THE SUICIDE CODE is a feature-length sci-fi action/adventure screenplay by Josh Barkey. It was a quarterfinalist in the 2016 Nicholl, Script Pipeline, and Page contests.
Click THIS LINK to view a T.S.G. promotional package, which includes character breakdowns and a synopsis of the story.
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EXT. FIELD - DAY
It’s a lazy, sun-baked summer day. Tall grass whispers all around, as we rise to see the newly-planted cornfields beyond and hear... is that a bee?
Buzzing in across a checkerboard panorama of fields is a DIRT-BIKE, coming fast.
The helmeted RIDER zips closer, between plowed rows.
Ripping up the earth.
The dirt bike WHINES to the edge of the next field over, dips down into a shrub-lined windrow-declivity, and oh-my-gawud, this Rider is INSANE.
The bike SAILS up and out.
Fifteen feet and climbing.
A HUGE jump, as we WHIP around to see a lone, clapboard FARMHOUSE, surrounded by fresh-planted fields and shadowed over by an old, bent oak.
The Rider lands hard in the field and almost bails, but catches balance and rips up one last corn row and onto the dirt road, to SKID to a stop in front of the farmhouse.
EXT. FARMHOUSE - CONTINUOUS
The Rider steps off the bike. Reaches up to take off the helmet and... It’s a teenage GIRL!
(oh, don’t act so surprised)
JO BECHDEL wears jeans, a t-shirt, and loose-fitting flannel.
Maybe she’s pretty, maybe she’s not. Who cares? She’s an animal on that bike, and she’s got other skills we’ll see soon enough.
INT. FARMHOUSE - CONTINUOUS
Jo steps into a light-filled, homey entryway. Faded-but-clean lace curtains, worn-wood furniture, and turn-of-the-(previous)-century construction.
By the door is a PHOTO OF A MAN in fatigues, next to a triangle-folded American flag in a glass case.
Jo’s mom (ESTHER - 40s) calls out.
You weren’t ridin’ up the fields again,
were you Jo? Jo!
But Jo’s already running upstairs, to her room.
INT. JO’S ROOM - DAY
Jo strides across the spare, sun-filled space to a possibly-ironic KITTEN CALENDAR, and taps the days one-by-one with her index finger, as she counts under her breath.
(a light southern accent)
...Thirty-one, thirty-two, thirty-three,
She paces away.
Jo stares back at the calendar and then... reaches down the front of her jeans. She pulls her hand back out - stares HARD at her index finger.
(because seriously, y’all - America needs to get over its fear of menstruation, like, yesterday)
But there’s NOTHING there.
Jo STORMS back over to the calendar. SLAPS her hand HARD against the wall.
Jo’s head SNAPS sideways, to see ESTHER BECHDEL standing in the doorway in a flowered, floury apron: the quintessential southern mother, looking vaguely suspicious.
Does she guess?
Jo’s not waiting around to find out. She grabs her canvas LAPTOP BAG off her dresser. It’s covered with all sorts of anti-government, savethewhales-type patches.
That Griffin boy came by again.
Jo ignores her mom, as only a teenage girl can.
Patti says he’s turnin’ out to be quite
the farmer. Says he can plow a field like--
Jo pushes past her mom, out the door.
Jo reaches back inside the door - flips the light-switch down. Nothing happens, because the power’s out (and besides, that’s not what her mom meant).
It went out just before you got here.
Are you-- Jo!
But Jo’s two-stepping down the stairs.
Esther follows Jo downstairs, but at the familiar sound of the dirt-bike she stops, by the portrait of her late husband.
EXT. LIBRARY - DAY
Jo’s dirt-bike engine turns over one last time as she skids to a stop outside the squat, featureless library in...
SUPER - “LOCKHART: POP. 448”
...the weirdest little town in the state of South Carolina.
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Thanks for your interest!