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Nature of Evil

Script By: AMS1971

A young psychiatric patient must face the truth of a dark and frightening past to save three innocent lives from a killer only he can identify - and stop.

Submitted:Sep 21, 2012    Reads: 275    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

FADE IN: EXT. OLD ABANDONED CHURCH -- NIGHT Raging storm. An abandoned church sits at the edge of a clearing surrounded by evergreens. The church is in ruins. Roof gone. Walls weak with wood rot. SUPER: 1989 - LOST HOPE, MINNESOTA Behind the church is an old graveyard overgrown with weeds and grass. Moss clings to the weather-ravaged headstones. A hand grips a bloody switchblade. Rain soaks the hand and knife. Rivulets of bloody water stream off the tip of the knife blade. The owner of the hand and knife stands motionless, head bowed and concealed beneath the hood of a jacket. A preteen kid. Drenched. Trembling. Dead bodies surround the kid. Bodies of other preteen kids. The surviving kid stands in the midst of them. The kid begins to scream. It is the shrill scream of a sane mind cracking. INT. OFFICE -- DAY Psychiatrist GORDON CAIN, late forties, grizzled face, haunted eyes, sits behind his large desk. He has the face of a man who has seen and heard the dark side of humanity. SUPER: CLIFFSIDE, MAINE - 2001 Cain is addressing a patient OFF SCREEN. CAIN I think it's time you went back. The patient speaks in a low, male whisper. PATIENT (O.S.) I don't know if I can, Dr. Cain. I don't know if I'm ready. CAIN You are ready, Jerod. The patient, JEROD (early 20's), sits across the desk from Cain. He wears a white hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head and white sweat pants. Jerod's fingers fidget in his lap. His head is bowed as he speaks. JEROD I'm afraid, Dr. Cain. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2. CAIN What are you afraid of, Jerod? JEROD Him. CAIN Who is he, Jerod? JEROD (trembling) I don't know. But he knows me. I saw what he did, Dr. Cain. He knows I saw him. CAIN What did you see, Jerod? Jerod's hands ball into fists in his lap. JEROD I can't...remember. When I try, that's when I blackout. (shakes head) I don't want to remember. That's why I blackout, isn't it? CAIN Yes. But you need to remember, Jerod. Your fear of what you saw is keeping you trapped, preventing you from healing. The truth, Jerod. That is what you seek. Jerod grows still. JEROD It's the truth that scares me. CAIN The truth will set you free. You need to remember everything. Silence. Then... JEROD Do you know the truth, Dr. Cain? CAIN (softly) Yes. I do. JEROD Why can't you tell me? (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. CAIN You need to find it on your own. That is the only way. (beat) You need to go back. Silence as Jerod raises his head. Eyes fearful, searching. JEROD It's bad, isn't it, Dr. Cain? The truth. CAIN (beat) It is, Jerod. EXT. GRAVEYARD -- DAY The sun is setting. The graveyard is cast into shadows. A low fog hovers above the ground. Jerod enters the graveyard. Moving slowly between the headstones. Jerod wears the same clothes as in Cain's office. He walks slowly. Studies the grounds. Stops at the center of the graveyard. Stands motionless. His head cocks. He listens. Turns quickly, suddenly. Spooked. A figure passes through the shadows near the old church. Jerod steps back. Turns and flees the graveyard. EXT. CLIFFSIDE PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL -- DAY Dr. Gordon Cain walks along a path with Jerod. Jerod's attire remains the same, the hood of his sweatshirt over his head. The path winds through a garden-like area with iron benches strategically placed along the path. Dr. Cain walks with his hands clasp behind his back. Jerod's hands are shoved deep in the pockets of the sweatshirt and shuffles along with scraping footsteps, shoulders hunched and head bowed. Other patients move about, some sitting quietly on the benches. All the patients wear the same white attire. CAIN Have you considered what we talked about? Jerod shuffles forward. When Jerod speaks, it is with the same low whisper as before. JEROD (beat) I had a dream...that I went back. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. CAIN How did it make you feel? JEROD Scared. CAIN Why did you feel scared? JEROD He was there. CAIN Where? JEROD In the graveyard. CAIN What did you do? JEROD I ran. CAIN What does he want? Jerod falls silent for a moment. Cain waits patiently as the two continue along the path. JEROD To kill us all. INT. DR. CAIN'S OFFICE -- DAY Jerod sits across the desk from Cain. He is tense. His hands are balled into fists inside his sweatshirt pockets. His head is bowed, shaded by the hood. CAIN (low) What is it, Jerod? Jerod sits unmoving. JEROD He's going to kill them. CAIN Why does he want to kill them? Jerod grows agitated, upset. Withdraws his hands from his pockets. Presses his palms to his temples. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. JEROD (tightly) I don't know. EXT. SECLUDED HOME -- NIGHT A large luxurious home sits dark and silent, back-dropped by evergreens. SUPER: MICHIGAN INT. HOUSE/VARIOUS ROOMS -- NIGHT KERRY DOWNING (23), naturally pretty, stands nervously at the top of a staircase in a nightgown. She stares down into darkness below. One hand grips the railing. The other hovers at the base of her throat. Eyes fearful. KERRY (weak) Hello? Who's there? Movement in the shadows below. Kerry gasps, steps back. A figure approaches the bottom of the staircase. The identity of the intruder is lost in the darkness and his own heavily hooded jacket. KERRY (low, terrified) Who are you? A silver switchblade slides out of the intruder's sleeve and into his hand. The blade is open. KERRY (shudders) No... The intruder begins to slowly ascend the stairs. Kerry backs away, turns and flees down the hallway. She rushes into a bedroom and shuts the door. INT. BEDROOM -- NIGHT Kerry's hands shake as she quickly locks the door. She backs away from the door. She grabs a chair and wedges it beneath the door handle. A lamp glows next to the bed. Kerry crawls onto the bed and presses her back to the headboard. She hugs a pillow to her chest, her knees drawn up. Kerry watches the door. Terrified. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6. INT. BEDROOM -- NIGHT Kerry remains on the bed, holding the pillow tight. She watches the door. Movement outside the door. Kerry tenses. The door handle twists back and forth but doesn't give. Silence, then a light TAP-TAP-TAP on the door. INT. HALLWAY -- NIGHT The intruder leans against the door. Taps the door with the tip of the switchblade. He reaches inside his jacket pocket and withdraws an item. It is concealed by the shadows in the hallway. He lowers to his heels and slides it beneath the door, stands up, leans close to the door. INTRUDER (raspy whisper) Come back and play with me, Kerry. Do it...for Charlie. INT. BEDROOM -- NIGHT Kerry covers her mouth with her hand to stifle her cry. Tears flood her eyes. Her chest heaves in panic. Silence outside the door. Kerry waits. Nothing. She slowly sets the pillow aside and moves to the end of the bed. On the floor, just inside the door, is the item the intruder left. Kerry trembles as she leaves the bed and cautiously approaches the door. She picks up the item. It is a pair of kids glasses, broken and taped back together in the center. Kerry's hands begin to shake and she drops the glasses. She cries out and moves away from the glasses, shaking her head. KERRY (sobbing) Charlie... She crawls back on the bed. Hugs her knees to her chest. Her eyes wide and glued to the glasses laying on the floor by the door. Slowly, her gaze shifts to the cordless phone on the nightstand beside her bed. She reaches tentatively for the phone. Her hand shakes badly as she slowly punches out a series of numbers then presses the handset to her ear. EXT. LOG HOME -- NIGHT A black pickup sits out front of a log home. SUPER: COLORADO (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7. INT. HOME OFFICE -- NIGHT LARRY CREED (early 20's), handsome, sits at his desk, his head on his arms. Asleep. Before him a computer screen glows. A digital clock on the desk reads 2:10 a.m. Somewhere in the house, something breaks. Larry snaps awake and sits up fast, instantly alert. He turns his head to listen. There is a scar on his left cheek bone. He bolts from his chair and pulls open his office door. The hallway is shadowed, lit only by small lights along the baseboard. Larry glances both ways then steps out in the hall in his bare feet. He moves slowly, cautiously down the hallway to the LIVING ROOM The room is shadowed but for the moonlight pressing around the edges of the window drapes. Movement in the shadows. Larry reaches into a dark corner near the living room doorway and withdraws an aluminum baseball bat. LARRY (stern) Who's there? Silence. LARRY I suggest you leave now, or pay the consequences. A low chuckle in the darkness. Larry stiffens, slowly raises the bat. LARRY (cold) I said get out. INTRUDER (O.S.) (young male voice, low) Larry the fairy. (chuckle) Ain't so scary. Larry freezes, the bat poised over his shoulder. LARRY (uncertain) Who are you? INTRUDER Blood is red. Hell is black. Frankie stayed dead...but I came back. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8. Larry's hands begin to shake. His face twitches with both fear and rage. LARRY Who are you! He swings the bat suddenly, smashing a lamp. LARRY Show yourself you son of a bitch! INTRUDER If you wanna kill me again...you gotta come home. Larry trembles, eyes wild, hands clenching the bat. He slowly backs away from the doorway. LARRY Get out of my house. Larry backs down the hall then rushes into his office, slamming and locking the door. He rubs his hand over his mouth and stares at the door. Silence on the other side. He leans the bat against the desk and sits down hard in his chair. Slowly, he twists in his chair and his eyes fall on the bat. It is no longer the aluminum bat but now an old wooden bat with blue tape wrapped around the handle. The name 'Frankie R.' is carved into the wood. The bat is wet with fresh blood. Larry's eyes widen with fear and confusion. He shakes his head slowly. LARRY No...it's not...possible. The phone rings. Larry cries out. Forces himself to calm. The phone rings again. Larry slowly reaches for the receiver. INT. DORM ROOM -- NIGHT LAUREL KINGSTON (22), pretty, petite, rolls over in bed. Reaches out, finds the bed empty. SUPER: LOS ANGELES Laurel opens her eyes, props up on one elbow and squints through the darkness. At the window, BILLY HATHERTON (23), tall and lean, dressed in t-shirt and boxers, is staring out into the night. His hands grip the window frame fiercely. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9. LAUREL (frowning) Billy? Billy turns quickly. His face is tight and hard with tension. He rushes towards the door, grabs a golf club on the way. Laurel sits up. Alarmed. LAUREL Billy? What's wrong? Billy yanks open the door. BILLY Someone's breaking into my car! LAUREL What? Billy races out of the room. LAUREL Billy! Laurel leaves the bed in a rush and reaches for a robe. EXT. UNIVERSITY PARKING LOT -- NIGHT Billy races across the parking lot in t-shirt, boxers, and bare feet. A few yards away, Billy's Mustang sits with the driver door open. The vandal is gone. Billy slows from sprint to fast walk, right hand clenching the golf club. Chest heaving. Billy approaches the car, glances around the parking lot. The parking lot is empty. He looks inside the car. Drops the golf club on the ground. Slips in behind the wheel. Billy quickly checks his stereo and CD collection. Nothing is missing. He leans back against the seat and closes his eyes. A hand shoots forward from the back seat and clamps around Billy's throat. Billy's eyes snap open. He claws at the hand and struggles for air, his body twisting and fighting. The intruder's other hand snakes around in front of Billy's face. The hand is holding an open switchblade. Blood glistens on the blade. Billy stops struggling, his eyes wide and focused on the blade. The intruder leans forward, face concealed by the hood of a dark jacket. He whispers in Billy's ear. INTRUDER Billy the Queer...how ya doin'? (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10. Billy flinches, tries to see behind him without moving his head. Looks in the rear view mirror instead. Sees only the dark hood and a shadowed, unidentifiable face. BILLY Who...are you? INTRUDER (low) Frankie the faggot...sends his regards. The intruder drags the flat side of the blade across Billy's cheek, smearing the blood on Billy's face. Billy cries out as the hand suddenly releases his throat. Billy swipes frantically at the blood on his face. He whips around but the intruder is gone. On the seat is the switchblade, still open and damp with blood. Gasping, close to tears, Billy reaches into the back seat. His hand shakes badly as he picks up the knife. A hand grips his shoulder and Billy yells, drops the knife and spins around ready to fight. Laurel jerks her hand back. LAUREL Billy, it's me. Billy's chest heaves as he tries to calm. BILLY (shaking) Laurel. Shit. You scared me. LAUREL (nervous laugh) Scared you? I thought you were gonna hit me. Billy twists around and picks the knife up off the floor. Laurel sees the blood on his face. LAUREL Oh my god, Billy. You're bleeding. Billy turns to her. The switchblade in hand. BILLY It's not my blood. Laurel's eyes widen at the sight of the bloody knife. LAUREL Billy...what happened? Who's knife is that? (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11. He stares at the switchblade. Something is caught at the hilt. Billy plucks it loose. It's a piece of fabric. LAUREL (scared) Billy? Billy stares at the item with new fear. LAUREL Billy...what is it? BILLY (whisper) It's from a Halloween costume. Laurel frowns uncertainly. LAUREL What? How...how do you know? Billy licks his dry lips. BILLY (quiet) Go back inside, Laurel. LAUREL Billy? BILLY (exploding) Just go! Laurel flinches. Backs away. Then hurries back across the parking lot towards the university dorm. Billy stares at the knife blankly. BILLY (dull whisper) This can't be happening. He reaches up and wipes one finger through the blood on his face and stares at his bloody fingertip. BILLY (thick) Frankie. INT. DR. CAIN'S OFFICE -- NIGHT A wall clock reads 1:15 am. Cain sits at his desk. A file is open before him. The name on the file is "JEROD". No last name. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12. Cain picks up a hand held tape recorder from the desk. He leans back in his chair and turns on the recorder. CAIN Case number 1136. Jerod. (pauses) Jerod resists treatment. Displays acute fear of past memories. Is convinced that his life will be in danger if he remembers. (pause) Is he right? A dull thump on his office door. Cain sits forward slowly. Clicks off the recorder, places it on the desk. He goes to the door, opens it, looks out into the hall. The hall is dimly lit. Empty. CAIN (frowns) Is someone there? Something thumps inside another office. Cain steps out in the HALL He goes to the office two doors down. The name plate on the door reads "Dr. Jeremy Kent". The office door is slightly ajar. Cain slowly pushes the door open wider. CAIN Hello? Dr. Kent, are you in here? No answer. The office is dark. Silent. Cain frowns. Sighs. Steps out of the office and closes the door. Looks up and down the hall. It is empty and silent. The light in Cain's office goes out. His frown deepens. He walks slowly, cautiously back to his OFFICE Cain looks into the dark office. Silence. CAIN Who's in here? This is a private office. There's nothing to steal. Nothing of real value. MALE VOICE (O.S.) (low, deep) So true, doc. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 13. Cain's eyes narrow. He searches the office. Sees a hooded figure silhouetted against the window. CAIN How did you... (falters) Who are you? INTRUDER Come now, doc. He didn't tell you about me? That hurts. Cain stands tense in the doorway. Frowns. CAIN Who? Jerod? INTRUDER (quiet) Why don't you come in, doc? Cain enters slowly, moves towards his desk. CAIN (probing) How did you know Jerod was here? INTRUDER I keep track. (thoughtful) Tell me, doc...why do you call him Jerod? Cain studies the shadowed intruder. CAIN He doesn't know who he is. He needs to remember on his own. So until then, I call him Jerod. (low) But you already knew the answer, so why ask? The intruder smiles but doesn't answer. CAIN What do you want with Jerod? The intruder chuckles low. INTRUDER Now why do you ask questions you already know the answers to? Cain doesn't respond. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 14. INTRUDER You want to know if I came here to harm Jerod. CAIN Did you? He's afraid of you. INTRUDER Of course he is. I can tell him what happened that night in the graveyard. I can tell him what he saw. (pauses) And he doesn't want to know. CAIN Why don't you...tell him? INTRUDER (chuckles low) You'd like that, wouldn't you, doc? Do your job for you. I'll tell him. But only when he's ready. Cain stares at the shadowed figure of the intruder. CAIN He says you want the others dead. INTRUDER (low, cold) Can't take chances. CAIN You think they will tell him the truth. The real truth. INTRUDER (quiet) They will never speak to Jerod. I'll get to them first. No answer. INTRUDER And you can't save them. CAIN It isn't about saving them. Cain nods slowly with sudden understanding. CAIN But I can help Jerod, and you know it. That scares you. Doesn't it? (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 15. INTRUDER (low, dangerous) You don't want to play with me, doc...you won't like the game. CAIN Is that what this is? A game? INTRUDER Of sorts. CAIN And if Jerod doesn't want to play your game? INTRUDER He has no choice. He is the game. It will go on...until I kill him. CAIN So you are here to kill him. The intruder steps forward slowly. INTRUDER Not Jerod. Not yet. Something in the intruder's hand. Silver. Sharp. It glints in the pale light of the window. CAIN (quiet, tense) You came here to kill me. INT. JEROD'S ROOM -- NIGHT Jerod lays huddled in a fetal position on his bed, asleep. He is on top of his blankets and is still wearing his sweat pants and sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head. CAIN (V.O.) (shouting) Jerod! Jerod jerks sharply and bolts forward, wide awake. He's shaking. Sweating. JEROD (whisper) Dr. Cain? He leaves the bed, stands unmoving beside the bed, stares at the door. It is a metal door with a small square window at the top. Wires crisscross through the glass. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 16. Jerod approaches the door. It's unlocked, loose. He opens the door slowly, cautiously. Peers out into the wide, high ceiling corridor. JEROD Hello? Is someone there? Silence. Jerod enters the CORRIDOR He turns to his right, moves down the corridor with uncertainty. He turns another corner into an alternate corridor- and collides with Dr. Cain. Startled, Jerod steps back quickly. JEROD Dr. Cain. My-my door was open. I heard you call...call my name. I-I just wanted to see if you were okay. Cain is gripping the wall with one hand, the other hand over his chest. He slowly draws his hand from his chest. It's covered with blood. Jerod's eyes widen with alarm. JEROD Dr. Cain! You're...you're bleeding! Cain collapses on the floor on his back. Jerod drops down next to him in panic. JEROD Dr. Cain! Dr. Cain, what happened? Cain tries to speak. His words are raspy, unintelligible. Jerod looks around frantically. JEROD Help! Somebody help! Please! Tears fill his eyes. He tries to stop the bleeding by pressing his hands down on Cain's chest. JEROD Somebody! Cain grabs weakly at his arm. CAIN (whisper) Jerod. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 17. JEROD (crying) Somebody please help! CAIN Jerod. Sobbing heavily, Jerod looks at Cain, starts to get up. JEROD I'll get help, Dr. Cain. Cain grabs his arm with more firmness. CAIN (thick) No. Jerod...listen to me. JEROD (whimpering sob) Who did this, Dr. Cain? Cain clutches Jerod's arm. CAIN He was here, Jerod. He's gonna kill them...you have to go. Jerod is shaking. JEROD He-he did this? CAIN (firm) You have to go. Jerod moves away from Cain. Presses up against the wall. Hugs his knees to his chest. JEROD I-I can't, Dr. Cain. I can't go alone. CAIN You can, Jerod. You're stronger than you know. Cain reaches out his hand. CAIN (weak) Come here. Jerod slowly crawls back to Cain, takes Cain's hand in his. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 18. CAIN You're a good man, Jerod. (weakening) No matter what he tells you, remember...you're good. Cain's grip weakens. Fear and panic grip Jerod more fiercely. JEROD Dr. Cain? Dr. Cain! No! NO! Jerod looks up and down the corridor, sobbing and crying out. JEROD Somebody please help me! He lowers his face to Cain's limp hand. JEROD (quiet sobs) Somebody...please...I'm scared to be alone. INT. BEDROOM -- DAY A suitcase lays open on the bed. Kerry stands over it, folding a blouse. She lays the blouse on top of the other clothes, closes the suitcase and latches it. Kerry surveys the room. Her hands wring together. Eyes troubled, fearful. The chair is gone from the door but the door is still locked. Kerry picks up a cordless phone, hesitates then hits speed dial and holds the handset to her ear. She waits. A recorded male voice comes on the line. RECORDED VOICE (V.O.) (filtered) You've reached Marshall Downing. Leave your name and number after the beep. The machine beeps. KERRY (unsettled) Daddy. It's me. I know you're busy so I'll keep this short. I'm going away for a little while. Back home. To Minnesota. (quiet) Something's not right. (MORE) (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 19. KERRY (CONT'D) I have to figure out what it is. I'll say hi to Charlie for you. I love you, daddy. Bye. Kerry presses the 'end' button, holds the phone a moment longer then lays it on the bed and picks up the suitcase. She approaches the bedroom door, hesitates, then unlocks the door and leaves the bedroom. EXT. DRIVEWAY -- DAY Kerry puts her suitcase in the back seat of her Pathfinder then climbs in behind the wheel and closes the door. INT. PATHFINDER -- DAY Hands shaking, she hangs the kid glasses on the cross chain necklace hanging off the rear view mirror. She stares up at the glasses. Tears fill her eyes. She starts the rig, puts it in reverse, swipes at the tears sliding down her cheeks. EXT. DRIVEWAY -- DAY The Pathfinder backs around then drives away. INT. CLASSROOM -- DAY -- FLASHBACK SEQUENCE Kerry (11), wearing a plain dress and scuffed shoes, stands at the front of a classroom full of sixth graders. Her hair is still long and dark in her youth. She wears it in a single braid down her back. SUPER: 1989 - Lost Hope, Minnesota The teacher, SARAH KIMBLE (25), lays a slender hand on Kerry's shoulder. She stands next to Kerry as she addresses her class of sixth graders. SARAH Class, I'd like you to meet Kerry Downing. She's new to Lost Hope. I trust you will all make her feel welcome. (to Kerry) Take a seat anywhere. Kerry hesitates then moves down an isle between the rows of desks. Some kids smile welcoming, while others look at her as if she came from another planet. TWO BOYS with a distinct 'bully' look, eye her coldly. She avoids their eyes as she finds a desk as far from them as possible. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 20. A red hair BOY grins at her, winks and nods. Kerry blushes and ducks her head. EXT. PLAYGROUND -- DAY -- FLASHBACK SEQUENCE Kerry stands in front of CHARLIE, an eight-year-old boy with unruly reddish blond hair and thick glasses. Kerry is shielding him from JAKE WENDELL and PETER DRAKE, the two bullies from class. The four of them are behind the dugout on the baseball field, out of sight of the rest of the kids on the playground. Kerry's eyes are fearful, yet furious and determined. KERRY Just leave him alone! He didn't do anything to you! JAKE What're you? The runt's bodyguard? KERRY He's my brother. Just leave us alone. JAKE Well, your brother was being a mouth to us. KERRY He was not. He doesn't talk to people he don't know. He's...he's shy. PETER (to Jake) Oh, he's shy. JAKE Sounds like a sissy to me. KERRY He's not a sissy. You're just jerks. JAKE Now you're calling us names? Jake reaches out and shoves Kerry to the ground. Charlie breaks out of his silent and subdued state and steps forward to defend his sister. Clearly frightened but not willing to let anyone pick on Kerry. CHARLIE Why'd you have to go and do that? JAKE 'Cause I wanted to, runt. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 21. Jake's hand snaps out and plucks the glasses from Charlie's face. Charlie immediately tries to get them back but the older kid holds them over his head, out of reach. CHARLIE Give'em back! They're mine! JAKE (snickering) They're mine now. CHARLIE Huh uh! They're my glasses! Jake and Peter laugh and toss the glasses back and forth. Kerry gets to her feet and steps in. KERRY Give'em back, you jerks! He needs those glasses. You're gonna break them! JAKE Oh! Oh! Oops! Jake drops the glasses on the ground and pretends to misstep as his heel comes down on the glasses, snapping them in half. He gives Kerry a look of mock apology. JAKE Sorry. Was an accident. KERRY No it wasn't! You did that on purpose. Kerry tries to push past the bullies to pick up the glasses, but they shove her back. Tears of frustration well up in her eyes. KERRY Leave us alone! PETER Oh look, the little girl is gonna cry. KERRY Shut up! Kerry wipes furiously at the tears in her eyes as the two boys just laugh. Charlie suddenly bolts forward, shoving all his weight into Jake's gut. CHARLIE Don't laugh at Kerry! (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 22. Charlie catches the bully off guard, knocking him against the tall wire fence encircling the rear of the dugout. Peter springs into action and grabs Charlie from behind, pulling him off his friend. Jake regains his balance, his face red with fury. He steps towards Charlie who is struggling in the other boy's grip. JAKE You little freak! Jake pulls his arm back and closes his fist. Kerry's eyes widen with fear. She screams. KERRY No! BOY'S VOICE (O.S.) Gotta pick on girls and little kids now, Wendell? How macho. The four kids turn to see the red hair boy from their class, FRANKIE ROLANDS, standing at the corner of the dugout. Frankie is of average height for his age with auburn hair and a stout build. He is wearing a faded baseball uniform and holding a wooden baseball bat in his right hand, resting the fat tip against the ground like a cane. The handle of the bat is wrapped in blue tape. The name FRANKIE R. is carved into the wood. Behind Frankie are his two friends from class, LARRY CREED and BILLY HATHERTON. Larry is a dark blond kid the same height as Frankie. Billy, a lanky boy with straight, sandy colored hair, is an inch or two taller than his friends. Jake glares at Frankie. JAKE Well if it isn't Frankie the faggot, come to the rescue. I'll deal with you later, Rolands. Now git out of here less your lookin' to get your face smashed now. FRANKIE (cocky) So you do still fight boys? PETER How 'bout you take your little gang of queer baits and get out of here before we stomp all of you. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 23. FRANKIE Sure, Drake, we'll take off. (serious) But we're takin' our new friends with us. JAKE Friends? They ain't your friends. You don't even know 'em. FRANKIE Sure I do. That there's my new friend, Kerry. And any friend of Kerry's is a friend of mine. So that means the kid, too. Jake steps in front of Frankie, blocking the way to Kerry and Charlie. JAKE We got unfinished business with the new kids. They been calling us names. KERRY That's a lie! You just started picking on Charlie for no reason! Jake whips around and slaps Kerry across the face, knocking her down. JAKE Shut up! (to Frankie) Now get out of here. The runt has this coming to him. Jake turns suddenly and clenches his fist again. Kerry sits up on the grass, crying and shouting. KERRY No! Charlie! In a quick movement, Frankie wields the baseball bat like a pro hitter. Takes a step forward. Swings as hard as he can. Cracks the bat against the side of Jake's right knee. Jake drops instantly, howling in pain. Peter releases Charlie and steps towards Frankie, who immediately raises the bat again and holds it in a swinging stance. Peter stops. Jake is squalling in misery. JAKE You broke my knee, you faggot! I'm gonna kill you! (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 24. FRANKIE Not today, macho man. Larry steps past Frankie and the two bullies. Helps Kerry to her feet. LARRY Come on. Kerry and Charlie follow Larry around the bullies. Frankie stands stone still in his swinging stance, holding Peter at bay. Larry leads Kerry and Charlie out from behind the dugout. Frankie finally lowers the bat. Nods towards Jake. FRANKIE (to Peter) Better help your friend. I think he hurt his leg. Frankie walks away. Jake shouts after him. JAKE You're dead, Rolands! You're all dead! Frankie ignores him. Joins the others. He points to his friends. FRANKIE This is Larry and Billy. KERRY Hi. This is Charlie, my little brother. (shyly) Thank you...for helping us. FRANKIE (smiling) No problemo. They all walk away together. Frankie falls in between Kerry and Charlie. Slings his arms across their shoulders and grins. FRANKIE Welcome to Lost Hope, folks. Where the name says it all. INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY -- NEXT DAY -- FLASHBACK SEQUENCE Kerry is coming down the school hallway, approaching Ms. Kimble's classroom. Larry is waiting by the door. He sees Kerry, smiles and jogs down the hallway to her. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 25. LARRY Hey. KERRY Hi. LARRY Did you tell your parents what happened yesterday? KERRY No. My dad would just stress out. LARRY Yeah. I get it. KERRY Did Frankie get in trouble for hitting that kid with the bat? LARRY Naw. Jake and Peter didn't tell on him. KERRY Why not? LARRY If they told on him, then the teachers would find out what they were doing to you and Charlie. Then they would get in trouble too. KERRY Oh. I see. (blushing slightly) I was really glad you guys showed up yesterday. That Jake kid was really gonna punch Charlie. LARRY Jake's a butt head. Most everybody tries to avoid him but it's hard when he goes to school here. By the way, he'll be out of school for a few days. I think Frankie really did break his knee. I heard he had to go to the hospital and get a brace for it. KERRY Wow. Really? Frankie must be pretty strong. (CONTINUED) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 26. LARRY He's the best hitter in school. Even out of the seventh graders. He's deadly with a bat. KERRY I believe it. The two kids laugh and walk towards the classroom. Larry stops at the door. LARRY Oh. Here. Larry hands her Charlie's glasses, now taped securely where it was broken. KERRY You...fixed them? LARRY Yeah...I went back out and got them after school. KERRY (smiling) That was so nice. Thank you, Larry. Kerry leans over and drops a quick kiss on Larry's cheek. - Blushes and hurries into the classroom. Larry stands in the doorway, grinning.


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