Sacrifice by Daniel Broderick | Script Revolution

Sacrifice

A distraught husband holding ten church attendees hostage, demands the rigid priest who advised his dead wife to forego an abortion, select three to die. Some volunteer to sacrifice themselves; others, no.

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84pp

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Nine parishioners await confession: a soon-to-be wed, young Vietnamese couple; an elderly Hispanic husband and wife, and their black care-giver; and a family of four. They debate amongst themselves whether to have Father Hackett or Father Akello receive their confessions. Akello is the easy choice. An immigrant Ugandan who presides over the guitar mass and embraces everyone. Hackett, on the other hand, scares the hell out of just about everyone in the parish. Mean, unforgiving, as far from warm and fuzzy as is possible for a priest to get.

As the congregants wait and the two priests prepare themselves, Carlos padlocks the doors before entering the church with his hidden gun and the unknown contents of a gym bag. He enters a confessional on Hackett's side, draws the gun, and forces Hackett out. He herds everyone to the front, including a few who tried to run out or hide. What do you want? "I want my wife back. This priest killed her." Carlos is irate that Hackett won't accept responsibility for his wife's death; instead, he pawns it off on the will of God: an abortion would have been murder. And, as the contents of the gym bag begin to wail, he reminds Carlos that his counsel saved the life of her child.

No, Hackett has to suffer in hell for what he's done. He must personally name three to die; he cannot foist that choice upon God or the Catholic church. He refuses and, in his debate with Carlos inadvertently selects the first: the unseen, infant child. BANG! The crying stops.

Two more to go. And the decision must be soon, as one hostage was able to text 911. A police officer arrives, finds he can't immediately enter the church. and is ordered to wait for backup.

Carlos menaces all the hostages as he tries to force a decision from Hackett. Ahn is willing to die if it would save her fiance, Tran, but he balks. Michael, the father of two young children, will agree to anything if it will save them, but his wife Lauren won't -- or, better yet, can't. She is having a affair that she cannot say she is sorry about. Hackett comes to her to administer her confession, but refuses to absolve her without true contrition. This, she can't do. The older Hispanic couple and Father Akello all agree to sacrifice themselves to save the others, but Carlos refuses to take volunteers. That would let Hackett of the hook.

More police arrive outside. Time's up. Another inadvertent slip by Hackett and Lauren becomes the second victim. Hackett, for perhaps the first time in his life, disobeys church doctrine and administers last rites to Lauren, despite her failure to confess.

The police enter but can't shoot Carlos as he uses one hostage and then Hackett as a shield. As the two embrace, Carlos, still attempting to cement Hackett's trip to hell, hands him his gun, telling his to shoot him. A shot rings out and Carlos drops to the floor. Dying, he, too, refuses to repent. Hackett, nonetheless, gives him the last rites as well.

Submitted: October 13, 2021
Last Updated: October 25, 2021

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Daniel Broderick's picture

The Writer: Daniel Broderick

California native. Born in Los Angeles after my parents moved there from Chicago, where my father wrote for television after WWII and college. Have lived in San Fernando Valley, Orange County, Palo Alto, Florence (Italy), Washington, D.C., New Haven (Connecticut), West Los Angeles, Germany, and Sacramento. Currently live in Pasadena, California. Stanford undergrad. Played basketball until hurt my sophomore year, Yale Law School. Non-lawyer jobs include assembling board games, gas station attendant, assembling yachts, picking up trash at the beach, washing dorm windows, maintenance at a golf course, painting the take off boards for the long jump and triple jump (jock job, where I was... Go to bio

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