"INVISIBLE MONSTERS" by Steven J. Fauquier E-Mail Third Draft firstname.lastname@example.org October 20, 2004
This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author. "From chaos, and primeval darkness, came Light." - Keats FADE IN: EXT. SKY - SUNRISE Pushing lower and lower through the clouds with immense speed, we break through and become one with the sunrise. A brilliant mix of orange, red and yellow's engulf our view. Pushing lower, and lower still we begin to make out the meaningless details of a civilization. We rush closer toward the ground with tremendous velocity until we explode on a dirt road. The view levels off, it is raining. The RAIN DROPS fall at a steady pace from the sky above. DISSOLVE TO: Legend. "April 1, 1896" EXT. TOWN - SUNRISE A quaint, traditional town. It could be anywhere. A deep, lush forest can be seen nearby, the howling wind blows through the trees. It looks as if there is no one around for miles. EXT. DIRT ROAD - SUNRISE The sun's rays shine through the many clouds in the sky. Two children are walking side by side. THOMAS PETCH, one hand in his pocket, the other is tossing a small rock up and down. At his side is PEARL JOYCE, she is gazing at Thomas while twisting her blond hair between her fingers. PEARL What do you suppose we do today, Thomas? Thomas's eyes dart up and down as he tosses the rock up and catches it again.
2. THOMAS I reckon anything we please. Pearl thinks about it for a moment. PEARL We could swim? Thomas continues to stare ahead, his mind wanders. THOMAS Ma doesn't like me swimming anymore. (beat) She worries. Pearl hangs her head. Thomas looks over in Pearl's direction, sensing her dejectedness through the silence. THOMAS Ma says its alright for you to come over for supper tonight, Pearl. I asked pa as well, he doesn't mind either. Pearl kicks a stone hastily ahead. PEARL I can't, Ma is having a man to supper. She says I gotta be there. THOMAS Your mom still looking for a husband? Pearl reaches the stone and kicks it again, this time it ricochets off to the side and strikes a nearby porch. PEARL She's trying to get me a daddy. THOMAS It's the same thing. Pearl looks quickly to Thomas, then back to the ground. PEARL Oh. As the kids walk adjacent to the nearby wilderness, they hear a loud CRACKING sound, followed abruptly by RUSTLING LEAVES and a loud THUD. They both stop, turning their attention to the thick forest.
3. EXT. FOREST - SUNRISE The many thick, green trees line one by one as far as the eye can see. The orange glow of the sun barely peeks over them in the distance. THOMAS (o.s.) They're cutting down trees again. Beat. PEARL (o.s.) I guess they do make a sound. EXT. DIRT ROAD - SUNRISE Thomas turns away from the forest and looks over his shoulder for a moment. Pearl watches him closely. Digging into the pocket of his pants, Thomas pulls out another rock, this one almost perfectly round and a bit smaller than his own. THOMAS I found this for you. He outstretches his hand toward Pearl. She gazes at the rock and eventually takes it. PEARL Thank you. THOMAS It's small, I figured you can throw this one far. Pearl looks confused, but curious. PEARL Where shall I throw it, Thomas? Thomas points his finger to a single large tree nearby. THOMAS I'll throw mine too. Whoever hits the trunk with the loudest sound wins. Not much of a game, but wanna play? Pearl smiles.
4. PEARL Sure. THOMAS The rules are after they hit the trunk we will race to see who can get the rock back first. You can start right after the rock hits the tree. Are you ready? Pearl giggles with excitement. PEARL Yeah! Thomas smiles. THOMAS On the count of three. (beat) One... They both get set to throw. THOMAS Two... Pearl brings her arm back. THOMAS Three! Thomas and Pearl throw their rocks as hard as they can. We hear no sound, both rocks land well short of the tree. Although Thomas's lands further. Pearl starts to run anyway. Thomas grins as he let's her get a head start, then takes off after her. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. FOREST - SUNRISE Two large men, dressed in dirty overalls, swing their axes as they chop away at a colossal tree trunk. The bigger of the two is ROY EMERSON, the classic example of brawn over brains. Working beside him is JOE LIONEL, tall but sturdy. One loud chop follows the next as the men slowly work their way through the thick bark.
5. JOE LIONEL Mary's doing just fine. She'll have a scar for life, but we got the baby out alive and well. That's the important thing. ROY EMERSON Sure is. Doctor Ward deliver your son? JOE LIONEL Yup. He's a miracle worker Roy, my own personal Jesus Christ. ROY EMERSON Amen. They continue working on the tree for a long beat. ROY EMERSON So I got an invitation to dinner from Claire Joyce the other day. JOE LIONEL Really? That one's a looker. Are you gonna oblige? ROY EMERSON Indeed. In fact, I'm looking forward to it. (beat) I always fancied that women Joe, I just never had the mind to talk to her. JOE LIONEL You know she has a little girl, pretty young thing, what's her name?... Well, she comes with this deal you realize. Roy nods his head slightly. ROY EMERSON I ain't too good with kids, but I believe I'll manage. I think the young one's name is Shirley, isn't it? JOE LIONEL Shirley... Yup, sounds about right. But don't take my word for it. Roy stares at nothing in particular.
6. ROY EMERSON I think I'll pick them up some flowers for tonight. Joe smiles reassuringly. They continue hacking at the tree, which is getting thinner by the minute, when the sound of hooves click clacking close on the path nearby demand the men's attention. Roy and Joe halt their axes and look over to the HORSE & BUGGY making its way towards them. It stops as it reaches them. A magnificent looking black horse is in full view, it looks strong and healthy. On the buggy at the reigns is NEIL WORHELM, a chubby man who dresses eloquently. NEIL WORHELM Good morning gentleman. I was wondering if I could inquire about some assistance? EXT. PORCH - SUNRISE Sitting on the edge of a chair on his porch, DETECTIVE CLYDE is scanning the area in front of him intensely. An OLD WOMAN, fragile and frail, approaches slowly. OLD WOMAN M... Mr. Clyde sir. Detective Clyde perks up and looks over to the old woman. DETECTIVE CLYDE Why yes ma'am? OLD WOMAN I lost him again. Beat. DETECTIVE CLYDE Lost? Who? OLD WOMAN It's... It's my cat. I believe he ran away, detective. Detective Clyde doesn't try to hide his lack of interest.
7. DETECTIVE CLYDE (Monotone) Cats tend to do that on occasion ma'am. He'll be back, you watch and see. OLD WOMAN Well, if you're not too busy... The old woman looks around at the seemingly empty town. OLD WOMAN ... Would you be a gentleman and help me look for him, sir? Beat. The wind howls. Detective Clyde looks around at the nothingness and turns back to the old woman. DETECTIVE CLYDE (Sighs) What does he look like ma'am? OLD WOMAN Why thank you kindly detective. DETECTIVE CLYDE Ma'am? OLD WOMAN Yes sir? DETECTIVE CLYDE (Slow) What-does-he-look-like? OLD WOMAN Oh, I do apologize. I seem to be having trouble hearing these days. (beat) He looks like... Like a small black, you know... cat. Detective Clyde forces a helpful look on his face and smiles. DETECTIVE CLYDE I'll see what I can do. EXT. FOREST - SUNRISE Roy and Joe quickly glance at each other before looking back to the man on the buggy.
8. JOE LIONEL Why yes sir, what could we do ya for? NEIL WORHELM I was hoping you two would be so kind to point me in the direction of the nearest road out of town. JOE LIONEL Why of course. Just keep on the path you headed and when you come to the main road, take a right. Right there. (Points) Follow that for a ways down and you will get to where you going. ROY EMERSON Be sure not to take a left now, or you'll find yourself right back in this very forest. I know what that's like. Roy chuckles to himself. JOE LIONEL Mind if I ask where you headed?... Sir. NEIL WORHELM The name's Neil Worhelm. And yes, I would indeed mind. My business is mine, and mine alone fella. Joe looks taken a back. JOE LIONEL Now I surely didn't mean to intrude, I just - - NEIL WORHELM I am sorry sir, you must have been confused. I only asked for simple directions. I have no intention to make friends with some men who seem to think that cutting down these here trees on this great soil is acceptable. Roy takes a step forward in protest. ROY EMERSON Now you wait just a minute... Joe grabs Roy by the arm.
9. JOE LIONEL It's okay, Roy. He turns back to Neil. JOE LIONEL This here is our job, Worhelm. We do this to provide for ourselves and our loved one's. That is all there is to it. Neil Worhelm shakes his head and smiles arrogantly. NEIL WORHELM I thank you for the directions gentlemen, but now I must be on my way. Turning his attention to the path in front of him, Neil tugs on the reigns and the magnificent black horse begins to gallop away. Roy and Joe watch as he disappears down the path and out of sight. Beat. Roy shakes his head with disdain. ROY EMERSON I am sorry for losing my cool Joe. I just can't stand these tree huggers nowadays. JOE LIONEL Tree huggers, eh? That's a new one. Beat. Roy and Joe stare blankly at each other for a moment, then burst out laughing. JOE LIONEL (Lighthearted) C'mon now, let's get back to work. They hoist up their axes and chop away. DISSOLVE TO: INT. MIRROR - SUNRISE Standing in front of a mirror is CLAIRE JOYCE, the mother of Pearl, is staring at herself in the mirror. Claire is very attractive; she has long blonde hair and a face of an Angel.
10. She admiringly plays with her hair, putting it up and then letting it down. She is obviously concerned with her appearance. Looking down at her dress, she rubs her hand smoothly across it. Turning to the side she pushes up her breasts to accentuate them. She does a complete 360, never taking her eyes off herself in the mirror. She faces forward and stares at herself before taking a deep breath and scampering away out of sight. INT. JOE LIONEL'S HOME - SUNRISE MARY LIONEL is lying in bed holding her two month old baby JONATHAN. DOCTOR WARD is examining her. He wears that solemn look of someone who has faced great tragedy. DOCTOR WARD I would say you are about healed, Mrs. Lionel. One more day ought to do it. MARY LIONEL You saved my life and my baby's life, doctor. I am eternally grateful. Doctor Ward forces a smile. DOCTOR WARD That is my job, Mary. That is what I do. Mary looks down at Jonathan for a moment. MARY LIONEL Well, you're very good at it. Doctor Ward shy's off the compliment. DOCTOR WARD How's your stomach feeling? The medicine helping the pain? MARY LIONEL You're the best doctor I've ever known, that's for certain. Doctor Ward looks into Mary's eyes with a far away look, the look of someone recalling a distant memory.
11. DOCTOR WARD You know Mary... I wasn't always a doctor. MARY LIONEL I find that hard to believe. DOCTOR WARD I had an experience that changed my life forever... It's what got me into this profession. (Shakes head) Anyway... He checks Mary's heart and feels Jonathan's tiny forehead. MARY LIONEL That's wonderful. Doctor Ward's face suddenly turns very serious. DOCTOR WARD What makes you think it was a good experience? INT. PETCH HOUSE - SUNRISE Sitting at the kitchen table across from each other are ALAN and NORA PETCH. Alan is small but built sturdy. Nora is slightly overweight for her short stature. They sit in silence as they eat. Beat. NORA Thomas wants to bring Pearl over for supper again. Alan continues eating. ALAN (Between bites) You know I'm fine with that, Nora. NORA Sometimes I think they're all each other have in this world. Aside from us and Claire, I mean. (beat) You know just the other day he asked if she could be his sister. Alan looks up from his plate.
12. ALAN Really? NORA Uh-huh. He adores her very much. It's very cute. ALAN Well, they've always been close, you know that. NORA I know. A Bible is spotted on the table next to Nora. ALAN (Gesturing to the bible) Don't you think you've read that enough? Nora looks at her bible and picks it up. NORA You can never read about our Lord and savior enough, Alan. Alan shrugs and goes back to his meal. Nora places the bible back down on the table, patting it gently. NORA (Eyes on the Bible) I heard Claire is seeing men again. (Looking up to Alan) She want's Pearl to have a father when she still needs one. A grin spreads across Alan's face. ALAN She shouldn't have a problem. NORA Alan! Alan chuckles. ALAN What? She is very fetching, that's all. Nora smiles.
13. NORA You men, you're all the same. I know Thomas won't grow up and judge a woman by her looks. I'll make sure of that. Alan nods his head. ALAN Thomas is special though. He'll be something big, watch and see. NORA You don't have to convince me, I know, I gave birth to him. They both laugh. beat. ALAN We're typical parents, Nora. Would you of guessed it? NORA Not in a century. They smile at each other before returning to their food. INT. CANDLE LIT ROOM - SUNRISE PRIEST PARRISH kneels in front of many lit candles, immersed in prayer. His face is a deep shade of red. Sweat perspires from his forehead. His silent prayer is interrupted when a candle flickers and burns out; his eyes flutter open at the exact moment the flame extinguishes. His stare shifts to the smoking candle. EXT. TOWN - SUNRISE A breathtaking view of this seemingly vacant town. We admire the scenery... The silence. beat. Suddenly we hear a child SCREAM in the distance, followed closely by a anomalous sound that can only be described as a LOW RUMBLE. EXT. FOREST - SUNRISE Roy Emerson and Joe Lionel are standing alertly beside the tree that they've cut down.
14. They drop their axes and start to run. EXT. ROAD - SAME TIME Detective Clyde turns abruptly away from the old woman and races toward the sound he heard in the distance. OLD WOMAN (Calling after) Detective where are you... ? INT. MIRROR - SAME TIME Claire Joyce walks by the mirror slowly, she gazes out her window wondering what she has just heard. We see her fix her hair in the window's reflection before bustling out of view. INT. JOE LIONEL'S HOME - SAME TIME Doctor Ward's attention is diverted to a nearby window. Mary clutches onto her baby who is now crying. MARY LIONEL Such an unearthly sound. Doctor Ward gets up and begins to head for the door. DOCTOR WARD It's probably nothing. He stops in his tracks and looks back to Mary, somewhat worried. DOCTOR WARD Stay here. Take care of Jonathan. Mary shakes her head "okay". Frightened. Jonathan's cries grow louder. INT. PETCH HOUSE - SAME TIME Nora remains sitting at the table. Alan looks out of a window. NORA What in God's name? Alan quickly turns and begins to make his way out of the room. ALAN Nora stay here and wait for Thomas, okay?
15. Nora spins around, wide eyed. NORA Where you going? ALAN Just to see. Alan rushes out of sight around the corner. Nora moves briskly to the table, takes a seat, and clutches the bible between her arms. NORA (Calling after) When you see Thomas, send him home at once, Alan. (beat) Alan? SLOW DISSOLVE TO: INT. WINDOW - DAY Many MEN, WOMEN and CHILDREN scurry by with haste. The men are dressed in suits, the women in blouses and long dresses. The children match their elders. As they pass by it is uncertain whether they are running to or from something. Various TOWNS' FOLK appear and disappear soon after until all the remaining people have passed by the window. All that remains is an empty dirt road, puddles, blowing leaves... Nothing. Beat. Nora Petch's reflection fades into focus, her face looks as if it suffers from some remnants of ataxia. EXT. TOWN - DAY A crowd of PEOPLE has gathered, forming a circle around something unknown in the middle of the town square. The sun is hidden beneath the clouds in the graying sky. The wind howls in the background. All are in stunned silence as they look down in sheer fear and disgust, but cannot seem to turn away. Beat.
16. INSIDE THE CIRCLE Alan huddles over a little boy's body that has been completely crushed. He is holding his son Thomas in his arms, or at least what is left of him. Alan looks as if he's struggling to breath. Only several high-pitched whimpers escape his throat. A long strand of saliva drops from his mouth and onto the dirt. He looks to detective Clyde in obvious shock. ALAN Tell me detective, who could do such a thing to a young boy? DETECTIVE CLYDE Nothing human could've done this, Alan. Beat. Alan looks back down to his lifeless son, his entire body begins to tremble as his eyes tear up. DETECTIVE CLYDE It's just, I've never seen another human being do something like this is all. I have been here for a long time and I've never seen anything like this. I... Alan bursts into tears; Rocking back and forth with his sons dismembered body in his arms. ALAN (Yells) What happened to my son!? (beat) Tell me... God no... Someone help him... please help us... Someone. Detective Clyde's head hangs in pity. Roy and Joe emerge breathless from the crowd and stop abruptly at the horrific sight before them. Amidst a growing clamor, the crowd seemingly begins to involuntarily close in. Detective Clyde holds his arms out to keep them at bay. Alan let's go of his son and drops to the ground. His shirt is covered with blood. He lies on his back in the bloody dirt and stares up into the blue sky.
17. Beat. A WOMAN'S SCREAM pierces through the atmosphere. Nora has made her way to the front and has just seen the remains of her son. Tears start rolling down her face as she continues to shriek loudly. NORA (Shrieks) No! Allen what happened to my baby! Please God! No! Alan forces himself to his feet and rushes toward his wife. Nora collapses as Alan reaches her and picks her up off her knees to take her away from the area. NORA My baby!... Look what he did to him! Jesus no! Alan quickly takes Nora further and further away until they go inside their home in the distance. Beat. Detective Clyde gazes around at the crowd of people, and clears his throat. DETECTIVE CLYDE Did anyone see what happened here? Silence. beat. DETECTIVE CLYDE Not one person? Pearl steps forward, obviously shaken. PEARL I saw. The crowd turns and looks at her, detective Clyde does the same. He heads toward Pearl and kneels down so that they are face to face. DETECTIVE CLYDE What did you see? Beat. PEARL He was crushed.
18. DETECTIVE CLYDE Yes, we know, but... Detective Clyde follows Pearl's eyes, which are locked on the body.. Turning around he spots doctor Ward emerge from the crowd. He covers the remains of Thomas with a white sheet. They nod to each other. Detective Clyde looks back to Pearl. DETECTIVE CLYDE Did you see it happen? PEARL Uh huh. DETECTIVE CLYDE What happened? You can tell me, its okay. Beat. Pearl starts to tremble. PEARL We were racing to the tree. I - I am always faster than Thomas. Detective Clyde nods gently to tell her to go on. Her bottom lip begins to quiver. PEARL (Crying) I looked back... I saw Thomas get crushed. Claire Joyce comes to her daughter's side to console her. She locks eyes with Roy for a second before quickly looking away. Detective Clyde keeps his eyes locked on Pearl. DETECTIVE CLYDE What crushed him? Claire steps in front of her daughter. CLAIRE JOYCE That's quite enough. My daughter is in no shape to answer these kind of questions.
19. She takes Pearl in her arms and looks back to Roy. CLAIRE JOYCE I could use some assistance. She starts walking at a fast pace away from the area. Roy looks surprised. He glances at the white sheet, does a prayer - - Father, Son, Holy Spirit - - and pushes through the many people to head out after Claire. Beat. Pearl is crying loudly in her mother's arms. She cranes her neck over her mother's shoulder. PEARL (calling back) I couldn't see it. Detective Clyde takes a few steps toward the girl. The circle is broken to let him pass through. Roy catches up and slows down beside Claire. DETECTIVE CLYDE (calling after) But I thought - - ? PEARL (calling back) No one could see it. Detective Clyde comes to a halt. Pearl is taken off into the distance and into her home with her mother and Roy Emerson. Detective Clyde turns around and retreats back to the middle of the crowd. The circle closes around him. He does a complete 360, looking into the eyes of everyone present. He stops and brings his attention to the dismembered boy under a white sheet on the ground. DETECTIVE CLYDE Looks like were dealing with an invisible killer here. He looks back up at everyone in the crowd, they stare back at him with blank expressions. Beat.
20. DETECTIVE CLYDE (Sighs) Okay then. Let's get this boy off the road. The crowd of people close in around the body. DISSOLVE TO: INT. BEDROOM - SUNSET Sitting on the edge of the bed, Nora is crying. She has her bible in her lap. The sky resembles a painstakingly detailed work of art out a nearby window. A painting. Opening it to a random page, Nora's moist eyes gaze at the bible, studying it, but never reading one of the words. She inhales a deep breath and promptly slams the bible shut. She slides it underneath the bed. Nora shakes her head and buries her face in her palms. INT. LIVING ROOM - SUNSET Alan stands in front of a window, both arms at his sides. He stares outside at the many homes and shops in clear view before him. An empty muddy road explodes with pellet-like dents as rain pelts the ground. Alan's reflection comes into focus in the window. He looks straight ahead. INT. JOE LIONEL'S HOME - SUNSET Mary is holding Jonathan in her arms as she rocks back and forth in a senescent chair. Joe stands beside her looking down at their son. Both of their faces are covered with worry as they stand still in deep contemplation. Jonathan is fast asleep in his mother's arms. MARY LIONEL (Whispers) If only we could keep him this safe forever. Beat.
21. Joe closes his eyes. INT. JOYCE HOME - SUNSET Claire Joyce, Pearl and Roy Emerson sit around a table in silence. Pearl's head is looking down to the ground, Roy locks eyes with Claire again. He clears his throat. ROY EMERSON I know this isn't how you two expected it to be. CLAIRE JOYCE (Whispers) It's okay. ROY EMERSON I was going to bring flowers but - - CLAIRE JOYCE Its okay, Roy. Really. Roy looks over to Pearl who still has her head down. Beat. He turns back to Claire. Claire gives him a slight grin and motions back towards Pearl with her head. Roy follows her hint. ROY EMERSON You know Shirley, I would like very much for us to become friends. Pearl looks up slowly with disdain. Claire looks about to say something. PEARL (Angry) My name is Pearl. Roy is suddenly embarrassed, he squirms in his chair. ROY EMERSON I do apologize Pearl. It won't happen again.
22. There's a long awkward silence. Beat. Roy looks at Claire then back to Pearl. ROY EMERSON Your mother looks a lot like you. Anyone ever tell you that? PEARL No sir, you are wrong again. It is I that looks a lot like my mother. Claire glares at her daughter. CLAIRE JOYCE (Stern) Pearl, you will show respect to your elders. Pearl slowly gets up from the table. Claire and Roy watch her until she is around the corner and out of sight. Roy fidgets around in his chair. CLAIRE JOYCE Roy, maybe it's best if you leave. Roy looks defeated. beat. ROY EMERSON I do apologize, I - - CLAIRE JOYCE No need. It is my fault, Roy. The timing was just awful. (beat) Maybe we can try again another time. Really. She smiles. Roy sheepishly smiles back. He gets up from his chair and heads for the door, Claire escorts him. They walk beside each other in silence until they reach the front door. Roy pulls at the handle, it doesn't budge. Claire steps in front of him and grasps the handle.
23. CLAIRE JOYCE Here. She pulls the door open in one swift motion. Roy smiles and steps out onto the porch. He turns around to face Claire. ROY EMERSON (Grinning) I thought I was supposed to be the strong one? Claire returns a grin. Roy fidgets with his shirt. ROY EMERSON So I... I'll see you at the church tomorrow, right? CLAIRE JOYCE Right. You will. Roy nods his head politely and stands there. Beat. ROY EMERSON Okay swell, tomorrow then. Roy quickly turns around and steps off the porch. Claire smiles as she watches him leave. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Nora is lying in bed; she tosses and turns, beads of sweat roll down her forehead. EXT. WATER HOLE - DAY FLASHCUT: Nora stands tall looking down at something unknown from this vantage point. Her face is emotionless, cold, both her arms are behind her back. Struggling in a deep body of water is Thomas, he is sinking slowly with a horrified look on his face. Thomas holds is hand up toward his mother as he slowly goes down deeper into the water.
24. The water reaches up to Thomas's neck, he outstretches his arm as far as he can. Looking up at his mother his mouth mimes the words "Help Me". Nora remains standing still with her arms behind her back until young Thomas is completely submerged. She then turns abruptly and walks away. BACK TO SCENE: INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Nora explodes upright. Her eyes are wide, she's breathing heavily and sweating profusely. She looks around slowly, Alan is not there, and she lets out a scream. Beat. LOUD THUDS come from down the hall beyond the open door. Only blackness is seen in the empty doorway, the THUDS approaching. Suddenly Alan bursts into view. He stops for a second to look around before rushing to Nora's side of the bed. ALAN What's wrong, Nora? Tell me, what happened, are you okay? Nora is crying loudly. NORA I wasn't there. ALAN Where? You weren't where? Nora shakes her head and continues crying. Alan takes a seat in front of her on the bed. ALAN Nora, look at me. He moves her hands away from her face and positions himself directly in her view. ALAN Tell me what happened. Beat. Nora sniffs.
25. NORA I wasn't there for Thomas. He needed me and I wasn't there to help him. Alan looks at her for a little longer before pulling her to his chest. ALAN Neither was I Nora. And we weren't the only ones. He flashes a hateful stare to the ceiling. We LOWER OUR VIEW beneath the bed - - The bible has disappeared. Nora's muddled cries can be heard coming from above. INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT FLASHCUT: Alan is sitting in a chair a few minutes earlier, a torn up bible spread out at his feet. The many ripped pages have been tossed and scattered over the floor. He hears a shrill scream come from upstairs. BACK TO SCENE: INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Nora sobs in her husbands arms. Beat. We PUSH through the bedroom window and - - DISSOLVE TO: EXT. SKY - NIGHT The normally bright moon is hidden beneath the many clouds, concealing its light beneath a blanket of darkness. EXT. DIRT ROAD - NIGHT Neil Worhelm sits at the reigns of his buggy, his poise is bordering on arrogant as he whistles a catchy melody. Barely straining his neck, he tries to scout the path ahead of him through the dark of the night.
26. The entire buggy is in view, along with the strong, healthy looking black horse that trots along the dirt road gallantly. Beat. A LOW RUMBLE is heard echoing through the black atmosphere. The ground vibrates gently. Neil stops whistling. He survey's the area, directing his view to the moving ground below him. NEIL WORHELM Whoa boy. He pulls back on the reigns, the black horse stops in its tracks. Neil scans the area once more with an ounce of worry in his face. Reaching into the back of the buggy, he pulls out a small object that cannot be made out through the darkness. Beat. A FLICKERING LIGHT appears in his hands. The small object lights up and he is holding a lit candle. Standing up, Neil holds the light up above his head. The thick, lush forest can be seen behind him in the distance. The wind howls and blows through the trees. EXT. FOREST - NIGHT Looking through the many trees, Neil Worhelm stands atop his buggy staring into the distance away from the forest. The light from Neil's candle looks small and insignificant. The LOW RUMBLE is heard, closer this time. EXT. DIRT ROAD - NIGHT Neil spins around and looks into the forest. The RUMBLE is closer and more prominent. The ground begins to shake furiously. The magnificent black horse rears up on its hind legs as it is clearly startled. It takes off running.
27. Neil is thrown off of his feet as the buggy suddenly lurches forward. The black horse is running full tilt, the rickety wooden buggy bouncing behind. Neil is holding onto the edge with all his might. Any remnants of pompousness on his face has vanished without a trace. Neil's screams are practically obsolete underneath the ominous noise. NEIL WORHELM Whoa boy!... Slow down now... Whoa! A deafening ROAR is heard as something on the ground kicks up the loose dirt on the road. The horse and buggy are suddenly blind-sided by an immensely powerful force. The buggy explodes into pieces as it flies sideways through the air. The black horse is taken along with it as the buggy comes crashing down in a heap in a nearby ditch. A tree trunk is cut through easily; The tree falls down to earth leaving only a stump behind. The ground begins to regain its integrity. The noise and vibrations gradually fade into nothing. The wind howls in the background. DISSOLVE TO: INT. DARK ROOM - NIGHT The moonlight through a nearby window reveals priest Parrish fast asleep in his quarters. The many candles that were once lit are now entirely extinguished. INT. JOE LIONEL'S HOME - NIGHT Baby Jonathan sleeps peacefully in his crib. Mary remains sitting in the same chair beside the crib, a blanket hugging tightly around her as she dreams. Joe is nowhere in sight.
28. INT. JOYCE HOME - NIGHT Claire is examining herself in the bathroom mirror. She does the exact routine as before only now she pinches her stomach with disgust. She slowly heads over to the toilet and gets on her knees. She sticks a finger down her throat and begins to violently dry heave. INT. JOYCE HOME/BEDROOM - NIGHT Pearl is fast asleep under her covers. She lies face down, her long blond hair sprawled out everywhere over her pillow. INT. OLD WOMAN'S HOME - NIGHT A black CAT with green eyes stares at us as it sits motionless. It is still for a long time - - longer than normal. As we PULL BACK we realize that it is a picture. Now many pictures of the cat are in view. The room in its entirety reveals the old woman lying face down on the floor. She is motionless. Her skin has turned blue. Another picture of her black cat is clutched tightly in her lifeless grip. INT. DOCTOR WARD'S HOME - NIGHT Hunched over a chair, doctor Ward rubs his forehead while reading a piece of paper. PAPER A feeling of happiness and bliss A lifetime in a second No such truer love exists For it is a blessing When the final day arrives I'll look in your eyes Watching the love of my life As I ascend to the skies. A TEAR drops down onto the creased paper.
29. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Nora is asleep beside Alan, she is crunched into a ball facing away from him. Alan lies still with his hands behind his head, his watery eyes stare up at us on the ceiling. EXT. PORCH - NIGHT Detective Clyde is asleep in his chair. He is surrounded by the darkness of night, the only LIGHT is coming from one lit candle on the banister nearby. A VOICE is heard in the distance. VOICE (o.s.) Detective... Wake Up!... Detective Clyde! JACOB LOOPER, an adolescent, charges toward the porch while waving his arms in the air. Detective Clyde wakes up and springs to his feet. Jacob stops at the bottom of the porch, out of breath. JACOB (Out of Breath) There's trouble! I found... I found a - - DETECTIVE CLYDE What are doing up at such an ungodly hour young man? JACOB I was a... awoken by... Jacob bends over to catch his breath. DETECTIVE CLYDE By what? Beat. The boy takes several more deep breathes and stands upright. JACOB A murder I think. I don't know... I - - Detective Clyde grabs the candle.
30. DETECTIVE CLYDE Show me. INT. JOE LIONEL'S HOME - NIGHT Mary remains sleeping in her chair next to Jonathan's crib. Joe's shadow stands in the doorway silently, watching his family with pride. Beat. He swiftly moves out of view. EXT. FOREST - NIGHT Looking into the deep woods, everything is silent until a TWIG SNAPS. Beat. Roy Emerson emerges from dark surroundings. He carries a batch of yellow flowers in his right hand. EXT. DITCH - NIGHT Detective Clyde is kneeling down, Jacob stands behind him holding the lit candle. He is no longer out of breath. DETECTIVE CLYDE What is going on around these parts? Jacob stares wide eyed at the ground. JACOB What do you suppose could cause this, sir? Detective Clyde keeps his eyes fixated on the sight below. DETECTIVE CLYDE (Quiet) I want you to run home now son. It's not safe out here. Jacob steps forward in protest. JACOB But - - DETECTIVE CLYDE (Loudly) Go now!
31. Jacob is instantly startled and jumps, dropping the candle on the ground before running away. The candle's light is extinguished by the dirt. The clouds part briefly, the moon's light shines down over the earth. Just above detective Clyde's shoulder, a destroyed buggy is now in plain view from the moonlight. The black horse's carcass lies dead in the ditch, it has been completely severed in half. Its eyes are lifeless, its tongue hangs grotesquely out of its mouth. Its insides are spilled out everywhere. Detective Clyde carefully makes his way toward the wreckage. He jumps back with fright. Neil Worhelm has been impaled by one of the splintered parts of the buggy. The thick piece of wood has penetrated straight through his neck. His lifeless eyes are wide, thick red blood drapes over everything. Detective Clyde covers his mouth with his hand. The vomit leaks out between his fingers. EXT. DITCH - NIGHT Detective Clyde backs away slowly from the ditch, his face congested with fear, his breathes small and rapid. DETECTIVE CLYDE God help us. The light from the moon slowly fades as a cloud passes by. DARKNESS. FADE TO BLACK. FADE IN: Legend. "April 2, 1896" EXT. CHURCH - SUNRISE A beautiful, prodigious holy church is in our midst, surrounding by a light mist. The only door to the church is rather large and magnificently crafted. Above the door is a tall window with paintings of Angels and Christ on it.
32. The window reaches near the top of the roof where a Holy Cross is seen. In front of the church is a sign that reads "ST. MONICA'S CHURCH" on the top half in large writing. The bottom half of the sign cannot be seen. EXT. TREE - SUNRISE A flock of birds fly out of a towering tree as if they had been startled by something. INT. CHURCH HALL - SUNRISE The church is filled with the TOWNS' FOLK. The benches look engulfed in shadows as everyone present is dressed in their darkest colors. A peaceful orange glow from the sun is shining through the window into the church. Sitting in the front row are Alan and Nora Petch. In front of them is a small closed casket. Nora's face has reddened considerably. Her eyes puffy. Alan's face is cold and emotionless. Black circles under his eyes. Sitting on the many rows of benches is everyone who was gathered around Thomas's body; including Detective Clyde, Doctor Ward, Roy Emerson, Joe Lionel, and Pearl Joyce and her mother, among OTHERS. Standing in front of it all is priest Parrish, he clears his throat and wipes the sweat from his face. PRIEST PARRISH I am deeply saddened that we had to reconvene under these tragic conditions today. It is with no jubilation that I must stand here and see a child so young be expedited into the afterlife so early. Nora whimpers in the background.
33. PRIEST PARRISH (continuous) Instances such as these can only remind us of our fragile time here. When we lose a child in such a way, we lose innocence. It is senseless violence such as this that attacks the very backbone of our being, ultimately leaving it paralyzed. Unable to move forward, move on, it's what leads to the degradation of the human spirit. So we must. We must continue to move forward, never forget, but move forward. We shall seek justice against the perpetrators, and leave the rest in the lands of the good Lord. Alan's cold expression changes to one of discontent, almost anger. Detective Clyde glances around at the multitude of people seated in the benches. PRIEST PARRISH (continuous) For that is where young Thomas is at this moment. Not in a better place, but a perfect place. (beat) Now let us pray... or we shall become it. All heads bow down to the floor as Priest Parrish leads the mass in a prayer. Nora's head is down as well. She is crying. Alan takes her hand and brings his lips close to her ear. ALAN (Whispers) Their prayers fall upon deaf ears. I've since realized we are in Hell Nora, we have already been banished. That is what this world is... Hell. Nora continues crying as Alan looks coldly ahead. INT. CASKET AREA - DAY The mass prayer has concluded and the towns' folk have gathered around young Thomas Petch's casket in a very familiar circle.
34. One by one each of them say a silent prayer, light a candle, and go pay their condolences to Alan and Nora who are standing off to the side. INT. WINDOW - DAY The orange glow outside has been replaced by a distant, dull, graying sky. DOCTOR WARD (o.s.) My condolences to you both, I mean that sincerely. What happened was indeed a terrible thing. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY Doctor Ward stands before Alan and Nora solemnly. DOCTOR WARD I wish I could tell you it gets easier, I really do. (beat) When I lost my wife years ago, I wasn't sure if I could go on. I was a wreck for the longest time. But eventually I knew I had to move on with my life, I knew that's what Grace would have wanted for me. Yet... yet the few times when I would allow myself to become even slightly happy, I would feel guilty for letting myself feel that way. (beat) I would get these haunting memories of her a few days before she died... INT. BEDROOM - SUNSET FLASHCUT: A YOUNGER DOCTOR WARD sits on the edge of a bed. GRACE WARD is lying with her eyes closed under blankets up to her neck, she is ghostly pale. Looking out the window as the sun is going down on the horizon, it casts a final orange glow over the sky. DOCTOR WARD (v.o.) ... She wasn't herself, she was sick. Very sick.
35. The younger Doctor Ward is seen with tears in his eyes. He pulls the blanket off of his wife slowly, revealing a horrendous sight. His wife's LOWER HALF IS GONE. Young doctor Ward cringes and cries some more, covering her back up with the blanket. DOCTOR WARD (v.o) Know one knew what had caused it. They told me it was some sort of plague, probably not contagious, but it still had to be contained. So she was barricaded in our home, and I refused to leave her side. (beat) All I knew was that in a short period of time the love of my life would be dead. Two days later she was gone... and I was a mess. BACK TO SCENE: INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY DOCTOR WARD I was told soon after that she was expecting. Doctor Ward composes himself. beat. DOCTOR WARD I've never felt that helpless in my life, so I decided to do something about it. I decided to devote my life to helping people. Alan stares at him with a mix of understanding and pity. Nora is clearly shaken. DOCTOR WARD No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to dull the pain of your son's death. No one can completely replace something bad with that of something good. Instead you must cherish the good memories, and along the way create more pleasant memories for yourself. (MORE)
36. DOCTOR WARD (CONT'D) Hopefully that way you won't have to confront the bad ones as often. (beat) When someone you love dies, there is no closure. Remember his life, that is my advice. Doctor Ward looks at them both. DOCTOR WARD Alan.... Nora... I wish I could've done something for him. I really do. Nora's head slumps down to the floor. Alan's lump in his throat forces him to swallow. ALAN As did I, doctor. Nora mimes the words "Thank You" with her mouth and gives him a hug. Beat. Doctor Ward heads down the aisle toward the door in the distance. INT. CASKET AREA - DAY Roy stands sturdy beside Claire who is holding Pearl's hand. Claire holds the yellow flowers in her free hand. Roy leans gingerly over to Claire. ROY EMERSON (Whispers) You look beautiful. He retreats to his sturdy, upright position. Claire blushes and brings the flowers to her face, smells them, and conceals her smile. Roy notices this and smiles as well. Pearl looks up to them both. No emotion. Priest Parrish re-lights one of the candles that has burned out around the casket. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY Joe Lionel greets the Petch's with his wife and newborn son.
37. JOE LIONEL It's a shame we had to meet under those conditions yesterday, Mr. Petch. My apologies. (beat) I never met your boy Thomas, but from this turn-out and hearsay, I can gather he was a very special person. Alan nods. Joe diverts Alan and Nora's attention behind him. JOE LIONEL This is my wife, Mary, and our newborn son, Jonathan. Nora smiles at Mary as she touches Jonathan's head softly. Alan and Joe exchange handshakes. JOE LIONEL My deepest sympathies. He leads his family away down the hall toward the door. INT. THE DOOR - DAY Doctor Ward sits alone on the bench nearest to the large door, his head directed at the floor. A SCRAPING sound on the outside of the door demands his attention. He hears it continue for a long moment, then it stops as quickly as it started. Beat. A distinct THUD from outside the door. He listens for a long beat... silence. Doctor Ward's eyes squint briefly before he returns his gaze to the floor. Joe Lionel approaches with his wife and son. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY Detective Clyde stands before Alan and Nora.
38. DETECTIVE CLYDE What can one possibly say to comfort the grieving at a time such as this? That piece of the puzzle will always elude me. All I can offer you is my full support. Nora glares at detective Clyde, an uncharacteristic hint of vengeance in her voice. NORA You will promise then to catch the one's who did it, right detective Clyde? Promise that you will. He forces the helpful look onto his face. DETECTIVE CLYDE I will Nora. You have my word. He gives Nora a convincing look of honesty and shakes Alan's hand before leaving toward the door. INT. THE DOOR - DAY The Lionel's stand surrounding doctor Ward. He remains sitting. JOE LIONEL I know this isn't the most appropriate of circumstances, but we've been meaning to ask you doctor... Will you do us the honor of being a guest in our home for supper tonight? Doctor Ward politely smiles. DOCTOR WARD I appreciate the offer very much, but I'm afraid I cannot. Joe nod his head. JOE LIONEL I understand. Some other time then. Beat. Mary takes a seat next to doctor Ward while holding Jonathan in her arms. She gestures toward her son. MARY LIONEL Would you like to hold him, after all, he has you to thank for his life.
39. Doctor Ward looks at Jonathan and nods his head. DOCTOR WARD I would be delighted. Mary grins and gingerly passes him her baby. Doctor Ward handles Jonathan delicately in his arms. Detective Clyde appears and stops a few rows away. Two muddled THUDS are heard. They turn their attention to the door. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY Claire Joyce, Pearl and Roy Emerson now stand with Alan and Nora. CLAIRE JOYCE (Mid-conversation) I can't help thinking that it could've been my daughter. I... I can't even imagine... (beat) We both knew just how close my Pearl and your son were. Like brother and sister those two. There isn't many - - Pearl's cries interrupts her mother. Nora looks to Pearl and bends down so that they are face to face. NORA You and Thomas were best of friends, Pearl. He loved you like a sister. He told me this. Pearl begins to cry even more. Nora wipes the tears from her eyes and cheeks. NORA Don't you blame yourself for one second. It is not your fault, got it? Pearl shakes her head "yes". Nora smiles and gives her a long hug. INT. THE DOOR - DAY Joe Lionel and detective Clyde stand near the door now, they examine it closely.
40. Doctor Ward hands Jonathan back to Mary, his eyes locked on the door. Joe Lionel places his hand firmly on the door handle. Mary spots him. MARY LIONEL (Quiet, but Stern) Joe! What are you doing? You know your suppose to wait for priest Parrish to lead us out. Take your hand off that handle this instant! She looks back to the crowd to see if anyone noticed. They haven't. Joe reluctantly removes his hand. Detective Clyde puts his ear to the door and listens. Silence. beat. He begins to pull his head back when - - A QUICK SCRAPE is heard. Detective Clyde's hand bolts for the handle and attempts to open the door... it doesn't budge. He tries again - - same result. ROY EMERSON (o.s.) Something wrong fella's? Detective Clyde and Joe spin around to find Roy standing within arms reach. Claire and Pearl have retreated to a nearby bench. MANY OF THE OTHER FAMILIES HAVE BEGUN TO FILL UP THE BENCHES AS WELL. THEY AWAIT PRIEST PARRISH TO LEAD THEM OUT. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY Priest Parrish is last to approach Alan and Nora. PRIEST PARRISH It has to be difficult to remain faithful when you've lost a loved one. But this is when God will be here for you more than ever. He will show you the big picture, if you let him. Nora forces a smile onto her face.
41. Priest Parrish attempts to shake Alan's hand, it is not returned. ALAN The big picture is made up of all the little things he wants us to dismiss as nothing. Well, I can't do such a thing. I won't. (beat) My son was the big picture. We hear distinct THUDS coming from down the aisle. They are ignored. Beat. PRIEST PARRISH Alan, I think... He looks into Alan's cold eyes. beat. PRIEST PARRISH ... I wish you the best. Priest Parrish makes his way slowly toward the door. Alan and Nora head toward their son's casket. Suddenly, another THUD, this time louder. Alan and Nora quickly spin around. Down the aisle all the towns' folk are gathered around the door talking over each other. They all seem worried. ALAN (Looking down the aisle) What is happening down there? Nora looks startled. INT. AISLE - DAY The THUDS echo throughout the church. Alan takes Nora's hand and he rushes down the aisle with her towards the commotion. INT. THE DOOR - DAY Detective Clyde notices them coming. DETECTIVE CLYDE The door... It won't budge.
42. ALAN (Rushing by) What? Nora let's go of his hand and falls back. Alan pushes through the people and finds Roy and Joe pulling, pushing, and ramming their shoulders into the thick wooden door. ROY EMERSON (Backing off) Forget it. It ain't going to open. Alan makes his way to the door and gives it a go. Nothing. Joe is holding his shoulder, grimacing. Mary comes to his side with Jonathan and starts rubbing it. INT. AISLE - DAY Roy makes his way back to Claire and Pearl who stand close together. Pearl knowingly moves away from him. Roy grimaces as Joe did from the pain in his shoulder. Claire casually begins to rub it with one hand. Roy looks to her with surprise, she is staring ahead, still rubbing his shoulder. He slightly grins and looks ahead as well. INT. THE DOOR - DAY Detective Clyde steps forward. DETECTIVE CLYDE Has this ever happened before father? He looks directly at Priest Parrish. PRIEST PARRISH I'm still not sure what is happening at this moment, detective. So I'm afraid I can't answer your question. Alan stops pulling at the door. He turns to Priest Parrish, clearly flustered.
43. ALAN The door won't move, it looks as if we can't get out of here. That is what's happening at this moment. Priest Parrish looks away from his icy stare. Detective Clyde gives Alan a quick glance and looks back at the priest. DETECTIVE CLYDE Is there any other way out father? PRIEST PARRISH No, no there's not. A look of skepticism crosses detective Clyde's face. DETECTIVE CLYDE Are you sure? Priest Parrish glares at detective Clyde with an equivalent look of someone who has just been asked if they love their children. PRIEST PARRISH I've belonged to this church for over 12 years now detective, I would know if there was another way out, there is not, let me assure you. Alan notices Nora has made her way back to Thomas's coffin, he heads to join her. ALAN (Walking by) That's not very assuring considering the circumstances. Detective Clyde and priest Parrish watch Alan intently as he starts off down the aisle. INT. AISLE - DAY Alan is halfway down the aisle when he stops. He looks down to the floor, it's VIBRATING gently. In the distance a familiar LOW RUMBLE is heard. He looks back over his shoulder, everyone is looking down at the floor as well. The women and children all grab each other in fright.
44. The RUMBLE becomes louder, the VIBRATIONS more hectic. Alan's gaze jolts toward the casket. ALAN Nora! INT. CASKET AREA - DAY Nora clings onto the coffin, the GROUND SHAKES beneath her. Alan rushes to her side. He grabs a hold of her with one arm, his other stabilizing his sons coffin. They look around the church in horror. INT. THE DOOR - DAY Joe Lionel holds onto his wife and young son tightly. His eyes dart to different parts of the unstable floor. JOE LIONEL Jesus Christ. Priest Parrish quickly turns to Joe. DOCTOR WARD What in God's name is happening? Priest Parrish turns sternly to doctor Ward. PRIEST PARRISH (Shouting) Do not take the lord's name in - - ! Suddenly there is no light. BLACKNESS engulfs the entire church. The windows look as if they've been taken over by a GIGANTIC SHADOW. The women and children SCREAM. PAN UP to the LARGE CEILING, it is trembling from the pressure and strength of something outside. Beat. Then it stops, and everything is quiet except for the sobs of the young children below. DISSOLVE TO:
45. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY - 1 HOUR LATER The rumble has ceased, the vibrations are gone. The towns' folk are now all huddled around the lit candles nearby. Most of the women and children are sitting on the benches, some on the floor. The church is divided into lit sections from the candles, and darkness where there is none. The windows remain draped in blackness. INT. PODIUM - DAY Priest Parrish is holding hands in a group saying prayers. He stands as the many families kneel before him. INT. BENCHES - DAY Doctor Ward looks at the shocked children who lay on the benches. The parents try to calm the ones who are hyperventilating. After checking them all, doctor Ward addresses the parents silently. DOCTOR WARD These kids are in a mild state of shock right now. The best thing to do is to stay with them and keep them calm. The many mothers' and father's nod their heads with understanding. Doctor Ward's attention is diverted by something nearby. Beat. He turns back and addresses the parents once more. DOCTOR WARD I'll be close by if anything happens. He walks away. A YOUNG BOY lies shivering on a nearby bench. His AUNT leans over him, rubbing his forehead.
46. AUNT (Whispers) Quiet now... everything's going to be okay. There is no need to dread. The young boy wraps his arms around his body, hugging himself. He chatters as he speaks. YOUNG BOY Is t-this a night-nightmare... ? The young boy's aunt attempts a comforting smile, but it quickly fades. She nods her head. AUNT Yes. (beat) Close your eyes now... go to sleep. (beat. Whispers) Dream instead. The young boy slowly closes his eyes and curls up into a ball. INT. CASKET AREA - DAY Nora is standing over her son's coffin. Claire Joyce and Pearl stand near her in silence. JOE LIONEL (v.o. Quiet) ... the best idea we've got. We must break a window. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY Alan, Detective Clyde, Roy Emerson and Joe Lionel all stand off to the side, almost in complete darkness. They all speak in voices just above whispers. ROY EMERSON In a church? DETECTIVE CLYDE (Condescending) Yes Roy, that is where we are. Roy burns a hole through detective Clyde with his glare.
47. JOE LIONEL What good will that do? None of us could even reach the windows if we were standing on each others shoulders. DETECTIVE CLYDE It's the only option we have. INT. CASKET AREA - DAY Nora looms over Thomas's small coffin, wiping some tears from her eyes. Pearl stares up at her and let's go of her mother's hand. CLAIRE JOYCE Pearl, where are you... ? She watches as her daughter takes Nora's hand. Nora stops crying and looks down. PEARL Don't blame yourself for one second, it is not your fault, got it? A smile seeps onto Nora's face between her tears. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY Doctor Ward has now made his way into the small circle off to the side. ROY EMERSON Some option, we'll let whatever's out there in here. DETECTIVE CLYDE Whatever's out there, has locked us in here for a reason. It could've got in if it wanted. It doesn't want to get inside, it just wants to keep us in. ALAN It? what it?... How are you so sure of this detective? DETECTIVE CLYDE Well... I'm not sure of anything right now, in fact - -
48. DOCTOR WARD Are you really prepared to jump to such conclusions here gentlemen? The men turn their attention to the doctor. DOCTOR WARD Maybe the door happens to be stuck because it's rusted shut from the rain. Maybe the blackness outside is coming from one of those eclipses of the sun. And maybe the vibrations we felt were nothing but earth tremors. (beat) My point is we have no way of knowing what it is out there. We shouldn't speculate. The men stand in silence for a moment, contemplating the possibilities. Finally Joe shakes his head. JOE LIONEL That's a lot of maybe's. ALAN (To detective Clyde) I always used to tell my son that if you can't finish something, don't start it. (beat) So finish what you were going to say, detective. Detective Clyde stands there silent and unsure. Long beat. The unusually long silence causes the other three men to look at detective Clyde, wondering what he has to hide. JOE LIONEL If you got something, Mr. Clyde, it's best you let us in on it. Beat. DETECTIVE CLYDE I fail to see what good it will do... Roy takes a step toward him.
49. ROY EMERSON Now you better tell us what's going on detective! Joe quickly pulls him back. Detective Clyde looks into the eyes of the four men and nods. EXT. DIRT ROAD - NIGHT FLASH CUT: Jacob Hooper is running at full speed, he is breathing heavily. The pain on his face is as clear as day even in the night. As he sprints down the side of the dirt road, he gradually slows and stops for a rest. He bends over and grabs his side. A LOW RUMBLE diverts his attention. Jolting upright he looks over his shoulder. The moonlight above shows an empty dirt road for a short distance. Everything in the background has faded to black. He takes a few deep breathes and gasps as a dark figure scurries by on the ground. A small BLACK CAT is made out under the moonlight. Jacob halfway grins with relief as he follows after it. The cat meows, he approaches and bends down to pick it up. The LOW RUMBLE is heard again, closer this time. The boy stops dead in his tracks, holding the cat in his arms and looking back over his shoulder once more. JACOB'S POV Looking down the empty road once again, the darkness engulfs everything in the distance. Beat. Slowly turning back around, a loud ROAR suddenly takes us over with breakneck force. We're left staring at the night sky. BLACKNESS.
50. EXT. DIRT ROAD - DAY A bright, sunny day. A cloudless blue sky is overhead. Underneath it all is the crushed bodies of Jacob Hooper and the black cat from the night before. Flies buzz around their lifeless carcasses in a maniacal frenzy. Beat. DETECTIVE CLYDE (v.o.) I got word last night of a murder up near the road out of town. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY Roy and Joe quickly glance at each other before looking back to detective Clyde. DETECTIVE CLYDE (Continuous) When I got there I found a dead animal, a horse. The poor thing was severed in half. Alan closes his eyes.. ROY EMERSON (Blurting) Was it a black horse? Detective Clyde turns quickly to Roy. DETECTIVE CLYDE Yes, yes it was. Mind telling me how you know this? Joe looks at Roy as well. Roy doesn't return his gaze. ROY EMERSON Me and Joe were working in the forest like every other day when we saw some guy come trottin' by with a black horse. Said his name was Neil Wor... something. But he asked us directions on how to get to the road out of town. Beat. DETECTIVE CLYDE And did you?
51. ROY EMERSON Did we? did we what? (beat) Oh hell no! We would never kill anyone! Detective Clyde's eyes widen. Allen stares at Roy. JOE LIONEL Roy, what are you... ? DETECTIVE CLYDE I meant did you give him directions, Roy. Roy looks confused. ROY EMERSON Yes, I... What? DETECTIVE CLYDE I never said anything about finding anyone dead. And I certainly never told you about the man I found impaled through the neck by a large chunk of wood. Beat. ROY EMERSON He was impaled? DETECTIVE CLYDE Yes Roy, he was. (beat) What is it you two do for work again? JOE LIONEL Detective I think you're getting it mixed up, you see - - ROY EMERSON We cut down trees. What's it to ya? DETECTIVE CLYDE Using what? ROY EMERSON Using what? Axes of course! What else could we use? What are you getting at anyway? Detective Clyde looks at Roy suspiciously, so do doctor Ward and Alan.
52. JOE LIONEL No, no, no! You're getting it all wrong. Roy meant we could never kill a horse, he's not exactly the greatest with words, I think he gets confused when... Roy turns his attention to Joe. ROY EMERSON Hey! You calling me dumb, Joe? Joe glares back at him. JOE LIONEL They're accusing us of murder, Roy! Several people kneeled in prayer have begun to take notice. Sudden realization crosses Roy's face. Detective Clyde steps in. DETECTIVE CLYDE I'm not accusing anybody of anything. I'm just trying to collect the facts, that is all. ROY EMERSON Well good! Because we sure ain't do nothing wrong! Alan stares a hole through Roy. ALAN (Under his breath) You'd better hope not. Roy looks hastily to Alan. ROY EMERSON What was that? He takes a few steps toward him; Alan meets him face to face. ALAN You heard me. Roy and Alan stare each other down for a beat before they're broken up by doctor Ward. Detective Clyde looks around and notices everyone is staring at them.
53. DETECTIVE CLYDE (Quietly) We should keep our voices down. Roy shakes free. ROY EMERSON I ain't no murderer! DETECTIVE CLYDE No one's saying you are Roy. Go take a walk, settle down a bit, we're in a church. ALAN (to detective Clyde) That seems to be the problem, doesn't it? Alan glares at all three men with hostility before heading back to Nora. Joe shakes his head at the accusations as he retreats to his wife and son. Roy glares at detective Clyde and stomps away. Everyone in the church slowly looks away. Priest Parrish continues praying with the group. Detective Clyde shakes his head in disbelief as he turns to doctor Ward. DETECTIVE CLYDE So what do you think? DOCTOR WARD I don't think it fits. DETECTIVE CLYDE You should be a detective. DOCTOR WARD I know. Beat. Both detective Clyde and doctor Ward scan the various parts of the church. DETECTIVE CLYDE I'll keep an eye on them if we ever find a way out of here.
54. Doctor Ward nods. DETECTIVE CLYDE I'll tell you what doctor, I almost wish it were those men that committed the murders. It would sure answer a helluva lot of questions. DOCTOR WARD Except for the most obvious one. Beat. DETECTIVE CLYDE Yeah... except for that. DISSOLVE TO: INT. PODIUM - DAY Most of the women and young children are gathered around Priest Parrish's podium. They're all kneeling down before him in the dark, holding each others hands as before. A YOUNG BOY speaks up. YOUNG BOY Father, why are we here? PRIEST PARRISH To follow God's divine path, my son. YOUNG BOY But why are we stuck in this church? Beat. Priest Parrish looks puzzled. PRIEST PARRISH That sadly, I do not know. A YOUNG GIRL stands up. YOUNG GIRL Why does God want us dead? Everyone's jaw drops as they stare at the girl. Priest Parrish gathers himself. beat.
55. PRIEST PARRISH God does not want that, little one. We are in a holy place, he will keep us all safe, don't you worry. YOUNG BOY What does he want to keep us safe from? Priest Parrish looks briefly to the young boy, and addresses the group. PRIEST PARRISH From the deepest depths of this world. God wants to shield us from the unmitigated evil that only wishes to extirpate and tear down anything of any use or importance toward the development of mankind. (beat. Quiet) This is the only proper basis on which to superstruct first innocency and then virtue. YOUNG BOY Oh. He sits back down. INT. CASKET AREA - DAY We slowly REVOLVE around the darkened church, catching a glimpse of all the towns' folk in their darkest hour. ALAN (v.o.) If you control time, every minute and every second, then it is you who decides who follows your chosen path. You control our fate. (beat) When we die we're simply taken out of the timeline and replaced, but for some reason you have decided to leave us behind. Why? (beat) Are we not what was expected? Are you preparing to abandon the rest of the world, as you've done us? Alan is standing alone near Thomas's coffin. Nora walks into view behind him with a look of befuddlement on her face. NORA Alan, who are you talking to?
56. Beat. ALAN No one. Alan continues to face away from Nora. ALAN I don't like this place. Something is very wrong... NORA Alan... Our son - - ALAN Our son is gone, Nora. He's gone forever. Nora's eyes start to fill up with tears. She reaches her hand out and slightly touches Alan's shoulder. Alan forcibly turns around, throwing her hand off. ALAN No! I refuse to be vilified by his treachery for one more second of my life... Alan looks around the dark church. Children lay sprawled out over the benches, their parents huddled around them. The young boy is fast asleep, his worrisome aunt sitting beside him. Each window is pitch black. No sign of anything on the outside. Alan breaks out into a sprint down the aisle. INT. AISLE - DAY Alan charges toward the door at full speed. Some women and children gasp in fright. NORA (o.s.) Alan!? What are you... !? A familiar loud THUD jolts all the people's attention to the door.
57. INT. THE DOOR - DAY Alan rams his shoulder into the door with all his strength. He pushes, pulls and hits the door with his fists. ALAN (Screams) Damn you!... I hate you!... You bastard!... How could you do this to us?! Everyone stands at the back of the church in shock. Joe Lionel makes his way slowly down the aisle and stops as Nora's pushes by him. Alan's screams turn gradually to quiet sobs. ALAN Why did you take him? I loved him... I love him so much. Alan drops to his knees and begins to cry. Nora collapses to her knees beside him. They hug each other, and cry together. Beat. We hear the LOW RUMBLE once again, this time CLOSER THAN EVER. Families gather together, everyone looks around the church with an impending sense of dread. INT. BEDROOM - SUNSET FLASH CUT: Nora is sitting in her room, she slams the bible shut and slides it under her bed. INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT FLASH CUT: The torn up bible pages are spread out all over the floor. INT. CHURCH HALL - SUNRISE FLASH CUT: We see Alan's cold expression while everyone else is praying. SLAM BACK TO SCENE:
58. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY PRIEST PARRISH (v.o.) Let us pray... or we shall become it. Suddenly the church floor starts to SHAKE VIOLENTLY, knocking some of the people off their feet. The RUMBLE is very close and incessantly loud. We can hear people faintly screaming, most of them drowned out by the NOISE that surrounds the church. Alan and Nora rise to their feet. NORA Thomas! They race back towards their son's coffin. They trip and fall several times, the whole church is shaking tremendously. The people who are standing grasp onto anything they can find to maintain their balance, but most hide crouching near the benches. Detective Clyde and doctor Ward hold onto a thin support beam. Dust starts to fall from the ceiling. The support beams are cracking. Roy spots something nearby, his eyes go wide with concern. He makes a mad dash towards it. INT. AISLE - DAY Joe Lionel runs to the aid of his wife and son who have fallen to the ground. The entire church seems to SINK violently and Joe is thrown to the floor. A CRACKING noise from above. Joe looks up. A section of the ceiling the size of a car suddenly falls and lands DIRECTLY ON TOP OF HIM, crushing Joe completely. Mary screams as she holds Jonathan tightly to her chest. Nora struggles to get off the ground, Alan has to retreat and pick her up; They continue towards Thomas's coffin.
59. INT. PODIUM - DAY Priest Parrish is still with the now frenzied group, looking up at the ceiling. All the people scatter away from him at once. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY Claire Joyce is hiding near one of the benches as debris falls close by. She is screaming inaudibly under the noise. Pearl is not at her side. She is gone. The yellow flowers are almost completely buried under dust and rubble. INT. WINDOWS - DAY A tremendous EXPLOSION of glass braking throughout the church, the windows are all blown out simultaneously. The colored glass shatters into millions of tiny pieces and sprinkles onto the floor. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY Doctor Ward's face is contorted in pain as huge chunk of ceiling has fallen on his lower half. Blood pours out of his gaping mouth like a fountain. INT. BEDROOM - SUNSET FLASHCUT: The picture of Grace Ward, with her lower half missing, appears for only a second. BACK TO SCENE: INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY Claire is curled up in a ball frantically searching the church for Pearl. Beat. Suddenly Roy rushes into view carrying Pearl in his arms. He hands her to Claire and all three come together and hug each other. Roy covers both their heads with his arms. Their heads bow down to the floor.
60. INT. PODIUM - DAY Replacing where Priest Parrish once stood is nothing but dust, chunks of the roof, and the large holy cross that was once perched atop it. INT. CASKET AREA - DAY Alan and Nora reach the coffin and throw themselves over it. The many lit candles have extinguished. Alan looks up. INT. CHURCH HALL - DAY SILENCE. (SLOW MOTION) We look around at all the carnage going on around us, people's mouth wide open, screaming, yet we hear no sound. The remaining parts of ceiling are falling everywhere now, the thin support beams collapse, dust and debris begins filling the entire church. The ruptured ceiling reveals the bright blue sky just beyond the plummeting wreckage. Beat. FULL VOLUME. (REAL TIME) The ceiling and walls suddenly cave in on the church with a deafening sound. Beat. Then it is completely silent again. The dust fills up our view. SLOW DISSOLVE TO: Legend. "April 1, 1996" INT. CAR - DAY A family of four is driving down a newly paved road. The FATHER is driving, the MOTHER is sitting up front, a young boy TOM and his younger sister JOYCE, are seated in the back.
61. The mother stares sympathetically out her window. MOTHER I don't believe it, they're going to take it down. It's a shame, it really is. FATHER Good riddance. The mother looks at her husband and shakes her head. Beat. A distinct THUD coming from behind. The mother turns around and looks at her son. Tom sits in the back hitting his baseball off the ceiling and catching it in his glove. MOTHER What did I tell you about playing ball in the car? Now stop that this instant before you wake up your sister. Tom rolls his eyes and tucks the ball into his glove. The mother glances to her daughter who is sound asleep, her blonde hair pressed up against the window. The father looks at Tom in the rearview mirror. FATHER You all ready for the big game? Tom looks up. TOM Yeah, don't worry, I've been working on some new pitches too. They won't be able to hit my fastball today. He tosses the baseball in and out of his glove. The father laughs, his eyes still in the rearview mirror. FATHER That's right. You can't hit what you can't see. They both smile.
62. Beat. Suddenly the car JUMPS in the air like they just ran over something. The mother let's out a shrill scream. The father's eyes dart back to the road. FATHER Jesus Christ! He slows the car down and pulls off onto the side. They come to a slow rolling stop. EXT. CAR - DAY The car is now parked on the side of the road. GIRL'S VOICE (o.s.) Mama, what was that? MOTHER (o.s.) Nothing dear, it - - FATHER (o.s.) Probably just a speed bump, that's all. INT. CAR - DAY Young Joyce has awoke, she doesn't seem satisfied. JOYCE A tree stump or a deer? MOTHER No your father said speed bump honey. And I didn't mean deer as in... (beat) Don't worry love, everything's alright now. She smiles at her daughter and looks to her son with concern. MOTHER Are you okay? Tom slowly nods "yes". The father opens the door to get out.
63. FATHER I'll check for a flat. Both Tom and Joyce take off their seatbelts and look out the back window as their father checks the tires. INT. CAR REAR WINDOW - DAY Looking straight out the rear window at the newly paved road, blowing leaves, a tree stump nearby. FATHER (o.s.) I don't know what in God's name we ran over, this road seems fine to me. INT. CAR - DAY The mother rolls down her side window and calls to her husband. MOTHER That's odd. So do we have a flat? FATHER (o.s.) Nope, but we have one hell of a dent in our front bumper here. The mother frowns as she opens the door and gets out. EXT. CAR - DAY She joins her husband at the front of the vehicle. A considerable dent is spotted in the bumper. MOTHER Oh, wow. You didn't find what caused this? FATHER I checked all around the car, under it, even in the ditch. Nothing, there's nothing. They stand in silence for a moment, staring at the dent. beat. A train is heard somewhere off in the distance. The father looks down and digs into his left pocket.
64. FATHER Well, I'm calling the authorities right now. I'm not taking any chances of a hit and run. MOTHER (Still looking at the dent) Probably a good idea. The father takes out his cell phone from his pocket and walks up the road. The mother slowly retreats back inside the vehicle. INT. CAR - DAY She shuts the door the exact moment Tom and Joyce open theirs. The mother looks back at her kids who are halfway out of the car. MOTHER Where are you two going? TOM Just stretching our legs mom. MOTHER Don't wander off too far now, okay? TOM & JOYCE (simultaneously) Okay. The mother rolls up her window. EXT. CAR - DAY Joyce has made her way around to her brother's side, she looks up to see him gazing off into the distance. JOYCE What are you looking at? Beat. TOM See that tree stump? He points his index finger down the road. JOYCE Where? Joyce's head darts side to side looking for the stump.
65. TOM Right there. Tom throws the baseball as far as he can towards the remains of the tree. It lands well short, but directly in its path. Joyce spots the stump just beyond the grounded baseball. JOYCE Oh yeah, I see it. (beat) What about it? Tom grins and looks down to his little sister. TOM Race ya to it. Joyce looks up and flashes a competitive smile. INT. CAR - DAY The wind howls in the background. Rolling her window back down, the mother looks into her passenger side mirror to find her kids..., they're nowhere to be found. She gets out the the car and scans the area, a look of concern spreading on her face. DISSOLVE TO: Legend. "April 2, 1996" EXT. PATH - DAY A crowd of PROTESTERS have gathered on a path, police are holding them off behind yellow tape. Each one of the protesters are yelling loudly, angrily. A sign in the background is spotted being held above someone's head, It reads; Blasphemy! EXT. CONSTRUCTION GROUNDS - DAY A TALL MAN wearing a bright orange vest and a yellow construction helmet is in plain view. He is flipping through papers on a clipboard. CLIPBOARD
66. His hand flips over a few pages and we are looking at a BLUEPRINT for a brand new shopping mall. MALE'S VOICE (o.s.) Excuse me sir, but the protesters are getting a little rowdy again. A ROOKIE OFFICER stands before the tall man. ROOKIE OFFICER Should we have them vacate the area? We only see the back of the tall man's head. TALL MAN (Texas drawl) Just a waste of time young man, they have already delayed us an hour. (beat) Your responsibility is to keep them tucked away nice and safe behind that yellow tape you fella's got over there. Do that and everything should be hunky dory. ROOKIE OFFICER And if one tries to get through? The tall man glares at him. TALL MAN Get through? Now why would someone want to do that, officer? ROOKIE OFFICER Well sir, some people have been known to tie themselves to things in protest of it being knocked down, you know, tree huggers and such. TALL MAN Correct me if I'm wrong, which I'm not, but it is after all your job to make sure that does not happen. I suggest you do it. The rookie officer attempts to speak, but the tall man continues.
67. TALL MAN And if for arguments sake, some tree hugger as you so eloquently put it happens to try and play hero, you will respond with the necessary force. (Deadly serious) Do we understand each other young man? ROOKIE OFFICER Yes sir, of course. The rookie officer heads back to his crowd control duty. The tall man looks over his blueprint and surveys the scene in front of him. He nods to himself and points his index finger in the air and spins it around, as if to say "Everything's a go". Beat. WE HEAR A LOW RUMBLE. WIDE SHOT: Reveal St. Monica's church, a century older, its WINDOWS BOARDED UP and DOOR BARRICADED. It's currently surrounded by a construction crew with bulldozers, a crane and a wrecking ball. The individual motors blend together and shake the ground beneath. The sign in front of the steps is now in full view, it reads "St. Monica's Church" across the top. The bottom reads "Historical Landmark". The bulldozers begin moving in toward St. Monica's church. The crane with the wrecking ball begins to move, a loud rumble is heard, the ground vibrates. The machines close in. The bulldozers crash into opposite sides of the church, the walls give in and the entire structure seems to sink. The crane wields the enormous wrecking ball and smashes it through the many windows simultaneously. They all instantly shatter.
68. The bulldozers slowly back up, only to thrust forward again for another strike. The crane brings the wrecking ball back once more and rams it through the ceiling. The holy cross perched on top explodes from the force and drops below into the wreckage. The walls give way. The ceiling caves in. The motors shut down and everything is silent. Dust and debris are all that remain. Raindrops begin to fall from the sky. FADE OUT.Return to Simply Scripts