Short screenplay for the DD Valentine's Day 2016 contest. "It's A Date" OVER BLACK: Running footsteps. Heavy panting. A woman's breathing. FADE IN: EXT. ALLEYWAY - NIGHT A full moon hangs in the sky above. The running woman comes into a view -- a bizarre vision in a "superhero" type outfit -- a combination of spandex and armor with spikes. This suits her moniker: IRON MAIDEN. She skids to a stop and looks around, seeking a way out. It's hard to see when you're wearing a round helmet that covers the upper half of your face. Her lips look kissable though. KNIGHT OWL (O.S.) There's no escape, Iron Maiden. Iron Maiden looks up -- he's hanging off a fire escape -- another costumed maniac in spandex and... feathers. His winged helmet covers his head completely. Big eye lenses give him the appearance of an owl. This is in fact KNIGHT OWL, crime fighter. He flaps his arms and his cloak billows out, becoming wings. With a smooth camera cut his boots touch down on the ground. Iron Maiden crouches in a fighting pose, she's ready to rumble with him, her spiked gauntlets against his feathers. Knight Owl holds out his hand, palm first. Stop. KNIGHT OWL I don't want to fight you, Iron Maiden. IRON MAIDEN Maybe you should have called yourself Knight Chicken instead of Knight Owl. KNIGHT OWL I already traded blows with your gang. IRON MAIDEN That was you?! KNIGHT OWL They're tied up in the bank and waiting for the forces of law to apprehend them. But I'm not interested in them. They're just petty crooks and psychopaths. Iron Maiden doesn't stop looking around, trying to figure out whether she can get away from this clucker. KNIGHT OWL I'm interested in you. Iron Maiden purses her lips, the only part of her that can show expression. IRON MAIDEN You figure on collecting the reward money, huh? KNIGHT OWL No. Knight Owl slowly reaches up, grasps hold of his owl-lens helmet and lifts it off, revealing the face beneath. He blinks... well... owlishly... until he can see. Iron Maiden gasps. IRON MAIDEN You've revealed your true identity to me! KNIGHT OWL Yes. IRON MAIDEN I can track you down and identify your family and friends, and either murder them or hold them to ransom. KNIGHT OWL Yes, I-- IRON MAIDEN Thus rendering you helpless as I launch a crime wave that will engulf this city in flames and plunge it into a pit of despair no one has ever imagined before. KNIGHT OWL Is that really what you want to do with your life? IRON MAIDEN The hell kind of question is that? I'm a crime queen! I rule this town! Every super villain acknowledges my superiority and pays me fifty percent of their takings. They know what will happen if they don't. KNIGHT OWL They'll be discovered in hilariously embarrassing situations. Like that guy with the claws. You left him dangling upside-down over a giant pot of boiling water. IRON MAIDEN Lobster Man never questioned my leadership again. KNIGHT OWL A harsh lesson indeed. As was the episode with the crocodile pit. IRON MAIDEN The Killer Midget Gang pays me seventy percent of every heist. What's your point? KNIGHT OWL My point is, you could easily have killed them. IRON MAIDEN You think I wouldn't if I wanted to? Anyone who crosses the Iron Maiden ends up on a spike. Don't doubt that for a second. KNIGHT OWL It's the decisions we make that define who we are. IRON MAIDEN I like it when you say "hooooo", it reminds me how ridiculous you look in that costume. KNIGHT OWL I didn't say "hooooo", I said "who". IRON MAIDEN You just said "hooooo" twice. KNIGHT OWL I didn't say "hooooo" twice. IRON MAIDEN Look, are we going to beat the crap out of each other, or what? The night isn't getting any younger. She looks up at the sky. Dark clouds move across the face of the moon, blotting it out. Iron Maiden smiles maliciously with twisted lips, they're not so kissable now. IRON MAIDEN Is it true what they say about you? That you derive your super strength from the light of the moon? Knight Owl looks up -- a moment of panic -- clouds! His nemesis. KNIGHT OWL It's actually a combination of moonlight and a steroid elixir of my own concoction. One still works without the other. But I say again, I don't want to fight you, Iron Maiden. IRON MAIDEN Gee, that's too bad. She attacks him, swinging punches. Those big spiked gauntlets are crazy dangerous. Knight Owl ducks and leans back and sways and avoids every punch expertly. IRON MAIDEN Stand still so I can knock your head off! KNIGHT OWL You're just getting yourself all worked up. Iron Maiden screams in rage and throws herself bodily at him. Knight Owl's eyes open wide, fuuuuuu--! He staggers back until a brick wall stops him. The spikes in her costume have penetrated him. Blood drips down onto the ground. She's glued to him, face to face. Iron Maiden's spiked gauntlets are stuck in the wall on either side of his head. She struggles to pull them out -- but they're embedded. She stares at him -- he stares back at her. KNIGHT OWL I'm getting the impression this didn't go exactly as planned? She struggles harder -- he groans in pain. Iron Maiden looks down. Realizes she's spiked him. IRON MAIDEN You're bleeding. KNIGHT OWL I bleed every night. I fight crime. IRON MAIDEN Yeah that's very heroic. And I make crime. I make more crime than you can possibly fight. KNIGHT OWL Bully for you. I'll never stop trying. IRON MAIDEN Any idea how we can get out of this? You got any gadgets on you? KNIGHT OWL I have two. IRON MAIDEN Well don't just stand there bleeding, use them. Knight Owl reaches up, takes hold of Iron Maiden's helmet, and lifts it off her head. IRON MAIDEN Hey! The hell are you doing? KNIGHT OWL I just wanted to see what the rest of you looked like. IRON MAIDEN Well now you know. Are you happy? KNIGHT OWL I'm not unhappy. IRON MAIDEN You're saying I'm not the good- looking dame you thought I was. KNIGHT OWL Who even says "dame" any more? When were you born, the 1920s? IRON MAIDEN Don't deflect. You don't think I'm pretty. KNIGHT OWL You're not what I expected. IRON MAIDEN Just what did you expect? Some knockout bombshell? The fantasy woman of your dreams? Sorry to disappoint you. KNIGHT OWL I thought you'd be ugly and twisted by what you do. That your expression would be a permanent sneer. That maybe someone had damaged you, resulting in your turning to the dark side. IRON MAIDEN The dark side? KNIGHT OWL It's a thing. Evil lurks there. IRON MAIDEN Evil lurks in my pants. You know I'm going to have to kill you now, to stop you giving my description to the cops? KNIGHT OWL That would make you a murderess. IRON MAIDEN Nuh-uh, I'd be the badass who took down the Knight Owl. People would fear me. There's a whole bunch of guys in the slammer who'd be happy to know you were out of circulation. KNIGHT OWL You expect gratitude from these malcontents and deviants? IRON MAIDEN I was hoping to inspire fear, but gratitude would be nice, too. Knight Owl's eyes close, his head dips. Iron Maiden realizes he could be on his way out. IRON MAIDEN Hey! Wake up! Don't you dare die on me! Her gauntlets are still stuck fast, she can't do anything... except nuzzle her face against his to push his head up. IRON MAIDEN I said wake up! Knight Owl! Hey! Police calling Knight Owl! There's a crime in progress! We need your help! He blinks and wakes up. Iron Maiden shows relief -- then tries to hide it. KNIGHT OWL What? IRON MAIDEN You were babbling nonsense. It disturbed me. Two CLOWNS with guns come waddling/running into the alleyway. SAD CLOWN Boss! You okay, boss? HAPPY CLOWN The cops are all over, we gotta get back to the hide-out! The clowns stop and examine Iron Maiden and Knight Owl. SAD CLOWN You want us to come back later? IRON MAIDEN Hit my gauntlet release switch, I'm stuck here. The clowns glance at each other. Interesting. HAPPY CLOWN Knight Owl, huh? I heard you were a tough guy. KNIGHT OWL (to Iron Maiden) Why clowns? IRON MAIDEN Why not clowns? Seventy-five percent of people are afraid of them. KNIGHT OWL I think that's an overexaggeration. IRON MAIDEN I think you don't know what you're talking about. She looks at the clowns. IRON MAIDEN I said hit the release switch. Happy Clown scratches his jaw thoughtfully with his gun barrel. HAPPY CLOWN Yeah, yeah, in a second. You look very happy together. IRON MAIDEN You are out of your mind. It's like a switch is thrown, Happy Clown becomes psycho. HAPPY CLOWN You're saying I'm crazy?! IRON MAIDEN No, I didn't say that, I said get me out of here. SAD CLOWN Just because we spent some time in the asylum doesn't mean you can look down on us. IRON MAIDEN I'd never do that. I got you out of there because I knew you were good boys at heart. HAPPY CLOWN Yeah, we are. Happy Clown puts his gun to Knight Owl's head. IRON MAIDEN Wait, what are you doing? HAPPY CLOWN This guy put my brother in the slammer. Time for payback. IRON MAIDEN Put the gun down. I don't want-- HAPPY CLOWN Seems like I'm giving the orders now. SAD CLOWN Yeah, Happy's giving the orders now. IRON MAIDEN You sons of-- KNIGHT OWL Say hi to your brother for me. Knight Owl throws Iron Maiden's helmet at Happy Clown, DUNG! He goes down. Sad Clown gapes in surprise, making a big show of it, like a clown would. Then he brings his gun up. Iron Maiden kicks him in the nuts. As Sad Clown doubles over, she knees him in the face. Sad Clown collapses. Or more like he deflates, clown style. Knight Owl and Iron Maiden have a moment. KNIGHT OWL Thanks. IRON MAIDEN Yeah, well, this doesn't mean I'm giving up crime or anything. Knight Owl finds the release switches and frees Iron Maiden's hands from her embedded gauntlets. She's surprised. But she's still stuck to him, with spikes. KNIGHT OWL Do it. Iron Maiden slowly steps back. SLURPING NOISES. Knight Owl grimaces in pain. POP. She's free. She looks at his bloody wounds. IRON MAIDEN Oh God. KNIGHT OWL My utility fanny pack. Healing pads. Iron Maiden reaches behind him to access his fanny pack. She pulls out pads and applies them to the wounds. They stick. She looks to him for an explanation. KNIGHT OWL A healing unguent of my own concoction. IRON MAIDEN You're quite the scientist. KNIGHT OWL I dabble. IRON MAIDEN If you don't mind, I'll run along and leave you to it. You gonna be okay? KNIGHT OWL I'll be fine. Iron Maiden picks up her helmet. She almost puts it on -- then shrugs, why bother? She turns to go-- IRON MAIDEN See ya. KNIGHT OWL Luigi's restaurant. Tomorrow night. Seven o'clock. IRON MAIDEN Are you insane? KNIGHT OWL I'll book a table. IRON MAIDEN You got high hopes, mister. KNIGHT OWL Always. Iron Maiden hesitates, thinking. Then she runs off into the night. The clouds clear the moon, leaving it full and bright again. Knight Owl smiles. KNIGHT OWL Still got it. FADE OUT 02/2016

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