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No llores
by Alexander Ramirez (Alram1988@aol.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Horror   User Review: ***1/2
A divorced, middle-aged mother of two from a small Mexican town becomes haunted by the deranged ghost of a weeping woman in the wake of her father's funeral.


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.



INT. PLASENCIA HOME - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The DEAD BODY of MARTIN PLASENCIA, 88, lies mummified in
sheets on a hospital bed planted in the center of the home.
                                                            
Gathered around the bed, crammed into the area, are roughly
thirty of the departed's weeping FAMILY MEMBERS. A few sons
strum guitars.
                                                            
                       FAMILY CHORUS
      (singing)
Eran cien ovejas, que había en su
rebaño... Eran cien ovejas, que
amante él cuidó... Pero en una
tarde, al contarlas todas... Le
faltaba una, le faltaba una, Y
triste lloró...
                                                            
A wide breadth from the communal outpour of emotion in the
living room, in the adjoining
                                                            
KITCHEN,
                                                            
stands the solitary figure of SONIA CASTILLO, 40's. She
supports herself against the back wall, fighting tears with
little success, the only mourner not singing.
                                                            
Sonia finally loses her thinning composure completely, and
slides down to the tile floor in a heaving mass.
                                                            
 
INT. PLASENCIA HOME - HALLWAY - NIGHT
                                                            
OSCIEL CASTILLO - 19, the glint of tears in his determined
young eyes - waits outside the bathroom door next to a gory
depiction of Christ on the cross nailed into the drywall.
Sonia exits the bathroom, face washed. She's ravishing.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Oh, son, I didn't know you were
waiting.
                                                            
Osciel tries to walk into the bathroom, but his mother ropes
him into a hug.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Here, you need some tissue.
                                                            
Sonia breaks the hug. Before she can find her pack of
tissue, Osciel is walking into the bathroom.
                                                            

2.

                       OSCIEL
I'm fine, mom.
                                                            
 
INT. PLASENCIA HOME - FAMILY ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia moves cautiously through the darkened area. Relatives
are scattered throughout, sleeping anywhere there's space.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Alejandra?
                                                            
Sonia approaches the couch where ALEJANDRA CASTILLO, her
eleven-year-old daughter, is bundled in blankets.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Mommy, are you okay?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I don't know... Yes, Ale, I'm
fine. Did you eat?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Mm-hmm.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Good. Aren't you tired?
                                                            
Alejandra shrugs in response. Sonia lays on the floor next
to the couch, then reaches into her pocket.
                                                            
                       SONIA
My phone's ringing.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Who is it?
                                                            
Sonia pulls out her cell phone and checks the screen.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Your dad.
                                                            
Alejandra begins shaking her head in a panic.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
No - no, tell him I'm not here --
                                                            
Sonia SHUSHES her and answers the call.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (into phone)
Hello? Yes. Everybody's staying
the night... Good. Well, as good
as can be expected, I mean... Yes,
            (MORE)

3.

                       SONIA (cont'd)
I-I'm sure that wouldn't be a
problem if you came, Sergio.
That's fine. That's petty. No
one's being petty at a time like
this; you should come. Thank
you... Okay, goodbye.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
What?! He should come?!
                                                            
An audible COMMOTION begins bubbling in from another room.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (to Alejandra)
Shut up. He just wants to --
                                                            
A few of Sonia's brothers and cousins enter carrying her
father's blanket-wrapped corpse. Sonia's sister, MARIA, 51,
trails as they make their way to the back door.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Sonia, let's go give daddy his
last smoke.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What? No.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Sonia, you better get your ass up
and come help your dad smoke one
last cigarette like he wanted. You
know he asked us.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Put him back.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Get up now.
                                                            
Maria and the caravan of corpse movers disappear through the
back door.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Weirdos. I'm going to sleep, mom.
                                                            
A digital clock on the T.V. stand reads 3:09 A.M. Sonia
finds a pillow and closes her eyes.
                                                            
 

4.

INT. SIX-FOOT HOLE IN THE GROUND - DAY
                                                            
A rectangle of sour sky is visible from the vantage point at
the bottom of the hole. Sonia's figure, in a black dress,
materializes between the grassy rim of the chasm and the
bleak backdrop.
                                                            
She leaps into the grave. A BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAM RESOUNDS.
                                                            
BACK TO THE FAMILY ROOM
                                                            
Sonia's eyes snap open. The digital clock reads 7:43 A.M.
                                                            
 
INT. PLASENCIA HOME - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Sonia's FOUR SISTERS are sitting around the dinner table,
chatting with energy idiosyncratic for dawn.
                                                            
                       MARIA
      (to Sonia)
Good morning, beautiful. Daddy
smoked, you missed it. It was so
cool.
                                                            
Sonia rolls her eyes. Her sisters are ANGELINA, 57,
JULIETA, 53, MAYRA, 39, and Maria. Sonia approaches a
smörgåsbord of leftovers on the counter.
                                                            
                       MAYRA
Eating again?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Eat me. It's comfort food.
                                                            
                       ANGELINA
Sonia, don't talk like that!
Daddy's right over there! But,
good, go ahead. We're not going
to waste any of that - it's a sin.
                                                            
Sonia takes a seat at the round table with a plate.
                                                            
                       JULIETA
Okay, so who're going to be the
pallbearers?
                                                            
                       ANGELINA
Junior, Miguel, Gabriel, and Danny
for sure, but we'll probably need
more. Mom said six.
                                                            

5.

                       MARIA
I think six would be good.
                                                            
                       JULIETA
I know Jorge is going to want to
carry him, so maybe we can have
all the son-in-laws carry daddy
with all the sons. The
son-in-laws can represent the
daughters.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Not all of us have husbands
anymore, Julieta.
                                                            
Mayra speaks up in solidarity.
                                                            
                       MAYRA
That's true!
                                                            
                       JULIETA
Well, you can have your oldest son
carry him for you.
                                                            
                       SONIA
That's actually a good idea. Joan
would love-- My God... Osciel, I
mean. Osciel would love that.
                                                            
Sonia smiles awkwardly. The sisters look away, absorbing the
blow.
                                                            
                       MARIA
Well, how many pallbearers is that
now? Is that too many?
                                                            
                       ANGELINA
That's, um, that's nine total. Oh,
and none of you forget, we're all
going to sit down individually and
talk to the priest. He wants to
help, and we all need to talk with
him about daddy. We can't act
tough and keep everything bottled
up - Sonia.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What?
                                                            
                       JULIETA
Leave her alone.
                                                            

6.

                       ANGELINA
No, that's not healthy. I know
you're never comfortable talking
about sensitive things with us or
anyone, Sonia, but I'm the oldest
and I'm going to make sure you let
it all out. You're going to talk
to the priest, at least.
                                                            
Sonia puts on an attitude to defend herself.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Excuse me, I'm fine. I don't--
                                                            
                       ANGELINA
We all will! It's not just you --
                                                            
                       JULIETA
Enough! Before you two even start,
enough! The pallbearers: is nine
too many?
                                                            
They digress. Silence.
                                                            
                       MAYRA
Nine is way too many.
                                                            
KITCHEN/LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
The sisters clean up the two conjoined areas of the home.
Four SISTER-IN-LAWS help them. Sonia, cleaning by the bay
windows, notices a van pull up outside.
                                                            
                       SONIA
They're here.
                                                            
TIME CUT
                                                            
The family watches in dead silence as a pair of HOSPICE
WORKERS roll a hospital gurney up to the bed and take their
positions around Martin's husk of a body.
                                                            
                       JULIETA
This is the part I don't like.
                                                            
Julieta turns away. Their brother, MARTIN JR, 55, begins to
SING that familiar song from earlier with a trembling voice.
                                                            
                       HOSPICE WORKER #1
One... two... three.
                                                            

7.

The workers lift the body from the bed in unison and drop it
on the gurney. The sisters all cringe at the impact. Sonia
stares, frozen, as her father is rolled away.
                                                            
TIME CUT
                                                            
Sonia and her children exchange a kiss goodbye with every
single family member in the house. As they make their
rounds, Osciel and Alejandra almost accidentally embrace.
They playfully punch each other instead, and continue
kissing the appropriate line of kinsman.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S CAR - DAY
                                                            
Sonia and her children climb in.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Put on your seatbelts.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Let's go.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Are you in a rush?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
No, I just said let's go.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Why are you always so grumpy?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
I'm not, God. Let's go.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You need to be nicer to your
mother. Everyone says you're a
mean little hard-ass.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Oh, I wonder where I get that
from.
                                                            
Sonia smirks and pinches his cheek.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Osciel always talks back, and you
never even yell at him.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Mind your own business!
                                                            

8.

                       ALEJANDRA
Shut up, I'll stab you!
                                                            
                       SONIA
Shut up, both of you! Not this
morning. Seatbelts. Now.
                                                            
Sonia's commanding tone garners immediate respect. She
turns the key in the ignition.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Mournful CORRIDOS pour from a radio. Beans and chicharrones
crackle in a skillet. Eggs plop onto cast-iron. Tortillas
solidify in popping oil.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Sit down, let's eat.
                                                            
Sonia artfully adorns ceramic plates with food and serves
Alejandra and Osciel at the table. She watches them eat,
leaning against the counter with a mug of coffee.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (to Osciel)
Alejandra's going with me into
town later. You want to come?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
I have to work today.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Oh. We're burying Apa in a few
days. You have to take that whole
day off, okay?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Obviously, mom.
                                                            
                       SONIA
... When I die, I think I want you
two to have me cremated.
                                                            
They stop eating. Alejandra looks up from her plate with a
mouthful of food.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
What?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Why? I would want to be buried.
                                                            

9.

                       SONIA
I don't know. I just want to be
cremated.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
No, Mama, I don't want to burn
you.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Why don't you just want to be
buried like normal? I don't want
to be cremated.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Well, I do. That way you can put
me in little urns and each keep
half of me in your houses. You
guys don't want to keep me?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL & ALEJANDRA
No.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA (cont'd)
That's creepy.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Yeah.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Yeah, mom, you're creepy.
                                                            
                       SONIA
No, I'm not. There's nothing
wrong with it.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Yes, there is. I'm not going to
set you on fire.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Nevermind! Do whatever you feel
comfortable with. It really won't
matter to me, I'll be dead. I
just - I just thought...
                                                            
Emotion creeps across Sonia's face, surprising her. She
quickly fights it off and reasserts herself.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You guys can bury me; it really
doesn't matter. I just thought
that maybe... Whatever makes you
two happy when I'm gone.
                                                            
 

10.

EXT. PLAZA DE LOS VIEJITOS - DAY
                                                            
Sonia and Alejandra walk hand-in-hand down the uneven
sidewalk. This is the bustling city center. STREET VENDORS
populate the area with food carts and trinket stands. Men
and women nod and smile as they see Sonia; she politely
returns the gesture each time.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Want to get juices?
                                                            
Alejandra nods her head.
                                                            
 
INT. MEAT MARKET WAREHOUSE - DAY
                                                            
A vendor shoves beets and pineapple into a juicer. Sonia and
Alejandra stare each other down, juice mixes in hand, then
suck rapidly at their straws. Sonia finishes first.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Ha!
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Aww, man!
                                                            
 
EXT. CALLE VICENTE GUERRERO - DAY
                                                            
Sonia and Alejandra trot down the business street. The
concrete beneath their feet arcs upward, and Calle Vicente
Guerrero turns into a bridge over an arid pit that used to
be a river: the RIO XALOS.
                                                            
The ground levels off as the river's width ends, and the
bridge returns to being a business street.
                                                            
Sonia and Alejandra stop at a small shop without a title
over the door, and open a pair of padlocks at the bottom of
the metal divider. They roll the metal up and step into:
                                                            
 
INT. LA JOYERIA ISABELLA - DAY
                                                            
They step behind the counter and fill the display cases with
silver and gold jewelry from Sonia's oversize purse.
                                                            
Sonia finds a PINK PILL BOTTLE underneath the register and
consumes a TABLET from it. Alejandra turns on a small T.V.
set behind the counter to a SPANISH SOAP OPERA.
                                                            

11.

                       YARITZA (O.C.)
      (calling out)
Cousin!
                                                            
Sonia sticks her head out of the shop and spots YARITZA
MARTINEZ, 40, hair streaked with blond highlights, in front
of an establishment across the street. Sonia holds up a
finger to Yaritza, asking for one moment.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (to Alejandra)
If I get my hair cut with Tia
Yaritza right now, can you watch
the store?
                                                            
Alejandra nods, eyes on her soap opera.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Are you okay? Do you want
anything?
                                                            
The girl shakes her head.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Okay. If Señora Marquez comes, her
necklace is under the counter, and
she owes you ten pesos.
                                                            
Alejandra gives her mom a thumbs up.
                                                            
 
INT. ESTETICA BEAUTY SALON - DAY
                                                            
Yaritza stops trimming the hair of an OLDER WOMAN as Sonia
strolls in. A slender, effeminate man, JOTITO JUAN, 27,
rushes up and greets Sonia with a hug and a kiss.
                                                            
                       JOTITO JUAN
Come in, come in. Oh, how is it?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Fine. Thank you, my Jotito.
                                                            
Yaritza makes her way over and greets Sonia likewise.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
I'm sorry I couldn't make it over
last night, Sonia. Come here..
                                                            

12.

                       JOTITO JUAN
      (to Sonia)
Are you ready for your
appointment? I can cut your hair
right now.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yes, Alejandra's at the shop.
                                                            
Sonia WINCES as she lowers herself onto Juan's station chair
to be prepped.
                                                            
                       JOTITO JUAN
Are you sure you're fine, my dear?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yes, sorry. It's just that I
started getting cramps today, too.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Poor thing! This is a rough week
for you. You're going to be okay,
cousin. I have pills.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I just took something, thank you.
                                                            
                       OLDER WOMAN
You're one of Don Martin
Plasencia's daughters?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yes.
                                                            
                       OLDER WOMAN
My prayers are with your family.
He was an honorable man.
                                                            
Sonia smiles politely.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
My uncle was the best. A great
man. When did he go?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Around ten o'clock. The lady told
us that he probably wouldn't make
it through the night. He hadn't
eaten anything in weeks, and he
stopped drinking water, so...
                                                            

13.

                       JOTITO JUAN
He lived a full life! Hell, If I
can make it to forty, that'll be
enough.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Forty?!
                                                            
                       JOTITO JUAN
Baby, please. I refuse to have
wrinkles. If I make it to forty, I
might eat the barrel of a gun
instead of cake on my birthday.
                                                            
The gals erupt with laughter.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Shut up, Jotito Juan! You're
retarded.
                                                            
                       JOTITO JUAN
I'm not kidding. I'm leaving a
good-looking corpse like Heath
Ledger.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Let my cousin talk! Ignore him,
Sonia.
                                                            
Laughs die down.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Well, yeah. Nine kids, thirty-two
grandkids. Full life.
                                                            
                       OLDER WOMAN
That's wonderful. A proper
family. How many do you have of
your own?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Three.
                                                            
                       OLDER WOMAN
Just three?
                                                            
Sonia suddenly looks uncomfortable. Yaritza makes a face to
Sonia, acknowledging the rudeness of the question, then
breaks the tension:
                                                            

14.

                       YARITZA
Well, anyway, your father died on
a mattress, surrounded by family.
That's all you can hope for.
                                                            
                       JOTITO JUAN
Okay, Sonia, you're getting it
trimmed and layered, right?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Of course.
                                                            
                       JOTITO JUAN
Good. I was always jealous of you
when you had layers. You're such
a bad-ass diva, and when you have
your hair right, you look like the
Ice Queen of Jalos.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Well, my dad always said he liked
my hair when I had it layered. So,
I'm getting it for him.
                                                            
Jotito Juan takes his haircutting shears and makes the first
incision into Sonia's flowing locks.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Sonia arranges the layers of her new haircut in the mirror.
Her face is somber. She is dressed completely in black.
                                                            
A distant MELODY is audible.
                                                            
 
INT. ALEJANDRA'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Especially neat and tidy. Fantasy and Anime posters plaster
the walls. Alejandra zips up the prettiest little dress
you'll ever see and tightens the ribbons in her hair.
                                                            
She hums a simple melody over and over as she prepares.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - BATHROOM - DAY
                                                            
Osciel battles with the slipknot of his jet-black tie in the
mirror cabinet over the sink. Alejandra's MELODY prevails
in this corner of the house as well. The tune grows
moodier, haunting.
                                                            
 

15.

INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
Osciel and Alejandra wait respectfully by the front door.
Enter Sonia.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Ready. Let's go.
                                                            
Sonia stops just before walking out and blows a kiss to a
framed picture of a TEENAGE MAN hanging on the wall.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (to the photo)
Goodbye, son.
                                                            
 
INT. IGLESIA DE GUADALUPE - DAY
                                                            
One of the community's ostentatiously lavish Catholic
churches. MOURNERS are stuffed into the pews. The back
wall is lined with people standing several rows deep.
                                                            
 
INT. CASKET - DAY
                                                            
Martin rests inside the oak capsule, ensconced in the cheap
plush lining. He lies stiff and frozen, arms carefully
arranged across his diaphragm to clutch a rosary, posed
forever like a broken puppet.
                                                            
BACK TO THE IGLESIA DE GUADALUPE
                                                            
Sonia sits in the front pew alongside her army of siblings,
masked behind opaque black sunglasses. Ethereal shapes and
parcels of light continually float across her lenses.
                                                            
The mourners follow the priest in prayer. Sonia does not.
                                                            
 
EXT. IGLESIA DE GUADALUPE - DAY
                                                            
More mourners spill out the church's entrance and into the
street. Near the entry doors are TWO MEN in particular:
SERGIO CASTILLO, mid-40's, fitted suit, ruggedly handsome;
the other man, dressed slightly more casually and slightly
less stern, is his cousin, JAIME CASTILLO, 38.
                                                            
 
EXT. STREETS OF JALOS - DAY
                                                            
The entire CONGREGATION marches behind the steady pace of
Martin's hearse. They fill the streets two blocks deep.
                                                            
 

16.

EXT. PANTEóN DE GUADALUPE CEMETERY - DAY
                                                            
The graveyard stands on sloping ground and is overcrowded
with headstones jutting from the grass. Family and friends
form a line before the descending casket.
                                                            
Martin Jr strums his fingers across his guitar chords. All
together, the bereaved provide a fitting SONG.
                                                            
 
INT. SIX-FOOT HOLE IN THE GROUND - DAY
                                                            
Sonia surfaces over the grassy lip of the grave, exactly as
she appeared in her dream, and drops a fistful of dirt into
the hole. Osciel and Alejandra follow her in the queue.
                                                            
BACK TO THE PANTEóN DE GUADALUPE
                                                            
Sonia and her children break away from the activity around
the burial and approach Sergio and Jaime on the outskirts of
the proceeding.
                                                            
They all exchange greetings, except for Osciel and Sergio,
who avoid each other in close quarters with a developed
ease. Sonia beams and locks her ex-husband in a hug.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (to Sergio)
Where are your little monsters? I
wanted to see them.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
No, I left them at home...
                                                            
Sergio kisses Sonia on the lips - just a peck. Osciel
promptly walks back toward the casket. Jaime tags along.
                                                            
                       JAIME
Nephew! Wait up! You still work
at the glove factory with Edgar?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Yeah.
                                                            
                       JAIME
Good, good. Still in the
apartment with your friend?
                                                            
Osciel nods his head. They stop walking as they arrive in
view of Martin's descent into the earth.
                                                            

17.

                       JAIME
Your grandpa was a real good man,
you know? Great man. Something
really funny is, out of all his
kids, your mom is the one who
looks the most like him. I had
another cousin just like that,
too, but her dad was different.
She looked more like him than any
of his legitimate kids, but he
wouldn't claim her. But she
looked just like him. We always
knew who her dad was, but she
wasn't one of us. And your mom
looks just like your grandpa,
don't you think?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Yeah.
                                                            
                       JAIME
Yeah, man. He did the right
thing, though, and he claimed her
as his own. Let her be part of
the family. He was a good man,
your grandpa. I remember seeing
him at church every week. He even
had me take over his duties with
the collection plate more
recently. I'll miss him.
                                                            
TIME CUT
                                                            
The mourners disperse, emptying the Panteón.
                                                            
Sergio and Sonia journey with their brood to a grave on the
other end of the cemetery. The name on the tombstone reads:
"JOAN CASTILLO." The dates indicated inform that he was
only seventeen years old when he passed.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (to the grave)
Hi, baby.
                                                            
Sonia and Sergio unconsciously take each other's hands, and
Sonia kneels to wipe away a stream of BLACK ANTS marching
across the inscription. Osciel bitterly notes his parents'
laced fingers.
                                                            
The former family draws out the sign of the cross. They
walk off together through the crowed field of tombstones -
Sonia and Sergio, holding hands.
                                                            

18.

                       SONIA
      (to Sergio)
What are you doing after this?
                                                            
Sergio shrugs.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You should - If you have nowhere
to be, we're headed --
                                                            
Sonia's heel catches the edge of a tombstone. She trips and
falls. Her hold on Sergio's hand breaks. An awkward crash as
she flops across THREE UNMARKED GRAVES.
                                                            
                                         SHOCK CUT TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. JALOSTOTITLáN, JALISCO - CIRCA 1900 - DAY
                                                            
A MONGOLOID WOMAN weeps in the desolate, windswept expanse
of an undeveloped town. She carries her SCREAMING INFANT
DAUGHTER in her arms and is flanked by two eerily serene
TODDLER SONS.
                                                            
A smear of BLOOD glistens around the woman's rictus as she
BARKS incoherently through her tears, flailing about her
square of dirt without any semblance of sense or purpose.
                                                            
BACK TO THE PANTEóN DE GUADALUPE
                                                            
The graves that Sonia lay over are simple ones, particularly
old and weathered. Osciel, Alejandra, and Sergio all
hurriedly attempt to help her to her feet.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I'm fine.
                                                            
Sonia's body language informs everyone that she doesn't need
their assistance. She stubbornly rises on her own, holding
her temples. They all exit the cemetery.
                                                            
 
EXT. APA'S RANCH - DAY
                                                            
The family fills the acres with MUSIC and FOOD. The wake
takes on the look of a carnival: CHILDREN chase chickens
around the plot; ADULTS overeat and binge drink.
                                                            
Sonia steps onto the ranch with her son and daughter in tow.
Yaritza spots them and rushes over.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Who's your favorite cousin?
                                                            

19.

Yaritza wraps Sonia in a massive bear hug. Osciel
disappears into the celebration with some cousins.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You are!
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Who's your favorite cousin?
                                                            
                       SONIA
You, Yaritza.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Who?
                                                            
                       SONIA
You!
                                                            
                       YARITZA
That's what I thought.
                                                            
Yaritza plants a kiss on Sonia's cheek and releases her.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
      (to Yaritza)
Hi Nina!
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Hello, precious girl! You look so
pretty in your dress. Come on,
let's go eat. I'm starving.
                                                            
A group of LITTLE BOYS run by, playing. One toddler points
a toy gun at Sonia and makes SHOOTING SOUNDS with his mouth.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (to the toddler)
I know you're not pointing that
gun at me, Jorge.
                                                            
The boy looks embarrassed, then runs off.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
You're such a witch!
                                                            
                       SONIA
He shot me!
                                                            
They glide over to an extended banquet table supporting a
grand buffet. Yaritza and Alejandra grab paper plates.
Sonia grabs a handful of plastic forks and hands them out.
                                                            

20.

                       SONIA
Here's one for you, honey. And
Yaritza. One for me, and . . .
                                                            
She grabbed one fork too many.
                                                            
                       SONIA (cont'd)
And here's one for the ghost.
                                                            
BEGIN CELEBRATION MONTAGE
                                                            
Yaritza pours tequila along a never-ending line of shot
glasses. Everyone grabs a glass and raises it high.
                                                            
                       FAMILY CHORUS
To Apa! To Martin! To Dad!
                                                            
They down the shots in unison. Cousins and friends capture
the moment on their cameras.
                                                            
TIME CUT
                                                            
A cadre of children encourage a flock of chickens to devour
BUGS from the dirt. They cheer as the beaks battle for the
right to shred an unearthed insect.
                                                            
TIME CUT - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia, beer in hand, harasses Osciel, purposely trying to
embarrass him.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You almost pulled my uterus out
when you were born; you owe me
this.
                                                            
The figure of a WOMAN in a white dress FLASHES sporadically
over Sonia's shoulder for a subliminal second. Sonia hits
her son with a big, wet kiss.
                                                            
                       SONIA
There, we're even.
                                                            
AN ASSAULT OF IMAGES -
                                                            
Alejandra cradles a WHITE HEN; Sonia's hips as she dances;
another shot of tequila; Sonia kisses Yaritza; drunk family
members SING; an INSECT is shredded by beaks; a RED HEN
rests in a pair of arms draped in WET, WHITE cloth.
                                                            
END MONTAGE
                                                            

21.

The celebration continues with the family on a makeshift
dance floor. Sonia, blissfully drunk, dances on a nearby
bench with Yaritza and Jotito Juan around her.
                                                            
Abruptly, Sonia halts her rhythmic movements, and her eyes
fix themselves in their sockets. She speaks in a startling,
CRACKED voice as the song reaches its rollicking chorus:
                                                            
                       SONIA
Whores and faggots. Where are my
children? You all deserve to die.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Huh?
                                                            
Sonia lurches forward and spews forth a shocking quart of
VOMIT. Juan catches Sonia as she sways; everyone else in
her immediate circumference recoils in horror.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S CAR - NIGHT
                                                            
Osciel sits in the driver's seat. Jotito Juan and Yaritza
load Sonia in shotgun.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I'm fine. I'm fi-- I'm fine!
                                                            
                       JOTITO JUAN
Water is what you need right now,
babe. Water is the answer.
                                                            
Yaritza forces a bottle of water into Sonia's hand.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
      (to Osciel)
Make sure she drinks all of this
and more when you get her home.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Stop it. I feel fine. I just
felt sick for a second, but I'm
not even that drunk anymore.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Sonia, stop! Alejandra's spending
the night at Mayra's with Natalie.
Don't worry, Mayra will drop her
off in the morning. Just get home
and sleep. I love you.
                                                            
Yaritza and Juan blow Sonia kisses goodbye as they walk back
to the celebration. Sonia turns to Osciel and eyeballs him.
                                                            

22.

                       OSCIEL
You're not driving.
                                                            
Sonia concedes with a sigh.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Whatever you all say. I don't
want to argue anymore. Stop at La
Joyeria for me on the way home,
please? I'm not drunk, but I need
my Midol. I have it there.
                                                            
 
INT. LA JOYERIA ISABELLA - NIGHT
                                                            
The metal rolls up and reveals Osciel outside and Sonia
visible in the sedan parked against the curb.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Where is it?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Behind the counter somewhere. I
think it's by the register.
                                                            
 
EXT. CALLE VICENTE GUERRERO - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia waits in the car, watching Osciel through the open
passenger-side window. All is dead-quiet, until a FAINT
WAILING in the distance shatters the silent night. Sonia
turns to it inquisitively; listens.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Osciel?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL (O.C.)
I'm looking!
                                                            
The faint wailing escalates into TEARFUL SHRIEKING. Sonia,
concerned, exits the car and follows the pained sounds up
Vicente Guerrero.
                                                            
She makes her way over the arcing bridge. She peers down
toward the root of the HORRID CRYING and spots A WOMAN IN
WHITE pacing along the river bank.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL (O.C.)
Mom!
                                                            
Osciel's voice jolts Sonia bodily. He locks up the
establishment and holds the pink pill bottle for his mother
to see.
                                                            

23.

                       OSCIEL
What the hell are you doing?
                                                            
Sonia looks back down at the river bank. The far-off figure
of the woman in white STARES BACK, as still as a statue.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - BATHROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
WATER from the faucet fills a glass. Sonia ingests a pill
from her bottle of Midol and washes it down. Osciel stands
behind her. They look at each other in the mirror cabinet.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You don't want to spend the night?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
My roommate is on his way. Why
did you get out of the car?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I told you that lady was crying.
                                                            
Osciel pulls out his ringing cell phone.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
That's them. I love you.
                                                            
He kisses his mother goodbye and leaves.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
The house is dead and dark. A clock ticks the night away.
The framed portrait of Joan hangs on the wall.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia sleeps peacefully on her stomach... until her eyes
snap open. Her face contorts as she struggles to move.
                                                            
REVEAL: THE WEEPING WOMAN IN WHITE is perched on Sonia's
back, aggressively pinning her entire body to the bed.
Through intermittent SOBS, the sopping-wet woman speaks in a
CRACKED, UNHOLY voice:
                                                            
                       THE WOMAN IN WHITE
Where are my children?
                                                            
Sonia whimpers and attempts to flail loose. In response,
the weeping woman slowly but forcefully drives her hips into
Sonia's buttocks. Back and forth, back and forth...
                                                            

24.

                       THE WOMAN IN WHITE
Give me your children!
                                                            
ANOTHER ASSAULT OF IMAGES -
                                                            
A vomiting INFANT; a raging RIVER; an orgy of INSECTS; HANDS
in wet fabric work between Sonia's thighs; a swathe of
FLAME; an advancing pool of BLOOD; a SCREAMING FEMALE MOUTH.
                                                            
TIME CUT - DAY
                                                            
The screaming image CUTS to Sonia screaming her way out of
her slumber. She frantically sits up on her bed and creases
her brow; there is a sprinkling of RED on her sheets.
                                                            
Sonia peels away the layers of mussed bedding, revealing her
inner thighs caked with blood, and an amorphous pool of red
staining the cloth between her legs. Her displaced tampon
rests down the mattress some.
                                                            
STRANGE NOISES emanate from behind the bedroom door.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (calling out)
Ale . . . ?
                                                            
The noises stop. Sonia pulls her comforter up, hiding the
blood. Alejandra bursts in, dressed in her school uniform.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Honey, what are you doing?
                                                            
Alejandra studies the bedroom floor, nonplussed.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I'm getting ready for school. Why
is your room a mess, too?
                                                            
Sonia looks at her floor: it's littered with innumerable old
photos of herself and Sergio. Alejandra picks one up.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Are these all of you and dad
together? You keep these? Why
did you throw them all over--
                                                            
-- Sonia leaps from her bed and snatches the old photo from
her daughter's hand. Alejandra is taken aback.
                                                            
                       SONIA
When did you get here?
                                                            

25.

                       ALEJANDRA
Tia Mayra just dropped me off on
her way to work a minute ago.
                                                            
Sonia drops to her knees and begins collecting the scattered
photos into a pile.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What time is it?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
It's early. What's wrong?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I don't know.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
You don't know?
                                                            
Sonia shakes her head, equally confused and disturbed.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What do you mean - Why did you ask
why my room is a mess... too?
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Every drawer and cabinet door has been DRAWN WIDE OPEN.
Dishes have been removed and displaced. Sonia picks up an
overturned glass and pours herself some Jamaica from the
refrigerator.
                                                            
She massages her throbbing temples and walks over, drink in
hand, past the doorway, toward the staircase.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (calling out)
Alejandra, what are you doing?
                                                            
 
INT. ALEJANDRA'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Alejandra sits at her desk, busy coloring black circles
around the eyes of a plaster mask with a marker.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Nothing.
                                                            
BACK DOWNSTAIRS
                                                            

26.

                       SONIA
Do you need me to take you to
school? Shouldn't your ride be
here already?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA (O.C.)
No, they'll be here in a minute.
                                                            
Satisfied, Sonia moves back toward the kitchen, but stops
mid-turn as something catches her eye --
                                                            
-- The framed portrait of Joan, hanging on the wall, has
been TURNED UPSIDE DOWN.
                                                            
The glass of Jamaica slips through Sonia's fingers,
shatters, and washes the tile in its red liquid contents.
                                                            
BACK TO ALEJANDRA'S ROOM
                                                            
Alejandra's head pops up at the sound of the glass breaking.
                                                            
                       SONIA (O.C.)
Alejandra!
                                                            
She charges out of the room, mask in hand.
                                                            
BACK DOWNSTAIRS
                                                            
Alejandra flies down the stairs and joins her mother by the
framed picture. They stand frozen before it.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What happened to your brother? Did
you do something?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
No, I didn't even see that.
                                                            
Sonia pulls the picture off the wall and returns it to its
upright position.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Get away from the glass. I don't
want you to cut yourself.
                                                            
Sonia, disquieted, notices the expressionless mask in
Alejandra's hand.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What is that?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
It's for our art project.
                                                            

27.

Sonia stares at the Noh-like mask. A car horn honks outside.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
My ride is here, mom.
                                                            
Alejandra scoops up her backpack, quickly kisses her mother
goodbye, and jogs out the front door.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Put your seatbelt on...
                                                            
BEGIN CLEANING MONTAGE
                                                            
Sonia turns up the stereo, filling her home with music. She
sweeps and mops the mess from the glass, then tidies the
dishes and closes the cabinets in the kitchen.
                                                            
SONIA'S ROOM
                                                            
Sonia reorganizes the old photos on the floor into a nearby
overturned container. She surreptitiously slides her secret
stash of memories back underneath her bed.
                                                            
 
EXT. LAUNDRY AREA - DAY
                                                            
Sonia tends to a bed of blood-red roses along the back ledge
of her property. Her sheets dry on a clothesline, as her
washing machine whirls in the background.
                                                            
KITCHEN
                                                            
Sonia washes a HUGE BUTCHER KNIFE in the sink, restoring its
menacing shine, then deposits it in the dish drainer.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - BATHROOM - DAY
                                                            
Sonia, with yellow rubber gloves on up to her elbows, scrubs
her image in the mirror cabinet with a cleaning agent.
                                                            
She notices some scrapes and bruises up and down her arms in
the clear reflection; she removes the gloves to better
examine her injuries.
                                                            
 
EXT. SONIA'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
Every woman on the block, Sonia included, stands on the
sidewalk in front of their home. They sweep it clean,
pushing dirt and debris onto the cobblestone road.
                                                            
END CLEANING MONTAGE
                                                            
 

28.

EXT. RIO XALOS - DAY
                                                            
Sonia stands at the brim, staring pensively into the wild
pit of yellowing vegetation and rotting garbage before her.
The street behind her BUZZES with the daily activities of
the townspeople.
                                                            
The wind blows lightly. Nothing remarkable occurs.
                                                            
 
INT. LA JOYERIA ISABELLA - DAY
                                                            
Sonia and a CUSTOMER make a business transaction.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Thank you. Enjoy your day.
                                                            
                       CUSTOMER
Thanks, Sonia. You, too.
                                                            
As the customer exits the establishment, Yaritza enters with
a pair of beers prepared with octopus and hot sauce.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Who loves you?
                                                            
                       SONIA
What are those?
                                                            
                       YARITZA
The only true cure for any
hangover.
                                                            
She passes Sonia a beer.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I'm not hungover. I told you I
was fine.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
You didn't look fine when you blew
carne asada all over our shoes
last night, you alcoholic bitch.
                                                            
                       SONIA
No, I got sick or something. I
don't know what that was, but I
can hold my liquor.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Whatever you say. You're welcome
for the beer.
                                                            

29.

                       SONIA
Thank you, Yari.
                                                            
Sonia takes a big, sarcastic bite of octopus.
                                                            
                       SONIA
But look at all these bumps and
bruises I have. I don't remember
falling when I was drunk.
                                                            
Sonia displays her damaged arms. Yaritza laughs.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
You probably did. That's what you
get. Random scrapes and bruises
always mean it was a fun night.
What are you doing tonight?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Nothing.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Good. Me, you, Mayra, and Juan
are going to Taurino's.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Noooooo . . .
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Yeeessss . . . We need to spend
more time together, go out and
have fun, and not just get
together at funerals. Life is
short. You're going.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I don't feel well.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Liar! You just said you weren't
that drunk last night. "I'm
fine," remember?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I don't mean physically. After I
threw up I was fine, but I've had
a weird morning.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Why? What?
                                                            

30.

                       SONIA
N-Nothing I just - I don't know, I
had a bad dream last night that's
been bothering me all day.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
What was it?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I don't remember. I was
half-awake when I was having it, I
think. Anyway, what am I supposed
to do with Alejandra?
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Seriously? She's eleven. She's
old enough to stay home by herself
for one night.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yaritza, I don't want to leave her
alone tonight. Sergio's coming to
get her in the morning, and then I
won't see he again until the
weekend's over.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Sonia, you know we always do this,
and you know I always get my way.
And, once you're there, you know
you always have fun. You never
want to go, and then you're always
glad you did. Ale can stay at my
house and watch movies with her
cousins while we're out. What's
your next excuse?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yaritza . . .
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Sonia, you need to get out. We're
going to find you a man. I'll
pick you and Ale up later, and we
can get ready together. And we
have to meet Mayra's new
boyfriend!
                                                            
                       SONIA
She has a new boyfriend?
                                                            

31.

                       YARITZA
Well, she has a new "friend," and
you know what that means. The
dentist.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Oh, yeah.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Yeah. So, Sonia Castillo:
favorite cousin, mother of my
goddaughter, owner of La Joyeria,
biggest slut in all of
Jalostotitlan. Are you coming?
                                                            
Sonia rolls her eyes and drinks from her beer.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Do I have a choice?
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - BATHROOM - DAY
                                                            
Sonia adjusts her cocktail dress. She turns and examines
her curious scrapes - they're becoming larger and rawer. She
lifts her hair and checks her bare back in the mirror - the
patches of damaged flesh stretch to her shoulder blades.
                                                            
 
EXT. CALLE DE HAMBRE - TACO STAND - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia walks across the street in the short cocktail dress,
with an added shawl to cover her scrapes, toward a busy taco
stand where Yaritza, Mayra, and a man, MAURICIO THE DENTIST,
43, are eating on a bench.
                                                            
Yaritza and Mayra direct playful WHISTLES and CATCALLS at
Sonia as she approaches.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
      (referring to her
       tacos)
Here, Sonia, want some dog?
                                                            
Sonia kisses Yaritza on the cheek.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yes, thank you.
                                                            
Sonia peels one of Yaritza's tacos off her plate and sets
down on her lap. Sonia leans over and kisses Mayra.
                                                            

32.

                       MAYRA
This is my friend, Mauricio.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (to Mauricio)
It's a pleasure.
                                                            
                       MAURICIO THE DENTIST
Nice to meet you.
                                                            
They shake hands, and Sonia gets to work on her taco.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
We're gonna get good and smashed
tonight, right Sonia?
                                                            
                       SONIA
A little bit.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
What do you mean a little bit?
Don't start with me again.
                                                            
                       MAYRA
We never go out anymore, so you
better drink with us. If you're
gonna do something, do it right.
Don't just do it half-way. That's
what daddy used to say, right?
                                                            
                       MAURICIO THE DENTIST
I'm buying.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
See?! Alright, Mauricio the
Dentist!
                                                            
                       SONIA
I'm gonna drink! I'll drink, but
I still have to get up tomorrow.
Sergio's coming early --
                                                            
                       YARITZA
-- Oh, who gives a fuck about
Sergio? He should be picking up
his daughter down the street.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I still have to work, Yari.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Yeah, whenever you feel like
opening your establishment, Miss
Independant. You don't have to
            (MORE)

33.

                       YARITZA (cont'd)
get up at eight, start at two
tomorrow if you want. Here, move
your big ass.
                                                            
Yaritza moves Sonia off of her lap and rises from the bench.
                                                            
                       YARITZA (cont'd)
Look, Sonia, I'm getting some more
tacos, and you're going to help me
eat them. It'll soak up enough of
the alcohol so we don't get too
sick, because we're going to put
one on tonight!
                                                            
 
INT. TAURINO'S BAR - NIGHT
                                                            
The bar is packed. MUSIC tramples over conversations.
Soccer games flash across television screens.
                                                            
Jotito Juan sees Sonia and company enter and jumps out of
his seat to wave them over. EVERYONE exchanges a hug and a
kiss. BUCKETS OF BEER are brought to the crowded table.
                                                            
TIME CUT
                                                            
Drunk patrons cut off an area to serve as the dance floor.
Sonia remains in her seat with a long-neck beer, but
Yaritza, Mayra, and Jotito Juan are among those dancing.
                                                            
 
INT. LADIES RESTROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The girls and Juan squish together and pose for a drunken
camera-phone picture in the mirror.
                                                            
FLASH TO THE CAPTURED PHOTO - The Woman in White is present,
hovering behind Sonia with her head just out of frame.
                                                            
BACK TO THE BAR
                                                            
Sonia downs her beer and discards the empty bottle amongst a
cluster of several others. A NICE-LOOKING MAN approaches
and offers his hand. Sonia accepts.
                                                            
Yaritza CHEERS as she spots her cousin dancing. Sonia
dances with effortless grace and intoxicating rhythm; her
partner does well in displaying her movements to the crowd.
                                                            
At the song's end, the nice-looking man hugs Sonia, running
his hands down her back, settling them suggestively on her
hips.
                                                            
 

34.

INT. ADOBE HOUSE - CIRCA 1900 - NIGHT
                                                            
A dark, sweaty pig of a man grabs the mongoloid woman by her
hips and bends her over.
                                                            
BACK TO THE BAR
                                                            
Sonia looks up at the man and smirks. She speaks with that
now-familiar CRACK in her voice:
                                                            
                       SONIA
Is it big?
                                                            
                       NICE-LOOKING MAN
What?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Is it?
                                                            
The man simply smiles in confusion.
                                                            
BACK TO THE ADOBE HOUSE - CIRCA 1900
                                                            
A FLASH of the mongoloid woman and the sweaty pig writhing
against each other in bed.
                                                            
BACK TO THE BAR
                                                            
Sonia's glances around furtively as the next song begins.
She takes the man by the hand and leads him toward the exit.
                                                            
Yaritza notices Sonia leaving and gets Mayra's attention.
They watch the nice-looking man nuzzle his face into Sonia's
neck as they walk away, holding hands.
                                                            
Sonia peeks back at the dance floor, her lips malformed by a
crooked smile.
                                                            
 
INT. SMALL CHURCH - CIRCA 1900 - DAY
                                                            
The mongoloid woman wears WHITE. She stands arm-in-arm at
the altar with her short pig of a HUSBAND in his bland
tuxedo. The PRIEST leads a prayer.
                                                            
The bride slowly turns her head around and smiles a crooked
smile.
                                                            
BACK TO THE BAR
                                                            
Yaritza and Mayra give chase. Jotito Juan and Mauricio the
dentist follow them, unaware of the situation.
                                                            
 

35.

INT. STAIRCASE - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia and the man emerge from the bar and descend the
staircase. She abruptly stops in the middle of the stairs;
tightens her grip on his hand. The man smiles excitedly and
presses their bodies together against the wall.
                                                            
Yaritza storms in from the bar area with the cavalry behind
her.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Um, excuse me, cousin? Do you
want to introduce us to your new
friend?
                                                            
The nice-looking man laughs in embarrassment; Sonia pulls
him closer, ignoring the presence of her friends and family.
                                                            
                       MAYRA
What are you doing? How drunk are
you?
                                                            
Yaritza grabs Sonia's arm.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
      (to the
       nice-looking man)
Excuse me, but my cousin doesn't
know you.
      (to Sonia)
Let's go back.
                                                            
Sonia resists her cousin and stares at the nice-looking man.
Yaritza pulls at the man's arm in an attempt to pry them
apart.
                                                            
                       NICE-LOOKING MAN
Hey! Don't grab me! She wants to
stay, so let her stay.
                                                            
The nice-looking man violently yanks himself and Sonia from
Yaritza's reach.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Fuck you!
                                                            
                       MAYRA
Let go of my sister!
                                                            
Mauricio leaps forward; Juan pulls Yaritza back into his
protective arms.
                                                            

36.

                       NICE-LOOKING MAN
Mind your own business; she's an
adult! What's your fucking
problem? Don't touch me.
      (to Mauricio)
What are you gonna do?
                                                            
                       MAURICIO THE DENTIST
Let go of her.
                                                            
                       NICE-LOOKING MAN
She's with me.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
She came with us and she's leaving
with us, you fag. She's our
family.
                                                            
                       MAYRA
She's drunk! Sonia, what are you
doing?
                                                            
Sonia floats obliviously in the nice-looking man's arms,
petting him lustfully.
                                                            
                       MAURICIO THE DENTIST
Sonia, come on.
                                                            
Mauricio reaches for Sonia; the nice-looking man SLAPS his
hand away.
                                                            
                       MAYRA
Don't touch him!
                                                            
Mayra rushes forward and shoves the nice-looking man.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Mauricio the dentist, fuck him up!
                                                            
                       NICE-LOOKING MAN
      (to Mayra)
Bitch!
                                                            
Mauricio bull-rushes the man and partially rips him away
from Sonia. The man throws a sloppy punch; Mauricio returns
fire. UNINTELLIGIBLE SCREAMS. CHAOS.
                                                            
BACK TO THE ADOBE HOUSE - CIRCA 1900
                                                            
The sweaty-pig husband THRASHES the mongoloid woman about
her head, as their children watch from the corner.
                                                            
BACK TO THE STAIRCASE
                                                            

37.

Sonia is knocked down by the wild swings of the battling
men. The impact snaps her back to her senses: two neat
streams of BLOOD crack from her tear ducts, and she becomes
overwhelmed by DRY HEAVES.
                                                            
Mayra, Yaritza, and Juan rush to Sonia's aid. SECURITY
GUARDS arrive to break up the combatants.
                                                            
                       JOTITO JUAN
Sonia! Oh my God, Sonia!
                                                            
                       YARITZA
She's bleeding!
      (to the
       nice-looking man)
See what you did, you piece of
shit?!
                                                            
Mayra runs over to Mauricio, as security escorts him out.
                                                            
                       JOTITO JUAN
Sonia, we have to go. Come on,
let's get her up.
                                                            
 
INT. YARITZA'S HOUSE - BATHROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Yaritza sits Sonia on the toilet and examines her.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Did you get punched in the eyes?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I don't think so.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Sonia, I don't like that. Bloody
tears? That was scary. Like an
apparition on the Virgin Mary.
                                                            
Sonia shrugs lethargically.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Well, I'm sure you have a
concussion. You shouldn't go to
sleep any time soon. You need
lots of water.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Water? No, Yari, I'm tired.
                                                            

38.

                       YARITZA
No, you'll slip into a coma. Stay
up and drink water. What were you
doing with that guy? Why weren't
you listening to us? Why wouldn't
you even look at us?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I don't know.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
What do you mean? Do you remember
it at all?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yes, but I don't know. I don't
know. I drank a few beers.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Ay, Sonia . . . show me those
bruises.
                                                            
Sonia pulls her shawl off and allows Yaritza to inspect her
back and arms.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Jesus Christ . . . these are all
from the funeral? They're worse.
                                                            
Sonia nods. Alejandra appears in the doorway.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Hi, baby.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
The movie's over.
                                                            
                       SONIA
How was it?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
It was pretty funny, but it lacked
structure, and all the plot
developments were cliched. But I
don't know . . . It was really
only trying to be funny, and it
was, so I guess it was okay.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Oh. I don't know what any of that
means, honey.
                                                            

39.

                       ALEJANDRA
I know you don't. Are we leaving?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yaritza . . . ?
                                                            
                       YARITZA
You can stay here.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I know, but will you just drop us
off? I want to get these heels
off, and I need my own bed.
Please?
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
The framed photo of Joan is hanging upside down again. Sonia
and Alejandra enter through the front door.
                                                            
                       SONIA
He's coming to get you tomorrow
morning, so --
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
-- Why on a Thursday this week?
                                                            
                       SONIA
He asked for you early, and I said
"yes." I'm the wrong person to
ask. I don't know why your father
does anything he does anymore.
                                                            
The girls head upstairs.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
But I'm going to miss two days of
school now.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I'm sorry, baby, but I think it's
because he's taking you somewhere
fun. I think they're going on a
little vacation.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I don't care.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I know.
                                                            
 

40.

INT. ALEJANDRA'S ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia relaxes on her daughter's bed, fiddling with an action
figure. Alejandra HUMS her favorite melody, while loading a
duffel bag with the contents of her closet.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What are you singing?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
It's a secret.
                                                            
Alejandra jumps in bed next to her mother.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Mama, I don't want to go.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I think you're going somewhere
fun. That's what he made it seem
like on the phone.
                                                            
Sonia returns the action figure to its display stand near
the bed and picks up Alejandra's completed black-and-white
plaster mask from the same stand.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
More like he's going somewhere fun
with his wife, and he needs me to
watch the babies.
                                                            
Sonia SCOFFS.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Don't tell me that. Don't get me
started on that right now. He's
supposed to be spending time with
you, doing things with you - not
taking advantage of the situation.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Well, he leaves me there to watch
Junior and Melissa all the time,
so he and Laura can go out.
                                                            
Alejandra touches the mask as Sonia inspects it.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA (cont'd)
Why do you keep so many pictures
with him?
                                                            

41.

                       SONIA
What am I supposed to do with
them? . . . I don't want to talk
about your father anymore. Did
you like the movie at Tia
Yaritza's house?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
You already asked me that.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Oh. Well, you're probably going
somewhere fun tomorrow. A little
vacation or something.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
You already said that. Mom, are
you okay? Do you want me to stay
up with you?
                                                            
                       SONIA
No, you have to go to sleep. I
just need some water. I'll stay
up for a while. Goodnight.
                                                            
Sonia kisses the girl on her forehead and returns the mask
to the stand.
                                                            
                       SONIA
And that mask is ugly.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - BATHROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia cups her hands under the running faucet and drinks.
                                                            
 
INT. RIO XALOS - CIRCA 1900 - DAY
                                                            
A muffled SPLASH from the surface sends a deluge of bubbles
downward, and a resulting current is followed suddenly by a
DARK SHAPE in the water.
                                                            
BACK TO SONIA'S BATHROOM
                                                            
Sonia stares vacantly at her reflection in the mirror. A
single tear of blood slips from one duct . . . and then a
second crimson droplet escapes her other eye.
                                                            
The water in the sink continues to run.
                                                            

42.

Sonia unscrews her tub of facial mask and slathers the
porcelain-white cream over her face. She expertly paints a
ghostly death-mask over her flesh and blood.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia rips the huge butcher knife from its station in the
dish drainer.
                                                            
 
INT. UPSTAIRS TELEVISION AREA - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia ascends the stairs with the knife primed to strike.
She crosses the television room and turns Alejandra's
doorknob.
                                                            
 
INT. ALEJANDRA'S ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The door creaks open and allows a cone of light to creep
over the sleeping girl. Sonia stalks in and straddles her
daughter's body. Alejandra fidgets in her sleep.
                                                            
BACK TO THE RIO XALOS - CIRCA 1900
                                                            
The burst of bubbles disperse, and the dark shape becomes
visible. As it fidgets in the blue, the figure is revealed
to be the mongoloid's infant - SWALLOWING WATER.
                                                            
BACK TO ALEJANDRA'S ROOM
                                                            
Alejandra BUCKS in her sleep . . . Sonia raises the flashing
knife . . . THE INFANT VOMITS UNDERWATER . . . Alejandra
swings her arms . . . Sonia is hit and plunges the knife
into a pillow . . . Alejandra AWAKENS WITH A START.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Ahh! No! Get off! Get off!
                                                            
Alejandra instinctively throws her fists. Sonia takes the
punches and rolls off the bed.
                                                            
A GUTTURAL SCREAM that belongs to neither of them literally
SHAKES THE ROOM. The lights SNAP on; Alejandra's framed
posters SPIN on the walls; action figures TOPPLE over.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Mom? Mama!
                                                            

43.

The Woman in White - LA LLORONA - cowers in the back corner,
enduring a VIOLENT CONNIPTION. The ghost HOWLS in agony,
trembling with tears, and disappears, SHAKING the room once
more as she vanishes.
                                                            
Alejandra turns to the source of the scream, but the entity
is gone.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Mama, what's happening?! What's
wrong?!
                                                            
Sonia writhes on the carpet, her cream mask horrifically
smeared. She dry heaves and finally VOMITS her taco dinner.
                                                            
Alejandra SCREAMS and charges out of the room.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I'm getting towels!
                                                            
Sonia struggles to turn over on all fours. She looks at the
bed: the knife is stuck upright in the pillow.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA (O.C.)
Mom . . .
                                                            
Alejandra's footsteps approach. Sonia summons a burst of
energy and throws herself on the bed, extracting the knife
and tossing it, flipping over the pillow.
                                                            
Alejandra returns with towels, shaken to her bones.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Are you okay?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I don't know, baby. I'm sorry. I
think I'm sick . . . Let's get out
of here, okay?
                                                            
 
INT. YARITZA'S KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Yaritza and Sonia sit at the table over mugs of coffee.
Neither of them appear to have gotten much sleep the night
before. Yaritza speaks delicately:
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Sonia, honey . . . I don't think
you were in the best state of mind
last night.
                                                            
Silence prevails. Sonia stares into her steaming mug.
                                                            

44.

                       YARITZA
I just - I just think you may be
overreacting to something --
                                                            
                       SONIA
-- To what?
                                                            
                       YARITZA
To - I don't know. Sonia, I don't
know. I just know that we went
out. We drank a lot. We were all
drunk. How can you be a decent
judge of anything in that state?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yaritza, I have been getting drunk
since I was sixteen years old, and
never once has it ever made me see
something that wasn't there. I
don't care how drunk I was.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
I'm not saying you didn't see
someone, I'm saying I don't think
it was a . . . ghost.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You didn't see it. You didn't see
it. Don't you believe in ghosts?
                                                            
                       YARITZA
. . . Well . . .
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yes or no?
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Sonia, I mean . . . uh - I mean -
yes, but --
                                                            
                       SONIA
-- You do. Yes. So why isn't
mine a ghost?
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Because it was probably
gangmembers, those kids, breaking
in to steal from you, or it was
probably just --
                                                            
                       SONIA
-- It was a woman. It was a woman
in a white gown. She was bleeding
from a wound in her stomach, and
            (MORE)

45.

                       SONIA (cont'd)
she was asking for Joan.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Sonia . . .
                                                            
                       SONIA
Why don't you ask my daughter what
she saw?
                                                            
Yaritza concedes; sips at her coffee. Then:
                                                            
                       YARITZA
When my dad died, I was so
devastated I started seeing --
                                                            
                       SONIA
-- Don't. No, Yaritza. No. This
isn't that. It has nothing to do
with my grief or how much I had to
drink yesterday, or - or Sergio
leaving me and me being pathetic
and lonely --
                                                            
                       YARITZA
-- That's not what I was saying,
Sonia. You --
                                                            
                       SONIA
-- It doesn't matter. I know what
I saw, and I'm not the only one
who saw it. Ale wasn't drunk last
night. She doesn't have the exact
same feelings as me about her
father or over her grandfather's
death, but she was running and
screaming out of our house exactly
like I was.
                                                            
Sonia pulls back the tears.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
I believe in gh- . . . something.
I believe in life after death, I
believe in our spirits. But I
don't believe in what you
described. I think you need the
church, Sonia. I believe in the
church. That's the only thing I
can think of that can help you
right now, whatever the problem
may be. When is the last time you
even went mass?
                                                            

46.

                       SONIA
Ash Wednesday.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
My goodness, Sonia. And before
that?
                                                            
                       SONIA
The Ash Wednesday the year before.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Christ help me! Why don't you go?
                                                            
                       SONIA
For what? What's the point? God
is everywhere. Alejandra keeps me
busy, the jewelry store keeps me
busy. I don't need to sit in a
particular building every Sunday
to prove my faith.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Yes, you do! Go today. And
tomorrow. Go everyday from now
on. Yes, you do!
                                                            
Sonia eyes a porcelain statuette of the Virgen del Carmen
displayed on the counter.
                                                            
                       SONIA
. . . I know.
                                                            
Yaritza SIGHS in pain for her cousin.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
You can stay here as long as you
want if you don't feel comfortable
going home. Whatever the reason,
you can stay with me forever.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I know.
                                                            
Yaritza reaches across the table and takes Sonia's hand.
                                                            
 
EXT. SONIA'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
Sonia and Alejandra walk up to their home.
                                                            
Sergio, FUMING, stands in the driveway sporting his
Guadalajara police uniform.
                                                            

47.

He CALLS OUT to Sonia as soon as she's in sight:
                                                            
                       SERGIO
Sonia, why in the fuck is the
front door wide open? Who left it
open? Who was here?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Nobody.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
What?!
                                                            
                       SONIA
Nobody. We left it open when we
left last night.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
Why? What the fuck are you
talking about? I went inside and
someone went through everything.
You got robbed!
                                                            
Sonia and Alejandra never break stride, marching right past
Sergio, into their home.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
Where are you going? Sonia, I'm
talking to you!
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
Every cabinet and drawer has been drawn open. The pictures
adorning the walls and chests have been knocked askew.
                                                            
Sergio follows Sonia and Alejandra in.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
Do you not hear me talking to you?
I checked the back door, and the
latch is broken. It won't open.
What the fuck happened?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Something broke in last night. It
was here when we came home.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
What? Someone broke in?
                                                            

48.

                       SONIA
We ran out screaming down the
street to Yaritza's.
                                                            
Sonia steps deeper into the home to inspect some of the
damage more closely. Alejandra stays close to her.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
Ale, baby, go upstairs and get
your bags so we can go.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
N-No, daddy . . .
                                                            
                       SERGIO
What?!
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I --
                                                            
                       SONIA
-- She's just scared, Sergio.
Don't make her go up there alone.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
I checked the whole house. Go get
your bags, Alejandra. Hurry up.
                                                            
Alejandra, almost shaking, slowly ascends the staircase, as
Sergio and Sonia begin whispering over the damage.
                                                            
 
INT. ALEJANDRA'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
. . . and BURSTS in. She dives underneath her bed, pulls
out a pair of stuffed duffel bags, and flies back out just
as quickly as she came.
                                                            
BACK DOWNSTAIRS
                                                            
Alejandra RUMBLES down the stairs with her packed bags.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Ale! Calm down, sweetie.
                                                            
Sergio re-enters the house from the front door with a
SNUBNOSE REVOLVER in his hand.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
Alejandra, get in the car.
                                                            

49.

                       SONIA
You're leaving already?
      (referring to the
       gun)
What's that?
                                                            
Alejandra kisses her mother.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Bye mom.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Bye, baby. Don't worry about me.
I'll be fine; I'll call you
everyday. Put on your seatbelt,
okay?
                                                            
They embrace extra tight.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
Come on, Ale. We have to get
going.
                                                            
Alejandra takes her duffle bags and exits the home. Sergio
holds the revolver out to Sonia.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
Take it.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What? Why? No, no, no, Sergio.
What for?
                                                            
                       SERGIO
      (overlapping)
Look at this shit. This drives me
crazy. This my worst nightmare. I
can't be here. To protect
yourself. Obviously, to protect
yourself. Now, take it.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You know I never liked guns in my
house. That won't help me.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
Like Hell, it won't. You don't
even have to shoot it. An
intruder sees this, they take off.
Just like that. They want an easy
job. Osciel doesn't live here
anymore, I can't be here to take
care of you --
                                                            

50.

                       SONIA
-- And whose fault is that?
                                                            
Sergio's fiery disposition cools.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
Be serious, Sonia. It's not like
it was when we were growing up
anymore. There are gangs in every
city, and they have guns, too. You
need to protect your home. And
when I bring Alejandra back and I
have to go again, you need to take
care of her with this.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I told you they weren't
gangmembers. It was one --
                                                            
                       SERGIO
-- I could care less who or what
it was. The next time you see it,
just put a hole in the
motherfucker's head for me. Real
simple.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Sergio that - that's not going to
help me.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
Stop - stop arguing with me, and
just take it. I don't have time;
I'm in a rush. I have to get back
home, Sonia. I didn't even have
time to change out of my work
clothes before I came. Just take
the gun until I have time to think
of something better. Give me
peace of mind, please, until I
come back.
                                                            
Sonia stares at the firearm in Sergio's outstretched hand.
She takes it.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Sonia closes all the cabinets, cupboards, and drawers;
sweeps up strewn dishes from the floor.

She re-opens one particular drawer and stores away Sergio's
revolver amongst the cooking utensils.
                                                            
 

51.

INT. SONIA'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Sonia rifles through a jewelry box on her dresser and digs
out a necklace with a charm of Saint Toribio Romo Gonzalez.
                                                            
 
INT. UPSTAIRS TELEVISION AREA - DAY
                                                            
Sonia inspects a row of framed pictures that line the top of
the entertainment center. There are a few gaps in the
assembly, with photos replaced by small piles of ash with
shards of the frames that once housed them left behind.
                                                            
THE TELEPHONE RINGS SHARPLY, jolting Sonia bodily. She
collects herself and picks up the receiver:
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (into phone)
Hello?
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
Sonia?
                                                            
The voice freezes Sonia with surprise.
                                                            
                       SONIA
. . . Mama?
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
How are you, sweetheart?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Umm, good, Mama. I'm fine. How
are you? What's new?
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
Good, good, honey. I'm fine.
Sonia . . .
                                                            
                       SONIA
. . . Yes?
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
Your sisters tell me you and
Sergio are divorced now . . .
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yes.
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
Yes?
                                                            

52.

                       SONIA
Yes.
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
Since when?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Umm, separated for four years,
divorced for a little over two.
                                                            
Silence . . .
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
Why didn't you tell me?
                                                            
                       SONIA
It never came up. Anyway, it
looks like I have wonderful
sisters to take care of those
kinds of things for me.
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
Are you guys sure?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Who, mom?
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
You and Sergio.
                                                            
                       SONIA
That we should get divorced?
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
Yes.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I asked him if he was sure plenty
of times, and he told me that he
definitely was.
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
Oh, honey . . . How are the kids?
                                                            
                       SONIA
They're fine. It's been years
since the divorce, so I think
they're mostly over it.
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
I mean in general.
                                                            

53.

                       SONIA
Uh, great. You know Osciel lives
on his own now, with a friend from
high school, and Ale is a little
genius. They're fine.
                                                            
                       IRENE (O.S.)
Wonderful . . . Sonia, I'm calling
because I want you to come visit
me. Or I could come to you
whenever it's convenient. It
doesn't have to be today or
tomorrow, but, uh . . . what are
you doing today?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Umm . . . I actually feel like
getting out of the house today.
                                                            
 
EXT. BACK ALLEY - DAY
                                                            
DIRTY YOUNG BOYS play hopscotch in lines drawn in the dirt.
Sonia's sedan pulls into the thin alleyway behind a bustling
warehouse.
                                                            
The kids make way for the vehicle and stop their game to
ogle Sonia and GIGGLE as she exits the car and enters the
back door of the warehouse.
                                                            
 
INT. GLOVE FACTORY - DAY
                                                            
Sonia enters the vast, dusty warehouse and immediately spots
Osciel tying a fat bundle of leather gloves with twine.
                                                            
He looks up from his work and jogs over at the sight of his
mother.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Hi, baby. How's work?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Mama, what are you doing here?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I was just driving by, so I came
to say hi real quick. I'm going
to San Miguel to see Ama.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
And La Joyeria?
                                                            

54.

                       SONIA
I'm just leaving it closed today.
I'm spending the day over there.
Want to come?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
I'm working, mom.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I know.
                                                            
A YOUNG FEMALE WORKER walks by.
                                                            
                       YOUNG FEMALE WORKER
Good morning, Señora Castillo.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Good morning, Melissa.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Can I get back to work?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yes, m-- No! I wanted to see what
you were doing tonight? I'll be
back before dinner, so I wanted to
know if you wanted to come over
and eat with me. I need company.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Tonight?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Tonight.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
No, mom, I'm going out tonight.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You don't want to come over
before? Keep your mother company?
                                                            
Sonia's eyes develop the slightest hint of a red glaze.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Mama, I can't. What's wrong?
                                                            
She promptly collects herself.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Nothing, nothing. I just - I mean
I don't like to be home all alone,
that's all.
                                                            

55.

                       OSCIEL
Why?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Nothing.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
I can come over tomorrow.
                                                            
                       SONIA
No, honey, I'm fine I just . . . I
got to go. I got to get to your
grandmother's now if I want to be
back for dinner, so . . .
                                                            
They kiss goodbye.
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Tell Ama I said hi.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Okay, son, I'll call you later.
Have a good day.
                                                            
Sonia leaves. Osciel gets back to work.
                                                            
 
EXT. MEXICAN HIGHWAY - DAY
                                                            
Sonia barrels down the dangerous strip of asphalt in her
sedan. The road looks as if it hasn't been paved in some
time and even lacks the paint that defines the lanes.
                                                            
Open farmland offsets the highway, rife with tequila plants.
                                                            
SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY
                                                            
Sonia pulls over and exits her vehicle. She approaches a
stone memorial planted in the dirt and strikes a solemn pose
before it. The engraving reads "JOAN CASTILLO" and
specifies this as the spot of his untimely death.
                                                            
Sonia digs a small stone from the breast of the earth and
places it atop the molded crucifix on the memorial.
                                                            
BACK TO THE HIGHWAY
                                                            
Sonia's car ZOOMS past a sign that informs, "SAN MIGUEL EL
ALTO, JALISCO - 20 KILOMETERS"
                                                            
 

56.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - DAY
                                                            
Akin to the worn and dusty blocks of Jalostotitlan. Sonia's
car comes to a halt in front of a home.
                                                            
 
INT. IRENE'S HOME - LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
A warm home overwrought with framed pictures and porcelain
dolls crowding every wall and every display stand. There
are many photos of all of Sonia's kids and a large portrait
that must be of Sonia's mom with her bespectacled husband.
                                                            
A KNOCKING at the front door.
                                                            
Sonia's short, pleasantly plump mother, IRENE ORTIZ, 68,
answers it and allows Sonia in from the other side.
                                                            
                       SONIA
How are you, mom?
                                                            
                       IRENE
Oh, Sonia, I'm so glad you came.
Come in, come in.
                                                            
They hug and kiss.
                                                            
 
INT. IRENE'S HOME - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Irene busily chops fresh vegetables on the counter. Sonia
sits comfortably at the table with a chilled glass of
pineapple water.
                                                            
                       IRENE
Are you sure you're not hungry
right now, honey?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I can wait, Mama. Thank you.
                                                            
                       IRENE
And why didn't you bring the kids?
                                                            
                       SONIA
They're in school, mom. Well,
Ale's in school right now. Osciel
isn't a kid anymore; he's working
right now.
                                                            
                       IRENE
Where does he work?
                                                            

57.

                       SONIA
At his uncle's glove factory. One
of Sergio's older brothers.
                                                            
                       IRENE
And they can't take off school or
work for one afternoon to come
with you?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Oh, no. Alejandra throws a fit if
she has to miss a day of school
for something, even if she's sick.
And Osciel, my workaholic, tries
to get as many days of work as he
can every week.
                                                            
                       IRENE
Oh, well that's good that they're
like that. My kids weren't like
that. You guys sat around all
day.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What?! I got good grades, and I
worked selling ice cream all
summer. It was your younger
daughters who were lazy.
                                                            
                       IRENE
Oh, yeah. You were good, I
forgot.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yeah. Where are Maria and Miriam,
anyway?
                                                            
                       IRENE
They're at work.
                                                            
                       SONIA
They actually have jobs?
                                                            
                       IRENE
Sonia, be quiet. Of course they
do.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Well, last time I was here they
didn't.
                                                            

58.

                       IRENE
Don't speak about your little
sisters that way, Sonia. You
should-- . . .
                                                            
Irene's voice trails off as her bespectacled HUSBAND, 75,
enters the area from a back door. He moves swiftly toward a
decorative chest of drawers at the rear of the room, eyes
pointed at the ground the whole way.
                                                            
Sonia watches him out of the corner of her eye.
                                                            
Irene keeps chopping her vegetables.
                                                            
Irene's husband collects a screwdriver from the chest and
disappears through the door he entered in a jiffy.
                                                            
A MOMENT passes . . .
                                                            
                       IRENE
You should support what they do.
They look up to you.
                                                            
Irene dumps the chopped veggies in a pot of water over the
burning stove before joining her daughter at the table. She
grips the bridge of her nose and clasps her eyes shut.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Mama?
                                                            
Irene gives Sonia her attention.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Did you hear about my father?
                                                            
Irene nods her head: "Yes." Another silent MOMENT . . .
                                                            
                       IRENE
      (referring to
       Sonia's necklace)
Who is that?
                                                            
Sonia picks up the charm at the end of her chain.
                                                            
                       SONIA
This? Mama, you know who this is.
Don't be like that.
                                                            
                       IRENE
No, no. Who is it?
                                                            

59.

                       SONIA
It's Saint Toribio Romo. His face
has been all over the state since
before you were born.
                                                            
                       IRENE
Oh! Yeah, yeah, okay. I just
couldn't see.
                                                            
                       SONIA
He's the only saint to come out of
Jalostotitlan.
                                                            
                       IRENE
But he's not a real saint.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yes, he is. John Paul II made him
one years ago.
                                                            
                       IRENE
For what?
                                                            
                       SONIA
He's a martyr. He died in the
Cristero War.
                                                            
                       IRENE
So?
                                                            
                       SONIA
So, he offered his life for the
peace of the Catholic church.
                                                            
                       IRENE
Oh, Sonia, you don't believe in
that.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What?
                                                            
Irene begins LAUGHING heartily.
                                                            
                       IRENE
Nothing.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Mama, you're bad.
                                                            
Irene lets out another BELT OF LAUGHTER. Sonia shakes her
head, but can't help but let a smile spread across her lips.
                                                            

60.

                       IRENE
What's wrong, honey?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Nothing, you're just making fun of
me. My religion.
                                                            
                       IRENE
I'm sorry. No - no, I'm sorry. At
least you believe in something.
Your sister has decided to become
an atheist.
                                                            
                       SONIA
No! Miriam?
                                                            
                       IRENE
Maria.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Maria?! How can you be an atheist
in Mexico?
                                                            
Irene shrugs her shoulders.
                                                            
                       IRENE
She's stupid. I mean I love her,
but it's so stupid. So audacious.
The thought that humans are the
end of it. We just die, and then
there's nothing else. Do they
understand how big the universe
is? Just because we're smarter
than dogs and cats, and that's all
we can see, that means we're the
end? We're not that special.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Maria always was your problem
child, mom. What did you tell
her?
                                                            
                       IRENE
I told her we're like ants in the
dirt. You think the bugs outside
notice us walking around? No,
because it's not their business.
It's not their purpose, so they
have no idea we're even here.
There are more advanced lifeforms
upon more advanced lifeforms, and
then, somewhere up top, there is
God. We'll never see them from
here, because we're not supposed
            (MORE)

61.

                       IRENE (cont'd)
to. It's bigger than us. People
are scared of what's bigger than
them. They can't deal with not
being the most important thing in
the world, Maria especially.
People are egotistical. But,
really, we're just ants in the
dirt.
                                                            
                       SONIA
And why do you go to church every
weekend?
                                                            
                       IRENE
All religions are wrong,
technically, even mine. They're
stories and rituals to ease your
mind and keep you from going
crazy, because it's all too much
to try to comprehend. But there is
a god, or gods, or something.
                                                            
                       SONIA
But why do you go to church?
                                                            
                       IRENE
I already told you, I don't want
to go crazy. Protestantism makes
way more sense than Catholicism,
so . . . Let me go check . . .
                                                            
Irene scampers back to the counter to tend to her boiling
vegetables; adds some salt and pepper to the pot.
                                                            
                       SONIA
So, you believe in God?
                                                            
                       IRENE
Of course! He's not a giant man
in robes with a big white beard
like in the cartoons, but there is
something. Maybe we don't get to
go to paradise; maybe there isn't
one. Maybe God doesn't even care
what we do on Earth. I'm not
claiming to know everything, I'm
just saying that Atheists are such
morons. To say that there isn't
any higher power in this universe
is just ignorant.
                                                            
Sonia steels herself for a BEAT.
                                                            

62.

                       SONIA
You believe in ghosts?
                                                            
                       IRENE
Of course.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yeah?
                                                            
Irene rejoins her daughter at the table.
                                                            
                       IRENE
Yeah. Yeah, ghost stories are
consistent across very different
cultures all over the world.
Everywhere. They're not all just
making up the same lie on
accident.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You're something else, mom.
                                                            
                       IRENE
I try . . . So, what's bothering
you, baby?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Nothing, nothing . . .
                                                            
Irene locks her eyes on Sonia, not allowing her query to
dissipate.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I just . . . I hate not knowing
things, you know? It's one thing
when I can't understand something
because of my own ignorance, when
it's my fault, but when things
don't make sense at all . . .
                                                            
                       IRENE
What don't you know?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I don't know where my father is.
That kills me. He's just not here
anymore, and I don't know where he
is. I don't know what happened to
my marriage. I don't know what's
going on with Osciel since then --
                                                            

63.

                       IRENE
-- Sonia, honey, you're not
supposed to know. Let it go.
Those things aren't your fault.
The only thing you can do in this
world is live your life the way
you feel is right, moment to
moment. One step at a time.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I know. Sometimes I wish I could
just be back on my dad's ranch,
when my babies were still babies
and my husband was still with me.
And we were happy. Then I could
rest. But I don't know where it's
all gone.
                                                            
                       IRENE
No one knows things like that.
They're bigger than us, and people
lose their minds running or trying
to control them. One thing I've
had to learn the hard way - from
my life, from when I knew your
father - live your life, and don't
let anything make you run scared
from what you feel is right. Do
you hear me?
                                                            
Sonia nods her head: "Yes."
                                                            
 
EXT. IRENE'S BACKYARD - DAY
                                                            
Sonia's stepfather quietly tends to the garden. He puts
down his shears, adjusts his glasses, and pokes at a cluster
of BLACK INSECTS writhing in the dirt.
                                                            
BACK TO IRENE'S KITCHEN
                                                            
Sonia and Irene quietly enjoy lunch together at the table.
                                                            
 
EXT. MEXICAN HIGHWAY - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia's car ZIPS by, headlights aimed at Jalos.
                                                            
SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY
                                                            
Sonia reads the dense inscription on Joan's memorial for the
thousandth time.
                                                            
 

64.

INT. YARITZA'S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Yaritza, an AUNT, and some YOUNG COUSINS are all slumped
lazily across the couches and across the floor, watching
television together.
                                                            
Someone begins KNOCKING at the front door.
                                                            
 
EXT. YARITZA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
Yaritza materializes behind the door as she flings it open
in response to Sonia's insistent KNOCKING.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Calm down! Damn!
                                                            
 
INT. YARITZA'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia points out the porcelain statuette of the Virgen del
Carmen to her cousin.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I want that. Can I borrow it?
                                                            
                       YARITZA
I guess. Sure. You're not going
to stay here tonight?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I'm not running.
                                                            
 
EXT. SONIA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia tiptoes up the driveway of her now-foreboding abode,
the ornamental statuette locked tightly in her clutches.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia quickly, frantically flips up the light switches all
over her house, casting it in brand-new light.
                                                            
She puts the Virgen del Carmen statuette on guard facing the
entryway and retires to her bedroom.
                                                            
 

65.

INT. SMALL CHURCH - CIRCA 1900 - DAY
                                                            
The weeping woman stands arm-in-arm at the altar with a
short, rotund MAN. They are in formal wedding garb. The
PRIEST leads a prayer.
                                                            
The bride slowly turns her head around toward Sonia's mind's
eye and smiles a crooked smile.
                                                            
                                         SHOCK CUT TO:
                                                            
A FLASH of the weeping woman's corpse being licked to ash by
FLAMES. Her face is frozen forever in a similar half-smile.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Sonia is jarred from her slumber and pokes her head out from
beneath the comforter. She nervously scans her
surroundings.
                                                            
With nothing out of the ordinary, Sonia allows herself a
SIGH of relief, and her pretty face manages to adopt some
color.
                                                            
 
INT. LA JOYERIA JEWELRY STORE - DAY
                                                            
Sonia watches a SOAP OPERA from her post behind the counter,
eating a bag of potato chips with cactus salsa.
                                                            
Her cellphone VIBRATES across the glass viewing case.
                                                            
THE CELLPHONE SCREEN
                                                            
shows a text message received from Alejandra. Sonia selects
to view the message. It reads:
                                                            
"Love you mama, are you OK? Can't wait to come home."
                                                            
Sonia begins typing back.
                                                            
 
INT. SERGIO'S HOME - KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
Alejandra feeds her INFANT SISTER some mashed baby-food goop
in a highchair. Sergio is on the telephone in the b.g.
                                                            
                       SERGIO
      (into phone)
Yeah! . . . Well, hell, what can I
say? Another one on the way, I
can't wait.
                                                            

66.

Alejandra's cellphone buzzes, trumpeting the arrival of a
new text. She gives her baby sister another spoonful, then
picks up the cell.
                                                            
THE CELLPHONE SCREEN
                                                            
shows Sonia's reply:
                                                            
"I'm fine baby, everything's fine. I love you and miss you.
Don't worry OK."
                                                            
                       SERGIO (cont'd)
. . . Hey, I'm always the first
one to say it: I'm a catholic and
I love kids. Come on!
                                                            
 
EXT. IGLESIA DE GUADALUPE (ESTABLISHING) - DAY
                                                            
Sonia marches up the countless steps into the temple.
                                                            
 
INT. IGLESIA DE GUADALUPE - DAY
                                                            
Sonia enters the somber church at a consciously slow speed,
dropping every advancing footstep with the utmost respect.
                                                            
The pews are peppered, here and there, with the ever-praying
devout. No mass is currently in session, but the Almighty
never sleeps.
                                                            
Sonia dips a digit into the marble fountain of holy water
resting at the entrance and crosses herself.
                                                            
                       PRIEST (O.C.)
Would you like confession?
                                                            
Sonia spins to her left to face an elderly PRIEST. His eyes
are polite and thoughtful, bracketed by wrinkles that give
the impression of wisdom.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Oh, um . . . I just - I was just
looking for . . . Excuse me,
Father. Actually, I was stopping
by to see if I could buy some holy
water.
                                                            
                       PRIEST
You want to buy holy water from
me?
                                                            

67.

                       SONIA
For my home. From the church.
                                                            
                       PRIEST
Is everything okay, dear?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yes.
                                                            
                       PRIEST
Wonderful. I'd be happy to give
you holy water for your home. As
much as you need.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Thank you, Father.
                                                            
                       PRIEST
You want God in your home.
                                                            
                       SONIA
. . . Yes.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You want God in your heart.
                                                            
Sonia PAUSES, then smiles and nods politely.
                                                            
                       PRIEST
Wonderful, my child. Then, would
you like me to take your
confession?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Uh . . . Sure.
                                                            
 
INT. CONFESSIONAL BOOTH - DAY
                                                            
Sonia seats herself within the dark, claustrophobic box. The
window slides open on the wall partition, and the priest
becomes faintly visible on the other side of the screen.
                                                            
An awkward silence prevails . . .
                                                            
                       PRIEST
Bless yo--
                                                            
                       SONIA
-- Bless me Father, for I have
sinned!
                                                            

68.

                       PRIEST
Yes.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Sorry!
                                                            
                       PRIEST
Bless you. How long has it been
since your last confession?
                                                            
Sonia, embarrassed, feigns a facetious tone in her answer:
                                                            
                       SONIA
Oh, about . . . twenty, um, twenty
years.
                                                            
The priest SIGHS short and heavy, absorbing the blow.
                                                            
                       PRIEST
What are you - what have you been
doing your life? What - I don't
understand. What . . . ?
                                                            
                       SONIA
W-Well, um . . . I mean I --
                                                            
The Priest attacks:
                                                            
                       PRIEST
-- You come in and tell me twenty
years since your last confession.
My child, how do you expect to
stay out of Hell with all that sin
inside of you? You're going to
Hell! I wouldn't be helping you
by sugar-coating it. As it is
right now, you are going to Hell.
Do you understand?
                                                            
Sonia, browbeaten, stares down at the floor.
                                                            
                       SONIA
. . . Yes.
                                                            
                       PRIEST
I expect to see you at church on a
regular basis from now on, and I
expect you to come in for
confession more than once every
few decades if you have any
concern for your soul. You need
work.
                                                            

69.

                       SONIA
Yes, Father.
                                                            
                       PRIEST
Now . . . go ahead.
                                                            
 
INT. IGLESIA DE GUADALUPE - BACK CORRIDOR - DAY
                                                            
Sonia stands back as the priest MUMBLES a prayer over three
plastic flasks of water, each bearing a crucifix insignia.
                                                            
IGLESIA DE GUADALUPE - MAIN
                                                            
Sonia moves silently toward the exit at the rear of the
church with the flasks in her arms.
                                                            
Before she can push between the massive double-doors, a
decorative LANCE displayed in the corner of the church
catches her eye. She stops dead in her tracks.
                                                            
The lance is posted in the frozen grip of a life-size statue
of the warrior archangel, MIGUEL.
                                                            
Its polished wood handle glistens in the low light,
twinkling where molded metal has been fitted around the pole
for the grip. A carbon-steel spearhead rests atop the
gorgeous weapon, as sharp as the devil himself.
                                                            
Sonia swivels her head around cautiously. She buries the
the flasks into her purse and hikes it up over her shoulder,
then advances toward the lance and --
                                                            
-- A pair of ELDERLY WOMEN enter the church, startling
Sonia.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Good afternoon.
                                                            
                       ELDERLY WOMEN
Good afternoon.
                                                            
The women disappear amongst the pews. Sonia takes a deep
breath, and in one swift, fluid motion, slides the
battle-ready lance from Miguel's grip and hastily slips out
of the church.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
Sonia, her finger strategically placed over the mouth of the
flask, throws droplets of holy water over her front doorway,
drawing out a cross in the air as she does so.
                                                            

70.

She moves to the portrait of Joan, which now features a
wooden rosary draped over the top corner of the frame, and
splashes it with a water cross as well.
                                                            
Finally, the back door with the decimated latch gets the
holy treatment.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - BATHROOM - DAY
                                                            
Sonia stores a flask of holy water in the mirror cabinet.
                                                            
 
INT. ALEJANDRA'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Sonia pins a pair of dried palm leaves, arranged in a cross,
into the top of the door frame.
                                                            
 
INT. JOAN'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
A fine, even layer of dust covers EVERYTHING. It's as if
the contents of the bedroom have remained almost exactly as
Joan left them.
                                                            
Sonia tacks another palm cross over the doorway.
                                                            
BACK DOWNSTAIRS
                                                            
Sonia lights a pair of candles on either side of the Virgen
del Guadalupe statuette. The candles stand in glass
fixtures, bearing ancient paintings of Catholic saints on
their wax bodies.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Sonia runs an aluminum oxide brick against the blades of her
lance at an angle; coats the spearhead with holy water;
stores the weapon underneath her bed.
                                                            
 
EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia marches across the street toward a congregation of
WOMEN AND CHILDREN buzzing about the doorway of somebody's
home. They're all eating tostadas. A paper sign above the
doorframe broadcasts that that's exactly what they're
selling.
                                                            
Yaritza emerges from the mingling mass with a pair of
tostadas and hands one to Sonia.
                                                            

71.

                       YARITZA
Here. Eat it.
                                                            
They hug and kiss; find seats along the edge of the
sidewalk.
                                                            
Sonia takes a bite of her tostada and grimaces.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yaritza, what is that on there?
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Tropa.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I don't like tropa. Eww, you eat
the face.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Fine, switch me. I thought you
liked it.
                                                            
The girls swap tostadas.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Were you busy at the jewelry store
today?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Not really, but I wasn't there for
most of the day. I only had it
open for a few hours.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Why?
                                                            
                       SONIA
I was out and about. At the
church.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Good . . .
                                                            
They continue munching on their meals.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Today at work, in the cell phone
store, I was changing the - Oh,
look at these whores!
                                                            
Yaritza spies Maribel and Jotito Juan sauntering up to the
tostada house.
                                                            

72.

                       JOTITO JUAN
Don't be jealous!
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Yeah, right!
                                                            
They all LAUGH as Juan bends down to Sonia and Yaritza and
gives them kisses on the sidewalk.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Hi, Maribel. You don't have to
bend down for us!
                                                            
                       
Don't worry, I won't.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Bitch.
                                                            
Maribel runs over and gives Yaritza a forceful kiss on the
forehead.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Ow! You made me spill some of my
tropa, whore.
                                                            
Jotito Juan and Maribel leave to order tostadas.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
      (to Sonia)
Anyway . . . how are you?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Fine.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
What'd you do in the church?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Confession.
                                                            
Yaritza makes a sour face, as if she's just been stung:
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Ooooh . . . did you get in
trouble?
                                                            
                       SONIA
What do you think? I told him the
truth.
                                                            
Sagrario LAUGHS OUT LOUD.
                                                            

73.

                       SONIA
When I die I'm going to Hell.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
That's what they always say.
They're mean on purpose, to scare
you into being good. You want to
see if Maribel and that faggot,
Juan, want to go get beers after
this?
                                                            
                       SONIA
No, Yari, I'm tired.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
My God, Sonia. I'm seriously
about to replace you as my
favorite cousin.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Do it.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
I'm going to.
                                                            
                       SONIA
My baby comes back home tomorrow
morning. I miss her. I don't
want to go out.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
Sonia, I could kill you. You're
no fun.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Kill me then, I'm not scared.
                                                            
Yaritza nudges her shoulder into Sonia's.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
I will.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Good, I'll die and burn in Hell
like the priest said.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
You can never die.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I can die. If my dad can die,
then it's good enough for me. I'm
not above it anymore; I can die.
                                                            

74.

                       YARITZA
Shut up.
                                                            
Yaritza rests her head against Sonia's shoulder. They munch
their tostadas down to jagged triangles.
                                                            
                       YARITZA
I love you.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I love you, too.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - DAY
                                                            
Alejandra walks through the front door with her duffel bag,
catching Sonia off guard in the kitchen.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Ale! You're here.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Hi Mama.
                                                            
Sonia greets her daughter with a kiss.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Where's your dad?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
He left.
                                                            
                       SONIA
. . . Why?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
What?
                                                            
                       SONIA
He's not coming inside?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
He left.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Oh . . . that punk. He can't say
hi?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Who cares?
                                                            

75.

                       SONIA
I don't know, he can't even say
hello. I thought he was coming
in. Well, go put your things away
and you can come help me finish
dinner. Osciel's coming.
                                                            
Alejandra looks apprehensively towards the staircase.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Can I go upstairs?
                                                            
Sonia freezes up for a BEAT.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Ye-Yeah, honey, of course.
                                                            
 
INT. ALEJANDRA'S ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Sonia lays across her daughter's bed, fiddling with an
action figure from Alejandra's display stand.
                                                            
Ale HUMS her favorite melody from the corner of the room,
reloading her closet from the duffel bag.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What are you singing?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
None of your business.
                                                            
                       SONIA
You better shut up.
                                                            
Alejandra GIGGLES; JUMPS on the bed next to her mom.
                                                            
                       SONIA
How was your weekend?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Stupid.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I'm sorry.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
No, you're not.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Yes, I am.
                                                            

76.

                       ALEJANDRA
      (referring to her
       action figure)
What are you doing?
                                                            
                       SONIA
Nothing. Tell me a story. Any
good gossip?
                                                            
Sonia replaces the action figure and picks up Alejandra's
black-and-white plaster mask from the same display stand.
                                                            
Alejandra flops down on her back next to Sonia.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
They went to a party Saturday
night.
                                                            
Alejandra touches the mask as Sonia inspects it.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (referring to the
       mask)
This is ugly. Where were the
babies?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Where do you think? With me, I
had to watch them.
                                                            
                       SONIA
I am going to slap your father!
I've told him before: you're not
there to be his babysitter. He's
supposed to be spending time with
you, doing things with you. Not
taking advantage of the situation!
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Well, he leaves me there to watch
Junior and Melissa all the time,
so he and Laura can go out.
                                                            
Sonia massages her temples.
                                                            
                       SONIA
That makes me so angry. Your dad
makes me so angry.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Too bad Laura's outfit was
retarded. She doesn't even know
how to dress.
                                                            

77.

                       SONIA
Oh my God, what did she wear this
time?
                                                            
Alejandra hops up onto her knees.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Okay: she had this skirt on. A
black skirt. And it was all the
way up to here.
                                                            
Alejandra draws a line with her hand along her hip. Sonia
covers her face and shakes her head.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA (cont'd)
It was so short. And she got a
haircut. She got bangs and I
think she cut them herself. It's
just her regular hairstyle, like
she's always had it, but with just
a straight line straight across
her forehead.
                                                            
They both EXPLODE with laughter.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Oh, no. That is so old, I can't
even remember when those bangs
were in style. Can somebody tell
her that that hair-do died with
Selena?
                                                            
Alejandra LAUGHS wildly.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I know, they buried that haircut
when they buried Selena. I wish
I'd thought of that!
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
Mother and daughter prepare a feast to the sounds emanating
from a radio. Sonia chops onions and tomatoes at a
rapid-fire pace; Alejandra commands an army of pots and pans
boiling and frying over the stove.
                                                            
 

78.

EXT. SONIA'S HOUSE - NIGHT
                                                            
Osciel crosses the street with a bag of groceries in his
arms. A few OLDER WOMEN sitting on their stoops together
wave to him. He returns the gesture and makes his way
through his mother's front door.
                                                            
BACK TO SONIA'S KITCHEN
                                                            
Enter Osciel. He sets the bag down on the table.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Hi baby!
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Hi loser!
                                                            
                       SONIA
Did you get everything?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Yes.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Okay, come kiss your mother.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Mommy, can you pass me something
to stir this pot with?
                                                            
Osciel moves over to the stove and plants his lips on his
mom's cheek.
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (to Alejandra)
Yes, baby.
                                                            
Sonia opens a drawer in the counter. The gun Sergio gave
her rests amongst the cooking utensils. She selects a large
wooden spoon and hands it to Alejandra.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Okay, Osciel, can you put the
octopus in the fridge for now,
son?
                                                            
Alejandra stirs a pot a bit, then scampers off upstairs.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
I'll be back!
                                                            
Osciel loads some groceries into the refrigerator.
                                                            
 

79.

INT. UPSTAIRS TELEVISION ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Alejandra turns on the television to an ANIME program and
plops down on the couch.
                                                            
Osciel appears, bobbing up from the staircase, and throws a
playful punch at his sister as he passes the couch.
Alejandra flings a leg at him and misses by a mile.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Get out of the way of the T.V.
                                                            
She watches him enter Joan's room and sit on the edge of the
bed . . . she turns her attention back to the anime.
                                                            
                       SONIA (O.C.)
      (calling out)
Ale, are you helping me or what?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
On the commercial!
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Alejandra?
                                                            
She turns her eyes back to Joan's room. On the other side
of the open door, Osciel is now scanning a display of
photographs on a chest of drawers.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
What?
                                                            
                       OSCIEL
Do you remember Joan?
                                                            
BEAT.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Yes.
                                                            
She fixes her attention on her T.V. show. It cuts to
commercial.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
      (calling out)
I'm coming, mom.
                                                            
She hops off the couch and runs downstairs.
                                                            
 

80.

INT. JOAN'S ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Osciel studies a picture of a young Joan cradling the infant
version of himself. He wipes a layer of dust clean from the
glass, making the image sharper.
                                                            
After a MOMENT, he turns from the memories and moves swiftly
toward the room's exit. Mid-stride, his foot lands in a
large PUDDLE OF WATER that has inexplicably accumulated on
the tile.
                                                            
Osciel is FLIPPED up into the air.
                                                            
The CRUNCH of his body slapping the ground resounds. The
impact opens a gash in the back of Osciel's head,
immediately sprinkling the floor with liquid rubies.
                                                            
A guttural GROAN of pain begins to emanate, before swathes
of DINGY WHITE FABRICS shoot down his throat.
                                                            
                                         SHOCK CUT TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. JALISCO, MEXICO - CIRCA 1900 - DAY
                                                            
THE WEEPING WOMAN SCREAMS. She yanks her TODDLER SONS away
from their game of stabbing ants in the dirt with sticks and
strikes them wildly about their heads.
                                                            
The woman's vicious swings nearly jar her INFANT DAUGHTER
loose from the wrapped blanket that keeps her secure around
her torso.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT
                                                            
Alejandra keeps watch over the stove, HUMMING her familiar
tune.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S HOUSE - BATHROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Sonia washes her hands in the sink. Alejandra HUMMING in
the kitchen is audible.
                                                            
BACK TO THE KITCHEN
                                                            
Alejandra leaves her station over the stove and races back
upstairs toward the SOUNDS of anime action coming back from
commercial.
                                                            

81.

BACK TO THE BATHROOM
                                                            
Sonia pulls open the mirror cabinet, and Alejandra's
haunting melody becomes audible again - but this time MUCH
CLOSER and from what is definitely ANOTHER VOICE.
                                                            
A CRACKED, UNHOLY VOICE HUMS.
                                                            
Sonia freezes at the sound, holding the mirror door open
with her trembling hand . . . BEAT, THEN:
                                                            
The mirror door FLIES out of her grip and SMASHES shut,
spider-webbing the glass with an abundance of CRACKS.
                                                            
There is clearly SOMETHING behind Sonia in the jagged,
uneven pieces of the decimated mirror.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
There's one more.
                                                            
Sonia traps a WHIMPER in her throat; struggles to ease her
involuntarily shaking.
                                                            
                       SONIA
No . . .
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
Where is he?!
                                                            
                       SONIA
He . . . he died.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
No!
                                                            
                       SONIA
Leave us . . .
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
Give me your children!
                                                            
Sonia EXPLODES toward the cabinet, flinging the shattered
door open, reaching in for a flask of HOLY WATER.
                                                            
She tears the lid off of the container and leaps after the
ghost, letting out a WARRIOR'S CRY as she charges.
                                                            
La Llorona zips back in retreat, BURSTING through the
bathroom door and into the
                                                            

82.

LIVING ROOM
                                                            
They spill into the area. Sonia rushes into La Llorona's
chest and wrestles through her guard, letting the flask rain
along the way.
                                                            
 
INT. RIO XALOS - CIRCA 1900 - NIGHT
                                                            
The river is full and healthy. La Llorona, ever-weeping,
stands in the water up to her waist, and thrusts her
daughter into the blue.
                                                            
Her two toddler sons float by, face down.
                                                            
BACK TO THE LIVING ROOM
                                                            
Sonia tackles La Llorona to the floor. Their momentum
slides them a few feet across the tile.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
No!
                                                            
They immediately retreat from each other to catch their
bearings. The ghost rises to her feet. Sonia sits up on
the ground, flask empty, her eyes flashing with the sudden
shock of realization.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
No!
                                                            
The malevolent spirit begins jerking her extremities in a
CONNIPTION. She tears at her reed-like nest of hair, twists
and convulses at the abdomen, points a damning finger at
Sonia.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
No! No! No! You, you - No!
                                                            
Sonia watches the display: face sallow, eyes full, mouth
agape.
                                                            
                       SONIA
. . . You killed yours.
                                                            
La Llorona HOWLS IN AGONY at the accusation. Sonia grows
angry:
                                                            
                       SONIA
Why would you do that?
                                                            

83.

La Llorona, BAWLING now, spreads her gown like wings, and
leaps up into space, propelling herself up the staircase in
a furious flash.
                                                            
                       SONIA
No! Alejandra!
                                                            
Sonia gives chase.
                                                            
UPSTAIRS TELEVISION ROOM
                                                            
Sonia rushes up from the stairs. The area is dreadfully
dark. SOUNDS of a child WEEPING.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Alejandra?!
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA (O.C.)
Mama!
                                                            
Sonia follows the voice into
                                                            
JOAN'S ROOM
                                                            
and finds Alejandra on her knees, hysterically digging
through a pile of ASH on the floor.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Ale-- What? What are you doing?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Mama!
                                                            
Sonia joins her daughter alongside the dusty pile and
inspects it for herself.
                                                            
                       SONIA
What is this?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Mama, I don't know!
                                                            
                       SONIA
Get out, baby. We need to leave.
                                                            
Sonia stands up and takes Alejandra by her soot-covered
hand.
                                                            
                       SONIA
We have to go!
                                                            

84.

                       ALEJANDRA
We can't, I tried. The door won't
open!
                                                            
Sonia yanks Ale to her feet.
                                                            
                       SONIA
It's open now, honey, we've got to
get th--
                                                            
-- The door to Joan's room THUNDERS shut. The girls FREEZE.
                                                            
The walls grow longer, taller; angles grow sharper, edged
with menace; EVERYTHING is washed anew in gaudy colors that
pop with alarming shine. The house is transformed:
                                                            
THEY ARE IN LA LLORONA'S WORLD NOW
                                                            
Tears trickle down from above, landing atop the heads of the
shell shocked mother and daughter.
                                                            
Sonia and Alejandra look up to the roof in unison and see La
Llorona LAYING ACROSS THE CEILING. Nestled against her
breast, resting beneath her mothering embrace, is the top
half of OSCIEL'S CHARRED BODY.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
      (to Osciel)
Que cese el llanto . . . Shh, no
llores . . . No llores, mi hijo.
                                                            
Sonia and Alejandra SCREAM as they rush to the door. Sonia
struggles to force it open.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA (cont'd)
It's okay, it's okay. I'm here.
I'm back. Duerme y no llores.
                                                            
Sonia battles the doorknob until it gives. The girls rush
out.
                                                            
BACK DOWNSTAIRS
                                                            
They rumble down the stairs and make their way to the front
door. The tawdry tones of the house are even more vivid
down here.
                                                            
Sonia tries with all her might to twist the doorknob, but
the attempt fails. She tries again. Her face skews as she
exerts . . . but to no avail.
                                                            
Sonia POUNDS the door in frustration, then scans her
surroundings.
                                                            

85.

                       SONIA
Come on.
                                                            
Sonia takes her daughter's hand and pulls her across the
house toward the damaged sliding door at the rear.
                                                            
On the way over, Sonia tries the telephone on the wall - NO
DIAL TONE. She drops it and continues on.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Our cell phones are upstairs.
                                                            
Sonia ignores her. The girls arrive at the back door and
try together to throw it open. It won't budge.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Let's try again on three. Ready?
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
Mama, hurry!
                                                            
                       SONIA
One . . . two . . . three!
                                                            
They tug the door together with all the effort in the world
but, of course, it won't move an inch.
                                                            
They concede, exhausted.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
What are we going to do? We can
go through the window upstairs!
                                                            
                       SONIA
She's already up there, Ale.
                                                            
                       ALEJANDRA
But she's everywhere!
                                                            
Sonia's head suddenly turns sharply toward her bedroom.
                                                            
                       SONIA
Come on.
                                                            
 
INT. SONIA'S ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The spearhead of the lance sparkles beneath Sonia's bed. She
enters the room with Alejandra and makes a beeline for the
weapon.
                                                            

86.

                       SONIA
Baby, get the holy waters I put in
my drawers.
                                                            
Alejandra pulls them out. Sonia gets a feel for the lance
in her hands.
                                                            
 
EXT. JALISCO, MEXICO - CIRCA 1900 - DAY
                                                            
La Llorona WEEPS as her HUSBAND loads his shovel and pick ax
into the cart of a horse-drawn carriage.
                                                            
She pulls at his sleeves, scratches at him, completely
hysterical, forcefully attempting to stop him from entering
the cart with the other LABORERS.
                                                            
The Husband loses his temper and SLAPS her down to the
ground. He mounts the flatbed and the horses speed away,
leaving La Llorona to wallow in the dirt.
                                                            
 
INT. BENEATH THE RIO XALOS - CIRCA 1900 - NIGHT
                                                            
The baby girl drowns, eyes and mouth locked open in her
final moment of life.
                                                            
BACK DOWNSTAIRS
                                                            
Sonia thrusts the spearhead of the holy lance into the wood
of the front door.
                                                            
BACK TO THE RIO XALOS
                                                            
La Llorona gathers the limp bodies of her expired children
into her arms and cries.
                                                            
BACK DOWNSTAIRS
                                                            
Sonia strikes the door with the lance again and again. The
wood around the doorknob begins to splinter on the surface.
                                                            
 
INT. ADOBE HOUSE - CIRCA 1900 - DAY
                                                            
La Llorona frantically rubs her own blood over her face,
painting a crimson mask to hide her shame.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO BLACK
                                                            
Infinite darkness. No sense of time or space. The abyss.
                                                            
An omnipotent VOICE bellows out:
                                                            

87.

                       VOICE (O.C.)
Where are your children?
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA (O.C.)
. . . I - I don't know.
                                                            
                       VOICE (O.C.)
Where are you children?!
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA (O.C.)
I don't --
                                                            
BACK DOWNSTAIRS
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA (cont'd)
-- know!
                                                            
Sonia and Alejandra spin around, STARTLED, to find La
Llorona sitting on the living room floor with her back to
them. The ghost weeps softly, seemingly oblivious to
anything else.
                                                            
An emboldened Sonia signals for her daughter to stay put as
she creeps toward the apparition, lance primed to strike.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
      (singing)
. . . Te fuiste no se porque . . .
Yo se que me querias y se que me
adorabas . . .
                                                            
Sonia's facial expression and body language change as she
recognizes the lyrics. She continues moving toward La
Llorona, almost sleepwalking now.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA (cont'd)
      (singing)
. . . Por si acaso quieres
regresar, te voy a esperar, te voy
a esperar . . . Tragos de amargo
licor . . . que no me hacen
olvidar . . . Y me siento como un
cobarde, que hasta me pongo a
llorar.
                                                            
Sonia, tears in her eyes, steps within striking range of La
Llorona - and the wraith RISES SLOWLY TO HER FEET.
                                                            
Sonia stops dead in her tracks, watching her nemesis grow.
                                                            
La Llorona's turns slowly toward Sonia, revealing that her
veil is up, and she is wearing Alejandra's plaster mask over
her face.
                                                            

88.

Sonia JABS the lance toward the ghost's heart with all her
might, but OTHERWORLDLY REFLEXES allow La Llorona to catch
the weapon mid-strike and SNAP the blade off of the pole.
                                                            
La Llorona pulls Sonia's face up to hers, bringing them
nose-to-nose, and TEARS THE MASK OFF.
                                                            
 
EXT. ADOBE HOUSE - CIRCA 1900 - DAY
                                                            
The Husband and a mob of his fellow LABORERS bang furiously
at the front door of his own home, trying to mow down the
entrance with pitchforks, axes, and hammers.
                                                            
The Husband is at the head of the sea of men. He begins
cutting into the walls of his house with his tool, CURSING
like a madman.
                                                            
He is crying.
                                                            
 
INT. ADOBE HOUSE - CIRCA 1900 - DAY
                                                            
La Llorona wears her wedding dress. She watches as her
barricade of wood and stone begins to split behind axes and
shovels.
                                                            
She thrusts a shiv into her abdomen.
                                                            
BACK TO SONIA'S HOUSE
                                                            
She thrusts the blade into an abdomen.
                                                            
BACK TO THE ADOBE HOUSE - CIRCA 1900
                                                            
And again . . .
                                                            
BACK TO SONIA'S HOUSE
                                                            
. . . and again.
                                                            
 
EXT. PANTEóN DE GUADALUPE CEMETERY - CIRCA 1900 - DAY
                                                            
The Husband weeps with FRIENDS AND FAMILY over three mounds
of fresh dirt.
                                                            
 
EXT. PANTEóN DE GUADALUPE CEMETERY - 8 YEARS AGO - DAY
                                                            
Sonia and Sergio stand hand-in-hand over the freshly filled
grave of Joan Castillo. They are flanked by pre-teen Osciel
and toddler Alejandra.
                                                            
 

89.

EXT. JALISCO, MEXICO - CIRCA 1900 - DAY
                                                            
The husband and his co-workers rush to add wood to a RAGING
PYRE that engulfs the corpse of La Llorona. They take turns
spitting at her body and making lewd gestures for good
measure.
                                                            
BACK TO SONIA'S HOUSE
                                                            
Innocent eyes stare out vacantly from behind the black
circles of the plaster mask.
                                                            
Sonia snaps out of her trance and sees that Alejandra is
trapped in La Llorona's grip, with the mask over her face
now. The ghost raises the tip of the lance again and buries
it deep within the little girl's stomach.
                                                            
Sonia's eyes bulge out; the wraith STABS the girl five more
times, rapid fire.
                                                            
Sonia finally regains her senses enough to SCREAM. She BULL
RUSHES La Llorona, full of steam, but the ghost zips back up
the staircase in retreat.
                                                            
The striking colors of La Llorona's world disappear. No
more sharp angles or harrowing corners. REALITY SETS IN.
                                                            
Alejandra's lifeless body flops onto the floor. Her torso
is painted like La Llorona's. Sonia drops to her knees over
the corpse and removes the mask from her child's face.
                                                            
She cannot make a sound.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA (O.C.)
      (singing)
Ven, niño, ven . . .
                                                            
At last, Sonia manages to pull a burst of air into her
lungs:
                                                            
                       SONIA
Why?!
                                                            
The ghost materializes back over the scene and simply
watches. Sonia can't take her crying eyes off her massacred
baby. She stifles her weeping; catches her voice again:
                                                            
                       SONIA
      (whispering)
This is the Lamb of God who takes
away the sins of the world. Happy
are those who are called to his --
                                                            

90.

-- La Llorona BOWLS into Sonia, and shoots her body across
the floor, into the
                                                            
KITCHEN
                                                            
Sonia sits up on the ground and spots one of the flasks of
holy water nearby. She grabs it, reaches up behind her, and
rips a drawer out of the counter. Cooking utensils spill
out across the kitchen floor . . .
                                                            
. . . And Sergio's gun.
                                                            
Sonia picks up the gun and checks the chamber: six shots.
She flips it shut and pours holy water down the barrel.
                                                            
La Llorona CACKLES sadistically. It sounds about the same
as when she cries.
                                                            
BOOM! Sonia pulls the trigger. The bullet explodes through
the ghost and takes a chunk of ash from La Llorona's body on
its way into the wall behind her - it accomplishes virtually
nothing.
                                                            
Sonia pulls the trigger twice more in frustration, then
squirts more water into the barrel. She looks up toward the
ceiling with pleading eyes.
                                                            
La Llorona coolly advances up to the kitchen's threshold.
The ghost spots another flask of holy water on the floor and
picks it up. She splashes the water into her own face;
drinks from it.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
It's water.
                                                            
She moves the flask under her veil and sucks on the rim,
shoving her tongue in to emphasize that it's empty.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
It's just water!
                                                            
Sonia shoots her enemy twice more. The bullets spray specks
of ash into the air upon impact, but La Llorona remains
unharmed. She lets out ANOTHER HORRID CACKLE.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
They're just things! They're just
words! Bullets, water,
everything! It's shit!
                                                            
Sonia begins to WEEP HEAVILY. La Llorona looks up toward
the ceiling.
                                                            

91.

                       LA LLORONA
Nothing's coming. It's just me
and you. Sins and ingratitude.
                                                            
Sonia looks at her daughter's body in the distance . . . at
the ghost standing across the kitchen . . . she looks at
Osciel's portrait on the wall . . . and then looks at the
gun in her hand.
                                                            
Sonia stops crying.
                                                            
 
EXT. APA'S RANCH - FLASHBACK - DAY
                                                            
Sonia rests on the grass, smiling, with infant Alejandra in
her arms.
                                                            
She watches on as Sergio plays soccer with Joan and Osciel.
The boys attack the ball as their father tries to retain
possession with fancy footwork.
                                                            
Sonia cheers her sons on. The sun shines radiantly.
                                                            
BACK TO SONIA'S KITCHEN
                                                            
La Llorona notes a sudden change in Sonia's attitude; a
disturbingly serene look of finality in her eyes.
                                                            
                       LA LLORONA
No - No!
                                                            
Sonia puts the barrel of the gun in her mouth and pulls the
trigger. Her brain matter splashes across the floor
cupboards behind her like a stunning work of abstract
expressionism.
                                                            


THE END


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From Kevin Mitchell Date 9/27/2008 ***1/2
I loved the story. This is my favorite type of Horror, the paranormal. Good use of scary moments. I disagree with David on that the scary moments were not too far between each other because you used the scary moments to propell the story and plot and not the other way around like so many scary movies do. There was a rich story there and the characters were well developed. I would stay away from "we see"... Just don't use it because it detracts the reader from the story. It's a writers script and not a production script. Well written and I really enjoyed it.

From Thomas Simmons Date 9/25/2008 ***1/2
I have spent the last couple of days sneaking reads of your work, and I loved it. As a teenager my mother remaried, and my stepfather won over my older brothers and I with Mexican ghost stories. Our favorite was La Llorona. You honor the form. I think a little more suspense may be in order. The best ghost stories really build it up. Over all I found this to be a very well written, well executed story. Thanks for re-sparking some fond memories. Great work.

From David Chase Date 9/22/2008 ***
I liked the character development in this one, and it really felt authentically Mexican (which I assume it is). I enjoy horror scripts more when they don't have to rely on gore and violence. My first major concern with this one is that there's really long periods between anything creepy happening. I would like to have seen more of a buildup to seeing the ghost, more of people looking over their shoulders and hearing things that go bump in the night. The second concern I have is that it was a bit confusing in end. I like flashbacks to tell a story, but the story can suffer if the flashbacks aren't clear enough. Structure looks good, but I would avoid anything like camera direction, references to "we see", fancy cuts (unless you're making the movie and preparing a shooting script). Stick to telling the story in as tight and clear a manner as possible, and tighten up the dialogue wherever you can, and it will be that much better. There's a nice lyrical quality to your writing, and it deserves to be showcased as effectively as possible.

From Roman Monroe Date 9/22/2008 ****
Wow, that was something else. Very unique. Usually I could care less about some protagonists in horror films, but this was really different. Sonia is a fantastic character, and I really felt for her. I'm speechless. It's awesome, you really have something special here man.


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