Here is another older script of mine, and as far as a departure from "Soda Jerks" as you can get. I was reading some Kafka, and decided to write a script in his style, just for the hell of it, really. Most of his themes are present, and the absurdity knob was turned pretty high, as well. Take it for what it is worth, just a different way to tell a story, nothing more. The exposition needs work, I know that already, but I think the actions are pretty clear to the reader (crosses fingers). And if I really get the urge, I have two follow-ups to this, not story-wise, but in this style. The Doctor (10 pages into it) and The Chemist (just in my head) may see the light of day by 2010, because I'm bound to get distracted by a shiny object or something equally amazing.
INT. OFFICE FLOOR - DAY
White-floored, expansive area littered with black,
hexagonally shaped desks, with people seated at each of the
sides. Those not seated are walking in twisting patterns, in
and about other walkers. Lots of activity.
The people at the desks are typing with excessive speed. The
collective sound of hundreds of typewriter keys being struck
produce a constant, sparking BUZZ sound.
Stacks of papers are fetched in stride by the walking office
workers from the bins adjacent to the desks. The typists
instantly reload their typewriters with blank sheets of paper
and continue to type.
At a long, rectangular desk, set on a tier above the level of
the floor, sits a woman who looks out towards the activity of
the office floor. On both of her sides at the desk, men lean
back in their chairs, reading newspapers and drinking tea.
Two men wipe the surface of the desk in front of the woman
with a white towel.
A man fills a tea cup for the woman.
Another man walks behind the woman at the desk, and in
stride, picks a piece of lint from the shoulder of her
At a single desk set between the typists and the woman, sits
THOMAS, a young man with black hair, wearing a suit of the
same color. He sifts through stacks of papers, jotting
things down in a ledger as thick as three phone books.
As soon as Thomas finishes with a stack of papers, another
pile is set on his desk by one of the walking workers.
Thomas continues his work with the fresh papers.
Thomas depletes this new group of papers, setting them in a
small bin at the edge of his desk.
Thomas looks up, shifting his head to either side with a look
A WORKER rushes up to Thomas' desk. He is out of breath.
Yes...I'm so sorry. I had to--
It doesn't matter to me. You are
three minutes late, and-
Another walking worker reaches around the pleading worker,
setting down yet another stack of papers.
Thomas handles the papers and then looks at the pleading
worker, who has crouched down on his knees, his elbows
resting on Thomas' desk.
Ah! You will have to give up your
break, then. Go!
The worker smiles with a look of excessive relief. He stands
up, and places the palm of his left hand down on the top of
Thomas, ignoring the worker, flips through the papers that he
was just handed.
The worker lifts his hand from the desk, uncovering a coin
that lies next to a tall stack of papers, shielded from
The worker backs away, bowing his head quickly with every
step from the desk.
Oh, thank you! Thank you very
Thomas continues his work, reading and writing at a rapid
A man removes the tea cup in front of the woman, and takes a
satin napkin to her mouth, dabbing it clean. As soon as he
finishes, another man wipes the desk top in front of the
At the far end of the desk, two men are asleep.
INT. OFFICE FLOOR - HOURS LATER
NEAR SILENCE. The activity of the office floor has subsided.
Workers are leaving their desks, and those who were
transporting papers on foot are leaning against a wall. Some
are drinking water from the same fountain, while others are
Thomas closes the ledger at hands it to a worker, who
immediately leaves the desk upon grasping the ledger.
Thomas gets up from his desk and makes his way to a pair of
large, wooden, double doors.
Thomas reaches for the handle on the doors, but before he can
Before you leave...
Thomas turns around to face the voice.
The voice belongs to a MAN, middle aged and gray, wearing a
suit of high quality.
You are to go and see the
You are to go and see the
Do you know for what reason?
You are to go and see the
Thomas pulls his hand away from the handle of the doors, and
then cuts back through the office floor, to another pair of
double doors on the opposite side of the room.
INT. LOBBY - DAY
A long and thin hallway, poorly lit. Doors separated by a
mere foot are set in the walls. People form cramped lines in
front of each unmarked door. They stand with the chests of
those behind against the backs of those before. Chairs are
seen stacked on top of each other, resting in the corners of
Nobody is talking or making eye contact. Once in line,
everyone has their eyes pointed at the ground.
Various doors open, expelling random people. Each door
closes before the next person in line enters.
Thomas enters the lobby through the double doors. He stands
motionless, looking deep into the lobby.
Thomas fights his way through the dense rows of those in
line. He makes some progress forward, but chooses to double
back and meander through and within the rows as if trapped in
Once he arrives at a small, open space, Thomas takes his
place at the back of a line, leading to a door at the
furthest point away from the double doors from which he had
entered. The line is made up of six others, who also stand
chest to back like the other lines.
LOBBY LINE - MOMENTS LATER
A man exits the door of the supervisor's office.
The door closes, and then the next man in line enters.
Within seconds, the man exits the office, and the next man in
line enters, following the same pattern of waiting for the
door to close before entering.
This process continues, with the man entering coming back out
of the office almost as soon as the door closes behind him,
until Thomas is next to enter.
Thomas opens the door and enters the supervisor's office.
INT. SUPERVISOR'S OFFICE - DAY
Thomas calmly shuts the door behind him and stands motionless
in front of the office.
The SUPERVISOR, a broad man with a massive mustache and
officer's cap pulled down over his eyes so far that it
touches the bridge of his nose, is seated behind a desk. He
works feverishly with pen in hand, almost hidden behind
stacks of papers.
Three men, dressed in dark trench coats stand along the wall,
Two teenage girls, one on each side of the supervisor, sit
behind the desk, arranging the papers thrown out of the way
by the supervisor onto neat piles. They smile and hold back
giggles while they work and simultaneously sneak peeks at the
The supervisor continues to work furiously.
Thomas sheepishly approaches the desk.
The men along the wall follow Thomas with their eyes.
Thomas leans forward towards the supervisor.
Sir? I was told to see you.
The supervisor does not stop working the pen in his hand.
Thomas watches the supervisor and the girls work together.
The supervisor keeps his head down and the papers continue to
be written on and retrieved by the girls.
You had a worker arrive late today.
Why wasn't he sent to me?
I figured the matter to be
insignificant and not worth
troubling you about.
All workers arriving late are to be
sent to their supervisors for
I know that, sir, but he was only
three minutes late. I took away
his break to compensate.
That is not a decision for you to
The girls lean into the supervisor's ears and whisper.
Yes, but he ended up working more
time than he would have normally.
The girls pull away from the supervisor.
He should have been sent to me, and
then sent home for the day, without
That doesn't make sense, sir.
The two girls once again whisper into the supervisor's ears.
Why waste a full day of work for
And those three minutes have been
made up, and then some.
The girls cease their whispers and return to fetching papers.
You will be reprimanded for your
For not following procedure, you
will have a day's pay withheld.
Thomas takes a step back.
And for accepting a bribe in
granting favor to this worker, you
will endure further actions.
Bribe? I don't know what you are
One of the men standing against the wall approaches the desk.
He sets the coin on the desk in front of the supervisor, who
still flies through the paperwork on his desk.
The worker placed this in your
possession after granting him
I have never seen that before!
The man returns to his post against the wall.
Did you inform the worker that you
would not accept his bribe?
I didn't know it was offered.
Did you inform the worker that you
would not accept his bribe?!
Bribery was not mentioned in our
So, then you did not refuse this
bribe after all.
Sir, you must listen to me-
The girls lean in and whisper into the supervisor's ears
-I was completely unaware of any
bribe until I entered this office.
And if I had indeed accepted this
bribe, then why is the coin not in
The girls stop whispering.
Nothing to say on your behalf?
Thomas begins to mouth a word, but is interrupted by the
You will receive your reprehension
tomorrow. Behavior like this is
entirely unacceptable. We work a
certain way that can not be
altered, or else the whole of our
employees will become disarrayed.
The supervisor sets down his pen.
The girls gasp in tandem.
Once one component of our machine
attempts to work independently of
the whole, it is the whole that
suffers and malfunctions.
The girls point and snicker at Thomas.
Behavior such as yours is a wrench
in the gears, sugar in the gas
tank. It must be resolved before
it develops into something
But sir, if you would only hear me
The supervisor once again takes the pen in his hand and
speeds through the paperwork on his desk.
You are dismissed.
Thomas quietly exits the office, passing by the men against
the wall, who follow him out of the door with their eyes.
INT. LOBBY LINE - DAY
Thomas closes the door behind him.
A man in line enters the door of the supervisor.
Thomas walks back into the center of the lobby, returning
through the maze of people in their respective lines.
Behind Thomas, the man who entered the supervisor's office
after him, has returned to the lobby.
INT. THOMAS' HOME - NIGHT
Thomas enters through the front door of his home. He carries
with him a briefcase and a rolled up newspaper. Next to the
door is a small, empty table. Its surface area is the same
size as the briefcase.
Thomas sets the briefcase on the table.
A very tiny space in which only a small table with one chair
resides. The rest of the kitchen consists of a single bay
sink, one cupboard, one drawer and a small counter top all
packed tightly together.
Thomas sets the newspaper on the table.
Thomas opens the drawer. We see one plate, one spoon, one
fork, one knife and one glass.
Thomas empties the drawer, placing its contents on the
counter top next to the sink. The glass has a horizontal
line drawn on its side, about three quarters to the brim of
Thomas opens the door to the cupboard, revealing rows of
identical, unlabeled aluminum cans.
Thomas removes a single can from the shelf, peels the top off
of the can with its affixed metal ring, and then empties the
contents (a thick, brown mush) onto the plate.
Thomas places the plate and the utensils on the table in
front of the chair. He takes the glass and puts it under the
faucet of the sink, and fills it to the marked line with
Thomas takes the glass of water to the table, sits down and
begins to eat.
KITCHEN - TABLE
Thomas unfurls the newspaper. It is only one page thick, the
printed text is miniscule, and no photographs are present.
With the newspaper inches from his face, he reads up and down
a particular column of text.
Thomas pulls the newspaper away from his face, and rubs his
eyes. He takes a deep breath, looking at the surface of the
Something appears to catch his interest.
A bug scampers along the surface of the table. It stops for
a moment, and then continues to crawl for a short distance.
Thomas grabs the knife in his hand and sets the side of the
blade in the direct path of the scuttling bug.
The bug stops in front of the knife blade.
Thomas positions the blade on all sides of the bug, causing
it to run back and forth with each new placement of the
The blade of the knife is used to scoop up the bug from the
Thomas brings the blade close to his face, inspecting the bug
at a close range. He studies the bug for some time, and then
sets it back down on top of the table.
Thomas cleans the table of his plate and utensils, setting
them in the sink while water from the faucet is spewed into
Thomas rips the newspaper in half.
With one half of the newspaper, Thomas uses it to wash his
dishes. The other half is used to dry them before he puts
them away, into the drawer.
Thomas throws the pieces of newspaper away, into a small can
which contains other shreds of newspapers, and nothing else.
A bed, a crate and a light, nothing else.
Thomas hangs up his suit in a closet. Other identical suits
hang from the horizontal bar inside of the closet.
Wearing large boxer shorts and a white under shirt, Thomas
closes the closet door.
Water pours out of a faucet, collected in a pair of cupped
Thomas splashes his face with the water, rubbing his face all
over, but concentrating on the inside corners of his eyes.
Above the sink, where a mirror would typically be, is mounted
a small set of faceless shelves, which contain pill bottles,
tinctures of colored fluids, straight-edged razors and cotton
Thomas opens one of the bottles of pills, removes one, and
swallows it dry.
Kneeling on the floor in front of the crate, Thomas opens it
up and stares at the interior.
Thomas places his wallet inside of the crate, closes it, and
then stands up. He turns off the light and then crawls into
INT. BEDROOM -THE NEXT DAY
Thomas throws a thin blanket off of his body, and then stands
off of the bed. He enters the bathroom. We hear RUNNING
Thomas returns to the bedroom, stepping to the closet.
The closet door is opened slowly. Inside the closet, where
rows of suits hung the night before, is a lone article of
clothing on a solitary clothes hanger. The rest of the
horizontal bar inside is empty.
Thomas stands motionless, staring down the hanged clothes
with a look of confusion. He scratches the side of his face.
Thomas quickly turns around and rushes over to the crate. He
unlocks it and hurriedly opens the top. A sigh of relief is
expelled as he slowly removes his wallet. He sets it down on
Thomas sits on the edge of the bed, hunched over with his
forearms resting on his lap. He looks at the opened closet
door, and after a moment, he stands up and walks to the
Thomas finishes putting on the clothes left in the closet.
It is a single-piece pair of dark gray coveralls (like a
Sitting on the edge of the bed, Thomas ties his shoes. When
finished, he finds a pocket on the coveralls and puts the
Thomas gets off of the bed and exits the bedroom.