Sunflowers

FADE IN:

EXT. DENSE FOREST – DAY
Dense foliage obscures the view. In the distance we
hear: LAUGHTER getting closer. The foliage is pulled
aside to reveal the face of MARCUS (15). He stops
laughing and stares ahead with a look of awe. SIMON
(10) pushes into view beside him, also laughing. He
stops and also stares, his mouth open.

SIMON
Woah!

EXT. DENSE FOREST -DAY

SIMON and MARCUS stand at the top of a slight decline
at the edge of the forest. They are silhouetted
against a huge glowing SUNFLOWER FIELD that stretches
on seemingly endless.

MARCUS
(grinning)
Come on!

Marcus scrambles down the embankment towards the
SUNFLOWER FIELD, whooping. Simon hurries after him.

EXT. SUNFLOWER FIELD – DAY

MARCUS and SIMON seen from the side, walking through
the SUNFLOWERS, each flower at least as tall as both
boys. MARCUS trails his hand amongst their stems as he
passes.

Simon stops walking and wipes the perspiration from
his head. He holds his hand over his eyes as he
squints up at the sun beating down. Overhead is a
clear blue sky. He continues walking, finding he has
lost sight of Marcus.

The track becomes narrower. The tall sunflowers are
leaning over Marcus, their dials looking down at him.
He glances around nervously. Close up of a SUNFLOWER.

SIMON
Mar?
There is no answer.

SIMON (CONT’D)
(strained)
Come on, where are you? It’s not funny.

There is still no answer, Marcus looks around
desperately, sunflowers are on all sides.
Suddenly Marcus bursts out between the Sunflowers.

MARCUS
There you are! Come on, it’s this way.

SIMON
Mar I don’t like this.
S’creepy.

MARCUS
Don’t be daft. Race ya, chicken.

Marcus sprints ahead down a new track through the
SUNFLOWERS. SIMON follows hesitantly.

SIMON
Wait up!

MARCUS
(laughing)
Come on slow coach!

EXT. SUNFLOWER FIELD – DAY

View of the field from above. We see two figures
moving fast through the field along one of the tracks
between the SUNFLOWERS.

There are other tracks in the field, arranged like
spokes on a wheel. There are also some connecting
tracks. The overall impression is of a spider’s web.
There is something dark at the centre of the field.

SUNFLOWERS obscure the view. In the distance we hear:
LAUGHTER getting closer. The foliage is pulled aside
to reveal a CLEARING with a thatched COTTAGE at its
centre.

EXT. CLEARING – DAY

MARCUS and SIMON emerge from the field of SUNFLOWERS.
Simon brushes sunflower debris from his trousers.
Marcus approaches a window in the side of the COTTAGE.
It is a little high for him to reach.

MARCUS
(reaching for the window ledge)
Give us a boost.

Simon interlocks his fingers, creating a stirrup for
Marcus to step up on. Marcus has almost reached the
window when –

OLD MAN (O.S.)
My you’re nosey eh?

Simon spins around, momentarily forgetting to hold
Marcus who falls on top of him. The old man looks down
on them.

MARCUS
(Scrambling to his feet)
I-I’m sorry mister, we were just-

OLD MAN
(chuckling)
S’all right son, why don’t you come have a drink. I bet
you’re parched.

BACK TO SCENE
The boys follow the old man round to the front of the
house. It is a rustic design, with a framed wooden
CUT TO:
deck at the front. There is a rocking chair and table,
and a water barrel. On the table there are two
glasses.

The old man reaches into the water barrel and pulls
out a large brown glass bottle, stoppered with a cork.
He walks over to the table.

OLD MAN (CONT’D)
(As he fills the two glasses)
Here we are. Drink up, you won’t have tasted better.
Simon licks his lips. The boys take a glass each.
Inside is a semi-transparent orange liquid.

MARCUS
Thanks mister.

SIMON
Thanks.

Both boys gratefully gulp down the juice. Marcus
finishes his glass first.

MARCUS
(Smacking his lips)
Aah!

The OLD MAN turns towards the field of sunflowers. He
places his hands on his hips and breathes in deeply,
letting it out slowly.

OLD MAN
Do you like my sunflowers?
Aren’t they beautiful? I know each and every one of them.
They’re all unique-

Marcus can be seen in the background as the old man is
talking. He suddenly clutches his belly and doubles
over in pain.

OLD MAN (CONT’D)
Sure they grumble now and then, but just look at them
in the sunshine-

Simon rushes to Marcus’ aid as he thrashes around on
the ground. The old man continues talking.

OLD MAN (CONT’D)
It’s taken a lifetime but it’s worth it. They’re happy
here, every one of them.

Simon turns Marcus over. We see that Marcus’ face has
become blackened and his hair is falling out, the
clumps becoming petals. Simon recoils in horror.

The old man slowly turns around, advancing towards
Simon. Simon turns to run.

Puzzled, Simon finds he can’t move. He looks down. His
feet have become roots, burrowing into the soil.

We see Simon frantically struggling to break free as
more and more of his body changes. His face also
darkens and petals sprout from his head. He raises his
hands to his face. They have changed into dark green
leaves. Simon screams.

The old man retrieves a muddy spade from the cottage.
The screaming abruptly stops.

OLD MAN (CONT’D)
(Smiling)
Now, where to put you I wonder?

The old man looks down at the two new SUNFLOWERS.

FADE OUT

 

Copyright © 2008 Daniel Mclaughlan

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