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Staff Deployment
December 20th, 2013, 02:59 AM
ACT I

It's a small set on a big stage. It feels
claustrophobic and marginalized, at best.

NANCY locks her bike to a post outside THE HOTEL,
which is made up of a LOBBY, a HALL, and two ROOMS,
one of which is obscured by the walls (it's farther
back into the stage). NANCY wears overalls, work
boots, a BEANIE, and a dirty t-shirt. She is
licking her hands clean of pizza. A TOOLBELT hangs
from her waist and she dangles a small WRENCH from
her finger. She squints against the sunrise (an
imagined sunrise, for the set itself is pitch
black) and rubs the sleep out of her eyes. Reaching
for a cigarette by instinct, she stops herself and
instead knocks on the FRONT DOOR of THE HOTEL. No
response, so she tries the handle and finds it
unlocked. While she enters, she pulls out a HAND
WRITTEN NOTE and runs through its details in her
head, silently mouthing the instructions to
herself.

The LOBBY is empty. An analog clock on the wall
incorrectly reads midnight. It's broken. On top of
the counter is a DINGER and some CRUMPLED BILLS,
and behind it is an UNLOCKED CABINET. A small TRASH
BIN sits on the floor.

NANCY slams her fist on the DINGER but all that
comes out is a wet, squelching crack, like a spider
slowly crushed under a shoe. She makes a face and
looks around furvently.

NANCY
Anyone there? I'm here to fix the broken light. In room
2. Hello?

She picks up the BILLS and counts them. She
compares them to her HAND WRITTEN NOTE and nods.

NANCY
These are for me then.

After a moment she realizes nobody is responding
and she cautiously heads to the FRONT DOOR. Then
she looks at the BILLS one more time, sighs, and
turns. She rifles through the UNLOCKED CABINET
until she obtains the ROOM KEY.

As she leaves the LOBBY and proceeds down the HALL,
she checks the numbers on each ROOM. They are
clearly marked #1 and #2, although the marking for
#2 may be hard to see, due to the angle. #1 is
ajar. The inside is pitch black. When she walks
past, #1 slams shut. She jumps, hesitates, then
ignores it and continues on.

#2 is at a right angle to the other room, allowing
us to see its internal guts through an invisible
wall. The ROOM is bare and economical, furnished
only with a perfectly-made BED, a LAMP seated on an
END TABLE, and an uncomfortable CHAIR, all squashed
into a prohibitively cramped space. The wall
holding up the DOOR is solid, but the other two
walls are made of BLACK STREAMERS, which billow in
a soft wind. Since the rest of the stage is in
total darkness, it feels as though this darkness
grasps at the room with tiny feelers.

NANCY knocks on the door. Immediately the SOFT WIND
ceases and the BLACK STREAMERS fall still. Hearing
no response, NANCY fumbles with the ROOM KEY until
it turns. The DOOR's top hinge seems damaged, so it
scrapes along the ground, loud enough to cause her
to cringe.

She enters the ROOM and idly flicks a hidden light
switch on the wall up and down. Nothing.

NANCY
Obviously. That's what I'm here for.

She fumbles around in the dark, nearly knocking
over the LAMP. She follows the LAMP's wire with her
fingers, getting down onto her hands and knees. The
wire trails out underneath the BLACK STREAMERS. She
interacts with them as if they were a solid wall,
patting them and feeling around.

While she's carelessly exploring the room, the DOOR
to #1 slowly opens, soundlessly. A MAN-SIZED
FIGURE, crouched underneath a BLACK BLANKET,
emerges and slowly waddles towards #2. A small
light can be seen shining through the fabric.

Simultaneously, the DILAPIDATED GHOUL and MUTILATED
GHOUL crawl inhumanly from outside THE HOTEL. They
are nothing but shadows at this point. They drag
away NANCY'S BIKE and push a BRICK WALL in front of
the main door. They slink away into the darkness.

Eventually NANCY returns to the LAMP and curls her
hand underneath its shade. She jerks her hand back
in pain. Red blood trickles down the side of her
palm. She licks some of it away self-consciously.

She takes off the shade. The bulb is broken.

NANCY
That's it?

She takes off her BEANIE, revealing longer hair
than was first apparent, and carefully unscrews the
BROKEN BULB to let the shards land in her hat.
Satisfied, she knots up the BEANIE and opens the
DOOR.

The MAN-SIZED FIGURE awaits her. Her eyes go wide
and she stares at the thing for a moment, before
winding her hand back to strike with the broken
glass. The figure lifts up the blanket to reveal an
unwashed but good-looking man in a ragged
construction worker's uniform. He holds a
FLASHLIGHT. NANCY takes a step back.

TOM (that's his name) shines the FLASHLIGHT around.
He speaks with frantic concern.

TOM
What are you doing?

NANCY
My job.

TOM
Your job -- oh, you just got here. Just stay with me,
you'll be fine.

NANCY
No thank you.

She pushes past him and he rises indignantly.

TOM
How long since you came in?

She turns around and walks backwards while she
talks, twirling her wrench in her hand idly.

NANCY
Like five minutes.

TOM
And you've gotta realize something's wrong, don't you?
Doesn't it feel wrong? What do you have in your hat?

NANCY
(holding it up)
Broken glass.

TOM
And that doesn't seem wrong?

NANCY
Remember how I almost hit you with this? Still not out
of the question.

She turns back around. She's in the LOBBY. She
carefully dumps the contents of her hat into the
TRASH BIN, making a pleasant tinkling noise. She
feels around the BEANIE, making sure there's no
broken glass still stuck in it. She decides not to
put it back on and instead shoves it in her TOOL
BELT. She pulls out a PEN in return.

She sits down on the floor, back leaning against
the counter, and scribbles something on the back of
her HAND WRITTEN NOTE. She places the NOTE, as well
as the BILLS, dutifully on the counter, and the PEN
back in her TOOLBELT.

Finally, she opens the FRONT DOOR.

There is a BRICK WALL soldered into the frame. She
takes four steps back and crashes into the wall,
desperately grabbing for a handhold.

TOM pockets the small FLASHLIGHT, enters the LOBBY,
and leans against the wall beside her. His BLACK
BLANKET is draped over his shoulders.

TOM
That happened to me, too.

NANCY
My bike's out there.

TOM
You're worried about your bike?

NANCY
Why wouldn't I be?

OliverGrey
January 7th, 2014, 07:13 AM
Are the lights out the whole time? You did a good job writing descriptive things, but I don't think it could all be done through sound. I'm not sure where this is going, but I think it's a good start. It leaves the watcher/ reader wanted to know what's going on without making them just ask questions.
Overall I like what you have so far!

Staff Deployment
January 7th, 2014, 02:15 PM
"Pitch black" is misleading. It was in reference to the stage, but the set and characters are meant to be visible.

I'm glad you liked it.

escorial
January 7th, 2014, 04:43 PM
This was fantastic..descriptive, packed with information to take in and easy to follow..the first section Nancy was brilliant and although it's in scripts format of which I know zero about this for me was alive and real...Loved it SD

thepancreas11
January 10th, 2014, 09:06 PM
I'm up in the air about this piece.

It's a fantastic premise. You've got two complete strangers locked in a house of horrors, and all they did was come to help. I sense a theme coming.... You've already got your characters up on soapboxes, ready to deliver their sermons on the follies of humanity. It's an important thing for a thriller to have, a sense of morality underneath. Hitchcock would be proud. All of his pieces were commentaries on society, albeit as viewed through his cracked looking-glass.

Unfortunately, I think you fall short with the tension needed to make this a success. I understand you're trying to do that by way of the stage design and lighting, but I think you might be on the wrong track. The dialogue should drive the tension, the movement of the characters, little scary snippets that the clever observer will notice and tell all his friends. The clock is one of those things. We know from the very beginning that there's something amiss because the clock is wrong, but I wonder if the audience would know. You say there is no sign of the sunrise in the lighting on the stage, and there is no mention of the time anywhere else. Also, if it's dark in there, will the eye be drawn to this ominous omen? I think not. Then there's Tom snooping around. That part of the scene didn't really jump me out of my boots the way I wanted it to. The big let down here, though, is the way you end it. She's not exactly upset, is she? I don't know, maybe you're trying to make it a comedy or something, but if this is a true Stephen King goose-bumper, that last exchange has to go.

Maybe if I got to see scene 2 I would get a better picture (hint, hint; nudge, nudge). I would love to read on.

Charlaux
January 11th, 2014, 10:36 AM
I thought this was great, your stage directions were detailed but not excessive, after a while it stopped reading like a script and I could really visualise the scene. An interesting premise, it's like a combination of a Stephen King novel and a Hitchcock movie, and a bit like a dream. The idea of having things moving around on stage but separate to Nancy is one I really liked, and really offers chance to amp up the menace, and I was going to suggest having more of this perhaps in the other rooms before I remembered that it's just a first scene.

One nit is, I think, a combination of the title and the set up. Calling it Hotel Horror plants all sorts of genre expectations - which prove pretty accurate. I think if you slotted in a few hints about what has happened, maybe in the lobby (Nancy might not even have to see them, as she does seem like the sensible sort of girl who would actually call it a day and go home if there was something very obviously creepy...), to pose some mysteries, uneasy thoughts and questions at the beginning because at the moment this is very much the pattern of most horror films - go through, gradual build of suspense. I think a few spikes of mystery at the beginning could set this apart.

Yfig
March 18th, 2014, 01:05 PM
is furvently = fervently ?
Is the formating a theater one or cinema one ?
I think "ACT" is for theater and "sequence" for movies ?
"Ajar" isn'it for car doors ? Forgive me if you use it also for houses !

A lot of vocabulary I do not understand ... like 'cringe' 'prohibitively cramped space' 'billow' 'fumbles' ...... a s o
So I used a translator. I am not fan of translators because they allways make big mistakes ... but ... "what else" would say Georges ?

OK ! so, I red it all. half in english half in french. I was right, the translator makes many errors.

Hum ! Sorry but I did not get fear ! is this a pastiche ?
Or maybe this kind of text (script) is a bit obsolet ? I mean ... too many times done (hope you understand) ?
I personnaly fight for originality, I do not like plagiat or remake.
That's why you should not take really care of my comments because you may have a very opposite point of vew and I respect it.

I encourage you to continue, to go till the end because my opinion is minor and you will get a huge experience in writing it fully.
Courage ! :)

Whosthatboy305
September 19th, 2014, 10:58 PM
Super good

JamesR
October 11th, 2014, 10:05 PM
Hitchcock would be proud. Your script delivers new life into the dying horror-mystery genre. It takes more creativity to get this genre going and you have provided it. I like the eery premise.