Too Cold for Meowing
Written by Eric Christopher Jackson
INT. CONDO – NEW YORK CITY – NIGHT
It has been six months since BRAD and DIANE SPENCER got married. As usual, on Friday night, they are hosting a party in their sky-rise condominium. They both mingle in separate areas in the midst of a crowd full of friends.
Diane talks to TORI, MARIE, and JESSICA.
I know I’ve said this before, but this is a beautiful place.
I put a lot of work into it, thanks.
Diane steps forward.
Why is it so cold in here?!
Yeah, all the time!
Diane rolls her eyes.
Because of Brad’s stupid fish.
Tori puts her hand on Diane’s arm.
It’s fine though, Diane. It’s still a nice place.
Just, a little too cold.
Diane sneezes. They all look concerned.
I don’t need a cold, Diane.
Neither do I!
Why don’t you just turn the A/C down?
They got into a fight about that before…
We paid a lot for those, stupid fish.
Brad is making more drinks for JASON, ROB, and CRAIG.
We never hang out as much anymore.
Brad nods and looks around the room.
I say we hit the clubs like the good ol’ days!
Brad pops him in the arm.
I told you not to mention “clubs” around my wife!
Rob puts his hands up. Brad looks quickly around the room.
Sorry, man, gosh.
What are you looking for?
Brad looks around briefly.
His wife’s cat.
Jason pauses to look at Brad. Brad waves him off.
Rob starts cracking up.
Last week, the freaking cat fell in the punch bowl trying to drink out of it!
Brad is wide-eyed.
(whispers to Rob)
Will you shut up?!
The cat fell — ?
– Rob actually had punch after that.
Guys! I told my wife we wouldn’t talk about it anymore. Okay?!
The guys shake their heads, but Rob still giggles.
You think Frisky’s gonna made another appearance tonight?
They all, save Brad, start laughing, trying to hold it in. Brad walks off as he spots Frisky coming out of the bedroom.
TIME CUT TO:
SAME SCENE – TWO HOURS LATER
After the party, Brad and Diane are almost finished cleaning up. Diane sneezes again. Brad’s back is turned, she heads for the A/C controls.
Honey, you’re getting a cold.
Brad turns around to see her at the A/C controls.
What are you doing?
Diane slaps her hand down on her thigh.
I’m turning off the A/C for –
– Diane, the fish –
Diane spins around.
I don’t care about the stupid fish!
Brad is taken back.
Just a second. I don’t call your cat, “stupid.”
Diane stomps forward.
That’s because there’s nothing wrong with Frisky!
He fell in the punch –
Diane points at him.
– Don’t bring that up again!
Brad shakes his head.
And I can’t sleep ‘cause he’s always crawling across my head, meowing in my face –
– He’s saying “good morning” to us –
– He needs his own room!
No! Frisky is free to sleep wherever he wants.
Fine! Then my fish need to stay thirty degrees below room temperature!
Diane waves at him and storms into the room, SLAMMING the DOOR behind her.
INT. CONDO – BEDROOM – DAY
Brad and Diane wake up well-rested, both with a smile on their face as the sunrise shines through their windows. They look at each other to notice the other’s happiness.
Honey, I’m sorry about the A/C –
– No, I guess I overreacted about Frisky –
– Maybe it is kind of… strange to have the A/C –
– Frisky doesn’t have to wake us.
Brad looks around the room noticing the room temperature.
Diane sits up in the bed looking back and forth for Frisky.
Diane… it’s… it’s kind of warm in here.
Frisky didn’t wake us up this morning. It’s already after seven o’clock!
Brad and Diane quickly jump out of bed. Diane looks around the bedroom.
Frisky… Frisky, baby… where are you?
Brad is going through the bedroom door, then turns back.
Diane, what happened to the A/C?
I don’t know! You run it so much, maybe it broke! Why didn’t he wake us up this morning?!
Frisky’s a growing cat, he probably got tired of it!
Brad looks over the A/C controls as Diane roams about the room calling for Frisky.
Did you, uhh, turn off the A/C while I was asleep?
Frisky, baby, oh my gosh!
Would you forget about the A/C. Help me find my cat!
He probably –
Brad gasps and runs towards the fish stand.
We’ve been robbed! My fish, my fish are gone!
Why would someone steal your stupid fish?!
Frisky, stop playing! Where are you?!
Brad pauses to see a trail of water spilled on the floor.
Look, someone did take them!
Diane pauses to listen to something else.
Wait. Do you hear that?
There are CARS HONKING outside as they pass by the condominium complex.
Diane walks to the balcony sliding glass door to look down at what all the commotion is about. She slides the door open.
Brad follows the trail of spilled water through the kitchen.
They both scream.
TIME CUT TO:
INT. NYC LOBBY – THREE HOURS LATER – DAY
In a fancy corporate building, Tori, Jessica, and Marie look concerned as they whisper to Craig, Rob, and Jason. They all look back down the hall to the front office door.
INT. COUNSELING OFFICE
Brad and Diane sit on separate couches as they listen to a MARRIAGE COUNSELOR try to give them advice.
We’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t express your feelings. Talk it out.
Diane sits up to the front of the couch, angrily.
He dropped my cat outside on the scaffolding!
The counselor sits back, looks at Brad.
She, turns off, the A/C unit –
– All of New York was honking because they thought my cat was gonna commit suicide — !
– Then, puts my fish, in the freezer.
The counselor looks at Diane.
Oh, don’t get me started on those stupid fish!
Book Excerpt of “Speak.”