The task was to write an opening scene which ‘depicts a person telling their partner they are leaving them’, also: ‘As an additional challenge, see if you can subvert the audience’s expectations for such a scene, can you put a comedic spin on it, or introduce a sense of dread for example’.
Here’s what I came up with:
INT. BEDROOM – NIGHT
MARY GREEN lays in bed, asleep, despite the rain LASHING against the windows. A flash of lightning and RUMBLE of thunder. Then, from outside: THUNK – YELP!
Mary stirs, sits up. She looks over to an empty space in the bed.
She switches on her bedside lamp. She’s the only one in the room.
She climbs out of bed, pulls on her robe.
INT. KITCHEN – NIGHT
Mary walks in to the kitchen. The backdoor BANGS in the wind. She wraps her robe more tightly against herself. She looks out of the backdoor. It’s so dark she can’t see much.
Then a flash of lightning illuminates the back garden:
A shovel stands upright in the ground beside a pile of mud.
Mary cautiously steps outside…
EXT. BACK GARDEN – CONTINUOUS
Small pieces of paper flap about in the wind, blowing around the garden. One slaps against Mary’s leg. She picks it up, examines it – it’s a £20 note.
Mary looks around, sees more money blowing in the wind.
She walks over to the spade in the ground.
A note is pinned to it. She takes it off of the spade, reads it:
“I’M TAKING THE MONEY. YOU CAN KEEP THE DOG. ROGER.”
Mary cautiously edges forward. Peers in to the hole in the ground.
She SCREAMS as she sees the still body of Chaplin the dog laying at the bottom of the hole.