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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

The Great Conjunction

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT


  4. PETER, his WIFE and two CHILDREN are having dinner.


  5. WIFE: On Winter Solstice day, I'll buy takeaway home.


  6. Peter's thinking.


  7. PETER (V.O.): True. I haven't arranged for the big family dinner. But that's understood in pandemic times.


  8. Pausing.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): With the pandemic restrictions, we can't eat together in public.


  10. Pausing.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In fact, it isn't safe for us to gather together. My Mom and me are senior citizens.


  12. WIFE: I've ordered a Beijing duck dinner set to take away that day.


  13. Peter nods.


  14. Act 2


  15. INT. STUDY - MORNING


  16. Peter's eyes are glued to his computer screen.


  17. PETER (V.O.): I've done my penultimate draft of my decision in the small hours of this morning.


  18. Peter continues reading.


  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My plan is to issue this final draft before noon. I don't want this thing to spoil my Winter Solstice Day.


  20. Peter does some editing.


  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But there're always little things I can refine...


  22. Peter continues the editing.


  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): This is it. I'm happy with it. As the penultimate version and the final version are completed so close to each other, I've to ensure my sending the right file.


  24. Having sent an email, Peter looks relaxed.


  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've an urge to go out. Yes, let me check if I can re-new my car licences without making any appointment.


  26. INT. TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT


  27. Talking to STAFF#1 at the entrance, Peter shows an orange card with an image on it.


  28. PETER: I'm a senior citizen. Can I get in without a prior appointment?


  29. STAFF: Senior citizen right? You can go inside.


  30. MONTAGE


  31. A. Peter presents some papers before a counter.

  32. B. STAFF#2 processes them.


  33. C. Having paid with a card, Peter gets two labels back.


  34. END MONTAGE


  35. PETER (V.O.): I've renewed two cars' licences on that same day. I seldom renew them on time. As we can't fly, we drive more.


  36. INT. STUDY - AFTERNOON


  37. The TV is on, playing news stories.


  38. PETER (V.O.): Wow, many countries are banning flights from UK! Hong Kong too? France will suspend its land, sea and air connections with UK. It's reverse-Brexit.


  39. Pausing.


  40. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Our younger daughter is studying at home now. How could she continue her studies in UK?


  41. Pausing.


  42. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The pandemic has been causing lots of inconvenience to people, particularly those living in the Northern Hemisphere.


  43. Pausing.


  44. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): In the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice 2020 is today, Dec 21.


  45. Phone in hand, Peter searches casually.


  46. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Today isn't just the shortest day of the year, it's also the day for the Great Conjunction...What's that?


  47. Pausing.


  48. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): Saturn and Jupitar will appear so close in our sky as if they've become a single object.


  49. Pausing,


  50. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): The next time for a similar astronomical phenomenon will be for another 60 years...


  51. Thinking.


  52. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I won't be able to see it again.


  53. EXT. OPEN SPACE - EVENING


  54. Peter looks up at the sky.


  55. PETER (V.O.)(Cont'd): I can't see the double planet...


  56. Act 3


  57. INT. STUDY - NIGHT.


  58. PETER (V.O.): I've a song on Winter Solstice published in YouTube under the name of peterC@STORIES.


  59. Having tapped an image icon on an iPad Mini, we hear Peter singing in Cantonese.


  60. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It was a raw and real song about humanity and Winter Solstice.


  61. Recalling.


  62. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I wrote it with my heart back in 2016. I was very creative then. Now, I'm bothered with my professional work.


  63. Pausing.


  64. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I wrote the song, I didn't foresee getting together for a feast could be that difficult.


  65. Pausing.


  66. PETER (V.O.): Anyhow, my son has already come home for our Sunday dinner, and he's coming back this Monday - our alternative "great" conjunction.


  67. INT. DINNING ROOM - NIGHT


  68. PETER, his WIFE and CHILDREN are enjoying Peking duck, as the family pet KAJI watches.


  69. FADE OUT.


  70. THE END


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