Rejected Movie Pitches
-to the Yee Family
Once upon a time, there was a beaver named Chad. Chad really liked popsicles. One night, he saw a lady beaver with pink fur. He gave her a popsicle, but she didn’t like it. Chad was distraught, so he decided that he would make a better popsicle. The next day, he swam down to the bottom of the river to talk to a wise hermit crab. The hermit crab of wisdom told Chad that he needed to find a magical flower in St. Louis that would make his popsicle taste better. Chad swam down the river, and encountered a trial. It was difficult, but he passed the trial. He discovered a jetski, and went all the way to St. Louis. Then, he found a bag on the jetski. So when he found the flower, he threw the bag at it. Chad travelled back to his dam, and used the magical flower to make a better popsicle. A long time passed, then one night, the lady beaver returned. Chad told her, “I made a better popsicle, but then I forgot about you, so I at the popsicle. It was delicious.” She said, “That’s ok, the worst thing would be if I had liked the popsicle.”
The female beaver (her name was Megan) she thought it was a little creepy that Chad remembered her after all that time, but she was glad he didn’t push it any further. She really wasn’t a big fan of popsicles, anyway. She just enjoyed exploring upstream, since she spent most of the time down river working at the lumber company. She stayed away from the area near Chad’s dam for a few weeks, but she didn’t have to worry. In time, she forgot all about it, and she and her co-workers at the lumber company found a nice pottery studio where they met once a month to chat and throw pots.
Chad was happy, because he realized that he didn’t need to earn the approval of the female beaver with pink highlights he met at the sandbar one night for him to feel fulfilled. He dedicated the rest of his days to his true calling, crafting handmade popsicles from fresh organic ingredients and without xanthan gum. Eventually, word got around and he opened his own popsicle stand a few trees away from his dam. There was a great view of the river bend, and a good number of beavers and river otters came by every day. The hermit crab of wisdom was always welcome to a free popsicle.
Once in an Outback, there was a platypus named Pete. Pete climbed the tower as he looked for his Platypudians. Five burglars chased Pete as he climbed across the bridge. Strangely, the ten Hippojaguars stormed over the burglars.
“This new Outback model is sick!” Pete hollered as he jabbed another button with his webbed foot. The gripping spikes on the tires retracted, and Pete burned rubber, the car skidding through a left turn as Pete finished crossing the bridge, which was at a 45 degree incline. The Hippojaguars were still in pursuit. Pete’s bill tingled as it detected the subtle changes in the electric field caused by the contractions of their leg muscles. It was hard to distinguish from the on board computer’s signals, but he had a lot of experience with the Hippojaguars. There weren’t many places where he could lose his pursuers and ditch the car, but he knew of a watering hole nearby whose soil composition would mask his scent. At the next intersection, Pete activated the cloaking device and punched the gas.
Cut to exterior of skyscaper, then interior of office, lit by a single desk lamp.
(Voice over) I watched the red taillights of the stolen car as it led the pursuing Hippojaguars through the city. Sirens soon followed after that. I had my radio tuned to the police scanner because I was tired of listening to sad classical music, but also because it’s a mark of professionalism for a detective to know what’s going on around town. It was getting late, but I still had a few files to go through, so I poured out another one from the whiskey bottle on my desk. I had finished my pack of cigarettes an hour ago. There were more in the bottom drawer, but I pride myself on being a pack-a-day smoker.
A week ago, a sad, waterlogged kangaroo came to my office, hat in hand and looking for a soft heart to hear his case. My heart turned into stone a long time ago, but he was offering cash up front, so I wasn’t going to turn him down. He told me he was having problems with theft at his body shop. It was a story I’d heard a million times: just a few small things at first, but then they started taking things out of the cars they had in the shop, and last night they broke into the office and stole the cash box. He wasn’t likely to see any of that money again, but I told him I would put up a few cameras and see what I found.
Nothing much happened until tonight, when the body shop became the center of the conflict between the Platypudians and the Hippojaguars, and a certain well-known criminal named Pete ran off with one of the Hippojaguar’s boosted car. I don’t care much about their feud beyond professional interest; all the riff raff in the city eventually cross paths and things go on as they always have. Fortunately for me, the burglars were planning to use the Outback after their last big heist, and they got their just deserts at the feet of the Hippojaguars. In the morning, there would probably be the same perfunctory police investigation before they let off the burglars with a couple of days in jail and a fine. But I figure taking a Hippojaguar foot to the face is probably enough punishment.
I flipped the case file closed for Mr. Red’s Body Shop. In the morning, I would let him know that he wouldn’t have any more trouble from that particular group of thugs. He probably was working with the burglars and had a double insurance policy out on the store, so I didn’t spare any tears for him. The whiskey bottle was almost empty, so I locked up the office and started the long walk back home. Maybe I would stop by the hamburger joint and see if my informant Pete was there, if he hadn’t crashed that car already. Just another day on the job for Mr. Supial, Private Investigator.
Twins are usually close, but Felicia and Phil were mortal enemies. They were also identical. Their parents were dead, but one grandparent was still around. Felicia also had a bunch of penguins. “So you can not cause Felicia’s penguins pain!” grandmother squawked. Phil was disappointed that he could not catch Felicia’s penguins, so he decided to catch her butterflies instead. Making the nets was tedious, so Phil enlisted his parrot to help. The parrot was the only animal Phil had, but Phil was proud of him.
When we found out that animals were extremely good at reducing the high levels of Geomis radiation that resulted from digital internet implants, they instantly became a symbol of luxury and status. An entire market was created to order animals according to their anti-G power. In their parents’ will, Felicia received almost all of the wealth, while Phil was left with the one parrot. Overcome with jealousy and bitterness, Phil dedicated his life to claiming Felicia’s butterflies, which were highly valued for their variety of colors, sizes, and personalities.
Finally, the day arrived for the plan to be put into action. The nets had been designed and redesigned, tested and retested, and both Phil and his parrot had suffered more than a few injuries in the process. Now, everything was installed around Felicia’s compound. Each Thursday, she made a trip to the Capitol for the cabinet briefing. As assistant to the Surgeon General, she oversaw the regulation of anti-G treatments, and often brought a few of her animals with her as demonstrations. This Thursday, she had brought the butterflies.
Phil and his parrot were staked out in the woods behind the house, watching a live stream from the security camera they had hacked. As Felicia walked through the old wrought iron gate to her yard, Phil dropped the Geomis-amplifying net on Felicia. Overwhelmed by the radiation, she quickly slipped into unconsciousness.
At the same moment, Phil’s parrot had pecked another button, which shot a magnetically variant net into the yard and over the butterflies. Ordinarily, the butterflies were fitted with electronic devices that prevented them from flying off too far from Felicia. The net neutralized the devices and allowed the rotor attached to the net to carry the butterflies towards the woods.
Phil used a joystick to steer the butterflies towards the woods, but before they had made it halfway across the backyard, the door of their bivouac was kicked in.
“What I said about the penguins applies to the butterflies as well!” it was Grandmother, crowbar in hand and a crazed look in her eyes. “I’m putting an end to this.” She walked over to the work bench, raising the crowbar to deliver a crushing blow to the delicate tools Phil and his parrot had used to create their devices.
“What are you doing here Grandmother? This is between me and Felicia.” Phil quickly stepped between Grandmother and the work bench.
Grandmother glared at Phil, but she didn’t come any closer. Instead, she began to examine the walls of the bivouac, which were covered in screens and acrylic diagrams. “You’re coming with me.”
Before Phil knew what was happening, Grandmother had grabbed him by the elbow and dragged him from the room, his parrot flying after them. She was surprisingly strong for such an old woman.
Soon, the three humans, along with the butterflies, the penguins, and the parrot, were seated at the hardwood dining table in Felicia’s home.
“Phil, Felicia, it’s time to set your petty quarrel aside. Phil, Felicia and I have been working for years from the inside to bring down this oppressive classification of animals according to their anti-G power. Animals are more than just tools for human needs.
“I must confess that I set the two of you against each other from a young age. Without this rivalry, neither of you would have the skill or the knowledge for our plan to work. I hope you will forgive me for my machinations. But if we are to stand a chance against the Surgeon General and her pandas, we must be absolutely focused.”
It took time for the two to be reconciled. Phil still resented that he had been forced to take the short end of the stick, and Felicia took a long time to understand why Phil had such antagonism. Eventually, however, they had the beginnings of the resistance. Felicia handled the business side of things while Phil worked with the technology. Before, they were just two people caught in a sibling rivalry. Now, after passing through the crucible of Grandmother’s tests, they were the Phantom Twins.
This is part 2 of 3 writing pieces I’m doing as I visit family at the end of the summer. Part 1 can be found here.