Howard Kingkade

Robert Tobaccus is the timid, middle-aged owner of the ďSpace AvailableĒ hobby shop specializing in model rockets. Robertís happy existence comes to a halt when an x-con, Zal, recognizes Robert as an inmate who had escaped years ago from the state penitentiary and demands blackmail money or threatens to contact the police.

Seeing his world crumble, Robert grabs an Apollo model mounted on a rock and strikes Zal violently in the head. Panic-stricken, Robert drags Zalís body into the storage room. As he re-enters shop to clean up the blood, the door opens and the shop fills with teens, who drag a confused Robert out of the shop and down the sidewalk for the daily launch of his model rocket.

At the park, a nervous Robert launches the rocket to the applause of spectators. Frantic, he rushes back to his shop. He realizes the need to get rid of both Zalís body and his sports car. Robert drives Zalís car behind the shop but finds the trunk too small to accommodate the corpse. Having no other alternative, Robert hides Zalís body in the storage room, then drives Zalís car across town, parking it in an abandoned area.

On the El-train back to the shop, Robert becomes panic-stricken when he realizes he has left his keys in his shop door. Then, the trains stalls. Robert claws at the doors, yelling to be let out. Eventually the train starts up.

Exiting the train, Robert dashes back to the shop, where he finds his keys dangling in the back lock. He enters shop. Zalís body is gone. Terrified, Robert searches his shop. A knock at the doorĖa frequent customer has come to buy supplies. Robert explains that heís closed, but the teen refuses to leave without his model paint. Robert lets him in, hands him the paint, then leads him back out the door, but not before the teen invites Robert to attend a lecture on space travel being given that night at the local planetarium. Robert declines and quickly shows him out.

Finally alone, Robert searches for Zalís body. Suddenly, a monster appears from isle. It is Zal, who has regained consciousness, his face and head mangled and bloody. He grabs Robert by the neck. Robert struggles. On the verge of unconsciousness, Robertís hand lands on a modeling knife on counter. He plunges it into Zalís throat. Zal stumbles back, grabbing at the knife protruding from his neck. Zal tries to escape, but Robert quickly pulls him back to center of shop. Zal totters, then falls dead.
Minutes later, behind shop, Robert loads Zalís body into a station wagon. Later that night, Robertís car parks in a wooded area. Under incandescent moonlight, Robert drags Zalís body through the woods.

The action cuts to a planetarium, where a lecturer is speaking on the history of space travel--the lecture Robert had been invited to by the teen earlier that day. We cut back to Robert in the woods brushing aside leaves, exposing a root cellar door. Robert pulls the door back and descends into darkness, dragging Zalís body behind him. The lecturer (VO) explains that the first attempts at space travel were performed not by the living but by the dead, that the pyramids were constructed with the intention of launching the deceased kingís soul out into space, there to join with the stars forever. Robertís flashlight searches the dark cellar, landing on hideous face after hideous face of the those Robert has killed and collected in his make-shift sepulcher. We now realize Robert is a psychopathic killer. He ascends the steps of the root cellar and looks up at the stars. The thunderous roar of booster rockets.

Copyright 2005 Howard Kingkade
All Rights Reserved