// OPEN VISUAL :

GOTH TOWNHOME INT

It is morning. ALEXANDER GOTH wakes. He’s had a disturbing dream but by the time he rubs his eyes, it is already fading from his memory. He tries to retrieve it, but the more he tries, the more he feels the half-wet sand disintegrating in his grip.

He absently pushes away his dark blanket. He steps on a book. It’s a library book, but it’s been vandalized. ‘BEnder’s Game’. But that joke doesn’t make any sense to ALEX.

Next to the pile of books lays a FUTURE CUBE.

ALEX sits on the bed for a moment before picking it up.

FUTURE CUBE

NEVER. NIX. NO WAY. NO TIME. NOT NOW. NOT EVER. NO. NO. NO!

ALEX goes downstairs. His bedroom is on the third floor. When he reaches the first floor, he peeks into the kitchen. At the end of the kitchen is a small table and chairs where his father, MORTIMER GOTH is reading the newspaper.

MORTIMER is in a strange outfit: shorts. His outfit reveals bright purple socks.

ALEXANDER

YOU BEEN UP ALL NIGHT?

MORT folds the paper without looking at his son, and then gives him a shamed glance.

MORTIMER

I GOT UP EARLY. COULDN’T SLEEP.

ALEX looks around the tidy kitchen without entering, speaking loudly instead.

ALEXANDER

WELL… TRY TO GET SOME SLEEP LATER TODAY, DAD, OKAY?

MORTIMER

OKAY ALEX.

ALEX turns around and goes back upstairs to his bedroom. He tidies up for a few minutes, placing the books and future cube on the top of his dresser, as well as moving some clothes to the hamper.

He shakes the future cube but doesn’t look at its answer and places it face down.

From underneath his bed, he removes a cellphone. He fiddles with it for a few minutes, opening the browser and then a sort of incognito-mode, where he navigates to a very plain website with a simple username/password prompt.

But instead of letting him into the website:

ACCESS DENIED

ALEX is surprised, but navigates back to the original webpage. He enters in his password again, slowly and carefully.

ACCESS DENIED

ALEXANDER

(whispering, frustrated) WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK.

He pauses for a moment and digs in his backpack for a composition notebook, where he turns toward the back to find a mess of notes and passwords. He looks at them for a moment and turns back to the phone to again try to enter the website.

ACCESS DENIED

be forewarned that a third attempt --

But he doesn’t finish reading before he slams the back button a few times and closes the browser.

He sits in silence for a few minutes, breathing heavily. He’s scared.

ALEX finishes tidying his room, quickly organizing homework papers inside his folders, packs up his school books in his backpack and prepares to leave the house. He places the offending cellphone in his right pocket.

He passes the kitchen without looking in.

ALEXANDER

(yelling toward kitchen) BYE DAD, I’M GOING TO SCHOOL – SEE YA ~

And he’s outside. He looks around; the street is relatively empty, a few cars bustle about on their own business.

ALEX doesn’t go down the sidewalk, instead he walks down the edge of the GOTH property down a softly beaten dirt path. The edge of the property is stark; delineated by a poured concrete barrier. Suddenly he pulls his hand from his right pocket, holding the cellphone, and ‘THWACK’. ALEX throws the cellphone as hard as he can against the stone wall.

When he bends down to inspect it, it has a white dent in the laminated plastic on the backside.

ALEXANDER

(whispering) NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

A few times ALEX repeats this cycle of picking up the cellphone and throwing it against the wall until finally it begins to break apart. The joining breaks and the now-cracked screen curls away to reveal the inner circuitry.

He takes the back in his hand, breaks it in half, sending small bits of metal flying every which-way.

The screen, now curled from a spider’s web of cracks, lays abandoned on the side of the alley. ALEX spends some more time trying to break the base of the phone, but succeeds only in creating an obtuse angle about the center axis. He stuffs the thing in the outer pocket of his backpack and leaves back from the direction he came, bound for the main street on which he catches the bus to school.

// CLOSE VISUAL //