|Inflating a Dog Screenplay
Chapter 3: Eliza’s Proposal (in which Eliza Foote offers Peter a job)
by Eric Kraft
The screen rights are available.
|INT. THE LEROY FAMILY KITCHEN AND
DINING ROOM. AFTERNOON. SEVERAL DAYS LATER. Peter arrives from school,
through the kitchen door, then stops, immobilized by the sight of Ella
sitting at the dining-room table, staring into space, weeping. The
candy-making failure has made her hopeless. After a moment, embarrassed,
Peter clears his throat. Ella looks up and becomes embarrassed too.
She makes a stab at pulling herself together, forces a smile, and says
. . .
You got a telephone call. From Eliza. She wants you to call her back.ELLA(still sniffling)Oh. Um . . . okay.PETER
CUT TO:INT. THE LEROY LIVING ROOM. Peter dials the phone.
Hello?ELIZA FOOTE (on phone)It’s Peter. Mom said . . .PETEROh, Peter, I’d like to see you!ELIZA (on phone)Me?PETERYes. I have a proposal for you.ELIZA (on phone)
CUT TO:EXT. A STREET IN BABBINGTON. Peter is on his bicycle, pedaling for all he’s worth, on his way to see Eliza.
DISSOLVE TO:EXT. THE FRONT DOOR OF DUDLEY AND ELIZA’S HOUSE. PETER’S FANTASY. The house is in the older, more genteel part of Babbington. Peter arrives in haste, leaps nimbly from his bike and flings it aside, letting it fall to the ground. ELIZA (30, sophisticated, quite beautiful), flings the door open. She is wearing a “merry widow” bustier, garter belt, black panties, and black stockings. She spreads her arms wide, and Peter, in slow motion, runs toward her.
CUT TO:EXT. THE FRONT DOOR OF DUDLEY AND ELIZA’S HOUSE. REALITY. Peter arrives out of breath, can’t get his bike to stay on its kickstand, and lets it fall. He goes to the door and rings the bell. DUDLEY BEAKER (late 40s, dressed in tweeds, fussy, overeducated, a pipe smoker) opens the door.
Peter starts toward the living room.Peter. Eliza is in the living room.DUDLEY(brusquely)
DISSOLVE TO:INT. THE DOORWAY TO THE LIVING ROOM. PETER’S FANTASY. Eliza on the sofa, dressed in the merry widow, beckoning to him.
CUT TO:INT. THE DOORWAY TO THE LIVING ROOM. REALITY. ELIZA is sitting upright on the sofa, drinking a martini, checking a to-do list. She is wearing a modest suit. Still, when she crosses her legs her stockings whisper, and Peter’s pulse quickens.
Eliza raises her eyebrows, gives a little laugh, and gets up. She fills a glass from a shaker on a sideboard.Peter . . . You’re all out of breath. Do you want anything?ELIZA(crossing those legs)Um, no . . . no thanks.PETER(as he’s been taught)Some lemonade or something?ELIZAWell . . . whatever you’re having.PETER(attempting to be suave)
This will be mostly water, but you can say that you’ve had your first martini.ELIZAMmm, delicious.PETER(finding it strong)Let me explain what I have in mind.ELIZAOkay.PETER(trying not to seem eager)We’re going abroad for a few weeks.ELIZA(lighting a cigarette)Wow.PETER
DISSOLVE TO:EXT. PARIS. THE PONT NEUF. PETER’S FANTASY. Peter the little flâneur, in a beret and smoking a Gaulois, with Eliza on his arm. He has acquired lots of je-ne-sais-quoi.
CUT TO:INT. THE LIVING ROOM.
Dudley and I.ELIZA(did she see his fantasy?)Of course. Of course.PETERPeter . . . I want to offer you a job.ELIZA
DISSOLVE TO:INT. FIRST-CLASS SLEEPER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. PETER’S FANTASY. Dudley tips the porter suavely. The compartment door clicks closed. Peter, wearing a fedora, emerges from the shadows and screws a silencer onto an automatic, as if he’s been hired to kill Dudley.
Peter perks up at “remuneration.”What is it?PETERI’d like you to take care of this house for a while. . . . Are you interested?ELIZAI’m not sure.PETER(honestly)Well, let’s discuss the responsibilities and the remuneration, and then we’ll see whether you’re interested.ELIZA(getting up)
CUT TO:INT. DUDLEY AND ELIZA’S HOUSE. VARIOUS LOCATIONS. Eliza showing Peter what his duties will be:
indicating some plants to be watered . . .
showing him where the vacuum cleaner is . . .
indicating that the lawn will need mowing soon.
Back in the kitchen, she hands Peter an envelope with bills in it. He looks inside, riffles the bills quickly and lights up.
Dudley wants to have a word with you.ELIZA(pauses, looks him over)Okay.PETER
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Copyright © 2001 by Eric
The screenplay for Inflating a Dog is a work of fiction. The characters, incidents, dialogues, settings, and businesses portrayed in it are products of the author’s imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved. No part of this teleplay may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.
The illustration at the top of the page is an adaptation of an illustration by Stewart Rouse that first appeared on the cover of the August 1931 issue of Modern Mechanics and Inventions. The boy at the controls of the aerocycle doesn’t particularly resemble Peter Leroy—except, perhaps, for the smile.
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