Slipping On A Peel (screenplay)

                            On a black screen a clock is heard striking 2.00am.

Cut to:

InT. living room. Apartment. Night.

A digital clock’s time changes to 2.00am in a minimalist, expensive apartment, lacking in colour and life. In the background, on repeat, plays [THE SMITHS – THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT].

In an armchair sits a middle-aged, attractive man, of average size and build, in a business suit. He is ALBERT.

He has just finished eating a BANANA. He pretends to smoke the peel like a cigarette and smiles to himself. He then adds the peel to a large pile of discarded banana skins to his right. To his left is a large pile of uneaten bananas.

His smile fades and he starts crying. He desperately pulls at his eyelashes, plucking out a hair, which he balances on his little finger.

ALBERT
(whispering, with his eyes shut)
One, two, three.

Albert blows the eyelash off of his finger.

In walks a shabby OLD MAN with an OLD BROWN CAT on a lead. Albert looks up.

ALBERT (CONT’D)
I had no idea you were still here.

Albert wipes his eyes and hoists up his trousers before grabbing another BANANA and sitting back down. Albert eats the BANANA throughout his speech.

OLD MAN
Bertie Boots needs ‘er ‘nana fix. The crazy ol’ Boots lives for yellas an’ browns, she does.

ALBERT
The bloody cat doesn’t need a flipping banana!

ALBERT (CONT’D)
(forcing all his aggression into eating his banana)
I’ve done you a ruddy huge favour here, now could you just be grateful? And clean yourself up, you look like you’ve strolled in from the stree…

OLD MAN
(interrupting)
Us and Boots will be on our way, yes? Come on Bertie Boots. No ‘nana tonight. He’s mad.

ALBERT
(with desperation)
No need, no need! Stay. Have as many bananas as you wish.

Albert finishes his BANANA, leans forward and hands the Old Man a BANANA. Albert leans backwards again. The Old Man sits opposite Albert, on the floor, and begins playing with the BANANA, trying to balance it on his cat’s head.

ALBERT (CONT’D)
Bananas are for eating! For Christ’s sake! An untainted pleasure.
Albert quickly rises from his chair and then falls back down.

OLD MAN
Are ye alrigh’?

ALBERT
(confused)
I’ve just got pins and needles, that’s all.

Albert picks up another BANANA and eats it slowly throughout his speech.

ALBERT (CONT’D)
(wiggling his fingers)
Damn fingers! Wake up!

OLD MAN
They’re not ye fingers though, they’re His, our Father’s.

ALBERT
I never knew my father.

Old Man looks up from playing with the cat.

ALBERT (CONT’D)
I’m glad. Apparently I named after his fucking cat. And, what’s worse, my middle name’s Marian! Marian. Named after the love of his life. Not after my mother, the ‘poisonous fruit’.

Albert finishes his BANANA quickly while the Old Man looks back down and sheepishly removes the BANANA from his cat’s head.

Albert throws down his finished BANANA peel and picks up another BANANA to eat. He lets out a piteous snarl. He continuously eats throughout his speech.

ALBERT (CONT’D)
‘Poisonous fruit’. I’m better off this way. I’m a survivor.

OLD MAN
You’re sweating, pet. You’re poorly.

Albert feels his heart rate through his shirt and panics.

ALBERT
(self-justifying)
A cigarette will do the job.

Albert puts down his half-eaten BANANA and lights up a cigarette with anticipation. He drags in deep breaths slowly. His face looks pleased, then disgusted. He becomes less panicked.

OLD MAN
Why do it?

ALBERT
It helps.

OLD MAN
It don’

ALBERT
How would you know?

OLD MAN
History o’ heart problems run in the family… Tha’s why Boots quit.

ALBERT
Cats don’t bloody smo-!

Albert’s face suddenly becomes red and he struggles to breathe. He wheezes, whilst his chest rises and falls quickly.

OLD MAN
He knows it’s no good.

The Old Man approaches Albert, throws down his cigarette and pats him on the back before handing him back his half-eaten BANANA.

OLD MAN (CONT’D)
‘Nanas are a powerful fruit.

ALBERT
(gathering himself and smiling widely)
They are my favourite.

Albert takes a bite of his BANANA, looking triumphant. The Old Man smiles. Albert continues to eat throughout his speech.

ALBERT (CONT’D)
I’m glad you’re here. You may have saved my life.

OLD MAN
Na, ‘t’was the ‘nana who did tha’.

OLD MAN (CONT’D)
(to the cat)
They are the fuel o’ life, ain’t they Boots?

ALBERT
(said with reminiscence)
Boots…

OLD MAN
Bertie Boots.

Albert finishes his BANANA, throws it to the ground and begins wrenching, clutching his stomach. The Old Man stands by and does nothing.

ALBERT
(choking)
I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

OLD MAN
This ‘appens a lot then?

Albert looks distant and winces while he picks up another BANANA.

ALBERT
(ignoring the question, peeling his banana)
Where were we?

OLD MAN
Boots.

Albert starts to laugh and begins to eat. He continues to eat and chuckle throughout his speech.

ALBERT
How funny! I used to love boots and now they make me sick!

OLD MAN
Now don’ ye be sayin’ tha’ ’bout my Boots!

ALBERT
Not your buggered cat! The damn shoes! Boots! That smell. It always reminded me of my father. He’d always be polishing them and would stink too. His only love… brown and worn, like your damned cat!

OLD MAN
Ye miss him.

Albert stops laughing and seems angry. He freezes, drops his BANANA and listens to the song. The songs volume increases.

ALBERT
(singing along)
I never never want to go home, because I haven’t got one…

OLD MAN
How many times will this play?

ALBERT
(ignoring the question)
Do you have a home? I quite forgot to ask.

OLD MAN
My family died long ago. Bertie’s my only heir, my next king.

ALBERT
You mean Kin?

Albert grips his stomach and moves forward to the edge of his seat, towards the Old Man. He tries to cover up his pain by reaching for his half-eaten BANANA and beginning to eat again.

ALBERT (CONT’D)
(said with enthusiasm, grimacing through pain)
I have an idea.

OLD MAN
Go on.

ALBERT
I’m rich.

Albert stops and smiles.

Albert stops smiling and looks down, frightened, and shakes his hands whilst clutching his heart. He chokes back a gag reflex.

ALBERT (CONT’D)
You be my next of kin. We can save each other.

Albert falls to the floor, still holding his BANANA.

ALBERT (CONT’D)
(confused)
I’ve gone numb from excitement! Open that drawer.

Albert points to a drawer.

The Old Man opens the drawer and searches frantically. He only finds a slim brown document, which he reaches forward, towards Albert.

ALBERT (CONT’D)
Sign it. We’ll be tied legally.

The Old Man quickly signs and passes it to Albert who struggles to sign it but does succeed.

Albert looks up at the Old Man and grins. His eyes glaze with tears.

ALBERT (CONT’D)
There is a light.

Albert vomits profusely and starts shaking, clutching his heart in one hand and his BANANA in the other. He lays still for an uncomfortable amount of time, in silence, and never raises his head again.

The Old Man smiles widely. He reaches into his pocket, pulls out a phone and dials a number.

OLD MAN
(said into the phone)
Hello.
Yes?
No, I didn’t say anything.
It’s done, yes.
See you soon.

The Old Man hangs up the phone and glances at Albert, lying on the floor.

The Old Man reaches for a BANANA and slowly peels it open. He smiles widely.

The musics volume increases.

OLD MAN (CONT’D)
(singing)
To die by your side, well the pleasure – the privilege is mine.

The Old Man takes a bite of the BANANA and sits on the armchair. He finds a fallen eyelash on his shirt, places it on his finger, looks at it, laughs, and then cries hysterically.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s