Linger by Andy Carpenter | Script Revolution

Linger

When a young boy's dare ends with his best friend's death, her spirit lingers in her bicycle while they grapple with the aftermath of her death.

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117pp

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Our story begins with our protagonist, ANDREW CARPENTER, getting a surprise visit from his son, BACHEM, and BACHEM’s son, NICHOLAS. Art and Nicholas arrive with an unopened package, addressed to Andrew. Andrew opens the box to find a sailboat model and a note that reads, “I know about the money. I think it saved us all.”

Upon receiving the package Andrew asks them to bring him to Bull Run, a road that leads down to a patch of woods in a small college town. Before they enter the woods, Andrew states they are going to look for “her.”

We then enter a FLASHBACK taking us back nearly sixty years to where we are introduced to SUSAN FAIRBURN, the love of his life, even though she is a few years older than Andrew. It is the beginning of summer, and they plan to spend every day together, riding their bikes around their quaint town and talk to each other out of their windows at night. Susan loves Andrew too. Andrew dares Susan to ride her bike down Bull Run hill, which has always scared her. She relents, and bombs down the hill. Panicking, she does not brake, hits the curb at the bottom of the hill, sending her and her bike into the woods. Andrew races after her, and glimpses her tangled, lifeless body, in the woods.

After Susan’s burial, the relationships between Andrew’s family (older sister AMY and his parents TONY and ALISON) and Susan’s family (older brother JASON and his parent’s ART and Cyndi) are splintered. All attempts by Andrew’s family to reach out to Susan’s family are rejected. Once friends, Andrew, and Jason, who spent their time repairing Jason’s sailboat, are now enemies as Jason terrorizes Andrew. One day, Jason chases Andrew, who ends up hiding in the BULL RUN woods, a place that neither Andrew nor Jason wants to ever go again. While Andrew is hiding, he hears Susan’s voice. Her spirit is still alive, connected to her bike. She has been waiting for him.

Over the days that follow, Andrew goes into the woods, only able to talk to Susan when he is with her bike. They go on rides together and talk about their families, her death, Andrew’s grief, and Susan’s existence as “nothing”.

Susan’s father has a mental breakdown and is hospitalized. Jason sets his sailboat on fire and attacks Andrew. Andrew sneaks into Susan’s house to retrieve her flute so he can play her a song in the woods. Susan’s mom catches Andrew inside their house, but Andrew manages to escape her clutches. The relationship between the families deteriorates completely.

Andrew and Susan go for a ride through town, they stop underneath the town water tower, a local rite of passage site where kids climb to the top and spray paint their names. Susan tells Andrew she tried to climb it with Jason once, but he told her to stop. Andrew promises Susan that he is afraid of heights but that if he ever climbs it, he will spray paint her name on it.

Andrew decides he needs to sneak into the hospital to talk to Susan’s dad. During their conversation, her father reveals that when he was a child, he stole a jar full of money off a teacher’s desk and blamed the theft on another student. Too burdened with guilt he buried the money behind the school, the same middle school that Andrew and Susan attend.

Andrew decides that he wants to find the money and get it back to Susan’s dad believing it will make him better. Andrew and Susan break into the middle school so Andrew can steal the science teacher's metal detector. The police arrive at the school, aware of an ongoing break-in. Andrew narrowly avoids being caught and locates the money. Andrew convinces his mom to bring the money to Susan’s dad in the hospital. Two days later Susan’s dad returns home.

In the woods, Susan reveals that her world is getting brighter, and it is harder for her to hear Andrew. Susan devises a plan to go to The Light, a spot just outside of town where kids go to see a single light that appears at night at the location of a fatal motorcycle accident. Andrew is reluctant, but Susan persuades him to take her there. Andrew does, they encounter The Light, and Susan’s spirit vanishes.

Andrew returns home on Susan’s bike and is attacked by Jason. Andrew escapes him briefly and rides away down Bull Run, where he crashes. Jason decides to help Andrew and helps him get home.

When this flashback sequence ends, we return to the present-day where a dying Andrew opens the package in his room. Andrew returns to the woods and reclaims Susan’s bike. He climbs the water tower, spray-paints “Susan and Andrew were here”. Susan appears on the water tower beside him. Andrew and Susan go to The Light. Andrew rides into it, and he vanishes.

Submitted: April 29, 2021
Last Updated: June 3, 2021

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The Writer: Andy Carpenter

I intend to write compelling screenplays that bares the heart of humanity. In 2018 Andy launched strongland.live to share his fiction and nonfiction works. In fall of 2019 Andy started the Strong Land Writers Group in Columbus, GA. Andy began hosting a screenwriters group in the fall of 2020. Andy is a member of The Atlanta Writers Club and is the Education Director of The Columbus Writers Guild. A long, hard, look at his high school years (filled with run-ins with the law, a couple visits to juvie, foster care, rehab, etc.) opened the door to a career in substance abuse counseling, county-level child protection, work with Native Americans, suicide prevention and restorative justice work,... Go to bio

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