Bravery in the Blood


Author; Pamela Diane Goodwin

The language spoken is Cherokee, with English subtitles. The year is 1747; theplace is Virginia, America. The story is a ten minute opening to a full lengthfeature film.

Ext. Meadow. Morning

We see an open meadow.  The sun is rising all is still. In the distancewe

 a small village,tepees.

 We zoom in closer tosee the flap of one tepee; it opens quickly.

 SNOWY OWL steps out,a Native American woman.

she is In deer skin dress and boots.

We hear SNOWY OWL’S palomino pony WHINNEY. They go riding out towards the woods.

The sun has risen but there is still morning dew on theground.

Ext. Woodlands. Afternoon.

We join Snowy Owl in the woodlands. She has filled her saddle bags withherbs.

 The sun is in themiddle of the sky.

She sees across the creek, TRADER JOHN BENGE. He has a largered horse,

he is dressed in buck skin, and is holding a rifle. He looksat her with recognition, she

she nods her head to him. She goes to her pony and mounts.

She makes her way on her pony back to the village.

We see her full face, eyes alarmed. She approaches slowly atfirst and then quickens her

pace. She starts to look wild in the eyes and her breathingis fast.

There is carnage everywhere. A dozen tepees’ are on fire.There is a young man flung across

 the entrance of histepee shot in the back. A young woman with her children lay dead near

the communal fire pit.. She comes across the medicine man.He is still breathing but barely

alive. Their eyes meet. She is Crying and he is dying. He motions for her with his hand, to

take his buck knife and leather sheath.

She takes the knife, the medicine man breaths his lastbreath.

She stumbles fast to her tepee. She gathers her weapons someblankets.

 She puts the axe, theknife and the bow and arrows and wraps them in the blanket.

She calls her pony. Her palomino runs up, she jumps onhis back and runs to the east

hills toward the craggy mountains. The camera is left in thevillage of carnage.

 We see the sun’s hazeshimmer over the camp and bodies.

We hear flies and see them landing on bodies.

Int. Cave. Midday

We see Snowy Owl; her pony going up the narrow

 Mountain road. Theyare moving slowly with sorrow. We

see her as she dismounts in front of a cave. She looks outof the cave entrance back towards

the village, she can see in the far distance the smokerising from the burning of the village.

Her eyes full of tears and she starts to resign herself tothe situation. She gathers bits of wood

and makes her fire. The pony settles down next to her. Shelays her head on her

pony’s body. Outside a mother bear and her two cubs are seenin the shadows.


Int. Cave. Dawn

SNOWY OWL and her pony are in the cave. She is making a mealwith the herb and berries.

 We hear her stomachrumble. She puts her hand on her belly and it rumbles again.

She gets up to look at her bow and arrows. She takes herberries and herb dinner and mixes it

with charcoal from her fire. She makes a small cut of hairfrom her braid; she fastens it to a

 stick, makes a paintbrush.

She begins to draw on the cave walls, a bear then she iscompelled to draw a man.

She gets up from drawing and gets her weapons. The ponymakes an effort to get up;

                                                    SNOWY OWL

                              No, ponyyou cannot come with me this time.

                        Icannot have the great bear smelling you. I must hunt today.

                    WhenI get the kill I will call you, to help me bring it back. 

                    Herpony Winneys in response back. She gets up and leaves the cave,

                     Seesbear tracks on the ground.


Ext. Woods. Morning

Snowy Owl goes climbs a tree. Half way up she hears a sound.It is a big black male bear.

 He GRUNTS and makeshis way to the tree she in. She is half way up a tree, with the bear. at

the base of the tree. The bear grows tired of the game andwanders off.

The morning light turns to afternoon heat. Snowy Owl isstill up a tree. A smaller teen age

bear comes through the clearing. She takes her bow and twoarrows up. She waits, breathless

as he makes his way towards her tree. As soon as he is inrange she shoots her two arrows as

hard and as fast as she can. She hits her mark, between theshoulder blades, he cries out, she

tries to load up her arrows again, but the bear is buttingthe tree and it shakes her almost out

of the tree.

Just then, a Shot rings out. The bear falls dead to theearth.

She hears the voice of a man speaking with a Scottishaccent;


                                            TRADER JOHN BENGE

                                                    Are you alright?

                                              SNOWY OWL  

                                                 Yes. Are you the man,

                                               my father made trades with?

                                              TRADER JOHN BENGE

                                                 Yes. Comedown. I will help you cut up the bear.

                                                Trader John approaches the tree.

                                             TRADER JOHN BENGE

                    I know what has happenedwith the soldiers and your

                    people. I am very sorryyour people have gone, you are

                   alone now. Winter isapproaching, come to my cabin in the

                   west woods. I will not harmyou. The men that killed the people,

                 they are sweeping the country.I wish I could stop them.


Snowy Owl’s eyes soften when she looks at him, then herexpression turns to fear as she is

contemplating what he has said. She makes her way down thetree.

Her eyes fill with tears. He draws her near and she puts herhead on his shoulder.


Int. Cabin. Early Evening

A log cabin is seen on a hillside. TRADER JOHN and SNOWY OWLare moving gently,

 up a gradual hill.The daylight almost gone, we see them dismount. In the cabin, our eye’s

are  filled withbaskets of Deer skins bear hides, coffee, and tobacco everywhere in

 overflowing baskets.There is no clear area except for the kitchen table. Snowy Owl looks out thewindow, we see what she sees, the dark night..

                              TRADERJOHN BENGE

                       I knew your father well.He was respected with

                     his people. There is abed, up in the loft you can have.

                    Stay with me here, as longas you like. Make this your home.

                                                         SNOWY OWL

                        I am dead. Mypath leads to revenge. How can I ever live again?

                        My mother, my father, mysisters and brothers. Gone.

                         I  can’t remember my own smile. Blue sky’s nolonger cheer me.

                         Green sweat grass doesnot refresh me. Gone are the times

                   of nurturing. Gone are the days of peace.How can we find love?

                                              TRADER JOHN

                                   Revenge only causes more pain. Love is ourlife. 

                  The white men are coming, howcan you kill them all?

                  When darkness falls, we needlove most of all. Let me

                   be that constant for you. Icome from Scotland, our land

                    is rich and we were wonover by our neighbours.

                    we have that in common. Icame here to get away.



                                                      SNOWY OWL

                  My body is tired. I can’tthink of getting away.

                 I will let you be that man forme. You will help me keep this day alive.

                 I vow someday to avenge thedeath of my people. I will not take it out on

                            you what they have done. Your voice soothes me. I will in time...

                                                     TRADER JOHN BENGE

                            Rest now. There is no need to go anywhere. Thank you for staying

                            here with me. I want to marry and have children, will you be my wife?

                            Will you put aside revenge and embrace love?

       TRADER JOHN puts his hand, SNOWY OWL acceptsit. We see her small hand in his.


Ext. Woods. Morning


We see Snowy Owl from the front; she is squatting down picking blue berries.She rises and

turns to walk away and we see a baby in a papoose. ROBERTBENGE, has a full head of

red hair and light skin. SNOWY OWL and baby ROBERT walkslowly up the gentle hill

leading to their cabin. The fire is burning in an openfireplace.

Snowy Owl sings and dances in front her son.



We are a great people

We live on this great land

We feed our young ones, from our Mother Earth

We give thanks to our Father Sky, every chance we can

Soldiers killed all that we love

Killed our way of life and won

Rise up, my son strong and true;

Take your share, in Greats Spirits justice

Take up, your axe, knife and bow

Strike with, bravery in the blood

We once were a great people

We lived on this great land

Little Chief, ROBERT BENGE I sing this song for you


When she speaks his name he makes a loud CRY. We drawoutside of the cabin, we

still hear his CRY, Snowy Owl is looking out of the window,we are looking in. We

see time lapse and SNOWY OWL age before our eyes. She growsGrey hair and her face


Ext. Back yard. Morning

Subtitles '16 years have passed'

We see Snowy Owl looking out of the cabin door at her son; ROBERT BENGE ispracticing

throwing an axe against a dead tree. Walking towards him,SNOWY OWL is heavy with

child. In her hand is a round shield made of bearskin.

                                                       SNOWY OWL

                                       Son, hear my words.

                          I gave you yourfather’s name. Today I will give you

                          a new name.`Revenge'. I have made you a shield.

                                              She hands the shield to her son.


                                                         SNOWY OWL

                        I want you tostop the Soldiers from killing

                        \any more people. 


TRADER JOHN is listeningfrom the cabin door. He looks at his son, then his wife, he

shakes his head; looks atthe ground. His eyes rise slowly and he looks lovingly at his son.

                                                    TRADER JOHN

                        Son, if you are up to fight, youwill not win.

                    You will only die one dayin battle. There are too many

                 white men to count, with morecoming every day. Are you to

                 spend your life being a coldblooded killer, like them?

Both mother and son are silent. They lookaround the yard like they do not hear the father.

There is a pause ofsilence.

SNOWY OWL breaks thesilence;

                                                   SNOWY OWL

             Your father is worried foryou. He wants you to live

          in peace, so do I. But how can wehave peace when the Soldiers run

         through the lands? You have bothbloods running through your veins.

         I will understand if you don't want tokill them. It was wrong of me

         to ask you to. I have prayed to GreatSpirit, to send me someone,

         who can claim justice for the tribe, Ithought it was you, but I am wrong.


                                                    ROBERT BENGE

                  Mother, Father. I knowyou want peace for your son.

         But, I was born to seek revenge. MyGrandfather was a brave Chief.

        Starting today, you will call me `ChiefBenge.

        I will find other braves we shall seekrevenge for our people.

SnowyOwl and Trader John go into the cabin;Robert resumes throwing his axe.

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This is my first attempt at writing a 10 min short film. it is registered with TURN IT IN. Turn It In; protects my copy write and ensures that I have not plagiarized someone's work. The film could easily be adapted into a play.
Published Date
12/12/2012 12:00:00 AM
Published In
Ruskin College Oxford England