I Am the Messenger (Adapted Screenplay)Mature

Ed Kennedy is a dead-end kid in a dead-end job...until he stops a bank robbery.

FADE IN:

 EXT. A SMALL BANK - DAY

 A really shitty, banged-up old blue beater of a car sits in a 15-minute parking space outside the bank, held in place by bricks under the rear wheels. The nearby meter shows it’s only got a few minutes left.

 INT. BANK

 About a dozen people are lying face down on the floor. A GUNMAN wearing pantyhose as a mask is holding a gun on the GIRL BEHIND THE COUNTER. A MAN behind her is packing a bag full of money. People on the floor are looking around at each other, more annoyed than scared.

 ED KENNEDY (V.O.)

The gunman is useless. I know it. He knows it. The whole bank knows it. Even my best mate Marvin knows it, and he’s more useless than the gunman.

 Two young men, ED and MARVIN, lay next to each other the carpet, speaking to each other in conversational whispers.

ED

I wish this bloke would hurry up.

 MARVIN

I know. This is outrageous. I’ll be getting another fine because of this useless bastard. I can’t afford another fine, Ed.

 ED

The car’s not even worth it, mate.

 MARVIN

(extremely offended) What did you say? Look, I’ll take a lot of things, Ed, but–

ED

I said it isn’t worth the fine, Marv. Frankly, it’s an embarrassment. It doesn’t even have an E brake – there’s bricks behind the back wheels! You don’t even bother locking it! I bet you hope someone’ll steal it so you can collect the insurance.

MARV

Isn’t insured. Agent said it wasn’t worth it. 

ED

Well, there it is, then.

The GUNMAN hears their whispers and swings around.

GUNMAN

Who’s talkin’ back there?

MARVIN doesn’t hear the gunman, and probably doesn’t care. His car’s just been insulted.

MARVIN

You don’t complain when I give you rides to work, you miserable little upstart!

ED

What the hell’s an upstart?

GUNMAN

I said shut up back there! 

MARVIN

WELL HURRY UP THEN!

The GUNMAN is spinning, looking for the source of their voices.

GUNMAN

Who’s the bastard talking?

ED (V.O.)

The thing to know about Marv is that he’s problematic at the best of times – argumentative, completely immature - and at this point, Marv’s done. He’s face down on the floor of a bank being robbed, it’s abnormally hot for spring, the A/C is broken, and his car’s been insulted.

MARVIN

Ed Kennedy’s talking, sir! 

ED

(whispered) Thanks for that!

ED (V.O.)

That’s me, Ed Kennedy. Underage cab driver and a typical example of the young men in this suburban outpost of the city – few prospects and no possibility. I read more books than necessary, crap at sex and doing my taxes. Hey there. 

GUNMAN

Shut it, Ed! Or I’m coming over there!

ED looks at MARVIN incredulously.

ED

You’re 20 years old, are you trying to get us all killed?

GUNMAN

SHUT UP, Ed!

ED

If I get shot, I’m blaming you.

GUNMAN

I said SHUT UP, Ed!

ED

Everything’s just a big joke, isn’t it, Marv?

GUNMAN

Right, that’s it!

The GUNMAN forgets about the money and approaches ED and MARVIN. They look up as the gunman places his gun against the bridge of Ed’s nose.

GUNMAN

Now. Which one of you’s Ed?

ED

Him. (points to Marv)

MARVIN

Oh no you don’t.

MARVIN is clearly nowhere near as scared as he should be in this situation. After a second, he scrutinizes the GUNMAN’s face a little more closely.

MARVIN (CONT’D)

Hang on a second…..you look familiar.

ED

OK, you got me, I’m Ed.

(whispered to Marvin) Shut. Up.

ED (V.O.)

I’m not sure why my friends have to be smartasses. But, it is what it is, I guess.

MARVIN

Did we go to school together or something?

The GUNMAN is getting nervous. Angry, but nervous.

GUNMAN

You want to die, don’t you?

MARVIN

Well, actually, I’d just like you to pay the fine I’m gonna get, what with my car in the fifteen-minute zone out there. You’re kinda holding me up here.

GUNMAN

Damn right I am!

MARVIN

Now, now, there’s no need to be hostile.

ED (V.O.)

Nice knowing you, Marv.

The GUNMAN seems intrigued by something MARVIN said.

GUNMAN

Which one is it?

MARVIN

That one, right by the door.

GUNMAN

That piece of shit? I wouldn’t piss on it, let alone pay a fine for it.

MARVIN

Now hang on there – if you’re robbing a bank anyway, you can at least pay my fine, yeah?

 The GIRL BEHIND THE COUNTER indicates that the bag is full. The GUNMAN quickly loses interest in MARVIN and his fine and returns to the counter.

 GUNMAN

Hurry up, bitch.

 ED (V.O.)

I assume that’s the mandatory tone for a holdup – seen all the right movies, this one.

 The GUNMAN turns and something catches his eye. There are POLICE outside, talking to the DRIVER of a car across the street; the car drives off, and the gunman is stranded. He turns back to MARVIN.

 GUNMAN

You! Give me your keys!

 MARVIN

What? That car’s an antique!

 ED

It’s a shitbox, Marv. Give him the keys or I’ll kill you myself!

MARVIN hands over the keys.

 MARVIN

Please be gentle.

GUNMAN

Blow me.

ED (V.O.)

In most circumstances, Useless here would make a clean getaway. His only problem, though, is that Marv’s car has about a 5% chance of starting on the first try.

The GUNMAN bursts through the doors, dropping his gun in the process, vacillates between retrieving it, then decides to go without. MARVIN is laughing to himself.

MARVIN

Watch this.

The GUNMAN fumbles with MARVIN’s overloaded key ring, inciting LAUGHTER from the bank patrons. He finally makes it into the car, only to struggle as the ignition refuses to kick over.

ED (V.O.)

I’ll never understand why I did what happened next but, it is what it is, I suppose.

ED runs out of the bank, picking up the gun along the way. The GUNMAN sees him coming and tries to escape, but gets stuck halfway out of the car. ED FIRES into the window, GLASS SHATTERING. SIRENS are heard approaching.

GUNMAN

I’m such an idiot!

ED (V.O.)

I’m inclined to agree. This is possibly the most hapless man on this earth. He robs a bank with idiots like me and Marv in it, his getaway car vanishes, and when he gets a new one it’s the shittiest car this side of the planet. In a way, I feel sorry for him.

The POLICE arrive and arrest the GUNMAN. ED turns to MARVIN, who’s now outside watching.

ED

Do you see now? This only goes to show the patheticness of this car! If it was even half decent, he’d be gone by now!

MARVIN

Yeah, I guess.

ED (V.O.)

I wonder which is more shattered – the window or Marv’s face.

 INT. POLICE STATION INTERROGATION ROOM – DAY

 ED and MARVIN sit across a table from a POLICE OFFICER

 OFFICER

So he just dropped it?

ED

That’s what I said, isn’t it?

OFFICER

Look, son, there’s no need to get shirty with me.

ED

Shirty?

ED (V.O.)

Shirty. I quite like that word.

ED (CONT'D)

Sorry. He just dropped it on his way out and I grabbed it as I went after him. That’s it. He was useless, alright?

MARVIN

Hey, so, will I be getting anything for the car? What with it being maimed in the standoff, and all.

OFFICER

The blue one?

MARVIN

That’d be it, yeah.

OFFICER

To be blunt, son, that car’s an absolute outrage. It’s disgraceful.

ED

Told you. Doesn’t even have an E brake!

MARVIN

Yeah, and?

OFFICER

You’re lucky we don’t fine you for it – it’s unroadworthy. Why don’t you just get a new car, eh? 

MARVIN suddenly becomes very serious.

MARVIN

I have my reasons, alright?

OFFICER

No money, then?

MARVIN

No, I’ve got the money. And a job. Just got…other priorities. That – and I love that car. 

The OFFICER shrugs and lets them go.

The End

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