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ALL SCRIPTS





                                        BRICK


                                      Written by
          
                                     Rian Johnson

                                                                                                 1
          
          
          
              SUPER MAIN TITLES
          
              Over a grimy concrete wall creeping by. We emerge from...
          
              EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL - EARLY MORNING
          
              A gaping hole in the concrete side of a freeway. On the
              embankment beside the hole BRENDAN FRYE squats, shoulders
              hunched. His dark eyes behind thin glasses watch the
              shallow stream of water which flows into the tunnel.
          
              THE WATER
          
              not more than six inches deep. Just beneath the surface a
              young woman's pale blue arm in gaudy bracelets bats against
              the edge of her body like a docked boat. A pebble plinks
              into the water beside it.1
          
              TITLE CARD OVER BLACK:         "2 DAYS PREVIOUS"
              INT. LOCKER CAGE - DAY
          
              A single locker. That same arm, bracelets and all, slips a
              note through the slats, then leaves quickly.
          
              As the cage empties a lone figure slumps to the locker.
              Opens it. The note falls to his feet.
          
              The figure is Brendan. He unfolds the note (folded in a
              triangle) -- "12:30 PICO & ALEXANDER".
          
              A STREET SIGN
          
              Pico and Alexander.2
          
              A WRIST WATCH
              12:43.   Brendan looks up from the watch.
          
              EXT. STREET CORNER - DAY
          
              He sits on the curb of a wide suburban street, eats lunch
              from a brown bag and watches a phone booth on the corner. He
              shows no surprise when it begins to ring. Brendan goes to
              the phone and puts the receiver to his ear. Silence for a
              moment, then a thin female voice from the phone.
          
          
          1
           Originally Dode was later revealed to have been hiding above the tunnel.
          2
            The street names were changed in production to match existing streets (we couldn't
          afford to create custom street signs.)
          
                                                                       2
          
          
                              VOICE
                        (over phone)
                    Brendan?
          
                                BRENDAN
                    Emily?
          
                              EMILY
                        (weakly)
                    Yeah. How's things?
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (slow, deliberate)
                    Status quo.
          
                                EMILY
                    Yeah?
          
                                BRENDAN
                    Uh huh.
          
                              EMILY
                    That's good.
          
          Her voice thins to a high, strained breath. She is crying.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What's going on, Em?
          
                              EMILY
                        (through strained crying)
                    It's good to see you, Brendan.
          
          Brendan's eyes glance around the surrounding street. Emily
          is crying again.
          
                              EMILY (CONT'D) (cont'd)
                    It's been some time.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Two months.
          
                              EMILY
                    Yeah. I didn't even know your locker. I
                    had to ask Brain.
          
          More crying noises.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Em, why don't we meet somewhere?
          
                                EMILY
                    I can't.
          
                                                                                                     3
          
          
                                         BRENDAN
                           Why not?
          
                                     EMILY
                           I screwed up real bad. I really screwed
                           up.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Screwed up how?
          
                                     EMILY
                               (blubbering, fast and
                                incoherent)
                           I did what she said with the brick, I
                           didn't know it was bad, but the pin's on
                           it now for poor Frisco and they're
                           playing it all on me-
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Slow down now, what?
          
                                     EMILY
                           You gotta help me Brendan I think tug-
                           Oh!
          
              With a sharp breath the line clicks dead just as a black
              mustang roars by. Brendan drops the receiver and spins out
              of the booth.
          
              There, another pay phone up the hill -- empty.
          
              Brendan turns to the black mustang, far down the street. A
              man's hand drops a cigarette butt from the driver side
              window.1
          
              The mustang turns the corner, gone.
          
              Brendan walks after it, finds the cigarette butt on the
              street. Still smoking.
              A pale blue arrow is printed on the filter.
          
              In the distance the class bell rings.
          
              EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
          
              The high school is open air - the hallways are alleyways
              between buildings. A short kid with eyeglasses the size of
          
          1
           Because of the orientation of the street, this was all flipped when we shot it, and the
          hand came from the passenger window. The dialogue in the ending field scene was
          changed to match, causing mass confusion for about half an hour on set.
          
                                                                         4
          
          
          Volkswagen headlights sits against the wall. Brendan enters,
          leans on the wall beside him.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Brain.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Hey Brendan. It's been awhile. Where you
                    been eating?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Back of school.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Huh. Yeah, no one's seen you. What's it
                    been, a couple months?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah, it's been awhile. You gave Emily
                    my locker number?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    A few days ago. Was I wrong?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    To give it?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    No.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    It's been so long, I don't know you
                    two's stats.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    It has been awhile.   Who's she been
                    eating with?
                              THE BRAIN
                        (uncomfortable)
                    I dunno. It's hard to keep track.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Is it?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                        (shrugs)
                    Can be.
          
          The Brain avoids Brendan's gaze.
          
                                                                        5
          
          
                                BRENDAN
                    Uh huh.
          
          A beat.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    She hasn't been doing too good.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah well. I'm not looking for a patch
                    up. Em's life is her own. But she
                    asked for my help.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Help with what?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I don't know. I don't even care, it's
                    not my business. I just want to know
                    she's ok, so I've got to find her.
                    That's all this is.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Well. I know she was poking in with the
                    Ivy-bound cheerleading elite. Laura
                    Dannon's crowd.
          
          Across the parking lot a beautiful girl with dark long hair
          kisses an football player.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Laura Dannon there with the Rabbit?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Yeah. Brad Bramish with her. Cream on
                    the upper crust.
          
          Brad laughs heartily.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (softly)
                    He's a sap.
          
                                THE BRAIN
                    Know him?
          
                                BRENDAN
                    By sight.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    I won't argue then. Anyway Em tagged
                    after them for a bit, but it didn't
                    work. So she picked her way down the
                    food chain. Last I seen she was with
                    whasshername, that drama vamp. Small
                    time dealer, augh, the evil one, the one
                    you dated-
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Kara.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    That's my bus.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You know her locker number?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Kara's?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Em's.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    239.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Thanks Brain. Keep your specs on, find
                    me if she shows.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Sure.
          
          The Brain trots off. In the distance Brad and Laura laugh,
          and he kisses her. Her hair blows in the wind.
          
          EXT. LOCKER CAGE - DAY
          
          Empty. Locker 239 is open, its door swinging gently in the
          wind.
          
          EXT. BACK OF GYM - DAY
          
          Brendan sits against the massive building, flipping through
          loose papers. He finds two photographs, one of Emily hugging
          him, the other of Emily with a beautiful sharp-eyed girl at
          a party, drinks in hand.
          
          Sorting more papers, he finds a red card with a sequined
          mask on the front. The bottom edge has been torn off.
          
          EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY
          Sixth period has broke. Masses of students pile into busses.
          
                                                                        7
          
          
          EXT. SCHOOL THEATER - DAY
          
          A huge chunk of brown building. Brendan strides towards it.
          
          INT. SCHOOL THEATER - CONTINUOUS
          
          Drama people sit on the floor facing the stage. Brendan
          steps behind one, the sharp-eyed girl from the picture. She
          holds a freshman boy's head in her lap. Pets it like a dog.
          
          She looks back at Brendan, her face in shadow.
          
                              GIRL
                        (through a mocking smile)
                    Hello, Brendan.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Kara.
          
                              KARA
                    Come to see the show?
          Kisses the freshman's forehead, purring.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    No, I didn't.
                        (nudges the freshman with his
                         toe)
                    Lapdog, blow.
          
          The freshman sits up, looks to Kara like a spooked puppy.
          
                              KARA
                        (to the lapdog)
                    Stay.
                        (to Brendan)
                    Don't be mean.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I'm all friendly.
                        (to the lapdog)
                    Watch your head, kid - that thing bites.
          
          The dog pops up again. Kara pulls him down and nuzzles his
          ear.
          
                              BRENDAN (CONT'D) (cont'd)
                    I need words.
                              KARA
                    I'm listening.
          
                                                                                                  8
          
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           About Emily Kostich.
          
              She stops nuzzling a little too quickly.
          
                                     KARA
                               (to the dog)
                           Get me my purse.
                               (he goes)
                           Hurry!
          
              He breaks into a trot. Kara smiles at Brendan.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Still picking your teeth with freshmen?
          
                                     KARA
                           You were a freshman once.
          
              She slides her fingers up his arm. He growls and pushes them
              away.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Way once, sister. You and Em were tight
                           for a bit. Who's she eating with now?
          
                                     KARA
                           Eating with?
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Eating with. Lunch.           Who.
          
                                     KARA
                           You're a cutie.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           You gonna tell me?
          
                                     KARA
                           Guess you're up from the underneath
                           then. The whole Jerr thing blown over.
                           Lucky strikes, you and your partner get
                           bulled, you come up clean. But I guess
                           you were always the brains of the
                           outfit.1
          
          1
            One of many instances of an allusion to the Jerr backstory, most of which were
          trimmed back in the editing process for clarity. The author has threatened to write it as
          a stand alone short story, but probably never will, so in a nutshell: when Brendan and
          Emily were still an item she started hanging out with Jerr, a small time dealer. Brendan
          didn't approve, so he partnered up with Jerr then ratted him out to Trueman. Emily
          found out, and that led to their breakup on the field, which we see in a flashback.
          
                                                                         9
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Where's Emily?
          
                              KARA
                    Sometimes I wonder why I dumped you.
          
                                 BRENDAN
                           (standing to go)
                    God.
          
                              KARA
                    I don't know where she's at, Brendan.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I know you do, so why don't you want me
                    to find her?
          
                              KARA
                    Maybe I'm looking out for you.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (going)
                    Well I appreciate that.
          
                              KARA
                    Brendan... you looking to get back into
                    things? I could use you.
          
          He is gone.   Behind Kara, the play goes on.
          
          INT. BACKSTAGE OF THEATER - CONTINUOUS
          
          The play is seen in shadow-play through the backdrop.
          
          Brendan slips in through an exit door, crosses the backstage
          area and enters the dressing rooms.
          
          INT. DRESSING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
          
          Cramped and empty. Pictures of Kara with friends are stuck
          in the mirror. Brendan roughly searches drawers, bags,
          pockets... nothing. He stops. A red edge behind one of the
          photos - the same red card with a mask on it, but whole.
          Across the bottom in small print: "Halloween in January -
          Call for DETAILS - 555-2394"
          
          INT. BRENDAN'S ROOM - NIGHT
          
          Brendan pulls a phone across his desk and dials the number
          on the flyer.
          
                                                               10
          
          
                              WOMAN'S VOICE
                        (over phone)
                    Hello?
          
          Brendan hesitates.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Hello, ma'am, this is Tom, I'm a friend
                    from school. Could I speak to...
          
          He trails off.
          
                              WOMAN'S VOICE
                        (over phone)
                    Oh, hi Tom. Laura's here, hold on.
          
                                 LAURA'S VOICE
                           (over phone)
                    Yes?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I'm calling for details.
          
                                LAURA'S VOICE
                    For what?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Details about the party.
          
                              LAURA'S VOICE
                    Who is this?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I don't think we've met.
          
                               LAURA'S VOICE
                    Well then I don't think you're invited
                    to my party. It's a rather exclusive
                    gathering.
                              BRENDAN
                    I can imagine.
                        (she starts to speak, he cuts
                         her off)
                    You should really work on your invite
                    management. That might be a personal
                    'room for improvement' area in your
                    life. But discretion of your invite
                    sending aside, I have procured a certain
                    someone's invitation, and would like
                    details.
          A beat of silence.
          
                                                                            11
          
          
                              LAURA'S VOICE
                    You think you're cute, whoever you are.
          
                               BRENDAN
                    Wait'll you get a load of my felt fedora
                    and spats.
          
                              LAURA'S VOICE
                    Who are you? Or I'll hang up.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You don't know me - I'll save you some
                    time.
          
                              LAURA'S VOICE
                    I know everyone and I've got all the
                    time in the world.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Folly of youth. Ask whose invitation
                    I've got.
          
                              LAURA'S VOICE
                        (slightly)
                    What you said.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Emily Kostich.
          
          A beat.
          
                              LAURA'S VOICE
                    15 Bush street, up in Stockton Cove.
                    Buzz 42 at the gate. Nine o'clock. But
                    who-
          
          Brendan hangs up. He folds his hands under his chin and
          stares at the phone, perfectly still. The clock on his desk
          says 4:53.
                                                             DISSOLVE TO:
          
          7:37
          
          Brendan at his desk, tapping away at Tetris.
          
                                                             DISSOLVE TO:
          
          8:30
          The desk is empty, Tetris paused. A shower runs behind an
          ajar door in the background.
          
                                                                                                12
          
          
              EXT. STOCKTON COVE GATE - NIGHT
          
              An imposing private community gate. Brendan coasts up on his
              bike and ditches it in the bushes. He checks the call box
              directory: "42 -- DANNON"
          
              Using the call box as a hand hold he hops the gate and walks
              briskly up the street.
          
              EXT. STOCKTON COVE STREET - NIGHT
          
              Shiny cars line the curb. Party noises come from an upscale
              two story house. Brendan takes a short breath, then strides
              up to the front door.
          
              INT. LIVING ROOM
          
              Large and clean, with a two story ceiling and a railed
              staircase at one end. Fifteen or twenty clean people, some
              in costumes, mill about in cliques. Brendan comes in as if
              he doesn't mind who sees him coming in. He gets a couple odd
              stares, but no one stops him.
          
              With non obtrusive confidence he cuts through the crowd to
              the beer keg in back and draws half a cup.
          
              INT. PARLOUR - SAME
          
              Richly adorned, crowded, lit with bright pools of light.
              Brendan drifts in and stands in the back, deep in shadow.
          
              The music comes from a baby grand piano set against one
              wall. Laura Dannon leans against it. She wears a red
              kimono, and is striking against the velvet black piano.
              Laura's kid sister, 11 years old with glasses, sits at the
              piano playing "All I do is Dream of You".
          
              Laura sings, lovely and soft but with strength.1
          
              Brendan watches from the back, his face obscured in shadow,
              but his eyes gleam. Through the darkened window behind him
              a match flares up, and someone standing outside lights a
              cigarette.
          
              Laura finishes the song. The room applauds, and she ruffles
              her kid sister's hair.
          
              Brendan ducks out, and into
          
          1
           By the time we got around to production this had changed to "Someone to Watch Over
          Me," but the publishing rights proved too expensive (i.e. not free.) We chose the Gilbert
          & Sullivan song, which besides being lovely was also in the public domain (i.e. free.)
          
                                                                         13
          
          
          INT. LIVING ROOM - SAME
          
          Brad Bramish, the jock who was kissing Laura in the parking
          lot, sits slouched on the couch in a dense crowd. He holds a
          cup and speaks much too loudly to a guy named Biff at his
          elbow.
          
                              BRAD
                    If the coach wants to play me I'll play,
                    but I can't put my best game in if I've
                    got to worry about whether I'm going to
                    be in there. Halftime last game, coach
                    is pissed I ran it on a pass play, out
                    on the field he says to me 'you gotta
                    think about the team and you gotta' you
                    know and 'if you run that ball again
                    you're out', and I said to him you gotta
                    let me play! I'm out there, let me play,
                    and he's saying 'no you're out' and I
                    kept saying 'Let me play! Let me play!
                    Let me play!', just right in his face-
          
                              BIFF
                    He was!
          
                              BRAD
                    Just 'Let me play! Let me play! Let me
                    play!' 'No you gotta' 'No, let me play!
                    Let me play! Let me play!'
          
          Brad hunches forward, his face swollen purple, yelling that
          over and over. Tom steps in front of Brendan, blocking his
          line of sight.
          
          Brendan scans the rest of the room. His eyes catch on Laura,
          leaning against a divan. Her bright, sharp eyes cut through
          the room, straight into Brendan.
          He wags his eyebrows at her.
          
          She looks away quickly. Brendan turns back to Brad, still
          shouting 'let me play'. Tom stands between them.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Tom!
          
          Brad falls silent. Most of the room follows suit. Tom turns
          around. Brendan smiles good naturedly.
          
                              BRENDAN (cont'd)
                    Could you step aside, please? I'm
                    trying to follow Brad's story, and it's
                    difficult when I can't see his face.
          
                                                                         14
          
          
          The room watches Brendan. Tom mumbles something and steps
          aside. Brad stares at Brendan stupidly. Brendan flashes a
          dopey grin and tips his glass.
          
                              BRAD
                        (stumbles)
                    He doesn't give me a play to make, what
                    can I do, you know?
          
          He falls into awkward silence. Biff starts babbling.
          
          Brendan looks at Brad, who is staring back at him.
          
          Brendan then slowly drags his gaze over to Laura, staring at
          him too, her eyes slightly amused. Brendan cocks an eyebrow.
          The slightest hint of a smile takes the corner of her mouth,
          and she wags her eyebrows once at him.
          
          Brendan glances back at Brad, looking at Laura now, not
          amused at all.
          
          Brendan stands to go. Biff chatters on. Brad cuts him off.
          
                              BRAD (cont'd)
                    Hey. Hey! What are you doing here?
          
                               BRENDAN
                    Leaving.
          
                               BRAD
                    Oh yeah?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Uh huh. Unless your anecdote's got a 2nd
                    act.
          
                              BRAD
                    Why don't you leave?
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (leaving)
                    That's what I was doing.
          
          INT. DARK ROOM
          
          With a lit wet bar at one end. Brendan goes to the bar, puts
          ice in a glass and cracks it with liquor.
          
                              LAURA
                        (O.S.)
                    Whiskey?
          
          Brendan pauses, glass touching his lips.
          
                                                                         15
          
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    Jameson.
          
          He downs half of it.
          
                              LAURA
                    I like a man who knows what he's
                    drinking.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    That's a pretty sick thing to be
                    attracted to.
          
                              LAURA
                    Brad's not a good guy to get on the
                    wrong side of.
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    Uh huh.
          
          They stare at each other in silence. She studies his face.
          The broken light of the bar makes her features seem liquid.
          
                              LAURA
                    Fearless flyer. Quit your yappin and fix
                    me one.
          
          and slips out a sliding glass door.
          
          He fills another glass with whiskey and cuts his with water.
          
          EXT. BACK PATIO - NIGHT
          
          Brendan joins Laura, hands her a drink. Suburban lights fill
          the valley below. Laura sips her drink.
          
                              LAURA
                    I'll never get through all this.
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    Uh huh.
          
          She sips more.
          
                               LAURA
                    I knew your old partner Jerr since grade
                    school. Tough break. How long were you
                    two joined up before your operation got
                    the sting?
          
                                                     16
          
          
                    BRENDAN
          A few months. Could have helped himself
          out by turning me in, but he took the
          heat. He was a good guy. Solid.
          
                    LAURA
          Was he?
          
                    BRENDAN
          You knew him.
          
                    LAURA
          Yeah I did. So why are you here tonight?
          
                    BRENDAN
          I'm looking for Emily.
          
                    LAURA
          She wasn't invited.
          
                    BRENDAN
          She had an invitation.
          
                    LAURA
          Well like you said, I've got to work on
          that. Em's been AWOL for a good month,
          nobody's seen her.
          
                    BRENDAN
          I saw her yesterday.
          
                    LAURA
          Nearly nobody's seen her. So what did
          she tell you?
          
                    BRENDAN
              (winces)
          Score 0 for finesse.
          
                    LAURA
          Listen, you're scratching at the wrong
          door. I wasn't with Emily enough to know
          details of what she was in, I just got
          wind of the downfall, and I didn't get
          any details of that, except that it was
          bad. So now that we're showing some
          cards...
          
                    BRENDAN
          If you haven't got a finger in Em's
          troubles, why'd her name get me into
          your rather exclusive party?
          
                                                                        17
          
          
                              LAURA
                    Keep up with me now. I don't know, but
                    it sounded like you did, and a body's
                    got a right to be curious. Now I'm not
                    so sure.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Well I'll put that body to bed. I don't
                    know a damn thing about whatever
                    troubles, and that works for me. I just
                    want to find her.
          
          A long beat. Laura studies Brendan's face, then seems to
          come to a decision.
          
                              LAURA
                    Coffee and pie.
          
          The words hang in the air a moment. A look of recognition
          from Brendan.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Coffee and pie oh my?
          
                              LAURA
                    And you didn't hear it from me.
          
          He sips his drink. A voice calls from the glass door.
          Another girl. Laura flashes Brendan a look and goes to her.
          They have quick, quiet words and the girl leaves. Laura
          turns back to Brendan.
          
                              LAURA (CONT'D) (cont'd)
                    Will you wait here for me?
          
                               BRENDAN
                    Sure.
          
                              LAURA
                    You'll stay right here and wait -- I'll
                    be five minutes.
          
                               BRENDAN
                    Yes.
          
          The moment she leaves Brendan runs across the lawn and hops
          the fence, into the neighbor's yard.
          
          EXT. SIDE OF HOUSE
          
          Brendan runs to the edge of the neighboring house and peeks
          around. Laura comes out the front door, cuts across the
          lawn and sidewalk and trots out into the street. Brendan
          
                                                                         18
          
          
          begins to follow, but a noise from behind the fence stops
          him - a match being struck.
          
          Brendan creeps towards the fence and peers through a
          splintered hole.
          
          BRENDAN'S POV - THROUGH THE FENCE
          
          A brightly lit window in the side of Brad's house, and
          through the window the party.
          
          A dark figure wearing a long coat and broad rimmed hat, all
          inky black. The figure smokes a cigarette and watches the
          party, absently stroking his cheek.
          
          Brendan steps back - SNAP!   A twig.
          
          The figure freezes. Then, making no noise at all, it spins
          to face Brendan, a towering black form against the window.
          
          The glowing cigarette falls to the grass.
          A metallic glint, and a clicking sound not unlike a gun.
          
          Brendan throws himself backwards onto the grass. A beat.
          
          Through the hole the black of the figure's cloak whips away.
          
          Brendan hesitates, then hops the fence.
          
          EXT. SIDE OF BRAD'S HOUSE - SAME
          
          Brendan lands on his feet. No black figure to be found.
          
          The cigarette still smolders on the ground. Hand rolled,
          plain paper.
          
          Brendan gazes through the window, catching his breath. Then
          he breaks the trance and creeps towards the street.
          
          EXT. FRONT LAWN - NIGHT
          
          Peeking around the house, Brendan sees Laura cut across the
          lawn and trot into the street. Using parked cars as cover,
          Brendan follows.
          
          EXT. STREET
          
          Between cars, Brendan sees a lanky kid in baggy jeans and
          engineer boots with a clean shaven head leaning against a
          black Mustang. Laura goes to him and speaks quickly.
          
                                                                         19
          
          
          The dark figure in the hat emerges from the shadows. Laura
          says something to him. Grunting something angrily, he gets
          in the car with the bald kid and peels off.
          
          Laura turns and slowly walks towards the house.
          
          When she is gone Brendan stands, throws a look back at the
          house and walks off down the street, towards the guard gate.
          
          EXT. BACK PATIO
          
          The two drinks, where Brendan left them. Laura takes hers
          and drains it. The suburban lights twinkle like stars.
          
          EXT. CARROWS PARKING LOT - DAY
          
          The sun rises over Carrows family restaurant, a squat
          structure backed against the weedy edge of the runoff tunnel
          ravine.
          
          A banner from 1973 in the window - "Coffee and Pie oh my!"
          A pack of six pale stoners slump against the rear dumpster.
          Their beady eyes follow Brendan in sync as he approaches.
          
          He goes to the nearest one.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Where's Dode?
          
                              STONER 1
                    Dunno, bra.
          
          Silence and blank stares. Brendan calmly moves to the next
          stoner.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Dode?
          
                              STONER 2
                    Uh uh.
          
          Brendan moves to the next one.
          
          A thin head pokes from around the dumpster.
          
                              DODE
                    Hey Brendan. Maybe you shouldn't be
                    here.
          
          Brendan steps around the dumpster. Dode slumps against the
          wall, thin and delicate in dusty black. Slivery eyes, pale
          lips, muffled intelligence.
          
                                                                         20
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Kara told me you know where Em's at.
          
                               DODE
                    Uh huh.   And why are you looking for Em?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    She asked for my help.
          
                               DODE
                    Uh huh. Listen man, I've got plenty on
                    my plate without dealing with some
                    jilted ex.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    It's not about that.
          
                              DODE
                    Whatever it's about, act smarter than
                    you look and drop it.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Where is she?
          
                              DODE
                    She's with me, and right now that's the
                    best place for her. Leave the low life
                    to the low lifers and dangle.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You're on the bright side of dim, Dode,
                    but if I thought you had this half-
                    handled I'd be eating lunch. Where's
                    she at?
          
                              DODE
                    Better get while it's good.
          
          Brendan doesn't.
                              DODE (cont'd)
                    Heel it now, dig?
          
          The 5 big stoners appear behind Brendan, threatening.   Dode
          turns his head away to light a joint.
          
          Brendan's fist slams into his face, sending the joint
          spinning. Brendan slams Dode's frail frame against the
          dumpster.
          
          The 5 stoners stand in the exact same position, deer in the
          headlights. One makes a half hearted motion to intervene.
          
                                                                     21
          
          
                                 BIG STONER
                    Back off.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Throw one at me if you want, hash head.
                    I've got all five senses and I slept
                    last night, that puts me six up on the
                    lot of you.
          
                                 BIG STONER
                    Just easy-
          
          Brendan slams Dode into the wall.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (to Dode)
                    Where's Em?
          
                              DODE
                        (deliberate)
                    She's with me. She was tight when she
                    called you, man. Came to and freaked.
                    She told me to shake you if you came by.
                    Said you'd only make things worse.
          
          Brendan covers how shaken he is by this statement fairly
          well. He drops Dode.
          
                              STONER 1 (O.S.)
                    Put him down, man!
          
                              DODE
                    Deal with whatever this ain't about and
                    drop it.
          
                              BIG STONER
                        (to Brendan)
                    Nothing more here, bra.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Tell Emily I want to see her. Tell her
                    if she still wants my help or not that's
                    her business, but I want to hear it
                    straight from her.
          
                              DODE
                    She don't -
          
          Brendan walks away.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Today. She knows where I eat lunch.
          
                                                                            22
          
          
          When Brendan is a safe distance away the biggest stoner
          shouts with conviction
          
                              BIG STONER
                    And stay out, punk!
          
          EXT. SIDEWALK - CONTINUOUS
          
          Brendan hides behind a tall clump of bushes.
          
          A moment later Dode hustles away from Carrows. Brendan
          follows.
          
          EXT. STREET - EARLY MORNING
          
          The sun is rising as Brendan tails Dode through the twisty
          suburban streets.
          
          Brendan takes cover as Dode stops by a white hatchback.
          
          A girl gets out of the car and embraces Dode. Her wrist is
          adorned with the same cheap plastic bracelets as the dead
          girl's arm. Dode speaks quickly to her, she nods and speaks
          back. He hands her a slip of paper, which she tucks into a
          brightly colored address book and slips in her jacket
          pocket. They embrace again, Dode walks off and the girl gets
          in her car.
          
          Brendan stumbles after the car, but it is quickly gone. He
          watches it go, then follows Dode back towards school.
          
          EXT. SCHOOL THEATER - MORNING
          
          Dode slumps into the front door of the brown building.
          Brendan watches him from a distance, eyes thoughtful. After
          a beat he turns and walks off into the thickening crowds of
          students.
          
                                                             FADE OUT:
          
          FADE UP
          
          EXT. BACK OF SCHOOL - MIDDAY
          
          Brendan eats lunch alone on a concrete wall beside a long,
          empty utility road behind the school.
          
                                                                    LATER
          
          Reclining on the wall, reading "Lord of the Flies". He
          raises his eyes, and sits up suddenly.
          
                                                                           23
          
          
          Off in the distance on the utility road a tiny figure
          approaches, stumbling. Brendan jumps and hits the ground
          running towards the figure.
          
          Meet the girl with cheap bracelets, the girl Dode spoke to,
          the dead girl, Emily. He catches her just as she stumbles
          and falls and carries her into the shade of a covered
          hallway.
          
          EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
          
          Emily and Brendan sit in silence. She is very pretty, but
          she looks bad. Too much makeup, not enough sleep. She
          sniffles, speaks to her shoes.
          
                              EMILY
                    I must have sounded pretty crazy on the
                    phone. Yesterday.
          
          She taps her shoes together lightly, eyes fixed on them.
          
                              EMILY (cont'd)
                    It was dumb, I got paranoid over a
                    really stupid thing. I was high, I went
                    crazy for a little bit, but now you have
                    to forget about it. Please. That's how
                    you can help me now, forget about it.
          
          She turns her weak eyes to Brendan for the first time.     His
          stare is unwavering, searching. She pushes on.
          
                              EMILY (cont'd)
                    Brendan, I know you're mad at all these
                    people, cause you think I went away from
                    you and went to them. But you've got to
                    start seeing it as my decision, stop
                    being angry because where I want to be
                    at's different from where you wanna be
                    at.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (angry)
                    Who fed you that line, Em?
          
          She looks back at her shoes.
          
                              EMILY
                    And stop picking on Dode. He's a good
                    guy.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    The Carrows rat?
          
                                                                        24
          
          
                              EMILY
                    He's a good friend.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    So what am I?
          
                              EMILY
                        (strained anger)
                    Yeah, what are you? Eating back here,
                    not liking anybody, how are you judging
                    anyone? I loved you alot but I couldn't
                    stand it, I had to get with people. I
                    couldn't heckle life with you, I had to
                    see what was what.
          
          A beat. She taps her clogs. One has a hole worn through the
          sole. Her face contorts, seizes up, and she is sobbing.
          
                              EMILY (cont'd)
                    I'm sorry Brendan.
          
          She buries her face in his shoulder. He has a hard time
          speaking.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You've got to come back to me, Em.
          
                              EMILY
                    No. No. Never. I'm sorry. Never. I can't
                    love on your terms, Brendan. I can't do
                    that, I'm not like you.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You're in a spot, I can get you out of
                    it. Come back to me, and whatever heat
                    follows you I'll deal with.
          
                              EMILY
                    No. You're not hearing me, no. I don't
                    want to be put away and protected. No.
          
                              EMILY (cont'd)
                    No.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Tell me about the trouble, the brick and
                    the pin -
          
                              EMILY
                    You gonna fix things like you did with
                    Jerr? No. I came to say goodbye, for
                    good. Whatever you have to do to let me
                    go, do it. I'm gonna let you go, I've
          
                                                                                             25
          
          
                          decided that. Make sure that, you've got
                          to, promise you won't torture yourself,
                          that you'll let me go.
          
              She embraces him, enveloping him in her jacket. His face is
              a frozen mask.
          
                                       EMILY (cont'd)
                          Let me go.
          
              As she pulls away he mechanically slips an address book from
              her jacket pocket.
          
              He watches her as she walks away.
          
              INT. CLASSROOM
          
              Brendan sits in the back, flipping through the address book.
              The teacher drones on about the significance of the pig's
              head in "Lord of the Flies".1
              THE ADDRESS BOOK
          
              Illegible scribbles, names, numbers, nothing that stops his
              search - then the note Dode gave her, a corner of loose-leaf
              paper which looks like this:
          
          
          
          
              Brendan studies the paper intently.
          
              EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
          
              The Brain studies the paper. Busses pull into the parking
              lot behind them. Brendan is distant, lost in thought.
          
                                    THE BRAIN
                          Hm. Do you know anything else about
                          this?
          
          
          
          
          1
           Our one and only scene in a classroom was moved to Brendan's lunch spot to save us
          a location change. The degree to which the lack of classroom time in the film has been
          commented on has always bemused the author, who cannot for the life of him
          remember a single interesting thing that happened in a classroom in high school.
          
                                                               26
          
          
                                BRENDAN
                          (shakes his head)
                    Mm.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Slim pickings. Why'd you let Dode fly
                    when he came back to whose-her-name, at
                    the theater?
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (shrugs dismissively)
                    Kara. It's their turf, I couldn't hear
                    them without being seen, and that would
                    only biff their play. Best to know it's
                    there, let it ride and see what comes of
                    it.
                        (touches the paper)
                    But anyway.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Hm. Well, if this is what I think it is,
                    it didn't come straight from Dode, less
                    he's playing out of his league.
                        (beat)
                    I can only give you my best guess.
          
                               BRENDAN
                    Yeah.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    When the upper crust does shady deeds
                    they do them in different spots around
                    town. I know under the pier's one, down
                    by the bike trails in the state park's
                    another. There's alot of them. The pitch
                    is they've got little symbols for each
                    one, and that's how they tell each other
                    the place, so word won't get around. So
                    this might be that.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    But Dode wouldn't know it?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    This is upper crust. Dode's pie pan
                    grease.
          
          Brendan studies the symbol.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Call anything up?
          
                                                                          27
          
          
                                 THE BRAIN
                       How many places start with 'A'? Or if
                       it's a shape, or just a random symbol.
                       Anyway, even if you figured it out, what
                       good could you do? She's smart, she
                       knows the play, she's gunning to square
                       things.
          
                                 BRENDAN
                       Yeah.
          
                                 THE BRAIN
                       You said her business was none of yours,
                       so she's alright, forget it now. Go
                       home, sleep.
          
          INT. BRENDAN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
          
          Sparsely furnished. Brendan plays Tetris on his computer,
          staring off into space. His mom's voice calls "Good night"
          and the hallway light turns off.
          
                                                                  LATER
          
          10:30 by the clock radio on Brendan's nightstand. The slip
          of paper rests beside it. Brendan lies in bed, staring at
          the symbol on the paper. His eyes tense.
          
          THE SYMBOL
          
          Growing larger, burning with a searing intensity, then
          folding into darkness. Water rushes overhead, over concrete,
          concrete with a hole in it -- the runoff tunnel, just for an
          instant, then back underwater, screaming. Brendan choking,
          screaming, plunging upwards. A woman with no face falls from
          the darkness and kisses him, her long hair sweeping around
          him then pulling away. As the last strands slide off his
          face he wakes up with a start.
          
          The clock says 3:46. Brendan drips with sweat, breathing
          raggedly. He takes the paper and a pencil from the
          nightstand and shades the symbol to look like this:
          
          
          
          
          FLASH CUT - The runoff tunnel, lining up perfectly with the
          now shaded symbol.
          
          BACK TO BRENDAN
          
                                                                        28
          
          
          His eyes turn uneasy as he removes his glasses and clicks
          off the light.
          
          EXT. BRENDAN'S HOUSE - DAWN
          
          Brendan walks off into the hazy pre-dawn light.
          
          EXT. EDGE OF RAVINE
          
          Brendan stops at a high wall of weeds, listening to the low
          gurgle of moving water. Slowly, robotically he pushes
          through.
          
          EMILY'S BODY
          
          Face down, bobbing gently in shallow water. Bluish white.
          Red foam clings to her.
          
          EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL
          
          Silently, as if lowered by a string Brendan sinks down,
          squatting in the mud. His lungs empty in one choppy breath.
          He pulls his glasses off sluggishly.
          
          EMILY'S ARM
          
          Lifeless, pale.
          
          BRENDAN'S FACE
          
          A contorted, frozen mask, eyes wet.
          
          EMILY'S HAIR
          
          Stringy, flowing gently in the water.
          
          BRENDAN'S EYES
          
          Dazed, drifting... then suddenly snapping to attention.
          
          A noise. From the tunnel.
          
          Brendan freezes. The inky blackness of the tunnel mouth
          opens like a vacuum... silent, but then -
          
          The scrape of a shoe against concrete, then echoing
          footsteps running away.
          
          Brendan springs like a cat, sprinting into the tunnel.
          
                                                                         29
          
          
          INT. TUNNEL
          
          Nearly pitch black. 2 sets of running footfalls. Brendan is
          chasing, running full speed into the blackness, heart
          pounding - we almost don't notice that Brendan's are now the
          only footfalls.
          
          Brendan notices. He stops. Silence in the darkness, except
          for Brendan's breath... and someone near...
          
          SLAM! Brendan takes a fist in the cheek and goes down. An
          inky black figure steps from the shadows and kicks him in
          the stomach. Brendan curls on the ground, the figure over
          him.
          
                              FIGURE
                        (low whisper)
                    Your little Em.
          
          The figure runs off. Brendan raises his head painfully - the
          figure is silhouetted briefly against the distant bright end
          of the tunnel, then is gone.
          
          EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL - EARLY MORNING
          
          Emily's body is still there. Brendan crawls out of the
          tunnel and collapses in the shallow water, beside the body.
          He rests his head on his arm, eyes on Em's hair.
          
          EXT. CAMPUS - EARLY MORNING
          
          Cold and barren, nearly empty. Brendan limps across the
          barren lawns.
          
          EXT. PHONE BOOTHS
          
          A line of phone booths on campus. Brendan nearly collapses
          against one. He dials, still in a stupor.
          
                              VOICE ON PHONE
                    Saint Clement police.
          
          Brendan stares into space, eyes burning
          
                              VOICE ON PHONE (cont'd)
                    Saint Clement police, hello? Hello?
          
          Brendan hangs up.
          EXT. LIBRARY - CONTINUOUS
          
          Early morning mist below a squat brick building.
          
                                                                      30
          
          
          INT. LIBRARY
          
          Warmly lit, sheltering the few souls scattered here and
          there at tables. The Brain sits at one of them reading an
          impossibly large book. He watches curiously as Brendan
          approaches him.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Hey, Brendan.
          
          Brendan falls into a chair. The Brain looks him over.
          
                              THE BRAIN (cont'd)
                    You're up early.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (thick, distant)
                    I couldn't sleep.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                        (nods, back to his book)
                    Find Emily?
          
          Brendan breathes out softly.
          
                              THE BRAIN (cont'd)
                    You alright?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah. What, are you here for zero?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Nah, I gotta take the early bus, cause
                    the others don't run by my street.
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    Bad break.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Eh. Time to read's nice. So what's the
                    word with Em?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    She's gone.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Can't raise her?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    No, I can't.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    So what now?
          
                                                                        31
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Now. I don't know. I guess it's... I
                    don't know.
          
          Brendan takes a long moment. He stares down at his glasses,
          wet with condensation.
          
                              BRENDAN (cont'd)
                    Brain, I can't let her go. I was set to
                    but I can't. I don't think I can.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    You think you can help her?
          
                                BRENDAN
                    No.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    You think you can get the straight,
                    maybe break some deserving teeth?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah. I think I could.
          
                                THE BRAIN
                    Well.
          
          Brendan rubs his forehead.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Kara tried to rope me. She came right
                    out and asked. She was scared. Tell me
                    to walk from this, Brain. Tell me to
                    drop it.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Walk from it. Drop it.
                        (grins)
                    You're thick as what-all, Brendan.
                                BRENDAN
                    Yes I am.
          
          Brendan cleans his glasses. He looks Brain in the eye, and
          his mannerisms come back into focus.
          
                              BRENDAN (cont'd)
                    I'd need you to Op. Like on Jerr, but
                    that was cake to this. And unlike Jerr,
                    there's not much chance we'll come out
                    clean. Twenty four seven on this one.
                    You okay to op for me again?
          
                                                                                              32
          
          
              The Brain barely smiles.
          
                                    THE BRAIN
                          What first, tip the bulls?
          
              Brendan puts on his glasses, stands to go.
          
                                    BRENDAN
                          No, bulls would gum it. They'd flash
                          their dusty standards at the wide-eyes
                          and probably find some yegg to pin,
                          probably even the right one. But they'd
                          trample the real tracks and scare the
                          real players back into their holes, and
                          if we're doing this I want the whole
                          story. No cops, not for a bit.
          
                                    THE BRAIN
                          So what first?
          
                                    BRENDAN
                          I don't know. Your mom still have the
                          cell?
          
                                    THE BRAIN
                          In her car.
          
                                    BRENDAN
                          Borrow it for a few days, get me the
                          number.
                              (stands to go)
                          Wait for my word, and cover for me first
                          period. I'm going to be a little late.
          
              EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD - DAY
          
              A vast field of asphalt segmented by a dozen basketball
              courts outlined in cracked paint.1 Brendan trudges across
              it, his steps heavy. He stops and stands very still, staring
              at the ground for a beat then raising his eyes to
          
              THE HORIZON
          
              Flat, gray, pin straight. Brendan's voice starts speaking
              rapidly, confident and clear.
          
          
          
          1
           This describes the location at my school that the "showdown" scenes were originally
          written for. Between when I wrote the script and when we shot it, however, the school
          expanded and built portable classrooms on the basketball field, and so we reluctantly
          moved these scenes to the football field.
          
                                                                              33
          
          
                                      BRENDAN (O.S.)
                            Yeah it was personal. Jerr spooked some
                            decent gees and ran around some what was
                            straight with him, but I'm nobody's bull
                            runner. This wasn't a business sit. But
                            yeah. I bulled him. Got in tight,
                            partnered up and sent him over.
          
               PAN AROUND to reveal BRENDAN. He looks different, edgier,
               more alive, wearing different clothes and a thin goatee1. He
               keeps talking directly at us.
          
                                      BRENDAN (cont'd)
                            I'd bull the lot of them, Em, I'd burn
                            down the whole party if they tried to
                            play you again. Jerr and whoever's next.
                            I want to keep you safe.
          
               An ARM swings into frame, wearing cheap plastic bracelets
               and pale blue fingernail polish. It slaps Brendan hard in
               the face. He catches it. Emily wrenches her arm away and
               stumbles backwards onto the pavement.
          
               Brendan grabs her sleeve. She twists away. He grabs her
               shoulder, grabs her waist, she resists, and suddenly they
               are struggling with violent pent up intensity until with a
               shout she breaks away and falls to the ground.
          
               A beat.     Gulls cry in the distance.
          
                                      EMILY
                            You can't keep me safe, Brendan. I'm in
                            a bigger world now, and you can't hide
                            me from it, and you can't beat it. Not
                            if I don't want you to.
          
               Brendan's face looks lumpish, while Emily's is strong. She
               stands and walks off into the distance across the barren
               field.
          
               BRENDAN'S FACE
          
               Watching her go. It is back to present day, pale, clean
               shaven, sullen. His eyes are cold with resolve.
          
               EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL - EARLY MORNING
          
               Brendan sloshes down into the water. Without delicacy he
               lifts Emily's body and pulls her back into the tunnel.
          
               INT. RUNOFF TUNNEL
          
          1
              Which Joe would not even consider, thank god.
          
                                                                                             34
          
          
              Pitch back. Brendan lays the body down. Two beady eyes peer
              at him from the darkness - he freezes. The eyes hop forward
              - a gull. The two watch each other for a moment, then the
              gull squawks and flutters out the bright mouth of the
              tunnel. Brendan follows it without looking back at the
              body.1
          
              EXT. CROWDED HALLWAY - DAY
          
              Brendan and the Brain lean against a wall. The Brain slips
              him a piece of paper.
          
                                    THE BRAIN
                          There's the cell number.
          
                                    BRENDAN
                          Keep it on vibrate.
          
                                    THE BRAIN
                              (pats his jacket pocket)
                          Yeah.
          
                                    BRENDAN
                          Better stop meeting me in the open too.
                          I'm going to start getting visible, and
                          I need you on the underneath. I'll call.
          
                                    THE BRAIN
                          Trueman asked for you. Wants words in
                          his office.
          
                                    BRENDAN
                          I bet. Keep him off me - stonewall him,
                          he won't bite, just keep him away from
                          me.
          
                                    THE BRAIN
                          I'll try. So what's first?
          
                                    BRENDAN
                          Make Em's troubles mine. I'm going to
                          throw a few words at you, tell me if
                          they catch. Brick.
          
                                       THE BRAIN
                          No.
          
          
          
          1
           A very early draft held on the tunnel after Brendan left, and revealed a dark figure
          (Dode) creeping away from the top of the tunnel, causing the pebble described on page
          1 to plink into the water.
          
                                                                                                   35
          
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Or bad brick.
          
                                        THE BRAIN
                           No.
          
                                        BRENDAN
                           Tug.
          
                                     THE BRAIN
                           Tug... that might be a drink.
          
                                        BRENDAN
                           Drink?
          
                                     THE BRAIN
                           Vodka and milk or something, or maybe
                           not.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Poor Frisco.
          
                                     THE BRAIN
                           Frisco. Frisco Farr1 was a sophomore
                           last year, I think. Real trash, maybe
                           hit a class a week. Didn't know him
                           then, and haven't seen him around.
          
                                        BRENDAN
                           Pin.
          
                                     THE BRAIN
                           Pin... the Pin?
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           The Pin, yeah.
          
                                     THE BRAIN
                           The Pin's kind of a local spook story.
                           You know the Kingpin?
                                     BRENDAN
                           I've heard it.
          
                                     THE BRAIN
                           Same thing. Supposed to be old, like 26,
                           lives in town.
          
          
          1
           All apologies to Frisco Farr, who the author did actually go to school with, and who
          was neither a druggie nor `real trash', but was a great guy who simply had a very cool
          sounding name. He is now (the author was horrified to learn) practicing law.
          
                                                                                                 36
          
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Jake1 runner, right?
          
                                     THE BRAIN
                           Big time... maybe. Ask any dope rat
                           where their junk sprang they'll say they
                           scraped it from that who scored it from
                           this who bought it off so, and after
                           four or five connections the list'll
                           always end with the Pin. But I'll becha
                           you got every rat in town together and
                           said 'show your hands' if any of them've
                           actually seen the Pin, you'd get a crowd
                           of full pockets.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           You think the Pin's just a tale to take
                           whatever heat?
          
                                     THE BRAIN
                               (shrugs. Beat)
                           But what's first?
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           A show of hands.
          
              INT. BACKSTAGE OF THEATER
          
              Brendan strides past forest scenery and drama geeks, through
              another door and into sunlight.
          
              EXT. BACK OF THEATER - DAY
          
              Kara smokes a cigarette. Brendan leans beside her.
          
                                     KARA
                               (annoyed)
                           Hey Brendan. Here for the show?
          
                                         BRENDAN
                           No.
          
                                     KARA
                           Would you go then, honey, cause I've got
                           this headache.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Try smoking like a chimney, I've heard
                           that helps.
          
          
          1
           In an admittedly paltry concession to clarity, this was changed to `Dope runner' in post
          production.
          
                                                                   37
          
          
          Brendan grabs the pack of cigarettes.
          
                              BRENDAN (cont'd)
                    Isn't this Dode's brand?
          
          Kara snaps her head towards him, a flash of anger. She
          catches herself and smiles cooly.
          
                              KARA
                    You don't know Dode's brand.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Oh I do now.
          
          Angry again, Kara snatches the pack from him.
          
                              BRENDAN (cont'd)
                    I'm going to start shaking things up.
                    Give me the story and you might miss the
                    bite.
                              KARA
                    The story about what?
          
                               BRENDAN
                    Alright.
          
          He turns and walks away.
          
                              KARA
                    The story about what?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I don't want to play games if you've got
                    a headache. Get me if you want to spill
                    it, but I can't guarantee safe passage
                    after tonight.
          
                              KARA
                    I don't know what-
          At the stage door, not slowing.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Tell the Pin that Brad was my calling
                    card, and I need words.
          
                              KARA
                    Brad Bramish?
          Through the door and into the theater.
          
                                                                         38
          
          
          INT. BACKSTAGE OF THEATER - CONTINUOUS
          
          He spins to see Kara's face just before the door closes.
          She's worried.
          
          EXT. CROWDED SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
          
          The Brain walks out of a classroom and Brendan swings behind
          him.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (fast and low)
                    Tail Kara through lunch. She's got
                    rehearsal but she'll blow early. She
                    goes home, drop her, else wait for my
                    call.
          
          The Brain turns and Brendan's gone.
          
          EXT. PARKING LOT - LUNCH
          Brendan wanders through the thick lunchtime crowd towards a
          cluster of 3 or 4 flashy luxury cars set aside at the far
          end of the lot.
          
          Brad Bramish sits slouched in the front seat of his
          convertible, front door open. A small crowd hangs about
          Brad, his crony Biff at his elbow.
          
                              BRAD
                    That's all I'm saying, is put me in the
                    game and I'll do what needs to be done,
                    but they don't put me in, what needs
                    doing don't get done and don't come
                    crying to me, man. Get off my grill man,
                    you didn't put me in, don't come to me
                    if you didn't let me play.
          
                              BIFF
                    They didn't!
          
          Brendan scans the rest of the cars. His eyes catch on Laura
          Dannon sitting in another convertible, off to the side. Her
          bright eyes cut through the crowd, straight into Brendan.
          
          He wags his eyebrows at her. She looks away. Brendan walks
          into Brad's direct line of view and obviously leans against
          one of the cars.
          
                              BRAD
                    Hey! What are you doing here?
          
                                                                    39
          
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    Listening.
          
                                 BRAD
                    Uh huh.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Alright, you got me. I'm a scout for the
                    Gophers.
          
                              BRAD
                        (not amused)
                    Oh yeah?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Of all things, yeah. Been watching your
                    game for a month, but that story just
                    now clenched it. You've got heart, kid.
                    How soon can you move to Minneapolis?
          
          A few snickers around the crowd, but nowhere near Brad.
          
                              BRAD
                        (flat with anger)
                    Yeah?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Cold winters, but they've got a great
                    public transit system.
          
                                 BRAD
                    Yeah?
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    Yeah.
          
                                 BRAD
                    Oh yeah?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    There's a thesaurus in the library.
                    'Yeah's under 'Y'. Go ahead, I'll wait.
          
                              BRAD
                    Who invited you?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    To the parking lot? Well gee I kind of
                    invited myself.
          
                              BRAD
                    I think you'd better leave then.
          
                                                                         40
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    No, I'm having too good a time.
          
                              BRAD
                    Just the same.
          
          Brendan smiles slightly, and very deliberately crosses his
          legs. Brad's face tenses.
          
                              BRAD (cont'd)
                    Maybe you want to go someplace more
                    private.
          
                                BRENDAN
                    With you?
          
          Brad says 'who else?' by lifting his arms.
          
                               BRENDAN (cont'd)
                        (as if he's been asked to the
                          movies)
                    Sure.
          
          Brendan stands and walks off. Brad follows and the rest of
          the crowd trails after him.
          
          He leads them behind a parked VW van and turns to face Brad.
          People gather around in a wide circle.
          
          Brendan pulls his jacket off as Brad hangs back, mumbling.
          
                              BRAD
                    You know what's good for you you'll just
                    beat it. Beating a small frye won't win
                    me anything and it's not going to do you
                    any good-
          
          Laura pulls up in her convertible, behind Brad, watching.
          
          In the next moment Brendan cuts Brad off by putting his fist
          in his face.
          
          Brad grunts but doesn't lose ground. Brendan throws his
          short stocky frame into Brad's larger one and tenderizes his
          midsection with jabs.
          
          Brad tags Brendan in the ribs, then smacks the palm of his
          hand into Brendan's face, shoving him back onto the
          pavement.
          
          He comes at Brendan with his big fists clenched.
          
          Brendan kicks Brad full force in the shins.
          
                                                                         41
          
          
          Brad tumbles, and Brendan comes up fast, connecting hard
          with the point of Brad's chin. Brad gets his balance fast,
          and before Brendan can throw another he throws one himself,
          then another, both into Brendan's stomach. Brendan pulls
          back and kicks Brad's shin where he had kicked it before.
          Brad roars and hits Brendan very hard in the face.
          
          Brendan bounces back like a rubber ball and throws his
          weight into a square punch right into Brad's nose.
          
          The sound of eggs breaking, and Brad falls backwards like a
          board.
          
          He stays down, holding his face.
          
          Brendan staggers back, breathing hard, and looks up at the
          small crowd. Some stare at Brendan, some at Brad, but nobody
          seems about to do anything. Brendan runs his sleeve over his
          face and walks unsteadily off, pushing past the last few
          people rushing over.
          
                              STRAGGLER
                    Hey, is there a fight?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah.
          
          He throws a last look at Laura, who meets his gaze and
          drives off.
          
          EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT SIDEWALK - CONTINUOUS
          
          Brendan walks away from the lot, towards the school. Laura
          pulls up beside him in her car.
          
                              LAURA
                    Hey.
          
          Brendan ignores her and b-lines for the school. Laura brakes
          hard, parking by the curb.
          EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS
          
          Brendan limps down the hallway.    Laura appears behind him,
          trotting to catch up.
          
                              LAURA
                    You're quite a pill.
                              BRENDAN
                    Uh huh.
          
                                                                   42
          
          
                              LAURA
                    Where are you going?
          
                               BRENDAN
                    Home.
          
                              LAURA
                    Why did you take a powder the other
                    night?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Same reason I'm taking one now.
          
                              LAURA
                    Hold it.
                        (he keeps walking)
                    I don't get you. That's a chilly heel to
                    be giving a girl who's where you want to
                    know about.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I'll get where I'm going just fine.
          
                              LAURA
                    I want to help you.
          
                               BRENDAN
                    Go away.
          
          Silence behind him. He stops, turns wearily. She looks
          genuinely hurt.
          
                              BRENDAN (CONT'D) (cont'd)
                    Look, I can't trust you. You ought to be
                    smart enough to know that. I didn't
                    shake the party up to get your
                    attention, and I'm not heeling you to
                    hook you. Your connections could help
                    me, but the bad baggage they bring could
                    make it zero sum game or even hurt me,
                    so I'm better off coming at it clean.
          
                              LAURA
                    I wouldn't have to lead you in by the
                    hand-
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I can't trust you. Brad was a sap, you
                    weren't, you were with him and so you
                    were playing him, so you're a player.
                    With you behind me I'd have to tie one
                    eye up watching both your hands, and I
                    can't spare it.
          
                                                                      43
          
          
                              LAURA
                    You're not Brad.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    No, I'm not.
          
          He turns and walks away. She doesn't follow.
          
          EXT. SCHOOL PAYPHONE - AFTERNOON
          
          Brendan slumps against it, receiver to his ear, licking a
          bruised lip. He wears dark glasses.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                        (on the phone)
                    You didn't call.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Sorry. Kara went home though, didn't
                    she?
                              THE BRAIN
                    Yeah, but she stopped at a payphone and
                    made two calls that she didn't want on
                    her phone bill.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Get the numbers?
          
                                 THE BRAIN
                    No. Sorry.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    S'alright. Are me and Brad front page
                    news?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    All the buzz. You really do that?
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    Yeah.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Why? Is Brad the Pin?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Brad's a sap. I downed him on his field
                    and his crew didn't bite. So now I know
                    he's a sap and anyone who acts like he
                    isn't is profiting by it. That's not why
                    I roughed him, though.
          
                                                                           44
          
          
                                 BRAIN
                    For kicks?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Economics. Brad's the school's biggest
                    jake buyer, so if this Pin is behind all
                    the selling, I just got his attention.
                    Anyway, now's just shaking things out.
                    Look, you know a kid around the burgh,
                    lanky, short, shaved head, turns a black
                    tang?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    I told you before I don't know the car.
                    Those types are a nickel a pound, but
                    nobody I know that you don't. And
                    Trueman again-
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Keep him off. And keep your specs on - I
                    need to find that kid.
          
                                 THE BRAIN
                    Okay.
          
          Brendan hangs up and turns sluggishly.
          
          A lanky kid with a short shaved head and engineer boots
          punches him in the face.
          
          Brendan hits the pavement. The lanky kid is over him in a
          split second, beating his face and body with short, heavy
          blows.
          
          Flashes of the lanky kid - a shiny scar shaped like a thin
          triangle runs down the side of his face.
          
          After a brief silent thrashing the kid walks off with
          several other blurry figures. A car peels out and roars off
          O.S.
          
          Brendan lies still. The class bell rings, very distant. Legs
          criss cross before his eyes, each blurring the world a bit
          more until it is completely smeared.
          
                                                               FADE OUT.
          
                                                                FADE IN:
          
          INT. OFFICE
          Brendan sits with an ice pack against his head in a tiny
          office. A man in his early thirties behind a wood colored
          
                                                                  45
          
          
          desk and name plate, "GARY TRUEMAN, ASSISTANT VICE
          PRINCIPAL" plays with a pencil.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    You didn't know this boy?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    No sir, never seen him.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    And he just hit you?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Like I said, he asked for my lunch money
                    first. Good thing I brown bagged it.
          
          Trueman trains a good natured dubious eye on Brendan.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    Alright Brendan. I've been looking to
                    talk to you.
          
          Brendan doesn't react.
          
                              TRUEMAN (cont'd)
                    You've helped this office out before.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    No. I gave you Jerr to see him eaten,
                    not to see you fed.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    Fine, and well put.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Accelerated English, Mrs. Kasprzyk.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    Tough teacher?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Tough but fair.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    Mm. Anyway then, we know you're clean,
                    and you've, despite your motives, you've
                    been an asset to us. I think you're a
                    good kid.
                              BRENDAN
                    Uh huh.
          
                                                               46
          
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    I want to run a couple names by you.
          
          Brendan stands to go.
          
                              TRUEMAN (cont'd)
                    We're not done here.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (angry)
                    I was done here three months ago. I told
                    you then I'd give you Jerr and that was
                    that, I'm not your inside line and I'm
                    not your boy.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    That's not a very helpful-
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (anger builds)
                    You know what I'm in if the wrong yeg
                    saw me pulled in here?
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    What are you in?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    No. And no more of these informal chats
                    - if you've got a discipline issue with
                    me write me up or suspend me and I'll
                    see you at the parent conference.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    Hold it, I could - hold it - could write
                    you up for talking back to a VP. For
                    looking at me in a threatening way. I'd
                    exercise a little more tact, Mr. Frye.
                    You can't pull a play like that unless I
                    need you for something. So do I?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Maybe.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    So maybe you're gonna need me too.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Maybe. Alright, I need you off my back
                    completely for a few weeks. There might
                    be some heat soon.
          
                                                               47
          
          
                              TRUEMAN
                        (interested)
                    If it's something I can't cover, I won't
                    go to bat for you.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    If I get caught like that it's curtains
                    anyway - I couldn't have brass cutting
                    me favors in public. I'm just saying now
                    so you don't come kicking in my homeroom
                    door once trouble starts.
          
          Trueman bites a thumbnail.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    Okay, here's what I can do. I won't pin
                    you for anything you aren't caught at.
                    I'll ride it a little while, as long as
                    it doesn't get too rough. But if
                    anything comes up with your fingerprints
                    on it, I can't help you. Also, if I get
                    to the end of whatever this is and it
                    gets hot and you don't deliver, The Veep
                    will need someone to hand over, police-
                    wise. And I'll have you. There better be
                    some meat at the end of this like you
                    say, or at least a fall guy, or you're
                    it.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Sure I am. Got one more favor to ask.
          
          EXT. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - AFTERNOON
          
          Gary Trueman throws Brendan out.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    Get the hell off my campus, punk!
          Brendan glances around, and limps off.
          
          EXT. CARROWS PARKING LOT - AFTERNOON
          
          No stoners, no Dode. Brendan breathes uneasily.
          
          EXT. PAYPHONE BY CARROWS - AFTERNOON
          
          Brendan leans against it.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    No, Dode's MIA all around.
          
                                                                         48
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I'm 9 of 10 that Kara's got him, but who
                    knows where. I shook but she's not
                    spilling.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    No more job offers? So she's got a play.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    And I know enough about Kara to let that
                    worry me. Alright, keep your specs on
                    for him. Any other news?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Some. Laura Dannon came to me looking
                    for you.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (considers this)
                    She did, huh?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Fourth period, nearly shook me upside
                    down. Can't say I didn't enjoy it, but
                    why'd she come to me?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    She's tapping Kara, and Kara knows you
                    know me.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Yeah, well. She's some piece of work. If
                    I had known where you were I might have
                    told her.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    That's the spirit. Ask around for Dode,
                    tail Kara again at lunch. I got knives
                    in my eyes, I'm going home sick. I'll
                    call you tonight.
          
          EXT. SIDEWALK - LATE AFTERNOON
          
          Bordering a supermarket. Brendan trudges along. Suddenly he
          stops. Parked in the supermarket parking lot is a black
          mustang.
          
          EXT. PARKING LOT - LATE AFTERNOON
          
          The sun hangs low. Brendan approaches the car and walks
          around it slowly. He peers inside. A tuft of paper pokes out
          from under the seat. He pulls the door handle, locked.
          
                                                                         49
          
          
          Brendan picks up a broken chunk of concrete from the ground,
          waddles over to the car and holds the chunk above his head,
          ready to drop it through the window.
          
          He stops. His eyes catch something in the distance.
          
          The lanky shaved-head kid, whose name is Tugger.   Coming
          towards him fast.
          
          Brendan stands there for a moment, then lets the chunk fall
          to the ground. He casually leans against the car, removes
          his glasses, puts them in a hard case and puts the hard case
          in his pocket.
          
          Tugger hits him like a train and throws him across the
          pavement. Tug turns back to the car and takes out his keys.
          
          Brendan gets up and comes towards Tug, his face stiff. Tug
          turns and pops him once squarely in the mouth. Brendan falls
          to his knees.
          
          While Tug unlocks the door Brendan stands up woozily.
          Grunting, Tug spins and grabs Brendan's jacket, pushing him
          back while he slaps him hard in the face, back and forth,
          three times. When Tug lets go Brendan drops like a stone,
          catching himself on his hands and knees. The car door slams.
          
          The mustang drives about a hundred yards out into the
          parking lot, spins around and stops, facing Brendan. Its
          motor purrs deeply. Brendan begins to limp towards it
          doggedly, head up, eyes fixed.
          
          A crackling roar and short squeal of tires spit the mustang
          forward. It comes straight at Brendan, rumbling like a tank.
          
          Brendan stops walking and stands very still, eyes steady.
          The gap between him and the car closes in no time at all.
          
          It speeds past him not six inches to his left, brushing the
          edge of his jacket. Brakes squeal behind him. Brendan turns
          and lopes towards the mustang, idling about fifty feet away.
          
          He stops at the window.   Tugger eyes him curiously, with
          some respect.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I want to see the Pin.
          
                              TUGGER
                        (nods slightly)
                    Yeah, I guess you do.
          
                                                                                                      50
          
          
                EXT. STREETS
          
                Twisty and narrow. The black mustang flies through them at
                impossible speeds, roaring past like a bullet.
          
                DARKNESS
          
                Loud engine noise, jostling, grunting. Then a metallic
                jangle, some scraping, and a CLINK!
          
                EXT. REAR OF FAST MOVING MUSTANG - LATE AFTERNOON
          
                The trunk pops open, revealing Brendan holding a jack rod.
          
                INT. MOVING MUSTANG - CONTINUOUS
          
                Tug is putting a tape in the deck, eyes down. Behind him
                the trunk pops open, then pulls down out of sight just as he
                looks back up.
          
                INT. TRUNK OF MOVING MUSTANG
                Brendan holds the trunk about three inches open, just enough
                to see which street signs pass by. Loud music plays from the
                car -- "Sweet Baby James" by James Taylor.1
          
                The car zooms on.
          
                BRENDAN'S POV
          
                Through the ajar trunk. The mustang slides to a stop beside
                an elaborate wooden mailbox carved as an eagle's head.
                Brendan closes the trunk.
          
                EXT. FRONT OF HOUSE - LATE AFTERNOON
          
                A small one story house, slightly run down. Tugger opens the
                trunk and drags Brendan out, covering his eyes with a palm,
                slams the trunk and goes inside.
          
                When they are gone the broken trunk drifts open.
          
                INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY
          
                A very dim narrow hall with a steep stairway at one end,
                dark doors down the length of it and a lit door at the other
                end. Tugger drags Brendan down the stairway, drops him and
                goes into the lit room.
          
          
          
          
          1
              Unfortunately Mr. Taylor flatly refused, which, given the context, was probably wise.
          
                                                                        51
          
          
          Brendan lifts his head painfully. Surrounding him in the
          darkened doorways are dozens of boys, some dressed like
          Tugger, others dressed in black.
          
          Tug pokes his head out.
          
                               TUGGER
                    Alright.
          
          Arms pop out of the darkness and drag Brendan towards the
          lit room.
          
          INT. KINGPIN'S DEN
          
          A small room, amazingly messy. Clothes strewn about, groves
          of empty bottles, precarious piles of books. The overall
          impression though is not of jumbled chaos, but of a nest,
          comfortably woven and very worn in.
          
          A slim figure with wispy hair sits facing the wall at a
          small desk, writing under a green bookkeeper's lamp.
          
          Brendan is shoved into the center of the room. Tug and his
          clones slump against the surrounding walls. Brendan watches
          the thin figure's back. For a beat the only noise is the
          scratching of the thin man's pencil. Then he sighs and
          swivels around.
          
          Mid to late twenties. Sallow features, tired eyes. His
          clothes are so richly black it is difficult to make out
          specific items -- he is just one inky black mass from the
          neck down and eyebrows up.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You the Pin?
          
                              PIN
                    Yeah.
                        (beat of silence)
                    So now I'm very very curious what you're
                    going to say next.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Maybe I'll just sit and bleed at you.
          
          The Pin shifts in his seat, bored.
          
                              PIN
                    Helled if you're gonna go breaking my
                    best clients' noses and expect me to
                    play sandbag. Anyway you've been
                    sniffing me out before then, sniffing
                    for me like a vampire bat for a horse
          
                                                                        52
          
          
                    with a nick on its ear he can suck on.
                    They do that.
                        (Brendan blinks)
                    So now you got Tugger to bring you here,
                    which he never does, and you got me
                    listening, so I'm curious what you've
                    got to say that better be really, really
                    good.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Call Ms. Dannon in from the hall first;
                    she oughta hear this.
          
                              PIN
                        (amused)
                    No dice, soldier. Would have been a neat
                    trick, though.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (shrugs, then slowly)
                    I was going to make up some bit of
                    information or set up some phony deal,
                    anything so you'd let me walk. Then I
                    was going to go to the vice principal
                    and spill him the street address of the
                    biggest dope port in the burgh.
          
          The Pin's eyes shoot to Tugger, who doesn't flinch.
          
                              TUGGER
                    He knows zippo.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    1250 Vista Blanca, the ink blotter at
                    the desk in the den in the basement of
                    the house with the tacky mailbox.
          
          The world turns on its side as Tugger pushes Brendan's head
          down into the carpet.
          
                              TUGGER
                    You gonna do what now?!
          
          The Pin walks towards them. One of his shoes is twice the
          size of the other.
          
                              PIN
                    No good, soldier.
          
          The cronies around the room begin cackling. Tug's face is a
          mask of rage. Brendan can't breath. His face swells.
          
                                                                         53
          
          
                              PIN (cont'd)
                    Alright, let up.
          
          But Tug doesn't let up. Brendan's world grows hazy, the
          cackling laughter reverberates, then a clean voice pierces
          the din.
          
                                 LAURA
                        (OS)
                    Tug, stop.
          
          Tug's face breaks for a moment, and he lets go. Brendan's
          head lolls to the side. Laura stands in the dark doorway.
          
          Brendan sees Tug's knuckles and a flash of white for a split
          moment as Tug hits him in the face. The Pin's black body
          spills out across the frame, leaving us in black.
          
          FADE UP
          
          SMALL DARK ROOM
          
          Brendan wakes up curled on a mattress on the floor. A bare
          light bulb hangs from the ceiling. Tugger sits five feet
          away, watching him like a hungry dog. Brendan stares back at
          him through thick, glazed eyes.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Where are my glasses?
                        (Tugger grins)
                    Hell with ya then. Which wall's the door
                    in?
          
          Tug points, amused. Brendan heaves himself up, and Tug
          shoves him back down.
          
          Brendan winks at him, stands and lurches towards the door
          again.
          
          Tugger grabs his shirt and slams him into the wall, but
          freezes when he hears a door latch click. Sneering, he drops
          Brendan back onto the mattress and sits against the opposite
          wall.
          
          Sounds of a door opening and closing come from the darkness.
          Light footsteps clack on the cement floor. Suddenly Tug
          vanishes -- the room's darkness just seems to swallow him.
          
          The thin whispery voice of the Pin speaks softly.
          
                              PIN
                    Sorry about this kid, but what the hell
                    with what you said before.
          
                                                                         54
          
          
          His disembodied face appears a few feet about where Tug had
          sat.
          
                              PIN (cont'd)
                    Where you were at, with all of us and
                    the Tug a fist away, you've got to use
                    your nut. Allay the situation, So yeah,
                    you're not scared of me, I got it, but
                    I'm also thinking you're a little nuts
                    now, so you've got that trade off with
                    your standing. But nuts isn't all bad,
                    so maybe it was a good play. I don't
                    know.
          
          He is standing in front of Tug. His black clothes and broad
          rimmed black hat blend perfectly with the dark room, such
          that his face seems to bob about in space. Brendan stifles a
          cough.
          
                              PIN (cont'd)
                    So, Laura talked me down. Let's get you
                    upstairs, back with the living.
          
          INT. KITCHEN - DAY
          
          Brendan sits at a breakfast table eating cornflakes. The
          kitchen is on the first floor of the Pin's house, or rather
          the Pin's mother's house. She is a soft old lady in a pastel
          cotton dress, currently bent over the fridge mumbling.
          
                              MOTHER
                    I thought we had orange juice, Brendan,
                    I'm sorry. How about Tang, or that's
                    more like soda isn't it, or not soda but
                    it hasn't got any juice in it, it can't
                    be very fortifying.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Water's fine, ma'am, thanks.
          
                              MOTHER
                    Now just a moment, we have apple juice
                    here, if you'd like that, or milk,
                    though you've got that in your
                    cornflakes, I don't know if drinking it
                    as well might be too much.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Apple juice sounds terrific.
          
                              MOTHER
                    It's country style.
          
                                                                       55
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    That's perfect.
          
          She shuts the fridge. Tugger and the Pin sit behind her,
          looking comfortably bored. The Pin, a sharp black hole
          against the soft yellow kitchen, eats oatmeal cookies with
          small delicate bites.
          
                              MOTHER
                    I'll even give it to you in a country
                    glass, how'd that be? Boys?
          
                              TUGGER
                    I'm fine, Mrs. M.
          
                              PIN
                    Thanks, mom.
          
          The Pin kisses her on the cheek.
          
                              MOTHER
                    Okay, well I'm going to go, um, do
                    something in the other room now...
          
          She shuffles out.
          
                              PIN
                        (to Brendan)
                    So hows bout we take another snap at
                    hearing your tale?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I don't know. It starts out same as
                    before, and this floor ain't carpeted.
          
                              PIN
                    We're cooled off.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah well, your muscle seemed plenty
                    cool putting his fist in my head. I want
                    him out.
          
          The Pin grins thinly, uncomfortable.
          
                              PIN
                    Looky, soldier-
          
                              BRENDAN
                    The ape blows or I clam.
          
                                                                       56
          
          
                              TUGGER
                        (stands violently)
                    So clam! What've you got I can't beat
                    out of you back in the basement?
          
          The Pin and Brendan are perfectly still, watching each
          other.
          
                              PIN
                    Give us a few minutes, Tug.
          
          Tug turns to him, but Pin keeps his eyes on Brendan.
          
                              PIN (cont'd)
                    I'll call you if whatever.
          
          Beat. Tug stomps off, slamming the narrow door hard behind
          him. The Pin goes back to gnawing his cookie.
          
                                PIN (cont'd)
                    So?
          
          Brendan sets down his spoon.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    About a year ago I had a small time
                    dealing partnership with Jerr Madison.
                    Know him?
          
                              PIN
                    Till he took the fall for you.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah well. I didn't ask him to, but he
                    was a straight player. I got out clean -
                    almost. Nothing on my official record,
                    but the VPs play it like I owe them one.
                    When I made it clear I wasn't playing
                    their hound dog, well they didn't like
                    it. They keep calling me in, badgering
                    me.
          
                              PIN
                    Gee that's tough.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I don't like being told whose side I'm
                    on. So now they think I'm on your trail,
                    I'm in a nice spot to know their
                    movements and feed them yours.
          
                                PIN
                    I gotcha.
          
                                                                         57
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You haven't got me yet.
          
                              PIN
                    What, price?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Considering the benefits my services
                    could yield, I don't think that's
                    unreasonable.
          
                              PIN
                    And what are your services exactly, just
                    so I can be specific on the invoice?
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (shrugs)
                    Whatever serves your interests.
          
          The Pin stands.
          
                              PIN
                    Fair enough. I'll have my boys check
                    your tale, and seeing how it stretches
                    we'll either rub or hire you. You'll
                    know which by end of the day tomorrow.
          
          Brendan stands but doesn't follow as the Pin opens the
          narrow door Tugger went through and descends the dark stairs
          behind.
          
                              PIN (cont'd)
                    We're done.
          
          The moment the Pin vanishes into the basement's murk Laura
          comes up out of it. She takes Brendan's hand.
          
                              LAURA
                    I'll drive you back.
          INT. LAURA'S CONVERTIBLE MOVING - SUNSET
          
          They zig zag though the twisty suburban streets. Brendan
          stares sullenly into space.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Just drop me at school.
                        (they take a hard turn)
                    How long was I out?
          
                              LAURA
                    Half an hour. It took all of it for me
                    to cool the Pin down.
          
                                                                                                   58
          
          
                                     BRENDAN
                               (flatly, but sincerely)
                           Thanks.
          
              They drive on in silence.
          
              EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT - DUSK
          
              Laura's convertible stops, and Brendan climbs out painfully.
              He studies her face for a moment.
          
                                     LAURA
                           You trust me now?
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Less than when I didn't trust you
                           before. If you can tell me your angle in
                           this, maybe I can.
          
                                     LAURA
                           Come here.1
          
              Brendan leans on the car, his face close to hers.
          
                                     LAURA (CONT'D) (cont'd)
                           I'm on the in, top level of the tower
                           and I know everyone, but I don't know
                           all what goes on. I knew Em when she
                           tried to get with me and Brad, and I
                           liked her. She was smart. But she wasn't
                           us, and it didn't work. When she left
                           she took some souvenirs, dirty habits
                           she wasn't strong enough to control and
                           a connection to the Pin to keep them
                           going. With me?
          
                                          BRENDAN
                           So far.
          
                                     LAURA
                           A few months go by, and the next I hear
                           the Pin's raging over a situation with
                           some certain junk Em was partial to, and
                           the downfall's coming on Em's head.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           You think Em scraped the junk off the
                           Pin?
          
          
          
          1
           Not to weasel in a plug, but the original version of this scene (shot as written) is on the
          deleted scenes section of the DVD. Available at fine retailers everywhere.
          
                                                                         59
          
          
                              LAURA
                    I don't know, but whether she scraped or
                    copped or just ran her tab around the
                    world and into her own back, it must
                    have been grand. I've never seen the Pin
                    so hot.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    This all helps but it's not what I
                    asked. What's your angle in all this?
          
                              LAURA
                    I don't know. I'm usually pretty sharp,
                    but... maybe I see what you're doing for
                    Emily, trying to help her. And I don't
                    know anyone who would do that for me.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Now you are dangerous.
          
          Throwing the car in gear, she peels out and leaves him
          standing alone in the fading evening light.
          
          INT. BACKSTAGE
          
          Brendan pushes through the gloom, past forest scenery,
          deeper and deeper until he comes to a door.
          
          INT. WOMAN'S DRESSING ROOM
          
          Hazy and cramped. Everything blends into the color of flesh.
          No walls are visible; it is all billowy piles of costumes.
          Brendan pushes in. Kara sits at the mirror, putting on
          eyeliner.
          
                              KARA
                        (sing song)
                    Brendan Brendan Brendan!
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Where's Dode flopped?
                        (she makes a face)
                    I know you two are cozed up, so you'll
                    tell me or you won't.
          
                              KARA
                    Oooh, getting feisty.
                        (giggles)
                    Last time we talked you were giving
                    ultimate-tims.
          
                                                               60
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    It worked. You went to Laura, didn't
                    you? Told her my tale.
          
                              KARA
                    All part of your plan?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Turned out to be.
          
                              KARA
                    I feel so cheap and used.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Gol, I must seem a real cad. Sometimes I
                    just hate myself.
          
          Kara grins dreamily.
          
                              KARA
                    Whatever happened to us, Brendan?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Where's Dode flopped?
          
          She turns to face him.
          
                              KARA
                    We were a pair and a half for a few
                    months, weren't we? Sometimes I miss
                    having someone I can talk to. You ever
                    miss having someone? I guess you must.
          
          Brendan's face is a mask.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I need to hear Dode's tale about Emily.
                    It's important.
          
                              KARA
                        (darkly)
                    You better be sure you wanna know
                    whatcha wanna know.
          
          Brendan stands, coughing.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Uh huh. Laura's working with me now, and
                    I'll have the Pin and Tug in my corner
                    soon. The sooner I get the truth from
                    Dode or the truth about Dode from you,
                    the safer you'll both be. No? Pass it on
                    to Dode anyway. Maybe he'll have the
          
                                                                        61
          
          
                    sense to get out from under you before
                    he gets hurt.
          
                              KARA
                    You didn't, did you?
          
          Brendan leaves without looking back.
          
          INT. BRENDAN'S ROOM - NIGHT
          
          Brendan's at his desk, on the phone.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                        (on the phone)
                    So what happens now?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Now we wait for the Pin's answer. Unless
                    his crew spotted VP Truman's social call
                    this morning, it'll be yes. I'd give us
                    70/30. If we're in I get under his skin
                    and see what's what. You stick to Kara,
                    keep your specs peeled for Dode and stay
                    away from Laura.
          
          The Brain is quiet for a beat.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    I think she's with us, Brendan.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (too sharp)
                    I'll let you know when she is.
          
          A beat of silence.
          
                               THE BRAIN
                    Okay.
          
          Brendan gently replaces the receiver and sits for a moment
          in silence.
          
          EXT. LOCKER CAGE - MORNING
          
          The class bell rings, and the cage quickly empties. Brendan
          limps in, opens his locker. A note falls to his feet. It is
          folded into a star. He pulls it open. "TWELVE THIRTY PICO &
          ALEXANDER".
          He fishes the old note out and compares them - different
          handwriting.
          
                                                                         62
          
          
          The locker cage is now empty and silent, except for the
          steady sound of heavy footfalls. Brendan looks up from the
          notes.
          
          A lug with a lumpish face is coming towards him. He wears a
          black trenchcoat over bulbous shoulders, and his black hair
          comes down over his eyes like a sheepdog's.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You the Pin's?
          
          No answer. The lug keeps coming.
          
                              BRENDAN (cont'd)
                    So what's his answer?
          
          Closer, not slowing. Brendan tightens his hand into a fist.
          Then CLICK! and a long slender switchblade gleams in the
          lug's right paw.
          
          Brendan jumps back as the lug swipes the blade at his torso.
          Before the lug winds up for another slash Brendan is
          running.
          
          EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE - DAY
          
          Brendan runs through the empty campus square, the lug
          follows.
          
          EXT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY
          
          Wind rushing, sweating, the lug very close. Their footsteps
          clatter on the cement. Brendan swings around a corner,
          doubles back and stops with his back to a wall - he's lost
          sight of him.
          
          Brendan sweats, listening. The lug's footsteps echo through
          the hallways, coming from all directions at once. Then it
          seems clear - he's down the hall on Brendan's right.
          Brendan dashes left. Wrong. The lug looms over him, his
          knife hand flashing. Brendan's jacket shoulder tears open,
          and the white filling inside turns red. He stumbles back
          blindly, gets his footing and scrambles out of reach.
          
          Brendan sprints away, down the hall, gaining about thirty
          feet on the lug before turning the corner.
          
          Brendan drops to a sitting position.
          
          THE LUG AROUND THE CORNER
          
          Running fast.
          
                                                                         63
          
          
          BRENDAN
          
          Kicks his shoes off and clambers to his feet. The lug's
          footsteps are impossibly loud.
          
          THE LUG
          
          Just about to round the corner.
          
          BRENDAN
          
          On his socked feet running silently back towards the corner.
          The lug's footsteps crash like symbols as they both come
          around the same corner in opposite directions at full speed.
          
          Brendan slides like a baseball player, tangling his legs
          into the lug's. The lug pitches forward with frightening
          momentum. He hits the hall's metal handrail with his arms
          and head. A hollow gong reverberates through the hallway,
          and the lug falls like a puppet with his strings cut.
          A wallet with a couple of twenties and a student ID (CHUCK
          BURNS), three hash pipes, fifteen joints, a baggie of weed
          and a large brownie in another baggie.
          
          Brendan leaves it all on him and staggers off.
          
          EXT. CAMPUS PAYPHONE - DAY
          
          Brendan breathes heavily into the phone.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Chuck Burns, big lug with hair like a
                    sheepdog.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                        (on the phone)
                    Yeah I know him, I just can't pin him to
                    any crowd. He's definitely not muscle
                    for anyone. He taps the Carrows crowd
                    but doesn't hang with them. If you've
                    got a guess I could check it out-
          
                               BRENDAN
                    The Pin. If he's with the Pin
                    everything's kablooie and I gotta blow
                    the burgh.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    I'll check it. I'm in third now-
          Brendan spots the Pin's Cady pulling into the parking lot.
          
                                                                         64
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Never mind. If I don't call by three
                    call in the bulls.
          
          Brendan hangs up and begins walking at a normal pace along
          the sidewalk.
          
          The cady pulls up beside him, and he stops walking. The door
          swings open and a voice comes from inside.
          
                               VOICE
                    Get in.
          
          With no perceivable hesitation, he does.
          
          INT. CADILAC - DAY
          
          Brendan sits beside the Pin. The windows are tinted and the
          car is very dark. The seats are pink vinyl. The car lurches
          forward.
          Brendan and the Pin are silent for a beat, not looking at
          each other.
          
                               BRENDAN
                    So?
          
                              PIN
                    So. Tangles.
          
          A stocky kid in the front seat turns, and reaches into his
          jacket. For a moment he stays like that, hand in his jacket,
          eyes on Brendan. Brendan's face is placid.
          
          Tangles pulls out an envelope and drops it in Brendan's lap.
          
                              PIN (cont'd)
                    That's what you'll get every week for
                    your services. Less of course there's a
                    specific job involved, in where you get
                    sliced in with my crew. Square?
          
                               BRENDAN
                    Yeah.
          
          Silence. The Pin holds his hat in his hands, fingering the
          rim.
          
                              PIN
                    We're doing a thing down at the Hole
                    tonight. Know it?
          
                                                                                                65
          
          
                                    BRENDAN
                          South of T Street, yeah.
          
                                    PIN
                          It's sort of a welcome you in thing.
                          Eight o'clock.
          
              The car stops.
          
              EXT. CAMPUS PAYPHONE - DAY
          
              Brendan climbs out of the car on the exact spot they picked
              him up. The Cady drives off. Brendan checks his watch.
          
              BRENDAN'S WATCH
          
              12:32. A phone begins to ring.
          
              EXT. PICO & ALEXANDER - DAY
          
              Brendan looks up from his watch and answers the payphone,
              holding the receiver to his ear in silence.
          
                                    VOICE
                              (on the phone)
                          I know what you did. I saw what you
                          did.1
          
              The voice is low and garbled, filtered through something.
          
                                        BRENDAN
                          So?
          
                                    VOICE
                          Anyone I tell, it would ruin you some
                          way. And I'm going to tell someone.
          
                                    BRENDAN
                          Are you making an offer?
          
                                    VOICE
                          Maybe. Or maybe I'll just do you in.
          
                                    BRENDAN
                          Hire another hash head to blade me?
          
          
          
          
          1
           Originally the source of this call was supposed to be a mystery, but during post
          production we decided it was one layer too many, and identified the caller as Dode.
          Brendan's first line was overdubbed in post to say `Dode?" instead of "So?"
          
                                                                        66
          
          
                              VOICE
                    Don't need no blades, shamus. I just
                    gotta squawk.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What do you want?
          
                              VOICE
                    Just to see you sweat.
          
          CLICK. Brendan replaces the receiver and stands still for a
          moment. Then he inserts a coin and dials.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                        (on the phone)
                    Brendan?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    You alright?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah, I'm fine. Keep digging on the
                    Burns lug, but the main thing is to find
                    Dode. He set up whatever Emily walked
                    into, it's getting more and more urgent
                    we talk.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Alright. Trueman was looking for you.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Trueman and the VP?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    No, just Trueman.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Asked for me?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    No, but looked.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    That's not good. Alright, keep me
                    posted.
          
          Brendan hangs up.
          
                                                                                                 67
          
          
              EXT. BEACH - NIGHT1
          
              A bonfire burns about a hundred feet off. Figures jump
              through the blaze to thrash music. The Pin and Brendan
              wander towards us on the dark beach.
          
                                     PIN
                           So I'm going to start you on the dope
                           circles, cleaning up the Turkish dues,
                           pulling in the strags.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Small fries.
          
                                     PIN
                           Yeah, well. Just to see how you handle.
                           Anyway there isn't much else doing. I'm
                           tailing out this big deal, but that's
                           almost done.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Oh yeah? What was it?
          
                                     PIN
                           Big time. Biggest I ever done, and there
                           was a snag in it, but it's almost done
                           now.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           What was it?
          
                                         PIN
                           It's over.
          
                                     BRENDAN
                           Almost, you said.
          
                                     PIN
                           It's over enough. You're gonna make me
                           curious, being so curious.
          
              They sit in the sand, facing the breakers.
          
                                     PIN (cont'd)
                           I gotta lay something out. You're coming
                           into a certain situation, and I'm
                           bringing you in sort of because of it.
          
          1
            If ever you want to witness a look of pure horror, shoot a micro budget feature film and
          tell your cinematographer that there will be an extended scene on a beach at night.
          Turns out it's difficult to light up a beach without very large and expensive equipment.
          Who knew. Shooting at sunset proved a fortunate and less horror inducing solution.
          
                                                                 68
          
          
                          (beat)
                      I didn't tell Tugger to hit you for the
                      Brad Bramish thing. Laura and I, I
                      decided I oughta hear what you were
                      gunning for before I made an enemy. Tug
                      just did it, though. He was hot, and he
                      just hit you. He's been doing that.
          
                                 BRENDAN
                      Yeah?
          
                                PIN
                      He's got my best interests, I know, he's
                      loyal, he just gets hot.
          
                                BRENDAN
                      Muscle you can't control's no good at
                      that.
          
                                PIN
                      You're working for me, not Tug, that's
                      all.
          
                                 BRENDAN
                      Alright.
          
          
          A moment of silence. The breakers crash.
          
                                PIN
                      Things can get, you know, it's tough
                      sometimes. Twisted, complicated,
                      watching all the, I don't know.
                      Everyone's got their thing.
                          (silence)
                      You read Tolkien?
          
                                 BRENDAN
                      What?
          
                                PIN
                      Tolkien, the Hobbit books?
          
                                 BRENDAN
                      Yeah.
          
                                PIN
                      His descriptions of things are really
                      good.
          
                                 BRENDAN
                      Oh yeah?
          
                                                                        69
          
          
          
          
                              PIN
                    He makes you want to be there.
          
          The waves crash. Behind them, with no warning at all, a
          train shoots by. Tug stands with his hands jammed in his
          pockets, flashing lights and gleaming metal streaking and
          squealing behind him.
          
          INT. BRENDAN'S ROOM - EARLY MORNING
          
          The clock radio blinks 5:34. The phone is ringing. Brendan
          half wakes and puts it to his ear.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                        (on the phone)
                    Don't go to class.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Fifth period Trueman and the VP come in
                    asking for you.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Agh.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Did they call your mom?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Probably. I got home late.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Get out of there too, then. Meet me
                    behind the library. I've got some stuff.
          
          EXT. BACK OF LIBRARY - EARLY MORNING
          A cold gray morning. The Brain hands Brendan a photocopy of
          a newspaper clipping, "LOCAL YOUTH HOSPITALIZED"
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Frisco Farr was found on a sidewalk
                    outside Pinkerton's Deli three weeks
                    ago. He was in a coma, his stomach
                    contained a sausage sandwich, a horse
                    dose of Heroin and traces of Choleric
                    Tricemate, a poisonous chemical found in
                    laundry detergent. Frisco's still under
          
                                                                        70
          
          
                    and nobody's talking, so nothing's come
                    of it.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    OD?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    No, the chem the junk must have been cut
                    with put him down.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Huh. Bad junk. Bad brick... could that
                    form of Heroin be called 'Brick'?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    No -- it was a concentrated powder, its
                    street handle's 'whip' or 'rock' or
                    'brock'.
                        (fishes a note from his
                         pocket)
                    Here. From Laura.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I told you to stay clear of Laura.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    You tell her to stay clear of me?
          
          He gives the note to Brendan, who unfolds it roughly.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (mutters)
                    I gotta get voicemail.
          
          The note reads "Meet me at the southeast corner of the
          school at 9:30." Brendan crumples it into a ball.
          
                              BRENDAN (cont'd)
                    No. Tell her I'll be at the Pin's at
                    one. Any luck with the lug?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    No.
          
          The Brain lays out a local newspaper with Emily's picture -
          "LOCAL GIRL MISSING". Uncomfortable silence.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    This isn't good.
          
          The Brain looks hard at him. Brendan stares off into space
          for a beat, then takes the Brain's cell phone and dials.
          
                                                                        71
          
          
                              BRENDAN (cont'd)
                        (into phone)
                    Mr. Trueman please.
          
          Brendan compares the two notes from his pocket with Laura's
          - distinct handwriting on each.
          
                              TRUEMAN
                        (on the phone)
                    This is Trueman.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What the hell are you doing asking for
                    me in class?
          
                              TRUEMAN
                    What the hell are you doing out of
                    class?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What?
          
                              TRUEMAN
                        (very deliberate)
                    The VP and I needed to ask you a few
                    questions about Emily Kostich, who you
                    might have heard is missing. It's a very
                    serious thing. The police are involved.
                    The VP and I knew you two were close, so
                    the VP and I came to ask you questions,
                    but you were truant. If you don't have a
                    valid excuse-
          
          Brendan hangs up.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    What?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I've been cut loose. I'm not safe here.
                    We shouldn't have met in the open.
                    Alright, lay low, but ask on the
                    underneath for Dode. That's all that
                    matters now, find Dode, but do it on the
                    underneath, got it?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    What are you going to do?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I'd like to have played it safe, but
                    there's no time. The Pin's not letting
          
                                                                         72
          
          
                    anything drop, so I gotta push things a
                    bit.
          
                                THE BRAIN
                    How?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I don't know. Just find Dode.
          
          EXT. THE PIN'S HOUSE - DAY
          
          The bird of prey mailbox looms ominously. Brendan knocks on
          the front door. No answer. He presses lightly on the screen
          door, and it gives.
          
          INT. KITCHEN - SAME
          
          Empty. Brendan crosses the warped linoleum and gently opens
          the narrow basement door. He descends into inky gloom.
          
          INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY - SAME
          Deathly still and silent. Barely breathing, Brendan goes to
          the lit doorway at the end of the hall.
          
          INT. PIN'S DEN - SAME
          
          Empty. Brendan floats through the room like a ghost, to the
          Pin's desk.
          
          Slowly, then with greater confidence he rifles through it -
          papers and trinkets, meaningless.
          
          He reaches beneath the desk, knocking it gently with his
          knuckles. Quickly he removes the top drawer and reaches down
          into the desk frame.
          
          Brendan draws out a stack of hundred dollar bills two inches
          thick. He pulls out another. Another. Another. Thumbing the
          stacks -- pure hundreds.
          
          Something creaks in the hallway.
          
          Brendan freezes. Silently he replaces the money and drawer,
          his eyes on the doorway. He creeps towards the door on the
          balls of his feet.
          
          INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY - SAME
          
          Still empty. Brendan creeps towards the stairs, passing
          other doorways, all open but for one. He stops for a moment,
          listening - silence.
          
                                                                         73
          
          
          INT. STORAGE ROOM - SAME
          
          Brendan enters the room - pitch black but for a small high
          window. Brendan pulls the curtains aside. A beam of sunlight
          spills just enough light to reveal a figure in the dark.
          Brendan jumps back, and his reflection in the large mirror
          jumps as well.
          
          A white bird nesting in the window flutters into the dark
          room.
          
          Brendan walks the large mirror into the beam of light,
          reflecting it around the room like a flashlight. More junk,
          a mattress, then a strangely bare corner with a single white
          lump in it. The white bird stands behind the lump, its dark
          eyes caught in the bare light.
          
          The bird flies out the window.
          
          Brendan goes to the white lump, a small brick of white
          powder. White chalky residue patterns the floor -- there
          were other bricks there before.
          
          Behind Brendan, in the mirror, something moves. Someone
          else, in the room.
          
          Tugger. He throws Brendan across the room, then heaves him
          into a wall.
          
                              TUGGER
                    What with the poking, genius?! Maybe
                    you're poking for your bull friends!
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Don't be a sap. I can't even face up at
                    school, the VP's so hot for me.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Yeah well. Maybe you're looking to make
                    good.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I'm looking to find this big game the
                    Pin's played, not to gum it, but just so
                    when its tail jams in my back I'll know
                    who to bill for the embalming.
          
                              TUGGER
                    You oughta ask him what you wanna know.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I did. He didn't tell me.
          
                                                                 74
          
          
          Tug loosens his grip. Brendan gasps for air.
          
                              BRENDAN (cont'd)
                    When a gee I'm paid to side with won't
                    give me the straight that makes me
                    nervous. Makes me angry.
          
          Tug draws back a bit.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Yeah, well. That's understandable.
          
          INT. KITCHEN - DAY
          
          Tug sets a country glass of orange juice in front of
          Brendan. He paces.
          
                              TUGGER
                    There was ten of them. I don't know
                    where he picked them, he didn't tell me.
                                 BRENDAN
                           (sympathetic)
                    Huh.
          
                              TUGGER
                    So we get ten kils of brock, there aint
                    enough marks in the whole burgh to eat
                    that. So he unloads eight of em up way
                    north, even up to the docks. I don't
                    know who.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Didn't tell you.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Yeah. That was eight. So that's the
                    tenth in there. We gotta break it into
                    doses, sell em off round the high, maybe
                    some by Shorecliffs.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What about the ninth brick?
          
                              TUGGER
                    Ah yeah. There were problems with that.
          
                                BRENDAN
                    Yeah?
          
                                TUGGER
                    It, uh...
          
                                                                  75
          
          
          He stops, thinking harder than he's used to. His scar
          reddens slightly, then he jerks out of his trance.
          
                              TUGGER (cont'd)
                        (quickly)
                    It disappeared. Someone skimmed it. We
                    started raising hell with all the likely
                    suspects, and whatayaknow, it came back.
                    But it came back bad. One of ours took a
                    dose off the top, and it laid him out.
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    Frisco.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Yeah, poor Frisco. You heard about that.
                    We'll track down the rat. Just takes
                    time.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I heard something fell with Emily
                    Kostich.
          
                                 TUGGER
                    Emily who?
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    Kostich.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Don't know her.
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    Huh.
          
          A quiet pause. Tug's scar reddens a bit more.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Has the Pin talked about her?
                                 BRENDAN
                    Not to me.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Yeah, he might know something. Ask him.
                    Tell me what he says, cause if you heard
                    something, you know, I wanna check.
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    Sure.
          The screen door swings open -- enter the Pin. If he's
          surprised he doesn't show it.
          
                                                                     76
          
          
                              PIN
                    Pow wowing?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Just shooting the shat.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Yeah, just shooting it.
          
                              PIN
                    Good.
          
          His big foot clunks on the linoleum. He eyes a very sick
          looking Brendan.
          
                              PIN (cont'd)
                    You alright, soldier?
          
          Brendan moves a hand dismissively, sniffling.
          
                              PIN (cont'd)
                    So, Tug, I got a call. Someone who says
                    they know something about Emily.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Emily?
          
                              PIN
                    Emily Kostich. Where she's at now. Says
                    we'd want to know. Wants to meet.
          
                              TUGGER
                        (uncomfortable)
                    Yeah?
          
                              PIN
                    So we'll meet him. Four o'clock.
                        (to Brendan)
                    Emily was Tug's girl for awhile. You
                    know Emily, didn't you?
                              BRENDAN
                    A while back.
          
                              PIN
                    You've heard she's missing?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah, I heard that.
          
                              PIN
                    So maybe you want to come along too.
          
                                                                       77
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What has Emily got to do with you?
          
                              PIN
                        (looks at Tugger)
                    Show, maybe we'll find out.
          
          He gives a slip of paper to Tugger.
          
                              PIN (cont'd)
                    Four o'clock.
          
          Tugger glances at the slip, then slides it to Brendan. It
          has the symbol drawn in pencil:
          
          
          
          
          A horn honks outside.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    That's my ride.
          
          The Pin calls after him as he leaves.
          
                              PIN
                    Four o'clock.
          
          EXT. FRONT OF PIN'S HOUSE - SAME
          
          Brendan falls into Laura's idling car.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (roughly)
                    A payphone, anywhere.
          
                              LAURA
                    What-
          
          Brendan throws the car into drive, and they jerk forward.
          
          EXT. STREET CORNER - DAY
          
                              PAYPHONE
                    The mobile customer you have called is
                    away from the phone-
          
          Brendan slams the phone down violently and walks back
          towards the car. His legs quiver, and a coughing fit hits.
          
                                                                        78
          
          
          Hacking and spluttering he falls to his knees. Laura's arms
          wrap around him, except it isn't Laura, it's Emily. Brendan
          spins backwards into
          
          DARKNESS
          
          Emily kissing his mouth, her hair around him, but it isn't
          her hair, it's Laura's. Brendan shoots upwards
          
          INT. LAURA'S CAR STATIONARY - DAY
          
          and sits up with a jolt. Laid out in the back seat, Laura
          dabbing his head with a wet napkin.
          
                               BRENDAN
                         (barks shakily)
                     What time is it?
          
                               LAURA
                     Lie down, Brendan-
                                  BRENDAN
                     What time-
          
                               LAURA
                     You've got a fever, you've got to go to
                     the hospital or-
          
                               BRENDAN
                     What time is it?
          
                               LAURA
                     Three forty. You've got to rest, you're
                     feverish.
          
          He throws himself out of the car.
          
          EXT. SCHOOL PARKING LOT - SAME
          
          Brendan falls to his knees, coughing. Laura follows.
          
                               LAURA
                     Get back in the car, I'm taking you
                     home, you're sick, you need-
          
                               BRENDAN
                     Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!
          
          He keeps yelling that until she does. His head spins.
                               BRENDAN (cont'd)
                     Okay, you've got to, what you've got to
                     do is drive around to the Carrows lot.
          
                                                                         79
          
          
                    I'll be up on the, the blacktop, the
                    basketball field. So you've got to go by
                    you or me to get down there. If you see
                    anyone but the Pin or Tugger or their
                    crew go down into the ravine, honk four
                    times, long short long short. But don't
                    be seen.
          
                              LAURA
                    Get back in the car.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Do it! Will you do it? I need you to do
                    this. I need you, here. Please.
          
          He holds her shoulders. A beat, then her face registers
          resignation.
          
          EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD - DAY
          
          A flat plane of pebbly asphalt with a dozen basketball
          courts faintly outlined across its surface. Brendan stands
          crooked, watching the barren horizon. The wind blows
          bitterly, and the sky is dark.
          
          Then, a speck. Coming towards Brendan, across the field.
          Brendan slumps towards it. Closer. Still a dark dot. Closer.
          
          Brendan's face snaps into recognition.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What are you doing, Dode?
          
          Dode grins. He holds a newspaper.
          
                              DODE
                    You gonna stop me?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What do you think you're doing, Dode?
                              DODE
                    I saw you. I saw what you did.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What'd you see?
          
                                 DODE
                    I saw you.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What'd you see me?
          
                                                                     80
          
          
                              DODE
                    You were with her, dead, and you took
                    the body.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah, I did. That's all you saw? What
                    about before?
          
                              DODE
                    Before what?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Did you see who killed her before I got
                    there?
          
                              DODE
                        (face ashen)
                    You killed her.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I found the body, Dode.
          
                              DODE
                    You, I thought you didn't, but we
                    figured out, I got the news on ya, cause
                    you hid the body, why wouldn't-
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Who's 'we'?
          
                              DODE
                    Shut up! You're always talking, always
                    this and that smartso, you're gonna shut
                    up now!
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I didn't kill her, Dode.
          
                              DODE
                    You're not going to talk this!
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Dode, I know you're thinking of Em, I
                    know you tried to help her-
          
                              DODE
                    Shut up! You're gonna shut your
          
          Brendan staggers, the world blurs out for a moment, then
          snaps back.
                              DODE (cont'd)
                    put it over real nice-
          
                                                                        81
          
          
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    -so I'm telling you now you're in over
                    your head, you don't want to put your
                    hand in this-
          
          Dode shakes the newspaper at him.
          
                              DODE
                    Shut up! She's dead, you-
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Why was she scared, Dode? She came to
                    me, who was she scared of? I think I
                    know why, I just gotta know who!
          
          Dode throws the paper, which scatters in the wind.
                              DODE
                    You're trying to confuse me.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Dode.
          
                              DODE
                    You couldn't stand it. Your little Em.
                    She was gonna keep it, it was mine, and
                    you couldn't stand that.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What was yours?
          
                              DODE
                    I had you pegged.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What was yours?
                              DODE
                    I loved her. And I woulda loved the kid.
                    I'm gonna bury you.
          
          Brendan's face is empty. Dode walks stiffly away. Brendan
          puts a hand on his shoulder, but shrinks back in a coughing
          spasm. Dode grabs Brendan's wrist and hits him in the face.
          Brendan hits the pavement.
          
                                                                         82
          
          
          EXT. HEAVEN - DAY
          
          Bright clouds, sharp light. Emily flies towards us, glowing,
          then dimmer, her wings splutter out, the clouds turn gray,
          and we are looking at Emily's picture in the newspaper
          article.
          
          EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD - DAY
          
          Brendan pulls the newspaper off his face, lying in a fetal
          position. Dode is nowhere to be seen.
          
          Slowly, painfully, Brendan hoists himself up. He coughs and
          splutters, barely able to keep his footing.
          
          He limps across the field. Every step is agony. The wind
          blows against him. The black field seems impossibly long,
          still he keeps limping forward, towards the ravine.
          
          EXT. RUNOFF TUNNEL - DAY
          Brendan slides down the embankment, landing on his feet.
          
          Gathered around the drain tunnel entrance are Tugger, the
          Pin, five of Tugger's flunkies and Dode in the middle.
          Everyone looks at Brendan.
          
          A long silence. Brendan clears his throat.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What'd I miss?
          
          More silence.
          
                              PIN
                    Dode here says Emily Kostich is dead.
          
          Nobody reacts to that. Brendan's face is placid.
          
                               BRENDAN
                    Oh yeah?
          
                              PIN
                    Yeah. He says he knows who did it. He
                    says he knows where the body's at.
                        (beat of silence)
                    And he says he wants more money than I
                    think the information's worth.
                              BRENDAN
                    That so, Dode?
                        (to the Pin)
          
                                                                        83
          
          
                    So walk. What's the info have to do with
                    you anyways?
          
                              DODE
                    Plenty.
          
                              PIN
                    Plenty, he says.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Uh huh. And he wants cash on the nail.
                    He's a pot skulled reef worm with more
                    hop in his head than blood. Why pay for
                    dirt you can't believe?
          
                              DODE
                    You'll believe this.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (shrugs)
                    Maybe you will.
          
                              DODE
                    You'll believe it, cause it's someone
                    close to you. Real close.
          
          The Pin looks up at Brendan, whose face is loose and
          nonchalant.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Maybe it's hot, but it's Dode, you can't
                    trust it.
          
                              DODE
                    Real close.
          
          Tugger's eyes are locked on Dode, his scar the color of raw
          liver. Brendan laughs and turns away.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I'm getting my shoes wet for this. Let
                    him milk you if you want.
          
                              PIN
                        (to Brendan)
                    Stay.
                        (to Dode)
                    It's still too much.
          
                              DODE
                    No it's not. You won't complain when you
                    hear it.
          
                                                                          84
          
          
          Tugger twists a stick in his hands. Brendan watches him,
          curious.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (murmurs)
                    So maybe you should.
          
                              DODE
                    You had her against the wall with the
                    brick -
          
                              PIN
                    I know my business. It's still too much.
          
                              DODE
                        (with growing confidence)
                    It's not, cause that's not why she was
                    killed, and it's real important to you,
                    cause the person who killed her's real
                    close, and cause he's got a lot to lose,
                    and he knows if I don't bury him by
                    spilling to you I spill to the bulls and
                    bury him for real, and he's really
                    really scared - she had a kid in her and
                    he couldn't stand -
          
          Tugger springs like a cat.     He grabs Dode's hair and knees
          his face.
          
          Brendan stumbles towards them.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Tug, it's alright!
          
          Tug has Dode on the ground, kicking his stomach and chest.
          
                                 PIN
                    Tug, stop.
          
          Tug backs off. Dode raises his head.
          
          Tug pulls the gun from his jacket.
          
          Brendan yells, slips and falls into the shallow water.
          
          Tug levels the gun at Dode's head and fires one shot. The
          back of Dode's skull comes off.
          
          The rapport reverberates through the black tunnel behind
          them, and birds fly out. Dode remains upright for a moment,
          then falls limp into the water.
          
                                                                          85
          
          
          The Pin's face is stupid, lifeless. Tug turns to him, gun in
          hand.
          
                              PIN (cont'd)
                        (thickly)
                    Tug...
          
          Tugger fires - dirt kicks up, and the Pin scrambles back.
          Brendan crawls towards Tug, yelling for him to stop.
          
          Tug fires twice more, both misses, and the Pin is away.
          
          Distant sirens.
          
          Brendan's vision blurs.   He stumbles and falls into the
          shallow water.
          
                                                               FADE OUT
          
                                                               FADE IN:
          A CEILING FAN
          
          Spinning gently. Brendan's eyes open, watch it sleepily,
          then sharpen.
          
          INT. TUGGER'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
          
          Brendan sits up in the bed. Tugger sits in a chair bedside,
          smoking. Brendan watches him for a long moment in the room's
          dim light.
          
                              TUGGER
                    She sprung it on me, just. That's a hell
                    of a thing to spring on a guy. I don't
                    remember much. Laura talked me down
                    after, said whatever, she knew her, said
                    it wasn't true, but I still think
                    sometimes. I think bout it being true.
                    Bout it being mine. And maybe I did it
                    cause I thought it was true. A hell of a
                    thing.
          
          Brendan stares at him through cold, empty eyes.
          
                              TUGGER (cont'd)
                    You up? You weren't doing too good there
                    for awhile. Laura said take you, you
                    know, hospital, but I couldn't.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What's the stats?
          
                                                                        86
          
          
                              TUGGER
                    Everyone's just laying low. You're here
                    with us, at my folks place. They're
                    gone. The bulls got Dode fore the tide
                    took his body.
          
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Tide?
          
                              TUGGER
                    Yeah, strong tide, would've taken the
                    body, like out to sea. It can do that.
                    But the fuzz got there first.
          
          Brendan nods.
          
                              TUGGER (cont'd)
                    So everyone's assuming it's war, but no
                    one's said it yet. Everyone's lying low.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    War?
          
                              TUGGER
                    You're with us.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    The hell I am.
          
          Brendan swings his legs over the bed. Tug steps in front of
          him, staring him down.
          
                              BRENDAN (cont'd)
                    Alright, I'm with you.
          
                              TUGGER
                    So just lie low. Sleep some more. Laura,
                    she said you should sleep.
          Tugger exits. Brendan runs his fingers through his hair,
          steps into his shoes and hobbles out of the room.
          
          INT. TUGGER'S LIVING ROOM - SAME
          
          About ten more kids dressed like Tug are cleaning guns.
          Brendan nods to them.
                              BRENDAN
                    Hey.
          
                                                                         87
          
          
          They nod back, not paying much attention as he goes out the
          front door.
          
          EXT. STREET - NIGHT
          
          On a lamplit street corner Brendan leans against a payphone.
          
          
          
                              THE BRAIN
                        (on phone)
                    Brendan?
          
                                BRENDAN
                    Yeah.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Are you - what, man, have you heard
                    about Dode-
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I was there.
          
                                THE BRAIN
                    You-
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Where were you yesterday? I called.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Kasprzyk took my phone, turned it off. I
                    just now got it back.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Alright, listen-
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Are you okay?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Just listen. Is my name in the papers
                    with the story?
          
                                THE BRAIN
                    No.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Alright. Is it just Dode in the papers?
                              THE BRAIN
                    Yeah. What do you mean?
          
                                                                        88
          
          
                               BRENDAN
                    Listen, I'm going to be calling you
                    tonight, probably late. Sleep with your
                    phone on. Could you get a car if you
                    needed to?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    If it's late enough I could take my
                    mom's-
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Be ready then. I'll call.
          
                               THE BRAIN
                    Alright.
          
          INT. DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT
          
          Brendan kicks in the door. Kara sits in front of the mirror
          in a soft pink robe, a boy on the floor beside her. She
          gasps.
          
                              KARA
                    Brendan. Did you hear about Dode?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You scheming tramp. You set that poor
                    kid up, you hid him, fed him your tale.
                    You got info from Laura and held Dode
                    like a card till you could play him. For
                    money!
          
          Brendan throws a chair. The boy stands.
          
                              KARA
                    I don't know what you're talking about.
          
                               BRENDAN
                    You'd bury me at the same time, but it
                    was mostly for the money. You got Dode
                    thinking Em had his kid, thinking I did
                    it, and that was enough for him, but he
                    stuck to the money cause you had your
                    claws in him, cause he couldn't come
                    away from the deal without it and make
                    you happy.
          
                              KARA
                    Sit down, you're a mess. Russ, go get my
                    shoes from the wardrobe locker, would
                    you sweetie?
          
                                                                              89
          
          
               He goes, trying to look mean at Brendan. Brendan and Kara
               watch each other like caged rats.
          
                                       KARA (cont'd)
                             Still wish you knew what you wanted to
                             know? If it's any consolation, it
                             probably wasn't Dode's kid. It might
                             have been Tug's, but frankly I wouldn't
                             bet a horse - it was a crowded field
                             there at the end.
          
               Brendan grabs a clock and throws it. Kara's mirror shatters,
               revealing a grimy dark wall behind.
          
                                       KARA (cont'd)
                             Meany. You want my tale, Brendan? I
                             still know what Dode was selling, but
                             I'd play it smart. A quick call from a
                             payphone to copland, they drag the
                             tunnel and you're through.
          
               She comes very close to him. Her robe falls open slightly.
          
                                       KARA (cont'd)
                             Five thousand. Cash. I know you can get
                             it from the Pin, but even if you can't I
                             want it by first period tomorrow, or I
                             play my hand and bury you.
          
               She turns away, lets her robe fall.1
          
                                       KARA (cont'd)
                             Now get out.
          
               Brendan's eyes burn. He lunges at her.
          
               EXT. BACKSTAGE - SAME
          
               Drama geeks sit in groups. The dressing room door flies open
               and Kara flies out, stark naked. Brendan flies out after
               her.
          
                                       KARA
                             What are you doing?
          
                                       BRENDAN
                             Showing your ace.
          
               Brendan storms out.
          
          
          
          1
              Also on the DVD. Fine retailers everywhere.
          
                                                                      90
          
          
          EXT. PIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT
          
          Brendan walks past the bird of prey mailbox. A voice from
          the screen door -
          
                               VOICE
                     Far enough.
          
          The Pin.
          
                               PIN
                     Everyone's paying social calls.
          
                               BRENDAN
                     Laura here?
          
          Beat of silence.
          
                               PIN
                     So?
                               BRENDAN
                     So what are the stats?
          
                               PIN
                     The stats are war, soon as the press
                     heat dies. And if you're with him,
                     you're with him.
          
                               BRENDAN
                     Tug got hot. He panicked.
          
                               PIN
                     Tug's been after my digs from the get
                     go.
          
                               BRENDAN
                     No. He's been anxious cause he thought
                     if you found out he killed Emily you'd
                     turn him over.
                               PIN
                     He was right.
          
                               BRENDAN
                     Yeah, well.
          
                               PIN
                     I told him to get the straight, no
                     roughing. I wasn't even there.
          
                                                                91
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Alright. So he's a hot head. So you
                    don't want him on your side, at least
                    let's have a pow wow fore we start
                    digging trenches. Maybe we can all walk
                    away amiable enemies. What would it
                    take?
          
                              PIN
                    I don't know. We'd have to square
                    everything between us. He owes me some
                    money.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Alright, but we can talk.
          
                              PIN
                    Yeah, alright.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Four o'clock.
          
                                PIN
                    Tomorrow?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Tonight. Let's clear it all before it
                    boils up again.
          
                              PIN
                    Four tonight. You'll be here?
          
                                BRENDAN
                    Yeah.
          
          Brendan turns away.
          
                                LAURA (OS)
                    Wait!
          She comes out of the house with her purse.
          
                              LAURA (cont'd)
                    I'll drive you back.
          
          INT. LAURA'S CAR - MOVING - NIGHT
          
          Laura drives, Brendan stares at the passing lights.
                              LAURA
                    What's going to happen?
          
          Brendan coughs.
          
                                                                       92
          
          
                              LAURA (cont'd)
                    Do you feel better?
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (weak)
                    I don't know.
          
          INT. TUGGER'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
          
          Brendan stumbles in. Tug's hands grab him roughly.
          
                              TUGGER
                    For a smart guy you aint too smart. I
                    said lay low.
          
          Laura enters.
          
                              LAURA
                    Tug.
          
          He drops Brendan. Laura kneels beside Brendan, feeling his
          forehead.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    She was at the Pin's.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Yeah, she's our go-between.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Uh huh. So here's the sit. You and the
                    Pin are going to pow wow, four o'clock
                    tonight, his place. Take all the muscle
                    you want, you won't need it. He wants to
                    talk straight, and you're going to work
                    with him for whatever he needs, cause
                    you don't want war.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Hell I don't.
                              BRENDAN
                    The Pin's sitting on the brick profits -
                    hitting him now would be post. Make
                    peace and wait for your chance.
          
                              LAURA
                    He's right, Tug. Smooth it out.
          
                                                                         93
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (between coughs)
                    Besides, he's got you on the Dode thing.
                    War'll mean you vs. him and every bull
                    in the burgh.
          
          Tugger turns away, thinking.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Yeah, we'll talk.
          
                               LAURA
                        (to Brendan)
                    You going?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Yeah.
          
          She nods. Brendan stumbles into the bedroom.
          
          INT. TUGGER'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
          
          Brendan lies on his back. Sweat stands on his forehead.
          
          THE FAN
          
          Spinning dizzily from Brendan's POV. Then the fan is still
          and the room is spinning, then the fan, then the room.
          Brendan clamps his eyes shut. A door creaks open.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (croaks)
                    Go away.
          
          Laura floats across the room to him. Her hair falls around
          him. Brendan shrinks back. She puts a pale hand on his
          clammy forehead. Brendan tries to speak, but cannot.
          
          He fingers slide over his face. She pulls off his glasses.
          
          Her hands all over his face. Brendan's throat contorts in a
          hard swallow. His eyes are wet.
          
          Her hair, her hands all warm and gentle, touching him.
          
                              LAURA
                    I'm sorry Brendan.
          
          Brendan breaks. In silent sobs first, then shivering with an
          almighty release he cries like a baby in her arms.
          
          THE FAN
          
                                                                        94
          
          
          Spinning above them.
          
          Laura lights a cigarette. They lie beside each other.
          
                              LAURA
                    Don't go tonight.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I've got to make sure it plays out
                    smooth.
          
                              LAURA
                    It'll play however it plays without you
                    there.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I've got to make sure.
          
                                 LAURA
                    Why?
                              BRENDAN
                    Cause if there's war, I'm in it too.
          
                              LAURA
                    Well let's just, I mean why not just run
                    away. Go somewhere. I've got a car.
                        (Brendan gives a wry look)
                    I've got an aunt in New Orleans, she
                    wouldn't care.
                        (Brendan grins)
                    Yeah, it's a stupid thing, but think
                    about it, why not? What, school? C'mon.
                    Family?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Alright, stop.
          
          Her smoke drifts into the fan.
                              LAURA
                    I wasn't serious, but we could go for
                    awhile. Just until everything clears.
          
          Brendan watches the smoke. She stubs the butt out in an ash
          tray on the table and curls against his chest.
          
          Stretching his arm across the table, he nonchalantly spins
          the ash tray around with his finger.
          
          His glasses lay on the table. Through the left lens the
          cigarette is magnified. Pale blue arrow on the filter.
          
                                                                         95
          
          
          Laura's arm stretches across his chest. He looks at it, then
          up at the fan, spinning.
          
          LATER
          
          Brendan slips out of bed. A glowing clock radio reads
          "3:16".
          
          INT. TUGGER'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
          
          A swarm of silent activity. Tug's flunkies prepare various
          weapons. Brendan goes to Tug.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Tell your boys no knuckle business.
          
                              TUGGER
                    They're just ready.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Your folks left a car here?
                                TUGGER
                    Yeah.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Take it and Laura's.
                        (Brendan tosses Tug the keys)
                    I'll go first in yours.
          
                                TUGGER
                    The hell-
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I'll take the scenic route to draw off
                    any tailers. They'll think it's you,
                    they might even radio back that you're
                    alone. Get it?
          
                              TUGGER
                    Mr. Smarts.
          
          He tosses Brendan his keys.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Alright. Got a cigarette?
          
                              TUGGER
                    No. I don't smoke.
                              BRENDAN
                    I've seen you smoke.
          
                                                                         96
          
          
                              TUGGER
                    I don't smoke cigarettes.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Give me fifteen minutes, then go.
          
          EXT. TUGGER'S HOUSE - NIGHT
          
          Brendan slides into the black mustang and gutters off into
          the night.
          
          EXT. STREET - NIGHT
          
          Overlooking a twinkling valley of suburban lights. Brendan
          talks at a payphone beside the curbed mustang.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                        (on phone)
                    Yeah.
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Alright, I warned you. Can you get the
                    car?
          
                                THE BRAIN
                    Yeah.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Go to 2014 Clancy, off Pico west of La
                    Grange. Park outside and wait. Laura's
                    inside. She hasn't got a car, but if she
                    blows on foot or gets a pick, tail her.
                    Alright?
                        (silence)
                    Alright?
          
                                THE BRAIN
                    Okay.
                              BRENDAN
                    I'll call you when it gets light.
                        (silence)
                    Thanks, Brain.
          
          CLICK, Brain hangs up.
          
          EXT. FRONT OF PIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT
          
          Brendan pulls the mustang into the driveway, limps up to the
          front door and knocks. One of the Pin's boys lets him in.
          
                                                                         97
          
          
          INT. KITCHEN - SAME
          
          Crowded with tense looking punks, half dressed like the Pin
          and half like Tugger. The Pin's mom is shuffling about,
          pouring them milk.
          
          INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY - SAME
          
          Several more punks from both camps crowd the hall, and more
          lean in the darkened doorways. Brendan passes through
          quickly.
          
          INT. PIN'S DEN - SAME
          
          The Pin at his desk, flanked by two of his boys. Tug sits in
          the center of the room, two of his punks beside him. Brendan
          saunters between them and leans against the dresser.
          
                                BRENDAN
                    Talk.
                              PIN
                    I want full assurance that any heat from
                    Emily and Dode is gonna be on just you.
                    I don't even want my name pulled in the
                    shindig. Second, you owe me six Cs, no
                    rush, but I want your shake that it'll
                    come home in not too much time.
          
          Tug's eyes burn, his scar reddens.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (to Tug)
                    That's square. You did them after all.
                    Lay low it'll blow over. Stick on this,
                    one of you'll dish it to bury the other
                    and you'll both get the rap. As to the
                    six, did you borrow it?
          
                                TUGGER
                    Yeah.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Then you owe it. Shouldn't need a shake
                    on that.
          
          Tug looks at the Pin.
          
                              TUGGER
                    Alright to both.
          
                                                               98
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Good. Let's seal it up and blow for
                    keeps.
          
                              PIN
                    Third thing. The last brick.
          
          Brendan looks up sharply, taken off guard.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    It's yours.
          
                              PIN
                    That aint the point. I'm gonna start
                    selling it. How do I know it aint bad?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Why would it be?
          
                              PIN
                    Why was the last one? Cause someone got
                    greedy. Tug here's had the means to
                    swipe half and cut it bad for a long
                    time. Now we're splits my loss of
                    trust's retroactive.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Did you, Tug?
          
                                TUGGER
                          (eyes hot on the Pin)
                    No.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Alright, so let's shake and blow.
          
                              PIN
                    Not good enough.
          
          Tug shoots to his feet, kicking away his chair.
                              BRENDAN
                    What would be good enough?
          
                              PIN
                    I wanna see him dose it. Just to prove
                    it. Then we're square.
          
                               TUGGER
                    Hell for that! I didn't touch your junk,
                    that's it.
          
                                                                         99
          
          
                               PIN
                     I wanna see it.
          
                                TUGGER
                     To hell!
          
                               PIN
                     Your not wanting to dose it's telling me
                     something right here.
          
                               TUGGER
                     Yeah, it better be! It's telling that
                     I'm out from your thumb, that I aint
                     playing lapdog to no gothed up cripple
                     no more!
          
          Everyone in the room is on their feet.   Brendan steps
          forward.
          
                               BRENDAN
                     I'll dose it.
          
          All eyes to him, unbelieving.
          
                                PIN
                     What?
          
                               BRENDAN
                     If it'll shut you two apes up I'll   take
                     the dose, and if I don't die we're   all
                     right as rain, and if I do die you   two
                     have your war, so long as you keep   it
                     off my grave. Deal?
          
                                PIN
                     Fine.   Tangles.
          
                               BRENDAN
                     Johnny, go with him.
          They go.
          
          Tug just stares at Brendan, then tosses his hands up
          slightly and turns away.
          
          They all wait.
          
          CRASH! from the next room. Everyone freezes. More breaking,
          then scuffling and shouting.
          
          The two punks look at their bosses, then run out. Tug starts
          to follow, but Brendan holds him back.
          
                                                                        100
          
          
          The noise through the wall grows tremendous, a full brawl.
          The ceiling pounds and shudders with footfalls and bodies
          hitting the ground.
          
          Then, from not too far away, a gunshot.
          
          The Pin stands and goes towards the door, but Brendan shouts
          
                               BRENDAN (cont'd)
                    No!
          
          and slams it shut. A few tense seconds.
          
          Another gunshot. Footfalls, then Tangles falls through the
          door, his chest red. The Pin bends over him.
          
                              TANGLES
                        (gasping)
                    The brick, it's gone. The brick's gone.
          
          Tangles stops gasping.
          The Pin stands, eyes blazing at Tug.
          
                              PIN
                    Make peace, huh? Talk it out? Get your
                    boys in my den soes you could snag it
                    under my nose?
          
          Tug's scar is fiery red. He coils his body, snarling.
          
                               TUGGER
                    Alright!
          
                              BRENDAN
                    No, that's not-
          
                              PIN
                    Was it bad, Tug? Snag it so I don't
                    know, or sell it off to flat the war
                    odds?
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (shouts)
                    Pin, think about it-
          
                              TUGGER
                    Alright, I did all that!
          Tug blows past Brendan like a train and slams the Pin into
          the ground with his fist. He punctuates his words with hard
          straight blows into the Pin's face.
          
                                                                          101
          
          
                              TUGGER (cont'd)
                    I cut the brick, I stole the money, I
                    faked a peace, I snagged your junk, I
                    did it all!
          
          He pulls the gun.
          
          Brendan shouts and throws himself on Tug's arm, wrenching it
          sideways. The gun clunks onto the carpet.
          
          The Pin flips Tug   over and for a moment Brendan is caught
          between them, hit   and torn, rolling over the gun. Tug grabs
          it, Brendan grabs   his wrist and the gun goes off, firing
          into the ceiling.   Plaster sprays.
          
          Brendan screams, thrashing wildly, and manages to slip out
          of his bloodied jacket and out from between the two.
          
          The Pin is on top, pinning Tug's gun hand to the carpet,
          straining to keep it there.
          
          Brendan leaps to his feet, staggers, then winds up and kicks
          Tug in the wrist with all his strength.
          
          A terrible crunching popping sound. Tug roars. Brendan takes
          the gun from his limp hand.
          
                                PIN
                    Do him!
          
          Brendan backs off a few steps. The Pin strains to keep Tug
          down.
          
                              PIN (cont'd)
                    Do him now!
          
          Brendan stumbles back. Tug roars, flips the Pin over and
          beats his face mercilessly.
          
          Brendan stumbles out into the hall.
          INT. BASEMENT HALLWAY - SAME
          
          Empty. From the darkened doorways and the thin ceiling
          relentless sounds of fighting.
          
          Brendan walks backwards as if in a trance, eyes glued to the
          Pin's door. Inside wild shadows splay across the walls, and
          the Pin shouts Brendan's name.
          Light flashes from another darkened doorway and the wall
          beside Brendan splinters. Brendan spins on his heel and
          fires three shots into the darkness, which falls silent.
          
                                                                        102
          
          
          He turns the gun back on the Pin's doorway.
          
          With a spray of sparks the doorway turns dark. They broke
          the lamp.
          
          The dark doorway looms up before Brendan, inky black.
          Horrible sounds come from it, blows, breaking bone, screams.
          The Pin screams Brendan's name over and over, calling for
          help. Pleading. Brendan steps back.
          
          Time slows down. Brendan drops the gun.
          
          It thunks on the carpet.
          
          In one motion Brendan kicks the gun down the hall into the
          Pin's doorway, turns and runs into the room where he found
          the brick.
          
          INT. STORAGE ROOM
          
          Dark. Brendan runs through, clawing past dark fighting
          shapes, running like a man possessed. He breaks through the
          darkness and heaves himself up through the small window.
          
          EXT. FRONT OF PIN'S HOUSE - NIGHT
          
          Brendan scrambles out, slips on the grass and hits the
          ground hard.
          
          Two sharp gunshots come from the house.
          
          Everything is suddenly still. Brendan stands slowly.
          
          He notices a light from the Mustang - the trunk has drifted
          open.
          
          Inside, a pale blue arm lies tangled in black plastic. Blue
          fingernails. Cheap plastic bracelets.
          
          Brendan shuts the trunk solidly, then walks off down the
          street and vanishes into the inky night.
          
          A moment later police cars pull up, sirens blaring, lights
          turning the dark streets bright as day.
          
                                                                 FADE OUT
          
                                                                 FADE IN:
          
          EXT. SCHOOL PAYPHONE - EARLY MORNING
          
          The morning is cold and clammy. Brendan slumps against the
          payphone.
          
                                                                        103
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Hey. Where are you?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                        (on phone)
                    Library. Where are you?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Did she blow last night?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    No. Stayed there till six thirty, then
                    walked to school.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You didn't give her a ride, did you?
          
                               THE BRAIN
                    No.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    But she came straight to school from
                    Tug's?
          
                               THE BRAIN
                    Yeah.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    She there now?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Yeah. Not with me, but here.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Alright. Tell her I wanna meet up on the
                    basketball field in half an hour, then
                    go home and get some sleep.
          
                               THE BRAIN
                    Alright.
          Brendan hangs up, then pauses, lost in thought.
          
          EXT. SIDE OF GYM - LATER
          
          Brendan sits against the massive gym building, writing on a
          piece of looseleaf paper.
          
          EXT. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - LATER
          Brendan slips the paper under a door stenciled "VP Offices".
          
                                                                     104
          
          
          EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD - LATER
          
          Cold, barren. Wind whistles softly and jangles the metal
          mesh basketball nets like windchimes.
          
          Brendan stands crookedly, hands in pockets, eyes trained on
          the cold black horizon. A speck appears. Brendan waits for
          it, bracing himself against the wind.
          
          Laura. She puts her arms around him, a warm embrace. Brendan
          draws back.
          
                               LAURA
                         (softly)
                    Did you see it all? With Tug and the
                    Pin?
          
          Brendan looks at her a moment.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    No. I took your advice and didn't go.
          
                                 LAURA
                           (confused)
                    No?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    What happened?
          
          Laura looks at him strangely, a little uneasy.
          
                              LAURA
                    The papers say six dead, three around
                    the house, one girl in the trunk of
                    Tug's car, and the Pin and Tug.
          
          Brendan's face is frozen in an ambiguous frown.
          
                                BRENDAN
                    Yeah?
                              LAURA
                    Tug tried to shoot his way out when the
                    police got there. They tied him to Dode,
                    too. Same gun. And the girl.
          
                                BRENDAN
                    Huh.
                              LAURA
                    Well good thing you weren't there.
          
                                                               105
          
          
                                BRENDAN
                    Yeah.
          
          Laura's face softens a bit.
          
                              LAURA
                    You think the girl was Emily?
          
                                BRENDAN
                    Probably.
          
          Laura embraces him again, and doesn't let go.
          
                              LAURA
                    You loved her.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (distant)
                    Yeah I did.
          
                              LAURA
                    You did all this cause you loved her.
                    And now it's finished.
                        (tightens her embrace)
                    I love you.
          
                                BRENDAN
                    No.
          
          Laura pulls back, looks at his face. It is a mask.
          
                                LAURA
                    What?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    No, it's not finished. Tug pulled the
                    trigger on Em and he got the fall, but
                    the bulls coulda found that out without
                    me.
          Laura pulls back more.
          
                              BRENDAN (cont'd)
                    I set out to know who put her in the
                    spot, who put her in front of the gun.
                    That was you, angel.
          
                              LAURA
                        (drifting back further)
                    What are you talking about?
          
                                                               106
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    It was you. What, you want the whole
                    tale? You want me to tell it to you?
          
                              LAURA
                        (bewildered)
                    Tell it to me.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Alright, from the top. You had your
                    fingers in Brad Bramish for appearances
                    and to keep him buying from the Pin, who
                    you were hooked with. Emily came to you
                    and Brad, you saw her for what she was,
                    an insecure little girl trying to get
                    in. She goes on the backburner.
                    Meanwhile maybe you're getting bored,
                    maybe just greedy, so when the Pin
                    scores big with the bricks you take your
                    shot. You hook one, take half, and cut
                    it back to size, but you cut it bad.
                    Maybe accidentally, maybe to down the
                    Pin's operation, doesn't matter. You put
                    it back, but poor Frisco doses off it
                    and lands in a coma.
                        (voice strengthening)
                    So now the Pin's fuming, maybe he's
                    jealous of Brad, so he comes to Brad's
                    crowd looking for blood, or at least a
                    scape. You know trouble. There's going
                    to be a war over this. And there's
                    Emily. She trusts you. She wants in.
                    It's duck soup.
          
                                LAURA
                          (murmurs)
                    No.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You frame her for the bad brick, then
                    you cut her loose. You turn on your heel
                    and bite her in the throat. Last week on
                    the payphone, Pico and Alexander, she
                    saw something she was scared of. Tug's
                    car driving by, the Pin driving, but she
                    wouldn't have seen the Pin. No, she was
                    across the street, angel. She saw the
                    passenger side. She saw you. She saw you
                    and ran like she saw some devil.
          
          Laura's face is very still, quivering.
          
                                                                        107
          
          
                              LAURA
                    Brendan, why are you-
          
                              BRENDAN
                    And she took the hit. Dode hid her away,
                    but the Pin was on to her, tracked her
                    down, told her to meet him, that they
                    would make good. Gave her a time, and a
                    place. And sent Tug. Just to get the
                    straight. But maybe you had talked Tug
                    up, or maybe he just blew a fuse, but Em
                    sprung it on him that she had her kid,
                    and he did what anyone could count on
                    Tug doing - he hit her. She took the hit
                    for you. You let her take it.
          
                                LAURA
                    Stop it!
          
                              BRENDAN
                    That's the tale.
          
                                LAURA
                    Stop it!
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You're going to tell me it's not?
          
          
          
                                LAURA
                    It's not!
          
                              BRENDAN
                    Look at me.
          
          She crumples against him, looking him straight in the eye.
          
                              LAURA
                    You know me. I've only helped you. How
                    can you - It isn't true!
          
          She sobs through a tensed, straight face. Brendan holds her
          stare, but his eyes are distant.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    I hope it isn't. I want you to have been
                    on my side all along, not just trying to
                    get me under your thumb like Brad and
                    the Pin and Tug.
          
                                LAURA
                    No-
          
                                                                       108
          
          
                              BRENDAN
                    But I think you knew that meeting was
                    going to blow up. I think that was your
                    final play. But I hope I'm wrong. I hope
                    everything I wrote in the note I dropped
                    at Gary Trueman's office this morning is
                    wrong. About your and Brad's involvement
                    in the Pin's runnings. I hope you didn't
                    steal the brick last night. In your
                    purse.
          
                              LAURA
                        (breathes)
                    I didn't.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    That's good. That means you didn't let
                    me walk into a slaughterhouse. You
                    didn't lead Tug and the Pin and their
                    crews to the slaughter. And when Trueman
                    reads the note, takes my cue and
                    searches your locker, he won't find a
                    damn thing.
          
          Something changes in Laura's eyes.
          
          EXT. LOCKER CAGE - INSERT
          
          Trueman and several other men force Laura's locker open.
          From its dark interior the chalky white brick falls out,
          spins through the air, and shatters silently on the locker
          cage floor.
          
          EXT. BASKETBALL FIELD - SAME
          
          A moment of silence between them. The basketball nets
          jangle.
          
          Laura steps back. She looks as if she has been punched in
          the face.
          
                              LAURA
                        (murmurs)
                    Brendan... don't...
          
                               BRENDAN
                        (gently)
                    It's done.
          
          Her face does strange things, subtle contortions.
          She watches his eyes. He doesn't look at her. Her voice
          shakes.
          
                                                                        109
          
          
                              LAURA
                    Done. Well. That's most of it. 9 out of
                    10. I told Em to tell Tug it was his.
                    Told her it would soften him up. She
                    said she wished she could keep it, but
                    she didn't love the father. I was going
                    to drive her down the next day, we'd
                    found a doctor. Most wouldn't. She was
                    starting to show. 3 months. You know
                    whose kid that makes it, or have you
                    known all along?
          
          Slowly, steadily, she straightens up. Her figure takes back
          some dignity. She steps towards him deliberately. Closer.
          Right up against him.
          
          She brings her head to his, puts her lips to his ear,
          breathes warm breath, and says two words. The first is
          
                                 LAURA (cont'd)
                    Mother-
          
          the second is low, guttural and lost to the whistling wind.
          
          She turns and walks briskly away.
          
          Brendan watches her go across the dark, barren field of
          asphalt.
          
          Metal jangles. Brendan turns to see the Brain hopping a
          chain link fence. Brendan turns his eyes back on Laura.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    You get your straight?
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Yeah. I wouldn't have-
          
                                 BRENDAN
                    S'alright.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Yeah, well. Chuck Burns came to. The
                    knife guy. Spilled it all to the bulls,
                    guess Brad Bramish hired him. On his
                    own, just a grudge thing.
          
                              BRENDAN
                        (nods slightly)
                    Fits. You did good, Brain. Go sleep.
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Yeah, you too.
          
                                                                       110
          
          
          The Brain starts to walk away, but turns back.
          
                              THE BRAIN (cont'd)
                    What'd she whisper to you?
          
                              BRENDAN
                    She called me a dirty word.
          
          
                              THE BRAIN
                    Alright, you don't have to tell me.
                    Thick.
          
                              BRENDAN
                    As what-all.
          
          
           Brendan stands alone on the asphalt field, watching
           Laura until she reaches the end of the field and walks
           off behind a twisted chain linked fence.
          
          
           The first period bell rings, and Brendan walks back
           towards campus.
          
                                                           FADE OUT.
          
 

Brick



Writers :   Rian Johnson
Genres :   Drama  Mystery


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