Firewood – A Novel and Screenplay

THE TWITTER PITCH – A mountain ranch boy vows to end his dad’s abuse to protect mom. An Indian girl from a Pueblo Tribe wants out from under the restrictions. When these 2 realize they love each other, they see what (and who) needs to be sacrificed in order to share life and land.



I’m explaining why we had to kill the people we did. There just wasn’t any other way. Judge me or judge me not; you deserve the whole story before you call the sheriff.

The first thing I did was go and sit on the edge of rim of the box canyon. I looked down into the small pool of water there, the mouth of the canyon plugged by the stones and sand and sticks and brush swept down there by the rain. I made a small fire. Twigs, sage, a few dead shoots of cholla cactus, then fed pinyon into it until it crackled. The smoke. A holy incense for my Tewa people.


My name is Charlie. I’m 14 years old. I’m already married. But before you think you know enough to judge me, I want to tell you a few details. First of all, it used to be legal to get married at 14 in New Mexico. And since we live pretty much like way back when, I didn’t see that as a problem. She didn’t even consider it. She’s Indian. Her family was here back when Indians still lived in all the pueblos around here, so they have a different set of rules for all that family stuff. Better rules.


Open to a bright sun, high cirrus, afternoon. Looking across or along a mesa to the edge of a natural sandstone amphitheater. Find this in Northern New Mexico, north of Abiquiu.

Two MTB riders spit dust from their back tires, heading north towards the rim of the amphitheater.

A boy sits astride his palomino horse to the right of our vantage point, his head and cowboy hat just barely above the sight line of the bike riders. He sees the riders. The riders don’t see him.

Calvin, a MTB rider, dressed in Lycra, brown bicycle shirt – “Is that all you got?” He whoops back to his riding buddy.

David, a MTB rider, dressed in Lycra, yellow bicycle shirt – “I haven’t even warmed up! I’ve been waiting for you to get out of low gear,” he laughs.

David: “But seriously, I’m telling you this deal with all the land grant papers is real and legit. We’ll be FINE. There’s no way it will blow back on us.”

Calvin: “Even if those Indians get kicked off the land? That’s what you want, isn’t it? Those Indians kicked off so your greedy dad can have even more land, right?”

Calvin puts on a burst of speed as he approaches the rim above the amphitheater. David stands on the pedals to catch up. As David looks down to push even harder, Calvin slams on his disc brakes and leans left, into the hill, which forces David right. Towards the edge.

David and his bike can’t stop in time. He flies off the rim of the sandstone, right above the natural stain in the stone that looks like blood. His body slams into the broken sandstone pile at the bottom. There is no movement down below.

Calvin edges towards the rim to look down.

Calvin: “I hope he’s dead. Otherwise, I’m in a shitload of trouble.”

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