Short screenplay for the 2018 Valentine's Day contest. THE LAST SUNSET FADE IN EXT. ALI'S COFFEE & BAGEL SHOP - DAY In the heart of an ordinary American town. INT. ALI'S COFFEE & BAGEL SHOP - DAY No customers present. Behind the counter, ALI (30s) and his sister FATIMA (20) stand side by side, looking out at the passing world. They are of the Arabic persuasion. ALI What have I told you about covering your head, you whore? FATIMA Customers don't like it, they look at me as if I've got a bomb stuffed down my knickers. ALI A chaste woman does not let men see her hair. FATIMA I'm plenty chaste, don't you worry about me. We are in America. We are supposed to put people at ease, not draw attention to ourselves. Fatima does jazz hands. FATIMA Hey, look at me, terrorist, gonna blow up your grandma today. ALI You disrespect me yet again. Fatima drops the humor instantly. FATIMA I apologize, brother, I did not mean to offend. ALI See that you keep that tongue of yours under control when he arrives, else you will feel the lash of my leather belt. Fatima presses her lips together into a tight line. She gets this sh!t every day and has to take it. DING, the door opens and GRANT enters, a skinny white nerd. He carries a cheap bunch of flowers and a cardboard box tied with a ribbon. Grant approaches the counter and glances nervously at Ali before giving his attention to Fatima. GRANT H-hello, good morning. FATIMA Good morning to you, sir, it is good to see you again. Grant studies the array of breadware behind the glass counter display. GRANT Can I have one with cinammon? FATIMA Wouldn't two be much more satisfying? GRANT You know, you could be right. Fatima uses tongs to put 2 cinammon bagels into a paper bag, she places this on the counter top. FATIMA Do you wish coffee also? GRANT Y-yes, coffee, could you make it a little weak, like half milk? Ali wrinkles his nose in contempt. He turns away and exits into the back of the shop. The bead curtain rattles and sways in his wake. FATIMA There is no need to be shy about this. It does not make you less of a man in my eyes. GRANT Thank you, th-that means a lot. Grant gets more nervous as Fatima goes and makes the coffee. Lots of milk. She puts a lid on the cup and places it beside the bagel bag. FATIMA Will there be anything else? Grant glances at the bead curtain. He takes a deep breath. He offers the flowers to Fatima. GRANT These, these are for you. FATIMA Why would you give me flowers? GRANT A-and these, too. Grant offers her the box with the ribbon. GRANT It's Turkish delight. I didn't know what else to get you. FATIMA Oh. Fatima hesitantly takes the box and the flowers. She puts the flowers down and unties the ribbon. In doing so she notices a little card. She turns it over and reads it. FATIMA "Be my Valentine." GRANT Uh, I was, I was kinda hoping to not be here when you read that, to be honest. It all begins to come together in Fatima's mind. FATIMA You wish me to be your Valentine? What does this entail? GRANT It's, it's just a way to say hi to someone you don't really know. Like, (waves a hand) Hi. FATIMA Oh, I see. We call it rahat locum. GRANT You have Valentine's Day, too? FATIMA No, your Turkish delight is our rahat locum, it originated in Iran and was a delicacy of the Ottoman Empire. GRANT I did not know that. FATIMA Am I supposed to give you something in return? GRANT No you don't, it's my gift to you. DING, the door opens and a gentleman from the land of Turkish delight steps in. This is HAMED. He looks around warily. His cold gaze settles upon Grant, who is unaware. Fatima is very aware of who this is, she takes a step back so she can call through the bead curtain. FATIMA Oh dear brother, the flour salesman is here. Ali emerges at once. He looks at Hamed, then at Grant. Fatima picks up the coffee cup and the bagel bag and hands them to Grant. FATIMA Thank you for your custom, I hope we see you again soon. Grant looks at her, not understanding, but then he gets it, it's her gift to him. She can't talk because of Ali. GRANT Thank you! Grant heads for the door. Hamed smiles politely and steps aside to let Grant exit, then closes the door, DING. EXT. ALI'S COFFEE & BAGEL SHOP - DAY Grant walks along the street a bit, then leans against a wall and hyperventilates. People walking by look at him. GRANT (wheezing) I'm okay, ignore me, I'm okay. INT. ALI'S COFFEE & BAGEL SHOP - DAY As soon as Grant has gone, Hamed's smile vanishes. ALI Sir, we are honored by your presence. HAMED This place is clean? ALI It is swept daily for listening devices. What is your will? (to Fatima) Go and put your head scarf on, you shame me. Fatima hurries into the back of the shop... and returns in a few moments wearing a head scarf. HAMED Much better. Are you prepared to give everything for our cause? ALI We are both prepared, sir. HAMED You speak for your sister? I would hear it from her own lips. FATIMA Sure, I'm in. Ali slaps the back of Fatima's head. ALI I heartily apologize on her behalf, sir. Living in this country has rotted her brain. HAMED It is her sincerity that matters, not her phrasing. Her mastery of American English aids in concealing your true purpose from the infidel. I am pleased to tell you that an opportunity for glory has arisen. I will provide further details soon, but keep Friday clear. ALI We await your word with fervor. Hamed turns away, but stops and looks at the box on the counter. HAMED Is that rahat locum? Fatima tilts the box toward Hamed and gives him a "Please help yourself!" smile. Hamed pops a piece into his mouth. HAMED Delicious! Hamed exits the shop, the door closes, DING. ALI Finally! A mission! We shall blow ourselves to smithereens and go to Heaven. Fatima does jazz hands, yaaaay. But she isn't smiling. INT. BACK ROOM OF ALI'S COFFEE & BAGEL SHOP - DAY Fatima sits at a little table with the box of Turkish delight. She examines the card again and WE SEE: "Maybe I can buy you a coffee sometime? Grant (the skinny white guy who takes milky coffee)" Fatima smiles broadly. She holds the card to her heart. Ali pokes his head through the bead curtain. ALI There are customers out here waiting to be served. FATIMA Forgive me, I will be right out. Ali withdraws. Fatima slips the card into a pocket, takes off her head scarf and exits to the front of the shop. EXT. DUCK POND IN THE PARK - DAY Grant sits on a bench facing the pond. He breaks up one of his bagels and throws the bits to the ducks. SPECIAL AGENT JACK RYERSON (30) sits down on the bench. RYERSON They really like that bagel, don't they? GRANT It's the cinnamon. RYERSON Tell me, Grant, are you a patriot? Or are you a traitor to this great nation of ours? GRANT H-how do you know my name? RYERSON She's a terrorist, Grant. That pretty girl with the perfect sun tan and the winning smile is one of the nutjobs who want to kill us all and destroy our way of life. GRANT Wh-Who are you? RYERSON What I need you to do, Grant, is tell me everything you know about your little friend. And I do mean, everything. INT. ALI'S COFFEE & BAGEL SHOP - EVENING The place is closed up, Fatima is cleaning. Ali emerges from the back room, wearing a Hawaiian shirt. ALI You will remain in your room tonight? FATIMA Sure, I wouldn't want to spoil your poker game. I'll probably go out for a walk. ALI Where to? FATIMA Just to watch the sunset. It might be the last one I see. Ali stares at her, expressionless. He exits to the back room. Fatima takes out a phone and Grant's card. She thumbs in the number. FATIMA (INTO PHONE) It's me. EXT. SIDEWALK CAFE - LATE EVENING Grant sits at a table watching the sun going down. Fatima appears and sits down at the table. No head scarf. GRANT Hey, you came. FATIMA I'm glad I made it in time. I wanted to thank you for your gifts. No one has ever been that kind to me before. GRANT Wow, really? My pleasure. Thank you for calling me, I wasn't sure if you would, I mean, I don't know if I would have had the courage. FATIMA Calling someone is easy, it's just talking to people. Deciding to take action for something you believe in, though, that's what really requires courage. GRANT I suppose... FATIMA I just wanted to tell you I'll be going away soon. GRANT Oh. Anywhere I might know? FATIMA A far away place. I won't be coming back here. GRANT I'm, I'm sorry to hear that. Fatima reaches across the table and takes Grant's hand. FATIMA I'm sorry too. Just when you'd worked up courage to give me flowers and Turkish delight. It's not fair. GRANT Will you be happy, wherever it is you're going? FATIMA I hope so. Let's watch the sunset together. GRANT Sure. I can do that. Fatima smiles as they sit watching the beautiful sunset. THE END Feb 2018

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