SPARKLE – PILOT EPISODE
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.
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.
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.
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.
Take another step, boy. What could happen?
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.
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.
You know I’m telling the truth, don’t you, boy?
Derek says nothing.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
It looks better than the pictures online.
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.
Is that what’s-her-name’s car?
Velma. Probably. She said she might be here when we arrive.
Alyssa and Peter EMBRACE EXCITEDLY, and LOOK UP at the house.
Jeeze. Pictures just aren’t as good as real life.
That’s for sure.
A beat passes.
Video games, though. Video games are as good as real life. Kinda better.
Would you stop? Your Xbox is gonna be here in three days.
Right. I’m sorry. Three days. Three days. Seventy-two hours…straight.
She SQUEEZES him HARDER, he SQUEEZES back.
It really is. It’s like a story
book house, or something.
Our first house.
Our first house.
Should I carry you across the threshold?
You’re gonna carry me up those porch steps?
Noooo, you’re gonna walk up the steps,
then I’m gonna carry you across the threshold.
I weigh a hundred pounds. Can you lift a hundred pounds?
Whoops. Did you leave ten pounds in the car?
She LAUGHS HARDER, and BURIES her face in his neck.
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.
Hey! There she is!
Hi! You’re here! Oh, how wonderful.
Velma comes down the stairs to meet them. She shakes Alyssa’s hand first.
So pleased to meet you, finally. I’m Velma Thrawley.
Alyssa. Yes, how are you?
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.
I’ve been dying to see the inside.
Well, come on in, it’s all yours.
Wait, let me get a camera.
I’m very familiar with the house, so
you’re in good hands, Mr. Huffy.
Mmm-hmm. You give good ‘house’, huh?
I don’t understand.
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.
Wow. I thought people were smaller back
in the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ days.
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,
So are we. Although the ‘stunning’
isn’t equally distributed between us.
Oh, this must be so exciting! I’m so
jealous. You’ve never even seen it
in person. You must be so thrilled.
Yeah. It’s just amazing.
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.
First we’ve heard. Peter?
Well, not knowing something is
definitely simpler than knowing.
INT. MOON WINDOW – SECOND FLOOR – DAY
Velma is showing them the bedrooms.
We really don’t have much coming,
though. We lived in a ranch back
Oh! Then I recommend visiting the
town as soon as you can! I suggest
visiting Rose Windward’s store.
Beautiful antique furniture.
Okay. We’ll do that.
It’ll be a good way to meet some of the locals.
Yeah, we’re locals, too, now, I guess.
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
Natives, huh? I thought you had to
cross a land bridge to be a native.
They call that kind of talk
‘smart-ass-tic’ around here.
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.
I’m a huge nerd. We’re working on it.
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.
Great. We’re gonna have a lot
of space to fill, it looks like.
Honestly, I wouldn’t know where to
begin decorating a house like this.
There’s just so many different
ways you can take it.
Peter’s gonna leave that up to me.
Yeah. The most decorating I’ve ever
done was the ‘booger wall’ I had
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’.
Yeah. I’m not even gonna say something sarcastic.
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.
What is it for? Does it mean something?
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
I know it’s cramped, but maybe
we should make this a guest room.
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 reaches out and GENTLY RUNS A FINGER down the GLASS MOON.
Where will you two be staying
tonight? In the house?
Yeah. We’ve got a couple sleeping
bags and air mattresses.
And your furniture?
It’s coming in a U-pack. With my Xbox.
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.
Thanks. I think we might just sleep
right here, though, right in front
of that big window.
Oh, that will be so romantic.
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.
I just can’t believe where I am.
I can’t believe we actually moved
to Pennsylvania without winter
outfits. Not even windbreakers.
Ugh. Peter. You have been
I know. I’m sorry.
Normal ‘you’, I love. A little more
‘you’, I still find amusing. Frustrated,
in denial ‘you’…
I don’t like him, either. Okay?
Just tell me you’re happy.
Oh. You are such a bastard.
Lyssy, I’m happy.
You wanted this. You wanted the
house, you picked the house,
you said you didn’t mind snow.
It’s not about any of that. It’s…
A beat passes.
I don’t know, it’s just…
Something you don’t like?
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.
END OF ACT ONE
INT. VAN – DAY
Peter and Alyssa are driving away from their house.
Velma said the town is ‘renown’. Had
you honestly ever heard of Sparkle,
Pennsylvania before this?
A bit of sentimental embellishment?
Maybe it’s regional. Maybe only
Pennsylvanians know about it.
That doesn’t sound like Pennsylvanians.
She SWIPES HIM ON THE ARM and LAUGHS.
Watch it! You know how strong you are!
Yeah, right. You’re the only man who’s
ever called me ‘strong’, tough guy.
Are you kidding? With those arms?
All those gallons of two percent
milk I’ve seen you lift, one-handed.
Pennsylvanians aren’t dumb. I’ve
never even heard that. That’s
not even a real stereotype.
I’m clever. I’m creative. Okay?
People like me are the reason
there are stereotypes, to begin with.
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.
I can’t believe we live here.
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.
There’s plenty of time to explore,
in the future. I want to get started
on the house, today.
Right. Furniture. Can’t wait. Let
me just put my manhood back in
the glove compartment.
Your breast pocket will do the
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.
Hello. How do you do?
Hi. We’re the Huffy’s, we’re new
to town. We just moved into the
Victorian out on…
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
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.
I know all about it. Is this your first house?
Well, we don’t have a lot of
bedroom furniture at the moment,
but things are always coming in.
That’s fine. I’d like to look
at some kitchen tables. We
have a bedroom set, but it
Alyssa indicates Peter, and Rose nods. Peter frowns and turns away.
Oh my. Really, dear, you’re
starting all over again, with
nothing. It’s a blank slate.
Yes, it is. It is.
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,
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.
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.
Peter JERKS awake at the sound of the girl’s LOUD voice. Rose comes walking toward them.
Oh! Alyssa, come here! Meet my niece, Miranda-Julia.
Alyssa EXTENDS A HAND to the girl, who accepts it GRUDGINGLY.
How do you do? I’m Alyssa Huffy.
The girl TURNS UP her nose, MOCKING PROPRIETY and MIMICKING ELIZA DOOLITTLE.
How do you do? Miranda-Julia Cappern.
Alyssa doesn’t notice the girl’s effrontery.
Miranda-Julia. That is just the
most charming name I’ve ever heard.
Thank you. I like it very much.
Alyssa POINTS AT PETER, who is still sitting.
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.
So, what can I do for you, Miranda?
Rose, I can’t find Derek.
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.
By the bridge? Really? I guess I’ll
have to walk all the way out there now.
Why don’t you just wait until he comes
back? He’ll be home for lunch, I’m sure.
He likes to eat around 1 o’clock. I
leave his lunch in the fridge.
Alyssa NODS, interested.
Miranda-Julia SHAKES HER HEAD.
No. He’s probably in one of his
moods again. He’ll skip lunch
and he’ll just get skinnier
and sicker and smaller.
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.
He doesn’t get cheered up. He just gets beat up.
Miranda-Julia turns around to leave.
Miranda, why don’t you show Peter
around the square, like you did
with my brother-in-law that one
The girl STOPS in her tracks, turns around, a fake smile PLASTERED on her face.
(through clenched teeth)
Are you sure, Rose? Are you sure
Peter wants a tour of the square?
Peter looks awkward.
Oh, hey, that’s okay. I wasn’t
going anywhere. I was, um…
He QUICKLY rocks back and forth in demonstration.
Just rockin’ out. I’m fine.
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.
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.
Hey, listen, you don’t have to stick
around. If you wanna go, it’s no big deal.
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
‘Like you did with my brother-in-law that one time.’
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.
You want the speech?
Miranda HOLDS UP her hands like a SPOKESMODEL.
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.
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.
I had to look up ‘congregate’.
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.
Do you know who Rose is?
Uh, no, not really. She seems nice.
She’s very nice. She’s got her flaws,
but she’s very nice. What I mean is,
do you know who she is?
Is this a trick question? Is she
a ghost, or something?
Okay, I give up. You win. Whatever
this is, you win, okay?
You’re the people who moved
into the old mansion, right?
Mansion? I guess. It’s a borderline
mansion, I suppose. Didn’t really
think of it as a mansion.
Do you know who built it?
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
Miranda STOPS and POINTS at the statue at the CENTER of the market square.
It was him.
Peter LOOKS at the PLACARD on the statue.
CLOSE UP – PLACARD
it reads DOUGLAS D. WINDWARD 1841-1901
Oh no. You’re kidding me? Rose’s
great-great-whatever built my house!
Is she gonna be, like, passive-aggressive
or something? Acting all nice, but plotting
Nah. She’s not blood related, or
anything. Her husband was a Windward.
He croaked, though.
Are there a lot of them around
here? Windwards? Angry male
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.
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.
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.
You grew up in a war zone, didn’t you?
Nah. There is Derek Windward, my
cousin. He’s sort of a male, but
he’s kind of a wimp, too.
The kid you’re looking for.
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.
Ah. Are you going there now?
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.
It’s far, and talking to you is better than doing nothing.
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.
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.
I can see that.
For some reason, everyone just assumes
we started dating after I made my money.
So you’re rich?
How’d you get rich?
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
Wow. I never met a rich person, before.
Now you’re impressed with me? I
wasn’t rich a minute ago, as far
as you knew, and I was a total dud.
What are you worth?
I’m not super rich, or anything.
More well-off, you could say.
Yeah, but how much?
About four million, give or take.
As long as we don’t go spend crazy,
we can just chill out, live off
Not bad. What are you gonna do all day, out here?
I don’t know. Play games, read books,
watch movies. Write.
Write what? Like, the great American novel?
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.
Good. Cuz you’re already kind of…
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?
Ha! I wondered the same thing about
you. You’re obviously half a man.
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.
Oh, yeah. You’re a smartass
phenomenon. Pardon me, phenom.
Peter POUNDS his chest.
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.
So you don’t get to brag much?
Jeeze. You are the pride of your
generation, aren’t you? So where
are we going, again? Bunion Ave,
Bunyine Road. There’s a stream
and a bridge. That’s about as
far as I’ve gone.
What’s after that?
Woods. I guess.
Well, now, we don’t know everything, now do we?
We don’t care what’s up there.
There must be something, you don’t
just build a bridge for no reason.
Windward was a weird guy, he did
a lot of things that don’t make any sense.
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.
Well, I came out here.
I figured you just do what your wife tells you.
You figured right. So what’s that mean,
anyway? Bunyine? Is that some kind of
herb, or root? Something you can
I don’t know.
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? You think pet
cemeteries are cool? Is that
a nerd thing?
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
Well, I care. Does that count?
There is a road, actually. Kind
of a path, up there, after the
bridge. I don’t know if it goes
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.
It’s weird. I just never thought about it.
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.
You were right, though. I’ve been
up here a bunch of times, and I
never thought about what was up there.
I thought you didn’t care.
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.
You know, this is a pretty long
walk. What’s the purpose of
coming all the way out here?
To find Derek.
He’s always doing something dumb.
He’s always getting beat up by
the other kids, or lost, or hurt.
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,
Miranda STOPS. She shields her eyes with one hand and SQUINTS at something FAR OFF.
Do you see that?
On the other side of that
bridge, that big rock?
Just barely. What is it?
I think I see his bag there.
Miranda TAKES OFF RUNNING.
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.
There’s his back pack. Why
would he leave it?
He’s probably fine. He’s just
probably taking a whiz, or something.
Miranda DROPS her own bag. She’s UPSET.
Derek! Derek! Dereeeeeeeek!
Chill out! There’s no need to scream.
She SPINS AROUND, MAD AS HELL AT HIM.
You…you just don’t get anything, do you?
Okay, okay. Let’s just have a look around.
The two SPREAD OUT and continue calling. After a moment, Peter NOTICES SOMETHING and starts walking at it.
CLOSE UP – SHOE IN STREAM
(calling to Miranda)
I think I see something.
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.
There’s some blood. Oh my god.
There’s blood spots.
Oh, jeeze. We…
Peter SEES SOME MOVEMENT in the side of his eye and TURNS. He then starts RUNNING at the bridge.
Without looking, Miranda TEARS UP THE STREAM.
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.
Oh my god. You’ve got to do
something, Peter. You’ve got
to help him.
He looks like he’s in shock.
Derek, can you hear me?
Derek’s HEAD TURNS SLOWLY.
You okay, kid? Huh? I need you
to say something, if you can.
Tell us how you are.
Derek is SHIVERING BADLY.
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.
That could’ve gone worse. I half
thought he might scratch my eyes
out, or something, when I touched
him. Throw a fit.
Oh Derek. Be okay.
I’m gonna call the police. Get
an ambulance up here. Okay?
Miranda NODS, UNCERTAINLY.
Peter takes out his PHONE and starts DIALING. A SHAKY HAND, DEREK’S, REACHES OUT and TOUCHES PETER’S HAND.
Derek? You okay?
Derek SHAKES HIS HEAD.
I’m calling for help, right now. Someone’s coming.
Derek GRASPS PETER’S HAND.
No. Stop…Peter. Stop.
What is it?
I have to call for help, Derek. You’re hurt.
He’s got to call, Derek.
END OF ACT TWO
EXT. BUNYINE ROAD – FIELD – DAY
Peter and Miranda are SPEAKING QUIETLY fifteen or twenty yards from Derek.
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.
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.
Are you sure? I don’t want to draw
any conclusions, yet. Let’s stay
on the same page here.
Someone hurt Derek. I’m gonna find them.
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
Miranda SLOWLY TURNS and WALKS to Derek. She KNEELS DOWN next to the SHIVERING BOY.
He looks at her.
You don’t have to tell anyone else,
but you have to tell me. Who is
gonna die for this?
There was nobody.
This is me, Derek. Tell me who.
It was…the darkness in the cave.
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.
You did this to yourself?
I believe you. I do.
Miranda BOLTS UPRIGHT.
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,
Don’t speak to me!
Miranda STOMPS OFF towards the road. Peter RUNS up to Derek.
Miranda! Miranda! Where are you going?
I just wanna go home. Can I just go home?
Hold on, Derek. I’m gonna call an ambulance.
You’re hurt, and we’re miles away from town.
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”
EXT. BUNYINE ROAD – DAY
Peter and Derek are walking back to town. Peter is carrying Derek’s bag and also Miranda’s discarded one.
She must have just stomped all
the way home. How angry was she?
Peter SHAKES Miranda’s bag.
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.
You’ve got an atlas, or something, in here?
Yeah. A world atlas. Can I hold that?
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.
Kinda. I’ll just go back to my mom’s
store. She’ll take me home when she’s
done freaking out.
Okay. Jeeze that looks bad. What about Miranda?
Derek looks MILDLY ASHAMED.
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.
Well, she’s mad for a good reason, you know.
Really, really mad. I’m pretty sure I’ve never
been that mad.
Yeah. Me neither.
So there’s a cave up there, huh? What’s it like?”
Derek starts a little.
Did I say that?
I don’t know why I said that. There wasn’t a cave.
Yeah. There’s nothing up there.
That’s weird. Why’d you say it?
I don’t know.
But you went up in the woods. Why’d you go up there?
I don’t remember.
You said you got scared and ran away from something.
Don’t you believe me?
No, no! I believe you. I’m just putting
this all together in my mind. I just
don’t get what happened, is all.
I guess, maybe, you were confused
when you said that stuff.
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.
Oh my god! Derek! Baby! What happened!
I’m okay, mom.
Come here now! Alyssa! I have some
bandages and some iodine in the back
room! Peter? What happened?
I’m not sure, Rose. He was like
this when I found him.
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.
Did you have trouble moving all this stuff?
Oh, we somehow managed without you.
Thank god. I really didn’t want to help.
How many rooms is all that gonna fill?
Like, the whole first floor?
Are you serious?
This is, maybe, half the kitchen. Maybe.
Oh jeeze. How many more trips do you figure it’s gonna take?
For that whole house? Who knows?
Oh man. Honey, have you ever cheated on me?
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?
No. No one comes to mind.
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
No, but you’re making it sound like a good idea.
Seriously. No questions asked, as
long as he’s willing to work.
All right, all right. Back to Earth,
okay? Do you think that boy’s going
to be all right?
I guess. I mean, he walked all the way home?
It’s a good thing you found him.
I really didn’t do much.
Well, what did you think of Rose?
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
Brighton Beach Memoir.
Yes! That’s the one. Rose reminds me of her.
Weird. I didn’t get a Blythian impression from her.
I think it’s there. You gotta look deeper.
What about the kids? What was that like,
spending all that time with children?
You guys get along?
It was okay. Turned out to be kind
of a hassle in the end. All that walking.
Do you like Miranda?
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.
What about Arthur? Did you like him?
Peter’s smile FADES A LITTLE.
Um…he’s okay, I guess. Kinda dark, you know.
Listen, honey, I know this is going
to sound a bit weird, but I want
you to spend some time with him.
What? What the hell for?!
Rose and I talked about him, a little.
He doesn’t have a father, Peter. He
needs some kind of a male influence.
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.
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.
This is not the voice of wisdom,
I am hearing. A role model? You
can’t be serious!
Peter, I really want this. I
think it’s the right thing to do.
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!
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.
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?
Then get him an acoustic guitar.
There’s a MOMENT OF SILENCE, and Peter looks CONCERNED.
Wait. Wait a minute. Is that
the end of the conversation?
Alyssa doesn’t answer.
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.
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.
My God, what is this? Wow. Am I
awake? I can’t be.
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.
No, I’d say not. But don’t
let that make you think
that you are dreaming.
Peter LOOKS DOUGLAS OVER, and places him.
Why, D.D. Windward, you ol’ curmudgeon,
you. Fancy meeting you here.
Douglas is fine.
Well, I’ll be! Thought you were dead.
Hmm. Yes, actually. And how are you?
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.
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.
Wow. Well put. Whatever you meant.
I do apologize. This all must
be very confusing for you.
It kinda is.
Your mind must be all-of-a-twist.
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.
Yes, I’m sure. Bikinis and all
that sort of thing.
Wow, again. You just make me feel
so stupid. Just the way you talk.
Hmm. Do tell.
I know you’re not doing it on
purpose. You probably make
everyone feel this way, just
being you. I’m usually pretty
Douglas SMILES and POINTS at Peter with his pipe.
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.
Wow. Sounds great.
Douglas CHUCKLES GOOD-NATUREDLY.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 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.
Derek, do you know anything about this?
Derek RELUCTANTLY shakes his head.
You didn’t hear anything last night?
Rose SHAKES HER HEAD.
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…
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.
Yeah. I didn’t think so, either.
Rose REACHES OUT and picks at one of the gashes.
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.
But all the bark…
She BENDS DOWN and picks up a chunk.
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.
I’m gonna call Gilly later, and
tell him about it. Maybe there’s
been some black bear sightings.
You be careful, Derek. Stay out of the forest. Okay?
I mean it.
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.
Full moon. Three days.
Derek STANDS and WALKS to his window and GAZES OUT once again.
It’ll be a bright night. I’ll be there.