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"Connection" by Steven J. Fauquier First Draft E-Mail March 2, 2005. email@example.com
FADE IN: EXT. SIDEWALK - NIGHT Walking hand-in-hand, a COUPLE makes their way through many oblivious PEDESTRIANS. They pass several small corner stores. TEENAGERS loiter outside. The couple halts at a large group of PEOPLE bunched together at a busy intersection. The couple mix-in and talk freely with each other, laughing, they kiss. A RED LIGHT. The group starts to move out onto the street as the various cars come to abrupt stops. Across the street, the couple quickly branches off down an alley between two stores. The store's sign on the right reads, "Cole's Audio". A glowing, florescent sign atop the store on the left reads, "Penelope's". EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT The MAN leads the WOMAN down the secluded alley lined with brick walls on either side. He stops, throws her against the brick wall violently; she seems to like it. The woman hoists herself up and wraps both legs around his waist as the man pins her tightly. The couple kisses passionately. beat. The CRASH of garbage cans on the pavement. The couple looks to the right; the woman pushes her long, black wavy hair out of her face. WOMAN Oh no. The man is no longer pinning the woman. They both stand facing ahead. The man's eyes widen, he puts his palms face- out in front of him. INT. OFFICE - DAY A small, elegant office space. Plants and artistic paintings fill the area. There are several plaques on the wall. A shelf is full of thick, hard-covered books. NATHAN WINTERS, the man from the alley, sits with perfect posture on a red leather couch. He is thinner now. He stares straight ahead.
2. A PSYCHIATRIST sits still in a large, brown leather chair with his back to Nathan, to us, listening. NATHAN Sometimes I can still feel it. (Points to head) In here... (Points to heart) ... and here. Nathan's eyes close as if he is recalling a much more pleasant, distant memory. NATHAN But never like when it was actually happening. The pain was... is awful. I never thought it could be like that. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s. Male Voice) Did it surprise you? How it felt? NATHAN A little. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Did you like it? Nathan's nose scrunches in as he squints. NATHAN Excuse me? PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Did you find the pain enjoyable? NATHAN How do you feel about getting hurt, doc? PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Don't answer a question with a question, Nathan. Nathan shakes his head slightly. beat. NATHAN No, I didn't.
3. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Well good then. I think that's it. NATHAN That's what? PSYCHIATRIST Sessions over for today. Nathan looks up on the wall. INSERT CLOCK 3:00 Nathan slowly stands up, still avoiding eye contact. NATHAN I wonder... PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Do you? NATHAN What exactly was the point of that last question you asked me? The second hand on the clock is TICKING away. beat. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) We all must experience some things to know that we don't want to experience them again. It's just, in some cases, that first time can get you... hooked. Nathan straightens the collar of his shirt. He nods his head. NATHAN One of these days I have to start paying you. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) See you tomorrow Nathan. Bright and early. Nathan heads out the door.
4. INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT Nathan leans over a sink, the tap running. He splashes his face with soapy water and looks up at his reflection in the mirror. The door is three-quarters shut behind him. NATHAN We'll just have to see babe. But you never know... in the wise words of my brother, stranger things have happened in this universe. Nathan watches the soapy water drain down off his face. NATHAN Oh, and make sure you book dinner reservations at Penelope's for Saturday. If you don't book early, we'll never get in. I don't know how many times I have to remind you. Nathan dries his face with a black hand towel. He studies his face in the mirror. beat. He turns and flicks off the bathroom LIGHT. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Nathan moves silently towards the master bed through the darkness. The MOONLIGHT casts a dull, bluish GLOW in the room. NATHAN And after that we'll catch a movie, your choice. And you know what that means afterward... He stops at the edge of the bed; gazing down lovingly at his wife CLAIRE as she sleeps peacefully with her back turned to him. Her beautiful long black hair cascades down her face. Nathan quietly climbs into bed; pulling the covers over himself. He lies there, staring up at the ceiling. beat. Nathan cautiously turns toward his wife, draping an arm around her and pulling her close. NATHAN (Soft) How 'bout a trial run? Nathan waits for a response. beat. His wife remains oblivious to his impulses.
5. NATHAN Too tired again, huh? Nathan removes his arm and gives her a peck on the cheek before returning to his side of the bed. He picks up a FRAMED PICTURE from the bedside table. He smiles as he studies it. beat. Nathan kisses the picture and places it gently back on the bedside table. He rests his head on the pillow and stares up at the ceiling. INSERT PICTURE The picture is of Nathan himself, a few pounds heavier, his arm leaning up against somebody's shoulder that has been cut out of the frame. He smiles happily. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. SIDEWALK - DAY Nathan walks amongst the mass of PEDESTRIANS, talking on a cell phone. He nudges his way through the crowd. NATHAN I'm on my way now. I'm just making a quick stop in at Cole's. (beat; listens) Yeah, again. Just don't get on my case right now, alright. You know I get stressed before my appointments. Nathan looks up at the "Cole's Audio" sign. Then to the nearby alleyway and Penelope's restaurant. He rushes past a few CHINESE BUSINESS MEN in suits as they laugh for no apparent reason. NATHAN I'm at the door. He enters the store. INT. COLE'S AUDIO - DAY The door slowly closes behind Nathan; the noise of the city drowning out with it.
6. NATHAN Gotta go babe. (beat; listens) Love ya three. (beat; listens) Love ya one. (beat; listens) Okay, okay. See you this aft'. He snaps the cell phone shut as he looks around the store. Small. Quaint. Various stereos, speakers, and minor audio equipment is placed strategically around the confined space. There is a DVD rack on the back wall. Nathan approaches the counter; a pretty blonde CASHIER smiles. NATHAN The wife. CASHIER Excuse me sir? Nathan gestures to the cell phone. NATHAN The wife was talking my ear off. He places the cell phone in his pocket. CASHIER Oh, I see. So what can I help you with today, sir? Nathan stares at the cashier. beat. NATHAN I bought a tape recorder here. About two weeks ago. And wouldn't you know it, I need more tapes. The cashier smiles. CASHIER No problem. What is the make of the recorder? NATHAN A Sony TCM-200DV. Handheld. CASHIER You know your stuff.
7. NATHAN The high sound quality one. Thanks. The cashier moves to the back wall and rummages through some shelves below. CASHIER Any preference in the make of the cassette tape sir? NATHAN Yeah, one that I can record over and over so I don't have to keep coming back here. The cashier looks back over her shoulder, smiles. CASHIER Is it such a chore? Nathan smiles back. EXT. POLICE STATION - DAY A decent sized, generic cement building. The boys in blue walk in and out of glass doors. Approximately twenty police cruisers are parked outside in the parking lot. One is currently pulling out of its space. INT. POLICE STATION - DAY Many busy cubicles. Various COPS writing up their paperwork, scurrying about. A group of errant COPS hang around the coffee machine, talking and laughing. Phone's RING. Detective CULLEN, young, determined, is buried in paperwork at his desk. beat. HUSKY VOICE (o.s.) How did I know I would find you here? Cullen looks up. Detective LOYER, overweight, hair thinning, takes a seat on the edge of Cullen's desk. He sips his coffee with a smile on his pudgy red face. CULLEN Besides the fact that I work here, Neil?
8. LOYER Yeah, besides that smartass. (beat) What' chu working on now? Cullen glances at the paper in front of him. CULLEN Organizing my trial dates. Don't want any of these petty thugs that I collared to get off because of a schedule conflict. LOYER I hear that. Loyer leans over to get a better view. LOYER Pretty organized system you got there. Mine's still ugly. Loyer chuckles to himself. CULLEN Maybe you should try, I don't know, doing some actual police work instead of sitting around watching your fat ass get fatter? LOYER Oh, now the smartass gets smarter. Loyer gives Cullen a playful shot in the arm. LOYER Just let me take a look at your scheduling procedure. I'll combine it with the one a borrowed from Andrews. Cullen rubs his arm and hands him the paper. Loyer examines it. CULLEN You know one of these days I'm going to sue you for plagiarism. LOYER When you steal from a source, it's plagiarism, yes. But steal from two... it's called research, Cullen. Cullen smiles. beat.
9. CULLEN I can see why everyone hates you. LOYER I'm not hated... just controversial. Loyer gets up from the desk, paper in hand. He leaves. Cullen watches him with interest. beat. CULLEN (Calls After) So what's the difference? Loyer keeps moving. He doesn't look back. LOYER (Calls Back) Intelligence. Detective HAAS, red hair, skinny, leans out of his near-by cubicle and smiles at Cullen. Cullen nods his head and returns to his work. INT. OFFICE - LATER DAY Nathan sits on the red leather couch, perfect posture. The psychiatrist, back to Nathan, is seated in the brown leather chair. A beam of SUNLIGHT shines through a small window onto Nathan. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) You still have problems admitting to yourself what happened? NATHAN Yes. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Why? NATHAN It's a difficult thing. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) To remember? NATHAN To forget.
10. Nathan slumps for a moment, but quickly recovers. beat. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) The best way to forget something is to acknowledge that it happened. Then it becomes part of you. And the easiest thing to ignore is the mundane. NATHAN That's distorted thinking. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) How do you mean? NATHAN I mean, isn't that like hiding a lie between two truths? Masking it. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) It could be interpreted as such, yes. Do you believe that two wrongs make a right? NATHAN Of course not. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Maybe you're just looking at it the wrong way? NATHAN How should I look at it? PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Look at it like failure is progress. Nathan closes his eyes, nods his head in agreement. beat. His mouth slightly moves. He's talking to himself. beat. Nathan's eyes flutter open. He looks in his psychiatrist's direction with utter confusion. He squints. He starts to stand up when - - PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) So take me back to the incident.
11. He sits back down, relaxing. NATHAN Why? PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Because this is what you don't pay me for. Nathan smiles. NATHAN (Soft) That's always funny. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) So whenever you're ready, Mr. Winters. Nathan closes his eyes. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT Claire brushes her hair out of her face. CLAIRE Oh no. The couple stands facing ahead. The man's eyes widen, he puts his palms face-out in front of him. NATHAN Listen... we have money. VOICE (o.s.) No. A MAN in a black ski mask is menacing. He is dressed in black jeans, a black sweatshirt, a hood over his head. He wields a long knife in his hand. NATHAN What do you want? MASKED MAN Shut up. The masked man takes a cautious step toward Nathan.
12. MASKED MAN What is with all this public affection from you two? Nathan and Claire exchange quick eye contact. NATHAN I'm sorry, we didn't mean - - CLAIRE We'll just go home. The masked man turns to Claire; explodes. MASKED MAN No one asked you, fucking bitch! The long knife begins to shake in his hands. Nathan's arms begin to drop back to his sides. The masked man spins around to face Nathan. MASKED MAN Keep you're hands up! Where I can see them! Nathan complies. NATHAN I got about one hundred and fifty bucks on me. In my wallet. My back pocket. MASKED MAN I don't want your money. The masked man steps closer. NATHAN Then what do you want? Another step. MASKED MAN All this open love on display. Can't you see how it affects people? People that might not be as lucky as you? Claire desperately looks over her shoulder. A street illuminated by a lone, dull streetlight. Parked underneath it is a black pick-up truck.
13. The engine is still running. Claire looks in the opposite direction. Oblivious PEDESTRIANS scurry passed, unaware. MASKED MAN Some people are genuinely hurt by what others do. They can... feel it inside. NATHAN I don't know what you - - MASKED MAN Love is such a powerful thing. If you have it, life is... life. But if you don't... His voice cracks. MASKED MAN It's death. Nathan pulls out his wallet from his back pocket. He quickly removes the bills, holding them out towards the masked man. NATHAN Here, please. Take it. Please. MASKED MAN No. The masked man turns his attention to Claire. She is looking somewhere down the alley. MASKED MAN What are you looking at? Claire snaps her head around, her pleading eyes piercing the masked man through her wavy, black hair. CLAIRE (Too Quick) Nothing. MASKED MAN You want to run for help? Claire looks to Nathan. beat. Then back to the masked man. CLAIRE (Soft) No.
14. MASKED MAN Good. Now I want you to watch very carefully. The masked man suddenly lunges at Nathan with the knife. INT. OFFICE - LATER DAY CLOSE UP on Nathan's face. His eyes shut, his face distant. NATHAN That's all for today. Silence. beat. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Why is that? NATHAN It's three o' clock, doc. Nathan slowly opens his eyes; his stare already fixated on the wall. INSERT CLOCK 3:00. The second hand on the clock is TICKING away. beat. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) See you tomorrow Nathan - - NATHAN Bright and early. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) ... and early. INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT The LIGHT is on, the room is empty. Remnants of tiny bubbles and foam remains in the sink. A bed is SQUEAKING. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Silhouetted by the bluish GLOW of the MOONLIGHT beyond the closed curtains, two shadows mix together and become one.
15. Various MOANS accompany the incessant SQUEAKING of the bed. Claire's shadow is on top of Nathan's, riding him as he cups her breasts. Her wild hair flopping and bouncing everywhere with each thrust. beat. Then it is over with a final chorus of MOANS. Claire collapses on top of Nathan's heaving chest. He wraps his thin arms around her, caressing her back with his fingers. DISSOLVE TO: INT. KITCHEN - MORNING Nathan stands over a stove in his boxers and T-shirt. A CRACKLING sound as he shakes a frying pan. The phone RINGS. Nathan eyes stay locked on the stove. He grabs the portable phone from the nearby countertop. NATHAN Yello? MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) Hello, Mr. Winters? NATHAN Uh-huh. Nathan rests the phone between his ear and shoulder, freeing up his hand. MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) I'm calling from Max's Carpet Cleaning, and Max was wondering; does your carpet have stubborn stains that are impossible to remove? Do you find that regular cleaning products just won't do the trick when it comes to giving your carpet the love it deserves? Does food get stuck in-between...? NATHAN Jesus. Is this a sales pitch or a commercial?
16. MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) I am merely trying to demonstrate how effective Max's Carpet Cleaning is to solving - - NATHAN No thanks. MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) But sir, you're missing a great opportunity to - - NATHAN No thank you. Matter fact, scratch my name off all you're calling lists altogether. MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) I'm sorry sir, I can't do that. NATHAN Why not? MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) I don't have the authority. Nathan smirks, flips some eggs over in the frying pan. NATHAN But you have the authority to come into a perfect strangers home and try to sell him something? Hold on... Nathan removes the phone from his ear. He arches his head as if he is looking around a corner. NATHAN (Calls Out) Eggs are almost done babe. He brings the phone back to his ear. NATHAN Sorry... making breakfast for my wife. So what is it we were talking about again?
17. MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) Well Mr. Winters, I was trying to tell you that Max's Carpet Cleaning is head and heels above the competition and - - NATHAN Oh yeah, right. Not interested. Nathan hangs up. BEEP. He smiles to himself, flips the eggs once more. beat. The phone RINGS again. Nathan eyes it, ignores it. After the fourth RING he picks it up. NATHAN Yello? WOMAN'S VOICE (o.s.) Hi dear. Nathan's eyes shoot to the back wall, widening. He burns himself. NATHAN Ahh, shit! He puts his index finger in his mouth. WOMAN'S VOICE (o.s.) What's wrong? NATHAN Umm, nothing mom. Just burned my finger. I'm making eggs. Nathan's MOTHER distinctly SIGHS on the other end. MOTHER (o.s.) Put some of that ointment I bought you on it. NATHAN 'k Ma.
18. MOTHER (o.s.) And how many times have I told you to answer the phone like a normal person? You say 'hello' when you pick up the phone Nathan, no more of this 'yello' nonsense. Nathan rolls his eyes. MOTHER (o.s.) And don't roll your eyes. NATHAN Dammit Ma, you know me too well. So what's up? MOTHER (o.s.) How are you? NATHAN I'm fine, but what did you call me for Ma? MOTHER (o.s.) It's about your brother. Nathan turns off the stove. MOTHER (o.s.) You talk to him lately? Nathan grabs two plates from the shelf. NATHAN Mike? Uhh, no. Not for awhile anyway. Why? MOTHER (o.s.) He hasn't called me for a few weeks. Its not like him. Nathan divides the eggs equally onto the plates.
19. NATHAN Well, you know... he just gets busy sometimes. But I haven't spoken to him for awhile either. In fact, I was going to call you in a couple days about that... MOTHER (o.s.) Where do you suppose he could be? I hope he didn't get himself into trouble. Nathan sprinkles salt and pepper onto both plates. NATHAN Nah, he's fine Ma. You know Mike even better than me. And like me, he's a grown man. But you'll be the first I call when I see him next, okay? MOTHER (o.s.) Nathan Winters... are you trying to get rid of your mother? Nathan grins. NATHAN C'mon Ma. It's just I got my appoin... my job to get to, places to go, people to see. You know how it is. MOTHER (o.s.) Sure, sure. I understand. Well, you and Michael come by some time real soon okay? No more of these three- way conference calls. I want to see my boys. Nathan stands holding two plates of eggs. NATHAN You got it. MOTHER (o.s.) I love you Nate. NATHAN Me too, Ma. Bye now.
20. MOTHER (o.s.) Buh-bye. Nathan mashes the buttons with his cheek, hanging up the phone, he lets it fall to the countertop. He walks out of the kitchen with two plates of eggs. NATHAN (o.s. Calls Out) Breakfast is served! DISSOLVE TO: INT. OFFICE - DAY Nathan is seated on the red leather couch. His usual perfect posture. The psychiatrist's back is to Nathan, he sits in the brown leather chair. Rain patters down on the window sill above Nathan's head. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) It's not good to keep things bottled up. NATHAN I can't tell you anymore doc. I won't. It's not something I want to re-live. It's - - PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Then you should also - - NATHAN ... my secret. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) ... write to all the medical journals and publications in the world. Tell them you made the greatest medical discovery of the last few decades. Nathan looks disappointed in himself for a brief moment. NATHAN (Quickly) Why is that?
21. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Because having a secret is the cure for amnesia. Nathan's head comes forward, listening intently. beat. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) It seems the only things we can't forget are the things we want too. Nathan closes his eyes, smiles. NATHAN (Soft) Poetry. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Nathan lies on the master bed, both arms behind his head, staring up at the ceiling. The bathroom door is shut. LIGHT trickles out underneath the crack of the door. The showers WATER IS RUNNING. NATHAN Doc says I have to start paying him now if we want to continue our sessions together. But I think I'm better... don't you? The shower continues. There is no response. beat. NATHAN I swear to God, sometimes I think I'm just talking to myself babe. Nathan lies still, listening. beat. He turns his head towards the bathroom door. NATHAN Claire? No response. beat. Nathan's still face gradually grows into a crooked smile. NATHAN You've been in that shower for awhile. You must be feeling dirty. Nathan gets to his feet and makes his way to the bathroom door.
22. He knocks lightly and enters, shutting the door behind him. Portions of the LIGHT under the door fill up with BLACKNESS as various items of clothes fall to the floor. NATHAN (Muddled) Dirty girl. The shower door OPENS AND CLOSES. The phone RINGS. Then a loud THUD, followed by a familiar chorus of MOANS that follow. The shower doors SHAKE with each thrust. INT. KITCHEN - MORNING Nathan enters the kitchen. He wears track pants and a tank top. He opens the refrigerator, grabs a carton of milk, downs it, and closes it up. He peeks around the corner to see if anyone caught him. Shutting the refrigerator door, he notices something. INSERT ANSWERING MACHINE The RED LIGHT blinks on and off. Nathan GROANS; he presses the blinking button. ANSWERING MACHINE (o.s. Robotic Female Voice) You have... three, new messages. Nathan presses a button. BEEP. MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) Hi Sara, it's Dave. I was just calling to see if you had any plans for tonight? I thought maybe we could go out to dinner again. See a movie. Whatever. Just give me a ring back when you get this. You know how to reach me. CLICK. Nathan scratches his chin, squints suspiciously. BEEP.
23. MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) Hi, yes. I just called this number no more than an hour or two ago. I just realized now that I dialed the wrong number apparently. Must've been a faulty connection. Sorry 'bout that. CLICK. Nathan leans up against the counter. He scratches his shoulder. BEEP. MOTHER (o.s.) Nathan, where are you? You're usually home at this time. Anyway, I wanted to tell you first hand but I'm coming down to visit tomorrow morning. But don't worry, I'm not driving there. She LAUGHS. Nathan SLAMS his fist down on the counter. He bites his bottom lip and leans in closer to the machine. MOTHER (o.s.) I'll take a cab down like I used to do. If you can hear this Nathan, pick up. (beat. Silence) Well, okay then. See you tomorrow dear... bright and early. CLICK. BEEP. ANSWERING MACHINE (o.s.) End of mess... Nathan turns the machine off. He stands still, staring at it. beat. He grabs the portable phone, dials a number. He waits. Beat. No answer.
24. NATHAN Dammit! He dials again, waits. Beat. No answer. Nathan tosses the portable phone on the countertop. He looks to the clock on the stove. INSERT DIGITAL CLOCK 9:26 Nathan's eyes widen; he turns and sprints down the hallway. The stairs CREAK as he runs upstairs. EXT. SUBURBS - MORNING A red cab pulls away from the curb. Nathan's mother, short, stubby, curly gray hair, glasses, makes her way up the driveway while checking through her purse. Swinging her purse around her shoulder, she waddles up the driveway to the front pathway. She ascends a few stairs towards the front door. When she reaches it, she stops. Nathan's mother squints and adjusts her thick glasses. There is a note taped onto the front door. An envelope beside it. INSERT NOTE Hi Mom. I just received you're message as I was stepping out for the day. I tried to call you, but it seems you already left. I'm so very sorry, but I gotta work. I don't have an extra key to let you in, but I left you some cash in the envelope. I'm sorry again Mom. I'll call you first thing. Love you much. Nathan. Nathan's mother shakes her head. She removes her purse from her shoulder and rummages through it. MOTHER Always trying to get rid of his own mother. She takes out a key from her purse, places it in the lock, opens the door. She steps inside, turns to rip-off the letter and the envelope, and shuts the door behind her. SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
25. EXT. SUBURBS - MORNING Several cop cars parked on the street outside of Nathan Winters home. Their sirens flashing; doors ajar. COPS in dark blue windbreakers talk into walkie talkies. The many FAMILIES from the neighborhood have gathered on their front lawns to witness the commotion. A plain white car pulls up to the driveway. It stops abruptly, a door opens. Detective Loyer steps out. He leaves the engine running. Loyer walks with a purpose towards the home. A YOUNG COP joins him at his side, looking at a notepad. YOUNG COP The mother called in approximately forty five minutes ago. Said she found her son dead in the home. Murdered, apparently. She also has us looking for another son, who has gone missing. Anything else she said I couldn't make out. She was hysterical when I - - Loyer walks on without looking over in the young cops direction. LOYER Where is she now? YOUNG COP Hospital. Being treated for shock. Loyer nods his head. He brushes past a COP on the driveway. LOYER Has the home been cleared? YOUNG COP It has. LOYER Good. Seal off the area. YOUNG COP Yes sir. Loyer makes his way up the path towards the front door. The young cop breaks off and heads back down to the street. Loyer stops in front of the open front door. Three COPS are conversing.
26. LOYER You fellas' done any questioning yet? The cops turn to face Loyer. COP # 1 Not as of yet, sir. LOYER Why not? COP # 2 Still goin' over the crime scene. Loyer looks around at all the families looking back at him. LOYER Do you see all these people watching us right now? The cops scan the area. COP # 2 Just curious. COP # 3 They all just came out a few minutes ago, sir. I doubt - - LOYER You boys ever heard of windows? The cops glance at each other. LOYER There's about twenty to thirty possible witnesses standing on their front lawns right now in their underwear. Get to it. Loyer turns abruptly, enters the home. INT. OFFICE - MORNING A door very slowly CREAKS open. The tip of a gun is visible. A head quickly peeks around the corner, lightning fast. MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) Is there anyone in this room? Silence. beat.
27. MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) If there is someone in here and you do not respond, you will be shot on sight. Do you hear me? Silence. beat. The door opens fully. Detective Cullen stands in the doorway, alert. He wears a dark blue windbreaker and a baseball hat on backwards. He slowly moves in. Gun pointed ahead, he looks around the door with the quickness of a snake bite, then retreats. He continues to scan the room for a beat; he seems convinced, he heads in. INT. KITCHEN - MORNING COPS surround the area; kneeling down on the floor, leaning over the stove and the countertop, dusting for prints. They all wear latex gloves. Loyer enters. LOYER Wha' do we got gentleman? A COP with a thick mustache continues to dust for prints on the portable phone. COP # 4 Only the prints of the homeowner thus far. LOYER O-kay. Loyer positions himself in the middle of the kitchen; hands on hips, scanning the scene. beat. LOYER I assume we have people upstairs and down? COP # 4 Upstairs, yup. LOYER Nobody's downstairs? The cop looks up from the phone.
28. COP # 4 We are the downstairs, sir. Loyer nods his head. beat. LOYER So where's the body? INT. OFFICE - MORNING Detective Cullen looks over the various artwork and plaques on the wall; arms resting at his side, gun in hand. Relaxed. A beam of SUNLIGHT shines down on the nearby red, leather couch. Cullen studies the wall for a beat, slowly turns around, he shields his eyes from the beam of LIGHT. Turning his head away from it, so his back is to the wall, his once squinting eyes go instantly wide. Cullen snaps the gun up into shooting position. CULLEN Freeze! The top of the psychiatrists head is visible over the back of the large, brown leather chair. Cullen edges closer. CULLEN Put you're hands in the air right now! Now! Now! The psychiatrist's head falls out of view. INT. STAIRWAY - MORNING Detective Loyer makes his way out of the kitchen, towards the stairs. He looks up, there is a commotion. MAN'S VOICE (o.s.) Detective Loyer! A COP scampers to the edge of the railing; he leans over, looking straight down at Loyer. COP # 5 We got another body!
29. Loyer charges up the stairs. INT. OFFICE - MORNING Cullen has taken cover behind the red leather couch; gun pointed at the large, brown leather chair. beat. CULLEN I'm opening fire in five seconds if you fail to comply! Now show yourself! Hands up! Come out slowly! Cullen's breathes are heavy, rapid. CULLEN One! Silence. beat. CULLEN Two! Silence. beat. CULLEN Three! Silence. beat. CULLEN Fou - - PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Where are you right now? Cullen's eyes widen; his grip tightens on the gun. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) You're not supposed to be there... CULLEN (Under His Breath) What the fuck? (Loud) Show yourself! Silence. beat. Cullen spots the bookshelf. He reaches for a book with his free hand, his gun hand still locked in the chair's direction. He grabs a thick, hard-covered green book from the shelf.
30. Cullen throws it with a GRUNT over the chair; it hits something with a dull THUD. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) Do you know where you are? Cullen grabs another hard-cover book. A red one this time. He throws it well-over the chair towards the back of the room. It hits the back wall with a loud THUD. Like lightning exploding out of a bottle, Cullen is suddenly upon the chair. He flips it over; his eyes burning, his hands shaking with the gun. His expression turns to utter shock. CULLEN (Breathing Heavy) Holy shit. INT. BEDROOM - MORNING COPS litter the room. They kneel over dressers and stand over cabinets, dusting for prints. The master bed is unmade and empty. A few COPS stand inside of the small bathroom, Loyer included. The door is wide-open. INT. BATHROOM - MORNING The cops huddle together. Three of them kneeling down looking at something below the sink. The cop that called over the railing is one of them. In the mirror's reflection, Loyer stands looking down, shaking his head is disgust. Detective Haas enters from the bedroom, holding a folded picture. HAAS We found this on the bed. Loyer snatches the folded picture from his hand. HAAS In a broken frame. INSERT PICTURE Loyer's hands grip the picture on either side. Nathan Winters, a few pounds heavier, stands there smiling. His arm resting against the crease of the picture.
31. A shoulder jutting out. HAAS (o.s.) Unfold it. Loyer's hands begin to slowly unfold the picture. INT. OFFICE - MORNING Cullen, startled, backs off and stumbles into the back wall. He covers his mouth with his hand. Collapsing to his knees, he throws up through his fingers. INT. BATHROOM - MORNING INSERT PICTURE It is completely unfolded now. A crease down the middle. We can now see what the heavier Nathan is leaning up against... Nathan. A skinnier Nathan. HAAS (o.s.) Twins. Loyer looks up at Haas. LOYER Where's the other body? INT. OFFICE - MORNING Cullen has made it to one knee. His puke spilled out over the floor and his hand. Lying face-up, sprawled out next to the fallen chair, is a man that looks like Nathan Winters... except a few pounds heavier. There are thick bandages wrapped around his chest and stomach. Blood has soaked through them long ago, it is dried and crusted. His face is a bluish green, his eyes wide and distant. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s.) That's ridiculous. Cullen falls to his ass; his gun pointed directly at the body. His eyes wide, hands shaking, puke hanging from the side of his mouth.
32. Cullen stares at the body, confused. He slowly gets to his knees and begins crawling towards the fallen chair. He leans down over the carcass. PSYCHIATRIST (o.s. Loud) I can tell. Cullen GASPS. He stumbles on his knees towards the man and begins patting him down. He hits something hard in the right pocket. He reaches in and pulls out a tape recorder. INSERT TAPE RECORDER A tape is spinning on the inside. Across the top is SONY TCM-200DV. Cullen stares at the tape recorder in awe. Silence. beat. He presses the fast-forward button. Presses play. Silence beat. He presses the fast-forward button again. Presses play. Silence. beat. Then - - PSYCHIATRIST (o.s. Louder) I'm so glad you decided to pay me Nathan. I didn't want you to end our sessions just yet. I don't think you're quite healed... Cullen presses stop on the recorder. He collapses to the floor once more, his head slumps down, trying to regain his breath. INT. BATHROOM - MORNING Various COPS fill the small bathroom. Detective Loyer and Detective Haas are nowhere in sight. A COP with a camera SNAPS photographs of a gruesome sight. Scrunched into a ball, in a compartment underneath the sink is a woman with long, wavy black hair. Claire looks almost unrecognizable in the light. She has bandages wrapped around her stomach, encrusted with blood.
33. A COP bends down beside the cop with the camera COP # 6 (Grimacing) How can you kill someone so pretty and stuff them underneath a sink right after? It's barbaric. The cop with the camera SNAPS another picture from a slightly different angle. COP WITH CAMERA What, you should only kill someone and stuff them underneath your sink if their ugly? Besides, this woman has long since gone. COP # 6 So he was storing her here? COP WITH CAMERA Looks like it. I'd say by the looks of her... she's been dead for several weeks. A month maybe. The cop with camera SNAPS another picture. The cop kneeling beside him blinks. INT. HALLWAY - MORNING Loyer and Haas pass numerous other COPS in dark blue windbreakers. HAAS Found this one first thing. The mother tipped us off where he was located. They round a corner and come to a small staircase leading up into another level. LOYER Where is everybody? HAAS The area has been cleared and dusted for prints sir. Other than that we left it as is for you. Loyer reaches the stairs. LOYER Jesus. So no one is up there?
34. Loyer takes the first step up. HAAS Nope. But forensics is on the way. Loyer shakes his head and ascends a few more steps. FOOTSTEPS are heard above. Loyer stops in his tracks; he looks back to Haas. LOYER You sure about that? Loyer unholsters his sidearm. Haas looks puzzled. He draws his weapon as well. The FOOTSTEPS begin descending the stairs. Loyer hugs up against the wall. Motions for Haas to follow his lead. Haas complies. Loyer points his gun at the top of the stairs as the FOOTSTEPS round the corner. Then - - Cullen appears at the foot of the stairs, a tape recorder in hand. He throws his hands in the air, palms facing out. Loyer drops his outstretched arms; exasperated. LOYER Jesus Cullen, you almost gave me a heart attack. What in God's holy name are you doing up there, huh? Cullen drops his arms to his sides. He walks slowly down the stairs. HAAS What were you thinking Cullen?! Or were you? No one was suppose to go up after the initial investigation until detective Loyer inspected the scene. Cullen stops by Loyer and Haas. A far away look in his eyes; his face emotionless. CULLEN I got here late. I walked up to where the action was. Then climbed these stairs. No one said a thing to me.
35. Loyer covers his face with his forearm. LOYER What did you throw up over yourself or something? You smell awful. Cullen descends the last steps to the floor. HAAS And you mighta just fucked up the crime scene jerk off. Cullen turns around. beat. CULLEN What did your guys think of the tape? Loyer and Haas study Cullen. HAAS What tape? Cullen holds the recorder up in his hand, he tosses it to Haas who fumbles with it, but catches it. CULLEN (Walking Away) I'm going home. Loyer watches Cullen leave with interest. He nods his head and begins up the stairs. FADE TO BLACK FADE IN: INSERT - Two Days Later INT. POLICE STATION - DAY Detectives Loyer and Cullen sit alone in a small office surrounded by mounds of paper, evidence and a handheld tape recorder. They sit on either end of a large desk. Closed blinds cover a large window behind them. LOYER How's the mother? CULLEN She's holding up considering. LOYER Good.
36. Loyer takes a sip from his coffee mug. beat. LOYER So what's new? Cullen continues to sift through the paper on the desk. CULLEN Apparently... this guy Nathan was holding some psychotic psychiatric sessions with himself. He would ask himself questions, recorded onto this... (Taps tape recorder) ... that he had already thought out the answers to. Basically, he was having a manufactured conversation with himself in the past tense. LOYER Wow. CULLEN No kidding. LOYER A 'psychotic psychiatric session'. That definitely is a new one. CULLEN That's what you asked for. Loyer grins, takes a sip. beat. LOYER And the mother was positive that it was her son's voice on the tape? CULLEN Uh-huh. She said it sounded different, but she definitely knew it was Nathan. She said she talked to him all the time over the phone and could tell. That was one of the reasons for visiting him in the first place. LOYER What was? CULLEN To avoid talking to him over the phone. She missed the connection of actually being there.
37. Loyer shifts in his seat. LOYER And the woman? Cullen looks up. CULLEN Oh shit, you haven't heard have you? Loyer slightly shakes his head, leans forward. CULLEN They found traces of his semen inside of her. LOYER So? CULLEN It was deposited after she was dead. LOYER You're shitting me? Cullen returns his gaze to the papers. CULLEN Couldn't make that up if I tried. He liked her real clean as well. Even gave her showers to keep her that way. Loyer sits back in his seat, taking a deep breath. LOYER I'm sure glad I dumped this one in your lap pal. CULLEN Yeah, thanks a bunch. LOYER My pleasure. Loyer sips on his coffee. LOYER (Motions to Mug) Want one? Cullen looks up briefly.
38. CULLEN I'm good, thanks. Cullen stops rummaging through the papers, he looks up at Loyer. CULLEN You know... when I was up in his den, I saw the plaques on the wall. Guess whose they were? LOYER Whose? CULLEN They were awarded to one Michael Winters. LOYER Wouldn't you know it. CULLEN The poor bastard was actually a psychiatrist after all. Or an aspiring one at least. Loyer gets up out of his chair and heads over to the closed blinds. He opens them and stares out over the many cops running around doing their frantic jobs. LOYER Any leads on his whereabouts? CULLEN None. Mother doesn't have a clue. Neighbors say he was a bit of a recluse. They didn't know him. LOYER Didn't want to know him. CULLEN Probably. But I got the make of his vehicle from them. Loyer half turns. LOYER Oh? CULLEN They said he drives a black pick-up truck.
39. LOYER A dime a dozen. CULLEN Unfortunately. Loyer looks back out the window, sipping from his mug. Cullen returns to his paperwork. beat. Loyer heads to the door, opens it, the noise of the police station invades the privacy of the room. CULLEN Hey Neil? Loyer turns around in the doorway. CULLEN Think we'll ever catch him? Loyer shrugs nonchalantly. LOYER Only a matter of time really. Loyer turns to leave, but stops. beat. LOYER Can I make a suggestion? CULLEN Please. LOYER Trace any and all sales of tape recorders being sold in the area. Stick with the same make of that one there on the desk. These guys usually stay with what's dependable. He may do it again, family or not. Remember... it's the first time that gets them hooked. Loyer nods and heads into the busy office, shutting the door behind him. The peace is restored to the room. Detective Cullen stares ahead, thinking. beat. He returns to his paperwork.
40. INT. MOTHER'S HOUSE - DAY Nathan and Michael Winters mother sits on her couch with as much posture her old body allows to her. There is a tape recorder and an envelope on the table in front of her. She is flipping through a book on her lap. INSERT BOOK A family picture book. Various pictures of two YOUNG BOYS who look identical except for the difference of a few pounds between them. The mother's old, shaking hands turns page after page. Nathan and Michael grow older. From birthday parties, to Halloween, to school pictures, to graduation photos, family photos, college photos. In each and every one it seems, the skinnier boy is in the back of the picture; slightly out of focus. Pictures of the twins when they are full-grown. Nathan is still in the background, wearing a mask called a smile. The mother looks up from the book, tears in her eyes, she grabs the envelope. Pulling out a cassette tape from amidst the many bills, she places it in the recorder and presses play. Loud STATIC. beat. NATHAN (v.o. Somberly) Do you know what it's like to live with the knowledge that someone is better than you at everything? And to make matters worse, that person is your brother. Your twin brother no less. It's like your reflection is always two steps ahead of you. (beat; Static) Ever since I was a kid I could feel... a connection. I know Mike must've felt it too. It's a two way street. I know that now. Everything he did, I went along for the ride. But the pain was nothing in comparison to the love... the love. It only made me feel empty. I could sense it, but I couldn't live it. It wasn't with me. I was simply borrowing a duplicate. (MORE)
41. NATHAN (CONT'D) In a way, his success only accentuated my failures. My shortcomings. My need for a love which I would never have. At least not like he could. It was... is a terrible thing. To be able to see goals without having the skills to reach them. Knowing of a potential that I could never acquire... (beat; Static) The only true love I ever felt was from you Ma. And I truly love you for it. I always will. STATIC for long beat. The mother presses stop. She whimpers, removes her glasses, and looks back down to the book in her lap. The mother reaches a photo we've seen before. Michael and Nathan perfectly proportionate in the frame. Michael's arm leans on Nathan's shoulder, they both smile happily. A tear drops from above, it lands directly on Nathan. Once again, he is out of focus. FADE OUT. THE END