The Fantasy of Reality

INT. SECOND HAND BOOK STORE – DAY

A slightly overweight, overly made up, woman, MELANIE (32, imagines herself a character in a Candace Bushnell novel), enters an old secondhand bookstore. A bell above the door jingles as she does so. She looks at her phone as she enters, almost unobservant that she’s even entered the store.

She looks up from her phone and around at the impossibly large store. It’s dusty, with a multitude of cobwebs in the rafters. The high wooden shelves, containing books of all shapes and sizes, reach high into the ceiling and extend towards the, oddly impossible to see, back of the store.

Melanie doesn’t notice any of this and instead focuses on the service desk to the left of the entrance which is being run by an smiley, Asian, teenage boy, (Gan, 16, speaker of Dothraki, dreams of being a character in a Robert Jordan novel).

Melanie walks over to Gan.

MELANIE
Yeah, hi, do you have the Kim Kardashian biography? It’s called Kardashian Konfidential. Confidential is spelt with a K.

GAN
God, I hope not.

MELANIE
What?

Gan types in the old computer on the desk.

GAN
Nothing. Ahh, yep, we do have it, but are you sure that’s the book you really want?

MELANIE
Ah, yeah. She’s awesome. She’s just like me.

GAN
It’s just that we have a lot of books here and if you really like reading I feel you’re letting yourself down by settling for a book that spells confidential with a k.

MELANIE
Excuse me! What would you know, you’re like twelve. What do you like to read? The very hungry caterpillar?

GAN
No. Speculative fiction.

MELANIE
What?

GAN
Fantasy books.

Melanie scoffs.

MELANIE
So basically baby books.

GAN
Have you ever read a fantasy novel?

MELANIE
Ah, no. I’m an adult, I read about the real world.

Gan laughs.

GAN
The real world! What? You think reading about reality TV, celebrity stuff, and facebook is the real world? Trust me, the world you read about is just as much fantasy as any of the novels I read. At least the books I read have some intelligence and worth to them.

MELANIE
Whatever. I’m not really interested in arguing with a child, so can you just show me where my book is?

Gan tilts his head to the side and gives Melanie a big smile.

GAN
Sure. Follow me.

Gan walks around the desk and leads Melanie down one of the isle of books. He walks quickly ahead of her, Melanie trots to keep pace. Gan looks back at her and smiles again.

GAN (CONT’D)
Try to keep up.

Gan continues to walk past row after row of books, Melanie starts to sweat as she struggles to keep up with him. Somehow he continues to gain pace.

Melanie looks around confused, finally noticing the scope of the store.

MELANIE
Hey, what’s going on here? This store didn’t look this big from the outside. What is it? An old library?

Gan doesn’t reply, just keeps walking. He’s even further away. Melanie starts to jog to keep up with him.

MELANIE (CONT’D)
Slow down!

The ends of the tall wooden bookshelves start to whizz by Melanie as she chases after Gan, still failing to gain ground. Shelf, shelf, shelf, go by her. Shelf, shelf, tree. Tree?

Melanie continues to run. As she does so the tall shelves get replaced by tall, thick, redwoods. Shelf, shelf, tree. Shelf, tree, shelf. Tree, tree, shelf. Tree, tree, tree. Tree, tree, tree.

Far up ahead Gan disappears from view.

Melanie stops. Ahead of her there’s only forest, the ground littered with undergrowth and fallen leaves.

MELANIE (CONT’D)
(panting)
What?

Melanie looks up to see a blue sky and sun overhead.

MELANIE (CONT’D)
How can?

She looks back the way she came and sees only more forest.

Melanie’s eyes go wide with panic.

MELANIE (CONT’D)
Hello? Kid? Hello?

From above Melanie hears a roar. She looks up to see a dragon dwarf the sky as it flies by overhead.

MELANIE (CONT’D)
(whimpering)
Help!

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