Before it Hit: A Screenplay

FADE IN:

EXT. FRONT OF THE HOUSE – EARLY MORNING.

The village sits at the base of a mountain. There are 40 odd houses in the village and one dirt road that leads into its centre where there sits a communal fountain. The sounds of the fountain’s running water, and a wind chime on the front porch of one of the empty houses, ring out through the abandoned village.

An elderly couple in their late 60s sits in an SUV by the front of a house, an even older man, in his late 70s, stands alone by the car.

MAN IN SUV:

You sure you don’t wanna join us?

OLD MAN:

Yeah, I’m sure. Thank you.

WOMAN IN SUV:

What’re you gonna do alone out here? Come with us, be

with some good company.

OLD MAN:

Thank you, really, but I think I’m gonna stay. You guys enjoy yourselves.

The man in the SUV gives a reassuring smile before looking down at his feet.

MAN IN SUV:

Truth is I knew you’d say no.

OLD MAN:

What’s that?

The man in the SUV looks up at the old man.

MAN IN SUV:

I can’t picture this place without you in it. (beat) You’re as much a part of this place as the apple trees. (beat) You found this place and you planted your roots.

 

The woman smiles.

 

WOMAN IN SUV:

Going down with the ship, huh?

 

The old man smiles softly.

 

OLD MAN:

Thinking I can get a good view of it from up on the

mountain.

 

WOMAN IN SUV:

(laughing) Good luck making it up there.

 

The man in the SUV turns to his wife.

 

MAN IN SUV:

He used to be able to climb it in an hour.

 

OLD MAN:

Was it an hour?

 

MAN IN SUV:

I remember you told me your record was an hour. I never managed to beat it. (laughing) I came pretty close a few times though.

 

OLD MAN:

Nowadays I can’t walk ten minutes before I need to take a break.

 

The old man pulls out a handkerchief from his inside pocket and wipes his forehead and face.

 

OLD MAN:

Especially in this heat.

 

MAN IN SUV:

Well you don’t have to climb the mountain; you could

just relax at home.

 

OLD MAN:

That’s far too boring.

 

WOMAN IN SUV:

Well what’s it matter anyway? Whether you climb the

mountain or not?

 

OLD MAN:

Well (beat) It doesn’t matter if I climb it or not

(beat) but I wanna do it anyway.

 

The man in the SUV smiles.

 

MAN IN SUV:

Take it easy.

 

The man in the SUV stretches his arm out of the window and the old man shakes it, giving a gentle nod as he does.

 

OLD MAN:

You too.

 

The woman gives a little wave, and the old man gives a nod, and at that the SUV drives off down the dirt road out of the village.

 

The old man stands alone for a moment and then looks up at the sky above the mountain; there is a red twinkle in the sky.

 

INT. LIVING ROOM – MIDDAY

 

A small, square, empty, living room. Two little couches sit on either end, both big enough for two people, a small desk sits between them. On the desk sits an ashtray that’s fairly full.

 

A rifle hangs from a nail on the wall with a black and white picture of a young man in military uniform beside it.

 

There’s a small square window on the wall between the two couches on the windowsill of which sits a small black urn with a framed picture of an elderly lady. The old man’s wife.

 

An old TV with an antenna sits in the corner of the room across from the window. On the TV is a countdown with a message written above it reading:

 

METEORITE IMPACT IN

03:07:03.

 

The old man walks into the room putting something into a backpack before putting the backpack on.

 

He looks for the remote for a second, finds it sitting on one of the couches, and turns the TV off.

 

He takes the urn from the windowsill, looks at the two-shot rifle on the wall for a second before taking that too and putting it round his shoulder. He leaves the house.

 

EXT. SMALL MOUNTAINSIDE VILLAGE – MIDDAY

 

The old man closes the door and stands looking up at the mountain for a moment, holding the urn close to his chest.

 

He walks past the houses that sit along the dirt path, each house its own unique character. The residents left in a hurry.

 

A black cat sits outside one of the houses drinking water from a cat bowl.

 

The old man follows the dirt road out of the village. On the road is a small cemetery sitting next to a small crop of land that is his garden.

 

Before entering his garden, he walks through the graveyard.

 

FLASHBACK:

 

EXT. VILLAGE GRAVEYARD. NIGHTTIME.

 

A young man and young woman sit alone in the cemetery at night. The woman seems a little frightened and on edge. The man doesn’t seem frightened much.

 

MAN:

Woah! What was that?

 

WOMAN:

What?!

 

MAN:

I (beat) I thought I saw something.

 

WOMAN:

Where?

 

The man points into the darkness.

 

MAN:

There. You see it? What is that?

 

The woman looks deep into the darkness for a moment.

 

MAN:

BAH!

 

WOMAN:

(screams) AH FUCK!

 

The man laughs as the woman slaps his arm.

 

WOMAN:

Scared the life outta me.

 

MAN:

(laughing) I’m sorry I couldn’t help myself.

 

WOMAN:

Did you actually see anything?

 

MAN:

Of course not. What do you expect to see? Ghosts?

 

WOMAN:

I don’t know.

 

MAN:

This was your idea.

 

WOMAN:

I know, I thought it would be fun but I’m the only

one getting spooked.

 

MAN:

Well (beat) I’m having a good time. Do you wanna head

home?

 

WOMAN:

I’m not really tired though.

 

MAN:

Neither am I. We don’t have to sleep. Why don’t we

have a few drinks, listen to some music, celebrate

our first day here.

 

WOMAN:

Ooh! We could watch the sun rise over the hills.

 

MAN:

Oh! That’d be nice. Let’s do it, c’mon.

 

The man and woman stand up.

 

END FLASHBACK.

 

EXT. VILLAGE GRAVEYARD. MIDDAY.

 

The man goes through the yellow fence leading into his garden.

 

A single walnut tree grows from the corner of the garden, its roots breaking into the wall that surrounds it.

 

He sits the urn down under the tree along with his gun and goes around his garden picking tomatoes and cucumbers and putting them into his backpack.

 

When he’s done picking his crops, he sits under the shade of the tree and rolls a cigarette.

 

He strikes his lighter three times; each time he does an image of his wife lighting his cigarette flashes quickly in his mind.

 

He lights his cigarette on the fourth go and sits for a moment looking at the sunlight through the leaves.

 

The light plays on his face.

 

On the hill, across from the old man, a flock of sheep wander aimlessly without a shepherd. The bells around their necks jingle.

 

The man sits quietly contemplating for a moment before a goat walks into the garden through the gate. The old man had forgot to properly close it behind him. The goat shuffled through the crops looking for something to eat.

 

It takes a moment for the old man to realise the goat behind him, but he does eventually.

 

OLD MAN:

Hello goat. Looking for something to eat?

 

The old man reaches into his backpack and pulls out a cucumber. He reaches it towards the goat and gives it a waggle.

 

OLD MAN:

Here.

 

The goat approaches the old man and eats the cucumber out of his hand. When the goat is finished, the old man pets him.

 

OLD MAN:

Would you care to join me? I’m going to climb the

mountain.

 

The goat sits down beside the old man under the tree and the old man pets him again.

 

The old man takes out a walnut from his pocket and places it on a wide, flat stone, breaks it open with a rock and eats it. After, he pulls out a water bottle from his bag and drinks it a little messily and then puts it back.

 

The old man gets up and grabs his things, clutching the urn close and heading out of the garden and down the path that leads to the mountain.

 

OLD MAN:

C’mon goat.

 

The goat follows. The man pulls out a handkerchief and wipes his forehead.

 

On their way towards the mountain, they pass the village sign that sits alongside the dirt road leading into the village centre.

 

The sign reads, “Welcome to Oxhorn”.

 

The sign is pretty worn, rusted and has three bullet holes in it. The man stops to look for a second, running his finger along the edge of a bullet hole.

 

FLASHBACK:

 

EXT. BY THE VILLAGE SIGN – LATE AFTERNOON

 

A gunshot rings out as a hole bursts through the village sign. The old man, here significantly younger, and a young lady from his framed picture, stand a few feet away from the sign, the man holding his rifle.

 

MAN:

You wanna have a go?

 

WOMAN:

Sure!

 

MAN:

Here. It’s got a rough kickback though.

 

The man hands the rifle over to the young lady.

 

WOMAN:

(beat) It’s heavier that I thought it’d be.

 

MAN:

Yeah.

 

The woman takes aim with the rifle, pauses for a second.

 

WOMAN:

Does it hurt?

 

MAN:

What?

 

WOMAN:

The kickback?

 

MAN:

Uhm, maybe a little bit but not a whole lot, you’ll

be fine.

 

The woman turns to the sign and takes aim excitedly and takes a breath.

 

WOMAN:

Okay.

 

The man smiles warmly.

 

And then the woman shoots, blowing another hole through the sign.

 

WOMAN:

Ah! I got it!

 

MAN:

Nice! You wanna go again?

 

WOMAN:

Yeah! Can I?

 

MAN:

Of course, let me just reload it. How’s your

shoulder?

 

The man takes the gun.

 

WOMAN:

A little sore but it’s okay.

 

The woman rubs her shoulder as the man fishes around in his pocket and pulls out two bullets, loading them into the rifle.

 

MAN:

Okay, these are the last two shots. (beat) Here.

 

The man hands the gun to the woman who takes aim and fires, hitting the sign again. The woman exclaims in excitement.

 

MAN:

Good shot! That’s two for two!

 

WOMAN:

Here, you have the last shot.

 

MAN:

Alright.

 

WOMAN:

Try and get it through the big O. That’s a bullseye!

 

MAN:

I’ll try.

 

The man takes the gun and aims; silence falls for a moment before the man shoots and the gun rings out, missing the sign completely. The echo of the gunshot fades.

 

END FLASHBACK.

 

EXT. BASE OF THE MOUNTAIN – MIDDAY

 

The old man and the goat walk across an open field, a dead tree standing tall from the dry grass. The goat follows from behind.

 

The old man stops to take a look at a turtle flipped on its back.

 

The image of his wife holding up a turtle flashes in his mind.

 

Her voice echoes in his head.

WOMAN:

Look how cute it is!

 

The old man looks at the turtle for a moment.

 

OLD MAN:

Huh, I wonder how you managed that.

 

He flips the turtle over. He pulls a handkerchief from his inside pocket and wipes the sweat from his forehead, before continuing walking across the field.

 

They come across an apple orchid and the old man stops under one of the trees and turns to the goat.

 

OLD MAN:

Would you like to take a little break? The sun is

awfully hot today.

 

The goat sits down.

 

OLD MAN:

(sigh) Used to be a lot easier to climb this

mountain.

 

 

The old man places the urn on the grass and leans his rifle against a tree before taking his backpack off and pulling out a cucumber. He takes a bite of it and tosses the rest for the goat.

 

He fishes through his pocket and pulls out his tobacco and his handkerchief, wipes his forehead and rolls a cigarette.

 

OLD MAN:

All this smoking probably didn’t help either.

 

The old man looks around the orchard for a moment, looking at the sunlight through the trees before pulling out the water bottle from his bag and taking a drink.

 

There are a few clouds in the sky.

 

FLASHBACK:

 

EXT. APPLE ORCHID. MORNING.

 

A young man and young woman, early to mid-twenties, walk through the apple orchid.

 

WOMAN:

Woah look at how huge that apple is!

 

She points to an apple at the top of the tree.

 

MAN:

Ah! It looks like it’s about to burst.

 

The man and woman stand for a moment admiring the apple.

 

The man quickly glances at the woman, who’s still just looking at the apple, before climbing the tree.

 

WOMAN:

W-what’re you doing?

 

MAN:

Getting the apple.

 

The man reaches the top of the tree and takes the apple.

 

MAN:

Catch.

 

The man tosses the apple down to the girl; she catches it.

 

WOMAN:

Thanks.

 

MAN:

I think I see a swimming pool over there – wanna

check it out?

 

WOMAN:

Yeah, they use it to water the apple trees.

 

MAN:

Oh! That’s neat.

 

The man climbs down and together the two of them walk to a small square concrete swimming pool filled to the brim. They watch the water with a few leaves floating on its surface.

 

A stranger approaches, in his late 40s to early 50s.

 

STRANGER:

Mornin’! I don’t recognise you two.

 

MAN:

Oh, we- we just moved in last night.

 

STRANGER:

Oh! The old house by the fountain?

 

MAN:

Yeah.(beat) Are these your trees?

 

STRANGER:

Yeah. I-

 

WOMAN:

-Hope you don’t mind we took an apple.

 

STRANGER:

Not at all! Help yourself to as many as you’d like.

 

WOMAN:

Thank yo-

 

MAN:

You come to water em?

 

STRANGER:

Yeah don’t mind me; I’ll be quick.

 

The stranger walks over to the swimming pool.

 

MAN:

We’re thinking of climbing the mountain. How long do

you think it’ll take?

 

STRANGER:

Well (beat) I’ve climbed it in about an hour and a

half. Might take ya longer (beat) it’s your first

time going up.

 

When the stranger reaches the pool, he kneels down at one of its corners, unplugging a hole at the bottom, letting out the water for the apple trees.

 

The water flows through a small hand dug ditch that runs through all the trees, making sure they all get watered.

 

 

STRANGER:

You two be careful going up that mountain.

 

The stranger then turns around and walks back the way he came, giving a gentle wave at the young couple.

 

STRANGER:

Have a nice evening you two.

 

MAN:

You too sir.

 

END FLASHBACK.

 

EXT. APPLE ORCHID – AFTERNOON.

 

The old man unplugs the swimming pool and continues towards the mountain, his things on hand and the goat following behind him.

 

The sky is cloudier than it was and the wind is stronger.

 

On the road, the man stops to look at a dung beetle rolling its ball of shit up a small hill; the old man smiles at the beetle as it gets to the top of the small hill only for the ball to roll back down, leaving the beetle alone atop the hill. The old mans’ smile fades from his face.

 

The old man looks up at the red twinkle in the sky for a moment before continuing on his journey.

 

The old man and the goat reach a wheat field, wide and flowing, a sea of gold. They walk through it, towards the peak. The goat’s body is hidden under the wheat with its white head sticking out.

 

OLD MAN:

(laughing softly) This’d make for a funny picture,

like something you’d find on a postcard.

 

The old man smiles at the goat.

 

OLD MAN:

You’re a photogenic one, ya know that?

 

The goat is silent, looking comfortable in the field.

 

OLD MAN:

Ah, (laughing softly) so carefree.

 

The old man stops for a moment and takes a deep breath. Smelling the wheat and feeling the breeze.

 

He pictures his wife standing in the field, the wind blowing her hair into her face and her tucking it behind her ear and smiling.

 

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE – AFTERNOON.

 

Dark clouds begin to gather in the sky and the wind picks up.

 

On their way up the mountain the man stops to take a quick break; he puts his things down and sits on a large stone. He reaches into his pocket to get his handkerchief.

 

The goat blaahs out at something and the man turns to have a look.

 

A wolf. Its eyes locked onto the old man. Showing its teeth.

 

OLD MAN:

(frightened whisper) Oh shit!

 

The goat backs up behind the old man cautiously.

 

The man is still for a moment in fright before his eyes look around the mountain looking for any more wolves surrounding him.

 

There are none.

 

The old mans’ eyes then move to the rifle on the dirt beside him and back to the wolf, who is slowly moving closer.

 

OLD MAN:

(softly) Easy. (beat) Easy.

 

The wolf starts growling in a low hum.

 

OLD MAN:

(whispering) Oh fuck.

 

The old man slowly reaches for the gun and clasps it in his hand.

 

The wolfs’ growl gets louder.

 

The goat starts to get agitated.

 

OLD MAN:

(whispering) Ok (beat) Ok (deep breath) Ok.

 

The man slowly lifts the gun and takes aim; his finger slowly tightens around the trigger.

 

The wolf lunges.

 

The old man shoots.

 

The old man misses.

 

The wolf bites down on the old mans’ leg, knocking him on his back into the dirt. The old man drops the rifle.

 

The wolf tears into the old mans’ leg, violently shaking its head.

 

In their scuffle, the urn is knocked over, the ashes blown away by the wind, clouding the fight between the wolf and man.

 

The goat rushes in and rams the wolf, hard against its ribs, knocking it off the old man.

 

The old man quickly reaches for his rifle, lifts it, and shoots the wolf, killing it.

 

The rifle drops from his hand as soon as the wolf is down.

 

The old man holds his leg. The dirt around him is drenched in blood.

 

He lifts his trouser to reveal the damage to his leg. It looks bad.

 

The man lays his head back down onto the dirt, breathing heavy, eyes closed.

 

The goat approaches and licks his face, making the old man open his eyes.

 

The old man turns to face the goat and sees the urn knocked on its side, almost completely empty.

 

He slowly reaches over to it with his blood-stained hands and lifts it to his face, looking inside.

 

He looks at the urn in silence for a moment.

 

His eyes well up.

 

OLD MAN:

(quietly and quivering) I wanted to do this for you.

I know it doesn’t matter but (beat) I wanted to do

something in spite of that. I don’t care that this is

all meaningless, that none of what I do is gonna

matter. (beat) I wanted to do something anyway (beat)

for you.

 

The man reaches into the urn; when he pulls his hand out, there is some ash on his bloody fingers.

 

OLD MAN:

(quietly) The universe may not care but- (beat) but I

do.

 

The old man rises up from the ground, covered in dirt and blood, leaning on his rifle.

 

He pulls his handkerchief from his pocket to wipe the dirt and ash and blood from his face, but the handkerchief is soaked in blood.

 

He sighs and let’s go of the handkerchief.

 

He turns to the goat and gives it a pat on the head, leaving a bloody stain on its white fur, and looks up at the red twinkle visible through the dark clouds.

 

FLASHBACK:

 

EXT. VALLEY – NIGHT.

 

The man and woman sit huddled together by a small fire next to a stream that runs out of the hill.

 

In the stream is an almost empty bottle of whiskey; a big stone keeps it from floating down stream.

 

The man and woman both hold a plastic cup. They both contently watch the fire; the light plays on their faces.

 

An empty picnic basket sits beside them.

 

The sky is dotted with stars and the moon is full.

 

The man finishes his cup, stands up and heads for the bottle in the water.

 

The woman holds her empty plastic cup out, pointing it towards the man.

 

The man pours the whiskey into the woman’s cup until the cup is full and the bottle is empty.

 

The man puts the empty bottle into the picnic basket along with his empty cup.

 

MAN:

We should head back soon.

 

The man sits down next to the woman, who nuzzles up against him.

 

WOMAN:

Gimme your cup.

 

The man reaches into the picnic basket and hands over his cup.

 

The woman pours out half of her whiskey into his cup and hands it back with a quick kiss.

 

The man looks into his cup for a moment, at the moon’s reflection dancing on the whisky.

 

And then turns to the woman who’s watching the stream, a peaceful smile on her face.

 

MAN:

(slightly slurred) You’re an angel, you know that?

 

The woman blinks in surprise and her smile grows a bit bigger as she turns to the man. Then kisses his face repeatedly.

 

The man starts laughing softly and almost falls back.

 

MAN:

(laughing) You’re gonna make me spill my drink.

 

The woman stops.

 

The man puts his cup down beside him and holds the woman’s face in his hands. He gives her a kiss on her forehead.

 

WOMAN:

(slightly slurred) I love you.

 

MAN:

Love you too.

 

They touch their cups together and down their drinks.

 

END FLASHBACK.

 

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE – AFTERNOON.

 

The old man slowly works his way up the mountain, using his rifle as a crutch and breathing heavily. There is blood and ash on his face, on his hands and on his clothes.

 

The goat walks alongside him. A little bit of ash and blood stains it’s white fur where the old man patted it.

 

OLD MAN:

(shakily) Wish I had some whiskey right now. As if

this wasn’t hard enough as it was.

 

The old man stumbles.

 

OLD MAN:

(shakily) I’ll crawl up this fucking mountain if I

have to.

 

He takes off his backpack and pulls out the water bottle. He drinks till it’s almost empty, takes a breath, and pours the rest over his face.

 

He pulls out two cucumbers, gives one to the goat. And holds up the other.

 

OLD MAN:

(shakily) This one’s for when we make it to the top,

ok?

 

He puts it into his pocket.

 

He takes out his tobacco and rolling paper.

 

He tries to roll a cigarette but his hands are too bloody, they wet the paper.

 

He wipes his hands on his clothes and across his face. And tries again.

 

This time the wind blows the paper out of his hand.

 

He huddles up by the goat, to keep the wind out, and tries a third time.

 

He manages to roll one. It’s stained with blood a little.

 

He strikes his lighter a few times before he manages to light his cigarette, and stands back up with the help of his rifle.

 

He leaves the backpack on the floor as he slowly continues his journey up the mountain.

 

The rain starts. A light drizzle. A flash appears in the distance shortly followed by the low hum of thunder.

 

OLD MAN:

(sarcastically and quietly) Oh great.

 

FLASHBACK:

 

INT. HOUSE – MIDDAY.

 

The woman sits on the couch in the living room reading while the man is making tea. Classical music plays on the radio.

 

It begins to rain. The raindrops tap on the window gently. The woman looks up from her book, noticing the rain for the first time.

 

She quickly puts down her book and goes to the window to look outside. A smile appears on her face.

 

WOMAN:

(excitedly) Hey! Hey!

 

 

MAN:

What’s up?

 

The man walks over to the living room door holding two cups of tea.

 

WOMAN:

It’s raining!

 

The man blinks in surprised joy. He puts the cups of tea down on the table in the middle of the living room and goes to the window to have a look.

 

MAN:

Ah! I hope it lasts. It’s been pretty dry for a

while.

 

WOMAN:

Yeah, it’ll be good for the crops.

 

They watch the rain for a moment together before the man turns around and sits. He grabs a cup from the table and takes a sip; the woman continues watching the rain.

 

The rain intensifies.

 

The sound of it hitting the window grows louder.

 

WOMAN:

Woah!

 

The woman gets up and quickly makes her way outside but stops at the living room door and turns to the man.

 

WOMAN:

(smiling) C’mon let’s go!

 

And excitedly turns around and runs outside.

 

MAN:

What?

 

The man sits in silence until he hears the front door open and close, and a look of realisation dawns on his face.

 

MAN:

Hey!

 

He puts the cup of tea on the table and goes over to the window.

 

The man smiles softly as he watches her dance and spin in the rain.

 

She spots him watching her from the window and laughs.

 

He laughs back.

 

She gestures for him to come outside.

 

He smiles and makes his way outside with an umbrella.

 

The classical music can be heard from outside.

 

The rain begins to pour.

 

WOMAN:

Ahh! This is amazing!

 

MAN:

You’ll catch a cold.

 

The woman doesn’t hear him; she’s having too much fun.

 

The man sighs and smiles again softly.

 

He closes his umbrella.

 

The woman notices.

 

He holds his arms out to the sky in a Y pose, closes his eyes and points his face upwards.

 

The woman’s face beams with delight.

 

The woman does the same.

 

The stranger watches them both from his window and smiles.

 

An extremely loud clap of thunder scares them both out of their peace.

 

They look at each other wide eyed and smiling with amazement.

 

WOMAN:

H-Holy shit!

 

MAN:

That was awesome.

 

They burst out laughing and head back inside.

 

END FLASHBACK.

 

EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE – AFTERNOON.

 

The clouds that were building above burst and the light drizzle turns into a heavy downpour.

 

Lightning sparks in the distance followed shortly by the rumbling sound of thunder.

 

The sky has a subtle tinge of red as the meteorite gets closer.

 

A soggy cigarette sits between the old man’s lips.

 

He trembles as he takes the wet cigarette out of his mouth and tosses it.

 

The peak is close now; he’s almost at the top.

 

 

OLD MAN:

(trembling) Were almost at the top now (wheeze) goat.

(wheeze) Almost at the top.

 

He takes a deep, wheezing breath, and breaths out, coughing halfway through his exhale.

 

OLD MAN:

Would’ve been a lot- (wheeze) a lot easier to have

just (wheeze) stayed at home.

 

The light of the meteor can be seen shining through the dark clouds.

 

The man slips, falling on the muddy dirt.

 

The goat goes over to him and gives him a nudge.

 

The man struggles back up again, groaning in pain.

 

OLD MAN:

I gotta (wheeze) keep going.

 

His wife’s voice echoes in his head.

 

WOMAN:

(laughing) You’re so stubborn.

 

He scoffs and smiles somewhat sadly.

 

After walking for a while in the heavy rain, he reaches the top of the mountain, the goat by his side.

 

The rain stops and the clouds begin to clear.

 

The meteor is close.

 

He turns to look at the village below.

 

The flock of sheep can be seen from the mountain on the hill nearby.

 

He sees an image of his wife standing in a flock of sheep smiling, the sun behind her.

 

The sun hits the old man’s bloodstained and muddy face as the clouds part.

 

He’s still trembling a little.

 

He turns back to the meteor and sits down.

 

The goat lays down next to him.

 

The old man pulls out the cucumber from his pocket and gives it to the goat.

 

OLD MAN:

(shivering) Thank you for keeping me company.

 

A rainbow appears over the horizon.

 

The old man tears up a little.

 

He sighs shakily.

 

They sit together in silence for a moment, the wind blowing loudly and then quieting down to a breeze.

 

OLD MAN:

(softly) Climbing the mountain was the first thing on

our list of things to do when we came here.

 

He props his injured leg up on a rock.

 

OLD MAN:

It took us a while to get around to it (beat) We

wanted to watch the sunset from the top of the

mountain (beat) It was her idea (beat) She said the

view would be amazing (beat) She was right, it was.

 

The image of his wife standing atop the mountain, smiling, appears in his mind. The sky is pink behind her and the sun is setting over the horizon.

 

OLD MAN:

The sky was pink (beat) I thought I was dreaming.

 

The sky above is red, like it’s on fire.

 

He remembers the soft sound of fire crackling.

 

OLD MAN:

We lit a fire when we finally reached the top (beat)

it took us a while (beat) we brought food in our

backpacks (beat)(laughing a little) I brought a

kettle (beat) so we could build a fire and make tea

(beat) we thought it all out (beat) we had a little

picnic and watched the sunset (beat) the sky went

from bright pink to dark blue and we could see the

stars so clearly.

 

The starry sky appears in his mind.

 

The firelight dancing on his wife’s face.

 

He tears up.

 

OLD MAN:

She looked so beautiful then.

 

An image of his wife on her deathbed flashes in his mind. She looks very ill.

 

He’s taken aback by this intrusive thought.

 

He looks down and falls quiet for a moment.

 

He sniffs, wipes his eyes, but keeps his head down.

 

He watches the earth below him soak up the blood from his wound.

 

OLD MAN:

(quietly) It took us so long to get back down.

 

He lifts his head, looking at the horizon.

 

OLD MAN:

(smiling sadly) Cos it was so dark (beat) all that planning and preparation we did and we didn’t think to bring flashlights (laughing softly) We slipped and fell on our asses a few times but (sigh) we laughed every time we did.

 

He tears up again.

 

OLD MAN:

We went straight to bed when we got home, we were so

tired (beat) she fell asleep as soon as her head hit

her pillow but (beat) I stayed up for a while longer

(beat) just so I could watch her sleeping.

 

The image of his sleeping wife flashes in his head, her face illuminated by the moonlight through the window.

 

He wipes his eyes again, but tears keep falling.

 

OLD MAN:

She looked like an angel when she slept (beat) like

an oil painting (beat) so effortlessly perfect (beat)

and so unaware of it (beat) I could’ve laid there and

watched her all night if I weren’t so exhausted

(smiles sadly)

 

The tears are streaming down his face now.

 

He looks up at the red sky and the meteor.

 

A cloud moves and from behind it the sun shines onto the old man’s face.

 

He closes his eyes.

 

He sees his wife waking up in the morning, the sunlight shining through the window onto her face.

 

She looks at him and smiles.

 

OLD MAN:

When we woke up in the morning, the smell of smoke

was still in our hair.

 

He looks down; his tears drop to the blood-stained soil underneath him and he leans in to feel the dirt with his hands.

 

OLD MAN:

(sigh) I made it.

 

He looks up, the light of the meteor reflecting in his tearful eyes.

 

He smiles.

 

OLD MAN:

(quieter) I made it.

 

The goat and the old man both sit, side by side, enjoying the view from the mountain.

 

The rainbow on the horizon.

 

The sun shining through as the rainclouds disappear.

 

The sky turning crimson as the meteor draws closer.

 

Before everything is drenched in red light, an image appears, an old image, a memory, but this time its bathed in red light.

 

It’s of the woman.

 

Just her face, her plain face, expressionless, with a black background.

 

And the red floods in until everything is red.

 

 

FADE OUT.

 

 

 

 

 

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