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The Janitor - by Dewey Compton

Just to break things up a bit. I'm sharing a short story written in screenplay format. This not my preferred format for writing. I think that I really just prefer developing stories. Whatever that looks like. I have not figured it out yet. 

This story idea came to me while I was meeting at Panera on California Ave. with my good friend, Bob Prater. We meet there often as it has become a special place of encounter and revelation. 

This particular day we were discussing how some of the most important people and their roles in life are often unseen or hidden. For example, a janitor or custodian doesn't have the most elaborate job, but their position can be seen as a very humble, yet powerful one. They are often overlooked, unappreciated, and in a sense invisible.

However, they have access to every building and room on campus. They carry a set of keys to open and shut any door; lock and unlock all gates. They clean up messes nobody wants to. They remove the garbage in our lives...I mean rooms.
This is my attempt at revealing a hidden identity and who I want to be when I grow up.

The Janitor 
by Dewey Compton



The door opens into a classroom and a custodial cart is pushed through by a janitor. TONY strolls his cart into the center of the room, pulls out the mop and begins sliding it across the floor.

Who did this? 

Tony's eyes follow footprints leading to a closet in the corner. They vanish as he swishes the mop side to side as he heads toward the closet.

He stops and mops up the back half of the print at the bottom of the door. The front half obviously on the other side. Strange!

He turns the handle. It's locked. He releases the dozens of KEYS from his belt and the correct one finds the hole and unlocks the door.

Suddenly, the door is yanked open from the other side. Tony is grabbed and sucked inside by a powerful force. The door slams shut.


It is pitch black. There are sounds of struggling. It stops. Loud heart beating. A voice of settles the noise down.

Be still.

Who are you? What do you want?

I have come to reveal your inner struggle. Welcome to your destiny.

What is this? What are we...

Sparkling lights begin to appear in the dark. They zoom faster toward us. A flash! Suddenly, we are looking down as if from a drone and see Tony at the school working.


-- He is emptying garbage cans.
-- He is unlocking doors to let people in the gym.
-- He is wiping off tables in a classroom.
-- He is cleaning a toilet with a brush. 
-- He is locking a gate. 



We are at ground level now following Tony push his cart in slow motion through a crowd of students. It's like he is invisible.

Is this a dream? Why can't anybody

see me? Where are we going?

You have felt invisible much of

your life and you wonder why nobody recognizes what you do?

How did you know that?

You do not need the recognition of other people to reveal WHO you truly are. It's not what you do that makes you significant. It's WHO you are.

The Seer wraps his arms around Tony.

Let go of your fear! I have you.

Suddenly, the years spin as they both zoom fast two years into the future.


We see Tony sitting at a table outside with a WEEPING MAN. Above his head is a translucent garbage can and a ghostly figure looking exactly like Tony.

He is pulling thoughts from his mind and putting them in the garbage can.

Then zoom again one year into the future.


Tony is inside a restaurant sitting across the table talking with a YOUNG COUPLE. The same ghostly translucent Tony stands behind the couple.

Key sets in both hands, he moves with Matrix-like bullet-time speed to unlock various mechanisms above their heads.

Zoom again eight months forward.


Tony is on the street talking to what looks like a PROSTITUTE. The same ghostly translucent Tony kneels behind, washing her feet, and dry them with a towel.

Zoom faster now four months forward.


Tony sits on a street corner with a cup held out for change. He looks dirty and hot.

The same ghostly translucent Tony rises up out of the beggar Tony and takes the overflowing cup of money to a HOMELESS WOMAN and puts it in her cart.

She turns and notices it then jumps and dances circles around her cart.

Slow zoom two months forward.


Happy, smiling students are walking in through the gate at school. As the final student enters, Tony locks the gate.

He looks up as if another student is coming in. Then the same ghostly translucent Tony separates from him. Both Tony’s acknowledge each other. One has a katana. The other a sharp mop handle.

Demonic-like translucent rogues push against the fence trying to get in. Both Tony's begin stabbing them through the fence slicing off arms keeping them from entering the school.


See who you are in the future and bring it to the present. What happens in the spirit realm is invisible to the physical realm. But WHO you are now is no longer invisible there.

There is just the Tony now standing near the gate. Demonic creatures shoot fiery arrows and throw darts at Tony in the physical realm.

A confident Tony slowly raises his arms, palms face the enemies. The fiery darts almost make it to Tony but dissipate into ash and the darts dissolve to dust.


Zoom back to the closet. The door opens and Tony stumbles out. He slumps over with hands-on knees, catching his breath.

TONY Was this a dream?

A scream from the classroom next door interrupts his pondering.


Tony unlocks and opens the door into the adjacent classroom. A teacher is sitting at her desk crying. A ghostly creature hovers above her.

It looks toward Tony. Frightened, it flees. Tony walks over, pulls up a chair, sits next to her and puts a hand on her shoulder. She hugs him.



  1. Shades of masny ideas in that post! A captivating story.

  2. Wow! I love it! There's the "seen and the unseen". Cool images. The hope of significance...I sure appreciate our custodians. (Oh! look at that word- custodian...)


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