Missing Shadows

EXT. PARK – EVENING

It’s a sunny afternoon and the park is full of people. An OLD MAN sits on a park bench, his round belly sits below a face wrinkled with many smile lines, which sits below a pork pie hat. The long evening shadow of the bench stretches out before him, as does those of the trees behind him.

People walk past the man. A woman with a pram, a couple talking animatedly, a jogger. The old man watches, smiling as the pass.

REVEAL a SMALL BOY off to the side of the old man, who watches him. He approaches the old man.

SMALL BOY
Where’s your shadow?

OLD MAN
Excuse me young man?

SMALL BOY
Your shadow, where is it?

The boy points to the ground beyond the shadow of the bench where the old man’s shadow should be poking out the top of, but isn’t.

OLD MAN
Oh my shadow! Who knows? It must of totted off somewhere, it’s always doing that.

SMALL BOY
That’s silly, shadows can’t leave a body.

OLD MAN
No? Then where’s mine?

The old man stands and walks next to the bench to fully prove that his shadow is not in attendance.

SMALL BOY
I, I don’t know.

OLD MAN
Well neither do I. My shadow does whatever he wants, bloody devil that he is.

SMALL BOY
I’ve never heard of a shadow leaving a body before.

OLD MAN
Well that’s because you’re very young. Shadows get bolder as you get older, become harder to tie down. Although truth is mine was just as wile when I was your age.

The boy looks down and lifts his foot, his shadow does like wise.

SMALL BOY
I don’t think my shadow can leave me.

OLD MAN
No? Well maybe when you get to my age you will think differently.

The old man sits back down on the bench again with a sigh.

SMALL BOY
How old are you?

OLD MAN
Oh centuries, possibly more. You stop counting after a while.

SMALL BOY
No you’re not. No one lives that long.

OLD MAN
Oh no? Well let me tell you this, when I was your age pirates were still running amok.

SMALL BOY
How could you be that old? It’s impossible.

OLD MAN
Simple, I just never died.

SMALL BOY
But everyone dies.

OLD MAN
Yes, because they all believe they must, just like they believe a shadow must stay attached to your body. But they’re wrong. I once believed I would never have to grow up, I was wrong about that. But dying! Well it’s as easy as simply continuing to live.

SMALL BOY
So you’ll never die?

OLD MAN
Oh I might one day, when I want to go to that land beyond the stars. Maybe my shadow will even follow me. Who knows?

The BOYS FATHER approaches the boy, tucking his mobile phone into his pocket.

BOYS FATHER
Jacob, what are you doing bothering this man?

OLD MAN
Oh he hasn’t been a bother, we’ve been having a lovely chat.

SMALL BOY
Dad, his shadow ran away.

The boy points down to the ground only to see that the old man’s shadow is there.

OLD MAN
Well, it looks like he returned.

BOYS FATHER
Jacob we need to be going. Say goodbye to Mr…

OLD MAN
Pan.

BOYS FATHER
Say goodbye to Mr. Pan.

SMALL BOY
Good bye Mr. Pan.

Jacob’s father takes his hand and begins to walk away. Jacob looks over his shoulder and waves.

SMALL BOY (CONT’D)
Goodbye Mr. Pan’s shadow.

As Mr. Pan’s hands rest comfortably on his belly, his shadow lifts an arm and tips his hat to the departing boy.

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