WEATHER TWINS By Susan Lee Hahn
781 Green Bay Road Highland Park, IL 60035 Susanleehahn@mac.com 847-224-5356
WEATHER TWINS By Susan Lee Hahn FADE IN: EXT. CHICAGO SKY AND SKYLINE- NIGHT The SKY unleashes an unusual winter storm as she hurls snow and ice at the city and stretches long fingers of lightning bolts into the darkness. The SOUND of two distinct heartbeats overlap the SOUND of the whistling wind. POV FELIX as he travels on a gust of wind and descends from the sky to an earthly destination- Chicago’s Greek Town. FELIX (V.O.) The sky is a stage, a backdrop for the energy of the world where emotions and experiences play out in the most unexpected ways. INT. SPIROS’S GREEK RESTAURANT - NIGHT Felix’s spirit gusts into Spiros’s restaurant during a festive New Year’s eve. The icy night becomes instantly fiery inside as flames shoot up from Saganaki dishes with a festive war cry of “OOOPA” from the crowd. SPIROS gets their attention. At sixty, he’s dark and dyed with the air of someone who knows he’s feared, but not loved. SPIROS For the rest of the year- which is only about half an hour- drinks are on the house! The crowd cheers. The kitchen staff hangs around the bar. SPIROS (CONT’D) However, there won’t be any food coming out of the kitchen... CUT TO: INT. KITCHEN - RESTAURANT - NIGHT SOFIA lays across the shiny prep table. She’s enormously pregnant and in full blown labor with twins. Drenched in sweat, she exudes relentless determination and stunning courage.
2. Flanked by her husband, DIMITRI and her best friend, KIKI, Sofia looks down the mountain of her midsection at COSTAS in his chef’s apron, poised and ready to catch the babies. Sofia catapults into another contraction. The three of them exchange a worried look. The faint, shimmery silhouette of the ghost of Felix joins them and walks around the prep table with a palpable longing to be alive. DIMITRI (to Sofia) You’re doing great. The paramedics should be here any minute now. KIKI They’re probably stuck on the road and she shouldn’t be on out in her condition. SOFIA (groaning) What condition? DIMITRI She needs something for the pain. Dimitri has a timeless, classic look and a deep love for Sofia. Kiki is voluptuous and earthy and loyal. Neither of them can stand to see her in this much pain. Costas pours three shots of ouzo and hands them out. SOFIA I can’t. The babies. KIKI What? Those are all for me. COSTAS (to Sofia) Drink it. It’ll help. Kiki guns hers back. Then Dimitri. Sofia hesitates, until another contraction sneaks up on her. She downs it. CUT TO: EXT. CHICAGO SKY AND SKYLINE - NIGHT Claustrophobic clouds hang over the city, thick and oppressive, as if they’re closing in. The storm rages on.
3. COSTAS (V.O.) I can see a head starting to crown. CUT TO: INT. GREEK RESTAURANT - KITCHEN- NIGHT Sofia musters up the strength for one more valiant push. Kiki sneaks a peek. Sofia gives her the I-told-you-so look. KIKI How am I going to do this in six months? SOFIA How am I going to do this now!? Costas motions for Dimitri and hands him some olive oil. COSTAS (quietly to Dimitri) Massage this around the opening so she doesn’t tear. KIKI How can she not tear? SOFIA (to Kiki) Not helping. Sorry.
Kiki holds her up from behind. Dimitri spills the olive oil on the stainless steel prep table. It forms a puddle that seems to sizzles from the heat of her body. P.O.V. Dimitri and Costas as sparks fly from Sofia’s body, like little lightning bolts of cosmic energy. This is no ordinary birth. These are not ordinary twins. DIMITRI (quietly to Costas) It that normal? COSTAS (quietly to Dimitri) Must be from the electrical storm. Dimitri nods, but doesn’t look like he believes him.
4. Sofia pants and groans, drowning out the SOUNDS of the her electrifying labor and the freaky thunder/snow storm outside. KIKI I wish Felix were here. Felix’s faint shadow stands close to Kiki with a hint of his glimmering gold tooth and the sadness that envelopes him. FELIX (softly) So do I, my love. So do I. POV Dimitri- an electrical current ripples across Sophia’s stomach as the babies maneuver toward the birth canal. He grabs Costa’s hand. It’s spooky. DIMITRI (Trying to be calm) So when’s Felix coming back? KIKI I don’t know. Spiros said he had some family business. I thought we were his family! You are!
COSTAS (to Sofia) Almost there, Sofia. Breathe out with the next push... Another contraction, Sofia pushes. Sparks fly. Costas looks excited and nervous. Dimitri looks like he’s going to faint. Kiki breathes out in an exaggerated way, encouraging Sofia. Kiki does it again in a hilarious way and gets Sofia to laugh. Costas motions to Dimitri as the olive oil sizzles. The COUNTDOWN to the new year wafts from the dining room. CROWD (O.S.) Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, Sofia gives one more valiant push and Artemis is born. A girl!
Artemis clenches her fists and cries out fiercely.
5. CROWD (O.S.) Five, four, three, two, one, Happy New Year! Costas wraps Artemis up in an oversized dish towel and hands her to Dimitri, umbilical cord still attached. Sofia collapses into Kiki’s arms and closes her eyes. KIKI Come on, Sofia. The fun has just begun! SOFIA (struggles to breathe) I can’t... DIMITRI Sweetheart, I know you’re exhausted, but you have to. Sofia gasps for air and starts to faint. SOFIA I can’t breathe. Costas takes action while Dimitri holds the screaming Artemis. Costas hoists Sofia up and tries to turn the inutero baby externally by manipulating her abdomen. COSTAS Hang in there, Sofia. We’re going to have to move the other baby down. It’s blocking your diaphragm. Sofia’s eyes start to roll back in her head. KIKI (to Costas) How do you know this? COSTAS I’ve seen it in the pasture. DIMITRI (terrified) What’s happening? KIKI The other baby is trying to go out the other way. Sofia’s body starts to go limp. Kiki musters her strength.
6. KIKI (CONT’D) She’s heavy. SOFIA! COSTAS Hold her up! We’ve got to get the pressure off her diaphragm. Costas holds Sofia and tries to manipulate the baby in-utero. Spiros dashes in, delighted at the sound of Artemis wailing. SPIROS God or Goddess? CUT TO: EXT. CHICAGO SKY AND SKYLINE- NIGHT The sky fills with lightning. Sounds of thunder explode in the distance. Clouds roll by with freakish speed. CUT TO: INT. GREEK RESTAURANT - KITCHEN- NIGHT Spiros takes one look at Sofia, who’s nearly unconscious. Costas holds her up and manipulates the in-utero baby. SPIROS The baby could be on major artery. I may have to give her a Cesarean to save their lives. COSTAS Not yet. It’s too risky. SPIROS We don’t have time. DIMITRI Get away from her with that knife. SPIROS The baby can’t be deprived of oxygen. COSTAS Give me another minute. And Help! Spiros puts down the knife and helps Costas.
7. SPIROS Deprived of oxygen, the baby could have brain damage- so could Sofia. DIMITRI Slice her open and Sofia could die! INTERCUT THE SKY with her terrified lightning and thunder, punctuated by Artemis’s incessant crying. Costas works furiously to reposition the baby. Kiki whispers frantically in her ear. Dimitri clutches Artemis, he’s too frightened to speak. The back door suddenly blows open and a gust of fierce winter air accosts them, rousing Sofia. Thanks Felix! POV SOFIA- through her haze, she sees them come in and out of focus. The “ghost” of Felix is right in front of her face. FELIX (shouts) BREATHE! SOFIA, BREATHE! Sofia gulps in some air. Felix turns to Kiki. FELIX (CONT’D) Lift her higher and bring her arms over her head to open her rib cage. Kiki does exactly what he says, somehow hearing him. The baby becomes unstuck as Costas moves it from her diaphragm. Sofia breathes in. Artemis wails as if calling to her unborn twin. FELIX (CONT’D) (to the unborn baby) Take your right foot and push off. That’s it. Do it again. Once more. The baby turns. Sofia sees Spiros’s knife. She screams. SOFIA (to Spiros) Get away from me! SPIROS Sofia darling, I’m just going to cut the umbilical cord with this. DIMITRI You’re not cutting the cords.
8. SPIROS Costas is delivering the baby, you’re holding our new little Goddess, Kiki’s holding Sofia. You need me- and I’m a trained doctor! Costas moves back into his spot to catch the next baby. COSTAS Sofia, you’re doing great. The head is down now. Just take it easy. SOFIA (nearly hysterical) He was going to cut me open! COSTAS I never would have allowed that. Costas and Spiros exchange a combative look. Felix cheers on Costas and screams hatred at Spiros, but no one can hear him. Sofia starts to push, still freaked out at Spiros. Dimitri quickly wipes away the warm olive oil. Sofia pushes a couple more times and gives birth to her son, APOLLO who comes out a little bit blue and eerily quiet. DIMITRI It’s a boy! SOFIA Is he okay? Why’s he so quiet? FELIX (to the baby) BREATHE! Come on. Breathe. Costas massages him and keeps them both attached to the umbilical cord. Spiros comes toward him with the knife. COSTAS (to Spiros) Not yet. Sofia, breathe deeply! Sofia breathes in and then Apollo breathes in, (still being coached by Felix). He turns red and start to cry. Costas holds Apollo. Dimitri holds Artemis. Kiki holds Sofia. Spiros cuts the umbilical cords separating Artemis and Apollo from her and from one another for the first time.
9. Dimitri and Costas bring the two bundled babies to Sofia. She holds one in each arm. They’re all crying. It’s a joyful, intimate moment. Spiros isn’t part of it. Spiros has the bloody remains of the umbilical cords and placenta in his hands. He wraps them up in butcher paper and puts them in the freezer. He rinses off the bloody knife. Apollo burrows his nose toward Sofia. Artemis does the same. SOFIA What do they want? They position the babies so that they’re side by side. Apollo “noseys” Artemis and she “noseys” him back. Like magic, they settle down, connected physically and in so many other ways. CUT TO: EXT. CHICAGO SKY AND SKYLINE- NIGHT The storm has settled into a quiet snowfall, gently covering the city like a soft white blanket. The SOUNDS of the new family giggling and celebrating mingle with the gentle wind. INT. GREEK RESTAURANT - KITCHEN- NIGHT Spiros watches them. He’s not part of their inner circle. SPIROS One God and one Goddess. I’m going to tell the others. Time to celebrate! Great work Sofia! He leaves the room. They hardly notice since they’re all so enthralled with the new babies. Felix lingers near Kiki. She looks up for a moment, as if sensing him. He leans as close as he can to her in his ghostly forms and kisses her goodbye. CUT TO: EXT. THREE-FLAT IN THE CITY- DAY It’s six months and Kiki is the one with the burgeoning, pregnant belly, not nearly as big as Sofia’s was. SOUNDS of the twins crying from their cribs filter down from the second story window as Sofia plants bright flowers on the front porch of their three-flat.
10. KIKI Why are we letting them cry? SOFIA The doctor told me they need to develop independently. They’re too big to be in the same crib. One of them could fall asleep on top of the other and suffocate... CUT TO: INT. TWINS’ BEDROOM - DAY Newly-jailed in their separate cribs, Artemis and Apollo cry and reach for one another. Apollo tries to climb on a mound of stuffed animals in his crib to catapult himself over. Apollo throws a stuffed animal toward Artemis to entertain her. A gust of air swooshes in from outside and twirls the stuffed bunny around until it lands in her crib. She giggles. Artemis takes one of her animals and spins it around with the wind for Apollo. They talk in their own language. Chattering with delight as they each “send up” another toy. The curtains are nearly perpendicular to the floor, the wind power in their room is so intense that Apollo can literally catapult himself over the bars and into her crib. They settled down and “nosey” up to one another and fall asleep. CUT TO: EXT. THREE-FLAT IN THE CITY- DAY The rich, newly dug earth carries overtones of a fresh grave. KIKI He wouldn’t leave me, not now. Not ever. Something happened to him. SOFIA You think he died? I do.
SOFIA Oh God! I hope not. Spiros said-