Script by Alice Murgia

On the doorstep Draft N.2 28/01/2014


Alice Murgia

Based on “A cupboard full of Coats” by Yvvette Edwards


It is dark, noises of crockery and running water.A teenage girl, JINX, opens a the door of a cupboard, turns on the light inside it; several colored long coats are hanging, the hanger just in the middle of the cupboard is empty. She closes the cupboard and walks with hesitation in the hallway; a yellow light comes from a door wide open. Jinx looks through it. The kitchen is neat and tidy.

A tall man in his late 30s, BERRIS, stands in front of the sink washing dishes; he blocks the direct neon lights creating an intimidating dark silhouette. He wears smart cloths and shoes. Jinx stands silently on the door step looking at him. He keeps on cleaning the same pan, then he straightens, turns towards the door and looks at Jinx; he doesn’t look into her eyes. She holds her breath and jumps in surprise.


Is your mum coming back anytime soon?

JINX I don’t know.

Berris places down the pan with a loud noise, looks out of the window, takes two plates from the three that are next to him and two glasses of water on the dining table; each on the opposite side of it.

It is grilled salmon fillet. He sits down and starts eating, tapping his fingers on the table. She looks a the other plate and at his tapping fingers.


Hurry up, eat it while it’s still warm.

The girl looks confused nods and goes to sit at the table.

He is eating slowly, he has big red eyes, his shirt is stained with oil she notices it and looks at him for a while. She takes a small bite, then she smiles, she starts eating eagerly. Berris looks at her for a moment and snickers.


Behave yourself kid, will you?

She blushes and straightens on her chair, she leans on the seat back.



This salmon is great! I didn’t know you could cook.

Stops and steals a glance at him, he seems relaxed.

BERRIS Of course I can.


(looks down and raise her


Mum doesn’t like fish, you know? she never cooks it!


Berris stops eating and looks at Jinx in the eyes, invasive glare. Jinx adjust herself on the chair.


(raises his voice, authoritative)

What was your mother wearing when she went out?



The green and yellow dress.. the one with flo…


(interrupting her) Which coat?

Jinx looks on him, she pauses.


The camel colored one.

He smirks and stands up leaving food on the plate. He gets a toothpick and starts cleaning his teeth nauseatingly, then he puts the toothpick on the table; it has pieces of an indistinguishable green spice on it. Jinx stops eating as well and stares at the toothpick. Her hands gripped on the table.

A noise of key turning into a lock. Heels on the parquet. A gorgeous woman is standing on the doorway smiling happily, JOY. She is taking her long camel coat off.



I’m hom…

She looks at Berris; he has an unsettling smile on his face and she stops unbuttoning her coat.

In two long steps Berris is 2 cm away from the mother’s face. He raises his arm as if he wants to beat her. Joy lowers her head and closes her eyes submissively. Jinxs instinctively stands up and moves noisily the chair. Berris freezes then he turns slightly his head towards Jinx, Jinx steps back, he stops. He looks at Joy.


Do you remember why I gave you this coat?

Berris strokes the open wound on the mother’s lower lip, a strikingly violet bruise.


You don’t want another coat, do you?

(flattering voice) Isn’t this one enough for you?

He let his hand off her face, she takes his hand and holds it tightly, he looks at it, and then at her, and she is gently smiling at him. He lets go of her hand and walks out of the room.


Next time you ought to be home and have the dinner ready for when I come back home from work.

He pauses.


There is a plate for you there. But you don’t like fish and it’s probably cold by now.

Joy is surprised and smiles happily, she lets go of her bag an runs after Berris.

JOY. (O.C.)

No, I do, I do love fish, and I’m sure it’s gonna stay warm for a long time.

Jinx sits on the floor.


The cupboard is left open with the light on, the coats are colorful and the hanger left empty before had now a


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