PEACE, LOVE AND BOMBS 12


EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS – DAY

Bianca and Franco exit the car. She immediately heads
for the gathering demonstration. He hesitates, watching
her. More vehicles enter the lot. Students continue
pouring in, swelling the ranks. He notices out of state
license plates, several from Michigan, a few from
California.

BIANCA
Come on, Franco.

His name on her lips draws him to her. She waits and
firmly grasps his hand. They jog from blacktop onto
grass and blend into a crowd outfitted to engage any
and all opposing thought espoused along the way.
Banners unfurled, the throng begins to improvise a
chant:

THE CROWD
No more bombings! No more war! No
more bombings! No more war! No more
bombings! No more war!

They move en masse from the east lawn onto concrete,
over walkways feeding into lecture halls and cafeterias,
courting more supporters as they forge a widening sweep.
A young man with shoulder length hair, a red, white and
blue headband and decorated special forces jacket,
breaks from the sea of marchers and sticks his head
between the couple from behind, wrapping his arms
around them both. A cloud of marijuana smoke streams
from his mouth.

BIANCA
Artie! When did you get here?

ARCHIBALD CUNNINGHAM, activist and political science
major, hands her a joint.

ARTIE
Get a hit.

Bianca takes the joint, tokes deep and holds it in. She
offers it to Franco, but he shakes his head. She
exhales, takes another hit and hands it back.

BIANCA
So when did you get here?

ARTIE
When did I get here? When am I not
here?

Artie takes a few more tokes, snuffs the joint and
sticks it in his pocket.

ARTIE
Who’s your greaser friend?

FRANCO
I’m right here, boss. You can ask
me straight up.

ARTIE
Alright then. Who the hell are you?

FRANCO
Just a working stiff on a lunch
break.

ARTIE
You two friends?

BIANCA
We’re…

FRANCO
What’s it to you?

ARTIE
A sort of get to know one another
little stroll?

BIANCA
Maybe.

ARTIE
He has no business here.

FRANCO
Why’s that?

ARTIE
Stick around. You’ll find out.

BIANCA
(interceding)
Artie, you’ve said enough.

ARTIE
Huh?

BIANCA
Enough. You’ve said enough.

FRANCO
Enough what? What are you talking
about?

ARTIE
A march on the administration
building.

Franco looks at Bianca.

BIANCA
We’ve had ROTC recruiting on
campus.

FRANCO
So?

ARTIE
So we don’t want them here.

FRANCO
Where’d you get the jacket, tough
guy?

BIANCA
Franco. Please.

ARTIE
Franco? How perfect is that?

FRANCO
What’s your problem?

BIANCA
Franco, don’t.

FRANCO
(to Bianca)
How do you know me?

ARTIE
Christ. This is getting thicker by
the minute.

Unseen by front line marchers, a convoy of National
Guard personnel carriers begins moving into the parking
lot behind the demonstrators.

FRANCO
How do you know my name?

BIANCA
I just do. Why does it matter?

He stops and pulls her from the ranks. Artie stops as
well.

FRANCO
(to Artie)
This doesn’t concern you. Keep
walking.

ARTIE
Bianca?

BIANCA
I’m ok. Go.

ARTIE
You sure?

BIANCA
Yes. Go.

Artie clenches his fist, pumps it above his head and
rejoins the march.

ARTIE
(chiming in)
No more bombings! No more war!

BIANCA
Why is it so important?

FRANCO
Was it an accident? Showing up when
you did today?

BIANCA
Like when you came in the store to
look at water pipes?

FRANCO
I was curious.

BIANCA
I’ll bet you were.

FRANCO
So what?

BIANCA
So why are you here? Why did you
come?

FRANCO
You brought me. Remember? And how
do you know my name?

BIANCA
You said all your friends were
Irish, Italian, Catholic.

FRANCO
They are.

BIANCA
Not all.

FRANCO
What?

BIANCA
We’ve fallen behind. We have to
catch up.

She takes his hand and starts to run, pulling him
along. As the couple battles its way to the front,
demonstrators draw close to the administration
building. They are met there and stopped by the college
president, who addresses the crowd through a bullhorn.

PRESIDENT
All of you, please listen
carefully. Assuring the safety of
every student participating in the
peaceful expression of free speech
on this campus being of primary
importance to the state, it is my
duty to inform you, that
approximately thirty minutes ago, a
bomb threat was called into my
office. Recent occurrences
throughout the country have taught
us to take all such threats with
the utmost seriousness. If what the
caller claims is true, the bomb is
set to detonate in the
administration building in roughly
ten minutes. All staff has been
safely evacuated, and the building
has been cordoned off. We ask for
your patience and sound judgment,
and that you bear with us until the
area can be swept clear of
suspicious devices and deemed safe
to reenter. I thank you all for
your cooperation.

Still undetected by front-line demonstrators, National
Guard troops begin to deploy, advancing on the students
from behind. Some late arriving students run ahead to
warn the rest.

FRANCO
What do we do now?

BIANCA
Wait and watch. What else can we
do?

FRANCO
This is bad.

A disturbance erupts behind them. Students turn to see
what’s going on. A young man running breakneck toward
them hollers out:

YOUNG MAN
National Guard!

Franco grabs Bianca’s arm.

FRANCO
Come on. I know how these boys
play. We don’t want any part of
this.

BIANCA
Yes we do.

FRANCO
Are you crazy?

BIANCA
(pulling away)
Let go of me!

Caught between a bomb blast and advancing National
Guard, student leaders huddle to rethink their
strategy.

BIANCA
(addressing them)
I don’t know about any of you, but
I’m staying put. This is our
campus. Troops don’t belong here.

STUDENT ORGANIZER
This may be our campus, but there
are outside agitators. This is
supposed to be a peace march. No
one invited them. At least I
didn’t.

From the rear, the first line of helmets, shields and
clubs can be seen advancing toward them. On the campus
perimeter, sirens blare. Countless numbers of state and
local police, heavily armed and in riot gear, begin to
arrive.

STUDENT ORGANIZER
Whatever we decide, we have to do
it now.

Bianca clenches her fist, turns and faces the advancing
troops. You could hear their boots pound the concrete,
hear the clatter of their shields. She raises her fist
high overhead, pumps it forcefully and starts to chant:

BIANCA
Kent State! Kent State! Kent State!

The marchers follow suit, pumping their fists and joining
in defiance:

MARCHERS
Kent State! Kent State! Kent State!

The advancing Guard comes to a halt. The troops put on
gas masks. The chanting stops. An edgy silence takes
its place. Franco grabs Bianca’s shoulder.

FRANCO
This is no joke. Somebody’s gonna
get killed.

BIANCA
Are you afraid?

FRANCO
Yes, I’m afraid.

BIANCA
For yourself?

FRANCO
For myself. For you.

A huge explosion obliterates the silence. Glass and
shrapnel rip through doors and windows of the
administration building. Stunned faces rocked by the
violent concussion turn toward the blast. Smoke billows
high above campus rooftops, raining debris onto cars
and lush green lawns.

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About ldlagarino

I'm a somewhat retired tractor-trailer driver who loves the movies and always loved to write. I have time now. No excuses. I suppose it's only natural for me to lean toward screenwriting.
This entry was posted in 1970-1971, Love, New York, Peace, The Mob and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to PEACE, LOVE AND BOMBS 12

  1. ldlagarino says:

    Maybe I need to develop this exchange in a little more detail. More paint on the canvas, as they say. I’ll come back to it in the first rewrite. I really need to get back to work on the first draft. I had some other things going on. Don’t we all?

    Like

  2. I liked it! My only remark would be that Artie lets Franco send him away too easily after their macho showing off before. But that’s a detail, and other readers might easily disagree.

    Like

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