Star Crossed
by Jeff Hoskinson

Back Story

This is a science fiction story, set in the present. We have already been introduced to the characters of JOHN and SARAH, two business people who live in New York City. Both live dull, repetitive lives with little or no personal contact. Each day comes and goes, and nothing has really changed for them. Because of this lifestyle, neither of them cares much for other human beings. They find their solace in inanimate objects like television, books, and computers. SARAH and JOHN have never met, although their apartment buildings are across the street from each other. As this scene opens, JOHN has just been dropped off by a taxi near his apartment building.


It is raining. We see JOHN from a high angle standing at a crosswalk with a few other people. There are no cars on the street, save for a few parked along the sides. The light changes and the people begin to cross.

Long Shot - Other side of Street

We are looking down on the people at the other end of the crosswalk. We can pick out SARAH from among them. They, too, have started to cross the street. As they approach the center of the crosswalk, cut to

Full Shot - Center of crosswalk

We are looking down the center of the street at eye level now, as the two groups pass each other in the middle. As SARAH and JOHN approach each other, the camera goes into slow-motion, giving us the impression that something is about to happen. However, they pass each other without incident. Still in slow-motion, we cut to

Long Shot - Over JOHN's right shoulder

We follow JOHN as he continues to walk toward the side of the street. SARAH is centered in the shot, and we see her glance back over her shoulder in our direction, as if she expected to see something. Seeing nothing, she turns her head back, just as JOHN glances back, seemingly for the same reason. Also seeing nothing, his gaze returns forward. We return to normal speed as we cut to

Long Shot - Door to JOHN's apartment building

Again, we are watching from above as JOHN unlocks his apartment building and walks in.

Medium Shot - Hallway by SARAH's apartment

From above, about the angle a security camera would have, we see the long hallway of an apartment building, with SARAH's door, room 214, on the right side of the frame. SARAH enters the frame from the left, unlocks her door, and enters.

Long Shot - Interior of JOHN's apartment

The camera is aimed at the doorway of the apartment. It is almost pitch black; we can only make out a few details lit by the evening light filtering in through the windows. The door opens, casting a subdued light on the scene. JOHN enters, carrying his raincoat. He closes the door behind him, and reaches out to hang his raincoat as if there were a coat tree next to the door. Failing to find one there, he gets a confused look on his face, hangs the coat on a hook on the back of the door, and continues on into the apartment, turning on no lights. Camera pans to follow him.

Long Shot - Living room of JOHN's apartment

It is still dark inside. We are looking down from one corner of the room, across an easy chair, and toward a television set at the other corner of the room. JOHN enters from the left, sits down in the chair, and turns the television on with a remote. He sits passively there, watching whatever is on the screen.

Close Up - JOHN's face

His face is lit by the flickering light of the television. Fade to

Close Up - SARAH's face

Her face is lit in the exact same way, and framed in the same shot. Suddenly, a phone rings. SARAH seems startled, as if this isn't something that usually happens in her apartment. She gets up and heads toward the phone.

Long Shot - Living room of JOHN's apartment

His phone is also ringing. He walks over to the phone and picks it up.

JOHN: Hello?

There is apparently no answer. He tries again.

JOHN: Hello?

Getting no response, he slowly hangs up the phone, with the same puzzled look on his face as before. He returns to his seat in front of the television. Just as he sits down, the television shuts off.

Medium shot - JOHN

JOHN's face is centered in the frame. To the upper left and right of the frame, the air seems to shimmer and bend, as if something were beneath it. These forms seem to approach JOHN, until they almost touch him. Then, simultaneously they do touch him, extending some hand-like appendage to touch his arm. JOHN cries out as he seems to sink beneath the air and disappear. The other two forms, too, return the air to its former shape, and all is quiet. The television comes back on.

Long shot - New York Street - Night

The same street as before, but now we are looking at the tops of JOHN and SARAH's apartment buildings. They are mirror images of each other, on opposite sides of the street. Between the two, the air is distorted as we have seen before, but now the distortion seems to take a definite shape, and suddenly a spaceship is visible. It is sleek, metallic, and suggests the most advanced technology imaginable. It hovers there for a second, then streaks off toward a point in the sky. There is silence.

Establishing Shot - The spaceship in space

The stars are streaking past, suggesting that the ship is traveling faster than light.

Long Shot - Interior of spaceship

We are looking down on a metallic room. The floor is a solid sheet of metal, as is the ceiling. The walls contain various screens, some showing space rushing past, some seemingly showing the status of the two occupants, some showing other indecipherable things. SARAH and JOHN are lying on metallic elevated tables, the only furniture in the room. Both are unconscious, and are wearing the same clothing as when they were abducted. The light seems to come from everywhere, and casts no shadows. At approximately the same time, the two wake up groggily, as if from a good night's sleep. They both begin to glance around, finally noticing that they are not in their bedrooms. As they grow more and more worried, they suddenly notice each other and begin to speak at the same time.

JOHN: Where are we?...

SARAH: Who are you?...

JOHN: What happened?...

They both stop. They begin to reconstruct the event, feeding off each other.

JOHN: There was the missing coat tree...

SARAH: And the strange phone call...

JOHN: And the television...

SARAH: And the strange shapes...

JOHN: And then...

BOTH: Nothing.

They both realize that they've been talking and fall silent again. Neither of them knows what to say.

SARAH: Uh... hel... hello...

JOHN: h... hi...

They both smile weakly. SARAH becomes a little braver.

SARAH: Hi. I'm Sarah Jordan.

JOHN: I... I'm John Robertson.

Medium Shot - Center of room

They get down from their tables and meet in the middle to shake hands. We can see a tension in their eyes as they shake, as if they don't really trust each other.

JOHN: What now?

SARAH: I don't know. It's always been so easy before.

JOHN: I guess we wait...

SARAH: ...wait until we find out what They want.

They both begin to walk back to their respective tables. Suddenly the room goes dark, and then is bathed in a red light.

Long Shot - Door to the room

Steam pours from around the door as it slides open with a metallic hiss. A blinding light streams from beyond, silhouetting three very alien-looking figures. The two on either side hold long staffs. The center one points forward and shouts something in an alien dialect. The two side figures rush forward toward JOHN and SARAH. JOHN and SARAH look around, but there is no where to go. The two aliens grab them and drag them out the door. Fade to black and fade in on

Extreme Long Shot - Field of tall grasses on a distant planet - Day

We are looking down on the spot where JOHN and SARAH have been deposited by the aliens. The ship is still present, and we see it accelerate and speed away to a point in the sky. We can make out JOHN and SARAH in the field below, and the camera rotates around them, showing tall grasses in every direction. They both rise from the ground and head off in opposite directions.

Medium Shot - JOHN, with SARAH in the background

JOHN stops, turns his head, and calls back to SARAH.

JOHN: We should probably stick together.

She stops and looks at him.

SARAH: Yeah, I guess that would be a good idea.

They both turn around and head in the opposite direction, passing each other in the middle. They turn again, and face each other.

SARAH: So which way do we go?

JOHN: I don't think it really matters

SARAH: Okay then...

She closes her eyes and extends her arm with her finger pointed. She spins around for a while, and comes to a stop pointing to our right.

SARAH: That way!

JOHN: That way it is.

They head off That Way. Camera pulls back into an extreme long shot to once again show the enormity of their task. In the few seconds we linger on them they barely move in the frame. Fade to

Extreme Long Shot - Field of grass - Evening

Though we can tell that this is a different part of the huge field, JOHN and SARAH appear in the same part of the frame they were in the previous shot. They continue on their way. Fade to

Two Shot - JOHN and SARAH - Night

It is now night. JOHN and SARAH's faces are lit by two moons we can see in the sky. They are both clearly exhausted. As they approach the camera, JOHN suddenly extends his arm and holds his finger up to his lips.

JOHN (whispering): Shh... Hold on for a sec...

SARAH (also whispering): What?

JOHN: I think I hear something...

They are motionless for a moment. We can barely make out the faintest sound of music, and possibly the sound of voices.

JOHN: Do you hear it?


They begin to run forward through the grasses.

Long Shot - Village - Night

This is an old medieval-style village, made up of wooden or stone houses with thatched roofs. It is a small town; simple, with about 30 houses clustered together and connected by dirt paths. Torches are everywhere, creating a rather bright glow for this time of night. In the distance we can see that many people are in the streets, and there is apparently a celebration going on. Music fills the air, and people are dancing.

Long Shot - Town square

We have a much better view of the celebration now, and can see the musicians playing and the villagers just having a good time.

Long Shot - Edge of town near grassy field

We see JOHN and SARAH emerge from the field and collapse on the ground near the edge of the town. For a few moments they lie there, until they are noticed by one of the villagers. He motions, and several villagers rush over...

And so it continues...

So there they are, exhausted, barely acquainted, and pretty much utterly alone on an alien planet. They must find a way to survive, and then find out what it is these aliens want from them. And, above all, they must overcome the loneliness and distrust they have placed upon themselves, so that they can finally discover what life is really about.

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All text copyright © 1997 by Jeff Hoskinson and may not be reproduced without permission.
Last revised: 16 May 1997