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THE DECIDER

Written by
Ari Daryadel
aria.daryadel@yahoo.com
INT. BOXING RING - NIGHT
RYAN, 28, lean and clean cut sits in his corner juggling his
mouth guard around his mouth and staring down his opponent
CHRIS, 30, while his trainer SAM, 48, bent over with his hand
on his shoulder radiating an intense stare.
SAM
You made him bleed... You made him
puke... You made him fall. You have
this in the bag. With one round
left the only way you lose is if
you get knocked out so keep your
arms up and stay on the defense.
Ryan nods his head and stands up. The crowd surrounding him
and his opponent are losing their minds with excitement. He
flashes them a wink and clicks his gloves together, ready to
go.
INT. BOXING RING - MOMENTS LATER
Chris is throwing quick punches but Ryans defense is
stifling the blows. He lifts one arm up to punch and misses.
Chris slams his glove directly into Ryans cheek, knocking
spit out of his mouth.
SAM
Fuck the offense!
Ryan is quick to regain full composure as Chris brings on
another set of punches Ryan is quick to block.
The Bell RINGS.
Ryan heads back over to Sam very calmly while Sam is going
ape shit with excitement along with the rest of the crowd.
From across the ring Chris shakes his head with
disappointment.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
(Over roar of the crowd)
Ladies and gentlemen... Youre
winner, in an unanimous decision...
Ryan Oakley!
Ryan, wearing a white shirt and black pajama pants hops into
bed. His phone RINGS and he answers with a smile.
RYAN
Did you see it?
He LAUGHS incredibly pleased with himself.
RYAN (CONTD)
With betting odds against me. Ill
get whats coming to me soon. The
people have been getting louder
too. It makes it harder to hide
that spotlight from me, you know?
He nods his head with a smile.
RYAN (CONTD)
Thank you.
(Beat)
Thank you.
(Beat)
Ill be home tomorrow afternoon.
Well take Nick to see a movie or
something.
He reaches over and turns the lamp off.
RYAN (CONTD)
I love you too. Good night.
He hangs up and places his cell phone on the night stand next
to the lamp. He lays his head down against the pillow and
shuts his eyes.
EXT. CAFE - OUTDOOR TABLE - DAY
The sky is clear white with a pinch of fog. DEMON, 30, brown
hair and brow eyes sits across from ANGEL, 30, blond hair and
green eyes. Both men are wearing suits and looking over a
menu.
Standing to their left is Ryan, wearing his pajamas. He looks
confused.
Demon lights a cigarette.
DEMON
Whats good here?
ANGEL
I usually get the pasta.
DEMON
The steak looks nice.
2.
ANGEL
Ive never had it.
DEMON
I think Im going to get the steak.
ANGEL
What in your opinion is the purpose
for life?
DEMON
By life you mean what?
ANGEL
Theirs.
DEMON
Power and wealth I suppose.
Angel shakes his head.
DEMON (CONTD)
Its incredibly condescending when
you take a question whose answer is
solely another persons opinion and
denounce it like your answer is
fact.
ANGEL
The purpose of life is just that.
Life...
DEMON
I can refute that. You guys push
that on people just like you do all
your other ideologies, as though if
they cant accept your practices
you damn them to us. Why punish
somebody who endures years of
struggle and misery to the point
they have a gun to their temple,
pressing on the trigger?
ANGEL
I thought you guys loved
punishment.
3.
DEMON
Not by your hand we dont. If you
have the right to create the law
itself that dictates what man and
woman can and cannot do we should
have the right to decide the
suitable punishment for said
actions.
(Beat)
Where is the fucking waiter?
ANGEL
There is no waiter.
Demon rolls his eyes and lights another cigarette.
DEMON
Its just bull shit. You guys feel
entitled to sanction our power
while ever increasing your own.
Its hypocritical.
ANGEL
Its necessary. We encourage people
to stay strong through the rough
moments they face in life... To
keep their heads up. The bible laid
out many instances in explicit
detail where people at the lowest
of lows wound up on top in the end.
DEMON
Joseph.
ANGEL
One of many, yes.
DEMON
What about those with no knowledge
of the Bible?
ANGEL
You know they get tried fairly and
are put where they belong.
DEMON
So because you were lucky enough to
have never read the bible or
learned about God you can blow your
brains out and still have a shot of
getting in the gates.
ANGEL
Youre arguing just to argue.
4.
Angel checks his watch.
ANGEL (CONTD)
I dont have much time. Lets just
cut to the chase.
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
Angel and Demon are now in a conference room sitting at a
long black table. Demon has a note pad laid out in front of
him. He CLICKS his pen and takes a drag off his cigarette.
Ryan stands in the corner of the room looking on, incredibly
confused.
DEMON
And now for the reason we are here
today... We feel theres been an
incredible lack of disaster as of
late.
ANGEL
Well --
DEMON
Now, let me finish. We had come to
terms on a ten year deal that saw
less of these situations popping up
but the restrictions youve put in
place are really starting to get us
annoyed.
ANGEL
There have been Tsunamis,
tornados... The Boston incident...
Several school shootings.
DEMON
The tsunamis and tornados are
natural disasters. Weve never had
our stamp on those. As far as the
school shootings and the Boston
incident are concerned, you act as
if were unaware your biggest
principal is free will. The school
shootings dont concern us in the
least bit because we were not able
to play a part in where these
students attended school in the
first place.
5.
(MORE)
We were pleased in regards to the
Boston incident because with those
situations were able to play a big
part in where they occur. With that
said, Im not here to smile and
tell you what makes us happy, Im
here to air our complaints.
ANGEL
Theres always something, isnt
there?
DEMON
All wed like is to negotiate a
more practical way of getting
things passed. Thats not
unreasonable.
EXT. MAIN ROAD, IN FRONT OF BRICK BUILDING - DAY
Ryan watches from behind the Angel as they stand in front of
a building, facing each other.
ANGEL
Ill let you know what we can do by
3 oclock tomorrow. I cant
guarantee anything though. Like
you, I am just a messenger.
DEMON
Keep in mind I was appointed this
position because of my incredible
ability to keep an open mind and
remain calm and collected. There
arent many like me in Hell and I
say this, not to threaten you but
to keep you aware, things are
teetering right now. If you want to
restore some sort of a balance then
you have to be willing to bend a
little. Im aware war is quote
unquote inevitable eventually but
none of us are exactly on the edge
of our seats anticipating one. Not
yet at least.
Demon loses his focus and looks around like something is
wrong.
ANGEL
What is it?
6.
DEMON (CONT'D)
Demon makes eye contact with Ryan. Ryans eyes widen and he
grows terrified.
DEMON
Shit.
ANGEL
What?
DEMON
Its happened again.
The Angel looks around.
ANGEL
Where?
DEMON
Directly behind you.
The Angel turns and faces Ryan, but doesnt make direct eye
contact with him because he cant see him. Ryan is now even
more terrified than before.
DEMON (CONTD)
Youre looking at him.
Demon snaps his fingers and shakes his head.
A large group of men, covered in black cloaks walk into view
from the far side of the building. Ryan starts stepping back.
Angel stares at the men and grows concerned.
ANGEL
Is this really necessary?
DEMON
Hes aware of whats going on now.
Its no longer a dream but a
nightmare. People remember
nightmares. We cant allow him to
remember this.
Angel turns to the direction in which Ryan is located, in a
panic.
ANGEL
(Yelling)
Run!
Ryan runs for it. Demon shakes his head and lights a
cigarette.
7.
DEMON
The things you grow concerned with
versus what you find suitable
baffles me. Its as though were
the more sensible ones while you
remain naive. It instills false
hope by the way when you tell
somebody to run when theres no
point at all in doing so.
EXT. MAIN ROAD - CONTINUED
Ryan runs down an empty street headed nowhere in particular.
Out of the woodwork men in dark cloaks appear and walk
towards him, forcing him to change directions.
He sees a tall building up ahead on his right in otherwise
desolate surroundings and runs towards it as fast as he can.
As he runs he turns his head and sees what must be a hundred
of those men WALKING in the direction hes running.
RYAN
Fuck.
He arrives at the building, throws the door open and runs
inside.
INT. BUILDING - CONTINUED
Its PITCH BLACK...
DEMON (O.S.)
Hello, Ryan. Allow me to apologize
for my friend here who alluded to
the fact you stood a chance running
away. You didnt.
The lights turn on revealing an empty, abandoned hotel lobby
covered in dust. Demon is standing next to Angel, who looks
sympathetic to Ryans fear.
RYAN
I dont know what the hell is going
on.
Demon LAUGHS coyly.
DEMON
Well hell is going on. I know
thats not what you meant though.
8.
RYAN
I dont know how I got here but--
DEMON
Youre dreaming, Ryan. This is a
dream, and dreams are the one thing
we have no control over. For a
while that didnt seem like such an
issue, until dreams started
mistakenly manifesting into real
situations such as the one you
played fly on the wall to today. I
am a demon and he is an Angel and
the conversation you witnessed is
something you would never forget
were you to wake up tomorrow.
Because of that, you have to die.
RYAN
What happened to everybody having a
time?
DEMON
(To Angel)
You want to answer that?
ANGEL
Youre right. Everybody on earths
death is pre-determined and
executed in the exact manner in
which it was written to be, this
instant being the one exception.
Because of that exception you
cannot go directly to Heaven. In
your life there were many other
obstacles for you to climb through.
DEMON
I.E. Your mother dying in a car
accident on your thirty fifth
birthday.
Angel looks at Demon angrily.
ANGEL
Enough.
(To Ryan)
Though each of these obstacles and
events youre supposed to face
conclude the same way no matter
what your free will leaves it up to
you to keep or discard your faith.
9.
(MORE)
Because were now unaware what your
feelings about religion would be
were you to carry on until the day
you were supposed to die we cannot
allow you to go straight into
Heaven despite you being a
Christian as of this moment.
DEMON
Youre not necessarily going to
Hell, but youre not necessarily
going to Heaven either.
RYAN
But--
ANGEL
Its done, Ryan. Its done.
DEMON
Your boxing career is over, your
wife is now a widow and your son is
now a bastard. What happens next
falls on you.
ANGEL
Youll wake up in purgatory where
youll meet with someone to discuss
how this ends. Youll be tested,
but in a way that caters to your
strengths, giving you the best
chances of ending up where Im sure
youd like to end up.
DEMON
Hells not so bad though.
Ryan stands shaken with fear. He opens his mouth to speak but
no words come out. Demon checks his watch.
DEMON (CONTD)
Id say this has gone long enough.
While we cant help inconveniences
from happening, theres no reason
to prolong them as well.
ANGEL
Good luck, Ryan.
FADE OUT:
10.
ANGEL (CONT'D)
FADE IN:
INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY
The phone alarm on Ryans phone goes off, waking him up. He
wipes the sweat from his forehead and takes a look around
still scared.
INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - LATER
Ryan exits his room, now fully dressed and takes a cautious
look around his quite surroundings. He thinks for a moment
and then knocks on somebodies door. No answer.
He walks to the next room and knocks on their door. No
answer.
Door after door after door... Nobody answers.
RYAN
Fuck.
He puts his hands on his head, freaking out. He pulls his
phone out and sees theres no service.
He approaches the elevator and hits the down button. It opens
immediately.
INT. HOTEL LOBBY - MOMENTS LATER
He exits the elevator into the lobby and quickly runs towards
the door that lets out into the street.
THE RECEPTIONIST (O.S.)
(As Ryan reaches for the
door)
Sir...
Ryan looks over at THE RECEPTIONIST, 30, tall, with a bald
head and no eye brows pointing at a closed red door to Ryans
far left. Ryan looks over at the door and grows concerned.
He slowly approaches it and then glances back at the
receptionist who nods his head in approval.
11.
INT. THE RED ROOM - CONTINUED
Ryan enters a small office with dark red walls and white
carpet. Sitting at the desk is THE MANAGER, 30, bald with no
eye brows like the receptionist but taller and built like a
terminator.
THE MANAGER
Please, have a seat.
Ryan takes a seat in a chair directly in front of the
manager.
THE MANAGER (CONTD)
Youve been made aware of your
situation and now Im going to ask
you some questions. I encourage you
to not take your time answering
these questions and allowing
whatever your gut tells you to
serve as the answers you present me
with. Before I get started, do you
have any questions?
RYAN
Why is this happening? Ill keep my
mouth shut -- Whatever I remember I
wont say to anyone.
THE MANAGER
Those were not the sort of
questions I was referring to.
Whats done is done and I am simply
here to assess you and determine
the best way to move forward from
here. Lets just get started, okay?
Whats your name?
RYAN
You know my name.
The manager rubs his eyes, trying not to get impatient. He
holds a paper out for Ryan to see with a list of questions on
it.
THE MANAGER
I am obligated to ask these
questions regardless of whether or
not I know the answers. The sooner
you comply the sooner we can move
forward. These situations tend to
take a while to resolve and you
will find purgatory is incredibly
boring so lets get a move on.
12.
RYAN
My name is Ryan.
THE MANAGER
Age at time of death?
RYAN
Twenty eight.
THE MANAGER
Biggest fear?
RYAN
Death.
A pause.
THE MANAGER
In your estimation, what is your
greatest strength? Answers that are
not accepted include but are not
limited to, being a great father, a
great husband, a great son and
anything else unrelated to talent
in a subjective manner.
RYAN
Boxing.
THE MANAGER
Interesting. How long had you been
boxing for while you were alive if
you dont mind me asking?
RYAN
I never died.
THE MANAGER
Word of advice, Ryan... If you
accept the circumstances youre in
this whole thing gets a lot easier
for you. As of now youre neither
in Heaven or Hell and you have a
fifty fifty shot at either. Its
time to focus and not sulk.
13.