A Steady Tick

SYNOPSIS

A school teacher struggles to start a family with her husband. When she hears of a coworker who has suddenly become pregnant after a one-night stand but isn’t sure she wants to keep the baby, the teacher considers adopting. But when the woman pushes towards abortion, the teacher takes matters into her own hands.


I’ve tinkered with this one only a bit over the past couple of years. Until now, I just wasn’t too sure if there was enough material to be mined from the premise. The ending I currently have might be a bit too campy and would probably need to be much less “EC comics” if it were to be retooled as a movie script.

Be sure to join me each night over on Twitch to chat along as I type like a monkey at a keyboard. 


INT. APARTMENT/BATHROOM – DAY

A tired, anxious woman, MARGOT, sits on the toilet. She’s using a pregnancy test and waiting for the results. High stress.

Her husband, ROBBIE, is calling for her, he is in desperate need of the facilities himself.

Her mind flashes back to images of the night before, their routine lovemaking that lacks any sort of intimacy or passion. Just work and frustration.

Robbie’s voice snaps her back to reality. She’s running late for work, he insists.

It’s negative. Shit.

INT. APARTMENT/LIVING ROOM – MORNING

As they prepare to leave together, they make plans for the evening. But Margot remembers that she has a doctor’s appointment (another one) and she’ll be running a little late.

EXT. SCHOOL – DAY – ESTABLISHING

INT. SCHOOL/CLASSROOM – DAY

Margot is teaching a class of young gradeschoolers. She loves her job. She is a loving, caring woman who sees her students like her own children.

Even when things take a turn for the worse and become high-stress situations.

INT. SCHOOL – DAY

After things cool down from earlier, Margot finds herself sitting alone and trying to relax. That’s when a coworker and friend, HARLEEN, invites Margot to join her “in the usual place.”

EXT. SCHOOL – LATER

Margot and Harleen secretly drink in some forgotten corner of the school to calm their nerves and chat. They talk about the incident earlier, which soon turns to Margot’s current plight. That she’s still not pregnant, still trying and failing. And it’s putting a heavy stress on their marriage, like he’s disinterested in sex with her. Harleen jokes that maybe he’s just tired from fucking other women...but Margot takes the thought to heart

And then they spy another coworker, a young woman named QUINN, nervously pacing and clutching something tight in her hand. Margot invites her over and Quinn nervously comes around to joining them.

They offer her a drink to calm her nerves but she declines...not because she doesn’t want one, but...she’s pregnant. The test is still in her hand and she can’t believe it.

The women are happy for her but she’s scared and unsure of what to do. It’s an unwanted pregnancy from a one-night stand, a man who was so alluring but off-putting. Margot gets a bit defensive due to her current situation. But Quinn insists it was big mistake she didn’t think twice about at the time.

INT. SCHOOL – LATER

As the school day ends and she wraps things up for the day, Margot prepares to head to the doctor’s and spies parents picking their children up from school. She wallows in jealous at the sight of the parents and mothers-to-be.

INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE – DAY

Margot sits in the waiting room, nervously awaiting her turn. She spies on all the pregnant women around her, envious of their situation. Listening in on and attempting to make awkward chit-chat with this woman and that.

And then her name is finally called.

INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE/PATIENT ROOM – LATER

Margot sits with her DOCTOR. They discuss how Margot has made every effort to get pregnant, but nothing is working. Her Doctor is unwilling to get her hopes up, going so far as to bring up the subject of adoption. But this only hurts Margot, who insists she wants to experience what she perceives as “true motherhood.”

INT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT

Margot and Robbie are having dinner. It’s quiet and awkward. Margot is lost in her own thoughts, a daze which Robbie attempts to snap her out of by reassuring her that they’ll keep trying. But her thoughts quickly turn to concern when she spies Robbie eyeing other women, younger and sexier women. When she believes he’s flirting with the waitress.

And then...

MARGOT

I’m pregnant.

INT. APARTMENT/BEDROOM – NIGHT

Margot and Robbie stumble into their dark apartment, hands all over each other. Things quickly move to the bedroom where things only get more heated and steamy. This is a moment of passion, lust, and intimacy. No work or frustration. Loud, heated passion.

INT. APARTMENT/BEDROOM – DAY

Robbie wakes Margot, the two cuddle in bed, and exchange a sense of bliss and peace. Except Robbie is excited about the pregnancy, and can’t wait to tell everyone. He goes to shower. Margot, however, is left to panic.

INT. APARTMENT/BATHROOM – DAY

Margot goes after Robbie, trying to talk to him while he showers. She doesn’t think it’s a good idea to tell anyone just yet. What if something goes wrong? It’d be heartbreaking to tell everyone only to miscarry. Robbie initially insists she’s worried about nothing, but then concedes that she might be right.

Margot is relieved that she’s just bought herself some time.

INT. SCHOOL/CLASSROOM – DAY

As Margot is teaching, she has a panic attack, rushing to the restroom to vomit. Harleen catches eye of her and follows.

INT. SCHOOL/RESTROOM – DAY

Harleen checks on Margot, who is presently vomiting in one of the stalls. Harleen initially thinks Margot is suffering from morning sickness...and Margot comes clean about what she did. She’s in a panic. She’s been stuffing her face just to put on some weight and it’s not mixing well with her increased stress and anxiety. She’s throwing up just out of fear these days. Harleen attempts to console Margot, insisting she just tell Robbie the truth. But Margot refuses. When Harleen attempts to alleviate the situation by suggesting Margot just take Quinn’s...Margot thinks she’s just found her out.

INT. SCHOOL/TEACHERS LOUNGE – DAY

Margot attempts to sweet talk Quinn, the two talking about Quinn’s emotional status.

Quinn is still at a crossroads, she can feel it crawling in her. She knows it’s only been a few months and she’s hardly showing, but it’s like a heavy weight is in her. It keeps her up all night, worried sick. She’s not ready to be a mother.

When Quinn lets slip that she even went to an abortion clinic but ran off because she got scared...Margot snaps.

INT. QUINN’S HOUSE – NIGHT

Margot arrives at Quinn’s house (paid for by her parents) under the pretense of apologizing for earlier. Quinn invites her in and the two talk.

Margot offers to adopt the child, confessing to her awful, desperate ploy to fool her husband.

Quinn initially laughs this off as a joke only to realize Margot is serious. She’s interested at first but is insistent that she isn’t even sure she wants to allow the pregnancy to go full term. She can feel it in there, like it’s clawing at her. It frightens her to keep letting it grow.

This only infuriates Margot. And when a nervous Quinn insists that Margot needs to leave, Margot grows increasingly agitated, mean and cruel. And then, she attacks Quinn.

Margot screams about how Quinn doesn’t deserve this gift, that she’s an ungrateful child. Spoiled and in need of punishment. And that’s when she carves the woman open, pulling the child from her womb, killing Quinn in the process.

But with her dying breath, Quinn screams in terror. When Margot looks on at the child in her hand, she sees a twisted, unholy creature. And her own screams of fear fill the streets for all to hear.

FADE TO BLACK:

THE END

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