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THE SHADOW OF HER SMILE by Cindy L. Keller FADE IN: EXT SUBURBS - AUTUMN - DAY A burst of wind plucks a shivering leaf from a tree, and wisps it into a pile of its dead Darkness covers the top of the screen. It melts down the screen until the entire screen is black. EXT SUBURBAN STREET - DUSK A quiet street with a sprinkling of older homes. The wind catches falling leaves, and tumbles them down the road. EXT SUBURBAN STREET - CURB - CONTINUOUS One leaf rolls to a stop at a tennis-shoed foot. The foot belong to JAYNE, 16. She pulls the leaf from her shoelace, holds it up into the wind, and lets it fly away. ELIZABETH, 17 sits next to Jayne. She nervously rocks back and forth with her arms around her knees. ELIZABETH You can say what you want. Even mock me, but I know these things are real. I've seen them. Elizabeth searches Jayne's face for a hint of belief. Jayne is poker faced. ELIZABETH Jayne, you gotta believe me. There's no one else I can turn to. No one else I can trust. 2. JAYNE Elizabeth how can you be so sure? I mean I want to believe but... Elizabeth regains her composure. ELIZABETH It all started when I bought that Ouija board. Jayne's face shrivels. It's like she just took an unexpected hit to her face. JAYNE What started? Elizabeth quits rocking. She pulls her knees closer to her body. ELIZABETH The shadows... FLASHBACK Elizabeth LAUGHING uncontrollably. END FLASHBACK EXT SUBURBAN STREET - BACK TO JAYNE AND ELIZABETH Elizabeth's nervousness disappears. The calm that has taken over her is an eerie calm. ELIZABETH They're in the shadows. Jayne scoots two feet away from her on the curb. Elizabeth looks down, then stares blankly off in the distance. ELIZABETH They are the shadows... And they've been following me. 3. The wind blows Elizabeth's hair into her face. Elizabeth sits still. FLASHBACK Elizabeth surrounded by darkness. Alone. Scared. END FLASHBACK EXT SUBURBAN STREET - BACK TO JAYNE AND ELIZABETH JAYNE What? Wait a minute. Jayne grabs Elizabeth's arm, gives it a shake. It pulls Elizabeth from her trance JAYNE Who's in the shadows? Who's shadow? -- Your shadow? Elizabeth pulls her hair back, reveals her frightened face. A gust of wind HOWLS and blows it back again. ELIZABETH Evil! Evil is in the shadows. And it's not my shadow. It's a dark shadow. (pointing) I've seen it dart around on the wall in my room. I've seen it run along side of my own shadow at night. And the feeling of it's presence... That's what scares me the most. It's a heavy feeling -- Elizabeth looks to Jayne. ELIZABETH -- Like it's crowding me. -- Wearing me down. Jayne's eyes open wide. She begins to LAUGH uncontrollably. Elizabeth looks confused. 4. Jayne smiles at Elizabeth. Elizabeth readily returns her smile. JAYNE That was good! You almost had me! Elizabeth seems surprised, yet inquisitive. ELIZABETH What? Shoot! What gave me away? Jayne smiles as she mimics Elizabeth's zigzagged hand gestures, then pokes Elizabeth in her shoulder. Jayne LAUGHS. JAYNE The running part. Imagine you, running! I better go in. My mom will be yelling for me any minute. She knows I have that Algebra exam tomorrow. Jayne stands. She reaches a hand out to Elizabeth and gives her a gentle tug up. JAYNE See ya' in the morning. Elizabeth straightens her clothing. ELIZABETH (musically) Sweet dreams. EXT ELIZABETH'S FRONT LAWN - EARLY EVENING The suns slant lights pockets of fog. Night falls. Elizabeth strolls through her front lawn. ELIZABETH Hmmm... 5. Elizabeth shrugs her shoulders. She takes a deep BREATH, and slowly forces it out between her lips. She begins to sing and nods her head in time with her song. ELIZABETH (singing) When the magic was risin, she caught the full moon lyin. Midnight's chime mocks a saddened soul. Elizabeth looks up. EXT NIGHT SKY The moon is almost full. EXT ELIZABETH'S FRONT YARD - NIGHT A lit porch light on the house next door. Jayne goes inside. The porch light goes black INT ELIZABETH'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Light from the TELEVISION fills the room. MS STARK (Elizabeth's 35 year old mother) sits in a chair with an afghan draped over her legs. A bowl of popcorn balances in her lap. Elizabeth enters, closes the DOOR. Ms Stark focuses on her. MS STARK You're in early. Eight thirty and you're already in. How come? Ms Stark reaches to the end table, and clicks on a lamp. A telephone, a half-full ashtray, cigarettes, and a glass of soda on the table. 6. ELIZABETH Jayne has an Algebra exam tomorrow. Elizabeth goes to the phone, checks the caller ID. MS STARK What about you? Do you have any exams tomorrow? Her mother looks very tired. Elizabeth focuses on the television. ELIZABETH No, too early yet. We've only been back from summer break for two weeks. MS STARK It's never too early to start preparing for your future. You only have one more year before graduation. Elizabeth turns to face her mother. Ms Stark looks concerned. Elizabeth gives her a hug. MS STARK I worry about you. Elizabeth nods her head in agreement. ELIZABETH I know, Mom. Elizabeth smiles. She turns from her mother. ELIZABETH I think I'll go prepare for my bath. Ms Stark effortlessly swats at Elizabeth's backside. Elizabeth avoids her mother's hand. 7. A bigger smile erupts on Elizabeth's face. MS STARK Brat! Ms Stark smiles. INT ELIZABETH'S HOUSE - HALLWAY Elizabeth moves to the linen closet. She takes a towel. INT ELIZABETH'S HOUSE - BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS Elizabeth sets her towel on the side of the bathtub, and closes the DOOR. Elizabeth adds bubble bath under running WATER in the tub. Bubbles appear, and grow. Elizabeth reaches into the tub. She etches figure eights into the bubbled water. ELIZABETH Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. Elizabeth is in deep thought as she stands. She catches her reflection in the mirror, and turns toward it. Elizabeth's fingertips gently trace the dark circles under her eyes. MS STARK (OS) Lizzie, Hon! Don't forget to take your medication before you go to bed. Elizabeth rolls her eyes. ELIZABETH Okay, Mom! Elizabeth turns the water off. Her clothes drop at her feet. 8. She tests the water with her toe, then steps into the tub. Elizabeth lies back in the tub. ELIZABETH (VO) Why should anyone believe me? Her toes wiggle in the bubbly water. ELIZABETH (VO) If anyone was going to believe me, I thought it would have been Jayne. Elizabeth scoops some of the bubbles into her arms, and piles them up close around her neck An idea light across her face. INT ELIZABETH'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Elizabeth, freshly bathed, in her robe. She peeks into the living room and finds her mother still curled up in the chair watching T.V. ELIZABETH I think I'll go to my room and do some reading before bed. Ms Stark glances at her. MS STARK Okay, sweetie. I'll see you in the morning. INT HOUSE - ELIZABETH'S ROOM - NIGHT Elizabeth sits on her bed with a Ouija board in her lap. She takes a deep BREATH, and closes her eyes. ELIZABETH What should I do? 9. The planchette is still. Elizabeth opens her eyes. She looks down to the Ouija board and frowns. Elizabeth closes her eyes again. ELIZABETH What do they want? The planchette moves beneath Elizabeth's fingers. Elizabeth's eyes jolts open. She looks to the board. The planchette moves from letter to letter... Y - O - U. ELIZABETH Me! Why do they want me? This time the piece moves swiftly beneath Elizabeth's hands. Elizabeth watches attentively. The oracle pauses at many letters before it stops. ELIZABETH You opened a portal? Elizabeth pushes the board off of her lap. She collects the game pieces and puts them inside it's box. Elizabeth opens her closet door and tosses the game on the shelf. She closes the door, and backs away. Elizabeth climbs on top of her bed. She begins rocking back and forth. Elizabeth's eyes dart around her room. VOICE (OS) (whispering) Elizabeth. Elizabeth. Muffled O.S. LAUGHTER. The closet door. Closer to the closet door. The bedroom door CREAKS open. Elizabeth jumps. An arm extends into the room, holding out a glass of water. It's Ms Stark. 10. MS STARK Did you take your pill yet? ELIZABETH I was just about to. Ms Stark goes to Elizabeth. MS STARK Good! That way we know that you'll get a good night's sleep. Elizabeth takes a pill from the bottle on her nightstand. She pops it in her mouth, and takes the water from her mother. Ms Stark kisses Elizabeth on top of her head. She takes the half-empty glass from her Ms Stark pauses at the door. She flips the light switch off. Elizabeth springs for the switch so quickly that it startles Ms Stark. ELIZABETH Could I leave it on just a little longer? Ms Stark nods her head. She slowly closes the door. INT ELIZABETH'S BEDROOM - NIGHT Elizabeth is sleeping. EXT FRONT LAWN - NIGHT - ELIZABETH'S DREAM A distant, DARK FIGURE, blacker than the night, leaps the width of the lawn in SLOW MOTION INT ELIZABETH'S LIVING ROOM - SAME Moonlight is a shimmering spotlight on Elizabeth. She sits in a wooden chair, stares out the picture window. 11. Ms Stark stands behind her. Her hands rest on the top rail of the chair. INTERCUT DARK FIGURE/ELIZABETH The dark figure runs across the lawn, this time coming a few feet closer, then darts behind a tree. Elizabeth stiffens in the chair as she watches outside. She doesn't believe what she is seeing. The dark figure zigzags its way closer... like it's connecting dot-to-dots... pausing behind trees in the yard. Elizabeth scoots to the edge of her chair. The dark figure slips behind a tree that is right outside the window. Elizabeth waits... O.S CRASH. Elizabeth's jaw drops. A large jagged hole in the windowpane. Elizabeth eyes the window. A DEMON HEAD, ten times the size of her own, bursts through the hole in the window. The horned head dangles in mid-air just inches in front of her. Elizabeth is breathless, she knows she is staring into the eye of the storm. The Demon never loses eye contact. He tilts his head and smiles at her. 12. INT ELIZABETH'S BEDROOM - NIGHT - BACK TO REALITY Elizabeth jolts up in bed. Her forehead is drenched with perspiration. EXT SUBURBS - AFTERNOON Jayne and Elizabeth stroll down the sidewalk. Their arms are full of school books. ELIZABETH So, how do you think you did on your test? JAYNE I think I did alright. ELIZABETH Do you want to come over my house when we get home? There's something I want you to see. JAYNE Sure. INT ELIZABETH'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - LATE AFTERNOON Jayne stands outside. She KNOCKS on the screen door. JAYNE Liz! ELIZABETH (OS) Come on in! Jayne enters the house. INT ELIZABETH'S BEDROOM - DAY Elizabeth puts a music CDs in it's case. 13. JAYNE (OS) So, what's up? Jayne sits down on the bed. Elizabeth moves to the bed and sits next to her. Elizabeth is cautious, unsure of her words. ELIZABETH I know this might sound crazy, but remember yesterday when we were sitting on the curb? JAYNE Yeah. Elizabeth stares Jayne in the face. ELIZABETH The story I was telling you? Jayne smiles. JAYNE Yeah, that was pretty good. You had me going for a minute. Elizabeth face shows no emotion. She turns away. ELIZABETH It was all true. Jayne studies Elizabeth. Elizabeth is expressionless. JAYNE What? Elizabeth takes a deep BREATH. She focuses on one spot as she speaks. ELIZABETH It all started like this... MONTAGE -- Elizabeth's bedroom - Elizabeth sits on the floor. The Ouija board is on her lap. Shadows move across the walls. 14. -- A dark, vacant street - Elizabeth is running from two shadows that follow her. -- Elizabeth's dream - The demon head dangling in front of her. INT ELIZABETH'S ROOM - DAY - BACK TO SCENE JAYNE Tell me you're joking. ELIZABETH I'm not joking. Jayne eyes her friend again. ELIZABETH Seriously, I am not joking. Jayne scans Elizabeth's room. Framed posters of fantasy art hang on the wall. Crystals hang in the window by a nylon cord. A pill bottle on Elizabeth's dresser, "Valium 10 mg." JAYNE Are you sure? Elizabeth turns Jayne's face away from the pill bottle to face her. Elizabeth's eyes are full of panic. ELIZABETH You gotta' believe me! JAYNE Just making sure. Elizabeth rolls her eyes. She begins rocking back and forth. Her eyes begin to quiver as they quickly scan the room. ELIZABETH Just because I can't sleep at night doesn't mean that I'm a nut case. I'm fine. 15. JAYNE You don't appear to be fine. Elizabeth quits rocking. She pulls her hair back from her face with trembling hands. ELIZABETH That's because you don't believe me! Jayne looks to the floor, then to Elizabeth again. JAYNE Have you told anyone else? Elizabeth has a puzzled look on her face. ELIZABETH You think I'm crazy? Jayne quickly changes the subject. JAYNE A Ouija board, huh? Could I have a look at it? I've never seen one before. Elizabeth doesn't appear to be as nervous now. ELIZABETH I guess. Elizabeth retrieves the game from her closet. She takes it to the bed, and opens the box. JAYNE How does it work? Elizabeth takes the planchette out of the box. ELIZABETH You press your fingertips ever-so-gently on the ends, and it will spell things out to answer your question. JAYNE Can we? 16. Elizabeth shrugs. She turns toward Jayne. ELIZABETH Sit Indian style. Jayne pulls her legs up on the bed. Elizabeth positions the board equally in their laps. She sets the planchette in the center of the board. ELIZABETH Now, just barely touch it and ask your question. They place their fingertips on the planchette. ELIZABETH Go ahead. Ask a question. JAYNE Okay. What color are my eyes? ELIZABETH Ugh... They both look down at the board. The planchette moves across the board. It stops on the letter B. It moves again then stops on O. The planchette glides in a circle on the board and settles on the O again. JAYNE Boo! You moved it. ELIZABETH I did not. Just forget it. I should'da known better. Elizabeth puts the game into the box. Elizabeth throws the game inside the closet, on the floor, and closes the door. Elizabeth sits next to Jayne. ELIZABETH I didn't move it. 17. JAYNE It's just a stupid game. Elizabeth turns away from Jayne. The girls sit silently on the bed. O.S SQUEALING and SNORTING of angry pigs shatter the silence. The closet door shakes violently. The SQUEALING noise is coming from behind the door The frightened girls look at each other. The bedroom light flashes on, off, on, off, like a strobe light. Their eyes look up to the light. The light bulb CRACKLES above them as it flashes on and off. The bed bounces. The girls hold on to the bed as they are bounced to and fro. They SCREAM. Ms Stark enters the room. The bed settles with a THUMP. The strobe effect ceases. The light remains on. The O.S. SQUEALING noise continues. MS STARK What's going on in here? Elizabeth eyes move from her mother, to the closet door. Ms Stark inches her way to the closet. She swings the door open. The O.S. SQUEALING is LOUDER. INT ELIZABETH'S ROOM - CLOSET - CONTINUOUS The Ouija box bounces on the floor. 18. The box thrashes itself against the walls of the closet. MS STARK Oh, Hell no! Ms Stark reaches into the closet. Ms Stark backs away from the closet. The game box in her hand flops about like a newly caught fish. Ms Stark looks at the terrified girls as she moves past them. INT ELIZABETH'S HOUSE - HALLWAY - DAY Ms Stark clenches the SQUEALING and convulsing box with two hands. The girls huddle together, and follow behind her. INT HOUSE - BACK DOOR - DAY Ms Stark kicks the door open. EXT ELIZABETH'S HOUSE - BACK YARD - CONTINUOUS A privacy fence borders the yard. A metal burning barrel, centered of the yard. Ms Stark stands before the barrel. MS STARK Elizabeth, get the gas can! Ms Stark drops the SQUEALING game box into the metal barrel. The two girls rush up behind Ms. Stark. Elizabeth has the gas can. She passes it to her mother. Ms Stark pours gas into the barrel. She takes matches from her pocket, lights one, and throws it in the can. 19. Fire shoots up. They back away from the barrel. The SQUEALING ECHOES off into the distance. There is SILENCE. Ms Stark moves to the barrel and looks inside. She nods. Ms Stark wraps an arm around each girl. They turn away from the barrel. MS STARK No one needs to know about this, but someone has a lot of explaining to do. EXT ELIZABETH'S FRONT YARD - NIGHT The yard is dark, but calm. Dim light from O.S. porches and streetlights. Elizabeth leans back on a tree. ELIZABETH Believe me now? Jayne shivers from a chill. JAYNE I never said I didn't believe you. ELIZABETH I know, but that's how I felt. Jayne please, please don't tell anyone what happened. People would say we're crazy. Promise me. Jayne hugs Elizabeth. JAYNE I promise. FEMALE VOICE (OS) Jayne! Time to come in! 20. Jayne motions into the distance. JAYNE My mom. I gotta' go. ELIZABETH I'll see you in the morning. JAYNE Alright. EXT SUBURBAN STREET - DAY A cute LITTLE GIRL is sitting on the curb. Jayne doesn't know her. She approaches the child. The little girl is holding something to her eye. JAYNE What do you have there? The little girl swivels around. LITTLE GIRL (proudly) A kaleidoscope! Wanna' see? JAYNE Sure. Jayne takes the kaleidoscope from the child and lifts it to her eye. She twists the cardboard tube in the sunlight. A myriad of colored shapes is re-directed. Jayne smiles. Suddenly, tiny SPECKS appear on the colors. They start multiplying like amebas. Jayne tries to twist the tube, but it appears to be jammed. She frowns. BUZZING of angry hornets is heard in the distance. The black spots begin a spiral dance to the sound. 21. JAYNE What the... A whirlpool starts within the tube -- growing larger with every whorl. The BUZZING gets steadily LOUDER. JAYNE (OS) I can't move my arm! The swirling swarm turns and grows. LITTLE GIRL(OS) (boldly) Wrong! -- You can't close your eyes and pretend that you don't see. The swarm bound within the kaleidoscope zero in on their exit... The eyepiece. The little girl LAUGHS insanely. The whirling swarm moves closer yet, until... The black eyepiece SLAPS against Jayne's eye. Jayne SCREAMS. INT JAYNE'S BEDROOM - MORNING Jayne springs up in bed. Her forehead is drenched with perspiration. An O.S. BUZZING noise is heard in the bright room. Jayne reaches for her alarm clock. JAYNE(VO) Just a bad dream! Prismatic colors dance across the wall. Jayne smiles. The morning sun's path is passing through a crystal that hangs in the window by a nylon cord. O. S. BUZZING. 22. Jayne slaps her alarm. It's already off. The BUZZING is coming from the hornets in her window. They are building a nest in between the screen and storm. The telephone on her nightstand RINGS. Jayne stretches for the receiver. JAYNE Hello. ELIZABETH (VO) Well, hello there, yourself. Feel like walkin uptown? JAYNE Sure, give me about a half hour. I'm just gettin up. ELIZABETH (VO) Alright, see ya then. Bye. Jayne hangs up the phone. She gets out of bed. Jayne searches through clothes in a dresser drawer. She selects a shirt. EXT ELIZABETH'S HOUSE - DAY There is a CRUNCH as Elizabeth steps out onto her front porch. She looks down. Her jaw drops. A Ouija game box beneath her foot. Elizabeth SCREAMS. Elizabeth jumps off of the porch, and runs. A dark shadow follows her. INT JAYNE'S BEDROOM - WINDOW - DAY The hornet nest has grown in size. It blocks out the sun. 23. INT JAYNE'S BEDROOM - DAY - CONTINUOUS Jayne's dressed for the day. She stands in front of a full- length mirror, and checks her appearance. Eerie shadows appear on the walls. VOICES (OS) (whispering) Jayne. Jayne. O. S. muffled WHISPERS, and LAUGHTER. Jayne turns from the mirror. She scans the room. Jayne finds the shadows dancing across her wall. O.S SLAP! SLAP! SLAP! INT JAYNE'S BEDROOM - WINDOW - CONTINUOUS The hornet's nest covers three-quarters of the window. Elizabeth is outside, looking in. Her eyes wide with fear. She SLAPS the window with both hands. A shadow falls down on top of her. Elizabeth drops out of view. INT JAYNE'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS Shadows consume the room. WHISPERS, and LAUGHTER grows LOUDER. Jayne drops to the floor. She covers her ears, and begins rocking back and forth. FADE OUT. THE SHADOW OF HER SMILE Written by Cindy L. Keller 79 Rose Boulevard Belleville, MI 48111 (734) 516-3208 firstname.lastname@example.org WGA #957261
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