Things take a turn for the worst when the law shows up to take a retired schoolteacher's grandson into custody.
TWO FOR TEA is a short film that was produced in the summer of 2014 by director Ben Joyner.
It has played a number of venues, including the Cucalorus, RiverRun, Nashville, Cincinnati, San Jose, Asheville, and Marion Film Festivals.
Here's the film (view script-sample after the jump)...
Two for Tea from Benjamin Joyner on Vimeo.
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INT. BEDROOM - DAY
Yellowed, flower-print curtains glow with sunlight. They are faded, but clean.
A young man appears at the window. This is DREW MEIER (late teens). He wears a hooded sweatshirt -- a bit thuggish. His face is stubbled with a wannabe beard. He might be high.
Drew nervously pulls the curtains back a few inches.
The sound of TIRES ON GRAVEL.
Drew YANKS back out of sight. Obviously freaked.
SMASH CUT TO BLACK
TITLE: "TWO FOR TEA"
OVER BLACK, WE HEAR...
The SOUNDS OF STRUGGLE -- brief and intense. Then... a GUNSHOT, morphing into the SQUEAL of a tea kettle as we
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
GERTA MEIER (60s) leans forward across a coffee table in the living room of a fraying-but-neat, two-bedroom rancher, holding out a framed photograph of a younger Drew for inspection.
INSERT: PICTURE - PREPUBESCENT DREW, CLEANED UP
Gerta sits on a padded arm-chair with hand-tatted doilies on the arms. Outward propriety, guts of steel (think Jacki Weaver in ANIMAL KINGDOM).
She pulls the picture back and turns the image toward herself, then smiles at it. Lingers on it -- the quintessential grandma, bursting with familial pride.
Do you have any children?
Across from her on a sagging, mustard-colored sofa is OFFICER JOHN COLLINS (30s).
Officer Collins is your basic cop-next-door, if there is such a thing. A slightly-soft, genuinely nice guy.
His doughy fingers grip the handle of a petite, bone-china teacup. Shaking ever-so-slightly, he replaces the cup on its plate. It rattles.
He looks away to where Drew (Gerta's grandson) sits. Drew is intensely nervous.
Gerta quietly CLEARS HER THROAT for attention -- a gentle, almost demure sound.
Drew's eyes dart from the Officer to his grandmother.
Officer Collins follows Drew's look back to Gerta.
I said, do you have any children?
We may not notice it, yet, but his gun-holster is empty.
She sniffs -- a corrective sound.
She gazes lovingly once more at Drew's picture, then sets it down on the coffee table in front of her, next to a teacup of her own.
Drew shifts in his seat.
Grammaw, I don't--
Gerta -- eyes still locked on the Officer -- cuts him off.
Hush your mouth. I've just gotten him to be
She spits this out with an unexpected intensity.
Gerta breathes in. Exhales. Calms herself.
If you haven't any children, then I suppose you
don't know what it's like to lose one, do you.
The Officer doesn't answer.
Tell me, officer...?
Collins. It's John Collins, ma'am, and I've
only just transferred to this county, but I--
Officer Collins is fine. Tell me, Officer
Collins... how long have you been a policeman?
Twelve years... ma'am.
And in those twelve years, have you ever taken
anyone's child away from them?
I don't see how this is relevant.
I asked you a question, Officer.
He clears his throat. Averts his eyes.
Social services usually handles that sort of thing.
You know precisely what I mean.
The Officer squirms.
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Thanks for your interest!