Stand Tall

by Brian Cadiz

FADE IN:

INT. BOXING RING -NIGHT (IMAGINING)

Darkness surrounds a ring. SHAUNDEN ALBANO, 26, stands in the middle of the ring. His face is illuminated by a single light source.

Flashing lights pops all around him.

The ANNOUNCER introduces Shaunden.

ANNOUNCER (O.S.)
Wearing red with yellow and green trim. Weighing in at 65 pounds from Honolulu, Hawaii. Shaunden "Da Hawaiian Superman" Albano!

A crowd goes wild as they cheer his name.

Shaunden bounces with excitement and anticipation.

A beat.

A man's fist, slowly, strikes Shaunden's face.

 

EXT. HOUSE -DAY

A dilapidated house sits behind Shaunden. Shaunden drops to the ground after a hard punch to the face.

His brother KYLE ALBANO, 24, with a short and stocky build, stands over Shaunden.

SHAUNDEN (V.O.)
I always pray to God...

Shaunden, with his shirt removed, struggles to get up. He stands two and a half feet tall with no hands, no arms, and no knees.

SHAUNDEN
(jokingly)
Come on, you faka!

Shaunden's NEIGHBORS surround and cheer them on as they fight each other.

SHAUNDEN (V.O.)(CONT'D)
... I would wake up as a normal person...

Shaunden stands up and runs like a penguin toward Kyle. He trips over himself and takes a hard landing against the ground.

SHAUNDEN (V.O.)
... Having arms...

KYLE
(laughing)
Lick my toes while you're down there.

Shaunden tries to get up. Kyle lands a hard kick to his ribs. Shaunden drops back down to the ground.

Shaunden rages up. His face begins to turn red.

SHAUNDEN (V.O.)(CONT'D)
... Legs...

SHAUNDEN
Brah, stop tickling me.

Kyle lands another kick to his ribs and gives him a quick jab to his face.

Shaunden laughs through the pain.

Shaunden tries to fight back from the ground. He flops his body around like a fish on dry land.

KYLE
Who's laughing now?

Kyle spits on the ground and walks away. Shaunden sits up and smiles.

SHAUNDEN (V.O.)
... or at least be with a chick.

 

INT. SHAUNDEN'S ROOM -NIGHT

The room is small and messy with clothes everywhere. A poster of Bob Marley and MMA fighter, BJ Penn, are posted on white walls. Everything seems unnaturally low to the floor.

A PS3 and a 20-inch TV with no stand sits on the floor. A bed mattress with one pillow and a blanket lies in the corner.

INSERT -COMPUTER SCREEN, which reads: "www.eharmony.com. Angela Kamai, 23, years old."

 

SERIES OF SHOTS -SHAUNDEN GETS READY FOR A DATE

A) Shaunden takes a shower and brushes his teeth.

B) Shaunden listens to "Boyz to Men" music. He mocks himself.

SHAUNDEN
(singing)
I'll make love to you. Like you want me to...

C) Shaunden combs his hair in front of the mirror.

D) Shaunden slow dances in front of the mirror.

SHAUNDEN (CONT'D)
(singing)
... And I'll hold you tight. Baby all through the night...

BACK TO ROOM.

 

Shaunden stands in front of the mirror and continues to sing. He's out of tune.

SHAUNDEN (CONT'D)
(singing)
... I'll make love to you. Like you want me to, and I'll hold you tight. Baby -­

Kyle enters the room.

KYLE
Will you shut the fuck up! You can't even sing.

Shaunden stops. He glares at Kyle through the mirror.

KYLE
Where the hell you going?

SHAUNDEN
I get one date.

Kyle laughs sarcastically.

SHAUNDEN
Brah, I meeting one chick.

KYLE
Chick. What chick? Your hands? Oh, wait I forgot. You no more hands.

Shaunden looks at Kyle angrily.

KYLE
Nah, fo real. What's his name?

SHAUNDEN
Brah, fuck you! Leave me alone.

 

INT. HALLWAY -NIGHT

Kyle quickly removes the door stopper and locks Shaunden in the room. Shaunden runs toward the door.

SHAUNDEN (O.S.)
Brah, open the door... Kyle!... Kyle! Fuck! I gotta go!

Shaunden pounds the door with his shoulder. Kyle stands by the door.

SHAUNDEN (O.S.)
(yelling)
Open the door!

Shaunden pounds the door in anger.

SHAUNDEN (O.S.)
Kyle! Open the fuckin door!

Shaunden pounds harder. Kyle walks away laughing

SHAUNDEN (O.S.)
Fuck.

 

INT. SHAUNDEN'S ROOM -NIGHT

Shauden grabs a pen with his mouth. He tries to reach for the knob.

Shaunden breathes rapidly. He takes a moment to catch his breath.

SERIES OF SHOTS -SHAUNDEN ATTEMPTING TO OPEN DOOR

A) Shaunden moves his mattress close to the door.

B) He climbs up.

C) Shaunden uses the pen again to open the door. The pen bends in his mouth. The door knob doesn't move.

D) He ties a loop with his shoe lace.

E) Shaunden gets it around the door knob. He places the end of the shoelace in his mouth. F) Shaunden strains as he pulls at the door knob. He realizes he doesn't have the proper angle.

END SERIES OF SHOTS.

 

INT. SHAUNDEN'S ROOM -NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER)

Shaunden uses his shoulders to turn the doorknob but without grip, his shoulders slide off. He screams and kicks the door.

SHAUNDEN
Fuck!

Shaunden plops down at the end of the bed and hangs his head in defeat.

Shaunden stares at his computer screen.

INSERT -COMPUTER SCREEN, which reads: "Angela Kamai, 23... Loves to dance."

BACK IN ROOM. Shaunden lets out a deep sigh. A bright, lime green tennis ball rolls off a shelf and bounces on the floor. In the distance, Shaunden hears his DOG bark. His face lights up.

SHAUNDEN
Here, boy! C'mon, Wai'anae!

Galloping paws can be heard getting closer. Wai'anae barks outside Shaunden's door.

Shaunden pulls his mattress away. He places his face on the door.

SHAUNDEN
Wai'anae, open door!

The doorknob wiggles and pops open. Wai'anae, a small little poodle, darts into the room and snatches the tennis ball with his mouth.

SHAUNDEN
Good boy.

Shaunden rapidly waddles out of the room.

 

EXT. RESTAURANT -NIGHT

A large bus pulls to a stop. Compressed air hisses as the side of the bus lowers to the curb. Shaunden exits the bus. The bus returns to original height

and rolls away.

Shaunden fixes his shirt and takes in a deep breath and exhales sharply. He waddles to the restaurant.

 

INT. RESTAURANT -NIGHT

Chatter and laughter overlap a crowded Hawaiian restaurant.

Shaunden walks up to the MAITRE'D and knocks on his podium.

SHAUNDEN
Excuse me?

The Maitre'D pops his head from the side of his podium. An instant but passing horrified look comes across the Maitre'D face.

MAITRE'D
(voice breaking)
Ye-Yes. How may I help you?

SHAUNDEN
I'm here for Angela Kamai. The reservation is under Shaunden Albano but she should be here already.

MAITRE'D
Yes. Right this way.

The Maitre'D grabs a menu and places it under his arm and leads Shaunden to his table.

As Shaunden passes the tables, the PATRONS occupying the table fall silent and stare with curiosity.

SHAUNDEN (V.O.)
I always pray to God that I will one day wake up and be normal...

The Maitre'D stops at Shaunden's table. Shaunden, accidentally, kicks a long, thin, metal cane.

Shaunden turns to the table behind him.

SHAUNDEN
I'm sorry.

The COUPLE at the table remain silent.

SHAUNDEN (V.O.)(CONT'D)
But you know what...

ANGELA (O.S)
That would be mine.

Shaunden turns to see a beautiful WOMAN with long, dark brown hair and dark glasses on.

ANGELA
Sometimes I forget where I place that thing.

Shaunden's jaw hangs open. ANGELA KAMAI, 23, sports a giant smile.

ANGELA
You're gonna have to say something so I know I'm talking in the right direction.

SHAUNDEN
God, damn.

ANGELA
Excuse me?

SHAUNDEN
Um? Yeah... Sorry, didn't mean to kick this over.

Angela blushes.

ANGELA
It's okay...

Shaunden climbs onto his chair.

 

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT (MOMENTS LATER)

Angela and Shaunden chat and laugh.

ANGELA
Lets make a toast.

Shaunden smiles.

SHAUNDEN (V.O.)(CONT'D)
... being normal is overrated.

FADE OUT

 

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