After Gatsby’s Death

short story script

A short screenplay I wrote in 2016, at age 17. My favorite book at the time was The Great Gatsby, I had read it three times and cried each time. This is a short continuation of Fitzgerald’s novel, right after Gatsby died.

[Tom and Daisy sit in a private train car]

[Daisy picks up a perspiring glass of mint and water]

Daisy: Where is our daughter?

[Daisy sets her glass carefully down on the table and watches as Tom flips a page of his book]

Tom: I don’t know.

Daisy: (absently) She must be with the servant girls.

Tom: Must be.

[There is a pause and Daisy looks around the small cabin. Then she crosses her legs and accidentally bumps the table. Drops of water fall on the table and she moves to dry them, accidentally stepping on Tom’s foot]

Daisy: I’m sorry, I really am quite clumsy today. Aren’t I?

[Tom grunts, still reading his book. Daisy forgets to clean the spill and instead peers out the window.]

Daisy: It really is a beautiful day to ride a train.

[Long pause]

Daisy: When we arrive in Chicago we must take a stroll through our new garden.

[Frustrated, Tom sets the book down on the table until he notices that he just placed it in the small pool of water. He curses, wipes the book on the cushion next to him, and leaves the book there.]

Tom: What do you want me to say Daisy? This small talk bores me. Can I just read in peace?

Daisy: (flushes) I was just thinking that we could see all of the beautiful roses and perhaps bring a lunch. Or maybe we could see a play, that would be lovely, wouldn’t it? Or what if we simply threw our clothes around the house instead of unpacking them?

[Daisy begins to laugh hysterically]

Daisy: Wouldn’t that be fun Tom? Wouldn’t it?

Tom: This cabin is so goddamn hot.

[Tom reaches up and aggressively opens the window. Then he faces Daisy.]

Tom: I’ve had enough of this. You’ve been filled with crazy ideas ever since that man came along and almost ruined us. You were so quiet and good before. What happened to those days Daisy?

Daisy: I… I didn’t mean to upset you darling.

Tom: Let’s just forget this conversation.

[Tom picks up the book again.]

[Daisy quietly sighs]

Daisy: (muttering) Like we forget everything.

[Tom throws the book down]

Tom: What was that?

Daisy: (surprised) I didn’t say a word.

Tom: No I heard you. You said we forget everything. What exactly do we forget my sweet, darling Daisy? Do we forget that you cheated on me? That your lover rubbed it in my very face? That he was a scoundrel that swindled people of their money? Or maybe that he was a goddamn murderer that killed an innocent woman and didn’t have the decency to stop for one goddamn minute? Do you want us to remember that Daisy? Because I sure as hell have not forgotten.

Daisy: (fighting back tears) The moment was awfully confused, it all happened so fast. He was probably scared…

[Tom bangs his fist on the small table, causing more water to spill. Neither of them notices]

Tom: (furious) So now you’re going to defend this criminal?

Daisy: (fighting back tears) And you are a pure flower aren’t you?

Tom: What are you implying?

Daisy: (cries out) Oh Tom, you swore this wouldn’t happen again. You just couldn’t help yourself, could you?

Tom: I don’t know what you are talking about. You sound downright foolish Daisy.

Daisy: People talk you know. They whisper and tell dirty little secrets. Or big secrets…

Tom: (impatiently) And your point is?

Daisy: Are you going to force me to say it? You were having an affair with that woman who was killed… And now we are running into another town so you can find another woman with whom you can further tarnish our marriage.

Tom: What is done is done. All we can do is forget.

Daisy: (shrill) I am done forgetting! I am tired of being the perfect, sophisticated wife! Tell me, Tom. Tell me. Did you love her?

Tom: (condemning voice) Now Daisy, let’s be reasonable…

Daisy: (crying harder) Did . . . did you . . . love her?

Tom: Daisy…

Daisy: (sobbing) I want the goddamn truth Tom.

[Tom’s jaw tightens and his eyebrows raise questioningly]

[Immediately Daisy sinks back into her seat]

Tom: (quietly) Don’t you dare talk to me in that tone. Ever. Again. Do you understand?

[Daisy stares out the window]

Tom: (shouting) Do you really want to know if I loved her, Daisy? Do you really want me to tell you that I regret marrying you and that you have slowly sucked out my soul in a way that can only be replaced with the vitality of a mistress? Do you want to hear that you are just another pretty decoration I keep on display? Do you want to know that I couldn’t care less about you, but that the idea of another man taking my treasure kills me?

[Daisy is silently sobbing]

Tom: Well, do you?

[Daisy sobs quietly, then looks out the window and closes her eyes]

Daisy: (murmuring so that Tom can’t hear) The best thing a girl can be in this world is a fool. A beautiful little fool.

Tom: Daisy…?

[Daisy stares at the expanding pool of water on the table. Both of them watch as drops of water spill over the edges. Neither of them moves to clean it up. Tom snaps his head up and fixes his gaze on Daisy again.]
Tom: (impatiently) Can we just forget this conversation and move on?

Daisy: I’d love to forget darling. I’d love to.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: