Fatal Distraction | Script Revolution

Fatal Distraction

Fatal Distraction
A woman is forced to make a choice whether to forgive her husband after the death of their child while in his care.

What makes a film stick with you after credits roll?

No matter the genre, window dressing’s fun: good cinematography, acting which makes you bond intimately with characters. Even a striking musical score helps.

But dig deeper, and you’ll find the beating heart of any story is exploration of the human condition itself. An unblinking look at how ugly and complicated life can be is what gives many literary classics their staying power:

Justice. Loss. Blame. The forever gnawing pain known as “what if?”

That last question really strikes home when condensed into three deceptively simple words: Forgotten Baby Syndrome.

We’ve all heard the horrific news reports: a distracted parent forgets a child in the back of a car. In sweltering heat, that’s a situation which can quickly end in disaster. Not just for the child, but everyone else in their short and tragic orbit.

Such is the heart breaking chaos young mother Ava finds herself drowning in after husband Dan thinks he’s dropped off their daughter Eilish, and heads to work.

In LC Chamber’s Fatal Distraction, Ava’s turmoil is framed by a series of phone calls – played mostly backwards in time. Stripped to their emotional essentials here, universal human themes hit extra hard.

For instance, Ava’s conversation with prosecutor Barry, the day before she’s due to testify at Dan’s trial:

AVA
My daughter’s dead, Mr Swinton.
Theo is not a consolation prize.

BARRY
No. Of course not. My apologies.
I didn’t mean... Um, look...
You understand tomorrow is not about settling scores, right?
It’s about -

AVA
I know. You said already. Justice.

Or the loyalties of friends and family, who invariably take different sides:

Ava’s friend Brooke...

BROOKE
Oh, for fuck’s sake, wake up, Ava! He left her there. He –

AVA
Don’t say it Brooke. Don’t –

BROOKE
Your baby sweltered to death in a parking lot strapped to a car seat Ava,
while your husband took business calls in air conditioned comfort -

In stark contrast to Dan’s tormented mother:

MOM
I’m here with your father and we just want you to know
we’re going to be right there with you tomorrow, honey.
No one blames you, okay? This is NOT your fault.

Though some unsolicited and vicious spectators prove to think otherwise:

ANONYMOUS FEMALE VOICE
Hello? Is this Ava McKenzie?

AVA
Yes. Um... Who’s...?

ANONYMOUS FEMALE VOICE
You and your stupid husband are both going to rot in hell, lady!

No matter what she says or does, Ava’s in hell already. She’s lost her baby daughter. And – as their family doctor counsels - she may soon lose the man she loved, too.

In situations as painful as the loss of a child, what’s wrong and what’s right? Do such concepts make sense at all?

Fatal Distraction explores such themes with a one-two punch to the gut. Written as an audio drama, Distraction can also be imagined as a conventional short.  Either way, once you hang up on this searingly effective four pager, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

The Script

Fatal Distraction

A woman is forced to make a choice whether to forgive her husband after the death of their child while in his care.

About The Reviewer

J.E. Clarke's picture
Real name: 

Known for her unique characters and plots, J.E. Clarke has optioned her feature length horror, "Containment" with Primestar Film Group (director Mike Elliott of Scorpion King 4 attached), her SF feature "Stream" with Purryburry Productions, John Noble of "Fringe" and "Lord of the Rings" attached.  Her fantasy/SF "Evergreen" (cowritten for Adam Zeulhke of Zenoscope Productions), is currently in preproduction, along with Entanglement...Read more

About The Writer

L. Chambers's picture
Real name: 

L.Chambers has been writing all her life – especially in her head, and on scraps of paper. It’s only in the last few years she began to get serious about screen-writing. Prior to this she worked in the Features Department for ABC TV as a Program Assistant, and trained as a FAD. She currently works as a freelance web-content editor and lives with her husband (also a screenwriter) in Sydney, Australia.Read more