‘Blackout’ continued...

Written by Star Frohman; Directed by Gary Nelson; (as "fanscribed" by Karla)


---Scene 13: Lee’s store---

[A radio is on with a woman’s voice saying, "It will be at least 12 and as many as 24 hours before power is restored to all areas of the city. With traffic jams reported at virtually all major intersections, emergency service personnel have requested that a residents stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary..." Gary walks into the store. He has his paper in hand, as usual. As he walks in a kid, about 6, asks him]

Max: How much do you weigh?

Gary [taken aback]: Huh? How much do you weigh?

Max: 58 pounds. How tall are you?

Diana: Max, don’t bother the customers.

Gary: It’s alright.

Diana: Hey, I know you. You were on the council last year, you helped us get that stoplight.

Gary: Oh... uh, Gary Hobson.

Diana: Diana Lee. And these are my children Jennah and Max. [giggles] Children, this is Mr. Hobson. He’s a very important man.

Gary: Oh, no I’m not, I’m not really that-

Diana: You’re still on the board of supervisors?

Gary: Uh, no, that was just, uh, very temporary.

Diana: Oh, you run again--we need more people like you.

Gary: Haha, thank you.

Diana: Come on, children. We’re going to the YMCA pool to cool off.

Gary: Ahh.

Max [as they leave]: See you later, alligator.

Gary: In a while, crocodile.

Max: Hey, he knows it!

[Lee and his son are cashing people out at the register. Maria puts down two half gallons or quarts of milk and the rest of her groceries. Eric puts one quart in the bag and Lee takes the other one and puts it aside]

Maria: I need more milk, Mr. Lee.

Lee: Sorry, one quart to customer.

Maria: What?

Frank: Since when?

Lee: I don’t have enough for everybody- this way everybody get some.

Maria: Oh... I don’t believe this... [pulls out credit card]

Lee: Sorry, cash only.

Maria: What?!?

Eric: The machine’s not working, we can’t process credit cards.

Young man: That’s bull, man, you know her!

Gary [somewhat butting in]: Well, uh, maybe you could, maybe you could extend some credit.

Lee: You live in this neighborhood?

Gary: Well, a few miles away-

Maria: He... [referring to Lee] he treats us like strangers.

Gary: Well, I think that what Mr. Lee is trying to do is to be fair. Because if he gave you all the milk there wouldn’t be any for your neighbors, would there?

Lee: That’s right.

Maria: Well, yes...

Gary: Well, uh, I think we all need to give a little bit here until the power comes back on and instead of attacking Mr. Lee maybe we should, we should appreciate him for what he is trying to do.

Lee: Thank you.

Gary: Well, yes, but Mr. Lee but you gotta understand, too, that these people are a little bit nervous because they don’t know how long this thing is going to last.

Frank: That’s right.

Gary: And since they are your neighbors, well, maybe some of them don’t have enough money to pay for the things they need right now [to all] but they’re good for it, right?

[everyone there nods or says something like ‘Ci’ or ‘Yeah, come on, Mr. Lee, give it up’]

Gary: I think a little goodwill would go a long way right here, so if you could just hand out some I.O.U.’s, huh?

Eric: We could do that, pop.

Sal [bursting in the store]: Hey, Maria, this guy here giving you grief?

Lee: ‘This guy’? I have lived, just like you.

Sal: Just like me? No, I don’t think so, pal. You see all of us here? We’ve been part of this neighborhood for years, all of our lives. You-you been here, what, two years?

Eric: So what?

Sal: So you wanna be part of this neighborhood- you give the people what we need.

[background of yes’s and ‘Yeah, you tell ‘em, Sal’]

Gary: You know, I was doing fine right here, actually...

Sal: No respect, you know? That’s what this is all about--no respect.

Lee: You see? You don’t know what goes on. You don’t know these people.

Sal: Oh, you hear that? Oh, now we’re ‘these people’.

Lee: Ahhhh.... I don’t want to deal with you.

Sal: No, no, you’re going to deal with me or else.

Eric: Or else what?

Lee: That’s it, get out of store!

Sal: You throwing me out of here, huh?? You throwing me out of this store?

Lee: Everybody! I’m closing! Get out! Out! Out! [people start filing out, including a somewhat deflated Gary] Out! We close! You don’t like the way I do things you go shop someplace else!

--outside of store--

Sal [wiping sweat off his brow and neck with a white cloth]: It’s not over yet. Come on. Oh, man, it’s no better out here.

[people are continuing to file out with a ‘Heck with him’ look on their faces]

Sal: You know, I’m thinkin’ maybe we should go back in there and take what we need.

[other neighbors start putting up protests at this, ‘Sal...’]

Gary: Why, why, why don’t you, why don’t you shop at another store?

Sal: Who asked you, huh? Who is this guy?

[a police car pulls up with a siren, cop gets out]

Mike: Everything ok, Sal?

Sal: Yeah, yeah, Mike. No problems.

Mike: Alright, in that case let’s break it up and try to cool off, huh? [Mike gets out of the police car and walks toward the store. Chatter is coming over the police radio]

Frank: We can come back later on.

[Sal and gang start walking away to go to where ever. Gary pulls out his paper and opens it. He looks up to see Sal giving him a not so good look. Sal nods somewhat, like ‘I have my eye on you’, and then continues to walk away, wiping his brow]

--the abandoned building--

Marissa: Hello? Is anybody there? [Marissa is in the same spot as before- sitting down on the scaffolding. Spike, who is across the way, whimpers. There is a yard or so of open air straight down between the two. Marissa starts to move towards Spike] Spike! Spike, Spike, Spike... go get help-oh! [In her efforts to move towards Spike Marissa knocks a bucket full of wood bits off the edge of the scaffolding and in horror she hears it fall several stories and then crash. She holds on to the scaffolding very tightly, her foot in pain] Oh, God, why’d I ever come here? [Spike starts barking, which startles Marissa] It’s ok, Spike. [He barks again which further startles Marissa]

--Wabash and Chestnut--

[Patrick is directing traffic. There is some music playing like swing, lots of brass instruments, and he is dancing to it as he directs. A crowd has gathered at the corner to watch him. They are clapping and cheering at everything Patrick does. An arm comes out of one car as it passes Patrick and hands him some money -a tip- which Patrick puts in his pocket as he says]

Patrick: Whoa! Hey, alright! You have a good day, sir!


---Scene 14: Sal’s store---

[it’s really hot in the wood store, all the men in it have sweat dripping off their faces. The three men are sitting around, talking]

Man [holding somewhat cold beer bottle to his neck]: It’s like an oven in here.

Sal: Want an oven try my apartment, sixth floor- bake like a potato.

Frank [cooling himself off with a small battery operated fan]: If these batteries go I’m gonna stroke out.

Sal: I know someone who’s got plenty of batteries. Batteries, fans, whatever you want. Probably in his store right now, as cool as a cucumber.

Man [nodding in agreement]: Doesn’t give a damn about anyone else.

Sal: You got that right.

[the door opens and who walks in but Gary Hobson, paper in hand. Police sirens can be heard as he opens the door]

Sal: Well, well, if it isn’t the referee.

Gary [closes the door and walks in]: Ah... I was just walking by and I thought I’d.... [to Frank] how ya doin’? [to Sal] Gary Hobson. [Sal gives Gary a look like, ‘That’s nice’] Look, I was just trying to understand what was going on here...

Sal [taking a swig of beer]: Why?

Gary: Well, because I’m from the neighborhood, too.

Sal: Today’s the first I’ve seen of ‘ya.

Gary: Well, I may live a few miles away- but we’re all in this mess together, aren’t we?

Sal: Some of us.

Gary: Look, uh, Mr. Lee seems like a pretty good guy and I don’t know why you’re jumping down his throat.

Sal: You wanna know why? I’ll tell ‘ya why. A couple of years this neighborhood was in the toilet. Punks selling drugs right out there on the street -day, night- it didn’t matter then.

Man: In front of all our stores, the Chinaman’s, too.

Sal: But not anymore. We formed the Block Merchants Association. Put up streetlights.

Frank: Patrolled the streets.

Sal: Guess who didn’t want to join?

Frank: Always too busy to make the weekly meeting.

Man: Couldn’t afford the dues.

Sal: Then he goes out and buys a new van. Do you believe that? A brand new van. Puts nothing into this neighborhood and but then wants to take everything out of it.

Gary: Look, I see that might bother you but that’s no reason to go destroying his store.

Sal: Wha, what? What do you mean, destroy- who said anything about destroying his store? What are you accusing us of here?

Gary: I’m not accusing you of anything it’s just- look, I think I know what you’re thinking-

Sal: Oh, oh, oh, oh, no, oh, so now he’s a mind reader.

Gary: I didn’t say I was a mind reader-

Sal: Get out of here!

Gary: Listen, if you-

Sal: No, you listen. I don’t know what your game is but this is my store and I want you out of here.

[Gary just looks at Sal]

Sal: Hey, do I stutter when I talk?

Gary: No... no, you don’t. [he heads on his way out of the store]


---Scene 15: Lee’s Store, which is closed---

[Gary is in the store, talking with Lee, Lee’s son Eric, Diana (from the ‘How much do you weigh’ sequence)]

Lee: Did they send you here?

Gary: No, no one *sent* me here. Listen, I talked to them. And... if you could just take five minutes to listen to their side of the situation-

Lee: *Their* side? Why? They never listen to*our* side.

Gary: Well, listen, maybe that’s the case. But the way they see it, well, you haven’t, uh, given a lot to the neighborhood.

Eric: Here we go again. Last month they wanted us to sponsor a little league team. I gave them 50 dollars, they called us cheap.

Lee: And the Merchants Association. 200 dollars they want us to pay. Then I find out everybody else pay 100 dollars.

Eric: They were trying to cheat us.

Lee: Here--let me show you something, Mr. Hobson. [he points at a picture of four Chinese people standing together, dressed nicely. Two guys and two girls, two old and two younger. He points out each person as he goes] This is my brother, my sister. I trying bring them over from China. This my papa, my mama. They too old to come. So I send them money for doctor and medicine. Every penny I make go into the store or for my family.

Gary: Well, have you explained that to them-

Eric: They only hear what they want to hear. Like the van- it’s not new, it’s three years old. It’s been reconditioned, and we need it for our delivery service.

Lee: My son and me, we work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week and they mock us for it! And the names they call my grandchildren... I don’t even want to tell you.

Gary: But, listen, I can understand that it’s very difficult-

Lee: You can understand? How? How you can understand? Forgive me, Mr. Hobson but you cannot understand.

Gary: Ok, maybe I can’t understand, alright? But, listen, something’s going to happen here that no one wants to happen. If we don’t stop it there’s going to be trouble.

Diana: Trouble? What kind of trouble?

Gary: Well, the kind of trouble where people are gonna get hurt.

Lee [very seriously]: We are ready for trouble.

Gary: No, now, Mr. Lee, there’s not going to be any violence... li- if you could just reopen your store, if you could give the smallest amount of goodwill to these people I think they might-

Lee: Goodwill? I am not the one who is wrong here! You see the way they behave!

Gary: Well, sometimes it’s a strong man who backs down first.

Lee: I not back down.

Diana: Listen to him, father.

Gary: Alright, how ‘bout if I got you and Mr. Regate together to talk, just the two of you together.

Eric: It’d never happen.

Gary: Even if I had Sal come over here, just the two of you one-on-one.

Lee: That man is fat head.

Gary: You know what, he is a fat head, I agree with you. But could you at least sit down with the fat head and talk once?

Lee [with a sigh and a ‘I’m gonna regret this’ look]: Yes.

Gary [somewhat surprised, very happy]: Good! Good!

Lee: But I not promise anything.

Gary: You don’t have to promise a thing. I’ll go talk to them, I’ll go try to work everything out..

Diana: Thank you.

Gary [starting to walk out of store]: Thank you. Good. [Eric follows him and opens the gate that is set on the outside of door to keep people out]

--outside of Lee’s store--

[Eric lets Gary out, Gary adds a]

Gary: Thank you. [to self] Alright.

[Gary watches the gate and door close behind him. He then opens his paper to see if there is anything there about the current situation. Instead he finds an article ‘Woman dies in abandoned building’ with Marissa’s picture. He reads]

Gary: ‘Marissa Clark, a local book keeper fell down an elevator shaft to her death in a city building under renovation.’ [black and white flash to Marissa trying to feel her way across the yard long gap to Spike with a twisted metal bar. She doesn’t make it, however, and falls down the gap stories and stories to her death as Spike looks on] ‘Her seeing eye dog, a German Shepard, was found by her side.’ [Gary looks up from the paper with a realization of what might happen. We looks behind him at the store, remembering what he has to do with Sal and Lee. As the shot fades out Gary whispers] Marissa.


---Scene 16: Inside the abandoned building---

Marissa: [She is still on the scaffolding, with Spike on the other side. Spike is barking his head off] Stay calm, Spike, stay calm. [sounds as though she is trying to calm down herself] Everything’s going to be fine- we’re going to get out of here. [Spike is still barking] Calm down Spike- good boy, good boy. Calm down, Spike. [Something bangs and shakes the scaffolding, either some unseen shutter in the structure or she’s banging her good foot in pain from the other foot. She gasps and fights through the pain. [quieter] Good boy.

[outside of building who walks up but our hero, Gary Hobson. He is lighting his way with a flashlight in one hand, his paper is in the other]

Gary [to self]: Come on, Marissa, where are you? [yells] Marissa! [Spike can be heard faintly barking] Good dog, Spike. [he rushes in the building] Marissa?!

Marissa: Gary! I’m up here! I’m up here, Gary.

[Gary comes to the scaffolding, looks way down the gap between it and himself, and then looks a story up at Marissa]

Gary: How did you...?

Marissa: I-I don’t know, I don’t know where I am.

Gary: Just-just stay right there.

Marissa: Oh, I’m not going anywhere.

Gary: Yeah. Just stay still there. [he starts to climb the scaffolding up to Marissa] You know I really hate heights... a lot. [Spike barks once]

Marissa: Be careful, Gary. Take your time. [Gary continues to climb up the scaffolding]

Gary [to self, softly]: Easy, now. Alright. Yeah. Alright. [to Marissa] You alright?

Marissa: I think I hurt my foot.

Gary: Which one?

Marissa: The right one. [moves, says in pain] Ooo, ahh...

Gary: Just stay still. We’re gonna-I’m just gonna get some boards here, and we’re just gonna walk across here. [grabs some boards to make a gangway. Now he is trying to keep Marissa’s mind off of all the weird noises] Hey, you know what? A funny thing happened the other day when I was in the bar, over by the cash register... you know, where we keep the cashews.

Marissa: Right.

Gary: Well, I was looking at the cashews, and I had one, and I thought to myself, ‘What does a cashew shell look like?’.

Marissa: What?

Gary: Well, what does a cashew shell look like, did you ever think about that? Cashew shell, what’s it look like?

Marissa: Actually, I’ve never thought of that.

Gary: Well, I didn’t either. I’ve eaten a lot of cashews, and I’ve seen a lot of cashew shells, but I’ve never seen a cashew shell on a can sitting next to a shelf. I just saw the cashew. [He means ‘I’ve never seen a cashew shell on a can sitting on a shelf.’ In the moment, however, you don’t notice that blooper, or him saying ‘I’ve seen a lot of cashew shells’ while claiming he doesn’t know what one looks like]

Marissa: Nice try, Gary.

Gary: Yeah. Alright. Now listen, this thing’s just fine, ok?

Marissa: Alright.

Gary [helping Marissa up, helping her to the makeshift walkway]: And, uh, there’s just a, there’s just a little walkway up right here, and there’s just a little spot where we’re gonna step over here, and it’s a little bit of an incline, ok? Everything’s going to be fine we’re just going to walk up... alright?

Marissa: Alright.

Gary: Alright, good.

Marissa: Where am I-where am I... where am I going?

Gary: Just give me a hop forward. [Marissa does, and Gary helps her get up the ramp which is three six by one boards laid across the gap. Marissa grunts with exertion as she hops on one foot up the ramp. They reach the other side and Gary says] Easy, easy, there’s just a little drop off here... [he helps Marissa off the ramp to the floor on the other side. Then we see the ramp boards falling many stories, crashing to the ground.] You like to go home now?

Marissa: What?

Gary: Come on, Spike, you too. [a shot of Gary carrying Marissa out of the building. The paper is sticking out of his back pocket.]


---Scene 17: Gary’s room- McGinty’s loft---

[Gary opens the door and walks into his room, carrying Marissa. He is carrying an ice bag in his teeth.]

Marissa: I’m sorry, Gary, I’m really sorry. I thought I could help out, you know?

Gary [through clenched teeth--he’s carrying the ice bag, remember]: You thought you could help out?

Marissa: Yeah. One less thing for you to worry about. [Gary sets Marissa on his couch.] Couch...

Gary: Look, you, uh... [he gets a pillow to elevate her injured foot] here. Alright? Look, keep this on here now, alright? [puts ice bag on Marissa’s foot]

Marissa: I guess I was trying to prove something. All I proved was how foolish I could be.

Gary: You did good.

Marissa: Did you, uh, stop the looting?

Gary [looking at his watch]: No, I gotta get back there.

Marissa: What are you going to tell ‘em?

Gary: I have no idea.

Marissa: ‘First cast out the beam of thine own eye and then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the moat out from thy brother’s eye.’

Gary: You trying to tell me something?

Marissa: You should go. Go.

Gary [moving towards the door]: Huh? Oh, yeah. You uh... Look, keep that on there, you hear me?

Marissa: I’ll be fine.

Gary [at the door]: I’m-I’ll go-I’ll do- oh....... [leaves]


---Scene 18: Sal’s Store---

[Sal and Frank are playing a game of cards. Beers all around]

Frank: Gin.

Sal: Again? [Frank shrugs]

Frank: Now what?

Man [entering room]: My wife is driving me nuts! We just ran out of juice. Her sister and her two babies over, they’re wailing like banshees!

Sal: I know where you can get some juice.

Frank: Come on, Sal, it’s not the only store in town.

Sal: It’s the only store within a mile of here. What are we supposed to do, beg him to sell his stuff?

Man: He’s right, Frank.

Sal: We’ve been carrying this guy for, what, two years? And what does he do to show his appreciation? Shuts his gate in our faces. Nah, it’s payback time.

Man: I’m with you, Sal.

Sal: I’ve had it with that old Chinaman.

Man: I’m sick of the both of them, him and his son.

Sal: They don’t want to help us, we’ll help ourselves.

Frank: Come on, Sal. Man, listen up.

Sal: Come on, come on Frank, let’s go. Listened enough.


---Scene 19: Lee’s store---

[Lee is looking out of the store’s front door]

Lee: Where is he? Where is Mr. Hobson?

Eric: I guess he couldn’t get Regate to come. Let’s go home, pop.

Lee: No. I not leave the store.

Eric: Dad... [Lee shrugs Eric’s protest off with a wave of his hand]

--a street near Lee’s store--

[Sal is leading a group of people, a ‘mob’ if you will, down the street to Lee’s store. The group has flashlights and some people are armed--Sal has a baseball bat]

Sal: No, no, no Frank, that’s it. No, no, we’re doing too much talking.

Young Man: Hey, Sal. Que pasa?

Sal: We’re going to do a little shopping at Mr. Lee’s store.

Young Man: I thought it was closed.

Sal: It was; we’re going to open it.

Young Man: You know, I could use a soda myself.

[Here we see Gary hustling down the street, paper in hand (of course) on his way to stop the riot. Diana and her children see him]

Diana: Mr. Hobson! Mr. Hobson!

Gary: What are you doing? Listen, you gotta get outta here.

Diana: What happened? I thought you were going to talk to them!

Gary: I don’t have time to explain right now-

Diana: I have to go there.

Gary: No, Miss Lee, no you don’t because it’s too dangerous-

Diana: I have to warn my husband. Please, watch my children.

Gary: Well, no, no, no-

Diana [to children]: Stay with Mr. Hobson. [runs off towards the store under her childrens’ protests, they’re yelling ‘Mommy, don’t go!’ and such]

Gary: No, no... [calling after her] Miss Lee! Miss Lee! Miss Lee! [as Gary looks down at the children something catches his eye in the paper. It’s an article ‘Mother of two killed in riot’ with a picture of Diana Lee. Gary looks around, and says to the children] Listen... [sees a church] Listen to me. I need you to do me a favor. Listen, I want you to do me a favor, ok? [leads children to the church door] Come over here. Come over here, come on. Go in the church and you’ll be safe. I want you to go inside and I want you to stay there, you understand me? You hear me?

Max and Jennah [nodding]: Ok.

--outside Lee’s store--

[Sal and mob are walking up to Lee’s store- everybody’s shouting and mad]

Sal: Hey, Lee! We want to talk to you, Mr. Lee!

--inside the church--

[Max and Jennah walk into the church and look around. Max finds a set of stairs]

Max: Jennah, here!

[and goes up them]

Jennah: No!

Max: I wanna see!

Jennah [very firmly]: Max, no.

[Max goes up the stairs anyway]

--inside Lee’s store--

[Eric locks a door with a bolt lock. Shouts can be heard from outside]

Sal: We don’t have to put up with this Lee! We don’t owe you nothin’! Open those doors or we’ll open them for you!

[Lee pulls out a handgun from a shelf and puts it in his pocket]

Sal: ‘Ya hear me? ‘Ya hear me, Lee? Come on out! What, you too good to talk to us?

--outside Lee’s store--

Sal: Huh? What, are you going to hide behind that gate? Huh? Huh, Lee? [he goes up to it and rattles it with his baseball bat]

[lots of the shouts in the mob are now against Sal, telling him to stop, especially Frank]

Frank: Come on, Sal! Knock it off!

Sal: You coming out? We’re coming in! [Sal signals to the mob and they go to the gate and rip it off. The only thing left is a pair of glass doors]

--in the church tower--

[Max is hanging out an open window in the church tower]

Max: Look, you can see everything!

Jennah: Get back, Max!

--outside of Lee’s store--

[Gary arrives and runs in front of the mob. Everyone in the mob are waving their baseball bats and such. Gary starts to yell in order to be heard. He is out of breath, as well]

Gary: Stop, now! Just stop!!

[the mob continues to yell and shout]

Gary: Just stop! Stay where you are!

[Someone throws a brick at a store window, which shatters. The mob cheers with delight]

Gary: Now, listen, listen-

[Lee comes out of his store, revolver in hand he’s pointing it at the sky]

Lee: Away! All of you!

Young Man: He’s got a gun!

[Lee shoots three rounds into the air, and then points the gun at the mob]

Gary: Stop, dammit, stop!!! Now just stop! [the crowd is quiet now. Lee points his gun up instead of at the mob] [Gary is out of breath from running to the scene and shouting. He’s quiter now] Now, listen. Now this thing starts here now where’s it going to end, huh? Now first you’re going to break into his store but I’m telling ya’ next it’s going to be your store [pointing with his paper hand] or it’s going to be your store or yours or any of ya’s. [the crowd is starting to look like they are thinking about their actions and how wrong they were, a bit remorseful] And then, I’m telling you, the whole neighborhood, it’s going to fall apart. Everybody thinks he’s wrong and you’re right, that’s fine. But, everyone, you need to take a look at yourselves before you judge anyone else because I’m telling ‘ya, you’re supposed to be a neighborhood. You’re neighbors... [takes a few needed breaths] ...but you look like a lynch mob. If everyone would just calm down... [a flashlight beam is pointed at Gary’s head and someone throws a brick that hits Gary on the upside of his head. Gary falls down. The mob erupts, with someone throwing a brick at the gun-wielding Lee’s stomach, which makes him collapse. The mob starts to rush the store when Eric comes out with a rifle, which he cocks (if that’s right) and aims at the mob]

Frank: No, Eric, don’t do that! [the mob recoils back]

--the church tower (note that the church is within sight of Lee’s store)--

[Max is leaning out of the window, most of his weight being on the sill]

Jennah [very firmly]: Max, no.

Max: Ahh! Help!

[the sill gives way and Max falls, clinging on to what’s left of it, dangling a couple of feet over the steeply graded roof and]

Max: Ahhhhhhhhh! [he falls. He slides down the roof until he gets to the edge where he catches a hook that holds up a rain gutter... literally by the seat of his pants, close to a belt loop. This just leaves him hanging there, three or four stories above the ground. The mob at Lee’s store hears the scream and looks, horrified]

Gary: S-somebody get a-somebody get a ladder!

[people start rushing to the church, just down the street. A pickup truck parks right under where Max would fall. There is a lot of commosion.]

Max: Help! Mommy! Daddy! Ah! Get me down! Mommy! Daddy!

[a ladder is being set up on the bed of the truck. Sal is getting ready to climb it. Someone else sets up a light to shine on the situation]

Eric: Max! Hold on, Max! Hold on!

Sal: Extend it! Extend it all the way. Alright, alright. Hold it steady, hold it steady! [starts to climb the ladder] Alright. I got it, I got it, I got it. [meanwhile Lee, Diana, and Eric are totally freaking out on the ground]

Max: Help!

Lee: Hurry, hurry! Please!

Someone on the ground: Watch it, Sal.

Sal: I got it. A little more... I can’t...

Lee: Max!

Diana: Hold on, my baby... somebody please hurry!

Eric: Hold on, Max, hold on!

Sal [at the top of the ladder, coming up short]: I can’t reach, I can’t reach him. [Gary starts heading towards the ladder and starts to go up it] I can’t reach, I can’t reach!

Gary: Sal, hang on. Listen to me. I’m going to come around ‘ya, I’m going to go up to the top rung.

Sal: What are you, nuts? Are you crazy?

Gary: I’m going to come around your right side. [Sal flattens himself to the ladder as much he can to help Gary get around. Gary climbs up and over Sal]

Sal: Oh... watch, watch.

Jennah [coming out of the church]: Mommy, I’m sorry!

Eric: Max, he’s coming! Hurry, hurry, please!

[Gary is now at the top rung, balancing himself in a position to catch Max]

Max: Mommy!

Someone else on the ground: Hang on!

[Max’s pants finally give way and he falls, but right into the arms of our hero, Gary Hobson]

Gary: Alright, I got you. [Max hugs and holds on to Gary. The people on the ground express their relief]

Somebody on the ground: Alright, Sal, come on down.

Somebody else: Hold the ladder, hold the ladder.

[Sal and Gary work their way down the ladder]

Sal: Alright, I got it. [helping pass Max down from Gary] Atta boy, there you go. [Frank passes Max to Eric, and everyone on the ground starts cheering]

Gary [having just come off the ladder, to Lee]: I think you can put the gun away now.

[Lee realizes he is holding a gun, and puts it in his pocket]

Lee [to everyone there]: Thank you. Thank you. I want to apologize. For me, family always come first, but I never realize--here, my family too. Thank you. I want to open up store on the house. [crowd cheers] There’s milk and juice and whatever you want. [more cheering]

Man [the same ‘man’ that’s been through this whole thing]: Hey, I got a freezer full of hamburger meat that’s going to waste.

Frank: We can bring out our barbecue grills.

Sal [to Lee, with a concerned Gary looking on]: Those beers still cold, Lee?

Lee [giving ‘thumbs up’]: You bet.

Sal: Ok. [puts out hand and shakes hands with Lee]

Lee: Thank you.

Sal: Neighbor.

Lee: Thank you, thank you.

[Sal looks over at Gary. Gary sighs, and then he remembers something...]

Gary: Patrick.

---Scene 20: Wabash and Chestnut---

[It’s dark and we see Patrick, still directing traffic. People are on the corners, cheering. Upbeat music with an Hispanic flair is playing and Patrick is dancing to it]

Patrick: Let’s hang a right, Toyota! Hang a right!

[A policeman walks into the intersection. The crowd starts to boo and give the cop a ‘thumbs down’. Patrick doesn’t see the cop and is still dancing]

Cop [tapping Patrick on his shoulder]: I’ll take it from here.

Patrick [turning around, shaking the cop’s hand]: Thanks.

[Patrick starts to walk out of the intersection, smiling. The crowd starts chanting, ‘Traff-ic man! Traff-ic man!’ and the cop tries to calm them down. Patrick, almost at the curb, decides to take a curtain call. He rushes back out into the center of the intersection and takes a bow to the crowd’s delight. He then walks out of the intersection for good]

Cop [directing traffic with a serious look on his face, flashlight in hand]: Ok, keep it moving!


--Lee’s store--

[The music is still playing. We see a full blown barbecue in front of the store--Lee pouring drinks, Sal and others barbecuing food, people walking around with plates full of goodies. Yard ‘torches’ are being used to light up the place. People are sitting down at tables, sitting at folding chairs, and having a good time.]

Gary [monologue]: **They say that people pull together in a crisis.**

Sal [giving Maria a hotdog off the grill]: There you go.

Maria: Oh, smells great!!

Gary: **That just when you’ve lost your faith in human nature, something will come along to restore it again.**

Max [on Frank’s shoulders]: How much do you weigh? [Everyone nearby laughs]

Frank [laughing]: Let’s get you down. [Max is lowered from his shoulders] There you go.

Gary [carrying a plate of food to Marissa, who is sitting down at a table, with Spike at her side]: Hamburger, coleslaw, heavy.

Marissa: You know, I could get used to this--being waited on.

Gary [sitting down]: Yeah well don’t ‘cause it’s only until your foot gets better.

Marissa: You know, I didn’t really need your help.

Gary: [pause] Oh, no.

Marissa: I could’ve got out fine by myself.

Gary: [beat] Oh, well, of course you could of.

Marissa: What I’m saying is that I-I appreciate you helping me but being blind I am well suited for blackout situations. All I needed was a little time to feel my way around-

Gary [blatantly interrupting]: You know that line you gave me about having something in your own eye? That-that-that wasn’t just about the crowd, that was about me, as well. And, uh... [sigh] well ever since Chuck has been gone I’ve been sorta royally screwing up at McGinty’s and I think that you’ve been a little too...

Marissa: Polite?

Gary: ...to point that out. Thank you. So, uh...

Marissa: So does that mean you’re gonna hire a new manager?

Gary: No. I was thinking of... partners.

Marissa: What?

Gary: Just like Chuck and I, 50/50 partners.

Marissa [laughing]: You gotta be kidding.

Gary [seriously]: Take it or leave it, that’s my last offer-

Marissa: -I’ll take it.

Gary: Oh... well, good. Partners.

Marissa: Partners. [sighs]

Gary: Alright.

**Well, whoever they are, it’s true. Sometimes a disaster can be a blessing in disguise. But don’t take my word for it... because you can read all about it in tomorrow’s paper**

[picture fades to black and white, stops on a frame, and pulls out showing it as a picture in the paper with a caption about the blackout bringing the neighborhood together.]

The end.

Many thanks to Karla for sharing her fanscription of "Blackout" – Thank you!

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