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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Shawshank Redemption - A Screenplay: Part 3

Hello and Happy New Year from a brand-new Rachel. I’m happy and relieved to report that the panicked, frantic, frazzled and overwhelmed Rachel (see last blog post) has been replaced by a wiser, calmer and more serene - though still overwhelmed - Rachel. The reason for this amazing transformation – you might ask? No, I didn’t drop out of school. And no, there are no tropical islands, no alcohol, no pharmaceuticals. Rather, it seems that my instinct to return home served me well. If grad school is my prison, my Shawshank, then home is my ‘Shawshank Redemption’.

My Shawshank Redemption - A Screenplay

Scene Five

Setting: Home
Music: “Green Green Grass of Home”
Opening Scene: Rachel pulls into her driveway, parks and sighs, relieved to be home. As she opens her car door, she hears her aunt, uncle and 2 teenaged cousins arguing in the front yard. It sounded like the same old argument over cell phones and Facebook.
As Rachel closes her car door, all four pause the bickering to wave and greet her.

Aunt Tina, Uncle Stanly, Taylor and Hunter (in unison): Hi Rachel! Welcome home!
Rachel (smiling, teasing): Hello family! I see things haven’t changed much. But hey, you guys need to keep it down – this is a respectable neighborhood.

The front door opens.

Voice over, Rachel to self: What?
Rachel pauses, frowns, blinks and stares as a 6”4’ Predator creature emerges, crouches and swings his hideous, dread-locked head wildly from side-to-side. She doesn’t recognize her 39-year old art-teacher cousin until he speaks.

Jay (laughing): Hi ya Rach. Guess you didn’t recognize me?
Rachel (laughing): What are you doing Jay?
Jay: Just dropped by for your dad to help me with my blades – couldn’t get ‘em to retract.
Rachel: Where did you get this costume? And why are you wearing it?
Jay: I made it. And I’m going to scare my kids.
Rachel: Wow, it looks awesome. But honestly, don’t you think you might terrify first-graders?
Jay (smiling): That’s the idea – call it payback. I’ve been up to my knees in runny-noses and mucous for the past 2 months. But, what’s up with you?

Her reply is interrupted by another bizarre sight – a skinny, long-haired young man jumping the picket fence, drumsticks in one hand, calling her name. It’s Tom - her neighbor, childhood best friend and the drummer in her brother’s band.

Voice over, Rachel to self: Seriously, this is where I came for sanctuary and sanity?
Tom (grinning and hugging Rachel): Rachie, finally - it’s about time. How’s it going? Are you a real accountant yet? You need to speed it up if you want to be the number cruncher for the biggest, best looking band on the planet?
Rachel: Oh, do you know them?
Tom (grinning): Hey, I’m just quoting “Q.”
Rachel (frowning): Q?
Tom (exasperated): Yeah, the music magazine. You know the British Rolling Stone. What’s happened to you? Are you studying too much? I told you it wasn’t healthy.
Josh (smiling) approaches and hugs Rachel: Rach, remember what your big brother told you about musicians – keep your distance – and never look to them for advice. Especially drummers.

Laughing together, Josh, Rachel and Tom walk into house. Rachel pauses and takes a deep breath – loving the smell of home.

Dad (loud and exuberant) grabs and hugs Rachel, lifting her off the floor: A sight for sore eyes! My baby girl is home!
Mom (smiling) cradles Rachel face in her hands: Welcome home beautiful girl. You look a little pale. Are you okay? Do you want to talk?
Rachel: I’m fine Mom – really. Just tired. We can talk after dinner.
Mom (smiling): Okay, well, let’s go eat. Everyone is here and can’t wait to see you, my little darling.

Dad bursts into song - a rousing Elvis version of Little Darlin – Little darlin’, oh, oh, little darlin’
Josh quickly joins in with “yi-eye-eye-eye, ya-ya-ya-ahh” with Tom playing his drumsticks all the way down the hall.

Voice over, Rachel to self: Okay, brace yourself. The gang’s all here.

Voice over, Narrarator: Why does Rachel need to brace herself? Exactly, what or who is “the gang”? Find out tomorrow as Rachel’s visit home continues...

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