Missing Pieces [working title] first rough draft Writers Guild of America West Registration Number 1369577
Fade In: EXT. WILDERNESS -- MORNING SUPERIMPOSED TITLES: March 28th EARLY SPRING An endless leafless forest; grey trees and melting snow. the forest floor is blotchy, brown and white. Here and there the covering of snow has given way to the earth. JACK (V.O.) People like me make other people feel bad. We're not talking about feeling good here; That would require dealing with your pain. We're just talking about setting your pain aside. And the only way you can do that is to inflict it on others. Becoming vivid, the hinterland begins to rush under us. Continuous dissolving landscapes. Distant, and from the east, a great river emerges from it's mountains, and it's lake. JACK (V.O.) (CONT'D) I've watched people as they run around like whatever they do matters. For half of the year the river erupts in rapids. JACK (V.O.) (CONT'D) Constantly, vainly trying to repair the moment. Hitting the valley floor, It turns back and forth on itself a thousand times, for a hundred miles, before emptying into the Great Lake. JACK (V.O.) (CONT'D) Now I'm not sayin' I know any more than the rest of them, I don't have a clue. I just try not to pretend that I do, anymore.
2. For now it's glorious lagoons, and meadows sleep, frozen, ready to wake. JACK (V.O.) (CONT'D) Don't want any part of it. EXT. SMALL COMMERCIAL BUILDING -- DAY A clinic, It is too early for flowers but it is neatly landscaped and well kept, despite the fact there is still a bit of snow on the ground. A woman in a nurses uniform helps a scruffy, thin, almost emaciated man from the back seat of a car and into a wheel chair. He is shaky and weak from withdrawal. What appears to be the man's family are standing near-by. He is wheeled into the door's of the facility. JACK (V.O.) Most people put way too much effort into being mediocre, and I have been exceptional, it's over-rated. INT. A SMALL OFFICE HOLD ON FULL SHOT OF OFFICE A woman, forty five years old sits behind a desk. She is wearing jeans and a cardigan. Her name is Gayle, she has had a hard life. If one looks you can see it, still she is an effortless beauty. DISSOLVE TO: P.O.V. GAYLE She organizes what appears to be admission files with small photographs of individuals paper clipped in the top right corner of each. The phone on here desk flashes and rings. CUT TO: INT. OFFICE - ANGLE SHOT - GAYLE GAYLE Yes Paul. PAUL I got your memo Gayle, but Angel won't like it. He will..
3. Gayle cuts him of in mid sentence. GAYLE Angel's a knob, just do it. She hangs up. Gayle sets the stack of files aside. She starts humming as she opens a brand new stack of cellophane wrapped file folders. Gayle takes a new folder and writes the man's name on the tab, 'Curtis Mitchell'. Inside the folder she places his admitting form and paper clips a photo of him to the corner. She is content. She is fixing someone. She is in charge. INT.
Gayle leaves her office and and heads down the hall. A man wearing track pants, a t-shirt and slippers shuffles toward her from the other direction. GAYLE How you doing today Gerry? GERRY Sick as a dog Gayle. How about some Valium? GAYLE You've been clean and sober for two weeks Gerry. You're not sick. You're just an addict. Gayle struts past Gerry and continues on her way. GERRY Bitch. EXT. A SMALL, QUAINT, WOOD SIDING HOUSE--LATE AFTERNOON A woman in her late twenties sits on the steps of the front porch, waiting. The younger woman is beautiful as well, but dishevelled. Her eyes are red from crying, one of them is blackened. Her hair is greasy and unwashed. She wears a winter coat, but the tattoo around her belly button is revealed by her short top. She is shaky. She wipes her eyes, and pulls a cigarette from a pack and lights it. Gayle pulls into the driveway in an old but near mint Volvo 240 series wagon.
4. INT. LIVING ROOM -- MORNING Gayle stands looking out the window. The early spring sun is warm on her face as she holds back cream coloured, frilly lace curtains. Gayle watches melting icicles shed their tears from the eaves of her modest but immaculate house in the small town that she has settled in. The other woman sits on the couch, her back to Gayle. This is Angela. They are mother and daughter. GAYLE I'm going Angela. Gayle takes the two coffee mugs from the coffee table and goes to the kitchen. She washes one thoroughly, dries it and places it in the cupboard. She tops the other up, adds a drop of cream and brings it to her daughter. Gayle kisses Angela's forehead and brushes the young woman's hair from her pretty face. ANGELA I'm sorry Mamma. Angela tries to hold it together, but chokes on her sobs and they burst out. GAYLE Shh, it's ok. EXT. A VERY SMALL TOWN -- DAY The word town can barely be used to describe the place. No more than twenty small, modest, wooden houses high on the bank of the frozen river. A wooden decked, single lane Bailey bridge spans the deep, wide river banks. It is thirty feet from the river to the bridge and buildings on the bank above. The tavern, marked with a vertical hand painted sign calling itself that, is the largest building, but that's not saying much. The thick slab if ice that covers the river is littered with spider cracks. The ice is strained, it moans and creaks and the sound of rushing water can be heard underneath. Here and there water soaks up through the cracks in a rapidly increasing manner. Some of the cracks open and water floods upward. INT. DINGY ONE ROOM HOVEL ABOVE A TAVERN -- DAY HOLD ON FULL SHOT OF JACK'S ROOM
5. Jack, a man of fifty stirs on the lumpy mattress, He sleeps atop the covers on his bed. His clothes and the stubble on his face show that he has worn both for days. Empty bottles and dirty clothes litter the floor. ANGLE ON JACK Powerfully built in his day, he is now just a drunkard sleeping off the night before. It is the middle of the day and when he wakes, he'll start again, but for now, he finishes his dream. DISSOLVE TO: JACK'S DREAM-INT. A TRENDY COCKTAIL BAR It is the type of place with three hour power lunches and a four page martini menu, even the bartender has a manicure. A man that could be Jack in another life, sits at the bar drinking a green apple martini and flirting with a young woman. His suit is tailored, so is hers. He is clean shaven. His Burberry trench is thrown over the back of his bar-stool. The bartender serves them another round as they play footsie's. Her shoes are Italian, black of course; his, also black, are handmade brogues. She runs a perfect red finger nail over the back of his hand. His Rolex reads 2:00 pm. Jack's dream ends. INT. JACK'S ROOM Disturbed by the afternoon sun that is forcing it's way through the room's single filthy window, Jack rolls over onto his back. He blinks open his sticky eyes they are bloodshot their lids swollen. He is still slightly buzzed but sickness is setting in from not having a drink in hours. He holds a shaking hand up in front of him and tries to focus on it. He shivers and turns his wrist to face him. He focuses on his cheap gold watch. It's 2:00 pm. As Jack lies there he coughs, a smoker's cough. He reaches, blindly groping at the floor. He coughs again, hacking deeply. He pulls a pair of grey jockey shorts from the floor. and blows his nose into the discarded undergarment. Opening the folds he looks pleased at his deposit and blasts a second time. He tosses them into a corner.
6. Searching his trouser pockets he comes up with a tarnished silver flask. Loosening the top he attempts to get something from it. A few drop trickle onto his tongue, empty. He pokes through an ashtray of cigarette butts sitting on the small worn table beside the bed until he finds one with a couple hauls left in it. He lights the stub with an old brass Zippo and takes a deep drag from the butt. He reaches for the floor again with a shaky hand. JACK Where are you? Some thing brushes his hand, a slick, bulging curved body slithering on the floor under the bed. Is it real, or delirium tremens? It doesn't matter, it's real enough. Jack jumps with a start, shaking pathetically, sparks fly from what's left of his cigarette. Jack looks over at a small, green, impish creature sitting on the edge of a shabby vanity several feet from the bed. The sprite has a bit of a resemblance to Jack, whiskers, pained countenance and all. JACK (CONT'D) Christ, fucking snakes, burrrr. Jack shudders brushing ashes and spark his chest. Then he rolls over to and reach deeper under the bed. Jack hears his fingers hit a bottle with a soft clank and the slosh of what's left of it's precious contents as it rolls further away. Jack sighs and moans with frustration rolling completely over on his side bending to look under the bed. His eyes focus in the dark. There is the glimmer of glass and partial silhouette of the bottle in the dark corner. Jack reaches for it, but there is another glimmer in the corner twin glimmers and a hint of movement. Jack pulls his hand back and squints, focusing past the bottle to the dark movement in the corner. JACK (CONT'D) You're not real, and if you are, your just another snake. I've seen lots of snakes.
7. Vague and still difficult to make out, the thing in the corner slides over itself and appears to be swallowing something large. Snakes do that. Something unusually large. Unusually large snakes do that. Jack peers into the dark corner with his swollen eyes. JACK (CONT'D) Fuck it. With a shaky hand Jack reaches for his bottle. The bulge on the snakes side stretches under internal pressure. Whatever it's swallowing is alive. The outline of a child's hand appears in the bulge. Jack stars in shocking bewilderment. He has his bottle by the neck now. JACK (CONT'D) Whaaat? Jack has seen snakes, but not this. A small face and then a second face presses against the things side, small mouths open wide as if to cry out but are sealed shut, overstretched in darkly patterned grotesque unnatural scales. JACK (CONT'D) Oh God! Jack recoils in terror, scrambling backwards to his feet and the sanity of his room. Shaking with fear now he struggles to get the top off the whiskey bottle. He up-ends and drains it in four large gulps. Relief and euphoria wash over him as he wipes his mouth on his sleeve. Standing in the middle of the room his arm falls to his side. The bottle still clutched in his hand. Jack takes a deep breath and stares at the bed in the corner. His sickness passes momentarily and his stare turns to a glare. He flips the bottle in his hand and now holds it by it's neck. Holding the bottle up like a club, Jack takes one large, fast step towards the bed grabbing it from it's under-side with his free hand with a single powerful motion he flips it into the air. Light now streams through his single grimy window and illuminates the fearful corner.
8. The corner is empty, nothing there. EXT. GAYLE'S HOUSE -- AFTERNOON Gayle comes out the front door of her little house carrying a overnight bag. The younger woman follows Gayle out of the house to the edge of the porch. She light's a cigarette and watches her mother open the Volvo's tail gate and put her bag inside. GAYLE Quit smoking. Gayle climb's into the Volvo. Angela watches her back out on to the street and drive away. EXT. ROAD SIDE DINER -- AFTERNOON Gayle's Volvo and a couple pick-up trucks are parked in-front of the restaurant. INT. DINER -- CONTINUOUS Gayle pours tea from one of those little stainless steel tea pots they give you. With perfect table manners, knife in one hand and fork in the other she cuts up the blue plate special. The waitress, an ample, middle aged with an amble bosom, powdered and painted in her crisp cotton plyester blend uniform, tops up her ice water from a pitcher. Gayle chews her small bites thoroughly and swallows. GAYLE Thank-you. WAITRESS How's the meat-loaf, dear? GAYLE Fine, thank-you. Two locals drinking beer at a booth nearby mime Gayle's manners, mocking her. Cutting air with imaginary knife and fork and delicately nibbling tiny bites of phantom meat-loaf, sipping tea with a flick of the wrist and pinky in the air. Gayle pretends not to notice. The waitress walks by them snapping a white kitchen towel at them. WAITRESS Billy, Earl, stop it! The men grab at the waitress.
Billy pulls her onto his lap.
9. BILLY Bring us a couple more beers here won't ya darlin'. WAITRESS Sure thing, you boys be nice or I'll give you a good swat. As the waitress gets her feet back under her, Billy stands up and bends over shaking his back-side at her.
The waitress swats him again. Gayle can't help but smile and chokes a laugh. Billy smiles and coyly points at her with a 'got-cha' look. INT. JACK'S ROOM Jack sits, legs crossed in the middle of the floor staring into the corner. The empty bottle still in his hand. He takes a deep breath, glances at the empty bottle. JACK Another dead soldier. He pulls himself together and to his feet, shuffles to the dingy, grey porcelain sink and toilet in the corner of the room. He pisses, Splashes water onto his face, leans onto the sink and looks at himself in the greasy, streaked mirror. His little friend is sitting on his right shoulder. Jack strains his eyes, focusing and peering into the mirror. Over Jacks left shoulder, sitting on a table behind him, is another bottle of cheap whisky it is almost half full. He turns to it as the Imp vanishes with a small wisp of green smoke. The top flies off the bottle as Jack takes another swig. stepping back to the sink. He pulls a tooth-brush from the neck of an empty beer bottle and dips it into a box of baking soda. He scrubs his teeth, gargles with another belt of whiskey, spitting a bit of it between his teeth into the sink, he swallows the rest.
10. JACK (CONT'D) Tastes like fear. EXT. TWO LANE BLACK TOP The Volvo rolls toward the afternoon sun. INT. VOLVO -- CONTINUOUS Gayle looks at a map as she steers. EXT. TAVERN
-- LATE AFTERNOON
Jack, some-what-pulled-together, comes out of the door of his room and onto the second story veranda. He ambles down the wooden, fire escape style stairs. He rounds the corner of the building and enters the front door of the tavern. A sign on the door reads 'Happy Hour 4:00 pm-?' EXT. ROAD SIDE PHONE BOOTH -- EVENING Volvo is parked on the side of the road and Gayle is in the phone booth. GAYLE I wanted to get there before dark but I doubt that will happen. It will be at least nine or ten o'clock. INT. GAYLE'S HOUSE Angela is on the other end of the phone. ANGELA Get my baby for me, Mama. GAYLE I will. YOUNGER WOMAN Be careful, Mom, Phil is a mean son of a bitch when he's been drinking. GAYLE Aren't they all; don't worry. INT. TAVERN -- AFTERNOON Jack enters the bar and approaches the bartender. Sitting at the bar is a woman that looks like she's known many men
11. like Jack. Jack and the woman glance at each other. Two men, a couple of rough looking rednecks named Murray and Phil are playing pool. Besides the bartender there is no one else in the place. JACK (to bartender) How about a drink? The bartender just looks at Jack. Jack reaches in his pocket and pulls out two one dollar bills and a nickel. EXT. TAVERN Jack shovels and scrapes the melting snow and ice from the walk and drive around the building. INT./EXT. BACK OF TAVERN AND STORAGE ROOM BAR-KEEP Everything that is on the floor I want stacked on upper self. Including the delivery in the back. Jack works up a sweat carrying cases of booze and beer from where they were dumped by delivery men and stocking them on shelves and a walk-in cooler. He lifts a bottle of whiskey from a case, cracks it open, takes a swig, and stuffs it down his pants. EXT. BACK OF TAVERN -- CONTINUOUS Jack pulls the bottle from his pants. He reaches in his pocket and takes out his flask and tops it up from the bottle. He stashes the bottle, wedging it into the middle of a wood pile. INT. TAVERN -- NIGHT Jack sits at the bar, half drunk, with the woman he shared a glance with earlier. A hockey game is on the television behind the bar. WOMAN New in town? JACK If you want to call this a town. BAR-KEEP Show some manners.
12. JACK I'm just saying I keep asking myself what I'm doing here the last week. How do you make a go of it? BAR-KEEP All summer we get tourist rafting down the river. Everything from extreme nuts looking for white water to Japanese tourists looking for guided tours. I do ok. JACK Quiet night tonight? BAR-KEEP It's going to get a lot quieter in the next few hours, Jack. JACK How's that? BAR-KEEP Don't tell me you've been so pissed you don't know that the towns been ordered to evacuate. JACK Why? WOMAN The river sweetie. Jack looks confused, he downs a shot of whiskey. His companion does the same. The bartender pours two more and puts two beers in-front of them. Over by the pool table Murray makes a shot as Phil drains his beer bottle. PHIL My round, Murray? MURRAY Thanks, Phil, don't mind if you do. Back at the bar.
13. BAR-KEEP Spring has sprung my friend, and with record snowfalls this winter they say this thing's going to jump it's banks. Phil comes over from the pool table and sets two empty beer bottles on the bar. PHIL What's the score? BAR-KEEP Three, two but it shouldn't even be that close, Cloutier's useless, washed up. PHIL I here ya, he does more t.v. commercials than goal scoring these days. Two more, put them on Murray's tab. JACK Cloutier is all over them. going to tie it up.
BAR-KEEP Your drunk, there's two minutes of overtime left. JACK Fifty bucks and my bar tab says he ties it. BAR-KEEP You're on. JACK So what's with the river? BAR-KEEP All the ice is going out all at once and jamming up at the rivers mouth where it empties into the lake. JACK Huh.
14. PHIL You're not from around here. JACK Nope, just kinda wound up here. PHIL When I'm done getting a little shine on, I'm going next door to my place, grab my brat and get the fuck out of Dodge. JACK That bad? BAR-KEEP Who knows, I've been here my whole life, seems like once every ten years or so they tell us to leave, so the town evacuates. Then we come back a few days later. Over the years a few houses next to the bank have been washed away. I've always been ok here, Phil and I being the farthest away. PHIL But like you said we had a lot of snow this year and it's melted awful fast. From the television The commentator's excited voice. COMMENTATOR Cloutier is on a break way. BAR-KEEP What! PHIL I don't believe it. On the television screen Cloutier skates hard, legs pumping, his stick in one hand, extended way out front, tickling the puck. Opposition players are furiously trying to catch him. COMMENTATOR It's one on one! He shoots! scores!
15. Jack smiles as he tips his beer, taking a drink. His female companion throws her arms around him. The bartender shakes his head in dismay. EXT. ROAD -- NIGHT Gayle Drives. INT. TAVERN --LATER--NIGHT Jack is drunk, and so is his lady friend. BAR-KEEP Closing early, Jack, I can give you a lift out in an hour or so. Jack and the woman look at each other amorously. JACK In that case why don't I take you up to my room for a night cap? WOMAN What I need is a good fuck. JACK I can give you one of those too. WOMAN You don't even know my name. JACK I don't want to know your name. EXT. TAVERN -- NIGHT Jack and his lady stagger out of the bar. Jack leads her around the back of the building. Phil and Murray exit the tavern, drunk as well. From an upstairs window in a simple two story house next door a young girl looks out at Phil and Murray. Murray glares up at the child. Murray takes a package of cigarettes from his pocket and pops one in his mouth. He hold the pack out for Phil to take one. He does. Murray lights his cigarette and then Phil's. MURRAY You sure you had enough? PHIL Fuckin' kid, it's late.
16. MURRAY Good night buddy. I'm going back in for a few more. Phil grunts and staggers toward the house. Murray looks up at the child again and takes a drag from his cigarette. EXT.
BACK OF TAVERN
Jack grabs the bottle from the woodpile, stuffing it in his coat. He grabs the woman's ample ass with one hand and handles one of her more ample breasts with the other. He watches his hand on her breast. His expression is a mix; part fascinated teenager grabbing a titty for the first time and part experienced appreciation. He looks up at her. They look at each other. JACK Come on. EXT. OTHER SIDE OF TAVERN AND ROAD Jack and his lady come around the corner of the building. Gayle pulls up in her Volvo, as one of her front tires runs flat. Gayle gets out of the car and looks at it. JACK Shit luck, lady. Phil takes a last drag from his cigarette and flicks it away into the night. He takes a long look at Gayle and glance back up at the window and then heads back inside the tavern.. Jack notices stickers on the back window of Gayle Volvo. They reads 'Addiction Research Foundation' and 'Society of Addiction Medicine'. Jack and Gayle make eye contact, both are disgusted with the other. From a second story window in Phil's house next door a man's voice yells. PHIL Ammie, I told you to get ready, you're coming with me! Gayle looks up at the window. Jack takes notice of Gayle's interest in the house next door as he follows his companion, steering her from behind as they climb the stairs to his room.
17. He gives Gayle a nod and a smile. JACK I'm gonna fuck you eight ways sideways. Gayle opens the gate of the wagon and looks at the spare. She looks up at the window again. She gives up, closes the wagon's gate and heads toward the house. INT. UPSTAIRS BEDROOM Phil throws clothes into a suitcase on the bed. He opens a bottle of whiskey and takes a swig, then sets it on the dresser. Ammie, a beautiful girl of eleven sits on the bed, tears running down her face. She is innocent, all knees, elbows and eyes just about to explode into adolescence. AMMIE Daddy don't; I want mom. PHIL Your mother is a no good whore, you'll end up just like her. Horrified by these words the child's eyes suddenly brighten as Gayle appears in the doorway behind her father, the child runs to Gayle. AMMIE Grandma! GAYLE Hey baby.
PHIL Don't get any ideas, Gayle.
INT. JACK'S ROOM Jack and his woman stand in the doorway. They look at the bed flipped over and the soiled blankets on the floor. She raises an eyebrow. Jack hurriedly flips the bed back into the corner, shakes the blanket out and lays it out. He goes to her and steers her over to the bed, hands on the outside of her arms he sits her on the bed.
18. He sits beside her. He stands up. He reaches in his coat, and sets the bottle on the side table. He takes off his coat. He pulls the flask from his pants, unscrews the cap and offers it to her. He pulls it back. JACK I think I have a glass around here some where. The woman takes the flask. WOMAN It comes with it's own glass. She up-ends it and takes a swig. JACK My kind o' woman. Jack takes the flask back and gulps deeply. Then he hears Gayle and the redneck yelling next door. Just as he takes notice, the woman grabs his face. WOMAN Kiss me. JACK I said I'd fuck ya, I never said I'd kiss ya. They clamp onto each other, and fall back on the bed pulling each other's clothes off. INT. UPSTAIRS BEDROOM As Gayle tries to close the child's suit-case Phil grabs her arm. PHIL I guess your not hearing me, now I know where that bitch daughter of yours got it from. GAYLE You're righteous trash Phil. PHIL And you're self-righteous trash.
19. Gayle slaps him in the face and turns back to the suitcase. Phil grabs her again, spinning her around. He doesn't hold back. He punches her full in the side of the head, like he would another man, if he had the guts to do so. Gayle goes down hard, she's out. Ammie clings to her. AMMIE Grandma! Phil try's to pull her away, Ammie bites him hard, drawing blood. PHIL Fuck you then, you little cunt. He turns and heads out the bedroom door. DISSOLVE TO: INT. JACK'S ROOM--NIGHT -- LATER 2:00 am on Jacks watch. Jack lies passed out on his stomach in his boxers, the rest of his clothes are in a pile on the floor. His woman dresses herself. EXT. TAVERN & HOUSE -- NIGHT Phil staggers out of the tavern with Murray and they stumble over to Phil's truck. An old Ford 4X4, it's a redneck's vehicle for sure, obligatory gun rack and all. As Murray pisses on the front drivers side tire Phil grabs a couple cans of beers from a cooler in the back of the truck. Phil tosses one to Murray and climbs into the passenger side of Murray gulps his beer, gives his willy a shake, spills into the drivers seat, cranking the key in the ignition the engine roars to life. The truck steers away from the town, the bridge and the river, plowing through brush, and up a hill behind Phil's house it is swallowed by the forest. The truck bounces onto a corduroy rd beyond town the headlights stabbing the night ahead. Jack's loose woman comes out of the tavern with the barkeep. They get into the barman's car head for the bridge out of town. The bartenders car hits the wood decking of the Bailey bridge with a bang. The boards roll like a wave under the tires as the car leaves the small town to the river.
20. INT. UPSTAIRS BEDROOM--NIGHT Ammie lies curled up on the floor, sobbing and hugging her unconscious grandmother. EXT. TOWN -- NIGHT The town is stone silent except for Ammie's sobs and the ice breaking up on the river rapidly now as it starts to drift downstream. INT. JACKS ROOM -- NIGHT Jack stirs on his bed. their lids.
As he dreams his eyes roam under
INT. A LITTLE BOY'S BEDROOM -- NIGHT In the vague darkness dad takes the new baseball glove with a ball tied inside to give it shape from beside the boy and sets it aside. The child stirs as dad tucks him in. INT. A LITTLE GIRL'S ROOM -- NIGHT Dad appears again and kisses his daughter's forehead. He tucks her in as well before leaving the room and closing the door leaving his daughter in darkness. INT. UPSTAIRS BEDROOM -- MORNING Gayle wakes with a cut on the side of her head. on the floor beside her. Gayle shakes her.
SUPERIMPOSED TITLE: March 29th GAYLE Ammie, wake up, honey. Ammie stirs. GAYLE (CONT'D) You can help grandma change a tire. INT. JACK'S ROOM Jack swings his legs to the floor and sits up, he is sick again, like most mornings. He rubs his aching knees, straightening them. Surgical scars are evident on both knees.
21. Jack pulls on his pants and goes to the door of his room, looking out. EXT. TAVERN AND HOUSE NEXT DOOR -- MORNING Jack stands in his second story doorway, looking out in disbelief. JACK (in awe) Fuck, me, gently. Gayle stands in the bedroom window next door. The entire ground floor of the buildings are under water, as is the rest of the town. The centre of the bridge is gone, washed away. The little river is now over a hundred yards wide. The house is near a hill than rises sharply. With the elevated water level it has become the new river bank. They are at the edge of the flooding. Ice drifts in large sheets as Gayle's Volvo floats downstream and gets stuck on the peak of a roof sticking above the waters surface. Jack glances over at Gayle, just a glance at first, then he regards her. She is bruised and dishevelled, but she is beautiful. Jack has a weakness for beautiful women, and dishevelled hasn't bothered him in a long time. JACK (CONT'D) I suppose, you expect me to help? GAYLE I expect nothing. Gayle closes her cardigan over her bosom. the window and clings to her grandmother. at the sight of the little girl.
Ammie appears in Jack's look softens
JACK Shit. He turns an goes back inside. INT. JACK'S ROOM Jack grabs a worn shoulder bag from a nail on the wall. He stuffs an old heavy wool sweater into it. Pulls his jacket on. The bottle sits on the table beside the bed with a good gulp in it. Jack finishes it and tosses it aside. The bottle under his pillow barely has a sip in it, but he drains it as well.
22. Jack stands up, turns and looks at his bed. He grabs the bed from underneath and flips it over once more. He pulls the frame apart, grabbing one of the long, heavy steel rails that supported the soiled box-spring and mattress. EXT. BUSH -- MORNING Phil's Ford is haphazardly parked with the front end plowing upward at a sharp angle into some thick brush. The back tires buried to the axle in muck. Phil's legs hang out the open passenger door. His hands folded across his chest still clutch a beer can. His head resting against Murray who is past out behind the wheel. INT. TRUCK Both men gradually stir to consciousness. Murray blinks his eyes open first and startles to find his chum using him as a pillow.
MURRAY What the fuck! PHIL
Huh? Murray looks around, to make sure no one has seen the situation. No one except a squirrel munching on a nut has. MURRAY (shoving Phil away) Get the fuck off me! What are ya some kind of faggot or something? PHIL I was just. Murray composes himself. MURRAY You were just what? Murray looks at the squirrel. The squirrel looks at Murray.
23. MURRAY (CONT'D) (to squirrel) What are you looking at? Murray makes half-hearted grab for the .30-06 Remington in the gun-rack behind him. The squirrel bolts. PHIL Where the fuck are we? MURRAY Looks like somewhere on Old Mission Trail. PHIL What the fuck happened last night? MURRAY apparently you got into it with your kid and her grandmother showed up. PHIL Gayle, that's right. MURRAY That's a good lookin' kid you got there. I see where she gets it from. Your old lady's hot. Grandma ain't too shabby either. PHIL Their all a bunch of bitches, nothing but trouble. MURRAY They don't know their place. You gotta know how to handle them. If you ever want to sell that kid of yours.. PHIL What did you say? MURRAY Not for me, but I'm just saying that I know a guy. On the other hand there's a lot of sweet pussy in that family.
24. PHIL I can't believe we're having this conversation. What the fuck do you take me for? MURRAY A drunken redneck loser. Murray laughs, rests on his rifle and reaches into the glove compartment and pulls out a bottle of whiskey. He takes a swig and holds it out for Phil. Phil still has a look of shock on his face but he takes the bottle. EXT. VERANDA, HOUSE NEXT DOOR AND ROOF TOPS Jack goes to the waist high handrail where it meets the wall. He climbs up; standing on the handrail he throws first the heavy piece of steel then the bag up onto the taverns flat roof. Reaching up he starts to pull himself up after them. He slips, almost falling into the frigid water. He pulls himself onto the roof with a grunt. Picking up his bag and the bed rail he crosses the flat roof to the edge closest to Phil's neighbouring house. The gap is a doable jump, maybe three to four feet out and five feet down to the bottom of the gently sloping roof. Tying the shoulderbag's straps to the rail he tosses them across. Jack takes a few running steps and clears the gap. Gayle and Ammie watch his progress until he disappears half way through his jump. They hear his landing. Landing on the roof his foot punches through the rotting sheathing, leaving a deep gash on his calf. AMMIE You ok mister?! JACK Fuck! GAYLE Language! Jack peers over the edge of the roof at the pair in the window just below him. JACK Sorry kid.
25. AMMIE That's ok. Using the bed-rail as a giant pry-bar Jack goes to work on the roof until he has a large hole punched between the roof rafters through to the sloping bedroom ceiling. He climbs through and hops down to the floor. GAYLE With the bridge washed out we have a thirty mile hike down stream to the mouth of the river. There's a ranger station there. Jack spies the bottle of whiskey on the dresser and grabs it. He goes to the suitcase still sitting on the bed and shreds an item of Ammie's clothing, soaking it in whisky he dresses the wound on his leg, and stuffs the bottle into his bag. Gayle gives him a dirty look. JACK Medicinal. GAYLE Yeah, right. Jack moves back to his hole. JACK Ok, let's get out of here. AMMIE I can swim, why don't we jump into the water? GAYLE It's freezing honey. Gayle helps Ammie put her coat on and then buttons up her own. JACK A strong man wouldn't even be able to move in that water after a minute, and the current is too strong. C'mon, first you, lady, then the kid.
26. AMMIE My names Ammie. JACK Ok, Ammie. AMMIE This is my grandma Gayle. your name?
JACK Jack. Gayle climbs through the hole and onto the roof followed by Ammie and Jack. EXT. HILLSIDE -- DAY Through the view of a rifle scope and cross-hairs, Phil climbs the hill in approach. Murray looks though the bolt forward on into the barrel and pretends to squeeze
the scope at his friend. Murray slides the Remington .30-06 pushing a cartridge closing the breach. He takes aim and the trigger. MURRAY
Pow. Murray has a twisted sadistic grin. EXT. TOP OF HILL Murray sits on a log with his rifle slung over his shoulder. He hand rolls a cigarette. Phil huffing and panting, takes a seat beside him. Murray offers Phil the smoke. MURRAY Fag? Phil ignores the play on word and takes the smoke. PHIL Thanks. Murray twists another one for himself. MURRAY Well?
27. PHIL Old Mission Trail for sure but we are up river ten, maybe 12 miles from town and the bridge, and the Ford's buried but good. Murray strikes a match and gives Phil a light then lights his own smoke. EXT. ROOF TOP GAYLE So, now what? JACK We jump. GAYLE Phff! We don't jump out the window, We climb up to the roof to jump? JACK Not into the water. The other side of the roof onto the hill. Gayle shrugs and shakes her head as they climb up to the peak of the roof and down the other side. They stand near the edge of the roof. GAYLE Someone's going to break a leg. AMMIE I'm scared. A loud cracking of strained joists and timbers gets their attention. A near-by house, submerged to the eaves troughs, shifts on it's foundation. GAYLE Shhh, it's ok honey. JACK When I was twenty I'd jump three times that. GAYLE Well, I don't know if you looked in the mirror lately, but you ain't (MORE)
28. GAYLE (CONT'D) twenty, you ain't even one hundred percent sober. Jack and Gayle glare at each other. JACK Ah, that reminds me. Jack takes the bag from his shoulders and pulls the bottle of whiskey from it and takes a belt. It is as much an effort to annoy Gayle as to appease his ever present thirst. He offers Gayle the bottle. GAYLE I
Jack shrugs, puts the cap back on and stuffs the bottle back in the bag. He hands Gayle the bag. JACK Well, here goes nothin'. Jack moves down to the edge of the roof. nervously.
Gayle follows him
GAYLE It's a good jump for a young man, nearly twice the jump you just did, and then that leaves Ammie and me. Jack chooses to ignore Gayle. He takes a deep breath, bends his knees and jumps. He lands, hard on the side of the sloping hill in a squat position absorbing the landing. He tumbles over onto his side with a grunt. GAYLE (CONT'D) You ok? JACK Fuck! GAYLE Language! JACK (mocking and mumbling) Language.
29. He looks up at Ammie. JACK (CONT'D) Sorry kid. AMMIE It's ok, I've heard worse lately. GAYLE Now what? JACK Now, you, and the kid, jump. GAYLE I don't think so. JACK Fine with me, throw me my bag and I'm on my way. GAYLE You'll leave us here? JACK Come if you want. Gayle takes Ammie by the hand, turns and climbs up to the peak of the roof and sits with Jack's bag in her lap. JACK (CONT'D) Shit! Language! GAYLE AMMIE Language! Jack kicks the ground in frustration, punching the air. JACK Aurgh! He falls on his backside and almost slides into the water surrounding the house. Gayle and Ammie sit on the peak of the roof. Jack sits on a tree stump, poking the dirt with his foot several inches from the edge of the water.
30. EXT. BUSH AND PHIL'S TRUCK The two men sit in the truck, Murray once again behind the wheel revving the engine. The truck is in 4 low but even with front and back tires working it isn't going anywhere. The front tires try and grab as Murray works the gears from forward to reverse trying to rock the vehicle. The back tires spin uselessly. INT. TRUCK Murray revs the engine and works the shifter in frustration he begins to lose it. PHIL Hey, hey, hey! MURRAY Fuck, fuck, fuck! Murray pounds the steering wheel with his fist and surrenders. MURRAY (CONT'D) Now what? Phil smiles confidently like he has all the answers. EXT. PHIL'S ROOF-TOP AND JACK'S TREE STUMP Jack sits on the stump, quietly leaning against a tree. Gayle sits on the peak of the roof, arms wrapped around her legs. Her head resting sideways on her knees as she gazes out at the river and what's left of the small town. Behind her Ammie walks along the peak of the roof, tightrope style, her arms stretch out for balance. Jack sits on his stump. He is almost drifting off. The water is now almost covering the toe of his boots. Jack takes notice of this with slight alarm EXT. BUSH AND PHIL'S TRUCK Fortunately Phil has a winch mounted on the front of the Ford. Phil grabs the end of the cable and with a yank it starts to unwind. Murray grins.
31. MURRAY'S P.O.V. Through the windshield Murray watches Phil march up the hill pulling the cable over his shoulder. Phil throws the cable around a solid maple tree. EXT. PHIL'S ROOF-TOP AND JACK'S TREE STUMP Gayle peacefully watches the river wash around the roof of the near-by house. She witnesses it break free from it's foundation with a sudden crash and is kindling in seconds. Gayle and Jack both rise to their feet with alarm. EXT. BUSH AND PHIL'S TRUCK Murray watches Phil in the side view mirror as his buddy pulls tire chains out of the back of the truck. Phil starts wrapping them over the back tires. Murray's grin grows. MURRAY Woo-hoo! Murray is raring to go as he grabs the steering wheel in his fists and revs the engine. Phil grabs a round mouth shovel out of the back of the truck. EXT. PHIL'S ROOF-TOP AND JACK'S TREE STUMP Ammie stands on the peak frozen with her mouth open, Gayle turns to see her grabbing her by the arm and pulling the girl to her. GAYLE Ammie, be careful! JACK The river is still rising. to jump.
GAYLE I know. There is a few seconds of creaking wood and staining timbers, a warning. With a loud crack the house shifts suddenly under their feet. Gayle and Ammie fall onto their backsides.
32. JACK You have to jump now! Grabbing Ammie, Gayle leads her to the edge of the roof. AMMIE It doesn't look that far? Gayle drops to one knee to talk
to the child.
GAYLE It's not. You have to go first. will throw you to Jack. He will catch you, understand?
AMMIE Yes, I'm scared. GAYLE I know honey. JACK Com'on! Gayle picks Ammie up in her arms. Jack gets ready. The tavern next door shifts loudly is crushed and it's gone. EXT / INT. BUSH AND PHIL'S TRUCK Phil works shovelling dirt under the back tires as they spin forward. Murray works the winch control, the clutch and pedals. The winch works pulling on the truck forward. The tires roll forward out of the holes they where in, Phil wedges deadfalls under the tires, preventing them from rolling back into their trenches. EXT. PHIL'S ROOF-TOP AND JACK'S TREE STUMP Gayle sway's, rocking the girl in her arms, building momentum, Jack looks up at them. Gayle lets the girl fly.
33. AMMIE Eeeeeeeeh! Through the air and into Jack's arms. Gayle sighs with relief. JACK You ok kid? AMMIE I'm ok. You ok? Jack looks visibly shaken. He holds out a shaking hand and looks at Ammie with a strained smile. Almost too comfortable in his arms Ammie smiles back precociously. Jack is a man, he picks up on this, his face shows slight discomfort but he is flattered. His dark side likes it. Ammie's smile slowly changes to slight discomfort. AMMIE (CONT'D) You smell. Gayle makes eye contact with Jack and laughs. Jack sets Ammie feet on the ground. Jack looks at the bag over Gayle's shoulder and raises his eye brows. With another sigh Gayle takes the bag from her shoulder and tosses it to Jack. Jack takes a hit from his precious bottle as the house cracks and shifts again and Gayle adjusts her footing to compensate. INT. EXT / INT. BUSH AND PHIL'S TRUCK Inside the truck, Murray locks up the brakes and turns off the winch. Phil releases the tension on the cable. Murray puts the truck in reverse and releasing the brakes. With Murray gunning the engine the truck rolls backward down the slope, over the deadfalls and onto level, solid ground. EXT. PHIL'S ROOF-TOP AND JACK'S TREE STUMP GAYLE I'm coming. Gayle prepares herself, Jack wipes his mouth on his sleeve and prepares himself. Gayle jumps and crashes into Jack on the river bank. Gayle lies on top of him face to face.
34. Jack looks up at her amorously. GAYLE (CONT'D) You do smell. In the name of all that's decent you could find a way to bathe. JACK G is highly over rated. Placing both hands on Jacks chest, she pushes herself up, and goes to Ammie, fussing over her. AMMIE I'm fine, Jack caught me. Ammie looks at Jack warmly, then at her grandmother. softens and looks at Jack.
GAYLE Thank-you. Jack grins, pleased with himself. Gayle grins back sarcastically. The house groans. Gayle, Ammie and Jack scramble up the hill and into the leafless forest. Timbers crack and the building does it's biggest shift so far, the river pulling it another few feet away from the bank with a sudden jolt. INT. AMMIE'S BEDROOM Water pours into the hole that Jack punched in the roof. EXT. RIVER TRAIL The vagrant, the prude and the waif make there way along the trail. AMMIE I thought you were going to leave us. ZDEJACK So did I.
35. GAYLE Don't you need to have a drink or something? JACK If we don't find someone or they don't find us, it may take two, maybe three days to follow the river to the lake. Jack takes a sip from his bottle. AMMIE Where are we going to sleep? GAYLE I don't know honey. She pulls Jack aside. GAYLE (CONT'D) Listen, I know that you think you need that bottle, and if it keeps you from getting sick, and keeps you somewhat functional, fine. But I'm telling you to pace yourself, Mister. Like you said, it may take a while to find our way out of here and the only thing on my mind is getting Ammie safely out of here. We may have to rely on each other, but I won't play sick-nurse, and I will leave you behind, if I have to. Can you handle that? JACK I think so. GAYLE I fucking hope so. Jack screws the cap back on the flask and stuffs it into his pocket. JACK Fine. They turn and look at Ammie. democratically.
All three of them smile
36. EXT. BUSH TRAIL The Ford bounces along the rough trail. INT. TRUCK PHIL Are you sure this is Old Mission Trail? MURRAY Yup. They drive on. MURRAY (CONT'D) The roads getting better, see. PHIL Isn't that crazy old hermit Unc the Bunk's place around here somewhere? Murray glares at Phil for a long moment. PHIL (CONT'D) What? Checking the road with a couple quick glances as he drives. Phil just stares straight ahead casually, content with himself. PHIL (CONT'D) Murray. MURRAY Yeah. PHIL Murray! Phil's look suddenly goes from relaxed to startled as he grabs the dashboard. Murray looks back at the road slamming on the brakes stopping short of running over an old man standing in the middle of the road. Behind the scraggy hermit there is a large oak tree, a deadfall lying across the road. EXT. RIVER TRAIL Jack walks ahead.
Gayle and Ammie follow.
37. AMMIE He helped us. GAYLE Yes he did. AMMIE He didn't have to. GAYLE A man like Jack doesn't know what a selfless act is Ammie. AMMIE Maybe he just need's help. That's what you do, don't you? Help people like him? GAYLE If they want it. Nothing anyone can do if they don't. As they walk they watch Jack from behind. Ammie runs ahead, leaving Gayle and starts to walk beside Jack. AMMIE My grandma says that people like you only help somebody if there's something in it for them. JACK Does she now?
She helps does, but people if says that know what
AMMIE people, that's what she she says she can only help they want it. She also a man like you doesn't a selfless act is.
JACK What's in it for her? AMMIE What do you mean? She helps people. Maybe she can help my mom and dad.
38. JACK Control kid. People like your grand mother need to be in control and to control others. Her control manifests itself as helping others. The walk. AMMIE I think your pretty smart. JACK Wrong kid. I consider myself fairly intelligent, but I'm not that smart. Not in the ways most people associate the the use word smart. AMMIE What's the difference? JACK When most people say so-n-so is a smart guy, a sharp cookie, what have you they usually want to imply shrewdness, and usually associate a dollar value to it. An ability to succeed as most define success anyway is an ability to make choices that will benefit themselves rather than others. Intellect is different, even a curse. It make's you wrestling with yourself and the world around you. Something you can't turn off no matter how much you want to. AMMIE I think I understand. JACK That's because your intelligent. Jack shoots the girl a wink and takes a swig from his flask. He is feeling no pain. He looks at Ammie. She looks at him and smiles. He sways on his feet, smiles back at her. He does a little dance for the girl, bump da-da-dump-dump, dump-dump. He takes a bow, flask in hand. She laughs.
Gayle approaches from behind.
39. JACK (CONT'D) You realize you make people feel like the teacher has just walked into the classroom. Gayle scowls at him and grabs Ammie's hand, marching away. Jack follows. JACK (CONT'D) Come on Gayle, lighten up. GAYLE You're just a sad drunk. JACK Ammie doesn't think so. AMMIE I think he's funny. Gayle let's go of Ammie's hand. GAYLE Wait here honey. Gayle turns and walks twenty paces back to Jack. GAYLE (CONT'D) Off course she thinks it's funny. She's eleven, still innocent, still an open, forgiving child; just on the verge of adolescence. The world hasn't hurt her yet. She's not even in middle school. She hasn't started to hate her teachers, and her teachers are still idealistic, not cynical. It's all gonna come crashing in on her soon enough. Gayle walks back to Ammie, takes her hand and continues the march. Ammie looks back at Jack and smiles. Jack, Gayle and Ammie trudge along. As they follow the river trail Jack stops short. Gayle and Ammie take a few steps and stop and turn and look back at Jack. GAYLE (CONT'D) What?
40. JACK The trail goes off that way. GAYLE Yes, it does. JACK Well, the river bends that way. GAYLE The river will wind back on itself all over the place. The trail probably takes a more direct root. Jack shakes his head in frustration. JACK It probably does, but it might not. If we stick to the river we will find the lake and help, eventually. Gayle pauses and sighs. apparent.
Her frustration in Jack is also
GAYLE Eventually? It will snake all over the place, adding miles. JACK Probably, but there will be smaller trails that follow the river and we won't get lost. GAYLE We're sticking to the main trail. Gayle leads Ammie down the trail by the hand. Jack throws his hands in the air and heads towards the river. They go their separate ways. EXT. ROAD AND DEADFALL Phil and Murray get out of the Ford and approach the hermit. UNC THE BUNK Hey stranger.
MURRAY This is Phil.
UNC THE BUNK Aren't you Billy Anderson's boy. PHIL Yup. UNC THE BUNK How is Billy? PHIL Dead. UNC THE BUNK Sorry to hear that. I use to drink with your old man. PHIL A lot of people did. UNC THE BUNK I haven't had a drink in years. Was nasty on it. Man I raised hell. Murray glares at the old man. UNC THE BUNK (CONT'D) Anyway. The men follow Unc away from the dead fall. EXT. BUSH TRAIL -- CONTINUOUS The walk into a clearing. A dilapidated wood siding and log cabin that is barely standing gets hit with a few rays of Spring sun. Off to the side an out building is collapsed, another fallen tree crushing it long ago. Murray looks at the cabin and Flashes Back. EXT.LATE AFTERNOON -- SUMMER Not ready for the cover of House and Home by any means, but The old, beat-up cabin is livable. Beautifully set amongst maples and pines. Someone got a third of the way through painting it before abandoning the effort. The out building is a mess, but a functioning work shop. A woman in her thirties washes dishes in the window.
42. A wiry man in his mid forties squats on his haunches in the driveway wearing cut-off jean shorts and running shoes, no socks. A bottle of beer sits on the ground beside him. In front of him a turned over coffee can. He sorts through a pile of nuts, bolts, washers and screws. Scattered around the drive are numerous other piles, already sorted and abandoned with their coffee cans and drained beer bottles. The man is Unc the Bunk. Unc gets up and staggers to the work shop and takes a beer from a rusty old Frigidaire. A noise and Unc looks past an old truck up on blocks and junk. At a work bench in the back a young boy, Murray is in a fantasy world playing field surgeon on an old G.I Joe with pliers and a pocket knife. A hanky wrapped over his mouth. UNC THE BUNK Playing with dolls. The boy looks at him. UNC THE BUNK (CONT'D) Take that think off your face! Unc grabs him. YOUNG MURRAY I'm gonna be a doctor. Unc laughs wildly. Smack the boy in the back of the head and drags him into the yard and pushes him toward a pile of screws and a coffee can. DISSOLVE TO: Later -- young Murray sorts through a pile as Unc works on another pile. The boy jumps up excited. Holding a screw up like it was everything. YOUNG MURRAY (CONT'D) Five millimetre machine screw! Murray run's over to an old compressor that is half assembled, and starts to put it back together. It only take a moment. The boy puts a foot up on the machine and pulls at the start cord a few times. Unc tries to step in. YOUNG MURRAY (CONT'D) I got it. Unc grabs the boy and shoves him onto the ground.
43. UNC THE BUNK Get me a beer. Unc pulls the cord and the compressor starts. FLASHBACK ENDS EXT. UNC THE BUNK'S CABIN -- MORNING Murray and Phil follow the old man to a cedar pole lean-to that now functions as a tool shed. UNC THE BUNK That big spruce has been ready to come down for years. I should have done it when my back was stronger. PHIL You supply the saw, Unc, and we'll clear the road. I usually have a chain-saw in my truck. Unc reaches into the shed and pulls out a six foot wood handled two man cross cut hand saw, an industry standard a hundred years ago. Phil and Murray look at each other. jacket.
Murray takes off his
EXT. RIVER TRAIL Gayle and Ammie Follow the river. AMMIE Grandma, how come I always lived with you instead of mom and dad. GAYLE You have seen what they are like the last while. They were never fit to take care of you. Your mother worked hard to get herself together and I let her have you. But she just can't keep it together. And your father, well when she kept away from him she was doing ok. You are better off without them. AMMIE But they are my parents.
44. GAYLE Oh baby, there is more to it than that. We want people to be a certain way, but that doesn't mean that that's what they are. EXT. JACK'S RIVER TRAIL Jack walks his path mumbling to himself. JACK Language! Fuckin' mother superior. Hot piece of ass though. He chuckles to himself, reaches in his pocket and pulls out his flask. He takes up-ends it, finishes the last half a sip. JACK (CONT'D) I don't need anybody. He pulls the half full bottle from his jacket, takes a swig and mumbles as he fills the flask. Spilling some. JACK (CONT'D) Oh,easy pony. Stuffing the bottle in his jacket. He looks at the tarnished silver flask. Engraving "For THE REF" JACK (CONT'D) I don't need anybody. Jack takes a swig and pockets the flask. He continues along the trail. Jack stops short as the trail splits again. Easy decision, Jack takes the branch to the left. EXT. ROAD AND DEAD FALL -- NIGHT The Ford's head light's throw light on the men as huffing and soaked in sweat Murray and Phil work the blade. The old man watches and lights a hand rolled cigarette from the oil lantern that he holds. UNC THE BUNK You boys act like you don't know what it's like to break a sweat. (MORE)
45. UNC THE BUNK (CONT'D) In my day I'd out work, out drink and out fuck two men like you. Murray eyes Unc darkly, but puts his rage into working the saw. The saw exits on the bottom of it's last cut, the section of log breaks off and falls to the ground leaving a gap where the road is and the top and bottom on either side. UNC THE BUNK (CONT'D) Oh, did I offend you lad? You look like I hurt your tender feelings? Murray and Phil start rolling the sections to the side of the road. Murray looks at the hermit again with rage, Phil intercedes by changing the subject. PHIL I seem to remember you much further down river when I was a kid, Unc? UNC THE BUNK I had a hunting shack, abandoned that place years ago. INT. UNC'S CABIN Murray sulks, Phil sits and feeds on a tin plate of stew as Unc rolls a cigarette. Later-Murray and Phil get ready to leave. of sundries.
Unc hands Murray a box
UNC THE BUNK It's not much, a few can's of bean, biscuits and bottle of whiskey. MURRAY I don't need anything from you, Unc. UNC THE BUNK I remember when you use to call me dad. Phil steps in and takes the box.
46. PHIL Thanks old timer. Phil walks out the door. Murray stays inside, closing the door between Phil and himself. Phill walks to the truck. INT. UNC'S CABIN Unc and Murray glare at each other. EXT. UNC'S CABIN -- NIGHT Phil climb's into the Ford and starts the engine and looks back at the cabin. INT. UNC'S CABIN Murray's bloody fist pumps the hand pump and water splashes into the enamel sink. He washes his hands and splashes water on his face. EXT. UNC'S CABIN Phil sits in the truck leaning forward onto the steering wheel, he sit's back as he see's Murray come out of the cabin, closing the door. Murray climbs into the truck. PHIL What took so long? MURRAY Just saying thank-you. EXT. JACK'S RIVER TRAIL Jack blunders along the trail, mumbling. JACK Everybody's gotta fix ya. Jack stops short as the trail divides again. He looks down both routes and takes the one to the right this time. Speeding his pace to a march.
47. JACK (CONT'D) Women and children first! Man the life boats! He chuckles to himself. Jack marches along, reaching into his pocket for his flask. He unscrews the cap and takes a swig not missing a step. Jack stops short again as he looks around him. He realizes has reached a three way fork this time, and already proceeding twenty feet along the middle branch. Fear crosses his face and quickly paces, shaking, Jack screws the cap back on the flask and pockets it. Determined he marches straight on his course. His march breaks into a run. Running along the path sweat and fear breaks out on his face. Fear turns to panic. Panting he runs. And runs. He stumbles and falls tumbling to the ground. Laying there he gasps looking up at the slight lines breaking overhead in the trees made by the multiple paths,absolutely lost he slaps himself in the face. Terrified he rolls around on the ground, wrestling with himself. Wailing and bawling he punches himself in the face harder. He stops fighting He settles and lays there on his back fighting off the sobs. He mumbles. JACK (CONT'D) Everybody gets in your way...you get in your own way. Jack starts to sob JACK (CONT'D) Everything... He hates himself.
48. But there's nothing new about that. He hates showing it more. JACK (CONT'D) ....The river... find the river... Jack sits up, sniffles and looks around. gold watch.
Looks at his cheap
JACK (CONT'D) West, its afternnoon and the sun will set in the west.....the river wanders from east to west. Jack get up, takes the flask from his pocket and has a swig. JACK (CONT'D) Ah. That's better. He brushes dead leafs from his hair and clothes. Looks around. Takes one more little sip, screws the cap down and stuffs the flask back into his pocket. JACK (CONT'D) West, go west young man. Jack picks up his bag and heads, west. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. TRAIL Jack, still mumbling, stops short, listens. hears, THE RIVER!
Jack jogs along and hear the river to his left. He turns off his path into the brush. Stomping through the underbrush...pauses.. Listens... Jack hears Gayle and Ammie. He pushes his way through the brush and sees them. approach each other. JACK I told you so.
49. GAYLE What are you talking about? I said the river and the trail would meet. It starts to rain. It is late afternoon, maybe 4:00pm Ammie starts to cough and shiver. Jack takes off his jacket and wraps it around her. His bottle falls from it's sleeve. JACK I got you honey. AMMIE Thanks Jack. JACK I was talking to the bottle. He looks at the girl and winks, he's kidding. Ammie laughs. Jack grabs the bottle. Takes the old sweater from his bag, replacing it with the bottle. Jack pull on the sweater, Shoulders his bag, Takes a swig from his flask and scoops the girl up in his arms. Gayle looks at Jack as he does this. They continue along the river. HOLD ON FULL LONG SHOT OF TRAIL EXT. RIVER TRAIL -- LATER It is raining heavy, getting dark, they trudge along through rain and fog. Ammie is coughing. They are getting desperate. Suddenly they see ruins of a long abandoned sawmill and the dilapidated cabin that was the sawyer's quarters. The old cabin sits up on a small hill. It is a welcoming sight through the rain and mist.
50. INT. CABIN The door flies open as Jack carries coughing and shivering Ammie inside, followed by Gayle. The inside of the cabin has an old pot-belly stove in a corner. An old enamel sink with a hand pump. A table and chairs. A couple old wooden cots with dingy blankets. A rusty old axe and a few pieces of fire wood are in the corner and a couple lanterns. There is a door that looks like it leads to a second room. Gayle pulls a blanket off one of leafs and dust from it and wraps lays the girl on the cot. Gayle tries the pump, the handle falls
the cots and shakes the it around Ammie as Jack feels her forehead. Jack off in his hand.
JACK She has a fever. GAYLE Uh-huh, we have to get her warm. Jack goes to the axe and wood in the corner. He picks up the rusty axe and one of the pieces of firewood, looking that the stove. GAYLE (CONT'D) It's dry? JACK Yup, but not nearly enough. Jack looks at the door. Darkness, the door flies open in a cloud of dust and dim light. There is a work-bench with assort old tools and other implements. Jack grabs a steel file from the bench and sharpens the axe. Gayle grabs a pry-bar. Inside the cabin anything that will burn is hacked up. With a strike of Jack's zippo the bot belly stove roars to life.
51. Gayle sit's on the cot holding Ammie's head as the girl shivers and sweats with fever. Looking under the sink Jack see's the usual assorted under the sink type crap including a bottle of dish-soap, a box of baking-soda, some mouth wash and a first aid kit. He takes a bottle of aspirin from the first aid kit. Jack opens his bottle and takes a belt for himself and pours some into an old tin cup. He brings the cup over and holds it up for Gayle along with the aspirin. JACK (CONT'D) It will help her sleep and bring her fever down. Gayle props Ammie up and puts a tablet in the girls mouth. Gayle holds the cup to the child's lips. Ammie tastes it a little and pushes it way. GAYLE It'll help you honey. Ammie winces and coughs, but drinks, her head falls back into Gayle's lap. Gayle rocks gently looking at her granddaughter as she hears Jack's footstep go into the other room and then come back. Gayle looks up to see Jack standing with a spool of wire and an old pair of pliers. JACK I'm going to set some snares for rabbits. GAYLE Ok. Jack steps toward the door. GAYLE (CONT'D) Jack. JACK Ya. GAYLE Thanks, again. The door closes behind him.
52. EXT. BUSH AND CABIN. -- NIGHT Jacks breath is mist mixed with rain dripping from his face as he works setting a snare. He suddenly chokes up and almost starts to sob. He chokes it back, gets up and walks around the other side of the cabin and sets another as the sun sets. INT. CABIN -- AFTERNOON As Gayle sits with Ammie Jack comes back inside. Jack goes over to the stove and it's roaring fire. He half closes the butterfly trap on the chimney, and does the same to the damper on the bottom of the stove. Gayle gets up and comes over. JACK How is she? GAYLE Much better, sleeping tight. Gayle looks at Jack with what is as close to genuine affection that the man has seen in years. She reaches out to him. He turns away from her and to his bottle sitting by the sink. He unscrews the cap. GAYLE (CONT'D) You don't need that. Jack up-ends the bottle and swallows a couple deep gulps in defiance. Gayle turns away. Jack looks after her. A din starts up out side in the brush. Jack and Gayle glance at each other surprised for a second and then with realization and elation. Jack heads out the door to check his snares. INT. CABIN -- MOMENTS LATER Gayle has found an old cast iron frying pan and is using the file to sharpen a knife. She reaches for a tin can she has hung out the broken window pane collecting water. She dumps the water into the pan and puts it on the stove. The door opens and Jack stands victorious with two rabbits hanging from the wire snares. They smile at each other. A din starts up outside again, their smiles break into outright joy, another snare has a victim.
53. EXT. CABIN -- NIGHT Jack pokes around in the dark following the sound of the struggling animal. He sees bushes move in the dark. He comes up close on the animal. The animal shrieks in agony and fear, thrashing wildly as Jack reaches for it in the dark. It is not a rabbit. Jack pulls back holding his face, it's too late. He slips and falls against the side of the cabin. INT. CABIN As Gayle gleefully skins the rabbits, she hears Jack. JACK (O.S.) Fuck! Gayle yells out the broken window in sing-song response. GAYLE Language. Gayle pulls the skin and fur back on the animal leaving the pink flesh behind. There is a knock at the door. GAYLE (CONT'D) Very funny Jack! Another knock. Ammie stirs and raises her head. AMMIE Grandma. GAYLE Shhh, it's ok. Confused Gayle put's her task aside and goes to the door and opens it. She see's nothing but darkness and rain. GAYLE (CONT'D) Jack!
54. JACK (O.S.) I'm here!
GAYLE What are you doing? JACK
Over here. Jack moves forward a step and Gayle vaguely see's him in the darkness, twenty paces away.
Well come here.
GAYLE What is it.
Jack takes several steps toward Gayle as he speaks. JACK It wasn't a rabbit. As Jack gets closer Gayle starts to make a foil face and covers her hands and mouth with a gasp. JACK (CONT'D) It was a... Gayle waives him off, repulsed.
GAYLE Ok, ok, Stop!
Jack halts his approach. GAYLE (CONT'D) (laughing) Now what? We don't have any tomato juice. JACK Tomato juice is a myth. GAYLE Ok. JACK There was a gallon motor oil in there. Bring it to me. Gayle does so.
55. Gayle tosses the plastic jug at Jack's feet. Jack strips. Gayle looks impressed. Jack proceeds to pours the oil all over himself and work it in. GAYLE Kinky. JACK Dish soap Gayle grabs it and tosses it to Jack. washes in the rain.
He lathers up and
GAYLE Is that it? JACK Nope, in that first aid kit there are a couple bottles of hydrogen peroxide and there was some baking soda under the sink, mix them together in a bucket. Gayle does so. She brings the bucket half-way to Jack covering her mouth with her hand. Jack takes the bucket and splashes the mixture all over himself, and stuffs his clothes into the bucket and the remainder of the concoction. Jack lathers with dish-soap again and squirts some into the bucket with his clothes as it fills with rain. Gayle looks at Jack with a grin. JACK (CONT'D) Impressed yet. EXT. A HILL TOP OVERLOOKING THE RIVER A Jeep Cherokee, painted dark green with a forest services logo on the door comes to a stop near the top of the hill. A uniformed game warden, a pleasant enough looking man climbs out of the Jeep and stretching with a grin he takes in the cool air.
56. EXT. OLD MISSION TRAIL The Ford bounces along the road. INT. FORD As Murray steers the truck Phil notices a bit of blood splatters on the cuff of his shirt sleeve. Murray notices Phil taking notice. Phil pulls his Jacket sleeve to cover it. PHIL What did you do? MURRAY Don't be soft. EXT. HILL TOP With his binoculars, the game warden scans the leafless forest and Old Mission Trail below. Through the lens he lands on a large white tail buck. deer is standing in the middle of the corduroy road.
The Game Warden scans further down the trail and lands on Phil's Ford as it slowly makes it's way along the rough trail towards the deer. INT. FORD PHIL That old man never did nothin'. What's wrong with you? Murray slows the truck to a stop as he sees the deer in the road ahead. MURRAY Shhh, Shut the fuck up, look! Phil's expression changes to glee at the sight of the large buck a hundred yards ahead. PHIL He's in great shape for this time of year.
57. EXT. OLD MISSION TRAIL AND PHIL'S FORD -- MORNING Murray slowly reaches for the rifle and pulls the handle on the door of the truck. The door squeaks slightly as it opens. Murray winces as he sets a foot out on the ground and cranks the window down. EXT. HILLTOP The game warden drops his binoculars. EXT. OLD MISSION ROAD The buck raises its head. Murray rests the Remington trough the window opening on the door of the truck and takes aim. EXT. HILL TOP The Game Warden scans between the buck and Murray taking aim. The Game Warden walks away from his vantage point and back to his Cherokee. Crack! The Remington's report is echoed loudly. The Game Warden pauses, he turns and looks out over the river valley. He sighs, shakes his head and turns back towards the Jeep. He takes his last few steps to his truck and climbs in and starts the truck, shifting it into gear he turns the Jeep around and rolls down the hill. EXT. BUSH, OLD MISSION TRAIL Murray and Phil have the deer spread out on a tarp and work at cleaning and dressing the deer. Phil comes from the river with a bucket of water. Murray has made a separate pile of edible organs. Phil takes the heart and liver and rinses them in the bucket. The two men smile and look at each other as they work. very pleased with them-selves.
58. PHIL The government feed these guys all winter long. Man this is a nice buck. Murray hears something. MURRAY Shhhh. The sound of the Game Warden's vehicle approaching is followed a few second later by the appearance of the Jeep itself. The Game Warden get's out of the vehicle and leans against the fender casually regarding the two men. GAME WARDEN You two clowns do realize, that for what you are doing, there are not just fines in the thousands of dollars, but vehicle and weapon confiscation and possibly even jail time? PHIL Shit! The game warden takes a stick of gum from his shirt pocket, unwraps it and pops it in his mouth. He chews with a cheesy grin. GAME WARDEN You're in a heap of trouble boys. The Game warden shakes his head and opens the door of his truck and reaches for his radio. Before he can speak into the mike Murray grabs his Remington and in a shoot-from-the hip manor he levels the rifle at the Game Warden. MURRAY Put that mike down. GAME WARDEN What are you doing, son? PHIL Yeah, what the fuck are you doing?
59. MURRAY Put the mike down. Everyone looks at each other as the gravity of the situation sinks in. Crack!
The Remington kicks in recoil.
The Game Warden is hit in the heart. The man is already dead as he slips to the ground the radio mike still in his hand. INT. CABIN As Gayle takes a plate of bones from Ammie's side and tucks her in, Jack sits by the fire wrapped in one of the moth eaten blankets. His clothes dry by the fire. A couple aspirins tumble into the palm of Gayle's hand and she splashes a bit of his whiskey into the tin cup. Jack gives her a prudish look. She gets more generous with her pour. Gayle offers Jack the cup and a rabbit leg. She sits beside him as he eats and sips his whiskey. JACK Still smell it? GAYLE No, now it's, green apples? JACK That's the dish soap. GAYLE I am impressed, how did you know how to do that? You a chemist or something? JACK No, I use to breed German Short Haired pointers, hunting dogs. The fuckers use to get sprayed by skunks all the time. (MORE)
60. JACK (CONT'D) I should have known when I saw all the ingredients in the cabin that there were probably skunks nearby. GAYLE You bred dogs? JACK One of my hobbies. Jack takes a sip of his whiskey and chews the rabbit as Gayle looks up at him. He turns to her. They look deep into each others eyes. JACK (CONT'D) I wasn't always a bum. GAYLE I wasn't always a prude. life of the party.
I was the
JACK Really? GAYLE Strange how neediness will manifest itself. JACK You, needy? GAYLE They told me I was raised having it all. An upper middle class daughter of suburban parents. Apple pie and Sunday dinners on the surface, but I was gone with the man of my dreams by the time I was sixteen. By the time I was eighteen I had my daughter, Angela, Ammie's mother. I left her on my parents doorstep when she was one month old. I thought it was probably for the best, by then the man of my dreams smacking me around daily. Of course he was so sorry when he sobered up. Abuse, follows abuse.
61. JACK I never hit a woman in my life. GAYLE I believe you, your abuse was more localized. JACK You could say that. Well, it looks like you got your act together at some point. You're there for your daughter and Ammie now. GAYLE Ya, well. JACK My neediness manifested itself differently. I did everything right, without much effort, University scholarships, drafted at eighteen. It all came easy. I had a beautiful wife who spent her time filling our beautiful house with beautiful things. I couldn't stay faithful to her. I made more money than I ever dreamed possible. Above all else I had two of the sweetest kids you've ever seen, Jack Jr. and your Ammie reminds me of my little Katie. GAYLE Do you still see them? JACK Every night when I close my eyes. I wish I had spent more time with them when I had the chance. I think their piano teacher new them better. GAYLE It's not too late. Believe me I've seen people forgive foibles that would make most others murderous. If you got yourself together I'm sure your ex would... JACK No, I'm afraid it is too late.
62. GAYLE How's that? As Jack continues his story in voice over he flashes back. JACK (V.O.) It's our nature, to take for granted. INT. TYPICAL CIVIC ARENA--DAY Twenty odd mostly boys and a few girls kindergarten age scuffle around on the ice in their little helmets and uniforms, trying to get a stick on the puck. As parents laugh and chat watching from the stands. COACH O.K kids time to get changed. Parking lot of arena, Jack (a lot younger) wheels a fifteen year old 500 series BMW into a parking spot as he talks on fifteen year old cell phone. He's hurried. He climbs out and steps to the front doors of the arena. INT. ARENA Jack endures an obligatory chat with a Coach as he waits to pick up his kids. The enthusiastic siblings make there way from the change rooms dragging their heavy bags and holding the hockey sticks like little shepherds in a Christmas play. Jack breaks from their chat to hurry his children along. He grabs the equipment bags as he patronizes the coach with nods and 'uh-huhs'. The excited kids push and tease each other playfully. EXT. ARENA As the kids make their way to the car they continue to push and tease. As Jack pops the trunk for his burden, his cell phone rings. He answers it. JACK Hello, Yeah Kate I'm picking them up now, (To children) Stop pushing your brother. And put on your seat belts. Jack climbs into the car his ears still to the phone as his kids laugh and rough house in the back seat. He backs out of the parking spot and turns onto the street.
63. JACK (CONT'D) But I have to meet clients in an hour so I just have time to drop them off. Jack glances at his Rolex, it's two p.m.. He looks in the rear-view mirror at the kids JACK (CONT'D) Stop it you two, I told you to put your seat belts on. As the BMW goes though an intersection on a green light. A drunk in a large Buick runs the red light, making kindling out of Jack's car. FLASHBACK ENDS-Gayle is frozen, looking at Jack. JACK (CONT'D) My kids were gone. GAYLE I'm sorry Jack, I didn't mean to... JACK It's ok, You didn't know. my kids.
GAYLE A drunk driver ran a red light. can't blame yourself.
JACK You can always blame yourself. I should have made sure they had their seat-belts on. Anyway. Nothing was going to keep Katherine and I together after that. Whether I blamed myself or not, she blamed me. I made it easy for her by crawling inside a bottle. They both reach for the same piece of wood to throw onto the fire. Their hands touch. They have opened up to each other too much, what's left of their defences come crashing down. Jack puts a rough hand on Gayle's cheek as a tear breaks lose from her eye, rolls down that cheek and onto his fingers. He strokes her hair away from her face with his other hand as more tears follow, they kiss.
64. GAYLE What would you do with it if you had it all back?
JACK Why does it matter? GAYLE
It matters. JACK I don't know. Get a party boat and have sex all day long. Gayle just looks at him. JACK (CONT'D) You know to go with my Miami Vice cocaine palace. GAYLE Why is it that all the ones that get all the wealth and power and have the ability to make things better, don't? JACK I don't know, because they have party boats? GAYLE Not funny Jack. JACK Com'on, it's a little bit funny. I'm not saying that making the world a better place wouldn't be on my list of things to do, but I have a party boat here. GAYLE Well, I tell you, mister, when I am queen of the universe things will be different. JACK In the mean time, take your clothes off and get on the party boat, make yourself a drink.
65. Jack offers Gayle his tin cup. Gayle Just looks at him. JACK (CONT'D) Come on, Gayle, I hate to drink alone. GAYLE Yes, I can imagine the lack of lively cocktail party banter really holds you back. Gayle takes the cup Jack pulls away, gets up enthusiastically and reaches for his bottle. He grabs the tin can of rain water and tosses the contents into the sink. He pours himself a healthy drink. GAYLE (CONT'D) What would happen if you didn't drink that? JACK Then you would be the one drinking alone. Jack takes his seat back next to Gayle. can, smiling at Gayle.
He holds up his tin
JACK (CONT'D) Cheers. GAYLE (Half hearted) Cheers. JACK You're so enthusiastic, and you have to make eye contact when you cheer someone, or it's seven years of bad sex, and I'm just getting over one. Gayle can't help but chuckle at Jack's joke. tin can back up. JACK (CONT'D) That's better, cheers. Smiling she cheers him.
Jack holds his
66. GAYLE Cheers. They drink. Gayle stops, watching, as Jack continues tipping his can, gulping, and finishing it's contents. Jack jumps to his feet and reaches for the bottle again, once again giving himself a healthy pour of whiskey. He holds the bottle out to pour some for Gayle. GAYLE (CONT'D) I'm ok. Jack sees the judgement in Gayle's eyes. JACK Don't. GAYLE What if you stopped Jack. JACK Then the snakes would come, and that little green fucker, I'll drink a bottle of aftershave to stop that from happening. GAYLE Oh, Jack. Almost spitefully, Jack fills the can and drinks it like a glass of water. Gayle looks at him, hurt. Jack looks back at her defiantly. Gayle gets up open's the door of the pot-belly stove and stuffs a few more pieces of wood into it. GAYLE (CONT'D) I'll leave you two alone. She goes over to Ammie and lies beside her leaving Jack to his bottle. Jack tips the bottle and throws his head back, gulp, gulp, gulp. He collapses onto the other cot. Later, he dreams.
67. INT. A TRENDY COCKTAIL BAR Scruffy, smelly, shaky and unshaven; Jack wanders in from the street. He takes a seat at the bar and looks over at his other, dapper self, drinking martini's and flirting. The bartender is Jack's little green friend. JACK Well, if it isn't my favourite green brownie. IMP What can I get ya ,chum? JACK Green apple martini. The fairy barman puts ice in a shaker. His hand scans past the bottles behind the bar. Past the Finlandia, Absolute, and Stolichnaya, he stops his hand at a large bottle of Armani aftershave. IMP Giorgio? Jack nods approvingly. The imp pours a generous double into the shaker. The barman's hand then passes over the Martini and Rossi, Kina Lillet and Noilly Prat. He grabs a bottle of mouth wash and adds a splash. Green apple dish soap is the final ingredient. The imp shakes and strains the mixture into a large chilled martini glass. Jack raises the glass to his other self with a grin and gets a cheerful response. SUPERIMPOSED TITLE: March 30th INT. CABIN -- THE NEXT MORNING Gayle slowly wakes. her.
Ammie is sleeping peacefully beside
68. Gayle puts a hand on the girls forehead and is relieved to see that her fever is gone. Gayle becomes aware of an slight whimpering sound. Gayle slowly gets up and see's Jack shivering on the other cot. Gayle rubs her arms and shoulders with her hands. It's cold in the cabin, but not that cold. She goes over to the wood stove and opens the door. She stirs the bed of coals at picks out the smallest pieces of kindling and gently build them up on the coals. As the kindlings takes and the fist small flame explodes she adds a few larger pieces. Gayle closes the door of the stove, throws open the bottom draft, cranks the wheel draft on the door and adjusts the flue. She turns her attention Jack's bottle, lying empty beside him. She picks it up, holding it upside-down. She turns her attention to Jack as he shakes in semi-conscious delirium. She take a seat on the edge of his cot and puts a hand on his forehead. He is now the one with the fever. GAYLE (softly) You did not pick the best time, or place to put yourself through this Jack, but we will see it through. Ammie stirs, wakes and sits up turning to her grandmother. AMMIE Is Jack sick now? GAYLE Yes Ammie, Yes he is. SERIES OF SHOTS INT. /EXT. CABIN -- LATER-- DAY/NIGHT Gayle feeds the fire, makes more snares. Gayle sets them the snares. Ammie helps Gayle uncover an old well nearby and bring water to the cabin.
69. Gayle feeds Jack aspirin and holds a cup of water to his mouth. Ammie watches and makes a face as Gayle skins a rabbit. Gayle tries to get Jack to eat, he won't. Gayle hold a bucket for Jack and rubs his shoulders as he leans over the edge of the cot and spews vomit. Ammie watches as Jack lies back on the cot. over to him.
The girl comes
JACK (groaning) Oh, whew. AMMIE My Grandma is good at taking care of people, Jack. JACK Yes, she is. EXT. CABIN -- NIGHT Another night and Jack eats veraciously. better.
He is getting
GAYLE You going to be strong enough to be on our way tomorrow? JACK Oh, I think so. EXT. CABIN AND BUSH -- NIGHT Phil and Murray sit in the truck and look up at the cabin. The light in the cabin goes out. Blackness SUPERIMPOSED TITLE: March 31st INT. CABIN -- THE NEXT MORNING Jack's face is content.
It was a good nights sleep.
70. Jack opens his eyes and his look changes to startled. JACK'S P.O.V. The first thing Jack sees is Murray gazing down at him; then Murray's rifle butt coming down at his face and blackness again. A series of shots, like heart-beats followed by blackness hazy, like snippets from a dream. Murray is in control, or out of control. look at it.
Depends on how you
Murray grabs Ammie by the arm as Phil ties Jack's hands. Phil reacts and tries to come between Murray and the girl. Murray and Phil struggle fiercely. Ammie is thrust into the blackness of the separate room and the door is shut. Murray throws Gayle back on the cot. Gayle jumps back up, Murray back hands her knocking her down again. Murray looks at her and undoes his belt and forcefully climbs himself on her. Gayle struggles as he tears at her clothes with one hand and holds her arms over her head with the other. INT. CABIN -- LATER Jack slowly comes to, his face bruised and covered with dried blood. Struggling briefly, he realizes his hands are tied above his head to the frame of the cot. Jack looks around as much as he is able. Thee is moaning and quiet sobs. Jack's P.V.O. Phil is on the floor in the corner, eyes open, shot dead. Jack looks down at the other cot Murray is raping Gayle. Jack sees Murray's back, belt and pants down around his ass as all his weight is on top of Gayle he has her ass in his hands and is humping hard. As tears run down Gayle's face she looks up and sees Jack.
71. Jack gets a hand free, unties himself and gets to his feet. Jack looks around for a weapon of some kind. A block of wood? No. The cast iron frying pan? No. Murray's Remington is leaning against closer to it. Jack decides to make a steps across the floor, Jack looks at Gayle looks Jack. Of course, a board hears it and looks up at Jack.
the wall but Murray is move for the rifle and Murray on top of Gayle, squeaks and Murray
Jack looks at the rifle in the corner, Murray looks at the rifle. They both lunge for the rifle, both fiercely trying to wrest it from the other. Of course just as Murray is getting the best of Jack and has the rifle muzzle in Jacks face Gayle caves Jacks head in with the cast iron frying pan, blood splatters Jacks face. Jack pushes Murray away. Murray is fucked up. the back of his head, His skull is split open. him with everything she had.
He touches Gayle hit
Murray try's to speak but it is unintelligible. Murray looks at Gayle and then to Jack. She hit's him again.
Now he is stone dead.
Jack pries the blood covered frying pan from Gayle's hand's as tears steam down her face. Jack drags Phil and Murray's bodies together into a corner and covers them as best as he can as Gayle opens the door to the other room and Ammie dives into her grandmothers arms. Later-As Gayle and Ammie get their shit together Jack takes the keys from Murray's pocket, his pant's still undone and dead pecker hanging out of his fly. Being dead ain't pretty. Ammie watches as Jack opens the door and starts dragging the bodies outside. Gayle put's her hand on the child's head and makes Ammie look away. EXT. CABIN AND FORD -- AFTERNOON Jack comes from behind the cabin with a shovel in his hand and leans it against the cabin. He walks over to the truck.
72. Jack is elated to see the dressed deer in the back of the truck, fresh meat. Jack starts to take an inventory. There is a five gallon plastic bottle and a couple small bottles of water. He opens a back pack and finds a can opener and energy bars. He tears into one of the energy bars. He opens the cooler sticks his hand into the ice water, and pulls out a few cans of beans. He has a big smile as he stuffs the beans into the back pack. Rooting deeper into the cooler he pulls out a six pack of beer cans on there plastic holder. He glances at the cabin, Through the open door he sees Gayle pulling Ammie's jacket over the girls shoulders. Jack pulls one of the beer cans from the others and shoves it in his jacket pocket. Jack stuffs the rest of the beer cans inside a wheelless tire in the back of the truck. Glancing at the cabin again, Jack opens the passenger side door and opens the glove compartment. There is a box of shells for the Remington. He take another bite from the energy bar and grabs the cartridges and puts them on the dashboard. He pulls a large lock back folding knife from glove compartment opens it and glances at the deer in the back of the truck. Jack pulls a map from the glove box. Under the map there is a pint of whiskey and a compass. He glances at Gayle and Ammie inside the cabin and stuffs the bottle down his pants. Looking at the map closer it is well used by locals that know the area. It has been hand marked and noted. Going around to the drivers side, Jack opens the drivers side door. Jack reaches over and turns the key in the ignition. The gauges light up.
There is well over half a tank of gas.
Jack smiles. Jack opens the knife and starts to work on the deer.
73. INT. CABIN Gayle and Ammie get organized. Jack comes in with the jug of water, the back pack and a hind leg of the deer over his shoulder. JACK There is fresh water and food, beans a deer. And most importantly a map and compass. Later-They eat. AMMIE Are we leaving here soon? GAYLE (to Jack) Even with the truck these trails and roads are slow. If we don't make it today we will be sleeping in the truck. JACK You're right. We have everything here. We will leave early in the morning. Ammie is unsettled. Later-Gayle clears the table. Jack excuse himself. EXT. BEHIND CABIN AND BUSH Jack takes a piss. He takes the pint of whiskey from his pants and hesitates looking through the window at Gayle and Ammie. He resists but with a sigh he unscrews the cap and takes a deep gulp from the bottle. He screws the cap back on.
74. Suddenly can't hold back, a sob bursts from deep inside him at his cursed weakness and tears come. He chokes them back and composes himself. EXT. CABIN AND TRUCK -- DUSK Jack pulls the bloodied tarp from underneath the deer carcass. And pulls a round mouth shovel from the truck bed. EXT. BUSH AWAY FROM CABIN -- TWILIGHT Jack digs a large hole. Jack rolls the bodies, wrapped in the tarp, into the hole. Jack takes another hit from the bottle as he starts to fill the hole in. INT. CABIN -- LATER Jack enters the cabin and Gayle is all smiles and enthused. Jack is slightly buzzed, but besides that, he seems to be drifting in another reality all his own. Jack quietly sits on the cot, a hand on either thigh. looks as if more tears could come.
Ammie cheerfully comes over and sits beside Jack. The girl places a small, smooth hand on top of his large rough hand. Jack looks at the girls hand. GAYLE (cheerfully) I am going take the snares down and visit the ladies room. Observing Jacks strange, detached countenance, her expression changes to concern. GAYLE (CONT'D) Jack? Jack in minimal almost catatonic response turns his head upward to face her. JACK I'm weary.
75. GAYLE Rest. EXT. CABIN AND WOODS -- NIGHT Outside in the darkness and the rain Gayle hum's as she collects the wire snares. Again, she is fixing someone, she is in charge. INT. CABIN Jack sits on the cot, Ammie beside him. Her hand still on his. The girl looks up at him welcoming. Jack turns to look into the girls face. JACK (V.O.) In her face I can imagine I see all things. Love, peace, innocence and insolence. Compassion and contempt, even lust. Jack places his other hand on the girls face and slowly turns to her. Ammie, unaware of the strange shift in this man looks up at him. Her face is still open and allowing. EXT. CABIN AND WOODS -- NIGHT Gayle goes behind a tree to a fallen log and squats. inconvenienced but fairly content.
INT. CABIN Another Jack is here now, and he is on auto-pilot. His hand moves down to the girls neck a his head tilts as he looks at this child beauty. Gayle spills through the door in a rambling flourish. off her wet coat and hanging it by the stove. GAYLE I didn't want those snares to get some hunting dog by the leg. I tell you, I will be glad to have a hot shower and see a real flush toilet. Jack snaps out of his trance.
76. Gayle regards the situation curiously, but from her perspective his intentions are more than vague. From ours?
Oh yeah, he was going to do it.
Ammie still has no clue. AMMIE Are you ok Jack? Clarity comes to Jack's eyes. The haze disappears, followed by realization then he is near enough to tears again. Gayle comes over and puts a hand on Jacks shoulder. GAYLE By tomorrow night we are back in the world. AMMIE Is Jack going to come home with us Grandma? GAYLE He can if he wants. Jack looks up at Gayle, to the core.
the agony in his eyes shakes Gayle
GAYLE (CONT'D) No need to waste another moment of your life. EXT. CABIN -- NIGHT Through the window, the light from the lanterns go out. DISSOLVE TO: EXT. CABIN AND WOODS -- MORNING The trio leave the cabin behind them and climb into the truck. Jack drives. They leave the cabin, Murray and Phil's bodies and make their way to the mouth of the river in the truck. EXT. RIVER BANK AND FROZEN BEACH - Eventually they make it to the mouth of the river.
77. -The journey is over, these two people have grown close to each other, a real love hate, even self hating relationship. Now what?? They go back to what they were before? They are damaged goods, can a broken heart and fragmented soul be mended after years of self abuse? Can these two people be happy together, love each other and really find happiness??? Nah. -As the three of them are at the mouth of the river and all is well and it looks like Gayle and Jack may wind up together Gayle and Ammie are on the beach or something and Jack goes back to the truck to get Ammie an energy bar or something and Gayle comes to tell him to bring some water or something, she finds him guzzling a beer or whiskey. GAYLE Jack? Pause Gayle can't believe it. GAYLE (CONT'D) You had it beat, clean and sober. JACK I was drinking everyday by the time my kids died, Oh not like now and not with the crowd you partied with, Martinis at lunch and scotch in the evening. I was, what I think you call a functioning addict. GAYLE Then the drunk in the pick-up that ran the light? JACK Oh, he was real, but there were two drunks that day, but because I was driving a BMW there were no questions asked. If I hadn't been busy arguing with my wife on the phone. If I hadn't had three double Martinis with lunch that day. If I had made sure my children were wearing their seatbelts. Jack has nothing left as he shudders and breaks down.
78. GAYLE Oh, Jack. Gayle goes to him, holds him to her bosom. Jack sobs freely now as Gayle's tears slowly start to follow his. GAYLE (CONT'D) Shhh, it's ok, it's ok. Jack is a like a wet blanket. GAYLE (CONT'D) I lied, I never left Angela on my parent's doorstep. JACK (sniffling) What? GAYLE My boyfriend left Ammie's mother there. FLASHBACK BEGINS Gayle continues in voice over. GAYLE (V.O.) (CONT'D) I was so out of it I would lose weeks, months at a time.... EXT. TREE LINED SUBURBAN STREET, MATURE HOMES The front door to Gayle's parents house opens. There is a baby bundled up lying on the front steps. A strung out young man watches from a piece-of-shit chevy parked down the street. GAYLE (V.O.) ....So would he, but in a moment of clarity he decide that he would do the right thing. EXT. GAYLE'S PARENTS HOUSE Gayle's parents a typical cardigan clad, middle aged, middle class couple step into the bright day and receive their granddaughter.
79. GAYLE (V.O.) I never would have let him have her. As she submissively let him start doing to his granddaughter what he did to me for as long far back as I can remember. EXT. GAYLE'S PARENTS HOUSE The woman picks up the baby and smiles. The man reaches for the babe, the woman hesitantly surrenders the child to him. Her face goes dark and fearful. As the door closes the young man in the Chevy smiles at the thought that he has done the right thing. GAYLE (V.O.) I remember Angela's father waking me from a junk induced stupor and telling me how it was the right thing to do. INT. GAYLE AND HER BOYFRIEND'S FILTHY APARTMENT. Gayle sits on the edge of the bed, semi-coherent as her boyfriend explains what he has done. Gayle mouths the word "What?!" The boyfriend mouths the words "It's ok." He smiles trying to convince her that it is 'ok'. Gayle mouths the words "You don't understand!" Gayle can't believe her ears as she shakes her head, "No,no,no!" She totally flips out. FLASHBACK ENDS EXT. RIVER BANK GAYLE I was clean and sober from that moment on, but it did Angela no good. My accusations were the ragings of an ungrateful daughter, and a crazy junkie. Angela was theirs. I fought and fought but there was no beating him. Angela ran away at sixteen, and never wanted me in her life until she was twenty. That's when she had Ammie. There are some instant understandings that come with having a child. Jack, still in her embrace is almost like a child in the woman's arms. He closes his eyes, breaths deeply as if he is catching her scent.
80. GAYLE (CONT'D) (Humming) Bye baby bunting, Mama's going hunting... JACK I'm broken GAYLE I'll fix you. JACK There are pieces missing. Gayle comes out of her daze and as she rocks Jack and hums. She sighs and wipes her tears from her eyes with her sleeve. Gayle looks around for Ammie and sees the girl walking 'tightrope' style on a fallen log. Gayle stands up with concern. INT. RANGER STATION IN THE DISTANCE One park ranger sits in the tower drinking coffee with his feet up. Another ranger looks through binoculars. From this second ranger's perspective he scans the mouth of the river watching the ice jam break up. The binoculars scan along and land on Jack, now sitting upright composing himself. Jack looks concerned and comes to his feet. The Ranger scans some more and lands on Gayle, already walking towards the log. The ranger's gaze finally lands on Ammie. GAYLE Ammie, be careful! JACK Get down from there, Ammie. Ammie struggles and looses he balance, but falls to her hands knees. GAYLE Come down from there! Ammie climbs down.
81. Gayle watches with concern. Jack looks down the beach towards the ranger station. Two Park rangers are on four wheelers making their way toward them. Jack turns and walks toward the truck. Gayle see's the rangers on their way. elated.
She turns to Jack
Her expression changes as she see's him climbing into the drivers seat of Phil's Ford. Ammie is at Gayle's side now. Jack starts the engine and put's it in gear. The Park Rangers pull up to Gayle and Ammie throwing blankets around them. Jack pulls the pint of whiskey from his pocket, unscrews the cap and takes a couple big gulps. Jack wheels the Ford across the beach, away from the lake towards the road without looking back. AERIAL SHOT- as Gayle and Ammie each cling to the back of a Park Ranger the four wheelers roar along the frozen beach towards the ranger station. The Ford bounces onto a blacktop road and heads in the opposite direction. Two broken people that go their separate ways with both of their illusions intact, or maybe changed, just a little.
Published on May 8, 2012
Published on May 8, 2012
this is another one of my attempts. It is one attempt I've made at a movie screenplay. I am always try my hand at different things and thi...