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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express 
written permission of the author.


                                     Too Many Lights

                                        A short by

                                      Topher Rhives


               FADE IN: 

               INT. HOUSE - NIGHT 

               Amber, 17, sits hunched on a couch. A low light of a TV 
               flickers. On the floor two children Charlie and Andy sit - 
               their eyes glued to the screen. 

               No one speaks.  They just watch the tube.

               Click. Amber clicks it off. 

                         Oh come on. 10 more minutes. 

               Amber sighs. 

                         Come on nothing. It's past ten. You're 
                         lucky I didn't send you to bed at 
                         nine like your parents asked me too. 

                         10 minutes. Please. 

                         I've given you an hour more. 

               The kids sigh. Neither is willing to admit defeat. They plead. 

                                     AMBER (CONT'D) (CONT'D)
                         No. No and no. Not 10 minutes more. 
                         Not five minutes more. Nothing. Head 
                         to bed. (beat) Now.)

               She shakes her head. The top stair of a staircase creeks. 
               She looks up. A young girl around 4 stands at the top of the 
               stairs. She clutches a blanket. 

                                     AMBER (CONT'D) (CONT'D)
                         I thought you were asleep. SISTER 
                         Too many lights. AMBER The night-
                         light bothering you? 

               The little girl shakes her head. 

                                     AMBER (CONT'D)
                         Go back to bed, honey. I'll be up in 
                         a few minutes to tuck you... 


               A sudden THUMP THUMP THUMP of footsteps patters across the 
               floor upstairs. 


               Amber looks at the ceiling, then back at the child who remains 
               motionless on the landing. 

                                     AMBER (SLOWLY)
                         Amanda... Is somebody up there with 

               Amanda nods, starting to cry. 

               BAM!  The lights explode off. Enclosing the three in darkness. 
               Charlie screams. A loud electronic noise whirs around them. 
               The lights flicker on and off. The three huddle together. 

               Upstairs a scream is heard. With that the lights come back 
               on. Flickering on and off. 

                                     AMBER (CONT'D)
                         It's alright, it's alright. 

               She herself is not so sure. She grabs an instant polaroid 
               that rest on a side table. 

                                     AMBER (CONT'D)
                         Charlie and Andy, you guys stay close 
                         to me. 

               Charlie picks up a green toy light saber. His brother holds 
               a blue one. 

                         Can we bring these along?  

                         Sure, as long as you guys stick close. 

                         We'll be brave Jedi Knights. 

               She starts to head up the stairs. 

                                     AMBER (CONT'D)
                         I want you guys to keep as quiet as 

               Charlie and Andy nod in agreement and the three slowly start 
               to head up the stairs. 

               CREAK. One step. The lights fade on and off. 

               CREAK. Another step. The lights once again fade on and off. 
               This time the interval of darkness seems to be getting longer. 


                                     AMBER (WHISPERED) (CONT'D)
                         Amanda? You alright.

               CREAK. This time the lights seem to be off. 

               There's no reply from Amanda. 

               THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. Amber turns on the polaroid. 

                         Amanda?  FLASH. A bright light 
                         illuminates the hallway. Nothing is 

               Charlie huddles close. He grips his lightsaber tight. 

               THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. The sound of footsteps sounds right 
               beside them. 

               FLASH. Another polaroid flash illuminates the hall. Once 
               again nothing is there. 

               They walk into a room. Fumbling around in the darkness. 

               FLASH. The entire room is illuminated. On the bed the covers 
               are pulled over the pillow. 

               A window is wide open. A breeze blows the curtain. 

               Amber approaches the bed. 

                         She's not here... 

               THUMP. THUMP. THUMP. The footsteps run down the stairs. Amber 
               calls after it. 


               Now the lights have returned to a regular interval of fading 
               in and out. 

               She looks towards the open window and then towards Charlie 
               and Andy. 

                                     AMBER (CONT'D)
                         You don't think she went outside? 

               A pause. 

                         Maybe she wanted to play in the 

               With that Amber herds the kids out the room. 


                         Please, please tell me she's still 
                         in her. 

               She rushes down the stairs - skipping steps as she flies 

               She runs down to the entryway where she finds the door - 
               WIDE OPEN. 

               She catches her breath and heaves out. 

                         Andy... get the flashlight. Get the 

               She walks towards the door. 

               BAM!  It slams closed. The crunch of footsteps in the snow 
               can faintly be heard. 

               In the living room Andy searches for a flashlight. The TV 
               flickers on. 


               She rushes into the room. A loud high pitch wail emits from 
               the screen. 

               She grabs the remote and clicks it off. 

               RING. The phones ring. She walks towards it. An alarm buzzes 
               on. Appliances buzz to life. The chandelier in the dining 
               room sways back and forth. 

               The three huddle together.  Charlie is on the verge of tears. 
               Amber is too stunned to do anything. 

                                     CHARLIE (CONT'D)
                         Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!  

               RING. RING. RING.  She walks closer to the phone. Lights 
               flicker on and off. 

               Charlie continues to scream until it becomes one long wail. 

               With that the light stops swinging. The alarm turns off. And 
               the appliances shut off. A moment of uneasy silence. RING. 
               Amber takes a breathe.  

                         I'd better get that. (beat) It's 
                         probably the neighbors wondering 
                         what's going on. We'll look for Amanda 
                         in a few minutes she's probably 
                         outside in the front. 


               She takes another breath and eagerly picks up the receiver. 

                                     AMBER (CONT'D) (CONT'D)

               DING-DONG - offscreen the doorbell rings. 

               A sharp electronic noise buzzes in her ear. It sounds like a 
               distorted conversation. One in an unrecognizable language.  
               She throws the receiver down and runs out to see Andy at the 

               Before she can utter a word Andy throws open the door. 

               A brilliant white light floods into the house. 

                                                                 FADE OUT: 

               THE END

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