(For any fools who think "writing a screenplay" is easy --- you remind me of the teenager I met in San Francisco in 1994 who claimed, after we were discussing the 49ers, that he could throw an 80-yard pass. Try it.)
Most of the story takes place in a Western bordello, circa 1890, where a madam and one of her girls have been lovers for years. One day a good-looking, Bible-toting cowboy comes into the picture and feels he must save "The Girl," having no idea at all what she and the madam have been through over the years. He initially kidnaps her, learns of her back-history, hopes to convert her to a "pure life" of marriage to an itinerant cowboy... When The Girl doesn't particularly want that and tries to escape, he resorts to quoting the Bible to her. Now, I'd made all of this story up. But when it came time to figuring out what exactly the Cowboy would be quoting, I was clueless. Thank you Internet for the "bible + whores" search, which yielded a multitude of good quotes from Ezekiel, like:
"They shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords. And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgment upon thee in the sight of many women; and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more. So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry..."
The above is what the Cowboy ended up preaching to the Girl in the story, all the while beating the shit out of her (while promising to be "no more angry" later).
Luckily, the godless madam was a pretty tough cookie herself.
I would like to thank the movie "Carol" for getting my creative juices flowing again, for recalibrating just about everything.
Here's a brief excerpt from how my partial screenplay ends:
VIV and the GIRL emerge from the shack, the GIRL now clothed and leaning heavily on VIV. The two shuffle over to where the COWBOY lies, still alive and looking up at them. BIG JOHN is bent over him.
VIV: Get out of the way, John.BIG JOHN sees her eyes, backs off.
VIV hands the rifle to the GIRL. The GIRL can barely stand by herself, but manages to take the rifle and point it at the COWBOY's face. She can't, though, pump the rifle. VIV grabs it and pumps it for her, then hands it back to her.
GIRL (looking at the COWBOY, speaking under her breath, mouthing the words so that only he understands what she's saying—a quote from the last verse of Ezekiel 16, the chapter he'd been quoting to her earlier):
"That thou mayest remember, and be confounded, and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done…"She blows his head off.
Riding off into a glorious sunset. VIV with GIRL clinging to her back. BIG JOHN with body of COWBOY slung across back of horse behind him.