Western Script posted February 13, 2022

This work has reached the exceptional level
Hosea doesn't know how to live after dying

Purgatory Ridge

by forestport12

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.

FADE IN: EXT. Evening in a Chicago neighborhood, 1872.

Smoke billows from a house on a sleepy street outside downtown Chicago. Hosea, a thirty something alcoholic stumbles to the front porch of his house with a bottle of whiskey in his hand. The bottle crashes to the floor as he chokes on the smoke almost blinding his eyes.

Heat from the doorknob singes his hands. He stumbles backward, takes off his shirt, and uses it to open the door. The outside air rushes inside, causing the flames to spread. Flames light up the house enough for him to see his wife down the hall and hear her screams to find their daughters. The flames drive him backward out the door. He falls to his knees and coughs up phlegm.

He slips off his shirt and douses it in a planter of water on the rail. He slips the soaked shirt over his head and shoulders, and crawls toward the screams from the door.

Hosea (With choking voice)
Mary! Sarah! Beth!

Hellish screams of pain. The floor collapses and fiery debris rain down on Hosea. Before he blacks out, he feels someone pulling and tugging on his feet.


INT. (Days later in a sunlit hospital room)

The room is opaque with sparsely placed furniture. White-washed walls, nearly everything is white from ceiling to floors except for a purple vase of wildflowers on an oak-stained table beside Hosea with burn bandages around his head and arms.

A middle-aged nurse comes into the bland room without a door. She pulls back the curtain windows and turns to see a visitor, an elderly man with a handlebar moustache, startled awake by the beaming sunlight. He squints with bushy eyebrows, wearing a wool-knit suit.

The nurse looks down over Hosea to adjust his pillow, checking his pulse. He blinks awake and tries to lift himself.

Hosea (Barely audible)
Fire. My house. Where's... my family?

Charge Nurse
You are in the hospital, sir. Try not to worry. The doctor will see you soon.

Hosea (Attempting to rise from his bed)
My... My Mary. My babies? Where...where are they?

Hosea puts his head back down but turns his eyes on the old man who he recognizes as his father in-law in the corner of the room.

Father in-law glares over at Hosea with a newspaper under his arm. He stands, shakily with the help of his cane. There's a newspaper in his hand. His grey bloodshot eyes remain on Hosea.

Father in-law (Gravely voice)
Remember me?

Hosea nods. Nurse frowns and moves closer to the old man around the bed.

Father in-law
Maybe this will help you remember.

Old man holds a frontpage newspaper from Chicago Tribune in front of Hosea. It reads, "A wife and mother of two children die in house fire at 201 Baker Street. Only survivor was husband who was found outside and unconscious at the time.

Hosea writhed in pain from the startling news, as if on fire. The charge nurse removes the paper and gives the father in-law a stern warning.
Charge Nurse
Sir, you need to leave!
Old man waves his cane. Then aims it at Hosea
Old Man (Growls)
You. You killed my daughter and those babies! Why did you have to live? You should have died.
Charge Nurse
Enough! I have to ask you to leave.

Charge nurse grabs the father in-laws cane and pulls it down. The old man's not finished.

Old Man
Why did you have to live? Why you?

Father in-law pulls a revolver from his suit jacket. As he aims the gun toward Hosea's head, the nurse grabs it. Gun fires and puts a hole in the pillow. Another shot goes off in the ceiling as the nurse wrestles with the gun. Two beefy orderlies rush in through the doorway and subdue the father in-law to the floor.

Father in-law (Shouting)
You killed them. You killed them! Do yourself a favor and die. Then rot in hell!


Appreciate technical and critical help from those who are experienced with script writing. It looks like my format got messed up when I copied it over.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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