Whatever it Takes to Get 15 Minutes of Reading Time...

Whatever it Takes to Get 15 Minutes of Reading Time...

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

My Entry to Millarworld's 2017 Annual Contest

Happy New Year, readers!

So I took a shot in 2016 and entered Millarworld's open invitation for writers and artists to audition for the imprint's 2017 annual.  Traditionally, this annual featuring short stories starring a handful of Millarworld titles, has broken new talent and I couldn't resist this opportunity.  Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque really piqued my imagination with the brilliant Huck,  which I've raved about here on this page in the past.

While my entry, "The Good Deed" wasn't amongst the winners, I'm confident in the material I generated.   I am an adoptive father and thus the Huck character means more to me than your average fan.  I stand tall, disappointed, but humbled and wide-open to critique in the interest of growing my craft.  Submitted for your pleasure is my entry. 

Hope your holidays rocked.  They were, for me, amongst the better times of a dreadful 2016.  At the very least, I have experienced tremendous clarity coming into the new year.  My mantra herewith is 2017 = VENGEANCE.

As always thanks in advance for reading!

“The Good Deed”

Based on Huck, created by Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque

Script by Ray Van Horn, Jr.


PANEL 1:  Silent panel.  Extreme close-up of the card accompanying Huck as an infant bearing the message “PLEASE LOVE HIM.”

PANEL 2:  Silent panel.  We are at the gas station Huck works at, a beautiful sunrise flushing the panel.  Huck is standing next to a pump, holding the card, fixated upon it.   He doesn’t yet see a rabbit sitting in close proximity behind him.  The rabbit is just as fixated upon him, as if waiting for him to take notice.

PANEL 3:  We’re looking overtop Huck’s massive back.  We see only part of his “Gas Station 28” emblem across the back.  He has spotted the rabbit, which calmly looks up at him.
1 Huck:  “Well, good morning. 

PANEL 4:  Close-up of the rabbit with Huck’s hands coming in from upper left.  The rabbit doesn’t move.  It looks receptive to Huck.

2 Huck:  “First customer of the day, heh.”


PANEL 1:  We are in a church-backed kindergarten classroom.  The teacher, Ms. Kenner, is holding the rabbit and a group of youngsters surrounds her, ogling curiously, a couple kids reaching in and petting it.  Huck stands behind them, arms folded across his chest, a pleased-as-punch expression on his face.  Background details of a kindergarten classroom to show age-appropriate posters, alphabet scrawl, messages about Jesus, etc.
1 Ms. Kenner:  “Thank you, Huck.  Your timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

2 Ms. Kenner:  “It so happens I have a lesson plan revolved around bunnies I’m doing later in the week.
3 Huck:  “Glad it worked out, Ms. Kenner. 

PANEL 2:  Extreme close-up of Huck’s good deeds journal.  It reads “GAVE RABBIT A NEW HOME AT THE BIBLE SCHOOL.”

PANEL 3:  We are at the gas station again and Huck is filling up a car.  A young girl has gotten out of the car and drops her milk upon the ground with a big slosh.  Her mother is also out of the car and admonishing her.  Huck looks mildly perturbed by the events.


4 Girl:  “Wahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!
5 Mother:  Well, Julia, if you had gone potty when I told you to, this wouldn’t have happened, would it?

PANEL 4:  Close-up of Huck calmly attaching the gas nozzle back to the pump.

PANEL 5:  The mother and her daughter are slipping around the side of the gas station to the bathroom.  Huck is heading into the garage sedately, almost as if nobody else is around.
6 Girl:  “But it was an accident, Mommy!

7 Mother:  “My whole stupid life is an accident.”


PANEL 1:  Silent panel.  We’re looking at Huck from inside the garage, approaching from panel left.  He still looks calm yet resolved to his new task.  Show details of the garage in the background, though mostly shadowed, as no one is currently working in there.

PANEL 2:  Silent panel.  Close-up of Huck’s metal lunchbox, which he is opening.  He is fishing out a small carton of milk.

PANEL 3:  Back at the car, Huck is kneeling toward the little girl, offering her his milk.  Her mother is rummaging around in her purse to pay for the gas.  She looks exasperated by Huck’s gesture.  Huck has a placated countenance, obtuse to the mother’s ravings.  The little girl is beaming.   
1 Huck:  “Here you go.

2 Girl:  “Gee, thanks, mister!

3 Mother:  “Yeah, thanks, mister!  That’ll be another stop we have to make and I’m already twenty minutes behind. 

4 Mother:  “Obviously you’re not a parent.
5 Huck:  “My pleasure.”

PANEL 4:  Extreme close-up of Huck’s good deeds journal.  It reads:  “STOPPED A LITTLE GIRL FROM CRYING OVER SPILLED MILK.”


PANEL 1:  Huck is at home, at the table and writing in his good deeds journal, same interior as Issue 1 with the television on the table, currently tuned in to the news.  In fact, this scene runs similar to the one in Issue 1.  Huck looks like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders trying to come up with future good deeds.  His dog, Mickey, is flopped drowsily on the floor at his feet.
1 Huck:  “Mmmmm…got any suggestions, Mickey?

2 Mickey:  “Hrrrf.”

PANEL 2:  Extreme close-up of Huck’s good deeds journal.  It says “POSSIBLE GOOD DEEDS FOR WEDNESDAY:”

PANEL 3:  Close-up of Huck as he agonizes trying to think of good deeds.  He is tapping his pencil against his temple.   

3 Huck (Caption):  “Save Ralph shipping costs by picking up the parts on back order.

4 Huck (Caption):  “Buy new movies for the senior citizen center.

5 Huck (Caption):  “Compliment Zoe’s hair.

PANEL 4:   The television glare flushes across Huck’s face as it now has his full attention.  It’s broadcasting a news clip about a woman in Kansas who has been missing for three days.
6 News broadcast:  “The nation keeps it eye on Hudson, Kansas as local officials continue their search for Chastity Farrell.  The 23-year-old Farrell has now been missing for three days as her family…”

PANEL 5:  Silent panel.  Extreme close-up of Huck, who grins widely, now with a purpose.


PANEL 1:  Huck is running top flight along train tracks.  It’s in the wee hours of the night and he’s in a rural area with cornrows in chiaroscuro in the background.  There’s a gorgeous constellation above moving left to right, as if pointing the way for Huck.

PANEL 2:  We’re looking behind Huck, the train rails in the lower foreground, the caboose of a train within his reach.  He is leaping up toward it.


1 Huck:  “Hurrrrk!

PANEL 3:  Silent panel. Huck is bolting toward the empty streets of a small, dusty Kansas town, still in the middle of the night.  We see a sign under a street lamp reading “WELCOME TO HUDSON, YOU ARE HOME.”

PANEL 4:   Huck has found Chastity Farrell, tied up in a tiny shack in the far outskirts of Hudson.  She is gagged and sobbing as Huck crashes into the shack and pastes her kidnapper in the jaw, a porky slob with long greasy hair and sleeve tattoos.  A couple of syringes and a small vial sit on a rickety end table next to Chastity.

2 Huck:  “Don’t worry, Miss.  He won’t hurt you anymore.

3 Kidnapper:  “Whuuuuf!!!”

PANEL 5:   It’s the following morning.  Huck is at the gas station, tossing a salute to a car pulling away from the pump he has just serviced.  His head is tilted back just enough to acknowledge Ralph, who is approaching Huck from the garage.  Huck has a reserved but knowing grin in response to what Ralph says.

4 Ralph:  “Hey, Huck, not sure if you even follow the news, but the radio says they found that missing girl in Kansas.  Amen, there is a God.

PANEL 6:   Extreme close-up of Huck’s good deeds journal.  It reads:  “RETURNED CHASTITY FARRELL TO HER LOVED ONES.”