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"THE SELECTION"

EPISODE 1.01: "PILOT"


SCREENPLAY BY
ASHLEIGH HAYNES

BASED ON THE BOOKS BY KIERA CASS


"THE SELECTION" PAGE 1

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A WORK OF FAN FICTION. I, ASHLEIGH HAYNES,
DO NOT OWN THE SELECTION. FURTHERMORE, THIS WORK DOES NOT
REFLECT THE VIEWS OF KIERA CASS, HARPERTEEN, OR ANY OTHER
PARTIES INVOLVED IN ANY OFFICIAL OR UNOFFICIAL CAPACITY WITH THE
SELECTION. THIS FAN SCRIPT BELONGS TO ASHLEIGH HAYNES AND MAY
NOT BE PRODUCED IN ANY WAY/SHAPE/FORM. THIS SCRIPT IS FOR
READING ONLY. NO PRODUCTION OF THIS SCRIPT IS INTENDED.

SCREENWRITER'S NOTE: I HAVE NO PROFESSIONAL TRAINING OR
EDUCATION IN SCREENWRITING. I AM BASING THE FORMAT OF THIS
SCRIPT ON MY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE READING SCREENPLAYS.

TO CONTACT ME WITH ANY INQUIRIES, FEEDBACK, CONCERNS, OR
QUESTIONS, PLEASE EMAIL: ahselection2014@gmail.com

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 2

PART ONE
ESTABLISHING:SHOTS OF SEVERAL MODERN CITIES (NEW YORK, LA,
CHICAGO, TORONTO, ETC.). THE CITIES ARE BUSTLING WITH
PEOPLE, MOVING HURRIEDLY BACK AND FORTH, NOT PAYING
ATTENTION TO THE WORLD AROUND THEM. A VOICEOVER BEGINS AS
THE SHOTS ALTERNATE.

AMERICA
Three hundred years ago, the countries that made up
North America were attacked and invaded by the
countries of the East.

BRIEF SHOTS OF BOMBS EXPLODING, REGULAR AND NUCLEAR; RAGING
FIRES ON BATTLEFIELDS; SCREAMING IN THE BACKGROUND. FINALLY, THE
CACOPHANY DIES DOWN, AND THE SCREEN FADES TO BLACK FOR ONLY A
MOMENT.

AMERICA (CONT.)
After millions died and suffered in the third World
War, the western countries came together to form a new
nation from the ashesIlla.

AN AREIAL SHOT OF A NEW CITY, THE CENTER OF WHICH IS A LARGE
PALACE, APPEARS WITH A CHYRON THAT IDENTIFIES IT AS ILLEA: YEAR
2326. THE OVERALL EFFECT IS CALMING, PEACFUL EVEN. THIS NEW
COUNTRY LOOKS LIKE THE UTOPIA WE COULD NEVER HAVE. THIS IS
ANGELES AND THE ROYAL PALACE.

AMERICA (CONT.)
And so began the time of peace.When they created the
new country, the new leaders also created a caste
system to give every person a place in the new
society, assigned with a number, Eight through One.

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AS AMERICA CONTINUES, DESCRIBING EACH OF THE CASTES, AN IMAGE
APPEARS ON THE SCREEN OF SOMEONE OR MULTIPLE SOMEONES FROM THAT
SPECIFIC CASTE PERFORMING THEIR SET OF SKILLS GIVEN TO THEM BY
THEIR CASTE, WITH A NUMBER FLASHING OFF TO THE SIDE OF THE
PERSON BRIEFLY TO ASSOCIATE THE NUMBER WITH THE CASTE.

AMERICA (CONT.)
There are the street rats

IMAGE OF A HOMELESS PERSON ON THE STREET, HUDDLED IN DIRTY,
RIPPED OLD CLOTHING AGAINST A BRICK BUILDING. THE NUMBER 8
IDENTIFIES HIM.

AMERICA (CONT.)
the labor class

WE SEE A CONSTRUCTION SITE, WITH MEN SLAVING AWAY IN THE HOT,
DIRECT SUNLIGHT. THE NUMBER 7 APPEARS, THEN FADES AWAY ALMOST
INSTANTLY.

AMERICA (CONT.)
the servants

WE SEE A YOUNG MANASPEN LEGER, THOUGH WE DONT KNOW IT YET
WORKING IN A KITCHEN; SHOT ALSO FLASHES TO SHOW MAIDS RUNNING
AROUND THE HOUSE OF SOME RICH TWO. THEN NUMBER 6 FLASHES ON
SCREEN.

AMERICA (CONT.)
the artists

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THIS SHOT IS ACTUALLY INSIDE THE SINGER HOME IN CAROLINA, SEEING
SHALOM AND MAY PAINTING IN THE STUDIO. THE NUMBER 5 IDENTIFIES
THEIR CASTE.

AMERICA (CONT.)
the merchant class

WE SEE A SMALL FAMILY-RUN SHOP, THE OWNERS SMILING AS THEY HELP
A CUSTOMER. THE NUMBER 4 APPEARS.

AMERICA (CONT.)
the intellectuals

THIS SHOT MOVES INTO A SCHOOL, WHERE A TEACHER IS TEACHING SMALL
CHILDREN. MANY OF THE CHILDREN ARE UNHEALTHILY SKINNY AND ARE
WEARING DIRTY, RIPPED CLOTHING. THESE CHILDREN ARE SIXES AND
SEVENSTHE HIGHER CASTES HAVE PRIVATE STUDIES AND THE EIGHTS
HAVE NO EDUCATION. ANOTHER SHOT MOVES TO A HOSPITAL AS TWO
DOCTORS WALK DOWN A HALL, CONVERSING. THE NUMBER 3 IDENTIFIES
THEM.

AMERICA (CONT.)
the celebrities, politicians, and guardians.

A SHARPLY-DRESSED MAN AND A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN STAND TOGETHER
ON THE FRONT VERANDA OF A RIDICULOUSLY HUGE MANSION, COMPLETE
WITH MARBLE STEPS AND GIANT COLUMNS ACROSS THE FRONT. THEY GREET
SEVERAL FRIENDS, ALL EQUALLY AS WELL DRESSED. OF THE PEOPLE THEY
GREET, ONE IS A SOLDIER IN DRESS UNIFORM. THEY GREET HIM AS
WARMLY AS THEY GREET THE OTHERS.

AMERICA (CONT.)
And then there are the Royals.
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WIDE SHOT OF THE ROYAL PALACE IN ANGELES. THEN, WE MOVE INSIDE
THE PALACE, MOVING THROUGH THE FRONT HALLS, PAST A COUPLE OF
CORNERS, AND THEN INTO A THE THRONE ROOM, THE TITLE OBJECTS
NOTICABLY EMPTY. CAMERA PANS AROUND AND IMMEDIATELY STARTS
BACKING UP TO SHOW SEVERAL PEOPLE FILING INTO THE ROOM. WHEN
THEY REACH THE EDGE OF THE RAISED PLATFORM ON WHICH SITS THE
THRONES, THE VISITORS SIMULTANEOUSLY BOW. THE CAMERA CONTINUES
TRACKING BACKWARD TO SHOW THE BACKS OF THE THRONES AS WELL AS
THE PROFILES OF THE PEOPLE NOW ENTERING FROM A DOOR TO THE SIDE
OF THE PLATFORM. WE ONLY SEE THESE PEOPLEKING CLARKSON, QUEEN
AMBERLY, AND PRINCE MAXONIN PROFILE. WE DONT ACTUALLY SEE
THEIR FACES UNTIL MUCH LATER IN THE EPISODE. TOGETHER, THEY COME
TO A STOP, EACH IN FRONT OF THEIR OWN RESPECTIVE THRONES, AND
LOOK DOWN AT THE VISITORS.

AMERICA (CONT.)
With the new country came the monarchy. And with that
monarchy came the Selection.

SHOT TRANSITIONS FROM THE LUXURY OF THE PALACE TO AN
ESTABLISHING EXTERIOR SHOT OF DILAPIDATED TINY HOUSE IN A
RUNDOWN NEIGHBORHOOD. IT'S THE SINGER RESIDENCE. (AMERICAS
VOICE OVER NOW RESUMES). WE SEE MAGDA, AMERICA'S MOTHER, WALKING
THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR, CARRYING A BAG OF GROCERIES UNDER ONE
ARM, THE MAIL IN HER HAND AS SHE CAREFULLY OPENS THE DOOR. SHE
IS A MIDDLE AGED WOMAN THAT, THOUGH PERHAPS ONCE BEAUTIFUL, TIME
HAS NOT BEEN TOO KIND TO. CAMERA FOLLOWS HER AS SHE MAKES HER
WAY THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR, PAST THE SMALL ENTRY WAY, AND INTO
THE SMALL KITCHEN, WHERE SHE HAPHZARDLY DROPS THE MAIL ONTO THE
TABLE BEFORE MOVING TO PUT THE GROCERIES UP. THE SHOT ZOOMS IN
ON THE PILE OF MAIL, WHICH FEATURES SEVERAL SMALL, DULL
ENVELOPES SITTING ON TOP OF A MUCH BRIGHTER AND MORE COLORFUL
LARGER ENVELOPE, MADE OF A THICK PAPER. THE ENVELOPE CLEARLY
STANDS OUT IN THE PILE OF MAIL. AMERICA'S VOICE OVER CONTINUES
AS HER MOTHER PLACES THE GROCERIES.

AMERICA (CONT.)
Thirty five-girls, one from each of the provinces,
chosen to vie for the heart of the crowned Prince of
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Illa, their chance at his hand in marriage. Their
chance at royalty. Their chance at being the One.

V.O. PAUSES AND CAMERA FINALLY PULLS AWAY FROM THE ENVELOPE AND
MOVES THROUGH THE SMALL HOUSE, MAKING ITS WAY DOWN A HALL UNTIL
IT REACHES A DOOR THAT STANDS SLIGHTLY OPEN.(AMERICAS VOICE
OVER NOW RESUMES). THE CAMERA MOVES THROUGH THE DOOR INTO A
SMALL BEDROOM. IN THE ROOM IS A SMALL BED, SITTING ON WHICH IS A
VIBRANT REDHEAD, HER BACK TO THE CAMERA. SHE FACES A MUSIC STAND
IN FRONT OF HER AS SHE PLAYS A VIOLIN THAT RESTS ON HER CHIN. WE
HEAR THE SWEET MELODY SHE PLAYS; SHE IS QUITE TALENTED. THIS IS
AMERICA SINGER, 16, FIERY TEMPER TO MATCH HER BRIGHT RED LOCKS.

AMERICA (CONT.)
But this isn't the prince's story. It's all mine. My
name is America Singer. Im a Five. I always have
been, and I never asked for anything more. All I
wanted was to stay exactly where I was. I just wanted
to live my life as a Five, maybe even as a Six if
things went the way they were supposed to; marry the
love of my life, have children, grow old, and die. Was
that really so much to ask?

THERE IS A SCREAM OF SURPRISE OFF SCREEN, FOLLOWED BY MAGDA'S
VOICE CALLING HER DAUGHTER'S NAME.

MAGDA (O.S)
America!

THE GIRL SITTING ON THE BED PULLS THE VIOLIN AWAY FROM HER FACE
AND TURNS AROUND TO FACE THE DOOR, A MIXTURE OF FEAR AND
CONFUSION ON HER FACE. THIS IS THE FIRST LOOK WE GET OF AMERICA
SINGER, AND SHE IS POSITIVELY RADIANT. IT'S NOT MAKEUP OR BEING
OBNOXIOUSLY OVERTLY BEAUTIFUL; SHE'S JUST NATURALLY ATTRACTIVE.
SHE JUMPS UP OFF THE BED AFTER ONLY A MOMENT'S HESITATION,
LAYING THE VIOLIN DOWN ON THE THIN COMFORTER AS SHE RUNS THROUGH
THE DOOR.
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SHOT RETURNS TO MAGDA; SHE'S STANDING IN THE KITCHEN, THE MAIL
DROPPED AT HER FEET, ALL EXCEPT ONE LETTERTHE BEAUTIFULLY
COLORFUL ONE WE NOTICED EARLIER. SHE STARES AT IT, AWESTRUCK, A
HAND OVER HER MOUTH, WHEN AMERICA RUNS INTO THE ROOM. WE HEAR
HER BEFORE WE SEE HER.

AMERICA (O.S)
Mom? What's wrong?

SHE STOPS IN THE KITCHEN DOORWAY, STARING AT HER MOTHER WITH A
PUZZLED EXPRESSION.

AMERICA (CONT.)
Mom, what's going on? You scared me to death!

MAGDA DROPS HER HAND REVEALING A HUGE GRIN, HOLDING OUT THE
LETTER AS HER ONLY EXPLINATION. AMERICA, HALTINGLY, STEPS
FORWARD TO TAKE THE LETTER. SHE FIXES HER MOTHER WITH ONE LAST
QUESTIONING GLANCE AS SHE LOOKS DOWN AT THE ENVELOPE IN HER
HAND. THE CONFUSED LOOK ON HER FACE DOESN'T DISAPPEAR, BUT HER
URGENCY AND WORRY FADE AWAY.

AMERICA (CONT.)
A letter from the royal palace in Angeles?

SHE TURNS THE LETTER OVER IN HER HANDS TO OPEN IT.

AMERICA (CONT.)
What's all this ab?
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 8


SHE FALTERS, FREEZING AS SHE FINALLY SEES THE EMBLEM ON THE BACK
OF THE ENVELOPE A GOLD-EMBOSSED TIARA, WITH THE LETTER 'S'
PRINTED BELOW IT. HER EYES RAISE TO HER MOTHER'S, AN UNEASY LOOK
ON HER FACE. SHE DOESN'T BOTHER TO OPEN THE LETTER NOWSHE KNOWS
EXACTLY WHAT IT WILL SAY.


AMERICA (CONT.)
Let me guessPrince Maxon has a birthday coming up.

MAGDA'S EXHILARATED EXPRESSION FALLS.

MAGDA
Why aren't you excited? This could be just what we
needed. This could be an opportunity for us.

AMERICA
You're right, it could be an opportunity. If I was
Selected. Which I won't be. Being Selected generally
means that you have to put in your application, and
that's something I'm not going to do.

MAGDA
And why is that, exactly? Give me one good reason for
you to stay here for the rest of your life, a Five
with next to nothing, when you could be living in a
palace.

AMERICA
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 9

Mom, I am not entering for even the slightest chance
to become a part of the most outdated, pathetic show
that is the Selection. I am not going to try to be one
of thirty five girls that fall all over themselves
trying to become a royal while our pompous snob of a
prince just chooses the prettiest and most obedient of
them to marry.



MAGDA
We could use the money. You know that. The Selection
contestants and their families get paid just to be at
the palace, even if they don't win! And imagine what
this could do for the family in general, how far it
can move us up

AMERICA
I'm happy where I am, Mom. Sure, we don't have tons of
extra cash lying around, but we get by just fine.
Besides, do you know how many girls in this province
alone are going to be entering? They're all vying for
that one spot in the Selection. It wouldn't be fair
for us to get May and Dad's hopes up when there's no
way I'm going to be chosen.

MAGDA
If you're so sure you aren't going to be chosen, then
what's the problem?

THEIR VOICES HAVE RISEN TO SHOUTS AT THIS POINT, DRAWING THE
ATTENTION OF THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE HOUSEHOLD. MAY AND SHALOM
COME IN FROM ADJOINING ROOM, MAY'S HANDS COVERED IN PAINT WITH A
FEW STREAKS ON HER FACE. MAY IS LIKE AMERICA'S 13-YEAR-OLD
DOPPELGANGER, WITH THE SAME HAIR AND A SIMILAR FACE, ONLY THREE
YEARS YOUNGER. SHALOM, AMERICA'S FATHER, IS AN OLDER MAN, MID-
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FORTIES, WITH A FACE WEATHERED BY TIME AND STRESS. THERE IS
CONCERN ON HIS FACE AS THEY ENTER THE ROOM.

SHALOM
What is going on in here?

MAGDA STARTS TO ANSWER, BUT AMERICA INTERUPTS HER BEFORE SHE CAN
GET A WORD OUT.
AMERICA
Nothing, Dad. It's fine. Just go back to whatever you
were working on.

SHALOM
It certainly didn't sound like nothing, America.
Magda?

MAGDA SNATCHES THE LETTER OUT OF AMERICA'S HAND AND HOLDS IT UP.

MAGDA
This came in the mail today. A letter from the court
of the Royal Palace in Angeles.

SHALOM STEPS FORWARD TO LOOK AT THE LETTER, PUZZLED. THEN HE
STOPS IN HIS TRACKS, A REALIZATION COMING TO HIM.

SHALOM
The Selection?

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MAY GASPS, CLEARLY OBLIVIOUS TO THE TENSION BETWEEN AMERICA AND
HER MOTHER. SHALOM EXCHANGES INTENSE LOOKS WITH HIS WIFE. MAY
GUSHES, EXCITED.

MAY
The Selection? As in the Selection? As in, Prince
Maxon choosing his future wife and the future Queen of
Illa from thirty five normal girls from across the
country?

AMERICA TEARS HER GAZE AWAY FROM HER PARENTS TO LOOK AT HER
SISTER.
AMERICA
Is there any other Royal Selection out there that I've
forgotten about? Maybe that's the one Mom's talking
about and I've just mistaken her meaning entirely.
Because surely she's not trying to talk me into
basically selling me off to jump up a few castes.

MAGDA BREAKS HER GAZE FROM SHALOM'S AND GLARES AT AMERICA.

MAGDA
That's hardly fair, America. I only want what's best
for you.

AMERICA
No, that's not what you want. You want to sell me off
to the highest bidder because you're a caste-jumping
psychopath. What you're trying to do is one step off
from prostitution, actually.

MAGDA
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 12

Whatever you think of me, America, you cannot talk to
me like that. I am still your mother and you will
respect me as such.

MAGDA LOOKS DOWN AT THE ENVELOPE IN HER HANDS FOR A MOMENT
BEFORE RIPPING IT OPEN AND PULLING OUT THE LETTER INSIDE.

AMERICA (RESIGNED)
Mom, what are you doing?

MAGDA
Hush. I think your family deserves to know exactly
what it is you're denying them so selfishly.

AMERICA BEGINS TO PROTEST, BUT MAGDA CARRIES ON OVER HER,
READING FROM THE LETTER OUT LOUD.

MAGDA (CONT.)
"To the House of Singer. The recent census has
confirmed that a single woman between the ages of
sixteen and twenty currently resides in your home. We
would like to make you aware of an upcoming
opportunity to honor the great country of Illa."

AMERICA
Mom.

MAGDA CONTINUES UNINTERUPTED.

MAGDA
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 13

"Our beloved Prince Maxon Schreave is coming of age
this month. As he ventures into this new part of his
life, he hopes to move forward with a partner, to
marry a true daughter of Illa. If your eligible
daughter, sister, or charge is interested in possibly
becoming the bride of Prince Maxon and the adored
princess of Illa, please fill out the form" Blah
blah blah "One woman from each province will be drawn
at random to meet the prince." And here's the best
part. "Participants will be housed at the lovely Illa
Palace in Angeles for the duration of their stay. The
families of each participant will be generously
compensated for their services to the Royal family."

MAGDA REFOLDS THE LETTER AND LOOKS AT MAY AND SHALOM FOR
SUPPORT, WILLING THEM TO SHAME AMERICA FOR HER SELFISHNESS.
SHALOM SPEAKS, BUT OFFERS NO SUPPORT TO HIS WIFE.

SHALOM
Who knew Maxon was already nineteen? How time flies.

MAGDA
Thats hardly the point. America could be bringing in
serious money for this family. She doesn't even have
to win.

AMERICA
Well, that's a relief, because there's no chance of
that happening, is there?

MAGDA
But you don't know that, America. You could be the
princess of Illa.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 14

MAY
Not to mention a One. We'd all be Ones. Royals, Ames.
We could have everything we ever wanted.

AMERICA
But it's not what I want. I've never wanted that.



MAGDA
Your sister married a Four, America. Don't you think
you could do so much better?

AMERICA
James! Kenna's husband's name is James. He's more than
just a number, though I can see where you might not
realize that. And James is a good guy. Kenna's happy
with him. Maxon Schreave is a spoiled little brat who
doesn't know anything about the world outside the
palace walls or what it's like to be in one of the
lower castes. He has no idea what it's like to work
for a living. But I do. And I'm happy to do it. I love
the music, the singing and playing. It's what I'm good
at. I'm good at being a Five.And it's what I'm going
to do for the rest of my life.

THE FOUR OF THEM STAND IN A STRAINED SILENCE FOR A MOMENT. THEN
WE HEAR A SMALL VOICE AS WE SEE A LITTLE BOY (GERAD, AGE 7) PEER
AROUND THE EDGE OF THE DOORWAY, LOOKING IN UNCERTAINLY.HE LOOKS
NEAR TEARS.

GERAD
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'Merica?

AMERICA TURNS AROUND, CATCHING SIGHT OF HER LITTLE BROTHER. SHE
KNEELS DOWN AND OPENS HER ARMS TO HIM; HE RUSHES INTO THEM,
HOLDING ONTO HER NECK TIGHTLY AND PUSHING HIS FACE AGAINST HER
SHOULDERAS SHE PICKS HIM UP. AMERICA'S DARK DEMENOR DISAPEARS
AND SHE PUTS ON A HAPPY FACE FOR HER BROTHER.

AMERICA
Hey, buddy. What's wrong?

GERAD
I heard you guys shouting.

AMERICA SHOOTS AN ACCUSING GLANCE AT HER MOTHER, CAREFUL NOT TO
LET GERAD SEE.

AMERICA
It's alright, Gerad. Just grown up stuff. It's over
now.

MAGDA
America, this conversation is not over.

AMERICA
Yes, it is. It's my decision, and I've made it.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 16

THERE'S A MOMENT WHERE SHE SHARES A LOOK WITH HER MOTHER AND
THEN PULLS HER GAZE BACK TO HER LITTLE BROTHER IN HER ARMS,
SPEAKING EASILY TO HIM.

AMERICA (CONT.)
Hey, you want to come hear me play violin? I can play
your favorite.

GERAD IS SILENT, BUT NODS AGAINST AMERICA'S SHOULDER. SHE SMILES
AND RUFFLES HIS HAIR AS SHE SHOOTS ONE LAST GLANCE AT EACH OF
HER FAMILY MEMBERS, UNIQUE EXPRESSIONS ON EACH OF THEIR FACES
(ANGER ON MAGDA'S, SYMPATHY ON SHALOM'S, AND CONFUSION ON MAY'S)
BEFORE SHE TURNS AND CARRIES GERARD THROUGH THE KITCHEN DOORWAY
AND BACK DOWN THE HALLWAY TO HER BEDROOM.END SCENE.

THE TREEHOUSE. MIDNIGHT. INTERIOR SHOT.IN THE SINGER'S SMALL
BACKYARD, THERE IS A DILAPIDATED OLD TREEHOUSE. AMERICA CLIMBS
UP THE LADDER, LOOKING AT HER FEET TO MAKE SURE SHE DOESN'T
FALL. IT IS PITCH BLACK INSIDE, AND SHE DOESN'T REALIZE THAT SHE
ISN'T ALONE UNTIL SOMEONE SPEAKS RIGHT AS SHE GETS TO THE TOP OF
THE LADDER, PULLING HERSELF UP INTO THE TREEHOUSE. YOU CAN HEAR
HIS SMIRK IN HIS VOICE.

ASPEN (O.S)
Boo.

SHE GASPS IN SURPISE, JUMPING OUT OF HER SKIN AND LOSING HER
GRIP, NEARLY FALLING BACKWARD. A HAND REACHES OUT AND GRABS HERS
TO HELP HER STEADY HERSELF AND TO PULL HER ALL THE WAY INTO THE
ROOM. ASPEN, STILL OFF SCREEN, LAUGHS LIGHTLY AS HE PULLS HER
UP. AS SOON AS SHE IS STEADIED, AMERICA PUSHES THE ARM AWAY,
FURIOUS.

AMERICA (WHISPER SHOUTING)
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 17

Aspen! You are such an idiot. I almost died! What
would you have done if I'd have screamed or something?
We'd have been caught out after curfew and we'd be
screwed.

A LIGHT FLARES UPAMERICA HAS LIT A MATCH AND SUBSEQUENTLY LIT A
VERY SAD, USED CANDLE THAT PROVIDES THE ONLY LIGHT IN THE ROOM.
THE DIM LIGHT GIVES US THE FIRST LOOK AT THE PERSON AMERICA HAS
CALLED "ASPEN." WE'VE SEEN HIM BEFORE, THOUGH, WHEN HE WAS BUSY
OPENING CAR DOORS FOR THE UPPER CASTES. HE HAS SINCE CHANGED,
AND NOW WEARS DIRTY JEANS AND A LOOSE, THREADBARE SHIRT.

ASPEN
Oh, come on, Mer. It was funny. Admit it.

AMERICA GLARES AT HIM, LETTING HIM KNOW THAT SHE FOUND IT THE
OPPOSITE OF FUNNY.
ASPEN (CONT.)
Come on, America. What's wrong with Oh. You got the
letter today, didn't you?

AMERICA
The twins got matching ones, too, I'm assuming.

ASPEN NODS.

ASPEN
Sixteen for two weeks. They just barely made the
deadline.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 18

AMERICA SETTLES IN NEXT TO HIM, HANDING HIM THE SMALL BAG SHE'S
CARRIED UP TO THE TREEHOUSE. HE OPENS ITIT IS FULL OF FOOD,
LEFTOVERS FROM AMERICA'S DINNER. THEY PICK AT THE FOOD
THROUGHOUT THIS SCENE, ASPEN MORESO THAN AMERICA AS HE EATS MUCH
MORE INFREQUENTLY.

AMERICA (UNENTHUSIASTICALLY)
I bet Kamber and Celia are just thrilled.

ASPEN
Delighted. Though you clearly aren't.

AMERICA
Don't even get me started on the Selection, Aspen.
It's all I've heard about from anyone today and it's
driving me insane. And I was finally in a good mood to
come meet you.
ASPEN
Oh, but you're cute when you get angry and start
ranting about the things that you despise. The good
news is that Im not your familyI'll sit here and
listen to all of it. I never tire of hearing your
voice.

AMERICA HITS HIM PLAYFULLY ON THE ARM AND SIGHS, GIVING IN TO
HER ANGER AN LAUNCHING INTO EVERYTHING SHE'S BEEN HOLDING BACK
ALL DAY.

AMERICA
It's just so barbaric. They get every sixteen to
twenty year old in the country excited, thinking that
maybe they'll be chosen and go from rags to riches in
just two weeks like a fairy tale. And then they don't
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 19

even get Selected in the lottery, except for those
thirty five girls. And then, as if it wasn't bad
enough, they have to watch the prince fall in love
with one particular girl, maybe even the candidate
from their province. And they torture themselves and
go crazy, thinking it should have been them. Then they
marry lovelessly and lead what they only see as a
pointless existence. But if they're lucky enough to
have daughters, then there's hope! Another chance for
that girl to do what you never could.

ASPEN
Are we still talking about women in general? Or just
your mother?

AMERICA GLARES BUT DOESN'T ANSWER THE COMMENTASPEN KNOWS HE IS
RIGHT.

AMERICA
What am I supposed to do? I mean, I am happy staying
here and living in Carolina with you. But how do I
explain that to my mother? And it's not like she's
wrong when she says we could use the money, as much as
I hate to admit that anything that woman says is ever
right.

ASPEN
I know, Mer. Especially about the money. If Kamber or
Celia just got in It would be a game changer. Its
all that I've been able to think about all day. For
now, though, I'm going to see if I can pick up some
extra work. Just on Sundays, make a little more money
so the others don't have to worry about supporting us.

AMERICA
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 20

Aspen Leger, don't you dare. You work too much
already. So much that we have to break the law to
sneak up here every night just to see each other
because you work all day. You can't do everything.

HE KISSES HER.

ASPEN
Says who?

AMERICA
Aspen, I'm serious. Don't overwork yourself before you
even turn twenty.

ASPEN SMILES AT HER REASSURINGLY, BUT HE'S UNEASY. HE'S GOT
SOMETHING ON HIS MIND, A DECISION WARRING IN HIS MIND. HE
DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO SAY WHAT HE HAS TO SAY. HE FINALLY TAKES A
DEEP BREATH, STEELING HIMSELF AS HE SPEAKS.

ASPEN
Mer?

AMERICA
Oh no. That's your 'we need to talk' voice. I hate
that voice.

ASPEN
Look, don't take this the wrong way. Please. But I
think you should enter the Selection.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 21

AMERICA STARES AT HIM. SHE ISN'T REALLY MAD SO MUCH AS SHE'S
TRYING TO FIGURE OUT IF SHE JUST HEARD HER BOYFRIEND OF TWO
YEARS RIGHT. SHE LAUGHS NERVOUSLY SEEING HIS SERIOUS FACE.

AMERICA
What? Aspen, you can't be serious. I mean, you want me
to enter for a chance to get married to another guy? I
can't be that bad a girlfriend, can I?

ASPEN
We both know that a future with him would be three
times the life I could give you.

AMERICA
Except for the fact that he isn't you. You're all I
care about. I couldn't care less about the money or
the status


ASPEN
You won't be saying that when your kids are having to
work at eight years old just because you can't afford
to feed them otherwise.

AMERICA IS TAKE ABACK, A HORRIFIED LOOK ON HER FACE.

AMERICA
Where is this coming from? Do you I mean, you still
love me, don't you?

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 22

ASPEN ROLLS HIS EYES IRRITABLY AT HER.

ASPEN
Of course. Of course I still love you. There's no
falling out of love with you, America Singer. It's
just that

HE LOOKS AWAY, FROM AMERICA AS HE CONTINUES.

ASPEN (CONT.)
If you married me, you'd become a Six. You know that.
But, marrying him, you'd become a One. Any sane person
would see that there shouldn't even be a decision
there. And I know the only reason you're making it a
decision is because of me. If I knew that you had a
chance, however small, to have a better life, a more
stable life, with someone else

AMERICA
Aspen, please. Don't
ASPEN
I would never forgive myself, America. That guilt
would be on my shoulders for the rest of my life. I
can't do it.

AMERICA LOOKS LOST, SHAKING HER HEAD AND LAUGHING HUMOURLESSLY.

AMERICA
Everyone has something to say about it. You say you
just want what's best for me. My mother actually tried
to bribe me at dinner, saying that, if I enter, she'll
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 23

let me start keeping my own commissions, and
performing solo. May can't even fathom why anyone in
their sane mind wouldn't want to be a princess. But
none of you seem to really understand how desperately
I do not want this. I mean, what happens if I get
chosen? If I have to go stay at the palace? Even if I
go home in a minute, everything will change. Everyone
will look at me differently. You know, the letter said
that the Selection girls become automatic Threes from
the moment their names are chosen. What then? My whole
life, I've been a Five. I'm a musician. What the Hell
would I do as a Three? Teach? Write? And God forbid I
actually win.

ASPEN
Getting a bit ahead of yourself there, aren't you,
Mer? Remember how long it took me before I could stand
being in the same room as you for more than five
minutes?

AMERICA
How can you be joking right now? I'm serious.



ASPEN
So am I. America, the guy has lived in a guarded
palace his whole life. He's probably only seen about
two Fives. Ever. He's looking for a prim, proper,
cookie-cutter princess. Not you.

AMERICA
I'm not sure whether I'm supposed to be insulted or
flattered, though I'm heavily leaning toward insulted.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 24


ASPEN
You know what I meant.

AMERICA
Yeah, I do. But it doesn't make any difference. Any
chance that I might not spend the rest of my life with
you is too much of a chance for me. I'm sorry.

ASPEN
You're sorry? America, you're nobler than any title
could ever make you; but it would be selfish of me to
let you keep yourself from an opportunity like this.

AMERICA
No. What's selfish is you trying to get me sent away
to fall in love with someone else just for the money.
As if that were ever possible. You're just like my
mother.

ASPEN DOESN'T MEET HER EYE, BUT HE'S ANGRY. REALLY ANGRY.

ASPEN
Just tell me one thing: is it just me? Am I the only
thing that's making this so complicated?

AMERICA
It isn't complicated

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 25

ASPEN
Just answer, America. Am I the only thing holding you
back?

AMERICA SHAKES HER HEAD AS SHE LOOKS AT HIM. WHY CAN'T HE
UNDERSTAND HOW HAPPY SHE IS RIGHT HERE IN CAROLINA? SHE CLOSES
HER EYES AND SIGHS.

AMERICA
Yes. You are the only real reason I am staying here
and not even thinking about the Selection. Are you
happy now?

ASPEN
Hardly.

HE STARES AT AMERICA, A SAD BUT RESOLVED LOOK ON HIS FACE.

ASPEN (CONT.)
Its obviously a hard choice for you, America. An
impossible one. So let me make it easier on you. Take
me out of the equation.
AMERICA
What are you saying?

ASPEN
I wont live with that kind of guilt, Mer. I cant
live the rest of my life with you knowing that you
could have done so much better, but you wouldnt
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 26

because of me. You cant ask me to do that. But if you
are

AMERICA
Aspen, dont do this

ASPEN CONTINUES, IGNORING HER PROTESTS.

ASPEN
I guess that means that you arent the America Ive
known my whole life. You certainly arent the one I
fell in love with.

ASPEN SHUFFLES TO THE HATCH IN THE FLOOR BOARDS AND THE LADDER
BENEATH. AMERICA IS TAKEN ABACK, NOT QUITE SURE WHAT TO SAY. SHE
IS IN PURE SHOCK. SHE FINALLY FINDS HER WORDS AS ASPEN STARTS TO
CLIMB DOWN THE LADDER.

AMERICA
Aspen, stop. Please. You cant be serious right now!

ASPEN STOPS A FEW STEPS DOWN ON THE LADDER, BUT DOESNT LOOK UP
AT AMERICA.

AMERICA (CONT.)
Dont do this. Dont make me choose.

ASPEN
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 27

Thats the problem, Mer. There shouldnt be a choice.
Theres only whats good for you and what isnt. And
you, for whatever reason, are choosing wrong. If you
cant do whats best for yourself, well How can you
expect me to?

AMERICA IS STUNNED INTO SILENCE AS ASPEN CRAWLS THE REST OF THE
WAY DOWN THE LADDER AND OUT OF SIGHT. CAMERICA STAYS ON
AMERICAS FACE; SHE IS TRYING NOT TO CRY. OFF: AMERICA CLOSING
HER EYES AS TEARS FINALLY SPILL DOWN HER FACE.
END OF PART ONE

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 28

PART TWO
AMERICAS BEDROOM. THE NEXT MORNING. INTERIOR SHOT: AMERICA LAYS
IN BED. SHE STARES AT THE CEILING, DEPRESSED. LETTING OUT A BIG
SIGH, SHE FLIPS OVER, HER HAND FALLING OFF THE SIDE OF THE BED
AND COMING INTO CONTACT WITH THE SMALL MASON JAR HALF-FULL OF
PENNIES SITTING UNDER THE EDGE OF THE BED, NORMALLY HIDDEN BY
THE BLANKETS. AMERICA PICKS IT UP AT STARES AT IT SADLY. SHE
CLOSES HER EYES, LETTING HER MIND TAKE HER BACK TO HAPPIER TIME.
WE HEAR ASPENS VOICE BEFORE THE SCENE COMES UP, BUT HE ISNT
ANGRY OR SAD LIKE HE WAS BEFORE; NOW HES JUST CAREFREE AND
YOUNGER.

ASPEN (O.S)
I brought you something.

WE HEAR AMERICAS LIGHT LAUGHTER AS THE FLASHBACK COMES UP.
INSTEAD OF AMERICAS BEDROOM, WE ARE NOW BACK IN THE TREEHOUSE,
A NIGHT FROM A WHILE BACK. AMERICA IS CURLED UP IN ASPENS ARMS,
A BLANKET WRAPPED AROUND THE TWO OF THEM. ASPEN REACHES DOWN
NEXT TO HIM AND PICKS UP A SMALL MASON JAR WITH THREE PENNIES IN
IT.

AMERICA
Whats this?

ASPEN
Well, I know we talked about the whole wedding thing

AMERICA
And I am not changing my mind, Aspen. Im not backing
down on it. I love you.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 29

HE SMILES AND KISSES HER LIGHTLY.
ASPEN
Let me finish, will you, smart ass? You arent backing
down and I see that now. So I am.

AMERICA
You arewhat?

ASPEN
Backing down, I guess. I realized that a wedding might
be expensive and starting a family as a Six is going
to be hard, but if youre willing to try, then Im
willing to try. And the first step is going to be to
save up money in advance. I really think that will
help uswhy are you looking at me like that?

AMERICA IS SMILING WIDELY UP AT HIM, WIDE-EYED IN WONDER AND
EXCITEMENT.

AMERICA
Youre serious. I never thought I thought you said
this wasnt you? Being in love? Doing something this
permanent?

ASPEN
How would I know back then? I didnt really know
myself before I knew you, Mer. This is all new to me.
Now, these pennies dont seem like much, but I am
going to bring you every single extra one I get from
now on. Its going to take a while, but its going to
work. Were going to work, Mer. I love you.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 30

SHOT SWITCHES BACK TO AMERICA IN HER BEDROOM NOW, SITTING UP ON
HER BED AND HOLDING THE SAME JAR FROM THE FLASHBACK, SMILING
SADLY AT THE MEMORY. WE HEAR HER LAST LINE AFTER THE FLASHBACK
IMAGES HAVE DISOLVED.

AMERICA (VOICE ONLY)
I love you too.

THE SHOT REMAINS ON AMERICA AS SHE REMINESCES. AFTER A MOMENT,
THERE IS A KNOCK ON AMERICAS DOOR THAT STARTLES HER AND MAKES
HER LOOK UP, EFFECTIVELY BREAKING HER REVERIE. HER MOTHER CALLS
TO HER FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR.

MAGDA (O.S.)
America?

AMERICA JUMPS INTO ACTION, STOWING THE JAR OF PENNIES UNDER THE
BED AND MANAGING TO SIT BACK UP, MASKING HER FEATURES TO BE
IMPASSIVE AS HER MOTHER ENTERS THE ROOM.

MAGDA
What are still doing in bed? Its noon.

AMERICA
Sorry. Im up now.

MAGDA
Awake, maybe, but still in bed, so technically not up.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 31

AMERICA
Did you need something?

MAGDA
Well, if its not too much of an inconvenience to you,
you had promised to go with me to the market today.
But I can understand if thats asking too much of you.

AMERICA
Mom, please dont start.

MAGDA
I dont know what youre so sore about. What are you
still doing in bed, anyway? Have an exhausting night
of being a teenager with no sense of responsibility to
her family, or to anyone for that matter

AMERICA
Mom. Enough. Please. Ill take you to the market,
alright? Just let me get ready.

MAGDA DOESNT RESPOND. SHE JUST TURNS TO LEAVE, SCOWLING.
AMERICA SPEAKS UP, STOPPING HER. HER EXPRESSION IS TROUBLED; SHE
HAS A HUGE DECISION WEIGHING IN HER MIND.

AMERICA (CONT.)
Mom, wait.

SHE SIGHS HEAVILY. THE DECISION IS MADE.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 32

AMERICA (CONT.)
Were you serious? About the money? Youd really let me
keep half of what I make, let me do solo gigs?

MAGDA
I always mean what I say. Yes, I was serious. Of
course, youll still be responsible for helping around
the house and cooking and cleaning, everything youre
doing now. But thats only if

AMERICA
I enter the Selection. I know. But Mom, you know that
there are thousands of other applicants in Carolina
alone. The odds that Ill be chosen

MAGDA
The deal is for you submit your application, America.
Not to win the competition, or even to be Selected.
All you have to do is fill out the form and take it to
the Province Service Office and youve held up your
end of the bargain.

AMERICA NODS, BUT STARES SILENT. MAGDA LOOKS AT HER EXPECTANTLY
AND ANXIOUSLY. FINALLY, AMERICA CRACKS A SMILE AND LOOKS UP AT
HER MOTHER.

AMERICA
Youre still carrying the application and your good
pen around in your pocket, arent you?

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 33

MAGDA EXCITEDLY REACHES INTO THE POCKET OF HER DRESS, PULLING
OUT THE APPLICATION AND AN INK PEN, RUSHING FORWARD TO HOLD THEM
OUT TO AMERICA.

MAGDA
You have to ask?

AMERICA TAKES THE PAPERS FROM HER MOTHER WITH A MELANCHOLY SMILE
AS SHE LOOKS THEM OVER.

MAGDA (CONT.)
I have to ask you, though, America. This is a complete
about-face from last night. You were adamant that
nothing would change your mind. So What did?

AMERICA
I

SHE STOPS, WONDERING WHAT SHE CAN SAY. SHE CANT EXPLAIN ASPEN
TO HER MOTHER; SHE CANT TELL HIM HOW SHES SPENT THE PAST TWO
YEARS IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE, ONLY TO HAVE THE SELECTION COME
ALONG AND RUIN THE ONLY CHANCE AT TRUE LOVE SHE EVER REALLY HAD.
SHE SHRUGS HER SHOULDERS NONCHALANTLY.

AMERICA (CONT.)
I guess I realized that I have everything to gain by
doing it and everything to lose if I hold back.

MAGDA SHAKES HER HEADSHE THINKS AMERICA IS TALKING ABOUT HER
AND HER ANGER THE DAY BEFOREAND PUTS A HAND ON AMERICAS
SHOULDER.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 34

MAGDA
America, I know I was harsh yesterday, but I dont
want you to think Id ever stop loving you if you
didnt do this. I mean, Id be disappointed, but Id
have gotten over it eventually.

AMERICA
Of course. I know that mom. But what I was doing by
not entering It just felt selfish.

THEY FALL SILENT. MAGDA IS ABOUT TO SAY SOMETHING, MAYBE
REASSURING, MAYBE CHASTISING FOR BEING OVERDRAMATIC, BUT WE
DONT HEAR. AMERICA CUTS HER OFF.

AMERICA (CONT.)
Its too dark in here. Im going to go fill this out
in the kitchen. Do you want to help?

MAGDAS EXCITED EXPRESSION RETURNS AND SHE BEAMS AT HER
DAUGHTER.

MAGDA
I thought youd never ask.

END SCENE.

THE PRINCES BATHROOM. LATER THAT EVENING. INTERIOR SHOT. SIDE
SHOT OF A TALL, MUSCULAR YOUNG MAN LEANING HEAVILY ON THE
BATHROOM SINK, LOOKING IN THE MIRROR. THE LIGHTING IS DIM AND
THERE IS A SHADOW DARKENING HIS FEATURES SO WE CANT PROPERLY
MAKE OUT HIS PROFILE. HE TURNS THE SINK ON. THE SHOT SHIFTS SO
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 35

THAT OUR VIEW OF THE ROOM IS FROM BEHIND THE MIRROR. MAXONS
HEAD IS BENT AS HE SPLASHES WATER ON HIS FACEWHICH WE STILL
HAVENT SEEN FULLY. HE TURNS THE WATER OFF AND STARTS TO RAISE
HIS HEAD, GRABBING A TOWEL TO DRYAND STILL INFURIATINGLY COVER
HIS FACE AS HE STRAIGHTENS UP. AFTER PATTING HIS FACE DRY, HE
FINALLY PULLS THE TOWEL AWAY, REVEALING A GORGEOURS, YET
SOBERINGLY NERVOUS, BOYNINETEEN YEARS OLDSTARING STRAIGHT AT
THE CAMERA. THIS IS PRINCE MAXON SHREAVE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.
AND HIS MIND IS REELING THINKING ABOUT THE FACT THAT, IN JUST A
MATTER OF DAYS, 35 GIRLS WILL ARRIVE AT THE PALACEONE OF THEM
THE ONE HE MUST CHOSE TO MAKE HIS WIFE AND HIS PRINCESS. NOT
THAT THE AUDIENCE REALIZES THISTHE ONLY THING THEY KNOW IS THAT
THIS GORGEOUSLY HANDSOME YOUNG MAN IS NERVOUS, EXCEEDINGLY SO.
MAXON EXITS THE BATHROOM, WHICH WE NOW SEE IS ATTATCHED TO HIS
BEDROOM, PULLING A JACKET OFF THE COUNTER AND SHRUGGING IT ON.
HE IS LOOKING DOWN AS HE REUTRNS TO HIS ROOM, AND SO IS UNAWARE
OF HIS FATHERS PRESENCE UNTIL THE KING SPEAKS.

KING CLARKSON (O.S.)
Nervous, are we?

MAXONS HEAD JERKS UP AND HE SEES HIS FATHER LEANING UNEXPECTEDL
AGAINST HIS BEDROOM WALL. KING CLARKSON IS IN HIS MID-TO-LATE
40S, HANDSOME, BUT WEATHERED BY TIME, AS WELL AS THE STRESS OF
RUNNING BOTH A COUNTRY AND A FAMILY. MAXONS RELATIONSHIP WITH
HIS FATHER ISNT EXACTLY ICY, BUT IT IS FAR FROM BEING WARM AND
CUDDLY, TOO. MAXON BOWS STIFFLY TO HIS FATHER BEFORE RESPONDING.

MAXON
Father. Forgive me. I wasnt expecting to see you for
another

MAXON LOOKS DOWN AT THE WATCH ON HIS WRIST AND SIGHS.

MAXON (CONT.)
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 36

Half an hour ago.

CLARKSON TSKS HIM.

CLARKSON
A king must always be aware of everything around him,
especially the time. What if it were a state dinner
with the ambassadors of a potential ally that you were
late to and not a simple birthday celebration being
held in your honor? Punctuality is something you
absolutely must learn, Maxon.

MAXON, HAVING HEARD THIS SAME LESSON A THOUSAND TIMES BEFORE,
TRIESAND FAILSTO HIDE THE SARCASM DRIPPING FROM HIS WORDS.

MAXON
Of course, Father. I do apologize. Im out of sorts
tonight, as you might imagine.

CLARKSON
A leader must always keep his wits about him. Its
like Ive taught you nothing, son. If you cant even
keep calm for a birthday dinner, I have serious doubts
about your ability to rule the entire country. God
forbid I should die tonight. The country would fall to
ruin.

MAXON
It is not the dinner that has me distracted, Father.
It is the day itself, all this birthday means for me.
Becoming eligible for the Selection, having thousands
of women eager for the chance to become the next
queen, and myself having to choose the one Ill spend
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 37

the rest of my life withand who will rule by my side
from 35 girls selected at random. Its all a little
intimidating, if Im to be honest.

CLARKSON
Intimidating? Dont be foolish, Maxon. Its meant to
be exciting.
MAXON
And it is. But I feel like everythings moving so fast
I can barely see straight in front of me.

CLARKSON
Whats fast for you has been years in the making on my
end, son.

MAXON EYES HIM, CONFUSED.

MAXON
I dont understand. What does that mean?

CLARKSON ONLY GRINS MISCHEVIOUSLY. MAXON OPENS HIS MOUTH TO ASK
SOMETHING ELSE, BUT THE DOOR TO HIS BEDROOM OPENS AND QUEEN
AMBERLY RUSHES IN.

AMBERLY
Are you two nearly ready? The crowd downstairs is
getting impatient.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 38

CLARKSON GRASPS AMBERLYS SHOULDERS GENTLY AND KISSES HER CHEEK.
MAXON SMILES AT HIS PARENTSTHEY MET THROUGH THE SELECTION.
SURELY THAT MEANS THERES HOPE FOR HIM AFTER ALL?


CLARKSON
Stunning as ever, my Queen. And yes, I do believe we
are ready. Maxon?

MAXON NODS POLITELY. AMBERLY KISSES HIM ON THE CHEEK FONDLY AND
PUTS A REASSURING HAND ON HIS SHOULDER, SEEING THE ANXIETY IN
HIS EYES.

AMBERLY
Happy birthday, sweetheart.

MAXON SMILES WARMLY AT HER.

MAXON
Thank you.

BEHIND AMBERLY, CLARKSON CLAPS HIS HANDS TOGETHER TO DRAW THEIR
ATTENTION. HE HOLDS OUT AN ARM TO AMBERLY.

CLARKSON
Right then. If we are all quite ready, shall we?

AMBERLY TAKES CLARKSON'S ARM, MAXON FOLLOWING BEHIND THE TWO OF
THEM AS THEY LEAVE HIS ROOM AND START DOWN THE ORNATE STAIRCASE,
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 39

INTO A FLURRY OF REPORTERS SHOUTING FOR THE ROYAL FAMILY'S
ATTENTION, MOST OF THEM SHOUTING FOR MAXON. OFF: MAXON'S WORRIED
EXPRESSION BEING REPLACED BY A FAKE SMILE HE PLASTERS ON FOR THE
CAMERAS.END SCENE.

SINGER HOUSE'S KITCHEN. SIMULATENOUS W/ PREVIOUS SCENE. INTERIOR
SHOT. AMERICA SITS AT THE KITCHEN TABLE; HER FATHER SITS NEXT TO
HER; TOGETHER, THEY LOOK OVER THE APPLICATION.MAGDA IS BUSY
PREPARING DINNER, LISTENING TO AMERICA READ OUT EVERYTHING OFF
THE ENTRY FORM. MAY SITS AT THE TV IN THE LIVING ROOM ATTATCHED
TO THE KITCHEN, ENGROSSED, WHILE GERAD KICKS A BALL AROUND THE
ROOM.

AMERICA
I could have walked all the way to Angeles and told
the king personally that I wanted to marry his son in
the time it has taken me to fill out half of this
application. I mean, why do they have to know this
stuff? I get them asking about my age, my height, my
hair color, even my weight. But my favorite color?
Really?

MAGDA
Its for after the names have been Selected, darling.
It's for the prince to try to get to know the girls
before they arrive at the palace.

AMERICA
Well that isn't fair, is it? We won't know any more
about him than he would know about us. I mean, them.
They won't know. As in the Selection candidates. As in
not me.

MAGDA
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 40

It could be. You have as good a chance as any of those
girls. Even moreyou're smarter, prettier, more
talented

AMERICA
And still just one entry among thousands in Carolina
entering the Selection, only one of which will be
drawn at randomwhen they choose the candidates. It has
nothing to do with how pretty I am or how smart. It
all comes down to luck. (SHE SPEAKS UNDER HER BREATH)
Which I seem to be sincerely lacking in lately.

MAGDA BEGINS TO RESPOND, A QUESTIONING LOOK ON HER FACE, BUT
SUDDENLY MAY SHRIEKS IN EXCITEMENT AN SHE JUMPS UP TO MOVE
CLOSER TO THE TV SCREEN, TURNING IT UP PAINFULLY LOUD.

MAY
Quiet! Everybody keep it down! It's coming on!

AMERICA ROLLS HER EYES, BUT FINDS HERSELF WATCHING THE TV
ANYWAY. ON THE SCREEN, WE SEE A NEWS CASTER (GAVRIL)
INTRODUCING A VIDEO OF MAXON'S PARTY.

GAVRIL
And tonight, straight from the Royal Palace in
Angeles, we're celebrating a very special day. Our
beloved Prince Maxon turns nineteen years old. A very
important milestone certainly. But what's more
exciting is what this special birthday means for all
of Illa. That's right, ladies and gentlemen! As I'm
sure you all have heard by now, the Selection is upon
us! Now, I know you're all anxious to get a glimpse at
those thirty-five lucky candidates from all over the
country, one of them the future princess of Illa, and
aren't we all? For now, let's see what the Prince has
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 41

to say about all the excitement in this brand new
footage from the Prince's royal birthday celebration.

THE TELEVISION FEED SWITCHES TO SHOT OF MAXON, STANDING AT THE
FOOT OF A LARGE STAIRCASE (THE ONE HE HAD BEGUN TO DESCEND AT
THE CONCLUSION OF THE PREVIOUS SCENE). HE SMILES HIS SAME,
POLITE SMILES AS EARLIER, LOOKING DECEPTIVELY AT EASE IN FRONT
OF THE CROWD. HIS PARENTS STAND BEHIND HIM, OFF TO SIDE. HIS
FATHER SMILES, BUT IS WATCHING HIM CRITICALLY, SEEING HOW HIS
SON HANDLES HIMSELF IN FRONT OF THE PRESS. SEVERAL REPORTERS
THROW OUT QUESTIONS FOR MAXON TO ANSWER.

REPORTER #1 (O.S.)
The wait for the Selection is positively killing us,
your Majesty. Exactly when will the candidates be
Selected?

MAXON
The applications have been pouring in by the thousands
since yesterday, and I think I speak not only for
myself, but for my whole family, when I say that we
can hardly wait as well. The names will be Selected
and announced this Friday on the Capitol Report and
the candidates will arrive here at the Palace the
following Friday.

REPORTER #2 (O.S.)
Are you nervous at all, your Majesty?

MAXON
About meeting, falling in love with, and marrying my
future Queen on live television? Oh, it's all in a
day's work.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 42

MAXON SMILES AND WINKS AT THE CROWD, WHO LAUGH COLLECTIVELY. WE
FLIP BACK BRIEFLY AND SEE AMERICA SCOFF AND ROLL HER EYES BEFORE
WE GO BACK TO THE PRESS CONFERENCE.

REPORTER #3 (O.S)
Prince Maxon! Do you have anything to say to the girls
entering the Selection?
MAXON PAUSES. CAMERAS FLASH IN THE SILENCE. AGAIN, WE SEE A
GLIMPSE OF AMERICA, LEANING IN EVER SO SLIGHTLY, WAITING TO HEAR
THE PRINCE'S RESPONSE. MAXON HESITATES ONE MORE MOMENT BEFORE A
WIDE GRINS SPEADS ACROSS HIS FACE AND HE LOOKS DIRECTLY AT THE
CAMERA FOR THE FIRST TIME.

MAXON
Only this: the girl I choose to marry will rule by my
side as Queen of Illa and so I do not in any way take
the Selection lightly. That being said, let me also
point out that any girl who settles for me as a
companion cannot possibly be of sane mind, but I still
look forward to knowing what that woman might be
like.Now, ladies and gentlemen, I'm afraid you'll have
to excuse me. I have family visiting and Im already
terribly late.

MORE VOICES DRAWL ON IN THE BACKGROUND AS WE RETURN THE SHOT TO
AMERICA AND HER FAMILY. AMERICA IS ROLLING HER EYES AT THE
PRINCE, TURNING BACK TO THE APPLICATION.

AMERICA
What a positively obnoxious, self-deprecating prick.

SHALOM LAUGHS AND CHOKES ON THE COFFEE HIS IS DRINKING, TRYING
NOT TO SHOW HIS SMILE; THE BOWL IN MAGDA'S HANDS CLATTERS TO THE
TABLE; MAY GASPS AND SPINS AROUND TO GLARE AT AMERICA; GERAD,
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 43

SENSING SOMETHING IS HAPPENING, STOPS RUNNING AROUND AND LOOKS
BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN EACH OF HIS FAMILY MEMBERS.

MAGDA
America Singer, you watch your mouth! How dare you
talk about the Prince like that?


MAY
I'm starting to think that we really shouldn't let you
send your application. I can't imagine what would
happen if you got Selected and actually had to hold up
a conversation with Maxon. Knowing you, you'd probably
insult him before he even learned your name. I'd be
surprised if you didn't end up getting arrested within
a day for, like, treasonous speech or something.

MAGDA
May, enough. That's not funny.

AMERICA
I don't think she was joking, Mom. Look, I told you
guys. I just don't care for the Royal family that
much. I mean, what have they ever done for anyone
around here?

MAY
I do care, though. I want all of it. The tiaras, the
ball gowns, the Prince.

AMERICA
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 44

The staying locked up in a palace twenty-four seven?

MAY
Yes! What's so bad about all that? Two years. Two more
years and I could have entered.



AMERICA
Hey, you could just take my application. We can just
put all your information down and then send you. No
one ever has to know.

MAY SCOWLS AT AMERICA, BUT FAILS TO SUPRESS THE SMILE THAT
SPREADS ACROSS HER FACE.

MAY
Now there's a good idea. I knew you were good for
something, Ames.

AMERICA
Hey!

THE TWO OF THEM START LAUGHING, JOINED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY BY
GERAD.

AMERICA (CONT.)
No, really. I could totally see you as the princess.
Though I'd love to see you try to walk in heels.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 45


MAY
You're right. That might be a deal breaker.

MAGDA SLAMS A PLATE DOWN ONTO THE KITCHEN TABLE, CUTTING OFF
THEIR GIGGLES.


MAGDA
Enough. Dinner's ready. May, Gerad, go wash up.

THE TWO YOUNGEST CHILDREN EXIT AND AMERICA LOOKS UP AT HER
MOTHER.

AMERICA
Mom, relax. It was just a bit of fun. Look, we even
got Dad to laugh.

SHALOM IS TRYING TO HIDE HIS GRIN. HE LOOKS TO AMERICA.

SHALOM
Oh, no. Don't drag me into this. I'm not getting in
trouble with you, Kitten.

MAGDA
You'll have to forgive me if I don't see eye to eye
with your humor, America.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 46

MAGDA EXITS THE ROOM, LEAVING AMERICA ALONE WITH HER FATHER. SHE
LOOKS UP AT SHALOM, AN EXASPERATED LOOK IN HER EYES.

SHALOM
Don't be too hard on her, America. She's just stressed
right now. And I'd imagine all this is bringing back
memories of her own.


AMERICA
I know she missed out on her own Selection, Dad. I
know why she's doing it. I don't blame her for
anything. I'm filling out the application aren't I?

SHALOM
Are you sure your mom's who you're doing that for?

AMERICA'S DEFENSES GO UP. SHE VISIBLY TENSES. HER FATHER KNOWS
ABOUT ASPEN. BUT HOW? SHE VENTURES AS CASUALLY AS POSSIBLE,
TRYING TO ASSES WHAT HE REALLY KNOWS.

AMERICA
Who else would it be for?

SHALOM
Oh, come on, America. I think you know that we all
know your little secret. Did you think you could hide
it forever?

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 47

MAGDA REENTERS THE ROOM, NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO THEIR
CONVERSATION. AMERICA'S FACE IS FROZEN IN TERROR.

SHALOM (CONT.)
We both know you've been wanting to be a princess
since you were four and you first saw Maxon on
television.

AMERICA LAUGHS, LETTING HERSELF BREATHE FINALLY. THEY DIDN'T
KNOW ABOUT ASPENYET. MAY AND GERAD RETURN TO THE KITCHEN AS
WELL, TAKING THEIR SEATS AT THE SMALL TABLE.
AMERICA
That is not true, and you know it.

SHALOM
Oh, yes it is. You might not remember, but I know I
do

MAY
Remember what?

AMERICA HAS ALLOWED HERSELF TO RELAX AND FALL INTO HER
COMFORTABLE NATURAL RHYTHM WITH HER FAMILY. SHE TURNS TO HER
FATHER, EMBARASSED, POINTING A FINGER AT HIM.HER EARLIER FEARS
ARE FORGOTTEN.

AMERICA
Nothing! Don't you dare tell her that story! She'll
believe anything she hears.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 48

SHALOM
When you were still really little and your sister had
just turned four, she

AMERICA
I didn't do anything! Stop!

MAGDA
Don't shout at the table!

MAY
Okay, but Dad has to tell the story now!

AMERICA'S HEAD FALLS INTO HER HANDS AS SHE LAUGHS EMBARASSEDLY.
THE VOICES SLOWLY FADE AWAY AS THE CAMERA PULLS BACK, WATCHING A
GENUINELY HAPPY FAMILY MEAL WITH AMERICA'S FATHER TELLING
STORIES AND EVEN MAGDA ALLOWING HERSELF A SMILE. OFF: AMERICA'S
FACE AS SHE CRACKS UP WITH LAUGHTER LISTENING TO HER FATHER. END
SCENE.
END OF PART TWO

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 49

PART THREE
THE GREAT HALL OF THE ROYAL PALACE. PRINCE MAXONS BIRTHDAY
EXTRAVAGANZA. INTERIOR SHOT.THE ROOM IS FULL OF PEOPLEIN ONE
CORNER, FOREIGN DIGNITARIES, IN ANOTHER ARE REPORTERS. TABLES
ARE COVERED WITH DARK BLUE CLOTHS, CANDLES ARE THE ONLY LIGHT,
AND THEY SHINE BRIGHT FROM ALL AROUND THE ROOMON THE TABLES,
HANGING IN ELABORATE CANDELABRAS ON THE WALLS, ETC. THE CROWD
CHEERS AS MAXON ENTERS AND HE SMILES, WAVING. HES LOOKING
THROUGH THE CROWD, OVER HEADS, BUT WHO FOR? BEFORE HE CAN FIND
WHOEVER IT IS, CLARKSON COMES UP BEHIND HIM.

CLARKSON
Still distracted, I see.

MAXON TURNS TO SEE HIS FATHER, PUTTING HIS DEFENSES UP AND
SPEAKING FORMALLY.

MAXON
No, sir. Just checking out the crowd is all.

CLARKSON
Looking for anyone in particular?

MAXON LOOKS PAST HIS FATHERS SHOULDER AND HIS FACE LIGHTS UP AS
HE FINALLY SEES HER.

MAXON
As it so happens, Father, I believe Ive found her.
Excuse me, if you will.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 50

HE BEGINS TO WALK OFF, BUT CLARKSON CATCHES HIS ARM, FOLLOWING
HIS GAZE TO A BEAUTIFUL YOUNG WOMAN, WHO DROPS HER GAZE (AND
SMILE) FROM MAXON WHEN SHE SEES THE KING WATCHING.

CLARKSON
The French princess? Thats who you were looking for?
What is her name? Diana? Dahlia?

MAXON
Daphne. Her name is Daphne. She did stay here in court
for a time when she was younger. Im surprised youve
forgotten her.

CLARKSON EYES MAXON SUSPICIOUSLY, LETTING HIS EYES FLICK BACK TO
THE GIRL FOR A MOMENT BEFORE COMING TO REST ON MAXON ONCE MORE.
HE SIGHS, BUT KEEPS A TIGHT SMILE FOR THE CAMERAS THAT FLASH
EVERY FEW MILLISECONDS.

CLARKSON
Maxon, please tell me you havent been foolish enough
to let yourself fall in love with

MAXON
Love? What are you talking about? Its not like that.
Shes only my oldest friend, Father. I have no love
for her aside from the love one might have for a
sister.

CLARKSON
Does she know that? Because all it would take would be
her getting her feelings hurt to talk. That is how
rumors get started, Maxon. If the people of Illa
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 51

thought that you were cheating their daughters out of
the opportunities the Selection could bring their
families, there would be uprisings, civil war. All
because youve been carrying out an affair with a
foreign princess

MAXON
Unless you count us sitting in the palace library,
talking about life the few times a year we are even in
the same country an affair, I dont believe there is
anything to worry about, Father.

CLARKSON
Why cant you take this more seriously?

MAXON
Of course I take it seriously!

CLARKSON
Running a country is no joke, Maxon. You cant be as
flippant as you were with those reporters earlier. It
is no laughing matter, nor is the Selection. The only
way to prevent rebellion from the lower castes is the
idea that any girl from any caste could become
Princess, could eventually be the queen, ruling at
your side.

MAXON
I know that! Ive known that my whole life. Youve
taken every opportunity to remind me of it. It is all
Ive been thinking about all day.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 52

CLARKSON
Your sarcasm with those reporters
MAXON
Was meant to lighten the mood.

CLARKSON
You called your future wife a madwoman!

MAXON
Because its a party! Forgive me, but I thought it
would be appropriate to put on the air that I was not
troubled by the Selection, that it isnt ruling my
every thought. That it hasnt done so for the past few
months.

CLARKSON IS CLEARLY ANGERED BY MAXONS INTTERUPTIONS.

CLARKSON
Be careful how you speak, son. Do not think that it
being your birthday gives you the right to speak to
me, your father, in such a callous manner.

MAXON CAREFULLY CONSIDERS THE THREAT, FINALLY CONCEDING HIS
PREVIOUS DEFENSIVE ATTITUDE.

MAXON
Please forgive me, Father. I only meant to reassure
you. I do take the Selection seriously. This woman
will one day rule by my side as my queen. She will be
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 53

my wife. Choosing her wisely is a decision I can never
take lightly. I am ready for this.

CLARKSON
We shall see, wont we?

A MOMENT OF TENSION BETWEEN THEM. THEN, AMBERLY APPEARS AT HER
SONS ARM.

AMBERLY
I hope Im not interrupting anything too important.

CLARKSON IMMEDIATELY HIDES HIS DISDAINFUL EXPRESSION FROM
MOMENTS BEFORE IN LIEU OF AN ADORING ONE WITH WHICH HE LOOKS ON
HIS WIFE. HE TRULY ADORES HER.

CLARKSON
Of course not, my dear. I was just giving Maxon some
advice from my own Selection experiences.

AMBERLY
Dear God, Clarkson. Dont scare the boy with the tales
of his parents courtship. Its supposedly like poison
to teenage boys.

AMBERLY TAKES MAXONS ARM, TUGGING ON IT LIGHTLY.

AMBERLY (CONT.)
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 54

Take a walk with your mother for a moment, wont you
darling?

MAXON GLANCES AT HIS FATHER, THEN SMILES BACK AT HIS MOTHER.
MAXON
Of course.
OFF:THE PRINCE AND THE QUEEN WALKING AWAY FROM THE CROWD TOWARD
A DOORWAY. SEGUE TO:

AN EMPTY HALLWAY IN THE PALACE, JUST OUTSIDE THE GREAT HALL.
INTERIOR SHOT. AMBERLY PULLS MAXON AWAY FROM THE CROWDS IN THE
GREAT HALL INTO A NARROW HALLWAY DEVOID OF PEOPLE. THE MUSIC AND
SOUNDS OF THE PARTY CAN STILL BE HEARD.

AMBERLY
Are you having fun?

MAXON
Does it look like I am?

AMBERLY
Yes, it does.

MAXON
Then, thats all that matters.

AMBERLY
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 55

To the others, perhaps. To your father. But I am a
mother first and Queen second. You are my priority,
Maxon. Id like to know what you are thinking. Do you
not like the celebration?


MAXON
Of course I love it, Mother. I just wish I dont
know, that it had been something slightly smaller?
Perhaps next year we can just have a small event with
family and a few close friends?

AMBERLY
Oh, I wouldnt count on that, Maxon. Youll be married
this time next year. Well, you should be if all goes
well. And that means it will be your wifes first
birthday to help you celebrate. I think youll be
lucky if she doesnt invite half of Illa to the grand
gala shell no doubt be planning.

MAXON
Or maybe she likes things small and quiet, as I do.

AMBERLY
Maxon, if a girl wanted small and quiet, she wouldnt
be in the Selection at all.

MAXON
And that goes for all the girls, then? Even you?
Because it seems to me that you make appearances only
when necessary, you stick strictly to Fathers side,
and then you leave as soon as is socially acceptable.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 56


AMBERLY
Every girl dreams of being a Princess, Maxon. Most of
them, anyway. They dream of the gowns and balls and
wearing the gorgeous tiaras and jewels. But I was in
it for Clarkson, not the wealth. I watched your father
religiously on television long before I entered the
Selection, as Im sure many girls do for you right
now.

MAXON LOOKS HORRIFIED AT THE THOUGHT. AMBERLY CONTINUES, MORE
SOMBER, ALMOST SAD.

AMBERLY (CONT.)
But those girls dont know what it really means to be
a princess. The roles you have to play, the pressure
on your shoulders constantly, the lack of privacy. The
girl you choose will be going through a lot of changes
when you marry her. I think you can endure at least
one more big party for her sake, cant you?

MAXON SMILES.

MAXON
Well I suppose I can find it in myself to at least
try.

A PAUSE, THEN MAXON CONTINUES.

MAXON (CONT.)
Mom? Do you ever regret it? Being Selected? Becoming a
princess, a queen?
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 57


AMBERLY
How can you even ask that? Maxon, no matter what has
happened or what will happen because of the Selection,
I will never regret the choices I made. They didnt
just give me your father, whom I love so dearly. Those
choices, the Selection Theyre what gave me you as
well. And because of that, I am nothing but grateful.
To say that the Selection changed my life is a tragic
understatement. And it is going to be the same for
whatever girl you choose.

MAXON
I know.

AMBERLY
And it is your choice, Maxon. Yours alone. Not mine,
not your fathers, not any advisors, not all of
Illas. Yours.

MAXON
Of course. Why?

THE QUESTION HANGS IN THE AIR AS MAXON COMES TO THE REALIZATION.
HIS MOTHER LOOKS AT HIM SADLY.

MAXON (CONT.)
Id heard rumors that you werent in the Kings favor
during your Selection, that he and his advisors didnt
want you to be Queen.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 58

AMBERLY
No, they didnt. And they tried everything in their
power to sway your father away from choosing me to
marry.



MAXON
But why? You are intelligent and beautiful and the
best queen Illa has seen in generations.

AMBERLY
Thank you. But it had nothing to do with any of those
things. The reason they did not want me on the throne
was because I offered nothing new to the country, to
the relationship. Only love.

MAXON
Well, what else did they expect? What did they want
from you?

AMBERLY HESITATES.

AMBERLY
Maxon, do you know what I was? Before I came to the
palace, before the Selection?

MAXON
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 59

You mean your caste? Id never really thought about
it. I guess I assumed you were a Two or a Three, at
most.

AMBERLY
A Four, actually. Until the Selection, I worked in a
factory. My hands were always cracked and my nails
were caked with dirt. You should have seen the maids
reactions when they first saw me, all the preparations
they had to go through to make me presentable to
Clarkson. I had absolutely no political connections or
wealthy family members. We had no title. I was the
last person anyone in the palace thought of as being
the next princess, including the King and his
advisors. I wasnt exactly treated the same as the
others.

MAXON
But thats madness. You were cast aside because of
where you came from, not because of who you are. If
theyd have been successful, who knows what could have
happened to the country?

AMBERLY SMILES GRACIOUSLY AT HIM.

AMBERLY
Maxon, Im telling you this not to anger you, but to
let you know what might lie ahead for you. Your father
will be looking at each candidate from the perspective
of a ruler. He will be looking as his father did, to
make sure your wife is good for Illa. But I am here
to tell you that I will be looking at each candidate
openly. I promise you now that I will try to see these
girls, not as a mother or a queen, but as you see
them. I will not judge any choice you make as I do
trust your judgment. I only ask that you realize this
from what Ive told you: any woman can rise to the
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 60

occasion of being a Queen. They dont have to come
from money or nobility; they dont have to know right
away how to speak to foreign dignitaries; they dont
even have to have the best manners at first, thought
that might be of some use later. What a Queen truly
needs is patience. She needs to be able to listen.
Above all, she must be strong and resilient. Palace
life is not exactly paradise, as you know. And this
girl will need to know how to weather the hard times
without letting her head fall in defeat.


MAXON
So, youre saying I shouldnt choose from the higher
castes?

AMBERLY
I would never tell you that, Maxon. I am merely saying
that you must truly know the woman you are choosing
before you choose her. If you can promise me that, I
shall promise my support of whatever choice you end up
making. Whether you choose a Two or an Eight, I will
stand behind you. This is my gift to you, Maxon. Im
only sorry I cant be of more help.

MAXON TAKES THIS ALL IN, THEN SMILES WARMLY AT AMBERLY.

MAXON
Thank you, Mom. And know that, even though I will soon
be bringing a new woman into my life, I will still
always make room for you. Shell never be able to
replace you.

AMBERLY
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 61

You are welcome, my son. And thank you. Come now. We
should return. Before people start missing you.

MAXON OFFERS HER HIS ARM AND THE TWO OF THEM EXIT BACK INTO THE
PARTY. END SCENE.

PALACE LIBRARY. INTERIOR SHOT. DAPHNE STANDS IN FRONT OF A
GLOWING FIRE BURNING IN A MONSTER FIREPLACE; SHE STARES
CONTEMPLATINGLY INTO THE FLAMES. UNBEKNOWNST TO HER, THE DOOR TO
THE LIBRARY OPENS AND MAXON ENTERS OFFSCREEN.

MAXON (O.S.)
I thought Id find you in here. You know, the party is
a lot more fun when youre actually in the room.

DAPHNE SMILES AND TURNS TO HIM.

DAPHNE
Funny. You didnt seem to be enjoying yourself all
that much.

MAXON
Really? Am I that obvious?

DAPHNE
Only because I know you so well. Im sure your father
and his guests were pleasantly fooled.

MAXON
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 62

Well, thats all that really matters. Thats what you
always say, isnt it?

DAPHNE LAUGHS SOFTLY AND NODS IN AGREEMENT.

DAPHNE
So, you found me. Why were you looking?

MAXON REGARDS HER IN CONFUSION AT HER NEAR-HOSTILE TONE. HE
STAMMERS BEFORE FINALLY ANSWERING.
MAXON
I Well, I wanted to talk to you. We havent had a
chance all night. I looked around the Great Hall and
saw that youd disappeared. I was worried that youd
decided to leave early, without even saying hello.

DAPHNE
Why would it matter? It seemed to me that youve been
actively avoiding me all night.

MAXON
Avoiding you? No. I would never. My father invited
quite a few more people than I was expecting. You know
how it is, Daph. Hand shaking and small talk with
every head of state, ambassador, and family member in
attendance. This is the first break Ive had where I
could slip away without my father noticing.

DAPHNE
Right. Because we mustnt do anything your father
wouldnt approve of.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 63


MAXON
Are you alright?

DAPHNE
You do know that its going to be you running the
country one day, not your father. Youre eventually
going to have to make your own decisions.


MAXON
Where is this coming from? Are you Are you angry with
me?

DAPHNE
No. No matter how hard I try, Maxon, I dont know that
I could ever be angry at you. Its just that this
party and everything it means Its making my head and
my heart do crazy things.

MAXON
The party? It doesnt mean anything. Just that Im a
year older

DAPHNE
It means everything is going to change, Maxon! Youre
of age now. The Selection is about to happen and
youre going to go fall in love with some girl you
dont even know yet. And then shes going to be your
queen, your wife. But she will never know you, not
like I do.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 64


MAXON
The Selection? Thats what this is about? I dont
understand

DAPHNE
No. You dont. You never have, have you?

MAXON SHAKES HIS HEAD, CONFUSED, AND DAPHNE SUDDENLY REACHES
FORWARD, THROWING HER ARMS AROUND MAXONS NECK AND HOLDING HIM
TO HER AS SHE KISSES HIM FERVENTLY. HES IN SHOCK FOR A MOMENT
BEFORE HE ANXIOUSLY SEPARATES FROM HER, BACKING AWAY WIDE-EYED.

MAXON
What are you doing?

DAPHNE
You cant tell me you dont feel anything for me. You
love me just as much as I love you. I know you do.

MAXON
No! Daphne, youre my best friend

DAPHNE
Its more than that! You and I both know it!

MAXON IS STILL REELING, TRYING TO FORM A RESPONSE AS HE LOOKS AT
HER PLEADINGLY. SHE CONTINUES DESPERATELY.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 65


DAPHNE (CONT.)
My fathers arranged a marriage with some ambassadors
son, but I dont want to marry him. You cant want the
Selection, either. If we talk to our fathers, explain
to them that we are in love, that we want to be
married

MAXON
Daphne, no. Im not I dont feel that way about you.
Im so sorry.

DAPHNE
Youre lying to yourself!

MAXON
No, Im not! Daphne, please. Youre like my sister.
Youve been the closest friend Ive ever had but I
dont love you like that. I never could.

DAPHNE IS IN TEARS NOW, QUIETLY SOBBING AS SHE GAZES DESPERATELY
AT MAXON. MAXON HAS NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH A CRYING GIRL IN
FRONT OF HIM. HE TRIESAND FAILS MISERABLYTO STEER THE TOPIC
AWAY FROM HIS LOVE FOR DAPHNE.

MAXON (CONT.)
Dont. Please dont Um Please dont cry. Look, our
parents are probably wondering where we are. Should we
maybe go back to the party, try to still have a good
time tonight?

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 66

DAPHNE GLARES AT HIM, SHAKING HER HEAD IN DISBELIEF.

DAPHNE
I was wrong. I can be angry with you. I hate you. God
forbid you actually fall in love with a girl in the
Selection, Maxon. You wont even realize thats what
youre feeling. Whatever your father has done in
grooming you to be King, he has made you entirely numb
to real emotions, yours and others. I really do pity
any other girl that falls in love with you. Youre
going to break her heart, Maxon Schreave. Just as you
have broken mine.

SHE BOWS HER HEAD AND BRUSHES ROUGHLY PAST MAXON, LEAVING HIM
ALONG IN THE ROOM IN SHOCK. OFF: MAXONS STUNNED EXPRESSION. END
SCENE.

END OF PART THREE

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 67

PART FOUR
ESTBALISHING: PROVINCE SERVICES OFFICE. EXTERIOR. THE PROVINCE
SERVICE OFFICE IS AN OLD DILAPIDATED BUILDING IN THE MIDDLE OF
TOWN. A RIDICULOUSLY LONG LINE OF GIRLS, MOST OF THEM DRESSED
OVER THE TOP AND/OR ARE MADE UP WITH CRAZY MAKE UP TO MATCH,
STRETCHES OUTSIDE THE OFFICE, DOWN THE SIDEWALK. AMERICA ENTERS
WITH HER MOTHER WALKING BESIDE HER, AND TAKES IN THE LONG LINE
OF HUSSIED UP GIRLS AS THEY APROACH.

AMERICA
Apparently I missed the section in the letter where
were supposed to show up in our best clown costumes.

THERE IS AN UNFAMILIAR VOICE THAT SPEAKS FROM OFF SCREEN TO
AMERICA AND HER MOTHER.

MS. LEGER (O.S.)
Its for the picture youll have to have made.

AMERICA AND MAGDA TURN AROUND TO SEE MS. LEGER AND HER TWO
DAUGHTERS, CELIA AND KAMBER, BOTH WEARING DRESSES AND MINIMAL
MAKEUP, THE LITTLE THEY CAN AFFORD. MAGDA ADDRESSES ASPENS
MOTHER BEFORE AMERICA CAN THINK OF ANYTHING TO SAY.

MAGDA
Lena, my dear. How lovely to see you. And Celia and
Kamber as well. Hello.

CELIA & KAMBER
Hi Mrs. Singer.

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 68

AMERICA
You two look beautiful. But what did you mean by
picture?

LENA LEGER
Well, I was cleaning the Magistrates house yesterday
and I overheard mention that they would be requiring a
headshot to be submitted along with the application
for each girl. I guess its so they can show off the
Selected girls when they air the Capitol Report. Its
not supposed to be common knowledge, but it seems word
has spread.

AMERICA (SARCASTICLY)
I wish Id known. I could have worn one of my good
performance dresses or something.

MAGDA
Nonsense, America. You are beautiful just as you are.
You have a natural look no amount of makeup could do
anything but enhance slightly. Youre gorgeous.

CELIA
Really, America. You shouldnt worry.

KAMBER
Yeah, wed kill for your face.

CELIA
Or your hair.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 69


KAMBER
Or both.

AMERICA
Dont be ridiculous. If this was a beauty contest
alone, I think wed have a pair of twin princesses.

LENA
Isnt that a thought? Two daughters as Ones. I think
Aspen and I would spend weeks just lying around,
resting.

MAGDA
Where is Aspen? I half expected him to be here today.

LENA
He wanted to be. But some Two hes worked for before
had a last minute opening getting ready for a party
tonight and he grabbed it up. To tell you the truth,
Magda, hes been acting really strange lately. Hes
been taking more jobs, saving up everything he doesnt
spend on us and what we need.

AMERICA IS HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH CELIA AND KAMBER, BUT IS
LISTENING INTENTLY TO MS. LEGER.

MAGDA
Saving for what, I wonder?

"THE SELECTION" PAGE 70


LENA
Do you want to know what I think? I think hes saving
it for someone special. A girl.

AMERICAS HEAD JUMPS UP; LENA NOW HAS HER FULL ATTENTION.

MAGDA
A girl? Who?

LENA
I couldnt tell you. I havent actually met her yet,
but I see it in his eyes. Hes in love. Hes found
someone that he truly cares about. And do you know
what else?

MAGDA
What?

LENA
I think hes planning on marrying her. I think thats
what hes saving the money for, so they can start a
life together well.

AMERICA GASPS QUIETLY, A SMILE STRETCHING THE CORNERS OF HER
MOUTH.

MAGDA
Marrying her? Well, thats fantastic news, Lena.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 71



LENA
Isnt it? And, even though I dont know the girl yet,
I love her. She makes my son happy in ways hes never
been before. I feel like she is already a daughter to
me.

AMERICAS SMILE COVERS HER FACE NOW, TEETH SHOWING. SHE LOOKS AT
HER MOTHER, WAITING FOR A REACTION.

MAGDA
Well, she is a lucky girl. Your Aspen has always been
a sweet boy. I wish them all the best.

THE REST OF THE CONVERSATION IS BLURRED AS WE WATCH AMERICAS
REACTION. ASPEN STILL LOVES HER. THEY ARE GOING TO BE MARRIED
ONE DAY! THE SMILE ENCOMPASSES HER FACE. THE SHOT JUMPS FORWARD
IN TIME AS AMERICA HANDS IN HER APPLICATION AND SITS DOWN ON THE
TALL STOOL IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA, HER SMILE NEVER FADING EVER
AFTER THE CAMERA FLASHES ONCE. A SECOND FLASH PROVIDES THE SCENE
TRANSITION.END SCENE.

THE KINGS STUDY IN THE ROYAL PALACE. THE DAY AFTER THE PARTY.
INTERIOR SHOT.THE KINGS MUFFLES VOICE IS HEARD; HE IS PACING
AND SPEAKING TO MAXON, WHO IS SITTING DEJECTEDLY IN ONE OF THE
CHAIRS IN FRONT OF HIS FATHERS DESK. WE SEE A BRIEF FLASHBACK
TO DAPHNE LEAVING THE NIGHT BEFORE, SEE MAXON FALLING DOWN INTO
A CHAAIR IN THE LIBRARY AND PUTTING HIS HEAD IN HIS HANDS. WE
HEAR CLARKSONS ADMONISHING VOICE SNAPPING MAXON OUT OF THE
REVERIE.

CLARKSON (VOICE ONLY)
Maxon? Are you listening?
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 72


SHOT RETURNS TO MAXON AS HE SNAPS HIS HEAD UP SUDDENLY. CLARKSON
LOOKS PISSED AT HIM. HES OBVIOULSY BEEN SPEAKING TO MAXON FOR
QUITE SOME TIME.

CLARKSON (CONT.)
Your attention span is getting worse. You normally
have the attention span of a squirrel. It seems that
has now escalated to the attention span of a pinecone.

MAXON
I was actually paying attention, Father.

CLARKSON
Oh, really? What was I saying, then?

MAXON SIGHS AND CLOSES HIS EYES AS HE SPEAKS; HIS HEAD-TO-MOUTH
FILTER IS BROKEN. HE LOOKS EXHAUSTED.

MAXON
Something about the rebels, Im sure. Isnt that what
youre always talking about?

CLARKSON IS SURPRISEDAND OUTRAGED, BUT THE LOOK OF SHOCK SEEMS
TO BE WINNING OUT FOR THE MOMENT.

CLARKSON
Are you ill?

MAXON
Ill? No, Im not sick.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 73


CLARKSON
You must be. Nothing else explains your absurd
behavior over the past few days. First, the way you
acted with those reporters before the party, then your
obvious lack of interest in the party itself. You
disappeared before it was even over and didnt return
afterward. If youre trying to convince me that you
arent having an affair with that damned princess, who
was also very noticeably missing

MAXON
Trust me, Father. Youll never have to worry about her
again. I doubt shed even speak to me if we saw each
other again before her wedding.

CLARKSON
Oh. So now the both of you are betrothed to others.
Wonderful. That only makes the situation more tedious.

MAXON
Arent you listening? Theres nothing to concern
yourself with regarding Daphne, Father. Ive ruined
the best friendship Ive ever had, no thanks to you.

CLARKSON LOOKS MURDEROUS. HE TOSSES HE PAPERS DOWN ON HIS DESK
FORCEFULLY ANS STRIDES OVER TO MAXON DANGEROUSLY. MAXON DOES NOT
COWER OR CONCEDE.

CLARKSON
Whatever you think Ive

A PAGE ENTERS, CUTTING HIM OF MID SENTENCE.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 74


PAGE
Majesty!

CLARKSON DOESNT PULL HIS GAZE FROM MAXON AS HE BARKS OUT A
RESPONSE.

CLARKSON
What?

PAGE
Theres been another rebel attack, sir.

CLARKSON GLARES AT MAXON A MOMENT LONGER AND THEN LOOKS UP AT
THE PAGE, THIS NEW DEVELOPMENT TAKING PRECEDENCE.

CLARKSON
Where?

PAGE
Dominica, your Majesty. Outside a Province Service
Office.

CLARKSON
Any serious injuries?

PAGE
No civilians, sir, but a few soldiers sustained non-
life-threatening gunshot wounds. NO fatalities have
been reported.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 75


CLARKSON
Good. Please contact General Shaughnessy and tell him
that I will be expecting him in the Council Room in
fifteen minutes.

PAGE
Yes, my Lord.

THE PAGE BOWS AND EXITS. CLARKSON LOOKS MORE TROUBLED THAN
ANGRY. MAXON SPEAKS UP FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE PAGE
ENTERED.

MAXON
Province Service Office? Theyre after the Selection
candidates. Are you sure this is a good idea? Bringing
thirty-five extra girls here when were the target of
so much hatred and destruction?

CLARKSON
Do yourself a favor, Maxon. Let me worry about keeping
the Selection girls safe. You just worry about
deciding which one will look best in a wedding gown.

END SCENE.

THE TREEHOUSE. A FEW NIGHTS LATER. EXTERIOR SHOT. ASPEN IS
CLIMBING UP THE LADDER, SPEAKING IN HUSHED TONES AS HE REACHES
THE TOP. THE SHOT MOVES INSIDE THE TREEHOUSE, WATCHING THE HATCH
IN THE FLOOR AS ASPEN APPEARS.

ASPEN
I got your note. What did you want to talk?
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 76


HE PAUSES MID QUESTION AS HE PULLS HIMSELF INTO THE TREEHOUSE
AND STARES IN AWEAMERICA SITS, SURROUNDED BY AN ABUNDANCE OF
FOOD AND BRAND-NEW LIT CANDLES. HER JAR OF PENNIES SITS ON THE
FLOOR BEHIND HER. SHE SMILES BRIGHTLY AT ASPEN.

AMERICA
I hope youre hungry.

ASPEN
Mer, what is all of this?

AMERICA
I told you last time I saw you. Moms been letting me
take my own solo jobs and then keep the commissions.
My prize from her for submitting my application. Youd
be surprised how many Twos and Threes have been
throwing parties, so sure that their daughter or
sister is going to be the one that wins the lottery.

ASPEN
Oh, I know. Ive been working them too. Mostly in the
kitchens. But, America, I still dont understand what
all of this is for.

AMERICA
Is it too much? Ive just been baking and cooking all
week long, trying to pass the time and I just thought
Id bring some

ASPEN
Mer, you know what I mean. Why did you tell me to come
here?
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 77


AMERICA
I told you. I entered the Selection. I submitted my
application the same day Kamber and Celia did. Didnt
your mother tell you?

ASPEN
Yeah, she did but it doesnt change anything.

AMERICA
It changes everything. I did this because I didnt
want to lose. I did everything you wanted me to. What
do you mean Unless this isnt about the Selection.

ASPEN
America, there is so much I wish I could tell you. So
much I had hoped to do with you. But I cant anymore.
I cant be with you. Im sorry

AMERICA
Sorry? What are you sorry for? Just tell me whats
going on. You said

ASPEN
I said that Id stay if you entered the Selection
because I never actually thought youd submit your
application!

AMEERIA
What are you talking about? You just wanted a reason
to break up with me or something? Why? I dont
understand. Your mother said youd been saving up
money.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 78


ASPEN SIGHS HEAVILY, PUTTING HIS HEAD IN HIS HAND.
ASPEN
And you You thought it was to get married? This
young?

AMERICA
Well, I did. Back when I made the stupid mistake of
thinking that I meant something you.

ASPEN
You mean the world to me, America. And I want this.
But

AMERICA
But what? What is so horrible?

ASPEN
Ive been drafted, America.

AMERICA FREEZES, STRAING AT ASPEN IN HORROR. SHE STUTTERS OUT A
RESPONSE.

AMERICA
Thats a cruel joke, Aspen.

ASPEN REACHES INTO HIS BACK POCKET, PULLING OUT AN ENVELOPE,
FOLDED IN HALF. ITS CLEARLY BEEN OPENED AND RE-OPENED SEVERAL
TIMES ALREADY. HE HOLDS IT OUT TO AMERICA.

ASPEN
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 79

Read for yourself.

AMERICA HESITANTLY TAKES THE ENVELOPE, UNFOLDS IT AND PULLS THE
LETTER OUT. ASPEN CONTINUES SPEAKING AS SHE READS.

ASPEN (CONT.)
Ive been saving money for my family, Mer. Soldiers
get paid pretty well, sure, but only as long as
theyre alive. From what I hear, the rebels arent
making that very likely in my case.

AMERICA
I cant believe this is happening.

SHE BEGINS PUTTING THE LETTER BACK IN THE ENVELOPE AND STOPS.
SHE RUNS HER HAND OVER TE FRONT OF THE ENVELOPE.

AMERICA (CONT.)
Wait. Aspen this.. This is post marked This was send
from Angeles the same day as my Selection letter. You
You got this the nearly a week ago and didnt mention
anything?

ASPEN
Mer

AMERICA
Aspen, this changes so much. Youre a Two now. We
wouldnt have to worry about anything.

ASPEN
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 80

Except me surviving the Royal Army for ten years. Or
have you forgotten? Soldiers cant marry, cant even
see anyone. Not until their ten years of service are
up.
AMERICA
I dont care. I can wait.

ASPEN
You shouldnt have to.

AMERICA
But I will. I love you. Ten years is nothing.

ASPEN
What if its forever? What if I dont come back alive?
What if that day I shipped out was the last time you
ever saw me? Could you live with that?

AMERICA HAS NO ANSWER FOR HIM.

ASPEN (CONT.)
I thought so. You deserve to love and be loved. Not to
mourn me or wait for me.

AMERICA
Is that what the Selection application was about,
then? Seeing if I could give my heart to someone else
after you?

ASPEN
No! Like I said, I never thought youd do it! I needed
a reason to Distance myself from you. Then, when I
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 81

finally left, you wouldnt know and wouldnt try to
stop me until I was already gone.

AMERICA GLARES AT HIM WITH TEARS IN HER EYES, BUT ANGER COVERING
HER FACE.

AMERICA
Youre a coward.

ASPEN
America, please.

AMERICA
No, you were right to be afraid, Aspen. You are going
to die in the army. Fighting rebels or some war in New
Asia. Because you are a coward. I actually hope I get
into the Selection, just to see your face as I fall in
love with our snob of a princesomeone I cant stand
because at least its better than loving someone I
know Ill never see again.

ASPEN
You dont mean that, America. I know you dont.

AMERICA
Dont tell me what I mean, Aspen. Get out. Now.

ASPEN LOOKS AT HER PLEADINGLY, BUT CONCEDES, BACKING TOWARD THE
HATCH IN THE FLOOR. AMERICA SEEMS TO CONSIDER, THEN CALLS TO
HIM.

AMERICA (CONT.)
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 82

Wait.

ASPEN STOPS AND LOOKS UP AT HER. SHE DOESNT MEET HIS EYES.
AMERICA (CONT.)
You said that you were saving the money for your
family, right? In case something happens to you?

ASPEN DOESNT ANSWER. HE JUST STARES AT AMERICA WEARILY. AMERICA
REACHES BEHIND HER TO PICK UP HER PENNY JAR. SHE GAZES DOWN AT
IT SADLY.

AMERICA (CONT.)
I brought this because I thought you were saving money
for us. I thought you wanted this as much as I did. I
wanted to show you that I was saving every single one
you ever gave me. But

AMERICA UNSCREWS THE TOP OF THE JAR.

AMERICA (CONT.)
I guess there is no us anymore. So you should use
this for your family, even if Im not going to be the
part of it I thought I would be.

ASPEN SHAKES HIS HEAD AND MOVES CLOSER TO AMERICA, PUTTING HIS
HAND OF HERS AND THE JAR.

ASPEN
America, no. I gave you those. Theyre yours. Keep
them.

AMERICA
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 83

I dont want them. I dont want anything thats going
to remind me of you.

AMERICA SHRUGS OFF HIS HAND AND PULLS OPEN A POCKET ON HIS
SHIRT, POURING THE PENNIES IN NOISILY. ASPEN MAKES NO MOVE TO
REMOVE THEM.

ASPEN
America, please. Dont be mad at me like this.

AMERICA
Your family needs the money more than we do. Now go.
Get out. Now!

ASPEN HESITANTLY SCURRIES OUT OF THE TREEHOUSE. OFF: AMERICA IN
A VERY SIMILAR POSITION. NEW CANDLES, MORE FOOD, MORE MONEY, BUT
STILL ALONE AND CRYING IN HER TREEHOUSE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
NIGHT. END SCENE.

KINGS STUDY IN THE ROYAL PALACE. THE NIGHT BEFORE THE BIG
CAPITOL REPORT. INTERIOR SHOT. CLARKSON HOVERS AROUND HIS DESK,
READING THROUGH SOME PAPERS HAPHAZARDLY. THERE IS A KNOCK AT THE
DOOR AND MAXON ENTERS.

MAXON
I heard you were asking for me.

CLARKSON
Ah, yes. Come in. Close the door behind you.

MAXON DOES SO AND MOVES FORWARD TO STAND IN FRONT OF HIS
FATHERS DESK. CLARKSONS HAND FALLS ON A THICK STACK OF FILES,
A SMILE PLAYING ON HIS FACE.
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 84




CLARKSON (CONT.)
Well, here we are, son. The Capitol Report is tomorrow
and your future wife is right here, in one of these
applications. Would you like a sneak preview?

MAXON
I didnt think I was supposed to see them or know them
until the Capitol Report.

CLARKSON
True. You arent. But one of the perks of being the
Prince is that you dont answer to anyone except me.
And Id give you permission to look at them if youd
like. I know you must be anxious just to see them.

MAXON
Of course I am. Still, I think I can wait until
tomorrow.

CLARKSON SHRUGS AND SITS DOWN BEHIND HIS DESK.

CLARKSON
Suit yourself. Its your choice, I suppose.

MAXON SITS OPPOSITE HIS FATHER.

MAXON
Have you? You know, seen them?
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 85


CLARKSON SCOFFS AND STARES AT MAXON AMUSEDLY.


CLARKSON
Of course Ive seen them. I told you Maxon, this
Selection has been years in the making on my part. I
needed to make sure everything turned out as planned.

MAXON
I dont understand. How could you really plan for
anything? Its a lottery. You couldnt have known who
ended up getting Selected.

CLARKSON
The lottery? Oh, grow up Maxon. Do you think any
responsible king would let the fate of his country
rest on the chance of a good wife being chosen at
random from thousands of eligible women?

MAXON SITS BACK AND TAKES THIS IN FOR A MOMENT.

MAXON
Its fixed. You chose every single candidate
specifically.

CLARKSON
Not every single one. Most of them, yes, have some
kind of ties that could be useful. Some have money,
contacts in New Asia. Things that could be the
difference between war and ruin. I was only thinking
of the country I will be handing down to you soon,
Maxon. Of course, some of the girls really were in a
"THE SELECTION" PAGE 86

lottery. In places like Columbia and Carolina, we
couldnt find any specifically favorable candidates,
so we chose at random. Well, almost. We couldnt very
well let anyone below a Five in, now could we? Good
lord, there have to remain some standards.

MAXON
I dont understand. You said the Selection, the fact
that anyone could be Queen was all that was keeping
the lower castes in line. If we arent doing that

CLARKSON
Why do they have to know? There are some secrets, some
lies you must tell for the good of Illa. Youll do
well to remember that. As long as the idea of the
Selection lives, so we live in power. Thats how long
we stay in favor with the rest of the country. Its a
necessary secret. Can I trust you with it?

MAXON SEEMS TO WAR WITH HIMSELF BEFORE NODDING.

MAXON
Yes, sir.

OFF: MAXON AND HIS FATHER LOCKED IN AN INTENSE STARING CONTEST.
END SCENE.