A Human Being Should

5-Minute Screen Play

A Human Being Should

SCENE 1

FADE IN:

INTERIOR – BABY NURSERY, FARM HOUSE – MORNING

The morning sun shines through the venetian blinds and paints bright yellow grill marks on the wall and ceiling. A woman, Roberta Anson, steps into view, smiling despite the dark circles under her eyes. She looks down next to the camera. She’s holding a diaper, which she deftly maneuvers into place below camera. She picks up a baby from below camera and pulls the child to her chest.

DISSOLVE TO:

2

INT. SITUATION ROOM

Roberta, dressed in a marine uniform, stands at the middle of a situation room facing a 3D representation, a globe of a blue planet, not earth. Inside the tent with her are a dozen marines. A computer screen next to the globe displays a wire frame graphic of three types of aliens. They look like ants. Roberta indicates one type of “ant” and the globe fills with a light display indicating locations. Her soldiers are surprised by the number. She indicates another type of “ant” and the lights on the globe are equally distributed, but far fewer. She indicates the last “ant” and there are only a dozen. She checks her tablet and points out one of the twelve in a small city. Her soldiers nod and point. She pulls out a map on the display and directs each of her marines to different approaches to the goal. The camera pulls back to capture the room.

DISSOLVE TO:

3

INT. FARMHOUSE KITCHEN – AFTERNOON

Roberta is at a large table in a beautiful farmhouse kitchen, cutting bones from pork. There is a lot of pork on the butcher block. She pairs the bones from the meat, puts much of it into a walk-in freezer, but leaves a large bone-in roast, which she seasons with rosemary.

QUICK CUT TO:

4

INT. FARMHOUSE DINING ROOM – EARLY EVENING

Roberta is eating her roast and drinking red wine with her husband and her baby. The sun is setting through one of the windows.

FADE TO:

5

INT. COCKPIT OF DROPSHIP

The sound of wind screaming. Camera angle is tilted. Roberta, off balance, is pushing her pilot out of the pilot seat. She is wearing a full helmet and sealed suit. The pilot is clearly dead. A small hole in the cockpit sucks the remaining air as well as some papers. The sound of wind stops abruptly. Roberta straps herself in, rights the angle of descent.

WHITE OUT TO:

6

EXT. FARMHOUSE – AFTERNOON

Roberta is with her husband and daughter, and a man in a suit. She is standing over blueprints of a barn, a barn for the farmhouse. The blueprints are on a table, and she is pointing and gesturing to how she wants it changed. She crosses out sections, draws over it.  The man in the suit looks surprised at her changes but nods in approval.

FADE TO:

7

EXT. TRENCHES – EARLY EVENING

Roberta, in marine armor, is looking at a photo of her husband and daughter. The camera pulls in to focus on the husband.She pulls out a notebook and starts to write in it.

CLOSE UP – NOTEBOOK

The camera reveals part of the title of her writing, “Shall I Compare Thee to a… “

CLOSE UP – ROBERTA’S FACE

Roberta is smiling as she looks at her photograph, but a tear escapes and runs down her cheek.

FADE TO:

8

INT. FARMHOUSE – EVENING

Roberta’s husband is balancing their checkbook. He looks preoccupied. She looks preoccupied with him. She distracts him and seduces him.

FADE TO:

8

EXT. FARMHOUSE – LATE AFTERNOON

Roberta and her husband are nailing together a frame for the barn. They raise the wall together.

FADE TO:

9

EXT. TRENCHES – DAYTIME

Bodies of “ants” litter the trenches. Roberta is staunching blood on one of her marines. She calls the corpsman to take care of him/her. She moves over to another marine, whose leg is bent and twisted at an unnatural angle.

CLOSE UP – MARINE’S LEG

Roberta sets the leg, ties a tourniquet around a splint. She steps away, returns to the corpsman. The marine looks at her pleadingly, panic in his eyes. He looks about wildly, flailing, reaching. She turns his face toward her, focuses his attention on her face. She talks to him. He listens, and slowly calms. She shows him the picture of her family, takes his hand. He points to his pocket. She takes a photo from it and nods.

FULL FRAME – TRENCHES FROM DISTANCE

Roberta’s back is to the camera. She is still holding the marine’s hand. After a moment, she turns away from him, then back. Then she reaches out to his eyes, and covers them with her hand.

FADE TO:

10

INT. TUNNEL UNDER THE TRENCHES

Roberta is facing a scrolled screen. On the screen is a general. He looks stern. She looks angry, defiant. She flies off the handle. The general looks angry, but also compassionate. His image on the screen is replaced by the same globe and dots that she saw. There are now green dots, presumably marines. But they are far from the target “ants.” Only hers are anywhere near them. Then the screen focuses on a new color. There’s only one on the planet. The general’s face comes back. We see Roberta, her face at 90 degrees to the general, head bowed. She nods.

DISSOLVE TO:

11

INT. TUNNEL UNDER THE TRENCHES

Her marines are all gathered. Her back is to the camera in foreground. Her marines are seated, on the ground, leaning against the walls, all facing the camera. They react to the news. They jump from where they sit. They curse, they plead. We see her back, silhouetted. She points to the screen. She gestures at the blinking light.

DISSOLVE TO:

12

EXT. DESERTED CITY OUTSKIRTS

Roberta and her team coordinate together to cross a raging river. She swims across the river herself, pulling a rope. They launch a raft, climb obstacles, overcome together.

DISSOLVE TO:

13

EXT. MILITARY COMPLEX

Roberta links her computer to the door, decrypts the code to open it.

CUT TO:

14

INT. BARN

Roberta and her daughter shovel out manure from a horse stall. She is sweating. She wipes the sweat from her brow.

FADE TO:

15

INT. MISSILE SILO

Roberta wipes sweat from her brow. She is working furiously at her computer. There is a missile in the silo in the background. Her team of marines is trying to open an access plate to the missile. It’s not working. She yells something to them. They stop what they’re doing. She looks at her tablet. She can see that the enemy is coming. She calls out orders to the marines. They pick up their weapons and head down the halls to meet the enemy. She continues to work furiously. The picture of her husband and baby is propped up on the edge of the screen. Two chains with keys are dangling next to it.

DISSOLVE TO:

16

INT. FARMHOUSE DINING ROOM – EARLY EVENING

Roberta is eating her roast and drinking red wine with her husband and her baby. The sun is setting through one of the windows. She looks upon them with love.

FADE TO:

17

INT. MISSILE SILO

The plate on the missile opens. Roberta looks up from her computer. She sees the last of her marines die. She is alone. The enemy is between her and the missile. She picks up her weapons and wades into the enemy. She dispatches them with a concentration that is ferocious. She is quick, efficient, deadly. She makes it to the missile, inserts one key. One more “ant” appears, different from the others. She shoots it. It doesn’t die. She throws a grenade at it. When the smoke clears, it continues to walk on. Resigned, she takes the second key, inserts it, turns it, and… presses the button.

WHITE OUT:

18

INT. GENERAL’S WAR ROOM

All the lights on the globe representing the “ants” fade out.

CUT TO:

EXT. GREY CITIES

Marines come out from their positions, approaching the now docile “ants.”

CUT TO:

EXT. FARMHOUSE

Husband and child look at a picture of Roberta together.

FADE TO:

BLACK

Scroll the following quote:

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. – Robert A. Heinlein

Copyright Sean Donovan

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3 thoughts on “A Human Being Should

  1. Pingback: 5 – Minute Screenplays | B.S. Donovan

  2. Nice. It reads quite well. Might be hard to fit into five minutes, but with good cutting I can see it. Two points if I may? One, a wife need not “seduce” a husband merely entice. I get what you’re saying though. Two, your description under 12 seems both broad and yet thin with “They launch a raft, climb obstacles, overcome together.”

    Good outline of a visual illustration of the Heinlein quote. I like it. Showing not telling.

    Like

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