Modern Nature A story about twenty-somethings in the 21st Century Name: Sam Porter Gender: Male Age: 26 Apt: The Whitman - #3A Job: Trainee zookeeper Length of in-state residence: 3 years Hometown: Honolulu, HI EXT. GEEN LAKE. DAY A young man, Sam – thick-framed glasses, scruffy, dressed in his nicest gingham button-up – walks briskly down a crowded sidewalk. He passes young families, college students, and other singletons like him. They’re all dressed for the height of spring, in bright colors and light fabrics. Sam smiles at them all. SAM (to various people) Hi! How’s it going? Hello there. Nice day, bit nippy though. That smells delicious. What is that? He has stopped at a café table outside a restaurant, and bends low to take a deep whiff of a prettily plated dish. The couple seated at the table looks at him like he’s crazy. SAM I’ve never seen scallops prepared like this before. May I try some? MAN Are you kidding? SAM (innocently) No. WOMAN (to MAN) Let’s go. I’m not even hungry anymore. SAM Does that mean you guys aren’t going to finish this? MAN Get lost. The couple stands, picks up their plates, and disappears into the restaurant. SAM What an odd couple. CUT TO: A trendy brick building, all angles and edges. It’s a restaurant, but it looks more like an eccentric house. Segments of wall jut out or are sunken in, each made of a different material – wood, stone, glass. An enormous picture window by the front door has loopy, cursive decals printed directly on the glass. A swinging wooden sign above the door has the same loopy cursive carved into it. Sam comes to the front of this building and looks at the sign for a moment, uncertain he has the right place. But he does. So he shrugs and enters. INT. MARKET & VINE. DAY High ceilings and various lofted platforms make Market & Vine a deceptively spacious restaurant. At its center is a circular bar made of highly polished wood, full of natural imperfections. An enormous sea glass chandelier hangs above it. Along one side of the room is a curved staircase, leading up to a mezzanine dining area. On the ground floor are tall round tables surrounded by sleek leather chairs. Two handsome men, Dillon and Lyle, sit at a table in a secluded but well-lit corner. Lyle is tailored and polished, like he stepped out of a GQ campaign. His partner Dillon is more casually fashionable, like a Banana Republic model. DILLON There he is. We were just talking about you. Sam takes a seat. He notices there are four chairs at their table. SAM Are we expecting someone else? DILLON -------------------- LYLE Yes. -------------------- No. Dillon and Lyle look at each other. Jig’s up. Delicately, Dillon says, DILLON Sam, you know how sometimes you do something, and then people act… strangely around you? SAM Absolutely yes. Like the scallop couple. LYLE Come again? SAM Just this couple who wouldn’t let me eat their scallops. Dillon and Lyle look at each other again, somewhat concerned. SAM I asked them first. LYLE Did you know them? SAM No. DILLON Right. That’s exactly what I mean. Listen, we love you. You’re like – DILLON -------------------- LYLE A little brother. -------------------- A puppy. LYLE (concededly) A little brother we adore like a puppy. DILLON What I’m trying to say is we care about you and your happiness. So today you need to not… be… you. Dillon and Lyle wait for the information to sink in. Sam regards them both thoughtfully. Eventually, he takes a deep breath and stares at his lap, like he’s hurt. Then, slowly, he looks back up. SAM You’re trying to set me up, aren’t you? DILLON -------------------- LYLE No. -------------------- Yes. Dillon and Lyle glare at each other. Seriously? Dillon looks away first. DILLON (defeated) Okay, yes. SAM Then I’m going to need a drink. LYLE Good man. But only one. We don’t want you plastered when she gets here.