EXT. EAST TEXAS—TEXAS YOUTH COMMISSION FACILITY—DAY
As we begin to pan the campus, the words CROCKET STATE SCHOOL JUVENILE PRISON—JULY 1987 are displayed across the center of the screen, putting us in our place in time.
We continue to scour across the campus as the opening credits roll over the screen. The campus grounds are vast, with very green neatly maintained lawns. There are several buildings—dorms—spread throughout the campus. We observe that the large area of land is surrounded by tall barbed and razor-wired fencing. We can almost feel the quiet solitude of the incarcerated.
We come in for a closer ground view of the campus, making our way to the large steel entrance door of Charlie Dorm. We stop and watch as, first, we hear (the electronic buzz), then, see the door being pushed open.
Emerging from the dorm is a YOUNG HISPANIC KID. He is of average height, thin and fit. He is wearing the facility’s uniform of canvas high-topped shoes, blue jeans, a black belt and a white T-shirt that is tucked into his pants. We follow as he walks alone up a long sidewalk.
We cut briefly to the right of the kid and we see a large black Chevy Suburban idling several yards away. We faintly see, through the black tinted windows, a large figure talking into a hand-held radio.
We cut to the left of the kid and another Suburban is parked to that side. The image is almost identical as we see here, also, through tinted windows, a figure with the hand-held radio. Though the kid is unescorted, we observe that he is not without the scrutiny of security detail.
The kid is still walking down the sidewalk as we leave him.
INT. CROCKET STATE SCHOOL OFFICE OF JUVENILE CASEWORKER—SAME TIME
The office is fairly large and furnished with two large desks (placed on opposite ends of the office). The usual office clutter is present: desks stacked with papers, computers, telephones and filing cabinets. The walls are decorated with framed certificates, awards, diplomas and family pictures.
MS. HUNTER: He’s going to prison, Nancy. You know that as well as I do. Get over it.
(As the camera rises, we find that TWO WOMEN are the only occupants of the office. One woman is sitting behind one of the desks while the other stands by a nearby window, staring out of half-opened blinds. Through the blinds we can see our young Hispanic kid headed in our direction.)
MS. CARPENTER: Maybe. But I’m pulling for that kid. He’s just so quiet and respectful. Very intelligent. He doesn’t belong in prison.
NANCY CARPENTER, 56, is the woman standing by the window. She is a small, frail woman who is very soft-spoken; yet, she has an air of confidence and wisdom about her. MEAGAN HUNTER, 38, is the heavy woman seated behind the desk. She is a loud, obnoxious, condescending bitch.
MS. HUNTER: He’s a murderer, Nancy. He killed his own brother for crying out loud. His own flesh and blood! How respectful!
MS. CARPENTER: We don’t know what happened, Meagan. He’s not a cold-blooded killer. He’s been here for four years now and not once has he ever displayed any signs of violence or aggression. He doesn’t belong in prison, period.
(Through the window we watch as the kid climbs the steps and enters our building. Ms. Hunter, knowing that the kid will arrive momentarily, gathers her purse and other items, preparing to excuse herself.)
MS. HUNTER: Well, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll give you two sickos your privacy.
(Ms. Hunter exits the office and a moment later the kid appears in the doorway.)
MS. CARPENTER: Hey there, kiddo. How are you doing?
KID: I’m fine, Ms. Carpenter. How are you?
MS. CARPENTER: Oh, I’m doing okay for an old lady. Have a seat.
(Ms. Carpenter grabs a chair that is sitting against a wall and positions it in front of her desk for the kid to sit. She goes behind the desk and takes her own seat.)
MS. CARPENTER: I summoned you to go over a few important details concerning your case. First of all, I got a call from the district attorney’s office today and they have informed me that your hearing will be held in six days, which is on the 25th; the day after your 18th birthday. So, within the next few days, you are going to be transported back to Corpus Christi; back to the court that convicted you. After that, it’s pretty simple. The D.A. will try to convince a judge that you should be transferred to an adult prison. We will try to convince the judge that you should be released on parole.
(The kid is staring pensively at a picture of Ms. Carpenter and her family that hangs behind her on a wall.)
KID: What do you think are the chances that they’ll let me go home, Ms. Carpenter? Be honest.
(Momentary pause as Ms. Carpenter reflects on the question.)
MS. CARPENTER: Honestly? Well, your disciplinary record since you’ve been here is impeccable which is almost unheard of for someone who has been here as long as you have. I’ve been working with juvenile delinquents for twenty-six years and I can’t remember anyone who’s had as much going for them as you do. You’ve been a role model prisoner. Attended all educational programs, anger management classes, drug education, the works. So . . . to answer your question, I think you have a very good chance of being released. However, you need to have a place to be released to.
(Ms. Carpenter raises her eyebrows suggestively at the kid.)
KID: My dad is not going to let me come home, Ms. Carpenter.
(Ms. Carpenter averts her eyes. A look of disappointment on her face.)
MS. CARPENTER: It’s the only chance we’ve got.
(Ms. Carpenter and the kid stare intensely into each other’s eyes for a few seconds, neither blinking nor turning away.)
KID: I’m assuming you want me to call home.
(Ms. Carpenter grabs a FOLDER from the stacks of papers on her desk and opens it—the kid’s file.)
MS. CARPENTER: It’s the only chance we’ve got.
(Ms. Carpenter grabs a TELEPHONE from one end of her desk and places it in front of her. She picks the receiving end up off the cradle and punches in a series of numbers. She then hands the receiver to the kid. )
(We hear the first ring through the earpiece of the phone as we:)
EXT. WEST SIDE CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS—SAME TIME
(We hear the RINGING OF A TELEPHONE as) The camera gives a passing view of a poor neighborhood with bunched-together, small, rundown homes with unkempt lawns, beat-up cars parked in driveways and signs of poverty.
We focus in on ONE PARTICULAR HOME (and, again, we hear the ringing of a telephone) as we:
INT. ELIZONDO RESIDENCE—WEST SIDE CORPUS CHRISTI, TX.—SAME TIME
As the camera rises, we find a MIDDLE-AGED HISPANIC MAN (ABEL ELIZONDO). His back is to us as he is in the KITCHEN standing over a SINK, washing his hands.
Over his shoulder, there is a window in the wall just above the kitchen sink. Through this window, we see SYLVIA ELIZONDO, 19, and MRS. TERESA ELIZONDO, 46, in the backyard hanging wet clothes on a clothesline.
Mr. Elizondo turns and we see a man who is aged beyond his years. A hard-working, strong man.
He grabs a TOWEL that is hanging off the back of one of the kitchen table’s chairs and dries his hands quickly, rushing to the TELEPHONE that is hanging on a wall there in the kitchen.
He picks up the receiver.
MR. ELIZONDO: Hello?
(We do not hear the other end of the conversation but, as Mr. Elizondo listens, his face is suddenly drained of color and emotion. His eyes show anger and sadness; a man who has just remembered something he has tried hard to forget.)
MR. ELIZONDO (cont’d.): What do you want?
(Mr. Elizondo speaks with a thick Mexican accent. As Mr. Elizondo listens, he walks with the phone over to the sink where he stands and watches his wife and daughter through the window.)
MR. ELIZONDO (cont’d.): No, they’re not here right now. What do you want?
(Through Mr. Elizondo’s P.O.V., we zoom in on Sylvia and Mrs. Elizondo. Mostly, we focus on young Sylvia. She is a prized beauty but she is quiet and her face is void of expression.)
(We focus again on Mr. Elizondo who is still listening on the phone. He spins around with ANGER on his face.)
MR. ELIZONDO (cont’d.): What the hell do you mean, parole? I thought they sentenced you to forty years! It’s only been four!
INT. MS. CARPENTER’S OFFICE—SAME TIME
(Our kid is in his same seat with the phone in his hand as Ms. Carpenter pretends to be reading paperwork, trying to hide her anxiety.)
KID: They did, Dad. But since I was a juvenile, it means I automatically get reviewed for parole when I turn eighteen. (Beat.) Dad, I know you don’t care but I’ve done good since I’ve been here. The people here all agree that I’m ready to go home but they say it all depends on you. Whether or not you’ll allow me to be paroled home.
INT. ELIZONDO RESIDENCE—SAME TIME
(Mr. Elizondo is leaning with his back against the wall where the phone hangs.)
MR. ELIZONDO: And what if I refuse to let you come home?
INT. MS. CARPENTER’S OFFICE—SAME TIME
(The kid pauses for a moment and lowers his head, eyes closed.)
KID: They’ll send me to an adult prison to continue my sentence.
INT. ELIZONDO RESIDENCE—SAME TIME
(Mr. Elizondo is thinking. Again, he turns to the window and through his P.O.V. we watch his wife and daughter hang clothes.)
MR. ELIZONDO: Son, there is no way I will ever allow you into my home. Not now, not ever! You stay the hell away from my family!
(Mr. Elizondo is worked up—angry—as he returns to the wall and SLAMS the phone into its cradle.)
(We focus on Mr. Elizondo’s angry face a moment. Then, we watch as he walks over to the kitchen sink again and looks out the window.)
(Through Mr. Elizondo’s P.O.V. we focus on the beauty of Sylvia for a moment before we:)
INT. MS. CARPENTER’S OFFICE—SAME TIME
(Our kid pulls the phone away from his ear slowly and hands it to Ms. Carpenter, who is eyeing him closely. His hurt is not evident.)
MS. CARPENTER: That couldn’t have been good.
KID: He doesn’t want me home, Ms. Carpenter. But don’t worry about it. I’ve been preparing myself for this. (Beat.) Thanks for everything you’ve done for me, Ms. Carpenter.
(The kid gets up and leaves the office. We focus on Ms. Carpenter, who sits in her chair with a look of defeat and sadness on her face. He eyes are misty with tears. On that we:)
INT. CROCKET STATE SCHOOL—CHARLIE DORM CELL—LATER THAT EVENING
Our kid is in a one-man cell where we see a bunk, toilet and sink, a desk, stool and a small locker. He lies on his back on the bunk with his hands behind his head. His eyes are open and he is lost in thought.
We watch as he lies there for a moment and then sits up on the bunk. He looks over at an ENVELOPE that is on top of the desk. He reaches over, takes the envelope and pulls a handwritten letter out of it.
We look over his shoulder as he opens and begins reading the letter. The letter is from old man Pancho and it is PANCHO’S VOICE we hear as we are enlightened as to what it is he is reading.
PANCHO’S VOICE (as the kid sits reading the letter): Dear little bro, I received your letter today and I’d like to start by wishing you a feliz compleaños, homito! I wish you the best on your special day. It was great to hear from you, although I must admit I am a bit worried about you, my young friend. I’ve known you since you were in diapers and you are like a son or a young brother to me and I do not like to see your spirits low and your confidence crushed. I understand your concerns regarding the matter of your upcoming parole and the possibility that your father may try to stop you from going home. Knowing the situation as I do, I realize that there is a strong chance your father will not allow you home. But such is life, carnalito, that those who should be bonded to us in love often act as our own enemies. You expressed fear and sadness in your letter and because I know you so well I can empathize with you. But you have to realize, carnalito, that in la torcida—our world of incarceration—not everyone is as understanding as me. What you are going through is a battle, a battle that we’ve all been through. But it’s a battle that we must fight individually, on our own. A battle that—in order to become men—we must win. Fear is weakness, carnalito, and we must fight to conquer such weaknesses. I’m not trying to be hard on you, my young bro, but you are a man now and, unfortunately, there’s a strong possibility that you will be tossed into the predatory world that is adult prison. Where men smell, feel and taste the fear of other men and prey on it. For this reason, carnalito, you must never show weakness. Not to your father, not to your mother, not to your sister, not to me and especially not to your enemies. Me entiendes, carnalito?
After all you’ve been through, I know there is nothing weak about you, little brother. You’ve encountered a great deal of adversity at such a young age and have continuously remained loyal to those you love and have remained strong at heart. I speak highly of you to my carnales here and we all agree that you are the type of material we would like to recruit for our future. I have said it before and I’ll repeat it again, carnalito: If ever you are interested, you would be very welcomed into our organization, our Family: “La Familia Mexicana.” I personally offer you my hand and invitation, carnalito. Take care of yourself and know that I am here if you ever need me. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Good luck on your parole and happy birthday.
Siempre en Fe, Pancho
(Our kid folds the letter and sets it on the bunk next to where he is seated. He moves over and takes a seat at the desk where, on top of the desk, there is a WRITING TABLET and an INK PEN.)
(The kid take the pen in his hand and we watch as he just sits there for a moment, then begins to write.)
(The camera is in front of him, giving us a full frontal view of the kid as he writes. As he writes we see a steady stream of tears rolling down his face. With this shot we:)
While the screen is black, white letters appear in the center of the black screen: ALLRED MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON—20 YEARS LATER.
EXT. IOWA PART, TEXAS—ALLRED MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON—JUNE 2007—DAY
The sun shines over a clear blue sky, beaming down unmercifully. We begin with the view of an armed guard walking across the platform of a tall prison tower. We continue with a panoramic view of the prison itself, seeing the double-fencing which is covered in razor wire. The sight is much more intimidating than that of our juvenile prison. We scour across huge buildings and in the distance we see hundreds of inmates recreating in the designated rec yard. Inmates are playing basketball, some handball, others lift weights, while still others walk, run or sit and converse idly.
INT. ALLRED MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON—7 BUILDING (G-WING)—DAY
We are on the wing’s “dayroom”—an area where two T.V.s are hung high on the walls (on opposite ends). There are squared stainless steel tables bolted to the ground (a total of six of them). Each table is surrounded with four stainless steel stools which are also bolted to the cement flooring. All the seats at these tables are empty though we see unfinished domino games on two of them, an unfinished chess game on another, opened newspapers, full cups of coffee on others with the steam still billowing in the air. As we focus on the seemingly abandoned activities, we hear only the running television sets.
Our camera moves slowly AROUND a table in the dayroom and, after turning the corner of the table, we see a BLACK MALE BODY laying face-down on the cement floor. We see that his head is in a pool of BLOOD.
Behind the body we see an enormous Plexiglas window that allows the GUARD in the control picket to see into the dayroom.
The guard in the picket presses a button on a large control panel (inside the picket) and we see the large steel door to the dayroom roll electronically open.
A GUARD: LAY IT DOWN!! EVERYBODY LAY THE FUCK DOWN!!
(The door has rolled completely open and AT LEAST 20 GUARDS rush into the dayroom wearing riot gear. It is not clear which officer yelled.)
(The lead officer is holding up a RIOT SHIELD while two have GAS GUNS, and still others come in with BATONS drawn. It is evident these guards are pumped up, ready for action but the action is over.)
(We turn the camera to what has been our blindside. The sun pours its radiance through expanded windows which are by a set of stairs which connect THREE TIERS to our dayroom.)
(We survey the bottom tier where we see INMATES of mixed colors and races LAYING on the floor spread-eagled, silent. As we continue to pan across the first tier we meet an elderly GRAY-HAIRD REDNECK (LT. DANIEL MORRIS, 52) who is in the gray uniform of the other guards except that Lt. Morris has a silver bar pinned to the collar of his shirt. He is standing a few feet away from the body.)
LT. MORRIS: Get these inmates restrained and secured in their cells!! I want them ID’ed and accounted for!!
(The guards split up; some spreading out across the first tier while others file quickly up the stairs. We follow a group of guards up the stairs and see more inmates, laying face-down spread-eagled on the second tier. While other guards fall out to secure the inmates on this tier we continue with the group of guards to the third tier and see an identical scene with inmates facedown on the floor, positioned in front of their cells.)
(The guards remove PLASTIC HAND-RESTRAINTS from their protective VESTS and set about restraining the inmates quickly, tying their hand behind their backs.)
(We cut to Lt. Morris who is excited by composed; professional, a man who has been through this before.)
LT. MORRIS: Barkley!!
(Motioning for the guard in the control picket to turn on the above intercom.)
(Officer Barkley presses a button in the picket and through the INTERCOM we hear:)
OFFICER BARKLEY: Yes, sir.
LT. MORRIS: Get the goddamned medical team down here! Let them know they’ve got a cold one. Get a camera down here, too! And have someone notify the Inspector General’s Office! Make them feel important.
OFFICER BARKLEY: Yes, sir.
(A brief shot of the control picket shows Barkley jumping on the telephone.)
LT. MORRIS: Which one of you badasses did this shit?
(Lt. Morris surveys the entire wing, studying the faces of each inmate from left to right, one tier at a time. His question is left unanswered.)
LT. MORRIS (cont’d.): You girls don’t want to talk? (Beat.) Well, you bitches know the drill. Lockdown! As of right now, you bitches are on “lockdown” status until further notice! You’ll be fed peanut butter sandwiches every day, three times a day! Showers will be Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays! No rec! No work! No visitation! You dicksuckers want to play?! Let’s play!
(Lt. Morris continues to study the faces of the inmates and, as we follow his gaze to the third tier, ONE PARTICULAR INMATE has caught his eye. He is a handsome, clean-shaven, well-groomed, dark-skinned Hispanic man. Though his hands are tied we notice that he is thin and muscular.)
(The two men hold each other’s stare.)
LT. MORRIS (cont’d.): Elizondo, you son of a bitch, if I find out you or your fuckin’ VA-TOES are involved in this shit I’m going to personally hang you from a fucking tree! Do you understand me, goddamnit?!!
(We focus on JESSE “CHUY” ELIZONDO’s face, which is void of expression except for the hardened eyes of a 38-year old man. He shifts his gaze away from the Lt., refusing to be baited.)
(From the third tie, next to where Chuy is laying, our camera looks down at Lt. Morris. His attention is deflected as medical personnel rush onto the scene with a STRETCHER and MEDICAL KITS and they begin their work.)
(While still more staff arrive to the scene, our guards continue the process of ID’ing the inmates and securing them in their cells.)
(On the third tier, THREE OFFICERS/GUARDS are in the middle of the tier going through the process. We see that several inmates have already been placed into their cells.)
(Two of the officers [OFFICER PERKINS, 28, tall, muscular, athletic, and; OFFICER BURGESS, 32, average height, stocky, rough-looking] hoist up a MASSIVE BLACK INMATE to his feet.)
(The black inmate is CHRISTOPHER “FIFI” PETERSON, 28. His hair is long, curly and STYLED LIKE A WOMAN’S. His cheeks are rose-colored and he is wearing lipstick. His clothes fit TIGHT AROUND HIS HIPS.)
(The third guard is OFFICER DAVID GARCIA, 22. A tall, thin and wiry man. He holds a pen and notebook in his hand and is positioned in front of the other three.)
OFFICER GARCIA: Name and number.
FIFI: Christina Peterson, baby. 992163.
(ANGER flashes across Officer Garcia’s face.)
OFFICER GARCIA: Your name ain’t no goddamned Christina, faggot! Don’t play your fucking games with me!
A VOICE: Her name is Christopher Peterson, 992163. Leave her alone.
(We turn the camera towards the voice and see there, laying on the floor with his hands tied behind his back, TYRONE HODGES, 26, a young and very muscular black inmate.)
(Officer Garcia is satisfied with the response, glad to move on.)
FIFI: Don’t worry, Tyrone, baby, I’m okay.
TYRONE: Shut up, Fifi. Get in the cell.
(Fifi, in drama queen fashion, allows herself to be escorted into the cell. The guard reaches in and cuts the plastic restraints loose once the door is shut. [They do this through a food/tray slot in the door.])
(Our three guards approach Chuy Elizondo next. The guards hoist him to his feet.)
OFFICER GARCIA: Name and number.
CHUY: Jesse Elizondo, 221354.
(The guards signal for the control picket to roll the cell door right next to Fifi’s cell and a moment later it rolls open. Chuy enters the cell and, as we follow him in, we see a VERY YOUNG BLACK MALE. He looks to be no more than eighteen years old. He is sitting up on the top bunk.)
(The guards secure Chuy in his cell and remove the hand restraints. Chuy approaches the closed door and through HIS P.O.V. we see the guards approach Tyrone as they continue the process.)
(From our cell we turn the camera to the bottom tier where the body is covered on a stretcher and being hauled away. Other staff continue to take notes on tablets, take pictures and are still working.)
(We see Lt. Morris about to leave our wing and just before he exits the door he stops and casts an ugly look up towards Chuy.)
(Through Lt. Morris’s P.O.V. we zoom in slowly on Chuy, who is still standing at his door watching the scene. We see him through a mesh window that is on his door. We continue to zoom in closer and closer until we can see his dark, hard eyes. With that we:)
INT. 7 BUILDING G-WING—CHUY’S CELL—LATER THAT NIGHT
Our camera rises and we see a close-up view of Chuy laying on his back on his bottom bunk. The faint glow of a lamp which sits on a desk nearby illuminates the scene as he lays reading a novel.
VOICE (OF RAY-RAY): Chuy? You awake?
(We switch to a broader view where we can see most of the cell. On the top bunk our young black male is RONALD RAY JOHNSON, 19, who goes by the name RAY-RAY. Besides his youth, he is small and thin, baby-faced, innocent-looking. His mouth is full of gold teeth.)
CHUY: Yeah, I’m up, Ray-Ray. What’s up?
RAY-RAY: Do you know why Paco killed Six-pack?
(Chuy’s eyes narrow almost imperceptibly.)
CHUY: I didn’t see Paco kill anyone.
(A reflective look on Ray-Ray’s face.)
RAY-RAY: My bad, Chuy. I didn’t mean . . .
CHUY: Leave it alone, homie.
(Ray-Ray sits up Indian-style on his bunk. Chuy continues his reading.)
RAY-RAY: Mind if I ask you a personal question, Chuy?
CHUY: What you got, homito?
RAY-RAY: Who are those people in that picture right there?
(We angle towards the ONE DESK in the cell which protrudes from the wall next to the bunks. Above the desktop are TWO SMALL SHELVES which also protrude from the wall. On the shelf to the right is where we see a HOMEMADE PICTURE FRAME WITH A PHOTOGRAPH IN IT.)
(Chuy sits up on the bunk and looks at the picture a moment. He reaches over and takes it from the shelf. Then, he hands it to Ray-Ray.)
(Through Ray-Ray’s P.O.V. we focus on the photograph he holds in his hands. We recognize OUR KID in the center of the photo in front of a birthday cake decorated with candles. He wears a huge smile. To his left in the photo, with her arm around him and smiling identically we see Sylvia. To his right with an arm around Chuy is a slightly older kid and he, too, is smiling. Standing behind the three, we see Mr. and Mrs. Elizondo who join the smiling exhibition.)
CHUY: That’s me and my family on my fourteenth birthday. (Beat.) It’s the last time I spent a birthday in the free world.
RAY-RAY: (Incredulous.) WHAT?!!
(We switch to our broader view of the cell as Chuy gets up from the bunk and sits on the desktop so that we can see both inmates.)
RAY-RAY (cont’d.): How old are you, Chuy?! How long have you been locked up?
(Chuy offers a flat smile.)
CHUY: I’ll be 38 years old next month, homito. I’ve been down 24 years, since I was 14.
RAY-RAY: (Still shocked.) DAMN! All this time we been cellies I didn’t even know! And I be crying ’cause I been here a funky-ass year. DAMN! (Beat.) What the hell did you do, Chuy?
CHUY: That’s twice, homito.
RAY-RAY: (Confused.) Twice what?
CHUY: Twice you’ve tried to put yourself in business that doesn’t belong to you, homito.
(Ray-Ray cannot meet Chuy’s gaze and he shifts uncomfortably in his seat.)
CHUY (cont’d.): Look, homito, I cut for you, man. You’re cool. And you remind me a little of myself when I first came down. But you gotta have your eyes open, man, see the game. See the way this penitentiary shit goes. The less you ask, the less you know. The less you know, the easier life is around his place. Know what I mean, man?
RAY-RAY: My bad, Chuy. You know I’m new to this shit, man, I’ll get it right. But you know I’m a down dog, I ain’t no damn snitch.
CHUY: Yeah, I know, homito. It’s all cool.
(Ray-Ray is studying the picture now.)
CHUY (cont’d.): Right there on the right is my brother, Robert. He was killed when I was young. To my left, that’s my sister, Sylvia. (Beat.) She OD’ed on heroin about 5 years ago. Pobrecita. She was a good girl. (Beat.) Standing there behind me is my mom and dad. My mom passed away almost a year ago, right before you got here. (Beat.) Now it’s just me and the old man.
RAY-RAY: Does he come out to visit you, Chuy?
CHUY: Ray-Ray, I haven’t seen my old man in 24 years and I am sure that is the way he wants it. (Seeing the questions forming on Ray-Ray’s face.) It’s a long story, homito.
(Chuy reaches over and takes the photo from Ray-Ray and places it back in its place on the shelf. He stands.)
CHUY (cont’d.): I don’t know about you, youngster, but I’m ready for some sleep. You know Lt. Morris will be here bright and early in the morning fucking with us. Him and his so-called thorough investigations.
(Ray-Ray smiles. He lays back on the bunk.)
RAY-RAY: Yeah, it’s been a long day, Chuy. (Pulls covers over his body.) See you tomorrow, dawg.
(Chuy turns the lamp off and the cell is DARKENED. Chuy climbs into bed and pulls the covers over himself. He lies on his back with his eyes closed and we focus on him as:)
RAY-RAY: What does “homito” mean?
CHUY: (Slight smile.) It means “little homie,” dude.
RAY-RAY: Is Paco your homito?
(Chuy’s eyes fly open. After a moment of contemplation, he relaxes.)
CHUY: Yeah. Paco is my homito.
(All is silent. Chuy closes his eyes.)
RAY-RAY: Good night, homito.
CHUY: Good night, homito.
EXT. WEST SIDE CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS—ELIZONDO RESIDENCE—NEXT DAY
(We begin with a full frontal view of the house where we see the dried up lawn and the poorly maintained house. In the driveway, parked backwards, is a U-HAUL TRUCK.)
(We cut to the back of the U-Haul truck and we see TWO YOU MEN struggling to load a LARGE DRESSER onto the back of the truck.)
(The two men are brothers. TIMMY GARZA, 23, and PEPÉ GARZA, 22, are both short yet lean and athletic.)
(The two men finally get the dresser loaded and they are drenched in sweat.)
(We turn our angle to the front door where we see ABEL ELIZONDO emerging. Mr. Elizondo has aged considerably. He is white-haired, frail, slow-moving as he shuffles down the stairs to meet the two men.)
TIMMY: That’s the last of it, Mr. Elizondo. We’ll just go unload this stuff at your new apartment and that should do it for us.
(Mr. Elizondo takes his wallet from his back pocket, extracts MONEY [BILLS] and hands the money to Timmy.)
MR. ELIZONDO: I never thought I’d see the day when I’d pay someone to do work I should be doing myself.
TIMMY: Don’t be so hard on yourself, Mr. Elizondo. It happens to us all. (Beat.) Would you like to ride with us, Mr. Elizondo? We’ll bring you back to pick up your car later if you’d like.
MR. ELIZONDO: No. You boys go on ahead. (Turning to the house.) Forty years of memories is what I’ll be leaving here with this house. I want to say goodbye.
(Timmy and Pepé cast each other a look and then they get into the U-Haul truck and drive off.)
(We stay with Mr. Elizondo at the house and follow him as he enters the house again.)
(The house is completely empty, the walls bare, no carpeting, nothing.)
(Mr. Elizondo walks through the house slowly, reminiscing, pausing by each room he passes. He stares pensively into each room.)
(He stands in the doorway of ONE PARTICULAR ROOM looking in thoughtfully for several seconds.)
(We have the camera on his face and we see his reverie is interrupted. Something has caught his eye.)
(We put the camera to this direction that Mr. Elizondo is looking.)
(Mr. Elizondo approaches the area of his focus which is the flooring next to a closet. We zoom in on the area and see TWO PROTRUDING NAILS sticking out of the wooden flooring.)
(Our view shows Mr. Elizondo squatting down with difficulty. He pulls at the nails and a SMALL FLOORBOARD comes up, revealing a hiding place.)
(THROUGH MR. ELIZONDO’S P.O.V. we look into the hole and see what appear to be BOOKS. There are FOUR of them stacked in the hole.)
(Slowly, Mr. Elizondo pulls the books out and sets them on the floor. He sits on the floor and examines the books. As he grabs one and studies the cover we watch through his P.O.V. The cover of this first book is red with the word DIARY emblazoned in gold letters across the center. WRITTEN is BLACK MARKER above the word “Diary” is: “SYLVIA’S.”)
(A quick check of the other books reveal the same titles. Mr. Elizondo opens the first book and with deep interest in his eyes, the old man begins to read.)
EXT. WEST SIDE CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS—ELIZONDO RESIDENCE—NIGHT
We have the full frontal view of the house but this time the night has darkened the sky. We see a light coming from within the house.
INT. ELIZONDO RESIDENCE—SAME BEDROOM—SAME TIME (NIGHT)
Mr. Elizondo is still reading and it seems he has not moved an inch since we saw him earlier in the day.
He drops the book to the ground and he is trembling visibly. His face is contorted in emotional pain. His lip quivers as he is on the verge of tears.
MR. ELIZONDO: Mi querido Chuy, que eh hecho? Perdonamé mi hijo, perdonamé.
(Mr. Elizondo is suffering as he utters these words. Across the screen on the bottom words roll across the screen, translating for us what Mr. Elizondo has said: MY DEAR CHUY, WHAT HAVE I DONE? FORGIVE ME MY SON, FORGIVE ME.
(We come in for a close-up of Mr. Elizondo as he begins to weep uncontrollably.)