COCYTUS

FADE IN:

 

EXT. IN THE WOODS - NIGHT

 

Moonless night. Too much cloud cover for stars.

 

BEATRICE (37), a fast talking, domineering woman, walks in a crazed, lost state through the dense forest. She’s far from the weakly lit trail left behind her. Beatrice fidgets with a gun in her hand, spinning the barrel.

 

A COUPLE is seen coming down the path giggling along. Beatrice flinches when she sees them, raises her gun, and takes aim haphazardly. She turns the gun away. Points it at a tree. Angles it up and down repeatedly. More trees and terrified squirrels passing through become her target.

 

Pressing the gun’s handle to her temple, Beatrice bares her teeth like an animal in pain. It slides down her face. The gun CLICKS into place.

 

[ROLL CREDITS - play to Van Canto’s “PARANOID” - begin with several promising teenagers. They walk towards Rodin’s “Gates to Hell” drinking alcohol, taking selfies, and acting crudely. They go through a “Dorian Gray” effect where they become ugly and enter the gates in a speeding sports car. The sculpture comes to life and opens for them. Enticing demons that resemble themselves slowly pull each from the car as they drive through the circles of hell]

 

 

FADE TO:

 

 

INT. BEATRICE’S BEDROOM - MORNING

 

SUPERIMPOSE: 3 days before

 

Beatrice wakes up next to a snoring HANDSOME MAN in her massive bed. Her bedroom is both tasteful and grossly luxurious. She raises an eyebrow in disgust at the drooling one night stand.

 

BEATRICE

Up.

 

HANDSOME MAN

What?

 

BEATRICE

(poking him)

Make like a lost balloon and get

up.

 

HANDSOME MAN

What time is it?

 

BEATRICE

Five.

 

HANDSOME MAN

What the hell? It’s too early.

 

BEATRICE

Get up or I’m going to get

spontaneously pregnant.

 

His eyes flash awake.

 

BEATRICE (CONT’D)

Ah the magic word. Come on.

 

Beatrice leaps out of the bed and begins clothing herself.

 

HANDSOME MAN

No cuddles?

 

BEATRICE

Fuck off.

 

HANDSOME MAN

Someone woke up on the wrong side of

the bed. Maybe because it’s five in

the morning. Come here, gorgeous,

let’s go back to sleep.

 

He pats the golden pillows invitingly.

 

BEATRICE

Not a chance. I have to get ready

for work. Some of us have jobs,

you know.

 

HANDSOME MAN

What do you do? Make sure the

roosters do their job?

 

BEATRICE

Cock-a-doodle-doo, cocksucker.

 

She leaves the room without further ado. He looks at her with a mixture of confusion and shock.

 

 

INT. KITCHEN - MORNING 

 

Beatrice puts together a green goddess breakfast and a slab of chocolate cake. Her one night stand emerges from the bedroom and looks at the food hungrily.

 

BEATRICE

Well, it was nice meeting you.

 

HANDSOME MAN

We’re not having breakfast together?

 

BEATRICE

Do I look like a charity?

 

HANDSOME MAN

Did I do something wrong? I’m sorry

if-

 

BEATRICE

No, no. I just want you to go. Had

a great time and all that jizz -

jazz. Buh-bye now.

 

She sighs going through the motions.

 

HANDSOME MAN

(awkwardly)

It was nice meeting you. Bye, then.

 

He shows himself to the door and exits her apartment. Beatrice eats her breakfast alone and reads a business magazine with a broad smile.

 

 

 

INT. PARKING DECK - DAY

 

Beatrice exits her lavish car and sees a HOOKER with lots of gold jewelry and condom accordions hanging out of her pockets. She has a gray, fur jacket and a wolf-eared hat. Beatrice bypasses the woman and heads to the elevator.

 

HOOKER

For you, free. Mhmm mhmm mhmm. I’d

even swallow your squirt, darlin’.

 

BEATRICE

Pshh, you’d spit it back in my face

like the camel cumbucket that you are,

doll face. And this is a nice suit.

 

Beatrice pulls down the hooker’s hat and pats her head before departing. The hooker licks her lips and HOWLS like a she-wolf as the elevator closes. Beatrice makes vulgar, sexual gestures.

 

 

 

EXT. ELEVATOR - CONTINUOUS

 

Beatrice leaves with a sadistic smile, dons sunglasses, and struts past a HOMELESS MAN. He paces back and forth with a mane of untamed hair. Drunk raving ensues.

 

A large and menacing business building looms on the horizon, dwarfing the others. It seems out of this world.

 

HOMELESS MAN

You don’t matter! Your life doesn’t

matter! There is no after life,

nothing, no god to help you.

No love in your life.

 

BEATRICE

(muttering)

You’d think the last ice storm

would’ve wiped these miscreants out.

 

HOMELESS MAN

You are all corrupt! Disgusting

creatures with no value or significance!

You all believe you have control,

control over what? Nothing!

Death will come for you and

give you nothing.

 

BEATRICE

(walking past)

Cheers, darling.

 

HOMELESS MAN

Intelligence cannot save you.

Happiness will escape you. Peace

is out of your grasp. We are bred

for conflict! Violence! Blood!

We are meant to spill each other’s

because we love the flavor!

Even our own with the slit

of a wrist, we cannot deny

sipping at life-

 

He spits at Beatrice and clumsily picks up one of his beer bottles. Breaking it on the ground, he waves it threateningly whilst swaying in place.

 

BEATRICE

Wrong move. Security’ll be here

faster than you can fall.

 

She races inside to safety.

 

BEATRICE (CONT’D)

(muttering)

Someone’s lost his pride.

 

 

 

INT. LOBBY - CONTINUOUS

 

Beatrice strolls up to the leopard printed RECEPTIONIST.

 

RECEPTIONIST

Good morning, Ms. Portinari.

 

BEATRICE

Call security. There’s a drunk

hobo outside.

 

RECEPTIONIST

Are we still allowed to call them

hobos?

 

BEATRICE

Fine, troglodyte. Security, woman,

security.

 

Beatrice snaps her fingers.

 

RECEPTIONIST

Yes, mam. And might I add, you

look ravishing today, like every

day really. You should model

for Vogue or something.

 

BEATRICE

My ass loves your lips, sweet cheeks.

 

RECEPTIONIST

What?

 

BEATRICE

Don’t worry about it.

 

Beatrice takes off towards the elevators.

 

RECEPTIONIST

Fucking bitch, I hope your face

falls off in the meeting.

 

 

 

EXT. BEATRICE’S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

 

Beatrice moseys on over to her office but gets stopped by ALEXANDER (35), a coworker.

 

BEATRICE

Morning, Lexi Lex.

 

ALEXANDER

Sup, Beats.

 

BEATRICE

You’re in early.

 

ALEXANDER

Ah you know, couldn’t sleep.

 

BEATRICE

Again?

 

ALEXANDER

Yeah.  

 

BEATRICE

How many sleepless nights is it

going to take before I get you to

my kick boxing class? The only

place you’ll get knocked out is

onto a pillow.

 

ALEXANDER

I’d probably like it too much.

 

BEATRICE

And that’s a bad thing?

 

ALEXANDER

I’m not one for satisfaction.

 

BEATRICE

You sicko, I like it. How’re the

Super Bowl commercials coming along?

 

ALEXANDER

All right, but some cunt is giving

me trouble. She wants twice the price

of a prime time slot and I am not

going to give it to her. We’ll

see how much she tries to mark it

up if I go over there with a bat.

 

BEATRICE

Hah. You’ll get it down, you always do.

 

ALEXANDER

This bitch is stubborn.

 

BEATRICE

And you’re not?

 

ALEXANDER

True.

 

BEATRICE

Tell you what. Try another tactic.

Fly out to wherever she’s at and

take her out to dinner. Don’t

talk about business at all - tell

her how much you love her voice

on the phone, even when you’re

trying to get a good negotiation

outta her.

 

ALEXANDER

You’re the sicko.

 

BEATRICE

Hey, if you can fake sincerity,

you can get whatever you want.

 

ALEXANDER

She’s over in Wisconsin.

 

BEATRICE

No wonder she’s got a stick up

her ass. Send me the bill.

I’ll take care of it, just take

care of her.

 

They spartan handshake with their forearms before departing into their offices.

 

ALEXANDER

(yelling over)

If it fails, you’re bringing a

mitt!

 

BEATRICE

I’ll back her into a corner and make

her sorry myself if I have to.    

 

ALEXANDER

Oooh, dirty.

 

BEATRICE

It’s just business. She’ll understand.

 

 

 

INT. BEATRICE’S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

 

Beatrice takes her seat with an air of confidence and unnerving equanimity. It is with the persona of a tyrant that she gazes through to the grand view beyond her window.

 

A phone RINGS and Beatrice answers it.

 

BEATRICE

This is Beatrice speaking.

 

A pause. A flash of anger.

 

BEATRICE (CONT’D)

No comment.

 

Beatrice hangs up coldly, pushes a button, and holds the receiver back up to her ear.

 

BEATRICE (CONT’D)

I thought I made myself perfectly

clear - no reporters, Barbara.

 

She turns her menacing gaze to the shelves brimming with books and magazines.

 

BEATRICE (CONT’D)

Claimed to be with our suppliers?

Which one? Oh, for fuck’s sake.

I’ll take care of this, thank you,

Barbara.

 

She slams the phone back down, thinks better of it, and calls someone up.

 

BEATRICE (CONT’D)

We’ve got someone at the New York Times

sniffing around. Make sure no one

visits our production sites in

India. Order another mock strike

if need be - no one gets in.

 

This time, Beatrice gently puts the phone down subdued in thought.

 

BEATRICE (CONT’D)

Japan better be secure.

 

She hops out of her chair and grabs a large folder out of a drawer before leaving the room.

 

 

 

INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY

 

Beatrice stands tall in front of a projected screen with a presentation set to go. “Cocytus” is featured in bold letters with a moving logo.

 

The BOARD OF DIRECTORS (9) take their seats at a large table, each with a leather portfolio in hand. Some appear intimidated by Beatrice’s cool demeanor but most look exceptionally eager for her to begin.

 

BEATRICE

Ladies and gentleman, we had quite a successful

fourth quarter. Not only did we meet our

projected targets, we crushed them.

Cocytus brought in $3.3 billion in

sales alone, a 31.4% increase from last

quarter.

 

Applause breaks out. Beatrice begins to go through impressive bar graphs, each illustrating growth.

 

BEATRICE (CONT’D)

Regular prescriptions continue to flourish.

We haven’t had a single representative

fall behind desired sales, in fact,

most have doubled their numbers.

From production to marketing, quality

assurance to research and development,

top to bottom, our campaigns this year

could not have gone more expeditiously.

We have the highest selling drug on

the market, so I’ll keep this short

and sweet. I think it’s time we let

Cocytus bring Acheron to the multinational

forefront. Now’s the time. We have to

take advantage of the remaining ten years

Cocytus has a patent-

 

BOARD DIRECTOR #1

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Acheron is still relatively small.

We can’t go up against someone like

Johnson & Johnson-

 

BEATRICE

It is true they have years on us,

but they don’t have Cocytus.

 

Beatrice wags her finger playfully.

 

BOARD DIRECTOR #2

I’m all in favor. Now’s the best time

to take the risk while we can afford-

 

BOARD DIRECTOR #3

Look, America lives and breathes for

drugs, but we’re working with the

best market possible. Abroad though?

We could suffer a detrimental backlash.

 

BOARD DIRECTOR #5

I’m also in favor but give it a few

more years.

 

BOARD DIRECTOR #6

I agree. We don’t know enough about

the foreign markets yet.

 

BEATRICE

You all act as if I haven’t done

my homework. In your reports, you’ll

find a list of calculated projections for

various countries.

 

They all flip through the pages.

 

BOARD DIRECTOR #7

Good god!

 

BOARD DIRECTOR #1

These can’t be accurate.

 

BEATRICE

I assure you, I’ve done the research.

Or I should say, I delegated the research to the best.

 

*Excerpt finished