I talk a lot about Chisholm when I write.
You may remember it as the town Kevin
Costner visits in Field of Dreams. He talks to
Archie “Moonlight” Graham, played by Burt Lancaster.
There’s also the old Chisholm Trail, located
in the area of Kansas my screenplay
Of Myths and Legends is set in: Winfield. It’s
about thirty minutes south of Wichita
as the crow flies. “More on this later…” was the
first poem I wrote on it, introducing
the three main characters: Lesley, Bart and Stu.
In case you didn’t read it, Lesley is a
man, but barely. He’s depressed, sad and timid
and lives by himself in a small apartment
across the river in west Winfield – the more
modern part of the city. The story starts
with Lesley asleep on the bus after a
long day of pretending to sell insurance.
Before he left work, his boss and childhood
friend, Bart, asked if Lesley was going to the
New Year’s Eve bash downtown later that night. The
answer was “Maybe,” but “No” was implied. Bart
knew his pal would be watching a movie on
his couch alone that night, like every night.
Bart was tired of Lesley’s depression. He
wanted to fire him, too, but couldn’t bring
himself to bring the axe down. Lesley was nice.
He had that going for him, if nothing else.
Back to the bus. Lesley’s asleep, dreaming of
Errol Flynn and Darth Vader walking through a
tree tunnel in England towards a windmill
at the end of the path. They stop at a gate
reading, “Halnaker Mill.” Vader takes off his
helmet, revealing an English gentleman
Lesley doesn’t recognize, but I do. It’s
Bob Anderson, the man who wore the Vader
mask during the fight scenes of episodes five
and six. He and Errol Flynn stand there talking.
Errol pulls out an sword with a Phoenix on
the hilt and a blade made of Blue Damascus
Steel. The grooves in the metal make it look like
water and reflecting rays of sun through the
trees give the blade a faint glow in the twilight.
Suddenly the scene changes and cross-fades to
the same windmill, many decades later. An
old man in a jumpsuit stands by the gate, sword
in hand, reciting lines from old movies like, “The
penitent man shall pass,” and “You shall not pass,”
and “This is the business that we’ve chosen.”
At once the sky changes. The moon turns to blood.
The windmill stops. The silence is broken by
the rusted-metal hinge of the wooden gate
as a cloaked figure enters the scene, broadsword
in hand, holding the massive weapon like it
weighs nearly nothing. Twirling it. Spinning it
like a lightsaber … and laughing while doing
it – a deep, guttural laugh, like that of a
caged animal. The old man takes a deep breath
and says, “Oh, bloody hell.” The being in black
shrieks and swings its weapon. The old man deflects
the blow and moves to his right, towards the gate.
“Fencing is all about footwork,” he says, with
a wink and a smirk. The cloaked figure roars and
swings again. The clang of metal on metal
reverberates through the woods as the Phoenix
sword flies out of the old man’s hand and down the
tunnel of trees towards a bright white light in
the distance. CLANG! Lesley is awoken by
something clanging off the top of the bus as
it crosses the river via the 8th Street
Bridge, going from east Winfield to west Winfield.
Lesley rubs his eyes and looks around. An old
hag across the aisle clutches her purse and
hisses at him. “Stay away from me, devil!”
she shouts, pulling the cord and moving towards
the front of the bus. Lesley sighs and shakes his
head. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Miss Noodleborn.
Your company is always a pleasure.” Aaaaaand….