Keta's Storybook!

CANYON, the screenplay

. . . CONTINUED FROM

INT. CAVE - NIGHT

Teone’s people erupt into CELEBRATION when she produces the bones and pelts. A good meal for three days running! She decides this is a good time to reveal her discovery of people in another dwelling.

TEONE
(blurts)

I found something today that is going to change all of our lives forever. Her people fall into a wary silence.

TEONE

There is another community that dwells a ways down the canyon in this direction. They are just like us except we do not know them.

A GASP runs through the CROWD.

TEONE
(louder)

They do not live with the danger of the surface beasts as we do, and they have devised a system to be able to predict when the acid water will flow next.

CROWD
(murmers)

Demons! Villans!

A GROUP ELDER steps forward.

ELDER
(comanding)

Silence! This is importance news. We will go to committee and discuss this immediately. Teone, you come with us. The rest of you go about your usual routine.

At the word ‘committee’ Teone rounds her shoulders but follows The Elder to their place by the fire in the back of the cave regardless. After their meeting she is sent away to have dinner as they deliberate. Much sooner than she expects another ELDER approaches her.

ELDER

Teone we have decided to send a delegation in the morning, and are now selecting the five that will accompany you.

TEONE
(stammering in surprise)

Oh! Good. Yes! Ok, I will be ready to lead them in the morning!

FADE OUT

FADE IN: INT. CAVE - MORNING

Teone awakens earlier than usual, is surprised to find other already preparing to depart. The leader, JOSHUA, is a medium-aged, reasonable man. SALLY is younger, agile and strong. GEORGE is weak in body but quick of mind. SIDNEY and PATRICIA, twins, are good climbers, with sharp eyes and excellent aim when pitching rocks.

ELDER

Be on your way then. Joshua and George have been told what to say to the other delegation. And take care!

Those of the rest of the community that aren’t completely adle-minded give well-wishes and good-byes.

EXT. STALAGMITE WALL - MORNING

The delegation helps George climb down the crystal face. When they reach the bottom Teone begins marching to the meeting-place but is stopped by Joshua.

JOSHUA
(quietly)

I want to take a minute to regroup and make sure we all know exactly what we are doing. Don’t roll your eyes, Teone; always impatient. It is very important our approach to the other delegation. We have to make sure we come across as capable and in our strength, so that when it comes time to make decisions we have equal voice to them. Teone feels sheepish in realizing this is a good point.

JOSHUA
(continuing)

They might think themselves somehow ahead of us or superior since they have lived with one less danger than we. But we hold the key to the information they want, and they will not be able to take on the challenge of the beasts down here without us. Joshua looks sternly at each delegate in turn.

JOSHUA
(continuing)

When we come within sight of their group, I want you to all walk straight and tall and bear yourselves with dignity and honour. Let me speak and do not interrupt. However when it comes time to introduce yourself speak in a loud and clear voice. Be brief and to the point. We will have to discuss and I want to get back here well before nightfall.

Joshua looks about nervously; George goes quite pale.

EXT. CANYON BOTTOM - DAY

The group sets out, with Teone in front, Joshua and George clustered in the middle, Sidney and Patricia flanking them, and Sally bringing up the rear. They walk steadily and quickly, soon arriving at the designated meeting-place (about half-way between the two dwellings). They are surprised to find no one there.

TEONE

Perhaps we are early.

The twins eyes’ carefully scour the canyon, looking for signs of movement or a possible ambush.

TEONE

I’ll go off ahead to check things out.

She is stopped short by Joshua’s voice.

JOSHUA

NO! We stay here as a group. They will come shortly and we will meet them with dignity. Almost immediately they hear

VOICES (O.S.) approaching and station themselves according to the pre-decided arrangement: Joshua in front slightly, George behind and to his right, the rest in a solid line at back. A MURMER runs through them at what they see next.

EXT. CANYON BOTTOM - DAY

The six members of the other delegation - lead by Jared - are dressed, not in rags and pelts, but in robes of finery and colours the others have never seen before. Worn and ripped in places, and faded, the garments are a clear indication of some former glory. With them they carry a banner bearing some unfamiliar symbols. Immediately Jared and Joshua step forward, speaking quietly for quite some time. Teone strains forward to hear better; Sally’s arm on her sleeve holds her back. George steps up, producing some mysterious objects from his pouch that Teone can not see clearly. One of them glints and glitters in the dim daylight, as if to shine with a light of it’s own. Finally they are given a chance to introduce themselves, then briefly to intermingle and speak some polite words to each other. The groups part, starting back to their respective dwellings, after setting a time and place for the next meeting.

FADE OUT

FADE IN: INT. CAVE - NIGHT

By the time Teone is ready for bed, Joshua and George are still in deep discussion with The Elders. She falls asleep, grumpy that her discovery has been taken over.

FADE OUT

FADE IN: INT. CAVE - MORNING

Teone awakens first, looks around herself, seeing the cave differently than she ever had before. She gets up, noticing that Sally seems to have bonded with the twins, while Joshua and George have also moved their sleeping arrangement, to be closer to The Elders.

TEONE
(mumbling)

Hmph! Everyone’s got a sense of belonging except me.

She chews on some leftover stew from the day before, planning to spend another day on the canyon floor, when suddenly George is beside her.

GEORGE

Come Teone, The Elders want to speak to you. She’s so annoyed she briefly considers refusing, but her curiosity gets the better of her.

INT. DEEP INSIDE CAVE - DAY GRAND ELDER

Teone, you have a special role to play in our new existence. Not only because the other community was your discovery, but because you possess a special combination of wits and physical prowess. Teone blushes at the unexpected praise.

GRAND ELDER
(continuing)

We have much work to do, and we have not yet decided precisely how to proceed. But we want to start getting you ready for the trials ahead right away. We are in agreement with the other community that we must make an effort to move to the ground surface if our race is to have any chance of survival. The weakest and youngest of us are going to move in with them immediately, out of the constant danger of the hulking beasts. That way they can at least get some fresh air and movement when the acid waters are not running.

Teone agrees with this reasonable idea.

GRAND ELDER
(continuing)

As well, our two camps are going to start preparing a unit to explore the ground surface and find a safe place for us all to live. Would you like to be involved in that effort? Teone nods vigourously.

GRAND ELDER

Good, I thought you would. But you must be prepared, and learn from Joshua and George the secrets and old ways of our people.

TEONE
(blurts)

What was that shining object George and Joshua showed the other delegation yesterday?

GRAND ELDER

All in time, Teone. All in time.

He turns her attention to Joshua and George, who are waiting to begin her instruction. They retire to a quiet corner of the cave with their own little fire, away from the bustle of those who are getting ready to move out and the rest who are helping them.

CONTINUED . . .