THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
INT ABANDONED BUILDING DAY
Parker’s camp is in an abandoned building with a missing roof. There are a handful of broken chairs and boxes and crates for furniture.
Natty sits with her hand on The Wolf’s head, and a plate of stew on her lap, eating hungrily.
Parker sits across from Natty with the others spread around him. There are two more teenage boys in the group now, RUSTY and DAVEY. And a teenage girl, ANNIE, who leans suggestively against Parker and glares a sour, jealous glare at Natty.
Natty watches curiously as Parker slips his arm around Annie’s waist and nuzzles the back of her neck. Natty swallows hard and returns to her stew.
Parker smiles his charming, calculating smile.
So you’re looking for your old
He’s waiting for me.
Yeah, sure….And my name’s
Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The others laugh. Natty drops her eyes and allows just the slightest hint of a doubtful shrug.
I haven’t seen my old man in 3
years. He took off. It killed
him, watching my old lady make 1
potato go 7 ways.
Natty finishes her stew and licks the remains with her finger.
Get her some more, Annie.
But we don’t…
Get some Annie.
Annie grimaces at Parker then moves to the pot of stew cooking over a fire in what used to be a fireplace.
Towards the end my old man
couldn’t even look at us.
That’s why he left. I don’t
Hell, all mine did was beat on
me and my old lady, anyway. I
was glad when he left.
They all think they’re coming
back. But once they’re gone,
they figure out they’re better
And so’s everybody else.
Natty looks anxiously from one to the other. Their words sink into her like heavy stones.
We don’t need them anymore.
Natty stares at Parker. The doubt is taking over, and with the doubt comes a hard, angry, empty feeling.
Parker recognizes his opportunity and moves in.
We’ve got each other. We’re
like family. The difference is
with us you get to pick your
relatives. And everybody
carries their share.
The Wolf GROWLS as Annie approaches but Natty quiets him and gratefully accepts her second plate of food, gobbling it hungrily as she thinks over Parker’s proposition.
INT/EXT GREYHOUND BUS LATE DAY
Sol’s anxious,unshaven face stares through the window of a Greyhound bus as it winds its way slowly south-east from Washington to Colorado.
He watches raindrops land with a splash at the top of the window and run in small torrents down to the bottom.
And he watches an old Ford pickup as it passes in the opposite direction carrying an “Oakie” FAMILY of 10, all their sad, miserable belongings stuffed into the back and tied onto the top and sides.
EXT RAILROAD SIDING/LOADING DOCK NIGHT
There are 50 head of cattle penned together in a corral along the side of the train tracks. And off to the left, penned by himself, in a stout, reinforced corral, is an enormous BLACK ANGUS BULL.
Natty and The Wolf and the other hobo kids race through a nearby pasture and sneak their way to the loading dock.
They cluster in the shadows of the wooden loading chute and talk in HEAVY WHISPERS, their eyes glued to the big Bull.
That’s him. Ready?
The others nod their heads. Only Natty hesitates.
I don’t know.
Not the way I look at it…
Besides, if you’re with us, you
chip in like everybody else. If
not, get lost.
She’s just ye11ow.
Hell if I am.
Then shut up and let’s go.
Natty swallows her apprehensions and follows the others as Parker leads them in an army styled crouch-and-run across the yard.
They fan out. Leon and Franco and Annie move to a truck and stock trailer parked nearby. They release the handbrake and roll it back toward the chute at the end of the Bull’s pen.
END PART 14
Part 15 Monday, (Hopefully, maybe Tuesday!)
A script analysis of her favorite childhood novel – written as a USC class assignment – led Jeanne Rosenberg to her first Hollywood writing assignment on The Black Stallion. Switching from documentary filmmaker to narrative screenwriter, Jeanne studied her craft while working as a script supervisor on numerous films before completing her first original screenplay, The Journey of Natty Gann. She has been writing as well as producing and directing ever since. In addition, Jeanne has taught graduate screenwriting at USC and National University.