Heterophobia

by

MIRIAM ENGLISH




2nd DRAFT
APRIL 2021
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
Licensed under CreativeCommons.
You may use it non-commercially,
but must attribute the source (me).
If you wish to use it commercially you must negotiate payment with me.
Any non-commercial derivative works must use the same license.
http://miriam-english.org/stories/scripts/Heterophobia/Heterophobia.html





"Heterophobia"

CHARACTERS: SENATOR, NURSE, GUARD, DOCTOR, COOK -- all wear casual clothes; none wear uniforms. We only see the SENATOR's arms in pyjama top.

LOCATION: bedroom, shot entirely from the SENATOR's point of view in bed. A hallway can be partially glimpsed through one door and a kitchenette's sink through another.


Open with several short, night scenes, some quickly faded through, some rapidly cut together -- waves, thunder, lightning, hard-driven rain, wind, waves breaking over large dark rocks, crashing sound, splintering wood. They can be still images, possibly motion-blurred.


FADE IN:

INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT

We see from the SENATOR's viewpoint, wide angle lens shot through a hole so the distorted view is framed by blurred darkness.

He wakes to see a pretty woman straightening his bedding. He also notices a muscular man, obviously a GUARD, but not in any uniform, sitting on a chair by the door, reading a book.

NURSE

Ah, you're awake. How're you feeling?

SENATOR

(groggy)

What happened?

NURSE

Probably a boating accident. You were very lucky to be found, washed up on the beach and brought here.

DOCTOR

(unseen, voice fading away)

Are there any medications you that you need? Anything you take regularly?

FADE OUT


FADE IN:

INT. BEDROOM – DAY

The SENATOR is in bed in a nondescript undecorated bedroom, not a hospital room, apparently in a residence. The curtained window admits daylight, but nothing outside can be seen because the translucent curtain is drawn. The SENATOR has a large bruise on the side of his head and a bandage stuck to the bald part of his head. His left hand is splinted to his forearm, either broken or sprained. The SENATOR wakes again. The NURSE (she is dressed in ordinary clothes, not a uniform) notices from the adjoining room that he's stirring. She comes to his bedside, wiping her hands on her apron.

NURSE

Are you hungry? Do you think you can manage some soup?

The SENATOR ignores her question.

SENATOR

(croakily)

I need to call people to let them know... to tell them... have them come get me. It's very important I call them.

NURSE

(patting his hand)

Don't worry, we understand, and you'll be home as soon as possible.

SENATOR

(fading)

A phone... I need to call people... tell them

NURSE

I'm sorry hon, but you're in no shape...

FADE OUT


FADE IN:

INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT

Same setting. The NURSE is putting a bowl of soup on the bedside table. The smell of food wakes him.

NURSE

Ah, you're back. Can you sit up? You should really try to eat something.

She helps him sit up and stacks pillows behind him, then gives him the bowl and spoon. She hovers to make sure he can eat it without spilling it. He starts slowly, but soon spoons it in, hungrily.

SENATOR

(sighs, handing the bowl back)

Thank you. That was wonderful. You're a very good cook.

NURSE

(laughs)

Oh, no, I'm a terrible cook. Mary deserves the credit. She's a brilliant cook.

SENATOR

Well, please pass on my compliments.

NURSE

(smiles)

I will.

She takes the bowl and spoon to the other room.

The SENATOR watches her wash the bowl and spoon and other things in the sink while talking to another woman who seems upset. He can only make out the words "dangerous" and "please don't worry". The NURSE is trying to comfort the other woman and hugs her briefly... and he falls asleep again.

FADE OUT


FADE IN:

INT. BEDROOM – DAY

Same setting. The NURSE notices he's awake and enters.

NURSE

You're looking much better today.

SENATOR

Does someone have a phone? I'm a very important person -- it's essential that I ring people to come and get me.

NURSE

I'm sorry, but that's not possible. However the doctor will be here soon. He'll be able to tell you if you're well enough to go home to your family. They must be worried sick for you.

There's a brief knock at the door, the GUARD looks up from his book to see the DOCTOR, dressed casually in jeans and jumper, walk into the room. He has a stethoscope in his hand. He doesn't smile, and is very businesslike, frosty even. He quickly, efficiently performs a number of tests on him: shining a small penlight in his eyes, getting the SENATOR's eyes to follow his finger, listens to his heart and breathing with the stethoscope, checks his temperature and blood pressure.

DOCTOR

We don't have the facilities for a full blood test, but as far as we can tell, you're not being treated for anything. I asked earlier, but you weren't lucid, are you on any regular medications? It can be risky to suddenly alter your intake of some things. Drink alcohol regularly? Take any other drugs?

The SENATOR, thermometer in mouth, shakes his head.

DOCTOR

Well, you're improving rapidly and I think you'll be on your feet very soon -- later today, probably. Then you can go home.

SENATOR

Thank you, doctor.

The DOCTOR nods curtly then leaves, and as he exits the room the GUARD gets up and follows. The SENATOR frowns, annoyed.

SENATOR (CONT.)

(mutters to himself)

Can't just up and leave his post like that!

He's about to call out when he sees, reflected in a mirror in the hall beyond the door (camera zooms in to it), the DOCTOR and the GUARD talking, looking sad, then embracing and kissing!

At that time the NURSE comes in to tidy the bedside table, wrap up the blood pressure tube and cuff, and so on. The SENATOR reaches out, grabs her arm.

SENATOR

(whispers, panicked)

I need a different doctor and a different guard.

NURSE

(shaking her head)

I'm sorry, but he's the only doctor in town.

SENATOR

But I saw them -- their reflection -- they were around the corner... kissing!

The NURSE casts an annoyed frown in the direction of the door.

NURSE

Try to relax, sir. It's okay. He really is a very good doctor.

SENATOR

You don't understand. I'm the senator who's responsible for the death penalty laws against homosexuals. The homosexuals hate me. They are extremely dangerous. If they find out who I am my life would be forfeit. The guard might let someone in who could harm or kill me. He could even do it himself.

The NURSE sighs and shakes her head. She pats his arm to calm him.

NURSE

(gently)

I'm sorry sir, but it's you who doesn't understand. Everybody here knows exactly who you are. Your guard is here to protect us from you, not the other way around. His husband is the doctor. Their romantic moonlight stroll along the beach was interrupted by finding you, cold, wet, unconscious, and almost dead. They recognised you immediately and could have easily just left you to die, but they brought you back here and cleaned and bandaged your wounds. They don't like you, but they'll never hurt you.

She sighs and puts her hand on his shoulder to comfort him.

NURSE (CONT.)

(kindly)

Look, I know you're scared, but maybe you can begin to understand how gay people fear for their lives, because of your irrational hatred. My wife, whose cooking you so enjoy, is terrified that when we return you to your home you'll send people to kill us all, because that's what monsters do: they hurt good and peaceful people. Unfortunately, in saving your life we've put our own in jeopardy. We'll have to leave our homes and go elsewhere. But you honestly have nothing to fear from us. We've never been a danger to you, or to anyone else. The only danger has always been from you.

Now, get some rest, Senator. Transport is being arranged. You'll be safely home soon.

She exits.


THE END