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Fade to Black

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Fade to Black











Characters:

Todd Collins: A 40 year old schizophrenic man, brown hair, faded blue eyes with a scar across the left one, 6’2”, 185 LBS, during flashback is about 15 years old

Walter Collins: Todd’s father. During flashback is 40 years old, brown hair, green eyes that sink into skull, 6’3”, 200 LBS

Ruth Collins: Todd’s mother. During flashback is about 35 years old, long brown hair, tired brown eyes, about 5’7”, 140 lbs.

Setting: Psychologist’s office, Todd is lying down on a sofa for one of his weekly visits. The Psychologist is sitting in a chair that faces the window and has his back turned to Todd. Todd is holding a stress ball in his hand and tossing it up and down like a baseball. Todd is in the middle of talking about his week when he goes into a haze and starts to mumble.




Todd
I remember that day so clearly, Doc.
I am constantly replaying it back in my head,
Trying to figure out what happened,
No one knows but me...

(Drifts off into a daze)

(The scene now turns into a flashback of Todd’s, approximately 35 years ago. He is in his living room, kneeling down and looking out a window in his small farmhouse that faces the driveway. His parents are in the car fighting and he can hear every word.)

Walter

You can’t leave me Ruth, you can’t! What about your son?! Don’t you love him?

Ruth

Walter, I have had enough of this. I am doing what is best for me.

Walter

Ruth I’m sorry, I will change. You know I love you very much and I know I have done a lot of things to hurt you, but I promise I will get help.

Ruth

NO Walter, I know you and you are never going to change! I don’t care I am leaving. Go ahead; Beat me up again. I don’t care, I want out!

(Ruth gets out of the car and runs into the house. She hurries up the stairs and Walter chases her. He grabs her leg as she is running up and drags her down the stairs.)

Walter

Ruth, I say when you can and cannot leave and this is my house! Stop overreacting and get back in the car, we’re going to church.



Ruth

Why?! So you can see her again? You don’t think I don’t know what is going on? I even look at another man and you make sure I pay for it! But here you are getting all warm and cozy with another woman and I’m supposed to take it?! I don’t think so.

(Walter pauses and smirks.)

Walter

...Oooh so that’s what this is all about? You’ve got a case of jealousy. I can’t help that I’m an attractive man.

(He smirks again.)

(Ruth bites her lip in anger.)
Ruth

You disgust me! (She spits in his face.) Sorry to hurt your precious little ego, but I am leaving you.

(Ruth runs back up the stairs and heads toward the bedroom. She pulls out a suitcase and runs to the closet. She begins throwing all her clothes in there. Walter wipes his sleeve on his face and chases her upstairs. Todd is still looking out the window and watches as it begins to rain.)

Walter

You’ve got some nerve, you know that Ruth?!

Ruth

OHHH look who’s talking?!

(She slams her suitcase shut and runs downstairs. Walter follows her. She goes to open the front door and he blocks her, slamming it shut.)



Walter

You don’t actually think you’re getting away with this do you?


Ruth

Get away from me, Walter!

Walter

And what if I don’t huh? What are you gonna do about it?!

(He moves in toward her, looking her in the eyes, and trying to be intimidating. He then moves closer as if to kiss her, takes a deep breath in, and spits in her face.)

Walter

Doesn’t feel so good huh? (He lets his hand off the door and backs away toward the kitchen.)
Now go upstairs and unpack, we’re gonna be late for church. I’ll let this one slide, you’re lucky I’m a nice guy.

(Ruth cringes and turns to face him.)

Ruth

You are a monster, you know that?! You don’t get it!

(She opens the door and runs to the car. She opens the trunk and throws her suitcase in there. She gets in the front seat and turns the car on.)

Ruth

Todd, honey! Mommy loves you very much but it’s time for me to leave! I'm so sorry!

(Todd stays silent and keeps looking out the window at his mother. Tears stream down his face as he watches her back out of the driveway and storm down the street.)

(Walter enters the room and looks at Todd kneeling and looking out the window.)



Walter

Don’t worry, she’ll be back. They always come back. Nobody leaves Walter Collins .

(Todd stays silent and continues looking out the window.)

Walter

Hello? Earth to Todd!

(Todd continues to stare out the window as tears stream down his face and he clenches his fists.)

Walter

Look at me when I am talking to you, Todd. It’s rude to ignore adults.

(Todd ignores him.)

I said look at me when I am talking to you boy!

(Walter lashes out at his son and strikes him across the face. Todd falls and smashes his face on the window, breaking the glass. His left eye gets cut open and starts to bleed.)

(Todd stays there holding his eye with his hand. He removes his hands and sees the blood smeared all across it. He slowly looks at his father and just stares at him.)

Walter

OH, well look what you did now? Always ruinin’ something. You know how much that is going to cost me to fix?!

(Todd looks at his father with hate in his eyes.)

Todd

YOU. This is all YOUR fault. YOU made mom leave. YOU made her leave me here like this.
Walter

HAH! Son, it’s not my fault your mother is jealous of me. Maybe if you weren’t such a wimp she would not have left you here. Maybe she would have loved you more.

(Todd stares at his father and then gets up and storms off to the kitchen. He goes and finds a butcher knife in one of the drawers.)

Walter

Get back here boy, where do you think you’re going?!
(Todd puts the knife behind his back and slowly walks back toward the living room. Blood drips from his face mixed in with tears.)
Todd
I’m sorry, father.
Walter
You should be son, you screwed up. Now come here and clean this broken glass.
(Todd just stares at him with a blank look on his face.)
C’mon don’t just stand there looking dumb!
(Suddenly, Todd runs toward his father and knocks him down.)
Todd
I hate you, you hear me! I hate you !
(Todd begins to beat his father up, punching him in the face, not pausing for even a moment.)

Todd
How do you like it huh?!?!
(He pulls out the knife and cuts his father across the eye, just as his father had done to him.)
Todd
Now you will look like me!
(Walter struggles to get his son off of him; blood is smeared all across his face, making it hard to see.)
Walter
You little punk! I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you!
(Walter pushes Todd off and he flies across the room, dropping the knife on the floor.)
(Todd searches for the knife frantically as his father gets up, he finds it and sticks it in his back pocket.)
Walter
C’mon fight me now! Let’s see how tough you are witho —(Todd had thrown the knife across the room and it had slashed his father’s stomach. Walter slumps to the ground in pain)
(The knife falls to the ground with a clatter and Todd gets up and walks towards his father.)
(He looks as his father as he lies there dying, clutching his stomach.)
Walter
I’ll kill you... I’ll kill you
(His breaths are now slowing down as he is lying there, a weak man.)


Todd
Go ahead! Let’s see how tough YOU are now .
(He looks one last time into his father’s eyes, spits in his face, and runs out the front door.)
(The scene goes back to Todd lying on the sofa in the psychologist's office. He looks down and notices that his hand is clenched into a tight fist. He opens his hand and the stress ball falls to the ground, in pieces.)

Todd
...I never went back to that house. I couldn't. They all thought that I had gone with my mom. Everyone assumed the obvious-suicide...because we had left. It makes me so mad just thinking about it, he was a terrible person for what he put my mother and I through and I don't know how to forgive him. I guess first I have to forgive myself. It makes me so mad though...Just thinking about it.
(He rubs his fingers across his eye, outlining the shape of his scar.)
...I did something really bad the other day, Doc. Three days ago...
(He goes off into a daze but then regroups.)
....I shouldn't have done it, Doc. It's really bad. But sometimes I just can't seem to control my anger... I know what you're gonna say, "How do you feel about that?" I feel disappointed Doc. He was a good man; he only wanted to help me. I saw him all the time, he knew everything about me, and he was nothing but a great friend. I wish I could go back three days ago, and undo what I did...
(He spaces out and stares at the edge of the glass coffee table that is in front of him.)
...He was a good man, Doc, a good man...He had a family...people who cared about him. He had something I didn’t...and I took that away from him...I just get so angry sometimes...
(He pauses, as if to say more but then decides not to.)
...Well, I guess that's enough for today. I should probably get going... Thanks for listening, Doc, see ya next week.
(He stands up and walks toward the door. Just as he is about to open it, he looks back.)
(He opens his mouth to say something, but no words come out.)
(He turns toward the door and opens it. He walks out, shutting the door firmly behind him, making the whole office shake.)
(The Doc slides off the chair and slumps over. He had been dead for three days.)
(Fade to Black.)



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