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Only The Lonely (Short)
by Michael Chausse

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Horror   User Review: ***1/2
A stormy night provides the backdrop for a short story dealing with the fear of being alone, vulnerable and left to one's painful memories of a disturbing 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.



FADE IN:

EXT. OLD HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
The old weathered Victorian house is dark except for light
coming from windows on the left side, the kitchen.

It is raining and there is intermittent thunder and
lightning.
                                                            
 
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
The tick-tock and then the faint chimes of a grandfather
clock is heard in the background.

We see ANNIE, a woman in her early 60's, dressed in pajamas
and a housecoat, scrubbing her hands out of view under the
running faucet in the kitchen sink.
                                                            
After a minute or so, she turns off the tap and wipes her
hands on a dry dishcloth. She puts the dishcloth by the sink
and moves towards the living room, smiling happily.

She turns off the over-the-range microwave oven which is
popping a bag of microwave popcorn and also turns off the
tea kettle on the stove which has just started to whistle.
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            
 
INT. ANOTHER KITCHEN - IN THE EARLY 1960'S - NIGHT
                                                            
In a quick, dreamlike, slightly sepia-toned sequence, we see
that ANNIE as a little girl of around 12 years old is taught
a lesson of not touching things on the stove the hard way.

A man in his early 40's, dressed in workpants and t-shirt,
is seen roughly grasping ANNIE - CHILD's hand and pulling
her towards the open flame of the gas burner on the stove.

The camera focuses breifly on a tea kettle and spilled water
lying on the kitchen linoleum near the stove.

During this flashback, Roy Orbison can faintly be heard
singing "Only The Lonely" on a radio.
                                                            
                       ANNIE'S FATHER
      (shouting)
This is what happens when dirty
little girls play near the stove!
                                                            

2.

                       ANNIE - CHILD
      (crying)
No Daddy! Please don't! Your're
hurting me!!
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            
 
INT. BACK IN THE PRESENT - KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
ANNIE cries after experiencing the vision but quickly
composes herself and pours herself a glass of wine. As she
takes the wine towards the living room, she passes a radio.
She turns the radio on and stops the dial on a station in
the middle of playing "Only The Lonely".

Cut to exterior shot of the house...
                                                            
 
EXT. OUTSIDE THE HOUSE, THE WEATHER WORSENS - NIGHT
                                                            
Wind, thunder and lightning.

Cut to the living room...
                                                            
 
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The ticking of the grandfather clock can be heard more
clearly now as it is in this room.

ANNIE sits in an arm chair and places her wine glass on the
side table.

She looks out the window at the rain and frowns.

The radio in the kitchen is still playing "Only The Lonely",
but before the song ends, an announcer breaks in.
                                                            
                       RADIO ANNOUNCER (vo)
We interrupt this broadcast to
bring you breaking news. The
police department has informed us
that a psychopathic killer
instutionalized for life at
Cherrybrook Hospital for the
Criminally Insane has escaped and
is on the loose.

Police are recommending that
residents of the Cherrybrook area
of the city stay indoors and...
(CLICK)
                                                            

3.

KITCHEN
                                                            
ANNIE moves from the living room to the kitchen and turns
off the radio.

ANNIE looks out the window with a worried look on her face.
She checks the lock on the window to be sure it is secured.
                                                            
LIVING ROOM
                                                            
ANNIE moves back to the chair and picks up the handset of
the telephone. She quickly dials a number. We don't hear
touch tones. She places the handset to her ear.
                                                            
                       ANNIE
      (into phone)
Hello Ronnie? Oh Ronnie, I wish
you were here. This storm is
terrible and I feel so alone. And
I just heard on the radio that
there's a killer loose in the
neighborhood. Oh Ronnie, my
nerves! I'm so frightened. When do
you think you might be home?
                                                            
A bright flash of lightning and loud clap of thunder makes
ANNIE jump in her seat and this causes the glass of wine to
fall off the side table and smash on the hardwood floor.

As the camera focuses on the broken glass, there is another
flash of lightning, clap of thunder, and the lights in the
house flicker briefly, then go out.
                                                            
                       ANNIE
      (into phone)
Ronnie! Ronnie! Are you still
there! Oh Ronnie, the lights just
went out! What? Yes, yes, of
course I know where the emergency
candles are. Okay. Oh Ronnie,
please hurry home, will you? Okay.
Yes. I love you too. I'll see you
soon.
                                                            
The room is dark, but is illuminated by the light shining in
from the window.

ANNIE gets up and feels her way towards the kitchen.

She walks into the coffee table, banging her shin.
                                                            

4.

                       ANNIE
      (grimacing)
Ow!
                                                            
She backs away from the coffee table and now her bare right
foot steps onto a jagged piece of the broken wine glass.
                                                            
                       ANNIE
      (grimacing more)
Shit! Ahh!!
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            
 
INT. ANOTHER LIVING ROOM - IN THE EARLY 1960'S - NIGHT
                                                            
Again the scene is slightly sepia-toned.

ANNIE - CHILD is sitting on the warn carpeting, crying
loudly, holding her bare foot. The base of her foot is
bleeding. Around her are dirty dishes, and grimy drinking
glasses. One is broken, shards of glass strewn about. The
nearby coffee table is littered with more dishes, ashtrays
full of cigarette butts and empty bottles of liquor.

ANNIE'S FATHER is lying nearby on the sofa, face down. He
looks disheveled and unshaven. He rustles from his snoring
sleep and lifts his head, opening one eye.
                                                            
                       ANNIE'S FATHER
      (slurring)
Shut up! God Dammit!
                                                            
ANNIE - CHILD continues bawling as her father lays his head
back down and covers his head with a throw pillow.

Behind the sofa is an open window, letting in a gentle
evening breeze which makes the thin chiffon curtains flutter
softly. Outside the window, we see a 50's convertible drive
past the house. We hear that the car radio is playing "Only
The Lonely".
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            

5.

BACK IN THE PRESENT - LIVING ROOM
                                                            
ANNIE plops back into the chair and pulls up her foot to
examine it as best she can in the dark. Squinting, she finds
the piece of glass stuck in her foot and pulls it out. She
grimaces in pain and disgust. The wound is not very deep but
it is bleeding. She places the bloody glass shard on the
side table.

ANNIE gets up and walks towards the hall leading to the
bathroom, hobbling, favoring her good foot. Her eyes have
become better adjusted to the dark and she can make her way
now without feeling around.

She leaves bloody footprints on the hardwood floor as she
goes, and the camera focuses in on one of these as again
lightning flashes and thunder booms.
                                                            
BATHROOM
                                                            
ANNIE opens the mirrored door to the medicine cabinet and
finds antiseptic, a roll of bandages and surgical tape. She
brings her injured foot up to the sink, opens a tap and
washes the wound. She applies antiseptic and winces as it
stings. She wraps bandage around the foot and tapes it up.

As ANNIE closes the door to the medicine cabinet, she looks
blankly at her reflection.
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            
 
INT. ANOTHER BATHROOM - IN THE EARLY 1960'S - NIGHT
                                                            
Slightly sepia-toned...

ANNIE - CHILD is hiding crouched inside a small linen closet
in the corner of a small bathroom. She is shaking and we can
only see her staring eyes through the open slats of the
closet door.

The camera perspective changes so that we are now taking the
POV of ANNIE - CHILD, looking out into the bathroom through
the door slats.
                                                            
                       ANNIE'S FATHER (vo)
      (from elsewhere in
       the house;
       shouting)
Annie! Annie! C'mon girl! Where
are you, Sweetie? Daddy's sorry!
Annie! I didn't mean to hurt you,
Baby! It's just....well, it's just
            (MORE)

6.

                       ANNIE'S FATHER (cont'd)
Daddy gets lonely sometimes...
                                                            
Aside from the voice of ANNIE'S FATHER, we also hear, off in
the distance, coming from a record player in another room, a
record playing, but it is skipping and plays the same lyric
over and over...

"...Only The Lonely..."
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            
BACK IN THE PRESENT - BATHROOM
                                                            
ANNIE is still staring blankly into the mirror, but after a
couple of seconds, breaks her stare, shakes her head as if
to clear her mind. She takes her foot out of the sink, turns
on the cold water tap, fills her cupped hands with some
water and bends over to wash her face.

ANNIE grabs a nearby hand towel and wipes her face. She
looks again in the mirror and sighs.

Just then, the lights flicker and come back on.

The bright lights above the medicine cabinet make ANNIE
squint.

With the lights on now, she can see more clearly and she
looks closer into the mirror.

Behind her, reflected in the mirror she can see the tub and
a closed shower curtain.

And poking out from the side of the shower curtain is a
hand.

Looking puzzled but not frightened, ANNIE squints into the
mirror to focus on the hand. She turns around, walks to the
shower curtain and pulls it back to reveal the bodies of a
man and a woman, lying limply on top of one another, covered
in blood.

ANNIE calmly tucks the hand that was poking out of the tub
back in and closes the shower curtain.

She turns to face the camera and the camera focuses in on
her crazed stare.
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            
 

7.

INT. ANOTHER BATHROOM - IN THE EARLY 1960'S - NIGHT
                                                            
We are back in the 1950's bathroom from the previous
flashback.

Still slightly sepia-toned but now with frenzied pacing,
chiroscuro lighting and odd camera angles we see a
succession of images...
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            
The camera zooms in on the open slated door of the linen
closet where ANNIE - CHILD was hiding...
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            
The camera zooms in on the open door to a medicine
cabinet...
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            
The camera zooms in to an empty space on a shelf in the
medicine cabinet. On the side of the empty space we see an
old-fashioned mug and brush used to mix shaving lather...
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            
 
INT. BEDROOM - IN THE EARLY 1960'S - NIGHT
                                                            
The scene is no longer sepia-toned. It's in true color.

We see ANNIE - CHILD almost silouetted in the low-lit room.
She is standing in front of a 1950's style mirrored dresser
with a boudoir lamp on it. Our angle is directly behind her
as such that we cannot see her face. Our view is from the
back as the camera slowly zooms in to see that she is
touching something in front of her on the dresser, not in
our view. We see she is wearing a cotton nightgown with
satin shoulder straps. One of the straps lay dangling as if
ripped.

We soon hear a scratchy record begin to play, and we
understand that ANNIE - CHILD has placed the needle on the
record.

The song is "Only The Lonely".

As it plays, the camera zooms out and a bit to the right so
that we now can see ANNIE - CHILD's face and front reflected
in the mirror, lit brightly by the light from the boudoir
lamp.


8.

She is staring blankly into the mirror, her face, neck and
the front of her nightgown are covered in spattered blood.

As the camera slowly zooms out further and further, the bed
rolls into view in the foreground.

We see, illuminated by the light from the bedroom doorway to
the hall, ANNIE'S FATHER, lying face up, in his night
clothes, with blankets up to his chest.

His throat has been slit.

There is blood everywhere.
                                                            
                                         BRIGHT FLASH
                                                            
 
INT. BACK IN THE PRESENT - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
ANNIE is sitting Indian-style in the same chair she was in
earlier. It appears the broken wine glass has been cleaned
up.

The camera is slowly revolving around ANNIE.

ANNIE still has the insane blank stare on her face.
She is rocking back and forth ever so slightly.
She is holding the handset of the phone to her ear.
                                                            
                       ANNIE
      (into phone)
Oh Ronnie, when are you coming
home, dear?

I wish you were here.
                                                            
As the camera revolves around ANNIE we see a family portrait
hanging on a wall which was not in our view earlier. In the
portrait are the man and woman who are now dead in the
bathtub.

Now as the camera rotates some more, we are behind ANNIE and
can see the reverse side of the phone sitting on the side
table.

We see that the cord to the phone has been cut.

The camera comes around now full circle and we are looking
at ANNIE straight on again.
                                                            
                       ANNIE
      (into phone)
I'm feeling so lonely...
                                                            


FADE OUT.


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From Kyron Dazeley Date 5/9/2008 ***1/2
Very enjoyable

From David Chase Date 5/9/2008 ***1/2
This was really well done, especially the ending. The only suggestion I would make is to maybe add a bit of suspense leading up to the ending, something that would throw the audience off even more before revealing the ending. Otherwise, well done.

From Ashley Date 5/8/2008 ***1/2
I liked it, at first I thought hmm maybe the psycho is coming to get her when she got on the phone but then me thinking the way i think i was like no she's the psycho. I think what would have made it all the more better is if there was a mother present in the childhood that didnt do anything so that can justify her killing the both of them and like maybe them having a daughter that she feels she's possibly saving that is why she kills them, just a thought. But overall good kept me interested!!!


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