Hello Badger Fans. I’ve got something a little different for you today. This is a script outline which the brilliant Bharat Sarollia sent me after we chatted about Badgers Crossing on Twitter. Although it’s not in a traditional narrative format, it’s still very much a great story and I wanted to share it with everyone.
As I was reading, I started to picture the story unfolding in a very cinematic way – so I hope you like reading O³ as much as I did.
1 – THE NEW SCHOOL
A boy. 10 years old. Small for his age. Too thin for his clothes. New in Town. First day at the school.
He is dropped off. Arriving in a rusty van whose windows are blacked out – the driver is a young woman – who seems very scared or distracted – like she is on a constant deadline.
He stands in front of the school – like the shot from “The Exorcist” when the Father stops in
front of the house.
He then hunches his shoulders and walks in.
The children are all playing outside – skip rope, ball etc.
They all stop what they are doing – and it is like the parting of the sea as the kid walks through
Then the catcalls begin – the girls giggle at the kid, the tough boys already begin to size the kid
up and mark him out… the usual victims are slightly relieved that the kid is now the center of
We can have one of them being pushed against the wall when one of the tormentor’s motions
to the head bully – “look over there we have fresh meat”
The boy, clocks this but just looks at the ground and keeps walking
in the classroom, a new teacher is being shown around by an older colleague and they stop to look out the window at the new arrival
Older Teacher: “Oh no. He won’t last the semester.”
New Teacher: “Aren’t we supposed to protect him?”
Older Teacher “Yes in school- but what about the world outside of school?”
2 – THE ESCALATION OF HARASSMENT
The Boy tries to stay away from his tormentors.
When he does speak it is to warn them off that he is not worth the attention. He is a nobody.
But the bullies pay him no heed. His lunch is taken. He is tormented each day in creative and
The new teacher tries to take an interest in him. He opens up just enough to drop hints that
all is not as it seems. That he is fine.
The woman who drops him off is not his mother or his sister – but his cousin…and is always
looking around. What is she so nervous about?
The new teacher is warned by the boy to stay away from him – there is nothing she can do for
He tells her “I am always the 0³.”
“O Cubed what does that mean?” He looks at her. Resigned.
“If you have to ask then you are not and never will be the O³.”
He is always neatly turned out – but the clothes are at least a decade old.
3 – THE DO GOODER
Being a victim of bullying herself the new teacher does not listen – she thinks not only is he being bullied at and after school but more seriously that he is being abused at home.
She demands that a parent come to see her…
His “cousin” comes to see her – and she is nervous as hell.
“My aunt and uncle work away. The nightshift. They can’t make day time meetings. We live on the edge of the forest in a rented house (The Old Drury House).”
The teacher is not convinced so one evening she follows the van.
4 – THE OLD DRURY HOUSE
She gets to Old Drury House and parks away. Creeping up she peers through the windows – sees the boy being told off – “…bringing attention on the family. You need to be very very careful otherwise… well, you know what happened last time and what happened to you!”
Then the voices switch direction.
“And what do you have to say for yourself young woman… “
The voices of parents can be heard at first admonishing and then consoling – the boy says it is not fair about the clothes he wears and how people always make fun of him…. That he is always getting picked on… how he really should be allowed to fight back…
“No, you know our way does not allow you to fight back… you are not ready for this …”
She creeps away thinking okay – well they must have some “turn the other cheek” Christian thing going on… so that is why he is always cowed.
Later we see him stand there surrounded by the bullies and he is ready to spring into action to
defend himself – but he stops himself…
The bullies snigger and then move in on him. He curls up, arms covering his head. He takes a beating.
5 – THE FOREST
There is a forest at the edge of the town – that is full of good hunting and sometimes the kids chase the boy into it… but for some reason, he is at home in it… he is not scared.
He is sat on a tree stump and a couple of hunters come across him but he is not scared – they can see that he is roughed up but he is smiling.
The teacher tells him he must not go there… it is dangerous… A long-time escaped convict was
hiding out there and killed a lot of hikers etc…
“I like it in the forest – I feel safe there – the bullies don’t come into the deep dark forest they are
6 – SHOW AND TELL
He brings in an old photo album about his family who first lived in Canada – and were always one with Nature – from his great grandfather down …. Always close to nature – married into the local native tribes etc…
The photos are all beautiful – he sets up a slide show… and it is beautifully presented – everyone else has the latest gadgets but he has the most interesting story… the slides are so well shot they are 3D in their quality.
He is given first prize in the story competition and this seals his fate.
The lead bully was a shoo-in to win. He swears revenge. They will get him when he takes his favorite shortcut through the forest.
Before he leaves for the day…he approaches the teacher and thanks her for her help…. And gives her a box of old photographs – she is a bit of an amateur photographer herself.
She thanks him – and notices the gang hanging around – she offers to drop him off home… and he says no it is okay he will be fine.
7 – THE END GAME
He walks into the forest – for some reason, it is darker than usual. The gang follows him and then
begins to stalk him – scaring him.
They chase him into the deepest part of the forest – into the tangle of trees that the Hunters call.
“The Medusa Knot” – a group of trees whose branches are all weaved and intertwined.
He is crying as they hit the lattice of trees.
They surround him. It is all going to plan. He is going to get creamed. Then they stop.
He is laughing. At first just giggles that turn into a full-blown roar of laughter.
They take a step backwards – this is not what is supposed to happen the freak should be on his knees begging for mercy.
“Yes I am a freak.” His face changes subtly. The forest has grown darker.
“You called me a bastard, didn’t you? You called my mother a bitch?”
The bullies start back off – something is clearly wrong.
One musters enough courage: “Yeah and so what?”
“So what? Well, they are here to say hello.”
He looks up into the trees.
The bullies follow his gaze. Into the trees. Two of them lose control of their bowels. We see moving into the light from the perfect camouflage of the trees two… things. Two beings that are all muscle and fangs. They jump down. The kids turn to the boy. He has changed as well…
“Who are the O³’s now eh? WHO ARE THE ODD ONES OUT now?” the boy snarls/laughs.
His parents close.
In the darkness, the screams begin
8 – A Box of Old Photographs
The teacher gets home.
A glass of wine.
Opens the Box. Starts examining the photographs. Looks through the old slides.
The wine glass shatters – she flips through them like a flipbook. She can see creatures in the background coming to the foreground…
Then she sees the people in the foreground are the bullies.
They are screaming as the creatures rip into them. Stood on one side: The Boy. Laughing.
9 – The Forest and the House
She races to the forest – taking her fireman boyfriend with her.
And all we see is the legs of the bullies hanging from the tress…
“Oh God, where is the rest of them? Where is the rest of them?”
The police are called. Her boyfriend stays at the scene.
She passes the flashing lights of the police as she races to the house of the little boy but it is empty – the family is long gone. On the front door is a note.
“I liked you, you were decent towards me so we left you alone. But don’t try to follow me or my family. I cannot guarantee your safety. We only go after bad people. But sometimes…”
10 – The New School
A kid is pushed against the railings of the schoolyard. We are now in the inner city.
He is going to get the beating until one of the gang: “What the fuck….”
A boy. Fashionably wrongly dressed walking up towards the school.
The new bullies say
“Hah Fresh meat.”
The boy hears the words.
He smiles darkly.
Somewhere above him in the shadows cast by the skyscrapers something moves…
Copyright 2016 © Bharat Sarollia