Experiment #11

Odds & Ends


int. grandpa’s Apartment study – NIGHT

JIMMY, a young boy of eight, sits at the desk, deeply engulfed in his work. He wraps a twist tie around the clip end of five pen caps so that they splay out like a star.

He lifts it up to see it better in the light of the desk lamp. He moves the bottom points closer together and straightens out the two side points.

Satisfied, he picks up a Sharpie.

Two small dots.

Then one below and between them.

Finally, a long, thin, curved line all on the uppermost cap.

He pulls back to take in his handiwork, turning it this way and that in the light.

He places the pen cap man on the desk. He sits back, contemplating it.

Inspiration strikes. He leans forward and grabs a half used pencil eraser and a paper clip.

The door to the right of the desk opens as he bends the paperclip. He looks up.

GRANDPA enters and points his thumb over his shoulder like a hitchhiker. He’s a bit more solemn than usual.

He notices five cap-less pens on the desk.

He frowns and raises an eyebrow at Jimmy.

Jimmy smiles sheepishly.

Grandpa notices the sculpture and picks it up.

Jimmy squirms.

Grandpa pulls black, thick-rimmed glasses from the breast pocket of his shirt. He blinks as he puts them on.

He examines the sculpture in the light of the desk lamp.

Grandpa lays his empty hand on Jimmy’s shoulder and gives it an approving squeeze.

Grandpa pulls off his glasses and walks to the bookshelf against the wall.

He places the statue next to a picture of himself and Jimmy at Jimmy’s last birthday party. Grandpa hugs Jimmy with one arm and sticks his tongue out at the camera.

Jimmy beams.

mom (off Screen)

Jimmy! Come on! Let’s get this show on the road!

(Short Pause)


Jimmy jumps from the chair, runs out of the room, and down the long hallway to where his MOM waits holding his coat.

His little sister, SUZY, struggles with her zipper as Jimmy
fluidly slides each arm into his coat and buttons it up.

Grandpa waves from the back room, a slight tear in his eye.

Mom gives her father a half smile as she ushers both kids out.

fade to black


Jimmy runs in the front door, peels off his coat and runs down the hall and through the open door into the study.

Mom and Suzy enter through the front door and take their coats off.

Mom hugs Grandma in greeting, then hugs Grandpa for a long moment. Suzy looks down the hall after Jimmy. She blinks.

Jimmy jumps in the chair, picks up the eraser and a new paperclip and sets to work.

He bends the outer end out, leaving half a coil and pushes it into one end of the eraser.

Grandpa enters.

He opens a drawer in the desk and pulls out a box. He opens the box and shows it to Jimmy.

It’s full of toothpicks, soda caps, buttons, bits of string, and all manner of odds and ends.

Jimmy smiles, grabs a toothpick from the box and sticks it into the eraser.

Grandpa’s eyes dance. He squeezes Jimmy’s shoulder.

He silently backs out of the room as Jimmy loses himself in his work.


int. jimmy’s room – night

Jimmy stands stolidly. His mother reaches over from a squatting position and draws him into a tight hug. Her tears wet his hair.

ext. cemetery – day

Jimmy and Suzy stand in front of Mom as a casket is lowered into a fresh grave. Mom holds a large black umbrella over all three as rain pitters down.

Together the family turns and walks away.

Only Suzy glances back as they shuffle toward the car.


Jimmy sits at the desk, arms folded.

The box, a half completed statue and several oddments lay on the desk before him.

An eraser bodied monkey stands dutifully next to the pen cap man.

With both arms he reaches out and wipes everything off of the desk and into the trash can.

He grabs the pen cap man, the eraser monkey, and the picture off the shelf and throws them with all his force into that same trash can.

He collapses into the desk chair and lays his head down on the desk. Finally, the dam breaks and tears roll freely down.

fade to black

Flash White and fade down to

int. dmv – day

Jimmy, eight years older, stands in front of a light blue background, looking forward.

A machine near him begins churning. It pops out a drivers license.

INT. Grocery store checkout lane – Day

Jimmy scans groceries.

ext. high school – day

Jimmy stands dressed in cap and gown.

He holds his diploma up halfheartedly for the camera.


Int. Grocery store manager’s office – Day

Jimmy shakes hands with the manager. He clips on his name tag with the title: Assistant Manager.


Jimmy walks in the door following his Mom, hands in his pockets. Mom hugs Grandma in greeting.

He stops. College-aged Suzy brushes past him.

He looks around, then wanders down the hall to the study.

Just inside the door he pauses and looks at the desk.

His eyes then rise to the bookshelf. His pen cap man and eraser monkey have been returned to their original place, somewhat worse for wear. Next to it sits the picture, now in a new frame. In front of these lay Grandpa’s black, thick-rimmed glasses.

Fade to black


Jimmy leaves his Assistant Manager name tag on the desk.

int. Jimmy’s apartment – day

Jimmy sits at his desk. He opens a drawer and pulls out a box full of toothpicks, soda caps, buttons, bits of string, and all manner of odds and ends.

He pulls out a few items and sets to work.

fade to black

Peer Review the Experiment

Tell the author how he did and how he could do better.
Be Honest. Be Specific. Be Constructive.