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by L. Marcus Williams (aflyonthe4thwall@mail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review:

“DESCENDENT” tells the story of a repressed family who discover, along with the rest of the world, that their son is a serial rapist and murderer. Trapped within the walls of their suburban home by the scrutiny of the media and judgment from their neighbors, each of them is forced to confront their innermost sinful urges… those of which infested their son's upbringing, nurturing him to become the monster who bears their name.

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.


One in a cul-de-sac of identical suburban houses;
idealistic, conservative, boring. Through the picture
window, we see the flickering light of a television.
                       NEWS REPORTER (V.O.)
Do you know this man?
FBI officials today released this
sketch of the man they believe is
responsible for the disappearance
of Annabel Bennett.
                       FBI OFFICIAL (V.O.)
He could be anyone, a friend, a
neighbor... Whoever he is, help us
find him and we will find Annabel.
Spirit-like, we float towards the house.
                       NEWS REPORTER (V.O.)
Twelve-year-old Annabel Bennett
was reported missing two days ago
from her home in Daytown, Florida.
She was last seen yesterday
morning at the Freeway Motel in
Clingstone, Georgia, where a
security camera captured her with
the man depicted in the sketch.
And we drift through the glass of the picture window.
It is a mausoleum; dark and quiet, despite the broadcast.
                       FAMILY MEMBER (V.O.)
This monster who took our baby
girl... Please, we pray you have
the heart to let Annabel go.
We close in on the television, finding the sketch of a very
nondescript man. His hollow eyes stare back at us.
                       NEWS REPORTER (V.O.)
If you know the identity of this
man, or if you have any
information on the whereabouts of
Annabel Bennett, contact your
local authorities immediately.


The fluorescent light bulb overhead gives off a sickly glow.
There is a dripping showerhead, moldy tiles, and sink full
of scum.

PHOEBE EVERGREEN (eighteen) is seated on the rusted toilet,
urinating. Small and skinny, pale as a ghost, with hair cut
boyishly short, she is wearing an oversized T-shirt that
barely reaches past her thighs.

Through the door, she can hear the telephone ringing.
      (calling out)
There is no answer; the telephone continues to ring.

Phoebe unspools a wad of toilet paper and wipes herself. She
pulls up her panties, flushes the toilet, and darts out of
the bathroom, into the
The light of the television illuminates the otherwise dark
space. There is the clutter of family living and furniture
better suited for the curb. On the coffee table is a walking
cane and a half-empty bottle of dark liquor.

WILLY EVERGREEN (about sixty) is drunk and asleep on the
couch. Heavyweight but effeminate, with an embarrassing
baldspot and scraggly beard, he is dressed in the same
wrinkled clothes he has been wearing for days.

He is far too deep into his alcohol-induced coma to hear the
constant ringing of the telephone.

Phoebe chooses to ignore her father as she rushes her way
into the
with its rotting dishes, overstuffed trash bags, and
bug-infested countertops.

She catches the telephone mid-ring.
But she is too late, hearing only the hum of the dial tone.


Frustrated, she hangs up the telephone. A moment passes, and
she turns her attention to the refrigerator.

Inside, there seems to be nothing but decaying food and a
visible stench.

Phoebe closes the refrigerator. She then steps into the open
entranceway and leans against the frame, biting her
thumbnail. She turns towards the
The picture window, with its dusty blinds and spotted glass,
looks out into the night.

Phoebe turns towards the
Willy is still just a slab of meat on the couch, dead if not
for his whispered snore.

Playing on the television is a news report on the
impeachment of President Bill Clinton, including footage of
his denial of having inappropriate sexual relations with his

Phoebe enters the room and locates the remote control in an
odd spot on the floor. She aims it towards the television,
switching the channel several times.

First, a late night infomercial.

Second, a low budget horror movie.

And third, a cheesy 1950s sitcom, featuring the typical
"Father Knows Best"-type dispensing dime store wisdom to his

Phoebe sits on the far end of the couch. Staring blankly at
the television in a state of ennui, she chews on her thumb.

Suddenly, the telephone rings again.

Phoebe jumps up and races back into the
answering the incoming call at last.


                       DETECTIVE (V.O.)
      (over the
Mrs. Evergreen?
She isn't in right now. Can I take
a message?
                       DETECTIVE (V.O.)
Is Mr. Evergreen there?
He's indisposed at the moment.
                       DETECTIVE (V.O.)
This is the Connecticut State
Police. We need to speak with Mr.
or Mrs. Evergreen right away.
                       DETECTIVE (V.O.)
It's not something we can discuss
over the phone, but we do need
them to come down to the station.
It's about their son.
                       DETECTIVE (V.O.)
What was that?
He doesn't live here anymore.
                       DETECTIVE (V.O.)
Yes we know. Is this his sister?
                       DETECTIVE (V.O.)
Miss Evergreen... Is there
something you're not telling me?
Without another word, Phoebe hangs up the telephone, then
quickly unplugs it from the wall.

From the sitcom playing in the living room, the phony laugh
track permeates the dark quiet of the house.


Walking as if in a state of shock, Phoebe returns to the
and to her seat on the couch. She faces the television, but
stares into nowhere.

Suddenly, Willy jerks from his sleep as if from a nightmare.
He looks at his daughter through dazed, intoxicated eyes.
What time is it, shouldn't you be
Phoebe does not respond.

With a hurting sigh, Willy sits up.
I thought I heard the phone
It was just a some pervert calling
the house.
Willy takes his cane from the coffee table and, groaning in
pain, lifts himself up from the couch. Dragging his bad leg
with him, he lumbers his way out of the living room and into
the bathroom, closing the door behind him.

He can be heard vomiting into the toilet.

Phoebe uses the remote control to switch the television off,
losing herself in the night's shadows.

Willy is heard flushing the toilet, then using the sink to
wash away the taste of puke. When finished, he exits the
bathroom and limps back into the living room.
Maybe you should go to bed, your
mother will be home soon.
Then, right on cue, a car can be heard pulling up the
driveway. Its headlight beams shoot through the picture
window, cutting across their faces.
Phoebe stands up and the headlights go dark.

With a sense of urgency, Willy quickens his pace into the


He fills the electric kettle in the sink and switches it on,
then scoops instant coffee into a mug. Waiting for the water
to boil, he notices that the telephone has been unplugged.

In the
the front door swings open.

NORA EVERGREEN (about fifty) has come home. A petite but
powerful presence, with a stone cold face and spiky hair
dyed black, she is dressed in a pristine, white pantsuit and
carrying far too many shoulder bags.

She sees Phoebe right away and drops her bags on the floor.
What're you doing up?
Willy enters, still in his drunken stupor. He brings Nora
her coffee.
How was the conference...?
Nora grabs her coffee from him.
What is she doing up? You have two
things to do. Make sure she eats.
Make sure she sleeps.
The telephone rings.

Willy sheepishly returns to the kitchen to answer the call.
                       WILLY (O.S.)
As she removes her coat, Nora takes notice of Phoebe's
scantily clad figure.
I told you not to walk around the
house dressed like that.
She enters the


and settles onto the couch.
The police called. They want you
to go to the station. It's about
What station?
The police station.
What police station?
I don't know.
What do you mean you don't know?
Phoebe has no answer.

With a huff, Nora rises from the couch and charges into the
Willy is on the telephone, speaking frantically.
What happened to him, is he
Nora rips the telephone from his hand, barking into it.
Hello? This is his mother. What'd
he do?... Was he arrested?... What
can you tell me?... Look. I know
my rights. I'm not stepping one
foot... We'll be here.
She slams the telephone down with a bang, then breathes.
They sent a car. We have to follow
it to the station. They'll tell us
what happened when we get there.
She walks out of the room.


Willy chases after her, following her into the
Maybe it was an accident...
It wasn't an accident.
He could be dead...
If he was dead we wouldn't have to
go to the station. They'd come to
the house.
What if you need to identify the

Through the picture window, a police cruiser pulls up to the
front of the house with a quick blurt of its siren.

Willy shuffles into the
and sits on the couch, straining to put on his shoes.

Nora waits impatiently, her coat already on.
Can I come?
Why not?
Because I said so.
Phoebe looks to her father.
What are you looking at him for? I
said no.


Your mother's right, you should
try to get some sleep.
He heaves himself up and limps back to Nora in the
as she opens the front door, her eyes still fixed on Phoebe.
Go to bed.
And with that, she and Willy leave the house, closing the
door behind them.

Phoebe watches her parents get into the car and drive away,
following the police cruiser down the street and into the
night. She then turns and walks back into the
Sitting at the table, she digs at a takeout container of
food with a spoon. But she does not eat whatever is inside;
instead, she gnaws on the skin around her thumbnail.

Suddenly, the telephone rings again.

Phoebe jumps in her seat, then hesitates before getting up
and answering the call.
There is no answer, only breathing.
AJ? Is that you?...
The caller hangs up his end of the line.

Phoebe puts the telephone down. A moment passes and, as she
sucks the blood from her thumb, she exits the kitchen and
walks across the house, into the
She grabs a box of bandages from the medicine cabinet and
adheres one to her self-inflicted wound. Then she stares at
the mirror above the sink, deep into her own reflection.
                                         CUT TO:


The footage is from an analog video camera, complete with
grainy resolution, erratic focus, and disorienting jump
cuts. The time stamp on the bottom, right-hand corner reads

"NOV 05, 1996"

The camcorder spies upon the Evergreen home from across the
street. Moments pass, and a small and skinny figure is
caught passing by one of the second floor windows.

The camcorder then moves towards the house, bouncing with
each step as it crosses the front yard and makes its way up
onto the porch.

A hand enters the frame, slowly turning the knob of the
front door. Quietly, the camcorder enters.
All is quiet and still, as if no one is home.

The camcorder sneaks up the stairway. When it reaches the
top step, it peers around the corner, directly into
The room is virginal white, with a touch of pink. The fluffy
rug, flowery wallpaper, and dollhouse furniture seem to
serve a decorative purpose, not a practical one.

Phoebe (barely sixteen) is lying on her bed, face-down,
painting her nails. She swings her feet behind her and
twirls her hair, unaware of the camcorder watching her.

And it continues to watch her with the intensity of a
peeping tom.
                       AJ (O.C.)
      (from behind the
Happy Birthday, Princess.
Phoebe's feet stop swinging. She looks over her shoulder,
past the camcorder, at her brother.
Hi AJ.


She turns her attention back to her nails.
                       AJ (O.C.)
"Hi AJ?" You haven't seen me in a
Fifteen months.
                       AJ (O.C.)
You were in jail for a year. I
haven't seen you in fifteen
AJ brings the camcorder around her bed, looming over her. He
strokes the side of her face.
Phoebe looks up with a stoic, yet vulnerable expression.
Was she worth it?
                       AJ (O.C.)
That little girl you solicited on
the internet.
                       AJ (O.C.)
I didn't solicit her. It was
Now, give me a smile.
He brushes the hair behind her ear.
                       AJ (O.C.)
Come on, smile for the camera.
His fingers press hard on the corners of her lips, forcing
them into the shape of a smile.
                       AJ (O.C.)
That's my little princess.
Phoebe rips her head from his grasp. Then she stands up and
storms out, slamming the door behind her.

AJ and his camcorder are left alone in her bedroom.




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