Perfect Mutants by Cindy Marvell
Written as an MFA student at Full Sail University, 2014
This is a work of fiction. Any resemblances between these characters, organizations or events are purely coincidental.
by Cindy Marvell
319 Spruce St., Boulder, CO 80302
Genre: Animated Short (to be continued…)
“Justice is Swerved”
INT. LABORATORY – DAY
A scientist in a white lab coat welcomes a married couple.
Since the genetic mutation program started producing perfect samples four years ago, we have almost never had a dissatisfied parent. The results are simply miraculous.
About this promptness gene. Do you think it might stifle my child’s natural impulses?
That’s precisely the idea.
The scientist REACHES for test tubes on the shelf, sorts and discards them. He settles on one that flashes and changes colors.
One color per second. That should do it. Now if you’ll just come with me to the library we can fill out the paperwork.
A noise is heard in the hall. Two men TUMBLE into the room and WRESTLE each other for a book.
I’ll show you to the exit.
As they leave, one man GRABS a vile and SMASHES it against the other’s head. He EXPANDS as the visitors hurry out, a cry like an elephant’s heard as they leave. CUT TO MAIN TITLE
EXT. PARK OUTSIDE CLEVERTON COURTHOUSE – 30 YEARS LATER-DAY
Close on courthouse exterior as we hear the voices of lawyers ROBERT RANTICLE and VERNON FLINT.
I appreciate that you understand these considerations, your honor. Mutants are people.
People have laws. It’s time for mutants to have them, too.
Commotion sounds as spectators argue. Cut to courtroom.
INT. CLEVERTON COURTROOM
Close on JUDGE FLOUNDERS’ giant mouth as he calls for order.
JUDGE FLOUNDERS Order! There shall be no audience participation in my courtroom.
ANGLE-the crowd settles in the gallery.
JUDGE FLOUNDERS (CONT’D) Those with genetically engineered mutations have important contributions to make. That’s why I’m going to order special “protections” to limit their participation to effective levels.
The courtroom ERUPTS into chaos. Mutants and regular spectators ARTICULATE and GESTICULATE.
HARRY HOLDOVER, a non-violent mutant, struggles to HIT his neighbor, but he cannot and keeps missing.
A regular spectator picks up a guitar to threaten CHARLIE CHOP only to have it SMASHED in half by a perfect karate stroke, followed by a lady’s umbrella and finally the bench. The clerk ROYAL ROASTER steps out in front of the judge’s desk and waves his arms in a cut gesture.
I’m a mutant, and I say shut up! I can’t say a good word about anyone but I can kick you out, you cockeyed crowd of churning lascivious lunatics!
Close on Judge Flounders’ gavel as he BANGS it so hard he lets go on the UPSWING. UPSHOT as the gavel rises, FLIPPING into the air.
EXT. RESTAURANT – DAY
Close on a pepper shaker as it FLIPS through the air. ANGLE-juggling waitress CARRIE HOLDEN catches it.
Just showing off!
Chef HORATIO YUMTUM shakes his head in the make-shift kitchen.
This isn’t a circus.
No, but it could be a dinner theater! A really classy place.
Focus on the customers, will you?
Over at the outdoor tables, a breeze BLOWS a napkin into the air. Carrie RUSHES to catch it, narrowly missing ROBERT RANTICLE as he arrives.
Outdoor dining? Nice addition.
Actually it’s the inspector, Cranston Noway. The one who has a perfect record for saying no. We had to move the whole kitchen outdoors, too.
She picks up condiments from a nearby table.
I thought the recent ruling was supposed to impose limits on mutants.
It did! On us. Condiments may not be left out.
She DARTS in and out of the restaurant with unlikely aplomb, WHISKING ketchup and salt off the tables.
Ranticle sits at a cafe table across from undercover police officer JULES NERDWIN.
JULES ‘Ya should be a judge.
That’s what started all this. There was a mutant judge with a punctuality gene similar to mine. He could not be late, and he crashed his car on the way to a case.
Carrie narrowly avoids PLUNGING into his lap as she catches a stray glass that FALLS off her stack.
JULES (to Robert)
Have you ever been late?
Once, but the proceeding was cancelled because of the flood. After that they gave me a handicapped parking pass.
The DA wants one, too, but he can’t make a left turn and we at the force feel it would endanger the public.
Carrie collects condiments from the tables, avoiding a number of close calls through her miraculous catching ability as they PILE UP and TOTTER.
ANGLE-Librarian LONNIE LIBRETTE at the next table with HANS FREELER, a collector of rare books.
The is said to be inscribed by the author, Jeffrey Flounders.
The brother of Judge Flounders? How ironic.
Yes, Jeffrey Flounders more than anyone else created mutants. Maybe this is why the judge fears us.
He feared his brother?
Or something in himself. When it was rumored the book was at the library, he launched a campaign to rid the library of offensive books. There was a burning at the stadium in Crossfield, and it was believed the book perished.
Then why do you think it still exists?
Because it’s a sequel. It explains how to reverse the mutations.
Carrie prevents a mop handle from FALLING on Lonnie’s head. A robber, DAN ZERO, approaches the cafe tables.Lonnie prepares to GASP, then SIMMERS with emotion as she tries to cry out.
He points a weapon at the patrons. Everyone raises their hands except Carrie, who cannot drop the dishes she is holding. Lonnie tries to scream but STRANGLES on the words.
This is your last warning! Put your hands up!
He fires over Carries head but she tosses a plate in the air, intercepting the bullet, and then CATCHES it on the way down. Nerdwin takes out a phone and calls for reinforcements.
The assailant is a known mutant who cannot help himself. He simply lacks the ability to pay for anything.
Is there anything I can do? I realize you are genetically powerless to prevent crime.
Take my case if the SWAT team doesn’t show up. They’re already talking about banning mutants from the force. That’s why I work undercover.
Ranticle looks at his watch, eyes POPPING and smoke STREAMING out of his ears.
I’m going to be late for a case!
He pushes back his chair and knocks it over.
The weather is good so there will probably not be a cancellation this time unless Judge Flounders suffers a delay in his vacation plan.
Ranticle becomes frantic with haste, KNOCKING objects off the tables while Carrie wears herself out LUNGING to catch them. Just as it appears she is actually going to miss an item, which HOVERS improbably over the floor, Lonnie’s mouth YAWNS wide with the beginning of a SCREECH represented by JITTERING red letters, the face on Ranticle’s watch EXPANDS like a black hole and he, Carrie, and Lonnie are SUCKED inside to a dark abyss lined with giant green numbers.
END ACT ONE
INT. DARK ABYSS OF TIME KEEPING – NIGHT
ROBERT RANTICLE, LANI LIBRETTE, AND CARRIE HOLDEN are HURLED against the numbers and CLATTER to the bottom of the abyss. They find themselves in a world completely without bearings. When Ranticle speaks, there is an echo as Lani’s soft voice repeats his words.
Punctuality is my most feared and beloved feature. It’s about how others see me.
Is that changing?
They place their trust in me. I have to be spot-on.
What happens if you’re not?
This kind of thing cannot happen. My identity has been completely undermined. Now no one will ever be able to stop Judge Flounders.
Carrie walks by him, TOSSING items from the restaurant in the air.
We’re in a world with altered gravity. It’s impossible to drop. And, thus, impossible not to drop.
How does it feel?
I feel useless and undone.
We must find our way out of the abyss, then. That is the important thing.
We have lost our powers. We’ll be useless on the other side.
My juggling will not work if I can drop like anyone else.
A piece of paper FLUTTERS to the ground. Ranticle picks it up and recognizes it from the pile he had gone back for in the flood that day at the courthouse.
My father had a tendency to leave items behind, but that they chose the punctuality gene in deference to my mother’s propensity for tardiness. I was born nine months to the day, hour, and second after my conception.
Another piece of paper FLUTTERS down, and another. Lonnie opens her mouth to scream a warning as a sudden SNOWSTORM of papers descends en mass, threatening to engulf the characters completely. Carrie RUNS hither and thither to catch them, but then cannot put them down and is soon balancing a stack of papers stretching from the six to the twelve of the giant clock face. The stack WOBBLES profusely as Carrie DODGES from side to side underneath it until it actually FALLS towards the ground. Just as it appears to hit the ground, Carrie collapsing in a state of fear and agony, it is swept aloft again and transforms into a giant paper monster JUGGLING the characters in a cascade, or three-object pattern.
How do we get out of this?
I don’t know, I’ve never done it before.
She flies through the air.
I suppose it can’t drop us.
Meanwhile Lani is trying to say something important but cannot be heard with all the commotion. Finally she points overhead and the others look up, realizing that the pattern they are engaged in is getting higher and HIGHER.
There had better be the proper insurance for this type of stunt!
Lani manages to snag the number 12 and HANG off it kicking her legs. She KICKS Ranticle as he flies by and lodges on the number nine.
This pattern is no longer technically legitimate! There is only one object going around. Me!
DOWN SHOT-Carrie FLIPS off the paper monster on the downswing and SUMMER SALTS across the floor like a ball. The paper monster reverts to a SNOWSTORM.
Lonnie takes a deep breath as if ready to attempt to scream again, but as the others call out not to do it, she blows the papers in a giant GUST. The paper WHIRLS into a TORNADO, lifting the characters and blowing them in a SPIRAL back up and out of Ranticle’s watch.
INT. CIRCUS TENT – DAY
They emerge in a darkened tent. CIRCUS MUSIC PLAYS faintly in the background.
I know this place. I learned to juggle here as a kid. But that was years ago.
Lani picks up a ticket from the ground.
March 12, 1998. Circus Warp. Admit one.
I would have been 12 then. Just when I was learning to juggle.
A lady with a stroller approaches Lonnie.
Can we buy a ticket?
A ticket-taker’s hat sprouts on Lani’s head, a cashbox hanging around her neck.
I mustn’t be late for pre-show!
His suit stretches into a Ringmaster’s jacket and he DISAPPEARS behind the curtain at the back of the ring. As Carrie tries to run away, her feet SPROUT FLIPPERS and her hands become seal fins. Soon she is BOUNCING a ball on her nose as a crowd gathers.
A VOICE emanates.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the time warp circus where anything can happen and generally does. Get ready to watch your dreams materialize in this perfectly mutated extravaganza!
EXT. CIRCUS TENT BACKSTAGE ENTRANCE – DAY
JUDGE FOUNDERS stands outside the tent facing the entrance, a slot in the curtain. He takes a deep breath and holds it. He EXPANDS like a balloon into an elephant, his hoof brushing the ground with determination.