“I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers from Greatest Hitst
Ten men in tactical vests sprint up an exterior staircase to the second floor of a cheap motel. They pound on the door. A woman of indeterminate age answers the door.
Step aside, ma’am. We’re here for your son.
She looks him up and down. She seems unimpressed.
CAROL (glancing at her nails)
You Glenn, then?
So that makes your boss Sven that guy in the back?
Yes ma’am. And if you know who we are, you know why we are here. And if you know why we’re here, you know how serious this is.
‘Spose I do.
Step aside then and let us do what we have to. I promise we will pay for any damages but if your son is smart and cooperates, there won’t be an issue.
CAROL (seemingly glancing across the parking lot at something else that caught her attention)
I said no. You can’t come in.
The response is met by surprised mumbling behind GLENN. Only one person’s voice can be heard with any clarity and he says, “Can she do that?”
This isn’t a negotiation, ma’am. Asking was being polite.
Oh, was it? Asking to come in so you can murder my only child is “polite?” Well, imagine my embarrassment at my rudeness.
Move aside then. Now!
I think I’ll just stay here.
GLENN rolls his eyes and gestures to a man behind him to come up and remove CAROL from the doorway. Then man runs past him towards her. CAROL, with a minimum of effort, pushing his helmet backwards, briefly discombobulating him. She strikes him in the throat. Gasping, he goes down to a knee. He pulls a knife and lunges towards her. She catches his wrist and turns the knife back on him, stabbing him twice quick then upends him over the railing to fall back down to the parking lot below. The rumblings of anger, surprise, and begrudging respect roll through the men.
GLENN (voice tight)
Lady. You are making a huge mistake he—
Before he can finish his admonishment of her, she whips two dart off her belt and into two of the other men. One slumps against the railing to his side, the other tumbles off his feet and door the stairs.
WHAT THE HELL?!
CAROL (shrugging with her tone)
Relax. They’re just tranqs.
This has been impressive. You can let us in now knowing you tried to save your son and you failed. No one can say you didn’t go above and beyond. You are a good mother.
As he speaks, he signals behind his back.
I’m a GREAT mother.
GLENN (rolling his eyes)
Gives the man the go sign. The man bursts from the pack towards her. She grabs his vest and spins him into the room. She slams the door shut behind her. Three thumps are heard. The door swings back up and she drags the man out dumping him on the landing outside her room.
CAROL (raising her eyebrows)
So I suppose you’ll be going now?
GLENN glances behind him at SVEN.
SVEN (unseen but voice clear as a bell)
A hundred thousand.
SVEN (stepping to be visible but keeping his distance)
I will pay you a hundred thousand dollars to leave that doorway, go to car, drive around the block, and then come back. That’s all we would need. One hundred thousand dollars.
Murmurs again including a clear, “oh shit!” rise from the assembly. GLENN glances at SVEN again who nods. GLENN gestures to another one of the men who steps forward and pulls a gun but before he can even level it at her, she catches him, disarms her, breaks his wrist, and field strips the weapon, tossing pieces in different directions. She concludes by pushing each bullet out of the clips and all over the place—onto the platform, over the rail, bouncing down the stairs.
GLENN (barking now)
Enough! There’s still more of us than there are of you. You can’t take all our guns!
Don’t need to. Anytime Mr. Boss back there goes out with you, the paranoiac only allows one of you to have a sidearm at any time. So you can’t pull a coup on him.
GLENN starts to object, she cuts him off.
Before you try and convince me I’m wrong, let me remind you I just disarmed your colleague and had a gun of my own for about 20 seconds before I took it apart and not one of you reached for a holster, nevermind drew a gun.
How do you see this ending?
You leave. I take a bath in my heart shaped Jacuzzi tub. I order pizza from the place across the street but make them deliver it anyway because I believe in finding the decadence wherever you go.
We’ll come back. With more people. More weapons.
Welcome to try. But the fact is, you’ve got three or so hours until he’s gone for good and nothing I’ve seen her so far makes me think you can get past me in that time.
You underestimate us and overestimate yourself.
And you are too dumb to realize you’ve spent all this time jawing at me and I’m all alone in here.
With that she pushes open the door wide, giving them the full view of an empty room and a single bed. They turn heel almost immediately, scrambling to their cars, radios squawking. CAROL allows herself a smirk.