Veronica’s Pieces

Veronica’s Pieces

*2011 short list and honourable mention, Sundance Table Read My Script*



We hear a sharp CRACKING sound as camera opens on a pile of snails placed on the ground. Beside the pile is a plastic bowl with freshly prepped snails. INTO FRAME, we see a small rock come down on a snail shell resting on the concrete slab under the tap. Slender female hands pick up the cracked snail and begin to pull out the slimy entrails. She tosses the prepped snail into the rubber bowl with the rest. She tosses the waste in a smaller bowl and rubs her hand across the rim to remove some of the slime. She picks up another snail, places it on the slab. INTO VIEW we see the slender frame of a young woman crouched over the slab as her hand comes down with the rock on the snail shell.



She turns and rises immediately dropping the rock as she does. We see her. She is VERONICA, a very pretty fourteen year old. She is buxom for her age. We see this through a thin ugly cotton gown. Around her head is an old rayon scarf. She looks blankly at the source of the voice.

Her POV, we see MAMA DUNCAN (late 40’s, surly looking) standing across from her with her hands on her large hips. Beside her is her son DUNCAN(19)  dressed in sagged jeans.


You are still here?

Veronica lowers her eyes.


 Finish that before I return.

We see a pile of dirty clothes on the floor.


Yes ma.

Veronica’s expression is blank as Mama Duncan walks to her car with Duncan trailing behind her. As he walks past Veronica, he cups her bottom quickly and gives her a playful drooling look. She shrugs him off and returns to the snails. A tear slips down her face as she swats flies by her ears. She picks up the rock and crushes a snail. It looks mangled as she cleans it. She drops it in the bowl. She turns on the tap and begins to wash the snail slime off her hands. C/U on slime as it drops off at the pressure of the water and the rubbing movement of her hands. Her face is a mask of sorrow.



Veronica is sitting on a small wooden bench at the tap. A large plastic bowl is filled with her washing before her. She is sweaty and wearing a glazed expression as she hand washes the clothes, stopping intermittently to swat flies. She stiffens as a male hand rests on her shoulder. She closes her eyes briefly and opens them again. There is a resigned look on her face. She gets up, wiping her hands on the skirt of her gown.


JOHNBULL, a huge very dark, man in his early fifties is lying expectantly on the bed. He turns from the television as the door opens and Veronica walks in slowly. She turns to the television. Her gaze lingers as she takes in the scene playing out.

On the screen is an office. Sitting behind the table in the office is a famous NOLLYWOOD actress with a handsome young man sitting across from her. She looks him over slowly.


 Having my way through life is not a privileged, It is the reward of action.

The young man looks up at her in adoration.

Johnbull clears his throat impatiently and the television goes off. Veronica turns to Johnbull on the bed. He places the remote control on the bedside drawer and adjusts himself on the bed. Veronica is hesitant. He beckons at her impatiently. Veronica reaches down and pulls off her underwear. We see the cotton panty fall as she steps out of it and approaches the bed.



A persistent SQUEAKY sound underlays the entire scene. The room is a perfect square painted a dull brown, with a window on each wall. There is no door. Behind each window is a female. The first female is the FAMOUS ACTRESS from the television. The second female is a TIRED LOOKING WOMAN in her forties. The third  is VERONICA 2; a replica of Veronica. The last is a beautiful 18 YEAR OLD. She is wearing a twenty four inch human hair Brazilian weave and is expertly made up.

The ladies are all dressed in plain black tee shirts. The famous actress is wearing smart black pants and her sleeves are rolled up. She is wearing a string of pearls around her neck and on her wrist. The tired looking woman is wearing her tee shirt over a worn Hollandais Dutch wax wrapper with a matching scarf on her head. The eighteen year old has her tee shirt on hot pants. Her tee shirt is knotted at her midriff. She has on gold jewelry and huge designer sun glasses which she never takes off . Veronica 2 is wearing her tee shirt on layers of black clothes. Not an inch of her skin is in view except for her very sad face.

The tired woman and The eighteen year old are standing directly facing their windows. The Famous actress is sitting stiffly before the window. We know this but can not see below her chest. Veronica 2 is sitting on the floor with her back turned from the window. Her back is to the wall and her knees are drawn up to her chin.


 A curse.


 No a crime.


 Shhhh it’ll soon be over.

The famous actress turns to The tired woman with a look of contempt.


What if for once, you didn’t say that?


It might not be so bad if we just shut up and enjoy the show?


 God forbid.

They all turn to Veronica 2. The eighteen year old walks over to her. She stoops beside her and puts her mouth just a hairs breadth away from her ear. Veronica 2 cringes as The eighteen year old breathes down heavily in her ear. The BREATHING is amplified as we hear a lower, deeper, masculine moaning under it. It is Johnbull. Veronica 2 looks up straight into the window across from her. She makes eye contact with Veronica, both of them are unblinking. Veronica is bumping to the pressure of Johnbull’s thrusts. Her scarf has slipped off. Her hair is very short and badly shorn. The heavy breathing stops. It is replaced by the creaking sound.





Tight on Veronica; Her eyes flutter shut and then open again. A small moan escapes her mouth. She closes her eyes.



The eighteen year old  walks back to her window. Veronica 2 is tightly clutch her knees and her eyes are tightly shut.


 I say embrace it and this should work for and not against.

The Famous actress turns to The eighteen year old excitedly, a mad glint in her eyes.


It is what you chose to see that counts.


 Use what you have to make life work for you.

(Seeming to speak to herself)

The body of a seductress…


The body of a whore.


 Accepting other peoples negative opinion of you is not an  option.


Yes you must reject it. Protect your inside, that is what they target. If you are fine inside, you’ll be fine.


(Looking her over scornfully)

That is defeatist, what about proactive?

The room is silent as they all stare at the eighteen year old. Except for Veronica 2, who is staring at her feet.


  If one doesn’t take control of their life and destiny others will.


Daughter of the devil. Cursed with a seductive spirit.

They all round on her, their faces registering different emotions. The famous actress in angry disbelief. The tired woman looks very worried.  The eighteen year old seems to have made a happy discovery.

A sudden loud BANGING startles everyone. The light in the room flickers. Veronica 2 covers her face. The actress struggles in her chair. We see that she is tied down to the chair with a rope from each arm. They all stare soberly out of their windows except for Veronica 2 whose face is still covered. Camera pulls out of the room.




The loud banging persists. Camera pulls out from Veronica’s eyes. They are rounded in fear. The four women are reflected dimly in her eyes. Johnbull’s face is contorted in ecstasy as he reaches orgasm. Veronica weakly tries to push him off. He falls heavily on her. The creaking sound ceases. It is the bed. At the door, the banging has ceased. We see the bedroom door. The key DROPS from the hole. We hear the sound of a key being INSERTED.

Johnbull is hurriedly pulling on his trousers. We catch a glimpse of Veronica as she dashes into the adjoining bathroom. The door is thrown open. Mama Duncan stalks in heaving. She stops just inside the room and looks around the room suspiciously. Her eyes rest on Johnbull who is standing with his belt undone and breathing heavily. He looks cornered. She sees Veronicas panty.

Mama Duncan’s eyes dart to the bathroom. She makes a beeline to the bathroom and throws the door open. Both she and Veronica SCREAM as we hear the sound of BLOWS. Johnbull picks up his shirt and slips into it as he walks out of the room. Mama Duncan drags Veronica out by her the neck of her dress.


(calling out)


She rains blow after heavy blow on Veronica. Veronica whimpers as she tries to shield her face from the blows.


 Home wrecker.

Duncan rushes in looking worried.


 Mama what’s going on?

Mama Duncan rips Veronicas dress in two and drags off the pieces off her. Veronica is left in her bra and a small tight half slip with a rip along the side.


 Pepper from the fridge.

She continues to rain punches on Veronica as Duncan rushes out.  She continues to punch Veronica. Duncan returns with a plastic bowl.


Oya hold her down….spread her legs.

She opens the bowl, compresses the cover and scopes out some blended red pepper. Veronica is backed up against the corner of the wall whimpering. Duncan is immobile, leering at her breast.


 I said hold her down and spread her legs.

Duncan lunges towards Veronica. At the same time she springs forward. Catching him unaware, she shoves him towards his mother and makes for the door. She rushes out of the room.



Through the body of a shiny black SUV, we see Veronica running and crying. She is attracting a lot of attention. All eyes are on her.



We are inside the SUV, A MAN (late 40’s) is looking out at Veronica and the attention she is attracting. His POV, Veronica is running and oblivious of the commotion in her wake. A buxom young girl in just a bra and a torn half slip, running and crying along the estate street.




Veronica is on the far right of the left side of the screen. She is running with determination. People stop and stare but she keeps running. On the far left of the right screen are the four ladies running through a corn field, parallel to Veronica.

They run as fast as Veronica and with equal determination. Veronica 2 can’t keep up. She lags behind then falls down panting. She stretches a hand and calls out to the others but they ignore her and keep running.



Veronica is sitting under a large tree at a corner of the park. Her back is leaned against a large tree, her legs are drawn up to her chin and she is pulling off little blades of grass and placing them to one side in a neat pile.

She looks up startled, as a pair of male shoes appear in her view. A well dressed MAN(distinguished looking, late forties).


Hello dear. You’ve been out here almost five hours.

Veronica looks up at him silently.


I live on lane eight. And I know you. You are Mrs. Duke’s maid.


I’m her niece.

The man is taken aback.


Let me take you back and plead on your behalf. Whatever you have done, I’m sure it can’t be that bad.

Veronica shakes her head fiercely. The man looks around a little uncomfortably.


What did you do wrong?


Have no parents.

The man searches for what to say.


Ok let’s go to my house. My wife is out of town but she’ll be back tomorrow. She’ll be able to sort you out.

Veronica looks uncertainly at him. She looks past him to his car. The engine is running and it is the same SUV from the previous scene.


Come on it’ll soon be night, you can’t be out here. I won’t hurt you.

Veronica rises slowly. As she does, her half clothed state is exposed to the man.  A flicker of male appreciation comes over his eyes as his gaze lingers on Veronica’s shapely midriff.

As he looks up, their eyes meet. Veronica’s eyes drop and she hesitates. The man seems to shake the moment off and becomes officious. He hands her his jacket. She accepts it.


Are you coming?


The man is behind the wheels. Veronica shuts the passenger side door. She is wearing his jacket and staring blankly out of the window as it winds up. Inside the car, the man starts the car. By his side we see The eighteen year old in Veronica’s place. The jacket has slipped open and she makes no move to close it. The man steals an openly lustful glance at her breast as he pulls out. She gives him a coy smile. He looks excited. Camera pulls out as the car begins to move. Camera pulls out slowly to AERIAL SHOT. The car gets smaller and smaller, as we see the stunning layout of the highbrow estate.


27 thoughts on “Veronica’s Pieces” by RIO (@riowrites)

  1. Vewi vewi deep. But wasn’t all that clear. Wetin make vero sleep wit dat guy of 56 while she’s only 14. It wasn’t rape.

    1. RIO (@riowrites)

      Thanks brodeh, na abuse.

  2. My first read of a screenplay.
    I don’t know what to make of it.

    1. RIO (@riowrites)

      It bet it looks pretty strange. Thanks for reading though @kaycee.

  3. I have no knowledge of screen writing, so I’m kinda confused when reading it, but I commend you for the work anyway. If not for anything I learnt somethings here. Thanks.

    1. RIO (@riowrites)

      I know @francis, screen plays at not the most exciting thing to read especially because of the technical. Thanks for reading.

  4. The way this is written with more visuals than dialogue..dialogue makes it easier for most people to flow. This is really deep.

    So finally vero has accepted the offer of the eighteen year old. She would make use of her body by choice this time, rather than being raped.
    The ladies, i feel, are different voices in her head, telling her which part to take.

    Please Rio, come and tell us the story…hehe..
    The shit that some girls suffer from a family that’s supposed to protect them is heartbreaking…Well done Rio…$ß.

  5. RIO (@riowrites)

    Thank you @sibbylwhyte. The first cardinal rule of screen writing is “show don’t tell”. If a deaf man can watch without subtitles and still get the story, a screen writer has outdone themselves.

    *Abuse especially of a young child, splinters their personality. They take refuge in different alters as a mechanism to cope with the flood of emotions (especially pain, hurt and betrayal) that they are exposed to.
    The number of female children that are abused by relatives in Nigeria is according to a life coach I met a while back, 70%. I do not doubt that figure for it includes me and several of my friends.

    1. Then I must say that you did good with this. Especially now you have explained a bit, so people would flow with this.
      Abuse of both males and females sexually must happen everyday going by that statistics. It is really crazy. I do not doubt either, i even reckon its more than that.
      Glad that bad stuff could be wiped off with good memories and all..

      1. RIO (@riowrites)

        The best therapy for a survivor is “I was just a child, I didn’t do anything wrong”. It never wipes off but it helps. My movie (Distance Between) is also about abuse. It is about the two opposite end effects of abuse, promiscuity and frigidity. Thanks again @sibbylwhyte.

        1. @riowrites and how come I’ve never heard of that movie.

          1. RIO (@riowrites)

            It’s about five years old now. It is available to view on line, if you want to watch it though.

  6. Gud one i must say.

    1. RIO (@riowrites)

      Thanks again @louis.

  7. Although this wasn’t so clear especially the part where the females were standing at the windows, but I got most of the gist.

    Please give us more. We don’t see this kind around here.


    But I didn’t see Vero’s pieces.

    1. RIO (@riowrites)

      @babyada, Thank you so much for reading. @sibbylwhyte has further explained below but if you have any more questions, I shall be glad to answer them.

    2. I say AMEN to that @babyada Guess we will be getting our other genre writers back now.

  8. @babyada…Veronica pieces are those four ladies..they are alter personalities she created in her mind to enable her dissociate from the abuse she is going through.
    Like Rio says, one gets to a level of abuse and has no option other than to create a better or stronger personality in their minds to help em cope. Hope this clears up stuff for you a bit.

  9. @riowrites Now we are getting you all back. This is very nice. I like the way you have put it out here. She is an orphan, she has been molested…but deep down she has also got some of the blame, right?

    Help me if that trail is wrong. She seems to be struggling within herself abt her nature. Now, where I don’t get is the Johnbull Part…what was that? Who is Johnbull?

    All-in-all I liked what I read, you painted the alter-egos well….are they alter-egos or just her conscience?

    Will be looking to read more from you.

    Unlike some some other self-proclaimed screenwriters we never get to read from.

    1. RIO (@riowrites)

      @shaifamily, Sex was created by God to be pleasurable. One of the reasons sexual abuse is so dangerous is that underneath all else, a person might just enjoy the sex. That can be an emotionally crippling experience. Your violator then seems right about choosing you. So you blame yourself.

      1. Hmm…If I draw an inference…Vero enjoys it? Plus, inside it is still her, fighting for a definition, right?

    2. RIO (@riowrites)

      Thanks for reading @shaifamily, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  10. Now, have read previous comments. Alter-egos and one’s conscience ain’t d same. So, I say those four are are alters.

    1. Whether ‘alter-ego’ or conscience; I think this is pretty clear and graphic.

      You write about abuse so well. Do you know any victim(s)? No offense meant.

      Well done.

      1. RIO (@riowrites)

        Thank you @Seun-Odukoya, Screen writing is my strong point. I don’t think it is written well just because it is abuse ;-) Yes sir, I do know lots of victims from our support group, no offence taken.

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