Screenplay Excerpt: Fertile Ground

bioshock_rabbit_splicer_mask__by_sickbubblegum666-d4dspuhFertile Ground: A Screenplay Excerpt

Let me tell you all a story. It is the story of a being that some would call an animal, others would call a human and still others would call a God. It is a being that lives in this world and yet serves an otherworldly purpose. A magical purpose, if you will…
……..
……..
……..
The children reluctantly proceed into the next room. The sight that awaits them causes them all to GASP aloud.
The room is also carved out of the earth, but this one is overgrown with vines and foliage. Some of it has withered and dried, still others bloom with beautiful flowers. Tiny luminescent insects flitter about like living lanterns, casting an azure light. The blue lighting mixes with the illumination of Thistlewick’s lantern. He quickly extinguishes it and motions for the kids to turn out their flashlights.
The otherworldly blue light allows the children to view the main feature of the room. It is a small bed fashioned entirely out of wood. The posts are carved with egg shaped knobs and an ornate design of spiraling grasses and roots. The plants that overtake the room seem to converge onto the bed and twist their roots around it in an almost lovingly manner.
   PAUL
Wow..
The sole occupant of the bed raises her head weakly. The children find themselves staring into the eyes of what can only be described as a large, anthropomorphic rabbit. The creature appears to be made of plant life as well. Thorns bristle from its white fur and gnarled roots arch over its large ears appearing almost in the form of a crown. Patches of grass emerge from its fur, some vibrant green and others a dingy brown. A nest of the blue lighted insects alight upon the wooden crown, creating a halo effect. This is a powerful, yet weakened creature known as OSTERA. She raises her head softly. Rivers of golden, viscous fluid run from her eyes and soft, pink nostrils. Her whiskers twitch, rather feebly. She speaks perfect English, a soft lilting voice.
   OSTERA
My dear friend, I see you have brought visitors..
Thistle GRUNTS in affirmation and quickly darts forward. He drops to one bended knee before the bedridden creature and grasps one of her paws lightly in his own malformed hand. She gently pulls her paw away from him and runs it across the back of his hand.
   OSTERA
And just in time, too. This is to be their tenth festival, is it not?
Thistle GRUNTS and nods his head. Ostera raises her wood bedecked head and beckons the children forward.
   OSTERA
Come, children. Come.
Connie wastes no time in approaching and kneeling before her. She motions with a crook of her head for the others to follow suit. The other children approach tentatively from the gloom and into the bright, blue light. They stand around the bed, unsure of what to do. Connie SIGHS aloud and impatiently tugs on Beatrice’s shirt, pulling her down. The others grasp the concept and immediately drop to bended knee. Ostera smiles gently.
   OSTERA
Arise, all of you.
The children and Thistle comply.
Connie caresses her medallion almost lovingly.
   CONNIE
Madam..I always knew you were here, that you were alive. Why have you forsaken us? I must know.
FRANKLIN
Wait, you mean-
   CONNIE
(fiercely)
Don’t you speak in her presence unless instructed to do so!
Ostera weakly raises a paw to silence Connie.
   OSTERA
(to Franklin)
Speak, child.
   FRANKLIN
(awkwardly)
Uh, th-thank you. Connie, you mean to tell us you knew about…all of THIS?
   CONNIE
Well, no. At least…I didn’t know. Mr. McHenry’s stories are more than just faerie tales, you know? Afterwards, I would stay and ask him questions and he told me about the one who makes our grass grow, the one who keeps our land beautiful and vibrant. Her name is Ostera.
   PETER
She’s not…the Easter Bunny? I thought you didn’t believe in it, Connie.
(to Ostera)
Uh, no disrespect…Ma’am.
Ostera smiles.
   CONNIE
I didn’t believe in the Easter Bunny. That’s just a myth..but I believed in the basis, the great Goddess of the forest, Ostera. Don’t you see? This is what Mr. McHenry was telling us about. SHE is who our ancestors based that fountain in the town square upon. There’s no silly goat man around, just her.
She lovingly takes Ostera’s paw into her own hand. Thistle WHIMPERS nearby, dismayed at the seemingly decaying nature of his mistress.
OSTERA
You are a born storyteller, child. But there is an inaccuracy. The one named McHenry is not what would seem. There is a reason why you see me in my current condition and I fear my time on this plane is nearing the end. That man has been coaxing you and your parents towards a celebration of false pretenses.
At this time, we begin to INTERCUT with scenes of McHenry and the children’s parents back at the complex.
                CUT TO:
EXT. APARTMENT COURTYARD – DAWN
POV – An undetermined parent of one of the children. McHenry approaches and presses something over the individuals face. Our POV is now obscured save for two spots of vision, akin to eyeholes in a mask.
   OSTERA (V.O.)
For the past generations, dating back to your great-great-grandparents, he has been corrupting the minds of those in our community into committing horrid acts in my name. He is a blind fool and the atrocities he has inflicted upon my land are slowly ending my time.
The POV turns slowly to the right as we see McHenry slowly approaching Franklin’s father with a mask of some type and gently tying it around his head. The other adults stand in a line, silent and willing.
                CUT TO:
INT. HUTCH – DAWN
   BEATRICE
Wait, I don’t think I understand. Or any of us, for that matter.
   PETER
I don’t understand ANY of what has happened tonight..
CONNIE
(hushed)
Don’t be disrespectful!
   OSTERA
You children were raised here, in my hollow, in an effort to protect you from that man. He is an ageless evil and revels in bloodshed.
                CUT TO:
EXT. FOREST – DAWN
McHenry walks forward with a purpose, eyes set dead ahead. In his hand, he grasps a long vine, intertwined with small white flowers. The vine leads behind him.
PAN DOWN to follow the vine. We can see that it leads upwards towards the neck of an individual behind him, akin to a leash. Their feet shuffle in the dirt as the flower bedecked vine trails from person to person in a line, creating a chain gang of sorts, with McHenry holding the reigns. One of the shuffling feet accidentally crushes a lily but the individual continues to shamber onwards.
   OSTERA (V.O.)
He may seem kindly, but he is a skilled deceiver. He knew of my existence and his silver tongue managed to twist your parents to his whim and forcibly remove you from my care.
                CUT TO:
INT. HUTCH – DAWN
Thistle GROANS in anger and frustration.
   OSTERA
My brave Timothy, the one you call Thistle,  he is the youngest of you all despite appearences. He was removed from me before he was fully realized and thus exists in the form you see before you. He has been my loyal caretaker.
   FRANKLIN
Why does he hide eggs for us, like..well, like an Easter Bunny?
OSTERA
Simple. For the fact that young children need magic in their lives. I could do nothing but wait for you children to come of age and discover this for yourselves. Until then, why not embrace the last bit of wonder in your childhoods?
   PETER
So then, these medallions-?
He lifts his in curiosity and the others inspect theirs as well.
   OSTERA
Symbolic of your true origins. It is true that our community is a dying breed. What was once fertile grounds are now decaying, much like myself. There is no room in this world for us anymore. This annual festival…the one partaken under the guise of “Easter”..IS important for through it I can continue to help our land prosper. You children must follow the ways of your ancestors and maintain the fertility of our people. In order for us to thrive, false ones like McHenry MUST be stopped.
   CONNIE
But how can we do this, Madam?
   OSTERA
I can help you. Lead me to the light, to the world so long neglected by my presence. Quickly now children, I fear that in these past minutes, he has begun his ritual.
 ………
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