A close-shot of a yellow legal tablet. A young hand comes
into frame, holding a pencil. For a few moments, we hear only
the soft scratching of pencil on paper, as credits are written
in a series of dissolves. The hand carefully erases and
corrects an error or two along the way. And then the sound of
an old friend... the warm crackle of a vinyl record... as we
now hear Alvin and the Chipmunks' "Christmas Song."
2EXT. PACIFIC OCEAN -- DAY2
A lone palm tree rises up into a yellow afternoon sky. Behind
it, the sparkling blue of the Pacific Ocean and the city of
San Diego. A dry, hot Southern California day. Even the wind
is lazy, and a little bored.
3EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD SHOPPING CENTER - DAY3
Santa Claus wears shorts and sandals, ringing a bell as he
collects for the Salvation Army. This is Christmas in the
Southland. No snow, no winter wonderland. Just a pleasantly
thick heat and an unchanging season, as music continues.
Turning the corner, walking into frame is ELAINE MILLER, 35.
She is a tall woman, consumed by the fevered conversation she's
Having with her pale young son WILLIAM, late pre-teens. They
stand apart from the other shoppers. All around them is the
highly-charged salesmanship of the season... silver glittering
fake Christmas trees. She hurries her son through the
commercial juggernaut, continuing their lively intellectual
conversation, when something stops her. A Workman is affixing
letters to a store-front. He has already placed the MERRY...
now he's finishing the XMAS. Elaine is strong, but always
pleasant, always clear about her purpose in this life.
Excuse me, I'm a teacher. There is no
word in The English Language -- "Xmas."
It's either Merry Christmas... or Happy
The Workman nods thanks, with faux appreciation, as Mom turns
away. The Workman shares a look with William, who shrugs -
that's my Mom.
4EXT. MINI-TRACT CONDO COMPLEX -- DAY4
This is the new professional-class. It's a mini-condo
community. Rows of Spanish-styled three-bedroom houses with
common walls. Move in on one of these homes, the one without
Christmas lights. At the door is a furtive 15 year-old Girl.
She checks her cheek, straightens her hair. She hides
something under her coat, and gathers the proper nonchalance
to enter. Music fades.
5INT. KITCHEN -- DAY5
We now hear the dialogue between this lively Mother and her
son, as she cooks a pan full of soy-based health-food cutlets.
The meal simmers unappetizingly in the pan. Across the kitchen
we see William. He's a great listener, with a calm and curious
face that takes everything in.
- so Livia -
-- killed everyone off so her son
Tiberius could inherit the throne.
Just like Nixon.
William nods, intrigued. He has a good disposition. The
world of knowledge engages him, and he loves what it brings
out in his Mom. There is a small clatter at the front door,
as the girl we've just seen enters, barely brushing some chimes.
She silently curses herself.
Anita, is that you?
Hey Mom! I already ate.
Mom moves to the living room to greet William's sister. William
peers into the next room.
6INT. LIVING ROOM -- DAY6
She's almost to her bedroom down the hall when mom catches
her. We now discover ANITA, 16, up-close. She is an alluring
young Natalie Wood, with a suspicious and sunny smile.
You sure? I'm making soy cutlets.
The words "soy cutlets" sends a small shiver through the girl.
I'm fine. Already ate.
William stands in the doorway now, watching, monitoring, as
Mom moves closer to his sister. She sees something curious
about her daughter.