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by Ryan Sloan (ryanlsloan@juno.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Horror   User Review:

After being found not guilty in the murder of her two year old son, Maggie Silversmith is kidnapped and put on a twisted trial for her life. Will the authorities be able to save Maggie before she becomes a victim of justice perverted? (Note: This is a rough draft of the script.)

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.


In this small, nondescript room alit by a curlique light
bulb dangling over a long rectangular table sit a motley
crew of seven men and five women. These people puzzle over
transcribed police reports, courtroom testimony, medical
examiner reports, and photographs.

The trembling hand of GEORGE Martin, a mid-30s man decked in
a white suit one size too small, grasps the photo of a dirt
hole, in the woods, that bears a small person dressed in a
Mickey Mouse pajamas and whose head is wrapped with blue
duct tape.

At the same time, the handsome, mid-20s blond ALAIN
Stephenson shines a gaze over every person in the room.
We've spent a few hours examining
this evidence. Are you guys ready
to vote on this matter?
Head nods, grunts, and hums of "yes" come from most of the
people in this room. Only George does not respond to
Alain's inquiry. George seems lost in the photo.

A female juror with bobbed black hair, the early-20s ANDREA
Watley taps George in the side with the tip of her elbow.
George, did you hear what Alain
just said?
This kid never had a chance to see
his hero in person. At least,
he'll get some justice here,
Andrea lightly pats George on the side of his arm.
We're here to pursue justice,
period, George.
Didn't I just say that?


George, Andrea, are you two
finished? We have to render a
verdict. It's time for us to get
back to task.
Both George and Andrea nod in agreement.
By a show of hands, how many of
you find Margaret Silversmith
guilty of first degree murder?
There are head nods and grunts and hums of "yes" from
everyone but George whose eyes attend to the photo in his
Of the 12 people in the room only George has his hand
extended in air while he stares at the photo of the
duct-taped face.

We see a tear plop onto the tape-covered face in the


A bewildered George scans the confused faces of his fellow
What? You can't be telling me,
I'm the only person who believes
she killed her son.
The state failed to prove beyond a
reasonable doubt that she...
She did it, Alain. You know it.
Andrea knows. Everybody in here
knows it.
The room turns silent as George's eyes race from face to
face. Of the 11 people he stares at none convey the
sentiment of disagreement with his assessment of Margaret's
See. See, Alain? Everyone in
here agrees with me. Maggie
killed her son, Michael. End of
story. So let's have a second


                       GEORGE (cont'd)
vote and send the bitch a message.
JORGE Martinez, a man in his early-40s with silvery hair
gives George a "thumb's up" gesture and smiles out the side
of his face. He grabs a photo of the happy two-year old
MICHAEL "Little Mickey" Silversmith donning a Mickey Mouse
hat that sits atop of his brownish-blond curly hair.
Hey, man, I am with you. 100
percent in total agreement. I
have a nephew who looks just like
little Michael. Maggie should fry
for what she did to her boy...
Andrea juts an accusatory finger in Jorge's direction.
You shouldn't be on this jury.
You're not supposed to have a
prejudice against the accused.
The other jurors sans George concur with Andrea's
assessment. They shake their heads with disgust.
You lied to get on this jury,
didn't you, Mr. Gonzalez?
The sound of Jorge's last name draws sneers and animal-like
facial expressions from the other jurors, full of hate and
venom, all directed towards him.

Alain darts to and knocks on the door.
First off, my last name is
Martinez, Ms. Watley. Secondly, I
didn't lie to get on this jury. I
was never asked about my nephew
during voir dire. Finally, you
didn't let me finish. Despite
having my Philip who looks just
like the victim, I still believe
the state failed to meet their
This pacifies the jury whose faces return to normal, but
George shakes his head in outrage.


The door opens revealing a BAILIFF, a thick man with his
head jutting from between his shoulders and Sgt. Fendergast
on his nametag.
Is there a problem?
Not now. The problem resolved
The bailiff withdraws his head while cutting an eye at
George, and Alain presses the door closed.
Every one of you is an idiot. She
did not report Michael for being
missing for two months. By the
time they found the little boy,
six months after that, he looked
like this.
George holds up the photo of the little duct-taped face boy.
George's fellow jurors retract from the photo, but he rises
to his feet and walks around the table jabbing the picture
at the jurors avoiding faces.
Why don't you look at the little
boy, you people are turning your
back on?
Alain grabs George by his shoulders and leads him towards
George's seat.
Why don't you calm down, George?
You're gonna give yourself a heart
George shrugs off Alain's hands and returns to his seat.
George balls up the photo and hurls it at the light bulb.
And every one of you should be
given the same treatment this
little boy was. Maybe then, you
would want justice.


If you break that bulb, they'll
make you pay for it and find you
in contempt. You're too
Listen to the Harvard-educated
talk show host talk down to the
high school dropout who mops
floors for a living.
Give it a rest, George. This case
isn't about you or Alain. This
is about if the state could prove
what happened to a little boy two
years ago.
They have. He was last seen with
her, and all the defense can say
was that when Maggie turned her
back one Saturday morning, he
snuck out house never to be seen
alive by her again... my ass.
All of George's fellow jurors minus Alain, Andrea, and Jorge
nod in agreement with George's statement.
They never proved the cause of
The medical examiner said Michael
died from chloroform, which his
mother looked up online a week
before he supposedly disappeared.
The medical examiner used
Just because the state doesn't
recognize the microtoxin spectrum
analysis of Michael's hair for
traces of chloroform doesn't make
the science fake.


And Maggie looked up chloroform
for a homework assignment in her
criminology class at NCSU.
Jorge, why don't you and the rest
of these assholes just admit that
you took one look at Margaret
Silversmith and concluded that
this pretty bitch couldn't
possibly be a killer?
George, get control of yourself,
or I'll have the bailiff escort
you out.
George thumps the table with his fists. His eyes are wild
and deranged. He heaves and froths at the mouth while his
face turns crimson. He leans in Alain's face.
I see what's going on. You want
the bitch to be acquitted, Mr.
Stephenson. You want her
acquitted so she will do your TV
show and give you Bill
O'Reilly-like ratings. Well, not
on my watch, you lame-stream media
Alain spreads the photographs, the police report, the
medical examiner's report, and the courtroom transcript
before George with the skill of a casino card dealer.
If you can point out one piece of
evidence where the state proved,
beyond a reasonable doubt, that
Margaret Silversmith killed her
little boy, I will vote to convict
her of murder.
I will too.
Jorge and the other jurors join Andrea with affirming head
George stomps to and pounds on the door. The door opens
revealing the bailiff.


What do you want?
Tell the judge, I want to be
removed from this jury. I can't
in good conscience remain on a
jury with a group of morons.
Come with me. Mr. Martin.
George extracts himself from the room, pulling the door shut
behind him while grumbling to himself.
The courtroom's gallery is a capacity with buzzing accept
from Marjorie MARGE Silversmith, a relatively-attractive
woman in her mid-50s with brown, shoulder-length hair and a
pink pantsuit. She casts a concerned look from her seat
immediately behind the defense table at her daughter, the
accused Margaret MAGGIE Silversmith.

Normally an attractive blonde in her mid-20s with her hair
wrapped in a bun on the back of her head, Maggie appears
pale and soaked with perspiration. Her lavender sweater
sticks to her skin. Her head droops between her whispering
attorneys the rotund, black-bearded TODD Clifton in his
early 50s and PAULA Upton, African American in her mid-40s
with shortly-cropped hair.
I'm sure there is nothing to worry
about, Maggie. It's not that
unusual for a jury to be back with
a verdict in under 16 hours.
15 hours and 45 minutes, Todd.
But doesn't that mean that the
jury voted to convict?
Not all the time.
But it is most of the time, isn't
it, Paula?


Paula turns to a plastic cup she kneads in her hands as Todd
wraps a reassuring arm around his client's neck.
Meanwhile, at the bench, the bailiff has a styrofoam cup of
steaming mocha brown fluid rising to his lips as he slants
his eyes at the defense table. Beside him is the bespeckled
COURT CLERK, Diane, who watches the clock, that hangs behind
the jury box, read "8:58".
Makes you wonder what it would be
like to have a daughter, doesn't
it, Diane.
                       COURT CLERK
What do you mean, Fendergast?
The bailiff sips from his cup.
I mean, the way that Clifton is
hugging the accused. That's what
Hank should've been doing instead
of hugging whiskey bottles over
the years. Maybe, Maggie wouldn't
be in this mess.
                       COURT CLERK
No thanks. I've had to babysit my
sister's twin daughters. I
thought, I would have to pull a
Maggie Silversmith on them a few
Fendergast finishes the remainder of his cup's contents in a
large gulp, balls up the cup, and fires it at the trash can
parked at the side door beside the jury box. The shot is
                       COURT CLERK
Something, I said, big guy? You
don't play Kevin Durant unless I
said something to piss you off.
You should be taking this
seriously. An innocent boy is
dead. No more birthdays or
Christmases. And certainly no one
to ever babysit him.
Diane lends Fendergast a consoling pat on the arm.


                       COURT CLERK
I meant no harm, but when you and
your wife have your first child,
you'll know what I mean.
Fendergast takes another sip from his cup.
I could've sworn this was heading
for a mistrial with the judge
having to select an alternate
                       COURT CLERK
Martin gave up to easily. I
think, he should've stuck it out.
What's the point? I don't think,
those jurors would've changed his
                       COURT CLERK
More like make him see reason.
You don't think that woman is
innocent, do you.
                       COURT CLERK
No. But Beemingly and Walters
didn't prove her guilt either.
Well, it only took another day of
deliberation for the jury to come
to a consensus.
Diane spots the time that reads, "8:59," and she darts out
the door beside the judge's bench as Fendergast cuts his
eyes at the prosecution's table.

Here sits the smarmy, slick-haired LIONEL Beemingly, mid-40s
with a twinkle in his blue eyes and a wisp of a moustache
covering his upper lip. Beside Lionel is FRANK Walters,
late 20s, who swirls a cup of black fluid in his hand.
The court clerk returns and stops at her desk beside the


                       COURT CLERK
All rise. State Superior Court B
is now in session. Judge Rex
Georgia is presiding.
The entire courtroom rises to their feet and the bailiff
heads to his station that faces the jury box as the balding
African American in his mid-40s enters via the connecting
door for the judge's chambers and the courtroom. JUDGE Rex
GEORGIA fidgets with his eyeglasses perched at the end of
his nose as he takes his seat.
                       JUDGE GEORGIA
You may be seated.
As the constitution of the courtroom assume their seats, the
judge motions for the court clerk to come to the bench.
Diane complies.
She heads out the courtroom, via the side door beside the
jury box for a beat, and she returns with 12 emotionless
people, none of which looking in Maggie's direction,
including George's replacement, a mid-20s blond male with
frazzled hair.

Maggie's face drops, and she sighs anticipating the verdict
even as Todd pats her on her back softly and Paula loses
herself in her plastic cup, while the members' faces at the
prosecution's table widen with mirth and confidence.

As the jury adopt their seats in the jury box, Alain, seated
at the front and nearest the bench hands Diane a folded
sheet of paper. She takes this sheet to the judge who
unfolds it and scans it for a beat.

Judge Georgia refolds the sheet and turns to Alain.
                       JUDGE GEORGIA
Mr. Foreman, has the jury reached
a verdict in this matter?
Alain arises and adopts the rigid posture of a soldier with
a rifle in hand, ready to execute any order coming from his
commanding officer.
We have, your honor.
The judge turns to the defense table.
                       JUDGE GEORGIA
Would the defendant please rise?


With assistance from Todd and Paula, Maggie manages to rise
to her feet. The defendant's knees wobble, and her forehead
is covered with perspiration.
                       JUDGE GEORGIA
And is it unanimous?
It is.
The anticipation builds in the courtroom. Faces excited or
terrified all come together to form an amalgamation that is
both recognizable and mysterious.

All eyes glued on the jury foreman who stares forward and
into both nothingness and eternity.
                       JUDGE GEORGIA
What say you?
We find the defendant, Margaret
Silversmith, not guilty of the
charge of murder in the first
A collective gasp is released with shock and awe covering
every face in the courtroom except for the jurors who appear
disgusted and sadden and fearful.
A silence fills the courtroom. But this is a silence filled
with deafening calls of "Why?" as eyes shoot bullets into
the panel of 12 whose leader returns to his seat and none of
which all anything to do with the stares. There are
exceptions to this rule.

The court clerk pours herself a stryofoam cup of water as
Maggie's relieved parents pat the backs of Maggie's
      (whispering in
       Maggie's ear)
I gotta leave to call your dad to
let him know the good news.
Marge beams as she steals away from the courtroom.
Nervous, disbelieving smiles cover the faces of Maggie and
her lawyers, while the head prosecutor pounces to his feet
and his co-counsel shakes his head in utter disbelief.


Your honor, this is an outrage. We
demand that you reject this
verdict and render one from the
Frank tugs on Lionel's coat.
You're making a scene, Lionel.
I'm doing my job, Frank.
                       JUDGE GEORGIA
I certainly will not, Mr.
Beemingly. Please return to your
Surely, the state proved beyond a
reasonable doubt that the accused
murdered her helpless son, sir.
                       JUDGE GEORGIA
Be seated or be cited for contempt
of court, Mr. Beemingly.
Your honor, please...
The judge extends his gavel at Lionel. Judge Georgia's face
turns stale, and his eyes narrow onto the prosecutor.
                       JUDGE GEORGIA
Just because you do not like the
verdict is no reason for it to be
reversed. You should and will
accept the judgment rendered by
the jurors who believe you failed
to meet your burden. Now, if I
have to tell you to sit once more,
I will have the bailiff cart you
to lock-up. Do we understand, Mr.
Lionel reluctantly returns to his seat, and the judge turns
to the still standing defendant flanked by her attorneys.
                       JUDGE GEORGIA
Ms. Silversmith, I will make
arrangements with your attorneys
and the prosecutors regarding your
release later on today. This


                       JUDGE GEORGIA (cont'd)
court's in recess.
One bang of his gavel and Judge Georgia departs via the door
leading to his chambers, and the court clerk rises to her
                       COURT CLERK
All rise.
The remaining members of the courtroom rise to their feet,
and the court clerk races the jurors out the side door, and
the bailiff reaches the defense table as curses and slurs
are hurled by the courtroom gallery's congregation.
In his early 30s and donning a brim hat, a pair of cheap
sunglasses, a white wifebeater T-shirt, and a pair of denim
jeans, CHAD VINCENT enters the double opaque glass doors
with a pretty young woman, no more than 20, strapped to his
arm and dress in a tight print mini-dress. They stroll
through the lobby decorated with an undulating ceiling fan
and the front desk helmed by an unshaven man with stains on
his black heavy-metal group T-shirt affixed with his nametag
bearing JOLLY TIMES INN and PETE who stares at the
flat-screen TV jutting from the wall behind him and over a
rack of room keys.
ON THE TV - We see in the upper left-hand corner of the
screen LIVE.

We also see FAYE JOHNSON, a reporter in her mid-30s and with
a microphone for Channel 9 News in hand, walking down the
steps of the entrance to the boisterous Cumberland County
Courthouse with a guards standing akimbo.

Faye points in front of her, and the TV camera switches to
the scene at the sides of the courthouse steps.

Here, more guards man the barricades before protesters
brandishing signs stating, "MAGGIE'S GUILTY," "SHE KILLED

The owners of these signs look less human and more like
beasts ready to rend the flesh from Margaret Silversmith's
body. Though they represent different ethnic groups,
genders, and ages, they are all the same, a sum of rage. Out
of their snarling and jeering, the crowd says nothing


intelligible, but their behavior is understandable -- the
murderer of a two-year old boy is free.
Faye leaps back in front of the camera. Her face is both
sober and excited. Her voice filled with outrage and
This is Faye Johnson with the
Channel 9 News. As you can see
and hear, the people down here at
the Cumberland County Courthouse
have made their feelings known
about the Silversmith trial that
ended an hour ago and lasted only
20 days, but may have changed
everyone forever.
Pete shakes his head and pulls a back of potato chips from
under the counter.
I know, it's changed me. Shit,
the next time I get a chance to
get on a jury, I ain't gonna fuck
it up like I did on the
Silversmith case by saying I knew
the accused.
As Pete dives into a bag of chips Chad and his lady friend
reaches the desk.
And why would you do that, Pete?
Most cases are boring wastes of
Maybe he would've brought justice
for that little boy.
Not really, Chantel. See, a case
like this one. Guaranteed good
payday. I would've dropped this
eight dollar per hour shit job in
a second.
A collective groan comes from Chad and Chantel. The former
adds unintelligible mumbling and the latter offers rolling
eyes as a portly man in his mid-50s and white hair and


shades enters the lobby via the entrance.

This gentleman wears an Hawaiian shirt, a digital camera
around his neck, and powder blue shorts.

He slyly takes photos of the motel lobby and Chad's and
Chantel's profiles, turns his back, removes his cell phone
from the back of his shorts, and an adapter from a shorts
pocket. He connects the adapter to his cell phone and
digital camera and presses buttons on each electronic

He returns the phone and adapter to their previous
Just give me the usual room, Pete.
It's 50 dollars an hour as always.
Pete withdraws a key from the rack without looking and hands
it to Chad who hands Pete a 50 dollar bill.

Pete slides the bill in the cash register, and Chad and
Chantel disappear around the corner, and HANK Silversmith
approaches Pete.
Excuse me, Pete. What's the room
number that couple is off to?
Can't tell you that, boss. Company
Hank excavates a 100 dollar bill from his pocket and offers
it to Pete who laughs out the corner of his mouth.
I may not like this job, but it is
one. You think, I'm gonna throw
it away for a Benjamin, in this
Hank unearths his cell phone and presses a nine.
Like to explain to the police
about how you're running a brothel


You ain't got to call 911. A
couple of Charlotte's finest are
upstairs with hos, right now.
Could you change the channel? I'm
tired of looking at people acting
like animals.
Pete grabs the remote from under the counter and presses

Hank slides the phone back in its home, lowers his shades,
and examines the key rack.

FROM HANK'S POV - We see the three rows of keys. There are
30 hooks each labeled by room number and 20 of which adorned
with keys.

As Pete downs the back of chips he notices something about
the man behind the shades.
You look familiar. You ain't that
Maggie Silversmith's daddy, are
Hank's head drops and a sigh drops from his parted,
soundless lips. The ringtone of Sting's "I'll be watching
you" comes from the back of Hank's pants, and Hank addresses
his cell phone.
Hear me talking to you, Hank? You
got a lot of money coming your
way, you and your wife. You mofos
got it made.
Hank slants his eyes at Pete as...
                       MRS. VINCENT
      (from Hank's cell
Hello, Mr. Silversmith.
      (into the phone)
Did you receive those photos of
Chad with the prostitute, I sent
to you, Mrs. Vincent?


So tell me, Hank. Did she do it.
Did you daughter kill her son?
Hank's head snaps around, astonished by the question. He
does not answer as he looks at Pete who smiles out the
corner of his mouth as...
                       MRS. VINCENT
I did. But I didn't call about
that. I call to let you know, I
no longer need your services, Mr.
Silversmith. My money won't go to
housing for a wrongfully
exonerated murderer.
You can't do that! You're the
first client that I have had in
the last six months! I put a month
in finding evidence of your
husband's infidelity! You owe me
7500 dollars for this!
                       MRS. VINCENT
Why don't you sue me? Better yet,
wait for one of those news
networks to pay you for your
story. Or leech off that
wonderful daughter of yours.
Goodbye, Mr. Silversmith.
End of call, and Hank is standing, facing the opaque doors
of the motel completely beside himself.
What's the matter, Hank? Cat got
your tongue? Or do you talk
better with a fifth of Jack
Daniel's in you?
Hank stands motionless as sweat rolls down the side of his
face. He stares a hole through his inquisitor who leans
over the front desk.
I believe they call you Hammering
Hank on the news. They claim, you
got that nickname because you came
down like a hammer on criminals as
a Raleigh cop. Is that true?


Hank cracks the cell phone in his hand, and he gnashes his
teeth together.
Keep asking questions, and you'll
find out, Pete.
Just answer me this: Do they call
you Hammering Hank for that cop
shit or because you used to knock
around your wife and daughter.
That is it! It is go time for Hank. He literally crushes
the phone in his hand that he forms into a fist that
connects with the side of Pete's face!

As the glassy-eyed front desk clerk undulates behind the
desk, Hank grabs Pete by the top of the head and smashes
Pete's face into the countertop! Hank repeats the face
slamming with so much force, he jars the fake beard off of
his own face!

Hank pounds the back of Pete's head with his phone-fist and
tosses Pete over the desk!

Pete lands on the floor face-first, revealing a wet stain
running down the inside of his denim jeans leg, and
struggles to crawl away from his assailant, but Hank is not
having this. Hank drops the mangled remains of his cell
phone, grabs Pete by the back of his pants and tosses him
lengthwise into the opaque glass doors at the entrance. The
glass in both doors shatter, letting in sunlight that bathes
Hank's face.

Hank's face contorts with a half-satisfied look as he steps
over Pete's motionless form.
Under the evening sky, a red pick-up truck decorated with
MARTIN'S CLEANING SERVICE eases pass the sign for the
FAYETTEVILLE BACK CLINIC and pulls into the clinic's nearly
deserted parking lot.

The truck comes to a rest beside a white convertible sports
car parked near the front of the brick building and occupied
by a blond man in his mid-40s.

The wiry and medium-height DR. MENDELSOHN extracts himself
from the automobile and rounds the front of the pick-up
truck to the passenger's side of the red conveyance.


Mendelsohn knocks on the side window with the back of his
middle finger.
The window rolls down revealing George as the elongated
finger of the driver, George's red-haired mother JULIE
twists the knob on her radio, dissipating the volume of a
country western song.

Julie's face, though betraying a visage of a woman at least
10 years younger than her late-60s actual age, cracks with a
smile. In fact, she looks more vibrant than her son whose
face carries worry.
Good evening, Dr. Mendelsohn.
How's it going?
The doctor sticks his head inside George's window.
                       DR. MENDELSOHN
I want to ask that of your son. I
mean, what was it like to be on
that jury.
I don't wanna talk about it. It's
over. Time to get back to work.
George tucks on his door handle and pushes the door
outwardly, and Dr. Mendelsohn barely avoids getting hit.
                       DR. MENDELSOHN
Don't blame me for what happened
with that jury, George.
Apologize, George.
George sits quietly but he stares daggers into the doctor.
                       DR. MENDELSOHN
If you could've gutted it out, she
wouldn't be free right now. There
could've been a hung jury.
George's lips curl like a shark ready to pounce on its prey.
George's white teeth elongate and drip with saliva. His
eyes burn a crimson.
Calm down, George. Remember your
high blood pressure.


George ignores his mother and extracts himself from the
vehicle donning a red jumpsuit emblazoned with his name over
the left breast, and Julie slides out the truck behind him
decked in similar apparel.

The heaving George towers over the doctor, as the former's
face flushes scarlet. George's hand forms a fist with the
knuckles crackling like alit kindling.

Mendelsohn does not even blink, standing before this angry
mass of humanity.
Ever wonder, if you can readjust
your own back once it's broken,
chiropractor? Let's find out.
As George reaches out and at Mendelsohn, the latter
retrieves a cell phone and dials one-nine and one-one. His
index finger hovers over the one.
                       DR. MENDELSOHN
Ever wonder about the irony of
sitting in jail while that Maggie
Silversmith walks free? Let's find
George lunges at the doctor, but Julie swats her son over
the back of his head with the palm of her hand.
Goddamnit, George. What the hell
is wrong with you?
No response from George who smarts from the blow. He walks
to the side trying to shake off the shot from his mother.
Mendelsohn cuts his eyes at the time on his cell phone.
                       DR. MENDELSOHN
Julie, I gotta get to my
daughter's piano recital. Are you
gonna be alright with that ape boy
of yours?
Don't worry, I can look out for
myself, doctor. You just have a
good evening.
Mendelsohn slides behind the wheel of his car and backs up.
As he turns the car, he flashes the high beams from his
lights onto George who squints before the bluish-white


lights. The car belches classical music as it jets to the
You are gonna get yours one day,
Mendelsohn. You bet your ass on
Julie rears back her hand.
Do you want me to hit you again?
George's head drops, and he freezes in place.
That doctor has talked shit to you
before, and you haven't even
blinked. Now, what's really
ailing you?
It's that jury. That jury had a
bunch of idiots bred on too much
CSI and LAW AND ORDER to do the
right thing.
Then, why didn't you stay on the
jury? Like Mendelsohn said, you
could've made the difference.
George does not reply. He grabs a couple of mops from the
truck bed and marches to the building.

Sexy music reverberate all over as naked twentysomething
women dance and undulate poorly on stage. Some of the women
twirl on poles while others shimmy along the catwalk
accepting dollar bills from many of the appreciative and
inebriated patrons.

Hidden behind his sunglasses, another patron sits at the bar
surrounded by empty bottles of Jack Daniel's as he takes a
shot of brown fluid to his parted lips.

Hank downs the shot instantly and turns to and pours each of
the four bottles around him into his shot glass. Hank
successfully pours two drops from each bottle.


Bartender, I need some more Jack.
The feather-haired blonde takes one look at Hank and shakes
her head. The early 30s MOE shakes her head "NO".
I think, you've had enough for the
evening, sir.
No, Moe. I'm the customer, see.
And the customer is always right.
I'll tell you when I'm done.
MOE motions to the morbidly obese, bald man in a black suit,
standing with his arms folded over his chest at the beaded
Big Sal, please help this
gentleman to the exit while I call
him a cab.
Moe dials on the phone at the bar while Big Sal plants a
massive paw on Hank's shoulder.
Hey, who do you think, you are?
                       BIG SAL
Someone doing his job.
Look, Big Sal, Big Al, Big
Bertha... whatever, I just wanna
drink until I forget about my
fucked-up life. Is that alright
with you?
Hank sighs to himself as he takes an errant swing at the big
man but only connects with air, and Big Sal applies a
wristlock and escorts Hank through the beaded curtains.

As Big Sal and Hank arrive outside, OFFICER MOREHEAD, a
female Charlotte Police officer mid-to-late 20s, puts a
parking citation on a red Beamer parked in a handicapped
spot at the strip club's entrance.


Hank's face reddens with frustration.
What the fuck is this? Why is
there a ticket on my car?
Officer Morehead approaches Big Sal and Hank.
                       OFFICER MOREHEAD
Let him go, Big Sal. I can take it
from here.
Big Sal releases him and returns inside the club, and Hank
squints at the officer's nameplate.
With a name like Morehead, you
used to strip at this club, right,
                       OFFICER MOREHEAD
Sir, I smell alcohol on your
breath. I believe you are
Allow me to confirm it. I'm
impaired, so you should tear up
that ticket for me parking in the
handicapped spot.
                       OFFICER MOREHEAD
So this is your BMW?
I believe that I admitted it two
or three or 500 hundred times,
Morehead grabs him by a wrist, spins him around, and pins
him face-first against the hood of his car in a single
motion. She applies a pair of handcuffs, kicks his legs
wide, and quickly frisks him.
This is bullshit! I'm a little
drunk and parked in a spot for
cripples, and you treat me like
this? I'll sue you and your
shitty department!


                       OFFICER MOREHEAD
There's a warrant for your arrest
for assaulting a desk clerk at the
Jolly Times Inn, Mr. Silversmith.
Hank's eyes sober up and widen.
Two black SUVs pull onto the gravel path leading to an
unassuming-looking brick home guarded by a white Wake County
Sheriff's patrol car parked in the yard and perpendicular to
a thick row of pine trees in the background. Both vehicles
come to a halt in single file, and two thick people in dark
clothes, WINDOM and LUGER, disengage from the front vehicle.
This vehicle's high beams remain on while the second SUV's
headlights, and the vehicle itself comes to a rest.

Windom, the African American member of the duo, and Luger
head to the patrol car.

When they reach the driver's side of the white car, the side
window lowers, and Windom and Luger present their security
officer photo IDs to the lone passenger, WOJO, late 20s with
curly brown hair.

The deputy scans the IDs, nods politely at the duo, revs up
the patrol car's engine, pulls onto the road, and disappears
into the night.

Windom motions to Luger go around the back of the home, and
Luger draws a flashlight and his Glock and disappears around
the side, Windom draws his handgun and searches the front of
the home.

As Windom passes the front windows covered with Venetian

ON THE BLINDS - We notice the blinds peel revealing a pair
of black eyes that seemingly smile!


A beat later, Luger returns.
Both Windom and Luger holster their firearms and
See anything back there, Luger?


      (cutting his eyes
       at the second SUV)
Nothing but them woods where they
found that little boy, Windom.
Enough of that. Clifton hired us
to guard his clients not to judge
them. I need for you to search
the house.
Luger unearths a set of house keys and grumbles to himself
as he proceeds to the front door. A beat later, he enters
the home and the home's interior lights flash to life.
Windom heads to the driver's side window of the second SUV.
He knocks on the side window, and it lowers, revealing Marge
behind the wheel with quivering Maggie riding shotgun with
her white denim jeans-clad knees tucked against her chest.
Mrs. Silversmith, Luger is just
checking the house for any
crazies. I'll come back to let
you know when the coast is clear
for you and your daughter.
Maggie and I appreciate this,
Windom politely nods at the women and heads to his SUV,
where he parks himself behind the driver's seat and closes
the door.

Marge tries to pull one leg from under her daughter's chest
to no avail.
Calm down, Maggie. We'll lay low
here a couple of days then go to
Clara's house. Everything is
N-no it isn't, mom! Y-you didn't
see those eyes! Those eyes
looking through me!


After two years, Margaret, I would
think, you would've gotten used
it, and you will especially now.
I mean here at home! I saw those
eyes staring at me!
Whose? Where? Windom? I don't
think he was...
It was his partner, Luger! If he
could kill me with that Glock of
his, he would.

Something crashes into the windows, and a gush of blood
bleeds through the blinds!

A nervous Windom jumps on his walkie-talkie.
Luger, Luger, what's going on in
Windom hears nothing but deafening silence so he tosses down
the walkie-talkie, cocks his Glock, and races from the SUV.

As Windom reaches the front door to the home, the blinds and
Luger are rammed through the windows! As Luger hits the
ground and flails about like a fish, blood jets from his
throat, and his intestines are exposed!

A thick blond man in his early 30s and missing an incisor
wearing a blood-splattered white T-shirt decorated with the
face of Maggie Silversmith in crosshairs pushes out shards
of glass with a black leather-gloved hand clenching a
striaght-edged hunting knife and leaps out the window,
leaving the modestly-attired living room exposed.

Gilbert RAM Ramsay stares at the occupants of Marge's
quivering SUV.



Maggie screeches and shivers and Maggie cries into her
They're gonna kill me! They're
gonna kill me!
Unlike her daughter, Marge retains a modicum of calm.
Relax. Windom served in Desert
Storm. He can handle this

Windom fires his Glock at Ram. Got him in the shoulder, but
Ram cuts his eyes at the security officer, and Ram's face
contorts with a mad smile as he stalks Windom.

As Windom squeezes the trigger once more, another man
emerges from inside the front door and jumps him.
Smiling-eyed Sullivan SMILEY, in his early 20s and decked in
a denim vest -- that rests atop a gray T-Shirt similar to
Ram's -- and black jeans, drives an eight-inched serrated
hunting knife clutched in his white leather-gloved hand into
the side of Windom's throat and draws the blade to the other
Smiley tosses Windom to the side like a rag doll and flashes
his pearly-whites at Marge's SUV.

The scene unfolding at the home is not lost on Marge who
throws the SUV into reverse.

Smoke and gravel come from the screeching tires as the SUV
backs onto the road and races into the night.
Smiley examines Ram's bullet wound.


You alright there, Ram? You're
bleeding pretty good.
Ain't nothing but a scratch.
Mother'll patch me up later.
Besides, we got more important
things to worry about -- like a
certain bitch who escaped justice.
Smiley leaps behind the wheel of and Ram takes shotgun in
Windom's and Luger's SUV and tear out the gravel path and


Lined with trees on either side, this road appears to be
empty of traffic sans the SUV occupied by Ram and Smiley.

Smiley presses the accelerator to the floor as Ram digs out
the bullet from his shoulder with the tip of his knife
blade. Ram tears off a shirt sleeve and affixes a
tourniquet to his offended shoulder.
Kill them headlights, Smiley. We
wants the element of surprise on
them bitches.
Smiley complies.


The SUV turns invisible, becoming as black as the night sky,
and it rounds a sharp curve, just to find another SUV
speeding up the road. The latter vehicle is five carlengths


Marge has her cell phone pressed to her ear, as Maggie is
beside herself in worry.
                       911 OPERATOR
      (male voice, from
       Marge's cell


                       911 OPERATOR (cont'd)
This is 911. What is the nature of
your emergency?
Windom's and Luger's SUV smashes into the back of Marge's

The contact from the pursuing SUV knocks the cell phone out
of Marge's hand and land in the space between the driver's
seat and the driver's side door; causes Maggie to scream in
angst and dread; and the steering wheel to jar out of
Marge's hand.


Marge's SUV weaves wildly in the road for a beat.


Marge regains control of the steering wheel until another
ram comes. Marge's and Maggie's heads snap back, and Marge
loses control of the wheel.


Marge's SUV turns a flip on the driver's side front wheel
and lands on its back with the passenger side window facing
in the direction of the assaulting vehicle.

The assaulting vehicle comes to a stop inches from the
window sheathing the quivering wreck of Maggie Silversmith.
The SUV spits out Ram and Smiley who wipes their knives on
their clothing.

Blood-smeared Marge and Maggie struggle with Maggie's seat
                       911 OPERATOR (VO)
Hello. Is anyone there? This is
911. Please answer.



Ram grabs the door handle on Maggie's side of the SUV and
tugs on it once. It opens with little difficulty.

He squats down, facing the screaming Silversmith women, as
Smiley goes to the other side of the vehicle.

Maggie turns lurid as her mother leans over, trying to
shield her daughter's body.

Ram leans his head inside.
I ain't here to hurt your
daughter, Marge. Fact is, I'm here
to give her a second chance.
Ram grabs for the straps of Maggie's seat belt, but Marge
slaps his hands.
Don't make me hurt you, Marge.
I'll skin you alive and feed your
hide to my pit bull.
Marge continues slapping Ram's hands, and he delivers a
backhand against her jaw for her troubles. Marge's head
rings from the impact, and she shakes her head.

Smiley pulls and tucks on the driver's side door to no
avail. This door just will not budge.
Dammit, Ram. Don't kill the woman.
She's just trying to protect her
worthless daughter.
Get away from us, you and that
Ram! Leave me and my daughter
Can't do that until everything is
set right. Once you and that whore
are freed. Everything will be set


                       SMILEY (cont'd)
right, Mrs. Silversmith.
Smiley gives up pulling on the door handle and squats down.

FROM HIS P.O.V. - We see Marge leaning over her daughter,
and Ram flashing his version of a smile at Marge.


Smiley rears back and delivers a kick against the driver's
side window.

Maggie screams even louder, and Ram's face deepens with a
satisfied smile.
Marge does not relent until Ram connects with a jab straight
to the side of her jaw. Good night, Marge.
Ram shoves Marge off and returns to his shore at freeing
Maggie from the seat belt. He attains victory and grabs for

She screams and squirms around as he sinks a vise grip
around her arm and drags her from the SUV.
Smiley grabs for Marge's seat belt when she begins to stir.
She turns her head to the passenger side of the vehicle.

FROM MARGE'S P.O.V.: We see Ram carrying the screaming and
kicking Maggie over a shoulder to the security officers'
      (groggy voice)
I did it. Leave Maggie alone. She
didn't do anything.
What are you talking about, woman?
Smiley slices into the strap attaching Marge to the seat
belt shoulder harness.
      (teary eyed)
I did it. I killed my own
grandson. I duct-taped his face
and buried him in the woods.


                       911 OPERATOR (VO)
I have a trace on your location.
The Wake County Sheriff's
Department is on its way.
Smiley grabs Marge by her hair and drags her from the


He slams her back first against the side of her conveyance
and breathes hot, angry air into her shivering, avoiding
Ram, the sheriff's department's on
its way. Think, you can get to
The Hole through the woods?
Tears stream down both sides of Marge's face.
Didn't you hear what I said?
Smiley catches one of Marge's tears with his knife's blade
and wipes it across her chest.

Ram dumps his lode in the passenger's seat of the
Not a problem. I know these woods
better than the back of my hand.
Bloodhounds can't even follow me.
You coming?
I just got a matter of dealing
with Mrs. Silversmith here first.
Ram yanks the screeching Maggie, headbutts her across the
bridge of her nose, throws her over his shoulder, and
disappears amongst the trees.



Smiley rubs the knife blade along the sides of her face and
neck and smells the blade. He, then, licks off the mixture
of sweat and tears and blood and metal from the
scarlet-stained surface.
D-didn't you hear what I said? I
confess. Just let my little girl
All I hear, sister, is a mother
willing to die for her child. Your
daughter could've learned a lot
from you.
As police sirens blare from the distance, Smiley jabs the
knife into the crotch of Marge's pants and drags the blade
upward! Throughout this, blood gurgles in wide-eyed Marge's
mouth, spilling onto Smiley's hand clenching her throat!

Smiley, though, did not flinch as he proceeds slowly until
the blade reaches her throat! He drops her in the road
where she twitches and heads to the lid of the SUV's gas

Here, he opens the gas tank lid, removes the gas cap and
digs a pack of matches from his vest pocket. He lights one
end of the vest and crams it in the gas tank and sits in the
driver's side of the SUV.


A phalanx of sheriff's patrol cars reach the back of the
security officers' SUV just in time for a massive explosion
from Marge's SUV.

The early morning sun light washes over the figure curled
into the fetal position on his bunk bed. His eyes squint
from the pain of the yellowish-white beams and Hank turns

The steel door opens revealing the elongated faces of a
jailer and Officer Morehead, the latter brandishing a sheet
of paper as she enters the cell.


                       OFFICER MOREHEAD
Mr. Silversmith, I need to speak
with you.
Let me sleep. I've got enough
problems to deal with, Morehead.
The officer lends Hank a sympathetic pat on his shoulder.
What's going on?
Officer Morehead offers him the sheet of paper that is a
composed and notarized letter from Pete.
                       OFFICER MOREHEAD
There's this faxed letter and...
Hank puts up an index finger to indicate "Stop for one
moment," and he reads the document.
                       PETE (VO)
Dear Mr. Silversmith, this is your
buddy Pete at the Jolly Times Inn.
I decided to drop charges
against you, and I convinced the
management at the motel to not
even file. From all of your
troubles, you probably don't need
me to kick you while you're down.
The only thing that I ask in
return is for you to give me 10%
of whatever proceeds you make off
your story. You can call me at
704-555-6789 anytime with your
answer. Sincerely your friend,
Pete Connolly.
And he had it notarized an hour
ago by a Leonard Scarsdale, Esq. I
give that boy credit: Pete loves
Hank looks up at the two sadden figures in his cell.
Can I borrow a cell phone? I
wanted get this thing with Pete
Connolly over quick.


The police officer hands Hank her phone, and he quickly
dials the phone number from Pete's letter. After two
      (from Morehead's
       cell phone)
This is Leonard Scarsdale. How
may I be of assistance?
      (into Morehead's
       cell phone)
This is Hank Silversmith. I need
to speak with Pete, Pete Connolly.

A thin man, in a pin-striped suit in his late 40s with his
hair black slicked-back, leans against the edge of Pete's
bed. There is a twinkle in his eye as he hears in a toilet
flushing and sees Pete lumber in the room pushing an IV unit
from the door connecting the bathroom to the hospital room.
Pete's left arm is in a sling, and his face appears scarred.

LEONARD Scarsdale assists Pete back into bed and hands Pete
the cell phone.
It's Mr. Silversmith, Pete.
      (into Leonard's
       cell phone)
I assume, you accept my offer,
      (from Leonard's
       cell phone)
I ain't got much choice, I
supposed. I really appreciate
And my attorney and I will
appreciate whatever you can get
out of your story.
Leonard tucks Pete's torso under the covers drawing a
grimace from the latter.


Never heard of an attorney being
at his client's side at around
seven in the morning.
Leonard's also my cousin, and I
live with him and his wife.
I was out of line. I hope, I
didn't hurt you too much.
Besides a broken arm, three
cracked ribs, a ruptured spleen,
facial scars that require no
stitches, and a concussion, no

Hank squirms upon hearing this information from his victim.
And thanks for convincing the
motel management not to file
charges against me.
Again, no problem. I just let
them know, I could bring their
brothel down if they went after

Leonard leans against Pete's ear.
Tell him what I told you earlier,
Yeah, Hank, Leonard wants me to
tell you, he'll put a contract in
the mail to you. Get it notarized
and back to him like yesterday.
Leonard gives an "OK" hand gesture.


Well, thanks. You're a good kid.
Pete literally licks his chops as a fetching redheaded nurse
enters the room with a push cart containing two basins of
warm water, latex gloves, and a sponge.
Hank, besides the money-making
opportunity, I don't want to be
the straw that breaks your back.
Now, the nurse is in here to bathe
me. Gotta go.
End of call. Pete tosses Leonard the cell phone and shoos
the attorney to leave. Leonard compiles, eyeing the medical
eye candy in a nurse's uniform as he departs.


Hank hands Morehead back her cell phone and notices her and
the jailer's faces appear frozen in their melancholic forms.
I don't know why you two look so
sad. I'm the one who's gotta make
bond and pay tow fees and the
parking ticket and now sale my
                       OFFICER MOREHEAD
It's about your family, sir...
Hank spins around. His eyes are now alert and clear.

This is not a hole. It is a room of white walls illuminated
with 613 incandescent light bulbs that flicker like the
heartbeat of a young child!

Under the light bulbs is a metal pipe that runs the length
of the room. Along the pipe is a chain that lightly sways
from the weight attached to it. This weight belongs to a
naked, unconscious Maggie with labored breathing and bound
to the chain by her upraised wrists as her feet dangle six
inches above a large metal ring bolted to the floor.

A side door opens, and Ram, whose shoulder appears repaired
with a bandage, enters the room brandishing a metal bucket


filled with ice and water. He douses her face with the
bucket's contents, causing her eyes to pop open!
How was your sleep? Or did you
pass out from your lungs being
pressed against your ribs?
Maggie attempts to scream, managing only a yelp, and Ram
lends an ear.
Is that the best you can do? It
don't matter. The Hole is
soundproof. Dynamite could
explode in here and no one outside
could hear it.
Why are you doing this to me?
Angst covers Maggie's shivering and dripping downcast face.
Her throat is tight. Every word she speaks applies a lead
weight on her lungs.
You got away with murder, sister,
but justice must be served.
But I didn't kill my son.
I suppose, Michael duct-taped his
entire head and ran into the woods
where he suffocated and died.
I don't know. Maybe.
GONG goes the bucket as it connects with the side of
Maggie's face! Her head vibrates as it slams to the side,
and a stream of blood forms out a corner of her mouth.

She weakly spits out a blood-stained tooth.
Your trial will begin in a short
while. You best testify and tell
the truth, or you'll wish, you
were an Iraqi at Abu Ghraib.


But I didn't do anything.
Maggie's head rolls over and to the side. She is out like a
Wanna know how I know you did it?
You didn't even ask about your own
mother. She's dead by the way.
They reported it on the news
Be seeing you in a few.
Ram retires, pulling the door shut behind him.

DR. Ahmed ZARTHUS, the rotund medical examiner in his late
40s, leads the thin, regal-nosed mid-50s ALOIS and the
whitish-blond early-50s CLARA Carpenter through this room
whose walls are lined with metallic drawers.

The trio stop before a middle drawer jutting from the back
wall, and Zarthus opens the drawer revealing a figure
covered with a white sheet.

Clara quivers, turning to her husband's breast as Zarthus
unveils the being under the sheet. Alois nods slowly
acknowledging Marge's slightly scorched face.
Marjorie wouldn't be in this state
had you done your job properly,
                       DR. ZARTHUS
I apologize for your loss, Mr.
Carpenter, but I could not help
that my assistants exposed your
great-nephew's hair to chloroform
used on another dead body and then
lied about it.
Clara cuts her eyes at Dr. Zarthus. Her eyes burn with
hatred. Her skin flushes with rage.
Yeah, I bet. You and your kind
would do anything to corrupt our
legal system.


                       DR. ZARTHUS
Excuse me, madam?
You heard what I said, muslim. You
and your kind are out to destroy
this country and everything else
not Islamic.
                       DR. ZARTHUS
My religion has nothing to do with
my job. I serve the people, Mrs.
Carpenter. All people.
Maybe we can't prove that you
screwed up intentionally, but your
time will come, and Jesus will
have no mercy on you. Hell always
has room for one more.
Alois and Clara take their leave.
                       DR. ZARTHUS
I hope your niece is alright.
In this room festooned with framed-photos of Julie and
George, the T-shirt and boxer shorts-wearing George rests a
plate of scrambled eggs, four strips of bacon, and two
slices of toast on the glass coffee table and fidgets around
with the remote control between his legs.

Already in her work clothes, Julie enters the room via a
door connecting the living room to the kitchen brandishing
an identical plate of food to her son's and a glass of
orange juice. She adopts a seat cushion on the sofa.

George flips through the channels on the TV resting on the
surround sound entertainment center that sits against the
wall and beside the kitchen door and stops on the
International Broadcasting Channel, home to "A & B".

Julie spots the time on the LCD clock hanging over the
entertainment center. 9:00AM.
Leave it right there. "A & B" is
about to come on.


Come on, mom. You know who is
gonna be on there this morning.
And maybe Alain can give insight
into why you left the trial so
George aims the remote at the TV, and his finger lowers on a
channel button.
Change the channel, and you're
fired, George. Good luck finding
a job with your lack of education.
George surrenders and slumps in the chair.
I wonder if they're gonna talk
about what happened to Marge and
Maggie Silversmith last night.
I doubt it. We just found out a
few minutes ago. And they tape
this show two hours beforehand.
ON THE TV - We see the opening montage for "A & B" with the
hosts and some of their guest stars including athletes,
politicians, and movie and TV stars.

We cut to the scene from the actual studio with two high
chairs in the front of windows that overlook a lake occupied
by a small boat manned by an elderly fisherman.

Roaring cheers and hand-clapping emanate from the studio
audience as the hosts of the TV show Alain and the gorgeous
BARBARA Jackson, early 30s brunette in a stunning red dress
with a split down the side, enter from the side and adopt
the chairs. Alain's face is stretched with appreciation
while Barbara feigns a smile.
Wow, I'm glad to see you guys,
too. I've been gone for a month.
Absence makes the heart grow
fonder, eh, my fellow North
The cheers grow more intense. Barking and whooping join the


I've held the ship together. Our
ratings have remained good with
our coverage of the Maggie
Silversmith trial. We've had
legal experts and parents whose
children truly disappeared, and
all of them agree -- Maggie
Silversmith killed her son.
The cheers fade away and grunts fill the air. The happy
audience turn nauseated. The sound of "Maggie Silversmith"
brings vitriol from the viewing mass.
Alain's smile dissipates as he looks over the audience whose
collective fašade grimaces and sneers.

He affects a nervous grin filled with dread and desperation.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm
back. And I'm going nowhere.
There is cheering, but it is not as voluminous as earlier.
The audience appears detached from the studio and the show
Alain, please tell the people
where you've been all this time.
Alain looks like he is in agony as his co-host makes her
request. Beads of sweat form on his forehead. His eyes
shift. He bites his lower lip.

George leans towards the TV with anticipation covering his
face as Julie gulps some orange juice.
Why don't you leap in the TV,
It feels good seeing Mr. Goody Two
Shoes get his just desserts.
ON THE TV - We see Alain to keep his head raised as...
I was at the Silversmith trial.


Barbara lunges at her co-host like a vulture venturing after
its dying prey.
And what were you doing at the
trial, Alain?
I served on the jury.
Astonishment and dismay cover the faces of every person in
the audience. The entire studio turns silent as every set
of eyes focus on Alain who squirms in his chair.
You were its foreman.
That's right. I was. I was the
sonofabitch who's partly
responsible for that woman going
The audience boos and hisses Alain who sees the mob of angry
people and swallows deeply. He is resigned to his fate,
accepting of whatever may come.
Before all of you tar and feather
and duct-tape my head and leave me
for dead, hear me out.
Some members of the audience calm down, but most grow more
angry as security comes out and surrounds the audience.
The state didn't prove their case
beyond a reasonable doubt.
"Bullshit!" chants come from some members the audience,
drawing the attention of the security who promptly escort
the ramble-rousers.
My God, you have the mother being
the last person to see him alive.
You have her lying about his
whereabouts for two months.
But you don't have motive.


Motive is not an element of crime,
besides there have been murder
convictions without any bodies
being found.
I knew that someone would point
that out so I did some research
into such cases last night. Back
in 2007 an Oklahoma jury took only
two hours to convict Katherine
Rutan of murdering her six year
old son, Logan Tucker. No body
was found, but she told her
boyfriend she wished, she could
get away with killing her kids.
Her older son said that she took
Logan into the woods and returned
without him...
A soda can flies from the audience and lands on Alain's lap,
splashing him with its crimson red contents, but he is not
startled though Barbara leaps out her chair.
Let's cut to a break.
No. Let's continue. We're still
a couple of minutes from the first
scheduled break.
Barbara returns to her seat as Alain wipes some liquid from
his clothes with the sides of his hands.
Are you alright, Alain?
As I was saying before someone
tried to interrupt me, there was
the case of the Russian mail order
bride Nina Reiser who was killed
by her husband Hans. She
disappeared, and Washington State
convicted him based on, according
to the Fox News website, a "motive
coming out of his ears."
The audience members buzz about "Fox News" and become silent
and attentive.


What is your point?
My point is, in those instances
where there was evidence lacking,
the prosecution gave juries
something they could grasp:
motive. There wasn't even that
here. Maggie's parents and other
relatives and friends all said the
same thing: Maggie loved Michael
unconditionally. She never
partied, and she was speeding
through college to get her B.A. in
Criminal Justice so she could move
her and her son out of her
parents' home and into one of her
She was one semester shy of her
degree, correct?
And in three years, Barbara.
As if they suffered a sucker punch to their collective
stomachs, a pained groan comes from the audience.
But the forensic evidence...
Was based on pseudo-science.
Microtoxin spectrum analysis has
not been recognized by any law
enforcement agency or court anyway
and Dr. Mahmoud Zarthus, the
medical examiner, has come under
scrutiny for possible
Are you saying that Maggie
Silversmith didn't kill her son?
I am saying, the state didn't
prove it beyond a reasonable
doubt. That's all. Everybody on
that jury came to the same


Except for one person.
I'm not sure. After I asked him to
show me the evidence that proved
Maggie's guilt as the law
requires, he couldn't. He just
left the jury room.
And what is the name of this
It's up for the judge or the juror
himself to reveal his name. I
won't do it... Now, it's time, we
cut to a commercial break.
A polite applause comes from the audience as the screen
switches to a commercial for feminine hygiene products.


Julie herself adds applause of her own and winks at her son.
You are right, George. It is
entertaining seeing Alain receive
his just desserts.
A & B returns, but George leaps to his feet and heads to the
kitchen with his plate in hand. He cuts his eyes at the TV.

FROM GEORGE'S P.O.V. - We see a close up of Alain's almost
majestic face.


George feigns throwing his breakfast at the screen. He
opts, however, to roll his eyes at the screen and throw an
elbow into the door connecting the room to the kitchen.
George disappears behind the door.
Dammit, George. Be a man for
once. Stop acting like a child.

Brandishing a bucket, Ram approaches the unconscious Maggie


with two people -- donning paper masks of the faces of the
farmer and his wife from the "American Gothic" painting with
the eyes and mouths being cut out -- in tow.

The farmer, FATHER (whom we will later learn is ALOIS
Carpenter), is a heavy-set man in denim bib-overalls and
clutching a Bible, and his wife, MOTHER (whom we will later
learn is CLARA Carpenter), dons a plain-white dress and
whose bluish-gray hair appears behind the mask. She pushes
a TV/DVD player on a cart to the wall facing Maggie and
plugs in the electronic appliance.

Ram douses Maggie's face with the bucket's contents, and her
eyes blink, but she barely registers any recognition.

FROM MAGGIE'S P.O.V. - Father's mask becomes Hank's face,
and Mother's mask adopts Marge's visage.
Mom, dad, what's going on? Why am
I naked and hanging from a pipe?
Why is that strange man in here?

Father, Mother, and Ram laugh among themselves.
Your dad is in jail, and your mom
is dead. I believe, I told you
about her earlier. Get your shit
together, before it gets worse for
you, Maggie.
FROM MAGGIE'S P.O.V. - We see the American Gothic masks.

As she sees and hears Ram, Father, and Mother laugh at her,
Maggie fills with renewed vigor.
                       MAGGIE (VO)
I'm sorry, mom. I'm sorry, you
got caught up in this.
The laughter disappears.
For someone who has gone to
college, you're not that smart.
You're on trial for killing your
son, Margaret.


Y-you, all of you, have the chance
to do the right thing. Let me go.
I swear, I won't go to the
Father holds the black leather-bound Bible before Maggie's
Do you swear to tell the truth,
the whole truth, and nothing but
the truth so help you God,
Margaret Silversmith?
Yes, of course! God, yes!
Father snaps Maggie's face to the side with the holy tome.
Don't ever take the Lord's name in
vain again.
The Lord, you say. How can you
call yourselves Christians when
you behave like this?
God helps those who help
themselves, and we're just trying
to help you, little girl.
That quote does not appear in the
Bible and contradicts Proverbs
chapter 28, verse 26 which says,
"He who trusts in himself is a
Where did you learn this from?
My uncle. Alois is a Baptist
Had you listened to him and not
been so selfish, you wouldn't be
in this situation right now.


Mother points at the door to which Ram heads. He places the
bucket on the floor beside him and folds his arms over his

Father grabs Maggie by her chin her pulls her shivering face
to his mask.
This is your last chance to tell
the truth, Margaret. Spare
yourself the hell that's gonna
come, girl.
Did you kill your poor son two
years ago, March 19, Margaret?
Maggie takes deep breaths. She summons enough strength to
lean her head at her accusers.
I would've never harmed my son. I
love him.
Father withdraws his hand from Maggie's face and wipes his
hand on his bib-overalls.
I believe that is a non-guilty
plea, Mother. Now, show this
sinner some wonderful footage.
Mother unveils a remote control and presses the "on" button.
The TV and DVD player flash on, revealing a blue screen.

Mother presses the "play" button on the remote and...

ON THE TV - We see a St. Valentine's party, and the date
"02/14" in the corner of the screen. This party features
college students various forms of adult beverages and yellow
pills as contemporary bump and grind music plays in the
background. In this crowd is Maggie who is the filling of a
dirty-dancing sandwich consisting of two men.

Wait a minute. This video wasn't
used at my trial.


Had it been at your farce of a
trial, you would be in prison
where you belong.
I believe, the judge said, it was
too late for the prosecution to
introduce this evidence, but it
wasn't too late for a friend of
yours to turn over his copy to
Barbara Jackson. We copied this
video from an episode of A & B.
And I bet, you remember what you
said next, eh Margaret?
Maggie's head droops as tears form in her eyes, but Mother
grabs her by the hair and extends her index finger at the
Look and listen to what you said,
ON THE TV - With her arms upraised and as she shimmied
between the two men, Maggie whoops and hollers.
I wish, I could do this all the
time. Fuck Michael. This is the
life for me.
                       DVD CAMERAMAN
Isn't Michael your son?
Tonight, I have no son.
Fade to black. The screen turns back, reflecting the quiet,
elongated fašades of everyone in The Hole.


Mother backhands Maggie across the face with the hand
brandishing the remote.
A month later, March 19th was the
last time that your parents saw
their grandson alive with you. So
you don't have a son anymore.


                       MOTHER (cont'd)
Maggie smarts from Mother's blow and coughs up blood and
I-I was drunk. I had some ecstasy.
I didn't mean any word of it.
Mother rears back with the remote. She summons all the
strength in her body and sends it to her hand. Her eyes
turn crimson with hate, and her arms comes forward with
Maggie bracing herself for the inevitable impact.

Before Mother's shot connects, Ram grabs her hand.
Too early. Her trial isn't over
yet, Mother.
Ram leads Mother away. The latter stabs Maggie with her
So what did happen to your son on
Sunday the 19th? If you didn't
kill him, who did, Margaret?
I don't know, but it wasn't me.
You told the police, Michael
disappeared from your parents'
home, correct, Ms. Silversmith?
Maggie's head slants downward at an angle. She sighs
jaggedly, and tears form in the corners of her eyes.
Mother turn back on the TV and
skip to the next segment on the
Mother compiles and...

ON THE TV - We see a kitchen surrounded by Hank, Marge,
Alois, and Michael decked in Disney birthday hats and
sitting at the round table that is parked in front of the


sliding door linking the kitchen to the backyard. Maggie
enters a door connecting the living room to the kitchen
carrying a white cake with "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MICHAEL" etched
in icing and two aglow Mickey Mouse candles.

Maggie parks the cake on the table and before Michael.
Go ahead, Michael. Blow out the
candles and make a wish. Be a good
boy, and your wish will come true.
Michael, with some assistance from his mother, blows out the
So what did you wish for, Little
I wanna see, Mickey Mouse. Mickey
Maybe, next year.
I'm good! I wanna see, Mickey
Mouse, now!
Michael climbs down from his chair and stampers to the
sliding door. He fidgets with the handle for a beat. He
kicks the door, causing Hank to spring to his feet.

Hank opens the sliding door, and Michael stomps in the
backyard seeing the Mickey Mouse Fan Club theme in an angry,
yet pitch perfect, tone.
Maggie stomps towards the sliding door, but her father grabs
her by both arms.
I'll go out. These are the
terrible twos. He'll stomp around
for a while, then I'll bring him
back in. And we'll all enjoy the
Hank heads the sliding door humming the Mickey Mouse fan
club theme, and Maggie examines the quiet looks from
everyone at the table as she returns to her seat.


I wasn't going to hit him. I've
never touched him. I was going to
explain that I have to get a job
and a home of our own before I
could think about Mickey Mouse.
We all know that. It's just that,
your father and I can pay for the
trip to Disneyworld. In fact, you
and Michael can stay here forever,
if need be.
Marge pats Maggie on the back of the hand, but Maggie
withdraws her own hand, folds her arms over her chest, and
gives a cold roll of her eyes as Hank totes a calmer Michael
inside the kitchen.
                       CLARA (OS)
Maggie stop acting like a little
Maggie shifts her eyes onto the person (whom we can not see)
behind the camera.
Stop acting like my mother, Aunt
The screen turns to black.

Father paces back and forth before the shame-faced Maggie.
Isn't it true, your son's birthday
party occurred on the fourth, two
weeks before he disappeared?
Notice how he struggled with the
sliding door. Did he gain the
strength to open that door in that
two week period?


It's possible. I don't know.
As your father was working on an
insurance fraud case in Florida,
your mother left you and Michael
at your parents' on the morning of
March 19th to go to her sister's.
Was there anyone else at who
could've helped your son with the
sliding doors, anyone besides you,
I don't know. I don't know. I
don't know! I don't know how
Michael got out of the home! I
don't know how he died, and
neither do you!
We'll take a few minutes before we
render our decision, Ms.
Why even do that? You're planning
on killing me anyway. You went
through with this fake-ass trial
with inadmissible evidence from my
real trial. Shoot me. Stab me. Do
what you're gonna do.
That dance video reinforced the
fact that you only care about you,
little girl. The only thing
holding you back was Michael.
Maggie's head trembles. The veins in the side of her neck
vibrate and she spits at Mother.
I went back to school for him, you
hag. I could've taken a chance as
a model, but I decided to pursue a
career in law enforcement. So to
hell with you and this bullshit
Mother rears back with the remote in a throwing motion, but
she shakes off this desire for retribution.


Mother, Father, and Ram huddle and grumble amongst
themselves for a beat as Maggie stays at her and their
reflection on the TV screen.

FROM MAGGIE'S P.O.V. - Her three accusers appear like
vultures as Maggie looks like a living corpse.


Father slides his face before Maggie and cracks a cold
Ms. Silversmith, the court finds
you guilty of murdering your son,
Michael. Your punishment is to be
carried out immediately.
Ram unearths a rusty, dull steak knife. He drags the blade
in Maggie's chest carving out letters and yielding a pained
shriek from her.
You think, your son was trying to
cry like that when you duct-taped
him, Margaret?
Maggie bites her bottom lip, and her eyes skip from Father
to Mother to Ram, who continues his chore, and in reverse
order, in repetition. Not a sound comes from her as blood
flows from her fresh wounds!

Ram slams the knife into her stomach and carve out more
letters, and, even though, try as she might to suppress her
need to express her anguish, Maggie relents and howls in

Ram finishes and stands back to admire his work, his
masterpiece, his piece de resistance -- MAGGIE LOUSE --
etched indelibly on Maggie's flesh!
Hester Prynne got a letter, but
you got a whole new name, Maggie
Maggie Louse has a perfect ring to


As Ram, Mother, and Father stride to the exit, Maggie's
contorts madly. A twisted laugh pours from her lips.
Is that it, words carved in my
skin? Is this my punishment?
It depends on the Lord. If He
wills for you to die before
morning, yes, it's over. But if
He wills you to live, today's
punishment was just the beginning
of your suffering.
Ram, Father, and Mother depart with Ram shutting the door,
and shuddering Maggie hanging in place as blank as the TV

The lights flick off, and the room instantly turns stark

A sheriff's patrol car sits guard to the side of the home
adorned with yellow crime scene tape as Hank's car crawls on
the gravel driveway.

The car comes to a halt and oozes its driver, red-eyed and
sicken Hank who makes a beat for the front door of his home.
Wojo exits his patrol car and intercepts Hank at the door.
Sorry, Mr. Silversmith, but I
can't let you inside. This is a
crime scene.
Deputy Wojo, I just want to get a
few momentos out of there. Photos
and videos of my family. You can
understand that.
No one gets in without Sergeant
Fitzpatrick's approval.


Fine, where is he?
Down at the sheriff's office. Want
me to get him on the phone?
Wojo digs out his cell phone and dials a few numbers.
Sorry about your loss. Mrs.
Silversmith was a good woman. She
once babysat me and my sister.
And how is the investigation
going? Do you have any leads on
who's responsible for my wife's
death and my daughter's
Wojo puts up a "Just a moment" index finger as he hears
three responding ringing to his call before a verbal

In this mess of an office whose floors are littered with
death threat letters for the Silversmiths and whose walls
are festooned with UNC men's college basketball memorabilia
is SGT. Cornwallis FITZPATRICK, a mid-30s man with a
bluetooth attached to the side of his head as he rifles
through 911 transcript as Maggie's case file sits opened on
his desk.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
      (into the
Fitzpatrick, here.
      (from the
Sergeant, Hank Silversmith is
here. He wants access to the home.
He wants a couple of momentos. You
know, pictures and videos.


                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
That's fine so long as you escort
him through there... Could you put
him on?
Sure, sir.
      (from the
What do you want?
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I've been wanting to ask you some
questions. Sorry for your loss,
Hank. I know, this has been a
trying time for you.
If that's all, I really would like
to collect a few things and
collect my wife's body for her
Fitzpatrick prepares a styrofoam cup of coffee from the
coffeemaker and takes a sip. The sour look on his face
tells it all.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I only have a few questions for
I had nothing to do with what
happened last night, and I love my
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
No doubt about that, Mr.
Silversmith, but have you ever
heard of a "the hole"? I'm looking
at transcripts from your wife's
call to 911 last night and that
phrase came up.

Hank leans against the front door of his home with Wojo's
phone attached to his ear.

Wojo stands in front of Hank patiently.


That's solitary confinement,
right, Sergeant?
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK (VO)
Right. we went through every
e-mail, snail mail, and recorded
phone threat directed at you and
your family, and we have found
nothing connected to any inmates,
recent ex-cons, or correctional
officers. Does "the hole" have
another meaning to you?
None... Any word about who was the
person blown up in the SUV?
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
The dental records haven't come
back yet.
Can you tell me who was on guard
here from the sheriff's office
yesterday afternoon?
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Yeah. It was Deputy Wojo, but I
already questioned him about last
night. He said no one snuck in
during his shift, and I reviewed
footage from his dashboard camera.
No one was there.
That's all, Fitzpatrick.
End of call. Hank hands the phone back to Wojo.
Let's go in, Wojo.
Hank screws his key in the lock to the front door and pushes
the door inward. He enters with Wojo, who notices no damage
to the door lock, right on his tail.


What a mess! The mixture of blood and broken glass obscure
the quaint, wooden furnishings of the room.


Hank goes to a side wall adorned with framed photos of
Marge, Maggie, Michael, Alois, Clara, and himself. How
everyone appears so happy in the photographs. Hank runs his
index finger over the framed photo of all of them in the
kitchen and at a birthday party -- the same one featured in
the video from Maggie's second trial and with the woods
behind the sliding door looming large in the background.
Michael's second birthday. Clara,
Marge's sister took the video she
made of the birthday party and
produced this picture from it.
Clara was always good with her
hands. Marge and I thought she was
gonna be a doctor or a
photographer, but she married a
preacher instead.
Wojo angles his head at the photograph.
It's a good photo.
You might remember seeing a video
of Little Mickey's and Maggie's
tantrums at the trial, deputy.
This photo came from that video.
I didn't follow the trial, sir. I
have my job to do, and that's all.
Hank heads to a side wall that acts as a home to the oak
entertainment center bearing a flat-screen TV flanked
between two cabinets and sitting beside a side door. Hank
opens a cabinet and examines jewel boxes labeled by
occasion: "Our Tenth Wedding Anniversary," "Marge's 40th
Birthday," "Maggie's 20th Birthday" -- this type of thing.
That's good. At least, you didn't
get to see Lionel Beemingly in
court and Barbara Jackson on her
TV show twist the video to make it
look like Maggie killed Michael to
get away from Marge and me.
I like to make up my own mind.


So do you think that Maggie is
innocent or guilty?
I don't know. Like I said, I
didn't follow the trial. I can't
give you an opinion.
Hank rifles through the other cabinet.
Found everything you need?
You relieved Alois and Clara
Carpenter yesterday afternoon,
Sure did.
Did you or they see anyone
suspicious hanging around?
No one.
Hank slides to the side door with Wojo in tow. Hank heads


Where Hank flicks the light switch revealing an area of
hardwood floor that seems to stretch into an eternity and is
lined with closed doors.

Hank and Wojo begin their sojourn down the hall with each
step begetting a creak that sounds like a child's cry. Hank
and Wojo stop at the last door on the left.
Hank twists and pushes on the door knob, revealing a
seemingly impenetrable darkness. Not even the light from
the hall makes an impact on the utter blackness.

Hank slides his hand inside the darkness, and the room
floods with light, and Hank and Wojo enter the room.


This room is a monument to the Disney animated rodent Mickey


Mouse. Everything from the wallpaper to the the bedsheets
and wall posters and toys have the happy visage of the
round-eared black mouse.

Tears drip from Hank's chin.
This was... is Michael's room and
before him, Maggie's. Everything
put out with Mickey Mouse's face
on it, Marge and I bought. The
posters -- Maggie bought those.
Maybe it wasn't a good idea to
come to this room.
Hank hands Wojo the framed picture, drags the bed from the
side wall, and uses his keys to dig up the carpet.
What are you doing? I thought, you
only wanted some momentos.
This used to be my bedroom when I
was a kid. Now, back when I was
dating Marge, I made this little
tunnel from this room to the woods
behind the house so I could slip
in and out without my folks ever
catching on.
Voila. The carpet successfully uprooted reveals a trapdoor
18" by 18" that extends perpendicularly to the wall.

Hank opens the trapdoor and peers into the abyss, and the
abyss looks back into him.
How many people did you tell about
your tunnel and trapdoor?
Just Marge... You got a
Wojo hands Hank his flashlight, and Hank disappears inside
the hole.
                       HANK (OS)
Just head into the woods behind
the house. Look for a big rock


                       HANK (cont'd)
about ten feet within. That's the
exit point.
But I really need to get back on
guard duty. Someone could be
vandalizing your home as we speak.
Wojo, ain't no one gonna do any
more damage to this house unless
they take a wrecking ball to it.
Besides you have the chance to
help solve four deaths and maybe
prevent a fifth one.
Fine. I'll see you there.
Wojo strides to the exit, and he runs his fingers over the
light switch, but the deputy opts to leave the light on,
humming the Mickey Mouse Fan Club theme song to himself,

Wojo walks through this kitchen, so neat and tidy. Not a
dish or a glass out. The place appears either unused or well

He reaches the sliding door that leads outside and fidgets
with the handle. The handle will not give. He twists the
lock under the handle and tugs once more on the handle.

He exits.


Wojo immediately examines the lock on the door.
Unadulterated. Unmarred. Unharmed.

The deputy walks towards the silent...


Upon entering, Wojo sees pine straw and some oak leaves and
a large white rock tinged green ten feet ahead. He heads
towards this rock when it slides to a side, and Hank pushes
himself out of the hole.


That was almost fun: The trip
through the tunnel takes me back
to when I was a teen. Here's your
flashlight, deputy.
Wojo accepts his flashlight, and Hank moves the rock back in
place and dusts himself off.
You know, it is possible that the
assailant or assailants had a key
to your home or were let in.
By who? Certainly not Marge or
Maggie. And you can forget about
Alois or Clara -- They have more
religion than Jesus.
Anything is possible, Mr.
If Fitzpatrick calls back, tell
him I'm at the morgue. Now, get
back to your guard duty.
The deputy hands Hank back the photo, and Hank brushes pass
Wojo and departs from the woods.

The lights burst to life, and Ram enters the room with a
metal tray of food in hand. A couple of chicken breasts, a
buttered roll, a cob of corn, and a glass of plain milk. He
uses his foot to pull the door shut.

Rams eyes expand and hot air shoots from his nostrils as he
spies a sight under the whimpering Maggie's feet, a pile of
feces as drops of yellow fluid drip from the insides of her
right foot.

Ram marches to Maggie and slams the tray against the floor
beside Maggie's feet, scattering the tray's contents onto
the mesh of feces and urine.
You dirty bitch, do you know who
has to clean your shit off the
floor? It's me. And you're
pissing yourself too. You filthy


                       RAM (cont'd)
piece of trash.
I-I'm sorry. I just had to go.
Just like you just had to kill
your son, right? You just couldn't
control yourself.
I didn't kill my son... Why are
you here anyway? I thought, it was
up to the Lord to decide my fate.
I;m trying to help you. I'm giving
you a chance to do the right thing
and be rewarded for it.
So my reward for telling you what
you want to hear is food. And with
that food, my suffering will last
longer. I would rather eat shit.
A deranged look covers Ram's face as he excavates a set of
keys and grabs one of Maggie's cuffs. He unlocks the cuff,
clenches Maggie's freed wrist, and drags her to the floor
face first by the rest of the chain.
Eat. Eat everything off this
fucking floor, you sow. You eat it
You can't make me. Go fuck
yourself, you retarded freak.
What venom has built up inside of Maggie. Her face roars
with life. She slaps Ram across the chops and adds some
saliva that catches him in the eye!

She takes another swing at Ram when he grabs her hand and
re-cuffs it, this time over her head.

Ram pockets the keys and grabs the corncob -- dripping with
fecal matter. He crams one end inside of Maggie's anus, one
inch deep and twists it back and forth and back and forth
with a sick grin widening his face.


Tears form in her eyes, and she howls in agony, and Ram
continues as he leans in her face.
We used to do this and more to
those towelheads at Abu Ghraib.
Keep running that big mouth, and
you'll find out how bad it got for
those Iraqis.
Ram grinds the corncob halfway inside of Maggie's anus which
drips an amalgamation of red fluid, corn, and feces.
Maggie's face changes. No longer is she defiant. She is now
powerless. Defeated.
Please stop it. I'm sorry, da... I
didn't mean to be bad. Please stop
it. Stop hurting me.
Maggie's words take Ram aback. Something makes Maggie no
longer appear to be a woman in her early 20s. She seems
younger, more like a tween.
You're gonna be a good girl and do
what Ram says, aren't you?
She nods "yes" in submission, and Ram removes the corncob
from her backside and drops it under her nose.
Nothing but bones, glass, cob, and
metal better be left on this
floor, little girl.
Maggie spots the resolve in Ram's eyes, takes a deep breath,
and takes a small bite from the food/bodily waste
concoction. Yuck. Gross.

Maggie's head lowers and slides around in the mesh,
masticating the sorry meal.

Ram's smile illuminates the room with its brilliant white

Seated at a well-kept desk Sgt. Fitzpatrick stares at the
contents of a folder while the owner of the desk, Dr.
Zarthus, prepares two styrofoam cups of coffee at the



Knocking comes from the door.
                       DR. ZARTHUS
      (to the door)
Who is it?
      (from the door)
Hank Silversmith. I'm here about
my wife.
Zarthus hands a cup of coffee and opens the door. The
medical examiner offers Hank the other cup of java, but Hank
shakes his head in refusal.
Fitzpatrick and Hank exchange head nods of acknowledgment.
                       DR. ZARTHUS
She's ready for pick-up. Do you
have a mortician in mind to
receive her body?
Yeah, Ramsay and Son. The son,
Gilbert, is running the business
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Gilbert's father buried your
grandson, correct?
Hank shakes his head "yes".
                       DR. ZARTHUS
Does he live at the mortuary like
his father did?
He sure does, Dr. Zarthus.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
And where will you be holding the
There won't be one. I'm just
having her cremated in the
Fitzpatrick finishes off his cup's contents and tosses his
cup into the trash can parked beside the desk.


                       DR. ZARTHUS
Any reason why?
No church in this state wanted
anything to do with us when Maggie
was accused of killing Michael.
It's even worse now. I called
Alois at a pay phone, and he said,
Marge and I will burn in Hell for
not making Maggie call the
authorities about her son.
                       DR. ZARTHUS
Why didn't you compel Maggie to
come forward earlier?
I couldn't. I was working on case
after case. I didn't know that
Michael was missing until two
months after the fact. At that
point, I made Maggie come forward.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
You could've told Maggie about how
to dispose of the boy's body and
wait until enough decay occurred
to obscure the cause of death.
Bullshit. She could've learned
that from her studies.
                       DR. ZARTHUS
So you admit that she's guilty.
I am not, Zarthus.
Fitzpatrick holds up his folder.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Mr. Silversmith, these dental
records from the U.S. Army and
belong to the man blown up in your
wife's SUV. Sullivan Smiley was a


Smiley, Smiley. That name sounds
familiar. Wasn't he one of the
soldiers implicated in the scandal
at Abu Ghraib?
                       DR. ZARTHUS
Yes. He was implicated but never
convicted of anything, not he or
most of the other troops involved
in torturing those poor Iraqis. It
was a disgrace what our own troops
got away with. At least, justice
claimed Smiley at the end. Allahu
The medical examiner takes his seat, downs his cup of joe in
a single shot, and faces a framed photograph at Hank and
Fitzpatrick. This image belongs to a good-looking young man
of Iraqi origin, in his late teens, dressed in a suit and
brandishing a driver's license.
                       DR. ZARTHUS
Ishmael Ali Mohammed, my wife's
nephew, is holding up his taxi
license in this photo. Three
months later, he picked up two
American soldiers as his cab
fares. They arrested him as an
enemy combatant and tortured him
at Abu Ghraib until he died from a
pulmonary embolism.
Hank plants himself in the seat beside Fitzpatrick.
I'm sorry for your loss, Dr.
Zarthus pours himself another cup of coffee and retreats to
his seat. He turns the photo of his dead nephew around.
                       DR. ZARTHUS
Sorry for rambling on about my
troubles, but this Smiley just
brought back all the bad feelings.
I was about to talk to Fitzpatrick
more about the blood we found in
the passenger side of the other
SUV when you knocked.


                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I have reason to believe the blood
might belong to someone named Ram.
Does that name mean anything to
you, Mr. Silversmith?
Where did you get this name from?
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
The transcript of your wife's 911
call. One of the speakers on the
call kept referring to a ram. For
a while, I thought it could have
been a truck, an animal, or a
battering ram, but the only thing
that makes since is if he was
referring to a person.
No. I never heard of anyone with
that name.
The medical examiner sips from his cup of black fluid.
                       DR. ZARTHUS
The blood comes from a male of
Western European origin and in his
early 30s.
How do you know the age of the
other passenger. This isn't more
of your mumbo jumbo like the
microtoxin crap at Maggie's trial,
is it?
                       DR. ZARTHUS
Nope, it was devised by scientists
at Erasmus MC University Medical
Center Rotterdam and uses residue
of sjTREC molecules. These
molecules are released into blood
cells by T-cells to deal with new
bacteria and viruses. The older a
person gets, the fewer of these
molecules are produced.
I would like a cup of coffee after
all. Make mine with cream.
Zarthus obliges.


                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Would Maggie know anyone by the
name of Ram or Smiley?
No. She knew of no one by either
of those names. Hell, Smiley and
Ram could be the same person.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
From the 911 transcript, it was
clear that Ram was the one who
carted Maggie away.
Why do you persist in asking me
about this Ram fellow?
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Deputy Wojo told me about your
You know what? I've had enough.
I'm tired of my daughter's name
being dragged through the mud.
This interrogation is over,
Hank breaks from his seat and heads to the exit. Zarthus
offers him Hank's requested java, but Hank waves him off and
barges out, slamming the door behind him.
A familiar red pick-up truck turns onto the half-filled
parking lot. As the truck eases to a halt in the middle of
the lot, a group of people dressed in white lab coats, led
by Dr. Mendelsohn, emerge from the clinic. They make a bee
line for Julie's truck.


Off goes a country-western song courtesy of Julie, and
George scrounges around inside the glove compartment.
Mom, where do you keep your


In my pockets. I know how hot you
can get. You don't need to get in
any trouble.
George leaps from the truck and races towards the mob.
George, get your ass back in here.
George ignores her and heads straight on, with Julie
springing from the truck by way of George's side door.

Julie drives her hand inside of her clothes and over what
appears to be an imprint of a firearm as George reaches
I'm not afraid of you or your
asshole colleagues with you.
                       DR. MENDELSOHN
Be glad it's not the Fayetteville
Police, George.
Julie catches up to and passes her son. She jumps between
him and Dr. Mendelsohn.
Dr. Mendelsohn, what is this
                       DR. MENDELSOHN
I just have my co-workers to
ensure, I don't get molested by
your son when I ask him one simple
question: Why did he bail on the
I bailed on the trial because I
began to believe that Maggie
Silversmith was not guilty.
Confusion covers the faces of Mendelsohn's entourage and
George's mother. How can it be that George could conceive
the inconceivable? Maggie has to be guilty.


                       DR. MENDELSOHN
Why that is silly. She was the
only person there on March 19th.
Who else could've duct-taped
Michael and left him dead in the
I don't know. Only God and the
killer knows.
Yeah. Maggie. She and God knew
what she did.
Everyone but George nods in agreement with Julie's
But the state didn't prove it. No
fingerprints on the duct-tape. No
actual motive. No eyewitnesses.
All you have against Maggie was
the fact that she waited two
months before she told the
authorities about her son's
On that video of her son's
birthday party, Maggie acted like
a brat.
Being a brat doesn't mean that
she's a killer.
Julie smiles to herself and pats George on the shoulders as
if to indicate, Julie can relate to this claim in regards to
raising an impudent child.
                       DR. MENDELSOHN
What about that video of Michael
Silversmith's birthday party? I
know, you didn't get to set it,
but it proved that his mother was
more concerned about herself.
Michael kept her bound to her
Even with that tape, I can't shake
what Alain Stephenson said to me.
He told me to look at the evidence


                       GEORGE (cont'd)
presented by the state. Beyond a
reasonable doubt that Maggie
Silversmith murdered her son? No.
                       DR. MENDELSOHN
So why didn't you stay on the jury
panel and vote with the others?
Because my gut told me, she was
guilty, and my gut is never wrong.
I was so conflicted that I had no
choice but to remove myself from
the case. Wouldn't you have done
the same, Mendelsohn, mom, all of
                       DR. MENDELSOHN
Not if I believed in her guilt.
I probably would've eventually
caved in, like I did when I hanged
out with the wrong crowd and ended
up dropping out of high school. I
have to live with that for the
rest of my life. I would kill
myself if I freed a murderer.
Mendelsohn and his comrades withdraw to their vehicles and
disappear into the night, and Julie slides her hand from her
Is that really true, the reason
why you left the jury?
Yes. Now, let's get to work.
George heads back to the pick-up with Julie in tow.

The hardwood floor in this area, lined with silent doors
with no light peeking from any of them, creaks as the
morbidly obese landlord MR. CONWAY, balding and unshaven,
wobbles with Sgt. Fitzpatrick walking behind him.


                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Is it always this quiet, Mr.
                       MR. CONWAY
Sure. When the law's around, this
place gets more quiet than a
Fitzpatrick and Conway stop at the door to...


Conway extracts a huge key ring and fidgets with the keys.
                       MR. CONWAY
Smiley was a good tenant. Quiet.
Always on time with the rent. I
never pictured him as one of these
whack jobs.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Did he have any friends around?
The right key erects in Conway's hand.
                       MR. CONWAY
Nope. That boy stayed to himself.
The landlord slides the key in the lock, twists the key and
the door knob, and pushes the door when...

A KA-BOOM belches the apartment spewing flame into the
hallway, consuming Conway and lapping at Fitzpatrick.

From a street lined with identical split-level houses on
either side, Hank's car pulls onto the parking lot that
leads to a residence adorned with the oval-shaped sign

The Beamer parks between a black hearse and a black van and
spits out Hank who heads towards the building.


Hank raps on the door three times, yielding momentarily dog
yapping. Light illuminates through the shade covering the
window that is beside the door. An eye peeks from the shade.


The door opens revealing Ram in a wifebeater and gray
sweatpants! He rubs sleep from his eyes.
How you doing, Hank?
My cash flow is running low, and I
need a place to sleep for the
night. And I ain't ready to move
back in my home.
Couldn't you go to the Carpenters?
Sure, but I don't want to be
around them any more than I have
to. I don't want to be reminded
that I'm going to hell one day.
Ram steps to the side.
Come on in.
Hank enters.

Ram presses the door shut and leads Hank through this area
whose walls are covered with pictures of the decease in
their coffins.
So how is everything going with
the preparations?
As expected.
No problems, I need to be made
aware of?
None so far. I think, you'll be
satisfied when it's all said and
Hand and Ram disappear behind the door at the end of the



Light flicks on and off in repetition, actually in rhythm,
revealing Maggie on the clean floor. Her legs tucked inside
of her wrists outstretched in front of her and bound to the
chain looped through the ring jutting from the floor.

The door opens, and a tall figure with a paunch and decked
in a mask of Michael and Mickey Mouse pajamas skips inside,
pulling the door closed. DOVE (whom we will later learn is
ADOLF Carpenter) crouches down and bounces around Maggie.
The Maggie Louse Club!/ The Maggie
Louse Club!/ Who leads the club/
that's made for baby-killing
fiends!/ M-A-G-G-I-E/ L-O-U-S-E!/
Bye, son! Bye,daughter!/ You're
not welcome, no indeed!/
M-A-G-G-I-E/ L-O-U-S-E!/ Maggie
Louse! Maggie Louse!/ Maggie
Louse! Susan Smith!/ Forever
fiends, hold your heads high!/
Come you all and sing a song/ and
join the killing spree/
M-A-G-G-I-E/ L-O-U-S-E!
Dove's voice is in perfect pitch and sounds just like
Michael's! The sound of Dove's voice brings forth tears from
Maggie who looks up and sees in the light the face of her
baby boy!
Dove retreats, and the door shuts as he departs.

The room turns a pale shade of black with only Maggie left
sobbing deeply.

Hank stirs in the bed of those room adorned with a framed
painting Passion of the Christ on the wall in front of the
bed. Hank rubs the remainder of his sleep from his eyes.

The door opens, and Ram enters with a tray bearing a plate
of six pancakes topped with butter and drowning in syrup


with a side of six sausage links and a glass of orange

Ram plants the tray on Hank's lap.
Eat up, Hank.
You didn't have to go through all
of this for me.
Hank dives into the food. Half of the stack of pancakes
disappear down Hank's gullet. Syrup running down the sides
of his mouth. The sausage links, he crams down his throat.
The rest of the pancakes vanish. All that remains of his
breakfast is the untouched glass of juice.
Looks like I didn't put enough on
your plate, Hank.
I haven't eaten in a couple of
days, Gilbert. Sorry for imposing
on you.
Not a problem. But when are you
going to drink that orange juice?
I always have my beverages last.
Ram repossesses the tray, hands Hank the glass of orange
fluid, and ventures from the room.
If more people were kind and
considerate like Ram, this would
be a much better world.
Ram returns with the tray bearing a plate of hotcakes
swimming in syrup and more sausage links. He rests the tray
on Hank's lap and sits on the edge of the bed.

Hank places the juice on the tray and lovingly assails this
order of food.
You know there was an explosion at
Conway Apartments last night. The
landlord got killed and that Sgt.
Fitzpatrick with the sheriff's


                       RAM (cont'd)
office got injured.
Was he injured severely?
Minor burns but nothing life
Hank finishes off the food and turns to the glass of orange
juice. As Hank takes a gulp from the glass, a smirk peeks
from the side of Ram's face.
Do you know the cause of the fire?
I believe they say it was C-4 with
a mercury switch on the news.
Sullivan Smiley was a demolitions
expert in the military you know.
We used Corporal Smiley to
threaten enemy combatants' at Abu
Ghraib that we'll blow up their
families unless they gave us
needed intelligence.
Are you admitting that you guys
violated the Geneva Conventions
for the treatment of P-O-Ws?
Hear me say, prisoners of war,
Hank? No. I said enemy combatants.
They ain't the same.
Why are you telling me this?
Hank grows lightheaded. His head oscillates, and his vision
Because Smiley and I were willing
to do anything to get the truth
from those towelheads. Your
daughter knows that by now.


Hank is startled by this revelation and lunges at Ram,
knocking over the tray and spilling the remaining juice all
over Ram.

Ram sidesteps and grabs the glass from Hank who encounters
the floor face-first. Sweet dreams, Hank.

A capacity crowd, including Sgt. Fitzpatrick whose face is
fire-scarred on the right side and who sits in the back and
Ram who occupies the middle pews, dominates the pews in this
small church as the mid-20s, black-haired, blue-eyed Adolf,
donning a black robe, stands prominently in the choir

He belts out "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in a baritone
voice as his mother accompanies him on the organ.

A side door opens, and Alois marches in rhythm to the song
to the pulpit.

As Adolf finishes his song, he and his mother take their
seats on the front pews.
I am glad to see the children of
God show up on this august
morning. I didn't come here to
apologize for Maggie Silversmith
escaping justice or for you to
pray for us as my dear
sister-in-law was slain a couple
of nights ago. I called you all
here this morning to praise God.
Praise God for acting so
mysteriously. Praise God for the
plagues that besieged Job and
Egypt. Praise God who would send
His only begotten son to die for
our sins. Praise God for the
deaths of Michael and Marjorie
The congregation buzz with one another. What's going on?
What is the minister talking about?
Neither you nor I or any man can
know God's will but God Himself.
And I believe God has a plan, a
plan that will shine light in the
darkest of hours when evil seems


                       ALOIS (cont'd)
to triumph. Hallelujah, brothers
and sisters.
A collective "Hallelujah" emanates from the constitution in
the pews, Adolf, and Clara, but Fitzpatrick sits quietly,
staring at Alois.
Who are we to question the Lord's
will? He put in the hearts of the
jurors in Maggie's case to find
her not guilty. He did so because
to reveal the ultimate truth that
no matter what evil men do, God is
supreme. His will is supreme. And
no man can stop the Lord's will
from coming to pass. And any man
who tries to defy the Lord's will
shall know eternal damnation in
the fires of Hell. Hallelujah.
Everyone in the church is moved by Alois's words sans
Fitzpatrick who cuts his eyes at the head bobbing
congregation. They are transfixed drinking down the
preacher's sentiments as these words provides nourishment.
Sweet ambrosia or cyanide-laced Kool-Aid, Alois is serving
it, and his listeners are drinking it.
When my grandnephew was buried, he
looked like, he was just sleeping,
not someone left in a cold hole in
the woods for eight months. This
happened, brothers and sisters
because The Lord was letting us
know, justice for Michael wasn't
going to come from trying my
niece. The truth is coming out,
but not in man's court of law.
God's will be done, now and
forever. Hallelujah.

In this room whose side walls are papered with prints of
Renaissance painters' depictions of Heaven and Hell, sits
Alois at his desk and under the banner that reads, "Pain
will bring you closer to God." Flanking the reverend are
Clara and Adolf who pat Alois on his shoulders as the latter
scan through tweets at Twitter.


That was a good sermon, daddy.
Yes, it sure was inspired. You
haven't spoken like this since the
9/11 attack, Alois.
I hope my sermon will calm down
our followers.
Alois tweets, as @Shepherd2shepherds, "The truth is nigh.
Look not to hate but faith in the will of God to bring forth
the truth."
ON THE MONITOR - We see a response to Alois's tweet from
@RIP_Michael_Silversmith. "@ your sermon a few minutes ago.
Read your tweet. UR right. I'll be more patient. :)"

      (to the door)
Who is it?
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
      (from the door)
Sgt. Fitzpatrick, reverend.
Come in, Mr. Fitzpatrick.
The sergeant enters, and Adolf draws the door close as he

Fitzpatrick takes a seat at Alois's desk.
I heard about the explosion at
Conway Apartments on the radio
this morning. Are you alright?
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I suffered third degree burns to
side of my face and neck. I'll
need a skin graft, but otherwise
I'm fine.
The Lord sure was with you,


                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I'm not here to talk about me but
a former member of your
congregation, Sullivan Smiley.
Yes, troubled young man,
Clara, could you check up on
Adolf? Don't want him to break the
organ again.
Clara quietly leaves, and a smile crawls on Alois's face.
The organ cost $500 to repair the
last time, our son pretending to
be Mozart. Still, it's funny to
watch a six for five inch mentally
challenged kid pretending to be a
musical genius.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I find it funny that a man named
Alois and married a woman named
Clara and named their son Adolf.
It's all part of God's plan, Mr.
Fitzpatrick. The same plan, he has
for all of humanity.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Would this plan include the murder
of Marjorie and her daughter's
Alois nods a stiff and certain "yes" at the sergeant's
question, and Fitzpatrick lights up with astonishment.
You're practically licking your
chops to put your handcuffs on me.
You think, I had something to do
with those horrific events
surrounding Marge and Maggie.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I admit the idea did cross my
mind... Now, about your sermon.
What did you mean that the truth
is coming out but not in man's


                       SGT. FITZPATRICK (cont'd)
court? Are you saying, you had a
role in what happened to Marjorie
and Margaret?
Of course not. I'm just trying to
reassure my congregation, the Lord
will make sure that justice is
served. And the truth be told, the
Lord does work in mysterious ways.
Alois grabs a small framed photo from his desk and tosses it
overhand to Fitzpatrick. The image belongs to a small baby
wearing a woolen cap and cradled in the arms of a younger,
bedridden and happy Clara.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Is this your wife with baby Adolf?
We, Clara and I, named him that
for encouragement. If Hitler could
go from sergeant to Chancellor
then our boy can achieve anything.
And you heard that voice. There
have been music producers in
Nashville and Los Angeles who want
to sign Adolf to a singing
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I thought that it was God's plan.
It is. Once you truly accept Jesus
into your heart, you'll understand
things that most people won't. The
name Adolf came to me in a vision,
and I knew, it would fit him like
a glove.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
But I'm not hear to talk about
your son. I'm hear to talk
A misguided young man who was
involved in a plot to kidnap my
niece. Yes, he was a member of my
congregation. He never missed a
church service.


                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Your wife said he was troubled.
I wouldn't say troubled. Mr.
Smiley believed in an eye for an
eye. That makes him more of an Old
Testament follower than New.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Did he ever make any threats
against your niece?
Alois types away for a few beats.
He sent a most angry tweet a day
before the verdict.
He faces the monitor at Fitzpatrick.

ON THE MONITOR - We read the tweet at Twitter,
"@Smiley-Face_Man: 'If that jury comes back with anything
less than a guilty verdict, I will strike the beast down
myself. That whore of Babylon, Maggie Silversmith, must reap
the fruits of her sin.'"

                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Why didn't you come forward with
this tweet?
Mr. Smiley's tweet was among the
milder of those from this
congregation. Besides most people
who write this venom don't
physically attack.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
You know, Smiley served as a guard
at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Yes. He told me, he did certain
things over there to those enemy
combatants. No worse than what
they did to us on 9/11.


                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Do you have another member of your
congregation who served at that
Nope. Not as far as I know... But
I'm curious, what made you come
here? Have you talked to anyone
else Mr. Smiley knows?
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
The computer boys spent most of
the early morning looking online
for any friends or contacts Smiley
may have had. The only thing they
could find was this church, and
you tweeted to your congregation
about a meeting this morning.
As far as I know, Mr. Smiley was a
loner... Now, is there anything
else I can do for you, sergeant? I
would really get back to tweeting.
Fitzpatrick turns to the exit.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I notice, you didn't ask about the
status of the case involving your
niece's disappearance and
sister-in-law's death... You have
a good day, reverend.

Fitzpatrick extracts himself from the double door entrance
of the bricked church called "Children of God's Church" to
find Adolf sitting on the church's cracked steps. The latter
stares beyond the cars driving by the church and at the
woods across the way.

Fitzpatrick takes a seat beside Adolf.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
What are you looking at, Adolf?
The woods. My little cousin was
found dead in woods just like


Neither Fitzpatrick nor Adolf observes the tiny surveillance
camera above the entrance.



Alois leans forward in his chair and stares at the computer

ON THE MONITOR - We see the scene between Adolf and


Alois presses a button on his intercom.

The church's entrance cracks open.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Have any idea about who did it?
Yeah, Maggie, but she ain't here
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
That was some good singing in the
Thank you, sir.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Your daddy says you can be a real
Look, Mr. Fitzpatrick. I may not
be all that smart, but I've looked
at enough TV to know, you're
trying to butter me up for
information. I don't know nothing.
Adolf runs inside the church, and Fitzpatrick catches a
glimpse of Clara standing just inside the entrance.

She confronts the sergeant, standing within inches of him.


There was no need for you to scare
my son like that, sergeant.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I'm just trying to get to the
Truth is, there has been a lot of
tragedy in my family: Little
Mickey's murder; Marge's death;
Alois having to relocate to this
tiny church because of people's
beliefs regarding my niece's role
in her son's death. We even had to
shut down the church's website.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Don't forget your niece's
Clara jabs Fitzpatrick in the chest with her index finger.
Had the law done its job,
Michael's killer would be rotting
in prison.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Instead of being missing, right?
Mozart's "Requiem" float from inside the church.
Don't try to put words in my
mouth... Now, if you would excuse
me, I have pressing matters to
attend to.
Clara turns to the entrance.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
And while you're in there, I'll
need for you to get me the church
members records.
No, sir. I will not violate the
members' privacy to placate you.
You're gonna need a search


                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I'll be back in a few minutes.
Fitzpatrick heads down the church's steps, and Clara
vanishes inside the building.

Clara pushes the doors closed and catches up to Adolf whose
rendition of Mozart's work is actually brilliant. She
extracts a ferule that smacks him across his knuckles with
so much force, the wooden tool cracks across the side.
He blows on his knuckles that reveal scars from regular
contact with the wooden device.
You said, if I done everything you
told me if that policeman asked me
questions, I can play the organ.
And you will, not just now, Adolf.

Behind the church is the parking lot occupied by a black
minivan parked before the rear entrance to the church and
Fitzpatrick's gray sedan parked at the back.


Fitzpatrick presses buttons on his cell phone. A smile
stretches the width of Fitzpatrick's face.

ON THE CELL PHONE SCREEN - We see the website for
CHILDRENOFGODSCHURCH.com. An image of Alois's church appears
on the homepage with links to "Current Events", "Church
Members", "Twitter", "About Us", and "Contact Us."

Fitzpatrick activates the link to the "Church Members" page;
however, an Error page appears.

Fitzpatrick checks the other links on the church's homepage
with the same results every time.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
The Carpenters are stonewalling
me, but I don't have enough for a
search warrant.


Frustrated, Fitzpatrick strikes the steering wheel with his
open hand.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
He's probably not there, but I'm
going to check anyway. I can still
lend a sympathetic ear to Hank.
Sgt. Fitzpatrick types away on his cell phone and ringing
comes from his phone.

The intended recipient's phone goes to answering machine.
                       RAM (VO)
Hi. This is Gilbert Ramsay of
Ramsay and Son. I am not here
right now or with a client. Please
leave your message after the beep.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
      (into the phone)
Yeah, Hank Silversmith, if you're
there, this is Sergeant
Fitzpatrick. I would like to
apologize for last night. You can
reach me at my cell at any time
for any reason. Good luck.
End of call.
An idea comes to Fitzpatrick, and he does a Google search on
"Alois Carpenter's Churches."

ON THE CELL PHONE - We see 144,000 search results with the
top ten searches on the first Google page of results. The
fifth link, entitled "Welcome to the church of God's
Children," bears the domain name GODSCHILDRENSCHURCH.COM.

In the search field at Google "archive.org/web/web.php" is
entered. The website for searching cached websites,
Archive.org, emerges.

"GODSCHILDRENSCHURCH.COM" is entered in the search field and
the "Take me Back" button is depressed.

The home page for GODSCHILDRENSCHURCH.COM appears, revealing
a larger brick church than the one Alois currently occupies.
The links on this home page are named the same as the ones

"Member Records" is clicked, and a page containing the names
of the church membership appears!


                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
It might be nothing. It might be
everything. Let's see if Adolf's
father has something to hide.
ON THE CELL PHONE - We scan the list of names and pay
particular attention to the one immediately above Sullivan
Smiley: Gilbert Ramsay.


Fitzpatrick blocks out the last three letters in Ram's last
name and grins.

Fitzpatrick checks out the other links. Everything is
virtually the same with Alois's current church's website
with the exception of the different of street addresses and
phone numbers for the two churches. Fitzpatrick reaches the
"About Us" link.

ON THE CELL PHONE - We read, "Alois Carpenter, descendant of
Cotton Mather, carries on the proud tradition of trying to
free men's souls through this church.

"Alois's preaching earned him accolades. At the age of 25,
he won the Expository Preaching Scholarship Award and the
Claypool Teaching Award. He has had the privilege of being a
guest minister on the 700 Club and PTL.

"And not only has Alois been a success story. His wife Clara
has won numerous awards for her photography and artwork and
received a full scholarship to the Rhode Island School of
Design. Alois's son Adolf has received contract offers from
music studios in Nashville and Hollywood.

"Beyond the successes of the Carpenters is what they have
done for the transgressors of this sinful society. Alois
established the Home Of Lasting Emancipation, or HOLE, to
free people from the sins of the flesh."

Fitzpatrick speaks into the microphone to his police radio.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Dispatch, this is Unit 17. Send a
couple of units to Ramsay and Son
Mortuary. It's at 1369 Buckshot
Road. Have them look for Gilbert
Ramsay and Hank Silversmith.


Fitzpatrick springs from his car.


Fitzpatrick races for the rear entrance to the building


opens revealing a beaming Alois.
I saw you coming via on the
surveillance camera above the
door, if you're wondering.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Where is she? Where do you have
Maggie Silversmith?
I don't have her, but feel free to
look around.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Do you anticipate moving back to
your other church?
Very soon, actually. I'm
maintaining the utilities over
there. I intend for Clara to take
this church over in a year or so.
When the hatred for my niece dies
over, I plan to return that church
to its former glory.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
What happened to the links at your
website? When I clicked on them, I
got error pages.
I'm just updating them. There's
nothing sinister going on here.
Alois steps to the side, and Fitzpatrick enters the church.


As Alois pulls the door closed, Fitzpatrick heads down this


hall lined with a few doors, all of which are labeled, on
either side and terminates at the CHURCH door at the far

Alois opens the first door, the OFFICE door, revealing his
office occupied by his wife and son.

The next one, across from the OFFICE door, is the RESTROOM
door. Alois opens the door and flicks on the lights,
unveiling a unisex bathroom.

Beside the RESTOOM door is the JANITOR'S CLOSET. Alois opens
this one showing cleaning supplies.

Across from the JANITOR'S CLOSET door is the one for the
HOLE room. Alois slowly unlocks the door to this latter room
and flicks on the light. Fitzpatrick's eyes fill with
anticipation as he brandishes his cocked Glock and enters
with Alois in tow.


No one is in here.

A mural -- of Jesus' baptism in the River Jordan by John the
Baptist -- covers the walls. In the center of the room is a
baptismal pool filled with water.
I see this room interests you,
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
What kind of bullshit is this?
This is the hole, right?
Yes. Every sinner tries to fill a
void in his life with sinful
things or deeds. The Home Of
Lasting Emancipation resolves that
problem. A person has to have that
void filled with the Holy Spirit
and that comes through baptism in
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Sinners like your niece.
Perhaps, but as you can see, she
is not here.


Fitzpatrick shoves Alois to the side and marches out the
room in a huff.


Fitzpatrick continues up the hall until he reaches the
church door which he opens and observes the main church
gallery. No one is in here.

He turns back around and finds Alois exiting the HOLE ROOM.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Does Gilbert Ramsay have Maggie?
The mortician and member of my
congregation. I don't know. You're
going to have to ask him.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
One more thing. Did you know that
Hank made a tunnel leading from
his house to the woods?
Fitzpatrick tears out the building.


Fitzpatrick revs up the engines as a female voice comes from
his police radio.
Unit 17. This is dispatch calling
for Unit 17.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
      (into radio
This is Unit 17. Go ahead
Units 2 and 3 have been at Ramsay
and Son. Neither Gilbert Ramsay or
Hank Silversmith are at the scene.
Fitzpatrick catches a glimpse of Alois who closes the door
to his church.



Fitzpatrick's car rips out the parking lot.

As soon as he enters the room, Clara meets him.
What if Fitzpatrick figures out
the hole?
He won't. But, even if he does,
all the evidence leads to a couple
of ex-gays, by way of The Hole,
seeking their own form of justice.
Clara extracts her cell phone and dials a few numbers.
Nevertheless, I'll give Gilbert a
head's up about Fitzpatrick.
And call up several other members
of the congregation for cover.
At the end of the room farthest from the entrance, Hank and
Maggie dangle by their wrists from the pipe. Both
Silversmiths are naked with what appears to be dust covering
their feet and unconscious as the entrance to this room

Enters barking that stirs Hank to full consciousness and
causes Maggie to groan painfully under her breath.

Hank spies his daughter, and his face registers joy and
Maggie, baby doll. My God. What
have they done to you?
The source of the barking enters the room, a huge, frothing,
muscular white pit bull attached to a chain and dragging in


Calm down, girl. Charon, calm
Charon jumps at the pale, marred, and naked Silversmiths.
The dog leaps with such ferocity, the chain rips skin and
draws blood from the palms of Ram's hands.

It takes all of Ram's strength, but he manages to secure the
chain to the bolted ring. Charon continues to bark at the

Ram closes the door and Ram wraps his wounded hands with
bandages, he forged from his wifebeater T-shirt.
Charon, Halt die Klappe.
Upon hearing the German for, "Charon, shut up," the dog
immediately quiets down. She stands still and stares,
seemingly hypnotized at Hank and Maggie.
Gilbert, what's going on here? Why
are my daughter and I naked?
What's this shit on my feet?
I'm doing God's will. This is His
divine plan.
You sound like, you've been
drinking Alois Carpenter's
Kool-Aid. Get your sense back and
free me and my daughter.
Maggie's face gains cognizance. Her vision is blurry at
first. After a few blinks, she recognizes the person beside
Can't do that Hank. The truth must
be revealed, and this is the only
Truth? What truth?
Ram heads to the Silversmiths.


Who killed your grandson and why?
Mother and father already decided
my fate, but I guess God decided
something different.
You are correct, Maggie Louse. And
that was thanks to what you almost
said yesterday.
What is he talking about?
Maggie shamefully turns her head away.
I guess, what they say is true:
Pain brings you closer to God. And
after what I inflicted her with...
You motherfucker! I'm going to rip
off your balls and feed them to
your mutt!
Hank nails Ram in the crotch with the balls of his foot, and
Ram doubles over in pain and sucking in air.
Charon leaps at Hank, barking louder than ever and seemingly
driving Hank in his assault. A kick from Hank nails Ram in
the jaw, sending Ram careening to the floor.

Ram spits out blood and teeth, flashes a smile, and slams
his fists into Hank's knees.

Hank lets out an agonizing moan as Ram shatters both of
Hank's patellas, grabs Hank's shins, and twists them 90
degrees inward so Hank's toes face each other!

Maggie shrieks, exciting Charon ever more so, but Hank turns
to the former with a "shush" finger over his lips. Maggie
calms down, and Ram refers his focus onto his dog.
Halt die Klappe! You will get
yours soon enough.
Charon silences once more, and Hank seethes and groans as
his body goes limp from pain.


Gilbert, Alois put you up to this,
didn't he?
Yes. Alois and your your
sister-in-law were the
masterminds. Even your nephew got
in on the act. Father, Mother, and
Dove -- They almost sound like the
Holy Trinity.
And what is Sullivan Smiley's
connection to this?
He was just a soldier following
orders, as he did under me at Abu
Ghraib... Why am I answering your
questions? This isn't about me or
the other servants of God. This is
about you and your daughter.
Leave him alone, Gilbert. He's
done nothing.
I'll leave him and you alone as
soon as you tell me the truth. Who
killed Little Mickey and why?
I've been telling you the truth
all the time! I don't know!
Wrong answer, little girl.
Ram grabs Maggie by a foot and extracts a Damascus skinning
knife with a glossy black handle and a glistening blade of
four-inches in length. Ram applies the blade to the instep
of her foot.
Please, Gilbert. Don't do this.
I will ask you just once more. Who
killed your son?


I don't know. I don't know!
Ram's knife slices in and runs the length of Maggie's
trembling instep! Oh the agony, she experiences, letting out
an ear-piercing scream.

Hank cries in anguish and frustration swing his crippled
limbs with all of his might at his daughter's assailant. The
limbs barely sway.

A dusty strip of skin droops over Ram's knife blade. Ram
flicks this piece of skin jerky at Charon that gnaws on her
treat with glee.

Ram unearths a packet of salt and pours its crystal contents
on Maggie's new wound, yielding a louder scream from her
plus nausea.
Your life is over, Gilbert. Over.
And this is just the beginning,
Maggie. I'll keep going until you
tell the truth, or you end up
skinless. You hear me?
Now, tell me what happened. And
leave nothing out.
Both Hank and Ram listen attentively as Maggie's head drifts
low and tears drip from her face.
Two years ago, March 19th, mom
left for shopping when...

In his Mickey Mouse pajamas, Michael sits Indian style on
the floor and munches on a toaster strudel with a Capri Sun
in his lap totally engaged with a Mickey Mouse cartoon on
the TV.

Dressed in a yellow T-shirt and matching sweatpants, Maggie
enters the room with a glass of water and takes a seat on


the couch when she hears a thumping noise from the hallway.

She grimaces, as if she dreads knowing the source of the
Michael, you'll watch your
cartoons, and I'll be back in a
Maggie steals from the room.

She spots movement from under the door leading to Michael's
room and grits her teeth as she drags herself down the hall.

Eventually and with much regret she stands before the door
to Michael's room. She twists the doorknob and opens the
door. She peers inside and sobs.

She looks over her shoulder and sees no one and shuffles her
feet inside the door. The door closes behind her.


Michael grows restless. The toaster strudel consumed. The
Capri Sun container, completely drained.

Michael rises to his feet.
Mommy, I want some more studel.
Some more Capi Sun. I want more
studel and Capi Sun. Mommy.
(Not able pronouncing strudel and capri correctly, Michael
makes do with the variations of the words "studel" and

Michael heads out the connecting door to the hallway.


Michael hears strange sounds -- grunting and groaning. These
sound come from his room.
Mommy. Someone's hurting mommy.


He opens the door to his room and charges inside.


He finds his naked grandfather on top of the listless Maggie
on Michael's bed. Michael throws punches and kicks with all
of his might, drawing a back of the hand from Hank.

Michael, holding his face, careens to the floor.

Hank clamps his hand over Michael's nose and mouth, but
Michael's muffled scream snaps Maggie out of her state.
Daddy, what are you doing?
He saw too much. If you had locked
the door, like I told you, this
wouldn't be necessary.
She leaps onto her father's back, but Hank shrugs Maggie off
with ease.

Michael grows still. Though not lifeless.

Hank hoists the child in the air and heads for the door.
Put him down, dammit! Put my son
down! You don't, and I'll call
Right. I used to be the police,
remember? A favor here or there,
and you're the one they will be
taking in, little girl. And I'll
have your little bastard point the
finger at you.
Maggie freezes in place and turns ghastly pale as Hank
continues to the bedroom door with his tiny fare in hand.
Hank offers a deep chuckle borne from his stomach.
Now, you be a good little girl and
keep our arrangement secret, and
I'll continue to let you live
under this roof.


Hank disappears in the cold, dark hallway with Michael in
tow as Maggie drops to her knees sobbing.

Maggie sobs before the emotionless Ram and a disbelieving
and seemingly sicken Hank. Even Charon displays grief as the
dog observes the interaction.
I never saw my son again until the
sheriff's department found his
tiny body eight months later.
How did he convince your mother to
not go to the police about your
Daddy threatened to kill me and
mom if she went to the police.
And why did you wait two months
before going to the police about
Michael's disappearance?
It's almost like a swamp out there
in the woods. Two months is more
than enough time to disguise what
he did to Michael.
Maggie, your father was working an
insurance fraud case in Georgia at
the time.
Just like so many times in the
past five years when he finishes a
case early he came home and
celebrated at my expense.
Hank's eyes redden. The veins in the side of his neck
vibrate. The back of his neck grows hot and flushes crimson.
You lying bitch. I never harmed
you or Little Mickey. For the love
of God, I gave the boy his
nickname. I bought most of his


                       HANK (cont'd)
Records prove, Hank was at the
Doubletree Atlanta Hotel on March
Daddy told me this along time ago:
He would pay off the desk clerks
at the hotels, motels, whatever,
to say he stayed the extra day, so
my father could squeeze more money
out of his clients.
This true, Hank?
Yes. But on that Saturday, I was
in Atlanta.
Hank, why weren't you in court,
while Maggie was on trial?
I was working on a case to make a
payment on the mortgage, I took
out on my home to pay Maggie's
defense attorney... Gilbert, I
love my family. I would do
anything for them, never anything
to do.
If I'm lying, how would I know
about the tattoo "Marge's
Property" on the bottom of your
nut sack?
Ram peers at Hank's scrotum and confirms the appearance of
this inscription.
You caught your mother and I have
sex once when you were eight...
This is bullshit, and you know it.
I never molested you and I never
killed your son, my grandson.


Maggie, why didn't you ever say
anything about your father at your
trial, the official one and the
real one?
Todd Clifton wouldn't let me take
the stand at my trial. Besides who
would believe a decorated former
police officer is a rapist and
killer? If mom didn't, who would
You mom was at your trial every
Right. She knew, I was innocent.
You baby killer, you're going to
Hank layers the side of Maggie's face with a loogie, and Ram
snaps Hank's face to the side with a slap, rendering Hank

Ram unshackles one of Maggie's wrists, throws her over his
shoulder, and heads to the door.
What's going on?
Fulfilling God's will, Maggie.
He opens the door and heads into...


where one incandescent light illuminates this area with two
doors. One at the terminating end labeled EXIT, and one on
the right side wall, one yard from the entrance to the HOLE,
and entitled CONTROL ROOM.

Ram enters this OBSERVATION ROOM with his lode.


Not much to this room but a desk embedded with a TV monitor


and that conveys the activities of the HOLE and a light
control board.

Ram binds Maggie to a chair with the free metal ring of the
shackle attached to an arm rest.
What are you doing to me now?
Keeping you in here until Hank's
sentence has been rendered.
What then?
That's up to the Lord.
Ram takes his leave, locking the door behind him, and
Maggie, half-relieved and half-crazed, laughs.

She spots a scene unfold on the...


Ram returns to the room and slaps Hank until the latter


The weary Hank lifts his head and sees a very anxious Ram.
You can't believe those lies she
told. Maggie is a liar and a
Hey, I would've believed you, but
I saw that tattoo. The only way
she could've seen it is if you
showed it to her.
If you think I did it, hand me
over to the authorities. Let them
try me. You don't need to do this.
And then I and your in-laws go to
prison. Nope. We're the ones
carrying out the Lord's will, and


                       RAM (cont'd)
His will will be done, Hank.
The Lord, you say. Why would the
Lord allow an innocent man go
through this?
Ram digs out a plastic bag of dirt and coats Hank in a layer
of its contents. Hank coughs and wheezes, and Charon barks
madly and loudly leaping in Hank's direction.
It was your wife who was to be
tried with your daughter
originally. Only Marge and Maggie
could've killed your grandson,
Hank. Then, the sheriff's patrol
cars ended up spoiling everything
and Smiley resorted to Plan B:
Kill himself and your wife. Had
Maggie not dropped hints about
your perversion, you wouldn't be
here. But the Lord, He works in
mysterious ways.
Why did you cover me with dirt?
Ram uncuffs one of Hank's wrists, and Hank hits the floor
with a thud, and Ram strides over to his frothing pet.
It ain't dirt. It's your wife's
remains. I cremated her last night
and have been giving Charon a
steady diet of it over the past
few hours.
You sick bastard! You can't do
Ram unshackles Charon and she pounces on Hank relentlessly,
drawing an inhuman scream from him as Ram observes in


Maggie hollers at the ghastly sight on the monitor and



Fitzpatrick's car eases to a stop behind the two sheriff's
patrol cars parked in front of the mortuary. Neither the van
nor Hank's BMW is on the premise. Fitzpatrick's car spits
out its driver who heads to the front patrol car, Unit 2.

Fitzpatrick pokes his head inside...


of the patrol car and sees Deputy FISH, a slightly
overweight man in his early-40s drinking a can of soda.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Dispatch said, there's no sign of
Silversmith or Ramsay. Have you
talked to the neighbors, Fish?
None. They saw the Beamer here
last night, but the car was gone
by dawn. The van left around
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I'll need you and to follow me.
This is a hunch, but this is all
we got. I'll tell the same to
I will, but it sounds like a waste
of time. Captain Gilbert Ramsay
served with my cousin at Abu
Ghraib and managed to keep his
nose clean while other troops
tortured those ragheads.
Fitzpatrick pokes his head in the driver's side window of
the other vehicle for a beat. Fitzpatrick returns to his own
car and leads a departure from the mortuary.

A pat on Maggie's shoulders snaps her out of her fainting
spell. She turns around to find the source of the touch --
Michael in his Mickey Mouse pajamas!


Don't be scared, mommy. It's only
As jubilant tears roll down her face, Maggie ensnares her
son in a bear hug.
My God, you're still alive. You
have no idea how much I've missed
Michael peers at the monitor.

FROM MICHAEL'S P.O.V. - We see the scene from The Hole.
Charon gnaws on flesh Hank's right leg as the left side of
Hank's still form conveys the truth of the dog's carnage.
Evisceration, mastication, with blood and gore and bones
left of the pit bull's devastation.

Her owner stands to the side and hums the theme music to
"Mickey Mouse Fan Club" or perhaps "Maggie Louse Fan Club".


A sinister grin twists Michael's face.

This look morphs into fright, and the little boy shrieks.
Maggie puts him feet first on the floor.
Why is that dog playing with
grandpa like that?
God. You saw what happened to your
grandpa. Sorry about that. I'm
sorry. I'm so sorry.
Shouldn't it be playing with you
like that, mommy?
Cold sweat forms on Maggie's forehead. She turns pale and
swallows deeply.
Michael, uh, what did you say?
That dog shouldn't be playing with
grandpa like that. Grandpa didn't
kill me: You did.


Maggie shrinks away from Michael, backing her chair into the
desk, but the chair turns over. dumping her on the floor and
at Michael's feet.
But I didn't do anything to you.
It was your grandpa.
No. Grandpa didn't do this to me.
Michael extends his tiny hands at Maggie's avoiding face.
Her head moves fluidly ducking every effort, Michael is
making to touch her face. Growing frustrated, Michael kicks
Maggie in the nose, and this stuns her enough for him to
apply his open hands over her nose and mouth.
Time for the truth to come out,

Dressed in his Mickey Mouse pajamas, Michael sits Indian
style on the floor looking at the Disney iconic rodent on
the TV with a toaster strudel and a Capri Sun in hand.

Marge, attired in a blue pantsuit, barges into the room with
her pocketbook in hand with Maggie, decked in a yellow
T-shirt and matching sweatpants, in tow with the former
heading to the door.
Your father and I discussed this,
and it's final: We're enrolling
Michael in Howell Preschool
But he's only two years old, mom.
He tested at Genius level on the
Cattell Infant Intelligence Scale.
Imagine, you gave birth to a
little Einstein.
Howell costs $20,000 a year, mom.
You know, I can't afford that.


But Hank and I have savings. We'll
take care of everything. But now,
I have to go. See you and Michael
in a few hours.
Marge exits, and Maggie's face burns with fire in outrage,
and she stares a hole through her son who finishes his
pastry and drink.
More studel and Capi Sun, mommy. I
want more studel and Capi Sun.
Maggie just stands there. Her face contorts with anger and
outrage and despondence.
If I don't end this now, it will
never end. They will own you and
me forever, Michael.
Maggie applies her hand over Michael's nose and mouth. He
kicks and slaps away at her hand to no avail. It is over in
a matter of moments as his head rolls over to the side,


Maggie sits Indian style on the floor. She is covered in
dirt. She stares transfixed at a Mickey Mouse cartoon
playing on the TV as the door opens revealing Marge with two
bags in hand.
Maggie, dear. Where's Michael?
Maggie replies by sadly humming the theme song to the Mickey
Mouse Club.

Marge clasps her daughter's shoulders and looks deeply into
Maggie's eyes.
Maggie, where's Michael? Where's
my grandson?


I freed him from you and daddy,
mom. Michael's in a better place.
Dead and buried in the woods.
Marge smiles at Maggie's incredible proclamation for a beat.
Marge examines the sincerity of her daughter's words as
well as Maggie's face and the smile fades away.

The back of Marge's hand snaps Maggie's face to the side.
You evil fiend. Why would you do
this? Why?
I refuse to let my son be a slave
to you like I am. You know, I
can't afford to send him to that
preschool; only you and daddy can
afford it. It'll continue from
their until Michael is completely
dependent on you, like I am.
Marge snatches her daughter into her arms, out of comfort
and out of accepting partial responsibility for her
daughter's deed.
Your father will start a new case
on Monday. He won't be home for a
couple of months. When he calls,
we'll just say, Michael's at a
friend house, and when he gets
back, we'll say, he wandered off.

Sweat and tears moisten Maggie's crying face, and Michael
removes his hands.
Did you cry like that when you
wrapped my head with tape and
buried me in the woods?
Of course. I love you. I just
wanted to spare you from being a


And I'm here to do the same for
you, mommy.
Maggie shrinks away from her son. Her eyes bulge out, and
her forehead bathes in perspiration.
Michael, what are you talking
You didn't want me to be like you,
a slave to grandpa and grandpa.
Yeah. Yeah. That's right.
Why didn't you die with me, mommy?
Maggie responds by turning away from her two year old son.
Her head lowers in shame.
You wanted to be free from me.
too. Right, mommy?
No reply from Maggie.

Michael leans in his mother's avoiding face.
I'm gonna make sure, you stay with
me. Forever and ever.
Michael's face widens with a Cheshire cat grin, and his
hands grow in size. The fingers become strips of blue duct
tape that wrap around Maggie's face.

Maggie engages in machinations against her son. She claws at
the duct tape and kicks at Michael with no result. Her
screams are muffled. Her body jumps about like a fish out of
water. Her movements slow, and her skin turns wan.

Fitzpatrick's car leads two sheriff's patrol cars down this
road predominantly lined with trees on either side. The
three vehicles mount a hill when a black van drives pass.



Fitzpatrick snaps his head around at the vehicle.

FROM FITZPATRICK'S P.O.V. - We see, a curve consuming the

                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I wonder if that was Gilbert
Ramsay. If so, I can't pull him
over. He's obeying the traffic
laws. No reasonable suspicion for
me to do a Terry stop.
The caravan of vehicles reaches the nadir of the hill and
turn onto...


of the Church of God's Children. What a dilapidated state
the lot is in. It's overrun with weeds and covered with
graffiti, mainly words deriding and cursing Maggie.

The vehicles park at the rear entrance to the church that
appears in a similar state of affairs to the parking lot.
Fitzpatrick and the sheriff's deputies, including CLARK, the
early-20s female, exit their respective vehicles, and
Fitzpatrick heads to the church's rear entrance.


Fitzpatrick and Clark extract their firearms. Cocked and
ready to shoot. Fish, however, leans in Fitzpatrick's ear.
Sergeant, don't we need probable
cause to enter?
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I think, I hear a woman screaming.
Fitzpatrick fidgets with the door. Locked.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Clark, use your lock pick on this
Clark notices something about the lock.


The lock appears to have been
tampered with. From the way the
grooves have been worn down, I
would say, it was done with a
flat-head screwdriver.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Open it, anyway.
The deputy complies, and the lock proves easy for her to

Fish reluctantly reveals and cocks his Glock, and
Fitzpatrick and company file inside the church.


Fitzpatrick flicks on a light switch and, he and the
deputies head down this hall with the identical set-up to
the Children of God's Church.
Fitzpatrick opens the OFFICE door, and flicks on the light
switch. No one inside, but there are cobwebs and rats.

Fish opens the RESTROOM door. The room reveals the place has
been recently cleaned. The smell of chlorine bleach chokes
Fitzpatrick and his associates.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
Someone was here, and washed up
real good. Dammit. I bet it was
Ramsay. A hearse drove passed us
on Baptist Road.
You don't know if it was Ramsay's.
Even if it was, there's no law
against driving on this road.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I'm going to have Forensics go
over every square inch of this
dump to find out.
Fitzpatrick's breathing deepens with anticipation and dread
as he reaches the door to the HOLE room.

Fish pokes his head inside the CHURCH door. He flips the
light switch. As the room floods with lights, there is no
one in sight.


Clark opens the JANITOR'S CLOSET. Dust and cobwebs cover the
cleaning tools and chemicals here.
The perp used his own cleaning

Fitzpatrick twists the doorknob for the HOLE door. Locked.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
      (to the door)
Maggie. Hank. This is Sergeant
Fitzpatrick with the Wake County
Sheriff's Department. Please say
something. Anything. Or, if you're
in there Ramsay, give yourself up.
Nothing. Not a word. Not a sound.

Instinctively, the sole of Fitzpatrick's shoe encounters the
door that flies open with Fitzpatrick and the deputies
entering the room.


A mural of Jesus's baptism wraps around the walls of the
room that bears an empty pool at the center. But there are
no signs of Hank or Maggie.
Looks like a dead end,
Fitzpatrick. And the taxpayers
will be picking up the tab.
Fitzpatrick palpates the walls.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I don't buy that the Home Of
Lasting Emancipation is just a
baptism. It's something more,
something theatrical.
After a beat, bingo. Fitzpatrick's fingers discover a door
hidden behind the depiction of John the Baptist. He opens
this door, and a light flashes on and exposes



Fitzpatrick and the deputies head down the steps that
terminate at the door marked


The trio enter this door and finds a hallway with two doors:
The Hole at the very end and Observation Room.
There is a stillness in the air. Stale with a mixture of
bleach and uncertainty.

Fitzpatrick, Fish, and Clark blow pass the Observation Room
and head directly for the door to The Hole.
Two dead bolts and a slide bolt are the locking mechanisms
on this door. Clark examines the locks.
These dead bolts look jimmied too.
And also by a flat-head
Clark makes short work of the locks, and the door opens


Fitzpatrick, Fish, and Clark pile into the brightly lit room
with all 613 incandescent light bulbs illuminating in
unison. Pristine. Completely clean. No sign of anything
horrid taken place in here.
Sergeant, you'll be lucky, you get
demoted after this.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
And you're just itching to get my
job, aren't you, Fish?
I'll check out the other door,
Clark drifts out the room.


The door to the observation room is locked as Clark learns.
She uses her lock pick to fidget with the jimmied deadbolt.
Voila. The door opens, and Clark's eyes shudder.


She heads back to The Hole.


Fitzpatrick and Fish continue to bicker.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
I earned my rank, Fish. All you
have been doing is eating through
your 20 years in the department.
You will be eating shit when it's
all over. Unlawful entry.
Vandalism. Yep, I'll get your job.
Clark returns.
Guys, she's in there. She's in the
observation room. Maggie
Silversmith is in the observation
room, and she's dead.
The trio blow out the room.


The trio enter, finding Maggie on the floor in the same
position as her son. Fitzpatrick presses his fingers against
the side of her neck and confirms Maggie's death with a
slashing gesture across his neck.

Fitzpatrick smells something odd. The odor originates from
Maggie's face.
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
This smells like the same adhesive
used in duct tape.
What difference does it make?
Fitzpatrick, the way, you managed
this investigation, it's possible
that girl's murderer will go
                       SGT. FITZPATRICK
      (under his breath)
Or that justice has been served.


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