A Shot Heard Around 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 time–(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 through a town called Briarwood.
Fade In: We see the words ONE YEAR EARLIER in 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 don’t know if you caught on to this or not, 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 know 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 standing in front of 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 doesn’t like intruders.
Roxann: And I don’t like old witches but I see you’re still here which surprises me. I would’ve thought you’d be right at the Judge’s bedside 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? Don’t you still have your broomstick?
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 bedside. 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 bug 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 bedside as well?
Roxann: Peter Andrews?
Amy: Yes. Your old flame. Patsy his secretary.
Paris: They aren’t called secretaries anymore. They are Executive Assistants. (They look at her.) I read it somewhere.
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 seeing it in those tea leaves you stir 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 were taken up 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.)
Fade to Black