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An Alien Burned the Church (working title)

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I was hoping to get more of this done before sharing it anywhere, but I’ve hit a writer’s block and feel like what I have so far is terrible anyway, so I may either start over or give up.

Anyway, this trash is a tragic gay sci-fi story. Enjoy what little amount I have so far.

The frame is filled with blackness, but as the camera moves up, we see that this is a black coffin.  The pianist plays J. S. Bach’s “Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ” off screen.  The camera lingers over this coffin, a monolith in the center of the frame.

CUT TO:
The modest audience of mourners sit in pews.  One man stands out from the rest.  He is about foot taller than the rest, and his skin looks almost grey.  We focus on him, in the left third of the frame, but zooming very slowly closer to his face.  The music stops, and he stands to leave his pew.

CUT TO:
The same angle of the coffin that we started with, now as the grey man walks up the alter steps and stands at the pulpit.

CUT TO:
The coffin is now horizontal at the bottom of the frame, with the grey man standing above.

ALIEN
“I have lived with you here for some time now, and you have taught me many things about the human life.  I thank you all very much for that.  However, I do not understand death.  None of you ever taught me death.  I have researched this on my own since Ben’s death.  According to your sacred texts, I think I sent him to a lake of fire.  That sounds nice. I hope he is warm."

CUT TO:
The stunned, silent mourners.

CUT TO:
The alien leaves the alter to return to his seat. This should be a shot from above, showing the coffin in the center of the frame again.

FADE TO:
A young man in his late teens/early twenties sits on his back porch and watches the stars. It’s a small porch for a small apartment that looks out at some trees, and not much else. He sits there for about a minute. His doorbell rings, and he leaves to answer it. The alien stands there.

ALIEN
“I saw your advertisement in the news publication.”

BEN
“What… the hell?”

ALIEN
“You said you needed a roommate. I need a place of residence.”

BEN
“I uh… O! Yeah, uh, [clears throat] yeah, I did. Who…”

ALIEN
“I took a wrong turn somewhere and found myself on this planet. I need a place of residence.”

BEN
“Planet?!”

ALIEN
“I am sorry, should I not have told you? Your reaction of surprise at my appearance indicated you could already tell and my form was not convincing enough.”

BEN
“F-form?”

ALIEN
“Yes, I changed my form to look more like you. Should I leave?”

BEN
“No, wait!”

He pauses.
BEN
“Can you pay?”

CUT TO:
The alien sits at the table. He is alone for a moment. The television is heard in the background. Ben walks in with two bowls of cereal. He sets one down for his new roommate, and sits on the opposite end of the table with his own. They eat in in silence, except for the loud ceiling fan and the television.

the_bible_read_by_a_14_yr_old_atheist_in_a_condescending_voice.mp3

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I think you have the beginnings of a good story here. If you’re having trouble fleshing the story out, I suggest you write it as a short film first — just focus on the pertinent plot points. Then, if you feel there’s a bigger narrative still to be tapped into, gradually expand on it by filling in the gaps/adding finer details to what’s there already.

My screenplay index.

“Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.” — Paul Tillich

“The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty.” — Anne Lamott