Last April I was lucky enough to be one of the finalists in FanLib’s “Painkiller Jane” writing contest. The grand prize was a professionally drawn illustration of a scene from the winner’s entry. Here is Jorge Correa Jr.‘s take on my opening scene:
INT. ABANDONED HOSPITAL – NIGHT
JANE VASCO lies on an examination table. Her arms, legs, waist and forehead are secured by leather straps. She struggles to move.
Wearing the scrubs of a surgeon, DEREK SUMNER circles around Jane. His face is covered with piercings (ears, nose, eyebrows, lips), a black tribal tatoo, scarification and other body modifications.
I assure you, Jane, you will be unable to escape.
My team will be looking for me, and when they find you —
They’ll what? Kill me? Come now. Idle threats don’t scare me.
He runs his finger down her cheek, then SCRATCHES HER WITH HIS FINGERNAIL.
Jane winces in pain as a drop of blood trickles down her cheek. Soon after, the scratch disappears. It has completely healed.
You see, you and I have something special in common.
He picks up a scalpel lying in a tray. He brings it to his wrist and cuts across. His face remains stoic.
Jane’s eyes go wide as blood flows out of Derek’s wrist before the wound quickly heals.
Except that, unlike you, I don’t feel pain. Congenital analgia, they call it. And unfortunately my attempts to find a cure have been unsuccessful.
As Derek turns his back on her to scrub his hands in the sink, Jane takes a moment to take in her surroundings. AROUND HER ARE SEVERAL GURNEYS WITH BODIES COVERED IN SHEETS.
I take it the DOAs are your victims.
I prefer the term “test subjects.”
Derek puts on a pair of latex gloves, a surgical mask and a visor.
They’ve given me a better understanding of the nature of pain.
He turns around, and Jane sees in his hands a large CIRCULAR SAW.
Did you know that your stomach has more nerve endings than your brain?
With the flick of a switch, THE SAW WHIRS TO LIFE.
Jane tries to scurry back, but she can barely move.
On a scale of one to ten, tell me how much this hurts.
CUT TO BLACK.
INT. OPERATION HQ
ANDRE MCBRIDE and CONNOR KING wheel a semi-conscious Jane on a gurney through the main hallway of the Neuro-Hunters HQ.
INT. SICKBAY – CONTINUOUS
DR. SETH CARPENTER rushes toward the gurney. His eyes go wide in horror when he sees Jane. THE BOTTOM HALF OF HER BODY IS MISSING, AND BLOOD SOAKS THE GURNEY CRIMSON RED.
Dear God, what happened?
Cool, huh? Jorge is incredibly economical with his storytelling, and he punctuated the page with a great shot of Jane lying near death, her blood literally spilling off the page. What a treat to have my words visualized by such a talented artist. This is definitely being framed and hung on the wall next to my two diplomas.