10/05/2016

Apologetic? Part III


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That said, let's continue...


INT. CHEWTON RANGE INN - NIGHT

Clara and Tom make their way up the stairs, Clara laughing her head off, holding onto Tom's arm as they go.

INT. CHEWTON RANGE INN - UPSTAIRS - NIGHT

Up they come, Clara still laughing, Tom just shaking his head with a smile.

TOM

I've never heard someone laugh so much at their own joke.

She simmers down.

Tom starts toward his door. Clara tugs his arm, taking him toward hers.

They make their way there in silence, at least halfway there. Clara snorts and then starts laughing again.

TOM

Crazy woman. You been drinking?

CLARA

No.

She only laughs harder.

INT. CLARA'S ROOM

Clara leads Tom in, regaining control again. She takes his hand, walking him to the bed before pushing him onto his back then crawling on top of him.

She stops with her face hovering above his, a huge smile stretched from ear to ear.

CLARA

You know... I really like you.

She combs his hair with her fingers, then kisses his cheek.

CLARA

But, you know what? You owe me.

TOM

What?

CLARA

You made me talk all day. I want to hear you speak.

TOM

I'm no story teller.

CLARA

Oh, shh.

He takes her face in his hands, kissing the tip of her nose, then gently kissing her lips.

She smiles mid-kiss. She starts laugh.

TOM

(laughs)

You're not still laughing about--

She falls flat on his chest, covering her mouth with her hand, trying to stop herself from snorting as she laughs.

Eventually she calms, all sighs and embarrassed smiles.

CLARA

No, come on. Talk.

TOM

You told me to shush.

She tuts then kisses his chin, resting her head on his chest.

Tom sighs.

TOM

Ok. This is a fun one...

Clara's window is open. Her bedroom faces out to the endless desert. The sand on the dunes, bathed in moonlight, rolls ever so slightly as the breeze caresses its banks.

TOM (O.S)

I'm not the man you think I am. I'm most probably a great deal worse than him and the person I pretend to be.

CLARA (O.S)

Tom, that's not your decision to make.

TOM (O.S)

(sighs)

Maybe not. But, this is who I see myself as... I steal and I run. I take and I leave. There's other ways to say it, but... There was a snake and a lizard. There was also a mouse. Since the day they were born, the snake and the lizard chased this mouse. They all knew it could only last so long. The snake was cunning. The lizard was fast. But the mouse had fear. They could never catch him. The lizard and snake, hungry, dying, only grew weak. The gap between them and the food would only ever grow. They knew this. Running through the desert, water was scarce and the sun beat down hard. They ran by night and slept in the day. Occasionally they'd find an oasis. The snake and the lizard never ran together. The only times they would meet would be at the water holes. But, that was nothing good. As they drank, they could only think about eating one another. And as they slept they could only fear being eaten. It never helped.

CLARA (O.S)

Tom--

TOM (O.S)

One day they lost something... imperative. The snake lost his venom and the lizard lost his tail.

CLARA (O.S)

Tom--

TOM (O.S)

Long story short, they never caught that mouse. They died. They didn't even eat one another.

Silence.

TOM (O.S)

You know what the sad thing is though?

CLARA (O.S)

What?

TOM (O.S)

The mouse is still running.

Silence.

Clara nestles her head in his shoulder, arms wrapped around him.

CLARA

That's not your decision to make.

She kisses him.

Tom smiles before turning his gaze to the window.

CLARA

You really are no story teller.

INT. TRUSK PUB

Ben sits at the table, five of the beer glasses empty, his hand resting on his gun, staring into space.

The Bartender sits behind the bar occasionally throwing a glance his way, occasionally looking toward the door, keeping an eye of dread on everything.

EXT. TRUSK

A crowd of about thirty has formed outside of the Sheriff's station. Everyone's armed, mad and shouting.

The Sheriff comes out. He's got a limp and a shot gun.

SHERIFF

Ok! Calm down!

The crowd goes quiet.

SHERIFF

You do not have the law on your side with this character, at this time, and after so many years.

The crowd don't like it, they taunt and holler.

The LEADER has a rifle on his back and two pistols at hand:

LEADER

He's wanted all over towns. And recently!

SHERIFF

Well, not here he isn't.

The crowd start up again.

SHERIFF

But, listen! I'll be willing to turn a blind eye...

They shut up.

SHERIFF

I'll be willing to let you take matters into your own hands--

The crowd cheer.

SHERIFF

As long as!

They calm.

SHERIFF

As long as you know that all casualties, not only to yourselves, but the women and children--I repeat... the women and the children... of this town are on your shoulders. That all destruction of property and lives will have to be for paid by yourselves. That each destroyed home, piece of land or mother's child will have to be faced by you.

Silence...

Eyes dart side to side, waiting for answers...

After silent deliberation...

CROWD

AAAYYYY!!

They all cheer...

B-B-BANG

... blasting shots into the air, marching away.

That's not what the Sheriff was expecting.

SHERIFF

Wait!

No one's listening.

INT. SHERIFF'S STATION

SHERIFF (O.S)

Stop!

The cheering crowd fade away.

The Sheriff enters, met by his DEPUTY.

DEPUTY

What the fuck?!

SHERIFF

I know, I know...

He throws his gun.

SHERIFF

SHIT!

DEPUTY

What we going to do?

SHERIFF

(sighs)

Fucking... hope...

(swears under breath)

Our priority is the town. Not the mob. There was no stopping them either way. Just convincing. And I couldn't manage that.

The Deputy can only sigh in disbelief.

The Sheriff picks up his gun and goes for the weapon cabinet.

SHERIFF

Come on.

DEPUTY

You have got us in some shit storm.

INT. TRUSK PUB

The Bartender wearily approaches Ben.

BARTENDER

Um, it's getting late. The inn across the way shuts soon...

He loses his confidence to Ben's daring glare.

BARTENDER

... sorry.

He backs off.

Halfway back to the bar he stops.

BARTENDER

What the fuck?

He approaches the door.

EXT. TRUSK

Heads pop out of doors and windows, eyes searching for the source of commotion, the chanting, hollering and marching footsteps.

The group of about thirty men pour around the corner into the street.

All doors and windows shut.

Ben's horse rears, pulling the lose knot keeping her hitched free. She bolts.

INT. TRUSK PUB

The Bartender slowly shuts the door, eyes closed, shaking his head.

The mob's noise grows, coming closer.

The Bartender looks to Ben. He still stares into space, hearing the mob, completely indifferent.

Bartender runs behind the bar, flustered, grabbing his rifle and loading it.

The dark corners of the bar shift, shady characters, draped in long coats and the shadows of their hats, guns glistening in the firelight, make for the door.

The noise outside dies down.

Bartender freezes.

The shady characters stop, exchanging glances.

Ben sits there, none of this registering.

Silence...

Footsteps.

They approach the bar, treading confidently.

The door swings open.

MAN (O.S)

Please.

The shady characters exit the bar.

BARTENDER

(weakly)

Wait...

A TOPLESS MAN enters the bar, a rope draped over his shoulders, holding its noose in his one hand, a massive hunting knife on his hip.

He saunters toward Ben.

The Bartender raises his gun.

The Topless Man stops, stood face-on with him...

The gun is lowered.

The Bartender, hands raised, backs out of the bar through a back door.

All that's left is Ben, the Topless Man, a noose, a knife, a gun.

Topless Man steps up to Ben and spits at his feet.

BEN

What the fuck do you want?

TOPLESS MAN

I'm looking.

BEN

For?

The Topless Man leans around the table, trying to find signs of some kind of weapon.

Ben stands up.

TOPLESS MAN

What you got?

Ben raises his arms in scepticism.

TOPLESS MAN

I know you've got something under that coat of yours, don't think me stupid.

Ben sits.

BAM

The door is thrown open. Three other men, guns at the ready enter.

They stand behind the Topless Man, trying their best to look menacing.

Ben just looks at them, one eyebrows raised, slightly drunk, not at all threatened.

The Topless Man chuckles whilst taking out his knife.

He drags a chair over and sits in front of Ben.

TOPLESS MAN

You ever been to Glasted Waterfall?

Ben shakes his head, no.

The three other men take seats nearby.

TOPLESS MAN

I have. One of the most beautiful things I've ever witnessed. But that was years, decades ago. I must have been about six. I still remember it though. You don't tend to forget the things you never see again, the things that are really different from the rest of your experiences. Been out in this desert for more years than I would bother counting, haven't seen anything like that waterfall without a pipe in my hand.

He plays with the knife in his hand a moment.

TOPLESS MAN

Despite the memory of seeing this waterfall way down south being a somewhat happy one, bad things happened when I was there. Now, as a kid, I thought that all the evil in this world came from this here desert, that only those who lived with the sand could have a bit of the devil in them. But, I was wrong. The devil is all over. Don't seem to leave any place alone. So, when I was at this waterfall, the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, this is what I saw. Three men walked on to this... how'd you say? Rickety, unstable, bridge out in front of the fall. It passed across. A tourist thing. These characters seemed pretty normal. They chat for a while whilst me and my family watch the waterfall. The group then break up. One of the guys walks back where the group came from and disappears for a while. Then out of nowhere three shots go off. B-B-BANG. One of the men on the bridge shoots the other and bolts. My family panic, we're not sure what's going on. But then the other man comes back to the bridge and takes this very knife here...

BAM

The Topless Man stabs the knife into the table.

TOPLESS MAN

... and starts sawing at the ropes. Me and my family run the opposite way. B-BANG. The guy cutting gets blasted in the shoulder, but, BANG. He shots his other guy in the head. Me and my family aren't even halfway across the bridge. My father's dragging my sister. My mother, in her ridiculous dress--the best one she had--she was too slow, falling behind. I was out front, petrified, as a child would be. The guy with the bullet in his shoulder, he finds his knife again... Long story short, I ended up stranded for a week trying to get to the other side of the waterfall. A week not wasted. Sure I were hungry, sure my family was gone, but at the shores of the waterfall I found this knife. A reminder that chaos will never escape my life. From the age of four, I've been witness to shootings, stabbings, robbery, more crime than you can imagine. Never been without it. How about you, boy?

Ben offers no response.

The Topless Man shrugs it off.

TOPLESS MAN

You still haven't told me what you're hiding under that coat.

BEN

Only a gun.

TOPLESS MAN

Only a gun? And here I sit, my knife between us.

Ben pulls his knife and stabs it into the table.

THUNK

TOPLESS MAN

Nice knife. Not a gun though.

The Topless Man pulls both blades out of the table. Ben doesn't react.

One of the men sat behind the Topless Man stands, trading his pistol for the Bartender's rifle on the bar.

TOPLESS MAN

Maybe chaos and destruction can have a rest?

He pulls the length of rope off himself.

TOPLESS MAN

Come easy and we don't torture you.

Ben stands up.

Topless Man throws the rope to one of the other men, standing, two knives, one in each hand.

Ben brushes back his coat flashing his revolver.

TOPLESS MAN

I ain't afraid to die. Never have been.

One of the three men go to the door, holding it open.

TOPLESS MAN

(pointing out men)

He signals to the twenty other guys we got outside. They keep their guns on you. I escort.

(clinks knives together)

Let's go.

Ben stands to the side, sliding the chair away from him with his foot.

The Topless Man stands tall, unflinching.

The other men hold their guns with sweaty hands, not the strongest of knees or the easiest of breathing patterns.

Silence...

All in a split second:

Ben crouches, sweeping his coat away from his holster...

The Topless Man swings his knife toward his neck...

The two men stumble in finding their triggers...

Ben, the knife gliding past his throat, hits the table into the Topless Man's knees, beer, glass, froth and bubbles flying...

Ben pulls his gun...

The men's sights try to find a target...

B-B-B-BANG

The two gunners drop dead, the Topless Man lurches backward, falling onto his ass.

The man at the door, swings his gun up from his hip...

B-BANG

The shots explode past Ben's head.

He hits the ground, disorientated, drunker than he thought.

The man at the door runs out to the mob who have started up again.

Ben looks for his gun...

It lies on amongst the dozens of smashed glasses and pints of beer, an arm's length away from himself, a step away from the stood Topless Man.

Their eyes dart between the gun and each other's eyes.

MAN (O.S)

Mick?

The Topless Man, Mick, smiles down at Ben.

MICK

Yeah.

MAN (O.S)

What's going on?

Mick twirls the knives in his hands.

Ben grits his teeth, throwing himself forward...

Mick swings his boot toward his face...

Ben grabs his thigh, stopping the kick.

Mick swings his knife toward his kidneys...

Ben roars, driving up onto his feet, taking Mick off his and...

BOOOOM

... slamming him down on the floor.

Immediately Mick stabs at his neck.

Ben blocks it, holding the knife to the ground, but...

BAM

... Mick stabs the second knife straight into his shoulder, right through so it sticks out his back.

Ben screams, rolling away, still with a grip on Mick's armed hand.

Mick keeps the roll going, ending up on top of Ben, his knife inches from his face, the one in Ben's shoulder being pushed back out as he keeps Mick's hands from coming down...

Ben twists the knife away, and...

BOOM

... headbutts Mick in the mouth.

Mick falls away, losing the grip on his knife to Ben who goes after him thrusting it toward his gut...

With one hand Mick stops the knife from plunging into his belly.

The two struggle against each other...

.. but not for long...

Mick tears the knife out of Ben's shoulder and slices, hitting nothing but air as Ben spins away from him.

Mick takes a step forward, driving his knee into Ben's mid section. Ben reels back, and...

BAM

... gets a boot to the chest, the knife flying out of his hand.

Back to the wall, Ben blocks the incoming knife, but not the barrage of lefts Mick deals to his right side.

Strength waning, Ben roars, stabbing the knife into the wooden wall, barging him away.

Mick comes right back at him with a flying knee, Ben takes it to his chest, grabbing him in mid-air and slamming him against the wall.

BANG

Mick tears his head back with a handful of his hair (his hat having fallen off ages ago) and blasts him in the eye.

Ben responds with a flurry of upper cuts to Mick's soft gut, blood spluttering out of his mouth.

Mick...

BOOM

... brings a huge elbow down on his back, ceasing all attack, laying Ben flat out, face down on the floor.

Mick steps over him toward the gun across the room.

Ben pulls himself to his feet, holding onto the wall.

He spits a mouthful of blood, grabs a chair and...

KABOOM

... breaks it over Mick's protective arms, blocking the thing from smashing his skull to pieces.

Micks hits his knees...

BANG

... taking a harsh kicks to the face...

THUMP

... hitting the ground, his two front teeth gone.

He's got no time to worry about that though because Ben sits on his chest and pounds down on his head, Mick's arms flailing, soon falling limp amongst the shattered glass and the blood diluted by frothy beer.

BAM

BAM

BAM

Mick looks up, blood streaming across his face.

MICK

I ain't afraid to die.

Ben reaches for his gun, putting it between Mick's distant eyes.

BEN

There's no point in killing a man like you.

B-BANG

Ben shots him in each shoulder.

BEN

But I think you're lying.

Mick whimpers, suppressing all the pain he can.

Ben squeezes his cheeks, putting the barrel of the gun in his mouth.

Mick lays there, quivering, eyes steaming up, tears eventually cleaning the blood away from his eyes.

Mick shakes his head.

BEN

There you go.

BANG

Blood explodes across the floor.

EXT. TRUSK

The mob wait outside the pub, guns at the ready, men shifting in their place, having just heard the shot, waiting for either Ben or Mick to emerge...

After a while of anxious pause...

MAN

Surround the area. I want the back covered.

A few men run around the back of the bar.

A YOUNG MAN speaks up:

YOUNG MAN

Why don't we go in?

MAN

Funnel in and get picked off? Don't be stupid, boy. We wait for him.

YOUNG MAN

We can't just wait.

LEADER

You two shut the fuck up.

He approaches the bar, two guns pointed.

He stops about a foot away and shouts:

LEADER

Ben, you motherfucker! Don't make us light the place up! All that alcohol will make for one glorious show. But, I want to see the life leave your eyes, boy! Come out here and face us!

The Sheriff, sniper rifle on his back, stands with his Deputy at the end of the street watching the mob.

DEPUTY

These assholes don't have a clue what they're doing.

The Sheriff just grunts.

INT. TRUSK PUB

Ben sits on a stool by the bar, waiting for the pain to set in, blood streaming down his arm and off the barrel of his gun.

LEADER (O.S)

Motherfucker! You want to burn?

Ben groans, lifting his arm, testing--still able to raise the gun. He tilts his head back seeing some expensive alcohol.

BANG-BANG-BANG

The Leader pounds on the front of the pub.

LEADER (O.S)

Hey!

Ben tuts.

B-BANG

He sends a few shots his way.

B-B-B-BANG

Shots explode through windows, erupting all around Ben.

LEADER (O.S)

STOP! STOP!! STOP!!

Ceasefire.

LEADER (O.S)

You fucking trying to kill me!? Fuck!

Ben groggily stands, grabbing a hold of Mick's leg, dragging him through the paraphernalia strewn across the floor.

He drops him by the door then heads back toward the bar.

LEADER (O.S)

Ben! The place is surrounded. You will die tonight. Or you will die a week from now when your rotting carcass finally gives out on you. Make the decision!

Behind the bar, Ben picks up a few bottles of expensive rum and whisky.

He pours himself a shot, then pats himself down, searching for a light. He only finds the flint. He tuts, going for the nearby candle.

LEADER (O.S)

You, motherfucker! Surrender, or I promise you, my vice will meet your balls. It won't be pretty!

Ben puts the flame of the candle near the drink.

Nothing.

He downs the shot and pours from another bottle whilst talking a big swing of the non-flammable rum.

He puts the flame near the glass.

WOOF

The whisky lights up.

EXT. TRUSK

The Leader calls over the Young Man.

LEADER

Go around back and tell 'em we might move in slow. We'll pressure him from both sides.

INT. TRUSK PUB

Ben pulls up all the bottles of the whisky from under the bar. Seven of them.

He throws one...

SMASH

... against the door, alcohol raining down on Mick's dead body.

He tosses another toward the window...

BANG

... shooting, whisky and glass splattering across the front wall and window.

Ben then tosses the lit candle.

THUMP

It hits the floor, landing in the beer, the flame extinguished.

BEN

Shit.

Not a great throw when drunk.

EXT. TRUSK

The Sheriff and Deputy still watch the proceedings.

DEPUTY

You think they'll get him?

SHERIFF

I think they'll flush him out. Eventually. No one in his sights will hit him though.

Down the road, the Leader's getting frustrated.

LEADER

Ben, you cock sucker! I'm warning you!

He steps back in line with the mob.

INT. TRUSK PUB

Ben ambles toward the candle, picking it up.

B-B-BANG

Shots start flying through the window erratically.

Ben ducks out the way, useless candle in hand.

BANG

Near the door is another lit candle.

B-BANG BANG

Ben makes for it keeping low, shots popping past overhead, getting his back to the wall.

BANG

A shot hits a painting above his head, the frame breaking apart and thumping him on the head.

B-B-BANG

In anger he shoots out the door.

B-B-B-B-BANG

More shots rain in.

BEN

Motherfuck.

The candle's above his head. He reaches for it, bullets flitting past.

EXT. TRUSK

The Leader calls for ceasefire.

LEADER

Boy, we're serious. You see that now? We ain't gonna waste more bullets. We want you alive...

INT. TRUSK PUB

Ben tries to light the damp candle, but nothing. He pulls his knife and slices it in half.

He lights the exposed wick, throws one candle toward the window and another toward the dead body.

EXT. TRUSK

WOOOOOF

The facade of the pub is lit up.

B-B-B-B-BANG

The mob shoots in retaliation, the Leader calling for them to stop.

LEADER

What the fuck are you doing? Move around the back, don't shoot at the front!

The men start moving.

INT. TRUSK PUB

Having thrown himself back toward the bar, Ben spots the tops of hats passing the side window.

He grabs a whisky bottle, douses the Bartender's rag in the lit shot on the bar, stuffs it in and tosses it through the window.

SMASH

Ben...

B-BANG

... shots the bottle as it flies through the window...

EXT. TRUSK

... drenching a couple of men in flaming whisky.

They scream, running, manic.

INT. TRUSK PUB

The whole window frame catches alight as Ben moves through the door behind the bar to:

INT. TRUSK PUB - OUT-BACK

Crates of whisky and rum are stacked along the walls. One door. One window.

Ben gets his back to the wall near the window.

EXT. TRUSK

Men standing outside the back of the pub watch the men on fire running, screaming directions for others to help.

B-B-B-B-B-BANG

The shots explode out of the back window of the bar. Four men are dead instantaneously.

Everyone else runs for cover. Only three out of the six remaining men making it.

They gesture for the lot coming around from the front to hold.

About fifteen of them put their backs to the wall of the pub, one peering around the corner.

INT. TRUSK PUB - OUT-BACK

Ben pushes his gun out the broken window, turning toward the corner.

BANG

THUMP

MAN (O.S)

Ned!

B-B-B-BANG

Ben gets away from the window, watching bullets rain in, exploding off of the whisky and rum crates, liquids pouring.

He goes to the door where no one has their fire concentrated.

An audacious huff and he throws the door open...

B-B-B-B-B-BANG

... firing rapidly, unblinking, hitting every man in sight.

TH-THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP

Bodies drop.

Silence...

Ben steps out to:

EXT. TRUSK

Cautiously he takes a step away from the door, not making a sound.

He takes a hold of the handle, listening for the whispers of the men around the corner.

Gun at the ready, he slams the door shut, quickly pulling it back open.

Silence...

MAN (O.S)

(whispering)

Go, go, go.

Men sprint from around the corner, going for cover, no more than a couple of feet in front of Ben.

B-B-B-B-B-BANG

Five dead. None stood a chance.

He throws himself back in the bar as...

B-B-B-B-B-BANG

... the last of the men pour out from around the corner, shooting blindly, the Leader up front, taking them to cover.

INT. TRUSK PUB - OUT-BACK

Ben points his gun out the window, crouched...

B-B-BANG

... shooting blindly back at them.

The footsteps and gun shots stop.

Ben leans back against the wall, losing a lot of blood from his shoulder, pretty drunk, not in good shape.

He sits in wait of footsteps, an advance or more gun fire...

EXT. TRUSK

The Leader crouches with his few remaining men in front of a small shed between the backs of two houses that face the pub.

The men are panicking, on the verge of retreat.

LEADER

Who's shed is this?

MAN

The guy with the cart.

They all catch on at the same time:

MAN

Fucking dynamite.

The men jump into false action, looking for a way into the rickety shed from the back.

LEADER

Calm. Look, I'll cover.

(pointing out men)

The cart. The dynamite. You go find...

INT. TRUSK PUB - OUT-BACK

Using the wall, Ben gets to his feet, leaning toward the window.

He catches a glimpse of the men sneaking through the tight clearing between the shed and houses before...

BANG

He ducks, lurching toward the leaking crates of whiskey.

He finds a bottle with the top blasted off, pours some on the knife wound and starts drinking.

EXT. TRUSK

The first of the Leader's men come back from the street with a bottle of whiskey.

MAN

Stole it from the store.

The Leader pops the top, sniffs then takes a sip.

MAN

It's good.

LEADER

Rip a bit off your shirt.

Two more men warily come around the shed, more whiskey bottles in hand.

LEADER

All of it.

With a huff the man rips his shirt up whilst the Leader pats himself down, looking for matches.

INT. TRUSK PUB - OUT-BACK

Ben, sat against the crates, leans to look out of the door leading back into the bar.

The fire rages, spreading across the wooden slat wall.

BEN

Shit.

He gets to his feet again.

An orange flicker catches his eye beyond the shattered glass.

He blinks, not sure what he's seeing.

The orange spark glows brighter then flies toward the window.

Ben raises his gun...

EXT. TRUSK

BANG

... the molotov explodes into fiery cloud.

The men are dousing their scraps of shirt in whisky and stuffing them in the bottles, ready to throw them.

LEADER

The door and the window.

He scrapes his match on his boot, lights a molotov and tosses it.

BANG

The fireball unfurls before the window...

INT. TRUSK PUB - OUT-BACK

... reaching in, just missing Ben.

He focuses, gun pointed out the window.

EXT. TRUSK

The men lob their bombs.

B-B-B-B-B-B-BANG

All but two are shot down. The door is ablaze...

INT. TRUSK PUB - OUT-BACK

... trapping Ben. The fire curls around the hinges of the door, reaching toward the pools of alcohol.

Without hesitation, Ben tips a barrel of beer over by the door then...

B-B-B-B-BANG

... shoots a few holes in it, the watery beer soaking across the floor, diluting the flammable liquids.

B-B-B-BANG

Shots burst through the blazon door. Ben can only back-pedal, blasting out the window.

EXT. TRUSK

The last three molotovs are lit and tossed.

B-BANG

Two blow up against the pub, the roof catching on fire.

MAN (O.S)

Ready!

LEADER

(reloading his gun)

All right. I'm staying.

The Leader's men scurry back around the side of the shed, toward the remaining few.

A breath and the Leader jumps out of cover, both guns reloaded, firing twelve rounds toward the window.

INT. TRUSK PUB - OUT-BACK

Ben crouches, chaos raining in and burning around him, fire crackling above his head and beyond the two doors, bullets roaring through the window until...

B-B-B-CLICK-CLICK

... the Leader's out.

Ben stands, peeping out the window.

No one.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM

The shed is blown into a trillion splinters that gush toward the open window...

SMASH

... hot embers blasting Ben in the back as he turns away, his arms lit up.

BEN

Fuck!

He rolls over, drenching his arm in the beer, putting out the flames and groggily getting to his feet.

Through the shattered window and annihilated shed Ben spots...

BEN

Shit.

EXT. TRUSK

... a cart loaded with dynamite, drenched in whisky, in the hands of the half dozen left from the mob.

MAN

GO!!

They start pushing, the cart hurtling across the street and over the debris...

B-B-B-BANG

INT. TRUSK PUB - OUT-BACK

... Ben shoots, but hasn't a clean shot.

He gives, going for the door.

EXT. TRUSK

The Leader, back to the corner of the pub, pulls the rifle from his back, watching the cart cannon toward the door.

The men let the cart go, one of them throwing a lit molotov after it...

INT. TRUSK PUB - OUT-BACK

Ben kicks the beer barrel out the way, pulling the searing door open...

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSHHH

... to the cart, wreathed in flames, waiting to explode, metres from him.

Without thought he raises his gun and steps forward.

EXT. TRUSK

The second he's out...

BOOM

... a molotov explodes against the door frame to his left.

Off-balance, he scrambles to the right to escape the cart a fraction of a second from crashing into him, right toward...

BANG

... the Leader gets the clean shot and takes it, tagging Ben's thigh, but...

B-BANG

... taking a bullet to the face.

He drops dead.

Off his knees, Ben's got a millisecond to register the cart about to ram into him and explode.

Ben...

BEN

AAAAAAARRGGGG!!!

... roars, pushing up off his feet, into the blazon cart...

B-B-BANG

... shooting the by-standing mob...

B-B-BANG

... killing each and every one, fire rushing up his legs as he steps over the bundles of dynamite, jumping...

CRASH

... the cart smashing into the pub...

THUMP

... Ben coming down on his injured and burning legs, metres away, rolling, patting, trying to escape the explosion.

He gets the fire out, but his legs aren't working well, limp as wet noodles...

He claws at the sand, pushing forward off his knees, teeth grit, eyes hard, wide, flashing fear, refusing to turn back, to look over his shoulder to the ticking time bomb cart...

Barely a metre a second he crawls, waiting for the explosion, pulling himself through debris and over bodies.

The detonating wire connecting the bundles...

PFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

... sizzles down, inches from detonation...

With all he has left, Ben...

BEN

AAAAAAAAAARRRGGGG!!

... throws himself over the dead body of a fat man, finding as much cover as he going to get, not ten metres from the...

PFFFFFFFFFFFFFT

... Ben braces himself...

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM

The fat man is blown over him, both of them being blasted fifteen foot through the tattered wood, rolling to a twisted stop in the middle of the street, contorted and sizzling.

EXT. TRUSK - ELSEWHERE

The Sheriff and Deputy hear the explosion and run down the street, finding a house and pounding on the door.

EXT. TRUSK

Ben, ears ringing, eyes failing him, tries to focus...

He spots the shadowy outline of his horse down the street.

He groans, hand stretched toward her.

His horse neighs and gallops over.

She stops by him, stomping and snorting, but Ben can barely move anything apart his left arm.

The fat man pins him down, leaking all kinds of fluids over him.

Fearful, yet curious faces start appearing in windows.

The horse lowers her head, her reigns falling on Ben's face.

BEN

Good... good girl...

He puts his left hand through the reigns and pulls it over his head so it's slung under his arm pit.

BEN

Go... go...

The horse starts pulling...

BEN

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

She drags him and the fat man a few feet down the street before the fat man drops off Ben.

BEN

(on the verge of tears)

Stop!

The horse stops dragging him and starts muzzling his chest.

Ben grabs the reigns again and pulls himself up a little so that he can extend them, using his teeth, his burnt finger tips struggling to work the clasp.

More faces start to peep out of windows as Ben suppresses whimpers, pulling the reigns to full extension.

With a cry of pain, he sits up and starts tying the reigns to his ankle.

Bound to the horse, legs numb, he falls flat on his back.

BEN

Go.

The horse starts forward, trotting awkwardly, almost side-stepping, to drag Ben along the sandy road, out of town.

Ben closes his eyes, falling unconscious...

BANG

Sand explodes upwards near his head.

The horse rears, panics and starts galloping, still awkward, Ben trailing, helpless, arms waving, eyes searching.

INT. HOUSE

The Sheriff has set up his sniper rifle at a window in a house the opposite end of the street, watching Ben being dragged out of town, sights trying to find the target.

DEPUTY

He's--

SHERIFF

Shh!

The Sheriff settles his chin down, eye peering through the sights.

EXT. TRUSK

Ben rolls and sways, clothes drawing up, sand collecting, spraying all over him, the horse's hooves thundering, millimetres from stomping...

BANG

KATHWAK

... blood explodes from Ben's shin, he...

BEN

AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!

... wails, writhing, rolling, just praying for the horse to get him out of shot...

INT. HOUSE

The Sheriff's gun slowly tracks along the street.

DEPUTY

The horse.

BANG

EXT. TRUSK

TWAK

Another miss.

INT. HOUSE

The Sheriff's got a few seconds before the horse is at the end of the road and turning the corner.

DEPUTY

The horse!

BANG

EXT. TRUSK

TWAK

The bullet blasts into the sand, ricocheting, scathing Ben's arm.

The horse veers, turning the corner, Ben being swung wide...

BANG

PING

... a bullet zipping over his head and into black smith's iron.

INT. HOUSE

The horse makes the turn, escaping with Ben.

DEPUTY

Shit!

The Sheriff leans back off the rifle, met by the Deputy's scorn.

SHERIFF

I ain't shooting no horse. What the fuck is wrong with you?

The Deputy raises his arms and claps them to his side, picking up his shot gun and going for the door.

EXT. TRUSK

Silence...

Families start pouring out of houses, finding dead relatives, friends, destroyed property, fires to be put out.

The Deputy and Sheriff come out of the house to utter chaos that quickly cuts away, silent sobs being left to fill the stagnant air...

Their eyes hit the floor as the town stares them down.

The two quickly drop all intentions, their weapons and shoulders.

WOMAN

Fucking idiots!

The two slink away.

EXT. DESERT - NIGHT

Ben lies back, the horse cantering away from town, stars way above, gliding across the moving sky.

His body is limp, it's a surprise his eyes are open. Blood pours into the sand, drenching it, making it stick.

As the horse drags Ben, the sand below shifts...

It gives, coming lose, opening up...

Ben sinks, gone...

The horse is left dragging the taught reigns through the sand toward a distant horizon.


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