EXT. PARKING LOT – NIGHT
An empty parking lot with a lone streetlight that partially covers the area. Just beyond the parking lot is a jungle gym and a baseball diamond.The park is secluded.
At the edge of the park is a fence, and beyond the fence are the woods.
A car is parked just out of reach of the streetlight.
DUSTIN and RACHEL sit in the car.
DUSTIN: just turned 16 and has entered the world of cars and girls. He’s awkward, although attractive and boyishly charming.
RACHEL: Life has made her older than her years suggest, but she hopes playing the game will lead to something special and cure the emptiness within.
I done that before.
INT. CAR – NIGHT
Dustin turns and faces her.
He looks back out the front window. The jungle gym is visible.
Like this one time, I had this soldier ant.
He pinches his fingers together and shows RACHEL, as if the ant was there right now.
He gestures to exaggerate.
You know, those big black ants.
He grabs the steering wheel at the ten and two position.
His hands slide back and forth on the wheel.
And I wanted to see how she’d move without a leg.
Rachel’s bare legs protrude from her skirt. Her toenails are painted with rainbow glitter, and she’s wearing big wooden heels and an ankle bracelet.
Dustin continues to tell the story.
So, I ripped off one and put her back down on the concrete.
He looks down at his own legs. He rubs his thighs.
Did you know soldier ants are female?
Rachel nods in agreement, her hair bouncing as well.
Yeah. (Beat.) But she walked fine, like she knew she was missing a leg.
He shakes his head.
Of course she knew, but like compensated for it. No surprise, no trouble, as if she was born that way.
Rachel twists toward Dustin, and she places her hands on the gearbox between them.
He twists toward her, but gets stuck on his seat belt, then unfastens it and continues.
So, I wanted to see how she’d react with another leg gone.
He gestures with both hands, drawing a diagram of an ant’s anatomy.
At first, I took this leg, opposite from the first one. They have six legs, did you know that?
But it just evened things out, so then I removed them all from one side.
He gestures the plucking of each leg, pretending he is holding the ant.
So when I put her back down…
Dustin moves his hand with the imaginary ant to her bare thigh.
DUSTIN Just circles.
He moves his finger in circles on her thigh.
Dustin stops. He places his whole hand on her thigh. They lock eyes.
Dustin pulls back to his seat.
So then I had the great idea to see what she would do if she had no legs at all.
He looks down at his own lap and hands, as if the ant was there again.
But when I put her down again, she moved. She was moving with her pincers.
Dustin makes pincers with his fingers.
She was biting the ground and pulling herself forward.
Dustin mimics the motion in slow motion to Rachel; there’s a long pause between words.
So, I ripped off her head.
Rachel bursts into laughter. Her glasses nearly fall off her face.
Dustin retreats back into his seat.
Why are you laughing?
This is the first time we see Rachel’s entire body.
‘Cause. Heh. The way you said it.
The way I said it?
You said when the ant was moving its pincers.
She playfully motions toward Dustin with both hands like pincers trying to pinch him.
She energetically pretends to take Dustin’s head with the following words.
ripped off its head!
I don’t think it’s funny.
Rachel looks out the passenger window.
The way you said it. “I ripped off its head ’cause it was still moving!”
Dustin grabs the keys that are dangling in the ignition.
But that’s not why I did it.
Rachel tilts her head.
Why’d you do it then?
He looks outside the driver side window. He sees the jungle gym and the woods. Rachel sees him turned away, staring into the night.
Well, it wasn’t funny. That’s true. But the way you said it was. (snickers)
Dustin presses his foot on the break and turns the key in the ignition.
Rachel slides over and puts a hand on his thigh.
EXT. PARKING LOT – NIGHT
The car’s brake lights are bright red.
Here is a parking lot of a secluded park. A fence delineates the park boundaries, and beyond the fence are woods.
One streetlight and a car with two red lights shine in this lot.
Then, the reverse lights turn on, two white lights. The car backs up. Then stops. Both red and white lights shine in the darkness.
The reverse lights go out; the brake lights go out; we look up to the sky.
Greg W. Lyons lives in Oakland with his wife, and he has publications in various electronic and print poetry journals, such as Concis, Northern Licking Review, Oberon and Diverse Voices Quarterly, among others. He also writes screenplays and shorts, which have been awarded at various film festivals, such as LaCineFest and MASSIFF. More information, including other creative and professional writing samples, can be found at his personal website.