Julie Tarp

Julie Tarp
Location
Oklahoma,
Bio
Born and bred in Texas. I'm a Screenwriter with a script currently in Development in La-La Land. Met and fell in love with my husband who is an actual cowboy. We have a 140 head cow/calf operation. He does the hard work, I just write about it.

MY RECENT POSTS

FEBRUARY 4, 2010 8:17PM

A Week in the Life

Rate: 35 Flag
 
FADE IN:


EXT. RURAL AMERICA - DAY

Sweeping views of farm and ranch land.  It’s a dreary
winter day.  COWS chase green grass near HAY BALES
stacked as high as the tallest building you'll find around here.  TRACTORS maneuver in the mud; their tires leaving even more damage. Iced over ponds and creeks dot the pastures.  Brittle trees line the roads washed out from the rains.

                        NARRATOR
          Mark Twain once said, Buy land, they’re
          not making it anymore.
                (beat)
          This is more true today than it was then.

 
INT.  TIBIDEAUX FARMHOUSE, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
 
It’s sprawling and modern, yet cozy.  A FIRE in the wood-
burning stove creates a soft glow.  TWO DOGS are curled
up beneath the hearth.  Ragged and dog-eared livestock
magazines litter the coffee table next to crystal candle
holders.  

Pots and pans CLANG in the b.g.

JACK TIBIDEAUX, 30s, comes in the back door, stirring
the dogs from their nap.  He’s handsome, tall and
strong - a horseshoer’s build.  He takes off his flat
hat and silk wild rag around his neck, hanging them
on the vintage rack on the wall.
 
                       JACK
                  (calling out)
           Hey!

                        NANCY (O.S.)
           Hey!

He takes a look around.

                        JACK
           I see the power came back on.

                        NANCY (O.S.)
           Yeah, late this afternoon.

Jack looks down at his MUDDY BOOTS and takes a step back
outside.

NANCY TIBIDEAUX, 30s, emerges from the kitchen to greet
him.  She’s naturally cute.  Her long, red hair tied in a
ponytail with not a stitch of make-up on.

                        NANCY(CONT’D)
           The water finally came on around eleven.

Jack comes back inside, bootless.  The fringe on his worn and patched chaps SLAPS against the leather.  He slips out of them and peels off his thick pea coat, revealing mud-caked clothes.

                        NANCY (CONT’D)
           Whoa.  You’re a mess.

                        JACK
           Ya think?

He scans his water soaked jeans and stretches out his
arms.

                        JACK (CONT’D)
           Come here.

                        NANCY
           No way!

He pulls her close as she struggles for freedom.

                        JACK
           You know you love it.

                        NANCY
           You’re dripping on the rug.

A shiver takes him over.

                        JACK
           Man, I’m chilled to the bone.

                        NANCY
           Go sit by the fire.
                  (proud)
           I made it myself.

Jack looks over to the now dying fire.

                        JACK
           I can see that.

She glances at it too.

                        NANCY
           Whatever.

Nancy heads to the kitchen with Jack following.


INT.  TIBIDEAUX FARMHOUSE, KITCHEN - SIMULTANEOUS

Nancy busies herself with dinner prep and Jack heads to the fridge for a beer.

                        NANCY
           How was it today?

                        JACK
           Icy and wet.  

                        NANCY
           Sorry babe.

He smiles sweetly at her.
 
                       JACK
           I know, but what are you gonna do?
                  (beat)
           Anything happen with you today?

                        NANCY
           Not really.  Oh, the bank called this
           morning and they want to do the cattle
           inspection.
 
Jack takes a big swig of his beer.

                        JACK
           Now?  Didn’t we do it in the spring last
           year?

                        NANCY
           Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.
                  (beat)
           But, get this, she called around nine and
           I didn’t catch the phone.  The message
           said they wanted to do it this afternoon.

Jack nearly spits out his beer.

                        JACK
           Seriously?

                        NANCY
           Yeah.  I thought it was weird too. 
           First, like you’d be here at nine in the
           morning.  During calving season.  During
           feeding season.  And second, that you’d
           just have the afternoon wide open.

                        JACK
           I wish.
                 (beat)
           Is that all she said?

                        NANCY
           Yeah.

                        JACK
           That is kinda weird.  I’ll give her
           a call tomorrow and we’ll set it up, I
           guess.

Jack steals a carrot from the cutting board and kisses
Nancy on the cheek.

                        JACK (CONT’D)
           I’m gonna take a shower and warm up.

                        NANCY
           You should take a bath.

He grabs another beer out of the fridge and heads out of
the room.

                        JACK
           Oooh, can I have lavender in it too?

Nancy just laughs to herself.


EXT.  TIBIDEAUX RANCH - MORNING

Horses and calves munch on hay in the front pasture as a
small truck makes its way up the paved driveway, stopping
at the garage of the brick house.
 
MADISON KELLER, 40s, steps out of the truck with
clipboard in hand.  She glares at her surroundings as she
makes her way around the house to the front door.


INT.  TIBIDEAUX FARMHOUSE, BEDROOM - SIMULTANEOUS

Nancy is snuggled in bed with the dogs. 

She barely stirs as the doorbell CHIMES.  The dogs,
however wake and are off and running.


EXT.  TIBIDEAUX FARMHOUSE, FRONT DOOR - SIMULTANEOUS

Dogs BARK on the other side of the door as Madison presses her face against the glass next to it, peering inside.
 
She KNOCKS on the door with furor.


INT.  TIBIDEAUX FARMHOUSE, BEDROOM - SIMULTANEOUS

The continued KNOCKING startles Nancy and she rushes out
of bed and to the front door.

                       NANCY
                 (to herself)
           Oh god, oh god, oh god.


INT.  TIBIDEAUX FARMHOUSE, FRONT DOOR - SIMULTANEOUS

Nancy swings the door open only to find Madison on the
other side.

                       NANCY
           Oh man, you scared me.  I thought
           something happened to Jack.

                       MADISON
           Oh, no, it’s only me.

Nancy is both pissed and confused.

                       NANCY
           With that knocking, I thought for sure
           there was an emergency.
                  (beat)
           What can I do for you?

                       MADISON
           Well, I called yesterday.

                       NANCY
           Yeah.

                       MADISON
           I didn’t hear anything.

                       NANCY
           Jack didn’t get home until late. 
           He planned to call today.  

Nancy opens the door a bit more and Madison immediately
steps inside, eyeing the room.

                       NANCY (CONT’D)
                 (taken aback)
           Is something wrong?

                       MADISON
           No.  We just need to do the inspection.
                 (beat)
           I thought y’all were gone or something
           and thought I better come by.

                       NANCY
           Like we were out of town?

                       MADISON
           Yeah.

                       NANCY
           You just called yesterday morning.  Jack
           hasn’t even had a chance to call you back.

                       MADISON
           Well, I just thought I better check
           everything out.

                       NANCY
           Okay.  Well, Jack’s down working for
           one of the neighbors, he needs to check
           with him and find out when he can do it.

                       MADISON
           Which neighbor?

                       NANCY
           The Whites.

Madison shuffles her feet, but doesn’t budge.

                       MADISON
           When do you think he’ll be able to?  Since
           the freeze is over, we thought it would be
           a good time.

                       NANCY
           I wouldn’t know.  I do know it’s a muddy
           mess here, so I can only imagine what
           Palmer looks like.

                       MADISON
           So you think early next week?

Nancy is aggravated, but keeps it under wraps.

                       NANCY
           Again, I would have no idea.  He is
           speaking with them today and planned on
           calling you later.

                       MADISON
           Okay, well, we’ll plan on early next week
           then.

With that, Nancy opens the door to let her out.

                       NANCY
           Sounds fine.  I’ll make sure he gives you
           a call.


INT.  TWEETY JOHNSON’S HOUSE - NIGHT

Small house, cluttered.  TWEETY JOHNSON, 60s, is a big
boy.  He relaxes in his Lazy-Boy, reclined as far as the
chair can muster.  Beer can in one hand, remote in the
other.

On T.V. we SEE:

A NEWSCASTER reporting on another winter ice storm
approaching.

BITSY JOHNSON comes in and pulls out a TV tray table
from the corner, setting it up next to Tweety’s resting
spot.

He clicks the remote, changing the channel; on T.V. we SEE:

A WEATHERMAN, standing in front of an interactive map,
describing the latest developments.  Then, flashes of
washed out roads, fallen trees, icy roads, snow.

                       TWEETY
           Man, this sucker isn’t lettin’ up.

Bitsy heads out of the room.

                       BITSY (O.S.)
           Any good news?

                       TWEETY
           Doesn’t look like it.

She returns with a massive plate of food and sets it on
the tray table.  Tweety struggles with the chair, but
finally gets it in the upright position, sliding his
dinner in front of him.

                       BITSY
           What about the cows?

                       TWEETY
           They’ll be fine with the weather, they’ve
           got the trees, but I sure would like to
           spread them out a little more.

                       BITSY
           Well, we know that ain’t gonna happen.

                       TWEETY
           We’ll see.

                       BITSY
           Did you hear about another lease?
 
                       TWEETY
           No.  Nothin' available right now.
                   
As he clicks the remote through the channels, a sly grin spreads across his face.


EXT.  TIBIDEAUX PALMER LEASE, FRONT 160 ACRES - DAY

A fine mist hangs in the air adding to the already
miserable cold temperatures.  

Jack stands beside an open iron gate as Madison’s truck pulls through the entrance.  As he shuts it behind them, Madison and WAYNE CATCHER, 60s, file out. 
 
Jack heads to a horse trailer where his horse is tied to the side - saddled and ready to go.

                       WAYNE
            Where are they at?

                       JACK
            In one of the back pastures.

Wayne looks back at the truck.
 
                      WAYNE
            Oh, should we get back in?

                       JACK
            Not if you don’t want to get stuck.

Jack unties his horse, mounting him with ease.  They trot through the pasture of wet, yellow grass; heading for some trees in the distance.  The other two tentatively follow on foot.
 
                      WAYNE
            You feed them back there?

                       JACK
            Yeah, like I told her, I’m not on
            a regular feeding schedule here. 
            There’s still green grass and old
            feed back there.  So, I don’t have
            to put out hay every day yet. 
 
                       WAYNE
            Oh.

                       MADISON
            Why didn’t you move them up here?

                       JACK
            When would I have had time?  This had
            to be done right now for some reason
            and I'm trying to accomodate that. But, 
            I just can't move them just to move them 
            right back.               
 
Wayne nods and Madison takes in her surroundings.

                       MADISON
            How many acres is this lease?

                       JACK
            480.

                       MADISON
            And how many is this pasture?

                       JACK
            It’s broken up, but basically 160.

Jack trots slightly ahead of them with a small grin on his face.  Madison looks like a wet rag doll already.

                       MADISON
            Oh.


EXT.  TIBIDEAUX PALMER LEASE, BACK 160 ACRES - LATER

Fifty cows and lots of newborn calves mill about.  Some
munch on grass, some hide in the thick trees; taking
cover from the weather.

Jack unhinges a wire gate and Wayne and Madison make
their way through it.  He closes it and heads past
them. 

They come upon a creek running across their path.  Jack and his horse head right in as Wayne and Madison stop on the bank.  

The trusted horse wades through the water, in some places dipping up to his knees.  When he gets to the other side, Jack turns to see they haven’t crossed.

                       JACK
            You comin’?

Madison is drenched and shaking.  She looks to Wayne and motions her head “no”.

                       WAYNE
            Can you just push them out so we can see
            them?

                       JACK
            I thought you said you wanted to count
            them?

                       MADISON
            We do.  You’ll just need to push them all
            out here.

                       JACK
            I’ll see what I can do.

Jack turns his horse toward the tree line on his right and follows it.  Cows move out from the trees into the open as they move forward.  Wayne and Madison become specks in the b.g.
 
When he's out of ear shot:
 
                       JACK (CONT'D)
             You've got to be fucking kidding
             me!  Just push them out?
 
 
EXT.  TIBIDEAUX PALMER LEASE, BACK 160 ACRES - LATER

Thick trees surround a pond.  Cows are barely visible in
the pine branches.  Jack walks alongside his horse and cusses to himself as a branch snaps back and hits him across the face, knocking his hat off and leaving a scratch on his face.
 
He picks up his hat and slaps his leg with it.  He puts it back on and spreads his arms wide.

                       JACK
             Hup!  Hup!

Cows rustle branches, coming into view.

                       JACK (CONT’D)
             Hup!  Hup!

He pushes them into a clearing as another branch slaps
him across the chest.


EXT. TIBIDEAUX PALMER LEASE, BACK 160 ACRES - LATER

View from binoculars:  

One hundred or so cows graze in the open pasture. 
Newborn calves nurse from their mothers.

Wayne pulls the binoculars away from his eyes.

                       WAYNE
             148.

Madison makes a hash mark on her clipboard.

                       MADISON
             Got it.

                       WAYNE
             67.

She checks another one off.

                       MADISON
             Got it.

Jack emerges on the outskirts of the herd and trots back across the creek to join them.

                       WAYNE
             I have to tell you, this isn’t at all
             what I expected to find.

Jack is concerned.

                       JACK
              Oh?

                       WAYNE
              Yeah, you’ve got a couple in there that
              could use a little more protein, but all-
              in-all that’s a pretty good bunch.
 
                      JACK
              What were you expecting?

                       WAYNE
              Pretty sick animals.

                       JACK
                 (completely shocked)
              Why would you think that?

                       WAYNE
              A guy came into the office and said you
              weren’t feeding anything out here.

Madison shuffles her feet.

                       JACK
              What?
                  (beat)
              Who?

                       WAYNE
              I don’t know.  Some guy.

                       JACK
              How would anyone know what I’m doing?

                       MADISON
              Someone probably wants the lease.

Wayne nods.

                       JACK
              Seriously?
                   (beat)
              Wow.  I really don’t know what to say. 
              Why didn’t you say anything to me?

                       MADISON
              Not the way it works.

Jack contains his anger.

                       MADISON (CONT’D)
              We still have to count them all.

                       JACK
              I got out what I could.

Wayne scratches Jack's horse behind the ears.

                       WAYNE
              Yeah, that’s fine.  We’ll come back out
              when this weather clears up a bit or when
              you start them on regular feed.  I can
              see this place does still have some
              decent grass.  Cuts down on the hay cost,
              huh?

                       JACK
              Yeah, for now.
                   (beat)
              I can’t believe someone would do something
              like this.

                       WAYNE
              People need land.

Wayne looks over to a shaking Madison.

                       WAYNE (CONT’D)
              Why don’t we get out of here.

Jack blots at some blood coming from the cut on his face.

                       JACK
              Sounds good to me.

And with that, they head back through the gate and
pasture, feet and hooves splashing with every step.


EXT.  TIBIDEAUX PALMER LEASE - FRONT 160 ACRES - LATER

As Wayne and Madison make their way back to the truck, neighbor Tweety Johnson comes down the main road, kicking up mud behind him.  He stops in front of the entrance. 
 
Just then, Jack comes out from behind the horse trailer and waves to Tweety.  Tweety responds in kind and then hits the gas pedal sending Madison scrambling to get out of range of the mud his truck is throwing.
 
Wayne and Madison give each other a knowing look and as Jack approaches:
 
                      WAYNE
             You know, Jack, I think every-
             thing's gonna be just fine.  
 
He pats Jack on the back and with that, they look around the vast landscape of wet grass and pine trees as far as the eye can see.
 
 
FADE OUT.



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Comments

Type your comment below:
that damn wayne...

I'm thinking this is real life Jules, not just out of your head. Beautifully done.
It sounds like real life to me, too. Very well-written.
Damn that Tweety! You're probably thinking right, B. Thanks
yes, damn that Tweety!
Unfortunately, yes, Eva. I don't know why I'm shocked by anything anymore. Thanks for taking the time!
This is wonderful! I could picture very scene on my head.

Shame it seems someone always has to be taking shots at one another, even out in the country.
Right, Harry? It's getting cutthroat everywhere I guess. Unfortunately for them - I ain't from the country.
I wanna see the rest.
I'm hoping it doesn't go anything like, "Jack leaves the house with a shotgun."
Great writing. Love the dialogue. Love the epigrammatic sentences. I know these folks. Know the place. Know the herd. Sure seems like it, anyway. The good and the bad. Folks with land. Folks without. Know what I mean? Feeling kewl now. Real kewl. Evenin', Miss. (Super-rated!)
I prefer:
JACK
(whisper) Get a rope.
At first, when she complained about him dripping on the rug, I thought she was Jewish. When she said she'd made the fire herself, I knew she wasn't.
Oooh, cool screenplay format. I am glad Wayne and Madison were smart enough to figure out what was going on.
I love that Jack made 'em get all cold and wet and messy in the muddy field...heh heh. Well done (sorry for your troubles). Mean-spirited people suck.
Sounds kind of rough out there. Wishing you well. Enjoyed reading your real life script.
Well done! I saw a movie playing in my head as I read this and it was vivid and I liked the characters.
Very cool. But you have sucky neighbors who would make up crap like that.
Wait! There's no naked ranch hands in this scene! No chaps! WTF?
Sorry you went thru this but as others said...great writing!

I see Amy Adams as Nancy.
So this is what a script looks like hmmm? "People need land"? Really? Like there's not enough in Texas? Who needs THIS land? Isn't the shotgun a way of life down there? Clearly I am angry and I hardly know you and Jack! Nice job conveying the frustration.
A very different voice from Wyoming cattle ranching, but true, and clearly yours.
Great stuff, Julie. You can practically smell the manure.
What Steve said. He said it better than I ever could.

This rocked Julie!
Second comment to make sure you get my "rate".
Bonnie - Indeed.

Steve - Yeah, one of the first things I learned about screenwriting is they don't want all the flowery adjectives - sometimes I think I took it a little too far. I'm glad you get it. And you sir, are very, very kewl.

D - That could work. Hey - it's like an interactive script!

Blu - It's a very fancy rug though.

Libs - Yeah, but it took them a while to realize it. I think they like hoops.

Kitty Cat - That means a lot coming from you. For serious.

Mac - Thanks - they do don't they? I was particularly fond of that too.

Thanks, George. Hey, any time you want to put that real-life cowboy stuff into action, let me know. We'll give you a gun and everything.

mg - I'm glad it came across as intended. Sometimes we get a little too close - so, that's great feedback. I appreciate it.

Donna - Yes, I believe it is!

L - I know - it's still hard for me to even fathom. Really unbelievable.

Surly - There are chinks, but I'll revise so when he slips them off there's no jeans underneath.

Janie - Thanks! That actually probably would be fun to write. Then act out. Okay, maybe only write.

Silky - It's just one more thing I suppose. I'll take Amy Adams - as long as she doesn't break out in song. "Paint Your Wagon"

Kelly - Thanks for feeling the frustration. Yeah, there's land, but it costs too much moolah still. That's the one thing that hasn't gone down in this economy - the price of land. So, anytime there land that is strictly leased, well, the hounds circle. It's crazy that someone would go to this length to get it though. Jacking with someone else's bank - they crossed the biggest line I can imagine. I do believe we'll see a guard with a permanent residence there.
Kathy - Yeah, we've never seen this side of things either, but I imagine it's out there more than we know. Hell, there's still cattle rustlers.

Emma - Yikes! That can't be good.

Sparky - I wish I could just get Steve to speak for me at all times. Thanks for dropping by! Y'all so sweet.
Stellaa - Plus, there's kinda a happy ending. Glad to entertain.
P.S. If I ever get my ass dragged back to Amarillo, Texas...where my darn inlaws live...which I hope never-ever happens...I don't care how far you live from there...I hope I get to meet you! :)

You see, I am making up all my "Texas exits" before I ever get dragged there again.
Tweety sure is a twat.
Evil lurks in towns small and cities large,
and often behind the grip of warm handshakes
and welcoming smiles.

En Garde.

BTW, wonderful story and am full of casting ideas.
Sparky - It's on!

Blondie - So true. You'd think I'd be more cynical by now, but I swear I think everyone is just like me. And we all know I'm a little too honest sometimes. Sword up! Oooh - cast?
Dude, seriously . . . this is outstanding. I could see it as a feature film, or movie-or-the-week. I'm so sorry it's all-too-real!
No makeup? Really? Not a stitch? Not even some lip gloss?

You balanced this so well, the sense of impending serious trouble (but maybe that's just because I saw a teaser last week), the low comedy let's-watch-the-big-bad-bank-woman-flail-in-the-mud, Jack's self-control when facing absurd requests

Am I gushing? It's because I got sucked in, and because I second that remark of Deven's.
Owl - That's why I decided to do it this way - it seemed like it was out of a movie! Crazy! Thanks, sweetie.

Em - Well, the no make-up thing is just because I'm lazy. Who's going to see me, right? (Don't tell my granny.)

You did have an inside scoop - but I'm glad you got out of it what I tried to convey.

Since there are no laws here, I'm thinking we go with Deven's plan too. Hey! Are we forming a posse? Sweet! Crap. I guess I'll have to put on make-up.
boy, am i late to this party, jules, but at least i didn't miss it. now i know why surly set that sparkly thing on your head -- this is fabulous.

i'm a little in love with jack, not only because his name is a huge fav. and there has never been a more exotic name for a scarf than "wild rag." whoa.
Well, aren't you just the cat's ass. That was quite wonderful. I smell hay. Bails and bails of it. ;) heeheehee
Wow! We got everything here at OS, even screenplay. Congrats on the sash/tiara honors and your screenplay in development. All best, HB
femme - You should see some of the ones he has. I swear, he'd wear a light blue, long sleeved, button up shirt and Wranglers every single day. Then, he's got all these crazy purple and hot pink paisley silk scarves. I mean, wild rags. He's totally cool, so I get it.

Mom - I totally am. It's about time you noticed. Let me know if that restraining order from Peyton comes through - I'll totally bale you out.

HB - Thanks! Hell, that sucker's been in development for years now it seems. Seems like it's making progress now though.
Damn, this is good. I want to come see the calves.
Thanks Julie. We'll definitely have to have a meet-up when the weather gets better around here. Cocktails just seem to taste better when the sun is shining.
When "someone" says something, it's rarely a good thing.

Beautifully written.
When "someone" says something, it's rarely a good thing.

Beautifully written.
Right, D? Thanks twice!
Last night I tried to post a comment and the website shut down for maintenance in the midst of my comment. Arggh!

Julie, this sounds so familiar. I lived part of my childhood on a fair sized cattle ranch with a few hired hands. My mom was the ranch cook, my stepfather was the horse trainer. It seemed to me growing up that folks were always up to something. I am reminded of the ranch manager who was always sneaking down to the cook house getting some of my mom's cooking, in addition to his wife's. He had a lot in common with Tweety in size, and character.

That familiar pain in the ass has the ring of truth Julie! People didn't get crafty just recently. Wonderful writing.
Of course Tweety's a fat lazy-ass recliner-tv dinner eating kind of moron. It's your world! And Jack -- handsome, funny and BUILT! And then his cute wifey! It's your world!!! No, I mean that -- it IS your world. Right?
Whoa! Beautiful, Julie, clever motive-driven dialog.
Great piece, well done, rated.
oh I so wanted comment here yesterday but salon was down.

Tweety=dumb bastard. did he seriously think he could lie and get his way? That no one would check? Morons abound everywhere.
Just keep that fire goin' and everthing will be just fine. I admire your spirit and energy. Cheers!
Doc - I'm learning that lesson more and more.

Skel - Well, I may have embellished the cute wifey part a bit...

Thoth - Thanks!

ttfn - I keep asking that same thing. I guess someone stupid enough to go to those lengths doesn't think that far past himself. Morons indeed.

Bubba - Thanks, I appreciate it. Chin Chin!
Very tight writing. rated.