In BURNT on March 11, 2010 at 6:59 am


Lightening flashes,  illuminating the cages.  The animals thrash wildly.  The air smells of wet fur and mange.

Clay carries his daughter down the muddy hill and through the zoo.  He’s crying and moaning but the baby is quiet.

He can see the lights of Los Angeles down the canyon.  He and the baby begin the long trek, leaving behind Griffith Park and their home of two weeks.


One of her girls left the shed door open again.  Minnie runs from the house through the pouring rain and there she finds the monster.

He beckons in his filthy rags. He twists his broken frame and points.  His mouth contorts and he moans and he points.

“…she’s no orphan…she has a mother…a father…she needs more than I can give her…needs to stay here…”

He’s pointing at the sign mounted near the roof.  Minnie Barton Home for Girls.

“…Richard said my wife would kill the baby…that’s why I did these things…am I a villain? …am I a sucker? …a patsy?”

She steps inside the shed.  She’s glad he keeps talking.  It gives her time to open the locked box she keeps there.

“I am not those things.  I am her father.  I am her dad!”

He’s raising the baby in his arms when she shoots him.

“Shame!” she cries.  “Shame on you!  Shame!  Shame!”

The Story So Far

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