To be or not to be (in love)

FADE IN

EXT. APPLEWOOD FARM – EVENING (MIDNIGHT) – ESTABLISHING

Basking in the light of the harvest moon, on the outskirts of WEAVER apple orchard, an old barn stands. The paint is faded and the wood is worn and molded, smelling of sewage. Darkness falls over it suddenly, as a faint weeping can be heard from inside.

CUT TO

INT. MR. WEAVER’S BARN

JACK sits up on the barn loft, weeping faintly into the chest of a weezing man. The boy is no older than 7 and has chubby hands and a round face. He and his father are homeless and have been stealing food from MR. WEAVER for several months. JACK’s father, however, has fallen gravely ill. JACK wipes his nose on his tattered sleeve.

JACK
(whispering)
Please father…don’t die…I won’t make it without you.

His father’s eyes start to close. He stares at his son and smiles faintly, gripping JACK’s hand one more time. He dies. JACK lays his head on his father’s chest and closes his eyes.

CU of a shadowy man standing behind JACK. MR. WEAVER lays a hand on JACK’s shoulder. JACK turns around in surprise.

MR. WEAVER
So it’s you that’s been eating all my food. Well, you’ll have to work for me to pay that off. Considering you’ve already made this your home, you may stay here. Your first task is to dispose of the body. We can’t have any rumors being spread.

JACK stares as MR.WEAVER climbs down the ladder to the ground. JACK crawls over to the edge of the loft and sees another boy below him, about his age. In the moonlight, JACK notices the boy’s legs. Both are wooden.

MR. WEAVER
Let’s go Charlie.
(CONTINUED)

CHARLIE tries to limp away, but doesn’t go fast enough for his father’s liking. POV of JACK watching MR. WEAVER shove CHARLIE forward. CHARLIE looks back at JACK as he waddles away behind MR. WEAVER. JACK is left alone with his father’s corpse.

CUT TO BLACK
EXT. APPLEWOOD ORCHARD – MORNING (11 YEARS LATER) – ESTABLISHING

JACK picks apples for MR. WEAVER. He stands under a tree with a basket picking red apples, sweat dripping down his face from the beating sun. He wears a tight white tank top and long cargo pants. Once each basket is filled, he carries it over to MR. WEAVER’s red pick up truck, so MR.WEAVER can sell them in town.

From the second floor of the old brown farmhouse, CHARLIE stares out his window. POV of Charlie watching JACK work. CHARLIE sighs.

CHARLIE walks away from window and sits on the bed. He rubs at his thighs and rolls up his pant legs. He stares at his fake calves. Tears start to form in CHARLIE’s eyes, but he blinks to stop from crying. CHARLIE looks back towards the window and forces himself to smile.

POV of JACK hearing footsteps and looks back. JACK smiles as he sees CHARLIE, now with a glass of lemonade, limping towards him.

JACK
Oh gosh Charlie, you didn’t have to do that.

CHARLIE
You say that everyday and everyday I come back to see my favourite farm hand.

CHARLIE winks at JACK and then blows him a kiss. JACK pulls at the bottom of his white shirt, stares at the ground and rubs the back of his neck. If the sunlight hadn’t been shining in his face, CHARLIE might have noticed JACK blushing.

JACK
I’m your only farm hand. Which reminds me, I need to finish
picking these. Thanks for the drink.

(CONTINUED)
CHARLIE
(pouting)
Is that your way of saying “Go home Charlie”? You always do that. I bring you drinks and food and blankets and you always try to drive me away. What are you hiding behind those big blue eyes of yours? A secret perhaps?

CHARLIE limps closer to JACK. JACK backs up until his back is against the tree behind him. CHARLIE stops and stared at JACK intently. JACK continues to pulls at his shirt and look at the ground, never meeting CHARLIE’s gaze.

JACK
Oh gosh no mister Charlie sir, I just mean that…well, your father…

MR. WEAVER
Charlie!

MR. WEAVER stood on the porch of the farmhouse, looking red in the face from drinking. MR. WEAVER stares at his son in anger. CHARLIE stares back. MR. WEAVER didn’t want it going around that he had a handicapped son, so CHARLIE wasn’t allowed in sight of the neighbours.

CHARLIE
(whispered)
Dammit. Meet me down by the creek again tonight?
JACK takes a big breath in and looks at CHARLIE calmly, with heartfilled eyes.

JACK
(mouthing)
Of course.

CHARLIE nods and walks back to his father.

CUT TO BLACK
INT. MR. WEAVER’S BARN – MORNING (4:00 AM)

JACK sits on the loft of the old barn, looking out the small window. POV JACK watches as MR. WEAVER climbs into his red pick up truck and drives down the street towards town. JACK looks back at the farmhouse and sees CHARLIE leaving the house.
(CONTINUED)
JACK smiles and follows after him.

CUT TO
EXT. SMALL CREEK BEHIND FARMHOUSE

JACK pushes past the big willow tree’s branches and sees CHARLIE standing in the opening staring down at his reflection in the creek. CHARLIE is attempting to fix his hair.

JACK
(smiling)
You don’t have to do that.

CHARLIE
You say that every night and every night I do it.

CHARLIE looks up at JACK and extends his arms outward for a hug. JACK walks into his embrace and holds him close. Once they both release, JACK realizes that CHARLIE’s eye is being covered by his hair. JACK pushes it away to reveal a swollen black eye.

JACK
Charlie….what the hell happened?

CHARLIE pulls the hair back in front of his eye and lightly pushes JACK away.

CHARLIE
(laughing slightly)
Don’t worry! I ran into a door a couple hours ago.

JACK
It looks bad Charlie. We should put some ice on it.

CHARLIE
No, I’m fine, really! Now, I don’t want to talk about it again, okay? Ow!

CHARLIE falls to his knees, grabbing onto his thighs, just above his prosthetic calves. JACK crouches down beside him, placing a hand on his back.

CHARLIE
My legs…oh, ow…
(CONTINUED)
JACK
Shhh Charlie. Just relax, I’m here. I won’t let anything happen to you.

CHARLIE
(sniffling)
This always happens. We come here to escape and my stupid legs just won’t give up! Sometimes I just wish I was dead!

JACK
(angrily)
Don’t you dare say that again! You are the sweetest person on this earth, if it weren’t for you, I would probably be dead Charlie! I would have killed myself long ago! I would rather be alive with you here on this wretched farm then dead anywhere else!

CHARLIE stared at JACK with tears in his eyes and his mouth gaped open. CHARLIE reaches out and hugs JACK again. EWS of the two boys sitting in each others embrace as the sun comes up over the orchard.

CUT TO BLACK

INT. MR. WEAVER’S BARN – MORNING (11:00 AM)

JACK climbs back up to the loft with a smile on his face. He looks out the small window to see CHARLIE limping back into the farmhouse. JACK lays down on his bed, closing his eyes to sleep.

CA of MR. WEAVER’s red pick-up truck going at 100 kilometres an hour, up the dirt road to APPLEWOOD FARM. JACK sits up from his bed and looks back out the window to see MR. WEAVER climb out of his truck and storm into the farmhouse.

MCU of JACK looking panicked, then turning away from the window to climb down from the loft. JACK runs out of the barn and through a small section of the orchard towards the farmhouse. He can hear CHARLIE screaming and MR. WEAVER yelling.

MR. WEAVER
(enraged)
You worthless piece of trash! I should’ve had the farm hand burn you with the body of his father!

CHARLIE
Father no!!

(CONTINUED)

JACK runs around to the back door. He enters slowly into the kitchen. Around the corner, the living room can be seen. MS of MR. WEAVER whipping his belt against CHARLIE’s back. CHARLIE’s screams become louder with each whip.

JACK starts to cry, placing a hand over to his mouth to silence himself. MR. WEAVER stops, steps over the battered body of his son and heads back for the front door. JACK could smell the alcohol on MR. WEAVER from the kitchen.

MR.WEAVER
(slurring)
My apple baskets were stolen after I reached town! If I’d had a real son to take with me, that wouldn’t ever have happened. Never!

MR. WEAVER walked out of the farmhouse. JACK tiptoed into the living room to find CHARLIE, now on his knees. His back was covered in scars and dripping with blood.

JACK
(whimpering)
Charlie…oh my god, Charlie…when did your father start…

CHARLIE
When I was born, Jack. When my mother died giving birth to me. When I lost both my legs to a disease the doctor’s couldn’t even name. When my father took you in. When he realized that I might just be falling in love you…I’m leaving. Tonight. And there is nothing anyone can say that will stop me.

CHARLIE gets up and walks towards staircase that leads to his bedroom.

JACK
Charlie! Oh god, Charlie. Please I am begging you, don’t go. I can’t stand the thought of being without you.I want you to stay with me!

CHARLIE
(sighing)
There is nothing more that I want then to stay with you Jack. But you can’t expect me to stay here?

JACK
No! God no! I mean, come with me to the barn. I can hide you! I will do whatever it takes so that Mr. Weaver never hurts you again! Please Charlie…
(CONTINUED)

CHARLIE put his head down, shook it slightly and then limped his way up the stairs to his room, shutting the door behind him. JACK stood still, watching his happiness fade away.

CUT TO BLACK

EXT. APPLEWOOD FARMHOUSE – EVENING (12:00 AM)

CHARLIE stands before the farmhouse, a backpack slung over his right shoulder with clothes and food. MR. WEAVER passed out hours ago on the couch, drunk. CHARLIE couldn’t wait to leave, but the thought made him feel more lonely than excited. What would he do without JACK?

OSS of JACK standing still behind CHARLIE, with a small pack of his own. CHARLIE turns around and smiles. CHARLIE drops all his things and hobbles over to JACK, cupping JACK’s face in his hands and kissing JACK on the lips. Once CHARLIE let’s go, he steps back a little embarrassed.

CHARLIE
(giggling)
Oh, um, maybe that was a bit fast.

JACK smiles, grabs both of their packs and throws them in the back of MR. WEAVER’s red pick-up truck. JACK then produces a pair of shiny car keys from his pocket, which he’d stolen from the kitchen earlier.

JACK
(smiling proudly)
Not fast enough.

EWS of the red pickup truck flying down the dirt road, as the moonlight shines over APPLEWOOD FARM.

THE END

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