Screenplays

Living in Fear: A Short Film Script

A short screenplay about 10 men who are living in fear.

living-in-fear

FADE IN:

INT. GYMNASIUM — DAY

A woman, THE THERAPIST, is seated in a circle of chairs with TEN MEN.

THERAPIST
Thank you all for coming today. To
begin, I’d like everyone to share
their name.

One by one, the ten men speak their names: Jack, Phil, Ralph, Boris, Nasim, Dave, Neville, Tom, Edgar, and Allan.

THERAPIST (CONT’D)
(smiles)
Thank you. Now… I’d like each of
you to admit what you are afraid
of. Acknowledging your fear is the
first step in overcoming it.

JACK
Can I start?

THERAPIST
Yes, please do.

JACK
Last week, I got really hungry, so
I went to a convenience store and
stole a Mars bar. But now I’m
afraid if I go back to the store,
the clerk might identify me.

ALLAN
Why didn’t you go to a food bank?

JACK
It was midnight.

THERAPIST
(smiles)
Thank you, Jack, for telling us
your fear.
(turns to Phil)
What are you afraid of, Phil?

PHIL
I cheated on my wife. The woman I
had sex with recorded it on video.
And now she is threatening to show
it to my wife if I don’t pay her a
thousand dollars.

THERAPIST
And you’re afraid your wife will
divorce you?

PHIL
No, I’m afraid she’ll put a knife
in my chest for cheating on her.
She’s batshit crazy!

The therapist stares at Phil, not knowing what to say. She turns to Ralph.

RALPH
I steal dogs and sell them, so I
can buy drugs. But now there are
Crimestopper ads on TV with an
artist’s portrait of me. Every day
I’m afraid that someone will
identify me to get the reward
money.

All of the men (except Boris and Nasim) look at Ralph very closely.

The therapist turns to Boris.

THERAPIST
Tell us your fear, Boris.

BORIS
(with a Russian accent)
I am illegal immigrant. I have job
and don’t break any laws. But every
day I live in fear of deportation.

ALLAN
Why didn’t you immigrate to Canada
legally?

BORIS
I have criminal record. I was gang
member in Russia.
(glares at Allan)
I kill lots of people.

ALLAN
(shocked)
Oh.

BORIS
(to the Therapist)
How do I overcome fear? What do I
do?

THERAPIST
We’ll talk about some strategies
for dealing with fear after
everyone has shared.

The therapist turns to Dave.

DAVE
I don’t know if it is a good idea
for us to be confessing our crimes
to each other. What if one of us
calls the police?

THERAPIST
This is a safe space. Everything
that is said in this room stays in
this room.

Suddenly, the gymnasium door opens, and a POLICE OFFICER walks in.

One by one, the police officer looks at the ten men. They all  drop their eyes in fear. Then the police officer looks at the therapist.

POLICE OFFICER
Jill Jones?

THERAPIST
Yes.

POLICE OFFICER
I’m arresting you for ten counts of
extortion. You have the right to
retain and instruct counsel without
delay. Do you understand?

THERAPIST
Yes.

POLICE OFFICER
You also have the right to free and
immediate legal advice from duty
counsel by making free telephone
calls during non-business hours. Do
you wish to call a lawyer?

THERAPIST
Yes.

All ten men stare in shock as the police officer puts handcuffs on the therapist.

NEVILLE
(to the Therapist)
You were going to blackmail us for money?

The therapist doesn’t answer.

TOM
(to the Therapist)
Are you afraid?

The therapist nods her head.

The police officer takes the therapist away, and they leave the gym.

After a moment of silence…

EDGAR
(to Nasim)
So what are you afraid of?

NASIM
(sighs)
I’ve pledged myself to ISIS, and
I’m afraid to carry out my mission.

Nasim reaches inside his jacket and pulls out a handgun.

The nine men stare at him in fear.

FADE OUT

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