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FEAR ITSELF

"Echoes"
by
Sean Hood

(5/19/08)

LIONSGATE TELEVISION INDUSTRY ENTERTAINMENT


2700 Colorado Ave., Suite 200 955 S. Carrillo Dr., 3rd Floor
Santa Monica, CA 90404 Los Angeles, CA 90048
O: 310-255-3700 O: 323-954-9000
F: 310-255-3970 F: 323-954-9009
Fear Itself/Echoes

TEASER

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - DAY *

The front door opens, and the first person to enter is a real
estate agent, MIRIAM (63), fussy and nosey.

MIRIAM
I just showed it to a nice couple
yesterday. They said it had a LOT
of character.

Following her in is Stephan. In the daylight we get a better


sense of him. Bony and bookish, with a gaunt face and haunted
eyes, he looks around in wonder.

Behind him is KAREN (23), also reserved and bookish, with


dark hair and a wiry frame. She’s Stephan’s height, wears the
same black rimmed glasses and long dark coat.

It’s the same house we saw in the dream (MAXWELL’S HOUSE).


But it's dingy, dilapidated, and empty.

STEPHAN
What do you think?

As they walk through the living room, Stephan looks like he’s
just been reunited with a long, lost friend. All Karen can
see are cavernous rooms, crumbling walls and thick dust.

KAREN
It’s... big. Really big. Do you
have a family of twelve I don’t
know about?

Stephan frowns. She’s killing his buzz.

KAREN (CONT’D)
I... it's just that... you looked
at like 100 houses. Why this one?

STEPHAN
I don’t know. It just gives me a
feeling. I feel like I live here.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - 2ND FLOOR HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

As Miriam rushes from room to room opening windows, Stephan


and Karen walk down the hall.
2/17/2010 2.

Karen marches ahead of him and opens a door, revealing a


bathroom and an antique tub.

KAREN
You can afford this?

STEPHAN
It’s a rental, I’ll make it work.

KAREN
Well you say that now but...

LANDLADY
Are you two married?

STEPHAN
Oh, no we’re just...

An awkward pause.

KAREN
Friends. We’re friends.

The landlady shrugs. Whatever you say. Another pause.

STEPHAN
I’ll take it.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - DEN - NIGHT

Karen helps Stephan unpack. A ratty couch, IKEA tables, and


boxes and boxes of books. Karen seems very prim and organized
as she sorts his books alphabetically into piles.

They both have languid even-tempered voices.


STEPHAN
Oh don’t unpack that. Just leave it
in the box.

KAREN
This is all your stuff for your
dissertation.

STEPHAN
I know. Don’t bother. I’m changing
my topic.

KAREN
Again?

He doesn’t respond, and continues unpacking books from a box.


So she smiles and changes the subject.
2/17/2010 3.

KAREN (CONT’D)
Hey, can we order a pizza?

STEPHAN
It’s late. I should take you home.

He’s not paying any attention to her, looking around the


house lost in thought. Her smile fades.

STEPHAN (CONT’D)
I feel like there should be a black
chair right here, on an Oriental
rug. Have you ever had Deja Vu?

Behind him we catch her glancing at him, a little sadly.

KAREN
Yeah.

She turns away walks into the dining room. *

He looks up to see Karen, his beautiful friend. She has a


frightened look on her face. Just like the dream.

KAREN (CONT’D)
Why are you looking at me that way?

END OF TEASER
2/17/2010 4.

ACT ONE

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - DAY

Again, we creep through the sparsely furnished rooms. An old


heater hisses and growls through the vent. Icy rain spits on
the panes. It all sounds like whispering voices.

Then from somewhere, we hear the sound of SCRUBBING.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - KITCHEN

With an industrial brush, Stephan cleans the cabinets and


counters. His thumb is bandaged.

Suddenly he looks up, sweat forming on his brow, and sniffs.

Looking into the den, he sees a wisp of cigarette smoke,


curling and hanging in the air like a streamer.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - DEN

Stephan searches and sniffs, looking for the source of the


smoke, but it is gone. He closes his eyes concentrates, as if
trying to remember something.

When he opens his eyes he sees a black, leather chair sitting


on an Oriental rug like a throne. Just like his dream.

ANOTHER ANGLE on Stephan reveals that he is staring fearfully


into empty space. There’s no chair. No rug.

INT. STEPHAN’S APARTMENT (2008) - STAIRWAY

Stephan walks up the stairs carrying a box. Pausing to close


his eyes and concentrate, he remembers a voice.
ZELDA (O.C.)
Oh Maxy, I’m bored, and I haven’t
been bent in a week. Let’s have a
party. Can’t we have a party?

Max opens his eyes and the voice fades away, like a a memory
he just can’t grasp. He continues up the stairs.

INT. STEPHAN’S APARTMENT (2008) - SECOND FLOOR HALLWAY - DAY

Down the hallway the bathroom door is open crack. He stares


at it, concentrating... And sinuous figure appears inside.

Zelda, drops off a white silk kimono, revealing just a sliver


of bare flesh, and steps into the bathtub.
2/17/2010 5.

The memory seems to fill Stephan with dread, growing to


nausea as he walks down the hall towards her.

As he gets closer and closer, the bathroom door swings shut,


as if pushed by a draft. When he reaches the bathroom and
opens the door...

... he finds it empty.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - SECOND FLOOR BATHROOM - DAY

Stephan turns on the bath. Water pounds into the antique


basin. The old pipes rattle and groan.

He brushes his teeth, but he is distracted by the sound of a


TICKING CLOCK. Confused, he looks at the digital clock radio.
He puts down the toothbrush.

The ticking stops.

He brings the toothbrush back up to his face but it's not a


toothbrush anymore. It’s the long, silver KNIFE. And it's
dripping with BLOOD.

Gasping in horror, he drops the blade and it clatters in the


sink. He looks over at...

INT. BATHROOM (1928) - NIGHT - STEPHAN’S VISION

... the bathtub is full of bubbly water, but it's BLOOD RED.
Little waves slosh back and forth in eerie slow motion. The
room is lit by dozens of LONG CANDLES.

INT. BATHROOM (2008) - DAY

Stephan stands entranced, but then he snaps out of it. His


tooth brush lies innocently in the sink.

Now the bathtub is completely filled, and clear water spills


over the rim, flooding the bathroom floor, as if he had been
standing there for twenty minutes.

Quickly he shuts off the faucet. Then he reaches down in the


water and fishes out the plug.

INT. DR. WOLFRAM’S OFFICE - DAY

Stephan sits on a couch. Across from him, with a notebook and


pen in hand, sits his psychiatrist.

Dr. Wolfram(63), is a tall, lanky man with a shock of thick


white hair rising above his head like a crown. He’s laid back
and charismatic, like your favorite university professor.
2/17/2010 6.

DR. WOLFRAM
You look thinner.
(beat)
How are you sleeping?

STEPHAN
Badly. I’ve been having nightmares.

DR. WOLFRAM
The same one as before?

STEPHAN
Same one. But it was more intense,
like when I had it as a kid.

DR. WOLFRAM
And then you cut yourself just as
you dreamt it?

Stephan looks at his bandaged thumb.

STEPHAN
Not exactly. In the dream, it's
always my right hand.

DR. WOLFRAM
What about blackouts?

STEPHAN
It’s been about six months since
the last one, until this morning,
in the bathroom.

The doctor pauses to make notations.

DR. WOLFRAM
How are things with Karen?

STEPHAN
Great. We’re great friends.

Wolfram raises an eyebrow.

DR. WOLFRAM
And you're okay with that?

STEPHAN
(sighing)
No.

DR. WOLFRAM
How long have you two been friends?
2/17/2010 7.

STEPHAN
I first saw her, about a year ago,
jogging across campus. But it
wasn’t like I met her for the first
time. It was like I was waiting for
her my whole life and then she
just... finally arrived.

DR. WOLFRAM
But you haven’t been physical with
her at all?

STEPHAN
No. I can’t.

DR. WOLFRAM
What would happen if you were?

STEPHAN
I don’t know... it's... When I hold
her hand, or bend forward to kiss
her, suddenly it's like I can’t
breathe. I have this horrible
tightness in my chest. This pain...

DR. WOLFRAM
... a sense of guilt.

STEPHAN
Yeah. I guess. Look, I’m not back
here to talk about Karen. We talked
Karen to death.
(beat)
I want to talk about these memories
that keep flashing up in my head.
DR. WOLFRAM
Are you sure they’re memories... or
is it more like things you imagine?

STEPHAN
I’ll be in the house, and things
will pop up like old photographs.
I’ll blink my eyes and realize that
like, twenty minutes have passed.

DR. WOLFRAM
Scary memories - or sexy like the
girl in the tub?

STEPHAN
(annoyed)
We’re back to sex? Look, I wasn’t
abused, okay?
(MORE)
2/17/2010 8.
STEPHAN (CONT'D)
I had a great childhood. And I’ve
never had any problems with other
women...

Dr. Wolfram raises his hand.

DR. WOLFRAM
Bear with me.
(deep breath)
Clearly there’s a memory you’ve
blocked from your conscious mind.
(beat)
I know you think its flaky, but
hypnosis is a safe and practical
way for us to take a look at it.

Stephan looks exhausted.

STEPHAN
Dr. Wolfram, at this point, I’ll
try anything.

INT. DR. WOLFRAM’S OFFICE - LATER

Stephan sits with his eyes closed.

DR. WOLFRAM
Feel the warmth, as you breathe in,
spreading through your whole body.

The room becomes hazy, as if filled with cigarette smoke.

DR. WOLFRAM (CONT’D)


... From your legs up to your
stomach... to your chest... and up
into your head....
Wolfram becomes a silhouette. His face is a blur. From
somewhere comes the sound of a TICKING CLOCK.

DR. WOLFRAM (O.C.) (CONT’D)


Until it reaches the tips of your
fingers...

Dr. Wolfram’s office fades away.

DR. WOLFRAM (O.C.) (CONT’D)


We’re going to go back, Stephan...
to the time you can’t remember.

And Stephan’s house, in 1928, begins to appear.


2/17/2010 9.

DR. WOLFRAM (CONT’D)


Something happened. Something that
upset you. Something you have
deliberately forgotten...

INT. MAXWELL’S HOUSE (1928) - 2ND FLOOR HALLWAY - POV

We see through Stephan’s eyes as he looks down the long


hallway. The bathroom door at the end is ajar, and an eerie
light flickers from the crack.

As he walks forward, the door creaks open, as if pushed by a


draft. In the tub, a slender leg extends from under a blanket
of bubbles. The woman hums an old jazz tune, a bit off key.

He pushes open the door to see Zelda lounging in the tub, her
body slip-sliding under bubbles. Around the tub are dozens of
burning candles, along with jars of powder and cream. She
smiles up at him, impish and wicked.

ZELDA
What are you looking at?

Stephan turns and looks in the mirror, but instead of his own
reflection he sees MAX (27). A hulk of a man with a bushy
beard, flattened nose, barrel chest and meaty hands.

As he stares we can see the shocked look on his face. He


touches his face in wonder.

WOLFRAM (O.S.)
I'm counting backwards from five,
when I get to one, open your eyes
and you'll feel relaxed and
refreshed. Five... four... three...
INT. DR WOLFRAM’S OFFICE - DAY

WOLFRAM
Two... One.
(beat)
How are you feeling Stephan?

He comes to. He looks strangely exhilarated.

STEPHAN
I’m okay. I was in my house. It was
just like the dream.
(excitedly)
I saw myself in a mirror. It wasn’t
me... I mean, I was bigger, and
ugly, with this crazy beard. But I
RECOGNIZED myself! It was like it
really WAS me.
(MORE)
2/17/2010 10.
STEPHAN (CONT'D)
(beat)
How long did that last?

Dr. Wolfram’s looks chilled to the bone.

DR. WOLFRAM
About forty five minutes.

STEPHAN
It felt like thirty seconds. Did I
say anything?

DR. WOLFRAM
You don’t remember?

Stephan shakes his head. Dr. Wolfram tries to regain his


composure. He turns to a microphone attached to a laptop
computer, and he taps the keys with shaky fingers.

DR. WOLFRAM (CONT’D)


About halfway through, I started
recording the session. There’s no
way to explain it, other than just
to play it back for you.

STEPHAN
What’s wrong? Is something wrong?

DR. WOLFRAM
Just... just... listen...

END OF ACT ONE


2/17/2010 11.

ACT TWO

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Stephan takes a CD labeled “Session One” and pops it into his


laptop. He pops ear buds in his ears and listens to the
recording again.

The voice that abruptly starts is gravelly, horse, and


vicious... and certainly not his own.

STEPHAN/MAXWELL (RECORDING)
I’m gonna say this one more time
nicely. Stop calling me Stephan. My
name isn’t Stephan.

DR. WOLFRAM (RECORDING)


Then to whom am I speaking.

STEPHAN/MAXWELL (RECORDING)
You can call me Maxwell.

DR. WOLFRAM
Tell me about yourself Maxwell.

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
Not much to tell. I was a boxer
once. I took a few too many mitts
to the head. You can tell by my
ears.

DR. WOLFRAM
And what do you do now?

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
I make do. There’s always work for
a big six who’s good with a shiv.

DR. WOLFRAM
What’s a “shiv?”

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
Cross me sometime, you’ll see.

DR. WOLFRAM
Is that how you got the money to
rent the old house?

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
I lucked into a couple grand, but
that shack’s new. Brand new.

DR. WOLFRAM (RECORDING)


When were you born Maxwell?
2/17/2010 12.

STEPHAN/MAXWELL (RECORDING)
1893.

DR. WOLFRAM (RECORDING)


What year is it now?

STEPHAN/MAXWELL (RECORDING)
1928.

Stephan continues to listen, completely mesmerized, mouth


agape. Behind him, out of focus in the living room, we see
the figure of the flapper, Zelda, from the neck down.

She walks towards him.

DR. WOLFRAM (RECORDING)


You seem angry. What are you so
angry about?

STEPHAN/MAXWELL (RECORDING)
Zelda. Zelda’s got my goat. I could
KILL that little slut. I could cut
her throat.

The flapper touches his shoulder. Stephan startles, SCREAMS,


and spins around to see...

Karen jumping back and giggling.

KAREN
I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

STEPHAN
Why are you sneaking up on me? Who
does that?
He pulls out the ear buds.

KAREN
I knocked! I called your name like
three times. You didn’t answer.

STEPHAN
I was listening to... I didn’t hear
you.

Karen is still giggling.

KAREN
Don’t be mad. I bought you a
housewarming present!

She plops two bags down on the table.


2/17/2010 13.

STEPHAN
Let me guess. Candles?

She pulls out a bunch of thick, scented candles.

Reaching down beside a stack of unpacked dishes, Stephan


grabs a little figurine.

STEPHAN (CONT’D)
Oh... I got you something too.

He hands her the little Japanese figure of a plump, smiling


Buddha. At first she just gawks at it.

STEPHAN (CONT’D)
I know it's kitschy but...

KAREN
I had one just like it when I was a
little girl. How did you know? How
could you have possibly known that?

STEPHAN
I didn’t. I saw it at a garage sale
and you just popped into my head.

KAREN
This is like... the nicest thing
anyone has ever gotten me.

STEPHAN
(laughing)
That’s kind of sad. It cost me four
dollars.

But he sees her eyes are welling up with tears. He he stands


up and touches her shoulder.

STEPHAN (CONT’D)
Are you okay? What’s wrong?

KAREN
Yeah... I’m just happy.

Impulsively she hugs him. Stephan hugs back for a moment but
pulls away, pressing his hand against his chest as if having
a sudden pain.

STEPHAN
Have you been smoking?

KAREN
What? No.
2/17/2010 14.

STEPHAN
You smell like cigarettes.

KAREN
No I do not.

STEPHAN
Yeah... you do.

KAREN
I don’t smoke. I don’t even know
anybody who smokes. It gives you
cancer. I... I...

MEMORY FLASH - HALLWAY (1928) - INTERCUT

A little figurine is thrown down the hallway and it shatters


on the ground.

ZELDA (O.C.)
I HATE YOU!

BACK TO SCENE

Karen grips the figurine tightly, the two of them just stand
there awkwardly for a moment.

STEPHAN
Are you... angry?

Karen, maintaining her poise, puts the figure down.

KAREN
Of course not. I’m fine.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - DEN - LATER


Stephan and Karen play scrabble and eat take-out sushi. They
look prim, proper and civilized. The little Buddha figurine
sits between them.

STEPHAN
Do you believe in reincarnation?

KAREN
I don’t know. I mean, why is it
that everybody is always Queen
Elizabeth in a past life? Nobody is
ever just some ordinary peasant.

STEPHAN
What about hypnosis? “Past life
regression.” People speaking in
other people’s voices.
2/17/2010 15.

KAREN
Oh don’t get me started on
“recovered memories.” Those almost
always turn out to be false.
(beat)
... Or just fantasies prodded out
by over-zealous therapists.

STEPHAN
Since when are you such a skeptic?

KAREN
Oh come on. I’ve read plenty of
books about it. This one woman
recovered memories of this whole
plantation drama that turned out to
be from some Harlequin novel.
(beat)
There always turns out to be a
logical explanation.

Stephan smiles. He finally looks reassured... and relaxed.

STEPHAN
I know. I know. I don’t believe in
it either.
(beat)
I’m about to kick ass by the way.

KAREN
Yeah, maybe in your next life.

She spells out “bloodbath” hitting a triple word score. All


her tiles are gone.

Stephan just stares at the word in dread. Karen smiles at


him, with just a hint of wickedness.

KAREN (CONT’D)
I win.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Stephan tosses and turns in bed, sleeping fitfully. From


somewhere comes the sound of a ticking clock.

The ticking gets louder and louder, and he can hear the
echoing voices of Zelda and Maxwell, arguing...

INT. MAXWELL’S HOUSE (1928) - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Eerily reminiscent of the scene we just saw, Max and Zelda


play poker for quarters. Zelda is wearing only torn black
stockings and her chintzy white kimono.
2/17/2010 16.

MAXWELL
Whadda you gotta dress like a
Chinaman for?

Her voice sounds like Betty Boop, if Betty Boop were cold and
sadistic. She takes a hit directly from the gin bottle.

ZELDA
It’s Japanese, you perfect ass.
(beat)
And that statue ain’t Fatty
Arbuckle either, it's the Buddha.

She puts down the gin bottle by a little Japanese figurine of


The Buddha. It’s exactly the same one.

MAXWELL
You believe in reincarnation?

ZELDA
Sure Maxy. You learning big words
down at the docks?

Zelda pushes all her “quarters” forward. Max just looks


suspiciously back and forth from the pot to her face.

ZELDA (CONT’D)
Maybe I was Queen Elizabeth. Maybe
you're shacked up with a queen.

MAXWELL
You lie like a queen but you bluff
like an old whore.

Max pushes his quarters to the center, and gruffly rips the
bottle from her hand. He drinks. She narrows her eyes.
ZELDA
(deadly serious)
Don’t ever call me that. Ever.

MAXWELL
You’re all wet.

ZELDA
I haven’t been wet since I met you.

MAXWELL
And now you're about to get
spanked.

Max puts down his cards, three aces.


2/17/2010 17.

ZELDA
Maybe in your next life.

Zelda throws down her cards, Full House, queens over eights.
She smiles wickedly.

SHOCK CUT

INT. MAXWELL’S HOUSE (1928) - BATHROOM - NIGHT

CLOSE ON the bloody silver knife swinging in Max’s hand.

A JET OF BLOOD splatters the white tile, and then the blade
falls from fingers and clatters in the sink.

On Zelda’s ear splitting SCREAM...

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - BEDROOM

Stephan wakes up with a shock. Breathes deeply. His face is


covered in sweat. He calms himself down. It was only a dream,
and it's over now.

But it's not over.

Looking out over the foot of his bed, he can see into the
hall. Dim light spilling from the bathroom lights up the hard
wood floor.

The air seems filled with cigarette smoke. From somewhere an


old Jazz standard plays on a Victrola. He hears Zelda’s
voice, singing off key...

Stephan gets up and walks towards the door.

STEPHAN
Wake up. Wake up. Wake up.

But he IS awake.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

Stephan walks into the hall, and pushes open the bathroom
door, and to his relief...

...it is empty. He takes long deep breaths and the singing


and sloshing bathwater fade into silence.

INT. STEPHAN’S APARTMENT (2008) BATHROOM - NIGHT

He enters, scans the empty tub, and glances at the mirror.


Everything is normal. Finally satisfied, he turns...

To see a woman standing in the doorway, blocking his path.


2/17/2010 18.

Zelda looks up at him, her cheek stained with tears and


mascara. Her white Kimono is soaked with BLOOD. Her spattered
face is pleading, desperate...

ZELDA
But I said I was sorry...!

Stephan jumps back and falls backwards into the empty


bathtub, his head cracking against the basin...

INT. STEPHAN’S APARTMENT (2008) - BATHROOM - DAY

... Stephan snaps out of the trance, and finds that it's
daytime. He’s been lying in the tub for hours. He rubs the
back of his head and winces. He stretches his aching knees.

INT. DR. WOLFRAM’S OFFICE - DAY

Back at therapy, Stephan sits across from Dr. Wolfram.

DR. WOLFRAM
So you think you're a murderer?

STEPHAN
Well, in my past life, yes.

DR. WOLFRAM
For now, let’s not worry about
whether that’s true. Let’s just
explore these memories, whatever
they are, and see if they don’t
shed some light on what’s going on
in the present... with Karen.

Stephan broods for a moment, and then nods.


ON STEPHAN - MOMENTS LATER

Stephan’s eyes are closed. The world around him becomes hazy
as if filled with smoke. His bland expression changes to
something twisted and dark.

DR. WOLFRAM (CONT’D)


Maxwell? Tell me what you see.

When Stephan speaks, it's like a man possessed by a demon.


The voice is nothing like his own, and it's surreal to see
the sound come out of his mouth. It’s Maxwell’s voice.

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
I see Zelda. She’s all hopped up
again. She’s got her friends from
the Babylon over. Says it's a party
for me.
2/17/2010 19.

DR. WOLFRAM
Is she making you angry?

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
She’s got a dragon-lady dress on,
prancing around, beating her gums.
(beat)
If he keeps pawing at her bubs like
that, I’m gonna cut out his eyes
and stuff ‘em down his throat.

DR. WOLFRAM
Who?

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
Some high hat wants to be her sugar
Daddy. I seen ‘em sniffing around.

DR. WOLFRAM
How many men have you killed
Maxwell?

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
That I was paid for or just to see
the blood?

DR. WOLFRAM
Have you ever killed a woman?

A bitter laugh rolls out Stephan. Cruel and full of lust.

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
Not yet. Not... yet.

END OF ACT TWO


2/17/2010 20.

ACT THREE

INT. MAXWELL’S HOUSE (1928) - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

The front door of the house opens and we enter, moving


through a haze of candles. A handsome man with sing-song
voice, DAVE, rushes up to us...

DAVE
Don’t be cross, Maxy. It’s a PARTY.
EVERYBODY’S here.

Maxwell’s living room is crowded with Zelda’s theater friends.


Slick sheiks in threadbare tuxedos leer at churlish vamps in
costume jewels. Martini glasses sparkle and shadows loom.

ON MAXWELL

He looks down at...

THE VICTROLA

78 rmp records are strewn around it. We hear titillating and


energetic jazz, full of scratches and pops.

THE WILD PARTY

Max slinks back to a corner to watch the mingling crowd.


Booming voices. Flirting fingers. Shrill laughter.

Then all eyes turn to...

ZELDA

She makes her grand entrance. Her long silk, Japanese dress
has an embroidered dragon. Her powdered face and ruby red
lips make a devious mask.

Dave turns cattily to his flamboyant partner DAVID.

DAVE (CONT’D)
She looks healthy...

DAVID
...as a cobra bite.

But then, noticing that he’s being overheard, David covers.

DAVID (CONT’D)
Maxy, I love the decor!

MAXWELL
(gruffly)
That’s her loot.
2/17/2010 21.

Max slinks back to his corner and broods. He watches Zelda


greet each guest in turn: A predatory ACTOR, a WIDE-EYED GIRL
too young to be out, a group of salacious AGENTS.

Dave and David begin dancing and singing along with the
record, urging others to dance as well. And Maxwell realizes
that he’s lost track of Zelda...

INT. MAXWELL’S HOUSE (1928) - STAIRWAY - NIGHT

Maxwell creeps to the stairs and spies Zelda flirting with a


handsome but pompous theater producer, MR. BUTLER (53).

MR. BUTLER
When I was in Paris, people asked
me why produce Shakespeare...
(self important)
Why... produce... Shakespeare?

Zelda fingers his bow tie and gives him an answer.

ZELDA
So I can play Juliet?

Mr. Butler exhales CIGARETTE SMOKE which rolls and curls


around Zelda’s neck and bosom.

MR. BUTLER
I see you in much, bigger venues,
Zelda. I see you in New York City.

ZELDA
I’ll need a place to stay. You
putting me up?

The Producer looks frightened at the sight of Maxwell.


MR. BUTLER
Swell gin mill you got going, Max.
(beat)
Isn’t that what you kids call it?

Zelda drags the producer by the arm, but she’s looking


directly at Max; it's a challenge.

ZELDA
Dance with me, Mr. Butler.

MAXWELL
You’re drunk.

ZELDA
I’m pos-i-lute-ly splif-ficated.
2/17/2010 22.

INT. MAXWELL’S HOUSE (1928) - LIVING ROOM

To the delight of the crowd, Zelda and Mr. Butler dance in


wild abandon. They are both really good.

ON MAX

He watches the party get more and more out of control. He


flexes his hands and cracks his knuckles.

THE PARTY - MAX’S POV

The candles drip and burn down to nubs. Gin bottles sparkle
like prisms. The night wears on and passions rise.

The Actor gropes the Wide-Eyed Girl, their tongues slip-


sliding grotesquely in and out of each other’s mouths.

Dave and David argue drunkenly until Dave slams and shatters
his glass against the other man’s face.

THE SHADOWS

The long, spindly shadows of drinking, petting, and fighting


play on the walls like puppet theater.

ZELDA AND MR. BUTLER

Through the chaos and commotion, they slow dance, and she
grinds her body shamelessly against him.

EXT. ALLEY (1928) - NIGHT

Maxwell follows Mr. Butler out, slinking along behind him and
then stepping forward to confront him.
MR. BUTLER
Splendid party, old boy. I hope
you're not sore...

But he’s cut short by a shot to the face that shatters his
nose. The theater owner drops to his knees.

Holding him up by his oily hair, Maxwell slams his fist


across the helpless man’s jaw, sending an arc of blood across
the pavement.

Then Max flings Butler to the ground where he crumples like a


rag doll. He kicks him hard, cracking his ribs. Then he kicks
him in the skull, snapping his head back at a sharp angle.

Maxwell backs away from Butler, who lies inert in a pool of


his own blood. Max looks up at...
2/17/2010 23.

His bedroom window. Silhouetted against the glass, Zelda


watches from above.

INT. MAXWELL’S HOUSE (1928) - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Maxwell rushes in the dark bedroom, his head swimming with


liquor, and he grabs Zelda by the hair, jerking her up.

She squeals, flails and slugs him full force in the jaw.
Once. Twice. He doesn’t even flinch.

He doesn’t hit back though, he just stands there frozen,


holding her face close to his. He can’t look her in the eye.
Then she puts her both hands on his cheeks and KISSES HIM.

He lets go of her hair and the two collapse backwards onto


the bed. The whole room spins and rolls, drunkenly.

We see fractured images of them tumbling in the dark. A


bedside table is overturned sending beer bottles and a
flowered vase to the floor with a SMASH!

He tears the red silk dress down the back and rips it off her
body. She pins him to bed with a knee against his neck and
tears open his shirt, shooting buttons across the floor.

The images are hazy and confused. A candle ignites the fringe
of the bedspread. Zelda tries to put it out by upturning a
bottle of gin, which only causes the flames to spread.

Maxwell beats the fire out with a pillow and then collapses
on his back. The whole room is spinning violently, and he is
on the verge of passing out.

CLOSE ON MAXWELL AND ZELDA


Cheek presses against cheek. So drunk and exhausted they can
barely move. But they WHISPER to each other, half conscious.
Vulnerable. Confessional. Urgent.

MAXWELL
I love you.

ZELDA
Say it again.

MAXWELL
I love you Zelda.

ZELDA
Don’t ever leave me Maxwell. I’d
die if you left me alone.
2/17/2010 24.

MAXWELL
We’re soulmates, babydoll. Don’t
you know that yet?

Drunken tears flow down her cheeks.

ZELDA
Oh, you're killing Maxy. You
goddamn slay me every time.

INT. CATHOLIC CONFESSIONAL BOX - DARKNESS

Maxwell sits silently in the quiet gloom, looking down at his


bruised and swollen knuckles. He takes a few beats just to
sit there in the calm silence, and then...

MAXWELL
Bless me father for I have sinned.
(beat)
I killed a man last night.

When the priest speaks, we hear WOLFRAM’S VOICE.

PRIEST/WOLFRAM
How does that make you feel?

INT. DR. WOLFRAM’S OFFICE - DAY

The patient, Stephan, answers his doctor’s question.

STEPHAN
Scared, I guess. Scared of what I’m
capable of.

DR. WOLFRAM
Think of it as a metaphor. We all
have these darker characters living
inside us.

Stephan looks down at a CD labeled session 8. He’s wearing a


t-shirt of the original 1932 movie, SCARFACE.

STEPHAN
It’s not a metaphor.

EXT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - FRONT DOOR - NIGHT

Stephan slogs up to his house, lost in thought. But as he


pulls out his keys, he realizes there is music coming from
within... Jazz music.
2/17/2010 25.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

The front door of the house opens and Stephan moves through a
haze of candle smoke. A grad student in a cardigan, DAVE,
rushes up to him...

DAVE
Don’t be mad, Stephano. It’s a
housewarming party. Karen invited
everybody.

The room is crowded with Karen’s university friends. Eggheads


in punk rock t-shirts mingle with eurotrash girls in black
turtlenecks. Wine glasses sparkle and shadows loom.

Stephan looks down at...

THE I-POD

Nestled in its cradle and speakers. The dreamy trip-hop is


full of re-mixed samples of the same old jazz standards.

Then making her grand entrance is...

KAREN

She’s wearing a red dress, not inappropriate, but shocking


because all we’ve ever seen her in is jeans and baggy
sweaters. All eyes are watching her.

She doesn’t seem quite herself. Her bewitching posture and


girlish cackle seem more like Zelda’s.

DAVE turns to his partner in a tweed jacket, DAVID. Nothing


stereotypicaly gay, except a hint of cattiness...
DAVE (CONT’D)
That’s quite a dress...

DAVID
... I think she has an “agenda.”

But then David realizing he’s being overheard, covers...

DAVID (CONT’D)
Stephano, I love the decor!

Shocked and dumbfounded, Stephan looks at all Karen’s


candles, pillows, and other gifts - all with an “oriental”
flourish.

He watches Karen greet her guests. A student ACTOR and a


freshman WIDE-EYED GIRL. A group of rowdy GRAD STUDENTS.
2/17/2010 26.

It’s a perfect echo of the party he saw under hypnosis,


Except that the repressed intellectuals only imply the
passions running underneath the surface.

But then Stephan realizes he’s lost track of Karen...

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - STAIRWAY - DAY

Stephan spies her talking intimately with an older but


extremely handsome man, PROFESSOR BUTLER.

PROFESSOR BUTLER
When I was on my book tour in
Europe, I was asked again, “Why
write about history?”

He repeats the question as if it were very profound.

PROFESSOR BUTLER (CONT’D)


Why write... about... HISTORY?

KAREN
(flirty)
Because it repeats itself?

Professor Butler exhales CIGARETTE SMOKE which rolls and


curls around Karen’s neck and bosom.

PROFESSOR BUTLER
No. NO! That’s precisely NOT what
Marcuse is telling us.

But Karen notices Stephan staring at her.

KAREN
I’d love to.
PROFESSOR BUTLER
You’d love to what?

KAREN
Dance.

Stephan looks stunned as they walk past. She glares back at


him impishly, as if it were a challenge. He’s never seen her
like this.

STEPHAN
Are you... a little drunk?

KAREN
I’m gi-NORM-mously drunk.
2/17/2010 27.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

She takes Professor Butler by the hand and they dance the
throbbing trip-hop. The crowd loves it.

STEPHAN’S POV

His head spins as the night rushes forward in skips and


jumps. Wine bottles accumulate. Candles burn to nubs.

Stephan watches the SHADOWS of people on the wall:

The ACTOR gives the WIDE-EYED GIRL a polite back rub, but the
SHADOWS show them kissing and groping in drunken abandon.

Dave frowns curtly at his argumentative partner David, as his


SHADOW slams a glass against the other shadow’s face.

Karen slow dances with Professor Butler, keeping a prim


distance, even as her SHADOW grinds up against his leg.

Stephan gulps his wine and he room seems to flip and turn.
And as he BLACKS OUT he sees FLASHES: A breaking vase. A fist
against a jaw. SHADOWS moving like spiders over the wall.

CLOSE ON KAREN’S LIPS - DARKNESS

It’s Karen’s voice, but the passion is all Zelda.

KAREN
God you freak me out, Stephan. It’s
not like we met. It’s like I’ve
been expecting you all my life and
then one day you just... arrived.

FADE TO BLACK.
INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - BATHROOM - DAY

Groggy and disoriented, Stephan wakes up in his boxer shorts


on the floor of his bathroom. He has a splitting headache.

He runs water in the sink and drinks from the faucet, but
then looks down in horror at his BRUISED, SWOLLEN KNUCKLES.

EXT. ALLEY (2008) - DAY

Stephan scampers out into the alley in his bare feet and long
black coat, shivering in the cold. There on the pavement is a
DARK PATCH OF DRIED BLOOD.

END OF ACT THREE


2/17/2010 28.

ACT FOUR

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Stephan returns to his house, and finds it a mess from the


night before. Every surface is littered with wine glasses,
empty bottles, dirty plates.

He half-heartedly cleans up. As he works, he pulls out his


cell phone. Hits speed dial.

KAREN (OVER PHONE)


Why are you calling me?

STEPHAN
Uh, just to... say hi. Did you
enjoy the party last night?

KAREN (OVER PHONE)


I don’t know how to answer that.

Stephan looks down at his swollen and bruised knuckles. He


flexes his fingers. His hand is shaking a bit.

STEPHAN
So... what happen to your friend,
Professor Butler?

KAREN (OVER PHONE)


You’re a mean drunk. That’s what
happened. I can’t believe you.

STEPHAN
Is he alive?

Long pause. Karen giggles and then coughs.


KAREN (OVER PHONE)
I think he’ll live.

STEPHAN
I mean... is he hurt?

KAREN (OVER PHONE)


Well, everything you said about his
book was true. It was just mean,
that’s all.

Stephan takes this in, relieved.

KAREN (OVER PHONE) (CONT’D)


Wait. Are you talking about the
fake mugging?
2/17/2010 29.

STEPHA
Fake... mugging..?

KAREN (OVER PHONE)


You don’t remember? He said
somebody beat him up in the alley.

Stephan winces.

KAREN (CONT’D)
Micki thinks he just slipped and
fell on his face. Now he’s trying
to make a big drama about it.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - STAIRWAY - CONTINUOUS

Stephan sits on the foot of the stairs.

STEPHAN
So he didn’t see what hit him?

KAREN (OVER PHONE)


I guess not.

He doesn’t see it, but above him Karen walks from his bedroom
wearing his SCARFACE t-shirt, phone pressed to her ear, and
enters the bathroom. She doesn’t see him either.

STEPHAN
I barely remember anything from
last night. I’m so hung over I
could...

KAREN (OVER PHONE)


Where ARE you by the way?
STEPHAN
In my house. You should see it.
It’s completely trashed.

Behind him, we see the bathroom door slowly open, and Karen
step out and look down at him. Slowly, step by step, she
comes down the stairs towards him.

STEPHAN (INTO PHONE) (CONT’D)


Karen? Karen are you there?

She is standing right behind him.

KAREN
Boo!

He startles and screams! Karen just stares at him.


2/17/2010 30.

KAREN (CONT’D)
(deadpan)
That time I did it on purpose.

STEPHAN
What are you doing here?

KAREN
You don’t remember? Any of it?

Stephan just stares at her, dumbfounded. She turns and stomps


back towards the bedroom.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - BEDROOM - DAY

Karen peels off Stephan’s t-shirt. Now in her underwear, she


pulls on her red dress. He follows her in.

Even now, their tones are tight and civilized.

KAREN
I get it, okay? It was what it was.
Let’s not make a big deal about it.

STEPHAN
That’s not what I meant to say...
I’m just a little hazy...

She looks in the mirror and sees that the shoulder of her red
dress is torn. Her voice becomes shrill. Eyes flashing.

KAREN
You don’t remember ANYTHING you
said to me last night?

STEPHAN
Truthfully... No. And I’m not sure
it was me, exactly, who said it.
(beat)
But uh. What... did I say?

KAREN
(coldly)
Nothing. Forget it.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - STAIRWAY - DAY

He follows her as she pulls on her long black coat and


hustles down the steps. She shakes her head in frustration.

KAREN
I thought I saw another side of you
last night.
2/17/2010 31.

But as she crosses to the door...

STEPHAN
WAIT! Zelda, let’s talk about this.

KAREN
Zelda? Who’s Zelda?

Beat.

STEPHAN
Okay. Look. There’s something I
have to explain to you. Right now.

She looks at him - well? What is it?

INT. WOLFRAM’S OFFICE - DAY

Back in therapy, Stephan looks exhausted. Wolfram looks


sympathetically over his notebook.

WOLFRAM
How did she react?

STEPHAN
How do you think? I must have
sounded completely insane... Or
just... completely ridiculous.

WOLFRAM
You’re a nice guy, Stephan. It’s
hard to see you as a killer.
(beat)
Still, if you truly believe that
she was Zelda in a past life, it
must have been disturbing for her
to hear that you murdered her.

Beat.

STEPHAN
I didn’t tell her that part.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - DAY

Alone, Karen walks through the house poking through cabinets


and bookshelves. She’s clearly snooping.

INT. STEPHAN’S APARTMENT (2008) - KITCHEN - DAY

She opens kitchen drawers. One is filled with take-out menus,


another with phone books. But then she finds a stack of
photographs. She pulls them out and flips through them.
2/17/2010 32.

Every picture is of her. Karen playing frisbee. Karen


lounging in a bathing suit by a lake. Stephan caught staring
at Karen with a dreamy, entranced smile.

Seeing his secret little stash makes her smile too.

But then she sees, lying on the counter, the long silver
knife. She puts down the photos and stares at it.

She reaches out to touch it's sharp tip. For some reason she
can’t identify, the object fills her with dread.

Then she realizes that a figure is lurking in the entrance,


watching her. She gasps, startled.

KAREN
Okay, I deserved that.
(beat)
Where have you been? I’ve been
waiting for hours.

Stephan steps into the light. His left cheek is badly swollen
and his lips are crusty with blood.

KAREN (CONT’D)
Oh my God, what happened to you?

STEPHAN
I got in a fight.

He crosses to the freezer and pulls out a bag of frozen peas.

KAREN
Over what?!

STEPHAN
A parking spot.

KAREN
Did you have another blackout?

Stephan doesn’t answer. He walks past to the , leaving Karen


standing by herself, disturbed and apprehensive.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - DEN - DAY

Stephan enters and watches as the room itself seems to slip


and slide from one time period to the other.

He sees Max’s living room as it was in 1928, wrecked from the


party before. Stephan sits in the black leather chair and
watches cigarette smoke hanging in the air like a streamer.
2/17/2010 33.

Stephan flexes his fingers and cracks his knuckles, then


presses what looks like an old-fashioned ice bag to his eye.

He hears footsteps and looks down at the floor to watch a


sinuous shadow approach him from behind.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - DEN - ANOTHER ANGLE

Stephan sits on his Ikea chair staring into space. The bag of
frozen peas is pressed against his eye.

Karen appears carrying an arm load of books and magazines.


She plops them down on the table, and then she takes a deep
breath to calm her nerves.

KAREN
I want you to look at some
research. It’s very interesting.
(beat)
Are you listening to me?

STEPHAN
Yeah. What did you did up? Anything
on Maxwell?

Stephan looks through the STAGE and SCREEN magazines, and he


suddenly perks up.

KARE
No. Just Zelda.

STEPHAN
Oh my God... I saw Zelda reading
these magazines under hypnosis.
These EXACT magazines.
KAREN
I thought you might say that.

Her voice is completely neutral, betraying nothing.

KAREN (CONT’D)
Zelda Flemming was a minor
celebrity here in town. She was a
dance hall girl, but she also sang,
and did some plays. Everybody knew
her; she was a walking scandal.

Karen opens one of the books to a page marked with a post-it


note. There’s a photograph of actors from the Babylon
Theater. In the center of the picture, is Zelda Flemming.

Stephan can barely contain himself.


2/17/2010 34.

STEPHAN
That’s her! Karen, THAT’S THE GIRL.

Karen just stares at him calmly and blankly. Stephan looks


through all the material she’s found - pictures, gossip
columns, and program notes - all about Zelda Flemming.

STEPHAN (CONT’D)
Do you know what this means? It’s
true. She’s REAL. You found proof.

KAREN
She’s fascinating actually. A
really tormented personality
considering the gender roles at the
time; and incredibly sexy. I can
see why you’ve been so obsessed
with her.

Karen’s tone is stiff and cold. Stephan smirks at her.

STEPHAN
Are you jealous? Because that’s
kind of silly isn’t it?
(beat)
You ARE jealous, aren’t you?

Karen looks at him like he has truly lost his mind.

KAREN
Stephan, do you know where I found
all this stuff?

Beat.

STEPHAN
Ebay?

KAREN
In YOUR book boxes. Your
dissertation research. I was
unpacking them for you and filling
your shelves.

STEPHAN
(stunned)
I... I... don’t remember ever...
ever seeing... any of this.

KAREN
I see your notes and underlining
all over the margins!
(beat)
(MORE)
2/17/2010 35.
KAREN (CONT'D)
You’re dissertation topic is
Aberrant Behavior in the Jazz Age!

STEPHAN
(sheepish)
Well I... I’m changing my topic.

Suddenly Karen sounds shrill, she speaks in a voice not at


all her own.

KAREN/ZELDA
To what?! Reincarnation?!

Stephan stares at her. A little afraid.

KAREN
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to raise
my voice.

INT. DR. WOLFRAM’S OFFICE - DAY

Wolfram looks exhausted. Stephan paces around the room,


agitated. He hasn’t shaved in days. His hair is unkempt. Eyes
black and blue from the fight. He’s looking more and more
like Maxwell.

DR. WOLFRAM
Well, there you have it then. That
would be a logical explanation.

STEPHAN
No. This isn’t something I made up.
This is real.
(beat)
Things that happened to me in the
past are echoing in the present.
(beat)
It happened then, and it's
happening again now, in exactly the
same way.

DR. WOLFRAM
Stephan, I’d like to prescribe an
anti-anxiety medication... and
perhaps an anti-psychotic.

Stephan is gesticulating wildly. He seems almost fanatical.

STEPHAN
No. No. I don’t want pills. I feel
like for the first time in my life
I’m actually FEELING something. I’m
right on the verge of figuring out
what this is all about!
2/17/2010 36.

Wolfram looks at him dubiously.

STEPHAN (CONT’D)
Look, I’ve spent my life searching
for this... trying to understand
what I did. Why I feel so stuck.
(pleading)
I have to know why this is
happening. Help me. Please.

INT. DR. WOLFRAM’S OFFICE - LATER

Stephan sits, eyes closed, under hypnosis. Wolfram questions


him with growling unease.

WOLFRAM
This time I want you go back to
that night. The night you haven’t
been able look at.
(beat)
But you're safe Maxwell. This is
just like looking at a picture
book. Just pictures in a book.

Stephan is sweating, anxious. He starts to tremble...

INT. MAXWELL’S HOUSE (1928) - KITCHEN - MAX’S POV

We see through Max’s eyes. Heavy rain pelts the window and
water gushes down the glass, painting waves on the walls.

WOLFRAM (V.O.)
What do you see Stephan?

Zelda stumbles in the front, laughing wildly, but the only


sound we hear is the TICKING CLOCK.
STEPHAN/MAXWELL (V.O.)
She’s coming in from the rain.
She’s soaked to her skin. I’m
making her dinner, waiting on her
like a servant, can you believe it?

Zelda and Maxwell eat a romantic dinner and drink heavily.


She laughs silently, and Max reaches out to touch her face.

She pulls away coyly.

INT. MAXWELL’S HOUSE (1928) - BATHROOM

Maxwell sits on the floor while she lounges in the bathtub,


surrounded by burning candles. The clock keeps ticking.
2/17/2010 37.

He feeds her little slices of fruit and cheese. They seem


genuinely happy. The images are dreamy and slow.

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
She’s such a doll. I ain’t seen
anything like her. Ever.
(beat)
But she just couldn’t behave
herself.

Maxwell lifts up her discarded shirt and SNIFFS IT. His


expression goes dark.

The images grow murky. Now they are arguing. She thrashes in
the tub and SCREAMS at him - her face a cruel mask. The
ticking clock gets louder and LOUDER.

STEPHAN/MAXWELL (V.O.) (CONT’D)


She knows just what to say to set
me off. Just the right words, and
then all I see is red.

INT. MAXWELL’S HOUSE (1928) - HALLWAY

Gripping the long silver knife, Maxwell marches towards the


cracked bathroom door in ominous slow motion.

With back and blue eyes, Maxwell’s face is a mask of rage.

But we suddenly we hear a voice that is distinctly Stephan’s.

STEPHAN (V.O.)
No... don’t do it... stop...

INT. DR. WOLFRAM’S OFFICE - DAY


Stephan eyes snap open and he jumps up, but he still seems
half in a trance.

STEPHAN
STOP!!!

WOLFRAM
Stephan, Sit down. I’m going to
count backwards from ten...

STEPHAN
Oh, give me a break with that crap!

He paces and wrings his hands.

WOLFRAM
You need to move out of that house.
Right away.
2/17/2010 38.

STEPHAN
No... don’t you see? It’s not about
the house. I’ve been living with
Maxwell inside me my whole life.
(beat)
That’s why I hide in books - why I
can’t connect with Karen - I’m
afraid I’ll do it again.

WOLFRAM
Zelda is just an archetype - like a
symbol in a dream.

Dr. Wolfram sees that Stephan has pulled the silver knife out
of his pocket, and is fiddling with it as he paces. His voice
is sounding more and more like Maxwell’s.

STEPHAN
No. Karen IS Zelda. The only way
for me to get over what I did to
her, is to go through it again.
That’s why things keep repeating
and repeating and repeating... I
have to break cycle.

WOLFRAM
Please, Stephan. Put that away and
sit down. You’re in a hypnotic
state...

Stephan stands and bolts towards the door. His face is


twisted, as if possessed.

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
Ahhhh, quit beating your gums, ya’
old fruit, or I’ll cut out your
tongue.

As Stephan exits, Wolfram looks totally frazzled - unsure


what to do next. He pulls out Stephan’s file, pages through
it. Among voluminous notes are print outs of 1928’s newspaper
obituaries and yellowed police reports.

He finds a number under “emergency contact” and dials it.

WOLFRAM
Hello. Karen, you don’t know me,
but my name is Dr. Wolfram.
(beat)
I’m very concerned about your
friend Stephan. Please call me.

END OF ACT FOUR


2/17/2010 39.

ACT FIVE

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - KITCHEN - DUSK

Rain pelts the window, just as he saw it under hypnosis.


Stephan fingers the knife on the counter, making it spin.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Suddenly Karen rushes in the front door. She’s wearing sweats


and running shoes. Like Zelda she’s completely soaked through
to the skin. She’s laughing at herself.

KAREN
I’m sorry to barge in, Stepha-
licious. I got caught in the rain.

STEPHAN
Sit down and dry off, babydoll. I’m
making dinner.

KAREN
Your shrink left me a bunch of
messages. Do I have to worry about
you tonight?

STEPHAN
No. Tonight there’s no worrying.
Sit. Drink some wine. Relax.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - NIGHT

Stephan and Karen have a romantic dinner. Guzzling red wine.


Karen looks over at him as he waits on her like a servant.

KAREN
I could get used to this.

Stephan leans forward to touch her cheek. Karen pulls back.

KAREN (CONT’D)
Don’t do that. I’m all sweaty.

STEPHAN
Do you want to take a bath?

When she replies, a strange expression passes over her face,


coy and manipulative. As she speaks, another voice far away
seems to say the same words, like an echo.

KAREN/ZELDA
Are you going to watch me?
2/17/2010 40.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - BATHROOM - NIGHT

Stephan sits on the floor drinking wine. The little Buddha


statue sits on the sill of the half-open window, and steam
and candle smoke swirl around it like a veil.

Karen lounges in the bath, her body sip-sliding under


bubbles. Around the tub are dozens of burning candles. She
gulps more wine and smiles over at him, impish and wicked...

He feeds her pieces of cheese and sliced fruit.

KAREN
You know what? You were right all
along. I feel it now.

STEPHAN
What.

KAREN
(coy)
Deja Vu.

She slinks forward in the tub as if she is about to kiss him,


but instead, teasingly sinks under the surface of the water.

Stephan impulsively reaches down, picks up her sweatshirt. As


she rises up out of the water, she sees him SNIFFING IT.

STEPHAN
Cigarettes.

This shatters the mood. Karen’s smile fades. She looks away.

STEPHAN (CONT’D)
I thought you said smoking
“exploits the under-class.” That
cigarette companies “export death
to the third world?” Isn’t that
what you always say?

KAREN
(darkly)
I don’t smoke.

STEPHAN
But he does, doesn’t he? Does
Professor Butler have a cigarette
after you sleep together, like some
old movie?

KAREN
You have NO RIGHT to...
2/17/2010 41.

STEPHAN
Were you just with him?

Beat.

KAREN
Why don’t you have another bottle
of wine, Stephan. This is such a
charming side of you.

STEPHAN
I thought you liked my other side.

KAREN
Sure. Keep drinking. Maybe you can
work up the courage to kiss me.

STEPHAN
Right. But he doesn’t need a bottle
of wine to kiss you does he?

KAREN
No. He doesn’t.
(sarcastic)
Oh look, right there, you almost
showed a human emotion.

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
Who else besides him?

KAREN
What?

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
Since we met. Who else. How many?
KAREN
(venomous)
You mean just in the History
department, or the whole faculty?

Stephan stands up and stomps out of the bathroom. Karen’s


voice is shrill, another voice echoing behind it.

KAREN/ZELDA
You know what? You’re nuts, and I’m
sick and tired of waiting for you
to get your head together!

He doesn’t respond. He just continues walking down the hall.

As if possessed, she throws the Buddha statue at him.


2/17/2010 42.

KAREN/ZELDA (CONT’D)
I HATE you!

We recognize the expression that crosses Karen’s face. It’s


the same one we saw in the visions. Pure rage.

KAREN/ZELDA (CONT’D)
You’re not a man. You’re a self-
indulgent little boy... Who’s
frightened to death of women!

INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Stephan listens to her tirade and picks up the long, silver


knife. He runs his finger over the long sharp blade.

STEPHAN/MAXWELL
(darkly)
I’m not frightened anymore.

He grips the handle.

INT. BATHROOM (2008) - NIGHT

KAREN/ZELDA
Answer me you coward!

But there is no answer. Only ominous silence.

HALLWAY - KAREN’S POV

The long hall is dark and vacant.

ON ZELDA

The silence is broken by the loud RING of her digital phone.


She fishes it out of the pocket of her discarded sweat pants.
The caller I.D. reads Dr. Wolfram.

KAREN
What the Hell is it?!
(composing herself)
Yes, this is Karen.

Still angry, she reaches forward and grabs a towel and pushes
closed the bathroom door.

KAREN (CONT’D)
I don’t understand. Why are you
telling me this?
2/17/2010 43.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - HALLWAY - NIGHT

Gripping the long silver knife, a possessed Stephan marches


towards the cracked bathroom door in ominous slow motion.

INT. MAXWELL’S HOUSE (1928)- BATHROOM - INTERCUT

But it is Maxwell who walks in. He sees that the tub is


empty, clear water sloshing in the basin.

His expression is suddenly conflicted and uncertain. With a


trembling hand he puts the knife down on the plate of fruit.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - BATHROOM - INTERCUT

Staring at the empty tub, Stephan puts the knife down on the
plate of fruit and cheese.

INT. BATHROOM (1928) - INTERCUT

Zelda appears behind Maxwell wearing the kimono. She wraps


her arms around his waist and puts her head on his shoulder.

ZELDA
Don’t cry, tough guy. I’m just mean
when I’m drunk.
(beat)
Hey, I said I was sorry.

Beat. Maxwell stands frozen. Arms stiff at his sides. The


clock ticks and TICKS like a bomb.

MAXWELL
Get out. You don’t live here no
more. Get out, you filthy slut.
Her eyes flash with anger.

ZELDA
Don’t you ever call me that... I
warned you.

MAXWELL
I said get OUT. Whore.

INT. BATHROOM (2008) - INTERCUT

Stephan is frozen. Trembling. Staring into space.

INT. BATHROOM (1928) - INTERCUT

For a moment Zelda and Maxwell stand there motionless as an


old photograph... until the ticking clock starts to CHIME.
2/17/2010 44.

Exploding with a piercing shriek, Zelda grabs the knife...

... and buries the blade all the way to the hilt in Maxwell’s
chest, piercing his heart.

INT. BATHROOM (2008) - INTERCUT

Stephan grabs his chest. Falls back against the wall...

INT. BATHROOM (1928) - INTERCUT

As the clock CHIMES, blood spills across Maxwell’s chest. He


grabs the handle and pulls the blade out of his own body.

A JET OF BLOOD splatters the white tile, the blade falls from
his fingers and clatters in the sink...

... Just as we saw it in his vision.

He stumbles, overturning candles and falling backwards into


the tub. Zelda lets fly a horrific SCREAM!

CLOSE ON MAXWELL

Blood gushes from his chest and colors the bubbling bath-
water pink. He stares up blankly. His body limp and lifeless.

INT. BATHROOM (2008) - DAY

The vision subsides. Still clutching his chest, Stephan just


stares at the tub, finally understanding what really happened
there 80 years ago.

Then he sees, standing behind him...

... KAREN, GRIPPING THE HANDLE OF THE LONG, SILVER BLADE WITH
BOTH HANDS. She stares at him with wide-eyed madness.

Stephan raises his hands and looks her in the eyes. He speaks
calmly, even she trembles with anger. Entranced.

STEPHAN
Karen. Stop. Wait. Look at me. Look
at me in the eyes. It’s Stephan.

For a moment they stand motionless as an old photograph.

Slowly he reaches out...

... touches her hand...

... gently spreads her fingers.


2/17/2010 45.

STEPHAN (CONT’D)
It’s okay. Relax. I’m sorry I said
those things. I didn’t mean it.

Tears well up in her eyes, her expression melts.

... and takes the knife away.

The moment she relinquishes the knife she seems to come back
to the present.

KAREN
I remember... I remember
everything...

Abruptly, Stephan drops the knife in the sink, where is


clatters harmlessly on the porcelain.

KAREN (CONT’D)
I was holding you, and there was so
much blood, and I was crying but
you were already...

STEPHAN
Shhhh. Stop. I forgive you.

And she collapses in his arms.

STEPHAN (CONT’D)
I love you. I have since the first
moment I saw you.

KAREN
I love you too.

He looks down at her open mobile phone, lying on the floor.


STEPHAN
Who called?

KAREN
Your doctor. You won’t pick up your
phone, so he called me instead.

STEPHAN
What did he say?

KAREN
He said, Zelda Flemming’s real name
was Constance Dowd, and that she
was arrested for murder exactly 80
years ago and...
(crying)
(MORE)
2/17/2010 46.
KAREN (CONT'D)
That’s when memories started
flooding back. And I was so mad...
And I grabbed the knife...

He shushes her again.

STEPHAN
Forget it. It doesn’t matter now.

He hugs her, pressing her little head against his chest as


she weeps.

INT. STEPHAN’S HOUSE (2008) - DAY

For the first time we see warm sunlight beaming in the house
windows. The rooms are empty, clean and calm.

Karen carries a box down the long dark hallway. Suddenly she
stops, smiles and picks up something discarded on the floor.

KAREN
Hey... I thought I broke this.

The Buddha figurine, smiling wisely and surprisingly intact.

As she moves on towards the door, Stephan follows with two


suitcases, but he takes on last look over his shoulder...

THE BATHROOM - STEPHAN’S VISION

Zelda, her cheeks streaked with tears, cradles Maxwell’s dead


body on the tile floor. She pets his face. Strokes his hair.
Rocks him back and forth, staining her white kimono red.

AT THE FRONT DOOR


KAREN (CONT’D)
We all done here?

STEPHAN
Yes.

Stephan closes the door.

END

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