Deuce

*

EXT. NURSING HOME – NIGHT
Just after dusk. A large Victorian manor house. Red brick, bay windows and slate roof. A sign outside reads “Westmoreland Nursing Home”.

INT. NURSING HOME/MRS JANUS’ ROOM – NIGHT
Old, dour, solid looking furniture encircles the large room. The bed lies up against the large, first floor window. A squat bedside table, adorned with only a doily and a coaster. Just behind sits a photograph of a little blonde girl, around 8 years old, in a well-worn frame.

MRS. JANUS, an elderly lady, worldly worn, is thrashing around the bed, shouting and shrieking, pointing out of the window at the sky, clearly distressed. STEPHEN, a gawky looking 19 year-old student, struggles to calm her.

MRS. JANUS
Get off! Get away from me! I have to save Lucy!

STEPHEN
Mrs. Janus, please calm down I’m here to help. My name’s Stephen.

MRS. JANUS
There were two green flares.

STEPHEN
Probably just fireworks.

MRS. JANUS

From the sunset! I’ve seen them before, from the sunset. From the sunset!

STEPHEN (appeasingly)
OK, OK.

Stephen looks behind him at the open doorway expectantly. Still thrashing around the bed with worry, Mrs. Janus knocks over the photograph of the little girl. It smashes. Stephen bends down to pick it up for her. As he does Mrs. Janus lunges and scratches his forearm with her nails, he drops it back to the floor.

MRS. JANUS
Get away from my granddaughter!

Mrs. Janus picks up the photo and holds it to her chest as she rocks backwards and forwards. Clearly rattled, Stephen backs away and cradles his scratched arm. A homely NURSE, 49, hurriedly enters the room.

MRS. JANUS (to the Nurse)
I have to speak to my son.

Mrs. Janus holds up to the Nurse the photograph of the little girl.

MRS. JANUS

It’s Lucy, they’re coming for Lucy.

NURSE

OK, Mrs. Janus I’m here now. Come on, settle down.

MRS. JANUS

Did you see? The two green flares. They’re coming.

I have to warn my son.

Out of Mrs. Janus’ sight the Nurse takes a small syringe from her medicine case and nods knowingly at Stephen, clearly trying to think fast.

STEPHEN (tentatively)

Um, Mrs. Janus tell me about Lucy.

MRS. JANUS

Yes! Lucy, please help me.

The Nurse leans in whilst Mrs. Janus is distracted. The Nurse gently puts her hand on the old lady’s shoulder and administers the injection. Mrs. Janus flinches then begins to sob.

MRS. JANUS

Why won’t you listen? Why won’t you help me?

The sedative quickly takes effect. Mrs. Janus’ frail, rigid body relaxes suddenly. The Nurse carefully lowers her into the bed.

NURSE

That’s better. In we get.

The Nurse tucks the old lady into the bed covers, as she slips into unconsciousness. She looks up at a distressed Stephen and sees him looking at his forearm.

NURSE

Don’t worry, love. It’s not always like this. Here, let’s have a look.

STEPHEN

It’s OK.

NURSE

You shouldn’t have tried to restrain her, you’ve not been trained.

I’m going to have to fill in the incident book now as well as the depot log-book.

STEPHEN

I didn’t, I didn’t.

NURSE (sighs)

OK, go and put the kettle on, we could both do with a brew.

STEPHEN (absently)

Yeah.

NURSE

Go on, love, I’ll be through in a minute.

Stephen stares briefly at the sleeping Mrs Janus before turning to leave.

INT. NURSING HOME/STAFF ROOM – NIGHT.

A sparse staffroom. Local Authority green paintjob on the high Victorian walls. Stephen enters, puffs out his cheeks and grabs a clean cup from the side. Turning the tap on a large boiler, his cup fills with hot water. He makes himself a cup of tea, then sits down at the table, upon which sits several dominoes and a pair of dice. Stephen absently rolls the dice – they both land ‘two’ side up. He rolls again – ‘two’ side up. Curiously he takes the dice into his hand, ready to roll again – The phone rings from a desk in the corner of the room. Taking the dice with him, Stephen crosses the room and answers the phone just before the third ring.

STEPHEN

Hello? (PAUSE) Stephen, erm, it’s my first night. (PAUSE)

I don’t know. (PAUSE) She was going sick about the weather.

(PAUSE) It was random, something about the sunset and green

flames. (PAUSE) Sorry, who is this? (PAUSE)

The Nurse enters the room with a log-book under her arm. Stephen looks up at her.


STEPHEN

I don’t know, do you wanna speak to the Nurse she’s just – Hello? Hello?

Dial tone, Stephen hangs up, sits back down at the table, shaking the dice in his clenched hand.

STEPHEN (to the Nurse)

Got cut off.

NURSE

Who was it?

STEPHEN

Head Office.

Stephen throws the dice a final time, one lands spinning on the table,

the other rolls off and drops to the floor.

NURSE

We’re an independent Nursing Home, lad…

The Nurse bends down, picks up the fallen die, stands and places it, ‘two’ side up on the table, next to its twin now settled, ‘two’ side up.

NURSE

We don’t have a head office.

EXT. JANUS HOUSE – NIGHT

A warm looking, modest, detached house on a quiet cul-de-sac. No lights downstairs, but two golden lit windows shine from the first floor.

INT. JANUS HOUSE/LANDING – NIGHT

SYLVIA, 38, youthful, dressed in silk pyjamas, exits the bedroom and passes JEFF, 31, a family man dressed for bed in grey cotton shorts and a wacky cartoon t-shirt. She heads for the bathroom.

SYLVIA (coquettishly)

Hey, sexy bum. I’ll be two minutes.

Sylvia enters the bathroom and closes the door. Jeff enters the master bedroom. A vague thud, then a louder slamming sound.

SYLVIA

All right, Jeff?

Jeff pops his head out of the bedroom doorway.

JEFF

Everything OK, hun?

SYLVIA

Did you just bang?

JEFF

No, I thought you did.

SYLVIA

Just check on Lucy.

Jeff approaches LUCY’s closed bedroom door. He opens it and steps inside.

INT. LUCY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

The room is lit only by the light of the landing, spilling in from the now open doorway. LUCY? (clearly the girl from Mrs Janus’ photograph) a slight, angelic, eight year old girl is sat in the shadows, on the bed, in her pyjamas, staring blankly at her dad. There is a large foreboding double wardrobe on the far wall, facing the bedroom door.

JEFF

You should be asleep, young lady, what’s all the noise?

LUCY?

It wasn’t me, Daddy. There’s something in my wardrobe.

JEFF

I see.

SYLVIA (O.S.)

Jeff?

JEFF

She’s OK.

Jeff walks over to the bed, and sits next to the little girl.

JEFF

In you get.

Lucy gets under the covers, and Jeff tucks her in.

JEFF

Something’s obviously just fallen off the shelf, Lucy.

LUCY?

No. Nothing fell. Please, you need to go look.

There’s somebody inside.

Jeff stands and begins to walk over to the wardrobe.

JEFF

I’ll show you–

A knock is heard from within the imposing oak wardrobe. Jeff hesitates.

LUCY?

See.

JEFF

Shhh.

Jeff listens carefully – nothing, he continues, then stretches out his hand to open the wardrobe door. He looks down into the wardrobe. The landing light slowly fills the inside as the door opens wider. He freezes as his eyes adjust to a little girl – LUCY. Absolutely identical to Lucy? (down to the same pyjamas), shaking, utterly terrified, curled up in the corner.

LUCY

Daddy? Daddy, there’s someone in my bedroom.

Frozen, Jeff’s eyes grow wide. Over his shoulder Lucy? is now out of the bed. She stands staring menacingly behind him, her sinister motionless gait silhouetted against the bedroom doorway and the light of the landing. Almost petrified, Jeff slowly turn his head, suddenly and without being touched the bedroom door slams shut, plunging the room into utter darkness.

SILENCE.

FADE TO BLACK

*

Michael Dalby
BA (Hons) Media, Writing and Production

Michael is in his first year studying at the University of Bolton and would like to work as a professional writer. However he has now developed a keen interest in camera work / directing and editing. He regards his choice to come to the University as one of the best decisions he has ever made due to the wonderful, inspiring students he’s come to know, and the industry specialists on his course. Genres he particularly likes include drama, comedy, science fiction, and horror.

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