Two Birds, One Stone | Short Script

SHORT SCRIPT | Written by Eric Christopher Jackson

FADE IN: INT. SKYRISE LOBBY – NYC – DAY

JAKE (25) and KYLE (42) are in the office of New York City’s prestigious Design Agency, “Acquired Taste.” Jake is trying to lift the spirits of Kyle, whom has just lost yet another major account to competitors.

Needless to say, his job is on the line.

The two walk to an open area and sit at a round table. Ambient light pours through the large windows. The beautiful NYC skyline is more immaculate today than usual. Still, Jake struggles to find the right words to say.

After a long stint of silence, he tries one last time.

JAKE
Remember what I told you when we first got here?

KYLE
What am I gonna tell Cathy? Kyle shuffles in his seat. Tears well-up in his eyes.

JAKE
We’ve all gone through tough times. It happens.
KYLE
(shakes his head)
Not like this… not like this. Kyle pounds his fist on the table.

JAKE
Kyle, I’m telling you, we can come back from this.

KYLE
We?!

Jake abruptly stands with a renewed sense of confidence.

JAKE
But first, we need to eat! You hungry?

KYLE
Come on, Jake, I’m not you.

JAKE
What is that supposed to mean?

KYLE
You’re getting better than me at this stuff!

Jake grabs his briefcase from beside the chair and looks Kyle in the eye.

JAKE
We’ll grab some lunch… probably dinner, too. I’ll help you with the Monroe account.

He shakes his head, almost annoyed at Jake’s resolve.

KYLE
Fine.

JAKE
You ready?

KYLE
No, I’ll… I’ll stay here. I need to clear my head.

JAKE
(nods)
Alright, but I’m still getting you something.

As Jake walks away, Kyle feels guilty.

KYLE
Hey, Jake…

JAKE
Yeah?

KYLE
Thanks. Jake smiles, finally feeling a sense of relief as he exits the building.

30 MINUTES LATER.

INT. NYC CAB – DAY

Traffic is congested, even for New York, at lunchtime. Jake sits up getting the CAB DRIVER’S attention.

JAKE
What’s going on up there?!

CAB DRIVER
I don’t know, man! This is crazier than usual. Fire trucks. Police! I don’t see a car accident, though.

JAKE
(loud groan)
Let me out here!

CAB DRIVER
(looks back)
That’ll be eight bucks! He nods appreciation as Jake shoves a ten in his hand and exits the cab.

EXT. NYC SKYRISE – DAY

After a few blocks, the scene becomes more and more cluttered. Fifteen yards up, Jake notices people pointing up at the skyscraper. He jogs ahead, already out of breath.

A POLICE OFFICER is on the radio as he looks up.

POLICE OFFICER
Yeah, we gotta positive Ident. A Kyle McDonnell…

The food falls to the ground as Jake overhears the radio reply.

POLICE OFFICER (CONT’D)
So far, no. The window’s busted out. The injured are being rounded up…

Jake slips through the lobby crowd, then enters the elevator.

The wind is howling. Blood pours from Kyle’s hands as he grips the window frame.

Jake creeps up behind him.

Kyle turns, tears flowing.

KYLE
Stay back!

JAKE
What are you doing, Kyle?

KYLE
You can’t help me. No one can help me. He slides his foot off the edge.

JAKE
(walks forward)
Remember what I told you when we first got here?

KYLE
Stay…!

JAKE
I never leave my friends behind.

Kyle buckles over.

Jake comes within five feet of him.

Looking back at him, he inches forward.

KYLE
I can’t… I can’t…

JAKE
(pauses)
Fine. But if you jump, I jump.

KYLE
(cringes)
What?

Jake nods.

Seconds feel like hours.

A scream of anguish fills the air. The force of gravity fulfills its natural purpose as Kyle begins to fall.

He stops abruptly as his suit jacket holds the bulk of his weight. He peers up to see Jake, blood running down his forearm as he holds on to the window frame.

Jake moans in pain as Kyle begins to wiggle out of his jacket.

The window frame bends, pieces of glass fall. It can’t support the weight of these two men for much longer.

Jake feels the deep slice in his hand as the frame gives way. In a split second, flashes of memories over his lifetime spill out, flooding his mind. His breath jumps from his body.

The shock of his face hitting the side of the skyscraper jars him. Pain shoots through his shoulder as he recognizes a SWAT TEAM MEMBER grasping his forearm.

SWAT MEMBER
(to Jake)
I got you, man! I got you!

Kyle is almost free of his jacket.

Jake feels as though he’s going to pass out as he hears the yells and screams from more SWAT Team members.

Kyle slides out of his jacket.

A member of the SWAT Team grabs Kyle by the arm and pulls him to his body.

SWAT MEMBER (CONT’D)
(grasping the rope)
Pull us up!

Stumbling over broken glass, Kyle falls to the floor, unsure of how to feel. He sees Jake on his back surrounded by a medical staff.

Their eyes meet.

Jake stares at him with a slight smile as the paramedics wrap his injuries.

Kyle crumbles onto his chest, blurting out insults and gratitude.

The crowd of SWAT Team members erupts in cheers and notes of admiration at the bravery they witnessed today.

SWAT MEMBER (CONT’D)
If only more people had friends like this to catch them when they were falling.

The others nod in agreement.

FADE OUT.

END.

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