Possible Teazer to begin the film
Suburban Street Outside Melissa’s House
Melissa (32) carrying Moonshine (4), walking towards us. Our view widens to include Lynn (13) and Sara (6), also part of the group. Melissa is a typical good-looking suburban Mum coming back home with her children.
Melissa’s Point of View
A semi-derelict hippy (‘New Age Traveller’) living vehicle parked, smoke pouring out of a bent chimney. Sitting in the driver’s seat, smoking a roll-up, Paul (36), Paul’s dog, ‘Tea Bag’.
We close in on Paul, scrawling on a grubby envelope ‘Lisence appli...’ The biro breaks. ‘Shit!’ mutters Paul. He leans forward to stick the half finished notice to the windscreen with bits of stamp paper. He looks beyond and sees:
Paul’s Point of View: Melissa’s Front Gate
Melissa flashes him a shy smile - the vehicle is an anachronism in this ‘respectable’ street. She and the children turn into her front gate.
Paul’s Living Vehicle
Paul jumps out.
Paul: Excuse me.
Melissa’s Front Garden
Paul: Can you spare us a loan of a pencil or biro? And maybe a drink of water?
Melissa: (friendly but guarded) Not drunk, are you? It’s not to add whisky to?
Paul flashes a ‘friendly’ smile. Melissa looks a moment at her daughter, Lynn, wondering what she thinks about it. Melissa’s looking again at Paul, wondering. She notices something and from her point of view we close on the top of a half whisky bottle sticking out of his coat pocket.
In Melissa’s Front Room, 10 minutes later
Melissa pouring whisky from the half bottle into a cup of tea in front of herself and Paul. They are sitting round a typical smart suburban tea table. Paul wears a grimy boiler suit, part of which seems to have been doused in axle grease.
Melissa: Why don’t you smarten up that old monstrosity out there?
Melissa (27), smartly dressed, but there is a touch of Katmandu about what she’s wearing. Gentle to her friends, she is capable of anger and power towards her enemies. Full of fire and a feminist. Subsequent to the break-up of a relationship she has been living on the dole. Her father runs a small business importing and/or delivering cars for oil rig workers in Scotland, but she doesn’t have a marked Scottish accent.
Paul: (with a smile) Will do. I’m getting ten litres of marine standard gloss soon as a deal I’ve set up is completed. Going to paint it in rainbows, and the Moon Goddess. I could do some painting here for you if you want.
Paul (32), chaotic, loutish in appearance and most typically lost in the huge guts of some lorry or bus engine, covered in grime. He has his own oxyacetylene welding equipment and seems an almost infernal character as the sparks pour from his welder and hideous sounds emanate from his angle grinder. He is short spoken but intelligent, with a chip on his shoulder, a ‘Scorpio’ character. Through his life he has collected objects of all sorts, the bigger the better, i.e. mobile cranes, low loader trailers, scrap iron, etc., and these objects follow him or are abandoned round Britain. He’s also a busker on Irish whistle and persistent drummer. Has a dog called ‘Tea Bag’.
Melissa: Thanks for the offer.
Lynn: We’re getting evicted.
Paul: Getting thrown out of here?
Melissa: Me and my boyfriend split up. The bank’s foreclosing on the mortgage.
Paul: Rutting bastards! Won’t the dole office help you?
Melissa: They did. Did give us the money to pay the mortgage, but ...
Lynn: Mum spent it on getting the stereo fixed. And those ...
We see large numbers of fluffy toys.
Lynn: (indulgent towards her Mum) Fluffy toys for my sisters.
Paul: And what about the Council? Won’t they ...?
Melissa: Just offered us a place in a communal hostel.
In Paul’s Living Vehicle, one hour later
A hurricane lantern lit in the gloom. Grimy but quite cosy. Melissa, Sara, Moonshine, Paul.
Paul: Some do, some don’t. Depending on what sort of rutting people you meet, what the locals are like, you know. Some people are very sort of understanding towards it and others, like, are just totally don’t want to know really. Horrible to you. But I feel a lot better in myself now, ever since I got out of the houses. Definitely, I feel much happier in it. Like, you know, it’s mine, I own it. It can go where it wants.
Melissa: (doubtfully) I suppose it’s quite homely really, isn’t it?
Paul: (at this point only half in earnest) Move in with me yourselves if you want to. Till you get yourselves together.
Melissa: (at this point only half in earnest) I’ll think about it.
The Street, some days later
Angry Neighbour: It’s been six days now. And this used to be a respectable area!
Melissa: (standing at her door) I’m sorry, I know it’s parked outside but I know absolutely nothing about it!
She turns back into the house and enters:
Melissa’s Front Room
Melissa: Where would the girls sleep, anyway?
Paul: Up on the rutting platform. You’ve not been up there. It’s quite cushti. That’s where my kids sleep, when I have them.
Melissa: (surprised) You have kids?
Paul: Yeah. Two. But I hardly ever get to rutting see them.
Melissa: And where would I sleep? (Of course she knows the answer).
The Street (or unkempt garden), some days later
Melissa is pulling Paul’s grubby T-shirt off and he is resisting.
Melissa: Into the washing machine! Into the washing machine!
She succeeds and runs with the T-shirt into the house, leaving a half naked Paul behind her.
Paul, now only in his pants, a handsome though slightly embarrassed and grubby man, leaning against the churning washing machine.
Paul: There’s other things that I’d like to show you. Things you never dreamed of.
Melissa: You don’t know what I dream about.
Paul: Give it a try. Solstice is coming up soon.
Melissa: What’s Solstice?
Paul: What’s Solstice! (just slightly contemptuous at her ignorance) I’ll show you Solstice. Join the crowd. You’ll be among rutting friends, not fairweather phonies like you’ve so far spent your life with. And you’ll see rutting good things and rutting bad things that you never rutting dreamed of!
Country Bus Stop; Sara and Moonshine
Tipi person sees Sara and Moonshine on to a long distance bus and pays for their tickets.
Rundown Site; Melissa, Lynn
Melissa sitting by a sleeping Lynn, waiting to tell her the news.
Melissa comes to tell the sleeping Lynn the news and finds that she is gone.
On a Trunk Road; Melissa, Steve, Lynn
Possibly run sound of start of this one over previous scene.
Steve’s bus is going at last. Jerkily he’s driving it along the trunk road. We see a road sign - A4609. Melissa is beside him, perched on the area that houses the gearstick. Both are thoughtful and silent after last night’s events and in addition Steve is wondering whether the occasional judders that shake the vehicle are bad news or not.
Lynn is with them in the front seat, not saying much. Melissa hopes/believes that Lynn has forgotten about putting herself into care.
Steve has veered out to pass another large vehicle and there is the sound of an impatient driver behind. They pull back to the inner lane and a large inter-city bus passes them, flashing its lights.
Steve: Rutting Roadhogs!
He steps on the accelerator and now they’re driving close behind the inter-city bus.
Steve: Look at those fuckoff kids. Well, at any rate, they seem happy.
From Melissa’s point of view we see the windows of the back of the bus ahead. Two children are in the back window, waving and gesticulating wildly. They are Sara and Moonshine!
Melissa: Steve, Steve, it’s the kids! My kids. Look!
She’s waving excitedly back at them.
Melissa: It’s Sara and Moonshine! Quick! Make the bus stop! It’s them!
She presses her hand down on Steve’s horn.
Melissa: Flick your lights! Make them stop! Overtake them!
Meanwhile she’s miming at the children to get their bus driver to stop. Steve flashes the lights and tries to get his bus to go faster. The vehicle gives a spurt forward, the children are jumping up and down, thrilled. There is a small clank from the engine, Steve’s bus loses speed.
Melissa: Oh no! Steve, overtake them, you arsehole!
But their bus continues to lose speed and the distance between them and the inter-city bus is increasing. Expressions of unbelief and grief on the faces of the disappointed children.
Melissa has already opened the door of the bus to be able to shout the better and now, as Steve’s vehicle jerks to an ignominous halt, she’s out on the road, waving after the bus. Then she’s venting her fury on Steve who’s climbed out to join her. The bus finally disappears round a bend.
Melissa and Steve are having a blazing row by the roadside.
Melissa: It’s always the same. Why the rut can’t you get a vehicle that goes!
Steve: But I’ve only just met you!
Melissa: Yes, but I know your type.
Melissa strikes him in fury. Behind them the engine emits a pathetic puff of steam. They are too busy with their recriminations to notice faint cries of :
Sara & Moonshine: Mum! Mum!
The children have evidently succeeded in getting their bus to stop because now, joyfully, Sara and Moonshine are running back down the road towards them.
They jump into Melissa’s arms and mother and children go into an embrace and, with tears of joy, Melissa is crying.
Film ends here.
Film continues as overleaf:
Closing Credits Begin
By the Trunk Road; Melissa, Steve, Lynn, Sara, Moonshine
A person from the bus now approaches and, unheard by us, is enquiring of Steve what is going on. Steve evidently satisfies the enquirer who is returning to the bus.
Sara: Mum, we had cocoa pops and cocoa with milk and sugar.
Steve is going at the carburettor of the vehicle with a sledge hammer. As our little family enjoy their reunion we see Steve start the bus and jerkily get it to travel the hundred yards or so, followed by Melissa, Lynn, Sara, Moonshine, into
End first part closing credits
Greasy Spoon Café Forecourt and Interior
It’s a way out place, a portacabin in the middle of a concrete wasteland where many long distance lorries are parked.
Moonshine: Chips. Can we have chips, Mum?
Melissa and the younger children go into the café, Melissa still crying as she orders the chips. The children exchange glances, a little shy of her.
Meanwhile Steve is working on the vehicle. He misjudges the moment to remove the radiator cap and there is a gushing jet of water.
Lynn is telephoning, unnoticed by Steve or her mother.
Begin second half closing credits
Cameo Sequence or Stills
A series of little scenes, set in time about half an hour apart.
Perhaps these are punctuated by speeded up sequences of traffic outside the café (or in the forecourt) showing the advance of a misty evening into night as the traffic gets rarer to almost non existant.
Steve still tinkering. Lynn walking back unnoticed.
Melissa and the two youngest leave the café. Moonshine clutches a grubby giant toy rabbit she’s been given.
In the Bus;
Lynn is settling the children down in the bus.
Outside the Bus;
They are all outside, pushing it over rough ground into a more remote part of the forecourt.
Inside the Bus;
Melissa puts on kettle.
Steve kicks the bus engine and climbs in to join the others inside. Melissa is getting Sara and Moonshine to bed.
Steve is cooking a cup of tea or stew. Lynn is sitting looking out of the window.
End second part of credits
Inside Bus (later);
It is now much later on the same evening or night and from Lynn’s point of view we see a car come into the forecourt.
Fran, a young rather vulnerable looking pretty social services worker, drives towards Steve’s vehicle. She parks alongside and is getting out of the car. Lynn is already moving out of Steve’s vehicle towards her. They shake hands and Fran puts her arm over Lynn’s shoulder, looking towards the bus.
In the Bus;
Melissa has realised too late what is happening. Reverse shot from Melissa’s point of view.
Melissa moves towards Fran where she stands with Lynn.
Fran: Good evening, Mrs Meacle, may I have a quick look in the bus?
Melissa: Er ...
Fran: (to Lynn) You get in the car.
Fran walks towards the door of the bus where stands Steve.
Steve: (to Fran) Get out of my face.
Fran and Steve eye each other and Fran backs down.
Sara and Moonshine: (at window of bus) Mum!
Melissa runs past Steve up the steps into the bus. Fran is climbing into her car. Melissa is getting into bed with the children with an arm round each of them.
Lynn: Bye, Mum!
She gets into the car. Fran doesn’t seem to know what to do and is evidently wondering whether to go to talk to Melissa. She thinks better of it, climbs into the car and from Melissa’s point of view we see the car edge back onto the trunk road and drive away.
Melissa sits cuddling Sara and Moonshine and as the car goes out of sight says (or in voice over);
Melissa: Goodbye, Lynn!
Jeremy Sandford FanClub Archives
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[Jeremy Sandford FanClub]