Bridges by James Austin McCormick | Script Revolution

Bridges

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4pp

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Logline: 
A suicidal man is comforted by a stranger but soon begins to suspect he might be better off without her help.
Synopsis/Details: 

A suicidal man stands on a bridge, looking down at the waters as he contemplates ending it all. Seemingly from nowhere a pale woman appears, speaking kind, gentle words. She only wants to help, she explains. He begins to suspect however that he might be better off without her help.

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Bridges
A suicidal man is comforted by a stranger but soon begins to suspect he might be better off without her help.

Self-preservation isn’t only a natural, human instinct, but it’s also an instinct deeply ingrained in pretty much every species on earth. Just by existing, pretty much every living orgasm on Earth is automatically programmed to sustain that existence – by surviving.

But, the human mind, although the most sophisticated of all species – at least on Earth, that we know of – can be quite fragile due to our unique emotional complexities. I guess it’s a gift and a curse?

Anyway, life is hard. As everyone surely knows, not everything goes our way. And I’m sure that we’ve all hit our own personal versions of rock bottom a time or two in our lives. Life, in itself, is an emotional roller-coaster – the highs can be very high and the lows can be incredibly low. And when those lows are incredibly low, sometimes our emotions can get the best of us. And our fragile, sophisticated psyches can be our own worst enemies – driving some to make a very unfortunate decision that completely goes against our natural, self-preservation instincts.

In James Austin McCormick’s disturbing drama, Bridges, Joe is at a low point in his life. Perhaps going through a mid-life crisis, the 40-year-old man, tired and beaten down, is at such a low point in his life that he’s seriously considering ending it all.

Standing at the edge of a bridge, Joe still isn’t sure if he’s going to go through with it or not. As he smokes a cigarette, weighing his options, perhaps he’s searching deep down for a reason not to do it. Or maybe he’s just waiting for someone to talk him out of it.

“Are things that bad?” a pale woman passing through asks him randomly.

At this point, Joe’s probably heard all the generic advice he can take. And, despite maybe looking for a reason not to jump, he’s still cynical.

JOE
Let me guess.

He lights the cigarette.

JOE (CON’T)
You’re going to tell me it’ll get better.

But Joe doesn’t quite get the answer he was expecting… or looking for.

PALE WOMAN
Not at all. Life’s cruel, unfair. So many
problems, so many pressures. It’s just so
unbearable. And there’s no escape.

She takes Joe’s arm.

PALE WOMAN (CON’T)
Apart from this.

Sheesh! Not exactly the person you’d call up for advice when you’re feeling down, is she?

The random stranger continues to give Joe some really terrible advice, doing her best to talk him into taking that life-ending leap. Flabbergasted, Joe has no idea what this strange lady’s agenda really is – perhaps a little reverse psychology? Or is it something much more sinister?

As if her ill-advised persuasiveness wasn’t unexpected enough, it’s at this point that the story moves into an even more unexpected direction. Though the story’s tone is pretty grim, it’s very sharply written with a neat twist.And we really do feel for the Joe character who, unfortunately for a lot of people, is all too relatable.

If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or know anyone who is, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Review by Michael Kospiah
Submitted: May 9, 2020
Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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The Writer: James Austin McCormick

I'm a college lecturer and compulsive writer of speculative fiction. To date I've had many short stories published in various anthologies, as well as novellas and novels published with Class Act books. Anyone who wants to check out my fiction can find a detailed list at the link below: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?195589 And my page on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/James-McCormick/e/B00F3F9SGY%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_... I also enjoy screenplay writing and along with a co- author had three horror scripts optioneds. I have also had several scripts place highly in international competitions. In addition to full length scripts, I also write shorter ones. One of these, "In the Silence" (... Go to bio

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