Knockout

by Irina Chernikina

INT. MEL'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
In dark apartment MELANY RUSSO, MEL, a strong, athletic woman in her 30's, is lying on her couch looking at her cell phone screen.
Her face is badly bruised.
Mel touches the screen and watches an MMA fight with the sound off. The video clip is titled "Melany Russo Gets Annihilated in Title Fight".
She watches herself get beat up in an octagon.
The video clip ends and Mel starts it from the beginning.
A five month old rottweiler puppy, pushes her head under Mel's arm and rests it on Mel's chest. She lets out a small whine.
Mel smiles and pets her head.
MEL
Hey JOY, baby girl! What is it?
Joy looks up at Mel and whines again.
MEL
You need to go out?
Joy lifts her head and wails her tail excitedly.
Mel smiles again.
MEL
Okay, I hear you. Let's go.
Mel gets up from the couch and pockets her phone.
Mel puts a leash on Joy - the latch is a bit loose.
EXT. MARINA DOCK BOARDWALK - NIGHT
Mel is in a hoodie being lead by Joy straining against her leash.
The latch on the leash gets more and more unstable.
Mel struggles to keep up with Joy, wincing every so often and gently touching her ribs.
2.
As they reach the docks the latch on Joy's leash comes undone.
Joy sprints into the darkness.
MEL
Shit! Joy!
Mel runs after Joy forgetting about her bruised ribs.
Mel follows the boardwalk around a bend. The area becomes more industrial. Mel makes a turn.
Joy's tail disappears under the fence into the loading dock area.
Mel runs after Joy even faster and pulls herself over the fence. She winces when she lands on the other side.
MEL
Joy! Come back, girl!
Mel runs into shipping containers area. She turns another corner and runs full force into a dark figure.
They both fall hard to the ground in a tangle.
Mel winces in pain as she stands up.
MEL
What the f-
Mel is cut off with the cocking of a gun pointed at her face.
A large, strong, white man in his late 30's, stands in front of Mel.
On the four fingers of the hand holding the gun are the tattooed letters "K-N-U-C". "K-L-E-S" are tattooed on the four fingers of KNUCKLES' other hand.
Mel is frozen with fear. She looks around.
There are two men standing behind Knuckles next to a car - TALL GUY and SHORT GUY.
On the hood of the car there's an open case with bagged coke inside and a closed case is sitting right next to it.
A smaller man in early 20's is getting off the ground pulling his pants up.
He has the word "SNAP" in fancy lettering tattooed on the top of his left butt cheek.
3.
Snap looks Mel up and down.
SNAP
That was going to be my question. What the fuck? As in what the fuck are you doing here?
Mel backs away, slowly.
Snap moves on her, quickly, and grabs her.
Mel doesn't fight back.
SNAP
No, no! You're not going anywhere! C'mere! What do we have here, huh?
Snap pulls the hoodie off of Mel's face.
SNAP
Holy shit! It's SuperMel!
Knuckles is confused.
The other two goons are clueless.
SNAP
SuperMel! Melany Russo! The UFC chick that just lost her belt?!
Mel flinches.
Knuckles smiles and lowers his gun.
KNUCKLES
Shit! Is that really you? I'm a big fan!
Knuckles gets closer and sees the bruises on Mel's face.
He cringes.
KNUCKLES
Damn! That terminatrix really did a number on you, huh? I hardly recognized you!
SNAP
You didn't, you idiot! I did!
Snap lets go of Mel and holds out his hand for a handshake.
SNAP
I'm really a big fan, Ms. Russo.
4.
MEL
T-thank you?
Mel hesitantly reaches out and shakes Snap's hand.
Snap is all smiles.
Tall Guy, clears his throat getting everyone's attention.
TALL GUY
This is great. Very sweet. Maybe you can get her autograph before we dump her body.
Tall Guy draws a gun and points it at Mel.
Mel steps back.
Snap, who's in a line of fire now, points his gun at Tall Guy.
Knuckles does the same.
TALL GUY
What are you doing?
KNUCKLES
What are YOU doing?!
Short Guy steps in front of Tall Guy.
SHORT GUY
Woah! Jesus, guys! What the hell?
Snap looks at Tall Guy.
SNAP
C'mon, man! You're not gonna shoot SuperMel! She's not going to say anything! Right?
Snap turns and looks at Mel.
Mel nods quickly.
MEL
Yeah! Right! I was just looking for my dog! I was never here! Really!
TALL GUY
You've gotta be fucking kidding me?! I'm not going to prison because you two have the hots for some beat up bitch!
5.
SHORT GUY
Just calm down!
Knuckles looks back and forth between Tall Guy and Mel.
He turns to Snap.
KNUCKLES
Maybe he's right. She's seen our faces. She can place us here. Plus, we all just talked about killing her. It's not a stretch to see that she could bring heat on us.
Snap looks back and forth between Knuckles and Tall Guy.
He lowers his gun and turns to Mel.
Tall Guy lowers his gun too.
Knuckles lowers his gun as well.
SNAP
I wish he wasn't right.
Snap turns to Knuckles.
SNAP
But I can't do this.
Snap nods to Knuckles and sighs.
SNAP
You do this.
Mel makes a move but Knuckles notices and quickly points his gun at her.
KNUCKLES
Don't fucking move!
Suddenly Joy jumps out of the darkness and bites onto Knuckles's arm holding the gun.
Knuckles screams in pain and falls to the ground fighting the dog.
He drops his gun in the process.
Snap steps toward Knuckles and points his gun at Joy.
Mel rushes Snap. She punches him and disarms him.
Snap's gun drops to the ground.
6.
Next Mel knocks Snap down to the ground.
Tall Guy points his gun at Mel.
Short Guy turns and points his gun at Tall Guy.
SHORT GUY
That's it! Everyone drop your guns! You're all under arrest!
SNAP
Are you shitting me?! You're a fucking cop?!
Tall Guy looks at Short Guy with disgust.
TALL GUY
Seriously? This whole time?!
Knuckles is still struggling with Joy.
He reaches his gun and shoots Joy.
BANG and all hell breaks loose.
Tall Guy shoots at Short Guy - bullet grazes his arm.
Short Guy shoots Tall Guy.
Tall Guy falls to the ground, dead.
Snap rolls to get his gun. He fires at and hits Short Guy while retreating behind a stack of crates.
Short Guy hides behind a large drum barrel.
Mel drops to the ground as the bullets fly.
SHORT GUY
Run! Get out of here!
Mel looks at Joy lying lifeless.
She gets up and runs.
Knuckles is regaining his footing.
Mel swings as hard as she can and punches Knuckles in the face, knocking him out.
She runs through shipping containers to the fence, across the front of the marina, down the boardwalk to the street.
7.

INT. MEL'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
In dark apartment MELANY RUSSO, MEL, a strong, athletic woman in her 30's, is lying on her couch looking at her cell phone screen.
Her face is badly bruised.
Mel touches the screen and watches an MMA fight with the sound off. The video clip is titled "Melany Russo Gets Annihilated in Title Fight".
She watches herself get beat up in an octagon.
The video clip ends and Mel starts it from the beginning.
A five month old rottweiler puppy, pushes her head under Mel's arm and rests it on Mel's chest. She lets out a small whine.
Mel smiles and pets her head.
MEL
Hey JOY, baby girl! What is it?
Joy looks up at Mel and whines again.
MEL
You need to go out?
Joy lifts her head and wails her tail excitedly.
Mel smiles again.
MEL
Okay, I hear you. Let's go.
Mel gets up from the couch and pockets her phone.
Mel puts a leash on Joy - the latch is a bit loose.
EXT. MARINA DOCK BOARDWALK - NIGHT
Mel is in a hoodie being lead by Joy straining against her leash.
The latch on the leash gets more and more unstable.
Mel struggles to keep up with Joy, wincing every so often and gently touching her ribs.
As they reach the docks the latch on Joy's leash comes undone.
Joy sprints into the darkness.
MEL
Shit! Joy!
Mel runs after Joy forgetting about her bruised ribs.
Mel follows the boardwalk around a bend. The area becomes more industrial. Mel makes a turn.
Joy's tail disappears under the fence into the loading dock area.
Mel runs after Joy even faster and pulls herself over the fence. She winces when she lands on the other side.
MEL
Joy! Come back, girl!
Mel runs into shipping containers area. She turns another corner and runs full force into a dark figure.
They both fall hard to the ground in a tangle.
Mel winces in pain as she stands up.
MEL
What the f-
Mel is cut off with the cocking of a gun pointed at her face.
A large, strong, white man in his late 30's, stands in front of Mel.
On the four fingers of the hand holding the gun are the tattooed letters "K-N-U-C". "K-L-E-S" are tattooed on the four fingers of KNUCKLES' other hand.
Mel is frozen with fear. She looks around.
There are two men standing behind Knuckles next to a car - TALL GUY and SHORT GUY.
On the hood of the car there's an open case with bagged coke inside and a closed case is sitting right next to it.
A smaller man in early 20's is getting off the ground pulling his pants up.
He has the word "SNAP" in fancy lettering tattooed on the top of his left butt cheek.
Snap looks Mel up and down.
SNAP
That was going to be my question. What the fuck? As in what the fuck are you doing here?
Mel backs away, slowly.
Snap moves on her, quickly, and grabs her.
Mel doesn't fight back.
SNAP
No, no! You're not going anywhere! C'mere! What do we have here, huh?
Snap pulls the hoodie off of Mel's face.
SNAP
Holy shit! It's SuperMel!
Knuckles is confused.
The other two goons are clueless.
SNAP
SuperMel! Melany Russo! The UFC chick that just lost her belt?!
Mel flinches.
Knuckles smiles and lowers his gun.
KNUCKLES
Shit! Is that really you? I'm a big fan!
Knuckles gets closer and sees the bruises on Mel's face.
He cringes.
KNUCKLES
Damn! That terminatrix really did a number on you, huh? I hardly recognized you!
SNAP
You didn't, you idiot! I did!
Snap lets go of Mel and holds out his hand for a handshake.
SNAP
I'm really a big fan, Ms. Russo.
MEL
T-thank you?
Mel hesitantly reaches out and shakes Snap's hand.
Snap is all smiles.
Tall Guy, clears his throat getting everyone's attention.
TALL GUY
This is great. Very sweet. Maybe you can get her autograph before we dump her body.
Tall Guy draws a gun and points it at Mel.
Mel steps back.
Snap, who's in a line of fire now, points his gun at Tall Guy.
Knuckles does the same.
TALL GUY
What are you doing?
KNUCKLES
What are YOU doing?!
Short Guy steps in front of Tall Guy.
SHORT GUY
Woah! Jesus, guys! What the hell?
Snap looks at Tall Guy.
SNAP
C'mon, man! You're not gonna shoot SuperMel! She's not going to say anything! Right?
Snap turns and looks at Mel.
Mel nods quickly.
MEL
Yeah! Right! I was just looking for my dog! I was never here! Really!
TALL GUY
You've gotta be fucking kidding me?! I'm not going to prison because you two have the hots for some beat up bitch!
SHORT GUY
Just calm down!
Knuckles looks back and forth between Tall Guy and Mel.
He turns to Snap.
KNUCKLES
Maybe he's right. She's seen our faces. She can place us here. Plus, we all just talked about killing her. It's not a stretch to see that she could bring heat on us.
Snap looks back and forth between Knuckles and Tall Guy.
He lowers his gun and turns to Mel.
Tall Guy lowers his gun too.
Knuckles lowers his gun as well.
SNAP
I wish he wasn't right.
Snap turns to Knuckles.
SNAP
But I can't do this.
Snap nods to Knuckles and sighs.
SNAP
You do this.
Mel makes a move but Knuckles notices and quickly points his gun at her.
KNUCKLES
Don't fucking move!
Suddenly Joy jumps out of the darkness and bites onto Knuckles's arm holding the gun.
Knuckles screams in pain and falls to the ground fighting the dog.
He drops his gun in the process.
Snap steps toward Knuckles and points his gun at Joy.
Mel rushes Snap. She punches him and disarms him.
Snap's gun drops to the ground.
Next Mel knocks Snap down to the ground.
Tall Guy points his gun at Mel.
Short Guy turns and points his gun at Tall Guy.
SHORT GUY
That's it! Everyone drop your guns! You're all under arrest!
SNAP
Are you shitting me?! You're a fucking cop?!
Tall Guy looks at Short Guy with disgust.
TALL GUY
Seriously? This whole time?!
Knuckles is still struggling with Joy.
He reaches his gun and shoots Joy.
BANG and all hell breaks loose.
Tall Guy shoots at Short Guy - bullet grazes his arm.
Short Guy shoots Tall Guy.
Tall Guy falls to the ground, dead.
Snap rolls to get his gun. He fires at and hits Short Guy while retreating behind a stack of crates.
Short Guy hides behind a large drum barrel.
Mel drops to the ground as the bullets fly.
SHORT GUY
Run! Get out of here!
Mel looks at Joy lying lifeless.
She gets up and runs.
Knuckles is regaining his footing.
Mel swings as hard as she can and punches Knuckles in the face, knocking him out.
She runs through shipping containers to the fence, across the front of the marina, down the boardwalk to the street.


Writer's excerpt courtesy NYWIFT (NYWIFT.ORG)