Short Screenplay by KR Wilde
INT. GYM - BOXING ARENA - DAY (1987)
Soft MUSIC plays in the background as two well-matched fighters practice in the arena. The lighting is dim. A poster hangs nearby for an ad: The Chicago Diner. 4312 North Haisted. Chicago, Illinois.
The first is TESS VASQUEZ, 22, slender with blonde hair pulled back into a low ponytail. She’s hunched over, hands protecting face, as two punches hit her sides.
The second, JAKE TYLER, is considerably older in appearance, but the opposite in skill. His arms pump out in quick succession as he lands those same two punches.
Tiger could... hit... harder than... this.
She swings, and lands a counter blow to Jake’s temple. He gasps, and falls on to a knee. Sweat pours down his face. He looks up at Tess with a hand over a newly formed cut.
Isn’t Tiger your betta?
Tess wipes her forehead with the back of a hand. The other rests on her hip.
You really should see how he fights his opponents.
Tess, he’s a fish.
He gets up, and walks over to a water bottle on the floor, still talking.
A big, fat fish who’s only real opponent is his reflection.
He takes a long drink. Tess shakes her head, and grins. She grabs her own water bottle, and drinks too. The same MUSIC from earlier plays in the background.
Tess lowers her water bottle, and plays with its cap. She wears a serious expression.
Do you really think we’ll catch him at that fight tonight?
She watches as Jake lowers his own water bottle. He wipes his mouth, and shrugs.
Chief says the tip is reliable enough. Let’s just be glad you didn’t get yanked off the case.
Tess rolls her eyes.
Yeah, yeah. Conflict of interest.
She sets the water bottle down, walks to the arena’s center, and raises her fists.
We’ve still got time for one more round. What do you say?
Jake reluctantly smiles, and joins her. He pulls a fist back, aiming for her cheek.
SMACK. The sound of a punch hitting skin.
MATCH CUT TO:
EXT. DOWNTOWN CHICAGO - UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE - NIGHT
Tess stumbles backwards with a hand clutching her cheek.
The sound of loud CHEERING.
She spits out a mouthful of blood, missing the heels of a YOUNG WOMAN, and wipes away a stray dribble of blood. She smears it with the back of her hand.
ALEX ZANDER, 25, broad shouldered, smirks in return. He stands upright with bare chest puffed out. A scorpion is tattooed on his neck with its tail curved down his back.
He resumes a fighting stance, and dances from one foot to the other. Tess lets go of her cheek, and mimics the same stance.
They exchange blows. Zander traps Tess against a parked car. She swings, clipping his jaw. He’s momentarily dazed. She shoves him into the car with a loud THUD.
The crowd throws several plastic cups of beer at Tess. She raises her hands, and steps away from Zander’s bent form. She smiles with satisfaction while breathing hard.
Two guys shove past Tess to help Zander up. One of them is a BYSTANDER enjoying the fight. The other is Jake in a Led Zeppelin shirt and shorts. He leans in close to her, barely moving his lips.
It’s our guy. Get the confession. Now.
Tess nods. She watches as the bystander and him lift a disoriented and bleeding Zander back on to his feet. He shrugs them off.
That was a cheap shot, Vasquez.
Tess shrugs. She plays with a chain necklace around her neck. It’s tucked into her tank top.
I’m sure Camilla would thank me if she were here.
Zander narrows his eyes. He responds in a low, menacing growl.
I don’t know who you’re talking about.
He thrusts his arm out, aiming for Tess’ stomach, but misses as she dodges to the left.
Just admit you killed her. It’ll be our dirty little secret.
Why does it matter to you so much?
Tess tightens her jaw before smiling.
She slept with my fiancé. I want to thank the guy who finished her is all.
Zander relaxes, gesturing towards himself in a cocky fashion.
Well you came to the right person.
Tess stops smiling. She tightens her fists, charges him, and punches his jaw. CRUNCH. The sound of Zander’s jaw shattering. He screams, and collapses to the ground.
The crowd falls silent. Jake pushes through the crowd.
Tess grabs Zander, drags him to the same car from earlier, and heaves him on to its hood. His head hits the windshield with a THUD. The car’s ALARM goes off as its lights flash on and off.
Tess climbs on top of Zander, and pummels his face repeatedly. His head bounces off of the windshield. Cracks form in the glass with each blow. Blood’s everywhere.
Stop it Tess! You’re going to kill him!
He emerges from the crowd, breathing hard.
Tess stops and looks at him, then down at Zander. His face is unrecognizable. She bends down, and presses her ear to his chest.
BA-DUM. BA-DUM. The sound of Zander’s heart. It stops altogether after the second beat. Tess laughs, and closes her eyes as red and blue lights flash across her face.
INT. POLICE STATION - BOOKING AREA - DAY
Tess places her red, beer soaked clothes into the arms of an OFFICER. She wears an orange jumpsuit with hands cuffed. A row of holding cells stretches out behind her. Jake stands next to the officer with folded arms.
You can’t have that anymore.
He points to the necklace around Tess’ neck. She purses her lips before yanking it off. A police badge is revealed at the end of it. She shoves it into Jake’s open hand.
Am I allowed to have my picture or is that yours now too?
Jake flips over the badge, and pulls out a picture. Its face remains turned away. He hands it to Tess.
You didn’t have to kill him, you know.
Yeah, I did.
She smirks, and places the picture in the jumpsuit’s front pocket.
The sound of steel bars closing with a deep, ominous SLAM.
INT. COUNTY JAIL - CELL - NIGHT (LATER)
Tess sits on the concrete floor. Her head rests against the wall, eyes closed. She hums a lullaby to herself.
Rumor has it you’re a cop.
She opens her eyes, and looks up at her new cellmate LULU, 50s, a haggard woman with unkept hair, on the top bunk. Her chin rests on the rail.
Why do you want to know?
Lulu shrugs. She runs her tongue across her teeth.
Just wondering how an ex-cop gets landed in a place like here.
She motions at the space enclosed around them. Tess grabs the picture from her front pocket, and holds it out in front of her. It’s a photo of CAMILLA.
Kill your sister’s boyfriend.
Is that her?
Tess nods. Her eyes are glued to the picture.
Was it worth it?
Tess smiles, pockets the picture, and pats it once.
She closes her eyes, and resumes her humming.
End of Story
This material is copyrighted by KR Wilde. Any retranscription or reproduction is illegal.