Sad Scene From an Old Movie

Life-of-Pix-free-stock-photo-nature-lanscape

by Michael C. Keith

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM   – DAY

GIRL about 10 years old is in bed. She is covered in a gray blanket that reaches just above her mouth.

The room is empty and its furnishings are stark. Décor suggests pre-WWII era. A sole window looks out onto the wall of a neighboring brick building.

EXT. WINDOW – DAY

Tree limbs intersect the space between the hospital and the brick building. It is early autumn.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM  – DAY

MAN enters room and sits next to the bed. He stares forlornly at its motionless occupant and sighs deeply. The patient moves to his sound.

 

 MAN

Hello, Sweetie. How you doin’, Buttercup?

 

MAN pushes GIRL’S hair from her eyes and smiles at her tenderly.

 

GIRL

Papa, I had a dream that when all the leaves were gone, I went to heaven.

EXT. VIEW FROM WINDOW  – DAY

Tree limbs sway with colorful leaves. Some are falling.

 

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM  – DAY

MAN

 You’re going to get better, darlin’. Don’t you think
like that. Besides, I bet some of those leaves stay right
where they are.

 

GIRL

But they won’t because winter is coming, and they’ll
get blown away. I want to come home. Please, can I,
Papa, before all the leaves fall?

 

MAN

Don’t you fret, little sweetheart.

 

GIRL
(with sniffle)

Oh, Papa, heaven was nice in my dream, but
when the last leaf fell, I was there and you and
Mama weren’t.

INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY – DAY

MAN speaking with DOCTOR.

 

DOCTOR
(grimly)

She’s so weak, I’m afraid she could go in a matter of days.
A week or two at most. I’m so sorry . . .

 

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM. A WEEK LATER   – DAY

GIRL’s condition has clearly deteriorated. MAN sits beside her.

 

GIRL

Look Papa, nearly all the leaves are gone.

 

EXT. VIEW BEYOND WINDOW – DAY

Tree is nearly leafless in the gloomy light.

 

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM   – DAY

MAN

There are still leaves on it, honey, and
they’re not going anywhere . . . promise.

 

 

EXT. BRICK BUILDING ADJACENT TO HOSPITAL  – EARLY EVENING

MAN on ladder pasting individual leaves to wall of the brick building.

 

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM  – DAY

MAN in room with dying girl.

MAN

See, honey, the leaves are still there.

 

GIRL
(in breathy whisper)

Love you, Papa.

 

MAN
(tears fill eyes)

Love you, too, baby.

EXT. VIEW BEYOND HOSPITAL WINDOW – DAY

A single snowflake drifts among bare tree limbs.

 

INT. GIRL’S HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY

Emptied of personal effects. The bed is newly made.

 

EXT. BRICK BUILDING WALL   –– DAY

Last pasted leaf falls away and floats skyward. Camera follows leaf on its upward trajectory.

 

The End

Category: Screenplays

  • D Ferrara

    Touching reimagining of Saki story (I think it is Saki) of dying boy and leaf. An ambiguous ending for the 21st century -!does the girl live and the father die, as in the older tale? Or is the gesture futile?

    • michael c. keith

      In the end, although it gives the dying girl a moment of hope, I think the gesture is futile against the forces of fate.