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The Next Life
by Katina Blackwell (katinablackwell91@yahoo.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Drama   User Review: ****
This is a short screenplay about a woman who confronts the man who raped her, the year before, with extreme violence. This film is meant to be short, but is a work in progress.

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 ten o'clock show is getting ready to begin. TERRY DEAN
is looking over the notes she was given on a late breaking
news story, and discussing them with the NEWS DIRECTOR. The
NEWS DIRECTOR then takes a step back to address the others
in the room.
                       NEWS DIRECTOR
Ok people, we are on the air in
one minute! Let's get ready!
Everyone on the set takes their place and gets ready to
begin. TERRY DEAN straightens up her notes and brushes out
the wrinkles on her blazer.
                       NEWS DIRECTOR
      (counts with his
       fingers and
       mouths the last
       two numbers)
We're on in five ... four ...
three ...
The Channel Seven theme song begins to play. Once it
finishes, Terry Dean looks up and smiles into the camera.
Good evening, I'm Terry Dean.
Channel seven's top story tonight
comes from downtown, where a local
man was viciously attacked in the
men's room of a popular 6th street
restaurant. We have learned that
the police do have a suspect in
custody, but no details have been
released at this time. Sources of
Channel Seven News say the victim
might be the owner of Beautiful
Bodies Gym, Kenneth Salyer. We'll
have more details on this story as
they become available.
LAUREN is pacing back and fourth in front of the two-way
mirror, her hands are handcuffed in front of her. She is
very impatient and finally loses her temper.


Its been an hour already! I know
someone is watching me, so can we
please get on with it!
      (dramatic pause
       and then she
A frustrated LAUREN sits down at the table and sighs as she
rubs her hands roughly across the legs of her pants. She
lets out a frustrated sigh, then gets up and begins to pace
                                         CUT TO:
watching Lauren from the other side of the two-way mirror.
The woman turns the sound down on the speaker and turns to
face the two men.
      (folds his arms)
Ok, how do we want to approach
It's an open and shut case. I
think I can get the confession.
No you won't.
What makes you think I can't do
      (hands DOMINIC a
       file then turns
       to SEAN)
I read the report. There is no
way she is going to talk to him
alone. If I lead the questioning
MAYBE she will confess.


      (looks at LAUREN)
Ok Thompson, you take the lead.
We'll see what happens.
CAPTAIN O'DELL watches through the mirror as the detectives
enter the interrogation room. He raises to the volume on
the speaker.
                                         CUT TO:
JESSYKA and DOMINIC enter the room and sit down at the
table. LAUREN goes over and sits in the chair across from
      (holds up her
Can you please get these off of me
and let me wash my hands?
Not just yet, ma'am, first we need
to make sure you understand your
      (puts her hands
       down and gives a
       frustrated sigh)
Look, Detective ...?
I'm sorry. I am Detective
Thompson and this is my partner,
Detective Leonarduzzi.
Detective Thompson, you know that
I am a lawyer and well aware of my
rights. Now can I please go wash
my hands?
      (folds her hands
       together and
       leans into the
Well Ms. McKenzie, being a lawyer,
you must know that this is a legal


                       JESSYKA (cont'd)
JESSYKA nods to DOMINIC, who pulls a card from his jacket as
he walks over to LAUREN.
"You have the right to remain
silent. Anything you say can and
will be held against you in a
court of law. You have the right
to have an attorney present during
questioning. If you cannot afford
one, an attorney will be appointed
to you by the court." Do you
understand the rights I have read
to you?
Knowing these rights do you wish
to continue with this interview
without representation?
Yes. Now can I please get these
off and go wash my hands?
      (nods at DOMINIC
       then stands up)
Sure, let's go.
LAUREN, JESSYKA, and DOMINIC leave the interrogation room.
JESSYKA in front, LAUREN in the middle, and DOMINIC behind.
                                         CUT TO:
As the three of them walk down the hall, LAUREN gives a
sarcastic laugh and shakes her head.
      (turns her head to
       look at Lauren
       but keeps walking)
Problem Ms. McKenzie?


I'm just can't believe it takes
two detectives to walk someone
like me to the ladies room. I bet
Detective Thompson could take
someone of my size down in less
than a second.
They reach the bathroom door and JESSYKA holds it open for
This is done for a very specific
reason Ms. McKenzie. The size of
a suspect isn't a factor that is
considered because looks can be
deceiving. Look at you and Mr.
Salyer. He is over six feet tall,
weighs at least two-hundred
twenty-five pounds, and is an
active body builder. He is much
bigger than both me and my partner
yet you took him down, and you
don't have a mark on you.
JESSYKA follows LAUREN into the bathroom, while DOMINIC
stands guard at the door. A few moments later the two women
come out then all three head back to the interrogation room
                                         CUT TO:
LAUREN, JESSYKA, and DOMINIC are all seated again in the
interrogation room.
Ok, why don't we begin with you
telling us what happened between
you and Mr. Salyer tonight.
      (sits back in her
       chair and sighs
To understand what happened you
need to know the whole story.
Begin where ever you like.


      (lets out a deep
       sigh and fidgets
       with her hands)
Can I have a cigarette? I know I
shouldn't, but I need something to
calm my nerves.
      (dramatic pause)
It took me two years to quit the
last time...I wonder how long it
will take me to quit this time?
Let's try and focus her Miss
      (stops staring
       into space and
       looks at him)
It's MS. McKenzie, if you don't
My mistake...
      (gives him a stern
I'm sorry ma'am, but there is no
smoking in city buildings.
It's okay, this is just a sign
that I shouldn't smoke.
      (refocuses her
       attention and
       becomes a little
       more business
This nightmare began for me on
Valentine's Day last year. Randi
and I had been having problems for
some time. We decided to give the
romance thing one last shot. We
really went to dinner to try and
salvage what was left of a two
year relationship. We were just
kidding ourselves...it was over
and we both knew it deep down. I
had this feeling she had been
seeing someone else all along, but
that is beside the point. Anyway,


                       LAUREN (cont'd)
it was that night that Ken Salyer
entered my life. He was sitting at
the bar across from our table at
in the restaurant.
                                         CUT TO:
LAUREN and RANDI are sitting at a table for two next to the
bar in the restaurant, and KEN is sitting at the corner of
the bar. The waitress comes out from behind the bar and sets
two drinks in front of LAUREN and RANDI. As the waitress
walks away, RANDI admires her shapely figure in a very
noticeable non-discreet manner.
      (looks at the
       waitress and then
Really? Tonight of all nights?
      (quickly looks
       away from the
What? What did I do now?
      (leans in so that
       only RANDI can
       hear her)
I am not blind, nor am I stupid so
stop treating me like I am. I saw
you looking at that waitress!
      (leans in close
Spare me the rerun of this
lecture! I am human...I can't help
what walks in front of me...I've
got eyes...
If you'd like to go and see if you
can get lucky, be my guest. I sure
as HELL am not going to spend
Valentine's Day with someone who
can't keep her eyes off of every
cute little ass in a skirt when it


                       LAUREN (cont'd)
walks by!
LAUREN gets up from her seat, slings her purse over her
shoulder, and then goes and sits one seat away to KEN at the
                       LAUREN (V.O.)
I got up and went and sat at the
bar. We were the only two sitting
there. He never tried to hide that
he was looking at me. I knew this
would make Randi jealous, because
she always told me that she
thought I would leave her for a
man. So, after I ordered a drink
he introduced himself.
      (gets the
Can I get a Crown and Seven
      (smiles big)
Hi there...
RANDI stares at them both for a few seconds, then throws her
napkin on the table as she stands up and leaves the
      (holds out his
My name is Kenneth...Kenneth
Salyer, but all my friends call me
      (shakes his hand)
Lauren McKenzie.
      (she looks back at
       her table and
       sees that Randi
       is gone and then
       gets a sad look
       upon her face)


                       LAUREN (V.O.)
I shook his hand and then looked
back at my table. Randi was gone
and I was upset. So, I finished
my drink in one long gulp and
decided to call it a night because
I had had more than enough.
      (watches Lauren
       finish her drink
       and set the empty
       glass on the bar)
Can I buy you another one of
No thank you, I think it is time
for me to go home.
      (gives a sarcastic
       little laugh)
I am going shred every picture I
have of her, and then I am going
to light a bonfire using what ever
else she has left at my place!
Ahh, so you have a girlfriend.
      (lays money on the
       bar to pay for
       her drink)
Not anymore I don't...
      (leans in close to
So tell me Lauren...are you as
friendly with the guys as you are
with the ladies?
                       LAUREN (V.O.)
I couldn't believe his question! I
should have walked away right
then...I was honest with him...
      (smiles politely)
No...I am not bisexual.


I am sorry, that was rather
tactless of me. Why don't you let
me buy you another drink anyway.
You know, from one single heart on
Valentine's Day to another.
      (looks back at the
       table where she
       and Randi were
Sure, why not? First, I need to be
KEN gets up and pulls LAUREN'S chair out for her like a
gentleman. Then she leaves to go to the ladies room.
                                         CUT TO:
      (stares out with a
       blank look on her
It was only supposed to be one
drink. The glass was sitting there
waiting for me when I got back
from the restroom. So, I sat back
down and drank with him.
      (leans back in his
This is all very entertaining, MS.
McKenzie, but we're not here to
listen about your first date with
Mr. Salyer.
       the verge of
       crying yet very
It wasn't a date! Not for me! I-I
can only remember pieces here and
there about what happened after
that first drink. There were more
drinks, but I don't remember how
many.There was some small talk
about our jobs...a few corny


                       LAUREN (cont'd)
      (wipes away some
       tears and takes a
       few seconds to
       gather the
       strength to tell
       the rest of her
My next clearest memory is waking
up in a strange bed. My hands were
handcuffed to the headboard, and
my legs were strapped down to the
bed frame. I was naked, bleeding,
and bruised.
      (angrily wipes
       away more tears)
It uhh...it took me few moments to
realize what had happened to me.
It took everything I had in me not
to scream as I struggled to get
free. I have small hands, but it
was still difficult to get out of
those damn things. I cut up my
wrists and hands as I forced them
through the metal...I still have
the scars too.
      (moves the
       handcuffs she is
       wearing and shows
       Jessyka and
       Dominic the scars)
After I got free, I found my torn
clothing and put it back on and
covered myself as best as I could.
As I was getting dresses, I
noticed that my arms, chest,
stomach, and legs had marks all
over them. Some were bite marks,
some were candle wax burns, and a
few were cigarette burns. I became
very afraid, so I started looking
for something, anything to as a
weapon to protect myself. Then I
came across this box of
pictures...God, there were
hundreds of them...all of naked
women in the same pose. I can't
begin to describe what I felt when
I saw the pictures of me in that
pose. Then I saw the other
pictures of me...and what had been
done to me. If that bastard hadn't
come into the room, I would have


                       LAUREN (cont'd)
taken them to the police as
evidence...but I was scared.
Instead I kicked him hard enough
to where he will never be able to
have kids. I screamed at the top
of my lungs as a ran as fast as my
body would carry me.
Did you report any of this?
      (gives him a look
       of disbelief)
Of course I did. I flagged down a
cab and went to the hospital, and
someone there called the police
for me. The whole time I was lying
there on that gurney my mind was
racing...I didn't know this man or
his sexual history! What if he had
some sort of STD or worse...AIDS!
These were the kind of thoughts
that stayed with me as I went
through the humiliation of a rape
exam. It just got worse as I was
questioned by two arrogant macho
detectives. I left the hospital
feeling so exposed...so dirty..
      (gets up from his
I'll go search the system for the
case file.
      (leaves the room)
      (becomes very
       detached as she
       continues telling
       story...almost as
       if she is
       presenting a case
       in court)
Traces of the date-rape drug,
Rohiponol, were found in my blood
tests. Ken was arrested after the
police were given this
information. He denied that it had
been rape...the bastard claimed I
had consented to that degradation.


                       LAUREN (cont'd)
In his statement, he implied that
the restraints, the bites,
cigarettes, the candle wax, and
the photographs were my idea. I
pressed charges and the trial
followed later.
What happened? Why isn't this guy
in prison?
      (becomes angry)
The damn case was dismissed! All
of the evidence from his
apartment...all of his DNA samples
were inadmissible because his last
name was misspelled on the damn
search warrants! He walked out of
court that day a free man. The
sick son-of-a-bitch had the nerve
to smile at me as I left the
building, and actually tried to
shake my hand.
      (Dominic comes
       back into the
       room carrying a
       file folder and
       then he sits down
       back in his chair)
I have not had a moment's peace
since that day. I knew that hiding
was not an option...at least not
in public. I went back to work
immediately, but I couldn't talk
about what had happened. I put on
a great facade that, "I was not
going to let this monster run the
rest of my life." In reality I am
still scared of every noise that
goes bump in the night. I drive
around my block before pulling
into my driveway to make sure no
one has followed me. I check every
lock on every door and window in
my house as soon as I get home. I
keep all the lights on in every
room at night. I cannot even
shower unless my mother is there
to help me, by making sure no one
comes near my bathroom door. I
don't go out with friends anymore.
I don't go to family gatherings


                       LAUREN (cont'd)
anymore. All I've done since that
night is throw myself into my
work. That brings us to what
happened tonight. I had put it off
as long as I could, but my boss
insisted we have a dinner meeting.
When he walked in to the
restaurant with that woman on his
arm, I swear that my heart was
beating so fast and so hard that I
thought it was going to explode.
                                         CUT TO:
LAUREN and her boss, ERIN, are seated at a table next to the
bar. They have several documents around them as they wait
for their food. LAUREN is not paying attention to anything
except KEN and the woman he has walked in with. KEN and his
date walk over to the bar. We can see the re-enactment as
LAUREN is telling the story.
                       DOMINIC (V.O.)
Did he see you...recognize you?
                       LAUREN (V.O.)
No, I was oblivious to him as he
laughed and talked to this woman.
Then she went and got a table
while he stayed at the bar. I
watched him order a couple of
drinks and them empty the contents
of a vial into one of them. He and
the bartender had a good laugh as
he did that.Then he walked over to
the table and gave that poor girl
the tainted drink. I sat there
frozen in my seat as I saw her
consume the contents in that
glass. It was almost like it was
me sitting there across from him,
and I could feel the anger rising
within me every time she took
another sip.
      (dramatic pause)
I guess I just snapped. When he
got up and went into the restroom,
I got up and followed.


                       DOMINIC (V.O.)
You followed him? You didn't call
the police or warn the woman about
the drink?
                       LAUREN (V.O.)
I wasn't really thinking at
all...its like I was watching a
movie or something because I was
just moving.
                       JESSYKA (V.O.)
What happened after you followed
                                         CUT TO:
The characters will act out the scene as LAUREN explains it
                       LAUREN (V.O.)
He was at the sink, washing his
hands...he never saw me come up
behind him. I rushed up and pushed
him face first into the mirror. He
hit his head on the basin as he
fell like a rag doll to the floor.
Then I kicked him in the head to
make sure he was not going to get
up. There was some blood on the
floor, mixing in with the broken
      (dramatic pause)
I stood over him and the memories
that I have of that night he raped
me came rushing back...along with
the details that I had learned
later. I could feel the hate,
anger, and fear overwhelming me.
      (dramatic pause)
I rolled him over onto his back to
see if he was dead, but he was
still breathing. I stared at his
angelic-looking face and thought
about the other victims of this
monster. I though about the woman
sitting at that table waiting for
him...she had to be warned! All
women need to know what he is, so
I made it easier for them to see.


                       JESSYKA (V.O.)
                       LAUREN (V.O.)
I picked up a piece of the broken
mirror and I carved the word
rapist into his forehead. Then I
cut open his shirt and carved it
in bigger letters on his chest.
R-A-P-I-S-T...and I took his hands
and cut it into the back of them
as well.
                                         CUT TO:
LAUREN, JESSYKA, and DOMINIC are sitting around the table.
      (stares out into
       space as she
       continues her
I marked him so that he can never
again do to anyone else what he
did to me! I couldn't let there be
another victim...someone who is
afraid of the shadows...someone
who sleeps better in a closet
while holding a shotgun than in
her bed...someone who cannot stand
to be touched.
You mutilated that man.
      (does not hear the
I guess I must have been a sight
when I went back into the dining
room. I remember hearing a woman
scream and some dishes breaking.
The next thing I knew, the police
were there and I was brought to
the station.
      (snaps back to
I saw EMS take him away...he
didn't look too good. Do you know
if he made it?


Why do you care what happens to
Mr. Salyer now?
I just need to know.
The last report that we were given
listed Mr. Salyer in serious, but
stable cindition.
      (nods her head as
       she looks down at
       the table)
I think I'd like to see my lawyer
      (she and Dominic
       get up to leave
       the room)
Sure...we'll send her in right
A few moments after they leave, LAUREN begins to think about
the rape, the attack on KEN, and her confession. She breaks
down and cries into her hands like a child. A few moments
after that her lawyer/boss, ERIN, come into the room.
      (rushes to
       Lauren's side and
       sits in the chair
       next to her)
Oh my God, Lauren, are you
      (wipes her eyes
       with the back of
       her hands)
No...not for a long time now.
      (lets out a deep
I am really sorry that I've
involved you in this mess, Erin.
You will have my letter of
resignation as soon as I am


Your job is not an issue at the
moment. Right now I need to know
exactly what happened tonight, and
what you said to the detectives.
      (looks Erin in the
I did it...I hurt him...I hurt him
real bad...I did it!
Why? Who is he to you?
      (tears up again)
He is the monster...he is the one
who raped me and got away with it
on a technicality. We had him
nailed with the evidence that was
collected, and then it was all
thrown out because of a
typographical error on the search
warrant. He was about to do it
again tonight with that girl he
was with, so I stopped him and
made him more visible to the
world. I told all of this to the
      (wipes away more
       tearsand it
       finally sinks
       into her head,
       the consequences
       of her confession)
I'm sorry...I should have waited
before making my statement! I know
better...I do...oh my God...how
could I have been so stupid?
      (Erin attempts to
       put her arm
       around Lauren to
       try and comfort
       her, but Lauren
       jumps at the
       touch and pulls
Please don't touch me!


      (backs away)
I'm sorry...I didn't mean to upset
You didn't upset me, Erin. I am
messed up. I-I just can't handle
being touched. I can't even let my
own mother try to comfort me with
a hug. I'm broken and I don't
think I'll ever be fixed again.
It's going to be okay. I don't
want you to say or do anything
else until I tell you to do it. I
am going to start the wheels
turning to get you released. I
will wake up the D.A. and a judge
if I have to. I think we can work
something out.
What's to work out? I gave them
everything they need.
      (wipes her eyes
Besides...I am guilty you know.
      (gets up and heads
       for the door)
You let me worry about your case,
Lauren. For now, is there anything
else I can get you besides a
change of clothing?
      (holds her head up
       with her hands
       and lets out a
       deep sigh)
Just some peace...a night of sleep
without reliving that nightmare
over and over again...I am so damn
I'll get you home as soon as I
can, I promise.


You really shouldn't bother with
me or my case. It will just be bad
publicity for you and the firm.
      (comes back and
       sits down next to
I don't care about the publicity!
Lauren, you may very well be
guilty, but you are certainly not
standing alone.
The guilt of others does not
condone my actions.
No, it doesn't, but your actions
did serve a purpose. Lauren, you
saved the next life that animal
would have taken. You saved that
woman tonight from rape, and that
was the right thing to do.
                                         CUT TO:
A SALESMAN, a MAN, and a WOMAN are standing in front of a
wall of TVs.
I am telling you folks, we have
the lowest prices in town when it
comes to these babies. Look at the
quality of that picture.
Oooh, I do like that picture.
Everything looks so big and
Yeah, but how does it sound?
This set comes with a surround
sound package, so it is like
you're right there in the program.
Here, let me show you.


The SALESMAN turns up the set, and the Channel 7 news is
about to broadcast their five o'clock segment. The shot
focuses in on the television the MAN and WOMAN are thinking
about purchasing.
                                         CUT TO:
The five o'clock news has already begun. TERRY DEAN is
sitting at the anchor table reading the news.
Good evening and welcome to this
edition of Channel 7 news, I'm
Terry Dean. Tonight's top story is
the conclusion of the trial of
attorney, Lauren McKenzie. The
trial came to an end today, as Ms.
McKenzie was sentenced to serve
twenty years in prison. She was
found guilty last week of assault
with a deadly weapon. The victim's
family has released this written
statement to the press moments
after the sentence was handed
down. "We are happy this case is
finally over and that justice has
been served. While we are aware
that our Kenny is no angel, we do
know that he did not deserve what
happened that night or the pain he
suffers daily. Maybe now that this
is all over, Ken will be able to
achieve some level of peace."
      (She is handed a
       small stack of
With us here right now is Erin
Baines, the attorney for Lauren
McKenzie. Ms. Baines would you
care to comment on today's verdict
and the statement by Mr. Salyer's
Yes, thank you. I was extremely
disappointed with the outcome of
this case. Lauren McKenzie should
be in a hospital, receiving
professional care for the trauma
she has suffered. Mr. Salyer's
family spoke of justice...where is


                       ERIN (cont'd)
Lauren McKenzie's justice? What
about that poor young woman he
drugged the night of the attack?
Where is the justice for the other
women he preyed upon or would have
preyed upon in the future? I am
angry at the judge and the members
of the jury. I feel that they have
sent the wrong message to the
public. I would like to ask each
of them a question.
      (the shot gives
       ERIN a close-up)
What if it had been you...your
daughter...your mother...what if
it had been someone close to you
that had been drugged, raped, and
degraded? If you were the next
life, what would you have done?


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From Serina Date 8/20/2015 ****
Wow! That was intense! Thank you for letting me read it!

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