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9
The Challenges
 

 

ESTABLISH SHOT: HYPNOTIST'S OFFICE PLACARD:

TYLER COGNITY - CERTIFIED HYPNOTIST

SMOKING CESSATION

NAIL BITING CESSATION

PAST LIFE REGRESSION

INTERACTIVE DREAM TRAINING

 
INT. HYPNOTISTS OFFICE - NIGHT

Gina is seated in a comfortable armchair. TYLER, A Hypnotist, is seated near her.

 
TYLER
You can actually put yourself in a

trance?
 
 

GINA
Yes. All I have to do is 

concentrate on an image.
 
 

TYLER
Anyone that adept at self hypnosis

is very rare.
 
 

GINA
I've been called rare, and a number

of less kind names.
 
 

TYLER
Well, then, let's get started. 

Gina I'm going to take you into 

your.... dream and have you tell

us what it means.
 
 

GINA
Thank-you.
 
 
TYLER
Make yourself very comfortable.

Watch the light. It's going to 

change color, and as the colors 

grow deeper and softer, you're 

going to become more and more 

relaxed. 

(Beat)
Now you see pink. Let the pink 

wrap around you, and as it fades

to scarlet then purple, surrounding

you with warmth and love. Imagine 

a sunset. Be at peace.

Now green. A very pleasant 

green, very relaxing, like a deep

forest, drawing you into it, very

still, very peaceful.

Now blue. A very dark blue, 

like the sky at night, bringing

you closer to night and deep 

restful sleep. Close your eyes

Gina and listen to my voice. 

Let my voice guide you, take you

within yourself. Bring to mind 

your dream. Let it take form.

See the people, their faces, your

surroundings. Where are you now?
 
 

GINA
I'm lying in a casket.
 
 
TYLER
I want you to stand up and tell us

What you are afraid of?
 
 

EXT. GINA'S DREAM; GRAVE - NIGHT

Gina slowly stands up in the casket and looks at Kenrick. Kenrick smiles at her.

 
KENRICK
Lay down, Gina. There's no escape,

it's your time.
 
 

GINA
NO!
 
 
KENRICK
(Laughs)
Who do you think you are?
(Sings)
Don't you laugh as the hearse goes

by for you may be the next to die.

Gina reaches down and takes the shovel from beside the casket. With growing anger she hits him with the shovel, then enraged, continues hitting him mercilessly even after he falls to the ground. She puts his body in the casket and buries him.
 
INT. HYPNOTIST'S OFFICE - DAY

Tyler is studying Gina, who seems troubled in her hypnosis.

 
TYLER
Gina, what are you doing?
 
 
GINA
I.... I killed him. I'm burying him.
 
 
TYLER
Why did you do that?
 
 
GINA
I'm tired of him singing that 

stupid song and burying me.
 
 

TYLER
Gina, as I count backwards from 

three you'll awaken. You'll 

remember everything and you'll feel

very refreshed and at peace. Three,

two.... one. Open your eyes.
 
 

Gina opens her eyes and stretches.
 
TYLER
Congratulations, you're cured.
 
 
GINA
What did the dream mean?
 
 
TYLER
I have no idea. It's no longer

important, you killed the demon.

You're cured.
 
 

GINA
I don't want to be cured! I want

to know what the dream means!

INT. GINA'S MEDITATION ROOM - NIGHT

Gina speaks into her tape recorder.

 
GINA
I want to know what the dream means.

I want to know what I'm afraid of.
 
 

Gina turns on the computer and a picture of a casket is reflectedaround the room. Gina sits complacently looking at it. As shespeaks, nothing hits home.
 
GINA
Death. Eternal damnation. Graves.

Six feet of dirt. Evil spirits.

bah, humbug.
 
 

Finally she shrugs and speaks again into the tape recorder.
 
GINA
I'm not afraid of the casket, not

the grave, not of death. Is there

something in life I'm afraid of?

Life? To live? Not living?
 
 

Gina begins to smile.
 
GINA
Afraid of not living. I'm afraid 

of not.... having lived. Not having

done things. Well, well, well. 

Progress at last.
 
 

INT. BEAU MONDE HEADQUARTERS CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

Several club managers including Travis, Mark and Arabella, are sitting around the room. Gina enters, bubbly and bright, full of enthusiasm.

 
GINA
Hi everyone! Things are looking

bright! I've got all kinds of great

news that's going to resolve a lot 

of our problems and increase your 

sales.

Want to hear it?
 
 

EVERYONE
(Unenthusiastic)
Yeah.
 
 
GINA
Does I ever accept a response

like that? No, I'm Gina, and it

has to be good. C'mon now, we work

for a great company in one of the

best professions around. You can't

help but be up, seeing all these

beautiful people around you. Now

c'mon, say "yes" and let me feel it.
 
 

EVERYONE
Yeah.
 
 
As Gina talks she walks around the room, putting her hand on people's shoulder, looking them in the face, smiling, sticking her tongue out at them, making them laugh, acting out burying, etc.
 
GINA
What are you guys so down about?

Oh, I know, things are going so 

bad and you feel guilty and you're

just nursing all that guilt like 

little children nursing a sucker.

OK, Let's get the guilt out and 

bury it! If you didn't do well 

this week, don't let it get you 

down. You suck that guilt sucker, 

it will just keep you from doing 

well next week. 

What do you keep that guilt sucker

for, Mary? Plant fertilizer? How

about you, Garr? Are you savoring 

it? It's an old sour pickle! Take 

your shovel and throw dirt on it.

Sharon, want me to get you a shovel?

I know you've been busy and you're

getting burned out. But we've been

working on solutions, and I have

some tonight. The future has so 

much potential it's getting crazy.

That's why I brought you these! 

(Continued)
Begins throwing funny hats at them. They put them on.
 
GINA (Cont.)
Anyone else have a problem?
 
 
LAURA
I hear someone is picking up new

responsibilities.
 
 

GINA
That's part of the news. Isn't it

great!? Do you know what this means?
 
 

LAURA
Yes, and I think some of us have a

problem with that.
 
 

Laura looks at Mark and Arabella.
 
GINA
OK, see me after the meeting. Now

c'mon people, let me feel it. Do

you want the good news?
 
 

EVERYONE
Yeah!
 
 
GINA
Number one. Arabella is now Club

Manager in Petersburg. Let's

here it for Arabella!
 
 

EVERYONE
Yeah, Arabella!
 
 
GINA
Number two. Travis is picking up a 

lot of my responsibilities so I can 

do more planning and get this

organization out of the pits. 

We've bottomed out. We're on the 

way back up!

What do you think, is that great

or what?
 
 

EVERYONE
Or what!
 
 
Everyone laughs.
 
GINA
You guys! Let's hear it for Travis.
 
 
EVERYONE
(Not as enthusiastic)
Yeah, Travis.
 
 
GINA
Now, here's the new promotion 

that starts THE END OF THIS WEEK!

YEAHHHHHHHH!
 
 

DISSOLVE
People are filing out, including Travis, and people are shakinghands with him. As Mark leaves, he shakes Gina's hand, he lingers with her hand in his, gives her a smile, a peck on the cheek, and leaves. Laura waits until the room is clear except for Gina.
 
LAURA
Have I done something wrong?
 
 
GINA
No, not at all.
 
 
LAURA
Then why is it this guy who breaks

company rules, gets promoted 

instead of fired.
 
 

GINA
It wasn't my decision. We need

managers giving a hundred fifty 

percent, and we need new people 

desperately.
 
 

LAURA
Well, I won't work with the slime

ball, so don't send him around my

club. You know, it might have been

wiser to give me the position since

I have the club here in town, and

left the gigolo in the hen house.
 
 

Laura fumes out. Gina watches her go.
 
 
 
ESTABLISH SHOT: BEAU MONDE OF NICHOLASVILLE

INT. MARK'S BEAU MONDE CLUB - DAY

 
Travis is standing in Mark's office staring at a picture of two opposing teams of horses trying to pull a ball apart. Mark comes in.
 
MARK
Travis. How's the world treating

you?
 
 

TRAVIS
More than fair. What is this 

picture about? Some commentary on 

teamwork?
 
 

MARK
That was a scientific experiment.

The ball is under vacuum. To 

test how strong a vacuum is they 

pumped all the air out. But all 

the kings horses couldn't pull the

ball apart.
 
 

TRAVIS
So, just what is a vacuum?
 
 
MARK
It's just the pressure of the air

around you. You know when you dive

in water, the deeper you go the

higher the pressure? Well, the air

around us is miles deep. It puts 

a lot of pressure on us. So much

that several horses can't pull it

apart. Kind of like the business

pressure we're under.
 
 

Mark takes the picture off the wall and puts it in the trash.
 
TRAVIS
Why did you do that?
 
 
MARK
When something keeps hurting you, 

you get it out of the way.
 
 

TRAVIS
Why is it hurting you?
 
 
Mark sits down and rubs his eyes with the palms of his hands. 
 
MARK
I always wanted to be a scientist.

It's never going to happen. 
 
 

TRAVIS
Why not?
 
 
MARK
No chance. I started in this 

company my sophomore year of 

college - had to leave college - no

finances. That's the way my life

goes.
 
 

TRAVIS
You're not married. Go for it.
 
 
MARK
It's too late. I owe too much.

I'm thirty four - no one stays in 

this company past thirty - and it's 

too late to go to college. I'm a

manager working to be a has been. 

I'll probably sell shoes the rest 

of my life.
 
 

Travis stands against the wall, speechless. 
 
TRAVIS
Why don't you go to night school

or something?
 
 

MARK
(Snorts)
I have so much time and energy to

go to night school. This business

runs you ragged. 

Don't let me depress you, Travis,

nothing in my life has ever worked 

out. Not even love.
 
 
 
 

INT. MARGO'S OFFICE - DAY

Margo is helping Tracy put up a beauty poster. Travis enters. Tracy immediately leaves. 

 
TRAVIS
Time for a facial.
 
 
MARGO
Sure, sit down. I'll do it.
 
 
Travis sits in the chair. Margo puts a gown around him and begins the scrub.
 
MARGO
How's the blocker working?
 
 
TRAVIS
Excellently. I haven't seduced

a woman since I went on it. I

don't even smile at them. In fact,

I don't think I can even get aroused.

I think maybe you cured me, Margo.
 
 

MARGO
You and Gina belong together. You

both believe in miracles.
 
 

TRAVIS
What? I suppose now you're going

to tell me there's no Santa?
 
 

Margo laughs. They share a look and a smile. Margo begins with the face mud.
 
MARGO
I'm curious, if you don't mind 

talking about it. Just what is it

you do to women?
 
 

TRAVIS
Oh, I just treat them right. That's

why I can't figure out why everyone

gets so mad at me. I mean, I give

a woman a wonderful evening. I

satisfy her in bed like she's never

been satisfied before. What's to 

get upset about?
 
 

MARGO
You satisfy women in bed every time?
 
 
TRAVIS
Oh, several climaxes. Always. 
 
 
MARGO
What about yourself?
 
 
TRAVIS
I have plenty of fun. That isn't

important.
 
 

MARGO
Come again?
 
 
Travis puts his hand on her arm, preventing her from putting more mud on. He looks up at her and smiles seductively, continuing to hold her arm.
 
TRAVIS
It's important to me to satisfy her.

How interested are you? I could 

show you. Might be fun.
 
 

Margo is intrigued. Taken.
 
TRAVIS
Dinner. Dancing. 
(Lifts his eyebrows)
Margo suddenly sours. She wipes the mud from his face with a towel.
 
MARGO
You're damned good, Travis.

Go see Gina. Now!
 
 

She walks over to her phone and dials.
 
INT. GINA'S OFFICE - DAY

Travis is seated. Gina is pacing.

 
GINA
Margo? You tried to seduce Margo?

I can't believe this, Travis, you

really have balls.
 
 

TRAVIS
I thought I had it under control.

I had no idea I was going to do 

that. Look, Gina, I tried to tell

you it wouldn't work. I'll save

you the trouble of firing me.
 
 

Travis walks toward the door.
 
GINA
Travis, sit down! I've been 

reading up on this. 

(Beat)
You're not a gigolo. You have a 

problem and we're going to work on 

this.
 
 

TRAVIS
You're a woman. Can you really

understand about my sex life?
 
 

Gina gives him a "buddy you got it coming look." She pushesTravis to a chair and makes him sit down. She takes a straightc hair from the side, turns it around backwards and sits on it, resting her arms on the chair's back.
 
GINA
I'm going to refresh your memory

about something. Remember Mark and

I? We were making love every 

night. We got it under the desk here. 

Once in the broom closet. We

didn't know everyone was hearing us.
 
 

Travis and Gina laugh.
 
GINA (Cont.)
We were the scandal of the office 

and we finally ended in war. 

Remember, that's when the no intimate

contact rule went into effect and 

Mark was transferred to a lower

position.
 
 

Travis nods his head.
 
GINA
When men looked at me, the only 

thing they thought about was that

steamy romance. And I wasn't 

thinking of much else either. It 

almost ruined my career, so I put 

an end to that.

Nature plays a cruel trick on us.

A man starts out horny as a spring

hare, and goes downhill. Women

go uphill. At about thirty, thirty

five, they cross. Now, you see I

have the raging hormones you had

when you were nineteen. 

So, hot nuts, you think I can

maybe understand your problem?
 
 

Travis smiles and nods his head.
 
GINA
I can't spend all day talking to 

you about this. I want you to come

to my home tonight. And don't get

your hopes up, I can guarantee you

you won't be screwing me.
 
 

TRAVIS
You're not afraid of me?
 
 
GINA
(Beat. Shakes head)
You actually think you're helping

women.
 
 

TRAVIS
What are we going to do?
 
 
GINA
I'll help you with your problem, 

you help me with mine.
 
 

EXT. CITY STREET/BANK - NIGHT

Gina and Travis exit her car. The stores are closed. She goes to the bank machine to get cash, talking to Travis as she does so.

 
GINA
Actually, I think my mother couldn't

stand me. She said I was too

precocious and irrepressible. Too

bizarre - and I think she was being

nice. She tucked me away in a nice 

safe Catholic School.
 
 

Puts card in machine and pokes numbers.
 
TRAVIS
Why did she think you were bizarre?
 
 
GINA
I was.... excitable. Sometimes I

fell into a trance and had visions.
 
 

TRAVIS
I've heard that. What are your

visions about?
 
 

GINA
Lately they're variations of the 

same theme, same as my dream.

They're about impending death - 

mine. And they're getting worse.
 
 

TRAVIS
You're not....
(Beat)
psychotic.... are you?
 
 
GINA
My mother had me tested by a doctor 

to make sure I didn't have epilepsy.

I'm clean, harmless. The doctor

labeled me a hysteric. I hated

that label. I'm actually an 

ecstatic. But people get really 

uncomfortable with that. They don't

really want mystics to exist.
 
 

Gina takes the cash from the machine. 
 
GINA
C'mon, let's walk.
 
 
TRAVIS
What does your father do?
 
 
GINA
I don't have any idea what he 

does. He's dead. He killed himself 

when I was in college. Do you 

believe God puts people who kill 

themselves in limbo? Kind of like

a purgatory? 
 
 

TRAVIS
(Shrugs)
Why did he kill himself?
 
 
GINA
He was a commercial artist and he

didn't make it. He seldom had a 

job. He hadn't worked for years 

when he finally did it.
 
 

TRAVIS
What a thing to have to live with.

How do you stay up?
 
 

GINA
(Shrugs)
What about your Dad?
 
 
TRAVIS
My Dad was a Navy Flier. He still

lives in San Diego with my mother.

He's.... hard to live with.
 
 

They sit down by a fountain splashed with colored lights.
 
GINA
I love color. I come here often 

late in the evening, after work and 

just sit and watch the water splash

colors all over the fountain.
 
 

TRAVIS
It's a beautiful place. Peaceful.

Romantic. And I don't mean anything

by that.
 
 

GINA
What's the deal with Tracy?
 
 
TRAVIS
Probably the biggest screw up of my

life. I felt really comfortable

with her. I like her a lot. She's

exquisite, and when she looks at me

there's no doubt she likes me. Or

she did.
 
 

GINA
You talk about Tracy like she turns

you on. These other women you 

seduced, they don't turn you on?
 
 

TRAVIS
Well, they do, but it's not the 

same. 
 
 

GINA
What would happen if, say, I took

you to a prostitute tonight and she

did everything you could imagine?
 
 

TRAVIS
I wouldn't let her touch me.
 
 
GINA
What if it wasn't a prostitute. 

Maybe some girl who liked you at

college, or at the fitness club. 

Someone who just wanted to crawl 

all over you.
 
 

TRAVIS
Nope.
 
 
GINA
Why?
 
 
TRAVIS
I don't like charity. It has to be

fifty fifty.
 
 

GINA
Why?
 
 
TRAVIS
You like that word why. 

I give something of value. She 

gives me back something of value.
 
 

GINA
Is that what sex is about? Value?
 
 
TRAVIS
Why?
(Beat)
Gotchya.
 
 
Both laugh.
 
GINA
You come along and sweep these 

women off their feet. The next day

your gone and they're left with a

blob of semen and an empty spot

where love should be. Where's the

fair trade value in that?
 
 

TRAVIS
I try my best to give them a 

wonderful time. When I leave, they

feel good about themselves.
 
 

GINA
No. You feel good about yourself.

For a day or so. Then you have to

do it again. It's called a Casanova

Complex, and you leave behind a 

trail of women who thought they 

were getting a wonderful relationship

but woke up to an empty bed. How

did it feel when you woke up without

wonderful Tracy?
 
 

Travis stares at the fountain, looking sullen. 

Next: 5 Hope


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