Digital Ischemia

26/08/2012

Unsettled

Filed under: What You Wish For-S — Teepwriter @ 11:32

EXT. BENACHAR HILL – DAY

Bright, windy.  Innes drops on to sloping grass, gazing across the estate, down the glen.  Jade burbles in a sling on his back.  Polly rests beside him, carrying Finn asleep.  A plane glides the horizon.

INNES
It a’ looks right fae here, apart fae… that.

POLLY
One for Will to explain.

INNES
How will I get work?

POLLY
There’s no need yet, until you’re settled.  We have money.

Innes stifles his disorientation.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE KITCHEN – DAY

Finn and Jade squirm in their high chairs.  Polly scoops mush into each reluctant mouth in turn.  Innes concentrates to fill a glass from the tap.  He brings two full glasses to join others on the table, glances out.

INNES
I see Will’s carriage!

Innes strides out.  Finn and Jade turn to the window, beaming.  Polly aborts her spoonful.

SFX: click and clunk of front door opening and closing.

Innes ushers Will to the table, fidgets with a glass.

WILL
Hello guinea pigs.

POLLY
Good morning, your omniscience.

Will looms his face at Finn and Jade.  They squeal.

POLLY (CONT’D)
Get any sleep?

WILL
No!

INNES
Will ye take a cup ae water?

Will eyes the full glasses before him.

WILL
Uh, thank you.

INNES
I shall get ye a fresh yin.

Innes strides to the tap, grabbing an empty glass.

WILL
And how are you?

POLLY
Adjusting.

INNES
I am pleased tae see your carriage.

Polly disapproves.

WILL
I wondered if you’d like a look; Pol said you’re a fine driver.

Innes brings a glass of water with a grin.

INNES
I ha’e nae cowped in eighteen years!

Will chuckles with a wary glance to Polly.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE POLLY’S BEDROOM – DAY

Early morning light creeps over the bed.  Polly opens her eyes, reaches around behind her.  Innes cuddles into her, nuzzles into her shoulder, runs his hand over her skin.

POLLY
(mumbling)
What would you like to do?

Innes halts.

POLLY (CONT’D)
I mean like travel or explore or… learn?

INNES
I dinnae need these.  I am happy wi’ ye and the weans.

POLLY
Yeh, we can all go together, wherever.

INNES
Dinnae push at me!

Polly, mortified, twists to kiss, soothe Innes.  She strokes down his body.  He reciprocates with forceful passion, drags her across him, presses against her.  She arches over him, resisting the aggression.

Innes closes his eyes, subsiding.  Polly relaxes, slides her hand to caress his lips.  He shudders away.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – DAY

Drizzle.  Will recoils from the closed front door, irritated.  He strides around the side of the house, scans the garden.  He glimpses movement, darts to it.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE GARDEN – DAY

Polly and Will face at awkward distance, separated by mire.  He fumes.

POLLY
He took them over the hills.  Hopefully that’s not changed.

WILL
I was going to…  I thought…

Polly tilts her head, creases her eyebrows, fathoming Will’s distress.  He flings an arm wide, deflating.

WILL (CONT’D)
You’re right!  You’re right.  I don’t like it.

Will spins away from Polly.  She despairs.

WILL (CONT’D)
He’s their father.  I see Jade in him.

POLLY
I still need you.
(beat)
To defend me against Andrea!  She’s decided I fell for a sordid one-night with a student.

WILL
A fan.

POLLY
You see?!  How many folk has she shared that slander with?!

WILL
I’m just happy to be ruled out of her justice campaign.

Will is entirely not happy.

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19/08/2012

Experiment

Filed under: What You Wish For-S — Teepwriter @ 14:09

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – DAY

Polly and Innes carry Finn and Jade to the cottage.

POLLY
She’s just odd.  I wonder if she envies my relationship with Will, all the time he spends up here…  But he chose her!

INNES
He is odd; he does nae speak ae her.  Or weans.

POLLY
No.  It’s all the same blank he doesn’t share; I don’t even know if he wants them.

INNES
He is braw wi’ oors.

Polly grins uncertain affirmation.

EXT. BENACHAR COTTAGE – DAY – CONTINUOUS ACTION

Polly knocks the front door.  Innes distracts his apprehension, fingers the wall, puzzles at the roof.

INNES
Whae built this hoose?

Dad opens the door, squeezes Polly, outstretches his hand to Innes.  Innes carefully returns the gesture.

POLLY
This is Innes.  From my travels.

DAD
Well, in you a’ come.

Dad ushers in Polly and Innes, ruffles Finn and Jade.

POLLY
He was asking who built the cottage.

DAD
Harold…  Miller…  no, Mullen.  Nineteen oh four.

Innes is astonished.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE GARDEN – DAY

Polly and Innes leap across the grass, swinging Jade between them.  Jade shrieks with excitement.  Innes bounces Finn on his shoulders.  Finn chuckles.

Polly and Innes halt at the lawn end, cheering.  Jade points at the clouding sky.  Polly meets Innes’ eyes.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE HALL – EVENING

Dark, lightning flashes.  Polly faces Innes, clutching his arms.  His eyes dart.

SFX: hiss of rain, rattle of front door latch.

Will bursts in, tousled, soggy, breathless.

WILL
Ready?

Polly and Innes nod.  Will ushers them out the front doorway.  They grasp hands, step out.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – 1864, EVENING – CONTINUOUS ACTION

Polly stumbles down the front steps, checks about: no porch, no cottage.  She hugs herself, sets off.

EXT. INNES’ LODGINGS – EVENING

Drizzle.  Polly stops dead, staring, shakes her head.

SFX: clatter of approaching boot-steps.

Innes charges out, hugs Polly.  Passers by glance.

INT. INNES’ ROOM – EVENING

No personal items except a leather bag on the floor.  Polly drops on to the bed.  Innes towers over the room.

INNES
I am ready.

POLLY
For?

INNES
Tae go wi’ ye.

Polly cranks her jaw.

INNES (CONT’D)
We should be together.  If that is what ye want.  It is safer for the weans in your time.

POLLY
Are you sure?

INNES
I ha’e sat here for six days.  I ha’e nae thought so much in my life.  I am no’ Will!

POLLY
How does this work?

INNES (CONT’D)
I will find work.  I will learn whatever trades ye ha’e.

POLLY
I know the house needs you.  I need you.

Innes tilts his head, utterly ensorcelled.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE HALL – 2014, EVENING

Dark, lightning flashes.  Will is tousled, soggy, breathless.  He turns away from the open doorway.  Polly slips in, dry, wide-eyed.  He spins, incredulous.

POLLY
He’ll be an hour or so.  It took me… to walk to town and back.

Will nods, anticipation overcoming his impartiality.

POLLY (CONT’D)
He came up with his own experiment: he’s bringing some stuff.

WILL
Can he do that?

POLLY
Maybe not, our clothes change.

Will starts.  Polly leans to him, frowning.

WILL
He did!

Will darts to the kitchen.

POLLY
What?!

Will reappears with a claw hammer, aims for a wood panel in the front doorway.  Polly is mesmerised.  He prises the panel, thrusts his hand behind it, feels around.  His intensity becomes triumph.  He pulls out the leather bag.

POLLY (CONT’D)
That’s his bag!  How…

Will’s strength drains as he stares at the bag.

WILL
I found it when we were kids.  Remember the ‘rats’?

Polly shudders, nods.

WILL (CONT’D)
The lengths I had to go to to keep my secrets!

DISSOLVE TO:

Polly and Will hunch on the stairs, staring at Innes’ bag.  They glance up.  Innes steps up to them.

INNES
Ye found my bag.

WILL
I found it twenty-five fucking years ago!

INNES
I feared tae lose it… on the way.

WILL
I need to think.

Will springs up, marches out.  Polly and Innes gaze after him, back to each other.

INNES
I brought ye that book.  Maybe ye will read it?

Polly breaks into a smirk.  Innes rummages in his bag.

POLLY
Maybe you will.

12/08/2012

Hypothesis

Filed under: What You Wish For-S — Teepwriter @ 15:57

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE KITCHEN – DAY

Polly tends pans on the stove.  Finn and Jade wriggle and giggle in high chairs.  Will bursts in from the hall.

WILL
And how is my Jane Austen Science Fiction family today?

Polly starts.  Finn and Jade squawk.

POLLY
Hello!

WILL
Which world were you in?!

Polly disparages Will.  He shakes his head, smirking.  She sets a pan lid, faces him, inhales, opens her mouth.

SFX: shuffle and thuds of boots dropping.

Will snaps his head to the back doorway.  Innes enters, sights Will, bows.

POLLY
Will, this is Innes.

Polly is entranced.  Finn and Jade stare, silent.  Will perfunctorily holds out his hand to shake.

POLLY (CONT’D)
You bow; you shake hands.  This is only the beginning.

Will and Innes eye each other up, unflinching.

INNES
I ken how ye must think I treated Polly.  I hope I can persuade ye I did nae ken.  I would nae ha’e let her do this hersel’.

WILL
She is very independent.

DISSOLVE TO:

Finn and Jade are gone.  Polly and Will puzzle at each other.  Innes stares out at the darkening hill.

INNES
For how lang am I safe here?

POLLY
Twenty-four hours is the longest I stayed in your time.

INNES
But I return tae the exact time I left?

POLLY
If it’s the same for you as for me.  It’s like a loop in time.

WILL
One way to find out.

INNES
Go back?  Ootside?

WILL
I was thinking of the parish records, if they change…  Fairly coarse though.

POLLY
There’s an anecdotal account of your personality being changed after your injury, due to brain damage.  That’s not true.

INNES
If it was written while ye were away fae me then it is right enough.  I was no’ pleasant.

Will stares at Innes, his antagonism partly humbled.

WILL
You’re right.  If we’re – you’re – changing things, we won’t remember… unless we’re existing in parallel…

Innes is mystified.

POLLY
Will thinks for a living.

WILL
Experiment: you both leave now, together.  Polly should join you, your time, a day or so later.  She will return to exactly this moment.  You should rejoin us, lagging again.

POLLY
You’re awfully calm for playing with us!

WILL
It’s merely a hypothesis.  Just as plausible: we’re high on something emanating from the hill.

Polly sneers, disparaging Will.  Innes is tense.

POLLY
The power’s on.

WILL
Well spotted.

Polly inhales, stands.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE HALL – EVENING – CONTINUOUS ACTION

Light on.  Polly goads Will and the universe.  He lounges against a wall.  Innes lurks, eyes flitting about.  She grabs the front door handle, vacillates.

WILL
What?

POLLY
Suddenly remembered I have children.

WILL
You’re stepping out of the house, that’s all.

Polly tenses, slides a foot over the threshold.  Innes bolts past her.  Will stiffens.  Innes paces about outside, swings out his arms, palms up.  Polly skips to him.  They giggle, dance in catharsis.  Will observes.

Innes calms himself, steers Polly to the doorway.

INNES
Your thought?

WILL
You’re both still alive and you’re both still here.

Polly is incredulous.  Will shrugs.

WILL (CONT’D)
Altered perception hypothesis stands.

POLLY
Except that Innes was last going about in Eighteen Sixty-four.

WILL
I don’t know that.

POLLY
He’s not acting!  Or deranged!  If you could see the town…

WILL
If.

POLLY
I didn’t invent him!

Will flings a disenchanted gesture at the doorway.  Polly has a frustrated frisson.  Innes emerges from shadow.

INNES
May we go on thinking that I can return wi’ the next storm?

Polly wraps her arms around Innes.

POLLY
Of course.  We’re forgetting the nature of your situation.

Will pats the wall, heads out.

EXT. BENACHAR HILL TRACK – NIGHT

Will strides alone in moonlight, halts, wide-eyed.

POLLY (V.O.)
I didn’t invent him!

WILL
Is your mind so focused that you manifested a person?!

Will grasps his head, whirls.

05/08/2012

Reverse

Filed under: What You Wish For-S — Teepwriter @ 16:18

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE HALL – 2014, EVENING – CONTINUOUS ACTION

Polly slips around the front door.  Lights flicker on.  She glances at the clock: 6:15.  She heads up the stairs.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE TWIN’S BEDROOM – EVENING

Polly creeps to the cots.  Finn and Jade sleep as she left them.  She leans to caress their faces.

POLLY
(whispering)
I so want you to meet your father.

Polly kneels beside a cot, rests her head on the frame.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE KITCHEN – DAY

Transformed by Will’s redecoration, smoothly and warmly finished.  Jade and Finn squirm in high chairs.  Polly pulls faces, scooping mush into their mouths in turn.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE GARDEN – DAY

Clumps of bright toys on the grass.  Finn investigates a toy.  Jade squirms.  Polly leans back on a tree, gazing.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE BATHROOM – DAY

Finn and Jade splash in two inches of bath water.  Floating toys surround them.  Polly leans over the bath edge, reaches a wind-up toy, twists the butterfly.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE HALL – DAY

The clock shows 4:20.  The front door edges open.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE BATHROOM – DAY

Innes creeps around the door, in T-shirt and jeans, transfixed.  He drops to his knees beside Polly at the bath, weeping.  She starts, sobs, hugs him.

INNES
They are perfect.

POLLY
Jade looks so much like you.

Innes reaches to Jade, checks himself.

INNES
My hands are too coarse for such delicate things.

Polly shakes her head, guides Innes’ hand.  Finn instinctively grasps Innes’ finger.  Innes is startled.

INNES (CONT’D)
So wee!

Polly nods in delight.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE TWIN’S BEDROOM – DAY

Polly and Innes sprawl on the floor beside Jade and Finn, engrossed in supplying toys.  Innes glances to the window, bewildered.  Finn squawks.  Polly snuggles against Innes.  Innes returns his focus.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE HALL – NIGHT

Polly and Innes perch on a stair.  She observes him with wonder.  He peers at his clothes, the lit bulb.

INNES
The lightning ye spoke ae?

POLLY
Yeh.  We use it everywhere now for power.  When it stops we realise how much we rely on it.

Innes shifts with unease.

POLLY (CONT’D)
Thank you for coming… here for me.

INNES
It is nae mere than ye did for me.

POLLY
History is easier than future.

INNES
It is a dream.  I am afeart ae what I shall see the morn.  If I see the morn.

Polly tilts her head, shuffles closer.

INNES (CONT’D)
When will ye sleep?

POLLY
After I feed them.  Jade usually bleats around eleven.

INNES
Where will ye sleep?

Polly leans her head on to Innes’ shoulder, smirking.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE POLLY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Functional comfort with odd sentimental items.  Polly flicks on a lamp, ushers Innes in.  His eyes flit around, settle on the large, plush double bed.

INNES
That is your bed?

POLLY
Yeh?

INNES
I would think that is big enough for a’ ae us!

Polly giggles with nerves.

DISSOLVE TO:

Polly and Innes fidget under bed covers.  She shakes her head in amused disbelief.

POLLY
I have you in my bed!

Polly and Innes grab each other, hug tightly.

DISSOLVE TO:

Daylight.  Polly jerks awake, spins around.  Innes turns to her.  She beams with relief.  He grabs her, excited.

INNES
I am here yet!

SFX: baby squawks.

Innes leaps from the bed.  Polly grins, hoists herself.

EXT. BENACHAR BARN – DAY

Innes stares, frozen, at the worn glory of his efforts.  He examines old walls, timbers, roof.  He swings inside.

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