The Chemistry of Dreams

The Chemistry of Dreams The Chemistry of Dreams

Status: Finished

Genre: Other

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Other

Summary

It's a screenplay for a short film I had attempted to make a year ago. While we were never able to get enough resources to actually make the film, at least you can check out its screenplay. A man wakes up in a mysterious classroom. He has no idea how he got there. At first it seems he's alone. Then, he finds out there's someone there with him. This story has elements of humor, drama, and a kind of simple setting and structure that I think makes for a more interesting story. Warning: Contains some pop cultural references that reveal twists at the ends of the movies: Fight Club and the Sixth Sense, so if you haven't seen these movies, I'd recommend not reading this.

Summary

It's a screenplay for a short film I had attempted to make a year ago. While we were never able to get enough resources to actually make the film, at least you can check out its screenplay.

A man wakes up in a mysterious classroom. He has no idea how he got there. At first it seems he's alone. Then, he finds out there's someone there with him.

This story has elements of humor, drama, and a kind of simple setting and structure that I think makes for a more interesting story.

Warning: Contains some pop cultural references that reveal twists at the ends of the movies: Fight Club and the Sixth Sense, so if you haven't seen these movies, I'd recommend not reading this.

Content

Submitted: March 13, 2014

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Content

Submitted: March 13, 2014

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The Chemistry of Dreams

Written for the screen by: Sam Bartos

 

ACT I

INT. CLASSROOM – UNKNOWN

First, it is dark. Then TYLER wakes up sitting at his desk in an otherwise empty classroom. He looks around and can’t seem to see any people. He sits in the middle of the fourth row of desks. In front of him is a white board that reads “Cancelled Class” in blue marker.

TYLER

W-What?

 

He continues to look around, just to make sure he knows for sure what he is seeing. Then an unexpected hand grabs his shoulder from behind. It is JOEY’s hand.

 

JOEY

Wake up!

 

Tyler now looks terrified as Joey moves to the front of the class and stands at the podium, like a teacher.

 

JOEY (cont)

Hello class My name is Joey and I will be your new teacher. I hope you’re all okay with this. Now, take out your algebra books and get ready to learn. Now if x equals y, then what the fuck am I saying?

 

TYLER

I. Uh. What?

 

JOEY

Young man in the fourth row. In the future, I would prefer you raise your hand before speaking.

 

TYLER

I’m sorry. I just-

 

JOEY

Ah ah ah.

 

Tyler raises his hand.

 

 

JOEY (cont)

Yes? You in the fourth row.

 

 

TYLER

I just don’t understand what’s going on.

 

JOEY

What’s “going on” is you fell asleep in my class. Do that again and it’s detention, young man!

 

TYLER

Detention? Where am I?

 

JOEY

Earth.

 

TYLER

No. I mean where exactly?

 

JOEY

America.

 

TYLER

More specifically!

 

JOEY

A classroom.

 

TYLER

Ugh!

 

JOEY

Hey, there’s no need to get snippy with me. You asked me to be more specific, so I was.

 

TYLER

Wait a minute. Is this W.H. Harrison High School?

 

JOEY

Correct. W. H. Harrison High School.

 

TYLER

Really?

 

JOEY

No.

 

TYLER

Look buddy. Just let me the hell out of here, okay?

 

JOEY

You ever see a prostitute with three tits?

 

TYLER

What?! No!

 

JOEY

Me neither.

 

TYLER

Damn you! Why are you keeping me here?!

 

JOEY

I’m not, bro.

 

TYLER

Then let me the hell out!

 

JOEY

There’s the door.

 

Tyler notices the classroom door with the term: “Eggs it” on it.

 

TYLER

Thanks.

 

He moves towards the door and tries to open it. As he puts his hand on the knob, he suddenly feels stomach pain.

 

JOEY

Stomach ache, huh? That’s a new one. And I thought I’d seen it all. Electric shock. Temporary fire. Falling into a black hole and finding myself right back here again. That was a fun one.

 

 

TYLER

So you’re not keeping me here?

 

JOEY

We’re both prisoners guy. Wanna smoke some weed?

 

TYLER

No.

 

JOEY

Good, cause I don’t have any. What’s your name, anyway?

 

TYLER

It’s… It’s Tyler. I’m sorry, what’s yours again?

 

JOEY

Hannibal Lector.

 

TYLER

Seriously.

 

JOEY

Seriously? I thought it was Tyler.

 

TYLER

Damnit! Let’s see. It started with a J. What was it?

 

JOEY

Okay. I give. It’s Jesus. But business associates call me Mr. Christ.

 

TYLER

Joey! That’s it. It’s Joey right?

 

JOEY

Maaayyybbbeee.

 

TYLER

God. What the hell is this?

 

JOEY

Don’t call me God. It’s Jesus, remember? And what is this? Well Tyler, it’s a dream. Duh!

 

TYLER

Bull shit.

 

JOEY

No seriously. Try pinching yourself.

 

Tyler pinches himself and clearly feels pain.

 

TYLER

Ow! Ass hole.

 

JOEY

Hey. Don’t look at me. You were dumb enough to do it. Okay now look at me.

 

Joey pinches himself and doesn’t seem to feel a thing.

 

TYLER

Are you messing with me?

 

JOEY

This might not be your dream. But it’s definitely mine.

 

TYLER

That is completely absurd.

 

JOEY

Dreams are absurd. I once had a dream where I was Harry Potter, all the other wizards were playboy bunnies, and my magic wand was my dick. Long story short, it was a wet dream.

 

TYLER

I mean it’s absurd that this is your dream, because that would mean I don’t exist.

 

JOEY

You don’t. Sorry.

 

TYLER

But I must exist. I have a girlfriend.

 

JOEY

Is she hot?

 

TYLER

No! I mean yeah! I mean, that’s none of your business! I also have a job.

 

JOEY

Doing what? Not existing? Because I don’t think they give out 1040 forms for that. What are you, some kind of tax cheat? Al Capone!

 

TYLER

Okay just shut up. You idiot. What I mean is I have a job as a graduate teaching assistant for chemistry at a decent community college in-

 

JOEY

East Branch, California?

 

TYLER

Y-yes. How did you know that?

 

JOEY

Psh. I don’t know. I guess I’m psychic. That’ll be forty dollars. Right? Because psychics rip people off. Oh what am I even telling you for? You don’t even exist.

 

TYLER

I must exist. I attended George Washington Elementary, JFK middle school, and W.H. Harrison High.

 

JOEY

I know. Funny how all those schools are named after presidents? Sounds pretty- oh what was the word you used? Oh yeah. Absurd. You also had a dog named Tucker, until he died when you were ten years old. You wrote him a poem at his doggie funeral. It went something like: Tucker. A dog who was loved, needed, and praised. A once missing link in this complicated and confusing thing called life. A dog beloved. A dog mourned. A dog who now has his last goodbye.

 

Tyler stares in shock.

 

JOEY (cont)

Dude, you were ten years old. Nerd alert!

 

TYLER

Oh shut up! At least I have a brain.

 

JOEY

At least I’m awesome.

 

TYLER

At least the things I say make sense.

 

JOEY

At least I exist!

 

TYLER

Ass hole! I still don’t believe you. How did you really know all that stuff?

 

JOEY

Truth? Because you told me. Again and again and again and again and again. This. Is a recurring dream.

 

 

TYLER

No it can’t be. I have to exist. I have a mind.

 

JOEY

Cool.

 

TYLER

I can think thoughts.

 

JOEY

Rock on!

 

TYLER

I think I exist, so I must exist!

 

JOEY

Tyler.

 

 

TYLER

I have a mind, so I have to exist!

 

JOEY

Tyler.

 

TYLER

I must exist! I have to exist!

 

JOEY

Tyler!

 

TYLER

What?!

 

JOEY

Nope. That’s it. Just. Tyler.

 

TYLER

And now, on top of everything else, I have to deal with this. This degenerate loser. This disgusting poor excuse for a human life primitive cretin-

 

JOEY

Tyler!

 

Tyler is silent.

JOEY (cont)

Fight Club is my favorite movie.

 

TYLER

Great. Thanks. For yet another undesirable non sequitur. Just wonderful.

 

JOEY

No. You don’t understand. In Fight Club, Tyler Durden is the name of the invisible friend of the narrator. Someone who doesn’t really exist. What is your last name?

 

TYLER

It’s not Durden!

 

JOEY

Well what is it, then?

 

TYLER

It’s Crowe.

 

JOEY

Another invisible person from a movie. The Sixth Sense to be exact. I watch a lot of movies. You don’t.

 

TYLER

What?

 

JOEY

Riddle me this. How’d you get here?

 

TYLER

I don’t know!

 

JOEY

Well maybe you’ll know this. His name wasn’t Tucker. It was Tuck! And he died when I was eight! I sure as hell didn’t write him a dumb poem though.

 

TYLER

Wait! What about that?

 

JOEY

What about what?

 

TYLER

I’m very intelligent. I know I’m quite intelligent. But you. You’re- well- You’re not exactly the brightest penny in the jar.

 

JOEY

What’s your point?

 

TYLER

How could someone like you ever come up with someone like me?

 

Joey seemingly passes out right there on the floor. Tyler rushes over towards him.

 

TYLER

Joey? JOEY?!

 

Joey starts snoring.

 

JOEY

You are boring the shit out of me. You actually make me want to go to sleep in my dream. Dick!

 

TYLER

Will you pay attention? I’m trying to make a point here.

 

JOEY

You don’t get it, do you? You’ve already mentioned all of this. This. Is. A recurring dream! I simply don’t care anymore. I just want to wake up.

 

Tyler notices something.

 

TYLER

Well I guess I have to believe it’s a dream now.

 

JOEY

What makes you say that?

 

TYLER

Before it said Cancelled Class in blue marker on the white board. Now it says Pay Attention Mark in red.

 

It does say that on the white board, in much bigger letters than the message before. Joey actually looks more surprised than Tyler.

 

END OF ACT I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT II

 

INT. CLASSROOM - UNKOWN

 

Time has clearly passed. Tyler paces back and forth nervously while Joey smokes a cigarette at one of the desks in the front row. It still reads, “Pay attention Mark” in red on the white board.

 

JOEY

Ya know. You’ve been pacing for what feels like forever. Maybe you should take a break from that and start yelling again. I miss the yelling. Bring the yelling back.

 

TYLER

What does that mean on the white board?

 

JOEY

What does what mean, exactly?

 

TYLER

Well if this really is your dream, then shouldn’t Mark mean something to you? Was he a person in your life?

 

JOEY

Dude I don’t know. He was probably just some other guy from a movie.

 

TYLER

Well. I guess I could believe that. It just seems like it’s a big deal.

 

JOEY

Why? I mean compared to you it’s nothing. You are a person with actual thoughts and you’re nothing but a movie character to me.

 

He inhales from his cigarette.

 

TYLER

You really shouldn’t do that.

 

JOEY

Why? Are you worried I might get dream cancer?

 

TYLER

Do you smoke in real life?

 

JOEY

Yeah.

 

TYLER

Maybe you shouldn’t do that.

 

JOEY

Why are you so interested in judging me? I’m guessing you’ve never smoked before.

 

Tyler is about to speak, until Joey interrupts him.

 

JOEY (cont)

Wait, let me guess. You probably never even smoked weed. I’m betting you’ve never even had any alcohol, you queer piece of shit.

 

TYLER

Well, how did you- Oh that’s right. You’ve… had this dream before.

 

JOEY

Not just before. Over and over and over and-

 

TYLER

I get it.

 

JOEY

Clearly, you don’t.

 

An alarm is heard, all of the sudden. Tyler jumps in fear as Joey continues to casually smoke his cigarette and relax as if nothing were wrong.

 

 

TYLER

What the hell was that?

 

JOEY

That’s the warning alarm. It means we have ten minutes left.

 

 

TYLER

Ten minutes until what?

 

JOEY

Till the end of the dream. The end of your existence. Of course, after that, I’ll end up having this dream again and all this

will happen again and then it will happen again, and every single time, you’ll act like you have no idea what’s going on.

 

TYLER

I wish this were my dream. It would actually make sense too. Your name is Joey and you’re an idiot. It so happens that chemistry is a very important thing to study and is my area of expertise and interest. So naming you, an idiot, Joey, would make sense, because J is the one letter that doesn’t appear on the periodic table. It would also prove that you don’t exist, because in order to exist as a human being, you must be made up of chemistry.

 

JOEY

Shit. Did you just say something?

 

TYLER

Never mind.

 

JOEY

No seriously. I totally just snoozed off again, not because I hate you. Just because you bore me almost literally to death. You make me want to drink salt water. Then I’ll have salt in me and will be dead. That’s how much I can’t stand you!

 

TYLER

Actually, the average human body contains about one half pounds of salt.

 

JOEY

That’s it.

 

A gun suddenly appears in his hand, like magic.

 

JOEY (cont)

Time to die.

 

TYLER

Woa, Joey, what are you doing?

 

JOEY

Any last words? Huh?! Too late!

 

He aims the gun at Tyler’s head and pulls the trigger. All that is heard is “click click” without any actual shot coming from the gun. Tyler is terrified as the gun disappears.

 

JOEY

Yeah, I’m just messing with you. As much as I want to kill you, I couldn’t kill you even if I tried.

 

TYLER

You made the gun appear. There must be other things you can do as well. Things you couldn’t normally achieve in the real world.

 

JOEY

I can make shit appear. But apparently there are rules. We can’t leave and I can’t harm you.

 

TYLER

Why not?

 

JOEY

How the hell should I know?

 

He looks up at the wall clock.

 

JOEY (cont)

Five minutes.

 

TYLER

I don’t know exactly, but I feel like I’ve been here before. This classroom just feels so familiar, to so many of my senses. It even smells familiar. Why is that?

 

Joey just shrugs, puts his cigarette out, and lights another.

 

TYLER (cont)

What if you just light the place on fire?

 

JOEY

Wouldn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried. Fire won’t work here, and please for the love of god, don’t give me any chemistry facts about how that’s not realistic. It’s a dream ass hole. Nothing here is realistic. I just pulled a gun out of god damn thin air.

 

TYLER

Okay. Fair enough… But still, there’s something about this place. Something so familiar. Oh, no. I just realized something. If I truly don’t exist, then that means I’ll never see my girlfriend.

 

JOEY

Yeah?

 

TYLER

Her name is Carrie. She’s so great. I’ve been in love with her for years now. I won’t lie. The other day, we were sitting, the two of us, under this beautiful oak tree, just a few miles out of my home town. I contemplated asking her to marry me, but I guess I was afraid she would reject that offer and then everything would be forever ruined between us, and I just wanted that love to last. Now that I don’t even exist, I guess none of that matters.

 

JOEY

Huh.

 

TYLER

She was so great though. There was this other guy she was into at one point in time, but I completely stole her away. She was always into geology. She was very smart. I would always make fun of her and say things like: geology is an umbrella term for fake science. Of course, I didn’t mean it. I guess that was just me being flirtatious. (TYLER cont) God, she was something else. I loved her. I still love her.

 

JOEY

Okay that’s it! Shut up!

 

TYLER

What?

 

JOEY

You want to know something about Carrie? Something true? You didn’t disserve her. You never disserved her.

 

TYLER

What are you talking about?

 

JOEY

The other guy! The guy you stole her away from? It was me! She was the love of my life and you took her from me! Just like you took everything else!

 

Tyler is shocked. Joey, who is standing at this point and who has put out his second cigarette is standing tall and is clearly upset with Tyler, who continues to look confused and uncertain.

 

TYLER

I thought I was a movie character.

 

JOEY

Just your name. It’s true, you don’t exist. That’s why your name is Tyler. But that’s all. The rest of you is someone else.

 

TYLER

Who?

 

JOEY

God, you’re really gonna make me go through this again. Fine… Your name is Mark Murphy. You are my brother. Well, were my brother. You were always so much different from me. You had the brains and I had the brawn. That was us. That was who we were. When I was eight and you were ten, I was sad that Tuck died, but you, who for some reason liked to (JOEY cont) refer to him as Tucker actually recited a poem. It drove me crazy. Maybe, I was jealous that you loved Tuck more than I did, or whatever, but either way I hated you for that. As for school, I just never really cared. How could I? Fractions and algebra and god-for-saken chemistry? No thanks. I had zero interest in anything school-related. How I even made it to my senior year of high school was a mystery to me. It made sense after that though, because I ended up repeating my senior year three times. In the third year, when I was feeling like a loser and you, meanwhile, were this big shot who stole the love of my life, Carrie, at your big hot shot community college where you were busy being a chick stealing chemistry loving grad student a hole, I felt like the two of us were more distant than ever. Then came the day when I was in my English class at W.H. Harrison High School and you came in at the end of class to tell me to turn my life around. Everyone else was gone. It was just the two of us, and what were you doing? You were judging me as usual. You know what I did? I spat in your face. I was angry and very upset about everything that went down between us. You being successful, well educated, and with the girl you were into, and me being a degenerate failing loser.

 

 

TYLER

Woa.

 

JOEY

After that, you disappeared.

 

TYLER

What happened?

 

JOEY

I don’t know. But you were presumed dead. I never saw you again. Carrie never saw you again. It’s like you dropped off the face of the Earth. It’s like you stopped existing.

 

TYLER

That’s heavy.

 

JOEY

And now I am forever haunted with this nightmare of you returning and not knowing what the hell is going on. I just want to get you out of my head.

 

TYLER

You miss him, or me. Don’t you?

 

JOEY

What?

 

TYLER

That’s what this has all been about. You miss Mark. That’s why I keep appearing to you. It’s because even though you hated him, you still miss him.

 

JOEY

I don’t know.

 

TYLER

If he really just vanished, then what you really want is closure. You want to see me again, so that the last thing you do won’t be spitting in my face.

 

A much louder alarm sounds.

 

TYLER (cont)

What’s happening now?!

 

JOEY

We have one minute until the dream ends. I guess this is the end for you.

 

TYLER

Was it different?

 

JOEY

Was what different?

 

 

TYLER

The dream. Was it different from the other recurring dreams you’ve had.

 

JOEY

No. I’m sorry, but no. This is what always happens.

 

TYLER

Make peace.

 

JOEY

What?!

 

TYLER

Make peace with your brother. Tell him you’re sorry for everything you’ve done that might have offended him. Tell him you want to make peace. Then, maybe you’ll stop having this dream.

 

JOEY

But then you won’t exist.

 

TYLER

I know that. But even if I don’t exist, I may exist elsewhere. In another dream. In reality. I can’t imagine a world of non-existence, so there must be only a world of existence, meaning after my death, I could easily be reborn as some other form of life.

 

JOEY

I don’t really know what the fuck you’re talking about, but I’m sorry Mark- Tyler. I can’t make peace with you. As much as these  dreams pain me, I need them. It’s all I have left of Mark. So, no, I can’t make peace with you.

 

He spits in Tyler’s face.

 

TYLER

What the hell, maaaannnnn?

 

Everything fades to black. Then…

 

INT. CLASSROOM – UNKOWN

In blue marker, it reads “Cancelled Class” just like it did before. Tyler is sitting in the seat he sat at in the beginning.

 

TYLER

W-What?

 

Suddenly, Joey comes to the front of the class from behind Tyler and stands at the podium.

 

JOEY

Hello class. Welcome. Now let’s get some algebra done. First question. What really is algebra. Don’t ask me. I don’t fuckn’ know.

 

TYLER

What’s going on here?

 

JOEY

… Young man, if you have a question, please raise your hand.

 

 

THE END


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