Edward Crosby Wells
Based on the play ROAD KILL
by Edward Crosby Wells
© Edward Crosby Wells
All Right Reserved
ext.--ALBUQUERQUE street scenes leading up to bus station--day--the present
int.--ALBUQUERQUE bus station--day--The present.
JOEY and MARY, a young married couple, pushing a much-used baby carriage.
The carriage is filled with their belongings, including their infant child wrapped in a blanket. Bags of clothes and whatnot hang from the sides of the carriage.
A helium-filled red balloon tied to the carriage rises overhead.
They push their carriage through the terminal and exit.
A homeless shelter where HOMELESS MEN and WOMEN are gathered outside.
Joey and Mary push the carriage along the street past them. Their expressions are sad for the most part.
ext.--street corner in a pleasant neighborhood--day
Joey and Mary are looking down the street both ways.
Joey stands back to display himself for Mary's approval.
You look wonderful, Joey. Just
wonderful! I know you'll get it.
You think so?
He should be here soon.
He could have picked a spot where
there's someplace to sit. Are you
sure this is the spot?
What kind of car does he drive?
One that works.
Funny. Ha, ha, ha.
His car. Green.
(pointing down the street)
Is that him?
(glances at passing car)
No. Besides, that's not green.
Well, kind of greenish-blue,
wouldn't you say?
Yeah, but his is green-green.
Oh, that kind of green. That's
too green, if you ask me.
(looking down street)
You know what I'd like? I'd like
silver. Can we get a silver car?
I mean, when things get better.
When things get better.
I don't want a green one.
(Looking down street)
I hope you get it, Joey. Maybe,
if you get it and they like you--
of course, they'll like you--they'll
give you overtime. Overtime's good,
Joey. And soon, before you know it,
we'll have ourselves a silver car.
Wouldn't that be nice, sweetheart?
Oh, yes. That would be wonderful.
And mommy and daddy will take you
for nice long rides. Maybe, we'll
take a vacation to Yellowstone.
You'd love that, wouldn't you?
She reaches into the cart and adjusts the blanket before removing a loaf of bread.
She takes out a slice and hands it to Joey who proceeds to eat it.
She takes a slice for herself and puts the loaf back in the cart.
I was thinking the baby and I
would go to the zoo today.
Isn't it like a public park
(adjusts the blanket
on the baby)
I don't want to stay in the bus
station anymore. They're funny
Nobody said anything to me.
Nobody said anything to me either,
but they look at us funny.
I never noticed.
That's because you're too busy
looking at my ravishingly,
beautiful body. Yeah, right.
ext.--car at stop sign--day
RUDE MAN yells out the window of the car.
Get the fuck off the street!
There's enough trash around
here without you littering up
the neighborhood! Get a job!
The car and the RUDE MAN speed away.
ext.--back to joey and mary--day
(yells at car)
You got one for us!?
Let it go.
Joey embraces Mary. He comforts her.
I don't know why. Some people
are that way, that's all.
(turns to baby)
The baby . . .
Let it go.
I don't know why people hate us.
(after looking in on
I don't like to be looked at funny.
Do we, sweetie?
(back to Joey)
We took a nice long walk when you
went to the unemployment office.
Saw some awful pretty houses, Joey.
Even saw the street where I want us
Are you sure this is where you're
supposed to meet him?
Yes, Mary. I'm sure.
Well, where is he? Maybe he was
a phony. Maybe he was just saying
he'd take you to see his boss and
didn’t mean it at all. Maybe he
was making it all up.
Why would somebody do a thing like
Same reason that guy in the car said
what he said. Maybe he was unhappy, too.
(seeing something across
Ext.--across the street--day
CAN COLLECTOR walks along the sidewalk carrying a large plastic bag filled with aluminum cans.
EXT.--BACK TO JOEY AND MARY--DAY
There is sadness in Mary's face.
Suddenly, she has an idea.
I need some of those big plastic
garbage bags. If you run across
any today I need them.
I'm going to start collecting
aluminum cans. Dot and John got
a regular business going. There's
good money in aluminum cans.
I met in the park over by the library.
They live in their van, only it doesn't
run. John's working on it though. Dot says he’s a mechanic. There's big money
in being a mechanic, isn't there?
(looking down the street,
Sure there is.
(looks down the street)
Wouldn't a van be nice, Joey? We
could take all kinds of trips then,
Uh-huh. That would be nice, Mary.
Maybe . . . No. He’ll come. He'll
Sure. He'll be here.
Won't he sweetheart? He'll be
here with bells on. Then, daddy's
gonna get a job. Maybe he’ll have
his own office. Then, we could visit
daddy in his office. Or a cubicle.
I hope it’s not a cubicle. An office.
A real office. Wouldn’t that be nice?
He's been sleeping an awful lot
That's what babies do.
But he never cries. Babies are
supposed to cry.
Naah. He's a prince. Princes
I hope you're right.
I sure hope your daddy's right.
Did he say what kind of job it was?
Keeping count of things. Electronic
stuff, I think.
Ohh . . . there's big money in that.
Daddy's gonna make big money. Isn't
that nice? Big money.
Are you sure he said today?
Then he's not on time.
Maybe he's running late.
(looking down the
There he is!
A car slows to stop at stop sign across the street.
WOMAN IN CAR waves dollar bill and signals for Joey or Mary to come over and take her handout.
No, thank you. We don’t take handouts.
WOMAN IN CAR withdraws her money and stares back with contempt.
Car continues on its way.
EXT.--BACK TO JOEY AND MARY--DAY
Joey and Mary watch the car as it moves away.
They each look at the other, and say nothing.
I guess that wasn't him.
(she has an idea)
Pass gas. You know . . . toot, toot.
I don’t have to.
Too bad. If you did he'd come.
You can hold it and hold it and
the minute you let it out--bingo!
Somebody appears. It's one of those
laws--Murphy's Law, maybe.
Mary, maybe we should find someplace
to keep the baby. Until we get
ourselves--situated. Not for long.
A few weeks maybe.
Keep the baby! What do you mean,
“keep the baby!?”
Just till we’re situated.
We are situated. We got each other.
You'll get that job and everything
will be just fine. You’ll see. Middle
Suppose . . .
Suppose, suppose, suppose! I don't suppose.
But things haven't been . . .
Until they do . . .
(covering her ears)
I don't want to hear it!
He makes me so mad. You won't
ever be negative, will you? Our
little prince will be so positive.
Yes you will. And maybe one day
you'll be President of the United
States of America.
Wouldn't that be nice? Or a doctor.
More money in being a doctor.
He could be both.
Yeah. A doctor first and then the
Now don't go pushing him. He
might want to be something else.
I don't know. A mechanic, maybe.
Of all the things in this world
to be, why on Earth would our son
want to be a mechanic? Yuck.
Maybe he won't, but maybe he won't
want to be a doctor--or the President,
Who wouldn't want to be the President?
You mean to tell me you wouldn't want
to rule the world?
The President doesn't rule the world.
He does ours.
Running the country and ruling the
world are two different things.
S'pose. Who's in charge anyway?
We. The people. Us.
Then why aren't we doing a
Maybe we don't know how.
Here we are--we, the people--
running the best country on Earth
and we don't know how we do it.
(looking up and down
the street, to Joey)
Joey, maybe he meant eight o'clock
Nope. In the morning.
Maybe this wasn't the morning he meant.
Nope. This is the morning he meant.
In silence, they both look up and down the street.
Are you sure I look all right?
You look wonderful.
It's important to make a good
That's what they say. I was thinking.
I mean, when things get better. You
know, when we get a place. A real
place. Not like the bus station. Do
you think I could get a job?
You know how I feel about my wife
I know, but it would be like insurance. Insurance against this happening again.
I guess we didn't manage things right,
did we, sweetie? I'm not complaining.
What's done is done. Things could be
What about it?
Don’t you feel it? People are not
nice anymore. They only care about
themselves. Well, I hate them, too!
I don't like the way they look at me.
Funny, you know?
Nobody looks at you funny.
They do and you know it. They’re
always looking funny.
(makes a fist)
Next time I'll have a word with
(to the baby)
Listen to your daddy talk . . .
he'll have a 'talk' with them. Ha!
(noticing something in
Oh, no. No, no, no . . .
What? What is it?
There is a dead cat in the gutter.
EXT.--BACK TO JOEY AND MARY--DAY
Mary moves in closer to the dead animal. Joey approaches Mary, puts his hands on her shoulders and turns her to face him.
A carload of RAUCOUS DRUNKS comes to a quick stop in front of them.
One scary-looking DRUNK comes out of the car.
Hey, bitches! Watcha doin’ in the gutter.
Showing respect to one of God’s creatures.
(loudly to the guys
The bitch is showin’ respect to a dead
cat! Sumpin’ stinks.
Look, we don’t want any trouble--
Was I talkin’ to you?
Then shut the fuck up!
For the first time we see that the DRUNK is holding a
crowbar. The men in the car laugh and cheer the Drunk on.
Whatcha got in the carriage, bitch?
I told you to shut the fuck up, didn’t I?
MAN IN CAR
(yells out window)
Ask him if he wants to fight.
You heard the man. So, do ya?
No. Please. I’m starting a new job today.
Joey will be working with electronics. Tell him, Joey.
(to Mary--by the carriage)
The DRUNK walks slowly to the carriage while toying with the crowbar.
Ya gonna show me what’s in the basket?
I told you--my son.
The DRUNK bends over to look in the carriage. The DRUNK goes pale and in shock. He runs to the car.
(to his buddies)
Let me in! Goddamit!
His BUDDIES have locked the car. They are laughing wildly.
Open this fucking door!
He raises the crowbar and slams it on the roof of the car. They open the door.
What the fuck--
DRUNK pushes him in and the car races away.
Are you alright.
Me, too. It’s a new world out there.
Not a good one.
No. Not a good one. Come on. It’s
dead. Rotting. Come on. Get away
Somebody should bury it.
It's in the street, Mary, There's
no place to bury it. Besides, it's
half eaten and decayed already. In
another week there won't be a trace
of it left.
It's not right to just leave it
Joey pulls her back to the carriage.
Come on. That thing carries all
kinds of diseases. Think of the baby.
Mary rummages through one of the bags hanging over the side of the carriage and comes up with a red bandana.
Hey. What are you going to do with
Not with my good bandana you're not.
If it's not going to get buried, it
needs to be covered. That animal
needs it more than you do.
It's dead, Mary.
I know. I know. But that’s no reason
to leave it like that.
Mary approaches the dead animal and covers it with the red bandana.
There. Nobody deserves to be left
out in the open--even if they are dead.
Yeah . . . sure. Even if they are dead.
I found this beautiful street yesterday
lined with trees and--
Ext.--beautiful house on beautiful street--day
There is a WOMAN IN WINDOW holding a baby. Looking out the window of her house. She’s playing some sort of smiling game with the baby.
--grass as green as green gets.
Greener than that man's car, I bet.
There was this woman in the window of
her beautiful house. And, she looked at us looking at her and she grabbed her baby--
She had a baby?
She grabbed her baby, held it close
to her, then gave us a look.
EXT.--BACK TO JOEY AND MARY ON THE SIDEWALK--DAY
I'll never forget it. Never. I
saw myself, Joey. Looking out as I
was looking in, I saw myself in her
eyes. It frightened me.
Joey embraces Mary.
Shhh. She wasn't looking at you.
She was looking at a stranger on the
street. Not you. If she was looking
at you, Mary--really looking at you--
she'd have come to the door and invited
Joey kisses Mary.
(after the kiss)
What were you thinking of?
Now. Just now. When you kissed me.
I was thinking . . . well, I was
thinking of you.
No, you weren't. Your eyes looked
off to the side.
True. You avoided me.
I just wish to God he'd hurry up
and come, that's all.
He will. I can feel it.
Good things come to those who wait.
Don't they, sweetheart?
There was a man. One of those
people who were forced off the
church property. His wife's in the
city jail. Got picked up for shoplifting.
So he celebrated--
Sure. She was in a warm place with
three meals a day. He got stinking,
dead drunk. This was the day before
yesterday. That night--the night
before last when that storm hit us--
dead drunk, he crawled into a dumpster
and passed out. Yesterday morning the
truck came to get the garbage--
Mary picks up the baby and clutches it tightly.
And they hooked the dumpster to the
truck, lifted it and dumped it into the
truck. Then they turned on the switch to compress the garbage--
They heard a squeal--like a sheep.
Is he dead?
No. But he lost his legs.
Yes. Poor man.
There he is! Across the street!
EXT.--ACROSS THE STREET--DAY
We see JOEY’S RIDE in his car.
On the side of the door a sign reads, “WE KILL ANYTHING THAT CRAWLS.”
Joe! We're late!
EXT.--BACK TO JOEY AND MARY--DAY
Mary carefully places the baby back into the carriage.
Oh, hurry, Joey. Don't keep the
Joey gives Mary a quick embrace. Kisses her. Leans into the carriage and kisses the baby.
You sure I look okay?
You look magnificent, Joey.
JOEY’S RIDE (O.S.)
C’mon, Joe! Let’s go!
(to the man)
Be right there.
Wish me luck. Where will you be?
Joey moves out of frame.
(calling to him)
Look for the red balloon!
SOUND of car door slamming and car taking off.
(to the baby)
What are we gonna do today, huh?
What does mommy's little prince
want to do? We don’t want anymore
nasty men We could go to the park--
Mary begins to push the carriage away from us so that we see her back.
--collect aluminum cans, look at all
the pretty houses. Would you like
that? There's all kinds of things we
Mary and the carriage continue to retreat.
Maybe today somebody will invite us
in for tea and cookies. One never knows. Wouldn't that be nice? It's possible.
In these United States of America anything
is possible. Isn't it, sweetheart?
Yeah, right . . .
camera slowly moves TOWARDS THE CARRIAGE AND LOOKS IN TO SEE THE REMAINS OF AN INFANT. IT IS HORRIFYING. Rotting flesh AND EXPOSED BONES ARE covered with maggots.