“SIRENS” BY Benjamin Radford FADE IN: 1. INT. LIBRARY - PRESENT - DAY Film title card "Sirens" is written in Papyrus font script. Page is turned from right to left, revealing that the title is written on a book page. The faint sound of a book page turning is heard. Camera pulls back to see a full right-hand page of a book resting on a wooden desk. The page is titled "Sirens" on the top left hand column, and features three columns of text. Two large illustrations are prominent on the page; the first, centered near the top, is a woodcut image of three men in a boat. The second, near the bottom of the first column, is a drawing of a bare-chested woman with bird wings on her back. The top of a BOY'S head comes into the shot from the bottom of the screen. He seems to be casually looking over the page. Camera slowly zooms in on the large woodcut image. 2. EXT. OCEAN - PRESENT - DAY The black-and-white woodcut becomes animated. The boat and sailors rock gently and listlessly on the ocean. One man is slumped down; another, a bald Black man is holding an oar; the third, with a beard, leans against a flagging sail and mast. After a few seconds, the sailors hear a beautiful female voice. All three turn toward the sound with wide eyes; they are enchanted. The camera pulls back to a wider shot of the boat and the ocean until we see a small rocky shoal with three feminine figure on it, in the foreground. The women appear to be singing and are partially nude. INSERT - FACES Close-ups of sailors faces, in turn, looking intrigued and enchanted. BACK TO SCENE The boat begins moving toward the women as we hear the sound of oars splashing water. The singing continues. INSERT - SAILOR Medium shot of Black sailor, in worn clothing, rowing. SAILOR'S POV - SINGING WOMEN Camera focuses on the women, who are singing and smiling. Camera moves closer and closer with each rowing sound effect. A small rock can be seen in the foreground as the boat approaches. INSERT - BOAT Side view of boat as it nears the small island of women; the first sailor is reaching out to the women, oblivious to the small rock. The boat then hits the rock and rips a sizeable hole in the hull with a loud crack. The women stop singing. BACK TO SCENE We see a medium shot of the boat hitting the rock and shaking violently; the sailors begin to yell and panic, waving their arms. The women watch silently as the boat begins to sink. INSERT - SAILOR Close up on bearded sailor, his enchanted smile now a look of panic. He begins to look around as his face slowly sinks down out of frame. BACK TO SCENE - WOMEN Medium shot of the three women, who we see more closely than before. All are beautiful. They begin singing in chorus, and they move slightly, revealing that they all have wings. The singing finally drowns out the splashing and muffled yells of the sailors. The camera pulls back to a wider shot as the boat finally sinks out of view. One sailor's hand can be seen reaching toward the heavens, but it soon sinks. The women keep singing as the camera pulls back even further until they are very small against a huge, gently rolling ocean. 3. INT. LIBRARY - PRESENT - DAY A young BOY's face fills the frame, looking down at the camera. The BOY is about ten, and his eyes are wide with interest and excitement. Behind him we see a light fixture. INSERT - BOOK We see the top of the boy's head, reading the book page as we did earlier. The boy's head moves slightly from side to side as he reads. This continues for several seconds, until he hears a WOMAN clearing her throat to get his attention. INSERT - BOY Medium shot of boy at a table with books to his right. The boy looks up and to his right to see a LIBRARIAN. She has a name tag and a book pin on her lapel. She looks down at him, then leans down toward him. INSERT - TABLE Camera focuses on a math textbook, open to a page of problems. Librarian's hand comes into the frame, and her fingers tap expectantly on what is obviously an unfinished math worksheet. BOY'S POV - LIBRARIAN Close up on librarian's face; she has a cocked eyebrow and her lips are faintly pursed to one side in exaggerated disappointment. BACK TO SCENE Close up on boy's face, looking up at the librarian. He shrugs shyly and shakes his head. INSERT - TABLE Camera focuses on the math worksheet again, and the librarian's hand once again comes into the frame, her fingers tapping expectantly. BOY'S POV - TABLE Boy looks at the dull, gray math textbook, then over at the colorful, illustrated mythology book. BACK TO SCENE LIBRARIAN'S POV - BOY Boy looks up at the librarian with his best cute, puppydog eyes and protruding lips. BOY'S POV - LIBRARIAN The librarian smiles despite herself, shakes her head slightly, then turns and walks away. BACK TO SCENE From above, we see the boy return to the page about sirens. His head moves slightly as he reads. INSERT From below, we see the boy looking down, reading the book as we did earlier. His lips move slightly as he reads. After a few seconds, he hears faint singing, and on the ceiling above him and behind him there is a brief but distinct red, then blue flash. The boy looks up from the book, startled and puzzled. BACK TO SCENE The boy is seen from behind, sitting in a wooden chair. He head turns as he looks around, and the camera pulls back to reveal a mid-sized library room with a window, a few tables, and bookshelves. INSERT The boy is seen from below again. He looks puzzled for a moment, then returns to his book. BACK TO SCENE We return to an overhead shot as the boy's left hand turns the page, revealing an illustrated book about dragons. The basic page layout is similar to that of the sirens, but instead of a woodcut the page features a large illustration of a fire-breathing dragon breaking the borders of the art. INSERT Again seeing the boy from below, we watch him become excited about the dragons as he reads. After a few seconds, he once again hears the singing and the red / blue light flashes behind him. BACK TO SCENE The boy is seen from head-on, looking into the camera. His expression shows puzzlement and intrigue as the singing continues. Shot switches to medium view of the table and chair, from behind. The boy jumps down off the chair to his left and scampers offscreen. Camera follows the boy as he runs down the aisle between bookshelves, drawing glares from one or two patrons in the background. INSERT - LIBRARIAN Medium shot of the librarian's face and head as she turns to watch the boy. She looks startled and concerned. BACK TO SCENE The bookshelves fly by, from left to right, as the boy runs. INSERT - BOY Close up on the running boy's excited face, interrupted by the black streaks of bookshelves. 4. EXT. LIBRARY - PRESENT - DAY Exterior of a brick library building, with double doors leading to a platform entrance. The platform is framed by a sign above the door, four concrete steps down to a street sidewalk, and two medium-sized pillars on either side, with marble balls atop each. A wrought iron fence leads away from the pillars to the sidewalk. The double doors burst open, pushed apart by the boy's outstretched arms. INSERT - LIBRARY INTERIOR We see a mostly-dark interior shot of the library, with the boy's head and torso disappearing down the steps and out of view. A street scene is briefly visible as the doors close behind the boy. BACK TO SCENE The boy pauses on the sidewalk in front of the library steps. The street is nearly empty except for one man to his left who is walking away, carrying a briefcase. A sedan is parked nearby, also to the boy's left. The singing has stopped. INSERT - BOY Close up on boy's face, looking puzzled. He looks left, then right. As he begins to turn left again, he once again hears the singing from his right (screen left). A look of delight and enchantment crosses his face as he looks straight ahead at the camera, and begins looking around again. BACK TO SCENE Medium shot of the boy pulls back and dollies out to reveal the larger street scene. The librarian appears at the door, looking out at the street. The singing becomes noticeably louder. INSERT - BOY Close up on boy's face as he looks to his right. BOY'S POV - STREET Boy sees the man with the briefcase turning the corner; nearby a dalmation is sniffing a red fire hydrant near the parked car. INSERT - BOY Close up on boy as his head turns; the singing gets louder and the red / blue flash appears behind him. BOY'S POV - STREET Boy looks across the street to a small newsstand and the doorway to a barber shop. A barber's pole is turning. The boy proceeds into the street, passing the parked car on his left. He turns to his right, hearing singing coming from that direction. The camera pans to his right, showing a quiet street. INSERT - BOY Close up on boy as he begins to turn his head to his left. BOY'S POV - STREET The boy immediately sees the front of a red fire truck rushing toward him as the singing becomes very loud. The camera zooms quickly into the truck grille. There is a brief flash of red, then the screen goes to black. BACK TO SCENE Medium, slow-motion shot of the fire truck hitting the boy from the side. The boy has a terrified look as his head snaps back violently and he is plastered to the grille. He is partly sucked under the tires as he desperately grabs for safety. The truck slowly and in halting movements lumbers to a stop, peeling the boy off the front as it does. Cut to overhead shot, looking down on the hood of the fire truck and the boy laying beneath it. The sounds of screams and shouts mix with the blaring fire engine siren. Fade to black as the sirens continue for five seconds. Original female voices begin as the credits start to roll.