The Plot (opening scene)

TITLE CARD: THE PLOT

EXT. OLD HOUSE — DRIVEWAY — DAY

We are CLOSE on a broken window.

As we PULL BACK dirty siding covers only the top half of a two story house. The bottom half is colored different and has chipping paint.

In the driveway, a couple. SAM GREENWOOD, a fairly thin man in his late 20’s and his wife ELLEN GREENWOOD, a tall and slightly chunky, dark haired woman in her mid 20’s. They gaze at their new home.

In Ellen’s eyes she sees, what could be, a beautiful home. She cracks a smile and then runs to the porch, dragging her husband along. Sam is happy for her but he doesn't know what she’s thrilled about.

SAM
I don’t know. It’s not what I expected.

INT. OLD HOUSE — LIVING ROOM — CONTINUOUS

The couple enters, inspecting the room. A sea of olive green carpeting covers the floor. Paint is chipping off the walls and cob webs cover the corners of this small room.

A tattered old couch sits cockeyed near a corner. Ellen plops down on it shouting out with glee.

ELLEN
Finally, home!

Jumping up she pulls her husband across the room to the kitchen.

ELLEN (CONT’D)
Come one. Let’s look st the rest of the house.

INT. OLD HOUSE — KITCHEN — CONTINUOUS

The dingy yellow tiled floor sticks out like a sore thumb. But Ellen couldn’t be happier with it. The cabinets are about to fall off their hinges and the sink is full of rusty water.

She drags him out of the kitchen and to the upstairs.

INT. OLD HOUSE — UPSTAIRS — CONTINUOUS

Ellen points to each room.

ELLEN
This room can be the nursery. And this one can be our bedroom.

She then walks into the bathroom.

INT. OLD HOUSE — BATHROOM — CONTINUOUS

We are looking at Ellen and Sam through a broken mirror. She laughs happily, ecstatic about the house.

SAM
I don’t know. It’s going to take a lot of work. Are you sure we can…

To show him she really wants the house, she swoops over to kiss him. They fall backward into the tub. Giggling and making out.

INT. OLD HOUSE — LIVING ROOM — DAY

The place has been cleaned up a little and movers are tugging boxes into the living room.

Sam comes from upstairs and sees all the boxes, clearly labeled with the room they should be in, stacked in one pile.

Upset, he points the pile out to one of the movers who ignores him.

SAM
These boxes don’t all go here, you know.

Just then, his wife walks by with a box in hand and kisses his cheek. His annoyance with the movers fades away.

INT. OLD HOUSE — BEDROOM — LATER

Sam stands in a wide open room, wearing only cutoff shorts, painting a wall white. Ellen comes up from behind him and blinds folds his eyes with her hands.

ELLEN
Boo!

He wipes paint on her hands as she’s still covering his eyes. Surprised at this, she dips her hands in the paint and splatters it on his naked chest. They play in the paint.

We are CLOSE on them as they kiss with white paint all over their faces. Looking deeply into each others eyes they kiss passionately.

INT. MCKINLEY MONUMENT STEPS — DAY

It’s a bright sunny day and Sam is helping his wife up the monument steps. She is clearly pregnant now. About five months along.
At the top of the steps they sit. She flinches.

ELLEN
Give me your hand…

She takes his hand and places it on her belly.
He looks at her in awe from feeling a kick. They’re both extremely happy.

INT. OLD HOUSE — DINING ROOM — DAY

CLOSE on Ellen. She is squirting whip cream on a peace of pizza
Sam and Ellen’s father, ROB CARTER, a balding man in his early fifties, wearing a police uniform, are positioning their new dinning room table. She waves to where it should go, while taking a bite of the creamy pizza.

ELLEN
That’s great, Dad. Hey, do we have any orange juice?

They settle on her spot and cringe at her cravings.

INT. OLD HOUSE — BABY ROOM — DAY

Ellen is sitting and drinking orange juice right from the carton while looking over color cards. Her husband puts together a baby crib.

ELLEN
What do you think? Teal or this mauve.

SAM
I don’t know about the purple but the blue looks nice.

ELLEN
It’s not blue. It’s teal.

He rolls his eyes and continues with the crib.

INT. OLD HOUSE — BATHROOM — NIGHT

Ellen is brushing her teeth when she unexpectedly feels something warm running down her leg. She looks down. Her water broke. Panic sets in.

INT. DOVER MERCY MEDICAL HOSPITAL — NIGHT

The emergency entrance is alive with energy as nurses and their doctor, DR. HESS, a warm hearted older gentleman, rush to help Sam and his pregnant wife out of their station wagon.

SAM
(to the doctor)
She’s going into labor.

DOCTOR HESS
She’s early.

SAM
I know. Three months.

DOCTOR HESS
(to the nurses)
Quickly, get her into delivery.

SAM
You’re going to be fine honey. Just breathe.

INT. DOVER MERCY MEDICAL HOSPITAL — DELIVERY ROOM -LATER

Ellen is sweating up a storm and screaming in pain from many hours of delivery, but hesitates to continue.

SAM
Come on honey. It’s almost over.

ELLEN
I can’t.

DOCTOR HESS
I need you to push one more time for me. It’ll be over soon.

ELLEN
No, please. I need…

DOCTOR HESS
Ellen, you’ve got to push again.

Sam wipes the sweat off of his wife’s forehead.

SAM
You can do it. I’m right here with you. Just one more time.

She squeezes her eyes, screams, then she pushes hopefully for the last time.

DOCTOR HESS
That’s it. Keep pushing. Here…he…is…you have a son!

A beat.

As the room gets quite. Everyone notices that the baby isn’t crying.

Out of the corner of his eyes, Sam spots a cross on the wall he didn’t notice before and gets an eerie feeling that something is wrong.
Closing his eyes he then makes the sign of the cross. Standing there paralyzed with worry.

ELLEN
What’s wrong? Why isn’t he crying?

The doctor signals to his nurses and the team flocks to the baby to take it away.

ELLEN (CONT’D)
What’s going on?

DOCTOR HESS
Your baby wasn’t breathing. They’re taking him to ICU.

ELLEN
(worried)
Wasn’t breathing? Why? What happened? Sam, what’s going on?

DOCTOR HESS
He’s in good hands now. Let’s just concentrate on you.

INT. DOVER MERCY MEDICAL HOSPITAL — ICU — LATER

We are CLOSE on the tiny baby inside an incubator with wires and tubes tied to it’s little body.

We PULL UP to see Sam watching his son from the other side. The faint BEEPING sound of the heart monitor can be heard in the background.

INT. DOVER MERCY MEDICAL HOSPITAL — MOMENTS LATER

Ellen’s room is filled with window light and a “It’s a Boy” balloon floats by her side.

Sam walks in and notices that his wife looks very worn out by the ordeal, but can’t seem to control her anxiety. She slowly attempts to get out of bed.

SAM
What are you doing?

He eases her back down to bed.

ELLEN
No…I want to see my baby.

SAM
You need to rest. You were in labor for almost twenty hours.

ELLEN
I don’t care. I want to see our son!

A beat.

Those words, “our son” stick in his mind. Sam sighs. He knows he needs to take her to see the baby.

INT. DOVER MERCY MEDICAL HOSPITAL — ICU — MOMENTS LATER

Sam rolls his wife in to the ICU room on a wheel chair. They both stop and gaze at their small fragile baby from across the room. Surprisingly Ellen gets up out of her wheel chair and walks to the incubator.

SAM
Honey! Wait…

ELLEN
No! I want to see!

They both look at their baby and begin to cry.

Sam takes a tissue and wipes his wife’s tears with the corner of it as she points to her son through the glass.

SAM
He looks so tiny.

ELLEN
How about Peter?

SAM
Peter Greenwood. I like it.

Everything is quiet. As if given a peaceful moment, Ellen begins to sing to her baby in an intimate mother and son moment.

ELLEN
(whispering)
“Hush little baby, don’t say a word. Mamma’s gonna buy you mocking bird.
And if that mocking bird don’t sing…”

Just then, the lights on Peters heart monitor flash and starts to BEEP franticly.

ELLEN (CONT’D)
What…what’s going on?

SAM
Come on. Let them do their job.

Sam pulls his crying wife back as the doctors and nurses rush to save the baby.

ELLEN
Oh dear God! Save him. Please help my baby. Help him!

The nurses scramble to help save the baby. Injecting fluids into an I.V. and adjusting the monitors.

The LOUD BEEPING gets slower and slower until we hear a LONG TONE.

ELLEN (CONT’D)
NO!

Unexpected, the TONE starts to BEEP again. Everyone’s hearts beating rapidly, but relieved.

Sam and Ellen look at their baby and cry. Wishing they could do more.

INT. DOVER MERCY MEDICAL HOSPITAL — DAY

Ellen watches every precious moment while a nurse tries to weigh her crying fidgety son.

NURSE
(in a whisper)
You want to hold him?

Excited, she holds her arms out as the nurse hands her the tiny child.
Struck with pure emotion she smiles while crying. A single tear drop falls from Ellen’s cheek to Peters forehead.

NURSE (CONT’D)
You have to be careful. He’s very delicate.

ELLEN
He’s so little.

Crying turns to cooing as the infant’s eyes widen fixed on his mothers endearing voice. She softly sings again.

ELLEN (CONT’D)
“Hush little baby, don’t say a word. Mamma’s gonna buy you mocking bird.
And if that mocking bird don’t sing, mamma’s gonna by you a diamond ring”

As she passes her fingers by her sons small hands the baby grabs hold of her pinky. Barely gripping it.

We SLOWLY PULL BACK admiring mother and son listening to her sing.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. DOVER MERCY MEDICAL HOSPITAL — DAY

Through a window the sun shines bright on the snow covered ground. As we PULL BACK there are more balloons and flowers on the window sill of Ellen’s room.

A nurse and Sam wait by a wheel chair for Ellen to get out of the bathroom.

SAM
Come on already. You’ve been in this place going on four days now. It’s time to come home.

The bathroom door opens. Ellen’s attention is drawn toward the wheel chair.

ELLEN
I really don’t need that.

NURSE #1
It’s policy.

SAM
We can come back tonight for a while. I want to show you Peters room. I finished painting it today.

Reluctantly she walks to the chair.

ELLEN
I know but you don’t understand. A mother just know’s when…

She sits and the nurse wheels her out of the room.

INT. DOVER MERCY MEDICAL HOSPITAL HALLWAY -CONTINUOUS

As she’s wheeled into the hall, they notice a commotion.

NURSE #1
What’s going on?

NURSE #2
We need to page Dr. Hess. There’s a infant code in ICU.
Like a bolt of lighting Ellen springs out of her chair and down the hall.

SAM
Honey, wait!

INT. DOVER MERCY MEDICAL HOSPITAL — ICU — MOMENTS LATER

Dr. Hess and the nurses are around the incubator injecting fluids and adjusting monitors. His heart monitor BEEPS slowly.

ELLEN
Do something!

DOCTOR HESS
When they’re this small, there’s only so much…

A beat.

The parents face bleed with grief.

DOCTOR HESS (CONT’D)
There’s nothing more we can do.

Sam makes the sign of the cross as his wife walks to her son putting one hand on the glass.

Peter seems to turn his head toward her.

SAM
Is he dieing?

DOCTOR HESS
A lot of his body isn’t fully developed. His immune system is very week.

Peters POV: We see Ellen looking right at us. The BEEP gets slower and slower. Until there is one LONG TONE.

Peter is dead.

Ellen WEEPS and closes her eyes.

FADE TO BLACK:

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