I had a blast last year penning If On a Winter's Night for Noirvember, but recognizing I didn't have the time for another 30-page script, I'm scaling down for a series of 5-pagers throughout the month. We start this evening with The Beaten Path.
Those who have been following along at home will notice a striking resemblance to InkTober's Miscalculation. I hope you can forgive me building something larger from that original page.
2 - Within the forest, there are signs that a number of people have hastily moved through this area - broken branches, muddy tracks, and evidence of slipping and tripping. Once again, no one is visible.
3 - On an open briefcase sitting on the ground, overflowing with money. Some of it is in the mud, other bills have mud on them. There is a handcuff link around the briefcase's handle, the chain leading off-panel.
4 - On the opposite handcuff link, which is around a man's wrist (also lying in the mud). Not much more than the hand and wrist are visible, but it's clear the man is wearing a suit and that he has taken some injuries (cuts and bruises, etc).
5 - Reveal. The man who is handcuffed to the suitcase of money is lying dead in the forest. The cuts and bruises on the hand were just the beginning, as this guy was in sorry shape, but the bullet wound in the guy's chest looks to be a pretty clear cause of death. Two crooks, Carson and Stephen, stand on either side of the dead man, staring down at the body. Both also wear rumpled suits (with evidence of mud on their knees, elbows, and the like from the chase), although it must be said that Carson's is in much better condition, both because he was more careful and because he takes better care of his suit. Jones holds a smoking gun in one hand, still aimed in the direction of the fallen man. Both have expressions that are somewhere between neutral and shocked.
6 - Repeat panel. Carson closes his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration. Stephen glances down absently at his gun, turning it to look at its side.