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Monday, July 16, 2012

The Land of FOS


Screenplay

The Land of FOS

INT./ WILL'S LIVING-ROOM/ DAY

Will, 11, sits in front of the TV. The narrator of the programme introduces the world of the cartoons.

TV NARRATOR
…a place where anything can happen. Where figures of speech come to life. Where pigs have wings. Where it rains cats and dogs. The land of Figures of Speech.

Claudia, the boy's mother, walks in carrying a tray with a bowl of cereal and a glass of orange juice. She settles it on Will's legs and sits beside him. Will grabs the spoon and begins to eat. In the background, the TV is playing the cartoon's theme song, and showing a field covered in flowers, with winged pigs, and cats and dogs falling from a blue sky. After blankly staring at the TV, Claudia looks at her son, noticing a hint of a fresh bruise on the boy's arm. She takes his arm in her hand.

CLAUDIA
(Gently)
What's this? Again?

Will abruptly removes his arm from his mother's clutch, pretending to be deeply absorbed into the happenings on the TV screen.

WILL
(Dismissively)
Yeah. So?

INT./ APARTMENT HALLWAY/ DAY

Will opens the front door, while Claudia brings him his school bag. She kisses his hair gently. He is about to leave and turns to kiss her cheek.

WILL
(Closing the door behind him)
Love you.

EXT./ PAVEMENT OUTSIDE SCHOOL/ DAY

He and other school kids are walking out of school.

WILL
See ya tomorrow, Jack. Will you bring your comics?

JACK
Absolutely. You?

WILL
Yep. I'll show them to you.

EXT./ RAMP LEADING TO A BLOCK OF FLATS/ DAY

Walking up a ramp, Will sees a group of three kids, about his age, walking in his direction. They are all chatting and laughing loudly. Will looks around for somewhere to hide, but it is already too late, they have seen him.

BULLY 1
Look who it is, guys! It's our friend Willy... What's your last name again?

BULLY 2
Stroker!

BULLY 1
That's right! Willy Stroker! Haha! Learn anything new at school today? Like how to be a big boy?

BULLY 3
Mummy's boy!

WILL
(Staring at his own feet)
Leave me alone.

BULLY 1
(Shoving Will)
Whatcha gonna do about it, Willy? Huh? Gonna go cryin' to mummy? Huh? You know, speaking of her. You wanna know why I missed school today, Willy? Huh? I was shaggin' your mother. How d'you feel about that, Willy?

BULLY 2
He's not even moving. Heh!

They all start shoving Will. Afterwards the aggressions get progressively worse, they start slapping him and punching him, laughing louder and louder. Will is unable to respond, retracting further and further into himself. A man turns around the corner and starts walking up the ramp.

BULLY 1
(Smiling, whispering)
This isn't over, Willy. I'll see ya tomorrow at school.

INT./ WILL'S BEDROOM/ NIGHT

Will is lying on his bed. Claudia is sitting next to him, with a bag of ice in her hand, pressing it lightly against her son's face, where he has a now noticeable bruise. The phone rings. Claudia hands Will the ice.

CLAUDIA
(Kissing his forehead)
Night night, sweetheart. When you're done, put the bag in the bowl.

WILL
Goodnight, mum.

She leaves the room. From Will's point of view we hear her pick up the phone.

CLAUDIA
Hello? Oh, hi mum. I'm fine, but Will…yes, again. I told you, I can't do anything, 'cause they never do anything at school. I don't know who their parents are. It's never gotten this bad before. You know I can't. This is the cheapest, closer school. Because, I just got a new job. It's good money, and it's close. I can't afford to move, mum.

Slowly the sound of his mother's voice fades, as Will drifts off to sleep.

EXT./ DREAMLAND- FIELD/ DAY

JACK
(His distorted voice slowly coming into focus)
Will. Will. WILL!

The Dreamland is animated. Will wakes up in the field seen previously on TV. Jack, leaning over him, has a black cloud over his head. Will jumps up.

WILL
(alarmed)
Jack? What's going on?

JACK
We're in the land of FOS. Come on, I'll show you around.

Walking around Will sees pigs flying, and men and dogs shaking hands and walking together, talking to each other. He sees a forest where tree branches are filled with coins and notes. However, he also notices that all people in this place have a black cloud over their heads. The sun is beginning to set.

JACK
(His happy expression changes into misery)
Our king has forbidden us to utter any more sayings. He fears someone might try to take over his kingdom. Anytime anyone tries to say, even a proverb, their mouth closes and stays firmly shut, until their gums begin to hurt.

FOS CITIZEN
Hey, maybe he can help! (to Will) You're not really from here, so maybe it doesn't affect you!

WILL
I'd really like to help you, but I should really be getting home now.

JACK
That's just it, Will. You can't leave here. No one can leave FOS. There are guards by the gates, so that the king knows everyone who enters and exits. We're not even sure how you got here.

WILL
(After a long pause)
Alright. What do I do?

INT./ WILL'S KITCHEN/ DAY

Claudia has just finished preparing Will's cereal, and is about to pick up the tray. Will rushes in and takes the tray with the cereal bowl on top.

WILL
Don't worry. I'll take that, mum.

CLAUDIA
Wait. How're you feeling?

WILL
Fine.

CLAUDIA
Here. (places orange juice glass on the tray) I'm picking you up from school today. Alright?

WILL
Alright.

CLAUDIA
I might be a little late, though. You wait for me at school. And keep away from those bullies. If they do show up at school today.

WILL
Fine.

INT./ SCHOOL LIBRARY/ DAY

Will and Jack are sitting at a desk, happily reading the FOS comic books, laughing together.

JACK
So then what happened?

Flashback of Will marching along a green field, with all the citizens of FOS, towards a castle made of glass. From the highest tower of the castle, three boys, who look like the bullies, begin to throw stones at the approaching crowd. One of them, the one who looks like the first bully, is wearing a crown and cloak, whereas the other two wear armour. The crowd raises their arm in unison, all of them carrying a stone in their hand.

JACK
Nice!

The kids get interrupted by a loud single laugh behind them. The three bullies are standing there, in mocking amusement. Jack and Will quickly try to hide their comic books but it is too late. Bullies two and three snatch the books from their hands and the three glance at them. All three begin to sneer and laugh at the two boys.

BULLY 1
Are you girls reading FOS land comics? You braid each other's hair as well?

BULLY 2
You sissies. Reading FOS.

Will is now enraged, although still scared. Feeling stronger due to the presence of his friend, he rises to his feet and snatches his book out of the bully's hands.

WILL
Leave us alone. We didn't do anything to you.

BULLY 1
Well, well, well. Look who's suddenly trying to be a man.

BULLY 3
Sticking up for his boyfriend.

WILL
(half-confidently)
Shut up.

BULLY 1
Do you have sleepovers?

BULLY 3
They sleep together.

WILL
(His voice breaking, his eyes tearing up)
Shut- 

The third bully snatches the book back from Will's hands.

BULLY 1
Do you? Do you and your little friend sleep together, Willy Stroker?

As the bullies focus on Will, Jack escapes, leaving Will alone with the bullies. They begin to tear each page into little pieces, putting them in their mouths and spitting them out onto Will. Noticing Jack has left, Will sits down and shrinks back into himself.
The librarian hears the racket and walks over. The three bullies quickly dispose of what's left of the comics, by throwing them onto Will's lap.

LIBRARIAN
What's going on here?

BULLY 1
Oh, nothing, miss. We were just telling Will, here, that he should be more careful, and clean up his own mess. Right.

Will nods briefly.

LIBRARIAN
Alright, well. They're right, Will. Clean up his mess. You three can't be racketeering in here though. Out.

As the boys are escorted out, Will kneels to the ground and begins to pick up the remains of his FOS comics.

INT./ SIXTH FLOOR SCHOOL CORRIDOR/ DAY

Will is sitting with his torn books in hand, weeping over them. The three companions are walking up the stairs and find him, sitting in a corner.

BULLY 1
Willy?

BULLY 3 
Where are you?

BULLY 2
(giggling)
Yeah. Willy Stoker?

BULLY 3
(whispering)
It's Stroker. Idiot.

BULLY 1
There you are. You know, your boyfriend told us we might find you here. 

BULLY 3
Yeah, he's not very nice.

BULLY 1
Not very faithful. All we did was threaten to break his fuckin' teeth in.

BULLY 2
(excitedly)
Fuckin' teeth in. Yeah.

BULLY 1
Are you crying? Is it because of your little book? Is the land of FOS gone?

They begin to tap his leg with their feet. Since he does not seem to respond, they begin to kick him, harder and harder, until Will urinates in his pants. Laughing at him, they begin to take-off his jeans.

BULLY 1
Mummy won't be very proud, Willy. Here, I'll take them, and then she won't know.

They remove all his clothes, sneering at and pinching him. They force him to smell his urine. They push him towards an open window and force him to stand on the window sill. With the pressure, Will loses balance and falls out the window.

EXT./ THE LAND OF FOS/ DAY

Will wakes up, and still dizzy stands up. He turns around to see the green field of FOS, and facing him, smiling, are Claudia, Jack and the citizens of FOS, the black clouds gone from above their heads. He smiles.