I thought of this idea a couple of months back and just started putting some work into it. It will essentially be, as most things are, a love story. This is going to be the opening to just set things up. I'm not exactly sure if I'm going to do this as a screenplay or a novel, so pardon the roughness of it until I get up a polished, rather distinguished, grey poupon version.
FROM THE ASHES [WORKING TITLE]
A grove of large douglas fir trees high above the ground interlace their branches with their surrounding counterparts. Looking up from the ground, sunshine peeks through the spaces between branches as the canopy waves slightly in the wind.
LACHLAN [VOICE OVER]
Of all things, I remember late spring in the forest; the wind drifting through the trees softly as if telling a secret, the smell of the wildflowers, the familiar smush of the wet dirt between my toes. I miss the feeling of water, both on the ground and from the sky. Water all around me, encircling me in a calm storm.
LACHLAN REEVES, AGE 23, OPENS HIS EYES AND LOOKS AT HIS ALARM CLOCK. THE DIGITAL NUMBERS READ 9:00AM. HIS PUPILS DILATE SLIGHTLY, THEN SHRINK BAC TO NORMAL SIZE. HE SITS UP AND LETS HIS FEET DANGLE OFF THE BED. HE WIGGLES HIS TOES AND TAKES A DEEP BREATH. HIS ROOM IS LARGE, BUT PACKED IN. BOOKS AND PAPERS LITTER TWO DESKS, AND A LARGE, WHITE CANVAS SITTING ON AN EASEL SITS IN THE CORNER BY A CURTAIN-COVERED WINDOW. HE GRABS SOME CLOTHES OUT OF A CHEST DRAWER AND WALKS INTO THE BATHROOM. HE LOOKS INTO THE MIRROR. HE HAS SHORT, BLACK HAIR BUT IS NEED OF A HAIRCUT. HIS BLUE EYES HAVE THE COLOR AND INTENSITY OF A SIAMESE CAT. HE RUBS THE DARK CIRCLES UNDERNEATH THEM THEN WETS HIS NIGHT CHAPPED LIPS BEFORE TURNING ON THE WATER AND GETTING IN.
LACHLAN [VOICE OVER as he completes actions]
I take a shower, five minutes—not longer. For those five minutes, I don’t feel the constraint of sleep and the stuffiness of this house. I walk out to the kitchen and greet my mother. She’s made oatmeal and toast. She eyes me curiously and places a mint green, plaid plate and matching bowl for me on the nook table. As usual, I see endless worry in her face.
You’re up early. Who bribed you?
I have to do the lawn today.
JANIE SOFTLY LAUGHS AT HIS JOKE AND POURS HIM A CUP OF APPLE JUICE. LACHLAN PICKS UP THE NEWSPAPER. THE HEADLINE READS: SCIENTIST DEVELOPS NEW ALLOY TO TEST ON BUILDINGS. THE DATE READS: JULY 16TH, 2036. LACHLAN READS THROUGH THE ARTICLE PATIENTLY WHILE FINISHING HIS BREAKFAST, THEN SILENTLY GIGGLES WHILE READING THE COMIC SECTION. ONCE HE FINISHES, HE WASHES HIS DISHES, KISSES HIS MOTHER ON THE FOREHEAD, AND WALKS INTO THE LIVING ROOM. HE SOFTLY WHISTLES AND A RATHER LARGE DOG COMES STRIDING INTO THE ROOM.
Rainer keeps some of my dreams alive. I rescued him some years ago, when he was still small, on a trip to Washington State. Now, my half border collie, half wolf hybrid nearly came up to my hips. My mother hadn’t been very fond of him initially, but my father…well, my father considered him a child of his own as well. Soon enough, Rainier showed to be every bit as loyal as my mother saw I was. Sometimes, every bit as mischievous and smart aleck as well; a true reflection of his master.
RAINIER FOLLOWS LACHLAN INTO HIS ROOM AND PLOPPED ON THE BED AFTER HIM. LACHLAN PICKS UP A COMIC BOOK AND READS UNTIL NOON. WHEN THE CLOCK READ 12:15PM, HE WORKS OUT IN THE HOME GYM FOR TWO HOURS. AS HIS MOTHER COMES IN TO USE THE EQUIPMENT, HE LEAVES, GRABS A SNACK, AND THEN TAKES A QUICK SHOWER. TWO MINUTES—NOT LONGER. THE NEXT TWO HOURS WERE SPENT IN AN IMAGINATIVE STUPOR. LACHLAN PAINTS SCENES OF PLACES HE HAD TRAVELED AND MISSED. HE SLASHES HIS PAINT BRUSH ACROSS THE CANVAS LIKE A KNIFE, THE ACRYLIC SHOOTING FLECKS ON HIS SHIRT AND FACE. SATISFIED, HE SPRAYS IT WITH A SEALANT AND SETS IT ASIDE. HE LOOKS AT HIS MATERIALS. HE WAS RUNNING DANGEROUSLY LOW AND WASN’T SURE WHEN HE WOULD GET MORE. HE LOOKED AT HIS CLOCK. IT READS 4:00PM.
HE WALKS OUT TO THE SUN ROOM EVEN THOUGH THE BLINDS WERE PULLED DOWN. HE FOUND A SQUEAKY TENNIS BALL, WHICH RAINIER IMMEDIATELY IDENTIFIED AND BOUNDED OVER. THEY PLAYED TOGETHER UNTIL LACHLAN FELT A TIGHTNESS IN HIS SHOULDER. RAINIER WENT BACK INSIDE ONCE HE FIGURED LACHLAN HAD QUIT AND CURLED UP ON HIS RATHER LARGE BED IN THE LIVING ROOM. LACHLAN SITS ON A SWINGING CHAIR AND LOOKS AT THE BLINDS WITH RESENTMENT.
I ached for sunshine. I ached for the whispering winds of the Pacific Northwest that had broken my heart every time I left it. I had gone there every summer to visit my uncle when I was younger. I hadn’t been back in over 5 years. My parents needed me. There was no more time for the selfishness of youth. I thought about checking in on my father, but knew that he would be resting. Somehow, I dreamed that this existence would be tolerable if he was capable of seeing it.
WITH SHAKY HANDS, LACHLAN PULLS ON THE DRAWSTRINGS OF THE BLINDS AND DREW THEM WIDE OPEN. A BRILLIANT WHITE FLOODED THE ROOM. LACHLAN COVERS HIS EYES AT FIRST FROM THE DRASTIC CHANGE. ONCE HIS EYES BEGIN TO FOCUS, HE EXHALES A HEAVY SIGH.
It’s going to be a long 8 months.
PAN OUTà EXTERIOR OF MEDIUM/LARGE SIZE HOUSE, WITH METAL COVERED ROOF AND METAL COMPARTMENTS ON THE SIDES. EXTERIOR OF AREA/LANDàBARREN AND SKELETAL TREES WITH, AT FIRST GLANCE, SEEMS TO BE A SNOW COVERING THE GROUND AND FALLING FROM THE SKY. EXTERIOR OF TOWNà ONLY A COUPLE OF SIMILAR LOOKING HOUSES, THE REST OF THE TOWN IN RUINS, AND SMALL PATCHES OF FIRE SPOT THE TREES AND REMAINS OF BUILDINGS. THE WHOLE TOWN IS COVERED IN ASH, AND IT CONTINUES TO RAIN DOWN WITH SLOW, YET FIERY DETERMINATION. CLOSE UP ON LACHLAN’S FACE AS HE PULLS DOWN THE BLINDS IN ANNOYANCE.