Welcome to New York
by David Xiao
Casey, A skinny 16 year old girl with brown hair and a very bright personality. She enjoys checking trends, but she doesn’t really enjoy participating in them. She is also very innocent and unaware of what her parents did to Jim.
Jim, a drug dealer in his 20s, was the abuser of Martha Jones, Casey’s mother before Jonathan Brewers, Casey’s father, knocked Jim out. Later in his 40s, he became a very beefy man. He then becomes the kidnapper and abuser of Casey. He has blue eyes with a cold looking face.
Jonathan Brewers; Kasey’s Dad was a baseball player in his youth.
Martha Jones: A very bright woman who was abused by Jim when she was in high school. She then became Jonathan’s girlfriend and then Casey’s mom.
The Flight Attendant, A woman in her 30s who is very extroverted, but takes initiative of a situation whenever someone calls for help.
Captain Lindsey, A 53 year old United States Airforce Veteran who is now the Captain of Casey’s flight.
First Officer Niles, A 24 year old student from the American Airlines academy who is learning from Captain Lindsey.
Green Beret 1, A soldier part of the US military, has been briefed of Casey’s condition and was called to take Jim into custody.
Green Beret 2, A soldier part of the US military, has been briefed of Casey’s condition and was called to take Casey to the hospital.
Under the abusive custody of Jim, Casey Brewers heads on a dark and traumatizing flight to New York City.
EXT. LOS ANGELES HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL PARK EVENING 1995
The sky is pitch dark, real dark, at the Los Angeles High School. The Air is chilly even for Martha Jones to feel the chilliest breeze down her spine, as her boyfriend Jim, a 20 year old drug dealer, grabs her wrist and drags her down the sidewalk after she was caught staring at Jonathan Brewers, a baseball player that was walking past her.
Come on Jim, we don’t have to do this you are better than this. I was just looking at him!!!
(Angrily) My slave, you chose him over me. You deserve to die!!
Jim kicks Martha in the stomach and starts beating her. Then, Jonathan intervenes hitting Jim with a baseball bat. Jim groans, then falls. Martha gets back up.
(politely) Hello, My name is Jonathan. Are you ok?
(smiling) Yeah, my name is Martha by the way.
Both stare at each other for a few seconds. Then, they hold hands as they stroll down the sidewalk as the lights turn on. 10 minutes later, Jim gets back up and walks back to his house.
INT. LOS ANGELES PARTY HOUSE EVENING 5/5/2019
It is a lively evening at the Los Angeles Party House. The rock song, Despacito, plays loudly over the loudspeakers. The party goers are dancing, drinking soda, and throwing hundreds of glow sticks into the air. However, in the corner of the party house, Casey Brewers sits alone. Instead of dancing with the other kids, she is reading articles on her cell phone and texting her Aunt Daisy, who is living in New York City. She likes to look at the trends, but does not participate in them. She opens the article called Tick Tock Hand Signal Saves Woman From Abductor. After reading the article, she sees a video of a translator demonstrating the hand signs. Then, she scrolls to another article, only for a boy named Drew to interrupt her.
Hello, I’m Drew.
Hi, I’m Casey.
I’m wondering if we can go on a date. I think you are very cute.
I have to think about this. I might be busy.
Well, since we are at the party, we can dance.
Look, I know trends are very important to you, but what’s the point of checking them if you don’t even participate in them?
Casey follows Drew into the crowd. As she is trying not to trip on the feet of the surrounding dancers, Casey loses track of Drew and ends up on the left side of a crowd. As she scans the room to find Drew, a man in a ski mask suddenly grabs Casey’s wrist and drags her out of the party house.
INT. ABANDONED HOUSE EVENING 5/5/2019
Casey wakes up only to find out that Jim tied her to a chair. The air feels cold and damp with the stench of mold filling the atmosphere of an extremely dark room. Not even the faintest amount of light makes its way in Casey’s vast cage of darkness. Then, the lights turn on. Casey sees a table with a dozen knives along with her dad’s baseball bat. All the items are covered with fresh blood. Jim enters the room with a whip in his hands. Jim, now in his 40s, is thick with muscle and wearing all black. His eyes are blue, filled with coldness and hatred. Jim takes off his ski mask and coat.
My name is Jim. You must be Casey.
(Yelling Angrily) Don’t speak unless I tell you to speak.
Casey recoils in fear. Then, Jim reaches into his left pocket and pulls out a picture.
Is this your family?
Casey sees the picture of Martha and Jonathan, her parents. Both have a gracious smile, looking like they’ve been married for eternity. Casey stares at the left corner and sees herself as a 9 year old kid wearing a Yankees sweater. It is a picture of her family at the Yankees baseball game.
Too bad, you won’t be seeing them ever again.
Casey looks at the knives.
No, you didn’t.
Yes, I did. It was revenge over an affair. Oh Casey, I might as well make you join them, but I have other plans for you. You’re becoming my little slave, just like how your mom was.
Jim punches Casey in the eyes, knocking her out. The last thing she sees is Jim, then darkness.
INT. ABANDONED HOUSE MORNING. 5/8/2019
Casey wakes up in a dark room after hearing the sound of the door closing. She looks at herself, finding nothing but bruises. The pain felt like a hundred bees stinging her all at once, with the image of Jim’s cold face staring back at her. Then, Jim enters the room, grabs Casey and takes her out of the house.
Do what I say, or say hi to your family for me.
EXT. ABANDONED HOUSE MORNING 5/8/2019
As Casey is taken outside of the abandoned house, she can see the beauty of the plants surrounding her footprints. Hope fills through Casey’s lungs, but it is defiled by Jim’s breathing. Jim shoves Casey into the back seat of his car, gets in, and drives away.
INT. LAX AIRPORT MORNING 5/8/2019
Jim waits in line with Casey at the front. He grabs the boarding passes and checks if they have the right info. He checks if Casey’s seat is at S1. He also checks if he’s seated at Q1. They are heading to New York City through an American Airlines Boeing 737-700.
INT. AIRPLANE CABIN NOON 5/8/2019
It is Children’s Day for American Airlines in which tickets are free for those under the age of 12. Casey and Jim find their seats in the cold cabin of the airplane. There are only 40 adults and 78 children on the plane. The passengers are all parents taking their children to see America’s biggest city, New York. No one gives Casey a pittance of attention as she and Jim step on the plane. After sitting down, Casey stares at the flight attendants. They are chatting to the passengers. One of them looks at Casey, but sits down. The Plane Taxis to the runway and takes off like a free bird flying into the sky. Jim looks at the clock. It is now 12 pm.
INT. AIRPLANE CABIN EVENING 5/8/2019
It is now 7pm. Casey sits tensely in her seat. She looks to the right and sees all of the passengers laughing, playing video games, and talking with other passengers. Casey could only wish she could join them, but she sits in fear. She sees the flight attendant that was looking at her before takeoff. She lowers her hand, and does the tick tock distress signal. She faces her palm towards the flight attendant, folds her thumb, and wraps her fingers around it blinking the signal several times. The flight attendant looks and sees the signal and slowly sits down in her seat at the back of the cabin. She now knows that a passenger is in distress. She looks into her purse and finds a pile of sticky notes and a pen. She then writes on the paper, “What can I do to help you”, then goes to the nearest bathroom on her right, Casey’s left. The flight Attendant posted the message on the bathroom mirror. Jim turns his head but sees nothing as the flight attendant is back in her seat. Jim gets up, and walks slowly towards Casey.
(Whispering) If I don’t see you in your seat, I’ll make sure I see you leave this plane in a box.
Jim walks closer to the bathroom on the back of the cabin. He looks to the right, then to the left. The flight attendant anxiously looks at him. Jim walks to his right and enters the restroom. The flight attendant sighs in relief. If Jim had walked left, he would have seen the message intended to help Casey escape.
Phew that was close.
Casey looks at the left restroom at the back of the cabin and dashes towards it. She enters and sees the message on the post it note. She grabs the pen on the sink and writes that Jim murdered her parents, kidnapped and abused her, and is now shipping her unwillingly to New York City. She also writes a description of Jim, exits the restroom, and heads back to her seat. The flight attendant enters the restroom and grabs the post-it note. She reads the entire message and exits only to see Jim exiting the restroom right in front of her. The flight attendant freezes when Jim’s cold stare locks right on her face. Jim stares at her, then heads back to his seat. The flight attendant heads to her seat, grabs the cockpit phone, and calls the pilots.
Captain Lindsey, we have a possible human trafficking incident on the plane. Suspect goes by the name Jim and is sitting at H44. Suspect is male and he is probably in his 40s. He has a thick body with black hair and he is wearing all black. Victim goes by the name Casey and is sitting at S1. She is female probably in her teens, slim, wearing a white shirt and black pants, and has brown hair.
Acknowledged, will radio ATC.
Hey, the guy killed the the victim’s parents.
I will see what I can do.
INT. PLANE COCKPIT 5/8/2019
The Cockpit is pitch black with all the controls illuminating the surroundings of the pilots. Captain Lindsey is sitting on the left. He hangs up his phone and turns to First Officer Niles on his right.
Officer Niles, did you hear the call?
Yes. Now we have to deal with this instead of heading straight to the Yankees game! Officer Niles stares at his baseball bat.
UUHHH come on!! Please radio the information to the control tower.
Officer Niles reaches for the switch to contact the Control Tower, but mistakenly flicks THE COMMUNICATION SWITCH TO THE CABIN.
INT. AIRPLANE CABIN EVENING 5/8/2019
A message plays from the Intercom.
There is a possible human trafficking incident on board. Suspect is sitting at Q1. Suspect is male and he is probably in his 40s. Body description is thick with black hair wearing all black.
The flight attendant calls Officer Niles.
Officer Niles, you’re broadcasting to the cabin.
The Intercom silences.
INT. COCKPIT EVENING 5/8/2019
Captain Lindsey gets up from his seat and grabs Officer Nile’s baseball bat.
I’m going in the cabin. Fly the plane and radio the correct nerd this time!
The captain opens the door and leaves the cockpit. INT. AIRPLANE CABIN EVENING 5/8/2019
The passengers look for L1 and see Jim’s face grow cold as he gets up from his chair.
Jim slowly gets up from his seat and walks towards Casey, who is looking at him in horror. Fire is raging in Jim’s eyes, filling the cabin with his rage. He grasps and squeeze’s on Casey’s chin and leans towards her. Around the incident, the adult passengers grab their children and sprint to the front of the plane. With the passengers congregating in the Aisle, Captain Lindsey is blocked from the unfolding incident.
(Yelling) Say hi to your parents for me.
He lifts his hand, slaps Casey several times, and drags her out of the seat. Casey struggles, but the slapping steadily increases. Then, Jim pins Casey down and starts choking her. The passengers stand as helpless chess pieces waiting to be moved. As Casey starts to pass out, a passenger takes action and kicks Jim in the chest. Jim falls while 4 of the 60 passengers try to pin him down, but it is no use. Jim eventually gets back up and knocks out all that opposed him. He looks towards the back of the plane and sees the flight attendant.
You!!!! You did this.
While extremely terrified, the passengers that were sitting near Jim found seats at the front of the plane. Casey lies on the floor unconscious, with her eyes gazing into the white ceiling of the plane. The captain sees his opportunity and walks towards the back of the plane.
Sir, calm down. I’m clueless.
Jim walks towards the flight attendant while she backs up. Captain Lindsey picks up the pace as he walks to the back of the cabin.
Liar! I saw you at the restroom with the post it note in your hands. You were communicating with my slave were you? Huh?
The Flight Attendant trips on her heels and leans on the cabinet at the rear end of the plane. The pilot continues to walk towards the flight attendant.
Cat got your tongue?
Looks like Casey has a friend!!! A dead friend.
Jim raises his foot to stomp on the flight attendant only for the Captain to whack him with his baseball bat.
Do we have zip ties?
The flight attendant nods and hands the captain the zip ties. The Captain restrains Jim. Then, he points to the strongest 4 passengers.
You four!! Pin him down. I need to go fly the plane.
Captain Lindsey runs back to the Cockpit.
INT. COCKPIT EVENING 5/8/2019
Captain Lindsey enters the Cockpit.
Did you Radio?
Yes I did.
EXT. JFK AIRPORT 5/8/2019
The sky is pitch dark with only a dim gleam of light shining from the terminals of JFK International Airport. An army of police cars rush towards runway 236, which is the assigned runway for Captain Lindsey’s plane. Then, a glimpse of light appears in the sea of blackness. Captain Lindsey’s plane lands and heads towards the cruisers.
INT. TERMINAL 5/8/2019
The passengers are in a tense-calm state as they look at Casey’s unconscious body. The Flight attendant had recently strapped her to a seat before the landing. Suddenly, Green Beret Special Forces enter the front of the plane with their HK 416s drawn up.
GREEN BERET 1
GREEN BERET 2
Contact Front, everyone converge.
The operators rush towards the back of the plane. Getting up with their hands in the air, the four passengers pinning down Jim sigh in relief. Casey slowly wakes up seeing the operators swarm past her. Then, Green Beret 1 grabs Jim and rushes him off the plane. Casey lifts herself up as Green Beret 2 walks towards her.
GREEN BERET 2
Are you the victim?
GREEN BERET 2
Ok, we are taking you to a nearby hospital. Do you have any relatives in New York?
Yes, my Aunt.
GREEN BERET 2
Use this phone to call her.
As the operator takes her off the plane, Casey calls her parents. She looks behind herself and smiles as she sees the flight attendant. The flight attendant smiles back before she starts evacuating the rest of the passengers off the aircraft.
EXT. HOSPITAL MORNING 5/9/2019
The sun rises from the corner of the Empire State Building. Casey could finally breathe the warm air of New York City, knowing that she is finally safe. Then, Casey spots Aunt Daisy getting out of a red car. Both run towards each other with open arms.
(Hugging Casey) OMG, CASEY I’m so glad you are safe.
(Hugging Aunt Daisy)Yeah.
Casey reaches out for her phone but Daisy stops her.
Don’t bother checking the trends. You are the trend.
Casey smiles, then enters her Aunt’s car and looks out into the landscape of New York City. The skyscrapers tower over her head like giants looking down at her. She looks to her left and sees the Hudson river, which was filled with numerous ships and ferryboats. Then, Aunt Daisy sits in the driver’s seat and looks at Casey.
Well, welcome to New York. I feel like a Yankees’ baseball game would be a good welcome, so I got some tickets.
Yeah, let’s go see it.
Remembering her parents, Casey smiles as she is driven into the streets of New York City.
David Xiao has been playing the violin for about 10 years and has attended violin competitions every single year since 2015. His hobbies include writing and making short films as well as watching movies.
What motivated you to write this piece?
I wanted to write this piece to show Casey’s journey in life to a point of no return from the events of her kidnapping and captivity under Jim. Casey was innocent from the feud between Jim and Casey’s parents and her kidnapping and the death of her parents meant that she has to start a completely new life in New York City. Although that was the main focus of the story, I also wanted to show the bravery of the flight attendant and how she gave everything she got to rescue Casey after the Stewardess saw the tick tock distress signal.
How do you resonate with your piece? Why is it personal to you?
This piece resonates with me because it shows how one specific event can completely alter a person’s life. This is personal to me because I have watched movies like Interstellar, the Pianist, and Scream to show how events changed the life of a person or the person’s view on life. In Interstellar, Cooper went on his space mission but was never able to see his daughter until the very end of the film when she was dying. He had to start a new life in the absence of his children which is totally different than the life he had before when he was living with his children in the rural areas until he is called away. Then there is the Scream franchise in which Sidney Prescott lives a regular high school life until she puts an end to the first Ghost Face Killing. Then, she is targeted by every single Ghostface killer in every Ghostface killing which meant that every since the first killings, Sidney has to live a life where she needs to watch her back. At last, there is the Pianist where Wladyslaw Szpilman had a normal life with his family until the Holocaust forced him to start over without them. Unlike the first two examples, this was actually based on true events. Watching these movies showed me the value of events that alter the course of life that can’t be returned to before the incident and that made my script personal as I tell the story of how Casey’s kidnapping changed her entire life.
What message do you hope to convey to the reader through your piece?
There are two themes of this piece. The first theme is that there are life experiences and events that change the course of life which in the case of my script, it shows how Casey’s innocent life was ruined when she was kidnapped and she had to start a completely new life in New York City. The second theme is that help will come out to those who need and ask for it. When Casey used the tick tock distress signal, the flight attendant did whatever it took to rescue Casey. Since Casey was in need of helped, she alerted the flight attendant and the stewardess responded saving Casey’s life.