Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The opening scene to Nice Girls

Yesterday Jabberwocky, who is apparently not named for my favorite poem, requested that I post the opening pages to Nice Girls Don't Kill. Never one to deny such a request, I have posted them.

. Like AT ALL. At this point the script is completed and being read around town, and I've already worked this scene a number of times. In fact, if you're on Done Deal you can find the thread where I workshopped this scene. Anyway, here's the final product:



It might as well be night, as evil as that sky is. The rain is POURING hard on the pavement in front of the library. Only one car in the parking lot.

A Jeep Cherokee pulls up.


Budget cuts have hit this place hard, but there's still a bank of five-year-old computers near the entrance.

YANCY, fifties, graying, well-worn bifocals, hums as he fiddles with a few cables at the back of one of the machines. Only one light is on in the empty room.

A fist BANGS on the door.

Yancy pops up. He can barely make out a small figure in the rain.

He motions to the sign posting the hours of operation.

The fist bangs again.

He stands up and walks to the door. He points to the sign.

The figure, now clearly identifiable as a GIRL wearing a backpack, makes a motion of pleading. She's drenched.

Yancy opens the door a crack.
I'm sorry, the library is closed on Mondays.
(Southern accent)
Please! Honey, can I just use the phone? Mine died, and my car...

He nods, waves her inside.

She shuffles inside where we get a good look at her.

LANA. A young 30 something, wet hair clinging to her face. Absurdly hot. You want to ask her out, but you're afraid she'll eat your head after she fucks you.

Yancy hands her his cell phone.
Here. If you-

Her phone rings. Warrant's "Cherry Pie." She ignores it.

She shoves his phone in her pocket.
This place is so quiet. I like it. Y'all still got that Dewey system?
Listen, miss, I don't have time to-
Oh I apologize, Yancy. How rude of me. I'm Lana.

She waves, bright smile.

He begins to hyperventillate.
You got that Child Called It? I heard that's a good book.
I didn't do it. Whatever it is, I swear. I'm not the one.
Joe thinks you got his money.
I don't! Oh God, that's not me! I told Carl!

He falls on the floor, grabs her leg and pleads. Lana tries to shake him off. This is uncomfortable.
Call Carl! Why would I tell him about missing money if I'm the one who stole it?
Please get off me, honey.

He clings even tighter.
Call Carl! Please!

She tries to shake him loose, to no avail.

She sighs, pulls a gun out and shoots him in the foot. He screams and lets go to nurse his injury.
Listen, honey. I'm a nice girl. I don't do that whole bamboo under the fingernail shit, but if you paw at me again I will shoot off your shriveled old Willy, put a knife in your gut and leave you to bleed to death. Are we clear?

He nods, weeping over his foot.
Ask Carl. I told Carl.
You tell anybody else?
I don't know... um.... I don't know!

Lana shoots him in the shin. He shouts. Her phone starts to ring again. "Cherry Pie."
NO! Only Carl! I don't have the money I swear!
I know, honey.

She shoots him in the head. Picks up the still ringing phone.
(into the phone)
Elliot how many fucking times have I told you not to call until the job's done?

She wipes Yancy's phone of fingerprints, tosses it on his body.
No, I didn't find the money. Idiot died first.

She searches his wallet. Pulls out a twenty.
I know. You think you know somebody, then they steal your shit. You gonna have my payday in the right box this time?
Don't get all huffy, honey, it's not my fault you're such a goddamn fuck-up.

She hangs up.

She dials a saved number.
(into the phone)
He's dead. You're in the clear.

She throws the phone down.

She looks at the body.
Let's rock and roll, honey.

She reaches into her backpack and pulls out a bottle of bleach.

She starts pouring it over the body.
(to the tune of "Cherry Pie")
She's my Cherry Pie. Motherfucker's dying and he don't know why.


  1. Jordan Colston7:26 PM

    That's very good. Establishes tone well, makes me interested in Lana (great character) and a well written scenes. The only thing I would say is you used the pronoun instead of Lana's name an awful lot toward the end. The punchline was very amusing.

    You have your calling card.

  2. I liked it too, but I think you could change the description of her, as it suggests your reader is a male only.

  3. MrTracheotomy6:38 AM

    Nice. Just out of curiosity, do you envision any particular actress playing Lana or for that matter any particular actor playing Yancy? Is that part of your process, envisioning a particular actor/actress playing a role?

    "hyperventillate" should be "hyperventilate"

  4. I do not picture actors when I'm writing. I sometimes think of them when I'm finished.

  5. Please Don't Eat Me3:14 PM

    Even though you're not looking for notes, I'm going to give one anyway: Read you dialog aloud (just like an actor would do in a reading), there are some alliteration issues.

  6. cshel4:37 PM

    You said ahem, so...

    Thanks for posting the pages. Alliterative hyperventilating aside, I like your writing. It's interesting to see the evolution of the scene. And your determination is admirable.

    Downside: Your version of "Cherry Pie" is stuck in MY head again!

    And thanks for the encore of "I HAS FEETS". So stinkin' adorable!

  7. Thanks! Yeah I used to love "Cherry Pie." After working on this script all this tme I really hate "Cherry Pie."

  8. "Y'all still got that Dewey system?". Snortled out loud.

    And what the hell is Lana up to?!

    Well, damn, that's jumping right in and keeping us guessing, thanks for sharing. That's a movie I want to see.

    OT, re layered ladies like Lana, in case ever a comic book break would be just the thing, Morning Glories (private HS setting). Like your story, it don't slow down, and the ladies, they be complicated (new issue this week, cannot wait, and who the hell is David?!).

  9. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Girl - you write well.
    In fact - you have the ability to get the reader interested from the first sentence. This got to sell.

    And great I discovered your blog.

    Been looking around for a cool forum blog lately. Yours is well balanced. I was not intersted in other forum and blogs of guys rambling nonsense and kissing each others butts.

    Your blog is cool and balanced.


  10. Thanks Atlanta and Laura and everybody else!

    This one scene was rewritten probably a dozen times. I hope it gets the right people to keep reading.

  11. Anonymous2:27 PM

    I like you writing! This is a good story. I know you said you don't want notes. But can I give my version if I were allowed to make changes?

    This is my version. I hope you don't mind!


    Torrential rains hammer the hood of a lone parked car, a 1982 Monte Carlo (or whatever).

    A Jeep Cherokee screeches into the parking lot. It slams to a halt in the middle of a big puddle.

    The driver’s side door cracks open. Then it closes. Then it opens again. This time wide.

    Oh, who gives a fuck.

    Shapely legs swing out of the car. Pink stilettos step into the ankle-deep puddle. The car door slams. Wet ankles scoot through the puddle.


    Budget cuts have hit this place hard. The carpet is thread-bare. Rain drips through the ceiling tiles onto a bank of computers near the entrance.

    CLANCY (52), graying, well-worn bifocals, throws a plastic tarp over the computers.

    A fist BANGS on the door.

    Clancy pops up. He can barely make out a small figure in the rain.
    He motions to the sign posting the hours of operation.

    A pink stiletto KICKS the glass pane of the door.

    You’re gonna break the goddamn door. Hold on. I’m coming.

    He moves to the door. The figure is now discernible. LANA (31), undeniably hot, drenched, her backpack dripping, is the kind of girl you want to fuck, but not the kind you want to marry. She makes a motion of pleading.

    Clancy opens the door a crack.

    Lady, this is a library. We read here. Read that sign. It says we’re closed on Mondays.

    (Southern accent)
    Sweetheart, I just need to use your phone. Mine died. And don’t get me started about my car.

    Come in. But just for a minute. It’s against regulations.

    He hands her his cell phone. And he takes a moment to check her out. He likes what he sees.

    Here, you can use mine.

    Her phone rings…(the rest of it.)

  12. Wow. Wow...starts with a bang.


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