Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blackthorne--Scene 69

image from


Cinemagenic Sixty-Nine

True Love

“True love is like ghosts, which everyone
talks about, but few have seen.”
--Francois de La Rochfoucauld.

1(low wide shot) near the ground; prairie vast,
pocked with hillocks & arroyos--camera moves 
toward the horizon, gathering speed; soon just
skimming the sagebrush.
2(sound cue) coronet & banjo--punctuated by 
loud bleats on saxophones.
3(reduce to medium wide shot)  suddenly, out of
the sage a large pair of brown birds bursts into
flight--prairie buzzards.
4(drone shot) tracking the buzzards, just above
them, as they gain altitude, and the ground 
below slides by.
5(sound cue) harp strumming and great wings 
6(drone takes the point of view of birds) as the
field of slain buffalo comes into view. and the
lens descends to the fallen bison furthest from
the young hunter. 
7(sound cue) guitar & harmonica.
8(medium wide shot) Buck stood up & walked
toward the two buffalo, the graying black cow
standing next to the fallen albino bull. He halted
about twenty feet from their yellow horns.
9(close-up) the patriarch still breathing, but not
moving, still watching Buck.
10(sound cue) three cellos.
11(two-shot) the cow behaved like a tame Jersey,
swishing its tail, chewing its cud.
12(medium close-up) She watched Buck with
calm brown eyes that recognized him, somehow
understanding who he was, the singer of her
death song. She had already faced & moved 
beyond her fear, leaving only a black stillness.
13( close-up) Buck: Get the hell out of here !
Leave ! I have killed enough of your family !
I don’t need your pelt ! I grant you life !
14(three-shot) They both stared at him with the 
bemused patience of the aged. He drew his 
pistol & fired into the air. We see the buzzards
fly off a few feet & stop to witness. The black
cow did not even flinch.
15(medium close-up) Buck: Goddamn it--didn’t
you hear me ? Go !! Join your baby & the others!
16(sound cue) French horns & snare drums.
17(three-shot) He fired the Thunderer twice, 
kicking up gravel near her hooves. She did
flinch but would not run.
18(close-up) Buck’s anxious eyes, then her calm
19(medium close-up) Alright--so you have run far
enough? You faithful tired wonderful bitch--join
your husband.
20(overhead drone shot) He raised the Sharps,
point blank, and shot her in the head--blood
spewing for several feet. It broke her neck, and
slapped her to the ground.
21(sound cue) cello & piano.
22( tight three-shot) They lie together, two ancient
bison, their true love shot away. Buck sank to his 
knees, weeping, like he had when his mother died.
He sat there for an hour, until the great snow bull
died--taking one last rasping breath, his huge body
convulsing in a last shudder. Death was a spirit
stallion appearing suddenly. The slain pair rose to
their feet & galloped after the swirling darkness.
Buck rose slowly, his face now an expressionless
mask. He propped up the shiny cold-barreled 
Sharps at the albino’s head, unbuckled his sawed 
off and finished killing the others. He would have to 
set up a camp, then begin the skinning of the pelts.

He would need to build a travois to haul them all on.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN


brudberg said...

This is a heartbreaking scene, I can understand the pivotal effect it had on young Buck... I feel it will change him into the man we know that he became. Loved it, but have a lump in my throat for the buffalo lovers.

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for this scene in your latest 'Blackthorn'.

The change in someone having dying right in front of them is hard a not an easy thing to witness or ever forget. Powerful writing as always my friend.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Such a heart-wrenching scene and so eloquently described.. it's difficult watching a person so close to us pass away.

Grace said...

I could not bear to do that and watch the dying fade away ~ I like however the spirituality of their deaths with: Death was a spirit stallion appearing suddenly ~

Enjoyed this chapter Glenn ~

Truedessa said...

Gee, I am crying "the singer of her death song" I can hear the haunting melody. Their true love shot away, I am crying with Buck...masterfully written you took the reader there.

Thotpurge said...

Wow... I read that several times.. the detail is so amazing and the lines on fear and death song so poignant.. beautiful. Wish I could write like that!

Gayle Walters Rose said...

"Their true love shot away"...heavy for me to "witness" but it seems the cow was at peace with her choice. I love the spirit stallion that leads their spirits onward. My heart went out to Buck too. Great writing, Glenn, I'm always enthralled!

Kim Russell said...

So glad to see Blackthorne is back, Glenn, with passion. I really enjoy the directions, visual and musical - I like to see and hear them in my mind. especially:
'5(sound cue) harp strumming and great wings
But this tugged at my heart:
'She watched Buck with
calm brown eyes that recognized him, somehow
understanding who he was, the singer of her
death song. She had already faced & moved
beyond her fear, leaving only a black stillness'.
So sad.

Kweli Nzito said...

Awesome attention to detail in describing the unfolding of a tragedy.

Anonymous said...

Goodness me. I am not 'up to speed' with this series but man this is so wonderfully penned. Everything about it. The attention to detail is soulful and there is a deep sense of reverence running through this. Blew me away Glenn.

marley raine said...

"prairie vast,
pocked with hillocks & arroyos"
"She watched Buck with
calm brown eyes"
"You faithful tired wonderful bitch--join
your husband."
"Death was a spirit
stallion appearing suddenly."

Excellent writing.

Susan Anderson said...

My first time reading, but that didn't keep me from being swept into the sadness. Well done.

Frank Hubeny said...

Nice ending. Buck got the emotional pain he didn't want but deserved.

Frank said...

Shattering. All the more so with the screenplay directions providing an objective tone. Wonderfully written!

Alison H said...

I don't think he should have kiklled her...