BREATH OF THE SERPENT
Open on a lake. The lake is pristeen under a blue sky. A ten year old boy and teenage girl cast off from shore and start across the lake. While they are paddling across the lake, a storm blows up. It is the worst storm ever.
Ian: Oh, no. We’re gonna die. We’d better go back to shore.
Christianna: We’ll be fine. We’re nearly at the point. In fact, we’re on the veranda of the house now.
Ian: We aren’t across the lake. The storm has carried us to the flooded veranda of the house.
(The storm intensifies. The entire city of Vancouver flies past them.)
Christianna: Ooh, it’s getting windy.
Ian: Let’s go home
(The city of Sao Paulo, Brazil flies by.)
Christianna: We’re going home now. Oh well, at least it’s a great way to start a picture.
(They start paddling back home. Their dock has blown away, so they paddle toward the public pier. A sign on the pier reads NO DOING ANYTHING ON THIS PIER.)
Christianna: OK, Ian, climb up on the pier and hand me the rope. Climb slowly and carefully. The steps will be slippery.
(Ian scrambles up the steps, falls into the water and goes under the surface. He resurfaces and starts to go under again. The city of Rome flies by and he catches it at the last second.)
Christianna: Holy moly, this picture’s getting even better.
(They scramble up onto the pier and stumble up the path to their cottage.)
Christianna: (Drunkenly) I new it was a bad idea for the town to put beer in the water supply. Is this our cottage?
(Christianna and Ian enter. Suddenly, they hear a siren. Christianna and Ian’s mom is seen dragging their father into the living room from the utility room. Two paramedics burst in.)
Paramedic 1: We got a 911 report at this address.
Christianna and Ian’s Mom: Yes, he’s having chest pains.
Paramedic 1: OK, let’s get the stretcher in here.
Paramedic 2: Sir, how are you feeling?
Christianna And Ian’s Father: I think … this is … the end.
Christianna: Daddy, if you see a light, go away from it.
Mom: Yes, sweetheart, go away from it. Go away from the light, darn it.
Coltraine’s general store. Christianna and Ian enter.
Christianna: (To general store owner) I need to use the phone.
General Store Owner: Right this way.
(Christianna and the general store owner go into a room in the back. A ham radio sits on the table. Christianna picks up the mouthpiece.)
Christianna: VE4THC VE4THC calling VE4HBC.
Mom: VE4HBC. Your dad is doing better but he has to stay in the hospital for observation. Ian is to come home on the 4:30 bus. You can stay up at the cottage. Ted Brighton will be up there soon, anyway.
Christianna: VE4THC. Yeah, I don’t think there’ll be any problem with me, a 16 year old girl up at the cottage alone with a guy just finished his first year of university next door who’ll probably bring up his buddies to get drunk and high.
The cottage. Christianna is lying on the couch. Ted Brighton’s car pulls up next door. Christianna goes out to meet him. Trish and Terah are standing beside his car.
Trish And terah: Could you give us a ride sometime?
Christianna: Could I help you unpack your stuff?
Ted: Sure. You can take this big one. Be careful because it’s an old suitcase and the lock’s broken.
(Christianna picks up the suitcase and starts to carry it toward the Brighton’s cottage. The suitcase flies open. Marijuana, bricks of cocaine, needles, containers of nerve gas, anthrax and bochalim toxin as well as a suitcase nuke fall out.)
Christianna: I’m sorry. Let me help you pick this stuff up.
The beach. Ted, Christianna, Trish, Terah, and the other kids are arriving with food, an 8 track player, blankets, and coolers. Christianna and Trish spread blankets on the ground and sit down.
Christianna: This place is like magic.
Ted: Yeah, it sure is.
Christianna: Would you like help with the food?
Ted: Sure. (Christianna goes to the cooler and looks at the food. Then she goes back to the blanket. Ted comes over with a glass of wine.) Here, Christianna, it’s a party after all.
Christianna: Thank you.
(Ted goes over to the 8 track player and puts in an 8 track. A remixed version of April Wine’s “Sign Of The Gypsy Queen” plays. Ted goes back over to the blankets.)
Ted: Well, how’s the wine?
Christianna: Really good.
Ted: Well, why don’t you mingle a bit.
(Ted goes back over to the coolers.)
Christianna: (To Trish and Terah) I’m kind of nervous about being out here. Ian nearly drowned out here last night. It was scary. I mean, it was calm as a mill pond when we set out but within fifteen minutes this kind of bad storm blew up.
(Ted comes back over and sits down next to Christianna.)
Ted: You know, you are like a beautiful butterfly.
Christianna: Ah, Ted.
Ted: No, it’s true. (Turning to the other kids) Hey, who thinks that Christianna is a beautiful butterfly?
Kid: OK, Ted, you’re cut off. How many beers have you had tonight? No more.
Christianna: Hey, everybody, let’s go for a swim.
Jade: Hang on a second. (Jade comes onto the beach in her bikeeni. She and Christianna jump into the water and swim out to the breakwater. Christianna climbs up onto the breakwater and starts massaging her feet. Jade joins her.) Do you have trouble with your feet, too?
Christianna: Not usually.
Jade: I do.
Christianna: What’s your name?
Jade: Jade Shesheshka. I’m Ukrainian.
Christianna: Nice to meet you, Jade.
Jade: Thank you. I have a lot of trouble with my feet. I’m a clog dancer. Look.
(Jade shows Christianna her feet.)
Christianna: Ew … that is an ugly foot.
(Jade and Christianna sit there for a while. They pull boxes of wine from their pockets and start drinking out of them.)
Jade: (Slurred) I should start heading back. I gotta meet my brother at Coltraine’s at 11:30.
Christianna: (Whining and slurred) But I don’t wanna swim back.
Jade: Come on. One … two … three. Oh, OK, this time we really have to do it. One … two … three. Oh, you suck. OK, one … two … three.
(They push each other into the water. They surface and swim back to shore. Ted walks up to them and hands each a cup of wine.)
Ted: Here. This’ll warm you up.
Christianna: Thank you.
(The party continues. A wiener roast is started by a couple of drunk guys.)
Drunk Guy: Is this a wiener roast?
Kid: Save endangered mosquitos.
(He is thrown in the lake with all his clothes on.)
Kid: Band of brothers,
None were any bolder,
Head held high,
High above my shoulder,
The fiery blast,
The fiery bla-aaa-aaa-aaa-aaa-ast … ****. (He starts beating up a rock.) Piece of garbage.
Kid: (To his black girlfriend whom he is dancing with) Now I like sugar,
And I like tea,
But I don’t like niggers,
That’s a hog eatin’ slop,
And a big black spook.
You know it,
‘cause I show it,
Like a barnyard rooster,
I crow it.
And the NAACP,
Would sure like to get it’s hands on nigger-hatin’ me.
(Suddenly a storm blows up.)
Ted: Quick, everybody, grab up everything. We’re moving to the
Christianna: Right on.
Louis Anderson’s house. Drunk kids are having a party in his living room.
Louis Anderson: Come on, kids, get out of my house.
Hans Christian Andersen’s house. A calendar on the wall says 1875. Drunk kids are partying in his house.
Hans Christian Andersen: Yah, right on. (He snorts a huge amount of cocaine) I am truly the snow queen.
The cottage. Christianna wakes up on the couch. She has slept in her clothes.
Christianna: Oh, I feel so awful, like a piece of driftwood washed up onshore. My head hurts so much. (She gets up off the couch and looks around) This place is a mess. Serviettes and paper plates all over the place. Glasses of beer and wine all over the place. I’ve got to clean this place up. Well, I’ll start with the beer and wine. (She proceeds to drink all the half-empty glasses of beer and wine.) There, well, the party can begin. (She goes over to the CD player and puts on an Ian Dury CD. Reasons To Be Cheerful starts to play. Christianna begins dancing around to it.) Oh yeah. You know what would make this party even better? Some pain killers. (She goes into the bathroom, grabs a handful of pills from different bottles and swallows them.) I’m drivin’ to
(She passes out)
The cottage. Christianna wakes up on the couch in her clothes. She hears Miles’ car pull up.
Christianna: Oh, shoot. (She goes out to meet Miles) Hi Miles. How are you? Let me take your suitcase. (She lifts a suitcase out of the trunk and staggers under the weight.) Miles, there’s plenty of rocks right here. You didn’t have to bring more. … You’ve got books in here, haven’t you!
Miles: Well, my thesis on Buffy The Vampire Slayer is due October 1st. I think I’ll go check out how high the lake is this year. (He goes down to the beach and returns very shortly) Hey, it looks like someone had a really wild party down there.
Christianna: There was a party on the beach last night. Then it started to rain and Ted Brighton said everybody could come to our cottage. I got drunk on his Grandpa’s homemade blueberry wine and passed out. I woke up this morning with a horrible hangover and the place was a mess, even though Ted _said he’d clean it up. They must have continued partying on the beach. I tried to clean up the cottage this morning. I started with the beer and wine and then I passed out and woke up when you arrived.
Miles: Relax, kiddo, I’ve heard of people having parties before.
Christianna: Promise you won’t tell Mom and Dad.
Miles: I swear on half the cast of Angel’s graves.
Christianna: Will you also help me clean up the beach?
Miles: Yes. It’s got to be done, I suppose. (They walk down to the beach) Well, I guess the easiest thing to do is start with all this beer and wine.
Miles: Then let’s give ‘er. (They proceed to finish all the half-empty glasses of beer and wine) We’re driving to town.
(They get in Miles car and drive drunkenly into town. They stop at Coltraine’s general store and enter.)
Christianna: Phone, now.
General Store Owner: Right this way.
(They go into the back. Christianna picks up the mouthpiece of the ham radio.)
Christianna: VE4THC, VE4THC, CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ CQ.
Alberto: VE4THC this is S53, Alberto from
Spain. How are
Christianna: VE4THC, do you have
Prince Albert in a can?
Alberto: S53, yes I do.
Christianna: VE4THC, then you’d better let him out.
(Miles and Christianna turn the ham radio off and then burst out laughing for three minutes)
The tennis court. Ted and Kathie are playing tennis. Christianna is watching from the sidelines. Ted jumps over the net.
Christianna: John Mcinro has ruined a generation of tennis players.
Kathie: Well, Ted, next time I’m gonna whip your butt.
Ted: Well, I’d rather whip your butt in tennis again. I’d like to beat you black and blue and break a few bones, cause the blood to pour right out of you.
Kathie: Oh, Ted, you big tease.
The cottage. A knock is heard at the door. Christianna answers it. Ted is standing on the porch.
Ted: Hey, Christianna, wanna have some more of Pop’s homemade blueberry wine?
(They go next door to the Brighton’s cottage, sit on the porch and start drinking the wine.)
Ted: Hey, let’s go inside and watch this tape I hav of the fourth of July.
(They go inside. Ted inserts a video tape into the VCR. A fourth of July celebration comes onscreen with a band playing the national anthem.)
Ted: I wish I were
An Oscar Mayer wiener.
That is what I
Truly want to be.
Because if I were
An Oscar Mayer wiener
Everyone would be
In love with me.
My baloney has a first name
(He starts crying at this point)
It’s O S A M A,
My baloney has a second name
It’s B E N L A D E N.
H O M E R E E,
That’s the only thing I eat.
Christianna’s bedroom. Miles enters.
Miles: Come on, get up. You can’t sleep your life away. (He starts shaking Christianna awake.) Come on, get up.
Miles: Time for breakfast. (He wraps Christianna up in the blanket, carries her into the kitchen and sits her down at the table) Today we got the Daddy Anderson special, just to give the whole thing a cheesy,
chain feel. We got bacon, fried eggs, sausage, fried potatoes, and ham, and to
drink, seal juice.
Christianna: Shut up.
Miles: Come on. Eat it up.
Miles: (Setting the plate and cup down before her) Enjoy your meal. Bone apetite.
Miles: Well, you can come back to it later when the fat is all congealed. Perhaps now you’d like to watch TV. (He picks her up and caries her into the living room) Here, let’s see what’s on TV. (A fourth of July celebration comes on. Miles heads back into the kitchen) I’m going back into the kitchen.
The Point. Christianna, Ted and the other kids enter an old, condemned house and sit down on the floor of what once was the front room.
Ted: So, let’s tell ghost stories.
The Chief: Yeah, let’s hear some real scary ones.
Trish: I’ll start. Well, I was walking home from school one day. Suddenly, I felt this ghostly presence behind me. I turned around and I got split by a banana.
Ted: Well, let’s go upstairs, drink and get stoned. (They proceed upstairs. Ted takes Christianna into one of the bedrooms.) Well, here we are, just the two of us. Isn’t this nice. (A noise is heard downstairs. A group of kids comes running up the stairs.) Oh no, the party has been crashed.
Kid: I’ve got some pot here.
Ted: I’ll take that.
(They all start smoking pot. After a while, Christianna gets up and leaves the house. She starts walking down the beach. A figure appears.)
Christianna: Oh no, it’s a banana. Um, banana.
Miles: The eensy-weensy spider,
Went up the water spout,
Out came the sun,
And dried up all the spout.
Christianna: Oh, Miles, it’s you. You’re drunk
Miles: Hey, I’m of age.
Christianna: Well, let’s go home.
(They walk home, singing “The Eensy Weensy Spider.” When they arrive at the cottage, their Mom and Dad are standing in the doorway.)
Christianna And Miles: Ahhhhh, bananas.
(They proceed to fend off their parents.)
Mom: One of you is going to have to drive to the hospital. Your father is having another heart attack.
Miles: Well, I can’t drive. I’m too drunk.
Christianna: I’ll drive.
Miles: Shouldn’t someone wake up Ian?
Mom: No time.
(Christianna gets in the car and starts staring at the buttons on the radio.)
Miles: Here. Drink this bottle of Grandpa Pete’s homemade blueberry wine.
(Christianna drinks the wine, turns the car on and speeds off. Miles makes ambulance noises out the right front window)
The hospital parking lot. Christianna’s father is dying. Ted jumps out from behind a planter and rittles Christianna with bullets from a machine gun.
Christianna: Hey, let’s make homemade nachos.
Based on “Breath of the Dragon” by Diane Juttner Perreault.