Introduction

Originally written by Rodney Dennis in 2015 for a class, Rodney and I rewrote it significantly with a plan to make it into a short film. The short film never materialized, but the script remains. Here it is, for your reading pleasure. The copyright is 2016 Rodney Dennis and Jacy Eberlein. Copy the text into a fountain.io compatible reader for full formatting.



Samuel, Guardian Angel


TITLE:
SAMUEL, GUARDIAN ANGEL
Credit: Written by
Author: Rodney Dennis & Jacy Eberlein
Source: Story by Rodney Dennis
Draft Date: 22 March 2016



INT. CUBICLE - DAY

A sequence of images depicting what the V.O. is saying. They are crudely drawn, like a five year old, and they are removed one by one from the screen as he speaks.

SAMUEL (V.O.)
The first day of the job was so exciting. I’d somehow had the good fortune to be chosen… Well, more like hit by a bus. But after that little fender bender, things started to get interesting. You see, I was given a choice: go to Heaven or become a guardian angel. I’m told most people just choose Heaven, take it easy in the big country club in the sky. Not me though. I wanted the chance to finally help people. I was going to be the hero I always wanted to be! That was the plan anyway.

The last image is pulled off screen to reveal SAMUEL, 27, the everyman. He’s tall, thin, and now infinitely ageless. He has been narrating this whole time, with his back to his computer. Samuel turns back with growing frustration, and smacks the monitor and cries out in frustration.

SAMUEL
Hey lady! Yeah you, the one with the sensible shoes and the just-in-case umbrella, why don't you stub your toe for once, huh? Go ahead and text back too soon. Eat a lemon! Fight a lion! Work with me here.

MARY, mid 30s and unnaturally tall, is Samuel's boss, and hurries over to see the source of the commotion. Mary is a stern sort of person, but not unpleasant.


MARY
Easy Samuel, that equipment takes forever to replace. And I’m not talking a couple days here. I’ve heard stories

SAMUEL
I don't get it, Mary. Why won't she let me protect her?

MARY
Maybe because she doesn’t know you exist?

SAMUEL
(Continuing rant)
Monday to Friday she just wakes up, makes coffee, goes to her elementary class, teaches some brats to count to ten, and then goes home.

MARY
Alright, what about weekends? Most people have a little more exciting weekend?

SAMUEL
Her idea of an exciting weekend is sitting and knitting!

MARY
Well, at least there are needles involved in that.

SAMUEL
Nope, she wears gloves. Gloves, Mary!


MARY
Okay, relax. Not every day is a Jimmy Stewart movie here. I mean, look at your colleagues, I'm sure they're just as miserable as you are.

Samuel looks around the room. A grandmother-aged angel is watching a monitor showing an intense underground cage fighting match. She snaps her fingers at one point and one of the boxers, who had been knocked unconscious, gets up to keep fighting. Another angel in the shared cubicle space watches the fight from over her shoulder and cheers for her, rubbing the grandma angel's shoulders like a prizefighter.

SAMUEL
Mary!

MARY
That's enough! We don't choose our humans, Samuel. And FYI, pride and envy are both highly frowned upon in this office. You have got to get yourself under control. Guardian angels are supposed to be there for everybody, not just the cool ones. Anyway, don't worry; you live forever and most people don’t. We expect great things from you; don’t let us down.

INT. CUBICLE - LATER THAT DAY

ZEKE, an 80s, sleazy and balding businessman in his mid 30s , is seen schmoozing Mary in a comically over-the-top fashion. He’s still wearing the terrible wool suit from when he sold cars

Zeke moonwalks over to Samuel's cubicle.

ZEKE
Sam the Man, you know how to unclog a copier?

SAMUEL
Is that thing broken again? You’d think divine power could keep a copier running. Or we’d go paperless already.

Zeke shakes his head

ZEKE
Bureaucracy, my friend. It takes a long time to move a glacier this big. I mean, they only lost the wings recently.

SAMUEL
Yeah, what’s with that? I was really looking forward to the wings.

ZEKE
Well, we used to need them to fly down to Earth, see the people. Now we’ve got cell phones. It’s called the Internet, Sam. Speaking of the people...
(re: monitor)
How’s Coma Claire?

SAMUEL
Perfect as always. Why couldn’t I get an exciting gig?

ZEKE
Well, you’ve only been here a few years. I’ve only recently got my new client: Miss Faira Ambrose. She’s a super spy whose cover identity is a rockstar slash supermodel.

Samuel slumps forward towards Zeke, defeated.

SAMUEL
You gotta tell me how to move up here Zeke; it’s only the thing I’ve always wanted to do. I’m going out of my mind with boredom!

ZEKE
Just keep on plugging Sammy boy, you’ll get there.

Samuel rolls his eyes.

ZEKE (CONT’D) Hey, we both know Claire doesn’t need a watchdog. Let her roam free for a while. What’s the worst that could happen? Take a breather and drop by my cube to see Miss Ambrose sometime.

Zeke does a tiger growl in his throat and moonwalks away. We linger on Samuel’s stressed face for a moment.

CUT TO:

INT. OFFICE - DAY

Samuel is one of several gathered around the cage match cubicle, watching the semi-final fights of the tournament. The fighters have been going for several bouts, and the fight is almost over. Bloody and bruised, the old lady’s client is still up. The crowd cheers on.

Mary walks over, with two G-MEN in suits. She grabs Samuel’s attention as the fighting noise drowns out in the background.

MARY
Samuel. Claire’s in the hospital; you didn’t do your job. You need to come with us now.

Samuel steps back and his face goes pale.

CUT TO:

INT. INTERROGATION ROOM/BOARD ROOM DAY

The room is lit by a single, blinding desk lamp. This is an interrogation room in the style of a classic, film noir/crime picture. The two G-men are standing at attention at the corners of the room, with their eyes hidden by sunglasses. Samuel sits on a folding chair. Mary slams her hands down on the table between them.

MARY
She could have died, Samuel! That’s the worst offence a Guardian can commit.

Samuel doesn’t reply, exasperating Mary further.

MARY
Hell, she could still die.

SAMUEL
How could this happen?

MARY
During a class trip to the zoo, a lion got free. A freak incident. Claire threw herself in front of the children to save their lives and it attacked her. She’s a better guardian angel than you are, and she doesn’t even work here.

SAMUEL
(Sighs)
Can’t we just save her now?

MARY
I wish we could, but there are rules for these situations. It’s gotta seem like nature has taken its course. You know that; it’s in the manual.

Mary resigns herself and sits.

MARY (CONT’D)
You’re put on notice… Effective immediately. One more screw up, and it’s an eternity of fire and brimstone.

Mary and the G-men exit the room, leaving Samuel to contemplate his future.

INT. OFFICE - DAY

Samuel slumps into the office. Zeke is spinning around in his chair holding a large coffee with lots of whipped cream. Zeke’s humming the tune of “Ride of the Valkyries.”

ZEKE
Buh duh duh dah duh… Hey, Sam! Sam-I-am-guardian-angel-man! Hah! Hey, come here for a second!

SAMUEL
Zeke, now’s not a good time.

ZEKE
Oh, sure it is! Check out my monitor, man.

SAMUEL
Zeke, Claire’s…

ZEKE
Not skydiving into a volcano while defusing the bomb strapped to the Bulgarian foreign minister. Watch this…

SAMUEL
Zeke…

ZEKE
You know I used to worry about something going wrong when I started this, but the truth is you’d have to be a real idiot to screw up the angel gig. I mean, come on! How could I not keep Faira safe when she’s already so good at this?

SAMUEL
Anybody can make a mistake.

ZEKE
Anybody could make a mistake? Anybody could make a… You really think so? Watch this my friend. Okay, she’s falling. Oh no, there’s a pointy rock down there. Whatever will I do! Oh, I’m panicking. She’s *really* in for it!

SAMUEL
Zeke, what are you…

ZEKE
Hey, I see a little dust on my monitor. Can’t have that. Safety concern really.

Zeke blows on his monitor in a dramatic fashion and winks at Samuel.

ZEKE (CONT’D)
Weird, a breeze just pushed Claire and the minister to the safety of that rock face. I wonder how that could have happened. She even defused the bomb on the way down.

Zeke laughs with delight.

SAMUEL
I’m glad she’s okay.

ZEKE
Mmm hmm. Real hard job. Talk to you later, Sam-a-gator.

Samuel leaves Zeke and slumps into his desk chair. He tries to get back to work, but seems distracted. He shortly pushes himself up and grabs a coat.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - NIGHT

Samuel, wearing the coat, is looking through a hospital door window. He’s watching Claire, who is laying in her hospital bed. She’s covered in sheets, with only her head and one arm exposed. A doctor speaks inaudibly to Claire and then leaves the room.

CLAIRE
You can come in now. The doctor’s gone home for the night.

Samuel enters the room.

CLAIRE
There you are. You’ve been lurking around that corner for a while now like a frightened child. After all these years, I’ve developed a bit of a sixth sense for these things. That’s how I got between the tiger and the kids so quickly.
(pause)
Come here.

Samuel comes inside and sits at the chair by Claire’s bed.

SAMUEL
I’m so sorry this happened. You deserved better than this.

CLAIRE
It’s alright. You know, I normally have a rather boring life. Now at least they can put something interesting in my obituary. Attacked by a tiger! Now that’s something.

SAMUEL
I… I mean, someone should have done something. No… You see I was supposed to watch out for you that day. I should have done something.

CLAIRE
So you work for the zoo?

SAMUEL
Not exactly. That doesn’t matter though. Look, this was all my fault. I don’t expect you to forgive me.

Claire uses her free arm to hand Samuel a drawing. It’s a picture of Claire as a superhero in crayon that’s signed “Meg, Grade 2.”

CLAIRE
My kids sent me some drawings, do you like them?

SAMUEL
Your kids. Yes, they’re wonderful.

CLAIRE
Yeah, my students. They’re just starting out. They have their whole lives ahead of them. We always forget that they’re our future, but it’s true.

SAMUEL
Oh, please don’t talk like that, you’re the future too.

Claire smiles at Samuel.

CLAIRE
I’m old. I feel old, and tired. But I’m worried about the kids.
(thinks)
My sixth sense is acting up again. I think it’s telling me you aren’t exactly as you seem. You think you can help me out?

SAMUEL
Maybe, what can I do for you?

CLAIRE
Keep an eye on my kids. Make sure they grow up safe and sound. Would you do that for me?

SAMUEL
(kindly)
Okay, I’ll see what I can do.

CLAIRE
Thank you. I think I’m going to close my eyes for a bit now. It’s time for you to go.

Claire rolls onto her back and closes her eyes. After a moment, Samuel smiles wistfully, and gets up to leave.

INT. OFFICE - DAY

We find ourselves with Zeke, freaked out.

ZEKE
Oh no! No, no, no!

Zeke is watching a video of a bus filled with children, and whatever the situation, is unable to handle it. He is panicking. A COWORKER is standing by and notices the terrible scene.

COWORKER
Oh crap! Somebody help!

Samuel has just gotten back to the office, and he runs over when he hears the commotion. People are starting to gather around the cubicle.

SAMUEL
Zeke, what up?

ZEKE
Well I uh, I was just notified that there are some innocent kids in danger. That’s a first for me, um… It’s a bunch of students. Their, uh, bus has been hijacked. It’s Beaverbrook Elementary.

Samuel freaks out, immediately realizing those are Claire’s kids!

SAMUEL
Get out of the way!

Zeke’s panic has left him stunned and ineffective, and Samuel pushes him aside. Samuel gets to work figuring out how to stop this disaster without violating the laws of the universe.

It has been many years since such a terrible act has occurred that could be stopped by the angels, so the crowd steadily grows as the action heats up. The following dialogue is split by the quickly gathering crowd for this momentous occasion.

CROWD
Oh no!
Do it Sam!
Those poor children!

As the intensity of the situation grows, and as Samuel searches for a solution, the crowd’s energy builds.

CROWD (CONT’D)
That might work!
Wow, is he...?
Try that, try that!
Come on!
You can do it!

Samuel manages to get the hostage-taker to become disarmed and overwhelmed, and gets the bus to come to a safe stop by having the engine fail. The crowd goes wild! Everyone is congratulating him as he leaves the cubicle. Eventually the crowd starts to disperse, running off to get party supplies for the save of the century.

Suddenly the world goes silent, and Samuel turns in his excitement to see Claire. She has died and is there only as a ghostly apparition.

CLAIRE
Well done.

She smiles and then disappears.

Samuel is momentarily stunned, but Mary brings him back to reality.

MARY
Sam, I just heard! Well done!

SAMUEL
What?

MARY
That’s the save of the decade, maybe even the century! You’ve really proven yourself today; you’re off report!

SAMUEL
But I think Claire just died…

MARY
I’m sorry, Sam. I suppose that’s life. I think I know who I’ll assign to you next.

Mary walks off, and talks to Zeke who is huddled in a ball. We hear Mary begin to speak in the background until she is OFF SCREEN.

MARY
Zeke, I’m reassigning Faira to someone else. Let’s see who we can get that’s, er, more your speed.

Meanwhile, we linger with Samuel, who is still being congratulated. Slowly his expression warms. He did good today, and, though he may not be happy about the whole situation, things will be better in the future.

> FADE TO BLACK

>THE END<