Short Story In Dramatic Form: “Glimpse”

short film

A SCENIC WALKWAY – DAY

A beautiful young woman walks along the path, enjoying the view. This is HER, which she’ll be addressed as when appropriate.

An alarm clock starts to sound.

A SMALL BEDROOM – DAY

A young man awakes slowly. This is STILLSON. He pulls himself out of bed and heads for the bathroom, turning his alarm clock off along the way.

THE BATHROOM – DAY

Stillson steps into frame and wipes the condensation from the mirror. He starts to shave.

STILLSON (V.O): It’s the same thing every night. I don’t understand it, but I guess I could have worse luck. Dreaming of a beautiful woman every night isn’t so bad.

A DINER – DAY

Stillson walks up and in through the back door.

THE DINER – BASEMENT – DAY

Stillson and another man are hard at work, chopping up vegetables, etc, etc…

The other man goes by the name EDDIE.

EDDIE: And you don’t get to fuck this girl or anything?

STILLSON: No, it’s not about that. I don’t know; it’s weird. I’ve never looked forward to going to sleep before, but I’ve been psyched to lately. I feel better during the dream, like I’m where I’m supposed to be.

EDDIE: I think you just need to get laid.

STILLSON (laughs): You may be right.

THE DINER – DAY

Stillson is sitting on a milk crate outside, eating his lunch.

Eddie walks out and puts a milk crate for him next to Stillson’s.

Eddie lights a cigarette just as Stillson finishes his lunch. He notices and offers Stillson a cigarette.

STILLSON: Thank you sir.

Stillson reaches for the cigarette, accidentally brushing Eddie’s hand.

STILLSON’S EYES

As they twitch with pain.

INSERT

GLIMPSE

“Edward Stenwick”

LUNG CANCER

BACK TO SCENE

Stillson pulls his hand back and begins to cough horribly, expelling smoke the whole time.

EDDIE: Yo, you ok?

Stillson pulls himself back together.

STILLSON: How could you not tell me you’re sick?

EDDIE: What’d you say to me?

STILLSON: I could feel it when I touched you. You’re sick.

EDDIE: What the fuck do you mean you could feel it? Who told you? Who could’ve told you? I didn’t tell anyone.

STILLSON: I told you. I felt it. I saw it too. I saw you die.

EDDIE: You saw me die? You’re fucking losing it.

His first glimpse has clearly taken a lot out of Stillson.

STILLSON: I gotta go. I’m sorry. Please cover for me.

EDDIE: What the fuck do you mean you have to go?

STILLSON: I just have to.

Stillson gets up and walks off. He looks at the cigarette in his hand and then throws it away.

STILLSON WALKING

Stillson walks, anxious and worried, rubs his chest in pain.

STILLSON’S APARTMENT – DAY

Stillson stumbles in and ends up crumbled up in a ball in the corner of the room.

STILLSON’S APARTMENT – DAY

The next day.

Stillson is pacing back and forth in the apartment.

He wants out, he wants back to work.

STILLSON’S HOUSE – BACK DOOR – DAY

The door slowly opens and Stillson peeks his head out.

Seems all is clear.

Stillson ventures further out.

Maybe it was a onetime thing?

Stillson picks himself up a bit as he walks.

STILLSON’S HOUSE – FRONT – DAY

Stillson strolls out, full of almost false bravado: trying his best to add in some swagger. Put on a brave face, as it were.

He looks like a bit of a fool.

Whatever though, he’s outside.

Deep in thought and easily distracted, Stillson misses the oncoming pedestrian who bumps into him.

INSERT

GLIMPSE

“Edgar Michael Holly”

AUTOEROTIC ASPHYXIATION

BACK TO SCENE

Stillson stops.

As he rubs the pain out of his throat, he thinks, “How does one react to that?”

STILLSON’S APARTMENT – DAY

Stillson rushes in and closes the door behind him. He makes a phone call to Eddie.

STILLSON’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

Stillson sits at the window, staring outside.

INSERT

In a flash: Her.

BACK TO SCENE

The scene has changed.

STILLSON’S APARTMENT – DAY

Stillson is pacing again.

He eventually ventures outside.

STILLSON’S HOUSE – FRONT – DAY

Stillson walks out.

Slow.

Cautious.

The mailman greets Stillson. Stillson takes his mail, trying not to be obvious about being terrified of the mailman’s touch.

As he leaves, the mailman pats him on the shoulder.

INSERT

GLIMPSE

“Thomas Verlawn”

WEIGHTLIFTING ACCIDENT

BACK TO SCENE

Stillson turns back around.

SHOWER HEAD

Stillson showers.

STILLSON’S LIVING ROOM – DAY

Stillson walks in, fresh out of the shower. He sits on the couch.

JUMP CUT

It’s suddenly night.

Stillson lies awake on the couch, bundled up in a blanket.

INSERT

In a flash: Her.

BACK TO SCENE

It’s daytime.

Stillson paces.

He ventures outside.

It’s as if he’s been cursed, he just can’t escape it.

INSERT

GLIMPSE

“Eric Smith”

HEART ATTACK

BACK TO SCENE

Stillson grabs his left arm and drops.

This is too much.

A week passes…

KNOCK KNOCK

STILLSON’S APARTMENT – DAY

Stillson shambles over and answers the door, finding Eddie.

STILLSON’S APARTMENT – DAY

The curtains are open.

Stillson and Eddie sit and drink.

STILLSON: I don’t know what to do anymore. At all.

EDDIE: I wish I could help you, but there isn’t exactly shared experience we can go into.

STILLSON: This – *holds up liquor* – is more than enough help.

Stillson inhales some spirits.

STILLSON: How ‘bout you? How’s everything with you?

EDDIE: Some days are worse than others.

STILLSON: And today?

EDDIE: Today’s been all right.

STILLSON: Good. That’s good.

EDDIE: What’s the plan for you, man? Cause you look like a pile of shit. You keep going like this and you’re gonna end up in the ground.

STILLSON: I wish.

EDDIE: What does that mean?

STILLSON: Means I tried.

INSERT

Stillson steps off the roof of his garage.

BACK TO SCENE

STILLSON: Nothing happened.

INSERT

Stillson on the ground, unharmed.

The shadow of a hooded man descends upon Stillson and shakes its head no.

BACK TO SCENE

EDDIE: Jesus, you’re gonna end up losing your mind.

STILLSON: Not far from it already.

EDDIE: I’m sorry I wont be around to help keep you sane.

STILLSON: I’ll take the time I get.

EDDIE: That’s the thing.

STILLSON: What?

Eddie pats Stillson on the shoulder.

INSERT

GLIMPSE

“Edward Stenwick II”

SELF INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND

BACK TO SCENE

Stillson wants to speak but he can’t quite find the words. His best friend has decided on suicide and Stillson can’t blame him.

So in lieu of words, Stillson gives Eddie a nod.

STILLSON’S APARTMENT – DAY

Night turns into day; day turns into night, and so on as Stillson sinks further down the rabbit hole.

A lack of sleep can cloud the brain.

STILLSON’S APARTMENT – DAY/NIGHT

Days fly by like nothing.

NOTE: Here is some test footage for this portion of the film. 

STILLSON’S HOUSE – BACK DOOR – NIGHT

Stillson can be heard loudly repeating names to himself.

A cold breeze blows through the room, stopping Stillson dead. He settles down, only to look to his side and find Death staring right at him.

Stillson doesn’t recoil; he stares forward.

Death removes his hood, revealing a ghastly reflection of our tortured hero.

THE LIVING ROOM

Stillson awakes suddenly, curled up in a ball on the couch, resting comfortably beneath a blanket.

THE BATHROOM – DAY

Stillson’s hand comes into frame and wipes steam away from the mirror.

A STAIRCASE – DAY

Stillson walks down but stops at the door leading outside.

The sun is shining through, almost blinding the man, but he doesn’t mind it.

Just a few more steps.

Stillson turns the knob and walks outside.

A QUIET STREET

Stillson takes his time walking along.

Stretches of uninterrupted peace are rare for him, so he savors it.

He walks past a house right as a teenager named MICHAEL CORRIGAN comes barreling out, bumping into Stillson.

INSERT

GLIMPSE

“Michael Corrigan”

MURDERED

BACK TO SCENE

Stillson opens his eyes and backs away from the teenager.

STILLSON: Sorry.

MICHAEL: No worries.

The teenager goes about his day.

Stillson is torn.

Tell him.

Don’t tell him.

Decision’s been made. He goes after the teenager.

He catches up.

STILLSON: Wait-

Stillson puts his hand on the teenagers shoulder.

INSERT

GLIMPSE

“Michael Corrigan II”

CAR ACCIDENT

Now.

Stillson puts his hand on the teenager’s shoulder, startling the kid and causing him to back into the street.

A car flies past and flattens the teenager.

BACK TO SCENE

Stillson breaks contact with the teenager but never opens his eyes as his glimpse comes to fruition.

Stillson flinches hard at the noise of the car hitting the teenager.

His head falls back and his eyes finally open.

Tears roll down his cheeks.

With remorse, Stillson turns and walks off; a thousand yard stare on his face.

A CROWDED STREET

Stillson walks. A crowd is incoming.

With tightly closed eyes, Stillson makes his way through.

INSERT

Quick, broken visions of the people Stillson bumps into and their deaths.

BACK TO SCENE

Stillson breaks contact and walks off.

A LOCAL PARK – DAY

Stillson walks up to find the park mostly empty.

He takes a seat and enjoys the serenity.

A stranger comes.

STILLSON: Hey, I’m really sorry to bother you, but is there any chance you could spare a cigarette?

STRANGER: Yeah, sure man.

Stranger offers Stillson a cigarette. He happily accepts.

STRANGER: Rough day?

STILLSON: To say the least.

Stranger provides Stillson with the flame necessary for his cigarette.

STILLSON: Thank you so much.

STRANGER: No worries, man.

Stranger walks off.

Stillson sits back and smokes.

INSERT

In a flash: Her.

INSERT

In a flash: Death.

INSERT

In a flash: Her.

LOCAL PARK

Stillson sitting on the bench, head in hands, trying to rub away pain.

As he sits, a hooded man approaches from behind, closing in quickly. Death has finally come calling.

Before he can claim Stillson, a beautiful young woman walks up. It’s Her. She approaches Stillson. He looks up to find, quite literally, the girl of his dreams.

A smile quickly forms on his face as she asks to sit.

Stillson can’t quite find the words.

He nods his head and she sits.

Finally.

THE END


FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: Fcmalby.wordpress.com.

Walter Winchester
JFinnegan45@yahoo.com