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by KL/MTS (ghosts.shallotte@gmail.com)

Rated: PG   Genre: Film Noir   User Review:

A post modern tale of memory, love and surrender in the shadow of the approaching darkness.

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.


A red neon bar light fills the small window of Dibb's
Tavern, a dive bar along Main Street.. Suddenly, three shots
ring out from behind the entry door to the bar.
The solid wood door bursts open.
KENT, 24, rugged white male, runs out of the door to Dibb's
Tavern. He has a 3' by 2' brown wrapped rectangle under his
arm. Kent is fearful and desperate.
Kent runs to Black older Oldsmobile parked on the street,
opens the driver's door, and climbs in.
Kent lays the wrapped package one seat and fires up the car.
He speeds away focused on the road.
As the Oldsmobile speeds down the road, TALON, a huge thug,
clad in black denims and a black sleeve-t shirt runs out. He
is holding a large revolver.
An older man, DIBBS, steps through the door. He quickly
surveys the damage and sighs. He is wearing a beach shirt,
Khaki pants, and a crumpled gray Bermuda hat.
Do you want me to go after him?
Dibbs watches the Oldsmobile drive off and spits tobacco
juice on a car parked by the door.
Did you shoot him?


Suddenly, a young girl in a waitress uniform, CARRIE, comes
storming out of the bar. She is shapely and has a large
flower tattoo on her right cheek and jaw.
Carrie watches the car careen down the open road and angrily
turns to Talon.
What are you doing?! Kent wouldn't
hurt anyone. He doesn't even own a
Then he shouldn't have run.
You're a beast.
And that's why I get the big
bucks, sweetheart.
Carrie gives Talon an evil look and runs to the little car
next to the one that Dibbs spat on. She gives an exasperated
look and Dibbs shrugs his shoulders. She quickly gets in the
car and fires it up.
Dibbs chuckles as she speeds after Kent.
Talon tucks his gun in his pants and folds his t shirt over
the handle.
He'll bleed out soon. He grabbed
his side when I shot him, and
The both look down at the dark bloody trail to Kent's former
parking spot.
      (almost compassion)
Kent has had a hard life. Let him
die in the arms of love.
The arms of a junkie.


Dibbs spits on the car again.
Whose car is that?
Dibbs shrugs his shoulders as they hear sirens approaching.
      (looking down
My checkbook and a pen are on my
desk. Get those please.
Talon goes back into Dibbs' Tavern.
Kent's Oldsmobile is seen tearing down the road. A plume of
dust follows it
Kent is laid back in the seat. His eyes are half closed.He
drives with little effort or concern, despite the high
Kent looks to the picture. He sees the hole in the wrapper
and the blood.
The Lady bleeds
Kent's hand leaves bloody streaks as he moves it on the
Everything dies.
Kent sees a railroad crossing up ahead.
Bryant Road Crossing, a good a
place as any. He won't have us.
Kent's car pulls up to the tracks and stops.
Kent looks down the tracks and sees, through wavy sight; he
makes out a train, way down the tracks, approaching him.


Kent parks the car, straddling the tracks.

He falls onto the wheel, nearly unconscious from blood loss.
There is a singing in his ears. This singing becomes the
bells of an alarm clock.
Kent's eyes open, bloodshot, as the alarm rings in
particularly annoying way. He turns off the alarm clock and
takes a small notebook from the floor.

The notebook is open and one page reads: Gruber, 10 am, the
Harlan Company.

The clock shows 9:30.

Kent arises, goes to the kitchen sink, and washes his mouth
out with Orange Juice. He then runs water over his hair and
smoothes it back with his hands.

Kent gets a clean, black t-shirt from his dinner table.
Glad I had money for the
Kent changes his shirt and leaves the apartmenmt.
Through the window is a gray sky. A stiff breeze suggests
immanent rain. A rumble of thunder confirms.
A very dim, gray day, almost like sunset.

The The Harlan company is an immense, faded brick factory,
set amid other factories, and long fallen into disrepair.

Kent strides along disused tracks overgrown with weeds. He
raises his collar against the coming storm, but does not
look at the sky.

At an open garage bay a two burly WORKERS prepare a
They hurry as the storm approaches.


Kent approaches the Open bay door and the workers.
I'm looking for Harlan Company.
One worker looks dumbfounded
Kent walks out from the tracks, between the gates, onto the
road which leads to the factories. He holds the wrapped
                       WORKER 1
Keep following the tracks. Round
back and you'll see a little sign.
Kent nods in gratitude, turns into the stiffening wind.
                       WORKER 1
Better hurry, storm's hitting any
Kent walks alongside the vacant factory, it's windows black
with dirt. Brush grows thick against the building, covers
doors that have not been opened in ages. Thunder growls
Almost at the end of the building, a sign: "Harlan Company".
The path to the door is clear of weeds, a faint light emits
through the clean window on the door.
A small bell rings as Kent enters.
Stacks of junk and strange stuff pile all around. Paintings,
statues, musical instruments, rusted factory equipment.

The shop is quiet, MACHINERY POUNDS somewhere deep within
the bowels of the factory.

Kent navigates the stacks of junk cautiously.

GRUBER, Male in his 70s, the archetypal eccentric old
inventor, tinkers with an ancient radio, listens to the
STATIC, does not look up.


Gruber, without looking up from the radio, raises his hand
for Kent to hold still.
Right there! Hold still!
Kent freezes while Gruber continues to fine tune as
crackling jazz comes from the radio.
Ah! Hear that?
Gruber rushes to where Kent stands, waves him aside.
Outta the way, boy!
Kent steps aside as Gruber marks the spot where Kent stood
with silver duct tape.

The old man then faces Kent amiably.
What can I do for you?
First, I have an original painting
by an unknown artist. I heard you
buy paintings.
Let's see it, then.
Kent hands him the whole package.

Gruber opens the top, slides out the painting, examines it.
He glances at Kent.
You are the artist?
What exactly is it you paint,
young man?
Different things. Lately, I seem
to have odd visions. I paint them


Visions of "somewhere else?"
I suppose, you know, like
nightmares...in color.
Let's hope this isn't one of them.
Gruber turns the frame to show Kent that inside the frame is
a blank canvas.
I...I'm sorry. I must have done
that by mistake.
Our minds have ways of speaking to
us when we won't listen. Perhaps
you really didn't want to sell
your work.
I really need the cash.
Need happens to be one of the few
things I still trust. As you are
in a needy postition,I have a job
opening, if you're interested.
Pays three hundred dollars a
That was I came after. If you need
some help here, I'm definitely
Outstanding. In my office, please.
Small, cluttered, a dirt smudged window overlooking the weed
covered train tracks. Gruber motions Kent to a seat, takes
for himself a swivel chair behind the desk, and gazes
wistfully out the window.


Been a long while since a train
came down those tracks.
Gruber finally shifts attention back to Kent.
About the job, okay. Name's
Gruber, pleased to meet you...?.
Kent...yes. Well, Kent, one of the
services my company offers is a
special kind of transport, a ghost
transport, if you will?
Disappointment shadows Kent's face. He suppresses it
Pays three hundred a night.
Gruber continues to watch out the window, distracted by the
train that will never again come.
Three hundred for any successful
completion. And you'll find
success is rarely a problem.
What do I have to do with Casper?
Simple enough. You must capture a
ghost, transport it to an assigned
location, and release it there.
If I told you, I'd have to kill


Kent doesn't know whether to laugh or not.
I'm just kidding. Really, I don't
know. They pay me and I do it.
Like the guards at the death
Not a pleasant association, but I
don't ask too many questions.
Kent stands to leave.
I'll Tell you what; there's a
bonus hundred for the first job.
Kent sits back down, leans forward, skeptical but attentive.
I've offered this "unique" service
for many years, and through word
of mouth, well; I get enough
business to keep me going.
The old man seems distracted a moment. Kent waits patiently.
POUNDING MACHINERY deep within the factory grows louder.
You'll go to a cemetery of your
choosing, taking a device of my
invention. Using it, you'll
capture a ghost. Might take an
hour, might take all night.
Kent stares, incredulous but bored.
Once you have the ghost, you'll
deliver it to the assigned address
and just let it go
Isn't that trespassing?
Gruber smiles mischievously.


Sometimes. Did I mention the job
pays cash? Officially, this job
doesn't exist, and we never met!
Thunder BOOMS outside and a downpour hits.
How will you know if I did the
job? For that matter, how will I
know when I've got a ghost?
After a job, return the device.
I'll know if you've captured and
released a ghost. And trust me,
when you get one, you'll know it!
Kent's Oldsmobile travels a broken and potholed road.
Kent drives with BARD, 25, a mild mannered, red haired giant
with pale, tattooed skin and a beer gut well underway.
I need to get a dog.
You need to get yourself a woman.
Just call Carrie.
Can't afford a woman, Bard,
especially not a junkie,that's for
damn sure.
You got no problem finding 'em.
That drives me insane! Thought
Carrie was clean since the
accident at Bryant's Crossing?
She's dead to me, man. Like I have
found out with my mom and booze,
you can't trust an addict. Can't
ever keep any other girls though.


                       KENT (cont'd)
The struggling artist thing
attracts them but wears off pretty
Screw it. Get a dog.
On the road across the canal a black limo idles.
There's someone out there, though.
I can almost feel her, close by,
like we keep just passing each
The road travels across a bridge which crosses the canal.
Just two ships in the night?
Are Bogey and Bacall going to
round the corner now. "Two ships
in the night". This is a Riverton,
it would be more like trains
passing, on the rails.
We sound real tough don't we? More
like a couple girly-men.
Bard waits in the passenger seat of Kent's car, which is
parked in the lot.
Kent enters the driver's door and sits, with a small bag of
junk food and a knowing smile, handing Bard a diet soft
Bard frowns at the diet soft drink.
I'm just watching out for you,


Kent tosses him a big Hershey bar, and the big man smiles in

SMASH, SMASH. Window glass shatters.

Kent fumbles for his keys.

Arms extend into the car with stunning speed, unlock the
rear doors.

DRADE, 40, and Talon, both in leather jackets, jump in the
back seats.
What the-?
Get the hell out!
Keep you head, fellas.
The objects in their hands are not visible from the front.
You know who we are. Now start the
car and drive.
Either of you carrying a gun?
The question is met with silence.
No let me ask you this. Knowing
who we work for, do you think we
Now drive.
Kent's car lumbers down a road flanked by old factories.
Drizzle beats down on a colorless landscape.


A BLACK LIMO with tinted windows follows.
The red glow from the radio stands out in the darkness. The
station plays metal music.
Dial up something else. This
music's got no soul.
Bard tunes the radio, finds some classic rock. Drade waves
his gun over the seat to point.
Leave it there.
Let Bard go. He has nothing to do
with this.
He does now.
Drade points to a location.
Right over there.
Kent slows the car to a crawl. The broken pavement leads to
a forgotten boat dock. It is a walled rectangle, just larger
than a car, in the river.
Pull to the edge. There is just
mud there now, kinda like
quicksand. Jimmy lost a forklift
in there last year. Fell in and
just sucked it up. It was cool
Kent stops the car headfirst and feet from the edge, the
limo right behind.

Kent and Bard look at the dock and can see the soupy looking

Bard, anxious, looks at Kent, at the goons, then at his

Talon leans over and holds his gun where Bard can see it.


Open that door and I'll put a
bullet in your head.
Drade lets that sink in a moment.
Now, I want only truthful answers.
Do you have the money?
Can you get it today?
Kent struggles with an answer.
We have a decision to make, then.
                       BARD (to kent)
Jeez, you borrowed from these
guys? What for?
Drive up more.
Are you crazy?
Kent edges the car forward, parks it just short of the edge.
Oh, come on. You can do better
than that!
Drade signals with his hand. The limo pushes the car forward
just past the edge of the wall.
Come on, man!
Where's your balls?
Talon glances a little skeptically at his partner, who seems
to enjoy this too much.

The hood about a foot over the wall, Drade signals the limo
to push more. Locked wheels slide on the broken pavement and
the car jolts when the front tires drop over the wall edge.


Bard fights panic. Beads of sweat form on Talon.
What did you do with the five
grand, Kent?
Drade signals the limo. Steel and rubber grind pavement, and
the front seats are pushed to the edge.
That's my business.
Drade signals the limo. Steel and rubber grind pavement, and
the front seats are pushed to the edge, giving a clear view
of the muck below.

Drade, exhilarated, smiles at a nervous Talon.
I'd say it's our business,
(to Bard)
Wouldn't you, fat man?
Kent remains defiant.
Is it your mother again...awe,
She would've been evicted!
She spends all the money on drugs
and booze. Why isn't she dead to
you, too?
She's my Mom!
Drade signals with a couple of fingers. The limo pushes the
car another foot.
Come on, man! This thing's gonna


A man should always love his
I'll pay it back. I just need a
little time.
Let 'em have the damn car!
This car sucks man!
Drade gestures to Talon. They open the doors, remain seated.
What I love about these old cars
is the nice, simple engine. No
computer chips, fuel injectors, or
any other crap, just a big, heavy
Come on, man, don't do this!
My partner here and I are pretty
heavy guys. This ride should get
pretty interesting when we get
He ain't part of this. Let him
out. I just got a new job today.
Couple weeks, I need a couple
Talon, anxious to get out, glances at Drade, who ponders.
                       DRADE (to Bard)
Ok, sweet-pie, out, just you. Nice
and easy.
Bard looks at Kent, then opens his door, carefully leaps to
the edge of the embankment.

Drade leans in closer to Kent.
Death is very under-appreciated,
Kent. Think of the message your
death'll send. Probably worth more
dead than what you actually owe


                       DRADE (cont'd)
Kent bows his head slightly, dismayed.
Worth more dead.
Bullseye, K-man. Why don't you
stop crying about it and get some
stones. Your life is in the
In the distance a train whistles, no one notices. Kent
glances at Drade with a slight smile.
Lotta money for me to come up with
in two weeks. There's bound to be
entertainment value in that.
Drade breaks out in a large smile.
Yes. Yes, there is. Two weeks,
kid. That's what we'll give ya.
And it will cost you double for
that. As for your car, well...
Drade motions to Talon and they jump out of the car. Their
exit causes the car to tilt, rear wheels off the ground.
The car tilts back slightly. Carefully, Kent leans back in
the car, puts it in reverse, avoids looking at the perilous

Kent leans gracefully reaches the gas, and the car tilts
forward dangerously.
Get the hell out of that thing!
The car tilts back slightly. Carefully, Kent puts it in
reverse, avoids looking at the perilous drop.

Kent tries to reach the gas, and the car tilts forward

The goons watch in amusement.

Wheels spin fruitlessly as the car teeters.


Bard moves to help, throws his ample weight onto the trunk.

The wheels again spin.

Finally, Bard's weight brings the wheels to the ground.

Kent floors it, and the car moves back from the edge.
Kent's car pulls up at the edge, headlights off.
Kent exits the car with a duffel bag and a flashlight and
heads into the cemetery.
Kent's light focuses on the dark path before him,
occasionally strays to a tombstone.

Colonial era stones, dark and thin, many are bent or
partially sunk, look like jagged teeth.

On a small hill under an oak tree, Kent places the
flashlight in the grass, angles the light where he needs it,
and withdraws the device from the bag.

The shell of the device is made of blown glass, electronics
at the base, a clear liquid filled sphere in the center.

Kent sets it on the ground, finds the power switch, turns it
A spinning circle of faint BLUISH LIGHT appears and pulses.
Alert, Kent scans the grounds.

A noise from the tree above startles Kent.
A bird flies off.
He settles at the base of the tree, lights a cigarette.
Seated against the tree, Kent sleeps.
WHISPERS awaken him.
He glances around, still as a statue.
WHISPERS of indecipherable words continue.
Kent jumps to his feet, searches with the beam.
Nothing is seen. The device continues to pulse.

Running FOOTSTEPS are heard in the dark.

Kent searches with the beam.

A small fog hovers over a tombstone.
More fogs appear over other stones.


Kent crouches, his face frozen in panic.

MALE SOBBING is heard, very faint but very close.

The flashlight probes frantically.

More SOBBING, it is closer.

Gray, indistinct outline of a FIGURE, the SOBBING MAN,
drifts toward him.
I hate youuuuuuuu!
Kent remains immobile in terror. The ghost rushes by him
toward the device.
The blue light clicks off. Darkness and silence are the
A quick flashlight scan reveals the fogs are gone.
A swirling cloud of smoke fills the liquid sphere within the
device. A small light indicates: "FULL".
A COP, a TRUCK DRIVER, and a DRUNK, all are seated at the
Carrie is the waitress and is cleaning the counter as Kent
enters, carrying the device in the duffel bag.
It is stuffy in the diner, but Carrie wears a long sleeve
Coffee, sweetie?
Black and hot, like my women.
Carrie laughs, quietly.
She fills a cup with the thick black diner coffee and places
a menu on the counter.


Carrie seems slightly surprised by his demeanor, but does
not say more.
The cop glances over at Kent, they exchange nods of
See anything you like?
Kent smiles at her suggestive tone. He then fixes a stare on
her eyes.
A little warm for a sweater, isn't
Carrie quickly looks to the cop and back to Kent.
It's still early, a little chilly.
Carrie gazes at him, pleadingly.
Yeah, got to keep those arms
covered, I guess
Carrie gives Kent and angry look.
I'll start with the French toast.
Kent moves in close to her, whispers.
It was me or the needle, you made
the choice.
Dammit, Kent, I'm clean. I am
saving mpney for skin grafts on my
arms. I paid my price for the
junk. It made me look like a
The Cop pays attention to the argument.
Kent gives the cop a nervous smile.
That shit took you from me!


You're love for me died, when you
started using. To me, the Carrie I
knew died.
She still tests clean.
Kent looks at the cop.
You know, I'm sure, that a junkie
can't be trusted.
With that wreck at Bryant's Road
Crossing, she became a victim.
I've seen some of the worst
homicides around here. When I saw
all the blood, I didn't think
anyone could live through that.
Carrie moves to the kitchen.
Kent opens the bag on the seat, the device hidden from other
patrons, and flips a "RELEASE" switch.
A loud, angry VOICE emanates from near him, then seems to
shift around the room like a reverberating echo.
Never! Never! Never! Never!
The cop looks at Kent and Kent shrugs. the truck Driver
glances around, the drunk notices nothing.
You don't know! You don't know!
Several pans, hanging behind the counter, fall from the wall
with a clang, one by one.

Carrie comes out from the kitchen. The drunk stirs.
What is happening?
Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!
Carrie looks at Kent and then the Cop. The cop calmly takes
a drink of his coffee.


      (looking at
I have no idea how to write that
up. I think you do, though, Kent.
Get out of here. My coffee's still
warm and morning traffic is
starting soon.
Kent closes the duffel bag.
                       KENT (to Carrie)
I'd just like a french toast to
A bell jingles as Kent enters. No sign of anyone, the quiet
only broken by the distant HAMMERING of machines deep

Kent is carrying his painting.
The painting has a wrapper on it.

To one side, a BLACK CURTAIN stirs.

Kent stops.

Below the curtain, two legs in white pants, sneakers.

From behind the curtain, there is a FLASH of white light.

Kent peeks through a slit in the curtain.

Gruber works an ancient camera, focused on an old painting
of men hammering rails, an old coal train in the background
against a deep blue sky.
One of the men looks eerily out from the picture, as though
into our world from theirs.

Kent steps back and Gruber emerges from the curtain.
Ah! Boy! Did you succeed?
Yes, I did.
Let's see, then.


Gruber takes the device, hooks it up to a meter, and removes
the liquid ball, now clear.
Why yes, one ghost captured and
discharged! You brought it to the
Yessiree, bob.
My name is not Bob.
Sorry, that is just a figure of
I've never heard, "yessiree bob."
It's just kind of...mine.
Then who is Bob?
I don't know, just sounded right.
I see.
Kent takes off the wrapper from his painting and sets it on
the table, leaning against the wall.
I remembered my painting this
Are you sure?
Gruber goes to Kent and looks at the painting, studying. the
painting is of dark, jagged trees thrust up in to a night
sky. One tree is fallen.
There are a lot of issues, here.
Gruber hands Kent cash. Both look pleased.


What do you think of the transport
It's easy enough. Are there any
more jobs?
Plenty, my boy, plenty. Good thing
there's no shortage of ghosts!
There should be millions. Lotta
people die.
Most move on. Only a small
percentage hang around.
Why don't they go?
Gruber runs a power cable to the device to recharge it, then
rummages through a thick folder of paperwork.
Trying to work things out,
The bell on the door jingles. Two men enter, one approaches.

Kent fades into the shadows.

The older tall visitor, his silver hair tied in a small pony
tail, is Dibbs. Now he wears a meticulous white suit with a
black carnation, black fedora and tie.

The other man, SHADOW, younger and dressed in a black
classic gangster type suit, remains obscure and lingers near
the door. Shadow emits an air of menace.

Gruber, unsettled, is clearly familiar with the two.

Dibbs approaches Gruber and hands him a manila envelope.
A contract renewal, for your
Yes, yes, I'll go over it later,
Dibbs. There's a check?


Of course.
Dibbs attention is drawn to Kent's painting. He wanders over
to examine it.
Very unique style. The artist?
My specialty. How much?
      (Flustered and
It's not for sale.
Dibbs takes a white gloved hand and gently touches the palm
along the base of the painting.
He raises his hand with a scowl of disapproval, displays the
dust picked up
Gruber takes the device, keeping it hidden from Dibbs, and
packs it into Kent's bag.

Dibbs turns his attention to the shadows, to Kent.
Young man, do I know you?
Shadow shifts slightly closer, a looming threat.
Well, then come out and speak to
me? You are an artist?
I've never exhibited, except a
painting on display in a friend's
booth last year, at a festival.
Kent comes into the light.


Name's Kent. He's into you for ten
large. Was five until til today,
he and Drade made a deal.
I don't call that much of a deal
for you, Kent. How is that darling
mother of yours?
Fine, I guess.
Outstanding. I assume you and my
associate, Mr. Drade, came to an
amicable agreement on the funds.
You could say that.
Does it involve you paying me?
Then I will say that we have an
Dibbs leans in Kent's direction and lowers his voice a bit.
Did Mr. Drade and yourself discuss
what would happen if you did not
meet this agreement?
Kent stares at the floor and nods his head.
Is that what you want to happen,
Kent raises his head and looks into Dibbs' dark eyes.
It's all up to you.
Dibbs turns to the painting.


I do remember seeing it, now. It
was BROKEN FOREST, if I recall. A
unique style, a bit raw. I liked
it very much
Kent is drawn out by the chance to discuss his work.
It's one of my favorites,
actually. Sometimes, it's like I
perceive a world different
from the one we normally see.
That's the closest I've come to
capturing it.
Gruber issues a warning with his eyes to Kent.
"A window between the worlds". I
must have it! Will you accept ten
thousand dollars?
Gruber, unseen by Dibbs, shakes his head.
Kent struggles to reply.
Your debt to me would be gone.
I...I'm not ready to sell it, sir.
Dibbs shifts closer, looms over Kent, his smile dangerous.
I should explain to you, once I
decide to obtain something, I
generally do.
Dibbs walks gracefully to the exit.
I will be in touch. Pride is such
a funny thing. Lack of it can set
you free but too much of it can
kill you.


BURKEY, 60s, tends bar. About a dozen REGULARS drink.
The door opens and Kent storms in like a gust of air, a
smile on his face, wallet in his hand.
Whiskey shots for everyone,
Burkey, and a beer to boot for me!
The regulars show their approval with a rousing "hey".
Kent takes a seat at the bar next to a wide eyed Bard.
Burkey places a beer in front of him.
I must be dreamig. Whens the last
time you bought the house a round?
Last time I had a wad of cash. I
Can't remember!
RACHEL, 25, barfly, saunters over, drapes an arm around
Kent's neck.
You look different tonight, honey.
Cash makes you much more handsome
than usual.
                       KENT (to Burkey)
Get Rachel a beer too.
So where'd you get the green?
New job, can't tell you the
Classified Information, huh?
Something like that. Pays three
hundred a night.
Kent downs the shot.


Burkey, keep those drinks coming.
On Kent.
Burkey pours the shots. They raise their glasses.
…to whiskey!
Wouldn't want to live in a world
without it!
Everyone downs their shots.
Bard shoots Kent a look; the afternoon's events are on his
mind. Kent responds with a reassuring smile.
Don't worry, takin' care of it.
Bard looks doubtful a moment, then smirks.
Hey kid, when you gonna give us
another painting for the wall?
Soon, Burkey, soon.
Burkey quickly pours and downs a shot for himself.

Rachel studies the painting on the wall.
It is a black and white piece, a tattered broken tree,
alone, in a field. The tree casts a dagger-like shadow all
the way across the field.
It's cool, but different. Why is
the shadow so long? It looks
Kent looks at the painting very seriously.
He drinks another shot.
It is long and painful. What if
the shadows cast us, and that tree
is painful.
Must've been some good stuff that
night, my friend.


      (staring at the
There was nothing good about it.
It's the shade of broken tree.
                                         MONTAGE OF SCENES
-The ghost of a frightening OLD WOMAN in the cemetery.

-The blue light goes off, the "FULL" light on.

-A GHOSTLY MAN crawls on all fours.

-A GHOST released in the hallway of an apartment.

-A headless GHOST.

-A GHOST released in a department store.

-Kent counts cash as he exits Harlan's with a smile
Kent enters the seedy dive, pauses to look warily around.
Low lifers and shady characters are present.

Drade and Talon sit at a table near the door where they can
closely monitor the action.
Drade smiles at Kent.

FRANK, 50s, in a well worn suit, sits at a table with SHALE,
early 40s, well dressed, piercing blue eyes set in a body of
tightly wound nerves, his movements awkward, almost spastic.
An unmistakable air of authority surrounds him. Both men
have full shot glasses in front of them.

Kent takes a seat at the bar near the table, waits.
Are you kidding me, Frank? Just
who owns who here?
Beads of sweat drip down Frank's face.
There's just no more money, Mr.
Raise taxes, that's what you do.


Most of the money already comes
from the rich. The more we raise
taxes, the more they just hide
As they damn well should! Jack up
licensing fees, speeding tickets,
I don't care how you do it. Either
I get what I've got coming or
you'll get what you got coming.
Frank wipes sweat from his brow.
Shale picks up a shot of whiskey, gestures for Frank to
follow. They down the shots.
Frank's hand shakes as he puts down the shot glass.
Smile, Frank. Everything'll be
Frank stands up nervously, reaches out to shake Shale's hand
Shale smiles as he takes the hand, but holds it firmly. A
look of menace flashes onto his face
Remember that, Frank. I will take
what's mine, one way or the other.
Shale smiles and releases Frank's hand.
Frank nervously passes Kent, not noticing him, and walks
quickly out the door.
Shale seems to drift off a moment, then notices Kent.
Ah! The young man with the iron
Shale turns to Talon.
What's his name?
Shale turns back to Kent and smiles.
Kent! Come sit with me, kid.


Kent takes Frank's seat.
I have the money.
Right to business, heh? That's the
problem with today's youth, no
social style. Balls but no...no
Shale flashes two fingers to Talon.
Sometimes I think I was born in
the wrong decade. Arrived at the
wrong destination, you know?
Two shots of whiskey are placed on the table.
The twenties. Now that was a
decade with a voice! The country
was feeling its oats, immigrants
were melting into the pot, F Scott
and the flappers, Capone. The
fifties, they had Brando and Jimmy
goddam Dean. The seventies, Dirty
Harry and Howard Cosell. Even the
nineties had Cobain. Today? Flat.
It's all flat and colorless. It is
all just fading into gray.
Shale's mood oscillates from bright to dark, back and forth,
as he speaks, his eyes intense.
Do you think there's no voice, or
the voices are just, you know,
Shale beams.
A voice cannot be silenced, kid!
No more than a flower can be kept
from blooming, a beautiful woman
from... being beautiful.
Sometimes a voice gets lost in the


Ah, we have a poet. You're right
about the noise. All that
screaming noise.
Shale rubs his temples.
      (eyes closed)
It just won't stop.
A train horn blows, like it is far away.

Shale turns to the sound without source.

Kent hears it and sits still.

Shale snaps his head around.

Talon puts the shots on the table.
Shale turns to business.
Did you hear that, that cry, that
damn noise?!
Kent calmly takes his glass and drinks from it. He sets it
down slowly, deliberately. Kent gives an openly sarcastic
stare to Shale. He runs his forefinger around the lip of the
shot glass.
      (knowing sneer)
      (smoothing hair)
You are lying. You hear it but you
just don't feel like telling
anyone, including yourself.
Kent shrugs.
The money. You've managed to come
up with it? All of it?
Kent nods and reaches for his pocket, Shale stops him.
Give it to Drade.


Shale now glares menacingly at Kent.
It better be there or...
Kent withdraws his hand, places it on the table.
You'll what? Tell me, what is
Shale going to do? Kill me? Go
ahead. My mom's a drunk, my dad is
a casualty; even my girlfriend is
a junkie. What are you going to
do? I will be better off. You are
just taking care of the details.
And the devil is in the details. I
was just thinking we could be...
Shale fixes his gaze on Kent.
You know...buds or pals or, I
don't know, we'll say...Amigos.
Well, amigo, we gonna do these
shots or wait for them to dry up?
Shale's mood once again brightens.
You sure have got some balls,
Kent! Maybe there is hope for this
Doubt that.
Shale raises his glass, Kent follows, and shots are downed.
We all have powers we must answer
to, Kent, in my case, only one.
Frustration settles on Shale's face.
You have a certain painting,
Broken Forest. You've agreed to
sell it.


Shale holds up a hand to stop Kent.
Kent, this isn't the time for
negotiation or...artistic
integrity. Forests aren't the only
thing that can be broken.
Kent sits in silence, his face red.
So much for "amigos".
We all have a role to play in
life. You have yours, I have mine.
It's not for us to choose. Drade
over there, he enjoys his work.
Me, well, I like my position. And
a man in my position can't afford
to think of feelings and all that.
Then, I guess integrity is a real
stretch then, amigo?
Rage grows in Shale. His eyes become red and he grinds his
Integrity is just a coward's
justification for weakness. Bring
me the painting tomorrow. You'll
receive twenty five hundred.
He offered five thousand.
Do you really think I care what he
offered? My dad is old and he will
go soon.
Tomorrow, Kent. If you don't bring
it, it'll make Mr. Drade very
happy. He seems to like you. He


                       SHALE (cont'd)
enjoyed his last visit anyway.
Kent walks among the stones, reading various epitaphs,
reaches the usual spot and sets up.
He opens a can of beer, looks around the cemetery under the
faint blue glow of the device.

A TRAIN HORN sounds, then quiet.
Kent puts his face in his hands until it stops.
He then takes them down, he teeth are clenched.
The voice of a CHILD is heard, very faint.
                       CHILD (OC)
My fault, it was all my fault.
Kent remains still and gazes around.
                       CHILD (OC)
I'm sorry, papa. It was my fault.
Kent turns around. A gray mist edges toward him from behind
a nearby tree.
My fault, papa. My fault mama
The mist moves closer, its form takes more coherence: A boy,
about 10, in colonial era clothing.

The form drifts closer to Kent and haphazardly toward the
device. The form stops, looks directly at Kent.
My fault. I didn't mean it. I'm
Kent remains frozen. The ghost again drifts toward the
My fault, papa. My fault.
The ghost disappears and the light goes off.

Kent, distraught, moves to the device, shines a light on the
swirling cloud filling ball within.


The jukebox cranks.
About twenty fairly intoxicated customers.
Kent enters, visibly upset, and stands between Burkey and
MOLLY, 35, hard edged MILF, tends bar.
Just in time for last call, Kent!
Beer and shot. Fuck it, whiskey on
the rocks and a shot. Set these
guys up.
What's the matter, buddy? Didn't
you have another one of those jobs
Yeah. That's the problem.
Kent downs his shot, takes a hard sip of whiskey.
A group of thugs drinks near the center of the bar.
Customers avoid them.

A bear of a man, FATHER CONNER, 60, does not look like a
priest, enters the pub. Vigorous for his age, it will not be
his first drink of the night.
He takes a spot near Kent.
I'll take a pint and a shot,
GARY, 30, one of the thugs, red in the face angry at his

JILL, 20s, slams down her bottle on the bar.

Gary's angry words are drowned out by the jukebox.

Father Conner keeps a wary eye on Gary as he talks to Kent.
There's something on your mind,
lad, what is it?
Gary's anger escalates, his woman cowers.


Father, let me ask you something.
Why does God let the innocent
suffer? And don't give me any 'God
acts in mysterious ways' crap.
Gary raises the back of his hand to the girl.
If you tell me one more time...
Father Conner turns his head to Gary and Jill.
I would not do that, son.
Mind your business, old man
Father Conner downs his shot, places the glass next to his
pint waiting on the bar.
I don't wish to intrude on your
affairs, but I'll not stand to see
you strike a woman. It is my
business now, it's what I do.
Gary stands up for battle.
Maybe I'll strike you instead.
The thugs with Gary stand, ready for action.
                       CONNER (to Kent)
By the time you reach my age, you
learn something.
Conner shatters Gary's nose with a blow.
It's important to land the first
A melee ensues. Bard, Kent, and old Burkey assist Father
Conner against the seven guys and Jill.

Conner slams a thug against the bar, while Kent ducks a
punch and lands a blow that sends a guy reeling.

In the middle of the action, Conner continues his
conversation with Kent.


Your question, lad, is about God
and the suffering of the innocent?
Conner takes Gary in a headlock while Jill repeatedly
punches the priest's back. Kent throws another blow to a
Either there is no God, or he
doesn't give a shit.
Bard and Burkey slam guys nearby.

Kent ducks another punch, punches the attacker squarely in
the teeth. He gives a face of pain and shakes his striking
hand. Kent now has bloody knuckles on his striking hand.
In other words, how could an all
powerful creator allow such evil
if he does indeed care?
Conner releases Gary's hair, punches him in the jaw, and
drags him to the door, as Jill hammers the priest to no

Kent follows with a thug in a headlock.
Where am I wrong?
Your conclusion is reasonable.
Logical even. But, yet, in error,
Conner tosses Gary, then gently boots Jill with his foot.

Bard drags two guys to the door, tosses them.

Conner and Kent return to assist Burkey.
I can tell you from personal
experience, there is a God, and he
does care. You'll have to take my
word on that.
Conner takes a guy from Burkey, drags him to the door.


Which means it's the other part of
the equation that's the problem.
The thugs cleared, they return to the bar where shots wait
for them.

Burkey, out of breath, smiles and grabs his beer.
That God is all powerful? Are you
saying he's not?
They retrieve the shots from the bar.
It's a mad, mad world, isn't it
If you don't believe God is all
powerful, why are you a priest?
They down the shots.
Haven't you noticed? I rather like
being the underdog!
Bard accepts a beer from Molly.
Well, thank you Father that was
I've taken many vows in my life,
pacifism wasn't one of them.
Neither was silence!
They all laugh, except Kent, absorbed in thought.

With a bow, Conner exits.
You gonna finish that job tonight?
No. I need some answers first.


Kent wanders to his painting. The shadows of the lovers seem
a little longer.
Kent places his glass on a table and exits, still troubled.
Kent, troubled, approaches the counter. No sign of Gruber.
Machines HAMMER deep within the factory.

He glances at the railroad construction painting. The worker
who had gazed outward before now looks down like the others.
                       GRUBER (OC)
Boy, that you? Come in the office.
Kent enters Gruber's office.
Gruber sits behind the desk, stares wistfully out the
Train used to come right down,
pick up the loads. Things made
here in this factory .were
something to be proud of.
Kent removes the device from the duffel bag, places it on
the desk, the swirling cloud visible in the liquid filled
Problems depositing it?
It's a child.
Ah. Those can be disturbing.
I need to know what happens to
these ghosts. I can't just take
them out from where they seem to
want to be.
Gruber opens the device and pulls out the liquid globe,
examines the swirling cloud within.


Does them no harm, boy. Let me
explain. A ghost is a
consciousness without a physical
body. It remains in this world,
but it has no means of perception.
No eyes, no ears.
What are they aware of?
Ever heard of Charles Bonnet
Kent takes the globe from Gruber and studies the cloud
Very common, actually. Those that
experience it start seeing things
that don't exist in the real
world, odd, impossible things.
What causes it?
Deteriorating vision. Suddenly the
mind isn't getting the signals it
used to. So it starts creating its
own reality to fill the gap.
And this is what ghosts do?
Precisely. Their minds shut off
from the world, begin to create
their own reality out of bits and
pieces of memory from life,
unconsciously, of course. Working
out what troubles them so they can
move on.
Kent holds the globe delicately in his palm.
This boy, He suffers. And his
clothing was from long ago.
Hundreds of years, to suffer like


                       KENT (cont'd)
that. It's not right.
Time's different for the dead,
boy. Centuries for us can be but
moments for them, and vice versa.
In the cemetery, he looked at me.
Knew I was there.
That happens, sometimes. They
can't really see, of course, in
the usual sense, but conscious
minds can make contact. I would
caution against it, however.
There's a tendency for memories to
Look, kid, it won't matter a lick
to that ghost where it's at, in
the cemetery, in that little
globe, or in Buckingham Palace. It
won't know the difference. But if
you're uncomfortable, just put it
back, wait a while, and pick up
another one.
Kent returns the globe to Gruber, who places it in the

A TRAIN HORN in the distance. Gruber raises an eyebrow.
A heavy, gray sky. Kent's car is parked facing a freight
train that rumbles slowly along.
Kent sits and watches the train, the duffel bag on the seat.

The caboose comes into view and he springs into action,
exits the car with the bag.


Kent jogs up to the slow moving caboose and looks for an
open door.

He tosses the bag onto an open landing, then follows it.
He sets to work immediately in the empty caboose, opens the
bag and places the device on the floor.

Kent studies the swirling cloud within the device.
You've suffered long enough, kid.
Kent pushes the "RELEASE" switch.
May you find peace, somewhere.
The ghost voice echoes off the walls
                       CHILD (V.O.)
My fault, my fault, my fault...
Then silence. Only the rhythmic sound of the train.

Kent replaces the device in the bag and jumps from the slow
moving train.
Kent lands on his feet and watches the train ride into the
Not your fault.
Kent leans against a tree and watches the blue glowing
A TRAIN HORN BLOWS in the distance.

Kent straightens as a figure consisting entirely of SHADOW
walks in a line toward the device.


When it reaches the device, the shadow figure stops and
bends to examine it.

The Shadow Figure straightens and turns directly to Kent. A
darkness deeper than shadow, no features visible.
                       SHADOW GHOST
Do you mean for me to enter this?
Kent says nothing. The figure walks toward him, and Kent
fills with terror.
                       SHADOW GHOST
Do you?
Kent begins to back away as the shade draws closer.
                       SHADOW GHOST
Be still!
Kent freezes.
                       SHADOW GHOST
You summon me, for answers, for
riches, for a trophy?
In a black smoke, the Shadow Ghost comes to within inches of
Kent's face. He breathes hard into Kent's face. Kent's hair
blows back and he stares at the Shadow Ghost, wide-eyed.
                       SHADOW GHOST
You are my trophy. I have broken
you with your own fear.
The shadow ghost blows away like smoke. Kent stares into the
Kent, deep in thought, sits with Father Conner at the bar.

Burkey serves the drinks.
If you don't wish to talk about
it, lad, perhaps a drop'll help?
Couldn't hurt, Father.


Mr. Burke, if you will.
Burkey produces two glasses, pours.
Can the dead be angry?
If the method of death were, we
will say, upsetting, possibly.
How about, you know, just mean.
That sounds more like a demon.
Some people do things that are
I think I met one.
Maybe it is part of you, something
you fear, or maybe it is fear. I
remember Winston Churchill's
famous speech about the Nazis, "We
have nothing to fear but fear,
Bard storms into the bar.
Gentlemen, a fine day for drinking
if I do say so!
And what day isn't, lad?
Just in time. Burkey, set him up.
They raise their glasses and down the whiskey.
Did you bring Shale the painting?
Kent remains silent.
Awe Cripes, here we go again.


What's this about, boys?
Shale has a client that insists on
having one of Kent's paintings.
Paying twenty five hundred, too!
I don't like being forced to sell
Last year you would or taken fifty
bucks for that thing.
That's not the point. Besides,
Dibbs offered me five thousand.
You can't put a price on
Drade enters, cocky smirk on his face, Talon in tow.
Drade brings his cheesy grin right over.
Imagine finding you here. You
could at least make us work for
this a little, Kent. Buy us a shot
before we go see Shale?
I'm not going anywhere with you
fellas, much as I love your
Drade opens his jacket just enough to point to his gun.
It's always, "look at my gun, it's
big and it's pretty." It's like
you bought Freud's books and tried
to be the example of penis envy.


Boy, I can't wait to kill you.
Conner stands up, close to Drade, stares hard into his eyes.
You'll be leavin' us now, lad. We
don't go for that sort of thing in
Drade meets his gaze. He edges his hand toward his gun.
If your hand moves any closer to
that little piece you're gonna pay
a price you didn't expect, lad.
Drade freezes his movement, weighs the situation.
Enough! Drade, call Shale. I've
already talked to Dibbs. He's
agreed to take the painting from
me personally. I'm due there in an
Dibbs! He is buying your work?
Talon steps to the side of Drade, hand on his gun.
As long as the painting goes to
Dibbs. And it better go there,
Kent. Then you and I will, "talk."
Gentlemen, I believe your business
here is done.
Old man, we will finish this some
other time.
You should hope you see me first.
Drade's face is held in a sort of wonderment as he gazes
into Connor's face. They lock stares. Drade's conciet pours
out of his dark eyes to reveal a sense of finality and a
tinge of surrender. Connor is hard and sure of what will be.


Wow, Drade. I almost feel sorry
for you.
Drade looks at Kent like a deer in the headlights. Drade and
Talon give a canned masculine laugh and leave.
How is it you're getting mixed up
with this lot?
Long story. I gotta go.
Bard stands up to leave with him.
Let's get this done with.
Not you.
Never argue with a fat man when
he's hungry.
Kent and Bard ride, the painting in a plastic bag in the
So why're you bringing this to
Dibbs? I thought you were just
supposed to give it to Shale?
Cutting out the middle man. Shale
was gonna take half.
Shale ain't gonna like that.
A long road. They reach a security shack with an armed
GUARD. A mechanical arm blocks the driveway.


A mansion looms ahead.
Kent carries the painting as he and Bard are ushered through
the house by a SERVANT.
Strange. No paintings or art on
the walls. Nothing.
Let's just get the check and get
the hell out. This place feels
like a morgue.
They are led to an expansive living room. Dibbs sits on an
exquisite sofa near a fireplace in which an inferno burns.
Again, furniture placement is spare. Only Dibb's couch, a
smoking table and the fire are in the room.
In the back of the room, Shadow watches, hidden in darkness.
Ah! My boy, come on over. It's
Kent, right? And you must be Mr
Bardwell. A pleasure to meet you.
Kent and Bard exchange surprised looks.
Have a seat, gentlemen. Kent,
bring your work to me.
Kent removes the plastic from the painting and Dibbs takes
his wine glass in hand to make room so the painting can be
laid down on the glass coffee table.
Yes, as I remember it! A peculiar
glimpse of the world.
INSERT: image of the painting. A majestic forest, soaring
trees. One tree has fallen, lies between the others.
One tree down, and the forest is
Dibbs turns his gaze to Kent. The gaze penetrates deep into
Kent's eyes.


An artist's work is more than just
his vision.
Kent looks uncomfortable.
Mr. Shale will not be happy.
Disappointment spreads on Dibbs face.
That boy was never satisfied with
what he was given. Always plagued
by dangerous thoughts
Shadow shifts closer as Dibbs raises his voice.
      (staring into the
I will have to kill him someday. A
Kent and Bard both seem fascinated.
Where will you put it? I see no
art on your walls.
The question suddenly brightens the mood of Dibbs.
I'll show you! This way,
Dibbs stands and the others follow. He withdraws a check
from his jacket and hands it to Kent.
Bring the painting, son.
Kent's eyes widen when he sees the check
The three of them walk in a weed filled field. Black clouds
overtake gray. Thunder RUMBLES. Shadow follows at a


This, gentlemen, will be my legacy
to the world. My contribution to
this thing some call civilization.
An unusual stone building, circular with a domed roof and
high stained glass windows, looms before them. There are no
windows at ground level.
Your vision, and therefore you,
will now be a part of that legacy.
They reach the door and Dibbs fumbles for his electronic
Temperature and humidity
controlled year round. Natural
lighting but screened. It's nearly
They enter an artist's nightmare, a room of magnificent
horror. Roughly a quarter of the wall remains bare stone.
The rest is a mosaic of pieces of paintings, cut into
various small sizes and mixed together onto the wall.
Bard and Kent stare open mouthed.
Thunder BOOMS, echoes through the building.
You're destroying paintings?
From many visions, one.
Kent shakes his head in horror.
No! No! I've changed my mind.
Dibbs expression turns dark and dangerous.
Deafening thunder CRACKLES and reverberates.
Think first. A painting is canvas
and colors, only that.


Kent stops and turns.
      (He hold s his
       arms out, bent up
       at the elbows)
Colors fade.
Kent gazes in rapt horror.
      (extends his arm
       forward, palms up)
We have only this canvas.
Kent stares for a beat into Dibbs' smiling eyes.

Kent turns and runs down the drive.

Shadow is behind Dibbs and starts after Kent.
Dibbs extends his arm and blocks Shadow.
Your painting?
No matter. Kent is now my
Marionette. He will cut his own
Shadow has a confused look.
Kent and Bard run through the paths to the car. Thunder,
rain begins.
They reach the car and jump in.
Kent stands the painting on the back seat.
Good job, Rembrandt! Now you've
done it.
Kent examines the painting where colors have run from the
Damn oils. They never dry.


Let's get outta here!
They drive rapidly toward the mechanical arm. The guard
watches without sign of alarm. The arm raises.
The guard picks up the phone, looks at them.

The arm lowers.

Kent hits the gas, races right through the arm, snaps it.

The guard emerges and raises his gun. POP POP.

The rear windshield SHATTERS.
Dammit! Now its all about guns,
Tires squeal.
Kent burns rubber up the street and looks behind him.
What the hell else is going to go
wrong tonight?!
Don't worry about the freakin'
glass, just drive!
Not the glass, the painting.
There's a bullet hole in it!
Kent ascends the dim stairwell to the third floor carrying
his painting, covered by a plastic bag.
The bullet hole is visible, a thin stream of blood, unseen
by Kent and Bard, is visible.
Kent reaches the door, is about to knock, then turns the
Kent enters. A TV plays in the other room.


Kent sets the painting in a dim corner, not seeing the
Ma, it's me. I told you not to
keep the door unlocked.
                       LIZ (oc)
Bring me some ice, dear, if you
Kent inspects the fridge, finds it mostly empty.

He removes a tray of ice cubes from the freezer and walks to
                                         LIVING ROOM
A frail, disheveled woman with remnants of her youthful
beauty intact, LIZ, late 40s, sits on a couch watching TV.
She smiles warmly at his appearance.

On a coffee table lies a half eaten plate of spaghetti-o's
pushed to the side, a large bottle of generic vodka and a
half empty liter of cola.

She holds a half filled glass.
Such a good son.
Kent hands her the tray. She pops a few cubes into her
You have to slow down, ma.
He seats himself in a recliner. She ignores the remark.
How's that new job goin'? The one
you won't tell me nothin' about.
Good, ma. Listen, I want to ask
you something.
His mother, wary of questions, is guarded.
If you could talk to Dad again,
ask him...


Don't start, Kent. Your father
left the way he did without saying
anything. That's the way he wanted
We don't know what he was
thinking, ma. Sometimes people
just do things without thinking it
through, they wish they could take
it back.
His mother sips from her drink.
Your father believed in you. Don't
ever doubt that. He didn't know
nothing about art, but he believed
in you.
She lights a cigarette, fights her bitterness.
You have to stop blaming yourself.
It wasn't you he was trying to
escape from. It was just...life.
His life.
It wasn't his life, Kent! It was
our life.
Silence hangs heavy in the air a moment.
It's eight o'clock. My show's on.
Kent stands and walks quietly out. Before he leaves the
living room, he glances back at his mother, who laughs
softly at the TV, a single tear on her cheek.
The device hums quietly.

Kent, sits much further away than usual, asleep against a
grave stone.

A TRAIN HORN in the distance.


The soft voice of a ghost awakens Kent.
The ghost is named CYNTHIA.
                       CYNTHIA (OC)
They used to come to hear my
The ghost of a beautiful young woman sits cross legged in
front of the device facing it, her hair tied behind her
Now, no one comes.
Kent stands and walks to a better angle.
So alone.
Kent, affected by the ghost, stands about twenty feet away.
Not my time. Not fair.
Suddenly the blue light goes off, the ghost in the trap.
Kent, unsettled, walks to the device and stares at it.
Kent, parked outside a run-down tenement house, holds a
small envelope with an address on it, matches it to the
He opens the envelope, finds a KEY marked "2nd Fl".
An argument from a man and woman rages from an open window
on the first floor.

Kent takes the glass ball in his hand, studies the swirling
cloud as though it were a delicate treasure.

He puts the ball in his bag, starts the car, and speeds
Dust and pieces of fallen plaster cover the seats and floor
of the old theater like fresh snow.
Morning rays seep in through high windows.


The teeth of a crowbar pry through a ground level door, and
with a CRACK, the lock snaps.
Kent enters with his duffel bag, stops and looks the place

Kent walks to the front row of seats. His footsteps echo.

At the center of the front row, Kent opens the bag and
removes the device, and places it on a seat.

A dust cloud rises.

Kent turns the switch and releases the ghost.

The ghost girl emerges and walks up the aisle, stops.
I will not cry, I will not.
Kent watches transfixed.
The shadows deny me. If only I
could hear the music.
Kent walks slowly toward the ghost, deep concern on his
Suddenly the ghost looks past him in terror.
Trapped! I can't get out!
Kent is shaken by this.
I must warm my sister!
The ghost fades away and the hall is quiet.
KENT sits in the middle of the pews in contemplation.

The church is empty and lit by a scattering of candles.

Suddenly Shale takes a seat next to Kent.
Father would be amused at my being


Kent tenses, poised to bolt.

Shale points to a Jesus figure on a cross.
Ever wonder about temptation,
Kent? The bible says Jesus was
tempted three times. He could have
power over all the kingdoms, if
only he would deny his Father.
Shale's mood swings, becomes bitter.
Not much of a temptation, if you
ask me! To give up the adoration
of so many, for what? A crown?
Kent waits for calm to return to Shale.
Your father?
Does not understand what he asks
of me. I look at someone like you,
a young man with the courage to
have his own voice. There's a part
of me that wants to protect such a
man. See that voice grow strong.
The door opens with a gust.

Shadow enters, stands in back.

Terror overtakes Kent's face, annoyance on Shale's.
But, I have a job to do. My
destiny, I suppose. Family
business and all that.
Destiny. I used to wonder whether
I had a purpose in the world.
Shale smiles brightly.
Your purpose that picture. We can
cut half of your debt to us, today
and only today.


A door opens somewhere up front, echoes through the church.
Kent's eyes dart around, seek avenues of escape.
Look, as far as the old man is
concerned, the painting's his
property. You've already promised
it to him. There's no use fighting
Don't you understand what he does
with them?
That's who he is. What he does.
A bulky figure approaches from the side, impossible to make
out in the dark. Both Kent and Shale are apprehensive.
The figure arrives. Father Conner.
Have you come for confession, Mr.
Shale laughs darkly.
You would not wish to hear my
confession, priest.
Conner smirks. He knows full well Shale will not confess.
I have all the time you need.
Time is not the problem. It's our
definition of sin that's the
One chooses his definition, as he
chooses his fate.
Shale stands up, uneasy, slightly amused.


Is that a fact, Father?
Shale walks to the back of the church.
We'll be waiting outside, Kent. I
understand my purpose.
Shadow exits with Shale.
Quick, son, follow me.
Father Conner leads him to the Back Room.
                                         BACK ROOM
Kent and Father Connor hustle to a cellar door.
I normally advise people to face
their problems head on.
Kent and Father Connor descend stairs to a dark, cluttered
And in my case?
Conner leads them through junk: candle racks, rotted pews, a
broken statue of Christ.
Run. Run fast and run far.
Conner moves an old altar aside, reveals a trap door in the
floor. He pulls it up and open. Stairs lead to a tunnel
below the cellar. Conner picks up a candle from a box on the
top step, and a box of matches. He lights the candle and
inspects the stairs.
I've never been in a Roman church
that didn't have one o' these.
Where's it go?


A small cemetery for the priests
up the street.
Then what?
Get out of this town. Dibbs,
Shale, they own the cops, the
Kent takes the candle.
I'm not running out of town. My
father...I'm not running.
Father Conner thinks this over.
You'll need to defend yourself,
Kent looks at Conner.
Meet me tomorrow at Junction
Woods. Twelve thirty.
Thanks, Father.
Go on, get the hell outta here.
Kent moves down into the faded brick tunnel full of
undisturbed dust and cobwebs.

Conner slams the trap door shut behind him.
The light from the candle is weak, the silence oppressive.
The door of a concrete shed opens.

Kent pokes his head out, looks around, then exits.


Kent hides against a stately house across the street.
Shale and Drade wait near Kent's car, which is parked on the
same side as Kent.

Talon and Shadow are on the back corners of the church.

Drade and Shale are very close.

Kent sees a glint from the steeple, it is Connor with a
mirror. He is watching the shed. Kent makes out an upheld
palm, like a "wait" signal.

Kent moves behind the bushes to the gate opening. Still
That priest is trouble. Always has
Why don't we take care of him?
Not so easy. He's not like any
priest I've met before.
The side door to the church opens and a FIGURE covered in a
gardeners outfit, face unseen, exits with a rake.

Shadow and Talon run to the Figure.

Drade and Shale quickly walk, trying to be cool.

Kent, bent low, sneaks to his car, manages to quietly enter
the passenger side.
With the door open, Kent starts the engine. Shale and Drade
react immediately
Son of a...!
Tires squeal.
The car takes off.
The door shuts in flight.
The Figure pull back the covering and reveals itself to be
Conner. He smile facetiously.


Such a beautiful day for the
lord's work!
Drade and and Slade run back to the black limo and take off
after Kent.
                                         INTERCUT CAR CHASE
Kent's car weaves through traffic. The black limo follows.
Kent takes a wild turn onto Canal St., floors it.
The limo screeches through the turn, accelerates.

Kent checks his rear view mirror.

The limo gains.

The cars race along a canal flanked by old factories.
Kent turns onto Main St, again weaves through heavy traffic.
The limo follows along with two other cars.

Kent waits for pedestrians, then floors it up a side street.
The limo rushes through, almost hits a young couple.

Kent burns rubber down Pleasant Street and again onto Canal.

Kents sees the limo not far behind.

Kent spies an ancient wood bridge across the canal.
The short drive leading to the bridge is blocked with a

Kent guns it and blows through the chain, snaps it.
The black limo slows as it nears the drive, the other cars
right behind.

Kent races his car across the crumbling bridge.
Boards of wood drop into the canal in its wake.

The black limo turns into the drive and stops.

Kent barely makes it to the other side, leaves behind the
broken skeleton of the bridge.
Kent races through another chain, burns rubber and flees.
Kent disturbs the silence of the theater, pushes in the
broken side door.


It's late, light through the dirty windows weak.

He inspects the hall with a flashlight, then proceeds to a
spot in front of the stage.
He removes the device and a small CD player from the bag,
then sets the device and turns it on.

Blue light glows in the dirty gray theater.

He takes a spot a dozen steps away and watches.

The ghost of Cynthia appears on the aisle stairs, moves
slowly away.

Kent is captivated.
Not my time. It was not my time.
The fragile face of the ghost fills with terror.
The train! I hear the train. It
comes for me!
The ghost girl glides to the device, disappears.
The blue light shuts off.

Kent, momentarily shocked, moves and releases the ghost.
He killed me!
The ghost stands near the machine, looks away from Kent.
How could he do this to me? My
sister...I have to warn her!
The ghost moves at an angle away from Kent, who shifts so he
can better see her face.
It's so dark. So dark.
Her expression changes.
There's someone here. I can feel


To hear me sing? If only I could
find my voice again.
The ghost dissipates, silence fills the theater.

Kent puts the device back in the bag, turns on the CD
player. Soft jazz in the fading light.
The woods are a canvas of exploding colors, but their colors
are desaturated with gray against a gray sky.
The canopy of the trees and the ground beneath are filled
with peak autumn foliage, the sky darkened with moisture.

Kent's car pulls up behind a parked old Mustang.

He exits and walks to where Father Conner waits a short
distance away.

Conner, in a black overcoat and fedora, wears his collar
today. A duffel bag lies on the ground beside him.
Did you bring a taste of the
creature, lad?
Sorry, Father, I did not.
Conner grumbles and reaches into the bag, pulls out a gun.

Kent watches wide eyed.
Do you know how to use a gun,
If you don't mind, how do you
I spent some time in Belfast about
twenty years ago, before the
church. There was this whole


                       CONNER (cont'd)
Protestant and Catholic thing
going on and I had my hand in it.
That's how I know you are lying.
Let me show you how to shoot.
Conner shows the gun to Kent.
Nine millimeter. Popular with both
the cops and the robbers. Here's
the safety. Make sure it's always
on. Except when it should be off.
Conner turns the gun over.
      (demonstation with
       each point)
Magazine holds fifteen. Ejects
this way. There's one spare. In a
fight,pop the spent one, jack the
new one in, you're back in the
Conner hands Kent the gun.
Show me how you aim, lad.
Kent strikes an awkward pose, holds the gun with one hand.
That's fine if you have a squirt
gun or you're making a bad movie.
However, you might actually want
to hit somethin'. Now unlock the
Kent does so gingerly.
See that tree there with the moss?
Aim for that.
That's only twenty feet away.
Hit it then. Hold it with two


He fires, and misses. Kent looks at the gun like it's
Feel the recoil? When you pull the
trigger of a gun, an explosion
takes place in your hand. If it
wasn't for that, no one would ever
Conner manipulates Kent's stance.
Balance your feet. Hold it like
Father Connor arranges Kent's hands in a proper hold.
And don't pull the trigger.
Squeeze it, with your whole hand.
The gun fires.
A small chunk blows off the side of the tree.
Better. Now put the safety back,
and put the gun down. I want to
show you something.
While Kent does this, Father Conner picks up a rock.
Pick up some rocks.
Kent grabs a small handful.
See that tree over there? Throw
the rock at it.
Kent throws the rock at the tree about fifty feet away.
It curves and misses well wide.

He tries a couple more tosses.
All miss by several feet.
I learned this hustling pool
halls, and it works for all kinds
of things. Look at your target
now, lad. Imagine there's a path
from you to the tree, a path that


                       CONNER (cont'd)
exists just for that rock in your
Father Conner lights a cigarette.
Because there is a path. All you
have to do is see it in your mind.
Now, throw the rock, not at the
tree, but into the path.
Kent throws. The rock misses the tree by an inch. Kent
Very nice! Much closer, eh?
Understand, you don't need to
learn how to throw better. You
need to learn how to see the path.
The path is the important part.
Father Conner hands Kent the cigarette to hold.
See that birch?
A narrow white birch is a good distance away.

Conner throws the rock in a long arc.
It curves and SMACKS off the tree.
Father Conner takes his cigarette back.
Works the same way with a bullet.
Find your target. Imagine the
path. Shoot.
Father Conner faces Kent and bores into his eyes.
One last thing, lad. Don't
underestimate the power of belief.
If you believe the bullet will
find the path, the stronger your
belief, the more likely it will.


Light jazz issues from the portable player.
The dying sun shoots red tinged light through the dust
clouded theater.

Kent shuts the player off, places the device on the floor,
and turns it on. The bluish light reflects off the airborne

The ghost appears, moves gently toward the device.
Alone. So alone.
Cynthia moves to the device, she studies it, mesmerized.
I hear music.
We hear no music. The ghost moves at an angle to Kent.
Someone is here.
This startles Kent.
I am here.
She turns almost but not quite to him. Her features grow
more clear as she does.
Where is here?
In a theater.
She turns around and faces the rows of seats, her image less
clear as she does.
INSERT: image of a theater through her eyes: blue seats,
plush red carpet, bright chandeliers.
Who are you? What are you?
I help spirits.


She turns toward him. Her image becomes clearer as she does.

She faces him directly.
I...I can see myself.
She sees through his eyes.

Kent searches the room.

He walks to a wall, finds a large, dirty mirror.
He stares at his reflection, clear in the fading light.
The reflection of the ghost appears in the mirror behind
I see you!
The ghost in the reflection moves closer, becomes clearer
still, almost solid in the mirror. She smiles.
What's your name?
I...I don't know.
Kent turns to face the ghost.
I am dead then?
It was not supposed to be! It was
not my time!
Tears on her face, she slowly fades.
It...it's ok. You can move on.
You must warn my sister!
The ghost disappears.


Kent strides purposely amid the grave stones.

Autumn leaves drift in the breeze.

Kent carries the duffel bag.
He reaches a grave, puts down the bag, and kneels before the

Leaves pile up around it, stir in the breeze.
After a moment, he touches the stone, struggles with
He glances at the bag, then back at the gravestone.
Why? I need to know why, dad?
He unzips the bag, the device is visible.
Was it mom? Was it me?
Only the wind replies.
I tried to take care of her. She
blamed it on herself. It broke
her. And I can't fix it. I can't.
He wipes a single tear.
I need to know why.
KENT, 11, tosses a ball off the house near the front porch,
catches it in his mitt.

Suddenly a hand ruffles his hair.
He turns.
GREG, 35, Kent's father, looms over him, very tall,


Dad! You're home early.
Liz, in her early 30s, attractive, appears in the door,
happy to see her husband.
No work today.
She exits and walks toward her husband.
Something will turn up soon.
She moves to touch him. He recoils.
When? And what?
Wounded from his rejection, Liz wraps her arms around
I don't know. Something.
At least you can play catch today.
Gregory forces a smile, places an arm around his wife,
kisses the top of her head.
You're right. I'm sorry.
Pleased with his embrace, she remains stung.
Let's go, dad. Been workin' on my
Yeah? Let's see it, Kent.
They walk toward the street.

Liz watches alone near the house, her arms still wrapped
around herself.


Kent reaches to the device, places a finger near the power
toggle. holds it there.
I just want to know...
Kent removes his finger, zips the bag, and stands up.
I can't save her. No matter what I
He turns and leaves. In the distance a train whistles.
Kent, nervous, sits at a table near a window, stirs his
coffee, his ashtray full.

Bard enters and takes a seat opposite Kent.

They speak in almost a whisper.
Dude, I can see your car around
Nowhere good to hide it. Did you
find anything for me?
A waitress, AGNES, 35, with the look of one sentenced to
work here for life, comes over.
Just coffee. Hell with it, give me
a piece of apple pie too.
(to Kent)
Why are you looking for this
What did you find?


I checked the last hundred years.
There are sixty one girls that are
buried in that cemetery that died
between the age of twenty and
thirty. In the last ten years only
The waitress pours Bard his coffee.
Of those four, only two had
sisters. One died of leukemia. The
other sister was killed in a car
accident with three other girls.
Bard hands Kent a folder. Kent examines the contents.
I'm looking for a girl that was
murdered, I think within the last
ten years.
The newspaper had nothing. No
young girls murdered in the last
thirty years.
Bard becomes agitated.
Kent, word is Shale isn't gonna
settle for the painting. You've
made an ass of them now. He wants
you dead.
Carrie enters dressed head to toe in her sexiest club
outfit. She's had a few cocktails.
      (staring, blindly,
       out a dirty
Worth more dead.
What are you saying?
Nothing important.
Carrie talks to the waitress, looks in their direction.


Look, I don't know who you're
trying to help, but it's time to
stop being the boy scout.
Sometimes you have to save
yourself first, Kent, and this is
one of those times! You got some
bad people after you.
Bard observes Carrie looking their way.
That hottie talking to the
waitress is checking you out.
Kent does not turn around to see who it is. Bard notices
Kent's lack of interest.
Oh, come on! Is that what this is
about? You're in love? Damn, Kent!
Love is for dreamers and dreams
are for suckers that get nothing
outta life.
What about that girl you were
seeing last month, Kristy?
It's Chrissy, Kent, and fat men
fall in love easy, what can I say,
it don't make it right. She never
called back after that night. Got
sober, I guess.
Carrie's heels click as she heads over.
If it isn't ghost boy.
Bard looks at Kent, who registers confusion at the sight and
words of Carrie.
Can I join you?
Kent slides down, lets her in. The waitress delivers the
Bard places a ten dollar bill on the table.


I got shit to do. You could use
some pie, Kent, you have it.
Bard smiles at his own joke and exits.
How bout it, Kent, would you like
a little (seductive) pie?
Why'd you call me ghost boy?
You think we don't know? Stuff
started happening right after you
came here. You brought it, or it
followed you
Kent reads her vulnerable eyes.
It's ok. Everyone has their
Kent looks away, uncomfortable. A black limo pulls up out
front. Kent, startled, reaches to the pistol in his jacket.
      (whispers in his
Is that a gun?
Kent keeps his eyes on the limo. No sign of people yet.
It might not be safe for you to
sit with me.
I knew that when I sat here. You
say I'm dead anyway. I'm not
playing it safe anymore, Kent. It
is not safe for me not to be with
The limo driver emerges, walks around to the passenger door,
waits. Kent grows tense, his hand on the pistol tightens.
Take out your gun. I want to see


He looks at Carrie, confused.
Carrie licks her lips, her eyes seductive, needy.
I'm not taking out my gun in here.
Hold it in your lap. I just want
to touch it.
Kent takes the gun and holds it on his leg under the table.

Carrie takes her hand, and with two fingers, begins to
seductively trace the barrel of the pistol.

Suddenly the pans CLANG, pop off the wall behind the

Kent jumps in his seat, moves his finger to the trigger.

Carrie, soothing, slides her hand over his on the pistol.
That's just your ghost. No reason
to be afraid of it.
She puts her lips to his ear.
Not yet...not yet.
Carrie begins to lightly kiss his neck.
The driver outside opens the limo door.

Carrie's finger slides over his trigger finger.

YOUNG GIRLS, scantily clad, climb out of the limo.

Kent relaxes, lets out his breath.

The limo drives off as the girls walk to a car, enter it,
start the car and drive off.

Kent looks into Carrie's eyes.
My ghost.
He moves the gun over between her legs. Black steel on black


I don't want to be alone. Not
tonight. I'm not your ghost, I'm
alive. Let me prove it.
Kent, disheveled, sets up the device. It comes to life.
Cynthia appears behind, startles him.
                       CYNTHIA (OC)
I remember always wanting to sing.
Kent whips around to face her. She stares right at him.
Shocked, he struggles for his voice.
You scared the crap out of me!
thought you were one of those
How do you express your "voice?"
I paint.
How I'd love to see your work.
If I could show you...
The ghost appears to concentrate.
I see a forest. Dark. Mysterious.
I'm told most dead move on.
I...I must warn my sister. I...I
don't remember.
Tell me about the singing. You
remember that.
Cynthia smiles.


Daddy used to love to hear me. I
remember how proud he was when he
brought me that blue dress and
took me to the church.
INSERT: image of CYNTHIA, 8, in a blue dress, hair in pony
tails, standing before a crowded church.
I see!
It was the last time he would hear
me sing.
INSERT: image of Cynthia at a funeral in a cemetery, in the
same blue dress. She stands before her mother, who is
dressed in black.
My mom didn't want me going to the
church. Didn't want my mind filled
with stuff. I just wanted to sing.
Cynthia drifts toward the device.
When I was a teen I started
sneaking to the church on days mom
couldn't get up. People came just
to hear me.
Kent quietly turns the device off.
One day, there was a man who came,
sat in the back. Everyone noticed,
kept their distance. He was
dressed in an all white suit, with
a black carnation.
The device off, she remains motionless.
I knew he was there to hear me.
After the service he gave me a
ride home in his limousine. I knew
I shouldn't take it, but he's
difficult to say no to.
She begins to fade.


Stay with me! Keep talking!
He told me my voice carried him to
another place. He said to come see
him when I was old enough, that
he'd give me a contract. I thought
it would be my way out of this
Rays from the rising sun light up the dust floating in the
air. The ghost continues to weaken and fade.
Mom beat me when she found out.
Told me to stay away from him.
Years later, he entered the coffee
shop where I worked.
INSERT: Dibbs stands before a counter, smooth, dangerous
smile on his face. Shadow looms in the background.
I was twenty. He gave me a
contract. Two thousand a week! I
didn't understand what I'd done.
Cynthia is barely visible.
He sent his son to enforce the
contract. Shale. Shale.
Horror is on her face.
It was him! It was Shale that
killed me!
Cynthia fades to nothing. Pigeons above scatter and Kent
Kent, troubled, sits in Gruber's office, while Gruber
fidgets with his old radio, applies a screwdriver somewhere
behind it.


Machinery POUNDS, somewhere within the factory.
What can I help you with, boy?
I need to help a ghost remember
her life in the real world.
Reality. Hmmph! Always thought it
was overrated.
Reality's reality.
That so? In the end, boy, what we
call reality is actually just an
interpretation shared between
conscious minds. I wouldn't put
much stock in it.
I want to help this ghost move on.
But I need her to remember who she
is.,or was.
A pained look on Gruber's face.
I warned you not to occupy the
same space with a ghost's mind. It
creates confusion.
Boy, you can't save them all.
That's a hard thing to accept.
Believe me, I know.
I think her death was caused by
Gruber frowns deeply.
People, like Dibbs and Shale, want
to possess rather than appreciate.
To own a thing is to destroy it.


                       GRUBER (cont'd)
Or is it the other way around?
Can't seem to recall.
The bell on the door jingles. Gruber jumps up alarmed.
He opens the door a crack, peers into the shop.

Dibbs slowly walks through, eyes the junk. Shadow remains
near the door.

Gruber turns urgently to Kent.
It's Dibbs.
Kent leaps to his feet in terror. Gruber takes him by the
You've stuck around when few do.
Stay here, I'll deal with him.
Gruber moves into the shop. Kent watches discreetly from the
dirty office window.
Ah! The proprietor.
What is it, Dibbs?
I am here about our arrangement.
Gruber makes no effort to hide his displeasure.
It remains.
I am also here about a certain
young man that works for you. I
have business with him.
Can't tell you where to find him.
Good help never seems to last
around here.
Menace replaces the smile on Dibbs face.


Do not interfere, Gruber.
Gruber fights to contain his anger.
It's not me that interferes.
Dibbs gazes at the office door, then around the shop.
You once owned this entire
factory. Now, you toil away here
in this dusty little corner. For
what? Your work is no
Shadow moves toward the front.

The door jingles again as Drade and Talon enter.

Kent fights panic, searches the office for escape options.

Gruber's face flushes red.
I do what I can.
Dibbs nods to Drade and Shadow, motions to the office.
Kent hurries to a wood door with a bolt on it, quietly
slides the bolt, opens the door.
A narrow, dim stairway up.

heavy machinery HAMMERS louder within.
Kent closes the door behind him,
ascends the stairs. He raches the
door on the second floor, pushes.
It is locked.

CRASH. The office door is kicked
VOICES of anger follow the crash.

Kent races to the third floor.

Footsteps trample on the stairs.
Loud voices get closer.

Kent pushes the Third floor
door. Again, the door is locked.


He continues up, the stairwell
almost lightless. Machinery drums
Kent pushes on the Fourth floor
door. Nothing, it seems blocked.
Kent Pushes again. He hears a on move on the other side and
the door creaks open.

Multiple footsteps close in on the the stairs behind him.
He closes the door behind him, slides a bolt to lock it.

A cavernous industrial room, dim light from a few hanging
fixtures, from dirty windows. Rusted, hulking machinery,
long dormant, extinct. Puddles from a leaky roof.
Kent runs for his life.
Kent hides amid the hulking machinery. Searches for escape.

The door from the stairwell rattles violently.
GUNSHOTS blow the bolt off the door.

Kent takes out his pistol from his jacket.

Multiple footsteps enter. Dibbs walks to the center of the
Young man, escape from me is not
possible. How do you not know
Talon has his gun drawn, moves out from the others.

Shadow disappears into the machinery, investigating.
Father Conner is right, you know.
God is weak. He would help you, if
he could.
Kent quietly slips up metal stairs that lead to a loft. He
can see Dibbs walking calmly up the aisle.
I'm sorry you do not approve of my
legacy project, son, my vision.
Dibbs looks right at Kent, who freezes.


It's over, Kent. That's a dead
This factory is old. Manufacturing
still goes on in here, somewhere,
God knows what. It's my vision
that's the future, Kent.
Shadow moves quickly toward the stairwell
A SHOT rings out. A bullet sparks the metal stairs near
Kent, he jumps back.
Talon runs closer, fires again.
Kent flees up the remaining stairs and runs the the length
of the loft. No stairs on the other side. Trapped. He
searches frantically.
Through a grimy window Kent spots an enclosed wooden
shipping bridge that leads to a building next door.

Footsteps are on the stairs.

Kent fires his pistol in the direction of the stairs, one
shot. The footsteps stop.
Kent, you prolong the inevitable.
Kent tries to open the window to the bridge. It won't budge.
With the gun, he smashes the window, clears the glass.
Kent leaps into the bridge, scrambles quickly across.

The structure shakes and rattles precariously.
Just as Kent reaches the other side, the far end detaches,
collapses. The bridge swings back toward the building. The
far end smashes into the window on the floor below.

Hanging from the bridge, Kent kicks in the broken shards,
jumps through the window.
Kent lands hard after a steep drop, and gets to his feet.
Groggy, he surveys the room.
GUNSHOTS. The door splinters.


Kent runs amid more hulking machines.
He reaches a wall and two locked doors.
Kent searches and finds a rag chute.

Running footsteps approach.

Kent jumps in the chute.


Kent emerges noisily from the chute into a pile of wood
debris, bringing a cloud of dust with him.
Kent climbs out of the pile, coughs, rubs dust from his
face, and looks around to get his bearings.


Gigantic furnaces filled with flames, lined up one after the

Suddenly a figure appears ahead. Flames reflect off the face
of Drade.

Kent stops in his tracks
I knew you'd find one of the
chutes. It's my job to know such
Drade smiles, slowly pulls out his pistol.

Kent dives behind a boiler. Drade moves into the shadow.
I also know you have a gun now.
Nine millimeter I believe. Good
Kent pulls out his gun. The boilers roar.
I'm glad, too. As you said, your
life has entertainment value if
nothing else.
Kent moves slowly behind the boilers.
Here's the situation, Kent. The
boiler room is separated from the
rest of the basement. There's only
one way out. You'll have to go


                       DRADE (cont'd)
through me.
Drade fires a shot off the boiler near Kent to get his
Are you with me Kent? Paying
attention? Once I get bored, tell
the others you're down here,
you'll have two, maybe three
minutes before the odds get a
whole lot longer.
Drade shifts position in front of the boilers, his face
excited. He relishes the chase.

Kent breathes heavy, Drade is completely hidden in shadow
He leans on a boiler, aims his gun carefully.
                       KENT (whispers)
Make a line.
Remembering Father Conner's advice, Kent fires.

The glass window on a boiler shatters. FLAMES leap out. the
glow from the flames reflects off Drade's face, revealing

Kent takes slow aim.

Drade's smile evaporates.
Without delay, Kent FIRES.
The shot strikes Drade in the forehead.

Kent emerges from behind the boiler in shock.
He walks, and then runs toward Drade, the gun held loose
away from his body.

Kent slows near Drade, looks in horror at the corpse, begins
to throw the gun away, disgusted by it.
Kent changes his mind, pockets the pistol, and runs out the


Kent, parked in front of the tracks in the same spot where
he had released the ghost boy, watches a freight train
rumble by as he studies the swirling cloud within the

The caboose passes. He watches it ride west into the red
embers of a sun dying behind a gray sky.
Darker clouds loom, the leading edge of a storm. The air
whips at the trees.

Kent replaces the ball within the device and releases
Cynthia. Her voice startles him from the backseat.
                       CYNTHIA (OC)
I don't even know your name.
He studies her in the rearview mirror.
I see you always now.
Kent, uncomfortable, stays focused.
I want to help you remember.
I remember your eyes.
Kent watches her in the mirror so she can see him, tries to
hide his own emotion.
What do you remember about Shale?
Pain is in the face of the ghost.
Shale was sent by Dibbs, to
protect me, and to enforce the
contract. But he heard me sing. We
fell in love. He was going to help
me escape from Dibbs!
You loved him?


I was alone, going nowhere.
What happened then?
He met my sister. Karen!
Night and storm quickly conquer the remaining light. Heavy
rain falls in sheets.
My little sister is more beautiful
than anyone I've ever seen.
You are very generous.
Shale wanted my sister. He wanted
to be rid of me.
A massive headlight appears on the eastern edge of the
tracks. A train fast approaches.
I thought I was going to escape
this town. Shale was my ticket
Kent stares at the oncoming train. She sees through his
The train! It comes!
The ghost concentrates.
He drove me to a crossing.
                                         BEGIN FLASHBACK:
Shale drives Cynthia's older car down the quiet road, her
face flushed with anger, eyes bloodshot from crying.
He owns you now. It was a mistake
for us to think you could get out.


You were going to help me get out.
That is still the plan.
You think I don't know about you
and my sister?
The car reaches the railroad tracks. The crossing guards are
down, lights flashing, bells. He drives around the guards.

Cynthia does not notice.
Cynthia, you've never been able to
see the world as it really is.
A train approaches; its huge head light bears down.
You can get out of this town
whenever you want! I'm stuck here!
Sadness, a trace of guilt on comes to Shale's face.
Your voice was truly a gift.
The train BLOWS its horn loud, long.

Jolted, Cynthia turns toward it
What're you doing?
I'll be there to comfort your
sister, of course.
Cynthia unlocks the door, opens it. It will only open a
couple of inches. The car is against a bridge support, she
is trapped.
At least he will not have you. You
should thank me for that.


She reaches for the stick shift. He holds her off easily.
The train horn BLOWS, deafening, the car bathed in light.
You love me!
Shale pushes her back, opens his door, and jumps out. He
slams the door closed and runs.

Cynthia recovers, crawls to the driver's seat. Partly in the
seat, she shifts the stick.

A last glance from Shale and the train SLAMS into the front
of the car.
Tears stream Cynthia's face. The train rumbles by.
He will pay, I promise that.
You have to warn my sister! She
has no idea what he's about.
I'll take care of it, Cynthia. You
will get out of this town.
Kent is parked across from Dibb's Tavern, he watches the

Rain falls lightly, cars pass, splashing.

Shale exits the pub, glances around, walks to his car,

Shale's car pulls out and into traffic.
Shale drives along a narrow road through the gloomy woods.
Kent follows at a distance.


Shale's car emerges from the woods onto a vast, hilly field.

Ahead are towering smokestacks.
The smokestacks spine the skeletal remains of a large
factory, bent, rusting girders, crumbling brick walls, wood

Kent parks within the shelter of the woods.

Shale exits and tracks down a dirt path toward the crumbling
Shale walks slowly along the edge of the factory remains,
careful where he steps. He studies the structure.

Kent appears behind Shale from the shelter of a giant,
rusted gear.
Kent points his pistol with a steady hand.
Death is about to lose an ally.
Shale whips around, sees the pistol pointed right at him,
sarcastically grins.
And gain a new one.
These words pain Kent.
You didn't have to kill her.
Which one?
Kent give Shale a steel look and motions his pistol
indicating the factory grounds.
Is she here? Is this where you
bury the bodies?
That there are bodies here I have
no doubt. But I have no idea who
you're talking about.


Kent stares hard at Shale, his finger tight on the trigger.
Cynthia? She wasn't buried here.
She was cremated, her ashes are in
South Cemetery over her old man's
grave. You knew her?
I know her now.
She had a voice...
I know you killed her.
Killed her? Kid, many have died at
my orders. Not her.
I've seen how.
You've seen? Kent, I'm disturbed
to see you come unhinged.
You drove her to the tracks. You
trapped her in the car.
Shale shifts slightly, motions to the decayed factory.
I'm told you have a unique vision,
other worlds. Look around here.
What do you see?
Holding the gun steady, Kent looks at the building remains.
I see a world where so many
toiled, nameless numbers who were
just part of a machine. They lived
their entire lives by the sound of
the factory whistle. Now they are
nothing but ghosts in that


                       KENT (cont'd)
Shale gazes into the unseen.
I see a world filled with
dreamers, each and every one of
them. They toiled, yes, and it
wasn't easy, but they dreamed.
They had dreams for themselves,
for their kids. And their dreams,
all of their hope, depended on
this factory, this machine. We are
the ghosts, Kent.
You are a destroyer, don't pretend
I don't, kid, I don't. The problem
I have is this. I too dream.
Shale walks within the factory skeleton. Kent follows,
pistol poised.
Did you ever hear her sing, Kent?
Her voice was from another world.
Shale reaches the base of a massive chimney stack.
That's far enough, Shale. Turn
Shale turns around, his back to the chimney.
I am the destroyer of dreams. And
my death will destroy one more,
Kent steadies his aim at Shale's chest.
You see, I didn't kill Cynthia.
You'll discover that later. Her
death was an accident. No one was
with her.


You lie.
Few lie as well as I, that is
true. But I'm not lying now. I was
with her sister, Karen. And I had
no reason to kill Cynthia. Karen
knew everything.
Turn around! Get on your knees!
Shale turns from Kent and gets on his knees
Fine, fine. This won't end me,
Kent. As long as you are here, I
will be here. Always pulling you
to the crossing.
Kind of scary, huh? You will be
worse off then, a prisoner of your
own ignorance and short sight.
Shale turns slowly and carefully to look at Kent, but is
only met with a view of the craggy plain where he stood.
Kent climbs to the third floor in a dark stairwell, knocks
at a door.
Joan, 40s, a heavy, disheveled woman in a dirty bathrobe
answers the door, a beer and a cigarette in the same hand.
I'm here to talk about Cynthia. Is
Karen here?


KAREN, 19, drop dead gorgeous, appears at the door half way
dressed to go out. Nylons, no shoes, hair tied back, her
arrogance and self absorption evident in one look.
I'm her mother and I don't care
how old she is, who are you?
Kent sets up the device in the front of the theater.

The bluish light comes on, creates a halo off the floating

She appears a dozen steps away, moves circular to the device
to prolong capture.
I was with you, and the sky was
brilliant blue, the sun golden.
There were flowers, and trees.
Hand in hand we ran. The storm
followed, black clouds erasing
blue, but the rain never reached
Kent turns to follow her drift at angles to the device.
At some point, I knew it wasn't
really you. For a while I didn't
even care. We just kept running.
How do you know I'm real now?
The dust, the smell, the gray. The
colors aren't so brilliant,and
your pain. I feel your pain.
Kent, uncomfortable a moment, refocuses on the task.
I spoke to Shale. He didn't kill
She becomes shocked and confused by this.


It was an accident.
You were angry. Confused. Afraid.
You wanted outta this town. You
wanted out. You drove around the
city for a while, and then headed
up junction road. Your car got
stuck. They don't know how. You
got stuck on the tracks. You tried
to save the car, didn't get out in
time. It was an accident.
I...I remember being with Shale.
Shale drives them through the city, along the canal.
Your voice was truly a gift. My
father can't keep it to himself.
So you're leaving me?
It's the only way. You must run
from here, as far as you can.
They drive to the outskirts of the city.
I'll explain to your mom. And I'll
be there to comfort your sister,
of course.
You bastard! She's only 15 years
old! Don't do this to me! I have
Shale pulls over the car and opens the door.


At least he will not have you.
Shale exits, walks to a black limo waiting behind.

Cynthia's face streaks with tears.
She crawls to the driver's seat.
Cynthia drives slowly along the isolated road. The freight
train moves along the tracks ahead and to the right.
Cynthia stops before the tracks. The bright light of the
train approaches from the passenger side.
Tears come in a flood.
Cynthia drives onto the tracks, stops.

The train horn BLOWS.

Cynthia looks up, and then lowers her head to the steering
At the last second she looks up.

Brilliant light fills the car.
Breaks SQUEAL, a deafening BOOM.
Cynthia has drifted closer.
Tears are visible.
It was not my time. I...I should
not have...
Kent stares, overcome with emotion.
My voice. It was me. I gave it up.
You're free to leave this place,
now. You know the truth.
My sister...was in the limo?
A loud CRASH comes from the back of the theater. Doors are
forced open.


CLICK. Power is turned on. A few weak lights glare and a
bright red emergency light burns over the side door
Kent pulls his gun, takes cover behind the front row of
                       SHALE (OC)
You should've killed me, Kent.
Shale, Shadow and Talon spread out in the back of the

The side entrance door kicks open.

Kent runs to the corner.

Bullets pop off the chairs near him.
You didn't run out of Riverton, I
do respect that. Of course, that
and a buck fifty will get you a
nice cup of coffee.
Shots rip the seats around Shale.
A man comes through the side door.
It is Father Conner.

Shots come from Talon, in the balcony.
Kent dives.
Bullets stir up a cloud of dust which gives Kent some cover.

Conner produces a pistol, fires at the back of the theater.
This way, lad. We're out
positioned, and out gunned. I'll
draw their fire, get to the door
and then run!
Father Conner jumps out from the shelter of the doorway,
fires from two guns.
Shots stir the dust at his feet.

Kent, bent low, hustles toward the door.

In the dust and fading light, the ghost is faintly visible
near the device.
Kent slows, steps toward the device.
Move it boy, don't stop!


Shots pepper the ground around Kent.
A bullet rips into the dust near the device, leaves a splash
of bright red blood.
The lady bleeds.
Kent looks to Conner at the door, blazing away.

The emergency light is now blue.
Come on lad!