FADE IN

A soggy piece of paper flaps in the breeze. It istrapped under rubble, but a drawing of the moon and some unintelligible words can be seen written on it.Lightning flashes in the background and it is rainingheavily.
A loud crack of thunder sounds.

MIAH wakes with a start in a quiet room.

FADE OUT

OVER BLACK

Staticky radio – broken up news report

TITLE

FADE IN

INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY

A young girl, Miah, leans over the back of the couch. Sheis looking out the window. The curtains are drawn back enough for her to see through.

MOM (O.S.)
Miah, come eat some breakfast.

PAUSE

MOM (O.S.) (CONT’D)

MOM enters, alarmed. She scoops up Miah and pulls her away from the window.

MOM (CONT’D)
Miah! Away from the window. The blinds stay closed. We’ve been through this.

Mom peeks out the window, concerned. She pulls the curtains closed.

MOM (CONT’D)
Come on.

INT. KITCHEN

Mom helps Miah into her seat at the table. She plops a pile of canned spam onto their plates. She sits down beside Miah.

They sit in silence. The radio sits in the center ofthe table, a weather update news report plays through it.
Neither Mom nor Miah eat. They play with their food.

The static in the radio gets worse. MOM reaches over and tries to adjust it. The static takes over and the newsupdate is lost.
Mom sighs and turns the radio off.

There is silence again and Miah pushes away her plate, the spam completely untouched.

MOM
(sighs)
Not hungry, huh.
She pokes at her plate.

MOM (CONT’D)
Yeah, me neither…
Mom begins to clean up.

MOM (CONT’D)
I’m sorry there’s not much else. We finished the last of the eggs yesterday and there’s no more bread left…
She catches herself and pauses.

MOM (CONT’D)
(while scraping the spam into tupperware containers)
Anyway, since your school closed up for the time being, Dr. Pogliano suggested we keep practicing your flashcards at home. I know you don’t like them, but it’s important we-
She looks back to Miah but the table isempty.

INT. LIVING ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Miah is leaning on the back of the couch again, looking through the blinds out the window. The blinds are closed.

Mom sighs and sits down on the couch next to Miah. Sheturns on the TV. She flips through the channels but they all respond with static.

Sirens whirl by outside. Miah watches then slumps down next to Mom. They both sit and stare at the statickyTV.

Mom looks over at Miah and smiles sadly. She begins tobraid and unbraid Miah’s hair.

MOM
None of this was fair for you.

MOM (CONT’D)
You were doing so well in school, too. Your teachers were very proud of your writing, you know. They said you even talked about it sometimes…

Miah leans over the arm of the couch. She pulls a notebook out of her backpack from beside the couch. The notebook hasa full moon on the cover and looks worn.
She hands it to Mom.

MOM (CONT’D)
(flipping through the pages)

Wow, guess you’re gonna need a new one soon.

The static breaks on the TV and a news report comesthrough. It is a weather warning for the tri-state area.

Miah takes her book back from Mom as Mom watchesthe television. She appears surprised and nervous.

TV (V.O.)
(in and out of static)
Repeat Broadcast! Repeat Broadcast! Warnings from weather satellites across the globe for the New York area and all surrounding states.

(MORE)

TV (V.O.) (CONT’D)
The entire North Eastern United States is encouraged to seek underground shelter or evacuate as… another super storm that recently decimated Haiti…
Caribbean Islands… moves up… coast… Estimated to… as of… serious weather… effect tomorrow night…

The static takes over the TV again. The TV goes black.The power flickers.
Miah is writing in her book.

More sirens sound outside and a loud crash can beheard somewhere in the distance.
Mom jumps up, startling Miah.

MOM
Away from the window, Miah, c’mon.
She leads Miah down the hall.

INT. MIAH’S BEDROOM
MOM
Miah, listen, I need you to be really good for me right now,okay? I need you to stay in here forjust a few minutes while Mommy runs out to the store, okay? I’ll be right back, Miah. I’ll be right back, just stay in here please and don’t leave for anyreason.

Mom rushes out of the room and closes the door behindher. Miah stands alone in the room, clutching her book.

FADE OUT

A match is struck, it sparks and disappears. Another strike and a small flame lights in darkness. The match lights anoil lamp.

The lamp is lifted to illuminate Mom’s face. She speaksbut thunder drowns it out.

Miah wakes with a start. She’s sitting in bed in a darkroom. It’s night time.

INT. LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Miah is looking out of the window. A car pulls up into the driveway and Mom gets out. She is carrying a handful ofbags.

MOM
(walking through the door, disheveled and out of breath)
Miah! I told you to stay inyour room!

She places the bags down and goes to pull Miah away fromthe window. Miah climbs down before Mom is able to.

She slides off the couch and sits on the floor withdrawings of her dream amongst other unusual drawings. Papers and markers are scattered around.
She holds up a picture to Mom.

MOM (CONT’D)
(taking the drawing)
What’s this? Oh, that’s very nice, Miah, very pretty.
She places the paper down on the end table.

MOM (CONT’D)
Now, come on and clean up. It’s late, you need to eat something. It took a while but I was able tofind some bread at a store.
She picks the bags up again and walks into thekitchen.

Mom puts the bags down and leans over the table. She closes her eyes and takes a deep, shaky breath. She pulls a loafof bread out of one of the bags and several loose waterbottles from another. A third bag contains essential items such as toilet paper. She puts the bread in the toaster.
Miah is cleaning up in the otherroom.

Mom turns on the faucet to wash her hands but only afew drops come out.

MOM (CONT’D)
(whispered in agitation) No… no no no…
She plays with the faucet, but there’s no water.

MOM (CONT’D)

Miah enters with a marker and a few pieces of paper. Shegoes to sit at the table.

Mom is leaning over the sink, visibly distraught. Her hair covers her face and she wipes her eyes.

There’s a tug at her shirt and she looks down. Miahoffers her a drawing.

MOM (CONT’D)
Miah, please! I don’t-
The toaster dings.

She stops herself and sighs. She takes the drawing and sets it down on the counter.

MOM (CONT’D)
Go sit down, I made some toast.

Miah looks from Mom to the drawing on the counter. Shegoes to sit down at the table.

Mom pulls the toast from the toaster and sets the table. She opens the fridge and sighs. It’s virtually empty. She pulls out a bottle of juice that’s down it its last drop and goes to pour it into a cup. She stops and looks back to the faucet. She puts a straw in the bottle and sets it on the table for Miah.
Miah is almost finished with her toast.

Mom sits down next to her. They eat in silence for amoment. A collection of sirens is heard in thedistance.

Mom sees the box of flashcards sitting on the counterand grabs them.

MOM (CONT’D)
You wanna practice some?
She pulls them out of the case and holds the first oneup.

Miah looks at it and writes the word on a piece of paper.She shows it to Mom.

MOM (CONT’D)
(with a sigh)
Yes, that’s right, Miah, but say it out loud.

Mom pulls out a second card and holds it up.
The power dies for a moment and flickers back on. Miah and Mom both flinch.

MOM (CONT’D)
Alright, we’ll… we’ll practice again tomorrow…
The lights flicker again.

INT. MIAH’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Miah lays in bed, her head poking out of the covers. Thereis thunder in the distance as well as many sirens. Miah is listening to Mom’s phone conversation in the other room.

Mom paces back and forth in the living room, she isagitated and shaking.

MOM
Mom, I don’t know what to do… they said tomorrow night but the storm’s moving fast… Yes, I charged my cell, the laptop, everything, but if the power goes out I don’t know what to do orwhen it’ll be back… It might not come back…
She sits on the couch with a stifled sob.

MOM (CONT’D)
Mom, it’s coming up the entire coast, there’s nowhere to go! Even if there was, there’s no way we’d even get out in time. Most of the roads have already flooded and it’s just horrifying out there.

MOM (CONT’D)
Our water’s been shut off. I couldn’t even give Miah her bath tonight… Yeah, she’s already in bed… I’m not sure how she’s doing. She won’t tell me. She was doing so great in school, too!Then people started to panic after the floods and everything shutdown…

Miah is listening, she shifts in bed.

MOM (O.S.) (CONT’D)
(distant, muffled) I’m scared for her.
Miah closes her eyes and pulls the blanket up over herhead.

Thunder crashes and a bright flash of lightning lights upthe room. The night light in the corner goes out.

MOM (O.S.)
Mom? Hello? Damn it!

Mom throws the dead phone on the sofa and rests her headin her hands.
Thunder and another flash of lightning. Distant sirens wail.

Miah closes her eyes and the match from her dream lights the darkness again. She opens her eyes and Mom is standing in front of her with the lantern held up to herface.

MOM (CONT’D)
It’s going to be okay, Miah. I promise.

She steps over a pile of loose markers and papers onthe floor. The paper on top is a drawing of the moon, on it written in shaky handwriting, ‘It is going to beokay’.

END

Alyssa Burdock’s script “Letters to the Moon” won third prize in the Fifth Annual School of Visual Arts Writing Program Contest. She is a second-year Film Major (focus on Screenwriting and Directing) at SVA.