Digital Ischemia

30/09/2012

Whigmaleerie

Filed under: What You Wish For-S — Teepwriter @ 11:57

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – SUMMER, DAY

Over-saturating sunshine.  Polly lolls on a deck chair.  Will leaps up to her.  She glances up, squinting.

POLLY
You again?!

WILL
And good afternoon to you!  Quiet too.  Where is everyone?

Polly flaps her hand at the hill.

WILL (CONT’D)
Do they walk that far?

POLLY
No, one wee face at each shoulder.  You can imagine.

WILL
Jade babbling, Finn sleeping.

Polly grins, nods, settles back.  Will eases into a deck chair beside her, props his foot on a low stone wall.

Polly nods off.  Will scrawls in a notebook on his thigh, squinting at the reflected brightness.  He pauses, glances at her, smirks.  He reaches for her hand, aborts.

FLASHBACK – EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – 1988, SUMMER, DAY

Idyllic.  Polly and Will, 8, chase each other around and over a low stone wall and the remains of a privet hedge, bobbing down to hide, giggling and gasping.

Polly halts at a mature tree, slides her back down the trunk to a crouch, feigning calm.  She fingers a leaf, stripping the tissue from between the veins.  Above her Will lowers his head, upside down, hanging from a branch.

Polly starts, shrieks.  Will drops beside her, slaps a consoling arm around her.

WILL
When we’re old and married–

POLLY
–I won’t be marrying you, you know!

WILL
(covering)
I mean to whoever, not each other, dimmo!

POLLY
Oh.  Well, I’m going to do something and be famous, not just married.

WILL
I’m going to travel to that time and see.

POLLY
How?

Will is proud, conspiratorial.

FLASHBACK – INT. BENACHAR HOUSE UPPER HALL – 1988, DAY

Polly and Will crouch at an open built-in cupboard, over a lifted floorboard.  He clutches a padlocked metal box.

POLLY
What’s in it?

WILL
A time machine.

POLLY
How does it work?

WILL
I’m not telling you!

Polly slumps back.

POLLY
It’s boring.  I’m going back outside.

WILL
No!  When we’re in bed tonight, we’ll go to two thousand!

Polly is indifferent.

WILL (CONT’D)
Then we’ll see if you turn out any good.

Will leers at Polly.  She smacks his arm.

DAD (O.S.)
What’s going on up there?!

Polly leaps away, guilt-ridden.  Will drops the box under the floor, replaces the floorboard.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – 2017, DAY

Polly gasps awake, jerks upright.

WILL
Welcome back.

POLLY
I wasn’t sleeping!

WILL
No, no: thinking.

POLLY
No, I was…  Remember your secret box in the cupboard?

Will laughs.

WILL
My time machine?

POLLY
Yeh!  What was in that?

WILL
You’ll only be disappointed.

Polly darts into the house.  Will watches after her.

DISSOLVE TO:

Polly presents Will with the dusty metal box on flat palms.  He resigns himself, his eyes locked on hers.  He smacks the box off the wall edge, bursting the lock.  She is taken aback, consumed with anticipation.

Will orients the box to Polly, creaks open the lid, penitently offers the contents.  She peers in.

The box contains a children’s book entitled “The Whigmaleerie”, the fragile remains of a hazel leaf with the tissue stripped away to the skeleton of veins, a worn leather belt loop and a dead spider.

Polly snatches the book in a puff of dust.

POLLY
You stole my book!

Will acknowledges.  Polly flicks the pages, smiles with nostalgia at cartoon illustrations.

POLLY (CONT’D)
Story duty for you tonight.

WILL
Fair enough.  I think they’ll like it.

POLLY
Not for them, for me.  And all the voices.

Will smiles through embarrassment.  Polly pinches the leather belt loop.

WILL
Ah, my belt.

POLLY
It went on for miles!  You were such a skinny.

WILL
I had to wrap it round and round.  You wound that round your finger compulsively.

POLLY
It was my ring.  I don’t remember losing it.

Will fingers the leaf remnant to cover his guilty mortification.  It crumbles to powder.

POLLY (CONT’D)
That was so that summer; I was such a fidget.  What’s the significance of the spider?

WILL
I don’t believe that was there when I hid it.

POLLY
It’s a spider from the future?!

WILL
Ha.

Polly pores over the items.

POLLY
You’re a freak.

WILL
Is that why you left me?

POLLY
You left me first!

WILL
I’ll never leave you again!

POLLY
No!

Polly and Will collapse together in cathartic chuckles.

23/09/2012

Family

Filed under: What You Wish For-S — Teepwriter @ 16:20

EXT. BENACHAR COTTAGE – SUMMER, DAY – ESTABLISHING

INT. BENACHAR COTTAGE LIVING ROOM – DAY

Old-fashioned furniture gleams with wear.  Disregarded, dusty ornaments clump together in corners.  Dad, alert but weak, fades in an incongruous, floral patterned, comfortable chair beside a stack of newspapers.

DAD
Don’t wake them now.  Come and speak to me!

Polly drops on to a less worn, matching chair.

POLLY
You’ve grown into that chair!

DAD
Your mother had awful taste in upholstery but under a’ these flowers is one comfy seat.

Polly chuckles with sorrow, keels back into the chair.

POLLY
Innes is Jade and Finn’s father.

Dad is bowled.

DAD
A’right.  Well, that wasn’t what I expected.  I thought you were going to go on about your work!

Polly pouts in hope.  Dad accepts.

POLLY
That’s only half of it.

DAD
On you go.

POLLY
When I said I met him on my travels, I didn’t mean America.

DAD
No’ wi’ that accent.

POLLY
He’s from here.

DAD
Whereabouts?

POLLY
Right here.  He lived in town, worked at the house.

DAD
When was this?

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – AUTUMN, DAY – ESTABLISHING

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE KITCHEN – DAY

Innes places moderate quantities of bread, cheese and salad on the table, pulls up a chair.  Polly bustles in, lifts Finn and Jade, 2, inserts them in their chairs.  Polly approves the meal as she lowers herself.

INNES
Nae waste in my faimily.

POLLY
Do you miss them?  Harry and Mister Dudgeon?

INNES
A wee bit.  But they will no’ miss me!  I miss freedom.  There is so much going on now.

Polly tries a reassuring smile.  Innes droops.

INNES (CONT’D)
How is your faither?

Polly droops.

EXT. BENACHAR COTTAGE – 2017, SPRING, DAY

Polly creeps out the front door, gently closing it behind her.  She heads for the house, careworn.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE HALL – DAY – CONTINUOUS ACTION

Will chases around heaps of toys, contorting his face, crouching, leaping.  Finn and Jade, 3, flee, shrieking in delight, knocking toys.  Polly struts in, stern.

POLLY
Mellow time!?

Will tilts to an innocent halt, attempting contrition.  Finn and Jade stumble on, gasping laughter.

JADE
Will’s the Whigmaleerie!

POLLY
The Whigmaleerie isn’t bad!  It’s misunderstood!

Will drops back into character, whirls around, snarling.

WILL
I trick children and eat your fingers!

Finn and Jade renew their squeals, spurting away.

POLLY
I’ll need to find that book.  Five minutes!  Calm it down.

Polly heads to the kitchen.  Will reluctantly resumes normal appearance, slumps on the floor.  Finn and Jade spiral around him, tumbling on to him.

INT. BENACHAR COTTAGE LIVING ROOM – DAY

Polly perches on Dad’s chair, lifts part of the newspaper stack on to her knees, flicks through it, pulls out loose handwritten sheets.

Open packing boxes, shelves with dust-free patches, empty of ornaments.  Polly slumps back, puts her hand to her face, grimaces with upset.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE HALL – DAY

Polly sorts mail listlessly, stacking envelopes on the table.  Innes approaches, riling himself.  She glances up, attempts light-heartedness.

INNES
Mere letters fae the Government?

POLLY
Yeh, but I’m not turning you in.

INNES
Do ye think they will stop?

POLLY
I think I can close them down with my dad.

INNES
I fear that this magic will end, just for itsel’ or for some agent who would destroy us for my unnatural presence.

Polly grabs Innes, tightly hugs him.

POLLY
How are the kids today?

Innes cheers a little.

INNES
The raspberry fish caused some bother in the princesses’ classroom.

Polly and Innes share baffled amusement.

16/09/2012

Learning

Filed under: What You Wish For-S — Teepwriter @ 15:13

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – 2015, WINTER, DAY – ESTABLISHING

Monochrome, still, leafless.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE OFFICE – DAY

Converted small bedroom, desk with computer kit, office chair, shelving over cupboards, piles of paper.

Innes slides an antique desk over a tarpaulin through the doorway, balancing a matching chair aloft in his other hand.  He guides the desk to the window overlooking the glen, aligns the chair.

Polly supplies paper and pencil.  Innes settles himself, arranges a book and the stationery on the desk.  She hauls up the office chair.

MONTAGE

1) Innes pores over a school textbook, running his fingers along the text, partitioning complex words.  Polly whumps a dusty box beside him.
2) Innes leans on the window frame, gazing at falling snow smoothing out a set of footprints approaching and leaving the house.  He clenches a fist, forces himself back to the desk.
3) Innes is alone, reading rampantly.  His eyes flit over the text of a novel; his fingers flick the page.
4) Innes is motionless, the back cover of a closed 1850s novel before him.  He swivels to face the computer.  He starts at Will entering.  Will glances at the computer, raises his eyebrows at Innes.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE GARDEN – DAY

Snow-iced world.  Jade, 10 months, writhes in snow, giggling.  Finn, 10 months, extracts a handful of snow, examines it.  He faces Innes, outstretches his hand.  Innes jerks his concern back from the glen road.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – SPRING, DAY – ESTABLISHING

INT. BENACHAR BARN – DAY

Daylight through the untiled roof.  Innes frowns over a complex geometrical puzzle scored into dusty ground.  He follows his attention with a long stick.

In the b.g., Will stacks roof timbers, pauses to watch Innes with tutor’s pride.

INT. BENACHAR HALL – DAY

On the table, opened brown envelopes splay government department guidelines, warnings, forms.  In the b.g. Innes retreats into gloom.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – SUMMER, DAY – ESTABLISHING

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE OFFICE – SUMMER, DAY

Polly batters at the computer keyboard.  Will leans in.

WILL
Are you not done yet?!

Polly completes typing a sentence.

POLLY
Far be it for my money-earning efforts to interfere with your lust for academic Utopia.

WILL
He’s the perfect student.  His mind’s quite untainted!  Hurry up!

Polly closes her work, graciously relinquishes the computer.  Will bustles around her.

POLLY
You’re the perfect tutor.  What’s today’s topic?

Will covers self-consciousness with terseness.

WILL
Trigonometry, mechanics, then, after lunch, electronics.

Polly chuckles.  Will whips a CD into the computer.  She presses an affectionate hand to his shoulder, departs.  He snaps his head around, follows her with his eyes.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – AUTUMN, DAY – ESTABLISHING

Patchwork of yellow, orange, brown fallen leaves swirling among swaying evergreens. 

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE HALL – DAY

Polly approaches, hugging a bundle of children’s filthy clothes.  She raises her eyebrows in question.  Will and Innes present themselves in similar clothing.

POLLY
You’re wearing his clothes?

INNES
Aye.

POLLY
Because?

INNES
Will is taking me to a class so I must look like a student.

POLLY
Or a ‘never grew past being a student’?

Will flaps his hand, dismissing Polly, propels Innes out.  Polly catches Will’s arm with concern.  He tries for reassurance, breaks to follow Innes.  Polly’s gaze wanders to the table, a solitary brown envelope.

EXT. WILL’S HOUSE – EVENING

Innes and Will stride up, gripping bundles of papers.

WILL
You don’t seem entirely content?

INNES
What I could do wi’ this then.

WILL
That would be an ethical dilemma.  Are you considering going back?

INNES
I ken I will.

Will is quizzical.

INNES (CONT’D)
There was nae bench at the kirk.  I decided to make yin.  I did nae think when.  Immediately it was there.  The enquiries at the hoose will nae stop.  I dinnae belong now.

Innes and Will halt at the gate.  Will grapples.

WILL
It’s we who don’t belong; we’ve forgotten how to live.  A good teacher would inspire you: you have an aptitude for harnessing natural energy.  You could make Benachar House self-sufficient.

Innes is startled, captivated.  Will raises an encouraging eyebrow.  Innes nods acceptance, appreciation, sets off.  Will watches, wonders.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – 2016, WINTER, DAY

Innes steps backward away from the house, plants his feet apart, peruses the house elevation.

EXT. BENACHAR HOUSE – SPRING, DAY

MONTAGE

1) Innes attaches solar panels on the roof.
2) Innes constructs a wind turbine tower on the hill.
3) Innes re-pipes the house guttering to deliver rain water to the basement.
4) Innes renovates the walled garden, plants fruit trees.
5) Innes presents his efforts to Polly.  She admires the accomplishment and workmanship.  Her pleasure fades.

    POLLY
    You’ve made power cuts impossible.

    Innes double-takes.  Polly is paralysed.

09/09/2012

Town

Filed under: What You Wish For-S — Teepwriter @ 14:31

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE TWIN’S BEDROOM – DAY

Polly crosses her legs on the floor.  Finn and Jade flop around her and into her.  Polly glances to the window.  In the b.g. Innes meanders around the hill track, gazing toward town.

EXT. RURAL TOWN STREET – DAY

Still, dry.  Innes approaches from the hill track, staring at each town feature as it appears.  He recognises the church, turns toward it.

EXT. RURAL TOWN CHURCH – DAY

Innes ponders the graveyard where he and Polly rested after the fair, the benchless space.  He glances away, compressing his lips.  He steps on, double-takes, halts.

A worn, crumbling wooden bench rests against the building, woven with well-established ivy.  Innes falters to the bench, examines its intricately carved back, the striking central pattern around a finger-sized circle.

Sparkly Minister trots out, beaming at the sky.  Innes gathers himself.

INNES
Good day to ye.

SPARKLY MINISTER
Good morning!

INNES
I was efter seeing the kirk.

SPARKLY MINISTER
Where are you from?

INNES
Here.

SPARKLY MINISTER
I’m sorry; I don’t recognise you.

INNES
It has been a very lang time.

Sparkly Minister nods, encouraging Innes.

INNES (CONT’D)
I mind there was nae bench, but.

SPARKLY MINISTER
But here it is!  And has been for a very long time in fact.  It was built by a local man a hundred odd years ago, obviously extremely well.  His story’s in the records; fascinating.

Innes tenses.

SPARKLY MINISTER (CONT’D)
Would you like a look?

INNES
Thank ye, no.  There is somewhere else I want to see.  Thank ye for your time, mither.

Innes, turns about, dazed, heads down the lane, bracing.  Sparkly Minister watches, benevolently blessing him.

EXT. RURAL TOWN STREET – DAY

Innes’ eyes dart between cars, modern houses, shops and people.  He forges on, focused on his goal.

EXT. WILL’S HOUSE – DAY

Well maintained nineteenth century stone villa fronted by a pretty garden strip.  Innes approaches, slows, taking in detail.  He halts at the gate, gawps, rooted.

SFX: clanks of garden tools.

Will ambles around the side of the house, wielding garden tools.  He sights Innes, pleasantly surprised.

WILL
Hello!

Innes rocks, raises his arm feebly.  Will strides up to him, guides him toward the back garden.

EXT. WILL’S HOUSE GARDEN – DAY

Immaculate sections of patio, flowers, vegetables.  Will and Innes rest on garden chairs.  Will kicks out his legs, stretches back, eyes Innes.  Innes reels.

WILL
How does it look?

INNES
This place looks good.  Please forgive me; my heid is spinning.

WILL
It must be a lot to take in.  What has surprised you most?

INNES
Ye are staying in my hoose.

Will is gobsmacked.  Innes shakes his head.

INNES (CONT’D)
That is no’ half ae it: the woman works; I watch the weans.

WILL
Plus run the estate.

INNES
It works.

Innes reaches into his pocket.

INNES (CONT’D)
I did hope to find ye.

Will nods encouragement.  Innes fiddles with a simple, gold ring.  Will baulks.

WILL
From your bag.

INNES
Aye.  I am swithering, but I can nae ask any yin else: is there any way I can marry Polly?

Will covers his conflict by flexing his feet ponderously.

WILL
A predicament; like everything else in this time, you need an identity.  I can’t think of a way to fake it, even mental illness; if we said you’re deluded they certainly wouldn’t grant you a licence.

Innes drops his eyes, dejected.  Will mollifies him, gestures invitation to explore inside the house.

INT. WILL’S HOUSE STUDY – DAY

Claustrophobic with shelves stacked perfectly full with books, papers, journals.  Central table tiled with open books and loose paper.  Comfortable chair.  Will whirls, plucks books, gesticulates.  Innes is fascinated.

INT. BENACHAR HOUSE HALL – EVENING

Inside the front door, Innes gazes up the stairs.  Polly descends, smiles with relief.  He leaps up to her, wraps his arms around her.  She relishes the comfort with gripping hands and eyes tight shut.

Innes releases Polly, caresses her face and hair, kisses her.  She glances up, places a finger at her lips, slides fingers over and under his clothes.  They fall up the stairs, stripping each other’s clothes.

DISSOLVE TO:

Polly’s bare back presses against varnished wooden stair edges.  Innes braces over her, hanging his head.  She grasps his buttocks, pulls him.

02/09/2012

Back to School

Filed under: What You Wish For-S — Teepwriter @ 08:45

EXT. BENACHAR HILL – AUTUMN, DAY

Polly, Innes and Will lounge on long, browning grass.  Jade and Finn chase bugs between seeded wildflowers.

WILL
Back to school will be quite an anticlimax this year.

INNES
I should get back to work.

Polly tenses.

INNES (CONT’D)
I ha’e never had such an easy time.  I must fix the barn.  One hundred and fifty years later!

Polly drops her head, smiling with relief.

WILL
Is anyone else aware of this little phenomenon?

POLLY
Just our cosy threesome.

INNES
It is safer this way.

WILL
Agreed, there’s no-one else I want to know.

POLLY
Like it’s yours to tell?!

WILL
Obviously my professional reputation would suffer considerably from being associated with a New Age crank like you.

POLLY
Yeh, I just eat organic mushrooms and try really hard to think, while you and the engine boys are going, “ooh, if we tweak this gasket and tighten that lever we can get another fraction of light speed”!

WILL
It’s not motor sport!  And yours isn’t science; it’s more of a sensation.

Innes is bemused.

DISSOLVE TO:

In the b.g. Polly chases Finn and Jade scampering on all fours up the hill.  Innes fidgets.  Will glances at him.

WILL
You’re coping rather well with this total life change.

INNES
I had a rare chance.  I took a decision.

Will is nauseous, jolts up, weaves away.  Innes shrugs.

EXT. BENACHAR BURN – DAY

Speckled sunlight.  Polly and Innes wander between trees, carrying Jade and Finn, fascinated.

POLLY
The light and sound patterns are recorded and transmitted, sent through the air.  The aerial receives them and that box reproduces the images and sound, for what they’re worth.

Innes digests this.

INNES
Do ye mind the personal questions I would ask ye?

Polly smiles in resignation.

INNES (CONT’D)
Why are ye no’ wi’ Will?

Polly halts, tilts her head back.

POLLY
We just didn’t…  We drifted off.  I got a job.  He stayed at the university.  I moved away.  I guess he started seeing Vanessa.  When I came back from my first year in America he was married.  It was like that part of him was… closed to me.

INNES
I dinnae understand it.  Ye seem tae excite each other.

Polly shrugs off the intimacy.

POLLY
Are you alright with him?

INNES
I am no’ afeart ae him!

Innes is not nearly convinced.

EXT. UNIVERSITY GROUNDS – DAY – ESTABLISHING

INT. UNIVERSITY WILL’S OFFICE – DAY

Tiny, ordered library of documents with localised mess.  Will strides to the open door, bumps into Polly entering.

WILL
I thought I was safe from you here!

POLLY
Andrea’s cracking the whip now I have a co-parent.

Will allows Polly in, closes the door.

WILL
I forget who I was going to bother, so on you go.

Polly disparages Will.

POLLY
This academic atmosphere…  How about ‘you can’t change history, only the future’?

WILL
You’re changing history!

POLLY
I’m not!  When Innes goes back, it’s to the same point.

WILL
You know neither that nor how his later life may change.

POLLY
Maybe he did this already!  You had his bag!  Maybe that’s why he died so young: years in this future ‘loop’?

WILL
Conjecture.

POLLY
Science is for exploring.  You can’t always know the answer.  You take a chance.

WILL
You have to have some sense of morality.

POLLY
What we’re doing is right.

WILL
An alternative right, possibly.

Polly and Will make eye contact, blanche in horror.

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