Pinkie (Excerpt) by Edisol Wayne Dotson

Pinkie (Excerpt)

 

over BLACK:

Airplane wheels screech on landing.

Fade in:

Ext. san francisco international airport – DAY

Pinkie appears in the doorway of a private jet, goes down the stairs. Manny follows.

Manny crosses to one of two parked black hybrid SUVs, takes a set of keys from a MAN. The Man drives off in one of the SUVs.

Pinkie gets in the backseat of the other SUV, Manny gets behind the wheel. They drive off.

Ext. billy’s house – Berkeley – day

A small Victorian house in pristine condition.

Pinkie’s SUV is parked on the street.

He smokes on the front porch, paces. He looks beaten down: dark circles under the eyes, the ruggedness of his looks no longer good.

After a few moments, Manny comes out of the house. He wears a a pair of latex gloves.

Manny

All clear.

Pinkie looks around, trying to find something to use as an ashtray.

Manny (CONT’D)

Give it to me. I’ll take it around back to the trash.

Pinkie takes a final drag, hands the cigarette to Manny.

Pinkie

Do you mind going through the trash to see if there’s anything that might be useful?

Manny

No problem.

Pinkie

Put the containers in the garage when you’re done. Recycling too. Just in case.

Manny

Got it.

PinKIE

Thanks.

Manny pulls a fresh pair of gloves from a pocket, hands them to Pinkie.

Pinkie goes to the door. He hesitates, his body tense.

Int. billy’s House – day

Pinkie enters, only a couple steps in. His eyes are on his hands, concentrating on putting on the gloves, not completely ready to take it all in.

Once the gloves are on, he covers his face with his hands. He takes in several deep breaths.

MONTAGE:

LIVING ROOM

Minimally furnished with sleek, modern pieces; a few high-value modern-art paintings hang on the wall; all a striking contrast to the old-world elegance of the original wood floor, fireplace, crown molding and chandelier.

Pinkie walks around the room, touching pieces of furniture.

He stops at the mantle, scans the few framed photographs: a goofie selfie of he and Billy at a football game; another of he, Billy and Charlotte on a beach; and an old black and white of a sad-looking little kid sitting on a tricycle.

KITCHEN

Modernized, but not to the point of losing it’s charm. A few dirty dishes in the sink. A vase of dead flowers on the cooking island.

He opens the fridge: beer, juice; other than a bag of salad and a couple of bottles of salad dressing, not much food.

 

OFFICE/STUDY

Lots of hardcover and paperback books on floor-to-ceiling  bookshelves along three of the walls. The room has the look of a 19th century master-of-the-house library or a bookstore specializing in old and rare books.

A small desk against a wall with a large computer screen split with black and white feeds from security cameras throughout the house and outside.

Pinkie stands at an old, sturdy wooden desk in front of a window, surveys the clutter: landline, a Disneyland snow globe, ashtray with a few butts; a couple of legal pads, one with several pages flipped back, a few handwritten lines visible on the page; a few expensive pens, paperbacks and sports magazines, power cord for a laptop, charge cord for a cell phone.

He picks a butt from the ashtray, puts it between his lips.

He picks up the two cords, stares at them, then lets them drop to the desk.

He picks up the legal pad.

CLOSE ON: The legal pad. His fingers run over the handwriting. His hand moves away: “A good dad. The words were plain enough, but Malcolm had never been able to say them in any way that made them stick.”

He pulls forward one of the folded back pages, reads for a few moments.

He throws the pad across the room.

He exits.

STAIRWAY

Pinkie climbs the stairs.

BEDROOM

It’s a mess: unmade bed, shoes and clothes litter the floor, a ratty Berkeley T-shirt hangs on the back of a chair, a gym bag underneath.

ADJOINING BATHROOM

He opens the medicine chest: Band-Aids, shaving cream, toothpaste, floss, deodorant. Nothing out of the ordinary.

He closes the door, sees his reflection in the mirror: the cigarette butt in his lips, the dark circles under his eyes.

He pulls the butt from his lips and drops it into a trash basket. He turns to the door, but stops and turns back, panic in his eyes.

He squats, looks into the trash basket. Not seeing the butt,  he upends the basket, dumping the contents onto the floor: used tissues and floss, a pregnancy test box and stick, and the butt. He picks up the butt, puts it back between his lips. He pick ups up the pregnancy box and stick. He relaxes, a bit.

BEDROOM

Pinkie sits on the bed.

He looks at the night stand: alarm clock, ashtray full of butts, a book-marked paperback, “The Member of the Wedding.”

He opens a drawer. Rummages through it: a pack of cigarettes, lighter, matches, condoms, bottle of lubricant. He closes the drawer.

He notices something under the covers. He lifts them, revealing a teddy bear, one that looks like it’s been around for a long while. It’s missing an eye. A sudden intake of air through his mouth sucks the butt inside. He quickly turns his head and spits out the butt. He sticks out his tongue, wipes it on a sleeve. He spits a couple of more times, trying to get rid of the awful taste.

He looks back at the teddy bear. He pokes it, as if he’s checking for life. After a moment, he picks it up, stares at it. He’s taken to another time…

Int. child’s bedroom – night

A SMALL BOY in pajamas lies in bed, on his back, his head turned to the side, eyes open. It’s the boy from the black and white photo on the mantle, YOUNG PINKIE. He doesn’t blink. He looks frozen, almost dead. His eyes are fixed on something across the room.

Man’s voice (o.s.)

(singsongy)

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home…

Young Pinkie’s POV of ANOTHER MAN from the waist down, black dress pants and black shiny shoes. The one-eyed teddy bear rests in between his legs.

Man’s voice (o.s.) (CONT’D)

(singsongy)

… This little piggy had roast beef, this little piggy had none.

This little piggy cried…

A Man’s fingers tickle up Young Pinkie’s foot.

Man’s voice (o.s.) (CONT’D)

(singsongy)

… wee…

The fingers are on his shin.

Man’s voice (o.s.) (CONT’D)

(singsongy)

… wee, wee…

The fingers are on his knee.

BACK TO PRESENT – BILLY’S BEDROOM

Pinkie continues to stare at the teddy bear.

Man’s voice (v.o.)

(singsongy, big finish)

All the way home.

He squeezes the neck of the teddy bear, throttles it for a couple of moments before dropping it to the bed.

He notices the gym bag underneath the chair, crosses, picks it up and puts it in the chair. He unzips it and rummages through the contents. He pulls and drops socks, T-shirts and gym shorts. He pulls out a laptop, returns it to the bag.

He takes the T-shirt from the back of the chair, stuffs it into the bag.

He heads out, but stops. He crosses to the bed, picks up the teddy bear and shoves it into the bag.

INT. OFFICE/STUDY – DAY

Pinkie enters, crosses to the desk. He takes the laptop from the bag, plugs in the power cord. He picks up the snow globe, puts into the bag.

He heads for the doorway, stops.

He crosses, picks up the legal pad, exits.

Ext. street – day

Manny and Sam at a car parked behind Pinkie’s.

In the background, Pinkie steps out of the house.

Sam’s car

Pinkie approaches.

Pinkie

Hi, Sam. How was the drive up?

Sam

Good. Thanks.

PinKIE

I appreciate you doing this.

Sam

Sure. Anything to help.

Manny

(to Pinkie)

I’ll be right back.

He leaves them and goes to the SUV.

Pinkie

You have all the codes for the security?

Sam

I do.

Pinkie

Let us know if you find anything on the security footage.

Sam

You wanted me to go back six months, right?

Pinkie

Yeah. But, before you do that, I left Billy’s laptop on his desk. See if you can get into his email.

Sam

Got it.

Manny returns, holding a box of latex gloves.

MannY

(to Sam)

A buddy of mine is coming at three-thirty to dust for prints.

He hands to the box to Sam.

MANNY (CONT’D)

Wear these until he’s done. Starting from here to the front door, don’t fucking touch anything without gloves. Understood?

Sam

Understood.

Pinkie turns away from them, heads for the SUV. He stops after a couple of steps. He drops the gym bag, goes back to Sam.

Sam is surprised when Pinkie grabs him and gives him a tight hug.

Pinkie

(in the hug)

Thanks, again.

He pulls away, but keeps his hands clasped on Sam’s shoulders. He feigns a parental sternness.

PinkiE (CONT’D)

No wild parties. It’s not a frat house.

Sam laughs.

Sam

No problem there. I’m a computer geek. A de facto loner.

Pinkie lets go. Now, he’s the guy helping his buddy get laid.

Pinkie

There’s a big, bad city just across the Bay.

Manny

(to Sam)

Don’t charge the rubbers to the company card.

He walks off, to the SUV.

Pinkie

Call Manny if you need anything. And, do the opposite of what he just said.

He turns, heads to the SUV.

PINKIE’S CAR

The back door is open.

Manny picks up the gym bag as Pinkie approaches, holds it up.

MANNY

Front or back?

Pinkie

I’ll take it.

With the bag, he climbs into the back seat.

Manny closes the door, rounds the car to the driver’s side.

EXT. STREET – DAY

Pinkie’s car drives off, as Sam takes a pair of gloves from the box.

As Pinkie’s car travels on various streets, a black Town Car appears and follows.

Int. Pinkie’s car – tRAVELING – DAY

Manny’s reflection in the rearview mirror.

Pinkie (o.s.)

They still there?

Manny

Yep.

Ext. Downtown berkeley street – day

Pinkie’s car pulls into the parking lot of a coffee shop.

The Town Car pulls in, parks nearby.

Pinkie and Manny get out of their car, enter the coffee shop.

Int. coffee shop – day

Pinkie sits in a booth. One of his hand lies flat, palm down, on the table. He’s hiding something.

Manny approaches with two cups of coffee. He sets one in front of Pinkie, sits across from him.

TWO MEN enter. One goes to the counter. The other crosses to Pinkie and Manny.

Manny gives the guy his “don’t-fuck-with-us” glare, opens his coat to reveal his gun.

Pinkie lifts his hand that’s on table revealing his switchblade. He puts his finger on the button, ready.

PiNKIE

(to the Man)

I’ll play nice if you will.

The Man smiles, cocks his head in agreement.

PinkiE (CONT’D)

(to Manny)

His friend may need some help understanding the difference between a cappuccino and a latte.

Manny scoots out of the booth, goes to the counter.

PinKIE (CONT’D)

It’s been a long time, Sebastian.

SEBASTIAN WILLIAMS (58) slides into the booth, opposite Pinkie. He’s the Northern California kingpin. He’s tall and thin, a face barely holding on to the last of its good looks. His expensive suit and flashy accessories try to make up for the loss.

Pinkie puts his knife on the seat, within easy reach.

Sebastian

New Year’s Eve, 1996. Remember?

Pinkie

Vaguely.

SeBASTIAN

I remember it like it was last night. Of course, I’m the one who caught my wife making out with a man who wasn’t her husband.

PINKIE

Now it’s coming back to me. She was a hell of a kisser.

SeBASTIAN

Italian babes usually are.

Pinkie

She was a beautiful woman back then. How’s she holding up?

SeBASTIAN

I wouldn’t know. We divorced in ’98. I’m married to a Russian now. Terrible kisser, but sucks cock like nobody’s business.

PINKIE

You always did prefer head over tail.

He sips his coffee.

It’s down to business now.

Pinkie (CONT’D)

Did you kill Billy?

Sebastian is not offended by the accusation.

SebASTIAN

No, I didn’t.

Pinkie

Why should I believe you?

SeBASTIAN

Because if there’s anybody I want to kill, it’s you. Your Billy doesn’t… Sorry.

He smiles.

SebaSTIAN (CONT’D)

Didn’t mean fuck-shit to me.

CLOSE ON: Pinkie taking hold of the switchblade.

He doesn’t like Sebastian’s dismissive comment about Billy. Still, he keeps his composure.

Pinkie

We’re done here.

SeBASTIAN

I never tire of quickies. And…

He looks at the counter, then back to Pinkie.

SeBASTIAN (CONT’D)

… We’re all still breathing.

Pinkie lifts the knife and pops it. As he scoots out of the booth, he slides the tip across the table, leaving a scratch in the wood.

Pinkie

For now.

Sebastian gives him a “whatever” flick of his hand.

Manny and Sebastian’s Man approach the table.

Pinkie (CONT’D)

(to Manny)

Let’s go.

Counter

PinkiE

(to GIRL behind the counter)

Excuse me.

Girl

What can I get you?

PinkiE

Nothing.

He pulls a thick fold of cash, peels off a few hundreds, lays them on the counter.

Pinkie (CONT’D)

I scratched the table. This should cover it.

He and Manny exit.

A quick thinker, she pockets the bills.

Ext. Bay area freewayS – day

Aerial shot of Pinkie’s SUV heading across the Bay Bridge toward the San Francisco skyline.

Ext. golden gate park – north windmill – day

A restored windmill with moving arms, surrounded by a garden of tulips.

It being one of San Francisco’s major attractions, tourists mill about, verbally admiring the structure and flowers, taking photographs. Lots of selfie sticks.

Pinkie and Manny enter the scene, walk past the windmill and disappear into a group of trees.

Trees

Pinkie and Manny make their way on a well-trodden dirt path, with Manny in the lead, glancing at his phone every few steps.

Pinkie

How much further?

Manny

We’re nearly there.

After a few more moments of walking, Manny stops, looks up from his phone.

Manny (CONT’D)

They should be…

He stops.

MANNY (CONT’D)

Shit.

Ahead, he sees two trees, both of which have rope tied around the trunks.

Pinkies steps to Manny’s side, sees the ropes. He takes off toward the trees. Manny bolts to follow.

They come around to the other side of the trees.

Tied to each tree is a MAN with a bullet hole in his forehead. Duck tape covers their mouths.

Stan’s Benedict and Arnold have been executed.

Pinkie

Goddammit.

Pinkie’s phone chimes. He pulls it, looks at the screen.

CLOSE ON: The screen, incoming text message ID’d as Billy. Message reads: “Remember that show with whathisname and whatshername? Trust no one.” A winking smiley face emoticon at the end.

Using the back of his hand, Manny touches the neck of one of the Men.

Manny

He’s warm.

He pulls his gun, looks around.

Pinkie

We’d be dead if that’s what they wanted.

He looks at his phone.

Pinkie (CONT’D)

Who the fuck is this with Billy’s phone?

Manny

We’ll find him. Let’s get of here.

They head back down the path.

Ext. golden gate park – north windmill – day

Away from the crowd, with the windmill in the background, Pinkie smokes, his phone to his ear.

Manny is close by.

Int. Bedroom – day

Stan in bed, covered to the waist with a sheet, his much-less-than-perfect upper body exposed.

His phone buzzes on the night stand. He picks it up, glances at the screen, takes the call.

Stan (into phone)

Hey.

Pinkie (over phone)

Listen, asshole…

Intercut:

Ext. golden gate park – north windmill – day

Pinkie (intO PHONE)

… They’re dead.

Stan (inTO PHONE)

What the fuck are you talking about?

Pinkie (into PHONE)

Tied to fucking trees with bullet holes in their heads.

Stan (into phone)

Are you sure it’s them?

Pinkie (into PHONE)

Who the fuck else would it be?

Int. Bedroom – day

PINKIE (over PHONE)

You need to get your fat fucking ass up here and figure this shit out.

Stan (inTO PHONE)

Alright. I’ll… Hello? … You there?

He tosses his phone onto the night stand.

Stan (CONT’D)

Fuuuuuuck.

Ext. golden gate park – north windmill – day

Pinkie lights a cigarette.

Manny approaches with two bottles of water.

Manny

You’ve been smoking too much.

Pinkie takes a water.

Pinkie

I know.

He opens the bottle, takes a big swig.

ManNY

My father died of lung cancer. Four packs a day. It’s not a pretty way to go.

Pinkie

It can be, depending on the father.

His phone chimes. He pulls it, looks at the screen.

Pinkie (inTO PHONE) (CONT’D)

Hi, Bradford. What have you found?

INTERCUT:

int. autopsy room – DAY

BRADFORD (40s) at an examining table where Billy’s body lies.

Bradford (into PHONE)

Whoever did the embalming knew what they were doing. There’s no sign of any physical trauma to the body, except for needle marks in his arms.

Pinkie (into PHONE)

Needle marks?

BraDFORD (into PHONE)

Yeah.

Pinkie (inTO PHONE)

That’s not possible. Billy hated drugs.

Bradford (into PHONE)

We won’t know what it was until the final tox reports come in and that’s going to be at least a week. But, the marks indicate he was injecting something.

Ext. golden gate park – north windmill – day

Pinkie (inTO PHONE)

Or somebody was injecting him. … Okay. Let me know if you find anything else. … Thanks.

He hangs up.

He takes a drag on the cigarette, leans down, crushes it out. He keeps the butt.

PinkIE (CONT’D)

Let’s go.

He and Manny head off. Pinkie drops the butt into a trash can.

 

Edisol Wayne Dotson is the author of “Behold the Man: The Hype and Selling of Male Beauty in Media and Culture.” His fiction, nonfiction and poetry have appeared in “Art & Understanding.” He is not a student or alumnus of CCSF, but lived in San Francisco for many years.”

 

 

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