ByDavid Martin, writer at Creators.co

Take a look at my short and tell me what ya all think

INT. DAY. LUCAS’ KITCHEN

A kitchen dining table. It’s midday. There are party banners and balloons: ‘Happy 13th Birthday Lucas’. Sitting at the table are LUCAS and Granddad MORT.

Lucas is thirteen years old today and is wearing a big badge to say so. He’s a typical scrawny kid. He’s also wearing a party hat. Mort is approx. 85 years old, dressed in a sensible, warm cardigan. He has kind eyes and a bent back.

On the table is a birthday cake. It’s modest in size and is clearly home-made, a little haphazard and lopsided but made with love. It has ‘lucas’ written in red icing on white, a plastic star of David and thirteen candles (varying sizes and shapes, clearly scavenged from the back of a drawer).

Close shot of his wrinkled, weathered hands as he passes a knife and fork to Lucas’ young hands.

LUCAS

Granddad, did you bake this birthday cake yourself?

MORT

Of course! How else could I put all the birthdays in?!

Lucas laughs and frowns, puzzled at the joke. Lucas’ MOTHER and FATHER are also in the kitchen, entering shot for the first time. When they speak to Mort, they do so in loud, slow voices. During the time that Lucas’ parents are speaking with Mort, he appears older, more fragile, distant. In contrast, any shots where Lucas interacts with Mort show him more lively and present.

MOTHER

You needn’t have gone to any trouble, Mort.

FATHER

Oh, you know how he dotes on Lucas. Thank you for the cake, Dad.

MOTHER

He’ll spoil his birthday dinner!

MORT

It’s not every day that a boy becomes Barmitzvah. Let him have his cake and eat it!

The cake is cut up. Mort tries to do it with shaking hands, but Lucas intervenes and does it for him. However, Mort pushes the entire cake to him, refusing a slice for himself. Lucas begins eating a hefty slice, continues to eat throughout the scene.

MORT

Happy birthday, Lucas. Mazel Tov! You’re a man now, by the laws of our people.

LUCAS

Thanks, Grandad. I…

MORT

I know you’re not big on tradition, but indulge your old Granddad Mort.

LUCAS

It’s not that. I mean, it’s fine, it’s just…

MORT

The boys at school don’t get it? Listen, my boy, I understand. I’m set in my ways. So long as you’re good, and strong, and wise, then He will love you as much as I do.

LUCAS

I know. Thanks, Grandad. I love you too. The cake’s great.

MORT (leaning in conspiratorially)

Eat up, my boy. This is a special birthday cake. This is a cake… made out of birthdays.

Lucas frowns with concern and looks to his father, who bumbles around the kitchen. Close-up of a letter in Lucas’ father’s hands: ‘Brightgrove Senior Rest Home. Care for Dementia and Alzheimer’s’. The letter is placed in a draw. In this shot, Mort appears a little confused, distant.

Lucas eats more of the cake, really enjoying it, smiling kindly. Mort appears perfectly fine in this shot.

MORT

You don’t believe me? Oy, you wound me. You think I got to my age without picking up a little magic?

FATHER

Don’t fill his head with tall tales, Dad.

Mort ignores him and rolls his eyes theatrically. Lucas grins. He continues to eat and listen politely.

LUCAS

I believe you, Granddad Mort.

MORT (gesturing as he talks, close-ups on his hands)

Do you know what a birthday really is, Lucas? A birthday is a magic ritual. It allows us to look back on the year that has passed… and look forward to what comes next. A birthday doesn’t just measure the passage of a year, but the difference that the year has made.

LUCAS (nodding and frowning)

What do you mean?

MORT

Birthdays give us perspective, which helps us to learn as we get older…

Lucas appears mesmerised but keeps eating as he listens. Images then start to pass in front of his eyes. All the while, Mort is speaking:

INT. DAY. FUNCTION ROOM, approx. 1942 (Possibly shot in sepia tone)

Grandad Mort as a thirteen-year-old boy, having his own Bar Mitzvah ceremony. Friends and family at a long table with humble gifts.

MORT (V.O.)

…Trust me; I’ve had so many that I can hardly remember them all…

INT. DAY. LUCAS’ KITCHEN

Lucas blinks, reacting to the vision, continues to eat greedily and listen raptly.

MORT (continuing)

…Now, I’m giving them all to you…

EXT. DAY. GARAGE approx. 1950

Granddad Mort, about 19 years old. Buying a motorcycle, wearing leathers and sporting old fashioned goggles.

MORT (V.O.)

…I made this cake from my own birthdays; my memories, my experiences…

EXT. DAY. TRAIN PLATFORM, approx. 1954

Granddad Mort, about 25 years old. He’s greeting a young woman off a train, inferred to be MORT’S WIFE. They embrace and kiss, young and full of life.

MORT (V.O.)

…all the precious truths that I’ve gathered in my aching old bones…

INT. DAY. LUCAS’ KITCHEN

Lucas continues to eat.

MORT (continuing)

…you’re growing up, Lucas…

EXT. NIGHT. STREET, approx. 1960

Mort, about 31 years old. He’s attacked by Mods (or Rockers) who are hurling anti-Semitic abuse (may only be implied, without audio). Mort fights well, taking them on admirably, but is brought down to the cobbles.

MORT (V.O)

…This is my last birthday present for you…

INT. DAY. SUBURBAN HOUSE, approx. 1964

Mort about 35 years old. He is with his wife, in a simple living room. He’s holding his infant son, Lucas’ father, in his arms.

MORT (V.O)

…all that I have to teach you…

INT. DAY. BEDROOM, approx. 1995

Mort about 66 years old. His wife is lying in bed, looking frail, drawn. A drip in her arm, weak, holding his hand.

MORT (V.O)

…the wisdom of a senile old man…

INT. DAY. LUCAS’ KITCHEN

Lucas finished his last mouthful and stares, teary-eyed, at Granddad Mort.

MORT (continuing)

…I love you.

LUCAS

Granddad… I…

Mort does not reply. He now appears more like he does in the shots that involve Lucas’ parents. He simply stares into space. His hands and his head tremble a little. Lucas’ father enters the scene and casually straightens Mort’s clothes and takes his plate/cup away.

Lucas solemnly removes his party hat and holds it to his chest, like a man attending a funeral. Lucas stands, moves around the table and puts his hand on Mort’s.

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