Archive for the ‘Screenplays’ Category

” Sex and the Coal Mine” – a screen treatment

Charlotte falls for an African American bond trader at Lehman Brothers in new York City One week after they meet and fall madly in lust / love, Ron has to travel to  his home in Cottonwood, Alabama to visit his dying mother.   On the train ride to his home town, Ron’s train enters a time-warp and arrives in Cottonwood in the year 1925.  While at the train depot in town,  he plays a quick game of dice with his old high school buddies.  Ron and his friends are picked up on vagrancy charges by the local sheriff and they get sentenced to ten days in jail and fined $75.  The sheriff doesn’t accept American Express.  After two days in a fetid town lock-up,  eating very bad food, Ron is sold to an itinerant labor broker and then leased to a labor boss at Bama Lime and Brick Manufacturing Company.  Ron is transported along with a dozen other unfortunate souls of color to a hellish complex of brick-making ovens where he is chained to seventeen other African American men.  Ron protests and is whipped on his bare back while bent over a hot fifty gallon steel barrel……meanwhile, Charlotte is at lunch in Manhattan with her three friends wondering why her new lover hasn’t texted her.  She frowns.

Cut to – Ron being whipped again for not meeting his quota of five tons of coal a day.
Cut to – Deep in a remote deep, narrow mine shaft where Ron is at the end of a twenty-five foot long tunnel trying to swing his pick.  His partner touches a live electric wire and is electrocuted.  Ron panics and makes a run for it down an adjacent shaft filled with slaves – hell itself:  men fighting, a pick enters a skull, young slaves are being sodomized by the older ones, a tubercular wraith wanders amid the chaos.
Cut to Charlotte – She is on the phone to  Ron’s mother who hasn’t seen him at all.  Charlotte packs her Gucci overnight bag with an extra pair of Jimmy Choos and grabs a taxi for JFK.
Cut to – Jet landing in Atlanta
Cut to – Charlotte boarding a train to Cottonwood. (The time – travel express)
Cut to – Rickety, run-down train station platform in the year 1925.
Cut to – Local  sheriff’s deputy glaring at her.
Cut to (five short scenes) – Charlotte talking to many locals in an attempt to learn Ron’s whereabouts.
Cut to – Charlotte crawling down a bleak mine shaft going from gang to gang asking about Ron.  She calls out in a remote shaft.  Ron calls back.  They meet up, escape to the surface and daylight through an abandoned shaft.  They are chased by bloodhounds.  Charlotte stumbles and is attacked by ten dogs – they only want her shoes.  Ron beats the dogs with a tree branch and the two lovers continue running through the pine forest.
Cut to turpentine making facility in a deep backwoods logging operation where dozens of black slaves are beaten, cursed and murdered.  Ron and Charlotte run away until they reach the edge of a big swamp, dogs are barking in the distance, a big, long water moccasin droops from a tree branch into Charlotte’s face – she screams – they slog on through the swamp and night under a full moon as they reach the far side- quicksand!  Ron pulls Charlotte out while he grips a low hanging branch.  They reach a clearing where the see an endless cotton field in the moonlight.  They make their way to the field hand shack to the sound of barking dogs.  They see more black men in chains – the farmer comes out to the shack to investigate the commotion accompanied by his teenage son and nubile teenage daughter.
Cut to – Three friends having lunch at Elaine’s in NYC.
Carrie – “No word from Charlotte – she said she’d text me as soon as she got to Cottonwood.
Samantha – I think we should all go down to Alabama and se what’s going on – something doesn’t pass the smell test.
Cut to – The three women exiting the train to Cottonwood in the year 1925 wearing their finest, sporty clothes – Manolos, of course.
Cut to – Slave shack on the plantation
Farmer – “You tryin’ to stir up mah men, Buck?  What you doin‘ here anyhow?”  and you young lady – what you doin’ runnin’ round with this here boy?”
Teenage son – “She’s a  n****r-lover pa.”
Daughter – “She’s a slut-whore papa, she ain‘t no Christian.”
Farmer to children – “Get back in the house you two – go on – git”
Ron grabs Charlotte by her arm and they run off into the darkness to the sound of shotgun blasts and barking dogs.
Charlotte’s cell phone rings – “Hey – Where are you?  We’re all here – we’re worried sick about you – why didn’t you cal?“
Charlotte – “My god – my god – You won’t believe it.“
Carrie – “Where are you?  We’re here in Cottonwood at the train station.
Charlotte – “I don’t know where we are – out on a  farm – I hear dogs – they’re coming after us again.”
Carrie – “Turn on your GPS Char.”
Cut to Ron and Charlotte arriving at a sharecropper’s shack – safe at last.
Cut to  – next day – OZ like scene
Ron and four beautiful women walking along a dirt road a la  Wizard of Oz characters to the tune of “Zippedy do dah”  Up rolls a model-T flatbed truck, it stops alongside the group and two men in dusty denim bib overalls walk up to Ron and knock him to the ground.
Farmer –   “He’s the one been stirrin’ up my n****rs.
Amid screams and kicks from the four women.
Farmer – “yo comin’ with us boy – git on the truck!”  The farmer’s partner slams Ron in the side of the head with the butt of his shotgun and locks a ball and chain around Ron’s ankle.   Ron (knocked out)  is lifted onto the bed of the truck as the four women kick and scratch and scream at the two men to no avail.  The truck drives away,  leaving the girls in a cloud of dust…. To be continued……

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