ALL 4 ONE
Screen Play Written by Emil Cicogna
Based on the Novel All 4 One
copyright Emil Cicogna
INT. CHURCH -- DAY
A funeral is taking place as evidenced by the casket in front of the alter, draped in ceremonial cloth. LIGHT ORGAN MUSIC floats throughout the church. White and yellow flowers adorn the alter. The PRIEST casts holy water on the casket while reading from a prayer book. In the first row of benches sit four old women. Camera goes past their faces, stops on the woman wearing a black dress, black veil, black gloves. She is SARAH, and it is her husband who has died. Seated next to her is her grand-daughter VERONICA, eight years old, wearing her white communion dress. Beyond Veronica are her parents JEAN, Sarah’s daughter and her husband, TOM BIDDING.
It’s difficult to know how to look at things sometimes, to know what they mean or why they happened. It was four days ago that my grand-daughter came and spoke to me early on a Saturday morning.
Camera pans across faces of the other women, DIANE, CINDY and BOBBY, as Sarah’s voice is heard. Bobby sits at the end of the row with her tripod cane leaning on the end of the bench.
It seems that each of us during our life is given a gift, and at some point, has something taken away. My grand-daughter came to me that day bearing a gift.
Pallbearers begin to wheel the casket from the church. The Priest follows behind it reading aloud from the prayer book.
You can wake up one day and everything in your life can be changed. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good change or a bad one, that’s what life does; every time you get used to things being the way they are a change happens and you have to learn to accept it. I am wondering if I can accept that my husband BEN died because of a wish that I made.
Sarah and the three other women stand behind the casket which has stopped before the doors of the church. The other family members, several neighbors and people attending the funeral mass file out of the rows and assemble behind them. The ORGAN MUSIC swells louder.
INT. BIDDING HOME -- MORNING
SUPERIMPOSE: Four Days Earlier
Veronica sits on a kitchen chair while her mother combs her dark hair into two ponytails, one above each ear. JEAN, in her late thirties, pulls the ponytails through the elastic hair bands with practiced swiftness. She smiles at her daughter who smiles back. Veronica stands and zips up her white jacket while her mother walks to the kitchen door that leads outside. Jean takes a pink and white safety helmet from the counter and places it on Veronica’s head, fastening the strap beneath her chin. Jean hands her a Ladies Home Journal magazine which Veronica takes with her out the door.
EXT. BIDDING HOME -- MOMENTS LATER
Rural suburb, Northeast United States. The house is a raised ranch in a quiet neighborhood of similar homes.
Veronica walks down the steps into a side yard where her bike rests. It is pink with training wheels, white vinyl hand grips, and attached to them pink and silver sparkled streamers. Veronica places the magazine in a white wire basket on the font of the bike and opens the fence door. She climbs onto her bike and rides out of the yard and onto the sidewalk.
Jean watches her from the kitchen doorway as Veronica rides down the block seven or eight houses from their own, and turns into the front yard of another house.
CLOSE-UP OF BELL ON HANDLEBAR OF BICYCLE
Veronica RINGS the round metal thumb-action bell on her bike. She takes the magazine from the basket and runs up the steps onto the wooden porch. She KNOCKS on the door and an OLDER VOICE calls from inside, “COME IN”, and Veronica turns the doorknob and enters.
INT. SARAH’S HOUSE -- CONTINUOUS
The voice of Veronica’s grandmother Sarah can be heard inside the kitchen. She is on the telephone and Veronica walks into the kitchen and sits down on a chair. She removes her helmet and waits for her grandma to finish in the phone.
I don’t mind going to play Bingo, it’ll be better than coming home straight from church, the evening’s too long then... it’s all right if we get there early.
INT. CINDY’S HOUSE -- CONTINUOUS
Cindy is on the phone with Sarah, she is also in her mid/late sixties, kind of ditzy, but with a heart of gold and a crazy laugh. There are still traces of red in her now mostly gray hair, and she sits at her kitchen table with her phone tucked under her chin, sorting and discarding coupons.
I know, I’m sitting around now waiting for the boy to deliver my groceries from the supermarket.
Camera cuts back and forth as each of them speaks.
You have your groceries delivered?
I’ve been leaving half of the things I want to buy in the store lately because I can’t carry it all home, it’s too heavy. They just started a service for seniors that after you pay for your things they have this cute delivery boy bring everything home for you.
That’s why you’re having them delivered! You leave that boy alone! His girlfriend is going to come over there and sock you one!
(Lets loose a crazy laugh)
When he was here last week I showed him a picture of me in my cheerleader outfit from like 1965; he said I was hot!
Oh God! Cindy if you show up tonight in your cheerleading sweater you’re not coming with us to church!
The sound of Cindy’s DOORBELL chimes through the phone.
I have to go, Sarah! He’s here!
Cindy hangs up the phone and hurries to answer the door. She calls out, almost singing:
CINDY (CONT’D): Who is it?
Through the door the VOICE of the Delivery Guy, JEFF, is heard:
Cindy opens the door with a huge smile.
A young man in his early twenties with a sparse trace of dark beard stands on Cindy’s doorstep with a grocery bag in each arm.
Hi, Mrs. Smith, I’ll just drop these inside, the rest of the stuff is in the car.
He walks past Cindy toward the kitchen.
I hope that apple pie I bought is in there, I want you to sit down and have a piece!
Cindy is on tippy-toes with happiness, she ballet-walks down the hall after him.
INT. SARAH'S HOUSE -- CONTINUOUS
Sarah hangs up the phone and smiles at Veronica.
How are you this morning Veronica?
Fine Grandma, Mom was done reading the magazine so I brought it over.
Well, thank you. You didn’t have to come over early just for that.
Are you hungry? I can make you some breakfast.
I ate already...
Veronica stares at Sarah with a warm, but intent look in her eyes.
...Grandma, why do you go to church so much?
Oh, I like to pray.
What do you pray for?
Sarah hesitates, glances up at an old black and white photograph of herself and her husband in a tarnished silver frame which is placed on a shelf on the kitchen wall. In the photo Sarah is about twenty-one years old with dark hair clipped just above her shoulders. Her husband BEN is in an Army uniform. They sit in a Ferris Wheel car, each with one hand on the safety bar and the other hand waving at the camera.
Things I hope for.
For everyone, or just for you?
Well both, I pray for you and your mom and dad...
Sarah glances again at the photo on the kitchen wall shelf.
...I pray for your Grandpa to feel well.
Why don’t you make a wish?
I don’t think I can substitute a prayer with a wish.
Do you think God hears your prayers?
Sarah looks up again at the old photograph, then shifts her gaze to a more recent color photo of her and her husband, both of them clearly older in the picture.
I don’t know.
Then why do you go?
Sarah looks at Veronica, smiles again at her, the love shining in her eyes.
I guess it gives me something to do, I get to see my friends.
I think you should make a wish. If you all wish together for the same thing at the same time, your wish will come true.
How do you know it will come true?
God told me.
The smile fades from Sarah’s face and becomes a quizzical stare at Veronica.
He did? When?
When I was sleeping, and He told me that I should tell you.
Well you certainly remembered to tell me.
Veronica rises and smiles at Sarah. She puts the bike helmet back on her head.
Did you tell Mom about your dream?
Veronica snaps the plastic catch beneath her chin and shakes her head ‘No.'
Uh-uh, it’s a secret.
She steps to Sarah and gives her a hug.
I’ll be back a little later. Mom said we’re going to make grilled cheese sandwiches and bring them over for lunch. Bye Grandma.
I’ll see you later then.