UP IN THE SKY
Written by Brandon Zachary
INT. PI OFFICE - NIGHT - BLACK AND WHITE Smoke fills the room. A pair of feet rest on a desk, next to a half drunken bottle of whiskey. The smoke is pouring out of from MATTHEW ROSS (38), a burly man in suspenders. He drinks from a glass. MATTHEW (V.O.) Every detective flick you ever seen, they always say “I shouldn’t never have taken this case.” They’re lying. Matthew refills his glass. MATTHEW (V.O.) You gotta take every case. Being a private eye means you gotta take whatever you can get, or learn to eat newspaper. I still would’ve taken the damn case. Matthew drinks. MATTHEW (V.O.) At least the movies got one part right. It started with a dame. INT. PI OFFICE - EARLIER - DAY The beautiful ELLEN PINE (26) speaks on length to Matthew. She’s worried, and desperate. Matthew listens, practically asleep. MATTHEW (V.O.) It always starts with a dame. She came in, all tears and shakes, talking about her husband. See, he’s this stand up guy all their lives, but lately he’s been running off into the night. Mal tears up, and dabs at her eyes with a hankerchief. MATTHEW (V.O.) She doesn’t know what to do. She don’t want to spy on him, but those mean little thoughts are banging around her head, and she can’t make ‘em shut up. (MORE)
2. MATTHEW (V.O.) (CONT'D) So, she hires me to take some pictures of him on one of his little ventures, see if he’s actually working or just working some other girl. EXT. BUILDING TOP - NIGHT From across the street, the tall and handsome CLARK PINE (27) passes the open window. He leans down, and kisses Ellen on the top of her head. She grins, and turns to look back at him as he leaves the apartment. On top of the building, Matthew watches through a long camera. He lowers it for a moment. MATTHEW (V.O.) Sure, it’s a scumbag thought to have,but I hope he’s doing it. Bad for the girl, good for buisness. I hate it, but I gotta do it. It’s all I got. I used to be respectable, used to wear a badge and I was proud of the gun in my holster. But they don’t need many cops anymore. Times change. A shadow passes over Matthew. He looks up, just in time to see a figure in a cape fly overhead. MATTHEW (V.O.) Birth of the super freak, death of the working joe. Matthew spits on the ground. He looks back down into his camera. At street level, Clark leaves the building. Matthew takes another picture. EXT. PARKING GARAGE - NIGHT - LATER Matthew watches from on top of the structure through his camera. Clark buys a hot dog. He devours it. MATTHEW (V.O.) No one is gonna complain about the kids they pull outta fires, or when they stop the freaks with super lasers. But no one ever talks about all the honest men and women who the city can’t pay for anymore.
3. Matthew, bored out of his goddamn mind, draws a cigerette out of his pack. MATTHEW (V.O.) So here I am, following some pencil pusher get his jollies. Clark finishes his hot dog, gives the vendor a tip, and rushes away with a wave. EXT. ROOFTOP Matthew lies on his stomach, staring down his camera lens. He tries to keep himself awake, stiffling a yawn. MATTHEW (V.O.) I always hated stake outs. He sniffles, and absentmindly scratches at his ear. Across the street, Clark cracks his neck at the edge of the building, and looks around the city. MATTHEW (V.O.) I’ll give him this, he’s careful. He knows the city, and he knows how to drop a tail. He almost lost me. That’s a hell of a compliment. Clark stretches. He lifts his hands to his chest. MATTHEW (V.O.) He starts making the motions, but there’s no one else here. Maybe he’s getting worked up, getting ready... Clark opens his shirt, to reveal bright red, white, and blue spandex. He drops his pants, revealing more spandex. As he pulls his shirt off, a cape unfurls behind him. He takes off his glasses, tucks his belongings away, raises a fist to the sky... and takes flight. Matthew watches him go, the camera lowering in shock. MATTHEW (V.O.) To soar like a god. Matthew slowly rises to his feet. Clark’s already made a good distance, before descending into the city.
4. MATTHEW (V.O.) I’ve seen him before, in the newsreels. Name’s Dynamo. The stories say he’s a man of the future, returned with amazing abilities to save the past. I don’t believe in much, and definitely not that. EXT. STREET - NIGHT - LATER Matthew walks down the busy street, still in shock. MATTHEW (V.O.) I believe in what I see. And I just saw a man look up, and decide to fly. I saw the news, I saw the pictures... but seeing it? Right there, like that? I’m awed. And terrified. Matthew walks into a liquor store. MATTHEW (V.O.) In the pictures, there he is, lifting cars and crushing walls with his bare hands. He flies taller than the skyscrappers. They got movies of people trying to shoot some schmuck, and he’ll be there, holding the bullet. Matthew walks out of the liquor store, already chugging from a bottle of whiskey. MATTHEW (V.O.) Might not be all he can do. Couple guys at the precient said he could see through walls. Jenkins at the bar said he can hear a butterfly ten miles away. Half the guys I know say one thing, the other half say something else, and they’re all drunk idiots. Matthew lowers the bottle. He looks up in the sky. A figure with a cape flowing behind him soars overhead. The people around Matthew cheer. Matthew chugs more whiskey. MATTHEW (V.O.) They couldn’t tell a dog from a cat. Maybe he can’t do any that. Maybe he can do all of it. (MORE)
5. MATTHEW (V.O.) (CONT'D) I don’t know. What does he do with people who find out about him? I should burn the roll and be done with it. But I can’t just sit on this. Matthew looks down at his camera. He shakily pulls a cigerette out of his jacket. MATTHEW (V.O.) Here I am with the ruby slippers, and I don’t get no intention of going back to Kansas. I could show these to anyone on the planet, and I’d be richer than the entire damn city. No more back alley chases, no more knife fights, no more punks trying to shoot me in the back. No more worries. No more problems. From afar, a building EXPLODES. The people around Matthew scatter. Matthew takes a step forward. The bottle slips out of his hand. Matthew sprints forward. MATTHEW (V.O.) Stupid cop, stupid old cop. You never forget. It’s not like riding a bike. It’s not a skill. It changes you. EXT. BURNING BUILDING - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS Matthew rushes through a massing crowd to reach a building engulfed in flames. MATTHEW You’re not human anymore, you’re different. You’re... Fire fighters try to stop him from rushing into the building. It’s like trying to stop a freight train. He rushes inside. INT. BURNING BUILDING - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS Matthew coughs loudly, and raises his coat to protect his face from the flames. MATTHEW (V.O.) ...Super human.
6. Matthew looks around, and rushes through the building. He follows the screams. He slams through a collapsing door, to find ANNIE DAY (4), screaming. ANNIE Mommy! I want my Mommy! Matthew rushes forward, and takes Annie in his arms. MATTHEW (V.O.) I don’t get a choice in the matter. It’s what I am. No money, no drink, no woman on Earth could ever change it. Cops? Good cops? Matthew rushes forward. He dodges everything he can. Above him, wood crackles to pieces. Matthew looks up just in time to see the beam above him collapse. He shields Annie. The beam stops just inches over him. Matthew looks around. “DYNAMO!” Aka Clark Pine stands before Matthew, lifting the beam. Their eyes are locked together - the black and white meeting bright blue. MATTHEW (V.O.) It’s what we do. After a moment, Matthew sprints away. EXT. BURNING BUILDING - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS Matthew rushes out of the building, handing Annie to a fire fighter. He turns around, and gazes up. Dynamo flies away. Matthew watches him go. He looks down, and realizes his camera has been cracked and broken in the chaos. MATTHEW (V.O.) Easy come, easy go. Matthew looks back up. MATTHEW (V.O.) So I do what I gotta do. INT. PI OFFICE - NIGHT Matthew talks over the telephone. A new bottle of whiskey sits on his desk.
7. MATTHEW Nah, Ms. Pine, it’s nothing like that. He does charity stuff. He didn’t want to make a thing about it. Some men ain’t into that. Just send the cash to my office. Nice doing business with you. Matthew hangs up the phone. He draws a cigarette out of his pocket, and lights it. MATTHEW (V.O.) What? A man’s gotta help his brothers in blue. Smoke fills the room. A pair of feet rest on a desk, next to a half drunken bottle of whiskey. He drinks from a glass. MATTHEW (V.O.) Maybe he knows. Maybe he don’t. A shadow passes over the window. Matthew turns. A caped figure soars past. Matthew smiles, and raises his glass in a salute. MATTHEW (V.O.) I got the keys to Oz... but Kansas ain’t so bad.