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              T H E   G R E E N   M I L E

              Screenplay by Frank Darabont

              from the novel by Stephen King

              First Draft
              11/4/97


              "We each owe a death, there are no exceptions..."

              --------------------------------------------------------------

              A SONG BEGINS, distant as a faded memory on an old Victrola:

              Once I built a railroad, made it run... Made it race against
              time...Once I built a railroad, now it's done...Brother, can
              you spare a dime...

              Opening credit sequence

              plays against footage of the Great Depression, images
              haunting and sepia-toned, defining an era. The bread
              lines...the soup kitchens...the dust bowl refugees heading
              west with their possessions on their backs and no hope in
              their eyes...the strutting gangster royalty flaunting their
              bootleg riches...an entire generation of lost youth riding
              the rials...the U.S. army troops raining truncheon blows on
              the half-starved and forgotten veterans of World War One as
              "Hooverville" is set afire in the very shadow of the nation's
              capitol...

              All these faces, all these lives, in a world not really so
              very long ago...

              EXT. FIELD - DAY(SLOW MOTION)

              ...where cattails sway in the sepia-toned heat. A small scrap
              of fabric is snagged in the nettles, fluttering languidly...

              COLOR BLEEDS SLOWLY IN as mosquitoes swarm and dragonflies
              skitter, showing the fabric scrap to be pale yellow...

              Suddenly, a MAN WITH A SHOTGUN comes crashing through the
              cattails, wiping through frame and exiting...

              ...then ANOTHER MAN...and ANOTHER...armed with rifles,
              plowing through the brush, exiting frame...

              ...and now comes KLAUS DETTERICK, a farmer one step above
              shirt-tail poor, a double-barrel shotgun in the crook of his
              arm. He pauses, horrified, seeing the scrap of cloth. He
              pulls it loose, turns back, screaming something in anguish...

              ...and still more men come crashing into view, flooding by us
              with dreamlike, slow-motion grace. ONE MAN is leading a team
              of DOGS, trying to untangle the leads. DEPUTY ROB McGEE is
              shouting for everybody to stay together...

              ...and under it all, we hear a sibilant, frightening whisper:

                                  WHISPERING VOICE (V.O.)
                        You love your sister? You make any
                        noise, know what happens?

              And off that horrible voice, we

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. GEORGIA PINES NURSING HOME - MORNING(PRESENT DAY)

              A CLOCK RADIO spews the morning weather report, abruptly
              pulling us into the present with a prediction of rain. PAUL
              EDGECOMB, late 70's/early 80's, wakes to another day...

              INT. PAUL'S ROOM - MORNING

              Paul stands at his bathroom mirror, meticulously buttoning
              his shirt. He picks up a hairbrush, starts tidying his hair...

              INT. CORRIDOR - MORNING

              THE OLD AND INFIRM haunt these corridors like ghosts. A WOMAN
              inches along on a walker. A MAN shuffles by with a rolling
              I.V. stand. The floor is a limey, institutional green.

              Paul comes into view, spry for his age, murmurs an occasional
              greeting.

              INT. BREAKFAST ROOM - MORNING

              DOZENS OF RETIREES are having breakfast, sipping weak coffee
              or tea. Some chat and gossip, other are content to keep their
              own company, some just stare slackly into space.

              Paul enters, sees ELAINE CONNELLY sitting with a few other
              ladies, sipping tea. She's 80, refined and elegant, his best
              friend here. She gives him a good-morning smile. He gives her
              a rakish wink in return, which makes her smiles all the more.

              Paul reaches past the people at the counter and sneaks two
              pieces of cold leftover toast off a serving plate. He tosses
              Elaine another look--catch ya later--and exits.

              INT. HALLWAY PAST KITCHEN - MORNING

              Paul slips to the back door unnoticed. Identical red plastic
              rain ponchos line the wall on pegs. He helps himself to one
              and eases outside, making good his escape.

              EXT. NURSING HOME - ESTABLISHING - MORNING

              Nestled in a valley of wooded hills, a drizzly mist rolling
              over the treetops.

              Paul appears f.g., coming up the ridge in his borrowed
              poncho. He looks back at the valley below, inhales deeply--
              this is a man who loves his walks.

              He pulls a piece of toast from his pocket and starts to
              nibble as he presses up on the ridge...

              Low angle: nursing home and ridge beyond

              ...and we see Paul from a distance, just a speck trudging up
              toward the treeline. A PICKUP TRUCK rumbles into frame and
              parks, a bumper sticker looming large: "I Have Seen God and
              His Name Is Newt Gingrich".

              BRAD DOLAN gets out, an orderly in his late 20's/early 30's,
              arriving for work in jeans and cheesy plaid shirt. He gazes
              up toward the ridge, scowling and muttering softly:

                                  BRAD
                        Old fuck.

              He slams the door and heads for the nursing home...

              EXT. WOODS - MORNING

              ...as CAMERA BOOMS DOWN through the trees to find Paul
              wandering a wooded path, munching a tidbit of toast, looking
              for all the world like Red Riding Hood in his plastic poncho.

              It's silent here, like a church. The only sounds we hear are
              the twittering of the birds and the hammering of the
              woodpecker.

              A RUSTLING SOUND makes Paul freeze. He turns, becomes
              transfixed. Softly:

                                  PAUL
                        Oh, my...

              Reverse angle

              reveals a magnificent BUCK, not twenty feet away, misty
              breath punching the cold morning air. They watch each other
              for an endless moment, both standing stock still...

              ...and then the animal bounds away, vanishing into the
              foliage. Paul lets out a breath, shakes his head in wonder.
              He takes another bite of toast, moves on...

              ...and WE PAN WITH HIM to reveal a pair of old wooden storage
              shacks along the path up ahead.

              INT. SHACK - MORNING

              Dark in here, cobwebby and decrepit. We see Paul approaching
              outside the grimy window. He steps up to the glass and shades
              his eyes, peering curiously in as we

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              EXT. NURSING HOME - DAY

              Paul approaches the back door, returning from his walk. He
              reaches for the knob...and a figure in white lunges from
              behind the dumpster to grab his wrist. He whirls, gasping in
              fright--it's Brad Dolan, wearing his orderly's uniform.

                                  BRAD
                        Out for a little stroll, Paulie?

                                  PAUL
                        Let go...

              Paul tries to pull away, but Dolan's got him tight.

                                  BRAD
                        What's with this poncho you got
                        on, huh? This isn't yours.

                                  PAUL
                        I got it off the wall there.
                        There's a whole row of them.

                                  BRAD
                        But not for you, Paulie, that's
                        the thing. Those are for the staff.

                                  PAUL
                        I just borrowed it. Don't see what
                        harm it does.

                                  BRAD
                        It's not about harm, it's about
                        rules. You probably don't think an
                        old fart like you has to mind
                        rules anymore, but that's just not
                        true.

              Brad's eyes keep shifting--he obviously doesn't mind abusing
              the elderly as long as he doesn't get caught doing it.

                                  PAUL
                        I'm sorry if I broke the rules.

                                  BRAD
                        You got no business up in those
                        woods anyway, especially in the
                        rain. What if you fall and bust a
                        hip, huh? Who you think's gonna
                        have to hoss your sorry old bacon
                        back down here? Me, that's who.

                                  PAUL
                        You're hurting me!

                                  BRAD
                        What do you do up there, anyway?
                        You're too old to go jerk off, so
                        what do you do?

                                  PAUL
                        Nothing. I just walk, that's all,
                        I like to walk!

              Brad lashes out and grabs Paul's other hand, which he's been
              holding tightly clenched shut.

                                  BRAD
                        Come on. Open up. Let Poppa see.

              Paul uncurls his fingers, revealing the crushed remnants of
              a bit of toast, his palm slick with a greasy oleo smear.

                                  ELAINE (O.S.)
                        Paul?

              They turn. Elaine stands just inside the screen door with a
              cup of tea. Brad's eyes become calculated, wondering how much
              she's seen. Elaine keeps her tone level, betraying nothing:

                                  ELAINE
                        I saw you coming back, thought
                        you'd like some tea.
                               (beat)
                        Are you coming in?

                                  PAUL
                        Mr. Dolan and I were...chatting.
                        About the weather. I think we're
                        through now.

              Brad lets Paul loose, leans close:

                                  BRAD
                        Paulie? You tell anyone I squeezed
                        your po' ol' hand, I'll tell 'em
                        you're having senile delusions.
                        Who you think they'll believe?

              Brad walks off. Paul turns, watches him go. The screen door
              opens and Elaine steps out, her face pale. Paul gives her a
              strained, though grateful, smile as we

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. TV ROOM - DAY

              Jerry Springer's on the tube, whipping his studio audience
              into a frenzy. PAN OFF TO REVEAL DOZENS OF OLD FOLKS watching
              on couches and folding chairs. An old black fellow named PETE
              is grousing to a GROUP OF ELDERLY LADIES...

                                  PETE
                        Why we always watch this crap?

                                  ELDERLY LADY #1
                        It's interesting.

                                  PETE
                        Interesting? Bunch'a inbred
                        trailer trash, all they ever talk
                        about is fucking...

              ...and WE CONTINUE PANNING to Paul and Elaine sitting near
              the back, talking quietly as Paul rubs his bruised hand:

                                  ELAINE
                        We should report him.

                                  PAUL
                        That might just provoke him all
                        the more, make things worse for
                        everybody.

                                  ELAINE
                        It's not everybody he has it in
                        for, Paul. It's you.
                               (off his look)
                        What did you do to provoke him in
                        the first place? Nothing. He's
                        just an abusive bully, and should
                        be made to stop.

                                  PAUL
                        Ellie, please...

              Pete

              is at the TV, switching channels while:

                                  ELDERLY LADIES
                        ...no, the Movie Classic channel
                        is further down...past the Home
                        Shopping...keep going...

              He finds the Movie Classic channel, which is playing an old
              black and white musical--"Top Hat," with Fred Astaire and
              Ginger Rogers. A delighted reaction:

                                  ELDERLY LADY #2
                        Oh! This is wonderful...

              Paul

              idly shifts his gaze to the TV...and his expression goes
              slack with recognition and dismay. Elaine sees the look in
              his eyes.

              He glances away...even briefly considers walking out...but in
              the end, he can't help himself. The past just caught up with
              him with a freight-train wallop, and, for one, he decides to
              ride the rails...

              He looks back at the TV. On screen, Fred and Ginger have
              begun their famous "Cheek to Cheek" number, with Astaire
              singing in that sublime, easy-go-lucky way of his:

                                  FRED ASTAIRE
                        Heaven, I'm in heaven...and my
                        heart beat so that I can hardly
                        speak...

              SLOW PUSH IN on Paul, watching. He'd like to take his eyes
              off the screen, but the movie has him in a grip tighter than
              Brad Dolan's. Elaine is watching him with puzzled concern:

                                  ELAINE
                        Paul? What is it?

              No response. All he can hear is that music, all he can see
              are those dancers. The figures on TV are gliding with
              ghostlike grace in their silvery, phosphor-dot world of long
              ago...

              Paul abruptly bursts into tears.

              The room goes quiet, everything comes to a standstill. All
              eyes turn, some concerned, others merely curious. Paul just
              sits sobbing into his hands, shoulders heaving.

                                  ELAINE
                        Paul...my God...

                                  ORDERLY
                               (rushing over)
                        What is it? What's wrong?

                                  PAUL
                        It's okay...I'll be okay...

              Another orderly appears--Brad Dolan. He puts his hand on
              Paul's shoulder and leans close, feigning concern.

                                  BRAD
                        S'matter, Paulie? Why the boo-hoo-
                        hoo? Something nasty happen?

              Elaine shoves his hand away, eyes flashing with anger.

                                  ELAINE
                        Mr. Edgecomb will be perfectly
                        fine without your help, thank you.

              Brad back off with a "hey, suit yourself" gesture. Elaine
              helps Paul to his feet and leads him out.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. SUN ROOM - DAY

              Paul is staring out the windows, pensive and drained. It's
              raining now, pattering the glass and the lawn beyond. Elaine
              waits across from him, wishing he would speak. Softly:

                                  PAUL
                        I guess sometimes the past just
                        catches up with you, whether you
                        want it to or not. It's silly.

                                  ELAINE
                        Was it the film?
                               (off his look)
                        It was, wasn't it?

                                  PAUL
                        I haven't spoken of these things
                        in a long time, Ellie. Over sixty
                        years.

              She reaches out, gently takes his hand.

                                  ELAINE
                        Paul. I'm your friend.

                                  PAUL
                        Yes. Yes you are.

              Paul wonders if he's even up to talking about it after all
              this time...and decides that perhaps he is:

                                  PAUL
                        I ever tell you I was a prison
                        guard during the depression?

                                  ELAINE
                        You've mentioned it.

                                  PAUL
                        Did I mention I was in charge of
                        death row? That I supervised all
                        the executions?

              This does come as a surprise. She shakes her head.

                                  PAUL
                        They usually call death row the
                        Last Mile, but we called ours the
                        Green Mile, because the floor was
                        the color of faded limes. We had
                        the electric chair then. Old
                        Sparky, we called it.
                               (beat)
                        I've lived a lot of years, Ellie,
                        but 1935 takes the prize. That was
                        the year I had the worst urinary
                        infection of my life. That was
                        also the year of John Coffey, and
                        the two dead girls...

                                                       FADE TO BLACK

              In blackness, a title card appears:

                                  "The Two Dead Girls"

                                                       CUT TO:

              EXT. GEORGIA COUNTRYSIDE - DAY (1935)

              HUNDREDS OF PRISONERS work the fields, pickaxes rising and
              falling in waves, a prison song being sung in cadence with
              the work. GUARDS patrol on horseback, rifles aimed at the sky.

              A late 20's Ford PRISON TRUCK comes chugging into view along
              the road, kicking up a long trail of dust in the heat. It
              seems to be riding unusually low on its rear suspension.

              EXT. COLD MOUNTAIN PENITENTIARY - ESTABLISHING - DAY

              A Depression-era prison in the south. The prison truck sways
              down the rutted dirt road toward the main gate...

              INT. E BLOCK TOILET - DAY

              ...while Paul Edgecomb, early 40's, stands in a cramped
              toilet in his guard's uniform, trying to piss. His face is
              pained, his forehead beaded with sweat.

              INT. E BLOCK (THE GREEN MILE) - DAY

              BRUTUS HOWELL(nicknamed "Brutal" for his intimidating size,
              but he's actually rather thoughtful by nature) stands at the
              entry door of the cellblock, peering out through a viewing
              slot. He sees the prison truck arrive at the main gate.

              He turns and nods to fellow guard DEAN STANTON sitting at the
              duty desk, then cross the Green Mile--a wide corridor of
              faded green linoleum running some sixty paces top to bottom,
              with four large cells to a side.

              Brutal steps to the bathroom, listen a moment, knocks softly.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Paul? Prisoner.

                                  PAUL (O.S.)
                        Christ. Gimme a minute.

              Brutal waits patiently, a bit embarrassed. He finally hears
              a THIN TRICKLE, accompanied by a stifled groan of pain.

                                  BRUTAL
                        You all right in there?

                                  PAUL (O.S.)
                        For a man pissing razor blades.

              The door opens, revealing Paul's pale and sweaty face.

                                  BRUTAL
                        You should'a took the day off,
                        gone to see the doctor.

                                  PAUL
                        With a new arrival? You know
                        better. Besides, it's not as bad
                        as it was. I think it's clearing
                        up.

              They hear the truck HONKING as it rumbles up outside. Paul
              gives them a nod to resume their positions. Paul walks down
              the Mile, passing the cells where two inmates reside--the
              first is ARLEN BITTERBUCK, a Washita Cherokee; the second is
              EDUARD DELACROIX("DEL"), a skinny Cajun.

                                  DEL
                        New boy coming in, boss?

                                  PAUL
                        Never you mind, Del, you just keep
                        your nose quietly on your business.

              Paul arrives at the end of the Mile, takes up a position at
              an empty cell. (Down at this end, past the cells, is E
              Block's version of the "hole" -- a padded room where violent
              inmates are sent to cool off. It isn't used very often...in
              fact, at the moment, it's doubling as storage space.)

              Brutal

              peers out the viewing slot as the truck stops outside.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Damn, they're riding on the axle.
                        What'd they do, bust the springs?

              GUARDS PERCY WETMORE AND HARRY TERWILLIGER OF E BLOCK emerge
              from the back of the truck and step down, turn back...

              Tighter angle on back of truck

              We get our first glimpse of the new inmate as a pair of
              GIGANTIC BLACK FEET step down into the yard...and the rear of
              the truck bounces back up on its springs where it belongs.

              Brutal

              sees what's coming, eyes widening slightly.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Paul? You might wanna reconsider
                        getting in the cell with this guy?

                                  PAUL
                        Why's that?

                                  BRUTAL
                        He's enormous.

                                  PAUL
                        Can't be bigger than you.

              Brutal tosses him a look--just wait. He swings the door open
              in a hot flood of daylight, giving us our first good look at:

              John coffey

              is a huge black man, nearly 7 feet tall and 300 pounds, his
              massive head shiny and bald, his skin a tapestry of old
              scars, his prison overalls (the biggest size they had) ending
              at mid-calf. He looks dull and confused, as if wondering
              where he is and how he got there. Percy and Harry lead him
              toward E Block in shackles. Percy's got his hickory baton out
              of it custom-made holster, hollering:

                                  PERCY
                        Dead man walking! Dead man walking
                        here!

              Inside the cellblock

              Paul can't see them approach from where he stands, but he can
              certainly hear Percy:

                                  PAUL
                        Jeezus, pleeze-us, what the hell's
                        he yelling about?

              Up by the door, Brutal just rolls his eyes. Percy is the
              first one through the door, still hollering...

                                  PERCY
                        Dead man walking!

              ...then Coffey enters, ducking low to get through, his shadow
              blotting out Brutal and Dean as his massive frame fills the
              door. Everything hangs suspended for a moment, a look of
              "hold shit" written on everybody's faces. Percy keeps yanking
              on the big man's cuffs, leading him along with a cry of:

                                  PERCY
                        Dead man walking! Dead man--

                                  PAUL
                        Percy, that's enough.

              Percy falls reproachfully silent. Paul doesn't dignify it,
              just motions for them to come on. The procession comes down
              the Mile, with Brutal and Dean bringing up rear.

                                  BRUTAL
                        You sure you wanna be in there
                        with him?

                                  PAUL
                               (looks to Coffey)
                        Am I gonna have trouble with you,
                        big boy?

              Coffey shakes his head slowly. Paul takes the clipboard
              transfer papers from Harry, turns and enters the cell.

              Coffey just stands outside the cell and waits, as if he
              doesn't understand the concept. Paul motions him to come on
              in. Coffey starts to comply, but Percy raps him smartly with
              the tip of his hickory baton to get him moving faster.

              Coffey flinches, enters the cell. Paul stares angrily at
              Percy, who stands slapping his hickory baton against the palm
              of his hand like a man with a toy he's itching to use.

                                  PAUL
                        Percy. They're moving house over
                        in the infirmary. Why don't you go
                        see if they could use some help?

                                  PERCY
                        They got all the men they need.

                                  PAUL
                        Why don't you just go make sure?
                               (off his look)
                        I don't care where you go, Percy,
                        as long as it's not here at this
                        very moment.

              Percy flushes red, the baton hovering near his palm. He looks
              like he's about to say something, but thinks better of it and
              stalks angrily up the Mile instead...

              ...and sees Del at his bars, smiling. Infuriated, Percy
              swings his baton and smashes Del's fingers with a LOUD CRACK.
              Del jerks back, howling in pain:

                                  DEL
                        OWW, GOD, HE BUS' MY FINGERS!

                                  PERCY
                        Wiped that grin off your shitpoke
                        face, didn't I

                                  PAUL
                        Goddamn it, Percy! Get the hell
                        off my block!

              Percy throws Paul a look of disdain--your block, huh? He
              swaggers out. Del's on his knees, weeping from the pain:

                                  DEL
                        Oww, damn, boss, he done bus' my
                        fingers for true...

                                  PAUL
                        We'll get it looked at, Del, now
                        keep yourself quiet like I said!

              Del falls silent, moaning over his hand. Paul turns to
              Coffey, who looks unsettled by all the commotion.

                                  PAUL
                        If I let Harry take those chains
                        off you, you gonna be nice?

              Coffey nods. Harry enters to remove Coffey's shackles.

                                  PAUL
                        Your name is John Coffey.

                                  COFFEY
                               (deep and quiet)
                        Yes, sir, boss, like the drink,
                        only not spelt the same.

                                  PAUL
                        So you can spell, can you?

              Coffey shakes his head. Harry steps out.

                                  PAUL
                        My name is Paul Edgecomb. If I'm
                        not here, you can ask for Mr.
                        Terwilliger, Mr. Howell, or Mr.
                        Stanton...those gentlemen there.
                               (beat)
                        This isn't like the rest of the
                        prison. It's a quiet place, we
                        like to keep it that way.

              Coffey considers this carefully, puzzled.

                                  COFFEY
                        It weren't me making all the
                        noise, boss.

                                  PAUL
                               (eyes narrowing)
                        You having a joke on me, John
                        Coffey?

                                  COFFEY
                        No, sir.

              Paul sees he isn't joking, continues:

                                  PAUL
                        Your time here can be easy or
                        hard, depends on you. If you
                        behave, you get to walk in the
                        exercise yard every day.

                        We might even play some music on
                        the radio from time to time.
                        Questions?

              Coffey doesn't miss a beat, as if he's been waiting to ask:

                                  COFFEY
                        Do you leave a light on after
                        bedtime?

              Paul blinks. It's the last thing he expected. Coffey smiles
              uneasily, as if they might think him foolish for asking.

                                  COFFEY
                        Because I get a little scared in
                        the dark sometimes. If it's a
                        strange place.

              Paul looks to his men. The guards are trading glances.

                                  PAUL
                        It's pretty bright in here all
                        night long. We keep half the
                        lights burning in the corridor.

                                  COFFEY
                        Cor'der.

              Coffey looks confused. Paul points to the lights lining the
              ceiling of the Green Mile in wire mesh cages.

                                  PAUL
                        Right out there.

              Coffey nods, relieved. Then he surprises everybody by
              offering Paul his hand, as if to show proper manners. Paul
              hesitates, oddly touched, then surprised his men even more by
              accepting. Coffey's hand swallows his. Coffey shakes gently,
              lets go.

              Paul steps from the cell. Brutal slides the door shut, locks
              it. Coffey stands a moment as if unsure what to do, then
              sinks onto the cot with his hands clasped between his knees.
              He looks up at Paul, his voice soft as a whisper:

                                  COFFEY
                        Couldn't help it, boss. I tried to
                        take it back, but it was too late.

              Paul turns, leads his men up the Mile...

              PAUL'S INNER OFFICE

              ...and they enter a few moments later. Paul is furious, but
              keeping a lid on his temper:

                                  PAUL
                        Dean, run Delacroix up to the
                        infirmary and see if his fingers
                        are broken.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Course they're broken, I heard the
                        damn bones crack. Goddamn Percy.

                                  HARRY
                        You hear what he was yelling when
                        we brought the big dummy in?

                                  PAUL
                        How could I miss it, Harry? The
                        whole prison heard.

              This makes Brutal snort, breaking the tension--the others
              can't help smiling.

                                  BRUTAL
                        You'll probably have to answer for
                        sending him off the Mile. He's
                        gonna cause you trouble over this,
                        you mark me.

                                  PAUL
                        I'll chew that food when I have
                        to. Right now I wanna hear about
                        the new inmate...aside from how
                        big he is, okay?

                                  BRUTAL
                               (smiles)
                        Monstrous big. Damn.

                                  PAUL
                        Seems meek enough. Looks like they
                        sent us an imbecile to execute.

                                  HARRY
                        Imbecile or not, he deserves to
                        fry for what he done. Here...

              Harry tosses a pair of manila envelopes bound with rubber
              bands on the desk before Paul--Coffey's file.

                                  HARRY
                        ...make your blood curdle.

                                                       CUT TO:

              EXT. E BLOCK PRISON YARD - DAY

              A small are reserved for inmates of the Mile, fenced-off from
              the main prison yard. Arlen Bitterbuck walks the perimeter
              under the watchful eyes of guard BILL DODGE.

              We find Paul sitting by himself on the bleachers with
              Coffey's file on his knees, thoughtfully unwrapping his brown-
              bagged sandwich. PUSH SLOWLY IN as he begins to read...

              EXT. DETTERICK FARM - DAWN (FLASHBACK)

              ...and we see Klaus Detterick walk from his house to the barn
              with a milking pail, a solitary figure against a brightening
              horizon. He disappears into the barn...

              ...and we hold for a long moment, the house silent
              b.g.,chickens clucking and scratching in the front yard...

              ...until a WOMAN'S SCREAM shatters the silence. Klaus
              reappears, dropping the pail, running toward the house...

              PAUL ON BLEACHERS

              ...as Paul turns the page, keeps reading...

              INT. DETTERICK HOUSE - DAWN (FLASHBACK)

              ...and Klaus bursts in to find his wife MARJORIE absolutely
              frantic with terror:

                                  KLAUS
                        WHAT? GOD SAKES, WHAT?

                                  MARJORIE
                        THE GIRLS! THE GIRLS ARE GONE!

              She drags him through the house to a screened-off porch area
              where their 12 year old son HOWIE is pointing and shouting--

                                  HOWIE
                        Papa! Papa, look! The blood!

              --and Klaus freezes there, stunned to see blood spattered on
              the floor and the screen door hanging off its hinges...

                                  KLAUS
                        Oh my God.

              PAUL ON BLEACHERS

              ...as Paul absently takes another bite of his sandwich, not
              really tasting it, keeps reading...

              INT. DETTERICK HOUSE - DAWN (FLASHBACK)

              ...plunging us back into the screaming chaos: Klaus grabbing
              up shotgun shells, Howie loading the .22 rifle he got for
              Christmas, Marjorie sobbing incoherently...

                                  KLAUS
                        GODDAMN IT, WOMAN, GET ON THE
                        PHONE NOW! YOU TELL 'EM WE HEADED
                        WEST! MIND WHAT I'M SAYING! WEST,
                        Y'HEAR?

              ...and she goes stumbling through the house, grabbing for the
              phone as her men disappear toward the porch b.g.:

                                  MARJORIE
                        Central! Central, are you on the
                        line? Oh, God, please, somebody
                        took my little girls...

              OUTSIDE THE HOUSE

              Klaus and his son race from the house, following spatters of
              blood across the yard...

              PAUL ON THE BLEACHERS

              ...as Paul lets out a long breath, turns the page...

              EXT. COUNTRY ROAD/FIELD - DAY (FLASHBACK)

              ---and we see CARS AND TRUCKS pulling up, MEN jumping out
              with rifles, pouring down the incline toward the field where
              Klaus is hollering and waving his arms. Deputy McGee comes
              sliding down from the road, taking charge at the top of his
              lungs--

                                  McGEE
                        I WANT ALL THE WEAPONS UNLOADED,
                        Y'HEAR? TAKE OUT YOUR SHELLS, I
                        WON'T HAVE A MAN SHOT BY ACCIDENT
                        TODAY! BOBO, WHERE THEM DOGS?

              --and the dogs come bounding out of the back of a truck,
              howling down the incline to lead the chase...

              VARIOUS ANGLES

              ...which takes us through the cattails and bulrushes...to the
              spot where Klaus finds the little scrap of pale yellow
              fabric, turns and screams...

                                  KLAUS
                        Oh, Lord, this belongs to my
                        Katie...

              ...and they keep going, stopping abruptly as they find: A
              blood-drenched area of tramped grass. A little girl's bloody
              nightgown hangs in the low branches of a tree. Some of these
              strong men look like they might throw up or faint at the
              sight of it. Their blood freezes in their veins as an INHUMAN
              HOWLING commences up ahead. It's like nothing they've ever
              heard before, raising the hackles of men and dogs alike.

              PAUL ON BLEACHERS

              ...as Paul quietly turns another page, shaking his head...

                                  PAUL
                        Jesus.

              EXT. FIELD - DAY (FLASHBACK)

              The men reload their weapons. Everybody's terrified. McGee
              starts off, the other following his lead toward--

              THE RIVER

              --where they emerge from the treeline, drawing ever closer to
              the source of that INHUMAN HOWLING...

              ...and they stop, gazing in horror:

              John Coffey sits on the riverbank in bloody overalls, his
              huge feet splayed out before him. He's making that inhuman
              howling sound, face twisted in monstrous grief, pausing
              occasionally to take in a great hitching breath of air.

              Curled in his massive arms are the naked bodies of
              Detterick's 9 year-old twin girls, their once-blonde hair now
              matted to their heads with blood.

              A tableau. The men staring. John Coffey howling. A train
              puffing smoke across the landscape.

              Klaus Detterick breaks the moment, lunging down the riverbank
              in a headlong rush. The others try to grab him, but he shrugs
              them off and throws himself on Coffey with a scream of
              inarticulate rage, kicking and punching, fists flying. Coffey
              barely seems to notice.

              The others catch up with Klaus, drag him off. He falls to his
              knees on the riverbank, sobbing into his hands. Howie runs to
              him, throws himself into his father's arm. They hug each
              other tightly, overwhelmed with grief.

              A semblance of quiet descends, except for Coffey's
              heartbroken wailing. A ring of rifle toting men forms around
              him, though he hardly seems aware of it. McGee steps forward,
              uncertain:

                                  McGEE
                        Mister.

              Coffey goes quiet at once, eyes still streaming tears.

                                  McGEE
                        Mister? Can you hear me?
                               (Coffey nods)
                        You have a name?

                                  COFFEY
                        John Coffey. Like the drink, only
                        not spelt the same.

              McGee hunkers carefully down, watching for any sudden moves.

                                  McGEE
                        What happened here, John Coffey?
                        You want to tell me that?

                                  COFFEY
                        I couldn't help it. I tried to
                        take it back, but it was too late.

                                  McGEE
                               (pause)
                        Boy, you are under arrest for
                        murder.

              McGee spits in Coffey's face...

              PAUL ON BLEACHERS

              ...as Paul looks up with a slight start, jarred from his
              reading to find WARDEN HAL MOORES standing before him.

                                  HAL
                        I interrupt?

                                  PAUL
                        I'm just about done.

              Paul stows the file as Hal settles onto the bleachers.

                                  PAUL
                        How's that pretty gal of yours?

                                  HAL
                        Melinda's not so well, Paul. Not
                        so well at all. Got laid up with
                        another headache yesterday. Worst
                        one yet. She's also developed this
                        weakness in her right hand.

                                  PAUL
                        Doctor still think it's migraines?

              Hal gives a slight shake of his head.

                                  HAL
                        I'll be taking her up to Indianola
                        next day or so for some tests. Had
                        X-rays and the like. She is scared
                        to death. Truth to tell, so am I.

                                  PAUL
                        If it's something they can see
                        with an X-ray, maybe it's
                        something they can fix.

                                  HAL
                        Maybe.

              He pulls a letter, hands it to Paul.

                                  HAL
                        This just came in. D.O.E. on
                        Bitterbuck.

              Paul glances toward Bitterbuck, scans the letter, nods.

                                  PAUL
                        You didn't come all the way down
                        here just to hand me a D.O.E.

                                  HAL
                        No. I had an angry call from the
                        state capital about twenty minutes
                        ago. Is it true you ordered Percy
                        Wetmore off the block.

                                  PAUL
                        It is.

                                  HAL
                        I'm sure you had reason, but like
                        it or not, the wife of the
                        governor of this state has only
                        one nephew, and his name happens
                        to be Percy Wetmore. I need to
                        tell you how this lays out?

                                  PAUL
                        Little Percy called his aunt and
                        squealed like a schoolroom sissy.
                               (Hal nods)
                        He also mention he assaulted a
                        prisoner this morning out of sheer
                        petulance? Broke three fingers on
                        Eduard Delacroix's left hand.

                                  HAL
                        I didn't hear that part. I'm sure
                        she didn't either.

                                  PAUL
                        The man is mean, careless, and
                        stupid. Bad combination in a place
                        like this. Sooner or later, he's
                        gonna get somebody hurt. Or worse.

                                  HAL
                        You and Brutus Howell will make
                        sure that doesn't happen.

                                  PAUL
                        Easy enough to say. We can't watch
                        him every minute, Hal.

                                  HAL
                        Stick with it. May not be much
                        longer. I have it on good
                        authority that Percy has an
                        application in at Briar Ridge.

                                  PAUL
                        The mental hospital?

                                  HAL
                               (nods)
                        Administration job. Better pay.

                                  PAUL
                        Then why's he still here? He could
                        get that application pushed
                        through...hell, with his
                        connections, he could have any
                        state job he wants.

              Hal has no answer. Paul look off toward Bitterbuck.

                                  PAUL
                        Tell you what I think. I think he
                        just wants to see one cook up
                        close.

              Hal follows Paul's gaze, takes his meaning.

                                  HAL
                        Well, he'll get his chance then,
                        won't he? Maybe then he'll be
                        satisfied and move on. In the
                        meantime, you'll keep the peace.

                                  PAUL
                        Of course.

                                  HAL
                        Thank you, Paul.

              Hal rises, slapping yard dust off his trousers.

                                  PAUL
                        You give Melinda my love, okay? I
                        bet that X-ray turns out to be
                        nothing at all.

              Hal walks off looking like he's got the weight of the world
              on his shoulders. Paul looks at the letter again...

              TIGHT ON LETTER

              ...which is head: Date Of Execution."

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              INT. PAUL'S HOUSE - NIGHT

              Paul is at the kitchen table in the wee hours of the morning,
              drinking buttermilk and listening to SOFT MUSIC on the radio.
              JANICE EDGECOMB appears, shuffling sleepily downstairs.

                                  JAN
                        Paul?

                                  PAUL
                        Hey, you. Music too loud?

                                  JAN
                        No. There's just this big empty
                        spot in the bed where my husband
                        usually sleeps.

                                  PAUL
                        He said to tell you he's having a
                        little trouble with that tonight.

              She comes into the kitchen, strokes his hair. There's an easy
              familiarity and a deep love between these two.

                                  JAN
                        Worried about Melinda and Hal? Is
                        that what's got you up?

                                  PAUL
                        Yeah, that. Things.

                                  JAN
                        Things.

              She sits on his lap and gives him a crooked smile--you're not
              getting off that easily.

                                  PAUL
                        Got a new inmate today. Big,
                        simple-minded fella.

                                  JAN
                        Do I want to hear what he did?

                                  PAUL
                        No. One sleepless member of this
                        family's enough.
                               (softly)
                        The things that happen in this
                        world. It's a wonder God allows it.

              She gives him a tiny kiss above his left eyebrow, in that
              special spot that makes him prickle.

                                  JAN
                        Why don't you come to bed? I've
                        got something to help you sleep,
                        and you can have all you want.

                                  PAUL
                        Don't I wish. I've still got
                        something wrong with my
                        waterworks, I don't want to pass
                        it on.

                                  JAN
                        You see Doc Sadler yet?

                                  PAUL
                        No, because he'll want me to take
                        sulfa tablets and I'll spend the
                        rest of the week puking in every
                        corner of my office. It'll run its
                        course all by itself, thank you
                        very much for your concern.

              She kisses that spot above his eyebrow again. He smiles.

                                  JAN
                        Poor old guy...

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              IN TIGHT ANGLES: Copper plugs are cleaned, switches are
              oiled, circuits are tested...

              INT. EXECUTION CHAMBER - NIGHT

              ...as maintenance is performed on Old Sparky by JACK VAN HAY
              and a small crew. Paul is carefully sanding a connector plug.
              Dean is waxing Old Sparky's wooden arms to a gleam.

              Paul and Dean pause, thinking they hear a LAUGH drifting in
              from E Block...and then Brutal calls softly to them:

                                  BRUTAL (O.S.)
                        Paul? Dean?

              INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT

              Paul and Dean enter to find Brutal trying not to wake the
              cons in their cells by laughing too loudly. They follows his
              gaze down the Mile, see nothing, turn to him like he's crazy.

                                  BRUTAL
                        I guess the legislature loosened
                        those purse-strings enough to hire
                        on a new guard.
                               (off their looks)
                        Look again. He's right there.

              Paul and Dean look again and this time they see it:

              A tiny brown mouse is coming up the Mile. It trots a short
              distance, peers right and left as if checking the snoring
              inmates in their cells, then makes another forward spurt.

                                  PAUL
                        He's doing a cell check.

              This gets them all trying not to laugh. The mouse draws ever
              closer. Dean starts to look worried.

                                  DEAN
                        It ain't normal for a mouse to
                        come up on people that way. Maybe
                        it's rabid.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Oh, my Christ. The big mouse
                        expert. The Mouse Man. You see it
                        foaming at the mouth, Mouse Man?

                                  DEAN
                               (dubious)
                        I don't see its mouth at all.

              That does it--Paul and Brutal burst out laughing. The mouse
              stops before them and peers up, curling its tail primly
              around its paws as if to wait. The guards fall silent,
              fascinated. Bitterbuck stirs in his cell, sits up to watch.

              Brutal tears off a piece of his half-eaten corned beef
              sandwich, holds it delicately out with two fingers. The mouse
              rises up, appraising the morsel with shiny black eyes.

                                  DEAN
                        Aw, Brutal, no! We'll be hip-deep
                        in mice around here...

                                  BRUTAL
                               (to Paul)
                        I just wanna see what he'll do. In
                        the interests of science, like.

              Paul shrugs. Brutal drops the scrap. The mouse grabs it and
              eats, sitting up like a dog doing a trick.

              The mouse turns and scurries back down the Mile, vanishing
              under the restraint room door at the far end. Dean throws
              Paul an "I told you so" look.

                                  DEAN
                        He's in the damn restraint room.
                        You know he's gonna be chewing the
                        padding out of walls and making
                        himself a nice little nest.

              Brutal give Paul a sheepish look--well? Paul sighs.

                                  PAUL
                        All right. Let's get the damn
                        mouse.

              They stride grimly down the Mile to the restraint room door,
              men on a mission. Coffey's awake now, peering from his cot.

                                  COFFEY
                        Saw me a mouse go by.

                                  PAUL
                        It was a dream. Go back to sleep.

                                  COFFEY
                        Weren't no dream. It was a mouse
                        all right.

                                  PAUL
                        Can't put anything over on you.

              Paul unlocks the door, revealing a padded room filled with
              storage: cleaning supplies, buckets of paint, mops and
              ladders, you name it. Brutal shrugs off his jacket. Paul
              grabs a mop from a steel bucket, hands it to Dean.

                                  PAUL
                        Dean, watch the door. He tries to
                        get past you, whack him.

                                  DEAN
                        Brutal or the mouse?

                                  BRUTAL
                        Har har, Mouse Man.

              Brutal and Paul start doing the heavy lifting, muscling an
              unused filing cabinet out the door...

                                                       DISSOLVE:

              ...and they finally relay the last few heavy buckets of paint
              onto the Mile. Paul and Brutal catch their breath, scanning
              the empty restraint room. Their eyes go glaringly to Dean.

                                  PAUL
                        You let him get past you.

                                  DEAN
                        No I didn't, I was here all the
                        time!

                                  BRUTAL
                        Then where the hell is he?

              They move slowly into the room, peering into every nook and
              cranny, utterly mystified. Brutal shakes his head.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Three grown men. Outsmarted by a
                        mouse.

                                  DEAN
                        Well, bright side is, all this
                        commotion probably scared him off
                        for good.

                                  PAUL
                        Yeah, that's right. That's the
                        last we'll see of him...

                                                       FADE TO BLACK

              IN BLACKNESS, A TITLE CARD APPEARS:

                                "The Mouse on the Mile"

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. E BLOCK - DAY

              A low, static shot. Green floor stretching before us. Harry
              and Bill Dodge are at the desk b.g., doing paperwork and
              filing chores. Percy is idling nearby, whistling softly and
              combing his hair...

              ...and into this quiet shot, deep in foreground, creeps the
              mouse. He starts walking the Mile as before...

              ...right toward Percy.

              COFFEY

              stares through his bars as the mouse goes by...

              PERCY

              keeps combing his hair, unaware...

              DEL

              sits quietly picking his nose in his cell. The mouse appears
              outside the bars, cruising inexorably up the Mile. Del turns
              slowly, watches the mouse go by...

              PERCY

              still grooming himself, still unaware...

              THE MOUSE

              keeps coming closer. ANGLE UP to Bitterbuck peering through
              his bars, watching him go by...

              PERCY

              keeps working that comb--and freezes at the sound of a TINY
              SQUEAK. His head swivels slowly...

              ...and there's the mouse. Staring at him.

              That moment of eye contact reveals an enmity older than time
              itself. If mice have a natural enemy, Percy is it.

                                  PAUL
                        You little son of a bitch.

              Harry and Bill glance up from their work.

                                  HARRY
                        Well, I'll be damned. There he is,
                        big as Billy-be-frigged. I thought
                        Brutal was pulling my leg.

                                  BILL
                        That's a goddamn mouse.

                                  HARRY
                        Yeah. Brute said he was in here
                        last night begging for food, came
                        right up to the desk.

                                  BILL
                        My ass. Give him some room, Percy,
                        see what he does.

              Percy takes a few careful steps back, eyes never leaving the
              mouse. (Percy's hand starts easing toward the handle of his
              baton.) The mouse comes up to the desk as before.

                                  HARRY
                        Brave little bastard, gotta give
                        him that.

              Harry breaks off a small piece of cracker and drops it. The
              mouse picks it up, starts to eat. (Percy's hand inches ever
              closer to his baton).

                                  BILL
                        Here, lemme try.

              Bill drops a piece of cracker. The mouse ignores it
              completely, keeping its beady little eyes on Harry. (Percy's
              hand starts easing his baton from its holster.)

                                  BILL
                        Maybe he's full.

                                  HARRY
                               (grins)
                        Maybe he knows you're just a
                        floater. Gotta be an E Block
                        regular to feed the E Block mouse,
                        don'cha know...

              Harry drops another piece--and sure enough, the mouse starts
              to eat. Harry's smile fades. He and Bill trade a look.

                                  HARRY
                        I was just kidding ab--

              Percy lets rip a BELLOWING WAR CRY ("Yaaaahhh!") and launches
              his baton like a spear, scaring the crap out of everyone.

              The mouse ducks (yes, actually ducks) and the baton sail over
              his head close enough to ruffle its fur, bouncing off the
              floor. Apparently remembering a pressing engagement
              elsewhere, the mouse takes off in a flash toward the
              restraint room.

              Percy roars with frustration and takes off after it, trying
              to squash it with his heavy work shoes, leaping and stomping
              with great big galloping strides, missing the mouse by
              inches...

              ...and thus is the Green Mile traversed, with Percy stomping
              and hollering like a spastic flamenco dancer, the convicts
              yelling at their bars, the mouse zigging and zagging like Jim
              Thorpe heading for the endzone...

              The mouse wins, zipping to safety under the restraint room
              door. Percy pounds his fist against the door in frustration:

                                  PERCY
                        FUCK!

              He fumbles with his keys, unlocks the door, yelling all the
              while:

                                  PERCY
                        I'M GONNA RIP YOUR DISEASED HEAD
                        OFF, YOU LITTLE PIECE OF SHIT!

              OUTSIDE E BLOCK

              Paul and Brutal are arriving for work--they pause, hearing
              PERCY'S YELLS drifting from the windows. The regular CONS in
              the yard are drifting curiously to the fence, wondering if a
              riot's brewing. Paul and Brutal take off running--

              INSIDE E BLOCK

              --and rush in to find:

                                  HARRY
                        Percy met your mouse.

              Harry points. Percy's down at the far end, rummaging wildly
              in the restraint room, tossing shit out onto the Mile.

                                  PERCY
                        It's in here somewhere! I'm gonna
                        squish the little son of a bitch!

              He starts muscling the filing cabinet out the door, kicking
              buckets out of his way. Brutal calls out to him:

                                  BRUTAL
                        Percy, we already tried that--

                                  PERCY
                        What? Whad'ja say?

                                  BRUTAL
                        I said--

              Paul stops Brutal with a look--don't you dare stop him.

                                  BRUTAL
                        --uh, knock yourself out. Hope you
                        nail the bastard.

              Paul crosses his arms and smiles, leans back against the desk
              to wait...

                                                       DISSOLVE:

              ...and Percy hauls the last of the stuff out, exhausted. He
              steps back in and looks around, unable to believe there's no
              mouse cowering in the corner. Paul and the men approach,
              keeping straight faces, navigating the crap in the corridor.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Gosh. Ain't in there, huh? Don't
                        that beat the mousie band?

              Percy keeps scanning the restraint room. The others all look
              to Paul, waiting for him to speak--you're the boss.

                                  PAUL
                        Percy. You want to think about
                        what you were doing just now.

                                  PERCY
                               (turns, glaring)
                        I know what I was doing. Trying to
                        get the mouse. You blind?

                                  HARRY
                        You also scared the living crap
                        out of me and Bill. And them.

              He cocks a thumb at the inmates in their cells.

                                  PERCY
                        So what? They aren't in cradle-
                        school, case you didn't notice...

                               (directed at Paul)
                        ...although you treat them that
                        way half the time.

                                  BRUTAL
                        We don't scare 'em any more than
                        we have to, Percy. They're under
                        enough strain as it is.

                                  PAUL
                        Men under strain can snap. Hurt
                        themselves. Hurt others. That's
                        why our job is talking, not
                        yelling. You'll do better to think
                        of this place like an intensive
                        care ward in a hospital--

                                  PERCY
                        I think of it as a bucket of piss
                        to drown rats in. That's all.
                               (scans their faces)
                        Anybody doesn't like it can kiss
                        my ass. How's that sit?

              Brutal steps forward, wanting to slug the little bastard.
              Percy shies back, but keeps his bravado up:

                                  PERCY
                        Try it. You'll be on the bread
                        lines before the week is out.

                                  PAUL
                        We all know who your connections
                        are, Percy...
                               (steps close)
                        ...but you ever threaten a man on
                        this block again, we're all gonna
                        have a go. Job be damned.

                                  PERCY
                        Big talk. You done?

                                  PAUL
                        Get all this shit back in the
                        restraint room. You're cluttering
                        up my Mile.

              They turn and walk away, leaving Percy as we

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT

              A SLOW TRACKING SHOT OF THE GREEN FLOOR takes us past a tiny
              scrap of break...and then another...and then past a mousetrap
              primed with a scrap of bacon...

              ...and we keep following a long trail of bread scraps and
              mousetraps until we come to Percy, alone on the Mile,
              carefully laying the last mousetrap down...

              ...and he scoots back against the desk to wait, crouched and
              holding his breath, eyes riveted to the restraint room door
              for any sign of his furry nemesis...

              ...and CAMERA BOOMS SLOWLY DOWN off his face, dipping down to
              floor level...

              ...where the mouse is revealed under the desk, peering in the
              same direction as Percy, wondering what the hell's so
              interesting down there. It hops further out to see...

              ANGLE OF PERCY FROM FLOOR LEVEL

              ...and the mouse enters frame, hopping out a few more steps,
              mouse and man staring in the same direction.

              A long beat. Percy turns, looks down at the mouse. The mouse
              turns, looks up at Percy...

              ...and all hell breaks loose again. They race the Mile as
              before, Percy hollering and stomping all the way, mousetraps
              snapping and flying up into frame as they go charging wildly
              past the cells.

              The mouse wins again. Percy pauses, furious...and sees Coffey
              staring at him from his cell.

                                  COFFEY
                        Saw me a mouse go by.

              Percy loses it, kicking and punching the restraint room door
              in a screaming rage as we

                                                       FADE TO:

              INT. E BLOCK - DAY

              Paul appears at Bitterbuck's bars with a group of guards.

                                  PAUL
                        Arlen? Your daughter and her
                        family are here.

              Bitterbuck steps from his cell. Bill Dodge escorts him off
              the block. The moment they're gone:

                                  PAUL
                        Let's move. I want at least two
                        rehearsals before he gets back.

              INT. VISITOR'S ROOM - DAY

              Bitterbuck is led in. His DAUGHTER rises...an awkward
              hesitation...and she touches his face, kisses him. He takes
              her hands, kisses them, tries not to cry. The rest of the
              family is there: SON-IN-LAW, GRANDCHILDREN, COUSINS. They
              form around him, murmuring hellos, shaking hands...

              INT. E BLOCK - DAY

              ...while TOOT-TOOT takes Bitterbuck's place in the cell. He's
              a wiry and toothless old trusty, crazy as a tick. He sits:

                                  TOOT
                        Sittin' down, sittin' down,
                        rehearsing now! Everybody settle!

              He glances to Paul--okay, hit it.

                                  PAUL
                        Arlen Bitterbuck, step forward.

              Toot springs to his feet and steps from the cell.

                                  TOOT
                        I'm steppin' forward, I'm steppin'
                        forward, I'm steppin' forward...

              Toot turns, shows the top of his head to Dean.

                                  PAUL
                        Is his head properly shaved?

                                  DEAN
                        No, it's dandruffy and it smells.

                                  PAUL
                        I'll take that for a yes. All
                        right, Arlen, let's go.

              Toot starts up the corridor, ringed by guards.

                                  TOOT
                        I'm walkin' the Mile, I'm walkin'
                        the Mile, I'm walkin' the Mile...

              PAUL'S INNER OFFICE

              Toot throws himself to his knees as soon as they enter:

                                  TOOT
                        I'm prayin', I'm prayin', I'm
                        prayin'. The Lord is my shepherd,
                        so on an' so forth...

                                  PAUL
                        Toot, you have to wait till I tell
                        you to pray.
                               (Toot waits)
                        Okay, pray.

                                  TOOT
                        Still prayin', still prayin'...

                                  HARRY
                        Paul, we're not gonna have some
                        Cherokee medicine man in here
                        whoopin' and hollerin' and shaking
                        his dick, are we?

                                  PAUL
                        Well, actually--

                                  TOOT
                        Still prayin', prayin', gettin'
                        right with Jesus...

                                  HARRY
                        Do it quietly, you old gink!

              Harry slaps Toot upside the head to shut him up.

                                  PAUL
                        As I was saying, I don't believe
                        they actually shake their dicks,
                        Harry. Be that as it may, Mr.
                        Bitterbuck is a Christian, so we
                        got Reverend Schuster coming in.

                                  DEAN
                        Oh, he's good. Fast, too. Doesn't
                        get 'em worked up.

                                  PAUL
                        On your feet, Toot. You've prayed
                        enough for one day.

                                  TOOT
                        Gettin' to my feet, walkin' again,
                        walkin' on the Green Mile...

              EXECUTION CHAMBER

              They enter. Brutal is waiting for them, gun drawn. Percy
              peers out from behind the partition wall from the switch room.

                                  PERCY
                        What do I do?

                                  PAUL
                        Watch and learn.

              Paul motions Percy behind the wall. Percy sighs, takes his
              spot next to Jack Van Hay, peers through the wire mesh as
              Toot plops into Old Sparky, wriggling his skinny ass to get
              comfy.

                                  TOOT
                        Sittin' down, sittin' down, takin'
                        a seat in Old Sparky's lap...

              Paul and Dean kneel to apply the ankle clamps. Brutal steps
              in from the side, pressing down on the condemned man's left
              arm to keep him in place until the ankle clamps are secure.
              Harry moves in from the other side, securing the right arm
              clamp.

                                  TOOT
                        Gettin' clamped, gettin' clamped,
                        gettin'--ow, shit, watch the skin!

              Paul signals "ankles secure." Brutal holsters his pistol,
              applies the final clamp to the left arm.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Roll on one.

              BEHIND THE PARTITION

              Van Hay mimes turning the generator knob up, whispering:

                                  VAN HAY
                        "Roll on one" means I turn the
                        generator up full. You'll see the
                        lights go brighter in half the
                        prison...

              RESUME MAIN CHAMBER

              as Brutal steps before the "condemned" and pronounces:

                                  BRUTAL
                        Arlen Bitterbuck, you have been
                        condemned to die by a jury of your
                        peers, sentence imposed by a judge
                        in good standing in this state.

                        Do you have anything to say before
                        the sentence is carried out?

                                  TOOT
                               (gleefully)
                        Yeah! I want a fried chicken
                        dinner with gravy on the taters,
                        I want to shit in your hat, and I
                        got to have Mae West sit on my
                        face, because I am one horny
                        motherfucker!

              Brutal tries to hold on, but it's impossible--he cracks up.
              Everybody falls apart, howling helplessly with laughter. Even
              Jack Van Hay is guffawing behind his partition.

              Only Paul is reining it in--he's a little too pissed to go
              with it. He waits until the laughing fit starts to pass, then:

                                  PAUL
                        Shut up, Brutal. That goes for
                        everybody. I want quiet in here.
                               (turns)
                        Toot, another remark like that,
                        I'll have Van Hay roll on two for
                        real.

                                  BRUTAL
                               (beat, gently)
                        It was pretty funny.

                                  PAUL
                        That's why I don't like it.
                        Tomorrow night we're doing this
                        for real. I don't want somebody
                        remembering a stupid joke like
                        that and getting going again.
                               (off their looks)
                        Ever try not laughing in church
                        once something funny gets stuck in
                        your head. Same goddamn thing.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Sorry, Paul. You're right. Let's
                        keep going. Harry...

              Harry takes a black mask and snugs it down over Toot's head,
              leaving only the crown of his head exposed. Brutal takes a
              large sponge, dips it in a steel bucket, mimes soaking it...

              BEHIND THE PARTITION

                                  PERCY
                        What's with the sponge?

                                  VAN HAY
                        You soak it in brine, get it good
                        and wet. Conducts the electricity
                        directly to the brain, fast like
                        a bullet. You don't ever want to
                        throw the switch on a man without
                        that.

              RESUME MAIN CHAMBER

              as the sponge is placed atop Toot's head. Harry now lowers
              the steel cap and Brutal secures the straps.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Arlen Bitterbuck, electricity
                        shall now be passed through your
                        body until you are dead, in
                        accordance with the state law. God
                        have mercy on your soul.
                               (to Van Hay)
                        Roll on two.

              BEHIND THE PARTITION

              Van Hay mimes flipping the switch, looks to Percy:

                                  VAN HAY
                        And that's that.

              RESUME MAIN CHAMBER

              Toot can't resist--he starts bucking and flailing:

                                  TOOT
                        Now I'm fryin'! Fryin'! Geeaaah!
                        Fryin' like a done tom turkey!

              Paul rolls his eyes at Brutal. Brutal shifts his gaze past
              him and nods--look behind you.

                                  BRUTAL
                        One of the witnesses showed up a
                        day early.

              Paul turns. Sitting on the door sill, watching them with
              beady eyes, is the mouse. Paul turns back, addresses the room:

                                  PAUL
                        All right, let's go again and do
                        it right this time! Get that idiot
                        out of the chair...

              HIGH WIDE ANGLE OF EXECUTION CHAMBER

              Brutal and Harry start undoing Toot's clamps. Everybody
              relaxes, drifting from their positions...

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              SAME ANGLE AS ABOVE - NEXT NIGHT

              ...and the room is now quietly filling up with WITNESSES
              trickling in. People speak in whispers, if at all.

              INT. BITTERBUCK'S CELL - NIGHT

              Bitterbuck, the top of his head now shaved, is speaking
              quietly as Paul listens:

                                  BITTERBUCK
                        You think if a man sincerely
                        repents on what he done wrong, he
                        might get to go back to the time
                        that was happiest for him and live
                        there forever? Could that be what
                        heaven is like?

              Paul doesn't think so--but that's not what Bitterbuck needs
              to hear, so the lie comes easy:

                                  PAUL
                        I just about believe that very
                        thing.

              Pause. Bitterbuck smiles.

                                  BITTERBUCK
                        Had me a young wife when I was
                        eighteen. Spent our first summer
                        in the mountains. Made love every
                        night. She'd just lie there after,
                        bare-breasted in the firelight,
                        and we'd talk sometimes till the
                        sun come up.
                               (beat)
                        That was my best time.

              Brutal appears at the door, checks his pocketwatch, nods to
              Paul. Bitterbuck takes a deep breath, getting himself ready.

                                  PAUL
                        It'll be fine. You'll do fine.

              INT. EXECUTION CHAMBER - NIGHT

              THE SPONGE is pulled sopping wet from the bucket of brine,
              dripping a trail of water across the floor. Brutal places it
              atop Bitterbuck's head. Water courses down the sides of the
              condemned man's mask and neck, pooling on the floor.

              The cap is lowered, the straps secured. All we hear now is
              the sound of Bitterbuck's BREATHING growing louder and faster
              under the mask...until, softly:

                                  BRUTAL
                        Roll on two.

              WHAM! The switch is thrown. Bitterbuck surges forward against
              the straps, riding the powerful current.

              Some witnesses turn away. Paul and Brutal maintain grim eye
              contact with each other, waiting.

              Behind the partition, Percy watches through the mesh with
              gleaming eyes, wishing he could see better.

              Van Hay kills the current. Bitterbuck goes limp. A DOCTOR
              steps forward, checks for a heartbeat, shakes his head.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Again.

              The switch is thrown a second time. Bitterbuck surges forward
              again, riding the current all the way...

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. E BLOCK ACCESS TUNNEL - NIGHT

              Bitterbuck's dead face stares up at us from a gurney. A hand
              reaches down, gives his cheek a squeeze. TILT UP to:

                                  PERCY
                        Adios, Chief. Drop us a card from
                        hell, let us know if it's hot
                        enough.

              Brutal knocks Percy's hand away, shoves him aside.

                                  BRUTAL
                        He's paid what he's owed. He's
                        square with the house again, so
                        keep your goddamn hands off him.

              He draws the sheet over Bitterbuck's face, wheels the gurney
              down the tunnel. Percy throws a look to Paul.

                                  PERCY
                        What's up his ass?

                                  PAUL
                        You, Percy. Always you.

              Paul brushes past him, but:

                                  PERCY
                        You gotta hate the new boy? That
                        the way it is around here?

                                  PAUL
                               (turns back)
                        Why not just move on? Go to Briar
                        Ridge.
                               (off his look)
                        Yeah, I know about it. Sounds like
                        a good job.

                                  PERCY
                        I might take it, too. Soon as you
                        put me out front.

              Paul cocks his head--excuse me?

                                  PERCY
                        You heard me. I want Brutal's spot
                        for the next execution.

                                  PAUL
                               (beat)
                        What's with you? Seeing a man die
                        isn't enough? You gotta be close
                        enough to smell his nuts cook?

                                  PERCY
                        I wanna be out front, is all. Just
                        one time. Then you'll be rid of me.

                                  PAUL
                        If I say no?

                                  PERCY
                        I might just stick around for
                        good, make me a career of this.

              Paul just shakes his head in wonder and walks away.

                                                       FADE TO:

              INT. COFFEY'S CELL - DAY

              Coffey's lying on his bunk, weeping quiet tears. He stirs at
              the sound of GIGGLING. He sits up, peers curiously through
              the bars. Softly:

                                  COFFEY
                        Del?

              AT THE GUARD STATION

              Paul glances up from writing in the daily log. Silence now.
              He goes back to writing--and the GIGGLING comes again.

                                  PAUL
                        Delacroix? That you?

              No answer. Just more giggling. Paul rises, walks down the
              Mile to Delacroix's cell--and stops, staring in through the
              bars.

              PAUL'S INNER OFFICE

              Brutal and Dean are having lunch. Paul pokes his head in.

                                  PAUL
                        You are not gonna believe this.

              RESUME E BLOCK

              The men follow Paul onto the Mile. By now, Del is CACKLING
              WILDLY in his cell. Brutal shoots Paul a look--has he gone
              insane? Paul gestures "see for yourself."

              They arrive at the bars...and find the mouse sitting on Del's
              shoulder. Del looks up, giggling like a kid at Christmas.

                                  DEL
                        Look! I done tame me dat mouse!

                                  PAUL
                        We see that.

                                  DEL
                        Watch dis! Watch what he do!

              He stretches out his left arm. The mouse crawls over the top
              of his head, scampers along his arm to the wrist, turns
              around and scampers back. The guards just stand there,
              staring.

                                  DEL
                        Ain't he sumpthin now? Ain't Mr.
                        Jingles smart?

                                  PAUL
                        Mr. Jingles?

                                  DEL
                        Dat his name. He whisper it in my
                        ear. Cap'n, can I have a box for
                        my mouse so he can sleep in here
                        wi' me?

                                  PAUL
                        I notice your English gets better
                        when you want something.

                                  DEL
                        Wanna see what else he can do?
                        Watch, watch, watch...

              He puts the mouse on the floor, grabs a small wooden spool.
              The mouse sees it, poises like a man getting ready for a race.

                                  DEL
                        We play fetch, Mr. Jingles? We
                        play fetch?

              He tosses the spool across the floor, bounces it against the
              wall. The mouse goes after it like a dog after a stick--and
              proceeds to push it back to the bunk, rolling it with its
              front paws all the way to Delacroix's feet.

              By now, the guard's jaws are hanging open. Paul's got a funny
              little chill running up his spine.

                                  DEL
                        He fetch it ever' time. Smart as
                        hell, ain't he? We do da trick
                        again, watch, watch, watch...

              Again he throws the spool. Again the mouse goes after it,
              starts rolling it back. Del howls with laughter, claps his
              hands like a kid. Brutal murmurs to the others:

                                  BRUTAL
                        Who's training who here?

                                  COFFEY
                        That's some smart mouse, Del. Like
                        he's a circus mouse or something.

                                  DEL
                        A circus mouse! Dat jus' what he
                        is, too! A circus mouse! I get
                        outta here, he make me rich, see
                        if he don't!

              He picks up the spool again, makes a drumroll sound, tosses
              it. The mouse does its thing, rolling the spool back...

              ...as Percy enters the scene. Del catches sight of him and
              scoops up his mouse, drawing fearfully back on his bunk. He
              tries to hide Mr. Jingles in his hands--but the mouse
              wriggles from his grasp and scampers up on top of his head,
              where he regards Percy with mistrustful, beady mouse eyes.

                                  PERCY
                        Well, well. Looks like you found
                        yourself a new friend, Eddie.

              Del tries to offer some defiance--but all he can manage is:

                                  DEL
                        Don' hurt him, 'kay? 'kay?

              Percy shrugs as if to say "no skin off me", looks to Paul.

                                  PERCY
                        That the one I chased?

                                  PAUL
                               (level)
                        Yes, that's the one. Only Del says
                        his name is Mr. Jingles.

                                  PERCY
                        Is that so?

              Paul trades a look with the others, everybody wondering just
              what the hell's going through Percy's mind.

                                  PAUL
                        Del was just asking for a box. He
                        thinks the mouse will sleep in it,
                        I guess. That he might keep it for
                        a pet. What do you think?

                                  PERCY
                        I think it'll shit up his nose
                        some night and run away, but I
                        guess that's Del's lookout.
                               (beat)
                        We oughtta find a cigar box. Get
                        some cotton batting from he
                        dispensary to line it with. That
                        should do real nice.

              Percy walks away, leaving them dumbstruck. Paul turns to the
              others. Of all the things they've seen in the last few
              minutes, Percy being nice is the most amazing of all.

                                  PAUL
                        Man said get a cigar box.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. PRISON ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - DAY

              Paul comes up the stairs to the warden's office...

              INT. WARDEN MOORES' OFFICE - DAY

              ...and enters to find Hal staring out the window.

                                  PAUL
                        Hal? You wanted to see me?

                                  HAL
                        Yeah. Paul. Close the door.

              Hal's speech is halting, his thoughts disjointed and slow:

                                  HAL
                        Uh. So you know. You got a new
                        prisoner coming in tomorrow.
                        William Wharton. Young kid. Wild
                        as hell, judging from this...

              He picks up the report, trying to focus his thoughts:

                                  HAL
                        ...been rambling all over the
                        state last few years, causing all
                        kinds of trouble. Finally hit big
                        time. Killed three people in a
                        holdup, including a pregnant
                        woman. Got "Billy the Kid"
                        tattooed on his left arm...bad
                        news all around...

              He trails off, no longer able to focus on the words. Paul is
              shocked to see tears spill silently down his cheeks.

                                  PAUL
                        Hal?

                                  HAL
                        It's a tumor, Paul. A brain tumor.

              Paul doesn't know what to say. Hal looks at him.

                                  HAL
                        They got X-ray pictures of it.
                        It's the size of a lemon, they
                        said, and way down deep inside
                        where they can't operate. They say
                        she'll be dead by Christmas. I
                        haven't told her. I can't think
                        how. For the life of me, Paul, I
                        can't think how to tell my wife
                        she's going to die.

              Hal Moores, one of the toughest and steadiest men you'd ever
              meets, starts to cry. He dissolves into great big gasping
              sobs, losing all control.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. PAUL'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

              Paul lies awake, watching Jan sleep. He looks troubled--not
              to mention feverish. It occurs to him how badly he has to
              pee. He sits up, clutching at a queasy stab of pain in his
              groin...

              LIVING ROOM STAIRS

              ...and comes hurrying down the steps, clutching himself...

              EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT

              ...and he's moving even faster as he exits the kitchen,
              racing for the outhouse. He realizes he's not going to make
              it, stops to piss near the woodpile at the corner of the
              house...

              ...and as he does, he's hit with the most stunning pain of
              his life. He buckles to his knees--it's only his flailing
              hand against the woodpile that prevents him from going face-
              first into his own piss. He crams his other hand to his mouth
              in an enormous effort not to scream and wake his wife.

              He manages to ride it out until his bladder empties. He falls
              onto his side, rolls over on the grass, and stares up at the
              sky with both hands pressed to his groin.

                                  PAUL
                        ...oh God...oh God...

                                                       FADE TO BLACK

              IN BLACKNESS, A TITLE CARD APPEARS:

                                    "Coffey's Hands"

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. PAUL'S KITCHEN - MORNING

              Paul looks feverish and clammy as he buttons up his uniform
              jacket. Jan is packing his lunch, throwing him looks, knowing
              how sick he is.

                                  PAUL
                        I'm going.

                                  JAN
                        What?

                                  PAUL
                        To the doctor. I'm going.
                               (off her look)
                        Today. Just as soon as we get the
                        new inmate squares away.

                                  JAN
                        That bad?

                                  PAUL
                        Oh yeah.

              She hands him his brown-bagged lunch, kisses his face.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. BRIAR RIDGE MENTAL HOSPITAL - MORNING

              We see a tattoo: "Billy the Kid." TILT UP to WILLIAM WHARTON
              staring out the window, wearing a hospital gown, his face
              utterly blank. He looks heavily medicated.

              Harry, Dean, and Percy enter. Billy doesn't react, just keeps
              staring out. Harry waves his fingers in Billy's face.

                                  HARRY
                        Boy's doped to the gills. Dean,
                        hand me them clothes...

              Dean relays some folded prison clothes to Harry.

                                  HARRY
                        William Wharton! Hey! I'm talking
                        to you! Put these clothes on!

              Billy turns with a vacant look, takes the clothes. He fumbles
              with the shirt, drops the pants. Harry and Dean sigh.

              They strip Billy's hospital gown off and proceed to put the
              shirt on him, guiding his limp arms through the sleeves.

                                  PERCY
                        Hellraiser, huh? Looks more like
                        a limp noodle to me. Hey! Hey, you!

              Billy looks up, meets Percy's eyes.

                                  PERCY
                        You been declared competent! Know
                        what that means? Mean's you're
                        gonna ride the lightning, son!

              Percy does a quick impression of a man jittering and jerking
              in the electric chair.

                                  PERCY
                        Bzzzzzzzzt-zap! Just like that!
                        How's it feel to know you're gonna
                        die with your knees bent?

                                  DEAN
                        C'mon, Percy, give us a hand.

              Laughing, Percy picks up the pants. They proceed to help
              Billy into them one leg at a time...

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. E BLOCK TOILET - DAY

              Paul is trying to piss. Except for a few drops hitting the
              bowl, excruciating pain seems to be the only result. He gives
              up, grabs a towel, wipes the sweat from his feverish face...

              INT. E BLOCK - DAY

              ...and steps gingerly from the toilet. Del's watching.

                                  DEL
                        Don' look so good, boss. Look like
                        you runnin' you a fever.

              Paul shoots him a baleful look--no kidding. Another voice
              calls softly from further down the Mile:

                                  COFFEY (O.S.)
                        Boss Edgecomb? Needs ta see you
                        down here, boss.

                                  PAUL
                        Got things to tend to just now,
                        John Coffey. You be still in your
                        cell now, y'hear?

              Coffey falls silent. Paul goes to the entrance door and peers
              through the viewing slot, anxious to have this over with...

              EXT. COLD MOUNTAIN PENITENTIARY - DAY

              The prison truck appears, swaying along the rutted road...

              IN THE TRUCK

              ...while Billy Wharton stares at nothing, drool dripping from
              his slack mouth in long strings.

              INT. E BLOCK - DAY

              Paul watches the truck pull in. He draws away from the slot,
              proceeds toward the empty cell which used to be
              Bitterbuck's...

              ANGLE ON TRUCK

              The rear doors are swung open. Harry emerges. Dean and Percy
              are guiding Billy by the arm, helping him down...

              INSIDE E BLOCK

              Paul waits at the empty cell. ANGLE PANS TIGHT to Coffey at
              his bars, eyes widening in a blossoming of some nameless fear
              or dread. Something bad's coming. A whisper:

                                  COFFEY
                        Careful.

              OUTSIDE E BLOCK

              Billy is brought to the door. Dean pulls his keys, starts to
              unlock it. We PUSH IN on Billy's face, where the tiniest
              trace of a smile is starting to grow...

              INSIDE E BLOCK

              ...and Coffey's unease grows with it. he presses his face to
              the bars, his whispering becoming more urgent:

                                  COFFEY
                        Careful. Careful.

              Paul hears him, glances back with a puzzled look. Coffey's
              gaze is directed at the door, which is being unlocked...

              THE DOOR

              ...and opened. In that moment, the slack look on Billy's face
              gives way to a wild grin. A CRAZED SCREECH leaps from his
              throat, a cross between a rebel yell and a dog being
              tortured, freezing everybody's blood in their veins--

                                  BILLY
                        Yeeeeeeehaaaawwwwwwrooooo!

              --and he drops his wrist-chain down over Dean's head, jerks
              it tight, begins to strangle him. Dean lurches forward, Billy
              riding/propelling him through the door onto the Mile.

              Percy stands frozen in the doorway, stunned. Harry shoves him
              aside and jumps on Billy from behind, trying to get him off
              Dean. Dean is choking, turning purple.

              Paul rushes from the cell to join the fray. Billy whirls,
              delivering a stunning kick to Paul's groin. Paul's bladder
              pain goes nuclear--he falls back in agony, clutching himself
              and sucking air through his teeth, unable even to scream.

              Billy rams an elbow into Harry's face, knocks him sprawling
              on the desk, screaming and laughing and howling all the while:

                                  BILLY
                        WHOOOEE, BOYS! AIN'T THIS A PARTY,
                        NOW? IS IT, OR WHAT?

              Paul forces himself to his feet, pulls his revolver, draws
              down on Billy...

                                  PAUL
                        LET HIM GO!

              ...but Billy jerks Dean around, using him as a shield...

                                  BILLY
                        G'WAN, SHOOT! SEE WHO YA HIT!

              Dean is choking, dying. Paul is shifting his aim, trying for
              a clear shot, not getting one. Percy's still just inside the
              doorway, pressed against the wall with fear...

                                  PAUL
                        HIT HIM, PERCY! GODDAMN IT, HIT
                        HIM!

                                  BILLY
                        C'MON, PERCY, HIT ME! HIT ME, YOU
                        LIMP NOODLE, HIT ME! YEEHAWWW!

              ...and suddenly a hand comes in, grabs the hickory stick out
              of Percy's grasp, raises it high--

              --it's Brutal coming through the door. He swings the baton
              and lands an awesome blow to Billy's head--THUMP! The force
              of it spins Billy off his feet and slams him flat on his back.

              Dean crawls away, gulping ragged breaths of air. Amazingly,
              Billy's still conscious--he looks up at Brutal and laughs:

                                  BILLY
                        Big fucker. Snuck up on me. No
                        fair.

              Still laughing, he makes another grab at Dean. Brutal whacks
              him again, turning his lights out for good. Brutal drops to
              Dean's side, helping him hack air back into his lungs:

                                  BRUTAL
                        Breathe...breathe...that's it...

              Everybody's reining in their adrenaline. Paul glares at Harry.

                                  HARRY
                        We thought he was doped.
                               (to Percy)
                        Didn't we? Didn't we all of us
                        think he was doped?

              Percy nods, still numb. Paul is furious:

                                  PAUL
                        You didn't ask? I guess that's not
                        a mistake you'll be need to make
                        again anytime soon, is it?

              Harry shakes his head miserably. Paul grabs Billy by the feet.

                                  PAUL
                        Grab his arms! You too, Percy!
                               (off Percy's
                                hesitation)
                        Percy, goddamn it, get your feet
                        out of cement and help us out here!

              Percy finally unfreezes. The three of them hoist Billy up in
              a dead-lift, get him in his cell, toss him on the cot. They
              step out, slam the door, lock it. Paul looks to Harry and
              Brutal.

                                  PAUL
                        Get Dean looked at right away,
                        make sure he's all right.

                        Percy, you go make a report to the
                        warden for me. Start off by saying
                        the situation is under control--
                        it's not a story, he won't
                        appreciate you drawing out the
                        suspense.

                                  BRUTAL
                        What about you? You look about
                        ready to collapse.

                                  PAUL
                        I've got the Mile till you all get
                        back. Go on now.

              They all exit. As soon as he's alone, Paul gives in to the
              pain, holding his crotch and sinking to his knees with a
              moan. It's so bad he actually lays down on the Mile, face
              pressed against the cool linoleum, wishing he were dead. A
              stretch of silence...and then:

                                  COFFEY (O.S.)
                        Boss? Needs ta see ya down here.

                                  PAUL
                        This is not a good time, John
                        Coffey. Not a good time at all.

                                  COFFEY (O.S.)
                        But I needs ta see ya, boss. I
                        needs ta talk t'ya.

              Paul sighs. Things couldn't get much worse than this. He
              rises with a supreme effort, walks painfully down the Mile...

              COFFEY'S CELL

              ...and finds Coffey waiting at his bars.

                                  COFFEY
                        Closer.

                                  PAUL
                        I'm alone here right now, John.
                        Figure this is close enough.

                                  COFFEY
                        Boss, please. I got to whisper in
                        your ear.

              Paul blinks. Maybe it's the fever clouding his brain, or
              maybe...hell, is this what being hypnotized is like? He tries
              to shake the sensation off, comes a little closer.

                                  DEL
                        Boss? You know you not s'pose to
                        do dat.

                                  PAUL
                        Mind your business, Del. What do
                        you want, John Coffey?

                                  COFFEY
                        Just to help.

              His hand shoots out, grabs Paul by the collar, jerks him
              close. Paul makes a panic-grab for his revolver...

              ...but Coffey lays his free hand atop Paul's, eases his grip
              from the gun--no need for that. Coffey's hand then drifts
              slowly down, easing to Paul's crotch...

                                  PAUL
                               (stunned, frozen)
                        What are you...doing?

              ...and something goes WHUMP through Paul's body. He arches
              back with his mouth agape and arms outstretched as a rush of
              energy seems to pass from Paul through Coffey's hand...

              ...and then it's over. Paul comes back to the real world,
              weak against the bars, realizes Del is hollering in his cell:

                                  DEL
                        HELP! JOHN COFFEY'S KILLING BOSS
                        EDGECOMB! HELP!

                                  PAUL
                        Del, Chrissake, settle down, I'm
                        fine...

              It dawns on him that he really is fine. Fever's gone. So is
              the pain in his groin. John Coffey, though, seems to be
              having trouble. He sits down on his bunk, bends forward,
              gagging like a man with a chicken bone caught in his throat.

                                  PAUL
                        John? John, what's wrong?

              Paul fumbles his keys to the lock, unsure if he should open
              the door, watching the big man's contortions grow stronger
              like a cat trying to cough up a hairball...

              ...and then comes an unpleasant, gagging/retching sound as
              Coffey's lips draw back from his teeth in a kind of godawful
              sneer...and he exhales a cloud of what look like tiny black
              insects. They swirl furiously in front of his face, turn
              white...and disappear. Paul just stares, stunned. Softly:

                                  PAUL
                        What did you do, big boy? What did
                        you do to me?

                                  COFFEY
                        I helped it. Didn't I help it?

                                  PAUL
                        Yes, but...how?

              Coffey shrugs--it's something that just is.

                                  COFFEY
                        Just took it back, is all. Awful
                        tired now, boss. Dog tired.

              He rolls onto his bunk, faces the wall. Paul just stares at
              him, stunned. He turns and walks up the Mile, his stiffness
              and pain now gone. Del watches him go by, also stunned:

                                  DEL
                        What dat man do to you? He throw
                        some gris-gris on you?
                               (off Paul's look)
                        You look diff'int! Even walk
                        diff'int. Like y'all better!

                                  PAUL
                        You're imagining thing. Lie down,
                        Del. Get you some rest.

              Paul continues up the Mile...

              E BLOCK TOILET

              ...and steps back into the toilet. Not trusting this
              situation for even a moment, Paul opens his fly, takes a deep
              breath to prepare himself for the pain, starts to pee...

              ...and we hear a healthy stream of water hitting the bowl.
              The look on Paul's face says it all--blessed relief.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. PAUL'S HOUSE - DUSK

              Paul comes home from work, still looking numb about the whole
              thing. He drifts to the kitchen door. Jan's at the counter,
              slicing vegetables for dinner. She glances at him.

                                  JAN
                        Hi, honey. How are you feeling?

                                  PAUL
                        Um...not too bad.

              She turns back. Paul's eyes drift down to admire her ass.

                                  JAN
                        What did the doctor say?

              No response. He's too busy staring. She turns again--he
              glances hastily up.

                                  PAUL
                        Oh, you know doctors. Gobble-de-
                        gook mostly.

              She turns back, keeps working. He crosses the room, eyeing
              her ass all the way...and surprised her by pressing up
              against her from behind, running his hands along her hips.

                                  JAN
                        Paul? What are you doing?

              He starts laying kisses on the back of her neck, giving her
              pleasant shivers, murmuring:

                                  PAUL
                        What's it feel like?

                                  JAN
                        I know what it feels like...it
                        feels great...but...Paul...

              He's getting her breathless. She turns into his arms and they
              get into some passionate kissing. It's not too long before
              they're frantically peeling each other's clothes off...

              INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

              ...and we find them having a wild tumble in the sheets, both
              moaning and groaning, sweating and panting. She pushes him
              flat on the bed, pauses to catch her breath...

                                  JAN
                        Those must've been some pills.

              ...and they keep going, rutting like crazed weasels...

              EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT

              ...as their moans go drifting into the night...

                                                       FADE TO:

              SAME ANGLE AS ABOVE - DAWN

              ...and they're still moaning up there as the sun creeps up.

              INT. BEDROOM - MORNING

              Jan falls back, exhausted after the latest go-round. She
              catches her breath, looks over at Paul, and finally:

                                  JAN
                        Paul? Not that I'm complaining.
                        But we haven't gone four times in
                        one night since we were nineteen.
                               (off his look)
                        You wanna tell me just what the
                        hell's going on?

                                  PAUL
                        Well...thing is...I never actually
                        got to the doctor yesterday...

              She gives him a look--oh?

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. LIVING ROOM - MORNING

              Paul is on the phone:

                                  PAUL
                        Brutal? Listen...I'm thinking of
                        taking the morning off sick. You
                        cover the fort for me?
                               (beat)
                        That's swell. Thanks. Yeah, I'm
                        sure I'll feel better. Okay.

              He hangs up, turns to Jan.

                                  JAN
                        You sure you ought to do this?

                                  PAUL
                        I'm not sure what I'm sure of.

                                                       CUT TO:

              EXT. ROAD TO TEFTON - DAY

              Paul's model T comes putt-putting up the road past a sign:
              "Trapingus County Welcomes You."

              EXT. HOUSE IN TEFTON - BACK PORCH - DAY

              BURT HAMMERSMITH, public defender for Trapingus County, sits
              with a cold soda and a magazine, watching his TWO CHILDREN
              playing on a swing at the far end of the backyard. The screen
              door opens and CYNTHIA HAMMERSMITH ushers Paul out.

                                  CYNTHIA
                        I offer you a cold drink?

                                  PAUL
                        Yes, ma'am, a cold drink would be
                        fine. Thank you.

              She goes back inside. Burt rises.

                                  PAUL
                        Mr. Hammersmith. Your office said
                        I'd find you at home today. I hope
                        I'm not troubling you.

                                  BURT
                        That depends, Mr.--?

                                  PAUL
                        Paul Edgecomb. I'm the E Block
                        superintendant at Cold Mountain.

                                  BURT
                        The Green Mile. I've heard of it.
                        Lost a few clients your way.

                                  PAUL
                        That's why I'm here. I'd like to
                        ask you about one of them.

              Burt settles back down, motions "please sit".

                                  BURT
                        Which client? Now you got my
                        curiosity aroused.

                                  PAUL
                        John Coffey.

                                  BURT
                        Ah, Coffey. He causing you
                        problems?

                                  PAUL
                        No, can't say he is. He doesn't
                        like the dark. He cries on
                        occasion. Other than that...

                                  BURT
                        Cries, does he? Well, he's got a
                        lot to cry about, I'd say. You
                        know what he did.

                                  PAUL
                               (nods)
                        I read the court transcripts.

              Cynthia reappears, hands Paul a cold root beer.

                                  PAUL
                        Thank you, Missus.

                                  CYNTHIA
                        My pleasure. Kids! Lunch is about
                        ready! Y'all come on up!

              She goes back inside, but the kids aren't quite able to tear
              themselves away from their play.

                                  BURT
                        What exactly are you trying to
                        find out? Satisfy my curiosity,
                        I'll see if I can satisfy yours.

                                  PAUL
                        I've wondered if he ever did
                        anything like that before.

                                  BURT
                        Why? Has he said anything?

                                  PAUL
                        No. But a man who does a thing
                        like that has often developed a
                        taste for it over time. Occurred
                        to me it might be easy enough to
                        follow his backtrail and find out.
                        A man his size, and colored to
                        boot, can't be that hard to trace.

                                  BURT
                        You'd think so, but you'd be
                        wrong. Believe me, we tried. It's
                        like he dropped out of the sky.

                                  PAUL
                        How do you explain that?

                                  BURT
                        We're in a Depression. A third of
                        the country's out of work.

                        People are drifting by the
                        thousands, looking for work,
                        looking for that greener grass.
                        Even a giant like Coffey wouldn't
                        get noticed everywhere he goes...
                        not until he kills a couple of
                        little girls.

                                  PAUL
                        He's...strange, I admit. But there
                        doesn't seem to be any real
                        violence in him. I know violent
                        men, Mr. Hammersmith. I deal with
                        'em day in and day out.

              Burt smiles, realizing:

                                  BURT
                        You didn't come up here to ask me
                        whether he might have killed
                        before. You came up here to see if
                        I think he did it at all. That's
                        it, isn't it?

                                  PAUL
                        Do you?

                                  BURT
                        One seldom sees a less ambiguous
                        case. He was found with the
                        victims in his arms. Blurted out
                        a confession right then and there.

                                  PAUL
                        Yet you defended him.

                                  BURT
                        Everyone is entitled to a defense.

              Cynthia hollers from an open window:

                                  CYNTHIA
                        Kids! Lunch!

                                  BURT
                        Y'all listen to your Momma, now!

              The kids start this way. Burt turns back to Paul.

                                  BURT
                        Tell you something. You listen
                        close, too, because it might be
                        something you need to know.

                                  PAUL
                        I'm listening.

                                  BURT
                        We had us a dog. No particular
                        breed, but gentle. Ready to lick
                        your hand or fetch a stick. Just
                        a sweet mongrel, you know the kind.
                               (Paul nods)
                        In many way, a good mongrel dog is
                        like you negro. You get to know
                        it, and often you get to love it.
                        It is of no particular use, but
                        you keep it around because you
                        think it loves you. If you're
                        lucky, Mr. Edgecomb, you never
                        have to find out any different. My
                        wife and I were not so lucky.
                        Caleb. Come here for a second.

              The little boy comes to him, staring at his feet. Burt tires
              to raise the boy's chin. The boy resists for a moment...

                                  BURT
                        Please, son.

              ...and then his face comes around. He's horribly scarred on
              that side, the eye missing.

                                  BURT
                        He has the one eye. I suppose he's
                        lucky not to be blind. We get down
                        on our knees and thank God for
                        that much at least. Right Caleb?
                               (the boy nods shyly)
                        Okay, go on in now.

              The boy races inside after his sister. Paul follows Burt's
              gaze off toward the rear of the property, where an unoccupied
              doghouse stands weathered and sad in the weeds.

                                  BURT
                        That dog attacked my boy for no
                        reason. Just got it into his mind
                        one day. Same with John Coffey. He
                        was sorry afterwards, of that I
                        have no doubt...but those little
                        girls stayed raped and murdered
                        nonetheless. Maybe he's never done
                        it before--my dog never bit
                        before, but I didn't concern
                        myself with that. I went out there
                        with my rifle and grabbed his
                        collar and blew his brains out.

                                  PAUL
                        I'm sorry for your trouble.

              Burt acknowledges the condolence with a gracious nod.

                                  BURT
                        I'm as enlightened as the next
                        man, Mr. Edgecomb. I would not
                        bring back slavery for all the tea
                        in China. I believe we have to be
                        humane and generous in our efforts
                        to solve the race problem. But we
                        have to remember that the negro
                        will bite if he gets the chance,
                        just like a mongrel dog will bite
                        if it crosses its mind to do so.
                               (beat)
                        Is Coffey guilty? Yes, he is.
                        Don't you doubt it, and don't you
                        turn your back on him. You might
                        get away with it once or even a
                        hundred times...but in the end...

              He raises his hand, making biting motions with his fingers.

                                  BURT
                        You understand?

              Paul says nothing. Burt gazes out again. Softly:

                                  BURT
                        I'm gonna have to tear that old
                        doghouse down one of these days.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. PAUL'S MODEL T - DAY

              Paul drives back to Cold Mountain, his heart conflicted...

              INT. E BLOCK - DAY

              ...and he walks onto the Mile with a bundle wrapped in a dish
              towel. Brutal glances up from the desk, sniffing the air.

                                  PAUL
                        No, it's not for you.

              Paul continues down the Mile. Whatever he's carrying, the
              smell of it brings Del to his bars. Even Mr.Jingles comes
              skittering out of his cigar box, sniffing.

                                  DEL
                        Oh. Oh my.

              Paul arrives at Coffey's cell. Coffey's on his bunk facing
              the wall. His head comes around, drawn by the aroma. He sits
              up, wipes the tears leaking from his eyes, looks at Paul.

                                  COFFEY
                        I'm smelling me some cornbread.

              Paul speaks softly so the others can't hear:

                                  PAUL
                        It's from my missus. She wanted to
                        thank you.

              Coffey nods thoughtfully, absorbing this notion. Then:

                                  COFFEY
                        Thank me for what?

                                  PAUL
                        You know. For helping me.

                                  COFFEY
                        Helping you with what?

              Paul motions discreetly to his crotch.

                                  COFFEY
                        Ohhh.
                               (beat)
                        Was your missus pleased?

                                  PAUL
                        Several times.

              Paul hands him the bundle through the bars. Coffey takes it,
              uncovers the cornbread reverently, gazes back up.

                                  COFFEY
                        This all for me?

              Paul nods. Across the way, Del is pressing his face longingly
              through the bars while Mr. Jingles crawls on his shoulder.

                                  DEL
                        Oh my. John, I can smell it from
                        here. I surely can.

                                  COFFEY
                               (looks to Paul)
                        Can I give some to Del?

                                  PAUL
                        It's yours, John. You do with it
                        as you please.

              John carefully scoops a big chunk of cornbread out with his
              enormous hand, holds it through the bars to Paul.

                                  COFFEY
                        Here's for Del and Mr. Jingles
                        then.

                                  BILLY
                        Hey! What about me? I'm'a get some
                        too, ain't I

              Coffey looks to Paul--do I have to?

                                  PAUL
                        It's yours, John. As you please.

                                  COFFEY
                        Well. Fine. I think I'll keep the
                        rest, then.

              He smiles like a big kid, digging in with his fingers. Paul
              crosses the Mile to Del's cell, hands him his share.

                                  PAUL
                        Courtesy of the gentleman across
                        the way.

                                  DEL
                        Oh, John. So very fine of you. So
                        very kind. Mr. Jingles t'ank you.

                                  COFFEY
                               (mouth full)
                        ...wel'cm...

                                  BILLY
                        Hey! What about me? Don't you hold
                        out on me, ya big dummy nigger!

              Paul's temper flares--he steps to Billy's cell.

                                  PAUL
                        You'll keep a civil tongue on my
                        block.

              Beat. Billy spits in Paul's face and follows it up with a big
              grin--what are you gonna do about that? Paul is seething as
              he wipes the spit off, but keeps his temper where it belongs.

                                  PAUL
                        You get that one for free. But
                        that's the last one.

              Paul walks away. Billy laughs, hollering after him:

                                  BILLY
                        That's it? Just that little bitty
                        one? Guess I'll have to pay out
                        for the rest, huh?

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              INT. E BLOCK - DAY

              Harry is walking the Mile, doing a cell check and jotting on
              a clipboard. He pauses, making a notation...

              ...and a long stream of piss hits his leg. Billy's at his
              bars, peeing on him. Harry jumps back, stunned. Billy howls
              with laughter, hosing his aim wildly from side to side.

                                  BILLY
                        Yeehaaw! Good shot, weren't it?
                        Oh, the look on your face!

              Paul and Brutal come running. Harry's just flabbergasted:

                                  HARRY
                        You believe this? Son of a bitch
                        pissed on me!

                                  BILLY
                        Hey, d'jall like that? I'm
                        currently cooking some turds t'go
                        with it! Nice soft ones! I'll have
                        'em out t'yall tomorrow!

              Paul stays calm, turns to Brutal, nods at the restraint room.

                                  PAUL
                        We've been looking to clear that
                        room out anyway.

                                                       TIMECUT:

              A STREAM OF GUARDS comes toting the last of the restraint
              room stuff past Billy's cell while he heckles them from the
              bars...

                                  BILLY
                        Hey! Whassit now, movin' day?
                        Y'all wanna come in and dust a
                        little? Y'can shine my knob for me
                        while yer at it!

              ...and he pauses as Paul and Brutal step to the bars. Paul
              has a canvas straitjacket. Brutal pulls his nightstick.

                                  BILLY
                        You can come in here on your legs,
                        but you'll go out on your backs,
                        Billy the Kid guarantee ya that.
                               (motions to Brutal)
                        C'mon, fuckstick. No sneakin' up
                        on me this time. We'll go man to
                        man, see who's the better fel--

              Brutal unlocks the cell--and sidesteps, revealing Harry
              pointing a fire hose. The hose erupts, driving Billy across
              the cell with bone-jarring force. They batter him half-
              senseless, then cut the water. Billy collapses in a heap.

              Paul and Brutal drag him semi-conscious from his cell and get
              the straitjacket on him. He comes around as they draw the
              straps tight and pull him to his feet.

                                  PAUL
                        C'mon, Wild Bill. Little walky
                        walky.

                                  BILLY
                        Don't you call me that! Wild Bill
                        Hickock wasn't no range rider! He
                        was just a bushwackin' John Law!
                        Dumb sonovabitch sat with his back
                        to the door and kilt by a drunk!

                                  BRUTAL
                        Oh, my suds and body! A history
                        lesson! You just never know what
                        you're gonna get when you come to
                        work everyday on the Green Mile.
                        Thank you, Wild Bill.

              Billy lets out a scream of rage and throws himself at Brutal.
              Brutal, bored, shoves him back toward Paul, who then propels
              him down the Mile toward the open restraint room door. Billy
              sees where they intend to put him, resorts to pleading:

                                  BILLY
                        Oh, not in there! C'mon now, I'll
                        be good! Honest Injun I will! No!
                        No! Ummmmhhhh...urg...ah!

              He suddenly drops to the floor, bucking and jerking wildly,
              spewing drool. Harry's eyes go wide.

                                  HARRY
                        Holy Christ, he's pitchin' a fit!

              Paul reaches down and unceremoniously starts dragging Billy
              kicking and writhing the rest of the way.

                                  PAUL
                        He'll be fine, boys. Trust me on
                        this one.

              Brutal helps Paul toss Billy headlong into the padded room.
              They slam the door...

              RESTRAINT ROOM

              ...and Billy staggers to his feet in the straitjacket,
              inarticulate with rage, starts throwing himself against the
              door, screaming at the top of his lungs.

                                  BILLY
                        ALL I WANTED ME WAS A LITTLE
                        CORNBREAD, YOU MUTHERFUCKERS!

                                                       FADE TO:

              INT. E BLOCK - NEXT DAY

              Paul and Brutal unlock the restraint room. Billy looks up
              from the corner, pale and drained. Softly:

                                  BILLY
                        I learnt my lesson. I'll be good.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. E BLOCK - DAY

              Billy's back in his cell, quiet for a change. Toot-Toot is
              outside the bars, mopping the floor. Billy notices a
              chocolate Moon Pie in Toot's shirt pocket.

                                  BILLY
                        Pssss. Hey. Give'ya nickel for
                        that Moon Pie.

              Toot looks around. Nobody's watching, and a nickel's a
              nickel. He steps to Billy's bars, swaps the Moon Pie for the
              money.

              Toot hurries away. Billy unwraps the Moon Pie, makes sure
              he's not being watched...and crams the entire thing into his
              mouth...

                                                       DISSOLVE:

              ...and here comes Brutal strolling down the Mile, doing a
              cell check and jotting on a clipboard. He pauses, seeing:

              Billy at his bars. Just standing there staring. His cheeks
              bulging way out.

              Brutal steps closer, fascinated...what the fuck is that.
              Billy waits until he's just a bit closer--

              --and he slams his fists against his own cheeks, propelling
              a disgusting spew of liquefied chocolate sludge into Brutal's
              face. Billy falls back onto his bunk, shrieking with laughter:

                                  BILLY
                        Li'l Black Sambo, yassuh, boss,
                        yassuh, howdoo you do?

                                  BRUTAL
                               (beat, calmly)
                        Hope your bags are packed.

                                                       TIMECUT:

              ...and once again, Billy gets dragged to the restraint room,
              kicking and screaming all the way. They toss him in, slam the
              door. Brutal turns, still wiping traces of sludge off.

                                  PAUL
                        The Moon Pie thing was pretty
                        original. Gotta give him that.

              Brutal nods. They walk away as we

                                                       FADE TO:

              INT. E BLOCK - DAY

              Paul and Brutal appear at Del's bars with Harry and Dean.

                                  PAUL
                        Del, grab your things. Big day for
                        you and Mr. Jingles.

                                  DEL
                        Whatchoo talkin' bout?

                                  PAUL
                        Important folks heard about your
                        mouse, wanna see him perform. Not
                        just guards, either. One of them's
                        a politician all the way from the
                        state capital, I believe.

              Del swells with pride upon hearing this. He scrounges up Mr.
              Jingles props, steps from his cell, looks to Harry and Dean.

                                  DEL
                        You fellas comin'?

                                  HARRY
                        We got other fish to fry just now,
                        Del, but you knock 'em for a loop.

              Del nods, beaming happily, looks to Coffey in his cell.

                                  COFFEY
                        You knock 'em for a loop like Mr.
                        Harry says, Del.

              Brutal leads Del up the Mile, Paul and the others at their
              heels. Percy's at the duty desk. He smirks and rolls his eyes
              as Del goes by. The moment Brutal and Del are out the door...

              ...Toot emerges from Paul's office where he's been hiding.

                                  PAUL
                        Let's move along briskly, folks.
                        There's not much time.

              Toot hurries down to take his place in Del's cell.

                                  TOOT
                        I'm sittin' down, I'm sittin'
                        down, I'm sittin' down.

              INT. OFFICE/ADMINISTRATION BUILDING - DAY

              A HALF DOZEN GUARDS are waiting. We find Bill Dodge fixing
              the tie of a fat good ol' boy named EARL.

                                  EARL
                        Been sweepin' floors here ten
                        years, never had to wear no damn
                        tie before.

                                  BILL
                        You're a V.I.P. today, Earl, so
                        just shut up.

              A KNOCK at the door. Everybody takes a seat. Del is ushered
              in by Brutal. Del faces his audience, puts his hands to his
              chest in a "thank you" gesture worthy of Lillie Langtry
              before her adoring public, then announces grandly:

                                  DEL
                        Messieurs et mesdames! Bienvenue
                        au cirque de mousie!

              INT. EXECUTION CHAMBER - DAY

              The steel cap is lowered over Toot's head, the straps
              tightened. TILT UP to Percy as:

                                  PERCY
                        Roll on two.

              Behind his partition, Van Hay mimes flipping the switch.

                                  VAN HAY
                        That's that.

              A pause. Percy looks anxiously to Paul, who's trading glances
              with the other guards. Finally:

                                  PAUL
                        Very good. Very professional.

              Percy smiles. Harry and Dean step up, slapping his back and
              shaking his hand...

              INT. E BLOCK - DAY

              ...and they're still chatting a short time later, waiting for
              Del's return. Percy actually looks happy for a change,
              feeling genuinely accepted for the first time...

              Billy is watching from his cell. Just watching.

              The door opens. Del returns with Mr. Jingles on his shoulder,
              escorted by Brutal. Brutal is toting the cigar box and spool
              like a magician's assistant carrying the boss' props.

                                  PAUL
                        Well?

                                  DEL
                        They love Mr. Jingles! They laugh
                        and cheer and clap they hands!

                                  PERCY
                        Well, that's just aces. Pop back
                        in your cell, old-timer.

              The generosity of Percy's tone catches Del completely off
              guard. Del gives him a look of almost comical mistrust...

              ...and the old Percy comes back. He bares his teeth in a mock
              snarl and curls his fingers as if to grab Del. It's a joke,
              but Del doesn't know that--he jerks back in fear and trips
              over Brutal's big feet. Del goes down hard, hitting the
              linoleum with the back of his head. Mr. Jingles jumps clear,
              goes squeaking down the Mile. Del sits up, painfully
              clutching his head. Brutal helps him up...

                                  BRUTAL
                        Percy, you shit.

              ...and moves him toward his cell. Percy is actually moved to
              apologize--he starts after them with a half-laugh, drifting
              much too close to Wild Bill's side of the Mile...

                                  PERCY
                        Del! Hey, you numb wit, I didn't
                        mean nothin' by it! You all ri--

              ...and Wild Bill's arms thrust out, grabbing Percy and
              slamming him back against the bars with an arm around his
              throat. Percy squeals like a pig in a slaughter-chute,
              thinking he's gonna die. The guards scramble, drawing their
              clubs--as Billy strokes Percy's hair and whispers in his ear:

                                  BILLY
                        Ain't you sweet. Soft. Like a
                        girl. I druther fuck your asshole
                        than your sister's pussy, I think.

              Billy kisses Percy's ear--and his hand drops down to squeeze
              Percy's crotch. Paul pulls his sidearm, taking aim...

                                  PAUL
                        Wharton!

              ...and Billy lets go, stepping back with his hands raised,
              laughing. Percy darts across the Mile in terror and cringes
              against the cell opposite, breathing so loud and fast it
              almost sounds like sobbing.

                                  BILLY
                        I let 'im go, I'us just playin'
                        and I let 'im go! Never hurt a
                        hair on his purty head!
                               (grins at Percy)
                        Your noodle ain't limp at all,
                        loverboy! I think you sweet on ol'
                        Billy the Kid...
                               (sniffs his fingers)
                        ...oooh, but smell you.

              Down at his cell, Del starts laughing shrilly. Everybody else
              starts to realize it, including Percy himself...he looks
              down, sees the huge dark stain spreading at his crotch.

                                  DEL
                        Lookit, he done piss his pants!
                        Look what the big man done! He
                        bus' other people wid 'is stick,
                        mais oui some mauvais homme, but
                        someone touch him, he make water
                        in his pants jus' like a baby!

              Percy just stares. Brutal shoves Delacroix into his cell.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Shut up, Del.

              Paul steps to Percy, puts a hand on his shoulder. Percy
              shakes his hand off, looks around at their faces, whispers:

                                  PERCY
                        You talk about this to anyone,
                        I'll get you all fired. I swear
                        that to God.

                                  PAUL
                        What happens on the Mile, stays on
                        the Mile. Always has.

              The men nod solemnly. Nobody's going to talk about this.
              Percy looks at Delacroix still snorting in his cell, points
              at him.

                                  PERCY
                        You keep laughing, you French-
                        fried faggot. You just keep
                        laughing.

              Del falls silent. Percy turns and storms away as we

                                                       FADE TO BLACK

              IN BLACKNESS, A TITLE CARD APPEARS:

                          "The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix"

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. DEL'S CELL - DAY

              Paul is sitting with Delacroix. Brutal is leaning against the
              bars. Del is throwing the spool. Mr. Jingles is fetching it.

              The silence is thick. Just the clack-clatter of the spool,
              and the skitter skitter of tiny mouse paws on concrete. It's
              getting on Paul's nerves in a big way. Softly:

                                  PAUL
                        What about Dean? He's got a little
                        boy would love a pet mouse, I bet.

              Del looks horrified at the thought.

                                  DEL
                        How could a boy be trust wid Mr.
                        Jingles? Maybe forget to feed him.
                        And how he keep up wid his
                        trainin', just a boy, n'est-ce pas?

              Del tosses the spool again--clack-clatter, skitter-skitter.

                                  PAUL
                        All right, I'll take him.

                                  DEL
                        T'ank you kindly, merci beaucoup,
                        but you live out in the woods, and
                        Mr. Jingles, he be scared to live
                        out dans la foret.

                                  PAUL
                        He whisper that in your ear?

              Del nods, tosses the spool again--clack-clatter, skitter
              skitter. Paul is completely out of ideas. But then:

                                  BRUTAL
                        How about Mouseville?

                                  DEL
                        Mouseville?

                                  BRUTAL
                        Tourist attraction down in
                        Florida. Tallahassee, I think. Is
                        that right, Paul? Tallahassee?

                                  PAUL
                               (level)
                        Yeah, that's right. Tallahassee.
                        Just down the road apiece from the
                        dog university.

              Brutal's mouth twitches, but he manages to keep a straight
              face. He gives Paul a look--don't blow this.

                                  BRUTAL
                        You think they'd take Mr. Jingles?
                        You think he's got the stuff?

                                  PAUL
                        Might. He's pretty smart.

                                  DEL
                        Hey! What dis Mouseville?

                                  BRUTAL
                        Tourist attraction, I said. They
                        got this big tent you go into--

                                  DEL
                        Like a cirque? You have to pay?

                                  BRUTAL
                        You shittin' me? Course you pay.
                        Dime a piece, two cents for the
                        kids. And inside the tent there's
                        this mouse city made out of boxes
                        and toilet paper rolls...

              Percy is drifting up the block, listening too, but nobody's
              really paying him much mind.

                                  BRUTAL
                        ...plus they got the Mouseville
                        All-Star Circus. There's mice that
                        swing on trapeze, mice that roll
                        barrels, mice that stack coins...

                                  DEL
                        Dat's it! Dat's da place for Mr.
                        Jingles! You gonna be a circus
                        mouse after all! Gonna live in a
                        mouse city down in Florida!

              Del tosses the spool extra hard--it takes a bad bounce off
              the wall and goes clattering through the bars onto the Mile.
              The mouse goes after it like a shot, too intent to notice:

              His old enemy Percy.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Percy, no!

              Percy stomps the heel of his heavy work shoe down on Mr.
              Jingles. There's a SOFT SNAP as the mouse's back breaks.

              Del screams in horror and throws himself at the bars, sobbing
              the mouse's name. Percy looks to Brutal and Paul, smiles.

                                  PERCY
                        Knew I'd get him sooner or later.
                        Just a matter of time, really.

              He turns and strolls up the Mile, leaving Mr. Jingles dying
              in a tiny pool of blood. Up at the duty desk, Dean and Harry
              get up from a cribbage game, stunned and furious.

              Percy strolls past, exits to the execution chamber. Del is
              still screaming, all his pent-up terror and grief pouring out
              at the dying mouse. And then comes a soft, urgent voice:

                                  COFFEY
                        Give'm to me.

              They turn. Coffey's got his arms out through his bars, one
              massive hand spread open.

                                  COFFEY
                        Give'm to me. Might still be time.

              Paul hesitates, scoops the mouse up off the floor, wincing at
              the feel of it. Splintered bones are poking at the hide.

                                  BRUTAL
                        What are you doing?

              Paul doesn't answer, just lays Mr. Jingles into Coffey's
              hand. Coffey pulls the mouse in through his bars and lays his
              other hand gently over it, cupping the creature. All we see
              now is the tail hanging out the side, twitching weakly.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Paul, what the hell--

              Paul motions him quiet. Del is pleading softly at his bars:

                                  DEL
                        Please, John. Oh Johnny, help him,
                        please help him, s'il vous plait.

              Harry and Dean join the group. Everybody watching now.

              Coffey puts his mouth to his cupped hands, inhales sharply.
              The world hangs suspended for a moment. Coffey raises his
              face, contorting as if desperately ill, starts making those
              horrendous choking sounds in his throat...

                                  BRUTAL
                               (softly)
                        Oh, dear Jesus. The tail. Look at
                        the tail.

              They do. The tail is no longer weak and dying. It's snapping
              briskly back and forth, as if ready to play.

              Coffey makes that retching/gagging sound...and again exhales
              a cloud of swirling black "insects" from his nose and mouth.
              The men watch, speechless, as the bugs turn white and
              disappear.

              Coffey bends down, opens his hand. Mr. Jingles bounds off his
              fingers through the bars, racing past the guards' feet. They
              turn to see Del gather the mouse up, laughing and crying.
              Dean turns back to Coffey with a stunned whisper:

                                  DEAN
                        What did you do?

                                  COFFEY
                        I helped Del's mouse. He a circus
                        mouse. Goan live in a mouse city
                        down in...down in...

                                  BRUTAL
                               (numb)
                        Florida?

              Coffey nods, remembering.

                                  COFFEY
                        Boss Percy's bad. He mean. He step
                        on Del's mouse.
                               (softly)
                        I took it back, though.

              And with that, he lies back on his bunk and faces the wall.
              The others look to Paul, don't even know what to say.

                                  PAUL
                        Brute, come along with me.
                               (to Harry and Dean)
                        You fellas go on back to you
                        cribbage game.

              Harry nods numbly. Paul leads Brutal up the Mile...

              EXECUTION CHAMBER

              ...and they enter to find Percy polishing Old Sparky's arms.

                                  PERCY
                        Don't start in on me. It was just
                        a mouse. Never belonged here in
                        the first place.

                                  PAUL
                        The mouse is fine. Just fine.
                        You're no better at mouse-killing
                        than anything else around here.

                                  PERCY
                        You expect me to believe that? I
                        heard the goddamn thing crunch.

              Paul steps closer, angry as we've ever seen him:

                                  PAUL
                        Aren't you glad Mr. Jingles is
                        okay? After all our talks about
                        how we should keep the prisoners
                        calm? Aren't you relieved?

                                  PERCY
                        What kind of game is this?

                                  PAUL
                        No game. See for yourself.

              Beat. Percy stalks past them, heads out onto the Mile. Paul
              and Brutal just wait, saying nothing. Brutal picks up the rag
              left by Percy, resumes polishing chores on Old Sparky. Paul
              stretches, cracks his neck. The silence heavy...

              ...until Percy reappears.

                                  PERCY
                        You switched them! You switched
                        them somehow, you bastards!

                                  BRUTAL
                        I always keep a spare mouse in my
                        wallet for occasions such as this.

                                  PERCY
                        You're playing with me, the both
                        of you! Just who the hell do you
                        think you are--

              Brutal grabs him , slams him bodily into the electric chair.
              Paul bends close, gets right in Percy's face.

                                  PAUL
                        We're the people you work with,
                        Percy, but not for long. I want
                        your word.

                                  PERCY
                        My word?

                                  PAUL
                        I put you out front for Del, you
                        put in your transfer to Briar
                        Ridge the very next day.

                                  PERCY
                        What if I just call up certain
                        people and tell them you're
                        harassing me? Bullying me?

                                  PAUL
                        Go ahead. I promise you'll leave
                        your share of blood on the floor.

                                  PERCY
                        Over a mouse? You think anyone's
                        gonna give two shits?

                                  PAUL
                        No. But four men will swear you
                        stood by while Wild Bill tried to
                        strangle Dean to death. About that
                        people will care, Percy. Even your
                        uncle the governor will care.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Thing like that goes in your work
                        record. Work record can follow a
                        man around a long, long time.

              Percy looks from one man to another, knowing he's trapped.

                                  PAUL
                        I put you out front, you put in
                        your transfer. That's the deal.

              Percy thinks it over, nods. He tries to get up, but Paul keep
              him pinned...and pointedly offer his hand.

                                  PAUL
                        You make a promise to a man, you
                        shake his hand.

              Percy hesitates, shakes Paul's hand...

              HIGH WIDE ANGLE OF EXECUTION CHAMBER

              ...and Paul pulls him out of the electric chair as we

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              SAME ANGLE AS ABOVE - NEXT NIGHT

              Witnesses are trickling in, filling the seats. A storm is
              brewing, sending FLASHES OF LIGHTNING across the floors.

              INT. DEL'S CELL - NIGHT

              Del sits with Mr. Jingles in his lap, stroking the mouse
              between the ears. Paul, Brutal, and Harry appear at the bars.

                                  DEL
                        Hey, boys. Say hi, Mr. Jingles.

                                  PAUL
                        Eduard Delacroix, will you step
                        forward?

                                  DEL
                        Boss Edgecomb?

                                  PAUL
                        Yes, Del?

                                  DEL
                        Don' let nothin' happen to Mr.
                        Jingles, okay?

              Paul nods--I promise. Del rises, steps to Paul.

                                  DEL
                        Here, take him.

              Del lifts his hand. Mr. Jingles steps off onto Paul's
              shoulder with no hesitation. Gently:

                                  PAUL
                        Del. I can't have a mouse on my
                        shoulder while...you know.

                                  COFFEY
                        I'll take him, boss. Jus' for now.
                        If Del don' mind.

                                  DEL
                        Yeah, you take 'im, John. Take him
                        til' dis foolishment done--bien!
                               (to Paul and Brutal)
                        After, you take him down to
                        Florida? To dat Mouseville?

                                  BRUTAL
                        We'll do it together, most likely.
                        Maybe take a little vacation time.

              Paul moves to Coffey's cell. The mouse skitters off Paul's
              shoulder onto Coffey's hand.

                                  DEL
                        People pay a dime apiece to see
                        him. Two cents for the kiddies.
                        Ain't dat right, Boss Howell?

                                  BRUTAL
                        That's right, Del.

                                  DEL
                        You a good man, Boss Howell. You
                        too, Boss Edgecomb. Wish I could'a
                        met you bot' someplace else.

              Del gives Mr. Jingles one last look, starts to cry.

                                  DEL
                        Au revoir, mon ami. Je t'aime, mon
                        petit.

              And they start to walk the Mile...

              EXECUTION CHAMBER

              Sweltering in the damp heat. Rain is pissing down, drumming
              the tin roof. People glance up uneasily as THUNDER BOOMS. A
              FAT LADY is staring grimly at the electric chair.

                                  FAT LADY
                        Hope he's good and scared. Hope he
                        knows the fires are stoked, and
                        that Satan's imps are waiting.

              ANGLE ON DOOR

              Del enters, horrified to see Percy waiting at Old Sparky.
              Paul gives Del's arm a reassuring squeeze, leads him
              forward...

              IN A TIGHT SERIES OF SHOTS:

              The clamps are applied. The straps are drawn tight.

                                  PERCY
                        Roll on one.

              The lights brighten on a RISING HUM. Witnesses look up.

              ON THE MILE

              Coffey looks up as the overheads flare hotter and hotter,
              whispers to the mouse in his hands:

                                  COFFEY
                        You be still, Mr. Jingles. You be
                        so quiet and so still.

              RESUME EXECUTION CHAMBER

                                  PERCY
                        Eduard Delacroix, you have been
                        condemned to die by a jury of your
                        peers, sentence imposed by a judge
                        in good standing in this state.
                        You have anything to say before
                        sentence is carried out?

              Del tries to speak. Doesn't quite manage the first time.
              Licks his lips and tries again.

                                  DEL
                        I sorry for what I do. I give
                        anything to take it back, but I
                        can't. God have mercy on me.
                               (whispers to Paul)
                        Don' forget 'bout Mouseville.

              Paul and Brutal nod--and are stunned as:

                                  PERCY
                        No such place. That's just a fairy
                        tale these guys told you to keep
                        you quiet. Just thought you should
                        know, faggot.

              The stricken look in Del's eyes tells us a part of him had
              known all along. Paul and Brutal would both like to deck
              Percy right about now, and he knows it--he gives them a "what
              are you gonna do about it" smile.

              Nothing they can do. Paul nods to Harry, who takes the black
              mask from the back of the chair and rolls it down over Del's
              head, leaving the top of his shaved head exposed.

              PERCY

              takes the sponge and bends down to the bucket of brine. The
              other don't see it, but we do:

              Percy only pretends to dip the sponge and soak it. It never
              touches the water. He straightens up and places the sponge
              atop Delacroix's head, hiding it with his hands.

              The cap is lowered. Paul and the others haven't yet realized
              what's happened. THUNDER BOOMS and LIGHTNING CRASHES as Percy
              hides a smile, steps back to address the condemned:

                                  PERCY
                        Electricity shall now be passed
                        through your body until you are
                        dead, in accordance with state
                        law. God have mercy on your soul.

              TIGHT ON PAUL

              as realization starts to dawn. He stares at the bucket, then
              across the floor to Delacroix, coming to terms with the
              evidence of his eyes--there's no water on the floor or
              dripping down the sides of Del's neck.

              Paul's eyes widen. A stunned beat of horror. He starts to
              open his mouth to scream "NO!", but Percy beats him to it
              with:

                                  PERCY
                        Roll on two.

              Van Hay flicks the switch. WHAM. The electricity hits home
              and Del rocks forward, riding the current.

              Then things start to go horribly wrong.

              The HUMMING loses its steadiness and starts to waver with a
              CRACKLING SOUND. Tendrils of smoke begin curling from under
              the cap, a mixture of burning hair and sponge. Brutal shoots
              Paul a horrified look. Paul responds with a harsh whisper:

                                  PAUL
                        It's dry!

              Delacroix begins twisting and jittering in the chair, his
              masked face snapping violently from side to side, his legs
              pistoning up and down in his restraints.

              There's a MUFFLED POP from under the cap, like a pine knot
              exploding in a hot fire. Smoke starts coming through the
              fabric of the mask, puffing upward. Del is being cooked
              alive. Paul spins to the partition, hollering--

                                  PAUL
                        JACK!

              --but Brutal grabs his arm, whispers fiercely:

                                  BRUTAL
                        Don't you tell him to stop. Don't
                        you do it. It's too late for that.

              Paul turns back, helpless. The other guards are trading wild
              looks, unable to believe what's happening. Even Percy looks
              aghast--he was expecting something, but not this.

              Del begins SCREAMING--the wild, hysterical sound of an animal
              being shredded alive in a hay baler. The HUMMING goes uneven
              and ragged, the lights rising and falling...

              ON THE MILE

              ...as Del's screams rise and fall with them, echoing up the
              corridor. Coffey's shaking and screaming too, as if feeling
              Del's pain. Mr. Jingles squirms out of his grasp and goes
              squeaking in terror toward the restraint room door...

                                  BILLY
                        HE'S COOKIN' NOW! THEY COOKIN' HIM
                        GOOD! NEAR ABOUT DONE, I RECKON!

              RESUME EXECUTION CHAMBER

              Wrong. Del's nowhere near about done. He's slamming back and
              forth in the chair hard enough to shake the platform,
              twisting hard against the leather restraints. We hear BONES
              BREAKING. A WOMAN'S SCREAMS. Witnesses start rising to their
              feet:

                                  WITNESSES
                        What the hell's happening to
                        him?...Are those clamps going to
                        hold?...Christ, the smell!...Is
                        this normal?

              The mask bursts into flame on Delacroix's face. Van Hay
              hollers through the wire mesh, horrified:

                                  VAN HAY
                        SHOULD I KILL THE JUICE?

                                  PAUL
                        NO! ROLL, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE, ROLL!

              Harry scoops up the bucket of water to throw it.

                                  PAUL
                        No water! No water! You crazy?

              Harry backs off with a look of dazed understanding--you don't
              throw water on a man getting juiced. Right. He drops the
              bucket, races to get the chemical fire extinguisher instead.

              The flaming mask peels away, revealing Del's charring face.
              His eyeballs are misshapen globs of burning white jelly blown
              out of their sockets. The ATTENDING DOCTOR faints dead away.

              Pandemonium now in the room. People shouting and hurrying to
              exit, chairs falling over, women screaming:

                                  FAT LADY
                        Stop it, stop it, oh can't you see
                        he's had enough?

              Hal grabs Paul by the shoulder, spins him around.

                                  HAL
                        Why don't you shut it down?

                                  PAUL
                        He's still alive! You want me to
                        shut down while he's still alive?

              Hal is horrified at the thought. Del is jittering and
              screaming, rocking from side to side, smoke pouring from his
              nostrils and mouth, his tongue sizzling purple-black.

              The witnesses are crowding and shoving to get out, but the
              back door is locked. All they can do is cluster there.

              Paul sees Percy with his head turned away. He grabs him,
              forces his head around.

                                  PAUL
                        You watch, you son of a bitch!

              Harry steps up, the extinguisher in his hands. Waiting. Del
              finally slumps over. He still vibrating, but now it's just
              the effect of current flowing through his body.

                                  PAUL
                        Kill it!

              Van Hay kills the current. The HUMMING DIES. Brutal grabs the
              extinguisher from Harry, shoves it into Percy's hands.

                                  BRUTAL
                        You do it. You're running the
                        show, ain't you?

              Percy, sick and dazed, aims the extinguisher and hoses the
              smoking corpse. Hal is near the back, calming the crowd:

                                  HAL
                        It's all right, folks, it's all
                        under control. Just a power surge
                        from the storm, that's all,
                        nothing to worry about...

                                  PAUL
                        Dean, get doc's stethoscope.

              Dean drops to the doctor's bag, digs through it, hands up the
              stethoscope. Paul plugs them into his ears. People are
              moaning and sobbing at the back of the room:

                                  MAN
                        Oh my God! Is it always like this?
                        Why didn't somebody tell me? I
                        never would have come!

              Paul wipes some foam away from Delacroix's chest, places the
              stethoscope pad to the raw flesh. He nods to Brutal--it's
              over.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. ACCESS TUNNEL - NIGHT

              Paul and the others bring the stretcher down, lay the corpse
              on the gurney. Percy starts stammering excuses:

                                  PERCY
                        I didn't know the sponge was
                        supposed to be wet--

              Brutal hauls off and slugs him. A scuffle ensues as the
              others grab Brutal and pull him off.

                                  PAUL
                        Brutal, no!

                                  BRUTAL
                        What do you mean, no? How can you
                        say no? You saw what he did!

                                  PAUL
                        Delacroix's dead, nothing can
                        change that, and Percy's not worth
                        it!

                                  BRUTAL
                        So he just gets away with it? Is
                        that how it works?

              Hal comes lunging down the stairs, furious:

                                  HAL
                        What the fuck was that? Jesus
                        Christ, three witnesses puked all
                        over the floor up there! And the
                        smell! I got Van Hay to open both
                        doors, but that smell won't come
                        out for five damn years, that's
                        what I'm betting! And that asshole
                        Wharton is singing about it! I can
                        hear him!

                                  PAUL
                               (quietly)
                        Can he carry a tune, Hal?

              This pulls the plug on the moment--Hal snorts, triggering
              laughter among the men, a wild release of tension and fear.
              Everybody starts feeling a bit saner again as it dies down:

                                  HAL
                        Okay, boys. Okay. Now what the
                        hell happened?

              All eyes go to Percy. Hal turns, sees Percy's bloody lip.

                                  HAL
                        Percy? Something to say?

                                  PERCY
                        I didn't know the sponge was
                        supposed to be wet.

              Beat. A look of utter contempt from Hal.

                                  HAL
                        How many years you spend pissing
                        on the toilet seat before somebody
                        told you to put it up?

                                  PAUL
                        Percy fucked up, Hal. Pure and
                        simple.

                                  HAL
                        Is that your official position?

                                  PAUL
                        Don't you think it should be?

              Hal considers it, nods.

                                  PAUL
                        He'll be putting in a transfer
                        request to Briar Ridge tomorrow.
                        Moving on to bigger and better
                        things. Isn't that right, Percy?

              Percy nods. Hal steps close, gives him a tight, icy smile.

                                  HAL
                        You're a little asshole, and I
                        don't like you a bit.
                               (off Percy's look)
                        Have that transfer request on my
                        desk first thing.

              Hal heads back up the stairs. Brutal shoves Percy aside and
              wheels Delacroix's body down the tunnel.

              INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT

              Paul returns to find Wild Bill making up a song in his cell:

                                  BILLY
                               (singing)
                        Barbecue! Me and you! Stinky,
                        pinky, phew-phew-phew! Weren't
                        Billy or Jilly or Hilly or Roy--it
                        was a French-fried faggot named
                        Delacroix!

                                  PAUL
                        You're about ten seconds away from
                        spending the rest of your life in
                        the padded room.

              Billy falls silent. Paul continues down the Mile to Coffey's
              cell. Coffey's on his bunk, face streaked with tears. He
              wipes his eyes with the heels of his hands like an exhausted
              child.

                                  COFFEY
                        Poor Del. Poor old Del.

                                  PAUL
                        Yes. Poor old Del. John, are you
                        okay?

                                  COFFEY
                        I could feel it from here.

                                  PAUL
                        What do you mean? You could hear
                        it? Is that what you mean?

                                  COFFEY
                        He's out of it now, though. He's
                        the lucky one. No matter how it
                        happened, Del's the lucky one.

              Paul realizes he won't get a coherent answer.

                                  PAUL
                        Where's Mr. Jingles?

                                  COFFEY
                               (points vaguely)
                        Ran down there. Don't think he'll
                        be back.
                               (beat)
                        Awful tired now, boss. Dog tired.

              Coffey lays down, turns to face the wall.

                                  PAUL
                        Me too, John. Me too.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. PAUL'S HOUSE - NIGHT

              Paul enters in darkness, hangs his hat. He drifts into the
              kitchen, clicks on the radio. SOFT MUSIC BEGINS: Gene Austin
              singing "Did You Ever See A Dream Walking?"

              He pours a drink at the kitchen table, takes a sip, lays the
              glass down. Jan sleepily appears from the darkness behind
              him, entering the kitchen. He realizes she's there, glances
              back.

              She can sense the weight on his soul. She comes to him, folds
              his head into her arms. They stand that way, he drawing
              strength and she giving it, as the music plays on...

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              SEQUENCE WITH MUSIC:

              INT. CHURCH - MORNING

              CAMERA TRACKS the pews to find Paul and Jan seated together
              in the congregation, voices raised in hymn...

              EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - MORNING

              Paul's Model T comes sputtering up the road. He and Jan are
              taking a drive, still in their Sunday best...

              EXT. HAL'S HOUSE - MORNING

              Paul and Jan wait at the front door. Jan holds a baking dish.

                                  PAUL
                        I hate this.

                                  JAN
                        I know.

              The door opens. Hal, looking tired, ushers them inside...

              EXT. BACKYARD - MORNING

              ...and they walk outside to find MELINDA MOORES sitting in
              the sun, frail and wasted, a blanket on her knees. She'd be
              beautiful if not for the cancer killing her.

              Paul is shocked at her appearance, hides it as best as he
              can. Jan covers this for him--she drops to Melinda's side
              with a warm smile and a kiss, takes the woman's frail hands
              in hers.

              Paul catches Jan's eye. The look he gives her says it all--I
              don't know what I'd do without you...

                                                       DISSOLVE:

              ...and we find Paul and Hal talking quietly over beers while
              the women visit b.g.:

                                  HAL
                        She's having one of her good days.
                        I thank God for that.

                                  PAUL
                        What a bad day?

                                  HAL
                               (beat)
                        Sometimes she's...not herself
                        anymore. She swears.

                                  PAUL
                        Swears.

                                  HAL
                        It just pops out, the most awful
                        language you can imagine. She
                        doesn't even know she's doing it.
                        I didn't know she'd ever heard
                        words like that...and to hear her
                        say them in her sweet voice...
                               (gazes off)
                        I'm glad she's having a good day,
                        Paul. I'm glad for you and Jan.

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              INT. PAUL'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

              Paul is wide awake, staring at the dark. Jan can sense him
              brooding. She rolls over sleepily.

                                  JAN
                        Honey? If you don't say what's on
                        your mind, I'm afraid I'll have to
                        smother you with a pillow.

                                  PAUL
                        I'm thinking I love you. I'm
                        thinking I don't know what I'd do
                        if you were gone.

                                  JAN
                        Oh.

                                  PAUL
                               (beat)
                        I'm also thinking I'd like to have
                        the boys over tomorrow.

              Off Jan's look, we

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. DINING ROOM- DAY

              Brutal, Harry, and Dean are seated at the table with Paul and
              Jan. Serving plates are being passes, everybody digging in:

                                  THE MEN
                               (various, ad-lib)
                        Ma'am, you sure know how to fry up
                        some fine chicken...Brutal, don't
                        hog the taters now...Try that corn
                        yet? It's something special...

              Paul softly interjects:

                                  PAUL
                        You saw what he did with the mouse.

              This stops everybody cold. Dean puts his chicken down, wipes
              his hands. Looks are traded in the silence.

                                  BRUTAL
                        I could'a gone the rest of the day
                        without you bringing that up.

                                  DEAN
                        I could'a gone the rest of the
                        year.

                                  PAUL
                        He did it to me too. He put his
                        hands on me and took my bladder
                        infection away.

              The men absorb this. Brutal glances to Jan.

                                  JAN
                        When he came home, he was...all
                        better.

                                  DEAN
                        You're talking about an authentic
                        healing. A praise-Jesus miracle.

                                  PAUL
                        I am.

                                  BRUTAL
                        If you say it, I accept it. But
                        what's it got to do with us?

              Jan looks to Paul, realization starting to dawn:

                                  JAN
                        Melinda? Oh, Paul...

                                  BRUTAL
                        Melinda? Melinda Moores?

              Paul nods--that's who we're talking about.

                                  JAN
                        You really think you can help her?

                                  PAUL
                        It's not a bladder infection, or
                        even a busted-up mouse. But there
                        might be a chance.

                                  HARRY
                        Hold on now. You're talking about
                        our jobs. Sneak a sick woman onto
                        a cellblock?

                                  PAUL
                        Hal would never allow that. You
                        know him, he wouldn't believe
                        something unless it fell on him.

                                  BRUTAL
                        So you're talking about taking
                        John Coffey to her. That's more
                        than just our jobs, Paul.

                                  DEAN
                        Damn right. That's prison time if
                        we get caught.

                                  HARRY
                        Let's not discuss this like it's
                        even an option. Brutal, help me
                        out here...

              Brutal lets out a deep breath, considering. He looks to Paul.

                                  BRUTAL
                        I'm sure she's a fine woman...

                                  JAN
                        The finest.

                                  PAUL
                        What's happening to her is an
                        offense, Brutal. To the eyes and
                        the ears and the heart.

                                  BRUTAL
                        I have no doubt. But we don't know
                        her like you and Jan do...do we?

                                  PAUL
                        That's why it's a lot to ask.

                                  HARRY
                        It is. Let's not forget Coffey's
                        a murderer. What if he escapes?
                        I'd hate losing my job or going to
                        prison, but I'd hate having a dead
                        child on my conscience even more.

                                  PAUL
                        I don't think that'll happen...
                               (beat, softly)
                        ...in fact, I don't think he did
                        it at all.

              The men are stunned by this. Off their looks:

                                  PAUL
                        I just can't see God putting a
                        gift like that in the hands of a
                        man who would kill a child.

                                  DEAN
                        Well, that's a tender notion, but
                        the man's on death row for the
                        crime. Plus, he's huge. If he
                        tried to get away, it'd take a lot
                        of bullets to stop him.

                                  BRUTAL
                        We'd all have shotguns in addition
                        to sidearms. I'd insist on that.
                               (to Paul)
                        He tried anything, we'd have to
                        take him down. You understand.

                                  PAUL
                        I understand.

                                  BRUTAL
                               (beat)
                        So. Tell us what you had in mind.

                                                       FADE TO BLACK

              IN BLACKNESS, A TITLE CARD APPEARS:

                                    "Night Journey"

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. INFIRMARY BUILDING/DISPENSARY - NIGHT

              A FLASHLIGHT BEAM plays across a glass cabinet, scanning the
              contents. The beam pauses. A hand enters frame, unlocks the
              cabinet, pulls out a bottle of morphine tablets...

              ...and WE ANGLE TO Brutal as he shakes half a dozen pills
              onto his palm, pockets them, replaces the bottle on the
              shelf. He turns and slips five bucks to a NIGHTSHIFT ORDERLY.

                                  BRUTAL
                        I was never here.

                                  ORDERLY
                        Shit, for five bucks, you was
                        never nowhere.

              INT. E BLOCK ACCESS TUNNEL - NIGHT

              A MORPHINE PILL is being crushed to powder on the stainless
              steel gurney. TILT UP to Paul crushing the pills. Brutal
              carefully scrapes the powder onto a small sheet of paper...

              INT. PAUL'S INNER OFFICE - NIGHT

              Percy is parked in Paul's chair with his feet up, reading a
              book titled: "CARING FOR MENTAL PATIENTS."

              INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT

              Harry and Dean are playing cards at the duty desk, tension
              thick, cards slapping softly as the seconds tick by. Paul and
              Brutal finally show up toting bottles of RC cola:

                                  BRUTAL
                        Fellas thirsty? Fresh out of the
                        icebox.

                                  DEAN
                        Oh, thanks. That's swell.

                                  HARRY
                        Yeah, hot in here.

              They begin popping the caps off, swigging cola. The sound of
              it brings Billy to his bars.

                                  BILLY
                        Hey. Hey, I'm'a get some too.

                                  BRUTAL
                        My ass you get some too.

                                  PAUL
                        You think you deserve any?

                                  HARRY
                               (checks a clipboard)
                        Day report says he's been okay.

                                  BILLY
                        Hell, yes, I been behaved. C'mon,
                        now, don't be stingy hogs.

              Paul shrugs to Brutal--why not? Brutal pops the top off a
              bottle, passes it to Paul. Paul grabs a tin cup, sets it on
              the desk...and we see it contains the morphine powder. He
              pours the cola, swirls it around...

              ANGLE THROUGH COFFEY'S BARS

              ...as Coffey looks up, sensing something happening. He peers
              up the Mile as Paul walks to:

              BILLY'S CELL

              Billy reaches for the cup, but Paul keeps it out of reach.

                                  PAUL
                        You gonna stay behaved?

                                  BILLY
                        C'mon, you clunk, gimme that.

                                  PAUL
                        You promise me, or I'll drink it
                        myself right here in front of you.

                                  BILLY
                        C'mon now, don't be that way. I be
                        good.

              Paul lets him take the cup. Billy knocks it back, draining it
              in three huge swallows. He lets out an awesome belch.

                                  PAUL
                        Cup.

                                  BILLY
                        We'll break out the fire hose and
                        take it anyway. And you will have
                        drunk your last R.C. cola. Unless
                        they serve 'em down in hell.

              Billy's smile fades. He hands the cup through the bars. Paul
              takes it, turns and heads back to--

              THE DUTY DESK

              --where Brutal, Harry, and Dean have been watching the entire
              exchange with their hearts in their throats...

                                                       DISSOLVE:

              ...and we find Billy staring glassy-eyed at the ceiling. He
              keels over on his bunk. ANGLE to Paul and Brutal stepping to
              the bars with Harry and Dean.

                                  PAUL
                        Anybody wants to back out, now's
                        the time. After this, there's no
                        turning back.
                               (off their looks)
                        So? We gonna do this?

              A voice comes softly from down the way:

                                  COFFEY
                        Sure. I'd like to take a ride.

              Their heads come slowly around, staring at Coffey in shock.

                                  BRUTAL
                               (to Paul)
                        Guess were all in.

              INT. PAUL'S OFFICE - NIGHT

              Percy looks up from his book as the door opens. Paul enters
              with Brutal and Harry, ominously hemming the desk.

                                  PERCY
                        What is this?

              Paul pulls the canvas straitjacket from behind his back.

                                  PAUL
                        Payback.

              Percy jumps up and tries to the execution chamber, but Harry
              grabs him, spins him back. A wild scuffle ensues as:

                                  PERCY
                        Let go of me! Let go!

                                  PAUL
                        Settle down, Percy!

              Percy tries to jerk away, crashes into the desk. The book he
              was reading falls to the floor--

              --and a "Tijuana Bible" is revealed within the pages. It's a
              pornographic cartoon book of the type popular in the '30's,
              featuring crude drawings of famous cartoon characters or
              movie stars engaged in outlandish sexual acts. This one has
              Olive Oyl getting it doggy-style from Popeye. The word
              balloon over his head features his famous laugh: "Uk-uk-uk-
              uk!"

                                  BRUTAL
                        Oooo, Poicy! What would your
                        mother say?

                                  PERCY
                        Let go, you ignoramus! I know
                        people! Big people!

                                  PAUL
                        So you've said. C'mon, stick out
                        your arms like a good boy.

                                  PERCY
                        I won't. And you can't make me.

                                  BRUTAL
                        You're dead wrong about that, you
                        know.

              Brutal grabs Percy by the ears, twisting hard. Percy lets out
              a shriek--not just of pain, but a dismayed understanding that
              he's not going to bluster his way out of this one.

                                  BRUTAL
                        You gonna put your arms up? I'll
                        rip your ears off. Use 'em for tea
                        caddies. You know I will.

                                  PAUL
                        The man's ripping your ears off,
                        Percy. I'd do as he says.

              Percy jerks his arms up before him. They get the straitjacket
              on him within seconds. Percy turns to Paul on the verge of
              tears. Softly:

                                  PERCY
                        Please, Paul. Don't put me in with
                        Wild Bill. Please.

                                  PAUL
                        You would think that.

              Paul gives him a hard, angry shove...

              INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT

              ...and they bring him down the Mile to the restraint room
              door. Brutal takes Percy's holster and baton.

                                  BRUTAL
                        You'll get 'em back, don't worry.

                                  PERCY
                        That's more than I can say about
                        your jobs. All your jobs! You
                        can't do this to me! You can't!

              Paul steps forward with a roll of strapping tape.

                                  PAUL
                        Let you in on a little secret. We
                        can and we are.

              He slaps the tape over Percy's mouth and shoves him back into
              the restraint room. Percy stands breathing heavily through
              his nose, making muffled mmmmph-mmmph! sounds under the tape.

                                  PAUL
                        You're going to have a few hours
                        of quiet time now, so you can
                        reflect on what you did to Del.

                                  BRUTAL
                               (grins)
                        If you get lonely, think about
                        Olive Oyl...
                               (thrusting his hips)
                        ...uk-uk-uk-uk!

              And they slam the door, shutting Percy into darkness.

              A WALL-MOUNTED GUN SAFE

              is unlocked, shotguns pulled out. The men load up, heading
              down the Mile as:

                                  PAUL
                        One more time--what do you say if
                        somebody comes by?

                                  DEAN
                        Coffey got upset, so we put him in
                        the restraint room. They hear any
                        noise, they'll think it's him.

              They come to Coffey's cell.

                                  COFFEY
                        We goan for the ride now?

                                  PAUL
                        That's right.

              The cell is unlocked. Coffey emerges. Paul motions them
              along, still grilling Dean:

                                  PAUL
                        What about us?

                                  DEAN
                        You're over in Admin, going over
                        Del's file. Brutal and Harry are
                        in the laundry doing their wash--

              A skinny white arm suddenly shoots out from Wild Bill's cell
              and grabs Coffey by the wrist. The men gasp, shocked to see
              Billy on his feet, grinning and weaving like a punch-drunk.

              Coffey's reaction is beyond simple surprise; he's actually
              trembling at Billy's touch as if some electrical circuit were
              engaged. His eyes are wide and horrified, as if he'd just put
              his hand in a basket full of snakes. He tries to pull away,
              but Billy has him tight, that mysterious circuit blazing.

                                  BILLY
                               (slurring wildly)
                        Where you fink you're goin'?

              Coffey responds softly, with utmost horror:

                                  COFFEY
                        You're a bad man.

                                  BILLY
                        S'right, nigger. Bad as you'd want.

              Paul plucks Billy's hand off Coffey's arm--and Coffey
              flinches back as the circuit is broken.

                                  BILLY
                        Whooeee. Whole room's spinning.
                        Like I'm shit-ass drunk. I have me
                        some shine or what?

              He turns and staggers back to his bunk, muttering all the way:

                                  BILLY
                        Niggers oughtta have they own
                        'lectric chair. White man oughtn't
                        havta sit in no nigger 'lectric
                        chair, nossir...

              He goes face-first onto his bunk. Coffey is still staring.

                                  COFFEY
                        He's a bad man.

              INT. EXECUTION CHAMBER - NIGHT

              Coffey is brought in...and freezes in horror at the sight of
              Old Sparky. A whisper:

                                  COFFEY
                        They're still in there. Pieces of
                        them, still in there. I hear them
                        screaming.

              All eyes go to the electric chair. It sits shrouded in shadow
              like an ominous throne. Never before has this place felt so
              haunted to the men. It makes the hairs on the neck stand up.

                                  PAUL
                        John, come along! Right now,
                        y'hear? C'mon! Toward that door!

              Coffey finally responds, pulling away...

              INT. E BLOCK ACCESS TUNNEL - NIGHT

              ...and they come down the steps. They realize Coffey will
              have to stoop all the way down the tunnel. Paul pats the
              gurney.

                                  PAUL
                        Lie down on this.
                               (off Coffey's look)
                        It'll be easier for you and no
                        harder for us.

              Coffey eases carefully onto the gurney, lying on his back.
              His knees hang over the edge and his toes touch the ground,
              but it works. They push him along, traversing the pools of
              light.

              Coffey actually starts to smile. He reaches out his arms,
              fingertips touching the tunnel walls as they go by.

                                  COFFEY
                        Say. This is fun.

              EXT. PRISON WALL - NIGHT

              A massive iron door SQUEALS open onto a little-used fenced
              enclosure. Paul and the others bring Coffey up from the
              tunnel below, emerging into the night. Coffey's breath
              catches as he gazes wondrously up at the stars, pointing:

                                  COFFEY
                        Look, boss! It's Cassie, the lady
                        in the rocking chair!

                                  PAUL
                        Shhh. John, you have to be quiet
                        now.

                                  COFFEY
                               (whispering)
                        You see her? You see the lady?

                                  BRUTAL
                        We see her, John.

              Harry goes first, hugging the shadows as he pulls his keys to
              unlock the gate...

              WIDE SHOT OF PRISON

              ...while TOWER GUARDS huddle in their enclosure atop the
              walls. An occasional SPOTLIGHT cuts the darkness. FIREFLIES
              dance in the fields and trees as far as the eye can see.

              Four dark figures detach from the shadows, hurrying across
              the lonely country road into the fields on the far side...

              EXT. WOODS - NIGHT

              Coffey's hand scoops up some fallen leaves. TILT UP to his
              face as he crunches them under his nose, inhaling their smell.

              He see the guards throwing him anxious looks. He misreads
              this, holds out his hand so they can smell too. They do it,
              just to make him happy.

                                  PAUL
                        C'mon, big boy, keep moving.

              A FEW FIREFLIES come winking through frame as the group
              presses on...

              ANOTHER AREA/WOODS

              The trees are growing sparser, opening onto fields. MORE
              FIREFLIES are flitting into view, trailing in their wake...

                                  BRUTAL
                        How far is it?

                                  HARRY
                        Just up ahead...

              Harry brings them to a thicket of trees. They start removing
              branches and boughs, uncovering a battered old FARMALL TRUCK
              hidden in the brush.

              The men pause. Even more fireflies are swirling around them,
              growing in number. It's getting downright weird.

              Coffey laughs softly, drawing their attention. A childlike
              smile has utterly transformed his face. He raises his hand,
              letting a firefly weave playfully in and out of his fingers.

                                  COFFEY
                        Hey there, little firefly. Where's
                        Mrs. Firefly this evening?

              Another firefly joins the first, both now dancing and
              blinking around his fingers. Coffey laughs again.

                                  COFFEY
                        Oh, there you is. You come out to
                        play too?

              The men stand gaping. The fireflies are flitting to Coffey as
              if to a beacon. He waves his hands slowly, fireflies blinking
              and trailing from his fingertips like magic dust.

              They begin orbiting his shiny bald head like tiny glowing
              planet orbiting a sun, their light kicking a mellow sheen off
              his ebony skin. Coffey's eyes meet Paul's.

                                  PAUL
                        They seem...drawn to you.

                                  COFFEY
                        I love 'em, is why. They don't
                        think no hurtful thoughts. They's
                        just happy to be. Happy little
                        lightning bugs...

              The men don't know whether to be enchanted or terrified.
              Harry gives Paul a look--can we go? Please?

                                  PAUL
                        C'mon, big boy. Upsy-daisy.

              Coffey clambers up on the stakebed. Paul and Brutal join him.
              Harry gets in behind the wheel, jabs the starter button...

              ON THE STAKEBED

              ...while Coffey sits with his back to the cab.

                                  PAUL
                        John? Do you know where we're
                        taking you?

                                  COFFEY
                        Help a lady?

                                  PAUL
                        That's right. Help a lady. But how
                        did you know?

                                  COFFEY
                        Dunno. Tell the truth, boss, I
                        don't know much'a anything. Never
                        have.

              The truck pulls out. Coffey waves as the fireflies get left
              behind, dwindling away like stars.

                                  COFFEY
                        Bye, fireflies. Bye.

              WIDE ANGLE OF COUNTRYSIDE

              The truck rumbles from the fields onto a dirt road, countless
              fireflies swirling in its wake...

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              EXT. MOORES HOUSE - NIGHT

              Headlights come over the rise. The truck appears, rumbling
              down toward the house. The world is isolated and still.

              IN THE TRUCK CAB

              Harry stops and cuts the engine, leaving the headlights on.
              Silence now, save for the trilling of crickets.

              IN THE STAKEBED

              Paul and Brutal both look terrified now that they're actually
              here. An urgent whisper:

                                  BRUTAL
                        We can still turn back.

              Paul hesitates, wanting to do just that, but:

                                  COFFEY
                        Boss, look. Someone's up.

              Lights are coming on inside the house. Coffey rises and steps
              down from the truck, pulling Paul along. Brutal follows them.

                                  BRUTAL
                        This is a mistake. Christ, Paul,
                        what were we thinking?

                                  PAUL
                        Too late now. Harry, keep John
                        here until we call you.

              Paul and Brutal walk to the front door as the lights inside
              the house keep clicking on. The last one finally comes on
              over the stoop, the front door opens a crack...and the twin
              barrels of a shotgun poke out into the night.

                                  HAL
                        Who the hell goes there at two-
                        thirty in the goddamn morning?

                                  PAUL
                        Hal, it's us! It's Paul and
                        Brutal--it's us!

              The door swings wider, revealing Hal's face gaunt and haggard
              in the yellow porch light, stunned to see them:

                                  HAL
                        Paul, what are you doing here at
                        this hour? Jesus, it's not a
                        lockdown, is it? Or a riot?

                                  PAUL
                        Hal, God's sakes, take your finger
                        off the trigger...

              Hal doesn't, aiming past them at the truck in the yard.

                                  HAL
                        Are you hostages? Who's out there?
                        Who's by that truck?

              Coffey steps into the glare of headlights with Harry tugging
              on his arm, trying to hold him back. Hal cocks both hammers.

                                  HAL
                        John Coffey! Halt! Halt right
                        there or I shoot!

              His aim wavers as a woman's voice comes from upstairs:

                                  MELINDA (O.S.)
                        Hal? Who are you talking to, you
                        fucking cocksucker?

              A frozen moment. Hal mortified. Paul gives him a look--is
              that Melinda?

              Hal's shotgun shifts back to Coffey--but Paul steps in front
              of the muzzle.

                                  PAUL
                        No one's hurt. We're here to help.

                                  HAL
                        Help what? I don't understand. Is
                        this a prison break?

                                  PAUL
                        I can't explain what it is. You
                        just have to trust me.

              Coffey comes up the steps, brushes Paul aside, stops before
              the warden. Hal blinks, his thoughts suddenly fuzzy--it's
              that benign hypnotic effect Coffey has.

                                  HAL
                        What do you...want?

                                  MELINDA
                        Hal! Make them go away! No
                        salesmen in the middle of the
                        night! No Fuller brushes! No
                        French knickers with come in the
                        crotch! Tell them to take a flying
                        fuck in a rolling d...d...

              We hear the sound of GLASS BREAKING, then she begins to sob.

                                  COFFEY
                               (a whisper)
                        Just to help. Just to help, boss,
                        that's all.

                                  HAL
                        You can't. No one can.

              Coffey pulls the shotgun gently from Hal's grasp, hands it to
              Paul. Coffey moves past Hal into the house...

              INT. HOUSE - NIGHT

              ...and comes up the hallway toward the stairs.

                                  HAL
                        Don't you go up there! Don't you
                        do it!

                                  COFFEY
                        Boss, you just be quiet now and
                        let me be.

              Coffey mounts the stairs with the others at his heels,
              heading up toward that quavering voice:

                                  MELINDA (O.S.)
                        Stay out of here! Whoever you are,
                        just stay out! I'm not dressed for
                        visitors, you rat's asshole!

              INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

              Coffey enters, trailed by the others. Paul pauses, horrified.

              The woman propped in bed barely resembles Melinda Moores
              anymore--she looks made up like a Halloween witch, her livid
              skin hanging in a loose trail of wrinkles, one corner of her
              mouth twisted. Yellowish bile stains her chin and the front
              of her nightgown. Her hair has gone white and straw-like, her
              eyes glowering at Coffey with lively, irrational interest:

                                  MELINDA
                        Oh, so big! Pull down your pants!
                        Let's have a look!

              Hal groans with despair. Coffey just stands there for a
              moment, watching her from a distance, then approaches the
              bed...

                                  MELINDA
                        Don't come near me, pigfucker.

              ...but as he draws closer, a change occurs. Her features
              soften, her eyes become more sane and aware.

                                  MELINDA
                        Why do you have so many scars? Who
                        hurt you so badly?

                                  COFFEY
                        Don't hardly remember, ma'am.

              Coffey sits on the edge of the bed. The lights seem to flare
              hotter and brighter. Tears are forming in Melinda's eyes.

                                  MELINDA
                        What's your name?

                                  COFFEY
                        John Coffey, ma'am. Like the
                        drink, only not spelt the same.

              She lays back, staring at him with shining fascination. The
              world seems to be slowing down, growing very still indeed...

              ...and he starts bending slowly toward her.

                                  COFFEY
                        Ma'am?

                                  MELINDA
                        Yes, John Coffey?

                                  COFFEY
                        I see it. I see it.

              He comes closer...closer still...

                                  COFFEY
                        You be still now. You be so quiet
                        and so still.

              He brushes her forehead with his lips...the gentlest whisper
              of a kiss...then moves his mouth down to hers. For a moment
              we can see one of her eyes staring past him, filling with an
              expression of surprise...

              ...and then her face is lost to view as Coffey puts his lips
              on hers. We hear a soft whistling sound as he begins inhaling
              the air deeply from her lungs. Something hot and glowing
              starts passing between them, drawn on his breath...

              The men watch. The house seems to shudder in that moment, as
              if the entire world has shifted an inch to the right...

              DOWNSTAIRS PARLOR

              ...and the grandfather clock stops ticking, the pendulum
              stopping dead, the glass face cracking neatly up the center...

              BEDROOM

              ...and a windowpane cracks. Then another. A picture falls off
              the wall. A lightbulb bursts, showering glass.

              Paul smells smoke, realizes the fringed coverlet of the bed
              has caught fire. Moving like a man in a dream, he reaches for
              the waterglass on the nightstand, douses the flames.

              Coffey keeps kissing Melinda in that deep and mysterious way,
              inhaling and inhaling, her hand held in his like a tiny white
              bird. For a moment we actually hear something screaming, as
              if some willful imp were being extracted by force...

              ...and then it's over. Coffey raises his head, revealing:

              Melinda's beautiful face. Her mouth no longer droops. Color
              is coming back to her hair. Her skin is shining with life.

              Coffey regards her raptly for a moment or two, then starts
              coughing violently.

              He turns away and drops to his knees, hacking like a man in
              the last stages of tuberculosis.

              Paul and his men are expecting Coffey to spit out the "bugs",
              but he doesn't--he just keeps coughing, deep and hard, barely
              finding time to snatch in the next breath of air.

              Hal goes to his wife, beyond stunned, sits at her side. She
              looks back at him with amazement, her face like a dirty
              mirror that's been suddenly wiped clean.

              John's coughing grows even worse. Brutal drops to his side
              and slaps his broad, spasming back.

                                  BRUTAL
                        John! Sick it up! Cough 'em out
                        like you done before!

              Coffey just keeps retching, eyes watering from the strain,
              spit flying from his mouth.

                                  BRUTAL
                        He's choking! Whatever he sucked
                        out of her, he's choking on it!

              Paul starts toward them. Coffey crawls away, pressing himself
              into a corner with his face against the wallpaper. He's still
              making gruesome deep hacking sounds, but getting it under
              control. He weakly waves Paul off--let me be.

              Paul looks to the bed. Hal sits with Melinda, stroking her
              brow. Color is blooming in her cheeks even as we watch.

                                  MELINDA
                        How did I get here? We were going
                        to the hospital in Indianola,
                        weren't we? We stopped and you
                        bought me a packet of posies...

                                  HAL
                        Shhh. It doesn't matter. It
                        doesn't matter anymore.

                                  MELINDA
                        Did I have the X-ray? Did I

                                  PAUL
                        Yes.

              They both look at him.

                                  PAUL
                        It was clear. There was no tumor.

              Hal bursts into tears. Melinda sits up, comforting him. Her
              eyes are drawn to the corner.

                                  MELINDA
                        Who is that man?

              Coffey is struggling to rise. Brutal does his best to help.

                                  PAUL
                        John? Can you turn around? Can you
                        turn around and see this lady?

              Coffey turns. His face is ashen gray, seriously ill.

                                  MELINDA
                        What's your name?

                                  COFFEY
                        John Coffey, ma'am.

                                  MELINDA
                        Like the drink, only not spelled
                        the same.

                                  COFFEY
                        No, ma'am. Not spelt the same at
                        all.

              She pushes the covers aside to rise. Hal tries to stop her...

                                  HAL
                        Melly, no...

              ...but she pushes his hand gently aside. Hal watches in
              wonder as she stands, takes a first tentative step...and
              walks to Coffey. She gazes up and touches his face.

                                  MELINDA
                        I dreamed of you. I dreamed you
                        were wandering in the dark, and so
                        was I. We found each other. We
                        found each other in the dark.

              She undoes her necklace, holds it up for him. He hesitates,
              glances to Paul. Paul nods--it's all right. Coffey lowers his
              head. Melinda affixes the delicate chain around his neck.

                                  MELINDA
                        It's St. Christopher. I want you
                        to have it, Mr. Coffey, and wear
                        it. He'll keep you safe. Please
                        wear it for me.

                                  COFFEY
                        Thank you, ma'am.

                                  MELINDA
                        Thank you, John.

              Her arms go around his neck, hugging him tightly as if she
              might never let go.

              EXT. MOORES HOUSE - NIGHT

              Paul and the men hustle Coffey out the front door toward the
              truck, helping him as best they can. He's weak as a baby,
              knees threatening to give out at any moment.

                                  PAUL
                        C'mon, John, stay on your feet.

                                  HARRY
                        Christ, he goes down, we'll need
                        three mules and a crane to pick
                        him up again...

              They get Coffey to the truck and throw their backs into it,
              helping him crawl up onto the stakebed. He rolls over on his
              back. Harry hops up, covers him with an old blanket. Brutal
              pulls aside, speaking low:

                                  BRUTAL
                        He'll never sit in Old Sparky. You
                        know that, don't you?
                               (off Paul's look)
                        He swallowed that stuff for a
                        reason. I give him a few days. One
                        of us'll be doing a cell check and
                        there he'll be. Dead on his bunk.

                                  PAUL
                        If that's his choice, he's earned
                        it.
                               (beat)
                        Let's get him back on the Mile.

                                                       FADE TO BLACK

              IN BLACKNESS, A TITLE CARD APPEARS:

                                  "Coffey on the Mile"

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT

              Dean starts babbling with relief as they return:

                                  DEAN
                        Am I glad to see you! You were
                        gone so long! Wild Bill's making
                        noises like he's gonna wake up...
                               (notices Coffey)
                        What the hell's wrong with him?

                                  BRUTAL
                        He's hurting, Dean. Hurting bad.

              Dean jumps in, helps them steer Coffey into his cell.

                                  PAUL
                        John, we're gonna set you on your
                        bunk now. Ready?

              Coffey nods, sits heavily on the bunk. He lowers his head,
              breath rasping like a rusted hinge. The guards step out.

                                  DEAN
                        What about Mrs. Moores? Was it
                        like the mouse? Was it a...you
                        know...a miracle?

                                  PAUL
                        Yes. Yes it was.

              Paul scans their faces. Smiles are traded. An exultant beat.

                                  HARRY
                        Damn. I think we got away with it.

                                  BRUTAL
                        We still gotta convince a certain
                        somebody to keep his trap shut.

                                  PAUL
                        Get his stuff.

              Dean hurries off to retrieve Percy's holster and baton.
              Brutal unlocks the restraint room door, swings it open. Percy
              is revealed sitting against the wall, glaring, his mouth
              still taped. Paul crouches down. Brutal joins him.

                                  PAUL
                        I want to talk, not shout. I take
                        the tape off, you gonna be calm.

              Percy nods. Paul takes hold of the tape, preparing to yank.

                                  BRUTAL
                        My mother always said if you do it
                        fast, it won't hurt so much.

              Paul rips the tape off. Percy's eyes water with pain.

                                  BRUTAL
                        I guess she was wrong.

                                  PERCY
                        Get me out of this nut-coat.

                                  PAUL
                        In a minute.

                                  PERCY
                        Now! Now! Right n--

              Paul slaps him hard, knocks him sideways. Percy looks up,
              blinking in surprise. Paul grabs him, yanks him back up.

                                  PAUL
                        You shut up and listen. You
                        deserved to be punished for what
                        you did to Del. You'll accept it
                        like a man, or we'll make you
                        sorry you were ever born. We'll
                        tell people how you sabotaged
                        Del's execution--

                                  PERCY
                        Sabotaged!

                                  PAUL
                        --and how you pissed yourself like
                        a frightened little girl. Yes,
                        we'll talk, that's a given--but,
                        Percy, mind me now...we'll also
                        see you beaten within an inch of
                        your life.

              Percy blinks, unable to grasp that.

                                  PAUL
                        We know people, too, are you so
                        foolish you don't realize that?
                        People with friends and loved ones
                        doing time in this prison. People
                        who'd be happy to amputate you
                        nose or your penis just so someone
                        they care about could get an extra
                        three hours in the exercise yard
                        every week.
                               (off Percy's look)
                        Let bygones be bygones. Nothing's
                        hurt so far but your pride...and
                        nobody need ever know about that
                        except the people in this room.

                                  BRUTAL
                        What happens on the Mile, stays on
                        the Mile. Always has.

              A long pause. Softly:

                                  PERCY
                        May I be let out of this coat now?

              They pull him to his feet, undo the straps. He shrugs out of
              the straitjacket and adjusts his clothes, trying to maintain
              a shred of dignity.

                                  PERCY
                        My things?

              Dean hands them over. Percy smooths his hair and puts his hat
              on, starts strapping on his holster belt.

                                  PAUL
                        Think it over, Percy.

                                  PERCY
                        Oh, I intend to. I intend to think
                        about it very hard. Starting right
                        now.

              Percy exits the restraint room. Brutal whispers to Paul:

                                  BRUTAL
                        He'll talk. Sooner or later.

              Paul nods with weary resignation--yeah, I know.

              ON THE MILE

              Percy pauses near Coffey's cell, careless as always, getting
              his holster buckled--and a massive black arm grabs him
              through the bars. His SCREAM brings Paul and the others from
              the restraint room.

              Coffey's face is pressed so tight between his bars it looks
              like he's trying to push his head through. He draws his lips
              back, baring his teeth in an awful sneer...

              Percy whacks him with his baton. Coffey barely seems to feel
              it. He curls his free hand around the back of Percy's head,
              pulling him ever closer...

              ...and Percy's screams are muffled as their mouths come
              together. Coffey begins exhaling as if he'd held his breath
              for hours. Percy jerks like a fish on a hook, but can't get
              away. The men jump in, try to pry Percy loose, hollering for
              Coffey to let him go.

              The black "insects" are flowing from Coffey to Percy,
              swirling into his mouth, up his nose, down his throat.

              Several lightbulbs explode in their steel cages up and down
              the Mile. Percy's baton drops from his nerveless fingers and
              clatters to the floor, never to be picked up again.

              And then Coffey steps back, rubbing his mouth as if he's
              tasted something bad. The color has returned to his skin.

              Percy, however, is ashen gray. His expression is blank as a
              sheet of paper, not a trace of awareness in his eyes.

              The men are stunned. Paul raises his hand to Percy's face,
              snaps his fingers. Nothing. He tries again, clapping loudly.
              Percy reacts slightly, eyes fluttering, swaying a bit.

                                  PAUL
                        Easy, easy. You all right?

              Percy says nothing. He turns and walks slowly up the Mile,
              his movements vacant and disjointed. He comes to a swaying
              stop at Wild Bill's cell...and turns slowly to look in.

              Wild Bill is coming painfully around, groggily clutching his
              head. He looks up, see Percy.

                                  BILLY
                        What'a you looking at, you limp
                        noodle? You wanna kiss my ass or
                        suck my dick?

              Nothing for the longest moment. Percy just staring...

              ...and then he pulls his gun and empties it into Wild Bill as
              fast as he can pull the trigger. BAM!BAM!BAM!BAM!BAM!BAM!
              Bill takes all six rounds in the chest, reeling back across
              the cell. He hits the wall and slides down, leaving a smear,
              his face registering a final look of stunned surprise.

              Paul and the other tackle Percy and bring him down, wrestling
              the gun out of his hand. Dean is almost weeping:

                                  DEAN
                        Oh God, oh God, no...

              Percy is flat on his back, staring up at nothing. The black
              "bugs" come drifting out of nose and mouth, swirling in the
              air over his head. They turn white and disappear.

              The men are speechless. Paul turns, sees Coffey sitting on
              the floor at his bars, watching.

                                  COFFEY
                        Punished them bad men.

                                  PAUL
                        Why Wild Bill? Why?

                                  COFFEY
                        I saw in his heart. When he grab
                        my arm, I saw what Wild Billy
                        done. Saw plain as day. Can't hide
                        what's in your heart.

                                  PAUL
                        What? Saw what?

              Coffey reaches toward him, straining through the bars.

                                  COFFEY
                        Take my hand, boss. You see for
                        yourself.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Paul, no!

              Paul hesitates, torn between reason and Coffey's pleading
              eyes. A whisper:

                                  COFFEY
                        My hand.

              Paul can't help it. He has to. Their hands come together.
              Paul lurches wildly as that circuit starts blazing between
              them...

                                  PAUL
                        No...please...

                                  COFFEY
                        Gots to, boss. Gots to give you a
                        little bit of myself. A gift,
                        like. A gift of what's in me so
                        you can see...

              ...and Paul sees:

              The Detterick twins. Kathe and Cora. Laughing and playing
              hopscotch in the dust under a later afternoon sun...

              A dinner table. Family having supper late in the day, basket
              of biscuits being passed. Twelve year old Howie Detterick
              taking it, passing it on...

              An hand with a paint brush slopping bright red paint on the
              side of a barn...

              Kathe skipping to the head of the hopscotch squares, turning
              and starting back, laughing in the sun...

              The paint brush slopping more paint, dripping like blood...

              Paul jerks and twists, trying to pull away, trying to break
              the circuit, but he can't, not till all is seen and done:

              Marjorie Detterick calling from the porch for everybody to
              come eat, supper's ready...

              A hammer pausing. Klaus looking down from atop the barn...

              The Detterick twins finishing their hopscotch, gathering
              their jump ropes from the dust, running across the yard...

              The basket of biscuits being passed to little Cora, who takes
              a biscuit and passes it on...

              Klaus coming down the ladder, calling to his daughters. The
              little girls running past the man with the paint brush, who
              turns and smile as they go by...it's Wild Bill.

              The basket of biscuits is passed one last time. A hand pulls
              one out, raises it for a bite. It's Wild Bill, smiling at the
              little girls as conversation flows around the table...

              Paul screams, trying to pull away, but:

              The porch door is kicked off its hinges just before dawn, a
              figure looming in the doorway. Kathe wakes, her scream cut
              short as the man's fist punches her hard in the face...

              Paul trembles violently as if riding the lightning himself,
              pleading for it to stop, but there's one last thing:

              Wild Bill looms over the terrified little girls like a
              horrendous boogeyman, whispers to Kathe:

                                  BILLY
                        You lover your sister? You make
                        any noise, know what happens? I'll
                        kill her instead of you.
                               (to Cora)
                        And if you make any noise, I'll
                        kill her.

              And he drags them out into the coming dawn...

              ...as Coffey lets Paul go. Paul is gasping, back in the real
              world where his men are staring at him with wide eyes.

                                  COFFEY
                        He kill 'em with they love. They
                        love for each other. You see how
                        it is?

              Paul nods, numb. Tears are flowing down Coffey's face. Softly:

                                  COFFEY
                        That's how it is ever' day. That's
                        how it is all over the worl'...

                                                       CUT TO:

              WILD BILL

              lies dead, staring with glassy eyes. A FLASHBULB POPS,
              rimming him with harsh blue light...

              INT. E BLOCK - DAWN

              ...as Hal arrives, wearing his pajama top under his overcoat.
              He sees the POLICE PHOTOGRAPHER taking pictures. The guards
              are giving statements to GROUPS OF COPS, everybody murmuring:

                                  DEAN
                        ...well, I dunno, he just snapped,
                        I guess...

                                  HARRY
                        ...s'right, one minute he's fine,
                        the next--blammo...

                                  BRUTAL
                        ...bastard grabbed him through the
                        bars a few days back, scared the
                        boy so bad he wet himself...

              Hal turns, sees:

              PERCY

              sits handcuffed on the floor of the Mile, eyes glassier than
              Wild Bill's. TWO COPS are trying to snap him out of it:

                                  COP #1
                        Son! Son! Can you hear me?

                                  COP #2
                        Speak up if you can hear us! We
                        gotta ask you some questions!

              A MEDIC is raising Percy's eyelid with his thumb, shining a
              penlight, getting no reaction.

                                  MEDIC
                        I think this boy's cheese slid off
                        his cracker.

              HAL

              sees Paul, motions him aside to talk privately:

                                  HAL
                        I'll cover you as much as I can,
                        even if it mean my job, but I have
                        to know. Does this have anything
                        to do with what happened at my
                        house? Does it, Paul?

              Paul looks Hal in the eye. As with Bitterbuck, the lie comes
              easy:

                                  PAUL
                        No.

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

              TRACKING A PAIR OF FEET shuffling into the room in hospital
              slippers, escorted by TWO ORDERLIES. The patient is brought
              to a window. The orderlies turn to leave...

              ...and we BOOM UP to reveal Percy, catatonic, staring out the
              same window where we met Wild Bill...

              EXT. HOSPITAL - DAY

              ...and we WIDEN SLOWLY from Percy at the window to reveal his
              last stop in life. It's emblazoned on the gate: BRIAR RIDGE
              MENTAL HOSPITAL. He finally got that transfer.

                                                       CUT TO:

              EXT. PAUL'S HOUSE - DUSK

              TIGHT ON PAUL as softly:

                                  PAUL
                        It makes sense. I read the file.
                        Hal even said it himself. Wharton
                        rambled all over the state last
                        few years, causing trouble. Hell,
                        longer than that. Been at it since
                        he was ten. Vandalism. Petty
                        theft. Setting fires.

              ANGLE SHIFTS to include Jan, Brutal, Harry and Dean. They're
              in the brambly patch that borders the woods behind the house.
              The sun is setting, turning the horizon fiery.

                                  JAN
                        You saw him. You actually saw this
                        Wild Bill person take those girls.

                                  PAUL
                        Their father hired him on for a
                        few days last spring, help repair
                        the barn. Cheap labor, just
                        another drifter...

                                  BRUTAL
                        Only not.

                                  PAUL
                        Sick bastard came back a month
                        later, just before dawn. Took the
                        girls...did what he did. Coffey
                        found them afterwards and tried to
                        help. It was too late.

                                  JAN
                               (absorbs this)
                        Then you can stop it. The
                        execution, I mean. Get Coffey a
                        new trial.

                                  PAUL
                        Based on what, honey? Some kind of
                        magical vision I had?

                                  JAN
                        Show this farmer--what's his name,
                        Detterick?--show him a picture of
                        Wild Bill.
                               (off their looks)
                        Why not? If Wharton was there...if
                        the farmer can identify his
                        picture and they know he was
                        there...

                                  BRUTAL
                        Him being there in May doesn't
                        mean he came back and killed those
                        girls in June. Even if he was
                        committing other crimes.

                                  PAUL
                        They got their killer as far as
                        they're concerned.

                        Hell, Coffey's own lawyer would
                        come throw the switch if we let
                        him.

                                  JAN
                        Then lie.

                                  PAUL
                        Lie? About what?

                                  JAN
                        Tell them Wharton confessed to the
                        crime. Brutus, you can back him
                        up, say you heard it too. You can
                        say that's what set Percy off. He
                        shot Wharton because he couldn't
                        stand thinking of what happened to
                        those two little girls, it snapped
                        his mind...
                               (seeing their looks)
                        ...what? What now?

                                  DEAN
                        We never reported anything like
                        that. We would've, too, everybody
                        knows it. It's part of our job.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Besides, confessing don't make it
                        so. Slugs like Wild Bill lie about
                        everything. Crimes they committed,
                        women they had, even the weather.

                                  JAN
                        But he was there! He painted their
                        barn! He ate dinner with them!

                                  PAUL
                        All the more reason he might take
                        credit for the crime. He's gonna
                        fry anyway, so why not boast?

              Jan stands thinking for a moment, then:

                                  JAN
                        All right. Then you've got to get
                        John Coffey out on your own.

                                  HARRY
                        Ma'am?

                                  JAN
                        You did it once, didn't you? Only
                        this time, don't bring him back.

              Dean blinks, stunned by this notion. Gently:

                                  DEAN
                        Ma'am, your son's grown up and
                        moved away. My kids are just
                        starting kindergarten. Will you be
                        the one to explain to them why
                        their daddy's in prison?

                                  JAN
                        Work out a plan. Make it look like
                        a real escape.

                                  HARRY
                        Better be a plan an imbecile could
                        dream up. Nobody'd believe it
                        otherwise.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Even if we did think of something,
                        it wouldn't do any good.

                                  JAN
                        Why not? Just why the hell not?

                                  PAUL
                        Because he's a six-foot-eight-inch
                        baldheaded black man with barely
                        enough brains to feed himself. How
                        long you think it'd be before he
                        was recaptured? Two hours? Six?

              Jan swipes a tear away with the heel of her hand. Softly:

                                  JAN
                        Do you mean to kill him, you
                        cowards? Do you?

              Paul tries to take her hand. She wrenches away, furious.

                                  JAN
                        Don't touch me! Next week this
                        time you'll be a murderer, no
                        better than that man Wharton, so
                        don't touch me!

              She runs off toward the house, starting to sob as we

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              INT  PAUL'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

              Paul is at the kitchen table in the wee hours, at his regular
              place, sipping his beer. Irving Berlin's "Remember" PLAYS
              SOFTLY on the radio. Jan comes down, looking miserable and
              exhausted.

                                  JAN
                        I'm so sorry I called you a
                        coward. I feel worse about that
                        than anything I've ever said to
                        you in our whole marriage.

                                  PAUL
                        Even that time we went camping and
                        you called me Old Stinky Sam?

              She can't help smiling at that. He returns the smile, offers
              her a sip of beer. She takes it, sits.

                                  JAN
                        Does Hal know? That Coffey's
                        innocent, I mean?
                               (Paul shakes his head)
                        Can he help? Does he have the
                        influence to do something about
                        this?

                                  PAUL
                        No.

                                  JAN
                        Then don't tell him. If he can't
                        help, don't tell him. Ever.

                                  PAUL
                        I won't.

                                  JAN
                               (beat)
                        There's no way out of this for
                        you, is there?

                                  PAUL
                        No. I've been thinking about it,
                        too, believe me.
                               (beat)
                        Tell you the truth, honey. I've
                        done some things in my life I'm
                        not proud of, but this is the
                        first time I've ever felt in real
                        danger of hell.

                                  JAN
                        Hell? Oh Paul...
                               (touches his face)
                        Talk to him. Talk to John. Find
                        out what he wants.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT

              Coffey sits quietly in his cell, a solitary firefly flitting
              in circles around his finger. Paul and the men appear. The
              firefly flits away, vanishing through Coffey's tiny window.

                                  COFFEY
                        Hello, boss.

                                  PAUL
                        Hello, John.

              Brutal unlocks his cell. Paul enters.

                                  PAUL
                        I guess you know we're coming down
                        to it now. Another couple of days.
                               (beat)
                        Is there anything special you'd
                        like for dinner that night? We can
                        rustle you up most anything.

              Coffey gives it some careful thought.

                                  COFFEY
                        Meatloaf be nice. Mashed taters
                        with gravy. Okra, maybe. I's not
                        picky.

                                  PAUL
                        What about a preacher? Someone you
                        could say a little prayer with?

                                  COFFEY
                        Don't want no preacher. You can
                        say a prayer, if you want. I could
                        get kneebound with you, I guess.

                                  PAUL
                        Me?

              Coffey gives him a look--please.

                                  PAUL
                        S'pose I could, if it came to that.

              Paul sits, working himself up to it:

                                  PAUL
                        John, I have to ask you something
                        very important right now.

                                  COFFEY
                        I know what you gonna say. You
                        don' have to say it.

                                  PAUL
                        I do. I do have to.
                               (beat)
                        John, tell me what you want me to
                        do. You want me to take you out of
                        here? Just let you run away? See
                        how far you can get?

                                  COFFEY
                        Why would you do such a foolish
                        thing?

              Paul hesitates, emotions swirling, trying to find the right
              words.

                                  PAUL
                        On the day of my judgement, when
                        I stand before God, and He asks me
                        why did I kill one of his true
                        miracles, what am I gonna say?
                        That is was my job? My job?

                                  COFFEY
                        You tell God the Father it was a
                        kindness you done.
                               (takes his hand)
                        I know you hurtin' and worryin',
                        I can feel it on you, but you
                        oughtta quit on it now. Because I
                        want it over and done. I do.

              Coffey hesitates--now he's the one trying to find the right
              words, trying to make Paul understand:

                                  COFFEY
                        I'm tired, boss. Tired of bein' on
                        the road, lonely as a sparrow in
                        the rain. Tired of not ever having
                        me a buddy to be with, or tell me
                        where we's coming from or going
                        to, or why. Mostly I'm tired of
                        people being ugly to each other.

                        I'm tired of all the pain I feel
                        and hear in the world ever' day.
                        There's too much of it. It's like
                        pieces of glass in my head all the
                        time. Can you understand?

              By now, Paul is blinking back tears. Softly:

                                  PAUL
                        Yes, John. I think I can.

                                  BRUTAL
                        There must be something we can do
                        for you, John. There must be
                        something you want.

              Coffey thinks about this long and hard, finally looks up.

                                  COFFEY
                        I ain't never seen me a flicker
                        show.

                                                       CUT TO:

              TIGHT ON COFFEY'S FACE

              gazing with wide-eyed, open-mouthed wonder, the light of a
              motion picture projector flickering on his skin...

              INT  PRISON AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

              ...while Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance up there on the
              big screen, images flowing in magical black and silver tone.

                                  FRED ASTAIRE
                               (singing)
                        Heaven, I'm in heaven...and my
                        heart beats so that I can hardly
                        speak...

              Paul and the men are scattered about in the otherwise empty
              auditorium, also watching.

              PROJECTION BOOTH

              Toot operates the projector, peering through the tiny window
              into the theater. He yawns, glances at his watch. Late.

              IN THE AUDITORIUM

              Fred and Ginger are now in the most passionate and graceful
              part of the dance. Irving Berlin's music swells.

              COFFEY

              can't believe what he's seeing. He's so excited his breath is
              caught in his throat. Softly:

                                  COFFEY
                        Why, they's angels. Angels. Just
                        like up in heaven...

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT

              FOUR PAIRS OF FEET come marching up the Green Mile.

              ANGLE ON COFFEY

              Paul appears at the bars with Brutal, Harry, and Dean.
              Nothing is said. Coffey knows why they're here. He rises as
              Brutal unlocks the cell, slides the door open. Coffey steps
              out, looks around at their dazed and sad faces.

                                  COFFEY
                        I be all right, fellas. This
                        here's the hard part. I be all
                        right in a little while.

              Paul indicates St. Christopher medal around John's neck:

                                  PAUL
                        John, I should have that just for
                        now. I'll give it back after.

              John lets him take the necklace. Paul pockets it. They start
              to walk the Mile as:

                                  COFFEY
                        You know, I fell asleep this
                        afternoon and had me a dream. I
                        dreamed about Del's mouse.

                                  PAUL
                        Did you, John?

                                  COFFEY
                        I dreamed he got down to that
                        place Boss Howell talked about,
                        that Mouseville place. I dreamed
                        there was kids, and how they
                        laughed at his tricks! My!

              He laughs at the memory of it, then grows more serious:

                                  COFFEY
                        I dreamed those two little blonde-
                        headed girls were there. They 'us
                        laughing, too. I put my arms
                        around 'em and sat 'em on my
                        knees, and there 'us no blood
                        comin' outta their hair and they
                        'us fine. We all watch Mr. Jingles
                        roll that spool, and how we did
                        laugh. Fit to bus', we was.

              Behind them, Dean stifles a sob.

              PAUL'S INNER OFFICE

              Coffey kneels. Paul joins him, self-conscious and uncertain.

                                  PAUL
                        What should we pray for, John?

                                  COFFEY
                        Strength?

              Paul nods--strength it is. Dean surprises Brutal and Harry by
              also kneeling. Brutal and Harry hesitate...then join them.

                                  PAUL
                        God, please help us finish what
                        we've started, and please welcome
                        this man, John Coffey--like the
                        drink, but not spelled the same--
                        into heaven and give him peace.
                        Please help us to see him off the
                        best we can and let nothing go
                        wrong. Amen.

              Paul starts to rise, but Coffey takes his hand.

                                  COFFEY
                        I know a prayer I once heard. Can
                        I say it?

                                  PAUL
                        You go right ahead, John. Take all
                        the time you need.

              Coffey closes his eyes, frowning in deep concentration.

                                  COFFEY
                        Baby Jesus, meek and mild, pray
                        for me...

              And Paul sees:

              Kathe and Cora Detterick kneeling together in the enclosed
              porch that night, just before their bedtime:

                                  KATHE AND CORA
                        ...and every child. Be my
                        strength, be my friend...

              And then the vision is gone as:

                                  COFFEY
                        ...be with me until the end. Amen.

              Coffey rises, offers Paul his hand, helps him up.

              EXECUTION CHAMBER

              Full house tonight. Bill Dodge is waiting at Old Sparky.

              Silence as Coffey is led in, all eyes on him. Klaus and
              Marjorie Detterick are in the front row. She mutters:

                                  MARJORIE
                        Die slow, you bastard.

              COFFEY

              is faltering as Paul and Brutal bring him to the chair.

                                  COFFEY
                        They's a lot of folks here hate
                        me. A lot. I can feel it. Like
                        bees stinging me. It hurts.

                                  BRUTAL
                        Feel how we feel, then. We don't
                        hate you--can you feel that?

              Coffey tries to take comfort in it, but flinches as:

                                  MARJORIE
                        Kill him twice, you boys! You go
                        on and kill that raping baby-
                        killer twice, that'd be fine!

              She dissolves into tears. Klaus pulls her against his
              shoulder, looking dazed by the whole thing.

              Paul and Brutal turn John around, sit him down. Paul notices
              Dean crying again, his back to the witnesses. They kneel to
              apply the leg clamps, while Brutal and Harry secure the arms.

                                  PAUL
                        Wipe you face before you stand up,
                        Dean.

              Dean nods, wiping his face with the sleeve of his coat. They
              rise, stepping back. This time, Paul's out front:

                                  PAUL
                        Roll on one.

              Van Hay cranks the generator. The lights flare hotter and
              brighter. It's just like in Melinda's bedroom the night
              Coffey cured her with a kiss. Airless and bright, dreamlike.

                                  MARJORIE
                        Does it hurt yet? I hope it does!
                        I hope it hurts like hell!

                                  PAUL
                        John Coffey...you have been
                        condemned to die in the electric
                        chair by a jury of your
                        peers...sentence imposed by a
                        judge in good standing in this
                        state. Do you have anything to say
                        before sentence is carried out?

              John hesitates, nods.

                                  COFFEY
                        I'm sorry for what I am.

                                  MARJORIE
                        You ought to be! Oh, you monster,
                        you damn well ought to be!

              Brutal takes the mask from the hook to draw it over Coffey's
              head. Coffey looks to Paul with terrified, pleading eyes.

                                  COFFEY
                        Please, boss, don't put that thing
                        over my face. Don't put me in the
                        dark, I's afraid of the dark.

                                  PAUL
                        All right, John.

              Brutal puts the mask back, proceeds with the sponge.

              IN TIGHT ANGLES

              The cap is lowered, the straps drawn. Coffey is breathing
              fast, terrified, muttering under his breath:

                                  COFFEY
                        ...heaven...I'm in heaven...
                        heaven...heaven...heaven...

              THE WITNESSES

              sit and wait, barely breathing.

              JACK VAN HAY

              is poised at the switch, wondering why the order won't come.

              PAUL

              is staring at Coffey, unable to say the words.

                                  BRUTAL
                               (whispers)
                        Paul. You have to say it. You have
                        to give the order.

              Paul can't. He reaches out and touches Coffey's hand. Their
              fingers clasp. In that moment, staring into his eyes, Paul
              hears the last thought that ever goes through Coffey's head:

                                  COFFEY
                               (whispered V.O.)
                        He kill 'em with they love. That's
                        how it is ever' day. All over the
                        worl'...

              Their fingers disengage. Paul steps back, eyes still locked
              with Coffey's, and says the hardest words he's ever spoken:

                                  PAUL
                        Roll on two.

              Van Hay throws the switch. Coffey surges forward, fingers
              splayed and jittering past Old Sparky's arms.

              Lights begin blowing out all over the Mile, raining shattered
              glass and sparks. Some of the witnesses scream.

              A thin line of blood comes trickling out of Klaus Detterick's
              nose. He reaches up, absently wipes it away.

              Coffey's eyes are locked on Paul's, riding the lightning all
              the way. He finally slumps. Van Hay kills the current.

              Coffey's expression is peaceful, as if sleeping. A final pair
              of tears drift gently down his cheeks.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. ACCESS TUNNEL - NIGHT

              Paul ever so carefully replaces the St. Christopher's medal
              around Coffey's neck. They wheel him down the tunnel.

                                                       CUT TO:

              INT. PAUL'S MODEL T - NIGHT

              Paul drives home, his heart numb.

              EXT. PAUL'S HOUSE - NIGHT

              Paul pulls in, cuts the engine. He sits for a moment, then
              gets out and heads for the house.

              The door opens. Jan steps out in her nightgown and robe to
              meet him on the stairs. She takes him in her arms.

              Paul can't hold it back anymore. He breaks down sobbing
              against her as we

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              INT. NURSING HOME SUNROOM - PRESENT DAY

              It's late in the day as:

                                  PAUL
                        That was the last execution I ever
                        took part in. Just couldn't do it
                        anymore after that. Brutal either.
                        We both transferred out, took jobs
                        with Boys' Correctional.
                               (beat, nods)
                        That was all right. Catch 'em
                        young, that became my motto. Might
                        even have done some good.

              ANGLE SHIFTS TO Elaine listening. Uncertain.

                                  PAUL
                        You don't believe me.

                                  ELAINE
                        I don't imagine you would lie to
                        me, Paul. It's just that...

                                  PAUL
                        ...It's quite a story.

                                  ELAINE
                        Yes. Quite a story.
                               (pause)
                        One thing I don't understand. You
                        said you and Jan had a grownup son
                        in 1935. Is that right?
                               (Paul nods)
                        But if that's true...

                                  PAUL
                        The math doesn't work, does it?

              She shakes her head. Paul thinks for a moment, comes to a
              decision.

                                  PAUL
                        You feel up to a walk?

                                                       CUT TO:

              EXT. GEORGIA PINES - DAY

              The rain has mostly stopped. Brad Dolan, back in street
              clothes, gets in his pickup truck and drives away...

              INT. NURSING HOME - DAY

              ...while Paul and Elaine watch from a window.

              EXT. GEORGIA PINES - DAY

              This time, we see two red specks trudging slowly up the ridge
              toward the treeline.

                                                       CUT TO:

              EXT. WOODS - DAY

              Paul brings Elaine along the wooded path into view of the
              storage shacks. They're both wearing ponchos.

                                  PAUL
                        There. It's in there.

                                  ELAINE
                        Paul? This thing you want to show
                        me. Is it scary?

                                  PAUL
                        Scary? No. Not really.

              He gives her a smile, offers his hand. She takes it.

              INT. SHACK - DAY

              We see Paul approach through the grimy window as before, this
              time bringing Elaine. ANGLE SHIFTS to the door as they
              arrive, creaking open on rusty hinges to reveal them.

              They enter. Elaine looks around at the musty nooks and
              crannies, wondering what they're doing here. Paul touchers
              arm, directs her attention:

                                  PAUL
                        There.

              Elaine moves closer, sees it on the dusty floorboards:

              An old cigar box.

              For a moment, she doesn't know what to make of it.

                                  PAUL
                        Hey. Wake up, old boy. Wake up.

              Elaine's breath catches in her throat...

              ...as a pair of bright oilspot eyes peer over the edge of the
              cigar box. It's a mouse. His fur, once brown, is now all gray.

                                  ELAINE
                        Paul? It isn't...it can't be...

              Paul gets down on the floor, holds out his hand.

                                  PAUL
                        Come over here, boy. Come on over
                        her and see this lady.

              The mouse tries several times to get over the side of the
              cigar box before he finally makes it. He comes to them,
              hobbling and crippled with arthritis. Paul pulls a slice of
              toast from his pocket, breaks off a small piece for the mouse.

                                  ELAINE
                        That can't be Mr. Jingles.

              Paul says nothing, just pulls a spool from his pocket. Mr.
              Jingles might be old, but he's as obsessed as ever. He gets
              ready to fetch, eyes riveted to the spool. Softly:

                                  PAUL
                        Messieurs et mesdames. Beinvenue
                        au cirque du mousie.

              Paul tosses the spool. The mouse limps painfully after it. He
              reaches it, goes around...and has to lay down to catch his
              breath. Elaine starts forward, but Paul holds her back.

              After a moment, Mr. Jingles finds his feet again. He rises
              and starts nosing the spool back to Paul.

                                  ELAINE
                        Oh, Paul. Don't make him do it
                        again. I can't bear to watch.

                                  PAUL
                               (softly)
                        But he loves it so much.

              He glances around at the shack with a sad smile.

                                  PAUL
                        This isn't exactly the Mouseville
                        we had in mind...but we make do,
                        don't we, old fella?

                                  BRAD (O.S.)
                        As I live and breathe!

              They gasp and spin. Brad Dolan stands in the doorway.

                                  BRAD
                        Fooled you, didn't I Got yourself
                        a little love nest here, I see...

              He pauses, seeing Mr. Jingles.

                                  BRAD
                        ...what the fuck? Is that a mouse?

                                  PAUL
                        Don't hurt him, okay? Okay?

                                  BRAD
                        It's a goddamn mouse, y'old fool,
                        they carry all kind'a disease...

              Brad grabs an old garden hoe--the blade's rusted, but still
              sharp enough to cut a mouse in two.

                                  BRAD
                        ...now step aside.

              Paul rushes in front of Brad, fists clenched, yelling:

                                  PAUL
                        You leave him alone, Percy! You
                        leave him alone, or by God I'll--

              Brad gives Paul a hard shove, pins him against the wall.

                                  BRAD
                        Who you calling Percy? Name's
                        Brad, you senile fucker. And I'm
                        gonna nail that mouse, you can
                        take that to the everfucking bank.

              Elaine is suddenly at Brad's elbow, seething with fury:

                                  ELAINE
                        How dare you? Get out!

                                  BRAD
                        Piss off, you wrinkeldy old bitch.
                        Me and Paulie are talking.

                                  ELAINE
                        His name is Mr. Edgecomb. If you
                        ever call him Paulie again, your
                        days of employment at Georgia
                        Pines will end.

                                  BRAD
                        Who the hell you think you are?

                                  ELAINE
                        I am the grandmother of the man
                        who is currently Speaker of the
                        Georgia House of Representatives.
                        A man who loves his relatives, Mr.
                        Dolan. All it would take is a
                        phone call.

              Brad's smile falters. Elaine steps closer.

                                  ELAINE
                        At first I thought I'd let you be.
                        I'm old, and that seemed easiest.
                        But when my friends are threatened
                        and abused, I do not let it be.
                               (icy beat)
                        Now get out, or you won't work
                        another day here. Not another
                        hour. I swear it.

              Brad eases his grip on Paul...and backs off.

                                  BRAD
                        Don't know what you're getting so
                        het up about. Just a damn mouse.

                                  ELAINE
                        Get out, you ignorant man. What
                        little mind you have is ugly and
                        misdirected.

              Brad flushes red, heads for the door. He pauses.

                                  BRAD
                        Don't bother coming back here
                        tomorrow...Mr. Edgecomb Gonna be
                        a new lock on this door. This is
                        off-limits to residents, no matter
                        what Mrs. My Shit Don't Stink has
                        to say about it.

              And off he goes. Paul tries to control the shaking in his
              hands, looks to Elaine.

                                  ELAINE
                        Little trick I learned from Percy
                        Wetmore.

                                  PAUL
                        Is your grandson really Speaker of
                        the House?

                                  ELAINE
                        He is.

              Paul bends down, picks Mr. Jingles up.

                                  PAUL
                        You gonna thank the lady? She just
                        saved your old mousie hide.

              The mouse stretches his neck forward, nose twitching,
              smelling Paul's breath. Paul looks to Elaine. Softly:

                                  PAUL
                        I think Mr. Jingles happened by
                        accident. I think when we
                        electrocuted Del, and it all went
                        so badly...well, John could feel
                        it, you know...and I think a tiny
                        part of whatever was inside of him
                        just leapt out...
                               (beat)
                        Me, I was no accident. John had to
                        give me a little part of
                        himself...a gift, like...so I
                        could see for myself what Wild
                        Bill had done. When John did that,
                        a part of whatever power worked
                        through him spilled into me.

                                  ELAINE
                        He...what? Infected you with life?

              Paul looks at the mouse, strokes him gently between the ears.

                                  PAUL
                        That's as good a word as any. He
                        infected us both, didn't he, Mr.
                        Jingles. With life.
                               (beat)
                        I'm a hundred and five years old,
                        Elaine. I was forty the year John
                        Coffey walked the Green Mile.

                                  ELAINE
                        ...oh my God...

              CAMERA PUSHES SLOWLY IN on Paul as:

                                  PAUL
                        I haven't even had a cold since
                        1935. I've had to watch my friends
                        and loved ones die off through the
                        years...Hal and Melinda...Brutus
                        Howell...my wife...my son...
                               (beat)
                        ...and you, Elaine. You'd die,
                        too, and my curse is knowing I'll
                        be there to see it...

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              INT. FUNERAL HOME - DAY

              Paul, dressed in a dark suit, comes up the aisle. ANGLE
              SHIFTS to reveal Elaine Connelly lying in the open casket.

                                  PAUL (V.O.)
                        ...that's my punishment, you see?
                        My punishment for letting John
                        Coffey ride the lightning...for
                        killing a miracle of God...

              Paul lays a rose atop the casket.

                                  PAUL (V.O.)
                        ...you'll be gone, like all the
                        others, and I'll have to stay...

              EXT. CEMETERY - DAY

              Paul stands at the graveside as the casket is lowered.

                                  PAUL (V.O.)
                        I'll die eventually, I imagine. I
                        have no illusions of immortality.
                        But I will have wished for death
                        long before death finds me.

              He turns and walks away.

                                  PAUL (V.O.)
                        In truth, I wish for it already.

              INT. E BLOCK - NIGHT(1935)

              Empty and silent. Young Paul walks the Mile alone, listening
              to the quiet. He pauses, seeing something. A whisper:

                                  PAUL
                        Mr. Jingles?

              It is Mr. Jingles. The little mouse is peering from under the
              restraint room door. He's come home, looking bedraggled. Paul
              bends down, gently picks him up.

                                  PAUL
                        Where you been, boy? I've been
                        worried about you. You hungry?

              Paul turns and head back up the Green Mile, carrying the
              mouse cupped in his hands as we

                                                       MATCH DISSOLVE TO:

              INT. NURSING HOME - DAY

              Young Paul transforms into Old Paul in the dissolve, the
              corridor of the Green Mile becoming the corridor of the
              nursing home. He's walking along, holding the little mouse
              the same way he did over sixty years ago.

                                  PAUL (V.O.)
                        I lie in bed most nights, thinking
                        about it. And I wait...

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

              INT. PAUL'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

              Paul lies awake, staring at the moon outside his window.

                                  PAUL (V.O.)
                        I think about all the people I've
                        loved, now long gone.

                        I think about my beautiful Jan,
                        and how I lost her so many years
                        ago. I think about all of us
                        walking our own Green Mile, each
                        in our own time. But one thought,
                        more than any other, keeps me
                        awake most nights...
                               (beat)
                        ...if he could make a mouse live
                        so long, how much longer do I have?

              He looks over at the nightstand...

                                  PAUL (V.O.)
                        We each owe a death, there are no
                        exceptions, but sometimes, oh God,
                        the Green Mile is so long...

              ...and WE PAN to reveal Mr. Jingles sleeping fitfully in his
              cigar box, chasing that spool in his dreams as we

                                                       FADE OUT:

              --------------------------------------------------------------

Green Mile, The



Writers :   Stephen King  Frank Darabont
Genres :   Drama  Fantasy


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