Pre-Arrival

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Pre-Arrival

Something to remember when embarking on an adventure.

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August Theme | The Start

Friends,

This month’s theme will be “The Start.”

I’ll be starting law school this month in my beloved NYC.  Other friends are also starting grad school, new jobs, or moving to new cities.  After having been away from school for a few years, it’s a little anxiety-inducing, but I’m excited to start a new adventure of sorts.

Send me your submissions about the start of something to boringasfolk@gmail.com.  It could be about a trip you’ve taken, a new project you’ve started, a new person you met.

Be brave!

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Monstrosity

By Beini Huang.

Beini, a talented Australian artist, submitted this book about a monster and his adventures around New York City to the Sketch Book Project. It’s pretty amazing. Thanks for sharing, Beini!

Check it out here: http://www.sketchbookproject.com/library/11598

Go to http://www.beini.com.au for more!

Wanderlust

By Hannah Lee.

EXT. SOMEWHERE IN QUEENS, NY – EARLY MORNING

A plane flies overhead against a grey sky. We descend on a car parked along an empty street of closed restaurants and odd shops. ALVIN (29), in the car, is straining his neck to stare up at the plane through the windscreen.

INT. CAR – EARLY MORNING

Once the plane is gone, ALVIN returns to his breakfast – an unappetizing bagel that looks a few days too old, sitting in tin foil on his lap. ALVIN stares blankly ahead,mechanically raises the bagel to his mouth, takes a bite, and lowers it back into his lap. He sighs through his nose while chewing.

INT. FREEDOM TRAVEL AGENCY – EARLY MORNING

A door unlocks. Small, rusted bells tinkle as the door is opened. Overhead lights flicker on. We see a large world map on a bland white wall, pinned with several plastic planes.

ALVIN dumps his keys on his desk and slumps into his chair.

Freedom Travel Agency is now open for business.

EXT. STREET – AFTERNOON

The world outside Freedom Travel Agency has gotten livelier.

The stores surrounding the agency have opened and people are walking up and down the street.

INT. FREEDOM TRAVEL AGENCY – AFTERNOON

EDITH (73) sits on the office couch with an excited smile of anticipation, her handbag nested in her lap. A Chihuahua sticks it head out of her bag. ALVIN stands at the printer, drumming his fingers as it whirs to life.

He pulls up a chair to EDITH with the printed page.

ALVIN

This is your itinerary. Just take this to the airport on your departure date. It has all of the information regarding the times of your flights –

EDITH leans in and squints through her glasses.

ALVIN

how long your layovers are, and arrival times at your destinations.

EDITH

(Taking the itinerary from ALVIN)

Oooooh I’m so excited! Can you imagine me – at my old age – seeing France! Nunu is very excited too!

Aren’t you boy? We’re going to see the Eiffel Tower. Yes, we are!

ALVIN stares at the dog with sad envy. The dog is oblivious to ALVIN and its upcoming tour of France.

ALVIN

Well, give me a call if you have any questions. And… have a great trip.

ALVIN forces a smile as he walks EDITH and NUNU out of the office. As EDITH is leaving, CARRIE (24) walks up from the street to enter. ALVIN looks confused.

CARRIE

(Smiling widely)

Hi!

She steps inside, past ALVIN, who looks as though he has just seen a mirage. It takes him a moment to unfreeze and shut the door behind him.

With her hands behind her back, CARRIE leans forward to peruse the world map. Her bright floral dress and thick red hair stand out against the bland whites and greys of the office. Her bright eyes dart across the routes on the map and she traces one with her finger.

From a distance, ALVIN stares at CARRIE. He is still, quiet, nervous. The sounds of a tropical rainforest fill his ears: the strange calls of animals, birds, the wind rippling through trees. Big fronds of ferns, lush grass, and exotic trees begin to appear around CARRIE, framing her like a rare creature.

ALVIN stands behind the trunk of a tree, spying on her.

CARRIE turns to him. Their eyes meet and we hear the loud flapping of a bird’s wings when it takes flight.

ALVIN, suddenly self-conscious, clears his throat. The office snaps back into reality.

ALVIN

How can I help you today?

CARRIE

I’m thinking about traveling to South America.

ALVIN

Okay –

CARRIE

But then I thought… I also want to see India. Australia. Japan…

ALVIN

You want to see the world.

CARRIE

(pauses and smiles)

I do.

CUT TO:

INT. ALVIN’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

ALVIN sits up in bed, staring blankly ahead. He tips his head back and closes his eyes.

FADE TO:

FLASHBACK – FREEDOM TRAVEL AGENCY – AFTERNOON

We hear crashing waves. We see ALVIN plotting CARRIE’S trip using bright red string and pins on the world map. CARRIE is looking on excitedly, laughing occasionally, and enthusiastically pointing to different destinations. ALVIN happily follows her lead with the red string.

CUT TO:

INT. ALVIN’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

ALVIN opens his eyes and jumps out of bed with purpose. He digs through a drawer and finds a coffee table book. It is filled with photos from all over the world. He flips through photos of gorgeous locations – natural, urban, rural. He focuses on a photo of an Italian beach. He hears Italian opera and the sounds of a crowded beach. CARRIE appears in the photo, wearing a bright colored swim suit and a wide brimmed hat. He flips to another photo of a Chinese marketplace. He hears a Chinese violin, the chatter of street vendors, and superimposes CARRIE into the photo. She snaps a photo of him and laughs. ALVIN smiles to himself and continues flipping through the book.

INT. FREEDOM TRAVEL AGENCY – EARLY MORNING

The door bells ring as ALVIN enters the agency briskly. The lights flicker on and ALVIN stands back to admire the world map, lined with CARRIE’S future travels. ALVIN has combed his hair today and is dressed in a red vest.

He works at his desk with deep concentration, booking flights, looking up hotels, and discounted tours. CARRIE sits to his left,

CARRIE

(delighted)

Oh, thank you so much! You’ve been so wonderful.

Carrie sits to his right,

CARRIE

You’ve been so helpful with everything. I’ll send you a postcard and let you know how the trip is going.

Carrie walks up to him from behind, wraps her arms around him, and kisses him on the side of the forehead.

The tinkling of door bells wakes ALVIN from his daydreams.

He stops typing and looks up to see the real CARRIE standing at the door.

CARRIE

Hi.

ALVIN

Hi.

CUT TO:

INT. FREEDOM TRAVEL AGENCY – MORNING

CARRIE sits on the couch with her handbag in her lap. ALVIN stands at the printer, smiling. He snatches the printed document and brings a chair over to CARRIE.

ALVIN

(enthusiastically)

So this is your trusty itinerary. It’s got your entire flight plan laid out. It has the departure times –

CARRIE

(snatching the itinery from ALVIN)

Oh! This is awesome! Thank you!

ALVIN

You can just take this to the airport –

CARRIE

This is great! Maybe I can give you a call if I have any questions, but I think I’m all set.

ALVIN

(a little flustered)

Yeah, I mean, I hope the trip is everything you want it to be. Um… let me know how it goes…

CARRIE looks up at him, sensing his nervousness. This makes ALVIN even more nervous. His breathing quickens.

EXT. A CLIFF FACE – DAY

From ALVIN’S perspective, we see his bare feet. He looks up to an expansive blue sky and the edge of a cliff. We can only hear his beating heart and tense breathing.

INT. FREEDOM TRAVEL AGENCY – MORNING

ALVIN

I was thinking… maybe…

EXT. CLIFF EDGE – DAY

ALVIN begins to run towards the cliff edge.

INT. FREEDOM TRAVEL AGENCY – MORNING

ALVIN

You could tell me about the trip when you got back… over coffee or something…

EXT. CLIFF EDGE – DAY

ALVIN leaps from the cliff with a sharp intake of breath. He falls through the air in silence.

INT. FREEDOM TRAVEL AGENCY – MORNING

CARRIE

(feeling uncomfortable)

Yeah… well… maybe I can just email you something. Um. Is this for like… a survey you do?

It dawns on ALVIN that CARRIE is not interested in him at all.

ALVIN

Yeah – Yeah it’s for a survey. Customer service. That sort of thing.

EXT. RIVER – DAY

ALVIN plunges into dark water. He sinks.

INT. FREEDOM TRAVEL AGENCY – NIGHT

ALVIN has not moved from his seat. CARRIE has left hours ago. He stares at the empty space she has left on the couch.

He turns slowly and looks up at the world map behind him, still lined with the red string.

ALVIN starts taking the red string down, slowly and sadly.

When he is finished, he takes a moment to stare at the world map, stretched out bare before him. The red string hangs limply in his hand.He takes a pin, and sticks it into New York. He takes another pin, takes a moment to decide, and then sticks it into LA. He strings the two cities together.

He pins Hanoi, Kathmandu, Paris, Madrid, Cairo, Madagascar… the string travels across the world.

ALVIN stands back and looks at his own trip. His eyes light

up.

EXT. FREEDOM TRAVEL AGENCY – NIGHT

We hear the sound of a plane’s engines warming up softly. ALVIN turns out the lights of the travel agency. The volume of the plane’s engines increase. He locks the door behind him and walks off screen to his car. On the inside of the glass door is taped a sign: CLOSED, ON VACATION. We hear a plane taking off.

FADE TO BLACK