INT. MOVIE SET - OFFICE - DAY - 1908 DETECTIVE HUNTER THOMPSON, 29 skinny, perpetually looking like hell with bags under his eyes and wrinkled suits, knocks on the open office door. The office is comprised of an old fashion desk, large parchments cover the walls with fantastic drawings, such of monsters and beautiful women. The DIRECTOR, a man with glasses, stands immediately and shakes Hunterâ€™s hand. DIRECTOR Det. Thompson I presume? Correct.
Director passes Det. Thompson on his way out of the office. CUT TO: INT. MOVIE SET - KITCHEN SET - DAY - 1908 A very ordinary 1900s kitchen; a table, large kettle on the stove, a pantry full of jars. Off set, an ACTRESS, young and beautiful, is being hurriedly applied with make-up. DIRECTOR This unfortunate incident has caused a proper panic among the crew. He nods his head towards the actress. DIRECTOR Daughter of our funding. He continues walking through the set. Det. Thompson stares at the kitchen, his vision doubles for a moment, he stretches his jaw. He has to hold onto the table. His vision fixes itself. He walks after the director when a TWO FACED MAN, a normally dressed man with two separate faces on his head, walks in front of him.
Det. Thompson falls down, gasping in horror. TWO FACED MAN Don’t be a coward. He reaches down but Det. Thompson whimpers and pushes himself away. His vision is swimming, sweat beads down the side of his head and the two faced man dances in his vision. His vision clears as he hears laughter. The director walks up and puts an arm around the two faced mans shoulders. DIRECTOR Det. Thompson, Harold is our two faced man-eating monster. Det. Thompson retrieves a flask from his pocket and takes a big swill. Harold offers a hand-up to the Det. Thompson, one face smiling, the other frozen in a mask of cruelty. DIRECTOR Prosthetic and make-up, that’s all it is. Harold pulls Det. Thompson up. Det. Thompson reaches a hand out and touches Harold’s second face. DET. THOMPSON Incredible. The director turns again and continues walking. Det. Thompson follows, clicking his teeth together. CUT TO: EXT. MOVIE SET - TRAILER - DAY The director leads Det. Thompson towards a trailer outside of the studio. DIRECTOR She’s usually late, so we thought nothing of it at first.
He opens the trailer door. Inside lies PENNY HENDRICKSON, young and beautiful, lying spread eagle on her back dressed in a robe, one slipper on her foot, the other half off. Det. Thompson walks closer to her and kneels down beside the body. He checks her pulse, examines the neck where he sees dark blue bruising in the shape of finger marks. He leans forward examining her head, when he spots something in her hair. He gestures for the director to come look. The director kneels beside him. DET. THOMPSON Curious. Did she always have this ? There is a square bald patch on the top of her head. The director shakes his head. DIRECTOR She’d have gone ballistic about that. The director looks for a moment longer. Det. Thompson stands and examines the rest of the room, stopping at her make-up table. Shards of glass lie in a pool of spilt liquid beside a messy array of make up brushes, bottles and appliers. DET. THOMPSON The killer was privately obsessed with her. The director sighs. DIRECTOR Well that doesn’t help much, she’s a peach. DET. THOMPSON Where were her bodyguards?
DIRECTOR They were having an epic drinking contest I believe. Baboons. Det. Thompsonâ€™s eyes widen. DIRECTOR What is it man? DET. THOMPSON Did any of your crew in particular stand out as having affection for Miss Hendrickson? The director thinks. DIRECTOR Larry, the painter, painted a portrait of her. Det. Thompson walks towards the door, stops and takes a deep drink from his flask. DET. THOMPSON Take me to Larry the painter. CUT TO: INT. MOVIE SET - BEHIND THE SET - DAY Director leads the Det. Thompson into the back, where costumes hang, sets are being constructed, props being made. They push their way through hanging costumes, masks and props of weapons on racks. DIRECTOR You think Larry did it? DET. THOMPSON He fits the criteria. The make-up being the only thing in disarray tells me her killer was allowed in and she trusted him enough to turn her back. CUT TO: EXT. MOVIE SET - TRAILER - PAST NIGHT Penny opens the door, smiling.
Penny turns and applies make-up in the mirror. PENNY What can I heHands wrap around her throat. Her legs kick the make-up table. Make-up falls and shatters on the table. CUT TO: INT. MOVIE SET - BEHIND THE SET - DAY DET. THOMPSON The fact the killer knew her guards weren’t around is the most compelling piece of evidence. Someone working on the moving picture could learn when she’d be unguarded very easily. CUT TO: INT. MOVIE SET - BEHIND THE SET - PAST NIGHT Ten workers paint and saw on a movie set. Two other workers walk by. WORKER Those two goons from Miss Hendrickson’s trailer are going to have a drinking contest, should be one for the ages. His friend laughs. WORKER I’ll put 20 cents on the big Irish fella. CUT TO:
INT. MOVIE SET - BEHIND THE SET The director points to LARRY, 30, small of stature, dark and seedy. Larry is painting a door beige. The director approaches with Det. Thompson beside him. DIRECTOR Larry, this is Det. Thompson, I’m sure you’ve heard of him. Larry’s eyes widen and he stops painting. LARRY I didn’t have anythin’ to do with Miss Hendrickson’s death. Det. Thompson just stares at him, saying nothing. DIRECTOR Calm down Larry, he’s just here to ask some questions. Larry gulps. LARRY Well, I just want to say I don’t have it in me to kill, especially not with my own hands. Det. Thompson stares at him. DET. THOMPSON Did you tell the crew any details about the murder director? DIRECTOR No, not at all. DET. THOMPSON How do you know she was killed with bare hands Larry? Larry turns and runs, pushing down the door he was painting in front of the Det Thompson. Det. Thompson jumps over the door and chases after Larry.
Det. Thompson sees Larry run out a door at the other side of the room, so he goes out the nearest door. CUT TO: EXT. MOVIE SET - STREET - DAY Det. Thompson sprints to the next corner and stops, hiding around it. He hears footsteps run, then slow and he hears heavy panting. He stays hidden, his hands shaking, his breath shallow and sweat beading down his face. Larry walks in front of Det. Thompson’s hiding place and Det. Thompson pounces on him, pinning Larry to the ground. He pushes Larry’s face into the cement and binds his arms with handcuffs. He lifts him up and escorts him away. CUT TO: INT. MOVIE SET - BEHIND THE SET - DAY Det. Thompson pushes Larry into a chair where crew members ties him up. DET. THOMPSON Call the police. The director runs to a nearby phone where he spins the numbers. DIRECTOR We got the killer. CUT TO: INT. HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT Det. Thompson hangs his coat and sits at the table. Piles of dirty dishes on the counter, flies cover them. He drinks from his flask and then turns it upside, shaking it; empty.
He stands and shovels two tablespoons of white powder into his flask. He then pours wine from the bottle in. He spins the cap on and then shakes it. He carries this flask into the next room, his bedroom, and places in a travel-sized bag beside two other flasks. He puts a small bag of white powder beside the two flasks. He scoops some more of the powder into a cup and goes to add wine but then decides against it. He sits at the kitchen table. He opens a very fancy envelope on thick and expensive paper. The front of the envelope says “You’re invited” in big, thick, bold handwriting. He unfolds the letter, which is on thick parchment paper. It is handwritten and says; DET. THOMPSON (V.O.) Honourable Detective Hunter Thompson; You are cordially invited to free passage aboard the S.S. Trinity on the 24th of September at 8 p.m. The ship will be doing a pleasure trip from New York, across the Atlantic to Venice. I’d be most pleased if you could make it as this trip has been orchestrated in your honour. Sincerely, your host and most adamant and faithful supporter. Det. Thompson leans back and lights his pipe of tobacco. His hands are shaking and his vision is blurry. He stands and stumbles to the bathroom where he dry heaves. He drags himself into his bedroom and lies in bed, drenched in sweat and shaking. He closes his eyes. A white figure streaks towards his mind’s eye screaming.
He opens his eyes with a start. DET. THOMPSON Damn these apparitions. He stands, stumbles and almost falls but catches himself. He re-enters the kitchen and with badly shaking hands, pours wine into the cup of powder, his teeth grinding together. He drinks it quickly and sighs in relief. His hand steadies and he stops sweating so much. He pours wine in his hands and splashes it on his face. He returns to bed, walking steadily and confidently this time. He lies in bed but his eyes remain wide open, staring at the ceiling. CUT TO: INT. HOUSE - BEDROOM - MORNING The Det. Thompsonâ€™s eyes are half closed but he jerks and sits up. He stands and takes off last nights clothes, throwing them in a basket. He closes the clasps on his travel bag and carries it out into the kitchen. He makes himself another powdered wine and drinks it in one hurried gulp. He walks out the door. CUT TO: EXT. NEW YORK CITY - DOCKS - MORNING Det. Thompson walks past a man stacking fish in a large wooden crate. He walks past men winding nets. He walks out on a wooden deck, this one is deserted.
At the end of it, is a staircase extending from a massive ship. The name S.S. Trinity is painted on the side in large black lettering. There is a large, heavily-muscled man standing in front of the door. Det. Thompson stops in front of him. DOORMAN Do you have an invitation? The Det. Thompson pulls his invite from his jacket pocket and shows the doorman. DOORMAN Go ahead, Mr. Sullivan will help you inside. The Det. Thompson enters the ship, the top of the staircase looming above like an open mouth. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - MIDDLE FLOOR - BALLROOM The ballroom has mediocre furnishings, itâ€™s design is more for economy than luxury. The occasional guest meanders about. MR. SULLIVAN, 30 with kind eyes and a smile approaches Det. Thompson. MR. SULLIVAN Hello sir, did you receive an invitation to this event? Det. Thompson nods and watches a smile child laugh as her mother tickles her. MR. SULLIVAN Most excellent sir. Mr. Sullivan leads Det. Thompson through the ballroom. DET. THOMPSON I take it you work for our gracious host. Yes, sir.
Who is he?
Mr. Sullivan leads Det. Thompson up a winding staircase. MR. SULLIVAN Shamefully, I’ve never taken company with him, sir. Det. Thompson’s brow furrows. DET. THOMPSON How did you come to work for a stranger? MR. SULLIVAN I was contacted by telephone, and paid through the bank. He gave instruction to serve the special guests the best I can. Det. Thompson smiles. DET. THOMPSON What an enigma your employer is. MR. SULLIVAN Yes sir, very exciting. At the top of the stairs, the staircase turns into a beautifully furnished hallway. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - MORNING The top floor is of a much more bourgeoises, luxury design. Fine art lies upon beautiful tables and line the walls, ornate furnishing, Persian carpeting and plants populate. MR. SULLIVAN Would you fancy anything sir? Det. Thompson yawns. DET. THOMPSON If you could show me a bed, I’d be most gracious. Mr. Sullivan leads the Det. Thompson to his room and opens the door.
MR. SULLIVAN Dinner is in a couple of hours, I will inform you when, sir. Det. Thompson puts his bag down and sits on the bed. Thank you.
The door closes softly and Det. Thompson collapses in bed with his clothes on. His eyes flicker close, for a moment, before snapping open again. He closes his eyes again, squeezing them tight, but they open again. He turns onto his side and closes his eyes. He groans, turns and flips onto his other side. He tosses and turns. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - BEDROOM - NIGHT Thompson wakes with a start, heâ€™s drenched in cold sweat. He sits with effort, drags himself to his bag and undoes the snaps. He withdraws a flask, twists the top off sending it to the floor, and takes a deep drink. He catches his breath, taking a few more drinks, placing the flask in his suit jacket pocket and standing. CUT TO: EXT. S.S. TRINITY - BIRDS-EYE VIEW - NIGHT The gigantic ship sails smoothly through the emerald blue water, parting thick mist. CUT TO:
INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - SALOON - NIGHT Thompson enters an oak-furnished room with an island serveyourself bar. Inside are the other guests divided into two groups. He joins the first group; DR. HARRY ROSEN 50s, slightly overweight with a large friendly face, GRAHAM SHEFFIELD, 50s but atheletic trim and well groomed, JIM PATTERSON, Early 30s and well dressed with a booming voice, and ROGER CARMICHAEL 40s, slightly overweight and balding. DET. THOMPSON Gentlemen, how’s the liquor taste? Graham pours Det. Thompson a glass of whiskey. DR. ROSEN It tastes free, in other words, it tastes splendid. The group laughs, the Det. Thompson downs the drink. DET. THOMPSON Names Hunter Thompson, how do you do? Det. Thompson offers his hand to Graham, who shakes firmly. GRAHAM Graham Sheffield. He shakes hands with Dr. Rosen. DR. ROSEN Charmed. Harry Rosen. Det. Thompson turns to Roger and offers his hand. ROGER Roger Carmichael. They shake. He turns to the final man, who is studying the Det. Thompson closely. JIM I’m Jim Patterson, work for the times. You’re not the Hunter Thompson, are you?
Det. Thompson scoffs. DET. THOMPSON The Hunter Thompson? Jim laughs and takes a sip of his drink. JIM You can’t pretend you haven’t read about it. New York’s best detective, the man who knows no case too hard, or too confusing. The man who has never failed to solve a crime. The Det. Thompson laughs heartily and cheers with his drink. DET. THOMPSON Those are just stories, Mr. Patterson. JIM PATTERSON Well, actually detective, they are stories but stories based heavily on truth. Truth is often more amazing than fiction. Det. Thompson looks at Jim for a moment, grinding his teeth and then looks away. DET. THOMPSON Anyone have any idea who our host is? Graham shrugs. GRAHAM He’s wealthy. They share a chuckle. Jim leaves the table. DET. THOMPSON What do you do for a living Mr. Sheffield? Graham swills his whiskey. Roger pours himself another and takes a drink.
GRAHAM I write who-dun-it mysteries. I dream up things half as good as what you deal with on a daily basis, I’m sure. The other group; JANE BYWATER, early 20s gorgeous and blond, ALFRED NOBLE, Late 40s, handsome, dressed well with an oiled beard, SAGE WRIGHT, 30, pretty and strong with ungroomed hair and thick, untailored clothing, and MURDOCK WRIGLY, 50s very overweight and red in the face stand and sit around a piano. Jane stands behind Alfred as he plays piano. JANE You play beautifully. ALFRED Not half so beautifully as your person, my dear. Jim snorts and Jane blushes. JIM Not one tenth as beautifully. Jane smiles at Jim. Murdock drinks heavily, talking to Sage. MURDOCK Tonics huh? Not too much different than my saloon, the hogs barrel. We both sell liquids to change a man. Murdock laughs, smacking his large belly. Det. Thompson joins them. DET. THOMPSON Excuse me, but I overheard you are a herbalist? SAGE You heard right, I’m Sage. Det. Thompson kisses her hand. DET. THOMPSON I’m Hunter Thompson. I assume you can procure wine with cocoa leaf? She smiles and nods.
SAGE One of my most popular products. The cocoa leaf is so delightful. Det. Thompson turns to Murdock. DET. THOMPSON And your name is? MURDOCK Murdock Wrigley. I’m a great friend and an awful enemy. Don’t cross me and you’ll never meet mad Murdock. Would you like a drink? DET. THOMPSON Absolutely. Murdock pours a drink and Det. Thompson downs it quickly. Conversation resumes, drinks are poured on ice. GRAHAM Would you like to hear a riddle m’dear? Jane claps and laughs excitedly. JANE Very much so. Graham smiles and plays with a trimmed and oiled beard. GRAHAM What can run but never walks, has a mouth but never talks has a head but never weeps and has a bed but never sleeps? Jane thinks for a moment. JANE Gosh that’s a good one. Graham chuckles. GRAHAM I’m quite the riddle master. Murdock has attracted a crowd across the room.
MURDOCK So I says, you best be leavin’ and he reaches behind him for god knows what to beat my skull in with. I beat him to the punch and knocked his teeth out with this here hand. Murdock hefts his massive right fist. MURDOCK Too bad I didn’t see his friend with the plank of wood, lost me my right eye. He taps his eye with a finger and it makes a clicking noise. Roger Carmichael laughs heartily, falls and lands on his ass. He hiccups. ROGER CARMICHAEL Oh, excuse me. Roger rushes out, retching. Murdock laughs heartily. MURDOCK Couldn’t hold his drink if it held him first. The group laughs. Jane groans. JANE Please tell me. Graham smiles fondly. GRAHAM You shouldn’t give up so easily. Almost anything can be figured out with a bit of careful thinking. A river runs but can’t walk, a river has a mouth but can’t talk, a river has a head but can’t weep, and of course a river has a bed but never sleeps. Jane thinks and then starts giggling in delight.
Mr. Sullivan enters and clears his throat loudly, but they don’t take notice. Det. Thompson swallows a half glass of whiskey after clinking cups with Graham. Excuse me.
Everyone starts to quiet and pay Mr. Sullivan more attention. MR. SULLIVAN Dinner is ready, if you’ll all follow me to the dining room. The room erupts into cheers. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM - NIGHT The guests chat excitedly at a large, expensive dinner table, however two chairs are empty. A smiling chef carries out a massive, juicy roast which the table cheers and applauds. DET. THOMPSON Who’s missing? Mr. Sullivan sees the empty seats and then thinks. MR. SULLIVAN I believe Mr. Carmichael and Mrs. Harrison. He leaves the dining room. Then Dr. Rosen taps his glass of booze and stands. DR. ROSEN We were lucky enough to get invited on this cruise. Thank god we have a charitable and generous host, one who provides us with good food and delicious drink. The table starts cheering. CARRIE NATION, 30, 6’0 180 pounds of muscle with the most pronounced chin in the room stands and slams both her palms against the table.
CARRIE NATION How dare you? Dr. Rosen flinches. CARRIE NATION Speaking god’s name while indulging in the devil’s liquid? Blasphemy. She slams her hands on the table again, rattling all the plates and she storms out of the room. People gape at each other silently. JIM PATTERSON Carrie Nation; Religious, empowered, completely insane. Graham looks at the Det. Thompson who shrugs. MURDOCK You can’t be serious. JIM PATTERSON The infamous hatchet is among us. DET. THOMPSON The hatchet? JIM PATTERSON Part of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. Bunch of crazy old bats. She goes into saloons accompanied by hymn-singing women and takes a hatchet to the booze. Jane gasps. JANE Why isn’t she in prison? MURDOCK Saloon owner’s Union tried to get her arrested many of time. She’s got strong backing from the church. Enough money can get a person out of almost anything. Mr. Sullivan re-enters. MR. SULLIVAN Have any of you seen an elderly lady, Mrs. Harrison?
Det. Thompson shakes his head no, so does Graham and then Jane. TABLE (GROUP) No, nope, afraid not. MR. SULLIVAN What about Roger Carmichael? DR. ROSEN He took sick earlier, drank too much. Murdock chuckles. Mr. Sullivan leaves again, looking worried. Jim turns to Alfred, smiling mischieviously. JIM PATTERSON What’s your story? Alfred smiles and straightens his back. ALFRED I’m an inventor and a scientist. SAGE What did you invent? ALFRED I contributed greatly to the mining field, discovered a new way to get through rock to the valueables. JIM PATTERSON Alfred Noble, inventor of dynamite and gunpowder. Contributed greatly, granted unknowingly, to man’s ability to kill his brothers. Alfred glares at Jim. GRAHAM Now, now gents let’s keep things friendly. JIM PATTERSON I’m just relaying what the paper’s are saying. ALFRED You write them.
Alfred is leaning across the table at Jim. Dr. Rosen turns to the Det. Thompson. DR. ROSEN We seem to have quite a few local celebrities on board, far from least important being Det. Thompson. All heads turn to the Det. Thompson interested. JIM PATTERSON The man’s never failed to solve a case. Det. Thompson chuckles to himself, swirling alcohol around his glass. JANE What was the hardest case you solved? DET. THOMPSON A difficult question. Det. Thompson thinks for a moment. Jim pulls out a pad and a pen. Jane looks at him questioningly. JIM PATTERSON We’ve been trying to get an invterveiw with him forever, this is a prime oppurtunity. DET. THOMPSON I’d say the school house murders. Stumped me for a long time, there were no suspects, none of the teachers seemed guilty and the children were constantly supervised. Despite the supervision, someone was killing them under the supervisor’s eye. Then it occurred to me that there must be some sort of deception. All of the attacks were straight on, the attacker was the same height as the children. (MORE)
22. DET. THOMPSON (cont'd) In the end, it turned out to be a deranged dwarf, the teachers didn’t notice because he was the same height as the children and blended in unnoticed. Everyone is silently contemplating, except Jim who chuckles and paints a picture in the air with his hands. JIM PATTERSON Allstar Detective, overcomes deception; solves school house murders. Inside story. Alfred rolls his eyes. MRS. HARRISON, 70s feeble and hunched over enters. GRAHAM You must be Mrs. Harrison, are you alright? She smiles after she sits. MRS. HARRISON Quite alright thank you, I dozed off as happens more often with age. Mr. Sullivan enters, sees Mrs. Harrison and sighs in relief. The roast has been demolished, only scraps remain. Mr. Sullivan gathers up these scraps. GRAHAM Do you throw those on the fire, to make it burn longer? MR. SULLIVAN Buck will love these. Buck?
MR. SULLIVAN My terrier, he’s delightful. Graham smiles. GRAHAM I’ll have to meet him. Mr. Sullivan smiles and carries the scraps out, Graham follows.
DET. THOMPSON Shall we drink more? Most of the guests agree enthusiastically. MRS. HARRISON I’m still quite tired, I’m retiring for the night. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - SALOON - NIGHT Sage, Jane, Graham, Murdock, Harry, Det. Thompson, Jim and Alfred re-enter the saloon, to singing, only to be shocked out of conversation by the sound of breaking glass. CARRIE (SINGING) Strengthened by the might pow’r of heaven, We shall conquer, we shall conquer; Till the raging for afar is driven, Press the battle on. Carrie Nation winds back her hatchet and follows through a row of bottles, booze spraying like blood. Carrie turns and brandishes her axe at the group, hissing, as they rapidly approach her from all sides. CARRIE NATION Leave me, you crazed red-faced rummies. MURDOCK You might be husky for a woman but I’ll have as much problem breaking you as I will snapping that sharp twig your holding. Graham steps in front of Murdock. GRAHAM Everyone just calm down and take a breath. Murdock and Carrie stare at one another. GRAHAM Miss Nation, please lower your axe. Carrie slowly lowers the hatchet.
GRAHAM We’ve had a good night so far, I think we should just call it night at this point, retire to rooms and discuss this soberly the morning. Does that work?
and a our in
Carrie walks out of the saloon without saying another word. Jane stares at her. JANE She frightens me. ALFRED You’re not alone. Det. Thompson’s vision swims and he stumbles. DET. THOMPSON I’m heading to bed, too much excitement. Graham nods and leaves with Det. Thompson. Alfred turns and waves goodnight as well. DR. ROSEN I guess I’ll be retiring for the night as well. Sage leaves with the doctor. Murdock takes a deep swill from the bottle and then walks off shaking his head and muttering angrily, carrying the bottle with him. Jim looks at Jane, they’re alone now. JIM PATTERSON Handsome, charming man charms beautiful, sweet lady? Jane smiles in a forced way. JANE I need my sleep or I look a horror. Good night. She leaves and Jim frowns. CUT TO:
INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DET. THOMPSONâ€™S ROOM Det. Thompson sits on his bed, feet up, holding his legs, smoking and drinking from one of his flasks. There are two flasks left in his bag. His eyes dart nervously around the room. Something creaks and his eye twitches. He drinks quickly and nervously from the flask, finishes it and then throws the empty flask aside. He stands and begins pacing while smoking feverishly. He hears a blood curdling scream. He runs to the door and rips it open, looking up and down the hallway. Nothing happens, he breathes heavily. He closes the door halfway when he hears another scream, louder. He runs down the hallway. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - HALLWAY He sees Sage ahead and runs to her. Murdock is lying dead on the ground, his glass eye staring off in a different direction. SAGE I heard a bump outside and when I came out I found him like this. Det. Thompson backs away into the wall, staring at the dead body, grinding his teeth softly. His vision swims and he grinds his teeth hard. His vision becomes normal again as he is bent over, breathing heavily. The other guests arrive, the Mr. Sullivan and the Chef arrive they all look at Murdockâ€™s body.
Someone screams. My god.
Dr. Rosen examines the body. Jim points a finger at Carrie. JIM PATTERSON Had to kill him, huh? Everyone glares at Carrie. CARRIE NATION It’s not God’s will to kill. The boat lurches, sending several people sprawling. Det. Thompson grabs Carrie Nation and slaps handcuffs on her. DET. THOMPSON We meet in the dining room. CUT TO: EXT. S.S. TRINITY - BIRD’S-EYE-VIEW - NIGHT The boat is idle, unmoving in the middle of the ocean. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM - NIGHT Graham looks out the boat’s window and sees that the boat is not moving. Carrie Nation has been handcuffed to a chair. CARRIE NATION Release me from these bounds you drunkard. Det. Thompson paces. ALFRED This has got to be some kind of sick joke, I can’t believe a murder has happened on board.
JIM PATTERSON Cold blooded murder on a luxury vessel? Certainly isn’t a common event. JANE Maybe it was natural death? He didn’t look murdered. GRAHAM In case, none of you have noticed, the boat has stopped. Jane jerks her head at him and runs to the window. She turns around slowly. JANE What is going on? Alfred grabs Carrie’s shoulders. ALFRED You crazy loon, what’ve you done? Det. Thompson stands up. Calm down.
Everyone quits squabbling and turn to him. DET. THOMPSON Take a seat, don’t lose your minds, the Doctor will return soon and let us know what has happened to Murdock. Mrs. Harrison enters. MRS. HARRISON How’s an old soul to sleep with all this commotion? DET. THOMPSON One of the guests has been found dead, we’re trying to find out why. Mrs. Harrison gasps. GRAHAM The boat’s stopped moving, too.
Det. Thompson furrows his brow. The doctor re-enters. DR. ROSEN Well, Murdock was definitely murdered. Jane gasps and slaps a hand to her mouth. Strangled.
Graham sits beside Det. Thompson. GRAHAM Det. Thompson, I think logically we can eliminate a few guests as potential murderers. DET. THOMPSON Who and why? GRAHAM Jane, Mrs. Harrison and Sage. You’d have to be fairly strong to strangle Murdock. DET. THOMPSON Excellent point. JIM PATTERSON Well? This crazy lady’s the killer right Det. Thompson? Graham mentally counts passengers. CARRIE NATION I’ve never been arrested for murder, only for destroying the thing that corrupts man, the liquid that turns his soul black and his mind rotten. I follow the book. GRAHAM (WHISPER TO DET.) Someone’s missing who was on the boat earlier. Det. Thompson looks around; he sees Alfred, Jane, Sage, Mrs. Harrison, Dr. Rosen, Graham, Jim, Murdock’s corpse. CUT TO:
INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - SALOON - EARLIER THAT NIGHT ROGER CARMICHAEL Roger Carmichael. Det. Thompson and Roger exchange a handshake. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM Det. Thompson turns to Graham while Carrie and Alfred argue in the background. DET. THOMPSON How did you know that? Graham smiles. GRAHAM I love logic, I have a very methodical mind. Det. Thompson stares at Graham for a moment longer. DET. THOMPSON Who is our host and what is his role in this? GRAHAM I haven’t the slightest clue. DET. THOMPSON I don’t trust you, Graham. GRAHAM I’m not sure I trust you. They study one another. Quiet.
The room goes silent. CARRIE NATION I didn’t do anything, I was smashing bottles the entire time. JANE That’s can’t be true.
GRAHAM Actually, it could be. They all look at him. GRAHAM There’s a ton of broken bottles. Det. Thompson fights a smile. JIM PATTERSON She’s telling the truth that she’s never committed murder. Although, as the Time’s have documented in detail, she is completely loony. DET. THOMPSON There’s someone who has been absent most the night. Roger Carmichael. CARRIE NATION He’s probably the killer, drunk as a skunk he was, he’d do anything, no morals at all. ALFRED Who do you think the killer is Detective? DET. THOMPSON I need to speak to Mr. Carmichael before I decide. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - HALLWAY Det. Thompson, Jim and Graham follow the Mr. Sullivan outside of a door. MR. SULLIVAN This is it. Det. Thompson knocks on the door. DET. THOMPSON Mr. Carmichael? Can you open up please, we need to speak to you. No answer.
DET. THOMPSON Mr. Carmichael? No answer. DET. THOMPSON Move out the way. They get out of the way of the door. Det. Thompson rushes the door and slams his shoulder into it, breaking the lock open and stumbling into the room. He instantly groans in disgust. JIM PATTERSON He sure isn’t the killer. Roger Carmichael is lying in a pool of blood on the ground, his neck cut wide open. DET. THOMPSON Get Dr. Rosen. Mr. Sullivan runs off. GRAHAM Certainly looks like his neck was cut with something sharp. JIM PATTERSON Like a hatchet. Det. Thompson stares at the body. DET. THOMPSON I’m not completely sure yet. GRAHAM Carrie Nation seems to be the prime suspect at this point in time. Det. Thompson nods. DET. THOMPSON Something seems off, though. That smell. They exit the room and see Dr. Rosen approaching down the hall. Dr. Rosen enters the room and makes a noise of disgust.
DR. ROSEN This body’s been dead awhile. Det. Thompson squats down and massages his eyes. How long?
The doctor exits the room and closes the door. DR. ROSEN I’d say about a week but it’s hard to say for sure. JIM PATTERSON How is that possible? DET. THOMPSON We saw him last night. The doctor shrugs. DR. ROSEN Like I said, could be wrong but I think that bodies been dead a week at least. MR. SULLIVAN I’m going to find out why we’ve stopped. Mr. Sullivan exits downstairs. They walk down the hallway towards the ballroom. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM Det. Thompson, Dr. Rosen, Graham and Jim enter the dining room. ALFRED What’s going on? JIM PATTERSON Roger Carmichael’s dead, murdered. Graham gets out a piece of parchment and an old-fashioned pen.
He writes down three names; Detective Hunter Thompson, Graham Sheffield, Roger Carmichael. SAGE Why are we stopped? DR. ROSEN We’re trying to figure that out. Graham crosses out Roger Carmichael and writes down three more names; Dr. Rosen, Sage Wright, Jane Bywater. JANE This is horrible. Have we any idea who’s responsible? DET. THOMPSON All signs point to Miss Nation but I don’t believe it is her. Graham writes down the rest; Carrie Nation, Alfred Noble, Mrs. Harrison, Murdock Wrigley. He crosses out Murdock Wrigley. He adds Mr. Sullivan, Chef. CARRIE NATION It’s not me, I’ve been here the whole time, how could I have killed this Roger? JIM PATTERSON Well, our doctor thinks he’s been dead for a week at least. CARRIE NATION It’s not me, I swear. DET. THOMPSON I tend to believe her, it’s not in her history. I’m also wondering about our host, why is he remaining so mysterious? He could very well be the murderous one. JANE But Carrie has a motive, one was really drunk, the other was a saloon owner. It’s true. Mr. Sullivan enters.
MR. SULLIVAN No one’s on the boat. They all turn and stare. Come see.
The whole group follows the Mr. Sullivan. Untie me.
They leave the ballroom. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - MIDDLE FLOOR The middle floor of the boat is no longer full of passengers, it’s deserted. The kitchen is empty, the rooms are empty, every space is empty. GRAHAM This is becoming more and more eerie. JIM PATTERSON The servant had to know about this. Mr. Sullivan backs away from Jim’s accusing finger. MR. SULLIVAN No sir, I had no idea. DET. THOMPSON Calm down, we don’t know anything yet, there’s no point in pointing fingers. Jim takes a deep breath. DET. THOMPSON I’ve already asked Mr. Sullivan who his employer is. He was contacted and paid anonymously.
ALFRED We should find the captain, someone had to control the boat and anchor it. GRAHAM I think we should set up some ground rules. Firstly, everyone should travel in threes. Why?
GRAHAM That way, if you’re paired with the killer, you have at least one other person watching your back. Everyone nods in agreement. JIM PATTERSON What if there’s more than one killer? GRAHAM We’ll have to assume there isn’t for the moment. DET. THOMPSON Myself, Graham and Alfred will explore the ship. The rest of you, back to the ballroom. Jane starts crying nervously. Jim puts his arm around her. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - BOTTOM FLOOR - DECKHAND’S ROOMS They explore the deckhand’s room, where empty bunk-bed’s line the walls. There is no sign of life. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - BOTTOM FLOOR - HALLWAY Graham opens the door and finds stairways up.
GRAHAM Come look at this, the Captain’s room? The other two join and they walk up the stairs. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - CAPTAIN’S ROOM They enter a room with a large wooden wheel, a chair, a desk, maps and a spyglass. ALFRED This is certainly the captain’s room. Det. Thompson gets down on the ground and notices some crumbs and a bit of ash. DET. THOMPSON Looks like he’s been here. Traces of some sort of food and tobacco. CUT TO: EXT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP DECK Det. Thompson, Graham and Alfred walk on the windy deck. They find the anchor and look down, it is set in the stormy ocean. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM Det. Thompson, Graham and Alfred re-enter the dining room. Jim is massaging Jane. JIM PATTERSON YOu really are a beautDET. THOMPSON There is definitely a captain on board. Someone also had to deploy the anchor.
JANE It was her. GRAHAM I don’t think so. JANE How the hell can you not think so? Her name is the hatchet. GRAHAM How could she have controlled the ship, murdered two people, anchored the ship while she was destroying that many bottles? Jane walks to Carrie and shakes her hard. JANE Well, how’d you do it? GRAHAM Stop it. Our lives depend on keeping our wits. Jane lets go of Carrie. GRAHAM I have a plan, if you’d like to hear it? Det. Thompson nods. GRAHAM We have one option. We must explore the rest of the boat, we need to find the captain, and there is one onboard. Someone had to anchor and control the boat. SAGE Captain’s don’t usually do the anchoring, the crew does. GRAHAM Ships don’t usually stop in the middle of the Atlantic with no one on board. People aren’t usually being murdered either. Jane nods grudgingly.
DET. THOMPSON Graham makes a good point. We must act, we are vulnerable right now. Plus, if we can ensure there isn’t anyone on board we don’t know about it makes narrowing down the suspects much easier. SAGE Helps having the best detective in New York on board. The group chuckles. CARRIE NATION Please untie me. DET. THOMPSON It’s not safe yet, when we return with the Captain we will, if you promise not to swing that axe anymore. Carrie groans and struggles against the ropes that hold her against the chair. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - HALLWAY They walk down the hallway as a group. DET. THOMPSON We walk in the hallway as a group, one person checking each room. Sage checks a room, no one inside. Graham checks a room, no one inside. Jane checks a room, no one inside. They go downstairs. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - MIDDLE FLOOR - BALLROOM They look around the economical messhall but find no one. CUT TO:
INT. S.S. TRINITY - MIDDLE FLOOR - ROOMS They check the rooms one-by-one but no luck. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - BOTTOM FLOOR - HALLWAY They are checking the lower floorâ€™s deckhands room when they stop. They hear music playing. Det. Thompson traces the music to a spot in the wall. He picks up a nearby chair and smashes it into the wall. The music stops. He backs up, charges and slams the chair into the wall, breaking through and falling trough wooden splinters into another room. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - BOTTOM FLOOR - SECRET ROOM The CAPTAIN, 50s heavy-built with a grey moustache, sits drinking out of a bottle. CAPTAIN What the hell? Alfred, Jim and Dr. Rosen grab the captain and drag him up. DET. THOMPSON Take him upstairs. Det. Thompson sees a trap door at the top of a ladder in the room. He climbs it. CUT TO:
INT. S.S. TRINITY - CAPTAIN’S ROOM The trapdoor opens underneath the captain’s desk. Det. Thompson closes it. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - HALLWAY They are dragging the captain down the hall. CAPTAIN Why are you treating me like this? DR. ROSEN We have a lot of questions for you. They drag the captain into the ballroom and make him sit, circling around him and making sure he stays put. Graham stops and notices something in the hallway. GRAHAM Murdock’s body is gone. JIM PATTERSON Where the hell is Carrie? Graham returns to the ballroom sees that she is no longer restrained. Oh my god!
Det. Thompson enters. DET. THOMPSON What is it? GRAHAM Carrie Nation got loose. Det. Thompson turns and heads straight to the saloon, followed by the group. CUT TO:
INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - SALOON Carrie Nation lies in a pile of broken bottles, blood staining the ground, a gash in her head. GRAHAM Well, the main suspect is dead. DET. THOMPSON There’s been an interesting development, though. DR. ROSEN She was killed with a blunt object, like a piece of wood or a pipe. DET. THOMPSON Not before she hit the killer with her hatchet. Det. Thompson points to the blood surrounding Carrie. DET. THOMPSON That’s from the gash in her head. He turns and points to a separate splashing of blood, several feet away. DET. THOMPSON This is separate, different pattern. He bends and pries the small hatchet from Carrie’s hand. DET. THOMPSON Seems like the hatchet struck one last time before god took her home. DR. ROSEN Feisty to the end. DET. THOMPSON This is great for us because we’re now looking for someone with a very serious injury. GRAHAM And someone with substantial strength, to move Murdock’s body. Jim Patterson looks around.
JIM PATTERSON Anyone else notice the old lady is missing? GRAHAM You’re right, we can’t rule anybody out, consider he dangerous. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM The Captain is sitting in a chair, nervously looking at his captors. Det. Thompson drinks heavily from his flask. Jim Patterson sits at the table drinking straight whiskey from the bottle. DET. THOMPSON So, what’s your name? CAPTAIN Captain Duggarty. DET. THOMPSON Who hired you? The captain shrugs. CAPTAIN I have no idea, was contacted, paid and instructed anonymously. Graham and the detective exchange glances. DET. THOMPSON What did you have against the dead men and women? The captain’s jaw drops. CAPTAIN You can’t be serous. GRAHAM Roger Carmichael, Murdock Wrigley, and Carrie Nation. All dead. The captain’s face crumples.
JIM PATTERSON Listen chump, someone on this ship is killing us one by one, you have to know something. The captain starts weeping softly. CAPTAIN I was paid a huge sum to take the ship out here, anchor up and hide myself from the guests. DET. THOMPSON And you didn’t ask why you had to hide? CAPTAIN I did, he said it was a surprise. Det. Thompson smiles at Graham. DET. THOMPSON The killer is likely male. The captain stands and drinks heavily from the bottle. He lies on the floor. GRAHAM I believe our host is the one responsible, and he could be one of us and we’d have no way of knowing as none of us have met anyone here before nor met our host before. DET. THOMPSON Very true. I think what we need now is sleep. We won’t operate well on no sleep, everyone head to their room and lock your door. We’ll meet tomorrow. People mumble and agree. MR. SULLIVAN You can all do that but I’m going to try to find Mrs. Harrison, it doesn’t feel right leaving an old woman god knows where with a killer loose.
DET. THOMPSON That’s noble of you. Good luck. CAPTAIN What about me? Alfred approaches the captain. ALFRED Care for a drink? The Captain nods gravely. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - SALOON The Captain and Alfred sits together at the island serveyourself-bar, a bottle between them. CAPTAIN I had no idea. No damn clue that my actions would result in the death of others. Alfred sits back and takes a deep drink. ALFRED I know how you feel. The captain shakes his head vigorously. CAPTAIN You don’t know the guilt. ALFRED I invented gunpowder and dynamite as a means to advance the mining field. Sold my inventions to many people. Unknown to me, it was not just mining they had in mind. Many people have died because of my inventions. Alfred starts tearing up. CAPTAIN You couldn’t have known though, thought you were doing good.
ALFRED I had no idea, but now my life’s work is a bittersweet accomplishment. Silence for a few moments, Alfred stares into the distance. ALFRED Let’s drink to it, forget the things we can’t change, we couldn’t forsee. The captain solemnly pours two large glasses. ALFRED & CAPTAIN Forget the things we can’t change. They each finish their large glasses in one go. CAPTAIN Pour another. Alfred pours two more large glasses. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DET. THOMPSON’S ROOM Det. Thompson looks the door to his room and sits on the bed, breathing heavily. He checks his bag frantically, trying to a find a flask that is full. He pulls a small bag of white powder out with shaking hands, trying desperately to open it. He rips the bag and the powder spills all over the floor. Det. Thompson groans, licking the powder off of his fingers. He gets down and starts licking it off the ground. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - SALOON The Captain is holding onto the bar to support himself. Alfred falls backwards onto the floor.
ALFRED World’s different from here. Captain drunkenly wags his finger. CAPTAIN Now see her Alfred, the difference is that. Well, yea. You did something you wish you hadn’t. ALFRED Thought it’d be a good thing, yeah yeah. CAPTAIN Yeah, but the thing is, so did I. Yeah.
CAPTAIN But the difference, is you have brains. Invented something. I’ve never invented anything. ALFRED It’s harder than people think. CAPTAIN Wait, not true. I invented a drinking game, wana play? Alfred stands up, crashes intot he bar, holds on tightly. ALFRED How you play? Captain laughs. CAPTAIN Pretty easy, it’s called bottom’s up. Alfred puts his head between his legs, trying to look at him bottom, ends up falling. ALFRED I don’t get it. Captain grabs a new bottle, opens the top. CAPTAIN I’ll show you.
Captain taps the bottom of the bottle affectionately. Bottom.
He puts the bottle in his mouth and tips it towards the ceiling, chugging. Up.
Alfred starts laughing. The captain continues chugging. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - MIDDLE FLOOR - ECONOMICAL MESSHALL The Mr. Sullivan walks carefully through the dark ship. MR. SULLIVAN Mrs. Harrison?? CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DET. THOMPSON’S ROOM Daylight shines through the window, Det. Thompson looks pale and is coated in sweat, bags under his eyes. He groans. Someone knocks on his door. DET. THOMPSON What is it? GRAHAM We’re meeting for breakfast in the ballroom. Det. Thompson drags himself up and walks to the door. He stops and picks up the flasks, trying to empty every last drop into his mouth. CUT TO:
INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - BALLROOM Det. Thompson enters. Everyone, except for the Captain and Alfred, is sitting at the table, Mr. Sullivan is carrying out large plates of eggs and bacon. DET. THOMPSON Anyone else want a drink? Yes
Det. Thompson turns and exits, heading to the saloon. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - SALOON Det. Thompson enters and sees the Captain passed out in a pile of puke. Alfred is also passed out on the floor, his pants mysteriously around his ankles. He bends down and checks the Captain’s pulse, covers him with a blanket. He checks Alfred’s pulse. He shakes him. Alfred.
Alfred stirs, mumbling. Alfred.
Alfred’s eyes open. Detective.
Det. Thompson offers him a hand and pulls him to his feet. Alfred pulls his pants up.
DET. THOMPSON The Captain’s dead. Alfred looks at the Captain. ALFRED Another one. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM Det. Thompson re-enters with Alfred. JIM PATTERSON Why no drinks Detective? Det. Thompson sits, his hands shaking. Alfred sits as well. DET. THOMPSON The Captain drank himself to death. Alfred groans and massages his forehead. Mr. Sullivan brings plates of food in, putting one in front of Jim Patterson. MR. SULLIVAN Your food, sir. He also gives a plate to Graham and then Jane. Alfred and Jim dig in, eating ravenously. GRAHAM Can we trust this food? How do we know it isn’t poisoned? Alfred and Jim slow their chewing. The chef returns and serves Graham, Det. Thompson and Sage. JANE Where’s Mrs. Harrison? Mr. Sullivan overhears this and shakes his head sadly.
MR. SULLIVAN I searched long for her last night but I found no sign. I fear the worse. Graham watches the others eat, with no consequence and takes a tentative bite. Det. Thompson looks at his food, vision swimming. He excuses himself from the table, running to the nearest bathroom. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - BATHROOM Det. Thompson steadies himself against a mirror, sweat pouring down his face. He retches, emptying the contents of his stomach onto the floor. He pushes himself away from the mirror, falls and then struggles to stand, groaning. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM Most of the food is finished now, Jim, Alfred and Jane sit back contentedly full. Mr. Sullivan clears their plates. GRAHAM Who could have a motive for killing the hatchet and the saloon owner? No one says anything, just thinking. ALFRED Perhaps this killer has no motive other than for the thrill of it. SAGE How horrible. GRAHAM I think we should try to logically eliminate people from guilt. (MORE)
51. GRAHAM (cont'd) We can do this based on who was where when the murders happened. JANE Who do you think is innocent? GRAHAM I think Det. Thompson, Dr. Rosen, Mr. Sullivan and myself can be eliminated from suspicion. We were all together when the murders were committed. ALFRED Excuse me, I’m not feeling well. Alfred stands, stumbles and then collapses face-first on the floor. He stars convulsing, twitching, foaming and frothing at the mouth. Dr. Rosen is by his side instantly, holding him and taking his pulse. Alfred coughs, blood pours from his mouth and he is still. It’s over.
Dr. Rosen stands slowly. Det. Thompson stumbles from the bathroom, his vision hazy and shaking heavily. He struggles to keep himself up. DET. THOMPSON What’s happened? Poisoned. The Chef.
DR. ROSEN GRAHAM
Everyone looks at Graham. GRAHAM He had easy access to the hatchet when we were exploring the boat, we excluded him from suspicion. It’s a logical probability that the chef is the murderer. Mr. Sullivan enters.
MR. SULLIVAN Alfred, what’s wrong? DET. THOMPSON Another death. Det. Thompson breathes heavily, and stands up but still sweating profusely. SAGE Is the chef in the kitchen still? Mr. Sullivan runs to check. Det. Thompson’s vision swims again and he falls to one knee, swaying in circles and breathing shallow. SAGE Are you alright? Det. Thompson tries to nod. DET. THOMPSON Just need a drink. Sage walks to him, putting a hand out but he backs away. DET. THOMPSON Don’t touch me. SAGE Do you usually drink powdered wine? Det. Thompson nods and groans. SAGE The cocoa leaf gives wonderful effects but if you drink it regular, it’ll make you feel half dead when you stop. I can make you one and it should fix you right up. Det. Thompson says nothing, breathing heavily. SAGE That’s what it is. DET. THOMPSON I know that Sage for the love of God. The damned powder makes you feel like a god and a wretched mess in rotation.
Jim scoffs. JIM PATTERSON A detective who needs a powerful tonic or he is reduced to a shivering mess, now that is a story to be told. DET. THOMPSON The man who needs to exaggerate and fantasize everything into a story so he doesn’t have to face reality, that’s a story to be told. Jim looks at the others. Sage helps the Detective up. Let’s go.
GRAHAM Is it a wise idea to be accepting a drink from a herbalist after someone has been poisoned. I need it.
DET. THOMPSON CUT TO:
INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - SAGE’S ROOM Det. Thompson rocks back and forth, sweating and breathing shallowly. Sage pours a fine white powder into a glass, adds wine and stirs. SAGE Here you go. Det. Thompson looks at it from the corner of his eye. DET. THOMPSON Curse this drink. He shakes his head. DET. THOMPSON I don’t want to drink it anymore.
Sage puts an arm around his shoulders. SAGE You don’t have to, but we’re all in danger and your our best chance...you need to be at your best. He groans. DET. THOMPSON If being at your best means not sleeping, hallucinating, paranoia, chronically beating heart. SAGE You can stop taking it. I can help you. After all this is done. He looks at her. DET. THOMPSON You’re a fine woman, sage. She smiles at him. He takes the cup from her and drinks it quickly, hungrily. He sighs in satisfaction. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM Buck, the Mr. Sullivan’s dog, enters alone whining. Graham stands and walks to Buck, petting it’s head. GRAHAM Hey there boy. Det. Thompson and Sage enter with the Mr. Sullivan. Buck starts growling. Sage hands Det. Thompson a large flask. SAGE Careful with this, very potent. Det. Thompson nods.
JIM PATTERSON Got your fix? Det. Thompson smiles. DET. THOMPSON Feelin’ dandy. Buck barks. MR. SULLIVAN Now, now boy. He reaches out to Buck and Buck snaps at his hand. Det. Thompson looks suspiciously at this. DET. THOMPSON What’s the problem? MR. SULLIVAN He’s hungry, gotta feed him. The Mr. Sullivan grabs Buck’s collar and drags him snarling out of the room. JANE What a nasty mutt. GRAHAM He wasn’t earlier. Det. Thompson and Graham make eye contact. DR. ROSEN Hard to predict the actions of a beast. DET. THOMPSON I think the best plan is to lock all of us within this room once our Mr. Sullivan returns. That way we can feel a measure of security from the murderous chef. The guests make themselves comfortable about the room. TIMELAPSE: The bottle of whiskey slowly empties. Mr. Sullivan re-enters. DET. THOMPSON Lock the door.
The Mr. Sullivan retrieves a set of keys and locks the door. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM - NIGHT Graham, Det. Thompson and Dr. Rosen sits in a circle. DET. THOMPSON I’m very sure that the killer is the chef, it just makes sense. Agreed.
DR. ROSEN Hopefully he gets brave, we overpower him and we can finally end this nightmare. At the other end of the room is Sage, Jim, the Mr. Sullivan and Jane. JANE This is not at all what I expected when I got that invitation. Sage shakes her head sadly. SAGE I predicted a lot more joy and a lot less death. MR. SULLIVAN I’m going on vacation when we get off this boat. JIM PATTERSON Now, now people, it isn’t all bad, now is it? We’re young, some of us are beautiful, we’re alive and we have a good idea who’s responsible. I think a smoke is in order, anyone have a pipe? The Mr. Sullivan smiles. MR. SULLIVAN A bit of tobacco would be perfect right now.
He stands and walks to a cabinet, which he retrieves a key for and unlocks. Jim stands. JIM PATTERSON Excellent, would anyone else like a smoke? No thanks. I’m good. No thanks.
GRAHAM DET. THOMPSON DR. ROSEN
The Mr. Sullivan hands a wooden pipe to Jim. JIM PATTERSON What about the lovely Jane? Jane smiles. Sure.
Jim packs some tobacco from a bag in his pocket into the pipe. JIM PATTERSON Excellent, this is fine leaf we are smoking my dear. Fine leaf for a fine young lady. Jane blushes. Jim strike a match and holds it to the pipe. He hits it, the smoke traveling deep into his lungs, he’s instantly smiling. Then he drops the pipe, where it clatters on the floor, spillin tobacco. Jim’s lips twitch, his face frozen in a mask of terror, his body convulsing. Tendrils leak from his nose, foam froths over his lips, spilling on the floor. My god.
Dr. Rosen runs to him and catches him from falling on the floor, setting him down slowly. He takes his pulse. DR. ROSEN He would’ve been dead before he hit the floor. Jim’s eyes stare blankly at the ceiling. MR. SULLIVAN My god, does this mean... Graham and Det. Thompson make eye contact. DET. THOMPSON Someone in here is reponsible. Det. Thompson walks over to the pipe, picks it up and picks through the leaf. He finds several thick lumps which he seperates. DET. THOMPSON Sage, would you come here a moment? Sage walks over to him. DET. THOMPSON These aren’t tobacco, what are they? She picks them up and spins them, they have thin brightly coloured markings. One has several legs. SAGE They’re spiders. Highly poisonous. DR. ROSEN Fits, but it’s definitely the same poison that killed Alfred. Jane is breathing heavily, frightened. JANE I was going to smoke next. Graham puts a comforting hand on her shoulder.
GRAHAM But you didn’t dear. DR. ROSEN Don’t you have access to such spiders Sage? Sage looks them in the face one at a time. SAGE Yes, at very small doses they can be beneficial. MR. SULLIVAN So you did this. GRAHAM I am suspicious as well Sage. Det. Thompson shakes his head. DET. THOMPSON It doesn’t fit at all. Dr. Rosen shrugs. DR. ROSEN Seems like it fits to me. JANE Seems like this lying, dirty witch poisoned poor Jim and Alfred, murdered everybody else. DET. THOMPSON Calm down dear, the evidence doesn’t lead to that. Someone could have easily stolen to poison from her room. Plus where has the chef gone? Graham massages his temples. GRAHAM The chef looks less guilty now as a murder was committed without him being around. Det. Thompson nods. DET. THOMPSON True, but he’s still the prime suspect in my eyes.
JANE I thought you were supposed to be good at solving crimes? Det. Thompson stares off into the distance. DET. THOMPSON This is the most confounding case I’ve ever encountered. The Mr. Sullivan smiles. JANE I need to be away from her. I want to raise adroable little children one day and I can’t do that if I’m dead. Graham, Dr. Rosen, would you come with me to my room so I can get my tobacco? Graham and Dr. Rosen nod, escorting her out of the room. Mr. Sullivan approaches Sage and Det. Thompson. Sage smiles weakly but is upset. Det. Thompson puts an arm around her. DET. THOMPSON It’s alright, we’ll figure this out. They hear a scream from the hallway. Det. Thompson, Mr. Sullivan and Sage run to the hallway. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - HALLWAY Jane is screaming and pointing at the chef, lying dead with a slit throat in the hallway. GRAHAM God help us. You. Jane lunges at Sage.
DET. THOMPSON Sage was with us, she couldn’t have done this. DR. ROSEN She could’ve put the body there while she was feeding you that tonic. JANE What kind of detective are you?! Det. Thompson leans against the wall, puts a hand over his eyes. SAGE Quiet girl, clearly something devilish is at work here. DET. THOMPSON The most guilty person always dies. They all look at him. DET. THOMPSON The killer has been very dishonest and sneaky up to this point, framing others, then killing them. Carrie seemed guilty, then she died, so did the chef, that’s why I’m sure it’s not Sage. Graham thinks. GRAHAM He’s right, it seems as if people are being framed along the way. We’re clearly dealing with a murderous mastermind. DET. THOMPSON I’m not sure logic even applies to this case. Mr. Sullivan smiles. DET. THOMPSON Why are you smiling? MR. SULLIVAN I feel giddy...life or death can make a man feel a bit crazy.
GRAHAM How is your dog fairing? He’s fine.
Graham raises an eyebrow and then shrugs. Det. Thompson studies the Mr. Sullivan suspiciously. DR. ROSEN It’s late, I think I’m going to bed. DET. THOMPSON Good idea, everyone lock their doors again and just call if anything happens. They all nod and head to bed without another word. Sage hands Det. Thompson a flask. SAGE You need to keep drinking it or you’ll feel sick again. Det. Thompson nods and heads to the door. Graham stops him. GRAHAM (WHISPER) Mr. Sullivan is acting very strangely, we should watch him. Det. Thompson nods. I agree.
DET. THOMPSON CUT TO:
INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DET. THOMPSON’S ROOM He sits in his room, sipping the flask, eyes fluttering open and close. CUT TO:
INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DET. THOMPSON ROOM - MORNING Det. Thompson’s eyes snap open to the sound of screaming. He jumps up and rushes into the hallway. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - HALLWAY - MORNING Sage is staring at the dead body of the Mr. Sullivan at her front door. DET. THOMPSON God dammit. JANE What? It’s sage! The dead man is right outside of her door. GRAHAM Sorry dear, this actually supports what Det. Thompson was saying, the killer wouldn’t make it so obvious as putting the corpse outside their door. They’re trying to frame Sage, which means she’s likely the next target. DET. THOMPSON I suspected it was the Mr. Sullivan. Why?
DET. THOMPSON He got the radio hosts pipe, he served Alfred's poisoned meal, he was always coming and going. Graham sighs. GRAHAM I was sure it was him as well. Jane starts crying. JANE This is horrible, why can’t they would just do me in.
Graham rubs her back. DR. ROSEN Don’t say that. Jane hiccups. JANE Death would be better than this infinite terror. DET. THOMPSON It must be one of us, who? I have no clue. I do know we need to get off this boat. GRAHAM Seems a good plan, but how? DET. THOMPSON Bigger boats usually have a liferaft. That’s our best bet. SAGE Where do we find one. Det. Thompson shrugs. DET. THOMPSON I think we should separate for time’s sake, once you find one run back and holler so we’ll all find you. Time and safety are our premium concerns. The group stands around for a moment. DET. THOMPSON Now. We’re in mortal danger. Det. Thompson spins and leaves. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - BOTTOM FLOOR - MORNING Graham searches the deckhand’s rooms, but can’t find any boats. CUT TO:
INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DECK - MORNING Dr. Rosen finds a buoy but tosses it on the ground. He hears a creak and spins, scared but no one is there. On the other side of the deck, Sage searches frantically but can’t find a boat. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - MIDDLE FLOOR - ECONOMICAL MESSHALL Det. Thompson and Jane search different parts of the middle floor. Det. Thompson checks a closet, finds it full of mobs and such. Jane opens a door and sees a bathroom. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - HALLWAY Graham meets up with Det. Thompson and Jane. Any luck?
DET. THOMPSON Not at all. Nope.
GRAHAM I guess it was a lot to hope that the killer would have overlooked that part of the plan when everything else was so detailed. SAGE I found a boat. They all turn to her. SAGE It’s on the deck, was underneath a tarp.
Sage starts giggling hysterically. SAGE So lucky, we’re saved. Jane smiles. Sage runs off. Follow me.
They run after her. CUT TO: EXT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DECK - MORNING Sage shows them the life boat, bright orange and just big enough. DET. THOMPSON Where’s the doctor? Sage shrugs. SAGE I called for him when I found it but he wasn’t around. Graham looks over the side of the boat. A body smashes wrecklessly into the side of the boat. GRAHAM I think I found him. They all look overboard. SAGE Let’s get out of here. They all nod. They attach wires to the life boat, it’s hanging off the side of the boat. They all climb in. They turn a crank and the boat is slowly lowered into the water.
They unattach the wires and Graham and Det. Thompson each take a paddle, start paddling. CUT TO: INT. LIFEBOAT - TWILIGHT The boat is no longer visible on the horizon but they see shore. JANE Look, I think that’s New York. Graham smiles. GRAHAM I think you’re right, we might just make it out of this yet. Det. Thompson pulls the paddle out. DET. THOMPSON I need a break. GRAHAM Then take one, you’ve been paddling for hours. DET. THOMPSON Would you paddle Jane? Jane shakes her head. JANE What would that do to my hands? Sage paddles determinedly. GRAHAM You should take a break too dear. She slows and withdraws her paddle. JANE Maybe we left the killer on board that ship. Det. Thompson smiles.
DET. THOMPSON A happy thought, one I’m afraid to let enter my mind. CUT TO: EXT. ATLANTIC OCEAN - SUNSET The sun is setting, over the ocean, leaving a shroud of blackness. CUT TO: EXT. LIFEBOAT - NIGHT Jane sleeps by leaning back against the wall of the lifeboat with her arms crossed. Sage twitches, shifts and attempts to sleep. Det. Thompson’s eyes flutter but he holds them open with obvious effort. Graham shifts his seat so he’s beside Det. Thompson. GRAHAM There’s a couple of things I want to say to you. Det. Thompson sits straighter, awake now. Alright.
GRAHAM Firstly, if I don’t get the chance to see you after this, I’d like to say it was a pleasure having you along this adventure. DET. THOMPSON I wouldn’t describe the past few nights as pleasurable. GRAHAM I appreciated having another analytical logical mind along is all. I’d like if we could get together after all this, as friends.
Det. Thompson smiles. DET. THOMPSON This is all rather morbid, you realize. GRAHAM I do but I am uncertain about my future. Is the killer on this boat? Det. Thompson looks out at the water. DET. THOMPSON I’m hoping they didn’t make it on this boat. Graham smiles. GRAHAM Fairly sure? DET. THOMPSON None of you fit the killer. GRAHAM You’re right but I’m not so sure. This killer is a brilliant mind. DET. THOMPSON Just my intuition. At this point, I care less about solving the crime and saving my reputation and more about escaping alive. Graham chuckles. GRAHAM It’d be something if you were the killer. Det. Thompson chuckles. DET. THOMPSON Is that who you suspect? GRAHAM Well you’re the least likely to start. Det. Thompson laughs out loud. DET. THOMPSON Well, I’m not.
Graham smiles. GRAHAM I doubt that you are. Time for sleep. Night detective. Graham scoots away and closes his eyes. Night.
Det. Thompson closes his eyes. CUT TO: EXT. LIFEBOAT - MIDNIGHT Det. Thompson wakes to a splash, both Sage and Graham jerk at the same time. Jane is gone. Jane.
He scrambles for a paddle and paddles desperately towards a floating object. SAGE What happened? GRAHAM Is that Jane? DET. THOMPSON Get a paddle, help me god dammit. They finally reach the body and pull it on the lifeboat. Jane’s face is pale, white and lifeless. Det. Thompson starts sobbing. DET. THOMPSON So one of you, huh? Sage and Graham look at one another. SAGE You can’t be serious. It’s not me, and I don’t believe it was Graham.
GRAHAM What happened even? Det. Thompson looks at Sage. DET. THOMPSON You’re trying to tell me she just fell in the water during a sleep? Graham grits his teeth together. GRAHAM We’re not trying to tell you anything. SAGE We didn’t see anything either. Det. Thompson leans back, pulls out his flask and starts chugging it. DET. THOMPSON Just great, this should be a lovely trip to shore. GRAHAM I think your tonic is affecting your brain detective. Sage looks at him sadly. DET. THOMPSON Don’t talk to me, lying demons. He scoots away, seating himself as far as possible from the other two. DET. THOMPSON I’m sure one of you is the killer. You’re a sick son of a bitch, I’ll tell you that but nothing else. GRAHAM You’re being ridiculous. DET. THOMPSON What’s wierd and rediculous is that I’ve never suspected you before. You dream up crimes, maybe you felt like playing one out for real. Graham closes his mouth.
DET. THOMPSON People are dying, it’s no accident, another person dies. You two are the only ones left, it’s not me, it’s clearly one of you. Nothing to do now but stay awake for the rest of the journey. He tosses a paddle at Graham. Paddle.
Sage begins paddling and Graham follows suit. CUT TO: EXT. LIFEBOAT TIME-LAPSE SEQUENCE: The sun rises from the horizon and settles in the middle of the sky. CUT TO: EXT. LIFEBOAT - AFTERNOON The shore is closer but still a while away. Det. Thompson continues drinking from his flask. Sage takes a break from paddling, while Graham continues. SAGE How do we know you’re not the killer? Det. Thompson looks at her. DET. THOMPSON I guess you don’t. It’s not me though. SAGE I know it’s not you too, I think you’re acting crazy cause you’ve had too much too drink. I told you it was potent, how much is left? (MORE)
73. SAGE (cont'd) If you’re not careful, you’ll kill yourself. Det. Thompson takes a big swill. DET. THOMPSON I’ve drinkin’ more than this before. SAGE More of normal stuff but that’s pure powder, it’s extremely potent. Det. Thompson drinks more, then shakes the flask upside down, demonstrating that it’s empty. Graham stops paddling. GRAHAM Can you paddle for a bit? I need to rest my old bones. Det. Thompson takes the paddle and turns around so he’s facing forward at the front of the boat. He paddles furiously, his strokes cutting through the water, the boat moving faster now. The sun shines on his face, he smiles feeling great. Graham lies against the side, closing his eyes for a moment. Det. Thompson paddles furiously. CUT TO: EXT. LIFEBOAT - BIRD’S-EYE VIEW - SUNSET The sun is setting and fog is rolling over the lifeboat. CUT TO: EXT. LIFEBOAT - SUNSET It’s extremely foggy. Det. Thompson continues paddling. DET. THOMPSON We’re almost there.
Det. Thompson stands up excited and points to the shore, only about 20 feet away. He starts cheering and turns around, Graham is still sleeping, Sage jumps up and they hug each other. They are cheering and shouting, happy, Det. Thompson accidently kicks Graham in the ribs. DET. THOMPSON Graham, wake up, we made it. No response, eyes still closed. Graham.
Det. Thompson crouches next to him and checks his pulse. CUT TO: EXT. NEW YORK CITY - ROCKY SHORE - NIGHT THe lifeboat is carried onto a lightly rocky shore where it comes to a complete stop on land. Sage jumps off and begins dancing and celebrating on the shore. DET. THOMPSON Graham’s dead. Sage stops and her face is horrified. They make eye contact. SAGE It was you all along! She runs at him and begins wailing on him with her fists. SAGE God damn you, you evil son of a bitch. DET. THOMPSON It wasn’t me, I was rowing the whole time.
Sage checks the body, finds a small container full of spiders. Look.
She tosses the container of spiders to Det. Thompson. Det. Thompson looks at Graham’s dead body. DET. THOMPSON You don’t think he was the killer do you? Sage shrugs. SAGE Maybe, I’m no expert. DET. THOMPSON He was extremely methodical and sharp, things the killer would need to be. Sage nods. SAGE And even you said earlier, he writes about crime, has to put himself in the killers shoes to do that. Det. Thompson looks closely at Graham’s neck, his stomach and his head. DET. THOMPSON No signs of violence. Det. Thompson shrugs and gets off the boat again. DET. THOMPSON I’m ecstatic to be alive. I’m going to forget about this. Goodbye, Sage. Det. Thompson turns and starts climbing up the rocks. SAGE Wait, don’t you want to tell anyone what’s happened?
Det. Thompson ignores her and walks up the rocks, and away. CUT TO: EXT. NEW YORK CITY - STREETS - NIGHT Det. Thompson walks down a dark street that’s mostly empty. DET. THOMPSON (WHISPER) Who could it have been? Suddenly, A man steps out of the shadows, scaring Det. Thompson and causing him to jump. BEGGAR Spare change for a poor soul? Det. Thompson pushes him away and walks by. The beggar spits at his retreating back. Det. Thompson walks, face blank. We hear the clinking of coins. BEGGAR Thank you ma’am, so generous. Det. Thompson turns a corner and heads towards a busy, loud tavern called “The Thirsty Man”. He enters. CUT TO: INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT Det. Thompson sits with a bottle of whiskey and a glass of ice in the corner, the other chair empty. He pours a tall glass and sips it. A beautiful woman approaches the table. BARFLY Darlin’ you look unduly sad for one so endowed. Det. Thompson looks up sullenly.
BARFLY What are you drinking handsome stranger? DET. THOMPSON Get a glass. She smiles and runs to the bar, grabs a glass and returns. BARFLY You are such a gentleman. He pours her a full glass of whiskey. Now git.
She looks shocked. DET. THOMPSON You got what you wanted, now give me some peace. She scoffs and walks away, drawn to the nearest man like a magnet. Det. Thompson sighs and leans back, closing his eyes. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM - MEMORIES Det. Thompson remembers the people who died; Murdock drinking and slapping his stomach, Roger Carmichael falling down drunk, Carrie Nation smashing bottles, Dr. Rosen smiling, Mrs. Harrison entering the dining room late, Jim Patterson talking, Alfred Noble laughing, The Mr. Sullivan serving, The Chef giving food,
Graham moving closer to Det. Thompson on the life boat CUT TO: INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT Detective?
Det. Thompson sees that Sage has now sat across from him at the table. DET. THOMPSON It’s sick what happened on that boat. All good people. Sage laughs heartily. SAGE Detective, you don’t even know the half of what happened. Det. Thompson looks at her oddly. SAGE What’s this swill you’re drinking? She checks the bottle. SAGE Blah, garbage, we want fine stuff for this. Sage stands and signals at the bartender. SAGE Bottle of your finest. Det. Thompson puts his hands up, disarming. DET. THOMPSON I ain’t paying. SAGE Of course not, you’re my honourable guest. DET. THOMPSON Your guest? Sage smiles.
SAGE I’ll explain, don’t worry m’dear. But first let me say you were such a gentleman on board that ship. Sage leans across the table and kisses the detective on the lips. He starts to kiss her passionate, but she pushes him away. The bartender brings a bottle on ice and two glasses to the table. BARTENDER Bottle of McCutcheon’s, finest in the establishment. Fifty dollars. Sage pulls notes out of a pocketbook and hands them tot he bartender. He counts them and smiles. Enjoy.
Sage pours two glasses and hands one to the detective. SAGE To excellence, in whatever field it may be. The detective clinks glasses with her and drinks it. DET. THOMPSON I shouldn’t have really drank to that considering my excellence just dried up. Sage smiles. SAGE It’s not your fault. How could you have known? Det. Thompson sits up, looks around the bar and leans towards Sage. DET. THOMPSON What are you talking about Sage? SAGE Name’s Iago actually.
Det. Thompson looks around again. DET. THOMPSON What? Are you traumatized? SAGE I bet you’ve been wondering and I bet you’d keep wondering. What?
SAGE Who the killer was? Det. Thompson looks at his glass. DET. THOMPSON I’m starting to suspect it was you. Sage begins laughing hard. Who?
Det. Thompson leans forward, his teeth gritting. DET. THOMPSON This isn’t funny, a lot of people died. SAGE I killed them all. Det. Thompson looks around the bar again but no one is paying attention. DET. THOMPSON You couldn’t have, unless you can be in two places at once. SAGE See logic is a fickle thing. It’s dependent on having at least a part of the truth. Sage can’t be in two places at once, but I can. Sage pulls off her hair with a flourish, revealing a bald head underneath. Then she feels along her hairline with her fingertips until she finds a line and begins peeling.
She peels a layer of prosthetic plastic-skin off of her face. Her chin becomes more pronounced, her cheekbones higher, her eyebrows thicker. It’s IAGO, 50s, bald, short and fit. After this point, his voice stops being like Sage’s and becomes his own. IAGO Stilts helped me complete her costume. Iago reaches under the table and then tosses stilts on top of the table. Long pieces of wood with places for the feet to go. IAGO I am the genius mastermind behind those murders. Det. Thompson is gaping. IAGO My story is an interesting one if you’ll listen and then I’ll let you turn me in. Det. Thompson is slowly shaking his head in disbelief. CUT TO: INT. NEW YORK CITY - THEATRE - NIGHT IAGO (V.O.) I was an actor, it was my trade. Iago practices facial expressions alone in the mirror. IAGO (V.O.) I worked my whole life, honing my craft, studying the classics, Iago bounds across an empty stage, then plants his feet. He stretches and does sit-ups. He stands with a script, practicing lines.
IAGO (V.O.) Practicing every hour of every day but the critic’s never recognized that. A newspaper reads: “PLAY AN EMBARESSMENT.” With Iago’s picture. Iago comes on-stage in character. The audience erupts into boos and heckles, throwing fruit and tarring Iago, forcing him off stage. IAGO (V.O.) I could never get a part again. CUT TO: EXT. NEW YORK CITY - NEWPAPER STAND - DAY Iago stands in the rain, drops hitting the words: “IAGO ESPOSITO WORST ACTOR TO EVER TAKE THE STAGE?” IAGO (V.O) As one critic, Jim Patterson actually, so eloquently wrote, I was like a statue on stage. Iago crumples the paper in his hands. CUT TO: INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT Iago shrugs and smiles, then leans forward. IAGO. I knew I could never do anything else as a career. I’m an actor, down to the last drop, so I acted. CUT TO: EXT. NEW YORK CITY - STREETS - DAY Iago is dressed as a homeless man, holding out an empty hat. A rich woman walks by, wearing fur head to toe.
IAGO Hello kind lady. She ignores him. IAGO Please only a few dollars, there’s no work at the factories. The woman slows. IAGO My son, Donald, he’s sore all over, he needs the money for treatment. She turns and Iago is on his knees in the street, tears flooding from his eyes. Please.
She places a thick note in his held-out hat. IAGO Thank you ma’am! Praise the lord! CUT TO: INT. NEW YORK CITY - APARTMENT - NIGHT Iago counts money on his fine coffee table, huge stacks. IAGO (V.O.) I made a killing playing a beggar, was my first smash hit. CUT TO: INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT Iago takes a drink of whiskey. IAGO Playing the beggar soon lost it’s thrill; no challenge. I wanted to test my limits, grow as an actor. CUT TO:
INT. COUNTRY CLUB - DINING ROOM - NIGHT IAGO (V.O.) I began impersonating the upper echelon, the rich, the honourable. Popular musicians, inventors, businessmen, acclaimed authors, even other actors. Iago, dressed as a tall and good-looking red head sits at a table of elegance and wealth, eating a fanciful roast. It’s a long dinner table, with many other guests. The HOST, mid-30s, homely brunette woman stares at Iago. HOST Oh wouldn’t you perform that song from your play, “Only for a lady?” Iago chuckles. IAGO We’re usually not allowed to outside of the theatre. The Host tries to hide her dissapointment. IAGO. But you’ve been such a great host, I can break the rules just this onece. The Host claps her hands together excitedly, smiling, bouncing, giggling. The other guests murmur and smile, excited. Iago clears his throat, stands and spreads his hands. IAGO (SINGING) You can’t say that fairly, You know I’m not cold as snow, I said no, no, no. Only for a lady. The host stands and begins applauding enthusiastically, the other dinner guests join in the applause. HOST Oh please, let us take a picture. That way, we can always remember the day the great William Haines supped with us.
Iago pauses and then turns, smiles. Of course.
Iago puts his arm around the host in front of the table and her husband snaps a picture from an ancient, heavy and thick camera. CUT TO: INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT DET. THOMPSON I can’t believe. Any of this. IAGO I’m a reservoir of talent, I’m hard working and focused. DET. THOMPSON Why would you do it, though? That’s what I don’t understand. Iago takes another drink. IAGO I think, if you had the skill to impersonate almost anyone, that you’d find it more appealing than anything. DET. THOMPSON How can you just become anyone? CUT TO: INT. PROSTHETIC’S SHOP - DAY IAGO (V.O.) I knew a strange man from my days at the theatre. Spends most his time inventing and experimenting with plastics and make-up. PROSTHETIC’S INVENTOR, wiry and creepy, works with vast quantities of thick plasticity. He presses the material over Iago’s face, molding it.
PROSTHETIC’S INVENTOR Once you have the mold, simply let it sit for a minute. Iago sits still. PROSTHETIC’S INVENTOR Then you peal it off, carefully, and you have a perfect replica of that person’s face. The prosthetic’s inventor peels the material off and presses it onto his own face, giving a perfect imitation of Iago’s face. PROSTHETIC’S INVENTOR The material expands to make up for any space in between the mask on your own face. Iago looks at himself in the mirror, smiles. CUT TO: INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT DET. THOMPSON That’s what you just peeled off. Iago nods. IAGO I used the mask, and I acted; gave myself greatness, prestige and power. DET. THOMPSON You’re ill. IAGO Don’t the greatest men always get condemned as the craziest? I stole a fortune, imitated the rich, stole from them, I’ve never been caught. Det. Thompson leans forward. DET. THOMPSON You’re not a great man. Murdering innocent people while hiding behind a mask is not brilliance, it’s cowardice.
Iago’s smile falters. IAGO You aren’t grasping the magnitude of what I’ve accomplished. Det. Thompson thinks, clicking his teeth together. DET. THOMPSON I’m seeing the reality. You’re deranged. You’re seeing fantasy. Iago slams his palms into the table. IAGO If I could murder everyone, under the honourable Det. Thompson’s nose, and get away with it, than would I not be the greatest actor the world has ever seen? Det. Thompson stares at this man in front of him in disgust. DET. THOMPSON We were nothing but pawns to you. IAGO Nothing but characters to contemplate my finest performance. Carrie was the perfect red herring, Murdock added to her guilt, Mrs. Harrison was the perfect innocent. Jim didn’t like my theatre performance, Graham to give you a friend and a sharp mind to help. Alfred because he deserved to die after inventing tools of war. Dr. Rosen to help diagnose the cause of death, Jane to play the attractive female lead, and Sage to play the protagonist’s love interest. Det. Thompson makes a face. DET. THOMPSON You kissed me. Iago smiles. IAGO. I played that role well enough, you were convinced.
Det. Thompson retches, holding his stomach. Iago laughs. DET. THOMPSON How did you find out about us? Iago smiles and raises his hands. IAGO The great actor does tireless research. CUT TO: EXT. NEW YORK CITY - MARKET - DAY IAGO (V.O.) Iâ€™d follow those I was planning to impersonate, watch their mannerisms, learn their tendancies. Mrs. Harrison walks through a crowded street market. She stops at a stand selling shoes. Iago is pretending to browse across the street, he turns and watches Mrs. Harrison. CUT TO: EXT. NEW YORK CITY - RESTAURANT - DAY Iago sits at a table, hiding his face except for his eyes with a menu. Mr. Sullivan walks by. Iago takes notes. CUT TO: INT. THE THRISTY MAN - MIDDLE - NIGHT DET. THOMPSON You killed and impersonated everyone? Iago shakes his head.
IAGO Not everyone. CUT TO: EXT. NEW YORK CITY - DOCKS - DAY IAGO (V.O.) I boarded as Roger Carmichael. Roger Carmichael approaches the doorman, hands him his invitation. He is dragging a massive case with him. IAGO (V.O.) The corpse of Roger Carmichael was in my case. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - HALLWAY - NIGHT IAGO (V.O.) The first night, I killed Mrs. Harrison and assumed her identity. Iago tip-toes through the hallway dressed as Roger Carmichael. Sounds of laughter come from the dining room. He opens the door and enters her room. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - MRS. HARRISON’S ROOM Mrs. Harrison is dead on the floor. IAGO (V.O.) I threw her body overboard. Iago has Mrs. Harrison’s face. He lifts her body and throws it overboard.
Turns around, puts on a bra, stuffs it and puts on her clothes, practices her hunch. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - HALLWAY IAGO (V.O.) I killed Murdock first, knowing that Carrie would be blamed. Mrs. Harrison knocks on Murdock’s door, hides around the corner. The door opens. MURDOCK Who’s knockin’ on this man’s door? He stumbles a bit, still holding a bottle. He turns around to go back inside, Mrs. Harrison jumps out, wraps her arms around his neck and jumps on him from behind, choking the life out of him. He kicks once, twice and finally stops, his body lying in the hallway. Mrs. Harrison lets him down carefully. She tip-toes away. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - ROGER CARMICHAEL’S ROOM IAGO (V.O.) After I moved my costume kit to Mrs. Harrison’s room, I planted Roger’s body in his room. Mrs. Harrison carries Roger’s dead body by holding under his armpits, into the middle of the room. She drops the body where it thumps to the floor. She makes a noise of disgust and leaves quickly. CUT TO:
INT. THE THRISTY MAN - MIDDLE - NIGHT Iago laughs heartily. IAGO It was genius. Then I went after Miss Nation. That waDET. THOMPSON Wait, didnâ€™t she hit you. Iago smiles. IAGO She did, proved a worthy antagonist, got me with that hatchet. Det. Thompson smiles. DET. THOMPSON I hope you lost a finger. Iago taps his right eye and it makes a clicking sound. IAGO My finest piece of improv. Det. Thompson stares. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - ROOM Mrs. Harrison screams in pain, holding a hand to a blood soaked eye. She stumbles around, falling and screaming in pain. She looks in the mirror and sees her eye is a mess of what it was. IAGO God dammit, damn that crazy lady. She stumbles out into the hallway. Sees Murdock.
Grabs his shoulders and drags him into the room, slams the door. CUT TO: INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT IAGO It was pain unlike anything I’ve experienced. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - MRS. HARRISON’S ROOM Mrs. Harrison bites down on a cloth. We hear muffled screaming. Murdock’s dead body is missing an eye. CUT TO: INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT Det. Thompson takes a drink. IAGO I killed the chef next, impersonated him and poisoned the inventor. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - KITCHEN The chef pours some dark red liquid on the inventor’s meal. Mr. Sullivan enters and the chef hands it to him. The chef exits the kitchen. CUT TO:
INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT IAGO Then I became the humble Mr. Sullivan. I poisoned Jim, knowing that Sage would be blamed after she helped you with the tonic, it was fresh in everyoneâ€™s mind that she had access to exotic elements. CUT TO: INT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DINING ROOM Mr. Sullivan drops several dead spiders into the pipe and turns, handing it to Jim. CUT TO: INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT IAGO I snuck outside when we were looking for the lifeboat, killed Sage and assumed her Identity, unfortunately, the doctor caught me and I threw him overboard. CUT TO: EXT. S.S. TRINITY - TOP FLOOR - DECK Iago is kneeling over naked Sage, pressing the material against her face, looking around. He is wearing her clothes. The doctor rounds the corner. My god.
Iago lunges at the doctor, strangling him. The doctor punches Iago in the stomach, he pushes the doctor hard and he topples over the side into the water. CUT TO:
INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT IAGO Once I became Sage, I found the only lifeboat aboard, the one I had hidden. I showed you, Graham and Jane. Once on the life boat, things became tricky. CUT TO: INT. LIFEBOAT - NIGHT Sage leans over a sleeping Jane and opens her mouth, pouring dark liquid into her mouth. She then shifts Jane’s body so half of it is in the water, scoots back to her spot and pretends to sleep. CUT TO: INT. THE THRISTY MAN - CORNER - NIGHT Det. Thompson sits up straight, face blank. IAGO You’re beginning to comprehend my greatness. DET. THOMPSON I’m upset that I blamed Graham before he was murdered. IAGO The man behind the mask, the artist who acts not on an artificial stage but through life, bending law, logic and minds. The actor, in purest form, my life. DET. THOMPSON Why’d you let me live? IAGO Someone needs to relate my performance to the world. What is great performance art without an audience? Turn me in detective, tell the police what I am, what I’ve done. (MORE)
95. IAGO (cont'd) You stay the perfect detective, I get the recognition I’ve always deserved. Iago stands from his seat.. Det. Thompson stares and thinks for a bit, takes another sip of alcohol. DET. THOMPSON Why would I help you? Iago’s smile falters. IAGO This is history in the making. Det. Thompson doesn’t say anything, just glares and grinds his teeth. Iago’s lips tighten. IAGO You, the best detective in New York, had no idea who was responsible. Det. Thompson smiles. DET. THOMPSON I didn’t, and it would have been better for you if it stayed that way. Det. Thompson grabs the bottle, smashes it on the table and stands, walking towards Iago. Iago turns around and runs out of the bar. Det. Thompson chases. CUT TO: EXT. NEW YORK CITY - STREETS - NIGHT Iago runs past lanterns and into shadow in turn. Det. Thompson chases after him. IAGO What are you doing? This is the best possible situation for both of us.
Det. Thompson says nothing and runs fast. Iago turns sharply around a corner. Det. Thompson goes straight and cuts through an alleyway. CUT TO: EXT. NEW YORK CITY - ALLEYWAYS - NIGHT Det. Thompson jumps over a ledge, Runs on a building’s roof, Sees the police station, Drops down and runs through an alleyway. CUT TO: EXT. NEW YORK CITY - STREET - NIGHT Det. Thompson lunges out of the alley, barely missing Iago with the broken bottle. Iago squeals and runs faster, the police station looming closer. IAGO You can’t stop me, can’t stop my legacy. Several officers stand outside of the station, leaning on the wall beside the glass doors. Iago runs and stops right in front of them. IAGO My name is Iago Esposito, I Det. Thompson drives the broken bottle into his back and slams him through the glass doors. Iago screams and clutches his back, turning around and clawing at Det. Thompson. Det. Thompson pulls the bottle from his back and punctures Iago’s chest again. Iago fights through blood in his mouth, trying to speak.
IAGO I am the world’s greatest actDet. Thompson covers his mouth, police crowd around trying to pull him off, but he continues covering Iago’s mouth, Iago’s hands punching him uselessly. He pulls the bottle out and stabs Iago again. Iago stops moving. Officers grab Det. Thompson’s arms and drag him up roughly. OFFICER We got a murder. They drag Det. Thompson away. CUT TO: INT. POLICE STATION - JAIL CELL - NIGHT Det. Thompson sits against the wall of the jail cell, smiling. The CONSTABLE pulls a seat outside his cell. Detective.
Det. Thompson smiles warmly. Constable.
CONSTABLE Why’d you kill that man? Det. Thompson shrugs. DET. THOMPSON He’s an abrasive son of a bitch. We were drinkin’, he got to talkin’ and he rubbed me the wrong way. Constable smiles. CONSTABLE Hey, that’s alright, lucky he was nobody, we look out for our own. You’ll be outta here before the end of tomorrow.
Det. Thompson smiles. Constable stands and turns to leave. DET. THOMPSON Constable. Got anything to drink? Constable smiles. CONSTABLE Iâ€™ll get your favorite. Constable turns and walks away. Det. Thompson leans back and smiles. CUT TO: FADE TO BLACK.
Screenplay - A renowned detective struggling with drug abuse attempts to solve an unsolvable crime on a cruise ship in the 1900s.