THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN
INT TRUCK DAY
Natty sits in the passenger seat next to Buzz. She looks through the rear window at The Wolf, who paces anxiously in the bed of the truck and SNARLS at Buzz.
He doesn’t like it back there.
He’ll get used to it.
Buzz offers Natty some fruit in a paper sack.
Natty takes a piece and eats it hungrily. She smiles her thanks as the fruit juice rolls down her chin.
You live around here?
Me and him.
Just the two of you, huh?
Buzz smiles to himself, a sick smile that looks more like a leer.
He fingers the steering wheel nervously, anxiously. His eyes dart across the road, searching for something. He sneaks a glance at Natty.
At a crossroad, he turns off the main highway and drives down a smaller road. Natty watches curiously.
Is this the right way?
Shortcut. Save hours on this
Natty nods her head. But she’s beginning to feel uneasy.
Buzz shoves the bag of fruit onto the floor.
Here. Slide over. Get relaxed.
Natty hugs the door, watching from the corner of her eye.
Buzz stretches his arm along the back of the seat and rests his hand behind Natty’s head.
The Wolf’s eyes bore into Buzz. His SNARL grows more
Go on. Don’t be shy.
You sure this is the right way?
Buzz turns to Natty with his sick, leering smile. His hand leaves the back of the seat and moves to the top of her head. He strokes her hair with his gnarly, calloused fingers. She tenses.
Hey…Cut it out.
The Wolf presses his nose against the window and SNARLS viciously. His lips curl back to bare his sharp fangs.
Buzz grips Natty’s shoulder.
Let go creep!
Suddenly Buzz grabs the back of Natty’s neck and pulls her roughly to him.
The Wolf rages in the back, GROWLING and SNARLING and pawing furiously at the rear window.
Natty pulls away and wrenches free.
You’re going to like me. You’ll
He reaches for her again but she lashes out like a hellcat, scratching and biting and kicking. She tears at his face with her fingernails. She spits in his eyes.
The truck SCREECHES and swerves, lurching violently from one side of the road to the other.
The Wolf crashes his massive shoulder into the rear window. It SHATTERS into a million pieces. He leaps into the cab, his jaws SNAPPING at the hated Buzz.
Natty pulls the latch on the passenger door. It flies open and BANGS against the truck.
She gathers her courage and jumps through the opening.
EXT ROAD DAY
Natty lands with a hard THUD on the roadway and scrapes across the rocky ground.
The wolf leaps from the speeding truck and races back to her. He nudges her motionless body.
Slowly she starts to move again. With one hand on The Wolf, she pulls herself to her feet. She stares down the road at the disappearing Buzz, a hard look in her eye and her jaw clenched tight.
INT SEATTLE BAR DUSK
Sol sits alone with a bottle of whiskey and a glass. Rain beats down on the window outside. Natty’s wallet rests on the table in front of him.
There’s an empty, raw feeling in his gut and it shows in his eyes.
He swallows one drink and pours another, mumbling to himself.
It’s my own damn fault. I never
should have left her there.
A WOMAN watches him from across the room. She slides off her bar stool and approaches him, her walk slow and suggestive.
She stares down from across the table.
Need a friend?
He looks up at her and shrugs enigmatically, a thin, ironic smile curling the corner of his mouth.
END Part 22
Part 23 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.