A MOVIE TREATMENT

Beyond the Smoking Mirror

Are you a movie producer? Here’s an original film idea. Just a reader? Tell us what you think.

Copyright 2012 Ed Newman and Dan Hansen

PART I

How Dusty & Lila Find the Journal

PART II

What They Learn from the Journal

PART III

Journey to Mexico

PART IV

Beyond the Smoking Mirror

Spring 2012

Based on a True Story
Which is why the world didn’t end in 2012.

PART I
How Dusty & Lila Find the Journal

Scene 1:
Somewhere just west of Denver, Colorado. Movie opens with Dusty Greene, a healthy 18-year-old, hand-grapple free-climbing a steep mountain grade with a bedroll across his back. He reaches the top as credits roll, unrolls his mat and lies on his back to look at the stars. Like a fiery arrow an extraordinarily bright shooting star streaks through the canopy of the night sky.

There are four main characters introduced in the scene that follows.

Dusty’s Father: Middle-aged Gordon Greene, a sci-fi/fantasy writer living on trust fund money, who once had a promising writing career, winning a pair of Nebula Awards for two of his stories and gaining consideration for a Hugo for his third novel. His stories were so original that he was being talked about as the next Philip K. Dick. His life changed dramatically when his wife Phoebe was killed in an auto accident ten years ago. Gordon succumbed to the “writers disease” and damaged his reputation as a writer through a series of weak, careless books. Confidence shaken by loss of wife, sees world as a hostile place, everything good corrupted by lawyers, exploitation, manipulation, heartlessness. He is into philosophy and now considers himself an agnostic.

Dusty’s Mother: After an out-of-body experience during surgery when she was six, Phoebe Greene took an interest in metaphysical phenomenon and studied world religions in college, obtaining recognition during her Master’s program studies for research related to Central American native cultures.

Dusty Greene: Dusty was strongly influenced by the convergence of both his parents’ interests. He was eight, and in the car when his mother was killed. When he lost his mom he also seemed to lose his father in a fog of alcohol and weed. Dusty had to become strong on his own, but became aloof in relationships and found his solace as a mountain climber. But he’s not self-centered. He cares about others, and his primary quest is to help his father get his writing career back on track.

Dusty’s Close Friend: Lila Fontane has a thing for Dusty but gives him space. In addition to being athletic like Dusty, Lila is a brilliant puzzle-solver and will play a key role in this film helping Dusty navigate the challenges that lie ahead. She’s tough physically as well, having mastered Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Thai Fighting. She’s also working out a measure of internal self-mastery. She also has a machine shop in her bedroom, which is attached to the garage. Noteworthy: the name Lila means, “Protector of men.”

Scene 2
Dusty’s father is drunk again, sitting at the kitchen table. Gordon asks his son to go into his mom’s office to fetch her Mayan atlas. Dusty is standing in the room looking at all the amulets, primitive memorabilia, books, Aztec masks, Mayan headdresses and artwork, bones and such. While look at a B&W photo of his mom with a native, he studies her features and has flashback of her death… He plops down onto a leather armchair until his father’s voice calls him back.

We learn about Gordon’s writing career when Dusty returns with the Atlas as the camera pans past his Nebula Awards and all kinds of sci fi and fantasy stuff on the walls, etc.

Lila, the Problem Solver, comes over to pick up Dusty to go to a grad party. She enters the house and we watch her notice and solve a complicated Platonic Solid Rubik’s puzzle. Gordon comments on her acumen, but Lila comments that “Dusty is one puzzle I haven’t figured out yet.” We also catch a glimpse of Dusty’s wit as he likes to point out hilarious ironies and pose absurd questions. Scene ends with Dusty carrying his passed out father up the stairs to his bedroom.

Scene 3
At The Grad Party… miscellaneous interactions reveal Dusty and Lila’s characters and relationship. Around a campfire after dark ghost stories are being told and they learn about a Haunted House along with a variety of rumors that have been circulating about this former B&B that had been the home of an anthropologist who disappeared. Some say he died in the house and the body was never found. His wife boarded it up and moved away, forbidding the property from ever being sold for 100 years. One rumor is that police were paid off not to investigate. Another rumor is that he just disappeared. A third had to do with ghosts of wild animals…

Dusty and Lila leave in Lila’s 1970 modified Challenger (white, with red & blue stripes) to go see if they can find it, but so does a black 1977 Jaguar Coupe that belongs to the Daltons. A chase ensues. The Jag is a faster car, but Lila’s driving skills are superior on the windy mountain road and the Dalton’s end up losing control, crashing without totaling the car. Dusty & Lila reach the house and explore the exterior with iPhone flashlights to determine what they need to bring to enter when they return.

Scene 4
The next day, at Ruby’s Diner, Dusty and Lila are planning their day when the Daltons barge in, pissed. The owner tells them to take it outside, but before anything happens, a police officer pulls over to where they’re scuffling and says, “Is there a problem here?”

Scene 5
Lila’s house. Lila is working out on a heavy bag in the garage gym/bedroom, punching and kicking. Dusty is lying on a couch talking with her about his dad, and we learn of his biggest life problems: (a) doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, and (b) wishes there were some way to get his dad’s life get back on track.

Scene 6
Lila and Dusty return to the house with screw gun, prybar, flashlights. Lila has her lock picking kit. Upon entering the house they are fascinated by all the Aztec and Mayan masks, amulets, etc. Dusty is astonished at how familiar it all is to his mother’s career interests and the things he grew up with.

As they explore, they make two discoveries. In the basement they find a model of the Teotihuican site with its Temples of the Sun, Moon, Jaguar and Quetzlcoatl in astonishing detail. There are also drawings pinned to the walls of various underground passages between the temples. They continue to explore the house and in Dr. Comstock’s upstairs lair, Dusty accidentally drops his cell phone onto a grate and when he bends to pick it up his pen falls thru. They pull up the grate, and discover Comstock’s journal.

PART II
What they Learn from the Journal

Scene 7: Dusty reads the journal.
When Gordon reads the journal he recognizes parallels to Phoebe’s research.
Lila reads the journal.

Dr. Comstock’s History
1. Expert in Mayan and Aztec anthropology
2. During a research trip he discovered the secret of the Cult of the Jaguar, a.k.a. the Colos, a Nahuatl tribe devoted to worship of the Tezcatlipoca, one of the four sons of the Sun God on High. The Colos are dedicated to obfuscation lest Quetzlcoatl, the God of Light, be awakened and Tezcat’s power overthrown. The cult performs a ritual sacrifice every 52 years to perpetuate the reign of Tezcat, whose symbol is the Jaguar.

— These sacrifices are performed underground beneath the Temple of the Jaguar in Teotihuacan

Comstock notices that the temples of Teotihuacan correlate to the layout of the Pyramids in Egypt, and because of Gordon Greene’s knowledge of astronomy he recognizes, too, a correlation to the Sirius star system.

— After finding the equivalent of a “Rosetta Stone” that he can use as a dictionary, Dr. Comstock learns the location of a secret room and the Smoking Mirror, a portal to the astral world. He learns how to activate the Aztec Sun Stone which opens a secret wall that reveals the black obsidian mirror… lights the torches, etc. and enters into the next world through the haze, but is frightened back by what he encounters there. He does not reach the spiders, bats and scorpions but learns about these from a priest who has knowledge of the ways of the Colos.

— He records his experiences, and returns a second time… his last notations in the journal.

According to Comstock’s journal, 2012 was slated to be the end of the world.
Dusty and Lila bring the journal to the University to have Professor Leland Wiles confirm its authenticity. Wiles takes the journal and authenticates it, but says it has to remain property of the University archives for research purposes.

PART III
The Journey to Mexico

Gordon overhears Dusty and Lila trying to figure out how to fit a Mexico trip in before summer ends. They’re both going away to college in September. Dusty’s dad intervenes and suggests that they will learn more on a Mexico expedition than anything they’ll get from their first year of college. Dusty’s not even sure what he will major in. Lila likes the idea because they were going off to different colleges.

They drive to Mexico in Gordon’s Land Rover with backpacks, hiking gear, spelunking gear, LED headlamps….

The plan is for Gordon to drop off the kids in the neighborhood of the Temples of Teotihuacan, birthplace of the gods. Their first task after finding a place to call “camp” is to locate the Medicine Woman, Centehua to obtain the crystals they will need to enter the mirror.

Centehua reads their aura and sees that they are good. Centehua (whose name means “Only One”) communicates telepathically by placing her hand on their foreheads, fuel injecting their minds with a montage of imagery, data and sound bytes. (They both realize at this point that the world depends on them to save the world from cataclysm.) Centehua refers to Lila as the “protector of men,” indicating her importance and relates to them three important truths:
1. The Colos are deceivers.
2. She tells them where the underground caves begin.
3. She tells Dusty what he will encounter inside the mirror… the first thing he will encounter is the goddess Mictlancihuatl, ruler of Mictlan, the Northern realm of the dead.

To remain immune from the first adversities Dusty must raise his chakras to a higher level each time he encounters a new adversary. And show no fear.

On his iPhone Dusty has photos of the cave maps from Comstock’s journal, which are underground beneath Teotihuacan’s Avenue of the Dead which runs from the Temple of the Sun to the Temple of the Moon, where there are temples to the Feathered Serpent and the Jaguar.

Upon finding the secret entrance to the underground caves, they must do some difficult spelunking to find their way to the underground altar in the Sun Stone Room. The Sun Stone on the left wall is a combination lock that Comstock actually wrote about in his journal.

Lila uses sticks to turn the dials and when the dials are in sync the wall behind them opens. A smaller room appears, and the Smoking Mirror is revealed. Dusty and Lila light the torches and plug in the necessary crystals. The smoke from the torches causes the black obsidian to turn cloudy and …. Dusty presses through into the astral plane.

PART IV
Beyond the Smoking Mirror

As anticipated, Dusty’s first encounter is with Mictlancihuatl who rapidly floats toward him from the dark distance. She cannot touch him but aims to terrify him, her face skull-featured.

The Colos have arrived to thwart their mission, but the staircase into the Sun Stone Room comes up from below and Lila uses her martial arts training to keep them at bay while Dusty goes deeper into the cavern beyond the Smoking Mirror.

Next, Dusty encounters the spiders. But now several Colos are through the mirror. Dusty moves forward, his lower chakras glowing as they rise. The spiders rush toward him thru the cave in a swarm, but then he hears his mother’s voice and is calmed. They flow past him like a stream. The Colos are not so lucky. The lowest chakra is bright in the presence of the goddess of death and they are overcome with fear as the spiders completely bury them, their whimpers and screams receding as Dusty moves forward thru the underground halls.

The bats come next, and Dusty braces himself, centering his energy and raising his chakra another notch. The bats also flow past, the wind of their wings rustling his wispy hair… Dusty next arrives at the mouth of the scorpion cave. The scorpions glow red in formations that correspond with emotions… creating distress, regret, anger and silliness to play across Dusty’s face. Dusty hears again the instruction to take control of his emotions. Dusty moves safely forward through the vibrating red scorpions….

He enters a room that looks like a catacomb of skeletons, skulls and Aztec designs. Tezcat, the Jaguar, is in the room. What Dusty sees is a silhouette of the Jaguar moving thru the room. It looks like a void or a moving black hole. As Dusty follows the Jaguar, he remembers the chase scene with the 77 Jag Coupe and thinks of Lila, her action skills and strength which causes his heart chakra to light up as the cat leaps at him, knocking him down. Instead of ripping him to pieces, the cat purrs and licks his face. Dusty laughs and orders the Jag to fetch the bone… as the Jag returns the bone the jaguar shape-shifts to become Tezcat.

Each foe defeated raises Dusty’s kundalini another notch. Tezcat tells Dusty that this bone will free Quetzlcoatl. Dusty must run to the Quetzlcoatl Temple and use it to shatter a luminescent containment shield which has kept Quetzlcoatl in a deep sleep.

Dusty succeeds in shattering the shield and awakens the legendary god-man.

In the dialogue that follows Dusty expresses his concern that Quetzlcoatl was going to re-institute human sacrifices. Quetzlcoatl explains to Dusty that human sacrifices have never ceased. The sacrifice of innocents has continued in a new form…. It’s called Collateral Damage. The rulers of this world, acting as agents of the God of War Huitzilpolchti, have allowed innocent blood to be shed continuously, always in the name of some “higher good.”

A massive storm with lightning and thunder circles in. Quetzlcoatl shapeshifts into the plumed serpent and Dusty leaps onto his back and they fly up above the storm clouds for an encounter with Xipe Tote (attired in Golden Corn Husks, the symbol of regeneration) who is persuaded to join forces with Quetzlcoatl and Dusty to defeat Huitzilpolchti with lightning power to defeat Huitzilpolchti, the God of War.

On the altar beneath the Temple of the Jaguar Lila is bound and a masked priest is about to plunge an obsidian blade into her chest…. but when the war god Huitzilpolchti is defeated by the corncob’s exploding kernels…. the blade falls from the priests hands and the Colos flee.

When all the drama subsides Quetzlcoatl removes one of his feathers and gives it to Dusty and says he will understand the meaning of this shortly.

Then Dusty’s mother comes to him in the form of a goddess. She blesses him and says the feather plume from Quetzlcoatl is also a quill that Dusty can give to his father. “It will give him much success.”

She tells Dusty that she went to Gordon in a dream and told him to return to Teotihuacan and wait for him at the Temple of the Sun. “

When Dusty returns through the mirror he unties Lila… they embrace and kiss.

They meet Gordon at the Temple of the Sun and all hug hard. Dusty gives him the quill and Gordon tells about the research he’s been doing about the Aztec gods and he says, “I’ve got a great idea for a story.”

Written by

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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