Short Stories. The Giant’s Playground


This is as screenplay – Final Draft format.

INT or EXT = Interior/Exterior.

Named Caps = characters.

VO = Voice over

Just one of the exciting action scenes from my Feature Action screenplay.

A fully loaded United States VLCC Very Large Crude Carrier is caught in a giant Whirlpool and looks doomed. The largest US Aircraft Carrier tries slingshotting it out.

This is as screenplay = Final Draft format.

INT or EXT = Interior/Exterior.

Named Caps = characters.

VO = Voice over


On duty: an assortment of OFFICERS, CREW, SPECIALISTS. ADMIRAL FOX watches the tanker. Then switches attention to monitor showing satellite pictures of tanker’s plight.

A massive swirling Whirlpool, so large the outer edge seems calm. The rest – or what can be seen, is a terrifying mass of churned-up water. Twenty-foot waves rise suddenly, then collapse.

The tanker is 100 yards in from the outer edge. A calm area.

Fox steps outside and is hit by a deafening, thunderous noise.  He frowns, shakes his head, returns inside to the monitor.

FOX. Our Distance?

CREWMAN. We’re steady at eight-hundred yards’ sir. I’ll update you every thirty-minutes sir.

FOX Make it ten son.

CREWMAN Aye Aye Sir.

FOX Stevens, your best shot.

STEVENS lowers his glasses. It doesn’t look good Admiral. She’s six times our weight.

FOX It’s a US tanker. My new orders are to get her and our crude out. Let’s get to it and give it our best shot. Get as many lines aboard and hope they hold. Maybe we can slingshot her out. Lets see if our 280,000 horses are up to it.

STEVENS Some maybe Admiral. This is not your normal Maelstrom where one can pick your way through and across a pool. Choose the right eddy and current then hop from one to another. They don’t have a horrible centre hole. This one does.

FOX You have any good news today?

STEVENS Look at this section Admiral. Stevens points at the screen. Fox squints over his reading specs. ‘This one has a drain. Below is a mountain range, bigger than the Rockies or Himalayas creating that drain. There’s never ever been reports of a pool in this shipping lane. So where did it come from?


The carrier moves parallel to the tanker 100 yards separating them. Two Helicopters take off sweep over to the area. They fly around, over, across the pool. Then both land aboard the tanker.


Duty officers watch the film from the Helicopters. The funnel is massive.

The operator fiddles: a collection of dissected slow moving cut-away sections track-down the submerged cone-shape to the mountains. Figures, arrows flash-up showing every dimension.

STEVENS Hold it there, please. That’s a half-mile across, sloping about fifteen-degrees.

The tanker has four steel hawsers fixed.

FOX Lets get on with it.

CREWMAN VO Rotated full-circle at ten knots.

The carrier steers away from the pool, taking up any slack in the hawsers. It has no effect on the tanker’s direction.

FOX More horses.


The wind is stronger, howling, blustery, seas roll and lash. Skies are ominous and darken. Lightning flashes blaze the horizon, visibility decreasing. The carrier struggles to hold the tanker.


FOX Are all the crew off?

STEVENS Yes Admiral, two have broken arms, the others covered in bruises. And yes sir, we have full power.

Fox stares at him, smiles moves to the window and stares out.

CREWMAN VO Rotated full circle at twelve knots, increasing sir.

Fox swivels around back resting on the handrail. The bridge complement seem to know it’s a lost cause.

Update of the collection of dissected slow moving cut-away sections track-down the submerged cone-shape to the mountains. Figures, arrows flash-up showing every dimension.

Suddenly the carrier shudders, the crew, lunge into one another.

STEVENS Admiral we’re being dragged into it. The downward velocity is incredible. Once in its grip, I don’t think any ship afloat could escape.

Ensign FRANK DICKINSON coughs. Excuse me, Admiral.

FOX Spit it out ensign.

DICKINSON Sir. Whirlpools are basically two-dimensional vortical structures occurring in a turbulent developing shear layer. In real turbulent flows, there can be two separate pools whose vortices may collapse forming a new larger much stronger vortex, called an inverted cascade of vortices. It can be repeated downstream yielding a very-large scale eddy structure. The vortex is a coherent structure typical of shear flows where there is a velocity difference across the shear layer. It affects the surrounding flow and water can be seen going back and forth across the shear layer between vortices. Sir.

Fox shakes his head, raises his eyebrows. Thank you. Son for my sake and the 5,000 crew aboard my ship. Plain English.

Dickinson moves across the monitor.  May I? The crewman looks up, vacates his seat and watches. Be my guest sir.

Dickinson sits and is soon hitting keys expertly. Fox and Stevens look over his shoulder. The screen picture settles, only Dickinson knows what it all means. Admiral, see here and here, this is where this pool began. A half-mile away another larger pool sucked it into its flow.

Dickinson taps furiously, the screen picture settles again.

DICKINSON We got trouble, Admiral. This is another pool. In……

He taps more keys, watching every picture. It settles again.

DICKINSON. It’s being sucked in by our pool, moving at 27 knots and increasing. They’ll be paired in……

He taps keys again. On screen: 16 minutes 22 seconds and counting down.

Fox is reluctant to cut the ships ties.

FOX Do we have horses in reserve?

The silence is broken.

CREWMAN VO Half-rotation at seventeen repeat, seventeen knots sir.

FOX Cut us lose. Get us out of here.


The tanker starts spinning very slowly. The noise is deafening but the tanker snapping in two is even more so. Oil gushes up, quickly darkening the sea. A lightning flash strikes the area pool, it bursts into a swirling mass of flames, and explosions.


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