SPOTLIGHT ON … Carole Parker – Screenwriter : Part One

SPOTLIGHT ON …Carole Parker – Screenwriter : Part One

Carole Parker
‘I‘m a Noir/Pulp/Hard-Boiled dame. A chain-smoking, hard-drinking, screenwriting beach babe, and all-around dangerous chick. If you’ve got the crime, I’ve got the time …’

‘Carole Parker writes some of the sexiest, sassiest, dirtiest, ball-busting prose around and one of these days I’ll finally persuade her to stick it in the pages of a book – fiction or autobiography, I don’t care: both would be equally wild. She is also a creature of mystery and secrets, one of which is that behind that titanium- tough exterior there lurks a sweet, caring, loveable woman with a heart of pure gold.’ Tom Cain,best-selling author of The Accident Man, The Survivor, (published as No Survivors in the US), Assassin and Dictator.

Carole Parker has a unique style that carries me back to the days of Raymond Chandler. Her writing is fresh yet evokes the days of the great hard boiled detectives. I get caught up and find that I cannot put her work down. I have to read it all the way through and then I’m sorry it’s over. She is my favorite writer today!’ Shelly Liebowitz, Legendary Producer of Music, Television & Films

A DISH BEST KILLED
by
Carole Parker

EXT. JETT’S APARTMENT – BALCONY – NIGHT

Lit by a gas lamp. Jett sits at a small cafe table with a laptop.
A half-dozen empty beer bottles litter the surface.
She lights a smoke. Looks intently at the screen.

ON THE SCREEN
we see a scene from THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE.
LANA TURNER, resplendent in a white one-piece bathing suit,
sashays down the stairs. Stops. James Garfield leers.
JAMES GARFIELD (V.O.)
With my brains and your looks,we could really go places —

JETT
looks at her wistfully.Takes a pull from her longneck

JETT
I’ll have to get Haven one of those.

Her cell phone BRING-RINGS.
She picks it up.

JETT
This is Jett.

HAVEN (V.O.)
It’s me.

JETT
Hello, you. What’s up?

HAVEN (V.O.)
I need to see you.

JETT
But I thought —

HAVEN (V.O.)
It’s an emergency. Dart, he —
(beat)
I’m right outside. Can I come up?

Jett looks, sees —
HAVEN standing in the driveway down below.
With Buster on a leash.
Small and scared-looking.
She waves, a hopeful half-smile.

JETT
My place is a mess. I’ll be right down.

EXT. JETT’S APARTMENT BUILDING – DRIVEWAY – MOMENTS LATER

Jett dashes over to Haven. Worried.
Pulls her down the driveway to where it ends at the canal.

JETT
What’s up? Did something go wrong?

HAVEN
He went into shock.
He’s having — an attack.

JETT
That’s good, right?

HAVEN
Yeah, but he’s so — loud. I’m scared.
I’m afraid he’s gonna wake up the neighborhood,
especially fucking Nola.
Can you come back to the boat with me?

JETT
Isn’t that kinda dangerous?
What about —

HAVEN
It’s one in the morning.
Everyone’s lights are out.
(beat)
And I want to keep it that way.

INT. CRAYCE HOUSEBOAT – LIVING ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Buster comes BOUNDING in. Followed by Haven. Then Jett.

HAVEN
That’s what I’m telling you. Listen —

We hear low, ANGUISHED MOANING from upstairs.

JETT
What’s happening to him?

HAVEN
His body is screaming out for insulin,
but he’s not getting any, so his blood sugar is plummeting.
He’s having seizures. Bad ones.

JETT
How long — will it take for him to —

HAVEN
A couple hours. Maybe more. I dunno.
(beat)
They didn’t teach us about this at the nursing academy.

JETT
What if you gave him a shot of insulin?
Make it look like you tried to save him?
What would happen?

HAVEN
If it’s in time, it would save his life.
(beat)
So how do I explain not helping him?

JETT
You went to sleep in the guest bedroom.
You weren’t feeling well —

HAVEN
But I can fucking HEAR him.

JETT
Not if you sleep with earplugs. I do.

Another MOAN. This time, LOUDER.

FEMALE VOICE (O.C.)
Hello, is anybody home?

In walks NOLA.More than a few sheets to the wind.

HAVEN
Nola, what are you doing here?

Another MOAN.

NOLA
What the fuck am I DOING HERE?
Your husband sounds like he’s DYING up there.

HAVEN
He’s fine, it’s a new medication —

JETT
We’ve got it handled.

Nola stares. Quivering with anger.

NOLA
I know what’s going on between you too.
I’ve seen you fucking and sucking like monkeys in the zoo.

HAVEN
You fucking BITCH —

JETT
Haven —

NOLA
And now you’re trying to KILL him, for what?
The INSURANCE MONEY?
Well, I’ve SEEN THAT MOVIE, and you’re NOT getting AWAY with it.

She pulls out her cell phone.

Jett races over, GRABS it.

Nola starts POUNDING on her chest with tiny fists.

NOLA
No, STOP! Give that BACK! Give that BACK!

JETT
Quiet, please! Let me explain!

NOLA
No! I’m gonna call the COPS!

JETT
(sees something)
Haven, NO!

HAVEN
stands behind Nola.

Bends down, and SHOVES a BUTCHER KNIFE in Nola’s back.

The little demon SCREAMS in pain.

NOLA
You STABBED ME! Fucking BITCH!

HAVENFUCK YOU! Fucking MIDGET!

Incensed, in shock, Nola turns
and ATTACKS Haven like a wild animal, BITING, KICKING, SCRATCHING.

Haven tries to fight back, but she’s no match against the tiny terror.

NOLA
I’m gonna fucking KILL YOU!

HAVEN
No, STOP!

JETT
Leave HER ALONE!

Jett GRABS Nola.
THROWS her across the room.
She HITS the wall with a sickening THWUMP.
BANGS onto the floor. Lights out.
A pool of BLOOD starts spreading.

HAVEN
Fucking nosy MIDGET.

JETT
(reels back, in shock)What have I done?

Another, louder MOAN from upstairs.

HAVEN
NOW what are we gonna do?

JETT
You go upstairs and shut him the fuck up,
and I’ll care of — the body.

HAVEN
But what am I supposed to —

JETT
I don’t know.
But we got to buy us some time, so I can —
(gestures at Nola)
Get rid of — that.

Pause.

HAVEN
Wait a minute. Listen.Do you hear that?

JETT
Hear what? I don’t hear anything.

HAVEN
Exactly. He stopped —

They RACE up the stairs into —
DART’S BEDROOM
which is empty.

HAVEN
What the fuck? Where did he –?

JETT
(sees, points)
There he is. Out on the deck.


EXT. CRAYCE HOUSEBOAT – ROOF DECK – CONTINUOUS

Dart stands at the railing. Bent over.

DART
Somebody — HELP —

HAVEN
Dart, honey.
What are you doing out here?
You’ll catch your death of cold.

She starts to walk toward him, but he freaks out.

DART
No — you — stay away — away —

And, as he tries to move away from her, he lurches backward, loses his footing,
slips, and FALLS OVER —
And HITS the inky black water with a SPLASH.

HAVEN
SHIT.

JETT
We’ve just been FUCKED.

HAVEN
What do we do NOW?

JETT
We gotta take care of — the body.

They RACE downstairs.
Jett looks around.
Sees her gym bag.
Empties it out.
Goes over to Nola’s dead body.
Stuffs her in the bag.
Uses the gym clothes to sop up the blood.

JETT
You COULD help me out here —

HAVEN
Blood makes me — freak out.
(looks around)
Wait a minute. Where’s Buster?

JETT
He must have run away.
We’ll look for him later.

HAVEN
Don’t bother.
He was Dart’s dog.
Drove me fucking crazy.

Jett stuffs the bloody clothes in the bag.
Goes to the sink. Washes her hands.Looks back at Haven.

JETT
As soon as I’m out the door, call 911.
Tell them as much of the truth as you can.
He had an attack.
You didn’t hear it because you were sleeping.

HAVEN
I’ve got it. I was listening to my Ipod.

JETT
Even better.
Then, you went to check on him,and he was out on the deck.

HAVEN
And he — and he —

JETT
Got startled when you called out to him.

HAVEN
That’ll work.

JETT
It’ll have to work.

Jett dries off her hands.
Goes to Haven. Kisses her.

JETT
I love you more than —

HAVEN
Enough to kill?

PUSH IN ON Jett.
Hugging Haven for dear life.

JETT
Straight down the line, baby.
(beat)
Straight down the line.

THE GRILLING: Part One.

PDB: Where were you brought up?

Carole Parker: Lake Forest, an affluent suburb of Chicago, on the ‘North Shore.’ Where many of John Hughes movies take place.

PDB: Has your turbulent youth been an influence on your writing?

CP:My early youth was far from turbulent. I grew up in a safe, bland ultra-conservative household in a lily-white suburb … My TEENAGE years, however, were fraught with danger and trouble. So for that part, the answer would be YES …

PDB: Who the hell is Carrie Love?

CP:Carrie Love is a chain-smoking, hard-drinking, promiscuous lipstick lesbian private eye who lives on the beach in Venice, California.

And she’s me, about 15 year ago …

PDB: Describe a typical writing session.

CP:In the morning, it’s for hire. Lots of coffee, water, cigarettes and ‘chill’ music on satellite radio. In the afternoon, it’s my joint, with more of the same, although the music fits the story more. Right now it’s jazz, while I finish up the rewrite on THE HEISTERS. (Next up is a zombie film, so I have no idea what THAT music will be … )

In the AM, I go for about two hours, and in the afternoon, about three. I no longer write on the weekends, as it was pointed out by a former manager that I should have a life. And living on the beach, that’s really easy to do.

PDB: What’s this about the Nowhere Girl graphic novel?

CP:Well, after a false start with one artist who never did the work, I was approached by an even better artist in Montreal, and he should have a prototype ready for Comic-con in NYC in October. The thinking was, since so many graphic novels get adapted into films, I figured I’d adapt my spy thriller script into a graphic novel, which will then get adapted into a film. Kind of contrived and ass-backward, but then, that’s Hollywood for you.

PDB: Is this the time of your life?

CP:Probably. But then I’ve had several of them. Back in NYC in the early 80’s, pre-AIDS, when Ecstasy was legal. Good times, that. And then when I left my job as a TV executive to write and produce. That was another. But right now, having so much work under my belt, and so much activity with my career, I guess I’d say right now IS the time of my life.

Hmm. Sounds like a beer ad …

Carole Parker‘s HARDBOILED & HARDCORE blog, THAT KILLING FEELING, is HERE
PART TWO OFSPOTLIGHT ON CAROLE PARKER CONTINUES NEXT SATURDAY!
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