I was delighted to have ‘The Martyr’s Dawn’ shortlisted for the London Screenwriters’ Festival competition ’50 Kisses’. Read the ones that made the final 50 at www.50kissesfilm.com. If you have any comments, feel free to post them on the 50 Kisses page where my script appears.
FADE IN: EXT. DUNES - DUSK A search party strides through long grass in the half-light of a fading February dusk. EXT. HOUSE BY THE SEA - DUSK The MOTHER sits by the door, looking through a closed window, searching the darkening ocean. She clutches at the crucifix at her neck. The last of the sun disappears. The waves crash. INT. HOUSE BY THE SEA, KITCHEN - DUSK Coats hang by the door, one peg is empty. Boots line the floor, with one small space. The MOTHER holds in her lap a sandy wet mac. She moves from her post by the window and sits at the table, resting her head in her hands, listening. The wet mac sits on unopened letters and cards. The sounds of the house mingle with sounds of the sea. EXT. COASTAL FLY TIPPING SITE - NIGHT By torchlight, a search party roots through rubbish. A MAN approaches an old fridge. As he opens the door he’s hit by a foul smell, but the child is not there. He moves on. INT. HOUSE BY THE SEA, STAIRWELL - NIGHT The MOTHER wearily makes her way upstairs. Church bells begin their midnight chime, over the sound of the sea. SON’S BEDROOM The MOTHER sits by her son’s empty bed, below his crucifix which hangs on the wall. Tears stream down her face. MOTHER Please come home. Please let him come home. Please don’t let him be dead." EXT. BEACH HUTS - NIGHT A search party moves around beach huts, calling and knocking. INT. THE HOUSE BY THE SEA, SON’S BEDROOM - NIGHT The MOTHER gets up and faces the crucifix. She picks the crucifix off the wall, stroking the hands of the Son of God. MOTHER I can’t loose him. I’ll do anything. MOTHER’S BEDROOM She takes some scissors out of a drawer and lies down on the bed. A clock reads 3am. She listens again to the sea. EXT. BEACH - NIGHT A search party is picking its way along a broad stretch of beach. A MAN near the shore runs into the water and gives a shout. He has found a rubber dingy floating in the shallows, missing its oars. The search party regroup and begin the search directly along the shoreline. INT. THE HOUSE BY THE SEA, MOTHER'S BEDROOM - DAWN The MOTHER lays twisted on the crumpled bed. Through the open curtains, a dim dawn cuts into the darkness. The scissors lay open on the bedside table. The MOTHER holds her son’s crucifix on her chest next to her heart, and kisses the one on her neck. The sound of the waves gets louder. EXT. BEACH - SUNRISE The sound of the waves continues. One of the search party spots a body of a BOY in the distance, sprawled in the sand. The MAN runs towards it, arriving just as the tip of the sun appears over the sea. He kneels, turns the body, and looks down the chest. He begins resuscitation. INT. THE HOUSE BY THE SEA, MOTHER'S BEDROOM - SUNRISE The sound of the waves and the noises of the resuscitation continue O.S. The scissors and the crucifix lay on the bed. Blood has seeped into the linen. The MOTHER lays with her arms by her side, her face looking down and sideways, and one leg raised at the knee, resting on her other straight leg. There is silence. The MOTHER stops moving completely. O.S. the silence is broken by a sharp intake of breath from the BOY on the beach, followed by vomiting. EXT. THE BEACH - DAY The BOY is wrapped up in a coat and blanket, and carried up the beach, towards the house by the sea. FADE TO BLACK.