What Kel K. Chose (Pilot)

For context; I’ve had a few ideas knocking about for a while, regarding a potential miniseries about a confused young man navigating the fetish community. Here is the pilot for that miniseries. I just wanted documented proof of a thing that I’d written. Publishing it here (I think) immediately disqualifies it from being entered in any competitions and the like, which is probably the only way it would ever get made, but I’ve decided that a few middling comments from a screenplay judge isn’t worth the potential feedback this might get from a wider range of people (he said optimistically).

Unless, of course, someone reading this wants to make it. In which case, please get in touch.

What Kel K. Chose (Pilot)

by Declan Cochran

INT. BAR ROOM – NIGHT

A big gathering of people are in a room at the back of a slightly dingy, but also slightly upmarket, bar. It’s a diverse bunch of young and old, and they are all clustered in various groupings and cliques. One of the bigger groupings is a group of around ten, at a table with benches at the back of the room.

One of the group is a young guy called Kel. He’s in his early twenties, quiet, and seems largely out of his depth, but he has a certain confidence and wide-eyed curiosity that people find instinctively trustworthy and, perhaps, wise. He is a perpetual blank slate upon which people love to paint themselves.

He is sat opposite a couple, Jane and Mark, who are holding hands and talking animatedly.

MARK

But that’s the difference, right. That’s the thing. It’s not about love.

JANE

Amory.

MARK

Yeah, amory. It’s not about that. I love Jane, I love her to bits.

Jane smiles and leans into Mark’s shoulder.

MARK

And I don’t want to love anyone else. I won’t date anyone else.

JANE

We’ve tried it, though.

MARK

Yeah.

JANE

It wasn’t very successful.

KEL

Did you both get jealous?

JANE

I didn’t. It was mainly Mark.

Mark gives a ‘ehh, it wasn’t quite like that’ face.

MARK

No, no. Well, yes. No. It’s… Jealousy isn’t the word.

JANE

Are you sure?

Mark

I’ve seen you get fucked by three guys in the same night. It wasn’t jealousy. It was just…

Jane and Kel look at him, slightly confused, waiting for him to finish.

MARK

Fine, call it jealousy.

Jane laughs.

JANE

I’m just winding you up. We both just felt like going exclusive, with one another.

KEL

So if it’s not polyamory, what would you call it?

MARK

I think ethical non-monogamy, is probably the best word for it.

JANE

Yeah. We see other people, but we love each other.

KEL

Right. And how did this, like, happen? Like, did you know beforehand that you were both kinky, or was it a happy accident?

Jane gives a look indicating serious thought. Mark looks at Kel and smiles.

MARK

Got a lot of questions, haven’t you?

KEL

Oh, sorry! Sorry. I’m just interested.

Mark smiles at Kel.

MARK

You don’t need to apologise.

Kel smiles back, and their stares at one another linger slightly. Jane looks at them both.

JANE

Oh come on Mark, he’s still wet behind the ears.

Mark

I know.

Mark winks at Kel, who looks a bit befuddled.

JANE

Well, if you two are going to do this, Kel, you should know that his penis is utterly, utterly enormous.

MARK

Oh, stop it.

Jane cackles and Mark smiles coyly.

KEL

I honestly don’t know if you two are joking or not.

MARK

She… Isn’t. My penis is fucking big. And beautiful. I’m very proud of it.

JANE

So you should be.

She kisses him on the cheek.

KEL

But you haven’t answered my original question.

JANE

Well… We kind of knew. We met whilst we were travelling. We were staying in Laos. And we met, and hit it off, and we actually stayed with one another for a year.

KEL

Were you involved in the fetish scene in Laos?

JANE

I was, a bit. Mark was fully. I’d experimented, but I became a fully fledged member of the community through him.

MARK

Then we weren’t together for a year.

JANE

Yeah.

Mark

We knew we’d get back together. But we had to go our separate ways for a bit, for money reasons mainly, and you still had places in the world you wanted to visit.

JANE

Yeah, I did.

MARK

And it seemed unfair to deprive ourselves of what we love, so we had our own sex lives whilst we were separated. And then we met up again, moved in together, and kept that going.

KEL

And you don’t ever get jealous? Like, of the sex, not just the emotions?

MARK

No, I don’t.

JANE

Nope. It’s not easy, but rarely because of jealousy. It’s mainly a logistics thing, co-ordination. Syncing the calendars. And I have endometriosis, which puts me out of action for one week a month.

KEL

Right. Wow.

There’s a pause.

KEL

I, uh, don’t think I have anything else to ask.

JANE

Yay! The interrogation is over!

MARK

Oh, I was quite enjoying that.

JANE

I know you were. (to Kel). He loves an interrogation. The subby slut.

MARK

Guilty as charged.

JANE

Actually, that’s a point. This is why our arrangement works so well. Mark is a sub, right. In case you hadn’t noticed.

MARK

Oh, it’s actually hidden under the collar.

He pulls down his shirt-collar, and there’s a dog-collar underneath.

KEL

Wow.

JANE

And I’m not a sub myself, but I’m not a very good dominant. I’m more of a hedonist. I can play, and do scenes, but I’m much more interested in pleasure for pleasure’s sake, as opposed to the games.

MARK

You’re under-selling yourself a bit, hon.

JANE

Okay, well, I can be good when I need to be. I mean, I was the one who ordered him to wear this thing tonight.

Jane points to the collar.

MARK

Best feeling in the world.

JANE

But sometimes I just wake up, and I’m not in that mood. But I know that Mark has two other women who can cater to those needs, so it works out well.

There’s a pause.

KEL

Wow. I think I get it now. I think.

MARK

Anyway, what about you? What are your kinks?

Just after Mark asks this question, a young woman sat next to Kel, stands up. She’s been engaging with other conversation this whole time, and her standing up is the first time we’re allowed a look at her. Her name is Lucy. She’s big, brash, and Kel turns to look at her the minute she gets up.

LUCY

I’m going to the bar. Who wants a drink?

A show of hands goes up. Lucy pulls out her phone, unlocks it, and opens the notes app.

LUCY

Okay bitches, write your drinks in here, and I’ll do my best to get them to you.

She laughs. She laughs a lot. Then she hands the phone to Kel, who is sat next to her.

KEL

Oh, uh, thank you, but…

LUCY

Don’t be shy. I got a bonus today, and I want to buy a drink for all my friends.

KEL

Oh, okay, uh…

LUCY

Even the friends I haven’t made yet.

She winks at him. Kel writes ‘double rum and coke’ into her notes app. Then he passes the phone to Mark and Jane.

MARK

Oh, Lucy, do you need a hand bringing the drinks up?

LUCY

I probably will, yeah,

MARK

Well I think Kel would love to help you out.

KEL

Oh, uh, oh, I mean…

LUCY

Pleasure’s all mine.

Mark winks at Kel, who is smiling but also a little bit taken aback. The phone starts to get passed round the table.

LUCY

Sorry sweetie, what’s your name?

KEL

Oh, I’m Kel. And you are?

LUCY

I’m Lucy. Lovely to meet you.

She reaches out a hand, in a semi-ironic manner. Kel grabs it sincerely.

KEL

Pleasure.

LUCY

Oh, as I’ve said, pleasure is all mine.

Kel, once more, looks a bit flustered.

LUCY

(to Jane and Mark) He’s a shy one, isn’t he.

KEL

Just new.

LUCY

Well you won’t be when by the time I’m done with him.

Mark laughs raucously at this, and Jane smiles.

JANE

Go easy on him, love. We do actually want him to come again.

Jane gives a tiny smirk at her own pun. Lucy laughs like a drain.

LUCY

Very good.

JANE

Seriously though, kid gloves. Don’t make him too uncomfortable.

Kel downs the drink in front of him, about half a pint of beer. He starts as Jane is finishing talking, and continues for a couple of seconds after she’s stopped. If it’s a gambit, it works, as everyone is silently watching him. He dramatically puts the pint-glass back on the table.

KEL

You can make me as uncomfortable as you fucking want.

This brings the house down. Mark is enraptured with this, Jane lets out her first proper, loud, belly-laugh, and Lucy’s eyes widen.

JANE

Okay, I take it back. Do what the fuck you want with him.

LUCY

I fucking will.

The phone has made it back to Lucy.

LUCY

Right, come on stud. We’re getting drinkies.

She offers a hand to Kel, who takes it, and then they walk down to the bar together.

INT. BAR – NIGHT

Lucy and Kel have just walked to the bar.

LUCY

Do you smoke?

KEL

Um… Historically, no.

LUCY

Do you want a cigarette? Before we get the drinks.

KEL

Hm.

LUCY

It’s okay if not!

KEL

Fuck it. Why not.

They walk out the back of the pub and into a little enclosed garden area.

EXT. BAR GARDEN – NIGHT

There are a handful of people dotted about, but it’s a quiet evening. They sit down, and Lucy lights up a cigarette, which she kisses the butt of, marking it red with lipstick, and then hands it to Kel, who takes it, looks, and smiles, laughing. His laughter breaks the tension of the moment, but Lucy smiles back at him.

KEL

Thanks.

LUCY

Welcome.

KEL

So, what’s your… Uh…

LUCY

Kink?

KEL

Yeah. It feels like such a weird thing to be asking.

LUCY

It is a weird fucking thing to ask!

KEL

Oh, sorry…

LUCY

Oh my god. You’re adorable. You’re at a munch, lovely. That question is the munch equivalent of ‘what do you do for a living?’

KEL

Fine, fine. So what are your kinks?

LUCY

Brat play, mainly, and general hedonism. I love switching, too.

KEL

Switch?

LUCY

When you’re not dom, or sub, but you do both depending on what you feel. A sorta fluid dynamic thing.

KEL

Oh, cool.

LUCY

I think I can guess yours.

KEL

Oh? Go ahead.

LUCY

You’re a foot guy, I an tell that right off.

KEL

Go on.

LUCY

You’re a sub, but you have a small sadism streak. You’re not polyamorous, but you’re curious about it. You like wax, you’ve never been pissed on, but you’re a little curious about that.

KEL

Right.

LUCY

But deep down, you haven’t got a fucking clue what you like, what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. You’re here because you wanted to try, because you’re new to the area, Jane told me in the toilet, I’m not that psychic, and you’re going with the flow, and a little hesitant, but also enjoying it, and now this big, hot, fucking dynamite woman is sat opposite you, and you’re not sure what signals you should or shouldn’t be giving out, if there are even any that could penetrate her wavelength. And also that whole doe-eyed thing is, at the absolute most, only partially an act, and you’re just seeing how much mileage you can get out of it before people realise that underneath your mock-naivety, you are, in fact, a dirty dirty piece of shit, and a lot more knowledgable, and probably a lot more experienced, than you’re letting on.

Kel takes a long, long drag on his cigarette. His naivety and shyness has, for this tiny moment, eroded, and there’s a certain steeliness to him, however briefly.

KEL

All correct, except for the feet.

LUCY

Dammit. That was the bit I was most certain about, too.

KEL

Well, you were right about a lot, but you missed out a lot too. You’re welcome to have a few more guesses.

LUCY

No thanks. I’ll save my second bite of the cherry for later. We’ve got drinks to get.

KEL

Only if I get a bite too.

LUCY

If you’re lucky.

INT. BAR ROOM – NIGHT

Everyone is sat round with new drinks in front of them. Lucy, Kel, Mark, and Jane are all talking, but this time about consent in schools.

JANE

It made me so angry! I mean, can you imagine, not teaching kids about consent?

LUCY

My only counter-argument, and it’s a small one, would be that giving kids a handful of consent lessons that they’ll barely listen to, is a little bit like pissing on a wildfire. You’ve got to tackle the whole culture, no?

MARK

But how do you start tackling the whole culture? You can build to something bigger if you start small.

KEL

And sometimes you can dismantle a whole machine by removing one bolt.

JANE

We have wise men at the table.

LUCY

Hey, don’t get me wrong, I fully agree. I think it’s fucking bullshit that you weren’t allowed to set aside a whole lesson about it. Was just playing devil’s advocate.

KEL

I mean, for what it’s worth, I could have really done with consent lessons at school. Like, as an adult, it’s one of the most important things I come across, boundaries. It’s so fucking crucial to maintaining adult relationships. And I wasn’t even aware of it, outside of as an abstract thing, until I left school and was in my first year of university, you know?

MARK

I definitely get that. I would have found it useful at school too.

LUCY

You should just do the lesson anyway.

JANE

Ha. Maybe I will.

KEL

Oh, that reminds me, have any of you guys seen the film-

Suddenly, an older woman, around fifty, appears next to Kel. Her name is Belle, she’s short, and wears big glasses that hide her face. She’s French, and speaks with an accent.

BELLE

Hello, is anybody sat here?

JANE

No, no, take a seat.

BELLE

My name is Belle, I’m new here. This is my first fetish event.

MARK

Nice to meet you Belle, I’m Mark. This is my fiance Jane.

Jane gives a friendly wave hello.

KEL

I’m Kel.

BELLE

Nice to meet you, Mark, Jane, Kel. And you are…?

She looks at Lucy.

LUCY

I’m Lucy! Hello Belle!

MARK

So did you say this was your first time?

BELLE

Yes. I’ve always been curious about this kind of thing before, and I’ve had some solo adventures, but it’s only recently that I’ve had the opportunity to explore it as a community.

MARK

That’s cool. What kind of area of kink interests you?

BELLE

I’m not entirely sure. It’s tricky. I was married to a guy who was a lot older than me, and who was very controlling. So I am quite submissive, but I don’t know how much of that is marraige behaviour. Even though I am submissive, I would quite like to be in control once. But it is tricky.

MARK

Well, all of us here have been confused at one point or another.

JANE

Some of us still are.

She points cheekily to Kel.

KEL

Ha, thanks Jane. It’s my first night too.

BELLE

Your first night, and already you are being teased like this? You must be a glutton for punishment.

KEL

That’s open to debate.

MARK

She’s got a read on you already.

Belle smiles.

BELLE

I only tease. I can stop.

KEL

You’re fine. I am, however, going to take a leak. Keep the seat warm for me.

Kel gets up, and heads to the toilet.

INT. BAR TOILET – NIGHT

Kel is sat down in a toilet stall. He looks a little bewildered, and he laughs and smiles.

KEL

(to himself)

Oh my god. What the fuck.

He pulls out his phone, and scrolls through it. He gets a notification, which we see; a tinder notification saying ‘you have a new match’. He opens it, and it’s a young woman, called Marion. She’s twenty-one, a university student, and her pictures are various innocent pictures of her in clubs, with friends. Her bio reads ‘biology student – like long walks on the beach and pretending I’m in Baywatch – tell me your best joke, and then when I see your penis I can tell you which one made me laugh more’.

Kel smiles, and types in a message.

‘I have a micropenis, and I don’t know any jokes, so… Think I scupper your plan.”

She starts typing immediately, then stops, then starts again. Then he gets a message which reads;

‘At least I know that if you give me an inch it won’t lead to a mile.’

Kel laughs out loud.

INT. BAR ROOM – NIGHT

Kel is walking across the room to the table. Everyone is listening to Belle speak. Kel takes a seat.

BELLE

Crikey, it must seem awfully like a cliche to be talking of being an artist, in this town.

JANE

Oh, we get it all the time.

BELLE

Must seem awfully tiresome.

MARK

Not at all.

Kel looks at her.

MARK

(to Kel)

Belle was just telling us about what she does. She’s an artist.

KEL

Oh, another one?

Belle looks at him, and Kel gives her an enormous and massively endearing grin. Belle smiles back at him.

BELLE

You must not be so cheeky. I was saying, it must seem awfully cliche.

KEL

Well, it’s the one cliche that will always get a pass. Or, I mean, so I’m told. I’m pretty new here.

BELLE

How new is new?

KEL

A month. Just, uh, y’know. Getting myself out there, I guess. Seeing what’s about. Who I am.

BELLE

You seem so hesitant. You must not be afraid to talk of what you want.

KEL

I know, I know, it’s…

BELLE

No, no ‘I know’. I spend thirty or so years under the thumb of this tyrant, this awful man, and I was knowing all along what it was I wanted. You are privileged man, Kel, and you must know it, or it will be wasted.

A pause. Kel looks uncertain. Jane has a wry smile. Lucy is only half in the conversation. Mark doesn’t know what to make of it either.

BELLE

I am sorry. My English becomes bad when I am talking passionately.

KEL

I’m sorry for, uh…

BELLE

No, it was unfair of me. I just know men like you. You will talk and think and deliberate, and then one day your choices will be gone.

KEL

I know. But it really is new to me. I’m just figuring out who I am.

BELLE

Well, I’m new to this too. So at least on that we can agree.

Belle smiles at Kel sincerely, and Kel responds with a slightly more hesitant, awkward smile.

EXT. BAR ENTRANCE – NIGHT

Various people are exiting the pub, including Kel. Kel’s phone is in Mark’s hands.

MARK

There you go mate, you’re in the inner circle.

KEL

Do we have a handshake or something?

MARK

Just you wait.

Mark winks at Kel, and hands his phone back to him.

KEL

(to everyone)

Well, it was good to meet you all.

LUCY

You too! Come back soon!

KEL

I will! Have a good night everyone.

Mark nods.

JANE

You too.

Kel sets off down the street. EXT. STREET – NIGHT

Kel is walking up the street, with his headphones in. A figure emerges behind him, shadowy, but we can tell it is Belle. She walks up to him, and then a little nervously puts her hand on his shoulder. This makes Kel jump out of his skin, and rip his headphones off, and give a little yelp.

KEL

Oh my god. Holy shit.

BELLE

I am sorry. I wanted to talk, but I did not know how to do it.

KEL

Wew. No. It’s fine.

Kel puts his hand on his chest in a gesture of only semi-mock shock.

KEL

Crikey.

BELLE

Are you okay?

KEL

Yeah. Just easily startled. Wew. Are you okay?

BELLE

Yes, I am fine. I just wanted to talk. I was too aggressive in the pub, and not in the fun way, I think.

KEL

Ha. No, it was fine. I can see why you might have an axe to grind.

BELLE

Yes, well. Which way are you walking?

KEL

Oh, well, the last bus has gone, so I’ve got a three mile walk ahead of me.

BELLE

Such a long distance.

KEL

Yeah. It was the only affordable place.

BELLE

Of course, it is so extortionate here.

KEL

Yeah.

BELLE

I live five minutes from here. Would you like a night-cap?

KEL

Uh… No. Thank you, but… It’s a little late for me.

BELLE

But you are young, you must be going out late! That is the joy of youth!

KEL

No, I know, I know…

BELLE

‘I know’. But I understand. Well, do you have a phone?

KEL

I do.

Kel hands it to her. Belle types in her number.

BELLE

You can message me, and we can talk, and you can come round, if you want.

KEL

Okay. Thank you. Yeah.

BELLE

You have a safe walk now.

KEL

I will, thank you.

They look at each other. Kel sort of leans in for a hug, with Belle reciprocates. He awkwardly kisses her on the cheek, and then recoils out of embarassment. When he splits apart, Belle is looking at him with a small smile.

KEL

Yeah, uh. Yeah. Bye bye Belle.

Kel starts to walk down the street.

INT. KEL’S FLAT – MORNING

A clock on the wall tells us it is half nine in the morning. Two people, a woman (Greta)  and a non-binary person (Finn) are sat on the sofa, watching cartoons. They are embracing casually. Kel walks down some stairs at the back of the house. He is still wearing his clothes from last night. He looks rough. He ambles over to the sofa, and sits on it, next to Greta and Finn.

FINN

Good night, Mr Kink?

Kel buries his face in his hands.

KEL

Yes. It was.

GRETA

And that’s bad, is it?

KEL

Yes. No. Yes. No. I don’t know. My head hurts.

FINN

Aw, little baby.

KEL

Says the folks watching kids cartoons.

FINN

Hey now, hey now. Cartoons are the most active form of praxis.

KEL

Yada yada. I still don’t even know what praxis means.

GRETA

We know.

Finn laughs loudly.

KEL

Mm. No. Too loud.

FINN

(louder) What was that?

KEL

Too loud.

FINN

(louder) What was that?

Kel makes a pitiful groaning noise, and then leans on his side on the sofa.

FINN

Baby.

Kel lightly kicks Finn on their thigh.

GRETA

What time did you even get back last night?

KEL

Oh, like… Two. I think? Actually I have no idea. Probably a lot later.

GRETA

Must have been pretty late. We didn’t hear you.

KEL

Well, that’s something.

They sit there for a moment, watching the show.

GRETA

Didn’t you have a date with Henrietta today?

Mmf. Yes. Fuck. Might bail.

FINN

Men continue to be disappointing.

KEL

Oh shush.

FINN

No.

GRETA

They won’t do that, I’m afraid.

FINN

You could take her to a place that does a fry-up? Annihilate that hangover with grease.

KEL

Good plan.

Kel rises from the sofa.

KEL

Shower. Shower will help.

Kel walks back up the stairs, slowly.

FINN

So fragile.

GRETA

I know.

Greta kisses Finn.

GRETA

Love you.

FINN

You too.

EXT. CAFE – LUNCHTIME

Kel is stood in front of a cafe, dressed nicely. He still looks rough, but he just about passes for the day. He is looking at his phone, then at people walking on the street. Then he sees her, Henrietta, the girl mentioned earlier.

She’s the kind of girl who physically embodies ‘nice, normal, girl’. Nice smile, nice looks, a kind face. There is an edge to her, but we don’t know this yet, and we’re not sure if Kel does either.

HENRIETTA

Hello you.

KEL

Hey.

HENRIETTA

How are you feeling today?

KEL

I’m good, thanks. I think. I made it today, which is the important thing.

HENRIETTA

Aw. I’m glad you had a good time last night.

KEL

Thank you.

HENRIETTA

I didn’t know board games enthusiasts went so hard.

She laughs. Kel laughs too, then when she isn’t looking, grimaces guiltily.

INT. CAFE – LUNCHTIME

They are sat down. A waiter is at their table taking their order.

HENRIETTA

I’ll have the full English, please.

Kel gives a little Obama ‘not-bad’ face.

KEL

I’ll have the same, but, uh, the vegan one.

WAITER

Very good.

The waiter walks away.

HENRIETTA

I forgot you were vegan. You little do-gooder.

KEL

I don’t feel very do-good right now.

HENRIETTA

Well, I’m touched you made it. Are your board game friends pretty heavy drinkers then?

KEL

Yeah, you could, uh… Say that. Anyway. Let’s move on. How was your evening? What did you get up to last night?

HENRIETTA

Oh, this and that. Me and my housemates watched a film.

KEL

Anything good?

HENRIETTA

No, it was… Bad Grandpa? I think.

KEL

The one with the rude Grandpa?

Henrietta laughs.

HENRIETTA

Yeah, what gave it away?

KEL

Well… There’s two.

HENRIETTA

Oh? I didn’t know it was a genre.

KEL

Yeah. There’s one with Robert De Niro, and one with the guy from Jackass, but in old man makeup.

HENRIETTA

Oh. I don’t think there was makeup. Well, I guess there could have been.

KEL

De Niro has looked like he’s wearing a mask for years now.

HENRIETTA

Who’s De Niro?

KEL

He’s… He’s got this face. It’s like a… Sort of-

Kel does an atrocious, and yet faintly recognisable, De Niro face. Henrietta laughs.

HENRIETTA

Yeah! Yeah that’s the one.

KEL

That’ll be Dirty Grandpa. It’s really sexist.

HENRIETTA

Yeah, it is.

KEL

Yay for that.

HENRIETTA

I think I found it too funny to care.

EXT. STREET – DAY

The sun has come out, and Kel and Henrietta are walking and talking down the street.

KEL

No, no, I’m just saying. Seagulls are aggressive, but pigeons can play the long game. In combat, seagulls would win, but we’re talking about war, right?

HENRIETTA

Yeah.

KEL

And I think in a war, pigeons would be more willing to adopt strategy, and strategy wins wars.

HENRIETTA

But seagulls are bigger.

KEL

It’s not the size of your army, it’s what you do with it.

HENRIETTA

Gross.

KEL

I just have confidence in the moxie of pigeons.

HENRIETTA

Well, I have confidence in the aggression of seagulls.

KEL

Well, it’s not my fault that you got scratched by the weaker bird.

HENRIETTA

If it was a weaker bird, it wouldn’t have scratched me.

KEL

If you hadn’t been holding chips, it wouldn’t have scratched you. If you’d have been a pigeon, it definitely wouldn’t have scratched you.

Henrietta laughs.

HENRIETTA

You talk an incredible amount of bullshit.

INT. SHOP – DAY

Henrietta and Kel are looking at novelty toys in a shop. Kel grabs a giant candy penis and waves it around.

HENRIETTA

You’re setting dangerous precedents there.

KEL

Oops. Shit.

Kel exagerratedly puts the candy penis down. Henrietta grabs a toy gun

HENRIETTA

Hands up.

Kel throws his hands up, and jokingly gets on his knees.

KEL

(in a mock Italian-American gangster accent)

Please, no. Please. Please. I have a family. I have kids. Please, Tony, you can’t do this to me.Tony, please. We’ve broken bread together, you’ve invited me to your house. The feds, they didn’t, I swear to yous Tony, I didn’t say nuthin!

Henrietta starts laughing. Kel gets up. A woman in the aisle is looking at him, bemused.

KEL

Thanks, I worked hard on that accent. Free performance. (as the woman is walking past). You’re welcome. Follow me on Insta.

Henrietta hits him lightly on the shoulder.

HENRIETTA

Oh stop.

KEL

Nah.

They exit the shop.

EXT. STREET – DAY

They leave the shop, and Henrietta grabs Kel’s arm.

HENRIETTA

Where do you wanna go now?

KEL

Well… We could make a start on one of those shows it’s criminal that I haven’t watched yet.

HENRIETTA

That sounds good.

KEL

Your place or mine?

HENRIETTA

Hm.

KEL

My housemates will be in.

HENRIETTA

Greta and Finn, wasn’t it?

KEL

Yeah. Good pair. Finn can be a bit of a dick, though.

HENRIETTA

Finn goes by they pronouns, don’t… They?

KEL

Yeah. Usually I just use their name, though. You get used to it.

HENRIETTA

It’s nice that you respect them.

KEL

Basic shit, y’know.

HENRIETTA

Yeah. It’s all so new to me.

KEL

Me too.

A pause.

HENRIETTA

Well, my place is empty today, so…

INT. HENRIETTA’S BEDROOM – DAY

Henrietta and Kel are lying on a bed, with an open laptop in front of them, with some Netflix show on.

KEL

And what do you want to do after your degree?

HENRIETTA

I think I want to be a teacher.

KEL

Teaching English?

HENRIETTA

Philosophy, actually.

KEL

Oh really?

HENRIETTA

Yeah. I could only go up to GCSE level, but I think that’s fun.

KEL

Yeah?

HENRIETTA

Yeah. I think as much as philosophy can be obscure and difficult, the concepts work best with children.

KEL

In what way?

HENRIETTA

Well, everything’s a surprise when you’re a child, right?

KEL

Yeah.

HENRIETTA

Everything is new. And philosophical concepts, which are like, meant to expand your perceptions, are going to be really fresh when you’re a child. And I like that. I like the idea of opening minds.

KEL

That’s really cool.

HENRIETTA

Urgh. No, it’s a little bit sickening, to be honest.

KEL

Well, I disagree. I like that you’re passionate about it.

HENRIETTA

Thank you.

Henrietta cuddles up to Kel, and kisses him on the cheek. She puts her arm around his front, and leans into his chest.

KEL

You can’t see the TV if you sit like that.

HENRIETTA

I’m not fussed.

KEL

Aw.

They sit for a minute.

KEL

Uh, Hen?

HENRIETTA

Yeah?

 KEL

I, uh… Need a wee.

HENRIETTA

Yeah?

KEL

Could you, uh…?

Kel wiggles, as if to say ‘move’. Henrietta holds him more tightly. Kel laughs.

KEL

Hen, come on.

HENRIETTA

What?

KEL

Hen, please.

Kel laughs. Henrietta laughs into Kel’s chest.

KEL

I am going to do a massive, massive wee in your bed. Is that what you want?

HENRIETTA

Maybe.

KEL

I’m not joking.

HENRIETTA

Go on then. Call your bluff.

KEL

I don’t think that’s how bluffs work…

HENRIETTA

Well, it is now.

Kel wriggles out of Henrietta’s arms, and down the bed. His head is at Henrietta’s crotch level.

KEL

Bloody ‘ell.

Henrietta laughs.

HENRIETTA

It’s your mess. Get yourself out of it.

KEL

Please, I do really need a wee.

HENRIETTA

Nobody’s stopping you.

Henrietta wraps her legs around Kel’s body, effectively pinning him. Then she sits up, straddling his chest.

KEL

What’s that you were saying?

HENRIETTA

Nobody’s stopping you.

Kel smiles at her. Then he grabs her arms, and in one swift motion moves himself from under her, sits up, and pins her arms to the bed. Now he is on top of her. Henrietta smiles.

KEL

Let. Me. Piss.

HENRIETTA

Okay. You win this round.

They look at each other. Henrietta smiles at him. Their heads are close. Are they going to kiss? Henrietta makes a face, inviting the kiss. Kel is clearly torn. Then, a crippling wave of doubt hits him, visible, and painful. Kel looks down, his face dark and stern all of a sudden.

KEL

I’m uh… Just going for a wee.

He gets off, and walks into Henrietta’s little en-suite room.

INT. EN-SUITE – DAY

Kel is urinating in the room. He closes his eyes. He exhales, loudly, and then breathes in sharply, and exhales loudly again. He gives his bits a shake, flushes the toilet, puts the seat down, then turns round to the sink. He washes his hands, and as he does so he looks at himself in the mirror. His eyes are bloodshot and filled with conflict.

INT. HENRIETTA’S BEDROOM – DAY

Kel has left the bathroom, and walks back into the bedroom. Henrietta is sat upright, back against the bed, watching the laptop. Kel comes and sits next to her.

KEL

I’m sorry.

HENRIETTA

Why?

KEL

I…

HENRIETTA

Why did you say you were sorry, then?

KEL

No, it’… I like you, Hen. I do. But it’s early. And I’m… I’m not ready. For this. For that, yet.

HENRIETTA

For what?

KEL

Oh, Hen, come on. That was obviously a moment.

HENRIETTA

A moment’s a moment. You mean you didn’t enjoy it?

KEL

No, I did, very much. But it’s… I want to have more of this, first.

Kel grabs her hand, and holds it up.

KEL

I just want this, before anything happens.

HENRIETTA

Okay.

KEL

Is that okay?

HENRIETTA

Yeah.

KEL

What?

Henrietta pauses. Then she stops, and she smiles at him.

HENRIETTA

Nothing.

KEL

Are you sure?

HENRIETTA

Yeah. I just thought you were… Yeah.

KEL

I know. I thought it was going to go there too. But…

HENRIETTA

Yeah?

KEL

I haven’t really spoken about my ex much, but… There’s a lot, there. A lot that I still haven’t processed. And I don’t want to do something with you that might entail further commitment, when I just might not be ready for that.

HENRIETTA

So you’re not committed to me?

KEL

No, I am. I really am. That’s not the issue, as such.

HENRIETTA

So what is?

KEL

I’m just not ready for that yet. Is that okay?

HENRIETTA

Yes. It is. Yes it is.

KEL

Yeah?

HENRIETTA

Yeah. I get it. You can set the pace.

KEL

Thank you. It won’t be like this forever. I just need to figure out some bits and pieces.

HENRIETTA

Of course.

KEL

And, you know, if it takes too long to figure out, then you’re welcome to look elsewhere. Like, if this is too slow for you, please say.

HENRIETTA

Is that what you’re doing? Looking elsewhere?

KEL

No. No it isn’t.

A pause.

KEL

I wish it was, though. It would make more sense than this indescribable ick feeling.

Henrietta looks at him quizzically. Kel gives a small shrug. Still holding each other’s hands, they continue to watch Netflix together.

INT. KEL’S BEDROOM – DAY

Kel is back on his bed. He is lying down, dozing off. He looks at his phone, and sees a text from Henrietta, reading ‘had a nice time today. Hope you get some rest 🙂 xx’. He sends back a smiley emoji. Then he opens Tinder, and sees a second message from Marion. It reads ‘I think you might have to come round and prove you don’t have a microepenis…’.

Ben half-smiles, and then exits the app. Then he deletes the app entirely. Then he puts his phone down. He closes his eyes.

Cut to a shot of Kel fully asleep on his bed. He is drooling. It is still afternoon, and he is in his clothes. He has clearly fallen fully asleep. His phone starts to ring. It rings off. Then it starts ringing again. Kel opens his eyes, then shuts them. Then he opens them again. He reaches his hand behind him, reaching for his phone. He pats the bed a few times, then finds it. Without looking, he swipes and takes the call.

KEL

What is it?

A pause.

KEL

What?

A pause.

KEL

Yeah, I live around that area. Okay. Okay. I’m… (he yawns). I’m coming. Give me five.

INT. PUB – DAY

A smaller pub than yesterday. Kel walks in through the door, and scans the room. At the back he sees Lucy, from last night, sat on her own. He walks over. Lucy’s eyes are slightly red.

KEL

Uh, hey.

He takes a seat.

LUCY

Hello. Sorry. I…

KEL

It’s okay. What happened?

LUCY

God, it sounds so dumb. He just… He came in. He saw me, and then he just ran out. I…

KEL

That’s shit.

LUCY

Yeah. I don’t know. It caught me off-guard. I started to panic, I felt self-conscious, I… I didn’t know what to do… You said you lived round here, and…

KEL

It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.

LUCY

Sorry, were you in the middle of something?

KEL

No, not at all. Well. Sleeping. But that’s not really something, I guess.

LUCY

I’m sorry. We hardly know each other. It just… I panicked. Do you have anxiety?

KEL

No. I get anxious, but I don’t have anxiety.

LUCY

That’s good.

KEL

You have anxiety?

LUCY

Badly.

KEL

That’s okay.

LUCY

Is it?

KEL

Yeah. Yeah. Well, no, it’s probably horrible. But I won’t, uh, judge.

They sit there for a moment.

KEL

Is there anything I can do?

Lucy pauses.

INT. KEL’S BEDROOM – DAY

Lucy is wearing lingerie, and is blindfolded on Kel’s bed, on her front, with her arms tied to the bedpost. Kel is complete naked, and holding a belt.

KEL

What do I do?

LUCY

Well, you negotiate the scene first.

KEL

Okay.

LUCY

But today we won’t be doing that.

KEL

Right.

LUCY

I just want you to hit me.

KEL

On your, uh… Bum?

LUCY

Yes. Call it my arse if you want.

KEL

Okay.

There’s a pause. Lucy turns round and looks at Kel (albeit with her blindfold on).

LUCY

What are you waiting for?

KEL

The right moment.

LUCY

But I’ve told you what I want you to do to me.

KEL

I know. Turn around.

Lucy does, with a small smirk on her face. Kel stands there for a short moment, with the doubt and hesitation playing on his face. Then it erodes, not dissimilar to how it did when Lucy and Kel were talking in the pub. He walks across the room to her, holding the belt up, and he traces the tip of the belt along her rear. He teases it across each cheek, and then makes an exagerrated upwards motion with his arm which Lucy obviously hears, and braces herself for. Then nothing happens. Lucy buries her face in the pillow. Then Kel walks around to the other side of the bed and stands there for a second. Then he lifts up his arm and in one swift motion strikes Lucy across her rear with the belt.

Her body immediately arches up, and she screams.

LUCY

FUCK!

KEL

Shut up.

LUCY

What?

KEL

I said shut up.

Lucy looks round to him again, concerned.

LUCY

Kel, I…

KEL

Turn around and shut up.

Lucy does, smirking. Kel walks to the end of the bed, and looks at Lucy.

KEL

Lift your bum up.

Lucy does, a little bit.

KEL

All the way up.

Lucy gets onto her knees. Her bum is in the air, and she is in an arched positioin.

KEL

Good.

There’s a pause. Kel’s confidence minutely dips. He starts looking down, and taking short breaths. Then he looks back up again at the ceiling, and gives a wry smile. He strikes her, but less hard than before, on her behind. Then he does so again. Then he stops. Lucy lets her behind relax, and as she does so, Kel strikes her with everything he has. The belt comes in with as much force as he can, and Lucy’s entire body buckles and then disintegrates. She doesn’t say anything. She screams into the pillow, but it’s muffled.

Then she lifts her head up, and screams.

LUCY

Oh fuck. Oh fuck!

Kel rushes over to her, and takes off her blindfold.

KEL

Are you okay? Are you all right?

LUCY

Yes. Fuck. Yes.

KEL

Did that did it for you?

LUCY

Hm. Yes. It did.

KEL

Good. Least I could do.

LUCY

Are you… Done?

KEL

Yeah. It… It’s just not me, Lucy.

LUCY

Well, you’re fucking good at it. How can I repay the favour?

KEL

I’m not sure you can. I… I’m seeing someone at the moment. And I think she’s vanilla. I mean, I don’t know if I’m not vanilla. But it wouldn’t feel… Right.

LUCY

That’s not what I’ve heard.

KEL

Oh, did you… Hear?

LUCY

Oh yeah.

KEL

Well.

From the shot we have of the pair next to each other, Lucy lifts up her legs, and takes off her socks with her feet. She rubs her feet together. Kel notices.

KEL

No, no no. Stop that.

Lucy looks at Kel flirtatiously.

LUCY

Are you sure?

KEL

Yes. Another time.

A pause. Lucy puts her legs down.

LUCY

You like this girl, don’t you?

KEL

Quite a bit, yeah.

LUCY

Well you know what the first rule of the kink lifestyle is, right?

KEL

Safe and sane?

LUCY

Well, okay. After that. It’s communication.

KEL

Right.

LUCY

Everybody in the kink community communicates. It’s just how it is. And you’ve been very good with us, but you haven’t been great with this girl, whoever she is, or so it seems. And if she is vanilla, and you like her, you have a choice to make. Because deceit will not win you any friends with us.

KEL

I know.

LUCY

We know you know. But what are you going to do about it?

KEL

I don’t know.

LUCY

Great.

Kel smiles.

KEL

I just don’t. And it’s a bullshit problem to have, right? Like, on the one hand, I could get a loving girlfriend. But on the other hand, I could get a new network of sexually enlightened friends, who might help me through some hangups I’ve had since I was thirteen, but not had the balls to act on.

LUCY

Why is that?

KEL

What?

LUCY

Why haven’t you had the balls to act on it?

KEL

It’s a long story… For a long time I was with someone who made me feel quite bad for wanting to do the things I wanted to do, and it… I don’t know. I’d rather not go into it.

LUCY

Of course. I won’t pry.

KEL

I am fully aware there are worse problems to have, by the way.

LUCY

But it’s still a problem.

KEL

Yeah.

A pause.

KEL

I just wish I knew who I was. You know?

LUCY

Nobody really knows who they are.

KEL

Yeah, but I don’t even know who I’m not.

INT. KEL’S FLAT – EVENING

It is dark now. Kel has just seen Lucy out of the door, and is filling up a glass of water. He does so, and then walks back up the stairs. When he gets to the top, Greta and Finn poke their heads through the door. He looks at them. They are smiling.

FINN

Who the fuck are you, dude?

Kel shrugs. He walks into his room. Greta looks at Finn a little quizically. Finn sticks their tongue out at Greta playfully.

FINN

Will you tie me up and do those things to me?

GRETA

You should be so lucky.

They go into their room and shut the door. Hold the static shot of the end of the corridor. For a couple of seconds.

INT. OFFICE – DAY

Kel is walking into an office. He takes a seat at his desk, and logs into his computer. He is wearing smart clothes, a shirt and tie. A young man, Mark, is sat in the seat next to him.

MARK

Good weekend?

Kel looks up at Mark. Smash cut to-

EXT. STREET – NIGHT

It is just after Kel has said goodbye to Belle. He is walking down the street. Then he looks up. And he runs back to Belle, who has started walking the other way. He runs up to Belle, who turns round, and starts looking at her.

CUT TO-

INT. BELLE’S APARTMENT – NIGHT

Belle’s apartment is massive and, it must be noted, incredibly clean. The lights are on when Belle and Kel come in through the door. Belle looks around, smiling.

BELLE

Wow, this is far better than I would have imagined.

KEL

What is?

A man in a maid’s outfit emerges from a side room into the hallway. His name is Deborah. He walks up to Belle and gets onto his knees, and kisses the tops of her feet.

DEBORAH

Good evening, my Belle.

BELLE

Good evening Deborah. You have done an excellent job here tonight, it is very spotless.

Kel looks at this scene, slightly confused.

BELLE

This is my friend, Kel.

Kel gives the definition of an awkward wave.

KEL

Hello Deborah.

DEBORAH

(to Belle)

Will he be playing with us tonight?

BELLE

Shush, my pet. We do not want to scare him.

She laughs. Kel laughs too, but uneasily.

BELLE

(to Kel)

It is such an extravagant apartment, I could not possibly clean it all. So I have help.

KEL

(to Deborah)

And do you, uh, enjoy this?

DEBORAH

I enjoy serving mistress in whatever way she wants me to.

Belle laughs.

BELLE

He is such a polite little sub. I make sure he is recompensated for his time. It is what you might call an agreement.

DEBORAH

Thank you, mistress.

They lock eyes and smile at each other with a deeply felt warmth. Kel is framed in the background, observing, uncertain.

DEBORAH

Can I make both of you a drink?

BELLE

I would love one.

KEL

Oh, uh, are you sure?

They laugh.

BELLE

It is his job to serve. And he is also a barman, so he makes a good cocktail.

KEL

Uh, okay, sure. Surprise me.

INT. BELLE’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Belle is draped elegantly over a leather sofa, while Deborah is on his knees in front of her like a dog. Kel is on an armchair facing them, and in the background behind him is a giant, blood-red, Rothko-esque painting. Belle and Kel are holding elaborate looking drinks. Kel takes a drink of his.

KEL

This is… Really, really good. Thank you Deborah.

DEBORAH

That’s okay. You struck me as a Tom Collins man.

KEL

I’ve never had one.

BELLE

You have now.

DEBORAH

I’m good at getting a read on people.

BELLE

Such a perceptive submissive.

KEL

So how did you two, uh…

BELLE

The fetish website. I receive so many messages from male submissives. But there was something about this one.

Deborah looks up at Belle, fondly.

BELLE

We have not been seeing each other long. Two months, or so. But he has been just darling after this divorce.

KEL

Well, that’s good. We all need something to take the pain away.

BELLE

Pain? What is this pain?

KEL

Oh, uh, nothing, just an expression.

BELLE

I know that you meant it to be polite. But let me tell you that the day I was free of that man was the most beautiful day of my whole life. I have never felt so free, and I never will again. Deborah here is not a coping mechanism. He is what I have always wanted, and what I have only just allowed myself to have.

She grabs his hand. He brushes his head against her knee.

BELLE

And later tonight, I am going to wear a very large dildo, and I am going to hurt him with it.

Deborah closes his eyes and smiles, leaning forward with anticipation.

DEBORAH

And I cannot wait.

KEL

I see. Well, uh, say the word, and I can… Get out of here.

BELLE

Oh no. Well. You are welcome to leave. But not before we ask a small favour of you.

KEL

What’s that?

BELLE

We need, a, uh… Witness, I guess you might call it.

Deborah smiles.

DEBORAH

She’s deliberately being cryptic. Are you handy with a camera?

Kel looks at them both, slightly bewildered.

INT. BELLE’S BEDROOM – NIGHT

Deborah is naked, lying on his front, with his hands tied to each side of the bedpost. Belle is in lingerie and wearing a very large dildo. She is liberally rubbing lubrication on it. Kel is holding a camera in his hands which is a little too good to be amateur, but isn’t quite a professional camera either.

KEL

So do I, uh…

Belle points.

BELLE

That button pauses and unpauses. That button there does, how do you say, with the focussing?

Deborah turns his head round- he’s blindfolded.

DEBORAH

Autofocus.

BELLE

Autofocus. Forgive me.

KEL

Okay. Got it.

BELLE

Are you ready to go?

KEL

Yes. Good. If you are too uncomfortable, or you want to leave, please do. Just say the word ‘Sebastian’. And there will be no judgements.

She leans in.

BELLE

And I can promise you that… My gratitude will not be insignificant.

She turns away and stretches. She presses a button on a CD player, and smooth jazz starts to play.

BELLE

And go.

Kel presses the button. Belle gets onto the bed, with her dildo, and moves towards Deborah, who lifts his ass. Just as she’s about to enter him, the camera tracks and pivots slightly towards Kel. We hear the sounds of sex, grunting, pained noises, and the camera continues to track until it is directly facing Kel, hidden behind his camera. The noises and the creaking of the bed grow louder and louder, and the camera continues to track towards Kel, who is expressionless. The sounds get louder, the noises get more enthusiastic, and Kel seems entirely nonplussed; until, right in the thick of things, he smiles.

Cut to black, but the sounds continue for a further five or ten seconds.

INT. OFFICE – DAY

Kel is sat next to a normal guy called Mark.

MARK

Did you hear me mate? Good weekend?

Kel’s eyes go from glazed over to sharp. He smiles.

KEL

Yes! Sorry. Not awake yet. It was good. Caught up on boxsets and went for a run. How about you?

INT. KEL’S FLAT – EVENING

Kel is in his flat, taking off his tie. He sits on the edge of the bed. He looks at his phone, and then presses a button, and puts his phone to his ear. Ring. Ring. Ring. Please leave a voicemail.

KEL

Hey, Hen. It’s me. Uh… I wanted to ask if you wanted to go for a drink tonight. If you want. I’d like to see you. I’m sorry for yesterday. I don’t know what impression I gave, but if possible I’d like to correct it. Please.

INT. HENRIETTA’S BEDROOM – EVENING

Henrietta is listening to the voicemail, sat on her bed. When it ends, she falls back on her bed. Smash cut to-

INT. HENRIETTA’S BEDROOM – DAY

The other day. Kel has just walked into the en-suite toilet, and Henrietta immediately reaches for Kel’s phone on the side. She opens up the display, and there is a tinder notification; “Marion sent you a new message”. Henrietta looks at it, and purses her lips. Then she puts the phone down. Then the toilet flushes.

Smash cut.

INT. HENRIETTA’S BEDROOM – EVENING

Henrietta sighs. Then she picks up her phone. She opens it, and scrolls to Kel’s number. She pauses, then presses it.

Then she puts her phone to her ear.

HENRIETTA

Hey, Kel? Yeah. It’s me. I just got your voicemail, and uh… I think-

Abrupt cut to black. Credits.

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