Thanksgiving (Working Title) By Shauna Cunningham
INT. DINING ROOM. NIGHT. A family is in a traditional looking dining room with a coal fire at the far end of the room. The fire is burning lowly radiating warmth into the room. The room looks warm due to the orange and, red and other fall colors from the decorations surrounding. The family is gathered around a long, dark wood dining table with a red cloth draped along the table. Each plate is stacked high with these food items and the family begin to eat. The family consists of RACHEL (19), MAX (14), FATHER, GRANDMOTHER and GRANDFATHER. RACHEL has medium length brown hair with a slight shine to it. Regardless of the occasion, RACHEL makes an effort with the way she dresses. Although, no amount of make-up can hide the dark circles which reside under her eyes due to the many sleepless nights. Light chatter passes around the table between the small family as they finish their meal. The GRANDMOTHER excuses herself from the table. Moments later she returns with a china doll in her hands. RACHEL’s attention is drawn from her food when the doll is placed in front of her. The doll has a few burn markers on it’s face, despite that, the doll is in pristine condition. The doll has shoulder length brunette hair, much like RACHEL’s and has an old style Victorian dress. RACHEL eyes the doll, a look of confusion spreading across her face. GRANDMOTHER It belonged to your mother. RACHEL places her fork down and leans forward slightly to take a closer look at the doll. RACHEL smiles and looks to her GRANDMOTHER who is looking at the doll with admiration. GRANDMOTHER Since she passed, I knew she would have wanted you to have it. The family continues to finish their meal as RACHEL stares at the doll. CUT TO:
INT. RACHEL’S BEDROOM. DAY RACHEL is standing in front of a long mirror brushing the ends of her hair. She looks at the reflection of the doll placed on the mantelpiece. RACHEL You’re one creepy looking doll, you know that? RACHEL laughs and shakes her head. She walks to the door where her bag is resting and picks it up. She takes one last look at the doll before heading out. CUT TO:
INT. HALLWAY. AFTERNOON. RACHEL opens the front door with a huff and kicks her shoes off to the side. She pulls her headphones out of her ears and wraps them around her iPod held in her other hand. RACHEL walks to the stairs but stops as she reaches the first step. RACHEL raises an eyebrow then hesitantly walks backwards to the door leading to the dining room. There on the table is the doll as if it is waiting for RACHEL to return home. RACHEL looks around to see if anyone is home. She calls out a few times and after no answer she looks at the doll and begins to walk over to it. She shakes her head as she hears voices coming from upstairs. RACHEL picks up the doll her. She notices a note in the hand of the doll and reads over it. The note has words written in childlike handwriting. She rolls her eyes. RACHEL (sarcastically) Real funny, Max. RACHEL screws up the note and climbs the stairs carrying the doll with her. CUT TO:
INT. DINING ROOM. NIGHT. The FATHER and RACHEL are sat around the large dining table finishing their dinner. RACHEL is picking at her food as she stares at the wall. She nods her head once in a while pretending to listen to her FATHER MAX Rachel! RACHEL is broken out of her stare and looks up at her brother who is standing at the door way. He is holding the doll by it’s hair. RACHEL Sorry, what? MAX I said; you should really leave your doll upstairs during dinner, it scared the hell out of me. MAX slams the doll onto the table next to RACHEL, and sits back down. RACHEL But I didnt- I haven’t moved her. MAX laughs and the FATHER rolls his eyes. MAX Yeah, like the doll got up and walked down here. Give it up Rach. RACHEL eyes the doll, a look of fear and realization crosses her face. CUT TO: INT. RACHEL’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. The room is dark, bar the streetlight shining through the gap in the curtains. RACHEL lays on her back staring up at the ceiling as she desperately tries to fall asleep. After a while, RACHEL sighs and turns over on her side, facing the wall and staring at it, much like she did to the ceiling. Muffled screams and struggling is heard causing RACHEL to shoot up in bed. Thinking that she is hearing things due to sleepy state, she pushes her comforter down and rushes to the door to listen closer to the sound. The muffled screams and struggles are heard again and RACHEL runs out of her room int he direction of the sounds. MAX’s room. (CONTINUED)
INT. MAX’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. The FATHER is sat at the end of MAX’s bed. The door to his room flies open as RACHEL runs in. MAX looks down at his pillow and plays with a loose thread from it. RACHEL looks at her FATHER, silently asking for an explanation as to what happened. FATHER It’s nonsense Max. The FATHER stands up and begins walking to the door. He stops as he reaches RACHEL’s side and leans in close. FATHER Bad dream. The FATHER walks out of the room closing the door behind him. RACHEL steps forward and sits beside MAX. she wraps an arm around him to comfort him. Finally, MAX looks up at RACHEL and sighs. MAX I wasn’t dreaming Rach. He looks down at his pillow trying to gather the courage to speak up again. He plays with the loose thread again. MAX Your doll.. she MAX takes a deep breath before speaking up again. MAX She took the pillow and tried to kill me! RACHEL frowns and pulls MAX into a hug as he begins to sob. She looks around the room but there is no sign of the doll. FADE TO:
EXT. DRIVEWAY. DAY FATHER climbs into his car and goes to work?
INT. BASEMENT. AFTERNOON. RACHEL and MAX are looking through various boxes in the cramped basement. There are boxes stacked to the ceiling with dust gathered on the top of them. The room is dim due to there only being a worn out light bulb flickering in the room. MAX is sorting through a box in the corner while RACHEL uses her phone light to dig deeper into a box. MAX This? MAX holds up a notepad and a pen. RACHEL momentarily looks up and glances at the objects before shaking her head. MAX goes back to looking through another box while RACHEL pulls out a rectangle board. The board is covered with old English handwritten letters along with a few other words. The box has dust scattered over the top. RACHEL looks back in the box and pulls out a stack of candles along with a pointer which she assumes belongs to the board. RACHEL This. RACHEL smiles proudly and blows the dust from the board. MAX steps forward to take a closer look at the doll then frowns. MAX A Ouija board? Is that..
RACHEL shrugs and walks to the stairs of the basement. As sheâ€™s walking she turns to MAX. RACHEL Bring the candles with you. After noticing that RACHEL has left the basement, MAX grabs the candles then stands on his tiptoes to turn the light off. He rushes towards the stairs as the room goes dark. CUT TO:
INT. RACHEL’S BEDROOM. NIGHT. RACHEL is sat on the floor in the middle of her room arranging the Ouija board. The lights are off in the room but there is a slight glow coming from the streetlights outside RACHEL’s window. MAX is standing by the door, hesitant to use the Ouija board. RACHEL rolls her eyes as she notices MAX’s worried expression. RACHEL Max, nothing bad’s going to happen. She sighs when MAX eyes the board. RACHEL Look, just close the curtains. RACHEL kneels down and scrapes a match across the side of it’s box. She smiles at the match lights then lights each candle with it. MAX walks to the curtains and looks outside to their driveway sighing when he notices their father’s car is not there. He pulls the curtains across then turns around to see RACHEL sat with her legs crossed. She’s staring down at the board. MAX I heard bad spirits can attach to you when you use a Ouija board. RACHEL shrugs and arranges the four candles around the side of the board. They’re not very bright but they are enough to light the board. MAX bites his lip nervously. RACHEL Sit down. MAX ponders for a moment before shaking his head. MAX (RAMBLING) I read this article online about a family who used to use one as fun. Everything was fine then scratches in the shape of upside down crosses started to appear on the kids, the husband committed suicide, the whole family was broken because they used a freaking Ouija board, Rach we reallyRACHEL puts her hand up to stop MAX from speaking.
RACHEL Just sit down, Max. MAX RARACHEL leans forward and grabs MAXâ€™s shirt to pull him down. RACHEL (angrily) Now. MAX sighs and reluctantly moves round to sit opposite RACHEL. RACHEL places her index finger on the pointer then motions with her head for MAX to do the same. He leans forward and place his index finger on the pointer and looks at RACHEL. MAX What now? RACHEL shrugs then studies the board. RACHEL Ask questions, I guess. MAX You first. RACHEL thinks for a moment and narrows her eyes at the board as she thinks of a question. MAX looks up at the doll who seems to be looking at the board. RACHEL Who are you? Both siblings look at the board awaiting an answer. The candles flicker slightly however there is no breeze in the air. MAX What are you? Once again the candles flicker and MAX looks around to see if the window is open. He goes to pull his hand away but is stopped by RACHEL grabbing his wrist with her free hand. She glares at him. RACHEL What do you want?
The candles flicker more violently and the pointer jerks suddenly causing MAX to jump back. RACHEL widens her eyes and watches the pointer which has stopped. MAX That was you, right? RACHEL shakes her head and watches the pointer as it starts to move slowly towards a letter. RACHEL Paper. MAX stands up and searches through a drawer placed beside RACHEL’s bed. MAX’s hands shakes as he picks up a scrap piece of paper and a pen. MAX begins to write down each letter that the pointer is moving to. The pointer comes to a sudden stop after the last letter and the candles are blown out by some unseen force. RACHEL stares at the board and MAX drops the piece of paper. The room is now completely dark. MAX scrambles to the top of RACHEL’s bed while RACHEL holds her arms out in front of her searching for the wall. She feels along the wall and to the light switch. After the light is turned on, RACHEL walks over to the board and picks up the scrap piece of paper, reading over it. RACHEL (whispering) I killed your mother. MAX hides behind a pillow after hearing RACHEL speak, while RACHEL stands in shock beside the board. After collecting her thoughts, she kneels down beside the board and places her finger on the pointer again. MAX What are you doing? RACHEL ignores her brother. RACHEL Why? The pointer jerks again and violently slides to each letter. RACHEL begins collecting each letter that the pointer has move to in her head, miming the letter. RACHEL (WHISPERING) She stole her. RACHEL looks up as she notices the light bulb begin to flicker just like the candles did prior. The pointer continues to move violently then comes to a sudden stop as the light bulb goes out. (CONTINUED)
RACHEL Now you. RACHEL looks around the pitch black room, narrowing her eyes as she tries to adjust to the darkness. She looks around for her seemingly missing brother before calling out for him. RACHEL Max? Max? RACHEL stands up and holding her arms out in front of her again. As she begins to walk over to the wall again, a hissing is heard behind her. She quickly turns around and the flash of light, lights up the china doll. This causes RACHEL to jump and is pushed back by an unseen force. RACHEL tried to steady herself but itâ€™s too late as she falls back and hits the side of her head on the side of the bed frame where the doll resides. The hit causes an almighty crack to the skull and blood to pour out from her head. The screen fades to black as a childâ€™s laugh is heard.