Screenplay for a TV Pilot – Tell me what you think

SPARKLE – PILOT EPISODE

FADE IN:

EXT. DIRT ROAD – DAY

A lonely dirt road leading uphill into a forest. A HUGE ROCK sits off the right shoulder, five or ten feet from the road. A HAZEL HAIRED BOY comes walking along with a backpack over one shoulder. He’s 12 years old, skinny, diminutive and innocent looking. The kind of kid who gets bullied. This is DEREK WINDWARD.

A CLOSE UP of the boy climbing up on the huge rock and sitting with his legs dangling. He opens his back pack and removes something very old-looking, a VICTORIAN LEATHER PROFILE, all cracked and worn. He opens it up. A CLOSE UP THE PROFILE shows a WHITE CARD pasted to the cover. On it is written the name D.D. WINDWARD.

Derek opens the profile, inside are yellowing HAND-WRITTEN PAGES in an eccentric calligraphic style. As he leafs through it we see INK ILLUSTRATIONS, as well. Derek comes to a page and stops.

DEREK (V.O.)
I know not from whence it came, but
the Bunyine is the living form of greed,
of power, and of wanting. All the
useless things that little men scratch,
squabble and war over. If this beast
is not Satan himself, then it is the
awful force that inspires him. What
the elements of nature are to the
Earth – dirt and water and soil, so
is evil an element of men’s hearts.
Here is the font from which it flows.

Derek LIFTS UP HIS HEAD, and his EYES FOLLOW THE TRAIL leading up into the forest. He’s FRIGHTENED, but trying to hold it in. He LOOKS BACK at the BOOK.

DEREK (V.O.)
You must defeat the Bunyine. Face it
first. Take nothing with you.

Derek closes the book and sits perfectly still. BIRDS CHIRP, WIND BLOWS, the BRANCHES of TREES QUIVER all around him. Derek puts his book away and drops down to the grass and starts walking uphill.

EXT. FOREST – DAY

Derek is making his way through the DENSE FOLIAGE, INTRUDING BRANCHES and PRICKLY BUSHES crowd in on him. The forest is UNCANNILY DARK with BEAMS OF LIGHT INTERSPERSED and CRISS-CROSSING. As Derek forces his way through it starts to seem to us, PARANOIDLY, as if the forest is almost PUSHING BACK at him. Derek FORCES THROUGH a final threshold of fauna and POPS OUT into a CLEARING.

Right IN FRONT OF HIM is a ROCKY OUTCROPPING in a STEEP HILL, at the center of which is the MOUTH of a DARK CAVE. The darkness is so thick it seems PAINTED ON. Derek pauses, QUIVERING WITH FEAR. After a moment he takes a DEEP BREATH and EDGES FORWARD.

BUNYINE (O.S.)
(extremely deep)
Brave, are we?

Derek STOPS in his tracks. The TERRIFYING VOICE is coming from the mouth of it. The voice is so thick and deep, like an EARTH TREMOR, it almost seems like it is the voice of the cave itself.

BUNYINE (CONT’D)
Take another step, boy. What could happen?

Derek doesn’t.

A HUGE BLACK PAW slides out from the darkness. It has GIANT EBONY CLAWS. When Derek sees them his eyes WIDEN in TERROR. The paw starts TAPPING ONE CLAW PLAYFULLY, but it doesn’t seem playful to the terrified child. The claw stops. There is a LONG PAUSE.

BUNYINE (CONT’D)
I’d like to fill my belly with
your warm blood. That’s what I
do to children. I bite off their
arms and their legs and I watch
them roll around, thrashing
their heads side-to-side,
screaming for their mothers.

Derek is FROZEN with fear.

BUNYINE (CONT’D)
You know I’m telling the truth, don’t you, boy?

Derek says nothing.

BUNYINE (CONT’D)
You think I don’t know who you are…Derek?

Derek starts to SHAKE, his BREATHS coming so VIOLENTLY, they are almost CHOKING HIM. The HUGE PAW recedes back into the cave.

BUNYINE (CONT’D)
Now, why are you here, I wonder?
Is it just to see me? Would you
have a look at me, child?

Derek tries to talk, but only STUTTERS and MUMBLES come out.

BUNYINE (CONT’D)
Then take a look, boy!

THE BUNYINE instantly LUNGES OUT at Derek. It’s a GIANT CAT, like a panther, but a thousand times more vicious. Its legs and shoulders are THICK with KNOTTED MUSCLE that’s as solid as rock. Its GIGANTIC EYES and FANGS FILL UP THE SCREEN.

WHIP PAN away from the beast and

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. FOREST – DAY

Derek SCREAMING and TEARING through the JAGGED FAUNA. The SHARP BRANCHES are CRACKING, BREAKING and SNAPPING BACK at him, CUTTING his ARMS, NECK and FACE to ribbons, as he flees for his very soul.

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. DIRT ROAD – DAY

A WIDE SHOT of the road with the woods LOOMING in the background. We hear a distant scream. There’s an OLD WOODEN SIGN off to the left of the road. A CLOSE UP of the sign reveals the words BUNYINE WOODS.

END OF TEASER

ACT ONE

EXT. MOON WINDOW – DAY

A WIDE SHOT of a large old house sitting atop a hill. It’s almost a mansion. The house is called MOON WINDOW, and a CURVY ROAD leads up to it. The house is ODD-LOOKING, as if designed by an eccentric, but VERY ELEGANT, as well. The roof is mansard. Flat, with a squat isosceles triangle, the attic level, centered in the middle of it with a BEAUTIFUL BLUISH WINDOW displaying a MOON DESIGN, from which the house derives its name. The house has one tower, as well, inside it is a spiral staircase connecting a bedroom and the kitchen.

SUPERIMPOSE: THE DAY BEFORE

A minivan drives up the road, it’s PACKED to the ceiling with BOXES and SUITCASES. More is tied to the roof. The vehicle pulls up in front of the house and the driver’s side door POPS OPEN. Out comes PETER HUFFY, 29, on the skinny side, a nerdy guy who could be somewhat handsome if he tried to be. He’s wearing ‘geeks’, thickly-rimmed glassed.

PETER
(excited)
Unbelievable! There it is! Man, that’s wild.

Out of the passenger’s side steps ALYSSA HUFFY, late 20’s. She’s very pretty, dressed athletically, like a jogger, and WAY out of Peter’s league. Being jaded, we’re thinking “He must be rich.”

ALYSSA
It looks better than the pictures online.

PETER
Yeah. I guess the house was having a
bad hair day, or something, when they took those.

There’s a small, compact car sitting nearby. Peter POINTS at it.

PETER (CONT’D)
Is that what’s-her-name’s car?

ALYSSA
Velma. Probably. She said she might be here when we arrive.

Alyssa and Peter EMBRACE EXCITEDLY, and LOOK UP at the house.

ALYSSA (CONT’D)
Jeeze. Pictures just aren’t as good as real life.

PETER
That’s for sure.

A beat passes.

PETER (CONT’D)
Video games, though. Video games are as good as real life. Kinda better.

ALYSSA
(rolls eyes)
Would you stop? Your Xbox is gonna be here in three days.

PETER
(mildly upset)
Right. I’m sorry. Three days. Three days. Seventy-two hours…straight.

She SQUEEZES him HARDER, he SQUEEZES back.

ALYSSA
It’s amazing.

PETER
(sincere)
It really is. It’s like a story
book house, or something.

ALYSSA
Our first house.

PETER
Our first house.

A beat.

PETER (CONT’D)
Should I carry you across the threshold?

ALYSSA
(doubtful)
You’re gonna carry me up those porch steps?

PETER
Noooo, you’re gonna walk up the steps,
then I’m gonna carry you across the threshold.

She laughs.

ALYSSA
I weigh a hundred pounds. Can you lift a hundred pounds?

PETER
Whoops. Did you leave ten pounds in the car?

She LAUGHS HARDER, and BURIES her face in his neck.

ALYSSA
(laughing)
Stop it!

PETER
(teasing)
Maybe we should go look for the ten pounds?
Oh, wait, maybe you packed it with my Xbox?
That ten pounds is gonna get here in three days?

While they are both LAUGHING, the FRONT DOOR of the house OPENS and a SMALL WOMAN in QUAINT BUSINESS WEAR steps out and waves. This is their realtor, VELMA THRAWLEY, 50’S.

PETER (CONT’D)
(welcoming)
Hey! There she is!

VELMA
Hi! You’re here! Oh, how wonderful.

Velma comes down the stairs to meet them. She shakes Alyssa’s hand first.

VELMA (CONT’D)
So pleased to meet you, finally. I’m Velma Thrawley.

ALYSSA
Alyssa. Yes, how are you?

VELMA
Fine. Just great. Oh, I just can’t
wait to show you around. The house
is so beautiful. It’s the loveliest
house in Forest County. I’m telling
you, it is a legendary place in
these parts. You’re going to be
so happy here, you two. Peter.

She and Peter shake hands.

ALYSSA
I’ve been dying to see the inside.

VELMA
Well, come on in, it’s all yours.

ALYSSA
Wait, let me get a camera.

VELMA
Oh, okay.
(to Peter)
I’m very familiar with the house, so
you’re in good hands, Mr. Huffy.

PETER
Mmm-hmm. You give good ‘house’, huh?

VELMA
(perplexed)
I don’t understand.

PETER
(apologetically)
I say dumb things.

She nods, politely.

INT. MOON WINDOW – DAY

Velma and the young couple are standing in the foyer by the stairs, still holding each other. The front stairs are ABNORMALLY LARGE and WIDE.

PETER
Wow. I thought people were smaller back
in the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ days.

VELMA
There seems to be no rhyme or reason for
much of the design. The house was not built
off of any plan. It was just sort devised
in segments representing different styles,
some I don’t think even have a name,
really. The end result is just, as you
can see for yourself, simply stunning,
if eccentric.

PETER
So are we. Although the ‘stunning’
isn’t equally distributed between us.

VELMA
Oh, this must be so exciting! I’m so
jealous. You’ve never even seen it
in person. You must be so thrilled.

ALYSSA
Yeah. It’s just amazing.

VELMA
I’ve never sold a house online, site
unseen, before. It really does make
things simpler, but without coming
here in person, well…I’ve been so
worried I’d miss something. I guess
there’s a trade-off for things being
simpler. By the way, a contractor
determined that the house’s old
heating tanks are still buried
on the property.

ALYSSA
First we’ve heard. Peter?

PETER
Well, not knowing something is
definitely simpler than knowing.

INT. MOON WINDOW – SECOND FLOOR – DAY

Velma is showing them the bedrooms.

ALYSSA
We really don’t have much coming,
though. We lived in a ranch back
in California.

VELMA
Oh! Then I recommend visiting the
town as soon as you can! I suggest
visiting Rose Windward’s store.
Beautiful antique furniture.

ALYSSA
Okay. We’ll do that.

VELMA
It’ll be a good way to meet some of the locals.

PETER
Yeah, we’re locals, too, now, I guess.

VELMA
(rolls eyes)
Oh, well…not quite. I think you’ll find
the natives here will be calling your
grandchildren the ‘new people’. Don’t
get me wrong, they’ll welcome you with
open arms, but they take pride in
their heritage.

PETER
Natives, huh? I thought you had to
cross a land bridge to be a native.

VELMA
(wagging finger)
They call that kind of talk
‘smart-ass-tic’ around here.

PETER
(laughs)
I like that. I like that a lot. I
think I’m gonna get that put on a
T-shirt. Seriously, I get T-shirts
made all the time.
(admitting)
I’m a huge nerd. We’re working on it.

VELMA
Well, you can get that done in town.
Sparkle is renown for its arts and
crafts, that’s what’s kept it alive
all these years. The local economy
is absolutely dependent on it.

ALYSSA
Great. We’re gonna have a lot
of space to fill, it looks like.

VELMA
Honestly, I wouldn’t know where to
begin decorating a house like this.
There’s just so many different
ways you can take it.

ALYSSA
Peter’s gonna leave that up to me.

PETER
Yeah. The most decorating I’ve ever
done was the ‘booger wall’ I had
in college.

VELMA
(surprised)
Excuse me?

ALYSSA
(annoyed)
Peter.

PETER
Well, it turned into my poster wall,
eventually. I saved a lot of money
on thumb tacks.

INT. MOON WINDOW – ATTIC – DAY

The attic is CRAMPED, but the BLUE TINT from the window makes it very charming. Up close, the window is somewhat reminiscent of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’.

ALYSSA
My god.

PETER
(moved)
Yeah. I’m not even gonna say something sarcastic.

VELMA
The window is very old. About two
decades ago it was taken apart and
repaired, the glass was polished
and the lead cames were replaced
with copper foil. I can’t be certain
how many times its been refurbished,
but it’s in excellent shape. It’s
why the house is called Moon
Window. Though, you probably
guessed that, already.

PETER
What is it for? Does it mean something?

VELMA
What does? Oh, the moon and stars?
I don’t know about the stars but
sometimes the moon rises up past
this very window, going right
through the center. The size of
the moon here is inaccurate,
but it was enlarged, I believe,
so as not to leave too much
empty space.

ALYSSA
I know it’s cramped, but maybe
we should make this a guest room.

VELMA
It’s very cold up here in the
winter, Alyssa. This kind of
window lets in the cold, almost,
as if there were no glass at
all! But it is very beautiful.

PETER
I’ll say.

Peter reaches out and GENTLY RUNS A FINGER down the GLASS MOON.

PETER (CONT’D)
I’ll say.

VELMA
Where will you two be staying
tonight? In the house?

ALYSSA
Yeah. We’ve got a couple sleeping
bags and air mattresses.

VELMA
And your furniture?

PETER
It’s coming in a U-pack. With my Xbox.

VELMA
Excellent! Oh, if you change your mind,
I suggest staying at the ‘Doss and Wick’,
a beautiful B and B not too far from
here. I’ll write down the directions
before I leave.

PETER
Thanks. I think we might just sleep
right here, though, right in front
of that big window.

VELMA
Oh, that will be so romantic.
(sobering)
For the first couple days, anyway.

Velma walks past them and out of the room. They watch her, but don’t respond.

INT. MOON WINDOW – ATTIC – NIGHT

Alyssa and Peter are CURLED UP in their sleeping bags on their air mattresses. They are STARING AT THE WINDOW, and everything is tinted in ROMANTIC BLUE LIGHT.

ALYSSA
I just can’t believe where I am.

PETER
I can’t believe we actually moved
to Pennsylvania without winter
outfits. Not even windbreakers.

ALYSSA
(exhausted)
Ugh. Peter. You have been
extra…’you’, today.

PETER
I know. I’m sorry.

ALYSSA
Normal ‘you’, I love. A little more
‘you’, I still find amusing. Frustrated,
in denial ‘you’…

PETER
I don’t like him, either. Okay?

ALYSSA
Just tell me you’re happy.

PETER
I’m happy.

ALYSSA
Oh. You are such a bastard.

PETER’
Lyssy, I’m happy.

ALYSSA
You wanted this. You wanted the
house, you picked the house,
you said you didn’t mind snow.

PETER
It’s not about any of that. It’s…

A beat passes.

ALYSSA
What?

PETER
(perplexed)
I don’t know, it’s just…

ALYSSA
Something you don’t like?

PETER
No. Something…

CLOSE UP – WINDOW

the FACE of the moon seems ALMOST MENACING, like it’s observing them.

CLOSE UP – PETER’S FACE

all TWISTED UP with UNCERTAINTY.

PETER (CONT’D)
Close.

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

INT. VAN – DAY
Peter and Alyssa are driving away from their house.

ALYSSA
Velma said the town is ‘renown’. Had
you honestly ever heard of Sparkle,
Pennsylvania before this?

PETER
A bit of sentimental embellishment?

ALYSSA
Maybe it’s regional. Maybe only
Pennsylvanians know about it.

PETER
That doesn’t sound like Pennsylvanians.

She SWIPES HIM ON THE ARM and LAUGHS.

PETER (CONT’D)
Watch it! You know how strong you are!

ALYSSA
Yeah, right. You’re the only man who’s
ever called me ‘strong’, tough guy.

PETER
Are you kidding? With those arms?

ALYSSA
Yeah.

PETER
All those gallons of two percent
milk I’ve seen you lift, one-handed.

ALYSSA
(laughing)
Pennsylvanians aren’t dumb. I’ve
never even heard that. That’s
not even a real stereotype.

PETER
I’m clever. I’m creative. Okay?
People like me are the reason
there are stereotypes, to begin with.

ALYSSA
Well, thank god for ‘you people’.

EXT. SPARKLE TOWN PROPER – APPOLINE WAY(MAIN STREET)- DAY

HIGHWAY BLACKTOP TURNS to COBBLESTONES as they enter the town. Appoline Way, the main street of the town, is parted down the center with WEEPING CHERRY and PURPLE SMOKE trees, a beautiful sight in themselves. Delicate looking, yet VIBRANT, they seem to BLUR TOGETHER like an impressionist watercolor. Wonderfully old street lamps line the WIDE SIDEWALKS, which seem to welcome pedestrians. The street is BUSTLING with people shopping, walking, chatting.

The stores look SNUG, like they are CARVED IN PLACE, their signs DANGLING by HOOK AND HOOP over their entrances. They look to be almost all craft shops. A glass maker; a seller of ceramic figurines and dolls; two flower shops; a store full of woven rugs and mats; a shop for new books; a shop for old books; antique lamps, furniture, toys, appliances. Everything is CHARMING and IDYLLIC.

There’s a STATUE at the far end of the street, centered in a market square.

There are no cars on the main street, so Peter and Alyssa park on a side street and walk, GAWKING at the sights. Peter’s T-shirt, worn under a loose flannel shirt, is one of his specially made ones, it bears the words SMARTASS PHENOMENON on the front.

ALYSSA
(awed)
I can’t believe we live here.

PETER
(pensive)
I wonder if I can get vinyl records
here. I always wanted to be the kind
of guy who collects vinyl records.
If I could just figure out how
to play them.

ALYSSA
There’s plenty of time to explore,
in the future. I want to get started
on the house, today.

PETER
Right. Furniture. Can’t wait. Let
me just put my manhood back in
the glove compartment.

ALYSSA
Your breast pocket will do the
job, Peter.

PETER
Let me be the funny one today,
would you, please?

INT. WINDWARD’S ANTIQUES – DAY

The inside of the store is very CROWDED with WOOD and BRASS. Furniture is stacked high up, but there is an understated elegance about the place.
A woman walks out of the back room. This is ROSE WINDWARD, late 30’s. Like the shop, she is also understated, yet elegant. Her hair is light-blond, and she’s wearing a flower print dress with a starched, button-down shirt. She’s vaguely reminiscent of a woman in an old Western.

ROSE
Hello. How do you do?

ALYSSA
Hi. We’re the Huffy’s, we’re new
to town. We just moved into the
Victorian out on…

ROSE
Ah, the old house on the hill!
That’s a lovely place. I was so
hoping someone would move in
there. The last owner was
practically a ghost when he
was around, and that was rare,
in itself. The house just sat
there, unused.

ALYSSA
So you know it? Maybe you have
some ideas about where to start?
We have some furniture coming,
but it will barely fill a corner
of that place.

The two ladies giggle.

ROSE
I know all about it. Is this your first house?

ALYSSA
Not exactly.

ROSE
Well, we don’t have a lot of
bedroom furniture at the moment,
but things are always coming in.

ALYSSA
That’s fine. I’d like to look
at some kitchen tables. We
have a bedroom set, but it
was his…

Alyssa indicates Peter, and Rose nods. Peter frowns and turns away.

ROSE
Oh my. Really, dear, you’re
starting all over again, with
nothing. It’s a blank slate.

ALYSSA
Yes, it is. It is.

ROSE
It’s a good idea to start with
the kitchen. It’s the heart of
the household. Come look at
this. It’s a plank table,
tiger maple…

The women walk away and leave Peter behind. He doesn’t follow them. He walks toward the entrance and sits on a CREAKY ROCKING CHAIR. He settles in. SIGHS. Relaxing. Rocking contentedly. He turns his head and stares out the window. He starts HUMMING the theme song for the old movie Flash Gordon, an 80’s geek culture staple.

PETER
Smartass…phenomenon. POW! He’s a miracle!

Outside, an angry looking girl stomps past the window. The shop’s bell TINKLES and she comes in and stands with ARMS CROSSED just a few feet away from Peter, who is DAYDREAMING, HALF-ASLEEP. This is MIRANDA-JULIA CAPPERN, twelve years old. She has light brown hair and the same vaguely old-fashioned style, with long pig-tails SPILLING over her shoulders and a cartoon character back pack. But her attire looks far more innocent than her face, which is INCENSED, ready for a fight.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Rose!

Peter JERKS awake at the sound of the girl’s LOUD voice. Rose comes walking toward them.

ROSE
Oh! Alyssa, come here! Meet my niece, Miranda-Julia.

Alyssa EXTENDS A HAND to the girl, who accepts it GRUDGINGLY.

ALYSSA
How do you do? I’m Alyssa Huffy.

The girl TURNS UP her nose, MOCKING PROPRIETY and MIMICKING ELIZA DOOLITTLE.

MIRANDA-JULIA
How do you do? Miranda-Julia Cappern.

Alyssa doesn’t notice the girl’s effrontery.

ALYSSA
Miranda-Julia. That is just the
most charming name I’ve ever heard.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Thank you. I like it very much.

Alyssa POINTS AT PETER, who is still sitting.

ALYSSA
This is my husband, Peter

Miranda TURNS and SHAKES his hand WITHOUT LOOKING AT HIM. Peter’s face shows that he finds it a bit peculiar.

ROSE
So, what can I do for you, Miranda?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Rose, I can’t find Derek.

ROSE
Oh, well, he left this morning pretty
early. He took his bag and left. My
guess is he’s over by the bridge.

Miranda-Julia nods, ANNOYED.

MIRANDA-JULIA
By the bridge? Really? I guess I’ll
have to walk all the way out there now.

ROSE
Why don’t you just wait until he comes
back? He’ll be home for lunch, I’m sure.
(to Alyssa)
He likes to eat around 1 o’clock. I
leave his lunch in the fridge.

Alyssa NODS, interested.

ALYSSA
Hmm.

Miranda-Julia SHAKES HER HEAD.

MIRANDA-JULIA
No. He’s probably in one of his
moods again. He’ll skip lunch
and he’ll just get skinnier
and sicker and smaller.

ROSE
Well, I don’t remember him being
in any kind of mood. But I’m sure
you’ll cheer him up when you see him.

MIRANDA-JULIA
He doesn’t get cheered up. He just gets beat up.

Miranda-Julia turns around to leave.

ROSE
Miranda, why don’t you show Peter
around the square, like you did
with my brother-in-law that one
time, remember?

The girl STOPS in her tracks, turns around, a fake smile PLASTERED on her face.

MIRANDA-JULIA
(through clenched teeth)
Are you sure, Rose? Are you sure
Peter wants a tour of the square?

Peter looks awkward.

PETER
Oh, hey, that’s okay. I wasn’t
going anywhere. I was, um…

He QUICKLY rocks back and forth in demonstration.

PETER (CONT’D)
Just rockin’ out. I’m fine.

ROSE
Oh, come now, Miranda. Peter doesn’t
want to look at furniture, do you, Peter?

Peter SLOUCHES in his seat. He turns his head to find Miranda STARING DAGGERS at him. He’s startled, just a little. Miranda turns and STOMPS out the door, stops outside and spins around.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Come on!

Peter LEANS FORWARD in the rocking chair and MEEKLY PEEKS out the door at her.

EXT. SPARKLE – APPOLINE WAY – DAY

Peter is WALKING behind his DIMINUTIVE TOUR GUIDE, who’s pretending like he’s not there.

PETER
(awkward)
Hey, listen, you don’t have to stick
around. If you wanna go, it’s no big deal.

MIRANDA-JULIA
(mad)
She always sticks me with this crap.
This is the fifth time. But it makes
her look cool, I guess, giving
instructions like she’s some
mother hen.

PETER
Mother hen?

MIRANDA-JULIA
‘Like you did with my brother-in-law that one time.’

PETER
Like I said, if you need to go,
you’ve got something to do, you
know…anger management, boot
camp, whatever, you can just go.
No big deal.

Miranda STOPS and TURNS to him.

MIRANDA-JULIA
You want the speech?

PETER
Um…sure. Okay.

Miranda HOLDS UP her hands like a SPOKESMODEL.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Welcome to Sparkle. This, all around
you, is Sparkle. Sparkle is a town,
a place where people live and
congregate. These are stores, they
are a means by which goods are
distributed to consumers.

PETER
Okay. Okay, you can stop now. I
feel dumb, you did your job. That
was pretty good though, is that
written down somewhere?

Miranda RELAXES just a little bit.

MIRANDA-JULIA
I had to look up ‘congregate’.

PETER
It’s a good word. You should be glad
you have a place to use it. If I say
it, an engineer, I just sound like a dick.

Miranda STARTS WALKING again. Peter FOLLOWS, uncertainly.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Do you know who Rose is?

PETER
Uh, no, not really. She seems nice.

MIRANDA-JULIA
She’s very nice. She’s got her flaws,
but she’s very nice. What I mean is,
do you know who she is?

PETER
Is this a trick question? Is she
a ghost, or something?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Not exactly.

PETER
Okay, I give up. You win. Whatever
this is, you win, okay?

MIRANDA-JULIA
You’re the people who moved
into the old mansion, right?

PETER
Mansion? I guess. It’s a borderline
mansion, I suppose. Didn’t really
think of it as a mansion.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Do you know who built it?

PETER
Um, yeah. The guy who founded the
town, right? I forget the name,
I read it online a while ago. I’d
definitely know it if I heard
it, though.

Miranda STOPS and POINTS at the statue at the CENTER of the market square.

MIRANDA-JULIA
It was him.

Peter LOOKS at the PLACARD on the statue.

CLOSE UP – PLACARD

it reads DOUGLAS D. WINDWARD 1841-1901

PETER
(upset)
Oh no. You’re kidding me? Rose’s
great-great-whatever built my house!

MIRANDA-JULIA
(amused)
Kinda.

PETER
Is she gonna be, like, passive-aggressive
or something? Acting all nice, but plotting
our downfall?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Nah. She’s not blood related, or
anything. Her husband was a Windward.
He croaked, though.

PETER
Are there a lot of them around
here? Windwards? Angry male
Windwards, specifically?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Not too many. Derek has an uncle
named Warren. He lives in Sparkle. He’s
probably gonna come after you. You’d
better learn to defend yourself.

PETER
(shocked)
What? Oh my god, I can’t deal with
this! I’ve spent my whole life
avoiding confrontations! I’m
gonna have to buy a gun. No,
lots of guns. And dogs. Guns
and dogs and horses that bite
people. Attack horses.

Miranda GUFFAWS.

MIRANDA-JULIA
I’m just kidding, you big wuss.
Wow, are you a pansy. The Windwards
haven’t had that house for a hundred
years. They don’t care.

PETER
(embarrassed/angry)
You grew up in a war zone, didn’t you?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Nah. There is Derek Windward, my
cousin. He’s sort of a male, but
he’s kind of a wimp, too.

PETER
The kid you’re looking for.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Yeah. He’s got a few hidey-holes
he goes to read. I checked a couple
already. I’m pretty sure he’s out
near the bridge on Bunyine Road.
He’s goes there sometimes. Not that
much, though, but when he’s nowhere
else, that’s usually where he is.

PETER
Ah. Are you going there now?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Yeah, I guess. He’ll be sitting
there all depressed, reading a
history book, or something even
duller. You’re coming along.

She STARTS WALKING. Peter FOLLOWS without realizing it.

PETER
I am?

MIRANDA-JULIA
It’s far, and talking to you is better than doing nothing.

PETER
That’s true. Also, knowing me is better than not knowing anyone.

EXT. DIRT ROAD – DAY

Peter and Miranda are STROLLING ALONG. They are far from town WALKING A SINGULAR, THIN PATH.

PETER
When I told my friends I was gonna
get married they all said that
Alyssa was after my dough. Even
though the first two years we
dated I was dirt poor and it
looked like I was just some
crazy inventor, like Doc Brown,
who’d never amount to much.

MIRANDA-JULIA
I can see that.

PETER
For some reason, everyone just assumes
we started dating after I made my money.

MIRANDA-JULIA
(piqued)
So you’re rich?

PETER
I guess.

MIRANDA-JULIA
How’d you get rich?

PETER
I developed a couple of patents
with another engineer. Components
for bluetooth game controllers.
Pretty dull, actually. If I told
you what they did, you’d fall
asleep with your head on a rock.
Turned out to be worth a lot
more than we had initially
thought, though.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Wow. I never met a rich person, before.

PETER
Now you’re impressed with me? I
wasn’t rich a minute ago, as far
as you knew, and I was a total dud.

MIRANDA-JULIA
What are you worth?

Peter SHRUGS.

PETER
I’m not super rich, or anything.
More well-off, you could say.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Yeah, but how much?

PETER
About four million, give or take.
As long as we don’t go spend crazy,
we can just chill out, live off
the interest.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Not bad. What are you gonna do all day, out here?

PETER
I don’t know. Play games, read books,
watch movies. Write.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Write what? Like, the great American novel?

PETER
Neh. I’m not really gonna write. I just
threw that in, cuz that’s what people
say when they move out to the country.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Good. Cuz you’re already kind of…

PETER
What?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Girly.

PETER
Well, the gloves are off! Were you
born with an extra chromosome, or
something? One of those half-man/half
woman things? And your man half
is bigger than me?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Ha! I wondered the same thing about
you. You’re obviously half a man.

PETER
(mock hurt)
Hey now, I may not be very manly,
but I can be hell-on-wheels with
a turn of phrase. That’s what this
shirt is all about.

Peter STRETCHES OUT the front of his shirt with pride.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Oh, yeah. You’re a smartass
phenomenon. Pardon me, phenom.

PETER
SMARTASS PHENOMENON!

Peter POUNDS his chest.

PETER (CONT’D)
Don’t make me turn on the juice, okay?
You have never seen karate like my
karate. Unfortunately, there’s no
bragging rights for smiting a little girl.

MIRANDA-JULIA
So you don’t get to brag much?

PETER
(humbled)
Jeeze. You are the pride of your
generation, aren’t you? So where
are we going, again? Bunion Ave,
or something?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Bunyine Road. There’s a stream
and a bridge. That’s about as
far as I’ve gone.

PETER
What’s after that?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Woods. I guess.

PETER
Well, now, we don’t know everything, now do we?

MIRANDA-JULIA
We don’t care what’s up there.

PETER
There must be something, you don’t
just build a bridge for no reason.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Windward was a weird guy, he did
a lot of things that don’t make any sense.

PETER
Like what?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Like this whole town! He was supposed
to be really rich, so why come out here
and start all this? Go build a mansion
somewhere civilized where you can
throw parties and things, and act wealthy.

PETER
Well, I came out here.

MIRANDA-JULIA
(shrugs)
I figured you just do what your wife tells you.

PETER
You figured right. So what’s that mean,
anyway? Bunyine? Is that some kind of
herb, or root? Something you can
smoke, hopefully.

MIRANDA-JULIA
I don’t know.

PETER
What about up in those woods? You
don’t know anyone who’s gone up
there? There must be something.
Could be something cool like
a…pet cemetery.

MIRANDA-JULIA
A pet cemetery? You think pet
cemeteries are cool? Is that
a nerd thing?

PETER
Well…no. I just couldn’t think
of anything up there that might
be interesting. And I’m a geek,
not a nerd. Calling a geek a
nerd is like calling a Sicilian
an Italian.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Who cares?

PETER
Well, I care. Does that count?

MIRANDA-JULIA
There is a road, actually. Kind
of a path, up there, after the
bridge. I don’t know if it goes
anywhere.

PETER
You never thought to ask? I’ve
been here a matter of hours and
I’m asking. It’s basic curiosity.
You don’t starting asking questions
at your age, you’re gonna end
up an incomplete person. Like
a swing voter.

Miranda becomes QUIET and SULLEN.

PETER (CONT’D)
(careful)
Something wrong?

MIRANDA-JULIA
(spooked)
It’s weird. I just never thought about it.

PETER
(ameliorating)
That’s okay. No big deal. Wasn’t passing
any kind of judgement. I think you’re
lucky. It’s kinda cool, you know,
having a real life mystery to solve.
Feels a little like Scooby Doo.

Miranda is LOST IN THOUGHT.

MIRANDA-JULIA
You were right, though. I’ve been
up here a bunch of times, and I
never thought about what was up there.

PETER
I thought you didn’t care.

MIRANDA-JULIA
I’ll ask Derek. I bet Derek’s been up there.

EXT. BUNYINE ROAD – DAY

The two are walking QUIETLY. They walk past the BUNYINE ROAD sign. A GRASSY FIELD with a BRIDGE crossing a BUBBLING STREAM comes into view.

PETER
You know, this is a pretty long
walk. What’s the purpose of
coming all the way out here?

MIRANDA-JULIA
To find Derek.

PETER
For what?

MIRANDA-JULIA
He’s always doing something dumb.
He’s always getting beat up by
the other kids, or lost, or hurt.

PETER
Wow, he’s lucky to have you. No
one ever looked out for me when
I was getting beat up by the other
kids. That’s why I quit teaching,
actually.

Miranda STOPS. She shields her eyes with one hand and SQUINTS at something FAR OFF.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Do you see that?

PETER
What?

MIRANDA-JULIA
On the other side of that
bridge, that big rock?

PETER
That boulder?

MIRANDA-JULIA
Yeah.

PETER
Just barely. What is it?

MIRANDA-JULIA
(panicking)
I think I see his bag there.

Miranda TAKES OFF RUNNING.

PETER
Wait a minute! Miranda, what’s wrong?

EXT. BUNYINE ROAD – ROCK – DAY

Miranda RUSHES up to where Derek left his back pack earlier. The bag is still there, undisturbed. Peter is just behind her, he’s OUT OF BREATH.

MIRANDA-JULIA
There’s his back pack. Why
would he leave it?

PETER
He’s probably fine. He’s just
probably taking a whiz, or something.

Miranda DROPS her own bag. She’s UPSET.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Derek! Derek! Dereeeeeeeek!

PETER
Chill out! There’s no need to scream.

She SPINS AROUND, MAD AS HELL AT HIM.

MIRANDA-JULIA
(angry)
You…you just don’t get anything, do you?

PETER
Okay, okay. Let’s just have a look around.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Derek!

PETER
(reluctant)
Derek!

The two SPREAD OUT and continue calling. After a moment, Peter NOTICES SOMETHING and starts walking at it.

CLOSE UP – SHOE IN STREAM

PETER (CONT’D)
(calling to Miranda)
I think I see something.

MIRANDA-JULIA
What? Where?

Peter POINTS at the spot in the stream. Miranda GASPS and starts RUNNING, FRANTICALLY. Peter IMMEDIATELY follows her.
Miranda RUNS into the stream, her footsteps making BIG SPLASHES. She PICKS UP THE SHOE.

MIRANDA-JULIA (CONT’D)
(shocked)
There’s some blood. Oh my god.
There’s blood spots.

PETER
Oh, jeeze. We…

Peter SEES SOME MOVEMENT in the side of his eye and TURNS. He then starts RUNNING at the bridge.

PETER (CONT’D)
Miranda! There!

Without looking, Miranda TEARS UP THE STREAM.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Derek!

In the DARKNESS UNDER THE BRIDGE a PALE FORM is resting. It’s Derek. Miranda GRABS HIM by the SHOULDERS and LOOKS CLOSELY at his face.

CLOSE UP – DEREK’s FACE

is BLOODY, FILTHY. He is SILENT, his EYES OPEN, STARING. He is DRENCHED and SHIVERING.

MIRANDA-JULIA (CONT’D)
(panicked)
Oh my god. You’ve got to do
something, Peter. You’ve got
to help him.

PETER
He looks like he’s in shock.
Derek, can you hear me?

Derek’s HEAD TURNS SLOWLY.

PETER (CONT’D)
You okay, kid? Huh? I need you
to say something, if you can.
Tell us how you are.

Derek is SHIVERING BADLY.

DEREK
Cold.

PETER
I’m gonna move him out in the
sun. Okay, Derek? I’m just gonna
pick you up. Don’t panic.

Derek doesn’t struggle as Peter LIFTS HIM UP out of the MUD and CARRIES HIM out of the stream to DRY GRASS and SETS HIM DOWN. Derek LIES BACK. Peter and Miranda CROWD HIM.

PETER (CONT’D)
That could’ve gone worse. I half
thought he might scratch my eyes
out, or something, when I touched
him. Throw a fit.

MIRANDA-JULIA
(crying)
Oh Derek. Be okay.

PETER
I’m gonna call the police. Get
an ambulance up here. Okay?

Miranda NODS, UNCERTAINLY.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Yeah. Yeah.

Peter takes out his PHONE and starts DIALING. A SHAKY HAND, DEREK’S, REACHES OUT and TOUCHES PETER’S HAND.

PETER
Derek? You okay?

Derek SHAKES HIS HEAD.

PETER (CONT’D)
I’m calling for help, right now. Someone’s coming.

Derek GRASPS PETER’S HAND.

DEREK
(weakly)
No.

PETER
What?

DEREK
No. Stop…Peter. Stop.

PETER
(concerned)
What is it?

DEREK
Don’t…call…anyone.

PETER
I have to call for help, Derek. You’re hurt.

DEREK
No.

MIRANDA-JULIA
He’s got to call, Derek.

DEREK
(desperate)
No!

END OF ACT TWO

ACT THREE

EXT. BUNYINE ROAD – FIELD – DAY

Peter and Miranda are SPEAKING QUIETLY fifteen or twenty yards from Derek.

PETER
He doesn’t want to say what
happened. That’s not good, Miranda.

Miranda-Julia is SO ANGRY, her eyes set in a DETERMINED SQUINT, that she can BARELY SPEAK.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Someone…did this?

PETER
I didn’t say that. But all those cuts?
He must have been in the woods, up there.
(nods toward woods)
He must have been running from something.
An animal? A person? I don’t know. But
there aren’t too many explanations
that make sense. When kids are
assaulted, they often don’t want to
tell anyone. Do you understand
what I’m saying?

Miranda LOOKS AT DEREK, then at Peter.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Uh-huh.

PETER
Are you sure? I don’t want to draw
any conclusions, yet. Let’s stay
on the same page here.

MIRANDA-JULIA
(simmering anger)
Someone hurt Derek. I’m gonna find them.

PETER
Could you please just act like a
little girl, for a second? Talk
to him. Get him to talk about it.
I wanna know more before we take
the next step. I’m still gonna
call an ambulance. Prepare him
for that.

Miranda SLOWLY TURNS and WALKS to Derek. She KNEELS DOWN next to the SHIVERING BOY.

MIRANDA-JULIA
(whispering)
Derek.

He looks at her.

MIRANDA-JULIA (CONT’D)
(whispering)
You don’t have to tell anyone else,
but you have to tell me. Who is
gonna die for this?

DEREK
There was nobody.

MIRANDA-JULIA
This is me, Derek. Tell me who.

DEREK
It was…the darkness in the cave.

MIRANDA-JULIA
What?

DEREK
I went inside a cave. I didn’t have a
flashlight. I heard something, I got
scared and I ran. I won’t do it again.
I promise, Miranda. I won’t ever do it again.

A moment PASSES. Miranda’s SIMMERING ANGER STARTS TO BOIL.

MIRANDA-JULIA
You did this to yourself?

Derek NODS.

MIRANDA-JULIA (CONT’D)
I believe you. I do.

Miranda BOLTS UPRIGHT.

MIRANDA-JULIA (CONT’D)
I can’t believe you! If that isn’t
the most irresponsible thing I’ve
ever heard! Do you know what I was
thinking? I can’t even look at you,
Derek!

DEREK
(frightened)
I’m sorry.

MIRANDA-JULIA
Don’t speak to me!

Miranda STOMPS OFF towards the road. Peter RUNS up to Derek.

PETER
Miranda! Miranda! Where are you going?
(to Derek)
What happened?

DEREK
(pleading)
I just wanna go home. Can I just go home?

PETER
Hold on, Derek. I’m gonna call an ambulance.

DEREK
Please don’t.

PETER
You’re hurt, and we’re miles away from town.

DEREK
But…

PETER
No, Derek. I’m sorry.

Peter puts his phone to his head and then TAKES IT AWAY and LOOKS at it.

CLOSE UP – PHONE

is blinking “LOW BATTERY – SHUTTING DOWN”

PETER (CONT’D)
Damn it!

EXT. BUNYINE ROAD – DAY

Peter and Derek are walking back to town. Peter is carrying Derek’s bag and also Miranda’s discarded one.

PETER
She must have just stomped all
the way home. How angry was she?

Peter SHAKES Miranda’s bag.

PETER (CONT’D)
I mean, there’s a lot of stuff in here.
Probably a computer and a phone. Maybe a
telescoping baton. You know, something
light weight, but lethal.

Peter EXAMINES Derek’s bag.

PETER (CONT’D)
You’ve got an atlas, or something, in here?

DEREK
Yeah. A world atlas. Can I hold that?

PETER
I’m not gonna go through your stuff.
I promise. Just give those arms a
rest. Oh god, those look horrible.
Do you live far away? Those really
need cleaned up.

DEREK
Kinda. I’ll just go back to my mom’s
store. She’ll take me home when she’s
done freaking out.

PETER
Okay. Jeeze that looks bad. What about Miranda?

Derek looks MILDLY ASHAMED.

DEREK
She’ll be fine, I guess. I’ve seen her that
way before. Next time I see her she’ll act
like nothing happened, and it’ll be okay.
We just have to never, ever speak of it.

PETER
Well, she’s mad for a good reason, you know.
Really, really mad. I’m pretty sure I’ve never
been that mad.

DEREK
Yeah. Me neither.

PETER
(lightening up)
So there’s a cave up there, huh? What’s it like?”

Derek starts a little.

DEREK
Did I say that?

PETER
Yeah.

DEREK
I don’t know why I said that. There wasn’t a cave.

PETER
Really?

DEREK
Yeah. There’s nothing up there.

PETER
That’s weird. Why’d you say it?

DEREK
I don’t know.

PETER
But you went up in the woods. Why’d you go up there?

DEREK
I don’t remember.

PETER
You said you got scared and ran away from something.

DEREK
Don’t you believe me?

PETER
No, no! I believe you. I’m just putting
this all together in my mind. I just
don’t get what happened, is all.

DEREK
Oh.

PETER
I guess, maybe, you were confused
when you said that stuff.

DEREK
Yeah.

Peter SHUTS UP, by the look of him, though, he seems doubtful.

EXT. SPARKLE – APPOLINE WAY – DAY

WIDE SHOT – THE STREET

outside Windward’s Antiques. Peter and Derek enter the store.

ROSE (O.S.)
Oh my god! Derek! Baby! What happened!

DEREK (O.S.)
I’m okay, mom.

ROSE (O.S.)
Come here now! Alyssa! I have some
bandages and some iodine in the back
room! Peter? What happened?

PETER (O.S.)
I’m not sure, Rose. He was like
this when I found him.

ROSE (O.S.)
Alyssa! Get me some wet towels! I have some in…

INT. VAN – NIGHT

Peter and Alyssa are driving home. The back of the minivan is CRAMMED WITH FURNITURE.

PETER
Did you have trouble moving all this stuff?

ALYSSA
Oh, we somehow managed without you.

PETER
Thank god. I really didn’t want to help.

Alyssa laughs.

PETER (CONT’D)
How many rooms is all that gonna fill?
Like, the whole first floor?

ALYSSA
(disbelief)
Are you serious?

PETER
Huh?

ALYSSA
This is, maybe, half the kitchen. Maybe.

PETER
Oh jeeze. How many more trips do you figure it’s gonna take?

ALYSSA
For that whole house? Who knows?

PETER
Oh man. Honey, have you ever cheated on me?

ALYSSA
(shocked)
What? No!

PETER
Seriously? Not ever? Maybe with a
broad-shouldered guy? Someone who can
lift a kitchen table, by himself?
Someone who owns a pickup truck, perhaps,
that’s good for hauling furniture?

Alyssa laughs.

ALYSSA
No. No one comes to mind.

PETER
Well, what about around here? Are
there any big guys who caught your eye?
Guys who might be interested in starting
something up with you, short term? You
know, just until we have the second floor
furnished?

ALYSSA
(laughing)
No, but you’re making it sound like a good idea.

PETER
Seriously. No questions asked, as
long as he’s willing to work.

ALYSSA
All right, all right. Back to Earth,
okay? Do you think that boy’s going
to be all right?

Peter shrugs.

PETER
I guess. I mean, he walked all the way home?

ALYSSA
It’s a good thing you found him.

PETER
I really didn’t do much.

ALYSSA
Strange.

PETER
Yeah.

ALYSSA
Well, what did you think of Rose?

PETER
She seems nice. She kind of reminds
of Blythe Danner, you remember, that
actress? She played the mother in
that movie we wathced that took
place in the 40’s, and there’s
this whiny kid complaining about
his childhood.

ALYSSA
Brighton Beach Memoir.

PETER
Yes! That’s the one. Rose reminds me of her.

ALYSSA
Weird. I didn’t get a Blythian impression from her.

PETER
I think it’s there. You gotta look deeper.

ALYSSA
What about the kids? What was that like,
spending all that time with children?
You guys get along?

PETER
It was okay. Turned out to be kind
of a hassle in the end. All that walking.

ALYSSA
Do you like Miranda?

PETER
Let me tell you something. That girl
is special. I can’t wait ’til she’s
old enough to drink and we can start
going on benders together.

ALYSSA
(laughing)
What about Arthur? Did you like him?

Peter’s smile FADES A LITTLE.

PETER
Um…he’s okay, I guess. Kinda dark, you know.

ALYSSA
Listen, honey, I know this is going
to sound a bit weird, but I want
you to spend some time with him.

PETER
(shocked)
What? What the hell for?!

ALYSSA
Rose and I talked about him, a little.
He doesn’t have a father, Peter. He
needs some kind of a male influence.

PETER
And I’m the best you can come up
with? What makes me qualified? I
mean, how male am I, exactly? I
don’t watch sports, I can’t fix
stuff. I suck at everything. Heck,
I read that Jane Austen book last
year, you remember that? And I
really liked it, too.

ALYSSA
Well, that’s what makes you perfect
for this. He doesn’t need some kind
of alpha male role model. He needs
someone who’s sensitive, like he is.
Someone who’s smart.

PETER
This is not the voice of wisdom,
I am hearing. A role model? You
can’t be serious!

ALYSSA
Peter, I really want this. I
think it’s the right thing to do.

PETER
You barely know him, hon. He’s depressing!
He really is! Kids like that are why schools
have metal detectors, nowadays! You never
know when they’re gonna go BOOM!

ALYSSA
And you’re fun, Peter. He needs to have
some fun. Rose says he doesn’t have any
friends. All you have to do is take him
along when you go do things that you
already want to do. That’s all.

PETER
Lots of boys don’t have fathers. I barely
had one. Not during baseball season, anyway.
Boys without fathers…they buy acoustic
guitars and write boring, bitter songs
about abandonment. You like the band
Pearl Jam, honey? That band wouldn’t
exist if any of them had proper male
influences. What if Derek is the next
Eddie Vedder, and I’m gonna ruin that?

ALYSSA
Then get him an acoustic guitar.

There’s a MOMENT OF SILENCE, and Peter looks CONCERNED.

PETER
Wait. Wait a minute. Is that
the end of the conversation?

Alyssa doesn’t answer.

PETER (CONT’D)
Really? Lyssa? Honey? Really?

INT. MOON WINDOW – ATTIC – DAY

Peter and Alyssa are ASLEEP on their AIR MATTRESSES. Alyssa is PEACEFUL, but Peter is TOSSING and TURNING. He seems to be HAVING TROUBLE BREATHING, too. All at once, he STIFFENS UP and SUCKS IN HIS BREATHE.

CUT TO:

EXT. SPARKLE PROPER – DAY

Peter is STANDING OUT in the street in his underwear and socks, exactly what he was wearing in bed. The sudden jump to BRIGHT DAY hurts his eyes, and HE COVERS THEM with his hands. He turns around, taking in everything. The surroundings are odd, the COLOR OF THE SKY, CLOUDS and SUN are PRIMARY, like a COMIC STRIP. So are all the BUILDINGS and THE STREET. He RUBS HIS HANDS and looks at them, they are also HUED in the strange, simplified color scheme.

PETER
My God, what is this? Wow. Am I
awake? I can’t be.

DOUGLAS
Hmm…awake?

Peter turns to the speaker and sees a FIT YOUNG MAN in his mid-20s. This is DOUGLAS D. WINDWARD. Douglas is LOUNGING on the EMPTY PLINTH where the square’s statue of Windward normally stands. He’s got a SIMPLE LOOKING PIPE in his mouth that’s OOZING out a THIN TENDRIL of WHITE SMOKE. He’s wearing trousers, suspenders, and a thick white button-up shirt, clothes not worn for a hundred years. What most stands out about him, though, in this strange environment, is that his coloring – his clothes, skin and hair – are NATURAL, not in primary colors. His smile is WELCOMING and COMFORTING.

DOUGLAS (CONT’D)
No, I’d say not. But don’t
let that make you think
that you are dreaming.

Peter LOOKS DOUGLAS OVER, and places him.

PETER
Why, D.D. Windward, you ol’ curmudgeon,
you. Fancy meeting you here.

DOUGLAS
Douglas is fine.

PETER
Well, I’ll be! Thought you were dead.

DOUGLAS
Hmm. Yes, actually. And how are you?

PETER
How? I don’t know. Pretty sure I’m
not asleep, though. So…I guess
I’m insane, huh? ‘Cuz this all feels
very, very real. Dreams don’t
feel this real.

DOUGLAS
Quite right, dreams do not. But
you are, in fact, not dreaming,
Peter. This place is very much
real, but you, however, are not.
Here, you are the dream. But we
shall see what we can do about that.

PETER
Wow. Well put. Whatever you meant.

DOUGLAS
I do apologize. This all must
be very confusing for you.

PETER
It kinda is.

DOUGLAS
Your mind must be all-of-a-twist.

PETER
Yeah. I’ve had lucid dreams before,
though. It’s just that there’s usually
women in bikinis and stuff, or a
harem filled with girls I knew back
in High School.

DOUGLAS
Yes, I’m sure. Bikinis and all
that sort of thing.

PETER
Wow, again. You just make me feel
so stupid. Just the way you talk.

DOUGLAS
Hmm. Do tell.

PETER
I know you’re not doing it on
purpose. You probably make
everyone feel this way, just
being you. I’m usually pretty
smart, though.

Douglas SMILES and POINTS at Peter with his pipe.

DOUGLAS
You’re far more than just that, Peter.
You’re a good man. Thank God for that.
You and I are going to do something
momentous. Something that greater
men than we failed to do.

PETER
Wow. Sounds great.

Douglas CHUCKLES GOOD-NATUREDLY.

DOUGLAS
You won’t be thinking that way when
you wake up. In fact, you’ll wish you
were never born. But when the pain
is gone, and the change in your
cranium is complete
(jabs at Peter’s forehead)
you will find that you are different,
somehow. Derek found he was different,
and so shall you.

Peter’s brow CREASES in thought.

PETER
(slight frustration)
You know, Douglas, I come from a
time when people speak more plainly.

Peter starts to feel a bit DIZZY, he WAVERS a bit where he’s standing. Douglas RAISES A HAND as if to WAVE FAREWELL.

DOUGLAS
Fare thee well, my friend. And
don’t forget, there’s a reason for
pain. No one has ever learned
anything worth knowing, who has
not hurt for it.

Peter’s body DISSIPATES, as does EVERYTHING AROUND HIM.

CUT TO:

INT. MOON WINDOW – ATTIC – NIGHT

Peter wakes up from his strange state of unconsciousness. He’s DAZED for a moment, then his face REGISTERS ALARM. He then GRABS HIS HEAD as if it’s ON FIRE, within.

CUT TO:

EXT. MOON WINDOW – NIGHT

WIDE SHOT – BACKSIDE OF MOON WINDOW

A SCREAM pierces the night. The RAW AGONY heard in the scream EXPOUNDS VOLUMES on the subjects of DESPONDENCY, PAIN and UTTER HELPLESSNESS.

END OF ACT THREE

ACT FOUR

EXT. THE INSIDE/OUT – MOON WINDOW – DAY

It’s a day painted in simple, yet VIBRANT PRIMARY COLORS. Derek LIES PROSTRATE on the grass outside of the house called Moon Window. He STIRS and wakes up, GROGGY but not surprised to be here.

He WALKS to the house, as he does his feet LEAVE THE GROUND, and he DRIFTS like a bubble to the BACK WALL, where he SOFTLY LANDS against it. He CLAWS at the brick and SLOWLY ASCENDS, as if he were UNDERWATER up to the WRAP-AROUND PORCH, and he CRAWLS over the RAILING. Once he gets over he SLAMS TO

THE FLOOR BOARDS, suddenly CATCHING GRAVITY.

DEREK
Ooooowww!

Derek PULLS HIMSELF UP by the railing, and RUBS the back of his head. He then WALKS along the porch, TRYING THE LOCKS on each window as he passes. He GIVES UP, then LOOKS AROUND for a tool. He GRABS the TOP PLANK on the railing and RIPS IT OFF with his bare hands. Now he has a 2×4. He TURNS and SWINGS it at the window, the front half of the 2×4 EXPLODES in a SHOWER OF WOOD CHIPS and SAW DUST.

Derek COUGHS and WIPES HIS FACE. He then WALKS until he’s under the ATTIC WINDOW. He GAZES up at it curiously.

Derek CLIMBS up on the porch rail and LEAPS with all his might. He SHOOTS UP a few feet like a ROCKET, but then is STOPPED MIDAIR, as if by some INVISIBLE BARRIER. He KICKS his legs and SWINGS his arms, just as if he was SWIMMING, after a few seconds of INTENSE STRUGGLING, he BURSTS THROUGH the barrier, and DRIFTS toward the plate glass window and CATCHES THE ROOF, and is left DANGLING, facing the window.

Derek HANGS there, staring at BEAUTIFUL GLASS MOON for a moment. The he REACHES OUT to touch it.

ANGLE ON – PLATE GLASS WINDOW

LOOMING INSIDE is a SILHOUETTE with a HEAD shaped like a FOOTBALL attached to a BROOM HANDLE NECK. The SILHOUETTE leans forward and HORRIFYING, JAGGED, MANGLED FEATURES become apparent. The CROOKED MOUTH of the demon OPENS WIDE, as if to ROAR LIKE A LION.

CLOSE UP – DEREK’S FACE

TWISTS and his mouth SUCKS IN AIR as if to SCREAM…

SMASH CUT TO:

Derek STRUGGLING, then STUMBLING out of bed and CRASHING TO THE FLOOR face first.

Derek TURNS OVER on his back, WINCING with pain and OUT OF BREATH. He STARES at the ceiling for a moment, and then PUSHES himself up to his feet. He LIMPS to his room’s window and LOOKS OUT on the DARK NIGHT.

WIDE SHOT – DEREK’S HOUSE

Derek GAZES for a moment, then LEAVES the window. Underneath the window, on the ground, WE HEAR the sound of DANGER. GROWLING. It’s the BUNYINE.
THE BRANCHES OF A TREE standing beneath Derek’s window SHAKE as the creature SWIPES IT with a GIGANTIC CLAW. TREE BARK goes FLYING in every direction.

CLOSE UP – TREE

A large patch of TREE TRUNK is now BARE of any bark. The Bunyine’s PAW REACHES OUT and DRAGS ITS CLAWS down the NAKED WOOD.

INT./EXT. WINDWARD HOUSE – KITCHEN – DAY

Derek, showered and dressed, his arms bandaged, enters the kitchen where breakfast – a blueberry muffin and some apple slices – is waiting for him on the kitchen table. He fetches some orange juice from the refrigerator and sits down. As he begins eating, he notices his mother standing outside through a kitchen window. He GETS UP and walks to the SIDE DOOR and OPENS it.

She is standing by the HICKORY TREE that rests under Derek’s window. Strewn on the grass all around it are SHATTERED PIECES OF BARK. Rose looks WORRIED, her ARMS CROSSED and holding her sides.

ROSE
Derek, do you know anything about this?

Derek RELUCTANTLY shakes his head.

DEREK
No, mom.

ROSE
You didn’t hear anything last night?

DEREK
No.

Rose SHAKES HER HEAD.

ROSE
Why in the world would somebody
do this? Do you think Miranda
did this? Is she mad at me
because I made her show Peter
around? I shouldn’t have asked her…

DEREK
I don’t think so. Miranda wouldn’t do this.

Derek WALKS up to the tree to get a better look. On the bare spot are THREE VERTICAL SLASHES gouged into the wood. They are VERY DEEP and STRAIGHT.

ROSE
Yeah. I didn’t think so, either.

Rose REACHES OUT and picks at one of the gashes.

ROSE (CONT’D)
I just don’t know what to say.
Does it look like they did it
with a saw? I think it’s too
messy for that. It looks like
a…I don’t know, a sickle or something.

DEREK
(hiding fear)
Yeah, maybe.

ROSE
But all the bark…

She BENDS DOWN and picks up a chunk.

ROSE (CONT’D)
You know what? I guess it was a bear.
I don’t know what I was thinking.
What else could it be? A bear must
have come to eat the bark. We’re
lucky it didn’t tear up the fence.

DEREK
Yeah.

ROSE
I’m gonna call Gilly later, and
tell him about it. Maybe there’s
been some black bear sightings.

DEREK
Okay.

ROSE
You be careful, Derek. Stay out of the forest. Okay?

DEREK
Yeah.

ROSE
I mean it.

DEREK
Right. I know.

Rose walks around to the front of the house. When she’s out of sight, Derek suddenly TEARS back into the house.

INT. WINDWARD HOUSE – DEREK’S BEDROOM – DAY

Derek RUSHES into his room. It’s SPARELY FURNISHED, with little more than a BED, a BOOKCASE and a DRESSER. He GRABS a book off a shelf and SITS DOWN on his bed.

CLOSE UP – FARMER’S ALMANAC

Derek FLIPS THROUGH THE PAGES to a MOON CALENDAR. His FINGER DRAWS DOWN THE PAGE until he finds a date. He DROPS the book on his lap.

DEREK
(grim)
Full moon. Three days.

Derek STANDS and WALKS to his window and GAZES OUT once again.

DEREK (CONT’D)
(distant)
It’ll be a bright night. I’ll be there.