Hester’s Big Night

A mean girl’s high school prank on Halloween night leads to a night of humiliation, mistaken identity, and murder. No one will really know what happened for thirty years, but Hester will finally get what’s coming to her. Boy, will she get what’s coming.

A Screenplay

Hester’s Big Night begins with a scene of workers digging up a grave, observed by two small, opposing camps of upset people. A cop stands by to keep the peace.

Milly, a middle-aged woman, passes by this scene in a hurry, on her way to another gravesite for the funeral of her sister, Hester. Milly joins her nephew standing by Hester’s gravesite. It’s clear that there is tension between them; neither has much to say to the other. But feelings soon burst out. The nephew declares, “Mom was a chain-smoking drunk. I don’t owe her anything. What would've become of me if it wasn’t for my dad?” Aunt Milly responds, “At least you had a father. Ours left us thirty years ago tonight—no warning, no anything. Never called or wrote, not once. Hester was never the same after he took off.”

Thirty years earlier, it is Halloween evening. Jim Burkett is only now arriving home from a business trip. His wife is already surly and well on her way to drunkenness. The younger of Jim’s two teenage daughters, Milly (seen before as Aunt Milly), is in a panic about her first date with a Mitch, a senior. The elder daughter Hester, also a senior in High School, can hardly pause to greet Jim—she’s on her way to join friends for Halloween night festivities. Once Milly leaves too, the gloves are off between Jim and his wife. Their argument is obviously part of an ongoing marital breakdown. Jim declares that he’s had enough. He packs his bags and leaves the house.

Hester’s clique comes together at the local spook alley. (Milly, though younger, accompanies them, but only because she’s on a date with Mitch, a senior.) The group determines to make this the most memorable Halloween of their lives. This is, after all, Halloween of their senior year! THE Halloween.

The group’s hijinks include setting up a high-school nerd to be publicly mocked at a big party at a friend’s house. Later, Hester and Tracy separate themselves in order to scare the pants off of their friends at the local abandoned, “haunted” house. There they run into the same nerd. Now post-humiliation, he is wearing a frightening costume and seems determined to get revenge on Hester.

A fast and grisly downward spiral begins from there.

Events take Hester and various others from the “haunted” house to the local cemetery, and even to the local church where, by coincidence, Tracy’s great-grandmother lies in her casket, ready to be buried the next day. Later they end up back at the cemetery, at the open grave that awaits Tracy’s relative.

This Halloween will be memorable, that’s for sure. But when Jim, Hester and Milly’s dad, turns his car around instead of heading for airport—for the sake of his girls—will he save the day? Or only make it horribly, horribly worse?
Copyright 2016 T.L. Fischer
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