Today I offer for your enjoyment the second installment of my feature-length screenplay,”Into the Arms of Angels” (© 2005, 2016).
For Part 1, please click here.
EXT. COUNTY DAIRY STAND – FARMERS’ MARKET – SATURDAY
Two slender, upper-middle-class women in their 40s (BARB and JANE) stand at the County Dairy counter. They inspect the products and talk quietly to each other.
Toby stands at a respectful distance, ready to wait on them.
Joe catches his breath after his encounter with Vic and Brett. Barb holds up a package of Superpro cheese and speaks to Jane.
My neighbor Beth, the one whose husband’s a developer, absolutely swears by this Superpro. She says she eats it for lunch and every day as a snack, and it melts well and makes great sandwiches, on low-carb bread, of course.
Is this the cheese recommended in that diet book, the one Shelly’s reading that she swears she’s lost 10 pounds from, though, to be honest, it looks only like five?
No, but my friend Christie’s husband Dave says Superpro tastes just as good as that one, and the packet’s easier to open in the car.
Barb addresses Joe.
Do you sell a lot of Superpro?
Yes, ma’am, we do.
Really? How much can I get at once?
We have 8-ounce, 12-ounce, and 16-ounce bags.
Great, I’ll take three pounds. I also need low-salt jerky, and cashews for my husband’s poker group. D’you have that here?
Toby begins to gather cheese for Barb.
No, sorry, I don’t carry them yet; I will, though, by next spring.
Really? Have other people asked before me? Or did you use some marketing survey?
Uh, neither, actually. See, County might be bought pretty soon by an outfit from Chicago. Once we’re with them, I’ll offer a range of nuts and meat snacks.
From Chicago, huh? I love to shop there. I hope that won’t mean Chicagoans moving here. I mean, you know, the drivers –
No, ma’am. They’ll want us to continue to run our operations.
Barb turns to pay Toby for her purchase.
You’re not gonna outsource, are you? You know, I can’t buy Superpro if people making it aren’t getting a living wage.
Oh no, ma’am. The factory stays as it is. The only jobs that might move are a couple of managers’, and they’d go only to Chicago.
I see. Oh, and do you know where I can find low-salt jerky?
Toby finishes the sale and leans his elbows on the counter.
Around the corner to the left, fifth stand up. They also sell wheat grass.
The women leave. Toby stands behind the counter and watches the milling crowd. Joe turns to straighten a display.
Hey Joe, did I hear that County almost got bought a few years back?
You might have, Toby, ’cause it’s true.
Was it this Chicago group that’s looking at us now?
No, a bigger company. From out east.
Didn’t work out?
Nope. Timing was off. Deal got killed.
INT. THE COUNTY DAIRY BREAK ROOM – 9/11/01 – 9:28 AM CDT
A group of anxious County Dairy workers fills a break room and stares at a television. Joe stands in the front row.
The TV screen is not visible. Shifting light from the television plays across the stunned faces.
Sound: Reporters’ and bystanders’ screams of horror as the north World Trade tower collapses.
Joe falls to his knees.
EXT. COUNTY DAIRY STAND – FARMERS’ MARKET – SATURDAY – 2006
Excuse me, are you Joe Kleinschmidt?
A businessman (ALAN) stands at the County Dairy counter. Joe and Toby both turn to face him.
Yes, sir, I am.
I remember your face from the dairy expo last year.
That was a good meeting –
You have a distinctive look.
Is that a fact?
Has anyone ever told you that?
I don’t think so, sir.
Well I’m Alan Hancek, VP North Central, of Pulaski Prairie Fine Foods. Here is my card.
The man hands his card to Joe. Joe squints at it.
The other side’s in English.
Joe slides the card into the pocket of his apron and nods.
I understand that we may soon be family. There’s a big meeting on Tuesday out at County Dairy, and I wanted to meet you here and see your stand and inspect your wares, since they may soon be our wares too. You seem to do a good business; that’s all great!
Three customers appear. Toby waits on the first person in line.
No need to concern yourself with signage, layout, and traffic flow this week. We’ll have lots of time to clean that up when the deal’s done. We’ve got a huge staff of talented people who can help you refit your visuals. You’ll like them. They’ll help you move more product. Speaking of that, I can see you’re busy. ‘Til Tuesday, then. Good luck with your sales today!
Joe begins speaking to a customer. Alan steps away awkwardly and then strides off against the prevailing direction of foot traffic.
A fire truck passes, O.S., with its SIREN blaring.
EXT. A FARM IN SOUTHWESTERN WISCONSIN – 1974
Blonde, blue-eyed THREE-YEAR-OLD JOE, wearing a fire helmet askew, runs gleefully in circles, waving his arms and narrating. He trips and sends his helmet flying. He stoops to pick up his helmet and resumes a circular run.
Dark-haired SIX-YEAR-OLD GABRIEL climbs a tree while carrying two coiled-up jump ropes. Three-year-old Joe runs in the background. Gabriel’s family home is behind them.
Big Gabe Jenkins, captain of Rescue 29, climbs up the fire escape. Flames are blocking the front and back doors, and he has to get to the people through the back window. He’s got all his gear and 100 feet of hose –
Gabriel drops one of his two jump ropes.
SIX-YEAR-OLD GABRIEL (CONT’D)
Oops, ninety feet of hose, and a Halligan tool. He climbs steep superstructure around the thick smoke –
GABRIEL’S MOTHER appears at a doorway.
Gabriel, be careful! And keep an eye on your cousin. Joe should stop that running, or he might throw up again.
Gabriel’s mother turns and steps back into her house.
Oh he’s fine, Mom…Captain Jenkins reaches the window and sees flames 20 feet away. He reaches out the hose to douse the fire and…and…wuhhaaah!
Grasping a narrow branch about four feet up, Gabriel extends his other hand and a jump rope handle to “squirt water on the fire.” The branch snaps, and Gabriel falls to the ground, landing on his back.
Joe ambles over to Gabriel to check him out, pulls off his helmet, places it over Gabriel’s face, and walks away.