Friday, September 25, 2020

Coyote on the Run

COYOTE ON THE RUN 

Written by 

Matt Goldman

 

FADE IN: 

EXT RESIDENTIAL STREET - EARLY MORNING, MINIMAL SUNLIGHT 

Matt walks silently along a quiet street. It’s early enough  that not many people are out. Matt stops, squints and focuses  on a small animal crossing the street up ahead.

MATT (IN LOW TONES TO HIMSELF) 

What the fuck is that. God damn it,  

why do people let their dogs out  

like that. 

As he gets closer, the animal gets to Matt side of the street  and spots Matt. They stare at each other. 

MATT (CONT’D) 

Oh shit, it’s a baby coyote.  

What’re doing here? 

The coyote is spooked by Matt and runs back across the  street, just as a car comes roaring down the quiet  residential street. 

MATT (CONT’D) 

Shit, careful pup! 

Matt picks up the pace and watches the pup get safely to the  other side of the street. The car continues on, none the  wiser. Matt crosses the street to see where the coyote went.  He reaches for his cell phone. 

MATT (CONT’D) 

Fuck! Where’d you go? I guess I can  

call animal services and then what?  

They put it to sleep. 

Matt searches down walkways and various yards. He can’t see  the coyote puppy. He stops and sits down on the curb. He  leans forward and puts his head in his hands. Tears flow.  Eventually he looks up and stares into the distance. The sun  is almost up and he’s got a mile walk left to get home. He  gets up and continues on, the unused cell phone in his hand. 

MATT (CONT’D) 

Well great, one more thing to feel  

guilty about. So much damn loss.  

Argh. 

DISOLVE TO:

EXT MATT’S HOUSE - MORNING 

A man on a recumbent bikes rides by Matt and waves hello.  Matt gives a half hearted wave, followed by a subtle middle  finger. 

MATT 

Fucking asshole. 

Matt walks into his house. Leslie is in the kitchen, making  coffee and cooking some eggs. 

MATT (CONT’D) 

What the heck? What are you doing  

up? 

LESLIE 

Um..good morning to you. I’m making  

breakfast. What’s up with you? 

MATT 

Fuck, that guy on the bike. I hate  

him.  

LESLIE 

You know we should try and be nice  

to our neighbors. You know, keep  

the peace. 

MATT 

I know. I am. But fuck that guy. He  

gave Gracie treats, and is always  

up in my business, with no mask.  

And then he sweeps the street  

before the street cleaner comes.  

He’s a fucking weirdo and needs to  

stay out of my business. 

LESLIE 

So you had a good walk? 

MATT 

Sorry, everything has me on edge.  

LESLIE 

I know, it’s tough. 

The coyote is still on Matt’s mind. While Leslie is talking,  he starts thinking about loss and his ability to handle  animal loss, which has become almost paralyzing. 

LESLIE (CONT’D) 

Um, hello? 

MATT 

Huh, what? 

LESLIE 

Wow, you really don’t listen to me. 

MATT 

Sorry, two pieces of toast. 

LESLIE 

That’s not what I asked. I asked if  

you’re having coffee. 

MATT 

Oh...nah. I already did earlier, it  

got everything moving. Anyhow, I’m  

taking a shower. Real quick. 

DISOLVE TO: 

INT. DINING TABLE 

Matt and Leslie sit and eat. The news is on the tv in the  background. 

LESLIE (FRUSTRATINGLY) 

Can we change that? 

MATT 

Oh for sure. How about music  

instead? 

LESLIE 

Yep 

DISOLVE TO: 

EXT. - LATE MORNING 

Matt pulls up to a small medical facility. Leslie opens the  passenger door and gets out. 

MATT 

Good luck. I’ll be here. 

LESLIE 

Thanks love. Shouldn’t take too  

long. 

Matt reaches for his Kindle in the car’s door pocket. He  starts reading. Leslie knocks on the door. Matt jumps a bit and looks up. He  unlocks the door. 

LESLIE (CONT’D) 

Damn dude, I was knocking for two  

minutes. 

MATT 

Oh sorry, I’m into this. 

Leslie gets in the car. 

LESLIE 

What is it? 

MATT 

Thoreau. An essay on walking. It’s  

awesome.  

LESLIE 

Ok well, sounds great. But you  

ought to be more aware of things  

around you. Head on a swivel. 

MATT 

Sorry I seriously thought you just  

went in. 

LESLIE 

Nope. It was 10 minutes ago, very  

quick. 

Matt starts the car. 

MATT 

Ok, where to. Fish sandwich? 

LESLIE 

I guess, but I’m not sure about 2nd  

Street. But let’s check it out.  

MATT 

Cool. 

DISOLVE TO: 

INT. - MATT’S CAR 

They’re driving slowly, his cell phone rings on the car’s  bluetooth. 

MATT 

Can you get that? I think it’s  

Cedars. 

LESLIE 

Hello? 

VOICE ON OTHER END 

Hi can I speak with Matthew  

Goldman’s wife? 

LESLIE 

Hi this is Leslie. 

VOICE ON OTHER END 

Oh hi, it’s Susan at Cedars. 

LESLIE 

Yeah, hi Susan. 

VOICE ON OTHER END 

So, I know you guys are coming in  

for some tests on Monday, but...and  

I’m so sorry...I need to change one  

things. Our one machine is down. 

LESLIE 

Ok, which one is it? 

Leslie reaches to the back seat of the car and grabs a purple  notebook and flips to a page with the heading Rheumatologist. 

VOICE ON OTHER END 

Well, I know we had three tests  

scheduled, but the bone scan  

machine is down and we need to  

reschedule it. The other tests are  

still fine.  

LESLIE 

Leslie looks at Matt as he drives. He rolls his eyes. She  shrugs her shoulders. 

LESLIE (CONT’D) 

That’s fine. When can we do it? 

VOICE ON OTHER END 

Um, looks like the soonest is Oct.  

10. 

MATT 

That’s fine. 

LESLIE 

The day after your birthday? 

MATT 

I don’t care, whenever. But now  

we’ll have to change other  

appointments. 

LESLIE 

Hi Susan. Sorry. Yeah that works. 

VOICE ON OTHER END 

Sorry about that. I know you guys  

are coming a distance and wanted  

them all on the same day 

LESLIE 

No that’s fine. Thanks for letting  

us know. That’ll work. 

Leslie ends the call and looks at Matt. 

LESLIE (CONT’D) 

So....how have you been feeling  

lately? 

MATT 

Not bad. Good days and so so days,  

but it can wait. 

LESLIE 

Alright, well let’s get something  

to take home to eat and then I’ll  

call and move things around. 

MATT 

Cool. Thanks. So listen here’s a  

question. 

Leslie’s eye brows raise a bit. 

LESLIE 

Yeah? 

MATT 

How can I go off the grid if I  

always have these appointments and  

medical stuff? 

LESLIE 

Oh no, don’t look. 

Matt sees a dead raccoon lying on the side of the road. Tears  well up in his eye. 

MATT 

Ugh. Poor thing. I can’t handle it. 

LESLIE 

I know. It sucks. We’ll say a  

prayer for it. Ok focus on driving.  

So what did you ask? 

MATT 

Well, this morning walking I saw  

another sign for the idiot. What  

the fuck. Can’t I just paint over  

the sign? 

LESLIE 

Well, you know, you really need to  

be incognito. Wear all black, go at  

night and have an exit plan.  

Everyone has cameras now. 

MATT 

Ok, well let’s figure it out. 

LESLIE 

You mean, you’ll figure it out. 

MATT 

So, what if I just stopped all my  

treatment, let things go and become  

a vigilante? 

LESLIE 

Why? 

MATT 

Well, this shit is tiring. I mean  

I’m doing fine, but ten years of  

all this is wearing me out. Plus  

look at me...I’m a freaking old man  

now. I can’t even wear short  

sleeves, all this bruising and  

crap. 

LESLIE 

I know baby, we’re all getting old.  

Look at me, everything hurts. 

MATT 

I don’t know...I’m just talking. 

LESLIE 

I know. 

DISOLVE TO: 

INT. - LUNCH HOUR 

Matt and Leslie stand at the counter of a small fish  

restaurant. They all have masks on, except a couple of people  outside the restaurant. 

MATT 

What’s with the huge guy blocking  

the door. 

LESLIE 

I don’t know. What do you want? 

MATT 

Umm..give me the salmon sandwich  

and can we get a beer while we  

wait? 

LESLIE 

That works. Let me order. Why don’t  

you wait outside. There’s a table  

with no body around.  

Matt walks outside and leans up against a table. He reaches  in his pocket and checks his cell phone for messages. 

There is one message that says: Missing bloody marys and  video poker. Matt types back: 2021? 

LESLIE (CONT’D) 

Hey, here’s your beer. 

MATT 

Ah, thanks. Wow, it makes me  

nervous here. We’ve both become so  

jumpy.  

LESLIE 

Yep. Well, let’s drink this, get  

our food and get home and watch  

some tv. 

MATT 

Perfect.  

LESLIE 

Cheers baby. 

MATT 

Cheers love. 

LESLIE 

And here’s to Gracie. 

They both hold their glasses towards the sky. 

                                        LESLIE (CONT’D) 

                        Cheers girl, we miss you pup. 

FADE OUT.

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