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Mud City is an online literary journal promoting the ideals and vision of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Low Residency MFA Program.

Sydney Freeland

Sydney Freeland is an independent filmmaker. Her debut feature film, Drunktown’s Finest, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to win a number of awards, including the Grand Jury Prize and HBO Outstanding First Feature awards at LA Outfest 2014. Sydney is also a recipient of the following awards: 2015 Sundance Women’s Fellowship, 2015 Ford Fellowship, 2014 Fox Director’s Initiative, 2014 Time Warner Fellowship, 2010 Sundance Screenwriting and Directing Labs, 2009 Sundance Native Lab, and a 2004 Fulbright Scholarship. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Sydney Freeland is an independent filmmaker. Her debut feature film, Drunktown’s Finest, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to win a number of awards, including the Grand Jury Prize and HBO Outstanding First Feature awards at LA Outfest 2014. Sydney is also a recipient of the following awards: 2015 Sundance Women’s Fellowship, 2015 Ford Fellowship, 2014 Fox Director’s Initiative, 2014 Time Warner Fellowship, 2010 Sundance Screenwriting and Directing Labs, 2009 Sundance Native Lab, and a 2004 Fulbright Scholarship. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

 

DRUNKTOWN'S FINEST

(NOTE: Most dialogue will be spoken in English. Dialogue that is italicized indicates that it will be spoken in Navajo.)


 INT. BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING.  

A clock sitting on a night stand reads “3:43am”. Beside the clock is a framed photo showing 3 PEOPLE. 

NIZHONI SMILES, 17, a slender NAVAJO teenager with long black hair and a natural beauty, is in the middle of the picture. She wears a HS graduation gown and has an ear-to-ear smile. 

PHILLIP and PHOEBE SMILES, 40s, are a CAUCASIAN couple with traditional good looks and are dressed in formal attire. They stand on either side of Nizhoni, both smiling proudly. 

Nizhoni is sleeping soundly in a large bed by the night stand when she is suddenly jarred awake. Nizhoni sits up and turns on a lamp. She looks around her room, which is mostly bare except for two large boxes labeled “College” and “Storage”. 

Nizhoni realizes she was only having a bad dream. She opens a drawer on the night stand and fishes for something. She finds what she was looking for, a prescription bottle. However, the bottle is empty. Nizhoni sighs and tosses it aside. 

She then opens another drawer and pulls out a thick, faded journal. Nizhoni flips through the pages, most of which have drawings that are fantastical and surrealistic in nature. 

Nizhoni gets to a blank entry and sketches out a horse. She then grabs a red marker and begins to draw on its body. 

A few minutes later, she finishes the drawing and examines it. The body of the HORSE is covered with RED HANDS. 

Nizhoni closes the book and looks at the tattered cover. Scribbled on the cover are the words, “Dream Journal”. 

EXT. 24/7 CONVENIENCE STORE - EARLY MORNING - PRESENT 

LUTHER MARYBOY aka “SICK BOY”, 21, staggers around to the unlit side of a convenience store. He has a boyish face but is far from a child. His head is shaved and his clothing is influenced by hip hop culture. 

Sick Boy braces himself against the wall and starts to pee as a POLICE VAN drives up and turns on its floodlight. It gives two quick blasts from its siren but Sick Boy ignores it. He’s too drunk to care. 

OFFICER NAKAI, 40, a well-fed Navajo policeman with a military crewcut, gets out and strolls up to Sick Boy. 

OFFICER NAKAI
Been doing some drinking tonight? 

Sick Boy teeters about but shakes his head confidently, “no”. 

OFFICER NAKAI (CONT’D)

I’ll take that as a “yes”. Come on. 

Officer Nakai walks up and places a hand on Sick Boy’s shoulder. However, Sick Boy reacts violently. He turns and takes a wild swing at the officer hitting him in the ear. 

Sick Boy hoists up his pants and makes a run for it. However, he doesn’t make it far. Officer Nakai catches up and tackles him. He pins Sick Boy to the pavement and starts to cuff him. 

SICK BOY
Lemme go! I didn’t do anything! 

OFFICER NAKAI

Didn’t do anything? You just assaulted a police officer! 

Officer Nakai lifts Sick Boy up to his feet and takes him around to the back of the van. Officer Nakai opens the rear doors to reveal several DRUNK INDIANS cramped inside. 

DRUNK #1
Hey, Officer! Did you pick up some 
girls? I’m getting lonely in here! 

DRUNK #2
Yeah! I thought you said “Pussy 
Wagon” not “Paddy Wagon”. I want my money back! 

There is drunken laughter all around as Officer Nakai shoves Sick Boy into the van and slams the doors shut. 

INT. MINI VAN - EARLY MORNING 

FELIX “FELIXIA” JOHN, 18, a stunning Navajo transsexual, sits in the passenger seat of a mini-van. She has platinum BLONDE HAIR and everything else about her is hyper-feminine; hair, clothes, makeup. She’s the Navajo version of The Crying Game

MARK DAMON, 28, a good-looking Navajo car salesman, sits in the driver’s seat and watches Felixia with excited eyes. 

Felixia is stroking something in her hand- her erect penis. 

MARK
I want to suck you. 

FELIXIA

It’s gonna cost extra.  

Mark pulls out some bills and hands them to Felixia. 

FELIXIA (CONT’D)
Oh baby, I want you to suck me. 

Felixia takes the money and looks at Mark with bedroom eyes. 

Mark shifts toward Felixia, but as he does so he accidentally steps on a stuffed “Elmo” toy on the floor. Elmo squeaks and begins to sing a child’s song. 

Mark picks up the doll and throws it to the back of the van. However, Elmo continues to sing away. 

MARK
Sorry. It’s impossible to get my 
kids to pick up their junk. 

FELIXIA

Baby, it’s okay... 

Felixia wraps her fingers around Mark’s head and pulls him down to her. Mark’s head disappears between Felixia’s thighs. His head bobs up and down as he performs fellatio on Felixia. 

Felixia tilts her head back. She closes her eyes and moans with pleasure as Elmo continues singing in the background. 

EXT. CITY OF DRY LAKE - DAY 

BEGIN SERIES OF SHOTS: 

-A road sign reading “WELCOME TO DRY LAKE. POP. 20,000” has been spray-painted to read “WELCOME TO DRUNKTOWN POP 20,000”. 

-A large billboard shows a traditionally dressed Navajo lady beckoning travellers to stop. It reads in large letters, WELCOME TO DRY LAKE, GATEWAY TO THE NAVAJO RESERVATION!” 

-An elderly Navajo man herds a flock of sheep along a barbwire fence. 

-A drunk lays passed out in the stall of a car wash. 

-A turquoise vendor sells jewelry outside a local restaurant. 

-Kids play a pickup basketball game at the local park. 

-A Navajo lady leaves the local shopping center with shopping bags in one hand and a crying kid in the other. 

-Nizhoni get in her car and backs out of her parent’s home, a brick house with a two-car garage in a nice neighborhood. 

-Sick Boy takes a piss in an jail cell urinal. A drunk is passed out on a concrete slab beside him but doesn’t budge. 

-Felixia hitchhikes along a road. She passes by a small sign that reads, “NOW LEAVING DRY LAKE, BEGIN NAVAJO RESERVATION”. Past the sign is a sparsely populated, rural landscape. 

INT. HOSPITAL EXAM ROOM - DAY. 

Nizhoni stands on a hospital exam room scale. Her appearance is pretty simple. She has on little makeup, her hair is tied in a ponytail, and she wears a hoodie that reads, “MICHIGAN”. 

KIMBERLEY, 30, a cheerful Navajo nurse dressed in colorful nursing scrubs, writes Nizhoni’s weight down in her chart and then motions for her to sit down. Kimberley then places a thermometer under Nizhoni’s tongue. 

KIMBERLEY
So what brings you in today? 

NIZHONI
I just need to get a refill. 

Nizhoni takes out her empty prescription bottle and hands it to Kimberley. Kimberley reads the label. 

KIMBERLEY
Wow. These are pretty strong sleep 
meds. Have you considered anything a little less habit-forming? 

NIZHONI
Yes I have. This is what works. 

Kimberley thinks for a moment. 

KIMBERLEY
Have you ever considered any... 

alternative medicines? 

NIZHONI Alternative medicines? 

KIMBERLEY
One of my relatives is a medicine 
man. Sometimes patients don’t get what they’re looking for from the hospital and I like to refer them to more traditional methods. 

NIZHONI
Um, no thank you. I’m Christian. 

The thermometer beeps and Kimberley removes politely and returns the bottle to Nizhoni. Kimberley then wraps Nizhoni’s arm and takes her blood pressure. As she does so, she studies Nizhoni’s chart. She smiles. 

KIMBERLEY
Wow. This says your last visit was 

10 years ago. You must be healthy. 

NIZHONI
I actually don’t live here anymore. 

KIMBERLEY
Oh really? Where do you live? 

NIZHONI Michigan. 

KIMBERLEY
How did you end up way out there? 

NIZHONI
It’s where my adoptive parents are 
from. They live here but they sent me to boarding school in Michigan. I only come back during the summer. 

Kimberley studies the chart further and her expression becomes somber. 

KIMBERLEY
Oh dear. I didn’t read this part 
about your real mom and dad. 

NIZHONI

Really? What does it say? 

KIMBERLEY
I’m afraid I can’t share chart 
information with patients. Sorry. 

Nizhoni eyes her chart as Kimberley removes the arm cuff. 

KIMBERLEY (CONT’D)

Someone will be with you shortly. 

Kimberley then heads out and places Nizhoni’s chart in a bin outside the exam room door. As soon as Kimberley is gone Nizhoni jumps up and runs to the door. Nizhoni cracks it open, grabs her chart, and disappears back into the room. 

Nizhoni opens to the last entry, from 2003. A few words are highlighted, “Emergency Room”, “Auto Accident”, “7yo Native American Female. Mother, Darlene Pinto- DOA, BAC .23. Father, David “Buster” Pinto- DOA, BAC .31”. Nizhoni stops reading. 

She pulls out a pen and scribbles the word “Buster” on her hand. Suddenly, there is a knock at the door and Nizhoni panics. She slams the chart shut and jumps on the exam table. 

NIZHONI

Come in! 

DR. PHOEBE SMILES, 40s, a female Caucasian doctor with short hair and a white lab coat, enters the room. This is the same woman from Nizhoni’s graduation picture. Phoebe has a look of concern on her face. 

PHOEBE
Nizhoni?! Are you okay? I saw your 
name on the check-in sheet. 

NIZHONI
I’m fine, mom. Just need a refill. 

Phoebe sees the chart laying on the desk and picks it up. 

PHOEBE
What is this doing here? 

NIZHONI
I dunno... That nurse just left it. 

PHOEBE
(Sighs) I swear, these new nurses 
are more trouble than they’re worth... What’s the refill for? 

Nizhoni hands the prescription bottle to Dr. Smiles. 

PHOEBE (CONT’D)
I thought we were done with these? 
You’ve been sleeping fine lately. 

NIZHONI
I know. But the past few nights 
have been really bad. 

PHOEBE
I can’t just give you meds willy- 
nilly. These are highly addictive and you’re only supposed to be taking them for severe insomnia. 

NIZHONI
Mom, I’m having crazy dreams again. 

PHOEBE
I’m sorry but I just wouldn’t feel 

comfortable giving you a refill. 

NIZHONI
You’re such a hypocrite! You’re the 
one who put me on these and now you’re telling me I can’t have any? 

Phoebe doesn’t budge. 

NIZHONI (CONT’D)
Fine. Maybe I’ll take the nurse’s advice and go see a medicine man. 

PHOEBE
Nizhoni, Do you know where patients 
go when they find out a medicine men can’t help them? Here! And you know who ends up dealing with them? 

NIZHONI

You do. I know but- 

PHOEBE
That’s right! I do! Things are bad enough with all the poverty, gang violence, and drug abuse victims that come in off the reservation. The last thing I need is a bunch of witch doctors running around taking innocent people’s money. 

NIZHONI
Can I just have something to get me 
through the week? I barely slept. Phoebe thinks for a moment, then changes her mind. 

PHOEBE
Alright. I’m going to give you a 7- 
day supply. But just this one time. (Beat) You weren’t serious about seeing a medicine man were you? 

NIZHONI
What? No. That’s the last place I 
would ever go. 

Nizhoni looks at the name “Buster” written on the palm of her hand. She then slides that hand in her pocket. 

INT. COUNTY JAIL HOLDING CELL- DAY. 

Sick Boy wakes up to the sound of a police baton banging on iron bars. He opens his eyes and sits up, his head throbbing. He sits on a concrete slab in a jail cell crowded with other NAVAJO MEN. A POLICE OFFICER outside the cell barks out. 

POLICE OFFICER

“Luther Maryboy aka ‘Sick Boy’”. Where you at?
 

Sick Boy slowly raises his hand. 

POLICE OFFICER (CONT’D)

Grab your shit. You’re outta here.  

EXT. COUNTY JAIL - DAY - LATER. 

Sick Boy shuffles out the jail entrance with his belt and shoe laces in hand. He is joined by an Army recruiter.

KENNETH PADILLA, 36, a clean-cut Mexican man wearing Army camouflage. They walk together to the parking lot. 

KENNETH
I hope you had fun last night. 

Sick Boy says nothing. 

KENNETH (CONT’D) Are you aware you assaulted a 

police officer? 

SICK BOY
I barely hit him in the ear. 

KENNETH
It’s still assault. And assault is 

a non-wavable offense. 

SICK BOY
Man, it wasn’t my fault! Dude crept 

up on me like some kind a faggot. 

KENNETH
Careful what you say. Officer Nakai 

is a good friend of mine. 

SICK BOY
I swear it was a mistake. You think 

I want to get kicked out the Army? 

KENNETH You tell me. 

SICK BOY
Of course not! You think I want to 

be in this shit town with no jobs? 

KENNETH
Well, like I said, Officer Nakai is 

a friend of mine. And I explained to him your situation. 

SICK BOY And... What did he say? 

KENNETH
He’s gonna drop the charges. But 

let’s just say I owe him. Big time. 

SICK BOY
You are a lifesaver, yo. Thank you. 

 KENNETH
What the hell were you thinking? 

You know you’re leaving for basic training in 4 days. 

SICK BOY
I didn’t mean for this to happen. 

KENNETH
You think your drill sergeant is 
gonna let you slide with, “I didn’t mean for that to happen”? You think your enemy in combat is gonna let you off the hook like that? 

SICK BOY 

No.

KENNETH

No, what? 

SICK BOY

No, Sergeant. 

Kenneth and Sick Boy get to the parking lot and arrive at Kenneth’s car. He unlocks it and they open the doors. 

KENNETH
When you first came into my office 
you said you wanted to provide a better life for you and your family. Now I believe you, but you must understand serving in the Army is not a right. It’s a privilege. 

SICK BOY
I know. I won’t fuck up again. 

KENNETH
Damn straight. Because if you so 

much as get a parking ticket between now and Monday, that’s it. 

Sick Boy nods and they both get into the car. 

 INT. FELIXIA’S ROOM - DAY 

Felixia opens her bedroom window from outside and slinks in. Her bedroom is small. Clothes are draped over everything and cut-outs of fashion models are taped all over her wall. 

Felixia walks to her bed where a figure with blonde hair appears to be sleeping under the blanket. She pulls the blanket back, revealing a laundry pile and a wig. Just then, there is a knock at the door. 

VOICE (O.S.)

Felixia? Are you up? 

FELIXIA
Just a second! I’m changing! 

VOICE (O.S.)
Okay. I’m heading to town in a few 
minutes. Did you still need a ride? 

FELIXIA
Yes, grandma! I’ll be right out. 

Felixia stashes the wig under her pillow and shoves the laundry aside. She then dashes to her closet and begins looking for something to wear. 

A few minutes later, Felixia stands in front of a full length mirror wearing a new outfit. She wears a conservative black dress with turquoise jewelry. Her hair and makeup are cleaner and more natural looking. 

Satisfied, Felixia grabs a flyer that reads, “Women of the Navajo Calendar Auditions” from her dresser and heads out. 

INT. FELIXIA’S LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER 

Felixia enters her living room. The walls are covered with family photos and traditional Navajo art. There is plastic on the couch and a dusty home computer sits in the corner. 

Felixia peers into the kitchen, where her Grandma is cooking. 

RUTH JOHN, 65, is an elderly Navajo lady. She has a caring, yet slightly stern face, and wears her hair in a traditional Navajo bun. She wears a long billowy skirt with an apron. 

RUTH
I’ll be right there. I just have to 
make this burrito for your grandpa. 

Felixia sits at a dusty computer and turns on a dial-up modem, which beeps and hisses as it connects to the internet. 

Felixia then goes to Facebook. Her profile picture is a seductive photo of herself with the profile name, “Sexy Tranny Felixxxia”. Her Inbox has several new messages. 

Felixia opens a new email. It’s from “BALLIN’ A$$ NATIVE”, whose profile picture is a stack of money. The email says, “I want to taste that juicy cock of yours. How much do you charge? 555.1234. xoxo, Julius.” 

Felixia clicks on his picture, which shows Julius, a handsome and well-groomed Navajo homie. 

FELIXIA

Yummy. 

Felixia takes a piece of scratch paper and writes his number down. She puts it in her pocket as Ruth emerges from the kitchen. Felixia shuts down the computer and grabs her stuff. 

EXT. FELIXIA’S HOUSE - DAY - MOMENTS LATER 

Felixia and Ruth exit their home, a double-wide trailer nestled on a sparsely populated hillside. From the porch they have a breathtaking view of the southwestern landscape. 

Not far from the trailer is a HOGAN, an 8-sided traditional Navajo home that is also used for ceremonial purposes. 

HARMON JOHN, 66, a grizzled old Navajo man, is busy chopping wood next to a large wood pile. His face is weathered and so are his hands, and his gray hair is tied back in a pony tail. 

Ruth heads over to the wood pile and Felixia follows. 

FELIXIA
(Whispering) Don’t tell grandpa 
about the calendar. What is he doing anyway? 

RUTH 

He’s splitting firewood for a puberty ceremony. I told the people that want it to chop their own wood but it starts today and they still haven’t sent anyone. 

FELIXIA
How come he always ends up doing 
the hard work? 

RUTH
Because everyone think it’s easy to 
be a medicine man. 

Harmon sets his ax down and rubs one of his hands, which has begun to hurt from arthritis. Ruth sees this. 

RUTH (CONT’D)
Oh, Harmon. Why can’t you wait and 
see if someone shows up? 

HARMON 

I can’t wait all day for them. You think this wood is going to chop itself? Where you two off to?  

RUTH
I’m going to run some errands in 
town and Felixia has to go to some calendar audition. 

FELIXIA Grandma! 

RUTH
Oh, I’m sorry. It slipped. 

HARMON
Calendar? What kind of calendar? 

FELIXIA
The Women of the Navajo. 

HARMON
Like the one I have in the kitchen? 

FELIXIA Yeah, that one. 

HARMON
You know that’s the only fun your 
grandma lets me have? Beautiful ladies. Make me proud to be Navajo. They’re okay with you auditioning? 

RUTH
She says they invited her. 

FELIXIA
All it says is that you have to be 
between 16 and 25 to compete.
Harmon sits down and begins to unwrap his burrito. 

HARMON
You know, I was up this morning 
praying to the morning spirits. When I came outside, the first thing I saw was the Morning Star. I’ve never seen it that bright and beautiful before. Anyway, I started to pray and I kept thinking about the star. I thanked the Creator for allowing me to witness it. I felt so humbled to be in the presence of something so beautiful. And I don’t know why but I got so overwhelmed with emotion that I started to cry. Then I opened my eyes, and the star was gone! But I looked to the south and saw it again. It was moving and it had blinking lights. 

(MORE)  

HARMON (CONT'D)

(Laughs) Shit, here I was having this spiritual experience and the whole time I was praying to an airplane! 

Harmon laughs at himself as he takes a bite from his burrito. His then stares off into the distance. 

HARMON (CONT’D)
Yup, sometimes what we look for and 
what we get aren’t the same thing.
 

Felixia sighs. She doesn’t want to hear it, but nods anyway. 

INT. DRY LAKE HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY - Day 

Nizhoni walks briskly down the hall of the local high school. The halls are empty, except for a JANITOR who is putting up a large banner that reads, “WELCOME BACK, STUDENTS!” 

She arrives at an office with a sign on the open door that reads, “CANDICE YOUNG, COUNSELOR”. Nizhoni knocks and enters. 

INT. COUNSELOR’S OFFICE - DAY - CONTINUOUS

CANDICE YOUNG, late 30’s, is a Navajo woman with a pleasant and caring demeanor. She sits behind a desk doing paper work and looks up as Nizhoni enters the office. 

MRS. YOUNG
Nizhoni? I thought you were working 
at the soup kitchen today? 

NIZHONI
I am but I don’t start until lunch. 

Look, I know this is totally last minute but do you have any extra community service I could do today? 

Mrs. Young turns and examines a calendar on the wall. 

MRS. YOUNG
You’re really trying to pack the 
hours in, aren’t you? Let’s see... I’ve got a couple road techs that need help out on the reservation. 

NIZHONI
Do you have anything inside the 
city limits? 

MRS. YOUNG
That’s all I have until Monday. 

NIZHONI
Dang. I’ll be gone by then. There’s 
nothing you have inside the city? 

MRS. YOUNG
May I ask you a question? 

NIZHONI

Um, sure. 

MRS. YOUNG
When you came in at the beginning 
of the summer, you said you needed community service hours for your college scholarship. You’ve done all your work in the city, but for some reason you don’t want to do anything out on the rez. Why? 

NIZHONI

Because it’s dangerous. 

MRS. YOUNG

Who said that? 

NIZHONI

My mom. 

Nizhoni thinks. 

NIZHONI (CONT’D)
Mrs. Young, if I tell you something 
you promise not to tell my her? 

MRS. YOUNG
Our conversations are confidential. 

NIZHONI
You know how I’ve been trying to 
find my biological family? 

MRS. YOUNG
Yes. But you haven’t had much luck. 

NIZHONI
Well, My mom would freak out if she 
knew I was looking for them. Community service is the only time she doesn’t bother me and it’s the only time I can talk to people and try to find my family. 

MRS. YOUNG
Well, all I care about is that you 
do the work. Whoever you talk while you’re doing it is your business. 

NIZHONI
Oh! I also know why I haven’t had 
much luck. I’ve been looking for my dad David but this is the person I should have been asking about. 

Nizhoni shows her “Buster” written on her hand. 

MRS. YOUNG
If I may ask, why are you trying to 
find them, your biological family? 

NIZHONI
Well, I get these really bad dreams 
that my mom thinks are related to the accident. We’ve tried all kinds of medicine but none of it helps. If I could meet my real family I know it would give me some closure. 

MRS. YOUNG
Have you tried the adoption office? 

NIZHONI
They say I need to be 18, or have 
my parent’s permission. 

MRS. YOUNG
Well, I wish I could help. But I’m 
afraid the best I can do is offer you the hours with the road techs. 

Nizhoni thinks about her offer, but remains hesitant. 

NIZHONI
Um, no thank you. I’ll stick with 
the soup kitchen for now. 

MRS. YOUNG

Okay. Good luck. 

Mrs. Young smiles as Nizhoni gets up and heads out. 

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX - DAY 

Sick Boy exits Kenneth’s car in front of his home, an apartment in a low-income neighborhood of Dry Lake. He shuffles up the sidewalk to his apartment where a young Navajo girl is sitting outside his front door. 

MAX MARYBOY, 11, Sick Boy’s kid sister, is spunky and a bit of a tomboy. She wears a traditional NAVAJO RUG DRESS and DIRTY SNEAKERS and is busy studying some flash cards. 

Sick Boy sits down beside her. 

MAX

You stink. 

SICK BOY
It’s good to see you, too. What are 
you doing with those? 

MAX
It’s for summer school. We’re 
learning animals. 

Sick Boy looks at the flash cards. Each card has a picture of an animal on one side, and its name in Navajo on the other. 

SICK BOY
Alright. Let’s see what you got. 

Sick Boy takes the cards from Max and begins to test her. The first card shows a picture of a dog. 

MAX

Leechaa’i

Sick Boy nods. The next picture is of a mountain lion. 

MAX (CONT’D) 

Mosi Tsoh. 

 

Sick Boy nods. Next is an elephant. However, Max struggles. Sick Boy sees this and then points to his nose. 

SICK BOY

“Chiin”. 

MAX

Chiin. 

Sick Boy gestures as if he’s roping something with a lasso. 

SICK BOY

“Delohii”. 

MAX Delohii. 

SICK BOY
Now say, “Chiin Delohii”. 

MAX Chiin Delohii. 

SICK BOY
Good. It means, “nose like a rope”. 

Max turns over the elephant card. The back reads “Chiin Delohii”. Max smiles and Sick Boy hands the cards back. 

SICK BOY (CONT’D)

Angela inside? 

MAX

Yeah. 

SICK BOY

She mad? 

Max nods. Sick Boy sighs to himself and heads inside. 

INT. SICK BOY’S APARTMENT - DAY - CONTINUOUS

The screen door slams behind Sick Boy as he walks into his apartment’s small but clean living room. 

ANGELA MARYBOY, 20, a pregnant and beautiful Navajo woman with blonde streaked hair and manicured nails, sits at a small kitchen table for two. She is cutting coupons out of the local newspaper. 

Angela briefly stops cutting but doesn’t look up. Sick Boy walks over to the fridge and opens it up. It’s pretty bare. 

ANGELA
Don’t worry. I’m going to the 

grocery store in a few minutes. 

SICK BOY
Did I say anything about going to 
the grocery store? 

ANGELA
Somebody’s got to make dinner. 

SICK BOY I’ll go get it. 

ANGELA
And how are you getting food? 

SICK BOY
You didn’t cash my check? 

ANGELA
I did but there were 2 overdrafts. 
Most of the check went to that.
Sick Boy closes the fridge as Angela resumes cutting. 

ANGELA (CONT’D)
I heard you pulled a gun on a cop 
last night. 

SICK BOY
I hit him in the ear. That’s all. 

ANGELA
Great! I’m so glad you only hit him 

in the ear! Luther, what if your recruiter finds out? 

SICK BOY
He already knows. He talked to the 

police and he dropped the charges. Angela sighs and shakes her head. 

SICK BOY (CONT’D)

Why is Max wearing a rug dress? 

ANGELA
Well, that’s where the rest of the 
paycheck is going. I’m taking her to see a medicine man. He’s going to do a puberty ceremony for her. 

SICK BOY
What? When did this happen? 

ANGELA
I would have told you if you 

weren’t busy running around punching cops. 

SICK BOY
I’m just saying, this can’t wait 

until I leave for basic training? 

ANGELA
No. She had her first period and 

the ceremony needs to be done within 4 days of that. 

SICK BOY
Whoa, too much information. 

ANGELA

You asked. 

SICK BOY
Fine. What do you need from me? 

ANGELA
I already made arrangements. I’m 
taking her out to the medicine man’s place and she’ll be out there for 4 days. But I need you to go by your mom’s place and pick up Max’s moccasins. 

SICK BOY
Does she need moccasins that bad? 

ANGELA
Yes. They’re for the ceremony. And 

I sure as hell ain’t gonna be the one to go over there. 

SICK BOY
What’s that supposed to mean? 

ANGELA
Look, I know she’s your mom and I’m 
not gonna say she’s crazy, but the court did decide YOU were a better legal guardian for Max than her. 

SICK BOY
Fine. I’ll swing by and pick’em up. 

ANGELA
Okay then. I’m out to drop Max off 
and pick up dinner. 

Angela gathers the coupons and stands up but is slow to do so. She braces her lower back with one hand and caresses her pregnant belly with the other. Sick Boy sees this. 

SICK BOY

Let me get dinner too. 

Angela thinks, then hands him a coupon that reads “2 for 1, Hamburger Helper”. She grabs her purse and heads out. 

EXT. CASINO - DAY

Felixia gets out of her grandma’s pick-up truck and walks into the front entrance of the “DRY LAKE INDIAN CASINO”. 

INT. CASINO DINER - DAY - MOMENTS LATER 

Felixia walks into a diner and looks around. It’s mostly TRUCKERS and LOCALS but Felixia finds who she’s looking for. 

EUGENE HENRY, 23, a flamboyant gay Navajo man sits in a booth by himself. He wears sunglasses and sips a cup of coffee. 

Felixia walks over and slides into the booth across from him. She doesn’t notice the stares coming from the other patrons as she walks by. 

EUGENE
Girl, people are staring at you. 

FELIXIA
So. Let them stare. Did you get it? 

Eugene reaches in his jacket and takes out a small piece of laminated plastic. It is a fake ID card. The fake ID has a recent picture of Felixia with the new name, “Felixia John”. 

Felixia takes out her old ID which has a picture of her as a boy and reads, “Felix John”. 

FELIXIA (CONT’D)
Wow. I can’t tell which one’s fake. 

EUGENE
I promised I wouldn’t ask but now I 

can’t help myself. Why did you need this in such a hurry? 

FELIXIA
Okay, remember that calendar I 
tried out for last month? 

Felixia digs into her purse and pulls out a folded-up letter. She slides it to Eugene, who opens it. The letterhead reads “Women of the Navajo Calendar”. 

EUGENE
“We are thrilled to invite you for 
our final selection round, this Saturday at the Dry Lake Casino Convention Hall. Please bring one valid form of ID.” 

FELIXIA I made the finals! 

EUGENE
But the calendar is for the 

reservation’s most beautiful women. 

FELIXIA
Are you saying I’m not beautiful? 

EUGENE
I’m saying that you’re not a woman. 

FELIXIA
So. The rules only say contestants 
must be between 16-25. Besides, all I need is something for my resume. 

EUGENE
A resume? Since when do you care 
about a resume? 

FELIXIA
“Act locally, think globally”. I 
read online that the best way to establish yourself as a model is to find work locally, then move into a bigger market. If I get into the calendar then I have something for my resume when I move to New York. 

EUGENE
Modeling? New York? Girl, have you 
ever thought about being realistic?
 

Felixia snatches the flyer away and stuffs it in her purse. 

EUGENE (CONT’D)
Look, I’m sorry if I sound bitchy 
but you know people will not be happy if they find out. 

Eugene takes off his sunglasses. One of his eyes is purple and nearly swollen shut. 

FELIXIA
What happened to your eye?! 

EUGENE
I ran into some “unhappy” people 

last night. 

FELIXIA

Are you okay? 

Eugene says nothing. He puts his glasses back on and gets up. 

EUGENE
You know what? Forget everything I 
said. Give’em hell at the audition. 

FELIXIA Thanks, girl. 

EUGENE
Listen. There’s a party tonight at 

Tracy’s. Come and we’ll celebrate. 

FELIXIA Celebrate what? 

EUGENE
America’s Next Top Felixia! Duh! 

Eugene snaps his fingers in the air, then catwalks out of the diner. Truckers and diner patrons watch him with puzzled expressions. Felixia smiles, admiring her new fake ID.