Back to list

Download

PDF

Added
16/11/2016

Born at Sea

Jonathan Cross

Draft Three – 28/08/2016

***

Rural England, present day. Newly released from prison, a cocaine dealer – AIDEN (28) – finds that his crew, now run by his brother BEN (32), have forged a strong allegiance to a wealthy family who have taken interest in their product.

Somewhat alienated by this group, Aiden is nevertheless drawn to the prospect of a generous financial payoff and his own romantic interest in the family’s daughter, NATALIE (19).

One night whilst entertaining guests, the head of the family, LYDIA (50), invites them over to deal her a huge quantity of cocaine. As the deal seemingly takes place without a hitch, Ben and Aiden’s father, HARRY (60), is attacked when he notices a worker of theirs attempting to steal the drugs.

The worker, ETHAN (32), flees the scene. With Harry in critical condition in hospital, Ben and Aiden seek Ethan out by whatever means possible, before losing Lydia as a client and the small fortune she has promised them.

***

1 PRISON – MORNING

Sunny countryside surrounds vast prison fencing.

The breeze can be heard. A car pulls up into the foreground.

Out of the entrance, a small figure emerges – he dawdles at the entrance, then heads towards the car.

BEN (32) steps out the car. He has a tattoo sleeve. The figure of AIDEN (28) grows…

AIDEN avoids eye contact until he’s close. They embrace.

 

2 BEN’S CAR – CONTINUOUS

They are driving, silently, through the countryside.

AIDEN sees farms, crop, livestock for the first time in a while.

He rests his head on the window. BEN keeps looking ahead.

They’re leaving the rural now, small houses start to emerge… They drive through a village.

BEN

You hungry?

AIDEN

[Beat] Sure.

They pull into a roadside fast food place.

 

3 FAST FOOD JOINT – CONTINUOUS

BEN’s order is called, he steps forward.

CUT TO: BEN and AIDEN eating at a table, surrounded by colours and noises of children.

BEN

Dad said you never tried to call.

AIDEN continues eating.

BEN

You guys have a falling out?

AIDEN shakes his head.

AIDEN

Just never got round to it. What’s new with you?

BEN belches loudly.

BEN

Y’know, same shit, different day… But, we are, how do I put this… We’ve made some friends, you might say, who are going to help us out.

BEN looks at Aiden suspiciously.

BEN

They didn’t wire you or anything, right?

AIDEN

Please… I’m out for good behaviour, that’s all.

BEN slurps his milkshake.

 

4 HARRY’S BAR – CONTINUOUS

BEN and AIDEN step inside an old-fashioned, modestly filled pub.

An old man, HARRY (60) hobbles around the side of the bar and grips AIDEN’s hand.

HARRY

My boy, my beautiful boy… [Sarcastic] I thought I’d lost you.

AIDEN

You spend all year thinking of that one?

BEN

Please, more chance of us winning than the Championship than his jokes getting better.

A group of six or so men of varying ages walk around to see AIDEN – shaking his hand and embracing him.

One of them hands him a pint, the others are already drinking. BEN reaches behind the bar and pours himself a neat whiskey.

HARRY

Careful you, don’t want you drinking and driving again. [to Aiden] Three times this shit has driven home completely drunk and still hasn’t been caught.

BEN

I can handle one drink.

BEN downs his drink already. One of the group – PETE (38) – protests.

PETE

It’s called a toast, Ben, you’re supposed to drink after.

BEN pours himself another and raises his glass.

BEN

To Aiden – the something, something, of something.

They chortle, BEN downs his drink. AIDEN takes a small sip of his own, then places it on the side.

AIDEN

If you all don’t mind, I’m pretty tired, might need to head home.

Two others – CHARLIE (42) and ALF (33) – speak up.

CHARLIE

You don’t want to finish your pint at least?

AIDEN

It’s all yours.

CHARLIE looks a little offended.

ALF

Let the poor boy leave, he’s spent a year in prison for Christ sake.

AIDEN nods appreciatively. BEN clasps him on the back.

BEN

Come on, let me show you to the apartment.

AIDEN

I’ll just take the key if that’s okay? Could do with the fresh air.

BEN’s a little taken aback, but hands it to him.

BEN

Don’t fuck off for too long sweetheart.

AIDEN smiles and leaves, there’s a feeling of awkwardness.

 

5 HARRY’S BAR – CONTINUOUS

AIDEN steps outside and looks around, still feeling like he’s in a prison.

CUT TO: AIDEN taking the bus, he’s staring out of the window, he buzzes for his stop.

 

6 PARK – CONTINUOUS

AIDEN walks to a shaded bench. It’s a sunny idyllic day, dog walkers, families, etc.

He sits down and looks to the ground – slowly slipping off his shoes and letting his feet feel the cold earth.

He looks like he could burst into tears, and looks around to make sure he’s unseen.

 

7 AIDEN’S APARTMENT – EVENING

AIDEN steps inside a dingy apartment, he plants his small bag of belongings to one side.

CUT TO: AIDEN fixing a small, old TV trying to get it to play – he rests it on a pile of old phone catalogues.

Meanwhile…

 

8 HARRY’S BAR – EVENING

BEN – seated with JAMES (22) AND JIMMY (23) – is patted on the shoulder by one of them when someone walks into the bar.

A broad, well-dressed DEALER (30) walks into the bar looking around. BEN approaches him and shakes his hand seriously.

HARRY is serving behind the bar.

BEN leads the DEALER to the back of the bar into an OFFICE. BEN locks the door next to them.

The DEALER pulls out a bag of cocaine about the size of a bag of sugar. BEN holds it up and looks at it.

He puts it on a small set of scales and checks the weight – 22 grams.

BEN walks around to the back of a desk, he opens a safe and counts out £1000.

He hands it to the DEALER who counts it for himself.

BEN

You just saw me-

The DEALER looks at him intensely.

BEN

Never mind…

DEALER finishes counting and begins to walk away.

BEN

That’s the last one we’ll need for a while. Don’t bring any more unless I say.

DEALER nods and leaves. BEN mutters to himself.

BEN

Fuckin’ weird one…

9 APARTMENT – EVENING

AIDEN is channel hopping – he’s looking alienated. Commercials, shallow gossiping news reports, etc.

CUT TO: He’s rolling around in bed, not sleeping.

 

10 HARRY’S OFFICE – EVENING

BEN opens the safe under his desk again – there are bags of coke – he takes each out and counts. 12 bags.

He sees the door is locked and tries a little bit from one of the bags, snorting it off his key.

We see the effect it has on his face – he tidies up the bag and cleans his key.

 

11 HARRY’S BAR – MORNING

The bar is mostly dead – AIDEN is drinking a pint of water, HARRY is standing behind the bar. They are mid-conversation.

HARRY

…still, rather have Ben and his boys here, even dealing here, I can at least keep an eye on them that way, make sure they’re not being double-crossed or something when their back is turned. Dunno Aiden, it’s all a risky game, can’t say I’m sad to leave it behind. Too much greed, always too much greed.

HARRY stares nowhere in particular.

AIDEN

When did Ben take over?

HARRY

Huh?

AIDEN

Ben, since when did he start running things?

HARRY thinks hard.

HARRY

Y’know, I’d probably say not long after they put you inside, September maybe? Somewhere around there, said I wanted to quit, one of my boys was going to jail – ‘Fuck it’ I said, if he wants to take over, so be it. So he did.

AIDEN

Hmm.

AIDEN is hardly listening. HARRY rests a hand on him.

HARRY

You okay, Aiden?

AIDEN

Hmm, yeah, y’know. Adjusting, still getting used to it all again. Need to get round to finding a job somewhere…

HARRY

Broke my heart it did when they took you, the only careful one of the lot and the pigs caught you of all people…

HARRY shakes his head in disbelief.

AIDEN

I’d leave now if I could… Don’t suppose you or Ben could lend me some cash?

HARRY

Leave?

AIDEN

Y’know, go abroad for a bit… See some of the world, that kind of thing.

HARRY

You’re good here, Aiden. Besides, wouldn’t be able to lend you ought anyway, money’s tight as it is.

HARRY smiles gently and quickly serves someone down at the end of the bar. AIDEN calls over to him.

AIDEN

Hey Dad…

HARRY hobbles over. They lower their voices.

AIDEN

Ben isn’t supplying where I used to is he?

HARRY

No, God no, too risky after what happened.

AIDEN

Then how is he even keeping it going?

HARRY

Do you remember Lydia? Lady who helped me get this pub all those years ago.

AIDEN shakes his head.

HARRY

Well, she and I kept in touch… Obviously she heard what happened to you, she told Ben she was interested in buying if he was still selling. Anyway, skip ahead 10 months or so to now, Lydia’s currently a lease manager for all these fancy properties. She puts on these extravagant parties for potential buyers, tries to get them to pay as much possible, or at least take an interest, tells them if they paid so much to refurbish they could resell a place and turn a profit…

AIDEN

Can’t these buyers bring their own coke?

HARRY

I’m sure they could, but Ben to his credit has her convinced he’s selling her the best coke in the midlands. He himself gets it off this Asian chap, quite nice actually, came in just yesterday.

AIDEN chortles.

AIDEN

So this is where we are… Our big step up from dealing on council estates is being errand boys to a rich old lady.

HARRY

He’s getting £100 on the gram; he’s making more of a profit with one client than we ever did with dozens.

AIDEN stops smirking and finishes his drink.

HARRY

But saying that… He’s reckless, keep an eye on him for me, will you?

AIDEN half nods.

 

12 LYDIA’S FARMHOUSE – MIDDAY

AIDEN pulls up to a beautiful, perfectly square farmhouse in the middle of the countryside.

He glances around at the surrounding area which seems to be endless fields.

He steps out the car and almost kicks a chicken by accident. It totters away a little distressed.

CUT TO: He’s ringing the door but no-one’s answering, he looks around the side of the house and walks around.

Stables emerge – a dozen or so in a line, he can’t help but walk down them and look at the horses. He pets one.

He keeps walking and sees someone – NATALIE (19) tending to the horse.

AIDEN

‘Scuse me, do you know where I can find Lydia or Ben?

NATALIE turns to him.

NATALIE

She was with some guests by the pool, not sure whether Ben was one of them.

AIDEN goes to walk but turns back.

AIDEN

Which way is that?

She points.

NATALIE

At the back of the house.

He looks over and starts to walk away.

CUT TO: AIDEN emerges at the back of the house, voices emerge. He sees BEN is sat with CHARLIE and ALF, and a smart-looking woman, LYDIA (50).

BEN stands when he sees AIDEN, putting his cocktail down.

BEN

Speak of the devil…

LYDIA turns to see they embrace.

BEN

Can’t believe you stood us up last night, we wanted to see you.

AIDEN

You didn’t hear me knocking?

BEN

What?

AIDEN

Just now, you didn’t hear me knocking at the door?

LYDIA walks towards them.

BEN

It’s a big place, Aiden, you might have noticed. Sit with us.

LYDIA extends a hand, Aiden shakes it.

LYDIA

Lydia Harman.

AIDEN

How’s it going?

She brings forward a drink.

LYDIA

Cocktail?

AIDEN

I’m good, thanks.

LYDIA

It seems strange to be meeting you both. Of course, I was just telling Ben I remember meeting him but not yourself as a child, still a baby I imagine. And your mother, your dear mother was still alive.

AIDEN isn’t sure what to say, he forces a smile.

LYDIA

‘Fuck Cancer’ so they say. Anyway, take my seat, I need to be leaving.

AIDEN takes her chair.

LYDIA

By all means stay to finish your drinks. Don’t forget to come early tonight Ben, before the party starts.

LYDIA leaves, followed by a BUTLER (50s). BEN takes a seat, they watch her go.

AIDEN

She looks like a line of coke would finish her off.

BEN

Frankly, she could look like Barney the Dinosaur as long as she keeps paying us.

CHARLIE and ALF laugh.

AIDEN

So what’s the deal here? You get her some coke, she pays you back, you have cocktails in the sunshine, we all start singing Kumbaya?

ALF

Much bigger than that, boy.

AIDEN

Go on…

CHARLIE

How rich do you imagine she is?

AIDEN shrugs.

CHARLIE

Well, times that by-

BEN

It doesn’t matter, let’s cut to the point of this – she has a party in a couple of weeks’ time, not the little cutesy gathering we’re having here, a big party for a lot of important people.

AIDEN

And you’re going to sell her coke?

BEN

We’re selling her a dozen bags of coke, at 22 grams each, at £3000 at bag – that’s £36,000.

AIDEN shakes his head in disbelief.

AIDEN

That’s ridiculous…

BEN

The price or the amount?

AIDEN

All of it.

BEN

Well we’ve been ripping people off since day one so there’s nothing new there… As for the amount, that was her idea, she’s going to host a party of 200. Cocaine, hookers, even some celebrities are going. She’s even promised us an invite, it’s gonna be something else.

AIDEN

How did you acquire so much so soon?

BEN

It was far from soon, it’s taken months of individual deals to get this much.

AIDEN stands.

AIDEN

I’m done with all this, this is insane – you haven’t learnt from what happened to me, if anything you’ve done the next worse thing.

BEN

Relax little brother, we’re talking one big deal, one more time.

AIDEN

And how many times after that? [Beat] Fuck this.

He storms off. BEN goes to drink from his cocktail unbothered, but follows after him instead.

BEN catches up with him and pushes him against the wall of the house.

BEN

You didn’t think to tell me you were done with all this before we’d arranged a party for you? You got some other posse you’d rather be with instead?

AIDEN knocks BEN’s hands off him.

AIDEN

I’m not spending any more time in jail, not for something this dumb. Christ at least with bums on the street it was only the two of you. You know how risky this is? Hundreds of people, you’re out of your head.

BEN can’t help but smirk.

BEN

Don’t preach – you’ve been selling for years, probably sold just as much in your time as we will be here.

AIDEN

[Beat] I don’t even have the energy to argue with you, if you’re doing this shit do it without me.

NATALIE walks up to them, holding a saddle.

BEN

The fuck you looking for, a picture?

AIDEN

[to Ben] Leave it.

NATALIE

Just keep it down, you’ll make the horses distressed.

She leaves. BEN turns back to AIDEN but he’s already walking.

BEN

Aiden-

He keeps walking.

 


Jonathan Cross was published in this year’s UEA Creative Writing MA Anthology: Scriptwriting

Add new comment

Guest

Post as Guest