Lake Effect Screenplay: Excerpt


“LAK
E EFFECT”

 

FADE IN:

 

 

EXT.CLEVELAND,OHIO -DAY

 

LAKE ERIE…aribbonofslate stretching from land to the horizon. Expansive, breathtakinglybeautiful, somewhat terrifying…

Theday is overcast,dark, foreboding…

 

Waves crash againstthe shore in angry surges. Seagulls circle in the air.

A Jet airplane glides over the lake angling Southwest toward Hopkins InternationalAirport…its lights burning through thehaze.

A smaller plane comes in for a landing at the Lakefront

Airport.

 

 

EXT. CLEVELAND POWER PLANT, ROUTE 2 – DAY

 

Conduits alongside the aging power plant form landing strips for weary seagulls. Hundreds crowd in a space large enough for dozens. More circle overhead, waiting their turn. Theyve taken over; they own the place…

 

 

EXT. CLEVELAND, LAKEFRONT – DAY

 

Parallel to the lake, Highway 2 cuts through the terrain. Traffic is heavy. We follow the westbound lanes.

To the left: downtown Cleveland crowds the view.

 

To the right: The ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME, the GREAT LAKES SCIENCE CENTER and then BROWNS STADIUM.

In front of the Science Center, the alabaster blades of the

WIND TURBINE spin clockwise in perpetual motion.

 

Beyond Browns Stadium: The LAKE in all its splendor.

 

 

EXT. SKY -DAY

 

A ContinentalAirlines Jet soars over Cleveland, Ohio,

cutting through a thick cloud cover with deft speed. At times it disappears inside the billowy puffs of ephemeral

substance.

 

 

INT. AIRPLANE CABIN – CONTINUOUS

 

LYNNE WALKER, a African-American woman in her late 40’s shifts uncomfortably in her aisle seat.

 

Her right arm rests protectivelyon the pet carrier in the seat next to her.

 

Long, dark hair frames her still pretty face and casual, loose-fitting clothes don’t hide her still slender figure.

She looks tense like she’s afraid of flying…

 

The FASTEN SEAT BELT sign flashes just above her head and she quickly snaps the device in place, then shifts her body to adjust to its confinement.

 

A FLIGHT ATTENDANT stops by her seat and tries to comfort her apparent distress.

 

                   FLIGHT ATTENDANT

Feeling okay, Ma’am?

Lynne flashes a weak smile.

 

LYNNE

Yes, thanks.

 

                   FLIGHT ATTENDANT

First time in Cleveland?

 

LYNNE

No…no, but it’s been a long time.

 

In the background the PILOT makes an announcement.

PILOT (O.S.)

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your Captain. The Seat Belt sign has just come on so please buckle up. We’re approaching Cleveland, Ohio and it might be a little choppy.

 

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

We’ll be landing shortly. I’m sure you’ll feel better when you get your feet on the ground.

 

PILOT (O.S.)

The temperature in Cleveland today is an unseasonable 43 degrees and it’s raining. If you look out the window…

Lynne closes her eyes and seems to be waiting for it to just be over…

 

 

INT. AIRPORT TERMINAL – DAY

 

Lynne exits the concourse lugging the pet carrier, looks around but doesn’t spot a familiar face. With an irritated sigh, she starts walking toward a sign. BAGGAGE CLAIM AREA.

 

Then through the crowd, an African American woman comes rushing toward her. She wears a loud ethnic print outfit with matching headpiece. Gold jewelry adorn her ears, neck and fingers.

By comparison, Lynne looks dowdy.

 

Lynne’s face breaks into a smile. She almost drops the carrier as they hug each other like it’s been a long time since the last one.

Lynne pulls away first and gets right to the point.

 

LYNNE

How’s Mother?

MAYA

The surgery went okay…

 

LYNNE

I can’t stay long.

 

MAYA

You just got here.

 

LYNNE

Don’t start anything, Maya.

 

MAYA

(throwing her arms up in dismay)

Don’t you start nothing.You’re

not even out of the airport and you already talking about leaving.

(then smiling impishly)

You brought IBK…that means you don’t have to rush back.

 

LYNNE (ignoring her)

You didn’t tell me how Mother is.

 

MAYA

She’s holding her own.

 

LYNNE

I want to stop by the hospital first.

 

MAYA

Of course you do. Got any luggage?

 

Maya grabs the pet carrier and they merge with the crowd converging on the luggage carousel.

 

MAYA (CONT’D)

How’s Jennifer?

LYNNE

I haven’t talked to her lately.

 

Maya gives Lynne a “now what” look.

 

 

INT. BAGGAGE CLAIM AREA – CONTINUOUS

 

As the luggage carousel parades suitcases in front of the waiting passengers, Lynne opens the carrier door, takes a cat out and cuddles it. The cat purrs audibly.

LYNNE

IBK’s a better traveler than I am.

 

Lynne spots her suit case, shoves IBK into Maya’s arms and goes to retrieve it from the rack.

Maya holds IBK like a bundle of grape vines.

 

EXT. INTERSTATE 71 NORTH – DAY

 

Lynne and Maya leave Hopkins airport and travel north on Interstate 71.               The weather on the ground is rainy, windy and dismal.

 

INSIDE the SUV, Maya drives purposefully while Lynne holds IBK on her lap and strokes him affectionately.The two women try to find conversation.

MAYA

A lot has changed since the last time you were here.

 

LYNNE

The weather sure hasn’t…

 

MAYA

An Alberta Clipper came through the other day. Then it warmed up…now we got this.

 

Maya turns the windshield wipers to a faster speed.

 

LYNNE

I hate Cleveland weather.

 

Silence fills the car again, then Maya blurts out…

 

MAYA

You gonna let Riley know you’re here?

 

LYNNE

If you start that mess, I’m going back to Phoenix right now.

 

Maya rolls her eyes.

 

Silence returns. Lynne stares out the window and her eyes follow the scenery as it unfolds.

 

Every once in awhile she makes comments like “that’s new,” “wow,” and finally “I don’t recognize the place.”

 

 

 

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