AMERICAN ROULETTE By Susan Lee Hahn
781 Green Bay Road Highland Park, IL 60035 847.224.5356 Susanleehahn@mac.com ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
AMERICAN ROULETTE By Susan Lee Hahn FADE IN: EXT. SUBURBAN LANDSCAPE- EARLY MORNING A SERIES OF SHOTS as deer meander through backyards and across quiet suburban streets in a small Midwestern town. A MALE BUCK emerges from a wooded area behind a sprawling home with reflective, sliding glass doors lining the back. The buck stops, sees his own reflection in the window... JUMP CUT TO: INT. REX’S APARTMENT - LATE AFTERNOON CLOSE UP of an interior door with a small window on the top half. A LOUD POUNDING calls to REX CHAMBERS who hesitates for a moment before opening it. His dusty reflection reveals a handsome eighteen year old, his baby-face worn with worry. He puts on his bravado and opens the door. On the other side, DAISY SINGER, (sweet and upbeat), GRETA GREENE, (African American, athletic and elegant), and HUGO SZABO, (studly and quirky) descend on his small apartment at the back of a gas station. REX Congratulations! HUGO Where were you guys? DAISY What happened to Allie? She missed her own graduation. REX She didn’t feel like going. So how’s it feel? GRETA (dead pan) Great. HUGO Is she okay?
2. DAISY I can’t believe it! She should have been there, Rex. HUGO Where is she? REX She’s in the bathroom. Chill. The room/apartment is just shy of squalor- a bed in the corner, a makeshift kitchen, a door to a small bathroom, and a card table with five chairs in the center. Allie’s purse is on the card table. REX (CONT’D) So what do you guys want to do to celebrate? DAISY (calls into the bathroom) Allie, are you okay? ALLIE (from behind the door) Out in a minute! HUGO Let’s wait for Allie. DAISY Think she has any tampax in here? REX Daisy! Don’t go through there. DAISY She won’t mind. Daisy rummages through Allie’s purse and pulls out a small gun. She looks at it, stunned and curious. DAISY (CONT’D) What the hell!? REX (suddenly defensive) You shouldn’t go through people’s things. Put that away. DAISY It can’t be a real gun. Daisy puts it on the table. Hugo spins it in the center.
3. GRETA This could get a lot messier than your period. HUGO We could play spin the bottle with it. P.O.V. THE SPINNING GUN as it whirls past them, capturing segments of their bodies in a dizzying fashion. HUGO (CONT’D) If it lands on you, Rex, It’s a doover! I’m not kissing you. The gun slows down and stops on Daisy. DAISY Will you stop playing with that thing! It’s freaking me out. GRETA It’s probably not a real gun. It’s too cute. Allie comes out of the bathroom. ALLIE Put it back. DAISY It’s not real. It is.
GRETA Where did you get a real gun? ALLIE Impulse purchase. It was on sale. DAISY You can’t have a real gun. You don’t even know how to use the microwave. ALLIE I can make popcorn. Rex gives her a look. She avoids his gaze and sits on the bed.
4. DAISY Why weren’t you at graduation? ALLIE I didn’t feel like going. DAISY What’s going on you guys? First no graduation, now a stylish gun! Nothing.
HUGO Let’s stop talking and do something already! ALLIE What do you want to do? HUGO We could go to the city. REX You guys go. I can’t leave. Awkward silence. Rex shifts the monitoring device on his ankle under the card table. No where to hide. DAISY (to Rex) Rex, what do you want to do? REX We could go to a park and swing on the swings. Hugo laughs. Rex glares at him. HUGO Like we’re five years old again. REX Shut up Hugo. DAISY I’ll go to the park with you, Rex. GRETA You guys go. I can’t walk that far. Another awkward silence. Greta limps over to a chair and sits down.
5. REX Sorry. Okay, no park. ALLIE Let’s play a game. REX Not strip poker! HUGO (Simultaneously) How about strip poker? ALLIE What’s wrong with strip poker? REX Allie. Seriously. He looks at her. Hugo looks at her. ALLIE Okay. No strip poker. GRETA We could play Russian Roulette like they did in the Deer Hunter. We’ve got a gun. DAISY It’s not a real gun. All eyes on Allie. ALLIE It is. I’m not kidding. REX Allie, where did you get the gun? ALLIE Like it’s hard to get a gun in this town. GRETA Why did you get a gun? ALLIE It’s not important. REX It is important.
6. HUGO Don’t tell us. If we know, we could become the accomplice. GRETA Do you even know what that word means? HUGO Like English isn’t my first language. It’s not!
ALLIE It doesn’t matter where I got the gun or why. Allie comes over to the table and spins it. ALLIE (CONT’D) How about spin-the-bottle? HUGO That’s what I wanted to play. DAISY With a gun! GRETA Russian Roulette is just another version of spin-the-bottle. It’s my last night as a civilian, you guys. What!?
HUGO You joined the Army? REX They don’t really play Russian Roulette in the Army. That was a movie. GRETA Good, because I joined the Marines. HUGO You’ve got bigger balls than I have!
7. REX Which isn’t saying much. GRETA How else am I going to get out of here? DAISY Greta, you can’t be a Marine. You could be throwing your life away? GRETA I already threw my life away. This is just the encore. She tucks her ankle under the chair, which is taped tightly. Greta spins the gun in the middle of the table. HUGO You’d have to have balls of steel to play Russian Roulette. Balls-osteel, Rexie, which you don’t have. REX I have balls. HUGO Yeah, right. A minute ago you wanted to swing on the swings! REX I could play Russian Roulette. HUGO There’s NO WAY you could handle it. REX Oh, and you could handle it? I could.
REX Okay, right now! Let’s go. DAISY Would you guys stop it already! We’re not playing Russian Roulette. GRETA Does it have any bullets? ALLIE I think only one.
GRETA Do you even know how to use it? ALLIE I went to the shooting range and took a lesson. DAISY You went to gun class? REX By yourself? With Hugo.
Rex looks like he’s about to pummel Hugo. HUGO She asked me to take her. You know how hard it is to say no to her when she gives you that look. REX (to Hugo, then Allie) What is wrong with you? And you! Nothing!
Greta picks up the gun and opens the chamber. Daisy peers over her shoulder. There’s only one bullet. Greta spins the chamber and closes it. She puts the gun down in the center of the table. She spins it. GRETA Whoever it lands on... P.O.V. THE GUN as it whirs past them, frenetic and blinding, and stops halfway between Rex and Hugo. REX/HUGO It’s on you. HUGO No way, it’s on you. Fine.
9. Rex picks it up and points the gun at his temple. BANG!
They all jump. He laughs. He moves the barrel to his ear. DAISY What are you doing! Put that down. REX I’m just cleaning the wax out of my ears. This should do it. He then pretends to clean the wax out of Hugo’s ear. HUGO What the fuck! Get away from me. REX (looks in his ear) Looks like you’ve got some potatoes growing in those ears. Probably from that filthy brain of yours. Hugo turns white. He’s terrified. HUGO This isn’t how the game works. REX Since when do you play by the rules Hugo? Rex puts the gun back on the table and spins it again. REX (CONT’D) It’s a do-over. P.O.V. THE GUN as the bodies whirl by. The gun lands in the middle between Rex and Hugo again. They both pick it up and fall to the floor struggling over it. The other three try to break them up. THE GUN GOES OFF.
JUMP CUT TO: EXT. DAISY’S BACKYARD - LATE AFTERNOON- TEN MONTHS EARLIER Back to the Buck and his reflection in the pane glass window. He charges, antlers first and crashes into himself as if he’s his own worst enemy.
10. INT. DAISY’S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS Daisy sits in the kitchen with her headphones on, smoking a joint. Her hair is shorter, indicating an earlier time. INSERT- CLOSE SHOT of the buck as his antlers break through the glass doors leading to her pristine white living room. INT. DAISY’S HOUSE Blood spurts everywhere as the buck tries to escape and crashes into things. The noise overlaps the loud music coming from her iPhone. She pauses the music and goes into the living room with her joint still in hand. Blood and broken glass everywhere. The Buck runs back into the woods. She drops the joint. EXT. DAISY’S HOUSE - A SHORT WHILE LATER GRIFFEN and MARINO, (two burly cops) question her. She sits amidst the blood splattered living room while one of them looks around. He sees the end of the joint. GRIFFEN A moose, huh? Did he get high with you too? DAISY He was too busy bleeding. They follow the blood trail through the back yard and beyond into the woods behind her house. CUT TO: EXT. WOODS BEHIND DAISY’S HOUSE - DAY They search the woods behind her house and find her “plantation” of marijuana plants. Marino gives her the “your busted” look. There’s no sign of the buck. MARINO I’ll call animal control. In the meantime, you’re coming with us. CUT TO:
Published on Sep 7, 2013