Thursday, June 29, 2017

Stephanie 1: to faint

Stephanie, 35-45, rows her scull powerfully and smoothly across the glassy surface of a big lake made green by the forest that surrounds it. A few homes near the shoreline, others farther back, higher, hiding in the woods.
  
Gray skies.

No sound other than oars displacing water.

Until the sound of a GUNSHOT stops Stephanie's rowing. Her scull glides to a stop. She ponders, pensive, before turning the boat around and aiming it at the wooded shore.

Exterior home in the woods. Stephanie arriving in car, scull on trailer. Into the house she goes.


The meowing cat leads her down the hall toward an open door from which we hear classical music, faint, heavy on a grieving cello.


Her nervous approach is interrupted by a call from her mother. (Meet ringtone.) We know from Stephanie's response that her mother hears the meowing cat, which Stephanie uses as an excuse to end the call to see if the cat's okay, after she makes sure everything is okay with dad.


The call has stopped her, by the way, at one of several photographs hung on walls of the hallway; this particular photo features Stephanie and her husband (Paul, I think) smiling back at the up-close camera.


Interior the room. We're in back of the chair in which he sat to shoot himself in the chest. The bloody blow-hole in the back of the chair. The gun on the hardwood floor below the hand that held it and now dangles limp above it.


Stephanie arriving in the doorway. Fucking cat can't stop yowling. Stephanie gasps, hand to mouth, then faints, falls in a pile to the floor.


A slow trickle of blood from the suicide seat rolls toward her like a crooked growing finger.


to be cont'd...   


[CUT TO: opening chapter of the next phase of her life. Probably in an empty house waiting for the movers to arrive. Mom's call indicates the passing of time, the difference in the weather "back home." The cat has found its place in a window. She starts work "next week."]


funny how quickly "where to go from here" effects notions of trite and cliché direction.

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