Scene from American Screenplay: The Dawg Under Siege

Note: Sticklers for screen formatting rules will find all the rules broken here as this blog’s technical limitation screws up any attempts to style it so.


Another unbearable night. The Texan drought isn’t letting up. Crickets chirp outside the wide open windows. Some advert jingle echoes on the TV from the living room.

Freda’s mind is elsewhere. Eyes are puffy, insomnia ridden and highly strung. She lays on the bed wearing an oversized sweaty t-shirt. Bed sheet is thrown aside.


Stop screwing with me. I can’t —

— Can. I know that’s what you meant to say. You can and you will. Once YOU believe in YOU.

Freda shakes her head.

No. No way.

Your problems are what da world needs to see you overcome. Ain’t you no tale of princessy Cinderellas. You’re the dawg under siege by ya own sorry demons. For now. That’s where ya story begins but not where it ends.

Freda curls her pillow around the back of her head and over her ears to drown out the voice, but she still hears her.

   Unleash the leash you tigh’ened round ya collar. That voice a yours needs to boom through the airwaves. Ya hear me? You were born the underdawg for a God given purpose. And my God given purpose is to see you get there. You got a story to tell. Da truth. Set da truth free and you’ll fly. And if you believe in God dat’ll help too. He’s right here widch you. Uh huh, yes He is.

Freda releases the pillow. Leans over to the dilapidated bedside drawer stuffed with papers and paraphernalia. Searches for something. Can’t find it, but continues to prod around. Pulls out small plastic bag with remnants of heroine. Head slams back on the pillow. Tension peaks. Eyes are filling up. Several beats pass.

That shit’s gonna send you to hell. I should know.

Freda sits up alarmed. Pulls bed sheet up close to her chest and scours the room with her eyes.

Wings to fly you outta dis prison. Write. Dat’s all I’m askin. It worked fa me, it will fa you.

Freda resists.

  “Freeee as a bird. Freeee as a bird. Free-ee, so free-ee. Be freee as a birrr–”

At the same time, Freda begins to calm down. Her body slowly slumps.


Gunshots fire on the TV from the living room. Sounds like an old Spaghetti Western. Freda is oblivious to the barrage of gunfire. She slides onto her back, probably still being soothed by the singing she can hear. Eye lids open and shut, almost knocks out asleep. 


Silence in her mind. Several beats pass. Out of nowhere a gun fires. BANG BANG. Hear a man yelp as he thuds on the ground. She shoots up, alarmed, heart racing. Searches for Ghetto Female, for comfort, but she’s no-where to be heard or felt around her.

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1 Response

  1. A very tasty morsel indeed! Can’t wait for more.