(invited pitch for atlantic records to promote the new album by LUPE FIASCO as a graphic novel / game ‘sitelette’).
From amongst all the characters, features and scenes within the world of THE COOL, there is one detail, one element of the story, which I felt has an extraordinarily powerful potential, conceptually and emotionally. I thought it could serve as the red thread, ‘the key’ if you will, on which we can build the whole purpose and incentive of our game:
It is THE LETTER, written by MICHAEL YOUNG HISTORY’s eight-year-old sister.
By arranging three different episodes, on two pages of graphic novel narrative each, we have THE LETTER prominently featured as the pivotal mystery of the underlying story. Both LUPE FIASCO and THE STREETS are continuously trying to get hold of it (although for obviously completely different reasons). Its content, the innocent writings of merely a little girl, wield a power none of the evil forces will ever be able to content with. It is brimming of genuine, unconditional LOVE.
Each of the three scenes ends on a question related to THE LETTER and the successful answers results in various payoffs (perhaps also the access code to be able to continue the story). For the last one, whose correct answer is “LOVE”, the audience gets to download a secret track in which the lyrics of the letter are featured to create an emotionally moving piece of music (perhaps with a little girl featured as a voice?). It is a ballad of love and loss, hope and despair, brotherly and sisterly love. Innocence and its tragic loss forever.
EPISODE I: THE GRAVE
1 – EXT. AN INNER-CITY GRAVEYARD – NIGHT
LUPE FIASCO is standing in front of MICHAEL YOUNG HISTORY’S grave. He is wearing a black leather coat and completely withdrawn in his thoughts.
so stupid. so motherfucking stupid …
from behind bushes, THE STREETS is sneaking up towards him. he doesn’t seem to hear her.
you could still be here, MICHAEL. (pause). we could still be friends …
THE STREETS is now directly behind him, he still hasn’t noticed. she puts her hand on his shoulder. he turns his head to vaguely acknowledge her presence, not more. there is a hint of contempt in his eyes.
poor boy, huh? his brain just dropped into his pants as soon as he saw me, hahahahaha.
she tries to touch some of LUPE’s sensitive parts but he grabs her wrist and pushes her hand away. his hyper-cool composure hasn’t changed at all. she flings her arm out of his tight grip and soothingly rubs the wrist while she stares at him fiercely.
don’t you dare touching me, LUPEY. and don’t pretend to be sorry about your mate’s death. you just feel sorry for yourself, you pathetic piece of shit.
LUPE FIASCO is turning his attention back to the grave, basically ignoring her. THE STREETS is furious.
have you read his little sister’s letter? its soooo heartbreaking, apparently, ahahahaha.
she laughs hysterically. this time she has caught his attention. he turns round to face her.
where is it? where is the fucking letter, you goddamned bitch?
hahaha. did i finally get your honorary attention, LUPEY? i don’t have it. trust me. you can search me if you want.
she spins around in front of him, her arms lasciviously raised above her head. LUPE doesn’t move. he looks away, disgusted.
what you’re waiting for, big man. haven’t you got the balls to touch me, hahahahaha?
END OF EPISODE I
“WHO HAS GOT THE LETTER?”
(correct answer: “THE COOL has it”)
EPISODE II: THE COOL
2 – EXT. DARK FUCKED UP STREETS IN THE CITY – NIGHT
THE COOL is roaming the streets. it’s raining. he’s just been hit by one of his attacks of excruciating pain, stemming from three bullets forever stuck in his undead brain, heart and throat. they turn up quite often, these attacks, and cause him to go down on his knees, clenching his head and howling like a sick animal. the sounds seamlessly blend into the countless police sirens we can hear in the background. he tumbles into an remote alleyway and crashes between the rubbish.
just as the pain seizes, THE STREET stands in front of him, arms on her hips, her legs spread apart. she’s wearing a devilishly short mini-skirt and stares down on him with a cynical, vicious smile. she kicks his head with one of her long legs.
give me the letter, COOLIE boy, baby.
THE GAME suddenly turns up from behind her, sporting his golden teeth with a broad grin. grabbing her upper arms he sticks his giant head next to hers, resting it on her bare shoulder. he hisses down to the green-bleeding THE COOL with a hoarse, almost inaudible voice.
you better do what the lady says, boy. looks like you’ve had enough shit to put up with for today. (pause). can also probably get someone to fix some of your problems, you see.
THE COOL’s skeletal hand stretches out as if to shy them away. for every ‘normal’ person this would have worked, for THE STREETS and THE GAME this gesture seems utterly pathetic.
i don’t know what you’re talking about.
shut up, COOLIE, baby.
she kicks him in the head again, a nasty strike with her left leg this time. more green blood pours down his rotten face. she turns round to THE GAME, putting her arms around his neck. they kiss passionately. THE GAME grabs her buttocks and reveals them bare naked by shoving his hands up her skirt. witnessing this, another attack hits THE COOL and he throws himself down to the asphalt again, screaming.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh. stop it, please, i beg you. you’ve won, you bastards. here is what you want …
THE STREETS and THE GAME are entwined, carried away by their dark lust.
END OF EPISODE II
“WHERE IS HE HIDING THE LETTER?”
(correct answer: “strapped on his chest like a gun”)
3 – INT. A HUGE INDUSTRIAL LOFT SHELL – NIGHT
THE GAME is standing against the window wall of his lair, looking out into the busy, rough street of the city. there are bars between him and the window, a surreal element of imprisonment in the midst of his spacious empire. he is thinking about his lost son.
HEROINE, are you out there? somewhere? i know you’re still alive …
somewhat melancholic he walks over to his huge desk. a mountain of white powder sits on top. his dimmed, faint blood vessels shiver as he sticks his head into it. as he looks up again, the veins on his neck are pumping in ecstasy. THE STREETS comes in, swayingly, wearing yet another one of her sick, sexy outfits. he looks up at her, his face is a mask of artificial hysteria.
have you read it?
she sticks her finger into the pile of coke and vacantly rubs it into her teeth.
no. not yet. (pause). it scares me.
LUPE FIASCO comes into the room suddenly. his leather coat waves in his wake as he walks towards the two. THE STREETS just smiles eerily. THE GAME is hyped-up and unimpressed.
i do admire your balls, LUPE.
i’d rather you cut them off your mind, GAME.
THE STREETS laughs hysterically. a horde of goons storm in. they have pig’s heads and are wearing kinky, black latex uniforms. they nervously wave their neon-pink dildo machine guns at LUPE but he doesn’t care. THE STREETS laughs out loud again and he uses this as a clue to just grab her. a brief moment of panic is flooding the whole room. the pigs don’t dare to move. LUPE swiftly extracts THE LETTER from THE STREET’s wide open cleavage and holds it up in the air. nobody moves. there is complete silence. THE STREETS has buried her face in her hands and looks through her fingers in fear.
END OF EPISODE III
“WHAT IS EVERYBODY AFRAID OF?”
(correct answer: “LOVE”)
london, 29th november 2007
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