AUTHOR'S NOTES, READ THESE FIRST:

FF removes almost all formatting when this is uploaded, so I have prepared three options for you to read this screenplay:

1. I have made download links to both PDF and TXT documents with the proper screenplay formatting. They can be found at the end of this chapter (Chapter 1). This is the recommended option.

2. You may read this screenplay uploaded here (In chapter 1), but it is not in the proper format. I have inserted line breaks throughout to make it tolerable to read.

3. I have re-formatted the entire screenplay into a "story" (non-screenplay) format. You may read this by changing to Chapter 2.

I did not initially like this episode. In fact, I considered withholding it from release. Obviously I eventually chose to release it after some revision. Although this episode may seem far-fetched, everything you read here is completely realistic, and could actually happen in real life (and in the Arthur Universe)

FADE IN:

INT. AN ICE HOCKEY RINK - DAY SHOT: The scoreboard, panning out to show players in starting positions.

The players begin the game.

SHOT: spectator seats, Arthur sitting in a seat.

ARTHUR

Being competitive sometimes is completely normal. Just imagine if we weren't at all competitive,
sports wouldn't even exist, because the teams wouldn't care if they won or not!

CUT TO:

INT. THE SUGAR BOWL - DAY

Arthur is sitting at the bar area of the sugar bowl, across from a booth where The Brain and Buster are sitting.

The Brain and Buster are furiously eating ice cream out of large bowls.

ARTHUR

It can be fun to have competitions between friends, like the time Buster thought that he could eat more ice cream than The Brain. Even though Buster won, they stayed friends, and there were no hard feelings.

INT. MR. RATBURN'S CLASS - DAY

Arthur is sitting at his desk, along with the rest of the class.
Arthur turns to look at the camera.

ARTHUR

But sometimes competitions can get out of hand, like when Mr. Ratburn had the student of the month contest. Francine wanted to win so bad that she framed The Brain for stealing from Buster!

SHOT: AS Arthur says the last sentence, Francine is shown placing buster's toy into brain's backpack.

INT. UPSTAIRS OF THE READ RESIDENCE - DAY

Arthur is walking down the hallway from his room upstairs,
and turns to walk down the stairs when he speaks.

ARTHUR

And then there's my sister D.W..

For her, EVERYTHING is a contest, a contest that she ALWAYS has to win.

When Arthur is near the bottom of the stairs, DW appears at the top of the stairs.

D.W.
(Shouting down to Arthur while running down)
Arthur! You go down the stairs too fast! We should put weights on you so that you can't walk so fast!

Arthur sighs and looks into the camera

TITLE CARD ANIMATION: BUSTER ROARING

TITLE CARD: THE WRITING CONTEST

INT. MR. RATBURN'S CLASS - DAY

The whole class is sitting in their seats, MR. RATBURN is at the front of the room.

MR. RATBURN

Now class, it's almost time for lunch, but before we go I have an announcement to make. I am happy to tell you that the Elwood City Airport is opening a new flight school in two weeks!

There is no response from the class until BUSTER Raises his hand.
SHOT: Buster in his seat

BUSTER

Umm, Mr. Ratburn? We can't even drive yet. Why would we be excited about a flight school?

Shot: back to Ratburn

MR. RATBURN

Actually Buster, you can start learning to be a pilot at any age.

Mr. Ratburn speaks louder, now to the whole class instead of just Buster.

MR. RATBURN

But the reason I am telling you this is because Elwood City Elementary school has teamed up to bring you a writing contest! The prize, provided by the airport, is an aerobatic ride!

FRANCINE raises her hand.

FRANCINE

Mr. Ratburn, what are aerobatics?

MR. RATBURN

Aerobatic flying is when a plane does maneuvers, like those found in air shows. The winner will get to fly the plane and experience them singlehandedly.

The class begins excitedly whispering.

MR. RATBURN

There are very few rules in the contest. You can write about anything, real or fictional. If you are interested, please take one of these papers that I have on my desk on your way out.

FERN raises her hand.

FERN

Mr. Ratburn, who are we competing with? What if we can't write good enough?

MR. RATBURN

Fern, you of all people should know that many people in this class,
including yourself, are amazing writers.

Mr. Ratburn picks up a paper from his desk.

MR. RATBURN

In fact, I've just read Binky's latest writing. It was a heartwarming tale about two bear cubs, who were separated from their mom before-

The Bell rings.

When Mr. Ratburn begins to read the story, Binky begins to visibly panic. When the bell rings, he is visibly relieved.

INT. THE SCHOOL CAFETERIA - DAY

Arthur and his friends are sitting at a table.

ARTHUR

So, are you guys going to enter the contest?

MUFFY

Yes, I think that I will. I think that it would be great to have my work proven to be great.

ARTHUR (To Muffy)
What about the prize?

MUFFY (Haughtily)
The aerobatic ride? Talk about a bad hair day, being upside doing and flipping around, though I'm sure Francine would love to win it.

FRANCINE

You bet I would! I think it would be so cool to win that plane ride!

Not to mention that you would know that your writing is the best in the entire school!

BUSTER

Wow, I never thought of it that way. Although, I've always thought it would be exciting to be in a plane upside down.

ARTHUR Hey Buster, your dad's a pilot, haven't you done this kind of stuff before?

BUSTER

No, he's never really liked it very much. One time when I was flying with him there was a lot of wind and we had to turn really fast, and he almost got sick just doing that! It was actually kind of funny how he tried to keep the plane straight while he was so dizzy, we were flying all over the place!

MUFFY

That's a funny story, Buster. You could write about that for the contest.

FRANCINE (Jokingly)
Yeah, be careful Buster, you don't want someone to steal your story ideas.

CLOSE UP: buster

Buster gasps, taking Francine's advice not as a joke, but thinking that it is true.
BACK TO WIDER SHOT, SHOWING TABLE

ARTHUR

So, you guys ready to go out to the playground?

The entire table gets up and beings to walk off.

EXT. THE PLAYGROUND - DAY

The group (Of Arthur and friends) is in the sand area of the playground. Arthur and THE BRAIN are on the merry-go-round,
being spun by Francine.

ARTHUR

Is it just me, or are we not going as fast as we usually do?

THE BRAIN

I noticed that too.

FRANCINE

I know why, it's because Buster usually helps push too.

SHOT WIDENS, SHOWING BUSTER SITTING A FEW FEET AWAY

Arthur disembarks the merry-go-round and walks up to Buster.

ARTHUR

What's the matter, Buster? You alright?

BUSTER

Me? Oh yeah, I'm fine.

ARTHUR (Mildly Confused)
Then why aren't you with us on the merry-go-round like always?

BUSTER

Oh, well... I guess I could come over.

They walk back to their previous locations, Buster and Francine now on the merry-go-round.

Arthur and The Brain begin spinning Francine and Buster.

FRANCINE

This reminds me of a time when I put my sister on a merry-go-round,
and she-

Buster slams his foot down on the sand, stopping the merry-go-round.

BUSTER (Urgently)
Shh! Francine!

FRANCINE (Startled)
What? What's wrong, Buster?

BUSTER

Don't tell any stories, someone might steal the idea!

FRANCINE

Buster, that's ridiculous! It was just a quick funny story.

BUSTER

You never know who might be lurking to steal a story, Francine.

INT. THE SUGAR BOWL - DAY

Arthur, Francine, The Brain, Buster, and Muffy are sitting at a table, drinking sodas.

FRANCINE

How do you guys think you did on Mr. Ratburn's quiz today?

MUFFY

I think I did well on it. I studied last night with Bailey, but even that almost went wrong! He mixed up the math and history papers and I almost studied the wrong-

Buster abruptly puts his glass down and puts both hand on the table, quieting Muffy.

BUSTER

Muffy! What have I been saying! You can't be telling stories like this! Someone might be trying to get ideas!

As Buster says "Someone" he motions with his head to Arthur.

FRANCINE (Mildly Shocked)
Y-You mean Arthur? You think that Arthur, your best friend, is trying to steal story ideas from us?

BUSTER (Defensively)
Well, have you heard him try to tell a story to us today?

Everyone looks at Arthur.

ARTHUR (Defensively)
C'mon guys, I have plenty of ideas! I'm not trying to steal yours!

THE BRAIN

Well Arthur, if you recall the last time that Mr. Ratburn had us write, you had a lot of trouble, and you did have to ask all of us for advice on your story.

There is a tense silence for a couple of seconds.

FRANCINE (A little slow, thinking about what Brain said)
Umm, I think it might be time for me to go.

Francine gets up.

MUFFY

I think Francine's right, it's getting a little late anyway.

Muffy gets up and leaves.

The Brain gets up and leaves.

ARTHUR (To Buster, Mildly Angry)
Buster, what's wrong with you? Why are you accusing me of stealing everyone's story?

BUSTER (Coldly)
Arthur, if you can think of a story idea, go ahead, prove me wrong. Until then, it just looks like you're trying to steal stories.

Buster walks away as Arthur speaks.

ARTHUR (Calling After Buster)
But Buster! I'm not trying-

Buster walks away.

ARTHUR (To Self, Saddened)
To steal any story ideas.

INT. THE SCHOOL CAFETERIA - DAY

Arthur is sitting with his lunch alone at a table.
POV: ARTHUR

Buster can be seen eating alone at a table as well.

Arthur sighs.

INT. THE ICE CREAM SHOP - DAY

Arthur walks up to the ordering (Bar) area and sits down in a stool.

The Brain walks up to Arthur, behind the counter.

THE BRAIN

Arthur! What brings you here?

ARTHUR (Saddened)
I haven't talked to Buster, Francine, or anyone else all day.

Brain talks as he scoops a scoop of ice cream into a dish.

THE BRAIN

They're still mad about what Buster said?

Brain places the ice cream on the counter as Arthur speaks.

ARTHUR (Saddened)
Yeah. How could Buster think that I would steal ideas like that? Does he really not trust me, even after we've been friends for so long?

Arthur eats his ice cream as Brain responds.

THE BRAIN

You see Arthur, Buster seems to have trouble coming up with ideas himself, so he doesn't want other people to have an unfair advantage.

ARTHUR (Still Saddened, But Questioning)
But why did Francine and Muffy agree with him like they did?

THE BRAIN (Shrugging)
I guess you could say that Buster has a way with words.

ARTHUR (In Realization, But Not Angry)
Hey, wait a second! You didn't exactly help! You talked about how I had trouble writing last time Mr. Ratburn had us write!

THE BRAIN

I was just stating the facts, Arthur. Maybe if you could show Buster that you already have story ideas, he would stop giving you the cold shoulder.

ARTHUR (Standing Up With Excitement)
Hey, that's a pretty good idea!

Arthur sits back down, re saddened.

ARTHUR (Saddened)
Awww, that would be a good plan, if I actually had good story ideas.

THE BRAIN

Don't worry, Arthur. I'm sure you'll think of something good.

ARTHUR

Thanks Brain. Anyway, how's your story going, Brain?

THE BRAIN

I'm not writing a story.

ARTHUR (Surprised)
Huh? you're not entering the contest?

THE BRAIN

Of course I'm entering the contest, just not with a story, I'm writing an essay. Remember, you don't have to make up your own story, you can write about anything.

ARTHUR

That's cool Brain, but I don't think that I could write a whole essay, especially one better than yours.

The Brain begins to walk elsewhere in the shop.

THE BRAIN (While Walking Away)
You never know Arthur, sometimes the best ideas are right in front of you.

WHOLE FRAME: Arthur sitting at the counter, not very happy.

Fade to next scene, keeping Arthur in plane, changing background.

INT. COMPUTER AREA OF READ RESIDENCE - NIGHT

Arthur is sitting at the computer, open to a blank word processing document.

JANE READ walks up behind the chair.

JANE

Don't worry, Arthur. Most writers can't just sit down and write a story. I'm sure you'll think of a great story idea in time.

ARTHUR

Thanks Mom, I'm just worried that I'll ever think of a good idea.

JANE

Well, it sure won't help you write better if you don't sleep.

ARTHUR (Saddened)
Alright, I'll go to bed soon.

Jane walks away.

Arthur is still sitting at the computer, his head propped up in his arms.

ARTHUR (To Self)
Sometimes the best ideas are right in front of you.

Arthur pauses and considers for a moment.

Arthur begins typing, repeating what he is typing out loud.

ARTHUR (To Self)
There was once an aardvark and a rabbit, who had been friends forever, until they were torn apart by a single contest.

Arthur's voice fades as the scene fades.
FADE, showing that time has passed

Arthur is still sitting, typing silently.

Jane read walks up to him.

JANE

Arthur! What are you doing awake?

Do you know what time it is?

Arthur stops typing and turns to Jane.

ARTHUR

Sorry mom, I guess I got caught up in writing my story, but I finally got a good idea!

JANE

That's great Arthur, but you can keep writing tomorrow. For now, you need to go to sleep.

Jane turns and begins to walk to the stairs.

Arthur continues typing.

JANE (Calling To Arthur)
Arthur!

SHOT: behind Arthur, showing him on the computer.

"SAVED" appears on the computer, and Arthur gets out of the chair, walking away.

Zoom: Computer's date, showing 2/5 the computer's date quickly advances 13 days, to 2/18.

ZOOM out: Showing Arthur at the chair once again.

INT. COMPUTER AREA OF READ RESIDENCE - DAY

Arthur prints the document, holding the paper in his hands.

ARTHUR

If this doesn't show Buster that I don't steal ideas, nothing will!

DAVID READ calls from elsewhere in the house.

DAVID (O.S)
Arthur? You ready for school?

ARTHUR

Coming, Dad!

Arthur runs off screen.

INT. MR. RATBURN'S CLASS - DAY

Arthur walks into the class and to his desk, where Buster is already sitting.

ARTHUR (To Buster)
Hey Buster, did you finish your story?

BUSTER (Coldly)
Yes, I did.

ARTHUR

C'mon, Buster! How can you still think that I'm a story thief? Did you not see me write my own story?

BUSTER

Do you think your idea that you though of can beat everyone else?

Arthur tenses, fed up dealing with Buster.

ARTHUR (Tensely)
I don't know. I guess we'll need to let the judges decide.

Mr. Ratburn walks in and places his briefcase on his desk.

MR. RATBURN Good morning, Class! Before we begin, anyone who wrote for the contest should make a neat pile here on my desk.

Mr. Ratburn motions to a corner of his desk.

Some of the class gets up to place their papers in a pile.

WHOLE FRAME: The pile, Arthur's story filling the frame.

As the camera zooms out from the paper, they are in Mr. Ratburn's hand.

Mr. Ratburn is standing at the front of the room. A few days have passed since the writings have been turned in, and they have been graded.

MR. RATBURN

Now class, before we begin I just wanted to say that even if you did not win, there were many excellent pieces of work turned in, and you should all be proud of yourselves.

Mr. Ratburn shuffles through some papers and straightens them in his hands.

MR. RATBURN

Now, without further adieu, the winner of the contest and the aerobatic plane ride is...

CUT TO: Buster

Buster looks like he is about to stand up, filled with pride.

MR. RATBURN

Arthur Read!

The class cheers as Arthur stand up and goes to the front of the room, shaking Mr. Ratburn's hand.

MR. RATBURN

Arthur, your story was amazing! The writing was excellent, but it had such an exceptional message as well. Not to mention how important of a lesson it was:

CUT TO: Buster in his desk

Buster has a sad expression.

MR. RATBURN (CONT'D)

That friendship is worth so much more than any prize from a contest.

Buster perks up a bit, listening to Mr. Ratburn.

Buster hangs his head, realizing his wrong

SHOW: Mr. Ratburn and Arthur.

MR. RATBURN

Another announcement class: the new flight school has also informed us that there is also a second prize winner: they also receive an aerobatic ride with Arthur in the same plane. Our second place winner is... Buster Baxter!

Buster smiles and walks to the front of the room.

MR. RATBURN

Buster, your story didn't have as much of a message, but I can't deny that I loved reading it. I knew that I could count on you to write a science fiction story about aliens.

Buster is extremely happy about receiving his prize, but he then looks at Arthur.
POV: Buster

Arthur is looking at Buster, hut he is not happy. He is frowning at him.

Buster's ears fall slightly, he has realized that he has alienated their friendship.

MR. RATBURN

Isn't great that the two winners are both such good friends? Both of you should go to Katzenellenbogan airport at ten AM this Saturday.

EXT. THE AIRPORT PARKING LOT - MORNING

Arthur, Jane, and David disembark their car, D.W. is not with them.

As they begin to walk away from the car, a car containing BITZI BAXTER and Buster pull into a space near the Read's car.

Bitzi and Buster get out of their car.

BITZI (To David and Jane)
Hi everyone! Are we late?

DAVID

No, you're just on time. We were just heading inside.

BITZI

Oh good. I didn't want to be late. I was worried at first about Buster, the whole thing seemed so dangerous for an 8 year old, but then I remember Bo telling me about...

Bitzi's dialogue fades as Buster walks up to Arthur. Arthur is not looking exactly pleased to see Buster.

BUSTER (To Arthur)
Arthur?

ARTHUR

What, Buster?

BUSTER (Slightly Embarrassed)
Well Arthur, I've been thinking, and I realized what a jerk I've been about the whole contest. This contest isn't worth our friendship. Could you ever forgive me?

ARTHUR (More Friendly)
Buster, you're my best friend, I can't stay mad at you.

BUSTER

Thanks Arthur! I don't know what I would of done if I had to find another best friend!

ARTHUR

Besides Buster, what if neither of us had won? We might have never talked to each other again, and for nothing!

David Read can suddenly be heard. He is also looking at his watch.

DAVID

Oh! Look at the time! We'd better get inside.

INT. THE FLIGHT SCHOOL OFFICE - MORNING

Everyone enters the office. The office has a door where the characters entered, and other opposite it. The opposite door leads to the plane parking area. There is also a glass jewelry-store style counter, where aviation products are being sold.

A WOMAN is standing behind the counter.

To the side of the entrance door, there are a few tables up against some windows. Buster and Arthur take a seat in two chairs.

Jane, David, and Bitzi walk up to the counter.

WOMAN

Can I help you?

DAVID

Yes, we're here for an aerobatic ride for our son.

Bitzi jumps in.

BITZI

Mine too.

WOMAN

Would they happen to be Arthur Read and Buster Baxter?

DAVID

Yes.

The Woman smiles.

WOMAN

It's not everyday some eight year olds go up in airplanes like these. They must have been good writers to get such a good prize.

BITZI

I just hope it's a safe prize.

WOMAN

Oh! I almost forgot, our four seat aerobatic plane broke down, they'll be flying alone in two different planes.

Bitzi looks panicked.

BITZI (Extremely Shocked)
Alone? Eight years olds alone flying planes?

WOMAN (reassuring)
Relax! I meant alone with two different instructors.

Bitzi looks slightly embarrassed.

BITZI

Oh... Um. Thanks for clearing that up.

BUSTER (To Bitzi)
Relax, Mom. This'll be great!

WOMAN

It sure will. I'll go get your instructors.

The Woman leaves, and a man enters, DENNIS.
Dennis looks at Arthur.

DENNIS

You're Arthur Read?

ARTHUR

Yes!

DENNIS

I'm Dennis, I'll be helping you tear up the sky today. C'mon into the back, I'll give you a safety briefing.

Arthur gets up and walks behind the counter and through a door, to a classroom area of the flight school.

Buster continues to sit while a woman, CHARLOTTE, comes through the door.

Charlotte looks like a gentle person, not the normal candidate for aerobatic flight.

CHARLOTTE

Buster Baxter?

BUSTER

Yeah, I'm Buster.

CHARLOTTE

I'm Charlotte! I'll be flying our plane today. To start, put on this.

Charlotte goes to a small cabinet and removes a backpack like device. She hands it to Buster.

BUSTER

What's this?

CHARLOTTE

It's a parachute!

Bitzi is panicked once again.

BITZI (Panicked)

What? I thought this was a ride,
not a jump from a plane!

CHARLOTTE

Relax, Ms. Baxter. It's just in case of an emergency, it's required by law.

BUSTER

Yeah Mom, I'll be just fine. I won't even have to use it!

Bitzi looks concerned before the scene fades.

EXT. THE RUNWAY - MORNING

Arthur, with his parachute on, is with Dennis. They are both in to a plane bearing a strong resemblance to an Extra 300.
They are sitting at the end of the runway, their plane already running.

DENNIS (Through Radio)
Ready to take off, Arthur?

ARTHUR (Through Radio)
Definitely!

DENNIS (Through Radio)
Alright, hold on tight!

OUTSIDE VIEW OF Runway and plane

The plane picks up speed on the runway before taking off at a rather sharp angle.

Arther can be heard cheering, feeling the G-Force.

EXT. THE RUNWAY - MORNING

Buster is in an a Bi-Plane, bearing a strong resemblance to a Pitts S2B. The plane is at the end of the runway, Buster in the front seat while Charlotte is in the back seat.

CHARLOTTE (Through Radio)
Well Buster, are you ready to get this show on the road?

BUSTER (Through Radio)
You bet! I've been waiting all week for this.

CHARLOTTE (Through Radio)
Great, I guess we don't have to hold back then!

The plane violently lurches forward as it darts down the runway. The plane pitches up at a steep angle, and Charlotte begins doing aileron rolls right when the plane is off the ground. Buster can be heard screaming, not expecting these dangerous stunts.

EXT. ARTHUR'S PLANE - MORNING

CLOSE UP: Arthur, no outside scenery visible

DENNIS (Through Radio, O.S)
So Arthur, how are you liking the flight so far?

THE SHOT WIDENS, SHOWING THAT THE PLANE IS INVERTED

ARTHUR (Through Radio)
It's amazing! It's not that scary either.

DENNIS (Through Radio)
Well, you're a pretty good pilot too. You've already got some maneuvers down.

ARTHUR (Through Radio)
I wonder how Buster's doing with his flight.

DENNIS

I don't know, let's just say that Charlotte can be a bit... rough with new pilots.

EXT. BUSTER'S PLANE - MORNING

Buster is screaming, he can be seen rotating around the screen.

WIDEN, showing the plane spinning down to the ground

Charlotte recovers the plane from the spin.

CHARLOTTE (Through Radio)
Wasn't that fun, Buster?

BUSTER (Through Radio)
Umm, yeah. It was a little fast though.

CHARLOTTE (Through Radio)
C'mon Buster, it was great! Want to try another?

BUSTER (Through Radio)
Umm, I'm not sure.

Charlotte noticed something out of the side of the plane.

CHARLOTTE (Through Radio)
Hey, look over there!

POV: Buster

Arthur and Dennis' plane can be seen flying next to them.

Arthur's voice is heard over the radio.

ARTHUR (O.S, Through Radio)
Hey Buster! How's the ride?

BUSTER (To Arthur, Through Radio)
It's crazy!

Arthur's plane can be seen doing a split s [AUTHOR'S NOTE:
A video of this is on YouTube. Search "Fastest 180 turn on a Cessna 172" However, keep in mind that the plane in the video is a lot slower than Arthur's.]

ARTHUR (Through Radio, as his plane turns away)
I know, isn't it great!

CHARLOTTE (Sarcastically, Through Radio)
He thinks those kinds of things are exciting? I wish he could see this!

Charlotte does a lomcevak (Tumbling Maneuver) [AUTHOR'S NOTE: Again, a video of this can be found on YouTube.]

BUSTER (Through Radio, Scared)
Woah!

FADE TO:

EXT. AIRPLANE PARKING AREA - MORNING

The Airplane's done is open, and Dennis is helping Arthur get out of the plane.

DENNIS

So Arthur, did you enjoy it?

ARTHUR

It was the best! I don't think I've ever had so much fun!

DENNIS

That's great! Now I wonder where Buster and Charlotte are...

Buster's airplane taxis up near Arthur and Dennis. Charlotte gets out quickly and excitedly.

CHARLOTTE (Excitedly)
Now wasn't that great, Buster?

Buster tries to get out of the front seat. He clumsily unbuckles his harness, he is clearly extremely dizzy. He begins to disembark.

CLOSE UP: The top wing area of the biplane, buster's parachute ripcord snags on it.

Widen: showing buster and plane.

Buster's ripcord snag causes him to lose balance, and he falls. However, the ripcord stops his fall and causes his parachute to deploy, further entangling him.

BUSTER (Embarrassed)
Umm, a little help here, Arthur?

Arthur walks up and begins to untangle Buster.

ARTHUR

Sure thing, Buster.

FADE TO BLACK

Here are the properly formatted screenplay download links:

The PDF file (recommended) can be found at:
dropbox dot com slash s/hsn1ggqlfd34jm4/The%20Writing%20Contest DOT pdf

The TXT (plain text) file is at:
dropbox dot com slash s/7p1v7yxh6x4ql3j/The%20Writing%20Contest DOT txt

My next episode will be up hopefully next Sunday. I think that it will be better than this one. You'll have to wait and see what it's about ;)

Please review if you liked the story (Or if you didn't like it).