This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
by Jason K Rosette
J Rosette / CAMERADO 51 MacDougal Street #129 New York, NY 10012 (917) 698-3779 firstname.lastname@example.org
WGA #837529 © Copyright 2002 Jason Rosette
"SUSAN HERO" INT. FUNERAL PARLOR - DAY SUSAN HENDRICKS, 28 years old, pretty, green eyed, but worldweary before her time, stands dressed in black looking down at a small casket. She gazes at the casket for a long time. A smattering of others are nearby; an older woman quietly and awkwardly places her hand on Susan's shoulder. This is Susan's mother, DOTTIE HENDRICKS. Susan flinches when she feels her mother's hand. Without saying a word, Susan breaks away from muted crowd and heads out of the parlor. DOTTIE Suzie, darling-But Susan doesn't respond. She's walking, walking, walking never looking back. EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - NIGHT Although it's dark, Susan is still walking. She passes a liquor store, a boarded up gas station, a Dairy Queen. She stops at an empty intersection and seems to sniff the air. Although there are no cars, she waits for the light to turn. Then she continues walking, walking, walking into the troubled night. INT. SUSAN'S HOME - DAWN Susan's home: faded baby blue, plywood panelled. Dim dawn light creeps through broken summer screens. Susan enters and sits on the couch. She absently turns on the TV. She reaches for a bottle of Kaluha nearby on the nightstand and takes a big swig as she impassively watches the glowing tube. CLOSE ON TV It's a rerun of Bonanza. Hoss takes off his hat and smiles at a pretty ranch girl before riding away. Susan watches Hoss ride away. Her eyes fill with tears.
SUSAN You could'a stayed around...when she and I really needed you, you asshole.
2. The PHONE RINGS, but Susan doesn't answer it. The machine finally picks up. The VOICE of Susan's mother, Dottie, squalks from the machine: DOTTIE (V.O.) Hello? Suzie, this is Mom. Listen I'm worried about you dear. If you're there, please pick up. Are you there? I've been calling and calling...are you at Maureen's? You're probably at Maureen's. Well, I hope you're Okay. When you get this, will you please call? I'm worried sick about you. Don't do this to me, okay sweetheart? Okay. I love you. She hangs up. Bye now.
Susan takes another swig of Kaluha.
An instant later, the TV returns from its commercial break, and its back to the news at 10... CLOSE ON TV THE EVENING NEWS: A clinical looking pen in a laboratory contains a pair of brown sorrel horses. Both impatiently stamp their feet, and they wear identical ear tags. ANNOUNCER Coming up at ten: a New Mexico scientist successfully clones a horse. Is your family pet next? A LOWER THIRD TITLE swoops across the screen. Cloned Pets - Is Fido Forever? A suave, tanned, man in his fifties holds a clipboard as he stands at the edge of the pen. He wears a pristine white lab coat. This is DR. KURT MORELL. The Doctor puts aside his clipboard and reaches into the pen to affectionately stroke one of the horses on the neck. Then he turns and smiles at the camera, as he flashes his brilliant pearly whites. ON THE COUCH Susan turns off the TV. She sits for a moment in the dull blue afterglow of the tube. Then she checks the clock on the wall and slouches off to the kitchen. It reads: *
3. EXT. DESERT - DUSK On the outskirts of a sulking, jagged mountain range idles a beat-up delivery truck with Mexican license plates. A rusty sign near a group of cactus says: ALTO. The driver of the truck, a big laugh lined Mexican, cuts the engine and raps three times on the roof of the cab. From the back of the truck emerges a dozen or so people, mostly men, tired and stooped from a long ride. One of them stands out. Although he, too, is dusty and unshaven, he is somehow noble and princely in the gray gone light. He carries a denim bag over his shoulder. This is Javier Appollinaire, 35 years old. Javier pulls a deck of cards from his pocket and shuffles it expertly as the others clamber from the truck. When all the riders have disembarked, they gather round Javier. Each quietly takes a card. When everyone has picked a card, they somberly compare their draw. Then, in the order prescribed by the deck, they head stealthily out into the desert along a trail. EXT. ROAD - MORNING Susan drives her beat-up white minivan along grubby suburban bypasses, under moaning concrete bridges. A small leather INDIAN POUCH hangs from her rear view mirror. Susan turns on the radio, and a PROMO hits the air: RADIO "...It's a Big World. And Chuck Wing's got a Big Vendetta. Chuck Wing, star of the movie, utters his catchphrase: WING (V.O.) "...No more fooling around!" Susan says it also, quietly mimicking Wing. SUSAN "...No more fooling around." "Big Vendetta. everywhere." EXT. MALL - DAY Susan pulls her minivan into the parking lot of a huge shopping mall. RADIO Now playing
4. A nearby sign boldly proclaims: MEADOWLARK CINEMAS. Susan gets out and heads to the Multiplex, carrying a giant 7-Eleven mug of coffee. INT. MEADOWLARK CINEMAS - DAY A suave looking, chubby Indian man in his late fifties, wearing a slightly rumpled shirt and tie, watches a worker install fluorescent lights. This is SANGHPOP ELPEE. ELPEE But we ordered long life bulbs. Everybody wants long life, right? A PROJECTIONIST enters, carrying a couple huge film cans. He's a harried guy in his twenties with a shaved head. He tries, unsuccessfully, to slip by Elpee unnoticed. ELPEE (CONT'D) Monroe, you are 10 minutes late. Please hurry so we are ready for Big Vendetta at four o'clock. Monroe plods off to his booth. Susan quietly enters, stands a moment as if she's unsure of her surroundings. Elpee notices her at last. ELPEE (CONT'D) Ah, Susan! I hope that everything is Okay, and that you are feeling better. You are a few minutes late-- but I will let that slide today, considering your recent tragedy. He enjoys Susan's shapely frame, though; he lets his glance roam all the way down to her shoes, scuffed from her roamings the night before. ELPEE (CONT'D) You will need to purchase new shoes of course. Please, the new computer has arrived. I hope you can show me how it works. INT. BOX OFFICE - LATER Elpee hovers over Susan, showing her how to operate the computer and cash register. ELPEE (CONT'D) While you were gone we received the new computer...but I still cannot make heads nor tails of the damn (MORE)
5. ELPEE (CONT'D) thing. And we are still trying to find a new cleaning person-Suddenly he swings around to look at the clock. ELPEE (CONT'D) Oh my goodness, three thirty! In exactly one hour we have the first showing of Big Vendetta. This movie should be doing very good business. Big Vendetta. SUSAN With Chuck Wing, right?
ELPEE I am glad to see you still know your movies, Ms Hendricks. Yes, Mr. Wing stars in this taut thriller. SUSAN "No more foolin' around..." ELPEE That is the one. Well, after we are through here--if there is time--you may watch for a few minutes while Monroe tests the print. He relaxes a bit, leans casually against Susan's chair. ELPEE (CONT'D) I almost studied poetry in college. Instead I received my MFA in business. What did you study at college Ms. Hendricks? SUSAN I didn't go to college. ELPEE Oh, yes, I believe we discussed this. Now, be sure to check for ID's for movies of NC-17 and R ratings. We have been letting this slide and we cannot. Is this clear? SUSAN Yes. ELPEE Good because if the corporate office finds out we are letting in underage (MORE)
6. ELPEE (CONT'D) kids, I get in trouble. And if I get in trouble, you get in trouble. SUSAN Yes sir. Elpee leans confidentially against Susan's chair. ELPEE You are a much better assistant than the other girl. Susan reflexively sits up straight. ELPEE (CONT'D) A good looking woman is always good for business. She can get ahead much faster in this world than an ugly woman. This is unfortunately the truth. In this regard, it does not matter what you study in college. He smiles a gleaming, Cheshire cat smile, revealing a single, gold-capped tooth. INT. BOX OFFICE - LATER It's still early. Susan yawns and checks her watch. She looks around to make sure that Elpee is away, then she slips into the darkened theater nearby. IN THE THEATER Susan sits alone in the middle of a vast expanse of seats. The shadow of Monroe can be dimly seen in the projection booth. A cone of light suddenly bursts onto the screen, and Susan watches with rapt attention as Big Vendetta jumps to life. Susan's face revolves from smiles to grimaces as she reacts to the action on the screen: WING (V.O.) No more fooling around... The sound of gunshots, explosions, a car crash. SCREAMS. A woman
And now, sharp, solitary FOOTSTEPS which scuffle to a halt. WING You OK? (V.O.) (CONT'D)
7. WOMAN'S VOICE I think so. The woman starts to cry--Susan's face has been following this all along, reflecting in various shades the action which takes place onscreen. CLOSE ON SCREEN Wing steps out of the shadows and wipes his hands on his jeans. His face is lined like the Marlboro Man, he's carefully and sexily smudged with grime. Wing leans in and speaks to her soothingly. Don't worry. IN THE THEATER Susan gapes as Wing delivers his line: he seems to be talking directly to her alone. His words ECHO through her head. But a strained voice calls from O.S. as the projector cuts out mercilessly. ELPEE Ms. Hendricks, for God's sake where are you we need you up front right away! BOX OFFICE - LATER A huge line coils its way outside the box office. It's a mixed bunch: men with mullets, college couples, even a few stray old ladies. Susan struggles to keep up with the crowd; she has to study the computer each time someone buys a ticket. Elpee stands smolderingly behind her, his arms folded. A TEENAGER with baggy pants and a huge, cone shaped afro strolls up to the window with his friend. They both chew straws. TEENAGER #1 Yo, Big Vendetta. Two. TEENAGER #2 Three, yo, make it three. Trace is coming later. Susan slides him two tickets. SUSAN Here you are. Thanks for visiting Meadowlark Cinemas. WING I'll take care of you. (V.O.)
8. TEENAGER #1 Yo, I said three, bitch. Susan is stunned a moment at the B-word. Her face flinches as she fights to maintain her poise. The kid defiantly chews on a straw and leers at her. Susan gives him another ticket. The kid and his friend strut into the lobby. Elpee leans over and whispers to Susan: ELPEE Remember the customer is always right. SUSAN But-ELPEE Always right. Always. And you forgot to check the ID's for all the youngsters. Elpee steals out to the lobby to take tickets. Susan opens the register to add the money to the drawer. She pauses momentarily to regard the enormous mountain of $ CASH $ which has grown in the tray. EXT. DESERT - NIGHT Fleeting groups of immigrantes scatter across the desert, zig-zagging their way across the border. Among them is Javier Appollinaire. He runs alongside an older man with neatly combed grey hair. Floodlights SNAP ON-An INS TRUCK looms from the desert, flanked by border agents on foot. One by one, the fugitives are captured as they are briskly slapped into plastic handcuffs. Only Javier manages to slip through the phalanx of men and dogs. He wistfully looks back in time to see his pal, the grey haired man, caught by the INS. Javier hits the dirt and snakes along on his belly until he reaches a small dirt utility road. He remains motionless for ten heartbeats, then he stands-And now he is running, running, running, never looking back. INT. SUSAN'S HOME - NIGHT Susan sits on her couch, idly flipping through channels on cable. Her face is drawn from her first day back on the job. She makes herself a Mexicola. CLOSE ON TV
9. It's the tail end of a commercial for Big Vendetta. Chuck Wing leaps through a blooming fireball, firing his Glock pistol with one hand as he adroitly flips through the air. WING "...No more fooling around." SUSAN "No more fooling around." ANNOUNCER "Now Playing Everywhere." A moment later, SMOOTH UPBEAT MUSIC cues an infommercial: CLOSE ON TV The Doctor seen earlier on the news, stands at the rail of a corral. He thoughtfully watches some horses trot by, then turns to the camera to address it with a perfect smile. MORELL Hello. I'm Dr. Morell. I'm a microbiologist and a veterinarian. I had a prize-winning horse once. His name was Juniper. The number of shows he won, I couldn't begin to count 'em. Not to mention that he was also a beautiful and loving friend. Susan grabs the remote to change the channel--but for some reason, this time she does not. She puts the remote back down. CLOSE ON TV Morell cheers for a horse as it gallops past. turns back to the camera. He then soberly
MORELL (CONT'D) Unfortunately, Juniper passed away some years ago... And now a GRAPHIC swoops on, showing the profile of a simple cartoon-like horse. As Morell speaks, the image slowly morphs into two horses: MORELL (CONT'D) ...but thanks to recent advancements in nanogenetics, my partners and I were able to bring him back, using his original DNA--that's his genetic code, the "blueprint" from which he was made.
10. Morell holds up a horseshoe and muses on it a moment, then tosses it cavalierly aside. The horseshoe lands perfectly on a nearby spike. MORELL (CONT'D) I know, I know...microbiology, genetics...that all probably just sounds like a bunch of fancy words. But the bottom line is, we were able to bring Juniper back. And now I can enjoy having him here once again! A dazzling chestnut stallion is lead out to Morell by a trainer. The Doctor affectionately strokes his neck. MORELL (CONT'D) Isn't that right, Juniper? Juniper whinnies mightily. MORELL (CONT'D) Here at the Eschelon Institute, we can help you increase your yield of prized bulls and livestock. B-ROLL of a rancher raising his arm triumphantly as his bull receives a blue ribbon-MORELL (CONT'D) Or, bring back a beloved family pet who may have passed away before his time. Say, in an accident for instance. Susan pauses with her drink to her lips-And slowly back down on the table. CLOSE ON TV An upbeat, upscale FINALE: happy children frolic in the grass with a puppy; a cat plays with a ball of yarn. MORELL (CONT'D) Give us a call. There's no obligation and no money down. Well, what are you waiting for? not enjoy Rover...all over? Why
Morell hops onto Juniper and gives him a gentle kick. They ride off together as a phone number swoops onto the screen. ON THE COUCH
11. Susan stares intently at the phone number on the screen. She grabs a pen and scribbles Morell's number onto the back of a credit card bill and carefully sticks it in her pocket. INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
Susan lies awake in bed in the dark, watching the vague shapes of passing traffic cross her ceiling. She's thinking, thinking, a great weight is falling. INT. MEADOWLARK MULTIPLEX - DAY Susan sits in the box office, taking money and handing out tickets. Her hair has been cut short--it's a ragged homemade job. She looks preoccupied and absent. A few customers come and go. She reaches for the gooseneck mic to help the next person in line-But she's startled to see a couple with a YOUNG GIRL standing right outside the box office window. Susan's face drains of all color. It can't be, the girl looks like, looks like... The girl's parents grow uncomfortable under Susan's hard stare. They gently but firmly lead their daughter away. A thin man steps up to the window. THIN MAN Fat Sunday. Susan takes his cash and slowly slides him his ticket. Sas he leaves, she takes out the crumpled credit card bill with Morell's number on it. She unfolds it, carefully smooths it as she mulls it over. Suddenly there's a voice behind her: ELPEE (O.S.) Ms. Hendricks--Ms. Hendricks, what happened to your hair? Elpee stands in the doorway of the box office. fingers the ends of her hair. ELPEE (CONT'D) Ms. Hendricks, I would like to introduce you to our new cleaning person. Elpee steps aside, revealing none other than Javier Appollinaire. Javier enters the booth and smiles charmingly at Susan. He's bright and shining in his new Meadowlark Cinemas outfit. Susan numbly
12. ELPEE (CONT'D) This is Harvey, Harvey, this is Ms. Hendricks. JAVIER (to Susan) Hello. His voice is gentle, quiet, thoughtful. SUSAN Hi. She musters a smile for him. JAVIER (to Elpee) Sir, my name is Javier.
ELPEE Oh, Jav-i-er. I apologize for the record. I will get it right, don't you worry. Well, now that you've met, Jav-i-er please go and get the Powervac out of the closet to clean the vomit in number six. Elpee trots off to his office and closes his door. Javier watches Susan for a moment, takes in her vulnerable and sad face. Then he gingerly breaks out his deck of cards. JAVIER Think of a card. SUSAN Oh, no thank you, I-JAVIER C'mon, I practice all week. Think of a card. Susan shrugs and closes her eyes. HAV Ok. You have the card in your mind? SUSAN Yes. JAVIER Think careful and clear about him. Hold him in the very center of your mind and never let him go...never let him go...
13. Javier shuffles expertly through the deck, and gradually fans through until he stops on a card in the middle of the deck. JAVIER (CONT'D) Is this your card? He holds up the card for her. CLOSE ON CARD It reads "YOUR CARD" in a precise, flourishing script. Susan laughs despite herself, a big, brassy laugh. For an instant, for the first time since we have seen her, her face is radiant and shining, pure and beautiful. Javier hands her the card with a boyish grin. steps out from behind his office door. But Elpee
ELPEE Please if you two want to socialize, do so on your break. I have to keep a tight ship. Javier waves goodbye to Susan and pads away. An old woman wearing dark glasses and a wig approaches Susan's window. She leans in hard-ass fashion against the ticket booth and lights a long brown cigarette before sighing: WIG WOMAN Big Vendetta. LATER It's the curious lull between matinee time and the later shows. Javier waits until Elpee goes into his office, then he sidles up to Susan. He reaches into his pocket. First, he shows Susan that his hand is empty--then pulls a coin from behind her ear. She laughs aloud, unabashedly. Javier carefully places the coin in her hand, and she studies it curiously. SUSAN Where's this from? JAVIER Mexico. SUSAN Is that where you're from? He winks and smiles. it. She hands the coin back, but he refuses
14. No, keep him. JAVIER I have more. They smile at each
And he pulls one from Susan's other ear. other for a long, unblinking moment.
Elpee's voice can be heard O.S., all the way from his office. He STAMMERS LOUDLY into his phone, reacting to some severe punishment from the other end. Javier and Susan share a quick grimace, before he carries his mop and pail off into the men's room. Susan looks around to make sure that she's alone. Then she takes out her crumpled scrap with Morell's number on it. Susan dials the number. She drums her fingers nervously on the counter until the other end finally answers. SUSAN Hello? I'm calling to get some more information on your services. I saw your ad on TV. What? Yea, it looked like a real tan to me. Really? You looked like you'd been lying out on the beach all summer reading Tom Clancy novels. Susan leans in and lowers her voice 'til it's an urgent, hushed tone. SUSAN (CONT'D) Anyway, uh, what I really wanted to ask you was...well I know you said you could help folks out with their pets and racehorses and stuff, BUT-INT. DINER - DAY Dr. Morell sits at a roadside diner before a plate of two perfectly poached eggs. He's dressed neatly in a blazer and collared shirt as he talks to Susan on his cell phone. Across from Morell sits his assistant, an American Indian man, LONNIE. Lonnie, square jawed with lustrous hair, laughs to himself while reading the funny pages of a local paper. Through the diner window, a large RYDER TRUCK can be seen in the parking lot. MORELL Well, you're not the first person to ask me about that, Sharon. Pardon me-- Susan. Believe me you're not the first. (MORE)
15. MORELL (CONT'D) But first of all, it's not exactly legal to do something like that. And even if it were, there are certain ethical and moral questions to consider. For instance, there is the philosophical and ontological issue of the identity of the individual... Morell rattles off his big vocabulary with gusto. IN THE BOX OFFICE Susan hangs on Morell's every word, wringing the phone cord in her hand. She tries to follow Morell. SUSAN Ethics, yes, I see. And morality. Hello? Hello? Susan pauses expectantly. Her eyes glimmer with tears. IN THE DINER A buxom waitress brings the check, places it before the Doctor. She tries to top off Morell's coffee, but he stops her by placing his hand over the cup. Morell flips over the check: CLOSE ON CHECK The total is eleven dollars and eleven cents. regards the number curiously. The Doctor
MORELL So it's something that I shouldn't do...I really shouldn't. I'm sorry. He opens his wallet to pay; it's empty. He gestures to Lonnie, snaps his fingers and commands him to pay the bill. Lonnie grudgingly hands over his last twenty. MORELL (CONT'D) (to Lonnie, whispering) I'll pay you back at the next rest stop (to Susan) Anyway, for a customized procedure, such as you've described--and of course I'm speaking completely hypothetically here--I would have to charge substantially more than my (MORE)
16. MORELL (CONT'D) usual fee. And, again, I'm speaking hypothetically here, because it's against the law. He places a special emphasis on these last three words, as if he's no longer speaking to Susan, but to someone else who may be listening in. IN THE BOX OFFICE Susan fiddles with her phone cord. It's now wrapped in a tight coil around her arm. SUSAN But the money doesn't matter! I mean, can you give me an idea of how much it might cost? Hypothetically... The phone cord snaps out of her hands and hits her in the face-SUSAN (CONT'D) Wow! that's an awful lot, I didn't realize. Do you offer a student discount? Yes sir. Zoology. That's why when I saw you and Juniper...I knew I could talk to you about this. Behind Susan, Elpee silently approaches. His face is drawn from his recent phonal abuse. He quietly enters the box office and listens in. IN THE DINER Morell checks his imitation Tag Heuer wristwatch; he taps it gently, attracts the attention of Lonnie. Lonnie snags the keys on the table and heads out to the Ryder truck in the parking lot. MORELL Susan, we're unfortunately in the middle of moving to our new offices now, so I'm a bit pressed for time. But if you'd like to call and chat a bit more in the next couple days, feel free to do so. I'm sure we can-IN THE BOX OFFICE
17. Elpee blankly reaches over and disconnects the call. whirls round in her seat, stunned. SUSAN That was a real important call. ELPEE We simply cannot make calls unless it is on our own time. SUSAN But it's my break! ELPEE Please don't argue with me. Your job is hanging by a thread Ms. Hendricks, by a thread-— He says this as if parroting someone else's words. SUSAN OH LEAVE ME ALONE WILL YOU FOR GOD'S SAKE YOU AND YOUR STUPID BUTTER SAUCE!!! Whoops. Susan covers her mouth and looks away. Elpee's face reddens grotesquely. Neither notices Javier, who discreetly sweeps behind them while listening in. The phone rings. Susan mechanically answer. Susan
SUSAN (CONT'D) Hello, Meadowlark--oh. Not now Mom. Sorry.
Susan hangs up. Elpee is still hovering over her, shaking angrily. Susan won't face him. SUSAN (CONT'D) (quietly, to Elpee) Leave me alone. Please just...go away and leave me alone. Susan looks up to find A YOUNG SKATEPUNK COUPLE waiting outside the window to buy tickets. They eagerly follow the action in the booth. ELPEE This is your last shift. SUSAN Ok. ELPEE When you're done with the next show, I want you to go home.
18. SUSAN I understand. Elpee turns away to see Javier standing there, leaning on his broom. ELPEE Do you want to go home too? JAVIER No. Elpee is about to say something else, when the phone rings again in his office. He hurries to answer it, slamming his office door. Susan grabs the gooseneck mic and helps the Skatepunk Couple at the window. SUSAN Hi. PUNK KID Two for Big Vendetta. They fork over their cash, get their tickets, and wander in. Susan absently opens the cash drawer to add her last bucks to the till-LINCOLN, JEFFERSON, JACKSON. The pyramid eye on one of the bills WINKS AT HER-SUSAN (to herself) "No more fooling around..." Susan stares trembling at the drawer of bills for one weighty moment before her hand, as if on its own volition, darts out and SCOOPS ALL THE CASH INTO HER PURSE. She abruptly stands and turns to leave, carrying her bloated purse awkwardly under her arm. On her way out, she instinctively grabs the cardboard promotional cutout of Chuck Wing from a corner of the ticket booth and tucks it under her other arm. IN THE LOBBY Javier wistfully watches Susan walk away. He slowly drifts over to the box office to regard her empty chair--when he notices Susan's KEYS lying on the counter. He grabs them and rushes out the door after her.
19. JAVIER Hey! You forget! EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY Susan walks in a hurried daze towards her Minivan, oblivious to Javier behind her. He races after her, casting a quick glance back at his unattended bucket and mop. AT THE MINIVAN Susan climbs in and sits at the wheel. vacantly and reaches for her seatbelt. She stares ahead
Javier arrives--out of breath--and triumphantly hands her the keys. He waits for her to say something...but she just quietly fumbles with her keys. JAVIER No good to lose your keys. Can't drive the car, no way to drive home. The bus here, he takes a long, long time. I know. Susan just picks quietly at her keychain. JAVIER (CONT'D) So...I will see you later sometime, huh? Maybe we will "paint the town red." A POLICE CAR rounds the drive into the parking lot and barrels towards the Multiplex. Javier eyes the cruiser apprehensively. JAVIER (CONT'D) (to himself, in Spanish) Ah, shit. They found me. A loose twenty falls from Susan's enormous purse. It wafts to the blacktop and blows away, but Javier doesn't see it. Javier nimbly climbs aboard the minivan. at him strangely, still in her daze: SUSAN Would you like a ride home? Yes. JAVIER Now, please. Susan looks over
He eyes her with ferocious desperation. Susan lets flop her purse to the floorboard. She methodically turns the key and eases the Minivan out of the parking lot.
20. EXT. HIGHWAY - AFTERNOON Doctor Morell and Lonnie roll down a snake-backed highway through a scrubby, arid plain. Lonnie is at the wheel. He noisily chews his gum while listening to some Country music. Morell has bifocals on and tries in vain to read a medical journal. The Doctor struggles to focus on his text. He looks at his fake Tag Heuer wristwatch, then suddenly turns off the radio. LONNIE Why did you do that? MORELL It's my turn for the radio. choose to turn it off. And I
LONNIE But you've got your book. I don't have nothing but the music. MORELL You've got the music of your mind. Lonnie shakes his head in disgust. Even Morell knows what he's just said is corny, but he's too proud to let on. MORELL (CONT'D) Anyway, I'm waiting for a call. So, please, a little quiet would help. Thank you. Lonnie snaps his gum, deliberately, annoyingly. LONNIE Where we goin' anyway? Morell puts down his book with an exaggerated gesture. MORELL As mentioned before. Pierre says he's found us a place, and that he will call. Thus the phone call. Thus my request for a little silence. LONNIE You're the boss. And Lonnie continues to snap and chew his gum. EXT. HIGHWAY - DUSK Susan eyes the intermittent white line of a rural highway, hands firmly on the wheel. Billboards, electric towers, looming solitary monuments of the road glide past.
21. The cardboard cutout of Chuck Wing sits silently in back, a perpetually bronzed, hardass look on his face. Javier chomps nervously on the stub of an unlit cigar while he shuffles and reshuffles his deck of cards. Aye yai yai. JAVIER I can't get in trouble. Javier
Susan doesn't answer, she just stares out at the road. turns on the radio-But Susan reaches over and turns it off. SUSAN I'm sorry. I gotta think.
Javier shrinks back and stares out his window at the strange passing landscape. Silos, truck parks, the unborn land. JAVIER (to himself, in Spanish) How do they find me so quick? Susan says nothing, seems to be mesmerized by the highway's white line. JAVIER (CONT'D) Hey, you live pretty far huh? Where is your home? SUSAN I'm not going home. Worn Sears tires smooch the highway. JAVIER Maybe we can go to New York? How far is New York? SUSAN Far. JAVIER How far? She doesn't answer. LATER THAT NIGHT Susan continues to drive, relentlessly, across strange desolate landscapes. Javier dozes fitfully on his side. He wakes with a start to see that Susan is still driving. JAVIER (CONT'D) You want me to drive?
22. Susan doesn't respond, keeps her hand tightly on the wheel. Really. to me. JAVIER (CONT'D) I can drive, just give it
SUSAN (softly) I never saw you drive to work. He looks at her, sees she's beautiful. JAVIER I have no car. SUSAN Well, where'd you learn how to drive? JAVIER TV. Where I learn English, too. SUSAN (softly) You can't learn to drive...just by watching it on TV. Javier grins, and Susan smiles faintly too. But gradually she loses herself in the passing white line. Javier lights a cigar stub. JAVIER How far is New York? SUSAN Pretty far. JAVIER How about LA? She casts an irritated look towards his cigar. SUSAN Would you mind opening your window? JAVIER Is good—White Owl. Javier offers her a drag, but she doesn't respond. He dutifully cracks his window and reaches to flick off his ash. JAVIER (CONT'D) What is the "Owl"? SUSAN An Owl is a bird. A bird that hunts in the night.
23. JAVIER What does it mean, "hunt"? SUSAN "Hunt" means to go after something or someone, to chase after prey-JAVIER "Prey"? SUSAN "Prey" is the thing that's being hunted...I'm sorry, I've got a terrible headache. Can't you just look it up in your little book there? Javier reaches into his denim bag, pulls out his small dictionary and riffles through. He finds his word and repeats it to himself quietly. EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT Susan and Javier pull into the broken lot of a cheap motel. Slowly, they unravel themselves from the van. Susan carries her bloated purse carefully by her side. INT. MOTEL - NIGHT A large stuffed Tarpon hangs on the wall above the check-in desk. As the door's bell tinkles, a BALD MAN wearing a terrycloth Budweiser robe emerges to greet Susan and Javier. BALD MAN Help you. SUSAN Yes. I need a room. BALD MAN How many? Susan suddenly realizes that Javier is, technically, with her. SUSAN Two. But we're not together. I mean, we're together, but not "together". You know what I mean? The Bald Man fishes out a form and pen from the desk. BALD MAN My forefathers came her in search of Boron, but were murdered by a traitor in the camp. They should've stuck together. He finds his form and pen.
24. BALD MAN (CONT'D) Name? SUSAN Susan H-BALD MAN Yep? She catches herself, the Bald Man waits. Javier cuts his deck of cards. He plucks an Ace of Hearts from the center. SUSAN Susan Hero. BALD MAN Susan Hero? SUSAN Yes. The Bald Man shrugs and writes. BALD MAN How long you staying? One night. SUSAN Only one night.
The Bald Man eyes Javier, who now leans against the Coke machine shuffling and reshuffling his deck. BALD MAN Please don't lean against that. That's a very sensitive machine. He finishes filling out the check-in ticket and hands a receipt to Susan. SUSAN We're heading to a wedding. BALD MAN That's forty dollars. Susan reaches into her purse and tries to discreetly strip off a couple bills from her wad of cash. But the Bald Man notices--and so does Javier, who eyes her curiously from afar. Susan presents the Bald Man with the money, and he hands her a key. Susan studies the number on the keychain for a moment-SUSAN Excuse me, do you have another room? (MORE)
25. SUSAN (CONT'D) I'd prefer another room if you don't mind. BALD MAN What do you mean you'd "prefer another room?" You haven't even seen it, all my rooms are clean. Got cable. SUSAN I prefer a different number if you don't mind. Sheesh. The Bald Man grudgingly takes back the key and studies it. He grudgingly hands her another. SUSAN (CONT'D) (to herself) The customer is always right. INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Susan sits pensively at the edge of one of a set of twin beds, staring off into space. Her bloated purse lounges beside her. Javier has already settled in though, and he studiously watches a re-run of CHiPS on TV. He breaks out his small dictionary and tries to look up a word. He can't find it. JAVIER What is the meaning of this word "alibi"? SUSAN "Alibi". "Alibi" is when you tell a story to cover your ass if you're suspected of a crime. JAVIER "Cover you ass"? SUSAN "Cover your ass". Cover your ass means, you know, make up a story in case they look into it...hey, can't you just look it up in your little book there? Javier again tries find the word in his dictionary. He finally gives up. JAVIER You know, it's no good to carry so much money around. (MORE)
26. JAVIER (CONT'D) We go to the bank tomorrow, and you can get a account. Susan stands up. She nervously clutches her purse, opens the nearby dresser. She finds a Bible inside. She opens it at random: SUSAN "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness..." She stand a minute, mesmerized, then closes it and and shoves the book back in the drawer. She wanders over to the window and looks out. Goes back to the bed and sits. Sighs. She lights a Kool Mild. SUSAN (CONT'D) I think I should go back home. JAVIER You want to go back? SUSAN No. JAVIER I can't go back. I need to stay in the U.S.A. Maybe I go to New York--how far is New York? I could go to LA... Susan watches him a moment, then begins to take off her shoes. Suddenly, she starts to cry, one shoe on one shoe off. Javier moves over and sits near Susan on the bed. moves away instinctively. But she
JAVIER (CONT'D) Hey...you don't worry. You are tired, that's all. You drive all day. The best thing is to relax. This is a nice place, a good place. Relax in the bath, rest your head. Susan slowly stops crying and wipes her eyes. care, she takes off her other shoe. JAVIER (CONT'D) Do you have a pen? SUSAN A pin? With great
27. A pen. JAVIER To write with.
Susan reaches into her purse and fumbles around for a pen. She hands it to Javier. Javier grabs the pen and suddenly, unexpectedly... ...JAMS IT UP HIS NOSE! Susan is aghast. she covers her mouth in horror-But Javier smiles as he slowly opens his hand, revealing the pen cleverly hidden in his palm. Susan shakes her head. Javier winks at her, and Susan is smiles, colors herself cheerful. She opens her purse and takes out a photo of a LITTLE GIRL. Susan looks around for a spot, places it on top of the TV. CLOSE ON PHOTO The girl is dressed for Halloween. She's wearing a little witch's outfit. SUSAN She begged me to be a witch this year... Susan sits slowly back onto the bed. As she looks at the photo, her troubled look vanishes. Soon she almost seems at peace. JAVIER Where you going? SUSAN I gotta' go meet somebody. JAVIER Where? SUSAN I gotta find out. I gotta call him and find out. Susan digs through her purse for Morell's number and some change to make the call. JAVIER Who he is? He's a doctor. thing. SUSAN C'mon, it's a...woman
28. JAVIER A "woman thing"? SUSAN Yea, a woman thing. A woman thing. He's gonna help me out with something. He's a specialist. JAVIER A what? SUSAN A "specialist". Susan violently dumps the contents of her purse on the bed, money and all. She finds the number and lets out a whooshing sighhhhh. Javier grabs his dictionary. He flips through, finds his word. He smiles triumphantly. JAVIER You are pregnant? Congratulations! Susan is taken aback, stammers: SUSAN No, not that. Not that. Listen. I don't know if you should come with me. It's sorta' a private thing. Javier peels the band off his cigar and puts it on like a paper ring. JAVIER You give me a ride to New York? SUSAN You kidding? You know how far New York is from here? It's thousands of miles. Javier looks up at her with a sad face, and rolling eyes. SUSAN (CONT'D) Look, I-The sad face. The rolling eyes. SUSAN (CONT'D) Look, you can ride along part of the way. Then I don't know, maybe you can take a bus or something. Javier nods.
29. SUSAN (CONT'D) But whatever you decide to do--the money I got, it's my money. I need it to pay the Doctor. Kapeesh? JAVIER I understand. Susan gets up and bolts out of the room to make her call. JAVIER (CONT'D) "Kapeesh..." EXT. MOTEL - DAY Susan leans against a pay phone as she extracts the crumpled scrap with Morell's number on it. She carefully dials. Waits. Finally there's an answer.
SUSAN Hello, Doctor Morell? Yea, this is Susan Hendricks calling again. I called you yesterday but we were cut off. Remember me? Would you happen to recall our... discussion? EXT. DESERT - DAY Morell and Lonnie loiter outside the Ryder truck along an arid stretch of desert. From a nearby pale wood fence, a lone HAWK regards the pair. Morell unfurls a map, traces his finger along its lines. MORELL Of course I remember you Susan. AT THE PAYPHONE SUSAN Oh, great. Whew! Well, I was just wondering if--you know, like we talked about yesterday--you might be able to help me out with my "situation"? Susan unconsciously starts to wind the phone cord around her wrist. DESERT Morell walks slowly, carefully, pace by pace. steps as he goes and consults his map. He counts his
His assistant Lonnie follows him, bored but dutiful.
30. MORELL (to Lonnie) See, here's where I'll put the eigteenth hole. And over there, the clubhouse. Lonnie scribbles some notes in a small pad. MORELL (CONT'D) (to Susan) Ah yes. Well, as I said before, Susan, it's a distinct possibility. Morell pulls out his own notepad and scribbles some numbers onto it. AT THE PAYPHONE Susan is getting more and more worked up. as she speaks: She gestures wildly
SUSAN That's great! I mean, I saw how well you did with your horse Juniper-I love animals too--I was gonna study zoology in college, but my Dad got sick and I was the one who got stuck takin' care of him... ...and then, well, we didn't have any insurance so we kinda ran out of money. INT. DARK OFFICE - DAY A dark office with dim blue walls. File cabinets stir the shadows, stacks of paper flood the in-box. Photos, clippings, manilla folders on the cluttered desk. An official looking seal hangs on the wall: UNITED STATES FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. A rumpled, man in his late 30's hunches over the desk. face is young but his hair is thin. This is AGENT CARL WISCONSIN. His
He's listening in on the Doctor's line with a strange, boxy looking phone. Occasional STATIC interrupts the signal. SUSAN (V.O.) ...you know, you kinda' sound like him actually. My Dad I mean. AT THE PAYPHONE Susan, restlessly hogging the phonebooth, aimlessly plucks a tune on the phone cord which is now stretched taut on her arm.
31. SUSAN (CONT'D) Anyway, I just know you have a good heart, I know you do. You gotta be able to help me. Please? Please? EXT. DESERT - DAY
Morell doesn't answer right away, he's transfixed by the ranging landscape in front of him: the arroyos to be filled, the hills to be flattened. He calculates. MORELL (to Lonnie) And there!...that'll be the thirteenth hole. I always had great luck on the thirteenth hole. I'll put in a waterfall, and a small lake. LONNIE But boss...that's gonna cost you. Keeping this place watered and all. Stick to a casino, I'm telling you. Where you gonna get the money for a golf course out here? But Morell ignores him and grins as he beholds his future golf course, his empire, his private plaything. He suddenly remembers that Susan's on the line. He picks up his phone. MORELL Yes, Susan. I'll do it. But for a customized procedure, it's gonna cost a bit more. A lot more. INT. PAYPHONE - DAY Like we talked about.
Susan breaks into an elated grin-Oh yea?! SUSAN Oh thank you, thank you!!!
What? No problem, the money's no problem. I'll call you tomorrow. Just name the time. Great! Well thank you somuch... She stops in mid sentence. Her face becomes serious.
SUSAN (CONT'D) Don't worry. It'll be our little secret.
32. She hangs up, claps her hands together excitedly and dances out of the phone booth. INT. DARK OFFICE - DAY Carl Wisconsin hangs up also. Then he slowly and thoughtfully CRACKS his knuckles, one by one-He riffles halfheartedly through the heaps of files on his desk as a heavy SILLOUETTE appears in his doorway. It's his boss. BOSS You got this one, Okay Wisconsin? Don't fuck up. This guy's a kook, we've been following him a long time. WISCONSIN It's all taken care of. BOSS Never end your sentence with a preposition. WISCONSIN Sorry. I'm taking care of it. BOSS Atsa boy. Come in to my office tomorrow, we'll go over the whole thing. How about them Mets? WISCONSIN How about them? Wisconsin's boss leaves, and the room is suddenly smaller. INT . MOTEL BATHROOM - LATER Susan soaks in the tub and whistles lightly as she draws a razor across her leg. She gets up from the bath, wraps a towel around herself, and looks in the mirror. MIRROR Susan carefully inspects her face, traces her finger along the lines of her mouth. Although she looks tired and a roadweary, she now radiates a buoyant, beautiful gleam. INT. MOTEL - NIGHT Susan and Javier lie asleep in opposite twin beds. Javier sleeps gracefully and with exquisite stillness. book of English idioms lies open nearby. A
33. Susan lies sprawled in a mess of blankets and pillows, her arm hanging off the side. Ever so faintly, she snores a troubled snore and talks half-coherently: SUSAN Don't worry momma. I'll find her. I'll find those shoes too. INT. MOTEL - MORNING Susan snores away, still strong and resonant at dawn. But Javier is already awake, standing in a tanktop T-shirt in front of the mirror. His body is stringy, muscular, well defined. A makeshift altar stands on the dresser: a styrofoam cup and two popsicle sticks which form a crucifix. Javier slowly waves a lit cigar through the air while muttering a faint prayer under his breath. Susan wakes with a start from her rumpled nest. SUSAN What're you doing? Javier gently puts the cigar down. JAVIER It's Sunday. I say some prayers to help you feel better. SUSAN Oh... She eyes the altar curiously as Javier finishes his prayer. JAVIER Sleep good? SUSAN Yea. I know I had a dream, but I can't remember what it was. Susan yawns, sits up, lights a cigarette. JAVIER That means you sleep good. I guess so. SUSAN Boy, am I hungry.
JAVIER I am also very hungry. I could "eat a horse". He does a quick impression of a horse, and holds his arms out for her praise: Ta-Da!
34. But Susan just rolls out of bed without acknowledging him. She turns on the TV and flips purposefully through the channels, searching for any sign of her recent heist. SUSAN You sure you wanna go out? I mean, this is America, you can just pick up the phone and order just about anything. They'll bring it right to your door. JAVIER But I am so hungry that I can "eat a horse." Susan gives in, smiles at him through a plume of cigarette smoke. SUSAN I take it you're not a vegetarian. JAVIER What? SUSAN "Vegetarian". A vegetarian, someone who only eats vegetables. JAVIER Vegetables? SUSAN Yea, you know. Carrots, tomatoes, potatoes— JAVIER Oh yes. I have a friend back home who is "vegetarian". SUSAN See. He likes animals-JAVIER No. He hates the plants. So he kills them. And then he eats them. Susan stares at him in silence, her Kool Mild trailing blue curls of smoke in the morning light. EXT. MALL - DAY Susan and Javier sit in the minivan in the parking lot of a local mall. Susan hides behind cheap, dark, "gas station" sunglasses as they gorge themselves on noodle bowls. JAVIER Delicious. What is the name?
35. SUSAN Noodles. Chinese noodles. You never had noodles like this? Javier shakes his head. SUSAN (CONT'D) The Chinese invented Spaghetti. Bet you didn't know that, huh? Hav shakes his head solemnly. He carefully sucks in a noodle--
JAVIER The Maya Indian, they invent the number zero. Do you know this? She's stumped, she shrugs nonchalantly. SUSAN They invented a number? anyone invent a number? Susan laughs a big, brassy laugh. A RENT-A-COP from the mall passes by carrying a Big Gulp, and Susan stops laughing. She furtively watches him depart from under her glasses, 'til the coast is clear. SUSAN (CONT'D) What'd you do back home? HAVER I fix the cars. And I was a student, some of the time. SUSAN You fix tires but you can't drive. Sheesh. What'd you study? JAVIER I study the science, physics. the University of Zacatecas. At How can
SUSAN Oh. Physics. Like, for every action, an equal and opposite reaction? JAVIER Yes. But not the Quantum Physics. In the Quantum Physics, sometime every action is the equal and opposite reaction. You are watching the experiment--and you are the experiment. Susan slurps a noodle.
36. SUSAN Weird. JAVIER And because of this, we see that all things happens at the same time. The future, the past, and this moment right now. All at the same time. He smiles at her and winks. Susan finishes her noodles; she tries to quietly crush her styrofoam bowl so as not to disturb him. JAVIER (CONT'D) It is the mind that creates the past-the memory. The future--our hope. And a moment right now--always running away, always running away. But, always, we create the future as we live, in every single moment. SUSAN Wow. Whew! No sooner does Javier finish speaking than he sees another minivan just like theirs rolls by in the lot. In fact, it is their minivan. And inside the minivan are ANOTHER SUSAN AND JAVIER, exactly the same as them, except that, in their car, Javier is at the wheel. Susan does not notice them pass. SUSAN (CONT'D) Hey, Javier. Why'd you come here? JAVIER I have my boy back home. He is sick with a bad heart. He needs a good doctor and medicine, and the medicine, the doctor, they are expensive. Javier pulls a well-worn photo of his son from his wallet. JAVIER (CONT'D) So I come here to make money for him. Need to learn the English better, though. I watch TV, read the books. Susan's glance roams over towards the mall, where the local Multiplex draws a crowd. On the marquee hang the titles of the latest flicks—-Fat Sunday, Bleed—and Big Vendetta. Hey! SUSAN Big Vendetta!
37. JAVIER What? SUSAN You know. Big Vendetta. You don't know Big Vendetta? It was playing over at Meadowlark. Chuck Wing's in it. Javier shakes his head. SUSAN (CONT'D) You just get off the banana boat or what? Javier looks down, embarrassed. But Susan can't tear her eyes away from the line at the box office. CLOSE ON TICKET WINDOW One after another, they just keep forking over the cash, the crisp delicious twenties, the beautiful fives and tens. INT. DARK ROOM - NIGHT Morell is sitting at a desk under a dim lamp. On his desk lie scattered syringes, bottles of horse tranquilizer, and a jar with a pickled snake. Behind him, hanging on the wall, is the faded picture of a beautiful chestnut horse: Juniper. He pores over a large diagram drawn on graph paper. CLOSE ON DIAGRAM Dates, names, notes in scribbled pencil. At the center of the chaos is a large NUMBER 13 circled in thick red marker. The phone RINGS. Morell lets it ring without answering.
The machine finally picks up--but the caller hangs up without leaving a message. Morell is unfazed as he studies his diagram. The phone rings again. INT. MOTEL - NIGHT Javier shuffles his deck of cards while watching a nature documentary on TV. CLOSE ON TV A group of Gorillas quarrel over a nest of leaves and branches. The biggest, alpha male scares off a smaller rival with a large knobbed branch.
38. Javier puffs his cigar and shuffles his cards while watching the documentary. VIEW THROUGH WINDOW Through the window, Susan can be seen making a phone call. She's got her fat purse tucked carefully under her arm. Susan suddenly bursts into the room, frantically running her hands through her hair. JAVIER You should see these animals. "Lowland Gorillas". Very, very smart animals-But Susan ignores him completely. She dumps the money out of her purse and onto the bed, begins to count it obsessively. JAVIER (CONT'D) What's wrong? SUSAN I need more money. Susan savagely chews her thumbnail, spits it out. More money. JAVIER Why not get a job?
SUSAN Job? Ha. Are you kidding? I can't get a job now. They ask you to fill out this little form when you apply for a job. And they always ask you if you committed any crimes. What am I gonna say about--you know? Javier studiously regards the apes on TV, who now freely cavort and fornicate. EXT. SHOPPING MALL - NIGHT Susan and Javier pull into the lot of the shopping mall in front of the multiplex. Susan stares quietly out towards the box office. The marquee is now lit up: BIG VENDETTA. Susan looks at the digital clock on her dashboard. It's 11:09 PM. SUSAN Just keep an eye out for trouble. JAVIER I don't like the crime. That is not why I come here, you know.
39. SUSAN Yea, I know. I don't like the crime either. But I could use your help. Just be the lookout an' tell me if you see anybody. That's not a crime. It's not a crime to help a friend in need. Javier somberly lights a cigarillo and puffs to consider. Susan opens the glove compartment and takes out a small hairdryer. She puts it in a brown paper lunch bag, and shapes the bag around it to make it resemble a concealed gun. SUSAN (CONT'D) So, uh...you see anybody? JAVIER A man in the window. SUSAN (nervously singing) "A man in the window..." She glances at the clock on the dashboard. CLOSE ON CLOCK The CLOCK on the dashboard changes to 11:11—ONE ONE ONE ONE. At that very instant, Susan reaches for the Indian Pouch hanging from her rear-view mirror and gives it a quick rub for good luck. She puts on her dark glasses, flings open the door and starts boldly over towards the box office-But she stops on the way to throw up behind a dumpster. EXT. BOX OFFICE - NIGHT A teenage kid with a pockmarked face sits in the booth. half-heartedly stirs to help Susan. Hi. SUSAN One for Big Vendetta. He
KID Oh, the last show was at-SUSAN --and all your money. Alright?
The Kid looks at her, mouth agape. Susan pulls out her brown paper bag with the gun-hairdryer inside, brandishes it like a weapon. She points it waveringly at the Kid.
40. He hesitates an instant, then clears out the cash drawer in one frenzied swoop. He stuffs the wad of money through the opening in the Plexiglas, then dodges away. Susan clumsily scrambles to snag all the dough, but she bolts prematurely, leaving behind a flurry of bills. She races over to the minivan, hops in and floors it. is laughing his ass off. SUSAN (CONT'D) Jeez-us that was close. JAVIER Your face is so funny! Here-Javier does an impression of Susan and laughs, slapping his thigh. SUSAN Funny huh? Real funny. Yea, well you can't even fucking drive. You're in America, you wanna' be an American and you can't even drive. Now, to me, that's funny. You want to hang around, you gotta' learn to drive. That's the new rule. JAVIER Okay. SUSAN (mimicking his accent) "O-kay" INT. CAMELOT MOTEL - NIGHT A squat motel with a "medieval" motif, just off the highway near an industrial park. Susan and Javier eat pizza and drink beer while the TV drones in the background. Susan sits on the far side of the room as she hungrily wolfs down a slice. Javier has a napkin tucked carefully under his collar like a bib. He eats politely, carefully covering his chewing mouth with his hand. They both watch TV attentively while they eat. CLOSE ON TV It's a reality TV show. A group of hot, buff, and sexy folk are gathered around a small, blackened animal roasting on a spit. The LEADER lifts a conch and blows through it. Javier
41. TV LEADER All tribal members gather round. A few others emerge from thatched huts on the beach. TV LEADER (CONT'D) Ok. Looks like we've only got enough food to last us a couple days— An middle aged woman breaks down crying. Another scantily clad, very attractive young woman nearby comforts her. One of the men reaches for a piece of the roasting meat--but the leader knocks his hand away with a knobbed club. BACK IN THE ROOM JAVIER Oh, look at that man's stomach. is not starving on an island. Shhh. SUSAN I'm tryin' to watch. He
Susan lights up a Kool Mild. She counts her newly gained money while she watches, smoothing each bill as she goes. SUSAN (CONT'D) Still short. Commercial break. Susan takes out the photo of her daughter and puts it on the nightstand near her bed. She meticulously cleans the dust off the glass face. JAVIER Who is the girl? SUSAN That's my daughter. JAVIER She is beautiful like you. is she? How old
Susan sits back down, picks at her slice a bit then answers: SUSAN She would be six... JAVIER "Would be?" SUSAN She would be if...well, she passed away recently. JAVIER "Passed away?"
42. She's dead. SUSAN She died. Okay?
Javier takes a moment to think about this. Oh. JAVIER Oh. I'm very sorry.
Susan flips pensively though the channels. Javier feigns interest in the TV while Susan smokes and watches. SUSAN Do you think I'm fat? JAVIER No. SUSAN Really? JAVIER Yes. But I do not care if the woman is fat anyway. If I like her, I like her. Susan grabs another slice. SUSAN You have a girlfriend back home? JAVIER No. My girl and I are together no more. She finds a businessman with money and a nice car. He silently puffs his cigar. JAVIER You have a man? (CONT'D)
SUSAN Had. Past tense. Had, I had a boyfriend. After I got pregnant, we were gonna' get married. But he turned out to be an asshole. JAVIER Oh. An asshole. I am very sorry. He flips through his dictionary to find the meaning. JAVIER (CONT'D) You are good looking woman. You find a man easy, no? Susan blushes, quickly frowns to cover it.
43. SUSAN Yea, but...somehow it never worked out. I just never found the right guy, I guess. No matter how hard I tried. Anyway, I don't think I want a boyfriend right now--what am I saying?-I can't have a boyfriend now. I mean, look at me. Everything's a mess. My whole life's a mess. JAVIER But you have everything you need right here, right at this time. You have food, a good TV, a place to sleep. Good company... He smiles at her. There's a moment as if she will say something else but, suddenly, Javier holds up his hand and "lifts" his thumb off his hand. Susan laughs. JAVIER (CONT'D) I like the magic. SUSAN I can see that. JAVIER Magic breaks all the rules, all the rules of this world. Magic comes from the world behind this world. It is freedom from the rules of this world. The TV suddenly BLARES A BREAKING NEWS THEME-CLOSE ON TV EVIL GRAPHICS of Susan and Javier, both brandishing snub nosed revolvers, stand in silhouette against the marquee of a movie theater. Two anchors report with concern: FRANK You had something to say, Ronny? RONNY Thanks a lot Frank. A breaking story of concern to everyone in the Linden area— Susan leaps for the remote, turns it up. SUSAN Hey, is that us? That's us!
44. JAVIER Ay yai yai. RONNY An armed woman and her accomplice assaulted an employee of the Keaton Multiplex today and made off with an undisclosed sum. The two fled the scene in a white van, seen here. Grainy SURVEILLANCE FOOTAGE shows Susan getting into her van and driving away. RONNY (CONT'D) The incident resembles a crime committed just a few days ago at the Meadowlark Cinema complex near Tucumcari. Suspected there are two employees, Susan Hendricks and Harvey Applegate. An interview segment pops onto the screen--it's Sanghpop Elpee. ELPEE I don't know why she would do such a thing to me. We were like a family. A team. A ship at sea. He melodramatically buries his face in his hands. RONNY Law enforcement officials say they have leads and are investigating. Susan watches it all with a silent and pensive expression. She lights a cigarette and exhales a deep blue plume as the story ends. Neither of them speak for a long while. Finally:
SUSAN That didn't look like you. They'll never be able to ID you. Me, on the other hand, they had a good shot of me-But Javier just glares at Susan, shutting her up in her tracks. She pretends to be nonchalant about it. Suddenly she bursts into tears, and Javier grudgingly crosses over to comfort her.
45. SUSAN (CONT'D) I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have done this. I shouldn't have got you in trouble either. I should go back and turn myself in. I just want to be good. I shouldn't have done this. JAVIER You didn't hurt nobody. You just take some money. Maybe you can send the money back. SUSAN No, no, I can't! I need it...I gotta pay the Doctor. Her crying trails off to a dull sniffle. Javier hands her a napkin to dry her tears. He lights his cigar. INT. MOTEL - NIGHT Susan lies in bed awake, musing on the shadows of the night. She's lost in thought and far away. She rolls over and looks at Javier, studies his sleeping face for a long time. And Javier sleeps soundly, dead to the world. EXT. MOTEL - MORNING Morning sunshine floods the Motel parking lot. Susan's idling minivan sputters nearby. Susan sits inside, carefully putting on some lipstick. she's finished, she gives the horn a quick TOOT. When
Javier runs out from their room carrying his faithful denim bag--and the Motel Bible under his arm. He hops in the van with the bounce of a well-slept man. SUSAN What's that? JAVIER This book smells good. Here-Javier offers the Bible to Susan. She humors him and smells it. Then he gently places the book in the glove compartment. JAVIER (CONT'D) For good luck. Susan checks her lipstick in the rear-view mirror. SUSAN How do I look?
46. He nods. SUSAN (CONT'D) (Southern Belle Voice) Why thaynk you, darlin' you are so sweet. Susan carefully puts away her lipstick. SUSAN (CONT'D) I'm not going back. If you want, you can stay behind. Or maybe I can drop you off at a bus station or something. Maybe. JAVIER But let's go. Vamos.
She puts the van in gear and off they go. Just after they exit the lot, a shiny, BLACK FORD TAURUS creeps up the drive and stops in front of the Motel office. It's Agent Carl Wisconsin. He purposefully strides up to the office. INT. MOTEL OFFICE - DAY Wisconsin thrice taps the bell on the counter. A moment later, the Bald-headed proprietor stumbles out, still wearing his terry cloth Budweiser robe. BALD MAN Help you. Wisconsin holds out a grainy photo of Susan taken from surveillance footage at her recent robbery. WISCONSIN Have you seen this woman? BALD MAN Who wants to know? Wisconsin flashes him a badge. The Bald Man gingerly fingers his dome. BALD MAN (CONT'D) FBI? WISCONSIN FDA. BALD MAN Come again?
47. WISCONSIN I'm from a task force working with the Food and Drug Administration. BALD MAN Well we got a clean bill of health from the inspector-WISCONSIN That's not why I'm here. We have reason to believe this woman has been staying here. Wisconsin tosses a photo of Susan onto the counter. BALD MAN Oh. Yes sir, she was. She left this morning. WISCONSIN Was she alone? BALD MAN No, she was with a...Latin lookin' fella. WISCONSIN Did they say where they were headed? BALD MAN All she said--the girl, she did all the talking--she said they were headed to a friend's wedding. WISCONSIN Anything else? BALD MAN Yea...she acted real funny when I gave her the key. WISCONSIN Funny. Funny strange or funny ha-ha? BALD MAN Funny-strange. I gave her room six, and she said she didn't like the number. I gave her another one, number seven. And that seemed to settle her down. Wisconsin writes this down in a small notebook. WISCONSIN When did they leave?
48. BALD MAN I don't know. Before I got up, I guess. Say ten? Wisconsin heads towards the door. BALD MAN (CONT'D) What do you want 'em for anyway? Wisconsin answers waywardly over his shoulder as he heads out the door. WISCONSIN I just want to talk to them. INT. MALL - DAY Susan and Javier walk though a glittering faux-marbled shopping mall. Their clothes are crumpled and, wearing their dark glasses, they stand out from the crowd. Javier looks around in amazement. JAVIER This place is bigger than my village back home. Like a small city. SUSAN Gosh, I used to love comin' to the mall. Susan twirls and gushes as she revels in her space. She stops at a shoe store and longingly eyes a few pairs in the window. SUSAN (CONT'D) We need some new clothes, huh? Javier shrugs and pinches his janitor overalls. JAVIER Why? SUSAN Javier, you smell. I smell. We both smell. C'mon. EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY Susan and Javier sit in the van in the mall's parking lot. She wears sparkling new shoes and a light summer dress. Javier sports a new shirt and chinos. Various clothes and other newly acquired items--including a squirtgun and, for some reason, a blender--occupy the back seat, crowding the cardboard cutout of Chuck Wing.
49. Javier sits on the driver's side, his hands white-knuckled on the wheel. Susan hovers over him from her seat, smoking a cigarette. Ok. SUSAN Now turn the key.
Javier turns the key and fires up the engine. He smiles mightily at Susan. SUSAN (CONT'D) Alright. So far so good, amigo. Now give her a little gas. JAVIER Her? The van. SUSAN Give her some gas.
JAVIER The van is a she? SUSAN C'mon. Just give it some gas. Javier punches the pedal and the minivan leaps forward. SUSAN (CONT'D) I said a little. You gotta pay attention. JAVIER Sorry. Oh, I got it, I got it! I GOT IT! YES!!!! The minivan ambles slowly through the parking lot, gaining speed. It's going the wrong way though, looping vaguely across the asphalt. SUDDENLY--a giant SUV barrels around the corner. Javier jerks the wheel and steers the van out of harm's way just in time. SUSAN You gotta' stay on the right side. The right side! A second SUV leaps over the curb and barrels across their lane. It narrowly misses Susan and Javier in its effort to beat the first SUV into the empty parking space. The two drivers of the big machines leap out and quarrel over the parking spot. SUSAN (CONT'D) Uh...better stop here. Just park it here, I'll take over.
50. They switch seats. Susan peels out of the parking lot. JAVIER Pretty good huh?
I did good no?
SUSAN You need practice. But not bad for your first time. JAVIER Yes sir. Pretty good. He reclines in his seat like a champion. fresh cigar, turns on the radio. EXT. HIGHWAY - EVENING Susan and Javier motor down a blue dusk highway. Susan is at the wheel. Javier is asleep. His head bobs with the movement of the road, and slowly it falls against her shoulder. She taps him once to wake him up. No response. She taps him again, then finally lets him sleep against her. LATER The AM RADIO DRONES AND CRACKLES with some vintage highway religious programming. Susan tries to find some music; she finally turns it off. She blinks her drooping eyes. his head: Where are we? SUSAN We just passed a town called Newton. It's the big red road in the middle. Javier studies the map. SUSAN (CONT'D) We'll take that East, then head North 'til we get to Trinity. JAVIER Tri-ni-tee? Yea. Trinity. Doctor is. SUSAN That's where the Javier wakes, groggily lifts He breaks out a
Javier quietly repeats the name "Trinity" to himself over and over again.
51. He looks out his window just in time to see THEIR DOUBLES, the other Susan and the other Javier, driving their minivan in next lane. VIEW THROUGH WINDOW The Other Susan and Javier both wear identical jogging suits, looking nearly identical with slicked back hair. A SMALL CHILD sleeps soundly in the back seat. Javier watches wordlessly as their doubles fall behind and disappear. EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT Susan pulls into the gravel lot of a dilapidated motel. A tire swing hangs forlorn nearby, a single light is on in the office. INT. MOTEL OFFICE - NIGHT A pale man in his fifties watches TV in the Motel office. This is RICH RICHARD, the proprietor. He looks uncannily like the previous Motel operator, the Bald man with the terrycloth robe. Rich winces and shudders as he follows a real-life cop show, Americas Very Most Wanted. RICH Look in his pocket. YOU IDIOTS. IN HIS POCKET
A buzzer sounds in the far room. Rich groans, pulls himself up out of his recliner, and heads out to meet his guests. IN THE OFFICE Rich is pleased, though, to see Susan standing amply curvaceous in the doorway. He suavely welcomes her with an affected English accent. She staggers in, road weary. RICH (CONT'D) Good evening. SUSAN Yea...it is a nice evening. The air's so fresh out here, it almost has a taste. Yes, indeed. RICH Fresh and pure.
An uncomfortable, shifty, leering pause. They make eye contact, and Rich takes a step towards her.
52. SUSAN So...we need a room. RICH We? Rich notices Javier standing in the corner, and his face sags with sheer disappointment. His accent snaps back to normal: a flat Southwest drone. RICH (CONT'D) He with you? SUSAN Yea. He's my friend. We're together. But we're not "together", you know what I mean? JAVIER Hello— Javier extends his hand to shake, but Rich doesn't shake it. He irritably hauls out his ledger book instead. RICH How many nights? SUSAN Just one. Well, maybe two. Maybe we'll stay two nights? RICH You don't sound too sure. SUSAN One night. RICH Thirty nine bucks. Check out's at eleven. Susan awkwardly pulls out her enormous wad and peels off two twenties. Rich eyes her suspiciously. Susan notices him watching, and puts the purse out of view. RICH (CONT'D) So. Where you headed? SUSAN Uh, down to Florida. To see my Grandma. My Grandma's finally graduating from college, can you believe it? Really. RICH What'd she study?
53. Susan fumbles with her purse, tries to buy time. In her mind's eye, she sees the Motel room where they stayed the day before: the one with the Medieval motif. SUSAN Medieval history. Richard begins to sift through a drawer for her key. RICH Medieval history. Huh. Dragons...damsels...wizards turnin' lead into gold. Alchemy. One element changing into another. Folks gettin' rich overnight, turnin' lumps of lead into pure gold. Musta' been a helluva time. Yep. Musta' been one helluva' time. Yes. SUSAN It most certainly was.
Rich hands her a key. RICH Number five. Susan considers the key for a moment. She pockets it.
RICH (CONT'D) Ain't got no cable in the rooms. If you wanna watch satellite TV, you can come on back and watch with me. I'll be up all night. He flashes a slimy smile, revealing tobacco-stained teeth. INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Javier smokes his cigar while watching an old black and white TV show. His dictionary lies open nearby. He picks it up and riffles through to catch the meaning of a passing word. IN THE BATHROOM Susan soaks in the tub, weary from a hard day's drive. She runs a hand over her leg, reaches for a razor: none to be found. SUSAN Hav? Hav could you bring me one of my razors please? IN THE FRONT ROOM
54. Javier dutifully appears in the doorway to help. But he's stunned, caught completely off guard to find Susan half nude and beautiful in the tub. JAVIER Huh? SUSAN My razors—you know? Razors. "Schk Schk?" They're in my blue bag. Would you get one for me? Javier struggles hard not to stare at Susan. She modestly conceals herself with the shower curtain, and Javier gallops away to retrieve the razors. IN THE FRONT ROOM As Javier searches for the razors, he stands before the mirror in the center of the room. He looks deep into the Motel mirror... IN THE MIRROR He sees the reflection of Susan, beautiful and pure, smiling at him. Now, they hold hands and walk through a desert valley filled with flowers, they swish and play in a natural spring. SUSAN (CONT'D) (O.S.) Hey—did you find em? Javier snaps out of his vision. He fumbles for the razors and finds one, brings it to Susan. IN THE BATHROOM Javier suavely hands her the razor. SUSAN (CONT'D) Gosh. My leghair grows so damn fast. JAVIER Maybe...time passes quicker? SUSAN Time passing quicker? Huh, I never thought of that. They look at each other for a long curious moment. Then Susan--whistling innocently--draws the razor across her legs. Javier slowly withdraws into the other room. He flips distractedly through game shows, cops and hurricanes. He's clearly been smitten by what he's seen of Susan.
55. INT. MOTEL - MORNING Susan wakes to find Javier waving his cigar in front of another small, makeshift altar on the dresser. SUSAN What're you doing? JAVIER I say some prayers. SUSAN C'mon, that stuff freaks me out. JAVIER Why? SUSAN It's like a Hollywood movie, like some kind of weird Voodoo. JAVIER (laughing) But we are not in a Hollywood movie. You have no faith. SUSAN I believe in myself, and that's enough. C'mon, just cut it out. Javier chuckles as he removes the altar from the dresser. JAVIER Sleep good? SUSAN Like a log. JAVIER "Like a log." See? She rolls over and looks at the digital clock on the nightstand. It reads: 10:10 AM. SUSAN Oh, shit! I gotta call the Doctor. Susan throws on a robe, lights a cigarette and heads out into the crisp morning air. EXT. MOTEL - MORNING Susan hurries across the gravel driveway and enters a beat up phone booth nearby. She pulls out her well-folded piece of paper and dials Morell's number.
56. SUSAN Hello Doctor Morell? Yes, this is Susan. Oh, fine, thank you. Well, you'll be happy to know, I got the rest of the money! My Grandma passed away. I just got some of the inheritance money. She certainly was a wonderful lady and a great scholar. Medieval history. INT. INDIAN CASINO - NIGHT An Indian Casino, where the ladies look OK but the drinks are cheap. Morell sits with an empty tumbler in front of him at his usual game, roulette. Lonnie sits nearby with his head in his hands, looking bored. The Doctor places a single chip on his lucky number: 13 Black. Morell clutches his cell phone absently as he watches the turning wheel. The Croupier plucks Morell's chip from the table. CROUPIER Sorry Doc. Morell slaps the table once with his open hand. He picks up his phone. MORELL That's great news, Susan. Of course, my heart goes out to you and your dear departed Grandmother. But it's wonderful to consider that, in her passing, she's giving you such a special gift. Now, there's still one important thing required to move forward... BACK AT THE PHONE BOOTH Susan coils the phone cord tightly around her wrist, hanging on his every word. SUSAN Oh. Well I got one of her teeth, will that work? (MORE) Hello?
57. SUSAN (CONT'D) Yea, I have it with me. I always got it with me for good luck. Huh? No, your teeth looked fine. They were so white and bright. Okay. I'll give you a call tomorrow. Don't worry. I'll bring everything. Susan hangs up and kicks the phone booth door open. She looks up and sees Javier watching her from the Motel window. INT. MOTEL ROOM - LATER Javier seems preoccupied as he flips through channels on TV: Cops and hurricanes, but no sign of their recent heist. JAVIER Who are you speaking to on the phone? SUSAN Was. Who was I speaking to. The Doctor. JAVIER The Doctor. The Doctor. Why you keep calling him? SUSAN He says I gotta stay in touch in case anything changes. Javier sourly flips through golf games and thunderstorms. JAVIER You like him? SUSAN What? JAVIER You like him? SUSAN What're you talking about? I haven't even met him. I've only spoken with him on the phone. JAVIER Always that way with the ladies. They like the guy with most money all the time. SUSAN Javier—that's not true! care anyway? What do you
58. Javier stands up suddenly and walks over to the window. looks out over the barren landscape outside. JAVIER I am sorry. I don't know. little "homesick". I feel a He
Miss my home, my boy back home. I know he is sick, you know? I feel like I need to keeping moving, you know? I'm tired just sitting 'round. SUSAN I know, I know, I wanna' get moving too. But I think I gotta wait a little while longer, 'til the coast is clear. JAVIER "'Til the Coast is Clear?" SUSAN Yea, 'til they forget about us...it won't take long, the news people forget real quick. Everybody forgets real quick these days. Javier crosses his arms stubbornly. JAVIER I drive. SUSAN Come on, I wanna get outta here as bad as you do. JAVIER I said I drive. SUSAN You think I'm getting on the highway with you behind the wheel? Susan reaches for and tosses aside a well-worn People Magazine. She opens the dresser drawer, finds a Bible inside. SUSAN (CONT'D) Jeez, these things are everywhere. She slams the drawer shut. LATER It's a grey-blue day. Susan is lying on her back in bed with a washcloth on her forehead, reading a Mad Magazine.
59. Meanwhile, Javier does situps on the far side of the room. He pulls off a nice set, but then finally tires and strains to continue. Susan lowers her magazine and watches him struggle. Javier sees her watching him and throws her an irritated look. He tries again. He manages a few more, but his feet keep slipping out from under the bed. SUSAN (CONT'D) You want some help? No. JAVIER No thank you.
SUSAN Really, Javier-JAVIER I SAID NO!!! SUSAN Alright. Asshole. Sorry I even offered. Javier struggles a bit more, then finally gives up. He refuses to look over at Susan. She slowly eases off the bed. She walks over to the window, looks out onto the bleak scrubby plain outside and sighs. VIEW THROUGH WINDOW Believe it or not, tumbleweeds blow by in a swirl of dust. BACK IN THE ROOM Javier is still lying on his back. He's looking at the ceiling with a far off, rueful expression. Susan moves over to where he lies. She kneels and grabs hold of his ankles. He stubbornly resists, then raises himself up—ONE, TWO. She smiles encouragingly at him as he reaches each peak. On number three, she blows him playful kisses. At his fifth peak, he stops. He looks at Susan, exhausted and sweaty. She shyly looks away. Javier shyly runs his hand once over Susan's leg making a sound, SCHK SCHK-JAVIER "Leg hair".
60. SUSAN Yea. Fast growing leghair. And now she mirrors his gaze, a dull look of desire which neither can figure out. She breaks away suddenly and heads towards the bathroom. Javier falls slowly back to the floor. From O.S. comes the sound of WATER RUNNING as Susan fills the tub. LATER STILL Susan and Javier lie asleep in their separate beds while the TV glows mute in the darkened room. CLOSE ON TV A title card reads, America's Very Most Wanted. During the opening montage, dark silhouettes of Susan and Javier fill the screen. INT. MOTEL OFFICE - NIGHT Rich Richard, the Motel proprietor, is also watching the show. He leans in to scrutinize the screen when he sees the intro footage of Susan and Javier. EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT Carl Wisconsin, on a desolate highway, listens to college basketball as he plows through the creeping night in his Black Ford Taurus. His satellite phone rings. He answers gruffly. WISCONSIN Hello? You're sure? The Royal Inn. Tell him if he needs to, to stall them anyway he can. Remind the local authorities to stay off the case. Because this is a special case and those are my instructions. Wisconsin hangs up. It rings again. He answers sharply. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) Yea-Oh hi Ma'. Look, I'm on that case now and I'm pretty busy. Oh shit. No...did anyone see what happened or get a licence plate, anything like that? (MORE)
61. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) What did the vet say? Wisconsin's face sets grimly as he listens. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) No, look, I'm involved in that case I was telling you about. Well I'll call you when I get the chance, Okay? Til then...we'll just hope for the best, alright? Okay Ma. I will. he is, alright? (sheepishly) Love you too. Let me know how
Wisconsin hangs up again. He turns off his radio and stares ahead at the blinking white line for a long time, as if it were telling him something. INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Susan wakes up with a start. She tosses on her robe, lights a cigarette and heads for the door. SUSAN I need a Diet Coke. You want a Diet Coke, a Diet Lemon Coke or something? JAVIER Anghhh... She heads out the door and into the moth-fluttering night. EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT Susan rounds the corner towards the soda machine--and runs into none other than Rich Richard, the Motel Manager. RICH Up late huh? Oh, yea. SUSAN I couldn't sleep.
RICH Me neither. I like to walk around the place at night, check for leaks and make repairs and such. So...you're headed off tomorrow. SUSAN Huh? RICH To your Grandmother's graduation.
62. Oh, yea. SUSAN What an inspiring woman!
RICH Well, sure was nice having you here. SUSAN Thank you. RICH Isn't every day you get interesting folks like yourselves through here. Thanks. SUSAN You're interesting too.
Awkwardly, Susan makes a move to pass, but Richard does not step aside. He lets his eye roam across her body, down the ample fold of her softly parted robe. RICH Uh, you oughta' get you car looked at, one of the tires is worn uneven. Probably a bad suspension. You need to stay another day to get it looked at, no problem with me. SUSAN No it's alright. Thank you. RICH Really, it ain't no problem, my brother's a mechanic. He'll look at it for free. Don't wanna blow a tire. Could be fatal. SUSAN Well...thanks. But we'll probably just find a place along the way. She edges to the side of the hallway to try to make it to the Coke machine. He finally lets her through--but he follows her down the hall. AT THE COKE MACHINE Susan nonchalantly tries to put coins in the machine, but her hand shakes so much that she drops a quarter. It rolls to Richard's feet. She agonizingly picks it up and starts again. RICH Your friend. Where's he from anyway? SUSAN Oh, he's an exchange student from Honduras. He's an old college friend. (MORE)
63. SUSAN (CONT'D) We're gonna' visit the Grand Canyon. RICH You mean, after you go to Florida? Susan freezes a moment when she realizes the hole in her story. She bravely covers it: SUSAN Yea, that's right. After we go to Florida. She pushes the button for Diet Coke: SOLD OUT. She pushes for Sprite--also SOLD OUT. RICH Hey, I got a asteroid out back. It just fell from the sky a few years back. Woke up one morning and there it was, steaming away like a turd or something. Oh, sorry...uh, but there it was. You wanna take a look at it before you go? Susan presses the button for MR. PIBB and a can drops from the machine. She tightly grips the can of Pibb as if it were some kind of lifeline. No thanks. early. SUSAN We should be heading out
RICH Aww, c'mon. Bet your friend never saw anything like a' asteroid back in Honduras. We'll do it real early. It'll only take a minute. Susan hesitates, fumbles with the can. There's a weird, suspended moment where they both seem to calculate something. SUSAN Alright. We'll be downstairs at eleven, on the dot. But then we gotta get going. Rich's fake English accent suddenly reappears. RICH Well then, we'll call it a date. Until then!
64. He gestures with a Shakespearean flourish: he exits. Susan flashes him a syrupy smile goodbye, goodbye, goodbye. EXT. MOTEL - MORNING Rich stands out back behind the Motel near a scrubby range of desert. In the midst of the range is a circular PATTERN, geometric and precise, where the ground has been flattened. In the center of the pattern is a large, plain looking BOULDER. It is utterly nondescript. Rich looks at his imitation Rolex: it's 11:11 AM. There's a sound O.S., a car crunching gravel on the Motel driveway. Carl Wisconsin's Ford Taurus rolls into view. Wisconsin, wearing polarized flip-up sunglasses, tumbles out and jogs over to Rich. He extends his hand as he automatically reconnoiters the surroundings. RICH They're gone. Wisconsin abruptly withdraws his hand. RICH (CONT'D) Musta' left in the middle of the night. Hey if they get caught cause'a my tip I still get the reward money right? Wisconsin picks a blade of grass and cups it between his hands, makes a shrill HONKING NOISE. WISCONSIN Did you have any secondary education? Richard picks his own blade of grass, tries to honk with it like Wisconsin did, but to no avail. Wisconsin silently regards the boulder for a few moments. WISCONSIN What's that? RICH That's a asteroid. A mysterious body which fell from the sky. WISCONSIN Yea right. That's a rock. Just a regular rock. There's nothing special about it at all. (MORE) (CONT'D)
65. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) I bet you put it there yourself. I right? Richard gulps in shame. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) There are no real mysteries. Everything is known to the eye and the other four senses. The truth may be hard to find. Sometimes it has to be coaxed from its hiding place like...a wild animal. Wisconsin snaps his fingers at something hidden in the scrub. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) Who's there?! Nothing but the sound of distant dirtbikes. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) Come on out, hands in the air! Wisconsin pulls his gun. and deadly piece. Rich recoils when he sees the dull Am
There's a RUSTLE in the scrub, the sound of breaking branches. Finally, a LABRADOR RETRIEVER emerges from the field, covered in burrs. The dog bounds over to Wisconsin, tail wagging, and slobbers all over him. Wisconsin takes off his glasses, revealing soft, warm, fatherly eyes beneath. He pets the dog gently. Wisconsin picks up a stick and throws it; the dog disappears again into the rough terrain. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) Did they say where they were headed? Did she, for instance, say anything about going to meet somebody? Anything like that? RICH Yea, that's right. The girl, she said they were going to Florida, for her Grandma's graduation. But that's a lie, I can tell. WISCONSIN How can you tell?
66. RICH Cause I'm a liar. Wisconsin studies Rich's face for a second. WISCONSIN I'd like to check their room. INT. MOTEL ROOM - DAY Wisconsin glides through the room, quietly observing all. He picks through the detritus of Susan and Javier's stay: the crumpled Mad Magazine, a cigar butt, the rumpled sheets. He opens the back page fold-out of the Mad Magazine. scrap of paper falls out. CLOSE ON SCRAP It's the first three numbers of a phone number--just the area code. It's been torn from the rest of the number. Wisconsin carefully puts the scrap in a plastic evidence bag. IN THE BATHROOM Wisconsin runs his hand along the rim of the tub, feeling the film and stubble left behind. He gently rubs the residue between his fingers and muses on it. As he's about to leave the bathroom, he stops to look at himself in the mirror. He makes a face, then a smile, then a sad growling mug like Winston Churchill. WISCONSIN "This was their finest hour..." He feels the stubble on his own chin and slowly withdraws from the room. EXT. MOTEL - NOON A small
Wisconsin sits in his car in the Motel parking lot, leafing through a manilla folder. He adds the small scrap of paper he found in the room--the one with the partial phone number. IN THE FOLDER NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS: Ruling Challenged". one headline reads "Bioethics Commission
Beneath the second headline is a picture of Morell sitting truculently behind a microphone at a hearing. PHOTOS: a grainy picture of Susan and Javier at a theater; a photo of Morell and Juniper; a clandestine photo of Morell on the ninth tee.
67. Wisconsin tosses the folder aside and turns on the radio, tunes into some college basketball. INT. MINIVAN - DAY A heavy haze hangs over the long drawn highway. Hawks and rock outcroppings punch through the horizon. Susan and Javier are bleary-eyed as they tear along the blacktop. They pass an abandoned miniature golf course on the edge of a small town. JAVIER I really need to make a piss. SUSAN "Take a piss". In America, we say "take a piss". Not just yet-Susan looks down at the Odometer. It reads: 88,887 miles.
SUSAN (CONT'D) Can you wait just a little? JAVIER But— SUSAN When the time is right, we'll stop. Just try to hold on. EXT. BLACK FORD TAURUS - DAY Wisconsin drives along a secondary desert road, making his way through ruts and gravel. He arrives at a crossroads. Wisconsin stops his car, steps out and regards both cardinal directions carefully before reaching into his pocket... He takes out a quarter. face. He flips it, consults the favored
Wisconsin gets back in his car and takes a Louie. He soon passes the abandoned miniature golf course on the edge of town. EXT. RURAL ROAD - DAY Susan and Javier drive down a rural road somewhere on the edge of an open plain. JAVIER Aye, yai, yai. Dear God, please. need to "take a piss". I
68. Susan checks the odometer: 88, 8888 miles. She seems satisfied, and she slows to pull over. As she does, the blank rectangle of a drive-in movie theater appears. Hey look! A what? SUSAN Drive-in. Movie. Drive in movie. They used to be real popular, you could drive up to see the movie in your car. Javier has his legs crossed tightly: he couldn't care less. Susan looks out his window towards the huge buckled screen. The marquee proclaims in half-hung letters: BIG VEND TAT SUSAN, CONT. Hey, Big Vendetta!? I can't believe it! Here, of all places? She pulls over, but before they even come to a complete stop Javier leaps out to hits the bushes. INT. DRIVE IN SHACK - DAY Behold the leaning hut which houses the drive-in office, projector, and concession stand. Inside, a TV is on but the volume is down as a GREASY MANAGER stacks bags of popcorn. Susan appears in the doorway. SUSAN Good afternoon sir. May I use your restroom? MANAGER Locked 'til showtime. He says this without looking up. Susan leans in further, seductively and strategically showing some cleavage. Please? SUSAN I gotta go awful bad. MANAGER Just a minute. He fumbles around for a key. While he's looking, Susan instinctively eyes the place: cash register in front, phone in the corner, a window out back. SUSAN What time is Big Vendetta playing? SUSAN A drive-in. JAVIER
69. MANAGER Seven fifty and ten ten. SUSAN Gosh I love that movie. Chuck Wing is great in it. MANAGER Eh. Liked him better in Old and New Blood. He's got a gut now. Getting old. Susan looks away when he tells her this. As the Manager hands Susan the key to the restroom, something clicks in his eyes as he regards her close up. MANAGER, Are you famous? Me? SUSAN Ha, I don't think so.
Susan casually steps back a couple paces and reaches for the door. MANAGER You been on TV? SUSAN Well, once when I was a cheerleader in high school. But everyone's been on TV at some point in their lives. MANAGER Not everybody. I ain't. My cousin's got a fishing show on public access, but they never take me. I swear I seen you somewhere on some kinda' talk show or something. Susan doesn't answer—she looks towards the minivan as if to escape. Her gaze comes to rest on the cash register. SUSAN Well, I really gotta go, so, if you'll excuse me... The Manager watches her closely as she runs off to do her thing. EXT. DRIVE IN - DAY Javier leans against the minivan, leisurely smoking a cigar. Susan sidles up to him, he offers her a puff. She takes a drag, hands it back. She seems distracted.
70. JAVIER Good piss? SUSAN Oh yes. You? Javier nods, blows a slow and drifting plume. SUSAN (CONT'D) Hey. I took a look around back there. I need you to help me out again. It slowly dawns on Javier what she's talking about. His face draws itself into a tight mask of doubt. JAVIER Susan, don't-SUSAN C'mon, I'm still short. I told the Doctor I had all the money, otherwise he wouldn't help me. JAVIER No, no. I don't want trouble. not come here for this. I did
SUSAN Come on Hav, what the hell, you already broke the rules coming here illegal in the first place-He glares at her, turns away. SUSAN (CONT'D) That's not what I mean. Look, that's not what I meant to say. I'm sorry alright? What I mean is...if you're gonna get ahead, you gotta break the rules. Everyone breaks the rules. Jeez, even the President breaks the rules when he has to. Javier doesn't budge, he's still slighted. So Susan dangles the keys to the van seductively in front of his eyes. SUSAN (CONT'D) Start the car. You're driving. He palms the keys reflexively. MOMENTS LATER Susan sneaks up to the box office, carrying her hairdryer wrapped in the paper bag. She gives Javier a cryptic "high sign" before disappearing inside. His spell is broken.
71. He can't figure out her signal. INSIDE THE SHACK The place is dark and empty, but the TV is still on. Susan walks quietly over to the cash register across the room, gets ready to open it-But the Manager, concealed in a high-backed swivel chair, wheels quickly around to face her. He's got a puny .22 caliber pistol aimed at her chest. MANAGER I know where I seen you. On America's Very Most Wanted. SUSAN What? There must be some kinda' mistake. MANAGER Oh, there ain't no mistake. He opens a drawer and pulls out a roll of duct tape. He tosses it to Susan: MANAGER (CONT'D) Tape up your legs. I'll do the rest. Susan looks at his tiny gun. SUSAN You gotta be kidding. MANAGER Does it look like I'm kidding? Susan swallows hard and starts taping up her ankles. The manager eagerly watches. He leers at her, craning his neck to look down her shirt. SUSAN Do you mind? MANAGER Don't bother with that, just keep tapin' your legs. EXT. DRIVE IN - DAY Javier gnaws on his cigar while he methodically tries out all the switches on the idling minivan: wipers, lights, AC, radio. He shifts the van into neutral. Carefully he revs the engine and grins as the van remains rooted in place.
72. The engine whines one slim gear from launching the vehicle forward. IN THE OFFICE The manager watches as Susan finishes taping her ankles. MANAGER You sure do have nice legs. Silky. My wife had legs like that...in the beginning at least, we were in love... He reaches wistfully out to stroke them. hand away. The manager backhands her-MANAGER (CONT'D) Don't you be hitting me now girl. Now roll over! He rolls Susan over onto her belly and spools off a long piece of duct tape. Then he starts to tape Susan's hands behind her back. SUSAN You're making a big mistake. My friend's out there right around the corner. He knows Karate. He's a blackbelt. MANAGER Shut up. Everyone's a blackbelt. The manager finishes tying her hands behind her back. Then, slowly and leeringly, he lets his hand roam up her leg— BUT THE MINIVAN CRASHES THROUGH THE WALL AND PLOWS TO A HALT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM-PLYWOOD - PLASTER - SPLINTERS!!! Javier is goggle-eyed, in shock and surprise behind the wheel. Startled, the Manager turns to deal with the brute machine. He pulls his gun instinctively. His piece goes off, there's a WHIRRING RICOCHET-A strange faraway look crosses his face. BLOOD SPURTS OUT of his neck, gushing from a demolished artery. The blood creates a wide pool on the floor. The Manager drops to his knees. MANAGER (CONT'D) Goddamn it you assholes! Susan slaps his
73. His gun falls to the floor as he flops into a quivering heap. Susan gawks at the body. A look of horror crosses her face.
Javier gets out of the van and rushes over to Susan, who retches uncontrollably at the sight of all the blood. CLOSE ON POOL OF BLOOD The blood has formed a FACE, the face of a mourning woman. SUSAN Holy shit. It's the face of a lady. Javier looks down at the pool of blood. JAVIER She is beautiful. Like Marilyn Monroe. But this guy here, he is dead. Oh, man, he is dead. You are Okay? SUSAN I think so. JAVIER I'm so sorry, I make a mistake. SUSAN No, you did great. Couldn't have done better-She's teary eyed, her voice has a tremor in it. Javier tears the duct tape from Susan's ankles. She gets up, walks over to the dead manager and kicks him lightly with her toe. SUSAN (CONT'D) Ewww, is that all his blood? I think I'm gonna be sick-Susan stumbles out the door to throw up in the bushes. INT. MINIVAN - DAY Javier is at the wheel. Susan flops back against her seat in a daze. Loose bills fall out of her paper bag and flutter like moths round the cabin. She doesn't bother to count them. The AM radio is on, droning lonely in the afternoon. looks up uneasily. SUSAN I never saw a dead person before. I mean...someone who was shot like that. Susan
74. JAVIER Back home I saw my neighbor get hisself killed with a knife. SUSAN But that's what I mean though. always happens somewhere else. (to herself) Used to be that way anyway. Javier shrugs. SUSAN (CONT'D) Jeez, ever since I left home, everything's been changing so fast. You think he was really dead? Maybe he was just...unconscious? No. JAVIER That man was dead. It
Susan stuffs her money away, suddenly agitated. SUSAN You don't have to drive exactly sixty five miles per hour. JAVIER But the sign say-SUSAN Forget the sign. If the sign told you to stand on your head would you do it? JAVIER If I want, I do it. SUSAN In America, everyone drives faster than the speed limit. JAVIER I like to drive slow. A BREAKING NEWS STORY interrupts them: JEAN MONTAIGNE Thanks Phil...and now the latest news from the station that plays your favorite oldies, KPOW. A drive in movie theater was the target in latest of a string of such robberies, this time outside of Parliament, New Mexico...
75. Susan's hand flashes out to tune the station better. bites hard on his cigar. JEAN MONTAIGNE (CONT'D) ...the manager, Vincent Hoyle, was killed in the holdup. The suspects, Susan Hendricks and Harold Applegate, are still at large. The two are suspected in a series of similar incidents ranging from Portersville and Tucumcari--and now here in Parliament. Javier lights his cigar solemnly. JAVIER They think you killed him. SUSAN I heard him, dumbass. JAVIER You know, you are a rude bitch sometimes-SUSAN SHUT UP!! WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT LATER ALRIGHT?!! JAVIER Rude bitch. Javier puffs his cigar viciously. JEAN MONTAIGNE Coincidentally, the incidents all took place at theaters playing the new Chuck Wing action blockbuster Big Vendetta. Authorities have confirmed that Wing will be placed under police protection at his Los Angeles home. Phil? PHIL COWPER Thanks, Jean. Well let's keep our fingers crossed for Chuck Wing. We've got the latest weather coming up in thirty seconds-Susan snaps off the radio. There's a long sullen silence. Neither Susan nor Javier notice, in the rear view mirror, Carl Wisconsin's Black Ford Taurus tailing them at a precise distance. Javier
76. INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT Empty hangers, a framed picture of wild horses. Susan lies in sweatpants and T-shirt on her bed, staring up at the ceiling vacantly. Javier lies quietly across the room in his bed, idly watching TV and shuffling his deck of cards with one hand. JAVIER They know who we are. SUSAN They still have to find us. JAVIER They can find us if they want. They have so much police in America. Susan lights a cigarette. brain. Javier works a thought from his
JAVIER (CONT'D) Maybe it's better I go away. I take the bus to New York. Susan remains facing the wall, not looking at Javier. She says nothing. JAVIER (CONT'D) I don't come here to America to be on Americas Very Most Wanted. I am an honest man. Susan sits suddenly upright from her heap of sheets: SUSAN You think I was never honest? You think I never worked hard? All the rich folks in this world, you think they all got ahead honestly? All the folks who own all the land out there, all they did was take it from someone. And those people took it from someone else. Everything you see, everything that people have, it was all taken from someone, somehow. Sheesh. I feel like I should'a taken what was mine a long time ago. A long time ago. Go. Go to New York, or back to where you came from or Mexico or wherever. I'm fine by myself.
77. CLOSE ON TV The WEATHERMAN waves his hands over a swirling bank of cumulus on a radar map. JAVIER I go tomorrow. SUSAN I guess you need some money, huh? JAVIER No. I still have a little from work. I think it's good for both. SUSAN Fine. I'll take you to the bus station, and then you can go to New York or wherever the hell you want. The weatherman smiles. EXT. BUS STOP - DAY Dust swirls round this crumbled parking lot in the heart of an empty plain: a bench, a pole, a weathered sign. Susan's white minivan appears through the fold of space. She pulls over to the shoulder. Javier quietly gathers his things, his denim bag of books, his faithful deck of cards. Javier steps out of the car and onto the road's shoulder. SUSAN Well...good luck. I hope you get what you want. JAVIER Good luck for you. I hope you get what you need. They look quietly at each other. Then Susan abruptly puts on her glasses and pulls away. Javier watches after the minivan until it disappears. DOWN THE ROAD - LATER Susan is parked along the pebbled shoulder, looking back at the empty road behind her in the rear-view mirror. Her face is flushed with pride and anger. She reaches for the small Indian Pouch which hangs from the mirror and twirls it absently in her fingers.
78. EXT. BUS STOP - DAY Javier sits alone on the bench. He looks around at the strange surroundings: the solitary desert, a crow on the fence, the whistling wire of a bent telephone pole. Headlights appear, and soon the distant shimmering form of a BUS comes into view. Javier steps back from the shoulder as the bus sighs to a halt. The doors fling open and the driver motions for Javier to come aboard. Javier looks up at the rows of weird, dim faces peering down at him. A sunburned man holds a Jesus lunchbox in the window and smiles. Javier lifts his foot to board the bus-When Susan's minivan comes gliding to a halt in reverse, stopping on the shoulder in front of him. Javier looks over at Susan. She stares ahead stubbornly. She will not look at him, but tears roll down from under her sunglasses. BUS DRIVER (to Javier) You coming? Javier holds up his finger to the bus driver--"wait!". He walks over to Susan's van and opens the passenger door. Susan stares straight ahead, says nothing. But she has something in her hand...it's the card that Javier gave her earlier, in the very beginning, the one that says "YOUR CARD". SUSAN (quietly) You forgot your card. She hands it to him, and Javier gently takes the card. wipes her tears for her as he gently coos: JAVIER Rude bitch. Then he turns and waves at the bus driver to leave without him. The bus doors seal. The big machine roars away, leaving Susan and Javier in a plume of diesel exhaust. EXT. MINIVAN - DAY Javier is at the wheel, while Susan sleeps curled in the back seat. They're in the high desert, ripping through sandstone panoramas, past brooding rock monoliths. He
79. A large insect hits the windshield with a THUD and explodes in a green slime. Not long after, another one hits, then another and another. Susan wakes up. SUSAN Is it raining? No. JAVIER Animals. Look--
He points out one specimen, still half alive, crawling in its own dying slime. SUSAN That is THE biggest grasshopper I've ever seen. A hail of others quickly follow--DUD DUD DUD DUD DUD THWAK! SUSAN (CONT'D) Oh, yuck, turn on the wipers will you? JAVIER Which ones are the "wipers"? Unbeknownst to Susan and Javier, Carl Wisconsin is silently following a hundred feet behind them in his black Ford Taurus. SUSAN Hav, if you're gonna drive you gotta know every control on the car—the AC, the Hi-Low, cruise control— everything. JAVIER Please be nice. He finds the wipers, and the guts of the locusts are whisked away--shloop, shloop, shloop. Wisconsin continues to tail them at a precise distance until Javier finally notices him. JAVIER (CONT'D) Hey...he follows us. Susan turns around and watches Wisconsin's car carefully. SUSAN You sure? Javier nods.
80. SUSAN (CONT'D) But if he's after us for, you know, the things I did--like if he's a cop-then why wouldn't he just pull us right over? Javier shrugs. SUSAN (CONT'D) It looks like a government car. See the big antenna? And the tinted windows? That's probably a general or commander of one of these desert bases out here. You know, where they store the bodies of aliens when they crash land? Maureen and I used to watch a lot about it on UFO Chaser. Javier puffs thoughtfully on his cigar. SUSAN (CONT'D) Some folks say there's no bodies, that it's Air Force experimental vehicles and stuff like that. But there's bodies. There's proof. Javier listens intently. Susan continues to watch Wisconsin's car. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, it turns off the main road. SUSAN (CONT'D) See there! He's going the other way. I told you. He's probably headed back to his desert base. Wisconsin vanishes onto a distant, dusty side road. DUD, DUD, DUD, DUD, THWAK! EXT. DESERT VALLEY - MORNING A brilliant, crisp sunny morning. Susan and Javier lie wrapped in blankets on the ground next to the minivan. They are on the edge of a purple, vast stretch of desert. Javier is already awake, looking up at the clouds. He smiles and mutters something to himself. Susan wakes and sits up. She fumbles around and finds the last of her Kool Milds: a flabby bent specimen.
81. SUSAN Wow. This place looked different at night, that's for sure. JAVIER I like it here. Yea. SUSAN It sure is peaceful.
Together, they look quietly around for a long time, inhaling great draughts of space. JAVIER In the sky...what are those white things called? SUSAN Clouds. They're called clouds. JAVIER "Clouds". I see my boy up there. This one looks like him—see? SUSAN Oh, yea! Javier smiles proudly, as if her were showing off a photo. JAVIER I see him again soon, in some way. See how he looks at me? He is saying "Papa, where are you? Come back!" He voice catches. his eyes. He's still smiling, but he has tears in
Susan looks up at the cloudscape: She sees a castle-A pineapple-The face of a little girl, smiling raptly. SUSAN Hey! I can see Ella! There-My daughter.
Susan points, and Javier follows her arm until he sees her A ha! JAVIER Pretty girl.
SUSAN Ah...she was my good buddy. She had the funniest laugh.
82. JAVIER Like how? SUSAN Like this: "Huh huh huh huh uhuh!" Her laugh sounds like the laugh of an old man. Imitating her daughter, Susan's eyes fill with tears. She turns away. JAVIER Maybe you see her again someday. SUSAN Well I am gonna see her. JAVIER In heaven? SUSAN Before that. Javier is quiet for a long time, processing what she's said. JAVIER Huh? A hawk circles high in the sky. him. Susan sits up and turns to
SUSAN The Doctor, you know, the Doctor I've been talkin' to. He's gonna help me get her back. JAVIER But...she's gone. She's "passed away." Your daughter is passed away. Susan watches as the hawk circles far overhead. SUSAN Well Doctor Morell's gonna help me get her back. JAVIER How? SUSAN He's not just a Doctor. He's a scientist. JAVIER How can he bring her back? She's gone, she's..."passed away." Susan stands up, wearing her blanket wrapped around her like a prophet or Indian chief.
83. SUSAN Hav, he's a scientist. He knows all about genetics and DNA and all that stuff. See, he helps people all the time with their pets, and prize-winning racehorses and bulls--when they die, or before they die, even, he can make another one. JAVIER Ay yai. You're loco. That is bullshit. SUSAN No! He can bring her back, he knows all about microbiology and all that stuff. He can do it. He did it for his horse Juniper, and he can do it for Ella too... She starts to pace in anxious circles. JAVIER Oh man, if this man can do this, even if he can do some thing like this--why?? Why bring her back? She's not listening. Javier grabs her by the arm.
JAVIER (CONT'D) Why to do it? You think there is no reason we have a time, a number of days? Every person has a number. There is a reason. Susan starts to sob. She covers her face with her arms, tries to shut him out. He lets her go. Susan finally stops crying and looks out across the vast, quiet desert. Javier reaches out to comfort her. Susan whirls around to face him-SUSAN I shouldn't have said ANYTHING to you. I told him this was our secret, and I went ahead and told you and you don't even BELIEVE ME!!! Javier quietly takes it. I'm sorry. Susan's face softens. SUSAN (CONT'D) Hav, I'm sorry. (MORE)
84. SUSAN (CONT'D) But you just can't understand-Her time wasn't finished. I know it, I just know it. That makes it different. Javier shakes his head and walks a out into the inviting desert. Susan follows, catches up with him, places her hand on his shoulder. SUSAN (CONT'D) I know what you're saying. What you're saying is...it's like, if we were supposed to fly, we would'a been born with wings, right? Javier searches her with his eyes, trying to suss what she's getting at. He nods. SUSAN (CONT'D) And if we were supposed to drive, we would'a been born with wheels. Right? He nods again. SUSAN (CONT'D) Well...I got wheels anyway. She quietly pulls a card from the deck of cards in his back pocket: it's the Ace of Hearts. LATER Javier and Susan do wing-dings in the minivan on the surrounding salt plain. Javier is at the wheel. Again and again he revs the beat up van and sends it into outrageous spins. JAVIER You see? Physics. Centrifugal force. Momentum. Yes sir. How about another? Susan laughs and begs Javier to stop, but he whips the sagging van round and round relentlessly. She grabs his arm-Javier looks at her and smiles. And now she leans openly and protectively against him as he throws the van into another crazy, looping spin. EXT. PLATEAU - DAY Carl Wisconsin, chewing a piece of licorice root, stands on top of a distant plateau. He surveys the valley below with a pair of weird, enormously long binoculars.
85. THROUGH THE BINOCS Susan's minivan turns silent wing-dings on the shimmering plain. Wisconsin stands and mops his forehead. He scribbles something into his small notebook. He checks his watch. He hurriedly pulls out his satellite phone and makes a call, watching the clouds as he talks. WISCONSIN Hi Ma'. It's me. Yea, I'm fine. I'm still involved with the situation. So...what's the news with Bogey? Really?!! I knew he'd pull through. I said "I knew he'd pull through." Did you tell the kids? No don't tell her. No, she never cared about Bogey anyway. Well tell her I say "hi" back, alright? Ma-you're breaking up. Well alright Ma you're breaking up. I'll talk to you soon. Call me if anything changes. Okay? See you when I get back East. Bye. Wisconsin walks over the edge of the desert and takes a leak. He smiles broadly, pissing with glorious unfettered freedom. He's spelled a word in the dust: BOGEY. INT. DARK ROOM - NIGHT Morell is standing at a heavy desk, crowded by the strange objects of his existence. Behind him, Lonnie carries some cardboard moving boxes into the room. He stacks them in the corner. Again, and again, Morell pores over his large diagram drawn on graph paper. CLOSE ON DIAGRAM Dates, names, notes in scribbled pencil. It's the map of his desert golf course. At the center of the map is the large number 13 circled in thick red marker. There is also a LARGE QUESTION MARK next to the number. It's been angrily scribbled out, but is still legible. The phone RINGS. Morell lets it ring without answering. The machine finally picks up--
86. The caller breathes loudly into the machine. Bullshit. Finally:
CALLER Pick up the goddamn phone.
The caller waits a few moments. CALLER (CONT'D) You better come through real quick. I'm talkin' tomorrow quick, or we take the property back. The caller hangs up. Morell returns to his diagram. EXT. GAS STATION - DAY Susan is on the phone at a gas station along a small desert road. Javier lounges in the shade, idly shuffling his deck of cards. SUSAN Hello Dr. Morell? I just wanted to call to say it looks like we'll be there right on schedule, hopefully sometime tomorrow-Susan leans against the phone and buries her face in her hands. SUSAN (CONT'D) Look, we have a deal. That's not fair!!! EXT. DOG TRACK - DAY Morell sits in the stands at a dog track while the lank creatures tear round the circuit. The last dog—number 13—falls further and further behind the rest of the pack. Morell halfheartedly holds his cell phone to his ear as he watches the race. His dog runs in a forlorn circle, then finally limps in last place across the line. MORELL Susan, I'm sorry. But the foreign markets have been very, very volatile lately, and the reciprocal bonds I had in place to subsidize my venture had to be redrawn at a much lower rate than I expected. Morell winces at his own preposterous bullshit.
87. MORELL (CONT'D) I completely understand if you want to change your mind...if you need to go to someone else who can help you. AT THE PAYPHONE Susan wraps the phone cord tightly around her arm. SUSAN Go to someone else?? After I came all this way?? Listen, we had a deal. I came all the way out here, with my poor Grandma's inheritance money just so I could uphold my end of the deal. That's not right. That's not FAIR!! She starts to sob. Javier looks over at her, but she just waves him away. She recomposes herself as she wipes away her tears. SUSAN (CONT'D) Okay. But that's it. No more, I can't come up with any more money than that. She slowly uncoils the phone cord from her arm. SUSAN (CONT'D) I'm fine. Yes I feel fine. Multivitamins. Yes, I will, I'll try to find some. I will, I'll call you when we get there. Bye. Susan tosses the phone onto its hook. bother to hang it up. She misses--but doesn't
She mopes on over to Javier and plops down next to him in the shade. She takes out her crumpled pack of cigarettes. Empty. She throws the pack away in disgust. JAVIER What's wrong? SUSAN He wants more money. JAVIER Maybe it is meant to be? Susan stands, punches a nearby mailbox. She comes back and sits, buries her head in her knees. reaches out gently strokes her hair. Javier
88. JAVIER (CONT'D) What you gonna do? EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT Susan and Javier sit in their minivan in the shadows near a strip-mall and adjoining multiplex. Big moths flap round the marquee which lists, amongst other titles: Big Vendetta. They both wear their hair slicked-back, with identical jogging suits, and they look very much alike. Susan checks her watch: It's 10:09. FAR SIDE OF THE LOT Unbeknownst to Susan and Javier, Carl Wisconsin sits grimly in his Ford Taurus in the shadows on the far side of the parking lot. He listens to college basketball on the radio as he watches Susan and Javier through his strange, high-tech binoculars. AT THE MINIVAN Susan checks her watch again. CLOSE ON WATCH It now reads 10:10. SUSAN Wish me luck. JAVIER Good luck. Susan tumbles out of the minivan and hurries towards the box office window. Meanwhile, Javier shuffles and re-shuffles his deck of cards nervously. Someone is heading towards the box office: a bigboned couple wearing dark socks. Javier darts out to intercept them. JAVIER (CONT'D) Hello pick a card. Any card. The couple looks dully at each other, then back at Javier. BIG MAN What is this, some kind of promotion or something? This is magic. JAVIER Pick a card.
89. FAR SIDE OF THE LOT Wisconsin watches through his binocs as Javier does his card tricks. WISCONSIN (to himself) Sleight of hand. Fools the five senses. Can't trust any of the five senses. He focuses on Susan, who's now making her way stealthily towards the box office window. Wisconsin puts down the binocs to tune better to the basketball game. As he does, a SHERRIF'S CAR slowly growls rolls past and vanishes into the night. EXT. MINIVAN - NIGHT Now on a small dirt mountain road, Javier mans the wheel while Susan feverishly counts her latest haul. Javier has the radio on, quietly listening as he puffs a cigar. SUSAN That's it. We got all the money an' we got a little left over too. I figure we should split what's left over. Here's your share. She places a rubber band around a stack of bills and hands it to Javier. But he gently refuses. SUSAN (CONT'D) What's wrong? JAVIER I don't want. SUSAN Why not? Susan holds his cash awkwardly, not knowing what to do with it. SUSAN (CONT'D) Money is money. JAVIER I want the honest money. Honest money? SUSAN Good luck. Ha.
She stares at him for a while, to see if he's for real. Finally:
90. SUSAN (CONT'D) Here, just take it. You helped me, you earned it. But Javier stubbornly refuses to accept. SUSAN (CONT'D) How about for your boy, just take it and send it home. No one will know. (seductively) C'mon. Money's money. He can use it. She leaves it on his side of the dashboard, and he neither accepts nor refuses. As she does, a NEWSCASTER hits the air with a breaking story: NEWSCASTER Earlier tonight, a robbery at a movie theater outside Rutherford. Susan and Javier jump to attention-NEWSCASTER (CONT'D) Suspected are two fugitives, Susan Hendricks, and her Panamanian accomplice Himey Adair. The two are wanted for similar incidents in the Southern part of the state, and are also believed to have been involved in a recent murder at a drive-in theater in Parliament. SUSAN We didn't kill him you asshole! NEWSCASTER ...all the incidents occurred at theaters playing the action thriller Big Vendetta, starring Chuck Wing, and authorities believe the movie may have inspired the crimes. Today, Big Vendetta star Wing appealed to the two to cease their spree. Susan perks up. She blushes excitedly, her cheeks are flushed and beaming. CHUCK WING (V.O.) Hello, whoever you are, uh...this is Chuck Wing. I'm asking you as the star of Big Vendetta to please stop what you're doing and turn yourselves in. (MORE)
91. CHUCK WING (V.O.) (CONT'D) (reading from a script) Life is not like the movies--guns, car chases, easy money--it can only lead to trouble and even death. Let's leave the guns and the car chases on the big screen where it belongs. JAVIER "...on the big screen" CHUCK WING (V.O.) We can't afford to risk the lives of any more of our children, we can't afford to harm any more of our fans. Do the right thing, and please turn yourselves in before more people get hurt. It's the right thing to do. Thanks, and God Bless America. This is Chuck Wing. ANNOUNCER Coming up next, we've got a date with the Supremes! Susan turns off the radio. She's practically breathless. Her smile flashes brilliantly in the reflection of the nighttime windshield. SUSAN Wow. I can't believe he spoke to us! He seems like a real nice guy, huh? Javier nods matter-of-factly. JAVIER Nice guy. SUSAN You'd think he was just a regular person, huh? JAVIER Regular person. SUSAN I still can't believe he even spoke to us! Susan instinctively searches for her pack of Kool Milds, but can't find them. Javier offers her his cigar. No. SUSAN (CONT'D) I'm quitting.
92. She says this triumphantly, and she can't stop smiling about it. EXT. MINIVAN - MORNING Night yields to day, and the desert flats turn from silver to gold. Susan is now at the wheel, while Javier lies crumpled and exhausted against the door. They pass a signpost. CLOSE ON SIGN It reads: TRINITY, population 335. We're here! Huh? Javier rubs his eyes and looks out at the new shining landscape. SUSAN We're here. I gotta call the Doctor and tell him I'm here. Susan slows and pulls into a gas station. But she does not notice, in the rear-view mirror, Wisconsin's Black Ford Taurus slowly approach and then growl past. INT. MOTEL - LATER Blue cinderblock walls, cigarette burns on the dresser. Javier lies in bed with the TV on, volume down. He reads a book by the physicist, Schroedinger. IN THE BATHROOM Susan lies in the tub, arms hanging over the sides. She stares at the ceiling, talking to a non-existent reporter: SUSAN Well, that's a good question. First of all, the guy at the drive-in: I didn't kill him. That was an accident. His gun went off and next thing we know, he was dead. Not to mention that he was asking for it. Basically, I saw no other way. I needed to get my little girl back. I hold no Big Vendetta towards anybody. Susan points to another "reporter" on the ceiling. SUSAN Trinity, mister! JAVIER
93. SUSAN (CONT'D) Yes. She's completely normal and healthy. A perfect little girl. O.S., there's the sound of the front door opening, and the VOICE of a stranger in the other room. SUSAN (CONT'D) Hav--who is that? No answer. SUSAN Hav?!!! IN THE FRONT ROOM Javier does a card trick for a PIZZA GUY, who is seen only from behind. JAVIER Is that your card? Javier hands him the card which reads: "YOUR CARD". The pizza man nods. You see? JAVIER (CONT'D) Nothing is as it seems! (CONT'D)
Javier peels off a couple bills from Susan's purse to pay him. The pizza man departs. SUSAN (O.S.) HAVVV!!!! Javier drops the purse on the dresser and hurries to the bathroom, carrying the pizza. IN THE BATHROOM Susan sloshes upright, flinging water from the tub. SUSAN (CONT'D) Who was that? JAVIER Pizza man. SUSAN How'd you pay him? JAVIER With the money. Pizza for us. Pepperoni.
94. SUSAN No shit Sherlock, but where'd you get the money? From my purse, right? JAVIER Yes. SUSAN Well, Jeez, Hav, you gotta be more careful. You heard about people robbing pizza men? Well I don't see why it don't work the other way around. If I was a pizza guy makin' six bucks an hour and I saw all that money sitting there, I just might think about taking it! JAVIER Is alright, nobody is gonna' take it— SUSAN That's not the point! I don't want to take any chances. I'm almost there. She flops back into the tub. But Javier grabs her arm. JAVIER You know what you problem is? You got no trust. No trust in me, no trust in life. No trust that everything will be Okay. You fight and fight and fight to get your way...but you must learn to trust everything will be OK. He lets her go, and Susan retreats behind the shower curtain. Javier holds up the pizza box and quietly asks: JAVIER You want? Susan sulks, doesn't answer. JAVIER (CONT'D) Sure? Pepper-oni. It's good. He takes a bite, smacking his lips to prove it, as if he were trying to feed a baby. SUSAN (quietly) No thanks. She drops her glance and slowly begins to shave her legs. (CONT'D)
95. Javier watches her for a moment, then carefully sets down the pizza box. He takes the razor from her hand. He reaches towards her. Susan pulls back instinctively, but Javier smiles reassuringly at her and she yields. Gently, slowly, attentively, Javier draws the razor down Susan's graceful leg, as graceful as a horse's curve. Susan follows the tracing razor from behind closed eyes. Finally, she reaches for his hand and places it on his-telling him to stop. INT. ANOTHER MOTEL ROOM - MOMENTS LATER Pressboard, hangers, a worn pile rug. The door opens and the pizza man, seen moments ago, enters. He throws off his pizza man hat and vest, revealing a shoulder holster beneath. It's Carl Wisconsin. He carefully folds the pizza man vest before handing it to a teenage kid who sits quietly nearby, watching wrestling on TV. The teenage kid (the real pizza man) puts on his vest and gets ready to leave. WISCONSIN Drive safe. Wisconsin gives the kid a twenty as a tip. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) (to himself) Sleight of hand. It fools the five senses. Wisconsin turns off the TV. Then he pulls a flat mic out of a bag and attaches it to the wall. He tunes his receiver to pick up the voices of Susan and Javier in the room next door. EXT. MINIVAN - MORNING Javier steers the minivan through the rough roads of Trinity. Susan is all done up: lipstick, makeup, the works. Javier wears a strange thrift store hat. SUSAN Okay, keep an eye out for-She holds up her beat up scrap of paper with the address on it. SUSAN (CONT'D) Ten sixty six Western drive. JAVIER One Zero Six Six.
96. Javier steps on it. Susan watches out her side and counts the numbers as they go by. They roll past a muffler shop, a Kung-Fu school, a House of Pancakes. SUSAN One Zero Fifty Eight...Seventy. Shit, we must've passed it. Javier makes a U-turn and starts again. They roll past the muffler shop, the Kung-Fu school, then--again--the House of Pancakes. SUSAN (CONT'D) It must be behind that house of pancakes. Javier slows down and squints at the address above the door: JAVIER It is the pancake house. Susan looks at him like he's nuts. But when she takes a gander at the number, she shrugs: he's right. INT. PANCAKE HOUSE - MORNING A golden all-you-can-eat morning. It's quiet at this early hour, with only a few solitary characters drinking coffee in their wayward corners. Susan and Javier enter and are greeted by a friendly MEXICAN HOSTESS. HOSTESS Smoking or non? SUSAN Non. The hostess guides them to a table near a window, where they can see the modest and ramshackle Lucky Treasure Casino across the parking lot. The hostess recites her mantra: HOSTESS Use your special Sunrise passport at the Lucky Treasure Casino for special member benefits! She leaves them their menus and their Sunrise passports. Susan nervously checks her makeup in the window. studies the menu, reading from it slowly aloud. Javier
97. JAVIER Jelly center flapjack...short fat stack...buckwheat whole stack... Super Fat GrandStack. He looks up and sees Susan fidgeting with her napkin. He places his hand on hers. She relaxes, smiles at him. JAVIER (CONT'D) Okay? She nods nervously. The hostess returns, pad in hand. HOSTESS Are we ready? Susan clears her throat and says in a "special" tone of voice: SUSAN Well, we could use a little more time, cause...uh..."I'm waiting for a friend." The hostess pauses, cocks her head: HOSTESS Who's your friend? SUSAN Harry Harvard. The hostess quickly disappears into the kitchen. She leaves her pen and pad behind. Wisconsin's Black Ford Taurus glides quietly through the parking lot outside their window. His car is followed by a CLEAN WHITE VAN with tinted windows. Moments later, a resonant, articulate voice sounds above their table. VOICE Susan? Susan and Javier look up to find Morell standing there in person, tanned with his famous pearly whites, wearing a Sunrise Pancake House manager's shirt. SUSAN Doctor? Morell is sweating ferociously. Susan offers her hand to shake it, but Morell kisses her hand with a sweaty flourish instead. MORELL You found us OK? This is, of course, just a temporary facility. (O.S.)
98. SUSAN Oh yea, it was piece of cake! Good to hear. MORELL So--
JAVIER A "piece of cake". SUSAN, CONT. Whew! We saw a lot of the country, a lot of places I thought I'd never see-MORELL Susan, I'd love to hear more about your trip, but my schedule is quite tight. I wouldn't mind if we could get started right away. Morell wipes his hands on a greasy towel which hangs from his belt. MORELL (CONT'D) Did you bring...everything? Susan pats her purse, pregnant with cash. She stands, and so does Javier. MORELL (CONT'D) I'm sorry, but your friend can't come with us. Our insurance policy won't allow it. I hope you understand. (to Javier) Please, have breakfast on the house. I recommend the Super Fat GrandStack. Javier sits back down and folds his hands in front of him dutifully. Morell leads Susan past the other diners towards the kitchen. She turns and sees Javier watching forlornly after her. Susan waves to Javier, and he gently waves goodbye, goodbye. INSIDE THE PANCAKE HOUSE Morell leads Susan into the kitchen, down the stairs, and through a dark storage room towards a door at the far side of the basement. It's dark here, and an indistinct HUM emanates from some unseen source. MORELL (CONT'D) Please excuse the mess.
99. SUSAN Oh, I'm used to messes. Sometimes it seems like my whole life is a mess! Morell laughs politely but insincerely. They reach a heavy reinforced steel FIREDOOR with a numeric entry pad on it. Morell deftly punches in a combination and the door clicks open. INT. MORELL'S CLINIC - DAY Susan and Morell enter a dazzlingly lit, freshly painted room. It is filled with a jumble of medical equipment, an operating table, strange overhead armatures. Morell's diagram, featuring the number 23, is pinned to a cork bulletin board. A picture of a racehorse hangs on the wall next to it. Susan stops to look at the picture. SUSAN (CONT'D) Hey! Juniper! MORELL Ah yes. God he was one helluva horse-He catches himself, raises his finger to punctuate his remark-MORELL Still is! SUSAN What's the number for? MORELL Ah, just something I've been working on, it's nothing. Nearby, Morell's assistant Lonnie operates a microscope and manipulates an object in a petri dish. MORELL (CONT'D) Hello Lonnie. Lonnie looks up from his petri dish and nods. They pass a pair of pugs sitting perky in the corner. MORELL (CONT'D) That's Walter...and that one's Benjamin. SUSAN They are so precious! Walter and Benjamin sniff each others' asses indifferently. (CONT'D)
100. Morell leads Susan over to a heavy, ornate desk in the corner and gestures for her to have a seat. Well. SUSAN (CONT'D) Here we are. Whew!
Morell looks at Susan nervously for a moment, then scribbles something on a pad of paper. He slides the pad over to her as he speaks. MORELL Well, Susan, we've reviewed your application and we think you'll fit in very well with our company. The position is yours if you'd like it. Susan is dumbfounded: a look of confusion crosses her face. SUSAN What--?? Morell puts his finger to his lips and points down to the pad of paper. She slowly picks it up and reads. PAD We can't talk about "it". The Doctor's handwriting is all in caps. Susan slowly reaches for the pencil and carefully writes as she speaks. SUSAN Well, I would like to, uh, stay and talk about the position if you have time. PAD Why? MORELL Certainly, we want you to feel comfortable here as part of our family. Morell scribbles his response quickly. her. PAD Snoops. UPSTAIRS Javier, waiting patiently, looks out the window onto the parking lot. He slides the pad to
101. Wisconsin's Black Ford Taurus is still parked next to the White Van. Suddenly, a LARGE ANTENNA ominously extends from the van. The hostess brings Javier's FatStack; he politely tucks a napkin into his collar and begins to eat. DOWNSTAIRS IN THE CLINIC Susan and the Doctor continue to improvise aloud as they scribble on the pad. SUSAN Well I sure do want to be happy with my job. PAD I'm afraid. MORELL I can recommend a place to purchase a uniform, if you like. PAD Natural 2 B afraid of the unknown. Susan writes with shaking hands now. PAD (CONT'D) Please help me. MORELL Well that saves you some money down the line doesn't it? PAD Will try. No guarantee. Do U have the $? SUSAN It sure does! Every little bit counts, especially in this economy! Susan reaches for her purse and pulls out a dozen wads of bills, already counted, neatly wrapped and rubber-banded. She slides the pile over to Morell. As he counts, she opens her small leather Indian Pouch--which she now wears around her neck. She opens it, extracts a small white object. It's a TOOTH: her daughter's small white baby tooth. hands this to Morell as well. Susan
Morell finishes counting the money and eagerly stuffs the wad into his vest pocket. He carefully places the tooth in a small plastic bag.
102. A few bills are left over. He passes these back over to Susan. Susan gestures: "why?" PAD Overpaid. Rest of money tomorrow, afterwards. MORELL Welcome aboard, Susan! They stand and shake hands enthusiastically. INT. PANCAKE HOUSE - DAY Susan emerges from the basement to find Javier sitting faithfully at his booth. Javier's face lights up when he sees Susan; she rushes over to hug him, throws herself around him with surprising enthusiasm. They keep their hug for an especially long time. JAVIER Was okay? SUSAN Yep. Smooth sailing. I gotta come back tomorrow though. Looks like we got the rest of the afternoon off. You want to go do something? JAVIER OK. Javier spins a quarter on the table and lets it fall on its favored face. EXT. SMALL DIRT ROAD - DAY Susan and Javier drive down a small, dusty dirt road on the edge of Trinity. SUSAN Wonder where this road leads to. JAVIER To the end. SUSAN To the beginning. JAVIER The end and the beginning. She smiles at him, he laughs.
103. They keep driving. Finally, they are in the open land, far from the pancake house and the troubled heart of town. They find themselves in the company of rocks and vast spaces. Finally, they stop at the edge of a valley, near an old ruined CHURCH. They slowly emerge from the minivan. SUSAN Gosh it's quiet out here. JAVIER Yea. They go and sit down on the rusting wreck of an ancient tractor. Javier climbs into the seat of the tractor and grabs the wheel. Hey lady. JAVIER (CONT'D) You want a ride?
Susan smiles a little at his gag. But her attention returns like a compass needle to the distant Northern horizon. Javier climbs back down and sits next to her. SUSAN I thought you were in a a hurry to get to New York. JAVIER I am. But I become a little sidestepped. I go very slowly. "Sidetracked". sidetracked. SUSAN You became a little
He takes the band off one of his cigars, fumbles with it gently. JAVIER You find the doctor. You get what you want. You are happy now right? SUSAN Yea. JAVIER So...? Susan wipes her eyes, stands. her crying. She doesn't want him to see
SUSAN I don't know...it's kinda' weird but, now that I found him, I'm not sure anymore.
104. He gently follows her. JAVIER You are not sure about what? SUSAN Whether I should go through with it or not. Javier gently moves some wisps of hair from her eyes. He's still carefully carrying his cigar band. JAVIER Why not? Susan crosses her arms, looks up at the mountain. SUSAN I just can't figure out...if it was meant to be or not. Is she gone, or did she just go somewhere else? Was it her time, like you said? Or, are there accidents, things that were never meant to be? JAVIER (softly) I don't know. I can't say what is right. I don't know. Susan's looking at Javier with everything she has, searching him for an answer. But he shakes his head, he can't tell her. Instead, Javier gently takes Susan's arm, uncrosses it from her other. He leads her under the eaves of the ruined church. He unfolds her hand, and places the cigar band on her finger like a ring. Susan leans her face towards him, not to kiss him but to just lean on his shoulder to connect, to feel his warmth, to connect. And Javier gently, like a whisper, kisses her on the cheek. EXT. ROCK OUTCROPPING - DAY
Carl Wisconsin sits on the hood of his car, parked behind a distant rock monolith. An empty bag of Cheetos lies nearby. Through his long binoculars, he watches Susan and Javier embrace at the ruined church. He's smiling! He smiles a real, warm, gung-ho smile when he sees the strangers come together.
105. His PHONE RINGS. He scrambles to answer it.
WISCONSIN Hello? Ma? Hello? Ma is that you? I can't hear you Ma, if that's you I can't hear you. Ma, I can't hear you, can you call me tomorrow? Hello? He tosses the phone back onto its cradle in the car. Once again he picks up his binoculars. He continues to watch with fascination the distant Susan and Javier as they embrace. INT. MOTEL - NIGHT Susan soaks in the tub, looking quietly up at the dimpled ceiling as she turns something over in her mind. Javier calls from the other room. JAVIER (O.S.) Hey! We on TV again! Susan lifts herself from the tub, throws on a towel and hurries to join him at the TV. IN THE OTHER ROOM On the TV, an EVIL GRAPHIC shows Susan and Javier wearing black masks and holding guns. Next, grainy surveillance footage shows a couple robbing a movie theater-But it's NOT SUSAN AND JAVIER. The woman is pudgier, with lighter hair. And her male accomplice is bigger, fatter, and bald. Javier notices first. Hey!! JAVIER (CONT'D) This is someone else!!
SUSAN Wait a minute, you're right--that's not us!! Nevertheless, the newscasters don't seem to miss a beat as they serve up the story, piping hot. EMMET LOCKWOOD "...Thanks Pierce. (MORE)
106. EMMET LOCKWOOD (CONT'D) Big Vendetta star Chuck Wing, who had recently appealed to the pair to turn themselves in, once again repeated his request -- especially now that the latest robbery has taken place closer to his home in Los Angeles." CLOSE ON TV The LA county Sherrif waves away a wall of reporters as they lead Wing into protective custody. EMMET LOCKWOOD (CONT'D) Some people are calling the series of incidents nothing more than a stunt designed to generate publicity for Wing's action thriller, Big Vendetta, which has been sagging at the box office. In any case, authorities are taking no chances. A $10,000 reward has been offered for any information leading to their arrest." PIERCE HOPE "Well Emmet, let's hope that justice comes quickly--and swiftly. Today at the Zoo, twin baby pandas were born for the first time in captivity..." Susan shuts it off. She walks to the dresser and looks at herself despondently in the mirror. Javier sits astonished at the edge of the bed. JAVIER But that was someone else. Pretending to be us. Why would they do this? SUSAN I don't know...I don't know. I'm tired. I'm so tired. Susan falls slowly back onto the bed. arms and gently catches her. Javier holds out his
SUSAN (CONT'D) I didn't mean to hurt anybody. JAVIER You didn't hurt nobody. You just took some money, that's all. Those other guys, maybe they hurt somebody, but...I will tell the police the truth.
107. Susan seems to flinch when he mentions the police. Javier hesitatingly reaches out and strokes her hair to comfort her. Susan lolls her head against him. JAVIER (CONT'D) Maybe...we can go away somewhere. Somewhere they can't find us. SUSAN I don't think so. This the only way it can be. It makes sense now. All this happened for a reason. Javier slowly lowers Susan onto her back on the bed. leans close to her. JAVIER No. We can make a life how we choose. There is always so many, many possibilities. And no rules. That is the magic of this world. Susan looks over at the photo of her daughter, which is perched on top of the TV. Tears well up in her eyes. SUSAN Hav? JAVIER Yes? SUSAN Could you?-She points to the photo of her daughter. He immediately understands. He gets up and gently lays it to rest, flat, face down on top of the TV. Javier moves slowly back to the bed. Susan looks up at him, and he smiles tenderly at her. Some strange, charmed, winged thing passes between them. They kiss for the first time, a real kiss. They kiss again, then again more passionately. INT. MINIVAN - MORNING Desert morning flats roll towards the eternal horizon. Susan and Javier, neatly dressed and chipper, sit arm in arm as they drive to the Sunrise Pancake House. He
108. INT. PANCAKE HOUSE - DAY Susan and Javier enter the pancake house. They are greeted by the same Mexican hostess as before. She leads them to their usual seat by the window and hands them their menus. SUSAN What time is it? JAVIER The time is now. Javier blows her a kiss. Susan smiles nervously.
SUSAN You think I'm crazy for doing this? JAVIER Yes. But I want you do what you need. SUSAN Well...do you think I'm doing the right thing? He places his hand on hers, but says nothing. The hostess returns to their table to take their order. HOSTESS You need a little more time? Yes, please. a friend". SUSAN See, "I'm waiting for
HOSTESS Who's your friend? SUSAN Peter Princeton. The hostess perfunctorily collects their menus and disappears into the kitchen. A few moments later, Morell enters wearing his manager's shirt. He's got his sleeves rolled up and a pencil behind his ear. MORELL Hello Susan. He smiles broadly at her, revealing his trademark pearly whites. He seems jovial, and he is much more relaxed today. MORELL Well, shall we? (CONT'D)
109. SUSAN Doctor, do you think my friend can come with me? I sure would feel a lot more comfortable with him there. Morell weighs his decision thoughtfully. MORELL I prefer not to. It's against policy. But, if it'll make you more comfortable, I suppose we can make an exception this time. He checks his watch. MORELL (CONT'D) But we really should get started. I've got a meeting later with my accountant. INT. MORELL'S CLINIC - DAY Lonnie is busy with a petri dish and microscope as Morell, Susan, and Javier enter. The two pugs, Walter and Benjamin, waddle lethargically towards them. Javier reaches down and pets the dogs gently. Hello Lonnie. morning? Good. MORELL How are you this
LONNIE Real good.
MORELL Do you remember Susan? Lonnie nods. While Morell puts on a pair of rubber surgeon's gloves, he speaks to Susan with a melodramatically grave tone of voice. MORELL (CONT'D) Now, Susan...I want us all to be absolutely clear that this is your choice, that I did not compel you in any way. That there is some risk. He snaps on his last glove. MORELL (CONT'D) And that, if you change your mind, I can still give you your money back— minus a fifteen percent service fee of course. Susan nods quietly. She reaches into her purse and hands Morell his second installment.
110. The Doctor's eyes glitter as he puts the stash eagerly away without counting it. MORELL (CONT'D) Oh, yes, wouldn't want to forget-He hands Susan her daughter's tooth, which is now gleaming and bleached white. EXT. PARKING LOT - MOMENTS LATER Upstairs, a group of FEDERAL AGENTS and POLICE gather behind bushes and the corners of nearby buildings. Nearby, in his car, sits Carl Wisconsin. His radio squalks:
RADIO "They're doing it. He's doing it." WISCONSIN OK--I mean, copy that. Wisconsin picks up a walkie and is about to give the signal-when his satellite phone RINGS. He distractedly answers it. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) Yea? Ma, hi. Now's not a good time Ma, I can't--huh? A burly FBI agent carrying a shotgun looks over at him expectantly, waiting for the signal. Wisconsin's face falls. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) Well, I guess that's it. He tried everything. He did try everything right Ma? His eyes tear up. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) Well...I gotta go Ma'. I know you liked him too. Except what he did to your garden, but... Anyway, here's to Bogey, right? Okay Ma. Bye. Wisconsin hangs up. He slowly steps out into the hard desert light, into the drab ring of the feds. All eyes are upon him, and he shrinks from their terrible sight. They wait. He finally lifts his walkie and gives the word:
111. WISCONSIN (CONT'D) Go. INT. PANCAKE HOUSE - DAY Inside the restaurant, patrons watch with startled expressions as the authorities burst into the restaurant. A one agent positions himself at the entrance. Another takes cover behind the buffet table. Carl Wisconsin holds up his badge as he and the others rush by, but he is caught and is powerless in the stampede. SHERRIF C'mon folks, everybody out, come on LET'S GO!!! But before being ushered away, the Mexican hostess reaches under her counter and presses a small red button. IN MORELL'S CLINIC Susan wears her gown and lies on her gurney while Javier holds her hand and strokes her hair. JAVIER Everything will be okay, sunshine. Morell fills a large needle and bites his lip in concentration. Just as he's about to insert the needle into Susan's arm, a revolving RED LIGHT whirls on the ceiling. MORELL What?--oh no. Javier and Susan look up at the light. SUSAN What's wrong? MORELL Nothing, nothing. It's nothing. And he inserts the needle into Susan's arm. She quickly falls into a slumbrous half-sleep. MORELL (CONT'D) We're ready, Lonnie. Lonnie obediently brings a petri dish, and the Doctor sucks up the contents with another needle. His hands shake as beads of sweat gather on his forehead. JAVIER You have done this before?
112. MORELL Yes, but...just with Juniper...just with Juniper. UPSTAIRS Agents and cops bolt through the pancake house, brandishing weaponsThey burst through the kitchen and head down the stairsBut they pile to a sudden halt when they reach Morell's armored fire door. Wisconsin bangs on the steel face with his fist. Looking at his fellow agents, he discreetly rubs his hand from the pain. WISCONSIN Kurt Morell. Open up. This is the FDA, the FBI, and the ATF. SHERRIF And the Sherrif-WISCONSIN Yes, and the Sherrif. We have a warrant for your arrest. Morell answers from inside his lab. MORELL (O.S.) Can you please come back tomorrow? I'm in the middle of something. WISCONSIN Kurt Morell. This is the FDA, the FBI and the ATF. And the Sherrif. We have a warrant for your arrest. You are wanted for tax evasion, practicing medicine without a license, racketeering, transporting weapons across state lines, identity theft, and carrying unlicensed firearms. Wisconsin looks over at the FBI man to his right to get his approval. INT. MORELL'S CLINIC - DAY Faint scuffling sounds can be heard from other side of the door. Morell hurries to finish his task. MORELL I'm terribly sorry, he's not here right now...
113. Lonnie carefully carries over the petri dish. Morell inserts his needle and sucks up a column of milky white fluid. OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR The burly FBI agent pushes Wisconsin to the side and takes control of the situation. FBI AGENT If you don't open the door voluntarily we will open it by force! Come out with your hands above your head. MORELL (O.S.) ...if you like, I can leave a message. But he's not here at the moment. There's no further answer. The FBI Agent motions to a couple others, who bring in a thick metal BATTERING RAM. He gives them a nod, and they charge the security door. INSIDE MORELL'S CLINIC Morell hurries back to the operating table to finish the implant. Walter and Benjamin whimper and hide as the battering ram strikes the door. SUSAN What's that noise? MORELL (to Susan) Nothing. Now, stay very, very still. Try to think of something nice. Say, a beautiful beach, or a pristine, snowcapped mountain... SUSAN Wait, wait-But Morell inserts the giant horse needle into Susan's body. SUSAN'S POV Susan sees the large needle, Javier, then Morell's face glistening with sweat. Everything's fuzzy, swarming, aglow, aglow. MORELL (to himself) Just like Juniper...just like Juniper. Susan looks around wide eyed but half-awake. Morell takes a gander at the withering firedoor and calls for Lonnie. MORELL (CONT'D) (to Lonnie) Get Big Sally.
114. Lonnie obeys and runs to fetch her. Morell angrily throws his empty needle at the steel door, which is now starting to give. MORELL (CONT'D) (to the door) Really, can't you just let a man make a LIVING????!!! What ever happened to FREE ENTERPRISE??? But the POUNDING ON THE DOOR doesn't relent. Lonnie returns with Big Sally: a snarling, huge, fivebarrelled shotgun which appears to be homemade. MORELL (CONT'D) Better vacate out the back door my friend. We'll meet at Pierre's when things cool off. Don't worry. I'll put your check in the mail. Lonnie and Morell shake hands one last time. Then, Lonnie runs to the corner of the room and starts to push aside a heavy file cabinet. By now, the armored firedoor is bent and groaning at its hinge. MORELL (CONT'D) (to Javier) Take her over there behind that wall. JAVIER Que? MORELL Take her over there. Take cover, get down. Things might get hairy. Hairy? JAVIER Susan will be hairy?
MORELL No. Things might get hairy—GET OUT, GO!!! Javier grabs Susan and rolls her into a rough adjoining room with walls of bare cinder block. IN THE CINDERBLOCK ROOM Javier rolls Susan over towards the furthest wall. Above, a rectangular window looks out onto the parking lot at ground level.
115. SUSAN Hav? What's going on? Who's making that noise? JAVIER Nothing the matter. Everything is okay, sunshine. He squeezes her hand. She smiles weakly up at him. IN THE MAIN ROOM Lonnie is struggling with the file cabinet, but it still won't budge. Finally, he gives it a HUGE shove. It scrapes aside at last, revealing an old mineshaft behind it. MORELL Go on, I'll be right behind you. LONNIE Good luck boss. MORELL Bon Voyage. Lonnie wriggles into the mineshaft and is gone. The fair Doctor then returns his attention to the armored door, which is about to give. THE DOOR FLIES OFF ITS SPLINTERED FRAME-A tear gas grenade scuttles across the floor, spitting smoke as it goes. The burly FBI Agent, Wisconsin, and a bevy of others scurry into the room, weapons brandished. Morell hunkers behind his heavy oak desk. WISCONSIN Morell, give up now and no one gets hurt. MORELL I never bothered you, G-man. The Sherrif's deputy pushes forward to taunt him. DEPUTY Come on out you freak-Morell levels Big Sally at him. B-B-BOOM!!! The Sherrif's deputy slides in pieces down the wall.
116. Wisconsin is grazed by the blast. He clutches his shoulder and ducks behind a heavy safe. More bullets crack the air. One hits Morell in the wrist, but not before he manages to fire Big Sally again. B-B-BOOM!!! An ATF man falls in tatters to the floor. Morell scrambles to reload, tries to scamper out from behind his heavy desk towards the old mineshaft behind the file cabinet. But all sights are now drawn on him and there is no escape. MORELL Look, this is all just a big misunderstanding. He makes a dash for it-He's hit. And again. He spins around, torn in pieces by A THOUSAND RELENTLESS PIECES OF STEEL which pierce his mortal body. Wisconsin level his pistol at Morell, tries to shoot just like the others. He hesitates. He can't do it. Morell sinks to the floor. He remains on his knees for a long while, as if suspended from above. He looks up at the ceiling. He looks beyond the ceiling to the sky. oceans, pyramids. He sees mountains,
MORELL (CONT'D) (whispering) How are the greens running today, caddy? And he slumps to the floor, dead. Wisconsin, holding his wounded arm, steps forward to regard the dead Doctor. Several ATF and FBI agents hurry past. WISCONSIN (to the FBI AGENT) Maybe we should check over there for the others. The burly FBI agent snaps coldy at Wisconsin: It's alright. here. FBI AGENT We'll take over from
A forlorn look crosses Wisconsin's face: he's been left out.
117. The other agents move towards the cinderblock room where Susan and Javier are holed up. IN THE CINDERBLOCK ROOM A YOUNG ATF AGENT enters. He sees Javier standing next to Susan, still holding her hand while she lolls in her anesthetic daze. YOUNG AGENT Hands in the air! JAVIER We are going to a wedding. YOUNG AGENT I said hands in the air! Javier slowly raises his hands. As he does, his shirt lifts, revealing that his fly is undone. Javier is surprised to notice his fly is down. He innocently reaches to zip it up. There's a strident CRACK-A circle of red appears on Javier's chest. becomes a great living blossom. The circle grows,
Javier looks down incredulously at his broken chest, then over at the Young Agent. The Young Agent gapes at the end of his still-smoking gun, unable to make eye contact with Javier, and starts to cry. Javier gazes up at the window which looks out onto the parking lot. VIEW THROUGH THE WINDOW Susan's white minivan is parked out front. The Other Javier and the Other Susan cross the lot and hop in, laughing and carrying carrying takeout from the pancake house. They've got two children with them this time: a girl and a boy. They slowly back out, revealing Javier at the wheel. He's smiling brilliantly, wearing his favorite hat. Susan is laughing, her arm on his shoulder. IN THE CINDERBLOCK ROOM Blood falls on Susan's cheek. She reaches up and feels it, half coherently.
118. SUSAN Hav? Is it raining? Let's stay one more day. But Javier can hardly answer. His chest heaves, it's soaked with blood. Everything moves in slow motion. SUSAN (CONT'D) Hav?? JAVIER Okay...we stay one more day. He leans over and kisses Susan on the cheek. to the floor and falls silent. SUSAN Hav? Several FBI and ATF agents sweep into the room. Wisconsin appears in the doorway behind the others. His eyes glimmer with tears as he beholds the carnage before him: the sorry state of Susan, the body of Javier. YOUNG AGENT (sobbing) He was reaching for something...I swear he was reaching for something. The burly FBI agent moves towards Susan, snapping his fingers in front of her face: FBI AGENT Hey! Hey can you hear me? hear me? Hey-Can you Then he sinks
But she gives in to the darkness as she falls unconscious. INT. HOSPITAL - DAY Susan lies very pregnant on a gurney in a prison hospital. Her hair is long again, it's wet with sweat and lies plastered across her straining face. Her legs are held in stirrups while a hawk-faced DOCTOR, surrounded by a team of assistants, guides the delivery of her child. DOCTOR Okay Ms. Hendricks, give us another push. This time make it really, really big. Can you do that for me? Susan grimaces and strains to push, she throws her head back and groans with the effort.
119. DOCTOR (CONT'D) That's it--good!--I can see the head Push, push, push. That's it! Susan grunts and heaves. a newborn baby. Finally, we hear the sharp CRY of
DOCTOR (CONT'D) Hey, how about that huh? It's a girl. Boy o boy, is she big! The Doctor holds the blue-eyed baby aloft while his assistant flushes her eyes and nose. Susan regards her daughter. It's her daughter, again.
NURSE Do you have a name for her yet? Susan nods, is about to answer—But one of the nurses taps the Doctor on the shoulder. He takes another look down at the ultrasound screen. DOCTOR We...have another one here. (to his assistants) Didn't anyone see it on the ultrasound? Come on people, you've got to help me out here! (to Susan) Ok, Susan, it looks like you'll have to help us out again. Okay, can you do that for us? Susan nods. She heaves and grunts. Groaning, she pushes. DOCTOR (CONT'D) I can see the head, it's coming. Here it is--PUSH! The high-pitched CRY of another baby pierces the room. It's a boy. DOCTOR (CONT'D) A boy! He looks just like
It is a boy--a wriggling brown boy. Javier. The spitting image.
The Doctor looks askance at his assistants. They shake their heads in astonishment. One of them places the baby boy in a tiny crib next to his mewling, fair sister. DOCTOR (CONT'D) One white. One--not white. Never, ever saw that before.
120. Susan gazes quietly at both her new children. EXT. SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD - AFTERNOON Carl Wisconsin emerges from the manicured cul de sac of a suburban neighborhood. He walks a motley pack of dogs, steering them with the sure hand of a pro dogwalker. Wisconsin is a paunchier now, his hair is noticeably thinner. He's let himself go and he's happy about it. The lead dog, a puny CHIHUAHUA, stops to take a shit. Soon the other dogs take their cue to do their thing as well. Wisconsin waits patiently for them to finish. When they're done, Wisconsin reaches into the pocket of his trenchcoat and pulls out a rolled up newspaper. He tears off a page to scoop up the dogshit-He pauses when he sees the headline. CLOSE ON PAPER A partial headline reads: "...RELEASED" Beneath this is a picture of Susan, wearing dark glasses, leaving prison with her two young children. Wisconsin smiles. He carefully folds up the page and pockets it. He tears off another page and picks up after his dogs. Together, the entire pack trots off down the street, yapping, trotting, leading Wisconsin away. They round the corner, and at last, they are gone. THE END ======== -- MORNING CLOSE ON TV Morell sits in a comfortable chair in a large studio. He talks earnestly with an upscale casual HOST, who jauntily tosses him questions: HOST And recently, you had notable success with your horses-MORELL That's right. We actually had our first breakthrough with Juniper. Morell speaks with a slight twang, which he works hard to hide.
121. HOST Juniper? MORELL Juniper was a horse I had, a beautiful two eyed Jack stallion. Had him for a long time, while I was in medical school, graduate school, specializing in microbiology, nanogenetics. HOST Sounds like a great animal-MORELL Not to mention that he was also a beautiful and loving friend. Anyway, he passed away some time ago, and I was real upset for a long time. Susan grabs the remote to change the channel--but for some reason, this time she does not. She puts the remote back down. CLOSE ON TV HOST So he became your first successful clone? MORELL Well, no, our team had been successful with a sheep, a goat, and a buncha' mice...but Juniper was the first nonexperimental, the first animal that was, well, a pet. Which is how we got started. Which is how I got the idea to render this great service to bereaved pet owners.
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