Time Well Traveled: An Even Shorter

by christypaul2013

INT. BEDROOM – MORNING

STEAM-PUNK ALARM CLOCK RINGS.

Hand toggles switches and levers. Ringing stops.

Gawky, young inventor LUIGI leaps out of bed, fully-tuxedoed.

Adds cape and top hat on way out.

INT. KITCHEN – MOMENTS LATER

Luigi feed-bags a bowl of cereal.

Notices someone watching. Guilty smile.

Sets bowl on table.

Rapidly spoons cereal.

INT. INVENTING ROOM – LATER

Luigi opens curtains to reveal: window overlooking city. Above it, a row of clocks from different timezones.

On WALL CALENDAR, Luigi marks off circled day: today.

Double-checks blackboard calculations.

Slides over to METALLIC BACKPACK on wall.

Straps on backpack – it lights up.

Arm rests extend. Left: dial from PAST to FUTURE. Right: RED BUTTON.

Thumbs-up to off-screen companion.

Backpack shuts down.

Spins to see what happened. Backpack hits wall. He cringes.

Backpack lights up. Even brighter.

SIGH of relief.

Checks watch. Uh, oh.

Races out of room. Waves goodbye to companion – small ROBOT DOLL.

EXT. STREET CORNER – LATER

Luigi presents backpack to small crowd.

SIGN: “LUIGI THE TIME TRAVELER!” PAPER taped over numerous others: “12:00 SHARP!”

Luigi holds up HUNDRED-YEAR-OLD NEWSPAPER with same street corner on front page.

Points to himself, then photo. He’ll go back in time to appear in photo.

Crowd is skeptical, but 5-YEAR-OLD GIRL is spellbound.

Luigi smiles at little girl. Checks his watch: 12:00!

Salutes crowd. Presses red button. 3…2…1… FLASH OF LIGHT.

EXT. STREET CORNER – 3 MINUTES IN PAST

Opens eyes: it’s the same crowd.

Embarrassed. Tries again. 3…2…1… FLASH.

EXT. STREET CORNER – 3 MINUTES IN PAST

Same crowd.

Frustrated. Tries again. FLASH.

EXT. STREET CORNER – 3 MINUTES IN PAST

Crowd is smaller.

Tries to corral crowd, but to no avail.

Shrugs off backpack and shakes it angrily.

Little girl leaves, disappointed.

Luigi spots PAWN SHOP. Looks at backpack.

EXT. PAWN SHOP – A LITTLE LATER

SIGN on pawn shop door: “BACK AT NOON.”

Luigi pounds tiny fist at door. Struggles with backpack under other arm.

LARGE SHOPKEEPER opens door. Points to sign.

Luigi lifts wrist to prove it’s after 12:00.

Man pretzels Luigi’s arm to show it’s 11:52. Luigi’s eyes widen, first from wonder, then from pain. He falls to his knees.

Shopkeeper closes door.

Luigi checks watch again. Stands up suddenly, intrigued.

He turns dial to FUTURE. Raises finger to push red button.

Interrupted by CRIES of woman and cat.

Distressed ELDERLY WOMAN stares up side of building.

Luigi runs to her aide. She SCREAMS and points up.

Window ledge several stories up: CAT swats at bird and falls.

Luigi holds arms out to catch… He misses.

Elderly woman beats Luigi with purse. Luigi tries to apologize between blows.

Idea!

Turns dial to PAST. Pushes button. Three more seconds of beating, then: FLASH.

EXT. SIDEWALK – 3 MINUTES IN PAST

Luigi blinks off FLASH. Sees same woman fretting.

He gives her two thumbs-up, then disappears into building…

And POPS OUT of cat’s window, sending cat flying.

Woman SCREAMS.

FLASH.

EXT. SIDEWALK – 3 MINUTES IN PAST

Luigi marches up to woman, stands where cat first fell, holds out his arms and waits silently.

The woman is confused, but quiet.

Cat YOWLS as it falls… Directly into Luigi’s arms.

Woman embraces cat; nods thanks to Luigi.

Luigi watches them leave. Heartwarming… Leans on right arm rest and hits button.

FLASH.

EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY

CLOSE ON NEWSPAPER

Headline: “TIME IS MONEY!” Photo: Three bank robbers with hands up.

EXT. BANK – DURING ROBBERY

Robbers surrounded by Luigi and large police force.

As they pass in handcuffs, one GROWLS at Luigi. Luigi cowers and hits button.

FLASH.

EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY

CLOSE ON NEWSPAPER

Headline: “MR. INSTANT REPLAY!” Photo: Luigi is a referee.

EXT. FOOTBALL STADIUM – DURING GAME

Luigi appears in FLASHES around one-yard line.

Appears before crowd. Says something incomprehensible, referee-style, then raises both arms.

Crowd ROARS. He takes it all in.

FLASH.

EXT. SKYSCRAPER HELIPAD – DAY

CLOSE ON NEWSPAPER in someone’s hands.

Headline: “LUIGI THE MAGNIFICENT, TODAY!” Photo: Luigi in dramatic pose with empty skyscraper helipad.

The hands drop the newspaper to reveal: Luigi in same pose, being photographed by paparazzi.

Luigi feels tug at sleeve and looks down to see 5-YEAR-OLD GIRL. He recognizes her and kneels down.

She holds up picture of woman.

Luigi points at picture then at little girl, as if to ask, “Is that your mommy?”

She smiles and nods.

Luigi looks around and gestures to ask where her mom is.

The girl does not know how to reply.

She turns to leave. Luigi tries to hand her the picture, but she refuses it.

Worried, he stands to follow her.

NUN emerges from crowd and takes girl’s hand.

Luigi approaches nun about girl’s photo.

Nun whispers into Luigi’s ear. He winces at what he hears.

INT. INVENTING ROOM – DUSK

Luigi sits, slumped chest to thigh.

Looks at mother’s picture in one hand and newspaper clipping about accident in other.

He stands, resolute.

On blackboard, he writes: “1 YEAR/3 MINUTES.”

Furious scribbling, then circles something. Steps back in disbelief.

A circled number: 178,776

INT. INVENTING ROOM – NIGHT

Luigi stomps around room grabbing his hair. He can’t. It’s not possible!

But, maybe…

No! He’ll never make it!

He stops, looks at ROBOT DOLL. SIGHS.

FLASH.

EXT. BUS STOP – DAY

Luigi sits on bus stop bench. EXHALES, CRACKS his knuckles, his neck.

Game face. Pushes button. 3…2…1…

FLASH.

EXT. BUS STOP – IN THE PAST

It’s raining.

FLASH.

It’s burning up. His clothes shrink.

FLASH.

Steals child’s paddle ball.

FLASH.

Smacks himself in eye with paddle ball.

FLASH.

Black eye. Bored. Baby sticks lollipop in his hair.

FLASH.

He wakes up. Oh, crap! Checks watch.

Has meltdown.

FLASH.

Huge smile. Focused.

FLASH.

Grabs his wrist and SCREAMS in pain.

FLASH.

Bored again. Wrist brace.

FLASHES accelerate into white blur.

EXT. BUS STOP – ONE YEAR AGO

FLASH.

Luigi double-takes.

It’s the GIRL’S MOTHER. She’s about to cross the street.

Luigi leaps off bus bench to save her. His legs are asleep. He stumbles and falls into road.

From the ground, he sees girl’s mother turn back to help.

Traffic light changes. Luigi sees 18-WHEELER TRUCK passing intersection. Scrambles to wave mother off road.

SCREECH! He covers his head. He is uprighted by the girl’s mother. The truck swerves and HONKS its horn.

Mom raises a hand to truck, then checks to see if Luigi is okay.

She looks him over. GASP. Holds up large piece of backpack.

Luigi’s eyes go big, then he shrugs it off, too enamored with mother to care.

She GIGGLES at his disheveled appearance.

INT. LUIGI’S BEDROOM – A YEAR LATER

Steam-punk alarm clock RINGS.

Woman’s hand dexterously turns it off.

Girl’s mom YAWNS and stretches. Luigi enters with breakfast.

She smiles at him. He sets breakfast tray across her lap.

The LITTLE GIRL runs into room carrying Luigi’s ROBOT DOLL and jumps on the bed.

She motions towards the door, tugging on Luigi’s sleeve.

Mother holds up finger, then presents massive strawberry.

Girl stuffs it into her mouth in one bite, then scurries out of bedroom and down hall.

Luigi and mother chuckle together. Luigi gets up and kisses mother on forehead.

INT. INVENTING ROOM – LATER

Little girl crosses off circled day on calendar: today.

She hands tools to Luigi.

Luigi helps her tighten screws and bolts.

Backpack lights up. He slides it on and holds girl’s hand.

FLASH.

EXT. STREET CORNER – LATER

The family, each in their own top hat and cape, stands on street corner.

Small crowd has gathered.

Luigi turns dial to PAST and holds up three fingers to audience.

The little girl notices small switch at base of backpack. It’s set to “DEMO.”

She toggles it to “ON” and grabs Luigi’s hand. 3…2…1…

FLASH.

EXT. TRIASSIC FOREST – 200 MILLION YEARS AGO

The family is transported to middle of ancient forest.

GROWLS, ROARS and HISSES echo through trees.

The family stands, wide-eyed and frozen.

FLASH.

 

 

Christy.

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