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                                     THE BOX



                                    Written by

                                   Richard Kelly



                              Based on the short story

                                  "BUTTON, BUTTON"

                                         By

                                  Richard Matheson





                                                     Sep 30th, 2006                         

                         

          OVER A BLACI: SCREEN:
          Crickets chirp in the night.
          A DOORBELL rings.
          Sheets rustle...
          A BEDSIDE LAMP is turned on.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- MASTER BEDROOM -- NIGHT

          NORMA LEWIS ( 31) sits up in bed. The soft glow of the lamp
           casts her in silhouette. Her husband, ARTHUR LEWIS (30), lies
          next to her.

                          NORMA
          Did you hear something?

                         ARTHUR
          The doorbell.

                         NORMA
          Are you sure that was the doorbell?
          From down below... the DOORBELL rings again.

                         ARTHUR
          Yep.
          Norma retrieves her WATCH from the bedside table.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)
          What time is it?

                         NORMA
          Quarter 'til five.
          Norma gets out of bed and throws on her bathrobe.
          Arthur sits up, hair sticking up in every direction. He has
          sideburns that run down the side of his face like daggers.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FOYER -- NEXT

          Norma comes down the stairs and approaches the front door.
          She looks through the PEEPHOLE.
          Through the PEEPHOLE... she glimpses a BLACK SEDAN idling in
          the street. It quickly drives off.
          Norma unlatches the DEAD BOLT and opens the door. She notices
          something at her feet.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          2.
          Someone has left a CARDBOARD BOX on the front step. It's
          dimensions are 1' x 1' x 1'
          She leans down and picks up the box, noticing that it has
          been meticulously sealed with clear tape. There are no
          markings on it whatsoever.
          Norma looks down the quiet, empty street. She quickly closes
          the door and turns inside and away from the cold air.
          Arthur arrives at the bottom of the stairs.

                         ARTHUR
          What is it?

                         NORMA
          Someone left a box.

                         ARTHUR
          Who?

                         NORMA
          I don't know. There was a car
          waiting... but they drove off.
          Norma hands the box to Arthur. He examines it.

          MALE VOICE (O.S.)
          Is that one of my Christmas
          presents?
          Their young son, WALTER LEWIS ( 9), is standing at the top of
          the stairs. He is dressed in his pajamas.
          His parents just stare back at him in silence.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER

          The Lewis family has now moved into the kitchen. WRAPPING
          PAPER and CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS are scattered across the table.
          Norma is pouring COFFEE. Arthur is cutting through the tape
          that seals the box with a knife while Walter looks on
          eagerly.

                         WALTER
          Should I close my eyes?

                         ARTHUR
          Maybe... it's up to you.
          Arthur opens the lid and sees that there are FOAM PEANUTS
          inside. He digs down and retrieves a WOODEN BOX. Its
          dimensions are 8" x 8" x 8".

                         

                         

                         

                         

          3.
          The box is made of WHITE OAK with a clear varnish. Mounted on
          top is a CLEAR GLASS DOME attached to a lid with a HINGE
          MOUNT. Inside of the dome is a CYLINDRICAL METAL BUTTON.

                         NORMA
          Is there a note?
          Arthur reaches inside the box and retrieves a small WHITE
          ENVELOPE. Printed on the envelope in CALLIGRAPHY is the name:

          MRS. LEWIS

                         ARTHUR
          It's for you, Norma.
          Norma opens the envelope and removes a folded piece of white
          stationary.
          Printed in elegant calligraphy is a single sentence:

          MR. STEWARD WILL CALL UPON YOU AT 5:00 PM.

                         NORMA
          Mr. Steward will call upon you at 5

          PM.

                         (TO HERSELF)
          Do I know a Mr. Steward?
          Arthur yawns.

                         ARTHUR
          I dunno. You tell us.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- LATER THAT MORNING

          Arthur is now showered and shaven, dressed for work. He and
          Walter sit at the kitchen table, waiting for Norma to deliver
          breakfast.
          The box sits on the table between them.
          Arthur opens up the newspaper.

                         INSERT SHOTS:

          RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH... FRIDAY, DECEMBER 17, 1976.

                         BANNER HEADLINE:

          OPEC SAID TO DECIDE ON SPLIT HIKE
          Arthur turns the page.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          4.

                         ARTHUR
          What kind of car was it?

                         NORMA
          I couldn't see. It was dark and 1
          didn't have my contacts in.

                         WALTER
          Why would they just drive off?

                         NORMA
          I don't know. But the bus will be
          here if five minutes... so eat.

          EXT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FRONT WALK -- MOMENTS LATER

          Norma and Walter emerge from the house onto the front porch.
          She hands him his LUNCH BOX and a WINTER HAT. SNOW has begun
          to fall from the sky.

                         WALTER
          Last day of school and now it
          starts to snow?!

                         NORMA
          Put on your hat...
          A young girl, DANA ( 13) is waiting at the end of the
           sidewalk. She is wrapped head-to-toe in warm clothes...
          EARMUFFS and SCARF around her neck.

                         DANA
          (muffled through scarf)
          Hi Mrs. Lewis.

                         NORMA
          Good morning, Dana.

                         (SHIVERING)
          And please call me Norma. You're
          making me feel old.

                         WALTER
          You are old!

                         NORMA
          I'm thirty-one!

                         WALTER
          To us that's old! You're a geezer!

                         NORMA
          Well you'll be a geezer one day
          too, smarty-pants.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          5.
          Norma closes her eyes, taking in a breath of cold air.
          Snowflakes land in her face and hair.
          Walter sighs... looking at his watch.

                         WALTER
          Why does the bus stop have to be at
          the end of our driveway?

                         NORMA

                         (HIGH-PITCHED)
          So I can watch my little Walter get
          on his bus... safe in one piece!
          Down the street, A SCHOOL BUS begins to crest the hill...
          fast approaching...

                         WALTER
          Please. Go. Inside. You're
          embarrassing me.

                         NORMA
          My love embarrasses you?

                         WALTER
          Yes. Yes it does.
          She begins to walk down the sidewalk... taunting him as the
          bus approaches.

                         NORMA
          What if I give little Walter a
          little kiss in front of all his
          friends on the school bus?
          Dana's eyes widen. A MISCHIEVOUS GRIN emerges from behind the
          scarf that covers the lower part of her face.

                         DANA
          Do it!
          The bus is fast approaching... brakes squealing as it slows
          to a stop.

                         WALTER
          Don't come any closer!
          Norma gives him a big HUG and a KISS right as the bus doors
          open. A bunch of OLDER KIDS stare out the window... scowling
          at him.
          Walter pushes away from her and stomps up onto the bus...
          mortified. Dana follows him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          6.

                         NORMA
          Dana... you're baby-sitting for us
          tonight, right?

                         DANA
          Eight o'clock?

                         NORMA
          Eight o'clock.

                         DANA
          Okay.
          Dana gets on the bus. BUD WALL (30s), the bus driver, smiles
          at Norma. He is an enormous giant of a man with a shaved
          head.

                         NORMA
          Bus-Driver Bud! Merry Christmas...

                         BUD
          Our last day!

                         NORMAL
          I know!

                         BUD
          It'll all be over soon, Norma.
          He stares at her for a moment that is almost too long... then
          shuts the doors to the bus.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arthur sits at the table... reading the morning paper.
          The CAMERA zooms into the COMICS SECTION... revealing the
          panels of the comic strip REX MORGAN, MD. Arthur begins
          reading the voices of REX MORGAN and his girlfriend JUNE.

                         ARTHUR
          (as Rex Morgan)
          Do you realize that this is the
          first time in my life that I will
          be taking more than a week's
          vacation, June?
          Norma arrives in the kitchen. She now has a slight limp.

                         ARTHUR (CONT-D)
          (as June, hi-pitched)
          And enjoy it! Don't worry about the
          office!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          .4

          7.

                         NORMA
          Rex Morgan... I need you back here
          no later than seven. Rehearsal
          dinner starts at eight.
          Arthur grabs his BRIEFCASE and a BASKETBALL.

                         ARTHUR
          The Viking Squad has a game at
          four.

                         NORMA
          Don't get stuck in Friday
          traffic...

                         ARTHUR
          Okay June.
          He starts bouncing the ball on the kitchen floor.
          She grabs the ball in mid bounce... annoyed with him.

                         NORMA
          Not in the house!

                         ARTHUR
          How's your foot?

                         NORMA
          It's fine.
          She pushes him toward into the FAMILY ROOM... opening the
          door that leads out to the garage.
          They exit the house and the CAMERA drifts back toward the
          kitchen table... moving in toward the box.

           EXT. LEWIS HOUSE -- DRIVEWAY -- MOMENTS LATER

           The GARAGE DOOR opens and both of the LEWIS FAMILY CARS back
           out at the same time, almost choreographed in perfect unison.
           Arthur drives a SILVER 1975 PONTIAC TRANS-AM. Norma drives a
          WHITE 1976 OLDSMOBILE STATION WAGON with WOOD WALLS.
          They pull out onto MONUMENT AVENUE, cars pointing in opposite
          directions. Arthur rolls down his window.

                         ARTHUR
          It's your Christmas present.

                         NORMA
          From you?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          B.

                         ARTHUR
          From your secret lover.

                         (BEAT)
          Mr. Steward.
          She furrows her brow.

                         NORMA

                         (SARCASTIC)
          I hate you, Rex Morgan MD.

                         ARTHUR

                         (PLAYFUL)
          I hate you, too.

                         NORMA
          Don't be late tonight.

                         ARTHUR
          I've got your present at work. It's
          almost finished.
          He smiles... then peels off down Monument Ave.
          From Norma's REAR VIEW MIRROR... Arthur's car disappears down
          the road. She reaches up to re-adjust... her eyes appear in
          the mirror's reflection.
          INSERT: Norma's VIRGINIA license plate.
          The Oldsmobile drives down the street in the opposite
          direction.

          EXT. DOWNTOWN RICHMOND -- MORNING

          HELICOPTER SHOT: The CAMERA crests over the barren WINTER
          FOREST on the southeast side of the city... tipping up to
          reveal DOWNTOWN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA.

          RADIO VOICE (V.0.)
          It's twenty-three degrees on this
          December morning here in
          Richmond...
          The CAMERA moves over the DOWNTOWN EXPRESSWAY... heavy
          traffic moves in either direction.
          The CAMERA approaches the side of ARTHUR'S TRANS-AM as it
          crests around the INTERSTATE EXCHANGE onto ROUTE 64 at the
          HISTORICAL CLOCK TOWER of MAIN STREET TRAIN STATION.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          9.

          RADIO VOICE (V.0.) (CONT - D)
          The French government, in what was
          seen here as a gesture to President-
          elect Jimmy Carter, announced
          Thursday a further tightening of
          controls over the exportation of
          nuclear technology.
          The CAMERA swoops down alongside the driver's side of
          Arthur's car... moving into the SIDE VIEW MIRROR. His face
          reflected in the mirror... listening to the radio as he
          begins his southbound commute to work.

          EXT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- MORNING

          The CAMERA pulls back from .a sign at the entrance to
          COLLEGIATE... an exclusive PRIVATE SCHOOL. Norma's STATION
          WAGON pulls into the school parking lot.

          INT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- HALLWAY -- MOMENTS LATER

          The CAMERA tracks with Norma as makes her way through the
          CROWDED HALLWAY... filled with LOUD TEENAGERS from the age of
          9-18. Her limp. has gotten worse.
          She WINKS at someone... then turns a corner and the CAMERA
          whips around to reveal WALTER standing at his locker. He
           closes the door, revealing Dana and another friend named
          CHARLES ( 12) standing there.

                         DANA
          Why does your mom limp?

                         CHARLES
          Yeah... is something wrong with her
          foot?

                         WALTER
          That's none of your business.

                         CHARLES
          Dana saw her take her shoe off in
          the parking lot yesterday.

                         DANA
          There's definitely something wrong
          with her foot. It looks mangled.

                         CHARLES
          You didn't say mangled... you said
          it looked gross.
          Walter lunges at Charles and pushes him up against the
          locker... awkwardly trying to fight him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          10.
          They continue to wrestle awkwardly for a moment against the
          lockers and then Walter lets go... backing away.

                         WALTER
          If you ever make fun of my mom
          again I'll kill you!
          Walter storms off down the hall.

          INT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- OFFICE -- MOMENTS LATER

          The CAMERA moves through the SCHOOL OFFICE as teachers and
          RECEPTIONISTS move about in preparation for the last day,
          approaching a FROSTED GLASS DOOR that reads:

          DR. WILLIAM H. POATES

          INT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE -- NEXT

          Norma sits across from the desk of WILLIAM POATES (45), the
          principal of the school.

                         POATES
          The uhhh... the board came to a
          vote last week, so it's official.
          They've officially cancelled the
          faculty tuition discount.

                         NORMA
          So what does that mean for me?

          P OATE S
          You're going to have to start
          paying full tuition for your son.

                         NORMA
          Starting when?

                         POATES
          Next semester.
          Norma notices a SMALL DROP of BLOOD forming in his right
          nostril.

                         NORMA
          Okay.

                         POATES
          I'm real sorry about this, Norma.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          11.

                         NORMA
          Yeah, me too. I've got three weeks
          to figure out how to tell my son we
          can't afford to send him to
          Collegiate any more.
          The drop of blood has begun to flow down onto his upper lip.

                         POATES
          Like I said, I'm real sorry.

                         NORMA
          Yeah... your nose is bleeding.
          Poates reaches for his HANDKERCHIEF and puts it to his face,
          wiping off the blood. The MORNING BELL rings.

          INT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- HALLWAY -- MOMENTS LATER

          Norma walks hurriedly down the empty hallway. Her limp has
          gotten worse as the morning grind has now begun.

          INT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- SCIENCE LAB -- MOMENTS LATER

          Norma comes into her CLASSROOM... a SCIENCE LAB with SINKS
          and BUNSEN BURNERS mounted in MARBLE TOP DESKS. Kids are
          moving about... loud and rambunctious.

                         NORMA
          Okay... everyone quiet down! Take
          your seats!
          Norma moves toward a stack of METAL TRAYS on her desk. Inside
          of each tray is a BALL OF BLACK MUSH.

                         NORMA (CONT-D)
          Today is the day many of you have
          been eagerly awaiting. You get to
          dissect owl pellets.
          A MALE STUDENT ( 13) pumps his fist...

                         MALE STUDENT #1
          Yes!
          Norma sets an OWL PELLET down in front of a FEMALE STUDENT
          ( 12). She looks at the owl pellet in disgust.

                         FEMALE STUDENT #1
          This is so gross.
          Norma sets a tray down in front of Charles.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          12.

                         CHARLES
          Why do they call it an owl pellet?
          A MALE STUDENT ( 12) next to him takes his tray from Norma.

                         MALE STUDENT #2
          Because they shit out of their
          mouths.

                         NORMA
          Hey... watch the language. You say
          another cuss word I've gotta send
          you to detention, okay?

                         MALE STUDENT #2
          Sorry, Mrs. Lewis.

                         FEMALE STUDENT #1
          Is it true?

                         NORMA
          Is what true?

                         FEMALE STUDENT #1
          That owls poo out of their mouths.

                         NORMA
          Yes... this is true.
          The classroom gasps in disgust... others laugh.

                         NORMA (CONT-D)
          Grey forest owls feed upon field
          mice, squirrels and small birds.
          The owl will then regurgitate the
          bones and waste matter in a ball of
          black mucous. Inside this mucous
          you will likely find the entire
          skeleton of its prey.
          Norma goes to the front of the room and lowers a SCREEN.

                         NORMA (CONT-D)
          I'm going to show you a film about
          the digestive process of the owl,
          and how the owl pellet is formed.
          The classroom whispers with excitement.

          EXT. NASA LANGLEY RESEARCH CENTER -- ENTRANCE GATE -- MORNING

          Arthur pulls through the ENTRANCE GATE at the NASA LANGLEY
          RESEARCH CENTER. He retrieves his BADGE from the dashboard
          and shows it to the guard.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          13.

          EXT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- MAIN STREET -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arthur's car drives down MAIN STREET on the campus of the
          research center. The buildings are predominately drab,
          functional, one story brick structures.. surrounded by
          various GLOBE STRUCTURES and PIPE NETWORKS on manicured green
          lawns.

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- CORRIDOR -- MOMENTS LATER

          The CAMERA tracks with Arthur as he moves through the crowded
          corridor of one of the research buildings. He says hello to
          various colleagues along the way.
          All of the men at the facility are dressed the same... with
          white shirts and TIES and POCKET PROTECTOR BADGES. The place
          resembles an all-male community college for young scientists.

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- MEDIA ROOM -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arthur eases his way into the small, crowded AUDITORIUM that
          serves as a MEDIA ROOM. A PRESS CONFERENCE is underway.
          NORM CAHILL ( 40s), the VIKING PROJECT COORDINATOR, is
           standing at the podium. Next to him is an OVERHEAD PROJECTOR
          with maps and various schematics projected from it onto a

          LARGE SCREEN.

                         REPORTER #1
          It's been five months since the
          Viking lander touched down on the
          surface of Mars. We've seen dozens
          of photographs of the rock covered
          surface... what can you now tell us
          about the tests you've been
          conducting? Is there any sign of
          life on the red planet?
          Arthur takes a seat in the back of the auditorium.

                         CAHILL
          Well... there are three separate
          tests that we've been conducting...
          Pyrolytic Release, Labeled Release
          and Gas Exchange. The first two
          tests, based on soil samples about
          22 centimeters deep, came back
          negative... and the third is...
          still pending.
          Cahill smiles. Laughter erupts from various parts of the
          auditorium.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          14.

                         REPORTER #1
          Can you elaborate on test number
          three?
          Cahill places a transparent MAP of the mars surface on the
          overhead projector and begins to draw on it with a WAX

          PENCIL.

                         CAHILL
          The gas exchange experiment
          measures the production or uptake
          of C02, nitrogen, methane,
          hydrogen, and oxygen during the
          incubation of the martian soil
          sample.

                         REPORTER #2
          Are you showing us all of the
          photos? Are there little green men
          up there?
          Laughter from the press.

                         CAHILL
          Well... there is a possibility that
          the planet abounds with chemical
          compounds produced by living
          systems. Their chemical nature,
          distribution and structural
          uniqueness could be used to argue
          the presence of microscopic living
          organisms on Mars.
          As Cahill moves on to the next question... Arthur taps the
          reporter on the shoulder.

                         ARTHUR
          It all comes down to water.
          Arthur points to an OVERHEAD SATELLITE PHOTO of Utopia
          Planitia, a raised level of martian terrain in the vicinity
          of the site where VIKING II landed.
          There are dry river-bed formations in the soil.

                         ARTHUR (CONT-D)
          If we find water beneath the
          surface... and the topographic maps
          of Utopia Planitia indicate that
          there were once rivers on the
          surface of the planet, it's
          possible that we'll eventually find
          evidence of life.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          15.

          INT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- SCIENCE LAB -- MOMENTS LATER

          The OWL PELLET FILM is underway. Norma sits in the back of
          the class next to the projector. She crosses her legs...
          reaching for her foot... massaging it gently. She cringes...
          clearly in intense pain.
          Charles looks back at her... noticing this. They make eye
          contact... and Charles turns back to the screen.

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- CAHILL'S OFFICE -- MORNING

          Arthur now sits across from Cahill in his office. Behind him
          is a window that overlooks a huge laboratory.

                         CAHILL
          I'm sorry Arthur, but they've
          denied your application to be
          admitted into the astronaut
          program.
          Arthur looks crushed.

                         ARTHUR
          I see.

                         (BEAT)
          Can I ask why?

                         CAHILL
          I'm sorry, son... but they don't
          tell us why.

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- LABORATORY -- LATER ON

          The CAMERA tracks through a LARGE LABORATORY in the heart of
          one of the main buildings on the Langley campus.
          Work tables assembled with LABORATORY EQUIPMENT and MACHINERY
          extend out into infinity as DOZENS OF YOUNG MEN, all dressed
          in similar white shirts with NASA ID BADGES move throughout,
          engaged in various tasks.
          Arthur is standing at a LABORATORY TABLE with a WHITE MASK
          on. He is wearing a LAB COAT and GLASSES.
          He pours PINK LIQUID onto the surface of a METAL PAN...
          filling it to the edges.
          A colleague named WENDELL JAMES ( 29) walks over to see what
          he is doing.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          16.

                         ARTHUR
          Are they really with-holding some
          of the Mars photos?

                         WENDELL
          I don't know, man. Jesus... what's
          that smell?

                         ARTHUR
          It's a salinic compound.

                         WENDELL
          What are you making?

                         ARTHUR
          Christmas present for Norma.
          Arthur retrieves a WHITE CERAMIC MOLD. The mold has an
          extrusion that is shaped like a WOMAN'S FOOT... only the end
          of the foot is round and missing its toes, save for the PINKY

          TOE.

                         WENDELL
          A new prosthesis for her foot?

                         ARTHUR
          Yep.
          Arthur carefully impresses the MOLD of his wife's foot into
          the pink goop... sealing the mold at the edges into the tray.

                         WENDELL
          What did you change up this time?

                         ARTHUR
          The compound they're developing for
          the pilot chairs on the space
          shuttle.

          INT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- SCIENCE LAB -- NEXT

          INSERT: The BONES of a FIELD MOUSE have been re-assembled in
          rough form within the tray... as the OWL PELLET has been
          ripped apart.
          The tray belongs to Charles, and he has grown tired of
          dissecting the owl pellet.
          He looks up to the head of the class and sees that Norma is
          sitting up on her desk... filing her nails... waiting out the
          last remaining minutes of the period.

                         CHARLES
          Mrs. Lewis?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          17.
          She raises her head.

                         NORMA
          Hmmm?

                         CHARLES
          What happened to your foot?
          She just stares at him.

                         NORMA
          What happened... to my foot?

                         CHARLES
          Yeah.

                         (BEAT)
          My friend... she saw you take your
          shoe off. She said... that there's
          something wrong with it.
          The whole class goes silent. Norma begins to blush. She looks
          down at her right foot, hidden inside of a CLOSED-TOE SHOE.

                         NORMA
          Well... it's a long story.
          She looks at her watch.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          We've got five minutes until second
          period.
          She looks back at her class and sees that their curiosity has
          been piqued. She has no choice now but to tell them.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          Alright... I'll tell you what
          happened to my foot.

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- LABORATORY -- NEXT

          Arthur sits at the table with Wendell... waiting for the MOLD
          to dry. Arthur is dealing a deck of cards as they begin a
          game of GIN RUMMY.

                         ARTHUR
          When she was seventeen... still
          living in Texas, her brother
          dropped a barbell on her foot...
          broke three of her toes.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          18.

          INT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- SCIENCE LAB -- NEXT

          The CAMERA pans across the faces of STUDENTS as they listen
          to her tell the story.

                         NORMA
          And so I go to see the doctor. He
          goes to take an X-ray of my foot to
          see if the bones are broken.

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- LABORATORY -- NEXT

          Arthur discards... then retrieves a replacement card from the
          stack.

                         ARTHUR
          So this dumb-ass Richmond doctor
          takes the x-ray... then he goes to
          check on another patient down the
          hall.
          Arthur discards a king.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)
          This dumb--ass... he left the x-ray
          machine on.

                         WENDELL
          Jesus. That's not good.

          INT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- SCIENCE LAB -- NEXT

          Norma raises up her right shoe to show the class.

                         NORMA
          They found out that the tissue in
          four of my toes had been completely

                         I
          destroyed by the radiation.
          Norma swivels around on the desk and places her right foot
          against her left inner thigh.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          So they have to amputate four of my
          toes. And then they had to take a
          bunch of skin from my inner thigh
          to cover the front of my foot. This
          is back in 1963... so they didn't
          have the skin graft techniques they
          do now.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          19.

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- LABORATORY -- NEXT

          Arthur stands up and takes his RIGHT FOOT... pulls it up and
          touches it to his LEFT INNER THIGH.

                         ARTHUR
          She had to sit there in a hospital
          bed in the same position for six
          months, waiting for it to heal.
          Wendell stares at the mold on the laboratory table.

                         WENDELL
          Jesus. I hope she sued this idiot.

                         ARTHUR
          Oh yeah. Her family sued. They won.

                         WENDELL
          What was the settlement?

                         ARTHUR
          Forty thousand dollars.
          Arthur pulls the ceramic mold out of the pink goop... and we
          see the IMPRESSION of her disfigured foot inside the new

          PROSTHESIS.

          INT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- SCIENCE LAB -- NEXT

          Norma turns around and uncrosses her legs. They now dangle
          over the edge of the lab desk.

                         NORMA
          You guys want to see it? Now that
          the secret is out... I don't want
          you spreading rumors about my
          mangled foot.
          The class responds enthusiastically.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          Come on... gather round... take a
          look at the freak show.
          As the kids gather around... Norma removes her right shoe and
          reveals her disfigured foot... missing every toe but her
          pinky. A rounded piece of SCAR TISSUE covers the rest of it.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          20.

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- LABORATORY -- NEXT

          Arthur takes the trimmed PROSTHESIS and wraps it in tissue
          paper, then places it in a CARDBOARD BOX with a red bow on
          it.

                         ARTHUR
          If this sucker works... she can,
          start jogging again.

          INT. COLLEGIATE SCHOOL -- HALLWAY -- MIDDAY

          Dana walks up to Walter as he stands in front of his locker.

                         DANA
          I'm sorry I said that her foot
          looked gross.

                         WALTER
          It doesn't look gross... it looks
          cool. And if you can't tell the
          difference between gross and
          cool... then I feel sorry for you,
          Dana.
          Walter walks off... leaving her alone.

          EXT. LEWIS HOUSE -- AFTERNOON

          Norma emerges from her car carrying GROCERY BAGS in both
          arms. Walter comes out of the garage with his bike.

                         NORMA
          Hey honey.

                         WALTER
          Why do I need a baby-sitter?

                         NORMA
          Because you're nine years old.
          You're not a geezer yet.

                         WALTER
          It's 1976, mom. Times are changing.
          Nine years old isn't what it used
          to be. I think I'm ready to get a
          moped.

                         NORMA
          We're not buying you a moped,
          Walter. Stick with the bike... and
          be home before dark.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          21.

                         WALTER
          Fine.
          Walter rides off down the street.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FOYER -- NEXT

          Norma comes into the foyer, groceries in hand. The PHONE is
          ringing.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Norma comes into the kitchen, sets the groceries down on the
          kitchen table. She grabs the phone off the wall and puts it
          to her ear.

                         NORMA
          Hello?
          There is silence on the other end of the line.

                         NORMA (CONT-D)
          Hello?
          A MOMENT OF SILENCE... then the caller disconnects.
          Norma hangs up the phone and starts unloading the groceries.
          The box sits on the table... but she takes no notice of it.

          EXT. GYMNASIUM -- EARLY EVENING

          Arthur emerges from a NASA CAMPUS GYMNASIUM into the twilight
          with Wendell. Both are covered in sweat, dressed in gym
          clothes. Arthur is carrying his BASKETBALL and a gym bag.

                         WENDELL
          How's the commute back to Richmond?

                         ARTHUR
          Not too bad. Maybe an hour and
          twenty minutes.

                         WENDELL
          Tell Norma I said hello.
          Wendell watches him walk across the lawn to the parking
          lot... approaching his car. He lights a cigarette and takes a
          drag... then looks at his watch.
          INSERT: His watch shows that it is 4:58 PM.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          22.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FAMILY ROOM -- NEXT

          Norma sits on the couch... smoking a CIGARETTE. On the
          TELEVISION... the LOCAL NEWS is playing.
          The DOORBELL rings.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FOYER -- NEXT

          Norma opens the front door.
          A man named ARLINGTON STEWARD (40) is standing there, his
          body is turned in profile. He is wearing a crisp wool suit
          and a BLACK HAT, with a BRIEFCASE in his right hand.

                         ARLINGTON
          Mrs. Lewis?

                         NORMA
          Yeah.

                         ARLINGTON
          My name is Arlington Steward.
          Her eyes light up, as she remembers the name and the box.
          Arlington then rotates his body... revealing the RIGHT SIDE
          of his face. Norma's eyes widen in horror at what she sees.
          Nearly all of the right side of his face from his cheekbone
          to his lower jaw has been burned away. His rear MOLARS and
          GUMS are exposed beneath the absence of tissue that is
          supposed to conceal them.
          Norma immediately feels a strange connection... a deep
          sympathy for him and the pain he must have endured.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT-D)
          I assume you received the box that
          I left on your doorstep.
          His speech has a slight impediment from the burn that extends
          to the right side of his mouth.

                         NORMA
          Oh, yes. Yes we did.

                         ARLINGTON
          And you retrieved the button unit
          inside of the box.
          Norma smiles. He smiles back at her.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          23.

                         NORMA
          The button unit. That's what you
          call it?

                         ARLINGTON
          Indeed. May I come in?

                         NORMA
          Sure.
          Norma turns and leads him back into the kitchen. She
          retrieves the button unit from the table.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          So what it this thing? I assume
          you're trying to sell me something?

                         ARLINGTON
          Well... in a way, yes. I do have an
          offer to make.

                         NORMA
          Yeah? What are you selling?

                         ARLINGTON
          A financial opportunity.
          Arlington gestures toward the table with his briefcase.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          May I?
          She nods. He places the briefcase down on the table.
          He takes the button unit from her and sets it down on the
          kitchen table. They both sit down.
          He then withdraws a SMALL YELLOW ENVELOPE from his suit
          jacket pocket.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          inside of this envelope is a key.
          Arlington opens the envelope and withdraws a small METAL KEY.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          This is the key that opens the
          glass dome of the button unit.
          Arlington then inserts the key into a small HORIZONTAL SLOT
          at the top edge. He turns the key, and the LID that houses
          the GLASS DOME pops lose.
          The METAL BUTTON is now exposed.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          24.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          If you push the button, one of two
          things will happen.

                         (BEAT)
          First, someone... somewhere in the
          world... who you do not know...
          will die.
          Norma just stares at him.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          Then, you will receive a payment of
          two-hundred thousand dollars... tax
          free.
          Arlington opens the briefcase. Inside are neatly stacked rows
          of ONE-HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          The money will be delivered to you
          in cash.
          Norma covers her mouth... shocked at the sight of so much
          money.

                         NORMA
          Are you for real?
          Arlington smiles back at her.

                         ARLINGTON
          Mrs. Lewis, I can assure you that
          the offer is real.

                         NORMA
          Who do you work for?

                         ARLINGTON
          The guarantee of payment has
          several restrictions. One... I am
          not permitted to disclose any
          information about to the identity
          of my employers.

                         (BEAT)
          Two... if you discuss the details
          of this financial opportunity with
          anyone other than your husband, the
          offer is null and void, and you
          will not receive the money in
          return for having pushed the
          button.

                         (BEAT)
          Three... you have twenty four
          hours.
          Arlington glances at his watch.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          25.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          You have until five o'clock
          tomorrow evening to make your
          decision whether or not to push the
          button. At that time, I will return
          to retrieve the button unit from
          you. It will be re-programmed and
          the offer will be made to someone
          else.
          Arlington places the key back into the envelope, seals it
          with crisp precision, and hands it over to her.
          He then closes the briefcase and stands up to leave.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          Until then... a good day to you,
          Mrs. Lewis.
          He nods his head and turns toward the foyer.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FOYER -- NEXT

          She follows him toward the front door.

                         NORMA
          Wait a minute... you're just going
          to leave me with this thing.

                         (BAFFLED)
          Is this some kind of joke? Who are
          you?
          He opens the front door and turns back to her with a friendly
          smile.

                         ARLINGTON
          My name is Arlington Steward, and I
          can assure you that this is no
          joke. The offer is real, but I am
          not at liberty to disclose any more
          information than I already have.
          He withdraws a BUSINESS CARD and hands it to her.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          Good day.
          He heads down the walk toward his car.
          She looks down at the card and sees that his name is printed
          in an embossed BLACK FONT:

                         ARLINGTON STEWARD

                         

                         

                         

                         

          26.
          She turns the card over and sees what looks like a PHONE
          NUMBER printed on the back:

                         8 0 4 7 9 4 1 7 7 9
          She stands there in the doorway and watches him step into the
          automobile, start the engine and drive off.

          EXT. CARYTOWN SHOPPING CENTER -- AFTERNOON

          Walter is sitting on a bench in front of a line of shops in
          CARYTOWN. Dana approaches him.
          He turns to face her.

                         WALTER
          What do you want?

                         DANA
          I'm sorry. I just wanted to tell
          you... that I think your mom is
          beautiful.
          Walter just stares at her in silence... wanting to forgive
          her.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Norma walks back into the kitchen, holding the key envelope
          in one hand and the business card in the other.
          She stares at them both, then down at the box. She then
          retrieves the key from the envelope and inserts it into the
          slot, opening the glass dome.
          She stares at the button for a long moment... then closes the
          dome. She closes her eyes... trying to make sense of what has
          just transpired.

          INT. BURNS HOUSE -- NEXT

          The CAMERA zooms out from a RINGING PHONE that sits on a
          KITCHEN COUNTER in a large suburban house. SUSAN BURNS (50s)
          goes to answer the phone.

                         SUSAN
          Hello?

                         NORMA (PHONE)
          Hey mom.

                         SUSAN
          Hey honey. What's up?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          27.

                         NORMA (PHONE)
          Nothing... I just...
           The CAMERA continues to zoom out, revealing her husband, JIM
          BURNS (50s) laid out in a recliner, watching television.

                         SUSAN
          Is something wrong?

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Norma stares at the business card.

                         NORMA
          No... something just happened
          and...

                         SUSAN (PHONE)
          What?

                         NORMA
          Nothing. I don't want to talk about
          it right now.

          INT. BURNS HOUSE -- FAMILY ROOM -- NEXT

          Susan carries the phone into the family room

                         SUSAN
          Alright.
          (covering the phone)
          Jim... you gotta get ready.

                         JIM
          Alright.
          He sits up and moves toward the stairs.

                         SUSAN
          Wait until you see the spread
          tonight.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Norma twirls the phone cord around her finger.

                         NORMA
          Hmmm. I think they're spending more
          on their wedding than we did on our
          house.

                         SUSAN (PHONE)
          Is your foot acting up again?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          28.
          Norma leans against the wall... lifting her right foot off
          the floor to ease the pain.

                         NORMA
          A little, yeah. That damn bone. The
          skin from my leg, it's not as tough
          as it should be.

                         SUSAN (PHONE)
          You know he's gonna be there
          tonight.

                         NORMA
          Who?

                         SUSAN
          Dr. Stupid.
          Norma takes this in... remembering...

                         NORMA
          Well... it's been what... thirteen
          years? Bound to run into each other
          at some point, right?

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- MASTER BATHROOM -- LATER ON

          Norma is now wearing only her BRA AND PANTIES, her hair and
          make-up flawless. She finishes putting on a pair of DIAMOND

          EARRINGS.
          As she steps into an elegant COCKTAIL DRESS... we see the
          deep square shaped SCARS on the inside of her LEFT THIGH.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- MASTER BEDROOM -- NEXT

          Norma comes into the bedroom... and ARTHUR is there...
          putting on his CUFF LINKS. He is dressed in a TUXEDO.
          His jacket is laid out on the bed, and next to it is his
          CHRISTMAS PRESENT. Norma sees it.

                         NORMA
          What's this?

                         ARTHUR
          A little gift from Dr. Rex Morgan.
          She opens the present and retrieves the PROSTHESIS.

                         NORMA
          Oh my god!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          29.
          Norma removes an old, store-bought INSOLE from her right shoe
          and inserts the new one.

                         ARTHUR
          It's a material they developed for
          the new shuttle chairs. It'll
          absorb the pressure of your foot
          and re-distribute it across the
          entire surface area.
          She then slides her disfigured foot into the shoe... and
          begins to walk around the room.

                         NORMA
          Oh my God, Rex... how'd you do it?

                         ARTHUR
          I just figured out a way to make it
          better.
          She crosses the room and gives him a hug and a kiss.

                         NORMA
          I don't know what I'd do without
          you.

                         ARTHUR
          Merry Christmas, June.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FAMILY ROOM -- MOMENTS LATER

          Norma and Arthur come into the family room, wearing their
          winter coats. Walter is sitting across the coffee table with
          Dana. They are playing CARDS.
          The box is sitting between them.

                         WALTER
          Did Mr. Steward show up?
          Norma sees the box sitting there and immediately grabs it off
          the table.

                         ARTHUR
          Yeah... what's it all about. Did he
          show up?

                         NORMA
          Yeah... I'll tell you about it in
          the car. We're running late.
          Norma leans down and kisses Walter on the cheek.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          30.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          We'll be home late... your bedtime
          is ten.
          Dana watches them go... her eyes transfixed on the box in
          Norma's hands.

          EXT. RIVER ROAD -- NIGHT

          The CAMERA tracks with Arthur's car as it drives south on
          CARY STREET... approaching an intersection.

          INT. ARTHUR'S CAR -- NEXT

          Norma has the box sitting in her lap while Arthur drives.

                         NORMA
          And before I could ask him anything
          else... he got in his car... and he
          pulled off.

                         ARTHUR
          Did you get the license plate?

                         NORMA
          No.

                         ARTHUR
          Your dad is cop, Norma. Always get
          the license plate number.

                         NORMA
          I was little overwhelmed, Arthur.

                         ARTHUR
          Somewhere in the world... someone
          you do not know will die.

                         NORMA
          Those were his exact words.

                         ARTHUR
          Did he say how they would die?

                         NORMA
          No.

                         ARTHUR
          And he showed you the cash.

                         NORMA
          Yeah. He said it was two-hundred
          thousand. It looked real to me.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          31.

                         ARTHUR
          What did he look like?

                         NORMA
          You don't want to know. I think
          he's a burn victim. Poor thing...
          half of his face is gone.

                         ARTHUR
          Really?

                         NORMA
          I think maybe he's a life insurance
          salesman. Maybe that's what it is.
          It's some kind of survey. We push
          the button and he offers us a
          discount on a two-hundred thousand
          dollar life insurance policy.
          Joke's on us.

          EXT. COUNTRY CLUB OF VIRGINIA -- NIGHT

          The CAMERA descends upon the COUNTRY CLUB OF VIRGINIA. It is
          a MASSIVE COLONIAL MANSION that sits upon a huge hill that is
          littered with CHRISTMAS LUMINARIES that glow in the night.

          EXT. C.C.V. -- PARKING LOT -- NIGHT

          We approach Arthur's car as they pull into a PARKING SPACE in
          front of the main entrance.

          INT. ARTHUR'S CAR -- NEXT

          Arthur grabs the box from off her lap.

                         ARTHUR
          Did you bring the key with you?
          She hands it to him.
          He takes the key and inserts it... opening the glass dome.
          He then takes his INDEX FINGER and places it on the button.

                         NORMA
          What the hell are you doing?!

                         ARTHUR

                         (PLAYFUL)
          I was gonna push the button.

                         NORMA
          No!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          32.
          Norma reaches over and snaps the dome closed.

                         ARTHUR
          You think it's for real.
          She takes the box back from him.

                         NORMA
          I don't know. He was... he seemed
          very sure of himself. If it's some
          kind of survey... then... he's a
          really good salesman because I
          believe him. I believe that he
          might give us that money.

                         ARTHUR
          Do then you think he's a maniac and
          he might go kill someone?

                         NORMA
          I don't know.
          Arthur takes the box back from her. He shakes it... then
          flips it over. He sees that there is a SINGLE SCREW on the
          bottom corner that holds it together.

                         ARTHUR
          Open the glove compartment. There's
          a philips head screwdriver in
          there.
          She opens the GLOVE COMPARTMENT and retrieves a PHILLIPS HEAD
          SCREWDRIVER for him.

                         NORMA
          What are you doing?
          Arthur is now unscrewing the bottom of the box.

                         ARTHUR
          I'm gonna see what's inside of it.
          He removes the screw... and sees that the wooden base rotates
          on a ROD MOUNT on the opposite corner.
          INSIDE... it is completely empty.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)
          Nothing... no transmitter... no
          radio. If we pushed the button
          right now... he'd have no way of
          knowing.
          She takes the box from him and closes the dome.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          33.

          EXT. C.C.V. -- PARI:ING LOT -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arthur pops open the trunk and Norma places the box inside.
          He shuts the trunk and they begin to walk toward the entrance
          to the COUNTRY CLUB. Arthur then holds out his hand to his
          wife.

                         ARTHUR
          Let me hold the key.

                         NORMA
          Why do you get to hold it?

                         ARTHUR
          Because you'll lose it Norma. You
          can't hold your liquor.

                         NORMA
          Neither can you.

                         ARTHUR
          What if someone takes your purse? I
          have pockets. Let me hold it.

                         NORMA
          Fine.
          Norma goes through her purse and hands the small envelope to
          him. They move toward the entrance to the country club.

          INT. C.C.V. -- GRAND BALLROOM -- MOMENTS LATER

          The CAMERA follows Norma and Arthur into the GRAND BALLROOM
          of the country club. There are several hundred people
          there... all dressed in black tie. A MASSIVE CHRISTMAS TREE
          sits in the center of the room, surrounded by tables.
          A PIANO PLAYER plays CHRISTMAS CAROLS up on the stage.

                         NORMA
          Jesus. All this for a rehearsal
          dinner... Deborah is so lucky.
          Remember our rehearsal dinner?

                         ARTHUR
          Yeah. Keg party in our back yard.
           Susan and Jim are standing with ARTHUR LEWIS, SR (50s) and
          BEV LEWIS ( 50s). Arthur and Norma go over to greet them.
           The CAMERA drifts over to a PLACARD that reads:

           DEBORAH ANNE BURNS - EDWARD REED POWELL

                         

                         

                         

                         

          34.

          REHEARSAL DINNER RECEPTION

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FAMILY ROOM -- NEXT

          Dana enters the family room and hands a package to Walter.

                         DANA
          Merry Christmas...
          Walter takes the package and begins to remove the wrapping
          paper.
          Inside is a COMIC BOOK. He pulls it out of the wrapping...
          and on the cover is an illustration of a DARK FIGURE walking
          upon a RED DESERT SURFACE.
          The title is: THE MAN FROM MARS
          Walter looks at the cover in awe.

                         WALTER
          Thanks Dana. My dad is gonna love
          this.

          INT. C.C.V. -- GRAND BALLROOM -- LATER ON

          Norma and Arthur are now seated around a table with both sets
          of parents. Bev is running her hand through Arthur's long
          hair.

                         BEV
          When are you gonna cut this hair?

                         ARTHUR
          Never.

                         BEV

                         (TO NORMA)
          Are you still cutting his hair?

                         NORMA
          Uh-huh.

          ARTHUR SR.
          Are you Leonard or Skynard?

                         BEV
          Well honey... they're never gonna
          let you into outer space with these
          sideburns.

                         SUSAN
          They're all wearing them that way
          now, Bev.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          35.
          NATHAN BURNS ( 26), Norma's wheelchair-bound younger brother,
          comes rolling up.

                         NATHAN
          Outer space? Is someone planning on
          departing the surface of the earth?

                         ARTHUR
          Nathan!
          Arthur stands up and gives him a hug.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)
          It's been years. How have you been?

                         NATHAN
          I've been better... I mean, I used
          to have legs...
          The table goes silent... Susan looks as though she might
          start to cry.

                         NATHAN (CONT'D)
          Sorry... morbid humor. What's this
          talk about outer space?

                         NORMA
          Arthur has been working at Nasa.

                         JIM
          He helped design the camera that
          photographed the Mars surface.
          Arthur puts his hands on the back of Nathan's wheelchair.

                         ARTHUR
          Nathan and I are gonna go grab a
          drink...
          He begins to wheel Nathan toward the bar.

                         NORMA
          Arthur made me a new prosthesis for
          my foot. Some space age formula...
          it's incredible.

                         JIM
          Can he make Nathan a pair of
          prosthetic legs?

          INT. C.C.V. -- GRAND BALLROOM -- BAR -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arthur now sits with Nathan over by the bar.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          36.

                         NATHAN
          Can you believe it? I survive
          eighteen months crawlling through
          the Vietnam jungle and not one
          bullet so much as grazes my body.

                         (BEAT)
          And I come home, take a few tabs of
          LSD at a Grateful Dead show and
          wrap my car around a tree.
          Arthur doesn't know how to respond.

                         NATHAN (CONT'D)
          Pretty damn sad... losing the legs
          that way, but I always thought it
          was Karmic retribution for what I
          did to Norma.

                         ARTHUR
          What'd you ever do to Norma?

                         NATHAN
          I dropped that barbell on her foot
          when we were kids. That's why she
          went to get that x-ray. If it
          wasn't for me... she'd still have
          all her toes.

                         ARTHUR
          You can't think of it that way.

                         NATHAN
          Why not? It's the truth.

                         ARTHUR
          You didn't leave the x-ray machine
          on, Dr. Stupid did.

                         NATHAN
          Yeah, but my mistake sent her to
          Dr. Stupid... so that makes me
          culpable in the eyes of Buddha.

                         ARTHUR
          You're no more culpable than the
          company that manufactured the
          barbell. Stop punishing yourself.
          Nathan smiles in appreciation and takes a long swig of Jack
          Daniels.

                         NATHAN
          You know he's here.

                         ARTHUR
          Who?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          37.

                         NATHAN
          Dr. Stupid.
          Nathan nods his head across the room... where DR. EARL STUPE
          ( 50s) is seated at a table with his wife.

                          NATHAN (CONT'D)
          Dr. Earl Stupe. He's still got a
          practice over on the west end.
          Arthur looks over at him... for a moment they make brief eye
          contact... and Stupe quickly looks away.

          INT. C.C.V. -- GRAND BALLROOM -- NEXT

          Susan is now staring at Dr. Stupe. They are joined by DEBORAH
          BURNS (24), Norma's younger sister and bride-to-be.

                         SUSAN
          I wonder if he even recognizes us.

                         JIM
          I'm sure he does.

                         DEBORAH
          I can't believe they still let him
          practice medicine.

                         NORMA
          You gotta let it go. You gotta
          learn to forgive and forget.

                         SUSAN
          I'd be willing to forgive him if he
          would've just admitted his
          negligence under oath. The bastard
          lied... said it was the x-ray
          machine that malfunctioned.
          SENATOR GRIFFITH POWELL (50s) and his son EDWARD POWELL
          ( 20s), approach. Edward is the husband-to-be.

                          SUSAN (CONT'D)
          Well Senator! You look very spiffy
          tonight!

                         POWELL
          Now that the mid-term elections are
          over... the smile lines are
          starting to fade.
          Powell puts on a fake smile, grabs Jim's hand and they both
          wave... poking fun at politician behavior.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          38.

                         SUSAN
          Well... we all voted!
          Powell looks over at Norma.

                         POWELL
          Norma... right?

                         NORMA
          That's right.
          He shakes her hand... fascinated by her.

                         POWELL
          And you're married to the aspiring
          astronaut.

                         NORMA
          That's right. There he is right
          over there.
          She points over to Arthur the bar. Powell looks over at
          him... and they briefly make eye contact.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FAMILY ROOM -- NEXT

          Dana and Walter are sitting on the floor, playing MONOPOLY.

                         DANA
          Walter?

                         WALTER
          Yeah?

                         DANA
          Will you take me down to the
          basement? I want to see your dad's
          darkroom.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- BASEMENT -- MOMENTS LATER

          Dana and Walter come down the stairs into the BASEMENT of the
          house. RED LIGHT envelops the room. There are two long wooden
          WORK BENCHES running down the middle.
          There are a series of BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS hanging
          from a wire. Each one shows a different view of the surface
          of MARS.

                         DANA
          Is that Mars?

                         WALTER
          Yep.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          39.

                         DANA
          What did your dad have to do with
          the Viking?

                         WALTER
          He helped design the camera.
          Walter points to a PLASTIC PROTOTYPE MODEL of the VIKING
          LANDER mounted on a third WORK BENCH at the end of the room.
          A model of the MARS SURFACE has been re-created and painted
          with exacting detail.

                         WALTER (CONT'D)
          He's making the model for the
          science museum.
          Walter points to one of TWO CAMERAS mounted on the front of
          the SPIDER-SHAPED LANDING MODULE. The camera is cylindrical
          and features a VERTICAL SLOT on the front.

                         WALTER (CONT'D)
          They designed the camera to
          photograph in 360 degrees. It scans
          in the image one line at a time...
          and takes about five minutes to
          complete one revolution.

                         DANA
          How do they get the images back to
          earth?

                         WALTER
          Radio transmission. They figured
          out a way to interpret the scan
          lines and then print them onto
          film.

                         DANA
          How long does it take to transmit
          back to earth?

                         WALTER
          About ten hours.
          Dana looks over at the wall and sees a NEW YORK TIMES FRONT
          PAGE from September with a large image of MARS on it.

                         WALTER (CONT'D)
          They tested the camera in the
          parking lot at Langley last year.
          Walter points to another FRAMED PHOTOGRAPH on the wall. In
          the black & white photograph, we see a group of FIFTY NASA
          EMPLOYEES assembled in a long line in a PARKING LOT.
          Walter points to his father standing in the group.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          40.

                         WALTER (CONT'D)
          There's my dad.
          He moves his finger across the line of smiling faces...
          ARTHUR appears for a SECOND TIME in the row.

                         WALTER (CONT'D)
          And there he is again.
          Walter then moves his finger down toward the right side of
          the photo... ARTHUR LEWIS appears for a third time.

                         WALTER (CONT'D)
          And there he is again.
          Dana looks close at the photo.

                         DANA
          How'd he do that?

                         WALTER
          Because the camera takes five
          minutes to scan in 360 degrees, he
          waited until the camera passed over
          him then jumped ahead in the
          circle.
          The CAMERA moves in closer to the photograph... to the THIRD
          VERSION of ARTHUR LEWIS.

                         DANA
          Your dad sounds pretty clever.

                         WALTER
          My dad is more than just clever,
          Dana. My dad is the coolest man who
          ever walked the face of the earth.
          The CAMERA ZOOMS in close to Arthur's face... then tips down
          to another MAN kneeling on the pavement directly below him.
          It is ARLINGTON STEWARD... smiling at the camera. His face is
          normal... no evidence of any burn visible...

          INT. C.C.V. -- GRAND BALLROOM -- NIGHT

          Norma and Arthur are now DANCING among a group of people in
          front of the stage the stage, where a WOMAN SINGER is
          performing WHITE CHRISTMAS.

                         NORMA
          Two-hundred thousand dollars is a
          lot of money, Arthur.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          41.

                         ARTHUR
          What would we do with that kind of
          money?

                         NORMA
          We could get out of Richmond...
          move to California.

                         ARTHUR
          Then we could cross the border into
          Mexico if they ever came after us.

                         NORMA
          You can't arrest someone for
          pushing a button, Arthur. It's not
          a weapon. It's not a gun. We
          wouldn't be culpable... not in a
          court of law.

                         ARTHUR
          What if it's someone's baby?

                         NORMA
          What if it's some murderer on death
          row in China?

                         ARTHUR
          What if it's our neighbor across
          the street. Do you know our
          neighbors across the street? Have
          you ever met them?

                         NORMA
          Yeah. Doug and Donna.

                         ARTHUR
          Hmmm. I haven't met Doug or Donna.

                         (BEAT)
          What does it mean to officially
          know someone, anyway? Do you know
          me, Norma?

                         NORMA
          I know you better than you know
          yourself.

                         ARTHUR
          Do you know Walter?

                         NORMA
          Even better than I know you.
          They spin around on the dance floor.

                         ARTHUR
          It's just a stupid prank, Norma.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          42.

                         NORMA
          Life insurance.
          Arthur gazes across the ballroom toward the bar. Nathan sits
          there alone... finishing his drink.

          EXT. C.C.V. -- PARKING LOT --LATER THAT NIGHT

          Arthur and Norma watch as Jim hoists Nathan up into their VAN
          with a HYDRAULIC LIFT. He is passed out drunk.
          Behind him... Dr. Stupe is waiting in line at the valet for
          his car. He and Norma make eye contact. His eyes dart down to
          the pavement as he steps into his car.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FAMILY ROOM -- LATER ON

          Norma and Arthur come into the family room. Dana is asleep on
          the couch. Norma sets the box down on the coffee table and
          goes to wake Dana.

                         NORMA
          Dana...
          Dana's eyes slowly open.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          Arthur will drive you home, okay?

                         DANA
          I have my bike... and my house
          isn't far from here.

                         NORMA
          Where's Walter?

                         DANA
          He's asleep upstairs.
          Arthur hands Dana a ten dollar bill.

                         ARTHUR
          Are you sure you don't need a ride?

                         DANA
          I'm sure.

                         ARTHUR
          Good night, Dana.
          Dana exits through the front door. Norma stands up and moves
          toward the foyer.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          43.

                         NORMA
          Can you turn off the Christmas tree
          lights?

                         ARTHUR
          I like leaving them on.

                         NORMA
          It's a fire hazard.

                         ARTHUR
          It keeps the Christmas spirit alive
          while we sleep.

                         NORMA
          We could die.

                         ARTHUR
          Everyone dies eventually, Norma.
          She stares at the tree.

                         NORMA
          Fine. Leave them on.
          She goes upstairs... leaving him alone with the glowing tree.
          Arthur looks down at the coffee table. The box sits there...
          taunting him. He retrieves the KEY ENVELOPE from his pocket
          and stares at it.
          He then walks over to the wall and unplugs the Christmas tree
          lights.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- MASTER BEDROOM -- LATER THAT NIGHT

          Norma and Arthur lay in bed, facing in opposite directions.
          Neither of them can sleep.
          Arthur rolls over and wraps his arm around her.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- WALTER'S BEDROOM -- NEXT

          The CAMERA approaches Walter's bed. He has made a TENT under
          the covers. A light glows from inside.
          UNDER THE COVERS... Walter has a flashlight and he is reading
          the comic book.
          INSERT: Various illustrations from the comic... a HUGE TEMPLE
          with a massive flying beast flying above it. A METEOR
          hurtling toward EARTH...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          44.
          ::WT. CARYTOWN E.kT-R S -LO1 -- EARLY MORNING
          At the CARYTOWN HAIR SALON... the CAMERA zooms out from Norma
          as she sits under a DOME, drying her hair. Next to her is her
          sister Deborah and several other BRIDESMAIDS for the wedding.
          The other women are gabbing... reading fashion magazines.
          Norma seems lost in her own world.

          EXT. CARYTOWN HAIR SALON -- LATER ON

          Norma and Deborah emerge from the hair salon with the others
          in tow. Lurking down at the end of the sidewalk is Bud Wall,
          Walter's bus-driver.
          The huge man watches them intensely.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Norma has Arlington's BUSINESS CARD out. She stares at the
          number. Arthur comes in with the morning paper.
          The box sits on the kitchen table. She retrieves the key and
          inserts it into the slot... opening the glass dome. Arthur
          comes into the kitchen.

                         NORMA
          We'll never see that much money.

                         ARTHUR
          Why do you say that?

                         NORMA
          Be realistic Arthur... you work for
          the government.

                         ARTHUR
          Maybe not forever.

                         NORMA
          We'll never leave Richmond.

                         ARTHUR
          Do you want to move?

                         NORMA
          We have to put Walter in public
          school.

                         ARTHUR
          Why?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          45.

                         NORMA
          Collegiate withdrew the faculty
          tuition discount.

                         ARTHUR
          No...

                         NORMA
          Yeah. They did.

                         (BEAT)
          Even if we sold my car and moved
          into a smaller house, we couldn't
          afford that school.

                         ARTHUR
          No...

                         NORMA
          We'd have to enroll him at
          Hopewell. Unless...

                         ARTHUR
          Unless what, Norma?
          She reaches out and holds her finger over the button...
          thinking. She then picks up the business card with her other
          hand, flips it over and stares at the number.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)
          Are you gonna call him?

                         NORMA
          Yeah.
          Norma begins to dial the number on the card.

          EXT. WILLOW LAWN MOTEL -- NEXT

          The CAMERA cranes down into the WILLOW LAWN MOTEL on the
          north side of Richmond. The two-story building has a SWIMMING
          POOL adjacent to south side.

          INT. WILLOW LAWN MOTEL -- ROOM 234 -- NEXT

          The CAMERA zooms out from a RINGING TELEPHONE that sits on
          the bedside table.
          Arlington sits on the bed... staring silently at the wall. He
          picks up the receiver and places it to his ear.

                         ARLINGTON
          Hello Mrs. Lewis.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          46.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Norma pauses for a moment... wondering how he could have
          known it was her.

                         NORMA
          Is this Mr. Steward?

                         ARLINGTON (PHONE)
          Of course it is.

                         NORMA
          How did you know it was me... are
          you tracing this call?

                         ARLINGTON (PHONE)
          Time is running out... have you
          made your decision?
          Norma looks to Arthur... who paces around the kitchen.

                         NORMA
          If we push the button... are you
          going to murder someone?

          INT. WILLOW LAWN MOTEL -- ROOM 234 -- NEXT

          Arlington leans back on the motel room bed.

                         ARLINGTON
          When you push the button...
          somewhere in this world... someone
          you do not know... will die. I
          never mentioned the word murder.

                         NORMA (PHONE)
          How will they die?

                         ARLINGTON
          I'm not at liberty to disclose that
          information. Besides... it would
          spoil the fun.

                         NORMA (PHONE)
          Are you selling life insurance?

                         ARLINGTON
          I am not at liberty to disclose any
          information about my employers. I
          can only remind you that the offer
          is real...
          (looking at his watch)
          .and it expires in approximately
          eight hours.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          47.

                         NORMA (PHONE)
          Why do you do this? What do you get
          out of this deal?

                         ARLINGTON
          Absolutely nothing. The reward is
          for you.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Norma paces around with the phone.

                         ARLINGTON (PHONE)
          Is there anything else, Mrs. Lewis?
          I have an appointment to make and I
          don't want to be late.

                         NORMA
          Can we meet in person? I'd like to
          see you... before we make our final
          decision.

                         ARLINGTON
          Why... I'm looking at you right
          now, Norma.

                         NORMA
          Excuse me?

                         ARLINGTON
          The grey spotted owl... in your
          back yard.
          Norma turns and looks out the large picture window in the
          kitchen nook. Outside in the back yard, an OWL is perched on
          a planter.
          The large bird sits motionless... its large SAUCER EYES do
          not blink.
          Norma stares at it for a long moment... transfixed. Arthur
          paces around the kitchen... facing in the other direction.
          Outside... the owl flies away before Arthur notices it.

                         NORMA
          Hello?
          There is no response.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          Mr. Steward? Are you still there?
          Norma hangs up the phone. She stares at the box... then at
          her husband, as he sits down across from her.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          48.

                         ARTHUR
          What do you want to do Norma?

                         NORMA
          We're gonna have to pull Walter out
          of that school.

                         ARTHUR
          Then push it.

                         (TAUNTING)
          Push the button, Norma... push the
          button. I dare you. I double-dog
          diddly dare you.

                         NORMA
          I'm scared to.

                         ARTHUR
          Well... if you don't push it...
          then I will.

                         (BEAT)
          This is stupid.
          Arthur reaches out to push the button... but she grabs his
          wrist with her left hand, restraining him.

                         NORMA
          Ladies first.
          She then reaches out and presses down on the button with her
          index finger.

          INT. RICHMOND POLICE STATION -- 911 EMERGENCY -- NEXT

          The CAMERA tracks along a series of CUBICLES at the POLICE
          STATION in downtown Richmond. A FEMALE OPERATOR sits at each
          cubicle...

                         OPERATOR #1
          911 emergency... how may I direct
          your call?
          The CAMERA moves in closer...

                         OPERATOR #1 (CONT'D)
          Excuse me? You need to slow down...
          I can't understand what you're
          saying.
          She listens to the voice on the other end of the line.

                         OPERATOR #1 (CONT'D)
          So you heard loud screaming and
          then a gun shot.

                         (BEAT)

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          49.

                          OPERATOR #1 (CONT'D)
           What is your address?

                         (BEAT)
          1500 Cary Street.

          EXT. 1500 CARY STREET -- MOMENTS LATER

          Two POLICE CARS pull up with their SIRENS blaring in front of
          a TOWNHOUSE on Cary Street. TWO POLICE OFFICERS emerge from
          each car and approach the front of the townhouse.
          They begin to bang loudly on the door. A FEMALE NEIGHBOR
          (20s) emerges from the townhouse next door.

                         NEIGHBOR

                         (DISTRAUGHT)
          I heard a gunshot... then he ran
          out the front door and got in his
          car.
          The POLICE OFFICER looks at his partner and then proceeds to
          KICK DOWN the door.

          INT. 1500 CARY STREET -- FOYER -- NEXT

           The OFFICERS move through the townhouse with their GUNS
           drawn. The SCREAMING of a YOUNG GIRL can be heard from
          upstairs.

          INT. 1500 CARY STREET -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

           The OFFICERS enter the kitchen. A WOMAN (20s) named AMY
           BEVILACQUA is slumped over on the kitchen floor in a pool of
          blood.
           The CAMERA moves in toward her face.

          INT. 1500 CARY STREET -- UPSTAIRS HALLWAY -- NEXT

           An OFFICER approaches the BATHROOM DOOR at the end of the
          hall. The screaming girl from inside is bawling her eyes out.
          The Officer sees a tiny HAND emerge from underneath the door.
          She is reaching out for help. He goes to open the door, but
          there is a LARGE DEAD BOLT LOCK mounted on the outside.

                         OFFICER #1
          Honey... I need you to back away
          from the door... I'M GONNA HAVE TO

          KICK IT DOWN?
          The screaming begins to subside.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          50.

                         OFFICER #1 (CONT'D)

          BACK AWAY FROM THE DOOR!

                         FEMALE VOICE
          okay...
          The Officer then kicks the door down.

          INT. 1500 CARY STREET -- UPSTAIRS BATHROOM -- NEXT

           Inside the bathroom... a YOUNG GIRL (7) is cowering in the
          bathtub... hyperventilating...

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Norma and Arthur are sitting across from one another in
          silence. There is an empty BOTTLE OF WINE on the table.

                         ARTHUR
          There's no turning back now.
          Seconds later... THE DOORBELL RINGS.
          Both Norma and Arthur jump in their seats.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FOYER -- NEXT

          Norma and Arthur move toward the front door. Norma puts her
          eye to the PEEPHOLE. Arlington's disfigured face stares back
          at her.
          She opens the door. Arlington stands there smiling...
          briefcase in hand.

                         ARLINGTON
          Hello, Mrs. Lewis.

                         NORMA
          Hi.

                         ARLINGTON
          Do you have the button unit?

                         NORMA
          Uhh... yeah... it's in the kitchen.
          Norma goes to the kitchen to retrieve the box, leaving Arthur
          alone with Arlington.

                         ARLINGTON
          And you must be Mr. Lewis.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          51.
          Arthur stares at him... transfixed. Does he recognize him
          from somewhere?
          Norma returns with the box and hands it over to him.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          And the key?

                         NORMA
          Oh... sorry...
          Norma reaches into her pocket and retrieves the small
          envelope and places it in his hand.

                         ARLINGTON
          Thank you.
          Arlington then opens the BRIEFCASE and shows it to them.
          Inside... the bills are stacked neatly in rows.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          Two-hundred thousand. You can count
          it if you like.
          Arthur takes the briefcase from him and then closes.

                         ARTHUR
          Thanks... we trust your word.
          Arlington offers him a broad smile.

                         ARLINGTON
          As you should.
          He then turns to leave.

          EXT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FRONT WALK -- NEXT

          They follow Arlington out onto the front walk as he
          approaches his car. The engine is idling... and someone else
          is behind the wheel... but through the tinted windows it is
          unclear who is driving.

                         NORMA
          You said before that the box is re-
          programmed...

                         ARLINGTON
          Yes.

                         NORMA
          So now what? Are you gonna go and
          make the offer to someone else?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          52.

                         ARLINGTON
          Why yes. That-'s how it works, Mrs.
          Lewis.

                         (BEAT)
          And I can promise you that the
          offer will be made... to someone
          you do not know.
          He smiles... opens the door... and steps into the passenger
          side. The driver hits the gas and the car speeds off.
          Arthur moves out into the street... watching the car go...

                         ARTHUR
          I got his license plate.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arthur comes into the kitchen and goes to the desk and grabs
          a PENCIL. He then scrawls the LICENSE PLATE NUMBER down on a
          piece of scratch paper.

                         AXV-4049

                         ARTHUR
          What are you thinking, Norma?

                         NORMA
          I don't know.
          Arthur paces around... thinking. He then opens the briefcase
          and starts counting through the money.

                         ARTHUR
          Did he mean that we're next? Is
          that what he meant?

                         NORMA
          I don't know.

          INT. POLICE STATION -- BURNS'S OFFICE -- NEXT

          Jim Burns sits behind his desk at the POLICE STATION. His
          SECRETARY (20s) comes in to his office.

                         SECRETARY
          Your daughter is on line two.

                         JIM
          Alright.
          He picks up the phone.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          53.

                         JIM (CONT'D)
          Norma...

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Norma stares at the money in the briefcase.

                         NORMA
          Hey dad...

                         JIM (PHONE)
          What's going on...

                         NORMA
          I need a favor.

                         JIM (PHONE)
          Sure... what do you need?

                         NORMA
          I need you to run a license plate
          for me. Someone just came by the
          house... and we think he might...
          (looking to Arthur)
          He just seemed real suspicious and
          Arthur got the license plate and I
          need you to run it.

                         JIM (PHONE)
          Okay honey... you need me to send
          someone over?

                         NORMA
          No... if you could just run the
          plate and find out whose car it is.

                         (BEAT)
          AXV-4049 is the number.

                          JIM (PHONE)
          I'll call you back in ten minutes.

          INT. POLICE STATION -- LATER

          An OFFICER removes a document from a PRINTER and approaches
          Burns's office.

                         OFFICER #2
          We ran those plates for you, sarge.
          Jim takes the document from him. It is a blow-up of a
          driver's license that belongs to ARLINGTON STEWARD. In the
          photo... his face is not injured.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          54.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Norma and Arthur are pacing around the kitchen... thinking.
          The PHONE rings... Norma answers it.

                         NORMA
          Hello?

                         JIM (PHONE)
          The car is listed to an Arlington
          J. Steward... do you want his
          address and phone number?

                         NORMA
          Yeah.
          Norma begins to write them down.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Norma is dialing a number with the phone in her lap.

          FEMALE VOICE (PHONE)
          Hello?

                         NORMA
          Hi... I'm trying to reach an
          Arlington Steward.

          FEMALE VOICE (PHONE)

                         (LONG BEAT)
          Mrs. Lewis, I presume?
          Norma's eyes widen. She nods to Arthur and points to the
          phone. He rushes into the family room to pick up the other
          PHONE so he can listen in.

                         NORMA
          Yes.

          FEMALE VOICE (PHONE)
          I assume that you pushed the
          button.

                         NORMA
          Yes.

          FEMALE VOICE (PHONE)
          There is the myth of Prometheus and
          Pandora... Prometheus gave Pandora
          a box... and warned her not to open
          it. But she did not listen, and
          when Pandora opened the box...

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         55

          FEMALE VOICE (PHONE) (CONT'D)
          she unleashed a torrent of sorrow
          and misery.
          Norma stares at Arthur... unable to speak.

          FEMALE VOICE (PHONE) (CONT'D)
          Your descent into oblivion has
          begun. The question remains... what
          will the cuckold of a husband do...
          to prevent the death of his beloved
          Pandora?
          Arthur stares at Norma... unable to speak.

          FEMALE VOICE (PHONE) (CONT'D)
          Because really... Mr. Lewis... do
          you really know your wife?

                         ARTHUR
          Who is this?

          FEMALE VOICE (PHONE)
          I am the mother of Prometheus...
          and if you want to save yourself...
          I suggest that you go to the
          Richmond Public Library, and find
          the book with the following call
          number: F2988.34
          Norma is writing the number out on a piece of paper.
          She disconnects. Arthur steps into the kitchen.

                         ARTHUR
          Norma...

                         NORMA
          Arthur...

                         ARTHUR
          Tell me this isn't real. Tell me
          this isn't happening.

                         NORMA
          This isn't real. This isn't
          happening.

                         ARTHUR
          I don't think I believe you, Norma.

          EXT. STEWARD RESIDENCE -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arthur backs his car out of the driveway and into the street.
          Norma rides shotgun. Walter is circling around on his bike
          with some friends in tow.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          56.

                         NORMA
          We're off to run an errand. Be back
          in a few hours, okay?

                         WALTER
          Okay.
          He watches as they drive off.

          INT. ARTHUR'S CAR -- NEXT

          Arthur and Norma drive toward downtown.

                         NORMA
          There was owl... in our back yard.

                         ARTHUR
          An owl?

                         NORMA
          He said it was his owl.

                         ARTHUR
          Are you hiding anything else from
          me, Norma?

                         NORMA

                         (DEFENSIVE)
          No.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- NEXT

          The CAMERA tracks with Arthur and Norma as they move through
          the vast space of the RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY. They arrive at
          the ADULT FICTION section... and the CAMERA moves along the
          spines of various books until it arrives at the one with the
          call number: F2988.34
          Norma removes a BOOK from the shelf and looks at the cover:

                         NO EXIT

                         JEAN-PAUL SARTRE
          Norma shows it to Arthur.

                         NORMA
          No exit.

                         ARTHUR

                         (MIS-PRONOUNCES)
          Sartre.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          57.

                         NORMA
          it's pronounced Sartre. Jean-Paul
          Sartre. The French existentialist.
          She begins to thumb through the pages of the play.

                         ARTHUR
          Never read it.

                         NORMA
          It's a play... I read it in high
          school. It's about three strangers
          who find themselves trapped in a
          room together for all of eternity.
          They've quickly discover that
          they've all been sent to hell.
          Norma turns back to the inside cover of the book.
          Someone has written in crisp penmanship:

                         RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH

          SEPTEMBER 3, 1976
          Norma runs her hand down the list of names on the library
          card. The name of the last person to check out the book is:

                         STEWARD

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- CIRCULATION DESK -- NEXT

           Arthur and Norma approach the circulation desk. A female
          LIBRARIAN ( 70s) is standing there.

                         NORMA
          Hi... we're looking for an archival
          Times-Dispatch from September of
          this year.
          She offers them a warm smile.

                         LIBRARIAN
          Microfiche.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- RECORDS ROOM -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arthur and Norma now sit in front of a MICROFICHE READER in a
          long line of wooden desks in the RECORDS ROOM.
          On the screen... HEADLINES from the year's newspapers scroll
          by... stopping on the headline for SEPTEMBER 3, 1976:

          MARS PHOTOS REVEALED

                         

                         

                         

                         

          58.

          VIKING LANDER SENDS FIRST IMAGES OF RED PLANET BACK TO EARTH

                         ARTHUR
          Arlington Steward... I remember the
          name now. He used to work at

          NASA...

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- LABORATORY -- [FLASHBACK]

          Arthur and Wendell are standing among a large group of
          SCIENTISTS in the laboratory.
          Everyone is assembled... staring at a large BLANK SCREEN,
          waiting in anticipation. Cahill stands at the front of the
          group with a WALKIE-TALKIE to his ear.

                         CAHILL
          Alright... the first photo should
          come down off the server in less
          than a minute.

          EXT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- LUNAR LANDER MODULE -- NEXT

          The CAMERA cranes up toward the GIGANTIC LUNAR LANDER MODULE.
          Rain pours down from the night sky. Lightning flashes in the
          distance... several miles away. Thunder rumbles.
          The CAMERA approaches the UPPER TRESTLE BEAM... which crosses
          the expanse of the structure. Mounted on top of the beam is a

          MASSIVE ANTENNAE.
          Standing on the trestle several yards away from the antennae
          is ARLINGTON STEWARD. He is wearing a rain slicker and is
          face appears normal. He carries a walkie-talkie in his right
          hand.

                         ARLINGTON

                         (INTO WALKIE-TALKIE)
          So place your bet... martians or no
          martians?

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- LABORATORY -- NEXT

          Arthur stares up at the screen... waiting on baited breath.
          Moments later... a LARGE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTO OF THE MARS
          SURFACE appears on the screen.
          The SCIENTISTS erupt in loud cheering and applause.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          59.

          EXT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- NEXT

          Near the base of the LUNAR LANDER MODULE... a NASA EMPLOYEE
          named ROBERT BEVILACQUA (31) is standing with two others.
          They are huddled under UMBRELLAS..'. smoking cigarettes.
          Bevilacqua has a WALKIE-TALKIE to his ear. He hears the
          cheering from the walkie-talkie.

                         BEVILACQUA
          Touchdown.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- RECORDS ROOM -- NEXT

          Arthur scrolls down to the bottom of the front page. A

                         SMALLER ARTICLE:

          NASA EMPLOYEE STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

                         ARTHUR
          An engineer at the NASA Langley
          research center was struck by
          lightning yesterday evening...

          EXT. NASA -- LUNAR LANDER MODULE -- (FLASHBACK]

          Arlington looks at his watch... staring up at the sky...
          nervous about the storm. RAIN pours down upon on the
          module... water running down in sheets on either side of the
          trestle.
          He hears the cheering from the walkie-talkie. Thunder rumbles
          in the distance.
          Moments later... a MASSIVE LIGHTNING BOLT STRIKES THE TOP

          TRESTLE BEAM.

          THE TRESTLE EXPLODES IN A STORM OF SPARKS... ARLINGTON IS

          THROWN ONTO HIS BACK... HIS BODY ENGULFED IN FLAMES.
          Bevilacqua witnesses the FIRE on the lunar lander module.

                         BEVILACQUA
          Jesus Christ.
          Bevilacqua and the others begin to sprint across the lawn
          toward the base of the structure to the ELEVATOR DOOR at the
          bottom of the elevator shaft on the south end of the module.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          60.
          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBP.F.RY -- RECORDS ROOM -- NE t"T
          Arthur continues to read from the article.

                         ARTHUR
          The man received third degree burns
          over fifty percent of his body...

          EXT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- [FLASHBACK]

          Bevilacqua and the others emerge from the ELEVATOR at the top
          of the trestle. They rush toward Arlington's body... as he
          convulses on the trestle... smoke emanating from his charred
          body.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- RECORDS ROOM -- NEXT

          Arthur turns to Norma.

                         ARTHUR
          He got struck by lightning on the
          night we received the transmission
          from Mars.

          EXT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- (FLASHBACK)

          Arthur and Wendell stand outside the main laboratory building
          with a group of scientists, sipping champagne. They see an
          AMBULANCE pass down the main street of the campus with its
          sirens on.
          Cahill emerges from inside the building and rushes out to the
          parking lot. Bevilacqua and the others are approaching.

                         CAHILL
          What happened?

                         BEVILACQUA
          The module got hit!

                         CAHILL
          Lightning?

                         BEVILACQUA
          Yeah. Steward was up there on the
          trestle. He got burned real bad!
          The CAMERA moves in toward Bevilacqua's face... his eyes
          filled with anguish and despair.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          61.

          INT. RICHMOND POLICE STATION -- NEXT

          Jim Burns stands in front of a group of POLICE OFFICERS in a
          briefing room. He holds up a large FAMILY PHOTO of ROBERT
          BEVILACQUA, posing with his WIFE and YOUNG DAUGHTER.

                         JIM
          Our fugitive is named Robert
          Bevilacqua. He shot and killed his
          wife at their residence on Cary
          Street earlier today. We believe
          that he escaped on foot... and
          could be armed and dangerous.
          The CAMERA moves across a line of POLICE OFFICERS...
          listening...

                         JIM (CONT'D)
          Mr. Bevilacqua is an employee at
          NASA... and he is a former Marine
          who served in Vietnam. He may very
          well be armed and dangerous...

          INT. RICHMOND BAR -- NEXT

          The CAMERA tracks through a dingy RICHMOND DIVE BAR.
          Bevilacqua sits at the bar with a baseball cap pulled down
          low to conceal his face. He is drinking whiskey.
          Wendell James approaches... carrying a FILE under his arm.

                         WENDELL
          Bevilacqua...
          Bevilacqua turns to face him.

                         BEVILACQUA
          Wendell.
          They hug one another.

          INT. RICHMOND BAR -- MOMENTS LATER

          The two men are now sitting across from one another in a
          BOOTH. Wendell has a NASA BLUE-PRINT laid out on the table.
          The blue-print is of the button unit.

                         BEVILACQUA
          You designed it?

                         WENDELL
          Yeah. Cahill told me to...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          62.
          Bevilacaua notices a SMALL PURPLE STAIN on the blue-print.

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- LABORATORY -- [FLASHBACK]

          Cahill stands over Wendell's shoulder as he sits at a
          DRAFTING TABLE in the laboratory.

                         WENDELL
          This what you were looking for,
          sir?
          Cahill looks stares at the blue-print... possessed. A DROP OF
          BLOOD falls from his right nostril and lands on it.

                         CAHILL
          Yes. Thank you Wendell.

          INT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- MAIN HANGAR -- DAY

          The CAMERA moves through the MASSIVE MAIN HANGAR at Langley.
          There are several planes parked inside. Wendell emerges from
          behind one of the planes... watching from a hidden vantage
          point...
          Cahill stands at a work table with Arlington. There are THREE
          BUTTON UNITS laid out on the table. Arlington begins to place
          them inside a leather bag.
          Cahill then hands Arlington a FILE.

                         CAHILL
          You're not gonna hurt these boys,
          are you?

                         ARLINGTON
          Any harm that comes to them will be
          their own doing.
          Arlington takes the bag and moves toward the hangar entrance.

          EXT. NASA LANGLEY FACILITY -- MAIN HANGAR -- NEXT

          Outside... there is a MASSIVE CEMENT RUNWAY. Parked on the
          runway is Arlington's car. BUD WALL steps out and opens the
          door for his boss. Bus-Driver Bud is Steward's driver...
          Arlington steps inside.
          Wendell watches them drive off...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          63.

          INT. RICHMOND DIVE BAR -- EVENING

          Wendell then hands a file to Bevilacqua. Inside there is a
          dossier and photo of a ARTHUR LEWIS. He flips to another
          dossier and photo of another NASA EMPLOYEE named KENNETH

          WELLER.

                         WENDELL
          There's a list... and they've all
          got a wife and one child.
          Bevilacqua thumbs through the list of NASA dossiers. He sees
          Arthur Lewis among them.

                         WENDELL (CONT'D)
          Did you kill your wife?
          Bevilacqua just stares at him... on the verge of tears. He
          slides an ENVELOPE across the table.

                         BEVILACQUA
          This is a confession letter that I
          wrote... it explains everything
          that happened with Steward and the
          box. Keep it... cause if I don't
          make it... this might clear my name
          one day.
          Bevilacqua looks at the KENNETH WELLER dossier.

                         BEVILACQUA (CONT'D)
          This guy Weller is gonna be next.
          Did you get their phone number?

                         WENDELL
          No. They're not listed. Just an old
          address south of Petersburg. What
          are you gonna do?

                         BEVILACQUA
          I don't know. I need a car. I might
          be able to save them... and this
          guy Arthur Lewis...
          Wendell thinks to himself... then retrieves a set of KEYS
          from his pocket.

                         WENDELL
          These are the keys to my cousin's
          pick-up truck. It's not registered.
          It's parked in front of my house
          over on Byrd street. Take it...

                         BEVILACQUA
          Thank you, Wendell.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          64.

          INT. RICHMOND POLICE STATION -- BURNS'S OFFICE -- LATER

          Burns sits behind his desk... telephone to his ear.

                         JIM

                         (INTO PHONE)
          Steward. First name Arlington...
          middle name is James.
          He begins to scrawl words down on a piece of paper:

                         NASA

          STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
          Just then... his RECEPTIONIST opens the door to his office.

                         RECEPTIONIST
          Sir... there's a Mr. Steward here
          to see you.

                         JIM

                         (INTO PHONE)
          Thank you... that's all I need.
          He hangs up the phone and looks through the glass window of
          his office into the reception area.
          Standing there through the glass... is a man who looks
          identical to Arlington Steward.
          He stands with the normal side of his face in profile. He
          turns to face Jim... but his face now appears as it did
          before he was burned. Is this the same person?
          Jim turns to his receptionist... who waits in the doorway

                         JIM (CONT'D)
          Send him in.

          EXT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- NEXT

          The library is closing down for the night.
          A group of young CHILDREN come out of the front exit. One of
          them turns and notices the OWL perched on the railing.
          The owl stares at the children...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          65.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- NEXT

          The real Arlington Steward is now standing in the periodicals
          area. of the library... situated in front of the circulation
          desk.
          He stands in profile... then turns toward the CAMERA in the
          same manner as his TWIN in the police station. His burned
          face forms a deformed smile...

          INT. RICHMOND POLICE STATION -- BURNS'S OFFICE -- NEXT

          The STEWARD TWIN steps into Jim's office. He reaches out and
          shakes Jim's hand.

                         STEWARD TWIN
          Officer Burns... my name is Reston
          Steward.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- NEXT

          Arlington... with his eyes closed... mimics his TWIN'S
          movement exactly... reaching out his hand and shaking it with
          nothing.

                         ARLINGTON
          Officer Burns... my name is Reston
          Steward.

          INT. RICHMOND POLICE STATION -- BURNS'S OFFICE -- NEXT

          RESTON STEWARD (40) sits down in the chair across from his
          desk.

                         RESTON
          I see you have made an inquiry
          about my brother Arlington.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- NEXT

          Arlington is now seated in a library chair... eyes closed...
          in the exact same manner as his brother. it is as though he
          is controlling his twin brother's body via remote telepathy.

                         ARLINGTON
          . an inquiry about my brother
          Arlington.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          66.

          INT. RICHMOND POLICE STATION -- BURNS'S OFFICE -- NEXT

          Jim stares at him from across his desk.

                         JIM
          Yes. Apparently he made an
          appearance at my daughter's house.
          Your brother works for NASA?

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- NEXT

          Arlington nods his head.

                         ARLINGTON
          Yes. My brother works at the
          Langley research facility.

          INT. RICHMOND POLICE STATION -- BURNS'S OFFICE -- NEXT

          Jim nods his head in return.

                         JIM
          With my son-in-law.

                         RESTON
          That's right.

                         JIM
          And may I ask... what do you do,
          Mr. Steward?

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- NEXT

          With his eyes closed... Arlington reaches into his pocket and
          retrieves something imaginary from his pocket. He raises
          something that we cannot see up into the air.

          INT. RICHMOND POLICE STATION -- BURNS'S OFFICE -- NEXT

          Reston is now holding out a GOVERNMENT BADGE with his right
          hand.

                         RESTON
          I work for the CIA.

                         JIM
          I see.
          He then hands Jim one of his cards. Jim looks at it.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          67.

          INSERT OF BUSINESS CARD WITH CIA INSIGNIA:

          DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE

                         RESTON STEWARD
          Reston rises to his feet... putting his hat on his head.

                         RESTON
          I assure you my brother is of no
          threat to your daughter. However,
          the man you're looking for...
          Robert Bevilacqua. He is very
          dangerous... and he might try and
          contact your son-in-law or your
          daughter.

                         JIM
          Really.

                          RESTON
          Yes.

                          RESTON (CONT'D)
          Help us find Bevilacqua. If and
          when you do... please call us.
          Jim stares at the business card as Reston bids him good-bye.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- NEXT

          Arlington is now standing. With his eyes still closed, he
          nods his head and smiles, then turns and begins to walk
          several steps. He then stops... takes a deep breath... and
          opens his eyes.

          INT. RICHMOND POLICE STATION -- RECEPTION AREA -- NEXT

          Reston opens his eyes... as if a spirit has suddenly left his
          body. He takes a deep breath and smiles at the Receptionist,
          trying to conceal his expression of horror.
          He moves toward the exit.

          EXT. RICHMOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY BUILDING -- MOMENTS LATER

          Reston emerges from the General Assembly building. There is a
          black town car waiting. A CIA AGENT stands next to it.
          Reston withdraws a HANDKERCHIEF and wipes BLOOD from his
          nose.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          68.

                         RESTON
          General Nathan Teague at the
          Pentagon. Get him on the phone
          immediately.
          The Agent opens the car door, and Reston steps inside.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- RECORDS ROOM -- NEXT

          Norma and Arthur are still sitting in front of the microfiche
          machine. Norma looks like she is going to faint... her face
          has gone white.

                         ARTHUR
          You alright, Norma?

                         NORMA
          I feel like I'm gonna faint...
          She stands up to leave.

                         ARTHUR
          Where are you going?

                         NORMA
          Bathroom.
          Norma moves.taward the main library... leaving Arthur alone.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- CIRCULATION DESK -- NEXT

          Norma emerges from the records room and walks toward the
          circulation desk. As she rounds the corner... Arlington
          emerges from behind a row of book shelves.
          Norma stops in her tracks... frozen. He stares her down.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- RECORDS ROOM -- NEXT

          Arthur stares at the microfiche reader... transfixed by the
          newspaper articles.
          A shadow passes across the wall... and Arthur senses someone
          lurking over his shoulder. He turns to see that it is the
          LIBRARIAN. Something about her is different... she seems
          possessed.

                         LIBRARIAN
          The myth of Prometheus tells the
          story of a God who created man.

                         (BEAT)

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          69.

                         LIBRARIAN (CONT'D)
          When Prometheus flew too close to
          the sun... his wings caught fire...
          and he fell to the earth.
          Arthur remembers her voice from the phone call.

                         ARTHUR
          Was that you on the phone? You're
          his mother...

                         LIBRARIAN
          He finds your wife fascinating...
          Mr. Lewis.
          Her name is ELIZABETH STEWARD.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- PERIODICALS SECTION -- NEXT

          Norma remains frozen... her mind racing. Arlington smiles at
          her... gesturing toward an empty chair.

                         ARLINGTON
          Have a seat... Mrs. Lewis.
          She looks around... realizing that the library is now
          completely empty.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          Don't be afraid. I may look like a
          monster... but-I can assure you
          that I am... only human.
          His face contorts into a broad smile.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          Please... sit down.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- RECORDS ROOM -- NEXT

          Elizabeth sits down on the chair across from Arthur.

                         ELIZABETH
          My name is Clymene, mother of five.
          Prometheus, Atlas, Menoetius,
          Logan, and Epimetheus.
          A drop of blood begins to ooze from her left eye as she
          speaks.

                         ELIZABETH (CONT'D)
          Epimetheus is the twin brother of
          Prometheus, but he has become his
          brother's slave... the victim of
          his cunning and deceit.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          70.

          IT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBP F,°_ -- PERIODICALS SECTION -- NEXT
          Norma is now seated in a chair across from him. He stares
          deep into her eyes... transfixed by her beauty.

                         ARLINGTON
          Tell me Norma... when was the exact
          moment that you realized you loved
          your husband?
          There is something about him that now makes her feel safe...
          willing to tell him anything.

                         NORMA
          About five seconds after I laid
          eyes on him.

                         ARLINGTON
          And when was this?

                         NORMA
          In college. My sophomore year. He
          was a year younger than me. We
          dated for two weeks and then...
          She stops herself.

                         ARLINGTON
          You became frightened about
          something.

                         NORMA
          Then I thought... this is too good
          to be true. When he sees my mangled
          foot... he's gonna be out the door
          in ten seconds and he's gonna go
          tell all his friends.

                         ARLINGTON
          How did he respond when you showed
          him?

                         NORMA
          We were at the drive-in... and he
          caught a glimpse of the scars on my
          thigh. He asked me what happened...
          and I felt this sense of dread.

                         ARLINGTON
          Why?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          71.

                         NORMA
          Because you can just see the glow
          disappear in someone's eyes when
          they discover something about you
          that they just can't stomach.

                         ARLINGTON
          Did the glow disappear from his
          eyes?

                         NORMA
          No. Not Arthur. He was different
          than the others. He... said that...
          my scars were cool.

                         (BEAT)
          He said that they made me more
          attractive.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- RECORDS ROOM -- NEXT

          Arthur sits across from Elizabeth. His mind is racing...
          trying to put the puzzle pieces together.
          He looks at his watch. It is almost 5PM.

                          ELIZABETH
           I have worked at this library for
          forty years. Since 1936, I have
          read a book a day. 23455 books I
          have read.

                         ARTHUR
          Wow.

                         (BEAT)
          Someone should nominate you for
          librarian of the year.
          She holds the copy of No Exit in her hands.

                         ELIZABETH
          Of all of the books I have read in
          my lifetime... this is my son's
          favorite.

                         (BEAT)
          Have you ever read No Exit?

                         ARTHUR
          No.
          She reaches out with her hand.

                         ELIZABETH
          Take my hand... and I'll show you.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          72.
          He stares at the blood coagulating in the bag beneath her
          left eye.

                         ARTHUR
          I'm not gonna touch you, lady.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- PERIODICALS SECTION -- NEXT

          Arlington now stares directly into Norma's soul.
          The scar tissue on the left side of his face does not move
          when he smiles. It remains frozen... unable to express
          emotion.

                         ARLINGTON
          And what emotion did you feel when
          you first laid eyes upon me, Norma?
          She thinks silently for a moment.

                         NORMA
          I felt.. .
          She stops herself... afraid of how he might respond if she is
          honest with him.

                         ARLINGTON
          You felt what?

                         NORMA
          I felt...

                         ARLINGTON
          Pity?

                         NORMA
          Love.

                         ARLINGTON
          You felt love for me?

                         NORMA
          Yes.

                         ARLINGTON
          Why?

                         NORMA
          Because of my foot. Because of my
          disfigurement. I thought of all the
          pain I've felt in my life because
          of it... the physical pain... the
          emotional pain.

                         (BEAT)

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          73.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          I thought about what it would be
          like to have that pain magnified
          and projected onto my face... onto
          a part of my body that I can't hide
          with a shoe.
          There are tears welling in her eyes.

          NORMA (CONT`D)
          I saw all of that pain in your face
          and I understood it... and I felt
          an overwhelming feeling of love for
          you because I knew I'd never feel
          sorry for myself or my goddamn foot
          ever again.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- RECORDS ROOM -- NEXT

          Elizabeth continues to hold her hand out toward Arthur.

                         ELIZABETH
          Take my hand, son.

                         ARTHUR
          You called me a cuckold. You made a
          statement... made an implication to
          me that my wife was going to be
          killed.

                         (BEAT)
          So please understand why I might be
          reluctant to take your hand.

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- PERIODICALS SECTION -- NEXT

          Arlington reaches his hand out to Norma.

                         ARLINGTON
          Take my hand, Norma...
          She stares at him, unable to move... then takes his hand...

          INT. RICHMOND PUBLIC LIBRARY -- RECORDS ROOM -- NEXT

          Elizabeth reaches out and grabs Arthur's hand against his
          will. His body convulses at her touch...
          The CAMERA drifts in toward Arthur's face as his eyes slowly
          close. Her spell has been cast upon him...

          CUT TO BLACK:

          SILENCE.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          74.

          INT. DREAM -- CORRIDOR -- NEXT

          The CAMERA moves slowly down a CORRIDOR. The floor is shiny
          white marble and the walls are framed by ornate molding and

          RENAISSANCE ART.
          Arlington stands at the end of the corridor. He is wearing a
          TUXEDO, portraying the VALET character from Sartre's No Exit.
          The CAMERA pans around to reveal Arthur... walking slowly
          down the corridor.
          Arlington opens a DOOR at the end of the corridor and leads
          Arthur into a DRAWING ROOM... recreated from Sartre's play.

          INT. DREAM -- DRAWING ROOM -- NEXT

          Arlington leads Arthur inside and closes the door behind him.
          Inside the DRAWING ROOM, there are THREE COUCHES made in the
          style.: of the SECOND EMPIRE. The walls are covered in similar
          Renaissance art and the floor is marble.
          NORMA and WALTER have now been admitted to the drawing room.
          Norma is dressed in an elegant BLACK GOWN. Walter wears a
          tuxedo that looks to be nearly identical to the one his
          father is wearing... and THERE IS A SILK BLINDFOLD WRAPPED
          AROUND HIS HEAD. He wanders around the room... lost...
          The dimensions of the room are equal in every way. It is a
          perfect three-dimensional box.
          Arthur then looks to his wife. He notices that her EYELIDS
          are now gone. Arthur then turns to his son.
          Walter reaches out into the air... seemingly unaware that
          they are in, the room with him.
          The CAMERA moves through the wall into another corridor...
          BUD WALL... dressed as another VALET, passes by... and the
          CAMERA moves into another DRAWING ROOM...

          INT. DREAM -- SECOND DRAWING ROOM -- NEXT

          Inside the SECOND DRAWING ROOM... the CAMERA finds ROBERT
          BEVILACQUA and his WIFE. Their DAUGHTER is wearing a SILK

          BLINDFOLD.
          The CAMERA then drifts up and moves through the GLASS PANELS
          at the top of the room...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          75.

          INT. DREAM -- UPPER LEVEL -- NEXT

          The CAMERA pulls up higher... revealing the layout of a
          massive network of CORRIDORS and DRAWING ROOMS that form a
          larger box. Through the glass ceilings looking down into each
          room... FAMILIES are assembled together... trapped
          together... forever...

          EXT. MARS SURFACE -- NEXT

          The CAMERA flies over the edge of the SARTRE'S HOTEL of rooms
          and corridors to reveal the plateau of UTOPIA PLANITIA on the
          surface of mars...

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- MASTER BEDROOM -- LATER ON

          Arthur's eyes pop open... he rolls over... and Norma is
          asleep in bed next to him. They are both fully dressed in the
          clothes they were wearing in the library.

                         ARTHUR
          Norma...
          Her eyes open. She looks around... disoriented.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)
          Norma... what happened?

                         NORMA
          I don't know.
          Norma notices Walter standing in the doorway.

                         WALTER
          You came home an hour ago.

                         NORMA
          We did?
          She sits up in bed... looking at the clock radio. It is 6PM.

                         WALTER
          Neither of you said a word... you
          just walked into the house like two
          zombies. Went straight to bed.
          Arthur and Norma stare at one another, trying to make sense
          of what has just transpired.

                         NORMA
          The wedding. It starts in an hour.
          We've got to get ready.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          76.
          Norma sees that the copy of No Exit is now sitting on --heir
          bedside table.

          EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. -- NIGHT

          A U.S. ARMY JET flies over the nation's capital. The PENTAGON
          and the WASHINGTON MONUMENT are visible below.

          INT. U.S. ARMY JET -- NEXT

           The CAMERA approaches US ARMY GENERAL NATHAN TEAGUE ( 50s),
          seated just behind the cockpit.
          In his lap is a file. He is thumbing through a series of
          photographs of the MARS SURFACE. He then arrives at a stack
          of paperwork. There is a photograph of ARTHUR LEWIS at the
          top of the stack.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- MASTER BATHROOM -- LATER ON

          Norma, now wearing her BRIDESMAID DRESS, puts a DIAMOND
          EARRING in her right lobe. She turns to the mirror and jumps
          in her skin... as the face staring back at her has no
          eyelids.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- WALTER'S BEDROOM -- NEXT

          Arthur sits on the end of Walter's bed. Walters stands in
          front of him as his father ties his NECK TIE in front of a
          standing mirror.

                         WALTER
          What's going on?

                         ARTHUR
          I don't know.

                         WALTER
          This is about the box... isn't it?

                         ARTHUR
          Yeah.

                         WALTER
          Did you push the button?

                         ARTHUR
          Your mother did.

                         WALTER
          What happens when you push the
          button?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          77.

                         ARTHUR
          I don't know.

                         WALTER
          Yes you do. You're just not telling
          me.
          Arthur finishes with his tie. He notices something on the
          floor of his son's bedroom. It is the MARS COMIC BOOK.
          He picks it up and stares at the dark figure looming on the
          cover.

                         ARTHUR
          Where did you get this?

                         WALTER
          Dana. She gave it to me.
          Arthur begins to page through the comic book.

          EXT. WILLOW LAWN MOTEL -- ROOF TOP -- NEXT

          Arlington kneels at the edge of the MOTEL SWIMMING POOL. He
          runs his hand through the water. Steam is rising from the
          surface.
          STROBES OF WHITE LIGHT begin flicker from beneath the
          surface... as though some unseen SOURCE OF ENERGY is
          emanating from down below.
          Arlington slowly rises to his feet and turns to leave.

          EXT. WILLOW LAWN MOTEL -- DRIVEWAY -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arlington approaches the BLACK SEDAN idling in the car port.
          He gets inside... and Bud drives off.

          INT. SCOPE INSERT -- NIGHT

          The CAMERA looks through a TELESCOPE LENS of some sort from
          high on a ROOFTOP in downtown Richmond.
          It scans across several CARS passing down the street...
          PEDESTRIANS on the sidewalk... landing on ARLINGTON and BUD
          as they move toward the entrance of a STONE FRONT BUILDING.

          EXT. RICHMOND ROOFTOP -- NIGHT

          We see that a SNIPER, dressed in a dark suit, is perched on
          the roof of an adjacent building. He has an earpiece in his
          left ear.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          78.

                         SNIPER
          Alright... they are entering the
          building from the south entrance on
          fourteenth street.

          INT. RICHMOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY BUILDING -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arlington and Bud move down the main corridor of the GENERAL
          ASSEMBLY BUILDING, approaching a bank of ELEVATORS. A
          SECURITY GUARD nods to them nervously.
          Arlington nods back.

          INT. RICHMOND GENERAL ASSEMBLY BUILDING -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arlington and Bud emerge from the elevators on the THIRD
          FLOOR and move down the hall. As they pass into a RECEPTION
          AREA, the CAMERA moves toward a GLASS PARTITION with the
          VIRGINIA STATE EMBLEM etched into the glass.
          Below it is a name:

          HOUSE OF DELEGATES

          GRIFFITH POWELL - MAJORITY LEADER

           INT. GRIFFITH POWELL'S OFFICE -- RECEPTION -- NEXT

           As they approach the RECEPTION AREA... the FEMALE
          RECEPTIONIST ( 30s) stands up anxiously behind her desk.

                         RECEPTIONIST
          Excuse me... may I help you?

                         ARLINGTON
          Where is he?

                         RECEPTIONIST
          Uhhh... he's in a meeting.

                         ARLINGTON
          I need to see him... now.

          INT. GRIFFITH POWELL'S OFFICE -- NEXT

          The RECEPTIONIST comes into the office. Griffith Powell
          stands at the window behind his desk... smoking a cigarette.
          He is dressed in a TUXEDO with his jacket hanging next to his
          desk.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          79.

                         RECEPTIONIST
          He's here... I don't know what to
          do.
          Powell turns to face her.

                         POWELL
          Let him in.
          The Receptionist goes back out... and within moments...
          Arlington and Bud enter the office. The Receptionist closes
          the door and leaves them alone.

                         ARLINGTON
          Hello Senator.

                         POWELL

                         (TERRIFIED)
          Mr. Steward... it's good to see
          you.

                         ARLINGTON
          Call me Arlington.

                         POWELL
          Okay... Arlington.
          Bud just stares at the Senator... showing no sign of emotion.

                         ARLINGTON
          Do you have my money?

                         POWELL
          I've given you four-hundred
          thousand already. How much more are
          you going to need?

                         ARLINGTON
          As much as it takes.
          Powell sighs out loud... irritated.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          First the nose...
          Powell turns around and there is now BLOOD GUSHING from his
          nose...

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          Then the ears...
          BLOOD begins to ooze from both ears... as he covers his
          face... feeling the warm fluid rush from every orifice...

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          Then the eyes...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          80.
          Blood rushes from beneath his eyelids... his entire face
          covered in BLOOD... his WHITE SHIRT DRENCHED...

                         POWELL
          Please! I've got it right here!
          Powell reaches beneath his desk and retrieves a large
          briefcase. He places it on the desk.

                         POWELL (CONT'D)
          It's all there! Two-hundred
          thousand! You can count it if you
          want!

                         ARLINGTON
          Bud...
          Bud grabs the briefcase from the desk and pops it open. He
          sees that it is filled with stacks of cash.

                         ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          You tell that sniper you have
          perched on that roof next door that
          I can smell his cheap cologne.

          EXT. RICHMOND ROOFTOP -- NEXT

           The SNIPER hears Arlington's VOICE in his earpiece.

                          ARLINGTON (EARPIECE)
          I think it might be Old Spice.
          The Sniper smells his shoulder.

          INT. POWELL'S OFFICE -- RECEPTION -- NEXT

          Arlington and Bud move through the reception area. The
          Receptionist lurks behind her desk... frightened.

          INT. FOREST LAWN BABTIST CHURCH -- NIGHT

          Arthur and Norma are standing in a WAITING ROOM in the church
          where her sister is about to be married. BRIDESMAIDS and
          GROOMSMEN are chatting with one another in anticipation of
          the ceremony.
          Norma clutches the copy of No Exit.

                         ARTHUR
          You and Walter were there in the
          room. You were wearing a black
          dress, identical to the one you
          have on now.

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          81.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)
          Walter had a blindfold on.

                         (BEAT)
          And then your eyes...

                         NORMA
          They didn't have lids...

                         ARTHUR
          Yeah.

                         NORMA
          I had the same dream.
          Arthur's mind is racing... he glances through the crowd
          nervously, afraid that they are being watched.

                         ARTHUR
          What's the last thing you remember?

                         NORMA
          The library. He was asking me all
          of these questions... about you...
          about our marriage.

                         (BEAT)
          Then I took his hand...
          Susan approaches...

                         SUSAN
          Alright girls... time to line up!
          Susan hands Arthur the book and goes off with the other

          BRIDESMAIDS.

          INT. FOREST LAWN BABTIST CHURCH -- NIGHT

          Norma stands next to Deborah as she is about to take her
          vows.

                         PREACHER
          Do you, Deborah Burns, take Edward
          Powell, to be your'-lawfully wedded
          husband, 'til death do you part?

                         DEBORAH
          I do.
          Norma looks over to Arthur, as he sits in the congregation.
          He is not paying attention to the wedding. He is reading
          Sartre's play...
          The CAMERA zooms into a close-up of the page describing the
          final scene in the play No Exit:

          INSERT OF PAGE:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          82.
          ESTELLE: [with a peal of laughter]: Forever. My God, how
          funny! Forever.
          GARCIN: [looks over at the two women, and joins in the
          laughter]: For ever, and ever, and ever.
          INSERT: Arthur's eyes... reading...

          INSERT OF PAGE:
          [They slump onto their respective sofas. A long silence.
          Their laughter dies away and they gaze at each other.]
          GARCIN: Well, well, let's get on with it...

                         CURTAIN

          EXT. FOREST LAWN SQUARE -- NIGHT

          The WEDDING PARTY comes pouring out of the church. There is a
          massive LAWN south of the entrance. During the holidays it is
          filled with CHRISTMAS TREES for sale, and dozens of ARTS &
          CRAFTS BOOTHS assembled in rows.
          The CAMERA moves through the crowd to find Norma posing for
          photos with her fellow bridesmaids out in front of the
          square.
          ACROSS THE SQUARE... Bud Wall lurks within the rows of
          Christmas Trees. He spies Arthur and Walter mingling with his
          parents and Senator Powell, who has TWO SECRET SERVICEMEN
          standing close by.

          EXT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- LATER ON

          The CAMERA approaches the driveway of the VIRGINIA HOUSE...
          which is positioned at the south end of Forest Lawn square.
          Wedding guests are arriving in droves.
          The house is a large GOTHIC MANSION that is often rented out
          for public events... and in this case... for the lavish
          WEDDING RECEPTION of Deborah Burns and Edward Powell.

          EXT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- BACK LAWN -- LATER ON

          Arthur and Norma move through the courtyard into the wedding
          reception area... which flows through several TENTS that have
          been erected with HEAT LAMPS and tables covered in WHITE
          TABLECLOTHS and FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS.
          Arthur carries the copy of No Exit with him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          83.

                         ARTHUR
          The play tells the story of uhree
          people, condemned to hell. They are
          to remain in a second empire
          drawing room for all of eternity.
          He closes the book... his mind dissecting what he has just
          read.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)
          They soon discover that their
          eyelids are missing... and for all
          eternity they will be unable to
          sleep.
          Norma remembers most of the play from high school.

                         NORMA
          There are no mirrors... so they
          will never be able to see their own
          reflection... but only the faces of
          their tormentors.

                         ARTHUR
          This is Sartre's vision of hell.

                         NORMA
          Because Hell... is other people.
          The look into one another's eyes... Norma sees a WAITER pass
          by with a tray of CHAMPAGNE. They both take a glass.
          Jim crosses the lawn to greet them.

                         JIM
          Arthur... can I speak with you
          privately for a moment?

                         ARTHUR
          Sure.
          Arthur walks away with Jim toward the edge of a PATIO that
          overlooks the whole party.

          EXT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- UPPER PATIO -- MOMENTS LATER

          Jim and Arthur stand at a table. Jim has several PHOTOGRAPHS
          laid out on the table. They are mostly family photos taken
          from the house of Robert Bevilacqua.

                         JIM
          And do you know this fella? Robert
          Bevilacqua?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          84.

                         ARTHUR
          Yeah... I know him. He works at

          NASA.

                         JIM
          Do you know his wife?

                         ARTHUR
          No...

                         JIM
          Well... he shot and killed his wife
          yesterday morning.

                         ARTHUR
          No...

                         JIM
          Yeah... He shot her point blank in
          the chest in his kitchen.
          Arthur takes a deep breath. He isn't feeling well.

                         JIM (CONT'D)
          This Bevilacqua fella... if he
          tries to contact you or Norma...
          you have to call me immediately,
          you understand?

                         ARTHUR
          Yeah. Of course.
          Arthur looks down at the lawn. Norma is staring back at them.

          EXT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- BACK LAWN -- LATER ON

          Norma is now standing up on stage with a MICROPHONE in her
          hand..,. giving her MAID OF HONOR speech.

                         NORMA
          My little sister once asked me...
          what's the best thing about being
          married?
          Norma looks across the lawn to the table where Arthur is
          seated, next to Walter and their parents.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          I told her that... it's knowing
          that for the rest of your life
          you'll never feel alone.

                         (BEAT)
          Not ever again.
          She smiles at her husband.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          85.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          That is... until you get divorced.
          There is laughter from the crowd. Deborah blushes... leaning
          her head on her new husband's shoulder.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          Or... until he decides to kill you.
          More laughter.

          EXT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- DANCE FLOOR -- LATER

          Arthur and Norma are now slow dancing.

                         ARTHUR
          Why did you say that?

                         NORMA
          Say what?

                         ARTHUR
          In your speech. That joke about me
          killing you.

                         NORMA
          I don't know... I thought it was
          funny. Guess I've had too much
          champagne.

                         ARTHUR
          Did your dad tell you about Robert
          Bevilacqua?

                         NORMA
          No.

                         ARTHUR
          He shot his wife yesterday morning.
          Did you know his wife?

                         NORMA
          No.
          Norma is still searching for some other explanation.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          What if it's all a test for the
          aspiring astronauts?

                         ARTHUR
          What do you mean?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          86.

                         NORMA
          A psychological test. They want to
          see how you'll respond to a moral
          dilemma... the fate of a human
          life... determined by the push of a
          single button. Think of the men on
          the Apollo thirteen mission...
          sound familiar?
          They turn slowly on the dance floor...
          Arthur closes his eyes... his mind racing...
          A VOICE breaks through the music...

          VOICE (O.S.)
          May I cut in?
          Arthur and Norma turn to see a MAN standing there...
          It is DR. EARL STUPE.

                         STUPE
          I would like to dance with your
          wife. Do you mind?
          Arthur glares at Dr. Stupe.

                         NORMA
          It's okay Arthur...
          Arthur looks at him... then back at Norma. His face has gone
          pale and he looks for a moment as though he might faint on
          the dance floor.

                         ARTHUR

          I.. I.

                         (SWALLOWS HARD)
          Will you please excuse me?
          Arthur moves toward the stairs that lead up to the palatial
          estate. Walter is there... waiting.

                         WALTER
          Dad! What's going on?

                         ARTHUR
          I.. I'm gonna be sick Walter...
          He places his hand on his son's head for a brief moment and
          then stumbles up the stairs.
          ON THE DANCE FLOOR... Norma is now slow dancing with Dr.
          Stupe.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          87.

                         STUPE
          I know what they call me. Dr.
          Stupid. My patients... the ones who
          will still see me... they find out
          what I did and they stop calling.

                         NORMA
          I'm sorry for that. I can't control
          what people say.

                         STUPE
          I am Dr. Stupid now. Someone wrote
          it on my windshield with soap once.
          I figure it must have been a
          relative... a friend of yours.

                         (BEAT)
          Oh... how they love you, Norma
          Lewis. And they love your
          husband... the one who saved you.
          Did he save your life? Did he
          rescue you from the oblivion that I
          manufactured?

                         NORMA
          Yes. You have my forgiveness, Earl.
          People make mistakes... and if they
          seek forgiveness... they should be
          forgiven.

                         (BEAT)
          That's the rule of my lord.

          INT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- MEN'S BATHROOM -- NEXT

          Arthur comes into the MEN'S BATHROOM and rushes into one of
          the stalls. He falls to his knees... leaning over the toilet.

          EXT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- DANCE FLOOR -- LATER

          ON THE DANCE FLOOR... Norma notices her brother NATHAN...
          sitting alone at his table in his wheelchair. He is drunk...
          lost in his own sadness. He smiles at her...

                         STUPE
          There is that old cliche... that
          the lord works in mysterious ways.
          Well... I have met the lord. I have
          spoken to him in my dreams. And it
          brought me back to that day in my
          office when you arrived with a
          fractured foot... some thirteen
          years ago.

                         (BEAT)
          He told me that it was essential...

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          88.

                         STUPE (CONT'D)
          an essential event in the cycle of
          purgatory and its inevitable
          conclusion.
          Norma pulls away from him. Blood drains out of his nose...

                         STUPE (CONT'D)
          For when the cycle of purgatory
          concludes... there is nothing left
          but a barren wasteland of rock and
          sand... a deafening wind and a
          cold, dry winter.
          ABOVE... on the MARBLE RAILING... the OWL is perched on the
          ledge... watching...
          ON THE DANCE FLOOR... Stupe retrieves a PISTOL from his
          pocket... and raises his eyes to meet those of his dance
          partner.

                         STUPE (CONT'D)
          I am sorry my dear...
          Stupe takes the pistol... places it against his temple... and
          pulls the trigger.
          BLOOD SPRAYS across the dance floor... some of it on Norma's
          face. PEOPLE BEGIN TO SCREAM AND THE ENTIRE WEDDING ERUPTS

          INTO CHAOS...

          INT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- MEN'S BATHROOM -- NEXT

          Arthur is now standing at the urinal. He begins to hear
          commotion outside. He turns his head to the left... when
          something COLD and METAL locks itself around his wrist.
          Arthur turns back to the right and sees that it is Robert
          Bevilacqua. He is standing at the urinal next to him and they
          are now HAND-CUFFED TOGETHER at the wrists.
          Bevilacqua retrieves a GUN from his pocket at points it at
          Arthur. He has dark circles under his eyes.

                         BEVILACQUA
          You can still save yourself. It's
          too late for me... but you can
          still save yourself.

                         ARTHUR
          Bevilacqua...

                         BEVILACQUA
          Follow me out through the kitchen.
          I have a truck waiting...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          89.

          INT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- BACK CORRIDOR -- NEXT

          Arthur and Bevilacqua emerge from the men's bathroom into a
          hallway that leads into the kitchen. Beyond them... in th.e
          PARLOR... there is commotion among the members of the wedding
          party in response to the gunshot.

          INT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Arthur and Bevilacqua move through the kitchen. The WAITERS
          and WAITRESSES are all distracted by the commotion and barely
          take notice of them as they pass through...

          EXT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- MOMENTS LATER

          Walter walks down the driveway as several POLICE OFFICERS
          rush past him, moving toward the entrance of the house. The
          whole place is being evacuated...
          He looks toward the square... and begins to move in that
          direction.
          The CAMERA drifts back toward the ROCK PILLAR that stands at
          the entrance to the house. Arlington is standing there in
          front of it. He is wearing his black hat... pulled down low.
          He begins to follow Walter toward the square...

          EXT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- BACK DRIVEWAY -- NEXT

          Arthur and Bevilacqua come out the back entrance into the
          driveway. There is a WHITE PICKUP TRUCK parked there.
          Bevilacqua opens the passenger side door and the two of them
          slide across the seat, Bevilacqua behind the wheel.

          EXT. FOREST LAWN SQUARE -- MOMENTS LATER

          Walter wanders through a group of CHRISTMAS CAROLERS...
          moving toward the maze of CHRISTMAS TREES. He looks over his
          shoulder... where Arlington emerges from a crowd... staring
          him down like a monster.
          Walter's face is ghost white with terror. He begins to walk
          faster through the maze.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          90.

          EXT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- DRIVEWAY -- MOMENTS LATER

          Norma comes down the driveway with her mother and sister...
          overcome with shock... searching the crowd...

                         NORMA
          Walter?

          EXT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- BACK DRIVEWAY -- NEXT

          Bevilacqua puts the truck into drive and speeds out of the
          driveway onto the street.
          Jim stands across the lawn, manning the chaos. He recognizes
          the two men as the pass him by... and he raises his WALKIE-
          TALKIE to his mouth.

                         JIM
          I just spotted Bevilacqua... he's
          in a white pick-up truck. Potential
          hostage situation.

          EXT. FOREST LAWN SQUARE -- MOMENTS LATER

          Walter winds his way through the maze of Christmas trees...
          rounding a corner... where he runs into DANA.

                         DANA
          Walter...

                         WALTER
          Hey.
          Bud arrives next to her.

                         DANA
          Is everything alright?

                         WALTER
          No.

                         DANA
          Come with us.
          She takes his hand and they move north back toward the
          church.

          EXT. 1-95 -- NIGHT

          The WHITE PICK-UP drives south down 1-95.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          91.

          INT. WHITE PICK-UP TRUCK -- NEXT

          Bevilacqua has his hands on the steering wheel... Arthur's
          left arm extended due to the hand-cuffing.

                         BEVILACQUA

                         (DELIRIOUS)
          Did you push the button... or was
          it your wife?

                         ARTHUR
          My wife.

                         BEVILACQUA
          Yeah... me too. I wasn't even home.
          She decided to push it when I
          wasn't around to stop her.

                         ARTHUR
          And now she's dead. Did you kill
          her?

                         BEVILACQUA
          I don't want to talk about it.

                         ARTHUR
          Where are you taking me?
          Bevilacqua retrieves a NASA DOSSIER from the dashboard and
          hands it to Arthur.

                         BEVILACQUA
          Kenneth Weller. You know him?

                         ARTHUR
          Name sounds familiar. Does he work
          at Langley too?

                         BEVILACQUA
          Yep. He's next. Him and his wife...
          they've got the box now.
          Suddenly... BLUE AND RED LIGHTS appear behind them...
          followed by the sound of a SIREN.

          EXT. 1-95 -- NIGHT

          TWO POLICE CRUISERS are now tailing the pick-up truck.

          INT. WHITE PICK-UP TRUCK -- NEXT

          Bevilacqua steps on the gas... accelerating to outrun them.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          92.

                         ARTHUR
          What are you doing?

                         BEVILACQUA
          I'm not gonna let them get me...
          Arthur... we've got to get to
          Kenneth Weller. We've got to break
          the chain... or your wife is gonna
          die!

                         ARTHUR
          How is she going to die?

                         BEVILACQUA
          You're going to kill her!
          Bevilacqua swerves into the ONCOMING TRAFFIC LANE to pass a
          car in front of them. A LARGE 18-WHEELER TRUCK is barreling
          toward them.
          Bevilacqua pulls the truck back into the right lane.

          EXT. 1-95 -- NEXT

          The 18 WHEELER slams on the brakes... then jack-knives to
          the left... blocking both lanes...
          One of the POLICE CRUISERS pulls off into the ditch... while
          the second CRUISER swerves and SMASHES head on into the side
          of the truck bed... sheering the top of the sedan into two
          pieces...

          INT. WHITE PICK-UP TRUCK -- NEXT

          Arthur looks back over his shoulder... seeing the cars smash
          together.

                         ARTHUR
          Jesus! You're gonna get us killed!

                         BEVILACQUA
          Did Steward take you to the
          library? Did you meet his mother...
          the librarian?

                         ARTHUR
          Yeah.

                         BEVILACQUA
          Did she tell you about Prometheus?

                         ARTHUR
          Yeah...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          93.

                         BEVILACQUA
          Steward has a twin brother... and
          he works for the CIA.
          UP AHEAD... Arthur sees FOUR MORE POLICE CRUISERS with their
          lights flashing. They have formed a ROADBLOCK.
          Bevilacqua lowers his foot onto the accelerator... refusing
          to back down.

                         BEVILACQUA (CONT'D)
          This is purgatory... we're living
          in purgatory...

          EXT. 1-95 -- NIGHT

          The WHITE TRUCK smashes through the line of POLICE CRUISERS
          as POLICE OFFICERS dive for cover.
          An officer raises his GUN and fires off several rounds toward
          the truck.
          A BULLET explodes the right front tire...
          The truck swerves and FLIPS OVER onto one side... tumbling
          over and over along the interstate in a horrific crash.
          ONCOMING CARS swerve into ditches... and the white truck
          comes sliding to a stop on the wet pavement.
          The CAMERA slowly approaches the smoking wreckage... catching
          a glimpse of Bevilacqua... his face covered in blood. Arthur
          remains hidden from sight.

          EXT. VIRGINIA HOUSE -- DRIVEWAY -- MOMENTS LATER

          Norma rushes down the sidewalk on the perimeter of the
          square... searching for her son.

                         NORMA
          Walter?
          A BLACK SEDAN pulls up next to her... and Reston steps out of
          the car.
          Norma locks eyes with him... recognizing his face...

                         RESTON
          Mrs. Lewis? Norma Lewis?

                         NORMA
          Yes.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          94.

                         RESTON
          My name is Reston Steward. I work
          for the CIA.

                         NORMA
          Yeah? Where is my son? Where is my
          husband?

                         RESTON
          Please... get into the car.
          Norma stares at him in disbelief... as he opens the back door
          and gestures inside.

                         RESTON (CONT'D)

                         (GENTLE)
          Please... there isn't much time.

          EXT. 1-95 -- NIGHT -- LATER ON

          Jim Burns walks through the aftermath of the crash site.
          There are now several FIRE TRUCKS, AMBULANCES and other
          EMERGENCY VEHICLES scattered on either side of the
          interstate.
          Robert Bevilacqua's DEAD BODY is now on a stretcher. Jim
          looks down at him briefly... then turns to another OFFICER on
          the scene.

                         JIM
          Where's Arthur?

                         OFFICER #1
          They took him away in an ambulance.

          INT. AMBULANCE -- NEXT

          Arthur sits up in the back of the ambulance. He has a small
          scrape on his cheekbone... but otherwise appears unharmed.
          An EMS TECHNICIAN is in there with him. He hands Arthur an

          ICE PACK.

                         EMS TECHNICIAN
          Here... hold this against your
          forehead. It'll keep your head from
          swelling.
          Arthur takes the ice pack and places it against his head.

                         ARTHUR
          Thanks.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          95.

                         EMS TECHNICIAN
          I think it might have been a
          miracle.
          The EMS Technician shakes his head in disbelief.

                         ARTHUR
          What?

                         EMS TECHNICIAN
          That car accident. I've never seen
          someone walk away from an accident
          like that.

                         (BEAT)
          Somebody upstairs is looking out
          for you, buddy.
          The door to the ambulance opens. A US ARMY OFFICER appears.
          He steps away from the doors and General Teague emerges from
          the darkness.

                         TEAGUE
          Are you able to walk, son?

                         ARTHUR
          Yes, sir.

                         TEAGUE
          Please step out of the ambulance.

          EXT. HOWARD JOHNSON -- PARKING LOT -- NEXT

          Arthur steps out of the ambulance and sees that it is parked
          in front of a HOWARD JOHNSON HOTEL on an exit of 1-95. The
          hotel has a DINER attached to it.
          There are more than a dozen POLICE CARS parked in front,
          along with..several BLACK SEDANS and MILITARY VEHICLES.
          Arthur hears the rumble of a HELICOPTER circling the sky
          above them. Its SEARCHLIGHT sweeps through the forest.
          In front of the diner entrance... more than a DOZEN MEN
          operate VIDEO CAMERAS and STILL CAMERAS mounted on tripods,
          all pointed toward the front window of the diner.
          Teague is standing with Cahill and Reston, along with several
          other MILITARY PERSONNEL.
          Arthur notices Norma as she emerges from a BLACK SEDAN... she
          looks exhausted... delirious.

                         NORMA
          Arthur!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          96.

                         ARTHUR
          Norma!
          She hugs him... neither has slept in two days.

                         NORMA
          Where's Walter?

                         ARTHUR
          I don't know.
          Reston steps forward.

                         RESTON
          My brother has taken your son...
          but he assures me that he is alive
          and well.
          Reston tries to comfort them with a smile.

                         RESTON (CONT'D)
          Take a walk with us.
          Norma and Arthur begin to walk with Reston, Teague and Cahill
          toward the diner entrance.

                         RESTON (CONT'D)
          Are you familiar with the myth of
          Prometheus?

                         ARTHUR
          Yeah.

                         RESTON
          In the 1940s... when NASA was
          formed, we began developing, in
          secret, a project that we dubbed
          the Prometheus Effect.

                         TEAGUE
          Projecting fictional scenarios
          about how we would respond, if and
          when we came into contact with an
          alien intelligence.

                         RESTON
          If the intelligence had hostile
          intent... or if it began to somehow
          display proof of its ability to
          destroy us, we would have a system
          in place to begin negotiating with
          it in secret.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          97.

                         TEAGUE
          The goal of Prometheus is to
          maintain coexistence with this life-
          form, and eventually achieve peace
          with it, so that its power can be
          harnessed, developed and applied in
          such a manner that will benefit the
          human race.
          Arthur notices that Cahill is holding a folder in his right
          hand.

                         CAHILL
          On the night of September 3rd, as
          the server was downloading images
          from the Viking camera system that
          you helped design... we experienced
          an electrical surge from a bolt of
          lightning.
          As they arrive at the entrance to the diner, Cahill shows
          Arthur a blurry black and white photograph.

                         CAHILL (CONT'D)
          An anomaly in the series of Viking
          images produced this photograph of
          the Mars surface.
          The photo appears to be a ghost-like TRAIL OF WHITE LIGHT
          streaking across the martian landscape.
          Teague nods toward the diner window.

                         TEAGUE
          According to... it... and whatever
          it is...
          Arthur notices Arlington sitting alone in a booth inside the
          diner... waiting...

                         TEAGUE (CONT'D)
          A ghost... an apparition... a
          methane compound imbedded in pulse
          of electricity...

                         CAHILL
          If the human spirit is assigned a
          specific bandwidth upon
          conception... twins... would
          provide it with a dual bandwidth
          carrier...

                         RESTON

                         (INTERRUPTING)
          It claims to be more than six
          billion years old.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          98.

                         J
          Arthur stares at the streak of white light in the photo.

                         ARTHUR
          My camera... took this photo...

                         CAHILL
          We've run the data sequence off the
          server more than a thousand times.
          Each time... this one photo in the
          sequence comes out of the dark room
          just like this. We can't explain
          why.
          Arthur hands the photo back to Cahill.

                         NORMA
          What does it want?
          Cahill glances at Teague... who looks to Cahill.

                         CAHILL
          I think the same thing that it
          wanted from Bevilacqua... except
          that poor boy is no longer around
          to tell us why he shot his wife.

                         NORMA
          What did he say to you when you
          were in the car with him?

                         ARTHUR
          Something about breaking the chain.
          He wanted to find the next test
          subject... and prevent them from
          pushing the button.
          Cahill is writing diligently on his NOTE PAD.
          Reston can now feel something taking control of him... he
          looks to Teague... terrified.
          He closes his eyes... his body begins to twitch.
          Teague stares at his friend... realizing what is happening.
          Reston opens his eyes... now possessed... blood draining from
          his ears.

                         RESTON
          General Teague... it's a pleasure
          to meet you.

                         (BEAT)
          I would like to continue with my
          experiment... if you don't mind.
          Reston smiles at the General.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          99.

                         RESTON (CONT'D)
          Please do not interfere... as I
          assure you that if you do... there
          will be dire consequences...
          Reston then turns to face Arthur and Norma.

                         RESTON (CONT'D)
          Time is of the essence... and I'd
          like to invite my guests inside.
          Reston opens the door to the diner and gestures to Arthur and
          Norma for them to come inside.

          INT. HOWARD JOHNSON -- DINER -- NEXT

          Arthur, Norma and Reston make their way down the long aisle
          of the diner, flanked by a row of booths, across from a long
          LUNCH COUNTER with a metal surface.
          Arlington sits alone in a booth. He pivots his head around to
          face them.

                         ARLINGTON
          Please have a seat.
          Reston sits down next to his twin brother... Arthur and Norma
          sit down across from the twins.
          Arlington has now locked completely into his brother's
          spirit...
          The movement of the two men is in now in PERFECT
          SYNCHRONICITY, staggered by exactly one second... Reston
          following Arlington.
          Arlington's eyes remain closed in deep concentration...
          Arlington's lips move silently... and Reston repeats them out
          loud. Reston's demeanor is now kind... gentle... almost
          apologetic for his past behavior.

                         RESTON/ARLINGTON
          Don't be frightened by my manner of
          communication... but it is becoming
          more difficult for me to speak,
          given my body's... condition.

                         NORMA
          What have you done with our son?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          100.

                         RESTON/ARLINGTON
          We'll get to him in a moment... but
          first I want you to know that I
          have a deep respect and admiration
          you both, and I am very sorry...
          that you pushed the button.

          EXT. WILLOW LAWN MOTEL -- POOL -- NEXT

          Bud now has Walter laid out on the cement next the edge of
          the SWIMMING POOL at the shallow end. The boy is
          unconscious... still dressed in his suit from the wedding.
          From across the pool... Dana is squatting on the end of the
          DIVING BOARD... watching them.
          Bud then removes Walter's right shoe and sock... exposing his
          bare foot. He then retrieves a SERRATED HUNTING KNIFE... and
          cuts in the flesh from his BIG TOE across the ball of his
          foot... drawing blood.

          INT. HOWARD JOHNSON -- DINER -- NEXT

          Reston closes his eyes for a moment. When he opens them...
          tears have begun to form, as though he cannot bear the news
          that his brother is forcing him to deliver.

                         RESTON/ARLINGTON
          I will now give you a chance to
          save yourselves... an opportunity
          for redemption and salvation.

          EXT. WILLOW LAWN MOTEL -- POOL -- NEXT

          Bud is now carrying the unconscious Walter in his arms. He
          steps into the shallow end of the heated pool... and dunks
          the boy under the surface.
          BLOOD from the cut on the bottom of his foot drains out into
          the water like red ink...

          INT. HOWARD JOHNSON -- DINER -- NEXT

          Norma closes her eyes... the impending sense of dread
          building inside of her.

                         RESTON/ARLINGTON
          Two of your son's five functional
          senses have been permanently
          impaired.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          101.

          EXT. WILLOW LAWN MOTEL -- POOL -- NEXT

          UNDERWATER... Walter floats with his arms spread wide...
          WHITE STROBES OF LIGHT FLICKER AROUND HIM. The light streaks
          bear a close resemblance to the image in the -Mars photo.
          Blood streams out from his foot into the water.

          INT. HOWARD JOHNSON -- DINER -- NEXT

          Blood is now flowing out of Reston's left nostril. Both
          Arthur and Norma recoil in horror.

                         RESTON/ARLINGTON
          He is now blind and deaf.

                         (BEAT)
          For the rest of his life, he will
          never hear your voice... or see
          your face.

                         ARTHUR
          (under his breath)
          Why...

                         RESTON/ARLINGTON
          You are now presented with two
          options.

                         (BEAT)
          Option one... you enjoy the rest of
          your lives with the money you have
          been given, and you learn to live
          with your son's disability.
          Reston then reaches into his pocket and retrieves a PISTOL.
          He places it on the table next to the box.

          RESTON/ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          And then there is option number
          two.

                         (BEAT)
          There is one bullet in the chamber
          of this gun.
          Reston slides the gun across the table in Arthur's direction.

          RESTON/ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          You can fire this bullet into your
          wife's heart... killing her.

                         (BEAT)
          At the exact moment that her spirit
          departs the earth, this curse upon
          your son will be reversed, and both
          of his impaired senses will
          instantaneously return to normal.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          102.
          Arthur looks over at Norma in disbelief... then back at the
          twins. He cannot fathom how it has now come to this.

          RESTON/ARLINGTON (CONT'D)
          Arthur, you will then be arrested
          and charged with the murder of your
          wife... and the money will be
          placed in an interest bearing trust
          for your son to receive upon his
          eighteenth birthday.

                         NORMA
          That's not fair.

                         (BEAT)
          Let me do it. I, pushed your stupid
          button. If I deserve to be punished
          for it... then let me kill myself.
          Arthur has nothing to do with this.

                         RESTON/ARLINGTON
          I'm sorry, but the offer is not
          negotiable.

                         (TO ARTHUR)
          And if Norma's fingers so much as
          touch the weapon at any point from
          this moment on... the restoration
          of Walter's sight and sound will be
          denied.

                         NORMA
          If Arthur has to do it... then I
          want you to make it look like a
          suicide. Arthur shouldn't be
          punished for something that I did.

                         RESTON/ARLINGTON
          I'm sorry... but the terms of the
          offer are not negotiable.
          Arthur faces has gone completely white.

                         ARTHUR
          Is there an afterlife?
          The twins smile cryptically in response to Arthur's question.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)
          Because this is purgatory, right?
          The earth is purgatory... and
          you're here to start shutting
          things down... right?
          The twins appear impressed with his foresight.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          103.

                         RESTON/ARLINGTON
          I find your theory to be quite
          fascinating. But I must remind you
          that I am unable to disclose the
          identity of my employers.
          Arthur glances out the window at all of the cameras.

                         ARTHUR
          Right. I get it.
          Reston then turns to the window...

                         RESTON/ARLINGTON
          Can someone please bring up the
          car?

          EXT. HOWARD JOHNSON -- DINER -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arthur and Norma emerge from the diner in a state of
          delirium. A SOLDIER pulls up in Arthur's TRANS-AM. He steps
          out of the car and holds the door open.
          Teague and Cahill approach... as MEN in dark suits snap
          hundreds of photographs of the couple.
          Cahill puts his hand on Arthur's shoulder... searching for
          words.
          Teague glances inside the diner... then back at Arthur.
          Arthur nods his head slowly... his mind lost... and he limps
          toward the car with Norma at his side.

          INT. ARTHUR'S CAR -- NEXT

          Norma sits behind the wheel... allowing Arthur to ride
          shotgun. He looks weakened by the whole ordeal, and she is
          afraid he might pass out.

                         ARTHUR
          Tell me this isn't happening,
          Norma.

                         NORMA
          This isn't happening...
          She starts the engine... and they drive off.
          Arthur watches the parking lot full of MEN reflected back at
          them in the side-view mirror.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          104.

          EXT. INTERSTATE 95 -- SUNRISE

           HELICOPTER SHOT: The CAMERA flies over 1-95 as Arthur's car
          travels north toward Richmond. A MILITARY HELICOPTER flies
          overhead... escorting them on their journey home.

          INT. ARTHUR'S CAR -- NEXT

          Arthur sits shotgun as Norma drives them home. They have been
          riding in silence for quite some time now, having reached a
          level of complete mental and physical exhaustion.

                         NORMA
          All these years... I've given you
          the impression that Walter was an
          accident.

                         ARTHUR
          Yeah... and?

                         NORMA
          And... it wasn't exactly an
          accident.

                         (BEAT)
          I stopped taking the pill when I
          met you...

                         ARTHUR
          Why?

                         NORMA
          Because I was so afraid of losing
          you to someone prettier than me.
          Arthur just stares at her... unsure how to respond.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          For that alone... I deserve a
          bullet in the heart... don't you
          think?

                         ARTHUR
          No... I don't.
          She manages a smile. A tear rolls down her cheek as she
          stares out at the pavement and the endless trees lining
          either side of the interstate.

          EXT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FOYER -- EARLY MORNING

          Arthur pulls the car up into the driveway. The street is
          quiet and empty.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          105.
          They step out of the car. Dana is sitting on the front porch,
          waiting for them.
          She rises to her feet as they approach.

                         DANA
          Did my dad tell you why he loves
          you, Norma?
          Norma realizes that she has been involved all along. Blood
          drains from her nose.

                         NORMA
          No.

                         DANA
          Because you're an amputee. He says
          that the soul of an amputee leaks
          out into the wind... searching for
          the place where there is no longer
          flesh and bone.

                         (BEAT)
          It says that the soul that leaks is
          the soul that endures. It is the
          kindest and bravest soul of them
          all.

                         NORMA
          Where is our son?

                         DANA
          He's locked in the upstairs
          bathroom. I think he just woke up.
          Dana turns away... and begins to walk down the sidewalk in
          the opposite direction.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- UPSTAIRS BATHROOM -- NEXT

          Walter lays inside the bathtub, soaking wet. He is still
          wearing his suit from the wedding. He is shivering... looking
          around... disoriented...
          His EYE-BALLS are now COMPLETELY WHITE... pupils no longer
          visible.

                         WALTER
          Is anyone-there?!
          He begins clawing at the walls... trying to figure out where
          he is.

                         WALTER (CONT'D)
          I can't see!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          106.
          He climbs out of the bathtub and begins to crawl across the
          tile floor. He runs into the door... and then reaches up and
          finds the DOORKNOB. It is locked.
          He begins to bang on the door relentlessly.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- UPSTAIRS HALLWAY -- NEXT

          Norma and Arthur come up the stairs and round the corner of
          the hallway. Walter's HAND reaches out through the crack
          beneath the door.
          Norma tries to open the door but there is a MASSIVE LOCK
          installed on it.

                         NORMA
          Walter!
          Norma reaches down and takes her son's hand.

                         WALTER
          Who's there?! Who's there?!

                         NORMA
          Walter! It's mom! Can you hear me?!

                         WALTER

          WHO'S THERE?!!

                         NORMA

          CAN YOU HEAR ME!!?

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- UPSTAIRS BATHROOM -- NEXT

          He does not respond... and begins banging his head against
          the door... harder and harder...
          Thump... thump...

          NORMA (O.S.)

          CAN YOU HEAR ME?!!!

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- UPSTAIRS HALLWAY -- NEXT

          No response... just his head... slamming against the door
          repeatedly.

                         ARTHUR
          We need to kick the door down.

                         NORMA
          He could get hurt...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          107.
          Norma begins to pound back on the door with her fist... and
          eventually the thumping stops. She begins to hear quiet sobs
          from inside the bathroom.

                         WALTER
          Who's there? Who's there?
          Norma rises to her feet.

                         NORMA
          Come downstairs, Arthur.
          She takes his left hand... as he clutches Walter's hand in
          his right.

                         NORMA (CONT'D)
          Arthur...

                         (BEAT)
          I need you to come downstairs with
          me... right now.

          INT. WELLER HOUSE -- BEDROOM -- NEXT

          SUZANNE WELLER (30s) sits on her bed. Her husband KENNETH
          WELLER (30s) stands at the window. Neither looks like they
          have slept in a while.
          Suzanne has the box sitting on the mattress in front of
          her... the glass dome is open.

                         SUZANNE
          I'm gonna push it.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Arthur and Norma stand across from one another in the
          kitchen. Arthur holds the GUN in his right hand... and he
          slowly limps over to his wife and takes her into his arms.

                         ARTHUR
          Norma...

                         NORMA
          Arthur... I love you, and I'm so
          sorry... I'm so sorry that I did
          this to us...

                         ARTHUR
          I'm the one who told you to push
          the button... so don't apologize.
          He looks out through the window at his back yard... likely
          for the last time.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          108.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)
          I love you too... and please
          know... that I regret nothing in
          this life we've lived together.

                         NORMA
          I'll be waiting... counting the
          days until my Arthur comes to see
          me.

          INT. WELLER HOUSE -- BEDROOM -- NEXT

          Suzanne Weller smiles at her husband... reaches her finger
          out and places it on the button.
          She then presses down.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          FROM UPSTAIRS... thump... thump... their son's head banging
          against the door...

                         NORMA
          It's going to be harder for you to
          live than for me to die.
          Arthur closes his eyes... the noise is excruciating. There is
          no time to wait any longer.

                         ARTHUR
          Well then.

                         (BEAT)
          Let's get on with it.
          Arthur kisses her... then steps back... still clutching her
          hand... raises the gun... and fires off a round into her
          heart.
          Norma collapses... Arthur falls with her... breaking her fall
          with his arms as they collapse into a heap onto the linoleum
          floor.

          INT. WELLER HOUSE -- BEDROOM -- NEXT

          Suzanne looks over at her husband and lets out a deranged
          giggle. He smiles back.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Arthur looks down into his wife's eyes as the life drains
          from her body. Seconds later... Norma is dead.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          109.
          BLOOD begins to flow from the exit wound in her back across
          the linoleum. Arthur is now covered in it.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Walter crawls across the blood-soaked kitchen floor and
          reaches up to the PHONE that is mounted on the wall. He takes
          his finger and places it in the cradle... dials 911.

          INT. RICHMOND POLICE STATION -- 911 EMERGENCY -- NEXT

          The CAMERA tracks along a series of CUBICLES at the POLICE
          STATION in downtown Richmond. An OPERATOR sits at each
          cubicle... each one female.

                         OPERATOR #1
          911 emergency... how may I direct
          your call?
          The CAMERA moves in closer...

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Arthur has the phone to his ear... imprints of his wife's
          blood are smeared on the phone's receiver.

                         ARTHUR
          Yes. This is Arthur Lewis at 1560
          Monument Avenue. I've just shot my
          wife... can you please send an
          ambulance?
          The Operator begins to ask more questions... but Arthur does
          not listen. He hangs up the phone.
          The thumping from upstairs has now subsided.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)

          WALTER!!!
          He pulls himself to his feet and heads into the foyer.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- NEXT

          Arthur rounds the corner at the base of the stairs...

                         ARTHUR

          WALTER!!!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          110.

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- UPSTAIRS HALLWAY -- NEXT

          Arthur rounds the corner of the upstairs hallway... rushes
          toward the bathroom door.
          Walter's hand comes sliding out from beneath the crack in the
          door. Arthur grabs it.

                         ARTHUR

          WALTER!!!

                         WALTER
          Dad?

                         ARTHUR
          Yes... can you hear me?

                         WALTER
          Yeah.

                         ARTHUR
          What do you see? Where are you
          Walter?

                         WALTER
          I'm in the bathroom...

                         ARTHUR
          Can you see clearly?

                         WALTER
          Yeah... I can see... everything is
          bright... but I can see.

                         ARTHUR
          Everything is bright. Everything is
          bright Walter... you're gonna be
          okay, buddy.

                         WALTER
          What's going on?

                         ARTHUR
          You're gonna be okay, buddy. That's
          all that matters.

                         (BEAT)
          That's all that matters, now.
          Out of the corner of his eye, Arthur notices something at the
          top of the stairs. It is a POLICE OFFICER. He has his gun
          aimed at Arthur.

                         POLICE OFFICER

          BACK AWAY FROM THE DOOR AND PUT

          YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HEAD!!

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Arthur stares at the officer... frozen... the repercussions
          of his decision now stare him in the face with a loaded gun.

          POLICE OFFICER (CONT'D)

          I SAID BACK AWAY FROM THE DOOR AND

          PUT YOUR HANDS ON YOUR HEAD!!
          Arthur obeys... and the cop rushes over and pushes him over
          onto his stomach... handcuffing his wrists together.

          INT. WELLER HOUSE -- FOYER -- NEXT

          The DOORBELL rings.
          Suzanne Weller opens the door. Arlington is standing there
          with his briefcase... smiling.

                         ARLINGTON
          Mrs. Weller... do you have the
          button unit?

          INT. LEWIS HOUSE -- KITCHEN -- LATER THAT MORNING

          A CORONER places a BLANKET over Norma's face as the house is
          sealed off by various CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATORS and other
          police.

          EXT. LEWIS HOUSE -- FRONT WALK -- MOMENTS LATER

          Arthur is now being escorted by two POLICE OFFICERS to a
          waiting CRUISER that is parked in front of the house.
          Jim Burns is standing there with the door open.

                         ARTHUR
          I'm sorry, Jim.
          He stares Arthur down as he is put into the back seat of the
          cruiser. Jim closes the door and goes around to the front of
          the car.
          Jim gets behind the wheel and starts the engine.
          Arthur looks back through the window, toward his house.
          Upstairs in the MASTER BEDROOM WINDOW... Walter is watching,
          tears streaming down his face.
          Arthur reaches up with his hands... cuffed together... and
          tries his best to wave at his son.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          112.

                         ARTHUR (CONT'D)

                         (MOUTHING SILENTLY)
          I`m sorry...
          From the window... Walter watches the car pull away from the
          curb.
          He places his hand on the glass... waving back.

          CUT TO BLACK:



Box, The



Writers :   Richard Kelly  Richard Matheson
Genres :   Drama  Mystery  Sci-Fi


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