By: Averie Timm and Claire Fraze
EXT APARTMENT COMPLEX DAY
Two women chat excitedly as they pack weekend bags into the back of a
small, silver, podshaped car. The apartment complex that surrounds
them is towering, and bleak.
Do you think we’ll ever come back?
Not if we can help it! I haven’t taken a proper vacation in years.
Oh, Violet, the champagne!
Loretta runs back to her apartment.
Violet lights a cigarette and sits on the bumper of the car to smoke.
She looks off into the distance as the sun rises. Vibrant, violent
colors race across the horizon.
Suddenly, the car turns on. Violet, startled, stares at the car.
Loretta comes back with a bottle of champagne in each hand and puts
them in the car.
Did you see that? The car just turned on by itself!
Loretta smiles coyly.
Isn’t it wonderful? It’s like he knows!
Auto! I named him Auto.
Loretta pats the car. Violet looks at Auto uncomfortably.
Ready? Let’s get on the road.
Loretta and Violet get into the back of Auto and buckle themselves
into two sleek, metal chairs. Each seat has a cupholder attached, and
a mini bar rests on one side. They begin pouring themselves glasses
of champagne just as the car door closes.
INT AUTO CAR DAY
Loretta and Violet continue to drink champagne and catch up as Auto
drives. A rundown landscape can be seen from the highway as
dilapidated buildings and shanty towns speed past.
Oh my god. Do you remember when we ditched sixth period
and went to the zoo?
Violet nearly chokes on her champagne as she laughs.
Wow, yes. Yes I do.
You puked because the flamingos smelled so bad!
The two women cackle, and Loretta pours them more champagne. They’ve
finished the first bottle and are halfway into the second.
We saw the last black rhino that day. And now it’s gone.
No more black rhinos.
Violet’s speech is starting to slur as they become increasingly
Wow, really? How do you even remember that?
I just remember its sad eyes. The zoo sent it back to Zimbabwe a few
years ago, but then a hunter came along in the dead of night and shot
it. Hung its big, horned head above his fireplace.
Loretta is visibly disgusted. She finishes off her champagne and
What do you think that’s like? Killing off the last of something.
Loretta remains silent and stares down at her glass. The hum of Auto
is heard in the background.
She holds out her champagne glass to cheers.
To the last, black rhino.
May he rest in peace!
Violet and Loretta CLINK their glasses together. They each take a sip
and stare out the window.
INT NIGHT MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, DESERT
Loretta and Violet have passed out, drunk, with their heads against
the windows. The terrain outside the car is entirely different now.
They’re in the middle of a desert, and Auto is no longer driving on a
road. It’s night, but the moon casts an eerie light over the desolate
emptiness of the desert.
Auto drives over a bump and the entire car shakes. Violet jolts awake
and peers out the window. She becomes visibly panicked.
Loretta, wake up! Where the fuck are we?
Violet shakes Loretta until she opens her eyes.
Her eyes adjust to the darkness as she peers out the window.
Wait, where are we?
Nowhere near where we’re supposed to be, that’s for sure.
Maybe you should ask your pal Auto.
Loretta leans forward into the front console of Auto, and taps on the
control center. Rather than responding, Auto quickly changes the song
to a new one: Roadhouse Blues by the Doors. The volume turns up,
notch by notch, until both of the women are holding their ears in
agony. The song is blasting.
What the hell, Auto!
EXT NIGHT MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, DESERT
Outside of the car in the deserted landscape, Auto drives over cacti
and Roadhouse Blues screams so loudly inside the car that it’s
radiating across the landscape outside of it.
Suddenly, the car comes to a dead halt. The music stops
simultaneously, and the inside of the car goes black. Everything is
still at once.
Loretta and Violet both burst out of the car and back away from it
towards each other.
This was such a bad idea. We should have stayed home. I should have
gone to work today, put my head down and just kept…
Violet’s rambling trails off as she stares at her Loretta, who is
staring at Auto, perplexed.
This is your fault! You and your stupid pet car!
Violet continues to ramble furiously.
Why can’t you ever listen! You never do, you always…
VIOLET. There are headlights coming toward us.
The two women look out into the distant desert at the approaching
headlights, then instinctively sprint toward Auto. They reach the
doors, which are now locked. Loretta and Violet anxiously bang on the
windows and grasp at the locked door handles.
Auto’s engine starts and the women continue their attempt to get
inside the car, to no avail. Auto’s sound system comes on, once again
blasting Roadhouse Blues. Auto lurches forward, leaving Loretta and
Violet behind in the dust. The song becomes increasingly quieter, and
the crunch of the gravel underneath the oncoming truck’s tires fill
the hollow void of the night.