4 and 9

by Jonathan Turner

Short Film*
Email: jonahturner@hotmail.com

Jacek is an assassin who is charged with one last assignment before he retires. He is sent to kill a child. The child unfortunately witnessed Vinni, Jacek’s boss, conducting an execution. Jacek has crept into the young child’s room and is preparing to shoot, when his long dead father makes an entrance. This makes Jacek’s job harder as he has to deal with memories of his father and mother, and the burden that he’s been hiding from himself for years.








                                                “4 AND 9”
                                                              BY 
                                             Jonathan Turner
















TWELTH DRAFT
SEPTEMBER 2008
© JONATHAN TURNER, SEPTEMBER 2008
4 Elmtree Terrace, Chadstone
Vic 3148, Australia
Mobile: 0431315575

CHARACTERS
Jacek Murphy – Thirty eight year old ageing assassin who works for criminal boss, Vinni Giannino
Vinni Giannino – Fifty year old criminal boss who is the patriarch of the Giannino family.
Red Murphy – Deceased father of Jacek Murphy, who returns from the dead.
SYNOPSIS
Jacek is an assassin who is charged with one last assignment before he retires. He is sent to kill a child. The child unfortunately witnessed Vinni, Jacek's boss, conducting an execution. Jacek has crept into the young child's room and is preparing to shoot, when his long dead father makes an entrance. This makes Jacek's job harder as he has to deal with memories of his father and mother, and the burden that he's been hiding from himself for years.

1. EXT. OF PROTECTIVE SERVICE PATROL CAR. NIGHT
A Protective Service patrol car is parked at the end of Coppin Street. One of the uniformed occupants picks up the receiver of the CB radio; the conversation is short and muffled. He turns to his partner in the driver's seat. They speak briefly and the car starts up, leaving its parking spot.
2. EXT. COPPIN ST. NIGHT
Jacek steps out from an adjacent street and heads towards one of the houses, he walks casually as if taking a midnight stroll. Jacek is dressed in all black, and keeps to the shadows of the footpath.
3. EXT. SINGLE STOREY BRICK VENEER HOUSE. NIGHT
He arrives at the front door and pulls out a crude device that looks like a bulky screwdriver. He sticks the top end into the key hole, and after a few clicks, the front door opens. Jacek enters quietly.
4. INT. OF THE HOUSE. NIGHT
Jacek walks past the front bedroom of the occupants whose door is ajar. A thirty-something couple can be seen sleeping. He stops and looks at them for a moment, then grabs the door handle of the bedroom and silently closes it. He continues down the hallway. There are pictures of the family; a father, a mother, and a young boy. The young boy looks to be around ten. Jacek takes no notice of them as he heads for the target's bedroom. He enters the child's room and walks up to the bed. He pulls out his automatic gun and screws on the silencer. He stands over the occupant of the bed, whose sex is indistinguishable because of the bed covers and the street lamp light filtering in. He lifts the gun and points it at the child's head. Jacek is surprised by his mobile phone vibrating, and fumbles for the phone in his back pocket. Jacek backs into the corner of the room so not to disturb the sleeper. Jacek begins to read the message on his phone.
CLOSE UP OF TEXT MESSAGAE BY VINNI
hve u done it yet?
He thumbs a reply on his mobile phone with his free hand.
CLOSE UP OF TEXT MESSAGE BY JACEK
Im about 2.
He puts the phone back into his pocket and steps towards the bed. The mobile vibrates.
CLOSE UP OF TEXT MESSAGE BY VINNI
:-), the last thing I need is a kid on da st& confessin they saw me doin Fatz. Make it a warnin to all that talkers die.
Jacek immediately thumbs a reply.
CLOSE UP OF TEXT MESSAGE BY JACEK
Let me do my fucken job & get outta here!
JACEK
(whispers)
Dickhead.
Jacek shoves the mobile back into his back pocket and aims his gun at the child's head. The vibration of the mobile phone distracts him momentarily. Jacek screws his face up in frustration and is tempted not to read the text, but decides better.
CLOSE UP OF TEXT MESSAGE BY VINNI
Yeah, yeah, no problem. You'll have a new identity, passports, the works.
The child restlessly shifts in the bed, but doesn't awaken. Jacek reacts instantly and brings his gun to bear, but still can't bring himself to squeeze the trigger. The child's breathing becomes measured and slow not long after. Jacek puts the mobile away and now grips the gun with both hands to steady it from the trembling. Small beads of sweat form on his forehead, as he struggles mentally with the simple task.
Red Murphy's head materialises at the window of the child's bedroom, and he slides it open. He is a ghostly apparition; his skin is bluish grey, and there's insomniac bruising around his eyes.
RED
Hello, son, it's been a long time.
Jacek puts down the gun and is irritated by the sudden appearance of his father.
JACEK
Get outta here, Dad! I don't need your shit right now.
RED
Oh, looks like someone's in a mood.
Jacek shakes his head and switches his focus back to his target.
RED
Is this the one you have to kill, to earn your freedom?
JACEK
Yes, now shut the fuck up and let me do it.
RED
Alright, alright, no need to get shirty. Go ahead your majesty and do what you do best.
JACEK
(his teeth gritted together)
Shut up.
RED
Oh sorry, am I disturbing your conscience's argument with your killer instinct? You're pathetic.
Red's eyes fall upon the young child asleep on the bed. He pretends he's gently stroking the child's head.
RED
Are the alarm bells screaming because you're full from all the faces and dead looks you've stored up from your past kills?
JACEK
I said shut up!
RED
Looks like I struck a nerve.
Jacek puts down the gun, and looks at the child.
JACEK
This is my ticket out—my chance to start again.
RED
Is that what you think? (LAUGHS)
Do you honestly think Vinni will let you walk?
Jacek walks up to the window.
JACEK
Vinni won't cross me. I'll bury anyone he sends.
RED
Ah yes, Jacek Murphy is to be feared. He has the blood of a killer running through his veins.
JACEK
(tired)
I don't want to do this now.
RED
Don't you want to know why I'm here?
JACEK
No.
RED
It's your mother's birthday. Don't you remember?
Jacek rounds onto Red at the window. He points his gun at his father. A moment later he lowers it realizing the fruitlessness. Jacek bangs the gun against his head in frustration.
JACEK
Leave me alone! I killed you because you killed mum.
RED
Here we go again. I killed your mother, and then you killed me. What an achievement for a nine year old. They say when a son truly surpasses the father, the father dies and the son takes his place. What an accomplishment for you.
JACEK
You didn't have to kill her.
RED
I didn't have to kill her? I'd come back from my store and all I'd hear from her was, ‘How much did you make’, ‘I hate this small town’, yada, yada, yada. That's justification enough for what I did.
Jacek looked away from the window. He backs away into the corner and sits down bringing his knees up to his chest. He wraps his hands around his knees while looking at the floor. Red crawls into the child's bedroom through the window. He's wearing a Bond singlet, pale jeans and worn out black Blunstones. There's a thick rusty coloured stain on the singlet's chest. He stands in front of Jacek and stares down at his son.
RED
Yeah, that's right, she wasn't an all mighty angel or vestal virgin. She slept with all the men in town, and when I found out, all I wanted to do was to kill her. She did it to spite me; she even admitted it.
Red's face tightens up and he starts showing his teeth like some rabid dog. His whole body is tense, the anger that is contained within threatening to burst out.
RED
I hated her so much, but I loved her. I did everything for her and what did she do? She betrayed me. I loved her!
Red turns his back to his son and faces the child's bed.
JACEK
(whispered)
I loved her too, Dad.
Jacek gets up from the floor and walks up behind his father. He's about to touch him on the shoulder, but at the last moment Jacek pulls his hand back.
RED
It broke me and I wanted to punish her for doing that.
JACEK
(whispered)
I remember.
Jacek stares at the floor. In his mind he is reliving the event.
RED
I asked your mother to come hunting with us for the first time and she said ‘yes’? She should have known better.
JACEK
Why didn't you just leave her? You should have gone away and gotten a divorce like normal people.
RED
What? And let her go unpunished? I couldn't. Making it look like a shooting accident was the best idea.
Red begins to chuckle to himself.
RED
The small town police didn't have a case, thanks to you.
JACEK
You made me into your accomplice, bastard. Your own four year old son—me! You made me see what you wanted to see.
RED
And you were perfect. But my punishment for using you was you looking at me for five years with her eyes. Looking at my guilt, as if it was plastered all over me like some supermarket Sale banner.
Red steps closer to the bed, and his head is bowed down.
RED
Does this look familiar son?
Red elaborately twirls and sweeps his arms around exaggeratingly as if exhibiting the room as some sort of grand prize. He moves to the foot of the bed.
RED
It should. You were asleep just like this.
Red then points at Jacek.
RED
I was standing about where you are, but instead of a pistol in my hands I had just a plain old cushion. I'd gotten to the point where I couldn't bear you looking at me.
Red then drifts away into the past.
RED
I got closer and closer, and in my head all I could say to myself, ‘Cover his head and hold him down, it won't take long.’
JACEK
You shouldn't have come into my room, Dad. You should have left me alone.
RED
You knew I'd be coming.
Red waits for a response from Jacek but none is forthcoming.
RED
That's when I hesitated, and then you sprang up, like some jack-in-the-box from hell. You were so fast when you hit me.

Red turns away from bed.
RED
All of a sudden I was kneelin' on the floor, all the strength just sapped outta me. It was only then I looked down, and saw that oversized hunting knife I gave you for your ninth birthday stickin' outta me chest.
Red shakes his head, and looks up at Jacek.
RED
You beat me boy and you got your revenge. The Lead Foots let you off on account it was self defense.
JACEK
You deserved it.
RED
And you deserved all those failed foster homes because you were a fucked up kid.
Jacek turns to the door as if he's going to leave.
RED
Yeah walk away. Maybe even turn yourself into the Jacks, become a snitch for them. You might even live long enough for the trial.
Jacek pushes past his father and points his gun at the child's head.
RED
Do it. Do it now. Don't hesitate.
Jacek un-cocks the hammer of his pistol and turns to leave, but then stops at the door and seems to be contemplating his next move. The mobile vibrates in his back pocket and he pulls it out and the number display shows that it's Vinni. He stares at it.
RED
Well, that's your master's voice calling. I'll leave you two in private.
Red leaves the bedroom via the window. He slides the window close behind him and gives a little wave as he disappears into the blackness. Jacek watches the phone flashing in his hand with Vinni's name and number being displayed. He carefully puts the phone back into his back pocket and steps out of the room.
JACEK
Fuck it.
Jacek strides back into the room and levels his gun at the sleeping child's head. There are two coughing sounds as the gun discharges. The gun smoke rises from the silencer. Jacek's eyes are transfixed by the lifeless figure that lies on the bed, the blood slowly seeping through the covers. The mobile phone begins to vibrate again, but he lets it vibrate as he walks out of the bedroom in a daze. He continues down the hall, and it's only then he notices the family pictures. The pictures show a happy little boy in various settings. Jacek stares at the pictures for a moment, and then he silently rushes down the hall as if he's being chased.
5. EXT. SINGLE STOREY BRICK VENEER HOUSE. NIGHT
Jacek leaves the door ajar, not bothering to re-lock it. He hurriedly walks onto the pavement, and his mobile phone vibrates. He decides to answer it.
VINNI (O/S)
What the fuck is happening?
JACEK
(tired and a bit breathless)
It's done.
VINNI (O/S)
Thank fucken Christ. So she's dead right?
JACEK
Yeah, the kids dead.
Jacek then remembers the family pictures he saw as he left the house. He begins to realize his mistake.
JACEK
(whispered)
Shit.
VINNI (O/S)
What do you mean?
JACEK
You sure the target's a girl?
VINNI (O/S)
Yeah I'm sure.
JACEK
(tired)
Bugger.
VINNI (O/S)
Did you fuck up?
JACEK
I don't know.
VINNI (O/S)
You don't know? What do you mean you don't know? (SCREAMING)
JACEK
Look, I just came into the target's room and snuffed 'em'.
VINNI (O/S)
Where the hell are you?
JACEK
I'm at 9 Coppin St.
VINNI (O/S)
What did you say?
JACEK
I said I'm at 9–
VINNI (O/S)
You're at the wrong bloody address. It's supposed to be 4 you screw up, not 9.
Jacek just stares down at the dark street. He drops the phone and can't hear Vinni screaming at the other end.
VINNI (O/S)
You make amends, you hear me, or I swear I'll kill you myself.
Red reappears in the middle of the street under a street lamp. He's laughing. Red turns in the opposite direction, and floats away from his son. He becomes insubstantial the further he gets until he disappears completely. Jacek is left alone on the street as the shadows encompass him in a dark embrace.

THE END

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