crimson

FADE IN:

 

 

INT. WOLFHOUNDERS PUB - NIGHT

 

The alluring bar brims with glasses and mahogany wood coupled with a softly glowing fire in the corner. The dim cobwebbed chandeliers cast a charming glow on old soccer relics, dusty pinup posters, and mostly empty booths.

 

A loud, boisterous group of RUGBY PLAYERS occupies a table by the fireplace, their expressions radiating merriment aglow in the dancing flames. They each have a card with a random name on their forehead and a beer in hand.

 

HENNO (26) and VINCE (25), South Africans, are the loudest but BRADLEY (29) gives them competition with his American aggression. FINLAY (24), a Brit, keeps the posh alive in the group while EWAN (25), a Scot, brings some crass.

 

HENNO

Ag man! Izzit?

 

VINCE

You know all the bokkies, though

this one’s a lady.

 

HENNO

Yebo, got it. She’s a lady.

 

EWAN

My turn! Shut yer gob.

 

He points to Henno just as Henno’s about to say something.

 

FINLAY

Well go on then, mate.

 

EWAN

So I’m a woman, but I’m not real.

 

The card on his head says “Wonder Woman.”

 

FINLAY

Oh, she’s brilliant, mate. Absolutely

brilliant. I’d give my left nut for her.

 

EWAN

I’m real then?

 

BRADLEY

Nope. You’re not real.

 

EWAN

Yer a dangleberry, B, don’t you

know? How’d Fin go on an’ after

her then if she ain’t real?

 

QUINTON (30), a scrawny non-rugby man with glasses too big for his eyes, stands up and pulls the card off his head. It reads “Squib”. The whole team roars in protest for his cheating.

 

QUINTON

(sarcastically)

Ah, thanks for that, Fin. Look,

I’m heading out. You guys have

fun.  

 

FINLAY

Shame. We were thinking you were the

bee’s knees tonight.

 

Quinton shoots Finlay a dirty look.

 

QUINTON

(acidly)

Thanks.

 

EWAN

Bring that lovely lass of yours

next time, we missed her!

 

VINCE

Shoulda brought her just now.

 

HENNO

She’s lekker, mate-

 

QUINTON

Lay off my sister.

 

VINCE

Oh, you know we’re just jolling,

bruh.

 

QUINTON

B, great game!

 

Quinton holds up his glass to toast and then downs it.

 

BRADLEY

Thanks!

 

Bradley stands up and gives his friend a big hug.

 

BRADLEY (CONT’D)

I’m glad you came out with the

boys.

 

QUINTON

Wish I could say the same.

 

BRADLEY

Hey, we’re still on for burgers

tomorrow, right?

 

QUINTON

Of course.

 

FINLAY

Don’t worry, he won’t bring these

wankers with him.

 

QUINTON

I hope not. Have a good night,

guys.

 

Quinton speeds out of the pub while the team erupts into laughter.

 

BRADLEY

Cut him a break guys.

 

VINCE

It’s too bad Christy didn’t tag

along. She’s much better company.

 

EWAN

Her beauts woulda added some

spice - it’s dead.

 

The guys scan the pub.

 

BRADLEY

Guys’ night!

 

FINLAY

Only you’d be hunky-dory for a

lack of women, mate. Go jump off

a cliff.

 

BRADLEY

Done it.

 

Finlay peels off his card and reads “Turkey.”

 

FINLAY

An’ who’s bright idea was this?

Screw your bird, B.

 

HENNO

Well, let’s get on with it.

I’m ready to-

 

BRADLEY

Lose. Your eyebrow is mine.

 

Ewan massages his eyebrow, which has a noticeable chunk missing.

 

FINLAY

I’m feeling lucky tonight. Might

just land meself a turkey.

Those pins are going down.

 

He throws an imaginary bowling ball. The team finishes off their beers. Ewan curses at his card while Henno laughs at his: “Tarantino”. Vince simply stares at his, annoyed.

 

VINCE

Izzit? Izzit? Nelson Mandela?

 

Vince storms out of the pub as the four erupt into laughter again.

 

BRADLEY

I’ve still gotta pay my tab. I’ll

see you guys there.

 

FINLAY

Cheers.

 

They all leave as Bradley heads over to the Irish BARTENDER.

 

BRADLEY

Slow night for a Saturday. Where is

everyone?

 

BARTENDER

Football game, I’d wager.  

 

BRADLEY

Oh yeah.

 

BARTENDER

That from today’s game?

 

He points to a fresh gash on Bradley’s hand.

 

BRADLEY

Yeah, some dude stepped on it.

Bled over someone’s shirt in

the scrum.

 

The bartender laughs and grimaces simultaneously. As they continue discussing the game, a MYSTERY WOMAN walks in. She’s stunning with a deep red cocktail dress and lips to match. Without even trying, she livens the pub with her walk.

 

The bartender drops Bradley and heads her way, mesmerized.

 

BARTENDER

Evening, Miss. What can I get for

you?

 

MYSTERY WOMAN

A Manhattan, please.

 

She eyes Bradley up and down with a smile. He turns a bright shade of red and moves to leave.

 

MYSTERY WOMAN (CONT’D)

And another of whatever he was

having.

 

She winks at him and pats the chair next to her.

 

BRADLEY

I can’t. I’ve got to drive.

Thank you though.

 

MYSTERY WOMAN

It’s only one more drink. You’ll

be fine, love.

 

The bartender begins pouring another stout for Bradley.

 

BRADLEY

I really need to get going-

 

She raises one eyebrow in disbelief. A smirk tugs at the corner of her lips.

 

MYSTERY WOMAN

Is it a lady friend?

 

BRADLEY

No, but-

 

MYSTERY WOMAN

Then you can have your drink. I’ll

even stay till you’ve sobered up

to drive if that one beer knocks

you off your feet.

 

BRADLEY

Well, thank you then, Miss...?

 

He takes a seat next to her and tries to hide his focus on steadying his hand as he picks up the beer.

 

MYSTERY WOMAN

Let’s ignore our names for tonight.

Let’s forget everything about ourselves.

 

BRADLEY

What? I don’t-

 

MYSTERY WOMAN

(dreamily)

Wouldn’t it be nice to simply exist

with someone? To not know a damn

thing about them? No disappointment,

no expectations, no obligations...

 

BRADLEY

(uncomfortably)

You just get out of a relationship?

 

She props her elbow up on the bar top and places her head in her hand.

 

MYSTERY WOMAN

Well, that would be telling you

something about myself, wouldn’t it?

 

BRADLEY

I guess so. I think you need

this beer more than me.

 

MYSTERY WOMAN

No, no, I’m serious. Rename yourself

right now! You only get this

chance once. Who do you want to be?

 

BRADLEY

Err, I don’t know. This is weird.

I should go-

 

MYSTERY WOMAN

Not a good start. You don’t know

who you want to be, it seems.

 

BRADLEY

Oh? And who would you be?

 

MYSTERY WOMAN

Hmmm. Crimson.

 

She stretches her arms out, fully at ease and fully extending her chest. Bradley can’t help but watch. Catching himself gawking, he shakes his head.

 

BRADLEY

Crimson? As in the color?

 

CRIMSON

It doesn’t matter. It’s my name now,

or at least to you, anyways. Who

are you?

 

She leans in close to him, avid with anticipation. He blushes again and turns his gaze to the liquor bottles.

 

BRADLEY

(sarcastically)

Captain. Captain Brandy Pants.

 

CRIMSON

A ferocious pirate, I’m sure.

 

BRADLEY

Actually, when I was a kid I dressed-

 

CRIMSON

Ugh! Stop, no. No facts about yourself,

I don’t want to know anything.

 

She pulls back.

 

BRADLEY

This is hard.

 

CRIMSON

Isn’t it? We get so caught up

in our own worlds, sometimes we

forget we’re in this one. So,

Captain Brandy Pants-

 

BRADLEY

(laughing)

My name is Br-

 

CRIMSON

Shhh. I don’t want to know.

You’re Captain Brandy Pants to me.

 

BRADLEY

All right, all right.

 

CRIMSON

You picked it.

 

BRADLEY

I didn’t think you were being

serious.

 

CRIMSON

I am. I don’t want to know a

damn thing about you. Not

a word. Can you play?

 

BRADLEY

Um, Crimson, what are you getting

at?

 

CRIMSON

You’ll just have to find out. But

I warn you, it’s a dangerous game.

 

BRADLEY

Mom’s spaghetti...what am I getting

myself into?

 

CRIMSON

An adventure, my dear. Cheers.

 

They both raise their glasses in the air and CLINK. Crimson downs the rest of her Manhattan with one gulp. Bradley swallows hard and then chugs most of his beer.

 

CRIMSON (CONT’D)

I suggest you finish that quickly -

it’s time to go.

 

BRADLEY

I’ve gotta go meet up with some

friends-

 

CRIMSON

(whispering)

No you don’t. You want to come

with me.

 

BRADLEY

I...I told them I’d go. It’s

bowling...

 

CRIMSON

(laughing)

Bowling? I hope that’s code for

another pub or strip club.

 

BRADLEY
(offended)

This was fun...have a good night.

 

He looks at his drink and avoids eye contact with this wild woman as he finishes it. She smiles broadly at his fear and leans in right next to his ear.

 

CRIMSON

Come on. You want to play, I can

tell. You’re intrigued and let

me tell you, you’ll never have

an opportunity like this again.

 

BRADLEY

(disgustedly)

Opportunity? Are you a...

 

CRIMSON

Hooker? Not in the slightest.

What do you take me for?

 

It’s his turn to eye her up and down.

 

BRADLEY

Honestly, I have no idea right now.

 

CRIMSON

Good. Step out into the unknown,

Captain Brandy Pants. Open those

eyes of yours.

 

She stands up and puts on her long petticoat.

 

BRADLEY

It sure seems like you just want

to get me out of here and to

who knows where? Your apartment?

Are you a drug dealer?

 

CRIMSON

It’s started. Your move or game over.

 

BRADLEY

(exhales)

Fine.

 

He finishes his beer savagely. Crimson tosses a $100 bill on the bar top.

 

CRIMSON

No change. Have a nice night.

 

BARTENDER

Thank you, Miss! You too!

 

Bradley looks at the bill in shock but keeps his mouth shut. They both get up and Crimson thrusts her arm through his and links them tightly. They head towards the doors steadily. Bradley is a cross between being appalled and enthralled.

 

CRIMSON

Do I put you on edge, Captain?

 

BRADLEY

Very.

 

CRIMSON

Fantastic. Everyone needs a wake

up call.

 

Bradley grits his teeth but nods in agreement. He looks ready to bolt at any moment.

 

 

EXT. WOLFHOUNDERS BAR - NIGHT

 

It’s visibly cold outside as their breath wisps away with every word.

 

BRADLEY

So where are we off to, Crimson?

 

CRIMSON

Get in your car and follow me.

 

Bradley heads over to a sleek, black BMW and unlocks it.

 

CRIMSON (CONT’D)

I like your style.

 

She lets go of his arm and makes her way to a cherry red convertible Z4 BMW.

 

BRADLEY

Right back at you.

 

They both get into their cars and REV their engines.

 

 

EXT. ROADS THROUGH A FOREST - NIGHT 

 

The two BMWs wind their way through dark trees. The Z4 glistens in the moonlight with a pale, ghostly hue, while the other car trails behind like a grisly shadow. Crimson’s car makes a right turn onto a beaten pathway, illuminating the tree trunks and their extending branches. They come to a halt in an empty parking lot in the middle of the forest. Crimson and Bradley exit their cars after parking.

 

Crimson opens her trunk and grabs a long paper bag. It resembles the shape of an axe. 

 

CRIMSON

Well, you look exceptionally

spooked right now, Captain.

 

BRADLEY

(eyeing the bag)

You’re not going to kill me, are you?

 

CRIMSON

What would be the point? The fun

would end, though I suppose this

looks rather sinister, doesn’t it?

 

She begins walking down a pathway. Bradley follows suit.

 

BRADLEY

A bit.

 

He looks around suspiciously.

 

CRIMSON

Funny how hard it is to trust someone

when you don’t know a damn thing about

them. Don’t worry, you won’t regret

your decision.

 

BRADLEY

Uh-huh.

 

CRIMSON

Come on, this way.

*Excerpt finished