Scene 5: Amber versus Wrath
The scene opens with Amber in her taekwondo uniform standing in front of room full of her taekwondo students. It’s Tuesday evening. She has a third degree black belt, she is barefoot, and standing comfortably at ease with her hands behind her back. The class is standing at attention in organized rows there are about twenty-five students, with ranks from white belt to first degree black belt. This is a campus club, so most of the taekwondo students are University of Florida students and are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-seven, though there are a few children and a couple of older adults. Head instructor Jason O’Brien is standing off to the side, watching.
AMBER: (addressing the students) Welcome to class! We have a fun one tonight. After our stretching, we’ll do some floor exercises and then we’ll do some breaking for the second half of class. Let’s start by reciting the tenants of taekwondo. Please begin.
STUDENTS: (together) Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, Indomitable Spirit
AMBER: Very good. Now let’s talk about what those words mean. They are great words to live by when you are practicing your taekwondo and even when you are not. For example, when you are out at Wal-Mart, be courteous to the employees and other shoppers. Now I know most of us are adults here, but why don’t we talk about these tenants just a bit. Raise your hand and briefly tell me about how you have demonstrated one of these tenants recently in your life. First, courtesy. (several hands go up and Amber looks around the class) Viggo?
VIGGO: (one of the older men) Just the other night, my wife and I went out to eat. The waitress was horrible. She never refilled our drinks, didn’t bus the table, wasn’t friendly, and even got our order wrong. Rather than get angry and be rude to her, we were very polite and courteous… but I don’t think we’ll ever go back to that restaurant!
AMBER: Good example, Viggo. Next is integrity. (looks at the hands that go up) Ariel?
ARIEL: (traditional college student age woman) Well at my job, I have to watch over a lot of peoples’ possessions all by myself. If I didn’t have integrity, I would be tempted to steal some of the items. I think integrity means “to do the right thing when nobody is looking.”
AMBER: Very good! Alright, next is perseverance. (looks at the hands that go up) Nick?
NICK: (traditional college student age man, clears throat) Well, Miss Pacino, I am a Christian, and one of my favorite passages in the Bible talks about perseverance, if I may recite it?
AMBER: (looks shocked and nods her head)
NICK: (confidently and with joy) It’s Hebrews 12:1-3, and it says therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. So I believe perseverance is taking a steady, enduring pace toward the end of whatever you are doing.
AMBER: (shows a mix of confused and happy emotions) Thank you, Nick. That was very good. Ummm… let’s see. Next we have self-control. (looks at the hands that go up) Courtney?
COURTNEY: (about eight years old) My mom says I have good self-control when my little brother always wants to be with me and my friends and I just let him tag along and don’t get mad at him or make him leave. But I don’t think he should be allowed to touch my Barbies!
AMBER: (smiling) Very good example, Courtney! Alright, and for the last one, who’s got indomitable spirit? (about half of the class turn their eyes to Angela, who reluctantly raises her hand) Angela?
ANGELA: (shy and embarrassed, mid twenties) Well, you all know that I recently had ovarian cancer. I guess you could say that took an indomitable spirit to get through the surgery, chemo, and radiation that they did to me and still be able to finish that semester of school.
AMBER: Angela, I hope I would have the strength you showed if I were in your situation. You impressed us all a good deal with how you went through your cancer ordeal. Thank you for all those good examples. Try to apply the tenants to your life. Living that way can help you. Okay, now let’s get started with our stretching exercises!
Amber spends several minutes walking the class through stretches to loosen up their muscles. This can be shown with a fade in / fade out effect.
AMBER: Now that we’re all warmed up, Instructor O’Brien wants me to run you through some floor exercises before we get to the breaking.
Amber spends about twenty minutes running the class through various kicking and punching combos that are belt level appropriate. The class is panting and sweating by the time she calls for the end and dismisses them for a water break. This can be shown with a fade in / fade out effect. While the students are at the water cooler, Jason and Amber go to the corner of the room where a large pile of boards, roofing tiles, cement slabs, and bricks are. They start carrying them to the middle of the room. Some of the students join in and help the instructors move the supplies. For this part of the movie, we can show some of the breaking in fast little clips. No warm up or setup, just fists and feet smashing through wood and cement. The important thing to show is Amber breaking wood and bricks. Amber attempts to break six boards with a side kick and hits them but they don’t break. In an uncharacteristic move, the instructor makes a rude comment that really gets under Amber’s skin.
JASON: (shakes head, softly) I’ve never seen a woman break six before…
Amber is upset but she doesn’t say anything and just lets it go, especially because all the students are there. Amber gives the board a more focused kick and snaps through all six. The class eventually ends and most of the students help haul the broken building supplies to the dumpster or take some home. Then most of the students leave, except Nick. Jason is still in the room, over in the corner at his gym bag, putting his sparring pads on. Nick walks up to Amber.
AMBER: Something on your mind, Nick?
NICK: Yes Ma’am! When I said I am a Christian and said those Bible verses, you seemed shocked, confused, and excited. Do you want to talk about God, the Bible, or salvation with me?
AMBER: I… might… take you up on that. But not right now. Instructor O’Brien and I usually stay late after class and spar each other for a while. It helps us both with our speed, angles, and techniques. We’ve been doing that for three years and we’ve developed a friendship through the learning and welts. But Nick, I want you to know that my best friend has been teaching me about her relationship with God and the Bible for well over a decade. I used to just tune her out and I used to actually be an atheist, but lately her words are making a lot of sense. I’m even reading the Bible and memorizing some parts of it now! You are right. I still have a ton of questions. But Brenda—my friend—is answering them. I have your phone number for the class… would it be okay if I called you sometime to ask you some questions about God?
NICK: I would love that. You can call me any time—day or night. When somebody is seeking God, I drop what I am doing to talk with them. Be safe in your sparring tonight, Assistant Instructor Pacino, and I’ll see you in class soon, if I haven’t heard from you on the phone. Know that God loves you and so do I. Good night! (smiles and turns to walk away)
AMBER: (looking very shocked but happy) Good night, Nick!
Nick leaves the room and Jason walks over in his sparring gear. Amber rushes to her gym bag and quickly puts her pads on.
JASON: (speech is garbled because of his mouthpiece) Thanks for teaching the class tonight. You did a great job.
AMBER: (garbled speech) No problem. I like doing it. Well now you’ve seen a woman break six boards!
JASON: (looks surprised) Uh, yeah! Did I say that out loud?
JASON: Sorry, Amber. I’m under a lot of stress right now. My parents are having problems right now and my grades are slipping… I guess I let that rude comment slip out.
AMBER: It’s okay. We can talk about what’s bothering you later. But right now I hear the bell!
JASON: (smiles and puts his hands up) Ever the fighter!
They begin sparring. They go a couple of rounds. Mostly without talking, because they know each other so well. Then Jason lands a kick to the side of Amber’s neck that hits a little harder than he intended. It rattles Amber.
JASON: (worried) Sorry! I just hit you too hard there. We can stop!
AMBER: (determined and angry) No, sir! Let’s keep going!
The sparring goes on another few minutes and Amber sees Jason make a mistake he commonly makes when he’s getting tired—a dropped hand that should be raised and protecting his head. Amber’s leg instinctively starts to throw a powerful kick that will hit Jason in his now unguarded head.
The demon representing Wrath suddenly crashes his motorcycle through the doors to the room. The huge, tattooed, leather-clad biker hops off the bike, sets the kickstand and rushes toward Amber. He gets right up in her face and yells rather than talks.
WRATH: (gesturing wildly) Take the shot!
WRATH: Do I have to spell this out for you?! Friend or not, accident or not, Jason insulted you, and all women! He said you weren’t strong enough! Weren’t fast enough! Only a MAN could break that many boards!
AMBER: Well, I didn’t like that… but he did apologize when I let him know I was hurt by it.
WRATH: Fine. What about that kick he just landed on you? Do you really think that wasn’t intentional? I mean, we’re talking about a gold medal Olympic winner here! He has better control than that! Don’t be bullied! Take the shot!
AMBER: No! In the three years we’ve been sparring and friends, we’ve never knocked each other out!
WRATH: Throw the kick. You will not kill him. He’ll wake up off the floor in a minute, and you’ll have some respect! Show him how tough women can be! Teach your instructor a lesson! One of your beautiful hook kicks will be exactly what he deserves!
AMBER: It looks like it’s going to be YOU I teach the lesson to!
Wrath bellows as Amber lands two lightning fast kicks to his head. Wrath is knocked back. His fighting style is boxing, and he’s so tall that his reach is much further than Amber’s. They trade kicks and punches for a while and then Wrath lands a huge uppercut to Amber’s jaw and disappears.
Jason is back in his position with his hand lowered; Amber is in position to land a big hook kick. She throws it hard and connects solidly with Jason’s head. He is knocked out instantly and falls to the floor. He lands on some thick padding and is okay. Amber is instantly regretful that she did it and instantly goes to Jason’s form. It takes a few seconds, but he opens his eyes. He is disoriented at first, and Amber helps him attentively, looking for signs that she might have hurt him more than just a knock out. She gets him some water. After a few minutes, he seems fine. They take off their pads, round up their bags and supplies and shut off the lights.
JASON: Nice kick!
AMBER: You dropped that hand again.
JASON: Yep. That ought to teach me. I haven’t been knocked out in years! (they start walking toward the door)
AMBER: I’m sorry I kicked you that hard, sir.
JASON: It’s okay. I forgive you. Though it seems like we both might need to work on that tenet of self-control. Pulling those strikes that might hit too hard.
AMBER: Yes sir! (pause) So did you want to talk about what’s going on in your life? (they lock up the building and walk to their lone cars in a big, empty parking lot)
JASON: Oh, not right now. I have a couple big engineering assignments to work on, and I need a couple Tylenol for this headache! (chuckles) Anybody would need Tylenol after “saying hello to A. Pacino’s little friend!” Which, in this case, was a beautiful front leg hook kick!
AMBER: Jason, please… you know I hate all the Al Pacino references. I wasn’t even alive when that stupid Scarface movie came out, but it’s been haunting me since elementary school.
JASON: Sorry. I just couldn’t resist that one!
AMBER: Well, okay. (they arrive at their cars) Have a good night! I’ll see you at class or you can call me if you need anything!
JASON: You, too!
They get in their cars and start them up as the scene fades out.