Monday, April 14, 2008

BONEDUST - An excerpt


Burly DOCK WORKERS carry heavy cargo from a ship to a nearby WAREHOUSE and return to pick up the next load.


As the WORKERS return to the ship, a small gang of THIEVES sneaks into the WAREHOUSE to pillage. They crack open crates and grab what they can.One THIEF, a grizzled thin-framed man in his fifties, cracks open a crate marked NATIONAL GALLERY - FRAGILE. A JADE BOX with ORNATE CARVINGS falls out of the box and onto the cement floor with a loud thud. The thief squats down and picks it up, examining it.

Whut’s this, now? This could be worth som’thin’.

He carefully opens the box.Wisps of a white sand-like substance rise out of the box and waft directly into the THIEF’S nose. His BLUE EYES widen and he begins to choke and cough, dropping the JADE BOX to the floor.A SECOND THIEF runs to his side and tries to stop him from making noise, but it is too late - the DOCK WORKERS are returning.

Billy! Billy! Come on!

Leave 'im or we'll all get nicked!

The two THIEVES abandon their friend who convulses onto the ground, clutching at thin air.The DOCK WORKERS catch sight of the FLEEING THIEVES and run into the warehouse, wielding CROWBARS.The THIEF takes a final retching heave and closes his eyes, limp. A moment later, his eyes open. They are now GREEN. Calmly, he stands up and with a refinement previously unseen, he brushes himself off and looks around, as if his surroundings were completely new to him.

'Ere! What the hell d'you think you're doin'!?

The THIEF, whose name is now SARDE, looks at the approaching DOCK WORKERS, unfazed by their menacing gestures.

D'you hear me!? You know what we do to thieves on our docks!?

The DOCK WORKERS are now very close and stand with CROWBARS raised, waiting for someone to make the first move.

Gentlemen. I appear to have become misplaced. Could any of you tell me where or when I am?

The DOCK WORKERS look at one another, perplexed. DOCK WORKER ONE sees the JADE BOX on the ground.

Yeah. An' I can tell you where yer gonna BE, as well! The hospital, mate!

DOCK WORKER ONE attacks SARDE with his CROWBAR. Without flinching, SARDE catches the CROWBAR in one hand and pries it easily from the DOCK WORKER. The other WORKERS look on in disbelief.

It is apparent that I am not welcome here. I apologize. I will make my way onward, then. Good evening, gentlemen.

SARDE bends down and picks up the JADE BOX, searches in his overcoat, finds a POCKET and places the BOX inside. With a polite nod to the shocked DOCK WORKERS, he walks calmly out of the warehouse, dropping the CROWBAR onto the ground carelessly.

DOCK WORKER ONE is infuriated and rushes toward SARDE, picks up his CROWBAR and lifts it over his head to strike. Without turning around, SARDE gently flicks his left wrist, as if fixing a cramp. DOCK WORKER ONE is hit full-on by an invisible force that sends him flying through the air several feet before landing on his back near the other WORKERS.

They stare at SARDE as he turns the corner and walks out into the night.

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