Honeysuckle Blues



Anne Hathaway, dressed as the White Queen, walks hand-in-hand with Jeff down a cobblestone  walkway through a beautiful English garden. The path runs right alongside a huge hedge of rose bushes, twenty feet tall at least. The two walk in silence, enjoying each other’s company. 

Anne Hathaway looks to Jeff to see how he is enjoying the garden. The look of relaxation and serenity on his face brings a glow to hers.

A butterfly dances around Anne Hathaway’s head and then lands on her nose.

ANNE HATHAWAY: (with joyous surprise) Oh!

Jeff laughs. 

The butterfly launches from her nose and dances in front of Jeff’s face. The butterfly tips his tiny hat, a purple bowler, before bouncing laughingly away on the breeze. 

Anne Hathaway and Jeff walk down the path a few more feet.

Slurping and sucking noises are heard from the other side of the rose bushes. Anne Hathaway freezes and with her palm, commands Jeff to do the same. Jeff looks at Anne. Her eyes say, “listen! I hear something!”

Anne Hathaway taps on one of the leaves of the rose hedge as one might tap on a shoulder to get someone’s attention. She leans in close to the hedge and whispers into one of the red roses

ANNE HATHAWAY: (very quietly) If you please.

The rose hedge parts like drapes at her bidding and opens a window about two feet wide. Jeff and Anne move to peer through the opening. 

On the other side of the hedge is a blonde haired boy of nine standing by a huge arbor covered in honeysuckle vines. The honeysuckle flowers are about the size of trumpet bells, very large for honeysuckle blooms. The boy has one of the blooms inserted between his lips and is sucking loudly. 

Jeff’s eyes light up when he sees what the boy is doing. He leans in close to Anne Hathaway’s face.

JEFF: (barely a whisper, mostly mouthing the words) I remember doing this!!

Anne Hathaway places her index finger over her lips signaling “quiet” to Jeff. 

They both turn to watch the boy. 

The boy drops the emptied flute onto the ground and plucks another from the vine. From the pointy end of the trumpet, he pulls a green golf-ball-sized botanical sphere, the remnants of the stem, which in turn withdraws a long nectar-coated filament from the flower. It is so wet with the sweet, liquid goodness, it splashes onto the boys face as he pulls it from the flower. 

The boy laughs with glee and licks and slurps every drop from the filament. When the filament is dry, he drops it to the ground and sucks what’s left of the nectar from the white trumpet of the bloom. 

No sooner has he finished with this flower than he has grabbed a new one jerking it violent from the vine. A slight look of shock and concern flashes over Jeff’s face but as soon as the boy is drinking the liquid sugar from this bloom, Jeff is lost in the moment with him once again. 

Jeff’s mouth waters so much a tiny drop of spittle escapes from the corner of his mouth. Anne mops it away with her lace hankie. 

By now the boy is sucking so furiously on the next flower he chokes a bit on the juice. A troubled  look comes over Jeff’s face. 

JEFF: (whispered but urgently) He should slow down! He’s had enough!

The boy turns so that his belly can be seen. It is growing enormous, distended with gluttony. His eyelids are heavy and he has the look of deep intoxication as if besotted with liquid opioids. 

Jeff moves with furrowed brow towards the opening as if to cross to the boy’s side of the hedge to intervene. Anne stops him by placing a hand on his chest. Her smile says, “sorry not allowed.”

Jeff watches the boy with continued distress. The boy continues to choke down the liquid even though it is almost impossible to imbibe any more. Eventually he’s body simply cannot take in anymore and the full amount of the last flower’s-worth he has drunk spews forth from his throat. Jeff is horrified at the site. Anne turns away unable to watch. 

The boy falls to his hands and knees. He begins to retch. He vomits black blood onto the grass– a little at first and then more. More retching and a full two gallons is ejected onto the ground. The boy cries in pain and fear. Jeff shares in his distress. 

The boy continues to vomit until his distended stomach is flat and then concave; all the liquid in his body seems to be exiting and he is quickly becoming a shriveled and pruned version of the beautiful boy that stood there moments before. 

He seems to weigh about half of what he did when we first discovered him. His skin is blanched white and  is paper thin, the veins are clearly visible beneath the surface. His eyes are sallow and the look of death is creeping into them. 

Still, he reaches up toward one of the low-hanging flowers still on the vine.


Jeff launches toward the opening ignoring Anne’s protestations. At the point when it seems he will pass through to the other side, he slams HARD into a thick glass wall which has appeared to preclude his interference in the boy’s fate.

Jeff bangs on the the thick glass. We see shot of Jeff from the other side of the glass, he cannot be heard at all. Back to the other side of the glass, we hear him yelling frantically—

JEFF: Little boy! Little boy stop that! You’ve had enough! It’s killing you don’t you see?! Little boy please stop!!!

Jeff’s level of panic has risen so high he almost breaks his hands banging on the glass.

JEFF: Little boy I beg you, please, don’t have any more!!! Pleeeeeeease!!

Jeff turns suddenly to intreat help from Anne Hathaway. She is a hundred yards down the path and disappearing into the distance. 

JEFF: Wait! Come back! You have to help! The boy is dying!

But she does not hear and finally disappears from sight. Jeff coughs up a bit of the same black blood we’ve seen the boy regurgitate. 

When Jeff turns again to the hedge, the opening has closed. He cannot see through to the boy at all.

JEFF: Oh no, wait please! Open back up! What about the boy?!

Jeff moves to bang on the hedge with open palms. The roses glow as if lit from within, on each bloom an angry face appears. When his hands make contact with the hedge, they meet with sharp thorns piercing him painfully.


Shot of Jeff’s bleeding palms.

In an instant, night has fallen. It’s as if it when from 5pm to midnight in the course of a second. 

Jeff moves to make his way back up the path but with the first step he trips over something unseen and falls hard on his hands and knees against the stones of the path. 

He crawls forward, slowly and unsteadily. The darkness is so black he can see nothing whatsoever. Soon he is unsure if he is still on the path at all. 

In desperation he utters a simple and piteous prayer.

JEFF: Please help me.

Presently the Butterfly appears again, tipping his purple bowler by way of a greeting.

BUTTERFLY: (to Jeff) Hello little boy!

The Butterfly’s abdomen is lit like a firefly’s and casts a warm golden glow on Jeff and the path. He dances around in the air causing a light show on the surrounding shrubbery. 

BUTTERFLY: Follow the light!

He flies a little way up the path and Jeff follows, still crawling on his hands and knees. 

 BUTTERFLY: Follow the light!

The butterfly advances a few more feet up the path. Jeff follows. 

The butterfly wags his glowing abdomen like a tail, it rings like a bell.

BUTTERFLY: Follow the light and it will lead you home!

Jeff staggers to his feet and soon is ambling along, following closely in the light of his guide. 

A few more feet and the walk becomes a jog. 

Ten yards more and Jeff is running along behind the Butterfly who is zooming through the air like a jet and now wears a aviator’s helmet and goggles. 

BUTTERFLY: Weeeeeeeeeee! 

The Butterfly diverts from his trajectory momentarily to fly right up to the camera. With a grin he looks directly at us.

BUTTERFLY: See y’all tomorrow!

In an instant he is flying back up the path, Jeff follows closely behind, laughing.

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