A Love Story



Simple shot of a fly crawling across the back of a man’s hand, picking between the black hairs. KNOCKING on a door.


JEFF (35) is sitting on the bed in white shirt and boxers, pulling up his socks. His wife, JACQUELINE (33), long dark hair, stands at the foot of the bed in short skirt and tee-shirt with her hands on her hips.


Of course I’d like you to come but I mean,

think about it, Jac, lap-dancing? I don’t 

even want to go.


(grinning mischievously)

So, do you want me to take my clothes off

and dance for you?


Look, Jac, Phil will be in New Zealand in forty 

eight hours. I might never see him again.


I hate you.

Jacqueline pushes Jeff over as he struggles with his socks. He bangs his head on the wall.



Jacqueline leaps up onto the bed, laughing now, and stands astride Jeff, looking down at him. Jeff can see up her short skirt and she knows it.


Don’t you use language like that with me,

or there’ll be trouble.


Ha, want to play rough, do you?

Jeff grabs both of Jacqueline’s ankles and pulls them sharply towards him. She falls backwards onto the footboard. As her head connects with the wood there is a sharp crack followed by utter silence. Jeff stares for a few seconds.





Jac? Stop messing about. Jac?

Jeff reaches forwards and pulls her skirt down that has ridden up. He flattens it with his hand and pulls her shirt straight as well. He then sits back and stares at her.


Jeff still motionless, staring at Jacqueline. She hasn’t moved. He slowly raises himself up onto his knees and crawls towards her. Her head is turned to his left but he sees a small trickle of blood coming from her left ear.

Jeff pauses for a beat, then reaches forwards and starts to turn her head slowly. Her body suddenly slumps and her head flops forwards to face him. Her right eye is filled with blood, her left fixes him with a lifeless stare.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT (bed-side light on)

Jacqueline is now propped up in bed with pillows. She is wearing a thin, cotton, red dress. Her legs are outstretched and her hands are in her lap. The blood has been cleaned from the side of her cheek and her hair brushed. Jeff is standing at the side of the bed with a MAKE-UP BAG.


I think we’re getting there. Let’s just

try a bit of this.

Jeff produces a tube of FOUNDATION CREAM from the bag, squeezes some onto the palm of his hand and smooths it across Jacqueline’s cheeks and forehead. He takes mascara and lipstick from the bag, looks at them for a moment and then returns them, shaking his head. He turns off the light allowing moonlight to spill across her face.


You look absolutely gorgeous. Gorgeous.


Jeff sitting at the kitchen table eating pie and chips watching a ROMANTIC COMEDY on the TV. He pours the last few drops of wine from a bottle.


Jeff, a little squiffy, strips down to his underpants and climbs into bed beside Jacqueline. He lies looking at her for a moment and then sits up.


You look uncomfy, honey-pie.

Jeff shuffles down the bed and grasps Jacqueline’s ankles. He gently slides her forwards a couple of feet. He then pushes her shoulders back to lie her down. Rigor Mortis won’t allow it and she see-saws. Jeff has a few more attempts and then gives up, putting her back into a sitting position. He then reaches across her and switches off the light.


Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.


Sun streaming through the open curtains. Jeff sits up quickly, looking shocked. Rubs at his face and hair.


Jesus! Bad dream!

He looks across at Jacqueline. She has slumped sideways, the Rigor Mortis now having worn off.


You look like you had a bad night


Jeff climbs out of bed. Sits Jacqueline up again and props her with pillows. He then grabs the facial wipes and cleans around her face. As he moves her head she slumps again and burps.


Better out than…

Jeff runs out of the room and is heard vomiting loudly into the toilet. The toilet flushes and Jeff reappears. He sits Jacqueline back upright then sprays her with body spray. He applies some more foundation and then sets about with Mascara and lipstick. She looks awful.


(laughing lightly)

That’s harder than it looks. Jeez!

Look at the time. I’m late.

Jeff grabs a handful of clothes from the floor, kisses Jacqueline on the cheek, then leaves.


Jeff, wearing white coat and hat, is arranging trays of liver, kidneys, hearts and sausages in the cooler. His bloodied fingers move from tray to tray, shifting the offal around to improve the display. 

STERN-FACED SUPERVISOR (58) appears and starts to berate Jeff.


What time do you call this? You can’t just

stroll in when you feel like it.



Sorry, Jac wasn’t feeling well. I had

to see to her before I came out.


You disgust me. I bet she’s lying in bed

right now, thinking about the depraved 

things you do together. I have my eye on you.

Supervisor storms off, Jeff continues to rearrange the meat in the counter. A customer appears and Jeff stands up, smiling his best customer-service smile. There is a smudge of blood at the corner of his mouth.


Jacqueline has slumped again. To her right. Her face is squashed up against the bed post, distorting her features and exposing her teeth. Her right eye is closed but the left is still wide and staring. SOUND of the front door opening downstairs.


Hi, honey, I’m home!

Sound of the door closing. Jeff’s FOOTSTEPS on the stairs then he comes into the bedroom and looks down at Jacqueline.


Oh, Jac, what have you done? This won’t

do, you know?

He tries in vain to get her upright but she keeps flopping sideways. After a few attempts he stands back and puts his hands on his hips.


This isn’t working, petal. Desperate

measures call for desperate... 

measures. Whatever.

Jeff disappears from the room and appears a few seconds later with a high-backed chair, a clothes line, and a roll of duct tape. He places the chair at the side of the bed and begins to wrestle Jacqueline onto it.

He gets his arms under her arms, drags her off the bed, eventually getting her sitting on the chair. He has to hold to steady. Her head is flopped forwards with her long hair hanging down. Her legs are twisted.


I don’t like to be rude, love, but

dropping a pound or two wouldn’t hurt.

Jeff takes the clothes line and quickly wraps it around her shoulders and the back of the chair. That done, he repeats the exercise with her waist and then duct-tapes her ankles and calves to the legs of the chair.

Jeff steps back to admire his work and frowns at the way her head droops. He holds it up but it just flops down again. He smacks his forehead as an idea occurs, goes around the back and plaits her hair incorporating the back of the chair into the plait. He sits on the bed.


You look… beautiful.


Jeff leans back onto the pillows that were supporting his wife and gazes lovingly at her.


Remember when we met, Jac? The day you pulled

out of that junction and ran into the side of

my car? Imagine where we’d be now if that little

accident never happened.

Jeff gazes at her for a little longer and then starts sniffing. Eventually, he smells his own hands and clothes.


Oh, Jac, why didn’t you say something?

I still stink of work.

Jeff stands up, goes behind the chair, tips it onto its’ back legs and starts to drag it towards the door.


Jeff drags the chair and Jacqueline into the room and places her facing the bath. He then closes the door. He turns on the taps and puts the plug in the bath, then starts to undress.


Not much room in here, Jac, but we’ll

manage, won’t we?


Jeff is sitting on the bed in white vest and boxers. A plate of cheese and bread next to him. He’s drinking red wine and has spilled some down his vest. Two bottles, one empty, the other half full, are on the bedside table. Next to Jacqueline, on the floor, is a glass of red wine.


(slurring his words)

This is luv’ly, Jac. Luv’ly. Much better

than downstairs. More… more… intimate.

Jeff giggles, slurps at his wine, spilling even more, then gets unsteadily to his feet and leans towards Jacqueline.


You’re not drunk at all yet, are you?

You always could drink more than me.

Cheeky girl.

Jeff does a little dance and then sits on Jacqueline’s knee. He sings untunefully, unrecognisable but maudlin. He grabs both her arms and wraps them around his waist. Singing turns to humming, then giggling again. He gets up again and faces her.


You know, you’re a bit of a stinky

poo yourself? Yes you are. Well, no

alterna… alt… alter…. choice.

Jeff stands up and goes over to the window. Curtains are still open. Light from streetlamp illuminates his face orange. He unfastens the window on the left and pushes it open, then does the same on the right. He then climbs back into bed. Bites a big lump from the bread and empties his wine glass.


Night, night.


Jeff stumbling around the room, still not steady on his feet. Waves his hand in front of his face as he passes Jacqueline whose features are starting to darken. He sprays her liberally with body spray. Then applies more make-up. Finally douses her with aftershave. He stands back.


A bit Baby Jane, but it’ll do.


Jeff playing around with the produce again. The Supervisor appears, stops and gives him a dirty look. Shakes her head and then walks on.


Jeff, drinking wine again, wearing only boxers. His beard has started to show scruffy on his chin. His hair is greasy and unkempt. Jacqueline is beginning to bloat. Her one open eye is now milky and her lips have pulled back to reveal more teeth. Her red dress is looking tight around her middle.


Jeff, looking no better than he did the previous night, rubbing at his face and hair and moving the offal around in their trays. A CUSTOMER comes up to the counter, takes one look at Jeff and turns away.

Supervisor approaches him. Stands watching as he messes about with the produce.


There’s a funny smell around here, and

it’s not meat. Ever thought of taking the

odd shower?

Jeff watches as she strides away. He throws a piece of liver that he has in his hand back into the tray, splashing blood up the front of the glass.


Jeff sitting on the edge of the bed, drinking out of a bottle of GIN. The curtains are closed now and the bed-side lamp the only source of light. Jacqueline appears as a menacing silhouette. Her teeth and her one glassy eye catching the light from the lamp.


I don’t know, Jac. Nothing stays the same

forever, but I feel… well, I feel as though

we’re growing apart.

Jeff lifts his head, waiting for a reply. When none comes he shakes his head in submission and drinks deeply from the gin bottle.


Jeff looks terrible. Bloodshot eyes. Hair filthy, oily and unkempt. His white coat is bloodied, as is his hat. He is messing in the trays of offal again and has mixed them all up, making shapes of faces. Supervisor appears, furious.


Right, that’s it. Enough is enough. Go 

home now!

Jeff begins to complain.


I don’t want to hear it. Out! Now!

She points to the door. Jeff seems to consider appealing once more but then strips off his hat and white coat. He is wearing only his wine-stained vest and boxers beneath. He marches out through the door.


Jeff is sitting on the bed, gin bottle in hand, weeping. He has taken the shade off the bed-side lamp. The extra light shows the rapid deterioration of Jacqueline. Liquid is oozing from her eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Her face is horribly swollen and blackening. Her skin has sagged making her look as though she is melting.


Oh God, Jac. Just tell me what’s wrong.

If I’ve said something, just tell me.

He looks up at her, expecting an answer. He notices that liquid is dripping from the chair. He looks into her face.


You’ve really let yourself go, you know?

After all them lovely nights we had. What 

is it, Jac? Just tell me.

Jeff strokes her hair gently. Some comes out. He just stares.


Please, Jacqueline. Don’t be like this.

Just answer me.

There is an edge is Jeff’s voice now.


Jacqueline, I said, answer - me!

Jeff pulls on her hair, bringing out a handful. Hs face contorts with rage.



Jeff grabs both her shoulders and shakes her.



Jeff doesn’t manage to say anymore. We hear gasses bubbling from Jacqueline’s body. Jeff turns and vomits copiously onto the floor.


Right then, that’s it!

Jeff leaves the room, slamming the door behind him. We hear his footsteps as he stomps down the stairs in anger.


Jeff has a roll of duct tape from which he pulls long strips and seals around the door. When done, he takes towels from a laundry basket nearby and stuffs them into the gap under the door. When finished he stands, legs astride, leaning with one outstretched arm on each side of the door.


If you want to be anti-social, then you

can be anti-social on your own. All I ever ask

is a bit of affection. I’m going to the pub.

Jeff pushes away from the wall, stands looking at the door for a while, and then turns to walk down stairs.


Jeff marches up the street towards the shops. As he approaches the Local Supermarket where he works, the Supervisor can be seen inside locking up. She sees Jeff, knocks on the window and waves him over. 


I’m glad I’ve seen you. Come in a minute.

We can get this sorted out tonight.


Er… What is it?


Just come in. It won’t take long.

Jeff enters the supermarket. The supervisor shuts the door behind him.


The office is little more than a large cupboard. Dirty, off white walls and a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling. A tatty desk, covered in papers and coffee mugs dominates the dreary room. Jeff stands in front of the desk as the Supervisor sifts through the paper mess.


Ah, here it is. I have been talking to the

area manager, and he agrees that this is the

only course of action available to us.

She hands him a slip of paper.


What? What does this mean?


Your balance of pay will be forwarded to

your bank account. 




We’re letting you go.


Go? Go where?


Let you go. Terminate your contract. End

your employment here.




You’re sacked.

Jeff grabs a letter-opener from the desk and stabs his supervisor several times in the neck and her left eye. He does this quickly and has discarded the blade and turned to leave before she falls to the floor.


Jeff empties his jacket pockets into his trousers as he is walking. Strips off his jacket, folds it tightly and drops it into a rubbish bin. He then strides off purposely up the road, a broad smile on his face.


Jeff looks up at the sign swinging over-head. Tucks his shirt into his trousers, smooths back his greasy, unkempt hair, and enters the pub.


Jeff walks in and straight up to the bar. The room is almost full, very noisy. Laughing, juke box playing ‘ENTER SANDMAN’ - METALLICA. Jeff gets a drink and stands with his back to the bar, watching the crowd.

A large, fat man, DAVE (45) approaches Jeff with his hand outstretched.


Hiya, name’s Dave. You’re the quiet guy

off the meat counter. We need another 

man for the darts. You up for it?

Jeff nods enthusiastically. Joins three other men by the dart board. Much slapping on the back and more shaking hands.


Jeff is seen laughing at a table with another group of men. He is visibly drunk now and has been accepted into the community.


Pub not quite as full. Jeff at the bar with another group of people. Lots of laughing. Barmaid joining in. Bawdy behaviour. Barmaid encourages one of the men to feel her up. Laughing hysterically.


Jeff, barely able to stand, waving goodnight to people outside. More back slapping and hugging. Jeff eventually heads of back towards home.


Jeff sitting on the staircase with his head in his hands. Same clothes on as last night. He looks awful. Sudden hammering on the door. Jeff pulls himself to his feet, walks unsteadily down a few steps and opens the door. The police burst in. Jeff falls back onto the stairs as officers run past him.

(off screen)  POLICE OFFICER

Jesus! What is that smell?

Sound of tape being stripped away from the door and the door then being opened, followed by sound of several officers vomiting.


A fly crawls across the back of a man’s hand as knocking is heard on a door. A key turns in the lock and the door opens. We see that the hand belongs to Jeff. He is sitting motionless on a bed in a very brightly lit, white room. His head is shaved. A nurse walks towards him.


Morning, Jeff. How are we feeling today?

Jeff doesn’t answer. He keeps his head down and watches the fly.


It’s lovely and sunny. Would you 

like to go outside today?

Jeff doesn’t respond at all. The nurse sits on the bed beside him.


Come on. Don’t be a grumpy boots.

Why the long face?

Jeff finally picks his head up. He looks terrible. There are deep, dark rings under his eyes. The nurses face softens with compassion.


I don’t understand why Jac hasn’t been

to see me. I really miss her.

Out of sight of the nurse, Jeff reaches down and takes a sharpened, plastic spoon from the side of his sock.