If You’d Only Let Me In
By Melanie Santiago
Everyone tells Lucia she needs help, so she goes to an esteemed counseling center. Despite wanting to open up, the scars from her past make it difficult,but are they warning her of something sinister?
Fade in audio of Dark Ambient Melodies mix compiled by In Quantum for Cryo Chamber.
1 INT. EQUII COUNSELOR’S OFFICE – DAY
Lucia, 17, sits across from the EQUII counselor at a long boardroom table in a rather warm room. Lucia has dark, thick hair that sits on her shoulders, big brown eyes that scream “help me”, and a scar running down from her left cheekbone to her lower lip that she tries to hide with her hair.
For several weeks, Lucia has been distant and stressed and eventually stopped going to school. After disclosing that recent family issues resulted in arguments and even physical altercations, she was referred to EQUII, a renowned facility that specializes in emotional equilibrium.
The EQUII counselor, a particularly femimine and petite woman with light skin and platinum blonde hair, stares directly at Lucia with piercing blue eyes.
Can you tell me more about how that made you feel?
Uh, can I pass on answering that question?
Sure. How about another question? Can you tell me more about your family?
Well, I live with my mom, my fifteen-year-old sister, Valeria, and my seven-year-old sister, Isabella…
Oh, so you’re the oldest? How would you describe your relationship with your family?
I love them so much, but I…I don’t really want to get into that.
Lucia, I understand, but know that I just want to help you and if you would only let me in I could do that.
I appreciate it, I really do, but I don’t think that I’m ready to go into detail about my family and my personal life.
Okay, so how about instead of voicing your feelings out loud to me, you write them down and I won’t be able to see it. Does that sound like something you’ll be able to do?
The counselor passes Lucia a piece of paper and a pen. Lucia starts writing and floods the page with her frustration, sadness, and anger.
It seems you’re writing a lot. Does writing help?
Uh-huh. It’s really the only way I’ll be able to talk about this stuff.
I’m glad to hear that.
The counselor focuses on Lucia with a creepy grin on her face. Lucia looks up and the grin disappears.
Is something wrong, Lucia ?
No, I just wasn’t sure if it was okay to write instead of talking to you…
It’s perfectly fine. Just go ahead and write as much as you can, okay?
A mysterious banging sound disrupts Lucia’s concentration.
What was that?
I’m sure it’s nothing. It’s probably just the pipes.
The counselor continues to stare at Lucia and smiles with artificial sincerity.
Why don’t you go back to writing?
Lucia returns to the paper and continues to write.
Lucia, if you don’t mind me asking, how did you get your scar?
Lucia looks up from the paper and touches her scar. She has a flashback of the night she got it.
Red and green flashes blur Lucia’s vision as she begins to breathe hard and sob uncontrollably. The sound of a high-pitched scream snaps her out of her trance.
What happened? I lost you for a second.
I just um…um…I heard a scream. What’s going on out there?
I’m sure it’s nothing.
GIRL (Off Screen)
No!!! Please!!!! I don’t wanna die!!!!
That doesn’t sound like nothing. I need to help her.
I guess I can’t stop you.
Lucia enters the hallway.
2 INT. HALLWAY – DAY
Lucia sees a girl lying against a wall. Her eyes are the color of pure darkness.
A man comes out from an office room and throws the girl over his shoulder. He pulls out a phone and dials a number.
Hey boss, I got another one. Bringing her down now.
Lucia runs in the opposite direction away from the mysterious man. She continues down a hallway and comes across other individuals who have encountered the same fate as the girl she left behind.
The counselor sees Lucia run and takes out her phone.
She’s heading to the west wing, retrieve her for me please. Unharmed, of course.
Lucia runs into a dark corner where she encounters the counselor.
What the hell is going on here? Who are you people?
A dark and tall figure appears behind Lucia and knocks her out.
3 MYSTERIOUS ROOM
Lucia wakes up to shrieking cries and a pulsing blue light. She tries to pick herself up from the ground, but realizes that her hands are chained to the floor and she’s trapped in a clear box.
Across from her, Lucia sees another girl in a box with her back to Lucia. She wears a white jumpsuit with the numbers #0912. Lucia tries to get the attention of the girl.
Hey, do you know where we are? Do you know how we can get out of here?
The girl turns around revealing pitch black eyes. The skin on the right side of her face is peeling off exposing her teeth.
It’s the eyes.
I first started writing this horror script for an assignment in film class. I’m interested in exploring what makes horror so scary. Psychological thrillers with social commentary like Get Out and Rosemary’s Baby are my favorite genre of movies. Those films resonate more because the underlying fears are scarier than ghosts and demons because they are grounded in real life. In that vein, I wanted to channel real-life fears into this screenplay. Pulling from my personal experience with counselors, I thought about having to sit in a room with strangers and talk about my problems. I was also inspired by The Matrix, especially the scene where Neo wakes up in a machine and sees that everyone else is trapped. As I continue to expand on my screenplay, I want the story to go in that direction. I was really amazed at the story building and the way that the writers crafted this story about this dystopian society as I struggled with how to craft a world as detailed as theirs and make it make sense to those reading it. Neo’s growth as a character especially stood out to me as he was a victim of this plot and unable to get accustomed to reality, but he was able to become someone strong and a great asset to his team which I wanted to replicate in crafting my main character.
Melanie Santiago is a New Yorker, born and raised. She developed a love for writing at a young age and continued to pursue it through middle and high school. She is also deeply interested in filmmaking and screenwriting, which she plans on pursuing in the near future.