A Shot Heard Round Briarwood
Fade In: Interior. Jim Andrews’s living room. He is dressed in his silk pajamas with a silk bathrobe. He is drinking a vodka tonic. He checks his watch. He is anxious. We hear a car pull up and he relaxes. We see the headlights turn off but the car doesn’t get turned off. His doorbell rings. He opens his front door.
Jim: Well it’s about–what do you want? (He sees the gun pointed at him and it fires. He falls dead to the floor.)
(As we go to an overview so we see Jim laying on the floor his eyes wide open blood pouring from his chest the glass on the floor with the vodka spilling out we hear the Announcer’s voice.)
Announcer: Poor Jim Andrews should never have opened his door that night because this is one murder that will reverberate throughout a town called Briarwood.
Fade In: We see the words ONE YEAR EARLIER in capital white letters as we are seeing the exterior of a night sky in Paris showing the Eiffel Tower in the distant background. We slowly dissolve into the bedroom of Roxann DuPres. She is asleep with a mask over her eyes as her phone buzzes. She awakens, takes off the mask, feels for the phone and sees who it is.
Roxann: (Answering the phone): Is he dead? No? All right, all right, Patsy, calm down. Yes we’ll be there by morning. No I can’t make it any faster. I don’t fly the damn thing from Paris, Patsy, I sit in First Class and expect Pilot do his job. Goodbye.
CUT-TO: Interior. Paris DuPres bedroom. She is having an orgasm of epic proportions as Roxann throws the door open, goes over to Paris, and slaps her hard across the face.
Roxann: You slut!
(Paris falls off the man she was “riding” and he scampers as fast as he can out of the room while pulling on his clothes.)
Roxann: (To the escaping man): You’d better run! Who was he?
Paris: If you must know he was my Uber driver. (Roxann looks aghast.) Well it isn’t as if I could fuck the Chauffeur since you fired him last month! What do you want anyway?
Roxann: Pack your things. We’re going home.
Paris: We are home, Mother.
Roxann: No. We’re going to my home.
Paris: You mean Briarpatch?
Roxann: It’s Briarwood.
Paris: Briarpatch. Briarwood. What difference does it make and why are we going there?
Roxann: I know you’re not very bright, Paris, darling, but while you were busy fucking everyone in sight we went broke. I sold off the last of Julian’s business today.
Paris: I don’t understand. I mean you’re a fashion designer. Why don’t you just design something and sell it and we’ll be rich again.
Roxann: It’s not that easy. Everyone is designing clothes and selling them on their websites and Julian fucked over everyone he was in business with and they all have long memories. They’ve been waiting for his fall and are only to happy to see it happen.
Paris: Isn’t it enough that he killed himself by o’ding on coke?
Roxann: Apparently not. Look we can’t waste any more time. Start packing so we can get the red-eye back to Briarwood. Oh and this money problem we have, let’s keep it to ourselves for the time being, understand?
Paris: But won’t everyone find out about it?
Roxann: Not if everything works out the way I want and remember, Paris, I always get what I want.
CUT-TO: Close up of male black cat hissing. Pull back and we see Roxann’s back dressed in an expensive coat facing her Aunt Amy who is seated in a high back chair in the Brewster living room.
Roxann: Hello to you, too, Aunt Amy.
Amy: (Seated in her chair petting the cat): This is Simon. He hates intruders.
Roxann: And I hate witches but I see you’re still here which surprises me. I would’ve thought you’d be right at the Judge’s bed side holding his hand as he takes his last gasp.
Amy: Patsy was in a hurry to be there for her Father and I told her to go ahead and when you came I would ride in with you.
Roxann: What’s the matter? Is your broomstick in the shop for repairs?
Amy: What are you doing here, Roxann?
Roxann: I’ve been meaning to ask you that question for years.
Paris: Hey I’m tired and hungry. Is there a place I can get something to eat and some sleep?
Roxann: In a while. (Throwing her car keys) Take the rental and drive your Aunt to the hospital.
Amy: Aren’t you coming with us? He’ll want to see you.
Roxann: Why? He never did before. You and Patsy will be right at his bed side. That’s all he really wants anyway. Oh, wait, he has that nurse too, doesn’t he? Brenda–
Amy: Barbara Lane?
Roxann: Yes. She’s his private nurse, isn’t she? It must bother you that Barbara, is it, now takes care of all his needs like you used to when Mom was alive and even after she wasn’t.
Amy: Did you know that Peter will be at your Father’s bed side as well?
Roxann: Peter Andrews?
Amy: Yes. Your old flame. Patsy’s his secretary.
Paris: They aren’t called secretaries anymore. They are Executive Assistants. (They look at her.) Google it.
Amy: Well all I know is Patsy and Peter work very closely together at your Father’s firm. Night and day. Day and night.
Roxann: Did she tell you that or were you thinking it while you stirred your witches brew in your cauldron?
Amy: In all the years you’ve been away I’m sad to see that nothing about you has changed.
Roxann: Have you ever really been sad? I thought all your emotions busy being cruel.
Amy: (Exiting): I’ll get my things and then we can go to the hospital.
Paris: Yippee! I can hardly wait. (Amy exits.) What are we doing here? This house gives me the creeps. (She bumps into a stuffed bird.) Oh! Can’t we just go home?
Amy: (Off): Come along, Paris. Your Grandfather is waiting for us.
(Roxann glares at Paris and waves goodbye. Paris and Aunt Amy exit.)
(Simon the cat bares his fangs and Roxann bares her right back at him and he runs.)
CUT-TO: Interior. The foyer as we see Simon run off and Roxann follows.
Roxann: Keep running, Simon, or I’ll take you up to the cliff, throw you off, and see if you can swim. (She looks suddenly lovingly up the stairs. Quietly.) I wonder?
CUT-TO: Interior. An upstairs bedroom door with small stairs leading to it. We see the back of Roxann climbing those stairs, she hesitates at the door, and then gently knocks. She tries the doorknob and slowly opens it. Sitting by the window is an old man with a sweater, older clothes, glasses, gray hair and he turns when he sees her at first he is confused but then his smile beams.
Roxann: Hello Uncle.
Raymond: (Beaming): Roxann, you’ve come home.
(Roxann smiles for the first time with tears in her eyes as Raymond reaches out for her. She closes the door.)
CUT-TO: Interior. The hospital corridor outside Will’s room. Patsy and Peter are in the hallway.
Patsy: Oh, Petey, I don’t know what I’m going to do. If anything should ever happen to Daddy–
Peter: Patsy, honey, don’t think that way. He made it through last night and I’m sure he’ll be strong enough to be with us for years to come.
Patsy: Oh, Petey, I hope you’re right. I don’t know how I’d live without Daddy or you.
Peter: You don’t have to worry your pretty little head about either because I’m not going anywhere and neither is your Father.
Amy: (Entering down the hall): Where is he?
Patsy: He’s in his room, Aunt Amy.
Peter: No Barbara’s in there with him.
Amy: (To Patsy): Have you completely lost your senses?
CUT-TO: Interior. Will’s hospital room. Barbara Lane is standing over Will, who is laying in a coma in the bed.
Barbara: (Quietly): Don’t you die, you bastard. Not until you make me your blushing bride.
(The door bursts open as Barbara is holding Will’s wrist.)
Amy: What are you doing?
Barbara: I’m checking his pulse. He’s still alive.
Amy: You must be disappointed. Get away from him.
Barbara: I shouldn’t have to remind you, Amy, that I am his nurse and have been for over a year now.
Amy: Yes and in that time he’s suffered a heart attack and has gotten progressively worse so last night he suffered a stroke and is now in a coma. Tell me again from what third world country did you get your nursing degree? Get out-of-the-way. (She goes to his bed side and takes his hand. To Barbara) You may leave now.
Barbara: Wouldn’t you love that but I’ll tell you once again I’m sticking around.
Amy: Not if I have anything to say about it.
Barbara: It’s obvious that you don’t. What are you looking at me like that for? If you had any power over Will–
Amy: It’s Judge Brewster to you.
Barbara: No, actually, it’s Will to me and I think you know that.
Amy: It’s obvious to me why he hired you to be his nurse. He enjoyed looking at you.
Barbara: He did much more than look.
Amy: Maybe that’s what brought on his stroke. To take advantage of a poor sick man that way.
Barbara: I took advantage of him? He took advantage of me!
Amy: Oh you poor sweet virginal flower–
Barbara: I’m not a virgin or a flower but what eats at you is he wanted me in a way he has never wanted you, isn’t that right, Puss? Ohhhh, I’d tell you to stop making that ugly face but then you’d have no face at all.
Amy: Get out!
Barbara: (Sing-song): Okay, I’m going but I’ll be back.
CUT-TO: Interior. Uncle Raymond’s room. Roxann is breaking from their embrace and looking at a painting.
Roxann: Did you paint this, Uncle?
Raymond: Yes. I’ve painted a lot since you’ve been gone.
Roxann: (Gazing around the room): Yes, I can see that. You are a brilliant artist. (Raymond blushes) It’s true. If they hung these pictures in Louvre you’d been selling them for a billion dollars.
Raymond: I don’t think they are that good. I just like to paint. It helps me pass the time.
Roxann: Have you been in this room all these years?
Raymond: Ever since your Mother’s accident. You know that.
Roxann: I knew that Aunt Amy put you in this room but she didn’t force you to remain in it all the time until I left. Why didn’t Patsy tell me about this?
Raymond: Don’t blame Patsy. Your sister isn’t strong like you. She’s afraid of Amy and so am I. The only who isn’t is you and the nurse that takes care of your Father.
Roxann: Barbara Lane?
Raymond: Yes. Amy and that nurse argue all the time.
Roxann: You can hear them arguing all the way up here? (He nods his head.) Are they that loud? (He nods and then sheepishly shows her an air vent on his wall.) Oh, so that’s how you hear it? (He puts his finger across his lips.) It’s our secret.
Raymond: You can’t tell her you were up here. She’ll be angry with me.
Roxann: I won’t tell her. Don’t worry but I’m not going to let her make you stay in this room all by yourself either.
Raymond: But after you leave–
Roxann: Uncle, I’ve come back to Briarwood to see my Father and be here when he dies but after that I am leaving but I’m not without you.
Raymond: What do you mean?
Roxann: What I mean is, Uncle, you are the only person I have ever completely and totally loved and I’m not going allow anything else bad to happen to you again and once this is over with my Father we will escape from Briarwood forever.
(Raymond smiles with tears in his eyes as does Roxann).
CUT-TO: Interior. Hospital cafeteria. Paris is seated at a table eating a salad as Jeff Norris, 20s and gorgeous, enters, sees her and goes over to her table.
Jeff: Can I sit with you?
Paris: (Smiling): Yes.
Jeff: I’ll be right back. I have to get a coffee. You want some?
Paris: Yes. (He crosses to get the coffee and she gets out her mirror and checks herself out fixing her hair and checking her lips as he comes back with the coffee after having seen what she has done.)
Jeff: (Handing her a cup of coffee): I’m Jeff Norris. Who are you?
Paris: Paris DuPres. My father was Julian DuPres.
Paris: The fashion designer?
Jeff: All right.
Paris: (Miffed): Everyone knows Julian DuPres.
Jeff: Sure. I know who he was. (She smiles triumphantly.) He was a fashion designer oh and ah your Father. Did I pass the test, teach?
(Enter Robin Lane, 18, a beautiful, thin girl.)
Robin: Jeff, what the–? I’ve been waiting for you in the car.
Jeff: Come here, Robie.
Jeff: Meet ah–(looking at Paris) what is your name again?
Paris: Paris DuPres.
Robin: DuPres? Your not Julian DuPres’s daughter, are you?
Jeff: (O.L.): The one and only.
Paris: (O.L.): Yes I am and you are?
Robin: I’m a nobody. I’m ah–
Jeff: Robin Lane.
Robin: That’s it. Robin Lane. It’s such an honor to meet you and to you know kiss the hand of royalty.
Paris: Well I’m not royalty and technically you haven’t kissed my hand–
Robin: Should I?
Paris: No that won’t be necessary well I guess I should get back to my Mother–
Robin: Oh, your Mother, right. Your mother is Roxann DuPres.
Paris: Yes. It’s Mother whose really the fashion designer and Father who was the businessman but people constantly get their occupations confused.
Jeff: Even you.
Paris: Well it was nice meeting–
Robin: No, don’t go so fast. My Mom is your Grandfather’s nurse. I’m sorry to hear about your Grandfather.
Paris: (Shrugs): It doesn’t make any difference to me what happens to him.
Jeff: Wow. That’s brutal.
Paris: I never met him and apparently I might never meet him. That’s why we are here in Briarwood. Mother wanted to see Grandfather before he you know died.
Paris: You want to talk cold you should meet Aunt Amy. Now there’s a cold bitch.
Robin: My mother and her hate each other.
Paris: That’s funny. My mother hates her too. Aunt Amy I mean. Well I should be getting back–
Robin: Jeff and I were just going to drive around Briarwood for a while. Why don’t you come with us? We can show you the town what there is of it?
Jeff: Hey, Robin, I had other plans for us.
Paris: (Seeing the expression on Jeff’s face): Thanks, Robin, I can’t think of anything else I’d like to do more.
Close up of Paris
CUT-TO: Interior. Will’s hospital room. Ted Norris is checking on his patient as Barbara sits and Amy paces.
Amy: Well it’s about time you came to check on him.
Ted: (Sighs): I am running a hospital, Miss Carstairs.
Amy: A hospital you wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the kindness of Judge Brewster. He’s poured millions into this hospital and don’t ever forget it.
Barbara: How can we when you won’t let us?
Ted: (Warning): Barbara, go out and get Patsy. (Quietly to Amy) Yes, Miss Carstairs, I won’t forget it.
Barbara: Yes, Doctor Norris. (As she exits Roxann and Patsy enter so Barbara remains.)
Amy: Is something wrong?
Roxann: Is he still alive?
Ted: Roxann! No one told me you were in Briarwood.
Roxann: (To Ted and then Amy): Why doesn’t that surprise me? Hello Ted. It’s been a long time. Is he still alive?
Amy: If that’s the way you’re going to behave–
Patsy: Roxy, don’t say that about Daddy. We love you, Daddy. We all love you, don’t we, Roxy?
Amy: Is he all right?
Ted: Yes. As a matter of fact his breathing is better and his heart beat is stronger. He might outlive us all.
Amy: Well now that you know your Father is going to be making a complete recovery there’s no need for you to remain any longer in Briarwood, Roxann, so you can return to Paris or wherever you came from.
Roxann: I know that Ted is a wonderful doctor but Father has been ill for a long time and I doubt very strongly that he will be outliving any of us. So while I wait I am more than content to do my waiting right here in Briarwood.
Close up of Aunt Amy
Close up of Roxann
Fade to Black
End of Episode 1