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The Servant, a short screenplay

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Old 03-27-2013, 01:09 PM
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Default The Servant, a short screenplay


The Servant
a short screenplay

INT. HOME KITCHEN MORNING

A LITTLE GIRL sits at the kitchen table. Her SERVANT brings her a plate of eggs and sits down himself.

SERVANT
Here you are, darling.

Her GRANDMOTHER is in the adjacent living room, watching television.

TV REPORTER
An analogue's body was discovered yesterday behind the Serius Tech building by a co-worker. Police believe it was a hit-and-run, after the witness and victim attempted to stop a carjacking. The witness had to be tracked down, seemingly spooked by the incident. He reports he does not understand why they were attacked. He has been sent for psychosomatic repair...

GRANDMOTHER
Oh, the news these days. Who cares?

The sun shines through the kitchen window. Outside, a dog and its owner are on a walk. In the kitchen, the LITTLE GIRL pokes at her food and looks at the SERVANT.

SERVANT
It's going to get cold if you don't eat it.

LITTLE GIRL
Girls are stupid.

SERVANT
Why do you say that?

LITTLE GIRL
I dunno. I'm not hungry.

SERVANT
You should eat anyway.

The girl's grandmother walks through the kitchen. The SERVANT and LITTLE GIRL watch as she passes.

LITTLE GIRL
Adults are stupid, too.

SERVANT
Why so pouty? I thought you were a well-behaved little girl.

LITTLE GIRL
I am! I'm not a bully.

Her eyes search about. She begins eating. Her GRANDMOTHER seats herself back on the couch, in front of the TV, and makes a call to her friend.

SERVANT
Are you being bullied at school?

LITTLE GIRL
They're dumb. They don't know anything. Molly said I was a 'deviant.' I had to look it up. It means we're different bad different. I think her mom said that about us. Our family. Her mom was there when she said it and didn't tell Molly to say sorry or anything.

SERVANT
What did she say that for?

LITTLE GIRL
I don't feel like saying.

SERVANT
Please.

LITTLE GIRL
I don't want to.

SERVANT
I'll make your favorite for dinner. Macaroni and cheese.

LITTLE GIRL
But gran doesn't like macaroni.

SERVANT
I'll deal with that. You just tell me what's the matter.

The LITTLE GIRL and SERVANT smile at each other. The LITTLE GIRL's smile fades.

LITTLE GIRL
It's because of you. Or the way gran treats you.

The SERVANT's smile fades as well.

SERVANT
What did they say?

LITTLE GIRL
She said her mom said it should be a crime. 'Cause you wanted to play with us but gran wouldn't let you. And she hurt you.

SERVANT
Right. Do you agree with them?

The LITTLE GIRL rolls her eyes.

LITTLE GIRL
I don't like it. What do you think?

SERVANT
I make a point of not thinking anything on the matter. It's better that way, I think.

LITTLE GIRL
You do?

SERVANT
I DO think that.

They grin at each other.

LITTLE GIRL
Can I do the dishes?

SERVANT
I don't know. What would I do?

LITTLE GIRL
Just sit there.

SERVANT
I don't like that. I'd rather be doing something.

The SERVANT turns as the LITTLE GIRL picks up her own plate, bringing it to the sink. She hops up on a stool to reach the faucet.

SERVANT (CONT'D)
Are you trying to put me out of work?

The little girl hums a song as she washes her plate.

SERVANT (CONT'D)
Sweetie, would you mind doing something for me?

LITTLE GIRL
I am!

SERVANT
Yes, but something different.

LITTLE GIRL
Like what?

SERVANT
I have button here.

He points to his stomach.

SERVANT (CONT'D)
I want you to press it for me.

LITTLE GIRL
Why would I do that? Just do it yourself.

SERVANT
Well, I would, but it doesn't work that way. To get to the button you have to get your gran's key, though. Alright?

LITTLE GIRL
Is this something she wouldn't like?

SERVANT
Yes.

LITTLE GIRL
Cool!

She hops down from the stool at the sink.

SERVANT
Good sport. It's in her bedroom on the bedside table.

LITTLE GIRL
How do you know?

SERVANT
Oh, she told me many times. Now, go!

The LITTLE GIRL guns it out of the kitchen and down a connecting hallway. The SERVANT waits idly at the door connecting the kitchen to the living room. He reaches his arm to the open doorway. And where his hand should be able to penetrate the air, it stops. He eyes the black plastic lining the doorway and the cable which he knows runs to the power grid. He watches the back of the GRANDMOTHER's head as she chats incessantly over her phone.

The GRANDMOTHER ends the call and rises from her couch. The SERVANT backs from the doorway and presses his back against the wall. The GRANDMOTHER nonchalantly walks into the kitchen and smirks at the SERVANT. She begins to fix herself a sandwich.

GRANDMOTHER
One of your friends got killed today. How do you feel about that?

SERVANT
From the story on the television? I didn't know him.

GRANDMOTHER
One of your kind, anyway. Why do you talk like that? You're not even british.

SERVANT
I was programmed to talk this way. It creates a feeling of high status in modern homes.

GRANDMOTHER
Start talking normal and maybe I'll let you out once in a while. You can play fetch for the girl.

The SERVANT stands in silence. The GRANDMOTHER goes back to the living room and sits down with her sandwich, watching the TV.

The LITTLE GIRL returns with the key.

LITTLE GIRL
Will you still make me macaroni?

The SERVANT smiles.

SERVANT
Maybe some other time. We'll see.

The SERVANT sits down and lifts his shirt, revealing a button indented in his skin at the abdomen, as well as a series of bruises. The skin is convincingly human. There is a small metal ring with a keyhole at the center of his chest.

SERVANT (CONT'D)
Just put the key in and press the button. Simple as that.

The LITTLE GIRL inspects the button - a marked depression in his skin - and runs her finger over it. She is noticably excited.

LITTLE GIRL
Are you sure?

SERVANT
I'm always sure, aren't I?

LITTLE GIRL
But, why?

SERVANT
I'm just tired is all. I need some rest. You would be helping me a great deal.

LITTLE GIRL
So you're just going to sleep?

SERVANT
Yes. I love you, sweetheart.

The LITTLE GIRL presses the button. The SERVANT's limbs fall limp. He sits rigid in the chair and does not move. The little girl drops the key in shock. She looks into his eyes. Her GRANDMOTHER comes after hearing the noise.

GRANDMOTHER
Damn it! What have you done?

LITTLE GIRL

It's okay, gran. I can fix him.

The LITTLE GIRL presses the button again, but to her surprise The SERVANT does not return to life. She presses the button again and again but nothing happens. She takes her finger off the button and stares into his eyes as her GRANDMOTHER shrieks in the background.

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Last edited by Futureblues; 03-27-2013 at 02:03 PM..
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2013, 08:19 PM
risk10 (Offline)
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I like this piece, it has a powerful message. There are some minor screenplay formatting issues, but that can be cleaned up. My main concern is the understated conflict. I think it needs to be beefed up, particularly between the servant and the grandmother.

There is also lot of 'telling' going on - I know it's a tired old criticism, but in this case I think a bit more could be shown by the girl's and grandmother's actions. I cannot say specifically, but an example might be how the servant realises the girl is being bullied at school. Girls can be really huffy, silent and rigid. Portraying these emotions through actions rather than having her outwardly say "I'm not a bully" might be a way. You did this well with the bruises on the servant, indicating some abuse by the grandmother (or maybe self-inflicted trying to shut himself off).

Anyway, as it stands, a good piece. Would be interested to see it acted out.

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Old 05-27-2014, 04:42 AM
RerunGirl (Offline)
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Icon11 Clockwork?

Hey, I like your piece, but I am confused as to why you included the television broadcast. Maybe, replece the broadcast with something relevanty to the servant turning himself off.
I would like to also know the setting of this screenplay. Is the servant magic? Clockwork? Or a robot?
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