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I wrote this for my Silver Arts Award. Apologies for poor formatting and any mistakes. I would be really grateful for any feedback as part of the Award requires me to share this project with others. Be as harsh as you like! Thanks.

Synopsis: Set in the French Revolution (1794), the story follows a group of young revolutionaries as they fight for their beliefs.

Main Characters:
The Core 6: Antoine, Kate, James, Marie, Therese, Claude.
Also: Jean-Pierre (an older revolutionary; friend of the Core 6) and Dabonville (revolutionary but the Core 6's nemesis)

SCENE ONE

EXT. An extreme long shot of Paris in the 18th century. Zooming in v.slowly during voiceover. No music.

ANTOINE (voiceover):

We shall begin at the beginning, end at the end,
A strange, dark path our tale shall wend,
Of blood and fear and wounds that won’t mend,
All factions armed, poised to defend.

I shall not swear all events are true,
With love and terror and blood so blue,
But I swear we shall see them through,
Until the mood takes on a different hue.

Now, take a look: see where we are?
Paris, 1794, the whole world watching from afar,
A sprawled, bleeding city, a mangled star,
We find in the midst of La Grande Terreur…

Now the camera zooms in quickly, into Paris, down streets, across the river until it reaches PLACE DE LA REVOLUTION. The camera slows & tracks into the CROWD. The crowd is in uproar; an announcement is made, but the words are fuzzy and not clearly discernible. This seems to anger the crowd. One solitary, still figure [ANTOINE] now stands in the centre of the frame. The camera zooms in, then swivels round to show his face. He looks directly into the camera and grins wickedly. MUSIC STARTS. FADE OUT to title credits or next scene.


SCENE TWO

EXT. A messy, deserted street from ground level. A person steps into view (only their feet are visible). Camera follows their feet along the street and, as they go through a door, the camera moves upwards to show a tarnished sign saying Maison d’Espoir. Moves through door into hallway and round into the kitchen. THERESE, KATHERINE and JAMES are sitting around the table of the dilapidated kitchen. CLAUDE is the person who has just come in.

CLAUDE
(grinning)
I thought you promised us no more strays Therese.

THERESE
They’re not strays, they’re Londoners.

(pauses)

Antoine found them. They need a place to stay, just for a little while. He asked Mama and she said it was fine, as long as they didn’t stay for too long and we didn’t find anyone else while they were here, he said they don’t have any money and they hadn’t eaten in days and –

CLAUDE
Calm down, Therese, I was joking. Just tell me who they are.

THERESE
I don’t know anything about them apart from their names. They’ve only just arrived.

KATHERINE
(eagerly, leaning forward)
Well, I’m Katherine Taylor and this is my brother James, but you knew that already, didn’t you, we’re from London, Chelsea actually, we’re supposed to be visiting family here. We’re twins, can you tell, and we’re just 18 –

[cut off by a glare from JAMES]

--Sorry. I’m babbling.

[Folds her hands in her lap and sits silently, head bowed. CLAUDE and THERESE look amused, JAMES acutely embarrassed, by his sister’s behaviour.]

THERESE
(pause)
Right…so you’re from Chelsea. I have…no idea where that is, but if you say it’s near London then I’ll take your word for it. But…what happened to you? If you were supposed to be visiting family…how did you end up here? Antoine would only bring someone here if he thought they were really in trouble.

CLAUDE
He could have been wrong though, couldn’t he? They don’t look too badly off.

KATHERINE
We really were in trouble. I don’t know what we would have done if Antoine hadn’t brought us here.

THERESE
But what happened to you? Claude’s right, you don’t exactly look like you’re starving or anything.

JAMES
Well, I suppose if you really want to know…we’ll have to start at the beginning…from when Father told us we were going to Paris…and tell the story from there.

KATHERINE
Oh, I do love a good story.

CLAUDE
(incredulously)
But it’s your story.

KATHERINE
That doesn’t make it any less exciting, does it?

[CLAUDE stares at her. She stares back. After a few seconds, he shakes his head and looks back to JAMES.]

CLAUDE
Sorry. Carry on.

JAMES
It all started about…3 weeks ago I suppose it must be. Everyone in England’s terrified of the revolution spreading over there, though Katherine thinks it’s all rather exciting…hardly anyone dares cross the Channel anymore, let alone venture into Paris itself. But then, one day, Father called us into his study…

[FLASHBACK. Zoom very quickly out the house, out of Paris, across the Channel and into a house in London. The background in hazy and out of focus, with the TAYLORS’ FATHER, an unhappy looking old fellow with a long face and wispy beard, in the centre of the frame, clearly. KATHERINE and JAMES cannot be seen.]

FATHER
I’m sending you two away for a while. Just a little while…to Paris.

(shifts uncomfortably at their shouts of protest)

Katherine is becoming a little too revolutionary for the neighbours’ tastes and your uncle thinks if we send her to Paris, the experience of the horrors of the revolution will shock her opinions around to a more…conservative bent. You must go with her James. I cannot allow her to go alone.

KATHERINE
Why not? I’m perfectly capable of looking after myself, I don’t need James chaperoning me –

JAMES
And I don’t want to go at all, it’ll be awful and I’ve got things to do here –

FATHER
The matter is, regrettably, out of my hands. Everyone seems to think it’s for the best, apart from myself and your poor dear mother of course. Your mother is quite distraught.
(pauses, shaking his head)
Please just go…and do be careful. These are dangerous times we are living in.

[Fade to next shot over renewed shouts of protest.]
JAMES
(voiceover over shots of them leaving, boarding a boat etc. in accordance with the events he describes)
And so, the next day, we were packed off to Paris to stay with our aunt and uncle. But, when we got here, things went from bad to worse, thanks to a certain someone…

KATHERINE
If, by that, you are ever so subtly alluding to me then I have to object –

JAMES
Well, it was your fault. This whole thing is your fault.

KATHERINE
That’s not fair, I never asked to come here –

JAMES
We wouldn’t have been sent here if it weren’t for you and –

CLAUDE
You’re here now, and stuck, so please could you just finish the story?

JAMES
(pauses)
Right…sorry. Anyway, we got here and everything was going well. I was almost starting to enjoy myself until –

KATHERINE
Hah! You moaned for the entire journey!

JAMES
Well, maybe at the time I didn’t think it was too brilliant but, when you compare it to what happened next –

CLAUDE
Which was what, exactly?

JAMES
Fine, right, sorry! Where was I…oh, right - until Katherine decided we’ve been in the carriage too long and it would be a good idea to go out into this village, stretch our legs. So, a couple of miles from Paris, we stopped and Katherine inflicted her French on some poor unsuspecting locals. Unfortunately, the driver left, taking everything we owned with him. We had just enough money to make it to Paris and we’ve been wandering around for days trying to think of what to do. And then, this morning, Antoine found us and…well, you know the rest.

[The shots throughout the voiceover should correspond to whatever James is saying and, as such, this speech brings us back to the time of the main events.]

THERESE
Antoine wouldn’t have brought them here if he didn’t think they were worth saving.

CLAUDE
I know, I know. Although, lately his judgement hasn’t been brilliant, I have to say.

THERESE
(wearily)
There was only the one and there was no way Antoine could have known.

CLAUDE
Yes, I know…it was quite a mistake though.

THERESE
He apologised.

CLAUDE
Yes, I know. I assume he brought them here because of Katherine.

THERESE
Well, in these trying times, we’ve all got to stick together, haven’t we?

JAMES
(appalled)
You’re – you’re revolutionaries.

CLAUDE
Didn’t you know? Oh, damn, we’ve forgotten our badges today, that’s why!

JAMES
(confused)
You wear badges?

[Silence. CLAUDE stares at him.]

CLAUDE
Of course not. I was joking.

KATHERINE
Oh, how thrilling to be staying with proper, real aristocrats!

CLAUDE
(drily)
Indeed.

[Sound of the front door slamming. ANTOINE comes into the kitchen.]

ANTOINE
Claude, you’re back. I see you’ve met our new friends from London. Charming, aren’t they?

CLAUDE
Utterly.

ANTOINE
There’s no need for sarcasm.

(looking at KATHERINE)

I think they’re wonderful.

JAMES
You don’t know anything about us. You only spoke to us for about 3 minutes.

ANTOINE
(still looking at Katherine)
Well, clearly you make excellent first impressions. Are we still going to the Soivre’s tonight? I assume the meeting’s still on, it’ll give us a chance to --

THERESE
It’s been cancelled.

CLAUDE
(outraged)
What?

ANTOINE
(also outraged)
Why?
THERESE
Dabonville’s just delayed it for another week. No one knows why, he never tells anybody why.

ANTOINE
But then it’ll be a whole month since the last meeting…he shouldn’t be allowed to just cancel them. God, I hate that man.

CLAUDE
Don’t we all.

ANTOINE
Well, we’ve got to do something. We can go to the Soivre’s anyway. We’ve got two new depraved souls to turn onto the revolutionary road. What do you think Claude?

CLAUDE
Definitely. Although Katherine has already…seen the light, shall we say. It’s only James lingering on the path of privilege.

ANTOINE
Well then, I believe it our duty to set him right. Come on. Let’s go to the Soivre’s, meet a few of the regulars…see if we can’t change his mind. Jean-Pierre might even be there.

(slaps his hands down on the table)

Come on then!

[All get up and get ready to leave. KATHERINE excited, THERESE and CLAUDE smiling, ANTOINE grinning and JAMES looking positively terrified. All leave the kitchen. FADE OUT.]


SCENE THREE

INT. Kitchen of Maison d’Espoir. Words – One Week Later… appear on the screen. KATHERINE and THERESE cooking. Happy atmosphere.

KATHERINE
(glancing at the clock)
They’ll be back soon. But I’ve completely wrecked the dinner again. I’m so sorry.

THERESE
(laughing)
Don’t worry. I’m sure we can salvage something from it…it’s only a little bit burnt.
(examines it critically)

KATHERINE
I just wanted to get it right once. But, seven night in a row, I’ve managed to destroy it.

THERESE
Don’t worry, no one minds. Even James has stopped complaining.

KATHERINE
(grinning)
Only because he’s so busy marvelling at how you’ve rescued the dinner again and complimenting you that he doesn’t have time to criticise me.

THERESE
(blushing)
That’s not true!

(pauses)

And anyway, no one would dare criticise you.

KATHERINE
And why not?

THERESE
(airily)
Antoine would probably challenge them to a duel for besmirching your honour.

KATHERINE
(indignantly)
Oh really? Well since he’s not here and you appear to be criticising me, Miss de Vries, I find myself forced to challenge you to a duel.

(Raises a baguette in one hand)

To the death!

[THERESE picks up a baguette as well and the two begin a mock duel. After a few seconds, they hear the sounds of the front door opening and voices. They freeze and drop the baguettes. As the others come in, they stand still in front of the dinner, trying, and failing, to look innocent while hiding the ruined dinner.]

CLAUDE
(curiously)
What are you doing?

KATHERINE
Nothing.

[The boys look at them, suspicious.]

THERESE
(slightly out of breath)
We’re just making dinner. That’s all.

CLAUDE
Katherine hasn’t destroyed it yet?

ANTOINE
Leave her alone. She doesn’t do it deliberately.

[THERESE smirks at KATHERINE, who pretends to hit her with a baguette in revenge.]

JAMES
Even if Katherine has ruined, Therese’ll fix it. She always does.

[THERESE blushes while KATHERINE stifles laughter. CLAUDE shakes his head, while ANTOINE watches KATHERINE in amusement as she laughs in the corner. JAMES looks a little confused but largely unconcerned.]

THERESE
She hasn’t badly ruined it. It’s only a little bit burnt.

CLAUDE
(eyeing it suspiciously)
A little? It looks –

KATHERINE
Don’t look at it!

[THERESE and KATHERINE move to hide it.]

THERESE
Why don’t you all tell us how brilliant your day was while I fix…while we finish this?

[ANTOINE pulls out a chair and sits down. JAMES and CLAUDE do the same while the girls retreat to the corner, whispering. The next part (from this point until the bottom of page 13) needs to be spoken quickly, the sentences of each character almost overlapping. This is a little like a train of though.]

ANTOINE
OK. Because it was brilliant.

JAMES
Completely. We went to see Jean-Pierre –

ANTOINE
- You can meet him tonight at the Soivre’s Katherine –

JAMES
- and then we went with him to –

CLAUDE
- Place de la Revolution and we –

ANTOINE
- saw a guillotining, it was –

JAMES
- awful –

CLAUDE
- awful –

ANTOINE
- it was actually, it was one of those where they execute a revolutionary on stupid charges –

CLAUDE
- set an example for the rest of us –

JAMES
- and after that we were all completely depressed so we –

ANTOINE
- went to the Soivre’s with Jean-Pierre –

CLAUDE
- got lots more food for Katherine to decimate –

ANTOINE
- for free because of London boy, Louise took quite a shine to him –

JAMES
- no she didn’t, she just –

ANTOINE
- she was following you everywhere. A married woman of her age…no dignity, honestly –

CLAUDE
(forcefully)
- Anyway –

ANTOINE
- yeah, anyway, after that we were just wandering around near Jean-Pierre’s –

JAMES
- when we heard this scream –

ANTOINE
- and these people came rushing out of this house and everyone else came out to have a look –

JAMES
It was complete –

CLAUDE
- uproar. Turned out the aristocrats had tried to burn the house down or something –

JAMES
- and then it all got a bit out of hand –

ANTOINE
- bit of a fight –

CLAUDE
- which we won, by the way. James was brilliant, saved this little girl –

ANTOINE
- like a proper revolutionary –

JAMES
(grins proudly)
- and then we came home.

[Silence in the kitchen apart from the girls whispering as they poke the burnt black mess of the dinner]

ANTOINE
We’re fine, thanks for asking.

JAMES
I mean, there’s not much blood.

CLAUDE
Although, I have to say, the bullet wound stings a little.

ANTOINE
And obviously the dragon left a bit of a mark.

[No response]

CLAUDE
(sarcastically)
Isn’t it nice to be so loved?

[The girls finally notice that the story’s over and turn away from the dinner]

THERESE
Sorry, sorry, it was worse than we thought. Tell us again, we’re listening properly now and it sounded really exciting.

[Both girls start laying out food and plates etc.]

ANTOINE
(folding his arms and turning away)
The moment’s passed. We don’t want to tell it again.

JAMES
Now you’ll never know what happened.

KATHERINE
Oh, come on, tell us, we’re sorry.

ANTOINE
No, it’s too late. Now this delicious dinner has arrived I can think of nothing else.

(pauses and looks at the food)

It’s…black.

KATHERINE
And?

ANTOINE
Nothing, nothing.

KATHERINE
It was an accident.

JAMES
It’s still black.

CLAUDE
We can’t eat that.

[He flicks some food off his plate. It hits ANTOINE. Silence.]

ANTOINE
Sorry Katherine, but he’s right. Food like this is only good for one thing.

KATHERINE
What?

[Antoine throws food at her in response. Food fight starts. FADE OUT and then back in to the second part of the scene.
INT. Still the kitchen but only ANTOINE is there. He looks unhappy. KATHERINE comes bustling in holding mugs and plates. Sounds of laughter filter in from another room. She stops when she sees his expression.]

KATHERINE
(puts the plates down. Curiously)
What’s wrong?

ANTOINE
(makes an effort to look happy)
Nothing.

(pause)

KATHERINE
What’s wrong?

ANTOINE
(mumbles incoherently)

KATHERINE
What?

ANTOINE
(not meeting her eyes)
Today’s…11 years since my parents died. I’m fine.

[KATHERINE says nothing, only walks over and hugs ANTOINE. He looks surprised but hugs her back. Break apart.]

KATHERINE
(sitting down)
What happened to them?

ANTOINE
They were killed.

KATHERINE
By who?
ANTOINE
By…we used to live on this estate…belonged to this Duke, my father was the gamekeeper so we lived there…lived there all my life…but then, when I was eight…my parents were killed by the Duke. He accused them of stealing from him or something. My mother tried to send me away before it happened, sent me off to Jean-Pierre but I went back and I saw it…

[He swallows hard. Katherine looks appalled. He tries to look brighter and forces a smile.]

That’s what happened. Eleven years ago today. And then I came here with Jean-Pierre and met Claude and Therese…they don’t know anything about my parents. I’ve never told anyone except Jean-Pierre. And now you.

KATHERINE
I’m so sorry.

[ANTOINE nods and she walks over and hugs him again. They look like they’re about to kiss but THERESE comes in and they spring apart. She doesn’t appear to notice anything.]

THERESE
We’ve got to go now, or we’re going to be late.



KATHERINE


(looking worriedly at ANTOINE)
Yes…yes, all right.

ANTOINE
I’ll meet you there. I’ve got something to do.

KATHERINE
What?

ANTOINE
Don’t you worry. I’ll be there in time for Dabonville’s speech, if all goes according to plan…it’s a brilliant plan too, so it should all be fine.

[CLAUDE and JAMES come in.]

I’ll be there. Promise. (winks and grins) See you later!

[ANTOINE leaves.]

KATHERINE
Where do you think he’s gone?

CLAUDE
(lightly)
Who knows? He always starts acting strangely around this time of year. Starts getting more anti-aristocrat than usual. Must be to do with the seasons.

[He looks at KATHERINE with an expression that tells the audience he has at least a rough idea of the day’s significance.]

He’ll be there. He probably just wants to fit in some last minute heroics to upset Dabonville’s speech. Come on.

[KATHERINE smiles at him gratefully and they all begin to leave. FADE OUT.]

SCENE FOUR

INT. The Soivre’s shop. JAMES, KATHERINE and THERESE are sitting around a table, talking a laughing. CLAUDE approaches holding four drinks, precariously balanced, and slams them down on the table. He sits down and the camera zooms in.

THERESE
I wonder where Antoine’s gone. He should be here by now…he’s going to miss the start – oh, look, it’s Jean-Pierre, (turning to KATHERINE) you’ll like him, he’s lovely…very wise. Knows everything.

JAMES
He’s brilliant.

[THERESE waves to JEAN-PIERRE, who waves back and approaches their table.]

JEAN-PIERRE
(beaming)
Ah, bonjour, my young friends. This must be Katherine Taylor…I have heard so much about you my dear; it is a pleasure to finally meet you.

KATHERINE
And you.

JEAN-PIERRE
Where is Antoine?

(more quietly)

Claude, I told you to watch out for him today…

CLAUDE
I know. I have done. He’s fine, he said he’d be here in time for the speech. Said something about a plan -

JEAN-PIERRE
If you’ve let him go off and get into trouble –

CLAUDE
Let him? I could never stop him from doing anything!

JEAN-PIERRE
(considering)
That is a fair and valid point.

(claps, stops looking worried)

I am sure he is perfectly fine, as he always is. Ah, look, the speech is starting. At last! And Antoine’s going to miss it, after waiting all this time.

CLAUDE
He’s probably just waiting to bound in and ruin it all.

JEAN-PIERRE
(smiling)
One can only hope.

[PAUL DABONVILLE is standing at the front of the shop, flanked by PIERRE CHENARD, VINCENT RAFFOUX, CHRISTINE PICARD and LUCILE VANET, who are all looking menacingly at the now silent crowd. DABONVILLE steps forward.]

DABONVILLE
(sickly smile, wheedling tone)
Hello everyone and welcome to our humble gathering.

[He pauses for applause. Silence, until his minions start the clapping. Everyone else follows suit reluctantly.]

I apologise for the lateness of this meeting – all will be explained later. I know that I speak for everyone in thanking the Soivre’s for the use of their delightful shop. I think I see some newcomers in the crowd tonight, always, always welcome, of course. But, some of our regulars are missing…let us hope they are not…caught up in any trouble.

[His eyes linger on CLAUDE, THERESE, JAMES, KATHERINE and JEAN-PIERRE as he says this. They stare back defiantly. He moves on.]

As ever, this meeting is for us all to discuss our thoughts on the glorious revolution, any thoughts for the future, any…complaints…so that your voices can be heard in our people’s republic –



CLAUDE
I wish Antoine would hurry up and ruin this speech.

JEAN-PIERRE
I quite agree.

DABONVILLE
(having paused while CLAUDE and JEAN-PIERRE were talking)
- If everyone has quite finished talking, I would like to continue with what I was saying.

(pauses until absolute silence falls)

As I was saying, your views are incredibly important to us and we welcome any complaints or queries. But now, I shall make my customary speech on the progress of the revolution and explain the lateness of this meeting. And now, without further ado –

[The speech is interrupted as two figures come crashing through the door (ANTOINE and a barely conscious MARIE). The others jump up, visibly relieved, and run over amid shouts from the rest of the crowd. DABONVILLE is outraged and his little army tries to restore order, but to no avail. He sinks into a chair in despair. ANTOINE is breathing heavily but doesn’t pause for breath. KATHERINE and JAMES are looking at MARIE in shock.]

ANTOINE
Can someone – put her – somewhere – they might – come looking – for her – in a minute – don’t want - them – to find her.

[KATHERINE and THERESE come forward and lead MARIE to a chair, whereupon she passes out completely. KATHERINE and JAMES are looking at the newcomer strangely. They look at each other, slightly shocked.]

THERESE
Antoine, what did you do? Are you all right?

ANTOINE
Fine.

(takes a few deep breaths)

Fine…just a bit tired.

(grins)

CLAUDE
Where did you find her?

JEAN-PIERRE
Antoine, you’ve really got to stop this.

ANTOINE
Stop what? She’s one of us, she was trapped in the Bastille –

KATHERINE
You went into the Bastille…and helped her escape…

ANTOINE
(patiently)
Yes.

KATHERINE
But she’s…she’s not one of…she’s…

ANTOINE
Come on Katherine, there’s no need for jealousy. You were much more fun to rescue, I promise.

KATHERINE
(flustered)
Well, thank you, but that’s not what I meant…

(looks at James)

JAMES
She’s our cousin, the one we were supposed to be staying with. So she’s…she’s an…

(looks around fearfully and then whispers to CLAUDE)

CLAUDE
No!

[JAMES nods.]

But if she’s an…why did he…Antoine…great that you helped their cousin escape and everything but…who exactly were you trying to liberate?

ANTOINE
(proudly)
Marie Vedette. Wrongly imprisoned revolutionary. Why?

CLAUDE
Think you might have got the wrong person…I mean…she’s called Marie…but…

THERESE
(looking confused)
It doesn’t matter; let’s just take her home.

[JAMES and THERESE support MARIE out of the shop. Others follow. Outside the shop.]

ANTOINE
Claude, what’s going on?

CLAUDE
(smiles thinly)
You, my friend, have gallantly rescued Marie Clement. Daughter of the Duke of Lourdes and cousin of Katherine and James.

ANTOINE
(faintly)
Oh.

CLAUDE
This mistake’s bad even for you.

ANTOINE
Hey. It wasn’t my fault.

(pauses)

What are we going to do?

CLAUDE
What do you mean? We’ll just have to let her stay with us for a while and then try and –

ANTOINE
No.

CLAUDE
What?

(stares at him)

Let’s talk about this later.

[CLAUDE walks away after the retreating figures of KATHERINE, JAMES, THERESE and MARIE. ANTOINE hangs back outside the Soivre’s shop.]

ANTOINE
I can’t believe she’s related to an aristocrat.

CLAUDE
(not quite hearing but turning around)
What?

ANTOINE
(shaking his head)
Nothing. Nothing.

[FADE to INT. the Soivre’s shop.]

DABONVILLE
That boy! He seems determined to undermine me. Who was that girl he brought in?

[A guard (EVERARD) stumbles in.]

EVERARD
Monsieur Dabonville, sir, a prisoner’s gone missing from the Bastille…an aristocrat, sir.

DABONVILLE
He wouldn’t!

RAFFOUX
This is the perfect excuse! We could get rid of him easily…accuse him of helping aristocrats. He’d be dead within a week.

DABONVILLE
It would never work. He may be an arrogant, infuriating little idiot but he’s always been a revolutionary through and through. No one would believe us, even if it was him. The guillotine is too good for him. I want him to suffer. It wouldn’t be enough to just…get rid of him.

[He sits down, looking angry. VANET steps forward.]

VANET
We could use one of his friends.

DABONVILLE
Go on, Lucile.

VANET
Well…he’s always with those de Vries fools…he treats them like he would his own family. Maybe if we threatened one of them…

DABONVILLE
(grinning maliciously)
An excellent idea. But, again, no one would believe any accusations against them. The de Vries family is well liked.

CHENARD
(slowly)
What about the new pair?

DABONVILLE
What about them?

CHENARD
They’ve been staying with the de Vries for a week now and show no signs of wanting to leave.

PICARD
Pierre’s right…Antoine Bouvet seems to be becoming as close to them as he is to the de Vries. And, since they’ve only been here a week –

CHENARD
And they’re Londoners as well –

PICARD
People would believe accusations made against them. They’re foreign, so people will automatically distrust them…

DABONVILLE
Perfect…perfect! I think we should use the girl…Bouvet’s the sort who goes in for heroics…he won’t be able to bear a lady suffering. Now all we need is an opportunity…we can’t accuse her of breaking the aristocrat out of the Bastille…one girl would never manage that alone. Let us go home and think on it. Perfect!

[FADE OUT to next scene as they all rise to leave.]

SCENE FIVE

INT. Kitchen of the Maison d’Espoir. CLAUDE, ANTOINE, THERESE and JAMES. THERESE and JAMES look worried, ANTOINE angry and CLAUDE completely calm.

ANTOINE
(decisively)
She can’t stay here. She can’t.

JAMES
She’s got nowhere else to go! If she was in the Bastille then her parents, Annette and Louis, are probably in there too. She won’t be able to go home.

ANTOINE
I don’t care. She’s an aristocrat. Blue blooded. An aristocrat.

THERESE
(moving closer to JAMES)
And a person. She can barely even stand; we can’t throw her out on the street, that’s cruel.

[JAMES smiles gratefully.]

ANTOINE
But she’s still an aristocrat. Letting her stay here would be wrong, it would be going against everything we stand for –

CLAUDE
Everything you stand for.

ANTOINE
What?

CLAUDE
(calmly and quietly)
I believe in the revolution, like you. I believe we should have more power, like you. I believe the aristocracy should be dissolved, like you. But, I don’t believe the aristocrats themselves should be killed. They’re still people. Marie hasn’t done anything wrong – she was born into her life, she didn’t choose it. Therese is right. Marie’s staying.

[He moves towards THERESE and JAMES, leaving ANTOINE isolated on the other side of the room.]

ANTOINE
You can’t be serious.

KATHERINE
(opens the door and comes in)
She’s awake…she wants to talk to you all.

[She opens the door fully & comes in, followed by MARIE.]

MARIE
(seeing the expressions on everyone’s faces)
What’s wrong?

ANTOINE
(harshly)
I want you to leave.

THERESE
We want you to stay.

KATHERINE
Antoine, you can’t expect her to just leave.

[She lays a hand on his arm. He jerks away.]

MARIE
I just wanted to thank you for saving me. I don’t want to cause any problems…if you’d just let me stay for a little while…

CLAUDE
You can stay as long as you want.

MARIE
Thank you. I just need to stay until I can free my parents. I will not leave Paris without them.

ANTOINE
But they’re trapped in the Bastille. You’ll never get them out.

MARIE
(coldly)
You got me out. I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to free them myself.

KATHERINE
We’ll help you. Won’t we?

[She looks around at the others expectantly.]

JAMES
Of course we will.

(pause)

THERESE
I’ll help.

ANTOINE
What? Why?

[THERESE takes JAMES’ hand and he smiles at her. They look at the others defiantly. KATHERINE claps, CLAUDE grins.]

KATHERINE
I knew it!

[They all look at CLAUDE, waiting for his decision.]

CLAUDE
I’ll help too.

ANTOINE
(furious)
You can’t. She shouldn’t even be staying here, she’s putting you all in danger.

CLAUDE
(still with his voice level and even)
You’ve never cared about putting us in danger! This isn’t your house and you don’t control any one of us. She’s staying. And we’re helping.

[MARIE smiles gratefully. CLAUDE nods, slightly embarrassed to find everyone staring at him.]

ANTOINE
(pleadingly)
Katherine…you understand why I can’t do this? Don’t you?

KATHERINE
(pauses)
No…no, I don’t. I know how you feel about aristocrats after everything with your parents but…she’s my cousin. My family. She needs our help. We can’t let her parents die! I think you’re being selfish.

ANTOINE
Selfish? After what happened to me, you think this is being selfish? It’s – I can’t believe this – you’re all –

[He shakes his head in disbelief and leaves the room. Sounds of him going upstairs.]

KATHERINE
He’s leaving. Claude, we can’t let him leave.

CLAUDE
He won’t stay now. Just let him go.

KATHERINE
He’s your best friend, you can’t just let him leave –

CLAUDE
I’m not going to force him to stay here if he really wants to leave. If he’s willing to give all of us up because of this…I’m not stopping him.

[KATHERINE looks at the others despairingly and leaves the kitchen as she hears ANTOINE coming down the stairs and runs out into the hallway.]

KATHERINE
You can’t leave.

(grabs his arm)

Please stay.

ANTOINE
(smiles tightly)
But you want me to help Marie. And you want her to stay. And I can’t –

KATHERINE
(pleading)
But we can’t help them without you. We need you. I need you.

ANTOINE
I can’t help her.

KATHERINE
You can! She’s not just any aristocrat, she’s my cousin –

ANTOINE
But still an aristocrat. It’s in her blood. And yours.

(smiles sadly and pulls away from her)

I’m sorry. I’ve got to leave.

[He opens the front door and leaves. KATHERINE slumps down against the wall, shaking slightly. JAMES comes out of the kitchen, closes the door and then sits on the floor beside KATHERINE, hugging her tightly. FADE OUT to:
INT. JEAN-PIERRE’s house. ANTOINE is sitting hunched by the fire, looking awful. JEAN-PIERRE is standing nearby, looking worried.]

JEAN-PIERRE
Are you going to tell me what happened?

ANTOINE
I don’t want to talk about it.

[JEAN-PIERRE nods and sits back, waiting patiently for ANTOINE to speak. Eventually, ANTOINE looks up.]

ANTOINE
I was awful.

JEAN-PIERRE
In what way?

ANTOINE
I said Katherine’s cousin couldn’t stay…the girl I rescued? She’s an aristocrat…and I said she couldn’t stay and I wouldn’t help with her parents and I was awful to all of them…and Katherine…it was awful.

[Puts his head in his hands.]

JEAN-PIERRE
Why didn’t you want her to stay?

ANTOINE
Because she’s an aristocrat.

JEAN-PIERRE
And you think that automatically makes her a bad person?

ANTOINE
Yes. No. I don’t know.

JEAN-PIERRE
She may, in fact, be a truly terrible person, but you did not take the time to find out, Antoine. She was lost and afraid and she needed help. Surely you should have given her a chance, non?

ANTOINE
But she’s an aristocrat.

JEAN-PIERRE
I know an aristocrat killed your parents…and I know how strongly you believe in the revolution…but your parents could just as easily have been killed by a farm hand, or a maid, or the King. It does not matter which class a person is born into. That has little to no effect on their true personalities. Yes, the Duke who killed your parents was an evil man. But had he been born a farmer, it is unlikely he would have been very different.

ANTOINE
I suppose. It’s just…it’s what I’ve always believed.

JEAN-PIERRE
There is no law that says you cannot choose to change your beliefs. I know you have always believed the revolution to be a golden, untouchable thing…like pages of myth, glorious and fantastic…and that may well be true, essentially, but you don’t have to agree with everything the leaders of the revolution preach. You have always been independent and made up your own mind. You have never listened to Dabonville and his cronies; you have, in fact, gone out of your way to irritate them. Antoine, I do not think it’s worth abandoning your friends over this.

ANTOINE
You’re right. I know. You’re right…but I can’t go back now. They hate me. Katherine hates me. I’ve ruined everything.

JEAN-PIERRE
You can, of course, stay here as long as you need to. But…think about going back.

[ANTOINE looks anguished. FADE OUT to next scene.]

SCENE SIX

INT. Kitchen of the Maison d’Espoir. The remaining 5 are sitting around the table, eating and getting ready to leave the house.

CLAUDE
I haven’t seen him at any of the meetings…no one will admit to having seen him at all in the past three days but whether they’re lying or not…

KATHERINE
It doesn’t matter. We can do it without him.

CLAUDE
Katherine, we don’t even have the vaguest idea of a plan. And we need him back for more than that.

KATHERINE
No, we don’t. He doesn’t make us, you know. We don’t need him hanging around harping on about the revolution all the time. We don’t need him at all.

JAMES
Katherine, it’s OK to admit that you –

KATHERINE
That I what? Miss him? But I don’t! He’s been gone for three days and you’re all falling apart!

THERESE
We’ve tried to find a way into the Bastille, you know we have –

KATHERINE
Well then we need to try harder! We can cope without him!

[KATHERINE half-collapses as her voice rises to the point of hysteria. THERESE hugs her, tries to calm her down.]

THERESE
(encouragingly)
Come on. Let’s go and see Jean-Pierre. He’ll be able to help us.

MARIE
Who is Jean-Pierre?

CLAUDE
A friend of ours. He’ll be able to help us.

[They all get up to leave. CLAUDE and MARIE, JAMES and THERESE with KATHERINE trailing. FADE OUT and FADE IN to:

INT. JEAN-PIERRE’s living room. CLAUDE goes in first, followed by JEAN-PIERRE.]

CLAUDE
(quietly)
You haven’t seen Antoine, have you? We’re worried about him.

JEAN-PIERRE
I’m sorry Claude. I wish I could help you.

[The others enter.]

So. I understand you want my help with this beautiful young lady’s parents who are, I am led to believe, currently languishing in the Bastille?

MARIE
Yes. If we could just get in…I know exactly where they are within the prison, I could find them in minutes.

JEAN-PIERRE
And you can remember nothing of how you escaped?

MARIE
Well (glances anxiously at KATHERINE’S impassive face), no. I remember being in my cell and Antoine coming in but…I was barely conscious. I don’t remember anything else until the Soivre’s…

JEAN-PIERRE
My dear, I would love to help you but I am afraid I cannot. The Bastille is impenetrable, with guards everywhere, walls of the thickest stone. I’m afraid the one person who knew of a way in –

[Suddenly, the front door slams and footsteps can be heard. ANTOINE enters the room, and looks shocked to see his friends sitting there. Silence falls as they all stare at him, apart from KATHERINE who stares stonily at the floor.]

JEAN-PIERRE
- Has decided to join us. Antoine! What a surprise! I haven’t seen you in days!

CLAUDE
Drop it, Jean-Pierre. He’s obviously been here the whole time. You could have told me when I asked.

JEAN-PIERRE
He swore me to secrecy. What was I to do?

[Silence falls as CLAUDE and ANTOINE stare at each other, while KATHERINE stares fixedly at the floor.]

ANTOINE
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I was awful…I didn’t mean everything I said…

(pauses, looks distressed)

Jean-Pierre, this is pointless, they don’t care. She won’t even look at me.

JEAN-PIERRE
Antoine, just talk to them.

ANTOINE
Fine. Fine. I’m sorry for what I said. I was wrong about letting Marie stay and helping her parents. I’ve always just expected you to agree with me and that was wrong too. I don’t know what else to say…I’m sorry. I was wrong. I’m an idiot. I want to come back.

CLAUDE
Good enough for me.

(goes forward and hugs him)

I’m sorry too.

THERESE
We all are.

JAMES
It’ll be good to have you back.

[Silence again as ANTOINE looks at KATHERINE, who is still staring at the flooring, ignoring ANTOINE defiantly. The others look at her.]

JEAN-PIERRE
(brightly)
Have I shown you all my new set of saucepans? Therese, you’ll like them, you’re a wonderful chef, as I recall. Why don’t we all go and look at them? Antoine’s already seen them of course…and Katherine is not, from what I have heard, the best chef in the world…so, why don’t they stay here while the rest of us go to the kitchen.

THERESE
Good idea.

MARIE
Saucepans? How interesting!

[All file out, leaving KATHERINE and ANTOINE alone.]

ANTOINE
Would it help if I said sorry again?

KATHERINE
A little.

ANTOINE
I’m sorry.

(moves towards her, takes her hand)

I really am. I know I was wrong. I’m a horrible person.

KATHERINE
Mmm. That’s true.

ANTOINE
Please would you just forgive me?

KATHERINE
(pauses)
Are you going to help us?

ANTOINE
Yes.

KATHERINE
And you don’t hate me for being related to aristocrats?

ANTOINE
No, you fool. I love you.

KATHERINE
(looks at him for the first time, seriously)
Good. I love you too.

[They kiss. JEAN-PIERRE pokes his head around the door.]

JEAN-PIERRE
(beams)
Oh, wonderful. Your friends are waiting for you.

[KATHERINE and ANTOINE don’t look embarrassed, they just stand there, grinning and holding hands as JEAN-PIERRE grins at them. They move towards the door to leave.]

ANTOINE
Thanks for letting me stay here, Jean-Pierre.

JEAN-PIERRE
You are always welcome, my boy. Now, off you go. You’ve got two lives to save.

[KATHERINE and ANTOINE go out into the hallway and they all leave. FADE into the kitchen of the Maison d’Espoir. All sitting around the table.]

JAMES
Come on then. What’s the plan? How did you get Marie out of the Bastille?

ANTOINE
Well, that was really easy actually. Deceptively simple. But, you see, there’s a bit of a problem…the thing is…Marie’s parents’ executions are scheduled for tomorrow. So they’re under higher security that normal prisoners and the security will be even tighter after Marie escaped…they’ll think someone’s trying to target the family, and people are always trying to set the aristocrats free…they know to expect it. So we need a different plan.

CLAUDE
How do you know about their execution?

ANTOINE
Well, after my first night at Jean-Pierre’s I decided I wanted to come back…but I didn’t think you’d want me around so after a couple of days of hiding at Jean-Pierre’s feeling sorry for myself I thought I’d see what I could find out about them. Just in case.

CLAUDE
(quietly)
Idiot.

ANTOINE
Excuse me?

KATHERINE
We would have had you back in a second if you had just come back.

ANTOINE
(embarrassed)
Well…thanks, but that doesn’t matter anymore, does it? Now we just need to focus on the matter in hand. We need a plan. I only managed to find out about their execution today, I was just going to tell Jean-Pierre when you were all there. I haven’t had time to think of a plan yet.

CLAUDE
Well then, get thinking. We don’t have much time if they’re going to be guillotined tomorrow.

[Silence falls in the kitchen as ANTOINE thinks. Pause about twenty seconds.]

CLAUDE
I don’t want to rush you or anything but –

[Silenced by a glare from ANTOINE.]

ANTOINE
Got it!
CLAUDE
At last. By your standards, that was slow.

ANTOINE
Well, if you’re going to criticise, then maybe you don’t want to hear the plan at all.

CLAUDE
Fine, you just sit there looking all superior while we –

JAMES
Just tell us what it is…

ANTOINE
Right…it starts like this…

[ZOOM OUT and FADE OUT as ANTOINE shares his plan with the others.]
SCENE SEVEN

[EXT. PLACE DE LA REVOLUTION, very long shot. Zooms down and into the crowd to focus on JAMES and CLAUDE, who are walking purposefully through the crowd dressed as guards. The crowd parts respectfully as they pass by and eventually they reach the edge of the square and a rough wooden door, with two guards (DEVILLE).]

CLAUDE
We’re here to check on the Clements.

DEVILLE
No one goes through this door.

JAMES
But we’ve got permission. Look.

[He takes a pass from his jacket and shows it to the guard.]

DEVILLE
I had strict orders to let no one through. They’re high risk prisoners.

CLAUDE
(patiently)
We know.

JAMES
That’s why we’ve been sent to check on them.

DEVILLE
But I had orders –

JAMES
Look, we’ve had orders, we’ve got passes, and they’ve got Dabonville’s official seal on them and everything. You’ve got to let us through.

DEVILLE
(worriedly)
I’m not sure about this…I had strict orders –

CLAUDE
Ours were stricter. Now could we get through please?

[Reluctantly the guard steps aside and opens the door. Grinning, JAMES and CLAUDE go through and down a flight of stone steps. They reach a stone corridor, poorly lit by candles. They walk along quickly and purposefully until they reach another door, where they are stopped by the two guards (AMES and BADEAU) on the door.]

JAMES
(cheerfully, waving his pass)
Hello! We’ve been sent to check on the prisoners. Make sure they’re still here and everything.

AMES
‘Course they’re still here. We put them in the cell and we’ve been out here ever since. They couldn’t have escaped, there’s no other way out.

CLAUDE
But you could be aristocrats in disguise, helping them escape.

BADEAU
(shocked)
How dare you! We’re loyal revolutionaries, we are, we’d never do anything to help an aristocrat!

CLAUDE
(evenly)
No one is above suspicion my friend. If you could just let us in. (moves forward. GUARD A sticks out an arm and stops him.)

AMES
I can’t let you in there. Monsieur Dabonville specifically told us no one was allowed in unless he was with them himself. And he’s not with you. So I can’t let you in.

JAMES
He was busy. We’ve got his seal.

BADEAU
No one is above Dabonville’s orders.

CLAUDE
Fine. Fine. (reaching into his jacket and drawing out a small bag) You asked for it.

[CLAUDE whips out his arm, releasing the contents into the eyes of the guards, who begin shouting and screaming, clutching at their eyes. JAMES and CLAUDE hit them both, hard, on the top of their heads. The guards drop to the floor, unconscious.]

CLAUDE
Marvellous.

JAMES
(bending down and starts looking for the keys to the cell)
That was just spices?

CLAUDE
(bending down to search the other guard)
Just spices.

JAMES
Amazing.

CLAUDE
You’re going to marry my sister, aren’t you?

JAMES
(looks up and stares at him)
Well…I was hoping to.

CLAUDE
(grins)
Good. I’m glad. Just…look after her, won’t you? God, I can’t believe I just said that.

JAMES
(smiles)
‘Course I will. And you’re going to marry an aristocrat. Who’d have thought it.

CLAUDE
She’ll never marry me.

JAMES
Why wouldn’t she?

CLAUDE
(shrugs)
I just don’t think she will.

JAMES
(decisively)
Well, I think you’re wrong. Funny how it all worked out, isn’t it? Antoine and Katherine, Therese and I, you and Marie…

CLAUDE
You can’t make this stuff up. Got the keys!

[He holds them up triumphantly and goes to the door. He quickly finds the right key and the door to the cell swings open.]

JAMES
Excellent, we’re in. Come on.

[They walk into the cell. Two figures are huddled in the corner (LOUIS and ANNETTE CLEMENT) but they stand up when JAMES and CLAUDE come in.]

LOUIS
(with dignity)
Is it time?

ANNETTE
We’re ready.

CLAUDE
(grinning)
Oh, the guillotining. No, we’ve sort of cancelled that. Thought it was a bad idea.

JAMES
You’re coming with us instead. Much better.

LOUIS
What are you talking about?

JAMES
One of our friends rescued your daughter, Marie? We’re helping her help you escape. So, come on.

LOUIS
Well…yes, of course –

ANNETTE
Is Marie safe?

CLAUDE
Perfectly. Now, come on, we’ve got to get you two out of here. James, how far is it?

JAMES
Not too far…(eyes the Clements critically)they should make it.

LOUIS
(anxiously)
Where are we going?

JAMES
We’re hiding you for a little while. I’m going to stay with you and Claude’s going to go outside to tell Dabonville the prisoners have gone missing.

CLAUDE
Then the others are going to cause a distraction, Marie and Therese are going to come in to help me with you two and we’re going to take you out of here and back to stay with us for a while.

LOUIS
Thank you.

CLAUDE
You’re welcome.

JAMES
Now, come on, we’ve got to hide you.

[They leave the cell, turn left and walk down the corridor, counting out 30 paces. Then CLAUDE, having looked at the wall and found a certain spot, hits the wall in that place and the door to a secret room opens. They usher the Clements through the opening.]

JAMES
Unbelievable. How did Antoine know about this?

CLAUDE
He just said he’s been down here before…who knows what he was doing. Probably something illegal and highly dangerous.

JAMES
But what if Dabonville knows about it?

CLAUDE
Antoine is sure that he doesn’t. I had better go.

[Leaves, closing the door behind him. Camera follows him out, along the corridor and up the stairs. The guard at the door looks at him suspiciously.]

GUARD
Where’s your friend?

[CLAUDE ignores him and brushes past. He makes straight for the guillotine, walks up to a guard (DANVERS) standing near the platform and whispers to him, telling him what has happened. The guard walks over to DABONVILLE and relays this information. DABONVILLE goes completely white and is clearly furious. He looks around for CLAUDE, the supposed guard who discovered them missing but he has melted away into the crowd. He walks up and stands next to the guillotine.]

DABONVILLE
Bonjour, and welcome to la Place de la Revolution. I am very sorry to say that there has been a slight…mishap –

[Camera zooms backwards through the crowd until the shot of ANTOINE’S back from the first scene is reached. Camera swivels, he grins. Now DABONVILLE’S words can be heard.]

- It would appear that our prisoners have…escaped somehow.

[Shouts of unhappiness from the watching crowd, while ANTOINE grins.]

ANTOINE
That’s our cue.

[Camera reveals KATHERINE standing next to him.]

KATHERINE
Well then. Let’s cause havoc.

ANTOINE
(with a mock bow)
After you.

[KATHERINE grins and they back away from the guillotine.]

KATHERINE
On the count of three.

ANTOINE
1…

KATHERINE
2…

ANTOINE
3.

[KATHERINE screams, loudly, as ANTOINE begins to run as fast as he can through the crowd towards the side roads. Various members of the crowd try and stop him.]

KATHERINE
He threatened me, he threatened me with a knife. He’s stolen all my food, all my food for the week. (screaming) Somebody catch him!

[Everyone has turned to stare at KATHERINE. Several members of the crowd try to catch ANTOINE as he runs past but he slips out of reach. In the background, the man guarding the door to the underground cells (DANVILLE) leaves his post and two other guards (EVERARD and DANVERS) to run towards ANTOINE. The audience can see THERESE and MARIE emerge from a side road and slip through the door.]

KATHERINE
Oh, please, somebody catch him!

[ANTOINE has, meanwhile, fought his way to the edge of the crowd but, at this point, the guards catch up with him. He is surrounded, his back against the wall. The audience can see JAMES, THERESE, MARIE, LOUIS and ANNETTE appear and then disappear into a side road.]

DENVILLE
Just hand over the girl’s food and we’ll let you go.

ANTOINE
(folds his arms and leans back against the wall)
I’d really like to, honestly I would, but, the thing is, I didn’t actually take anything.

DANVERS
(confused)
Yes, you did, she said –

ANTOINE
(grinning)
She was lying.

EVERARD
We all heard her scream –

KATHERINE
(appearing from the crowd and standing beside ANTOINE)
I could scream again, if you’d like. I’m getting awfully good at it.

[DABONVILLE has made his way over from the guillotine and is now standing with his guards, looking at ANTOINE with sheer hatred.]

DABONVILLE
(with spite)
You.

ANTOINE
(his smile widens)
Me.

DABONVILLE
Here you are, yet again, causing trouble.

ANTOINE
I’m like a bad penny.

DABONVILLE
What?

ANTOINE
Never mind.

DABONVILLE
Did you steal anything from this girl?

ANTOINE
No, not a thing.

KATHERINE
It’s true.

DABONVILLE
(through gritted teeth)
Then why did you scream?

KATHERINE
Oh, that. That was a distraction.

DABONVILLE
A distraction? A distraction from what –


No. You wouldn’t.

ANTOINE
(innocently)
There’s no knowing what I would and wouldn’t do.

DABONVILLE
Why would you help aristocrats escape?

ANTOINE
Never said I did. But, if I had done, I would say that I helped them because they’re still people. They deserve a chance to live.

KATHERINE
They’re my family.

ANTOINE
(quietly)
I know we like aristocrats, but you might not want to advertise that, Katherine.

KATHERINE
Right, sorry.

DABONVILLE
But…you hate aristocrats. For all your…many…failings, that has always been your one positive attribute…

ANTOINE
Times change.

KATHERINE
People change.

[ANTOINE smiles down at KATHERINE. They hold hands and look back at DABONVILLE boldly.]

DABONVILLE
Ah, how sweet. This just makes things so, so much better.

ANTOINE
(frowning)
What do you mean?

DABONVILLE
You’re in love with the girl! This is perfect!

ANTOINE
(uneasily)
What do you mean?

DABONVILLE
Merely that the best way of hurting you is by hurting your friends.

ANTOINE
(turns white and moves in front of KATHERINE)
If you even touch her –

DABONVILLE
Guards. I want them detained, not killed. They will suffer before they are allowed the pleasure of death.

[DABONVILLE walks away. The guards advance on KATHERINE and ANTOINE, who back into the wall.]

ANTOINE
I may have not quite thought this plan through.

KATHERINE
Oh, really, do you think so? I was under the impression this was what this plan was all about.

ANTOINE
I’m sorry. God, what are we going to do? This is all my fault. They’re going to…I’m not letting them anywhere near you.

KATHERINE
Antoine, we’re already outnumbered, I haven’t got a weapon and you’ve only got that little knife!

ANTOINE
(drawing a small dagger)
Just…try and stay behind me.

[Suddenly, a sheathed sword flies through the air and lands at ANTOINE’s feet. Everyone freezes and stares at the sword.]

ANTOINE
(bending down to pick it up)
Now that I was not expecting.

[Another sword falls from the sky. KATHERINE picks it up.]

KATHERINE
I can’t say I was expecting it either, but I can’t say I’m unhappy about it.

[Abruptly, CLAUDE drops from the sky and lands next to ANTOINE. Everyone stares at him in astonishment.]

CLAUDE
(shrugging)
You looked like you needed help.

ANTOINE
(impressed)
Nicely done.

KATHERINE
Where did you come from?

CLAUDE
Window up there. I’ll tell you all about it later. Why aren’t the guards attacking us?

ANTOINE
I think everyone got a bit sidetracked by all the flying weaponry.

[The guards, who have been watching in fascination, seem to recover themselves and a battle begins. ANTOINE, CLAUDE and KATHERINE manage to force the guards back and sprint off into a side road. The guards follow and the fight continues.]

CLAUDE
I’ve seen Marie and the others. They made it back, they’re all fine.

ANTOINE
Excellent. So, even if we die, at least we won’t have died in vain.

KATHERINE
We’re not going to die.

ANTOINE
No, I know that. These guards are pathetic.

[He hits the guard he’s fighting (EVERARD) in the stomach and then on the head with the butt of his sword. The guard falls to the floor.]

ANTOINE
One down…

KATHERINE
…still two to go. I could do with some help here, if you’re not too busy or anything.

ANTOINE
Right, sorry.

[He runs over and begins to fight KATHERINE’s opponent (DANVERS) with her. They dispatch him in seconds. After that, the third guard (DENVILLE) is quickly knocked out by CLAUDE.]

KATHERINE
(breathing heavily)
Thank god that’s over.

DABONVILLE
(from behind them. They all spin round to face him)
Not quite yet, my dear.

ANTOINE
Oh, god.

CLAUDE
Run?

ANTOINE
I think so.

[KATHERINE, ANTOINE and CLAUDE turn and run away from DABONVILLE but stop when two guards (AMES and BADEAU) appear at the other end of the street.]

ANTOINE
Oh, this is not going well.

KATHERINE
What are we going to do?

ANTOINE
Well, we’re going to have to fight.

CLAUDE
Who wants Dabonville?

ANTOINE
I’ll take him.

CLAUDE
If you’re sure. Let’s just get this over with, shall we?

[ANTOINE turns to face DABONVILLE while KATHERINE and CLAUDE face the guards, all with swords drawn, advancing on each other. The battle begins anew.
KATHERINE and CLAUDE quickly knock out AMES and BADEAU seems to be weakening. DABONVILLE and ANTOINE, on the other hand, seem to be fairly evenly matched. However, ANTOINE manages to overpower DABONVILLE with a final, desperate burst of energy, stabbing him through the stomach, forcing him to the ground and knocking the sword from his hand as KATHERINE and CLAUDE dispatch BADEAU.]

DABONVILLE
(looking down at his wound in disbelief)
I’m going to die.

ANTOINE
I’m sorry. I never wanted to kill you.

DABONVILLE
But you won’t be sorry that I’m gone.

ANTOINE
Well…not exactly, no. But I didn’t want to kill you. I was just trying to defend myself.

[KATHERINE and CLAUDE come up behind him and lead him away. They are walking away up the road when, suddenly, ANTOINE hears a noise and stiffens, turning slightly. He sees DABONVILLE holding a rifle.]

DABONVILLE
If I’m dying, then I’m taking you with me.

[He takes aim, very badly, and fires. Time slows down. The sound causes KATHERINE and CLAUDE to turn around. But ANTOINE is already throwing himself into the bullet’s path, launching himself in front of CLAUDE. He is shot and crumples to the ground. A final, fleeting look of triumph passes across DABONVILLE’s face and he falls back to the ground, dead. KATHERINE and CLAUDE do not see this; they are kneeling on the ground, supporting ANTOINE, talking to him. Time returns to normal.]

CLAUDE
Why did you do that?

ANTOINE
Couldn’t let you die, could I?

CLAUDE
Yes, you could.

ANTOINE
You’ve always saved me. I couldn’t let you die.

CLAUDE
I wouldn’t have died. You just gave Dabonville what he wanted.

ANTOINE
Doesn’t matter. You two are both safe. So it doesn’t matter. If anything my death’s long overdue…I should’ve been killed hundreds of times before…it was only a matter of time before it –

[He coughs, spitting blood.]

KATHERINE
You’re not going to die.

CLAUDE
No. You’re not. Come on. We’ve got to get you to –

ANTOINE
I think bullet wounds are generally fatal.

KATHERINE
Generally isn’t always.

[CLAUDE and KATHERINE struggle to lift ANTOINE to his feet but they manage it eventually.]

ANTOINE
Katherine. I love you, you know that, don’t you?

KATHERINE
Of course. I love you too.

ANTOINE
Best thing that ever happened to me, you are. And Claude, you’re –

CLAUDE
There’s no need for emotional speeches, you’re going to be fine.

ANTOINE
But, just in case –

CLAUDE
Stop it! You’re going to be fine.

ANTOINE
I just wanted to say —

[He passes out. KATHERINE has tears streaming down her face. CLAUDE’s face is ashen. FADE OUT as they endeavour to drag ANTOINE away down the street.]




Comments

The following comments are for "Gold As Myth"
by MaddyStottor91

Please!
You don't have to read all of it (I know it's very long), but please could you read some, just the first scene and let me know what you think? I'd be so, so grateful!

( Posted by: MaddyStottor91 [Member] On: January 2, 2008 )

format
1. LOSE THE POETRY 2. I WOULD HAVE ENJOYED A SPEC SCRIPT MORE, BUT I ASSUME YOU NEEDED A SHOOTING SCRIPT FOR YOUR PROJECT. 3. YOU'RE RIGHT, THE FORMAT DOES NOT WORK. 4. AND MOST IMPORTANT, THE STORY IS QUITE GOOD! EASY TO FOLLOW AND YOUR CHARACTERS TALKED TO ME.

( Posted by: tamaulipas19602 [Member] On: February 14, 2008 )





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