Wings of Fury

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FADE IN: INT. ELEVATOR

The elevator drolls out a melancholy tune. Standing centered, alone in the elevator, is DIANDRA PAITION. She has been struck head-on by the insanity of Hollywood. Her hair is a mess, and her dress has a drink stain on it. In one hand are her stiletto high heels, in the other an Emmy Award with her name on it. In spite of this, a dejected frown hangs upon her face, underneath her drunken, far away eyes. The art on the elevator wall behind her fans symmetrically outward and upwards, giving the appearance of soaring wings. She begins mumbling along to the tune of the song with a crackly voice. She is clearly drunk and emotional.

 

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE LIVING ROOM—NIGHT

DIANDRA exits the elevator with a stagger. She uses her hand with the Emmy to brace herself against the doorway of the elevator. She enters a massive hotel room, the penthouse of a New York City high rise hotel, decadent with art and high end furniture. A banner hangs from the ceiling: “CONGRATULATIONS PAITION ON THE BIG NOMINATION!”

Sitting atop the grand piano and surrounding its base are giant congratulatory gift baskets. Around the room are clusters of life size cardboard character cut outs, promoting a television program: “TEAM RENEGADE.” She crosses the elevator threshold and drunkenly addresses the room.

DIANDRA
Lucy, I’m ho-oooooome!

Her words are indistinguishable, understandable only by her tone of voice, her inflection matching Ricky Ricardo’s. She sighs in the empty room, dropping her stilettos as she strolls toward a marble pedestal table. Sitting atop the table is a lavish sign that reads “ENJOY YOUR STAY” with the hotel’s logo of a dove beneath it. She looks at her award. A beautiful golden angel with sharp wings pointed to the heavens and the whole world in her hands. She runs her finger across the point of the wings and sways slightly. This swaying remarking of beauty becomes a dance. With the award in her hand she twirls across the living room arms outstretched as if to accept the world within them, she is simply one pair of pointed wings away from flight. She stops dancing and looks enviously at the smile upon the angel’s face, rubbing her thumb across the cool metal veneer. She plants the Emmy Award down on the marble pedestal and sighs again. Her disappointment melts into frustration.

DIANDRA
(in a drunken, mocking tone) Oh no. Don’t be a writer, you’ll never make enough money to support your motha. What I am supposed to do? My only daughta not supporting her only motha? You can’t do nothing right.
(in regular voice) Screw you.

She tears a barrette from her hair and it falls down past her shoulders. She paws through the gift baskets until she finds what she’s looking for.

DIANDRA
Aha!

She discards the big yellow bow and rips through the cellophane, producing a bottle of wine. Behind her, one of the cardboard cutouts shifts, crossing the room. She is not alone.

Oblivious to this, she examines the label to find french lettering that she cannot decipher: AILES DE SANG.

DIANDRA
C’est la vie.

DIANDRA crosses across the room towards a doorway.

 

INT. KITCHEN—NIGHT

She flicks the light on. The light pours from the kitchen into the room where she just was. Behind her, illuminated for just a second, is INTRUDER. He moves out of sight as DIANDRA searches for a corkscrew.

DIANDRA
Where the hell?

She opens a drawer underneath the kitchen island, and she finds the corkscrew. She smiles, removes the gold foil, and opens the bottle of wine. She removes a wine glass from the hanging rack, but then looks at the bottle, and returns the glass to the rack, opting to drink it straight from the bottle. She slowly walks out of the doorway back into the living room.

 

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE LIVING ROOM—NIGHT

DIANDRA enters the living room, turning off the light behind her. Directly to her right is INTRUDER, but he disappears as she turns out the light. Barefoot, she approaches the couch.

She stops to take a sip of her wine, feeling the soft white carpet between her feet. She climbs over the couch and picks up the TV remote off of the coffee table. She holds down a button and speaks into it.

DIANDRA
Play Team Renegade, season five, episode . . . eight.

The television beeps and swirls with a loading animation. A sound is heard from the kitchen. Her drunken stupor is undone as she whips her head around.

DIANDRA
Hello?

Hastily, she picks up her phone and turns on its flashlight. She gleams it towards the kitchen. On the floor of the kitchen is the cork from her bottle of wine, still rolling back and forth slightly. She breathes a sigh of relief and turns off the flashlight. She takes a sip of wine. Her show loads and the screen goes from a dark grey loading to the bright shine of an opening credits scene. INTRUDER stands in the center of the room, now illuminated by the light of the plasma screen. She watches her show obliviously. He watches her.

 

TEAM RENEGADE—APARTMENT BUILDING (ON TELEVISION)

A burly character by the name of DUKE MAXUM runs through a warehouse, his gun drawn. He is recognizable as one of the cardboard cut-outs on the side of DIANDRA PAITION’s hotel room. He kicks down a door to find the notorious drug dealer VINCE TYSON, holding a gun to the head of the young, attractive MAYBELL SIMONS, another recognizable cut-out.

DUKE
Let her go!

VINCE
And why would I do that? Honestly, you keep underestimating me. I am not some junkie plug. I’m the damned king of this city. I am-

VINCE turns suddenly. DUKE screams into his earpiece.

DUKE
Don’t take the shot! I repeat: Don’t take the-

The window explodes as a bullet tears into the room, hitting
MAYBELL SIMONS.

 

INT. PENTHOUSE SUITE LIVING ROOM—NIGHT

DIANDRA sits on the couch with the bottle of wine. She speaks every line of dialogue on top of the character’s on the screen. With the hand unencumbered by the wine bottle, she directs the movement with a single extended finger, much like an orchestral conductor. There is a bored longing in her expression. She recites the line with envy in her voice.

INTRUDER approaches her from behind. DIANDRA gazes into the wine bottle in her hand. She cocks her head at the reflection she sees. It almost looks like there’s a man standing behind her. In a voice near tears INTRUDER speaks.

INTRUDER
She didn’t have to die.

DIANDRA screams. She turns to see INTRUDER directly behind her. Panicked, she throws the bottle of wine at him. It hits his face, sending him off balance. She runs through the dark living room, and ducks behind the grand piano. From the light of the plasma screen she can only see his silhouette. Her phone is sitting just across the room, on the edge of the couch. INTRUDER stands in between the two, orienting himself. He now stands in a pool of wine and broken glass.

INTRUDER
(enraged)
I send you a letter every day, begging you not to hurt my Maybell. And instead you killed her!

There are loud crashes as he flips the coffee table and throws a vase against the wall. DIANDRA cowers behind the piano, her hand, clasped in front of her mouth stifling a terrified scream. Her phone sits useless across the room. INTRUDER’s voice surges with rage as he destroys the suite.

INTRUDER
Come out here, you coward! You killed her! You-you-you-you goddamn killer! Where are you?

INTRUDER picks up her phone and throws it into the plasma screen TV. The light it had been giving off dies and now the room is entirely dark, except for a periodic blue flash from the shattered screen and the soft green glow of the elevator call button. INTRUDER is no longer visible.

DIANDRA shifts slightly in her hiding spot behind the piano. The cellophane from a gift basket crinkles, the sound carries throughout the room. She tries to listen to footsteps but all
she can hear is her own racing heartbeat. For a beat, everything is still in agonizing anticipation. The piano jolts out an ugly, guttural sound as INTRUDER slams his hands down on the keys. DIANDRA screams and runs to the elevator.

DIANDRA just barely pushes the call elevator button when the INTRUDER grabs her from behind, pulling her backwards.

DIANDRA
(screaming)
No! Please, no!

INTRUDER, holding DIANDRA, bumps into the marble pedestal table, knocking it over. He throws her to the floor. She kicks and screams, crawling backwards, away from INTRUDER.

INTRUDER
Why didn’t you read my letters? Huh? Why did she have to die? How could you let her die?

INTRUDER jumps on top of the screaming DIANDRA; he wraps his hands around her neck and begins strangling her.DIANDRA pounds on either side of INTRUDER’s head. No matter how hard she pounds and flails, he remains unfazed. Her vision of the room around her becomes darker. As the TV intermittently blinks blue she can see the face of INTRUDER. His snaggled teeth are twisted in a screaming frown, casting spittle down upon her purple face. One of his eyes hangs off up and to the right, the other stares directly into her dying soul.

DIANDRA’s pounding heartbeat becomes slower and slower as the dark room loses every bit of dimension.

With a flailing hand she feels the Emmy Award. She takes it, and with its blunt base bashes INTRUDER in the head. He releases his grasp on her, and in that moment DIANDRA takes a
breath and drives the twin points of the golden angel’s wings into his throat. She rips the statuette’s wings out of him. Blood spurts out of either side of his neck in long crimson arcs. INTRUDER stands for just a second and collapses again.

DIANDRA lies on the floor, Emmy in hand, breathing deep,
greedy breaths.

The elevator reaches the penthouse suite and its doors open,
pouring light into the ransacked room. On either side of
DIANDRA is a spatter of fresh red seeping into the white
carpet, giving the illusion of wings.

FADE OUT