Imagining Audrey By Susan Lee Hahn
781 Green Bay Road Highland Park, IL 60035 847.224.5356 Susanleehahn@mac.com
IMAGINING AUDREY By Susan Lee Hahn FADE IN: INT. ELEVATOR- FANCY LAKE SHORE DRIVE APARTMENT - NIGHT P.O.V the ceiling of the elevator looking down on two twentysomethings dressed for a costume party. AUDREY FRANKEL looks like a Sugar Plum Fairy Slut and her best friend, GABRIELLA COZZI looks like a Pirate with a penchant for drag queens. The elevator stops at the penthouse. The doors open to a wild, energetic party filled with outrageous costumes, scantily clad people, and magnificent views of the city. CUT TO: INT. FRANCOIS’S LAKE SHORE DRIVE APARTMENT - NIGHT Audrey looks apprehensive as Gabby dives right in. A tray of colorful drinks swirls by. Gabby grabs two and hands one to Audrey. They toast. To us! To us!
Gabby gulps back her drink and kisses Audrey on the lips. Audrey’s surprised. Gabby takes her hand and dances her through the lively crowd to an expansive balcony. EXT. FRANCOIS’S APARTMENT - OUTDOOR GARDEN/TERRACE - NIGHT The Chicago skyline and lake Michigan serve as a backdrop to the band, THE DIRTY BOYS. Audrey’s excited and amazed. Gabby gives her the, “I told you so” look. She grabs more drinks. AUDREY (amazed and amused) It’s the DIRTY BOYS!? They gun back the drinks and dance to the Dirty Boys. The night shimmers. The costumed crowd makes it all seem surreal. RALPH STONE, the scraggly drummer for the Dirty Boys has his eye on Audrey. She catches him looking at her and smiles slyly. He pretends to be hit by Cupid’s arrow. She smiles.
2. FRANCOIS BELLEMONDE comes over as they’re dancing and joins in. He’s dressed as a Matador and is extremely handsome with his forty-ish, French-accented, Euro-slick good looks. FRANCOIS You are having fun, no? Francois!
They exchange the insincere double air-kisses. Gabriella.
GABBY Francois, this is Audrey. He twirls Audrey around as she goes to shake his hand. P.O.V. Audrey as the skyline swirls by in a dizzying way. She nearly loses her balance, but he catches her in his arms. AUDREY It must be the punch. FRANCOIS It’s been a while since someone swooned over me. Hardly!
AUDREY I wasn’t swooningFrancois kisses her on the head and refers to her costume. FRANCOIS Sugar Plum Fairies don’t swoon? AUDREY They dance. I lost my balance. GABBY (to Francois) You’re a bullfighter? FRANCOIS (proudly) I am. I fight all these bulls, these American men who don’t know how to treat a real woman.
3. He smiles seductively at Audrey. She’s flustered around him, which makes her that much more appealing to him. GABBY (to Francois) These American men could learn a thing or two from you. She tries to create an intimate innuendo with him, (possibly having slept with him before), but he’s all eyes on Audrey. FRANCOIS Well, my precious pirate and delicious Sugar Plum Fairy, I must make the rounds as the host. I trust we will have more time together, Mademoiselle Audrey. He kisses her hand. She’s too enamored to move. Meanwhile, Ralph pounds on his drum with vigor. He hasn’t taken his eyes off of Audrey. The potential suitors are lining up. Gabby hands Audrey another colorful punch drink. She refuses. AUDREY I need a diet coke. Audrey goes back inside to the bar. The bartender turns around and she instantly recognizes him. HUGH GARLAND tries to toughen up his boyish good looks when he sees her. HUGH (to Audrey) I know just the drink for you. AUDREY (about to say something) I just want a Diet coke. Hugh mixes up a quick concoction. She sips it. HUGH It’s called, ‘In the Moment’. Audrey takes the drink and the game. She’s all smiles. AUDREY What’s in it? HUGH Cranberry juice, orange juice, a little rum, and some Grenadine. She tastes it. Smacks her lips.
4. AUDREY It’s a little too sweet. I’m a girl who likes a little more tart. HUGH You’re a little tart. Is that what you mean? She cracks a big smile. He mixes up another drink. He puts it in front of her. She holds it up. This one has a green hue. AUDREY Green, hmmm... Envy? HUGH Sour Grapes. AUDREY I’m not drinking that. HUGH Just try it. She sips it and puckers her lips. AUDREY It’s got a kick. HUGH Vodka with lime juice and a splash of apple juice. AUDREY (pushes the drink back) Not for me. Maybe for alcoholic kindergartners. He laughs. They’re playing with one another. He mixes something up in the blender. It’s pink and pretty. She sips. AUDREY (CONT’D) Now we’re talking. HUGH Third time’s a charm. I love it!
HUGH I love it too.
5. AUDREY It’s cool, refreshing, with a bit of an edge but still sweet. What’s it called? HUGH The Audrey. Frozen watermelon, cranberry juice, Triple Sec, drop of Tabasco, and salt. They stare into one another’s eyes as she sips it. AUDREY You never called me. HUGH You said you needed space. AUDREY Not that much space! HUGH How am I supposed to know? AUDREY I heard you’re in Med school. HUGH The Magda/Isabelle Mafia, huh? Who else?
HUGH I heard you got into law school. AUDREY I’m not sure I’m going to go. Why not?
AUDREY I’m not sure what I want to do with my life. Too many choices. What if I pick the wrong one? Francois sees her at the bar and comes over and starts wooing her in front of Hugh. Audrey is suddenly uncomfortable. FRANCOIS (seductively) Audrey, there’s something about you that I find so exceptional. (MORE)
6. FRANCOIS (CONT'D) You have a kind of energy that’s innocent and sophisticated at the same time. Dangerous, yet safe. Hugh rolls his eyes, which only Audrey can see. AUDREY Francois, I, uh... FRANCOIS I can see in your eyes that you’re a very passionate woman. A woman who knows what she wants... Hugh interrupts them. HUGH (to Francois) What can I get you to drink? FRANCOIS Nothing. I’m fine. HUGH A club soda? Some lime juice? FRANCOIS Really. Nothing. Francois goes back to trying to seduce Audrey. Hugh hovers. Francois looks at him in a dismissive way. Hugh doesn’t budge. Francois is glaring at him when Gabby comes up. GABBY Audrey, there’s this amazing Tarot Card reader. We’re next. Hugh and Gabby’s eyes meet. Gabby looks at Audrey. GABBY (CONT’D) Is that...? (to Hugh) Are you...? FRANCOIS What’s going on? GABBY I think the bartender is one of Audrey’s old boyfriends. FRANCOIS (to Audrey) You go out with bartenders?
7. AUDREY This was years ago. HUGH We grew up together. Our mothers are still best friends. Awkward silence. Hugh and Audrey look at one another and are instantly re-connected, though she fights it. Gabby intervenes. Francois appears bored and distracted. GABBY (dragging Audrey off) Sorry, Hugh. Francois. We’re going to miss our place in line if we don’t go now. Audrey excuses herself. She and Gabby go into the other room. Francois orders a drink from Hugh in a condescending way. HUGH Scotch. Rocks. Hugh hesitates for an instant, defiant. Then pours the drink. CONTINUOUS as Gabby and Audrey glide into the library and slide into the seats across from VERUSHKA, a middle-aged, heavy-set Russian woman with a thick accent and flabby arms. VERUSHKA (to Audrey and Gabby) Who goes first? She does.
VERUSHKA (to Audrey) Ballerina girl, you go first. AUDREY I don’t know. I don’t reallyVerushka hands her the deck and motions for her to cut it. VERUSHKA We go three times. Verushka lays out the Tarot Cards on the table. She nods and make grunting noises. She moves a few cards around. AUDREY What it is?
8. VERUSHKA You have a complicated future. AUDREY Just tell me the good parts. VERUSHKA Life comes with good and bad. She shuffles the deck again and motions for Audrey to cut it. The next card Verushka lays down is the DEATH card. Audrey freaks. She scoops up the cards and interrupts the reading. AUDREY No Death card! Gabby, your turn. VERUSHKA You can’t interrupt a reading! AUDREY I got the Death card! I don’t want to know anymore. Verushka shuffles the deck once again. VERUSHKA We start over. You must fix it. Verushka hands her the deck. Audrey cuts it reluctantly. AUDREY I really don’t want to know. VERUSHKA Death can mean a change. AUDREY It can also mean death. VERUSHKA You are going to die. Someday. We all are. Verushka lays down the Death card at the end of the row. Again, Audrey panics and scoops it up. Knee-jerk response. AUDREY Let’s pretend that didn’t happen. VERUSHKA You can’t keep doing this. AUDREY Start over. For real this time.
9. Verushka lays down the first row in the third reading. The second card is the DEATH card. Audrey does it again! Don’t!
AUDREY That’s it! I’m done. I don’t believe in this stuff anyway. Audrey squirms away as Verushka tries to grab her. VERUSHKA You messed up your future. Audrey tries to shake Verushka, but she chases her through the costumed crowd. Audrey gets to the bar just before her. Hugh! Audrey?
VERUSHKA (to Audrey) You’re a very bad girl. HUGH I don’t know what kind of kinky stuff you’re into, but I know Audrey and she’s notVERUSHKA (finger pointed at Audrey) You make big trouble for yourself. AUDREY (to Hugh) Tarot Card reading gone awry. HUGH (to Verushka) Tell you what. Give Audrey some SPACE- she needs space. And when she’s ready, she’ll come back to you and fix her future. How’s that? VERUSHKA There’s only so much time! HUGH Why don’t you give me your card and I’ll hang onto it. I promise.
10. Verushka gives Hugh her card. Audrey mouths, “thank you” to Hugh. He cajoles Verushka back to her Tarot station. CUT TO: EXT. FRANCOIS’S LAKE SHORE DRIVE APARTMENT- ROOF DECK- NIGHT The band takes a break as Francois addresses his guests. FRANCOIS I hope you’re all enjoying our Bastille Day in Chicago! Let’s give it up for the DIRTY BOYS! He repeats this in French. The guests cheer. Ralph comes up behind Audrey and whispers in her ear. RALPH I’ve got a surprise for you. Several women notice him and clamor around him, take photos, get his autographs, etc. He never takes his eyes off of Audrey. Neither does Francois. Neither does Gabby! Later, as the party winds down, Audrey and Gabby get ready to leave. They look for Francois, but can’t find him. Hugh isn’t at the bar any longer. Audrey looks disappointed. CUT TO: EXT. FRANCOIS’S APARTMENT - NIGHT THREE CABS wait at the street. Audrey and Gabby exit the building. The first cab blinks its lights. Audrey and Gabby climb in together. The cab pulls away. TWO CABS remain as another version of Audrey and Gabby exit the building. This time they’re with Ralph, who has an arm around each one. The three stumble into the second cab. it drives away. ONE CAB left as the third version of Gabby and Audrey exit the building. Just as they’re getting into the last cab, Francois comes out and pulls Audrey aside. He whispers in her ear. Gabby gets in the last cab alone. It drives away as Francois and Audrey re-enter his building alone. A cigarette glows from underneath a tree. Verushka shakes her head in dismay. She puts out the cigarette and blows out the rest of the smoke, having just witnessed Audrey’s three disjointed futures going off in three different directions.