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Movie Chat



ALL SCRIPTS




 
                                     ENOUGH



                                   Written by

                                 Nicholas Kazan




                                                          REVISED - 3B
                         

                         

                         
          Dialog in parenthesis is (not spoken aloud).

          NOTE ON TITLES:
          GRAPHIC TITLES pop up throughout. Some are chapter titles,
          others more like the explanatory arrows found in cartoons.
          Sometimes the words present themselves in normal fashion. At
          other times, they're loosely spaced or sharply angled or
          individual words flash up one after another. i.e., titles
          ought to be wilder and less uniform than I suggest on the page.  
                         

                         HEY
          HER FACE. FLASHES . She looks gorgeous, then ordinary,
          sloppy, white waitress uniform, gorgeous again, dishes stacked
          in her arms, turning, looking, happy, tired. INTERCUT TITLES.

                         SLIM
           Hi, can I help you?
           What would you like?
           Want a menu?
           Hey Billy.
           Hey Tom.
           You take care, Rosie.

          We get a sense of her: 23, smart, good attitude, proud to be on
          her own and supporting herself even if the job is menial. She
          moves quickly, physically, with an almost athletic grace -

                         SLIM
           Sure thing, Annie. Have a good one.
           That's two straight up.
           You're good to go.
           Morning.
           Hey there.
           Morning to you.
           (beat, embarrassed)
          What?
           (looks down, sees she's
           carrying lunch food)
          Right. Afternoon.

          A sense of the diner too. 50's-style joint: hip, lively; a fun
          pl ace full of wacko signs that tell us we're in some modestly
          sized So. Cal. beach community.

                         SLIM
           What can I get you?
           Whattaya like?
           Whattaya want?
           (rolls eyes; good-humored
          rejection of a.come-on:)
          Nice try, bud -

                         (INCREDULOUS)
          Does that ever work?
           Hey, lemme get that for you.
           Hey.
           Common' right up.

          END TITLES as we FLASH FOOD IMAGES: beans/eggs/pie/burger/shake
          /waffle/grilled cheese, fast flow of too much grub as words fly

                         UP :

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         2

          HOW THEY MET

          INT. "THE ORCA" RESTAURANT. DAY.

          FLURRY OF MOVEMENT, WAITRESSES setting up for lunch, Slim
          joking with GINNY (28, knocked around but still spirited; two
          kids at home from different guys; she somehow maintains a good
          attitude). Slim views Ginny as her idol: for her attitude, not
          her life. Catch them in mid-conversation, Ginny slightly
          offended, working-class accent:

                         GINNY
          Why not? My grandfather was a
          lawyer... Plus: I have a logical
          mind...

                         SLIM
          And you're only like 299 thousand
          short of what you'd need for law
          school.

                         FAST RIFF:

                          GINNY
          I Piece of cake -

                         SLIM
          Piece of pie -

                         GINNY
          Piece of ass. So what would you do?

                         SLIM
          I don't know...

                         GINNY

                         LIAR -

                         SLIM

                         (EMBARRASSED)
          I'm also thinking... well ...I could
          go back to school.

                         GINNY
          In what? I thought you hated -

                         SLIM
          Psychology maybe, I don't know.
          I know it's not cool to say so, but
          I'd like to contribute something to
          society, even if - (it's just)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         3

                         GINNY
          We contribute. We give 'em food,
          energy, so they can go out and
          save Western Civilization -
          A bell rings, a CUSTOMER comes in, and the owner of the place,
          PHIL (45, Syrian, also the cook) sticks his head between them:

                         PHIL
          Ladies, please. Am I paying you?

                         GINNY
          Not that we noticed.

                         (SEES CLOCK: 11:15)
          Oh my God, speaking.of time -
          The lunch rush is coming; they start working triple speed -

          INT. "ORCA." LATER.

          Ginny and Slim converge carrying dirty dishes, piling them up
          for the BUSBOY, TEDDY (21, Hispanic). They haven't stopped
          moving for two hours, but now they can take a breath, survey
          the scene. Slim notices Ginny has a wet spot under her arm.

                         SLIM
          Ever try the rock, hey?

                         GINNY
          Excuse me?

                         SLIM
          The deodorant thing. It's salts or
          something, it comes in like a...it
          looks like some kinda hippie crystal.

                         GINNY
          You're saying I sweat.

                         SLIM
          Perspire, Ginny. You lightly -

                         (PERSPIRE)

                         GINNY
          (a vow to get even)
          I'll remember that.
          (as someone comes in)
          Your turn, I'm sweatin' too much.
          Slim gives her a look, grabs a menu, goes over to where the new
          customer, whom we will call for the moment OUR HERO, is seated.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         4
          When she reaches his booth, she notices he's got a book and a
          long-stemmed red rose. She hands him a menu -

                         SLIM
          Waiting for somebody?
          He shakes his head. She can't help noticing he's very
          handsome.

          SLIM (CONT.
          Something to drink?

                         OUR HERO
          Just water, thanks.

                         SLIM
          I'll give you a minute to look over -

                         OUR HERO
          That's okay. I was in yesterday...
          (reads her nametag)
          Slim.
          She nods, slightly uncomfortable. He hands her his menu.

                         OUR HERO
          What's your real name?

                         SLIM
          No.

                         OUR HERO
          Hmm. I like it, but don't you think
          it's kinds negative?

                         SLIM
          No, I don't tell my name.

                         OUR HERO
          Okay. Coke and a turkey burger,
          coleslaw no fries, couple extra
          slices tomato. I write books.

                         SLIM
          Oh.

                         OUR HERO
          You read books?
          She kind of half-nods half-shrugs.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         5

          OUR HERO (CONT.)
          What're you reading now?
          She stares at him...

                         SLIM
          Finneaan's Wake by James Joyce. A
          friend told me it's the hardest book
          in the English Language. Not the
          hardest hardest, just the hardest
          one it's actually possible to read,
          and I figure if I can get through
          that one, I can do the others.

                         OUR HERO
          How long you been reading it?

                         SLIM
          Six years. I'll be back with your

          TB.
          She leaves, goes back puts the order in, mutters to Ginny:

          SLIM {CONT.}
          Asshole.

                         GINNY
          What'd he say?

                         SLIM
          Wanted to find out how smart I was
          so I told him I was reading the
          hardest book in the English language.

                         GINNY
          He likes you.

                         SLIM
          I think he's just a dick.

                         GINNY
          Slim...he was in yesterday -

                         SLIM
          I know -

                         GINNY
          And he's back today with a rose,
          he pulls you into conversation.
          Honey, if you can't tell he likes
          you, you need to study psychology.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         6

                         SLIM
          Okay, so he likes me.

                         GINNY
          Do you like him?

                         SLIM
          I don't know him.

                         GINNY
          What's that got to do with it?
          Slim: he is a major piece of
          cake/piece of pie.

                         SLIM
          I didn't notice.

                         GINNY
          Trust me. Carrot cake. And when
          a guy like that - cuter than you? -
          he actually likes you -

                         SLIM
          He's cuter than me??
          tinny gives her a long stare; this is obviously a favorite

                         ROUTINE:

                         GINNY
          Hey. Wise up, huh? No-one is
          ever gonna go for you 'cause of
          your looks.

                         SLIM

                         (NODS SOBERLY)
          That is bad news, 'cause my
          personality bites.
          Ginny grins. Slim writes up a check for a CUSTOMER at the
          counter. When she finishes, the turkey burger is up.
          She carries it to the table:

                         SLIM
          TB, coleslaw, and so forth. You
          don't really write books, do you?

                         OUR HERO
          Nope.

                         SLIM
          I don't read Finnecan's Wake either.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         7

                         OUR HERO
          I'm goin' into law. Enforcement.
          She nods. This is more like what she expected.

                         SLIM
          Who's the rose for?
          He shrugs.
          She's busy, so she starts to go:

                         SLIM
          Enjoy your grub, huh?
          She's seven feet away when she hears:

                         OUR HERO

                         HEY -
          Sheturns back toward him -
          He smiles, offers the rose:

                         OUR HERO
          You.
          She smiles back-their eyes meet... a sudden utterly magical
          moment. This is also the moment to.note OUR HERO should be
          played by a famous actor doing a cameo. Because at this
          instant the scene changes.
          The man (MITCH) in the booth behind Our Hero - a man we haven't
          noticed because all we've seen is the back of his head - turns
          and looks at Slim. Stands. Looks down at Our Hero...

                         MITCH
          How much did you settle on?

                         OUR HERO
          Excuse. me?
          Slim frowns, steps closer so she can overhear:

                         MITCH
          The bet. How much is it?
          Our Hero has a completely blank look on his face -

          MITCH (CONT.)
          You and your friend. Yesterday.
          Was it 200 or 500 or - ?

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         8

                         SLIM

                         (TO MITCH)
          What're you -

                         MITCH
          He bet his friend he could get in
          your pants in less than twelve
          hours, starting noon today.
          Our Hero rises to his feet and pushes Mitch in the chest, which
          looks like a stupid move, since Mitch is bigger -

                         OUR HERO
          Is this your business?
          (right in Mitch's face)
          What are you, the morals police?
          He pushes again and Mitch,s hand shoots out like a snake
          striking. Grabs him by the collar. Lifts him. A frozen
          moment, more violence just a breath away, and a sense of things
          about to spin out of control... Our Hero's eyes are popping;
          he tries to hide his fear:

                         OUR HERO
          Take it easy, M...man. She and
          I were just having some fun -

                         SLIM
          (to our Hero)
          Was it two hundred or five?

                         (VERY CALM)
          I want to know what I'm worth.
          Our Hero gestures to Mitch: would you mind putting me down?
          Mitch reluctantly obliges.
          Our Hero does his best to recollect his dignity. Looks at
          Slim. Drops a ten on the table and smirks:

                         OUR HERO
          The bet was two, but now that I
          know you? Way too high.
          A pained look flashes across Slim's face -
          Our Hero starts toward the door, but Mitch steps in his path.
          Speaks quietly but with authority; there's a physical power in
          his words. Since he's protecting Slim, the power is

                         COMFORTING:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         MITCH
          Don't come back here, buddy. Ever.
          Our Hero nods nervously.
          Mitch steps back 3 inches, just far enough to let our Hero
          leave. Which he does with considerable relief.
          Slim's leaning vs. the counter, shaken, tears in her eyes -
          Mitch tugs his baseball cap, mutters as he heads for the door:

                         MITCH
          Sorry to get in your business.

                         SLIM
          No. Hey. Thank you.
          He nods, keeps going.

          SLIM (CONT.)
          (blurts out, grateful:)
          I... I can't believe you actually
          said something.

                         MITCH
          (turns, shrugs)
          If I'd kept my mouth shut, I'd'a
          felt bad later.
          Good luck, huh?
          She nods.
          He ambles out the door. A touch of the cowboy in him.
          She shakes her head, looks at Ginny.
          Ginny gestures as if to say, well?
          At first Slim doesn't get it.
          Ginny gestures more urgently: Come on. What're you waiting
          for? She looks toward the door -
          Slim follows her look. PUSH IN ON SLIM'S FACE as she tries to
          work up the courage...
          Just as she starts toward the door, we:

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         10

                         BRIDE AND

          EXT. OLD PASADENA ESTATE. NIGHT.


                          FLASHES:
           Wedding photos. Mitch has lots of (surprisingly upper crust)
          family, Slim has a few friends. The more photos FLASH, the
          more pronounced (and sad), the contrast. FLY RIGHT INTO:
          Bacchanalian DANCING. French Champagne has flowed; shoes and
          inhibitions were abandoned hours ago. THE CAMERA weaves
          through the DANCERS to find:
          Slim and Mitch, dancing close, never quite touching, every move
          intense, physical, like subtle public sex. Their eyes are
          locked; she runs her veil down his body, his hand lightly
          touches her ass; they slow down and stand, lips a millimeter
          apart but not quite kissing, the sexual tension building...
          We see how crazy they are about each other, how completely
          physically involved - and how much fun they have.
          Watching them is Phil, with Mitch's parents, MRS. TYLER (58,
          confident, at ease with her power and family money, and
          likeable despite monstrous flaws) and MR. TYLER (someone Mrs.
          Tyler married in a moment of cupidity).

          MRS. TYLER
          Mitch was kind of.. .evasive. Is her
          father dead too?

                         PHIL
          Dead to her. He left when she was
          two.

          MRS. TYLER
          Oh. Well, I'm happy to pay for the

                         WEDDING -

          MR. TYLER
          Yes, we're very happy -

          MRS, TYLER
          (ignoring Mr. T.)
          It's a way to build bridges... Not
          that you can... (repair all the
          damage) When there's such a vast
          body of water...

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         11

                         PHIL
          You don't get along with your son?
          She gives him a look. She's both offended by, and appreciative
          of, his bluntness. Looks out at Mitch:

          MRS. TYLER
          He's like my father. Which means, I
          guess, that he'll do very well.

                         PHIL
          He's done well to get Miss Slim.

          MRS. TYLER
          Yes, he has, hasn't he? He's married
          down, but he's gotten value.
           As Phil reacts, he notices his wife, SALIMA, has joined him.
          With her are two kids (5 and 2).
          Salima's looking out at the floor: not at Slim, but at Ginny
          and her dance partner. We see a thought cross her mind. She
          bends down and whispers conspiratorially to the kids.
          They whoop their response, run out to Ginny (who looks quite
          uncomfortable in her Maid-of-Honor dress).

          FIVE YEAR OLD SON
          Mom! Mom! Mom! Can we spend the
          night at Phil and Salima's house?
          Ginny looks over, winks at Salima, and kisses her kids:

                         GINNY
          Don't eat at their ice cream, huh?
          They squeal with pleasure and run off.
          Ginny turns back, resumes dancing with JOE (24, handsome in a
          casual way, a good guy):

                         GINNY
          So this was during college or after?

                         JOE
          During.

                         GINNY
          What was wrong with you?
          (off his puzzled look)
          I mean-why'd you and Slim break
          up?

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         12

                         JOE
          Oh. Well. I'm terrible in bed.
          (lets this hang for a moment
          for shock value, then:)
          Plus, I don't know: we just sort
          of.. . evolved into being friends.

                         GINNY
          Evolution? You were going the
          wrong direction, bud.

                         JOE
          That's kinda what .1 thought, but I
          guess I was so totally pathetic -

                         GINNY
          Why am I not believing this?

                         (INTRIGUED)
          Can I take you home right now?

                         JOE
          If you've got a sense of humor.

                         GINNY
          My kids are out for the night, and...

                         JOE
          Another thing: I live in Chicago;
          women always want the possibility of

                         LONG-TERM -

                         GINNY
          I didn't propose, huh?
          I just want to have...
          (looks at him...)
          a brief and completely unsatisfying
          sexual encounter.

                         JOE
          Hey. I'm your guy.
          She pulls him into a kiss, and...well: he's not a bad kisser...
          We glide from them to Slim and Mitch, hardly moving. Suddenly:
          tender and insecure and almost comic, she looks at him...

                         SLIM
          You sure,you love me?

                         MITCH
          Uh-huh...

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         13

                         SLIM
          For ever and ever?
          He stops dancing. Senses the real issue beneath her questions:

                         MITCH
          You're safe with me, Slim. You're
          safe, and it's okay to be happy.
          We deserve it.
          They kiss. Others stop to watch: how cute. Phil comes over,
          waits. When they break:

                         PHIL
          I'm sorry, I gotta get up five
          o'clock to buy green beans.
          He slips an envelope into Mitch's hand:

                         PHIL
          In my country, it's tradition to
          give money to groom. You don't
          need it, but...
          Slim shakes her head, touched, as:

                         MITCH
          That's very sweet -

                         SLIM

                         (HUGGING PHIL)
          Thanks for giving me away, okay?
          You're the best substitute Dad a girl
          could possibly have.

                         PHIL
          No substitute. I am real thing.
          She kisses him, and he goes. They look after him.

                         MITCH
          He really loves you.
          She nods, not quite picking up how odd his statement is: of
          course he loves her; she nicked him to give her away.
          Mitch turns her toward him and slips his hands inside the top
          of her dress (so the back of his hands touch her breasts; is
          this going too far?). He pulls her to him, whispers:

                         MITCH
          You gonna give me babies?

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         14

                         SLIM
          Oh yeah.

                         MITCH
          How soon?

                         SLIM
          How soon can we get out of here?
          He hoists her into his arms and carries her off the floor.
          Applause from the GUESTS. It's a grand romantic gesture. You
          have to wonder if Mitch is just a little too good to be true...

                         CUT TO:

                         CONQUERING HERO

          EXT. SPANISH-STYLE HOUSE WITH GROUNDS. DAY.

          Slim (4 months pregnant) stands'on the walkway leading up to a
          large, simple,' beautiful house. Mitch is knocking at the door.
          The man who answers the door is 62, white-haired, vigorous.
          Looks like he walked out of a Viagra ad.

                         HOME OWNER
          Hello?

                         MITCH
          Hi. We've been driving around,
          and my wife has completely fallen
          in love with your house.

                         HOME OWNER
          It's great, isn't it?

                         MITCH
          We want to buy it.
          The Home Owner's jaw drops as Mitch gestures toward his bulging

                         WIFE:

          MITCH (CONT.)
          My wife wants it for our family.

                         HOME OWNER
          (polite but firm)
          Well...we're not selling.

                         MITCH
          Sure you are.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         15
          Mitch hands him a slip of paper. Totally amiable:

                         MITCH
          That's the price. Don't worry, it's
          well over-market.

                         HOME OWNER
          (stunned, a little scared)
          You... You're out of your mind.

                         MITCH
          I know. That's just it. So before
          you say no again, think how miserable
          one determined crazy person can make
          you. Miserable today, miserable
          tomorrow, miserable for every single
          day until the day you sell.
          We glimpse the Home Owner's will just starting to crumble...

          MITCH (CONT.)
          Your kids are grown, you'll be
          happier in a smaller place.
          MOVE OFF the Owner's face... SLOW PAN TO the window of the house
          .the SENSE that time is passing... and when we reach the
          window, we see SLIM inside. MOVE THROUGH the window...

          INT. HOUSE. KITCHEN. DAY.

          Six weeks later. She's happily putting away groceries.
          Whistling to herself. What we can see of the house feels good:
          the furnishings are simple, casual, friendly.
          She's putting a bottle of oil up on a shelf. . .but it never
          quite gets there. Her face changes. Something's happened.
          The hand holding the oil lowers... the oil bottle slips through
          her fingers and smashes on the floor...
          Oil spreading across the floor...
          She stares at it.
          Claws the air, grabbing the cordless phone as she plops down on
          a kitchen barstool. Starts to cry. Punches the autodialer.

                         SLIM
          It's Slim, is he there?
          Water is flooding down the barstool; she's miscarried.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         16

          SLIM (CONT.)
          Well, will you please just... Just
          tell him I'm sorry, okay?

                         CUT TO:

                         SECOND PREGNANCY

          INT. MITCH'S OFFICE. DAY.

          A central area with large offices surrounding it, GUYS IN

          SUITS, GUYS IN CONSTRUCTION GEAR, ARCHITECTS, ATTRACTIVE YOUNG
          WOMEN. . .all moving quickly, purposefully. TWO UNIFORMED COPS
          come out of a room putting envelopes into their pockets.
          Projects everywhere. Models, photos, charts and timelines:
          when the concrete's going to be poured, when the inspector
          comes, etc. Mitch is building mini-malls.
          In the center of this activity, Mitch moves from one locus of
          energy to the next: answering questions, making suggestions.
          Gradually we perceive something, motion slower than the rest of
          the office. Slim. Coming toward him. He sees her. Sees her
          expression. She stops. He realizes:

                         MITCH
          You saw the doctor?
          It's so obvious from her face that she barely needs to'say it:

                         SLIM
          I lost this one too.

                         CUT TO:

          B A B Y L O V E

          INT. HOSPITAL. DAY.

          Slim lies in bed. Very pale, a light dust of sweat. We assume
          she's between contractions. Mitch's face inches from hers;
          smothering her with kisses.
          The Nurse brings the baby in, starts to give her to Slim -

                         MITCH
          Can I hold her?
          The Nurse looks at Slim,. who nods, and gives Mitch the baby.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         17
          He kisses her head, dances with her.
          Slim looks adoringly at father and daughter: the sight is
          almost unbelievably sweet.
          His cell phone rings. He keeps dancing, ignoring it.
          After one ring, it stops.
          He's kissing the baby's head over and over, just like he kissed
          Slim, and staring into the infant's eyes -

                         MITCH
          She looks just like my baby
          pictures.
          His cell phone rings again. As if the previous call had been a
          signal.
          Slim looks at him as the phone keeps ringing.
          With some difficulty, juggling the baby, he turns the phone
          off.
          But he doesn't look at Slim.

                         SLIM
          Who was that?

                         MITCH
          I don't know. Who cares? Some
          construction thing, I guess.
          She stares at him.
          He stares at the baby.

                         MITCH
          Isn't she the most beautiful
          thing you ever saw in your life?
          Slim nods cautiously.

                         CUT TO:

          THE MOMENT YOU KNOW

          EXT. HILLSIDE. DAY.

          Remains of a picnic. Slim's playing with their daughter,
          GRACIE, now 4. Says something and Gracie laughs. Slim laughs.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         IS
          Keeps laughing, which really gets Gracie going. Mitch looks
          on, tries to join in, but it's forced-and besides that:
          they're not even looking at him, not inviting his laughter;
          it's all between the mother and child.
          So he stops trying. Just watches them. And before his eyes,
          they become - for an instant - strangers. As this reaction,
          and the subtle hostility it engenders, flicker across his face,
          Slim looks up at him -
          For one long moment they both seem to acknowledge the gulf
          between them...
          Then Gracie says something. Slim turns back toward her, the
          "girls" are laughing again...and Mitch is not.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. BATHROOM/BEDROOM. NIGHT.

          SHOWER STALL. Glass, opaque, streaked with water and soap so
          as to give a slightly freaky aspect. Someone inside.
          Slim watching. Smiles. Starts to take off her clothes.

                         SLIM
          Hey.

                         MITCH
          Hey.

                         SLIM

                         (FLIRTATIOUS)
          Should I join you?

                         MITCH
          I'm about to get out.

                         SLIM
          (down to her panties)
          Oh.

                         MITCH
          I have to go to back to work, I'm
          just doing this to wake myself up.

                         SLIM

                         (DISAPPOINTED)
          Okay.
          (starts to go)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         19

                         MITCH

                         (CALLS)
          Sorry.

                         SLIM

                         (TO HERSELF)
          Yeah. (Me too.)
          She's in the bedroom now. It's underlit, full of shadows. In
          scary-movie nomenclature, she's exposed, vulnerable; it feels
          like someone's going to leap out and attack her at any -
          Not this time. She throws on shorts and a t-shirt -

          INT. HALL. NIGHT.

          She looks in on Gracie, sleeping peacefully. Consoling image.

          INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT.

          She's washing dishes, bored, humming to herself. The counter's
          covered with take-out food containers: she didn't cook.
          A noise. Pager. Not beeping, just humming slightly: she
          wouldn't even hear it except it's on the tile counter.
          Sounds vaguely like a vibrator. Lying there, just a few feet
          from her. With Mitch's wallet and keys, his cell phone.
          She looks at it. .knows she shouldn't... decides not to...
          Can't resist. Dries her.hands methodically on a dishtowel.
          Picks up the pager. Reads: 33.
          She stares, realizing: it's code.
          She looks at the cell phone. Wonders whether...
          Looks toward the hall. We HEAR the shower still running...
          She picks up his cell phone. Tentatively - she's not sure this
          will work - she presses: RECALL 33.
          The phone flashes NAME, but instead of a name there's: .
          She stares at this, glances again down the hall-takes a deep
          breath.. .and presses SEND.
          Waits... listens nervously...

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         20

                         WOMAN'S VOICE

                         (FLIRTATIOUS)
          Hello there.

                         SLIM
          You just paged my husband, right?

                         (HALF BEAT)
          Mitch.

                         (HALF BEAT)
          Who are you, what's your name?

                         WOMAN'S VOICE
          I'm sorry, I -

                          SLIM
           It's too late to deny it.
          Tell me your - (name)
          A rustle on the other end -

           SLIM (CONT.)
           Don't hang upl Don't be a cowardl
          Silence.

           SLIM (CONT.)
          Just your name. That's the least
          you could do, don't you think?
          A simple plea, one woman to another...

                         WOMAN'S VOICE
          I'm...Darcelle.
          Not only the name. Now we hear it in the accent: she's French.
          Dialtone.
          Slim goes into slow motion. How oddly her arm moves downward.
          She looks at the phone. Blinks. Presses OFF.
          Scans the room as if she's never seen it before.
          One of Gracie's toys lies on the floor. Slim stares at it.
          Reaches down to pick it up, but instead of the toy moving up,
          her body moves down. She slumps to the floor. Sits. Stares.

          WIDER ANGLE. MINUTES LATER.
          Slim sitting on the floor. Frozen. Head bowed.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         21
          Mitch comes out, dressed, sees her.

                         MITCH
          Hey.
          She doesn' t say anything.
          He approaches her. Some instinct keeps him from speaking. He
          sees she's holding his phone, the silly toy...

                         SLIM
          How can you do this to Gracie?
          He doesn't say anything.

          SLIM (CONT.)
          Darcelle paged you. That' s where
          you're going, right?
          (off his silence)
          Yeah. Wow. Mitch? Can you please?
          Can you sit here with me?
          He does.
          She doesn't know where to start, how to talk about it...

                         SLIM
          She's French?

                         MITCH
          She isn't important.

                         SLIM
          No.

                         MITCH
          You're important.

                         SLIM
          Yes.

                         MITCH
          And Gracie.
          She nods.

                         SLIM
          Mitch?, I can't... I couldn't stand
          for this to... (destroy our lives)
          I'm happy, I've really been happy,
          and I don't want to - (give that up)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         22

                         MITCH
          You won't have to. Believe me.
          She's nothing, she's no-one -

                         SLIM
          You... Damn it! You said I was
          safe with you!

                         MITCH
          You are, Slim. You are. I promise.
          They fall into an embrace. We feel how keenly they need each
          other.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. HOUSE. KITCHEN. NIGHT.

          They're hugging. Begin TIGHT on them. At first it seems like
          this is the same embrace shot from a different angle. Then we
          see we're in the kitchen, his briefcase is at his side; their
          clothes are different.

          SING A SAD SONG
          We watch Slim's expression slowly change. From pleasure. To
          confusion. Pain. Outrage. She whispers:

                         SLIM
          I smell her.

                         MITCH
          What?

                         SLIM
          Her perfume. Darcelle or whoever.

                         MITCH

                         SLIM -

                         SLIM
          (intense, sad)
          How many, Mitch? How many are there?
          How many have there been?

                         MITCH
          What does it matter?
          A stunning statement. Even more stunning because of the casual
          way he says it.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         23

          MITCH (CONT.)
          ID I mean what're you saying here, that
          I don't deserve to get laid? Please.
          I'm a man, Slim. With the
          pregnancies, Gracie, you don't have
          time and energy like you used to, and
          I understand that, I really do. Men
          and women have different needs, and
          that's okay. Darcelle is willing to
          take care of it, and maybe that's
          better for everybody.

                         SLIM
          Including you?
          He contemplates his answer...and shrugs.

                         SLIM
          No! No! No!

                         MITCH
          Calm down, Slim -
          Wild, violently invading his space and assaulting his authority,
          screaming at him, her face just inches from his:

                         I

                         SLIM
          I can't do this anymore! I can't!
          Just take it, and take it, and take
          it!? I'm not strong enough! I don't
          know who would be. I love you, okay?
          I love you and I'm your wife and you
          can't do this! You understand me?!!!
          No more! No more!
          With the same speed he attacked "Our Hero" at the diner,
          Mitch's hand shoots out like a snake striking. Slaps her.
          A warning: stop it and stop it now.
          Her face: shock. Confusion. Outrage. She raises her hand to
          her cheek. Touches her skin where his fist landed...
          He reads her expression and is almost amused:

                         MITCH
          What, I can't hit you?

                         SLIM
          (low, strong)
          No. You can't.
          He hits her again, this time with a closed fist.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         24
          Knocking her to the ground.
          Stands over her like a boxer.
          Sees rase flare across her face -

                         MITCH
          You want to fight? I'm a mom,
          honey; it's no contest.
          She's silent, but we see (very small) her reaction: Oh yeah??

          MITCH {CONT.}
          You have to understand, Slim.
          I thought you did: make the money
          here, so I set the rules, right?
          It's my rules.
          He waits for her response, but again she's silent.

                         MITCH
          You with me?

                         SLIM
          It's your rules.

                         MITCH
          Yeah.
          She keeps her voice meek so as not to offend:

                         SLIM
          And if I don't like the rules??

                         MITCH
          If you don't "like" them?!
          She nods cautiously.

          MITCH {CONT.}
          Come on. Life isn't onl stuff we
          like. We take the good with the bad,
          right? That's what life is, what
          marriage is. So maybe, for you,
          today is a bad day.
          Tomorrow may be great.

                         SLIM
          Tomorrow may be great.

                         MITCH
          That's right.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         25

                         SLIM
          Tomorrow will be great. (Without
          you . )
          He appears to miss her inference.

                         MITCH
          Yeah. Today is the price you pay
          for having such a good life.
          She stares at him.

                         MITCH
          I'm going out.
          She says nothing.

          MITCH {CONT.}
          This is gonna be better, don't you
          think?
          She just cannot process the absurdity of this statement.

          MITCH {CONT.}
          I don't have to sneak around, pretend
          I'm going to work. I can just say:
          "I'm going to Darcelle's, I'll be
          back in a few hours."
          Her face is completely blank.
          He bends down, gives her a kiss on the head. We feel her skin
          crawl.
          She watches him go.
          Waits.
          Hears the front door close.
          She gets up, walks to the window, watches him walk toward his
          car.
          She turns away, looks at the room. We HEAR his car start.
          She goes to the phone. Thinks.
          Starts to dial-slowly, deliberately...
          Shock: RAP AT THE WINDOW! He's there.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         26
          She reacts with guilt, but he doesn't look angry now. Behind
          him is his idling Mercedes convertible, driver's door open...
          He motions for her to open the window.
          She does.

                         MITCH
          Who you calling?

                         SLIM
          Your mother.

                         MITCH
          What're you gonna tell her?

                         SLIM
          I'm supposed to bring Gracie
          tomorrow. Maybe I better cancel.

                         MITCH

                         (NODS)
          I was thinking. You...you know
          that I adore you, but if you ever
          want...if you want out...
          For a second he can't talk. He's choked up.
          She watches coldly. His emotion appears real, but who cares?

          MITCH (CONT.)
          .I'll understand. I really will.

                         (ALMOST TENDER)
          But there's one thing: you can't
          have Gracie. She's my daughter.
          Don't even think about taking her.
          Slim stares at him. He adds calmly:

          MITCH (CONT.)
          If I see that thought even cross
          your mind, I'll kill you.
          There. He's said what he needs to. He walks toward his car.
          She shuts the window.
          Stares after him.
          In an odd and defiant way, she starts to whistle. Loudly.
          To herself. Almost daring him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         27
          He keeps walking.

                         CUT TO:

                         OUTTA HERE

          INT. CAR. DAY.

          Emotional, impressionistic. CLOSE ON her face, almost inside
          her skin: a visual symphony. The countryside behind her is out
          of focus, a blur. She pulls up at a gate, punches in a code.
          Drives up a long a driveway to:

          EXT. PASADENA ESTATE. DAY.

           FOUR JAGUARs lined up. At a respectful distance sit an old
          Toyota (the maid's car) and a pick-up (the gardener's truck).
          Slim parks near the truck.
          Her hand moves to the door handle, but she can't bring herself
          to open it. She sits... paralyzed, a failure.
          In this prolonged pause, Mrs. Tyler bursts out of the house -

          MRS. TYLER
          You're late, you're late, I was
          worried you wouldn't comet
          (looks, realizes)
          No Gracie?
          Slim shakes her head.
          Mrs. Tyler is clearly disappointed, but quickly covers it up:

          MRS. TYLER
          Well then, you and I will have a
          girls' luncheon and gossip about
          simply everybody!
          She's about to hurtle into the gossip when Slim turns her head
          and Mrs. Tyler sees (and we see for the first time) the result
          of Mitch's brutality: a nasty bruise on Slim's cheek.
          Mrs. Tyler's face falls as she realizes what this means.
          Underneath it all, she's a warm person; she hugs Slim:

          MRS. TYLER
          Oh baby. Oh baby, I'm so sorry...

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         28
          HOLD a moment; like a mother-daughter tableau... Her tone
          stays sympathetic, not at all accusatory:

          MRS. TYLER (CONT.)
          What did you do? What'd you
          say to him?
          Slim freezes. On her sad, shocked reaction -

                         CUT TO:

          INT. "ORCA" DINER. KITCHEN. DAY.

          Ginny in the middle of an intense rap. She and Slim are wedged
          in a corner booth. The off-season lunch rush has died down...

                         GINNY
          Men are land mines. Some you trigger
          the first week, others it's years in.
          Problem is: you want a man man,
          meaning his veins run thick with
          testosterone, which is good 'cause
          he can fuck your brains out but he
          can also turn around, no warning,
          and beat your brains out too.

                         PHIL
          I never touch Salima.
          Ginny waves at him: of course not.

                         PHIL
          But the other part, first part:
          I can - (do that)

                         GINNY
          Relax, Phil. Nobody's talkin' about
          your dick here, okay?
          Phil brings Slim an iced tea and slice of pie:

                         PHIL
          You went to cops, I hope?

                         GINNY
          (Don't be stupid.) Mitch is in
          construction, Phil.

                         SLIM

                         (NODS)
          He knows every cop in the city.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         29

                         GINNY
          Even if he didn't. My aunt? She got
          a restraining order? When it was up,
          this slimeball beat her into a coma.

                         PHIL
          If he wants to put her in coma,
          why worry restraining order?

                         GINNY
          'Cause he's a man, Phil! He's
          psychotic!
          (calmly, to Slim)
          You're leaving him today. Right now.

                         SLIM
          (shakes her head, trapped)
          I gotta pick up Gracie at pre-school.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. PRE-SCHOOL. DAY.

          THREE 4-YEAR-OLD GIRLS running toward a car, squealing.
          They're all blond and adorable, and it takes a moment for us to
          realize none of them is Gracie.
          Slim sits in her car in the pick-up line. The Four Girls get
          in the Volvo station wagon in front of her.
          The Volvo pulls out, and Slim moves to the front of the line.
          The very hip PRE-SCHOOL DIRECTOR smiles at Slim:

                         PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR
          Your husband got her.

                         SLIM
          What??

          PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR (CONT.)
          Gracie was totally psyched. I told
          him he should do it more often.
          Slim nods with feigned casualness and pulls away. Slight smile
          frozen on her face.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. HER HOME. DAY.

          She pulls in. No other car there.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         30

          INT. HER HOME. DAY.

          She looks around. Nothing abnormal except the quiet. As if
          they've gone and are never coming back.
          She digs out her cell phone, punches the first number on the
          automatic dialer. Presses SEND.
          Thinks. After one ring, she disconnects.
          Immediately presses RECALL, then SEND.

                         HE ANSWERS:

                         MITCH'S VOICE

                         (FOR DARCELLE)
          How is my little croissant?

                         SLIM
          It's your loaf of bread.

                         MITCH'S VOICE
          (cheerful, no guilt)
          Oh. Hi. How's it going?

                         SLIM
          Where are you?

                         MITCH'S VOICE
          Zoo.

                         SLIM
          Why didn't you tell me you were
          going to - (pick up Gracie)

                         MITCH'S VOICE
          I called you at home, left messages -
          He's interrupted by a LOUD SQUEAL from Gracie, followed by a
          question, which he answers:

          MITCH'S VOICE (CONT.)
          Your Mom.

                         GRACIE'S VOICE
          Hey Moml The elephants are peeing!

                         MITCH'S VOICE
          (pleased with himself for
          being a good Dad)
          She's a little excited.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         31

                         SLIM
          When are you coming home?

                         CUT TO:

          INT. DINING ROOM. NIGHT.

          Dinner. It's scary that Mitch will have this conversation in
          front of Gracie, who's playing at their feet:

                         MITCH
          It made me nervous when I
          couldn't reach you.
          Slim shrugs.
          He stares at her. Smiles. His voice so soft and calm:

          MITCH {CONT.}
          Do you have any idea how bad
          things can get?

                         SLIM
          Educate me.

                         MITCH
          (embarrassed to say it)
          Slim. I'm a determined person. I
          was determined to have you, and I
          did. This house...the company...I
          am, and always will be, a person who
          gets what he wants. You can either
          share in my success or leave us
          (meaning him and Gracie)
          right now. Which way you wanna go?
          Beat.

                         SLIM
          I want to be happy.
          He's not sure of her subtext, but he's willing to give her the
          benefit of the doubt :

                         MITCH
          Good.
          With a sudden shock, Slim sees Gracie staring at Mitch: the
          girl has picked up on his tone.
          Slim glances at Mitch to see if he notices Gracie's expression.
          He doesn't.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         32
          Slim looks back at Gracie: still staring at Mitch. If she
          already senses what's happening, how long before she's affected
          by it? How long before she sees Mitch become violent?
          Slim's jaw tightens slightly; her resolve grows stronger.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. MASTER BEDROOM. NIGHT.

          Mitch asleep, Slim awake, listening. His breathing deep,
          rhythmic, slight hint of a snore.
          In the distance, a DOVE coos.
          She looks at her clock: 2:15.
          She eases out of bed.
          Goes into the bathroom. We hear the sound of her peeing.

          INT. BATHROOM.

          She's no peeing. A BOTTLE is propped up, running water into
          the toilet as Slim gets dressed. Quickly, silently.

          INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.

          She leans out the bathroom doorway, sees: he's still asleep.
          She moves quickly, bathroom to hall.

          INT. GRACIE'S ROOM. NIGHT.

          Gracie's fast asleep. Slim lifts her up, piles her prized
          teddy bear on top.

          INT. HALL. NIGHT.

          Slim carries Gracie toward the entrance. We MOVE with her.
          She's silent, terrified. Glances over her shoulder -
          No one there.
          She keeps walking. The eerie sense of a house that's awake
          rather than asleep. The almost imperceptible but anxiety-
          provoking SWOOSH of her footsteps... EXTEND the suspense as
          long as we possibly can...

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         33
          She reaches the front door.
          Waits to make sure all is quiet.
          It is.
          She turns, looks back down the hall.
          Empty.
          Reaches toward the doorknob... hand closer, closer... she starts
          to turn it -

          EXT. SLIM'S HOUSE. NIGHT.

          Ginny, Phil, and Teddy are clustered under a tree, staring at
          the house. Waiting. Their VAN is parked down the road.
          We expect the front door to open any instant.
          It doesn't.
          They wait. Casually. Not knowing where Slim was.
          But we know. Did something go wrong? Slim was right at the
          door.
          In a casual way, her rescuers start to wonder.

                         TEDDY
          Maybe she didn't hear the signal.

                         GINNY
          She heard it.

                         PHIL
          No. Teddy's right. She could still
          be asleep -

                         GINNY
          She's not asleep, okay? She's coming
          out any second.
          Phil nods.
          They wait.
          She does not come out.
          Ginny shakes her head, looks at her watch.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         34

                         GINNY
          Do it again.
          Teddy nods. Cups his hands, coos like a dove...
          They wait again.
          Beat.

          INT. HOUSE. NIGHT.

          Slim still frozen in exactly the same spot. Still carrying
          Gracie, still with her hand on the knob. Listening. Turning
          her head this way-that way. She hears the COOING DOVE NOISE
          come again from outside.
          That settles it. She pulls the door -

          MITCH FLYING AT HER -
          Grabs her, catches her, catches Gracie, pulling Slim's hair
          hard, leading her away from the door -

          EXT. HOUSE. NIGHT.

          The three rescuers still wait.
          Frozen.
          Phil shakes his head. We see a baseball bat in his hands.

                         PHIL
          We better go in.

                         GINNY
          It'd be crazy to wake him. If
          anything's wrong, she'll flick
          the lights. .Right?
          Phil nods skeptically, and Ginny herself doesn't seem so sure.
          They look at the house-and wait. . .and wait... We want to
          scream: "GO IN! GO! SAVE HER!"
          Suddenly something. Subtle. Was that A SOUND from inside???
          They go on alert. . .step forward... listen more closely...
          But hear nothing unusual.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         35
          Phil. looks at Ginny, shrugs -
          Ginny shrugs back -
          FLASH OF LIGHT, then darkness. The signal.
          They run toward the house -
          SCREAM. Slim. Intense horrible spit of sound, replaced by an
          even more horrible silence. Deadly silence. CLOSE ON GINNY as
          they run: as if we've lost Slim and Ginny's.our new
          protagonist. As we near the house, we realize: it's not
          silence. There are sounds from inside: almost inaudible THUDS.
          Sound of a beating. On Ginny's horrified reaction -
          Baseball bat. Phil smashes a window.
          They climb through the hole into the house -

          INT. HOUSE. NIGHT.

          Silence. They move quickly, carefully toward the living room;
          it's very dark, we can hardly -

                         MITCH
          Another step and you're dead.
          Mitch emerges from darkness. Light glints off his pistol.
          Thirty feet behind him: Gracie's sleeping on the couch.
          Mitch moves and they stare in horror. Lying at his feet is
          Slim's body..
          Pain springs from Ginny's throat, she rushes to Slim -
          Mitch rams the gun into her head:

                         MITCH
          Didn't you hear me?i
          Ginny feels Slim's pulse, says to Phil:

                         GINNY
          She's alive -

                         MITCH
          Unless you go, your brains'11 be
          on imy rug i

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         36

                         PHIL
          Sir. We are three people. If you
          kill us all, you will go sure to
          electric chair.

                         MITCH
          I could give a shit.
          Slim makes a SOUND as Ginny strokes her head...
          Mitch FIRES the gun into the wall over Ginny's head. Muffled
          sound: silencer. But he has everyone's attention now:

          MITCH (CONT.)
          This is your last chance.

                         PHIL
          We are happy to leave, Sir: with
          Miss Slim and Gracie.
          Ginny's helping Slim to her knees.

          PHIL (CONT.)
          And make no mistakes. If you keep
          them here, we will go to police,
          who will arrest you with pleasure.

                         I/
          Mitch stares at Phil. Walks to him. Is he going to hit him?
          Shoot him? Mitch leans in, gun to Phil's head, and whispers:

                         MITCH
          I don't want to say this in front
          of the group, but you're just a
          rug-head, nobody'll believe you.
          You go to the cops, it's her word
          against mine. They'll find drugs
          in her bureau...
          (before Phil can laugh)
          Or her car, whatever.

                         (VERY STRONG)
          Trust me on that.
          (casual, confident)
          I'll have custody of Gracie by the
          end of the week.

                         PHIL

                         (SKEPTICAL)
          And if we take them away, you will
          shoot all four of us??

                         MITCH
          That's right.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         37

                         PHIL
          Then we die young.
          The others are uncertain, but Phil helps Slim up; Teddy joins
          him. Ginny tentatively follows his lead and picks up Gracie..

                         SLIM

                         (VERY SOFT)
          (This is no good.) You're
          humiliating him.

                         GINNY
          What?

                         SLIM
          (a little louder)
          He'll come after me and kill me.
          Mitch overhears this, smiles.

                         MITCH
          You hear that? That's why she
          loves me.
          (off their horrified looks)
          Nobody cares like I do.
          The others stare at him in astonishment, but continue toward
          the door. Mitch leans toward Slim, whispers:

                         MITCH
          See you soon.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. VAN. NIGHT.

          Gracie awake now in Slim's arms: staring, confused. Gentle
          rocking of the van. The others barely visible, like shadows.

          CHECK, PLEASE

          INT. AIRPLANE. DAY.

          Gracie asleep, Slim holding her. Blinds down, movie playing.
          Despite Gracie's age, the angle and soft lighting make this
          resemble a Madonna and child...

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         38

          EXT. NAVY PIER (CHICAGO). EVENING.

          Open air market: shops, stalls; yuppie heaven. Slim carries
          Gracie on her shoulders. They're with Jog (her old boyfriend,
          from the wedding). Horsing around, having a good time, Gracie
          eating a pastry. They stop and look out at Lake Michigan.

                         SLIM
          Wow ... whattaya think, Toots?

                         GRACIE
          It's a big ocean!

                         JOE
          Well. It's only a lake, but we
          like it.

                         GRACIE
          (nods, stares out...
          Can we stay here a while?

                         CUT TO:

          INT. JOE'S CAR. NIGHT.

          They're driving along, suddenly Joe says -

                         JOE
          Coming up, whattaya say?!

                         GRACIE & SLIM

                         (A GAME)
          Bobbing for apples!
          Slim (front seat) and Gracie (back) both drop their heads so
           they can't be seen from outside the car -
          Joe turns the corner, presses a garage door opener, and drives
          into the basement garage of a nice-looking 4-plex.

          INT. JOE'S 4-PLEX. NIGHT.

          They come in from the garage, throw off their coats. All the
          curtains in the apartment are drawn.

                         JOE
          Is there anybody who likes ice cream?
          Gracie whoops -
          The doorbell rings -

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         39
          Slim and Joe freeze -
          Slim whips her hand over Gracie's mouth -
          Gracie looks horrified: why are you covering my -
          Slim puts her finger to her mouth: shhh.
          She takes Gracie's hand; they scurry out of sight -
          Joe hurries to the stereo, puts it on. Music to cover Gracie's
          "whoop . "
          He goes to the door, looks through the peep hole.
          Sees a LARGE MAN IN A SUIT.

                         JOE
          Yes?

          FIRST FBI MAN
          FBI. Can we talk?
          He holds up an I.D. Not readable through the peep hole.

                         JOE
          Go ahead.

          FIRST FBI MAN
          Would you mind opening up?
          Joe glances over his shoulder: no sign of them. He opens the
          door, but not far enough to let the man in. Behind the large
          man are TWO OTHER MEN IN SUITS.

          FIRST FBI MAN
          We're investigating a kidnapping;
          we'd like to look around.

                         JOE
          You got a search warrant?

          FIRST FBI MAN
          Oh, we got a warrant all right.
          He slaps a paper and pushes past Joe; the other men follow...

                         JOE
          Can I she the warrant?
          First FBI Man ignores this.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         40

          JOE (CONT.)
          Who're you looking for?
          The FBI Man gives him a sarcastic glance.

          JOE (CONT.)
          A mother taking her own child isn't
          kidnapping. I don't think you're
          FBI at all.
          This elicits no response. Joe moves to where he can see the
          other two guys. Looks down the hall toward:

          INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT.

          SECOND FBI MAN searching the pantry, looking around.
          He opens the door to the garage and vanishes -

          INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.

          THIRD FBI MAN looks under the bed, in the closets... yanks
          clothes aside. At any moment we expect him to find them...

          INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.


                         JOE
          Mister: unless you leave right now,
          I'm calling the police.

          FIRST FBI MAN
          Oh...jeez...that's a scary thought.
          Joe picks up the phone -
          First FBI Man slams it down.

          FIRST FBI MAN
          I marri a cop, okay? I'm not in
          the mood.
          Joe accepts this. . .but only for the moment.

          INT. GARAGE. NIGHT.

          Second FBI Man looks in the car, under the car... isn't this the
          logical place for them to hide???

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         41

          INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

          Third FBI Man returns from the bedroom emptyhanded, starts to
          search the living room:

          THIRD FBI MAN
          I'll look around here?

          INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT.

          The Second FBI Man returns from the garage, starts to search...
          We're scared with every cupboard he opens that he'll find them.

          INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

          Third FBI Man searches the room.
          SUDDENLY we go to SLIM'S POV...she and Gracie are in a cabinet,
          looking out through a narrow horizontal slit. Watching the
          Third FBI Man makes his way methodically in their direction.
          First FBI Man stands over Joe, keeping him silent.
          Joe watches the Third FBI Man search the room...
          And then Joe blinks. Moves his eyes, and looks right in Slim's
          direction. He realizes where they must be hiding.
          The Third FBI Man's getting closer and closer to them...
          Joe realizes he has to do something. Abruptly Joe stands:

                         JOE
          That's enough.

                         (VERY FORCEFUL)
          You hear me? It's time to go. Now.
          (off First FBI's. shocked look)
          I know who you are, okay? I know who
          hired you.
          First FBI Man whirls. Suddenly he's got a knife in his hand.
          Definitely NOT FBI. Putting the. knife to Joe's throat:

          "FIRST FBI MAN"
          Yeah? You know what it feels like
          to have a knife hit your carotid?

                         JOE
          (trying not to move)
          No.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         42
          Inside the cabinet, Gracie gasps. Slim puts a hand over her
          mouth. But Slim herself has to fight the impulse to burst out
          of there to save Joe -

          "FIRST FBI MAN"
          You know what it's like to bleed
          out in less than two minutes?

                         JOE
          No.

          "THIRD FBI MAN"
          (stopping his search)
          Oh please, John Boy. Not the shiv

                         AGAIN -

          "FIRST FBI MAN"
          I'm just going to cut him a little -
          Slim's eyes bulge -

          "THIRD FBI MAN"
          You are not going to cut him!

          "FIRST FBI MAN"
          I sure as hell am!
          Slim's on the verge of bursting out when "Second FBI" enters:

          "SECOND FBI MAN"
          John Boy, this is not listed on the
          program. Come on, they're not here;
          let's ride.

          "FIRST FBI MAN"
          Can't I just - (cut him a little}

           "SECOND FBI MAN"
          No! No slice and dice!
          They head for the door.
          As he goes, "First FBI Man" (a.k.a. John Boy) runs his knife
          along the couch, spilling out its contents...
          .passes the tv set and stabs the tube...
          .runs his knife along the wall, making a vicious scary mark.
          And they vanish. We hear the door SLAM.
          The horizontal band through which Slim was looking widens -

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         43
          The cabinet door falls open, Slim and Gracie come out.
          Gracie's crying. Slim hugs her, says to Joe:

                         SLIM
          Jesus, are you okay?

                         JOE
          I guess.
          (feels his neck)
          I needed a shave, anyway.
          The phone rings.
          They look at it. It can't be who they think it is...
          it rings again. Joe goes to it. Hesitates. Answers:

                         JOE
          Hello?

                         MITCH'S VOICE
          This is Mitch Tyler, Joe.

                         JOE
          Hello, yes, how are you?
          Joe points at phone: "It's him." He nods toward Gracie,
          indicating Slim should take her into the next room. Slim does.

                         MITCH'S VOICE
          (calm, friendly)
          I assume Slim's called you.
          Joe thinks for a split second, then:

                         JOE
          Of course.

                         MITCH'S VOICE
          Will you give her a message?
          (off his silence)
          If she calls again, I mean.
          Slim and Gracie are in the next room, but Slim's looking
          through the door back at Joe.

                         JOE
          I don't know. I'm on her side
          here, not yours.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         44

                         MITCH'S VOICE
          Her side? Come on, Joe, you're a
          smart person. Let me say two words,
          okay? "Lug nuts." You don't want to
          worry they're loose every time you
          get in your car. And how 'bout the
          windows to your apartment: are they
          still locked? A person could go
          crazy thinking about stuff like that.

                         JOE
          Goodbye, Mitch.

                         MITCH'S VOICE
          Tell her to call her friends.
          Joe hangs up. Slim comes back out.

                         JOE
          Wow. Charming.

                         SLIM
          He scare you?
          Joe shakes his head - more at Mitch than in answer to her
          question.

          SLIM {CONT.}
          I shouldn't be here -

                         JOE
          Sure you should -

                         SLIM
          I'm dangerous to know right now.

                         JOE
          (calm, forceful)
          Slim. You can be here anytime.
          She nods. They both know what he's saying: if he's willing to
          take this kind of risk, he's either a very good friend (which
          he is) or he's still in love with her (which he is, also).

          JOE (CONT.)
          Oh. He said you should call your
          friends.

                         SLIM
          At the restaurant?

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         45

          MOMENTS LATER.
          Slim on the phone, listening as the phone rings. And again,
          again. Joe watching her, concerned. Finally:

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          Awright already! Orcal

                         SLIM
          Hey. Gin. You okay?

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          We had to clear the customers out,
          some ridiculous bomb threat -

                         SLIM
          What?

          INT. "ORCA" RESTAURANT. NIGHT.

          Ginny on the cordless; Phil working nearby -

                         GINNY
          Yeah, right during dinner. Like
          anybody's gonna bomb a diner in
          Carpenteria.

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          What about you and Phil, did you -

                         GINNY
          You know Phil. He won't leave his
          ship. We're doin' cleanup.

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          Get out.

                         GINNY
          What?

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          I got a bad feeling, Gin.

                         GINNY
          You got more than a bad feeling, hon.
          You got a bad husband.

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          I know! That's what I'm saying! Get
          Phil and get out of there! Nowt

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         46

                         GINNY
          All right, all right, take it easy -

                         (GRABBING PHIL)
          Let's go -

                         PHIL
          The police are -

                         GINNY
          (heading out the door)
          Screw the police, we're outta here.

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          Run, okay?t Ginny?! Runt

          EXT. "ORCA." NIGHT.

          They step out. The restaurant is at the end of a long pier.
          Ginny turns skeptically to the overweight Phil -

                         GINNY
          Can you run?

                         PHIL
          Like Michael Jackson!
          As they sprint, sort of, toward the boardwalk:

                         GINNY
          It's Michael Johnson, Phil.

                         PHIL
          I know. But I run like Michael
          Jackson.
          And he kind of does: arms flailing, not quite connected to his
          body. Just as when we're enjoying this comic sight -
          EXPLOSION behind them -
          They're thrown TOWARD CAMERA -
          Debris flying everywhere -
          They lie on the. ground. Not moving. Are they dead or just
          stunned? Slowly they raise their heads. Blink.
          Look back at the restaurant:
          Starting to go up in flames.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         47

          INT. JOE'S APARTMENT. NIGHT.

          Slim holding her phone. Peculiar expression on her face.

                         SLIM
          The line went dead.
          Joe stares at her, concerned.
          She presses redial, and we hear THE PHONE start to ring...
          She- goes to the window, parts the curtain: OUTSIDE in the
          street, the FBI MEN sit in their car -
          No answer on the phone. Slim looks at Joe and shakes her head:
          this isn't good.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. CITY STREET. DAY.

          Slim walking a crowded street, carrying Gracie; TransAmerica
          Pyramid in the b.g. SAN FRANCISCO. Slim goes down an alley
          behind a converted warehouse, enters a basement garage.

          INT. OFFICE LOFT. DAY.

          One floor, lots of windows, lots of ATTRACTIVE young people in
          jeans working on lots of different projects. Sign on the wall
          says: V.C.V.C. Viet Cong Venture Capital. A BLOND GIRL, 24,
          nudges JUPITER SLAKOWSKI (52, ponytail, handsome, confident):

                         BLONDE GIRL
          Hey Jupe. Girl here says she's
          your daughter.
          Jupiter gives Slim and Gracie a skeptical look.

                         SLIM
          I know you don't want to see me or
          know about me, but I am desperate,
          I had nowhere else to go...I need
          your belg!
          (off his blank look)
          You want me dead?
          He shrugs affably and leads her into his office -

                         JUPITER
          It's a good gig. To claim I'm your
          father? What year were you born?

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         48

                         SLIM
          You are my Dad, Jupiter. When Mom
          died, I wrote you, you didn't answer.
          I didn't have enough money to bury
          her, that was really fun.

                         JUPITER
          Don't look at me, I didn't kill her.

                         SLIM
          No, you had help.

                         JUPITER
          That's a stupid thing to say. What
          do you want, money?.

                         SLIM
          I thought you should meet your
          granddaughter.

                         JUPITER
          (perfunctory, to Gracie)
          Hi.
          Gracie looks at him skeptically, nods.

                         SLIM
          And yes, we need money. To survive.

                         JUPITER
          Look sweetheart. From '68 to like '72,
          I had maybe 5 kids. Different women.
          It was like a joke to me.

                         € SLIM
          It's like a joke to me too.

                         JUPITER
          You're the third to show up here with a
          hand out. I give all of you the same
          thing.
          (taking it from his wallet)
          Six bucks. Enough for a sandwich.
          For you, it's' twelve, you can buy
          the kid a sandwich too.

                         SLIM
          (stunned...}
          Well. Now I know.

                         JUPITER
          Yeah.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         49

                         SLIM
          Used to be if I did something nasty,
          my temper got the better of me?, I'd
          wonder where the hell it came from.
          Thanks for clearing that up.

                         JUPITER
          No problem.
          She goes, leaving the $12 on the table. He pockets it.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. SAN FRANCISCO ALLEY. DAY.

          Slim stands behind Jupiter's building. In the shadows. Still
          carrying Gracie. It's only after we hear Gracie -

                         GRACIE
          Don't cry, Mom. Please don't cry.
          - that we realize Slim is crying.

          GRACIE (CONT.)
          You have mtg.
          Beat.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. TRAIN STATION. SANTA BARBARA. NIGHT.

          Slim and Gracie climb off the train and are immediately
          shepherded away by TWO SWARTHY MEN in Hawaiian shirts -

                         SLIM
          Wait. Wait. What're you...?
          Who're you...?

                         GRACIE

                         (WORRIED)
          Mommy?
          One of the Swarthy Men speaks to Slim, but in the flurry, we
          can't hear it. She looks relieved, turns to Gracie -
          - but before Slim can speak, their bags are thrown in the trunk
          of a car and they're pushed into the back seat -
          The car speeds off, whips into a left-hand turn -

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         50

          EXT. SANTA BARBARA. ANOTHER STREET. NIGHT.

          Now the car makes a right-hand turn, and a TRUCK pulls out,
          blocking traffic so no one can follow them -

          INT. CAR. NIGHT.

          Slim looks out the back, sees the Truck's maneuver.
          Turns to face forward again.
          Tries to meet the Driver's eyes.

                         SLIM
          Hello? Where are we going?
          The Driver answers her in a Middle-Eastern language.
          Gracie looks alarmed.

                         SLIM
          It's okay, Sweetheart, they're
          friends of Phil's. (I think.)

          EXT. MOTEL IN THE WOODS. NIGHT.


                         J
          Gracie plays as Slim talks to Ginny and Phil. The car's parked
          below. Phil gestures toward the Driver, who'e standing guard.

                         PHIL
          .so secret we don't even know who
          this man is or where he takes you.
          Slim nods.

                         SLIM
          You're not afraid to help me?

                         PHIL
          In my country people bleed their
          enemies to death out of their
          genitals. A fire? This is for
          roasting lamb.

                         GINNY
          No letters, Slim, but you can call

                         US -

                         PHIL
          Must be very short.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         51
          Slim nods. Phil ceremonially hands her a thin envelope. She
          looks inside... and clearly finds money -

                         SLIM
          No. Phil, wait a minute, I -

                         PHIL
          I have insurance from fire -

                         SLIM
          I know, but -

                         PHIL

                         (VERY FIRMLY)
          I will not discus, okay?
          We are family!
          She nods. Gratefully. Ginny takes her hand. Beat.

                         SLIM
          What about the police? The fire.
          Do they -

                         PHIL
          Mr. Mitch - of course - he has
          beautiful alibi.
          Slim nods again. Looks at Ginny...who's been working up to:

                         GINNY
          You know, I keep having a bad idea.
          The first time he hit you, we saw
          your bruises. Second time, he beat
          you unconscious. The next time?
          Well. If you should fight back,
          defend yourself, and he dies? Who'd
          convict you? Who'd prosecute?

                         PHIL
          This is American law??l

                         GINNY
          I called my cousin, he's some shit-
          for-brains lawyer over in Tarzana,
          he says it's 2-1 she'd walk: self-
          defense, justifiable homicide.

                         SLIM
          2? That's good on a race-horse,
          Gin, but for Gracie?, to lose both
          parents? Besides, this is me, i
          couldn't kill anybodyl

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         52

                         GINNY
          We're talking about Mitch here.

                         SLIM
          Even so. I'm not that kind of
          person, okay?
          Ginny nods reluctantly. She's not sure the subject is closed.

                         CUT TO:

                         NEW LEAF

          FLASHES (LIKE THE CREDIT SEQUENCE)
           MICROFICHE, NEWSPAPER DEATH NOTICE, "Erin Shleeter, 6 weeks."
           SLIM at COUNTY RECORDER'S DESK:

                         SLIM
          Yes, I lost my birth certificate -
           BIRTH CERTIFICATE for Erin Shleeter in Slim's hand -
           SOCIAL SECURITY CARD, in her hand -
           DRIVER'S LICENSE, with Slim's photo: her hair's a different
          color and she wears glasses. The name is Erin Shleeter,.
           DRESS SHOP: new clothes, new outfits, new look, new Slim -

          INT. LARGE DRAB HOUSE. DAY.

          "Erin" & Gracie being led by MUSTAPHA (40) past QUASI-HOMELESS
          ARABS;, finally ending in a corner of a large room where two
          small mattresses lie on the floor. Somewhere in Colorado.

                         MUSTAPHA
          I'm sorry, this is the best we can -

          SLIM!"ERIN"
          It's fine, thanks.
          Mustapha shrugs apologetically, leaves. Gracie whispers:

                         GRACIE
          Mom...who are all those people?

                         SLIM/"ERIN"
          They're kind of...friends of Phil's.

                         GRACIE
          (stares at her mother)
          They're strangers.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         53

          INT. DOUBLE "A" RENT-A-CAR. BACK ROOM. DAY.

          Mustapha working at one desk, "Erin" at another. Gracie on the
          floor, coloring. Bored. Prompts a look from "Erin" -

                         "ERIN"
          Look. I have to find the right
          place and get you admitted, okay?

          INT. DRAB HOUSE. NIGHT.

          15 people being served from a large pot. "Erin" and Gracie
          each get a good portion of something that looks quite unusual.

                         "ERIN"
          Thank you.

                         GRACIE
          Thank you.
          (looks at it, whispers)
          What j it?

          "ERIN."
          Food.

          INT. DOUBLE "A" RENT-A-CAR. DAY.

          "Erin" works at her desk. Gracie shoots paper basketballs- into
          the wastebasket.. stops as Mustapha enters. He gives "Erin" an
          open FedEx pack.

                         MUSTAPHA
          FedEx is like underground railroad.
          "Erin" is stunned. She looks inside the package, finds another
          FedEx pack. Opens that.
          Inside it is a wrapped present and note. She reads:

                         JUPITER'S VOICE
          "Dear Daughter - (CONT.)

          INT. JUPITER'S OFFICE. DAY.

          Jupiter's at his desk as the THREE "FBI MEN" are shown in. He
          says something gracious to them.
          For. a moment they don't respond. Then one of them speaks.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         54
          Whatever he's saying produces a subtle but profound change on
          Jupiter's features.

          JUPITER'S VOICE (CONT.)
          Yesterday three men threatened to kill
          me if I helped you in any way.
          Fortunately for you, this aroused my
          interest. (CONT.)

          INT. DOUBLE "A" RENT-A-CAR. DAY.

          "Erin" opens the present and finds: Cash. Fifties. Probably a
          couple thousand dollars. She fights the impulse to cry.

          JUPITER'S VOICE (CONT.)
          I'm sending this via your former boss.
          If you get it and need more, leave
          word at my office.

                         JUPITER"

                         CUT TO:

          EXT./INT. SMALL PRETTY HOUSE. DAY.


                          FLASHES:
           Arab Men carrying in a couch as "Erin" watches.
           "Erin" hanging sheets over the windows: makeshift curtains.
           "Erin" fixing Gracie's room. Small bed. Two new Teddy Bears.

                         "ERIN"
          What do you think, you like this
          place?

                         GRACIE

                         (SUSPICIOUSLY)
          Why, are we moving again?

                         "ERIN"
          No, we just - (got here)

                         GRACIE
          Good. 'Cause I am sick and
          tired to death of movingi

                         "ERIN"
          Me too. So here's the deal. Try to
          remember,. while we're here, to call
          me Mom or Erin, but not Slim, okay?

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         55

                         GRACIE
          I never call you Slim.

                         "ERIN"
          I know, but...

                         GRACIE
          I don't think you are that slim.

                         "ERIN"
          Thanks a lot.

                         GRACIE
          Do I get a new name too?

                         "ERIN"
          I guess. If you want one...
          Gracie stares at her blankly.

                         GRACIE
          I have a crood idea .

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. PRE-SCHOOL. DAY.

          "Erin" approaches BETTY, Director of the Pre-School:

                         "ERIN"
          Excuse me, Betty? Hi, I'm Erin
          Shleeter, I called you -

                         BETTY
          Oh, hi -

                         "ERIN"
          This is my daughter.

                         BETTY

                         (TO GRACIE)
          Look at you!, you're so...(cute)
          What's your name?

                         GRACIE
          Queen Elizabeth.
          Betty blinks. "Erin" shrugs: that's my daughter!

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         56

          INT. DOUBLE "A" RENT-A-CAR. BATHROOM. DAY.

          Scissors. "Erin" cutting her hair in some odd primitive way
          that further changes her look. For the worse.

          INT. DOUBLE "A" RENT-A-CAR. BACK ROOM. DAY.

          T.T. (the African-American woman who works there) watches
          "Erin" exit the bathroom and put away the scissors. Not a

                         COMPLIMENT:

          T.T.
          Whatever you're goin' for, girl:
          you're really getting there.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. CAR. MORNING.

          "Erin" driving, nervous. Gracie/"Queen E."" is turned around in
          her seat, looking out the back -

          GRACIE/"QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          He is not -

                         "ERIN"
          Yes, he is -

          GRACIE/""QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Mom, he turned.

                         "ERIN"
          He turned?
          (looks in rear view)
          Oh my God, you're right. He turned.
          Wells (That's better.)

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          That's what I've been saying. There
          are other cars, okay? Just 'cause
          somebody's behind you doesn't mean -
          (stops ...blinks...)
          Mom? You just drove past my school.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. DOUBLE "A" RENT-A-CAR. EVENING.

          "Erin" and "Queen E." leaving work, bickering:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         57

                         "ERIN"
          I don't know, I can cook something.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Or we can go to McDonalds.

                         "ERIN"
          We can't afford to eat out every
          night. I can cook, Tootster.
          "Queen E." rolls her eyes as:

                         BRAD
          Hi.
          (off her blank look)
          I'm Brad Zall, I just rented a car
          from you guys.
          "Erin" stares at him. An insane moment of sustained paranoia.
          Who is this guy,. really? What does he want?
          Finally she realizes a normal response is required. Kind of a

                         TRICK QUESTION:

                         "ERIN"
          Is the vehicle all right?

                         BRAD
          Yeah, it's fine. I was just thinking
          that if you're not doing anything,
          maybe I could buy you - and the kid
          of course -

                         "ERIN"
          Who are you?! Who sent you?! You
          want a date?! You are totally out of
          your mind if you think I'm gonna have
          even this conversation we're having
          right now! I'm not, okay?! We are
          not talking! Get it?!

                         BRAD
          Yeah, I get it.
          And good luck with your psychotherapy.
          He walks away. She stares after him. Again "Queen E." is
          looking at her mother in astonishment.

                         SUP

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         58

                         "ERIN"

                         (STILL AGGRESSIVE)
          What? You're thinking I over-
          reacted? Huh? Just a little?

                         CUT TO:

          INT. "ERIN'S" TAURUS. DAY.

          "Erin" driving too fast. Her slight recklessness adds an
          undercurrent of anxiety to the scene. She's also eating
          doughnuts, sharing a box with her daughter.
          They pass a gas station. "Queen E." sees pay phones.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          You know Mom? I like the doughnuts
          and all, but the driving...

                         "ERIN"
          Don't get on my case.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Every Sunday, to drive for 55 hours?
          In exasperation, "Erin" gestures with both hands - taking them
          off the wheel. Nothing bad happens, but again her recklessness
          makes us nervous -

                         "ERIN"
          It's not 55 -

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Just to reach some phone booth?!
          Hey can I call Daddy this time?!
          Please??? Please please please...
          "Erin" shakes her head.
          "Queen E." gives her a mournful look.

                         "ERIN"
          Don't beg. You look like a dog.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. COUNTRY STORE. DAY.

          "Erin" is on the phone, "Queen E." at her side.

                         "ERIN"
          Mrs. Tyler? It's Slim.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         59

          MRS. TYLER'S VOICE
          Oh thank God. Listen. Mitch is
          planning some legal action, you're
          depriving him of his rights as a
          father, some nonsense like that:
          you better have Gracie call him.

                         "ERIN"
          Oh that's good news -

          MRS. TYLER'S VOICE
          I thought you'd want to know -

                         "ERIN"
          I do, thanks, I appreciate it.
          Listen: we have to keep it short
          again or he might trace it, so I
          better put her on -
          (hands phone to:)

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Hi Grandma! I have a new name!
          (as "Erin" frowns...)
          Yeah! You wanna hear it?
          "Erin" pushes down the lever, ending the call, mutters:

                         "ERIN"
          Sorry, your Majesty. Remember:
          names're secret.
          "Queen E." nods. Puts on her mournful look...

                         "ERIN"
          That is the most pitiful expression
          I've ever seen.

          CLOSE ON "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          She listens, cradling the phone. "Erin" watches her daughter's
          face light up:

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Hi Daddy! We're having a great
          vacation!

                         (PAUSE)
          I don't know. At a phone booth
          somewheres.
          "Erin" shakes her head, takes the receiver away:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         60

                         "ERIN"
          No questions, okay?, or it ends now.
          (hands phone back to
          "Queen E.":)
          Just tell him you love him and say
          goodbye, okay?
          "Queen E." nods, puts the receiver to her ear. Even "Erin" can
          hear Mitch yelling... "Queen E."'s face changes. Mitch keeps
          shouting angrily.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Goodbye Daddy.
          She did not say "I love you." She hands "Erin" the receiver.
          "Erin" hangs it up.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          I am really really sad.
          "Erin" nods, angry at herself:

                         "ERIN"
          Sorry, kid. My mistake.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. FANCY OFFICE. DAY.

          Mitch hands up his cordless phone, picks up another line.

                         MITCH
          I know mine was (too) short, but
          she made other calls, right?
          Ginny?, or my mother?
          He crosses to a map with colored pins. Sticks in another one -

          MITCH (CONT.)
          Good. Good. Keep it up.
          (hangs up, goes to intercom:)
          Isn't he here yet?
          Great, yeah, send him in.
          To our shock, the person who enters is the man previously known
          as "Our Hero." ROBBIE (real name) and Mitch are good buddies:

                         MITCH
          Hey.

                         ROBBIE
          Hey.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         61

                         MITCH
          Look, will you tell what's his face,
          Lieutenant Harris: I bought his
          Miata, I paid for his rec room, can
          he please keep his patrolmen from
          hassling my guys?

                         ROBBIE
          You got me on a Sunday, for that?

                         (JOKE)
          I could be out shaking down wetbacks.

                         MITCH
          I didn't bring you for that.

                         ROBBIE
          Her?
          (off Mitch' s nod)
          I told you not to be an asshole.

                         MITCH
          Yeah, but coming from you...

                         ROBBIE
          We had rules, okay? The rescue routine
          - like in the diner? It always worked,
          'cause we said: one time only. You
          come, then you go. But you end up
          marrying the bitchl

                         MITCH
          I know where she is, Robbie.
          More or less.

                         ROBBIE
          That's a blessing.

                         MITCH
          I need you to find her. Take your

                         VACATION -
          (as Robbie rolls his eyes)
          I'll make it worth your while, and
          I'll fix it with the department -

                         ROBBIE

                         (DRILY)
          Thanks. Thanks a lot.

                         MITCH
          Who else'm I gonna get? Huh?
          She stole my fucking childl

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         62

                         C ; ROBBIE
          Okay, okay. Ease it up.

                         MITCH
          (walks to map, pins)
          She made calls from these places -

                         ROBBIE
          She's that stupid? You traced her?

                         MITCH
          She's not stupid, okay? It says on
          the Net it takes 84 seconds to trace
          a call; she keeps hers well under.

                         (SMILES)
          Of course-your equipment is faster.

                         ROBBIE
          You're welcome, you're welcome...

                         MITCH
          (drawing on map)
          Okay: say she lives within a two hour
          radius...

                         CUT TO:

          INT. "ERIN'S" HOUSE. KITCHEN. NIGHT.

          "Erin" and "Queen E." eating pasta. The sauce is unusual
          colors, grey and orange. "Queen E." pokes politely at her
          plate. "Erin" is understandably insecure about her cooking:

                         "ERIN"
          What do you think, is it okay?
          It's okay, right?
          "Queen E." nods dubiously.

          "ERIN" (CONT.)
          No, it's not, it's horrible.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          It's not horrible, Mom.

                         "ERIN"
          But it's not good, is it?
          Is it good?

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"

                         (INCREDULOUS)
          (Good??) Mom, you tasted it.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         63
          "Erin" pushes her plate back. It's too much. in a second,
          silent tears are flooding down her face.
          This is not what "Queen E." wants to see. And she certainly
          doesn't want to reverse roles by giving comfort. Better just
          to pretend it's not happening.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Know what I think?

                         "ERIN"
          (tries to pull

                         HERSELF TOGETHER)
          What's that?

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          I think you miss Daddy.
          This comment is so wacko that it's almost touching. Almost.
          She feels compelled to be honest:

                         "ERIN"
          Daddy yells at me, Toots.
          "Queen E." nods. Thinks...

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Well. You miss somebody.

                          CUT TO:

          NOT ALL MEN ARE HEADS

          INT. SANTE FE AIRPORT. DAY.

          Joe gets off a plane with his carry-on luggage, goes to a bank
          of pay phones, examines the numbers on the phones...

          ANOTHER BANK OF PAY PHONES. MINUTES LATER.
          When one of these phones rings, he picks it up -

                         JOE
          Sorry, my plane was delayed -

          EXT. ROADSIDE STAND. PAY PHONE. DAY.

          "Queen E." is hitting stones with a baseball bat as "Erin"
          talks on the phone:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         64

                         "ERIN"
          Rent a car, make sure you're not
          followed, drive to the Taos airport.

                         JOE'S VOICE
          Another plane??

                         "ERIN"
          In Taos, go to Starbucks. Not the
          main one or the one by Hagen-Dazs.
          The one near the book store.

          INT. SANTA FE AIRPORT. DAY.

          Joe shakes his head, amused:

                         JOE
          What is this, a treasure hunt? I'm
          gonna spend the whole weekend flying
          around?

                         "ERIN'S" VOICE
          I'll call Starbucks in three hours.

                         (REASSURING HIM:)
          Don't worry, you'll be here by four.
          Dialtone. He hangs up.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. SMALL AIRPORT. DAY.

          "Erin" and "Queen E." look out the window at a small prop
          plane, which is starting to unload passengers.

                         "ERIN"
          I tell you it's this one.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          No, he's not. He's with...
          She's looking at some OTHER PASSENGERS who have already entered
          through another gate and are walking past them.

                         "ERIN"
          No, Toots. That one's from Reno.
          (turns back, sees him)
          There! Joel
          She waves. "Queen E." waves too. Joe waves back.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         65
          But that's not what we're looking at. We're. looking at Robbie:
          walking slowly toward them with the other Reno passengers.
          He doesn't see "Erin", but in a moment he will. He'll turn the
          dogleg corner and be right next to them...
          Robbie pulls out his boarding pass. With it are old photos of
          "Erin" and "Queen E.11. He shuffles past the photos, finds his
          claim check. He's now only a few feet away from them...
          And they're oblivious of him...
          And he turns the little dogleg and looks at them -
          Except they're no longer there. They've moved toward the
          unloading area for Joe's gate...
          And Robbie goes safely past as Joe enters the terminal, sees
          them, shakes his head:

                         JOE
          I can guarantee one thing in my
          lifetime: I was not followed.
          He embraces "Erin" and "Queen E."" The CAMERA looks past them
          to where Robbie might be watching. He's not.

                         CUT TO:

          INT/EXT. THEIR TAURUS/MAIN STREET, SMALL TOWN. DAY.

          "Erin" and "Queen E." are pointing out sights, passing an OLD

                         FASHIONED DINER:

                         "ERIN"
          And there's the diner where I do
          not work.

                         JOE
          Where do you work?
          "Erin" gives him a look: she's not telling. She resumes the
          tour, points to an old crumbling "movie palace:"'

                         "ERIN"
          There's the one-plex.
          (pointing again at a

                         NOT-TOO-FANCY PLACE)
          The €an restaurant where you'd take
          me if we were dating...
          (for "Queen E.19
          which we are not.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         66
          Very fast, like an old routine; we see how they play together:

                         JOE
          No way.

                         "ERIN"
          Not at all.

                         JOE
          Just friends, right Gracie?

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Queen Elizabeth.

                         JOE
          Right. Sorry, your highness.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          No problem.
          "Erin" pulls up in front of their house, gestures: here it is.

          INT. "ERIN'S" HOUSE. HALL. DAY.

          Continuing the tour, they're showing him:

                         "ERIN"
          And this is the guest bedroom...

          (CONT . )

          INT. "QUEEN ELIZABETH'S" ROOM. EVENING.

          He comes in, looks around. Clearly "Queen E." has painted the
          walls herself : it's a "modern-art" mesa.

          "ERIN" (CONT.)
          .normally known as Buckingham
          palace.

                         JOE
          (nods, checks it out)
          Very... colorful.

                         "ERIN"
          You better warn him, huh?
          "Queen E." looks confused. "Erin" whispers in her daughter's
          ear, and she confides in Joe:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         67

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Oh yeah. The dreams in here
          get really noisy.
          Joe sets his suitcase down.

                         JOE
          I look forward to that.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. PARK. DAY.

          Baseball diamond. Joe pitching underhand to "Queen E." He's
          using plastic balls the size of soccer balls, so it's easy for
          her to hit every one.
          "Erin" is running, retrieving the hits.
          FREEZE FRAME as she's caught in a photograph.
          The image unfreezes and is followed quickly by a series of
          frozen frames, photographs of her, some wide, some tight.

          REVERSE IMAGE.
          The park. Mostly empty. No one taking their picture. A stand
          of green bushes. HOLD on the bushes for a moment -

          EXT. PARK. AN HOUR LATER.

          "Queen E." is curled on a blanket taking a nap as "Erin" and
          Joe finish the picnic.

                         JOE
          You seem like you're doing great.

                         "ERIN"
          Yeah.

                         JOE
          How long can you stand it?
          (off her look)
          I mean: not to talk to your friends
          or family or have anything to do with
          your real life?

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         68

                         "ERIN"
          (quiet, strong)
          Gracie is safe.

                         JOE
          Yeah, but what, now Mitch started
          some kind of custody battle?, what

                         DOES -

                         ROBBIE
          Are you Denise?
          SHOCK. There he is, standing right over them, in bad clothes
          and a baseball cap, dark glasses. Completely unrecognizable.

                         "ERIN"
          Pardon me?

                         ROBBIE
          You're Denise, right? Used to work
          at the Pack 'N' Ship?

                         "ERIN"
          I'm not Denise.

                         ROBBIE
          Oh. Sorry, I... You look-but
          you're right, your voice... (isn't)
          You're not from New Zealand, are you?

                         "ERIN"
          Never been there.

                         ROBBIE
          Boy. Sorry to bother you folks.
          He backs away, embarrassed. Joe stares after him warily...

                         JOE
          What now? We call Pack 'N' Ship,
          see if Denise ever - (worked there)

                         "ERIN"
          Because of some homeless guy? Joe:
          it could be the Pack'N'Ship in
          Trenton, New Jersey.
          (over his protest)
          One thing I learned: I can't jump
          every time someone says boo.
          I can't do that to her.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         69
          Joe looks at "Queen E." and nods.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. "ERIN'S" HOUSE. NIGHT.

          Looks peaceful. But why do we need this establishing shot?
          Its very existence in the narrative is menacing.

          INT. "ERIN'S" HOUSE. NIGHT.

          Joe gets up from "Queen E. 's" bed and goes into the kitchen.
          Gets some juice from the fridge, drinks it.
          Looks into "Erin's" bedroom.
          "Erin" is awake, "Queen E." asleep at her side. Half -whisper:

                         JOE
          Gracie was right.
          (off her look)
          'Bout the dreams in there.

                         "ERIN"
          Yeah, mine too.

                         (BEAT)
          Cuddle?

          INT. "ERIN'S" BEDROOM. NIGHT.

          As he gets into bed:

                         "ERIN"
          You remember the house rules?

                         JOE
          With Gracie here? Who can forget?
          They hold hands.

                         "ERIN"
          Joe.

                         JOE
          Yeah.

                         "ERIN"
          You ever think about what would've
          happened...(if you and I had...)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         70

                         JOE
          Yeah.

                         "ERIN"
          What do you think?
          Beat.

                         JOE
          I think Gracie is truly a great kid,
          and any path that doesn't include
          her doesn't make any sense.
          "Erin" nods. Beat.

                         "ERIN"
          Ginny told me about that weekend.

                         JOE
          Of your wedding?
          She nods.

                         JOE
          She tell you how terrible I was?

                         "ERIN"
          Joe. This routine? It might work
          on other people, but you forget:
          I've actually had you -

                         JOE
          I didn't forget -

                         "ERIN"
          (like a compliment's coming)
          - and I'm telling you, from memory...

                         (DRY TEASE)
          you are not that bad...
          They both laugh. It subsides into affection...

                         "ERIN"
          You really go tomorrow...?
          He nods.

          "ERIN" (CONT.)
          Couldn't you quit your job, and stay
          here and play the horses or something
          and become independently wealthy?

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         71
          Beat.

                         JOE
          Please kiss me, Slim. I know we're
          not supposed to, it's against house
          rules and all, but for me to come
          all this way and feel the way I do
          and for us to not even -
          She kisses him -
          And he kisses back.
          And they stop.
          Incredible self control.
          Lie next to each other-hold hands again...

                         JOE
          You're a great person, Slim.
          You're a great person just like
          your daughter.
          She squeezes his hand.
          THE CAMERA LINGERS FOR A MOMENT ON THIS SWEET IMAGE... clasped
          hands...THEN PULLS SUDDENLY BACK, so we're seeing their hands
          from outside, through a crack in the window. Hold.

                         CUT TO:
          YOU CAN RUNs s s

          EXT. PRESCHOOL. DAY.

          From an odd distance across the street, we watch "Erin"
          dropping off "Queen E." Extend the mundane details of this
          transaction... THREE DAYS LATER

          INT. DOUBLE "A" RENT-A-CAR. DAY.

          T.T. sticks her head in, to "Erin":

          T.T.
          I know you have a "back room" gig,
          but with Sher out, four customers:
          I need help here; I'm on meltdown.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         72

          EXT. DOUBLE "A" RENT-A-CAR. DAY.

          We look. past a tree, through the windows...as "Erin" comes
          warily out to the counter, looks over the customers...

          INT. DOUBLE A RENT-A-CAR. COUNTER. LATER. DAY.

          "Erin" working a calculator, muttering in frustration...

          T.T.
          Here, lemme do that.
          As T.T. wrestles with the calculation, "Erin" looks up. Frowns
          slightly, her eyes shift... She senses something. This
          strange sensation, as if she's being watched, or...
          She looks out the window, doesn't see anyone...
          Glances into the back office - and notices the clock: 4:15.

                         "ERIN"
          (runs for door)
          Oh my Godl, the Queen is out of dance
          class! I'll be back in 20 -

          EXT. DOUBLE "A" RENT-A-CAR. DAY.

          We watch from across the street as "Erin" hurries to her
          Taurus, gets in and drives away.

          EXT. PRE-SCHOOL. DAY.

          "Erin" in line for Pick-up. Betty the Pre-school Director
          comes up to "Erin" and says casually:

                         BETTY
          Erin. I'm glad you're here.
          We can't find Queen Elizabeth -

                         "ERIN"
          You can't find her??!

                         BETTY
          So many kids're staying for
          these after-school things -
          She turns, distracted, as ANOTHER TEACHER calls -

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         73
          n "Erin" blinks... looks around frantically... OTHER KIDS in gym or
          dance gear, but no "Queen E."...and the knowledge of what's
          happened is hitting her...her eyes're dilating, breathing
          becoming frantic. Betty turns back as "Erin" mutters:

                         "ERIN"
          I should've! ... I should've known!,
          he did it before!
          She rams the car in gear, rockets out of the pick-up line -
          Almost hits a TEACHER and 4 YEAR OLD KID -
          Slams the breaks, calls:

                         "ERIN"
          I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I... I...
          Freaked out, frantic, she pulls to the side of the road, yanks
          up her brake, grabs her cell phone. Auto-dial #2.

          T.T.'S VOICE
          Double "A" Rent

                         "ERIN"
          Did Queen Elizabeth call?!

          T.T.'S VOICE
          No, of course - (not)

                         "ERIN"
          Anyone else?!

          T.T.'S VOICE
          Nobody called, Erin; are you - (okay?)
          "Erin" presses STOP, then Auto-dial #1, waits, looks around.
          Betty staring at her like she's crazy, walking toward her car -

                         "ERIN'S" VOICE
          Hi. Leave a message.

                         "ERIN"
          Gracie, are you there?! Is anyone
          there?! Please? Pick up!
          No one picks up. Silence.
          She beats the wheel in frustration... lowers her head.
          For one long second, she seems completely beaten...

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         74
          A KNOCK on her window -
          She looks up, sees Betty.
          Betty's talking, but it's as if "Erin" has gone crazy. For a
          moment there's no sound, and then the sound is there but
          unintelligible, and finally the words and sounds come together:

                         BETTY
          .what I've been trying to tell
          you...
          "Erin" nodding now, beginning to grasp the words...

          BETTY (CONT.)
          At the end of dance class, the teacher
          lets them go hide, and for a minute no
          one could find her -
          "Erin" looks past Betty, sees "Queen E." in her tutu and leaps
          out of her car -

                         "ERIN"
          Thank you, thank you, I... I'm
          sorry. I'll explain later, I...
          She rushes forward, wraps "Queen E." in a big, not quite
          appropriate hug. "Queen E." looks at her as if to say, "This
          is nice, Mom, but will you please tell me what gives?"

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. RENT-A-CAR. NIGHT.

          From a distance, we watch "Erin" and "Queen E." trudge toward
          their Taurus. The end of the day; they're tired.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. "ERIN'S" HOUSE. KITCHEN. MIGHT.

          Making meat loaf. "Erin" consults the cookbook, seems
          confused, puts meat, breadcrusts, eggs, sauces, onions, etc. in
          a bowl. "Queen E." mooshes them with her fingers - a
          disgusting tactile job which she adores. IMPROVISE DIALOG to
          make the scene utterly mundane, two "girls" having fun... The
          normalness of it makes us exceedingly nervous.

          INT. "ERIN'S" HOUSE. NIGHT.

          "Queen E." sleeping peacefully in her bed.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         75
          "Erin" also sleeping peacefully. We OBSERVE her from a slight
          distance, to the left of the bed as we face it. Slowly the
          CAMERA BEGINS TO MOVE. . .down the bed...to the foot ...to the
          other side.. .back again on "Erin" sleeping peacefully... and
          the CAMERA RISES to show Mitch seated at her side.
          He seems calm and utterly content. It would be, hard to imagine
          a more terrifying attitude.

          INT. HER BEDROOM. DAWN.

          "Erin" wakes with a start, sits up, looks around -
          Everything's normal. Peaceful. No Mitch.
          "Erin" shakes her head, as if clearing away a dream.
          As she looks again around the room, her nostrils flare
          slightly. . .as if she smells him. She rubs her nose.
          Touches her wrist, and we notice something she's worn the whole
          time she's been Erin: a colorful elastic bracelet, probably a
          Swatch.
          She gets out of bed and looks out the window -
          Cold morning -
          She goes toward the hall...

          INT. HALL. DAY.

          Moving down the hall... each open door feels like a trap ready
          to spring...
          She glances into "Queen Elizabeth's" room... We half expect
          some sort of reaction or exclamation - "Queen E." may be gone -
          but instead "Erin" keeps right on going...
          Vanishes into the bathroom.
          HOLD the empty hall. HEAR the sound of her peeing...

          INT. BATHROOM. DAY.

          From the doorway, we see her on the potty... The window over
          her head is open slightly.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         76
          As she pees, she stares at the shower curtain-it rustles
          slightly in the wind from the window.
          She wipes herself.
          Still staring at the curtain...
          She stands, pulls up her pajamas...
          Stares.
          Yanks the shower curtain aside -
          Nothing.

          INT. HALL. DAY.

          She goes into the kitchen.

          INT. KITCHEN. DAY.

          She puts on the kettle.
          Drinks a little o.3 from a carton.
          Walks back down the hall -
          In every moment of this, the tension is excruciating...

          INT. HALL. DAY.

          Facing her as she comes down the hall, passing the living room
          doorway.. .we wait for Mitch to leap out at her -
          He doesn't.
          She keeps coming, past "Queen E's -

          HE JUMPS OUT OF THE DOORWAY -
          " Erin" starts to scream, looks toward "Queen E." and stifles
          the sound.
          They wrestle. Silently. Grim pantomime. The only sounds are
          GRUNTS, BANGING vs. the walls.
          He's far too strong for her -
          They slam against one wall, the other, CRASH to the floor -

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         77

                         MITCH
          Wanna know a secret?
          Whispering to her, his hands moving to her neck...

          MITCH (CONT.)
          Cops need a body. Without your body,
          they'll think you disappeared again.
          Her hands at his hands, clawing, trying to pry them loose -

          MITCH {CONT.}
          Which is kind of true.
          One of her hands moves-away from his hands to that Swatch or
          whatever it is on her wrist -

          MITCH (CONT. )
          'Cause where you're going, they
          will never... ever... find you.
          She turns the gizmo so it points away from her face...
          Toward his face...
          At the last instant he realizes what she must be doing -
          But it's too late. She presses a button -
          Orange spray hits his face, eyes -
          He screams and releases her -
          She leaps up - and Sees "Queen E." standing in her doorway.
          Staring, mute and horrified. How long was she watching?!
          "Erin" grabs "Queen E." and runs down the hall. Mitch writhes
          on the floor -

          EXT. "ERIN'S" HOUSE. DAWN.

          "Erin" bursts out the back door, whirls, pulls a rope -
          - Causing a slab of 2-by-4 to slide over the door: primitive
          locking device -
           She sprints for her Taurus. Still in her pajamas, still
          carrying "Queen E." -
          Her car has a number pad on the driver's door. She punches
          numbers, opens the door, puts "Queen E." in -

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         78
          Pulls a key from under the mat -
          Fires the car up, rockets away -
          Down the block, so far back we're not even sure it means
          anything, a CHEVY SUBURBAN pulls away from the curb...

          EXT./INT. MALL/TAURUS DAWN.

          Parked in back, near dumpsters. "Erin" jumps out of the
          Taurus, runs around to the trunk, pulls out a small suitcase.

          MOMENTS LATER.
          "Erin" and "Queen E." pulling clothes from the suitcase,
          getting dressed. A FRANTIC BLUR of pajamas and underwear and
          suitcase and the last thing we expect to see:
          KNOCK at the window. Robbie. "Erin" whirls, looks. For an
          instant TIME SLOWS as she stares at him...
          FLASHBACK TO THE DINER, HIS FACE: she recognizes him -
          And realizes: he's with Mitch. Which means: Mitch was phony
          from the moment she met him -
          Robbie reaches for her door handle -
          She rams the accelerator, leaving Robbie behind -
          The car rockets forward, toward the dumpsters -
          She spins the wheel; the car swerves, kisses off the dumpster -
          Robbie running for his car, and now we see the Chevy Suburban,
          hidden behind some nearby bushes -
          The Taurus pogos over the concrete/grass divider, rockets
          across the next parking lot...
          Robbie jumping into his Suburban -
          "Erin" half in, half out of her clothing, trying to drive,
          trying to see, sticking out her arm to keep "Queen E." (not in
          her seatbelt) from flying through the windshield.

                         "ERIN"
          Seatbelti Seatbelti Put on your -

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         79

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          (trying to put it on)
          Then slow down so I -

                         "ERIN"
          I can't slow'-

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Who was that guy?!

                         "ERIN"
          (looks in rear-view)
          I don't know, some...
          (sees Robbie chasing them)
          Oh shit...

          EXT. CITY. MORNING.

          Three brief FLASHES of -"Erin" being chased out of the city.
          Freaked out to drive so fast, "Queen E." screaming, etc.

          EXT. COUNTRY ROAD. MORNING.

          Robbie's Suburban right behind them, closer, closer... finally
          slams into their Taurus, knocking them half off the road. He
          pushes them off again, again, "Queen E." covering her eyes,
          "Erin" coming back onto the road, fighting to keep control, and
          the road narrowing more and more, down to one tight lane. This
          looks like totally the wrong place to be leading someone.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"

                         (WORRIED)
          Mom?
          Up ahead is a one-lane covered bridge crossing over a stream.
          The bridge is very narrow.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          Mom, are you sure...?!
          Quite sure, thank you. "Erin" guns the accelerator.
          Robbie's FACE... driving, confident, full of blood lust, and
          then his expression changes. Eyes widen. He realizes - shit!
          too late!! - that the bridge is way too narrow for -
          "Erin" Is car slides through, scraping one side
          The Suburban crashes into the bridge, careens into the water -

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         80
          "Queen E." looks back through the rear view mirror... looks at
          her mother ...back and forth...

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          That was dangerous.

          INT. CAR. MORNING

          Different country road. Parked ahead is a `78 Oldsmobile.
          "Erin" pulls in behind it.
          They get out of the Taurus. Using her keys, "Erin" unlocks the
          trunk of the Olds. Two large suitcases inside. "Erin" throws
          their small suitcase in on top.
          "Erin" reaches up under the driver's seat and pulls out a
          wallet. Checks the contents: cash, credit cards.
          "Queen E." pulls a red wig out of the glove compartment.

          INT. OLDSMOBILE. MORNING.

          They're on a lightly travelled two-lane highway. "Erin" (now a
          redhead) looks in her rear-view mirror: no cars.

                         "ERIN"
          Okay, Toots. We can talk.
          "Queen E." stares at her mutely.

          "ERIN" {CONT.}
          Want me to tell you what happened?
          "Queen E." blinks twice, shakes her head.

          "ERIN" {CONT.}
          Fair enough.
          One thing, though: Erin's over.

                         "QUEEN ELIZABETH"
          (Too bad.} I liked Erin.
          Slim nods sadly: she liked Erin too.

                         SLIM
          You're not the Queen of England
          anymore either.
          Gracie nods fatalistically, stares out the window. Flat voice:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         81

                         GRACIE
          I'm hungry.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. DINER. DAY.

          Gracie eating voraciously. Slim has no appetite. Their
          WAITRESS comes over, notices Slim's not eating -

                         WAITRESS
          Everything okay here?

                         SLIM

                         (NODS)
          Thanks.

                         WAITRESS

                         (TO GRACIE)
          Hey there, cutie, what's your name?
          Gracie looks up at her for a while.

                         GRACIE
          I'm working on that one.
          The waitress does a double-take and leaves. To Slim:

          GRACIE {CONT.)
          Maybe something normal this time.
          Ann or Mary or...
          (sees Slim is distracted)
          Mom?

                         SLIM
          I'm thinking.
          Beat.

                         GRACIE
          (Yeah,) I can hear it.

          CUT. TO:

          EXT. COURTHOUSE. DAY.

          Slim parks. As she starts to get out, she says to Gracie:

                         SLIM
          Anybody talks to you, hit the horn.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         82

          INT. COURTHOUSE. DAY.

          Slim in line at a COUNTY RECORDER'S desk. The person in front
          of her leaves, she steps up:

                         SLIM
          I need the best lawyer in town.

                         (QUICKLY)
          I know you can't give names, it's
          against the law or whatever, but I
          really need help, and I can see
          you're a decent person.
          She slides a paper and pencil across the desk:

          SLIM (CONT.)
          Please. Just a name.

          INT. NICE LAWYER'S OFFICE. RECEPTION AREA. DAY.

          Slim comes in, sits Gracie down and whispers:

                         SLIM
          Watch how it's done.
          117 Slim goes to the Receptionist's desk:

                         SLIM
          Hi. Is Mr. Toiler with someone?

                         RECEPTIONIST
          No, but he's -

                         SLIM
          I'm not a crazy person.
          She walks past the Receptionist -

                         RECEPTIONIST
          Wait a minute! You can't
          Slim opens the big door, enters:

          INT. JIM TOLLER'S OFFICE. DAY.

          The moment we see JIM TOILER we know Slim's okay. The actor
          playing him is one of those cranky avuncular types who pisses
          and moans but always comes to the rescue and outsmarts the bad
          guys. As we expect, he starts out disliking her:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         83

                         JIM TOLLER
          I don't know where you learned
          manners, young lady, but this is
          not the way to get my attention.

                         SLIM
          I know, but I'm desperate.
          (digging into purse)
          My husband keeps trying to kill me,
          and I need to talk to somebody who's
          smart, okay?, smarter than me at
          least.
          (pulling out cash)
          This is all the money I have - well,
          all but twenty - it's almost 500, and
          I'll give you all of it if you'll
          just listen to what... (happened)...
          just two minutes, okay? Please?
          She's so charming and intense and discombobulated, he can't
          help but give in.

                         DISSOLVE TO:

          LATER.
          He's staring at her. Good poker player; we can tell nothing
          from his expression. His voice very quiet and calm:

                         JIM TOLLER
          Pardon my French, dear, but I hope
          you got pleasure from it, 'cause you
          have really fucked yourself. You had
          two chances to file a complaint with
          the police and put his violence on
          record. You ignored them. Which tells
          him to keep comin' till he kills you.
          Slim reacts to this.

          JIM TOLLER (CONT.)
          As for Gracie: his next move... he'll
          initiate a custody hearing.

                         SLIM
          He...he already did.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         84

                         JIM TOLLER
          If you don't show up, the judge'll rule
          against you, you become a fugitive from
          the law. If you do show, Mitch will,
          as you say, portray you as a drug
          addict. For all I know you are one:
          you break in here, uninvited. I'd say
          your husband has a good chance for
          sole custody. Now if you don't mind:
          (pushes the money back at her)
          I'd like to go back to my work.

                         SLIM
          (stares at him in disbelief)
          .That's all?
          (off his silence)
          You're not gonna help me?

                         JIM TOLLER
          No one can help you, lady.
          She nods. Stares at him. And does not go. After a moment we
          see him have a thought... hesitate... look up at her...

                         JIM TOLLER
          The custody hearing, if he pushes
          for it, is just a trick.
          She says nothing. Listens. Watches as:
          He plucks a $20 bill from her stack of funds. Obviously he's
          giving her a valuable piece of advice:

          JIM TOLLER (CONT.)
          It's a way to get you to a
          particular place at a particular
          time... so he can kill you.
          He pockets the $20.
          She stares at him. Blinks. Of course. He's right...-

                         CUT TO:

          INT. OLDSMOBILE. NIGHT.

          Late. Few cars. Slim drives. Gracie curled up in the front
          passenger seat. Slim glances at her. Looks back at the road.
          Back at Gracie. Something building. Finally, softly:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         85

                         SLIM
          I gotta make you a solemn
          promise, Grace.
          Gracie is, of course, fast asleep.

          SLIM (CONT.)
          Ever since you were born ... well-one
          day I started to think of all the
          awful things that were gonna happen.
          People you'd love who'd die, or leave
          you, betray you, break your heart...
          .Physical injuries: broken bones or
          sickness or guys who hurt you some
          way... And I thought that if I could
          protect you even once, from any of
          those, if I could absorb any part of
          that myself...

                         (BEAT)
          Well... Here goes.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. AIRPORT. DAY.

          Ginny comes off a plane with her two kids. in tow, looks around,
          heads for a bank of telephones... As she approaches, one of
          the phones starts to ring.
          Ginny looks at it with irritation, picks it up -

                         GINNY
          This is the most ridiculous thing
          I've ever done.

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          Oh yeah? How 'bout Horace?
          Ginny glances at one of her kids, evidently Horace's child.

                         GINNY
          Okay, this is the second most -

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          Rent a car, drive to Denver, then fly
          to Reno.

                         GINNY
          You're out of your mind.

                         I

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         86

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          (as though flattered)
          You noticed.
          Dialtone.
          We watch from a distance as Ginny shakes her head in disbelief,
          mutters to her kids. As they trudge off, the CAMERA FOLLOWS.

          INT. AIRPORT. RENTAL CAR COUNTER. DAY.

          From the same distance: Ginny and kids approach the counter.

          INT. AIRPORT PARKING GARAGE. RENT-A-CAR AREA. DAY.

          Ginny loading luggage into the back as her kids climb in.
          As Ginny slams the trunk, SOMEONE'S RIGHT THERE -
          Slim.
          Ginny blinks, recognizes her, hugs her:

                         GINNY
          What're you... (doing here?)
          I thought we were... (driving to Reno)

                         SLIM
          I had to make sure you weren't
          followed.

                         GINNY
          (re Slim's hair)
          I like it.
          (not so sure)
          Maybe.

                         (SEES GRACIE)
          Hey, Graceland.
          Gracie slips out from behind Slim, goes and hugs Ginny as Slim
          holds up a wallet:

                         SLIM
          There's a credit card and cash. It's
          on me, but make no calls home, or to
          Phil. Think of it as a vacation till
          the Orca reopens. Toots?

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         87
          This to Gracie, who started to climb into the car. Gracie
          looks at Slim and again tries to climb in - she wants }}g part
          of saying goodbye - but Slim pulls her back into a hug.
          Slim holds her for as long as Gracie can possibly tolerate.
          When Slim is done, Gracie climbs into the car with Ginny's
          kids. Slim has tears in her eyes.

                         SLIM
          Take care of her, okay? Extra ice-
          cream and... and if you need to reach
          me...
          (hands her a cell phone)
          Just don't call your friends.

                         GINNY
          Oh great. I'll call strangers.

                         SLIM
          In an emergency, I'm #1 on the auto-
          dialer. Or I'll call you.
          Any calls between us must run is
          seconds or less. Cake?

                         GINNY

                         PIE -

                         SLIM
          Ass.
          (re the vacation)
          Enjoy it, huh?

                         GINNY
          How long?

                         SLIM
          The custody hearing's end of next
          month. That's my deadline.

                         GINNY
          Deadline for what?
          Slim looks at her...

                         CUT TO:

          WE'RE SO CLOSE WE CAN'T TELL WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT. CAMERA

          SLOWLY PULLS BACK: EYES ...SLIM'S EYES.
          Intense, focussed.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         88

                         THE KNOWLEDGE

                         MAN'S VOICE
          You ready?
          She nods. CAMERA CONTINUES BACK, we see more of her face.

                         MAN'S VOICE
          Sure?
          Another nod. Perspiration streaming from her pores, running
          down her face. And a look we haven't seen before.

                         MAN'S VOICE
          Can you lose?
          She shakes her head.

                         MAN'S VOICE
          Can he hurt you?
          She barely dignifies the question with another shake. We're
          now far enough back to see we are:

          INT. GYM. DAY.

          Slim in a leotard.

                         MAN'S VOICE
          Even though he's bigger?

                         SLIM
          (v. quiet)
          He's a lot bigger.

                         MAN'S VOICE
          Even though he's stronger?
          Finally see her INSTRUCTOR (6'4", 235 pounds, African-American,
          0.4% body fat).

                         SLIM
          He's a lot stronger.

                         INSTRUCTOR
          So if he hits you -

                         SLIM
          No way.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         89

                         INSTRUCTOR
          Say it.

                         SLIM
          It takes.twice as much energy to
          swing and miss as to swing and hit.

                         INSTRUCTOR
          After he misses, what do you do?
          She answers him with an intense look.
          He nods and moves after her. Slow, strong, powerful: predator.
          She backs up. Her movements simple, graceful, economical but
          athletic: they remind us of the easy way she moved around the
          restaurant in the first scene...
          Scattered over the mat are old-fashioned plastic SANTAS that
          kids use as punching bags. He backs her toward one...
          .then another. As she nears them, she slides deftly to the
          side: like she has eyes in the back of her head...
          He maneuvers her toward a desk-her back to it...
          Rushes at her -
          For a moment she seems trapped -
          But as he reaches her, she slips to her left, tosses him over
          the desk and onto the mat.
          She moves quickly to an attacking position, standing over him.
          He pats the mat beside him.
          She sits.
          He makes a motion and she closes her eyes.

                         INSTRUCTOR
          One last thing. The hardest lesson:
          we can't control the universe.
          She listens.

          INSTRUCTOR (CONT.)
          The unexpected may happen.
          He slides his hand over the mat, an order. She lies down.

                         01

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         90

          INSTRUCTOR (CONT.)
          Suddenly his maid enters, you're
          distracted for an instant, and
          he hits you...

                         SLIM
          That's not possible -

                         INSTRUCTOR 4
          We must prepare even for the
          impossible.
          She stirs slightly, uncomfortable with this idea.

          INSTRUCTOR (CONT.)
          We bend the universe to our will,
          but it will only go so far.

                         SLIM
          You're saying -

                         INSTRUCTOR

                          (STANDING UP)
          That's right -

          SLIM (CONT.)
          For the sake of this exercise, he
          hits me.
          He's standing over her. She looks completely vulnerable.

          VERY TIGHT ON HER AS:

                         INSTRUCTOR
          Yes.
          And you lie there as if dead.
          But hear me.
          Hold onto my voice.
          She nods almost imperceptibly.

          INSTRUCTOR (CONT.)
          He's standing over you, he thinks
          he's won-and as sure as he's a
          coward, he'll try to kick you.

                         SLIM

                         (SOFTLY)
          Yes.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         91

                         INSTRUCTOR
          And because you know what he'll do,
          you're smiling inside,... (CONT.)
          Her face blank, eyes still closed-but something changes; we
          sense her confidence and serenity returning.
          He draws his foot back as if to kick her...

                         CUT TO:
          INT. JUPITER'S OFFICE. (San Francisco) DAY.
          Slim strides through the office unapologetically interrupting
          various conversations. Finally she spots Jupiter, walks over,
          and without saying a word, demands his attention -

                         JUPITER
          (to the others)
          Ah. Just a sec, I'll be right back.
          (to her, irritated}
          I thought I made it clear you
          weren't supposed to come here.

                         SLIM
          I don't care what you want.
          This almost makes him smile; he's getting to like her.

                         JUPITER
          You're a different person.

                         SLIM
          So?

                         JUPITER
          How's that black guy I .set you
          up with?

                         SLIM
          Good.

                         JUPITER
          Did he teach you how to think?
          It's not the question she expected; it's more interesting and
          complicated.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         92

                         SLIM
          .I hope so.
          (before he can speak)
          The English guy is good too.

                         (ALL BUSINESS)
          But that's not why I'm here. I need
          a woman who looks like me. Someone
          who can handle herself: an off-duty
          cop or something.
          (hands him photo)
          Five four, one ten. Hair like this
          but cut higher, over the ear -
          (hands him key)
          Miko hotel, room 509, 8 o'clock.

                         JUPITER
          Tonic ? That's awful short notice;
          I don't know if I can -

                         SLIM
          What? I thought Jupiter was like
          all-powerful, king of the Gods?
          Oh yeah. One more thing. At some
          point.. .not right now 'cause it'd be
          phony ...I need you to acknowledge
          that I'm your kid.
          She walks away. He stares after her. Hint of a smile comes to
          his face.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. ELECTRONICS STORE. DAY.

          Slim is signing the credit card slip as the CLERK puts the
          merchandise in a distinctive red bag -

                         SLIM
          You sure this'll work?

                         CLERK
          You bet your life.

                         SLIM
          Thanks, I will.
          She leaves, taking out her cell phone. FOLLOW HER as she goes:

          EXT. SAN FRANCISCO STREET. DAY.

          She walks up the street, punches in a number...

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         93

                         BUTLER'S VOICE
          Tyler residence.

                         SLIM
          Yes. Tony. Could you please tell
          Mrs. Tyler that I'll call her around
          f our this afternoon.

                         BUTLER'S VOICE
          Of course, Miss Slim. My pleasure.
          Slim hangs up, goes into a. bagel shop.

          INT.. BAGEL PLACE. LATER.

          Slim sits at a table with a cup of coffee. A short guy, 28,
          built like a fireplug, dressed in sweater and jeans and wool
          cap, enters, walks to her, and says in an English accent:

                         ALEX
          Today, hon, you graduate.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. DOWNTOWN L.A. STREET. DAY.

          Alex and Slim are across the street from a strip joint.

                         SLIM
          It's closed?

                         ALEX
          Till six, eh?

                         SLIM
          And I'd guess whoever owns it
          isn't a very nice person.

                         ALEX
          That's a safe one.
          Slim starts walking toward the shop. As they go:

                         SLIM
          Why here?

                         ALEX
          You've got soft hands, you've worked
          hard. The tricky part now is nerves.
          They reach the entryway; Slim takes out her tools.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         94

                         SLIM
          People on the street?

                         ALEX
          Yeah. And you have to go in when
          his alarm's turned off -

                         SLIM

                         (NODS)
          Meaning he's inside.
          (has tools out)
          I'm ready.
          Alex moves slightly to block the view as Slim bends over and
          slips her tool into the lock...
          Slim working quietly, concentrating...
          Alex looking. around...
          A SHADY CHARACTER noticing them. Hesitating. Coming over..

                         ALEX
          We got company, doll...
          Slim still working...
          The Shady Character has almost reached them...

                         ALEX
          Forget it. You're too slow.
          She opens the door -
          Alex glances down, nods -
          She closes the door again and stands just as:

                         SHADY CHARACTER
          Hey. What're you guys up to?
          Slim stares at him.

                         SLIM
          We were hoping to see some action,
          but it looks like they're closed.
          The Shady Character stares back. He is ve skeptical.
          He watches Slim and Alex walk off down the block. Alex mutters
          under his breath:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         95

                         ALEX
          "Action?"
          Off her grin -

                         CUT TO:

          INT. BEAUTY SALON. DAY.

          Slim sits in a chair, cell phone at her ear. Her hair is done;
          now she's getting a manicure.

          MRS. TYLER'S VOICE
          And where is Gracie?

                         SLIM
          She's coming day after tomorrow,
          then we're flying to L.A. I was
          thinking after the hearing, maybe I
          could bring her by.

          MRS. TYLER'S VOICE
          Tell me something. Why is this call
          different? You were always worried
          about how long we talked -

                         SLIM
          I was out in the country, Mrs. T.
          I'm in a big city now, meeting with
          my lawyer, so there're lots of cell
          phones. No one can trace this.

          EXT. BEAUTY PARLOR. DAY.

          Slim exits in a long gray coat.
          Stops outside for one moment, glances around -
          Sees a guy in a GREEN TRENCHCOAT across the street.
          She walks hurriedly away.
          Glances over her shoulder, sees Trenchcoat following her.
          She smiles slightly, to herself.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. SLIM'S HOTEL. DAY.

          From a discreet distance, across the street, we watch her go
          into her hotel.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         96
          Trenchcoat is standing across the street.

          INT. HOTEL ROOM. DAY.

          Slim enters her suite.
          Sitting by the window is TOVA. As Slim walks over, Tova pulls
          on a wig which matches Slim's haircut. There is now a strong
          resemblance.

                         TOVA
          I'm Tova Steinberg.
          Slim stares. Tova's voice is an octave lower than Slim's.

                         SLIM
          Say something else.

                         TOVA
          I was a cop. I got shot, took
          the benefits.
          Slim thinks about Tova's voice. Takes out her cell phone.

                         SLIM
          They have to think I'm still here,
          so use my cell phone, tomorrow, to
          call my dad. Autodial 2.
          Slim presses the autodial number, then SEND, and motions for
          Tova to put on Slim's gray coat. It fits Tova perfectly.

          SLIM (CONT.)
          (lowering his voice)
          Hey, it's me.

                         JUPITER'S VOICE
          What happened to your voice?; you
          okay?

                         SLIM
          I don't know, I'm getting some
          bronchial thing.

                         JUPITER'S VOICE
          Otherwise everything's okay?

                         SLIM
          Yeah.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         97

                         JUPITER'S VOICE
          Get some rest, huh?
          She presses END, says to Tova, back to normal voice:

                         SLIM
          Tomorrow stay in, order room service.
          Call him twice. Keep it brief.
          "Hello, I don't feel well..."

                         TOVA
          And tonight?

                         SLIM
          Go around the corner, eat at Guido's.

                         TOVA
          I'll be followed?

                         SLIM
          Green trenchcoat.
          Tova nods and Slim takes off her own wig. Short dark hair.

          SLIM (CONT.)
          Wish me luck, huh?

                         TOVA
          Good luck.

                         SLIM
          Luck has nothing to do with it.
          Tova smiles.

          INT. HOTEL. HALL. NIGHT.

          Slim waiting as the Service Elevator arrives.
          Gets in.

          EXT. HOTEL. REAR ENTRANCE. NIGHT.

          Slim going out the door, down the alley...

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         98

          INT. AIRPORT. NIGHT.

          Slim getting on the plane to Los Angeles.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. SAN PEDRO STREET. NIGHT.

          Slim parks, looks across at a warehouse converted into lofts.

          BATTLE OF THE
          She takes a duffle from the back seat. Steps into the shadows,
          stares at the warehouse:
          Brick building, modern door and light fixtures.

                         SEXES
          She looks both ways:
          The street's dark. Deserted.
          She hoists her duffle, takes a deep breath.
          And crosses the street.
          Goes up the stairs to the stoop. Looks at the alarm panel on
          the door: green.
          Crouches, starts to work on the lock.

          INT. WAREHOUSE/LOFT. SLEEPING AREA. NIGHT.

          Mitch in bed, sleeping. Peaceful.
          A SOUND, Off.
          He stirs slightly.

          ANOTHER SOUND.
          He sits up. Frowning... dazed.
          Cocks his head. Listens...
          The SILENCE seems to have texture. He gets up.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         99
          We glimpse: a beautiful brick warehouse converted inside into
          an open, loft-like space filled with bird'seye maple, metal
          beams, etc. Modern, glistening, expensive.
          He walks around the place in the dark.
          In his boxer shorts and t-shirt. He looks vulnerable...
          SLIM'S POV... From one corner. Observing him. She has become
          the stalker.
          HER EYES, watching...
          He decides everything's okay and goes back to the semi
          partitioned sleeping area...
          He gets back into bed - next to a YOUNG BLOND WOMAN, 22.
          She turns over, mutters something, goes back to sleep.
          He lies there, eyes open. Stays very still. Listening.

          JARRING CUT TO:

          INT. SAME WAREHOUSE. MORNING.

          Bright light. Mitch in his bathrobe making coffee. The Young
          Blond Woman comes out, fully dressed...

                         MITCH
          Coffee?

                         YOUNG BLOND
          I gotta get home, change for work.
          He nods, gives her a perfunctory kiss:

                         MITCH
          I'll call you.
          She stares at him a second.

                         YOUNG BLOND
          You want my number?

                         MITCH
          Sure.
          She sees how "eager" he is to talk to her again. Irritated,
          she scribbles the number quickly, hands.it to him -

                         MITCH
          Thanks for everything.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         100
          For the sex, in other words. She gives it right back to him:

                         YOUNG BLOND
          You too. I really appreciate it.
          He's too self-centered to notice her ironic tone.
          She lets herself out.
          The instant she does, we go to a HIGH ANGLE looking down at
          Mitch. Alternate NORMAL and HIGH ANGLE during:
          Mitch pours coffee, goes back into his "dressing area" and
          pulls on some clothes as he talks into his cell phone:

                         MITCH
          Janie? Hey.

                         (BEAT)
          Yeah, I was working late.

                         (BEAT)
          No, tonight's no good either. I've
          got a morning flight to San
          Francisco.
          Slim in therafters, listening.

          MITCH (CONT.)
          If it was pleasure, you'd be going
          too. No, I'm going down to get my
          daughter.
          Slim's reaction to this...

          MITCH (CONT.)
          Sure, the custody hearing's here next
          week, but it looks like Gracie's
          being brought to San Francisco and
          my ex-wife ...well, seems like she
          completely vanished.
          ON SLIM. His words echo his threats when he was trying to
          strangle her in her hallway.

          MITCH (CONT.)
          Right off the face of the earth.
          I doubt they'll ever find her
          this time.
          Slim's jaw tightens.
          When we come back to Mitch, he's dressed and packing his
          briefcase.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         101

          MITCH (CONT.)
          Yeah, I want her to meet you.
          We'll call when we get in.

                         (FAKE TENDER:)
          You too.
          He hangs up, takes a sip of coffee.
          HIGH ANGLE SHOT looking down on Mitch as he heads out the door.
          Slim waits in the rafters until the alarm system beeps: it's
          armed.
          She climbs down, walks into the kitchen.
          Notices his Mr. Coffee machine is still on.
          Hesitates, turns it off.
          Opens the fridge to find something to eat -
          The alarm beeps again.
          Slim drops silently to the floor.
          SOUND of the KEY IN THE LOCK -
          Slim scuttles away as we hear:
          FRONT DOOR OPENING. FOOTSTEPS coming toward her.
          She slips around the edge of the counter just as:
          Mitch enters the kitchen. He goes to the Mr. Coffee... Looks
          at it... Frowns. Didn't he leave it on...?
          Slim in the foreground, crouched down, Mitch 15 feet away. He
          looks around. Is something wrong? Is someone here?
          Slim frozen, trying not to breath.
          Mitch listening. Wondering: should he search the place?
          She looks for a place to hide -
          He looks at his watch. He's late.
          He walks right toward Slim, curls around the counter -
          But she's not there any longer.
          He heads for the front door -

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         102
          Goes out. HOLD ON the hall, where she was, where he walked.
          EMPTY. The alarm beeps again as he resets it.
          One silent beat, then Slim rises in the kitchen. (She did a

          360.)
          She sighs. Pours herself some coffee, replaces the liquid with
          water. Auto-dials her cell phone.

                         SLIM
          I'm in.

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          Hey.

                         SLIM
          Can you stay off the phone?

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          For you, honey? (Anything.)

                         SLIM
          I hope so.
          She hangs up.
          Retrieves her duffle bag from its hiding place and pulls out
          tools, equipment, etc. Picks up a screwdriver and starts
          searching the apartment, checking the phone line, following it
          to the place where it enters the apartment.
          MONTAGE INTERCUT WITH FLASHES of Slim' a face: a running tab
          on her emotions. Intensity, focus, determination, fear,. ..and,
          as the sequence builds: concern about what she doing...

                         MONTAGE IMAGES :
          She disconnects the phone line.
          Finds the electrical box, opens it, finds the main switch.
          Removes all the knives from the kitchen... hides them...
          Walks the apartment-familiarizing herself with every inch of
          it-occasionally she moves a piece of furniture slightly... we
          realize: she's assessing fighting spaces. angles...
          She looks from one piece of furniture to another, back and
          forth, gauging the distance between them.
          She eats a snack from his refrigerator...

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         103

                         I
          Looks out the back (bedroom) window... and sees the water of the

                         J
          San Pedro harbor below her.
          Uses a metal detector to search the apartment:
          in a drawer of the night table beside his bed, she finds a
          pistol. Removes it. There are papers in the same drawer,
          notes or something. She throws these in the trash.
          She takes out three letters. As the CAMERA sweeps over one of
          them, we hear her voice:

          SLIM (V.0.)
          ". .thanks for letting me come talk
          about Gracie. And I'm glad you're
          willing to admit your temper, and -
          let's not mince words - the physical
          abuse you subjected me to."
          And glances at SECOND LETTER:

          SLIM (V.0.)
          "Perhaps with your new attitude,
          we can really work something out.
          Per your last letter, I'll see you
          the evening of..."
          She puts the letters in the drawer where the pistol was.
          They're not in envelopes; they're loose, open.
          She picks up the metal detector, resumes her search.
          The machine beeps insistently around his desk. She can't find
          anything. Finally she discovers a false bottom on one of the
          drawers: a second gun is in there.
          With the gun are papers: reports from private detectives
          looking for her, an assessment of his custody rights...
          She hides the guns in the bottom of the laundry hamper.
          Finds a photo of herself with Mitch and Gracie. Rips it up.
          Puts the metal detector back in the duffle.
          Changes into sweatshirt and sweatpants.
          Takes the distinctive red bag (from the electronics store) out
          of the duffle. There's a machine inside. She plugs it in,
          tucks it behind the couch.
          Puts her cell phone beside it.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         104
          She makes one last check: every wall, surface, every drawer.
          Barefoot, she begins to glide around the space. Backing up.
          Moving with ease and grace, sliding deftly to the side as she
          approaches a couch, desk, chair. She's building on her earlier
          reconnaissance: learning where the furniture is and how to
          navigate around it...

                         DISSOLVE TO:

          LATER. MAGIC HOUR.
          Light fading toward darkness. She's still moving backward,
          only now her sliding is smooth, graceful; almost a dance.
          As if hearing a distant signal, she slows to a stop.
          For a long moment she stands perfectly still. Poised. Like an
          animal in the forest.
          There's a chair facing the front door. She glances at it. No.
          She walks behind the couch, turns off the machine, picks up her
          cell phone and auto-dials.

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          Hey.
          Slim says nothing.

          GINNY'S VOICE (CONT.)
          You okay?

                         SLIM

                         (SOFTLY)
          Say it again.

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          Say what?

                         SLIM
          You know. What you told me.
          Beat. On Slim's face as:

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          Oh. You have a divine animal right
          to protect your own life and the
          life of your offspring.
          Silence.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         105

                         SLIM
          Yeah.
          She hangs up, turns the machine back on and stashes her cell
          phone.
          With simple ease, she lowers herself onto the chair. Facing
          the door. Waiting in the fading light...

                         DISSOLVE TO:

          EXT. STREET. NIGHT.

          Mitch walks down the street.
          Up the steps, punches in his alarm code.

          INT. MITCH'S PLACE. NIGHT.

          Mitch enters, closes and locks the door.
          Turns on the light.
          He walks back to the rear of the space, hangs up his coat.
          Goes into the bedroom area, takes off his jacket.
          The lights go out.
          Mitch freezes, shadow on shadow, a silhouette in the darkness.
          He looks out the window, sees:
          The neighboring buildings still have light and power.
          He cocks his head, listening.
          Silence.
          Walks to the door of the bedroom area. Waits.
          Take two more steps -

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          It's me.
          He nods slowly.

                         MITCH
          Yeah. (I thought so.)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         106
          He moves quietly to the bed... to the night table where Slim
          found the pistol. Covers this by talking:

          MITCH {CONT.}
          This morning too?

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          You always did forget to turn off
          the coffee.
          He rummages in the drawer. We hear the RUSTLE of the letters
          Slim put there. He fails to find the gun. Gives up trying to
          be quiet, tosses papers onto the floor -

          SLIM'S VOICE {CONT.}
          I found it, Mitch.
          His hand leaves the drawer.
          He thinks.
          Picks up the phone, listens. Dead.
          Looks around... can't see her...
          Goes back to the chair where he hung his sports coat and fishes
          out his cell phone. We see the GLOW of its dial.
          He punches 911 and pressed SEND.
          The dial goes dark for two seconds, then blinks back on.
          He stares at it.
          Tries again. 911, SEND.
          Again it goes dead.

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          It's a machine. Knocks out cell
          phones.
          He throws the cell phone onto the bed.
          Walks out of the bedroom area.
          Looks around the vast space.
          Spooky. Slanting light and dense shadow.
          He doesn't see her.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         107
          Walks toward his desk.

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          I found that gun too.
          He stops. Doesn't know where to go. or what to do.

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          Scared?

                         MITCH

                         (FUCK YOU)
          Of what?

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          Now is when you decide, Mitch.
          (off his silence)
          Whether you're a coward. If you
          are, you can run. I won't stop you.

                         MITCH
          (meaning the match is unfair:)
          You have my guns.

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          Threw 'em away.

                         MITCH
          Then someone's here with you.

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          No.

                         MITCH

                         (INCREDULOUS)
          You're alone?

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          Why not?

                         MITCH
          'Cause it'd be stupid.
          Silence is her answer.

          MITCH (CONT.)
          You're sayin' this is man to man?

                         SLIM'S VOICE
          Woman, Mitch.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         108

                         MITCH
          That's what I meant: man against
          woman - you sure that's fair?
          The lights go back on.
          Slowly Slim comes out from hiding...

                         SLIM
          Fair to whom?
          As he realizes her meaning, she moves into the open area
          between two couches.
          She has no weapon.
          She's barefoot, in her sweats, feet spread for balance, arms
          just slightly raised. Compared to him: she's tiny.
          He moves toward her.

                         SLIM
          This is what you wanted, right?
          What you were going to San Francisco
          for: the chance to get me alone?
          He lunges for her; she slides to the side and he misses.
          He begins to stalk her.
          And as he stalks, she moves backward, slowly and gracefully, in
          the way she was practicing.

                         MITCH
          I don't understand, Slim.
          How does this work for you?
          She ignores his words. Watches his eyes and his chest. Wants
          to know where he's going to attack.

          MITCH (CONT.)
          I mean: this is carefully thought
          out, right?
          She does not respond.
          He throws three punches. None of them hits her.
          He's unfazed, keeps stalking...

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         109

          MITCH (CONT.)
          But say you succeed - beat me up
          or whatever. You're not going to
          murder me... (CONT.)
          Her expression remains neutral, focused.
          He takes this to be agreement.

          MITCH (CONT.)
          So all you've done is further
          piss me off.

                         SLIM
          Self defense is not ,murder.
          This stops him cold.. He lowers his hands a moment. Stares at
          her, trying to assimilate this new information...

                         MITCH
          You don't have the guts.
          She just looks at him.
          He blinks, worried for an instant. Covers it with a smile:

                         MITCH
          It's not self-defense when you
          break in here and attack me.

                         SLIM
          So far you're attacking me.
          He lunges, almost hits her, rushes in -
          She has to leap sideways with great speed and dexterity: jumps
          over the couch to avoid being hit.
          He also jumps over the couch, but his balance isn't as good,
          and she's waiting for him as he stumbles -
          With perfect balance and full force, she slugs him in the nose.
          He goes down. Stays there. For the first time it occurs to
          him: this might not be easy.
          He climbs to his feet, feels his nose: blood.

                         SLIM
          You see? I'm just defending myself.
          He resumes stalking her. Only he's angry now, and it's scary.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         110

                         MITCH
          If you fail, you can count on this:
          you'll never see Gracie again.
          She reacts -
          He sees it, rushes her -
          Punching as he goes. From the standpoint of pure physics, he
          makes a terrifying force. Until:
          She steps back, grabs his arm, whips him vs. the brick wall -
          He hits it, bounces off.
          Cut on his forehead, blood streaming down his face.
          He stares at her... breathing hard... trying to put it together:

                         MITCH
          You really (think) ...you think you'll
          kill me and get away with it?l

                         SLIM
          I told you. Self-defense. I came
          here, as arranged in our letters, to
          talk about Gracie -

                         MITCH
          Letters? There are no -

                         SLIM
          In the drawer where your pistol was.
          You just left prints all over them.
          He stares at her, stunned in every way. Touches his forehead,
          feels the blood...

                         SLIM
          You attacked me, I fought back. And
          of course if you never touch me...

                         (SWEET SMILE)
          I'll have to give myself bruises...
          He goes berserk. Leaps at her, covering ground quickly with
          his long stride, swinging his massive arms. This is the most
          terrifying form of combat: a huge person attacking a tiny one.
          If he should hit her even once, a glancing blow, she will go
          down, she will break, it will be over.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         III
          But he misses, and misses again. Sometimes his punches are
          wild, almost comical. Others come so close we hear-the wind,
          feel their power, feel his sweat on her...
          CONTINUE this terrifying choreographed dance with destruction
          for as long as it will hold. At every instant, we fear for her
          bones and her life. Sometimes she leans back like Muhammad Ali
          to barely slip a punch, and we see terror on her face, married
          to determination. She knows the score. and the odds.
          Finally, in frustration at so many misses, he grabs an ashtray,
          hurls.it at her -
          it flies over her head -
          He punches again and again, wildly.
          She remains untouched.
          He stops. With all the blood, he looks like a wild animal.
          He makes a great effort to pull himself together...

                         MITCH
          This doesn't bother me, Slim.
          I don't care how long it takes.
          We both know: Ionly have to hit
          you once. Once, and it's over.
          She laughs at him.
          This is the last thing he expected and the last thing he can
          stand. He rushes at her again, fast -
          She starts left -
          He blocks her way -
          She starts right -
          Again he's blocking her -
          She lunges to the left, through a narrow space -
          He punches, grazing her hair; punches again, just missing, and
          a third time. We feel the awesome power behind these blows.
          She's in the clear again. Smiles casually. Clearly part of
          her strategy is to keep him angry:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         112

                         SLIM
          I'm confused, Mitchy. Aren't you a
          man?

                         (QUOTING HIM)
          I thought it was "no contest?"
          I mean, can't you hit me even once?
          He grabs a lamp, yanks out the cord, wields it like a club.

          SLIM (CONT.)

                         (AMUSED)
          A weapon?
          He smashes the lamp down, just missing her head -

          SLIM (CONT.)
          It's a martial-arts cliche, honey.
          A weapon throws you off balance -

                         SWISH -

                         SWIPE -

                         SLAM -
          He misses her three times, the last time smashing the lamp into
          the wall so hard that the impact hurts his hand. He yelps -

          SLIM (CONT.)
          You see?
          He turns toward her, pain on his face, holding his hand -
          And she truly attacks for the first time. Smashes her fist
          against his head -
          He flies back, bounces vs. the wall.
          As he comes off it, she punches him again -
          He roars with rage, lunges at her, head first, great speed -
          She hurtles him in the same direction, increasing speed -
          Right into the opposite wall.
          The top of his head hits the wall.
          He shudders like someone in a cartoon: a spasm running head to

                         TOE -
          He drops.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         113
          Face down.
          Does not move.
          At all.
          She stares at him.
          Goes to him. Wary.
          Gives him a reflex test -
          No reaction. He's unconscious.
          She tests his neck for a pulse.
          Apparently he's still alive, because she raises her hand
          over her head.
          Her palm vertical, like a knife.
          She's about to deliver a karate chop.
          To his neck.
          it will break his neck.
          It will kill him.
          Her hand stays there, poised. CAMERA PLUNGES IN ON HER FACE.

                         FLASHES:
          - Mitch hitting her the first time -
          - Midwest house, Mitch leaping out from Gracie's doorway -
          - Mitch beating her as she crawls across the floor of
          their house. (Something we didn't see before.) She reaches
          up, flicks the light switch; Mitch jumps on her back -
          - Mitch: "You'll never see Gracie again."
          - Earlier: "She's My daughter. Don't even think about
          taking her."
          - Strangling Slim, whispering: "...where you're going,
          they will never... ever... find you."

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         114

          BACK TO SLIM
          Face contorted in rage, confusion -
          She brings her hand down -
          Misses. him.
          Intentionally.
          Turns away, tears in her eyes.
          She retrieves her cell phone, turns off the cell-phone blocker,
          presses redial.
          Stares out the window. We see the turmoil on her face, hear it
          in her voice:

                         SLIM
          I can't, Gin.

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          'Re you okay?

                         SLIM
          Yeah.

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          You're okay?!, you beat him?!

                         SLIM

                         YEAH -

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          It worked?!

                         SLIM
          Listen to me! I did it, but I can't
          do it! I can't kill him!
          Behind Slim, out of focus: movement, a soft blur...

          GINNY'S VOICE (CONT.)

                         (URGENTLY)
          Slim. He'll come after you -

                         SLIM
          I know -

          GINNY'S VOICE (CONT.)
          He'll come after Gracie -

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         115
          An indistinct shape, something rising over her head...

                         SLIM
          I know all that!
          I have to, but I can't!
          I'm not a killer!
          I'm not him!
          Mitch. Crazed and bloody face. In his hand: the wooden lamp.
          She senses something, turns her head slightly to one side -
          - so the lamp does not land quite flush on her skull.
          Still sends her crashing to the floor.
          Now she does not move.
          He stands over her. Looks insane: bloody, dazed, beaten: but
          triumphant.

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          Hello? Slim? You there?
          The lamp moving in his hand. He's rotating it. A simple
          menacing image... . and we realize: he' s aoinq to hit her again.

          GINNY'S VOICE {CONT.}
          Should I call the cops?!
          Answer me?!
          He's distracted by Ginny's voice. Picks up the phone.

                         MITCH
          Listen to me, bitch.
          Ginny's silent.

          MITCH (CONT.)
          if you value your children, don' t
          call anybody.
          It's over, okay? It's all over.
          He throws the phone on the couch and moves back toward Slim,
          lamp clenched tight in his fist.

          SMASH IN CLOSE ON HER FACE.
          CLOSER STILL. We're almost inside her head as we hear:

                         INSTRUCTOR'S VOICE
          Hold onto my voice...

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         116
          Is that the hint of a smile on her face?

          INSTRUCTOR'S VOICE (CONT.)
          You're ready...
          Mitch sees the slight smile, can't believe it -
          Rage.
          He pulls his foot back to kick her -
          Her eyes are open, just a slit -
          His foot swinging forward...
          As it reaches her, she grabs it, yanks it -
          He's pulled off his feet, crashing down on top of her -
          But she's already rolling, out from under him... and up -
          Coming to her feet -
          He starts to rise, all fours, then into a crouch and ug...
          SLOW MOTION. She's ready. Her face alert. Center of gravity
          low. Arm low,.fist low... As her motion unfurls:
          Boxers say that an uppercut, perfectly
          executed, is the most difficult,
          powerful, and beautiful of punches.
          Indeed: when an uppercut starts low for maximum center-of-
          gravity and hits the opponent flush on the point of the chin -
          as Slim's does here - it delivers a devastating message to the
          central nervous system, short-circuiting it completely.
          Mitch flies backward...
          There's a table behind him.
          His head cracks on the table.
          His neck snaps.
          He lands on the floor: twisted, broken.
          Slim stares at him.
          There's no way a living man could assume the position now
          occupied by her former husband.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         117
          She stares in disbelief.
          Though she knows the answer, she feels his carotid artery.
          Her face registers what she feels. Horror, relief.
          She walks slowly to her cell phone, picks it up.
          Listens: no one there.
          She presses redial, waits...

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          (in a panic)
          H o?d

                         SLIM
          Hi.

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          Oh thank God you're alive.

                         SLIM
          Gin, he's ...he hit his...he's not
          breathing.

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          oh.

                         SLIM
          Yeah.

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          Well: I called the cops, they're on
          their way.
          Slim nods.

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          Slim... can you hear me?, this is
          important.
          Beat.

                         SLIM
          Okay.
          As Ginny talks, Slim puts the cell-phone blocker into the
          duffle and carries the duffle to the rear of the building.

                         GINNY'S VOICE
          You're not him, okay? You're not
          him, and you never will be.

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         118

                         SLIM
          See you soon.
          She drops the cell phone out the bedroom window into the water.
          Then the duffle. They both sink.

          EXT. BROWNSTONE.

          She comes out, sits on the steps. A siren is audible.
          Cop cars speed down the street, screech to a stop.
          TWO COPS LEAP OUT OF THE CAR, run toward her.

                         FIRST COP
          You okay?
          She looks at him, considering the question.
          Shakes her head.

                         FIRST COP
          Where is he?
          She makes a slight motion to indicate that Mitch is inside, and
          the OTHER COP runs into the apartment.
          Slim lowers her head.
          First Cop looks at her, sees the blood on her scalp.

                         FIRST COP
          Looks like you're one of the lucky
          ones.
          She looks up, stares at him, and starts to cry.

                         SMASH INTO:

          CREDIT SEQUENCE CREDITS OVER FLASHES:

          INT. LAX. DAY.

          Slim jumping up and down and generally making a fool of herself
          as Gracie runs off the plane into her arms. Ginny follows with
          her own kids; hugs all around -

          WHIP PAN TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         119

          ANOTHER GATE AT THE AIRPORT. DAY.
           Slim looking... waiting... seeing: Joe. He hurries to her -
          and picks up Gracie instead, gives Gracie a big hug.
          Joe lingers in the hug as Slim waits...and waits...
          Finally he turns to Slim, hint of a smile:

                         JOE
          What rules are we playing by now?
          She answers him with the kind of kiss you can get away with at
          a bar or airport and almost nowhere else.

          WHIP PAN TO:

          ANOTHER GATE AT AIRPORT. DAY.
          Jupiter comes off the plane, is hugged by Ginny, shakes hands
          with Joe. As he turns to Gracie, Slim says:

                         SLIM
          This time be nice to her.

                         JUPITER
          Is it gonna be like that?

                         SLIM
          Yeah.
          Jupiter smiles, shakes hands with Gracie:

                         JUPITER
          I hope I can work into being
          your grandfather, okay?
          Gracie shrugs.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. NEW "ORCA" RESTAURANT. DAY.

          SIGNS all over: OPEN AGAIN AFTER BOMBING1 SAME GREAT FOOD!

          SAME BEAUTIFUL WAITRESSES! SAME TERRIBLE JOKES!

          INT. NEW ORCA. DAY.

          Slim, Joe, Jupiter, and Gracie eating, Ginny serving large
          platters of gorgeous food:

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         120

                         GINNY
          So whattaya say, Slim-girl, you
          comin' back to work?

                         PHIL
          (passing by, overhears and

                         JUMPS IN:)
          After all I do for her... ?
          She better not!
          Ginny gives him a look -

                         PHIL
          She has to go back to school, make
          big success. Sigmund Freud, yes?!

                         (PATS JUPITER)
          Don't worry, Mr. Moneybags will pay.

          Jupiter gives Phil a playful look: thanks a lot.
          Phil whispers to Gracie:

                         PHIL
          But don't let her cook, huh Gracie?
          You eat here all the time.
          Gracie nods thanks, whispers back:

                         GRACIE
          Call me Queen Elizabeth.

          RUN TITLES ON THE REST OF THEIR MEAL. The longer it runs, the
          happier this odd family (including Ginny and Phil) seems...

          FADE OUT.




Enough



Writers :   Nicholas Kazan
Genres :   Drama  Thriller


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