Daily Achievement

INT. JOEL’S BEDROOM – MORNING

An alarm clock beeps. JOEL (17, skinny, quiet but not shy) opens his eyes to his partially lit bedroom as he lies in bed. He reaches out and turns off the alarm.

Joel looks at the window, and the blind over it, the bright sun bordering the outside of it, then down to his chest. On it sits an impossibly large black dog. The dog turns it’s head and looks at him. It is not friendly and panting, but serious (if a dog can be said to look serious).

Joel meets its gaze as it continues to stare unblinking at him. Joel attempts to lift himself up, but the dog has him firmly pinned down. Joel struggles a few more time to no avail. Joel lowers his head back down to his pillow and looks around his room.

His walls are blue, like a calm ocean, and there is a definite nautical theme to the room. A wall piece of a small anchor with rope sits above the doorway. A large ship in a bottle adorns the top of the tallboy. A red and white lifesaver is pinned up on one wall and a painting of a ship at sea rests on another one.

Joel’s eyes rest on the painting. It begins to move. The sky above the ship turns black as dark clouds roll in. The ship rocks violently as the waves below it churn. Lightning strikes.

Joel whips his eyes away from the painting. He rubs them.

Joel again looks at the large black dog on his chest, it continues to pin him to the bed. He sighs deeply and looks up at the ceiling.

The ceiling is strewn with many hairline cracks all along it. Joel tilts his head to the side as he studies them. In the cracks Joel sees a face, a frowny one. The cracks that make up the face light up to make it stand out. Beside it another face lights up amongst the multitude of cracks. Then another one, and another. More and more. Soon the whole ceiling is awash in lit faces made up from the many cracks present, all of them frowning, all of them sad.

Joel closes his eyes tightly, almost wincing. Tears well in his eyes. With a determined look his face settles. Joel wipes his eyes dry and resolutely looks back up to the ceiling.

Steely eyed he stares at it, concentrating hard. In the middle of all the frowny faces a collection of cracks begin to glow to form a single smiley face. The smiley face grows brighter as Joel continues to concentrate. The frowny faces begin to fade until only the smiley face remains.

Joel looks next to the painting. The stormy seas slowly begin to settle, the sky clearing, and the wind slowing until it becomes just a large boat sitting on a calm sea. It settles once more into a painting, unmoving.

Joel then looks to the large black dog. He smiles widely at it, and even lets out a small laugh. The dog whines briefly and then dissipates, blowing away like ash in the wind.

JOEL
Alright Joel, you can do this.

Joel whips the covers off himself, throws his legs over the side of the bed, and stands.

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Dare to be a Man

EXT. SUBURBAN BACK YARD – DAY

A man, ALEX (32, stubbly, out of shape) stands heroically, as he stares out into the distance, a steely gaze on his face. Beside him stands him girlfriend, FIONA (30, pixie like) who looks up at him concerned. The sun shines over the house behind them in a blue sky.

FIONA
You don’t have to do this you know.

ALEX
Yes I do. You don’t understand.

FIONA
You’re right I don’t, I really don’t. What is it with you guys and bets?

Alex looks down at Fiona intensely.

ALEX
If we accept the bet we have to do it.

FIONA
No you don’t.

ALEX
Yes we do, it’s in the code.

FIONA
What code?

ALEX
The man code.

FIONA
C’mon, really, the man code?

ALEX
Yes.

FIONA
But this is stupid, like really stupid.

Alex looks up to the distance again, back to hero pose.

ALEX
This isn’t about stupidity, this is about honour. If a man accepts a bet then he is honour bound to complete it. If he does not, then he is no longer a man. This is the law of the man code.

FIONA
You’re making it sound all noble but this is just you literally jumping into a bath tub full of lard.

Pan out to reveal that Alex, dressed only in speedos, and Fiona, stand in front of a bath tub full of lard. Around them stand many of ALEX’S MATES ready to cheer him on, most at least a little tipsy, with empty cans of lard scattered around the lawn.

ALEX
What the dare involves is not important. What’s important is completing the dare. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s why I’m a man.

FIONA
Right, but you do agree it is stupid.

ALEX
(still looking heroic)
Yes.
(yelling widely)
Alright here we go!

ALEX’S MATES
Five! Four! Three! Two! One!

Fiona runs away as Alex jumps high in to the air to splat back down into the tub full of lard. All the men cheer and raise there drinks as he resurfaces.

ALEX
Oh my God! It’s even more disgusting than it looks, it’s even more disgusting than it looks. It’s everywhere, it’s creeped into every part of my body.

FIONA
I don’t understand you!

ALEX
I’m a man! I’m a man!

Sons

INT. BLACK EMPTY SPACE.

Black screen. A voice over. The narrator’s voice is old, male, and just bursting with wisdom, and a little madness.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
You all know of the seventh son…

Seven men, dressed in medieval garb, drop down one at a time in front of the black background.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
Of the seventh son…

From the last man seven boys pop into existence in a line extending out in front of him.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
And how that seventh son is, without fail, a wizard.

The last son at the end of the line, a baby, clothes change from a diaper to overly large wizards robe.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
And if you didn’t know that you do now, so shut up. I’m telling a story.

All the characters on screen look upwards at this outburst, shocked.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
Now where was I.

We focus once more on the baby in the wizards robe.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
Oh yes, the seventh son. Forget about him, this story isn’t about him.

The baby starts to cry.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
Because this isn’t medieval times anymore…

All the men and boy’s clothes change from medieval garb to more modern attire.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
And who the fuck is having seven sons! That’s madness. It’s also why wizards don’t exist anymore. No, people today, at least the smart ones, might have…three sons.

One by one the seven boys pop out of existence, followed closely behind by the last four men being lifted up and off the screen.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
This story is about the third son of a third son…

The focus shifts to the third man. Three boys pop into existence in a line extending out from him.We focus on the last one, a small gangly boy.

NARRATOR (V.O.)
And what he is destined to become.

Not Gangsta

EXT. CITY STREET – NIGHT

AMY (22) and SIMONE (22) both dressed in going out attire walk tipsily down a well lit city street, the occasional car goes past them.

AMY
That was a killer night. Did you see my moves on that d-floor? I owned that thing.

SIMONE
Amy, your moves were ridonculous, but keep it down alright. I would like to get home without us being attacked.

AMY
Sim, we’re not going to get attacked out here, and if we do I’ll just take care of business, if you know what I mean.

Amy gives Simone an exaggerated wink.

AMY
I mean I’ll punch them with my fists in case that wasn’t clear.

SIMONE
Ames I love you, and you’re beautiful, but you’re an idiot. You would be useless if we were attacked.

AMY
Hey look at this.

Amy flexes one of her skinny arms

AMY (CONT’D)
I did ten push ups the other day.

SIMONE
Girl push ups?

AMY
Well yeah. But people know me, you know. They know not to mess with me.

SIMONE
Ames, I feel like I have to tell you this but you’re not gangsta.

AMY
What? How can you say that? I’m totally gangsta. My education came from the school of hard knocks… and Melbourne girls grammer and TAFE. But I’m hard. You know I’m hard.

SIMONE
No you’re not. You’re incredibly soft. I think even I could beat you up.

AMY
No way. I’m from the streets alright. I know things you don’t.

SIMONE
We literally grew up on the same street.

AMY
Sure, but I feel like I spent more time kicking around the streets. I was basically a hooligan.

SIMONE
The only street you hung around was Thomsons Street, and that’s because the bakery there would sometimes give you free pastries.

AMY
Oh my god yes, those pastries were amazing. I would totally gun a fool down to get my hands on one of those pastries.

SIMONE
See now that I believe. You do get weirdly gangsta when food is involved.

From an alleyway behind them a noise is heard, like a can being kicked. The two girls looks at each other in fright.

AMY
RUN!

Amy sprints down the street, Simone a step behind her.

Danny’s Way

INT. MELANIE’S BEDROOM – DAY

MELANIE (26, overdramatic) sits crying on her bed. SASHA (26, sentimental) sits beside her comforting her. Sasha’s boyfriend DANNY (27, forthright) sits uncomfortably on a beanbag amongst a number of cushions.

MELANIE
I just don’t know why he left!

SASHA
He doesn’t deserve you anyway. If he can’t see you for the beautiful person that you are well then he’s crazy.

MELANIE
I really thought he was the one you know. I mean we had been together for six months and I never even insulted his mother or made him chose between me or his dog like I have with other guys. We were perfect, I don’t get it.

SASHA
Hey it’s not about you, this is about him. He’s the one with the problem.

MELANIE
I just, I just wish he had given me a reason you know.

DANNY
Alright, enough of this.

Danny tries to stand but is trapped in the mass of cushions and beanbag. He struggles overly long then finally wrenches himself free and stands.

DANNY (CONT’D)
You really want to know why he left you?

MELANIE
Yes.

DANNY
He stopped loving you.

SASHA
DANNY!

DANNY
There’s only one reason anybody every leaves anybody else, and that’s because they stopped loving them.

SASHA
Danny, stay out of this you don’t know what your talking about.

MELANIE
No I want to hear him.

DANNY
Nobody ever gets a good reason why the other person broke up with them right? It’s always something like ‘I need to figure out who I am’ or ‘I feel like we’ve been drifting apart’, or ‘It doesn’t feel the same anymore’. No one ever wants to tell you the truth, which is at some point they stopped being in love with you.

SASHA
That’s ridiculous, people break up for all sorts of different reasons. Love is complicated.

DANNY
No it isn’t. Either you love someone or you don’t. But no one wants to tell someone that they no longer love them, it’s horrible. So they try to be nice and say it without actually saying it. But all it does is leave the other person confused and unable to get closure. It would be better if people were just honest and said I’m not in love with you, I think we should break up.

SASHA
You can’t really believe that. It’s also the last thing Melanie needs to hear.

MELANIE
No, it actually helps. He doesn’t love me. I mean it still hurts but at least I know it was nothing I did or that there’s anything I could do to get him back. I mean I could threaten his grandfather like I did with Dean, but that was only because I thought there was still a chance for us. If he doesn’t love me anymore I can just let him go. Thank you Danny.

SASHA
Well I think it’s bullshit. It’s not that simple. What if someone’s not sure if they’re in love? Or loves someone but isn’t sure if they want to be with them?

DANNY
That’s not how love works. If you love someone you’re willing to do anything not to give them up. End of story. That’s how I feel about you.

Sasha sits stunned.

MELANIE
Danny, that was beautiful.

Sasha walks over to Danny and gives him a big hug.

DANNY
I take that to mean you feel the same way. Great, now if you want to keep doing things the Danny way I suggest we got to the pub and drink away that hurt like normal people do.

Don’t Lie to Your Dentist

INT. DENTIST’S OFFICE – DAY

TERRY SHURE (32) lies uncomfortably in the dental chair, a bib over his neck, his head sits up awkwardly as he looks around the room. The dentist, DR. MAUREEN TANNEN (39) enters the room and puts on some gloves. She sits on her stool and rolls over to the table. Maureen pushes Terry’s head back onto the chair.

MAUREEN
Alright, Terry Shure, haven’t seen you in a while. How long has it been since you were last at the dentist?

Terry raises his head again as he answers her.

TERRY
Oh it can’t have been that long. Maybe six months.

MAUREEN
Mmm hmm.

Maureen takes one of her long, pointy, and most importantly scary looking instruments off the small table beside her. She pushes Terry’s head down once more.

MAUREEN (CONT’D)
Open up.

Terry does so and Maureen inserts the instrument into his mouth.

MAUREEN (CONT’D)
Now how long did you say it had been?

TERRY
(garbled)
Six months.

Maureen stabs down with the instrument and Terry cries out.

MAUREEN
Sorry what was that Mr. Shure? I thought you said six months.

TERRY
(garbled)
Maybe it’s been more like nine months.

Maureen prods him again.

MAUREEN
Oh, I think it might have been a little longer than that.

Maureen removes the instrument from Terry’s mouth. He lifts his head again.

TERRY
A year?

MAUREEN
Are you asking me or telling me Mr. Shure? You don’t sound very sure.

TERRY
Telling.

MAUREEN
Hmm, okay.

Maureen grabs a even more wicked looking instrument off the table. She pushes Terry’s head back down on the chair again and indicates for him to once more open his mouth. The instrument enters it.

MAUREEN (CONT’D)
It’s just that this doesn’t look like the kind of mouth that’s seen a dentist in the last twelve months. Are you sure it hasn’t been longer than that.

Maureen flicks her wrist and Terry again cries out in pain.

TERRY
(garbled)
Maybe it’s been a little over a year.

MAUREEN
Only a little?

Maureen removes the instrument from Terry’s mouth. His head rises again.

TERRY
Ummm, yes.

Maureen doesn’t reply as she puts down the instrument and picks up a new one. She continues her silence as she again pushes down Terry’s head, his mouth opens automatically.

MAUREEN
One last time Mr Shure, how long has it been?

Maureen flicks a switch on the new instrument and it begins to buzz and whirl threateningly. Maureen slowly brings it towards Terry’s open mouth.

TERRY
Two years. Two years. It’s been two years since I’ve been to the dentist.

Maureen switches the instrument off.

MAUREEN
Yes, that sounds more correct.

Maureen places the instrument back on the table.

MAUREEN (CONT’D)
I get lied to a lot as a dentist Mr. Shure, so remember this, if you always tell the truth no one can hold anything over you.

Maureen turns away from Terry and rolls herself over to a nearby computer. Terry’s head drops back onto the chair in relief, breathing heavy. Maureen turns back towards him and slowly removes her gloves.

MAUREEN (CONT’D
Anyway your teeth are fine. That should come to just over a thousand dollars.

Terry cries out in pain once more.

Phone Addiction

INT. GRIMSLEY PUB – EVENING

Four friends sit in the booth of a semi-crowded pub. Clockwise from the right sits JAMES (29, thoughtful, hipster), KRIS (28, smiley, tomboy), SONIA (29, odd, sarcastic), and SIMON (energetic, self involved). Each has a drink in front of them. James, Kris, and Sonia all stare silently at Simon who stares at his phone.

Beat.

Beat.

Simon looks up slowly as he notices the others stares.

JAMES
How long was that?

SONIA
Twelve minutes forty four seconds.

KRIS
Wow, new record.

SIMON
What? What is this? What are you talking about?

KRIS
Dude, you spend way too much time on your phone.

SIMON
What? No I don’t.

JAMES
Yes you do. Way to much time.

SIMON
Well I’m a busy man, I need to multi-task.

JAMES
Okay, what was it that you were ignoring us for?

SONIA
I find it hard to believe it could have been better than our company.

SIMON
I’ll have you know it was a very interesting article.

KRIS
Oh yeah, on what?

SIMON
About death actually, so well done, you’re all horrible.

James, Kris, and Sonia all stare at Simon blank faced.

SIMON (CONT’D)
Okay it was a buzzfeed list of the top ten not so famous last words.

SONIA
Oh that does sound interesting.

JAMES
Well tell us what some of them were.

SIMON
No, I don’t think we need to do that.

JAMES
If this top ten list was interesting enough for you to be rude to your top three buddies I want to hear it.

SIMON
So I’m just, I’m going to read them? Okay, fine. Well number ten was, ‘I’m dying’, kind of obvious. Then, ‘Am I peeing?’, makes sense I guess. Next was ‘Oranges were a fruit before they were a colour’, interesting thing to say before you die, I’d like to hear that story. Then ‘Flavourflav was one hell of a rapper’. After that was simply ‘Snickers’. There’s, there’s more but, well, there’s a reason they’re not famous.

KRIS
I think our point has been proven. You’re addicted to your phone.

SIMON
What and you’re all not? You can’t tell me you’re not all checking facebook every few minutes.

JAMES
I don’t even have a facebook account.

SIMON
Shut up James.

KRIS
The difference is we don’t use them in social situations. If you’re with people, be with those people.

SIMON
That’s rubbish, you guys are on your phones easily equally as much as me. James is constantly instagraming, how one person can take so many selfies is beyond me. Kris, you’re always posting some crap on facebook, we get it you have an opinion. And Sonia, I don’t know what you do on your phone but I bet it’s weird.

SONIA
It’s a game called Jammy Pyjammy, I’m up to ten thousand Jammy points.

SIMON
Whatever, my point is you guys are just as addicted to your phones as I am.

KRIS
Alright, well let’s prove it. Everyone puts their phone in the centre of the table, first one to break has to pay our tab.

JAMES
What is our tab up to?
(calling out)
Hey Joe, what’s our tab looking like these days?

JOE (31, hairy, bartender) looks at a nearby clipboard.

JOE
Ahh, you guys are up to two thousand dollars.

JAMES
Wow we should really pay our tab more often.

SIMON
Fine, bring it on.

SONIA
And the loser also has drink all the dregs from all the drinks in the whole pub at the end of the night.

SIMON
What? Fine, I’m not going to be the lose anyway so what does it matter.

JAMES
Joe, keep all the dregs for the rest of the night!

JOE
Al- Alright.
(under his breath)
Weirdos.

James puts his phone in the centre of the table.

JAMES
I’m in.

Sonia follows suit.

SONIA
Me too.

Kris puts hers in next. Then Simon.

SIMON
This is going to be a piece of cake.

From the centre of the table Simon’s phone lets off a message tone.