EXT. STREAM — DAY
Lana, Pete, and Kenny sit by the edge of a stream. While Pete tries catching some fish using a piece of string tied to the end of a stick, Lana lazily tosses pebbles into the water while Kenny chews at his knuckles. All three are bored out of their ever-loving minds.
Riding on his bike, Clark pulls up beside his friends.
CLARK: Hey, guys! How’s tricks?
LANA: Tricks is bored. (tosses two pebbles in quick succession into stream) Very, very bored.
CLARK: Really? I’ve found this place we can go. It’s bound to be fun.
PETE: What place?
CLARK: I’ll take you there. First, we need to collect some rocks.
LANA: What for?
CLARK: (grins) You’ll see. (beat) C’mon.
Shrugging, the three kids abandon their meagre activities and join Clark in his rock hunt.
EXT. FOREST — TRAIL — DAY
Clark and the others ride along the trail on their bikes, pant and shirt pockets laden with as many stones as they can carry.
LANA: (apprehensive) Where are we going, Clark?
CLARK: I told you — you’ll know when we get there.
LANA: But this trail takes us —
CLARK: (interrupts) Hush up!
Resigned, Lana hushes up. They continue along their route in silence.
EXT. FOREST — CLEARING — DAY
Reaching their destination, Clark hops off his bike. There before them stands the weathered shack they once called home away from home.
PETE: Why’d you take us here for?
KENNY: Yeah, what’s the story?
CLARK: (frowns) We’re here for compensation.
PETE: Compensation? What‽
Guiding his bike alongside him, Clark approaches the shack with single-minded purpose. Stopping some distance away from the decrepit building, he reaches into a pocket and pulls out some rocks. Pulling his arm back, he then hurls the rocks at the wooden shack, each one scoring a direct hit with a solid THWACK.
CLARK: Hey, you in there — open up!
Brad, Whitney, and Jason quickly come out.
JASON TEAGUE: (pulls blade of straw out of mouth) Well, well, well — if it ain’t the Four Musketeers.
BRAD WILSON: What are you stains doing back here? We told you never to come around no more.
CLARK: That’s “anymore”, you dunce!
BRAD WILSON: (sneers) What was that word you called me, pipsqueak?
CLARK: A dunce, Brad. It’s not too big a word; it means the same as birdbrain, bonehead, dimwit, oaf, and idiot.
BRAD WILSON: (points at Clark) I’m gonna feed you your tongue!
CLARK: Watch the birdie!
Fishing out another rock, Clark lets it fly. Whistling through the air, it hits Brad hard in the face, right in the cheekbone.
BRAD WILSON: ARGH! (clutches face) I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you to death!
CLARK: (hops on bike) Catch me if you can, you great big horse’s ass!
Clark takes off on his bike and his friends follow suit. Crossing over to their own bikes, the three bullies hop on and begin the chase.
EXT. RURAL ROAD — DAY
Emerging from the woods, the four youngsters come out onto the open road, pedalling as hard as they can to get away from the Three Assketeers.
PETE: That was stupid, Clark!
LANA: Yeah — what were you thinking? Now they’re gonna pulverize us!
CLARK: No they’re not!
As the four ride on, the three older bullies finally come out of the woods behind them. Clark hits the brakes, skidding to a stop.
LANA: (mortified) Clark!
CLARK: (waves them away) Go! Keeping going!
Bewildered, Lana, Kenny, and Pete take their friend’s advice and keep on pedalling, leaving Clark behind to face the Assketeers alone.
Coming upon Clark, the three older boys surround him, trapping him in a circle.
CLARK: (waves at them; smiles) Hey there, gang!
Jumping off their bikes, the three move in upon Clark. Roughly taking Clark by the front of his shirt, Whitney pulls him from his bike.
BRAD WILSON: (enraged) Over there!
As Jason goes to work on Clark’s bike, stomping on and kicking at it, Whitney and Brad take the kid over to the side of the road.
BRAD WILSON: You’re in for a world of hurt!
As Whitney holds Clark firmly in place, Brad clenches his hands into fists and drives a hard uppercut into Clark’s gut. Clark doesn’t even flinch from the blow.
CLARK: (smirks) I couldn’t quite feel that. May I have another?
Frowning, Brad punches Clark in the gut again.
CLARK: I’m sorry. One more ought to hit the spot.
Uttering a low GROWL, Brad punches Clark in the face — a roundhouse punch from the left; then the right; then an uppercut into the chin. When none of those result in so much as a whimper, Brad finally goes and knees Clark in the groin.
CLARK: (grins) Is that the best you have?
Clark throws his head back, bashing Whitney’s nose in. Blood spurting from his broken nose, Whitney lets go of Clark and drops to his knees, crying out in agony. Turning on Brad, Clark leaps onto him, tackling the larger boy to the ground.
JASON TEAGUE: Hey!
Leaving Clark’s dented-up bicycle, Jason rushes to Brad’s aid. Clark sees him coming and spins around just in time to deliver a solid kick to Jason’s chin which sends him over backwards, knocked senseless.
BRAD WILSON: (horrified) What the hell are you‽
CLARK: (sneers) A ninety-pound weakling, remember?
Clark then punches Brad in the face, knocking his head back.
CLARK: (cont’d) Remember that, Brad? Remember‽
Clark punches him again.
CLARK: (enraged) Then remember this: You’re not gonna bully me again; (punches Brad) you’re not gonna bully my friends again; (punches Brad) you’re not going to tease us; you’re not going to taunt us; (punches Brad) you’re not going to call us names like weakling or twerp or carrot-top or nigger; (punches Brad twice) you’re not going to take our fortress, which we cleaned up, which we put together, and drive us out; (punches Brad) and you’re not going to hurt us — never, ever, ever again!
As Clark prepares to deliver the final blow, a large adult hand reaches out and seizes his arm in a tight grip, stopping him. Clark turns around. Standing over him, shock and disgust evident on his face, is Jonathan.
CLARK: (surprised) Pa!
The assault at an end, Brad — face stained with his own bright red blood and running tears — gets the hell out of Dodge, BAWLING as he takes off in a dead run for somewhere — anywhere — where Clark won’t find him.
Angry, Jonathan drags Clark over to the Model T. Flinging the side door open, he pushes his son inside.
INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY
Jonathan sits behind the wheel, a deep frown fixed on his face as he drives along the rural road. Clark sits beside him, arms crossed over his chest, a deep scowl worn on his own face.
CLARK: I hate Brad Wilson.
JONATHAN: You must. Otherwise you wouldn’t have turned his face into ground chuck.
CLARK: He threw the first punch, Pa! He took our fortress from us! He’s big —!
JONATHAN: (interrupts) And you’re invulnerable, Clark; you can’t get hurt. You have to take responsibility for your power; you can’t abuse it.
CLARK: You want me to be a loser and a wimp.
JONATHAN: No, son, I don’t. I want you to use your head instead of your fists.
CLARK: A man stands up for himself.
JONATHAN: Know all about bein’ a man, huh? Does a man hurt people weaker than himself? (beat) Well, boy, does he?
Clark doesn’t answer; his chance to is cut off when Rose Greer dashes out into the road, right in front of the truck.
JONATHAN: (surprised) Holy!
EXT. RURAL ROAD — DAY
Jonathan hits the brakes just in time to avoid a collision. Rose wastes no time crossing over to Jonathan’s side of the vehicle, panic clearly etched across her face.
ROSE GREER: (panicked) Oh God, Jonathan! You have to help me! Please — help!
JONATHAN: (climbs out of truck) Rose! What’s wrong‽
ROSE GREER: The house, Jonathan! It’s the house! The house is on fire and Bud’s trapped! Bud’s trapped inside and I can’t get him out!
Looking into the fields beside the road, Jonathan sees a two-storey house situated in the distance; it is ablaze, a trail of dark gray smoke billowing straight up from it into the clear sky.
JONATHAN: Jesus. (beat) Stay here, Rose. Watch Clark.
Jonathan takes off in a dash for the burning house, leaving Rose and Clark by the truck.
INT. GREER HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — DAY
Bursting through the front door, Jonathan finds the air heavy with smoke. Instantly assaulted by the miasma, Jonathan pulls out a handkerchief and holds it over his mouth and nose.
JONATHAN: Bud! Bud, where the hell are you‽
A WAIL of anguish comes down the stairs from the second storey, where the fire is burning its worst.
JONATHAN: Just hold on, Bud! I’m coming!
Crossing to the stairs, Jonathan dashes up the steps.
INT. GREER HOME/BEDROOM — DAY
Passing through the licking orange flames and greasy smoke, Jonathan steps inside the Greer bedroom. Inside, struggling upon the floor, is Bud Greer. The inferno having compromised its structural integrity, the roof on this side of the house has caved in; a wooden beam lies across Bud’s legs, pinning him to the floor.
BUD GREER: (panicked) Lord help me! AAAAHHH!!!
Coming to Bud’s aid, Jonathan lays his hands upon the beam and tries pulling it up and away from the trapped man.
JONATHAN: (groans) I can’t budge her, Greer! (beat) I’m gonna try to reach underneath and pull your legs out!
Jonathan reaches under the beam and takes hold of one of Bud’s legs and begins working to pry it loose. At that very moment, fiery debris rains down in the hall outside the bedroom. In response, Bud grabs Jonathan, pulling him close in desperation.
BUD GREER: Oh, Jesus! Hurry, Kent! The flames! Please —!
JONATHAN: (grits teeth) Alright, Bud, you gotta let go….
BUD GREER: The flames are getting closer!
JONATHAN: (frustrated) Shut up, Greer!
Pulling at Bud’s legs, Jonathan finally manages to dislodge them. Pulling the man up onto his feet, Jonathan makes haste for the stairs.
EXT. GREER HOME — DAY
Rose and Clark have come down the driveway and now stand at a safe distance away from the house. Rose holds Clark’s hand, both worried as the small building is consumed. Jonathan and Bud then finally emerge from the burning wreckage. Moving away from the intense heat, they drop down into the grass — coughing, exhausted, and dirty, but alive.
CLARK: (concerned) Pa?
JONATHAN: (coughs) I’m okay, son. (coughs) We’re okay.
Clark is amazed by his father’s show of selfless heroism.