How I Want To Go [Short Film Script]

HOW I WANT TO GO

by

 James Haikney

FADE IN:

INT. BEDROOM – EVENING

The curtains, drawn, tint the room orange. MARIA, an elderly woman, lies on a central bed (like an open casket).

 

MARIA (V.O.)

What’s it like, after you die?

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE – DAY

Maria and DOCTOR sit facing each other. Cramped. Doctor takes up most space.

 

DOCTOR

I can’t answer that, Ms Myers.

MARIA

Will people come to the funeral?

                      (pause)

Will you come to the funeral?

DOCTOR

(beat)

I think that’s beyond my professional capacity.

MARIA

It’ll be fun! You’d love it. Look at you – you look like you’d enjoy a dance.

DOCTOR

                      (laughing)

               I’m not much of a dancer, I’m afraid.

MARIA

Rubbish! You just haven’t heard the right music yet.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. CHURCH – DAY

Maria and various ATTENDEES, all in brightly coloured garb; swing music is playing; people are dancing. Maria is chatting with some of them.

MARIA (CONT’D, V.O.)

My funeral – it’ll be a party, that’s for sure. And I’ll have it before I go. I’ll have some choice words for some people, you can count on that.

 

MISTER ROBERTS taps Maria on the shoulder. She turns around and they start talking.

 

MARIA (CONT’D, V.O.)

Mister Roberts has been parking his car in front of my drive for thirteen years. I’ve tried to tell him, but he gives me a smile—

 

Mister Roberts smiles.

 

MARIA (CONT’D, V.O.)

—and I find I can’t say anything at all.

DOCTOR (V.O.)

He sounds like a handsome man.

MARIA (V.O.)

Handsome? No. But charming. I would have liked to have known him better, in retrospect. But not Dorothy Winters.

 

Maria sees DOROTHY WINTERS across the room, young and beautiful, laughing with someone.

MARIA (CONT’D, V.O.)

She was the girl next to me at work. Always had perfect hair. Always talked about it, on and on and on, judging me for not having the same. But at my funeral I’ll see her across the room—

 

Dorothy Winters is replaced by an older lady as Maria walks over and engages her.

 

MARIA (CONT’D, V.O.)

—and she’ll be old and I’ll be old. And we’ll laugh and have a drink together.

DOCTOR (V.O.)

(chuckling)

Very forgiving of you.

MARIA (V.O.)

(lost in herself)

And then, when the time finally comes, they’ll all lift me up in the air, laughing and cheering, and I’ll be waving to them all, and I’ll step down into the coffin, a beautiful rose-glass thing, and I’ll softly go to sleep while the music plays and they keep dancing away.

 

It is as she describes.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE – DAY

 

DOCTOR

That sounds brilliant, Ms Myers. I’ll be sorry to miss it.

MARIA

I’m sorry on your behalf!

DOCTOR

You seem to have a clear idea of how you want it to be.

MARIA

I do.

(beat)

That’s how I want to go.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. BEDROOM – EVENING

MARIA (CONT’D, V.O.)

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

THE END

Liquorice

Liquorice

LIQUORICE

I see
Behind the branches of a tree
Branches swaying, blackened cracks on grey
The foggy sky-birds wheeling up in rain,
In dark-stained, feathered shoals,
Kniving through the water-laden sky
And flying in the falling flood
And breaking all the time like flies,
Like liquorice with wings,
Like ink-drops,
Letters written and unwritten on the sky,
Struggled by the storm
But ever turning form on form
A grey to light,
The clouds to flight
And then they die beyond the window frame.

Radish and the Future of Reading

Radish and the Future of Reading

It’s been a hot topic of conversation for several years now — since the advent of the Kindle at least — what is the future of reading? In a society that raises children with iPads instead of books, for better and for worse simultaneously, can books survive?

News coming out of the publishing industry, news that hits the mainstream, is most often negative: more small publishers are failing than ever, and so on. Even the good news is delivered bitterly, like Fifty Shades of Grey becoming a literary and box office success. Is there a future for ‘great’ novels in a world where attention is a highly monetised commodity, in so much demand and in so little supply?

Yet just as the wildfire panic about e-readers has died out, so too will these larger questions: fiction and the written word will continue and will prosper, but the form must be different. Maybe it’s true that we’re in the last throes of ‘traditional’ publishing, and novels need to invent themselves. That’s still a point of vigorous debate, but the innovation is happening now.

I’ve just published my first few chapters on Radish, an app focussed on novel serialisation, the publishing method of Dickens reinvented for the digital age. While currently only available on iOS, an Android equivalent is being developed for release this summer.

Chapters on Radish typically run to 2,000 words, and most stories are published under a Freemium model, meaning that chapters are locked for a week, before becoming free — and you can spend a small amount of money to get them early. It’s a beautiful compromise that allows millions of writers across the globe to make a living from their writing in a new way (apps that Radish is modelled on, based on China and South Korea, turnover huge amounts).

So my appeal to you, with the most transparent self-interest, is to go and download Radish and try reading in a new way; hopefully I can entice you into buying some of my chapters early but, if not, you’ll catch a glimpse of the future of reading in the process.

https://radishfiction.com/