Also titled The Banishing of Antonella Novi, this screenplay, The Bone Fire, was completed and sent to be critiqued long ago. I’ve just taken it out to shake the spiders away from the darkened corners of the script. With new eyes I am embarrassed to say that the my first attempt needs a ton of reworking and rewriting. I made so many newbie dork errors. Time and distance help to reveal what wasn’t possible for me to see over five years ago.
Here is the plot point. It’s a supernatural tale about a petsitter working for a wealthy gay couple on an estate in the San Juan Islands. Antonella Novi is hired to take care of a long coat German shepherd named Zippy—and to bring meals to their shut-in Aunt, who resides in the Guest Cottage. My own Zippy dog insisted he could play the part better than Rin Tin Tin. An ancient god of luck and prosperity remains trapped on the estate and dark forces work to free her. Antonella and her friends get caught up in the battle with these warring factions. The monsters in the tale are formed by supernatural means, sharp-toothed amphibious creatures, a woman made up of tens of thousands of tadpoles who can form and dissolve whenever called forth . . . Enjoy this scene from the beginning where Antonella is walking Zippy on the road outside the state gate and has her first run-in with some sketchy characters.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD – SUNSET Antonella walks Zippy on a leash. They’re on a deserted country farm road, close to the estate entrance gates, where she approaches an idling car stopped off to the side, a large white old sedan with dark windows. A very skinny man stands outside the far side of the car, bent over, talking to another man in the driver’s seat. Antonella cannot see either of the men clearly but her intuition makes her move to the far side of the road as she walks quickly past the car. Zippy is agitated, sensing Antonella’s fear. Antonella glances at the driver in the dark square of the driver’s door window. She can see the person’s shape, shadows behind the driver’s dark face. She catches the white of the driver’s eyes. They have a TINGE OF RED in them. She walks faster.
DRIVER/METH HEAD #1 (whispering softly) Nothin’ can protect you, girlie. Not even your dog.
ANTONELLA What? Leave us alone.
The 2nd man (PASSENGER/METH HEAD #2) stands up straight and Antonella can now see he has long stringy hair falling in front of his very thin face. He is shirtless, dirty looking, and Antonella picks up her pace. She’s several yards from the entrance gate and she starts to hum. She hears the engine of the car REVVING loudly behind her and glances back in that direction. The brake lights look big and the PASSENGER/METH HEAD #2 opens the passenger door and gets in. Antonella keeps walking and as she gets within ten feet of the entrance gate she hears the car turn around and begin to drive towards her. Zippy growls.
ANTONELLA (CONT’D) Quiet, Zippy.
Antonella punches in a code to open a walk gate next to the driveway gate and rushes in behind Zippy. She moves behind the main drive gate and stares out at the white sedan as it pauses on the curved road in front of her. The car is a short distance from her but all Antonella can see is the glowing tip of a CIGARETTE lighting up the driver’s eyes. She hears Passenger/Meth Head #2 laugh, as if he has heard a really dirty joke, and DRIVER/METH HEAD #1 flicks his cigarette out the window at her and slowly drives away.
PASSENGER/METH HEAD #2 Fuck you too.
Antonella sees Passenger/Meth Head #2 snake a quick arm out the window and he flips her off, laughing more. A young woman, CALLIE, pops up as if on a spring from the backseat of the sedan, a pale almost ghostly apparition, and she stares at Antonella through the car’s back window. She points at her and curls a beckoning finger, slowly. Suddenly, an Old Farmer comes into view, walking up the road, cane tapping, to the estate gate, as the car disappears down the lane behind him. He faces Antonella, the closed gate between them.
OLD FARMER Did they scare you?
ANTONELLA A little.
OLD FARMER That’s too bad.
I’m revising this screenplay to submit to a film production company that specializes in B-movie, low-budget, horror films. Crossing my fingers that they enjoy the characters, the gothic setting, the tie to Egyptian gods and goddesses, and Zippy.
Please let me know your thoughts. With Halloween around the corner, horror films are a must. What are your favorites?