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                                    BURIED




                                  Written by

                                Chris Sparling


                         

                         FADE IN:

          INT. UNKNOWN ROOM - NIGHT

          Darkness. Silence. After a long beat, we hear movement,
          confined and contained.
          We then hear the sound of a man, PAUL CONROY, groaning,
          making confused attempts at words. We hear his movement;
          short, abrupt shifting, ending almost immediately with the
          sound of his body banging against wood.
          He screams, though it's clear from the sound that his mouth
          is covered by something.
          After attempting to sit up, he immediately bangs his head
          against something. It's terribly warm and his breaths are
          labored.
          He attempts to move to his left and right, only to find that
          he is confined on those sides, as well. He frantically
          shifts about, only to discover, by touch, that he is encased
          in something.
          Something is very wrong, and he doesn't need to see to know
          that.
          Finally, we see him, lit by the flame of the Zippo he holds
          in his hands, which are bound together in front of him with
          rope. A rolled-up, dirty rag is tied tightly around his
          head, stretched across his mouth. Dried blood stains his
          hair and forehead.

                         
          We see that he is lying in an old fashioned, wooden coffin.
          Nothing more than a few rotted-out planks of wood nailed
          together. Realizing the same, Paul is struck by an
          overwhelming, instant panic.
          With great difficulty, and while still holding the lit Zippo,
          Paul removes the muzzle from his mouth.

                          PAUL
           What...? What is this?
          His words become almost unintelligible as he flails about,
          though fear is understood in his every utterance.
          He screams aloud, but his voice is captured by the coffin
          walls.

           2.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           Oh my God! Help me!! Help me!!
          He kicks and slams his hands against the top and sides of the
          coffin, all to no avail. His violent movements cause small
          grains of sand to trickle in through the space between the
          sides and top of the coffin, as well as a small gap that
          exists between one of the coffin's broken wooden planks.
          Sweat cascades down the side of his neck, dripping from his
          dampened brow. The heat inside the extremely close confines
          of the coffin is stifling.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Somebody help me! Please!!
          Paul continues with his futile efforts to pry off the top of
          the coffin. The sides, the top, the bottom -- all are too
          thoroughly reinforced by the force of what surrounds the
          coffin. Sand. It becomes clear to him that he is buried.
          He tries his best to calm himself, though he has trouble
          catching his breath. It takes him some time, but he
          eventually achieves some semblance of calm.
          Getting a good look at him for the first time, we see that
          Paul is somewhere around 37 years old. Unshaven and
          physically unremarkable, he embodies the blue-collar American
          everyman.
          He coughs. The minimal amount of oxygen in the coffin makes
          it hard for him to breathe.
          His eyes widen a bit upon seeing an exposed, rusty nail. He
          tries desperately to use the nail to cut through the old,
          frayed ropes that bind his hands. Doing so is no easy task.
          The incredibly tight quarters makes his every action nearly
          impossible.
          After a lengthy struggle, the rope snaps. Paul quickly frees
          his hands. A small victory. Very small.
          The heat is unbearable. Paul takes off his button-down
          shirt, leaving him in a T-shirt. His body battles against
          the walls and the ceiling of the coffin with every move he
          makes.
          He tosses his button-down shirt down by his feet. His
          undershirt is drenched through with sweat.
          Still trying to calm himself, but having little success in
          doing so, Paul looks around the coffin. His feet, though
          only his body-length away, seem miles from him.

           3.

                         

                         
          He looks at the top of the coffin, and then back at his feet.
          With great difficulty, he shifts his body so that his feet
          are pressed against the top of the coffin. He attempts to
          use his leg strength to push the top off of him, but it
          doesn't move even a millimeter.
          After several failed attempts, and with his legs exhausted,
          Paul drops his feet from the top of the coffin. He lay for a
          moment in silence, followed by an outburst of crying.
          Close to his head, on the corner of the floor, we see there's
          another broken plank. A small hole.
          He closes his cigarette lighter, extinguishing the flame. In
          total darkness, he continues to cry.

                         

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           What is this?
          With his sobbing slowly subsiding, the coffin soon grows
          eerily silent.
          The sound of Paul's labored breaths are all we hear, softened
          under the blanket of absolute darkness.
          After a beat, the silence is interrupted by a subtle buzzing
          sound. The muted sight of strange, blueish light flickers in
          the coffin, by Paul's feet. He is extremely startled.
          The buzzing continues, as does the minimal splashing of
          light. It's coming from underneath his discarded button-down
          shirt, down near his feet.
          He lights the Zippo to get a better look.

                         
          Pulling the shirt away, he realizes that what he is hearing
          and seeing is the vibrating ring and display features of an
          older model cell phone.
          He frantically reaches for it, though the coffin is far too
          small for him to reposition himself so easily.
          To his dismay, the phone stops ringing. But, his efforts to
          reach it continue. He uses his feet to search for the phone.
          After some trouble finding it, he eventually locates it.
          Clamping the phone together between his clasped feet, Paul
          then painfully angles his body so that he can reach his feet
          with his hands and grab it.
          He is soon able to reach it. Immediately thereafter, he
          flips open the phone and puts the receiver in front of him.

           4.

                         

                         
          We see that there is a Text Message waiting for Paul on the
          phone. However, Paul barely notices.
          The time on the phone reads 6:12pm. While the numbers and
          display screen icons are familiar to Americans, all the words
          are in Arabic.
          What he does notices is that the phone barely has one bar of
          signal strength. Worse yet, there is only half of the
          battery life remaining.
          He tries to remember the Safe Number he was given. With the
          phone open and ready to be dialed, Paul struggles to recall
          the information.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Come on, come on. What was it?

                         
          Getting only two digits into dialing the number, he cannot
          remember much more and closes the phone.
          He wedges the lit Zippo into sand, which is compacted against
          a small hole in the wall of the coffin.
          Paul reaches into his pants pocket, frantically searching for
          something. He hastily removes a prescription pill bottle and
          a small, metal flask. Both are not what he was looking for.
          He then reaches to his back pocket and removes his wallet.
          It's empty. His license, his credit cards, his cash and,
          most importantly at that very moment, a piece of paper with
          the Safe Number written on it, are all missing.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           No. Where the hell is it? Son of
           a...Come on!

                         
          He screams aloud again, hoping greatly that someone can hear
          him. His frenzied maneuvering puts out the flame of the
          Zippo.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Help me! Please! Somebody help
           me!
          His words barely make it pass the coffin walls.
          With the cell phone still in hand, and laboring to reclaim
          the breath he just expended, Paul turns to desperation. He
          dials the international code of 001, and then dials 911.
          A FEMALE 911 OPERATOR answers almost immediately.

           5.

                         

                         

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
           911, please hold.
          The Female 911 Operator places Paul on hold.

                          PAUL
           No! Wait!
          Paul accidentally bangs the cap of the Zippo against the
          coffin wall, putting out the flame.
          She quickly returns.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
           911. What is your emergency?

                          PAUL
           Hello?

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
           911. What's the problem, sir?
          Paul is so incredibly panicked that he has trouble remaining
          coherent. After a few sparks, the Zippo is re-lit.

                          PAUL
           I'm buried. You have to help me.
           You have to help me, I can't
           breathe...

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR

                          SIR --

                          PAUL
           I'm buried in a coffin. Please
           help me! Send someone to find
           me...

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
           Sir...slow down. What is your
           name?

                          PAUL
           Paul. Paul Conroy.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
           Okay, Mister Conroy. Can you tell
           me your location?

                          PAUL
           I don't know. I'm in a coffin. I
           don't know where. I'm scared.
           Please help me.

           6.

                         

                         

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          You're in a coffin?

                          PAUL
          Yeah, it's, like, one of those old,
          wooden ones.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          Are you at a funeral home?

                          PAUL
          No. I don't know. No.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          How are calling me right now?

                          PAUL
          What?

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          If you're buried in a coffin, where
          are you calling from?

                          PAUL
          A cell phone. There was an old
          cell phone in the coffin.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          You're calling from your cell
          phone?

                          PAUL
          Yes. No. It's not mine, but yes,
          I'm calling from a cell phone.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          There was a cell phone in the
          coffin when you climbed in?

                          PAUL
          I didn't climb in.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          How did you end up in the coffin,
          sir?

                          PAUL
          I was put here.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          In the coffin?

                          PAUL
          Yes. Please send help.

           7.

                         

                         

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          And you're saying the coffin is
          buried?

                          PAUL
          I think so. It's...it's hot in
          here. I can't breathe.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          Do you know your location, sir?

                          PAUL
          I told you, I don't know.
          Somewhere in Iraq.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          Iraq?

                         

                          PAUL
          Yes. I'm a truck driver, an
          American. I work for CRT.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          Are you a soldier, sir?

                          PAUL
          No. Please, please listen to me.
          I'm a truck driver. I work for
          CRT. I'm a civilian contractor
          working in Iraq. We were attacked
          in Baqubah, they...they...

                          (STARTS CRYING)
          ...shot them. All of them.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          They shot who, sir?

                         

                          PAUL
          All of the other drivers.

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          And you're saying this happened in
          Iraq? The country?

                          PAUL
          Yes. Please, you have to help me.
          They gave me a safety number to
          call, but I had it stored in my
          wallet and --

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
          Mister Conroy, this is 911
          emergency in Youngstown, Ohio.

           8.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           Ohio?

                          FEMALE 911 OPERATOR
           Yes, sir. I'm not sure exactly how
           you called here if you're in
           another country, but if you'd like,
           I can patch you through to the
           Sheriff's Department.

                          PAUL
           Sheriff's Department? No...you
           don't underst...

                          (GIVING UP)
           ...forget it.
          Realizing that his conversation is both lengthy and useless,
          Paul ends the call. He checks the battery life on the phone.
          It still holds steady at two bars.
          He immediately dials another number, one that he can recall
          with ease.
          He again enters the 001 international code before making the
          call.
          Paul then dials his home phone. It rings several times, so
          far unanswered.

                          PAUL
           Come on, come on. Pick up.
           Please.
          After sitting through the agony of a few more rings, Paul is
          met with the answering machine.

                         
          The voice of his young son, SHANE, is heard on the answering
          machine greeting.

                          SHANE
           Thanks for calling the Conroy's.
           We're not home right now. Please
           leave a message at the beep.
           Thanks.
          At the sound of the Beep, Paul leaves a frenzied, rambling
          message.

                          PAUL
           Linda, honey, it's me. Listen, I
           need you to contact the National
           Guard right away. Or the Pentagon.
           Tell them we were attacked in the
           Diyala Provence, in Baqubah.

                          (MORE)

           9.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           They have to find me. Please help
           me, baby. Please help them find me.
          Paul hangs up. He dials his wife's cell phone right away.
          After several rings, her cell phone voice mail picks up. We
          hear the sound of Linda, Paul's wife, on her outgoing
          message.

                          LINDA
           Hi, this is Linda. Please leave a
           message. Thanks and have a great
           day.
          The Beep sounds and Paul immediately tears into his voice
          message.

                         

                          PAUL
           Linda, it's Paul. I need you to
           call me right away. This is an
           absolute emergency. Call the
           number that comes up on your phone.
           Call me at that number. If I don't
           answer, call the Pentagon or the
           F.B.I. I don't know what the hell
           is going on, but I'm buried in a
           box...
          Hearing himself say those last words gives him pause. The
          gravity of the situation fully takes hold.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           ...I can't breathe in here. Make
           sure you call me right away.
           Please, baby, please call me.

                         
          Paul ends the call. He nervously looks at the amount of
          battery life remaining on the phone. Still holding strong at
          two bars.
          He notices the flickering light of the Zippo. It, too,
          appears to be using up small amounts of oxygen. He closes
          the lid, extinguishing the flame.
          Total darkness. Silence, save for Paul's increasingly heavy
          breaths.
          He begins to hyperventilate. He knows that preserving oxygen
          is paramount, so he does his best to calm himself. The
          healthy swig he takes from his flask helps.

           10.

                         

                         
          He flips open the cell phone. The light of the display
          screen partially illuminates his face and some of the coffin
          with a blueish hue. Paul again enters the overseas dialing
          code, this time dialing 411 information.
          The 411 OPERATOR answers.

                          411 OPERATOR
           What city and state, please?

                          PAUL
           Um...I don't know. The F.B.I.,
           wherever they are.
          Paul reaches for his button-down shirt. Fishes for pens
          stashed in his lapel pocket, while keeping the phone pressed
          to his ear with his shoulder.

                         

                          411 OPERATOR
           Do you have a specific city you'd
           like to be connected to, sir?

                          PAUL
           I don't care, any city. Just
           connect me to the F.B.I.

                          411 OPERATOR
           Sir, I have F.B.I. field offices
           listed in Boston, New York,
           Philadelphia, New Haven, Los
           Angeles, Chicago, Denver --
          Paul cannot bear to listen any further to this list that
          seemingly never ends.

                          PAUL
           Anywhere! Any city, just connect
           me, please!

                          411 OPERATOR
           I'm sorry, sir, but I'm not allowed
           to do that.

                          PAUL
           Fine, um...Chicago. Okay?

                          411 OPERATOR
           Please hold for your number.
          Paul is transferred to an AUTOMATED MESSAGE.

                          AUTOMATED MESSAGE
           The number you requested, 312-421-

           6700...

           11.

                         

                         
          Paul writes the digits of the phone number on the top of the
          coffin with his pen. But, after the first three numbers, the
          pen stops working. He hurriedly reaches back into his shirt
          pocket to remove the other pen, which is actually a click-up
          pencil. Click-click-click-click. He writes the last seven
          digits, followed by the word "FBI."

           AUTOMATED MESSAGE (CONT'D)
           ...can be connected for an
           additional charge of twenty-five
           cents by pressing the number one.
          He presses the number one and is connected directly.
          After a few rings, SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS answers.

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           Chicago field office. Special
           Agent Harris.

                          PAUL
           Hello? Is this the F.B.I.?

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           Yes it is, sir.

                          PAUL
           I'm calling from Iraq. I'm buried
           in the desert somewhere. I need
           you to help me --

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           Whoa, whoa, sir. Slow down. When
           were you in Iraq?

                          PAUL
           Now. I'm there now. I'm a truck
           driver for CRT. I've been here for
           nine months.

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           May I have your name please, sir?

                          PAUL
           Paul Conroy.

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           (saying it as he writes it

                          DOWN)
           Paul Conroy.
           (back on the phone)
           Okay, Paul, explain to me what's
           going on.

           12.

                         

                         
          Paul attempts to center himself so that he can accurately
          tell his story.

                          PAUL
           Alright. Me and a convoy of other
           drivers were delivering kitchen
           parts to a community center. As we
           got closer, a bunch of kids started
           throwing rocks at our trucks. Then
           an IED went off up ahead and blew
           up one of the other trucks. These
           guys came out from behind the
           houses with guns and started
           shooting everybody right there on
           the street.

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           Were you shot at?

                          PAUL
           I don't know!
           (after a breath, calmer)
           I don't know. I was way in the
           back of the convoy. I must have got
           hit in the head with one of the
           rocks and got knocked out. That's
           the last thing I remember. But now
           I just woke up, and I was tied up
           and buried in a coffin.

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           Who put you there?

                          PAUL
           I guess whoever ambushed us.

                         
          Special Agent Harris sounds slightly skeptical of Paul's
          claims.

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           A bunch of kids?

                          PAUL
           No, you're not listening. The kids
           threw the rocks at us, but then
           some Iraqi guys -- maybe
           insurgents, I don't fucking know --
           popped out of nowhere and started
           shooting at us.

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           I thought you said they didn't
           shoot at you.

           13.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           They didn't, I don't know! But
           they shot them!

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           Sir, you're going to have to stop
           shouting if --

                          PAUL
           I'm shouting because you're not
           listening! I need you to help me!
           Please!!

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           Hmmm...
          Paul takes a moment to center himself.

                         

                          PAUL
           Can you trace my call? GPS or
           something?

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           Why is it that they didn't shoot
           you?

                          PAUL
           I have no idea. They didn't,
           that's all I know.

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           What's your social security number,
           Paul?

                          PAUL
           Why? Who cares? I'm buried in the
           middle of the fucking desert! Who
           cares what my social security
           number is?! I'm an American
           citizen. Just send someone to find
           me!

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           Do you know where you're
           ...lo...if...dy..
          The cell phone starts breaking up.

                          PAUL
           Hello? What? I can't hear you.

           SPECIAL AGENT HARRIS
           Bet...un...near...

           14.

                         

                         
          Suddenly, Special Agent Harris is not heard at all.

                          PAUL
           Hello?! Hello?!
          Paul checks the phone's display, where he sees that the call
          has been lost.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Shit!!
          Cell phone service temporarily goes down. Paul lights the
          Zippo to help him see the cell phone screen. He tries to
          make a call, but nothing happens.
          He shakes the phone, moves it around the coffin, all in
          desperate hope that he will get a signal. He soon does.

                         
          He looks at the number for the F.B.I. that he has written on
          the wall, thinking about calling them back. He then checks
          the battery life on his phone, which remains at two bars.
          Paul then decides to make a different call, this time to a
          phone number he has committed to memory: his employer back in
          the U.S., Crestin, Roland and Thomas (CRT).
          He closes the lid of the Zippo, extinguishing the flame.
          After a few rings, a CRT OPERATOR answers.

                          CRT OPERATOR
           Thank you for calling Crestin,
           Roland and Thomas. How may I
           direct your call?

                          PAUL
           Somebody, I need to talk to someone
           right away. It's an emergency.

                          CRT OPERATOR
           Who is this, please?

                          PAUL
           Paul Conroy. I'm a driver for you
           guys. I'm calling from Iraq. My
           convoy was attacked.

                          CRT OPERATOR
           Sir, if this is a crisis situation
           you need to contact the Safety
           Number your were provided.

           15.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           I know, I know, but I don't have
           it. They took it.

                          CRT OPERATOR
           Who took it, sir?

                          PAUL
           The Iraqis, I think. I don't
           remember, I blacked out.

                          CRT OPERATOR
           I'm going to put you through to
           Alan Davenport.

                          PAUL
           Davenport? Who's that?

                         

                          CRT OPERATOR
           Director of Personnel. Please
           hold.

                          PAUL
           Personnel? No, I need to talk --
          Paul is placed on hold. Synthesized soft rock plays in the
          background of the phone, maddening Paul further. Over the
          music, a CRT SPOKESMAN is heard, speaking a recorded
          testimonial during the on-hold message.

                          CRT SPOKESMAN
           At CRT, we work with our clients to
           provide effective and sustainable
           solutions to the challenges they
           face in our fast-growing, global
           economy. As the premiere...

                         
          The message is interrupted by ALAN DAVENPORT's outgoing voice
          message.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           You've reached Alan Davenport,
           personnel director at Crestin,
           Roland and Thomas. Please leave
           your name and number at the tone
           and I will return your call as soon
           as possible.
          The BEEP sounds. Paul is confused as to why he was patched
          through to someone in human resources, but leaves a message
          nevertheless.

           16.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           This is Paul Conroy, I'm from
           Hastings, Michigan. I'm a driver
           for CRT, and my convoy was
           ambushed...by insurgents or
           terrorists. I don't know. I don't
           know who it was. I'm stuck in the
           ground, buried in a coffin and I
           need help. Please send help. I'm
           begging you. I think I'm in
           Baqubah in the Diyala Provence.
           Please send help right away. I
           can't breathe in here. I
           can't...please. I'm begging you.
           I don't know who else to call.

           I...

                         
          Paul notices that his phone has again lost signal.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)

                          (EXASPERATED)
           ...fuck.
          Paul drops the phone to his side, the screen still emitting
          its glow.
          He explodes with a mixture of rage and fear. He screams and
          flails his feet and hands wildly, banging them against the
          walls of the coffin. His animalistic outburst causes the
          phone to close.
          The coffin returns to pitch black.
          After a long beat, Paul lights the Zippo, which remains
          wedged in the sand compacted against the small hole in the
          wall of the coffin.

                         
          Paul takes a few moments to catch his breath. He looks again
          at the cell phone. Remembers receiving a Text Message.
          The icon on the phone's display indicates that he does, in
          fact, have an unread Text Message waiting for him.
          Paul quickly scrolls through the phone's menu, which is all
          written in Arabic, until he reaches what appears to be the
          Text Message option. Opening it, he sees a series of ten
          numbers.
          Using his click-up pencil, he scribbles the numbers onto the
          top of the coffin. Next to the number, he writes the word
          "HELP?" Noticing that his phone has again picked-up a
          signal, he dials the number.

           17.

                         

                         
          It rings once, but then the reception begins to falter.
          After only two rings, the call is ended. Paul's frustration
          mounts. He is barely able to fight off another fit of
          hysterics. He dials the number again.
          It rings once. A second ring. In the middle of the third
          ring, someone answers -- but they do not say anything.

                          PAUL
           Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?
           Hello?
          After a beat, Paul hears breathing on the other end of the
          phone. He also hears a discordance of background sound; the
          din of a room filled with Arabic-speaking men.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Hello? Who are you? Please, you
           have to help me.
          Still, Paul's words are only met with slow, measured breaths.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Who is this? Hello?
          The person on the other end eventually speaks. An Iraqi man,
          JABIR, talks forcefully and aggressively in broken English.

                          JABIR
           Breathe no breathe, American? Ah?
           Breathe no breathe?

                          PAUL
           What? I don't know what you're
           saying. Who is this?

                         

                          JABIR
           American can breathe no breathe?

                          PAUL
           No, I can't breathe. Please get me
           out of here.

                          JABIR
           Get out?

                          PAUL
           Yes, please get me out. Help me.

                          JABIR
           Soldier.

           18.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           No, no I'm not a soldier. I'm a
           truck driver. That's it. I'm not
           a soldier. I'm a contractor.

                          JABIR
           Contractor?

                          PAUL
           Yes, that's right. A contractor.
           Not a soldier.

                          JABIR
           Blackwater.

                          PAUL
           No, not for Blackwater. I'm not a
           security contractor. Truck driver,
           I'm a truck driver. That's all.

                          JABIR
           You are American.

                          PAUL
           Yes.

                          JABIR
           Then you are soldier.
          Despair falls upon Paul. It becomes clear that Jabir is
          responsible for all of this. As such, Paul crosses out the
          word "HELP?" Closes the lid of the Zippo, leaving only the
          cell phone display screen to illuminate his face.

                          PAUL
           No, I'm not. I'm here unarmed.
           But, you still shot at us.

                          JABIR
           In head and in throat, so you tell
           no more lies.

                          PAUL
           I'm not lying! We were all
           drivers.

                          JABIR
           Drive what?

                          PAUL
           Trucks. The big trucks you see
           driving around with the supplies?
           That's us. That's me. We're not
           soldiers.

           19.

                         

                         

                          JABIR
           Five million money.

                          PAUL
           What?

                          JABIR
           Five million money tonight by nine
           PM or you stay. Buried like dog.

                          PAUL
           Five million dollars? From who?

                          JABIR
           Your family.

                          PAUL
           My family doesn't have five million
           dollars. If they did, I wouldn't
           be here.

                          JABIR
           From Embassy.

                          PAUL
           I don't know, yes, the Embassy will
           pay you. If you let me go, they'll
           pay you the money.
          Silence on the other end of the phone.

                          JABIR
           (after a long beat)
           Nine PM, five million money.
          Jabir hangs up the phone, forcing Paul to instantly come to
          grips with the fact that he is being held hostage.
          He lays back in the coffin, shell-shocked. Physically spent,
          the cell phone falls from his hands and onto the floor. The
          display screen casts a dim light throughout the coffin.

                          FADE TO:

          INT. COFFIN - MOMENTS LATER

          The Zippo lights. Paul holds it in his hand, using it to
          illuminate the inside of the coffin. He attempts to push it
          into its now customary resting place, but the sand has
          loosened, making it difficult for the Zippo to stay in place.
          It almost falls to the floor.

           20.

                         

                         
          Looking around, Paul sees there is a crack between two
          planks, located on the opposite wall of the coffin. He
          wedges the lit Zippo into the crack.
          With his hands now free, Paul haphazardly positions himself
          so that his back is facing the top of the coffin.
          His every move is arduous; the claustrophobic nature of the
          coffin bearing down on him.
          Paul positions his bent knees underneath his chest, with his
          shins and feet pressed against the bottom of the coffin.
          Using the strength of his legs, he attempts to lift the top
          off the coffin with his back.
          Trickles of sand fall in from the side of the coffin,
          sprinkling against the wooden base.

                         
          He fails, only to immediately try again. And again. And
          again. Exhaustion sets in.
          Staring ahead, the phone sits in front of him. He notices
          that the battery life bars are still at one solid and one
          blinking.
          He grabs the cell phone, staring at it, trying to think of
          someone else to call.
          The battery life is limited. Every call has to count.
          He tries to remember some phone numbers, but has trouble
          recalling the information.

                          PAUL

                          (TO HIMSELF)
           Come on, what's her number?

                         
          He cannot remember the number he's thinking of. He notices
          that the flame of the Zippo flickers, indicating its use of
          his much-needed oxygen. Paul closes the lid, extinguishing
          the flame.
          A second later, we see him, lit by the cell phone display
          screen. He dials the international code for the United
          States, followed by 411 information.
          A MALE 411 OPERATOR answers.

                          MALE 411 OPERATOR
           What city and listing, please?

                          PAUL
           Hastings, Michigan. I'm looking
           for Donna Mitchell.

           21.

                         

                         

                          MALE 411 OPERATOR
           I have two Donna Mitchells, sir.
           One on Federal Road and one on
           Ardmore Avenue.

                          PAUL
           Ardmore Avenue...I think. Yeah.
           Shit, I don't know. Just give me
           that one.

                          MALE 411 OPERATOR
           Ardmore Avenue?

                          PAUL
           Yes, Ardmore Avenue.

                          MALE 411 OPERATOR
           Please hold for your number.
          Paul is switched to an AUTOMATED MESSAGE.

                          AUTOMATED MESSAGE
           The number you requested, 269-948-
           1998 can automatically be dialed
           for a charge of twenty-five cents
           by pressing the number one.
          Paul writes Donna's number and name on the top of the coffin
          and then presses the number one. He is connected.
          Her phone rings and rings. Paul's frustration is evident.

                          PAUL
           Come on! Where the hell is
           everyone?

                         
          The phone rings some more. Paul checks the battery life --
          still at one and a half bars.
          DONNA eventually answers.

                          DONNA
           Hello?
          Hearing her voice, Paul hurriedly places the phone to his
          ear.

                          PAUL
           Donna, it's Paul.

                          DONNA
           Hey, how's it going?

           22.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           Where's Linda? She's not answering
           her phone. I need to talk to her,
           I've been taken hostage by...
          Donna interrupts. We realize, as does Paul, that her voice
          was actually coming from her answering machine.

                          DONNA

                          (OVERLAPPING)
           Fooled you. I'm not really home.
           But if you leave a message, I'll
           get back to you as soon as I get
           in. Bye-bye.
          His hand falls to his forehead, defeated.

                         

                          PAUL
           Donna, I need to talk to Linda.
           It's an absolute emergency. Have
           her call me. Use star sixty-nine
           and find out the number I'm calling
           from and have her call me...
          Donna picks up the phone.

                          DONNA
           Paul?

                          PAUL
           Donna.

                          DONNA
           What do you want?

                          PAUL
           I need to talk to Linda. Where is
           she?

                          DONNA
           I don't know. I haven't talked to
           her all day. Call her cell phone.

                          PAUL
           Are you near a computer or
           something?

                          DONNA
           Uh...yeah. Why?

                          PAUL
           Turn it on.

           23.

                         

                         

                          DONNA
           It is on.

                          PAUL
           Look up the number for the State
           Department for me.

                          DONNA
           I was just heading out to the
           supermarket. I really don't have

                          TIME --

                          PAUL
           Donna, please, please, please --
           just get me the number.

                          DONNA
           Is everything alright?

                          PAUL
           No! Everything is not alright!
           So, please, just look up the
           number.

                          DONNA
           Don't fucking yell at me, Paul.

                          PAUL
           I'm not yelling!

                          DONNA
           Yes you are. Just like you did
           last year at the cookout. I'm not
           going to tolerate --

                          PAUL

                          (EXPLODING)
           Just get me the fucking number!!
           Get me the number, get me the
           number!!
          Donna hangs up on him. Realizing this, Paul bangs his fists
          and claws at the top of the coffin, bloodying some of his
          fingers and knuckles in the process.
          He violently tosses and turns and screams at the top of his
          lungs, like an animal trapped in a cage. Tears spray from
          his eyes as spit shakes free from his mouth by the force of
          his shudder.
          He eventually calms quite a bit. Sniffing away tears and
          taking notice of the damage he's done to his hands, Paul
          slows his breathing as best he can.

           24.

                         

                         
          He lies there, motionless.
          The silence is almost comforting. Paul closes his eyes,
          regretfully accepting what appears will be his inescapable
          fate.
          After a beat, he calls Donna back. Knowing it is Paul
          calling, she answers right away, attitude at the ready.

                          DONNA
           What?
          It takes every ounce of Paul's being to keep himself from
          going off the deep end. He takes a beat to compose himself
          and then finally offers a very delicate and deliberate
          response.

                         

                          PAUL
           Donna, I'm very sorry I yelled.
           But, I'm only going to ask you once
           more to get me this number. If you
           don't get me this number, I'm going
           to die.

                          DONNA
           What?

                          PAUL
           I don't have time to explain.
           Please...the number.

                          DONNA

                          (BEAT)
           Hold on.
          We hear Donna put down the phone. In the b.g., we hear the
          sound of keys being pressed on a computer keyboard.
          After a beat, she picks the phone back up.

                          DONNA (CONT'D)
           Okay...State Department. It's 202-

           134-4750.

                          PAUL

           202-134-4750?

                          DONNA
           Yeah.
          Paul writes the number on the top of the coffin, beneath the
          man others. He writes the initials "S.D." next to it.

           25.

                         

                         

                          DONNA
           What the hell's going --
          Paul hangs up on Donna mid-sentence. He dials the number the
          State Department right away.
          A STATE DEPARTMENT REP answers after a few rings.

           STATE DEPARTMENT REP
           United States Department of State.

                          PAUL
           I'm an American citizen, working in
           Iraq. I've been taken hostage. I
           need to speak to someone right
           away.

                         

           STATE DEPARTMENT REP
           Where are you calling from, sir?

                          PAUL
           From Iraq. I'm a truck driver for
           CRT -- Crestin, Roland and Thomas.
           We were attacked and now I'm being
           held for ransom.

           STATE DEPARTMENT REP
           Are the kidnappers with you?

                          PAUL
           No. I'm buried somewhere.

           STATE DEPARTMENT REP
           You're buried?

                          PAUL
           Yeah, in a coffin, a wooden box.
           It's an old coffin, I think.

           STATE DEPARTMENT REP
           Did you try contacting the military
           out there?

                          PAUL
           I don't have the number.

           STATE DEPARTMENT REP
           What number?

                          PAUL
           I was given a number to call, a
           safety number. But the people took
           it.

           26.

                         

                         

           STATE DEPARTMENT REP
           The people holding you hostage?

                          PAUL
           Yes.

           STATE DEPARTMENT REP

                          (DISCONCERTED)
           I don't know...hold on. Let me
           connect you...hold on.

                          PAUL
           No. Wait...
          Paul is placed on hold. As he waits, his eyes wander around
          the coffin. He looks at the numbers he has written.

                         
          After a moment, REBECCA BROWNING, a State Department
          official, picks up the phone.

                          REBECCA
           Rebecca Browning.

                          PAUL
           Hello?

                          REBECCA
           Yes, hello. I was just informed of
           your situation.

                          PAUL
           Yeah, my situation. I'm running
           out of time and you people keep
           putting me on hold. What the hell
           is wrong with you?

                         

                          REBECCA
           I'm sorry.

                          PAUL
           Don't be sorry. Just help me.

                          REBECCA
           I just have a few questions for
           you, Mister Conroy.

                          PAUL
           You've got to be kidding me.

                          REBECCA
           It's important that I get this
           information. It will make a rescue

                          ATTEMPT --

           27.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           Wait, wait, wait...how did you know
           my name?

                          REBECCA
           I'm sorry?

                          PAUL
           I never gave you my name. I don't
           think I gave it to the other guy,
           either.
          Rebecca is silent on the other end of the phone.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           What the hell is going on right
           now?

                         

                          REBECCA
           (after a beat)
           We received a call from a
           representative at CRT. You left
           him a message?

                          PAUL
           Yeah...?

                          REBECCA
           He contacted us right away.

                          PAUL
           Well, since you know what the hell
           is going on, what have you done to
           get me out of here?

                          REBECCA
           There's little we can do from
           Washington.

                          PAUL
           So, that's it? I'm just supposed
           to rot in here because there's
           little you can do?

                          REBECCA
           No.

                          PAUL
           Then what?

                          REBECCA
           I need to know where you were when
           your convoy was ambushed.

           28.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           In the Diyala Provence. In
           Baqubah.

                          REBECCA
           Okay. And has contact been made
           with the kidnappers?

                          PAUL
           Yes. The guy told me that he wants
           five million dollars by nine
           o'clock tonight.

                          REBECCA
           Or else...?

                          PAUL
           Or else he'll bring me to Sea
           World. What do you think, lady?
          Even faced with Paul's sarcasm, Rebecca remains stolid.
          Professional.

                          REBECCA
           We'll do everything we can.

                          PAUL
           So you'll pay them?

                          REBECCA

                          (BEAT)
           No. That we can't do.

                          PAUL
           Wait...what?

                         

                          REBECCA
           It's the policy of the United
           States government to not negotiate
           with terrorists.

                          PAUL
           To hell with that! It's easy for
           you to worry about policy, you're
           sitting in an air conditioned
           office somewhere, probably
           finishing up your sandwich from
           lunch. You're not the one stuck in
           a coffin, buried in the God damn
           desert!

                          REBECCA
           I understand your frustration --

           29.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           Frustration? Lady, I'm going to
           fucking die in here. Understand
           that!
          Rebecca is silent on the other end of the phone. Paul
          wonders if she is still there. The idea of being alone again
          scares him terribly.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Hello?
          Worried, Paul lights the Zippo. The reflection of the flame
          dances on his frightened eyes.

                          REBECCA
           I'm here.

                         
          Momentary relief. After a beat:

                          PAUL
           Well, then say something. Tell me
           how you're going to get me out of
           here.

                          REBECCA
           What's the number on the phone
           you're calling from?

                          PAUL
           I don't know. Did it come up on
           your end?

                          REBECCA
           No. It's listed as unavailable.
           Do this -- take down this number.

                         
          Paul takes out his pen.

                          PAUL
           Go ahead.

                          REBECCA

           410-195-5453.
          Paul writes the number onto the top of the coffin.

                          PAUL
           Who's that?

                          REBECCA
           Dan Brenner. He's the commander of
           the Hostage Working Group over in
           Iraq.

           30.

                         

                         
          Paul writes "D. BRENNER" next to Dan's phone number.

                          PAUL
           Hostage Working Group?

                          REBECCA
           We formed it in 2004 to deal with
           situations such as yours.
          Paul shakes his head in disgust.

                          PAUL
           Situations. I love how you keep
           calling it that.

                          REBECCA
           Did you write down the number?

                         

                          PAUL
           Yeah.

                          REBECCA
           Good. Hold on, I'll connect you
           with him now. He should be
           expecting you.

                          PAUL
           What about the news? I'm going to
           call them.

                          REBECCA
           No. Do not, I repeat, do not
           contact the news.

                          PAUL
           Why?

                         

                          REBECCA
           It will only complicate things
           further and threaten your chances
           of rescue.
          Paul doesn't buy it.

                          PAUL
           That's bullshit. You're just
           covering your ass.

                          REBECCA
           No, I'm covering yours. Everyone
           who needs to know about this does.

           31.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           You don't go looking for something
           if you don't know it's missing.

                          REBECCA
           That's why you need to contact Dan
           Brenner right away.
          Paul still contemplates contacting the news, but soon
          acquiesces to Rebecca's pleas for him not to.

                          PAUL
           Fine.

                          REBECCA
           I'm transferring you now.

                         
          Rebecca's gone. Paul waits. Several beeps sound as he's
          being transferred.
          Paul hears a faint sound coming from behind him, outside the
          coffin. While the beeps continue to sound, he lights the
          Zippo, circumspectly looking behind him. He doesn't see
          anything.
          With the Zippo still lit, Paul takes a deep, centering
          breath, followed by another.
          A few more long beeps pass before a ring is heard. After two
          rings, DAN BRENNER answers.

                          DAN
           Brenner.

                          PAUL
           Dan Brenner?

                         
          Dan is quick to figure out who it is that must be calling
          him.

                          DAN
           Is this Paul Conroy?

                          PAUL

                          (EXCITED)
           Yes, yes it's me. It's Paul.

                          DAN
           Paul, I was informed of what's
           going on. I want you to know that
           we're already working on trying to
           get you out of there.

           32.

                         

                         
          Paul is relieved. His first glint of hope has appeared.
          Tears of joy instantly escape his eyes.

                          PAUL
           Oh, thank you, God.

                          DAN
           I was told that we have until 9pm.
           Is that right?

                          PAUL
           That's what he said.

                          DAN
           Alright. That doesn't give us a
           whole lot of time. And just so I
           have this right, the kidnappers
           buried you in the ground?

                          PAUL
           Yeah, in an old, wooden coffin.

                          DAN
           Okay. My guess is that since
           you're able to get a cell signal,
           you're no more than a few feet
           underground.

                          PAUL
           I don't know. Maybe.

                          DAN
           What about battery life? How much
           does the phone have left?
          Paul looks at the display to find out.

                         

                          PAUL
           Less than half.

                          DAN
           Okay. You have to conserve that
           battery. Our best bet of finding
           you is by tracking your cell
           signal. Is the ringer set on a
           sound or vibrate?

                          PAUL
           Vibrate.

                          DAN
           Press and hold down the asterisk
           key to change it to a ring tone.
           It will use less power.

           33.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
          What about my Zippo?

                          DAN
          You have a lighter?

                          PAUL
          Yeah.

                          DAN
          Use it to look around for markings,
          a logo -- whatever you can find.

                          PAUL
          Won't it use up oxygen?

                          DAN
          Not much. Don't worry about that
          now. Try to find --

                          PAUL
          It's really dark in here without
          it.

                          DAN
          I understand, Paul. Try to find
          anything in there that might
          indicate where that coffin was
          made.

                          PAUL
          You guys have to hurry.

                          DAN
          We're working as fast as we can,
          Paul.

                         

                          PAUL
          Do you know if there were any other
          survivors?

                          DAN
          From your convoy?

                          PAUL
          Yeah.

                          DAN
          That's still unclear at this point.

                          PAUL
          I just wanted to do right by my
          family. That's all.

                          (MORE)

           34.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           I didn't know it was going to be
           like this over here.

                          DAN
           I don't think any of us did.
          While on the phone with Brenner, Paul gets another call
          coming in. He checks the display and reads the number.
          Matching it against a number he wrote on the top of the
          coffin, he sees that is Jabir calling.

                          PAUL
           It's him. He's calling.

                          DAN
           The kidnapper?

                         

                          PAUL
           Yeah. What do I do?

                          DAN
           You know his number?

                          PAUL
           Yeah.

                          DAN
           Give it to me.

                          PAUL
           What about the call?

                          DAN
           Give me the number first.
          The phone has rung several times. Paul fears that Jabir may
          hang up.

                          PAUL
           He's going to hang up.

                          DAN
           Take the call.

                          PAUL

                          BUT --

                          DAN
           Take the call. Now.
          Paul complies with Dan's demand and switches to the other
          line.

           35.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           Hello.

                          JABIR
           Two hour, six minute.
          Paul looks at his watch. Indeed, he has but two hours and
          six minutes until the time reaches 9pm.

                          PAUL
           You have to give me more time.

                          JABIR
           You talk to embassy? They give
           money?

                          PAUL
           Yes. No. I talked to...someone.
           Government. They said that they
           won't pay the money.

                          JABIR
           No pay?

                          PAUL
           No. They said that they don't
           negotiate with terrorists.

                          JABIR
           Terrorists? I am terrorist?

                          PAUL
           Yes. You are terrorist, you son of
           a bitch.

                          JABIR
           You are terrified, so I am
           terrorist?

                          PAUL
           What did I ever do to you?

                          JABIR
           Ever do?

                          PAUL
           Yeah. I'm here because it's a job,
           to make money. That's it.

                          JABIR
           I have job until you come. Now, my
           family have nothing.

           36.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           That's not my fault!
          Jabir retorts with a spirited conviction similar to Paul's.

                          JABIR
           Nine, one, one was not my fault,
           but still you are here! Saddam was
           not my fault, but still you are
           here!

                          PAUL
           I told you, I'm only here to work.
           To help rebuild.

                          JABIR
           Rebuild what you destroyed.

                         
          Paul cannot handle his stress any longer. He begins to
          crumble under the pressure.

                          PAUL
           Stop! Just please, stop! I'm just
           a guy. I'm just a truck driver.
           Okay? I'm nobody that makes
           decisions about anything. I just
           want to go home.
          Silence from the other end of the phone for an extended
          period of time.

                          JABIR
           You make video, ransom video.
          This surprisingly comes as good news to Paul.

                         

                          PAUL
           Yes. Please. Get me out of here
           and I'll make the video.

                          JABIR
           No. You make video now.

                          PAUL
           What...? How?

                          JABIR
           You use video on phone.
          Paul's hopes are dashed. His sanguine head falls back onto
          the coffin floor.

           37.

                         

                         

                          JABIR (CONT'D)
           Near foot. You read note near foot
           in box.
          Paul shines the flame of his Zippo lighter toward his feet.
          He doesn't see anything.

                          PAUL
           Where? I don't see --

                          JABIR
           Near foot. Read note inside box.
          Paul repositions his legs as best he can. He can vaguely see
          the corner of a small metal box, partially sticking out of a
          broken plank on the bottom of the coffin.

                         

                          PAUL
           The video...if I make it, will you
           let me go?

                          JABIR
           Only if we get money.

                          PAUL
           Nobody's going to pay five million
           dollars for me.

                          JABIR
           We take less. One million money.

                          PAUL
           If they pay it, will you let me go?

                          JABIR
           (after a beat)
           One million money.
          Jabir hangs up, ending the call.
          Paul sits motionless for a moment, soaking in all that Jabir
          has just told him.
          He again looks down toward his feet. He can see the
          protruding corner of the metal box, but it's positioned in
          such a way that it will clearly not be easy for him to reach
          it.
          Paul then tries to clasp the box with his feet, but after
          several unsuccessful attempts, he realizes that a new
          strategy is necessary.

           38.

                         

                         
          He makes efforts to reposition himself in the coffin, so that
          his head and feet will ultimately switch places. He
          struggles, inch by troubled inch, to make this maneuver.
          Sweat pours down the side of his face. The extremely tight
          quarters of the coffin make the repositioning nearly
          impossible.
          After expending a great deal of energy doing so, Paul
          eventually completes the turn of his body. He examines the
          small, rusted metal box. On it is a cartoon picture of a
          small Arab boy and girl playing with a red rubber ball.
          Skeptical at first, Paul carefully examines the box and
          shakes it gently. Items are heard rummaging inside.
          He carefully opens it. A fluorescent green light shines from
          inside.
          Paul looks inside and finds a lit, green glow stick,
          fluorescing brightly and now illuminating much of the coffin.
          He closes the lid of the Zippo. Removes the stick.
          Looking into the small box again, he finds several other
          items: a small, disused flashlight; a second, unlit glow
          stick; a jackknife; and lastly, a folded piece of paper.
          He slowly unfolds the piece of paper. We see that his ransom
          message is written in an unintelligible mix of English and
          Arabic.
          Paul shakes his head and lets out a sigh of disgust. He
          crumbles up the paper into a ball and listlessly drops it to
          his side. He covers his face with his hands, his labored
          breaths echoing in his palms.

                         
          Under the low-light of the green glow stick, Paul picks up
          the phone and dials his home.
          Per usual, he gets the answering machine. His son, Shane, is
          heard on outgoing message.

                          SHANE
           Thanks for calling the Conroy's.
           We're not home right now. Please
           leave a message at the beep.
           Thanks.
          Paul's eyes well up with tears. He smiles at the sound of
          his son's voice. The Beep is heard. Paul hangs up without
          leaving a message.
          He looks at the time. It's 7:02pm. Battery life is holding
          steady at one and a half bars. He remembers something.

           39.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           Shit.
          Paul presses and holds down the shortcut button on the phone
          that changes the ringer from vibrate to an audible tone.
          The glow stick begins to slowly fade.
          Paul dials Dan Brenner.
          After a few rings, Dan answers.

                          DAN
           Paul?

                          PAUL
           Here's his number...

                         
          Paul presses the green key, bringing up the last numbers
          dialed and received.

                          DAN
           Hold on. Alright, go ahead.

                          PAUL
           It's 07902-24-921.
          Dan says something to someone who is in the room with him,
          and then returns his attention to Paul.

                          DAN
           This is huge. Unless they're using
           a cloned line, we should be able to
           find where this is coming from in
           minutes.

                         

                          PAUL
           What about me? Can you track my
           cell signal?

                          DAN
           We're having a lot of trouble with
           yours. Seems to be an EDS line,
           probably through one of the
           Egyptian carriers.

                          PAUL
           What does that mean?

                          DAN
           That...it's not going to be easy.

                          PAUL
           He wants me to make a ransom video.

           40.

                         

                         

                          DAN
           No. Hold off for as long as you
           can.

                          PAUL
           If it's going to get me out of
           here, I'm making it.

                          DAN
           The last thing we want is for this
           to end up all over Al Jazeera.

                          PAUL
           We?
          Paul becomes angry, again sensing that more emphasis is being
          placed on containing the situation than rescuing him.

                         

                          DAN
           This can't turn into an
           international incident.

                          PAUL
           That's all you people care about!
           But what about me? Don't you care
           about me?

                          DAN
           We do. That's why we're --

                          PAUL
           No you don't! You people don't
           care about any of us. I've had
           eight friends killed out here, six
           of them today. We don't have any
           guns, any armor. Nothing.

                         

                          DAN
           You're not soldiers.

                          PAUL
           Tell that to the people who put me
           in this box! Tell that to the
           people who shot my friends!

                          DAN
           We're doing the best we can.

                          PAUL
           No, you're not. All you people
           understand are your secret plans
           and your back room politics.

                          (MORE)

           41.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           If I were some diplomat or
           something, maybe even a hostage
           working group leader -- or whatever
           your fancy title is, I'd be out of
           here by now. Wouldn't I? But I'm
           not, so I'm just supposed to keep
           my mouth shut and die.

                          DAN
           I need you to stay focused, Paul.

                          PAUL
           Fuck you.
          Dan's heard enough.

                          DAN
           Paul, listen to me: finding you is
           our primary concern. Bottom line.
           And we're searching just as hard as
           we would be for a four-star
           general, so don't literally waste
           your breath suggesting otherwise.
          Paul does not respond at first. Dan's retort clearly has an
          effect on him.

                          PAUL
           Who are they? The people who put
           me here?

                          DAN
           They're just that -- people. No
           different from you and me.

                          PAUL
           I'm no terrorist.

                          DAN
           Neither are they.

                          PAUL
           How do you know that?

                          DAN
           If you were homeless,
           starving...actually, I take that
           back. If your family was homeless
           and starving, what would you do for
           them?

                          PAUL
           I wouldn't kill someone.

           42.

                         

                         

                          DAN
           How can you be sure?

                          PAUL

                          (GETTING FRUSTRATED)
           What difference does it make?

                          DAN
           They're criminals, desperate ones
           at that. They don't care about
           anything other than getting the
           money.

                          PAUL
           So pay them, then.

                          DAN
           Trust me, if it was an option, I
           would do that in a heartbeat.

                          PAUL
           How many others have there been?

                          DAN
           Since I got here? Hundreds.
           Journalists, contractors,
           soldiers...hundreds have been
           taken. It's one of the only
           functioning businesses out here.

                          PAUL
           How many have you rescued?
          Dan is reluctant to answer the question.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           How many?

                          DAN

                          (BEAT)
           Not many.

                          PAUL
           Tell me their names.

                          DAN
           Who?

                          PAUL
           Any of them. Make me know they
           really do matter to you.

                          DAN
           Mark White.

           43.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           Who was Mark White?

                          DAN
           A kid from New Hampshire. Twenty-
           six years old. Med student. Came
           over here to help out local
           doctors.

                          PAUL
           What happened to him?

                          DAN
           Insurgents grabbed him.

                          PAUL
           When?

                         

                          DAN
           About three weeks ago.
          Paul writes "MARK WHITE" on the top of the coffin, below the
          list of phone numbers. He circles the name.

                          PAUL
           You remember his name.

                          DAN
           I remember all their names.

                          PAUL
           (afraid to ask)
           Did he...? Is he...?
          The glow stick begins to fade.

                         

                          DAN
           Yeah. Yeah, Paul, he's alive.
          Hearing this affords Paul some semblance of relief.
          Paul shakes the glow stick, returning it to its full
          strength.

                          PAUL
           Where is he?

                          DAN
           Home. Probably happy to be back at
           school.

                          PAUL
           I want to get out of here.

           44.

                         

                         

                          DAN
           We found him; we'll find you, too.

                          PAUL
           How?

                          DAN
           We already have a solid lead on the
           number you gave us.

                          PAUL
           You do?

                          DAN
           A unit's on it's way over there
           now.

                         
          This news calms Paul's nerves.

                          PAUL
           That's...that's good.

                          DAN
           Yeah.

                          PAUL
           What should I do in the meantime?

                          DAN
           I know it's hard, but try to relax.
           The more worked up you are, the
           more air you're going to use.

                          PAUL
           I can't help it. I'm always
           anxious. I take pills for it.

                         

                          DAN
           Do you have them with you?
          Paul checks his pants pockets. He removes a small, orange
          pill bottle.

                          PAUL
           Yeah.

                          DAN
           Take them. You need to preserve
           your oxygen level any way you can.

                          PAUL
           Okay.

           45.

                         

                         

                          DAN
           Is your Zippo still lit.

                          PAUL
           Not now.

                          DAN
           Good.

                          PAUL
           I feel nauseous.

                          DAN
           You have to calm down.

                          PAUL
           I'm trying.

                         

                          DAN
           And you need to save that battery.
           We're expecting some intel in about
           ten minutes. Call me back then.

                          PAUL
           Okay.

                          DAN
           Just hang in there, Paul.
          The glow stick begins to slowly fade. Paul shakes it,
          causing it to brighten only momentarily before dimming again.

                          PAUL
           Yeah. I'm trying.
          Dan ends the call. Paul lets out a deep breath, finding it
          difficult to lay claim to its replacement.
          He looks at his watch. It's now 7:18pm. The ticking sound
          of the second hand turning is inordinately loud, due to the
          extreme silence of the coffin.
          Just then, the cell phone rings. Checking the number on the
          display, Paul sees that it is Jabir.
          Paul answers.

                          PAUL
           What?

                          JABIR
           Did you make video?

           46.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           No.
          Jabir yells something in Arabic to the other Iraqi men we
          hear in the background.
          Collectively, they do not sound pleased. Slightly panicked,
          in fact, though it is difficult to tell for sure.

                          JABIR

                          (TO PAUL)
           You make video!

                          PAUL
           Let me out and I'll make it.

                          JABIR
           No! You make video now. In box.

                          PAUL
           I can't. I can't read the paper.

                          JABIR
           Make video now!

                          PAUL
           I can't. I don't know what you
           want me to say. I can't read the
           paper.
          Jabir is heard speaking with the men we hear arguing in the
          background. Although they speak in Arabic, it is clear from
          their tone that they are becoming worried and increasingly
          hostile.
          Jabir returns his attention back to Paul.

                         

                          JABIR
           You make video now.
          Jabir ends the call. Paul closes the phone to help conserve
          battery life.
          He then reopens the phone and scrolls through the menu
          options. Everything is written in Arabic. He eventually
          comes across an icon with a movie camera -- the video
          function. He turns it on. Looks at himself though the
          viewfinder.
          After a beat, he closes the phone, clearly frustrated and
          growing more panicked. His breaths grow heavy and rapid,
          utilizing a great deal of oxygen.

           47.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           I'm never getting out of here.
          Paul begins to freak out, restlessly squirming inside the
          coffin and pressing against the sides and top.
          The glow stick fades out almost completely, offering very
          little light. Paul shakes it, but with no change to its
          brightness. Moments later, it dies. Paul tries the
          flashlight. Click-click. Click-click. Nothing.
          He bangs it a few times with his hand. The white light turns
          on, but quickly turns back off. He twists the top, which
          causes the flashlight to switch bulbs. A red beam emits
          momentarily. Paul twists the top again and gives the
          flashlight a few good whacks.

                         
          It turns on. White light shines dimly on his face.
          He takes a breath.
          In efforts to calm himself, he once again removes the orange
          pill bottle from his pocket. He pours two into his hand. He
          then removes his small, metal alcohol flask from his back
          pocket and takes a large swig, swallowing the two pills in
          the process.
          Still, Paul's heavy, labored breathing continues. He drops
          four additional pills into his and swallows them with yet
          another generous pull from the flask.
          He sits and waits. Nothing is happening, except that his
          extremely limited time keeps passing.
          After a moment, Paul picks up the cell phone. He holds it in
          front of him, hesitant to make a call. After some
          consideration, he dials.
          After a few rings, a NURSING HOME NURSE answers.

           NURSING HOME NURSE
           Mountain View Nursing Home.

                          PAUL
           I was hoping I could speak with
           Maryanne Conroy, please.

           NURSING HOME NURSE
           Um...okay. Ah...let me bring the
           cordless phone to her room. Hold
           on a moment, please.
          We hear the Nurse walk down the tiled corridor floor. She
          soon reaches Paul's mother's room.

           48.

                         

                         

           NURSING HOME NURSE (CONT'D)
           Misses Conroy, you have a telephone
           call, dear. Here, you can use this
           phone.
          Paul's mother, MARYANNE, answers. Her voice is pleasant but
          confused. It's clear that she suffers from advanced stages
          of Alzheimer's Disease.

                          MARYANNE
           Hello?

                          PAUL
           Mom...it's Paul.

                          MARYANNE
           Who?

                         

                          PAUL
           It's Paul, Mom. Your son.

                          MARYANNE
           My son?

                          PAUL
           It's okay, Mom. How are you?

                          MARYANNE
           I'm fine.

                          PAUL
           That's good.

                          MARYANNE
           Who are you?

                         

                          PAUL
           It's your son, Mom. It's Paulie.

                          MARYANNE
           Paulie?

                          PAUL
           Yeah. Remember? We lived over on
           Colfax Street, in the duplex.
           Remember?

                          MARYANNE

                          (REMEMBERING SLIGHTLY)
           Paulie?

                          PAUL
           That's right, Mom.

           49.

                         

                         

                          MARYANNE
           Is this Paulie?

                          PAUL
           It is, Mom. It's Paulie. How's
           everything at the home?

                          MARYANNE
           Very nice. Your father and I have
           been playing gin rummy every night.
          It's almost too much for Paul to take. He cries silent tears
          over a heartbroken smile.

                          PAUL
           Yeah...I don't think Pop's there
           with you, Mom.

                         

                          MARYANNE
           How are you doing, sweetie?

                          PAUL
           Not very good. This...uh, this may
           be the last time I talk to you.

                          MARYANNE
           That's nice, honey.

                          PAUL
           Did you get the flowers I sent a
           few months ago?

                          MARYANNE
           Flowers?

                          PAUL
           Yeah, I sent...never mind. Listen,
           I...I'm going to go now. I just
           wanted to talk to you, you know,
           just to say bye. I love you, Mom.
          Maryanne doesn't respond.

                          PAUL(CONT'D)
           Did you hear me? Mom? I told
           you...do you want to tell me you

                          LOVE --

                          MARYANNE
           Yes, dear. Your father and I have
           been playing gin rummy every night.

           50.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           (after a beat)
           Okay, Mom. Tell Pop I said hi.
          Paul ends the call and instantly begins crying his heart out.
          He lays there, sobbing relentlessly.
          After a long beat, the cell phone rings. Decidedly different
          than his past reactions to an incoming call, Paul seems
          hopelessly disinterested. The ring is maddening.
          He mindlessly presses the shortcut button, resetting the ring
          to vibrate mode.
          He eventually picks up the phone, but there is not anyone on
          the other end. It's then that he sees that it was not a call
          that came in, but instead was a picture message.
          Pressing what appears to be the Accept button, the incoming
          picture begins to download.
          Several seconds later, the picture downloads and an image
          appears on the display of Paul's cell phone. It's of a woman
          -- bound and gagged, a gun pressed against the side of her
          head.

                          PAUL
           Oh no. No, no, no!
          Paul frantically dials the number to reach Jabir. As soon as
          the phone connects, Paul begins his desperate plea.

                          JABIR
           Video make?

                         

                          PAUL
           Let her go. Please. Please don't
           hurt her.
          The Woman is heard in the background of Jabir's phone, crying
          muffled words through her muzzled mouth.

                          JABIR
           We shoot her if you no make video.

                          PAUL
           No! No, please no shoot. No shoot
           her.

                          JABIR
           You get money. American million.

           51.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           I will, I promise. Just don't
           shoot her. She's a mother, she's
           got two kids.

                          JABIR
           Two kids?

                          PAUL
           Yes. She has two kids.

                          JABIR
           I have five. Now only one. You
           make video. Now!!

                          PAUL
           Wait...

                         

                          JABIR
           No wait!! I give three seconds.

                          PAUL
           I can't read the paper.

                          JABIR
           Three...

                          PAUL
           No. Wait!

                          JABIR
           Two...

                          PAUL
           I don't know what you want me to
           say!

                         

                          JABIR
           One.

                          PAUL
           Okay! Okay, I'll make the video.
           Just, please, don't shoot.
          Jabir does not fire his gun. Paul attempts to catch his
          breath.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           I need to hang up to make the
           video. Okay? Is that okay?

                          JABIR
           You have three minute to send
           video.

           52.

                         

                         
          Jabir hangs up, ending the call.
          Paul reaches for the balled-up piece of paper that has the
          ransom script written on it. It takes some trouble for him
          to grab it, but he is soon able to.
          Placing the flashlight next to the paper, Paul is again
          reminded of the incoherent nature of the script.

                          PAUL
           (re: the script)
           Fuck...
          He drops the paper to his side and opens the phone, setting
          it to the video record function. He places the flashlight
          close to his face so as to make his image more visible on the
          small, phone display screen.

                         
          He presses the record button.

                          PAUL
           (speaking at the phone)
           My name is Paul Conroy. I'm an
           American citizen from Hastings,
           Michigan. I'm a civilian truck
           driver for Crestin, Roland and
           Thomas. I've been taken hostage
           somewhere in Iraq...and I need one
           million dollars by nine o'clock
           tonight, Baghdad time, or else I'll
           be left to die in this coffin I'm
           buried in. I've been told that
           if...
          The flashlight goes out. Paul continues speaking in the
          darkness. After a few quick smacks, the flashlight turns
          back on.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           ...the money is paid, I will be let
           go. If it's not, I will die in
           here. These threats are real and
           will be followed through on.
          Trying to think of more to say, Paul soon opts for not saying
          anything further. He saves the message and then sends it to
          Jabir.
          We see that the screen displays an icon confirming the video
          has been sent.
          Paul places the phone on his chest. Still rubbing his
          temples, his eyes begin to flutter a bit. He tries to
          control his breathing and remain calm.

           53.

                         

                         
          He opens the phone and displays the photo of the Woman. He
          stares admiringly at her, hoping dearly that she will not be
          harmed.
          The effects of the anxiety pills finally taking effect, his
          eyes soon close and he drifts off to sleep.

                          FADE TO:

          INT. COFFIN - LATER

          Darkness once again. We hear the sound of Paul slowly
          awaking, followed the sight of Zippo sparks.
          It doesn't catch. The second glow stick is snapped,
          illuminating the coffin with a fluorescent green hue.

                         
          Paul starts to move, but suddenly freezes. His eyes widen.
          His pupils dilate. Something is clearly very wrong, though
          we cannot see what.
          His eyes slowly shift downward, as if watching something move
          down his body. Beads of sweat form across his brow. His
          measured breaths are held for as long as they can be.
          Moving excruciatingly slow, Paul lowers the glow stick toward
          what he is looking at.
          A shape moves across his stomach, underneath his T-shirt.
          Paul's eyes are fixed on whatever it may be. He cautiously,
          slowly, moves the glow stick even closer.
          The shape disappears just as the light of the glow stick
          shines on whatever it may be. Still, Paul does not dare make
          any sudden move.

                         
          Paul's pant leg moves slightly, starting at the top, slowly
          undulating toward his cuff.
          Paul leans the glow stick in further. And further.
          Carefully. Moving a millimeter at a time. He shifts the
          position of his head slightly, charily, to see next to his
          feet.
          He leans in even closer with the glow stick. But then --
          -- his wary movement comes to immediate stop.
          It's a snake. A two-foot, saw-scaled viper. It has
          positioned itself in the corner of the coffin, inches from
          Paul's feet.

           54.

                         

                         
          His terror evident, Paul very slowly pulls his feet back
          toward his upper body, away from the snake. The confined
          space offers little room for safety.
          The snake turns its muscled neck to face Paul. Their eyes
          meet for the first time. The snake hisses, poised to strike
          at any moment. Paul raises his foot. Steels himself.
          Prepares to preempt the snake with a solid stomp.
          A more sensible plan soon prevails. After lowering his foot,
          Paul cautiously removes the flask from his pocket. Slowly
          unscrews the top. Splashes a small amount of alcohol on the
          floor, close to the snake.
          The snake recoils slightly, but then menacingly twists itself
          into a new posture, ready to attack. Paul lowers the Zippo
          to the small puddle of alcohol. After a few sparks --

                         
          -- it lights. A flash-fire. The snake flails and hisses
          wildly at the other side of a small fire wall.
          The flame soon goes out. Paul moves fast. Throws more
          alcohol, this time some of it lands on the snake itself. He
          places the already lit Zippo against the puddle of alcohol
          near the snake.
          Another flash-fire, this time burning the snake. It hisses
          loudly. Threateningly. It swings back and forth,
          challenging the small wall of fire.
          The fire soon extinguishes. The snake burrows into the hole
          from where it likely entered the coffin, disappearing into it
          with haste.
          Paul hurriedly stuffs the hole with his discarded button-down
          shirt. He then pours a small amount of alcohol over the
          shirt and temporarily puts the flask on the ground, but does
          not screw the cap on securely. He then wedges the lit Zippo
          between a small space between two wooden planks.
          With the snake situation handled, Paul finally lets out a
          sigh of relief. Rubs his eyes. Tries to regain his
          faculties. Looks over the list of phone numbers written
          above him.
          Suddenly, the cell phone vibrates. Paul frenziedly searches
          for it, but he cannot find it. He then notices it has fallen
          into the small hole near his feet, out of his reach.
          He makes several attempts to grab the phone with his feet,
          but he is unable to do so. It continues to ring.
          His next efforts involve repositioning himself in the coffin
          so that he completely turns to face the opposite end.

           55.

                         

                         
          Struggling through each move, Paul painstakingly begins to
          turn himself. While turning, however, he inadvertently kicks
          the Zippo from the side of the coffin -- landing it on the
          floor, up against the glow stick -- and knocks over the
          flask.
          We see that the flame of the Zippo slowly melts the plastic
          glow stick, causing it to dim slightly.
          Worst still, and completely unbeknownst to Paul, a stream of
          alcohol slowly makes its way from the flask and toward the
          flame of the lighter, threatening to set the coffin ablaze.
          Inch by inch, the flammable spirit gets closer.
          Still in the midst of his repositioning, Paul looks back and
          sees the alcohol nearing the flame. In a panic, he attempts
          to reach and grab the Zippo. But, he finds himself stuck in
          the middle of the coffin. He can't budge either way.

                          PAUL
           No, no, no!!
          Desperately straining every muscle in his body, he extends
          his arm backward toward the Zippo, hoping to move it away
          from the spilled alcohol. He still can't reach it, yet he
          tries with all his might.
          The phone stops ringing. He has missed the call.
          He tries blowing at the flame, but his head is too far away
          and his breath is not strong enough to do much more than
          cause it to flicker.
          With the alcohol now mere inches away from the flame, Paul
          reaches for his shoe. His odd positioning makes reaching his
          foot almost impossible. He struggles to undo the laces and
          remove it from his foot.
          With his face beet red from the force of his strain, Paul
          finally removes his shoe. The mere inch of leg room this
          creates allows him to slide his leg out from under him.
          The trail of alcohol is just about to come into contact with
          the flame --
          -- but Paul deftly maneuvers his body just in time to
          awkwardly kick the Zippo out of the way and close the lid.
          Paul breaths an enormous sigh of relief as he sits in the dim
          light of the damaged glow stick. He notices another hole in
          the coffin. As a precaution, he stuffs it with the cloth
          that had previously been used to gag him.

           56.

                         

                         
          Just as he is about to grab the phone, he hears what appears
          to be the faint sound of a Muslim call to prayer being
          announced over the citywide PA system. The sound barely
          makes its way through the hundreds of pounds of sand that
          envelop the coffin.
          A sign of hope, as well as a point of reference for his
          location -- albeit a very vague one.
          He listens further as the call to prayer continues. The
          light of the glow stick dims further.
          Paul then opens his phone. Sees that he missed Jabir's call.
          He starts to call Jabir back, but stops. He instead
          navigates through the various display menus. He soon reaches
          what appears to be the Tools Menu, though it's difficult to
          tell because everything is written in Arabic. He becomes
          frustrated as he fails to find what he is looking for.
          On the verge of mental surrender, he sees something that
          gives him pause. A smile crosses his face.

                          PAUL
           (re: the phone screen)
           There you are.
          We see, on the display of the phone, that Paul has found a
          listing of languages. He scrolls past many -- "FRANCAIS,
          DETSCHE, ESPANOL" -- stopping at "ENGLISH." Presses the
          button, instantly making all the text on the screen readable.
          He quickly navigates to the Tools menu. Scrolls down.
          Locates the number of the cell phone he is using.
          He scribbles the number onto the top of the coffin. Then a
          second pass, making it bolder than the others.
          Paul then dials his wife's cell phone. After only a few
          rings, he is met by her voice mail.

           LINDA (V.O.)
           Hi, this is Linda. Please leave a
           message. Thanks and have a great
           day.
          The beep sounds, and Paul frantically proceeds right into his
          message.

                          PAUL
           Linda, here's the number for the
           phone. I just found it out. It's
           07902-42-884. You have to use the
           international calling code first.

                          (MORE)

           57.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Please call me as soon as you get
           this. I love you...I love you.
           Call me right away. Please.
          Paul hangs up. He looks at the battery life left on the
          phone. One bar. He then checks his watch. It's 8:19pm.
          Both are not good signs, and he knows it.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Oh shit.
          He begins to panic. Grabbing the pocket knife that was left
          inside the metal box, he slides the blade in the space
          between the sides of the coffin and the top.
          Paul grabs the glow stick. But, because it was partially
          melted to the floor, the stick snaps in two. Liquid oozes
          out of the small portion of the stick that remains stuck the
          floor.

                          PAUL
           Son of a...
          Paul grabs the flashlight. Turns it on. It works for a
          second, but then goes out. Shaking it only produces
          intermittent beams of light.
          He turns the top, switching to the red bulb. It works. The
          coffin fills with a reddish hue, but then it, too, goes out.
          Growing incensed, Paul switches back to the white bulb. It
          works.
          He returns his attention to the coffin. His efforts to use
          the knife as a fulcrum are futile. Still, he tries. Bending
          the blade well past its design, it nearly breaks off its
          handle.
          The flashlight turns off. After a good shaking, it turns
          back on, emitting white light.
          With oxygen levels extremely diminished, efforts of this kind
          are all too much for Paul to take. He has to stop and try to
          catch his breath.
          As he endeavors to get his wind back, the cell phone rings.
          Not a call this time, but instead a video message. It has
          been sent by Jabir.
          Paul's trepidation is evident. He fears what the incoming
          video may show.

           58.

                         

                         
          After a beat, he presses the Accept button and the video
          downloads. Within seconds, the video plays on his phone
          display screen. We see, in the video, the American Woman
          that previously appeared in a picture message that was sent
          to Paul. She is still bound at her wrists, but her gag has
          been lowered.
          She sits on her knees. Standing behind her are three men,
          all with their faces shielded by Arab headdresses. They each
          hold AK-47 assault weapons.
          Paul watches in horror as the terrified woman speaks, through
          her tears, into the camera.

                          WOMAN
           My name is Pamela Gorham. I'm a
           food service worker at F.O.B.
           Anaconda, employed by Crestin,
           Roland and Thomas. My captors'
           requests for ransom have gone
           unanswered, and --
          The Woman, Pamela, looks off-screen to her right. Someone is
          fast approaching her. She cowers, protectively holding her
          bound hands in front of her face as she screams.

                          WOMAN (CONT'D)
           (to the person)
           No...wait!! Please -- no!!
          Another Iraqi man steps into the camera's line of site, a
          handgun already brandished.
          Without as much as a moment's hesitation, he fires two rounds
          directly into Pamela's head, killing her.

                         
          The video message ends immediately thereafter. Paul is in
          complete shock.
          He screams aloud, slamming his closed fist against the bottom
          of the coffin.

                          PAUL
           No! No, no, no!!!
          Still in the throes of emotional torment, Paul vomits on
          himself. He doubles over, only to vomit once again.
          His body, taxed almost to the point of complete physical
          breakdown, gradually slows and levels itself. With his vomit-
          smeared face pressed cheek-down onto the bottom of the
          coffin, Paul stares into nothingness.

           59.

                         

                         
          After a beat, his eye catches a glimmer of light -- the blade
          of the knife, reflecting off the beam of the flashlight.
          Paul reaches for the knife. Lying on his back, still
          suffering enormous mental strain, he places the cutting edge
          of the blade against his neck. His jugular vein.
          His hand shakes, his lips tremble.
          The hand that holds the blade tightens its grip on the
          handle. It, too, shakes.
          Paul closes his eyes.
          A small amount of blood begins to drip from the side of his
          neck, where the blade of the knife rests, ready to open his
          vein.

                         
          After a great deal of consideration, Paul throws the knife to
          the foot of the coffin.
          He can't do it.
          The flashlight falls from Paul's chest. It turns off upon
          landing on the floor of the coffin.
          Paul sits in darkness. His breaths echo off the coffin
          walls.
          After a beat, he turns on the flashlight. It turns off after
          less than two seconds. This time, however, he does not shake
          it, nor does he hit it.
          A moment later, we hear a click, followed by the sight of a
          red light beam emitting from the flashlight. It holds
          steady.

                         
          Paul shines it onto the names and phone numbers written on
          the top of the coffin. He stops at "MARK WHITE."
          After a beat, he lowers the flashlight to his side.
          He picks up the phone and dials Brenner. After one ring,
          Brenner answers. He's clearly not pleased. Paul, however,
          is surprisingly calm. Detached. Almost disturbingly so.

                          DAN
           Why the hell did you make that
           video?

                          PAUL
           It's all a bunch of lies.

           60.

                         

                         

                          DAN
          What is? What are you talking
          about?

                          PAUL
          All of it.

                          DAN
          All of what?

                          PAUL
          Nobody gives a shit about any of
          us. We're nothing to you people.

                          DAN
          We're going to find you.

                         

                          PAUL
          By looking the other way?

                          DAN
          You can't start breaking on me now,
          Paul. You have to stay strong.

                          PAUL
          You let her die.

                          DAN
           (after a beat)
          No I didn't.

                          PAUL
          They shot her...and you didn't do
          anything.

                          DAN
          We didn't even know she had been
          taken hostage.

                          PAUL
          She sent three videos.

                          DAN
          That's what they told her to say.

                          PAUL
          Why?

                          DAN
          I don't know.

                          PAUL
          What do you know?

           61.

                         

                         

                          DAN
          That your ransom video already has
          47,000 hits on YouTube. And all
          the major networks are playing it,
          including Al Jazeera. So, now your
          captors have no choice but to
          follow through.

                          PAUL
          I found out the number to this
          phone.

                          DAN
          How?

                          PAUL
          I found a way to change the display
          language. I figured that out, and
          you didn't. Why?

                          DAN
          Because I didn't. Just like you
          and every other person on this
          planet, there are some things I
          know and some things I don't.

                          PAUL
          Then how are you ever going to find
          me?

                          DAN
          Their signal was cloned, like we
          figured. But, we're close. Real
          close.

                          PAUL
          What about mine?

                          DAN
          We're working on that, too.

                          PAUL
          I'm near a Mosque. I could hear
          the call to prayer over the P.A.

                          DAN
          Good. That means that we're in the
          right area.

                          PAUL
          You're nearby?

           62.

                         

                         

                          DAN
           I spoke with soldiers from the
           third ID who were escorting your
           convoy.

                          PAUL
           They're alive?
          After a beat:

                          DAN
           Not all of them. Both Bradley
           tanks were hit with IEDs. The rest
           got caught in small arms fire.

                          (BEAT)
           What the hell happened out there,
           Paul?

                         
          Paul doesn't answer at first.

                          DAN (CONT'D)
           Paul.
          After a beat:

                          PAUL
           We had just left Anaconda,
           everything seemed okay. We knew
           that a bunch of our CB radios had
           been stolen and that the Iraqis
           were listening in, so we made sure
           to switch from our usual channels.
           Pam was riding with Jeff Breer, the
           convoy commander. She wanted to
           ride with me like she usually did
           when she hitched a ride from base,
           but it seemed safer for her to be
           with the C.C. As we headed down
           the road, all these kids came
           running into the street. Dozens of
           them. It almost seemed like they
           were expecting us, except we got
           there faster than they thought we
           would. So they run on up in front
           of me, and I slam on my brakes.
           The rest of the drivers were
           already further up ahead, so they
           kept going. Next thing I know, one
           of the lead trucks got hit by an
           IED. I hear Tommy Wilkes on the
           radio saying, Sandman's hit,
           Sandman's hit. He's...he's
           everywhere.

                          (MORE)

           63.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           That's when the Iraqis came out of
           their mud huts from the side of the
           road and started shooting
           everybody. I couldn't believe what
           was happening. It seemed like slow-
           motion, like I was watching it on
           TV. People -- my friends -- were
           getting killed, and all I could do
           is watch. I didn't even notice
           that the kids were throwing bricks
           and rocks at me until one split my
           windshield. Sort of snapped me out
           of my trance. But then, I guess I
           got hit in the head with a rock,
           `cause I blacked out.

                          DAN
           Do you happen to remem...mo...
           nea...
          The cell phone service begins to cut out. Suddenly, the
          coffin begins to vibrate slightly, dropping sand granules
          through the crack and onto the wood bottom, followed by the
          faint sound of an explosion.
          Within seconds, the explosions grow louder and more
          proximate. The vibration becomes so intense that it
          violently shakes Paul around the coffin.
          The sound of jet plane engines are heard coming from above,
          flying by as the massive explosions continue.
          Sand seeps in through the crack between the top and sides of
          the coffin as it shakes. Paul does his best to brace
          himself, but the bombardment is far too powerful.

                         
          A large crack forms in the wooden cover to the coffin,
          spanning almost its entire length. Sand immediately pours
          through the concave shaped crack, seeping in onto Paul like
          an hourglass.
          Fearing that the top of the coffin may collapse under the
          immense pressure from the sand above, Paul positions himself
          underneath it and presses with all his might. He grunts and
          screams loudly, using what little strength he has left to
          keep the top from caving.
          The shaking soon stops, though the steady flow of sand
          continues.

           64.

                         

                         
          In efforts to prevent the sand from filling the coffin any
          faster, Paul removes the button-down shirt from the hole and
          stuffs into the area where it enters with the greatest
          volume. He removes the balled-up cloth from the other hole
          and does the same with it. Both offer very little help.
          The flashlight falls to the floor. The red light beam turns
          off. Darkness. The sound of sand steadily pouring down.

                          PAUL

                          (EXHAUSTED)
           Oh no...no...
          Paul clicks the flashlight to a different setting. White
          light shines, but then goes out. He shakes the flashlight
          and it stays on, shining its normal white beam.

                         
          He assesses his situation, noticing that the coffin is
          already filled with a small layer of sand; a situation that
          is only going to get worse with time.

                          PAUL
           This can't be happening.
          We see that Dan Brenner is no longer on the phone, and that
          the display menu shows an icon of a phone with a line through
          it -- No Service Available.
          Once he feels it is secure enough, Paul slowly moves his body
          away from the crack. Although slightly caved, it does not
          show any more signs of possible collapse.
          Sweat drenches his face. His eyes affixed, in utter
          disbelief, on the sand as it spills into the coffin, filling
          in around him inch-by-inch.

                         
          He grabs the cell phone, only to see that he does not have a
          signal.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           No. Come on. Please work.
          He shakes the cell phone and moves it all around the coffin,
          hoping that it may somehow help. His efforts are futile.
          The flashlight goes dead. He hits it, shakes it. It turns
          back on. The brightness is diminished.
          Still the sand continues to fall, drowning him deeper and
          deeper in a pool of granules.
          Then, very surprisingly, the cell phone rings. Paul answers
          right away.

           65.

                         

                         

                          PAUL

                          (FRANTICALLY)
           Hello? Hello? Who's there?
          Alan Davenport answers calmly from the other end.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Is this Paul Conroy?

                          PAUL
           Yes. Yes, this is Paul. Who are
           you?

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Paul, my name's Alan Davenport, I'm
           the personnel director here at
           Crestin, Roland and Thomas.

                         

                          PAUL
           I left you a message.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           You did. I also heard from Rebecca
           Browning over at the State
           Department. Are you able to speak
           on the status of your situation?

                          PAUL
           It's worse. There was an explosion
           or something. The coffin's
           breaking, there's sand pouring in
           from everywhere. I only have a
           half an hour before --

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Okay, okay. Slow down. You should
           try to stay calm. Tell me
           something, Paul, who have you
           spoken to?

                          PAUL
           The hostage takers, Dan Brenner
           from the hostage working group --

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Okay, Paul. I'm with you. How
           about the media. I know your
           ransom video leaked, but have you
           spoken directly to anyone about
           what's going on?
          The flashlight goes out. Paul hits it a few times and it
          turns back on.

           66.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           No.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           That's good. It needs to stay that
           way. It's important that we keep
           this situation as contained as
           possible.
          Paul finds Alan's obvious concern with doing damage control
          to be infuriating.

                          PAUL
           About three inches to my right,
           there's a wall. Three inches to my
           left, there's another wall. And
           about four inches above my head,
           there's a roof that's about to
           collapse and drown me in sand. I
           think this situation is pretty
           contained.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           I know you're upset --

                          PAUL
           Help me! Help me! What are you
           going to do to help me?!

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           I know you're upset. And, from
           what I've been told, steps are
           being taken to get you out of
           there. So, hopefully it won't be
           much longer.

                         

                          PAUL
           Thank God.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Yes, thank God.

                          (BEAT)
           I'm going to switch on a recorder
           right now. Just a second...
          Paul's visage expresses his confusion.
          A click is heard in the b.g. of Alan's phone, followed by a
          low, steady hum.
          Alan's speech becomes very laconic. His questions are
          clearly being read from a Human Resources handbook of some
          kind.

           67.

                         

                         

           ALAN DAVENPORT (CONT'D)
           This is Alan Davenport, Personnel
           Director for Crestin, Roland and
           Thomas, Incorporated. The date is
           October 23, 2006. I am speaking
           with Paul Conroy. Mister Conroy,
           are you aware that I'm recording
           this conversation?

                          PAUL
           What...?

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Please answer the question.
          The flashlight goes out again.

                         

                          PAUL
           Shit.
          Paul hits it, but it does not catch. He sits in darkness.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Mister Conroy?

                          PAUL
           Yes. Yes!

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           And do I have your permission to do
           so?

                          PAUL
           Why do you need my permission?
           What is all this?

                         

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           I need you to answer yes or no,
           please.

                          PAUL
           Yes. Alright? Yes!
          Paul hits the flashlight. It turns back on.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Thank you. Now, Mister Conroy,
           when were you hired by CRT?

                          PAUL
           About nine months ago. Around
           January of 2005. Why are you
           wasting time with this?

           68.

                         

                         

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           I have your official date of hire
           as January 4th, 2005. Is that
           correct?

                          PAUL
           Who cares? This is fucking crazy --

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           January 4th, 2005. Is that
           correct?

                          PAUL
           Yes!

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           And during your initial training,
           before being sent to Iraq, were you
           made aware of the dangers inherent
           to the position for which you were
           hired.

                          PAUL
           You mean when I came down there to
           Dallas and you guys said that all
           of the trucks would be armored and
           have bulletproof glass?
          The flashlight dims. Paul angrily shakes it, returning it to
          full strength.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           You mean when you told us that
           things were safer than ever over
           here? Is that when I was made
           aware?

                         

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           I need you to answer yes or no,
           please.

                          PAUL

                          (BEAT)
           Yes.
          The flashlight begins to slowly dim.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           During that time, did you also
           receive and sign an employment
           contract with CRT, which thoroughly
           explained company policy as it
           pertained to your specific terms of
           employment?

           69.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           Yeah, I signed a bunch of things.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Yes or no.

                          PAUL
           Yes. I signed the contract. Yes!

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           It's our understanding that you
           were taken hostage in Iraq two
           hours ago, is that also correct?

                          PAUL
           Yes. That's completely correct.
           What is the point of all this?

                         
          Alan breaks from the H.R. handbook script, though his tone
          remains just as matter-of-fact. The flashlight continues its
          steady, slow dim.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Our legal department requires that
           we obtain a sworn affidavit from
           employees, confirming that they
           understand the reasons for their
           forced separation from the company.
           As of this morning, your employment
           with CRT was officially terminated.

                          PAUL
           Wait, wait, wait --
          The flashlight dims even more.

                         

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           It was brought to our attention
           that you were engaging in relations
           with a fellow CRT employee --
           Pamela Gorham.

                          PAUL
           No. Wait --

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Stipulated in your contract was a
           fraternization clause, in which it
           was stated quite clearly that any
           relationship, be it romantic or
           sexual in nature, deemed
           inappropriate by CRT senior
           officials is grounds for immediate
           termination.

           70.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           We...we were just friends.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Our records indicate differently.

                          PAUL
           This is bullshit.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           We're also legally required to
           inform you that because you were
           technically no longer under the
           employ of CRT at the time of your
           abduction, we cannot be held
           accountable for any injury that may
           befall upon you after your official
           date and time of termination.
           Therefore, in your case, that
           includes this incident or any
           consequences that may result from
           it.
          Paul sees where Alan is going with this. He's thunderstruck.

                          PAUL
           What about my insurance money? My
           family will need that money...

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Given that you were alive up until
           the time of your termination --

                          PAUL
           You son of a bitch. You can't do
           this.

                         

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Do you understand everything --

                          PAUL
           You can't do this!
          Alan takes a second before trying again.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           Do you understand everything
           you've been told, Mister Conroy?
          Paul does not answer.

           ALAN DAVENPORT (CONT'D)
           Mister Conroy?

           71.

                         

                         
          After a long beat:

                          PAUL
           Go to hell.

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           That concludes our interview with
           Paul Conroy. I am now turning off
           the recorder.
          A click is heard. The humming ceases.

                          PAUL
           You people can't just wash your
           hands of this. You bastards put me
           here.

                         

                          ALAN DAVENPORT
           I'm sorry.
          Alan ends the call.
          Paul looks at the phone -- it is still holding a steady
          signal. Battery life, however, is running quite low. All
          that remains is one blinking bar, indicating that Paul has
          very little battery life left.
          He shakes his hand free of the pile of sand that now covers
          it and looks at his watch. It's 8:31pm.
          The flashlight bulb dims until it goes out completely. Only
          the light of the cell phone display lights the coffin.

                          PAUL
           Come on...

                         
          Wasting little time, Paul dials Jabir. The phone rings and
          rings, but Jabir does not answer. Checking to make sure the
          he dialed the correct number, Paul matches it against the
          phone number he wrote onto the wall of the coffin.
          Seeing that he did, in fact, dial correctly, Paul again tries
          to call Jabir. While he waits through the many rings, he
          tries relighting the Zippo. Spark...spark...it catches.
          No one answers. Paul's disquietude is evident in his
          increasingly erratic behavior.

                          PAUL
           Answer the phone!!
          Paul tries Jabir once again, but still he does not answer the
          phone.

           72.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           (desperate, exhausted)
           Why won't you answer?!!
          It's then that something occurs to Paul. He stares at the
          crack in the top of the coffin and the sand that pours in at
          an alarmingly fast rate.
          The crack has split Jabir's written phone number in half.
          The aerial bombing. He wonders how it may have affected
          Jabir and, consequently, his own chances of survival. He
          places his hand under the point from where the sand pours in
          most, allowing it to collect on his palm and slip through his
          fingers.
          The flickering Zippo flame tells of the diminished amount of
          oxygen.
          Paul attempts to control his breathing, realizing full well
          that there are not many more breaths he will be able to take.
          He then calls Dan Brenner. After a few rings, Brenner
          answers.
          Paul is surprisingly serene.

                          DAN
           Paul, is that you?

                          PAUL
           They're dead.

                          DAN
           How do you know that?

                         

                          PAUL
           I just do.

                          DAN
           Three F-16s levelled parts of the
           city a few minutes ago.

                          PAUL
           I know. I felt it. Did they know
           I was here?
          The Zippo flame flutters. Weakens.

                          DAN
           (after a beat)
           Yeah.

           73.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           Did they care?
          Dan does not answer.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           These people that took me -- if
           they're dead, they can't tell you
           where I am.

                          DAN
           We can still try to track down your
           signal.

                          PAUL
           You tried that already.

                         

                          DAN
           We can try again.
          Paul appreciates Dan's effort, but he knows there is little
          hope left for him.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           It's over, isn't it?
          After a long beat:

                          DAN
           No.
          Paul doesn't say a word. He knows that Dan is lying. After
          a beat, Dan comes clean.

                          DAN (CONT'D)
           Yeah.

                         
          The flame of the Zippo becomes smaller. It clearly has
          little life left.

                          PAUL
           What should I do?

                          DAN
           I don't know.

                          PAUL
           That's right -- just like everyone
           else on the planet, there are some
           things you know and some things you
           don't.

           74.

                         

                         

                          DAN
           I wish this could have gone
           differently.

                          PAUL
           Yeah...me too.
          After a long beat, Paul ends the call. He forces a smile to
          his lachrymose face.
          Utterly hopeless, he opens the phone and turns on the video
          feature. He turns the phone to face himself, projecting his
          image on the display.
          He presses Record.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           This is Paul Steven Conroy. Social
           Security number 048-32-1198, date
           of birth 3/19/68. This video will
           serve as my last will and
           testament. To my wife, Linda
           Conroy, I leave the seven hundred
           dollars in my personal savings and
           whatever I have left in my annuity.
           To my son, Shane Conroy, I...I
           don't know. I don't have anything
           else. My stuff, like, my clothes.
           I wish I had more...I wish I had
           done more. Your dad wasn't really
           much of anything, Shane, I'm sorry.
           Maybe if I was a famous baseball
           player, or a guy who wore a suit to
           work, I would have more to leave
           you. But, you can be one of those
           people if you want. You can be
           whatever you want. Just promise me
           that when you get older, you'll
           take good care of your mom. And
           promise me that you'll always try
           to do the right thing, no matter
           what. I love you very much, Shane.
           Maybe I never said that
           enough...maybe I did, I don't even
           know. That probably means I
           didn't.

                          (BEAT)
           I'm sorry, Linda. I should have
           listened to you.
          Paul ends the video and closes the phone. He carefully
          places the phone into his pocket, where it may hopefully be
          found if he ever is.

           75.

                         

                         
          He lays back, staring at the almost completely extinguished
          Zippo flame, as the sand continues to rain on him.
          Down and down it pours, the sands of time passing might and
          main through the cracks.
          The Zippo flame goes out. Paul sits in the darkness,
          resigned to what apparently will be his fate.
          Hold on black for several seconds...until --
          -- suddenly, from inside Paul's pocket, he hears a faint
          vibration. It's the cell phone. He looks at the number of
          who is calling him. Shines the light of the cell phone on
          the list of numbers written on the top of the coffin. He
          can't believe what he's seeing.

                         
          Paul answers immediately.

                          PAUL
           You're not dead.
          Jabir is heard speaking frantically in Arabic to the several
          other people in the room with him.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Hello? Hello?!
          Jabir turns his attention to Paul.

                          JABIR
           Where is money?

                          PAUL
           I don't know.

                         

                          JABIR
           What don't know?

                          PAUL
           I don't know where the money is.

                          JABIR
           Liar!

                          PAUL
           I'm not lying! I swear.

                          JABIR
           Swear?

                          PAUL
           I'm telling the truth.

           76.

                         

                         
          Sounding panicked, Jabir again speaks in Arabic to the other
          people in the room with him. They respond accordingly.
          Paul tries to turn on the flashlight. It doesn't work.
          Jabir returns his scornful attention to Paul.

                          JABIR
           From Embassy, you get money now!

                          PAUL
           I can't!

                          JABIR
           You will!!

                          PAUL
           I need more time. Please.
          Paul shakes and hits the flashlight. It still does not work.

                          JABIR
           No more time!

                          PAUL
           There's sand pouring in here. I
           can't...it's everywhere. Please,
           let me out of here and I will get
           you the money.
          Jabir utters something in Arabic to someone standing next to
          him, seemingly asking a question and getting an answer from
          the same individual.
          Paul unscrews the top of the flashlight. Switches the
          positioning of the batteries. Screws the cap back on. Hits
          the switch.
          Nothing.
          Jabir returns to the phone.

                          JABIR (CONT'D)
           You show blood.

                          PAUL
           What?
          Paul unscrews the top of the flashlight again. Removes the
          batteries. Bites down on them a few times. Blows hard
          inside the flashlight tube.

                          JABIR
           You show blood, they give money.

           77.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           No.

                          JABIR
           You cut off thumb finger, send
           video.

                          PAUL
           I'm not doing that.

                          JABIR
           Yes!
          Paul puts the batteries back inside the flashlight. Begins
          screwing on the cap.

                          PAUL
           No.

                          JABIR
           No?

                          PAUL
           That's right, no. You let me out
           of here, and I'll cut off my whole
           God damn hand if you want.
          Jabir again says something to someone in the room with him,
          returning to Paul after a brief moment.
          Paul finishes closing the top of the flashlight.

                          JABIR
           You have wife?
          Click. The flashlight turns on!

                         
          Paul considers Jabir's question to be a potential sign of
          compassion.

                          PAUL
           Yes, I do. And a son. A young
           son. I want to go home...to see
           them. Please, sir.

                          JABIR
           Sir?

                          PAUL
           Yes. Sir. I say that out of
           respect...to you.

           78.

                         

                         

                          JABIR
           243 East Walnut Street. Hastings,
           Michigan. U.S.A.

                          PAUL

                          (CONCERNED)
           That's my...why did you say that?

                          JABIR
           You show blood...or they show
           blood.

                          PAUL
           That's...you're lying. You're
           nobody...all of you. You can't get
           to them.

                         

                          JABIR
           No?

                          PAUL
           No. You're peasants, criminals,
           that's all. You don't even know
           where Michigan is.

                          JABIR
           Detroit. Ann Arbor.
          Even this basic knowledge is enough to make Jabir's threats
          that much more real.

                          PAUL
           You looked at a map. That's all
           you did.

                          JABIR
           You show blood, or they show blood.
           Send video by five minutes.
          Jabir ends the call. Realizing that Jabir is gone, Paul
          quickly dials his wife's cell phone.
          After several rings, her voice mail picks up.

           LINDA (V.O.)
           Hi, this is Linda. Please leave a
           message. Thanks and have a great
           day.

                          PAUL

                          (FRANTICALLY)
           Linda, listen to me: you and Shane
           have to go somewhere... anywhere.

                          (MORE)

           79.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Don't stay at the house, whatever
           you do, do not stay at the house.
           The guy...the kidnapper, he knows
           our address. He stole my license
           and now he knows where we live. Go
           to the Sheriff's station if you
           have to, just don't go home.
          Paul hangs up. He takes a moment to look around, noticing
          that the coffin is almost halfway filled with sand.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           (re: the sand)
           Holy God.
          Paul then dials Dan Brenner. After only one ring, the call
          goes directly to voice mail.

                         
          The flashlight starts to dim. Paul shakes it, causing it to
          regain its strength.

                          DAN
           This is Daniel Brenner. Please
           leave a message at the tone.
          The beep sounds. Paul delivers a frenzied message.

                          PAUL
           Brenner, where are you?! He's
           alive! He just called me! Call me
           right away! The fucking guy is
           still alive!
          Paul hangs up the phone.
          Unsure what to do next, Paul's heartbeat races. He fidgets,
          nervously shaking and tapping his thumb against the phone.
          He questions the validity of Jabir's threats toward his
          family.

                          PAUL

                          (TO HIMSELF)
           They can't find them.
           They...can't. There's no way.
          Paul opens the phone and brings up the photo of Pamela, bound
          and gagged. The image causes Paul to second guess himself.
          The flashlight goes out. The cell phone's display
          illuminates Paul's face.

           80.

                         

                         
          He then replays the video in which Pamela is seen being shot.
          Reliving the experience is extremely painful, though his
          concern is more on his own family at this point. However,
          the video is enough to convince Paul of Jabir and his
          cohort's convictions.
          Paul tries the Zippo. Nothing. Only sparks. He tosses it
          aside.
          His breathing grows erratic and labored. His eyes dart from
          side-to-side, his throat groans involuntary noises of fear.
          Paul then looks at the knife, and then at his watch. He has
          less than two minutes to send the video to Jabir.
          Fearing for the safety of his family, he must meet Jabir's
          demands.

                         
          He hits the flashlight a few times. Click. It turns on.
          Paul opens the phone and sets it to take video. He places it
          flat onto the surface of the sand, which by this point is
          already filling the coffin halfway. He then reaches for the
          knife.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           Oh my God. Oh my God.
          He places his hands against the side of the coffin, spreading
          his fingers. He stares intently at his thumb.
          With the extremely sharp knife in hand, Paul slowly lowers it
          just above his thumb. He inhales and exhales deep breaths,
          almost hyperventilating.

                          PAUL(CONT'D)
           Holy shit.
          Paul then reaches into the sand and finds one of the expired
          glow sticks. He shakes the sand off of it and places it
          across his mouth, biting into it hard.
          His heart races, his breaths are the deepest he's ever taken.
          After placing the flashlight on the ground, to ensure that
          the camera picks up the image, he presses the record button
          on the cell phone.
          Grinding his teeth into the glow stick and letting out a
          primordial scream, Paul closes his eyes and chops down with
          the knife.
          We see, through the display screen of the phone, Paul sever
          his thumb with a swift chop of the blade.

           81.

                         

                         
          A small spray of blood spatters onto his face as he screams
          out in unfathomable pain.
          He falls to his side, still screaming and writhing. He
          reaches for his discarded outer-shirt, which is still stuffed
          in the crack to help slow the influx of sand. Removing the
          shirt from the crack instantly causes the sand to fall into
          the coffin more rapidly.
          Paul wraps the shirt around his hand. The blood quickly soaks
          right through it.
          He is fading fast. His blood loss is great. Shock sets in.
          He musters up the strength to send the video to Jabir.
          To secure his shirt over the wound, Paul removes his belt
          from his waist and pulls it tight over his wrap.

                         
          Growing increasingly more pale, Paul teeters on the verge of
          consciousness. Everything becomes blurry to him.
          The phone falls from his hand. He shivers. His lips turn a
          light shade of purple and his face ash white. Everything
          becomes more and more blurry. He fights with every last
          ounce of strength to remain conscious.
          While laying against the side of the coffin, the phone
          vibrates once again. To Paul, the vibration against the wood
          seems so distant, so foreign. The vibration grows louder and
          louder in his mind, sounding more and more like the sound of
          rotating helicopter blades.
          He then hears what sounds like VOICES, yelling from on top of
          the coffin.

                          VOICE #1
           He's down here!

                          VOICE #2
           Get him out! Keep digging!

                          VOICE #3
           Paul, we're here!
          The cacophony of voices form a mosaic of sound in Paul's
          head, each overlapping the other in distant echoes. Shovels,
          digging deep into the ground, are heard banging against the
          top of the coffin.
          The top of the coffin is torn open, sending a brilliant ray
          of white light onto Paul. He stares into the light, crying,
          eking out a tortured smile.

           82.

                         

                         
          Suddenly, Paul is back in the same predicament. The voices,
          the shovels, the light -- it was all a hallucination, brought
          upon by his loss of blood.
          He's still alone. He's still in the coffin, which continues
          to fill up with sand. He is too exhausted to display his
          disappointment.
          The phone continues to vibrate. It soon stops. Paul is in
          too poor condition to show any concern.
          After a beat, the phone begins vibrating once again. After
          several rings, Paul languidly picks it up. He barely
          recognizes the number through his extremely blurred vision.
          He's so weak, he's barely able to formulate words. He spits
          out stray particles of sand from his mouth.

                         

                          PAUL
           Yeah?

                          DAN
           Paul, it's Brenner.
          Paul doesn't have the strength to answer.

                          DAN (CONT'D)
           Paul? Are you there? Paul?

                          PAUL
           I'm...here.

                          DAN
           We're coming for you now. You hear
           me? We know where you are.

                         
          This news serves as somewhat of an adrenaline rush for Paul,
          who musters up even the modicum of strength he seemingly did
          not have left in him.

                          PAUL
           You're coming?

                          DAN
           We are, Paul. We're almost there
           now.

                          PAUL
           How do you know?

                          DAN
           Coalition forces picked up a Shiite
           insurgent just outside of Baghdad.

                          (MORE)

           83.

                          DAN (CONT'D)
           Said he knew where an American was
           buried alive. He agreed to show us
           where if we let him go.

                          PAUL
           You're coming for me?

                          DAN
           We're practically there already.
          An impossible smile fights its way to Paul's lips. His
          momentary joy is just that, however, for the sand has almost
          completely filled the coffin by this point.

                          PAUL
           You have to hurry.

                         

                          DAN
           We are.

                          PAUL
           No...you have to hurry. The
           sand...it's filling up fast.

                          DAN
           Just hang in there for three more
           minutes. This will all be over
           soon, I promise.
          Paul is very hopeful that Dan is correct in his assumption.

                          PAUL
           Okay. I believe you. Thank you.
           Thank you.
          A beep is heard. Paul has another call coming in. He's
          visibly elated upon seeing who it is.

                          DAN
           Three minutes. Try to --

                          PAUL
           I have to go!

                          DAN
           Paul, no --

                          PAUL
           Call me right back.

                          DAN
           Paul!

           84.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           Call me right back.
          Paul switches to the other call, despite the fact that he has
          a mere eight inches left before the entire coffin is filled
          with sand from top-to-bottom.
          He holds the flashlight just above the top of the sand pile,
          allowing it to illuminate what little unoccupied area
          remains.

                          PAUL
           Linda.
          Linda is in hysterics, which is evident in her speech.

                          LINDA
           Paul? Paul is that you? Tell me
           it's you.

                          PAUL
           It's me, sweetie.

                          LINDA
           Oh my God, Paul! What are they
           doing to you? Please tell me
           you're okay.

                          PAUL
           I'm...okay.

                          LINDA
           I just saw the news. What...oh my
           God, baby.
          The flashlight dims. Paul shakes it, regaining a bit of its
          strength.

                          PAUL
           It's going to be okay now.

                          LINDA
           I missed all your calls. I left my
           cell phone at home. I just found
           out what was going on.

                          PAUL
           That's okay. It's all okay.
           They're getting me out.

                          LINDA
           Who?

           85.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           The people. Americans. They found
           out where I am and they're on their
           way to get me.

                          LINDA

                          (ELATED)
           They are? Oh thank God. Oh dear
           God, thank you.
          The flashlight flickers. Paul hits it. It flickers some
          more.

                          PAUL
           It's all going to be okay.

                          LINDA
           How do you know for sure? Oh God,
           please tell me you're okay.
          The flashlight continues to flicker almost like a
          stroboscopic light from this point forward.

                          PAUL
           I'm okay.

                          LINDA
           I was so afraid I was going to lose
           you.

                          PAUL
           You're not.
          Linda breaks down in joyous tears.

                          LINDA
           I love you so much. I love you so,
           so much.

                          PAUL

                          (WELLING UP)
           I love you, too.

                          (BEAT)
           I'm sorry. I should have listened
           to you.

                          LINDA
           It doesn't matter.

                          PAUL
           I should have never come here. You
           were right. I'm sorry.

           86.

                         

                         

                          LINDA
           Sweetie, I don't care. I just want
           you home. Please come home to me.

                          PAUL
           I will.

                          LINDA
           Swear it.

                          PAUL
           I will. I swear I will.
          Paul then receives a call on the other line. He checks to
          see who's calling. It's Dan Brenner.

                          PAUL (CONT'D)
           They're here!

                          LINDA
           The people?

                          PAUL
           They're calling me right now. I
           have to go.

                          LINDA
           Call me right away.

                          PAUL
           I will. I love you.

                          LINDA
           I love you. Swear it again.

                          PAUL
           I swear. I have to go.
          Paul clicks over to the other line, where Dan Brenner waits
          to speak with him.
          We hear Dan yelling to people who are with him. A great deal
          of commotion and action is heard through the phone.

                          DAN
           Move! Move! Let's go.

                          PAUL
           Brenner?

                          DAN
           Paul? Paul?

           87.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           It's me.

                          DAN
           We're here!
          Dan yells to one of the soldiers who are with him.

                          DAN (CONT'D)
           Corporal, get your men over here!
          Dan gets back on the phone with Paul

                          DAN (CONT'D)
           He brought us right to you.

                          DAN (CONT'D)
           (to the soldiers)
           Start digging! Let's go, let's go!
          The flashlight fades. Paul hits it, momentarily returning it
          to full strength.
          Meanwhile, the sand inside the coffin has almost reached the
          very top. It continues to pour in from the crack, seemingly
          faster than ever.
          Paul struggles to keep his head above the sand, giving him
          only a few inches between his face and the top of the coffin.

                          PAUL
           You have to hurry. It's almost
           full.

                          DAN
           Just hang in there!

                         

                          PAUL
           Hurry! Please!

                          DAN
           (to the soldiers)
           Dig! Dig! Dig!
          Paul fights to keep his head above the sand. The flashlight
          dims.

                          PAUL
           I can't...are you close?

                          DAN
           We're almost there, Paul. We're
           almost there!
           (to the soldiers)

                          (MORE)

           88.

                          DAN (CONT'D)
           Faster!

                          (TO PAUL)
           We're almost there. We're right
           above you.
          The level of sand grows even higher. Paul spits away falling
          sand that threatens to suffocate him.

                          PAUL
           I can't hear you! Where are you?

                          DAN
           We're almost there.
          A SOLDIER is heard OFF-SCREEN in the b.g. of Dan's phone.

           SOLDIER (O.S.)
           There it is!

                          DAN
           (to the soldiers)
           Keep digging!!

                          PAUL
           Hurry! Please!!!

                          DAN
           We see the coffin! Just hang in
           there!!
          Paul coughs out sand. He has a mere inch left above his
          head.

                          PAUL
           Hurry! Where are you? I don't
           hear you? Please hurry!!!

                         
          The Soldier is again heard OFF-SCREEN in the b.g. Of Dan's
          phone.

                          SOLDIER
           It's clear!

                          DAN
           (to the soldier)
           Open it!
          Nondescript noise is heard through the phone, until it comes
          to an abrupt stop.

                          DAN

                          (SHOCKED)
           Oh my God.

           89.

                         

                         

                          PAUL
           What is it?!

                          DAN
           I'm so sorry, Paul.

                          PAUL
           What?!!

                          DAN
           It's Mark White. He brought us to
           Mark White. I'm --
          We see the circled name of "MARK WHITE" written in capital
          letters on the top of the coffin.

                          PAUL
           You said...!

                          DAN

                          (OVERLAPPING)
           ...I know. I'm sorry.

                          PAUL
           No.

                          DAN
           I'm so sorry.

                          PAUL
           No!! No!! NO!!!
          The battery life on Paul's phone runs out, causing it to
          power down. The filament of the flashlight bulb burns out.
          As it does, the sand finally consumes the coffin, filling it
          completely.

                         
          We hear Paul's muffled screams emanate through the sand,
          until we no longer hear them at all.

           FADE OUT.

                         OVER BLACK

                          DAN
           I'm sorry, Paul. I'm so sorry.

                         

                         

                          THE END
 

Buried



Writers :   Chris Sparling
Genres :   Drama  Mystery  Thriller


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