophy

Good Lord.

mATT

Somebody took it, Sergeant!

sergeant BROPHY

Whatever.

Henry approaches the crew.  A taco in one hand and a cup of pop in the other.

A smile crosses Matt's face and he makes room for Henry to enter the circle.

MATT

There he is!  Did you get it back?

Henry seems puzzled.  He takes a deep sip through his extra-wide straw.

mATT (cont'd)

Didn't you get my message?

Henry looks down at the taco in his hand.

MaTT (cont'd)

Dammit!

The other officers disperse.

hENRY

So, what'd you want?

Matt looks around and turns his body so that he rotates 360û.

MATT

I, I...

He stops turning and looks up at Henry.

matT (cont'd)

...my Palm Pilot was stolen.

hENRY

Palm Pilot?

MATT

My little computer notebook...

Henry interrupts.

hENRY

What does Palm Pilot stand for?

mATT

...it was stolen! Stolen, Henry!

hENRY

Personal Disk Computer?

MATT

It's a personal, personal, uh, I don't know.

hENRY

Was anyone hanging around before you noticed it was missing?

MaTT

Well, no one, until one those boys, uh, no.

HENRY

Boys?  Those two little black kids?

mATT

Yeah, but they ran through. I don't think they could've taken anything.

HENRY

You want your PD-thing back?

MATT

I have to.

HENRY

Well, this shit stops now.

Matt sits down in a folding chair.

Henry tosses the taco onto Matt's lap.

Henry walks away.

Matt picks up the taco and unwraps it a bit. 

He smells the taco and cringes.

mATT

Whatever.

int.  outskirts of the food court area - noontime

The food court is just beginning to mill with activity.  With customers, workers from other stores in the mall and elderly people in sweat-suits standing in line, eating, etc...

The crowd is populated by a majority of black folks with some newspeople and political volunteers mixed in with the usual mall workers.

The food court is populated by fast-food chain restaurants like Orange Julius, McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, and Long John Silver's. 

There are also a few mom-and-pop joints like Mario's Pizzeria and The Golden Boar Chinese restaurant.

At several tables, various newspaper and television journalists sit and eat.  They are identifiable by their cheap suits and various insignias.

At a group of tables that have been pushed together sit the Wheat volunteers every one of which wears more than one button or shirt with the "Wheat for senate" logo on it.

Kenneth and Dee walk to an empty table and crash.

Several empty tables away Sydney and his wife, IRENE, eat and talk.

irene

Where were you?

sYDNEY

Just the coin shop.

iRENE

I hope you didn't buy anything this time. 

Irene takes a bite of her broiled flounder.

irENE (cont'd)

Do you think we should stay for the senator?

syDNEY

If you want to, dear.

Kenneth searches his pants pockets.

kENNETH

Shit!

dee

What's up?

kenNETH

You got any cash?

dee

What happened to your Mom's?

Kenneth continues the search.

keNNETH

I guess I forgot to snatch it.

dee

Fuck, dude! You're one dumb motherfucker.

Kenneth kicks a chair.

kENNETH

It ain't my day, bro.

int.  down the hall from the food court - noontime

Henry walks purposefully towards the food court.  He carries his cup of pop in his right hand.

From quite a distance he spots the two young men, Kenneth and Dee, sitting at a table.

He takes a long sip from cup and wipes his lips with the back of his wrist.

In one motion he tosses the cup to a nearby trash can. 

The cup rattles around the rim of the can before coming to rest at the bottom of the trash can.

int.  doWN THE HALL FROM THE FOOD COURT - NOONTIME

Kenneth gets up and starts to pace in front of Dee.

dee

What are we gonna do now?

Kenneth paces back and forth.

dee (cont'd)

It's hot as fuck outside.

Kenneth continues to pace.

kennETH

We'll just jack it.

dee

From who?

kENNETH

I dunno.  Some old bitch.

Kenneth motions for Dee to come with him.

kENNETH (cont'd)

C'mon.

The both head away from the food court.

int.  doWN THE HALL FROM THE FOOD COURT - NOONTIME

Henry quickens his pace a bit.

Dez and Mira, eyes fixated on each other, don't see Henry.  Mira blind sides Henry and he has to catch himself from falling.

dez

Sorry, man, we didn't see ya there.

hENRY

You two take your jungle fever on out of here.

Mira stops and turns towards Henry.

miRA

What?

Dez grabs Mira and gently nudges her away from Henry.

dEZ

(to Henry)

Sure, whatever.

Dez glances at his watch and head motions for Mira to come with him quickly.

Henry turns around and sees Lori sitting at a table in a far corner away from the crowd.

Mira walks a few steps and looks at Dez.

miRA

I don't like that guy.

Dez looks straight ahead.

Henry looks back in the direction where the boys took off but he instead heads towards Lori.

Int.  Spencer's gifts - noontime

LEO leans back in a super cheap looking easy chair behind the counter in Spencer's Gift Shop. 

He is sleeping and not hiding it.

In, confidently, walks Wedge.

He heads straight for the counter until something catches his eye.

He looks at it quizzically for a moment.

He then picks up the green round-shaped rubber whoopee cushion looking thing.  It has painted on black eyes and a smile.

Wedge winces.

He nudges a box beside where he grabbed the thing from.

It says, "Phineas P. Phart".

Wedge squeezes the thing.

It makes a LOUD FARTING noise.

All of a sudden Leo begins to awaken.

Leo lets out a series of moans and groans and noises that would make your Aunt Kathy blush.

Wedge puts down Phineas.

leo

Son of a bitch.

Wedge walks towards Leo.

Leo yawns and picks his nose wiping the excess on his ridiculously old-looking jeans.

weDGE

The Sand People.

Leo rolls his eyes.

leo

All you new narcs are the same.  Why don't you just leave me alone.

wEDGE

Uh, I just have a bet with my friend about some Star Wars trivia-- dealing with the Sand People.

leo

Whatever. And I'm happily married.  Buy something or get the fuck out.

Wedge blurts the sentence out quickly.

wEDGE

What were the Sand People's weapons called?

leo

Show me your badge.

Wedge's fingers fiddle with the counter edge for a second.

He leans over the counter towards Leo.

wEDGE

You know the answer, don't you?

A pimply faced, tall, skinny, geeky-looking teenager, JEFF, walks in and heads behind the counter.

Leo heads to the back of the store.

leo

Gotta stuff my pie-hole.

Leo continues walking through a door labeled office/storage.

The geeky kid looks at Wedge and laughs and laughs.

int.  food court - noontime

Henry sits at the table where Lori is sitting.

A MIDDLE-AGED BLONDE WOMAN walks by Lori's table and places a Wheat flyer in front of her.

hENRY

You hungry?

lORI

Oh, shit.

HeNRY

Why don't I buy us a Chicago dog?

Lori picks up the flyer.

lORI

Do you know anything about politics?

Henry laughs.

hENRY

Right.  What am I always talking about?

Henry scans the assortment of restaurants from his seat.

lORI

I don't have any idea.

Henry's attention turns back to Lori.

hENRY

Huh?

LORI

(matter-of-factly)

I'm pregnant.

Henry starts to say something, stops, then speaks.

HENRY

OK.

Lori continues looking through the pamphlet.

Henry pauses for a second and scratches his arm.

hENRY (cont'd)

It's OK.  I mean, we both have jobs. We love each other.

Lori puts the pamphlet in her purse.

lORI

I hate you.

Henry shakes his head.

lORI (cont'd)

I'm having an abortion.

Henry

No.

lORI

I'm going to break up with you and then kill your baby.

Henry

No.

Henry's radio begins to buzz with noise.

MALL Cop voice

(Filtered)

Henry, over, Henry.  The director wants you at the stage. Immediately.  Repeat, at the stage-- immediately.

Henry sits motionless.

lORI

You better go.

hENRY

We can work this out, Baby.

Lori rubs her nose.

lORI

I'm hungry.

malL COP VOICE

(Filtered)

We need Henry to the stage area immediately!

Dez and Mira walk past the seated Henry and Lori. 

Mira carries a full tray of fast food remains.

deZ

Let me carry the damn thing.

miRA

Now, you're chivalrous.

They approach the trash can and she sends the disposable contents down the chute.

dEZ

You're cool as shit.

They both stand on either side of the lone trash receptacle.

miRA

You're crazy.

dEZ

You ever listen to Nick Cave?

miRA

That's all I listened to when I had a crush on my sixth grade teacher.  Why am I telling you this stuff?

dEZ

Because, Baby, I'm your man.

Mira shakes her head.

miRA

Who are you?

deZ

Just some guy trying to get by.

miRA

No, seriously. Who are you?

dEZ

Philosophically?

miRA

Who are you?

dEZ

I'm nobody.

He points to his watch.

miRA

Screw them.

deZ

I've gotta get back.

Mira takes a step back.

deZ (cont'd)

But I can walk with you.

Int.  half-empty corridor of the mall - noontime

Kenneth and Dee sit on a bench in the part of the mall that has only a few stores in it.  The rest of the area are empty stalls.

Only periodically do people walk by.

Wedge sits on the bench across from them.

Wedge frantically flips through a Star Wars book that still has the B.Dalton's sticker on it.

weDGE

(To himself)

What a shitty bookstore.

He flips through for a few seconds more stopping only on a close-up of Princess Leia. 

An older woman, HELENE, decked out in a polyester dress and gloves walks slowly in between the boys and Wedge.

He puts the book into a plastic store bag, gets up and walks away.

Dee whispers in Kenneth's ear.

dee

Bust it.

Kenneth nods.

Dee gets up and heads towards Helene.

Dee looks around for passers-by.

Kenneth walks up to Helene so that he approaches her head on.

He stops fifteen in front of her.

She keeps walking towards him.

Dee leans towards the action.

She gets a few feet in front of him and looks up to see Kenneth.

Dee shuffles over to Kenneth.

Helene

Excuse me.

Kenneth doesn't move and Helene has to contort herself to miss running into him.

dee

Do it!

Kenneth doesn't move and Helene walks past him.

Dee runs over to Kenneth.

dee (cont'd)

What a fuckin' pussy!

KENNETH

Shut up.

dee

This was your shit and you pussed out, bro.

Kenneth shoves the much bigger Dee.

Dee doesn't budge a whole lot.

Kenneth attempts to shove Dee again but Dee grabs Kenneth and they begin wrestling on the ground.

dee (cont'd)

Pussy!

kENNETH

Fuck you!

int.  mall, in front of a fountain - afternoon

Henry walks from right to left down the mall corridor heading towards the stage area.

Matt walks away from the stage area towards Henry.

They meet in front of a wishing well fountain.

mATT

Did you get it back?

A young nattily dressed man walks by them and throws a coin into the fountain.

HeNRY

Uh, as soon as I find those kids, you'll have your thing.

mATT

I've got Mr. Wheat's speech on my thing.

Henry laughs.

mATT (cont'd)

What's so funny?

hENRY

Nothing.

mATT

No, what's so damn funny?

Henry shakes his head.

HENRY

Liberals.

mATT

Just get my Palm Pilot back and maybe I can help you with a job come January.

A little seven year old girl comes running up to the fountain in between Henry and Matt.

She throws a coin into the fountain.

Her mother claps off screen.

mother (o.s.)

Good job.

mATT

(To Henry)

Just find the Palm Pilot.

Henry

Sure.

Henry leaves.

Dez and Mira walk by Matt.

MirA

I think every channel's here today.

DeZ

What's this Wheat thing?

miRA

I don't know, some politician.

Dez looks at his watch.

int.  HALF-EMPTY CORRIDOR OF THE MALL - afternoon

Kenneth and Dee are out of breath from fighting.

Sydney's wife, Irene, is walking down the corridor.

kENNETH

I said I'd do it.

dee

Then do it, pussy!

kENNETH

You heard me.

dee

I got your back.

Kenneth starts to approach Irene.

Irene shakes her head at Kenneth.

iRENE

Shouldn't you young men be in school?

Kenneth

It's summer.

Irene stops.

iRENE

There are so many things for young people to be doing that could contribute to your community.

Irene begins walking again.

Kenneth sees her walk away and runs up to her.

He punches her in the back and grabs her purse.

She doesn't let go. They both tug at the purse.

Kenneth braces himself and gives a large tug and rips the purse from her hands, ripping a strap off the purse and sending her wedding ring flying.

iRENE (cont'd)

My ring!

Kenneth grabs the purse but the contents all fall out on the ground.

Kenneth grabs the wallet and starts to make a getaway.

Dee starts picking up other contents of the purse-- compact, candy, Kleenex.

Kenneth pulls Dee by his shirt.

kENNETH

Let's go!

int.  sTAGE SETUP, IN CENTER OF THE MALL - afternoon

Matt stands near the side of the stage.

He holds a file folder containing a bunch of papers that protrude out of the edges.

Several Television and news reporters surround him.

mATT

OK.  Just a little update.  The candidate has moved his speech up an...

He starts to fumble with the folder while reaching for a piece of paper.

mATT (cont'd)

Uh, at two, at two oh-three he will be introduced and uh...

A print reporter who is constantly scribbling into a notebook raises his hand.

Print reporter

Who are you again?

MATT

...and we'll have, Oh me.  I'm the deputy communications director.

prINT REPORTER

Your name?

mATT

Matt Robertson. Now the candidate will, I mean the school choir will sing, at well, it was gonna be three twelve.

TV Reporter

What is the candidate's position on his opponent's plan on re-urbanization?

MATT

What plan?

prINT REPORTER

He unveiled it today.

mATT

Right. Well, Mr. Wheat is a neo-progessive inclusive populist who shuns big money special interests while always keeping an eye on what matters most to the people.  And, that's always been our position.

int.  RECORD STORE - afternoon

Dez stands behind the checkout counter with Wedge at his side.  The store is less than busy.

Wedge stares off into space ignoring everything.

weDGE

Look, you promised you'd let me off now.

Dez looks away and doodles with the register.  He sneaks a peak at his watch.  

dEZ

Hey, did you ever get that trivia question answered?

weDGE

Huh?

dEZ

That Star Wars thing?

Wedge perks up and looks at Dez.

wEDGE

I think I'll get tanked over at Henry's.

dEZ

They card hard over there, man.

weDGE

Hey do you know what the Sandpeople's weapons were called?

Dez shakes his head.

dEZ

I don't know shit like that. I'm a punk rocker.

wEDGE

Were a punk rocker.

dEZ

Whatever.

weDGE

Look, I need to take a break now.

Dez looks at his watch.

dEZ

Give me a couple of minutes.

wEDGE

Where are you going?

Wedge looks at the line of about seven people that has formed.

dEZ

Hold the fort for a sec.

Dez walks off to the storage room/office of the store.

wEDGE

Shit.

A middle-aged man with a Wheat for Senate pin puts his hand on the counter.

middle-aged man

Son, I'd appreciate it if you didn't use that kind of language in front of children.

wEDGE

Sir, what artists are you purchasing today? 

midDLE-AGED MAN

What?

wEDGE

What CD's are you buying?

middLE-AGED MAN

Just ring me up.

The man puts his CD's on the counter.

Several kids behind him rubberneck their way around the man to try to see what CD's he is buying.

Wedge picks up the CD's.

WEDGE

Celine Dion, Celine Dion, and Madonna.  Sir, are you gay?

There are giggles from the line behind.

midDLE-AGED MAN

I've about had enough of you, young man.

wEDGE

I've about had enough of your suppressed Brad Pitt obsessing gay ass, sir.

middLE-AGED MAN

Fuck you, you little punk.

weDGE

Sir, I'd appreciate it if you didn't use that kind of language in front of children.

middLE-AGED MAN

Where's your manager, kid?

weDGE

That's a good question.

int.  dILLARD'S DEPARTMENT STORE - afternoon

A middle-aged woman stands at the perfume counter.  Marsha is ringing up her purchase.  The middle-age woman wears larger than average jewelry and a huge gold broach on her purple blouse.

middle-aged woman

I'm sorry, sweetie, but I just wanted to ask you if you were all right.

marSHA

Oh, I'm doing just fine, dear.

She takes the woman's credit card and swipes it on the machine.

middle-aged wOMAN

I mean, I saw you there with the emergency team.

marSHA

Oh yeah, I'm OK.  OK.  I'll be OK but my doctor told me last week that I have a tumor.  A brain tumor.  They're not sure if it's malignant.

middle-aged wOMAN

No.

marSHA

Yes.  And the worst part is that they tell me it's inoperable.

Marsha hands the woman back her credit card with the slip to sign.

middle-aged woman

What?

Marsha points where to sign and hands her a pen.

middLE-AGED woman (cont'd)

Thanks.

marsHA

If you ask me, what do they know?  I feel fine.  Sometimes I get tired and I faint, big deal. 

middle-aged wOMAN

What does your husband say?

mArsha

He doesn't.  I mean, a man is just not signing the cards for me any more.  Have a good day.

The woman turns to leave.

middLE-AGED wOMAN

You too.

int.  recORD STORE - AFTERNOON

P. J. barges her way to the front of the check out line.  She pushes a much larger teenage boy.

The Boy looks at her and starts to make a move like he might push back but he immediately recoils.

P. J. looks at him and frowns.

P. J.

Pussy.

wEDGE

C'mon, Penny. Don't abuse the clientèle.

P. J.

It's P. J.! Now, where is he?

weDGE

You know your mother told me that she wants you to stay away from Dez.

P. J.

Your mother is a drunken cunt.

Teenage boy

Wow.

wEDGE

And how is that any different from you?

P. J.

Where is he?

WEDGE

Where do you think he is?  In the back.

Wedge looks at the teenage boy.

WEDGE (cont'd)

What are you lookin' at?

int.  rECORD STORE, BACK OFFICE - afternoon

Dez stands behind the office desk nervously shifting his weight back and forth.  He looks at his watch.  It says two-thirty.

P. J. storms through the door.

Dez points at her.

The phone RINGS.

deZ

Would you get out of here?

She takes a few steps towards Dez.

Dez looks at her and then looks at his watch.

He shakes his head.

Dez answers the phone.

deZ (cont'd)

Hello.

P. J.

What do you think you're doing with her?

dEZ

Yeah.  Yeah I know.  Three O'clock. Just like we planned. 

P. J.

She doesn't even know who Mike Watt is, Dez.

Dez turns around so he is facing opposite P. J..

dEZ

No, don't come down early.  That's what I've been trying to tell you. There's cops everywhere.

P. J.

You can't ignore me.  You're my fucking man!

dEZ

No, no it's nothing.   Three, then I'm gone on the first plane.  Look, I told you this shit a hundred times.

P. J.

Ha.  You're leaving and she thinks she's got ya.

deZ

P. J., I don't have to leave.  Well, I might.  Well, I can come back maybe.

P. J.

As long as you're sure.

Dez walks out from behind the desk and puts his hand on P. J.'s hip.

dEZ

Go tell Wedge he can take his break now.

P. J.

OK.

She turns quickly to leave.

dEZ

But he's gotta be back by three. No, ten till three.

P. J.

Fuck off.

She leaves.

Dez rubs his cat tatoo.

int.  STAGE SETUP, IN CENTER OF THE MALL - afternoon

Matt is handed a cell phone by a female volunteer.

Lori wanders in front of the stage area looking lost.

He picks it up.

mATT

Yeah.  Oh, I'm sorry, Mr. Wheat.  Right, Jefferson.  Uh, Jeff.  You're on the tarmac.  Great!  Everything's fine...Uh, let me get back to you on that. No, it's just that I understand...Twenty minutes. Great, everything's ready. 

Matt hits the end button on the cell phone.

He looks at the female volunteer. 

mATT (cont'd)

If I had my Palm Pilot I might know what the heck is going on.

Lori stares at Matt's chest.

mATT (cont'd)

Nothing's even close to ready.  Does everyone have their schedules?

The female volunteer nods.

Matt's attention is drawn to the psycho-type stare of Lori.

mATT (cont'd)

May I help you, ma'am?

Lori doesn't acknowledge him.

mATT (cont'd)

Ma'am!

Lori is broken from her spell.

lORI

Oh, I'm sorry. No one has ever called me ma'am before.

mATT

Well, I was just being polite.

Lori strikes a sexy pose.

lORI

So, what's with this Wheat thing?

mATT

Are you interested in the election?

lORI

What's it about?

mATT

What's what about?

lORI

The election thing.

Lori flicks her hair back and sticks out her ample chest.

mATT

Oh, well, if I had more time we could discuss it but the candidate, senatorial candidate, will be here soon and then I have to go to work.

lORI

You've convinced me.

mATT

Convinced you of what?

lORI

To get involved.

mATT

But I haven't even told you anything. Really.

lORI

It was your smile.

mATT

I like your smile, too.

lORI

Thank you.

Lori playfully tugs at Matt's tie.

int.  inside Henry's bar in metro west mall - afternoon

Wedge walks into the bar cautiously. 

He first heads towards a table but they are all filled by mostly single Older people in their mid thirties and above sitting alone. 

There is no music playing in the bar.  Only the sound of a television playing softly rises above the quiet hum of the air conditioning.

Wedge takes a deep breath, sucks it up and heads towards the bar. 

He tries not to make eye contact with anyone and sits at an empty end of the bar. 

As Wedge sits down the bar stool starts to squeak. 

He tries to ignore it but as he adjust himself it just makes more noise.

Wedge is the only one sitting at the bar. 

The bartender is around his late forties, early fifties.  He is a short, portly, burly man who has probably tended bar his whole life. 

The bartender looks over to a table with two rather boisterous black females. They both wear bright yellow orange and pink jumpsuits. 

The bartender heads over to where Wedge is sitting.  He points to the noisy women.

Bartender

They're taking over.

Wedge nods his head with the look that he hopes the bartender  will just leave him alone. 

Wedge blurts.

wEDGE

I'll take a light beer, draft.

The barkeep immediately turns and pours him the beer.

The bartender says nothing.

He sets the glass in front of Wedge. 

Wedge, becoming nervous, fumbles his words a bit. 

weDGE (cont'd)

Uh, I've got an I.D. here somewhere.

barTENDER

Forget it.

wEDGE

I do have it somewhere, I swear.

The bartender leans forward toward Wedge.

baRTENDER

No, you don't.   You don't have to lie.

Wedge takes a sip of his beer.  He looks around and immediately gains fortitude. 

wEDGE

Have you ever seen Star Wars?  The movie.

barTENDER

Yeah, it's that dog friend of Harrison Ford, uh...

weDGE

Chewbacca.

baRTENDER

Yeah, it's every man's fantasy to have a dog that walks, talks, and helps you kick the shit out of your enemies. 

Wedge nods.

barTENDER (cont'd)

They might have been a little too close though.

WEDGE

Well, there was a little more...

The bartender tilts his head.

Wedge takes a big gulp of his beer.

wedGE (cont'd)

Yeah, you're probably right.

The bartender starts to wipe the bar area in front of Wedge with a bar towel

wEDGE (cont'd)

Do you know what the Sandpeople's weapons were called?

The bartender shakes his head as he wipes.

There is an extended pause while Wedge looks around and sighs.

wEDGE (cont'd)

Doesn't this mall get to you after a while?  It's just so confining.  It's like an Alcatraz on top of the hill or something.

The bartender adopts a serious pose and leans towards him.

baRTENDER

But it's not just the mall, is it?

weDGE

Huh?

baRTENDER

You feel confined at school, at home, at church, with your friends, by this town, by most everything, don't you?

weDGE

Yeah.

barTENDER

It's not structure or edifice, friend.  It's you.  Because you allow it.

Wedge, getting flustered, shakes his head.

weDGE

What if I told you I was gay?

The bartender rolls his eyes.

baRTENDER

I'd kick your ass right the hell out of here.

weDGE

OK, I'm gay.

The bartender, getting a little impatient, begins wiping the bar with his towel a little quicker. 

baRTENDER

No, you're not.

wEDGE

Yes, I am.  I swear I'm gay.  I find men attractive.

baRTENDER

Nooo.

wEDGE

Yes.

baRTENDER

(Scolding)

No, you're not.

Wedge leans back in his stool and takes a big gulp of beer.

Wedge reluctantly mutters.

weDGE

OK.

The bartender turns his back and raises his voice slightly.

baRTENDER

Three fifty for the beer.

Almost forgetting Wedge reaches into his pocket and pulls out a ratty looking five dollar bill that must have been in his pocket for months and sets it on the bar. 

Wedge quickly leaves.

The bartender stops wiping the bar.

barTENDER (cont'd)

(To himself)

Gaffi sticks.

He walks to the other end of the bar and starts wiping it with his bar towel.

int.  near MALL ENTRANCE - afternoon

Kenneth and Dee sit outside the record store on a cement bench.  Kenneth is gorging some M&M's.

dee

Good going! We got no money, no food, no bike.

kENNETH

It ain't my day, bro.

dee

No shit!  Hey, give me some. I snatched 'em.

kENNETH

It was my idea.

With that, Dee snatches the M&M's from Kenneth's hand.

kENNETH (cont'd)

That ain't cool.

dEe

You ain't cool.

kENNETH

That's wack.

Dez walks past them.

Kenneth sees him.

kENNETH (cont'd)

Hey, that's that punk rock dude.

dEZ

Huh?

Kenneth points at Dez.

kENNETH

Over there-- the record store, dude.

dEE

He ain't no punk rock dude.

kENNETH

No, bro. I've seen his tatoos.  He's got the Sex Pistols and all that shit on him.

dEe

What are you gonna tell your moms about your bike?

KeNNETH

We'll just have to find the bitch.

Dee spots Henry who is walking towards them from them in the opposite direction of Dez.

dEe

Shit, it's that fake cop.

Kenneth gets up.

kENNETH

Let's roll.

Dee gets up.

Kenneth snatches the M&M's back from Dee.

They walk away from Henry.

Henry sees them and hollers.

hENRY

Hey, kids, I need to talk to you.

They take off running.

Henry starts to run, but he slips on a Wheat poster that someone has dropped on the ground.

heNRY (cont'd)

Goddammit!

Several older mall patrons stop and stare at Henry.

hENRY (cont'd)

Shit!

int.  iN FRONT OF THE STAGE - afternoon

Matt is showing Lori around the stage area.

mATT

Well, here is where Mr. Wheat will be speaking as well as other notables, like our esteemed mayor, etc...

Lori is only paying half-attention to Matt and half-attention to something under the stage.

lORI

Hey, what's that?

She points to the bottom of the stage.

Matt looks quizzically.  He bends over and searches around just underneath the bunting in front of the stage.

mATT

Yes, Baby!  Whoo!

lORI

What is it?

Matt gets up and shows the Palm Pilot to Lori.

mATT

It's my Palm Pilot computer thing.  I've got my whole life on this thing.  I thought I'd lost it.

lORI

Well, you found it.

mATT

Right.

Matt starts punching buttons on the Palm Pilot.

He looks up at Lori.

mATT (cont'd)

Still works.

He returns hitting the small keys at a rapid pace.

lORI

I'm getting really excited about this election thing.   I'm thinking I'd like to volunteer.

mATT

Good.  The first thing you'll have to do is register to vote if you're not registered.

lORI

Oh, I think I am.  We all registered at my high school.  I voted for Dole. I really liked him.

Matt leans back retracting from her.

mATT

What?  Dole?

lORI

That other guy just wanted to raise all of our taxes.

mATT

Look, I've got to go.  We've got a lot of work to do.

Matt starts to walk away.

Lori grabs his arm.

lORI

Wait! Who do I talk to about volunteering?

mATT

Well, I mean, let me get back to you.  We've had some personnel changes around here.

lORI

I thought you liked my smile.

MATT

I, uh, you know?-- The candidate.

He leaves.

int.  pOSTER SHOP - afternoon

Dez walks up to the entrance of the poster shop.  He hides behind a display.

He pops his head to try and see Mira.  He spots her and tries to get her attention without her father seeing him.  He waves at her.

Mira stands behind the counter with her father by her side.  An older Pakistani woman, PARAMITA, stands with them

Mira sees him and shakes her head no at him.  She does this one too many times and her father notices it.

alI

What is it?

Ali looks over and sees Dez.

alI (cont'd)

Who is this?

mira

My friend.

paramita

Is this him, Mira?

miRA

Uh.

Ali motion at Dez to come towards him.

alI

Come here. Come here.

Dez tries to make eye contact with Mira but she remains expressionless.

alI (cont'd)

I want to talk to you, boy.

Dez reluctantly walks over to Ali.

miRA

Dez, this is my mother and father.

dEZ

Hello, sir, ma'am.

alI

I have been speaking with my daughter, Mr. Dez, and my wife and I agree that you are not to see her anymore.

dEZ

What?  We just went to lunch.

alI

Don't make me angry, mister.  I will knock you out.

DeZ

What?  Are you joking?

miRA

Dad, please.

alI

I've said all I that I am going to say to you.  Now go.

dEZ

Mira?

Mira closes her eyes.

dEZ (cont'd)

Whatever.

He leaves the store.

Ali turns to Mira.

alI

Your mother and I are taking you out of the public schools.

miRA

C'mon guys, this is getting ridiculous.

paRAMITA

You are getting ridiculous.

alI

That's right.  It's done. Now let's get back to work.

miRA

You can't do this. 

She leaves the counter and heads off in Dez's direction.

Ali chases after her.

She gets to poster shop entrance and looks out in the mall for Dez.

He is no where to be found.

Ali tugs at her arm and pulls her back into the store.

miRA (cont'd)

No!

alI

You will obey me.

She struggles with him.

He slaps her on the face.

She reacts only by weeping.

Ali lets go.

She heads back to behind the counter, crying.

Ali walks back into the store.

Paramita looks at him and opens her mouth to speak.

Ali shakes his head at her.

Paramita mutes herself.

int.  Near the mall entrance next to the montgomery ward - afternoon

This a part of the mall where there are few occupied shops that lead up to the department store, Montgomery Ward.

Dez is waiting with his back to the outside entrance.

A SHADY LOOKING CHARACTER approaches Dez.  He wears a leather jacket in the summer and seventies looking sunglasses.  He wears a thick mustache and chews on a toothpick.

He taps Dez on the shoulder.

dEZ

Yeah?

shady looking character

I'm your man.

Dez rolls his eyes.

shADY LOOKING CHARACTER (cont'd)

You ready?

Dez checks his watch.

deZ

Uh, yeah.

The Shady Looking Character takes the toothpick out of his mouth with his right hand.  With that hand he bangs Dez's shoulder.

The toothpick breaks.

shADY LOOKING CHARACTER

It's a silent job don't worry about it.

Dez points to the shady character's hand.

dEZ

You, uh, you broke your toothpick.

The Shady Looking Character looks at his right hand.

shADY LOOKING CHARACTER

Oh.

He drops the stub and reaches into his coat pocket.

Dez recoils.

The Shady Looking Character pulls a plastic zip-lock bag filled with toothpicks.

He pulls out a fresh one and pops it into his mouth.

shADY LOOKING CHARACTER (cont'd)

Mint flavor.  Good for fresh breath.

The Shady Looking Character walks off.

dEZ

Yeah, good for fresh breath.

Dez looks at his watch one last time.

Dez walks down the mall hallway. 

He passes a pile of "Wheat for Senate" signs.  Behind them  a children's bicycle sticks out.

Dez stops and pushes the signs back a bit.

He pulls the bike out halfway and inspects it.

He looks at his watch.

It says two fifty-six.

dEZ (cont'd)

Shit.

Dez pushes the bike against the wall and hurries off.

int.  near stage area - afternoon

Matt, CANDIDATE WHEAT, and SEVERAL STAFFERS walk quickly towards the stage area.  Candidate Wheat wears the standard politician's uniform-- dark blue suit, red power tie and a white shirt.  He is middle-aged with closely cropped hair designed to offend no one. Hair's not long but not too short either.

A THRONG OF REPORTERS surrounds the candidate and his people but several STATE TROOPERS keep them more than an arm's distance from the politicians.

mATT

Sir, everything's been going pretty smoothly here.  We should have you on to the next stop on time.

Wheat stops and looks at Matt.

Everyone else suddenly stops.  A FEMALE STAFFER steps on Matt's foot with her heel.

mATT (cont'd)

Dooh!

Wheat

So, where's my speech?

MATT

Speech?

Matt winces.

mATT (cont'd)

Yeah, we uh, you'll have it in three minutes.

Everyone else falls silent waiting for Wheat's reaction.

whEAT

This won't happen again but I guess I can deal with it.  Are there some snacks?  I'm famished.

MATT

Yes, right over here, sir.

The TV Reporter from before gets close enough to shout a question.

tv REPORTER

Is your re-urbanization plan going to raise the working person's taxes, Mr. Wheat?

ANOTHER PRINT REPORTER pushes the TV reporter out of the way.

another print reporter

How do you respond to your opponent's allegations of money laundering at your law office?

Wheat grabs Matt's arm and leans into him.

wheAT

We've some new money so after this dog and pony show we're going to have a prompter at every stop.

He waits for Matt's reaction.

mATT

Huh. 

whEAT

It's gonna be neat, Matthew. 

mATT

Who recommended that?

whEAT

Oh, it was George.  He's got more campaign experience than any other person with us combined.

Matt points Wheat to the food.

mATT

True.

They duck behind a curtain separating the pols from the wolves.

int.  nEAR THE MALL ENTRANCE NEXT TO THE MONTGOMERY WARD - AFTERNOON

Kenneth and Dee, looking dejected, walk out of the Montgomery Ward. 

dee

Those new bikes are fuckin' expensive.

kENNETH

I heard that.

Dee sees the bike behind some Wheat signs that were stacked against it.  He nudges Kenneth.

dee

Hey.

keNNETH

Stop buggin'.

Kenneth continues to walk slowly without raising his head.

Dee pushes him really hard this time.

kENNETH (cont'd)

Shit, dude!

Dee can't speak. He merely points towards the bike.

Kenneth and raises his head to see the bike.

kENNETH (cont'd)

No fuckin' way.  No fuckin' way.

He rushes to the bike and stands it up, looking it over, smiling.

dee

It's yours, dude.

Kenneth flashes Dee an evil look.

keNNETH

Ya think?

dee

Maybe it is your day.

kENNETH

Are you nuts?

ext.  outside mall, poster shop BACK-DOOR - afternoon

Mira sits on the curb smoking a cigarette. 

Behind her is the delivery door to the poster shop.

She watches several TV news remote trucks set up which amounts to some FAT TEAMSTER-LOOKING GUYS standing around.

Mira takes a long drag on her cigarette. 

She pulls the butt out of her mouth and slowly exhales.

A news helicopter flies overhead.

She calmly takes the cigarette and rams the hot end into her forearm.

Her body crinkles up in horrible pain but she does not make a sound.

She pulls her forearm to her face and looks at it.

miRA

Nothing changes.

She flicks away the cigarette and stomps it out.

Lori walks past Mira and gets cat calls from the FAT TEAMSTER-LOOKING GUYS.

A teamster-looking guy in an Aerosmith T-shirt is the loudest.

Teamster #1

Baby, where you been all my life?

teamster #2

Nice tits.

Lori, zombie-esque, ignores their advances.

Mira shakes her head.

int.  Near THE MALL ENTRANCE NEXT TO THE MONTGOMERY WARD - AFTERNOON

Kenneth sits on his bike in the mall silhouetted in front of the doors to the outside.

Dee stands beside him.

dEe

What the fuck's up with this?

kENNETH

Man, how would I know.

Out of nowhere a flashlight shines on them.

Henry walks out of the shadows.

hENRY

There you boys are.

dee

Oh, shit.

Kenneth continues to sit balancing on his bike.

kENNETH

What do you want, copper?

hENRY

I guarantee you know what I want, boy.  A little computer ring a bell?

dee

What?

kENNETH

You got the wrong dude, dude.

HeNRY

I don't think I do.

Kenneth starts to ride towards Henry.

Henry grabs Kenneth and pulls him off the bike.

hENRY (cont'd)

No, no.  You're not going anywhere.

dee

Watch it, dude!

Henry pushes Kenneth.

hENRY

Where's that politician guy's computer? Uh, what's your name, kid?

kENNETH

Rakim.

Dee giggles but tries to conceal it to no avail.

hENRY

Really.  You've lied to me four times now, Rakim.

Kenneth sees Dee and smiles.

kENNETH

Just three times.

HENRY

I'm not kidding.

Kenneth picks up his bike and tries to walk away.

Henry grabs him.

Kenneth pushes back.

Henry attempts to grab Kenneth again but he grabs a wad of Kenneth's hair.

kennETH

Get off me.

Kenneth hits Henry in the face.

Henry takes his nightstick and whacks Kenneth on his head.

Dee rushes at Henry but Henry throws him back.

Henry continues to whack Kenneth with the nightstick three more times.

dee

Stop it!

This enrages Henry and he starts kicking Kenneth as he lies on the ground, again and again and again and again.

Dee lunges at Henry again and manages to push him away a little bit.

Henry kicks Kenneth one last time in the back.

Henry walks away.

Dee watches Henry.

dee (cont'd)

Motherfucker!

Dee tries to help Kenneth up but he doesn't move.

dee (cont'd)

Shit, man.  I'm gonna go get some help, bro. 

Dee runs off.

Kenneth lies on the floor with his bike at his side.

int.  near main electric breakers - afternoon

Dez rushes into the breaker room and sees the custodian sleeping on two folding chairs.

Dez takes a deep breath.

He reaches over and nudges the custodian trying to wake him up.

The custodian just shifts his head.

Dez looks at his watch.  It says three o'clock.

Dez rolls up his sleeves revealing his heavily tattooed arms.

Dez pushes the custodian hard.  He falls off his perch.

custodian

Motherfucker!

dEZ

Sorry, man, a little girl just threw up all over my register at Spencer's.

custodian

Shit.  Hey, I dig the ink.

Dez pulls his sleeves back down.

deZ

You gotta clean that shit up now or I'm gonna get canned!

custodian

All right! All right!

The janitor walks to leave and he takes one last look at Dez.

Dez turns away.

The janitor leaves.

Dez hurriedly looks for his taped marker.

He can't find it.

deZ

Goddammit!

He kicks the breaker board.

Dez regains control long enough to put his hand on the very breaker he had marked before.

dEZ (cont'd)

Uhh.

He moves his hand one breaker over and trips it.

He opens the door a crack.

The bank's lights are still on.

Dez looks shocked.

He goes back over to the board and hits the breaker below the one he just pulled.

Going back over to the door he sees that the bank's lights are still on.

Dez jerks his head.

deZ (cont'd)

Ergh.

He goes back and flips another breaker. 

Everything goes dark.

dEZ (cont'd)

Fuck.

Dez tries to find his way to the door but he runs into it and it closes.  It won't open.

dEZ (cont'd)

Fuck!

ext.  outside the mall, gate - afternoon

The electric gates slowly swing shut.

ext.  outside the MALL, other GATE - AFTERNOON

The electric gate shuts.

A car waits but the gate doesn't open.

A MAN IN BERMUDA SHORTS gets out of his car and tries to pry the gate open but he can't.

Several cars wait on the other side.  They are prevented from getting in.

int.  stage SETUP, IN CENTER OF THE MALL - afterNOON

SEVERAL REPORTERS, VOLUNTEERS, and BYSTANDERS are standing around in a panic.

A baby CRIES loudly.

A MALE TV REPORTER trips over a chair.

male tv reporter

This is ridiculous!

int.  backstage area - afternoon

Matt stands next to candidate Wheat. Wheat sits at a card table.

Matt holds a lighter near the Wheat.

whEAT

Oh, my god. Oh, my god.  This could be an assassination attempt!

mATT

Sir, I'm sure it's just a temporary outage.

whEAT

Jesus Christ!  I never should have let George's wife give me that head job yesterday.

mATT

OK.  Hey, wait a minute.  Our sound system has a backup battery.

whEAT

I'm ruined, Matt, and it's your fault.

Matt walks away from Wheat.

mATT

Hold on a second, sir.

Matt makes his way to the microphone on the podium.

He stands on the stage and bangs the mic.

mATT (cont'd)

Attention! Can I have your attention?

The BUZZ of the crowd does not dissipate.

mATT (cont'd)

(Loudly)

Can I have your fucking attention?

The crowd noise dissipates a bit.

mATT (cont'd)

OK. Does anyone out there have any flashlights or lights of any kind?

There is no response.

mATT (cont'd)

Flashlights?  Lights!

A CONSTRUCTION WORKER shines a mag light into the air.

mATT (cont'd)

OK. Just shine that thing over here. 

Leo stumbles his way to the front.

Leo

Hold on a second, friend.  I'll get us some lights.

mATT

Great! Nobody panic.  This'll all be over in a second.

int.  organ shop - afternoon

Amy sits in the dark at her organ that sits in front of the store. 

She pounds the organ keys with her fists with no sound coming forth from the instrument.

Dee runs up to her.

dee

Hey, can you help my friend?  Some cop just beat the shit out of him?

Amy just shakes her quickly.

dee (cont'd)

C'mon bitch.

She throws some sheet music at him.

Dee leaves.

int.  diLLARD'S DEPARTMENT STORE - afterNOON

A few emergency lights are on in the store giving the store and the rest of the mall an almost moonlit quality.

Everyone has vacated the perfume/jewelry area of the store except for Marsha.

She sits with several lit candles while humming an old Cole Porter tune.

int.  pOSTER SHOP - afternoon

Ali stands outside his shop wielding a 9mm automatic handgun a his side.

He sees some YOUNG KIDS walk by.

alI

Get away from here you, bastards.  I will shoot.

Dee rushes up to Ali from the side not seeing the gun.

dee

Mister!  Hey man, you gotta call someone.  Kenneth is hurt real bad.

Ali waves the gun around in a circular motion.

alI

You get out of here, young man.   I know your tricks and you will not steal my stuff. Understand?

dee

Dude, just call for some help, dude.

ali

I am not a dude.  Go away.

dee

Please.

He points the gun at Dee.

alI

Go!

ext.  mall fence - afternoon

Lori stands by the fence away from the two gates.  There is no one around.

The fence is chain-link with a strips of barbed-wire at the top.

She sets her purse on the ground removing only her concert tickets.

She puts the tickets in the pocket of her blouse.

She starts to climb the fence shedding her high heels in the process.  Barefooted and bare-legged, she makes her way up the fence.

She gets to the top and tries to straddle the barbed-wire.  Her dress gets caught.

Lori struggles to untangle her self only tangling herself more.

She begins to flounder about cutting herself until she slips. 

The tickets fall out her pocket and onto the ground--on non-mall property.

She is so entangled that she just hangs from the barbed-wire unable to free herself.

lORI

My tickets.

int.  Kay-Bee Toys - afternoon

Animal and B.O. are rummaging about in the nearly dark abandoned toy store.  B.O. is rooting through the Playstation games.   He holds about thirty of them.

B.O.

Dude, this is awesome!

Animal runs up and down the aisles knocking everything over in his path.

aNIMAL

Yeah, this is freedom, man.

He finds some Pokemon stuff.

aNIMAL (cont'd)

I hate this shit.

He takes out a lighter and sets it on fire.

It bursts into flames as Animal drops the toy.

aniMAL (cont'd)

That's safe for the kids.

b.O.

Holy shit!

The fire starts to spread.

The sprinklers go off.

They run out of the store with a bunch of Playstation games with Animal carrying  a Rubik's cube.

b.O. (cont'd)

What the fuck?

aNIMAL

I've always wanted one of these.

Dee stands in the boy's way and tries to talk to them.

dee

Hey!  You guys got a quarter?

They run past him dropping a few games near Dee.

He picks one up, shakes his head and sees the fire that is now smoldering.

He heads inside the toy store and picks up the phone.

He hears nothing.

dee (cont'd)

Dead.

He tosses the phone and runs off.

int.  stage SETUP, IN CENTER OF THE MALL - afteRNOON

Leo is handing flashlights to a group of peoplE below the stage.

The TV reporter takes one from Leo.

tv REPORTER

Where did you get all of these?

leO

They were for Y2K.

The TV reporter nods.

Matt, on the stage, taps the mic.

mATT

Every body just stay calm...

Wheat taps Matt on the shoulder.

wheAT

I'll take over now, son.

(into the mic)

Everybody, my name is Jackson Wheat, your candidate for U.S. senate.  I just want everyone to stay calm and we'll ride this little crisis out together.  Just shine those lights up here and we'll try to restore some order to this place.

A YOUNG ASIAN MAN raises his hand.

young asian man

I heard that no one can get in or out of here, sir.

whEAT

Well, now is not a time for spreading unsubstantiated rumors.  All that's going to do is give us all unnecessary stress.

Dee enters the crowd.

He tugs on the TV reporter's blouse.

She turns around and faces Dee.

tv REPORTER

Not now, kid.

He nudges an OLD REPORTER.

dee

Hey, my friend needs help.

The Old reporter pushes Dee aside and moves further to the front of the stage.

Dee turns around.

He addresses people as he walks.

dee (cont'd)

Hey, lady.

No response.

dee (cont'd)

Hey, I need some help.

A GRAY HAIRED WOMAN responds.

gray haired woman

Isn't it a school day?

Dee leaves the crowd.

wheAT (o.s.)

This may be a crisis but it pales in comparison to the state of ourÉ

Dee heads back down the mall hallway, into the darkness.

wheAT (cont'd)

communities, our streets, our nation.  But the answer is simple, my fellow citizens, we just need to work together.  Common goals help everyone. Even you, sir.

Smattering of LAUGHTER.

Int.  car in mall parking lot - afternoon

The Shady Looking Character sits behind the wheel of a van marked "Sarah's Catering". 

They sit in a traffic jam waiting for the gate to open.

Beside him sits a bearded man holding a flash light.

The Bearded Man keeps shining the flashlight at the Shady Looking Character.

shADY LOOKING CHARACTER

You wanna quit it?

beARDED MAN

This isn't good.

shADY LOOKING CHARACTER

It's a perfect diversion.

int.  near main electric breakers - afternoon

Dez sits slumped against the door that won't open.  He holds his cigarette lighter up to his face.

He scratches his arm.

int.  caR IN MALL PARKING LOT - AFTERNOON

The Shady Looking Character slowly chews on his toothpick as traffic has yet to move.

Bearded man

You haven't thanked me for bringing the flash light.

shaDY LOOKING CHARACTER

I told you, there's an extra ten grand in it for you. 

He spits his toothpick out the window.

The gate opens and cars begin to move through.

shADY LOOKING CHARACTER (cont'd)

You did save the day.

The van moves towards the exit.

ext.  outside mall, tv news remote truck - early evening

A reporter gives a stand-up in the parking lot as a CAMERAMAN stands and shoots her.

Henry watches from the side as he munches on a corn dog.

reporter

The crisis is nearly over but we may have seen Wheat's candidacy take off after his sterling performance at calming the crowd this afternoon.  It was as one aid put it, "his shining moment".

int.  THE MALL ENTRANCE NEXT TO THE MONTGOMERY WARD - early evening

Some emergency lights have come on giving the mall a dim glow.

Dee sits, Indian style, next to Kenneth.  He holds Kenneth's hand as a pool of blood slowly grows larger around Kenneth.

fade to black.

Credits.

 

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