Neale Sourna's Toy Guns...And Truth [excerpt 1, detecting/divorce]
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Toy Guns...And Truth

written by

Neale Sourna

Original Screenplay and Additional Story
Copyright Neale Sourna
Original Short Story by Peter Gould/Little Beth Productions


Can 11-year old detectives, Jeff and Kayla, reveal his father's best friend's toxic corporate crime before the friend kills them both?


PAGE 32-34 of 96
				KAYLA [11, Anglo, 
people smart]
We have to be sure. You can't make it be him...
just because you want it to be.

Jeff gazes past LOU [a stranger with a gun] sitting in his car across the street. The boy sees nothing but Carl's house.

				JEFF [11, African American, 
stubborn, opinionated]
We have to get in there and find proof.

KAYLA
Breaking and Entering. We'll be grounded life.

JEFF
I have to know.

KAYLA
We can't break into Mr. Kipling's house! And
he's not going to invite us, especially you. There
has to be another way.

She looks at her watch.
				KAYLA
I gotta go. Mali's taking me to [theatre]
practice. If I miss another one she says I'm out.
She jumps up, starts down the street, and stops. She knowingly looks back at Jeff staring so fixedly at Carl's house he flinches at the sound of her voice.
				KAYLA (continues)
Find another way!
KAYLA EXITS RUNNING while Jeff watches after her; but still, he doesn't notice Lou's car make a U-turn and drive off in her direction.

Jeff's attention immediately returns to Carl's house across the street. His head cocks to one side, like the little RCA dog's; then, suddenly, he RUNS INSIDE.

INT. NOBLE HOUSE - SECONDS LATER
JEFF (11, hard-headed and self-styled detective) snatches his father's PHONE BOOK from beside the PHONE. He reads. Dials. Waits.

				AMY'S VOICE
Good afternoon, Chemicorp. Carl Kipling's office.

JEFF
Carl, please.

AMY'S VOICE
Whom may I say is calling?

Jeff scrunches his face.
				JEFF
Um. It's personal. I'm a friend of his.
MUSIC COMES THROUGH THE RECEIVER as he waits.... He taps his foot and nervously fiddles with the HOLMES PENLIGHT he pulls from his pocket. He starts to hang up---.
				CARL'S VOICE
This is Kipling.
Jeff freezes.
				CARL'S VOICE
Hello?
Jeff grabs his shirttail and pulls it over the mouthpiece. He takes a deep breath; deepens his voice.
				JEFF
Is this---?
(clears throat)
Is this the Carl Kipling of 2212 Dershire Road?

CARL'S VOICE
(cautiously)
Yes.

JEFF
It has come to my attention that you plan to dump
hazardous chemicals into the river.

CARL'S VOICE
Excuse me. Who is this?

JEFF
Who I am isn't important, just that I know
who you are and what you plan to do.

CARL'S VOICE
Listen, clown! Tell me who you are or---!

JEFF
Answer my question, Mr. Kipling, or I'm hanging
up and calling the police.

CARL'S VOICE
Yeah? And tell them what? What's your evidence?

The boy's eyes stretch wide and search for an answer.
				JEFF
(too quickly)
I've got evidence. Hard evidence.

CARL'S VOICE
(quietly)
I don't believe you.

Jeff's head and shoulders fall then he inhales deeply as he straightens.
				JEFF
Can you really afford to take that chance?

CARL'S VOICE
What kind of game are you playing?

JEFF
It's...it's not a game!

Silence.
				CARL'S VOICE
Listen, you Bozo, if you know so much, why'd
you bother to call me? What do you really want?

JEFF
The truth.

Silence and more SILENCE. Jeff tugs his collar away from his neck. He doesn't hear the DOOR OPEN in the distance.
				CARL'S VOICE
(calm, confident)
No truth for you till you tell me your name.

FRANK (O.S.)
Jeff!

Startled, Jeff hastily covers the receiver with his palm.
				FRANK (O.S.)
Jeff! Where are you?
Absolutely mortified, the child stares at the phone. He puts it to his ear and listens intently. He hears a quiet CLICK. Jeff closes his eyes, shivering slightly.

FRANK ENTERS cheerfully, a BAG OF GROCERIES in his hand.

				FRANK
There you are. Why didn't you answer me?
Frank stops, puts his things down, and stares at his son who slowly puts his head down on the table.
				FRANK
Are you sick?
Jeff reluctantly sits up, a halfhearted nauseous smile on his face.

(script edit, excerpt from pgs 42-60)

INT. THEATRE HOUSE, STAGE, BACKSTAGE - LATER
(script edit)

				KAYLA
Your dad says we don't have a case, or are you
so much smarter the him...he?

He looks across to his father and Mali.

				JEFF
(re: his father with Mali, and
the theatre work)
This is baby stuff. What good is it?

KAYLA
You just don't get it, do you?
(beat)
I guess sneaking into the teachers' lounge was
more mature.

JEFF
I proved Mr. Brown stole the computer game,
didn't I?

KAYLA
We proved.

JEFF
Yeah, but---.

KAYLA
"But", I went with you. It was fun, this is fun.
Shut up, already.

Jeff opens his mouth but stalks petulantly away instead. Kayla snubs his attitude and returns to her concerned theatre friends. She gestures not to worry about him. They don't. Finally, he dramatically turns to see that his ploy didn't work. He's still alone.

INT. STAGE - SHORT TIME LATER
Jeff wonders listlessly around the stage.

				STAGE HAND (O.S.)
HEADS!!
Jeff just stands there. MALI RUNS IN and snatches him out of the way. A LIGHT BEAM, FULLY LOADED, falls heavily into view and stops above the floor but definitely where Jeff had been.

Mali drags Jeff back to the spot.

				MALI
(towards the stage wings)
Is it tied off?!

STAGE HAND (O.S.)
Yeah!

Mali points to the beam swaying in front of them as Frank watches, relieved and attentive.

				MALI
(to Jeff)
Lift that.

JEFF
Why?

FRANK
Jeff.

Jeff steps forward and tries. It sways but he can't lift it.

				MALI
How heavy is it?

JEFF
(irritated)
I don't know.

Mali signals. THREE ADULTS ENTER FROM THE WINGS and strain to lift the beam up. They put it down and walk away as it sways heavily back and forth.

				MALI
Jeff, real or fake, we stay alert and pay attention
at all times here. People have been crippled or
killed on stage.

She gets herself under better control.

				MALI (continues)
If you want to stay alive and walking in this life,
when someone who knows tells you what to do
and when.... Do it!

(script edit)


"TOY GUNS...AND TRUTH", Part II

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