Scratchers By Maria Mealla
Copyright (C) Maria Mealla 2014
INT. BEDROOM- NIGHT Two woman in their mid-twenties, Charlie and Alex, sit on a mattress in the corner of a room. They pass a bottle of wine back and forth, swigging from it. ALEX You can always stay here. CHARLIE You know, I love you for the offer, but I would die if I lost my place. If I had to pack all of my stuff, get rid of half my shit...Fuck, can you imagine? Alex slides the window open and lights a cigarette. She takes a heavy drag. ALEX One of these days we’re going to win the lottery, Charlie. We’ll win a million dollars and split it. You’ll pay your student loans and I’ll be able to take care of my ma like the queen that she is. Charlie laughs half-heartedly and swigs from the bottle. CHARLIE You can’t win the lottery if you don’t play the lottery. ALEX Do you believe it though? CHARLIE What? ALEX That we could win. You don’t play unless you’re sure you’ll win. So. Tell me you think we’ll win. Charlie smiles at her and swigs again. CHARLIE I could believe it. Alex flicks her cigarette out the window and pounces Charlie. A splatter of wine swipes across the wall as they topple over.
Charlie yelps. Alex takes the bottle from her. CHARLIE Jesus, Alex! ALEX Say it. CHARLIE Alright, I believe it. Alex stands and raises the wine bottle into the air, triumphantly. ALEX Then let’s fucking do this! Charlie rubs her face with her hands. Alex, me is world three
CHARLIE the two fifty you just lent all the money I have in the right now, and I’m still hundred short of rent.
Alex walks up to a shelf and wipes the change off of it with her hand. She quickly counts it. ALEX Enough for two 2 buck tickets. Come on, dude! CHARLIE Ugh. It’s cold outside. Alex throws the change at her. ALEX Fuck you man! You don’t believe! She runs back at Charlie and tackles her down again. She sits on her chest and pins her arms down. CHARLIE Bitch! I can’t breathe! ALEX Say it and mean it! CHARLIE Alright I believe! I believe! Alex stands up and Charlie lays breathing heavily.
3. Alex offers her hand out to Charlie to help her up. ALEX Then let’s go. Charlie rolls her eyes and takes her hand. INT. CORNER STORE-NIGHT The cashier hands them their tickets. He points at a little lottery stand in the corner of the store. Alex struts over there. Charlie follows. ALEX Alright this is it! Five hundred thousand dollars each! Charlie rolls her eyes. The cashier smirks. Alex holds a quarter in front of Charlie’s face. ALEX Now, before we start scratching, we have to promise each other it’s an even split. CHARLIE Cross my heart. The girls scratch at their tickets with urgency. CHARLIE Fuck yeah! Free ticket! ALEX Holy shit! Five hundred! CHARLIE Are you serious!? Charlie snatches the ticket from her. CHARLIE You fucking genius! She jumps up and down with excitement. ALEX I know dude! And it’s exactly the 50 again! There! You didn’t even have to worry about paying me back. Life paid for you.
Charlie’s smile quickly fades. CHARLIE Wait, wait, I’m still three hundred away from rent. Can’t I take that and still owe you two fifty? ALEX Are you serious? No way man. Then I go home empty handed. Give you two fifty, win two fifty. Nothing changes. Where the fuck is the fun in that for me?! This way we both leave with a free two fifty! Charlie smiles, anxiously. Her face twitches as she tries to hide her anger. CHARLIE Yeah, but you don’t need the money. ALEX Why don’t you play your extra ticket? Maybe that’s the rest of our money. Alex snatches her ticket from her and walks back to the cashier to switch it out for a new one. She walks the new ticket back to Charie and slaps it in front of her. Charlie stares at her, hesitates, and then finally starts scratching. The card is a loser. ALEX Boom! Two shots, no prize, and she still leaves with two fifty! Charlie explodes in anger. CHARLIE Alex! I need that money! I thought you were doing this for me. ALEX Fuck you man! All of this (she circles her hands around the scratchers and coins) is my money. And I’m giving you two hundred and fifty for free.
5. Charlie scoffs at Alex, angrily grabs her purse and walks to the door. ALEX Alright wait, wait, wait! She walks up to Charlie and leans into her face, as if to tell her a secret. ALEX I can’t believe we are fighting over five hundred. We came in here for a million, we are not fucking fighting over five hundred. Alex grabs Charlie’s face between her hands and looks into her eyes. ALEX I love you. We’re leaving this place with a million. She marches her ticket to the cashier and slides it to him across the counter. ALEX I would like that in two hundred and fifty 2 buck tickets, please. Charlie throws her hands up in the air in exasperation. CHARLIE Are you out of your fucking mind! Alex holds a finger up to gesture for Charlie to shut up. INT. CORNER STORE-MOMENTS LATER The girls scratch at their tickets desperately. Every couple of losing tickets, Charlie curses at Alex. CHARLIE Fucking idiot! Fucking conceded fuck! FUCK! Five hundred just like that! You have no concept of money! As the pile of unscratched tickets thins, Charlie starts to cry angrily. Alex scratches quietly. Charlie scratches her last ticket. She slams her fist down on the table.
CHARLIE Fuck! Fuck. Alex holds up the lats ticket. Charlie stares at her impatiently. CHARLIE Fucking scratch it already. Alex scratches the ticket and jumps in excitement. ALEX Ten dollars! Back in the game! Charlie glares at her. Alex hangs her head and shrugs. ALEX Alright. Let’s use it to grab another bottle of wine. Because you know what? I don’t believe anymore either. She turns toward the cashier and hands him the ticket. She points to the bottle of wine that she wants. Charlie quietly walks up to the register. Her face is still flushed with anger. INT. BEDROOM- NIGHT Charlie sits by the window, staring out quietly. Alex sits on the mattress staring at her. She swigs from the wine. ALEX In the end we came home a bottle of wine richer. We didn’t come back in the negative. Charlie continues to stare out the window, ignoring Alex. ALEX We’re going to remember this night as a great nighCHARLIE Shut the fuck up, Alex.
ALEX Alright, alright! alright. Alex swigs from the bottle again. They sit silently. THE END.
Published on Feb 1, 2014
A short film portraying the struggles of young adults in the lower middle class through the story of Alex and Charlie, two friends with a co...