Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Script » Dramatic

18+ Mature Content

Homecoming (Part 1, Revised)

by Elinor


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for mature content.

EXT. HILL - DAY

Snow whirls in the sky as ROSALIE HASTINGS, delicate, 7, looks down the edge of a steep, snow-covered hill. Beside her sits a wooden sled. She watches as her brother, SEAN, 10, mounts his sled beside her and flies down the hill. At the bottom, her father, JIM, 34, boyishly handsome, stands. He pats Sean on the back to congratulate him. Sean starts to move up the hill, but Jim stops him.

JIM

Wait for your sister before you go down again.

SEAN

Why?

JIM

Because I said so.

Sean laughs.

SEAN

(to Rosalie) Are you scared?

He begins to mock his sister. Rosalie begins to tear up; Jim smacks him on the back of the head.

JIM

You can do it.

ROSALIE

I don't know. It seems so high.

JIM

It's just like when you went down with me.

ROSALIE

But you were right there. I didn't realize how high it was.

JIM

Rosalie, I thought you said you would be okay with going down yourself.

ROSALIE

I am...

JIM

Well, I don't know about your brother, but I'm getting hungry and cold, and we promised Mommy we'd be home by dark.

ROSALIE

Can I go down next time?

JIM

Rosalie, you can do this.

ROSALIE

(tearing up) I'm scared.

Jim sighs. Sean bounces up and down impatiently, and gives an exasperated sigh.

JIM

Patience. I'll let you go down after your sister does.

Jim climbs the hill. He kneels down beside Rosalie and looks her right in the eyes.

JIM (CONT'D)

I know you're scared. And I know it may seem like going down the hill yourself is more than you can handle. But you know what? Everyone has things that they're scared of. I still do, Mommy still does. What makes you a strong person is when you can face those fears. Understand?

Rosalie nods.

JIM (CONT'D)

Now, if you really don't want to, you don't have to go down the hill. We'll let your brother have one last ride down the hill and then we'll go home.

ROSALIE

I want to go down.

Jim smiles.

JIM

I was hoping you'd say that. Want me to give you a push?

ROSALIE

Okay.

Rosalie mounts the sled, taking a deep breath. Jim pushes her down. Rosalie flies down the hill, her smile growing wider and wider, and she is in a fit of giggles by the time she reaches the bottom. Sean begins to climb the hill. Jim reaches the bottom and hugs Rosalie.

JIM

Congratulations, that was wonderful! It wasn't so bad, was it?

ROSALIE

No. It was fun.

SEAN

(from top) I'm ready!

JIM

Alright, let's watch your brother. (to Sean) And away he goes!

He reaches the bottom.

JIM (CONT'D)

Nice job, buddy. I had a lot of fun today.

SEAN

Me too, Dad.

ROSALIE

Me too.

JIM

Okay. In a second we'll get in the car. We'll have to tell Mommy that you both went down the hill all by yourselves.

ROSALIE

Yeah!

Jim gives a good long look to his children, with a smile that slowly fades. He hugs both of them tightly.

JIM

I love you two more than anything else in the world, you know that, right?

ROSALIE

I love you too, Daddy.

SEAN

Love you.

JIM

Alright, let's go home.

INT. CAR - DAY

As Jim turns on the radio, a broadcast about World War II plays. His expression fades, and he quickly changes the station. An old Christmas song comes on. Jim smiles.

JIM

My favorite.

SEAN

Daddy, why did you just change it?

JIM

Because we don't need to hear about the war right now.

SEAN

Why not? What if we wanted to listen?

JIM

Drop it.

ROSALIE

What if I wanted to listen to? It's not like we don't know what's going on. We talk about it in school.

JIM

Kids, I'm not trying to keep you from it, but we don't need to hear about what's going on every second of every day. Let's just enjoy the time we have now, as a family.

They drive in silence as the first song ends and another classic Christmas song takes its place.

INT. FOYER - DAY

The front hall of a simply furnished home. The radio plays from within. Jim opens the door, carrying two sleds. Sean and Rosalie follow. They kick the snow off of their boots and take a minute to adjust to the warmth and peel off their layers. The radio is heard from within. ALISON, 30, intensely pretty, enters.

ALISON

Brr. It's cold out there.

Sean and Rosalie runs toward her, and she hugs them both.

ALISON (CONT'D)

Hi. How was sledding?

ROSALIE

Mommy, I went down the hill all by myself!

ALISON

Really?

She looks up at Jim.

JIM

She did.

ALISON

That's wonderful! Well, I hope you're all hungry because dinner's just ready.

SEAN

We're hungry.

JIM

It smells wonderful.

Jim moves towards Alison, but Alison continues into the dining room.

INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Mid-meal. It is a quiet, awkward dinner.

JIM

(to Alison) How was knitting?

ALISON

It was good.

JIM

How are Mary and Patricia?

ALISON

They're just fine.

JIM

Are they still both at the shipyard?

JIM

Patricia is. Mary works at a hangar.

She notices Sean and Rosalie both picking at their food, barely eating it. Alison fumes but then calms down.

ALISON

Hey, I think there might be lemon pie for dessert, but only for good little boys and girls that finish their dinner.

ROSALIE

Not real lemon pie.

ALISON

I beg your pardon?

ROSALIE

I miss the way you used to cook.

Alison clenches her fists and nearly rises out of her chair, but Jim stops her.

JIM

(whisper) She doesn't know any better.

ALISON

She's old enough to know better.

JIM

Alison, she is seven years old.

ALISON

(to Rosalie) I'm sorry.

Rosalie stares down at her plate.

ROSALIE

It's okay.

SEAN

Why do we have to ration?

JIM

I know this difficult to understand, but our soldiers fighting overseas have to use a lot of the things we used to not think about it, and we have to make sure they win the war.

They shrug. Alison looks at Jim, but does not say anything.

ALISON

If you kids are done, you can go change into your pajamas and listen to the radio.

ROSALIE

Mommy, it's okay. I'll eat it.

ALISON

Please just go. Put your plate in the sink.

Rosalie leaves, and Sean follows. Jim rises.

JIM

I'm going to go see what they're up to.

He leaves before Alison can react.

ALISON

Jim-

She sighs.

INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT

As Alison places the last of the dishes in the the dish drainer, she eyes a plain envelope, tucked underneath other papers on the kitchen table. She sighs and takes the paper, walking into the living room.

INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Alison stands in the doorway as Jim, Rosalie and Sean sit around the radio, invested in the unfolding story. It ends, and Jim rises.

JIM

Alright, kids, time for bed.

ROSALIE

One more radio play?

ALISON

Bed.

Jim turns around.

JIM

Hey, Alison. How long have you been here?

ALISON

I just came in a minute ago. (mouths) We need to talk.

JIM

(mouths) Okay. (to kids) Off to bed, kids.

They hesitate, but then hurry up the stairs.

JIM

What's wrong?

Alison hesitates, mindlessly moving the envelope back and forth in her hand. Jim sees it in her hand and breathes deeply, noticing that it has been opened.

JIM (CONT'D)

Alison...

She takes the letter out of her envelope, her hands shaking, and begins to read it.

ALISON

"James Rudolph Hastings, you are hereby notified that you have been selected for training and service in the army..."

She trails off.

ALISON (CONT'D)

Why don't you explain this to me?

JIM

I was going to tell you. It just came in the mail today.

ALISON

Jim...

Alison begins to tear up. Jim extends his arms and pulls her close, kissing her forehead.

JIM (CONT'D)

I love you.

ALISON

I never thought...I guess I never let the possibility cross my mind.

JIM

It's all going to turn out okay.

ALISON

You could die.

JIM

No, don't talk like that.

ALISON

Jim. We couldn't have suffered all that we did just for you to leave me again.

JIM

What's happening right now is bigger than us. The draft exists for a reason.

Alison looks down at the floor, her eyes filling with tears.

JIM (CONT'D)

Hey. Look at me. I've been away before.

ALISON

But that was different. You were working. You did what you did so we could raise the children right. This is...

JIM

To protect the free world.

ALISON

Every day there are more and more deaths...

She takes the letter from Jim's hands.

ALISON (CONT'D)

The fifteenth. That's a week from now. What are we going to tell the kids?

JIM

They're old enough to understand.

ALISON

But they're going to be without their father.

JIM

We'll think of something.

ALISON

Wait...the fifteenth. You won't be here for Christmas.

JIM

Then we can have Christmas early.

They exchange smiles.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

Alison and Jim lie in bed naked together. Alison lays her head on Jim's shoulder and Jim strokes her hair.

JIM

About the kids-

ALISON

Not right now. Just...lay here with me.

JIM

We need to talk about it.

ALISON

Alright.

JIM

We'll tell them tomorrow at breakfast. They're old enough to understand.

ALISON

But they have to be without their father.

JIM

I know. We'll get through it.

ALISON

Jim?

JIM

Yes?

ALISON

Aren't you frightened?

JIM

What I think doesn't matter right now.

ALISON

How can you say that?

JIM

Do you think I want to fight? Do you think I want to leave you and Rosalie and Sean and everything I've worked for? Of course not. But the draft is here for a reason, Alison. Do you understand what is happening overseas?

ALISON

Of course I do.

JIM

Then you understand why I need to go.

Alison sighs, and then stares at Jim lovingly.

JIM (CONT'D)

I'm sorry. I love you, but you are strong. You're a wonderful mother, and we will get through this. It's just another bump in the road, nothing we can't handle.

They kiss passionately.

ALISON

I don't want to lose you.

JIM

You won't.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Jim, Rosalie and Sean sit at the table, each pretending to enjoy breakfast even though it has been significantly burnt. Alison sits down and extends her hand; Jim grips it firmly.

JIM

There is something that your mother and I need to talk to you about.

Rosalie and Sean look up at their parents, waiting attentively.

JIM (CONT'D)

I'm going to be going away for a while.

SEAN

Why?

JIM

Well, you two know that because of the war, there is the draft. It is there because after all of the people that sign up, they still need more. So they randomly chose more people to go, and I was one of the ones chosen.

ROSALIE

What does randomly mean?

ALISON

Not on purpose.

ROSALIE

Oh.

JIM

So, I'm going to be away for a while.

SEAN

To kill nazis?

Alison shoots Sean a disapproving look.

ALISON

Sean Hastings, don't speak that way.

Jim smiles wryly.

JIM

Well, they need soldiers in Europe and in the Pacific. I don't know where I'll be stationed yet.

ROSALIE

How long will you be gone?

JIM

I don't know. But we'll write letters.

ROSALIE

I'm going to miss you, daddy.

JIM

Me too.

SEAN

When do you leave?

JIM

In a week.

ROSALIE

What about Christmas?

ALISON

We are going to have Christmas early, just like we always have it, which means we will have to go shopping this week.

ROSALIE

Will you make cinnamon rolls?

ALISON

Of course.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

The radio plays softly in the background as Alison furiously knits a sock. MARY, plain-faced, and PATRICIA, with innocent features, each knit beside her. A neatly folded pile of socks sits on the coffee table. They converse, but to Alison their words are a blur.

PATRICIA

At least you still have Jim.

Alison fumbles with the sock, dropping the needles. She curses, and bends down to pick it up and notices the other women looking at her.

ALISON

What?

PATRICIA

Is everything okay?

ALISON

It's fine. Did you say something?

PATRICIA

I was saying that Steve hasn't sent me a letter in a while. It's worrying, Alison. I've been lonely. It'll have been a year in January since he's been gone.

MARY

It's been eight months for Peter.

PATRICIA

Our husbands are both in the war. I You still have Jim. He's so good to you and the kids.

ALISON

I know.

PATRICIA

It's been so kind of him to take them sledding on the weekends so we can have this time. I love Steve with all my heart, but taking Jackie out to do anything fun was always a chore for him.

ALISON

He doesn't have to do it every day.

MARY

He does it because he wants to. That's what makes him a good husband and father. Spending time with his children and letting you have time with us since we work during the week.

Alison begins to cry.

MARY (CONT'D)

What's wrong?

PATRICIA

Alison?

ALISON

Jim was drafted.

PATRICIA

What?

MARY

When did you find out?

ALISON

Yesterday.

As she descends into uncontrollable sobbing, the two reach out to hug her.

MARY

It'll be alright.

ALISON

I don't know if I can do this on my own. It's like when he left for the CCC all over again, but much worse.

MARY

It's not easy. But we'll always be here for you.

Alison dries her tears and continues to knit.

ALISON (CONT'D)

I'll take the socks over to the Red Cross this time.

PATRICIA

Okay. Be careful, I heard the roads are really icy today.

ALISON

I will be.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Early morning; the sun has still not fully risen. Alison prepares cinnamon rolls at the kitchen counter, and Jim sits at the table with a cup of coffee, gazing at her lovingly. Alison notices this and smiles.

ALISON

What?

JIM

You are so beautiful.

ALISON

You didn't have to get up with me. Today is for you.

JIM

And for Sean and Rosalie.

He inhales the scent of the cinnamon rolls.

JIM (CONT'D)

I can't wait.

Alison laughs and tosses him an apple.

ALISON

Do you remember the apple pie?

Jim laughs.

JIM

Of course I do. I thought about it for weeks after you told me about how you missed apple pie. I kept deciding I was going to do it and then kept changing my mind.

Alison briefly gives a wide smile which quickly fades into a look of pain.

ALISON

I can't believe how fast this week has gone. I wish you weren't leaving tomorrow.

JIM

Right now, we're not going to think about tomorrow. We're just going to enjoy today and have the best Christmas we can.

ALISON

I will. (laughs) I can't believe I'm cooking with real sugar.

Jim laughs.

JIM

Have you thought at about getting a job?

ALISON

What do you mean?

JIM

A lot of factories are hiring women. Don't your friends work?

ALISON

They do.

JIM

I know they pay me to be in the army, but I don't want you or the kids to ever have to worry about money.

Alison laughs emptily.

JIM (CONT'D)

I'm being serious.

ALISON

I don't think it's going to be as bad as it was for us.

JIM

You may be right, but still, I think you would enjoy it.

ALISON

I suppose I could. But managing a job on top the house and the kids all by myself...

JIM

You're a wonderful mother. You've done it before and you can do it again.

ALISON

This is different.

JIM

How is it any different?

ALISON

It just is.

JIM

Try it? For me?

ALISON

Alright.

JIM

I love you.

ALISON

I love you too.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

Alison, Jim, Rosalie and Sean sit around the living room, exchanging presents taken from a pile beside the couch, each with a cinnamon roll in hand. Finally, Rosalie takes a slip of paper and hands it to her father.

ROSALIE

This is for you.

JIM

What is it?

ROSALIE

It's a card that I wrote for you.

JIM

Thank you, sweetie. That was very thoughtful of you.

He inspects the card, revealing a crude illustration of their family, and a handwritten note.

JIM (CONT'D)

Will you read me what you wrote?

He hands Rosalie the card.

ROSALIE

"Dear Daddy, merry christmas. I'm going to miss you lots, but maybe you will meet other daddies in the army that miss their kids, and if it gets hard you all can remember that we're waiting for you to come home so we can be happy again, since everyone has been so sad since the war started."

Alison and Jim both begin to tear up. Jim hugs Rosalie tightly.

JIM

Thank you sweetie.

Alison extends her arms, and Rosalie sits beside her. They continue to open presents, smiling, happy.

INT. ROSALIE'S BEDROOM - DAY

INT. ROSALIE’S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The lights are off, but Rosalie struggles to find sleep. Jim carefully opens the door.

JIM

Rosalie?

ROSALIE

Yes?

JIM

Are you asleep?

ROSALIE

No.

JIM

Can I come in for a minute?

ROSALIE

Okay.

Rosalie sits up and turns on the lamp. Jim sits down next to her in the bed. In his hand he holds a small box.

ROSALIE (CONT’D)

I wish you weren’t leaving tomorrow.

JIM

Me either.

ROSALIE

Then why?

JIM

That’s not why I came to talk.

He shows Rosalie the box.

JIM (CONT’D)

I know already celebrated Christmas today, but I have another present for you.

He hands it to her.

ROSALIE

What’s in it?

JIM

Open it.

She does, revealing a necklace.

ROSALIE

Daddy, it’s beautiful.

JIM

Now, that is for you to put away for a while and wear when you’re older.

ROSALIE

Why are you giving it to me now?

Jim takes a deep breath.

JIM

I saw it in the store, and I thought of how pretty it would look on you when you’re older.

ROSALIE

Why didn't you give it to me this morning?

JIM

There are some things you’re not old enough to understand, but it’s best that your mother didn’t know about this for a little why.

ROSALIE

Why not?

JIM

You know I love your mother, but sometimes she only sees the bad in things that happen. I don't want her to misunderstand why I'm this to you.

ROSALIE

Okay.

JIM

Keep it safe.

ROSALIE

I will.

Jim kisses Rosalie's forehead.

JIM

Sleep tight.

He begins to leave.

ROSALIE

Daddy?

JIM

Yes?

ROSALIE

Wait. Don't go yet.

JIM

Okay.

Jim sits back down on Rosalie's bed.

ROSALIE

Tell me a story.

JIM

What story?

ROSALIE

The story of how you met mommy.

JIM

I've told that one to you so many times.

ROSALIE

But it's my favorite.

JIM

It was the Great Depression, and a lot of people, including your mother and I, couldn't afford to buy our own food. So we had soup kitchens that would give us food for free. In the city there were a lot of them, but I always went to one specific one. And one day I was eating and I saw a girl I'd never seen before. She was the most beautiful girl that I'd ever seen.

ROSALIE

It was mommy?

JIM

It was mommy. I wanted to talk to her, but I didn't know how. It was busy, and there were only a couple of open seats. One of them was right across from me. And she chose the one that was. So I said hello, and the rest is history.

Rosalie smiles, and rubs her eyes.

JIM (CONT'D)

It's bedtime now. We had a long day and tomorrow we have to get up early.

ROSALIE

I'm not sleepy.

JIM

Goodnight, Rosalie.

He kisses her forehead, and leaves.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
13 Reviews


Points: 1576
Reviews: 13

Donate
Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:26 pm
mitzeee wrote a review...



I'm not a professional at reviewing scripts but what caught my eye was the fact it was about World War Two. I definitely was not disappointed by clicking on this, as it also gave me insight into how scripting works etc. But, on terms of the plot, so far so good!

I could see this as a movie sometime in the future, but maybe you could add notes in like music choices and things that the editors could refer to, if this was ever a movie. Also, another thing could be to add in bold and italic lettering; the bold so you can clearly see who's speaking when and the italic for actions as it sometimes gets lost in the actual dialogue.

But these are just minor things obviously, as I am not an expert at script reviews, but keep up the good work - this is really good stuff! (:




User avatar
380 Reviews


Points: 17473
Reviews: 380

Donate
Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:22 pm
View Likes
Dreamy wrote a review...



Hello there! I'm here to give you a short review. So, let's get to business. :D

It's a great story line to begin with. Looking at it psychologically, it's a story of a distraught parents trying to, let's call it, "coming clean" to their kids. Something like this will need a very effective dialogues, and to me it seemed like the effectiveness lacked a bit. But now as I look into it, I just realised that both Jim and Alison are not strong-willed people, maybe it's because of the situation they are in. Now as we consider the situation, one will either break down or sport a strong face but these two are in the middle. They are not over-reacting or laying low. They are just being a complete normal beings, which made me like them both. Though Jim seems to reassure Alison like for million times, his repetitiveness of dialogues makes him a weak day-to-day man.

I could imagine the whole set up in a dimly lit house, where everything smells of sorrow. Well, it has to be sorrowful But, it felt like you have tried something different. To me, it felt very mundane. There is difference between being sad and lazy. To me, apart from the scene where Alison cries in front of her friends, everything else felt very lazy, as if they carried a weight on their shoulders. It does works, when we look at it metaphorically. But I don't know how many will understand the metaphor in it. :P

A few nitpicks:

(mouths) Okay. (to kids) Off to bed, kids.

Instead of mouthing "okay" I'd rather have him say nothing. It would be more realistic. Yea?

They exchange smiles.

This took me by surprise. I mean, they can't be smiling at the fact that they are celebrating Christmas early given the situation. Maybe it would work on screen if the actors still had their eyes- tears filled. But for the sake of making those actors/readers feel the emotions in the smile, why not add "wry" Ya know, what I mean?

I'm going to be going away for a while.


It didn't read well for me. Maybe rephrase it?

I You still have Jim.


A typo. :P We both know you didn't mean the "I" there. xP

Have you thought at about getting a job?


Again a typo, no "at" right?

I know we already celebrated Christmas today, but I have another present for you.


her to misunderstand why I'm giving this to you.


That's all I got. It was a very good read. I can't wait to see the handsome Jim leave his house in an army uniform, in "motion" picture. :P

Good luck!

Keep writing!

Cheers! :D




Elinor says...


Thanks much! I'll be sure to let you know when the second part's posted.




The mind of man is capable of anything - because everything is in it, all the past as well as all the future.
— Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness