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Homecoming (Part 2, Revised)

by Elinor


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

INT. CAR - DAY

Alison pulls up in a parking space in front of a small, squat building, tears in her eyes. The landscape is cold, gray and lifeless. She leans forward and kisses Jim, letting it linger. She pulls away and stares into his eyes, putting her hand on the car door, but she slides it off and kisses him again with more passion than before. Alison notices Sean and Rosalie squirming in the back, and pulls away, sighing. She opens the car door.

ALISON

Get out and say goodbye to your father.

They exit.

EXT. CAR - DAY

Alison opens the truck and hands him Jim his bag. He leans up against the trunk. There are tears in his eyes, but they are less pronounced; he's fought them hard. Sean and Rosalie both run up to him and he holds them tightly.

JIM

Be good. Listen to your mother when she tells you to do something.

After a while, he lets them go, and they stand by the car. He approaches Alison, takes both of her hands and looks her right in the eyes.

JIM (CONT'D)

Be strong. For them.

ALISON

I will.

JIM

I'll be home before you know it.

They kiss for a long time.

ALISON

Goodbye. Write as soon as you can.

JIM

Of course.

Alison gets in the car. Sean and Rosalie follow. She slowly drives away, waving to Jim for as long as he remains in their sight. After they are gone, Jim takes a deep breath and approaches the building, gathering all of his courage.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

A car pulls up in the driveway at the end of a silent, simple breakfast. Alison takes the dishes from Rosalie and Sean and puts them in the sink. She takes her coat, draped over her chair and puts in on.

ALISON

Be good, kids. You remember how to get to the bus stop?

SEAN

Yes, mom.

She kisses both of her children.

ROSALIE (CONT’D)

Why is Mary driving you?

ALISON

Because it's my first day and she wants to help me get started since she already works where I'm going to work.

ROSALIE

Oh.

ALISON

Goodbye, I love you both.

She moves towards the door.

ROSALIE

Do you think we'll get a letter from daddy soon?

ALISON

Soon, honey. It takes a long time for letters to get all the way across the sea.

She opens the door, and leaves.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

Rosalie and Sean sit beside the radio, listening to a broadcast about the war. Alison enters.

ALISON

Hi. How was school?

They answer without turning away from the radio.

SEAN

It was good.

ROSALIE

Yeah.

ALISON

Look at me.

She realizes that what they are listening to is about the war, and turns it off.

ALISON (CONT'D)

You don't need to be listening to that anyway.

ROSALIE

We want to know about Daddy.

ALISON

They're not going to talk about your father on the radio.

She reveals a letter from her pocket.

ALISON (CONT'D)

But look what I have...

Their eyes widen, and they turn around as Alison kneels down, eagerly opening the letter. They read it.

JIM (V.O)

Hello from Tunisia (all the way in Africa!) It's awfully hot and already I miss the sight of snow. At camp last night they played Christmas songs on the radio, even though Christmas is over, but it made me think of celebrating Christmas before I left. There are a lot of other daddies here who love and miss their families like I do you, but the harder we fight the sooner we can come home. I will write as much as I can, because I will never stop thinking about all of you. Until then, make sure you are doing chores and listening to Mommy whenever she tells you to something. She has a lot to do and she's doing all for you. Love and miss you, Daddy.

They set the letter down.

ALISON

That was nice. Should we write him back?

They nod.

ALISON (CONT'D)

I'll get pen and paper and you two can tell me what you want to say to him.

They do so, and eagerly craft their reply.

As the months go by, they read and respond to letters. Alison knits socks with Mary and Patricia. Mealtimes grow simpler. Radio and newspapers detail the turning tide of the war. A year later, near Christmas, they receive a package in the mail, with a letter attached.

JIM (V.O)

With Christmas time approaching I miss each one of you so much. I have been in Europe for over six months now, and I hope that you are each doing well in school and being good to Mommy. It hasn't been easy, but all the daddies have been there for each other while we miss our families so we can still fight in the war. We had the time to buy gifts for our families, so I hope you like them. I believe that next year I will be here to celebrate it with you. I can't wait to see how much you've all grown. Love, Daddy.

The months continue to go by. Radio and newspapers continue to detail the turning tide of the war. After each allied victory, they await each of Jim's letters optimistically, but are let down. Their life goes on, work, school, mealtimes, letters until another year later, again near Christmas, when a letter from Jim arrives.

JIM (V.O)

It saddens me more than you know to write that once again I must be away for Christmas. We are winning, but the war is not over yet and we must not give up until the Germans have surrendered. It won't be too much longer now. I'm sorry I could send gifts again this year. Merry Christmas (early). Love, Daddy.

Alison tosses the letter to the floor, and walks out of the room in silence.

INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Alison, Rosalie and Sean eat a poorly prepared Christmas dinner.

ALISON

Would either of you like to go see a movie?

ROSALIE

Tonight?

ALISON

Sure. After dinner?

ROSALIE

What's playing?

ALISON

Check the paper. I'll let you and Sean pick, okay?

INT. MOVIE THEATER - NIGHT

Alison, Rosalie and Sean sit in the theater as the movie begins, first with a newsreel. It details the ongoing Battle of the Bulge; Alison watches uncomfortably, shielding her children's eyes.

INT. FOYER - DAY

Every day for a month, Alison returns home from work and takes in the mail. She sifts through it, hoping for a letter from Jim, but each day, she is disappointed; Rosalie and Sean sit in the living room, doing homework, and she shakes her head before moving on her way.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

One day, Alison returns again disappointed, and joins her children in the living room, pulling them close. They sit there for a long time, in each other's arms.

INT. FOYER - DAY

Alison returns again from work, and her hands shake when she notices a letter from the army.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

She takes it into the living room, where Sean and Rosalie sit.

SEAN

Dad?

ALISON

No...

She opens it, shaking. She reads, and goes numb before descending into tears.

INT. KITCHEN - DAY

Alison, Rosalie and Sean, all dressed in black, sit down to breakfast.

ROSALIE

What are we going to do now, Mommy?

ALISON

I don't know.

ROSALIE

Are we going to move?

ALISON

I don't know.

ROSALIE

Will we have to go back to school?

ALISON

I don't know.

SEAN

I wish Dad were here.

ALISON

I do too.

She rises.

ALISON (CONT'D)

Let's go. I'll clean up when we get back.

INT. FOYER - DAY

They return from the funeral. As Alison sets down the car keys and takes off her coat, she pauses.

ALISON

How would you two feel about moving?

INT. CAR - DAY

In early spring, they drive on an open road, the passenger's seat and back of the car filled with boxes. Rosalie and Sean are uncomfortably squeezed in the back.

SEAN

Why do we have to move so far away?

Alison sighs, tightening her grip on the steering wheel and then loosening it.

ALISON

Because I found work in Chicago. And we found an apartment that we can afford.

SEAN

I don't want to start a new school.

ALISON

I had to drop out of school after the eleventh grade. You are lucky to be going to as good of a school as the one we found.

SEAN

What was wrong with my other school? I had friends there, and now I'm never going to see any of them again.

ALISON

Sean-

She fumes.

ALISON (CONT'D)

Not another word.

SEAN

Moving isn't going to change the fact that Dad is gone.

Alison's eyes widen in anger, and and pulls over to the side of the road, removes the keys from the ignition. Exiting the car, she opens the back door on Sean’s side and slaps him. He cowers, and Rosalie does as well.

ALISON

Don't ever speak to me that way again. Understood?

SEAN

Yes, mom.

ALISON

Rosalie, the same goes for you.

ROSALIE

Yes.

ALISON

Now, I don't want to hear another sound from either of you until we get there.

INT. CAR - NIGHT

They drive, still silent.

ALISON

I'm sorry I yelled.

SEAN

That's okay.

ALISON

Do you understand why I was upset?

SEAN

Yes.

ROSALIE

We understand.

ALISON

We have a chance to start over. I'm excited and I want you two to be too.

SEAN

We are.

EXT. APARTMENT - DAY

They pull up into a parking space in front of a plain, but otherwise inviting building in the midst of downtown Chicago.

They exit the car, standing at the edge of the walkway. Alison stands in the center and holds Rosalie and Sean in each arm.

ROSALIE

I like it, Mommy.

ALISON

I do too.

INT. APARTMENT - DAY

It is a beautiful spring day in early May. Their apartment is small, and still lightly furnished. The front door opens to a small living room, and further down is the kitchen, a dining table, and a hallway that leads to their bedrooms and the bathroom. Many pictures of the family adorn the walls. Sean and Rosalie sit on the couch, each doing homework.

ROSALIE

What are you working on?

SEAN

Science.

ROSALIE

What are you doing for science?

SEAN

Mind your own business.

ROSALIE

I'm writing an article.

SEAN

Good for you.

ROSALIE

It's about Daddy.

SEAN

Oh?

ROSALIE

Our teacher is having us write an article about something that's important to us. I'm thinking of showing it to Mommy because I think I did a good job.

SEAN

Don't do that. It'll just make her sadder.

ROSALIE

I want her to be proud of me.

SEAN

Do you want to do, Rosalie. It's not going to make her come out of her room.

ROSALIE

Hitler's dead, so the war can't last too much longer. Maybe that will make mom happier.

SEAN

I don't know, Rosalie.

A slip of paper falls out of Sean's notebook. Rosalie bends down and grabs it.

SEAN (CONT'D)

That's mine! Give it back!

ROSALIE

Who's Laura?

SEAN

Nobody.

ROSALIE

You're bright red.

SEAN

Shut up.

They hear an indistinct roar coming from outside.

ROSALIE

What was that?

SEAN

(exasperated) I don't know.

ROSALIE

Whatever. I'm tired of being in the house all day. It's so nice outside.

SEAN

Do you want to go to the park? I need to take a break from this anyway.

ROSALIE

Sure.

SEAN

Tell mom.

ROSALIE

Okay.

Rosalie walks down the hallway, and approaches the door to Alison's bedroom. She knocks, but there is no answer. She knocks again, but this time hears the sound of uncontrollable sobbing. Rosalie sighs, and goes back into to the living room.

ROSALIE (CONT’D)

I think she's resting. Let's leave a note.

SEAN

Okay.

EXT. APARTMENT - DAY

Rosalie and Sean walk to the edge of the block when they see massive crowds of people cheering in the streets.

SEAN

What's going on?

Then they realize what it means.

SEAN (CONT'D)

It's over.

INT. APARTMENT - DAY

Alison, and Rosalie and Sean sit around the radio, eagerly listening to the details of Germany's surrender. Alison's eyes fill with tears, but a bittersweet look of joy has crept onto her face.

ALISON

It's over.

She rises, and approaches a photo of her and Jim together.

ALISON (CONT'D)

It's over, Jim.

EXT. PARK - DAY

Sean and Rosalie rest atop a hemispherical jungle gym, staring up at the sky.

SEAN

Why do you think so many people are so sad?

ROSALIE

I'm not sure.

SEAN

Every time something seems like it's going to better, it gets worse.

ROSALIE

How do you mean?

SEAN

I thought that with the war being over, things would get better. But every time I see a soldier come home, it makes me miss dad even more.

ROSALIE

Me too.

SEAN

Why do they get to be happy?

ROSALIE

I just wish Mommy would smile again.

SEAN

I'm starting to forget what it feels like to be happy.

ROSALIE

Sometimes I have dreams about Daddy coming home.

SEAN

I do too.

ROSALIE

Do you think, maybe one day, we won't feel so bad?

SEAN

I hope so.


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363 Reviews


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Reviews: 363

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Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:48 am
DreamWork wrote a review...



Hi, a quick review on your script! :)
It seems there is a problem with the format of the script its supposed to. But I will not comment on that because it is difficult to be corrected. While in the real life, it is unacceptable.

The landscape is [b]cold, gray and lifeless[b]. She leans forward and kisses Jim, letting it linger. She pulls away and stares into his eyes, putting her hand on the car door, but she slides it off and kisses him again with more passion than before. Alison notices Sean and Rosalie squirming in the back, and pulls away, sighing. She opens the car door.

Writing script is different from writing a novel or story. It requires a concrete image, and something that can be recorded / taken by the camera. So to try to explain the condition of the landscape, it is quite difficult. Again, the sentence shall not be used as writing poetic novels / short stories. It is more simple, straight to the point and just enough to make the directors understand then decide what is needed to create a situation in a story based on the script.
Alison[ALISON] opens the truck and hands him Jim his bag. He leans up against the trunk. There are tears in his eyes, but they are less pronounced; he's fought them hard. Sean and Rosalie both run up to him and he holds them tightly.

This part is perfect. Just the name of the characters need to be written entirely in capital letters.
To make your script more interesting, consider this;
ROSALIE
(With bland smile) *something like that, just a quick explanation.
I just wish Mommy would smile again.

SEAN

I'm starting to forget what it feels like to be happy.

By giving a little description of feelings, your script will not become stiff.
Overall, I really like the story. You indeed had the talent! Keep it up :)




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366 Reviews


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Reviews: 366

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Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:44 pm
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Dreamy wrote a review...



Hello there! :D I'll keep this short.

I was teensy bit disappointed with Jim's departing scene. It felt a bit rushed. As if, you(the writer) didn't want to get all sentimental. It's another story when you portray your characters to be less sentimental or them don't want to shed tears and make a scene. But since I knew them from very beginning, (not more than you ofcourse :P ) I thought they had every chance to make a scene out of this, by which I didn't want them to bawl but make me cry. For instances, let's consider the scene mentioned below.

Be strong. For them.


I know that the scripts are not entirely carried out the way they are written. We always alter the scene when we film them. But that doesn't mean we have to constrain ourselves from adding that extra spice to the dish.

It'd be more dramatic to see a departing person to smile, especially when he's a Soldier. Because, we are taught that men don't cry. And soldiers are supermen, imagine them fighting back their tears and forcing a smile. It'll automatically break the dam in our eyes. So, I'd recommend you to add (smile) or even "wry smile" anywhere in that dialogue. I know, I'm addicted to them. xP

I'm sorry I could send gifts again this year.


couldn't Yea?

Every time something seems like it's going to get better, it gets worse.


The rest of the story had a very good consistency. You could almost see those characters grow. The scene where Alison gets a letter from the army, it was just too good. I like how you took it to the future, almost immediately. And tore open the pain with the "moving" decision. That was perfect. <3

The conversation that Sean and Rosalie had, to me, it felt like they both were struggling their own pain but when you look closer, they almost have this tangential connection. It's all the same but it varies according to the owner.

Dayumn, gurl! You are giving me feels.

Alright, that's all I got for now. I really am in love with this. Keep up your good job!

Keep writing!

Cheers!





"The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them."
— Louis C.K.