Alex Bashner Project #1 Treatment It’s a cold winter morning in 1862. Thirty-two year old Francis Wesleyan stands upon Lavender Bridge in South Carolina. He stares down at the shallow water thirty feet below his feet. Francis trembles in fear because today is his execution day. He is an innocent man, but the Confederate army believes that he is a rat that has been working for the Union. Three Confederate soldiers stare at Francis in disgust, rifles in hand, they then begin to talk about him like he’s trash. These three men perform the execution as men from the area gather around to watch. Francis begins to fantasize about an escape from the execution. His final thoughts are of his son, daughter, and wife. He begins to have flashbacks of the first time he held is daughter Sarah, the first time he took his son Bobby hunting, and the first time he laid eyes on his beautiful wife Emma. When preparations are complete Soldier #1 turns to the captain and salutes him. The three soldiers tie the same rope that is connected to Francis’s neck to the base of the bridge. Francis is released from the bridge, and he hits the water down below. Francis hits the water feet first. He slides his wrists out of the ropes frantically. As he swallows water, he begins to remove the rope wrapped around his neck. Continuing to fight back as the water pours into his lungs, he holds his breath and swims to shore. When Francis gets out of the water he cries tears of joys, and kneels down to god in a prayer stance. It is noon now. After walking many miles Francis discovers a town called Calhoun Falls. He then walks into a dusty run down bar to find out where he is, and how he can get home. He speaks to the bar tender, Sherlock, who is an illiterate slob. The man hasn’t taken a shower in over a week, and his beard hasn’t been trimmed in months. Sherlock has a dry scratchy voice, like nails on a chalkboard. However, Sherlock is like a sweet greasy teddy bear that you can’t help but love. Francis lies to Sherlock telling him that his name is Frank, and that he’s a sailor. Francis asks him for directions so Burnette Town, his hometown, but Sherlock doesn’t know how to get there. Sherlock sends Francis to his friend Loula-May’s “market-shop” for directions. The day is becoming sunny and warm. As Francis walks to Loula-May’s he takes in the details of the day, he is so thankful to be alive. He has a new appreciation for pedestrians, dirt paths, and the elite townspeople riding in carriages. Suddenly, Francis encounters two Confederate soldiers, it’s as if time freezes. Francis hides in the alley and listens to their conversation. To his astonishment, the two soldiers are talking about him! One of them even suggests that Francis could have escaped. The soldiers’ leave, and Francis makes a quick get away to Loula-May’s shop. Fearful of being captured, Francis doesn’t make eye contact with anyone on his way to the shop. Francis enters Loula-May’s shop. The shop has no common theme; there is everything from whisky to playing cards to a bag of sugar, and the shop is perfectly organized. Loula-May is working at the cash register, and Francis thinks she is a flawless sight. She has beautiful brown flowing locks, and bright green eyes. Francis shortly
discovers after meeting her that she’s witty and doesn’t talk much. Loula-May gives Francis directions to Burnette Town, and then sends him on his way. It’s a dark and chilly evening. Francis is walking alone in the dark woods at night, and his clothing is finally dry. He trips on what he believes is a tree stump. After taking a closer look he realizes that the object is a rifle. He notices that the rifle is the same model that all three Confederate soldiers were carrying that morning. He hears voices, and sees a fire nearby. After further investigation he realizes that he is on the Confederate campgrounds, so he panics. One of the Soldiers hears and sees Francis move in the distance. The other Soldier refuses to believe that anyone is that deep in the woods. A third Soldier walks out of his tent in frustration, because he is being kept up by their bickering.