The Visitor in the City -Script-

Submitted into Contest #88 in response to: Write about an author famous for their fairy tale retellings.... view prompt

79 comments

Contemporary

Act 1 Scene 1 - The Interview

The interviewer is sitting on the left of Shane Carroll, holding the notes for this interview. She is dressed impeccably and doesn’t seem to have a hair out of place. Contrasting with her, Shane has messy hair and has the look of someone always rushing to another thing. Shane is fixing his microphone, which is giving him some trouble. 

Interviewer: You’re live, Mr. Carroll.

Shane looks up, startled. His glasses are a little skewed and he has a harried expression on his face

Shane: Oh-Oh, sorry. Can we start again? I completely missed that. This bloody microphone isn’t. Quite. Working. Argh. Sorry. 

The interviewer shakes her head, slightly amused. Turns her head to the cameraman behind what the viewer is seeing and motions to him. 

Interviewer: No problem. Live in three, two, one. Welcome ladies and gentlemen to this exclusive interview with the author everybody is talking about. Mr. Shane Carroll. 

Shane sits up, vaguely uneasy. He blinks into the camera. 

Shane: Hello.

The interviewer seems a little put-off, but soldiers on anyway. 

Interviewer: So, Mr. Carroll. We’ll start with the easy question. What made you start your writing career?

Shane fidgets with his sleeve, hesitating a moment. He laughs nervously before looking at her. 

Shane: Well, that’s a hard question. I have always been told my mind is a place of nightmares, a place of dreams, and a place that nobody would wish upon their worst enemies. Do I believe that? Maybe. Maybe not. It simply isn’t for me to say. 

Shane takes a deep breath and sits up straighter

Shane: Is it my fault for having a mind so deviously creative, so charmingly unique and so completely mine? Who am I to say? I suppose it is the curse of an author. To always have some semblance of insanity that prevents them from becoming part of the so-called ‘normal’ world. 

The interviewer smiles and shuffles her notes. 

Interviewer: Thank you, Mr. Carroll. Now-

Shane interrupts her and she pauses, her mouth open in surprise. 

Shane: But what exactly defines normality? The person who came up with the story of Cinderella? That crack-head Charles Perrault didn’t know what a cliche his story would become in the modern world. And I suppose he only wrote it for the theme of kindness towards all, forgiving others for doing wrong, and never let bad things ruin your heart. In the greater scheme of things, his theory of good versus evil and luck changing your life would drastically alter the lives of the 17th century, French. Or at least, those who let themselves read. 

Shane is breathing hard and the interviewer looks as if she is thinking she doesn’t get paid enough for this. She collects herself and asks the next question in a slightly trepid voice. 

Interviewer: Our next question, Mr. Carroll, is why did you decide to start rewriting these classic fairy tales? What sort of brought you into that mindset?

Shane appears to be thinking hard. 

Shane: My problem with these so-called ‘classics’ isn’t about the themes. Those are the only good parts, in my opinion. How these authors created worlds to fit themes that somehow define all of human nature and how people look and view the world around them, is one of the most gratifying experiences an author can imagine. 

Shane appears to be on a roll here. He is speaking passionately, eyes bright with excitement and the thrill of explaining his mind. He is gesturing wildly with his hands and the interviewer takes an involuntary shuffle back. 

Shane: My problem with those fairy tales is that they are always directed at a certain audience. That they are centered around a theme that everyone is expected to understand. And while some of those themes are vague enough to have practically everyone understand what’s happening, there are always those people who don’t understand why. And that is exclusion right there. And it’s why I rewrite fairy tales. And, not to brag, am quite good at it, too.

He stops. The interviewer smiles graciously. 

Interviewer: And you are, Mr. Carroll. Getting on the New York Times Bestselling list every single time you published another rewrite. I think my favorite one is your first one. The Remnant Sky. A retelling of Cinderella. Would you care to explain the motivation behind this bestselling novel?

Shane blinks at the mention of his book. He opens his mouth to say something but thinks the better of it and closes his mouth again. The interviewer smiles. 

Interviewer: Go ahead, Mr. Carroll. 

Shane sighs, lowering his eyes. He looks uncomfortable.

Shane: My first book was written at a time where I didn’t think I was going to survive. My wife had just passed away from breast cancer and I was in a dark time. I drank, I sobered up, and I immediately went back to drinking. A lot of my family was stressed about what I was doing with my life and they tried to get me out of my depression. I must admit, it didn’t work. If anything, it made me fall deeper into depression because I couldn’t believe that they could empathize with my situation. They couldn’t understand what I was going through. 

Shane’s voice breaks. The interviewer looks on, somber. He takes a moment to compose himself before continuing. 

Shane: And then one day, I walked into a used bookstore and found a battered old copy of Classic Fairy Tales. I read through it and was immediately struck by the fact that it was so bad. I just hated the ideas it presented - and to kids! I couldn’t believe it. I walked out of the bookstore with a new purpose. I would rewrite those fairy tales to give people some more inspiration and kindness and a little bit of love in this dark depressing world. 

The interviewer smiles.

Interviewer: Thank you for that riveting story, Mr. Carroll. Now, for those of you who don’t know, would you share the premise of The Remnant Sky? Just to give them an idea of the story behind the story?

Shane nods

Shane: So the book follows Hunter, the young girl who makes a deal with the vengeful goddess of the night. In return for her soul, she gets to attend the ball where the royals deem who is worthy of the crown. She learns the lie, deceit, and horrors of the royal court but realizes that within all the nastiness, good lies in a lot of people’s hearts. 

Shane smiles nostalgically and the interviewer pulls out a copy of the book. 

Interviewer: And boy did we love it. I have to say, I didn’t think I could read an entire book in one sitting, but I couldn’t put yours down! Um, to wrap this up, one last question for you, Mr. Carroll. 

Shane nods and sits forward expectantly. The interviewer does the same and speaks in a conspiratorial voice.

Interviewer: Any plans for upcoming books? 

Shane laughs and sits back. He looks directly at the camera.

Shane: You’ll just have to wait and see, won't you?

The interviewer laughs and then stands up, shaking Shane’s hand.

Interviewer: Ladies and gentlemen, this has been Mr. Shane Carroll! We’ll be back after the break. 

Screen fades to black as we see Shane walking away.

Cut scene

April 07, 2021 14:58

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79 comments

12:57 Apr 11, 2021

You're leaving? I know it isn't my place really to ask... but I just want to know if you're okay, even though I know you'll say you're fine.

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Nainika Gupta
17:00 Apr 11, 2021

No-I'm back. And honestly, I was not fine for a week or so...but I really appreciate you asking <3 I had a lot of hard stuff going on and then you know being downvoted (which I'm over by now) but I'm back...i found its easier to use writing as an outlet and enjoy the process!

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17:12 Apr 11, 2021

Ooh! Lol, I don’t know if you read it, but I put on the doc that I want to be nainika when I grow up, lol

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18:42 Apr 11, 2021

Wait WAT You're back?? Yay! :D

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Nainika Gupta
13:52 Apr 14, 2021

:)) Yesss sorry late reply lol

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13:56 Apr 14, 2021

Np :)

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Sapphire ~♚
22:51 Apr 10, 2021

NAINIKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA HOW WILL I GET MY DAILY DOSE OF FANTASY AND HUMOR WITHOUT UUUUUUUU I'll miss you so much! :(

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Nainika Gupta
17:01 Apr 11, 2021

:) I'm back Saph - I had a hard week, but I found that using writing as an outlet really helps <3

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Sapphire ~♚
19:25 Apr 12, 2021

Oh- YESSSSSSS I THOUGHT I LOST YOU GIRL <333 I hope things get better <333 I'm here if you wanna talk <3

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Nainika Gupta
13:52 Apr 14, 2021

:)))) <33

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15:45 Apr 10, 2021

Um... I'm almost done with my next submission. Do you have pinterest? I could tell you when it's out through another social media site besides Reedsy, and I don't have facebook or anything. I really hope it will be good. Um... Bye... We miss you Nainika.

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Nainika Gupta
17:01 Apr 11, 2021

I'm back Em. Lemme know when its out!

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20:24 Apr 11, 2021

I will! AND YAY! Even if you're just here for a short time, I'm glad!

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Hi, I saw that youre leaving, and i'm sad, but i get your reasons and respect them. i am so sorry that the stupid downvoter went at you again, and knocked you that far down. Just remember that you're an awesome person, no matter what you do. <3

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Nainika Gupta
17:01 Apr 11, 2021

<3 thanks carolina! I'm back <3 had a hard week but I found using writing as an outlet really helps <3

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yes, it totally does :) glad you're back :)

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Keya M.
17:05 Apr 09, 2021

Hi Nainika, I read your bio. I'll miss you very much, as I'm sure everyone else will. You're a great writer, with an awesome personality, and we love you <3 Is this a temporary absence, or are you leaving for good? If you are, I'll be super sad, but I get it. Stay happy and safe. Lots of love always, K

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Nainika Gupta
13:52 Apr 14, 2021

:) Thanks Keya! I'm actually back!! <3

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Keya M.
14:08 Apr 14, 2021

YAY!!! <33333333

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Nainika Gupta
14:09 Apr 14, 2021

<333

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02:31 Apr 09, 2021

Hey Nainika, saw that you're leaving Reedsy. I've loved reading all of your amazing work, it's honestly inspired me so much. Stay safe, wuv yous! ~ Jasey :)

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Nainika Gupta
13:53 Apr 14, 2021

Aw, Jasey that means a lot! I'm back, actually!

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23:55 Apr 14, 2021

!!!! That’s awesome! Does that mean you’re still going to write for Reedsy? Welcome back! :)

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Nainika Gupta
00:10 Apr 15, 2021

!! :) Yeppp :)

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Nora Ouardi
22:55 Apr 07, 2021

I loved this so much! Shane seems like such a sweet character, and I feel sympathy for him because of his loss ;( This is AMAZING and you are an extremely talented writer! Also about your emoji movie thing- for some goddamn reason I thought it was run chicken run 😭

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Nainika Gupta
00:35 Apr 08, 2021

Thanks! :)) Lol no XD

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19:32 Apr 07, 2021

This is the first story I've seen in a script format, and it's also the first story I've seen for this prompt. I love Shane's character and how this is an interview. One question, though: Why did you title this story "The Visitor in the City"? It's not because it doesn't fit, but just because I'm curious lol :) Loved this! Great job!

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Nainika Gupta
20:01 Apr 07, 2021

Thanks! I wanted something different :) uhm, ok. So I thought of him like different - a nerd but also a visitor kind of in his own family - the part where he was depressed after his wife died...and so the title was born!

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20:08 Apr 07, 2021

Np :) Ok, got it :) (I use too many smiles.)

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23:06 Apr 11, 2021

Nainika are you back?!??!?!?!

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Nainika Gupta
13:53 Apr 14, 2021

:) yes late reply lol

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14:20 Apr 14, 2021

that's ok:) glad you're back<333

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Nainika Gupta
14:23 Apr 14, 2021

:) yess <3

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Space Human 🌌
01:11 Apr 09, 2021

NOOO why u being downvoted? I look at the leaderboard and u arent there :(((((((. This was a beautifully written story.

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Nainika Gupta
01:33 Apr 09, 2021

:(((( thanks!

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14:22 Apr 08, 2021

Wait a sec can I guess the emoji puzzle thing??? ~Chicken Little~

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Nainika Gupta
16:52 Apr 08, 2021

yeppp :)

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17:38 Apr 08, 2021

Yay :D

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Alya Kaikuahine
01:55 Apr 08, 2021

I like the script format, it really brings a cool new way to read things. It makes an interview about nerdy guy interesting(not saying that the storyline wasn't good, but it's Wednesday and my brain can't function well enough to give good feedback XD). Great job!! Also, is the movie puzzle Chicken Little? Or am I the only person who has watched that movie. heh :)

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Nainika Gupta
11:26 Apr 08, 2021

Lol I feel that! Thanks :) And yep :)

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01:15 Apr 08, 2021

ooooooh first script story I've read! I like how it switches from describing the story and the script, it sWiTchEd iT uP a bit :) I saw one place where there wasn't a period (lol I'm pIckY), I think it was here: "Shane looks up, startled. His glasses are a little skewed and he has a harried expression on his face" how does the title exactly work? Not saying it's bad, I just cAN'T cOnNeCt tHe dOts lol GRATE 🧀🧀🧀 job!!!!!! ~ Amethyst

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Nainika Gupta
11:25 Apr 08, 2021

:) Yep, I'll fix that and hahah i'm not explaining again XD it's in one of my comments!

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22:31 Apr 08, 2021

okee oh okay

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00:31 Apr 08, 2021

Would you actually write a twisted version of Cinderella, “The Remnant Sky” for us, Nainika? Amazing work as always :)

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Nainika Gupta
00:34 Apr 08, 2021

Lol may-haps!?? Thanks!

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00:42 Apr 08, 2021

Oooohhh okay- No problem! <3

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Nainika Gupta
11:25 Apr 08, 2021

XD :)

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16:03 Apr 07, 2021

Hehe, Shane gives me the vibes of so many things, but he's such a fun character! It definitely feels like you had a good time writing this :)

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Nainika Gupta
16:44 Apr 07, 2021

lol I picture like a john green/neil gaiman mix XD thanks!

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Sunny 🌼 🖤
15:11 Apr 07, 2021

Oh wow! I don't think I've ever seen you write in script format before! I loved this. Shane is a cool character and I liked reading about his story. Fairy tale re-tellings are always so much fun.

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Nainika Gupta
15:18 Apr 07, 2021

Yeah! i wanted to do something like this for a while, so it was fun to try out :) and yeah they are :) I might do a story based off what I literally spewed out in .2 seconds XD

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Sunny 🌼 🖤
15:25 Apr 07, 2021

oh interesting

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Charlie Murphy
20:53 Apr 14, 2021

I like the idea of horror retellings of fairy tales.

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Nainika Gupta
00:10 Apr 15, 2021

:) Thanks!

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Ann Tillinghast
19:27 Apr 11, 2021

I enjoyed reading your story 😊 Thanks for writing. Please read mine and like it if you want 🙂

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Nainika Gupta
13:53 Apr 14, 2021

:) Thanks! Sure

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21:38 Apr 09, 2021

NAINIKKKKKKKKAAAAAA! YOU'RE THE THIRD ONE DOWN! ALL THE CHAMPIONS ARE LEAVING... You will always be a good friend and a great writer. I will miss you. Keep your favorites up, only take down the worst, because man, I love some of them. We'll miss you! Good luck on your writing journey, and may your typos be few and your readers be many!

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Nainika Gupta
13:53 Apr 14, 2021

:)) <3

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14:02 Apr 14, 2021

:<

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