Third Novel in a Trilogy
Grit, Santa Fe Style
Based on the novel by Michael Scofield / Copyright 2013 Michael Scofield
Contact: James Clois Smith Jr., Sunstone Press / (505) 988-4418
Log Line: Homeless heroes battle cocaine, blackmail, and pornography.
Act 1 (August 17-September 9, 2007)
Scene 1: It's the Friday before Fiesta Weekend. On the lawn of Kullman College, Sarah, a sophomore, tells Professor Byron Hurd that he has made her pregnant. She's informed the dean, who asks Byron to quit. He phones his ex-wife. She refuses to take him back, though he's fathered three children.
Scene 2: Composer Quentin Edwards, turned gay after divorce, spends night with a pickup, Milt. Not only does Milt steal his clothes and laptop, but Santa Fe's High Mesa Music Festival director turns down Quentin's next composition.
Scene 3: In New York City, Quentin's estranged daughter—a book editor, Germaine—and her boyfriend hope to end her frigidity by finding on the Web a weekend retreat devoted to sex.
Scene 4: Circumstances force Professor Byron Hurd and composer Quenton Edmunds to seek refuge in a homeless camp near the shelter called Kat's Harbor. Quentin discovers that Byron is a musician. They meet the camp's self-appointed leader, Flasher, and his half-nuts girlfriend, Tish, as well as an old New York Times reporter, Dirk.
Scene 5: The sex-retreat's owners, former New York hedge-fund managers, donate part of their profits to Kat's Harbor. Quentin's daughter and several others learn therapeutic sexual technique from the retreat's facilitator, Raven Feldman, a beautiful coke addict. Hosts and guests practice technique most of the night.
Scene 6: The next morning, Raven complains that the retreat's husband-and-wife owners don't pay her enough. The three discuss which guests to blackmail later—spy cams in the living room and three bedrooms record all activity, including snorting coke.
Scene 7: Later, Raven drives Germaine and Jimmy, the guest Germaine most likes, to the Plaza. Germaine's father, Quentin, so shabby she doesn't recognize him, is there with other homeless to beg food. Flasher, the refuge's leader, grows furious with his nutso girlfriend, who threatens Germaine and Jimmy.
Scene 8: That afternoon, as the others practice technique, Raven tries to coax Germaine into snorting cocaine again. This time she refuses, even to enjoy sex with Raven. Why? On the Plaza, Germaine heard Flasher and Tish exchange almost the same words that her father and the preteen Germaine had exchanged before Germaine performed fellatio on him.
Scene 9: At Kat's Harbor, Quentin starts to fight with Iraq War veteran, Stormy Weathers. After Byron intervenes, Quentin tells Byron that he's fallen in love with him. But Byron likes Kat's summer intern from Columbia University, Vonnie. Byron tells Quentin, "While I'm hiding out, I'll be your friend, but I'm not bisexual."
Scene 10: Germaine and her boyfriend, Jock, snuggle in her New York apartment during lunch hour. She brings him off with her lips but he wants mutual orgasm. She confesses she stayed frigid during her sex weekend in Santa Fe, and accuses him, while she was gone, of sleeping with her assistant at Bennett Books. This he denies.
Scene 11: In her office Germaine asks her assistant how she feels about Jock. A long-distance call from Arlene, co-owner of the sex retreat, interrupts them. Arlene says she and husband Fritz need a lot more money not to send photos of Germaine's weekend to her boyfriend and employer.
Scene 12: Sex-facilitator Raven visits the homeless refuge to buy cocaine from Flasher, to resupply the sex retreat. Flasher's girlfriend gets jealous. Raven complains about her employers, explains their scam. Dirk, the retired reporter, suggests she blackmail them with a spy cam video.
Scene 13: When Raven arrives at the sex retreat, Arlene is just leaving. Raven switches on the living-room's spy cam, persuades Fritz to snort coke with her, seduces him. Arlene returns to find them wasted on the rug, starts screaming.
Act 2 (September 10-17)
Scene 1: Lunchtime at Kat's Harbor. Quentin smarts at how chummy Byron is getting with Kat's intern, Vonnie. Kat, who herself is falling for Vonnie, smarts, too. Her granddaughter's pet mouse escapes. Kat stomps it dead.
Scene 2: Raven has vanished. Kat meets Fritz and Arlene at a café owned by Kat's former lover, an heiress, to ask for $30,000 to expand Kat's Harbor. Arlene has just told Fritz that—to stay with him—she wants a BMW 135i and a cabana in Belize. Arlene tells Kat there's no way she and Fritz can fund expanding the Harbor.
Scene 3: At breakfast, Arlene tells Fritz she wants to make love to Raven, who has returned from gambling in Taos. Raven appears, confesses she had tried to videotape Fritz and her snorting coke and making love, but lightning knocked out the spy cam. When Raven leaves, Arlene proposes that after she makes love to Raven, they liquidate her. Fritz pretends to agree.
Scene 4: In New York, Germaine sees in the Times that her father, after his disastrous premiere in Santa Fe, has disappeared. She asks her boyfriend, Jock, to help her find him, thinking that reconciliation may end her frigidity. Plus she hopes to dissuade the sex retreat's owners from blackmail.
Germaine's assistant, Judy, appears, says she's heard that Bennett Books wants Germaine to become West Coast editor, move to San Francisco. Jock doesn't want to go. Germaine accuses him of sleeping with Judy, shouts she'll fly to Santa Fe alone.
From Miami, Jimmy, the sex-retreat guest Germaine met in Act 1, Scene 5, phones her—misses her—but probably can't meet her in Santa Fe.
Scene 5: Kat urges her intern, Vonnie, not to return to Columbia to finish her PhD. She tries to brush Vonnie's hair but the intern leaps away. Stormy Weathers, high on coke, is enraged that Quentin and Byron get to move out of the refuge into Kat's Harbor. He tries to stab Quentin but Byron steps between them. The knife goes into Byron's shoulder. Vonnie nurses him while Quentin calls 911.
Scene 6: Stormy Weathers has fled. Byron has returned from the hospital, arm in a sling. Flasher's girlfriend, Tish, and Vonnie are tutoring Kat's granddaughter when a cop car pulls up.
Byron runs to the bathroom to hide. The cop asks Kat if she's come across two homeless, Byron Hurd or Quentin Edmunds. Kat says no, later tries to embrace Vonnie. The intern rushes to Byron's side, leaves with him to search for Quentin.
Scene 7: Out in the refuge, Flasher gives sex-facilitator Raven a gram of cocaine, which retired-Times-reporter Dirk pays for. Dirk suggests she try again tomorrow to videotape sex-retreat co-owner Fritz Joseph snorting the Lady C, proposes that he—Dirk—and Quentin hide under the window and shoot stills.
Nearby, Vonnie and Byron cuddle while she urges him to join her at Columbia, find a teaching job. Quentin discovers them kissing, demands they leave his campsite. Crazed by jealousy, Quentin lops limbs from the elms.
Scene 8: Fritz and Arlene sip coffee with Germaine in the sex-refuge's garden. Germaine hands over $2,000, explains she's searching for her father, and asks if the Josephs will forgo future payments. No way, Arlene says; most of the money goes to charity.
Raven returns from the Plaza after leaving two guests there. Arlene and Raven enter the hacienda to set up the afternoon's orgy. Arlene embraces Raven, says she's mixed poison into the coke they plan to persuade Fritz to snort.
Earlier, Fritz told Raven he loves her and intends to poison his wife, so that he and Raven can run the sex-retreat on their own. Raven is hugely confused as to who's lying.
Scene 9: Before the orgy, Germaine phones Jimmy; he has agreed to fly out. Raven has brought the two guests back from the Plaza, and picked up Germaine's father and Dirk from the refuge. The old men hide with cameras under the living-room window.
Germaine joins the others in the living room, where bindles of coke wait on the glass table, the underside of one X'd in green. Raven gulps down her tequila sunrise, wonders how to get rid of the X'd bindle. She taps the window to alert Quentin and Dirk, decides to risk her own life to save Fritz's.
Arlene tells Fritz to show their guests the coke is safe—he and Raven should each snort half the X'd bindle. Fritz opens all the bindles and lays out the powder. Raven inserts a half straw into her nose, starts snorting, in horror sees Fritz shift his straw to one of the poison-free lines. He doesn't love her! She snorts the whole poisoned line.
Quentin and Dirk, having taken photos, smash the window and climb inside. The two other guests scatter; Fritz and Arlene run upstairs. Germaine, who still doesn't recognize her father, kneels with him and Dirk to help Raven. Dirk makes Raven throw up.
Raven tells Germaine she's taped a spare key under the van's fender. The two old men carry Raven to the van. Germaine asks them to ride along, to guide her to the hospital. Afraid of the law, they refuse. But as they tramp back to the refuge, and Germaine follows Dirk's directions to the hospital, a suspicion grows on father and daughter that circumstances have at last thrown them together after nineteen years.
Scene 10: The next morning, Fritz and Arlene decide they need to find a hit man to kill Raven and Germaine. But where are the two women hiding out?
Scene 11: Upstairs at the Hotel Santa Fe, Raven is recuperating in Germaine's room, knowing Jimmy is flying in from Miami. Raven needs coke bad, insists on accompanying Germaine to the refuge to search for Germaine's probable father.
Scene 12: In the refuge, Flasher reveals that his girlfriend is also his sister, explains that his selling cocaine supports their ailing mother down in Albuquerque. When Flasher offers Raven coke free, she suspects he wants to sleep with her.
Germaine heads toward the site where Quentin and Byron camped before Quentin moved into the Harbor and Byron into Vonnie's apartment. Quentin sits in a chair, composing. Germaine forgives her father—tears and hugs. She begs him to fly back to New York, in spite of his debts there.
He protests that he loves wandering the outdoors here, has made fast friends. Germaine brings news from her mother that the Red River Music Festival Director wants Quentin to serve as composer-in-residence.
Raven returns stoned from Flasher's and Tish's campsite. Germaine drives Raven to the hotel.
Scene 13: But Raven wants Germaine and Jimmy to enjoy the night alone, and tricks the key from Germaine. After chasing each other around the van, Raven jumps in, shouts that she'll return later, speeds back to the refuge.
Jimmy meets Germaine in the hotel lobby. Tomorrow they plan to tell the police why Fritz and Arlene tried to kill Raven. Tonight, however, they make love and Germaine—as she'd hoped, having reconciled with her father—experiences her first orgasm ever.
Act 3 (September 18-25, 2007)
Scene 1: The next morning, Raven has not returned to the hotel. Germaine decides to fly home early to see Jock, fly back in a week to persuade her father to leave Santa Fe.
Scene 2: Today Kat has invited her former lover, Marta, to visit the Harbor, see how Kat's granddaughter has grown. Fritz and Arlene—disheveled—pull up in Arlene's BMW 135i, pound on the front door. Kat sends granddaughter and Marta to the backyard.
Fritz demands to know who Raven's dealer is and where Raven has taken the sex-retreat's van. Kat says she's never met Raven. Arlene shoves the barrel of a derringer into Kat's nostril, cocks the hammer. Kat names Flasher as Raven's dealer, then cries out. Marta and granddaughter rush in. Arlene hides the pistol as Fritz says, "We're hoping to build our usefulness here."
Scene 3: Flasher's sister/girlfriend, Tish, accuses Flasher of seducing Raven in the arroyo last night—swears to garrote Raven with the clothesline Tish carries. Flasher promises to buy Tish jewelry.
Fritz and Arlene, showered and gussied up, appear. Flasher says he knows all about their scam. Fritz replies he'll pay well if Flasher can find a hit man to wipe out Raven and Germaine. "That's me!" Tish blurts, and pulls the garrote from her waistband.
Flasher agrees to ease Raven's fears by swearing the Josephs poisoned the cocaine by mistake, plan to promote Raven to full partner.
Scene 4: In Germaine's Greenwich Village apartment, she and Jock make love. She has another orgasm, confesses she slept with Jimmy in Santa Fe.
Furious at first, Jock calms down, makes his own confession: twice he's slept with Germaine's assistant, Judy. "So now we're even-steven," Germaine says.
Jock agrees to fly to Santa Fe with her to talk with the police, urge her father's return to New York. She wonders what's new on the sex-retreat's Web site, discovers it has vanished. Jock phones the retreat. An automated voice says the line's been disconnected.
Scene 5: Fritz talks Raven into visiting the Josephs by saying she'll need to swipe a few sex-video backups to give the cops when Germaine flies out again. Raven in any case wants to retrieve her purse and throw her belongings into the van.
No way does she believe Flasher's assurances that the Josephs want to make her a partner. But she still believes that Flasher wants to help her—even though the Josephs already have passed him the first $10,000 for Tish to strangle Raven.
Scene 6: Arlene and Fritz greet Raven. Their false enthusiasm chills when she not only asks for a cut in the profits but for one-third ownership in the real estate. But she sees no way to filch the back-up videos.
Scene 7: Quentin begs Byron not to fly east with Vonnie as the men wait outside a supermarket for Dirk to bring developed photos and disinfectant from Walgreens for Byron's wound. Dirk feels sad, too, sure that Quentin will return to New York with Germaine.
Scene 8: Because Quentin loves the outdoors, he's talked Dirk into leaving the Harbor with him back to his old campsite, where Stormy Weathers now sleeps. Stormy wants to show them where he and homeless Clara plan to set up housekeeping near Flasher and Tish's headquarters. The three men start along the path.
Raven has escaped from the Josephs and is tenting with Tish and Flasher. She sits in a director's chair while Flasher weighs out a bindle of coke. Behind her Tish steps forward, loops the garrote around Raven's neck, and pulls the ends taut. Flasher rushes from the tent to pin Raven's feet and forearms.
Quentin, Dirk, and Stormy appear. Dirk and Stormy hold Flasher and Tish at knifepoint, then force them to lie in the mud. Tish tells Stormy where to find her .38. Raven drapes her arms over Quentin's and Dirk's shoulders—they're going to walk her to the Harbor.
Scene 9: In Vonnie's apartment, Vonnie helps the wounded Byron to shower, accuses him of missing Quentin sexually.
She talks him into calling his ex-wife, explain where he's been, where he's going, say goodbye to his three children, promise to fly back to visit, ask his ex-wife to ship his cello when he and Vonnie find permanent quarters.
His ex-wife shouts, "You owe us money!" and tells her boyfriend to trace the call.
Scene 10: The next morning in Kat's Harbor, Raven snorts a quarter gram. Kat tells her she must leave. Raven begs for two nights more—on Monday she and Quentin's daughter are going to the police.
Kat's granddaughter persuades Kat to settle Raven in the garage for two nights. Raven asks Kat to help her get into rehab.
Scene 11: At the Santa Fe police station, Germaine, Jock, and Raven face the cop who visited Kat's Harbor in Act 2, scene 6. Earlier, at Kat's urging, he booked Raven into Brighter Days, starting this afternoon.
The cop tells Germaine and Jock to come to the refuge at six-thirty to pick up Quentin. He and another cop will be waiting in the creek bed. They're planning to trap Flasher and Tish at seven, the curfew Flasher has imposed on the refuge.
The cop turns on his microcassette, asks Raven to explain how the sex scam worked, how she bought her coke, the attempts on her life. "We'll get a search warrant started on the Josephs this morning," he says.
Scene 12: At the refuge at six-thirty, Germaine and Jock ask Tish to lead them to Quentin and Dirk's campsite. Tish says she prefers to follow them. As Germaine and Jock spot Quentin and Dirk gagged and bound, Tish and two other homeless grab, gag, and tie up Germaine and Jock.
Flasher and his cohorts march the four prisoners to headquarters. He makes them sit in a recently-dug mass grave. Tish says she needs a hit of coke before strangling them.
The cop told Kat that Flasher must confess to witnesses how much he charges for cocaine, in order to make an arrest stick for intent to distribute. Now Stormy Weathers gets Flasher to talk. As soon as he does, the half-dozen homeless abandon their sham of wanting the prisoners killed. Soon the group has tied up Flasher and Tish, and released Quentin, Dirk, Germaine, and Jock.
The two cops appear from the creek bed, revolvers drawn. Flasher shows them the hole where he's hidden the rocks of cocaine and the Josephs' $10,000.
Scene 13: The Josephs snort coke in their sex-retreat, plan their getaway. Above them, workers apply hot tar to the roof. Others replace the broken window and floor tile below.
Fritz secretly wants to rid himself of Arlene, find Raven.
On the landing, he knees Arlene in the buttocks, catapulting her down the stairs. The tile saw is whining; the workers don't notice that she lays crumpled and gasping on the floor. Fritz takes her purse containing car keys and derringer into the garage, backs out the 135i.
Three staked-out police cars close in on him. Panicking, he plunges the 135i into the hamper of boiling tar.
Scene 14: In spite of Germaine's protests, Quentin and Dirk decide to hike up to Taos, meet the director of the Red River Music Festival. At the Harbor, Kat is staging a goodbye party.
Marta is there. Not only are Kat and she getting back together, but she's using part of her inheritance to expand the Harbor's services to the homeless.
A phone call from Kat's friend, the cop, informs her that Flasher and Tish are jailed, Arlene is under guard at the hospital, and Fritz is locked up tight—the judge gave him a cash-only, quarter-million-dollar bail.