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The Prayer
by William J Long III (Darclin17@hotmail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Film Noir   User Review: **
A Hitman seeking redemption is beset, by a mistake from his past.


This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



THE PRAYER

FADE IN:

INT. BLACKNESS: PRESENT - DAY
                                                            
The sounds of a gun battle between two people resound. The
gunfire stops and we hear someone duck away. The voice of
the HITMAN speaks.
                                                            
                       HITMAN (V.O.)
      (Panting)
Okay, I know we haven't been on
good terms, but I could use your
help.
                                                            
 
EXT. SUBURBAN RESIDENTIAL AREA: ONE WEEK AGO - DAY
                                                            
A black sedan drives down main road of a housing
development. The car stops in front of a modest house. The
HITMAN exits the house as two Mafia-esque Goons exit the
car. The first Goon appears to be nervous, but the second
has a more skeptical look to him.
                                                            
Goon 1 elbows Goon 2 in the ribs hard and forces a placating
smile. The Hitman simply turns his attention to Goon 2
emotionlessly.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
      (Coldly)
Do you have the money?
                                                            
Goon 1 struggles to pull a thick envelope out of his jacket
pocket.
                                                            
                       GOON 2
Look, why don't you just go for
the whole sum all at once and save
us these pointless trips out here?
                                                            
The Hitman snatches the envelope from Goon 1 as soon as it
is visible to him. He then turns and makes his way back to
his house. The two Goons look at one another with contempt
then head back to thier car.
                                                            

2.

                       GOON 1
What are you, crazy? Do you know
what he is capable of?
                                                            
                       GOON 2
      (Casually)
Yeah, I've heard the stories, but
he's just an old man now. What's
to be afraid of?
                                                            
 
INT. ALYSSA'S CAR: ONE WEEK AGO - DAY
                                                            
THOMAS sits in the front seat of the car while ALYSSA sits
in the shadow of the back seat. Thomas lifts a pair of
binoculars and looks through them.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
Is this the right location?
                                                            
Thomas lowers his binoculars. He wears a sinister grin.
                                                            
                       THOMAS
      (Anxiously)
Looks like it could be him.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
Perfect.
                                                            
Alyssa slides closer to the window until the sunlight barely
illuminates her expressionless face.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
I want to know about his life now,
who he cares about, what he does
for a living, everything. (pause)
I want him to suffer before we
kill him.
                                                            
Thomas places his binoculars in the passenger seat and
cranks the car.
                                                            
                       THOMAS
It's about time we ended this.
                                                            
 
INT. HITMAN'S HOUSE: ONE WEEK AGO - DAY
                                                            
The Hitman enters his house and opens the envelope. We see
that it is filled with money. The Hitman takes a few bills
from the envelope and stuffs the rest into a dress jacket

3.

that hangs on a wooden rocking chair. He makes his way to
his bathroom and closes the door. We can hear him as he
turns on the shower.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
The Hitman stands in the shower and lets the water pour over
him. The sound of the shower mixes with the sound of a
torrential rain as we draw closer to the Hitman.
                                                            
                       HITMAN (V.O.)
I know that I have done things
that are against your will...
                                                            
 
INT. BARRISIO HOUSE: 15 YEARS AGO - NIGHT
                                                            
The House is richly cultured and decorated. A young couple
dash down the stairs leading to the main lobby of the house.
Thunder cracks and knocks out all of the lights save the
flash of lightining. The man trips and pulls the woman down
with him. There is a gun shot that lights up a portion of
the lobby. There is a crash of thunder that illuminates the
figure of a man with tattered clothing at the bottom of the
stairs for just a moment. In the minimal light we can see
the metallic gleam of the gun in his hands. The couple
plays dead on the stairs as the tattered man ascends the
stairs near them. There is a flash of lightining and we see
that the tattered man is a younger version of the Hitman. As
he approaches the couple he aims the gun at them
emotionlessly and fires. The woman starts a scream but it
is ended abruptly be another gunshot. The Hitman continues
his ascention up the stairs as though nothing happened.
                                                            
                       HITMAN (V.O.)
...evil things.
                                                            
 
INT. CHURCH: THREE DAYS AGO - DAY
                                                            
The populous of a black southern baptist church reacts
typically to the preaching of PASTOR RICHARD JAMESON. The
Pastor is energetic as he powers through his sermon.
                                                            
                       PASTOR
...Ah, if you call upon his name.
If you just call on the Lord, he
will come through. Just humble
yourself. Give over yourself and
let him make you a new creature.
                                                            

4.

The crowd erupts with praise and enthusiastic agreements,
but the Hitman does not. Time passes to a moment when the
service is over and the crowd is gone. The Pastor
approaches the Hitman.
                                                            
                       PASTOR
Well I didn't expect to see you
'til next week, son.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
Things change, Reverend.
                                                            
                       PASTOR
Not everything.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
      (solemnly)
That's a nice thought, but in my
case I find that such consistency
is a frightening prospect.
                                                            
The Pastor eyes the Hitman curiously.
                                                            
                       PASTOR
Look, we've been playing word
games for six months, aren't you
tired of it yet? (pause) Just
tell me what's bothering you.
                                                            
The Hitman stands and turns to walk away.
                                                            
                       PASTOR
Fine, you don't have to tell me,
but the Lord knows all.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
Then why don't you ask him to tell
you?
                                                            
                       PASTOR
Because that wouldn't do you any
good now, would it?
                                                            
The Hitman turns and removes the envelope full of money from
his pocket. The Pastor glances at it then immediately
returns his focus to the Hitman.
                                                            
                       PASTOR
You know that means nothing to me,
right?
                                                            

5.

                       HITMAN
I know, but it can still help
someone and you know how to make
sure it does just that.
                                                            
                       PASTOR
So why can't you do it?
                                                            
                       HITMAN
I don't have time. I have to
leave soon.
                                                            
The Pastor rises slowly and approaches the Hitman.
                                                            
                       PASTOR
Listen son, running away from your
problems never solves them.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
You're right, but it keeps my
problems from becoming someone
else's.
                                                            
The Pastor shrugs in resignation.
                                                            
                       PASTOR
Fair enough, but God will always
be there.
                                                            
The Hitman stuffs the envelope into the Pastor's hand and
turns away from him.
                                                            
                       PASTOR (Cont.)
He loves you. He loves everyone.
                                                            
The Hitman does not respond to the Pastor's words. He
continues down the aisle toward the exit.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
Not me.
                                                            
                       HITMAN (V.O.)
I have turned away from you
countless times.
                                                            
 
INT. OLD HOUSE: 15 YEARS AGO - NIGHT
                                                            
The Hitman continues up the stairs and enters a hallway
leading to the study of the house. As he clears the stairs
two men exit rooms on opposite sides of the hall and open
fire. The Hitman points the gun at one of the men and fires
a single shot. The bullet tears into the man and kills him

6.

instantly. The second man immediately ducks away and yells
for assistance. He hesitates for a moment then reenters the
hallway. When he does the Hitman grabs the man's arm and
pulls him into him. We hear a gun shot and see the flash.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
A little girl and boy are huddled together in a bedroom with
thier mother in the far end of their room. Two guard wait
with guns drawn at the door. We hear many gunshots, but the
Hitman's shots are always rythmic and precise. Everytime
the children hear one of his shots they jump with fear.
                                                            
                       HITMAN (V.O.)
I have harmed the innocent.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
The Hitman holds a man by the neck and fires two perfectly
aimed shots at two more Goons, then kicks his hostage to the
floor and fires.
                                                            
                       HITMAN (V.O.)
And worst of all, I have enjoyed
it.
                                                            
 
INT. CHURCH: THREE DAYS AGO - NIGHT
                                                            
Alyssa, Thomas bursts through the door and stalk through the
church. Thomas pulls out his pistol and cocks it smoothly.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
The Pastor hushes the couple he is counseling and listens
for the sounds of the intruders. After a moment he walks to
the door and opens it slowly. The couple fire confused
looks at him. The Pastor leans out of the door and listens
carefully.
                                                            
                       THOMAS
Hey, preacher! We know you're
here. We want to talk to you
about a mutual friend.
                                                            
The preacher see the reflection of Thomas with the gun in
the metallic surface of the Church drum set. He immediately
motions for the couple to follow him. He leads them through
the church to an exit and ushers them outside. He sighs in
relief.
                                                            

7.

                       THOMAS
      (Off Camera)
There you are!
                                                            
The Pastor jumps at Thomas' words. He look through the
glass of the door and watches as the couple's car drives out
of the church parking lot and down the street, then turns to
face the intruders. We can hear the intruders, but it is
too dark to see them.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
He comes here often doesn't he?
                                                            
The Pastor does not answer.
                                                            
                       THOMAS
Listen to us old man, we're going
to kill him no matter what, so why
not save us the effort of killing
you and cooperate.
                                                            
The Pastor erects his stance and refuses to speak. We can
see that he is afraid, but he controls it.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
As you wish.
                                                            
Alyssa pulls out her own gun and points it at the Pastor.
                                                            
                       PASTOR
      (Confidently)
May God have mercy on your souls.
                                                            
Alyssa fires the gun point blank killing the Pastor.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
I'm not the one who needs it.
                                                            
 
EXT. CHURCH: TWO DAYS AGO - DAY
                                                            
A small crowd of people from the church's congregation
gather outside and mourn for the death of the Pastor. There
are flowers and all manner of shows of affection for him
placed on the grounds of the church. The Hitman stands at
the back of the crowd. He wears dark glasses and a black
suit complete with matching gloves. He waits a moment
before moving up toward the front of the crowd and kneeling
at the gournds.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
      (Softly)
This is why I run. This is why I
have to pray that things can
            (MORE)

8.

                       HITMAN (cont'd)
change; so that innocent people
aren't hurt for what I've done in
the past.
                                                            
The Hitman unclinches his fist from around the stem of a
yellow rose and places it carefully in front of a photo of
the Pastor.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
      (Intently)
I will make this right, I promise
you that.
                                                            
The Hitman stands and looks down at the photo of the Pastor
for a moment then turns and walks away.
                                                            
                       HITMAN (V.O.)
In spite of all my faults, my
weaknesses, my sins. I still come
to you seeking the wisdom and
strength to do what I must.
                                                            
 
INT. HITMAN'S HOUSE: ONE DAY AGO - NIGHT
                                                            
The Hitman moves through the house at a speed that we have
not previously seen. He moves through to his bedroom and
removes a large metal suitcase from the top of his closet.
He drops the suitcase on the bed and hesitates a moment
before reaching for the latches to open it.
                                                            
                       HITMAN (V.O.)
Please grant me the courage to
face my past.
                                                            
 
INT. BARISSIO HOUSE: 15 YEARS AGO - NIGHT
                                                            
The Hitman stalks past the dead bodies of several goons on
his way to a heavy wooden door. He reaches for the doorknob
then hesitates. He fires at the doorframe where the latch
would be located.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
The Guards on the other side of the door ready themselves.
The Mother and her children cower an huddle together closer.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            

9.

The Hitman kicks the door open swiftly. He eyes the
metallic door handle which shows the reflection of the Guard
on the other side of the door. The Hitman places the gun in
his left hand and reaches inside. He fires once and the
Guard's body falls to the floor with a thump. He enters the
room swiftly being careful not to get too close to the door.
The second Guard leaps out from behind the door and tries
to aim at the Hitman. The Hitman ducks under his arm
swiftly and places his gun under the Guard's chin. He looks
over at the family cowering in the corner then fires. He
approaches the family intently. The Mother turns to her
children.
                                                            
                       MOTHER
      (Fearfully)
No matter what happens I want you
two to promise me that you will
stay together; that you will look
out for one another.
                                                            
The two children nod. Thier focus shifts to the approaching
Hitman. The Hitman grabs the Mother and tears her from he
grip of her children. The little girl screams and struggles
to her feet in an attempt to follow. Her brother grabs her
by the wrist and holds her back. The Hitman forces the
Mother out the door and down the hall.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
      (Angrily)
Theo! You're going to pay for
what you've done, this time!
                                                            
The Hitman drags the Mother down the hall to the large set
of double doors that lead to the study. The Hitman kicks in
the door and moves inside. THEO stands abruptly with his
gun trained on the Hitman.
                                                            
                       THEO
      (Authoritatively)
Let my wife go Evan, she's got
nothing to do with this.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
She's got everything to do with
this. Everyone in this house has
something to do with this.
                                                            
The Hitman forces the Mother forward while keeping his gun
trained on her. Theo struggles desperately to get a clear
shot, but the Hitman maintains his cover behind the Mother.
                                                            

10.

                       THEO
      (Pleading)
They didn't know. No one else had
anything to do with it. I was
alone you saw me.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
Ignorance is no excuse. You
brought this on yourselves.
                                                            
The children scramble down the hall toward the stairs. The
little girl stops in the middle of the hallway and peers
into the open doors of the study. The Hitman pushes the
Mother forward, but uses his grip on her arm and her new
momentum to spin her around to face him. The points the gun
and her face and fires. Both Theo and the Mother fall dead
from a single shot. The little girls screams. Her brother
grabs her and speeds her down the hallway. The Hitman turns
and aims the gun at the fleeing children then lowers it. He
turns back to the bodies the Mother and Theo.
                                                            
 
INT. HITMAN'S HOUSE: ONE DAY AGO - NIGHT
                                                            
The Hitman opens his suitcase to reveal a pistol, a holster
and a combat knife resting atop the same tattered outfit he
wore fifteen years ago. The Hitman closes his eyes tightly
then reaches for the gun and the knife. He gently removes
them from the case and sets them aside. He reaches under
the tattered outfit and removes a picture of himself and a
beautiful woman. The Hitman eyes the photo for a moment
then sets it down on the opposite side of the case from his
gun. He grabs the gun and knife and leaves the room
swiftly.
                                                            
 
INT. ALYSSA'S HIDEOUT: PRESENT - DAY
                                                            
Alyssa stands staring out the window at the street below.
Thomas spins his pistol on his index finger. He appears to
be uncomfortable.
                                                            
                       THOMAS
      (Agitated)
Why haven't we just killed this
guy already?
                                                            
Alyssa looks up from her activity to answer Thomas.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
Because, I want to kill the man
who murdered our parents.
                                                            

11.

                       THOMAS
We know where he lives. We should
be taking the fight to him right
now.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
Right now he's just an old man,
but after he hears about his
friends death he will come after
us at full strength, just like he
did back then. That's the man who
killed our family. That's the man
I want dead.
                                                            
Alyssa fires Detrik hateful look.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
I have had nightmares everynight
since I looked into that monster's
eyes, Detrik. I have suffered
with the memory of seeing them
dead. I have more than earned the
right to do this.
                                                            
Alyssa starts walking around the room gathering her pistol,
holster and several extra clips of ammunition. Detrik and
Thomas watch her curiously.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
He's here. We need to set up just
like we planned.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
The Hitman enters the Hideout. He is cautious, yet
confident in his stride through the derelict interior.
                                                            
                       THOMAS
      (Off Camera)
You are good. You tracked us down
in less than a day. I'm
impressed.
                                                            
The Hitman searches the shadows for the source of the voice.
He looses his pistol from its harness and continues
forward. A shot is fired at the Hitman forcing him to dive
for cover.
                                                            
                       THOMAS
      (Off Camera)
You have no idea how long I've
waited for this.
                                                            

12.

The Hitman scans the area once more then moves forward.
Another shot is fired. This time the Hitman gathers the
direction it was fired from and creeps toward Thomas.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
Alyssa touches Thomas on the back. He looks at her and they
both nod to acknowledge thier plan. Alyssa kisses Thomas on
the cheek. She appears solemn. Thomas carefully eyes the
area for signs of the Hitman. There are none. Thomas ducks
behind a stack of crates and peeks around the corner
nervously.
                                                            
                       THOMAS
You might as well give up old man.
You're out of your league.
                                                            
Thomas rounds to corner of the crates with his gun trained
to react to any response. There isn't one. Thomas moves
cautiously through the stagnant space. Alyssa motions for
him to stay in place, but he refuses. He steps into a pool
of sunlight cascading from a nearby window as he finds cover
behind a piece of abandoned machinery.
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
The Hitman waits patiently behind a pillar bordered by
broken crates. He breathes rythmically maintaining his
calm. He peers through the cracks in the crates to see a
piece of machinery bathed in sunlight. There is a shadow,
but it is almost unnoticable in the distance. The Hitman's
eyes narrow.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
You killed a good man, you know?
                                                            
Thomas leans out from behind his cover for a split second
generating a long solid shadow that the Hitman is instantly
aware of. The Hitman positions himself according to the
angle of the shadow.
                                                            
                       THOMAS
Yeah, well you've done worse.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
He was my friend.
                                                            
Thomas leans out from behind cover to take aim in the
direction the Hitman's voice is coming from. Alyssa watches
the area closely, but there is no motion.
                                                            

13.

                       THOMAS
You're a mark. The preacher was
collateral damage, you know that.
An assassin will do what has to be
done to eliminate a tar....
                                                            
The Hitman fires a single shot that kills Thomas in
mid-sentence. We see Thomas' head jerk backward as the shot
hits him in the back of his throat. Alyssa jumps at the
sound of the shot just like she did as a child. Her eyes
immediately fill with tears.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
You're not Assassins, you're
murderers.
                                                            
Alyssa shouts as she charges from behind her cover. The
Hitman turns to aim at her, but it is too late. She plows
into the crates and knocks them on top of the Hitman. She
points her pistol down at him. The Hitman kicks her legs
out from under her then rolls to his feet. Alyssa gains her
footing with equal speed and they both point thier guns at
one another at point blank range.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
A stand off is not acceptable.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
I agree.
                                                            
Alyssa and the Hitman slowly withdraw from one another and
lower thier guns. There is a calm moment then they take aim
and fire at one another. A gun fight commences. It is the
same gunfight that we hear at the opening of the film only
with much softer sound than we anticipate. Alyssa and the
Hitman dive, dodge and fire at one another viciously, but
niether heads for cover. The elaborate display continues
until the Hitman runs out of bullets.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
So, this is how it ends?
                                                            
The Hitman throws his gun at Alyssa. She dodges it, but the
time it takes her to do so allows the Hitman to disappear
into the cluttered debris that surrounds them. Alyssa scans
for him swiftly then takes his discarded gun and ducks
behind cover. Once she is safe she reloads his gun with her
only clip.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
You can't beat me without your
gun, old man.
                                                            

14.

The Hitman removes his jacket and pulls out his combat
knife. He kneels and closes his eyes and begins to pray.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
Lord, I give myself to you. Do
with me as you see fit. Your will
be done. (pause) Amen.
                                                            
 
INT. BARISSIO HOUSE: 15 YEARS AGO - NIGHT
                                                            
We see a swift steady montage of all of the flashbacks we
have previously viewed. At the end of the montage we see
the Hitman tied to a chair while the woman from his photo is
chained up. The Hitman is unconscious. THEO BASSIRIO dumps
a bucket of water onto him. The Hitman is startled awake.
                                                            
                       THEO
      (Angrily)
Well, isn't this a sight? I never
thought that we'd be here.
                                                            
The Hitman eyes Theo with obvious contempt before glancing
over at the woman. Theo tracks his gaze to the woman as
well.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
Let her go.
                                                            
                       THEO
I can't do that; at least not
until you tell me who you're
working for.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
I'm working for you. The mark's
dead just like you asked.
                                                            
                       THEO
Yeah, and you left a witness that
can put you at the crime scene.
That directly links me and this
kill together. People are asking
questions; questions are a
problem.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
I took care of everything I could.
                                                            
                       THEO
How about Derek? Did you take
care of him?
                                                            

15.

                       HITMAN
He's seven.
                                                            
                       THEO
He also has a photographic memory
and he should be dead.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
I don't kill children.
                                                            
                       THEO
Since when? What now that you and
Margret have one on the way you
can't bring yourself to do your
job!
                                                            
Theo pulls a knife from his ankle and points it at the
Hitman. The Hitman eyes Theo defiantly.
                                                            
                       THEO
It's not that hard really. I'll
show you.
                                                            
Theo spins and stabs the woman in the side of the neck and
slides the knife across until it is free. Theo Barissio
drops a bloody knife to the ground. The Hitman looks up at
him and lurches toward him cracking the frame of the chair.
                                                            
                       THEO
And now I end this partnership.
                                                            
Theo pulls a pistol from his holster and points it at the
Hitman. The splintered wood of the chair frays the rope
allowing the Hitman to free himself from his bindings. He
leaps at Theo and grabs the gun from him. Theo punches the
Hitman in the throat dropping him to the ground. Theo pulls
himself to his feet and frees his wife from the chains. He
gently lowers himself to the ground and pulls her close to
him. Her blood colors his face and clothes as he pulls her
into a deep embrace. His grip tightens on the pistol. He
places her on the ground gently and rises. he begins to
shake slightly then storms toward the exit of the basement.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
      (Angrily)
Theo!
                                                            
 
INT. ALYSSA'S HIDEOUT: PRESENT - DAY
                                                            
The Hitman opens his eyes and a tears stream down his
cheeks.
                                                            

16.

                       HITMAN
Are you ready to end this?
                                                            
Alyssa double checks both guns before she responds.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
Yes.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
Then come on.
                                                            
The Hitman leaves his hiding place as Alyssa does the same.
Alyssa fires at the Hitman as they charge toward one
another. The Hitman throws his knife at Alyssa burying it
in her left shoulder. Alyssa losses fine motor functions in
her arm yet continues toward the Hitman. They meet in the
center of the room. Alyssa points her gun at the Hitman.
The Hitman knocks her hand away pulls his knife out of her
and stabs. We hear a gunshot, but do not see the result of
the final acts. The Hitman holds Alyssa in his arms. Her
face contorts.
                                                            
                       ALYSSA
I hate you.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
I know.
                                                            
Alyssa's face relaxes as she dies. The Hitman lays her body
down gently on the ground. As he stands he winces and looks
down at his chest. He has a large bullet wound that is
bleeding profusely. He clutches the wound and closes his
eyes.
                                                            
                       HITMAN
Your will be done.
                                                            
The Hitman turns to leave and struggles to the entrance of
the Hideout. His health degrades rapidly as he does so.
Once he reaches the door we see him open the door. The
sunlight creates a blinding white light just beyond the
door. The Hitman's face relaxes as he steps into the
sunlight. We see from a distance as he exits the Hideout
and collapses.
                                                            


THE END


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From Frank Jasper Date 8/1/2005 **
Lots of cliches. Too much describing, that much describing isn't needed to make a good screenplay. Try writing something more original since this is chocked full of overused cliches. There are spelling mistakes too, also I'm not trying to be mean but a better title I think is: Generic Crime Tale.


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