UNDER PERIL'S MOON
Written by Don Coorough
EXT. FAR OUT IN SPACE LOOKING AT A DISTANT EARTH - THE DISTANT FUTURE The CAMERA views Earth from far enough away that the planet appears as a tiny speck. Slowly, as the NARRATOR reads the prologue, the CAMERA zooms in on the planet, on North America, on Yellowstone National Park, and on in to a woodsy, wilderness area. The NARRATOR is an instructor on a different planet, giving his students a lecture on how civilization fell on the planet Earth. NARRATOR Today, class, we will discuss the devolution of a society on a blue planet, the third planet orbiting its star, in a solar system far away. The planet is known as Earth. This planet once teemed with a civilization possessing advanced technology, grand cities, a vibrant culture, skilled artists in all areas of artistic expression, and an interconnected economy featuring global trade relations. However, the beings subjected themselves to flaws in planetary organization. They were incapable of unifying for the common good of planetary harmony - into a single government. They also divided into economic strata which resulted in enmity between the classes, promoting the expression of struggle between the greedy elite, the downtrodden poor, and a middle class of workers whose share of the economic prosperity they produced was not commensurate with the amount of toil expended. Regional and global armed conflicts often plagued the planet, resulting from the internecine interests arising from nation-statesâ€™ political and economic desires. These beings also adhered to multiple, competing superstitions. Their belief systems were entirely unsupported by any tangible data and were also based, not on the facts which their science revealed, but on unreliable myths and the contradictory and illogical reasoning which arose from those myths. (MORE)
2. NARRATOR (CONT'D) In a time they called their early 21st Century, the last of their global conflagrations occurred. Beginning in a year they called 2002, the strongest of their nationstates initiated a war in an area halfway around the globe for what we interpret to have been a desire to gain control over most of the planetâ€™s resources used to provide fuel for mechanized equipment. That war lasted for 27 years and ended in a stalemate because the global power which initiated the conflict ran out of the economic capital necessary to perpetuate it any longer. This nation was also one of the planetâ€™s primary industrial producers and technological developers. Its economic collapse in the decade which followed impacted every other national economy on the globe. By the end of that decade, known to the planetâ€™s inhabitants as the 2030s, the last of the corporations collapsed, global trade ceased, positions of gainful employment, necessary in their world which required money as the means to obtain necessities, dried up, and the cities emptied out. With the scarcity of food and water, the end of medical services, and the conclusion of educational systems, the population underwent a serious decline in numbers. First famine, then regional pandemics, and ultimately territorial conflicts reduced the global population by 90% over a ten year period. The end of education led to a similar end to understanding, a cessation of cooperation, a devaluation for any knowledge not useful for daily survival, the spread of ignorance, the devolution of language, and the rise of localized power predators who enslaved others and murdered those whose lives these power predators did not value. By the year 2050, the planet had grown too hot to permit the beings to be very active in during the daytime. (MORE)
3. NARRATOR (CONT'D) So, most of the inhabitants conducted nearly all their necessary toils during the night. Also, due to the widespread use of fossil fuels during the age of industrialization which preceded the last great war, the planet underwent a grave climate change. As a result, during the 2050s, very little water was available in the northern latitudes below the 42nd parallel. What follows is the story of what that once highly developing civilization became.
The CAMERA closes in on a final shot, from a distance, of a campfire in the wilderness. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. A CAMPSITE IN THE WILDERNESS - 2 AM, SUMMER 2057 SILK, a 34 year old mother, RAVEN, her 18 year old daughter, and FAIR, her 19 year old son, relax by a campfire near a river in wild countryside. They wear elk hide trousers. Their pelt shirts are made from an odd combination of pelts from animals FAIR has killed to feed the family which were stitched together by SILK. Their arms are bare. They wear moccasins, like all others living in this region during 2057. Their hair is long and disheveled. The family members are all pale-skinned since they, also like everyone else in this time, rarely expose themselves to sunlight. Their horses are tied with elk hide straps, woven together into ropes, to nearby trees loosely enough to allow them to drink from the river and graze. On the ground near the campfire are elk hide bedrolls which have been stitched together like sleeping bags. A blazing campfire is encircled by stones taken from the riverbank. In the center of the circle of stones, small branches burn into a fire. Sitting among the branches are a couple of larger rocks. A cooking pot rests on the two large rocks. The pot sits at just the level which the flames reach. SILK stands near the pot cooking on the fire, stirring it occasionally as she tends the chunks of the meat from two squirrels and the roots of oxeye daisies, mountain marsh marigolds, fern-leaved biscuit plants, and nodding onions which are all cooking in it. Next to leather pouches made from elk hides which SILK uses to store her belongings, are piles of white sweet-clover leaves and sunflower seeds on SILKâ€™s bedroll.
RAVEN sits on her own bedroll with her elk hide pouches near at hand from which she extracts and makes piles of currants, grouseberries, raspberries, strawberries and four bunches of grapes. SILK comes to RAVEN and caresses her hair. RAVEN smiles up at SILK, handing her berries and grapes. SILK takes them and eats them. As SILK walks back to check the pot, RAVEN eats a couple herself. Standing away from the others, in the shadows of the night, occasionally illuminated by the flickering campfire light flashing on and off almost like an old neon sign, is FAIR. He’s alone, no one pays him any attention. Over one shoulder, FAIR has slung a bow while over the other shoulder is slung a quiver of arrows. FAIR takes the bow off his shoulders, draws an arrow from his quiver and begins practicing with his bow, aiming his arrows at trees away from the fire. He is a good shot, hitting small targets he finds on the trees like knots and twig branches. DUSTY, a 40 year old trapper, warms himself beside the campfire. He too wears pants made from elk hides, and his shirt is made from beaver pelts he has stitched together. SILK Traipse me over those currants, Raven. I can put them in the pot, too. Makes the chow tasty. RAVEN Yums, Ma. RAVEN collects the currants. DUSTY looks up from the fire, notices FAIR standing alone, stands up and steps toward him. DUSTY Will you show me how true you fly arrows, Fair? RAVEN stands and takes the currants to SILK. As DUSTY reaches FAIR, RAVEN gestures to SILK with a nod toward FAIR and DUSTY. SILK takes the currants, drops them in the pot, and gazes toward the men, too. FAIR takes an arrow from his quiver, draws his bow, and aims just above a knot in a tree, hitting his target. DUSTY and FAIR step to the tree. DUSTY (CONT’D) Did the arrow track your aim? FAIR It’s only two hair widths higher. DUSTY Your arrows fly as true as an eagle flies descending to grasp its prey.
RAVEN You fly arrows true at trees. But you can’t hit game. Why, Fair? FAIR Hard to explain that, Raven. RAVEN I ain’t fathoming, Ma. He hits targets. Why not game? FAIR faces RAVEN. FAIR I brought two squirrels for chow. DUSTY A little flesh to chew is better than none, straight, Raven? RAVEN We crave more flesh. Two squirrels don’t fill our bellies and plants for chow ain’t plenty to chew. SILK Raven, if you would act proper at any of the settlements we find, we could stop roaming. Settlements have plenty of chow to chew. RAVEN And men and manchilds that look at me sour, too, Ma. A man said he craved to mate me a whole sleep period. Those are sour words. DUSTY steps away from FAIR and over to SILK. SILK Some moon, you will find a man to like. I hope that moon comes soon, Raven. And I hope we find a place to settle soon. Roaming wears me. RAVEN steps away and stands with her back to the fire. FAIR At one settlement, sis said she hopes we don’t settle, Ma. RAVEN Men’s hands crave my skin. That’s why. I hate it.
FAIR I crave to settle. I like folk and being friendly, Raven. Doesn’t what I crave ever matter? SILK Here, chew a handful of seeds you two. I am worn from your spats and I do not crave one now. RAVEN turns and steps toward her mother. SILK hands her a handful of sunflower seeds. RAVEN takes them, returns to her bedroll, and plops down in a huff. She opens shells and eats. SILK (CONT’D) Their spats never cease, Dusty. DUSTY They are at that time of life. SILK nods at DUSTY, then turns to FAIR. SILK Don’t you crave some seeds, Fair? FAIR looks at her and shakes his head. FAIR I didn’t kill enough game and sis fathoms there isn’t plenty chow. SILK I have to side with Raven. You fly arrows truer than anyone when you are not hunting. But you leave our bellies empty without flesh. Why? FAIR turns his back on SILK and RAVEN. He walks a few steps away, toward the shadows, away from the fire, standing in darkness like a ghostly silhouette. He turns back around and faces SILK, leaning in so only his face is illuminated. FAIR I saw an elk, but we can’t chew a whole one. To kill an elk and leave so much flesh unchewed leaves me woeful inside, Ma. I just can’t fly arrows at elk. (he turns to RAVEN) I killed the only squirrels I saw.
DUSTY Raven, Fair’s straight. To waste any life is sour. A carcass not picked clean is a life dishonored. RAVEN plucks a grape and throws it at FAIR. He snatches it out of the air with one hand. SILK But if you do not kill enough game for proper chow, Fair, we will die. FAIR I don’t crave that, either, Ma. FAIR pops the grape in his mouth as he turns away from the others and shoots another arrow, this one at nothing. It flies off into the night. He trudges to his bedroll, throws his bow on the ground, and sits down. RAVEN tosses empty sunflower seed shells into the fire, picks up a bunch of grapes, and eats some. DUSTY steps close to FAIR and leans down. DUSTY Fair, empty bellied folk get lost on the trail to their dreams. DUSTY reaches across to RAVEN’s bedroll and grabs a bunch of grapes. He steps toward SILK and shares grapes with her. FAIR After we chew, I’ll fish for trout. RAVEN I don’t like trout, too many bones. SILK They are something to chew, Raven. RAVEN I‘ll go empty bellied. SILK shakes her head, looks up at DUSTY, and rolls her eyes. He grins, shrugs his shoulders, and eats some more grapes. CUT TO: EXT. THE CAMPSITE - SHORTLY LATER SILK, RAVEN and FAIR eat in silence. DUSTY strolls by the riverside with his meal. The sound of horses tramping through the bushes intrudes. DUSTY returns to the campfire.
RAVEN You hear that? SILK Maybe Roamers with empty bellies. HONCHO, 38, WILEY, 33, TRACKER, 30, and SNEAK, 24, armed with crossbows and quivers of arrows, ride into camp. SNEAK leads a fifth horse pulling a litter with a gutted cow elk carcass covered by an old, blood-stained, plastic tarp. They, like the Roamers, wear elk hide pants, but with shirts made from bison leather. The men’s horses have old and worn saddles, saddlebags, bridles and reins. Each man has a bison-leather bota bag hanging from the saddle horn. HONCHO Proper moon, folk. DUSTY reaches the campfire and steps toward HONCHO. DUSTY Bright moon to you. HONCHO Proper moon, man. Name’s Honcho. DUSTY Folk call me Dusty. SILK I am Silk. Raven sits here and Fair there. HONCHO These are my hands. That’s Wiley. WILEY Moon. HONCHO And this is Tracker. TRACKER Proper moon, Silk, Dusty. HONCHO Back there’s Sneak. SNEAK nods in acknowledgement. HONCHO (CONT’D) You folk from this territory?
DUSTY Down from the Rockies. Just riding through to the Tetons to trap. SILK Me and my childs are Roamers. HONCHO This is my land your on. DUSTY Land isn’t owned anymore. HONCHO’s back stiffens as he sits in the saddle. HONCHO This land is. You folk poachin’ game and plants? SILK This stuff? It came from our last camp. Gathered it at sundown. HONCHO What ‘bout you, Dusty? You plan to trap this river? DUSTY This water owns no beaver. HONCHO Why’re you stoppin’ if you’re not goin’ to trap? DUSTY Wolves ran the mare until she was rest-craved and waterless. I was, too. These folk tendered chow. HONCHO How long you stayin’? SILK We will leave after chewing. HONCHO dismounts and the others follow his lead. HONCHO We’ll help you pack up. You can share our chow and chew some elk flesh with us at my place. RAVEN My belly craves elk flesh, Ma.
SILK There is always a price to pay for chow, Raven. HONCHO Your womanchild talks proper. Maybe she craves bein’ friendly. SILK Not friendly the way you crave. We have chow. We just crave to chew and leave when we are done The other men gather behind HONCHO holding their crossbows. HONCHO You’ll all have to do as I say. DUSTY You men Marauders or Doomers? HONCHO We’re not ‘Rauders. We’re Prepper descends, don’t like bein’ called Doomers. DUSTY Beg pardon. HONCHO nods to his men. WILEY, TRACKER, SNEAK and HONCHO load their crossbows and aim them at DUSTY, SILK, FAIR and RAVEN. HONCHO Don’t make any quick moves. DUSTY Maybe some folk quarrel with crossbows. I don’t. HONCHO Wise not to, Roamer. DUSTY A trapper isn’t a roamer. Like I said, I trap pelts. HONCHO Not any more. Trespassin’ and poachin’ on my land put you at the end of that trail. DUSTY I would pay to stay until moonrise next.
HONCHO Pay with what? DUSTY Pelts. HONCHO We don’t need pelts. Maybe I’ll dream up another payment. DUSTY Name the payment you crave. HONCHO walks over to SILK and grabs her by her hair. HONCHO I’ll take her. DUSTY starts to advance. DUSTY No you... TRACKER steps forward with his crossbow aimed at DUSTY and sticks it in DUSTY’s chest. DUSTY stops. HONCHO pulls SILK up by her hair. The rest of HONCHO’s party laugh. SILK struggles to free herself as FAIR stands up and runs at HONCHO. WILEY knocks FAIR down, grabs FAIR, and grips him by the throat. SNEAK comes up behind RAVEN and puts a knife to her throat. HONCHO I’ll check this one for weapons. HONCHO yanks SILK’s hair, lets his crossbow drop to the ground, and with his free hand frisks her, running it over her body. SILK struggles, trying to push him away. SILK Get your hands off me! SNEAK You fuss, maybe this knife slip. SILK sees SNEAK’s knife at RAVEN’s throat and acquiesces. HONCHO releases her hair and gropes her, infuriating SILK. With his free hand, WILEY confiscates FAIR’s knife. TRACKER, keeping an eye and his crossbow on DUSTY, collects a knife from SILK’s bedroll and FAIR’s bow and quiver. HONCHO This one’s a fine slab of woman skin. Check that one Sneak. If she squirms, we’ll blooden the boy.
HONCHO grabs SILK’s hair again as SNEAK re-sheathes his knife. WILEY, still gripping FAIR’s neck, lets his crossbow drop and aims his clenched right fist at FAIR’s face. SILK Raven, crossbows... and Fair. RAVEN And you, too, Ma. RAVEN submits to SNEAK’s groping with disgust. RAVEN (CONT’D) Sour, ugly man. Dirty hands. SNEAK slaps her. SNEAK She’s woman enough for me. She don’t look sour, neither, Honcho. HONCHO I think I’ll let you stay, Dusty. You can pay with your life. Tie the trapper to the tree, Tracker. HONCHO, holding SILK by her hair, grabs his crossbow with his free hand and aims it at DUSTY. TRACKER ties him to a tree. HONCHO (CONT’D) (to FAIR) Son, you get to learn our ways quick. You get to kill him. Take Sneak’s crossbow... and an arrow. FAIR walks to SNEAK and accepts the bow and an arrow. WILEY takes his own crossbow back in hand. He loads an arrow, and trains it back and forth from FAIR to DUSTY, threateningly. HONCHO (CONT’D) Let’s see how true you fly arrows. Fly it between the trapper’s eyes. SILK Leave him alone. HONCHO releases his bow and slaps SILK. FAIR stares in shock. HONCHO I said, fly the arrow. SNEAK puts his knife in RAVEN’s face. FAIR raises the crossbow and aims it, his hand shaking. He lowers the bow.
WILEY We don’t need no ‘lescent with no taste for our ways. HONCHO What did I say, son? Kill the trapper before I get riled. FAIR stares at HONCHO but doesn’t comply. WILEY He won’t fathom our ways. I crave to kill trapper and ‘lescent. HONCHO Do it now, son, or I’ll slap your Ma an’ sis around. FAIR raises the crossbow and holds a shaky aim very briefly before lowering it again. FAIR I can’t. He’s just trying to stay alive, like everyone. HONCHO If you don’t kill the trapper, we’ll kill you. FAIR Go ahead. I won’t fly your arrow. WILEY Kill ‘lescent’s Ma ‘stead. HONCHO (to WILEY) I’m not goin’ to kill his Ma. I crave to mate her. (to FAIR as he raises his hand, threatening SILK) Maybe I’ll mate her and make you watch, or I’ll let all the menfolk mate the girl. Fly an arrow! FAIR raises the crossbow and aims it again, but his hand shakes and he lowers the crossbow again. DUSTY Fly an arrow or don’t, Fair. But make up your head. There’s no comfort waiting to die.
SILK Dusty, quiet. Fair, no! HONCHO slaps SILK again. FAIR winces. Then, he looks into DUSTY’s eyes as he aims before throwing it to the ground. WILEY That piece a shit ‘lescent won’t never have no taste for our ways. HONCHO Wiley, you kill the trapper. As WILEY turns his crossbow and aims it at DUSTY, FAIR runs in front of DUSTY and shields the man. SILK Fair! What are you doing? WILEY Choc’late, I crave killing both. HONCHO Hold the boy aside, Wiley. WILEY lowers his crossbow, grabs FAIR with his free arm, and drags FAIR to SILK’s side where he aims his crossbow at her. HONCHO walks to DUSTY and pummels him in the face and belly with his fists until DUSTY passes out. SILK and RAVEN weep. HONCHO (CONT’D) Now I’ll teach you not to cross me. You’ll learn a taste for our ways with punishment. HONCHO walks to where WILEY holds FAIR and hits FAIR in the face multiple times with his open hand and backhand. The boy cries out in pain. CUT TO: EXT. HONCHO’S COMPOUND - ABOUT 4 AM Three buildings comprise the compound. A large, old ranch house constitutes the main building with a well and water trough near the porch. A huge barn stands to one side. A third and much smaller building serves as a smokehouse. Behind the smokehouse are two old wooden picnic benches which are in disrepair but still serviceable. HONCHO and his people eat their communal meals on them.
Behind the smaller building is a large fire pit with a tall wooden tripod equipped with a pulley and metal roping with hooks on the end from which meat is hung so it can be cooked over a fire in the pit. Beyond the eating area is a dump where used, stainless steel drums are tossed once emptied. SLICE, a 29 year old woman, BEA, a 26 year old woman, and HUSH, a 19 year old boy stand on the porch. TRACKER whoas the horse dragging the littered elk carcass between the fire pit and the smokehouse. HONCHO rides at the front of the others, guiding them to the water trough. HONCHO leads DUSTY’s and SILK’s horses. WILEY leads FAIR’s. SNEAK leads RAVEN’s. DUSTY lays draped across his horse, occasionally spitting up blood. The men use the Roamer’s leather ropes to lead the horses. HONCHO Slice, stick a knife in that elk Tracker took to the smokehouse and cut enough for us to chew a feast. SLICE Who are hag, whore, and ‘lescent, Wiley? HONCHO Never mind ‘bout them, Slice. The men and the Roamers dismount. WILEY pulls DUSTY off his horse, letting the injured man fall to the ground. SLICE Just posed Wiley ‘bout who they are. Ain’t craving new womenfolk and ain’t needing new menfolk. HONCHO I don’t care what you crave or think we don’t need. I said never mind. Hear me? SLICE Hear you. Will’s done, Honcho. She walks by WILEY. They exchange looks of discontent. WILEY We ran ‘cross a poacher, Slice. SLICE Kill him, Wiley?
WILEY ‘Lescent has no taste for no killing. So, Honcho turned soft. SLICE Piece a shit ‘lescent to bring back, then. WILEY I told same. HONCHO That’s enough. Any more bull and I’ll teach you both some respect. Get to cuttin’ the flesh, Slice. SLICE Crap. Come on Bea. BEA descends the steps, joins SLICE, and they walk toward the smokehouse. HONCHO Soon as you get some flesh cookin’ and the rest smokin’, come to the house for a meetin’. Wiley and Tracker, help your womenfolk. CUT TO: INT. THE RANCH HOUSE LIVING ROOM - SHORTLY LATER The interior of the house is fairly neat and tidy, but the furnishings are old and in disrepair. The room is dominated by a large fireplace on one wall which blazes. Near the fireplace is a box containing materials useful for starting a fire. Next to the box are steel and flint. On the other side of the hearth are stacked several logs. Two couches and several upholstered chairs face the fireplace. The upholstery is ripped in places and worn, but the furniture is still serviceable. Serving as end tables for the couches and chairs are several stainless steel metal drums. On three of the drums are located kerosene lamps which light the room. Off to one side of the room is a dining table with chairs. HONCHO enters the house first, followed by the Roamers and SNEAK, still guarding the captives with his crossbow. HONCHO Sneak, you can put that crossbow down. They’re not worrisome. Go tend to the horses and stow our gear... and their shit, too.
SNEAK Your word’s law, Honcho. SNEAK lowers his crossbow and leaves. HONCHO This is my house, Silk. Abide my word here. SILK I fathom. We will be proper. HONCHO That’s more like it. Park your rears. SILK, RAVEN and FAIR take seats on one of the couches. HONCHO mostly stands by the fireplace, but also paces as he talks. HONCHO (CONT’D) In that room is a kitchen. You remember them, Silk? SILK I remember. HONCHO Get in there and bring drinkers out. Don’t break anything. SILK hurries into the kitchen. HONCHO (CONT’D) Hear me straight, childs. No lies and no sass, or I’ll take it out fierce on your Ma and you. RAVEN and FAIR nod their heads. SILK returns with four glasses and sets them on the table. HONCHO (CONT’D) That’s not enough drinkers, use your head. Silk, park your rear. Raven, get six more drinkers... and a dipper, too. RAVEN scurries into the kitchen as SILK sits next to FAIR. SILK I haven’t seen drinkers in years. HONCHO They’ve been with my folk for as long as we lived here.
RAVEN returns with six more glasses and a ladle. RAVEN places the glasses and ladle on the table. HONCHO (CONT’D) There’s a bucket by the well, girl. Fill it with water and bring it in. RAVEN glances at SILK who nods. RAVEN goes outside. SILK How did you come to live here? HONCHO My folk were Preppers and moved into the compound with the clan who built it back around the ‘90s somewhere. SILK You must be third generation. HONCHO Simple, I am. SNEAK returns, followed by TRACKER and WILEY, who drags DUSTY over the threshold and into the room. DUSTY lays where WILEY leaves him on the floor, unconscious. HONCHO (CONT’D) Lock him in a room. While we chew, I’ll think on what to do with him. WILEY and TRACKER pick up DUSTY by his arms and legs and disappear into the hallway. SNEAK takes a seat on the other sofa, leering at RAVEN. SILK Are the others your folk? HONCHO Wiley and Slice are descends of two clans that helped build this place. Sneak is Wiley’s little brother. Tracker and Bea are descends of other clans who lived here. SLICE and BEA enter the room. SLICE sits on the sofa with SNEAK. BEA sits in a chair. SILK Sounds like there were more folk at one time. What happened?
HONCHO Died from the sickness or killed in battles with poachers and ‘rauders. SILK Woeful. WILEY and TRACKER return to the living room. WILEY sits on the sofa between SLICE and SNEAK. TRACKER takes a seat in a chair near BEA. HONCHO Where are you from? SILK Born and raised in Billings. HONCHO You go to school? Your mouth has the sound of it. SILK Simple, through tenth grade. HONCHO Why’d you stop? SILK That was ‘38, the year all the schools closed. HONCHO Watch your mouth ‘round here. I don’t like sass and I don’t like schemin’ or meddlin’, neither. What happened to your man? SILK Sickness got him... years ago. RAVEN returns with a bucket of water, spilling some on the floor as she struggles through the door. SLICE walks toward RAVEN, and when RAVEN sets the bucket down on the table near the glasses and ladle, SLICE slaps her hard. SLICE Learn not to spill, whore. SILK stands and steps toward RAVEN. SLICE moves between them. SLICE (CONT’D) What your plan, hag?
SILK I need to tend my womanchild. SLICE No coddling. When punishment given, no one coddles; not during, not after. HONCHO Park your rear, Silk. SILK Simple, Honcho. SILK returns to her seat. RAVEN moves toward the couch to join SILK and FAIR. SLICE Where you going, whore? RAVEN To park my rear. SLICE Honcho speak Raven? Heard Silk. Serve the water and don’t spill. RAVEN Simple, Slice. RAVEN returns to the table and begins to ladle water into the glasses. During the conversation, RAVEN serves the water. HONCHO I see the whole assembly’s here. Down to business. BEA What our business, bossman? HONCHO We need to figure out what to do with the Roamers, Bea. SLICE Send ‘em off or kill ‘em. WILEY Just kill them. SNEAK Easy for you two to speak that way. You got each other. (MORE)
21. SNEAK (CONT'D) Tracker got Bea. I don’t got a woman and Honcho don’t got one not since Daisy.
SLICE Don’t like the look of ‘em. RAVEN takes the last glass of water and returns to her seat on the couch between SILK and FAIR. SNEAK leers at her as she walks past him. TRACKER How come? ‘Cause they be more prettier than you? The men laugh. BEA kicks TRACKER in the leg. TRACKER (CONT’D) Damn warmheart. That hurt. HONCHO, WILEY and SNEAK all laugh louder. BEA Tracker, don’t you dares calls any woman prettier’n me. They looks shifty. WILEY You won’t know shifty if shifty comed up and bited you, Bea. HONCHO Shit, all women are shifty. Down to business. Who craves them to stay. HONCHO raises his hand along with TRACKER and SNEAK. HONCHO (CONT’D) Who craves them gone? SLICE, BEA and WILEY raise their hands. HONCHO (CONT’D) I’ll break the tie and say they stay by votin’ for Hush. SLICE What you plan for ‘em, Honcho? HONCHO Slice, you and Bea can teach them some chores to ease your burdens. I claim Silk. Sneak, you’re partial to Raven, you can claim her.
SNEAK I got a big need, Honcho. Can I mate her now? HONCHO No. A man doesn’t drool over a bitch to breed. Besides, the womanchild needs time to get partial to things. SNEAK Well, damn. HONCHO It won’t be long, Sneak. SNEAK Your word’s law, Honcho. HONCHO That’s straight and none of you better forget it, neither. HUSH enters the room. Before the others notice his presence he spots RAVEN and his face lights up, but only for an instant. He makes his face blank again before speaking. HUSH Flesh cooked. Off fire. HONCHO Let’s chow. CUT TO: EXT. THE FIRE PIT - DAWN At one old and dilapidated picnic table sit TRACKER and BEA with WILEY and SLICE. At the other table sit HONCHO and SNEAK. SILK cuts some meat from the elk which was cooked over the fire pit and now lays on a stainless steel lid sitting atop the doused fire. RAVEN stands close, ready to receive her piece while HUSH and FAIR have theirs and stand nearby. RAVEN Can we be apart? Chew under the tree, Ma? SILK These three crave to chew under the tree, Honcho.
HONCHO What for? SILK Maybe because they are all the same age and crave to be together. HONCHO I guess it’s proper. They can chew their chow over there. (to the three teens) I don’t crave any schemin’. HUSH Straight, bossman. No scheming. HONCHO nods his assent. The three walk off to eat together. SILK cuts off some meat for herself, walks over to the table where HONCHO and SNEAK are sitting, and takes a seat. SILK There is plenty of flesh left. Can I take some to Dusty? HONCHO He’s not chewin’ any. SILK He has to chew something to heal. HONCHO Who said he’ll live to heal? SILK Did you really bring him back just to kill him here? HONCHO You’re mouth’s too smart for what’s proper here. He’s not chewin’ any! SILK I’m not empty. I’ll give him mine. HONCHO If you give him yours, you’ll go empty. I’m not sparin’ any more. SILK I fathom, Honcho. HONCHO Straight. Sneak, here’s my key. Open the prisoner’s room for Silk.
SNEAK takes the key and the two walk to the house. CUT TO: EXT. UNDER THE TREE - CONTINUOUS HUSH, RAVEN and FAIR sit under the tree eating their meal as they converse. HUSH Can’t fathom. You crossed Honcho. No punishment. FAIR I didn’t get away with it. He beat me fierce. HUSH You alive. FAIR Dusty is still alive, too. HUSH Can’t fathom it. RAVEN Fair, don’t get killed. What can me and Ma do? FAIR I’ll try to be mindful, Raven. HUSH Mighty mindful; worrisome here. FAIR Why is it so worrisome, Hush? HUSH Honcho’s fierce. Wiley ’n Slice, fiercer. RAVEN Can we run? FAIR looks at RAVEN apprehensively, warning her. HUSH Not likely. See chance, take it. FAIR Aren’t you one of them?
HUSH Not natural. Daisy’s my Ma. Brung up by Tracker ‘n Bea. CUT TO: EXT. THE FIRE PIT - CONTINUOUS After eating, WILEY and TRACKER still sit with SLICE and BEA while HONCHO and SNEAK still sit at the other table. HONCHO Slice, you and Bea store the rest of this flesh. SLICE Got hag and whore for that. HONCHO Leave them be for now. I crave a meetin’ with the menfolk. I don’t crave womenfolk around, and I don’t crave Roamers hearin’ what we say. SLICE What use’re they if I got to do chores? HONCHO Slice, you and Bea will still do your share of chores. SLICE Crap. Come on, Bea. HONCHO (calling to HUSH) Hush, help Slice and Bea. SLICE and BEA go to the smokehouse to begin storing the cooked meat and HUSH joins them. WILEY and TRACKER switch tables and sit with HONCHO and SNEAK. WILEY Why we meet without our womenfolk? HONCHO You’ll find out. TRACKER Your will, bossman.
HONCHO At least Tracker keeps a proper tongue. SNEAK I got one too, Honcho. HONCHO I know that, Sneak. You don’t have the head for bein’ sour. WILEY He don’t got no head to fathom when sour said of him, neither. HONCHO Shut your lips and let me talk. WILEY Hell, simple. HONCHO I been thinkin’ ‘bout what we’re goin’ to do with that trapper. SNEAK (excitedly) We going to kill him? HONCHO That’s straight, Sneak. WILEY Why we bring him here if we just killing him anyway? HONCHO Wiley, I crave to mate Silk. Sneak craves to mate Raven. Slice and Bea crave help with their chores. If we kill the trapper and the womenfolk know, they’re not goin’ to be willin’ and proper at matin’... or as chore helpers. TRACKER Seem straight. WILEY What your plan, then?
HONCHO At sunup after next moon hunt, I’ll say we’re goin’ to set the trapper free. When Silk and her childs are locked in, we’ll take the trapper far enough away to kill him and no one will know he’s dead. CUT TO: EXT. UNDER THE TREE - CONTINUOUS RAVEN and FAIR sit alone, finishing their meal. FAIR Don’t run Hush off, Raven. I like how friendly he is. You always run off menfolk who are friendly to me. RAVEN ‘Cause they don’t talk proper. They always crave to mate. FAIR That’s woeful, but I need some friendly folk, maybe even just one who will be friendly, like Hush. RAVEN He’s friendly. He is proper to me. I guess I won’t run him off, yet. CUT TO: INT. DUSTY’S ROOM - CONTINUOUS An old double bed with an elk hide for a sheet and a bearskin for a blanket dominates DUSTY’s room. It also contains a cedar chest on the top of which sits an old, stainless steel bedpan and a porcelain water pitcher. Next to the bed sits a cedar chair, upon which SILK has placed a cup which contains drinking water, a porcelain bowl which matches the pitcher and which has been filled with water, and some of DUSTY’s pelts. SILK’s slab of elk meat also sits on the chair. DUSTY sits up in bed. SILK sits on the bed next to the chair and tends to DUSTY’s wounds by wetting a pelt in the bowl, dabbing at the cuts, and wiping the dried blood off his face and chest. DUSTY winces with pain. SILK tears off a bite of elk meat and offers it to DUSTY.
SILK Chew some of this flesh, Dusty. He takes the bite and chews it gingerly. SILK (CONT’D) Is that better? He swallows. DUSTY I didn’t dream I’d wake I’m grateful to you for Silk, and to Fair, too. me though they strained Guess he’s too straight Get that from you?
up again. the chow, He shielded him hard. to bend.
She hands him a cup of water and he drinks from it. SILK I teach him what I can, but he owns his own head. He hands her back the cup. DUSTY Manhood creeps on him. Shielding me was a rung on that ladder. SILK He never knew his Pa. It must be hard growing up that way. DUSTY He has you anyway. She rips off another bite of elk meat and offers it to him. DUSTY (CONT’D) I don’t fathom it. They beat me to grant me chow? He takes the bite and eats it. SILK It was my chow. That’s all Honcho would let you have. He gestures to the elk meat. DUSTY Chew some with me, Silk.
She hands him the cup of water and he takes a drink. SILK You need it more, to heal, Dusty. He gives her the cup back. DUSTY You need it to live, too. Chew with me so it doesn’t feel so much like charity. SILK tears off a bite for herself and one for DUSTY. She offers the bite to DUSTY and he eats it. SILK What I need is to find a way out of here. She pops the bite into her mouth and eats it. DUSTY Straight you do. Are you casting for one? SILK rips off another piece of elk meat and gives it to DUSTY. SILK I’m casting fierce, but I don’t see one. Honcho and the others seem mighty tight. I am fearful I will have to be Honcho’s woman, and I do not see a choice. She hands the man the cup of water. He takes a drink and hands the cup back to her. DUSTY Are you sure of that thought, Silk? Is that life for you? Is it a life to give Fair and Raven? She tears off another piece of elk meat and offers it to DUSTY. SILK I fathom your words, Dusty. But I also fathom willing mating is better than being matebattered. Especially for Raven. DUSTY Measure your steps carefully, Silk.
He takes the offered bite. CUT TO: INT. A HALLWAY IN THE HOUSE - MORNING As HONCHO leads SILK and RAVEN to their rooms, they stop in front of a door. HONCHO Ever slept in a bed, girl? RAVEN No. HONCHO It’s choc’late compared to dirt. HONCHO opens the door. Inside the room, a dilapidated old double bed sits. Like DUSTY’s bed, it is covered with an elk hide for a sheet and a bearskin as a blanket. An old, mahogany dresser sits against one wall with a matching porcelain pitcher and bowl on it. In a corner is a mahogany chair with an old, stainless steel bedpan on it. RAVEN enters the room. HONCHO (CONT’D) Get enough sleep. You’ll need it next moon when those two womenfolk put you to your chores. HONCHO locks the door from the outside with a key and turns to SILK. HONCHO (CONT’D) She’s not goin’ anywhere. I’m keepin’ you two apart, Silk. I won’t let you scheme. He guides SILK to the next door and opens it. HONCHO (CONT’D) I know you slept in a bed before... mated in one, too, I hazard. SILK Simple, Honcho. CUT TO:
INT. SILK’S ROOM - CONTINUOUS The room is furnished much as RAVEN’s room, except the wood on the dresser and chair are knotty pine. The dresser in SILK’s room still has an old mirror attached. SILK flinches at the sight of herself in it, winching at the look of her disheveled hair as she looks into the room. HONCHO prods SILK in, pushes her onto the bed, and sits down next to her. HONCHO Hear me, Silk. We’re short on womenfolk. You and Raven will make proper matches for me and Sneak. I crave a woman like you and Sneak is hard for Raven. SILK I am not going to be your woman and I am not giving Raven to Sneak. He raises an open hand to slap her but stops. HONCHO Don’t sass back. If you won’t mate, I’ll declare you a bitch. That means any man, even Sneak and Hush, can mate you anytime he craves. I’ll just mate Raven instead. SILK You do not know Raven. HONCHO Oh, I’ll put her out for bitch, too. One sleep period likely do. The menfolk can take all the turns matin’ her they crave. She’ll be a proper match for me mighty quick. SILK If I agree to be your woman, will you spare Raven? He grabs her by her top and pulls her face to his. HONCHO We’re not barterin’. My word is law. You need to learn that. You’re my match and Raven is Sneak’s.
SILK I need to speak with Raven about mating. He pushes her away as he lets go of her top. HONCHO Why? SILK I am mighty fearful for her first time. She is not at all ready. He stares at her, trying to figure out if she’s trying to play him or if she’s serious. SILK (CONT’D) We will need to be apart for that. HONCHO (pointing a finger at her menacingly) I’m not goin’ to let you two be apart for anything. SILK Honcho, I have to speak to Raven about how a man and a woman mate. She doesn’t know. HONCHO (shaking his head no) Sneak will teach her all she needs to know. SILK I need to speak about how her first time can leave her with a sour feeling, but later it will feel choc’late. HONCHO She’ll find that out on her own with Sneak, too. SILK cocks her head to one side and looks HONCHO up and down. SILK You crave me to make mating choc’late for you? HONCHO I make it choc’late for me.
SILK (she puts a finger on his chest) I can make it more choc’late than you have ever had. HONCHO shakes his head and slaps her hand away. HONCHO That’s a mouthful of shit. She leans back, resting on her elbows, and presents a smug pose. SILK I know things that were done in the days before folk emptied the cities. I can do things for you that will make you feel more choc’late than you can dream. He narrows his eyes as he listens, but leans in closer. HONCHO You can do that? SILK (nodding and smiling) I can. And I will if you let me speak with Raven apart. He puts his hand on her leg. HONCHO You vow you’ll mate with me and do those things next sleep period if I let you be apart with Raven? Sitting up straight again, she brushes his hand away. SILK I don’t think I have a choice about letting you mate me, anyway. He returns his hand to her leg and rubs it. HONCHO That’s straight. She pushes his hand off her leg again and crosses her legs.
SILK But I need to speak with Raven, so I will do those things next sleep period if you let us speak apart. He reaches out with his right hand, grabs her by the back of the head and pulls her face closer as she puts a hand to his chest trying to keep him at bay. HONCHO It won’t be just next sleep period. You’ll do them whenever I crave. SILK I fathom. They stare each other down for a moment. HONCHO Simple, I’ll let you talk to the girl apart. I’ll arrange things. HONCHO pulls SILK the rest of the way to him and kisses her. She has to give in, so she lets him kiss and grope her, but not for too long. Then, she pushes him away. SILK Save the rest for next sleep period. I need rest. He raises his hand as if to slap her as a warning. HONCHO I’m hard for you, Silk. But don’t pull any bull. He pushes her down on the bed and crawls on top of her. She struggles against him. He angrily takes out a pair of leather strips from a pocket, and while pinning her to the bed with his body weight, he ties each of her wrists to the headboard bedposts. She kicks her legs, trying to buck him off her. He reaches into another pocket and pulls out two more leather strips. HONCHO then pulls her pants off. SILK kicks at him. He leans over her and slaps her hard. Fright stares back at HONCHO from SILK’s eyes. He ties her ankles to the bedposts at the foot of the bed, pulls down his pants and climbs back on top of SILK. He enters her, and with each thrust into her, he slaps her face, over and over again, first with one hand then with the other. SILK cries and screams. HONCHO keeps beating her and thrusting into her. HONCHO laughs as he keeps this up and SILK continues to cry and scream. CUT TO:
INT. TRAPPER’S AND BEA’S ROOM - CONTINUOUS TRAPPER and BEA lie in bed together between their elk hide sheet and bearskin blanket. TRACKER leans over to kiss BEA. TRACKER Mate with me, Bea. She pushes him away. BEA Not this moon, Tracker. TRACKER How come, warmheart? BEA You calls the new womenfolk prettier’n me. TRACKER Not you Bea, more prettier than Slice. BEA Then, why votes for them to stays? TRACKER You crave me vote them be sent away? BEA I votes that way. I knows my place, Tracker. Does you? He puts her hand in his. She shakes her hand free. TRACKER Honcho craves a new woman. I knowed Slice and Wiley and you all vote Roamers be sent away. We both know sent away mean killed. Honcho be fierce sour if four votes goed against what he craves. I had no choice. I know my place, too. BEA You don’t craves the new womenfolk? TRACKER Not under this or any other moon. I only crave you, Bea. She puts her hand back in his.
BEA Manflame, I craves to tells you there’s no bleeds from me for ‘most three moon cycle. I maybe shows babybelly soon. He holds her hand tighter as he pulls it to his chest and wraps his other hand around it, too. TRACKER Are you withchild, warmheart? She grins over at him. BEA I hopes so. I savors the notion. Does you? He raises his body and leans closer to her. TRACKER No tidings be more proper. Don’t tell no others yet, warmheart. BEA Manflame, no one know ‘til I shows. They kiss. CUT TO: INT. WILEY’S AND SLICE’S ROOM - CONTINUOUS SLICE reclines in bed between the elk hide sheet and bearskin blanket. WILEY gets into bed with her and pulls the blanket over him. SLICE Wiley, if mating ‘tween Honcho and hag gets too choc’late, maybe he make hag bosswoman. WILEY leans over toward her, and props himself up with an elbow. WILEY (shaking his head) I hazard womenfolk and ‘lescent get three votes at meetings, too. SLICE Don’t fathom your drift.
He runs a finger down the middle of her chest from her neck to the top of her cleavage. WILEY I plan revenge for Honcho and his Pa killing our clan. I can kill Honcho. But, how I going to win a vote for take over bossman with those three votes? He lays down flat on his back. SLICE What we do? WILEY starts to masturbate under the covers. WILEY Us menfolk get to take trapper out next sunup and kill him. After trapper dead, Sneak get drop on Tracker. That give me chance to kill Honcho. SLICE Like your plan, Wiley. SLICE reaches over and takes over stroking WILEY’s penis. WILEY While I kill Honcho and trapper, you kill those womenfolk. SLICE I can do that. With her other hand, SLICE starts to finger herself. WILEY When I get back after Honcho and trapper dead, I kill Hush and ‘lescent. WILEY reaches over and takes over fingering SLICE. SLICE Choc’late. WILEY It just me and you, Sneak, Tracker and Bea then. That make votes 3 to 2. I get bossman and you stay bosswoman.
WILEY raises himself up, rolls over and mounts SLICE. SLICE Ooo, I crave that. He begins to move his hips and she squeals loudly. WILEY We make Tracker and Bea slaves. They make loud noises while having sex, getting louder and louder. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - ABOUT 5 PM Four horses stand beside a water trough. One horse pulls the litter behind it. HONCHO, WILEY and TRACKER all carry crossbows and quivers of arrows slung over their shoulders. The three men mount their horses. SLICE, BEA, SNEAK, HUSH, SILK, RAVEN and FAIR stand on the front porch. HONCHO Slice, teach the new womenfolk some chores. SLICE Will’s done, Honcho. HONCHO Silk, mind Slice. When I’m not here, Slice is bosswoman. Do as Slice says. If you don’t, she’ll be frightful sour with punishment and I’ll be fierce sour with punishment later, when I get back. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - CONTINUOUS SLICE leads SILK, RAVEN and HUSH to the barn. SLICE I in charge. Bosswoman for hags, whores and chores. What I say goes. SILK We will do what you speak.
SLICE Thatâ€™s straight, or I punish you fierce. No lip, or I punish you fierce for that, too. SILK You hear that, Raven? RAVEN I heard, Ma. They arrive at the barn door entrance. SLICE Hush, guard them. No loafing and no scheming. HUSH Will done, bosswoman. CUT TO: INT. THE BARN - CONTINUOUS The barn is very large. In it are kept bison bota bags, real ropes, saddles, bridles, reins, extra crossbows, arrows, knives, pitchforks, axes and saws. There is more gear for horses than horses to use them. Kept in a work area, in a large, but old and rusted tool box, are old tools such as: hammers, screw drivers, and the like. Hung on the walls are leather sacks of varying sizes made from the skins, hides and pelts of a variety of animals. There are twenty horse stalls, but only seven horses occupy them, three of which belong to the Roamers and a fourth belongs to DUSTY. The other horses belong to SLICE, BEA and SNEAK. One of the horse stalls toward the front of the barn not being used by a horse is stocked with numerous 55 gallon, stainless steel drums. These drums contain kerosene which is used by HONCHOâ€™s Preppers for refilling their kerosene lamps. SILK and RAVEN struggle with pushing a bale of hay across the barn floor to a central position. HUSH leans against the wall by the barn door admiring RAVEN with the eyes of a boy having his first crush, his crossbow no longer pointed at them. HUSH You need help. SILK A hand would get this done faster. HUSH I know. Chores can wear.
RAVEN How do you know? HUSH I done my share. They found me ‘n Daisy. Same as you. HUSH sets his crossbow down and comes around to the bale of hay where SILK and RAVEN stand. RAVEN Why do you stay? HUSH I cast for a way. I crave do it straight. I know, they hunt me down. They catch, they kill. (indicating the bale) We need push together. The three push the bale and it slides much more easily. They get it centrally positioned quickly. RAVEN Get plenty far away. Maybe they won’t catch you. HUSH No chance. Someone watch me always. RAVEN You’re helping, Hush? Slice told you to guard. HUSH Won’t fly my arrows. Not at neither you. SILK unbundles the hay, grabs a pitchfork, and begins spreading hay into a horse stall. RAVEN Why ain’t you guarding? HUSH I like your Ma. ‘N you, too. Silk like my Ma. You sweet ‘n purdy. RAVEN grabs a pitchfork and helps SILK. HUSH joins them. RAVEN What you want of me?
HUSH Nothing. You purdiest thing I seen. I get funny feeling. See you, I all warm inside. RAVEN How does it feel? Choc’late or sour? HUSH Choc’late. RAVEN Never felt that. HUSH Me, neither. ‘Til I seen you first time. HUSH smiles at RAVEN and enters a stall and spreads hay in it. RAVEN spreads hay in another stall. She smiles to herself as she works. SILK smiles wryly to herself and nods her head. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - ABOUT 7:30 PM SILK, RAVEN and HUSH emerge from the barn. HUSH comes out behind the women holding his crossbow on them. SILK I am thankful for your help, Hush. RAVEN You did help us. Plenty. HUSH We got to talk, Raven. RAVEN Simple, we did, Hush. HUSH grins to himself from ear to ear. HUSH Choc’late for me. Walking ahead of HUSH where he can’t see her face, RAVEN smiles to herself. RAVEN Not sour for me... so far, anyway.
SILK, who sees RAVEN’s smile, glances at her questioningly. RAVEN glances back and changes her expression to a flat one. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - ABOUT 7 PM SLICE and BEA mount their horses. SILK, RAVEN, FAIR, HUSH and SNEAK stand on the porch. SLICE Hag, Honcho told me about chores this moon. Me and Bea got to cast for plants. You and whore got to scrub inside. SILK We will get our chores done, Slice. SLICE Sneak. SNEAK Simple, Slice? SLICE Piece a shit and Hush got to scrub outside. You got to guard. Guard outside mostly. But, none of them better scheme or try nothing though. No loafing, neither. SNEAK Your will’s done, Slice. SLICE Hag, when me an’ Bea get back, you better got your chores done and this house better shine or I got to take it out on all your hides. SILK I fathom, Slice. The chores will all be done proper. SLICE Hag, you worked your whore charm on Honcho. You ready to whore yourself and your womanchild to Honcho and Sneak. Mind this, I bosswoman, and I stay bosswoman. Your whore ways ain’t changing nothing.
SLICE and BEA ride out of the compound armed with crossbows and arrows. CUT TO: INT. THE RANCH HOUSE LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS SILK and RAVEN enter the room. RAVEN carries a bucket of water while SILK carries cleaning pelts. RAVEN sets the bucket down on the table and turns to SILK. RAVEN Did Slice talk straight? SILK Not completely, Raven. RAVEN You gave me to Sneak? SILK No, I did not give you to Sneak. Honcho already claimed you for Sneak. RAVEN You’re allowing that? You’re letting him take me, Ma? SILK I am not allowing anything. There is nothing I can do about it. RAVEN There must be something. You have to stand up. You always have. SILK These folk are different. You do not know how fierce they can be. RAVEN What more can they do? SILK They can matebatter us. They can do it in groups. They can do it over and over. They can beat us. They can beat us while they matebatter us. RAVEN No one would do that.
SILK Honcho threatened all those things. He did some of them to me last sleep period. Now, what do you crave me to do and how do you crave me to do it? RAVEN stamps through the room, throwing a tantrum. RAVEN Do something! SILK steps to RAVEN and reaches out to caress her face. RAVEN pushes her motherâ€™s hand away, angrily. SILK Womanchild, Honcho spoke to me after he put you in your room. He made me feel mighty fearful. You do not have a choice and I do not have a choice, either. Honcho beat me and matebattered me last sleep period. This sleep period, Honcho is going to mate me again, and Sneak is going to mate you. RAVENâ€™s expression passes from anger to horror. RAVEN This sleep period? SILK Yes, Raven. RAVEN walks to a couch and plops her weight onto it. It only takes a moment before she begins to sob uncontrollably. The sobbing bursts into tears. RAVEN No choice, Ma? None at all? SILK sits on the couch next to RAVEN who looks up at her mother and then turns her head away from SILK. RAVEN screams in anger and frustration, stands, and stomps out of the room. CUT TO: EXT. THE PORCH - CONTINUOUS HUSH and FAIR finish cleaning the windows on the porch. FAIR grabs the bucket of water as HUSH takes the scrub pelts.
They descend the steps and walk to the side of the house with SNEAK following, constantly holding his crossbow on them. CUT TO: EXT. THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS SNEAK guards FAIR and HUSH. FAIR scrubs a window. HUSH stands by, watching, holding pelts to wipe the window. SNEAK Hush, piece a shit got to do most of the chore. Piece a shit, you got to scrub mighty fast and powerful hard. I don’t crave to stand here all moon watching you. FAIR I’m doing my best, Sneak. SNEAK You got to do better than that. HUSH hands FAIR one of the scrub pelts. FAIR dunks it into the bucket and begins to clean a window which is filthy with encrusted dirt. FAIR takes a moment to rest as HUSH wipes the window dry. Through the window, SNEAK sees RAVEN scrubbing the inside. He leers for a moment. SNEAK (CONT’D) Hush, get your crossbow and quiver. HUSH Why, Sneak? SNEAK You got to guard piece of shit while I go inside. I got to make sure the womenfolk chore, not loaf. HUSH runs off to the barn. SNEAK (CONT’D) Move to the next window, piece a shit. FAIR grabs the bucket in one hand, the scrub pelts in the other, and carries them to the window of the next room. SNEAK remains in the same spot, guarding FAIR from there, but also watching RAVEN in the room. FAIR begins cleaning the window as HUSH returns, carrying his crossbow and quiver of arrows.
SNEAK (CONT’D) Guard that piece a shit, Hush. HUSH Will done. SNEAK walks away. HUSH glances in the room at RAVEN. They share eye contact and a smile. CUT TO: EXT. A TRAIL INTO THE FOREST - 8 PM A full moon illuminates the night. SLICE and BEA ride their horses at a walk on the trail into a wooded area. SLICE Don’t got to get too many plants, Bea. BEA It full proper by me, bosswoman. I does what you craves. SLICE You a proper worker, Bea. Keep a straight tongue, too. BEA I knows my place, bosswoman. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOM WHICH RAVEN IS CLEANING - CONTINUOUS RAVEN cleans a different room. She washes the inside of the window. SNEAK quietly enters the room without alerting RAVEN to his presence. He closes the door, pulls a key out of a pocket, and locks the door from the inside. RAVEN doesn’t hear the sounds because of the noise she creates scrubbing the window. SNEAK pulls his knife out of its sheath and silently steps toward SILK. Without any warning, SNEAK reaches around RAVEN and puts the knife to her throat. Shock appears on her face. SNEAK Don’t even twitch. RAVEN (with disgust) You came in. I didn’t hear.
SNEAK ‘Cause I didn’t crave you to. RAVEN turns her head enough to glance behind and discovers the door is closed. RAVEN Why close the door? SNEAK I locked it, too. Don’t bother to scream or I got to cut your pretty neck. SNEAK presses his face against her cheek. RAVEN feels his breath on her skin and shudders with revulsion. SNEAK (CONT’D) We got time apart now. CUT TO: EXT. THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS Having finished washing a window, FAIR carries his cleaning supplies to the next window. HUSH follows him, not really guarding him, but merely giving the impression he is. HUSH I woeful. I can’t help you. FAIR You can’t, I know. Don’t risk punishment for me. HUSH Can’t let Sneak know I not with them. FAIR It’s straight and proper, Hush. CUT TO: EXT. A TRAIL INTO THE FOREST - CONTINUOUS SLICE and BEA pick berries as they converse. BEA This bright moon, I feels the lures for mating Tracker.
SLICE (teasing) Just another whore, Bea. BEA (teasing back) You savors the same, bosswoman. I hears you and Wiley. You is loud. They laugh. SLICE Can’t help it. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOM WHICH RAVEN IS CLEANING - CONTINUOUS SNEAK holds the knife to RAVEN’s throat while he inches around to face her, keeping his body next to her, brushing against her as much as he can. As he faces RAVEN, she slowly backs away from him, but he follows her movement, staying close, his face never being more than a few inches from hers. RAVEN backs herself up against a wall. RAVEN Sneak, don’t. This feels sour. SNEAK Raven, you got me hard. With his free hand, SNEAK grabs RAVEN by her top and throws her to the bed, making her spin as she falls. RAVEN Stop, Sneak. I’ll scream. SNEAK stays right with her as she falls to the bed. He’s on the bed with her, hovering over her, leering and grinning with anticipation, his knife still in his hand. He threatens her cheeks, her eyes and her lips with it. She’s frozen with shock and terror. He brings the knife back to her throat. SNEAK Then, I got to cut that face... or slit that throat. He climbs on top of RAVEN, holding the knife to her throat and pinning her to the bed with his body. He leans his face down to hers and kisses her. She bites his tongue, drawing blood. He spits the blood in her face and grins sadistically. CUT TO:
EXT. THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS FAIR wets his scrubbing pelt and begins to turn the dirt on the window to mud. FAIR dips his scrubbing pelt back in the bucket, wets it again, and returns to washing the window, smearing the mud on the pane. CUT TO: EXT. THE CLEARING WITH THE BERRIES - CONTINUOUS SLICE Why I ain’t never heared you and Tracker? BEA We savors quiet mating. SLICE Mating ain’t choc’late unless loud and fierce. BEA Tracker’s quiet tastes is choc’late to me. My body yield up tingles and shakes, and my chest thump fierce. I savors my manflame. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOM WHICH RAVEN IS CLEANING - CONTINUOUS SNEAK slaps RAVEN hard across the face with his free hand while keeping the knife at her neck. She spits in his face. He laughs and runs his free hand over her body. She tries to writhe herself out from under him, but she stops because he presses the knife tighter against her neck. With his body weight pinning her, he removes the knife. She kicks her legs, thrashes her head from side to side, and bounces her body, twisting, writhing, trying to flip him off her. But as she struggles, he locks his ankles around her legs and grabs her wrists in each hand, pulls them over her head, and grips them both with one hand. Then, he grabs the knife again, and holds it to her throat. SNEAK That squirming got me harder. RAVEN ceases to move, ceases to physically struggle, but expresses her fury with her face and eyes.
RAVEN You make me sick. SNEAK I got to mate you here and now, Raven. I got to make you my matewhore. RAVEN I hate you. CUT TO: EXT. THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE - CONTINUOUS FAIR dips the scrubbing pelt into the bucket again. This time, when he uses it to wash the window, the pane clears of the filth allowing a view inside the room. HUSH, standing beside FAIR, sees SNEAK on top of RAVEN through the window. He throws the crossbow aside and runs toward the front door. CUT TO: EXT. THE CLEARING WITH THE BERRIES - CONTINUOUS SLICE Think maybe you like Tracker more than mating. BEA Don’t gets me sour, I surrenders to mating. It just that I loves my manflame more. SLICE looks over at BEA, jealousy one her face, but that subsides into a fantasy. Her thoughts turn to killing and taking over, and mingle with physical passion for WILEY. SLICE Hope those chores ain’t got done. Need to dole out punishment before chow. After chow, need to mate Wiley fierce and powerful and loud. CUT TO: INT. A DOOR IN THE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS HUSH arrives at the door to the room where SNEAK holds RAVEN captive. He tries to open it, but discovers it is locked. He pounds his fist on the door. SILK emerges from the next room.
SILK What’s so sour, Hush? HUSH Sneak, Raven. Matebatter. Can’t get in. HUSH and SILK slam their bodies into the door. It flies open. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOM WHICH RAVEN IS CLEANING - CONTINUOUS HUSH and SILK burst into the room. SNEAK turns his head, lifting his torso, the knife withdrawing from RAVEN’s throat. RAVEN Help me! Get him away! HUSH hurries to the bedside. SILK stands in the doorway, watching the action. SNEAK turns toward HUSH, bringing the knife around. HUSH grabs SNEAK, one hand grabs SNEAK’s wrist holding the knife and the other hand grabs SNEAK’s throat. He pulls SNEAK off RAVEN. SNEAK kicks HUSH in the belly, knocking him backward. SNEAK flips over on the bed, and brandishes the knife at HUSH. RAVEN sits up on the bed, also watching the action, but sliding away from it. SNEAK I got to kill you, Hush. HUSH lunges at SNEAK as RAVEN rolls away from danger. FAIR runs to the doorway and pushes SILK aside. Then, FAIR rapidly enters the room. HUSH and SNEAK grapple and roll off the bed. The knife falls out of SNEAK’s grasp in the fall. RAVEN gets off the bed and rushes to her mother’s side. SNEAK punches HUSH in the face, knocking him backward, but near the knife. SNEAK pulls himself up, preparing to attack HUSH, but HUSH picks up the knife. FAIR grabs the crossbow and an arrow from the quiver SNEAK left on the floor by the door and loads the arrow in it. HUSH Now who kill who. FAIR aims at SNEAK. FAIR Sneak, don’t move. I’ll fly this arrow. SNEAK freezes.
FAIR (CONT’D) Hush, stop. RAVEN Let him, Fair. Kill him, Hush! FAIR No, Raven. HUSH I kill for you, Raven. SILK wraps her arms around RAVEN’s waist, holding her back. FAIR Hush, don’t. RAVEN (shrieking) Kill him! FAIR Hush, don’t do it! SILK pulls RAVEN away trying to get her out the door. RAVEN thrashes her body in an effort to get free. HUSH Fair. Why crave me stop? He kill me ‘n you if places switched. FAIR We don’t crave to be like them. We don’t need to kill him, just tie him up. RAVEN Hush! Kill him! HUSH Crave to for you, Raven. Fair won’t ‘llow me. FAIR blocks any path RAVEN could take to get at SNEAK. FAIR We have to take this chance to get out of here. That’s more important. Ma, take her and get Dusty ready. SILK keeps pulling RAVEN out of the room.
SILK Come with me, Raven. Help me with Dusty. RAVEN struggles, but SILK uses all her strength and forces her daughter from the room. RAVEN (screaming back) Kill him! Kill him! I hate him! CUT TO: INT. DUSTY’S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER DUSTY, awake, drinks water that RAVEN, who is still shaking and still visibly upset, gives him as SILK holds his head. SILK Dusty, can you ride? DUSTY Ride where, Silk? SILK Out of here. We have to leave, now. DUSTY If we can leave, I can ride. CUT TO: INT. THE BARN - CONTINUOUS HUSH and FAIR finish loading the horses. HUSH We need crossbows ‘n quivers. FAIR I hope we don’t need them, but if you’re straight, I guess it’s proper to have them. HUSH We need. FAIR grabs three crossbows and the three quivers filled with arrows. He packs one of each with DUSTY’s gear. He puts one of each over his shoulders and hands one of each to HUSH.
HUSH (CONT’D) Can’t fly arrows true. FAIR Take them anyway, Hush. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - CONTINUOUS HUSH and FAIR lead the horses to the water trough. SILK and RAVEN help DUSTY through the door and onto the porch. FAIR and HUSH run to the porch, take DUSTY to his horse, and help him mount. The others mount up. They ride out at a gallop to the northwest. CUT TO: EXT. ON A TRAIL - ABOUT 9 PM The full moon lights up the night for the hunters. HONCHO rides next to TRACKER in the lead. TRACKER sees something and whoas his horse. All the others stop their horses, too. HONCHO (quietly) You see somethin’, Tracker? TRACKER (equally quietly) Fresh hoof prints, bossman. Elk. HONCHO Which way do they lead? TRACKER Over there, to a clearing. HONCHO Tracker, cast for the clearin’ and tell us what you see. HONCHO and WILEY dismount and tie the horses to trees as TRACKER quietly steals away from the hunting party on foot. He crouches behind some bushes sees four cow elk grazing. He returns to the others. TRACKER Bossman, four cow elk be in the clearing and we be downwind.
HONCHO and WILEY stealthily follow TRACKER to the bushes which provide a view of the clearing. All three men load arrows into their crossbows. The men whisper. HONCHO Boys, fly your arrows true. Which one you aimin’ for, Wiley? WILEY One on right, Honcho. HONCHO Straight. And you, Tracker? TRACKER This one, on my side, bossman. HONCHO Proper. I’ll let fly at one of the two in the center. The men aim and shoot their crossbows. TRACKER misses badly. HONCHO and WILEY both kill their elk, the animals falling to the ground as the others run off in separate directions. TRACKER You be a dead eye arrow flier, bossman. WILEY Mighty proper aim, Honcho. HONCHO I hit what I aim for. You’re not too sour neither, Wiley. WILEY I just love killing things. Makes my arrows fly true. HONCHO Let’s slit them up the bellies, gut them, and bleed them out so we can get back to the compound. WILEY You been rushing all moon. HONCHO I’m hard for Silk. I’ll mate her after we chew. CUT TO:
EXT. ON A TRAIL TO THE NORTHWEST - CONTINUOUS HUSH rides with FAIR slightly ahead of the group. The party no longer runs their horses, but travels at a walk. Behind HUSH and FAIR, SILK and RAVEN ride side by side. Lagging back further, DUSTY rides very slowly, slumped over, occasionally spitting up blood. HUSH Why no ‘llow me kill Sneak? FAIR If you killed him, Honcho and the rest would come for us with revenge in their hearts and heads. HUSH They do anyway. Get away? Honcho won’t let us. FAIR They won’t be able to find us. HUSH You don’t know Tracker. Proper trail follower. Honcho get sourblooded. Mighty fierce. He won’t give up. Not ‘til he kill all us. Dead Sneak, one less to fight. I craved kill him for Raven. She screamed. HUSH kicks his horse and pulls away from FAIR who lags back, allowing SILK and RAVEN to overtake him. SILK What is wrong with Hush? FAIR He’s sour with me for not letting him kill Sneak. RAVEN You think I ain’t?. I wish Hush killed him. I’m sick you let him live. FAIR We can’t turn into the same folk as Honcho and his kind.
RAVEN You don’t care. I can be matebattered. You ain’t going to care. FAIR Raven, I came to shield you, too. RAVEN kicks her horse to speed up and join HUSH. SILK She is still upset, Fair. FAIR She doesn’t fathom how false it is to kill with a sour-blooded heart and head. SILK shakes her head at his insensitivity. SILK Where is Dusty? They both turn their heads and look back to where DUSTY rides alone, slowly, slumped over in pain. FAIR I’ll ride with Dusty, Ma. FAIR stops his horse to let DUSTY catch up as SILK picks up her pace to ride with RAVEN and HUSH. DUSTY and FAIR walk their horses slowly together. DUSTY Fair, Honcho and his men clenched a tight fist around you and squeezed mighty hard when they craved me dead. FAIR I’m still woeful I even raised a bow at you. DUSTY Why didn’t you let it fly to shield yourself and your womenfolk? FAIR Hard to talk about that, Dusty. DUSTY Try, Fair.
FAIR It makes me sour inside to think about killing. Dusty, you spoke friendly to me and heard my words with a proper ear when we talked, I couldn’t let them make me hurt you. DUSTY Fair, a moon comes in every man’s life when the teeth of killing and dying gnaw at his heart. A proper man knows that shielding the ones he loves from those who crave to harm them means choosing which tooth will bite. Dying to shield me could have let death’s teeth bite your Ma and Raven. Killing is sour, Fair, and you have a big mind to fathom that. But maybe your Pa would tell you to stand tall and shield the folk you love. FAIR winces at the mention of his father. FAIR These are hard words to hear, Dusty. DUSTY I think you need to hear them, Fair. FAIR I’m hearing them. DUSTY Fair, standing tall doesn’t always mean fighting, but sometimes it does. Sometimes even killing. I hope you never face that choice. But if you do, I hope you figure out which kind of standing tall is needed. And Fair, if you do have to kill, don’t kill like Honcho and his kind. Be woeful for it, but do it so you won’t be woeful the ones you love die instead. DUSTY breaks into a coughing spell, spits up blood, and barely keeps from falling off his horse. FAIR takes the reins of DUSTY’s horse and whoas it, as well as his own.
FAIR Ma, Dusty needs a rest mighty powerful. The others stop and wait while FAIR and DUSTY catch up. SILK You feel sour, Dusty? DUSTY Sour through and through, Silk. FAIR dismounts. The others do as well. SILK and FAIR help DUSTY down. They help him walk to a tree where they also help him to sit down, leaning his back against the trunk. SILK Traipse me over a bedroll, Raven. RAVEN grabs her own bedroll and brings it to SILK. She sets it behind DUSTY’s back. He leans into it and sighs heavily. FAIR Let him rest. It’s the only way he’ll get some strength. The group walks a short distance away. SILK (to HUSH) Where does this trail lead? HUSH Can’t say. SILK Why not? HUSH Never rode it. Don’t know what ahead. SILK At least it takes us away from the compound. HUSH Simple, Silk. That I know. SILK Fair, did you pack some elk flesh before we left?
FAIR I didn’t, Ma. We ran from there in a rush. I didn’t have time. SILK Simple, manchild. RAVEN I’m worn and empty. SILK I know that is straight, womanchild. We all feel the same. DUSTY Don’t stop long. There’s no way to know when Honcho will find us gone, and we can’t make a stand here. SILK and FAIR walk back to DUSTY and have a look at him. SILK I believe you will die if we keep going right now, Dusty. DUSTY If they catch us here, Silk, we’ll all be dead. FAIR We have to stop, Dusty. All of us need a rest. The horses do, too. HUSH (calling out) I ride. See what up there. HUSH mounts and rides ahead. SILK tends to DUSTY and sees blood on his chin and chest pelts. SILK Dusty, why didn’t you speak to me about your bleeding? DUSTY Would saying it have stopped it? I’ve spit up blood the whole ride. I could use water to wash away the dried blood in my throat, though. SILK Raven, traipse me over some water.
RAVEN Simple, Ma. RAVEN grabs a water container off one of the horses and takes it to SILK who holds it for DUSTY. He drinks small sips between shallow, painful breaths. FAIR goes to DUSTY’s horse and finds a loose pelt. He returns with it. FAIR Ma, get this wet and wipe him down. SILK takes the pelt FAIR hands her and wets it. As she wipes DUSTY, he sighs with relief and breathes a little more deeply. RAVEN offers more water and he takes a larger swig. HUSH returns, dismounts, and joins the others. HUSH (nodding toward DUSTY) How do he feel? SILK Sour, Hush. What did you find? HUSH There’s river. Can’t cross. Rocky hill lead up to falling water, ‘n a pond below. Safe rest waits there. Falling water cover noise. Rocky trail hide tracks. RAVEN How far is it? HUSH Mighty close. DUSTY I feel fit enough. Let’s ride there now, before the Preppers find us under peril’s moon. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - 10 PM SLICE and BEA ride into the compound. SLICE Where Sneak, Hush and loafers? BEA I can’t sees anybody, bosswoman.
SLICE See that myself. SLICE and BEA dismount. SLICE (CONT’D) (calling out) Sneak, hag, Hush, whore, piece a shit. She hands the reins for her horse to BEA and walks up the porch steps. SLICE (CONT’D) Scrubbed windows. SLICE descends the steps and walks around to the side of the building. She sees the bucket and scrub pelts on the ground. SLICE walks to the bucket shaking her head angrily. When she arrives, she looks in the window and sees SNEAK illuminated in the moonlight on the bed, bound and gagged. SLICE runs back to BEA. SLICE (CONT’D) Sour, Bea. Sneak got tied up. Put the horses in the barn. CUT TO: INT. THE BEDROOM WHERE SNEAK IS TIED - CONTINUOUS SLICE walks into the bedroom. The full moon shines through the window. SLICE takes his gag off. SLICE What happened? SNEAK Hush and piece a shit got the drop on me and tied me up. SLICE How you let that happen? SNEAK Hush got to guard piece a shit ‘cause I got to check the womenfolk. Those two came up behind me with a crossbow. SLICE You a bigger piece a shit than piece a shit.
BEA rushes into the room out of breath. BEA Bosswoman, the horses... they’s missing. SLICE You let our horses get away? BEA No, bosswoman. Not our horses. The Roamers’ horses and the trapper’s horse. SLICE Crap. Hag ran off with trapper and made a fool of Honcho. Horses and voices can be heard outside from someone arriving. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - CONTINUOUS SLICE steps outside and finds the hunting party returning with two elk carcasses on the litter. HONCHO Proper moon, Slice. Where’s all the others? We killed two elks. SLICE Bea inside taking bindings off Sneak. The others gone, Honcho. HONCHO Bindin’s, gone? What’re you talkin’ ‘bout, Slice. SLICE They gone. They got the drop on Sneak and ran off. HONCHO (yelling out, his voice echoing into the night) Silk! BEA and SNEAK join SLICE on the porch. BEA Nobody elses even breathe in the house, bossman. (MORE)
64. BEA (CONT'D) Their horses is missing. The trapper are missing, too.
HONCHO I’m goin’ to beat that woman so fierce she’ll wish she was dead. BEA I sour to you, bossman? HONCHO Not you, dumb ass. Silk. But before I beat her, we’ll kill that boy of hers and that traitor, Hush, too. Sneak, you’ll beat that girl. After Silk has seen all that, then I’ll beat her fiercer than I ever beat anyone before. WILEY grins from ear to ear. WILEY I crave beating them, Honcho. SNEAK Wiley, you likely kill them if Honcho says simple. I crave Raven to live, I got to mate her. HONCHO Sneak’s straight, Wiley. But I’ll let you beat those two manchilds until they’re dead while the two womenfolk watch. WILEY Choc’late, Honcho. CUT TO: EXT. BY THE RIVER HIDDEN AMONG BOULDERS - MIDNIGHT SILK, RAVEN, FAIR, DUSTY and HUSH hide behind some boulders. DUSTY sits propped up against one of the boulders at the entrance, armed with a crossbow and a quiver of arrows, a bedroll behind his back. A crossbow and a quiver of arrows each serve to arm FAIR and HUSH.
DUSTY If Honcho and his men get through and come this way, I can try to hold them off for as long as I have arrows and this sour body’s willing. FAIR Me and Hush will go out there to get them before they get to you. DUSTY I wish this sour body would let me go out there and shield you two. The task would be mine if my body was fit. SILK I would wish for that, too, Dusty. DUSTY Remember, these men are sour, mean and deadly. Try to make them split up. Then, pick them off one by one before they kill you. FAIR Come on, Hush. We can’t stop Honcho and the others here. HUSH and FAIR quietly walk out from behind the rocks. RAVEN Those two? Against Honcho? And his men? Hush will try if Fair let’s him. Fair ain’t going to try. SILK I am not sure they can take them, either, Raven. They are just boys, and I cannot see Fair killing anyone. CUT TO: EXT. ON THE TRAIL TO THE ROAMER’S POSITION - CONTINUOUS TRACKER rides ahead, leading the way and reading the signs along the trail. HONCHO follows next with WILEY and SNEAK alongside him.
HONCHO They’re leavin’ a proper trail to follow. The trapper’s spittin’ up enough blood. Can’t miss seein’ that. WILEY He a dead man when I see him. SNEAK Which one of them got any fight in him? Piece a shit got no taste for it. The trapper got too sour a body to do it. And Hush can’t hit the barn with a arrow from three paces. HONCHO I crave to bring them back to the compound still breathin’ boys. SNEAK Your word’s law, Honcho. WILEY Will get it done, Honcho. HONCHO I’ll ride with Tracker for a spell. CUT TO: EXT. AWAY FROM THE BOULDERS, IN THE FOREST - CONTINUOUS FAIR and HUSH steal through the trees and bushes keeping watch for any of HONCHO’s gang who might be approaching. HUSH Fair. Don’t think I much help. Can’t fly arrows true. FAIR Hush, I don’t crave you to kill anyone. I crave you to draw them out for me. HUSH How do that? FAIR Hide behind that big rock with the bushes around it. When they come, throw some stones to draw them out.
HUSH Straight, Fair. They exchange smiles. Then, FAIR steals away from HUSH and hides among the bushes further out toward the area from which HONCHO and his men will have to come. CUT TO: EXT. ON THE TRAIL TO THE ROAMER’S POSITION - CONTINUOUS WILEY and SNEAK ride together, HONCHO rides ahead with TRACKER. WILEY Sneak, this moon things changing. SNEAK I don’t got your drift, Wiley. WILEY Remember I told about taking over some moon? SNEAK Simple, I do, Wiley. WILEY Honcho made too many ‘stakes. He let trapper live. He left Roamers at compound and just you to guard. He don’t fit as no bossman no more. SNEAK What we got to do about all that? WILEY We don’t need no more prisoners. We need to kill trapper, piece a shit and Hush this moon. We need to kill hag here, too. She have a worrisome head. SNEAK You got all that sorted? WILEY Hell, simple. SNEAK We don’t got to kill Raven, straight?
WILEY You crave her to mate, so we can spare her. Sneak, after I kill her Ma and brother, she don’t need no beating. You mate that soft, fine womanskin this moon. SNEAK Simple? WILEY Hell, simple, Sneak. We need to kill Honcho, too. SNEAK Why? Honcho’s proper to me. WILEY His Pa kill our folk when he take over. Honcho helped. Little brother, he needs killing. SNEAK I guess you got to be straight. WILEY This moon, I get revenge. SNEAK Wiley, I crave you for bossman. WILEY Do as I tell when time comes and all happen just as I told. You mate Raven, I get bossman, you get my helper and partner, little brother, and Tracker and Bea get our slaves. SNEAK Your word is law, now, Wiley. TRACKER and HONCHO stop. WILEY and SNEAK catch up. HONCHO Look here, boys. Tracker says they stopped and rested here not too long ago. TRACKER There be a river not far. They can’t cross it. WILEY They hide up there.
TRACKER Straight. WILEY How far away? TRACKER Anywhere now. The river be only a hundred paces. HONCHO Wiley, me and you fly our arrows the truest. We’ll take the inside, closest to the rocks so when we see the trapper tryin’ to snipe us, we can fly arrows at him. WILEY Hell, that proper, Honcho. HONCHO Kill the trapper, Wiley. Try not to kill the others. But... if you must, you must. WILEY (with a gleam in his eye) Straight, Honcho. HONCHO Tracker, you and Sneak get pretty far from the rocks so the trapper can’t fly arrows true at you. He’s hurt, his range will be short. But, walk out where he can see you. He’ll fly his arrows to kill you. Me and Wiley will see him as soon as he flies one. We’ll take him out quick. After that, the others will be easy. TRACKER Your will, Honcho. SNEAK Will be done, Honcho. The men dismount, tie their horses to trees, and fan out. As they part ways, SNEAK and WILEY share glances and nods indicating they are prepared to put WILEY’s plan into action. TRACKER takes a route which is furthest from the others. He walks slowly and cautiously as he gets lost among the trees.
SNEAK walks through the trees cautiously, too. He sees motion out of the corner of his eye not too far away and points his loaded crossbow in that direction. He spots FAIR darting from tree to tree. As FAIR starts to come out from behind a tree, SNEAK rushes off a shot which misses FAIR but sticks in the tree. FAIR sees SNEAK as he hides behind the tree again. FAIR I don’t crave to kill you, Sneak. You don’t have to be like them. SNEAK (to FAIR) You don’t got the taste for killing, piece a shit. But I got it. (to the others) They’re out here, men. I got piece a shit pinned down. WILEY and HONCHO hear SNEAK. They move away from the rocky incline toward SNEAK’s position. SNEAK circles around, anticipating a clear shot at FAIR. However, as he does, he steps on a twig. FAIR hears this and moves in the other direction, out of SNEAK’s sight. HUSH hears WILEY and HONCHO in the general direction of FAIR as they move over rocks, making them slide. HUSH picks up a small stone and throws it up into the rocky incline. The sound distracts SNEAK enough to allow FAIR to move further off. FAIR finds a new hiding place. From the new vantage point, FAIR can better see HUSH. Both WILEY and HONCHO freeze for a moment after the stone was thrown, looking up into the incline. HUSH emerges from hiding and throws another stone into the incline. HONCHO stares at the area where the sound came from. WILEY moves away from his position and scans his eyes in the direction from where the stone must have been thrown. HUSH steps out and tosses another stone. WILEY sees HUSH throw it and circles around for a better vantage point from which he can fire an arrow. As WILEY moves, FAIR sees him. FAIR has a great shot and could take WILEY out. He aims his crossbow, but his hand shakes. He doesn’t fire, but lowers his crossbow. As HUSH emerges from behind the boulder again, WILEY sees him and fires at HUSH. His arrow hits HUSH in the shoulder. HUSH falls back into his hiding place and cries out in pain. FAIR sees WILEY fire and HUSH get hit. FAIR does not know if the arrow killed HUSH, he only knows the arrow found his friend in his upper body.
WILEY rushes off from his position thinking he killed HUSH and finds a new hiding place before FAIR can raise his crossbow, aim and fire. FAIR steals away, seeking a new position from where he can get the drop on WILEY. WILEY circles out from where he took the last shot at HUSH hoping for an angle which would allow him to see if HUSH is dead or fire again if HUSH still lives. Suffering from the arrow stuck in his shoulder, HUSH emits a moan as he picks up his crossbow and quiver and loads an arrow to defend himself. He leans back in his hiding place in pain. SNEAK hears the moan from HUSH and cautiously moves to find a better hiding place from which he can look for whoever made the noise. During the time this action occurs, HONCHO climbs the rocky incline. He also hears the moan from HUSH. Circling behind HUSH from the rocks above him, HONCHO gets the drop on HUSH. HONCHO Drop the bow, Hush. HUSH turns his head and sees HONCHO. HUSH You crave kill me, bossman? HONCHO You’re one of mine, Hush. I won’t kill you. You’ll get punishment, but I don’t crave you dead. HUSH puts his crossbow down. HONCHO climbs down to HUSH and picks up the crossbow. HONCHO (CONT’D) (calling out) I have Hush. Wiley, Sneak, Tracker... get over here. CUT TO: EXT. BEHIND THE BOULDER - CONTINUOUS WILEY, SNEAK and TRACKER hide behind the boulder with HONCHO and HUSH. HONCHO Boys, Hush talked when I twisted that arrow in him. (MORE)
72. HONCHO (CONT'D) The Roamer manchild is alone in the woods. No one to shield his womenfolk ‘cept the trapper, and he’s powerful sour-bodied.
WILEY We letting piece a shit get away? HONCHO We’re not goin’ to let nobody get away, Wiley. We’ll take their camp and the womenfolk. Then, Fair has to come to us. CUT TO: EXT. THE APPROACH TO THE ROAMERS’ HIDING PLACE - CONTINUOUS HONCHO, WILEY, TRACKER, SNEAK and HUSH have assembled just beyond the only access to the river bivouac occupied by DUSTY, SILK and RAVEN. The arrow still protrudes from HUSH’s shoulder. He rests against a boulder away from the others who reconnoiter the situation as they plan a strategy to safely take their prey captive again. TRACKER Can’t climb in from the rocks. WILEY Hell. Why? TRACKER Be a hard climb. We make too much noise and the trapper get easy shots at us. HONCHO Hush said the trapper’s got a crossbow and arrows. So, we won’t go that way. I’m not lettin’ him pick us off comin’ down. What’s the way in, Tracker? TRACKER Only one way I know. Same way Hush told they got in. Around the corner of them rocks. WILEY I don’t crave that way, neither. Hush told trapper guards it.
HONCHO Straight. TRACKER They can’t get out. No safe way in. WILEY Must be safe way. No back way? TRACKER No back way. SNEAK Maybe we got a way from the river? WILEY (incredulously) The river? HONCHO Maybe he has somethin’. CUT TO: EXT. THE RIVERBANK - CONTINUOUS HONCHO, WILEY and SNEAK stand by the riverbank a short distance from the entrance to the Roamer’s sanctuary. TRACKER remains behind guarding HUSH. The three men stand beside the riverbank which offers very little cover: few trees and only a sparse smattering of bushes. HONCHO Sneak, you see those trees down river? SNEAK I see them, Honcho. HONCHO Get to them. With his crossbow over one shoulder and quiver of arrows over the other, SNEAK crawls to a clump of bushes where he stops. SNEAK tries to find DUSTY in the rocks by the entrance, but he can’t see around the corner. He lifts himself into a crouched position, prepares himself, and keeping himself low, he scurries to the trees HONCHO pointed out, hiding behind them. SNEAK takes his crossbow from his shoulder and pulls an arrow from his quiver.
DUSTY rests against the boulder. His crossbow sits in his lap loaded with an arrow as he keeps an eye on the entrance past the boulders. He spits up blood, breathes shallow breaths, coughs, and shakes his head. SNEAK aims at DUSTY. SNEAK You got to drop it, trapper. DUSTY turns his head to see SNEAK holding a crossbow on him and puts his crossbow down on the ground. SNEAK (CONTâ€™D) All clear, Honcho. HONCHO and WILEY walk safely around the corner of the rocks with their crossbows armed and ready. CUT TO: EXT. ON THE HILL IN THE BOULDERS - CONTINUOUS SILK and RAVEN hide out of sight among the boulders above. They see the events unfold. RAVEN (whispering) They have Dusty. Now what? SILK (also whispering) Stay here and stay silent. CUT TO: EXT. BY THE RIVER AMONG THE BOULDERS - CONTINUOUS HONCHO Where are the womenfolk, trapper? DUSTY Beyond your reach, Honcho. I sent them far away. WILEY Liar. WILEY kicks DUSTY in the stomach. DUSTY utters a cry of pain. HONCHO Where are they?
DUSTY I have no words for you. I’m half dead already. If you kill me, I’ll take the answer with me. HONCHO They won’t get away from me. I’ll track them as far as it takes and you’ll die either way. WILEY starts to kick DUSTY again, but HONCHO stops him. HONCHO (CONT’D) Wait, Wiley. (calling into the boulders above) Silk, if you don’t crave to see us kill the trapper slow and fierce, you better come out. HONCHO receives no response. HONCHO (CONT’D) (loud enough to be heard) Kick the trapper again, Wiley. WILEY kicks DUSTY, harder. DUSTY doubles over in pain yelling out his anguish. HONCHO (CONT’D) I’ll let Wiley kick the trapper until you come out or he dies. He still receives no response. CUT TO: EXT. ON THE HILL IN THE BOULDERS - CONTINUOUS SILK winces with compassion and turns to RAVEN. SILK I cannot let this go on. I cannot sit here and watch Dusty suffer to shield us. Find another place to hide, but stay up here and don’t come down. And keep your head turned away, Raven. RAVEN nods at her mother. SILK slips away from RAVEN quietly. RAVEN moves off in a different direction. CUT TO:
EXT. BY THE RIVER AMONG THE BOULDERS - CONTINUOUS HONCHO Wiley... Before HONCHO can go on and order WILEY to kick DUSTY again, SILK stands up. SILK Stop, Honcho. Raven is not here. She left a long time ago. But I will come down. SILK descends through the boulders. HONCHO Sneak, get Tracker and Hush. Wiley, get up there an’ cast for that womanchild. CUT TO: EXT. FAIR’S HIDING PLACE IN THE FOREST - CONTINUOUS FAIR crouches among a clump of bushes not too far from the entrance to the Roamer sanctuary shaking his head in dismay. He watches as SNEAK, TRACKER and HUSH hike to where the others await them. TRACKER removed the arrow from HUSH’s shoulder while he guarded HUSH during the assault on DUSTY’s position, so it no longer protrudes from HUSH. FAIR hears RAVEN cry out from her hiding place in the boulders, RAVEN Leave me be! and then WILEY’s voice. WILEY Got her, Honcho. Then, FAIR hears HONCHO’s voice. HONCHO Fair, I hold your Ma, your sis, and the trapper. You ready to give up? CUT TO:
EXT. BY THE RIVER AMONG THE BOULDERS - CONTINUOUS WILEY stands over DUSTY, grinning sadistically. HONCHO, SNEAK and TRACKER stand off to one side, HONCHO intently watching WILEY and DUSTY. SNEAK and TRACKER stand with their crossbows trained on SILK and RAVEN who are huddled together sitting on boulders near, but not too close, to HUSH who is sitting on the ground leaning against another boulder. RAVEN and HUSH make eye contact, and RAVEN stands up. SNEAK You got nowhere to go, Raven. RAVEN Let me tend Hush. He’s hurt sour. SNEAK I got you for my woman, matewhore. You don’t got to help nobody, ‘specially him. RAVEN Why? Because he stopped you? From matebattering me? I’m glad he beat you. I wish he killed you. HONCHO spins around to face RAVEN. HONCHO What did you say, girl? RAVEN He didn’t tell you? I was scrubbing. Sneak came in. He pinned me. Put a knife to my throat. He craved to matebatter me. I begged him to stop. He didn’t. I hate him. I wish he was dead. HONCHO That shit true, Sneak? SNEAK She’s lying, Honcho. SILK She is not lying. Hush saw it through a window. Hush couldn’t get in the door because Sneak locked it. I helped Hush break the door in.
SNEAK They’re both lying, Honcho, I vow it. SILK Sneak, you are the liar. SNEAK backs away from everyone, looking from one face to another. SILK (CONT’D) If he had guarded Hush and Fair like Slice told him and not tried to matebatter Raven, we would not have been able to escape. WILEY Dumb ass thing, Sneak. SNEAK You don’t think I’m lying, too, Wiley, do you? HONCHO I’ll punish you fierce, Sneak. Guard them, Tracker. TRACKER Your will, Honcho. TRACKER holds his crossbow in a non threatening manner, but points it in the general direction of SILK and RAVEN. WILEY continues to stand over DUSTY menacingly watching the action between HONCHO and SNEAK. HONCHO sets his crossbow down and slowly, methodically, yet angrily steps toward SNEAK who has backed himself against the boulders with no escape. SNEAK Wiley, don’t let me get a beating. Say you won’t let it happen. WILEY Hell, I don’t do nothing, dumb ass. SNEAK Wiley, you said we’re partners, remember? WILEY Shut that mouth, dumb ass. SNEAK Wiley, you said it. You got to remember. (MORE)
79. SNEAK (CONT'D) You said we got to kill Honcho. We got to take over. We got to avenge our folk. Remember? You got to remember.
HONCHO, only two steps from SNEAK, stops advancing toward him, turns to WILEY, and glares. HONCHO You plan to kill me? WILEY He a fearful, dumb ass, Honcho, lying about all, now. He just craves shielding his skin. SNEAK Wiley, you got to know I’m not lying. I’m your little brother and partner. Me, you and Slice got to take over. We got to kill Honcho, the trapper, Hush, Fair and Silk. I got to mate Raven. Tracker and Bea got to be our slaves. Remember? Tell me you remember. You got to. HONCHO fumes as he glares at WILEY. HONCHO He’s not lyin’. He’s not smart enough to make all that up. HONCHO approaches WILEY, neither man holding their crossbow, both men withdrawing their knives from their sheathes. WILEY responds by approaching HONCHO. They close the ground between each other, their knives flashing in the moonlight. Each man takes turns slicing the air with the knife, missing the other as they try to stab and carve each other up. They circle and thrash, and their knives occasionally clink. WILEY lunges in a stabbing motion, but misses, and HONCHO cuts WILEY’s face. HONCHO moves in for the kill, but WILEY fends him off as they grapple with one another, neither man gaining an initial advantage, each man’s knife poised inches from the other, each man holding the other man’s knife away with all the strength they can muster. The veins bulge in their necks and their faces turn beat red from the strain of the physical power each man exerts. HONCHO gathers up the additional force of his anger and turns it on WILEY who buckles, and the two men fall to the ground. They roll around, struggling, kicking each other, holding the other man’s knife off with their free hand while trying to stab with the knife they hold. HONCHO forces his way on top of WILEY. WILEY can’t hold off HONCHO any longer, and HONCHO plunges his knife into WILEY’s heart, killing him.
SNEAK, hypnotized for a moment by the spectacle of the fight, regains his mental faculties. He darts toward the nearest crossbow laying on the ground. But after SNEAK takes two steps, TRACKER sees SNEAK, and trains his crossbow at SNEAK. TRACKER Sneak, stay put. SNEAK freezes and glares over at TRACKER. SNEAK You can’t fly arrows true. SNEAK dives for the crossbow. TRACKER shoots an arrow. The arrow pierces SNEAK in a lung. SNEAK falls to the ground short of reaching the crossbow. SNEAK (CONT’D) How did you hit me when you never got to hit an elk standing still? SNEAK looks over at RAVEN. SNEAK (CONT’D) I craved you Raven. I got to have you. I craved to mate you. RAVEN I hate you. I’ll always hate you. Die. Just die. SNEAK’s head drops to the ground and he dies. TRACKER I thinked he craved to fly an arrow at you, bossman. HONCHO You did straight and proper, Tracker. HONCHO slowly pulls himself to his feet. He looks around in disbelief at his two dead friends, former comrades, men who plotted to overthrow his authority and kill him, his world now shattered. HONCHO (CONT’D) (he yells into the still, silent night) Fair! CUT TO:
EXT. FAIR’S HIDING PLACE IN THE FOREST - CONTINUOUS FAIR stares at the crossbow in his hand. He looks up from the crossbow and stares off in the direction of where he knows HONCHO to be. From the distance, he hears HONCHO’s voice. HONCHO It’s just you and me now, boy. I’m goin’ to kill you. FAIR (to himself) This moon must be the time for me to stand tall. Straight, Pa? (yelling back to HONCHO) I hear you, Honcho. Come on out. Or, are you man enough to fight me alone? CUT TO: EXT. BY THE RIVER AMONG THE BOULDERS - CONTINUOUS HONCHO glares at the others around him, fuming at FAIR’s response. HONCHO I crave to kill that boy fierce. CUT TO: EXT. IN THE WOODS - CONTINUOUS HONCHO and FAIR steal through the woods as silently as they can. They each stop for an instant from time to time, trying to hear any sound the other might make. Both FAIR and HONCHO hold their crossbow in their hands, armed, awaiting an opportunity, a glimpse of the other in the moonlight. HONCHO You think you’re all grown up now, boy? I’m not goin’ to let you live. I’m goin’ to kill you... and then all the rest, too. FAIR, hearing HONCHO’s voice, takes advantage of knowing where HONCHO must be and silently circles around to come at HONCHO from behind.
HONCHO (CONT’D) You hidin’ from me, boy? You feelin’ the fearful blood risin’ from your yellow heart? HONCHO keeps moving through the forest brush, hoping FAIR will give himself away, but all he hears is silence. HONCHO takes a few steps through a clearing as he tries to circle around to the other side, hoping to have drawn FAIR into a trap. From the other side of the clearing, he anticipates having a view back to where his voice called from moments before. He plans to kill FAIR from the new hiding place when FAIR approaches the area from where HONCHO’s voice had last been heard. However, as HONCHO steals through the brush, he steps out of the shadows and into the moonlight for an instant. FAIR sees HONCHO in the moonlight and comes out from his hiding place, standing behind HONCHO with his loaded crossbow aimed right at HONCHO. They are twenty yards apart. FAIR Drop the crossbow, Honcho. HONCHO turns his head without moving his body and sees FAIR. He drops the crossbow to the ground and turns to face FAIR. HONCHO You won’t kill me. You don’t have the taste for killin’. FAIR Honcho, you’re done killing folk. You’re done being worrisome to everyone that travels through this territory. You’re done battering women and beating young folk. You’re going to die, alone, and the only folk who care will be the ones who praise your death. HONCHO Let’s see if you can kill a fierce worrisome man running at you to grapple and kill you. HONCHO pulls his knife from its sheath and runs at FAIR. FAIR aims his weapon at the charging brute. As FAIR prepares to fire, his hand shakes, and for a brief second, FAIR hesitates.
But as HONCHO closes to within 10 yards, FAIR steadies his hand and pulls the trigger on the crossbow, shooting HONCHO in the head, right between the eyes. The older man instantly drops to the ground, the knife falling from his hand, and he dies at FAIR’s feet. CUT TO: EXT. BY THE RIVER AMONG THE BOULDERS - 1:30 AM FAIR walks into the sanctuary by the river to meet DUSTY, SILK, RAVEN, HUSH and TRACKER. As he approaches, they come into view, and he sees SILK tending to DUSTY while RAVEN takes care of HUSH. TRACKER, standing alone at the entrance, holds his crossbow. When TRACKER sees FAIR, TRACKER drops the crossbow and rushes to greet the young man. TRACKER It be Fair. He comed back. You killed Honcho, Fair? FAIR I killed him, Tracker. DUSTY You stood mighty tall this moon, Fair. FAIR I’m not proud of what I did. But I had to shield Ma and the rest of you, Dusty. This was the only way. TRACKER You be straight, Fair. What you done had to be, else you and your folk be dead. RAVEN What can we do now? FAIR I fathom Dusty and Hush need to be in beds at the compound to heal. TRACKER Your will, bossman. HUSH Fair, your word law now.
FAIR I’m not bossman, Tracker. No one’s word will be law anymore, Hush. From now on, I hope we can work together, friendly, and talk straight on what to do. SILK I am proud of you, Fair. RAVEN Me, too, I guess. I doubted you, Fair. I am woeful for that now. DUSTY Somewhere, Fair, your Pa is proud, too. FAIR and DUSTY exchange a look of mutual respect and friendship. HUSH Don’t forget Slice. She fierce as Wiley. I need to from her. Slice. We Dusty and
TRACKER get my warmheart away Bea mighty fearful of best make litters for Hush first, though.
DUSTY I would relish that. I believe this body is too sour for riding. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - 4 AM A fire rages in the fire pit cooking two slabs of elk ribs. SLICE and BEA sit at one of the picnic tables watching the meat and awaiting the return of the men. SLICE Thought Wiley, Honcho and the others would got back by now. Flesh almost ready for chewing. BEA I pleads they comes back soon. I groans woeful and sour ‘til then.
SLICE Nothing worrisome about that raiding party, Bea. Killed two elk this moon. Got to catch a few Roamers and a sour-bodied trapper. BEA You sure must be straight, bosswoman. SLICE Help me get this flesh down. BEA That are a full proper idea. The flesh will burns up if we doesnâ€™t. The women stand. BEA uses a bucket to throw water on the fire. SLICE lowers the elk meat. BEA grabs an old stainless steel drum lid and puts it over the fire pit so the charred elk meat sits on top of it. SLICE Got enough hot embers to keep the flesh warm for our menfolk. Crave to chew some chow now? BEA sees riders returning to the compound. BEA Looks, bosswoman, riders. As the riders approach, the women can see there are four people riding (SILK, RAVEN, FAIR, TRACKER), two horses pulling litters (carrying the two who cannot ride: DUSTY and HUSH), and three riderless horses. The women cannot make out who is who from the distance. SLICE Four riders. Got to be proper sign, Bea. BEA Must be my manflame, Wiley, Honcho and Sneak. SLICE Straight, Bea. BEA Who does you think rides on the two litters?
SLICE Got to be hag and whore. BEA I guesses you must straight. Must be them. The women start to stroll toward the riders expectantly. However, as the riders approach, the forms of the riders grow more distinct. BEA (CONT’D) Bosswoman, my eyes says Silk and Raven is two of the riders. SLICE strains her eyes as she stares more intently. SLICE That straight. Who on the litters? BEA I pleads Tracker aren’t hurt. SLICE Wiley can’t be. Just know it. BEA If two men is hurt, I gathers a bucket of water to scrubs some wounds. SLICE Straight, Bea. I got to cut the flesh. You got to get a bucket and some drinkers out, too. BEA Will be done, bosswoman. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - A FEW MOMENTS LATER As the riders approach the compound and SLICE walks toward the porch to greet them, SLICE identifies the riders. SLICE (to herself) Ain’t Wiley riding. Ain’t Honcho, either. Piece a shit and Tracker riding with hag and whore. Why piece a shit riding... unless... Crap!
SLICE runs off to the barn and grabs two crossbows and two quivers of arrows. She quickly emerges and runs into the house carrying them. CUT TO: INT. THE RANCH HOUSE LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS BEA concludes setting the glasses on the table and putting the ladle in the bucket for drinking. A second bucket sits on the table, as well as some pelts near the second bucket. SLICE runs in the front door and slams it shut. SLICE Your mateman rides Bea, but piece a shit riding with him. Don’t see Honcho, Wiley, or Sneak at all. BEA Not at all? SLICE Why your mateman riding with piece a shit, hag and whore unless he helped set a trap for my man, Sneak and Honcho? BEA Tracker don’t set a trap. SLICE Something’s sour. Scents sour. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - CONTINUOUS The riders pull up in front of the porch. They all remain seated on their horses. TRACKER Bea, Slice, we crave a meeting. A window looking out onto the porch opens from inside. SLICE’s head appears through the window. SLICE Ain’t having a meeting with nobody. You a traitor, Tracker.
SILK Your men lost the fight, Slice, and he is not the traitor. TRACKER Honcho, Wiley and Sneak all be dead, Slice. SLICE Why you still breathing unless you a traitor? TRACKER Honcho killed Wiley, Slice. Wiley be the traitor. SLICE My man, Wiley, ain’t dead. Can’t be. TRACKER Slice, he be dead. I killed Sneak ‘cause he be a traitor, too. He be about to help Wiley kill Honcho. Fair killed Honcho. SLICE You a liar. TRACKER Slice, we knowed you be in on the plan, too. All three of you planned revenge against Honcho and to taked over. Bea, come on out, warmheart. CUT TO: INT. THE RANCH HOUSE LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS SLICE stands by the window with a loaded crossbow in her hands and her head sticking outside through the window opening. BEA runs from the dining table to another window which also looks out onto the porch. She opens it and sticks her head out. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - CONTINUOUS Both SLICE and BEA have their heads out the window as they converse with TRACKER and SILK who remain seated in their saddles.
FAIR nods to RAVEN and they dismount, walk to the litters, and assist DUSTY and HUSH as the conversation unfolds. BEA Are it safe and proper, manflame? TRACKER It be safe and proper, warmheart. CUT TO: INT. THE RANCH HOUSE LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS BEA pulls her head back inside and starts to step toward the door. SLICE brings her head back inside, too, turns toward BEA, and points her loaded crossbow at BEA. SLICE (to BEA) Can’t go, bitch. (to those outside) She ain’t going nowhere. All you got to get off my land. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - CONTINUOUS SILK This is not your land, Slice. It is not anybody’s land. CUT TO: INT. THE RANCH HOUSE LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS SLICE Still bosswoman of this compound, hag, and you ain’t taking this compound or this land. You try, I kill you. Without sticking it outside, SLICE aims the crossbow out through the window. When she does, BEA starts for the door again. So, SLICE swings the crossbow back and aims it at BEA again. SLICE (CONT’D) Said you can’t go, bitch.
BEA Let me goes to my manflame, Slice. SLICE Said, no. BEA opens the door. SLICE (CONT’D) Crap, bitch, I said no! BEA I goes, and you can’t stops me. You can’t tells me what to does anymore, either. You is bosswoman of no one. BEA runs through the door and onto the porch. SLICE runs toward the open door and out through it. CUT TO: EXT. THE COMPOUND - CONTINUOUS BEA gets down the steps off the porch as SLICE arrives at the top of the steps. SLICE fires an arrow which hits BEA in the back, piercing BEA through the belly. BEA falls to the ground, crying and writhing in pain. TRACKER No! TRACKER reaches over to the nearest riderless horse and grabs a crossbow and arrow from it. He dismounts. SLICE runs back inside. SILK Tracker, stop. TRACKER That be my warmheart on the ground. I can’t let Slice get away killing her. Bea’s withchild and near babybelly. SLICE returns to the doorway with another arrow in her hand. FAIR and RAVEN stand and gape at the action from the litters as TRACKER runs toward BEA. As he does, SLICE reloads her crossbow and TRACKER loads his. They glare at each other and fire simultaneously. Each shoots the other, SLICE hits TRACKER in the right lung while TRACKER’s arrow finds SLICE’s heart. They both fall down. SLICE dies. TRACKER lays on the ground, dying.
FAIR, SILK and RAVEN run toward TRACKER as he crawls toward BEA. BEA reaches out with her hand and TRACKER reaches out with his. Their fingertips barely touch. BEA I loves you, Tracker. I loves my manflame powerful choc’late. TRACKER You be my warmheart, Bea. I love you, powerful choc’late, too. BEA dies. FAIR reaches TRACKER first, kneels at TRACKER’s side, and cradles TRACKER’s head in his arms. TRACKER (CONT’D) I never flied arrows true, Fair. First time I hit what I aimed at, I killed Sneak. Just had to or he have helped Wiley. Knowed there be no stopping Wiley and Sneak if they won that fight. Now, I killed Slice ‘cause she killed Bea. Wiley once said he loved to kill things and that maked his arrows fly true. I craved to kill Sneak to stop Wiley from taking over. I craved to kill Slice for killing Bea and the child in her. Wiley be straight. Craving to kill maked my arrows fly true. TRACKER dies in FAIR’s arms. SILK I guess it is true what folk said when I was a girlchild. ‘Folk who crave revenge must dig many graves.’ CUT TO: EXT. THE FIRE PIT - SUNRISE FAIR, SILK, RAVEN, DUSTY and HUSH gather by the fire pit. DUSTY leans on SILK, her arm around his waist, his arm around her shoulders. HUSH leans on RAVEN in the same position. RAVEN We should stay here. Ma, this can be it. The home you dreamed. The home we cast for.
FAIR It can be a proper place for folk like you always dreamed, Ma, a place where arrows will never be flied at folk again. DUSTY Your Ma once told me you own your head, Fair. Now you own your heart. It beats like a beaver’s tail, strong and with a purpose. SILK smiles at DUSTY before gazing proudly at FAIR. Then, she looks over at RAVEN questioningly. SILK You want to settle, Raven? RAVEN I do... among you folk. You make it straight... and proper. SILK Is Hush staying, too? RAVEN I ain’t posed him, Ma. SILK Better not wait until after he leaves, Raven. HUSH smiles sheepishly, and RAVEN blushes with innocent embarrassment. RAVEN You shielded me from Sneak, Hush. You always talk proper. I do crave you to stay. HUSH It mighty choc’late, stay here. RAVEN Hush. HUSH Simple, Raven? RAVEN I do get a choc’late feeling around you sometimes. HUSH grins from ear to ear.
HUSH Raven. RAVEN Simple, Hush? HUSH Choc’late with you. Think maybe love you. RAVEN and HUSH share big smiles and they embrace. SILK and DUSTY grin at one another. SILK What about you, Dusty? DUSTY Are you willing to take a lonesome trapper like me in, Silk? SILK You are a proper man, Dusty. I am mighty willing to take you in. I like having you around. DUSTY I like being around you, too, Silk. Maybe the water owns no beaver here, but I won’t stray from this moon and these stars because they will own you from now on. They share a romantic kiss. FAIR strolls off by himself, grinning, his silhouette in front of the sun as it rises in the sky. FAIR (to himself) I feel mighty choc’late. Now, I have a place to settle with straight folk who will share a proper life in a friendly way. FADE TO BLACK.