Haunted by the image of a beautiful woman he watched kill herself when he was a child, a photographer is unable to find anyone who can live up to his image of the perfect woman. But when he returns to his hometown he finds the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with. That is, until the woman from his childhood somehow reappears.
When I originally came up with this idea, I wasn’t entirely sure what it was going to be, or trying to be. Screenplay, short story, whatever. And I think, at this point, it’s aiming to be a movie. Feels like it anyhow. I can totally see this being on Netflix or some other VOD service. Maybe I’ll get a chance to produce it someday, somehow.
Be sure to join me each night over on Twitch to chat along as I type like a monkey at a keyboard.
A young boy indulging in the summer of his youth. Sun. Sand. Beauties. And as he heads back home, he comes across the most beautiful WOMAN he will ever know. And that’s when she throws herself off a cliff, smiling at him as she does so.
The boy is now a man, and the man is now a PHOTOGRAPHER. He has dedicated his life to again finding that beauty he met all those years ago. Every relation with a woman follows the exact same pattern. He gets a job. He photographs her. He fucks her. He feels nothing. And then he kicks her aside.
As these women sleep in his bed, before he kicks them out, he takes his collection of photos from over the years, and attempts to recreate that image from his dream. What might be somewhat sad if it were not so unnerving, the way he pieces together a woman from fragments of others.
After a particularly nasty breakup, he decides to head back home to find the woman.
The Photographer drives to his hometown, abandoning his current work in the hope of finding the woman he dreams of every night.
As he sees familiar sights and memories come flooding back to him, he does not stop until he reaches the place where he saw the woman all those years ago. He steps out, reminisces, and notes how so much has changed over the years, but this spot, and his memory, have not.
As he continues his tour of home, he meets an old FRIEND and the two set up a meeting for later in the evening to catch up.
At the bar, the Photographer and his Friend catch up on lost time, discussing their lives now. And as they talk, the photographer catches the eye of a strikingly pretty GIRL, one who more than passingly resembles the woman of his dreams. He leaves his old Friend to pursue the Girl, attempting to convince her to allow him to photograph her. After some hesitation, she agrees.
The Photographer waits for the Girl at the agreed upon place at the agreed upon time. But she does not show. He continues to wait, fearing she will not show. And just as he is about to give up hope, she appears, apologizing, explaining that she was having second, third thoughts about this meeting. He eases her mind and the two proceed to go about town, her modeling for him, and him photographing her until his memory cards and batteries are drained.
As they go about town, the two share moments together, and she is drawn to his professionalism and dedication to his work, a certain softness and loneliness in the way he carries himself. She wants to go back to his studio and see more of his work.
And it is at his studio where she sees all of the Photographer’s work, all the women, all his conquests, and begins to understand what he is searching for. And he confesses that he feels as if he may have found it.
Time passes, and the the Photographer and the Girl are now married, living together in a new place, far removed from his studio and fractured images. They lovingly play as they prepare for his big night–the opening of his newest gallery.
At the gallery, the Photographer greets and speaks to all the guests in attendance. It is not a big gathering or a major gallery, but it is all his. He thanks them, he thanks his wife, and dedicates all his efforts to her.
But as the festivities continue, he finds himself pulled to the side by an all-too familiar face–the Woman of his dreams. She has found him and wants him to keep in touch. And his Wife is put off at the thought of her husband now knowing the Woman not only exists, but is approaching him after all these years.
It all happens in a flash. The night passes. The drive home long and silent. His mind fixed on the Woman. His Wife furious. Things grow heated. His attention pulls away from his thoughts and the road. And that is when the car strikes them, sending them spinning into traffic.
When he comes to, everything is only a blur of light and sound. Shouts and calls. Him insisting that he see his Wife, only to be held down.
His Wife is severely injured in the accident, multiple surgeries, and scarring on her face. She struggles physically with her disabilities and psychologically with her disfigurement. And he struggles to mask his waning affection and growing disgust.
As the stress of their situation worsens, they begin to self-medicate in drastically different ways. She self-medicates to numb her pain. He loses himself in his work, and then in the arms of the other Woman—the one from all those years ago—after a particularly nasty fight causes him to lose his temper.
While the Woman is surprised at first that he decided to meet with her, things grow into routine, with him running to her whenever things get hard with his Wife. And he begins to not notice that his Wife’s condition has worsened exponentially.
One night, he returns home to a particularly intoxicated and unstable Wife, smelling of sex and booze and filth. She confronts him about the cheating, catching him after a particular careless move on his part. He attempts to deny this, but quickly admits to his affair, almost happily so. That he deserves to be happy too. That he cannot live his life satisfied to be married to such a hideous creature. Broken in so many ways, she leaves.
And as the hours slip away and he loses himself, he receives a call late that same night. His wife has died in a horrible accident.
Time has passed and he is now openly carrying on a relationship with the woman from his dreams. And things seem to be going well until a relic of his former marriages causes him to reflect on what he’s done. With his new lover’s guidance, he disposes of this and other things and they continue on with their efforts.
As he engages with a photoshoot, he has a brief vision of his wife. It is a ghastly image, one of her the way she was found dead. He body twisted and broken. Her face hideously disfigured. Her voice hollow and wet and condemning. He snaps out of this and attempts to continue with his work.
That night, he attempts to confess to his lover what happened earlier that day, but she is quick to anger, insisting he move on. That he forget her. It is not his fault that she died. She was weak. But as she leaves him briefly, he is again visited by the ghoul, driving him mad with her presence and taunting. It grows closer and more horrifying and he is forced to defend himself. But as he does so, the vision breaks and he sees that he has fatally wounded his lover. As she dies, she is disturbed by not only his behavior but something horrifying that only she can see. Neighbors are quick to investigate, threatening to call the cops. He flees.
He arrives at his old Friend’s house that evening, still covered in blood, a frightening sight. As the friend attempts to comfort him, the ghoul reappears and he loses his mind once again. The friend attempts to restrain him, but he lashes out violently and gravely wounds the friend in the process. He takes off into the night.
The Photographer runs off into the dead of night. As he reaches the freeway overpass, he again comes face to face with the image of his dead wife. Overwhelmed by his guilt and the presence of his dead wife, he is driven to his breaking point, and ultimately throws himself off the side of the overpass to escape his visions.
But as he lays there dying, being looked at by a frightened driver, he is thankful for the end of the visions…until something even more horrific takes its place.