THE INEVITABLE DEATH OF PHILIP BRADLY

by Glen Beard

Short Film
Email: modernliterature@villagenet.net.au

FADE IN: EXT. QUAINT LITTLE COTTAGE IN SUBURBIA -- DAY We are at the front door of this delightful little abode. A mans hand knocks politely on the STAINED TIMBER DOOR. After a few beats the door is answered. PHILLIP BRADLEY, a mid twenties-nervous little man, is waiting at the door when LILY MARSDEN greets him with a friendly smile. Lily is a spectacular looking woman with a full head of wavy red hair and gorgeous green eyes.

                The Inevitable Death
                 Of Phillip Bradly
                   by Glen Beard



FADE IN:
EXT. QUAINT LITTLE COTTAGE IN SUBURBIA -- DAY
We are at the front door of this delightful little abode.
A mans hand knocks politely on the STAINED TIMBER DOOR.
After a few beats the door is answered.
PHILLIP BRADLEY, a mid twenties-nervous little man, is waiting at the door when LILY MARSDEN greets him with a friendly smile.  Lily is a spectacular looking woman with a full head of wavy red hair and gorgeous green eyes.
LILY
Hello, you must be Phillip.
Clearly her beauty has made him nervous
PHILLIP
Um... yes.  Good thanks...
Lily is a little bemused, but smiles politely and invites him in.
INT. COTTAGE -- CONTINUOUS
As they move through the house it becomes clear that Lily is into a lot of alternative beliefs.  Her house is cluttered with various 'GYPSY' and "WITCHY' looking paraphernalia.  Lily herself is dressed in the usual outfit of a FORTUNE TELLER who clearly takes herself too seriously.
INT. COTTAGE -- CONTINUOUS
We enter another room where Lily invites Phillip to sit at one side of a ROUND TABLE, which is covered in a fine looking VELVET CLOTH and heavily decorated with numerous INCENSE CANDLES, CRYSTALS and POLISHED STONES.
LILY
Please don't be nervous.
She has her back to Phillip as she says this, almost detecting his awkwardness.
PHILLIP
No I'm fine.
Phillip is still standing as Lily turns around with a beautiful CRYSTAL BALL in her hand.
LILY
(SMILING)
Please sit down Phillip, relax.
PHILLIP
(EMBARRASSED)
Oh sorry.
LILY
Don't be sorry.  You have have nothing to fear.
She places the crystal ball on a DECORATIVE STAND in the middle of the table as Phillip finally seats himself and begins to fidget.  It is evident that Phillip is one hell of a nervous bastard.
Lily makes herself comfortable, LIGHTS an incense candle, and takes a deep breath.
LILY (CONT'D)
Now.  What is it that you're looking for today.
Phillip thinks about the question.
PHILLIP
Guidance.  I guess.
He fidgets and squirms in his seat.
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
I don't know, I guess I'm just an idiot!  I'm wasting my time!
LILY
Phillip calm down.  You're too negative.  Way way way too negative.
PHILLIP
Well what can I do about that?  And what does it mean?
LILY
What does what mean?
PHILLIP
What does 'I'm too negative' mean exactly?
Phillip seems intense.  Lily pauses for a moment, a perplexed look on her face.
LILY
You don't know what I mean by that.
PHILLIP
No.
LILY
Are you serious?
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
Yes!  I mean no!  I mean I'm just so confused.  I don't know if my life is heading anywhere and I'm paranoid about everything.  I have no luck whatsoever and even though I go way out my way to be careful with everything I do it all ends up bad.
Lily reaches out to take Phillip's trembling hands
LILY
Phillip listen to me...
Phillip recoils just before Lily reaches his hands.
PHILLIP
Whoa what are you doin'?
Lily is taken aback.
LILY
(WITH A SMILE)
I was just going to take your hands.
PHILLIP
(DISTRUSTFUL)
What the hell for?
Lily is a little miffed at his sudden attitude change.
LILY
I was going to try and calm you down and read from your palms.  Is there a problem?
PHILLIP
Could you wash your hands before you touch mine please?
Lily is aghast.
LILY
Phillip I assure you my hands are clean.
Phillip is skeptical.
PHILLIP
I'm sorry but you'll have to wash them again.  I'm sorry.
He seems terrified of her hands which she holds out in front of herself, searching them for what could possibly be wrong.
Lily eases herself up from her seat.
LILY
Sure.
Hesitantly she moves out of the room, as Phillip watches with an accusing eye.
INT. BATHROOM -- MOMENTS LATER
Lily is scrubbing her hands vigorously.  She senses something.
Slowly she turns her head as she continues to wash.
Phillip is standing in the door way staring at her hands intently.  He notices Lily looking at him and he suddenly becomes nervous again.
Like a little boy he slinks away guiltily.
Lily dries off her hands, sighs heavily and regains some composure.
INT. COTTAGE -- MOMENTS LATER
Seating herself back down across from Phillip, Lily smiles at him and offers her hands.  It is a very warm and inviting smile.
The smile seams to greatly ease Phillips' anxiety and obliges, giving his hands to Lily.
Lily leans forward and closes her eyes, and begins to concentrate.
Phillip waits almost frozen as Lily rolls her head from side to side.
PHILLIP
(WHISPERS)
Do you see anything/
LILY
Shhh!
She flinches a few times and moans a bit.
LILY (CONT'D)
Ooh.
PHILLIP
What?  What do you see?
Lily suddenly pulls her hands away from Phillips'.
LILY
Oh... Phillip...
She seems worried for him.
LILY (CONT'D)
Saw a shadow standing over you.
(LEANING INTO HIM)
Phillip...
PHILLIP
What?
Anxiously Phillip waits for her to find the words.
LILY
It was death, Phillip.  He's coming for you.  By the end of this month.
It hits Phillip like an uppercut.
PHILLIP
(STUNNED)
You gotta be fucking kidding me!
Phillip becomes angry now.
LILY
It's the way you've been living you're life in fear.  It's going to bring you to an untimely death.  You have to learn to relax, Phillip.
PHILLIP
Jesus Christ!  I paid eighty dollars for this shit!
He yells to the room as if he has an audience.
LILY
Please don't be upset Phillip, I'm trying to help you.
PHILLIP
I cannot believe you would tell me this you wicked fucking gypsy bitch!
He leaps up from the table and begins to storm out.
LILY
Phillip please!  Listen to me.  You can survive this.
PHILLIP
Oh I'll survive it alright.  I know how to survive!
And with that we watch him storm out of the room.
We hear the door slam as Lily stands at her table not knowing what to do. 
EXT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- LATER
Phillips' CAR eases up his driveway.
His house is an ordinary LOW SET HOUSE that appears to have had a lot of renovations done.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- MOMENTS LATER
From inside the front door we hear a KEY inserted and the door unlocks and swings open.
Phillip enters and we follow him as he makes his way through the house to the dining room, where he slumps down at the table.  He puts his head in his hands and lets out an exhausted moan.
EXT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- NIGHT
Establishing night time
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- NIGHT
In Phillips' BEDROOM we see him lying on his bed tossing and turning, and generally having a prick of a time sleeping.
The window behind his bed is open and through the MOONLIT night we can see clearly out the window.
A power line extends from the roof outside the bedroom across to a distant pole.
A dark BIRD SHAPED figure is sitting on the line, almost watching Phillip as he attempts to sleep.
CLOSE UP on Phillips' face as we suddenly hear an ear piercing THUD!
Phillip leaps up in bed with an awful scream.
PHILLIP
What the FUCK!  Jesus what the fuck!
 
EXT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- MORNING
Down the side of the house we see Phillips' feet creeping along through the lawn until we come across the DEAD BIRD.
Phillips' eyes gaze upon the animal with utter confusion and fear.
It appears to be a large OWL, it's head twisted back.
An ELDERLY WOMAN neighbour is looking on and as Phillip notices her  he begins to freak out.
NEIGHBOUR
What on earth was that?!
PHILLIP
That's bad luck!  That's bad luck!
He begins to back away, fearfully looking around him, up at the sky, then back to his neighbour.
NEIGHBOUR
Are you alright, Phillip?
PHILLIP
(YELLING)
It just flew straight into my window and killed itself!  I'm a dead man!  That's bad luck!
He suddenly becomes mistrustful of his neighbour, who now looks as if she's just seen a DAVID LYNCH film and has no idea what's going on.
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
(TO HER)
No!  No!  Don't look at me!  Stay away from me!
NEIGHBOUR
What?!!!
Phillip turns to flee and hurls his face straight into a POLE on the front patio.
He drops to the ground screaming in agony.
NEIGHBOUR (CONT'D)
Ooh Phillip!  Are you alright?
PHILLIP
Christ!  Jesus Christ!  Fuck!!!
He moans in pain, clutching at his nose.  He gets to his feet and stumbles towards the front door.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- CONTINUOUS
He makes it inside, slamming the door behind him as he falls back up against it and slides to the floor, still clutching his nose and in great pain.
EXT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- LATER
A static shot of the house to establish the SHADOWS growing longer.  It is late afternoon and everything appears fine.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- AFTERNOON
Various shots through Phillips' house as we are shown that all the curtains have been drawn.  It is very dull and their is not  much light left in the day.
In the dining room Phillip is sitting at the table studying a wall calendar.  We see that the date is the SECOND OF MAY, as Phillip has been crossing out the previous days.
He's focused on the last day of the month.
PHILLIP
That's all I gotta do, just last out the month.  How hard can it be?
(YELLS)
Seriously!
He begins to giggle and laugh like that of a crazy man.
Suddenly the air is pierced with the ringing of the telephone.
Phillip screams like girl and jumps out of his seat.
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
No fucking-thank-you.
He begins pulling the phone line out of the wall, which at first is very stubborn.
After it finally come clean
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
Good night you mongrel bitch of a world!!!
He sits back down in his seat, and calms himself.
Gazing around the room, from Phillips' POV, we focus on a toaster in the kitchen, plugged into the wall.  The switch is on, which suddenly begins emitting an electrical discharge.
Blue sparks begin clawing down chord, wrapping around and strangling the toaster.
We jump back to the look of terror on Phillips' face with eyes almost popping out of hi skull.
He gasps enormously and leaps from the seat.
We see the toaster again.  Nothing is wrong with it.
Phillip relaxes a bit, but then runs to the toaster and rips the chord from the wall.
He then spots the kettle plugged into the outlet next to the toasters'.
We see a montage of quick close ups of electrical items being mercilessly unplugged and appliances being stashed into one room.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM -- EVENING
Phillip sits in the dark on the sofa.  Poised and ready to jump.
His eyes dart around the room.  His breathing short and paced.
EXT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- MORNING
The fresh sunlight glistens on the dew covered grass.
Children are making their way to school.  Everything seems like a normal morning in the neighbourhood.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM -- MORNING
Phillip is in the exact position we left him in the night before.  He looks a little tired now.
EXT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- MORNING
Two well dressed young men in WHITE BUSINESS SUITS AND TIES waltz on up Phillips' driveway.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM -- CONTINUOUS
A knock on the door startles Phillip dramatically.
He creeps over to the window and peers out.
From his point of view we see the 'threat'.  MORMONS!
Phillip begins to have another one of his fear driven visions
PHILLIPS' VISION
The door opens to reveal the two MORMONS with a ridiculously cheesy grin on their mugs.
Phillip stands ready.
MORMON 1
(EXCESSIVELY NICE)
Hi how are you?
Phillip simply stares.
MORMON 2
We're from the Church of Christ and we
The door slams across their faces, the impact deafening.
Phillip begins to walk away when the door begins to tremble under the enormous THUDDING that begins.
The door is busted open as the Mormons pounce on Phillip.  One holds him down as the other one begins to tear pages from  the bible and force feeds them to Phillip.
MORMON 1
(CRAZILY)
Eat the words of the lord and repent.  Repent I tell you.
Phillip struggles in vain as he begins to choke on the pages.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM -- MORNING
The knocking on the door jolts Phillip from his day dream.
He sinks down beneath the window and hides, until eventually the incessant knocking ceases.
He breathes a long sigh of relief, then a large angry rumble is heard, emanating from is stomach.
PHILLIP
Oh shit!
He grimaces in pain and clutches at his stomach.
INT. PHILLIPS' KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER
Phillip is standing at the fridge with door open.
The look on his face is panic.
From Phillips' POV we see that all the contents in his fridge are labeled with POISONOUS STICKERS.
INT. PHILLIPS' KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER
Phillip is hurriedly emptying everything form his fridge into LARGE GARBAGE BAGS.
PHILLIP
Poisonous shit!  Be fucked!
(TO THE FRIDGE)
Think you could trick me, huh?
He begins to hit the fridge like a crazy man
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
(ANGRILY)
Huh?!  Ya stupid fuck!  Think you can trick me?!!!  FUCK YOU!  FUCK YOU!!!
He continues with a flurry of punches as we pull away and leave him be
EXT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- AFTERNOON
A CU of the dead owl reveals that it has pretty well begun to decompose.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM -- AFTERNOON
Phillip sits in his trusty sofa again.  He appears to be a little malnourished  and much stubble has grown on his face.
His stomach GRUMBLES.  He winces.
PHILLIP
(TO STOMACH)
Shut up.  Shut up!
He punches his gut!
This didn't help.  He groans in agony.
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
You're a fucking idiot!
He lies down on the sofa, in obvious discomfort, trying to muffle the 'Gargling' of his stomach.
EXT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- AFTERNOON
The MAILMAN is delivering his rounds, he scoots on up to Phillips' letter box and pushes in a rather stuffy ENVELOPE.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- AFTERNOON
CLOSE UP on the calendar which has been crossed out up to the THIRTEENTH.
Phillip lies sleeping on the sofa.  Deathly silent, bar the ticking of the CLOCK on the wall, the room is dank stuffy looking.  Phillips' beard has grown significantly and he is still wearing the same clothes as at the front of the film.
We he the BREEZE PICK UP outside.
And a SCRATCHING, like that of tree branches dragging along the roof.
Phillip carefully wakes from his sleep.  He notices the noise.
He notices something in the kitchen.
From Phillips' POV, we glimpse a DARK MENACING LOOKING FIGURE that just as quickly vanishes.
This naturally freaks Phillip, who jumps up straight in the sofa.  His breathing erratic.
PHILLIP
Who is that?!  Huh?!
He cautiously lifts himself from the sofa and sneaks towards the kitchen.
He pears around the corner.  Nothing there.
SUDDENLY from behind him something moves, spinning Phillips' attention around.  Still nothing there.
He's nervous as hell now.  He begins to sob.
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
I'm not gonna die.  I'm not...
The sobs begin to subside and are replaced with little bouts of exhausted laughter.  The laughter quickly builds and Phillip looses his strength and slips to the floor, landing hard on his arse.
He's now staring up at the fridge, which from Phillips' POV, appears to be staring back.
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
(ABRUPTLY)
The fucking hell are you looking at?!!!  I thought I dealt with you ya fat fuck!
He lashes out at the fridge with his foot, his aim is off and he ends up hurting himself, naturally.
He writhes around on the kitchen floor in agony, all the while the fridge just stands there doing nothing.
EXT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- NIGHT
Establishing night shot  of the neighbourhood.
Phillip is on the sofa.  His eyes opened narrowly.
Two figures appear standing over him.  One, a MATURE WOMAN, the other a YOUNG GIRL, who appears to be holding a cup.  They stare over Phillip, both smiling.
Phillip glances up, his eyes become more aware.
PHILLIP
Who are you.
The woman leans towards him
WOMAN
How are you feeling Phillip?
Her voice is soothing and ever so kind.
Phillip draws strength to speak.
PHILLIP
I'm thirsty.  And I need to do wees'.
WOMAN
Oh I know sweet heart.
PHILLIP
But I don't wanna go cause it'll just make me more thirsty.
WOMAN
Well why waste it darling?
The girl holds the cup towards Phillip, who looks onto it with questioning eyes.
PHILLIP
What's that?
WOMAN
It's a cup silly billy.  You need to keep up your strength and the only thing that can't hurt you, is what's already inside you.
He looks at the cup nervously.
PHILLIP
Why can't I just hold it in then?  What difference does it make?
WOMAN
No difference I guess.
(SERIOUSLY)
But you can't hold it in, can you?
Tears well in Phillips' eyes.
PHILLIP
No.
He starts crying.
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
No!  I can't.
(BLUBBERING)
I gotta go to the toilet!!!
The woman leans in to comfort him.
WOMAN
It's alright.  It's alright.
Phillip looks to the cup in the girls outstretched hand.
Phillip is stumbling down the hallway, with a cup in his hand, sobbing to himself.
He turns a corner and heads int the TOILET.
We hold on this shot until after a few beats we hear the faint sound of Phillip URINATING INTO A CUP.
EXT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- DAY
The MAILMAN is back.  He pulls up at Phillips' letter box, which is overloaded with mail, bulging at the seems.
This doesn't stop the mailman from cramming one more letter in there.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM -- DAY
Phillips' BEARD is well and truly 'survivor style' now.  He sits on his sofa, staring straight ahead.  His clothes look FOUR SIZES too big and they have STAINS all over them.  His face ia flaky and his lips scabby. 
He holds 'his cup' in his hand, taking small sips from it, at one point he almost brings what he swallowed back up.
The DARK FIGURE appears again down the hall.
Phillips' eyes bulge.
It lurks there in the shadows, barely visible but noticeable.
Phillip sits there petrified.
PHILLIP
(SCREAMS)
Go away!!!
It is gone.
Phillip finishes his cup, still unnerved he climbs out of the sofa and staggers over to the calendar.
With a pen he crosses out the TWENTY EIGHT.
He becomes giggly
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
Not much longer you gypsy bitch.
He hisses laughter.
PHILLIP (CONT'D)
Not much longer now! 
(BEGINS YELLING)
You red headed gypsy fuckin' bitch!
He hops to his feet, suddenly with renewed vigor.
His laughing becomes more powerful.  It plays through this scene as we see a CLOSE UP of the calendar, then on the clock on the wall.  It's pendulum swinging.  The time is TWO THIRTY.
EXT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- CONTINUOUS
The SKELETON of the owl is seen as we hear Phillips' laughter from inside the house.
A long shot of his house, as the letter box, overloaded with mail, falls off it's post.  No more laughter is heard.
Children walk past on their way home from school.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- AFTERNOON
The clock on the wall reads FOUR TWENTY.  It's pendulum swings away as the monotonous ticking fills the empty air.
Phillip is lying motionless on the floor in front of his sofa.
FLIES buzz around his malnourished face.
The screen goes black.
PHILLIP (O.S.)
What is it?
INT. COTTAGE -- DAY
We are back in Lilys' reading room as at the front of the film.
Phillip is waiting nervously for Lilys' answer.
She is thinking.  Looking int Phillips' worried face.
LILY
It was ... nothing.  I's sorry I didn't mean to worry you.
She smiles pleasantly at him and takes his hands again.
LILY (CONT'D)
I see a change in you fortune, Phillip.  A lot of good luck is coming your way.
She looks up at him.
LILY (CONT'D)
This won't change your life dramatically but you will be much happier.
Phillip sighs an enormous relief.
PHILLIP
Oh god.  For a moment there I thought you were gonna tell me something bad was going to happen.
He laughs a little relievedly.
Lily is still focused on his face.
EXT. COTTAGE -- MOMENTS LATER
We see Phillip leaving the house, thanking Lily as they exchange goodbyes.
The door is closed.
INT. PHILLIPS' HOUSE -- NIGHT
We are again in Phillips' bedroom as he sleeps soundly on this occasion.
Through the window we see an empty power line.
The wind blows gently in.
INT. PHILLIPS' KITCHEN -- MORNING
The kitchen is clean and empty save for the usual breakfast ensemble.
The TELEPHONE RINGS.
We hear thumping footsteps as Phillip runs from the hallway to answer.  He wears a towel around his waist.  His hair dripping wet.
PHILLIP
(ANSWERING)
Yeah?
(BEAT)
Hey how are ya.
(BEAT)
Yeah good thanks
He takes the hands free phone from the holder and moves into the kitchen as the pretty standard conversation continues.
He reaches for the electrical chord of the toaster and begins to plug it in when with an almighty CRACK Phillip is sent flying into the kitchen cupboards. 
Smacking his head he drops to the floor.
The phone lands in charred pieces halfway across the kitchen.
Phillips' body lies in a motionless state.
His eyes and face in a frozen state of pain.
We linger on this shot for a few beats.
From a LONG SHOT now we see a menacing dark figure standing over Phillips' corpse.  The figure of DEATH looks down on his new soul.  His ghastly hand reaches down towards Phillip.
FADE OUT
 
 

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