image from pinterest.com
“When your time comes, sing your death song,
and die like a hero coming home.”
1(sound cue) horses nickering, chickens clucking
over piano, cello, and harmonica.
2(overhead drone wide shot) Antlered Buck Ranch
sprawled out below; drone descends toward the
wide front porch of the main house.
3(zoom down to medium wide shot) Rod Buck stood
on the front porch in the morning sunlight. He was
pleased that the face of the ranch had changed; the
wide covered and pillared porch was rebuilt, sporting
a fresh coat of paint--white with forest green trim.
4(voice over) Buck: You sweet old lady, it feels good
to be tightening your corset again.
5(slow cuts and fades) The tall maple tree in the
middle of the yard had been trimmed. The crooked
split-shingle roof on the bunkhouse had been
patched; tar paper stuck out like lettuce on a
sandwich around the newer shingles. Adjacent to
the bunkhouse, a low lean-to wood shed bristled
with freshly split pine chunks. All the rail poles in
the corral fences were freshly white-washed.
Johnny had sharpened a sturdy red scythe he
found in the barn, and had cut the grass around
the main house. Buck had washed all the tall
windows on the ground floor. That morning, the
doors were opened, and the screen doors
glistened, airing out the old Victorian structure.
6(cut to a medium wide shot) to the first corral,
next to the bunkhouse, where the Eagle was
halter-training one of the more obstinate pinto
7(pull back, widening the shot) to reveal two more
stock pens; the first one was rectangular, and it
held thirty head of sleek horses; wild-eyed, long-
maned saddlers that were milling around, eating
hay, but dreaming of the grasses of freedom.
8(cut to interior of the main house)
9(sound cue) heavy boots and screen door opening.
Buck appears in the doorway, and stops in the foyer.
10(sound cue) banjo and fiddle violin.
11(cut to overhead crane shot) To Buck’s right was
the living room, and his father’s adjoining den. To
the left was the kitchen and the dining room. Every-
where, furniture sat and stood just as it had been left
fifteen years before, draped in sheets that were dun
gray with a decade of dust. Ahead of him were the
wide stairs to the bedrooms on the second floor.
12(cut to the top of the stairs) observing Buck
ascending the stairs, stopping at the landing.
13(medium wide shot) His parent’s room was at
the head of the stairs, little Jack’s to the right, and
his old room was to the left. Buck stood staring at
the three brass padlocks on the door to the
14(flash back) the day of his mother’s funeral, when
his father, still in his funeral suit, clicked shut the
third padlock, screaming: Fuck you, God! You have
reclaimed my angel, and torn open my chest, and
devoured my heart! She loved you--I only tolerated
you for her sake...and this is your revenge?
15(cut to exterior ranch pond) Bill Buck tossed the
padlock keys out into the dark water, then slumped
weeping to his knees, pulled out a whiskey bottle
from his inside pocket, tipped it up and guzzled
it like lemonade.
16(sound cue) voice-over: Roddy?
17(back to the present) Buck turned slowly. He saw
himself as a ten year old boy at the bottom of the
stairs, his oversize boots muddy, his shapeless hat
on the floor beside him, struggling to unbuckle his
raincoat, and chewing his lower lip.
Roddy, is that you?
Yes, Mama--looking up at Buck, his eyes bright blue,
his tousled blond hair starting to darken.
Did you wipe your feet?
The boy looked down and saw the mud he had
tracked in. He pulled off his boots and sat them by
the door, then looked up at Buck again, holding a
tiny finger to his lips for silence.
Yes, Ma, I wiped them...but I still got some mud on the
rug. Buck heard her footsteps, smelled the apple pie,
and suddenly, there she was.
Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN