Script by John Lee
The bright morning sun is streaming through the windows as ANGIE walks down the corridor, tucking in her blouse then buttoning her final fastener. Better leave some cleavage or the girls in the steno pool might notice something...different. She smiled as she recalled his moans of ecstasy, then the smile on his face, his hug and a kiss. Then he swatted her behind and threw her panties at her. Angie loves it when her boss does brunch. She loves her job, and does it with style, so she tells herself.
BILL peers from his cubicle at Angie, sashaying down the hall with a mischievous grin on her face, her eyes vacant as if recalling a sun-drenched Bahamian beach. How Bill wishes she were on that beach with him, sipping an ice-cold Mohito, wearing only that beautiful grin. He combs his comb-over and attempts a smile as Angie walks past, oblivious to his plight. He accidentally bumps his pencil holder as pens and his favorite Gumby eraser fall on the carpet, nearly stabbing the hapless secretary.
Angie awakens from her daydream, and frowns at her would-be Prince Charming. She puts her hands on her curvatious hips and applies her patented pout, giving Bill the Evil Eye, with one false eyelash nearly crashing to the ground.
Bill stumbles into action to clear a path for his Sleeping Beauty. His eyeglasses slip off his misshapen nose and he crushes them under bended knee in his haste to service his goddess. As he picks up the last of his toolkit, he looks up at Angie's rising breasts, clearly aroused as seen through her sheer top. She frowns down at her nemesis, then starts to smile a little. Nothing can ruin her day today. Nothing like a good bang to start her day.
Bill smiles back, assuming she is smiling at him. She gives him a cocky swish of her long golden hair as she glides over his prostrate body. Bill watches her bodacious ass walk down the aisle then turn left towards the secretarial section. Someday he'll get his own secretary, just as soon as he gets that promotion he's been waiting 10 years for. He looks at Gumby in hand, and nods his head Yes. He's glad she didn't read that joke email telling workers to stay home today, something about a mysterious strike.
Bill feels the ground shake, once, twice, three times. Earthquake? No, it felt more like 1993, only much stronger. Remember when six people died? Oh, that's ridiculous, he tells himself. That blind Muslim preacher went to jail, and all is safe in the world. The steel core is impervious to any attack, the engineers and talking heads promised on TV.
20 seconds later, a fireball explodes next door, 80 floors above Ground Zero. Flames shoot 100 yards out the side of the steel skyscraper. Bills sees the flames out the corner of his eye, turning slowly towards the window outside his cubicle. Black noxious smoke billows like a forest fire from the gaping wounds of World Trade Center Tower 2. Screams emanate from the half empty cubicles around him, fading to a hollow fugue.
Bill walks slowly to the window and stares mute, his mouth wide open, face expressionless, watching the smoke rise from the flaming hole. Reaching up to rub his clean-shaven double chin, he ponders what just happened? What day is it? A nearby calendar catches his eye -- the eleventh of September. Did he remember to take out the trash?
Bill hears an announcement over the public address system, wah wah wah, somthing about staying at his desk. Let the authorities do their job. Nothing to see here. Some such garbage. Why wouldn't he stay at his desk? He did the same in 93, he proudly remembers his bravery and smiles. Coworkers run frantically to the exits. Cowards, he looks at them with disgust. It's just a little fire, can't they see it's almost out? Look over there, workers are now standing in the holes, looking out, there's nothing to fear. The firemen will have in under control in a New York Minute. You just wait and see, he nods to his boss, running with his pants undone, tripping as he reaches the elevator door. Bill turns slowly back to the view. He admires the beautiful day, taking a deep breath of clear air-conditioned human exhaust.
Staring out the window, Bill catches a slight movement out of the corner of his eye. He turns slowly and locks his eyes on a small aircraft in the distance. That's odd, he thinks, don't see that every day. It's turning slowly in this direction. Hmmm, that's not the usual landing appreach. He leans against the window frame to get a better view. The jet continues its banking turn and decreases altitude, getting larger by the second. Bill feels another series of explosions rip upwards under his feet, apparently from the fire in World Trade Center Tower 2.
Seconds later a jet aircraft crashes into World Trade Center Tower 1. The impact is a dozen levels below Bill's floor. The explosion blows out the elevator doors into the hallway, body parts severed and oozing lifelessly on the carpet. Isn't that his boss's head, rolling down the aisle? The head stops short of Bill's cubicle and stares up at him. Bill looks down at his boss. The head's wide eyes turn and lock with Bill. The head's lips make a movement, trying to speak. Bill bends down to hear what his boss has to say. Wah wah wah, same as usual. Bloods drips out of the stump of the head's mangled neck. The eyes fade into darkness. Bill spins with vertigo, stumbling to the floor as he loses consciousness.
Coughing, Bill slowly opens one eye. Hey, there's his boss. He sits up wheezing, eyes burning, and acrid smell of diesel oil in the air. It is very very hot all of a sudden. He looks over at his boss's head again. He hears crying all around despite a ringing in his ears. Bill stands slowly and brushes his bloody hand against his white polyester shirt. Someday I'll wear starched cotton shirts, just like my boss over there. He smiles and nods at the severed head.
Bill limps slowly to the window again, watching white-hot molten lava pouring out the sides of WTC 2, like a volcano, sparkling in the bright sunlight all the way to the ground. Black blobs fall from the broken windows in the upper floors, despite no fire visible. The black blobs fall to the ground, bursting red. One, two, three, four, five...Bill stops counting and turns to look at his cubicle. Mr Gumby stares back at him from inside an empty coffee cup. Bill reaches slowly for his cup, picks it up, and rotates it slowly to the colorful image printed on its side...a cartoon with something about Special Needs, and a door that won't open. Bill shakes his head, he never did get that joke, but others thought it funny when they gave it to him on his 15th anniversary with The Firm. He smiled at the happy memory.
Bill walks slowly past frantic workers exiting the stairwells, pointing something about the stairs are blocked and the roof is locked. Bill looks up at the sprinkler faucets on the ceiling, dry as a bone. That's odd, the bomb evacuation drills last week specifically promised that would never happen. They told us power was turned off to make sure everything was installed on the fire alarm upgrade by that Israeli company on Floor 47 -- funny how that stairwell door was always locked, with loud noises banging around inside.
Bill reaches the break room area, picking up a pot of warm coffee, pouring a cup, adding a non-dairy creamer. He reads the label, big artificial words he cannot understand. He stirs, looking down at the spinning clouds in his coffee.
He feels a hard bump, knocking him sideways. A woman is falling to the ground. She is black, most of her clothes are torn or missing, the white skin on her arm falling off in ribbons. Bill reaches down slowly to ask if she needs help. He can't hear his own voice with that annoying ringing in his ears. The woman looks up at him. She looks a little like Angie, but different. Gone is the confident smile, replaced by an expression of stark raving terror. Bill kneels down and gently brushes the soot off her face, realizing yes, it is Angie.
She gestured frantically about seeing the elevator explode, then trying to go down the fire escape stairwell, only to be blocked by white-hot flames shooting molten metal, setting her on fire. She ran back up the stairs, passing others who tried to extinguish her flames as best they could, eventually reporting the roof was locked, no way out. Wah wah wah was all Bill could hear. Damn that ringing as he shakes his head and sticks a finger in his ear in case something was blocking it. He stares at his bloody finger.
Bill helps Angie to her feet, staring her her naked, well-formed yet soot-covered breast. Her looks down at his feet in embarrassment. He looks around the office space, noticing a new burst of smoke coming from the stairwell core. That doesn't smell like diesel smoke, he frowns. A white flame bursts through the concrete and drywall, white-hot sparks from a welder's torch showering onto the carpet, which is instantly set ablaze. Bill grabs a nearby fire extinguisher on the wall, but he can't make it work. The meter on top says it's empty. He throws it down in disgust and leads a dazed Angie away from the spreading flames.
They limp over to a window on the opposite side of the towering inferno, where the other trapped employees have gathered. Angie hugs close to Bill, who removes his shirt to cover her nakedness. Another shower of white-hot sparks burst from another nearby wall, as sounds of splitting steel occasionally ring in their ears. The intense heat from from the molten metal drives them away from their safety, towards another wall bursting into metallic flames. Windows crack open and fall to the ground, as the building shifts.
As the flames approach, Bill realizes what the black and red blobs were that he saw falling from in Tower 2. He wipes the soot from under Angie's vacant eyes, staring into her beautiful face. He brushes her singed hair behind her ears, noticing her diamond earrings for the first time. He knew this was going to be a great day! Here he is living his daydream, just as he dreamed it would be 100s of times before. Without all the fire and brimstone, of course. He leans forward to kiss Angie on the lips, as the flames approach. The heat is overpowering as the screams get louder. First one, then another, then another. The employees huddle towards the open doorway, frantic to escape the searing heat of Hell, rushing through the door one at a time.
Bill holds Angie's limp hand and supports her tiny waist. They stand last at the doorway, pondering the amazing view through a blast of fresh air. Bill turns for one last look at his cubicle, but he can't see it for the smoke. He frowns at the mess they will have to clean up tomorrow. Good thing he gets paid a bonus at Christmas. He looks down at Mr Gumby, clutched tightly in his other hand. He turns back to Angie and smiles into her horrified face. She smiles back, a little. They step through the doorway, hand in hand. It's such a beautiful day...