“Excuse me.” from the film “Stranger Than Fiction.” Penny, an assistant hired by Kay’s publisher, shows up just when Kay is trying to decide how to kill Harold in her book. She doesn’t want Penny’s help in any way, but Penny is persistent. Ideal for Adult Females in their 30s. 1-2 Mins.
Written By: Zach Helm
PENNY and KAY:
Int. Garment Loft— Afternoon
Kay stands on the end of a factory table in a large poorly converted downtown loft. She wears the same clothes as she did on the building and her foot dangles over the edge.
A formidable stern-looking woman in a sensible outfit stands in the doorway of the loft.
Are you Ms. Eiffel?
Excellent. What are you doing?
Am I interrupting?
My name is Penny Escher. I’m the assistant. The one the publishers hired.
The Assistant. I provide the same services as a secretary.
I don’t need a secretary.
Then I’ll have to find some way to occupy my time.
And watch over me like a vulture so I don’t get distracted.
Because the publishers think I have writers block. Is that right?
Do you have writers block?
(seeing pages on the floor)
Are those pages?
They’re letters. To me.
Are you writing back?
I don’t respond to letters.
Penny moves to pick up the letters. Sees the pile of cigarettes.
Ah. And I imagine you smoked all these cigarettes.
No. They came pre-smoked.
Right. They mentioned you were funny.
Kay steps to the other edge of the table, finds a cigarette in a tissue and lights it.
What do you think about leaping off a building?
I don’t think about leaping off a building.
Yes you do.
No. I try to think of nice things.
Everyone thinks about leaping off a building. Everyone.
Well, I certainly don’t think about leaping off a building.
They say– I read this in this fantastically depressing book—
That when you jump from a building, it’s rarely the impact that
actually kills you.
Well, I’m sure it doesn’t help.
There’s a…. There’s a photograph in the book, a photograph
From the L.A. times around forty years ago. Called “The Leaper.”
It’s old but… it’s beautiful. From just about the corpse of a
woman who had just leapt to her death. There’s, there’s blood
around her head like a halo. And her leg is buckled underneath her.
And her arm has snapped like a twig
But her face is so serene. So at peace.
And I think it’s because when she died….
She could feel the wind against her face.
I don’t know how to kill Harold Crick.
That’s why they sent you.
Yes. That’s why I’m here, to help you.
How are you going to help me. Hm? You.
Who never thinks of leaping off buildings,
what great inspiration will you bestow on me?
Because I’ll tell you the quaint ideas I’m sure you’ve
gathered in your adorable career as “an assistant” are to
no avail when faced with killing a man.
I understand. But do you?
I can’t just…
As much as I’d like to, I can’t just throw Harold off a building.
Ms. Eiffel. Kay. I have been an assistant for 11 years. I
have helped more than 20 authors complete more than 35
books. I have never missed a deadline. I have never lost a
writer to a block for longer than three weeks. I will be available
to you every minute of every day of every week until the final
punctuation is embedded on the final page. I do not like loud
music. I do not abide narcotics. And I will gladly and quietly
help you kill Harold Crick.