Portfolio - Writings

Kibbles in Bits

INT. RONALD'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - MORNING

The coffee pot makes loud hissing noises as JUDY, her ear tethered to the corded kitchen phone, grabs the pot and pours herself a mugful.

She maneuvers back to the kitchen table and sits down. On the wall beside her is a large corkboard plastered with photographs, most of them containing a small, fluffy white dog with a sparkling collar.

Judy smiles and takes a drink, then sets her mug down to gesture with her free hand.

JUDY
Of course I'm free later today, Betty! We
can both go to the doggie parlor
together! Kibbles just LOVES visiting
with his widdle buddy Bubsie!

 

INT. RONALD'S HOUSE - UPSTAIRS BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

RONALD stands in front of the bedroom mirror, adjusting his tie. Wedged into the corners of the mirror are more photos of the dog, some including Judy, but none with Ronald.

He heads for the bed to put on his shoes and socks, but trips on a neon-pink chew toy and slams his knee against the bedpost.

RONALD
Ow! Stupid, lousy...

Ronald puts on his shoes and socks, looking about the room as he does so. Its littered with other chewie toys, small tennis balls, and obnoxious squeaking things. A large fleece blanket with an embroidered "KIBBLES" rests at the end of the bed.

RONALD (CONT'D)
This is ridiculous. Today, I'm going to
tell her I want our bedroom back.

Ronald gets up, grabs his briefcase from beside the dresser, and heads out the door.

 

INT. RONALD'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Ronald enters the kitchen and heads for the coffee pot. He sets his briefcase by the door to the garage and glances at Judy, who's still gabbing on the phone.

JUDY
He's not here right now. I let him out to
go tinky. Otherwise, I'd have him say
hello to Bubsie.

Ronald makes a disgusted face, and pours himself some coffee. He sits at the kitchen table across from Judy.

JUDY (CONT'D)
How about we get lunch first, then pick
up the boys afterward?...Mmhmm...Mmhmm...

Ronald looks at the clock. It reads 7:35. He lets out an annoyed sigh, then takes a drink of coffee.

He flips through the newspaper, making a lot of noise. Judy glares at him and motions for him to keep it down.

RONALD
Judy, I have to-

Judy waves him off again.

JUDY
What was that?...No, it's just Ronald, he
SHOULD be LEAVING now anyway and not
pestering...

Ronald chugs the remaining coffee and leaves the dirty mug on the table. He heads for the garage door but pauses to give Judy a quick peck on her head on his way out. She waves him off quickly.

 

INT. RONALD'S CAR - MOMENTS LATER

Ronald backs out of the garage quickly, fiddling with the radio and ignoring his rearview mirror.

He flinches at the sound of a loud thump from behind his car, and slams on the brakes.

 

EXT. RONALD'S HOUSE - GARAGE - CONTINUOUS

Ronald jumps out of the car and hurries to the back wheels.

RONALD
Oh shit, oh shit, oh-

He stoops down, staring under the car.

A small, fluffy white lump is sprawled under the car. The glittery collar shines back at him.

RONALD (CONT'D)
(whispers)
...shit!

Ronald stands back up and looks toward the house, then at
the neighboring houses. No one else is around. He starts
for the house, then stops, backing up toward his car.

RONALD (CONT'D)
No, no, I can't tell her, she'll...aw,
shit...I should...maybe he's not...

He kneels on the driveway, reaching his arm under the car to pull out the dog. There's a large tire imprint across its torso. It's very much so dead.

RONALD (CONT'D)
...shit.

Ronald sits in panicked thought, holding the dog's body in his arms. He suddenly has a look of realization.

RONALD (CONT'D)
(to himself)
She doesn't have to know.

He slowly stands up and scans the area again. Grabbing the car's back door, he pulls it open and gently lays the small body on the backseat. He shuts the door quietly, then eases back into the driver's seat, closing his own door just as quietly.

The car peels out of the driveway and down the street.

 

INT. RONALD'S CAR - MINUTES LATER

Ronald's hunched over the wheel, a broad grin on his face. He chuckles to himself as he speeds down the highway.

RONALD
It's perfect! She'll think he ran away
and I'll be free! Free!

The speedometer reads 85 and rising.

RONALD (O.S.) (CONT'D)
We'll have the house to ourselves again!
No more baby-talk and chew toys!

The loud squealing of sirens snap Ronald out of his glee. He glances up at the rearview mirror to see a police car blaring its lights at him.

RONALD (CONT'D)
SHIT!

Ronald pulls his car over to the side of the road, then frantically looks in the back of his car at the dead dog. He ruffles through the floor in search of something to cover it.

Finding nothing, he yanks off his suit jacket and throws it over the dog just enough to cover the tire marks.

A tapping at the window. Ronald turns around with the typical "Was-I-speeding-Officer?" look plastered on his face and rolls down the window.

The gruff POLICE OFFICER wears large sunglasses, sports an uneven mustache, and is chewing something that smells quite terrible. He leans on the door of the car.

POLICE OFFICER
Where's the fire, son?

RONALD
I'm terribly sorry, Officer, I didn't
realize--

POLICE OFFCIER
Save it, boy. I got me a quota to fill
and there ain't no way you can get outta
this one. I caught you fair an' square.

The police officer pulls out a pad of paper and starts to write.

RONALD
Oh, but sir, you don't understand, I--

Ronald quickly looks into the back of the car, then back at the police officer.

RONALD (CONT'D)
It's my dog, he's really, REALLY sick and
I have to get him to the vet as fast as
possible.

The officer continues to write, but tilts his head to look between Ronald's seat and the car door at the dog in the back.

POLICE OFFCIER
Doesn't look like your dog's breathing,
son.

RONALD
Really, REALLY sick!

The officer stops writing and stares blankly back at Ronald. After a few moments he tears up the ticket.

POLICE OFFCIER
I'll let you off this time, but only if
that dog's not actually dead later.

RONALD
Oh, thank you, sir, thank you!

Ronald floors it back down the highway.

 

INT. CORPORATE PARKING GARAGE - MOMENTS LATER

Ronald pulls into a parking space and gets out of his car. He reaches into the backseat and pulls out the dead dog, walking hurriedly toward a nearby trash can.

As he walks, he stares down at the shiny, expensive collar and yanks it off the dog's neck, shoving it in his pocket.

Just as Ronald is about to stuff the body in with the trash, he hesitates.

 

INT. RONALD'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - FUZZY DREAM SEQUENCE

Judy is sobbing at the kitchen table, piles of crumbled tissues littered everywhere.

JUDY
(between sobs)
Oh, my poor...poor Kibbles! Why did you
run away?...whhhhyyy?

Suddenly, Ronald bursts through the door, carrying a Kibbles-ish looking dog.

RONALD
Fear not, darling wife! I've found your
cherished pooch!

Judy leaps out of her chair and scoops the dog out of Ronald's arms.

JUDY
Oh my goodness! My precious baby!

She turns toward Ronald, full of gratitude, dropping the dog and throwing her arms around Ronald

JUDY (CONT'D)
My hero!

She kisses his face all over, then shoves him to the ground, flinging off clothing in the process.

 

INT. CORPORATE PARKING GARAGE - CONTINUOUS

Ronald grins to himself, then runs back to his car. He digs through the back until he finds a small black garbage bag just the right size for the body.

He stuffs the body into the bag, smiling down at it.

RONALD
I'll just hold onto you until my lunch
break, then we're going shopping for your
twin!

Ronald pulls out his briefcase and hustles to the building entrance.

 

INT. CORPORATE OFFICE - RONALD'S CUBICLE - MINUTES LATER

Ronald saunters into his cubicle. He stashes the trash bag under his desk area and starts up his computer, humming to himself.

He glances at his digital office clock, continuing to hum. It reads 8:05.

 

INT. CORPORATE OFFICE - RONALD'S CUBICLE - LATER

The clock now reads 10:05. Ronald is staring at his computer like the living dead, frequently jerking his head upward as he drifts in and out of sleep.

RONALD
(muttering)
...coffee...

Ronald lurches out of his chair and exits the cubicle.

A janitor pushes his cart of cleaning supplies next to Ronald's cubicle and stops.

He reaches under the desk for the small trash bin and empties it into the larger trash bag on his cart.

He notices the black garbage bag and drops it into his trash bag as well, then takes a bottle of Febreeze from his cart, sprays the cubicle, and walks away.

Ronald returns, carrying a cup of coffee and already more alert. He flops into his chair.

RONALD (CONT'D)
...ahh...much better.

 

INT. CORPORATE OFFICE - RONALD'S CUBICLE - LATER

The clock flips from 11:59 to 12:00.

Ronald stretches out happily, leaning back in his chair.

RONALD
Time to be a hero.

He reaches under his desk, pawing for the garbage bag.

His expression changes from pleased to puzzled, then to abject horror as he throws himself under the desk to search for the bag.

RONALD (CONT'D)
SHIT!!!

Ronald stands up abruptly, looking over the walls of his cubicle to scan the room, then crouches back down, pulling at his hair.

RONALD (CONT'D)
...no, no...I can still fix it...I can...

He pulls the collar out of his pocket and stares at it before hurrying out of the cubicle.

 

EXT. JIMMY'S FRIENDLY PET SHOP - LATER

Ronald stares at the window display of friendly puppies, thinking intently.

Puppies of varying breeds and sizes vie for his attention, leaping at the window and yapping their heads off.

Ronald looks at his watch, making low grumbling noises, then goes inside the shop.

 

INT. JIMMY'S FRIENDLY PET SHOP - CONTINUOUS

Ronald makes his way toward the cash register, weaving his way past pens of guinea pigs and cages of twittering birds.

JIMMY, an awkward young fellow with a slight overbite, is behind the counter reading an UNDERDOG comic book. In front of him is a small bell that says "Please ring of service."

Ronald looks about the store as he approaches the counter, then clears his throat.

RONALD
Uh, excuse me-

Jimmy coughs and points at the sign. Ronald makes a face, then rings the bell.

Jimmy drops the comic book and puts on a fake retail store smile.

JIMMY
Hello, fellow animal lover, and welcome
to Jimmy's Friendly Pet Shop!

RONALD
Uh-

JIMMY
We're happy to help you in your search
for favorable animal companionship!

RONALD
That's good, I-

JIMMY
Your pet is guaranteed friendly or you
get a free parakeet with your next
purchase!

RONALD
OKAY, OKAY! I get it!

Jimmy looks dejectedly at Ronald.

JIMMY
It's company policy to be friendly...

RONALD
Fine, fine. I need to see your dogs.

JIMMY
Right this way, sir!

Jimmy leads Ronald past the reptiles to a back room with cats and dogs in large, wired cages stacked on top of each other. The dogs immediately begin throwing themselves at Ronald, yapping like crazy, as the cats simply stare at him.

JIMMY (CONT'D)
Do you know what breed you're looking
for?

RONALD
(awkwardly)
Uh...small, white and fluffy?

Jimmy looks at Ronald like he's got weeds growing out of his ears. Finally, he points toward the top row of dogs.

JIMMY
I suppose that means you're interested in
the toy variety?

Ronald scrutinizes the small dogs, thinking hard.

He points a finger and goes down the line of dogs carefully. The first dog, a shivering Chihuahua, backs itself into the corner, far from his hand.

RONALD
(muttering)
Not you...

A black Pug wags its butt back and forth, yapping at Ronald.

RONALD (CONT'D)
(muttering)
Or you...

The Jack Russell puppy bites onto Ronald's finger, refusing to let go.

RONALD (CONT'D)
Screw you!

Ronald yanks out his finger as the Jack Russell barks its brains out, running back and forth in its cage.

Finally, Ronald notices a small, white fluff-ball asleep in last cage. He puts his face close to it and looks it up and down with his eyes as the dog continues to sleep.

He pulls the collar out of his pocket, lining it up with the dog's neck, and squints at it.

RONALD (CONT'D)
That's it!

JIMMY
A Bichon Frise type, eh?

RONALD
Damn straight. I'll take that one.

JIMMY
Certainly, sir!

Jimmy pulls out the sleeping dog, cuddling it in his arms, and starts walking back to the cash register. Ronald follows.

A sudden look of realization flashes across Ronald's face.

RONALD
WAIT!

Jimmy turns around, confused.

JIMMY
Yes?

Ronald yanks the dog out of Jimmy's arms and pulls up one of its hind legs. The dog yelps.

RONALD
(with relief)
Alright. He'll definitely do.

 

INT. RONALD'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - EVENING

Judy and Betty are seated on the living room couch, both sobbing their eyes out, hands clenching tissues as they console one another with pats on the backs and frequent hugs. A mountain of soggy tissues has formed on top of the coffee table in front of them.

JUDY
I...I can't believe he's...gone!

Both women lean back at the same time and simultaneously blow their noses.

BETTY
(stuttering)
H...h...hand me the box, please!

Judy leans over to the coffee table and hands Betty the nearly-empty tissue box. Betty pulls out a fresh tissue and blows her nose loudly.

JUDY
It's just...you never know...never know
when these things'll happen
until...until...

Judy starts bawling again, Betty right behind her.

Ronald leans in from the kitchen doorway, eyeballing the two crying women. He slowly makes his way into the room, squirming dog in his arms.

RONALD
Honey...what's wrong?

Judy and Betty don't look at Ronald and continue crying. Ronald edges his way into the room, triumphant smile on his face and new dog in his arms.

JUDY
Ronald?...Oh, Ronald, today's been the
worst day imaginable, it's just...just...

She grabs a fresh tissue and blows her nose. Ronald's behind the couch, careful to turn his body so the women can't see the dog if they turn around.

RONALD
What happened?

JUDY
(between sobs)
It...it was our weekly doggie parlor
day...and...and...

Ronald slowly begins to make his way to the front of the couch, still staying just out of vision of the two women.

JUDY (CONT'D)
And just when we were about to go,
we...we couldn't find...

Ronald, beaming to himself, is about to step in front of the couch with the dog.

JUDY (CONT'D)
...we couldn't find Bubsie!

Ronald stops cold in his tracks. The smile drops.

RONALD
....bubsie?

BETTY
(sobbing)
I let him out this...this morn...morning
and...he never came back!

Betty doubles over in tears as Judy leans over to comfort her. Ronald quickly turns his back to the women, slightly covering the dog with his coat.

RONALD
But...but Kibbles...

JUDY
Oh, Kibbles is so distraught! We've been
trying to be strong for him but...but...

Ronald looks over at a large armchair, where Kibbles is stretched out lazily. He yawns.

BETTY
The poor dear's exhausted himself.

Ronald looks from the armchair to the dog in his arms and back again, unable to fully comprehend the situation. He starts to edge his way back to the kitchen doorway.

RONALD
Oh! Oh, wow, that's...that's terrible!

BETTY
And now...now we may never see poor
Bubsie again!

Judy continues hugging the bawling Betty.

Ronald's almost into the kitchen, but stops and glances back at the women. He looks down at the dog in his arms, and at Betty, then walks back to the couch.

RONALD
Hey...hey I know it's...well, on the way
home from work, I found this little guy
and...I was going to take him to the
shelter tomorrow but...

Ronald holds out the dog to Betty. Her eyes light up.

BETTY
Oh my goodness! What a little
cutie!...you look like a smaller Bubsie,
you do!

Betty grabs the dog from Ronald's arms. Judy leans in and starts to scratch the dog's ears.

JUDY
He's so precious!

Ronald does his best to look extremely humble.

RONALD
I mean, I was going to take him to the
shelter anyway, but if he doesn't belong
to anyone, you could probably...

Betty holds the dog close to her face, smiling.

BETTY
Oh, I just LOVE him! Who's a lil'
shnookie-wookie-ums? You are! You!

Judy smiles at Ronald, then gets up and throws her arms around him.

JUDY
Ronald, you're quite the hero today.

RONALD
Aw, well...I couldn't just let it...

Just as Judy is about to lean in and shower Ronald with kisses, Betty notices the collar on the dog's neck. She stares at it quizzically, then her eyes widen.

BETTY
...'Bubsie'?

Judy stops abruptly and stares at Ronald. Betty's staring at him now too.

RONALD
Er...

 

INT. RONALD'S HOUSE - UPSTAIRS BEDROOM - LATE EVENING

Judy, dressed in a pink nightgown, is sitting up in bed reading. She puts a bookmark in it to mark her place, then sets the book on her night stand.

She smiles and leans over to the pillow next to her, where Kibbles is stretched out, asleep.

JUDY
Good night, Kibbles! I love you so much!

She lays down, pulling the covers up close to her face, then glares at the foot of the bed.

JUDY (CONT'D)
(coldy)
Good night, Ronald.

Ronald, awkwardly trying to situate himself at the foot of the bed, tries his best to cover up with the "KIBBLES" fleece blanket.

RONALD
Good night, honey...


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