A short film script by
INT. AFRICA’S DINNING ROOM DAY
Africa and Simon (both in the late 20s) are drinking coffee. Africa is wearing her pijamas, probably for a few days now, her hair is messy and she is constantly looking down. Simon seems a little bit uncomfortable and he is clearly overdressed. The dinning room is a mess, with Africa’s clothes all over the place. There are plates on the table with dry food from previous days.
That is not helping, Africa. It´s been almost a year…
A year? How do you know…?
The calendar on the wall…
Africa looks behind her for a second and then back to the coffee. On the wall, right behind them, there are the twelve pages of an A4 calendar, detached from their original form and sticked, page by page all along the wall, in chronological order. One month on beside to the others. Every day of every month, up to the 10 of November, has been marked with a red heart and every heart has been crossed with a black X on them.
Maybe it´s time to let him go?
Africa is pretending not to listen. She is off, looking at her cup of coffee like she is trying to decode it. Simon looks around the dinning room, worried.
And something in here Is screaming to be cleaned…
I could give you a hand…
Africa doesn’t react. Simon gets up and starts to walk around and collects some clothes here and there. He can’t take his eyes of her, but she doesn’t care. He gets close to the wardrobe at the corner of the room and when he is about to open it, Africa jumps from the sofa.
Don’t open it! Please don’t?
Africa place herself between Simon and the wardrobe’s door, embarrassed, looking down.
Don’t open his wardrobe…
His? I can’t… Really? Are you still keeping his clothes?
He is not dead, Simon. He might need his clothes when…
A year, Africa! Why is this so hard to understand? Don’t you
think he may had bought some new clothes? Or what,
is he actually walking around naked, because
his clothes are here? Is that it?
I know, I know, ok? But maybe he had an
accident or he lost his memory…
Africa starts to cry and Simon is not sure about what to do. Shyly he brings her to his shoulder.
Honey, he abandoned you. He left. I know it´s hard
to accept it, but you have to move on. Maybe he met
someone and just… You know? But you still have people
around you, people who cares about you, people who loves you.
Africa looks up at him and tries to smile. lightly. Simon kisses her and Africa, without even thinking, punches his face.
Are you out of your mind?
What you did that for? It hurts! I’m sorry…
Sure you are. Get out, Simon get out our home…
Who’s home? Are you listening to yourself?
You heard me! Marcus´ and mine! And if you of all people
can’t understand that…
Ok, that’s enough!
Simon catches Africa by her arm and sits her down in the sofa, abruptly. She looks at him surprised, almost scared.
Listen very careful, ok? Marcus stopped loving you.
Ok? He didn’t know how to tell you…
To tell me what? What are you talking about?
He met a girl, I’m sorry. Her name was Stella or Estella
or something like that…
Africa tries so hard not to jump on him and make him stop. Her rage is building up.
And don’t ask me where he is because I honestly
have no idea. He once mentioned moving to Spain,
but I never had any proof of him actually doing it.
What I do know for sure, is that he is not coming back,
Africa. He is not coming back to you…
Africa gets up fast and grabs him by his shirt, carrying him to the door. She opens it and pushes him out. Africa slams the door and leans on it, crying.
Please Africa. Open the door. Come on, please?. I’m sorry.
I’m not asking you to forget everything, just to accept it.
I’m sorry about the kiss, I promise it wasn’t my intention
to take advantage of it. I just want to help you…
Africa, please… Africa?
INT. AFRICA’S DINNING ROOM AFTERNOON
Africa and Simon are removing Marcus´ clothes from his wardrobe together into a cardboard box.
What are you going to do with these clothes?
Simon grabs a pack of cigarettes from a jacket’s pocket. Africa takes it from him. There are a few cigarettes inside and a business card on the exterior plastic cover. She looks at it
I didn’t know he was smoking again… I guess I didn’t know
a lot of things.
Simon takes the pack of cigarettes back, together with the card, and throws them straight away to the trash.
Forget it it’s not worth it.
He turns around to the wardrobe and starts grabbing more clothes while Africa, subtly, takes the card from the trash and hides it in the second Simon turns back to her.
Listen, It’s getting late. I´m going to go. I can come
back tomorrow again and help you finish, would that be ok?
Don’t worry. I got it. There is almost nothing left.
Thank you anyway…
Are you sure?
Yeah. You’ve done enough. Thank you Simon.
Simon takes his jacket from the sofa and puts it on.
I´ll take the rubbish out.
Don’t worry, I got it.
It’s ok, I’ll get it. I’m going out anyway.
Call you tomorrow?
Simon leaves with the rubbish bag and, as soon as he closes the door, Africa takes the business card out of her pocket. It says: “ESTRELLA’S ZEN WILL HELP YOU. TAROT” She turns the card to the other side and reads “5:30pm, March 5. Estrella” written in handwriting. Africa walks very slowly towards the calendar in the wall, with the card in her hand. The first day with a red heart and black X is exactly March 5. She finds hard to breathe. She takes a peek out the window and sees Simon about to leave the rubbish bag into a container. He looks up and she hides behind the curtain for a few seconds. She looks down again. Simon walks down the street with the rubbish bag in his hand.
INT. ESOTERIC SHOP MORNING
Africa enters the store. Estrella is taking some human form hand made sculptures from a box and putting them on a stand. The store is dominated by esoteric decoration, books, etc. Africa approaches the counter slowly.
Hi, how can I help you?
Africa shows her the business card.
Hi, I’m looking for Estrella…
Africa leaves the business card on the counter and Estrella looks at it. She smiles.
Yeah, that’s definitely me.
Africa leaves the card on the counter and she pulls a picture of Marcus´out of her purse.
Do you know this man? Do you know him?
Let me see… Hum… No, I don’t think so.
Are you sure? Has he never been here?
I don’t know. Maybe… A lot of people
come in here every day… I’m sorry.
Africa takes Marcus´ picture back to the purse and shows her the business card again, but this time she shows her the back side, with the hand-writtten note.
Well, it looks like he had an appointment with you…
You are right, it looks that way. But like I told you…
I can’t remember every each person who comes in…
I understand, I’m sorry. Thank you, anyway.
Your shop is beautiful… Can I have a look around?
Sure… Let me know if you need anything.
Estrella, discreetly, tries to take the card from the counter, but Africa grabs it quickly and walks around the shop. Some of the figures are so realistic they scares her. She stops in front of a massive, beautifully hand-carved wooden framed mirror. She is totally impressed. Africa reaches to the glass and she is about to touch it when Estrella appears behind her, touching her arm. Africa jumps and screams.
I’m sorry, sorry if I scared you…
This mirror is from the 14th century,
I would appreciate if no one touched it,
It is a very expensive piece of art…
Are you looking for something in particular?
No, sorry, not this time. Thank you for you help.
Africa walks out quickly and Estrella follows her to the door, looking worried.
INT. AFRICA’S DINNING ROOM NIGHT
Africa is again in her pijamas, on the sofa, speaking on the landline phone and eating ice cream at the same time.
(On the phone)
Are you insane?
She knows something, I’m sure. And I’m not asking you
to come with me, I just want you to know what
I´m going to do. Just in case… Ok, look, maybe wasn’t
Such a good idea to call you. Bye Simon.
Africa hangs up angrily. She tries to switch on the little lamp on the side table, but it is not working. She moans a bit about it and goes back to her ice cream, thinking.
INT. ESOTERIC SHOP NIGHT
Africa walks into the dark corridor across the shop, frightened. She finds the big mirror and stops in front of it. She takes a match from a matchbox in her pocket and lights it. She looks around and finds a little old candelabrum on one of the shelves, she picks it up and uses the match to light it. She goes back to face the mirror and a little light starts to shine from within. Little by little Marcus´ image appears in the mirror, like he is trapped inside. Africa can’t take her eyes off him, he is alive! Suddenly Marcus realizes that Africa is right there, on the other side too and walks towards her, calling her and hitting the mirror’s glass, trying to escape. Africa can’t hear him. Marcus realises this and calming down, opens his hands and put them on the glass. Africa leaves the candelabrum on the floor, opens hers too and puts them on the mirror, just in front of his hands. Both are crying. Marcus touches the glass with his lips and Africa does the same. They kiss and suddenly they switch places. Africa shouts his name, asking for help, but he smiles and runs off. Desperate, she finds herself inside the mirror and jumps into the glass, crashing through it.
INT. AFRICA’S ROOM NIGHT
Africa jumps awake, sweating and shaking, struggling to breathe. She is shaking. Slowly she realizes that it was just a bad dream, a nightmare. Once she calms down she checks the time, it is 3:30am. Africa gets up, determined.
EXT. ESOTERIC SHOP’S DOOR NIGHT
Africa arrives at the esoteric shop’s door, carrying a crowbar. She looks around, the street is empty and quiet, very dark with the exception of a few neon lights. She carefully starts to force the door open with the crowbar, when a hand touches her shoulder. Africa screams and tries to defend herself from the attacker using the crowbar as a weapon. She is very surprised to see Simon standing there.
Relax, Nikita. I’m not the police.
Oh my God! I almost had a heart attack!
What are you doing here?
What do you think I´m doing here? I’m not usually
walking around town at four in the morning…
Look, if you´re here to give one of your speeches…
Will you listen if I tell you to go home?
Not a chance.
I’m going to regret this… Give me that.
Simon takes the crowbar, breaks the lock and opens the door at once. Africa looks at him smiling, takes the lever back and walks inside the shop, slowly. Simon, taking a look around first, worried, follows her inside.
INT. ESOTERIC SHOP NIGHT
Africa walks inside the shop followed by Simon. The realistic human sculptures seems to be watching them. Africa lights a match, she finds a small candelabrum on a shelf and lights the candles on it.
What are we looking for?
Africa looks straight away for the huge, 14th century mirror and when she finds it she looks at it, waiting. Simon is waiting by her side, expecting for something to happen.
Africa, what are we looking for?
In the mirror. I have seen it.
In the mirror? What´s in the mirror?
In my dream I saw Marcus inside the mirror. Just wait
and you´ll see…
What? Are you kidding me? Are we here because
you have had a dream?
No, you don’t understand. It wasn´t a dream,
Marcus saw me too.
Let’s get out of here.
Simon grabs Africa by an arm violently and tries to pulls her out of the shop. She fights back and both ends up taking down a series of shelves, making a lot of noise.
I didn’t ask you to come, so if you
are not here to help, you better go.
You are sick, lunatic and paranoid. I´m not
going to be part of your insanity.
Simon, angrily, leaves the shop. Africa doesn’t seems to be bother and goes back to the mirror. She starts to look very closely at it.
Who is in there? The police in on the way. Hello?
Africa, really scared, hides by the side of the mirror, as its wooden frame has enough depth to cover her body. She is shaking and tries to hold her breathing.
I have a weapon! This is not a joke.The police is coming…
Estrella approaches the mirror. On the floor, Africa can see Estrella shadow walking towards her, and she can sees that she is carrying a kitchen knife.
Hello? Is someone there?
As soon as Estrella gets in front of the mirror, Africa uses the crowbar to detach it from the wall and the mirror falls over Estrella, breaking into thousand of pieces. Africa looks in terror at what she just has done. Behind her, where the mirror was standing, there is a little room that was hidden by the massive mirror. Africa, curious, takes the little candelabrum again and lights it. She looks inside and see several pots with real human parts inside, in formaldehyde solution. Looking at them, Africa is horrified to discover Marcus´ head in one of jars. She screams and covers her face with her hands, dropping the candelabrum and starting a fire.
INT. AFRICA’S DINNING ROOM NIGHT
The landline phone is ringing. The calendar has disappeared from the wall. Africa is having a dinner and watching TV. The living room is now very tidy and colorful. The phone keeps ringing and the answer machine starts on.
Hi, this is Marcus and Africa’s home. We are not
here at the moment so you know what to do. Bye!
Africa? Hi, This is Simon. Are you ok?
I saw the news a few days ago that the shop
burned down, and you are not answering my
calls. Are you there? Ok, listen, I’m worried.
Can you call me back later? Ok, see you. Bye.
The answer machine beeps and Africa finishes her dinner. She gets up, grabs the empty plate and switches off the little side table lamp, which base is made out the Marcus head’s jar, with Marcus’ head still inside…
Good night, my love.