|Inflating a Dog Screenplay
Chapter 12: What a Little Moonlight Can Do (in which enchantment occurs)
by Eric Kraft
The screen rights are available.
|MUSIC UP: Billie Holiday: “What a
Little Moonlight Can Do.”
INT. CAPTAIN MAC’S LITTLE HOUSE. SILENT BENEATH MUSIC. Captain Mac takes them in, makes tea for them, shows them pictures of Arcinella, bygone days in old Babbington, and life on the bay. Finally, he consents to let them have a look at her. By now, they’ve persuaded themselves that she has to be theirs.
CUT TO:EXT. OUTSIDE CAPTAIN MAC’S LITTLE HOUSE. EVENING. The clouds part picturesquely, and moonlight shines on the path from the end of Bay Way through some rushes to the canal where Arcinella is docked. Captain Mac lets the others go first. As a result, they see the moonlit boat alone, a luminous vision floating on the silver water, her wet deck glistening. It’s love at first sight. (But it’s just a clam boat, after all.)
Ella, Peter, and Patti cluck and frown as if he has insulted their Arcinella.Isn’t she a beauty?CAPTAIN MAC(after letting the moonlight do its job)She is. Oh, yes. A beauty.ELLA, PETER, PATTI(ad lib, breathily)Of course, beauty is only skin deep.CAPTAIN MAC
He steps aboard, makes his way gingerly along the deck to the cabin, fumbles with the latch, and crouches to crawl through the opening that leads below, into the dark.I suppose you’ll want to take a look at her innards . . . poke her and prod her . . . give her a good going over.CAPTAIN MAC (CONT’D.)(making it sound obscene)Oh, I don’t know.ELLA(gently)That’s what the other people said . . . “give her a good going over.”CAPTAIN MACOther people?ELLAThe ones who looked at her before you.CAPTAIN MACYou didn’t mention anybody . . .ELLAThey’ll be back tomorrow . . . bringing somebody who really knows boats . . .CAPTAIN MACOh.ELLA(then, brightening)Peter knows boats.Does he, now?CAPTAIN MACSome.PETER(on the spot)I expect you’ll want to get into her.CAPTAIN MACRight.PETER
CUT TO:INT. BELOW DECKS. Peter finds himself on a narrow planked way laid over the ribs of the hull. He can’t see much, but then he has no idea what to look for. He runs his hands over the engine and wiggles its wires and belts, then inches forward, picking up whatever he finds and putting it back down, making as much noise as he can to show that he’s on the job.
When he comes to a porthole, he sees Patti and Ella standing side by side, gazing at the boat and talking in low tones, with their heads together, praising Arcinella and dreaming.
He’s been below long enough. He pushes the hatch up and rises from the hold. Ella and Patti laugh and applaud.
He looks back at the boat.Very dramatic, Peter.ELLA(then, nervously)Well?
He turns back to Ella and Patti, smiles and nods, and they throw their arms around him and hug him as if he has given Arcinella to them as a gift.I asked myself how much could possibly be wrong with it, after all.ADULT PETER (V. O.)
Ella writes a check to Captain Mac, who shakes hands all around and leaves.
For a stunned moment Ella, Peter, and Patti stand there smiling in triumph, but then . . .
They start for home. Clouds gather again suddenly, a thunderclap shakes the sky, and a hard rain falls.I haven’t made dinner!ELLA(with a start)
CUT TO:INT. ELLA’S OLD CAR. Ella’s grip on the steering wheel is hard enough to turn her knuckles white.
Patti rewards Peter with a smile.Your father will be in quite a state.ELLAWe could get him some clamburgers.PETERWhat a good idea! His favorite meal.ELLA
Peter shoots her a glance. When did she start calling his mother “Ella”?Kap’n Klam is back that way. We can call from there and tell him that we’re on our way home . . . with clamburgers.PETERIf you like, Ella . . .PATTI
To turn around, Ella pulls into a driveway. Then she backs out into the path of an oncoming car. The driver swerves and rushes on, sounding his horn and shouting.. . . I could help you break the news to him. I could call home from Kap’n Klam, too, and say that I’m having dinner with you. . . . If you want me to.PATTI (CONT’D.)Sure we do.PETERWe’ve got to stick together.ELLAAll for one and one for all.PATTISink or swim.PETER(regretting it at once)
She takes a deep breath, puts the car in gear, and drives to Kap’n Klam without disturbing any other drivers.Are you crazy, lady?DRIVERProbably.ELLA(muttering)
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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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