(Script Competition Entry)
EXT. PIER HEAD -SAT AFTERNOON
ELLIE (mid twenties)gets out of a taxi, closes the door,
leans in and pays the driver. She crosses over the road to
the ticket office for the ferry.
Return to Woodside, please.
Three seventy, please.
Ellie pays and collects her ticket
She checks her watch and walks briskly out of the terminal,
hands her ticket to the collector and heads down the ramp
towards the ferry, which approaches in the distance.
Ellie gets onto the ferry, heads up to the top deck and
finds a seat on the outside. She settles herself down. As
the ferry begins to set off she rummages in her bag and
pulls out a mobile phone, which is ringing.
Hello? Oh hi, Jen. Yes, I’m on
there now. Are you…. oh… you’re
not there yet? Oh ok. No, that’ll
be fine. It’s another half an hour
yet. No, I know you think that. Of
course. He’s not going to be an axe
murderer. We’ve done this already.
I don’t want to fall… look, are
you going to be there or not? Ok.
Then he’s not going to be able to
kidnap me either, is he!? Ok. Good.
She frowns as she looks at her phone, then emphatically
presses the ‘end’ button.
INT. CAFE -DAYTIME, AROUND A MONTH EARLIER
Ellie wipes tables. JEN (older than Ellie) stands at the
counter. One CUSTOMER drinks from a large cheap mug and
reads the paper at the table in the corner. No-one else is
On the internet? Are you serious?
Ellie rolls her eyes.
Yes, the internet. The
superhighway. The world wide wicked
web of wonder. You have heard of
Of course I’ve heard of it, cheeky.
I have actually got an email
address of my own, you know. It’s
jen1104 at worldmail dot c-o-m.
Com. You don’t say c-o-m, you say
‘com’. Why 1104?
No idea. They just gave it me. I
guess loads more people wanted to
be Jen too. Strange thought. I’ve
never used it, mind.
You surprise me.
Never mind that. You’re really
going to do it on the internet?
Well, it’s got to be worth a try,
But what about all those
paedophiles on there?
I’m twenty seven, Jen. I think I’m
a little old for your average
You know what I mean. Kidnappers.
Axe murderers. I’ve seen the
adverts. People pretending to be
what they’re not.
I know. But it’s a reputable site,
it’s a well known one, and they do
a lot of checks.
(Quickly before Jen can
… and you don’t meet up straight
away, or anything. You have to do
things first like email and send
pictures and things. You can come
with me, if you like, spy on him.
Rescue me if I need it.
Jen looks like she’s trying to think of more objections.
Well… what’s your mum said?
Ellie pauses in her wiping, looks down.
I haven’t told her yet.
You haven’t told her? Oh Ellie…
you and your mum have never kept
I KNOW… you don’t need to tell
me. But… this is just something I
need to do. You know, for myself.
It’s the right time. I’ll never
stop being her ‘little girl’ in her
eyes, but I’m my own woman too. I
have to make my own choices. I will
tell her. Just.. in my own time.
You won’t say anything, will you?
Jen walks over to Ellie, hugs her, but still looks worried.
Of course not, love. What sort of
aunty would I be if I just landed
you in it, eh?
EXT. FERRY -SAT AFTERNOON
Ellie stands abruptly and walks into the ferry interior. She
goes to the coffee stand, smiles at the SERVER and rummages
for her purse.
What can I get you, love?
Just coffee please.
The server hands her the coffee.
One fifty, love, please.
Thanks. How long to Woodside?
About twenty minutes, now.
Ellie takes her coffee and sips a little, but it is too hot
to drink yet. She takes the lid off, blows on it and wanders
restlessly over to the edge of the ferry, watching Liverpool
INT. CHRISTINE’S HOUSE -NIGHT, AROUND TWO WEEKS AGO
Ellie and CHRISTINE (late forties, worn out) have obviously
been arguing for a while.
I don’t care what you think, it’s
the stupidest idea I’ve heard. I
don’t know what’s got into you.
What’s got into me?! Mum, I’m
twenty-seven, not twelve! I’m not
taking up horse riding, or deciding
to paint my room bright pink. This
is the rest of my LIFE I’m talking
The rest of your life? Is that what
you think? Anyway, I’ve seen the
stuff about people on the internet.
He could be anyone. And you’re just
going to swan off and meet him,
just like that? You’ll get yourself
murdered, and when you do…
Don’t come running to you?? As if I
would. And another thing. I’m
You just don’t know what you’re
getting yourself in.. (registers
what Ellie just said) .. you’re
You heard me. Moving out. I’m going
to live with one of my friends from
work. I’ve had it here. I need my
FRANK (fifties, comfortable looking) walks in. Ellie takes
the opportunity to storm out of the door. Frank looks at
Christine, who sort of crumples in tears on the sofa. He
goes over to her and puts his arm round her.
EXT. FERRY -SAT AFTERNOON
Ellie puts her empty coffee cup in the bin, wanders back out
the main deck and watches the other passengers. After a
while she sits, takes a compact from her bag and checks her
hair and make up. As she puts the compact back, she pulls
out an envelope, well worn, and takes out a letter and a
photograph. She turns the photograph over and looks at it
for a long time (we don’t see) and then opens the letter.
EXT. OUTDOOR COFFEE SHOP -DAYTIME, AROUND ONE WEEK AGO
Frank and Ellie are having coffee.
How is she?
She’s ok. She’s just worried about
She didn’t sound like it last time
I spoke to her.
You’re not that daft, love. You
know it’s just her way.
Yeah. Well. I’m not changing my
I know. Have you… heard anything?
Well… actually… yes. I’ve had
Oh… right… and?
Well… I replied. And I’ve had a
letter. And a photograph. Would
you… I mean, is it ok if I show
If you like.
Frank takes the offered envelope, pulls out the photograph,
then opens the letter. He looks anxious but says nothing as
he reads. He folds the letter up and hands it back to her.
And are you going to? Meet him, I
mean, like he suggests? Next
I don’t know. What do you think?
I don’t know why you want to do
this, but I think if it means that
much to you, then that’s what you
should do. Your mum’s a strong
woman, she’ll get over it.
Ellie takes Franks hand and squeezes it.
EXT. FERRY -SAT AFTERNOON
Ellie puts the letter back and stands as the ferry nears the
terminal. Suddenly her phone rings again, she rummages in
her bag for it and answers it without checking the number.
Jen, I’ve told you, just BE there,
will… oh… Mum. Hi. Yes. Yes,
I’m almost there now. I know, Mum.
I’m sorry too. I know you do. I
know you are. Mum, listen, if you
really feel this strongly, I’ll
come back. I never wanted to
upset… no. I know. Ok. No, Jen’s
going to be here too just in case.
I will. I will, I promise. I love
you too. Yeah. Bye.
Ellie puts her phone back in her bag, and half smiles, then
begins to look nervous. As she makes her way downstairs, we
hear a guitarist busk on the side of the river. A mass of
people move off the ferry and, as they do, the words become
***Words to follow! Here and now…
Ellie moves up the ramp and blinks in the sudden darkness of
the terminal. She walks with everyone up to the main
building, then stops and rummages again in her bag,
retrieves the picture and checks it again. She walks into
the cafe, looks around and checks her watch. She spots Jen
in the corner, who gives her a subtle thumbs up sign. She
walks upstairs and sees a MAN sitting, back to her, looking
over the river. She checks the photo again, smooths her hair
and walks over to him.