Writing a script usually means you have too much content and too many words. There are many gems and lots of mud to dig through to find them. Sometimes you have to cut the good stuff as well to keep the best of what you have created.
Here’s a story that didn’t make it into my upcoming show. Garbage? Good? Gem? I’ll let you decide.
Scene: Pool Party Drowning
It’s my mother’s weekend and she is bringing me along to a pool party at her friend’s house.
It’s going to be fun.
I don’t want to go.
Turns out there are kids my age. We decide to swim after lunch. We brag about what we will do in the pool. This is the perfect time to show off my gymnastic skills. I am going to do a back flip into the pool. And I front tuck. They aren’t sure whether to believe me or not, but my status is rising.
I show them how well I can walk on my hands but leave the flips for the pool. A couple of the dads come over and starting grabbing us by the hands and feet and tossing us in.
1… 2… 3…
We are having a blast. Finally they get tired of it, grab my hands and feet and tell me this is the last go. I fly into the pool, swim to the side and sit on the edge with my feet dangling in. The dads had so much fun, one of them pushes the other in.
This dad can’t swim. Time slows down. He hits bottom and pushes off toward the only thing in the pool. My legs. I can see his face wobbling in the water like a drowning image of Edvard Munches The Scream. He has a frozen scream on his face, but there’s no sound and the water is waving and his face is waving. It’s horrifying. He sinks.
He pushes off the bottom of the pool. I can feel his fingers scrape down my legs as he sinks again. He pushes up from the bottom again and all I can think as I look into his face is that he looks like a reflection from a funhouse mirror gone wrong. Again he tries to grab my leg, but it is too slippery and again without a breathe he sinks. I reach back and grab the fence behind me.
What else can I do? If I pull out my legs, I’ll kill the man. If I try to help him out, he will pull me in and we will both drown. And to be honest I don’t want to see that face again.
The other dad comes round and as he grabs onto my leg for a third time, the other dad hauls him out of the water. He hits the deck sputtering water, half lying on me, I close my eyes.
They struggle to their feet together. And the one dad is saying to the other, Sorry man, I’m so sorry man. I forgot you couldn’t swim. More drunk assholes.
The other kids don’t want to swim anymore. And neither do I.