King Borgia’s Dilemma

KING BORGIA’S DILEMA: SURVIVAL OR HAPPINESS?

Part 1:

Once upon a time, in the world’s first global monarchy, the King had a problem. Despite the fact that it was the most technologically advanced Kingdom the world had ever seen, and despite the fact that he was the most powerful man in world history, he was not satisfied. Something was missing despite him having achieved immortality and world domination.

Even though King Borgia had inherited this system, which his ancestors had created thousands of years ago, through his cunning, hard work and wise strategies Borgia had finally done what all his mimetic and genetic ancestors devoted their lives to achieving.  The key to the system’s power has always been that it harnessed the best thinkers and scientists — all the way back to Da Vinci working for Cesare Borgia to create the world’s first military tank. And often the system harnessed the brilliant minds of the world without them knowing what their great work went to achieve. The reason for this needed stealth is that over the millennia the geniuses generally would not have put their work in the service of men who sought global domination. Thus the genii were never allowed to know to what end their achievements were aimed. Essentially, King Borgia came from a very long line of Genii Wranglers.

Through an unbroken line of succession, the King’s ancestors built Plato’s ideal state: a highly efficient socio-political system set at achieving whatever the top “Philosopher *King*” deemed to be the most important goals in his lifetime. Over thousands of years of inter-generational efforts, each leader of the Philosopher Kings had inherited the weapons created by the proceeding generation. In turn, each leader would inherit weapons to defend against meteors; to control weather; to create or prevent earthquakes; tsunamis, etc. But more important than these weapons to use against nature, were the weapons created for the manipulation and control of the self of each individual. Thus, King Borgia inherited, perfected and created anew, the ability to control most of the threats that nature and humans had presented him and his kin for thousands of years.

The Borgia’s greatest achievements were technologies that could directly, or indirectly, control humans. These technologies were subtle to most of the unwitting flock and thus the generations of Borgias could manipulate any person each Borgia King chose to aim these weapons upon — and he could do so without the victim being aware of his influence. He could control anyone: be they malicious criminals or rebellious freedom-loving individualists. This later group were considered to be the worst enemies of the Borgias as they philosophically rejected having anyone influence the exercise of their volition. In other words, the freedom-lovers wanted to fully control of their own self.

And now we come to the dilemma: The current Borgia King had assigned his unwitting servants — the genii — with perfecting life extension technologies. Due to their success  this King Borgia was hundreds of years old. But what about the quality of his life?

Part 2:

One day King Borgia, his courtiers, jesters, genii, spies, and all of his minions were busily doing what they’d do each day – dominate organisms of all varieties, reshaping all matter to serve the King’s purposes. On this day a very strange creature came up on the radar of one of the King’s top minions. She was an astoundingly beautiful woman, but so were  many of the women the King had seen in his hundreds of years of life. However, this woman’s physical beauty was not what caused her to show up on His radar. She came up because The King’s new Quantum computer had been tasked to ferret out the answer to this question: “Who is Public Enemy Number One.” After the King’s top minion — Anton — sounded the alarm that indicated an answer to the question had been found, a meeting was called for all the King’s top minions. The agenda was to have each advisor submit their models, or profiles, of this “Public Enemy Number One” to help King Borgia determine the best way to deal with her threat to his person and his system.

All the King’s advisors, except one, advised the King on ways to destroy the her. The King felt confident that any one of his advisor’s plans would crush his beautiful enemy. So, he set off to deliberate and choose the method of extermination to use on this unusual pest. Being a connoisseur of what he liked to think as justice, he called for the entire collected, lifetime profile of his enemy. In his war room he studied her glamorous photos; read of her background; and studied her explicit philosophy, her sense of life, her personality type, and her world-view.

In the process he discovered that his lovely enemy was the progeny of an old nemesis. The old nemesis was a woman he’d disposed of decades earlier. Her name was Alice and her knick-name was “FluffY” because she was so serious, tenacious, and brilliant. Discovering that the new enemy was just a newer manifestation of “Fluffy” the King felt at ease with his ability to defeat her. No longer alarmed, he informed his servants to get back to work on other projects as the planning of the demise of this daughter of Fluffy could wait. He and his servants went back to more important work. For example, King Borgia and his minions were in the middle of strip-mining Jupiter and building more rings around Saturn — as well as culling the human population now that robots, AI and Quantum computers had come online. So now very few of the totally inefficient, non-genii, human slaves were needed in King Borgia’s Kingdom.

Time passed in the Kingdom and one day Anton — the same minion who originally dealt with the discovery of “Public Enemy Number One”/Fluffy II — realized that Fluffy II had made inroads that were not predicted by the very extensive modeling that had been done of her. Specifically, she’d gotten herself tied in with some of the most valuable men in the Kingdom, some of the genii, and she was influencing them in ways that were not in accord with the King’s agenda. These were men working on the state-of-the-art domination technologies for the masses; otherwise known as metaethics, ethics, morality, dramatized morality, and psychology. So Anton tried to call Fluffy II to the King’s attention once more, but the King was busy with his favorite past-time (which was to engage in sexual activities with very young gorgeous girls (called “birds” in this Kingdom). Anton knew not to disturb the King when a sign was lit above his door that read: “This bed is filled with baby birds.”

So, Anton, together with his closest friend Adolfo, decided on their own, to tag-team this woman into submission. They decided on the manner in which they would deal with her threat to their King. Adolfo convinced Anton that they should pay her a personal visit. As the King was highly appreciative of initiative they thought their initiative would eventually be rewarded. They realized it was risky to visit her in person but thought it necessary because the modeling of Fluffy II had proved to be inadequate at predicting her future threatening activities.

Upon their first meeting, they were surprised to find that she was receptive, friendly, funny, and delightful to be around. She was truly *YAR* (1). But despite their fondness for her they decided to go through with their plan to set up a relationship with her — becoming trusted advisors — so they could then steer her in a certain direction — the direction of roping her into helping them destroy her self. That is, to get her to sacrifice  her standards, virtues and core values. This was the normal, and consistently used method for neutralizing all humans and especially enemies of the millennia of Borgia Kingdoms. Thus, armed with the method that had worked for thousands of years, they were confident that they would be able to subdue Fluffy II.

Many months, and then years went by. They felt that progress had been made, but one day something happened which proved they were wrong. Despite getting along very well and being very friendly with Fluffy II, and despite that they had given her some bad advice which she’d taken to her detriment, one day she stopped talking to them completely. She refused to meet them and refused to take their phone calls. Now, this was not totally surprising as they were in the throws of ramping up their efforts to manipulate and sacrifice her. But they didn’t think that she’d noticed; nor that she would react by cutting off all communications; thus cutting off their access to influence her to her demise.

Having once again modeled Fluffy II incorrectly, Anton and Adolfo decided it was time to explain their failure to King Borgia who was still very engrossed in his projects to dominate the universe; plus his favorite pastime. Disheartened, they warned the King of their failure and of her escalation in her efforts to do exactly what the King and his servants feared she’d do: spread to others her methodology, teleology, or morality of objective self-control.

Part 3:

Upon receiving Anton’s and Adolfo’s report, King Borgia realized he’d underestimated Fluffy II. Having an enemy who he could not easily defeat was a new experience for him and he was irritated – but at the same time fascinated by this enemy’s ability to defeat his ancient, time-tested, systems for controlling the self of others. He decided to again have a conference with his top minions, this time at an island retreat. He wanted to brainstorm with them on the best way to gain her participation to destroy her self. Through millennia it was learned by groping trail and error that no matter what weapons were used against a self, so long as that self itself did not participate in its own demise there was nothing that could be done to break that self.

At the retreat power-point presentations were made where the reoccurring theme was that the King must resort to heavy handed tactics to gain the upper hand over his adversary. Anton and Adolfo disagreed. They were the one’s closest to the enemy and most aware of her strengths and weaknesses, and they attested to the futility of a heavy-handed approach. Despite their advise a heavy-handed approach was made to her asserting the King’s domination and control of her. As Anton and Adolfo predicted, the result was a wild ride in a car where Fluffy II spent hours (unsuccessfully) trying to find a method to kill her BODY in order to protect her SELF. A cloud of resignation and despair permeated the retreat. The King and his advisors liked to think of themselves as “The Masters of The Universe” and along most dimensions it was true. Yet, they’d now encountered a problem they didn’t have any means of dealing with – except of course, outright annihilation of the enemy. Yet uncharacteristically, none of them wanted to kill her. This was unusual for these men and this King, as this Kingdom was literally built on the casual and easy use of physical violence whenever anyone opposed a Borgia King’s agendas.

What to do? Having been proved to have the best model of Fluffy II the King asked Anton and Adolfo to council him on their views on how to subdue her. After getting their council The King decided to take matters into his own hands. He ended the retreat and sent his advisors back to their posts to take up the daily maintenance of, and expansion of, His Kingdom.

Still on the island, the King’s servants set up his usual sexual faire with the “Baby Birds” but the King was inexplicably uninterested and told his servants to send the girls away.  The King had a personal motto which was “Impulsive by Nature – Deliberative by Choice.” Upon his deliberations, he finally accepted that Fluffy II was a serious problem so his pleasures would have to wait. He knew that if ANY person refused to serve and obey him then it set the worst precedent possible: threatening to undermine his power and thus his entire Kingdom.

On the other hand, he noticed a bit reluctantly, that her intransigence in the face of the subtle, and not so subtle, threats that his minions had made clear to her; and by her ability to detect and outmaneuver his psychological weaponry, he felt truly alive for the first time in over a century. This was the strangest feeling the King had ever known. On the one hand, he was invigorated, alive and hopeful. On the other hand, there had never been a greater threat to his Kingdom which was built on the model of a ship: ONE captain and a strict hierarchy of minions — minions who slavishly obeyed him for the good of the ship and each voyage. He knew he must remain in TOTAL control as he knew himself to be the oldest, wisest, most experienced, most qualified “Philosopher King” to lead this Kingdom. There were still many external threats to the Kingdom that he was convinced only he could stave off. Further, like Plato — and Aristotle and even Fluffy I — King Borgia believed there must be a MERIT SYSTEM where the person most qualified to lead is the King. And indeed he was right: he was the most experienced and competent in achieving human SURVIVAL — BUT WHAT ABOUT HAPPINESS?

In the King’s deliberations he realized that the survival of his system was necessary but he decided to reassess what was the ultimate end that he was aiming his system at? He knew he got his personal need for COMPETENCE met more thoroughly than any man who had ever lived. And he knew that his need for AUTONOMY was satisfied more fully than for any man before him. But what about his need for RELATEDNESS? And in this contemplation he started to realize what his dilemma really was. “What was the point of surviving for a very long time if one is – by the very nature of the system – required to be acutely lonely?” The King deliberated on this question for a long time.

Despite the fact that allowing any other person to have autonomy threatened his system, he decided to find out if there was any chance to keep his system intact and at the same time, not crush Fluffy II’s autonomy. He felt such affection for and camaraderie with her knowing that, were the roles reversed, he would react as she’d reacted to his oppressive system and his efforts to destroy her self — her autonomy.

As the King sat contemplating what to do, Fluffy II appeared on a screen on his wall. He stared at her wondering if there was any way she would ever join him given that his minions had already tried to destroy her self.

Was there now any way to join forces with her? She was already alerted to the King sending in his minions to try to wreck her ego, so now she was on guard and would, naturally, block any attempts to influence her. It had become a “Mexican Stand-off.”

After much deliberation, King Borgia decided to use his latest weapon for control: he would read her mind, not only to get an advantage over her, but he hoped she would have some notion of how to reach a detente between them.

Borgia decided to try to insert his influence on her in ways that she herself held to be advantageous to her ego, or her body. If she thought she should rise early one morning yet was staying up late he’d use his power to cut off her access to the internet or her electrical power so she would have no light to work by. When she thought she should drive slower then he’d use his subtle EMF produced psychological inputs to calm her down when she was driving too fast. His plan was to, like a wild horse, slowly put on the saddle, bit and bridle eventually hoping to get the breastplate attached to her so that he could train her to let him direct and ride her. Throughout the centuries of his life the King had never really attempted such subtle techniques, never finding the specimen worthy of such care. But this time it was different. She made him want to exert this effort at, so far, the only thing he had ever pursued while not having a masterful control of the subject.

King Borgia had always used the technique of unpredictability to his advantage and whenever their engagement was going well, he would, for no apparent reason, inject some small amount of pain, discomfort or disharmony into their intercourse. He became so predictable in his “unpredictability” that she began calling him “Whippy the Whipsaw” as she had deciphered the point of this exercise too, being familiar with one of the King’s genii’s work with dogs and Pavlovian training.

More coming soon…

(1) Definiton of YAR: “Benevolent, charming, adventurous, kind, fun.”

Copyright 2017-2018-2019

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Atlas in Paris (Non-fiction) by Brishon

“Atlas in Paris”

    ~THE BACKSTORY~

    When I was a young model in Dallas, the first high-fashion photographer that I ever worked with introduced me to another model that he’d discovered (I’m going to call her Keri May here). She was working and doing “well” as a model in Paris but she was lonely. Keri and I got together once or twice when she visited Dallas after the photographer introduced us. During one of her visits, we agreed that it would be nice if I moved to Paris, worked with her agency and saw the Parisian sights with her.

A short time later, I called Keri and found that she’d talked to her agent about me and everything was set. She’d given him my modeling portfolio (pictures) and he wanted me to join his agency. However, I found out later, there was one small hitch, Keri had lied to her agent and said that I was taller and thinner than I really was. I think she thought that once her agent saw me in person he would be so impressed by my face that he would not care that I was not 6 feet tall and 100 pounds, in other words, that I was not a great model for the catwalk/runway. Most of my career I did cosmetic ads for such companies as Neiman Marcus, Macys, Allercreme, Emporium etc. and not much runway modeling. I took Keri’s word that things were all set and two months after my seventeenth birthday I flew to Paris. Predictably, when I got there and her agent saw my actual height and weight he was not pleased, but his attitude was that I would have to “work” much harder in order to justify his required financial investment in me (room, board, transportation etc.).

    It did not instantly dawn on me what I’d gotten myself into. This man’s agency was a well-known and “professional” French modeling agency, yet what greased the wheels of THIS organization (unlike the agency I was used to in Dallas) was, what amounted to PROSTITUTION. It seemed Keri had lied to me, too.

    It’s hard to say what tipped me to the fact that his agency was different. Perhaps it was the twelve and thirteen year old, six foot tall, pubescent, peasant beauties that littered my new bosses office (later I discovered he’d purchased these girls, and many more just like them, from their poor, French, peasant parents). Perhaps it was the fact that one was feeding him grapes while another stood fanning him with a large plume. Perhaps it was the adolescent that sat on his lap cooing and fawning while he spoke on the phone. I may have taken a clue from the male booking agent that I happened to encounter in the hall who wanted to make an appointment for a road-test, so to speak, so he could determine how diligently he might want to work to get me bookings and magazine layouts. I definitely became suspicious when, while zipping up in the tiny bathroom stall, my new boss burst in and thoroughly FRISKED me to determine, with his hands, what I would look like with no clothes. Afterward, he returned to sit at his desk again. I slowly followed and took a seat on the long sofa in his office.

    After the frisking it finally became clear to me what kind of man I was dealing with. Upon that realization, I stood up and delivered a dramatic and impassioned speech as I backed out of his office and descended down a gigantic, rococo, marble, spiral staircase. I condemned my new boss (who had followed me and held eye contact as I descended the staircase) for daring to think that I would stoop to the casting-couch tactics that he and his agency employed. I declared that I would “MAKE IT” on my MERITS, (which happened to be inherited genes but I made the most of them within the bounds of an ethical framework which was my moral contribution). When my moral lecture was over and I arrived at the bottom of the staircase I realized that I had left my portfolio on his desk. A CHOICE POINT: do I go back up and retrieve my livelihood after a lengthy tirade degenerating this perverted stranger — attacking the very essence of his being — or, do I walk away not having to deal with the embarrassment, but more important, the wrecking of such an incredible performance? I CHOSE to take the practical step: I ran back up the stairs, snatched away my leather satchel from his desk and dashed out into the cold rainy streets of Paris without a friend, much money, sans speaking French, and without a clue as to what to do next.

    As I started down the street the woman from the agency who had picked me up at Charles de Gaulle airport, grabbed me and motioned for me to get into her car. She dropped me at the smallest hotel I’ve ever seen. The elevator held two people and my room consisted of a twin bed, a small window, and enough room to put a suitcase. The bathroom was down the hall. Because I was expecting to live in Paris, I did not have a return flight home booked and I couldn’t get a flight out — with my type of cheap ticket — for a month.

    ~RISE TO THE CLIMAX~

    For my sixteenth birthday my father had given me Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged.” For about a year before my sixteenth birthday, I’d been asking my father all sorts of questions about philosophy, ideals, and the meaning of life. I also wanted to know why he was SO different from all the other people I knew. What I thought so unusual about my father was that while kind, friendly, and very funny, he didn’t seem to give a damn about what others thought of him. He wasn’t rebellious about it, it was just that he couldn’t imagine any other way to be. When he gave me “Atlas Shrugged” he told me that if he could attribute to only one thing the way that he was, it would be this book.

    Being that “Atlas Shrugged” is around eleven hundred pages long, and being that this was to be the first book I’d ever read (excluding school text books), I didn’t read it much during the year that I was sixteen; but I did take it to Paris with me. Now that it was Christmas and I was stuck in a room the size of a closet, with no friends, my modeling career derailed, my honor assaulted, not knowing the language, nor having any awareness of the city, having very little money and nothing else to do while waiting for my plane, I decided to read “Atlas Shrugged.”

    Reading while laying in that tiny bed, day after day, night after night, going out only to buy myself coffee flavored eclairs from the bakery next door, was one of the greatest experiences of my life! By the time I got to Galt’s speech my mind was so altered, my spirit so uplifted, my ability to think and read so taxed, that I decided to take a break. I went out to try to find the LOUVRE since my aunt told me that I had to see it while in Paris.

    So, I put the book down, being about two thirds through it, and I emerged on the street in front of the hotel. First, I walked across the street to a department store and bought a hat because it was one of the only French words I knew, and because I wanted a souvenir. Back in front of my hotel, I looked to the right and saw, just a few blocks away, a strange glass pyramid in front of an old, huge, distinguished complex of a building, so I investigated. For the price of walking about two blocks I found myself in front of the LOUVRE. I paid my entrance fee and started to walk through looking at the art of antiquity. After a short time I realized that this museum is huge and that at the pace I was going I might be there for many hours, which was NOT acceptable.

    So, I decided to run. I literally did a running tour through one of the greatest collections of art in the history of man. There were only two times that I stopped to really study the art I was seeing. One time was when I found a great hall with dozens of people huddled around a painting. I went over and crowded in to see what it was. It was the Mona Lisa. I was truly unimpressed. After all, I was a beautiful model — all of my photos revealed a much better looking female and, in my aesthetic wisdom at that time, that was all that counted, so I pushed on. Painting after painting whizzing by as I searched for anything that touched me as much as the art I’d left back in the hotel room.

    The only other time I stopped or slowed down was when I got to the sculpture. I was taken aback by two, towering, twenty foot, identical, Roman or Egyptian soldiers standing guard in front of the wing of the building that held the sculpture. I stood alone in a corridor panting and studying the beauty of their bodies and dignity of their souls. That was an amazing moment. But I soon returned to my tiny, dark and dreary room to continue to devour the greatest artwork I had, and still have, ever experienced!

    ~THE CLIMAX~

    With just day’s left until my flight, I continued to read night and day, unable to put the book down for much more than eating and sleeping — and as little of these as possible. When the time came, I paid my hotel bill and boarded my flight back to Dallas. I continued to read all the way home on the plane. I was nearly finished when I got off the plane and greeted my father who had come to pick me up. I took his arm and we sat in a window overlooking the planes on the tarmac. I told him that I LOVED the book and that it had changed me. I thanked him profusely for giving it to me. While back at home over the next few days I finished reading it and the moment I finished it I sat up in bed and said out loud “I want to see this as a movie!” Many years later, in the mid 1990’s, I learned screenplay writing and watched tons of classic movies and then wrote my own screenplay of “Atlas Shrugged” in order to see it the way I wanted it to be made.

~THE END~

 

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“The Best Roads Don’t Lead To Rome!” by Brishon (Copyright 2018 All Rights Reserved)

(Copyright 2018-2019 All Rights Reserved)

4.17.18

LOGLINE: “In a world run by the volition of one man, one woman defies him. He tries to control her mind to stop her from controlling his heart.”

~*~*~*~

~PART I~

FADE IN:

JOHN PHILIP ROOTHAAN RUMINATED. A FIT AND HANDSOME MAN IN HIS EARLY 90S (BUT WHO LOOKS LIKE HE’S IN HIS 50S) AWAKENS FROM HIS RUMINATIONS AND WALKS DOWN THE BEACH IN MADAGASCAR WEARING STUNNING LINEN PANTS AND A WHITE LINEN SHIRT. HIS PACE INCREASES UNTIL HE’S RUNNING THROUGH THE TRANQUIL AND SOOTHING SCENE. HE COMES UPON A CROP OF TREES VERY NEAR THE OCEAN AND TURNS TOWARDS A MODERN TREE HOUSE SET ON THE BEACH. HE STANDS ABOUT 10 FEET FROM THE TREE HOUSE AND SAYS:

JOHN (loudly): “I want you to be with me!!!”

BEA MARTINI IS SWEEPING THE FLOOR INSIDE THE TREEHOUSE WEARING A DIRTY AND TATTERED, BUT ONCE MAGNIFICENT, BALL GOWN. WHEN SHE HEARS JOHN SHE STOPS SWEEPING AND WALKS OUT ON THE BALCONY. SHE WALKS TO THE LEDGE, SMILING BRILLIANTLY, LEANS ON HER ELBOWS ON THE RAILING FACING HIM AND SAYS IN A CHARMING MANNER:

BEA: “Not if you were the LAST MAN ON EARTH!…(Pausing)…Oh… being that you’re the King of this global monarchy… you ARE the last man on Earth.”

SHE TURNS TO GO BACK INSIDE AND SAYS WITHOUT LOOKING AT HIM:

BEA: “If I ever believe you, we’ll see how I feel then.”

CLOSE UP OF JOHN’S FACE TO SEE HE’S NOW SINISTERLY RUMINATING ON SOMETHING IMPORTANT.

FLASHBACK TO WIDE ANGLE AERIAL SHOT OF ROME AND AN INSERT THAT READS “One Year Ago.” ZOOM IN TO SEE A DIFFERENT MAN AND BEA HOLDING HANDS AS THEY ARRIVE AT THE COLOSSEUM IN ROME. THE VIBRANT 40 SOMETHING COUPLE ARE SOAKING WET FROM THE RAIN THAT’S BEEN DELUGING THE CITY. THEY SEEM NOT TO NOTICE OR CARE.

BEA: “You can’t imagine how many times I’ve dreamed of spending a day with a man like you in a place like this.”

JOSEF PIGNATELLI: “Then I’m making your dreams come true and we’ve only just begun.”

JOSEF PIGNATELLI WAVES FOR A TAXI. ONE PULLS OVER AND THEY JUMP INTO THE BACK SEAT. HE TELLS THE DRIVER AN ADDRESS IN ITALIAN. BEA’S EYES ARE CLOSED AS SHE SLUMPS DOWN EXHAUSTED FROM THEIR ACTIVITIES. JOSEF SLUMPS DOWN TO ARRIVE AT HER CHEEK WITH HIS LIPS WHICH BRUSH AGAINST HER CHEEK WITHOUT MAKING A SOUND. BEA FAINTLY SIGHS EXCITING HIM AND HE MOVES TOWARDS HER MOUTH. THEY EMBRACE WITH THE MOISTURE OF THEIR SALIVA MINGLING WITH THE RAIN DRAINING FROM THEIR WET HAIR DOWN THEIR FACES.

CUT TO THE TAXI ARRIVING AT THE ADDRESS WHICH IS ON THE SAME STREET AS THE COLOSSEUM JUST BLOCKS AWAY FROM WHERE THEY GOT INTO THE CAB. JOSEF THROWS TOO MUCH MONEY ON THE FRONT SEAT AND GRABS BEA’S HAND TO HELP HER OUT OF THE CAB. HE USHERS HER INTO A DOORWAY WHERE NO DOOR IS VISIBLE AS THE BUILDING SEEMS PART OF THE HISTORICAL LANDSCAPE. BUT JOSEF KNOWS WHERE THE HIDDEN KEYPAD IS AND THE CODE THAT MAKES THE ALMOST INVISIBLE DOOR OPEN. HE PULLS HER INSIDE AND ESCORTS HER TO A GRAND BATHROOM AND SAYS:

JOSEF: “Take a nice warm bath then shower. (POINTING) There’s clothes in the closet.

JOSEF LEAVES AND BEA STARTS THE TUB WATER AND WANDERS AROUND THE PALATIAL ROOMS OFF THE BATHROOM. SHE CHOOSES A VIBRANT COPPER COLORED SILK SHIRT, A TIGHT FITTING BLACK WOOL SKIRT, AND A WHITE SILK SCARF.

JOSEF STANDS IN HIS ELEGANT STUDY HOLDING HIS PHONE AND SAYS:

JOSEF: No, I can’t go to the gala… I’ve met a woman… we’re staying in… I thought you were going… why didn’t you tell me Peter’s selling the EGG!… I’ll be there!

JOSEF HANGS UP, SMILES AND GOES INTO THE KITCHEN TO GET A GLASS OF WINE THEN WALKS TO THE BATHROOM AND KNOCKS ON THE DOOR.

JOSEF: “Bea, darling there’s been a change in plans. Please pick out a ball-gown from the closet when you’re done, we’re going to a gala in an hour. I’m going to shower and dress and I’ll be back for you in 40 minutes.”

CUT TO JOSEF AND BEA ENTERING AN ELEGANT AND ENORMOUS BALLROOM FILLED WITH THE JET-SETTING GLITTERATI OF ROME. THERE’S AN AUCTION OF A PRIVATE COLLECTION OF TREASURES — SCULPTURES, PAINTINGS, TRINKETS AND JEWELRY – OWNED BY THE RICHEST MAN IN SPAIN, PETER ARRUPE. THE GUESTS BID FOR HIS COLLECTION OF OBJECTS.

BEA (to Josef): “I’m going to find the ladies room. Do you want a drink?”

JOSEF: “No darling. Tell me, do you like that Faberge egg made of rubies and pink diamonds just to the right of the stage?”

BEA: (sarcastically) “Yes, it’s lovely but I don’t have room in my flat for such trinkets. (smiling). I’ll be back soon.”

AS BEA MAKES HER WAY UP A GRAND STAIRCASE TO THE SECOND STORY, SHE LOOKS BACK AT JOSEF WHILE KEEPING HER HAND IN FRONT OF HER ON THE RAILING AS SHE MOVES UP THE STAIRCASE TO ENSURE SHE DOESN’T RUN INTO SOMEONE WHILE NOT LOOKING WHERE SHE’S GOING. SUDDENLY HER HAND LANDS ON A MAN’S HAND. SHE SLOWLY TURNS TO SEE THE FACE OF THE MAN IN FRONT OF HER AND IT’S PETER ARRUPE. SHE DOESN’T KNOW WHO HE IS BUT HE’S IMMEDIATELY INFATUATED WITH HER AND HER BEAUTY.

PETER: “Good evening my dear, are you here to bid on my treasures?”

BEA: “Me…no. I’m here with a man I met today (nods to Josef).”

PETER: “Yes, I know Josef very well. He’s been my protege for many years. How did you two meet?”

BEA: “We both got into a cab at the same time at the Vatican this morning.”

PETER: “I see. Will you both join me after the auction at my villa?”

BEA: “Well… I don’t know…”

PETER: “I insist.”

BEA: “Well, if Josef agrees. Perhaps you could speak to him?”

BEA GENTLY PULLS HER HAND AWAY SMILING SWEETLY AS SHE HEADS UP THE STAIRS AND THEN TO THE LEFT WING OF THE SECOND FLOOR. PETER MAKES A GRAND ENTRANCE AND THE CROWD CLAPS. BEA DOES NOT SEE NOR HEAR THE SCENE.

CUT TO BEA LEAVING THE LADIES ROOM AND WE HEAR THE CROWD MAKING STRANGE NOISES AS IF SOMETHING EXCITING HAS HAPPENED. WE SEE PETER HOLDING THE PINK AND RED FABERGE EGG AS HE DISCUSSES IT’S HISTORY. THEN HE SAYS WHILE HOLDING THE EGG UP FOR EVERYONE TO SEE:

PETER: “I’m aware several of you came here to bid on my prize possession but I must now tell you that the egg has already been sold… (crowd moans) and to the highest bidder imaginable… I’m pleased to introduce you to the new owner, my new friend Bea (Peter points to her standing at the railing on the second floor watching the scene). Bea has paid with the coin none of you possess: she has the key to my heart.”

ALL EYES TURN TO BEA AND RUMORS BEGIN TO FLY. JOSEF THROWS A LOOK OF CURIOSITY AND ANGER AT PETER; BEA LOOKS LIKE A DEER IN HEADLIGHTS. PETER LOOKS LIKE THE KING OF THE WORLD AND HE’S LOVING THE DISAPPOINTMENT THAT HE’S CAUSED THE GLITERATI. ROME WILL BE BUZZING ABOUT THIS FOR WEEKS.

CUT TO: A WIDE ANGLE SHOT OF PETER’S MAGNIFICENT APARTMENT WHICH OVERLOOKS THE VATICAN. THE TONES ARE DEEP AND MASCULINE WITH A SPECTACULAR VIEW OF THE ENTIRE CITY. PETER, BEA AND JOSEF ARE IN THE LIBRARY LOOKING AT AN ANCIENT MANUSCRIPT WEARING GLOVES. THEY TAKE OFF THEIR GLOVES AND WALK TOGETHER INTO AN ADJOINING HALLWAY.

PETER: (to Josef) “How high were you planning to bid to get the egg?”

JOSEF: “Higher than the competition, you know I’ve wanted it since that first operation in Madagascar.”

BEA: “Interrupting… I’ve been meaning to ask you Peter… um…”

PETER: (putting her off) “Later darling.”

JOSEF: (gently slaps Peter’s back) “That was quite a stunt, my friend.”

PETER: “No stunt, it was just as I said.”

PETER WALKS PAST JOSEF WHO STOPS AND STARES AT PETER TO SEE IF HE’S JOKING, BUT PETER DOES NOT LET JOSEF SEE HIS FACE. BEA STOPS AND IS IN DEEP THOUGHT TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON.

CUT TO LATER THAT NIGHT AT BEA’S FLAT, JOSEF AND BEA KISS AND THEN BEA SHUTS THE DOOR AS HE WALKS AWAY. SHE THEN WALKS UP THE STAIRS AND INTO THE LIVING ROOM WHERE SHE’S SHOCKED TO SEE PETER’S FABERGE EGG IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM RESTING ON A GRAND PEDESTAL WITH LIGHTS SHINING ON IT FROM ALL SIDES. SHE SITS DOWN TO GAZE AT IT IN AMAZEMENT. BEA’S PHONE RINGS AND SHE ANSWERS:

BEA: (quietly) “Hello?”

PETER: “How do you like it?”

BEA: “It’s magnificent but…”

PETER: “Which color’s your favorite?”

BEA: “The pink, but Peter, this flat’s not secure…It’s dangerous to leave it here…”

PETER: “The safety of my prized possessions is something you needn’t worry about, darling.”

PAN OUT THE WINDOW AND ZOOM TO SEE A SNIPER ON THE ROOF OF THE BUILDING ACROSS FROM BEA’S FLAT. FROM AN AREAL ANGLE NOW WE SEE SEVERAL BLACK CLAD, ARMED GUARDS ON THE ROOF OF BEA’S FLAT.

BEA: “You said possessions – plural. Did you leave some other valuable object in this flat?”

PETER: “I did. The hour’s late and I must say goodnight now. It was delightful meeting you today and I’m sure one day we’ll look back on our meeting as a turning point in our lives. Goodnight my love.”

PETER HANGS UP AND BEA STARES AT HER PHONE IN DISBELIEF. SHE GETS UP AND STARTS LIFTING OBJECTS TO SEE IF THERE IS SOME OTHER IRREPLACEABLE TREASURE IN HER FLAT.

CUT TO THE NEXT DAY PETER AND JOSEF SIT TOGETHER IN WHAT LOOKS LIKE A WAR ROOM FULL OF SCREENS AND COMPUTERS. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER MEN – ALL OF THEM WEARING BLACK — AND THEY HAVE THE DEMEANOR OF SOLDIERS. PETER AND JOSEF ARE DISCUSSING A PROBLEM AND THERE’S TENSION BETWEEN THEM. JOSEF SEEMS CERTAIN AS HE SAYS:

JOSEF: “We’ve dealt with them before and we know what to expect.”

PETER: “True, but now the old man’s gone and we don’t know how his son will behave. We still have some competition — if in name only.”

JOSEF: “He wouldn’t deviate from our long set patterns and trade deals… Why would he?”

PETER: “To find out if he can get better terms, of course.”

JOSEF: “Your saying that he’s going to break our deal.”

PETER: “I’m saying he might.”

JOSEF: “Then we need intel.”

PETER: “Agreed.

JOSEF: What do you suggest?”

PETER: “I suggest you follow him to Malta and find out what he intends to do.”

JOSEF: “I’ll leave tomorrow night. I want to see Bea for lunch and then I’ll have the boys take me to the island.”

CUT TO THE NEXT AFTERNOON JOSEF AND BEA ALONE IN HIS DINNING ROOM OVERLOOKING THE COLISEUM.

BEA: Mmmm… This fish is amazing! How’s yours?”

JOSEF: “Good. Listen, I have to go on a short trip tonight but should be back in a day.”

BEA: “Where are you going?”

JOSEF: “A colleague’s behaving suspiciously and I have to find out what he’s up to.”

BEA (taking his hand in hers): “Come back soon.”

THEY SMILE AND HE TAKES HER HAND IN HIS AND KISSES IT.

CUT TO THAT EVENING AT BEA’S FLAT, PETER KNOCKS AT THE DOOR. SHE GOES TO OPEN IT.

BEA: “Peter! Come in and look at your your lovely egg!”

PETER: “Along with my heart, the egg is yours now darling.”

BEA SMILES BUT CLEARLY DOES NOT TAKE HIM SERIOUSLY. SHE TAKES HIS HAND AND LEADS HIM INTO THE DARK ROOM WHERE THE EGG IS SPOT-LIT. WHEN THEY GET NEAR THE EGG HE TAKES HER HAND AND RAISES IT TO HIS MOUTH AND KISSES IT.

BEA: (gently pulls her hand away) “I’ve been meaning to ask you…”

PETER: “Of course but please… a glass of wine as I sit and enjoy the egg for a few minutes first.”

BEA GESTURES AGREEMENT AND GOES AND GETS TWO GLASSES AND WINE AND RETURNS AND GIVES A GLASS TO PETER, THEN POURS. SHE GESTURES FOR HIM TO SIT DOWN AND SHE SITS ACROSS FROM HIM AND THEY BOTH SIP WINE IN THE DARK ROOM WHILE LOOKING AT THE BRILLIANTLY LIT EGG.

CLOSE UP OF THE EGG AND IN V.O. WE HEAR PETER SAY:

PETER: (slowly and gently) “All my life I’ve collected the most beautiful objects I could find and all my life I’ve been seeking a woman who has the integrity and inner beauty of an object like this egg.”

BEA: “I know how you feel. I’ve been looking for a man… a certain kind of man… for a long time.”

PETER: “What kind of man?”

BEA: “A kind… brilliant… and very happy man… What kind of woman have you been seeking Peter?”

PETER: “A woman just like you Bea.”

BEA’S SURPRISED AND DOWNS HER GLASS OF WINE. SHE STANDS UP AND WALKS TO THE WINDOW AND LOOKS OUT AT THE CITY AND SAYS:

BEA (quietly): “You said you’re Josef’s mentor.”

PETER: “Yes.”

BEA: “Tell me about him.”

PETER: “Josef has many virtues… he’s brilliant and determined to get whatever he’s after… he’s clever… he’s ruthless… But most importantly he’s obedient.

BEA’S SURPRISED BY THIS LAST AS SHE DOES NOT CONSIDER OBEDIENCE A VIRTUE

BEA: “What’s he after?”

PETER (standing): “That’s an excellent question. I want you to remember that question as in a short time it may become the most important issue in your life.”

BEA: “Peter, do you care for Josef?”

PETER: “Like a son.”

BEA: “Of course, you realize he’s very interested in me?”

PETER: “I do.”

BEA: “Does Josef care for you?”

PETER: “More than all but one other man on Earth.”

BEA: “And yet… I believe you are… you are…

PETER: “Yes darling I am.”

PETER PUTS HIS GLASS DOWN AND WALKS OVER TO BEA. STANDING NEXT TO HER HE LOOKS OUT AT THE CITY AND TAKES HER HAND AND SAYS:

PETER: “I’ll call for you at noon tomorrow. Goodnight darling.”

HE KISSES HER HAND AND LEAVES.

~PART II~

CUT TO JOSEF AND SEVERAL MEN (ALL WEARING BLACK) ARRIVING BY HELICOPTER ON THE ISLAND OF MALTA.

CUT TO THE INSIDE OF AN ANCIENT STONE FORTRESS WHERE JOSEF AND JORGE BASADA ARE SEATED OPPOSITE EACH OTHER DISCUSSING A TIMETABLE AND DEADLINES.

CUT TO ROME WHERE PETER AND BEA ARE WALKING AROUND THE CASTEL SANT’ANGELO. PETER’S SHOWING HER THE PRIVATE QUARTERS AND HIDDEN TUNNELS THAT GO TO THE VATICAN.

PETER (walking slowly holding her hand): “What have you spent most of your life doing Bea?”

BEA: “Doing things I’m passionate about. When I was a teen friends and family urged me to learn skills that would allow me to earn a living doing things that bored me. I know they meant well but they didn’t know me… they didn’t know that such a life would never allow me to paint a master-piece on the canvas of my soul.”

PETER: “I’m not at all surprised you knew this early in life. Most people waste their lives on petty, pointless, activities… And were there any other threats to painting a master-piece on the canvas of your soul?”

BEA WALKS TO A RACK THAT WAS USED AS A TORTURE DEVICE BY THE INQUISITION AND SAYS WHILE TOUCHING IT:

BEA: “This seems like a good place for a confession… (pausing, looking intently at Peter). Yes, there was another threat. His name was Marvin Lazar. I met him when I was 18 and he was my ideal… my unicorn, as they say. He owned one of the world’s largest construction companies and built sky-scrapers. He was elegant, intelligent, industrious, direct, productive, and when he wasn’t working he reveled in celebrating life. He especially loved all forms of theater. Together we spent many wonderful nights drinking the best champagne and seeing the world’s greatest theatrical productions — he introduced me to both. We were a gorgeous couple: he was Italian and handsome and I was a beautiful model back then.”

PETER: “You’re one of the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen… Your face is truly exquisite… In fact, I’m going to call you “Doll Face.”

BEA SMILES DEEPLY AND PETER’S GAZE IS THAT OF A RAVENOUS, YET BENEVOLENT, EROTIC PREDATOR.

PETER (returning to his normal temperament): “How was Mr. Lazar a threat to your masterpiece?”

BEA: “He was everything I thought I wanted — and that was the problem. One day we were in a spectacular suite atop a Las Vegas Casino and something happened.”

PETER: “What happened darling?”

BEA: “It was morning and I got out of bed to go look out the giant window at the sunrise. While standing there half naked, Marvin leaned back in bed with his arms behind his head. As I stood at the window in the natural spotlight of the rising sun, he proceeded to interrogate me. He was friendly and earnest, but eventually I could tell that my answers were not up to his standards. I saw him set his mind to writing himself all over the canvas of my soul. He had an elegant, heroic soul but it was not *MY* soul.”

PETER: “How did you escape?”

BEA: “When we returned from the trip I did things that were totally out of character for me: I lied; I put him off; I stood him up; and when we were together I pretended to be indifferent and absent-minded. I did all of this to get him to loose his ardent interest in me. I didn’t really understand what I was doing at the time but I knew that this man was the most threatening thing I had ever encountered BECAUSE he was everything I thought I wanted… but the price was that HE would paint the canvas of my soul: HE would create my self.”

PETER: “And did he leave you alone?”

BEA: “Yes, eventually… I think I should tell you that now I get the same feeling from you.”

PETER: “How so?”

BEA: “It’s just a feeling but I sense that there’s some kind of game, a competition or dispute between you and Josef and that I’m the prize who’ll become the property of whomever wins and that you both intend to paint all over the canvas of my soul.”

PETER: “Who do you want to win?”

BEA: “I don’t have a horse in this race… I find you both very compelling… Can you tell me what this competition’s about?”

PETER: “No, but it will be made clear to you very soon.”

PETER PUTS HIS HAND ON HER CHEEK AND GENTLY CARESSES IT AS HE GAZES INTO HER EYES.

CUT TO MALTA WHERE JOSEF AND JORGE SHAKE HANDS AS JOSEF HEADS TO HIS HELICOPTER WITH HIS MEN.

CUT TO ROME LATER THAT NIGHT JOSEF AND BEA ARE HAVING DINNER IN A FORMAL DINNING ROOM NEXT TO A WINDOW LOOKING OUT AT ROME.

BEA: Was your trip productive?

JOSEF: “Yes, very. What did you do yesterday?”

BEA: “Peter gave me a tour of Castel Sant’Angelo and we had a nice talk.”

JOSEF: “About what?”

BEA: “About my past and the biggest threat I’ve ever encountered.”

JOSEF: “Do you have any deep dark secrets tucked away, skeletons you don’t want coming out of your closet?”

BEA: “No. I’m happy to discuss any aspect of my past — how about you?”

JOSEF: “I’ll answer any questions you have, darling.”

BEA: “How do you feel about Peter?”

JOSEF: “I love him like he was my father.”

BEA: “Do you trust him?”

JOSEF: “With my life. Why?”

BEA: “How do you think he feels about you?”

JOSEF: “The same… What’s this all about Bea?”

BEA: “Well, I… I’m confused… It seems that there’s some kind of competition between you two.”

JOSEF: “Oh that’s just friendly competitiveness. Don’t worry about that.”

BEA: “Are you certain?”

JOSEF REASSURES HER WITH A LOOK.

CUT TO JOSEF AND PETER BACK IN THEIR WAR ROOM DISCUSSING JOSEF’S MEETING WITH JORGE. AS THEY LEAVE THE HIGH-TECH WAR ROOM JOSEF ASKS:

JOSEF: “What have you been telling Bea? She thinks we’re competitors of some sort.”

PETER: “But we are — teleological competitors.”

JOSEF: “How so?”

PETER: “You know our long-standing metaethical debate.”

JOSEF: “Oh that… a philosophical debate — nothing more.”

PETER: “That’s right it’s philosophical and that means it’s foundational to one’s character. Unfortunately, you’ve taken this aspect of my training very lightly. I think you need to reconsider.”

JOSEF: “You know that we don’t yet have enough control to consider that possibility. One day we’ll get there and then we’ll think about it. But until that day comes, we fight as all of our ancestors had to fight — for SURVIVAL! From Rodrigo to Cesare to Francis each one had to dominate their opponents or else be destroyed or enslaved by them.

PETER: “You and I are having the same dispute that Rodrigo and Cesare had and I’ve sided with Rodrigo — you with Cesare.”

JOSEF LOOKS AT PETER WITH DISBELIEF.

JOSEF: “You know our work is not finished. You know that John will not let us consider our own happiness… Perhaps soon but not yet. We first have to finish the work that our beloved Semiramis started in Babylon.”

PETER: “Rodrigo did not agree with John and neither do I.”

JOSEF: “Have you told him?”

PETER: “Many times.”

~PART III~

CUT TO PETER AND JOSEF BACK IN THE WAR ROOM.

PETER: “I need you to go and take control of the V3 Council as the US faction is taking the ascendancy and we need to reassert John’s overall agenda.”

JOSEF: “How long do you want me to stay?”

PETER: “A month or so.”

JOSEF: “I’ll bring Bea with me.”

PETER: “I think it would be better if you leave her as she’ll be a big distraction to you.”

JOSEF PAUSES TO CONSIDER THIS AND THEN AGREES.

CUT TO PETER IN AN UNDERGROUND CATHEDRAL-LIKE, SHIP-LIKE GIGANTIC SANCTUARY. A MAN (JOHN) IN SILHOUETTE STANDS IN FRONT OF A HUGE WALL OF SCREENS WHICH ARE DISPLAYING VARIOUS EVENTS THAT THIS MAN IS CAREFULLY WATCHING. THE MAN PUSHES A BUTTON AND THE ENTIRE WALL OF SCREENS BRING UP VIDEO VIGNETTES OF BEA MARTINI. HE STUDIES THEM BY REWINDING AND PLAYING THEM OVER AGAIN. THEN THE MAN PUSHES ANOTHER BUTTON AND THE SCENES ARE OF BEA AND PETER TOGETHER. A VOICE COMES OVER A SPEAKER TO ANNOUNCE THAT PETER IS WAITING TO TALK TO HIM AND THE MAN IN SILHOUETTE GIVES A GESTURE THAT OPENS A DOOR BUT BEFORE DOING THIS THE MAN SWITCHES THE SCREENS BACK TO VARIOUS SCENES NONE OF WHICH ARE OF BEA OR PETER. PETER WALKS IN AND STANDS ABOUT 20 FEET AWAY FROM THE MAN WHILE TALKING.

JOHN PHILIP ROOTHAN: (not looking at Peter): “I’m disappointed by your unannounced appearance Peter. You know I didn’t call for you.”

PETER: “I’m sorry to break protocol but I’ve reached a decision that’s profound and will effect all else I do in the future so I wanted to explain myself in person.

JOHN: “What is it?”

PETER: “I’ve fallen in love and I want to take a year off to be with the woman.”

JOHN: “A WOMAN!?!?!?!”

PETER: “Yes John a woman.”

JOHN: “So you want a vacation?”

PETER: “No.”

JOHN: “What else?”

PETER: “Like Rodrigo and Cesare before us, you know we’ve disagreed about what our ultimate end should be and your argument has merit. However, my position has not changed and now it’s pressing on me to such an extent that I’ve come to warn you…

JOHN (almost sarcastic): “To warn me Peter??!!!”

PETER: “Yes. I’ve concluded that I’m developing into a loose cannon. I’m hoping that by taking a year off and enjoying myself for the first time in my life that I may be able to come back to you and again be your trusted General. I have not changed my agreement with the purpose of your cause, however, my soul is running dry and I find I can’t go on this way.

JOHN: “What do you wish me to know about the woman?”

PETER: “You already know all the various details that are in Bea’s profile but what I have not reported is that: (with a profoundly touching quality in his voice) I believe she’s the happiest person on Earth. Because of this we both know she’s an incredible threat to our system. My goal is not to sequester or quarantine her from your system but rather to infuse myself with her infectious love of life, if I can. Then perhaps I’ll be able to take up the cause of helping you dominate this planet, as the captain of a ship, with your superb will ruling over all men and nature… creating immortality for ourselves. When I was young that audacious quest of yours was enough, John. I was thrilled to be led by such a masterful leader on such a brilliant quest — but no longer my friend. (LONG PAUSE).

JOHN: “And if I refuse your request?”

PETER: “I’ve thought of that contingency and I’d like you to put me on cryogenic freeze and bring me out when you’re further down the line in our quest when you feel we’re sufficiently assured of survival that we can safely change our ultimate end to happiness.

JOHN: “You think Bea’s our greatest enemy?”

PETER: “Yes.”

JOHN: “Why?”

PETER: “You know my assigned task for two decades has been to rank our enemies. I’ve studied and profiled hundreds of people by our criteria. They all have in common a strength of character and determination and the main quality they share is the strength of their self. Bea has been overtly clear and tenacious about this since her youth. I must now tell you that she has worked on this issue philosophically and technically. I’m sorry I did not mention her philosophical work in my report but I knew you might kill her, or give her to Rico and his boys for reprogramming. I didn’t want you to destroy her until I told you that I love her.”

JOHN: “Your deception angers me and you’re right… you’ve become a loose cannon.”

PETER: “Then I have your decision. I know you feel impervious but a parting word of caution John… As we age — and you are so much older than the rest of us — we incrementally loose the capacity to love and to be happy. You may already be past the point of no return, I don’t know. In your VENGEFUL efforts to destroy Bea’s self, please keep in mind that you may be destroying your own last chance for happiness…

JOHN (sarcastically): “I’ll take that under advisement Peter.”

~PART IV~

CUT TO A CLOSE UP OF PETER FLOATING IN A CLEAR TUBE-LIKE CONTAINER IN AN UPRIGHT POSITION IN A VAT OF LIQUID USED IN CRYOGENIC FREEZING.

CUT TO JOHN STANDING IN FRONT OF HIS SCREENS LOOKING AT VIDEOS AND PHOTOS OF BEA GOING BACK TO HER CHILDHOOD. HE PLAYS ONE SCENE OVER AND OVER WHERE SHE’S 6 YEARS OLD AND IS BEING PLAYED WITH BY A VERY HANDSOME MAN WEARING A LONG BLACK ROBE, WHILE HER MOTHER WATCHES ON IN THE BACKGROUND. JOHN TURNS UP THE VOLUME AND PLAYS THIS SCENE AGAIN BUT WITH VOLUME AND WE NOW HEAR THE HANDSOME MAN SAY:

JIM MILES: “She’s so beautiful! When she grows up she’s going to be such a HEARTBREAKER!”

PAN BACK TO JOHN AND BEHIND HIM RICO STANDS IN THE SAME SPOT WHERE PETER HAD STOOD.

RICO: “The usual level of treatment, John?”

JOHN: “NO!!! I don’t want you to kill her or harm her physically. In fact, I don’t even want you to split her personality.”

RICO: “But there’s no known way to avoid that!”

JOHN: “Do your best and go VERY lightly on the physical. I want you to get our greatest charmer Adolfo… and Hans-Peter and Pedro to help you. Yes, that’s the team I want for “Operation Hula Crush”… No, on second thought… “Operation Doll Face Rescue.”

JOHN IS NOW TALKING TO HIMSELF AND DOES NOT NOTICE THAT RICO IS STILL STANDING THERE WAITING FOR ORDERS.

JOHN (to himself quietly): “With her manipulations this woman has torn my beloved Peter from me… It’s a wound that will not heal easily… No kind and swift death of your lovely body my dear — it’s your self that I will take from you, and you will help me do it… An eye for an eye… Revenge is best served cold and you’ll never see it coming as I’m the world’s greatest doctor of Revenge… Dr. Revenge…

JOHN TURNS AND NOTICES RICO IS STILL THERE AND SAYS:

JOHN: “You can go now Rico.”

RICO LEAVES THE ROOM AND JOHN SAYS TO HIMSELF:

JOHN: “You’re mistaken Peter, you and Rodrigo both. I’ve never seen anyone on this planet that’s happy — and that includes Bea, I’ll prove it. Then you’ll give up your crazy quest for happiness and come back to me. This shouldn’t take long since it’s a woman and she’s fairly young. I’m really surprised Peter mistaking whatever this creature has for genuine happiness.”

JOHN PULLS UP A SCENE ON ONE OF THE SCREENS AND TURNS OFF ALL THE OTHERS. IT’S OF HIM AS A YOUNG MAN AND IT’S A CARTOON. IT SHOWS A CARTOON VERSION OF HIMSELF ON HIS WEDDING DAY AND THEN FRENCH SOLDIERS ENTER THE CHURCH AND ARREST HIM. WE NEXT SEE HIM IN A CELL THEN PULL BACK THROUGH HIS CELL WINDOW TO SEE HE’S AT THE PRISON AT THE CHATEAU d’IF.

JOHN TURNS BACK TO THE SCREEN WALL WHICH HAS PHOTOS, VIDEOS, AND REAL TIME STREAMING OF BEA AND SAYS:

JOHN : “Whenever you want a job done right you’ve got to do it yourself.”

~PART V~

CUT TO A HANDSOME MAN IN BEA’S HOME IN ROME BOXING UP THE FABERGE EGG.

BEA: “How long are Peter and Josef going to be at this conference?

MAN: “About a month and I’m sure they’ll get back in touch with you when they can.”

CUT TO A SERIES OF SHOTS OF BEA BEING HARASSED BY AGENTS OF RICO:

(*) TWIN TORNADOES NEARLY DESTROY BEA’S FATHER AND AUNT’S HOMES IN DALLAS, TX WITH COPPER BOX CARS IN THE AIR INSIDE THE TWISTERS; (*) BEA SEES IMAGES OF HERSELF APPEAR ON BILLBOARDS WHICH SHE NEVER MODELED FOR OR APPROVED OF; (*) BEA HAVING A BLACK HELICOPTER FOLLOW HER DOWN AN OLD COUNTRY ROAD AS SHE DRIVES AND WHEN SHE STOPS IT HOVERS OVER HER CAR AND SHE SUDDENLY FEELS HIGHLY SEXUALLY AROUSED FOR NO REASON; (*) BEA LISTENS TO THE RADIO WHERE THE ANNOUNCER IS CLEARLY TALKING TO HER ABOUT SUBJECTS THAT SHE TALKED TO PETER AND JOSEF ABOUT; (*) BEA WATCHING A MOVIE WHICH DEPICTS HER LIFE WITH PETER AND JOSEF; (*) BEA’S BEST FRIEND CALLING HER TO SAY HE’S BEEN GIVEN A DREAM JOB AT THE VATICAN EVEN THOUGH HE’S AN ATHEIST; (*) BEA’S MOST RECENT ROMANTIC INTEREST BEING CHASED OFF BY RICO AND HIS MEN AND THREATENED TO LEAVE BEA ALONE.

CUT TO INSERT THAT READS “6 Months Later.”

CUT TO RICO, ADOLFO, HANS-PETER AND PEDRO STANDING BEFORE JOHN IN THE SAME OFFICE.

ADOLFO: “Yes, we tried that…

HANS-PETER: “And all known variations of it…”

JOHN: “And what does she do?!!!”

PEDRO: “She engages… she’s incredibly funny… she doesn’t get freaked out at all.”

JOHN: “WHAT!!!???!

RICO: “We’ve never seen these kinds of reactions and we need more guidance from you.”

JOHN: “Has her personality split?”

ADOLFO: “No… not exactly… Her heart and stress points function as semi-alters: she refers her 2 Heart Point as “Party Girl,” who loves to go to events, concerts, parties, and who adores flirting with men…”

RICO CHIMES IN WITH A SIGH INDICATING HOW MUCH HE LOVES “Party Girl,” AND HANS-PETER AND PEDRO LOOK AT EACH OTHER EYES GLEAMING IN AGREEMENT WITH RICO. JOHN NOTICES THAT BEA IS HAVING THIS EFFECT ON HIS MEN AND HE’S VISIBLY IRRITATED.

ADOLFO (clearing his throat): The other two aspects of her Enneagram Personality are “The Narrator”/”Observer” (Stress to point 5) who is hilarious; and then the other is her main point as a Type 8 who she calls “The Doctor.”

JOHN: “What functions does “The Doctor” do for her?”

ADOLFO: “The Doctor” seems to be her primary protector self who keeps the other 2 inline and “The Doctor” is the position from which Bea rejects our self-sacrificing suggestions . John, we did not realize that Bea is professionally trained and profoundly logical, and thus it’s very hard to….”

JOHN: “Trained in philosophy by whom!?!?!?!?!?!

PEDRO (down-heartedly): “Your nemesis Skipper — plus the top three men Fluff/y mentored.”

ADOLFO: “Yes, Bea’s been trained in logic, including advanced epistemology, which we weren’t expecting and can’t yet get around — keeping the constraints you told Rico. She knows what the arbitrary is, and she’s able to play with us while not taking anything we say or indicate seriously. Almost every mechanism we set up to influence her she quickly shuts down — at least once we go negative.”

JOHN SLAMS HIS FIST DOWN ON HIS DESK IN FRONT OF HIM.

JOHN: “Why didn’t Peter tell me she was trained in logic!?!?!?!?” (Pause) “Thank you all… now go. I’ll deal with this BITCH myself… I’m going to take my time!”

~PART VI~

CUT TO JOHN DIRECTING THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE MAGNIFICENT TREEHOUSE (THE ONE IN THE FIRST SCENE) ON THE BEACH IN MADAGASCAR.

CUT TO BEA WAKING UP IN THE TREE-HOUSE WEARING THE SAME MAGNIFICENT BALL GOWN AS IN THE FIRST SCENE BUT IT’S NOW IN PERFECT CONDITION. BEA DOES NOT KNOW HOW SHE GOT TO THIS TREE HOUSE. SHE GOES TO A DESK AND TURNS ON A COMPUTER. SHE CHECKS HER FACEBOOK PAGE AND SEES THAT THE PLACE-HOLDER FOR HER UNICORN HAS POSTED SEVERAL THINGS AND SHE’S EXCITED TO READ THEM. WHEN SHE CHECKS HER EMAIL SHE SEES THAT SHE HAS NOT CHECKED IT FOR A WEEK, SO SHE INFIRS THAT SHE’S BEEN KIDNAPPED AND BROUGHT TO THE TREEHOUSE AND HAS UNDERGONE SOME DRUG-INDUCED MEMORY ERASURE, OR JUST BEEN MADE TO BE UNCONSCIOUS FOR A WEEK. SHE SEES THAT THE LAST EMAIL SHE SENT WAS TO RSVP TO A GALA GIVEN IN ROME ONE WEEK AGO AND SHE INFERS THAT THIS IS WHY SHE’S STILL WEARING THE BALL GOWN SHE WORE TO THIS EVENT. SHE NOTICES THAT SHE HAS EMAILS FROM A NUMBER OF NEW, AND EXISTING, SUITORS AND THOUGHTFULLY RESPONDS TO EACH BUT IS ONLY EXCITED ABOUT ONE OF THEM: DR. RAND. WE SEE HER EXCITEMENT WHILE SHE WRITES HER EMAIL TO HIM. SHE THEN SAYS TO HERSELF:

BEA: “I wish I had a….”

THEN INSIDE OF HER OWN MIND A VOICE SAYS:

VOICE: “Yes… Do you have something in mind?”

BEA’S STARTLED AND LOOKS AROUND THE ROOM TO SEE IF THERE’S SOMEONE NEAR HER BUT THERE IS NO ONE. SHE GOES OUTSIDE AND WALKS AROUND THE TREE-HOUSE TO SEE IF THERE’S ANYONE OUTSIDE BUT AGAIN NO ONE. SHE GOES BACK INSIDE AND AGAIN THERE IS A VOICE INSIDE HER HEAD AND IT SAYS:

VOICE: “Let’s chat.”

BEA (inside her mind says): “Alright. What do you want to chat about?”

VOICE: “Us.”

BEA: “There’s no “us” — I don’t even know who you are — although I have my suspicions.

VOICE: “Very soon there will be an us.”

BEA: “This is a lot of trouble to go to for a date. Why didn’t you just go to one of the social events I routinely attend and get introduced to me like a normal man?”

VOICE: “That’s not my style.”

BEA: “But kidnapping and leaving me with access to my friends and research, and chatting me up with some exotic technology IS your style?”

VOICE (ignoring her question): “Let’s talk about your friends, one in particular, this man Dr. Rand.

BEA: “What about him?”

VOICE: “What does he mean to you?”

BEA: “He’s a place-holder. I’m a hero-worshipper. I worship men who have grand scale achievements and especially the achievement of practicing moral objectivity which leads to having a happy self.”

VOICE: “Then very soon you’ll be worshiping me.”

BEA: “I very much doubt that. Anyway, Dr. Rand is my current unicorn.”

VOICE: “He’s a place-holder for your ideal mate?”

BEA: “That’s right. Why do you care?”

VOICE: “I’m envious of your esteem for him.”

BEA: “Well all you would have to do to fix the situation is EARN my esteem — assuming you’re a real man and not just some AI or Quantum computer. I would need from you “a special proof of benevolence” — to quote the Count of Monte Cristo. Without that I’ll just assume you are not for real.

VOICE: “I’m real baby!!

BEA: “Well, whatever you are, what do you want with me? Why have you taken me prisoner and when are you going to release me?”

VOICE: “We’ll get to all that soon…”

~PART VII~

CUT TO AN INSERT WHICH READS “3 months later…”

CUT TO BEA EATING A DELICIOUS MEAL DELIVERED BY A SERVANT ON THE BALCONY OVERLOOKING THE OCEAN WITH A SIBERIAN FOREST CAT SITTING ACROSS HER SHOULDERS. WHEN THE SERVANT’S GONE SHE SAYS OUT-LOUD:

BEA: “Well John… You know, I always liked that name and when I was in my teens I decided that my ideal mate would be named John… Silly the kind of things young girls think of… Anyway, you still have not proven ANYTHING to me: I have no evidence for anything you’ve told me about your self — including your many protestations of love for me. You’re full of assertions in this highly subjective venue (she points to her head) — which does not even allow for reading your body-language. You may know I’ve studied logic and I know what the arbitrary is. So far all your protestations of love for me are arbitrary. And from what I could tell about the world I was living in before you kidnapped me, you’re out to shrink the lifespans of billions of people. So, I might say you are the world’s greatest killer, and if being King Kong were not bad enough, you’re being really mean to me as well.”

“JOHN”: “Mean to you!!!?… I’ve MADE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE!!!… I’ve given you the most gorgeous home you’ve ever had… the best food you’ve ever eaten… I’ve protected you from storms that frequent this part of the coast… I’ve given you access to your friends via the internet that I caused to be created… Every single thing you’ve asked for I’ve given you… And I don’t understand why you won’t wear the beautiful clothes I’ve given you… I’ve looked after all of your friends and family who write you to tell about how well their lives are going… I’ve brought you experts to monitor your health…

BEA: “I haven’t seen any doctors…”

“JOHN”: “You don’t need to see them, we monitor your health remotely. I’ve given you that lovely cat that you’ve befriended and made sure that no predators attack him… I’ve given you all this time to get to know me…”

BEA (stands up and paces and gestures): “Made my dreams come true you say?!!!… When did I ever ask to be captured by a Monarch who intends to rule the entire world by his volition, usurping the volition of all other humans?!!! Now I know that you have technologies that can erase part or all of a person’s memories but I just don’t recall dreaming for that!”

JOHN (with difficulty staying calm): “Like you, I was born into this system and my only choice was to make the most of it, or pass it on. And now your only choice is the same, come and make the most of it with me, or…”

BEA: “I’d be truly appreciative of what you’ve done for me if I knew that your motive is  benevolent — BUT I DON’T!!! You could have done all these things in order to create the perfect operating theater for the agenda of the ancient Mystery Schools — from Platonism to Mithraism — to CRUSH MY SELF!!!

BEA STORMS BACK INTO THE BUNGALOW.

CUT TO JOHN INSIDE HIS BEDROOM WHICH HAS A SMALL BANK OF SCREENS. HE LOOKS AT BEA ON THE SCREEN AS SHE SAYS THE LAST LINES ABOVE AND STORMS INSIDE. JOHN PULLS ON A CORD TO PULL A BLACK VELVET CURTAIN OVER THE SCREENS. HE LAYS DOWN ON HIS BED AND RUMINATES. ONE OF HIS CLOSEST FRIENDS CALLS AND THE WAY WE KNOW IT IS THAT THE COLOR BLUE APPEARS INSIDE OF JOHN’S MIND’S EYE. JOHN ACCEPTS THE CALL AND THEY TALK WITH NO DEVICE — JUST BY TALKING IN THEIR HEADS.

JOHN: “Ledochowski, how’s the council going?

LEDOCHOWSKI: “Everything’s good here John, not to worry. Josef got things back on track — that’s not why I’m calling… (pause) Several of us were having dinner and started talking about how you’re doing. Frankly, we’re worried… You’ve been locked up and engaged in trying to break her for 3 months now. Don’t you think you should get back to your real life?… All the girls miss you and ask about you.”

JOHN: “Tell them to send me their wish lists.”

LEDOCHOWSKI: “Seriously John… What the hell are you doing?”

JOHN: “I’m falling in love for the first time in my life and I have to wrestle this demon all by myself. It’s like making love — it’s not something you can delegate.”

LEDOCHOWSKI: “John, how will we know if she’s gotten to you? How will we know if she’s turned you against your old self, your old standards, your old agenda and what should we do if she does this to you?”

JOHN: “3 months ago I would have asked you to kill me if she wins this battle. Now…I want you all to get your tuxedoes pressed and get ready for the grandest wedding the world has ever seen.”

CUT TO BEA CHATTING ON SKYPE WITH A HANDSOME AND BRILLIANT 50 SOMETHING MAN AS HE TURNS THE CONVERSATION TO SEX.

ANDREW: “That’s enough philosophy. I really wanna know what turns you on Bea… I wanna know what excites you physically… Tell me….

WE HEAR THE CALL HAS BEEN DISCONNECTED.

BEA (curiously): “What the….

JOHN (in her mind): “I don’t want you to talk about sex with any other man!”

BEA: “I don’t want you popping in my head and chatting with me or disconnecting calls with my suitors.”

JOHN: “You have NO OTHER SUITORS!!!”

BEA: “Just for the sake of argument, John, let’s say we get together. And let’s say that one day you come home from a hard days work and I rush to you and ask: “How was your day darling?” and you answer “Amazing, I set out to kill 50 million people and was able to kill 100 million.” What do you expect me to say to this “achievement”? “Terrific about the extra the mass murder sweetie!”?

JOHN: “I have an answer. I have a way for us to work this out. Please hear me out.”

BEA: “I don’t see any possible logical answer John — you’re the world’s greatest killer and you’ve caused a huge amount of suffering…  (long pause) (whispering now) albeit, you’ve also caused a greater amount of human flourishing in the many decades you’ve been King of this twisted Kingdom.”

JOHN: “Thank you for recognizing that I’ve caused more flourishing than death and suffering.”

BEA: “Even with that being the case John, it’s the nature of a Kingdom that only the King has a SELF. Only the King has and can use all of his volition. I’m a daisy that broke through the cracks in the sidewalk of your Kingdom, I’m a fluke, a freak, a pest, and I’d rather die than not exercise all of my free will to maintain the kind of autonomous and happy self I’ve created. There’s no place for 2 sovereigns in this Kingdom of yours John.

JOHN: “Bea, what I love most after myself is you. I love my strength and my dignity which make me superior to other men. That strength was my life but now… Now that I see that there’s you, my darling… I have never wanted to share my Kingdom, never needed another soul… My beloved… There’s room for another sovereign if you join me as my Queen.

BEA: “If I ever believe you love me, John, then I’ll be your Queen.”

~The End~

{Author’s note: This story ends in much the same way Ayn Rand’s “Night of January 16th” ends. That is, it’s up to the reader to decide the ending: Does the King really want to be happy and see Bea as a means to his newly chosen ultimate end; or is it another trick to try to destroy her self — you decide.}

(This story is dedicated to my unicorn!)

 

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“The King’s Costliest Jewel” by Brishon (Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved)

“The King’s Costliest Jewel”

King Franco, the king of Copperoma, had been unable to find a woman to wed because all the eligible woman in his kingdom he deemed to be unsuitable to be his life-long companion because they did not have strong and good characters. Moreover, they were charming to, or submissive to him simply because of his wealth and power. After over a year of earnest searching Franco, now desperate, was reaching the end of his hope. He could not determine how he would achieve a romantically happy life with an amazing woman.

One day, while King Franco looked out the window at the grand view around his castle, his lieutenant approached him to remind him of a chronic problem that the king had been putting off while he was seeking a bride. Lieutenant Priva informed King Franco that Samantha Martini had just posted her latest attacks on the King on the church doors and that the peasants were listening to her critiques of his kingdom. King Franco said stridently: “No Priva, I won’t deal with her now, I don’t have the strength.” “But your highness, she’s wreaking havoc in your kingdom: she’s causing the peasants to be demanding and dissatisfied.” Priva handed Franco a document which contained Samantha’s charges and without looking at it King Franco asked: “Who is this awful creature anyway? Have I ever met her?” “No sire, she lives in seclusion and has never been to court. Her aunt is a portrait artist and has just painted her portrait which is on display in the library.” “Bring it to me, I want to see what this crazy woman looks like.” “Yes, sire.” Priva left to retrieve the portrait of Samantha Martini.

Whenever Samantha was in public, while the king was her primary verbal target for moral condemnation, because she has found almost all the men in Copperoma severely lacking, she told anyone in earshot of her negative judgments of them, as well as of the king. Seeking moral heroes and finding none, Samantha lived alone in seclusion on the outskirts of Copperoma in a small cottage, facing squarely the fact that her standards were high and she wanted only someone as good as her — or else no one at all.

King Franco, now dressed wearing an exquisite red robe with his coat of arms on it, walked into a grand room where eight large portraits of women lined one wall. As he walked past the portraits he stopped and gave a brief summary of the character of each of the women in the portraits. These were the portraits of the women he’d been considering making his bride. Using the document of Samantha’s charges as a pointer, he gestured at each portrait as he talked to it starting with the first portrait: “You’re critical, cold and emotionally repressed, yet you pretend to approve of me.” The he walked on and stopped before the next portrait saying: “You talk incessantly and say nothing while feigning utter approval of me.” Walking to the next portrait he said: “All image and show, there’s no self there.” And to the next he said: “A femme-fetal seeking nothing more than drama and tragedy.” To the next he said: “utterly indifferent and antisocial.” And to the next: “you are kind but constantly afraid, nervous and high-strung.” He stoped and smiled at the next portrait as he says “Oh my dear, you’re charming, fun, active, intelligent, but you’re unable to commit to any person, place or thing for longer than a day.” And to the last portrait he says: “Cordial and friendly to all in equal amounts thus treating all as if they were the same.”

As King Franco arrived at the end of the line of portraits, Priva returned with the portrait of Samantha Martini and he placed it on as easel in front of Franco. Then Priva removed the cloth covering it. As Franco gasped at the spectacularly beautiful face he felt something he’d never felt before – love. “Who is this woman Priva, you must bring her to me at once! I’ve never seen such beauty and intelligence, she’s exactly what I’ve been looking for. Franco moved away from the portrait to call for more attendants. “Bring her to me at once so we can begin making plans for the wedding. Who is she and why did you not tell me about her sooner?” “Sire, I did tell you about her.” “No, I recall no such discussion. When did it take place, perhaps some weeks or months ago?” “No sire, I told you about her an hour ago.” “No Priva an hour ago you told me about some shrew named Samantha Martini.” “Exactly sire, this is Samantha Martini.” Franco stoped in his tracks. Then he rushed back to the portrait. “This is Samantha Martini?” “Yes sire.” Franco stood looking at her a long time studying her features. “I simply can’t believe it.” Franco folded the document of Samantha’s charges tighter and again used it to as a pointer to examine various parts of her face for some time then said: “Priva, I want to observe her at a distance. Set up some place for her to be in public so I can observe her. I simply can’t believe your report about her demeanor – I must see her for myself.” “Yes, sire.” Priva left to set up the rendezvous. Franco stared at Samantha and talked to her portrait: “What an expensive jewel you would be, my dear. You are the only woman in this kingdom who does not want to be my queen. He strokes the portrait with his hand touching the mouth gently and says to the portrait “I must take my time, this won’t be quick or easy. You’re a prickly little flower needing constant attention and so you shall have it.” As he walked away down the hall with the portraits of women on the wall he said out-loud: “This will be my greatest achievement: turning my greatest enemy into the love of my life.” He tossed Samantha’s charges onto the floor and exited the room walking with great purpose.

Later that night in his bedroom, pacing next to his canopy bed, Franco talked out-loud to himself: “Every woman in this kingdom is attracted to my office, my power, my fortune, my fame and none of them wants me. I should consider myself lucky that there’s such a rare and precious judgmental jewel as Samantha in this entire kingdom: she’s not motivated by love of wealth, approval of the crowd, or fear of me. If all that existed in the world were the feminine manifestations I’ve encountered so far, I’d resign myself to marry only to issue an heir and then disabuse myself of this lifelong romantic hope of mine for a great love. Alright, first I need to charm her by…” the king wrote notes in a book sketching out his plan to court and woo Samantha staying up into the wee hours strategizing his plan of attack. He decided the first thing he must do is wear out his opponent as her guard was up and her armor was thick and he must find a way to penetrate them. He concluded he must get her back in public, back dealing with people, out of her seclusion in order to give him opportunities to communicate with her – even if at a distance.

The following morning Samantha opened her front door to find a summons attached to it which was from the local tax assessor requesting her presence at his office to discuss the back taxes she owed on her cottage. After reading it she angrily cursed: “As if King Franco doesn’t have enough money! How am I going to come up with what I need to pay this appalling tax?… As if I have nothing better to do with my time than go to town and chat with the tax assessor!… Indeed…” She paced then threw up her arms in resignation and started getting ready to go to town.

That afternoon at the tax assessors office she started to explain the reason for the delay, but before she could explain the tax assessor said: “Miss Martini, an anonymous admirer has already paid your taxes.” Shocked, she demanded: “who is the anonymous admirer?!” “I’m sorry but he swore me to secrecy.” She got up and stormed out and when she arrived in her carriage she found a single red rose and a note on the seat. Franco and Priva were disguised and standing nearby watching her. She opened the note and read: “Dear mademoiselle, please don’t be concerned that you are now obligated to me, in any way, for paying your taxes. Ensuring your material care and comfort is paramount to me. Signed, your sincerest admirer.” Samantha crumpled up the note and tossed it out the carriage window. Fuming she noticed the rose and picked it up, smells it, and feels admired for a moment. We see Franco smiling as he watches her and he’s delighted, but then she quickly returns to herself and tosses the rose out the window too. Then she loudly knocks to get the carriage driver to drive on. As she rides off, the king smiles pleased with his first salvo.

Next we see a series of shots of Franco watching Samantha react to her secret admirer (him) doing things for her to make her life comfortable and secure: a roofer is busy fixing holes in her roof and Samantha tosses a note and a red tulip out her cottage window. On another day, a plumber is fixing her well-pump and she tosses a note and a red lily out her window. On another day a horseman shoes her 2 horses and she tosses a note and a red hydrangea out her window. On another day a painter is painting the outside of her cottage and she tosses a note and red gladiola out her window. We see a disguised Priva laying a giant red hibiscus and a note down on Samantha’s front porch. Next we see a carriage maker fixing her carriage as Samantha awkwardly carries a very long, red hibiscus flower out to the street in front of her house where she makes a scene as she throws it and the note into the muddy street where it’s trampled on by horses and carriages as she yells “I hate the color RED!!!” The passersby stare at her as if she’s crazy but she pays no attention as she’s used to their disapproval. In disguise, King Franco watches from across the street delighted by her fury. Samantha returns to her cottage to find a servant waiting inside who says: “Good day, I’ve come to give you my services.” “I can’t afford your services, please leave.” “My salary’s already been paid for the year.” “By whom?” “By the agency I work for.” “But who paid them for your services?” “I don’t know.” Frustrated she says: “Arrrgggghhhh.” Samantha storms into her room to smolder as the servant starts tidying up her cottage.

Priva, disguised, now stands next to King Franco (who’s also disguised) and Priva gently draws Franco’s attention to Samantha’s seeming hatred: “Sire, I know you feel this experiment of yours is well… going… um… I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it seems like she hates her benefactor, er… that is… YOU sire. Are you sure this is the proper course of action?” “I’ve never been more certain in all my life! You just have no imagination Priva. You’ll see, she’s going to become the woman I’ve always dreamed of – trust me.” “Um…ah…yes, sire.” They walked toward Franco’s castle. “Priva, I want you to set up a small dinner party at my aunt’s estate and invite Samantha and about a dozen other guests. I’m going to attend it disguised and so make sure none of the guests reveals that I am the King of Copperoma.” “Yes, sire.”

Early evening at the grand country estate owned by King Franco’s aunt Esmarelda and the dimming light of dusk shines on a dozen local, well-to-do citizens of Copperoma who sit around a large dinner table chatting and drinking wine. Samantha is seated between Franco and Fernando (who is the son of a wealthy architect, Juan Menendez, who grew rich by being King Franco’s official court architect). As the night progresses it becomes painfully clear to Franco that Samantha is being charmed and seduced by Fernando. Franco watches Samantha laughing and having a wonderful time flirting with Fernando which irritates the King immensely as he had intended to charm and seduce Samantha himself. Esmarelda is watching the three of them and realizes that Franco is jealous so she calls the head servant and tells him to cut the meal very short. Esmarelda then asks her guests to adjourn into the music room where a performance is to take place. Esmarelda ushers Franco and Samantha into the room and seats them next to each other. Being well disguised, Samantha does not recognize him as the king. She’s concerned that she’s being taken away from Fernando who has been collared by one of the other guests. Samantha and Fernando’s eyes catch each other from across the room as Franco now starts trying to talk to her but she’s preoccupied with Fernando’s absence. Finally, interrupting the King as he’s talking to her, Samantha gestures for Fernando to come and sit beside her and he does. She then proceeds to ignore Franco preferring instead to be charmed and seduced by Fernando. Franco hides the fact that he is furious and jealous as he tries to come up with a solution to this problem.

As the guests leave, one by one, Fernando and Samantha exit the estate agreeing to get together again on the following day for an early dinner at her cottage and to then attend a musical performance in town. Franco can hear them arrange their date and then watches them part and ride away in their respective carriages. Priva stands next to Franco as Franco says: “I’m the one who changed her from being that raging, loathsome hell-cat into a fun-loving, angelic, pleasant pearl, and if he thinks he’s going to steal my jewel…” Priva askes: “Are you still sure your plan is going to work Sire, she seems to be completely enamored with Fernando?” “Yes, of course, Priva, I have absolute confidence in my plan, it cannot fail! She will fall in love with ME not some silly architect’s son. I want you to go see Fernando’s father Count Menendez and tell him this for me…” Priva starts writing down what Franco dictates.

The next day at the arranged time a messenger delivers a note to Samantha. We read: “Dearest Samantha, I so enjoyed meeting you last night and I was looking forward to our date tonight but at the last moment my father — Count Menendez – has sent me on an urgent assignment to the kingdom of Soltania. Unfortunately, I expect to be away for some time as my father has need of me there at a quarry where he gets marble and granite for the King’s projects. It may be some months before I return. However, I would be delighted if upon my return you will allow me to escort you to a fine play. With warm regards, Fernando.” Samantha frowns disappointed and folds Fernando’s note and carefully places it in a special box on her desk.

The next day, disguised as he was at the party, Franco comes courting and Samantha, who still does not realize that he’s the King, is not too interested in him but she’s civil to him.

We see a series of shots showing their daily dates and outings and she starts to like him more and more.

Eventually, Samantha realizes that her suitor is King Franco. At first, she decides to tease him by pretending that she still does not know who he is and further that she’s still interested in Fernando (even though she is not). Eventually, she realizes that Franco had Fernando shipped off so he could court her instead. So, to tease Franco, she gets her driver to take her to Soltania, the town that Fernando’s in, and she stays at an inn and invites Fernando to begin courting her again. Samantha believes that Franco will follow her – and indeed he does as he has to in order to ensure that nothing serious happens between her and Fernando – emotionally or physically. In response to Samantha inviting Fernando to court her, Franco says to Priva: “I’m just going to kidnap Samantha!” “Sire, she may find that too brutal and cruel and it might be hard for you to recover in her esteem.” “Yes, you’re right Priva, let’s just watch and see what unfolds.”

Despite her best efforts to keep up the pretense, eventually, Franco realizes that she knows he’s the King. Franco decides to turn the tables on her by arriving at the same restaurant where she and Fernando are dinning but Franco is escorted by a very beautiful woman, thus basically saying to her ‘is this the standard you want to set up as the way we engage with each other, my dear – trying to make each other jealous?’ When Samantha sees this woman with King Franco she becomes jealous, at first, not realizing that he’s just doing to her what she’s doing to him, but then she realizes what he’s up to, and it causes her to smile in response to his cleverness. When she returns home, Samantha must decide if it’s possible that she could actually love the man who, just months ago, she all but hated and publicly criticized. She decides she could love him, but she also realizes it’s possible that this is all just a ploy to get her to shut-up and stop attacking him and his kingdom publicly.

Upon discovering that Samantha’s not in love with Fernando, and optimistically believing that she possibly could fall in love with him, Franco follows Samantha back to her cottage. She desperately wants Franco’s motive to be love because if he truly loves her then she feels that she could be in love for the first time in her life. When she gets back home she has many talks with herself out-loud. They’re discussions about how she could love the King who she’s spent so much time attacking because the King allows such injustices to happen in his kingdom. She also tries to make a model of him that explains how he could possibly love her – his kingdom’s public enemy number one.

Franco, now back in his castle paces while he says to Priva: “I’m aching with anticipation to see her again, Priva.”

Cut to Samantha in her cottage by a small blackboard going over the arguments again and tiring of her confusion about his motive: Samantha says (exhausted): “I’m punch-drunk with doubt about him.”

Cut back to Franco in his castle speaking to Samantha’s portrait: “My darling Samantha, you’re too good to be true.”

Cut back to Samantha at her blackboard: “Oh Franco, you’re too bad to be true.”

She decides she needs to talk to him in person as she wants to look into his eyes to see if he’s lying about his true motive because she’s convinced this whole thing would be a very good deception to get her to stop attacking him and his kingdom. So, she comes out of the seclusion she’s been in for weeks and sends her driver with a note for Priva asking him to set up a time and place for her and King Franco to meet.

We see a series of shots of Samantha and Franco together: horseback riding, picnicking, hiking, etc. Samantha’s always trying to devise a proof of his motive and she allows herself to get closer and closer to him and is just about to fall in love with him but she stops herself realizing that she does not have a PROOF and so, once again, she pulls away from him and goes back into seclusion refusing his invitations.

Despite her doubt, he keeps sending her gifts and things to stay connected to her which she happily accepts, but then scorns herself and reminds herself that these tokens he’s sending her are a tiny price for him to pay to shut her up to achieve harmony and peace in his kingdom. Endlessly, she tries to figure out a way to prove to herself what his true motive is. Meanwhile he waits patiently staying connected via his gifts and reports from Priva on how she’s doing.

They are both frustrated as they both want to be together, but she’s not convinced of his motive. Once again she writes down and reviews her charges on her blackboard. Then suddenly a plan comes to her to get the proof she needs of his true motive.

She has her driver tell Priva she wants to meet King Franco again and she asks that he come disguised. He arrives disguised at her cottage and they take her carriage after she tells him: “I want to show you something.” She tells her driver to go to an address. They arrive and get out and see many dirty, barefoot children lethargically sitting and standing in the street in a poor area of Copperoma. She takes King Franco by the hand and leads him into a tiny cottage where a large, poverty stricken family lives. Then she speaks to the sick mother about her ailments and their lack of food and medical attention. After a friendly discussion, she and King Franco leave and she takes him to another home and has the same types of discussions with the same types of people. They get back into her carriage and she can see that Franco is visibly upset. Surprised by his reaction, she asks “Did you ever read the charges against you that I pinned to the church door?” “No I’ve been too busy trying to find a bride.” “Most of my charges against you center around the lack of food and medical treatment that some of your subjects endure.” There’s a long pause as he realizes that she’s not a shrew in need of taming but actually a very kind-hearted, caring person who wanted to get him to fix legitimate  problems in his kingdom. Suddenly Franco is overwhelmed by her greatness of character and falls to his knees and holds her hands in his as he rests his head in her lap: “Samantha… Samantha… my darling…you’re my joy… my passion… my delight.” They stare into each other’s eyes. She is stunned and delighted by his reaction. She concludes that he truly loves her and is delighted that Franco now sees her true self as she thought no one could see through her warrior-like demeanor in pursuit of having a kind and benevolent kingdom.

Cut to Samantha walking alone in the same area of Copperoma, but now the homes are painted and the children have clean clothes and shoes and the sick women we saw before are healthy. Correcting the neglect of his subject’s suffering is the test she devised to discover Franco’s true motive and she’s delighted to see that he is both kind and responsible as a monarch; and that he truly loves her.

On a bright sunny afternoon, Franco and Samantha’s walk down the isle in the biggest wedding in Copperoma since Franco’s father married his mother.

Now on their wedding night Franco kisses her hand and caresses her fingers and says: “Oh, your hands are so beautiful… not just your hands… of course… I mean the rest of you too… oh, you’re so lovely darling.” They kiss and Samantha takes a paper from beside her and places it in his lap as they are kissing. When they stop kissing he sees the paper and starts to read it and says: “I see, the sewers have collapsed in the South Village.” “Yes, darling it seems when the recent rains damaged a retaining wall and…” Interrupting and smiling he says: “I’ll have it fixed.” Franco stands up and walks over to a closet and says “Darling, I have a problem only you can fix.” He takes out a bright RED silk robe with Franco’s coat of arms on it, and he walks towards her. She smiles and kisses him, and then he places the robe on her, and they both smile deeply at each other delighted that they’re both getting what they truly wanted. They live happily ever after.

The End

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“French Toast” by Brishon (Copyright 2015-2019 All Rights Reserved)

“FRENCH TOAST”

Cast of Characters: Martini; Alfredo; Ambrosia; Napoleon (husband of Ambrosia and rival of Alfredo); Anjou; Basil; Mrs. Coco; Cherry.

Once upon a time on a tiny island lived a beautiful, passionate, gregarious woman named Martini whose greatest loves in life were great food; fraud-busting; and seeking a man she could have a happy romantic relationship with. She was the much loved social glue of the island of Belvedere, she was known and loved by all of its tight-knit residents.

At the estate on top of Belvedere island lived the world’s greatest chef – Alfredo. He was in a state of withdrawal from the world nursing the wound of having lost the love of his life. She was the best woman he’d ever met and her name was Ambrosia. She was also the person best able to appreciate and enjoy Alfredo’s gastronomical creations. Alfredo and Ambrosia were engaged 25 years ago in France. Without having someone as appreciative and sensitive as Ambrosia was to his gastronomical creations, Alfredo decided not to cook again.

Martini was a “SuperTaster” and she loved making the great dishes, especially the ones she’d experienced as a gourmet journalist while living in France. Martini read food magazines, week after week, and spent her annual vacations each year in France eating at the carefully chosen top rated restaurants. She enjoyed the carefully researched top dishes that each establishment was famous for. Each year, on her vacation, Martini would purchase these master French chef’s cook books, then return home and try to duplicate the dishes she’d had at their restaurants. After many frustrating failed attempts to duplicate the dishes she’d had in France, she concluded that there was something wrong. She suspected that the chef’s cook books were not revealing all the ingredients, or all the methods needed to duplicate the dishes oneself.

One day after Martini made her daily rounds visiting friends on Belvedere island, in her Citroen 2CV, a new resident on Belvedere island — Anjou Alfredo’s new housekeeper — approached Martini at the Farmer’s Market to introduce herself. They became fast friends.

~Flashback~

Twenty five years ago, Alfredo was widely acclaimed as the greatest living chef. He was passionate about his work and received acclaim from many critics and epicures, but his greatest joy in life was cooking for his fiance Ambrosia. Her passion in life was to eat the greatest food as she was a highly sophisticated SuperTaster. Ambrosia was independently wealthy, having inherited a fortune from her father who’d been one of the greatest chef’s in France himself. Thus, Ambrosia’s grew up in an environment where her sense of taste was highly refined, where her standards were the highest. Nine times out of 10 she’d spit food out rather than consume it, even at the best restaurants around the world. Ambrosia had a photographic memory for food and could look at a recipe and imagine how the food would taste. She could eat a dish and tell what ingredients were in it. When Ambrosia liked something she would spend an enormous amount of time analyzing it’s constituent components and praising the chef who created it in personal letters that she sent them – as well as in her column in L’epicure. As a policy, Ambrosia never wanted to meet chefs in person because she wanted to experience their food without their character or personality having any effect on her. However, she once made an exception: upon tasting the first bite of Alfredo’s Foie Gras, she determined she must meet the man who’d prepared it. So, Ambrosia asked to meet him and when Alfredo arrived at her table, Ambrosia bestowed on him such a barrage of compliments, of such detail and with such accuracy, that he became instantly enchanted with her.

Invariably and over time, Ambrosia was drawn to the establishment where Alfredo created his gastronomical works of art, the most famous and popular Parisian restaurant “Chez Plaisir” and in time Ambrosia and Alfredo started dating. Most of their dates were spent with Alfredo cooking and Ambrosia eloquently explaining why his dishes were perfect. Typically, during the meal, the two would engage in passionate love-making in the kitchen, pots, pans and knives strewn hazardously about. After a few near disasters, they built a love nest in his kitchen to use for their passionate during-meal trysts, still wanting to experience the pinnacle of their love-making near the gastronomical masterpieces.

After years of bliss together, one day Ambrosia was told of a new chef who was hired at Chez Plaisir’s rival restaurant. Ambrosia was not interested in sampling the newcomer’s creations, as she was convinced that she had found the greatest chef in the world. Nonetheless, her friend persisted and managed to drag Ambrosia to “Chez Bacchus.” To Ambrosia’s surprise the newcomer – Napoleon – was a gastronomical genius. While she adored his food, she was devastated to discover that Alfredo had a competitor. She hid from Alfredo her passion for Napoleon’s creations as she found herself, virtually against her own will, eating at Chez Bacchus once a week.

Eventually, because Ambrosia was the talk of the gastronomical world, and given that she had been seen at Chez Bacchus on several occasions, Alfredo found out about her dinning there. He was hurt and disappointed. Heartbrokenly, Alfredo confronted Ambrosia needing to know why she’d been hiding from him the fact that she’d been enjoying Napoleon’s creations. She reluctantly told him that she hid it because she did not want to hurt him. She was morally convicted that she had to take into account the fact that she was a demanding SuperTaster; and that her passion, her career, her central integrating purpose was to enjoy the world’s greatest food. Alfredo accepted that she should pursue Napoleon’s creations by way of satisfying her career passion. However, he was hurt and he soon informed her that he had accepted a temporary assignment to cater the 100 year celebration of the French-American culinary academy in San Francisco and would leave immediately.

While Alfredo was away, one day Ambrosia was eating at Chez Bacchus and, unbeknownst to her, she was seated right next to Napoleon. They struck up a conversation about the food and Ambrosia was delighted to have someone so keenly interested in her evaluations. Like Alfredo, Napoleon knew he was talking to the greatest living food critic, but pretended not to know her. He asked if he could join her at her table and she agreed. At the end of the meal, he informed Ambrosia that he was Chef Napoleon (the creator of the meal) and asked her to attend a ball he was to cater at the French President’s palace. Expecting that the occasion would bring out his greatest work, Ambrosia accepted his invitation.

On the night of the ball Ambrosia found herself ecstatic while eating Napoleon’s various dishes and she praised each and every item he offered her. At the end of the evening they were drunk with delight, and nearly drunk on wine, and Napoleon kissed Ambrosia. A passionate night of lovemaking ensued in the French President’s kitchen.

The next day, when she sobered up, Ambrosia was horrified that she’d made love to Napoleon as she’d intended to be faithful to Alfredo. In a few days, she came to accept the difficult circumstance she found herself in: loving and whorhipping two equally matched gastronomical geniuses.

When Alfredo returned from San Francisco he brought an engagement ring and presented it to Ambrosia, she started crying and confessed what she’d done with Napoleon. Alfredo was forgiving and understood her dilemma, but he did not believe Napoleon was his equal. So Alfredo called to make a reservation at Chez Bacchus and after he’d sampled Napoleon’s creations Alfredo returned to Ambrosia to tell her that Napoleon was a genius and was indeed his equal. They both found themselves depressed about this turn of events. In a few days, Alfredo proposed a competition between the them and Ambrosia agreed to choose whichever chef created the best dishes during the competition. To bring attention to this competition between himself and Napoleon, Alfredo – being the most renowned chef in France – created a new, annual, culinary competition. The winner received a prize called “Alfredo d’Or.”

Napoleon won the competition. Alfredo and Ambrosia ended their relationship and Ambrosia devoted herself to Napoleon. Alfredo was devastated and decided to leave France and return to the San Francisco Bay Area in a quest for obscurity. He bought an estate atop Belvedere Island wanting to go to the one place on Earth that no one would ever look for the world’s greatest chef – America.

~End Flashback~

After spending hours talking to Anjou at the Farmer’s Market, Martini decided that Alfredo’s life on Belvedere island was a tragic waste. She determined to get him to enjoy life again. She concluded that by cooking for her, and by teaching her to cook, Alfredo would come back to the land of the living. Together Martini and Anjou devised a plan.

One sunny morning Martini drove her Citroen 2CV to Alfredo’s estate and Anjou let her in the locked gate. Martini carried with her, her best souffle recipe from her French cookbooks. Anjou showed Martini to the kitchen where Martini put all of the ingredients for the souffle on the kitchen counter. Then they both waited for Alfredo to show up.

About a half hour later, Alfredo came into the kitchen to get a glass of milk, which Anjou has intentionally not given him with his breakfast. At first Alfredo did not see either Martini, or the spread of food on the counter. But as soon as he noticed Martini, she approached him as if she’d known him all her life and started talking to him as if they were good friends. She spoke and behaved as if she’d had an appointment for him to teach her how to make a souffle. Alfredo was aghast at first, but when she mentioned that she brought the latest souffle recipe from Chez Plaisir, the restaurant he’d worked at it France, Alfredo became intrigued. He took the recipe from her and mulled it over. He finally decided to see if it was any good.

When the souffle was done they both tasted it and she said: “It’s wonderful,” yet Alfredo threw his souffle across the room in disgust breaking the ramekin. Martini was incredulous. Alfredo explained that the souffle is missing key ingredients. Moreover, he said important methods for making a great souffle have been omitted from the recipe she brought. Disgustedly, he also told her to ignore any star chef’s cookbooks as they routinely and intentionally leave out relevant information to keep their restaurant’s monopolies intact. Martini hugged him then paced around the kitchen delighted to have her suspicion confirmed by the greatest expert in the field. She explained that she suspected that this was happening because she was never able to duplicate her gastronomical experiences at home via the French chef’s recipes.

Over the next weeks Martini came daily to Alfredo’s home to be mentored by him. She was having the time of her life and Alfredo had not been so happy since he was cooking for, and making love to Ambrosia. Alfredo often gave Martini pop-quizzes to ensure that she’d remember critical elements of great cooking: one of which was to use duck fat in most dishes that call for butter.

At night Martini would spread the secrets she’d learned from Alfredo by teaching them to the women on the island; and the woman were delighted.

One day after a particularly delicious meal, Martini asked Alfredo why he left France and quit cooking. It was clear now that Alfredo has grown to feel a daughterly love for  Martini so he briefly tells her what happened with Ambrosia and Napoleon (which she already knew from Anjou). Martini asked if he still loves Ambrosia and Alfredo confessed that he still loves her desperately and that he will never cook for anyone but Martini and Ambrosia. Upon hearing this Martini became clearly determined to make something happen.

The next day Martini talked to the richest woman on the island – Mrs. Coco. Martini left Mrs. Coco’s house excited and drives happily around the island singing a French song about food.

A few weeks later, at the town center there were posters and decorations announcing that the most prestigious international culinary competition had chosen Belvedere to host the annual competition. Martini took one of the posters to Alfredo. At first he was disgusted at the idea of all of these French chefs discovering where he’d been hiding for 25 years. But Martini explained that it’s a golden opportunity for him to get back into the joy of cooking. She also told him that Ambrosia will be coming to the event. Alfredo was thrilled at that news.

Martini spend many hours researching Ambrosia’s husband Napoleon. She discovered that in his gastronomic history there had been several scandals that he’d been involved with. The theme of the scandals invariably centered on accusations of cheating on his part, though the accusations were never proven. Martini had an intuitive way of sizing up people quickly and upon seeing a video interview of Napoleon she intuited that he was a cheater. Martini then became determined to get Ambrosia and Alfredo back together.

The day of the competition arrived and there was a welcoming ceremony where Martini and Mrs. Coco spoke and toasted to great food, long life and happiness. At this opening event, Martini introduced herself to Ambrosia when Ambrosia was standing alone, without Napoleon. Martini invited Ambrosia to her home to enjoy a brunch that the local women prepared the next day. Martini told Ambrosia that she knew about Ambrosia and Alfredo once loving each other. Martini also told Ambrosia that the food they were to eat at this brunch came from recipes that Alfredo taught her and then she taught the women on the island. Ambrosia accepted Martini’s invitation to brunch. Martini tells Ambrosia to come to the brunch one hour earlier than the function was to begin.

Ambrosia arrived at Martini’s home to find Martini picking flowers and herbs from her garden and together they decorated Martini’s lovely cottage making it ready for the guests. Martini pulled out a dish from the oven that she’d made, which Alfredo taught her, knowing that it was one of Alfredo’s greatest dishes. She asks if Ambrosia would care for some. They eat it and Ambrosia recognized it as one of Alfredo’s best and then she analyzed it in detail for Martini and in doing so caused Martini to realize why Alfredo so appreciated Ambrosia’s incredible gastronomical ability.

The main purpose of Martini setting up this brunch was to find out how Ambrosia’s life with Napoleon was, and how it had been for the last 25 years, discovering that it had not been good. Ambrosia no longer loved Napoleon, in part because she suspected he’s a serial philanderer, and the quality of his cooking had gone down steadily for the past 25 years. Napoleon coasts now-a-days on his former glory. Ambrosia doesn’t know why Napoleon let himself go this way. Nonetheless, she stayed with Napoleon because of loyalty to the great happiness they once shared.

After their intimate brunch, Martini became convinced that Napoleon’s not now what he pretended to be. Martini became determined to dig out the details of the scandals Napoleon had been involved with over the years.

Then about a half dozen local woman arrived at Martini’s cottage for the brunch. Unexpectedly, Alfredo was brought to the brunch by the local women and he was shocked to see Ambrosia there. She was thrilled to see him and took his hand and led him into the garden where they talked intimately for hours. Martini and the women noticed the sparks flying between them.

That night Martini stayed up late investigating Napoleon’s gastronomical scandals.

A man named Basil was the editor of the most celebrated gastronomical magazine in the U.S. and he was at the competition to report on it. Basil was 6 foot 7 inches tall and very thin. He was constantly eating French pastries, which he baked himself. The first time he saw the beautiful Martini he approached her and talks to her. He asked about her connection to Alfredo. She told him about her affectionate relationship with him, about his teaching her to cook, and about one of his recipes as her all-time favorite. Basil gave her a tip on how to make this dish even better. So, she was curious and thus questioned him about his cooking. He told her he’d never worked for any French restaurants, nor gone to a culinary academy. To her great delight, he told her that he was against the de facto French culinary guild. Martini’s interest in Basil grew intensely, so much so that she invited him to her cottage to have some of the dish that she was then on her way to shop for. He accepted. It was clear they were quite attracted to each other.

After eating with Basil, Martini went to Alfredo’s house and showed him a copy of an old cookbook. Alfredo was stunned.

The next day was the day of the competition. The rules required that each chef create a dish which was one of his own original recipes. Alfredo had committed to making one of his own creations for the competition, but had secretly decided against it after Martini showed him the ancient cookbook. Knowing that he would be disqualified for making the exact same dish that Napoleon announced he would make, Alfredo chose to do it anyway. When the judges discovered that Alfredo entered the same dish as Napoleon they questioned Alfredo about it. Alfredo explained to the judges, and the audience, that the recipe came from an ancient, secret, Royal French cookbook and he holds up a copy of this cookbook. This recipe was not an original recipe created by Napoleon — as Napoleon had claimed.

As this was happening on stage, Ambrosia made her way through the crowd and onto the stage. She tasted both dishes and confirmed that Alfredo and Napoleon had made the exact same dish, all the ingredients were the same which could not have happened if the recipe was invinted by Napoleon as he claimed.

Napoleon, was watching on from the side of the stage. He stood next to his bimbo du jour – a floozy named Cherry. Napoleon told Cherry that they had to go. They made a run for his car. However, Martini expected him to bolt and beat Napoleon to his car and confronted him. The crowd followed Martini, as did the judges. They all huddled around Martini and Napoleon listening to the showdown. Martini asserted that in the trunk of Napoleon’s car would be found a briefcase which contained another copy of the ancient Royal cookbook she had shown to Alfredo, and that he had shown the judges and the audience (she knew this because the day before Martini had looked inside Napoleon’s trunk and saw the briefcase and in it the cookbook). The crowd and the judges demanded that Napoleon open the trunk of his car. When he did they all saw a briefcase which Martini took, opened and, sure enough, there was the ancient, Royal cookbook — just as she had claimed. She handed the cookbook to the judges who opened it and pulled out the very same recipe that Napoleon had made. The audience booed and hissed at Napoleon’s deception to which he said: “I’m President of the French Gastronomical Guild, how can you even suspect me of cheating?” Martini answered: “Do you deny there are recipes in this cookbook which only the chefs of Royalty were allowed to know? And do you deny your French Gastronomical Guild is devoted to hiding this secret gastronomical knowledge from the world?”

Napoleon replied: “The chefs from our schools run the top restaurants and cook for the most powerful men in the world!”

Martini: “That’s your justification for this massive and long-standing fraud on the public?”

Napoleon: “I mean, well you see, that is…”

Martini: “And did you also use the secrets in this cookbook (holding it up) to win the competition against Alfredo 25 years ago?”

Napoleon: “Well… That is… You see… I ahh…”

Martini: “I’ll take that as a “Yes.”

Alfredo and Ambrosia turn immediately to each other to see if they both understand that their relationship was ended by Napoleon’s fraud. Upon seeing each other’s reaction they realized that their separation is at an end. They rushed to each other to embrace and confirm they each still love and want each other. While Alfredo and Ambrosia embraced, Napoleon slinks off now having been exposed as a chronic and habitual fraud.

Now everyone involved in this event was convinced that Napoleon and his “French Gastronomical Guild” had been using this very same means of cheating, i.e., leaving out relevant ingredients and/or methods in order to block gastronomic independence on the part of foodies worldwide. They realized that this guild was coasting on ancient and secret gastronomical knowledge, rather than inventing new gastronomical delights; and then selling the foodie community fraudulent cookbooks which purported to make foodies able to duplicate these delicious dishes.

The next day, Martini, Basil (eating pastries), Alfredo, and Ambrosia were all working together in Alfredo’s kitchen atop Belvedere island creating new dishes, and noting their comments for their forthcoming cookbook teaching foodies world-wide all they need to know to create great gastronomical experiences themselves.

Later that night, Basil and Martini talked intimately in her cottage. While eating a coffee flavored eclair, Basil told her about his how his mom was a baker and how she would take him to her bakery in the early morning and give him all the fresh baked pastries he wanted throughout his youth. After Basil had eaten half of the eclair, he then turned half of it to Martini. She sees an engagement ring in the cream filling. Martini plucked it out and wiped it clean, and she’s excited at first. But then she started pacing the room, imagining what their marriage would really look like. She started to cry confessing that she is jealous – for the first time in her life – of Basil’s ability to eat pastries constantly and yet never gain weight. Although she loves Basil she does not think she’ll be able to have a happy life if she has to constantly watch him eating pastries which she cannot have. She cried and Basil thought. He suddenly approached her excitedly and said “Darling, you can have a small taste of the pastries – enough for us to be able to bond on the flavor and so that you have some satisfaction in knowing how good my creations are.” Martini stopped crying, chippered up, and then agreed that this suggestion solves her problem. She smiled at him and put on his engagement ring as they embraced, kissed and shared the rest of the eclair.

THE END

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“Boots” by Brishon (Copyright 2015-2019 All Rights Reserved)

“Boots”

FADE IN AND ZOOM INTO A PARISIAN APARTMENT WHERE DAVID SMAJA, A FRENCH CINEMATOGRAPHER SITS TALKING ON THE PHONE.

DAVID (French accent): “Oh…That’s delightful…Please… Tell me about it!”

IN VOICE OVER WE HEAR BRIGIT PHILLIPS SAY: “It was two years ago and I was driving through the Panhandle of Texas on my way back to Dallas for my favorite cousin’s wedding. I’d been listening to a lecture about the immanent decline of Western society and I started crying. At just that moment my gas light went on and I exited to a lonely gas station in the middle of nowhere. Sobbing, I walked into the store to pay for my gas. I was looking for the restroom when I saw an oasis of quality Stetson Cowboy boots in all shapes and sizes. Stunned and wondering how there could be such a demand for Cowboy boots – even in Texas – in the middle of nowhere, I dried my eyes and a little voice in my head said ‘Why don’t you buy some Cowboy boots?’

So I set out to find a pair that I could want. I searched and touched and lifted and poked as three sales girls tried to help me but I hated all of the boots I saw because they were full of fake rhinestones or fancy stitching in bright colors. All I wanted was a simple elegant pair of Cowboy boots – like the pair I used to have in my youth. I lost them when, one day, this same cousin whose marriage I was driving to, pushed me into a swimming pool while I was wearing my beloved Cowboy boots. As a result they eventually cracked and I had to throw them out.”

DAVID: As a Texan that’s a big deal as these were the first pair of Cowboy boots you ever had?

BRIGIT IN V.O.: Yes and I wore them constantly for a decade so the leather had basically crafted itself to the shape of my foot which is such a wonderful feeling – there’s nothing like it.

DAVID: Okay, so why do you want to now sell these Stetson Cowboy boots you bought on your trip to your cousin’s wedding?

BRIGIT IN V.O.: Because I don’t wear Cowboy boots now that I live in Monte Carlo, and because it was just an impulsive purchase meant to distract me from my sorrows. You know, I haven’t really wanted to sell them because they’re like a memento of an important time in my life but now that I’ve finally told another person about the story behind them I think I can sell them.

DAVID: This is special… You and I have this knowledge and connection now… it’s a bond between us. Why don’t you send me a link to your ad for the boots so I can see them?

BRIGIT IN V.O.: Okay. (She hangs up the phone).

CUT TO BRIGIT CLICKING HER MOUSE TO SEND THE LINK TO DAVID.

CUT TO DAVID ON THE PHONE WITH A ROUGH LOOKING MAN SAYING GRUFFLY:

DAVID: No. Stop arguing with me. I want you to pay full price for these boots; don’t try to haggle with her. That’s right full price. I’ll wire you the money. Call me when you’ve got them.

CUT TO LOUIE, THE MAN ON THE OTHER END OF THE LINE WITH DAVID, SCRATCHING HIS HEAD AND GESTURING THAT HE’S CONFUSED. PAN AROUND HIS APARTEMENT WHICH IS A DUMP.

CUT TO THE NEXT DAY: BRIGIT’S READING AN EMAIL FROM A PERSON WANTING TO PURCHASE HER COWBOY BOOTS.

CUT TO BRIGIT MEETING LOUIE WITH THE STETSON COWBOY BOOTS.

BRIGIT: I’ve only worn them one time – to my cousin’s wedding – a few years ago.

LOUIE TOUCHES THE BOOTS ADMIRING THEM AND THEN CAREFULLY PUTS THEM BACK IN THE STETSON BOX AND THEN HE PUTS THE BOX UNDER HIS ARM, AND THEN TAKES OFF RUNNING AND DISAPPEARS INTO A SUBWAY STATION WITHOUT PAYING FOR THE BOOTS.

CUT TO BRIGIT IN HER COTTAGE ON THE PHONE TO DAN.

BRIGIT: I went to sell my Cowboy boots today and you won’t believe what happened.

DAN IN V.O.: You sold them.

BRIJIT: No. The man who came to buy them stole them then ran into the subway.

CUT TO DAN STANDING UP AND STARTING TO PACE AS HE SAYS:

DAN: Describe the man to me.

BRIGIT V.O.: He’s about 5’8, seedy, thin, dark hair and eyes, really shady looking, now that I think about it. Why?

DAN: Do you still have his email address and phone number?

BRIGIT: Yes.

DAN: Send me a picture of the boots, I’ll find this guy and get your boots back. You can count on it!

DAN SLAMS DOWN HIS PHONE AND STARTS DRESSING. WHEN HE’S DONE HE PICKS UP HIS PHONE AGAIN AND CALLS.

DAN: Hey Nikki, I need you to help me catch the thief who stole BRIGIT’s boots.

CUT TO NIKKI AS HE SAYS:

NIKKI: Was she wearing them?

DAN: No!!!… Just go and find out who this jerk is and get back to me. I just sent you the thief’s contact info.

CUT TO NIKKI QUICKLY TYPING ON HIS COMPUTER AND THEN THE ADDRESS OF LOUIE APPEARS ON HIS SCREEN.

CUT TO DAN ARRIVING AT LOUIE’S APARTMENT. DAN WATCHES FOR A FEW MINUTES AND THEN SEES LOUIE LEAVING TO GET IN HIS CAR. DAN FOLLOWS HIM. LOUIE GOES INTO A FED EX CENTER CARRYING THE BOOT BOX MARKED “Stetson”. AFTER LOUIE LEAVES DAN GOES INTO THE FED EX AND FINDS THE BOX AND WRITES DOWN THE ADDRESS AND NAME WHERE LOUIE SENT THE BOOTS.

CUT TO DAN BACK IN HIS CAR CALLING NIKKI.

DAN: Look Nikki, I know you’ve got millions of points that you can contribute so stop whining and get me a ticket to Paris, I know it won’t cost you a thing and you want to see Brigit get her boots back too – right?

NIKKI: Yes I do. Go to the airport and I’ll call you with the info once I get it, but you’re flying coach!

DAN: Sure I don’t care.

CUT TO DAN IN PARIS STAKED OUT AT DAVID SMAJA’S APARTMENT. DAN IS ASTOUNDED THAT SO MANY GORGEOUS WOMEN GO IN AND OUT OF DAVID’S APT. THEN LATER, AFTER A WHILE OF WATCHING, DAN IS STUNNED TO SEE ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN WALK OUT WEARING BRIGIT’S STETSON COWBOY BOOTS.

CUT TO THE NEXT DAY, AGAIN DAN IS OUTSIDE OF DAVID’S APARTMENT WATCHING THE WOMEN COMING AND GOING. NOW DAN IS REALLY TAKEN ABACK BECAUSE ALL OF THESE WOMEN ARE NOW WEARING THE EXACT SAME KIND OF COWBOY BOOTS THAT WERE STOLEN FROM BRIGIT.

DAN CALLS NIKKI.

DAN: Man, you won’t believe this guy — the guy who got BRIGIT’s boots – he’s some kind of playboy who has an army of beautiful babes coming and going from his apartment. Yesterday one of them came out wearing BRIGIT’s boots – but today they ALL have a pair of the exact same boots on. This is really weird, man!

NIKKI: Let me see what I can dig up on David Smaja. I’ll call you back.

CUT TO DAN TAILING ONE OF THE GIRLS WHO CAME OUT OF DAVID’S APARTMENT. SHE GOES TO A THEATER AND GIVES A POSTER TO A MAN THERE. DAN WAITS TO SEE WHAT HE’LL DO WITH IT AND HE GOES AND OPENS THE CASE OUTSIDE AND UNROLLS THE POSTER AND DISPLAYS IT IN THE GLASS CASE. BELOW THE POSTER DAN READS “Coming Soon… The New Film By David Smaja “Boots.” THE PHOTO ON THE POSTER IS OF THE PAIR OF BRIGIT’S STETSON COWBOY BOOTS. DAN CALLS NIKKI TO TELL HIM.

DAN: You won’t believe this, one of these babes just delivered a poster to a movie theater which just displayed it in the coming attractions case and the movie poster is a photo of BRIGIT’s Cowboy boots.”

NIKKI: Well that makes some sense since David Smaja’s a film-maker and these women are probably in his latest film. I just read it will be released at the Caan Film Festival tomorrow.

DAN: I gotta go BRIGIT’s calling. Hey I was just thinking about you.

BRIGIT V.O.: What are you doing?

DAN: I’m enjoying the sites of Paris in the Spring and investigating a mystery.

BRIGIT: Wow, why… When did you get there… What are you doing there… Are you Okay?

CUT TO DAN BACK IN FRONT OF DAVID SMAJA’S APARTMENT. DAVID WALKS OUT OF THE BUILDING AND DAN SAYS:

DAN: I’ve got to go now but don’t worry I’ll get your boots back!

BRIGIT: But I don’t care about them any…. more… (the call has been disconnected)

BRIGIT LOOKS AT THE PHONE IN FRUSTRATION THEN SHRUGS, THEN DIALS ANOTHER NUMBER.

BRIGIT: Nikki, do you know what’s wrong with Dan? He’s in Paris and seems to be chasing after the guy who stole my boots, but the ticket to Paris is thousands of dollars and the boots only cost a couple of hundred. What is going on?

NIKKI: Hmmm… No I haven’t talked to Dan in weeks.

BRIGIT: It’s so weird! I don’t know what’s going on with Dan… Okay, I also called to ask you for a favor.

NIKKI: Anything!

BRIGIT: I have a new guy I’m really interested in but he’s in Paris and I wondered — I know you are so good with using rewards points to get free plane tickets — and I wondered how much cash you’d charge me to use some of your points for a flight to Paris?

NIKKI: Please, let me just give them to you! I have literally millions of points and I won’t live long enough to use them all up.

BRIGIT: Are you sure?

NIKKI: Absolutely sure! When do you want to go?

BRIGIT: I’m driving to the airport now.

NIKKI: Your ticket will be waiting at the AirFrance counter.

CUT TO THE CAAN FILM FESTIVAL. PEOPLE ARE MOBBING DAVID SMAJA AND HIS BEVVY OF BIMBOS WHO ARE ALL WEARING THE EXACT SAME STETSON COWBOY BOOTS – JUST LIKE BRIGIT’S BOOTS. THEY WALK AROUND AND HAVE THEIR PICTURES TAKEN AS DAVID IS APPROACHED BY THE MEDIA FOR INTERVIEWS. IN THE MIDDLE OF AN INTERVIEW DAVID’S PHONE RINGS WITH A SPECIAL TONE HE GAVE TO BRIGIT. HE TAKES THE PHONE OUT WHILE HE’S BEING INTERVIEWED ON CAMERA AND SEES HER TEXT “I’ll be in Paris in two hours and I can’t wait to meet you!!!” WHILE THE CAMERAS ARE STILL ROLLING AND WAITING FOR HIM HE RUNS AWAY TO GET TO THE AIRPORT TO GO BACK TO PARIS TO MEET BRIGIT.

CUT TO PARIS, DAVID AND BRIGIT HAVING DINNER AT AN INTIMATE RESTAURANT HAVING LOTS OF FUN. OUTSIDE THE FRONT WINDOW OF THE RESTAURANT WE SEE DAN IN SPYING ON THEM, AND FEELING BAD AS HE LOOKS AT BRIGIT HAVING A BLAST WITH DAVID. DAN DUCKS INTO A DOORWAY AND FRANTICALLY CALLS NIKKI.

DAN (screaming): How in the hell did she get here? You gave her your points didn’t you – idiot! Don’t do it again, don’t give her anymore plane tickets damn it! I’m in love with this woman and you’re screwing things up – just stay out of it.

DAN HANGS UP ON NIKKI WHO IS STUNNED AND HE STARTS PACING HIS APARTMENT TALKING OUTLOUND TO HIMSELF:

NIKKI (to himself): I should just stay out of it… Dan’s right… why am I involved in this insanity… why am I using up all my precious reward points… what is going on with me… why should I care… it’s not like she…. it’s not like I… it’s not like we…

NIKKI RUNS FOR THE COMPUTER AND MAKES HIMSELF A PLANE RESERVATION FOR PARIS AND PAYS FOR IT WITH REWARD POINTS.

CUT TO DAVID’S APARTMENT WHERE ON HIS TV HE WATCHES A REPORTER TALKING ABOUT HIS NEW HIT MOVIE “Boots.” THE REPORTER SAYS THAT THE MOVIE HAS CAUSED A FASHION CRAZE. LOTS OF PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO GET BRIGIT’S STYLE OF STETSON COWBOY BOOTS, AND STETSON IS HAVING TROUBLE KEEPING UP WITH THE DEMAND. THERE ARE A SERIES OF SHOTS OF PEOPLE ON THE STREETS WEARING THESE STETSON COWBOY BOOTS, AND THE CAMERA MAN PANS DOWN TO SHOW THAT THE REPORTER IS WEARING THEM TOO. DAVID WALKS AWAY FROM THE TV INDIFFERENT TO THE SUCCESS OF HIS MOVIE, AND TO THE FASHION TREND HE’S STARTED.

CUT TO DAVID AND BRIGIT WALKING AROUD THE STREETS OF PARIS. HE’S HEAD-OVER-HEELS IN LOVE WITH HER AND DOES NOT NOTICE OTHER PEOPLE ON THE STREET WHO POINT TO HIM AS BEING THE FAMOUS DIRECTOR. BRIGIT NOTICES ALL THE ATTENTION DAVID’S GETTING AND THEN SHE STARTS NOTICING A LARGE NUMBER OF WOMEN WEARING COWBOY BOOTS JUST LIKE HERS. SHE SAYS TO DAVID:

BRIGIT: Wow, I had no idea that Parisians were so into cowboy boots… and all the same kind… and they look just like the ones…

DAVID PLANTS A BIG KISS ON HER LIPS SO SHE CAN’T FINISH HER SENTENCE.

CUT TO DAVID AND BRIGIT WALKING BY THE SEINE, ARM IN ARM, DAVID IS TRYING TO MAKE AMORE TO HER BUT SHE’S STILL TOO DISTRACTED BY ALL THE BOOTS THAT LOOK LIKE HERS.

BRIGIT: Can we go get something to drink?

DAVID: Of course, I know a place right around the corner.

CUT TO THEM GETTING A COFFEE TO GO AND THEN WALKING AND THEY COME UPON A MOVIE THEATER AND SEE ON THE MARQUE THAT “Boots” IS PLAYING AND THEN THEY PASS BY THE MOVIE POSTER AND SHE SEES THAT THE BOOTS ON THE POSTER ARE JUST LIKE HER BOOTS. SHE NOTICES A SPECIAL MARK ON HER BOOTS WHICH IS ON THE BOOTS IN THE MOVIE POSTER. SHE’S SHOCKED.

BRIGIT: How is it your movie poster has my stolen boots on it? And why didn’t you tell me you’re the auteur David Smaja?

DAVID: Yes, I’m the famous director and this is my movie… and I had a friend of mine get your boots.

BRIGIT THROWS HER COFFEE ON THE SIDEWALK AND TURNS AROUND WALKING AWAY FROM DAVID. HE CHASES AFTER HER BUT A GROUP OF HIS FANS SEE HIM AND MOB HIM FOR AUTOGRAPHS SO HE CAN’T GET TO BRIGIT. AS SHE’S WALKING DOWN THE STREET SHE CALLS NIKKI.

BRIGIT: I can’t believe this guy, he had someone steal my boots… What a jerk…

NIKKI: Then it’s off?

BRIJIT: Absolutely! He’s into some kind of kinky erotic thing involving stealing boots… hold on I’ve got another call…

BRIAN: Brigit! Darling!

BRIGIT: Who is this?
BRIAN: Brian.

BRIGIT: Oh… Hi, I wondered what happened to you. I expected to hear from you two weeks ago.

BRIAN: I’ll tell you about my delay when I see you. I’m calling to see if I can get you to come to Bordeaux.

BRIGIT: It just so happens I’m in Paris and would love to join you in Bordeaux. Can you have a ticket waiting for me at the airport.

BRIAN: I almost have it paid for now. Go to AirFrance and the ticket will be waiting for you.

BRIGIT FLAGS A CAB AND GETS IN.

CUT TO DAVID BACK AT HIS APARTMENT PACING IN FRONT OF HIS MAIN WINDOW AND PULL BACK TO SEE DAN IS ON THE STREET WATCHING HIM.

DAVID: Brigit wait… don’t hang up… I didn’t know they were stolen… please… tell me where you are… Why are you going to Bordeaux? Who is Brian?

CUT TO DAVID, FOLLOWED BY DAN, AT THE AIRPORT GETTING A FLIGHT TO BORDEAUX.

CUT TO DAN GETTING A FLIGHT TO BORDEAUX.

CUT TO DAVID GOING FROM HOTEL TO HOTEL IN BORDEAUX – FOLLOWED BY DAN – TRYING TO FIND BRIGIT. COMING OUT OF ONE OF THE FANCIEST HOTELS, DAVID GETS MOBBED AGAIN WHICH SIDETRACKS HIM AWAY FROM FINDING BRIGIT.

CUT TO DAVID IN DISGUISE GOING FROM HOTEL TO HOTEL TRYING TO FIND BRIGIT, FOLLOWED BY DAN.

CUT TO BRIGIT INSIDE A FANCY RESTAURANT IN BORDEAUX WITH BRIAN WHO’S TALKING ABOUT VARIOUS GRAND MONEY-MAKING SCHEMES WHICH WE CAN BARELY MAKE OUT IN V.O. BRIGIT IS SAVORING HER MEAL AND PAYING LITTLE ATTENTION TO BRIAN’S SCHEMES.

CUT TO BRIAN AND BRIGIT WALKING DOWN THE STREET IN BORDEAUX AND COMING UPON A THEATER WHICH IS PLAYING “Boots.” BRIAN SAYS:

BRIAN: Oh, I’ve really been wanting to see this, let’s see if there’s a showing now…

BRIGIT (non-plussed): Sure…

CUT TO NIKKI GETTING OFF A PLANE IN PARIS.

CUT TO DAVID GETTING MOBBED AGAIN BY WOMEN IN THE LOBBY OF A BORDEAUX HOTEL. HE RUNS INTO THE MEN’S ROOM. DAN FOLLOWS DAVID INTO THE MEN’S ROOM TO LISTEN TO DAVID’S PHONE CALL.

CUT TO A SERIES OF SCENSE IN THE MOVIE “Boots” WHERE IT BECOMES CLEAR BRIGIT THAT DAVID LOVES HER. WE SEE BRIGIT REALIZING THAT DAVID LOVES HER SO MUCH THAT HE’S MADE THIS MOVIE ALL ABOUT THINGS THAT SHE’S TOLD HIM ON THE PHONE BEFORE THEY EVER MET.

CUT TO BRIAN AND BRIGIT OUTSIDE THE THEATER ON THE STREET.

BRIGIT: I’m sorry but I’ve got to go back to Paris. Thanks for the wonderful meal!

SHE RUNS DOWN THE STREET TOWARD A CAB STAND AND BRIAN LOOKS ON CONFUSED. WHEN SHE’S IN A CAB SHE CALLS NIKKI.

BRIGIT: Nikki, I need another ticket, can you use more of your points for me?

NIKKI: Sure. Where are you?

BRIGIT: I’m in Bordeaux and I need to get back to Paris. Will you help me?

NIKKI: Of course! Go to the airport and the ticket will be waiting at AirFrance. When you get to Paris I need you to meet me at the George V Hotel. I’ll wait for you in the lobby.

BRIGIT: Why are you in Paris?

NIKKI: Because… there’s something I… It’s complicated… I need to see you…

BRIGIT: Okay, I’ll be there as soon as I can.

CUT TO DAVID IN THE BATHROOM PACING TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO. HE GOES INTO A STALL AND CALLS LOUIE.

DAVID: You know I’m gonna kill you right?

LOUIE V.O.: Why?

DAVID: Why didn’t you just buy the damn boots like I told you to do… why did you steal them from Brigit?

LOUIE: I couldn’t help it I can’t pay full price for anything – and how did you find out I stole them?

DAVID: Never-mind. I need another pair of those exact same Stetson Cowboy boots. I want you to bring them to me in Bordeaux. I’m here looking for Brigit and I need your help, (whispering) there’s a man who’s been following me for days. I want you to meet me at the airport in Paris and help me ditch him.

CUT TO DAVID AND LOUIE BEING FOLLOWED BY DAN AT CHARLES DEGAUL AIRPORT IN PARIS. LOUIE CARRIES A STETSON BOOT BOX. LOUIE AND DAVID GO INTO THE VIP LOUNGE OF AIRFRANCE AND ARE FOLLOWED BY DAN. THEY GO INTO THE SHOWER ROOM AND DAN FOLLOWS THEM. THEY TRICK DAN INTO GOING INTO A ROOM THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO LOCK FROM THE OUTSIDE. WHEN DAN IS SECURELY LOCKED IN, DAVID AND LOUIE QUICKLY GO TO THE CAB STAND AND GET IN A CAB. WHILE IN THE CAB BRIGIT CALLS DAVID.

DAVID (to Louie): It’s her… (to the phone) Darling where are you?

BRIGIT: I’m in Paris heading to the George V Hotel. Where are you?

DAVID: I’m in Paris in a cab… (to cab driver) George V Hotel quickly… I’m now heading for the George V too.

CUT TO DAN BREAKING OUT OF THE LOCKED ROOM AND RUNNING TO GET A CAB OUTSIDE. HE GETS IN AND CALLS NIKKI.

DAN: Where’s Brigit?

NIKKI: She’s on her way to come see me so I can tell her I love her and ask her to marry me.

DAN: You WHAT??? Where are you?

NIKKI: The George V in Paris… I mean the Four Seasons in San Francisco.

DAN HANGS UP AND TELLS THE DRIVER:

DAN: George V Hotel – step on it!

CUT TO BRIGIT ARRIVING AT THE GEORGE V. SHE SEES NIKKI.

BRIGIT: Why are you here Nikki?

NIKKI: There’s something important I have to tell you.

BRIGIT: What is so important that you flew all the way to Paris to tell me?

NIKKI: Well a… I a…

BRIGIT SUDDENLY REALIZES THAT NIKKI LOVES HER AND SHE’S STUNNED AND REALING AND GROPES HER WAY TO A CHAIR TO SIT DOWN. WHILE SHE’S SITTING, DAVID AND LOUIE ARRIVE AND STORM INTO THE LOBBY AND RUSH OVER TO HER.

DAVID: Darling, are you okay, you look pale?

BRIGIT: Why are you with the man who stole my boots? Are those my boots in the box he’s holding?

DAVID: I sent him to BUY your boots but he’s cheap and stole them instead. I was planning to make your Cowboy boots the McGuffin (the object which is searched for that drives the action) in my latest film so you would have a token of my love for you. Darling, I’ve been in love with you since our first phone conversations.

BRIGIT FAINTS AND FALLS DOWN SPRAWLED OUT ON THE HOTEL LOBBY FLOOR.

CUT TO DAN ARRIVING AT THE GEORGE V HOTEL. HE RUSHES INTO THE LOBBY AND SEES BRIGIT ON THE FLOOR AND RUNS OVER TO HER. DAN SEES LOUIE NEAR BRIGIT SO DAN ASSUMES THAT LOUIE HAS HURT BRIGIT. DAN TACKLES LOUIE AS DAN RECOGNIZES LOUIE AS THE MAN WHO STOLE BRIGIT’S BOOTS.

DAN: You little creep, you’re the one who stole her boots…

LOUIE TRIES TO RUN BUT DAN COLLARS HIM AND STARTS POUNDING ON HIM. LOUIE WORMS OUT OF IT AND RUNS AWAY. DAN TURNS TO BRIGIT ON THE FLOOR AND THEN DAVID AND NIKKI ALSO CROWD AROUND HER. BRIGIT COMES TO AND SEES DAVID, NIKKI AND DAN ALL SURROUNDING HER AND ALL VERY CONCERNED. SHE QUICKLY REALIZES THAT ALL OF THEM ARE IN LOVE WITH HER.

DAVID: Brigit, I love you! I want you to marry me.

NIKKI: Me too!

DAN (to Nikki): I told you to stay out of this! (to Brigit) Darling I think you should marry me.

NOW DAN MAKES THREATENING GESTURES TO NIKKI WHO JUMPS UP AND STARTS RUNNING. DAN CHASES NIKKI. WE SEE THEM FIGHTING IN THE BACKGROUND AS DAVID HELPS BRIGIT STAND UP. DAVID BENDS DOWN ON ONE KNEE AND PULLS THE BOOTS OUT OF THE BOX THAT LOUIE DROPPED ON THE FLOOR AND USES THEM LIKE AN ENGAGEMENT RING (LIKE CINDERELLA) PUTTING THE COWBOY BOOTS ON BRIGIT WITH HER HELP. THEY FIT PERFECTLY. A CROWD THAT HAS GATHERED STARTS TO CLAP. MANY OF THE WOMEN IN THE HOTEL LOBBY WEAR THE SAME COWBOY BOOTS. DAN AND NIKKI ARE STILL FIGHTING IN THE BACKGROUND.

CUT TO BRIAN’S CHATEAU IN BORDEAUX WHERE DAVID AND BRIGIT’S WEDDING IS TAKING PLACE. NIKKI IS DAVID’S BEST MAN, AND DAN GIVES BRIGIT AWAY. EVERYONE AT THE WEDDING – INCLUDING BRIGIT AND DAVID – IS WEARING THE SAME PAIR OF COWBOY STETSON BOOTS.

THE END

 

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