One-Hit Wonder by Harker Jones | Script Revolution

One-Hit Wonder

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Page Count: 
7pp

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Logline: 
A cab driver takes a former pop star on a one-way Twilight Zone–like ride.
Synopsis/Details: 

A cabbie picks up former pop star Ellery DeMarco who asks the driver to simply drive; he'll know where he needs to be when he gets there.

The cabbie recognizes DeMarco and chats him up. DeMarco opines that he'd rather be a one-hit wonder than a nothing, but he had aimed to have a full-on music career. But the public didn't like him, they just liked his song "Humma Humma Ding-Dong." He wasn't even able to retire off its success because he was just the singer, he didn't write it. And the money he DID make off the song, he lost by falling in with the wrong crowd

As they pass out of the city into the suburbs, DeMarco tells the cabbie how he went on tour with a bunch of other one-hit wonders, where he hooked up with another washed-up singer and together they got heavily into drugs. The other guy ended up dying and DeMarco is wondering where he'll end up.

The cabbie becomes aware DeMarco is in pain as they move into the country. DeMarco holds up a bullet and tells him that he found it on his doorstep. That it means he stole from the wrong people and that it's over. They're coming for him.

He instructs the cabbie to stop and he gets out, disappearing into the country mist.

The cabbie turns around and heads back to the city. Listening to the radio, he hears a news report that pop singer Ellery DeMarco's body was found in a Dumpster that morning, having been shot with one bullet, straight from the heart.

Unnerved, the cabbie glances into the back of the cab and sees a single bullet glinting on the seat.

This Script Has Been Reviewed By Shootin' The Shorts

One-Hit Wonder
A cab driver takes a former pop star on a one-way Twilight Zone–like ride.

What do we want to leave others when we exit this world? What mark could us mere mortals ever hope to make?

An amazing invention? An advance for peace and prosperity? Or would it be enough to just be remembered for something...fun?

Ellery Demarco, in Harker Jones’ “One-Hit Wonder,” had hoped to be adored for his musical accomplishments. But indulging in life’s pleasures can become addicting. Thanks to that - and to Demarco's dismay - his career arc proved briefer than planned.

In fact - now that he's retired - the public knows Ellery for just one song.  Which is depressing, but far from tragic.  Ultimately (whether one's a rock star or a filing clerk) it's the small things in life that count.  So when Ellery takes a ride with a Cabbie out of town, he finds that touch of joy he once lost - reminiscing about his short-lived career:

CABBIE
I’m still going the right way?

They’re in the country. It’s misty and hard to see.

ELLERY DEMARCO
Yeah. I think we’re almost there.

He sighs and looks out the moisture-riddled window. He winces and touches his chest.

CABBIE
You OK, Mr. DeMarco?

ELLERY DEMARCO
I will be when we get there.

They ride in silence for a bit.

ELLERY DEMARCO 
Thanks for listening to me…

CABBIE
This job teaches you to be either a good listener or a good talker.     

Fortunately, Ellery's cabbie turns out to be a bit of both.  During the next leg of their trip, the two shoot the nostalgic breeze like old pals: chatting about songs like Demarco's smash hit "Humma Humma Ding Dong".  Not to mention dishing dirt about who handled the Rock Star life best. And who knew who and what back in the day.

A casual, entertaining conversation: until Ellery reaches inside his trenchcoat and brings something out.

It’s a bullet. He shows the Cabbie.

ELLERY DEMARCO
I found this on my doorstep yesterday.

Cabbie glances at it, then looks again, and it hits him.

CABBIE
Is… does that mean…what I think it does?

ELLERY DEMARCO
It does.

CABBIE
Man. What did you DO?

Ellery confides in the cab driver before reaching his final destination, glad that at least one fan will know what happened. But will he actually?

Rich with an eerie atmospheric vibe, Harker Jones’ “One-Hit Wonder” is a story you’ll want to catch and hang onto for far longer than just one song....

Review by Linda Hullinger
Submitted: June 29, 2018
Last Updated: July 5, 2018
Times Downloaded: 23
Last Downloaded: September 5, 2019

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Harker Jones's picture

The Writer: Harker Jones

I’ve worked in publishing as a writer, editor, and critic for 15 years. I was managing editor of “Out” magazine for seven years where I also copyedited two novels. I have written two novels and six screenplays. I hold a degree in written communication and literature from Eastern Michigan University, am currently a member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, and am a card-carrying member of Mensa. Go to bio

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