The Conversion

by Jaclyn Powell

INT. ABBIE’S BEDROOM - MORNING

An alarm clock RINGS. ABBIE, attractive (late 30’s, early
40’s), without opening her eyes reaches an arm out and turns
off the alarm.

Eyes still closed, Abbie rolls over and reaches for the other
side of the bed as though reaching for someone.

Abbie opens her eyes and remembers she’s alone except for her
dog. She sits up and rubs her right hand across her ring-less
left hand.

Abbie sighs and gently pushes the dog off the bed as she gets
up. Abbie’s PJs say no man will ever see these pajamas.

She changes into sweats and grabs a leash hanging from the
doorknob.

She walks past boxes in various stages of being unpacked.

INT. APARTMENT BUILDING LOBBY - NIGHT - LATER
Abbie opens her mailbox and it’s empty.

INT. ABBIE’S KITCHEN/FRONT HALL - NIGHT CONTINUOUS

Abbie enters the apartment and is greeted by an ecstatic dog.
She’s wearing a dull business suit.

Abbie greets the dog with affection and puts down a briefcase
and a bag of to-go food.

A calendar on the wall has no events penciled in. Across
from the calendar is a set of hooks with dog leashes.

Abbey grabs the dog’s leash and to-go food as she walks over
to turn on the TV. She sets the food on the coffee table next
to a book titled “Atheism In Everyday Life”.

Bookshelves are filled with like books. A Masonic bible sits
on a shelf.

INT. ABBIE’S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The packing boxes are gone. In a different suit, Abbie stands
before a mirror and takes off her jewelry.

Lost in thought, she reaches for her left ring finger as
though to take off her ring, stops and remembers. She rubs
her ring-less left hand and closes the jewelry box.

She turns from the mirror and sees a picture of her, the dog
as a puppy and a MAN, tucked out of view on the dresser.

With a touch of anger, she puts the picture in a drawer and
walks from the room.

INT. ABBIE’S LIVING ROOM/APARTMENT - NIGHT CONTINUOUS

There are lots of books, a messy desk, but no photographs of
family or friends in the apartment.

Abbie sets a different to-go food container on the coffee
table and turns on the TV.

EXT. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH - DAY

Abbie and her dog walk by the church. Abbie looks longingly
at couples walking together. Abbie stops to look in the
churchyard as though she wants to be invited in.

Father Michael walks within feet of Abbie, but they turn away
before seeing each other.

EXT. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH - NIGHT

Abbie and the dog go on their walk by the church. Other dogs
and people are around, but Abbie does not speak to anyone.

Abbie looks wistful and sighs as a group of laughing teens
run out of the church past her and the dog.

On the sidewalk is a SIGN listing “CHURCH EVENTS”. Abbie
stops to read the sign.

LISTED ON THE EVENTS SIGN
"NEW NEIGHBOR MEET AND GREET, ANIMAL
BLESSING, ART FAIR"

INT. ABBIE’S APARTMENT - LATER

When they get inside the apartment, Abbie hangs up the leash
and grabs a pen from the counter.

She marks the calendar on a Sunday:
New neighbor, 10:30 am

EXT. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH - DAY

A line of parishioners at the chapel door is being greeted by
Father Michael as they enter.

Looking about her rather than at the steps, Abbie trips as it
is her turn to meet the priest.

As she falls, he catches her. She looks into the Father's
smiling hazel green eyes. Handsome, brown hair, early 40's,
he takes Abbie's breath away.

The Father holds Abbie a moment longer than he needs to,
giving her a beatific smile.

Flustered by how she feels about the priest, Abbie smiles
shyly and covers her face with her hands to catch her breath
and cover her embarrassment.

Writer's excerpt courtesy NYWIFT (NYWIFT.ORG)