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BAT EYES

Written by Jessica Bellamy

An adaptation of Little Love, a monologue for stage

THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE THE COPYRIGHT OF JESSICA BELLAMY. BASED ON THE ORIGINAL MONOLOGUE, LITTLE LOVE, COPYRIGHT JESSICA BELLAMY.


1 INT - OPTOMETRIST'S OFFICE - DAY A hygienic and bland optometrist's office: small, sterile, and packed with high tech equipment. There is a large pleather chair against the back wall, and across from it an eye chart. ADAM, early 30s, sits in the chair, his face slightly tight. Suddenly, the large swinging prescription test 'mask' swings towards Adam's face. He flinches. The OPTOMETRIST, a bespectacled woman in her late 20s, laughs gently. OPTOMETRIST First time? Adam nods. OPTOMETRIST I'll be gentle.(beat) Without any lenses, what can you read of the bottom line? Adam squints. ADAM O - 4 - 7 - T - E - 3 OPTOMETRIST It's just alphabet (checks her papers), Adam. ADAM Oh. He squints. ADAM B-A-T... He peters out. ADAM (cont) That's all I can see. OPTOMETRIST THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE THE COPYRIGHT OF JESSICA BELLAMY. BASED ON THE ORIGINAL MONOLOGUE, LITTLE LOVE, COPYRIGHT JESSICA BELLAMY.


We'll try it with some lenses. The Optometrist clicks on the first corrective lens. The bottom line of the chart cleans itself up slightly. OPTOMETRIST I'll move between different lenses. Just tell me which is better. Number one? It's still fuzzy. She clicks on a new lens. OPTOMETRIST (CONT) Or number two? Number two is a bit clearer. ADAM Two. She makes some adjustments and prepares two more lenses. She clicks onto one, a bit fuzzy. OPTOMETRIST One? She flicks to a clearer lens. OPTOMETRIST (CONT) Or two? ADAM Two again. She makes another adjustment. The bottom line clears up significantly. Still a bit fuzzy, but enough to read the last line: BAT EYES. OLDER ADAM (V/O) Bat Eyes Barrett. Well, Jenny Barrett, but the joke wasn't as good when you said Bat Eyes Jenny. Didn't alliterate the way you had to when you wrote poems in school. Alliteration. Simile. Metaphor. Ticking the boxes. 2 INT – CLASSROOM IN 1990s - EARLY AFTERNOON Flashback to Adam's high school classroom. The classroom is messy and welcoming, filled with chattering teenage students. The words 'INTRO TO POETRY' are scrawled on the blackboard. THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE THE COPYRIGHT OF JESSICA BELLAMY. BASED ON THE ORIGINAL MONOLOGUE, LITTLE LOVE, COPYRIGHT JESSICA BELLAMY.


YOUNG ADAM, 16, with unkempt grungey hair, sits bored at the back of class. He focuses on BAT EYES, who stands in front of the class. Bat Eyes is 16, half blind, and trying to hide behind herself. She wears thick cokebottle glasses and is clearly uncomfortable. YOUNG ADAM (v/o) Bat Eyes No Friends. Half blind, half not. She goes crazy over poems. Not the poems we write in school the box ticking ones - but those magic ones printed in books. Ones where it's hard to find where the alliteration is. Woven in, all delicate. Line after line to herself. Bat Eyes poetry machine. A 50-something female TEACHER, tough as guts, gestures at Bat Eyes to read. Bat Eyes holds her book close to her face. The book is open to the poem 'When You Are Old' by WB Yeats. The words are fuzzy for Bat Eyes. OPTOMETRIST (v/o) One? Or two? Young Adam watches Bat Eyes with the same focus that Older Adam watches the optometry chart. BAT EYES "When you are old, and grey, and full of sleep, and nodding by the fire - " Adam turns to a friend next to him. He holds up his own Introduction to Poetry book and holds it upside down. He closes his eyes and makes an uber-concentration face to imitate Bat Eyes and mock her earnestness. His friend starts to laugh. Other kids turn around and see what they are doing, and join in on the sniggering. BAT EYES (cont) "Take down this book and slowly read, and dream of the soft look your eyes had once - " Bat Eyes stops reading. It's clear to her that something is going on. She closes her book and remains standing. The TEACHER seeks out the source of the disruption: Adam. TEACHER Adam. Get up. Adam gets up. THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE THE COPYRIGHT OF JESSICA BELLAMY. BASED ON THE ORIGINAL MONOLOGUE, LITTLE LOVE, COPYRIGHT JESSICA BELLAMY.


TEACHER (cont) Let's see you do it. The class sniggers and hoots. Adam looks around at his friends. He picks up his poetry book like it's diseased. He opens to the poem, taking his sweet time to find it. ADAM When you are old, and grey. And full of sleep. And. Nodding. By the fire. Take down this book and slowly read and dream of the soft look your eyes had once Adam turns this into a muck up performance, embracing his bad reading skills and being generally facetious. TEACHER (disgusted) Sit down. Adam closes his book, sits down and watches Bat Eyes. It seems like she's watching him back. 3 INT - OPTOMETRIST'S OFFICE - DAY The lenses are pretty clear now. OPTOMETRIST Try the bottom line? The chart now shows a generic bottom line of an optometry chart. ADAM B O C ... A I O ... He peters out. 4 INT - CLASSROOM - EARLY AFTERNOON (SLIGHTLY LATER THAN PREVIOUS SCENE) Adam stands in the doorway of the class, eating hot chips. He watches Bat Eyes sitting at her desk. She eats a much healthier lunch that she barely focuses on, too busy reading the poetry book. Her nose is almost touching the page. Her lips move, reading the same words over and over to herself. Adam moves a couple of steps closer into the room and Bat Eyes hears his movements. She doesn't look up from the book. THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE THE COPYRIGHT OF JESSICA BELLAMY. BASED ON THE ORIGINAL MONOLOGUE, LITTLE LOVE, COPYRIGHT JESSICA BELLAMY.


BAT EYES Adam? Adam is shocked that Bat Eyes recognises him. ADAM Yeah. He hovers closer in the room, but not committing himself to actually sit down next to Bat Eyes. Bat Eyes takes off her glasses and wipes her face with her sleeve. She has been crying. She strokes the page of the book. BAT EYES I wish you could see. It's so beautiful. Adam looks at the page and tries to understand. He doesn't. YOUNG ADAM How would you know what's beautiful? You're blind. Silence hangs for a minute. Bat Eyes closes the book and puts her glasses on. She stares at Adam for a long time. Then she laughs. She puts her stuff in her bag and gets up. BAT EYES I'll show you. 5 INT - OPTOMETRIST'S OFFICE - DAY OPTOMETRIST Last try of the bottom line? ADAM B O C A T Q R B X E H I L. OPTOMETRIST (V/O) Beautiful. That's your prescription. 6 EXT – WALKING THROUGH SUBURBIA - AFTERNOON Bat Eyes walks home down a suburban street with a clear routine to her walk. She strides confidently without a cane. She listens intently to the things around her to guide her walk. She counts bars on the fence. She THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE THE COPYRIGHT OF JESSICA BELLAMY. BASED ON THE ORIGINAL MONOLOGUE, LITTLE LOVE, COPYRIGHT JESSICA BELLAMY.


estimates precisely where the curb stops and crosses the road smoothly. She finds a flower and pulls it off the tree gently. She smells it and plays with it as she walks. Adam walks behind her, marvelling at how she's getting by so well. Distracted by his attention on her, he almost trips over some uneven pavement himself. 7 INT - OPTOMETRIST'S OFFICE - DAY A bright light appears in Adam's vision. OPTOMETRIST This light checks your iris and corneas. It's bright, but try not to blink. The light flashes in the darkness. 8 INT – BAT EYES’ BEDROOM IN 1990s - AFTERNOON Bat Eyes leads Adam into her bedroom. The room is a sensory wonderland. There is a record player in the middle of the room and the walls are packed with old vinyl recordings of classical music, books and poetry. Adam is impressed. Bat Eyes strides to her record player and puts on a piece of classical music. There is a bed in amongst all these records with a velvet bedspread and silk cushions. Adam notices a stack of large print poetry books (Yeats, Shelley, Shakespeare, Keats, Byron and Whitman) next to Bat Eyes' bed. He tries to take the Yeats one off the top of the pile, but suddenly Bat Eyes is behind him, glasses off. Bat Eyes takes the book out of his hands and puts it down on the pile. She finds Adam's mouth with her hands. She kisses him, quite chastely. A moment. BAT EYES Just once. OK? 9 INT - OPTOMETRIST'S OFFICE - DAYTIME The light hits Adam right in the eye. He flinches and his eyes water. THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE THE COPYRIGHT OF JESSICA BELLAMY. BASED ON THE ORIGINAL MONOLOGUE, LITTLE LOVE, COPYRIGHT JESSICA BELLAMY.


10 INT - BAT EYES' BEDROOM - AFTERNOON Adam is on top, having sex with Bat Eyes, school clothes still half on. Bat Eyes' eyes are closed. The Optometrist light shines in this scene, obstructing Adam's view of Bat Eyes' face. There's a sound of discomfort from Bat Eyes, which interrupts Adam. ADAM You ok? BAT EYES Yeah. The light from the Optometrist comes in so strongly that he can barely see Bat Eyes beyond the glare. OPTOMETRIST (V/O) Don't blink. Try not to blink. 11 INT - OPTOMETRIST'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON Adam's trying really hard not to blink. There's a lot of water welling up in his eyes, but he grits his teeth and forces himself to keep his composure. 12 INT - BAT EYES' BEDROOM - AFTERNOON Bat Eyes and Adam are lying next to each other on their backs. Bat Eyes stares at the ceiling and moves her fingertips on the bedsheet. Adam notices this. BAT EYES Little love. Adam tries to roll Bat Eyes over to face him, on her side, but she stays where she is. Bat Eyes takes Adam's hand up to her throat. She puts two of his fingers onto her larynx. BAT EYES "Dream of the soft look your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep." Adam keeps his fingers on her throat. THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE THE COPYRIGHT OF JESSICA BELLAMY. BASED ON THE ORIGINAL MONOLOGUE, LITTLE LOVE, COPYRIGHT JESSICA BELLAMY.


BAT EYES (CONT) That's where it's beautiful. She moves Adam's hand off her neck. Her bat eyes are wet and sparkling. 13 INT - OPTOMETRIST'S OFFICE - DAY Adam is in the dark behind the optometry testing mask. YOUNG ADAM Little love? He sits there in the dark for a moment. Suddenly there is movement from the Optometrist. OPTOMETRIST And that's it. The overhead lights flick on and we see Young Adam sitting there. He sits very still, lost in memory. YOUNG ADAM (v/o) And that is it. All of it. The next week she was gone, off to a special Bat Eyes school. No more Jenny stuck at her desk. No burning words over lunchtime. Had each other for a minute, and now we don't. Loved each other a little, but that's over now. OPTOMETRIST Are you ok? Adam is jolted back into the present by this intrusion from the Optometrist. The Older Adam has tears welled up in his eyes. He blinks, and a couple run down his face. OLDER ADAM Yeah. Just my eyes. The Optometrist smiles and hands him a box of tissues. Adam wipes his eyes. The Optometrist has put together a large pair of temporary frames with Adam's new prescription lenses inside. OPTOMETRIST You're one of us now. THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE THE COPYRIGHT OF JESSICA BELLAMY. BASED ON THE ORIGINAL MONOLOGUE, LITTLE LOVE, COPYRIGHT JESSICA BELLAMY.


She indicates her own eye-glasses and smiles. She puts the chunky lenses on Adam's face. He looks through them. 14 INT - CLASSROOM - AFTERNOON And we see Bat Eyes at the front of the class, holding her closed poetry book, crisp with Adam's new prescription. TEACHER (disgusted, to Adam) Sit down. You can sit down too, Jenny. Bat Eyes meets Adam's gaze. BAT EYES That's ok. Bat Eyes, book closed, starts again from the beginning. BAT EYES (staring forward, memorised) WHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face; And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled, And paced upon the mountains overhead, And hid his face among a crowd of stars. She finishes and stares at Adam again. They share a moment. THE END.

THE CONTENTS OF THIS DOCUMENT ARE PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE THE COPYRIGHT OF JESSICA BELLAMY. BASED ON THE ORIGINAL MONOLOGUE, LITTLE LOVE, COPYRIGHT JESSICA BELLAMY.

Bat Eyes Screenplay  

The screenplay of BAT EYES, by Jessica Bellamy, based on Jessica's original monologue LITTLE LOVE. (c) Jessica Bellamy, 2012

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