THE NIGHTLY CHILL
By Steve Arviso
Family Portrait (Teaser).
FIGHT THE DAWN!
As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.
The Nightly Chill is the unstable experience of the mind and madness of Steve Arviso (@AmoralCrackpot). Mon-Fri. Ish.
- WE ARE THE LOST
- THE NIGHTLY CHILL PRESENTS
- THE MIDNIGHT HOUR: FAMILY PORTRAIT (TEASER)
- TONIGHT’S TALE…
- THE MIXTAPE
After years of writing and rewriting and re-rewriting, The Midnight Hour is here. Sorta.
Tonight, I present to you a teaser–the opening scene and narration–of the first script of the first episode of The Midnight Hour, “Family Portrait!”
I’ve tinkered with these same page for so long. And I’m excited, nervous, and eager to finally share it. I hope you enjoy.
STILL TO COME:
- “Beneath a Dark Star”
- After a robbery gone wrong, a pair of criminals soon discover truth in the old adage, “Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of men.”
- “Winning Hand”
- A winning hand turns a desperate man’s luck around. But when he doubles-down on his own greed, he loses more than he wagered.
WE ARE THE LOST
The Nightly Chill wants to show some love to a variety of cool shit from local and other independent artists, performers, and assorted creative types!
Hit us up if you make:
- Music, audio dramas
- Genre fiction, poetry, films, etc!
The weirder, the better!
We are The Lost. And together, we’ll make sure the world sees and hears us.
VIRAL LOAD PODCAST
THE NIGHTLY CHILL PRESENTS:
Original genre-fiction audio projects, such as “Where Stars Collide,” in which a man awaits rescue in the void of space with only an AI for companionship! Watch it now on YouTube, or listen at the links below.
THE MIDNIGHT HOUR: FAMILY PORTRAIT (TEASER)
When a writer uncovers long-buried memories, he discovers that sometimes the worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves.
Darkness. The slow, heavy ticking of an unseen clock echoes in otherwise still silence.
Far from the comforting warmth of daylight, in a world cloaked in shadow… our darkest and most primal fears fester, waiting for the chance to consume us whole… as we lay awake, forever unable to sleep… in The Midnight Hour.
The clock strikes midnight, light breaks the darkness, and we FADE TO
EXT. SUBURBS – DAY
The warm light of the sun shining over the tree-laden streets of a quaint, middle-class suburb. There sort of place where the people lovingly tend to gardens and happily wave in passing… where neighbors smile and laugh with one another on their porches… where passing cars slow to a crawl and give friendly double-honks… where children ride their bikes and play baseball in the street. A slice of Americana. A nice place to live.
A balmy summer afternoon. For those of a certain age, the sort of day intended for bicycles, baseball, and cold drinks.
The sounds of childhood and neighborly cheer softens as we FADE TO
INT. THOMAS’ HOME OFFICE – DAY
A pair of hands frantically strike at the keys of a typewriter. Behind the desk is THOMAS WEBBER, a man in his forties. He’s a man lost in his work.
HOST (V.O.) (CONT’D)
For a grown man like Thomas Webber, however… even for a man whose life revolves around the creation of fantastic tales and childlike wonder and fantasy… today, like most days, is a day for work. But like childhood memories of summer afternoons and ballgames… tattered and faded as they may be… old habits die hard.
The crack of a baseball bat and the roaring laughter and cheers of children snaps Thomas out of his work-induced haze. He stops what he’s doing, turns to the window, and watches the game with delight… and more than a smidge of envy.
Would’ja look at that…
A knocking at the door. A voice, CHERYL, Thomas’ loving wife, calls from the other side.
Thomas? Thomas-Dear, can I come in?
Cheryl patiently waits O.C. for a reply, but is met with only silence. Thomas is seized on the ballgame, much to his delight. She knocks again.
Cheryl enters uninvited, juggling a box of picture frames, albums, and assorted knick-knacks. Thomas has no clue he isn’t alone.
Thomas-Dear, is everything alright?
She sets the box down on the desk between her and Thomas. He’s in a world all his own.
Cheryl touches Thomas’ arm. He jumps, screams. She jumps, screams. They scared each other.
What’s the big idea scaring me like that?
Cheryl looks at her husband pouting like a boy called home by his mother on the last day of summer. She wants to be mad too, but this is all so silly.
I’m sorry, Dear. But you weren’t answering me.
Thomas softens. He’s a boy ashamed of his behavior, but can’t quite admit it.
(gesturing to the box)
What’s with the box?
A lightbulb goes off in Cheryl’s head.
Cheryl sifts through the box, stopping only to be heard. Thomas watches, more annoyed than curious. But still kind of curious.
Well… I was cleaning the closet… and I came across this box of your old family albums…
Is that right?
She pulls out a particular photo album.
And I came across this box of your old family albums.
She flips through the album, searching for a particular photograph.
Honey, I would love to sit down with you and go through all my old family photos–really, I would. But I need to have this draft ready for Jerry by Friday.
I know, Dear. But it’s just that…
Yes? “Just” what?
She stops. She’s found it.
This is probably going to sound a little strange… but I don’t think I recognize the little girl in any of these photographs.
Thomas can’t quite process this. Emotions stir deep in him. He was frustrated, but now he’s uncomfortable. And he’s not quite sure why.
Cheryl folds the album open, holds it out to Thomas. He hesitates.
See for yourself.
Thomas takes it.
The photograph is of a younger Thomas, TOMMY, about ten years old. He sits on the docks of a bay. Beside him is a tomboyish young girl, KELLY, of about the same age.
Thomas looks at the photograph as if he’s seeing it for the very first time… but also the first time in a very long time. He flips through the album, taking in every photograph. Cheryl watches, unsure what to make of it.
Album after album is filled with pictures of the two of you.
Thomas is a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts. He’s confused, sad, and concerned–somehow all at the same time.
I’ve forgotten all about these.
Who was she, Thomas? Was she a–a childhood friend? Or maybe a distant relative?
And then… a fog lifts from his mind. Thomas remembers everything, and it terrifies him.
Honey, what’s the matter?
Cheryl, this was–I mean, this girl…
Who, Thomas? Who is she?
Thomas goes white. He can’t believe the words coming out of his mouth.
This is my sister, Kelly.
Cheryl stops, considers this, and then laughs at the thought of it.
Oh, Thomas. Don’t be silly.
Thomas can’t believe Cheryl doesn’t believe him. He can’t believe it himself, really.
Cheryl, I’m serious!
Cheryl’s not buying it.
Thomas, we have been married for nearly thirteen years. In all that time, I have never heard you or your parents even so much as whisper a word about a sister.
Thomas leaps to his feet, wags the album at her. He needs her to believe him, but doesn’t appreciate being laughed at.
It’s true, I swear!
The girl in these photos is my sister, Kelly! And–and…
Between breaths, Thomas’ tone changes. A look washes across his face, and the life is drained from his body. Cheryl isn’t sure what to believe, but seeing Thomas like this frightens her.
…and I’m the only person left alive who remembers her.
The world goes still and silent. Frozen between moments and heartbeats. Yet time steadily ticks onward as we FADE OUT.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Tonight, CHILL with an absurd twisted romance between a photographer, a housewife, and her husband–a surgeon who enjoys getting a little blood on his hands! READ “Pale Horse,” a pulp-inspired play of tragedy and supernatural justice. Or CLICK the links below to find these and more at PulpBusters.com!
Tracks I’m currently chillin’ with. Tonight, other nights. Follow the Playlist on YouTube to keep up with all the changes.
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YOU ARE NOT ALONE
THE NIGHTLY CHILL