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COINCIDENCE Written by Brandon Zachary

3345 South Morgan Street 719-355-9400

INT. CAR - NIGHT A car drives down the street, bumping periodically and passing by various lights. The radio blathers on the main stories of the day. RADIO ANNOUNCER 1 And off of Johnson’s spectacular last second three pointer, the Bulls survived into overtime and managed to push ahead, coming out over the Heat 102 to 98. And remember... This early win in the series promises good things for the Bulls later in the playoffs. Jim? Driving the car is a police officer, MALCOM NOVELLO (29) , a particularly injured one at that. Blood stains his shirt, he sports a black eye. But he doesn’t seem to notice. RADIO ANNOUNCER 2 Thanks Ryan. To those just tuning in, our top story tonight! The mysterious killer known only as the “House Guest”, has struck again, claiming his sixth victim. The killer never seems to force entry into these homes, instead seemingly coming through the front door. Police chief Carroll has strongly urged the public to remain calm, and to show extreme caution in regards to any individuals who come to the door late. The killerMALCOM’s eyes narrow. He’s here. He turns off the radio, parks the car, undoes his seatbelt, and steps outside. EXT. OUTSIDE - NIGHT MALCOM steps under a streetlight. He finishes his cigarette, before flicking it away. He looks up, straightens his shirt, and casually walks into the darkness. He passes under another light near an apartment, in character - clutching his wounds, panting heavily. MALCOM bangs on the door loudly. EXT. PORCH - NIGHT The door swings open, revealing MARGOT HUBERMAN (23). She hurriedly closes her bathrobe and ties it up. MALCOM looks up at her. He’s panting.

2. MARGOT Hellooooh my god! MALCOM Please.... Help me. MARGOT Oh my god! What happened? Who are you? MALCOM I’m...officer god....officer Novello, with the.... Chicago police department. I was.... Jumped. I don’t.... Please. Let me i-in. Need a pho-phoneMARGOT I’m so-sorry you just caught me by surprise I’m alone tonight you see and the noise frightened me just give me a minute to grab my cellphoneMALCOM Please! They could still be *cough* out there! I need to to to call backup. Please! If you have any decency, please help me! MARGOT bites her lips, and slowly opens the door. MARGOT steps back, nervous, letting MALCOM stumble into the house. MARGOT rushes forward. INT. MARGOT’S HOME - NIGHT Thank you.


MARGOT Let me get the phone. MARGOT rushes further inside, turning her back on MALCOM. MALCOM leans backwards, closing and locking the front door. MALCOM takes a few sidesteps into the house. Breathing loudly. He looks around the house. Dust on the wedding photo, an empty coatrack, the full shoe rack, the extra pair of slightly smaller shoes... MALCOM looks at the shoes, concerned. MARGOT reappears, rushing forward with her phone.

3. MARGOT (CONT’D) Off-Officer Novello? MARGOT hands the phone to MALCOM. There’s a tan where her wedding ring should be. MALCOM’S eyes flicker down, then quickly back to Margot. MALCOM Th...thank you. Could you please get me some water? MARGOT nods quickly, and rushes away. MALCOM dials 9-1-1, but doesn’t press send. MALCOM speaks loudly to no one, as he takes the battery out of the phone, and pockets it. MALCOM (CONT’D) Hello? This is Officer Novello. We’ve had a disturbance on Polk. Some men came out of nowhere, got the jump on me. I-I I’m injured, and in need of immediate assistanceCRASH. MALCOM looks up. The basement door is ajar, and MALCOM could swear the noise came from there. INT. BASEMENT - NIGHT MALCOM moves towards the basement. He slowly moves down the stairs. It’s dark. He looks around, inspecting what he can even more intensely with each step. Hiding in the darkness, just underneath MALCOM, holding one hand over his mouth and the over his crotch, is JEFF LAWERENCE (22). JEFF is naked, shaking, and trying very hard to be very quiet. MALCOM notices a light and drawstring. He pulls a napkin out of his pocket, and reaches out. MALCOM pulls the string. Nothing happens. The bulb must be out. At the top of the stairs, Margot appears with a glass of water and a towels. MARGOT I got you some water and and and some..... What are you doing? MALCOM grimaces. MALCOM turns, back into character. MALCOM I’m sorry.... I thought I heard a... noise. You.... You said you were alone? MARGOT Yes. Yes. It.. It must have been my cat. She sleeps down there.

4. MALCOM forces a painful smile, and limps up towards her. MALCOM stumbles on the last step. Margot helps lead MALCOM into the sitting room. INT. MARGOT’S HOME - NIGHT MALCOM plops down hard on a chair. Margot skitters off briefly. MALCOM looks around at the couch. It’s clean - i.e. No cat hair. MALCOM’S eyes furrow. He looks up at a noise. MALCOM She really doesn’t like it up here, does she? MARGOT I-I-I’m sorry? MALCOM You’re cat. MARGOT has returned with towels. She moves close to MALCOM. She’s shaking. MARGOT Oh! No, she loves it up here. I uh, I couldn’t find any bandages, so I got these. Here, letMARGOT gets closer and closer to MALCOM’s “wounds”. MALCOM grabs her wrist, and slowly, tenderly, takes the towel from her. He puts it over his “wound”. MALCOM, as MARGOT backs off. MARGOT sits in a chair across from MALCOM, and puts her phone on the seat. It’s it’s like your

MALCOM okay.... You’re frightened, okay. I’m sorry to scare you this. And I’m sorry... about home.

MARGOT It’s okay, you just, wait, sorry? What? MALCOM You have such a lovely home, and you aren’t going to be here much longer, I think. MARGOT (a little indignant) Excuse me?

5. MALCOM Your wedding ring. MARGOT looks down, and then frowns. She covers her finger with her other hand. MARGOT How did you notice? MALCOM (laboured breathing) It’s my job to notice. Sorry. Is he.... staying somewhere else tonight? MARGOT Business trip. Things haven’t been good for.... A while now, and I thought... I just wanted.... I thought it would give me time to clear my head. And.... It did, Bbut I don’t.... Oh my god! I’m so sorry! You’re hurt! Really hurt, and and I’m complaining about my marriage problems! MALCOM (chuckles, then coughs) It’s okay. I’m grateful to you... I’m more then glad to listen. Hey, at least you have your cat. What was his name again? MARGOT Oh! Dustin. I can always count on him. He’s my rock. MALCOM’S weak smile fades. He sighs heavily. MALCOM reaches into his pocket. MALCOM I thought so. MARGOT Thought what? MALCOM withdraws a pair of gloves, and slips them on. Margot looks at him, confused. MALCOM” For being your “rock”, you don’t seem to actually know your cat terribly well. (MORE)

6. MALCOM” (CONT'D) No fur on the couch, confined to the basement, and no idea on the cat’s gender. Now, if I were a cop.... MALCOM stands. Margot begins to realize something is wrong. MALCOM I’d say you were lying. MALCOM moves towards her. Margot steps out of her chair and backs away. MARGOT What are you doing? Off-Officer Novello? MALCOM I’m sorry, I was hoping we could do this for a bit longer. But you and whoever you have in your basement have...expidited things. MARGOT backs away further. MALCOM speeds up. MARGOT St-stay back! MALCOM We can still have our fun though. Maybe even laMargot screams. MALCOM covers his ears. His eyes bulge - he wasn’t expecting that. FOOTSTEPS can be heard in the distance. MALCOM rushes forward. MALCOM covers her mouth, spins her around, and slams her head first into a wall. MALCOM, struggles to keep Margot still. He keeps his hand on her mouth, while his other hand withdraws a knife. Suddenly, JEFF appears, rushing towards them. JEFF tackles MALCOM. MARGOT slumps to the floor. The knife slides away. MALCOM reaches desperately for it, but is pulled back by JEFF. The two wrestle. MARGOT shakes her head, clumsily rises to her feet, and rushes to the chair where she was earlier. On the chair is her phone. She hurriedly dials 9-1-1. MARGOT Hello! 9-1-1! Hello! MALCOM gets the better of JEFF. He scrambles to the knife. MARGOT looks at the phone, and realizes it won’t turn on. FUCK!


7. She turns, notices MALCOM going for the knife, and chucks the phone at him. It connects just as he was going to grab the knife, right in the forehead. MALCOM covers his head for a second. JEFF grabs his leg, pulls him back, and continues swinging at him. Margot desperately grabs a chair and advances on the pair. She swings the chair down. MALCOM sees it coming, and rolls away. JEFF takes the chair to the back. JEFF screams in pain. MALCOM jumps up, and punches Margot away. MALCOM uses this opportunity to grab his knife, just as Margot swaggers back to her feet, hurt but still holding part of the chair, just as JEFF backs up and rises to his feet, fists clenched. The three stare one another down. The DOOR OPENS, CLOSES and FOOTSTEPS can be heard. JOE (O.S.) Margot? Honey? It's me. I decided to take a few days off, so I could home early. Listen, I hate From behind Margot walks in JOE HUBERMAN (24). JOE (CONT’D) how we left things the other night, and I just.... JOE stops mid sentence, and looks around. MARGOT turns around to stare at JOE. JOE is just staring at the room. JOE, seeing MARGOT with a chair leg, a bloodied MALCOM holding a knife, and naked JEFF. BEAT. JOE reaches into his pocket, pulls out his cellphone, dials 9-1-1, and hits call, lifting the phone to his ear. PHONE (muffled) 9-1-1 what is the nature of your emergency? JOE, still watching everyone, steps back, closes the door, and leaves. FADE OUT


A short film I wrote for an early film class.

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