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S E V E N O S I X by Adam Johnson 3336 Spruce lane Grapevine, TX 76051 (214) 460-1526 firstname.lastname@example.org FADE IN: EXT. THE NIGHT SKY Silence. The night sky is still and unmoving. From somewhere far away, nearly imperceptible at first, a sound can be heard. Chanting. In the distance, and slowly growing in volume, a thousand human voices chant the same Biblical Latin verse in unison. Something moves in the sky. SUPER: IN WHITE, BIBLICAL LETTERS: "For the son dishonereth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house." The chant continues to get louder and louder. The black sky slowly is filled with haze, as a thick fog rolls over it. A new super fades up: SUPER: IN WHITE, BIBLICAL LETTERS: - - Micah. Chapter 7. Verse 6. The chant doesn't cease its growing intensity. The fog continues to pour in, covering the night sky and all of its stars. The word "verse" fades, and is replaced by a colon. SUPER: IN WHITE, BIBLICAL LETTERS: 7:06. The fog completely drowns out the night sky. The chant climbs louder still, until just as it passes its thunderous crescendo-- INT. DELIVERY ROOM - DAY A NEWBORN's first cry disrupts the chant, and stops it dead. A DOCTOR lifts the baby from between its MOTHER's legs. It continues to wail in the plain white, sterilized hospital room. 2. DOCTOR Here you are, Mr. Smith, you have a very upset baby girl. STEVE SMITH, 40's, and his beautiful, yet justifiably exhausted, wife TERRI, 30's, laugh in the joy of the moment. The doctor hands the couple their newborn girl, wrapped in a blanket. STEVE We did it, babe. He kisses her on her sweaty forehead. STEVE Ok, you did it. They both laugh again, tears now streaming down both their faces. DOCTOR Do you have a name yet? TERRI Ashley. INT. SMITH HOUSE - DAY Steve opens the front door and steps inside, a look of of pride on his face. We finally get a better look at him. Steve is in early forties, in shape but not powerful, with fading brown hair, and eyes focused from years of study. His Rolling Stones t-shirt declares that for him. He looks back outside, at Terri, who is ready to burst with excitement. STEVE No, no. Keep 'em closed, keep 'em closed! Not until you're inside, hun. He helps Terri up the steps, her eyes closed, and into their new home. She is in her early thirties, younger than Steve. She has a shining mane of red hair that goes just past her shoulders. STEVE Ok, Terr, go for it. She opens her shining green eyes to the shockingly beautiful house in front of them. She looks like she can't breathe. 3. TERRI Oh, Steve! It's beautiful. It's downright gorgeous. STEVE But? TERRI It's too much. STEVE Nah, not really. TERRI How, Steve? Look at this place. How can we afford it? STEVE Why don't you ask the Regional GM. He's paying for all this. TERRI What, Bill? What the fuck is he-? Steve looks at her, a huge smile cracking his lips. She smacks him on the chest. TERRI You son of a bitch! STEVE And two stores in Boulder. TERRI Why didn't you tell me? When? STEVE 3 weeks ago, and it was part of the surprise. A THREE YEAR-OLD ASHLEY runs in as fast as her little legs will carry her from the back entrance. Followed after a short distance by the REALTOR. ASHLEY Daddy! Daddy! STEVE There she is. He snatches her up quickly into his arms. 4. STEVE Do you like it? ASHLEY Where's my room? Steve laughs. STEVE Alright. Let's go see your room. Which one do you want? She points to the nearest door. Steve turns the handle and opens it slowly. It's the downstairs bathroom. STEVE Let's keep looking. He turns to leave, but ASHLEY No! That one! STEVE Alright. Let me get your pillow. EXT. SMITH HOUSE - DAY A very Philadelphia style neighborhood. A lot of small homes, crammed together. An SEVEN YEAR-OLD ASHLEY steps over the seat onto her bicycle. Steve, five years older, and wearing a ridiculous cycling helmet, zips in circles around her as she struggles to get her balance on her training wheels. She can't help but wobble viciously. . STEVE Here, hun. It's like this. Let me show you. Steve rides a little ways down the street, and into a neighboring patch of grass. But he doesn't see the drainage ditch just a few feet from where the grass begins. His bike throttles forward, his body flies downward. He disappears from sight. Steve looks out from within the ditch, on his back. The sky is blank until Terri steps to the edge of the ditch, and looks down on him, her hands at her hips playfully. 5. TERRI You know, I'm not sure I want you to be the person to teach my daughter how to ride her bike. STEVE (kidding) Honey, thank God! I think... I think my back is broken. Take my bike and ride for help. Without saying a word, she turns and walks off. STEVE (kidding) I want a divorce! EXT. SMITH HOUSE - NIGHT Terri holds on to Steve's arm to steady him as he walks. A MAN with long, black hair walks down the sidewalk in the opposite direction. He's wearing a very long, black coat. Steve knocks into him hard, and keeps walking. The man's face is never seen. Terri apologizes silently to the man and leads her wobbly husband up the steps to their front door. TERRI Come on, nerd. We're home. They go inside. INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Steve has on a different shirt, a more comfortable one, than he had on just moments ago. Terri sits on the couch in front of the fire, still wearing the same sultry black dress, but now with a shawl covering her bare shoulders. Steve enters from the kitchen, holding two wine glasses and a bottle of red wine. He sits next to her on the couch. STEVE Would you like some ale, madam? She leans back on the couch, tightening the shawl around her chilly body. TERRI I just wanna watch the fire. 6. STEVE Aye, more for me then, there 'tis. She smiles at him. TERRI Uh oh. Renaissance man has emerged. You must be on, what, fifth glass? She giggles. Steve uncorks the bottle of wine and pours himself a glass. TERRI Next it'll be the Drinking leprechaun. If anything, you're a very well-traveled drunk. STEVE Stop it. That's freaky. He takes a sip from the wine glass. STEVE It's a celebration. I'm allowed. (beat) 'Sides, you used to like my impressions. Her gaze unfocuses from the fire and trails upward to the mantle above it. On it there is a picture of their daughter, Ashley, eight and blonde. She's smiling. TERRI Look at that. STEVE Are they really that bad? TERRI Isn't she just the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? STEVE The Irish Guy needs work, I know, but-- TERRI (smiling) Steven! (beat) We made that wonderful person. Steve tops his glass. He looks up at the mantle, trying to focus his blurry eyes. 7. STEVE Which one? She laughs, as he continues to look. TERRI Your Mother. He looks at her, genuinely believing. STEVE I thought Mom was dead. TERRI I'm talking about Ashley, nerd. He looks back up to the picture. The fire tosses shadows all over the room, all over her portrait. Beside her picture is a small strange drawing of Ashley's. It's a strange circle, scribbled onto a piece of paper. STEVE I know, I know. (beat) You ready to start it all over again? She smiles. TERRI Are YOU? STEVE Hey, I didn't do too bad. TERRI I'm only kidding. You're a wonderful father, Steve. He looks back to her again. TERRI And an amazing husband. STEVE And a great impressionist. They just look at each other for a moment. He gets serious. STEVE Thank you. He leans back and kisses her. 8. TERRI I'm cold. STEVE You want another shirt? TERRI Not really. STEVE I just turned the heat up. How about a blanket? TERRI How about you finally understand what I'm saying and hold me? She smiles at him. He puts the wine glass down on the table and wraps his arms around her. They close their eyes and listen to each other breathing. TERRI You love me? STEVE (as Drinking Leprechaun) Aye. She smiles again, eyes closed. STEVE I said stop it. In the background the fire crackles softly. STEVE Did we pay that sitter for the whole night? TERRI Yup. STEVE You tired? After a moment, TERRI Nope. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT Terri stands near the window in their bedroom, a devilish look on her face. 9. Steve stands behind a video camera on a tripod, pointed at the bed. She peels off her skimpy black dress. POV - STEVE'S CAMERA Her naked body stands framed in the shades-drawn window. The red RECORD light comes on in the top-left corner. In the other corner the camera digitally reads the time: 7:05, flashing in white. STEVE Ok, it's on. TERRI I can't believe we're doing this. Again. STEVE It's a celebration. And, hey, it worked last time when we were trying. TERRI Yes, dear. Steve looks around quickly. STEVE Oh. I left the bottle downstairs. He heads quickly out of the bedroom. STEVE Don't you move! He doesn't touch the door. INT. STAIRCASE - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT Steve trounces down the stairs and into the Living Room. He snatches bottle up quickly, and heads back upstairs even faster. Excited, he takes two, sometimes three, steps at a time. Until he reaches his bedroom door, now partially closed. His smile fades, quickly replaced by a look of puzzlement. STEVE Terr? He slowly places his hand on the door, his face now completely blank, and pushes it open slowly. 10. INT. BEDROOM- CONTINUOUS - NIGHT Terri stands in the same spot she was. She stands still, though not completely. Her naked chest is heaved upward, like she's gasping for breath. Her limbs tremble at her side, unable to move. Her face looks up, terrified, in pain, frozen. She is on her toes, like something is just holding her off the ground. STEVE Terri! Before Steve can even move her limp body falls to the floor, blood from deep inside explodes from her lips. The wine bottle lays smashed where he once stood. The wine that trails down the carpet resembles the blood from Terri's mouth. An instant later, he is by her side. In his rush he knocks over the video camera. It falls to the ground, but somehow stays pointed at the two of them. POV - STEVE'S CAMERA Steve holds Terri's dead body in his hands, as he can only scream her name over and over. Screaming for help. In the corner of the camera, the clock ticks forward. 7:06. He continues to scream for help but then - - INT. STEVE'S BEDROOM - DAY Steve's eyes slowly stir open, like waking up exhausted, from a bad dream. He lies on his side, fully clothed, in his bed. He looks absolutely horrendous, completely disheveled. Bags under his bloodshot eyes. He looks like he hasn't shaven in days. An extreme sadness fills his eyes. There are some strange noises in the next room, the noises that caused Steve to wake from his slumber. He groans and slowly sits up. The other side of the bed is empty. He puts his feet over the edge of the bed, and takes a deep breath before trying to stand up. It looks like he's been in that bed for days. 11. INT. ASHLEY'S BEDROOM - MORNING Steve leans against his EIGHT YEAR-OLD daughter's bedroom door. She doesn't see him. The noises he heard continue as Ashley continues to pack her toys into a large cardboard box. In fact, there are many boxes in her room. The room is bare. The walls are pale white. All of the pictures are removed from the walls. There is no furniture. She spots him and looks up. She gets up as fast as she can and runs over to him, hugging him at the waist. STEVE Hey, Ash. Getting an early start? She looks up at him and nods vigorously. STEVE C'mon. I'll fix you breakfast. INT. GARAGE - MORNING Steve loads a very large cardboard box with the words "BEDROOM" etched across it in black marker into the back of his Jeep Cherokee. The back of the Jeep is filled with several other boxes and suitcases. STEVE You sure you're ready to go, sweetie? ASHLEY Sure, Daddy. Ready as you are. Steve grabs another box from a pile beside his car. He bends down to pick it up. ASHLEY I wish Mommy could go too. Steve is stunned and almost drops the box, labeled: "FRAGILE". STEVE Me too, Ash. Me too. He puts the next box inside the Jeep, struggling to fit it into the snug area. 12. STEVE Ashley, honey, could you go and get Daddy a glass of water? She nods and scurries off. After Ashley enters the house Steve has to force back his forming tears. Ashley returns with a glass of water. Steve hides his tears, wiping them off before she can see. ASHLEY Here you go, Daddy. STEVE Oh, thank you honey. Now let's go and get the rest of your stuff so we can go, k? ASHLEY Okie. There is a framed picture lying in one of the open boxes. It is a picture of him and Terri. Both of them are in their wedding attire, snuggling close. They smile for the camera. INT. ASHLEY'S BEDROOM - DAY STEVE What's taking you so long, squirt? ASHLEY The bag's too heavy. Steve bends down to pick it up, but as he pulls up he's surprised with a much larger weight than he expected. STEVE Well, what do you have in here, bricks? ASHLEY No, just Goldie. STEVE Goldie? You packed your goldfish? She smiles. ASHLEY And the tank. 13. He unzips the bag and inside is a large glass fish tank filled to the top with water and a lid to keep it sealed, and a single fish. STEVE How did you even get him into the bag? ASHLEY I slid it on when it was empty. Then I filled it. STEVE Well, honey, we don't have to pack Goldie in this huge tank. ASHLEY We don't? STEVE No. I think Goldie will survive in a smaller tank while we're driving. Go find one and I promise that he will be fine in there for a while. ASHLEY Okie. Ashley leaves. Steve looks at the fish-bag and smiles. He stops, and looks around the bare room where his daughter grew up. STEVE Our first house... ASHLEY (O.S.) Here you go, Daddy. She stands in the doorway with a much smaller tank, a round one with a tiny castle perched at the bottom. Steve grabs it by the lid and scoops up Goldie and enough water to fill it almost to the top. STEVE There you see? He's fine. Now what do you say we empty out this sucker, eh? He pats his hand on the immense tank. ASHLEY Alrighty. 14. INT. JEEP - DAY Steve climbs into the Jeep. ASHLEY I'm glad I'm finally going back. Steve looks at her, extremely puzzled. STEVE Back? Honey, you've never been. ASHLEY Oh... STEVE You have Goldie? ASHLEY Right here. She holds up the bowl. STEVE How's he doin'? ASHLEY He's carsick. STEVE Really? Well, maybe we should give him some fish medicine. But he's going to have to wait until we get there cuz I'm all out. Steve backs the car out of the driveway. STEVE Say "bye bye house." ASHLEY Bye bye house. STEVE Say "bye bye town." ASHLEY Bye bye town. They spot a WOMAN watering her lawn. STEVE Smile and pretend to say "bye bye" to the mean neighbors. 15. ASHLEY Bye bye mean neighbors. They both smile and wave to her. She waves back. They turn onto the street and speed away. OUTSIDE When they are no longer looking the woman's face goes blank and she smirks at them with evil intentions. She holds up her fist and flips them both the bird. INT. JEEP - DAY STEVE And off we go. Ashley speaks to herself, too soft for Steve to hear. ASHLEY Bye bye Mommy. INT. JEEP - LATER The fog is extremely thick on this night. The view ahead of the Jeep is shallow and difficult. Steve's mind begins to wander. The only memory of the unborn. TERRI (V.O.) It's blue! We're gonna have a baby. He hears her loving voice on the couch that night. TERRI (V.O.) You love me? And his cry when it happened. STEVE (V.O.) Terri! Steve struggles to hold his tears back again, trying to navigator the fog, when, ASHLEY Daddy, where do you think Mommy went? He sniffles back his shaky voice. 16. STEVE Well, Mommy went to Heaven, Ash. ASHLEY I know that. But where is she? STEVE Heaven's not really a place honey. I mean, it's a place but - I mean, you can't find it on a map - This is a very hard question, honey. ASHLEY Well, then how will we know where to find her? She looks out the window, at the passing fog. ASHLEY All I can think about is how she's lost. Lost in the fog... Steve doesn't hear her. Still trying to find the words. STEVE You like summer, right? ASHLEY No school. STEVE That's right. But you wouldn't like it as much if it were summer all the time, right? ASHLEY No school. STEVE But you like school. You like seeing all your friends again. And learning new things. And you sure would miss the winter. You love trudging around the front yard in your snow-shoes. ASHLEY I guess so. 17. STEVE It's a change, Ashley. Like the seasons, you see? People are born in a spring, they grow up in a summer and autumn, and then, eventually, they die, and that's like winter. It's not a bad thing, it's just change. Mommy's in Heaven, Ash, but she had to change to get there, she had to die. The part of Mommy you loved isn't here anymore, she changed. ASHLEY I think winter is coming... STEVE What's that, Ash? A few houses have sprung up along this deserted road. Steve realizes how close they are. STEVE Oh, wait. We're here. EXT. FOGGY MOUNTAIN TOWN - DUSK A town perched at the base of a string of small mountains. A massive wall of fog crawls over the mountains, and heads for the small town beneath them. Steve's Jeep pulls in on the main road into the town. Steve looks at the homes. Unkempt. Dilapidated. Rotting. The streets are the same, everything's the same. Litter. Trash. Vandalism. But not a soul in sight. The loneliness is magnified by the incredible darkness and the silence. STEVE Well, not exactly the cozy welcome I was hoping for. Ashley looks out the window. She doesn't see a single person anywhere. ASHLEY Where is everyone? Steve drives slowly, getting good looks at all the dilapidated townhouses and once-cozy buildings. STEVE It looks... empty. 18. ASHLEY Why would it be empty? STEVE Eh, it's a tiny town. There's probably a football game going on. Ashley sees an open front door to a pub swaying in the wind. STEVE Let's just find a gas station or something. I'm sure someone there can tell us- Steve's voice is cut off when he sees a DOG run out into the road, a filthy mutt of a dog, hair standing on end from the grime over every follicle. Steve slams on his brakes. The tires struggle hard to grab the wet, icy road. The car spins to avoid the dog. And collides head on with a street pole. After a moment of silence, the dust settles. EXT. MOUNTAIN TOWN STREET - NIGHT The clouds of fog creep down the streets of the town. It continues down the street, past an apartment building. INT. MOUNTAIN TOWN APARTMENT - DUSK A MOTHER, lifts a tray of cookies from the oven. Her SON, just barely five, watches her. MOTHER Just go and sit at the table, ok? SON Okay, Momma. She turns her back to her son. The window behind the dining room table slowly is filled with the fog. It fills the window, and drowns out the outside world. The mother notices the creeping clouds of fog. MOTHER Well, would ya look at that. SON What is it, Momma? 19. MOTHER It's getting a little foggy out. Must be a storm comin'. EXT. MOUNTAIN TOWN APARTMENT - FOG The fog envelops the apartment building, surrounding it. INT. MOUNTAIN TOWN APARTMENT - FOG The fog fills the window now. The lights shut off. The little boy gasps in the darkness. MOTHER It's ok, it's ok. It's just the power. I told you there must be a storm. Some of the fog is creeping into the apartment. It's getting foggy inside. MOTHER Are all your windows closed? SON My bedroom window is open. She looks somewhat annoyed. MOTHER Go an' close it. He gets up from the table and scurries into his room. MOTHER And bring the candles in Mommy's bedroom, please. She takes another long look outside, obviously a little worried, but the fog is so thick now it's difficult to see outside at all. She looks around, the fog is still increasing inside their home. MOTHER Did you close it?... Honey? She turns and heads towards his room. As soon as she turns her back the knife hidden in her son's hand strikes. It catches her in the knee, bringing her down. He yanks the long butcher knife out quickly. 20. Ferociously fast, before she can even gather her wits on the floor, his tiny feet scuttle towards her face, the knife raised again. She screams. EXT. FOGGY MOUNTAIN TOWN - NIGHT The little boy steps out of the main entrance to his apartment building. He tosses the bloody knife aside. His clothes and face are covered in the same. He walks slowly, care-free, down the street, towards the fog-covered sunset. The only movement in the entire town is the hundreds of children walking the same path. Others exit their homes, tossing weapons. All of them bloodstained, all of them children. All of them babies. INT. JEEP - NIGHT Steve jerks awake from the dream, dizzy as he wakes. Ashley's door swings in the wind. All is calm and still. Blood trickles down his forehead. He searches for his daughter but - - - - SHE'S GONE- - - - leaving only the goldfish that has been spilled out, struggling to flop about. He struggles to make his way out of the Jeep. The door pops open, Steve falls out. STEVE Ashley?! Ashley, where are you?! He frantically runs around the car, searching for her. But she is nowhere in sight. He widens his search, frantically heading in several different directions searching for her. She is gone. Steve runs down the main street, one that branches off to every other street and other parts of the town. STEVE Ashley?! There is a sound, soft, a child's laugh. The sound echoes from an alley, almost inaudible. A shadow runs across the black brick wall. 21. Steve sees it. STEVE Ash? Curious, he follows it. There isn't a sound, except for Steve's boots splashing the puddles in the dank streets. A noise comes from out of the darkness. A squeaking sound, like an rusty wheel. Impossible if it's a moving object in front of him, the alley stops in ten feet. Yet, the approaching sound continues. Slowly something pierces the darkness and the fog, appearing from nothing. Steve spots it, startled further by its meddlesome approach. It is a rectangular shaped object on top of a stilted set of four wheels. A crib, moving of its own will. It rolls slowly towards Steve, the squeaking sound continues with unhindered repetition. It promptly stops right in front of Steve. Subtly, upside-down crosses are mixed in with the other playful images of the singing mobile that spins slowly above the crib. Steve looks around, hesitating for several moments before he reluctantly reaches his hand inside the crib and pulls back the sheet. Laid onto the pillow with care there is a picture of his daughter. A joyous photo. His daughter smiling, laughing. A sound echoes in the distance. A child's laugh. One of them pops out from behind a building, and slowly walks up to Steve with the calmest look on his face. He stops a few feet in front of Steve, not making a sound. Steve can't do or say anything, completely baffled. More children, under the age of ten all of them, slowly walk out of the darkness towards Steve. They gather around the first child that approached Steve. All of them have the same care-free, almost smiling look, upon their faces. The sound of dogs growling. 22. A few dogs approach as well, mostly Dobermans but a few mangy mutts as well, and sit in the back rows of two dozen or so small children. All of the figures just stand completely still and look at Steve. Steve, frightened, lets the picture in his hand float to the ground. And with that, all of the figures, the children and the dogs, disperse ever so slowly, and return to the shadows where they came. One of them grabs the crib and carts it off. When they've all gone, STEVE Okay... that was interesting. Steve looks down, at the picture that fell. It's laying with its back up. And something is written on it. Steve bends down and picks it up. "WELCOME TO MY NURSERY" Steve looks around again. He can only stand there, with all of that immense, thick fog blocking his view. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. TOWN - LATER He walks aimlessly down the street. Looking, searching, for someplace to go. He looks ahead of him, as the fog begins to get thicker and thicker in front of him. A sudden fear strikes him, shown on his face clearly. He looks behind him. The fog is advancing quickly behind him as well. He looks all around, in every direction. The fog is surrounding him. He now only has about a 10 foot radius of fog-free space around himself. He takes a step, as though he's about to press forward, but something ahead of him stops him. Something small darts across his path just behind the line of visibility in the fog. 23. Strangely, the fog divides to his left, a free path opens up. Steve immediately takes it. EXT. WALTON HOUSE - NIGHT He sees an enormous home, three stories. He knocks on the door desperately. STEVE Hello?! He bangs on it. STEVE Hello?! Is there anyone here? He backs up, still shouting. He runs up to the windows and bangs on them as well. The fog is advancing behind him once again, strange shadows move inside the mass. He pulls at the handle, leaning all the way back, yanking at it with all his strength. His grip fails and he falls backwards, landing on the hard pavement. He shakes the door like a madman. It doesn't budge. The fog is slowly creeping up, still thin, around his ankles. He steps back again, shouting at the upper windows. STEVE Hello?! Anyone?! The fog reaches the front door of the house. As the mass grows to the height of the door, the lock suddenly clicks, and the door slowly swings open. Steve looks at it, wondering. A stiff wind blows in, splitting the fog even further. The door swings open wider. INT. WALTON HOUSE - NIGHT He steps in slowly. The hinges squeak. It's very dark, gloomy, with shadows dancing around everywhere, hanging over every corner of the house. The fog seems to have crept into the house, lightly gracing the walls with a hazy atmosphere. He makes sure to shut the door. And lock it. Steve checks every inch of the house. Mansion-like. 24. He flips the lightswitch. Nothing happens. He flips it several more times, trying desperately to make it work. But it does not. STEVE (sarcastic) Great... (beat) Hello? Is there anyone here? INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT He slowly walks over to the kitchen table in the next room. Nothing moves. It is utterly silent. He looks around, waiting. INT. WALTON BATHROOM - NIGHT He splashes his face under the hot water. He looks at his reflection, clutching the porcelain tight in his hands. STEVE Jesus Christ. What the fuck is going on! (beat) First, Ash, and now this town... Steve hears something. Wood being thrown around, in the next room. INT. WALTON BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT Steve sees, in the Master Bedroom, a huge pile of broken lumber and debris thrown carelessly in the corner near the balcony door. As Steve watches, waits, a man comes through the door, holding more broken wood. STEVE Hello? The man, WALTON, forty-something, looks up at him. WALTON Who the fuck are you? STEVE Who are you? 25. WALTON You're in my fuckin' house. STEVE I was checking the house. Seeing if anyone was here. WALTON Well... Haven't seen you. Name's Walton. In case you give a shit. STEVE What the fuck is going on? There are things... WALTON Yes. In this house. Everyone's house. Walton looks at Steve, still unconvinced. WALTON ...You don't know. He smiles. WALTON How nice for you. Walton goes back out the balcony door. In a moment he brings in another long stick of wood, and tosses it into the pile. Steve starts to move closer. Walton walks past him. Grabs something from off the table behind him, Steve doesn't see. WALTON You should leave. Get as far away as you can. Fast. He goes back out the door. STEVE Why?! What is happening?! The sound of crumbling wood. Something catches Steve's eye on the wall. Numerous pictures stapled to the walls, covering them entirely. Pictures of a charred corpse most of them. Also many of a crucifixion, modern day. 26. STEVE What is that...? WALTON (O.S.) Project... of mine. Wood breaking. Steve sees the picture of the crucifixion. STEVE My God... Walton laughs. He comes back in, with a last piece of broken wood, and a sledge hammer. He dumps them in the corner, beneath the pictures. WALTON God ignores this town. He leaves once again. Steve paces after him. EXT. THIRD FLOOR BALCONY - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT The balcony, a section now demolished by the sledge. The guardrail has been knocked down, and there is now only a gap where the edge of the balcony was. A thin fog is very slowly creeping up the balcony and into the house through the open door. STEVE What the fuck are you talking about?! Just tell me what is going--! WALTON -You don't wanna know! STEVE Yes, I d- WALTON -The Kid! The kid, ok?! He relaxes. Kicks a piece of debris down the three story hole. INT. INSANE ASYLUM - NIGHT A CHILD is being dragged away, several orderlies grab onto each of his limbs. He fights to get free. 27. EXT. THIRD FLOOR BALCONY - NIGHT Walton struggles to tie a length of rope to the gutter. It looks like he's trying to repair it. WALTON Years ago, in this town, there was this kid. He killed his own parents and disposed of their bodies - - EXT. WOODS - DAY A man and a woman are hung by their necks from trees. Their bodies are covered in blood. Their intestines hang out. INT. THIRD FLOOR BALCONY - NIGHT WALTON - - In a rather unfashionable way. INT. INSANE ASYLUM - NIGHT The child struggles as they haul him into a room. EXT. THIRD FLOOR BALCONY - NIGHT WALTON When they finally caught him they locked him up. Mental institution. Up until one day the nurses heard screaming from his cell. (beat) When they got in - - INT. CHILD'S CELL - NIGHT The child is stapled to the wall. Crucified. On fire. Still alive. The nurses scream. EXT. THIRD FLOOR BALCONY - NIGHT WALTON He was on the wall, stapled to it, like a crucifix. On fire. INT. CHILD'S CELL - NIGHT Orderlies rush in with fire extinguishers. They try to put him out. But he won't go out. 28. EXT. THIRD FLOOR BALCONY - NIGHT WALTON Only, there was no gas. No matches. No possible way for him to set himself on fire. He struggles to tie knots in the rope. STEVE What are you--? WALTON They took the body, or rather what was left of the body, down to the morgue. (beat) But, the next day, when they went to find the body for the burial-- INT. MORGUE - NIGHT The two officers open the door to the fridge/coffin where his body is being kept. They pull out the table. It's empty. EXT.THIRD FLOOR BALCONY - NIGHT WALTON --it wasn't there. Gone. Without a single trace of him ever being there at all. He tightens the last knot. The fog is getting thicker behind him, as it creeps up the three floors of the house. STEVE Who is he? WALTON He's come back to the town that killed him. It's a noose. He reaches up and puts it around his neck, as he steps to the edge of the hole. STEVE Wait. Get away from there! I need you to--! WALTON He's not getting me too. 29. Walton takes a step forward. STEVE Wait! Walton looks at him. STEVE Who is he!? WALTON He'll kill us all. He jumps. Steve screams. STEVE NO! Steve turns away. The rope goes taut. INT. WALTON BEDROOM - NIGHT Outside, the sound of the rope stretching is all that can be heard. INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT Steve drags his feet. His face shows his anxiety. He creeps to the kitchen counter next to the refrigerator. On it there is a wooden cutting board with a large knife driven into it. He looks above the counter and notices a clock - 7:06. He touches the knife with his index finger and watches it wobble on the table. He hears a child's laugh, in the distance behind him. A shadow on the wall dances in sync with the laughter. He spins around, startled. He reaches for the knife perched upright on the table but finds nothing as he grabs for it. He looks at the table and notices the knife is gone. He looks down the path of the long, dark hallway and a shadow, hidden by the darkness even more, suddenly jumps from its stalemate. Darting off towards the open bedroom door around the corner, out of view. On the walls next to him he sees a certificate: "DEAN OF STUDENTS AT ST. GABRIEL'S SCHOOL OF CATHOLICISM.". 30. He spots several pictures of a father and daughter. For an instant he sees Ashley next to the man. He blinks and stares closer at it. But it is not her. He slides the door open with his free hand, looking before entering. INT. MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT He searches the room. The bedroom is empty. He rushes back out to the entranceway of the room, looking to the main area again. Suddenly - - - CRASH - - - Glass breaks inside the room - He rushes back in. He sees a broken window. The drapes sway in the wind. He leans out the window, and searches. Another shadow moves in the dark fog. Another laugh echoes the night sky. He glances at his feet. There is a manila folder labeled "DEAN OF STUDENTS" underneath his foot. He picks it up. On the tab poking above the symmetrical pages reads the name: "ASHLEY SMITH". STEVE Ashley?... He opens it and sees a large picture of Ashley of her in her infancy, lying in a hospital pediatric bed. He turns the page. He spots the words: "MOUNTAINVIEW UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL". He folds up the folder and puts them in his back pocket. INT. GARAGE - NIGHT Steve frantically searches through a workbench in the corner of the garage. There is an enormous rolled up set of papers on the desk. 31. He unrolls it. A map. On the map, he sees a large building labeled "ST. GABRIEL'S". He sees the neighboring street: "TANTON STREET". Near the bottom of the map, an equally large spot labeled "MOUNTAINVIEW HOSPITAL". A housing complex. A single house is circled. STEVE School... He follows with his finger on THE MAP He traces it from the circled building to the school. Then further, toward the building labeled: "HOSPITAL." He pulls the piece of paper out from HIS POCKET He looks at it, at the words printed at the top. "MOUNTAINVIEW UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL." STEVE Then the hospital. WORKBENCH He puts the piece of paper back in his pocket and rushes over to the workbench against the wall. He rummages through several tools. He finds a military inspired flashlight. Flat, with the bulb on a ninety-degree swivel. He puts it in his breast pocket, aims it forward, and switches it on. It will now always shine in the direction he is walking. He also finds a ZIPPO style lighter. It works. He puts the lighter into his back pocket. He looks around the garage more, but nothing useful can be found. He opens the garage door and heads out into the darkness INT. CLASSROOM - NIGHT JILL, 30's, the kind of teacher students would be hot for, sits at her desk. Her classroom door is open. She's reading a file at her desk, but it looks like she's having trouble concentrating. 32. Her eyes keep looking around the empty, dark classroom. Frustrated, she gets up and goes over to the window. She sees the fog creeping along the grass outside. She looks wary, like she's aware of what it is. She bites her lower lip in worry. Then, she reaches up and pulls down on the window, making sure it's shut completely. She checks the lock as well. All this, as the fog creeps towards her feet. She looks down and sees it there. Just as a dog growls several feet beyond the door. Frightened, she quickly looks up, to her classroom door, which is cracked open. Fog from the hall is quickly gathering, and entering through the small opening. Just as always happens, shadows move within the fog in the hallway. She takes a step towards the door, a slow, cautious step, as the fog continues inside. Something reaches out. A child's hand, slowly rises, just barely visible from within the fog. It reaches up for the door, very slowly. Jill quickly lurches forward, and shuts the door without trouble. She quickly locks it and steps back. She leans against the back of her desk, and slides down. She just sits there, clutching her knees. EXT. STREET - NIGHT Steve walks down the street, comforted only by the small light of the flashlight, just barely piercing the darkness. A shadow passes over a street lamp. He looks at the light, trying to catch whatever passed by it. There is a loud whispering just behind Steve. Footsteps rush up right behind him. He turns and looks down the street, the wall of thick fog is behind him once again. This time, he knows to head away from it. He heads down the street. But the fog quickly blows in, and blocks his path. He looks around, as it begins to surround him again. He looks very worried. 33. Ahead of him, just barely visible in the fog, is the figure of a child. It has blonde hair, a twinge of yellow in the dark gray of the fog. Steve's eyes try to focus on the unmoving figure in the distance before him. STEVE Hello? The figure turns around and runs in the opposite direction. Steve follows, slow. Until he stops in the middle of an intersection. He looks for the figure, in all directions, but can't see her. He keeps spinning around, looking for her, when she suddenly pops out of the fog from nowhere. STEVE Hey! Without thinking, Steve darts after her. She turns and runs. Down the street the figure of the little girl, about the size and dress of Ashley, always stays just ahead of Steve enough that he can't get a good look at her. STEVE Ashley?! She darts right at an intersection. Steve loses her in the fog. Suddenly, before Steve can even make the turn, to his left a little girl giggles. The figure is just past a layer of fog. He turns and runs after her. After a moment of running, she disappears. Without warning, she laughs and darts through the fog behind him. He turns, and again runs after her. He stops. He watches as she turns right at the next intersection. An instant later he sees and hears her again, running to the left of the intersection. He gives chase. He sees her disappear through the fog to the right. She appears behind him, giggling, running. She appears, to his left, giggling, running. She's only visible long enough to disappear again through the fog, in a different direction. 34. Steve chases her down again. Again, she disappears. He just stands in the center of the intersection, completely disoriented, entirely confused. STEVE Fuck! He looks ahead. He sees the little girl. He turns right. She's there. He turns right again. She's there. He turns. She's there. Turns. There. It's like she's everywhere. Then, it just stops. She's gone. Steve suddenly realizes where he is - in a mass of fog, completely engulfed. Suddenly, the little girl reappears. And Steve, not wanting to stay idle any longer in this situation, gives chase. EXT. FOREST - NIGHT The little girl runs past a dozen densely packed trees. Before disappearing again. Steve is following close behind her, winded now. He stops, tries to catch his breath. He sees the girl ahead of him. She appears and disappears behind a dozen different trees, always running in a different direction. Impossible. STEVE (winded) Jesus Christ... He takes off again. He's close to her now, but still too far to see her clearly. She runs for a thick brush, runs through it without ever touching a single leaf. She phased through it. Before he can slow down he's already through the bushes. But just past them the forest stops, and drops, down a 10 foot cliff. He can't stop. He tumbles down the steep hill. And lands painfully hard on the bottom. He struggles to get up. Everything hurts. He picks up his flashlight next to him. It's not working, he smacks it a few times and life returns to it. He gets to one knee and sees the street sign just next to him. "TANTON ST." He heads down it. 35. EXT. SCHOOL - NIGHT The school looks like it has been transported from the past. The main area of it is the typical one large room with the high ceiling and the enormous bell in the tower. The rest of it has obviously been renovated and expanded upon to meet the growing number of students. Off to the side, in the front of the school, is a small concrete block, with its name etched across. It reads: ST. GABRIEL'S SCHOOL OF CATHOLICISM. But the word Gabriel has been written over in black spray paint. In its place is the word, AZRAEL. Steve walks up the small courtyard and walks down a walk-up, a small enclosed concrete staircase, to the basement door. He enters. INT. SCHOOL BASEMENT - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT The bell on the door dings as he does. But it doesn't stop with a single ring. It keeps ringing, back and forth, loudly, shaking violently for 30 seconds as Steve can only watch. Until it suddenly stops. He swallows, still staring at the bell when a door slams shut in the distance. He slowly turns his head toward the noise, not wanting to even look. The door he came through remains open. The shadow cast into the school from the outside light reveals a small girl, standing just outside the doorway - Unknown to Steve. Steve is in the personnel tunnels, the bowels of the school, the basement level. Pipes line several of the walls. There is almost no light down here. Steve backs away from the entrance. He starts down an extremely long corridor. The only sounds in the entire room are the echoing footsteps of Steve as he walks down the concrete hallway, and the churning sounds of the pipes next to him. There's something else also. Somewhere, too far to hear anything but a muddled melody, a single verse from some children's song is ringing out. It's near impossible to hear. It sounds as though it is coming from a snow-globe, the same CLING-CLANGY noises that they make, distorted and twisted. Children laugh in the background as they quietly hum along to the tune. 36. Steve rounds a corner in the hallway and a SMALL GIRL, at least five years of age, stands in his path, staring at him, smiling. Steve stops looks at the little girl. A dozen more smiling children appear from the same corner. They all randomly position themselves behind the little girl. STEVE Uhh, Hi. The children just stare at Steve and smile. STEVE Are you lost? SMALL GIRL We are found. Steve turns dead serious. STEVE What do you want? SMALL GIRL We wanna play. STEVE Where are your parents? SMALL GIRL We already play'd with our parents. Now we wanna play with you. The children all laugh in unison. They move in on Steve, closer and closer, still in unison. Steve's vision flashes and vibrates suddenly. When it stops, the children are not where they were. Steve sees a few of the children around the corner, but his view is obstructed by the wall. The nursery rhyme begins to get louder. Steve slowly walks around the concrete corner. But as he does so he realizes he is not in the same basement he once was. The area around the corner is not a basement at all - it is a play area. Outside. The sun is shining on a grass covered playground. The grass stretches all the way to Steve's feet, where it promptly transforms back into concrete. Nothing else can be heard but the same nursery rhyme, echoing, haunting. 37. There is a jungle jim. A swing set. A sandbox. And a see-saw. All of the same children are playing on the playground. Steve walks out of the dark line of the basement, and into the sunshine. The song echoes out into the open. No one's mouth moves, they are all completely oblivious to the joyous, slow- rhythmic song, emanating from them. CHILDREN (singing) Baby, baby, naughty baby/ Hush, you squalling thing I say/ Peace this moment, peace, or maybe/ He will pass this way/ Baby, baby, if he hears you/ As he gallops past the house/ Limb from limb at once he'll tear you/ Just as pussy tears a mouse/ And he'll beat you, beat you, beat you/ And he'll beat you all to pap/ And he'll eat you, eat you, eat you/ Every morsel snap, snap, snap. The children flicker in and out of reality again. Steve's vision of the playground does the same. In the flashes, there is a single frame of the playground, burned to the ground, still flaming. The children are there, dead, rotting, on the same play pieces they were once on. And then it's gone. Steve is back in the basement. But it's not the same either. Everything about this basement is so dreadfully wrong. It's darker, quieter, than ever. Blood is everywhere, covering, dripping from, every inch of the basement. Every pipe. Every corner. Steve looks around in terror. He spins around. And all the kids are there, less than an inch in front of his face. They're all dead. Bloody, rotting corpses of their former selves. CHILDREN Get the fuck out! Steve falls back from the fright. When he opens his eyes again on the ground, everything is back to normal. Only a single echo of a child's laugh is left amidst the usual sounds of the basement. Steve can't move. 38. INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT Steve's head is bent into a running sink. He dips his hands into the sink and splashes his face with water. STEVE Jesus Christ... I must be losing my mind. He splashes his face with water again, and stares at his reflection in the mirror. INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT As Steve walks down the hallways the shadows dance and squirm around him, unbeknownst to Steve. There are clocks on the walls - all read 7:06. There is a quick jump of footsteps ahead of him. He chases down the sound, nearing it. He catches up to it fast. He rounds a corner. No one is there. He stops for a moment. As soon as he does a scratching sound comes from the area behind him, a scratching like a jagged piece of chalk on a noisy chalkboard. He walks slowly to the noise, as he nears a certain room the noise grows louder and louder. He sees a door, through which the sound is emanating from. He looks at the room number beside the door. The room number is 106, but someone has graffitied it to make it look as though it reads 706. He opens the door and very slowly enters the room. INT. CLASSROOM - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT The sound abruptly stops. He rounds a corner and sees the chalkboard. On the chalkboard is a single sentence, repeated over and over again like some demonic Simpsons episode. The sentence is: "ANSWER THE PHONE". A phone bursts into a loud ring on the opposite side of the classroom. 39. It sits in the center of the only desk in the entire classroom, a round wooden desk. The cord that connects it to the wall is cut after six inches. What's left of it spirals around the edge of the table. Yet it continues to ring. All of the numbers on the dialer are sixes. He picks it up, the ringing bell echoing out, and puts it next to his ear; there is no sound until the VOICE on the other end says - - VOICE (V.O.) You'll never get her back. She likes it here. STEVE Who is this?! VOICE (V.O.) Stop looking for her or I will be forced to deal with you. STEVE Where is she?! What have you done with her?! VOICE (V.O.) You've been warned. STEVE Give me back my daughter! The other end hangs up. Steve takes it away from his ear and just stares at it. He slowly sets it back down on the receiver. JILL (O.S.) They have her, don't they? Steve looks back towards the doorway where a woman, Jill is now standing, hiding partly behind the wall. STEVE Who the hell are you? JILL Me? STEVE Yeah, you. Who are you? 40. JILL My--My name's Jill. I--I'm a teacher here. Who are you? STEVE I'm Steve. I'm trying to find my daughter, she's lost. JILL Lost? No, they have her. They have her now and they'll never let her leave. They'll never give her back. STEVE Who? Who has her? What are you talking about? JILL Them. The town. The evil in this place. STEVE The evil? JILL It's them, the children. They--they, I don't know how, but they're-- they're evil. Something's got a hold of them and it just won't let 'em go... I'm the only one left. STEVE How do you know all this? Did you teach her? I found a file, but-- JILL Just because there's a file here doesn't mean she was taught here. She could have been privately taught. STEVE By who? Where is everyone else? I want to talk to them. JILL Everyone else? (beat) Dead. They're all dead. STEVE What happened to them? JILL I don't know... 41. There is a long silence as neither of them know what to say next. STEVE You're a teacher here. Can you help me? I was... given this. He yanks the manilla folder from his back pocket. He tosses it onto the desk in front of her. She picks it up and looks at it. JILL This... this is from the Attendance office. But these pages... STEVE They're from the hospital. Can you take me there? JILL The hospital? STEVE The Attendance office. JILL Oh... sure. It's not far, it's just down the hall. INT. SCHOOL - NIGHT They walk down the main hallway in the school. The school hallways are filled with moving shadows from the trees outside peering through the windows. Strange noises echo throughout. Every hallway and every room of the school are entirely dilapidated, with dirt and grime and the effects of time taking hold. JILL So, how long have you been in town? STEVE The last guy I made small talk with hung himself. I'm not so sure you want my company right now. JILL Just a little nervous, I guess. The halls aren't... it's much safer behind a locked door. 42. STEVE Understandable. I never liked school either. JILL Why do you want to know if your daughter was enrolled here? STEVE Cuz I never enrolled her. JILL That's a little odd then, don't you think? STEVE Yes, it is. They round a corner and, and a glass-surrounded office stands in their path. JILL Here it is. INT. ATTENDANCE OFFICE - NIGHT Steve looks at the sign above the door for a moment before entering. She walks to a filing cabinet in the middle of the room. She opens a drawer and shuffles through some of the papers. JILL I'm not sure but I think there should be something in here. STEVE You're not sure? JILL I'm a teacher not a clerk. She rifles through more papers and files in the cabinet. She looks back at Steve, rather embarrassed. JILL Not here. STEVE What? 43. JILL Now, wait, wait. We just have to find the enrollment records. STEVE And where might those be? To the rear of the room is another door with a large lock. Jill struggles to open it but the door is locked and won't open. JILL It's locked. STEVE I can see that. JILL What do you propose? Steve takes a step back, ready to kick it. Just as he moves to unload on the door it creaks open slowly, no longer locked. He looks at Jill nervously. She looks back with just as much puzzlement. For a moment, they look around, checking to make sure no one is near. INT. FILING ROOM - NIGHT Inside there are several rows of large shelves, organized by year. Jill runs up to them. JILL When would she have started? She heads for the shelf that reads: "2004". STEVE She would have started in August. The first day. She stops to look at him. JILL A little behind, weren't we? STEVE I didn't have a lot of spare time. She shuffles through the folder. After a while of looking, she stops. 44. She looks at Steve again. No luck. JILL Why would it say she was already enrolled? Clearly, she wasn't. Maybe it was a different Ashley Smith. STEVE I saw her baby photo. JILL Was she born in this town? In this hospital? STEVE No. JILL Then it wasn't- STEVE -It was her. I saw her picture. I know what my daughter looks like. It was her. JILL If you say so. What now? STEVE What about... records? Reports? JILL If she was ever enrolled here, there would be records of it. STEVE Where? JILL The school keeps all of its older records in storage in the lower basement. But I don't know my way around there. It's not well kept apparently. INT. STORAGE AREA - LOWER BASEMENT They exit through a dusty old stairwell. The doorway is covered in dust. The door jams as the knob turns, but Steve muscles it open from its creaky hinges. The hallways are filled with school supplies and desks and chairs etc. Steve struggles to push the clutter out of his way. 45. Jill finds a doorway, the word "STORAGE" written on a card on the front of the door. JILL Here. She opens it, and the scene inside is even worse than out here. Completely trashed. Desks, chairs, filing cabinets and everything else are just carelessly tossed around this room. INT. STORAGE ROOM - CONTINUOUS Steve enters, and sets the flashlight on top of a desk. He turns to look around and spots a small cabinet in the back of the room labeled: "RESTRICTED FILES". He tries to open it but there is a lock. Steve looks around for a moment, until his eyes meet Jill. Already in motion, she drops a brick into his waiting hand. he takes the brick from her bludgeons the lock open. Inside there is only a single file. He pulls it out and on the cover is his daughter's name. Inside it there is a single page that says: "THE CHILD IS PROGRESSING AS EXPECTED". And a single room number: 706 He flips it over, expecting more to be on the back, but there is nothing. Steve is beginning to look increasingly frustrated. He shows it Jill. JILL I know this room. It's one level above us, in the sub-basement. It's like a, like a media classroom. But it's been closed down since before I got here, because of the- STEVE Because of the what? JILL Asbestos. STEVE Oh... I'm starting to be glad I didn't enroll my daughter here. JILL Apparently, you did. 46. He stares at the paper in the folder. INT. BASEMENT LEVEL 1 - NIGHT Jill and Steve exit the stairwell after their one-floor trek upwards. This basement is more well kept, but still dingy and dirty. He walks down a long, narrow hallway. To the left of him is a large glass window that looks into a room with many small cribs and looks like an area for kids. Several of the cribs have been toppled over and/or destroyed. Steve walks down the narrow rows of the small room. STEVE What is this place... ? JILL This building used to double as a nursery. Before all the asbestos starting falling from the ceiling. He looks up, sees a sign above that reads "NURSERY", covered in dust. STEVE Homely. Both of them continue to walk on, when Steve hears a creaking sound. He looks over, and sees a metal door creaking open slowly. After a moment, STEVE Over there. Steve and Jill go over to the creaky door, and enter the small back room of the nursery. INT. NURSERY BACK ROOM - CONTINUOUS The room is incredibly dark and even their flashlights barely do anything to illuminate the small room. Jill shines her flashlight along the walls. She notices how utterly small it is. There's no furniture of any kind, no bookshelves, no filing cabinets. JILL Wonder what this room was used for. 47. She continues shining the light across the walls until it hits something on the far wall, something protruding from it. Jill jumps, a short cry escapes her mouth, before she really gets a clear look at it. Steve shines his light on it as well, after the initial shock. Hanging from the ceiling, there is a man, dead, stapled to the wall at an angle. Naked. Bloody. Strange occult symbols have been carved into his flesh. STEVE Christ... JILL He still looks... fresh. STEVE That he does. Small drops of blood drip from the symbols carved into his chest. JILL How long do you think he's been here? STEVE This man's been dead for more than just a little while. JILL How much longer? STEVE I'd say a few years longer. JILL How do you know that? STEVE Uncle was a mortician. You smell that? She sniffs the air. STEVE They're preservatives. He's covered in them. JILL Why is he still dripping blood then? How is it possible? STEVE I don't know. 48. JILL Well, who would want to preserve THAT? I mean, what's the point? STEVE I don't know. Steve sees something as he watched the blood drip down. JILL Listen, Steve. What kind of a nursery has a- STEVE Quiet. Look. He shines his flashlight on what has caught his eye. The blood dripping from the man's wounds are falling onto a rectangular-shaped box, about three feet long, on the ground beneath the corpse. Steve can vaguely see the shape of some sort of occult symbol (The Circle of Amon) beneath the rectangular box. Steve begins to bend down in front of the box. JILL Don't open it. STEVE This room was obviously important. (gesturing to the corpse) This box is the focal point. Steve pulls the box closer to him, drawing it away from the dripping blood. Steve slowly opens the wooden box to reveal the skeleton of a newborn baby inside. His spine has been severed at the neck, and his ribcage strewn about the rest of the box. Steve and Jill both look on in horror. JILL Is that from decay? Like, bone decay? Why its bones are that way? STEVE No. His heart's been ripped out. Something else catches Steve's eye, something on the ground where Steve just removed the box. 49. JILL Oh my God... This is, this is... It was just a baby. Why would they kill it? STEVE It looks like some kind of ritual. JILL But human sacrifice? STEVE Maybe something went wrong. Maybe it wasn't who they thought it was. Steve pulls out the item from beneath the wooden box. They're documents of some kind. Pictures. Steve looks at them as Jill continues near hysteria. JILL But it was just a baby... An infant, not a month old. And they... Steve?... Why do you look so scared? Without looking up, he hands her the pictures and walks out of the room. STEVE Because these are pictures of my daughter. Jill looks at the pictures in her hand. There are several pictures of an infant girl in a crib, as a hand enters the frame and draws a strange symbol on her forehead with a red liquid. There are many like this. After a moment to take it in she chases after Steve. JILL This could be anyone! STEVE I know my own daughter! JILL But this baby is brand new. They all look alike then. How do you even remember that far back so clearly? 50. STEVE She's my daughter. I've memorized every inch of her face, from every day of her life. She's my flesh and my blood - I would know her anywhere. (beat, he starts to tear up) She has never, EVER, been in this town before. JILL We don't know where these pictures were taken. STEVE Check the last one. Jill looks through the pictures again and in one of the wide shots it's clear the hanging corpse's feet, from just a moment ago, are slipping into the frame of the picture. Pieces of words are cut off before they leave Jill's mouth as she struggles to find more possibilities. JILL What do these mean? STEVE Something is wrong with this town. The whole place has been brainwashed or something. Mass hysteria. And my daughter is lost out there in it. We have to get her back. Right now. INT. BASEMENT ROOM 706 ENTRANCE - LATER Steve and Jill are still wandering in the basement, looking for the room. Steve hangs back, looking around corners as Jill moves on ahead. Soon, Jill looks up and sees the room number, 706. JILL Steve, it's over here. Steve hurries over and grabs for the handle. The door struggles to open. He puts his body into it, leans against it, and it pops open, billowing dust everywhere. 51. INT. BASEMENT ROOM 706 - CONTINUOUS The room is filthy from the years of neglect. Tables line the walls, as well as a large portion of the middle of the room. Covering the table-tops are televisions with VCRs beneath them. They're a few years old. Jill spots a VHS tape sticking out of one of the VCRs. Immediately she goes to it and pushes it in. She hits play. JILL What now? Out of nowhere, all of the televisions come alive. Static blares on on all of them at the same exact moment. The entire room is lit up from the dozens of televisions in the room. Steve slowly walks up to one. Underneath the static sound, it sounds like breathing. Steve gets right in front of it, and something changes. The static changes - it's moving. There's someone behind the static, a figure, indescribable because of the interference. It's difficult to see anything at all, except its motion. A sound comes through. Some kind of feedback. Like a scream, but in reverse. It's coming from somewhere deep inside the TV, deep inside wherever the broadcast is coming from. His daughter's face gets clearer behind the static. ASHLEY (garbled by static) Daddy! STEVE Ashley?! You can begin to see her features now. A black and white outline of his daughter's face, inched right up to the screen. The same on all the screens. The static tries to get worse, vertical bands, horizontal bands, momentary lapses of broadcast. But she stays. ASHLEY Daddy!? Daddy, is that you!? Where are you?! I can't see you here. I don't like it here. Save me, Daddy! The feedback behind her voice is worsening. Blaring sounds. Static. Electronic howls. Growling. Screaming. Crying. 52. Jill can only look on in horror. STEVE I will! But tell me where you are! Let me find you! Steve is going crazy. ASHLEY Daddy, I can't hear you anymore! Where are you?! - - Oh no. He's here. I have to go or he'll hurt me again! STEVE No, Ashley! Tell me where you are! But she leaves, the features of her face disappear. Leaving only the innumerable kinds of strange static. STEVE Jesus Fuckin' Chri -- ASHLEY! Steve pounds on the television, but nothing happens. The static sound returns to normal. All of the television's blink off at the same time. Thrusting them back into darkness. EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT QUICK CUTS - - Steve and Jill run out into the open area and eye several parked cars. Steve runs to the first one and pulls the handle but - - - - LOCKED - - - - Jill rushes to another quickly, which is a few feet away, and it too is locked - - - - But the third one that Steve reaches for is not. He opens the door quickly and gets in even quicker. Jill follows him in fast - - INT. CAR - NIGHT - - Steve looks up to the fold down mirror and pulls it down. A set of keys falls into his lap. He hastily retrieves them and ignites the engine - - - - They speeds down the long deserted road - - 53. - - Steve looks down to the section between him and the passenger seat - - There is a CELLULAR PHONE perched in its charger unit. Steve reaches down and struggles to free it. It comes loose after a moment with a jolt and Steve dials in 911 while struggling to stay focused on the road. He only hears the operators beep. He shakes the phone, taking his eyes off the road for an instant... STEVE God dammit! JILL Steve! He shoots his eyes back up towards the road and gasps from what is ahead of him. The road in front of him has been heavily uprooted, like a small mountain. The metal support beams entangled with the rubble. Steve slams his foot on the brake. The car spins a half turn and slams into the massive rubble pile with its side. Steve and Jill are thrown around the inside of the car like a ragdoll. Steve's head bashes the steering wheel, instantly reopening the wound on his forehead. Blood flies everywhere, covering him and the inside of the car. Jill smacks her head don the window, breaking it. Steve slumps down in the seat. His eyes are closed. He doesn't move.Neither does Jill. FLASHBACK: INT. STEVE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT The wine bottle shatters on the ground. Steve looks to Terri. Her chest is heaved upward, like something is holding her up. But it's different this time, there IS something there. Something reaching through her chest from behind - a hand, draped in a thick, black cloak. But the hand, stretching up to the elbow before vanishing, is all that can be seen. 54. PRESENT: INT. HOSPITAL - NIGHT Steve slams his eyes open, jumping to consciousness. He sits up from the hospital gurney. He stands up and holds his head, groaning in pain. STEVE Fuckin' cell phones... Steve looks around. He sees the obviousness of the Hospital, and immediately understands where he is. STEVE Jill? Jill?! She's nowhere in sight. STEVE Shit. Still confused, he exits through a set of swinging double doors. INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT The hallway has a few cracks in the walls and the paint is beginning to thin everywhere. STEVE Jill? The lights on the ceiling hang from long, thin cords. They all sway from side to side at different intervals, throwing wild shadows all over the hallway. A plethora of fall leaves have blown in from somewhere, they now fill the hall. A draft sends them into the air, and dancing down the hallway as Steve can only watch. He starts to follow them. Steve doesn't see, to his side, the hint of a shadow of someone standing there. After the swinging light hits it and retracts, the figure is gone. The lights flicker, a buzzing sound, then they slam off entirely. Steve taps the flashlight in his breast pocket. It gets brighter for a moment. STEVE That's better. 55. It dies and shuts off completely. All that's left is the bustling of the leaves. STEVE Shit. He bashes the side of it in anger but it doesn't come back on. He tosses it aside and reaches into his pocket. He pulls out the ZIPPO lighter from before and ignites it, just barely lighting up the room enough for him to see. A shadow dances in front. He proceeds with caution. He takes long, waiting footsteps. There is whispering all around Steve. Dark whispering, maniacal almost. Ahead of him there is another series of soft squeaks. A ceiling light down the hallway jumps to life and shines a small area of light in the vast darkness. Steve takes off down the hallway, running for the light source as fast as he can. When he gets there the light is above an OVERTURNED WHEELCHAIR, lying on its side, with its wheel spinning curiously, causing the squeaking sound. He passes by it hastily, trying to avert his eyes. Another light comes on in the distance. Steve runs to it quickly. It is a hospital gurney with a spot of blood on the sheet that is raised over what looks to be a body. Steve stares at it, his face plastered with worry, fear. He runs down the hallway. He sees a sign above a door. "MORGUE". He enters. INT. MORGUE ROOM - NIGHT There are a myriad of gurneys with sheets draped over them. He walks up to one and reads the chart on the end of it. "38 years old". He reads the one next to him. "42 years old". 56. The next one. "55 years old". The room is filled with them, all of them adults. Steve looks horrified. He backs out of the room carefully. He runs through another door into a back room. INT. BACK ROOM - NIGHT Steve suddenly finds himself in a very dark room, with only the light of a few small candles flickering. It is another hospital room, like all the others - beds, tables, medical supplies. But something is just off about it, something dreadfully wrong with this place. Steve walks around the room, sees nothing obviously sinister about the room. Then he rounds a back corner into a small hallway, a changing room of sorts. The room has been converted into a shrine for someone. There is a small elevated portion, a podium, with pillows and blankets. It looks to be a bed. Steve looks down and sees, underneath the bed, partially hidden by its surface area, the same strange marking that he has seen before. He looks up and sees the symbol, etched into the ceiling above the "bed." As he stares at the ceiling a noise in the back of the room startles Steve - an instrument tray crashes to the floor. He races to the back of the area, there are the sound of footsteps in front of him. Steve rounds the corner and he is back in the interior of the hospital, inside the nurse's booth. INT. NURSE'S BOOTH - CONTINUOUS He rifles through the many papers on the desk and finds one that catches his eye. At the top of the page reads: ADMITTANCE REPORT FROM PSYCHE WARD, in big, bold letters. He reads the report aloud. 57. STEVE "Child experienced multiple disillusion syndrome with acute suicidal intentions. He was treated for his illness and released. The next day he was found hung by his throat with a bed sheet over his bed. The child was dead upon arrival." (beat) Oh, God. He spots a piece of paper, with the same letterhead, with his daughter's name just beneath that. He reads it as well. STEVE "Child was admitted with a multitude of neurological and psychological deficiencies. And, also may have suffered physical abuse by an adult. Strange markings on her shoulders and stomach have been found with no clear source of abuse. Also... " There is an odd noise coming from the patient room next door to him. Like a rope being stretched, being pulled and tugged tightly together. Steve locates the door in the dimming lights of the hospital hallway. The door to the room is ajar. Steve slowly pushes it open. The hinges squeak and groan. INT. PATIENT ROOM - NIGHT Once the door opens he sees him hanging there. A boy in a white hospital gown, hanging from a bed sheet that is bound around his neck, connected to a pipe in the ceiling. He spins in a circular motion slowly, almost unmoving. Steve walks a little closer to the boy, dead for sometime, within arms reach. He reaches out to the boy just as he spins enough to be eye to eye with Steve. STEVE Oh my God. Steve makes contact with the child's gown. The boy's eyes pop open and his body jumps to life. 58. Steve screams and jumps backwards, colliding with a hospital tray loaded with dishes. As he struggles to get back to his feet, the boy struggles to remove the noose around his neck. He gets it free and drops onto the bed. It squeaks loudly. Steve runs out of the room back out into the hallway, and makes a be-line for the double doors that exit the hospital. LOCKED The boy slowly rounds the corner and picks up a scalpel on a tray as he slowly walks towards Steve, a sinister smirk. Steve struggles with the door, shaking it madly, tugging at the handle. The boy draws nearer, tossing the scalpel between his hands. Steve goes to his left and grabs a chair against a wall. He picks it up and hurls it at the glass doors. It shatters and falls to the floor. Steve climbs through the opening hurriedly as the child draws so very close to him. EXT. HOSPITAL - NIGHT He runs and collides with a nearby ledge, falling down, leaning against it to catch his breath. He looks up to search for the boy again, but he has disappeared from sight. A figure, dressed all in black with a long black trench coat, and slicked back black hair, looms over him, standing crouched on the ledge behind Steve. GABRIEL. His voice is raspy, uncaring, and cocky. Gabriel speaks with a soft laugh, marveling at his own genius. GABRIEL Hi, there. Steve yells again and jumps up from his resting spot to his feet, staring at Gabriel. GABRIEL Ah, so I see you have met my little messenger. STEVE Messenger? 59. GABRIEL Yes, he's been helping us both out really. Telling me about where you are. Leading you towards me, leaving small clues just luckily lying around when you're not looking. Images flash in front of Steve's eyes. - The file placed underneath his feet in Walton's house - - The files in the hospital - - The little girl in the fog - Steve, understanding, STEVE What do you want?... GABRIEL I have told you before to stay away or I would be forced to deal with you. Now I'm dealing with you. STEVE You. That was you on the phone. GABRIEL Yes. STEVE You son of a bitch! Give me back my- From deep within the shadows behind Gabriela dozen or more of the town's children emerge. They stop and stand behind Gabriel, protecting him. Several growling Dobermans come out as well. Steve's anger subsides, the appearance of the kids and animals makes him think twice about advancing on Gabriel any further. Gabriel just stands there, with the horde behind him, smiling smugly. STEVE Who are you? 60. GABRIEL Who I am is of no importance to you. It's what I'm after that you should be concerned with. Do not worry, Steven. It is not you or your pathetic existence that I'm after. No, I'm after something much grander. STEVE Ashley... Gabriel just looks at Steve, Gabriel's eyebrows raised high in satirical questioning. STEVE What the hell have you done with her?! GABRIEL Do not worry about your daughter. She is safe. She is of no use to us if she is harmed. STEVE Why Ashley? Why the children?! The moment Steve raises his voice Gabriel leaps off the balcony. In an instant he has Steve by the throat, throttling him against the wall. GABRIEL Lower your voice when you speak to me! Gabriel releases his vice from Steve's neck. Steve falls to the floor, coughing. As Gabriel walks back to the horde of kids and animals, GABRIEL A child's mind holds far less authority over itself than an adult's, you see. It is less mature. It has fewer defenses against... outside influences. All I have done is lead them in the direction that their immature little minds already wanted to. Swayed them towards a new purpose. The same holds true for them all, even your daughter. STEVE You lie. You poisoned them. 61. GABRIEL Poisoned? I was merely a teacher. Someone to guide them down life's little path. STEVE I don't believe you. GABRIEL Just how long has Ashley been here? STEVE Since tonight. Gabriel chuckles under his breath. GABRIEL You saw the records at the school, the birth photos. She wants to be here, Steven. One more traumatic event is all I need to throw her over the edge. I'm seeing that one through now. STEVE No! You're a liar! GABRIEL It's all the same, really. STEVE The adults... What about the adults, the parents? What happened to them? GABRIEL You know, I have found that there is such an innocence about children that seems so sincere that it actually catches people off guard. I've watched as mothers pass by their sons holding what looks to be a fake kitchen knife and not give it another thought. Only to turn her back and - Gabriel makes a throat-slicing motion. He leans in tight to Steve. GABRIEL It's not fake Mom, it's not fake. STEVE You... you made these kids kill their own parents? 62. GABRIEL I didn't make them do anything that they didn't already want to. STEVE Why my daughter? Why Ashley? GABRIEL Well, if you must know -- Ashley... is our savior. STEVE What? GABRIEL She is the one that will lead me, you, this entire God-forsaken planet into darkness. She is the chosen surrogate daughter of Satan. The Anti-God. STEVE You son of a bitch, you're sick. I won't let you do this. GABRIEL Isn't it said that enough traumatic events in a child's early life can have negative repercussions forever on that child? The moving of a family... The death of a parent, for instance. STEVE Terri... GABRIEL (uncaring) Yes, how tragic. Now she is already headed down the path that we have chosen for her. And, well-- STEVE Who are you? Gabriel's image suddenly changes, suddenly serious. He leans in closer to Steve. GABRIEL I am so many, many things, Steven. STEVE Tell me your name! 63. GABRIEL Which one would you like? Michael? Sammael? Azrael? Mot? Suriel? There are so many, Steven. STEVE Satan? GABRIEL No... but close. Merely someone who has followed in his footsteps, you might say. (beat, leaning closer) I... am the Angel of Death. The black hearted demon kicked out of Heavens' doors only to land in an even more terrible place. Sent down upon this damned place to bring forth the everlasting and forever torment and darkness. To give life to the demons that have survived in the shadows for thousands of years. Gabriel leans in until he is next to Steve's ear. He whispers into it. GABRIEL (whisper) And to make your daughter lead the way. STEVE You bastard! I swear to God I'll kill you! Steve throws a punch at Gabriel, just as he looks to one of his children by his side. Effortlessly, Gabriel catches the fist just before it makes contact. He slowly looks back to Steve, almost as if he's annoyed. Gabriel's hand clenches tight around Steve's fist. Steve's face contorts with pain. GABRIEL Don't throw the G-word around like that. I hate that word. Gabriel clenches tighter. Steve's knees buckle. GABRIEL I've humored you long enough. Consider this your final warning, Steven. Leave this town, forget about your daughter, or... I will rip her pretty little head off... and feed it to you. 64. He stops, releases his vice He glances at his watch. GABRIEL Oh, look at the time. So little time left. So, for now, I must go. But when the sign of Satan appears on your watch, we will meet again. Oh, and just so we're perfectly clear with one another, I leave you with a gift. Gabriel walks off, into the alley past the myriad of children. The darkness consumes him, and he disappears. Steve takes a step after him, and looks like he's going to chase him down. The dogs start growling. Showing their fangs. And Steve stops dead. The dogs take slow steps forward, advancing on Steve. Steve matches their steps in reverse. The dogs take off at Steve. Steve does as well, only in the opposite direction. Steve turns down an alley, with no other recourse. The dogs quickly gain on him, much faster than he is. One of the five dogs leaps onto Steve's back, biting at his neck. Steve is taken to the ground. The other dogs mount steve as well. Biting. Tearing. Eating Steve alive. Steve struggles to fight them off, but they are too powerful for him. In desperation Steve reaches out with his hand for anything. He manages to grab a metal trash can lid from a toppled container near the wall. Just as one of the dogs takes a huge chunk out of his leg. Steve screams. And floors the animal with the metal lid. It yelps and leaps off his leg. Steve hits the creatures until they have let go enough for him to get to his feet. He runs down the alley. One of them leaps at Steve again, but he swats it out of the air with the metal lid, knocking it to the ground. Steve comes to a fence. Without thinking, he leaps onto it and struggles to climb over as the dogs gnaw at his feet and legs. After a few harrowing moments, Steve manages to fall in a heap onto the other side of the fence. 65. The dogs bark like mad just inches away. Steve rolls onto his stomach, trying to brace himself with his arms, but have found that they have gone weak and they shake as he puts his weight on them. Steve's leg flares with searing pain, as blood pours out from the gaping bite wound. He slowly gets to his feet, his leg trailing LIFELESSLY behind him, pouring out a river. EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT Steve walks in the cold darkness and fog, clutching his thigh. The alleyway begins to narrow as Steve travels the length of it, increased by the clutter of trash and garbage pouring out from a trash container, which also heavily hinders his way. Steve looks paranoid, looking over his shoulder constantly, he rushes through the alley, until he finally finds a nearby building - The Police Station. EXT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT He HOBBLES to the doorstep, struggling to lift his leg. He reaches for the door handle, but the door is already cracked ajar. He hesitates for a moment, looking over his shoulders, then enters. INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT He shuts the door behind him. He locks both locks and the deadbolt before leaving it. He notices a set of stairs in front of him. Small, only about five steps, that lead up to the area where the desks are located. Steve walks down the Police Station hallway. He sticks close to a glass divider, one that does its duty, between the lobby and the officer's desks. He sees a sign, hanging high in the wall, it reads: CELL AREA. He follows the arrow. The station is a mess. Papers everywhere. Desks in shambles. Complete dilapidation. People left here in a hurry. Steve continues down the passage until he reaches a door that reads: CELL AREA. He enters. 66. INT. CELL AREA - NIGHT The cell room is a small, local size. Steve slowly walks along the length of the cells, holding his leg in pain, heading for the desk in the corner. As he passes by he notices one of the cell doors open just enough for him to stick his hand through. He wedges his fingers in and pushes the cell door open, which requires a lot of effort. INT. CELL On what used to be the bed Steve immediately notices something strange; what looks to be an antiquated music box, ballerina and all. Steve looks at it and opens it, the clingy music starting up as soon as he does. He's confused to the tune at first, but after just a few moments his face shows he starts to recognize it, now distorted and changed to meet other needs. STEVE Baby... baby... naughty baby... Just as he finishes his words the music almost drowns out completely, but in its wake there are a million very real screams meshed together into one. After a second more and more disturbing sounds begin to filter in, a number of grotesque inhuman groans, dogs barking, babies crying. And finally a laugh, the laugh drains out all else, becoming more and more extreme, getting louder and louder, as the one laughing laughs harder and harder. Steve looks disgusted. He hurls the box against the concrete wall. It breaks into a dozen tiny ballerina pieces on the ground, but the laugh remains, getting even louder. Steve turns and jogs away, closing the cell door in front of him as he does so. He goes into a back room, through a wooden door. INT. CELL ROOM - CONTINUOUS It's a small holding room, with three cells, and a desk where a cop would keep watch. The room is dark. Steve doesn't shut the door behind him. 67. In the last cell a shadow moves without his notice in silence. He comes to the last cell and a hand jumps out and GRABS him through the cell grates. JILL Steve. He screams and jumps as the hand grasps around the collar of his shirt. He yanks himself free and collapses into a wooden chair nearby. STEVE Jesus Christ. Jill? What the fuck are you doing here? JILL Me? What the fuck are you doing here? STEVE Hiding. Jill sees his leg, torn to shreds and bleeding onto the floor. Genuinely concerned, JILL What happened to you? STEVE Oh, nothin'. You know, just some kid and flesh eating pets. Jill makes no move towards the cell door. JILL You need to get that looked at. STEVE By who?! (beat) I'll be alright. Steve tears off his sleeve, and ties a tourniquet just above the wound on his leg, cutting off the blood flow as best he can. After a few moments of anguish, STEVE Where the hell did you go? How'd you get in there? 68. JILL This cell is the only safe place in this damn town. STEVE Where's the key? Let's get you outta there. Jill holds the key up so that Steve can see it. JILL Like I said, this cell is the only safe place in this town. Neither of them see it, but the fog slowly fills the tiny window behind Jill in the cell. STEVE We have to get the hell out of here. Come back with help. JILL Come back?! STEVE Yes. JILL Why? STEVE My daughter is still out there! JILL Your daughter is dead! This stops Steve cold. As a minute amount of fog begins to creep past the slightly ajar door from where Steve entered. STEVE I can't believe that. JILL You have to. You have to stop trying to find her, Steve. She's gone. (beat) Believe me, I know. STEVE And just how do you know?! 69. She waits a moment. She turns and sits on the bench in the back of the cell. JILL My niece. She was a student of mine ever since I started teaching here. After a few of the other children started to go missing her parents died. House fire. Electrical, they said. I took her in, raised her like my own. She practically was anyway. After a few days she went missing too. My husband and I tried to find her. But there was an accident when he was driving. It was an icy road and... He didn't make it after that. (beat) So, unless you want to wind up like him you might as well stop looking for her right now. STEVE She's my daughter. My daughter. I can't just stop looking for her. Jill sees it, the fog creeping across the floor, beneath the chair Steve has collapsed in. JILL Steve... She spins around, and sees the barred window behind her completely blocked by smoky fog. It's creeping, and filling her cell. JILL Steve, we have to get out of here. STEVE What? Steve sees it, and rises out of his chair slowly. STEVE Oh, God... JILL Steve! She rushes to the cell door. She yanks the key from her pocket, and holds it through the bars for Steve to grab. He does, and fumbles at the lock with it. 70. JILL Did you shut the door when you came in? STEVE What? JILL They can't get in if there's no way in. It's a, a barrier thing. STEVE Who the fuck is "they?" JILL Them. The things in the fog. (beat) The same things that took your daughter. (beat) Steve, did you shut the door? Can they get in? Steve looks at the amount of fog now filling the room, and pouring in from the windows. STEVE I'd say they were already in... JILL Hurry, get it open. We have to get out of here. Steven unlocks it quickly, and they head out the door, wading carefully through the rising fog. EXT. ALLEY BEHIND STATION - NIGHT Jill practically carries Steve down the alley, with most of his weight leaning on her shoulder. His bloody leg hangs limp at his side. EXT. STREET - NIGHT Jill and Steve exit the alley onto a street. There is only one path through the fog that Jill can see. And it leads right to- INT. CHURCH - NIGHT Jill sets Steve down in one of the pews in the enormous Baptist church. She closes the door, and makes sure to lock it. 71. Suddenly, a man in a black robe enters from a back room of the church. He rushes out, frightened looking. Steve and Jill immediately look to him. The man is JOHN, the Pastor at this church. Middle-aged, 40's, but his gray shows through. He's still wearing the small white collar beneath his black shirt collar, the sign of the Clergy. JILL Who are you? JOHN My name is John. I am the Pastor at this church. Who are you people? JILL I'm Jill and this- STEVE -Steve. He stands up, not without help from Jill, and hobbles the few feet to one of the pews. STEVE The name suits you well. JOHN He needs help. STEVE I'd say so. JOHN What are you doing here? STEVE What, no sanctuary, Father? JILL We need a place to hold up for a while. A place where we can feel safe. JOHN Don't we all? Don't worry, you will be safe here. A church is holy ground. Nothing can enter here. Beat. Jill and Steve look at each other nervously. LATER The church is now silent, with few noises piercing the eerie silence. 72. BANG! BANG! Nails are driven into the wood that is now placed over the open area where the stained glass windows near the door used to be. Steve drives the last nail and drops the hammer, exhausted, onto the floor. His leg is bandaged heavily. STEVE Well, that's the last one. JOHN What now? DISSOLVE TO: LATER The church is still. Nothing moves now. No one says a word. Jill sits in a pew, her legs bundled close, in an upright fetal position. She's terrified. John kneels in front of the giant crucifix statue behind the altar of the church. Steve sits far away from the others, his wallet open in front of him. He looks down, at the pictures of Ashley open in his lap. His face reddens. He fights again to hold back his tears. He is not successful. DISSOLVE TO: LATER Steve looks over to Jill, who has fallen asleep on the long wooden benches, using a rolled up blanket as a pillow. STEVE I don't know how she can sleep. JOHN She's exhausted. That can typically outweigh everything else that's going on. STEVE Yeah, I guess. JOHN So, what's your story? 73. STEVE My story? JOHN Why you're here. STEVE Me and my daughter drove up here. We were on our way to the new house and - JOHN You were moving? Why? STEVE My wife... My wife died... less than a year ago. It took me most of the year just to get myself out of bed. After that I just couldn't stay in that house anymore. Too many memories, I guess. JOHN What happened? How did you end up in this... place? STEVE I don't know. We were on a slick road and - I don't know. The Jeep just flew off the road. (beat) God, it looked so much like a little kid. (beat) When I woke up, she was gone. Ashley was gone. The only place she could have gone was here. Now that thing outside... it has her. JOHN What? What thing? STEVE That thing. Whatever the hell it is, it's got her. JOHN How can you be sure? STEVE He came to me. JOHN Who was it? 74. STEVE I don't know. He gave me a list but... none of them were real. They sit in silence. STEVE Wait. Someone did say something. It seemed... important. He said something about a kid, in this town a long time ago, being crucified... JOHN Gabriel? STEVE You know what he was talking about? JOHN Crucifixions don't happen everyday. STEVE Who was he? JOHN Typical bad seed. Abusive parents. He came to me a few times. He... oh no. STEVE What? JOHN He liked to call himself different names. Names that connected with his from the past. We started to think it was schizophrenia, he was so involved in them... (beat) One of those names was... The Angel of Death. STEVE What? JOHN In biblical days one of the higher order of angels was named Gabri - - STEVE No. The guy, the one I saw, he called himself that. The Angel of Death. 75. JOHN It's not possible. STEVE It's no coincidence. All those names and now this? JOHN No. It can't be. They all watched that child burn. STEVE Everything fits. JOHN I don't know if they do, for sure. When dealing with this subject matter I am inclined to believe in anything. I believe in the heavenly Father above us, therefore I am forced to believe in what's on the opposite side of the spectrum - the evil that has plagued mankind for centuries and centuries. But if he is what he says he is... (beat) What else did he say to you? STEVE (lying) Nothing. He said nothing. Beat. STEVE There was one more thing. I keep finding these strange markings. On the ceiling and on the floor. What does it mean? JOHN I don't know. It could be... markings. Just like a map or something. STEVE I don't know... JOHN It could be anything. DISSOLVE TO: 76. LATER Steve appears close to sleep. His eyelids droop. His head bobs. When he looks up again, the faint sound of music can be heard. Jill and John are gone. Steve looks around, searching for them, but they're nowhere in sight. He gets up, calls to them. STEVE Jill? Where'd you guys go? His voice has a strange echo in it. The music gets louder, it echoes too. Steve knows the tune. He looks to the left side of the church, as leaves blow in from nowhere, blowing across the floor and pews of the church. He looks to the right, children are playing hopscotch, practically in slow motion. They don't need to move their mouths to play the tune. CHILDREN (singing) Baby, baby, naughty baby/ Hush, you squalling thing I say/ Peace this moment, peace, or maybe/ He will pass this way/ Baby, baby, if he hears you/ As he gallops past the house/ Limb from limb at once he'll tear you/ just as pussy tears a mouse/ And he'll beat you, beat you, beat you/ and he'll beat you all to pap/ And he'll eat you, eat you, eat you/ Every morsel snap, snap, snap. He tries his best to ignore the singing children. They do the same to him. There is only a single door in front of him. He recognizes it - his bedroom door. He opens it, and enters. INT. STEVE'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT The wine bottle in Steve's hand falls to the floor, shattering red wine everywhere. He looks to Terri, her chest heaved upward, the hand reaching into her back, clutching her heart. 77. The cloaked hand becomes clearer suddenly, the visible picture begins to expand farther up the arm. Past the elbow. Past the shoulder. Up to the head and down the length of the body. Steve can see the entire figure killing his wife. The figure is clothed in an enormous, thick black cloak. A hood of the same is pulled over his head, hiding his face, except his mouth. It doesn't look human. It looks like the Reaper is clutching his wife's heart. The figure slowly turns its hooded head towards Steve, and its inhuman mouth twists into a snicker. It yanks out its arm. And Terri falls to the floor limply. It disappears in an instant. INT. CHURCH - NIGHT Steve jumps awake in his chair. He is sitting by a boarded window. He was trying to search past the cracks in the wood to watch the outside world, before he dozed off. He gets up. Jill looks at Steve as he does so. He goes over and talks to John softly, Jill can't hear what they're saying. After a few moments, John walks to the back of the Church and into another room, Steve walks over to Jill. STEVE (softly) We're going to go down to the lower levels. Make sure there's no way in or out. JILL Ok. STEVE Do you want John to stay with you? I can go alone. JILL What? I'll be fine. 78. STEVE No. You know what? I think John should-- JILL Steve, seriously. I'd much rather be up here than go into the dark basement like an idiot. INT. CHURCH LOWER LEVELS - NIGHT Steve and John walk down a small flight of stairs, into a basement level of sorts. They both have candles. STEVE How did the town get like this, Father? JOHN Anything can be corrupted, Steve. They reach the bottom of the stairs. It forks into different directions. STEVE (to his left) That way. See if there are any exits. Any way that could get us out of town. John walks off, the light from the candle flickering down the hall with him. Steve heads straight. Most of the lights down here do not work, only a few, completely random ones. Each room is connected to the hallway, they branch off. Each room also has a connection into each of its neighbors once inside, this way everything is connected. Steve shines the flickering light of the candle in front of him. He passes by Breugel's "Triumph of Death" an abstract painting depicting Hell. Where skeletons ride horseback and weigh the souls of their screaming victims on scales. Steve goes into one of the rooms. He sets the candle down on the desk, as he rummages through the drawers. INT. CHURCH LOWER LEVELS, JOHN - NIGHT John is already hammering down shutter doors on one of the basement windows. He finishes, and moves on to the next set. 79. INT. CHURCH - NIGHT Jill, still huddled in the pew, begins to nod off. INT. CHURCH LOWER LEVELS, STEVE - NIGHT Steve leaves the room, with candle in hand. He journeys to the end of the incredibly long hallway. Each step creaks the old floorboards. He finally gets to the end of the hallway. There is a door there, but after he reaches for it, he realizes it is locked. Steve looks annoyed. STEVE Nothing can be easy. INT. CHURCH Jill is fast asleep in one of the pews. INT. CHURCH LOWER LEVELS, JOHN - NIGHT John's hammer, nails, and wooden planks lay sprawled on the floor. He is no where in sight. INT. CHURCH LOWER LEVELS, STEVE - NIGHT There is a heavy wooden crack as Steve kicks in the door. Yellow "DANGER" tape flies everywhere. Steve is now in the ruins of the old sunday school. The place hasn't been cleaned for years. Planks hang from the ceiling, cobwebs everywhere, furniture sprawled about recklessly. It seems as though the darkness itself has gotten thicker, Steve's candle barely makes a fuss. Steve walks forward with caution. A path in front of him is blocked by debris of all kinds. He has to turn back. Steve looks around. He sees only one viable path. He takes it and enters the door it has led him to. INT. CHURCH LOWER LEVELS, BACK ROOM, STEVE - NIGHT The wood creaks open as dust fills the air. This room could have passed for the library in its day, regardless of its small size. 80. Rows upon rows of books line the walls. Steve shines the light from the candle over them as he struggles to read their titles past the built up dust. He finds nothing of interest. He scans the room, looking for anything. He sees something above. He pulls back a twine of branches and cobwebs to reveal a mini shelf attached to the ceiling. He reaches in and pulls out several books, covered in a very thick layer of dust. Just as he wipes it off to read their titles, something drops from the mini-shelf and lands with a dull thud in front of Steve. He bends down and picks up an ancient looking dagger, made of what looks to be a type of stone. Steve stares at it, almost lost in it, until- JOHN Steve? You find anything? John looks at him, puzzled. INT. CHURCH - NIGHT Jill rubs her eyes, awake. She gets up and walks off. She looks lost. Steve comes up the stairs, with John behind. Jill walks to a far corner of the church, near a desk. She stares at the desk, and slowly, hesitantly, opens the drawer with a shaky hand, the drawer rattling, almost like she's frightened by something. Steve walks towards her. He sets the books down. The drawer is completely open now, Jill starts panting, breathing uncontrollably, terribly fear stricken. She starts to sob, loud, out of control. A small scream. Steve puts his hand on her shoulder. STEVE Jill... ? Jill spins around, screaming like mad. She flails her arms, hitting Steve, trying to fend him off, fighting with all that she can. 81. STEVE Jill! Blow after blow of female fury rain down onto Steve's chest, Jill beating, pounding like she's fending for her life. She screams out, delirious. JILL No! No, get away! NO! Steve starts to get her under control, her fury running low on steam, more tears than anger across her face now. STEVE Jill, it's okay! It's... okay. Steve hugs her tightly and she's suddenly back, aware again of who and where she is, and who's in front of her. JILL Oh God! Oh God, Steve. I'm so... sorry. I - I thought you were... o-one of th-them. Those things. STEVE It's alright. It's only me. Steve puts her into his arms, her tears buried in his chest. Her sentence muffled she is so deep. JILL We're all gonna die here. In this town. As he hugs her he looks over her shoulder, into the open drawer behind Jill. In it there is only a single note, printed on the purest of white paper in a runny black ink are the words: "LOOK BEHIND YOU". Steve takes his attention back to Jill, making sure she doesn't see again. STEVE I know... LATER Jill now sits at a table, alone. John walks over with two cups of coffee and hands one to Jill as she sits down. 82. Steve finds another table located far from Jill and John. Sitting alone he begins to think to himself, a pen and paper aiding him. He writes only three figures down, remembering the words in his head. GABRIEL (V.O.) When the sign of Satan appears on your watch, we will meet again. On the paper are the numbers: "666". Steve sits in thought, leaning back in his chair. Almost without thought he doodles two dots amidst the sixes so that it appears as a time: "6:66". He sits up, his attention caught. STEVE ... appears on your watch... He draws a line under the numbers, separating them. Under the line he writes: "6:60," taking a clock hour as far as it can go. To the right of that he writes: "= 7:00", meaning seven o' clock. He draws a line from the last six on the top line, bringing it down to the 7:00 line. He adds the six: "7:06". He writes one final thing: "666 = 7:06". STEVE It's a time... He frantically searches for one of the dusty books he brought up with him. The cover is graced with some kind of foreign language looking very old. He opens the book and begins to pan through it. The inside of the book is filled with strange looking monsters, along with angels and lots of writing. As he reads on Jill and John strike up a conversation. JOHN I asked this same question to Steve: Jill... Why are you here? 83. JILL I live here. I teach at the school uptown. JOHN Ok. But why have you stayed? JILL You know this place won't let any of us leave. It's sealed itself off somehow. I've tried to leave. Don't you think I've tried to leave? But every time I do something happens that keeps me here. Haven't you tried to leave? JOHN No, no, no, young Jill. I decided long ago to stick around and try to fend this off. JILL What possible difference did you think that you could have made? JOHN A physical warrior I am not. But a warrior of God I am. The spoken word of the scripture is much more powerful than you give it credit. If these are indeed the forces of darkness as we suspect them to be, then the word of God can destroy through spoken word alone. Yet, somehow I have been unsuccessful thus far. JILL Still... that's a glimmer of light. JOHN Shadows cannot exist without light. JILL But, if that were true, then where is God in all of this? JOHN God will yet show his face. But only when it is most needed. Steve searches through the book that he has opened. 84. Steve finds a picture of another dark angel, another fallen angel, who looks surprisingly similar to John. He finds a passage on Gabriel. STEVE (to himself) "And after his arrival, the world is thrust into forever darkness. One from which it will never return. And upon thrusting the world into darkness his minions will scour the Earth, searching for any who may aid in the bringing of the darkness. And he shall make them his generals to lead the forces of the dark against the Heavens." Father John walks to the window, thinking heavily about the events. Jill seems lost in her own world. Steve reads to himself. He stops, looks to John, still pacing. Steve closes up the book and puts it back onto the table, covering another book that he previously overlooked. Steve looks at his watch. He sees the time nearing 6 AM. He looks outside through a crack on a window. It's still dark. STEVE Forever darkness... He spots something on his watch. He sees the brand name of the watch: "EZEKIEL". STEVE Ezekiel. Ezekiel... Steve walks to another set of books. He pulls out a large, old Bible. He opens it up and hastily flips through the pages, until he stops at the book of Ezekiel. He pans through it with his finger, turning the page when it was called for. His finger stops once he finds Chapter 7. STEVE 706. He pans through the chapter, stopping at verse 6. 85. STEVE Chapter 7, Verse 6. Of Ezekiel. He finds the passage and reads it to himself. STEVE "An end is come, the end is come: it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come." (beat) When the sign of the Devil appears on your watch... Steve looks to the passage. STEVE The end has come... Jesus. JILL What is it? STEVE Nothing. It's nothing. I just... I just can't sit here anymore. I feel helpless, I have to go back out there. I have to do something. Something. JILL You can't go. You still don't even know what's out there. STEVE Maybe that's good. Ashley is still out there somewhere. And staying in here solving these little riddles isn't bringing her any closer to me. I don't fear them. JOHN It's ignorance. STEVE What? JOHN You do not fear them because you know not what they are. You know, we all do, that something is out there but you rectify journeying outside by rationalizing the fact that you cannot say exactly what they might be. Noble. Stupid, but noble. 86. STEVE Look, we still need supplies. The lights are fading, and between my one bullet and John's toy we're runnin' low on defense too. JILL He's right. We can't pray that those doors will stay closed all night, that nothing will come after us again. And the batteries on this place are dying, the light's protected us so far, I don't think we should exactly let them dim. JOHN He's right, of course. I knew this before I even met him, just, who plans on doing something about it? John looks around the room, questioning them both. STEVE It's me, I'm going. I saw a couple of places that might help us earlier, when I had a good look at a map. I think I can find it. JILL In the dark? STEVE Wouldn't be the first time tonight. JOHN He's got his lighter besides. And the street lights. STEVE Moon's no help, that damn fog seems to take that away from us. But there's something else, seems like there's something helping me, showing me where to go. (sarcastic) You might be able to guess, Father. JOHN Rainbow in the dark. STEVE Give me the knife. 87. JOHN It was lost in the fight. STEVE Damn. JOHN The odds are against you. JILL So, you're going? Just like it's not even a big deal? STEVE I doubt if it would even do any good. Could use it on myself if it gets too bad. JOHN He's right Jill. JILL That's why I'm so worried. STEVE I'll be sure to bring ya back something nice. JILL Just watch your back, ok? And stay in the light, what you can find. STEVE Of course. JOHN Godspeed. EXT. STREET - NIGHT He holds no lighter, no flashlight. He is sure to stay underneath the sick yellow glow of the street lamps, looking around nervously every few seconds. EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT Steve walks along a dirt path, the soil crunching underneath his feet as he kicks up dust. The graveyard itself is huge, filled with darkness and fog. For a long while he walks around the yard, scanning the various headstones. 88. INT. CHURCH - NIGHT John and Jill sit a table across from each other, waiting anxiously for Steve to return. Jill is first to speak. JILL What's happening, Father? EXT. GRAVEYARD - NIGHT Steve walks for only a short while before he comes across a freshly made grave, the dirt still perched slightly above ground level in an arch. He looks at the headstone. "Anita Berkeley". He sees the dates. "February 10, 1983 - January 19, 1991" JOHN (V.O.) In the Bible, the Earth is thrown into darkness after the rapture. Just past the gravestone he eyes another fresh grave. He gets up and walks to it and sees on the gravestone another decade old child. "September 29, 1984 - January 24, 1991" JOHN (V.O.) After everyone who was holy has been sent to Heaven the devil will cast himself down - He looks past the stone and sees another fresh grave. And another past that. And another. Most of this section of the graveyard is filled with the same style of graves. All very freshly dug with headstones made for children. Dozens and dozens of graves. JOHN (V.O.) -And let evil roam the dark lands. STEVE They're children. All of them. Just kids... What happened here? He gets up and dusts off his hands and walks down the entire length of the graveyard, stopping at several stones to see who they were. Steve kneels down, examining a young child's gravestone heavily, his back turned to the rest of the graveyard. 89. JOHN (V.O.) Demons, the children of his corruption, will finally exit his dark house. As he's looking down a spot of dirt stirs slightly above one of the graves. JOHN (V.O.) Now devoid of all that was once righteous,- Steve buries his eyes in one of his hands, rubbing them, exhausted. The dirt stirs more, much more this time, just moments before a hand FIRES out from the grave, feeling around for a good hold. It grabs the dirt, pulling himself out, emerges one of the children that fill so many of these graves. JOHN (V.O.) -The demons will rule the Earth. Several of the other graves are happening in the same way, more kids, a dozen at least, have begun to extricate themselves from their last sleep. The dirty, gruesome, children slowly hobble towards Steve, still deeply immersed in his own thoughts. JOHN (V.O.) All that was once protected, will wither and die. Steve reaches out and touches the gravestone with his hand, showing his respect as the dozen or more drag their feet through the fog, coming closer to Steve with each harsh breath they take. They are right on top of him now, right behind him, above him looking down, still, he is oblivious. JOHN (V.O.) All that was once watched after, will be turned a blind eye. One of them reaches out slowly with his hideous hand. JOHN (V.O.) And death- 90. Steve's face, in his hand, as the hand very slowly comes past his ear, above his shoulder. JOHN (V.O.) -shall have no dominion. It grabs, latching on as hard as it can. Steve spins around on his knees, and sees - - NOTHING - - The graves lay untouched. INT. CHURCH - NIGHT John and Jill. JOHN Evil wins. EXT. HARDWARE STORE - NIGHT Steve stands in front of the store, staring at the neon sign. Even from the outside looking in the store looks ravaged. The shelves are empty, and, like everything else in this town, dilapidated. INT. HARDWARE STORE - NIGHT QUICK CUTS - Steve grabs a shopping cart with a quickness and rage unrivaled by female holiday shoppers - - Three high powered durable flashlights with wide beams fly into the cart - - Several red flares drop in just afterwards - - A Kerosene camping lantern - - Many wooden planks bounce in as well. As well as a hammer and nails that spill out all over the inside of the cart - - A sports bag to carry everything - Steve sees a glass case. Steve stops, slows down his shopping spree. He looks up "WEAPONS AND AMMO" 91. Only a few of the weapons are left. He grabs first a very wicked and enormous knife with a beautiful curved design. A show knife, but effective enough. Hanging nearby that there is a very new, but very worn, fireman's axe, which he grabs quickly from its pegs on the wall. Nothing remains of the weapons department. Steve grabs the cart and heads for the door. He suddenly stops, seeing something just o.s. He reaches out for it, and yanks it from its rack. Instantly it's already on. He throws his shoulders forward, adjusting the collar of the ruggedly worn brown leather jacket to fit more snugly with one deft move. The sports bag in one hand, the weathered axe in the other, Steve stands still, looking proud. STEVE Oh yeah. It's time to kick a little ass. INT. CHURCH - NIGHT Steve SLAMS the doors open, Jill jumps from the sound. Steve bends down and unzips the bag. He hands John the stack of flares, and the lantern. STEVE Put them around the church. He hands Jill the flashlight. Before John walks out he exudes the gorgeous knife, and hands it to him, who looks troubled and happy at the same time. Steve tosses the empty bag aside. STEVE We make a stand. Anything tries to come in now - - Steve walks over to the table and slams the axe down, embedding it deep within the splintered wood. STEVE We kill it. LATER The church is calm. 92. John is hammering away, securing the rest of the windows and a few lone doors in the distance with the wood and nails Steve brought with him. Steve clutches his axe. JILL That's some hardware you found there. STEVE Oh... yeah. JILL You find the Indiana Jones display too? Steve looks at his coat. STEVE Impulse buy. Near the register. JILL Things are looking up. STEVE Little bit. JILL What now? STEVE We wait for it to happen. JILL What? STEVE Not sure. Could be anything. JILL At least we're prepared now. STEVE It's not enough. JILL What do you mean? STEVE We can't stop it, not with these. JILL Why bring them? 93. STEVE For our comfort. Die fighting seems better than alone in the dark. JILL You don't think we'll get outta here? STEVE I've seen too much tonight to think much of anything involving hope. If John's right... we're in over our head. JILL You think he's right? STEVE I don't know... it's like he knows stuff. Stuff he shouldn't. I still don't get a good vibe from him. JILL He's been good to us so far. STEVE You should rest. Try. It should happen soon. Jill gets up, grabbing Steve on the shoulder as a gesture of support as she walks off. LATER Steve is busy reading one of the books. He turns the page in his lap. There is an image of a circle made out of strange markings. QUICK CUT The same image on the podium in the nursery basement. "THE SACRED CIRCLE OF AMON" STEVE Circle of Amon? "In scripture times the Circle of Amon was used as a means of protection against outside influences or obstructions." Steve sees an image of the circle placed on the ceiling. 94. STEVE "Amon was known as the Egyptian Ram-headed God of the sun and reproduction. The circles were commonly placed just below and just above the subject. Only in rare circumstances was the Circle of Amon used. They were often used in the religion of Satanism to protect an item of unusual importance." Steve sees a child placed in a hay stack inside the Circle of Amon. He turns the page. There is another image of the child. Much closer and older. Steve's eyes widen. The child looks just like Ashley, a painted portrait of her. Steve sees in the picture another familiar item - the ancient dagger he found in the basement. He turns the page and an even bigger picture fills the page. Steve exudes the dagger from inside his shirt, and places it next to the large picture to compare. it's exactly the same. Steve reads the text. STEVE "Athame, also known as ritualistic knives, were used in neo-pagan witchcraft ceremonies. The Athame was often used for casting the Circle, and was believed to bear great power. He slams the book shut and throws it down onto the table in front of him, exposing a book hidden beneath others. He picks it up and reads the title. "BIBLICAL TRANSLATIONS". He opens the book up to find on each left hand page a strange ancient dialect and on each right hand page is the english translation of those spoken words. He picks up the book from earlier with the strange language gracing the cover. He searches through the book with the translations until he finds the language that is the closest match to the strange dialect on the cover of the book. 95. He searches the page, constantly returning to the cover of the other book as reference. STEVE It's not here. JILL What? STEVE Huh? Oh nothing. He flips through several more pages until he finds the alphabetical translations of the strange dialect. He pulls out a piece of paper and a pen from underneath the stack of books. He begins to translate the strange phrase on the cover of the book, into an english sentence. He sees Jill, trying to get comfortable enough to sleep. He sees John, pacing back and forth, nervously waiting. Steve goes back to his work after several long moments of dazing. His eyes widen as he sees the completed phrase for the first time. "SATAN'S SCRIPTURE". Steve's eyes shoot over to Jill. STEVE Jill. The book he was holding drops to the floor and it instinctively flips in the wind to the picture of the DARK ANGEL. On the bottom of the page in a caption is the word "JOHN". Steve rushes to Jill. STEVE Jill. John is - - Behind Steve - - JOHN Something the matter? Steve spins around to face John, his eyes now burning with an extreme new evil. John drives his knife into Steve's lower abdomen. He holds the wound in pain and collapses onto the floor. 96. JILL Steve! John wields the knife in his hand, covered in Steve's blood. He tosses the knife into his other hand. He removes the white strip in his collar and wipes the blood from the knife with it, throwing it to the ground in disrespect. Jill clambers off. She runs through a stairwell door. JOHN Oh, good! It's always more fun that way. John's face has become SINISTER looking, his voice MANIACAL. He slowly follows her. A smile on his face now. He glares at his reflection in the knife. JOHN It was certainly fun when I killed your husband. He goes through the door. INT. STAIRWELL TO ATTIC - NIGHT JOHN He begged for his life, you know. He pissed his pants too. I told him to go with some fucking dignity, but... you know him. Jill's feet pound up the stairs. JOHN The crash didn't gut his body though. I did. I guess you could chalk that little diddy up to Gabe. John's up the steps. INT. ATTIC - NIGHT The attic is large. Not a single room, more like a top floor. JOHN You people really are fools, you know that? It's going to be fun filleting you for the barbecue. A door slams behind John. 97. He turns and laughs. JOHN Steve's dead. You're the only thing left of this fucking town. He goes through the door. INT. UPSTAIRS ROOM - NIGHT JOHN Did you really think I knew all I was saying from The Bible alone? All the details and juicy tidbits, did you really think they came from something as holy as that? Jill runs behind him. She goes through the door. JOHN Where ya goin'? Everything's boarded up, remember? Thanks to your boyfriend, well, former. And his new fangled macho 'tude. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT JOHN My bible, on the other hand, contains much more data on the subject. Jill whimpers nearby. JOHN Did you really think you would make it through the night? Did you? Camped out in this place? Your enemies were held back because I told them to stay back. Her feet scurry away. JOHN And if you did make it through the night, if I allowed you to live that long, did you really think the night would end? He's already taken this town, seized it for his own. The night here will never end. Forever darkness for the demons to play in. And once I'm rid of you, he will take the girl as his wife and we shall rule the darkness for all eternity. 98. He looks at the knife and sees some blood left on the blade. He licks it off. JOHN I'll be his general, his second in command. Luring the only two people left alive to death, how could he not? Her feet patter on the wood floor. She runs into a closet. INT. CLOSET - NIGHT Jill pulls on the handle, not going to let anyone open it. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT John smiles. JOHN Oops. Did someone run into a closet? INT. CLOSET - NIGHT Jill looks around. She speaks the words without making a sound. JILL (mouths) Fuck. She pulls on the handle harder. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT He walks towards the door. INT. CLOSET - NIGHT The muffled sound of John's feet echo in the closet. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT John knocks on the door. INT. CLOSET - NIGHT Jill jumps at the sound. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT He swings the door open as fast as he can. 99. It's empty. INT. CLOSET - NIGHT Jill runs out of the closet. INT. UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT Jill emerges just behind John. She breaks a lamp over his head from behind. He folds over in pain. She tries to run away, but John grabs her by her hair and throws her into the wall. Jill smacks her head and looks dazed. He whispers in her ear. JOHN Now it's time to meet your maker. She comes to. Jill tries to fend him off, she slaps him across the face numerous times. He wields the knife over his head with both hands gripped around the base of the knife, ready to strike. A knee to his groin sends him to his knees. She runs off. John gets to his feet, he runs in an opposite direction. Jill looks behind her as she runs. She's almost to the stairwell door. John jumps out in front of her and drives the knife into her abdomen. Jill tries to utter something, but no words come out. John makes an "aww" face. He retracts the knife, and she falls to the floor. JOHN See? Wasn't that fun? Jill squirms in agony on the floor. JOHN Ohh. If it makes a difference, you're even tougher than Steve was. He bends down. The knife at her throat. 100. JOHN I mean, that little bitch, after all this, one little wound to the stomach just put him down, didn't it? Jill stares up at him. JOHN It's like, hey, be a man for a chan - - His face turns to agony and surprise. He rolls over Jill, onto his stomach. The axe embedded in between his shoulder blades. Jill coughs up blood. She looks up and sees Steve, holding a bleeding wound at his side. He KICKS the body once, gently. Then kicks it again, harder. He sees Jill. STEVE Oh, God, Jill. Come on, come on - - Don't. Don't, don't, don't, don't, don't... INT. CHURCH - NIGHT Steve holds Jill up, her arm over his shoulders, all her weight rests on him. He sits her down into the chair. STEVE It's not bad... I think you'll be okay. JILL It... hurts. STEVE I know. I know... Steve grabs the first aid kit off of the table nearby. He pulls out the bandages and alcohol. He tries to bandage the wound. STEVE It seems like only yesterday when you were doing this to me. 101. JILL It was... today. They both smile. Steve finishes. He pulls her up and she stands on her own. She looks better. JILL Ow! Oww... STEVE Well, don't run the marathon before the whistle blows. JILL No, I, I think I'm okay. STEVE You are. You - - His voice is cut off by Jill's gasp of pain. She looks at Steve and falls to the floor. John stands behind where she was. The bloody knife drips. He laughs. Blood gurgles in his throat. John slashes with the knife. Steve evades it. And he throws a punch across John's face, spinning around from the impact. Steve sees the axe, still in John's back. He pulls it out, the axe makes a grotesque sucking sound. John is pushed forward with the removal of the axe. He turns around, holding his back. Steve swings. John's head hits the floor. Steve goes to Jill. JILL Steve... STEVE I'm here. JILL I don't think... that I'm going to get... to see her, after all... 102. STEVE Who? JILL Ash... Ashley. STEVE Yes. Yes, you will. You're not - - not gonna... JILL John... asked me... why I... STEVE What? JILL I stayed... because I saw you... at my school. STEVE Jill... JILL Just... don't lose her, like I lost... everybody else. She passes. STEVE No... Steve holds her. He cries. His face soon turns to anger. Tears stream down his infuriated face. He grabs the axe. Off somewhere in the distance we hear him laugh, and then a door opens and closes quickly, the sound echoing throughout the chapel walls. GABRIEL (O.S.) D'aww. That's two women you've lost now. Well, three, really. His voice seems to be coming from EVERYWHERE, ECHOING throughout the halls of the chapel. 103. GABRIEL (O.S.) But, hey, you're still here, right? Saving yourself, there's no real wrong in it. Trust me when I say you have to look out for yourself. Steve faces towards the front door when Gabriel appears out of nowhere, in the blink of an eye, behind him. GABRIEL There is nothing watching over us. Steve spins around. STEVE Gabriel. GABRIEL Ah, look who's catching on. STEVE What do you want? Gabriel looks at Jill's body. GABRIEL Look at her, she's just some slut with a soul. Was anyway. Nothing she could have offered would have tempted me to take it. You, on the other hand... (to Steve) You have proven a greater asset to me than you can ever know, Steven. Well, actually, it's not really you that is the asset. STEVE Ashley. GABRIEL Yes, the girl. STEVE Where is she? GABRIEL She's somewhere where time... stands still. STEVE Is she alive? 104. GABRIEL You really don't understand do you? Here. Let me show you. The church is filled with a brilliant light and the entirety of it is transported to another time and place in a brilliant flash of speed. EXT. BURNING CITY - NIGHT A chorus of chanting rises from somewhere deep within the fiery earth. GABRIEL (V.O.) You see Steven, within her Ashley holds an incredible power. A power so great the Heavens will bend to her will. A BARREN WASTELAND, with BLAZING FIRES around every corner and utter DESTRUCTION raining free across the land. GABRIEL (V.O.) But it must be allowed to grow, to mature. Just like any other girl. Image of two shadows walking through a blazing fire, HOLDING HANDS. GABRIEL (V.O.) For this reason, I would never hurt her. She's far too important for something as trivial as death. The two figures walk towards us, still shrouded in darkness. GABRIEL (V.O.) But I must wait for her power to ascend. And once it does she shall reign with me. As my Queen. The figures emerge from the darkness. One, Gabriel. The other, Ashley. Hands locked, ruling the chaos. STEVE No! His scream throws the world back into reality, soaring back into the church. STEVE No! I won't let that happen. I won't let you have her. 105. GABRIEL Oh, I already have her. But it'll be up to you to see if I keep her. Better hurry. Time's almost up. His body PHASES out, dissolving slowly into nothing. Steve lunges for the ghost-like image, but passes through it like smoke. STEVE Damn it! Steve grabs the knife and stuffs it in the back of his pants. STEVE You want to talk about time? Fine. I know just where to go. EXT. CLOCK TOWER - NIGHT The tower is huge and menacing. Steve looks up the hard angle from the very bottom to the top. A section of the clock face is missing and Gabriel's cloak sways in the wind. INT. CLOCK TOWER STAIRCASE - NIGHT The entire base of the tower is a set of winding stairs that seem to go up forever. Steve limps up each step, struggling to balance himself. He holds his side, his face contorted with pain. INT. CLOCK TOWER PEAK - NIGHT Steve finally reaches the top, wheezing heavily. Gabriel still sits in the hole in the face of the clock, at ease, holding a music box exactly the same as the one that was found in the cells. GABRIEL Ah, so I see you finally made it. How was the walk up? STEVE Where is she? GABRIEL Why, I'm sure I don't know who you're talking about. STEVE Ashley. Where is she? 106. Ashley stands in a corner. Her hands are bound together in front of her. The clock outside ticks another minute. Gabriel is suddenly behind Ashley, with one of his clawed fingers at her throat. GABRIEL I was wrong about what I said - time isn't still here anymore. STEVE You said you wouldn't hurt her! GABRIEL Yes, I did indeed. However, there is one little thing I neglected to mention. In order for her to rule with me forever she sort of has to be, well, dead. And right now she ain't. STEVE The Circle of Amon. GABRIEL Just what in the hell are you talking about? STEVE The Circle of Amon. You have to have the Circle of Amon in order to perform the ceremony. GABRIEL And just who, pray tell, told you that silly idea? John the Baptist?... Gabriel moves away from Ashley. GABRIEL Do me a favor. STEVE What? GABRIEL Look out that window. Gabriel points to the hole in the clock face. GABRIEL Do it! 107. Steve turns his head and takes a few steps toward the window. He sees the city streets winding and twisting, some of them blocked off by large blocks of road that have been uprooted. The roads seem to form an oddly familiar shape. GABRIEL Tell me, boy. When since you have been here have you looked to the sky? Steve begins to understand. The clouds begin to pass by, clearing his view. GABRIEL I'm sure it's been a while, what, with all that damn fog blocking your view. Am I right? They pass almost entirely. The fog begins to lift. GABRIEL You know that fog isn't there for your annoyance. You've been blinded by it thus far, but I think you're ready to see it now. Steve can see the entire town. GABRIEL What do you see, Steven? STEVE My God. The roads of the town wind and twist to form the symbol of the Circle of Amon. The symbol jumps out once the town can be seen in its entirety. GABRIEL That's not the best part - - Look up. Steve peers up and sees that the clouds have formed the top symbol of the Circle of Amon. GABRIEL Incredible, isn't it? All this while you have been my little experiment. Cut off from the outside world. Rather, protected. Up until this point I wasn't sure if you were ready. STEVE Ready for what? 108. GABRIEL I didn't make it easy. Couldn't. STEVE What? GABRIEL You're still her father, Steven. STEVE I don't... GABRIEL You can still be with her. STEVE You kidnapped her. Took her away from me! Because you want me to care for her? GABRIEL Don't be stupid. I brought her back. And she came. Knowing full well the price of her immortality. STEVE What are you talking about? GABRIEL She will never get sick. She will never die. QUICK CUT An image of Terri, dying, flashes. GABRIEL I know that has become a problem in your family. STEVE Terri... GABRIEL All I'm asking is for you to be her father, Steven. She and I would rule the world. And you would be the one who made it all possible. Care for her, Steven. Guide her, coach her, as you would any other child. All that time I spent bringing her here. Enrolling her in these schools. Caring for her. (MORE) 109. GABRIEL (CONT'D) Tending to her. Don't let it all go to waste, Steven. I only have one more gift to give her. Then it will be too late. STEVE What are you asking me to do? GABRIEL I'm asking you to love her, Steven... Must your wife's death be in vain? STEVE What?! Gabriel grabs Steve's head and THRUSTS them both into another time and place. EXT. STEVE'S HOUSE - NIGHT Back to the day of his wife's death. Steve and Terri walk down the sidewalk towards their home. Ahead of them, a figure in black walks their way. He looks familiar. GABRIEL (V.O.) Do you remember me now, Steven? STEVE(V.O.) No... it can't be. Steve, in his drunken state, bumps into the man in black. STEVE Hey, watch it buddy. The figure turns after striking Steve with his shoulder, his long hair frenzied from the impact, and looks at Steve as he turns and walks away. A snicker comes across the man's face. Gabriel. INT. STEVE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT The wine bottle crashes to the floor. Terri's chest is heaved upward. The figure in the black cloak stands behind her, clutching her heart through her back. The figure's shape suddenly morphs and changes again. The thick, black cloak becomes Gabriel's trench. The hood hiding his face fades into Gabriel's hair. He smiles with glee. 110. He retracts his hand and Terri falls limply to the floor. He disappears in an instant. INT. CLOCK TOWER PEAK - NIGHT STEVE No... It was you? GABRIEL I needed something, something to block Ashley's and my presence here from your mind. Depression over your wife seemed to work fine. (beat) Who do you really think it could have been? You saw me and you pushed it out. (beat) You hid it from yourself, Steven. (beat) In your heart you knew what was happening all this time, yet you've done nothing. Why? Because it is your destiny. It is your destiny to rule along side your daughter. STEVE No. GABRIEL So what will it be Steven? Will you serve in Heaven? Or rule in hell? STEVE No. GABRIEL Just think of the possibilities. STEVE I said no! Steve hurls the axe, right at Gabriel. It flies through the air, spinning, spiraling. It lands perfectly in the side of his abdomen, splitting it open. GABRIEL That was my favorite shirt! You wrecked it. STEVE What? 111. GABRIEL Damn, that must be your favorite word or somethin', isn't it boy? What? What? What? Well how 'bout you tell me your fucking answer, Steven. STEVE My answer is no. GABRIEL Well I guess it's time to die then. Gabriel rushes at Steve, and lets a right-cross fly across Steve's face. Steve is hurled through the air and lands against a wall some thirty feet away. The Athame flies out of Steve's shirt and spins across the floor of the room, far away from Steve. Gabriel rushes to Steve, who is still trying to come back after that incredible punch. Ashley's ropes look loose. She lets go of them with her thumb and they drop to the floor. Never tight to begin with. GABRIEL You know, you could have had it all Steven. Gabriel picks Steve up by the throat. GABRIEL Girls. Money. He lifts him above his head. GABRIEL POWER! He hurls Steve across the room as if he were a ragdoll, sending him crashing into a pile of wooden boxes, shattering them all. GABRIEL But noooo. You had to do the right thing. Had to be the good little Christian boy and follow God. By the way, how's the leg? He slams his foot onto Steve's wounded leg. Steve cries out in pain. 112. He picks up Steve with both hands by the collar of his shirt, spins him around once, and sends him crashing through the wall that is only a foot away. He kicks Steve in the stomach and he slides across the floor back near the large hole in the other room. GABRIEL Aw, does that hurt? He jabs his finger into Steve's open stomach wound. He screams out in pain again. GABRIEL Ok, you know, I'm through playing around. Gabriel picks up the axe from the floor. GABRIEL This game is over. He wields the axe over his head with both hands, ready to strike it down, when he suddenly stops. He looks to Ashley, still bound. Steve is a bloody heap on the floor, ready to pass out. GABRIEL Wait. I am a man of my word. You will live to watch your daughter die. He walks over, axe in hand, to Ashley. She whimpers. Steve grabs the Athame blade quickly from the floor nearby, before Gabriel even notices he's already to his feet. Gabriel leans in close to Ashley. He licks the length of her cheek slowly. Steve runs at Gabriel. Ashley's eyes widen in shock. Steve slams the blade between Gabriel's shoulder blades. He cries out in pain. Steve collapses, too exhausted and injured to do anything more. He watches the events unfolding from the floor. Gabriel struggles to extricate the knife from his back, but he can't reach it. From somewhere deep within the wound, a glowing black light is trying to escape. A new shape, a new figure, like a ghost that Gabriel has been inside this whole time slowly, subtly, appears around Gabriel. Gabriel's eyes glow red, in pain. The hint of wings can be seen behind him, black wings. Black limbs. 113. A head shaped like a demon's. The Angel of Death in its true form. The demon instantly fades, and Gabriel collapses onto the floor. Dead. Steve lies broken on the floor, utterly decimated and near death. His breathing shallows. His eyes slowly close. Feet patter to his side. Steve looks up, all he can see is a hazy light. The figure looms over him, shielding his dying eyes from the light, filling them with darkness. The clock outside strikes 7:06. The figure stomps out the light. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. CEMETERY - DAY Winter has arrived. Snow covers every inch of space. And begins to fall from the sky. PRIEST - - And to this body we pray. That it may rest in peace. For all eternity. In peace with the Lord, our God. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Amen. A silver casket is slowly lowered into a grave. The hinges of the pulley squeak. A woman sobs nearby. Ashley is dressed all in black. She watches as the casket lowers into the grave. Her face is sad, but she does not cry. The casket finishes lowering. The woman sobs loudly. Ashley's saddened face fades. The headstone reads: "Gabriel - Rightful Father to the Beloved" Ashley smiles. FADE TO BLACK THE END
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