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Huda Orfali

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Heart of Ghost
By Huda Orfali
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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Story by Huda Orfali
Script by Teo Graca

Heart of Ghost


Actors: Narrator, Marc’s Mom and Dad, The Ghost of Majed, Chris, David,Teacher, Newscaster, Doctor, Marc.


Scene 1 – Visuals: Est. 2 Minutes

Surgery; heart transplant; medical school; parental worry; death; sunset;

Finally, view Marc in his parent’s home packing…

Opening Credits over scenes 1-4

Narrator: After a long period of recuperating from his major heart surgery, Marc Parish decided to return to medical school. He felt he had lost valuable time and it was time for him to go back to school. His family has been so overprotective that he felt himself a prisoner. Those feelings weighed heavily on his mind and finally he decided to leave home and go back to college without telling them.

Mom: yelling from downstairs: “Dinner’s ready!”

Narrator: It did not matter to him whether he lived or died. For him, the life he had been leading was a slow kind of death.

Dad: In the background: “What’s he doing up there? He knows I’m playing poker with Congressman Johns after dinner.”

Narrator: After that horrible ordeal of a mitral valve replacement and a painful recuperation, he thought he hated doctors and hospitals. But he was hearing voices, whispers inside his head:

The Ghost (in a foreign accent): "Go back to medical school. Go back, Marc."


Scene 2 – Visuals: Est. 1 Minute

Mark is driving to school with the window open and the wind in his hair…

Narrator: It was less than a one-hour drive to Pasadena. It was a cool and nice evening.

The Ghost: "Go back to medical school. Go back, Marc." In the background as Marc is driving his car.


Scene 3 – Visuals: Est. 30 Seconds

Marc is exhausted and can hardly budge his heavy suitcase, so he leaves it in the car.


Scene 4 – Visuals: Est. 30 Seconds

The student's warden shows him to his room and gives him the keys.


Scene 5 – Visuals: Est. 2 Minutes

Room number 153 cross-fades into 135 as Marc focuses on the doorknob… Somehow he mishears the number and tries to open the door of room 135. A large young man opens the door angrily.

Chris: "What are you doing, sir?"

Marc: "I'm really sorry. I thought this was my room… I've just arrived."

Chris: "Let me see," he grabbed the keys from Marc's hand. "You're in room 153. This is 135. Your room is that one," he said pointing at a room at the other side of the hallway.

Marc: "I'm really sorry. I must have gotten confused. I apologize again."

Chris: "No problem."

Marc: "My name is Marc Parish."

Chris: "I'm Chris Lawrence."

Marc: "Nice to meet you, sir, Goodnight."

Scene 6 – Visuals:

Marc goes to his room slightly puzzled.

Marc (to himself): "I'm sure he said 135."


Scene 7 – Visuals: Est. 1 Minute

He opens his door hesitatingly. The room is dark and filled with smoke. As he tries to turn on the light, someone jumps from the bed naked. There is a young man and a young woman who covers herself with the sheets. A flush of embarrassment colors his pale cheeks as he mumbles.

Marc: "I'm sorry. I didn't know… Please, forgive me."

David: "Who are you?" asked the young man angrily.

Marc: "Marc Parish, your new roommate. I'm sorry; I'll leave you both to your business".


Scene 8 – Visuals: Est. 1 Minute

Marc is very embarrassed by this incident and goes to the restroom at the end of the hall to freshen up.


Scene 9 – Visuals: Est. 30 Seconds

When Marc looks at the mirror, he is startled by a faint spot of blood over his heart. He immediately unbuttons his shirt; there is no blood or injury. Suddenly, he feels a little tap on his shoulder. Marc turns around…


Scene 10 – Visuals: Est. 2.5 Minutes

A rather small young man, brown, sable hair and black eyes, is standing behind him but somehow Marc does not see any reflection in the mirror.

Majed; "Are you all right, sir?" asked the young man with a strange foreign accent; "Are you all right?" he asked again.

Marc: "Yes, I'm fine."

Majed: "I'm Majed. I live in room 135."

Marc: "I thought that's Chris Lawrence’s room."

Majed: "We're roommates."

Marc: "Of course,… I'm Marc Parish."

Majed: "Oh, there is blood on your shirt. Are you hurt?"

Marc: "No, I have no idea how it got there.”

Majed: "Let me wash it off for you."

Marc: "No need. Thanks… Actually all my clothes are in the car. I have nothing else to change into."

Majed: "That's all right; I'll lend you a shirt of mine."

Marc (smiling): “Do you think it will fit?"

Majed: "It’s quite large. It was a present to a dear friend but I've never gotten the chance to give it to him. I think it will fit you perfectly. Come on."

Marc: "I don't want to bother Chris. I've bothered him once already."

Majed: "Don't worry, he's probably sound asleep."


Scene 11 – Visuals: Est. 2 Minutes

Marc goes with Majed to room 135. Majed opens the door quietly and they go in on tiptoe. Chris is sleeping soundly. Majed opens the closet, gets out a nicely colored shirt and gives it to Marc. Marc tries it on; it fits perfectly. Marc puts his shirt on a chair beside him.

Majed: "Can I interest you in a cup of chamomile-tea?"

Marc: "Chamomile-tea!"

Majed: "Yes, you look worn out. I think it will make you feel better."

Marc: "OK"

Majed serves him tea and some Girl Scout cookies.

Marc: "Thank you. That hit the spot."

Marc: "You're welcome."

They don't say much so as not to wake up Chris. After almost an hour, Marc says goodnight and goes to his room.


Scene 12 – Visuals: Est. 5 Minutes

Marc spends a troubled night in his new bed. In the morning, feeling tired, he has a dull pain in his heart that troubles him. He takes a shower and then goes to see Majed to return the shirt. He knocks twice; Chris opens the door.

Marc: "Good morning, Mr. Lawrence. I'm here to see Majed."

Chris: "Majed!" Chris was stunned.

Marc: "I came to return his shirt and pick up mine."

Chris: "Did you say Majed?"

Marc: "Yes. What's the matter?"

Chris: "Come inside please."

Marc enters the room. He notices things have slightly changed since last night.

Chris: "You're Marc, right?"

Marc: "Yes,"

Chris: "I'm Chris. So tell me, Marc, did you know Majed?"

Marc: "I've only met him last night. He invited me to a cup of chamomile-tea."

Chris: "You were in here last night?"

Marc: "You were asleep. We didn't want to disturb you."

Chris: "Marc, Majed is dead. In fact, he died a year ago."

Marc is stunned.

Chris: "Tell me exactly what happened."

Marc: "He talked to me. He gave me his shirt, look."

Chris: "Marc, this shirt belonged to Majed. But I haven't seen it in his closet since he died."

Marc: "I'm not making this up, Chris. I've given him my shirt. I left it here on this chair."

Chris: "What does your shirt look like?"

Marc: "It's white, with red stripes on the sleeves."

Chris: "Marc, that's the shirt he was wearing the night he died."

Marc: "That's impossible! It only happened yesterday. I'm sure. He talked to me; served tea and cookies; he even offered to wash the shirt for me."

Chris: "To wash it, why?"

Marc: "There was a spot of blood on the shirt."

Chris: "On the chest!"

Marc: "Yes, how did you know?"

Chris: "Marc, Majed did not die of natural causes; he was murdered."

Marc's face turns as white as death.

Chris: "Are you all right?"

Marc: "Did you say murdered?"

Chris: "Yes… look, Marc, this was Majed's room. Chamomile was his favorite drink, but Majed is dead. Did you know him before?"

Marc: "Are you talking ghosts here? Have I seen a ghost? No, it was real. I talked to him just like I'm talking to you now."

Marc clutches his chest.

Chris: "Are you all right, Marc? Is something wrong with your heart?"

Marc: "I had an operation a year ago, but now I'm fine."

Chris: "A heart-transplant?"

Marc: "No, mitral valve replacement."

Chris: "Well, Marc, it seems that someone has played a sick joke on you."

Marc: "I don't think it was a joke, Chris. I don't think it was a joke."


Scene 13 – Visuals: Est. 2 Minutes

Two days later, Marc is attending a lecture. He fixes his gaze on an empty desk throughout the lecture. He is very pale and distracted; the pain in his heart is getting more intense. Suddenly, the lecturer approaches him and puts his hand on Marc's shoulder. Marc shudders.

Teacher: "Is there something that interests you in that empty desk more than my lecture?"

Marc is startled; however, this sarcastic remark brings him back to his senses and Majed disappears.

Marc: "No, sir, I'm sorry."

When the lecture was over, Marc asks the teacher about the desk and is told that Majed used to sit there and they leave it empty out of respect for the dead student.

Marc and Chris are in Cafeteria eating lunch.

Chris: "Have you seen him again, Marc?" asked Chris.

Marc: "Yes, he was attending a lecture. He was sitting in his desk taking notes. He didn't even look at me."

Chris: "Do you think that anybody else saw him?"

Marc: "I don't think so. I was the only one staring at an empty desk."


Scene 14 – Visuals: Est. 30 Seconds

Marc grows weary over the next few days. He is startled by nightmares and feels crushing pain in his chest. He becomes restless and has difficulty breathing. He sees Majed many times but doesn’t speak to him. He quits talking about it, even with Chris who is worried about him.


Scene 15 – Visuals: Est. 3 Minutes

Marc's roommate is having one of his drinking sprees and Marc doesn’t return to his room. He walks in the Campus Park when he sees Majed sitting on a bench. Majed is wearing the self-same shirt Marc had given him a few nights ago, but this time the spot of blood is darker.

Majed: "Hello, Marc. It's nice to see you again," said the ghost in his friendly foreign accent. Marc stood before him.

Marc: "What do you want from me?"

Majed: "I want us to be friends again, like the first time we met."

Marc: "I don't believe in ghosts."

Majed: "So that's why you've been avoiding me; you think I'm a ghost."

Marc: "Majed, you're dead. Nothing you do will bring you back to life!"

Majed: "I'm dead; you're alive!" said the ghost angrily, his smile turning into a scowl. "No, Marc, I live as long as you live… I live in your heart."

Marc: "Poor ghost to have chosen such a sick place!"

The ghost stands up, approaches Marc raising his hands toward him. Marc is petrified. The ghost places his cold hand on Marc's chest, right over his heart. Marc feels a chill run through his body. Majed presses harder; Marc feels an excruciating pain as if his heart is being ripped from his chest.


Scene 16 – Visuals: Est. 2 Minutes

Marc: "Majed, you're hurting me, Stop, please.”

Majed: "You're hurting! How do you think I feel, Marc? How do you think I feel?" said Majed angrily as he pulled his hand.

Marc falls to his knees and grabs hard at his chest.

Chris is looking down from his bedroom window; he is startled when he sees Marc collapse. He runs down to him.

Chris: "My God, Marc. What did he do to you?"

Marc: "I'm all right, Chris. I'm all right."

Chris: "Leave him alone, you foreign bastard, do you hear me? Find yourself someone else to haunt. He has nothing to do with your murder. He wasn't even here."

Majed is still standing over them.

Chris: "Are you sure you're OK?"

Marc: "Yes, Chris, thank you."

Chris helps him up and they go to Chris's room.


Scene 17 – Visuals: Est. 3 Minutes

Chris and Marc enter Chris’s room and Chris grabs a bottle of water from the fridge.

Chris: "Here drink this. It will make you feel better."

Marc: "Chris, you haven't told me the whole story. Today when I looked closely at him, there was a big gash in his chest. I swear I saw that he had no heart!"

Chris: "That's right, Marc. I really didn't want to scare you."

Marc: "I couldn't be more scared than tonight, Chris. Please, tell me the truth."

Chris: "When I found the body, his chest was ripped open. Whoever killed Majed had cut out his heart."

Marc is stunned. He covers his face with his hands and says franticly,

Marc: "My God, who on earth would do such a horrible thing!"

Chris: "There was a note left with the knife. 'That is what we will do to foreigners'."

Marc is overcome with horror. He tries to get up; his legs fail him.

Chris: "Marc. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to frighten you."

Marc: "He said he lives in my heart. What does he mean by that, Chris?"

Marc grabs harder at his chest.

Marc: "I can't breathe, Chris. I can't breathe."


Scene 18 – Visuals: Est. 3 Minutes

Marc is admitted to the hospital. After having an ECG made, and to his surprise, there is nothing wrong with his heart.

Doctor: “I'm surprised that you are showing rejection symptoms a year after the heart transplant."

Marc: "Transplant! What are you talking about, doctor?"

Doctor: "You had a heart-transplant, Mr. Parish. Surely you know about that!"

Marc is stunned. He does not say a word.

Doctor: "I'll leave you to rest now, Mr. Parish."

The doctor leaves and Marc is alone in the hospital bed. He is startled when he sees Majed sitting at his bedside. The gash was very clear now; Majed has no heart.

Marc: "It's your heart, Majed. It's your heart."

Majed nods

Marc: "You don't live in my heart, Majed. I live with your heart. You're dead; I'm alive. I'm alive because you're dead. Or is it you're dead because I'm alive? Who killed you, Majed? Was it my parents? They killed you so I could live. Is that what happened? Answer me,"

Majed remains silent.

Marc: "God, here is your heart, Majed. Take it back."

Marc takes out a pocketknife and starts cutting through the flesh over his heart. Blood is gushing profusely as he cuts deeper. Majed holds Marc's hand tightly and takes the knife away.

Majed: "Don't do it, Marc. Don't do it. Not by your own hands!"

Marc suddenly comes back to his senses and presses the button beside his bed to call for help.
As the ghost of Majed disappears smiling in the background, the TV in Marc’s room is suddenly turned on. Marc hears the newscaster:

Newscaster: “A doctor was arrested this morning in Pasadena on organ theft and murder charges. The doctor accused a Politician of being his accessory in the murder of a foreign student last year…”



End Credits
Script by Teo Graca – licensed by ShagTone Films, Inc. © 2006 Teo Graca
Story by Huda Orfali – licensed for film by Billion Dollar Films, Inc. © 1995 Huda Orfali,

Estimated Length of this Production: 32-34 Minutes with credits

Length Analysis: Can be lengthened with additional dialog or shortened if necessary.

Target length: none currently


Estimated budget needed for production of this script: $150,000

 


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