Excerpt of PROM by Katie Wech

© Disney 2011

FADE IN ON:
EXT. REMAINS OF THE SHED — DAY
Nova’s face. Catatonic. Stricken.
PULL BACK To REVEAL she’s standing among the remains of the shed. All around her are the remnants of the decorations. She stands next to the singed, broken, ravaged FOUNTAIN.
What seems like half the STUDENT BODY has gathered and gawks at the destruction.
We find Brandon, Mei, Ali and Rolo heading for Nova.
ROLO
Whoa. It’s like Apocalypse Prom.
ALI
Hey there…
BRANDON
How you doing, Nova?
Nova just stares at the fountain.
ROLO
At least the fountain survived.
Nova reaches out and touches part of the fountain, which immediately falls off and shatters on the ground.
MEI
What do we do now?
ROLO
Yeah, is prom like, canceled?
BRANDON
We could postpone it ‘til after graduation.
ALI
Or just do it without decorations?
NOVA
(turning to them)
No. We rebuild.
(off their looks)
Guys, this is our prom. If we give up, if we turn back now —
ROLO
The terrorists have won?
NOVA
I’m not telling the entire senior class to return their dresses, cancel
their dates…
MEI
Prom’s three weeks away.
NOVA
Then we work before school, after
school —
MEI
I would, but I can’t. I’m starting my
internship.
ALI
I’m in the spring musical.
ROLO
Yeah, man. This was already my
hardest class this semester. I’m
tapped out. I got nothing left.
Nova turns to her last hope.
NOVA
Brandon?
BRANDON
Nova, AP tests are coming. I’m
already behind.
Nova spots something over his shoulder, starts to head off.
NOVA
There must be something we can do.
MEI
Where are you going?
Nova marches over to PRINCIPAL DUNNAN
He’s surrounded by KIDS, STAFF, and FIREMEN all vying for his
attention. His pounding headache is almost visible.
TEACHER 1
We need to get these kids to class —
RHODA
Superintendant wants a full report–
FIREMAN
Sir, we need you over here.
Nova cuts right past them all, front and center.
NOVA
Mr. Dunnan, the prom decorations are
completely destroyed.
DUNNAN
Nova. I know.
NOVA
The committee worked very hard on those decorations. There’s no one to
help me rebuild. What are we gonna do? What are you —
But Dunnan’s eyes go over her shoulder as he hears —
A MOTORCYCLE as Jesse rides up through a gate in the fence to
check out all the commotion. Dunnan eyes him, fury building.
NOVA (CONT’D)
Mr. Dunnan?
But he’s off, marching to Jesse. Nova trails behind.
DUNNAN
Richter. Get that pile of junk off school grounds. You can’t ride that
back here.
JESSE
Right, sorry. Wouldn’t want any
school property to get damaged.
DUNNAN
You think it’s funny when other
people’s work gets destroyed?
JESSE
It’s just some dumb prom decorations.
Nova lets out an angry noise.
JESSE (CONT’D)
Oh, wait, no. Prom’s ruined! The
boys and girls of Brookside have been
robbed of their right to stand around
in a gym and drink punch. Put the
flags at half mast.
PRINCIPAL DUNNAN
I’ve got a better idea. You’re gonna
help her rebuild.
JESSE/NOVA
What?
PRINCIPAL DUNNAN
Nova, you need help, and Jesse, you
clearly need something to keep you out
of trouble for the next couple months.
NOVA
Him? Mr. Dunnan, I really don’t think —
JESSE
Little Miss Sunshine’s right. You
should listen to her.
But Dunnan’s locked in on Jesse now. He practically sings:
PRINCIPAL DUNNAN
Oh, no. You’re doing it. Who knows,
you might actually learn something
about hard work and dedication. And
if this prom isn’t rebuild to her
specifications —
(with a nod toward Nova)
You won’t graduate.
JESSE
You can’t do that! You can’t keep me
from graduating.
PRINCIPAL DUNNAN
You know, I had a talk with myself
about that? Turns out I’m okay with
it.
Jesse seethes.
As Dunnan leaves, Nova’s eyes narrow and she zeroes in on Jesse. The Enemy. The line’s been drawn. It’s on.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
INT. JESSE’S BASEMENT — NIGHT
We move through the dark and un-welcoming basement, past the
stairs, to find Jesse angrily pulling MEN’S CLOTHES from an
old wardrobe and stuffing them into garbage bags.
Jesse’s fury is palpable as he grabs work shirts, boots,
jeans, everything he sees and shoves them into bags.
We hear someone descending the stairs: Sandra. He doesn’t
turn around. She watches him a beat, smart enough not to try
and stop him.
SANDRA
How’s your hand?
Jesse steals a glance at his HAND – bandaged from the fight.
SANDRA (CONT’D)
You know the first time I met him he’d just been in a fight.
JESSE
Yeah well, like father like son.
SANDRA
What’re you talking about?
JESSE
Come on, Mom. You married a fighter and look where it got us. Look where
it’s got me.
SANDRA
I did not marry a fighter. I married an idiot who got into fights. There’s
a difference.
She walks to the wardrobe, not to stop him. Looking for something.
SANDRA (CONT’D)
You’re a fighter. You’ve been through
so much, and you’re still here, taking
care of this family. I’d bet on you
every time.
JESSE
Not everybody feels that way.
SANDRA
She does.
Jesse looks at his mom, finally takes a breath.
SANDRA (CONT’D)
You’re Dad never knew what the hell
was important. What was worth
fighting for. If he did, he’d be
here.
She finds what she’s looking for in the wardrobe.
SANDRA (CONT’D)
To see how great you turned out.
And with that she takes a TUXEDO in plastic wrap and hangs it on a low pipe.
Jesse looks at it, then at her.
SANDRA (CONT’D)
Even if it fits, you’re still the
bigger man.
She turns and leaves him there, staring up at the tuxedo.

 

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