1st and 10 to Life

Synopsis: A socially inept young man makes a mistake and goes to prison where he discovers a hidden talent for football.
Year:
2009
43 Views


INT. PRISON INFIRMARY

CHUCK MOSES (white, late 20’s convict, jacked) is teary eyed as he hears the prognosis of his best friend JOSE MELENDEZ (Latino late 30’s, tattoos) CHUCK steps away momentarily to a secluded area and takes of his chained necklace with B.I.G. Engraved on it (Believe in God) He looks up to the ceiling as if he were speaking to God. He first looks up with ire and fury but then closes his eyes tightly and looks at the emblem again.

CHUCK:

Please God! Let my buddy walk again. I realize I haven’t been very righteous but I am begging you please. Please! This man deserves to walk again!

CHUCK walks back into the infirmary and hands JOSE the chained necklace

JOSE:

Bro, this is your chain man! I know how important it is to you.

CHUCK:

I want you to have it! You need it more than I do.

JOSE:

No way man!

A silent moment passes. Chuck ponders.

CHUCK:

I’ll tell you what (teary eyed) When you get up and walk to me again you can give it back!

JOSE:

You got yourself a promise!

CHUCK leans over to embrace JOSE in his bed. They both slap hands

JOSE:

Now go show that brute what a real baller can do. I know you have the talent even though you deny it. Go show him!

Chuck has a look of rage and vengeance in his eyes

EXT. FIELD DAY

Dark clouds fill the sky as rain begins to fall, splashing into a muddy yard.

A prison yard football game is taking place. It is highlighted by newcomer XAVIER VISON. (recently convicted of sexual assault and NFL top prospect.)

INMATES and PRISON GUARDS both stand in awe of the sheer strength and ruthless behavior of XAVIER. A lot of wagers of cigarettes and money being exchanged.

CHUCK is about to be summoned into the game to be the ball carrier. JOSE had tried to run before but had been severely injured and set to the infirmary by XAVIER.

CHUCK turns his gaze to the defense. XAVIER glares at him with a devilish grin trying to intimidate him. Chuck stares back evenly.

QB:

Down, set, hut!

The ball is snapped and handed off to Chuck immediately. The offense seemingly gets out of the way on purpose as the defense charges in.

Chuck barrels forward regardless. Chuck uses his lineman as unwilling blockers by positioning them in front of defenders. Chuck leaps and sidesteps accordingly, evading illegal tackles while showcasing his superhuman peripheral vision.

He is now face to face with XAVIER. Chuck shuts his eyes just before impact--

INT. MCDONALD’S DAY

The bright, primary colors of the plastic ball pen.

SUPERIMPOSE:
22 years earlier

Seven year old Chuck witnesses TWO OLDER BOYS(9 years old) pick on and tease a YOUNG GIRL about Chuck’s age. The boys pull her hair, remove her shoes and toss them on top of the ball tent. Meanwhile the BOYS’ PARENT (female 30’s) is engaged in conversation with her friend. Chuck’s mother KAREN is in front ordering lunch.

Chuck is infuriated by the display between the boys and young girl. He sees her cry and without second thought he charges into the ball tent and starts to wrestle with the boys. The boys wrestle him into the balls and corner him. Chuck gets scared because of his claustrophobic nature. He then tries to get out of the corner and succeeds by swinging violently and shoving the boys away and wrestling one down and tackling the other. The Boys let out a scream and attract the attention of their mother.

BOYS’ MOTHER

Someone stop that little monster!

KAREN MOSES, Chuck’s auburn haired mother, 30’s runs over in shock as she drops her takeout order.

KAREN:

Chuck, get over here! Right now!

Chuck’s eyes get calmer, he obeys and comes to Karen.

KAREN:

(to the Boys’ mother) I’m so sorry. Chucky is normally such a sweet, timid boy. I have never seen him like this. Something must have set him off!

BOYS’ MOTHER

It’s probably a learned characteristic. Bad parenting, violent household, you get my drift! (sarcastically). If he were older he would be in jail for assault

Karen rolls her eyes but says nothing.

Chuck then notices the girl’s shoe that fell off the ball tent. Chuck then takes the shoe over to the little girl, hitherto, unnoticed, who softly cries in the corner. She accepts the shoe warily.

Chuck tears up suddenly realizing the magnitude of the situation. A lot of people are now noticing, giving both Karen and Chuck looks of dismay.

CHUCK:

Can we go now, mom?

Karen nods.

I/E. KAREN’S SUV

Chuck quietly reads a Utah Jazz magazine as Karen drives while looking concerned.

KAREN:

(to Chuck)

I know its been a tough week Chuck. This new Diabetes disease you have. We don’t know exactly what is in store for you. You just need to remember to follow your diet and take your shots everyday. But this new outrage you had is something we have never seen.

Chuck just puts his head down and almost starts to sob again

KAREN:

Don’t cry baby! Just remember that we all love you! James, Jake, Daddy and I. We will all help you. Your heavenly father, too.

CHUCK:

I’m sorry mommy!

Karen smiles and touches his arm. She also starts to get teary eyed.

INT. THE MOSES HOUSE

The place is cozy- a little messy here and there, mismatched decor reflecting a lifetime of practical purchases.

A Utah Jazz game is playing. It is interrupted with a football commercial.Gathered Before the set DALLIN MOSES (40’s,a tough cop that resembles a little like Clint Eastwood), and teenage brothers JAMES (16, earnest and wise like father) and JAKE (14, tall, with an easy cockiness born of everything in life coming easily.

DALLIN:

That’s why I hate football - and why no son of mine will ever play it. Football resembles war - ground acquisition while players torture each other. Basketball, on the other hand, is a pure sport when its played right. Five men playing as one.

KAREN:

There you go again sweetie! Anytime something football related comes up. You are reminded of your jerk friend in school.

DALLIN nods in agreement. He then turns his attention to KAREN.

DALLIN:

How did Chuck’s Diabetic doctor visit go.

KAREN:

They just gave us more routine information about diet. Staying away from sugar foods. Checking blood sugar and taking insulin and being on top of everything.

DALLIN:

Its too bad about this damn disease! To go along with his claustrophobia.

Karen nods

The attention is focused again on the television set as John Stockton flows like water between opponents, dribbling the ball just out of their reach. Without even looking, he shoots a perfect pass to Karl Malone

JAMES:

How did he see him?

CHUCK:

He’s got eyes like mine

Both James and Jake chuckle and look bewildered

JAKE:

(sarcastically)Sure, Chuck! NBA assist leader John Stockton is just like you. (smiles sarcastically with opened mouth)

Chuck is a little embarrassed. Dallin is naturally curious. Karen tunes in the conversation

DALLIN:

What do you mean Chuck?

KAREN:

Well, Honey! I forgot to mention that Chuck had his peripheral vision checked and it turns out his vision is extraordinary. He can see things almost directly behind him.

DALLIN:

Dallin smiles with admiration

DALLIN:

Now why would Chuck happen to have his peripheral vision checked. I’ve never even heard of something like that during a checkup.

KAREN:

Well Chuck happened to see a fly on the wall fly away on a wall almost directly behind him fly off and he was able to catch it in his hand! So the doctor was curious and checked his vision.

Both James and Jake look shocked.

JAKE:

Oh I’m sure my vision is like that, too no big deal!

DALLIN:

Well lets test it out

Dallin holds his hand to the side of each boys’ head, and extended his fingers.

DALLIN:

How many fingers am I holding up?

CHUCK:

Two

JAMES:

Two

JAKE:

Two

Dallin extends his hand even further about three quarters and raises more fingers

DALLIN:

How about now?

JAMES:

3

JAKE:

3

CHUCK:

4

DALLIN:

Chuck is right, fellas!

Dallin keeps testing him over and over with different raised fingers and Chuck gets it right each time

JAKE:

Ah this is a stupid game, I’m going to the kitchen to grab a snack

JAMES:

(a little upset) I cant believe I didn’t see

DALLIN:

Don’t sweat it kid, hardly anyone can.

The attention soon deviates and focuses back on the game. Stockton makes another great pass and Dallin looks at Chuck and winks with a big smile

INT. HIGH SCHOOL STADIUM - DAY

SUPERIMPOSE:
Eight years later

Chuck, now 15, tall and slender, kneels in the middle of the basketball court in a Stockton jersey. Hair neatly combed. Chuck’s eyes are squeezed shut as he prays.

CHUCK:

I know you didn’t make me as good as my brothers. But please let me be good enough for this team.

Finished, Chuck checks his sock, sliding down the cuff - he has a Stockton player card tucked within. BRADY MORTENSON (popular multi-athlete) notices chuck hunched down

BRADY:

Admire your athlete’s foot somewhere else, Moses!

Chuck warily looks up - a cluster of boys enter the gym, following their alpha - BRADY (Aryan perfection in a Michael Jordan jersey.

A gaggle of girls also enter, taking seats in the bleachers. Brady cockily takes in Chuck as he stands up, his jersey becoming visible.

BRADY:

Look everyone, it’s John Stockton

A lot of laughter resonates Embarrassed, Chuck awkwardly checks the time on his Timex watch - it reads 10:11

BRADY:

You don’t seriously believe you’ve got a chance at making the team, do you?

Brady and the others play with a basketball - dribbling and passing as they whiz by Chuck. Brady finishes with a showy behind-the-back layup.

In the bleachers, the girls giggle to one another, all eyes on Brady. Chuck gazes at one girl in particular - SARAH (an athletic brunette with blue eyes and glasses).

COACH ANDERSON (O.S.)

Listen up, ladies!

Chuck snaps to attention, his reverie disrupted, as COACH ANDERSON strides onto the court.

COACH ANDERSON:

And I don’t mean the pretty young things in the bleachers.

Coach Anderson dubiously looks at the gathered basketball team hopefuls

COACH ANDERSON:

Seems you got lost on the way to cheerleading tryouts. Guess you will have to try to play some basketball instead.

The coach’s imperious gaze lands on Chuck - who looks away, intimated by the machismo.

COACH ANDERSON:

Line up gentlemen! Let’s start out the festivities with some ladders!

The players shuffle toward one end of the court.

COACH ANDERSON:

When I give an order, you respond with, “Yes, Coach!” Understand?

Chuck is uncharacteristically louder than the others -

PLAYERS:

Yes, Coach!!

Coach Anderson looks at Chuck.

COACH ANDERSON:

I’ve never seen anyone so excited to do ladders. What’s your name?

CHUCK:

Chuck Moses, coach

COACH ANDERSON:

Same family as Dallin, James, and Jake?

Chuck nods

COACH ANDERSON:

That’s some fine pedigree. Seems basketball runs in the Moses family blood.

BRADY:

(smirking) Get ready to be surprised, Coach

Chuck reddens while others laugh. Even the coach complies to Brady’s charms.

MONTAGE - BASKETBALL TRYOUTS

-- The boys sprint up and down the court. Cameron is the fastest.... Chuck is among the slowest.

COACH ANDERSON:

Let’s go! My grandmother runs faster than you guys in the back.

Chuck sucks down the air. He is dizzy and lightheaded. He looks up towards the sky in anger. He quietly speaks addressing God

CHUCK:

Why am I so damn slow? I have never been slow like this. What the hell is wrong?

-- In the middle of the court, the boys are lined up practicing right-handed dribbling. Everyone is competent.

COACH ANDERSON:

Switch it up! Left hands!

The boys switch. A few lose control of the ball...Chuck excels.

-- Ditto for free throws. Chuck sinks the ball repeatedly, in quick succession.

-- Barnyard Drill. The ball sits in the middle of the court. Coach Anderson blows his whistle, and Brady and another boy race from opposite ends of the court. They jockey for position and Brady wins the ball.

Chuck takes a turn - his opponent gets there first but Chucks instincts to get the ball force him to use illegal tripping and wrestling moves to get the ball. Coach Anderson is upset and blows the whistle

COACH ANDERSON:

Goddammit Moses! This isn’t football. That is what we call a flagrant foul and possible ejection.

Chuck lowers his head in shame. He then proceeds to practice.

-- The boys run down the court during a scrimmage. On offense, Brady cockily dribbles around Chuck - who darts his hand out and steals the ball. Chuck hustles back down the court with Brady in pursuit - and dishes off a perfect pass to a teammate, who scores off the backboard. Other players congratulate the teammate. Brady seethes. Chuck looks to see if the coach and girls in the bleachers notice. He realizes they didn’t see the play. Chuck just shakes his head in disgust.

-- Brady has possession again. He notes that the coach is distracted, scribbling notes on a clipboard. Brady dribbles straight for Chuck - and bounces the ball off of Chuck’s face, sending him falling back in surprise. Laughing with glee, Brady shoots - the ball trickles through the net. Chuck’s teammates give him dirty glances

-- Chuck feels dizzy after getting up and hustling after defending Brady. Chuck feels nauseated and vomits right on the court. Players and Coach react in disgust.

BRADY:

Way to go, up-Chuck Moses! You are really showing your pedigree now (sarcastically)

Seemingly everyone cracks up. Chuck glances over to the bleachers...where Sarah and the other girls point at him, acting appalled. He shakes his head in shame.

INT. THE MOSES HOUSE - CHUCKS ROOM - NIGHT

Much of the room is in shadow, but two screens glow - a small tv, playing “Married with Children”, and a computer monitor.

Chuck faces the illumination of the computer. On the screen - a porn photo downloads. Chuck pumps his hand up and down in his groin out of anticipation.

A bottle of lotion sits on a desk nearby.

INT. THE MOSES HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM

Karen enters, searching the cabinet for lotion - and notices it is missing from the gap in the line of beauty and hygiene products. She sighs.

Karen shuts the door behind her. Dallin lies on the bed reading a magazine.

KAREN:

My lotion is missing. He’s at it again, I know it.

DALLIN:

Well, I know it might sound crazy but its probably a good thing he’s doing it.

KAREN:

What?

DALLIN:

I know its immoral and unChristian-like, but he’s at that age where he is getting a lot of lustful thoughts. Believe it or not, I had my share of doing this when I was a lonely single man. I’m not proud of it, but I certainly understand why he is doing it.

KAREN:

Jimmy and Jake were never like this. I don’t recall worrying about things like this with them.

DALLIN:

Well we know Chuck isn’t very popular in school. He has a hard time getting along with kids his age. This is his way of relieving the pressure. (smirking) believe it or not I engaged in this too around this age

KAREN:

Oh dear Thats too much information. I just wish you hadn’t pressured him too much on being a basketball player.

DALLIN:

I just encourage him to do his best Karen! Most Dads want their sons to be involved in sports. It’s so important in high school.

KAREN:

Well I can feel that there is something more than just this. I’m really worried about him. It’s a feeling I just can’t explain sweetie!

Karen continues to stare at Dallin while he is reading a magazine. He can feel her eyes gazing on him. Sighs.

DALLIN:

Okay dear I’ll talk to him about this.

INT. THE MOSES HOUSE - CHUCKS ROOM

Still bathed in the glow of the computer, Chuck cleans his hand with tissues. He stops, body trembling...

Chuck shuts his eyes tightly in shame and shakes his head.

Chuck looks upwards and softly speaks to the heavens

CHUCK:

I’m sorry

He quickly closes the porn pic on his computer, looks up again -

CHUCK:

Dear God, please forgive me. I know my actions lately haven’t been very good. I just sometimes feel like you are punishing me. I just wish I was more popular like that jerk Brady, but instead of friends I have diabetes. I feel like crap all the time, I’m getting slower, and its getting worse. But I’ll make a deal with you. Give me back the energy I had before and I’ll do my best to quit jacking off and I’ll read the Bible everyday and try not to curse. I will do this if you help me, God. Bless my parents. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

After the prayer Chuck is interrupted by the TV, “married with children” erupts with canned laughter. AL BUNDY, wearing a Polk High School #33 jersey, slides his hand into his waist and drawls.

AL BUNDY (ON TV)

A bundy never wins, but a Bundy never quits.

Chuck stares at the screen in thought and becomes fascinated with the program.

INT. THE MOSES HOUSE - CHUCKS ROOM MORNING

Birds twitter in the morning sunlight outside the window

Chuck, with uncombed hair and messy clothes, self-administers an insulin injection.

He pulls a red pen from his desk and circles the date on his calendar - October 11th. He turns to his mirror.

CHUCK:

10-11-01. This is a landmark date in the life of Chuck Moses. As of today, it’s a whole new Chuck. I keep seeing the time 10:11 on my watch. 1011 must mean something.

Chuck looks upon his dresser - the worn John Stockton player card lies upon it, next to a box of carefully stacked cards. Chuck flips through - and pulls out the Dennis Rodman card. He slides it into his sock and straightens.

CHUCK:

Yeah, Rodman seems to appropriate. Nobody seems to care about good guys like Stockton. It’s the rebel guys like Rodman that seem to get people’s attention.

Nodding to himself in the mirror, Chuck strides out, messy hair and all.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY

Chuck strides along through milling students, chest puffed out, seemingly more cocky.

A teammate from the basketball tryouts approaches, talking to another student and ignoring Chuck, expecting him to get out of the way...Chuck tenses, preparing for the impact--

At the last ensuing moment, the teammate shifts his shoulder out of the way. Chuck blinks in surprise as he keeps walking. He flicks his eyes skyward.

CHUCK (TO GOD)

Yeah - why should I be worried?

A nearby student ALMA, shy unpopular notices Chuck

ALMA:

Hey, who are you talking to?

Chuck’s eyes bulge, caught in embarrassment.

CHUCK:

No one, man

ALMA:

Bro, don’t sweat it. Sometimes I pray out loud too

Chuck nods and smiles a little. He keeps walking with even greater swagger. He then falters, almost trips

He glimpses Sarah ahead, chatting to a girlfriend by her locker.

Chuck fiddles with his watch on his wrist. Stops himself in frustration and closes his eyes.

CHUCK:

Time to be a winner. I pray you’re are watching over me...

Opening his eyes, Chuck makes his way closer towards Sarah. He draws closer, pulling up right next to her...

Sarah swings open her locker - accidentally banging Chuck in the nose. Hand to her mouth, Sarah laughs.

SARAH:

Sorry. Did you get lost, Timex boy?

CHUCK:

(rubbing his nose) No, it’s okay. Wait - what did you call me?

SARAH:

Oh, that! Everyone calls you Timex boy because nobody seems to talk to you unless they want to know the time.

Chuck’s jaw hangs in surprise. He isn’t sure what to say. The awkward silence is saved by...

SARAH:

Oh hey Brady!!

Down the hall a grinning Brady nods to her. Sarah slams her locker shut and runs off to meet him.

Chuck is left there feeling like a fool. Down the hall, Sarah giggles in delight at something Brady says.

Chuck looks down at his watch which reads !0:11 AM. He tries to hurl his watch into the trash can. He misses. The watch bounces off, skittering into the hall. Nearby students notice this and look at him foolishly. Some girls laugh.

Chuck looks upwards at the heavens and rolls his eyes in disgust

CHUCK:

Thanks a lot God. Do me a favor. Stay out of my life.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL STADIUM - DAY

Sweat drips down Chuck’s brow. He glares with intensity, everything seemingly in slow motion.

Before him, fellow high school players are competing in another team tryout. The ball bounces loose from a fumble. Chuck’s extraordinary vision enables him to track down the ball first.

Reality rushes back in at full speed. Chuck spins with the ball, dribbles down the court.

TEAMMATE:

I’m open, pass, Moses!

But the new Chuck ignores his teammates, weaves through the opposition. He sees everyone but is determined to score the basket himself.

In his peripheral vision he sees Brady trying to steal the ball with his outreached hands. Chuck is able to elude it twice. A Frustrated Brady tries to smack Chuck with a cheap shot. Chuck eludes it and with an angry reflex backhands Brady resembling a stiff arm in football.

Brady slams hard into the hard court floor. Players and spectators gasp. Chuck stands tall with a sarcastic smirk.

TEAMMATE:

Cheap shot!

COACH ANDERSON:

Christ almighty, Moses! What the hell was that all about? This isn’t football

CHUCK:

Yet if it were me down there, everyone would be laughing loud and praising Brady.

Brady gets up, bleeding from his noise. Girls in the bleachers gasp. Brady, fuming, steps towards Chuck.

The coach runs over to head off a fight. He gets in Chuck’s face.

COACH ANDERSON:

I think you owe him an apology

Chuck shakes his head.

COACH ANDERSON:

You better do it. Or you can kiss any chance of making this team goodbye.

CHUCK:

Where were you when he tried to hit me?

COACH ANDERSON:

I’ve heard enough! If you aren’t man enough to apologize. You just better get the hell out of here.

Chuck blinks in surprise

COACH ANDERSON:

You heard me! Get outta here!

Chuck feigns nonchalance

CHUCK:

Alrighty, then

He turns and strides off. The gym is silent as he exits.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL BATHROOM

The door bursts open, a very emotional and teary eyed Chuck storms in. He continues to stare at himself in the mirror. He shakes his head in frustration. He continues to weep.

The staring continues. His expression turns from frustration to pained fury. He pounds his fist into the palm of his other hand over and over...

Chuck lashes out in fury, punches the mirror hard. It cracks. He keeps punching and starts to yell believing that nobody is around. His fists become bloody and it smears on the cracked mirror.

The door swings open, revealing Jose -

At this point, he’s a pony-tailed janitor, younger than when seen in the prison yard. (Tough, hardy)

Jose stares in shock as Chuck, spent, slides to the bathroom floor inside a stall and weeps.

INT. THE MOSES HOUSE - CHUCKS ROOM - NIGHT

In the dark, Chuck stares at the ceiling. He keeps shaking his head as if he were negatively addressing God.

CHUCK:

(quietly) What do you want from me? No friends, no luck, really no reason to live.

Dallin knocks on the bathroom door

DALLIN:

Son, it’s time to talk to me about this

Chuck doesn’t respond. Dallin tries to turn the door knob. It is locked. He knocks on the door louder.

DALLIN:

Chuck! You know we don’t lock doors in this house. We have no secrets here.

Chuck ignores his father once again. He looks up towards the sky and grins as if he were testing God’s patience.

DALLIN:

C’mon Chuck. I’m starting to get angry.

CHUCK:

Well you better come in and f*** me up then!

Dallin’s jaw opens from the outside. There is a moment of silence.

CHUCK:

C’mon, show me what a tough guy you are! I’m sure God wont stop you, the gutless bastard!

Silence

And then the door bursts in as Dallin kicks it in from the other side. Dallin stands hulking in the doorway still wearing his police uniform. He makes his way into the room, turns on the lights.

Chuck’s jaw is now wide open.

DALLIN:

Stand up! Get your ass over here and face me.

Chuck shuffles up and obeys

DALLIN:

Like a man!

Chuck raises his eyes to meet his father’s piercing stare.

DALLIN:

Never, ever talk to your Father in Heaven like that! Everything you have and may ever have is because of him.

Chuck rolls his eyes

DALLIN:

Don’t roll your eyes, son. I know you are disappointed by the way things are turning out and I realize the success of your brothers has added a lot of undue pressure as well. A man has got to be tested in this life. You think you got it tough? I’m telling you as a cop I have seen step Dad’s screw their daughters. I have seen kids in the juvenile system where not one person ever gave a damn about them. I have also seen people like this bounce back and regain their direction in life.

CHUCK:

How did they do that?

DALLIN:

It’s because they put their faith in God. You should always remember that when you stand up and take all the sh*t this world gives you and never give up, you’ll know you have what it takes to make it in this life. God will give you strength. You may not know when, why, or how, but if you believe in him there is nothing to fear!

CHUCK:

Dad, I’m not fearless and tough like you. I wished I was. But I am afraid of just about everything. I’m afraid of just waking up and facing the day.

DALLIN:

I see a lot of my younger self in you. Today was a tough day for you no doubt about that. Tomorrow isn’t going to be easier either. You are going to have to realize that there isn’t one person you should be afraid of. Not one. I know there are a lot of things we can’t control, but fear is one thing we can. You will have to decide on your own how you will get through this. Just realize that God is the one constant that you should never turn your back on, even when your mother and I are gone.

Chuck nods.

CHUCK:

I don’t even want to think about life without you and mom.

DALLIN:

Well only God knows all the answers about this. Anyway, I don’t know what we are going to do about this door. (chuckles) Sorry about it. Like I said before, we got a lot in common.

Dallin walks out slowly after he embraces Chuck. Both try to fight back tears. Chuck flops onto his bed. He stares at the ceiling. He starts to address God once again

CHUCK:

Well I guess my Dad has a point. I guess all things are possible with you. I am sorry for all the crap I’ve been sending your way. I will try to be better about that.

Chuck rolls over on his side. He attempts to set the alarm on his clock and notices the time display that reads 10:11

CHUCK:

!0:
11 again? Why do I keep seeing this number over and over again. It must mean something.

While pondering Chuck starts to drift to sleep.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY

Its the end of the school day - the halls are nearly deserted. Jose sweeps up loose papers and debris. He looks up to see Chuck approaching. He hesitates momentarily.

CHUCK:

I’m sorry about your mirror

JOSE:

(puzzled) It’s okay. Belongs to the school, not me.

Chuck nods. There is an awkward silence.

JOSE:

I’m gonna get back to work then...

CHUCK:

Well, sir. I’ve been sentenced to four months of community service as your assistant.

JOSE:

(raises his eyebrows) You’d think someone might inform me about something like this, but hell no. Low man on the totem pole I guess.

Jose smiles and Chuck smiles with him. Jose holds out a broom. Chuck takes the broom.

MONTAGE - ASSISTING JOSE

-- Jose and Chuck both sweep a hallway, pushing trash forward side by side.

-- In the cafeteria, Jose shows Chuck how to squeeze the mop in its bucket.

-- In the bathroom stall, Chuck pulls a face as he scrubs a toilet - but he gets it done diligently. Jose passes by the bathroom stall and nods, impressed.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY

Jose wheels the janitorial cart down the hallway. Chuck pushes the mop-bucket-on-wheels beside it.

CHUCK:

I couldn’t handle the injustice of everything. Brady being treated like a god and being worshipped by the girls. Also him getting away with treating me like sh*t. I couldn’t handle myself. When I saw myself in the mirror, I knew I didn’t like what I saw. I never felt rage like that before. The power of my punch also surprised me. But I felt bad immediately after.

JOSE:

Sh*t man, that’s heavy bro. I know I would probably do the same thing. There only so much sh*t that a man can take. Of course, letting my emotions get the best of me has always been a weakness of mine. That’s how I ended up in the slammer.

Chuck glances over in surprise.

JOSE:

One painful fact I have learned in my life is that there is not a lot of room in this world for a man with a big heart. Sad but true.

Chuck gives Jose a sullen gaze.

From up ahead the sound of a bouncing basketball alerts Jose and Chuck. Brady and his teammates step into the hallway, wearing their jerseys post-practice. Brady is playfully talking and dribbling.

Chuck stiffens, Jose notices

JOSE:

That has got to be the dude right? I can practically feel the aura of cockiness from miles away. It’s him, right?

Chuck nods tensely, looking down at his mop and bucket and reddening, looking for a way to exit and avoid contact.

JOSE:

Don’t be a p*ssy! Stay put! Just hold your head high and keep walking.

Chuck obeys. As they near Brady and the others, Chuck stares ahead, avoiding eye contact, but walking with conviction with his head held high.

The two groups pass by with no words exchanged. Chuck sighs with relief.

JOSE:

(smirking) haha! What did I tell you?

CHUCK:

That was amazing

JOSE:

That happens every single time when you stand up to people who don’t think you will. Surprised the hell out of yourself, didn’t you?

Nodding, Chuck turns to look back - and his heart sinks.

As Brady strides from the hallway into the school’s entrance hall, Sarah bounds up. Brady grabs her, pulls her into a kiss. He spins her round. He turns back at Chuck. He grabs Sarah’s ass and massages it while maliciously grinning at Chuck.

EXT. THE MOSES HOUSE - EVENING

Chuck walks down his street up to his house. He notices a silver BMW parked out front.

INT. THE MOSES HOUSE - DINING ROOM

Chuck walks in, the dining room table coming into view as he enters

Dinner is set out. There is friendly chatter going on. Chuck’s older brother Jake has arrived escorted by his girlfriend SHARON. Her ample bosom threatens to burst free from her thin, spaghetti-strap top.

JAKE:

The car is just an addition to thirty K. That is how bad the program wants me to stay.

Chuck enters, taking his seat at the table, a dinner plate already waiting. Jake affectedly fist bumps him.

JAKE:

Little Bro! This is my girl, Sharon.

Sharon nods at Chuck with an emotionless gaze. Chuck barely makes eye contact. Chuck keeps staring at Sharon’s cleavage trying hard not to be so obvious.

JAKE:

I was telling Mom and Pop that schools everywhere are trying their hardest to get me to sign with them. Scouts and agents are projecting me to be a 1st round Draft pick in the NBA next year.

CHUCK:

(staring at Sharon’s cleavage)Wow! That’s great Jake

Chuck lifts a forkful of food , but his eyes keep focusing on the cleavage. He misses his mouth and smears food across his cheek. Jake smirks a little. Dallin rolls his eyes and Karen pretend it didn’t happen.

INT. THE MOSES HOUSE - CHUCKS ROOM - NIGHT

Chuck lies awake in bed. He is startled by a sound he hears in the hallway. He hears padding across the floorboards - CREAK - and the sound of entering Jakes bedroom.

Chuck chews his lip and rises from his bed.

INT. THE MOSES HOUSE - HALLWAY

Chuck creeps towards Jakes door with curiosity. He presses his ear against the door...

Within, bed springs creak and Sharon is moaning in pleasure.

JAKE (O.S.)

Dammit, Sharon, keep it down. My parents are just downstairs. They are completely against premarital relations. We are crazy for even having sex in this house!

SHARON:

We do it all the time!

JAKE:

Its different here! My parents are way old fashioned

SHARON:

Well this is what makes it more exciting, f***ing in a taboo situation.

Sharon straddles Jake and the sex continues. Chuck backs away, startled. He is aroused by the high pitched moaning through the door. He masturbates with his ear pressed against the door.

A loud thudding of footsteps comes racing up the stairs. Dallin sees Chuck in his awkward state and gives him an evil gaze which lures Chuck to go back in his room.

Dallin and Karen both walk in on Jake and his girl.

DALLIN:

Its time to leave, Jake! Take your little bundle of joy with you

Both Jake and Sharon get dressed and head out. Jake stays quiet but Sharon is eager to speak as they head out towards Jake’s BMW.

SHARON:

Its just sex! Maybe you and your wife should try it once in a while

JAKE:

Shut up Sharon

DALLIN:

Yes Sharon! Listen to your man

JAKE:

She is not that bad, Dad

DALLIN:

Well, she certainly doesn’t have any respect for people’s homes and the rules expected to follow. You better get out now before I lose my temper.

Both Jake and Sharon vacate the property. Right before Sharon enters the passenger door of the car Dallin says something.

DALLIN:

(waving Sharon’s bra) Hey Sharon! I think you forgot something.

Sharon rushes out and grabs her bra from Dallin’s grasp. Her face is red. She does not make eye contact. Dallin smirks sarcastically. She and Jake ride off. Jake rolls his window down.

JAKE:

Sorry Dad! Talk to you later

Dallin nods

INT. THE MOSES HOUSE - CHUCKS ROOM

KAREN:

Chuck, this masturbation has got to stop! It can lead to even more perverse things in the future.

CHUCK:

(embarrassed) I know mom

Karen shakes her head. A tear starts to well in her eyes.

KAREN:

I love you so much Chuck! You got to avoid the devil’s temptations.

CHUCK:

I promise mom! Please try to forget what you saw.

Karen nods.

KAREN:

I almost forget how hard it is to be a teen. Both your father and I had our own personal demons to deal with. Everybody does. I wouldn’t be much of a Christian if I didn’t forgive. You got yourself a deal!

Chuck and Karen embrace. Before Chuck goes to sleep he notices the time reads 10:11 again. Chuck shakes his head closes his eyes and eventually fall asleep.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL BATHROOM - DAY

Chuck wipes the mirrors as Jose mops the floor.

CHUCK:

My mom gave me a heart-to-heart last night after that big embarrassing scene last night. I think it was the most awkward thing I ever have been a part of - for her too.

Jose cracks up with laughter.

CHUCK:

My parents just never give up on us! I guess I’m lucky. But talking about jerking off with your mother has got to be the lowest of all lows.

Jose laughs again.

JOSE:

Sh*t, homie. You’re as horny as I was at that age. Well, almost! I was smart enough to not get caught. Well, at least with that thing!

Chuck smiles

CHUCK:

You know what I appreciate? I can tell you anything. You laugh and joke. But at least I don’t feel like a complete freak. Don’t think I’m weird for saying this but you are my best friend, man.

Jose nods, appreciating this. Then a glimmer grows in his eyes.

JOSE:

Wait a minute. Are you hittin on me? (chuckles) I hope you aren’t getting any twisted ideas when you see me bent over the toilet with my trusty plunger.

Chuck playfully hurls his rag at Jose. Jose rears with fake anger - and charges at Chuck with his mop. Chuck hides in a stall and laughs. Chuck begins to feel dizzy.

Jose backs away from the stall and resumes working. He notices their is no response from Chuck.

JOSE:

Hey, Chuck!....You Alright?

The stall door swings open, Chuck steps out. He looks pale and weak, acting incoherent.

JOSE:

Oh, Sh*t

EXT. HIGH SCHOOL - EVENING

Chuck sits on the stairs of a side door to the school, looking exhausted. Jose steps out with a Coke.

Chuck nods at Jose as he downs it.

JOSE:

Take slow sips, man! You don’t want to puke that sh*t up.

Chuck nods again and slows down. Some moments pass and Chuck begins to regain his strength and wits.

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Derrick Painter

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Submitted by derrick_p on November 22, 2021

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