The Chimes by David Wagner | Script Revolution

The Chimes

Type:

Status:

Page Count: 
90pp

Genre:

Budget:

Age Rating:

Based On: 
The Chimes, a story by Charles Dickens
Logline: 
When an elderly porter loses his faith in mankind, the supernatural occupants of a bell tower work to restore the man's hope. Adapted from the story by Charles Dickens.
Synopsis/Details: 

On New Year's Eve, Trotty Veck, an elderly messenger, becomes disheartened because of the many reports of crime and immorality in the newspaper. Trotty wonders if mankind is simply evil by nature.

Trotty's daughter Meg and her fiancé Richard arrive and announce their plans to marry the next morning, on New Year's Day. Moments later, their happiness is dispelled by a run-in with the pompous Alderman Cute, who makes Meg and Richard feel they have no right to marry because they are poor.

Trotty carries a note for Alderman Cute to Sir Joseph Bowley, who berates Trotty because the old man owes money to a food market.

On his way home, Trotty runs into Will Fern, another poor man, and his orphaned niece, Lillian. Will has been accused of vagrancy and wants to see Alderman Cute to set things straight, but Trotty warns him that the alderman plans to have him arrested.

Trotty takes Will and Lillian home with him, and Trotty and Meg share the little food they have with the visitors. Meg tries to hide her sadness from Trotty, but it seems that her unfortunate encounter with the alderman has dissuaded her from marrying Richard.

Later that night, the chimes of the nearby church tower seem to call out to Trotty. Hurrying to the church, Trotty finds the tower door unlocked. He climbs the stairs to the top, where he discovers the Spirits of the Chimes and their goblin attendants, who reprimand him for losing faith in mankind.

The spirits tell Trotty that he has fallen from the tower during his climb, and he is now dead. The spirits then show Trotty a series of visions of the troubled future lives of Meg, Richard, Will, and Lillian.

Will is forced in and out of prison by petty laws. Lillian turns to a life of crime.

After Meg's refusal, Richard descends into alcoholism. Meg eventually marries him in an effort to save him, but he dies ruined, leaving her with a small baby. Homeless and destitute on a frigid winter night, Meg is driven to drowning herself and her baby.

The intention of the Spirits of the Chimes is to teach Trotty that, far from being born evil, mankind was made to strive for nobler things and will fall only when crushed and repressed. Trotty breaks down when he sees Meg poised to jump into the river with her baby. He cries that he has learned his lesson and begs the Chimes to save his daughter.

Suddenly Trotty is awakened by the chimes. His "visions" were merely bad dreams, and the happy chimes are ringing in the New Year.

Meg and Richard have not broken their engagement, and all their friends surprise them with a midnight wedding feast. Trotty, with his daughter safe and his faith in mankind restored, dances to celebrate the New Year and the wedding of his beloved daughter.

Submitted: August 26, 2016
Last Updated: August 26, 2016

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The Writer: David Wagner

David Wagner graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts. David's short film, I LIKE INSIDE BETTER, was a recent Official Selection of the Red Rock Film Festival in Utah. Go to bio

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