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HEY, ZEUS!

April 2019 | Draft

EXT. SOCCER FIELD - DAY

A squad of cheerleaders chants through a drill. FELÍPA, a girl in the middle row, stops to tie her shoe.

The BOYS SOCCER TEAM is seated on the bleachers. On the top bench are ZEUS (15) and OSCAR (16). Zeus ogles at Felípa.

OSCAR: Bit heavy in the face, Felípa. Right?

ZEUS: (nodding insincerely) Yeah. (beat) Legs, too.

He makes a circle with his hands to demonstrate.

Felípa rejoins the cheer.

OSCAR: My brother’s fighting at Takanakuy.

ZEUS: Your brother’s eight. Why?

OSCAR: Something about a sandcastle. Big eighth grader.

He outstretches his arms like a sumo wrestler.

COACH (O.S.): That’s enough sitting. Line up for scrimmage.

Zeus is slow to react, still watching Felípa. She turns and their EYES MEET. Zeus jolts off the bleachers.

EXT. SIDEWALK - AFTERNOON

Zeus and Oscar walk on either sides of the street. Zeus kicks cans and other litter while Oscar checks each mailbox.

OSCAR: I think professor Dietrich likes me.

ZEUS: She likes everybody.

OSCAR: No, like, like likes me. She looks at me.

ZEUS: She looks at everybody.

OSCAR: Not like this.

ZEUS: Like how?

They stop walking. Oscar makes THE FACE.

ZEUS (CONT’D): Maybe you’re right.

Oscar finds a LETTER in one mailbox and opens it.

OSCAR: Pedro got into university. (beat) The dumb ass.

INT. OSCAR’S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Zeus and Oscar watch TV in the dark with plates of food.

OSCAR: Raquel smells nice.

ZEUS: (chewing) I know.

OSCAR: I sat next to her today and thought, she smells nice. (beat) Can’t tell girls that, though. My dad told my mom she smelled nice and said, I don’t always smell nice?

ZEUS There’s a baseline. Everyone smells okay, everyone looks okay, but some days you’re above or below that baseline.

OSCAR: The person you love always smells nice.

Oscar’s little brother, Ramón, walks in wearing a pink ski mask and boots. He strikes a fighting pose and growls.

OSCAR (CONT’D): (to Zeus) He’s only eating meat to prepare for Takanakuy. You want a beer?

Oscar’s PARENTS enter the house.

MRS. OSCAR: (to MR. OSCAR) Pedro got into university.

MR. OSCAR: The dumb ass.

MRS. OSCAR: Hey, Zeus.

MR. OSCAR: You want a beer?

Ramón growls.

EXT./INT. ZEUS’ HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Zeus stumbles through the door, tipsy. His MOTHER sits on the couch in a robe, holding a glass of scotch.

MRS. ZEUS: Jésus?

Zeus’ knees bend rhythmically, trying to keep himself upright. He hiccups.

INT. PROFESSOR DIETRICH’S CLASSROOM - DAY

Oscar sits in the desk behind Zeus. Professor Dietrich has on THE FACE, looking in Oscar’s direction.

Felípa is passing back graded exams. She gets to Zeus and he closes his eyes, breathing in deeply as she passes. A 63% is written at the top of his exam.

Felípa giggles at Oscar’s inaudible joke.

The bell rings.

PROFESSOR DIETRICH: Oh, don’t be alarmed if you see me this Sunday at Takanakuy. (beat) My sister lost my cat.

INT. HALLWAY - SCHOOL - DAY

Zeus watches Oscar talk to Felípa by her locker down the hall. Oscar makes a circle with his hands and Felípa laughs.

EXT. SOCCER FIELD - DAY

Oscar and Zeus sit on the bottom bleacher while their teammates play against each other in a practice game.

Oscar fits an orange slice into his mouth, across his teeth.

OSCAR: (muffled) Felípa and I are going to the movies after practice.

ZEUS: (pause) I thought she was ‘heavy in the face.’

OSCAR: I said she was heavy in the face, not that I didn’t like her. (beat) You’re the one that doesn’t like her.

ZEUS: (pause) I said her legs were heavy.

COACH (O.S.): Zeus! You’re in.

A sweaty teammate jogs to the bench. Zeus remains seated.

ZEUS: (to Oscar) I’ll fight you for her.

OSCAR: What? At Takanakuy?

ZEUS: Yeah. If I win, she’s mine.

Oscar snorts in disbelief.

OSCAR: (half-smiling) Okay.

COACH (O.S.): Hey, Zeus!

Zeus jogs onto the field. Oscar pulls the orange slice’s cleaned skin from his mouth.

OSCAR: (under breath) She doesn’t even like you.

EXT./INT. BAR - DAY

Zeus notices a MOTORCYCLE parked outside in the dirt lot.

He enters in search of its owner. At the end of the bar, a TWENTY-SOMETHING MAN dabs a napkin at his sweaty forehead. Beneath him, on his stool, is a LEATHER JACKET.

ZEUS: Is that your bike outside?

TWENTY-SOMETHING: (winded) She’s mine.

ZEUS: Not for long - a couple of junkies are trying to kickstart it.

The man sprints outside. Zeus picks up his leather jacket and slips under the bar counter’s flap, out the back door.

INT. COSTUME STORE - DAY

Zeus holds a plastic-wrapped cowboy costume in his hands, alone in a quiet aisle wearing his new leather jacket.

He approaches the CLERK.

ZEUS: I just want the pants.

CLERK: I can’t sell the package in pieces.

ZEUS: But I just want the pants.

INT. ZEUS’ HOUSE - BATHROOM - DAY

Zeus rips the plastic costume bag and unfurls the COWBOY CHAPS inside. A SHERIFF’S BADGE slides out. He cracks it in half, tapes pencils to both pieces, and pokes them into his MOTHER’S BOOTS, stolen from her closet. He pours loose change into the crevices to achieve the rattling jingle of SPURS.

A THUD from outside the bathroom window. He peeks over the window sill - a bird crashed and died.

...

Zeus ties a shoelace around his chin that connects the DEAD BIRD to his BASEBALL CAP.

Mrs. Zeus knocks on the bathroom door.

MRS. ZEUS: Jésus? I have to get in.

Zeus: unlocks the door and steps out in his outfit.

Mrs. Zeus takes off his dead bird baseball cap, pushes his hair to one side, and tucks it back on his head.

INT. ZEUS’ HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Zeus, still dressed up, eats dinner at the table with his parents.

MR. ZEUS Who’s the unlucky guy?

ZEUS: Oscar.

MRS. ZEUS: But you’re friends.

ZEUS Friends sometimes have to settle things.

MR. ZEUS: Settle what, who has bigger huevos?

ZEUS: It’s between him and I.

Mr. Zeus pours bourbon.

MR. ZEUS: Let’s drink to it.

Zeus kicks back the drink. The momentum causes the dead bird to fall into his plate of food.

MR. ZEUS (CONT’D): Is that my cap?

INT. ZEUS’ HOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Zeus lays awake in bed on top of his covers, in his Takanakuy outfit.

ZEUS: (whispering) Fe-lí-pa.

Each syllable is met with an image of Felípa. The back of her hair, her waist, her legs.

Zeus reaches to the cold, empty side of his bed. He tilts his head against the pillow.

ZEUS (CONT’D): Fe-lí...

INT. CHURCH - DAY

MATCH-CUT: Christ on the cross. A dove sits atop His crown of thorns, its attention darting among the crowded church. It flies away when the choir joins the organ, followed by off- key churchgoers who fantasize about flying fists.

Each person is dressed in an assortment of leather, cowboy chaps, horse-riding gear, painted ski masks, & animal bones.

Zeus eyes Felípa from several rows behind. His stare falls to Oscar in the opposite pew, wearing a thin sun hat and a military vest. They lock eyes.

EXT. SOCCER FIELD - DAY

PROFESSOR DIETRICH: MA-RI-A!

MARIA: MAR-TI-NA!

TAKANAKUY IS UNDERWAY.

Dozens of spectators form a circle around the field’s center.

Professor Dietrich’s LOST CAT sweeps through the crowd’s shuffling feet. Dietrich and her sister, Maria, sprint at each other. Mid-sprint, the cat is spotted in a glance.

PROFESSOR DIETRICH: Is that my cat?

Maria clocks Dietrich in the face, sending her down. An OFFICIAL steps in to conclude the fight. The cat approaches its owner and Dietrich blinks into consciousness.

MARIA: Tu gato!

She helps Dietrich off the grass and they join the crowd.

Ramón sprints to the center, face covered by a bright pink ski mask, followed by a taller boy named GABRIEL (13). He smiles, accepting the challenge to humor his eight-year-old opponent. The fighters shake hands and step away.

GABRIEL: (grinning) Ramón.

Ramón growls. They put up their fists.

Ramón swoops in and delivers numerous (harmless) punches, but their frequency leaves Gabriel at a loss. The young adversary is too quick.

Gabriel takes a step back and trips. Ramón slaps him across the face. The official cracks his whip and Ramón backs off.

Gabriel weeps. Ramón steps forward and offers his hand...and retracts it when Gabriel goes to accept.

...

OSCAR: HEY-ZEUS!

ZEUS: OS-CAR!

Oscar and Zeus stand opposite each other inside the ring of bodies. Oscar has taped oven mitts to his hands and a dozen feathers to his pant legs. He throws his sun hat to the side.

Zeus follows suit and tosses his dead bird hat aside.

They run at each other and begin throwing jabs. Each one is delivered with more kick than the last. Oscar swipes his legs at Zeus’ side, who sends his fist into Oscar’s chest.

The two are well-matched.

Zeus connects with Oscar’s stomach causing him to double over, but strikes an uppercut at Zeus’ jaw. Zeus bites his tongue and stumbles back, swinging forward with a punch at Oscar’s eye. He trips and lands hard on his back.

Blood seeps through the seams of Zeus’ mouth. He scans the crowd for Felípa. She pulls her ski mask up and he jogs over.

ZEUS: (gurgling, confident) I won.

Oscar limps away.

FELÍPA: (smiling) Okay.

ZEUS: I beat Oscar. (beat) For you.

Felípa looks to the side, considering her answer, shaking her head. But smiling.

FELÍPA: Don’t I have any say?

Zeus’ expression changes to that of realization. She pulls her mask over her face and steps away.

From the other side of the crowd, holding her cat, Professor Dietrich makes THE FACE at Zeus, her skin a swelling purple.

FIN

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