Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Now Playing at a Theater Near You!

The following fantasy is brought to you by:

Chemo4Victory Films, a wholly-owned subsidiary of T.C.O. Pictures, Inc.

(Agents and producers who read this are asked to contact the screenwriter's attorney, Mr. Dewey Cheatham N. Howe, for information about the screen rights, etc.)

CANCER - THE MOVIE

Plot Summary

Prologue: The delightful village of Blissful consists of cottages and townhouses carved out of the rolling hills beneath the Gray Mountains. It is home to a lively population of professionals and office workers who on a typical day can be seen bustling about the streets, where the shouts of children playing in school yards can be heard half-way down the valley. The candy cane scent of honeysuckle mingles with the smell of innocence found in each yard. Steaming platters of beef warm the air of many Sunday afternoon dining rooms, and afterward men and women alike enjoy a smoke on the front porch. In the evening the taverns are filled - teenage boys hang out in the street, taunting any patron who lurches or stumbles on his way home. Blissful is named by the governor as the "Most Typical American City" for 2005.

Act I - The Attack: Unknown to the village, the pounding of hooves rumbles across the prairie grass in the valley as dark clouds roil in the distant sky. A large army of assassins on horseback charges toward Blissful. Their black armor flailing in the wind, they begin to climb the hills. Some warriors carry standards with words on them - Lung and Breast are frequent. One lone rider on a giant black stallion has Stomach woven on his tremendous cape. All are marked with the letter C on their chests.

The invaders swarm into town, slashing some townspeople and snatching up others. The villagers wilt beneath the onslaught. Some of the dark riders named Lymphoma grip necks or waists and refuse to let go. They drag their victims through the street, squeezing them tight, careful not to kill them. As night falls, flames flicker in the reflections of shattered glass.

Act II - The Call for Help: The first light of dawn reveals a vast camp high in the peaks of the Gray Mountains. A sentry hears the sounds of footsteps and challenges - he meets a tattered messenger from Blissful, who relates the attack, then falls into the dust. On his back a hideous beast gnaws at his neck. It wears a medallion entitled Melanoma. The sentry rushes into a large building. Soon a tremendous army is mobilized. The soldiers and officers all wear crosses of red on their uniforms. Tanks and airplanes take off toward the village; artillery is towed down the mountain pass. The roar of the division thunders off the cliffs as it rolls toward the village.

Act III - The Battle for Blissful: By noon the assault is raging - the screams of dropping bombs compete with the shrieks of the wounded. The Healing Army dispatches its different brigades to exterminate the invaders. Chemotherapy shoots flamethrowers in all directions, sometimes burning both villain and villager together. Surgery rides with giant swords, hacking the fiends off of citizens; the deadly humming of Radiation can be heard as it points its giant beam at a fleeing group named Seminoma. Biological Therapy releases locusts that swarm around the enemy, sparing the villagers. The afternoon boils with the heat of a thousand battles

Climax: The point of exhaustion has been reached. As shadows darken the streets and fields, the two armies halt and face each other. The devastation is widespread. As the leader of the Healing Army surveys the scene, he comes to a horrifying conclusion:

Most of the villagers who were assaulted are dead and only a fraction of the dark army's warriors have been killed. The grinning invaders stand at a distance like obsidian chess pieces, waiting for the next move. The two formations withdraw into the twilight.

Epilogue: High in the mountain camp, scientists conduct experiments with new weapons: anti-angiogenesis agents, growth factor inhibitors, gene therapy. The village slowly repopulates and soon laughter is heard once again in the homes of Blissful. A tall tower is built at the edge of town, and each night a volunteer scans the distant horizon, his arms aching from the heavy binoculars that search for a distant cloud of dust. He cups his ears to listen for the faint sounds of drums in the night.

(with apologies to the following people: Dante Alighieri, Sherwood Anderson, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ian Kershaw, Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill and M. Night Shyamalan)

5 Comments:

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Than0 said...

Wow. I'm trying to decide whether to feel terrified, vengeful or triumphant. Freakin' cancers. I bet glioblastoma was the twisted-looking one with the ill-fitting cape. We broke him at first light of dawn.

 
At 7:27 AM, Anonymous Wendy Walker said...

"Gray" Mountains. Nice touch. You should've had the residents root for the "Mets," too.

 
At 9:27 AM, Blogger Rexroth's Daughter said...

Who sent this killer army? What polluting smokestack is out of sight of this blissful village, but nonetheless spews its poisonous army? What chemicals have been added to that lovely plate of beef? Chemicals that spawn more horrific soldiers of death? Who sells those cigarettes to the blissful innocents? That is the other battle-- the one that takes on the powerful who send these killers.

 
At 12:27 PM, Blogger Orac said...

Awesome. However, you could also mention that some of the villagers are traitors (you could name them BRCA1 or BRCA2, or some other genetic mutation that predisposes to cancer).

 
At 9:57 AM, Blogger DrTony said...

I love your story. I wish I had half your imagination.

I hope you don't mind that I took the liberty to post an epilogue on my blog, DrTony.

 

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