ILLUMINATION
Published in

ILLUMINATION

Serendipitous

Pt. II, Segment 1: Another Planet

FADE IN:

Int. Copenhagen Taxi — Afternoon

Straw-like white hair remains sparse on the crown of a taxi driver’s head, reflecting towards Rivers as he speaks words of ambitious inspiration, comforting Rivers in the roller coaster ride to her new home.

Photo by Daniele Colucci on Unsplash

Taxi Driver: You can’t buy a good car for a price like that anymore, but she held up nicely for me and my buddy driving across Europe that summer.

Rivers: For sightseeing?

Taxi Driver: Yea, partly, but mainly following rock bands — Led Zeppelin live was indescribably unreal.

Rivers scoffs, peering out the window. The fast-paced highway fades into intense bike riders filling the streets of vintage vibrance. The taxi driver subtly steers into the next lane over as a car races towards, the taxi driver jolts back into the correct lane.

Taxi Driver: (nonchalantly) Whoops.

Rivers inhales as her eyes fall heavily, narrowing her focus on the thought of stable ground.

CUT TO:

Ext. River’s Apartment Complex — Afternoon

The taxi driver races off as he leaves Rivers to her baggage and new home; a bike rider passes by as she eats grapes from her bike basket, Rivers smiles, filling of tranquility.

CUT TO:

Ext. Nyhavn Canal — Evening

Deliberate steps along the canal resembling the golden, misty sky above transforms Rivers to a reality resembling a dream. Countless people scatter with their feet dangling to the canal below, and even more scatter throughout the lively tangerine, sapphire, lime, and scarlet vintage buildings. The streets cover of eager bike riders as the scent of prominent cigarette smoke weaves through the clouded air.

FADE TO:

Int. Rivers’ Apartment — Morning

Rivers stretches along her bottom bunk with a well-rested mind showing prominent along her face.

CUT TO:

Rivers lightly lifts her blinds with the tips of her fingers, bewildering her to a morning akin to a dark night as the rain lightly taps her window.

CUT TO:

Rivers taps her phone screen as it shows an unanticipated time of 3:48 a.m. A lonely laptop calls to Rivers upon her desk of longing.

FADE TO:

MONTAGE

Rivers prepares herself a perplexed cup of coffee:

— Rivers places an electric kettle on the stovetop, eagerly turning the stove to high

— Rivers holds her legs close upon her bed as she watches the rainfall embodying vigor to her window; silence fills her apartment without a signal of boiling water nearing to be found

— A light touch of the fingertips to the kettle grows Rivers bewildered once more, prompting her to examine the kettle. A small, metal base mimicking a matching piece across the countertop fills Rivers’ mind with enlightened understanding of electric kettles

— The kettle whistles, filling the kitchen with demanding steam

— Rivers pours boiling water over a plastic filter filled of bold coffee grounds, leading to a sapphire mug

— Steam caresses Rivers’ glowing, morning skin as the mug sits along her bottom lip filling her of a lively, ambitious coffee

— Rivers types in symphony alongside the taps of rain to her window

END MONTAGE

Rivers (voiceover): Early mornings complementing —

Rivers eyeballs the time at the bottom of her computer screen, deletes text.

Rivers (voiceover): Excessively early mornings, complementing solitude.

Excessive rainfall is thrown to the window.

Rivers (voiceover): Vigorous Danish rainfall.

Rivers takes a drink of coffee, pauses with her fingertips lightly above the keyboard.

Rivers (voiceover): Taxi rides akin to teacup rides, cigarette smoke…lots and lots of cigarette smoke, reflections of vintage buildings within serene waters…

FADE TO:

Ext. Rivers’ Apartment — Noon

Raindrops lightly tap the windowsill from the distressed rooftop above, energetic birds sing in the distance.

CUT TO:

Int. Rivers’ Apartment — Noon

Zestful sun rays gleam through Rivers’ window, awaking her with a subtle kiss of warmth along her skin.

CUT TO:

MONTAGE

Int. Torvehallerne Food Market — Afternoon

A dark-haired chef prepares a fresh lunch anticipating Rivers as she watches from the bar top surrounding the kitchen:

— A masculine hand sprinkled in bleached flour and dark hair cranks a metal handle, as freshly made bucatini noodles are gently grasped from the opposing side

— A longing pot of water boils, cleaned masculine hands gently place the freshly made noodles within

— A handful of yearning cheese plummets to a dark brown bowl filled of steaming noodles

— Deep scarlet wine is poured into a glass demanding color

END MONTAGE

Chef: Enjoy! *kisses fingertips*

Rivers: Thank you so much!

Rivers twirls her fork within the creamy pasta, eyeing its long remnants as she lifts the fork to the heavens. A bite of savory pasta, followed by a sip of harmoniously velvety wine alights Rivers eyes with love and enlightenment, never knowing pasta could dance so energetically along her tongue.

FADE TO:

Rivers strolls through the lively market savoring every spoonful of bubblegum-pink ice cream, admiring the countless aisles filled of fresh fish, meats, fruits, cut flowers, perfectly aged cheeses, and tender, golden breads.

CUT TO:

Ext. Baisikeli — Evening

Rivers deliberately walks down a winding ramp, groceries in hand, leading to a pit filled of countless bicycles against a rainbow-painted wall.

CUT TO:

A head of short curly, blonde hair complementing a vintage yellow and sapphire-stripped sweater awaits Rivers at the front counter.

The bike shop worker turns, seeing Rivers with his piercing-blue eyes.

Bike Shop Worker #1: Hej, hvordan kan jeg hjælpe dig?

Rivers: Uh, I’m sorry? I don’t know, uh —

Bike Shop Worker #1: Sorry, *scoffs* American?

Rivers: *smiles in relief* Yes.

Bike Shop Worker #1: Nice! How can I help you today?

Rivers: I’m looking to rent a bike from you for about a month.

Bike Shop Worker #1: Sweet, yea, we can do that, just fill out this form here, and I’ll get you set up with something reliable. Are you looking for sporty or a comfortable-every day kind of bike?

Rivers: The comfortable-every day one sounds perfect! *slides back form*

Bike Shop Worker #1: Alright, thank you, everything looks good; I’m gonna set you up with bike number 27 — the emerald one over here to your left —

An eager crowd makes their way down the ramp in unison.

Bike Shop Worker #1: The seat’s adjustable and has seven gears for different levels of comfort. Here are the keys, and you’re due back any time before we close on June 4th.

Rivers: Thank you!

Bike Shop Worker #1: *begins making way out from behind counter* Of course, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Bike Shop Worker #1 makes his way to the crowd awaiting transportation assignment.

CUT TO:

Rivers scurries to the emerald bike calling to her, struggles to wheel it backwards from the sea of rainbow bikes surrounding; the bike keys fall from her jacket pocket.

A lock found below the middle bar sparks enlightenment as Rivers picks up her keys.

Bike Shop Worker #1 showcases a few bikes to a handful of members from the crowd in the distance. Others watch as Rivers struggles to understand the lock on her bike.

Another worker (Bike Shop Worker #2) with brown curls walks by.

Bike Shop Worker #2: Har du brug for hjælp?

Rivers: *turns, presses lips together* Hi…can you help me, please?

Bike Shop Worker #2: *smiles* Yes — so, what you’re going to do is put the key in, turn it, and this should pop right up, unlocking the bike; sometimes it gets stuck, so you’ll have to wiggles it a little bit.

Members of the crowd gather to watch the demonstration, filling Rivers with utter embarrassment.

Bike Shop Worker #2: To lock it, turn the key, and pull this lever back down.

Rivers: Okay, thank you so much!

Bike Shop Worker #2: Of course, take care!

Bike Shop Worker #2 walks off as Rivers wheels her bike to the ramp, passing the demonstration-gawkers continuing to do what they do best.

CUT TO:

Ext. The Buzzing Streets of Copenhagen — Evening

Rivers’ grocery bag handle waves in the wind from the basket, akin to a white flag signaling her final ounce of hope found between foot and gravel. Faced with the countless bike rider and pedestrian-filled bridge ahead, Rivers abandons all hope to the pedal illuminating the unknown.

CUT TO:

Rivers glides alongside lively waters as wind cools her skin and fiddles her golden-blonde hair gleaming in the sunlight. Birds fly overhead as a countless bike riders pass Rivers, filling herself with a deep breath of pure tranquility.

CUT TO:

Rivers loses herself in a lovesick trance facing the endless row of lively, vintage buildings awaiting ahead.

The bike path slowly fades to a closed-off sight for construction. Rivers watches as other bike riders confidently jump the curb, filling her with overflowing angst.

Time decelerates as she becomes closer to the daunting curb mocking her sudden lack of ambition. Rivers’ heart races, turning her bike handles in absolute contemplation, grazing the sidewalk with the edge of her bike wheel, followed by a sudden plummet to the awaiting sidewalk below; fruits, vegetables, cheese, and a baguette spill from the metal basket.

Male Voice (in the distance): Whoa, whoa whoa!

CUT TO:

Bike riders continue to pass by as a man rushes to Rivers’ aid, helping her to her feet.

Man: Are you alright?

Rivers’ mind grows blank as she looks up to ocean-blue eyes complimenting sand-blonde hair and a perfectly chiseled jawline.

Rivers: Uh…yea, thank you — just, ya know, bloody knees, but I’ll live.

Man: *scoffs* That’s good, then — bleeding, scientifically, produces happy chemicals in your brain, so by the looks of it, you should be overjoyed.

Rivers smiles, losing her train of thought at sea, reflecting a similarly lost smile.

Rivers breaks from her trance.

Rivers: Well, *begins to pick up her bike*

The Man rushes to help with the scattered groceries.

Rivers: Thanks again for your help…

Man: *places grocery bag in the bike basket* Anders.

Anders smiles at Rivers as she lifts herself back atop her bike.

Rivers: Rivers. *smiles with lips pressed together*

Anders remains lost in Rivers’ chocolate eyes.

Rivers: Well…have a good day. *scoffs*

Rivers begins to set off.

Anders: Stay safe, watch out for curbs, there’s plenty out here!

FADE OUT.

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Vanessa Leanne

Vanessa Leanne

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Vanessa (n.): Writer, reader, & coffee enthusiast. A lover of 20th century poetry, abstract/contemporary art, & almond croissants at any given moment.