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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Back To Work


  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. DINING ROOM - DAY


  4. PETER is having breakfast, reading a newspaper.


  5. PETER (V.O.): Somebody is thanking his former team for the jobs done. If he doesn't detail them, I wouldn't know.


  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Now I know, but they weren't significant after all.


  8. Pausing.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I worked with him over 20 years ago. I helped streamline Hong Kong's municipal institutions. I worked very hard, but who would feel the difference?


  10. Pausing.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Have I lost a lot of intellectual effort and time?


  12. Pausing.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Well, I've a university governance meeting this morning. I wish to do some legal research afterwards... Yes, back to work.

  14. Peter goes out


  15. Act 2


  16. EXT. TRAIN CAR - DAY


  17. Crowded. A masked Peter sees a priority seat and puts a hand to feel his back.


  18. PETER (V.O.): I still have some back pain.


  19. Peter takes the seat.


  20. PETER (V.O.): Since the coronavirus outbreak. I haven't dyed my hair. People can see that I'm entitled to take the seat.


  21. INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY


  22. A meeting. Peter sits side by side with two white-haired GENTLEMEN# 1-2.


  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): We're old and wise, still having some residual value.


  24. EXT. ROAD, CENTRAL - DAY


  25. Peter is chatting with a black-haired GENTLMAN#3.


  26. PETER: I admire you can create job vacancies during hard times.


  27. GENTLEMAN#3: I can create 10-15 jobs anytime!


  28. PETER: That's significant by any measures these days.


  29. INT. CHAMBERS - DAY


  30. Peter is reading a thick book.


  31. PETER (V.O.): Reading the 2020 edition is reassuring. I've updated myself and am ready to go back to work.


  32. Pausing.


  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In fact, the type of work that I'm doing is quite inconsequential and insignificant.


  34. Pausing.


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's really like a pastime to me, although I hate just to pass the time.


  36. EXT. TRAIN CAR - DAY


  37. Seeing a priority seat, Peter just take it.


  38. PETER (V.O.): No shame! I should really retire.


  39. Peter takes a look of all the younger passengers around.


  40. Act 3


  41. INT. RESTAURANT - DAY


  42. Finishing a bowl of Wonton noodles, Peter begins to enjoy his red bean ice.


  43. PETER (V.O.): Let me pick a Quora question to answer.


  44. Peter checks a phone notification.


  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Hah, the question poser asks me if he would be better off to get CONVID-19 infection and the immunity early.


  46. Pausing.


  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Like many others, he may want to go back to work.


  48. Thinking.


  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But there's the risk that he might not live. It's a fact that people are dying and they aren't just numbers.


  50. Peter types on his phone.


  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For land-linked territories with mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau are the safest.


  52. Peter finishes his typing.


  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Before the pandemic, anywhere seemed to be better than Hong Kong. Hong Kong has relatively uplifted itself in months.


  54. Pausing.


  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And what I can still do now shouldn't be insignificant and small when compared to doing nothing.


  56. INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT


  57. After dinner, Peter packs his brief case.


  58. PETER (V.O.): Perhaps, I can treat it as a way to relax. Yes - back to work!


  59. FADE OUT.


  60. THE END



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