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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Complex Dynamics

  1. FADE IN

  2. Act 1

  3. EXT. CASTLE PEAK ROAD - 11:45

  4. In a Previa, PETER drives towards Hung Shui Kiu.

  5. PETER (V.O.): It's a surprise that I could swim in the Golden Bay after work.

  6. Stopping before traffic lights, Peter grabs his smartphone to call.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Mum's phone is still busy...

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I know she likes to talk endlessly. It'd maintain her cognitive function.

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm going to her home to check it up.

  12. Act 2

  13. INT. FLOOR CORRIDOR - 12.15

  14. Pressing the door bell of a unit several times, Peter gets no response.

  15. PETER (V.O.): I can hear no sound inside. Mum isn't engaging in any telephone conversation.

  16. Pausing.

  17. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My siblings told me that Mum might not respond to the door bell even though she's inside.

  18. Pausing.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I haven't brought the keys to the unit, as my coming here is an afterthought.

  20. Pausing.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Perhaps, one of my siblings has taken her to the nearby restaurant.

  22. INT. RESTAURANT - 12:30

  23. Wearing a face mask, Peter walks discreetly towards a table where his MUM (90+) and SISTER are sitting.

  24. PETER (V.O.): See if Mum can recognize me...

  25. Peter's Mum begins to observe him.

  26. MUM: Ah Fai?

  27. SISTER: You're here?

  28. PETER (V.O.): Yes, my sister sees Mum on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, brother#2 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, brother#3 anytime...

  29. PETER: Sister, you see, Mum can still recognise me!

  30. SISTER: Did Mum know that you're coming?

  31. PETER: No, her phone is always busy. She must have misplaced it.

  32. SISTER: We've already eaten. Order something...

  33. In the presence of their Mum, Peter and his sister chat endlessly.

  34. SISTER: I don't understand why Mum is clinging to her wealth.

  35. PETER: I've stopped giving her money when she found it stressful to manage her wealth.

  36. SISTER: But her desire to accumulate and retain every dollar is still strong.

  37. PETER (V.O.): As our mother, she has a strong sense of entitlement.

  38. SISTER (Cont'd): Whenever I see brother#1, he always tells the story about the school principal wanting to see Mum as he couldn't pay school fees on time.

  39. PETER: I was always the last one in class to pay the school fees. Mum complained a lot about Dad's lack of means.

  40. SISTER: Poor Dad did give all his wages to Mum.

  41. SISTER (Cont'd): When Mum remarked that I'd discontinue my secondary studies, I gave in.

  42. PETER (V.O.): Oh, this's the first time I hear that.... When sister began working, she also began her evening schooling...

  43. Recalling.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To resolve her challenge, my beautiful sister married young.

  45. Recalling.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The challenges for poor Dad and my brothers began to cease when I got a well-paid job and gave Mum what she wanted monthly.

  47. Responding to her sister's disclosure.

  48. PETER: What's the point for Mum to have extra hundreds or thousands of dollars in her bank accounts now!

  49. PETER (V.O.): Mum is unwilling to recognize and reflect on her misery demeanour. I always envy those who have supportive and caring mothers.

  50. Act 3


  52. Having input the prompt: "A mother, a daughter and a son" in an AI art generator, Peter sees a cubist image appearing.

  53. PETER (V.O.): Mum's behaviour remains static, while we're still dynamic.

  54. Thinking.

  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As to how loving is our care, it's a personal decision. I confess that I'm not as loving as my sister and brothers yet.

  56. Pausing.

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Meanwhile, we continue to navigate a family's endless complex dynamics.

  58. Peter continues to drive away from Hung Shui Kiu.

  59. FADE OUT

  60. THE END

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