"FADE OUT: CHERRY BLOSSOM" screenplay-haikus

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(This is a continually updating repository for my tweets originally posted here. It also allows me to go into a little more detail about what I'm trying to do).



INTRODUCTION:

"FADE OUT: CHERRY BLOSSOM" is a long-form, on-going story told in urban screenplay haiku format. No, I've never heard of that either. It starts in Los Angeles but builds out across the globe, following many characters, capturing pieces of their diverse , everyday lives...

Screenplay form appeared in the 20th century. It is particularly popular in America. Conventionally, it comprises of two to five (often three) acts distributed over ninety to one hundred and twenty pages. Screenplays usually conclude with the transition: FADE OUT:.

Haiku is a short, metered poetry form that appeared in the sixteenth century. It was particularly popular in Japan. Conventionally, it comprised of three lines and seventeen syllables distributed in five, seven and five. People joke that haikus too often refer to frogs and cherry blossoms.

Both forms capture changes, conflicts, juxtapositions and fleeting images, but in this hybrid form, there have been some alterations. While the traditional 5, 7, & 5 syllable haiku form has been lost, my screenplay haikus retain seventeen syllables.

While the tweets are random, non-linear fragments, you will eventually begin to notice returning characters and themes.

I decided to merge the two forms (not to mention the enforced brevity of a third form, ie, tweeting) because I noticed that people go through the same shit in both America and Japan.


A myriad lives...
A myriad moments...
A myriad stories...


"FADE OUT: CHERRY BLOSSOM"
by Richard Littler

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INT. HOUSE. Chris vacuums. He finds panties that aren't his wife's. Again. He weeps.

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INT. ARBY'S (BASEMENT). Dwayne finds a hidden door onto miles of tunnels.

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INT. OLD AGE HOME. Ten times Joyce asks her son what time her son will visit.

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INT. CONVENT. Grace flagellates with a pink Dolce & Gabbana belt.

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INT. PET STORE. Cops arrive. Tense Dave quickly feeds his stash to cute bunnies.

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INT. ROOM. Max types ‘the end.’ EXT. YARD. Two thousand pages go on the fire.

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"My wife died. Thought I'd never love again. But by Monday I was fine."

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INT. ADULT FILM SET. Ron acts tough. Ben fluffs. Jill's had enough - she wants love.

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INT. GARAGE. His car gone, Pete finds immigrants watching his old TV.

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EXT. CITY PETTING ZOO. Little Dan spray-tags two walls and a rare pig.

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EXT. CROSSINGS. The lights turn green. No one moves. All drivers just stare for hours.

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EXT. HIGH RISE. A thousand windows. In one, Kay gets the news her dad died.

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EXT. CAR. Todd, proctologist, can’t reach the dead bird stuck in his tailpipe.

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INT. BAR. Z’s new face tattoo gives him the illusion of character.

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INT. HOUSE. Steve rehearses his wedding vows to his cat crouched in its tray.

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INT. COLE'S (1920). Thalberg eats pie. INT. COLE'S (Now). Same pie for Jon.

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INT. BEDROOM. Pete wears his wife’s dress. He looks like his dad in his mom’s clothes.

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INT. CAB. KEN: “Stop here, please” DRIVER: “We stop when I say we stop, asshole.”

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INT. HOUSE. Shane, slouched on his sofa, travels through time at the normal speed.

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The serial killer buys a big chest freezer and a food blender.

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FRANK (under hypnosis): “Diana…is…in…Prague.” AGENT: “Send two men...”

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EXT. ZOO - NIGHT. Janette quickly feeds her husband’s balls to a caged cheetah.
 
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INT. ROOM. The radio plays. Pete dies in his chair. The radio plays.

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INT. TOYS ‘R’ US. Zen monks fight with lightsabers, pretend to be Yoda.

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INT. CHURCH. Hidden, Chris watches his ex-wife wed his dad. Two men. Same frown.

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INT. HOSPITAL. SURGEON (saw in hand): ”I need to get sober. And quick…”

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INT. BOOK STORE (NEW AGE SHELF) Umpteen books. Which salvation? 2 for 10 bucks.

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“Wrote ev’ry crime I did on rolling papers. Smoked them all. Now I’m free…”

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INT. OFFICE. Tom wipes the firm’s servers, strips naked, starts SINGING Dylan.

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INT. BAR. Drunk Pam barfs beer. And a ring. Pam: "One of you dorks just propose?”

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EXT. HOUSE. Joel slips and is impaled on a fence post. Cats just sit and watch.

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INT. DEATH ROW. Ben reads his bible. FLASHBACK (BIBLE): God wipes out nations...

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INT. HOUSE. Jake hides three thousand photos of nurses' ears under the floor.

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Jack falls from the hundredth floor with his phone. He tries to... send... one... last... tweet.

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EXT. PARK – DAY. Old man slips a grey hand in the trash can. It’s not his hand.

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INT. LIBRARY. Peg cuts all the rude words out of books and swallows them.

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EXT. GRAVEYARD. Pete buries his love. EXT. SPACE. Suns implode, but no one sees.

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“So she shot me. I wed her in jail. Got a heart tattooed ‘round the hole…”

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INT. SHOP. Empty. CUT TO: EXT. PARK. Empty. CUT TO: INT. BEDROOM. Rick sleeps.

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EXT. DESERT. Three days, no water; burnt Carl sees a fat child with ice cream.

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INT. LOFT. Hugh trades his kidney in a coolbox for a Damien Hirst.

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EXT. FOOD MARKET. Unaware, Ben queues next to the man who killed his wife.

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INT. BAR. TED (drunk; weeps): “I failed my six year old self. I’m not Knievel.”

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INT. DINER. Joe flips burgers. FLASHBACK (10 years before): Joe flips burgers.

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INT. SCHOOL. Dan sneaks crystal meth and weird porn into his maths teacher’s bag.

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EXT. STREET. Chris looks up. A plane. SKYWRITING: “Chris, I want a divorce - Jane.”

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INT. MOTEL. Zen monks rip up Gideon bibles to make party hats.

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INT. HOSPITAL. Don’s lung x-ray looks like a tornado in a cage.

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INT. DRESSING ROOM. Distant cheers. Famous Kate self-harms before the encore.

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INT. HOUSE. Cult members wait for Jesus to return on a space hopper.

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MONTAGE: Sam sees his life flash before his eyes. Even this fast it’s dull.

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INT. CINEMA. Dark. Jakes yanks his cock out. JAKE: "I hate Disney..."

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INT. CAB. De Niro sits. No one talks to him. He’s the only one there.

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INT. SLAUGHTERHOUSE (NIGHT SHIFT). Two weeks of counting scared sheep. Now Mitch can’t sleep.

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EXT. CLIFF. Brett hurls his car keys, wedding ring and passport into the sea.

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INT. AIRPORT. ANNOUNCER: “Flight 6 now boarding…And my husband’s a prick.”

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INT. WARD. Ruth can’t look. The empty space somehow bigger than the lost breast.

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INT. BATHROOM. Don strains. Sweats. Ears ring, eyes bulge. Suddenly a splash. Music.

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EXT. STREET. Ben swerves but hits the dog whose eyes, in that instant, look human.

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INT. TRUNK. Chained, the escapologist sends a text message: “Plz send key.”

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Buddhist monks snub a dead dog on their way to the park with a frisbee.
  
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EXT. STREET. Pam sees a dead dog. Stoned, she thinks it’s her. Checks herself for wounds.

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INT. HOUSE. Bob enters. BOB (calls): "Jan?" He waits. Head tilted. Silence. BOB: "Shit."

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INT. COMIC-CON. Ken wears a black bra under his Darth Vader costume.

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INT. BUS. The terrorist trips his bomb. INT. STORE. His dad buys diet coke.

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INT. BUS. Forty dead. Ash. Faintly, a ringtone: Abba: Chiquitita.

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 EXT. YARD. Dan’s dog digs up a bone. With a shoe attached. DAN: “Put Mom back!”

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INT. GYM. Don skips fast, sings out loud. INT. DON. Cancer rages like Tyson.

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TEA SHOP – AFTERNOON. In SLO-MO, Zen monks stride in like Reservoir Dogs.

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 EXT. CRIME SCENE. Cops find a head, a Shakespeare First Folio and a swan.

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INT. CAR TRUNK. Bloody Sal hears city sounds become desert sounds. He’s fucked.

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INT. BANK. Drunk Tom: Spiderman T-shirt, naked below, fights off two guards.

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INT. LIVING ROOM. Mac stares at the TV for ten hours. But it’s not on.

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INT. CAFÉ. Stan reads his own obituary in the newspaper.

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EXT. POOL – NIGHT. Mac floats. LATER. Mac floats. LATER. Mac floats. And sighs. FADE OUT.

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INT. BAR. Zak has to look away from the bubbles dying in his beer.

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EXT. SIDEWALK. The week’s winning lottery ticket. Covered with footprints.

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INT. SEX SHOP. Jake flicks through mags. JAKE (winces): "Disgusting…" He buys them all.

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INT. CAB (L.A.). STEVE "How much to Quebec?" CABBIE (thinks) "Fuck it. It’s on me".

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 EXT. STREET – DAY. Pam is legless. Her lipstick smudged, she looks like a blurred child clown.

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INT. THRIFT STORE. Luke finds a scratched clock he owned years ago. He buys it back.

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EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET – DAY. Buddhist monks flick cigarettes. Just like Lee Marvin.

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INT. MOTEL – DAY. Desk girl smokes. DREW: "I can pay cash upfront for six years."

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INT. GARAGE. Gail practices the cello. Bach. UPSTAIRS. Her two kids fight.

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INT. HOUSE. Tired Luke unpacks his heavy books. Many he’ll never read.

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INT. DEN. Ron, state governor. Secretly dresses like Lady Gaga.

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INT. BATHROOM. Kay’s skin like a lost scroll. Its lost language. Untouched. Unread.

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INT. MOTEL – DAY. ‘Claire’ arrives. She fakes a smile. MAN: "I like to be slapped."

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PAM: "Water". TED (laughs) "Water? You?" PAM: "Ok, ok. Gimme a beer."

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INT. CAFE. Jan cries over her salad. Tears make it look much fresher.

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INT. COP CAR (PARKED). COP 1: "You ever killed a man?" COP 2: "Not yet".

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INT. THRIFT STORE. Star Wars figure worth thousands. In a box of 8-track tapes.

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Hank's stolen credit card buys a flute and fifty cigars for Katie.

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INT. MOTEL ROOM. Jake half watches porn. While he reads Carl Jung. A deep GROAN.

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INT. 7-11 – NIGHT. Hot dogs roll. In hot dog rollers. Ted stares.

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INT. OFFICE. Alone, Dave edits. His millionth text. It must make sense.

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JAK: "That a gun in your pocket? Or you just pleased to -- Oh, it’s a gun…"

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INT. JAIL. Ben eats franks, beans and toast. INT. DINER. Joe eats franks, beans and toast.

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Bob misses his off ramp. The San Bernadino mountains say nothing.

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EXT. CAR WASH. Dogs lick at soapsuds. PENN shoos them. PENN: "Fool dogs". TREY: "Uh huh."

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EXT. LAWN – DAWN. Pam wakes. Grass prints on her cheek. Pam prints in the grass. PAM: "Christ..."

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INT. WARD. Moon shines on Don. EXT. STREET. Same moon. On the son Don never met.

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EXT. SPACE. The Earth looks small. INT. CAR. Under the seat. A lost contact lens.

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EXT. GARDEN. Gail tries to stop sad Mac from torching hundred dollar bills.

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EXT. GARDEN (8AM). MANUEL’S leaf blower blows leaves from here to there.

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INT. STORE. Jan picks up fish. Shuts her eyes. Opens them. The fish are still fish.

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INT. MONASTERY. Lama Mel dies. MEL: "I'll be back..." The rest laugh.

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INT. HOUSE - DAY. They finish making love. Big, ugly lemons hang outside.

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FADE IN: Life. FADE OUT. Revived by medics for ten more minutes.THE END

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INT. JAIL CELL. Ben sees his reflection in the steel toilet bowl. He sinks.

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INT. HOSPITAL. Don is pain. In the shape of a man. A great big man.

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EXT. NEWSSTAND. A bored MAN flicks through Time passersby don’t notice or care.

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EXT. STREET. STEVE sees his ex-wife. Runs. LATER (SUNSET). Steve keeps on going.

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INT. AIRPORT SHOP. A terrorist buys Coke, Tic-Tacs, stuffed toys for his son.

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INT. MORGUE – NIGHT. Metallic hum. On a desk. A cold drink waits. For someone.

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INT. HOSPITAL. John is born. CUT TO: INT. HOSPITAL. John’s son is born.

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INT. BATHROOM. Kay removes her last tampon. A tree branch taps the window

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INT. WARD. NURSE: "Are you Catholic or -- " DON: "Not really thought about it..."

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EXT. STREET. Dharma monks stride. Marines dodge weapons of mass enlightenment.

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INT. CAR (MOVING). Mac slaps the wheel. Slugs a beer. Closes his eyes tight. SCREAMS.

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The TV blares. JAN: "What‘s on the other channels?" BOB: (shrugs) "Dunno. Stuff".

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INT. CHURCH. Jake enters. Women kneel before a half-naked Christ. Jake leaves.

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INT. BAR – DAY. PAM slips from her stool. Spills her whiskey sour. PAM: "Goddamnit!"

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

excellent labor, kudos

About me said...

Thanks a lot!