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Family Secret
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Family Secret
This is a short film in the fasion of "The Twilight Zone."
[1,056 words]
Nathan Weaver
Oops; somehow I erased this. Bum wrap. I'll update it later. Right now, I'm peeved.
[December 2006]
[email protected]
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Family Secret
Nathan Weaver

EXT. A HOUSE, NIGHT. LIGHTS are on throughout the house, the camera begins to pan in on the house.

The home. A coffin of secrets. What happens here stays here, unless someone grows impatient.

CAMERA pans to a window, we see JOHN and JUDY arguing and screaming at each other. It is extremely intense.

Meet John and Judy. They have been married for four years. It�s been a rollercoaster of jobs and emotions. But, what John doesn�t know is that Judy�s family has a dirty, little secret. Every twenty-three years the family secret rears its ugly head for a few hours and then slips away. In about fifteen minutes, the clock is going to strike midnight, another twenty-three years will have passed and a family tradition will commence.

INT. HOUSE. JOHN and JUDY in the living room arguing.

Didn�t I tell you he wasn�t trustworthy? Didn�t I tell you not to get involved?

Oh, yes, you are so smart.

Well, if you�re so much smarter, then maybe you can explain to me how we are going to get out of this? We have bills to pay; how do you plan to pay them, huh?

I�ll work it out.

Yes, you�ll work it out. Just like you worked this out!

This is not my fault!

I told you not to partner up with him! I told you it was a scam!

They start digging into each other, at the same time.

Ah-ha, the almighty Judy,
She knows everything.
All I have to do is listen to
her great Wisdom.

But you wouldn�t listen to me!
I knew that man was nothing but
scum the moment I laid eyes on him.

Stop it! You�re not even listening.

Of course, I�m sick of it. There was no way for any of us to know this could happen.

I called it, though, didn�t I?

We both had a 50/50 chance. A lucky guess. Good grief, would you listen to me? I can�t believe what I actually have to say to get through to you. This is so immature!

Oh, you�re calling me immature, Mr. All Big and Mighty. You�re so big and you�re so smart that you couldn�t be told what to do. You had it all figured out. You had it all worked out. Oh, you�re so big.

Knock it off! That�s it. I�m sick of it. There�s no reasoning with you. I can�t take it anymore.

JOHN starts searching through a briefcase.

Oh, you�ve had it! I�m real scared!

JOHN pulls out a manila envelope and tosses it on the coffee table between them.

What�s in that?

Why don�t you tell me?

JUDY opens the envelope and pulls out a stack of papers. She reads a little, and then looks up.

I want a divorce. It�s over between us. I�ve had enough. There�s no reasoning with you. Do us both a favor and sign on the dotted line.



No� you�re not divorcing me.

Oh, I�m not?

I won�t give you that luxury.


You can�t ruin my life and then cast me aside when you�re finished with me. I won�t allow it. (beat) I�m pregnant, John�

I know you are, Judy�

Let me finish! (beat) I am pregnant, I have a child to think of. You can ruin my life, but I won�t let you ruin my child�s life, too. We�re gonna have this, baby, you�re gonna get a good job and you�re gonna give us anything we ask for. I don�t care if my baby asks you to cut your wrists, you�re gonna do it.

It�s called child support, you greedy snob.

That�s right! But, you�re not getting custody, not of my baby.

Our baby.

NO! She�s mine! You can�t have her! You�ll never understand her like I will! You�ll never understand!

Could you refrain from referring to our baby as a girl? We don�t know the sex yet.

(laughs sadistically) Oh, it�s a girl, John. It�s a girl.

Oh, brother, I am not even having this argument. Are you gonna sign it or not?

Yes, I�ll sign it, but you�ll never see my daughter.

We�ll see about that.

JOHN turns and begins to walk away.

Where do you think you�re going?

I�m going to pack. You don�t expect me to actually stay in this house after all that has happened, do you?

Pack all you want.

JOHN goes off to their bedroom and begins packing. JUDY sits down on the coffee table, looks down and places her hand on her stomach, embracing the child within her.

He cannot have you. He�s not family. He doesn�t understand. (looks up) He�ll never understand.

JUDY turns and looks over towards the clock.

CLOSE-UP of CLOCK, it reads �11:59 PM.�

CUT back to an EXTREME CLOSE-UP of JUDY, she is watching the clock. She is waiting for the moment.

CUT back to CLOCK, it changes from �11:59 PM� to �12:00 AM.�

CUT back to JUDY, EXTREME CLOSE-UP of face, slowly pan into the eye, tilting to one side. A change overcomes her. She tilts her head and she seems to be someone else. CUT.

INT. HALLWAY, MOMENTS LATER. JOHN comes from the bedroom with a couple of suitcases and a coat over his arm. He comes walking into the living room and sets a suitcase down when he notices the front door is open. He looks out the screen door.

Judy, you outside? (no response, he turns back into the living room) Judy, did you sign the paperwork? (bends over to look at paperwork)

JUDY comes running from running in from a door; JOHN is bent over the coffee table. She comes running up with a shovel in hand, her hair has changed color. She reaches JOHN and hits him over the back of the head with the shovel, he tumbles over. She then proceeds to beat him repeatedly with the shovel until he stops moaning, trying to escape and falls limp. She then stops, sets the shovel aside, sits down and begins to toy with her hair using her fingers. She also has her hand on her stomach again.

(spoken in a southern, rough voice) Welcome to the family. (she rubs her stomach) I�m your great-great grandmother. (beat) I�ll protect you. I won�t let any harm come to you, my girl. Not to you, you�re family.

CAMERA slowly zooms away from JUDY.

Meet Edna. She�s the great grandmother of Judy. She�s long since passed on, but every twenty-three years she makes her presence known again. (beat) It appears her tradition will carry on for at least another generation. (beat) Family, the tie that binds� even after death.




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© 2006 Nathan Weaver
November 2006

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