Three pretty girls stand on a corner waiting to enter a nightclub. Several men hover around them checking them out. The girls love the attention. The crowd is having fun.
Roy stares at them when...
VISION: Imaginary Roy is with the girls. Roy likes what he is watching from the taxi: Imaginary Roy is between the girls fooling around with them as... The Real Roy smiles in delight. 24 EXT. FOREST - NIGHT
There are paw prints in the snow. We follow them until we see a CLOSE UP of the wolf’s paws stalking. The wolf’s snout reveals his razor teeth and panting breath. The Boy has a fearful face. We TILT DOWN and see the confused footprints of the Boy. He is lost.
25 I/E. ROY’S TAXI - CITY NIGHTCLUB - DRIVING
Roy pulls the taxi up alongside the girls. He rolls the passenger window down. CLOSE UP on Roy’s eyes a leans to make contact with the girls.
26 EXT. FOREST - NIGHT
The flame blows out. Darkness. The Boy hits another log and falls. From the moonlight we can see the word LUST burnt into the log. Wolves Howl.
27 I/E. ROY’S TAXI / CITY NIGHTCLUB - MOVING
Roy’s cell phone rings and he wakes from his daydream. A picture of Doris appears on the screen. Roy answers the phone.
28 EXT. FOREST - NIGHT
... The Boy pulls out a fire stick... Strikes it. His eyes fill with hope as he re-lights the candle. 29 I/E. ROY’S TAXI / CITY NIGHTCLUB - MOVING
Roy begins to talk with Doris on the phone. He is not too happy that she called as he drives away from the nightclub, glancing into the rearview mirror.
30 INT. ROY’S HOUSE, KIDS ROOM, HALLWAY - NIGHT
Doris is on the phone with Roy. She glances into the kids room from the hallway and sees that they are each sound asleep. She nods her head, listening to Roy. She hangs up the phone and holds it close to her heart.
PUSH past Doris to the kids CLOSE UP of their faces.
31 I/E. ROY’S TAXI - MOVING - NIGHT
CLOSE UP on a picture of the kids in Roy’s taxi. He checks the time. Roy looks tired. He glances at the bills on the passenger seat. He looks at the rosary as if he was saying: “Do you really care?”
32 EXT. FOREST - NIGHT
The Boy is carrying the heavy sack of logs. He is tired. Cold. Must push forward, the flickering lantern lights the way.
33 INT. ROY’S HOUSE - BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
Doris turns on a light as she enters the room. She sees the piece of paper on the floor next to the trash can. Marking it, she picks it up. Reads it.
It’s the rejection letter that Roy received. She is beginning to feel like she may understand something.
34 I/E. ROY’S TAXI / CITY STREET, THEATER AREA - MOVING - NIGHT
DON, an old man in his 70’s, stands on the sidewalk hailing Roy. He wears black pants and a dark coat.
Roy pulls over. The man leans into the passenger window and says
17 I/E. ROY’S HOUSE / OUTSIDE THE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
Doris, with a worried look, watches the taxi drive away. She glances up at the image of Our Lady. Pauses for a moment then walks away. 18 EXT. TAXI - MOVING - CITY STREET - NIGHT
Roy’s car drives through a glitzy part of the city. People traverse the sidewalks with a pep in their step. The streets are hopping.
19 EXT. TAXI - CITY INTERSECTION - RED LIGHT - NIGHT
Roy’s taxi stops at a red light. A nice big luxury car pulls up along side him and stops.
20 I/E. TAXI - CITY INTERSECTION - RED LIGHT - CONTINUOUS
Roy looks over his shoulder to see the driver of the luxury car: A handsome MAN in his 40’s. The word successful is imprinted all over his attitude, his style, and his breath.
Roy fixes his eyes on the man... then suddenly...
VISION: Imaginary Roy is in the car breathing success. Imaginary Roy smiles back at Real Roy who is looking with pure desire, pure ENVY as...
21 EXT. FOREST - NIGHT
The boy just finishes placing another log in the sack. He heaves it over his shoulder. The wind and wolves are howling. The flame is very low. The Boy struggles to keep the lamp from going out.
22 I/E. TAXI - RED LIGHT
The light turns green. As the luxury car moves along, the taxi is left behind. Roy watches the luxury car go. A horn honks. Roy snaps out of his trance and steps on the gas.
23 I/E. ROY’S TAXI - CITY NIGHTCLUB - DRIVING
Roy sees something that catches his eye. MOVING POV
I’m sorry to bother you but, can you help me get this gentleman
to the Mission shelter over on E.
A homeless man in terrible condition approaches the car carrying a sack of cans. Don opens the back door.
ROY Woe, woe, woe... No, no no
Roy can already smell the homeless man’s foul odor. The homeless man is about to enter the vehicle. Roy is covering his nose when he sees... An upscale, beautiful couple (30’s) looking for a taxi just up ahead. Roy takes off, the open car door rips out of Don’s hand. The homeless man stumbles backward and falls to the ground.
35 EXT. FOREST - NIGHT
The Boy trips over a log and crashes to the ground face first. The lamp flickers, light dims.
36 I/E. ROY’S TAXI / CITY STREET, THEATER AREA
Roy pulls the taxi up to the young couple. They are wearing a fine suit and a fancy dress. The woman holds a glittery black purse.
37 EXT. FOREST - NIGHT
The wolves watch as the lamp flickers and dims. They creep closer. The light from the lamp is reduced to just a small twinkle light.
38 INT. HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT
Restless, Doris lies awake in bed. Her eyes wander around the dark room. Her gaze lands on an image of Our Lady. She turns on the light and exits the bed. 39 EXT. LAVISH NEIGHBORHOOD - MANSION - NIGHT
The cab pulls away from a huge house, lit up like a Christmas tree. The rich couple walks toward their home. Other big houses rise up beside it. Immaculately cut lawns. Luxury cars in the driveway.
There is something he wants to say but just can’t. Doris looks at him with concern. Roy is now staring at a rundown TAXI parked just outside his house.
VISION: IMAGINARY ROY is walking with a fast pace holding a baseball bat. He begins to strike the taxi, releasing all his anger and frustration upon the vehicle.
11 EXT. WINTERY FOREST, IN THE WOODS - DUSK
The boy grimaces in pain as he stubs his foot. The flame begins to flicker out.
12 EXT. TAXI, OUTSIDE THE HOUSE - DUSK
RETURN TO SCENE: Doris calls to Roy from the doorway.
DORIS (YELLING) I love you !!!
Roy snaps out of his trance and gives her a small smile and a slight wave. Walks to the car.
13 EXT. WINTERY FOREST, IN THE WOODS - DUSK
The light in the Boy’s lantern flickers. He shelters it with his body. Once the flame regains strength, he bends down to pick up another log and puts it into his pack.
14 I/E. TAXI / OUTSIDE THE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS
Roy closes the car door. He drops the unpaid bills on the passenger seat. He smirks in disappointment. 15 EXT. WINTERY FOREST, IN THE WOODS - DUSK
POV - Wolves still watching the Boy. He appears lost for the moment. Where is the trail? He looks around with the lantern, trying to find his way. He chooses a direction and begins walking into the midst of the trees.
16 I/E. TAXI / OUTSIDE THE HOUSE - DUSK
Roy turns on the engine. A glance to a rosary hanging from the rearview mirror and a family photo on the dash. Foot on the gas.
Roy raises his eyes and stares at the wall adorned with: Diplomas and a Summa-Cum-Laude gold medal in a crystal frame for Economics. A picture of him with what it looks like other business partners. Then his eye line returns to the document: “ ... a more qualified candidate...”
He walks towards the Summa-cum-laude medal frame, until he can see his own reflection on the frame’s crystal... it looks as if he is actually wearing the medal. He stands still and PROUD. No one is more qualified than him.
3 EXT. WINTERY FOREST - DUSK
The Boy wanders in fear. The howl of wolves grows closer as he runs away from the sound. A wind blows threatening the flame from the lantern. The Boy tries to shelter it.
4 INT. ROY’S HOUSE, MASTER BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
Roy sits on the edge of his bed with the rejection letter. He looks over towards the bedside table and sees bills stamped in bright red: PAST DUE. Frustration builds. He crumbles the piece of paper in his hands and throws it towards the trash-can. He misses. He’s about to pick it up when...
... Children squealing and laughing in the background.
Meet RYAN (age 7) and LILY (age 5). They come barreling into the bedroom. Ryan chases Lily with a toy gun. He’s dressed like a normal little boy but wears a cowboy hat. She’s dressed in a ballerina dress.
Lily screams and laughs as her brother chases her. They are not misbehaving. They are having fun, but are incredibly loud. They circle Roy, distracting him. He fights his prideful frustration and decides to join the fun.
5 EXT. WINTERY FOREST - DUSK
The Boy protects the flame from the wind. It recovers and he continues forward on the trail.
6 INT. ROY’S HOUSE, MASTER BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
Roy scares the kids with a playful growl, chasing them.
Ryan and Lily run for cover just as... A ray of light comes into the room as DORIS (Roy’s wife) opens the door to enter.
Doris is pretty but frazzled, wearing jeans and a rolled up flannel shirt with a white shirt underneath. Roy notices Doris. He breaks out of playtime and retrieves the past due bills making sure his wife doesn’t see them. Behind Roy, Doris indicates that it’s time to leave for work.
THE SOUND OF WOLVES IN THE DISTANCE...
7 EXT. WINTERY FOREST - DUSK
The Boy stumbles and almost falls. The light blows out.
He looks at the log he almost tripped over and stares at it for a moment. Something odd about it. There is a word burnt into the wood. Its getting darker, and its getting colder. He opens the sack and pulls out a fire stick.
POV: RUNNING WOLVES SEE THE BOY IN THE DISTANCE
8 I/E. ROY’S HOUSE, FOYER - DUSK
Doris is giving some instruction to the kids. It’s bedtime.
The kids run to give their dad one last hug. They don’t want him to go. It sucks having to leave right now. Roy turns from the kids and walks towards the front door with a long face. He glances at an image of Our Lady as he approaches the front door. 9 EXT. WINTERY FOREST - DUSK
The Boy strikes the fire stick and re-lights the lantern. We see just a glimpse of the wolves as they slow down and stop. The boy adds the log to his pack then slings the heavy load over his shoulder.
TIGHT SHOT: THE BOY’S RIGHT HAND AS HE PICKS UP THE LANTERN.
10 I/E. ROY’S HOUSE, FOYER / OUTSIDE THE HOUSE - DUSK
Roy, puts his right hand on the doorknob and opens the door when, in that moment, Doris grabs his other hand, trying to get his attention. He turns. Stares at her for a brief moment. Their eyes connect. Her eyes plead for him to talk to her.
Doris tries to move closer for a kiss but Roy turns his back to her and steps outside. After a few steps, he stops.
The last glimmers of sunlight fall over the horizon and filter through the trees. The air is cold and thin. The forest is deathly quiet, until a crow squawks and takes flight from a branch.
CLOSE ON YOUNG BOY’S FACE. 8 YEARS OLD
He has an agreeable, cherub face but looks as if he hasn’t bathed for days. His hair is tangled and matted, while his tone is pale and his frame very frail. He stands barefoot on a snow covered path that leads into the thick of the forest. A sack of sticks is slung over his shoulder. Fear can be seen coming from his eyes. He’s cold. He’s alone.
The YOUNG BOY reaches into the sack for a firewood stick. He squats down where a candle-lantern rests at his feet, strikes the stick and lights the wick. It catches. A moment of comfort. Holding the lantern in his hand, the Boy picks the bag up and looks down at the path. It leads beyond the forest towards a hill where there is a magnificent kingdom, radiant like the sun.
Wolves howl in the distance. The boy turns back towards the terrifying sound. His eyes grow wide in fear--
QUICK CUT TO:
2 INT. ROY’S HOUSE, MASTER BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS
-- The eyes of a middle age man are looking in fear and
... An official document from a financial institution. “...We regret to inform you that we can not offer you a position at this time. We have decided to go with a more qualified candidate...”
The man is ROY, late 40’s. He is dressed in t-shirt and jeans, with a five o’clock shadow. He’s lost in thought after reading the notice.
Roy focuses his attention on the sentences “We have decided to go with a more qualified candidate”. This can not be correct. He is “More than qualified”... He is in disbelief.