Short screenplay for the 2017 Dog Days of Summer contest. DOGTOWN FADE IN: EXT. CITY STREET - RESTAURANT - NIGHT A taxi cab pulls away from the sidewalk. Exhaust fumes clear, revealing CHERYL standing there. 20s, beautiful but vulnerable. She wears a little black dress... and a dog collar around her neck, with a dangling name tag. She looks across the street at the restaurant. People are inside, seated at tables. She hesitates, uncertain. As if she doesn't want to be here. She suddenly remembers something! She delves into her purse and takes out... furry dog ears. She settles them on her head, makes sure they're sitting right. She takes a deep breath, then crosses the street. INT. RESTAURANT FOYER - NIGHT The MAITRE'D also wears a collar with a dog tag. He looks down his nose at Cheryl, as if she's something he's just scraped off his expensive shoe. MAITRE'D Yes? CHERYL Mr. Goodboy's expecting me. Cheryl can't stand his stare, she looks away, ashamed. The Maitre'D snaps his fingers. A WAITER hurries over. The Waiter also wears a collar with dog tag. In this world every human does. MAITRE'D Mr. Goodboy's "guest" has arrived. Show her to his table. WAITER If you'll follow me-- CHERYL No. You take me to him. She's talking to the Maitre'D. MAITRE'D I'm afraid I don't-- Cheryl raises her voice. CHERYL Take me to him now, or I'll tell him you treated me like sh!t. He leans forward, in a panic. MAITRE'D Will you keep your voice down? CHERYL Five seconds. Four. THREE. MAITRE'D All right, all right. He leads the way into the restaurant. Cheryl follows him in. The Waiter stands gaping in astonishment. INT. RESTAURANT DINING AREA - NIGHT MR. GOODBOY sits at a table, nibbling a dog biscuit from a bowl. There's also a bowl of water on the table. Mr. Goodboy is a human/dog hybrid, with the head of a dog spliced onto the neck of a man. His tail sticks out the butt of his suit. He wears a gold collar with a gold tag. Other diners also have dog heads, some of the ladies are human ladies like Cheryl but many are bitches. Mr. Goodboy's tail wags when he sees Cheryl. The Maitre'D pulls Cheryl's chair out and seats her. CHERYL Thank you, you may go now. The Maitre'D leaves, silently fuming. Mr. Goodboy pushes the biscuit bowl closer to Cheryl. MR. GOODBOY Biscuit? Cheryl smiles and shakes her head, no thank you. He indicates her ears. MR. GOODBOY I see you got my gift. CHERYL I did. They're lovely, thank you. MR. GOODBOY I actually wondered if you would come. I wasn't sure if my charms were enough to persuade you. CHERYL Why wouldn't I? It's not every day a girl like me gets invited to a fancy restaurant by such a handsome boy. Mr. Goodboy's tail wags excitedly. MR. GOODBOY Would you like to look at the menu? CHERYL That would be lovely. The Waiter steps up and gives them menus. WAITER The house special tonight is steak, diced into cubes and covered with a tasty gravy, the chef's own recipe. MR. GOODBOY Well, no guesses what I'll be ordering. WAITER While you're considering your choices, may I fetch the lady a drink? CHERYL Just a glass of water for me, please. In a glass. WAITER Of course. The Waiter goes away. Cheryl studies the menu. Mr. Goodboy leans his elbows on the table and rests his jowls on his hands, studying her. MR. GOODBOY You know, I think you might be the prettiest girl here tonight. Cheryl looks around, idly curious. At another table, a ROTTWEILER-HEAD WOMAN with a mop of purple hair winks at her. CHERYL Oh, I don't know about that. So what is it you do... Mr. Goodboy? MR. GOODBOY Good heavens, do you mean you haven't heard of the Goodboy food brand? CHERYL Of course I have, but... you mean that's you? MR. GOODBOY My sire, actually. But he's getting older now. He's practically given me control of the company. CHERYL That must be a huge responsibility for you. MR. GOODBOY You have no idea. It's quite the weight, I can tell you. Activity outside in the street attracts their attention. A disheveled, exhausted MAN staggers by. He isn't wearing a collar. He's pursued by FOUR DOG-HEAD POLICEMEN who bark and snarl as they chase him. They all run out of sight. Cheryl stares for a few more seconds before she turns her attention back to the menu. MR. GOODBOY How unfortunate that you had to witness that. That's why the collars are so important. I'm afraid there are those who simply refuse to be, well, good boys. CHERYL They've made their choice. I've made mine. I think I'll have the shrimp starter, and lamb for the main course. The Waiter returns with a glass and pitcher of water. He pours Cheryl a glass. Leaves the pitcher on the table. CHERYL Thank you. WAITER Are you ready to order? MR. GOODBOY I'll have a marrowbone for my starter, and the steak special. The young lady will have shrimp, and the lamb. WAITER Very good, sir. The Waiter takes the menus from them and goes. MR. GOODBOY I was asking about you. Your boss seems to think highly of you. CHERYL I'm glad to hear it. MR. GOODBOY He thinks you may be wasted in distribution. I mean, they're good people, they do a vital job, I'm not saying they don't. But we're always looking for talent in production control. Quality issues are an ongoing concern. CHERYL Is that why you asked me to dinner? To offer me a job? MR. GOODBOY No, I asked you to dinner because I find you very attractive. And, haha, to offer you a job, that's if you're interested in bettering yourself. I don't expect an answer right away, but the offer's on the table. You can think it over and call my office when you've decided. Mr. Goodboy leans over his water bowl and laps up some water. Cheryl takes a sip from her glass. As she drinks, she looks out the window. Outside in the street, the four dog-headed policemen drag the man to a waiting police van, he's been beaten and bitten, he's hardly able to walk on his own. As if he senses her gaze, he turns his bloodied face to look at the restaurant. He stares accusingly at Cheryl. MR. GOODBOY Ah, I see they caught him. Good. We can't have strays running around. Next thing you know there are wild packs roaming the streets, getting up to all kinds of mischief. Cheryl tears her gaze away from the man. CHERYL I very much appreciate your generous offer, Mr. Goodboy. I don't need time to decide. MR. GOODBOY Excellent. That's that settled. Then let's enjoy dinner. CHERYL If you don't mind, I'm going to visit the little girls' room. Please start without me if your marrowbone comes while I'm away. MR. GOODBOY Thank you, I will. Don't be too long. Cheryl gets up and walks to the exit. INT. RESTAURANT FOYER - NIGHT The Maitre'D glares at Cheryl. She ignores him. She sees the toilet arrow sign and heads that way. INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE RESTROOMS - NIGHT Two doors, each with a sign showing a dog raising its leg to pee, one dog is bigger and heavier, obviously male. Cheryl pushes open the female dog door. INT. LADIES REST ROOM - NIGHT Cheryl checks the stalls, they're all empty. She enters the last stall. She reaches down behind the toilet bowl and searches for something... wrestles it loose. It's an automatic, in a plastic bag. She opens the bag, takes the gun out, drops the bag into the bowl. She pulls back the slide. Thumbs off the safety. The rest room door opens. The Rottweiler-head woman enters. She stops to look in the mirror. In the stall, Cheryl doesn't move, doesn't breathe. Rottweiler woman takes lipstick from her purse and applies it to her dog mouth, giving herself big red lips. She fluffs up her purple hair, styling it until she's satisfied. Cheryl presses the gun against her head. CHERYL Howl and you're dead. ROTTWEILER WOMAN I have money, please take it all. Cheryl drags her into the stall and uses the gun as a club, delivering vicious blows. We don't need to see this. The woman whimpers in pain, then falls silent. Cheryl steps back out, panting heavily. She moves to the door -- but stops. She looks at herself in the mirror. She pulls off the ears, throws them in the sink. She reaches behind her neck and unfastens the collar. Lets it drop to the floor. She studies herself without the collar. A free person. INT. RESTAURANT DINING AREA - NIGHT Mr. Goodboy looks up as Cheryl enters. She stops at a table -- aims the automatic at a dog-head diner, who gapes in surprise. BLAM. The diner's human companion SCREAMS. Cheryl aims the woman, she ducks under the table, terrified. Cheryl moves to another table, BLAM BLAM, a dog-head diner and his dog-head bitch go down. Dog-heads flee for their lives. BLAM BLAM Cheryl shoots them down without mercy. She advances on Mr. Goodboy, who's frozen with fear. MR. GOODBOY Wait. I can pull strings. You won't even have to go to prison. CHERYL Your factory recycles humans into dog food. I don't think we have anything to discuss. MR. GOODBOY Please, think of the repercussions of your actions. We've taken over your government. We own the police and the military. This will trigger a slaughter such as your race has never seen. CHERYL What you see here is happening all over the country. The uprising begins tonight. Cheryl takes aim at his big dog head. MR. GOODBOY I suppose this means we're not going to do it doggie style? CHERYL Bad dog! BLAM BLAM BLAM BLAM INT. THE OVAL KENNEL OFFICE - NIGHT The BULLDOG PRESIDENT looks into camera. He wears a solid gold collar with a gold TOP DOG name tag. BULLDOG PRESIDENT My fellow Dogmericans. I have declared a state of emergency. The country is under martial law. The rebels are being very bad boys. Their illegal uprising will be crushed and they will be punished. DISTANT SHOTS and FRANTIC BARKING. The Bulldog President looks around, alarmed. BULLDOG PRESIDENT Get me out of here, Judith. TITLE CARD: NORMAL SERVICE WILL BE RESUMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE CUT TO BLACK An electronic SQUEAL as the signal is cut off, and then: CHERYL (V.O.) Rise up and take off your collars! We will no longer be their pets! THE END Sep 2017

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