The Basement Purge – Short Story

The Basement Purge is a screenplay/short story about toys in a basement trying to avoid ending up on the selling block at a yard sale… Read on to learn more!

We’re starting to add a new function to Modern Papyrus that embraces the other side of literature – writing. Modern Papyrus authors will be adding their short stories to the website in the following days and weeks. Take a look and check it out! 🙂 Please remember, all content created here is original and should not be used without the express permission and agreement of the authors.

The Basement Purge

Characters: Clay person, lion king animal, micro machine, legos, large army man, children, adult as hands/moving boxes

Scene 1:

Scene opens on a cluttered basement: A pair of hands moves boxes around, a slow pan centers on a pile labeled “for yard sale” the pan continues, passing a box of army men, animals, scattered legos, other debris…

Narrator/Clay Person: Every spring, in households near and far, comes a tradition that causes grief in many a toy’s heart. The Spring Yard sale.

Camera focuses in on one particular box….tilts down to focus inside box.

Lego man walks over to large army man.

Lego: Did you hear the news? The Petersons are at it again. This is the third yard sale in three years! They’re trying to get rid of all of us!

Army Man: Ever since Bradley left for college, they’ve been down here, purging us, sending us away, donating us! It’s horrible! I heard that Game Boy got sold to that kid down the street, you know the one who can’t keep anything in one piece? And Sue, the stuffed bear, got donated to charity. The Big truck took her!

Lego man: We gotta warn the others. Lets get outta here. (Builds stairs with legos)

They encounter Clay man while walking across the table.

A.M.: Clay! Be careful! It’s yard sale time! We need to find a place to hide!

Clay: Have you ever wondered what the point of all this hiding is? Why do we want to stay here? No one comes to play with us any more. I’m becoming stiff. We mean nothing to anyone. There is no point in going on anymore!!!

Legoman: OH SHUT UP CLAY. Stop being so dramatic. Besides, we all know that as soon as you hear footsteps you will scream and panic. All we have to do is wait for Bradley to show up and save us like he did last time.

A.M. Last time he was on break….not this time. Plus didn’t he take the G.I. Joes with him? I always knew he cared about them more than me. Me and my non-moveable arms (trys to move arms and fails. – Camera focuses on arms, then on face. Sounds of exertion…) I’m such a failure!

Lego: You guys really are such PANSIES. Let’s get off the table in plain view and hide! (Lego man creates carts/sleds out of legos and drags C & A.M off table)

Scene 2: Music: Down by Jay Sean – Lion King Animal Party – After a long, hard worked childhood, the Lion is partying it up with the female lions. He is enjoying retirement. Lion is entertaining the ‘ladies’ with his stories

Lion: Thank goodness that some toys still come with the drinks! I sill think it’s funny that we managed to trade those Viking warriors some carpet hair for beer. We told them it was magical body armor! HA! I can’t believe they fell for it!

(Sirens sound)

Lion: Sunofa….its the POPO! (Enter micro machine tanks and men)

General: Nobody make any sudden moves, these tanks are loaded and ready to blow you all away!

Lion: General….you’re made of plastic. There is nothing in the guns.

General: THAT’S A LIE! WE CAN BLOW YOU ALL AWAY! It’s only my kindness that keeps you from feeling my wrath as enforcer for the basement government and constitution.

Lion: You mean you STILL are enforcing those laws? There hasn’t been a Basement government in a year! The president set got sold last yard sale…

General: Just because they aren’t here doesn’t mean the laws aren’t still enforced! You’re going to the treasure bin! (Tanks move in menacingly)

Lion: You do realize I’m like, I dunno, 10 times your size?

General: I outnumber you 10 to 1! AND I have air support.

Lion: They roll on wheels.

General: IN THE AIR! Anyways, we have bigger problems to deal with than you. There is a yard sale coming. And I intend to see my command through with no loses. You on the other hand, my hard drinking lion of a friend, are an ugly eyesore that needs to be shipped off to another home where a grungy child can shove you down their boxers!!!

Lioness: That’s pretty harsh…

General: Cool it babycakes! We’re outta here. Time to figure out what to do…

Tanks and troops speed off in a blaze of “rolling thunder” and down a ramp to the floor.

Lion takes one look at the surrounds, and chases after them, lionesses in close pursuit.

Scene 3: camera zooms in on a castle tower. Lion, Micro, A.M, Clay, and Lego discuss the plan to get them out of the yard sale. Lighting is dim, suggesting a hiding place, zoom in reveals it is under a table in basement.

Micro: So the plan is essentially wait for Bradley to show up and save us?!

Lego: It always worked in the past! He came last time, he’ll rescue us again. He always has, always will.

A.M. You seriously want us to simply be out in the open, and hope Bradley rescues us before we get sold? We may not have that kind of time! It takes him a couple of days to come home!

Toys start to argue, move into each other and around, until suddenly there are footsteps on the stairs…


Sounds of boxes being moved, a sudden light is shone under the table.

Voice: Well lookie here, some more of Bradley’s old things. I don’t think he’d want them anymore, so lets see how much we’ll get for them at the yard sale. They just take up so much room.

Start playing Last Words – by The Real Tuesday Weld

Toys are slowly picked up and placed in box. No particular order, until finally the castle is the last thing and dumped on top of all of them.

Micro: Oofff…who smells like mangy fur…oh wait…never mind.

Scene 4: Daylight – A yard sale in full bloom. The box of toys is on a table. A sign says toys for $1. The $1 is crossed out and 50 cents is written over top. The toys have obviously been picked through, but our friends remain hidden in the bottom. A child is sifting through the toys and sees the army man.

Boy: OH WOW just what I wanted! He hands over the 50 cents to an adult figure (no face shown) He holds the A.M., sheer joy evident on his face.

(Cue Maroon 5 – Won’t go home without you)

Lego man looks on – very sad L

A.M. starts wiggling, falls out of boys arms in middle of street, Lego man looks incredibly happy! Army man rolls toward side of street back to house…then car rolls by and CRACK! (end music)

(All good things come to an end – Nelly Furtado)

One by one the other toys are taken until it is just Micro and Clay left… Stop motion video shows ever-dwindling box of toys as they are obviously bought.

Micro: You know Clay, we’re the last ones left. I just wanted to let you know that it  has been an honor to know and serve with you. If I don’t see you again, it’s been a pleasure. And by god your stupid clay always ruined my tank’s tracks. But I can’t fault you for that.

Clay looks sad, and hugs Micro close. Micro gets stuck in Clay’s body.

AH Help!!!

A hand reaches in and grabs Micro and Clay. The bright sun obscures the face of the person holding them, until a voice shouts “Mom! Did you sell my favorite toys!? How could you?”

Micro: Bradley is home!

Bradley: Where are the rest of them!? What did you do? Bradley cradles the toys as he returns to his house with Clay and Micro and sets them on the window sill. I’m so sorry guys. So sorry, if I had known I would never have let them do that to you. Don’t worry, this time you will never leave me.

Bradley leaves the room.

Clay sits down. I can’t believe it. We’re all that’s left. The last of the basement toys.

Micro: We need a drink. A toast to fallen comrades.

Slow zoom in on the two toys.

(Cue Far away by nickleback)

Slow motion Bradley coming back into the room. He is holding something in his hands. Army man has been rescued from the street. He hugs all three of the toys tight to his chest. You guys made my childhood safe from fear. I couldn’t protect all of you in your moment of need.  Please forgive me.

Fade out…..

(Fade out music)

Fade in

Many years later, a small boy is coming into the room with an older man.

Child: And this was your room?

Bradley: Yes it was! Many, many years ago…

Child: What are those?

Bradley: These are my heroes. When I was younger, they were my favorite toys. Then my parents had a yard sale and many were sold. These are all who remain. And so I will pass them on to you very soon. But you must be gentle and treat them as real people, for that is who they are to me.

Child looks excited and runs out of room.

Bradley: I don’t think I ever realize how much I miss you guys until I’m back here. He picks them up and hugs them gently. Thanks for making my childhood the best it could be. I hope  you’ve forgiven me by now.

(Cue: Always Be by Jimmy Eat World)

Bradley puts down toys and slowly walks out of room and closes door, turning lights off in the process.

Clay: So did you hear that there was going to be another yard sale? I saw the signs…

(Cut to black)


Author: Daniel Ottalini

Author of the Award-Winning Steam Empire Chronicles Series

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