PROLOGUE:

Fade up on:

A crown of ancient design: Sumerian, or some great middle-eastern civilization. Crafted of fine silver and studded with jewels. Where garnets and crystal have been used in the past, the ancient artisan who crafted this used diamonds and rubies.

Cross fade to:

EXTERIOR

LONG-SHOT

HIGHWAY

HITCH-HIKER

NIGHT

Now a highway, plated with rain and studded with taillights. We see a HITCHHIKER: the kind with dirty blonde hair and bad skin. Gonna be a big somebody someday--in her tank-top and tight jeans--carrying her life in a tote bag that she's had since she was a kid growing up in a piss-ant town. Duffel-bagging it to New York or Los Angeles.... ANYWHERE to get her away of where she is now. Big dreamer--big sucker.

Now we see a limousine--Bentley or Rolls Royce--gray and silent. It glides to a stop beside her and the driver gestures to the now open door in back.

INTERIOR

MID-SHOT

LIMO

HITCH-HIKER, CLOUD

NIGHT

Inside is poorly lit and smoke-filled. It seems occupied by a CLOUD with gray silk pants and a single cherry eye. The vehicle resumes its progress without a mummer. Hitchhiker rubs her arms: to dry them or warm them.
 
 

HITCH-HIKER

Thanks. I didn't think anyone was going to stop.

Especially not a limo. You must be, like, one

of those philanthropists or something.

 

CLOUD

I must be.

 

HITCH-HIKER

Sure, or you wouldn't have stopped.

How far are you going?

I'm going all the way to La-La land. 

Youíre an actor, ainít ya? 

You look like a famous guy. 

Do I know you?

 

CLOUD

The actorís profession is

to lie for money

while looking his best.

 

HITCH-HIKER

What's your point?

 

CLOUD

Sabine, a drink.




Suddenly we are aware of another passenger--SABINE--dark warm red. A woman in maroon velvet, garnets and gold, honey tan skin, soft brown hair in soft warm curls, deep brown eyes and full red lips. A drink we have never seen prepared is slipped into our hitchhiker's hands. The ice clinks against the glass sides in response to the limo's sway.
 
 

CLOUD

Red label....?




Sabine slides over to hitch's side.
 
 

SABINE

We stopped to give you a ride

out of the cold and wet

into the safe and dry.




An uncomfortable pause, as hitch decides what to make of her hosts. An opportunity to make conversation though. Sabine's garnet jewelry makes an excellent topic.
 
 

HITCH-HIKER

Those are garnets, ainít they?

My mama told me that young women, 

such as yourself an' me, 

should wear bright shiny things,

like sapphires and diamonds. 

Garnets are for older women.
 
 

SABINE

Older women? Did you hear that, Quinn?

Older women. She's absolutely adorable.

Please, Quinn, let me keep her.

 

CLOUD (QUINN)

Sabine!




She shies back, hurt, then glances at hitch. The limo swerves and some of hitch's drink sloshes from its low-ball onto her lap. Nervous laughter from hitch as she rubs the wet (newly wet anyway) spot on her thigh.
 
 

QUINN

Derek! What was that?




The partition slides away to show the driver, DEREK: young and duty-bound. He glances from the road to the rear-view mirror to offer his report. His eyes are swift and hungry. He could tell you what was engraved on your school ring if he passed you on the street
 
 

DRIVER (DEREK)

Sorry, sir. A young man in a Mercedes cut us off.




A puff of smoke from Quinn.
 
 

QUINN

Never trust anyone under forty

who drives a car worth forty thousand.




Hitch giggles and gestures to her surroundings.
 
 


HITCH HIKER

I'm sure this ain't cheap.

 

SABINE

He isn't driving.

 

HITCH HIKER

But he's a young guy, right?

I mean, you're not older than forty.
 
 

QUINN

I suppose you could say, age is a relative thing. 

You have to ask, if a person is born again,

do you determine age from their birthday

or from their "born-again" day?




Now the hitch-hiker is indignant as she slams her drink on the nearest flat surface. More of her drunk sloshes from its glass.
 
 

HITCH HIKER

Look, buddy! I don't know what your deal is--

if you're some kind of rich sick-o who thinks

he can do what he wants just 'cause he's rich--

but no guy in a silk suit, riding around in a limo,

with a coffin nail in one hand, and a whore 

putting red-label in the other is a Born Again Christian!

 

SABINE

A whore! A woman of the night!




Sabine finishes her laughing as Quinn clears his throat.
 
 

QUINN

I didn't say Born Again Christian.

I said "born again".

 

HITCH HIKER

So?

 

QUINN

I respect little differences.

 

SABINE

They separate us from ordinary people.




Hitch looks around and coughs nervously. Sabine licks her lips and grins. Hitch has committed a social faux pas and doesn't know her way out of the situation. Quinn leans forward into the light and we see his face for the first time. The bone structure says Italian--Roman nose--but his hair is blonde, almost gray, and his eyes are cold, glittering things. He resembles not a cloud, but more a mist, or morning frost. He's a predator through and through--much like Sabine. You can tell these two aren't afraid to kill; but, they both use very different methods.
 
 

QUINN

Drink up, girls....




And now Derek the driver slides up the partition and thinks how much it looks like rising water in the re-view mirror.

 

Fade to white: Roll credits