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.