EXT. BAR PARKING LOT – DUSK

Hank and Jack pull up in their pickup truck. They make their way over to the bar entrance.

It’s a classic American roadside bar. Gravel parking lot, neon signage, a couple of old trucks and muscle cars parked about.

                          JACK
        Am I allowed in there?

                          HANK
        What? Uh… Don’t worry. It won’t
        be a problem.

They head inside.

INT. BAR – CONTINUOUS

It’s a no-frills dive. Dusty wood paneling. Neon beer signs. Colored Christmas lights strung around the place in no particular fashion. A pool table. Darts. A neglected Bally pinball machine.

A mellow COUNTRY SONG plays from a JUKEBOX.

There are a couple of resident DRUNKS sitting silently on bar stools after a long day of drinking.

Jack goes straight for the pinball machine.

                          JACK
        Dad, you got a quarter?

Hank sits at the bar.

                          HANK
        Sure.

He takes a quarter from his wallet.

                          HANK (CONT’D)
        Catch.

Hank flicks it across the room. Jack catches. He puts the quarter in the slot. The pinball machine comes to life. He shoots the ball and begins rapidly tapping on the triggers.

Hank sits at the bar, staring ahead at the liquor bottles on the shelf. The bartender, KIM, a beautiful woman in her early 30s, notices Hank and Jack.

                          KIM
        That your kid?

                          HANK
         (pointing to Jack)
        Who, that guy?

Jack continues bashing on the pinball triggers.

                          HANK (CONT’D)
        He’s no kid. He’s thirty-five years
        old. He was born with a rare
        condition where he looks ten his
        whole life. He’s strong, though.
        He’d beat the shit outta me.

Charmed, Kim smirks.

                          KIM
        We don’t usually allow kids in
        here… But he is pretty cute. I
        guess he can stay.

Hank leans back on the stool.

                          HANK
        You hear that, Jack? This young
        lady thinks you’re cute. Maybe you
        could ask her on a date.

Jack glares at his dad and rolls his eyes.

                          HANK (CONT’D)
        Don’t take it personally. He plays
        hard to get.

Kim chuckles under her breath.

                          KIM
        So, you must be a ten-year-old boy
        in an old man’s body, huh?

                          HANK
        Ouch. That stung. Does it really
        show?

                          KIM
         (smirking)
        You hide it well.

                          HANK
        Why, thank you.
         (offering his hand)
        I’m Hank.

                          KIM
         (she accepts)
        Kim. What’s your poison, Hank?

                          HANK
        Johnny Black, on the rocks…
        Jack’ll take his neat.

                          KIM
        I’ll start him on the soft stuff.
        One of you has to drive.

                          HANK
        Wise girl.

She pours a glass of Coca-Cola on ice. Sets it on the counter.

                          KIM
        Here you go, Jack.

                          JACK
        Thanks.

Jack races over to collect his drink, takes a sip, then gets right back to his game.

Kim scoops some ice into two glasses and pours a generous amount of whiskey over each. She sets one in front of Hank and the other in front of herself.

                          KIM
         (still flirting, playing
                           along)
        So, I take it Jack’s your father.

                          HANK
        You guessed it.

                          KIM
        And what does Jack do for work?

                          HANK
        He’s a hunter… of fish.

                          KIM
        A fisherman? I like a man who works
        with his hands.

                          HANK
        Things are looking up for ol’ Jack.

Kim smirks. They share a moment, looking into each other’s eyes, taking one another in.

                          HANK (CONT’D)
        Where are you from?

                          KIM
        Utah. A little city called Sandy,
        about a half hour from Salt Lake.

                          HANK
        Ahh… Are you a Saint of the
        Latter-Day?

                          KIM
        Used to be. As a teenager… It
        passed when I grew up a little. How
        about you? You don’t seem the
        faithful type.

                          HANK
        Who, me? I’m the most faithful man
        child you’ll ever have the good
        fortune of meeting.

                          KIM
         (smirking)
        Well, isn’t it my lucky day.

The tone of the conversation shifts slightly. More serious.

                          KIM (CONT’D)
        You got a girlfriend, Hank? A wife?

                          HANK
        I did… Once upon a midnight
        dreary.

                          KIM
        A wife?
         (off Hank’s nod)
        What happened?

                          HANK
        The usual thing.

                          KIM
        So, you’re not faithful, then.

                          HANK
        Now, now, barkeep. There are two
        sides to every tale.

                          KIM
        I guess there are.

A brief pause. They continue to take each other in.

                          HANK
        And you?

                          KIM
        What about me?

                          HANK
        Someone special in your life?

                          KIM
        There’s nothing special about my
        life.

Hank lifts his glass.

                          HANK
        Well, here’s to that… To nothing
        special.

Kim lifts her glass with a wry smile.

                          KIM
        To nothing special.

                                                        FADE TO BLACK.

INT. BAR – LATER THAT NIGHT

HOURS HAVE PASSED. The place is full.

A THREE-PIECE BAND is playing a lively BLUES SONG. We hear the COMMOTION of people drinking and having a good time.

Hank is holding Jack over the pool table, assisting him with a difficult shot.

                          HANK
        Easy, now… Easy…

Jack lines up the pool cue with the cue ball. He shoots, knocking the eight ball into the corner pocket.

They CHEER. Hank holds Jack up in the air. Both ecstatic.

                          JACK
        I did it! I did it!

                          HANK
        You did it, buddy! Drinks are on
        you!

The surrounding patrons clap. Kim cheers from behind the bar.

                          KIM
        Go, Jack!

Hank puts Jack down.

                          HANK
        Now shake their hands. Be a
        gracious winner.

They shake hands with the two POOL PLAYERS.

                          HANK AND JACK
        Good game.

                          POOL PLAYERS
         (together, good sports)
        Good game.

Hank and Jack sit up at the bar.

                          KIM
        The victors. Well done, boys.

                          HANK
        I barely did a thing. It was all
        this guy.

He scruffs Jacks’ hair.

                          KIM
        Can I get you anything?

                          HANK
        I’ll take a beer.

He looks at Jack.

                          HANK (CONT’D)
        Actually, make it two.

Jack’s face lights up. Kim eyeballs Hank, disapprovingly.

                          HANK (CONT’D)
        What? He’s a growing boy. Needs his
        vitamins. Plus, he just played a
        fine game.

Kim smirks. Consenting, she takes two bottles, opens them on the counter, and hands them to the boys. Hank raises his drink.

                          HANK (CONT’D)
        Now. Hold up your drink, like you
        mean it.

Jack raises the bottle high.

                          HANK (CONT’D)
        Look me in the eye. Repeat after
        me. To a fine game–

Kim raises her own drink.

                          KIM
        –And, to new friends.

                          HANK, JACK, AND KIM
        To a fine game, and to new friends.

They CLINK their drinks.

                          HANK
        Now, son. Take a swig of your first
        beer.

They each take a swig. Jack gulps like a fish. Hank pushes the bottle away from Jack’s face.

                          HANK (CONT’D)
        Easy, tiger. It isn’t a sprint.

Jack burps.

                          KIM
        Thirsty, Jack?

                          JACK
        Beer tastes like fizzy bath-water.

                          HANK
        Good, huh?

                          JACK
        I guess…

They sit for a moment.

                          JACK (CONT’D)
        I need to use the bathroom.

                          HANK
        Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

Jack heads for the bathroom, a little wobbly.

                          KIM
        Will he be okay?

                          HANK
        He’s got it under control.

Hank takes a swig. Kim studies him for a moment.

                          KIM
        You’ve raised a good kid, Hank…
        He adores you.

                          HANK
        He got it from his mother… I’ve
        been out of the picture most of his
        life.

He takes another swig.

                          HANK (CONT’D)
        The truth is, I’ve been a pretty
        shitty father. Too preoccupied with
        things that don’t even matter. I
        missed years of seeing him grow
        up… It’s my greatest regret in
        life.

He goes for another swig. Kim puts her hand on his hand. She looks him in the eye.

                          KIM
        You’re a good father, Hank…
        Life isn’t easy.

She keeps her hand on his. He lightly holds hers. They share a silent moment together, listening to the music. They let go of each other’s hands.

                          HANK
        So, what does the future have in
        store for you?

                          KIM
        Damned if I know. I’m just trying
        to keep one foot in front of the
        other.

                          HANK
        Sometimes that’s all you can do.

                          KIM
        Does it get any easier?

Hank takes a moment to answer.

                          HANK
        It does. You learn to handle it
        better.
         (then)
        It takes a few beatings to get
        There, though.

Kim nods gently. They listen to the music. Hank stares ahead sipping his beer. Kim looks over the room.

                          KIM
        Speaking of a beating…

She signals to Jack lying on a tattered velvet sofa, passed out.

                          KIM (CONT’D)
        Looks like someone could use a good
        night’s rest.

                                                         CUT TO:

INT. KIM’S HOUSE – LATER THAT NIGHT

Kim unlocks the front door, flicks on the lights, and comes inside. Hank follows carrying Jack, passed out in his arms.

It’s a one-bedroom house. Humble. Cozy. Hank lays Jack down on the sofa. He’s out for the night. Kim puts a pillow under his head and covers him with a blanket.

                          KIM
        You want some water?

Hank nods. She leads him into the Kitchen, takes a water jug from the fridge and pours them both a glass. They drink.

As they finish, Kim puts her hand on Hanks upper arm, leans in, and kisses his lips softly. He holds her by the waist.

They kiss tenderly. She takes him by the hand and leads him into the bedroom.

                                                        FADE TO BLACK.

Tom Yoannidis’s script Summerlong & his critical review “Love and Beauty are the Shape of Water” both won first prize in the Sixth Annual School of Visual Arts Writing Contest. Tom’s short story “Suicide House” won second prize in the Fifth Annual School of Visual Arts Writing Program Contest, and his script “Runaway” also won second prize in the Fifth Annual School of Visual Arts Writing Program Contest. He has written reviews for The Match Factory on Safe (directed by Todd Haynes in 1995), Mulholland Drive (directed by David Lynch in 2001) and Paris, Texas (directed by Wim Wenders in 1984). Tom was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1990. Raised by a wild/artistic mother (model/private pilot/photographer) and an adventurous father (commercial pilot), he moved to New York on a whim in 2012 to study acting, and graduated from the Maggie Flanigan Studio in late 2014. He then moved to Toronto to work as an art director/art director’s assistant on TV commercials before returning to study Film at SVA. Tom is a hopeful director/writer in the making and an impulsive watcher of 70s cinema.

Judges Louis Phillips and Susan Mosakowski had this to say about Tom’s prize-winning script:”Summerlong is a full-length screenplay that follows the conventions of numerous road movies quite closely. But the script contains well-drawn characters, strong dialogue, and, most importantly, honesty of feeling. Those three ingredients make the script authentic and moving–and worthy of first prize.”