Today, the fourteenth and final episode of my feature-length screenplay, ”Into the Arms of Angels” (© 2005, 2016) —
For Part 13, please click here.
For Part 1 and a glossary of screenwriting abbreviations, please click here.
Each installment concludes with a link to its successor.
INT. THE LOBBY OF COUNTY DAIRY – THE SAME DAY (FRIDAY)
Joe walks from a corridor into the County Dairy lobby carrying the paper bag from the airport gift shop.
Toby emerges through another door from the factory floor.
Both men pause briefly and then walk to meet each other in the center of the lobby.
Toby shakes Joe’s hand and holds it for several extra seconds.
The men chat. At first, they are too far away to be audible.
…when we land, they don’t have a gate for us; so we can’t get off the plane. We taxi way the heck over to some parking spot and just wait. I got worried I’d miss my connection.
Phil enters the lobby and walks over to join Joe and Toby.
And then d’you know what the pilot said? He comes on and explains that we have to wait, and says they’re going to put us in the “penalty box.” I mean, how appropriate is that?
Ah, but who got the power play?
Beats me…Hey, Phil.
Joe! Glad to see that you’re back. What was it again that happened to you?
I had a seizure.
You’re not likely to do that again soon, are you?
That might just be in your hands, Phil.
Good, good. Well, I’ve got news, just in from Pulaski, and as promised, changes are coming.
Phil pauses. Joe and Toby wait patiently.
In fact, County faces its biggest personnel change since, well, since Gabriel, you know…
Phil looks at Joe. Joe and Toby continue to wait, listening.
Prob’ly even since you and Gabriel came on board.
Phil pauses again. Joe and Toby continue to wait.
The big news is that I am going to move.
Joe and Toby do not react.
Is this for good then?
Unless and until they send me back here.
Why would they do that? D’you think they’ll decide they don’t like you?
No, of course not. That would never happen; but I’ll go wherever Pulaski sends me. If they say Black Earth –
So you’re not leaving-leaving, you’re just going out to the HQ, in Chicago?
That’s right. Why? Were you starting to miss me?
It’s early days yet.
Well, in two months’ time, County will have to do without me.
Somehow, Phil, we’ll learn to manage.
Now you’re not going to have another seizure on us, Joe?
No. At this point, I can definitely say “No.”
Phil turns and abruptly walks toward the exit.
Lunch, anyone? I’m treating today.
Go ahead, Phil. I’ll catch up.
Don’t take too long, Joe. I want to be rolling in five.
Joe nods and half-waves at Phil with his right hand.
INT. DANE COUNTY AIRPORT – 10 SEPTEMBER 2001
Joe fidgets with the hem of his right jacket pocket.
Joe and Gabriel stand facing each other at a gate at the Madison airport. In the right pocket of Joe’s jacket is a floppy disk.
GATE AGENT (O.S.)
Now boarding all rows for Flight 4264 nonstop service to Chicago’s O’Hare airport. All ticketed and confirmed passengers are welcome to board through the doorway marked “3.”
Gabriel and Joe grin at each other.
This is it. Wish me luck!
Gabriel and Joe hug.
Good luck, Gabe! I’m sure you’ll knock their socks off.
Then I’ll bring one back as a souvenir.
Joe chuckles and coughs. He absently touches the outside of his right jacket pocket.
Gabriel stares intensely at Joe as though an unexpected feeling – an incomprehensible premonition – has washed over him.
Feeling the disk in his pocket, Joe starts.
At the same moment, Gabriel seizes Joe’s right upper arm and gazes at him intently.
Oh, Gabe –
Hey…You know I love you, don’t you, Squirt? Take care of yourself.
Shocked by Gabriel’s sudden candor, Joe lets the fingers of his right hand fall away from his pocket. He grins.
Uh, Me too, Gabe. You know that.
Gabriel lets go of Joe’s arm, shakes his head, and smiles.
Gabriel turns, gives his boarding pass to the GATE AGENT, and walks down the jetway.
At the final corner he turns, smiles, and waves to Joe.
Joe returns his wave and stares after him in puzzlement.
The gate agent closes the door to the jetway.
INT. THE LOBBY OF COUNTY DAIRY – FRIDAY – 2006
Joe crosses the lobby carrying the bag from the gift shop.
He stops at a display case that contains a memorial to Gabriel. He opens its glass doors.
Toby follows Joe to the display case and stops on Joe’s right.
The display case has two shelves, each about three feet wide and about seven inches deep.
At the center of the lower shelf is an 11X17 framed photo of Gabriel. To the right of the photo is an engraved plaque.
On the shelves are memorabilia including a five-inch-high Bucky Badger, a Wisconsin Badger basketball fan t-shirt, a dried corsage, a wedding garter, a church key, a small stack of poker chips, a tennis racquet, and a pool ball.
Flanking the display on the left and right, respectively, are framed photographs of Gabriel with his parents and two sisters and Gabriel with his wife at their wedding.
Joe studies the display and then opens the bag. He pulls out a small “I [heart] NY” button, which he places on the top shelf just left of center.
Toby stands watching silently.
Joe pulls the Twin Towers figurine from the bag, places it gently near the center of the top shelf, straightens it, checks it a last time, and smiles.
Otto walks up and stops on Joe’s left. All three men stand in front of the memorial for several seconds.
Joe’s eyes are moist, but he is composed.
Toby gently touches Joe’s right shoulder.
You ready to go?
Yes, I am. Thank you.
Otto wraps his right arm around Joe’s shoulder, squeezes for a few seconds, and lets go.
Looks real nice, Joe.
Phil’s voice echoes through the cavernous lobby.
Lunch, people! Leaving now!
Otto smiles at Joe and Toby. Joe closes and locks the case’s glass doors.
Otto and Joe turn to the left and walk away from the display.
Toby lingers for a few seconds before joining the others.
The men’s FOOTSTEPS and VOICES echo across the room.
Gabriel’s memorial remains behind, centered in the frame.