End of Summer

Visions of Sugarplums

by Barbara Lien and Park Cooper

(A Golden Age Sandman Script
with Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmont)

Note: Events in this story take place in December 1942, and July and December 1943.

Page 1

Panel one: Establishing shot of calendar, stating JULY 1943. On the calendar is a cute girl in a sailor suit saying, "Buy bonds so my Daddy can come home."

Panel two: We pull back to see the calendar on the wall, as Dian Belmont sits at a typewriter. It's a side view of her, from her middle to her head. She doesn't look pleased.

Panel three: From her point of view, we see the source of her displeasure. There's a manila envelope on her desk. Poking out of it is a note.

Panel four: We see what's written on the note. "We can't use this. Why not try a Christmas story---it's only six months away."

Panel five: Dian: I just bought myself a new bathing suit and I'm supposed to write a damned…

Panel six: Dian's face becomes distracted for a minute.

Page 2

Panel one: Dian (looking inspired): That's it!

Panel two: We see Dian typing furiously from the point of view that looks like we're standing in front of her and her typewriter. The top of the panel has typewritten words, which represent what she is typing. "EVERY MAN HAS ENEMIES by Dian Belmont"

Panel three: Top Caption: "This is the story of an ordinary man, neither good nor bad, a devil trying to be an angel---just like the rest of us."

In the panel, we see Wes Dodds waiting in front of a Chinese restaurant called The Yankee Clipper. (This panel, and all others from here on until further notice, are sepia coloured, looking like an old photograph.)

Panel four: Wes, looking at his watch: Wish she'd hurry so I can get to the stores before they close. Still haven't shopped for her Xmas present yet. Had to leave it until the last moment, didn't you, old man?

Panel five: Top Caption: "This is also the story of an ordinary event, an ordinary day, and a very ordinary sin…"

Wes and Dian sit in the Yankee Clipper, finishing their meal. There are typical looking Chinese decorations such as Buddhas, dragons, scenes of mythic China, etc. But, rather incongruously, there are also Xmas decorations hanging around.

Panel six: Wes is looking at his watch again. It reads 6:13.

Wes, in thought captions: Damn and blast.

Page 3

Panel one: Wes and Dian read their fortune cookies.

Panel two: Dian's reads: The giver is a greater gift than the present…

Panel three: Wes's reads: Every man has enemies.

Panel four: Wes: I shudder to think what that means…

Page 4

Panel one: Dian, looking out the window, pointing to a truck. Dian: Doesn't that look odd to you?

Panel two: We see the truck. It's open in the back and stuffed beyond capacity with tires, steel, cardboard, etc…

Panel three: Dian: That truck…it's filled with what looks to be…tires.

Panel four: Wes, looking at the truck: What's so unusual about


Panel five: Dian: The war effort, remember? Rationing, save our tin, all that. Only the military should have that much rubber.

Panel six: Wes: I know there's a dirty joke in there somewhere, but…

Dian: I'm serious. They're hoarding…

Panel seven: Wes: You don't know that…

Dian: You don't know that they aren't, either…

Panel eight: Wes: Maybe you're right. But for once, let's leave it for the police, all right?

Panel nine: Dian gets a shocked look on her face. Dian: We all have to do our part or else we're as big of an evil as the Nazis. I won't continue having dinner with someone so…so unpatriotic.

Page 5

Panel one: As she gets up to leave, Wes says: Wait, I just meant…

Dian (coldly, leaving): Good night, Mr. Dodds…

Panel two: Wes looks very downhearted.

Panel three: Wes takes out his wallet and pays the bill…

Wes: What ARE they doing with all that stuff, anyway?

Panel four: We see Wes in an alley get into his Sandman costume.

Wes: The stores close at 9 and now it's…

Panel five: We see the face of the watch…it says 6:30…

Panel six: Wes, as he gets into the back of the truck, which is still open: I can still make it.

Page 6 (two panels on top half of page, three on bottom)

Panel one: Two men come out of a diner near the truck. They look shifty, typical low lifes. One looks like a human version of Spike the Bulldog in the Warner Brothers cartoons. The other looks to be an ex-boxer, with cauliflower everything on his face. There's no look of humanity to either of them. Their outfits look like those of movers.

Panel two: Thug 1: I thought I told you to secure that door!

Thug 2: There's just too much crap in there, I tell you.

Panel three: Thug 1, as he closes the door, locking it up with a chain

and padlock: Not for long, there won't be.

Panel four: Wes, in the back of the truck, is holding up a match so he can see his watch. It reads 6:52.

Panel five: Wes: Where is this place, anyway? Tokyo?

Page 7

Panel one: We see the place the criminals have driven to: a warehouse, filled to the brim with black market items.

Panel two: Wes sees it through a small crack in the truck's door.

Panel three: Wes, whispering: Well I'll be damned. Exactly like she thought.

Panel four: With mask on and gas gun in hand, Wes tries the truck door. It's padlocked.

Panel five: Wes: Oh, not now!

Wes slumps to the floor of the truck in frustration.

Panel six: Wes looks bored inside the near gloom of the truck.

Page 8 (two panels top tier, two panels center tier, three panels bottom)

Panel one: He hears something.

Wes: About time.

Panel two: In response, he stands to attention.

Panel three: The door opens to reveal two very surprised-looking criminals.

Panel four: From their point of view, we see the Sandman and his gas gun.

Panel five: Wes: Merry Christmas.

Panel six: The gas gun goes off.

Panel seven: The criminals fall over asleep.

Page 9 (three panels on top, three center, one wider one on bottom)

Panel one: Wes ties up the criminals. As he does so, his attention turns to the clock on the wall.

Panel two: The clock says 8:55.

Panel three: Wes, wandering about the warehouse aimlessly:

What am I going to do now?

Panel four: Then, his attention focuses on a big pile of sacks of something.

Panel five: He looks more closely at the sacks.

Panel six: The sack he holds up says "SUGAR".

Panel seven: Wes, lifting his mask up atop his head, says: Can it be? REAL sugar? Since rationing started, you can hardly get this stuff anymore.

Page 10 (Three panels on top tier, two center, three bottom)

Panel one: Wes thinks: Surely the police wouldn't miss one sack. It IS Xmas and I don't have a present because…

Panel two: Wes takes a bag of sugar.

Panel three: We see Wes calling the police from a phone booth. Wes: "…Tied up in a large warehouse…"

Panel four: Wes walks along the streets, feeling proud. Then, he starts looking in the store front windows.

Panel five: Poster of a soldier saying: We do our share, do you?

Panel six: A little less happy, Wes goes on.

Panel seven: Poster of a small boy: Hoarding is just stealing for Hitler.

Panel eight: Wes, feeling guilty now, continues walking.

Page 11

Panel one: Walking slowly, Wes thinks: But, I can't give it back now. The police have probably all ready been and gone…it would mean risking my secret…

Panel two: Wes, stopping in his tracks, repeats what Dian said earlier: "We all have to do our part or else we're as big of an evil as the Nazis."

Panel three: As he says this, his eye is caught by a sign that says, "County Orphanage."

Panel four: Wes: It's the season of giving, after all…

Page 12

Panel one: We see that he's left the sugar at the front door of the orphanage, in a blanket, like a baby, with a note.

Panel two: The note says, "Please take care of this little bundle of joy. Merry Xmas."

Panel three: Wes walks along, singing "Deck the Halls…"

Top Caption: "Yes, each man has enemies, because each man carries in him the temptation to do good or evil. Every ordinary day, each man must conquer that enemy within or else by conquered by it. And conquering that enemy may well be the true meaning of the holiest of days. THE END"

Panel four: (This panel is not sepia-toned-- we are now done with that-- no more sepia in this story.) Dian pulls out the paper from the typewriter in triumph.

Page 13

Panel one: Top caption: "Six months later."

Panel two: We see the calendar again. It says, December 1943. An angel on the calendar says, "God bless our troops."

Panel three: Wes comes in with Dian's mail.

Wes: Happy holidays, darling.

Panel four: Dian, again typing like crazy, doesn't look up, except to say: Put it here.

Wes puts it on her desk.

Panel five: Dian looks at the mail: Bill, card, bill, card…oh…

Panel six: She sees a manila envelope and grabs for it.

Panel seven: As she opens it, Wes says: Bad news?

Panel eight: The note with the returned manuscript says: Sorry, too sentimental. Maybe if the sugar had been poisoned or something, we could have used it. Your editor--

Page 14

Panel one: Dian's face falls. Dian: But, but, it's a TRUE story…

Panel two: Wes: Maybe now's the time to give you your present.

Dian: What?

Panel three: Wes helps Dian up. Wes: It's right through here, ma'am.

Panel four: We see that he's leading her to the bedroom.

Panel five: Wes closes the door to the bedroom so we can't see what's going on.

Panel six: Dian says: Oooh, and it's just my size, too…


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This story is © 1999 by Barbara Lien and Park Cooper.
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