The Internet Movie Script Database (IMSDb)


The web's largest
movie script resource!

Search IMSDb

Alphabetical
# A B C D E F G H
I J K L M N O P Q
R S T U V W X Y Z

Genre
Action Adventure Animation
Comedy Crime Drama
Family Fantasy Film-Noir
Horror Musical Mystery
Romance Sci-Fi Short
Thriller War Western

Sponsor

TV Transcripts
Futurama
Seinfeld
South Park
Stargate SG-1
Lost
The 4400

Movie Software
DVD ripper software offer
Rip from DVD
Rip Blu-Ray

Latest Comments
Jackie Brown10/10
Usual Suspects, The7/10
Usual Suspects, The10/10
Social Network, The8/10
Rushmore8/10

Movie Chat



ALL SCRIPTS





 
                                   THE ROAD



                                  Written by

                                 Joe Penhall



                     Based on THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy                        

                         

                         

                         

          EXT. CORN FIELD - DAY

          The intense BUZZING of summer insects and the SONG of
          songbirds. A birds eye view of a bucolic mid west farming
          landscape, corn field, blue skies, sunshine, a FARMER
          PLOUGHING a nearby field with a TRACTOR, grain silos and a
          hay stack. A MAN with a horse. A clapboard house with a
          strawberry field, a woman's hand picks strawberries; a WOMAN
          lying in grass, lazing...

          OPENING CREDITS...

          INT. DINING ROOM/HOME - NIGHT

          Next to book shelves and an upright piano, with sheet music
          on the stand - CHOPIN. There is also a dining room table with
          leftovers from an abandoned meal - strawberries and cream.

          INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT 

          MONTH LATER - a warm night, the MAN is asleep with the same
          WOMAN, now pregnant, no sheets on the bed. The MAN is
          restless and wakes. A distant RUMBLING, indistinct - the MAN
          swings his feet off of the bed and goes to the window,
          anxious.

          INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT

          The MAN is in his shorts, sweating, putting a plug in the
          bath and turning on the taps as far as they will go. The
          WOMAN appears in the doorway in a nightdress and leans
          against the door frame watching, blearily, cradling her
          pregnant belly.

          WOMAN. 
          Why are you taking a bath? 

          MAN. 
          I'm not. 
          The WOMAN takes off her nightdress and goes to the bath. 

          WOMAN. 
          You'll sleep better. 
          He looks at her, surprised she's misunderstood. 

          MAN. 
          I'm not! Put your clothes back on. 
          She sees he's looking out the window now - there's an eery 
          rose-colored glow of distant fire through the glass - and 
          distant shouts and screams... 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          2.

                         CONTINUED:

          WOMAN. 
          What is it? What's happening? 

          END OF FLASHBACK: 

          TITLE: THE ROAD.

          EXT. CAMPSITE - DAWN

          A MAN of about forty and a BOY of ten are asleep, camped on a
          tarp under a rock ledge, the blackened chasm of a burnt
          valley spread out below. It is the same man seen earlier -
          but ten years older, thinner, malnourished, with a thick
          beard. They are both emaciated and exhausted, their faces and
          hands coated in grime and soot from the burned, blackened
          landscape around them. Ash falls on the tarp, which is bright
          synthetic blue, the only color in sight.
           The MAN is woken by something, he instinctively reaches out 
           to touch the BOY, his hand rests on his chest and rises and 
           falls with each of the sleeping BOY's breaths. 
           There is a low RUMBLE, the ground starts to TREMBLE and the 
          BOY wakes. 

           BOY. 
           Papa? (NO REPLY.) Papa? 

           MAN. 
           Shh. It's okay. 

           BOY. 
           What is it, Papa? 
          They listen as it grows NEARER and LOUDER, everything
          SHAKING, tree roots GROANING and SPLITTING, until it passes
          between them with a ROAR like a subway train right beneath
          them. The BOY is now clinging to the MAN and crying, his head
          buried against his chest in fear.

          MAN. 
          Shh. It's all right. It's all 
          right. It's gone. 

          BOY. 
          What was it, Papa?

          MAN.
          It was an earthquake.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          3.

          EXT. ROAD - DAY

          In the burnt, barren landscape, through swirls of soft ash
          and smoggy air the MAN appears dressed in a filthy old PARKA
          with the hood up, a knapsack on his back, pushing a rusted
          shopping CART with a bicycle mirror clamped to the handle and
          the BLUE tarp now covering it's load. The little BOY,
          similarly dressed with a KNAPSACK on his back, shuffles
          through the ash at his side - like Depression-era Dust Bowl
          homeless.
           There is a flicker of lightning over head, then more, but no 
          thunder. 

           MAN. (V.0.)
          The clocks stopped at one seventeen
          one morning. There was a long shear
          of bright light, then a series of
          low concussions.

          EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE/ CRACKED ROAD - DAY 

           Broken asphalt, the earthquake has caused a large FISSURE to 
          open up ALONGSIDE the road, with a sheer drop. 
           THE MAN and THE BOY edge past burnt trees and scrub. 

          MAN. (V.0.)
          Within a year there were fires on
          the ridges and deranged chanting.
          The screams of the murdered. By day
          the dead impaled on spikes along
          the road.

          EXT. LAKE - DAY 

           They trudge past a vast lake filled with dead trees... 

           MAN. (V.0.) 
           I think it's October but I can't be 
           sure. I haven't kept a calender for 
           5 years. 

          EXT. MOUNTAINSIDE - DAY 

          They truck along with the trolley through the fog, the
          ghostly shapes of dead trees on either side and the shapes of
          barren mountains in the background...

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          4.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN. (V.0.)
          Each day is more gray than the one
          before. Each night is darker -
          beyond darkness. The world gets
          colder week by week as the planet
          slowly dies. No animals have
          survived. All the crops are long
          gone.

          EXT. EDGE WOODS - DAY 

           A tree falls behind them with a WHUMP and they jump... 

           MAN (V.0.) 
           Someday all the trees in the world 
           will have fallen. 

          EXT. GAS STATION - DAY 

           The MAN forages for petrol, checking the nozzle of the pumps, 
           rummaging through empty oil cans, he upends a bin to get at 
          the empty oil bottles. 
           The BOY picks up a phone on a wall and listens to the dead 
          earpiece. 

           MAN. (V.0.)
          The roads are peopled by refugees
          towing carts and road gangs
          carrying weapons, looking for fuel
          and food.

          EXT. LONG ROAD - DAY 

           They head down a long straight road towards a dark, 
           forbidding looking tunnel - a turnpike. 

           MAN. (V.0.) 
           There has been cannibalism. 
           Cannibalism is the great fear. 

          EXT. CITY - DAY 

           They emerge before a view of a deserted city-state... 

          EXT. MALL - DAY

           They forage in a deserted mall... 
           There are skeletons and human bones here and there. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          5.

                         CONTINUED:

           MAN. (V.0.)
           Mostly I worry about food. Always
           food. Food and our shoes.
           CU - the BOY examines the head of a moose mounted on a wall 
          in a SEARS hunting store. 

           MAN. (V.0.) (CONT'D)
          Sometimes I tell the boy old
          stories of courage and justice -
          difficult as they are to remember.
          All I know is the child is my
          warrant and if he is not the word
          of God, then God never spoke.

          END OF CREDITS/MUSIC. 

          EXT. RIDGE/ CAMPSITE - (CAMP 2) - EVENING 

           They are camped high up on the ridge of a mountainside. 
           There is a camp fire with wet clothes hanging to dry on
          sticks beside it.
           The MAN is erecting the tarp over string tied between two 
           sticks stuck in the ground. The BOY is sitting lighting a
           lantern using the scavenged oil inside the makeshift tent, 
           his shadow stark against the illuminated tarp. 

           BOY. 
           Now you can read me a story. 
           He gets out a BOOK and looks at the pictures in the
          lamplight.
           The MAN reads him a story... 

          EXT. RIDGE/CAMPSITE - (CAMP 2) - NIGHT 

          The MAN awakens bathed in firey light as if the sun has come
          out. There is pale gray snow all around him with a quivering
          orange glow. He gets up to investigate, looks to the line of
          trees up the ridge where a FOREST FIRE is burning, CRACKLING
          in the distance. He stands staring at the fire, the warmth
          and light moving him, enlivening him and not frightening him
          at all. The BOY has got up and appears at his side, yawning.
          He looks at the sky at a single gray SNOWFLAKE drifting down.

          BOY.
          It's snowing!

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          6.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          It's like it used to be when the
          sun came out.
           The BOY catches the snowflake in his hand, surprised.

          EXT. ROAD/PLAIN - DAY

          They travel along the road through drifting wood smoke, smoke
          pouring off the ground like mist and thin black trees burning
          like candles on the snowy ridge.
          They reach a spot where fire has crossed the road melting the
          tarmac. Their feet stick in the molten tarmac, it sucks at
          their shoes and they stop. Just ahead they see a set of foot
          prints in the tar and study them.

          BOY.
          Who is it?

          MAN.
          I don't know.
          The MAN looks through a pair of BINOCULARS and sees: A
          stooped figure up ahead, a DYING MAN dragging one leg
          slightly, limping along. He stops and stands uncertainly,
          then continues. The BOY sees him too.

          BOY.
          What should we do Papa?

          MAN.
          We're all right. Let's just follow
          and watch.

          BOY.
          Take a look.

          MAN.
          Yeah. Take a look.

          EXT. ROAD/HILL - LATE AFTERNOON

          The DYING MAN is getting slower and slower as they climb a
          slope, following, until he finally stops and simply sits in
          the road. The BOY hangs onto the MAN's coat anxiously as they
          approach.
          POV BOY - the DYING MAN is burnt, his clothing scorched and
          skin black with soot. One eye is burnt shut and his hair is a
          nitty wig of ash. His shoes are bound with wire and coated
          with road tar.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          7.

                         CONTINUED:
          As they pass by the DYING MAN looks down, averting his eyes.
          The BOY keeps looking, unable to take his eyes off him.

          BOY.
          Papa, what's wrong with that man?

          MAN.
          He's been struck by lightning.

          BOY.
          Can't we help him? Papa?

          MAN.
          No. We can't help him.
          They keep walking away and the BOY tugs at the MAN's coat.

          BOY.
          Papa?

          MAN.
          Stop it.

          BOY.
          Can't we help him, Papa?

          MAN.
          No. We can't. There's nothing to be
          done for him.

          EXT. BRIDGE - (CAMP 3) - EVENING

          They are camped under the bridge, ash and slurry drift by on
          the river, a dull sulphur light from the fires glows against
          the sky. The BOY sits in silence with his back to the MAN. 

          MAN.
          There's nothing we could have done.
          (NO REPLY.) He's going to die. We
          can't share what we have or we'll
          die too.

          BOY.
          I know.

          MAN.
          So when are you going to talk to me
          again?

          BOY.
          I'm talking now.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          8.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          Are you sure?

          BOY.
          Yes.

          EXT. BARN - DAY

          They come to a barn beside the road. They look at each other.

          MAN.
          Let's take a look.
          The man picks up the revolver and they go inside cautiously.

          INT. BARN - DAY

          Three pairs of FEET wearing different shoes - a man's shoes,
          a woman's shoes, and a CHILD's sneakers - hang above three
          carefully placed chairs.

          MAN.
          Don't look.
          The BOY looks at the ground.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          You don't need to see this.
          The BOY takes a few steps, exploring, he eyes the empty hay
          loft but avoids looking at the hanged bodies.

          BOY.
          There could be something here.
          There could be corn or something.

          MAN.
          No, they ran out of food.

          BOY.
          Maybe we could find some hayseeds
          in the hayloft?
          Now the BOY goes over to the swinging CORPSES, oddly curious.

          MAN.
          It's not what-you think. They
          committed suicide.

          BOY.
          What does that mean?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          9.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          You know what that means.
          The MAN GOES outside while the BOY thinks about it a moment.

          EXT. FARM GATE - DAY

          They walk away from the eerily silent farm, stopping at an
          abandoned TRACTOR by a weathered, paint stripped letter box. 

          MAN.
          Come here.
          The BOY goes over and the MAN takes out his revolver, opens
          the magazine and shows him: two bullets in the chamber.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          You see that? Two left. One for you
          and one for me.
          He places the BOY's thumb on the hammer and cocks the pistol.
          He curls the BOY's index finger around the trigger.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          You put it in your mouth and point
          it up. Like this. Just like I
          showed you.
          He puts the barrel of the pistol in his own mouth until the
          BOY nods, wide eyed. He takes the pistol out of his mouth and
          uncocks it.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          You got it?

          BOY.
          I think.

          MAN.
          Is it okay?

          BOY.
          Okay.
          The MAN puts the gun away and cuddles the BOY close. They set
          off again.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          10.

          INT. CLAPBOARD HOUSE - DAY

          FLASHBACK - the WOMAN is sitting by the window, staring out
          at the garden which is barren now, the sky gray but tinged
          with the same fireglow seen earlier, a film of gray ash
          covers dead lawn and shrubs and inside the paintwork is grimy
          and colorless now, a lot of the furniture gone. A pile of
          broken up furniture and pieces of the piano are-stacked up
          next to the fireplace. In the fireplace the scorched, ashen
          remains of piano keys. The WOMAN is now heavily pregnant. The
          MAN sets down chipped old plates and spoons, spoons beans
          from a pot and sits to eat.
          As the WOMAN starts to eat she winces and freezes with a look
          of horror, spoon halfway to her mouth. She looks down and

                         SEES:
          POV WOMAN - water and blood running down her legs. 

          WOMAN. 
          Oh no. Oh no.

          MAN.
          It's okay, I'll help you. Just like
          we said.

          WOMAN.
          No no no...

          MAN.
          I'll heat water. We can do it. 
          As he goes out she MOANS in despair.

          INT. KITCHEN/CLAPBOARD HOUSE - DAY

          The MAN rushes in and opens a drawer in the sideboard.
          Instead of cutlery it contains a pair of kitchen shears, a
          bottle of antiseptic, worn but clean towels and a pair of
          worn out yellow rubber dish gloves, all laid out in
          readiness.
          The WOMAN appears at the door, blood running down a leg.

          WOMAN. 
          We don't have to.

          MAN.
          Well, I think we probably do.

          WOMAN. 
          What kind of life is this?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          11.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          It's life. It's the only thing
          left.
          He takes the WOMAN back into the other room.

          INT. DINING ROOM / CLAPBOARD HOUSE - DAY 

           TERRIBLE SCREAMING. The WOMAN lies on the dining room table 
           SCREAMING as she has her first contractions. The MAN is
           wearing the rubber gloves, one gloved hand resting on the 
           WOMAN's leg, about to deliver his own baby. He wipes his brow 
          and leaves a smear of blood as the SCREAMING goes on.

          WOMAN. 
          I can't.

          MAN.
          It's coming.

          END OF FLASHBACK.

          INT. TRAILER HOME - (CAMP 4)- EVENING 

           Inside a badly damaged trailer home, one wall half fallen 
           off, a pan of water boils on a small fire. The BOY sits 
          shivering in a blankets as he eats beans from a tin, scraping
          around for the last one or two. The MAN opens his knapsack by
          the fire and produces a packet of COCOA. He fixes a cup of
          cocoa for the boy. He hands the BOY the cup of cocoa and as
          the BOY examines it and drinks, the MAN surreptitiously pours
          himself a mug of water and sits blowing on it. The BOY
          realises the MAN has left him all the cocoa.

          BOY.
          You promised not to do that.

          MAN.
          What?

          BOY.
          You know what, Papa. I have to
          watch you all the time.

          MAN.
          I know I'm sorry.

          BOY.
          If you break little promises you'll
          break big ones. That's what you
          said.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          12.

                         CONTINUED:
          The MAN relents, pouring the hot water back into the pan and
          taking some of the BOY's cocoa into his own cup. The BOY
          wipes his finger around the inside of the empty bean tin and
          licks his finger.

          MAN.
          Watch your finger.

          BOY.
          You always say that.

          MAN.
          That's because you always do it.
          The MAN spreads bits of a worn out road map on the boards and
          studies them.

          BOY.
          What are you doing?

          MAN.
          We have to keep moving. We have to
          go south to the coast.

          BOY.
          Why?

          MAN.
          It'll be better at the coast.

          BOY.
          Why?

          MAN.
          Because we're going to freeze here.
           He picks up the map pieces carefully. 

          EXT. TURNPIKE - MORNING 

           The MAN and the BOY truck along the blacktop. 
          At the crest of a hill they come to FADED BILLBOARDS
          advertising MOTELS and stop. The BOY notices a sign in the
          distance, which has words painted over a faded advertisement:
          odd, nonsensical, Biblical ramblings about "bones" and "the
          dead." The MAN follows the BOY's gaze and reads: "BEHOLD THE 

          VALLEY OF SLAUGHTER - JEREMIAH 19:6." 

          MAN.
          Do you remember your alphabet?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          13.

                         CONTINUED:

          BOY.
          Yes.

          MAN.
          Can you read that?

          BOY (SCRUTINISING IT.)
          No.

          MAN.
          Good, let's go. 
          The MAN takes out a large REVOLVER, cocks it in readiness and
          places it on the tarp as they move. The BOY eyes the MAN
          nervously, eyes the gun and they move off. 

          EXT. TURNPIKE, TUNNEL APPROACH - DAY 

          They trudge along the turnpike towards the opening of a deep,
          black tunnel and the BOY suddenly comes to a stop,
          increasingly upset, unable to face the yawning mouth of the
          tunnel.

          BOY. 
          I can't, I just can't... 

          MAN. 
          There's no other way. 

          BOY. 
          We could go over. 

          MAN. 
          We can't take the cart over. 

          BOY. 
          We don't know what's in there. 

          MAN. 
          There's nothing in there. It's just 
          the same as it is out here. Okay? 

          BOY. (BEAT. VERY RELUCTANT.) 
          Okay. 
          The boy sticks close to the MAN's side. The man has the 
          revolver in his belt now and his parka unzipped, ready as 
          they nervously walk towards the mouth of the tunnel. 

                         

                         

                         

                         

          14.

          INT. TUNNEL - DAY

          The MAN has his arm around the boy as they push the cart
          cautiously ahead, acutely aware of all that's around them.
          They pass footprints in the dried sludge on the ground. Ash
          and litter blowing about and a handful of MUMMIFIED DEAD
          REFUGEES appear along the sides of the tunnel, sitting and
          lying on camp stretchers, their bags and supplies long since
          looted. They are shrivelled and drawn like latterday bogfolk,
          shoeless, a couple of men, a woman a small child and a DOG.
          The MAN stares at the group. 
          The BOY stares at the small child and then at the mummified 
          DOG, transfixed. The MAN puts out his hand for the BOY to
          take - the BOY takes his hand and the MAN moves him on.

          MAN.
          Just remember that the things you
          put into your head are forever.

          BOY.
          But you forget some things don't
          you?

          MAN.
          You forget what you want to
          remember and you remember what you
          want to forget.

          EXT. TUNNEL EXIT AND TURNPIKE - (CAMP 5) - EARLY MORNING 

           The MAN and the BOY are asleep inside an abandoned car 
           amongst a line of other abandoned vehicles littering the 
          turnpike. 

          INT. ABANDONED CAR - (CAMP 5) - EARLY MORNING 

           Now the BOY's hand rests on the MAN's chest as he sleeps. The 
          MAN breathes stertorously, wheezing a little and the BOY'S
          small hand goes up and down on his chest.
          Suddenly the MAN wakes and rolls onto his side, listening,
          the revolver lying beside him. He slips his hand onto the
          revolver and raises his head slowly. He looks around - 
          nothing but the sound of a distant DIESEL ENGINE. He looks at
          the BOY fast asleep. When he looks back at the tunnel he sees 
          a nightmarish vision:

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          15.

                         CONTINUED:
          POV MAN - Exiting the tunnel, shuffling through the ash, a
          group of HOODED MEN, some in gas masks and filthy biohazard
          suits, slouching along, coughing, casting their heads from
          side to side and swinging clubs and lengths of pipe - a ROAD
          GANG. The MAN listens to the sound of a DIESEL TRUCK behind
          the gang.

          MAN.
          Quickly. Quick...
          The BOY jolts awake as the MAN shoves his pistol in his belt,
          grabs the boy by the hand. They slide out of the car and 
          crouch on the ground, the BOY is frozen with fear. 

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          It's all right. It's all right but
          we have to run. Don't look back.
          Come on.
          Their backpacks are still left in the back of the car... 

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Run... run...
          The flat bed truck RUMBLES into view, MEN from the GANG
          standing on the flat bed looking around, some holding rifles.
          The BOY falls and the MAN pulls him to his feet with such
          force he lifts him clean off the ground and has to dangle him
          back down again.

           MAN. (CONT'D)
           You okay? It's all right... come
           on...
           They rush down the embankment into the trees alongside the 
          turnpike. 

          EXT. TURNPIKE UNDERPASS - DAY 

           They run through the woods. The truck is heard in the 
           background, the motor missing and SPUTTERING, coils of black 
          diesel smoke coiling through the woods. The motor dies with a
          flapping RATTLE and there's SILENCE. 
          The MAN and the BOY crouch in frozen silence, the Truck now
          on the overpass nearby, dangerously exposed to the view of
          the Gang. They listen to the GANG TALKING and raising the
          hood of the truck
          The MAN puts his arm around the BOY and draws his pistol as 
          they see the truck begin to roll, the GANG pushing it... but 
          it coughs and stalls again.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          16.

                         CONTINUED:
          The MAN sees one of the GANG MEMBERS coming down the
          embankment, unbuckling his belt. He is emaciated, in dirty 
          blue overalls and a gas company cap, and has a long beard cut
          square at the bottom and a bad tattoo of a bird on his neck.
          He doesn't stop, just keeps coming, closer and closer until
          he's just feet away, almost on top of them. He unzips his
          pants and takes a piss. As he stands pissing his eyes roam
          around - at any moment he could look to the side and see them
          crouching there.
          The MAN is wide-eyed, gun ready, eyes darting from the GANG
          MEMBER to the BOY to the GUN. The GANG MEMBER rolls his
          shoulders and exercises his neck... he looks down and studies
          the steam coming off his piss.
          The MAN silently trains his pistol at the head of the GANG
          MEMBER who, as if by instinct, rolls his head around and
          looks right at him.

          MAN.
          Just keep it coming.
           The GANG MEMBER sees the gun and stops pissing, looks back at
          the truck, zips his fly.

           MAN. (CONT'D)
          Don't look at them. Look at me. If
          you call out you're dead. Where you
          from?

          GANG MEMBER.
          Does it matter? Where you from?

          MAN.
          What's the truck running on?

          GANG MEMBER.
          Diesel fuel.

          MAN.
          Where d'you get that?

          GANG MEMBER.
          I don't know.

          MAN.
          You don't know, huh?
          The GANG MEMBER just stares, not answering.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          17.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          You got ammunition for those
          rifles?
          The GANG MEMBER looks back towards the truck.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          I told you not to look back there.
          Where d'you get all that stuff?

          GANG MEMBER.
          Found it.

          MAN.
          What are you eating?

          GANG MEMBER.
          Whatever we can find.

          MAN.
          Whatever you can find, huh?

          GANG MEMBER.
          Yeah...
          Now the GANG MEMBER looks at the BOY, causing the MAN To
          raise the revolver and cock it.
          POV GANG MEMBER - he looks down the barrel at the magazine
          and sees empty space.

          GANG MEMBER. (CONT'D)
          You won't shoot that thing. You
          ain't got but two shells. Maybe
          just one. And they'll hear the
          shot.
          On the over pass the ROAD GANG are looking around, MURMURING
          as they notice one of their number missing.

          MAN.
          Maybe. But you won't. It'll be
          through your skull and inside your
          brain before you can hear it.
          The MAN steps closer and aims the gun at the MAN's forehead,
          hammer back, ready.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          18.

                         CONTINUED: (3)

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          To hear it you'll need a frontal
          lobe and things with names like
          colliculus and temporal gyrus and
          you won't have them anymore because
          they'll just be soup.

          GANG MEMBER.
          Are you a doctor?

          MAN.
          I'm not anything anymore.

          GANG MEMBER.
          We got a hurt man. It'd be worth
          your while.
          The MAN glances in the direction of the ROAD GANG, then back
          at the GANG MEMBER, who is still eyeing the BOY. The BOY is
          sitting with his hands on top of his head, peeking out
          through his arms, terrified as the tension escalates.

          MAN.
          If you look at him again I'll shoot
          you in the head.

          GANG MEMBER.
          I'll bet that boy is hungry. Why
          don't you all just come onto the
          truck. Get something to eat. Ain't
          no need to be such a hard ass.

          MAN.
          You don't have anything to eat.
          Let's go.

          GANG MEMBER.
          I ain't going nowheres.

          MAN.
          You think I won't kill you but
          you're wrong.

          GANG MEMBER.
          You know what I think? I think
          you're chickenshit. You never
          killed a man in your life.
          He drops his belt on the ground with a CLATTER, a canteen and
          army pouch hanging from it. The MAN eyes the army pouch, eyes
          the GANG on the road - and notices for the first time some of
          them are wearing the same army pouches.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          19.

                         CONTINUED: (4)
          One is banging his stick on the side of the truck to call
          their lost member. The MAN is distracted by this and when he
          looks up the GANG MEMBER has taken two silent steps and is
          standing between him and the BOY, holding a knife.

          MAN.
          What do you think you're going to
          do with that?
          Without a word the GANG MEMBER dives and grabs the BOY, rolls
          and lands on his feet holding the BOY against his chest with
          his knife at his throat. Simultaneously the MAN drops to his
          knees, trains the pistol and fires from six feet away,
          shooting the GANG MEMBER in the forehead. He falls back and
          lies with blood bubbling from the wound, eyes open, the BOY
          lying in his lap in shock, deafened, expressionless, covered
          with gore and mute as a stone.
          The GANG hear the loud SHOT and freeze, they start looking
          around them more urgently now. The MAN grabs the dazed BOY by
          the hand and yells but in his deafness the BOY hears only a
          MUTED soup of words:

          MAN (MUTED.)
          Move! Let's go!
          The MAN shoves the pistol in his belt, hoists the BOY onto
          his shoulders and sets off down the road at a run.

          EXT. WOODS - DAY

          They crash through the woods, the MAN straining to keep the
          BOY aloft and find a path through the trees - the BOY
          clutching the MAN's head with both hands.
          There's a sickening THUD and the MAN falls, the BOY flying
          off with a cry. The MAN struggles to gather his wits, unsure
          whether he's been felled by another man.

          MAN (MUTED.)
          Come on. Get up, get up quickly!
          The MAN swings the BOY onto his shoulders and runs.

          EXT. WOODS/TURNPIKE - DAY 

          The MAN and BOY stagger through trees and the man drops to
          his knees, letting the BOY down. They are back by the
          turnpike again. They listen and watch, utterly exhausted and 
          out of breath, the MAN is wheezing, the BOY at his side,
          holding his hand, staring, in shock still.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          20.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          Shh. It's okay now. You're going to
          be OK.
          POV BOY - the BOY can still HEAR nothing, temporarily deaf.
          But he sees the MAN talking and looking around, through 360
          degrees, trying to work out where it's safe to go.

           MAN. (CONT'D)
          Come on.
           He grabs the BOY's hand and they take off again.

          EXT. WOODS - EVENING

          The MAN pulls out blankets from his knapsack. The BOY sits
          staring, shocked as the MAN tries to wipe the blood and gore
          from his face but it's thick and congealed now. His hands
          tremble as he tries to pick it from the BOY's hair.

          MAN.
          It's okay... it's okay now...
          Frightened by the BOY's muteness, he wraps him in a blanket,
          unzips his parka and holds him close under the parka.
          The MAN picks up his revolver, checks the chamber, only one
          bullet left. He eyes the flickering shadows in the distance
          and then eyes the BOY, making minute calculations of
          distance, calibrating the space between the ROAD GANG and the
          BOY. He holds the revolver up and cocks it.

          MAN. (V.0.) (CONT'D)
          I try to look like any common
          traveling killer but my heart is
          hammering. When it comes to the boy
          I have only one question: Can you
          do it? When the time comes?
          There is no moon, but not far away, perhaps 30 yards, a firey 
          TORCH makes its way through the woods. About 50 yards away
          from that another TORCH is being used to search... shadows
          flicker ominously. The sounds of TWIGS snapping underfoot and
          BRANCHES being broken as the ROAD GANG searches wordlessly,
          just BREATHING heavily through their masks and beards. The
          MAN clutches the BOY tighter, and stifles a cough.
          They remain frozen like this, unable to budge.

          FADE OUT.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          21.

          EXT. EMBANKMENT - DAWN

          They are by a thin, toxic, rust-red stream, slushy ice at the
          edges and gray froth. The MAN leans down and pushes ice away 
          and scoops up a hand full of gray water. He runs it through
          the boy's hair to wash it and the BOY flinches with cold. He
          rubs more icy water into the BOY's hair, roughly, quickly,
          with a sense of panic as he helplessly tries to-wash out
          lumps of flesh and blood. The BOY is weeping silently and
          shivering from the extreme cold as the MAN picks out the
          dried gore and washes the hair clean.

          MAN.
          It's no use crying. You have to
          talk to me.
          He takes the blanket and dries the BOY's hair as he talks.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          I'm not going to let anything
          happen to you... I'm going to take
          care of you... I'm always going to
          try and be here for you... and I'm
          going to kill anybody who touches
          you.
          He smooths the BOY's hair down with shaking fingers, clumsily
          trying to brush it out of his eyes, a fatherly instinct to
          make the BOY neat.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Because that's my job. Do you
          understand?
          When he's through the MAN lifts the BOY's thin arms, puts a
          vest over his head, then a ragged sweater, then he folds the
          BOY into his parka, zips it up to the neck and kisses him on
          the top of the head.
          The MAN grabs his knapsack, tips it upside down, rummages
          inside - it's empty.

           MAN. (CONT'D)
          Come on, we need to get the cart
          back.

          EXT. EMBANKMENT BY TUNNEL EXIT - DAY 

          Approaching the embankment, the MAN walks quickly and
          stealthily, wired, listening to the silence, straining to
          hear, sure he's being watched. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          22.

                         CONTINUED:
          The BOY stumbles along behind, slower, fatigued, makingthe
          MAN anxious. The MAN leaves the boy hiding:

          MAN (WHISPERS.) 
          Wait here.
          He starts to climb the embankment and hears: little running 
          FOOTSTEPS as the BOY comes after him, he turns to face the
          BOY urgently, exasperated.

          MAN (WHISPERS.) (CONT'D)
          No I need you to wait. I'll hear
          you if you call. I'll just be a
          little ways and I'll be able to
          hear you if you get scared and you
          call me and I'll come right away.
          He walks off but hears... the little BOY's FOOTSTEPS running
          after him again - he turns around.

          MAN.
          I said wait!
          The BOY's face crinkles up and a tear rolls down.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Stop it. I need you to do what I
          say. Take the gun.
          The BOY freezes, refusing to take the gun.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Just take it will you?
          The BOY shakes his head.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          We don't have time for this. We
          need our food. What's left.
          The MAN shoves the gun into the BOY's hand.

           MAN. (CONT'D)
           Don't argue.
           He creeps up the embankment. The BOY just stares at the 
          revolver.

          EXT. TURNPIKE ROAD - DAY 

           The MAN searches for the cart. He comes to where they'd left 
           it in between the abandoned cars. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          23.

                         CONTINUED:
          Their backpacks lie open on the ground, next to the cart on
          it's side, it's contents spilled out, mostly plundered, just
          a few children's BOOKS and TOYS, old pots and pans, shoes and
          ragged clothing remaining. Nearby are the remains of a large
          campfire in the middle of the turnpike. The man collects up
          the few remaining possessions and puts them into the
          backpacks.
          POV MAN - he sees charred billets of wood, ash and... the
          bones of the shot ROAD GANG MEMBER. Nearby is a pool of his
           blood and guts, still gently STEAMING, the head decapitated 
           and rolled under a car. He nudges the bones with the toe of 
          his shoe. 

          EXT. EMBANKMENT BY THE TURNPIKE - DAY 

          Below, down the embankment the BOY is waiting obediently with
          the gun.
          The MAN heads back to the BOY, trying to think what to say.
          The BOY hands the gun back and takes the MAN's hand and they
          walk away into the woods, the MAN tucking the gun back into 
          his belt. 

          MAN.
          Let's get out of here. The
          freeway's too dangerous. Find the
          back roads.

          BOY. 
          Okay. 

          INT. CLAPBOARD HOUSE - NIGHT 

           FLASHBACK - Now the house is in considerable disrepair, no
           furniture, the skirting boards falling away, large cracks in
           the walls, cornices and lamp fittings pulling away from the
           ceilings, water marks from rain, the windows covered with 
           corrugated iron sheets. The MAN and the WOMAN are sitting 
          across from each other with a lamp illuminating the dark.
          Between them lies the revolver seen earlier. The WOMAN picks 
          up the gun and swings open the magazine. There are two
          bullets in it, she takes them out and places them on the
          table, one after the other.

          WOMAN. 
          That's all that's left. I should
          have done it when there were more
          bullets in the gun.
          The MAN shuts his eyes, unable to take it. In the corner, the
          BOY is standing in the background, drawing on the walls. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          24.

                         CONTINUED:

          WOMAN. (CONT'D)
          Sooner or later - no listen - they
          will catch up with us and they will
          kill us. They will rape me -

          MAN.

                         NO -

          WOMAN. 
          And they will rape him

          MAN.
          Please no - just - no

          WOMAN. 
          They are going to rape us and kill
          us and eat us and you won't face
          it. You'd rather wait for it to
          happen.

          MAN.
          Please.

          WOMAN. 
          Stop it.

          MAN.
          I'll do anything.

          WOMAN. 
          Such as what?
          She picks up the revolver and puts the TWO BULLETS into the
          chamber.

          WOMAN. (CONT'D) 
          I thought about not even telling
          you. Just doing it. I'd empty every
          godamn bullet into my brain and
          leave you with nothing.

          MAN.
          Don't say that. Don't talk this
          way.

          WOMAN. 
          There's nothing left to talk
          about... my heart was ripped out of
          me the night he was born...

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          25.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          MAN.
          Please don't do this. I won't let
          anything happen. We'll survive.

          WOMAN.
          I don't want to survive! I'd take
          him with me if it weren't for you.
          You know I would. Why can't you
          face it?

          MAN.
          Will you listen? You're talking

                         CRAZY -

          WOMAN. 
          It's not crazy and you know it.
          It's the right thing to do.
          They glance at the BOY. 

          WOMAN. (CONT'D) 
          Other families do it.
          She goes to the BOY, strokes his hair, kisses him, makes a
          reassuring display of being motherly.

          WOMAN. (CONT'D) 
          Time for bed, there's a good boy.
          She picks him up in her arms and carries him off to bed.

          END OF FLASHBACK.

          EXT. RAVINE/WATERFALL - DAY

          The THUNDER of a waterfall, the river disappears into space -
          the BOY and the MAN stand staring up at the waterfall, 80 
          feet above, shrouded in gray mist. A color spectrum is 
          visible rising from the waterfall, like a rainbow - the boy
          is transfixed, clutching the MAN's arm for safety.

          BOY.
          What is it?
          The MAN looks at the BOY, surprised he's talking again.

          MAN.
          It's a waterfall.

          BOY.
          Look. Colors.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          26.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          There used to be color everywhere.
          You don't remember. It was before
          you were born. There used to be so
          many thnings... 
          The BOY approaches the water's edge, shallow and clear with 
          gravel and pebbles sparkling at the bottom. He scoops up some
          water, surprised that it seems clean.

          BOY.
          Look. It's clear.

          MAN.
          Do you want to go in?

          BOY.
          I don't know.

          MAN.
          Sure you do.

          BOY.
          Is it okay?

          MAN.
          Just don't swallow any.
          The MAN unzips his parka and slips it to the ground. The BOY
          eyes the MAN, surprised - then does the same.

          EXT. RIVER/WATERFALL - DAY

          Naked, pale, filthy dirty and shivering with cold, the BOY
          frolics in the spray of the waterfall. The MAN watches him 
          enjoying himself by the waterfall, clutching his shoulders, 
          hopping up and down, he joins him.

          EXT. RAVINE/ROCKFACE - (CAMP 6) - EVENING 

          The MAN has strung the tarp against a rockface to make a
          shelter. He meticulously filters water through a rag into a
          pan. In the background, the waterfall can be heard RUMBLING.
          The BOY has painted his face with CRAYONS, drawing a bizarre
          set of FANGS and dripping blood around his mouth. The MAN
          studies the BOY's painted face a moment.

          MAN.
          Listen. That man back there...
          there's not many good guys left,
          that's all. We have to watch out
          for the bad guys.

                         (MORE)

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          27.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          And we have to talk. Always. We
          have to just... you know... keep
          carrying the fire...

          BOY.
          What fire?

          MAN.
          The fire inside you.
          The BOY is thoughtful a minute, and then:

          BOY.
          Are we still the good guys?

          MAN.
          Yes. We're still the good guys.

          BOY.
          And we always will be no matter
          what happens?
          He eyes the BOY uncertainly, unsure if he can promise this.

          MAN.
          Always will be. Yeah.
          The MAN goes back to tying the tarp.

          EXT. THE RIVER/VALLEY - MORNING

          The MAN and the BOY are trudging along, away from the 
          waterfall now.

          MAN.
          We have to keep moving. Other
          people might be attracted to the
          waterfall just like we were. We
          wouldn't hear them coming.
          They stop to look at a lake surrounded by fog down in the

                         VALLEY

          BOY.
          Do you think there could be fish in
          the lake?

          MAN.
          No. There's nothing in the lake.
          They move on.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          28.

          EXT. BACK ROAD - DAY 

          They come around a bend in the road and immediately hear the 
          ROAR of river rapids. Up ahead they see a bridge with a jack-
          knifed TRUCK on it.

          EXT. BRIDGE - DAY

          They walk out onto the bridge over GREY FROTHING WATER, and
          inspect the truck. The tyres are flat, the cab jammed against
          the railings. The trailer end has swung across the road,
          knocked out the railings and lies with it's last few feet
          hanging over the side of the bridge, blocking the bridge off
          completely.

          EXT. ABANDONED TRUCK - DAY

          The MAN climbs up onto the gas tanks, wipes the glass and
          peers into the cab. He swings the door open and climbs
          inside, pulling the door shut behind.

          INT. TRUCK/CAB - DAY

          He looks around at discarded detritus, old magazines and
          trash. He checks behind the seats where there is a mattress
          on a bunk and calls out.

          MAN.
          Come up here.

          INT. TRUCK/CAB - (CAMP 7) - NIGHT

          SNOW continues to fall on the dusty WINDSCREEN. Outside, all
          around snow falls, silently, covering the truck and the
          bridge, transforming it. They are both still awake, unable to
          sleep, staring at the transformed world, carpeted by snow.

          BOY.
          I'm hungry.

          MAN.
          I know. So am I.

          BOY.
          Can I ask you something?

          MAN.
          Of course.

          BOY.
          Are we going to die?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          29.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          No. Sometime. Not now.

          BOY.
          And we're still going south?

          MAN.
          Yes.

          BOY.
          So we'll be warm?

          MAN.
          Yes.

          BOY.
          And there might be food there?

          MAN.
          Everything depends on reaching the
          coast.

          BOY.
          Okay.
          The MAN draws a blanket around him and kisses him goodnight,
          it is now pitch black.

          MAN.
          Go to sleep.

          BOY.
          I wish I was with my mom.
          They are silent a moment, until:

          MAN.
          You mean you wish you were dead.

          BOY.
          Yeah.

          MAN.
          You mustn't say that. It's a bad
          thing to say.

          BOY.
          I can't help it.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          30.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          MAN.
          I know but you have to. You have to
          stop thinking about her. We both
          do.

          BOY.
          How do I do that?
          The MAN is silent, lost in thought.

          EXT. TRUCK/CAB - (CAMP 7) EARLY HOURS

          The man gets down from the cab and walks a few feet in the
          dark and snow. He coughs a bit, takes a few breaths of air,
          and walks away from the truck, vanishing into the mist.

          EXT. CAMP/ROAD - (CAMP 7) - EARLY HOURS 

          The MAN is alone now by the road. He takes out his WALLET and
          sifts through: money, ancient cards, driver's license and a
          picture of HIMSELF and the WOMAN on their WEDDING DAY, which 
          he studies a moment sadly.

          MAN. (V.0.)
          She was gone, and the coldness of
          it was her final gift... she died
          somewhere in the dark... there is
          no other tale to tell.
          He lays everything out on the grey slushy ground, then flings
          the wallet into the river and walks back to camp, leaving the
          PHOTO and cards to blow away.

          EXT. CLAPBOARD HOUSE/YARD - NIGHT

          FLASHBACK - The WOMAN kisses the MAN. 

          MAN.
          Will you tell him goodbye?

          WOMAN. 
          No. I won't. I can't.

          MAN.
          Will you at least wait till
          morning? Stay with me through the
          night.

          WOMAN. 
          No. I have to go now.
          They kiss again, she turns and walks away out of the yard.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          31.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          What am I going to tell him? What
          are we going to do without you?

          WOMAN.
          You should move south. You won't
          survive another winter here.
          The MAN follows a few steps and she stops and turns to him.

          MAN.
          Why won't you help me?

          WOMAN. 
          I can't help you. Don't you
          understand? This is how I'm helping
          you.

          MAN.
          Where are you going to go? You
          can't even see.

          WOMAN. 
          I don't need to see.

          MAN.
          I'm begging you.

           WOMAN. 
           Please don't. Please.
           The MAN stares. She goes, vanishing into the darkness. 

          END OF FLASHBACK.

          EXT. CITY LIMITS - DUSK 

           The MAN stares. In the distance, a dead city. 

          EXT. OVERPASS/CITY LIMITS - EVENING

           The MAN and the BOY approach the edge of the city. Up ahead a 
          cluster of three tall buildings, a dozen or so floors of
          concrete and glass, the upper floors of one illuminated by
          the flickering fire glow of candle light inside. The MAN
          stops and stares and the BOY follows his gaze.
          In one of the illuminated windows a SILHOUETTE FIGURE stares
          back at them, somebody in the building. In another window
          another SILHOUETTE FIGURE is staring out, motionless, they
          could be refugees, cannibals or more mummified dead for all
          we know.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          32.

                         CONTINUED:

          BOY.
          Who are they, Papa?

          MAN.
          I don't know.

          BOY.
          What if it's more bad guys?

          MAN.
          It won't be more bad guys. Don't
          worry. Stay close.
          He takes hold of the gun and they walk in a different
          direction now, giving the high rises a wide berth.

           MAN. (CONT'D)
           Keep low. We'll be okay.
           When they get to the end of the block they stop and the MAN
           checks around the corner before they cross the street. In the 
           distance three men appear, emaciated, slow-moving. They step 
           forward, stop and watch the BOY and the MAN. 

          EXT. OUTSKIRTS/CITY - DAY 

           The MAN, now carrying the revolver, and the BOY head off down 
           a railway track that leads away from the city. 

          EXT. COUNTRY RAILWAY LINE - DAY 

          In the country, along the railway, they see past a small road
          to a once grand house on a rise. It is tall and stately with
          white Doric columns across the front and a gravel drive that
          curves up from the road through a field of dead, foot long
          grass. They stand there staring at it, the BOY still holding
          the MAN's hand. The MAN listens - nothing but the WIND in the
          dead bracken, a CREAK of a door or shutter rattling.

          MAN.
          I think we should take a look.

          BOY.
          I'm scared.

          MAN.
          There's nothing to be scared of.

          EXT. DRIVEWAY/STATELY HOME 

          The MAN sets off up the drive. He stops and faces the BOY who
          is rooted to the spot.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          33.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          You want to stay here?

          BOY.
          No.
          The BOY joins him and they set off slowly up the drive,
          through patches of melting snow. There is a tall dead privet
          fence with a deserted birdsnest in it.

          EXT. PORCH/STATELY HOME - DAY

          They climb the steps to the porch, the BOY clutching the
          MAN's hand. They notice a window is slightly open. The MAN
          goes to it, opens the window wide, looks inside.

          INT. FOYER/STATELY HOME - DAY

          They climb through the window onto black and white marble
          tiles and the MAN carefully shuts the window a little so it's
          the same as when he found it. They regard the room, 
          binoculars set up on a tripod sit next to an arm chair. An 
          elaborate staircase in front of them, William Morris wall
          paper, water stained and sagging, plaster moldings and
          cornices sagging from the ceiling.
          They cross back to the other side where there is a great hall
          of a drawing room, high ceilings, huge fire place with raw
          brick around it where the wood has been stripped, a pile of 
          warm-weather clothing, boots and backpacks on the floor by 
          the hearth. 

           BOY.
          Papa?

           MAN.
          Shh.

          INT. KITCHEN/STATELY HOME - DAY

          They creep in and find blackened pots and pans, a cord with a
          bell for servants, trash piled on the floor and work tops, a
          rusted sink covered in mould, bare cupboards. In the floor is
          a hatch with a lock set in a steel plate. The man examines it
          while the BOY tugs at his arm, frightened.

          BOY.
          Papa, let's go.

          MAN.
          There's a reason this is locked.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          34.

                         CONTINUED:
          The BOY is now panicky, hopping about, close to tears.

          BOY.
          Don't open it - don't!

          MAN.
          I need something to pry it open.

          BOY.
          No!
          The MAN goes out abruptly and the BOY follows, wringing his
          hands in fear.

          EXT. BACK GARDEN/STATELY HOME - DAY

          The MAN comes out the back door with his revolver drawn,
          looks around and sees an old station wagon with flat tyres on
          the dead grass. Beside it is a 40 gallon cauldron on the
          blackened remnants of a fire. There is also a wooden SMOKE
          HOUSE with thin wisps of smoke coming off it. The MAN studies
          it nervously, sniffing the air, then goes to the tool shed
          and starts sorting through tools. He finds a long handled
          spade and hefts it in his hands.

          INT. KITCHEN/STATELY HOME - DAY

          The spade chops into the wood around the lock on the hatch.
          The MAN hacks away, then prizes up the hatch, lock and all,
          revealing a gap of darkness.

          BOY.
          Papa...

          MAN.
          Listen to me. Just stop it. We're
          starving. Do you understand? I have
          to do this. I don't have any
          choice.
          The MAN opens the hatch fully and lies it on the floor.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Just wait here.

          BOY.
          I'm going with you.

          MAN.
          Okay. Just stay close to me.
          Nothing's going to happen.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          35.

                         CONTINUED:
          They descend the rough wooden steps.

          INT. CELLAR/STATELY HOME - DAY

          There is a terrible stench and they have to cover their
          mouths and noses with their parkas. The MAN gets out his
          lighter, lights it and tries to light the way.
          POV MAN - BLACKNESS except the small area illuminated by the
          lighter as the MAN searches: part of a stone wall; then a
          clay floor; an old mattress with dark stains. The glow of the
          flame crawls across the floor to a corner as the MAN steps
          closer, then plays the lighter along from the corner to

                         REVEAL:
          Huddled against the wall, all trying to hide, shielding their
          shining eyes from the light, NAKED MEN and WOMEN, thin as
          skeletons like inmates in a death camp. The BOY jumps,
          shocked and the MAN freezes, staring, dumb struck by:
          On a mattress on the floor lies a NAKED MAN with his legs
          gone to the hip, their stumps blackened and burned,
          cauterized. The BOY covers his eyes.

          MAN.
          Jesus...
          The MAN on the MATTRESS turns to them and WHISPERS, a low
          indistinct murmur at first.

          MAN ON MATTRESS.
          Help us... please help us...

          MAN.
          Christ... oh Christ...
          The others join in, an eerie chorus of WHISPERING, "Help
          us... please help us..." The MAN turns and grabs the BOY and
          rushes for the steps.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Hurry... go... move!
          The MAN drops the lighter as he tries to push the BOY up the
          steps. Out of nowhere a BEARDED FACE appears at the foot of
          the stairs, blinking.

          BEARDED FACE.
          Please... they're taking us to the
          smoke house.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          36.

                         CONTINUED:
          The BEARDED FACE reaches out and feebly tries to grab the
          MAN's arm but he breaks free and concentrates on getting the
          BOY up the steps, following in a blind panic, fumbling and
          missing his footing.

          MAN.
          Hurry - hurry!
          They scramble up the steps towards the light of the hatch as
          the BEARDED FACE reaches out and tries one last time to grab
          at the MAN's feet but he kicks free.

          INT. KITCHEN/STATELY HOME - DAY

          The MAN scrambles out, slams the door shut and drags a solid
          table over the door. He looks around for the BOY.

          MAN.
          Christ. Run!
          The BOY is near the window, dancing up and down in terror,
          pointing out the window to:

          EXT. FIELDS - DAY

          Coming up the path toward the house are four BEARDED MEN and
          two WOMEN, all suspiciously well fed and healthy-looking. One
          of the MEN holds hands with one of the WOMEN, as if they were
          returning from a stroll before dinner.

          INT. KITCHEN/STATELY HOME - DAY

          The MAN stares a moment, frozen with horror, then grabs the
          BOY by the hand and jerks him away.

          MAN.
          Run. Run!

          INT. FOYER/STATELY HOME - DAY

          They tear through to the front door, the MAN fumbles to get
          it open but it has a well-maintained deadlock on it. He
          stares out the window next to the door and sees:
          POV MAN - The WELL-FED PEOPLE are climbing the steps of the
          porch. The MAN Grabs the BOY and they rush through into
          kitchen.

          INT. KITCHEN/STATELY HOME - DAY

          In the kitchen the hatch is being lifted from underneath and
          the table elevating inches. They rush back out again.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          37.

          INT. FOYER/STATELY HOME - DAY

          As they reach the stairs, a key turns in the lock and the MAN
          picks up the BOY in his arms and they sprint to a door under
          the stairs. As they get through the door the front door
          swings open and the WELL-FED PEOPLE drift inside.

          INT. REST ROOM - DAY

          They are in a small rest room under the stairs, just a toilet
          and a basin. The BOY's face is level with the basin and while
          the MAN is holding the door shut the BOY comes face to face
          with the contents of the basin:
          POV BOY - bloodstained clothing soaking in bloody water and
          tallow in the basin. Around the basin are bloody red hand
          prints on the white porcelain.
          POV MAN - through a thin crack he sees the WELL-FED PEOPLE on
          the far side of the foyer, chatting casually. He is not close
          enough to hear everything they say, but close enough to see
          that the MEN's beards are trimmed and they wear well-repaired
          clothes.

          WELL FED WOMAN.
          I'm going to freshen up.

          BEARDED MAN.
          I need a drink.

          WELL FED WOMAN 2. 
          I'm going up to change.
          He hears one of the WOMEN STOMPING across the old floorboards
          and up the stairs to change while the other WOMAN takes a few
          steps towards the rest room, then turns back towards the
          window as the conversation lurches on.

          BEARDED MAN 2.
          Who left this window open?

          WELL FED WOMAN. 
          I leave it open for the smell.

          BEARDED MAN 2.
          What smell?

          WELL FED WOMAN. 
          You don't smell it anymore?

          BEARDED MAN.
          Who wants a drink?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          38.

                         CONTINUED:
          They hear the sound of the WINDOW BEING CLOSED and LATCHED.
          As all this goes on, the MAN is frozen, eyes wide with fear,
          he slips the pistol from his belt, cocks it and squats on his
          haunches so he's close to the BOY, desperate, unable to
          decide what to do, unable to think straight with fear.
          The BOY is staring from the door to the pistol to the
          bloodied basin as if hypnotised, in shock, babbling somewhat.

          BOY. (MUMBLING, TO SELF.)
          Bad guys... bad men...

          MAN.
          Shh, shh...
          There are FOOT STEPS outside the door as the WELL FED PEOPLE
          drift closer and then away again. The man starts to cough but
          he has the revolver in one hand and the BOY's hand in his
          other. The MAN tries to stifle his cough but can't. Then the
          BOY notices and holds his own small hand to the MAN's mouth,
          stifling his coughing as the talk goes on outside:

          WELL FED WOMAN.
          Will you help me with the dirty
          dishes?

          BEARDED MAN 2.
          I'm hungry.
          As the coughing subsides a little the MAN takes the BOY's
          hand from his mouth and pushes the revolver into it.

          MAN.
          Take it.
          The BOY tries to resist, shaking his head, terrified, mute.

          MAN. (WHISPERS.) (CONT'D)
          Take it.
          The MAN puts his left arm around the BOY's tiny, thin
          shoulders and holds him close.

          MAN. (WHISPERS.) (CONT'D)
          Don't be afraid. If they get hold
          of you, you're going to have to do
          it just like everybody else. Do you
          understand? Shh. No crying. Do you
          hear me?
          The WOMAN turns from the window and one of the BEARDED MEN
          pours whiskey and hands her one.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          39.

                         CONTINUED: (2)
          The BOY is weeping and shaking his head as the MAN shows him
          again what to do with the gun.

          MAN (WHISPERS.)
          Stop crying. You have to be a brave
          boy. You know how to do it.

          BOY (WHISPERS.)
          I think so.

          MAN (WHISPERS.)
          Say "Yes I do Papa."
          He stares down at the little BOY who just holds the gun
          feebly... he realises the BOY won't use it. After a moment of
          torturous contemplation, the MAN very gently takes the gun
          from the BOY's hand and the BOY sits forlornly, staring down
          at his hands, afraid to look at the MAN now. When the BOY
          looks up again he is staring down the barrel of the pistol,
          the MAN aiming the large revolver at the BOY's forehead.

          BOY.
          What are you doing?
          The MAN's hand shakes, his thumb trembles on the hammer as he
          cocks it...

          BOY. (CONT'D)
          Papa?

          MAN.
          I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

          BOY.
          Will I see you again? When will I
          see you?
          The MAN's finger trembles on the trigger as he slowly
          squeezes it... At that moment there's a loud THUMP from the
          kitchen and the WELL FED PEOPLE stop and listen, then rush
          through to the kitchen, and immediately there's a commotion
          as they see the state of the hatch with the table over it.

          BEARDED MAN 2(O.O.V.)
          What the fuck do you think you're
          doing? Huh? What the fuck do you
          think you're doing...?

          WELL FED WOMAN (O.O.V.)
          Don't look at me like that. What
          are you doing?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          40.

                         CONTINUED: ( 3)
          The MAN gathers his wits and opens the door a crack.

          MAN.
          Follow me, take my hand, don't let
          go.

          INT. FOYER/STATELY HOME - DAY

          The MAN bursts out of the rest room with the BOY and they
          make a dash for the open window. He sticks his gun in his
          belt and wrestles with the window, an old colonial style
          frame which sticks.
          From behind the closed kitchen door they hear muffled GRUNTS
          and SHOUTS until the MAN wrenches the window open, stuffs the
          BOY through and follows.

          EXT. PORCH/STATELY HOME - DAY

          The MAN picks the BOY up and they rush down the steps.

          EXT. DRIVEWAY/STATELY HOME - DAY

          They rush down the driveway and the MAN drags the BOY through
          a gap in the dead privet hedge onto the road.

          EXT. ROAD - DAY

          They hesitate a moment on the road, deciding.

          MAN.
          Come on, keep running!
          They rush across the road to the woods on the other side, the
          BOY ahead as the MAN checks behind them. The MAN looks back
          towards the house and two of the WELL-FED PEOPLE have come
          outside, looking around suspiciously.
          He hits the ground and takes the BOY with him, they lie flat
          at the edge of the woods and the road. They are wildly out of
          breath, chests heaving, the MAN coughing.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Keep your head down.
          POV MAN - the WELL-FED PEOPLE walk a few steps down the drive
          and a BEARDED MAN looks through BINOCULARS at the road and
          the woods, but not directly at the MAN and the BOY hiding.
          The WELL FED PEOPLE start looking around the side of the
          house, walking away. The MAN and the BOY get up, dash through
          the treeline and disappear into the woods.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          41.

          EXT. WOODS - NIGHT 

          .A dull moon hidden in the ashen sky and the outlines of trees
          as they set off through the woods, sleepy, stumbling like
          drunks now. They hear a hideous SHRIEK in the distance,
          coming from the house. They stop, hearing another SHRIEK and
          a MAN'S SCREAMING. The MAN holds the BOY close and tries to
          cover the BOY's ears as they stare and wait for-it to pass.

          MAN. 
          We'll be safe soon. 

          BOY. 
          They're going to eat those people 
          aren't they, Papa? 
          The MAN does not answer.

          EXT. SEARS DEPARTMENT STORE/SHOPPING MALL - NIGHT

          They are back in the city, trudging through the parking lot
          of a huge shopping mall, just outside what used to be SEARS
          department store. A dull moon hidden in the ashen sky
          illuminates the ruined store front as the MAN looks up at the
          mall, thinking. The BOY is just staring into space, still in
          shock.

          INT. SEARS/MALL - (CAMP 8) - NIGHT

          The MAN and the BOY have set up camp in the mall, outside the
          SEARS entrance. The MAN is building a big fire. The BOY
          stares through the glass at the deserted department store.
          Nearby, strewn across the doorway are bunches and bundles of
          cash in notes and coins... the BOY looks closer and finds
          expensive items of jewelry still in their boxes, LOOTED from
          the store and discarded.

                          
          The BOY sits, he looks like he's given up, and then: 

          BOY. 
          Papa? Papa, we wouldn't ever eat
          anybody would we?

          MAN.
          No. Of course not.

          BOY.
          No matter how hungry we were. Even
          if we were starving?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          42.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          We're starving now.

          BOY.
          Because, because we're the good
          guys?

          MAN.
          Yes.

          BOY.
          And we're carrying the fire.

          MAN.
          Yes.
          The MAN takes the BOY in his arms. In a moment the BOY starts
          blinking sleepily and drifts off to sleep and the MAN strokes
          the sleeping BOY's hair and kisses him on the forehead.

          EXT. SUPERMARKET/PARKING LOT - DAY

          They walk through the parking lot until the come to a
          supermarket around the other side. A few old cars in a trash
          strewn parking lot. The MAN heads through the defunct
          automatic doors.

          MAN.
          Come on. There's nobody here.

          INT. SUPERMARKET - DAY

          The MAN and the BOY trudge the empty aisles, only litter
          remaining, the once brightly-colored packaging strewn around,
          it's contents long since looted.
          In the empty gun section there is a deer's head mounted on
          the wall. The BOY stops and stares, mesmerised while the MAN
          searches the empty shelves for ammo, finding only empty
          boxes.
          The MAN glimpses a woman's face staring dolefully from an
          aisle - an emaciated, dead beat SCAVENGER watching them,
          vanishing as quickly as she appeared. 
          On their way out they come to a pair of vending machines 
          tipped over, the sodas looted, coins scattered around in the
          ash. The MAN sits beside one and feels inside the gutted
          machine, eventually producing a single unopened can of COCA

          COLA.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          43.

                         CONTINUED:

          BOY (EXCITED.)
          What is it, papa?

          MAN.
          It's a treat for you. Here. Sit
          down.
          He helps the little BOY off with his knapsack and sits him
          down and opens the can of COKE ceremoniously. The BOY looks
          startled and sniffs the fizzing can as if it's the strangest
          thing he's ever seen in his life.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Go ahead.
          The BOY takes the can.

          BOY.
          It's bubbly.

          MAN.
          Go ahead. Drink it.
          The BOY takes a sip and considers.

          BOY.
          It's really good. You have some,
          papa.

          MAN.
          No. I want you to drink it.

          BOY.
          But I want you to have some.
          The MAN reluctantly takes the can and has a tiny sip, hands
          it back to the wary BOY.

          BOY. (CONT'D)
          It's because I'll never get to
          drink another one, isn't it?
          The MAN doesn't know what to say.

          EXT. MALL/PARKING LOT - LATE AFTERNOON

          They head out of the mall now towards the road, lifeless
          traffic lights at the intersection, town houses and apartment
          blocks on the other side of the road. The BOY stops to
          listen, stares around, suddenly energised, bobbing on his
          toes.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          44.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          What's wrong with you?

          BOY.
          What was that?

          MAN.
          I didn't hear anything.

          BOY.
          Listen.

          MAN.
          I don't hear anything.
          They listen more until, very faintly we hear a DOG BARK in
          the distance. The BOY turns around 180 degrees to listen,
          alert with anticipation.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          It's a dog.

          BOY. (EXCITED.)
          A dog! Where did it come from?

          MAN.
          I don't know. Come on.
          The MAN walks across the road, past the apartments and the
          BOY follows, bouncing up and down, over-excited now.

          BOY.
          We're not going to kill it are we
          Papa?

          MAN.
          What? No, we're not going to kill
          it. Why did you say that?

          BOY.
          You still got one bullet left.

          MAN.
          We're not going to hurt the dog, I
          promise. We're not going to kill it
          and we're not going to eat it
          either.

          BOY (OVER EXCITED, NOT FRIGHTENED.)
          Maybe it'll eat us!

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          45.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          MAN.
          I doubt it very much.

          BOY.
          Can we look for it?

          MAN.
          It's gone, okay?

          EXT. SUBURBS - DAY

          They trudge through the suburbs on the edge of the city, past
          what used to be the local ball park, now barren, dead, a vast
          flat expanse of ash and cracked, scorched earth, forlorn
          stands and bleachers blackened by ash and soot.

          BOY.
          What is it?

          MAN.
          I used to watch the ball games here
          with my father.

          EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - DAY

          They walk up a once tree-lined suburban street, barren now,
          ash and dust layer what used to be front lawns, post boxes,
          picket fences, porches, crazy paving. The MAN stops outside a
          typical, suburban clapboard house with a dead, cracked yard
          where the lawn used to be and a bare flag pole. The BOY eyes
          the MAN enquiringly.

          BOY.
          What is this place, Papa?

          MAN.
          It's the house where I grew up.
          They go up to the house - clapboards have been removed for
          firewood leaving studs and insulation exposed. The BOY stops,
          reluctant to go further, and the MAN takes a few more steps
          then turns around to check on him.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          You coming?

          BOY.
          I don't want to.

          MAN.
          Don't you want to see where I grew
          up?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          46.

                         CONTINUED:

          BOY.
          There might be somebody in there.

          MAN.
          There's nobody there now.
          The MAN takes the BOY's hand and they approach a basketball
          hoop by the garage. The MAN is momentarily overcome with
          emotion as he recalls the details, but it doesn't mean much
          to the BOY.
          After a moment the MAN goes up the steps - frightened, but
          horribly compelled at the same time. The BOY follows
          nervously.

          BOY.
          I'm scared.

          MAN.
          We've got to find something to eat.

          BOY.
          I'm not hungry. I'm not!
          The MAN takes his revolver from his belt and approaches the
          front door, warily pushing it open.

          MAN.
          We'll be all right. Come on.
          He goes through the front door - the BOY stays where he is,
          rigid with fear. The BOY notices a stuffed toy dog in the
          window, staring out at the garden and his curiosity takes
          over. The BOY goes inside carefully.

          INT. DINING ROOM/HOME - EVENING

          The pine panelling is stripped from the walls, there is some
          broken furniture but much has been taken for firewood. They
          go over to the fireplace and the MAN examines it. He runs his
          fingers along the mantle where there is an old drawing pin
          still stuck in the wood, nostalgia overcoming his fear.

          MAN.
          This is where we used to have
          Christmas when I was a boy. We'd
          hang our stockings right here.
          The MAN examines the yellow tiled surround. The BOY watches
          the MAN as if he's gone mad.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          47.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          My mother scrubbed these every day.
          It's still spotless.
          Much of the woodwork and the floorboards have been stripped
          and taken for firewood - there are gaping holes.
          By the fireplace is a small pile of bones - and--in the grid
          are more burnt bones and the skull from the family cat. The
          MAN takes it all in sadly but the BOY is unmoved.

          BOY.
          Papa? I don't think we should do
          this.

          MAN.
          You want to wait outside?
          The BOY nods vigorously.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          All right.
          He takes the BOY's hand and leads him out.

          EXT. PORCH/HOME - DAY

          The come out onto the porch.

          MAN.
          Sit here on the stoop and don't go
          away.
          The BOY sits quietly and the MAN goes back inside. After a
          moment he starts going through his knapsack, less afraid now.

          INT. OLD HOUSE - DAY

          The floorboards CREAK horribly, swollen from rain or ripped
          up, as he creeps into the living room. The timber cladding is
          stripped from the walls, the ceiling plaster is collapsed,
          beams exposed. The MAN pads through to the kitchen.

          INT. KITCHEN/OLD HOUSE - DAY

          The kitchen is similarly dilapidated, the cupboards stripped
          bare. On a shelf by the window are dusty jars of fruit,
          preserved. He grabs a jar, prizes open the lid and finds a an
          oily slick of black mucus floating in the top, like rotted
          mushroom spores. He sniffs it suspiciously, holds it up to
          the light.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          48.

                         CONTINUED:
          In the light small black fish hook-shaped spores drift from
          the top of the jar to the bottom. He replaces the lid,
          appalled.

          EXT. PORCH/OLD HOUSE - DAY

          The BOY is sitting on the steps of the porch drawing with
          crayons on a pad taken from his knapsack. Across the road is
          another big old house, much of the clapboard missing, swathed
          in dead brambles - the BOY suddenly looks up and stares at
          it, distracted.

          EXT. BACK YARD - DAY

          The MAN comes outside and regards the deadened yard, old
          garden hoe and spade, gardening equipment and several dead
          apple trees. He goes over and examines the ashen ground and
          digs about to unearth several small, dark brown, shrivelled 
          spheres spaced several feet apart - apples. He bends down and
          picks one up, examines, sniffs. He gathers up the strange
          apples and stuffs them in his pockets.

          EXT. PORCH/OLD HOUSE - DAY

          The BOY is still staring at the house across the road when he
          notices A GHOSTLY FACE, completely still, in a window. The
          BOY drops the pad and crayon and stands, surprised, not
          believing his eyes - it is the face of a SMALL BOY roughly
          his age, which disappears almost immediately, receding back
          into the gloom like a ghost.

          INT. PANTRY/CLAPBOARD HOUSE - DAY

           The MAN is in the looted pantry. He finds some shrivelled 
           raisins that haves spilt and hidden in the back of the shelf. 
           He puts them into a handkerchief, folds it and pockets it. He 

                         HEARS:

          BOY. (O.O.V.)
          Stop - stop!
          The MAN freezes, then charges out.

          EXT. PORCH/CLAPBOARD HOUSE - DAY

          The MAN rushes out and stares about frantically for the BOY -
          he's gone.

          EXT. HOUSE OPPOSITE - DAY

          The BOY has run across the road to another house.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          49.

                         CONTINUED:
          POV BOY - peeping around the side of the house is the other
          SMALL BOY, the same age, similarly grimy and thin, wearing an
          outsize woollen coat. The other SMALL BOY disappears down the
          side and the BOY runs after him.

          BOY.
          Wait! Come back! I won't hurt you!

          EXT. BACK YARD - DAY

          The BOY runs to the bottom of the yard where there is various
          suburban garden detritus, a dusty lawn mower, a clothes line,
          a shed, bikes with no tyres.

          BOY.
          Where are you?!
          The MAN comes sprinting up the side of the house and seizes
          him by the arm.

          MAN.
          What are you doing? What the hell
          are you doing?

          BOY.
          There's a little boy, Papa, I saw a
          little boy.

          MAN.
          There's no little boy. What's the
          matter with you?

          BOY.
          Yes there is! I saw him! A boy just
          like me.
          The MAN takes the BOY by the arm and drags him back through
          the yard, up the side of the house, the BOY resisting, crying
          and looking back all the way.

          BOY. (CONT'D)
          Why? Why can't I go and see him?

          EXT. HOUSE - DAY

          Out the front of the house the BOY digs his heels in and the
          MAN has to drag him, his feet slithering through the dirt.

          BOY.
          I need to see him! I need to!

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          50.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          Why?

          BOY.
          I just do!
          The BOY has gone limp, weeping bitterly, resisting being
          moved. The MAN gives up and squats beside the sobbing BOY.

          MAN.
          Okay, I'm sorry. I understand.
          He holds him, wipes his tears from his cheeks.

          EXT. TOWN STREET/OVERPASS - EVENING

          In the failing light they come across a late model Chevy
          abandoned under an overpass.

          BOY.
          Papa? Will there be other boys like
          me at the coast?

          MAN.
          I hope so.
          The MAN goes to the car, wipes thick dust from the windscreen
          and peers in - it's empty.

          INT. CHEVY - (CAMP 9) - NIGHT 

          They try to get comfortable in the leather seats, the MAN
          spreading the blankets over them and tucking the BOY in. They
          are quiet a moment as they watch darkness start to fall.

                         THEN:

          MAN.
          I got you something
          The MAN produces from his pocket one of the tiny hard brown
          apples and holds it up to the remaining light.

          BOY.
          What is it?

          MAN.
          It's an apple.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          51.

                         CONTINUED:
          He hands it to the boy who examines it curiously. The MAN
          takes out a pocket knife, takes the apple back, cuts the
          apple in half to reveal a woody brown interior. They regard
          the mahogany apple uncertainly, the MAN is the first to take
          a bite, with some difficulty. The BOY bites his half and
          makes a face.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Suck it a while and it'll soften.
          They sit sucking and chewing the ancient apple.

          BOY.
          Did you ever have any friends?
          The MAN eyes the BOY - curious at the sudden question.

          MAN.
          Yes. I did.

          BOY.
          Lots of them?

          MAN.
          Yes...

          BOY.
          Do you remember them?

          MAN.
          Yes. I remember all of them...

          BOY.
          What happened to them?

          MAN.
          They died.

          BOY.
          All of them?

          MAN.
          Yes. All of them.

          EXT. URBAN ENVIRONS (MONTAGE) DAY

           The MAN and the BOY make their way out of the ruined city. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          52.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN. (V.0.)
          He yearns for his own friends and
          imagines how things will be
          different at the coast - and that
          there will be other children
          there... .When I have nothing else,
          I try to dream the dreams of a
          child's imaginings...

          EXT. DESOLATE ROAD - DAY 

          The MAN and BOY walk along a desolate road in what was once 
          farmland, grain silos loom ominously, still standing. 

          BOY.
          Do you know where we are Papa?

          MAN.
          I think we're about two hundred
          miles from the coast. As the crow
          flies.

          BOY. 
          "As the crow flies?"

          MAN.
          It means, going in a straight line. 
          POV MAN - In the background, something catches his eye and he 

                         FOCUSES ON:
          A frieze of HUMAN HEADS, dried with taut grins and shrunken
          eyes, perched on wooden poles. Some are tattooed with targets 
          and runic slogans. Some are skinless, with signs and words
          inked onto them. One has suture marks etched on it, like a
          blue print for assembly.

          BOY.
          There aren't any crows are there?
          Just in books.

          MAN.
          Yeah, just in books...
          The MAN stares at the heads as the BOY continues his
          conversation, distracted and not seeing the heads. 

          BOY.
          Do you think there might be crows
          somewhere?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          53.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          I don't know...

          BOY.
          But what do you think?

          MAN.
          I think it's unlikely...
          They keep walking and talking, the MAN grim-faced but the BOY
          intent on what's ahead.

          BOY.
          Could they fly to Mars or some
          place?

          MAN.
          No, they couldn't fly to Mars...

          BOY.
          Because it's too far?

          MAN.
          Yes.
          The MAN discretely hurries the BOY on with a guiding hand
          towards the woods and off the road.

          BOY.
          What if they tried and-and-and they
          just got halfway or something and
          then they were too tired? Would
          they fall back down...?

          EXT. EDGE OF WOODS - EVENING 

          On the edge of the wood the MAN and the BOY stop to examine 
          footprints in the snow. 
          The MAN listens and hears: the low THUDDING of BULL DRUMS in 
          the distance. He looks at the exhausted BOY a moment.

          MAN.
          We can't go back on the road.

          BOY.
          Why, Papa?

          MAN.
          I think someone's coming.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          54.

                         CONTINUED:
          The BOY stares at the tracks. The MAN stares in both
          directions, examining the road in the distance. He moves a
          few paces and notices tied to a dead sapling a thin red
          neckerchief. He takes a few steps and through a gap in the
          trees sees a clearing - snow and a mass of BLOOD RED
          FOOTPRINTS, the icy snow stained blood red like a sorbet. A
          killing floor.

          BOY.
          Will they see our tracks?

          MAN.
          We'll cover them.
          The MAN moves the BOY away and kicks snow over their tracks -
          then lays fresh ones going in several different directions.
          The BOY copies him, leaving his own maze of tracks. They run 
          off keeping parallel with the road but staying off it. 
          POV MAN - in the distance TWO FIGURES appear on the road.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Here they come.
          The MAN now looks over his shoulder for a good look, then
          grabs the BOY's hand and takes off.

          EXT. HIGH GROUND - EVENING

          TWO MEN come prowling on the ROAD, they are MILITANTS from
          some sort of ARMY, wearing the same red neckerchiefs and
          carrying weapons, searching, predatory.
          WIDER - we see that only 30 feet away, concealed amongst the
          trees, the MAN and BOY are crouched in blankets, watching.
          The two MILITANTS stop and look around, as if they sense the
          BOY and the MAN - who freeze, frightened to breathe. The
          MILITANTS sniff the air menacingly.
          One of them walks over to a stone by the side of the road,
          leans down and starts sharpening his lance, made from a the
          straightened coil spring of a car. The MAN and the BOY watch -
          wide-eyed. Eventually the MILITANTS walk off up the road.

          BOY.
          What are we going to do?
          No answer.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          55.

          EXT. DEEP IN THE WOODS - (CAMP 10) - EVENING 

          There is a thick carpet of gray snow. The man lays out a tarp
          on the ground and blankets on top. Out of the murky sky more
          gray snow is falling. The MAN is distracted by a sudden
          noise, the LOUD CRACK of sheering wood - this time very
          close. He looks around just as:
          Out of nowhere a tree branch sails down, barely missing them, 
          landing with a heavy WHUMP just feet away. 

          MAN. 
          Move! Quickly! 
          He tries to get the BOY to his feet but he is limp, staring 
          around blearily, exhausted.
          They hear another loud WHUMP. Then the GROAN of timber and
          another WHUMP as trees start to keel over around them. The
          MAN grabs the BOY and runs as best he can through the snow
          and falling trees. They have abandoned their blankets, tarp
          and backpacks.

          BOY. 
          What's happening? 

          MAN. 
          Just keep moving, run! 
          They rush through the woods as more and more trees fall one
          after the other, WHUMP, WHUMP, WHUMP, great loads of snow
          falling from limbs to the ground with a BOOM, setting the
          woods shuddering. The BOY is getting bogged in the snow and
          the MAN stoops and scoops up the BOY and they cram themselves
          under a fat fallen tree to shield themselves.

           EXT. SEWER PIPE/EMBANKMENT, SNOWDRIFT - (CAMP 11) - NIGHT 

           They are huddled inside a huge SEWER PIPE, sheltering. 
           The BOY is wrapped up inside the man's coat, wet and 
           shivering, wide awake, nerves shredded, too anxious to lie 
          down and sleep now. 
          The MAN boils water in a car hubcab.
          He takes from his pocket the handkerchief filled with 
          raisins, offers them.

          BOY.
          That's all there is, isn't it?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         56

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          Yes.

          BOY.
          There's nothing left anywhere.

          MAN.
          No.
          They sit eating raisins, saying nothing until they're
          finished.

          BOY.
          Can I ask you something?

          MAN.
          Sure.

          BOY.
          Are we going to die now?
          The MAN just looks at the BOY, then looks away.

          MAN.
          What do you think is going to
          happen? We're just going to
          suddenly keel over and die? It
          takes a long time to die of
          starvation. The important thing is
          water to stop you dehydrating.
          We've got water. We'll be all
          right.

          EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN - MORNING 

          Snowed in farmland, in the background a rowoffallen and
          crumpled high tension electrical towers. Atownin the far
          distance ahead of the BOY and the MAN. TheBOYis hunched
          over with a hunger cramp. They are both wetandshivering.
          The MAN eyes the BOY anxiously.

          EXT. PATIO/TOWN HOUSE - DAY 

           The MAN stands on the back patio of a house on the edge of 
          town, the BOY at his side, fields stretching out before them,
          the land flattened and dead, ravaged fences running the
          perimeter. In the yard are a few dead trees, a fence, a metal
          tool shed, an old barbecue on the patio made from a 44 gallon
          drum. The MAN slides the patio door open and peers inside
          gingerly.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          57.

          INT. BEDROOM/TOWN HOUSE - DAY

          The MAN is in the bedroom looking around for useful things -
          it has been stripped, the wooden frame gone from the window,
          the bureau ransacked and chopped up - only a summer dress on
          a wire hanger on the back of the door remains. He glances at
          empty drawers on the floor and a cupboard before turning his
          attention to the bed.
          He blinks and sways a moment, trying to focus on:
          POV MAN - underneath the filthy, dusty blankets a thin, dried
          head pokes out, the blankets pulled up to the chin. On the
          pillow are long hunks of rotted hair.

          MAN. (V.0.)
          Every day is a lie. But I am slowly
          dying. That is not a lie .I am
          trying to prepare him for the day
          when I am gone.
          He takes hold of the lower hem of the blanket and tows it off
          the bed, revealing a desiccated corpse. He ignores it,
          shaking the blanket out and folding it under his arm. He
          notices the BOY at his side, watching wide-eyed.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Nothing you haven't seen before.
          They go out.

          INT. KITCHEN/TOWN HOUSE - DAY

          The MAN opens and shuts empty cupboards, slamming the doors,
          increasingly desperate, close to tears of frustration now.
          Eventually he feels dizzy and has to sit on the floor. He
          just sits there, alone on the kitchen floor, clenching and
          unclenching his fists, his head in his hands, when he hears:

          BOY. (O.O.V.)
          Papa!
          The MAN draws his pistol and goes out, alert again.

          INT. TOWN HOUSE - DAY 

          The BOY is staring at himself in a dusty, flyblown full
          length mirror. As the MAN comes in he sees the BOY's
          reflection and his own and jumps.

          BOY.
          It's us.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          58.

                         CONTINUED:
          The BOY stares at his reflection - he looks like an alien,
          skinny with giant staring eyes on shaky legs.

          BOY. (CONT'D)
          We look skinny.

          MAN.
          We are skinny.
          The MAN puts the blanket around the BOY's shoulders. He
          notices an old upright piano, covered in ash and dust. The
          BOY stares as he goes to it, lifts the lid and plays a chord.
          The BOY's eyes light up and he is magnetized, instantly
          coming over and waiting for the next note. The MAN plays
          another chord.

          BOY.
          What is it?

          MAN.
          It's a piano.

          BOY.
          What's it for?

          MAN.
          For making music. This... (HE
          PLAYS.) is music. Your mother
          played very well.

          BOY.
          I don't remember. 

          MAN.
          Before you were born. We had one 
          just like it. It was beautiful. 

          BOY.
          What happened to it?

          MAN.
          Chopped it up for firewood.
          He stares into space, slumps suddenly, overcome with emotion 
          as he remembers: 

          INT. CLAPBOARD HOUSE - DAY 

          FLASHBACK - Just the MAN and the pregnant WOMAN alone in the
          house, just before the BOY was born. Some of the furniture
          has been broken up for firewood - there are broken pieces by
          the fire and a huge axe propped on the hearth.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          59.

                         CONTINUED:
          The WOMAN stands at the piano and tries to play. She plays
          for a moment and the MAN cracks a rare smile - the piano is
          out of tune and she stops. She plays a bit more but soon
          starts to bang the keys atonally in frustration. The MAN just
          lets her get on with it until she's spent.

          WOMAN.
          I used to worry what would happen
          if there was a fire. What would I
          save? What could I bear to lose?
          There used to be so many things, so
          many beautiful things. Things
          people made. Things nature made.
          Who knew we would lose it all?

          MAN. 
          I'll strip the floorboards. 

          WOMAN. 
          You can't live without a floor. 

          MAN. 
          You can't live without a piano. 
          She starts to dismantle the piano, opening the lid, taking it 
          off it's hinges, it's heavy, she hands him the heavy lid and 
          he reluctantly dumps it on the floor. 

          WOMAN. 
          It's my piano. 

          MAN. 
          I bought it for you. 

          WOMAN. 
          It needs tuning. Who's going to 
          tune it? Can you tune it? 
          They look at each other sadly. They take the front piece away 
          and dump that. The WOMAN picks up the axe and hands it to the 
          MAN. He swings it at the frame. 

          END OF FLASHBACK.

          EXT. YARD - DAY

          The MAN walks toward a tin shed and crosses the dead grass.
          He stops suddenly. He stamps about a bit, listening. He
          continues on into the shed. Beside the shed sits an
          INDUSTRIAL GARDEN TROLLEY. The man reappears, spade in hand.
          He digs the spade into the dead grass and hear's it CHOMP
          into wood. He digs more urgently, increasingly exhausted,
          until a door is revealed in the dirt.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          60.

                         CONTINUED:
          He is so engrossed he hasn't noticed the BOY standing a few
          feet away, watching with saucer eyes, scared.

          BOY.
          Don't open it, Papa.

          MAN.
          It'll be okay.

          BOY.
          Please, Papa, please.

          MAN.
          It's okay.

          BOY.
          No it's not! What if there's people
          hiding down there?
          The MAN ignores him, focussed as he chops the plywood around
          the lock, gets the spade under a corner and levers the door
          open. The BOY has his fists bunched up to his chest, bobbing
          up and down with fear.
          The MAN starts to descend a hand made wooden stair case in
          the bunker. He takes another disposable lighter from his
          pocket, gives the child a kiss on the forehead and then 
          disappears into the bunker, leaving the worried BOY staring
          after him. The BOY looks around at the deserted yard as the
          evening draws in, now even more frightened.

          MAN. (O.O.V.)
          Oh my God... oh my God!

          BOY.
          What is it, Papa?

          MAN (O.O.V.)
          Come down. Oh my God come down.
          The BOY is in the hole and down the steps like lightning.

          INT. BUNKER - (CAMP 12) - EVENING

           The little BOY CLATTERS down the steps. The MAN is busy 
          lighting up candles. 

          BOY.
          Papa? What did you find?

          MAN.
          Everything. I found everything.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          61.

                         CONTINUED:
          Stored in the bunker are crate upon crate of canned goods:
          tomatoes, peaches, beans, apricots, canned ham, corned beef,
          hundreds of gallons of water in ferry cans and in boxes paper
          towels, toilet paper and trash bags stuffed with blankets.
          The MAN takes the BOY's hand and helps him down, then goes
          back up the steps and draws the door shut and jams a pair of
          metal pliers through the heavy inside hasp to stop the door
          being opened. He goes back down the steps to the BOY and
          holds up a candle to illuminate the shelves.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Can you see?

          BOY.
          What is all this stuff?

          MAN.
          It's food! Can you read the labels?
          The BOY stares at the brightly colored packaging, he's never
          seen anything like it before. The MAN hands the BOY a tin.

          BOY.
          "Pears." It says "pears."

          MAN.
          Yes! It does! Oh yes it does!
          Pears!
          They inspect the shelves: chilli, corn, stew, soup, spaghetti
          sauce, the BOY's eyes are like saucers.

          BOY.
          Is it real?

          MAN.
          Oh yes, it's real all right.
          The MAN pulls a box of butane lighters from the shelf and
          tests one, it doesn't work. He tests another which works, it
          has a large flame - he uses it to read the labels.

          BOY.
          Why is it here?

          MAN.
          Because someone thought it might be
          needed.

          BOY.
          But they died.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          62.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          MAN.
          Yes. What would you like for
          breakfast?

          BOY. (THINKS.)
          Pears.

          MAN.
          Pears it is.
          The MAN claws open a box and pulls out a tin of pears. He
          gets paper bowls from a stack, plastic forks and spoons, lays
          them out. He finds a camping lamp. He puts a butane cannister
          in and lights up the lamp. He finds a can opener and opens 
          the pears while the BOY watches silently, wrapping a blanket
          around himself and sitting on the soft bunk bed.

          BOY.
          Is it okay for us to take it?

          MAN.
          They'd want us to.
          The MAN dishes up two bowls of pears and they sit side by
          side on the bunk with spoons and pears.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          These will be the best pears you
          ever tasted. The best. You just
          wait.
          They eat in silence. They lick the spoons and drink the syrup
          from the bowls. The MAN feels inside his mouth with his
          fingers - the sugar irritating a sore tooth.

           MAN. (CONT'D)
           Too sweet.
           The BOY smiles, amused, and the MAN opens another tin. 

          INT. BUNKER - (CAMP 12)- EVENING 

           Ham and powdered eggs frying in a pan on the camping stove. 
           The kettle is boiling on another ring of the gas stove. The 
          BOY just stares at the bubbling food as the MAN cooks.
          Nearby a breakfast table is set out on a stack of boxes
          acting as a breakfast bar: biscuits, a plate of butter,
          condensed milk, salt and pepper plates and utensils.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          63.

                         CONTINUED:
          The MAN brings the pan over and forks over chunks of ham onto
          the pates, then spoonsfull of scrambled eggs from a second
          pan, then baked beans from a small pot. The BOY just stares,
          as if drugged, uncomprehending, the food alien to him.

          MAN.
          Go ahead. Don't let it get cold.

          BOY.
          What do I eat first?

          MAN.
          Whatever you like.
          The BOY eats a hunk of ham as the MAN pours coffee.

          BOY.
          Is this coffee?

          MAN.
          That's right. Careful it's hot.
          He hands him coffee.

          BOY.
          We did good, didn't we Papa?

          MAN.
          Yeah, we did good.

          INT. BUNKER - (CAMP 12)- NIGHT 

          The MAN puts the BOY to bed in a bunk and smooths his filthy
          hair tenderly, smiling with relief, until the BOY shuts his
          eyes and nods off. He covers the BOY with a blanket and
          kisses him. He just sits watching the BOY sleep, suddenly on
          the verge of tears.

          INT. BUNKER - (CAMP 12) - NIGHT 

           The MAN folds the BOY's tiny clothes, noticing the bulging 
           pockets of his pants. He empties them, creating a small pile
           of collected artefacts: a smooth stone, a marble, an old
           house key, bottle tops, a smooth, hand made Indian arrow 
           head, fashioned from stone, lastly a broken piece of a 
           woman's mother of pearl hair comb. 
           By the BOY's bunk he unfolds the crayon drawing he's been 
          working on and examines it, deeply moved:

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          64.

                         CONTINUED:
          POV MAN - an eccentric, childlike drawing of the WOMAN,
          skinny like a stick figure but, inexplicably, with a brightly
          smiling face and big laughing eyes, labelled simply "mom" in
          spidery scrawl.
          Stirring classical music fades up and into:

          INT. THEATRE - EVENING

          FLASHBACK - Close in on a pair of LEGS in stockings, a summer
          dress, a WOMAN's hands holding a MAN's hand in her lap. The
          MAN feels the tops of the stockings with his fingers.
          WIDER - the MAN is with the WOMAN in a concert theatre, at a
          recital. The WOMAN wears the mother of pearl hair comb. The 
          seats are velvet, gold scrollwork adorns the boxes, an
          illustrious, fortunate world.

          END OF FLASHBACK.

          INT. BUNKER - (CAMP 12) - MORNING 

          The BOY wakes blearily and immediately notices his collection
          of artefacts turfed out by the bed.
          Nearby the MAN is dressing as the BOY starts gathering up his
          collection crossly, especially protective of the arrow ahead -
          or just embarrassed. They look at each other.

          MAN.
          What?

          BOY. (TEASING BUT INDIGNANT.) 
          Don't touch my stuff. 

          EXT. LAWN - DAWN

          The hatch opens and the MAN's face appears, as he looks
          around. He opens the hatch more and clambers out with a
          couple of jerry cans of water, the yard is quiet. Next, the
          BOY's face pops up and peers around. He clambers out carrying
          a big pot with a camping stove in it.

          INT. BATHROOM, TOWN HOUSE - DAWN 

           They empty the jerry cans into the huge pot, light the stove
           and put the pot on the stove to heat the water. 

                         

                         

                         

                         

          65.

          INT. BATHROOM, TOWN HOUSE - DAWN 

           The BOY is in the bath, filthy and scrawny, as the MAN bathes 
          him, rubbing him with soap, scrubbing an oily film of scum
          from his dirty neck to reveal clean pale skin underneath.

          MAN.
          What do you think?

          BOY.
          Nice and warm.
          He washes the BOY's hair, lathing water over him with the
          pot. He has a sudden thought:

                         CUT TO:

          INT. BATHROOM/CLAPBOARD HOUSE - DAY

          FLASHBACK - the MAN watches unseen from the doorway as the
          WOMAN tenderly washes the BOY's hair - he is perhaps a year
          younger than at the start of the film - she appears lost in
          the task, enjoying it, chatting away to the BOY, momentarily
          unburdened. She sticks a finger in the BOY's ears, giving
          them a good soaping, which he likes.

          WOMAN.
          You could grow potatoes in these
          ears... 

          INT. BATHROOM, TOWN HOUSE - DAY 

           END FLASHBACK - now the MAN is in the tub, also scrawny and 
          filthy, lost in thought as he soaps up - the BOY helps. 

          INT. BATHROOM, TOWN HOUSE - DAY 

          The MAN trims his beard off with scissors in a mirror. He
          lathers up with shaving cream and starts to shave with a
          plastic safety razor. When the MAN is done he turns to the
          BOY, wiping away the foam.

          MAN.
          How do I look?

          BOY.
          Weird. Won't you be cold? 

          INT. BATHROOM, TOWN HOUSE - DAY

          Now the MAN is cutting the BOY's hair with kitchen scissors
          and a plastic comb.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          66.

                         CONTINUED:
          The BOY has a towel around his shoulders and long locks of
          hair decorate it. The MAN finishes, takes the towel off,
          wipes the BOY's neck and face with a flannel, holds up a
          mirror for the BOY to see.

          BOY.
          I look funny.

          INT. BUNKER - (CAMP 12) - MORNING

          They sit on the bunk bed with a checkerboard between them
          sipping thick hot chocolate made with condensed milk from
          plastic mugs and concentrating on the board, their worn out,
          wet blue jeans drying on a drying rack in the back ground.
          They are both wearing new sweaters too big for them,
          plundered from the stores. The MAN watches the BOY fondly,
          absorbed in checkers.

          EXT. LAWN - NIGHT

          Heavy rain slashes down on the lawn, already pools of water
          are flooding the lawn.

          INT. BUNKER - (CAMP 12) - NIGHT

          A shiny new quart of whiskey is slipped from its paper liquor
          store bag and opened with a soft CRACK. The whiskey is poured
          into a glass with a satisfying GLUG.
          WIDER - another feast is laid out, ham and powdered mash
          potato and biscuits and gravy. The BOY is eating while the
          MAN pours a whiskey. The BOY stops eating to watch the MAN
          drink the whiskey. The MAN's eyes glaze as he sips the strong
          liquor, dizzy already. 

          BOY.
          Can I try some?

          MAN.
          No. You won't like it. Makes you
          feel funny.
          The BOY stares, curious, wanting it.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          You think I come from another
          world, don't you? Filled with all
          these strange things you've never
          seen.

          BOY.
          Sort of.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          67.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          Well, I do I guess.

          EXT. LAWN - EVENING

          The MAN just stands in the middle of the lawn COUGHING his
          guts up in the dark rain - again the phlemy wet cough. He
          bends over, sweating, listening, knowing it's the sound of
          fluid on the lungs.
          As he listens he hears something above the rain - he keeps
          shifting position, as if hearing different sounds from
          different directions. Nevertheless he anxiously looks around,
          then goes to the porch and drags an old mattress over, across
          the dead grass to the hatch.
          He lays it half across the hatch, crawls through the
          remaining gap and hauls the mattress the rest of the way over
          the hatch, then pulls the hatch closed with the old mattress
          lying on top. It just looks like an old mattress lying on a
          lawn in the rain.

          INT. BUNKER - (CAMP 12) - DAWN

          The MAN listens to the PATTER of rain and hears another
          sound... something or someone RUSTLING around the mattress
          above. He hears the sound of the MATTRESS being DRAGGED off
          of the door. He hears SCRABBLING and SCRATCHING on the door
          and freezes, staring at the lock, waiting for the
          inevitable... He quietly picks up the revolver. He looks
          across and sees the BOY is now wide awake too, staring, wide-
          eyed.

          BOY.
          What is it?

          MAN.
          Shh.

          BOY (WHISPERS.)
          Maybe it's a dog.

          MAN (WHISPERS.)
          It's not a dog.

          BOY. (BARELY MANAGING TO WHISPER.)
          It is! It's a dog! A dog!
          The MAN listens anxiously as the pawing and scratching
          continues, the wood over the bunker amplifying the noise. He
          cocks the revolver and positions himself under the hatch,
          ready.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          68.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          If it's a dog it'll be with
          someone.

          BOY.
          Who?

          MAN.
          I don't know.
          After a torturous moment the sounds die away.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          I'm not waiting to find out. Come
          on. Let's get out of here.

          BOY.
          I don't want to go.

          MAN.
          I know but it's not safe anymore.
          The MAN grabs his gun and cocks it, rushes about turning out
          all the lamps, and they sit anxiously in the darkness. 

          EXT. LAWN - MORNING 

          LATER - it's now lighter outside, the mattress lifts as the
          MAN opens the trap door and very carefully peeps out. He
          looks around, all angles, checking the coast is clear, then
          shuts the hatch again.

          INT. BUNKER - (CAMP 12) - MORNING 

           The MAN starts loading cans and packets into a carton. He 
           gathers a couple of large jerry cans of water. The BOY helps. 

          BOY.
          What are we going to do with all
          this stuff?

          MAN.
          We'll just have to take what we
          can.

          BOY.
          I wish we could live here. And we
          could keep the dog and the dog
          could catch food for us.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          69.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          Look, there is no dog, okay? I'm
          sorry but there just isn't.

          BOY.
          Well what is it!

          MAN.
          I don't know what it is!

          BOY.
          Please Papa.

          MAN.
          No.

          BOY.
          Just say it's going to be all
          right, Papa. Say it. Just say it,
          please.
          The MAN doesn't know what to say, losing patience.

          MAN.
          Listen, trouble comes when you
          least expect it. So maybe the thing
          to do is to just always expect it.

          BOY.
          Do you always expect it? Papa?

          MAN.
          I do, yes.

          BOY.
          You always think bad things are
          going to happen but we found this
          place. Maybe we'll find another
          place like this at the coast.

          MAN.
          Maybe.
          The MAN dumps the carton of food on the floor and packs
          another, organising jerry cans of water.

          EXT. LAWN - MORNING

          The INDUSTRIAL TROLLEY is loaded up and tied with a grey
          tarp. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          70.

                         CONTINUED:

          BOY.
          What are you doing?

          MAN.
          We'll have to cover our tracks from 
          now on.
          The MAN drags the old mattress back over the entrance to the 
          bunker. He carefully covers the surrounding area with debris. 

          EXT. RIVER - DAY

          The MAN pulls the new trolley across a bridge, stagnant black
          water underneath, the trolley is now laden with jerry cans of
          fresh water and cartons containing as many tins of food and
          supplies as they could manage. The BOY trails along behind.
          They are a strange sight, clean clothed, clean shaven, short
          haired, in their new jumpers - and now both wearing new
          surgical masks which they raise off their faces to speak.
          The MAN keeps checking behind him. 
          POV MAN - he sees the glint of glass, perhaps a pair of 
          BINOCULARS watching them.
          The BOY watches anxiously as the MAN gets out his own
          BINOCULARS and looks through them.
          POV MAN - a mysterious winking glint of light which quickly
          disappears.
          POV - through a different pair of binoculars, a completely
          different POV, we see the MAN looking through his binoculars
          at us.

          MAN.
          I think they're following us.

          BOY.
          Who?

          MAN.
          I don't know.

          BOY.
          You think it's bad guys?

          MAN.
          Probably.

          BOY.
          What if it's good guys?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          71.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          I don't think we're likely to meet
          any good guys for a while. We have
          to be careful now. We've got food.

          EXT. BEND/THE ROAD - DAY

          As they round a bend in the road they see a hunched figure
          walking ahead of them. The MAN stops abruptly, gets out the
          binoculars and watches:
          POV MAN - a distant, hunched figure hobbling away from them.

          EXT. ROAD - DAY

          They come up behind an OLD MAN, hunched over, withered,
          silent as he hobbles ahead. He wears layers of torn clothing
          and his feet are wrapped in rags and cardboard tied with
          green twine. They slowly approach and the man stops, turns
          and watches them suspiciously as they draw level.

          OLD MAN.
          I don't have anything for you. You
          can look if you want. I got
          nothing.

          MAN.
          We're not robbers.
          The OLD MAN leans an ear forward, deaf.

          OLD MAN.
          What?

          MAN.
          I said we're not robbers.

          OLD MAN.
          What are you?

          MAN.
          We're just like you.

          OLD MAN.
          What are you following me for?

          MAN.
          We're not following you.

          BOY.
          We've got food we could give him.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          72.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          He's not getting any food.
          The OLD MAN looks away, avoiding their eyes.

          BOY.
          He's scared, Papa.

          MAN.
          Everybody's scared.

          BOY.
          Please Papa.

          MAN.

                         ALL RIGHT1
          The MAN eyes the road to the left and right, then draws his
          revolver.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          If this is an ambush, he goes
          first.
          He goes out to the trolley and rummages in it while the BOY
          and the OLD MAN stare at each other. The MAN comes back with
          a tin of fruit cocktail and a tin opener and opens it and
          hands it to the BOY. The BOY places the tin of fruit on the
          road in front of the OLD MAN.

          BOY.
          Take it. Here.
          The OLD MAN doesn't move.

          BOY. (CONT'D)
          What about a spoon?

          MAN.
          He's not getting a spoon.
          The BOY urges him on, miming with his hands, as if feeding a
          raccoon.

          BOY.
          Eat it. It's good.
          The OLD MAN picks up the tin and his filthy long nails
          CLATTER on the tin as he tips it to his mouth, the juice
          running down his chin, his head jerking as he swallows.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          73.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          BOY. (CONT'D)
          Look, Papa. He's hungry.

          MAN.
          I see it. And I know what you're
          going to ask me. And the answer is
          No.

          BOY.
          What's the question?

          MAN.
          We can't keep him.
          They watch him eating painfully slowly. The OLD MAN finishes
          and sits down in the road holding the tin, staring at it, as
          if it might refill.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          When did you last eat?
          The OLD MAN just stares.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Do you want to eat with us?

          OLD MAN.
          I don't know. What do I have to do?

          MAN.
          Tell us where the world went.

          OLD MAN.
          What?

          MAN.
          You don't have to do anything. Can
          you walk okay?
          They help the OLD MAN off the road and hand him his cane but
          he pushes it away.

          OLD MAN.
          I can walk.
           They walk off the road towards the dead, blackened woods.

          EXT. WOODS - DAY

          As they leave the road the OLD MAN studies the BOY. The BOY
          goes to take his hand:

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          74.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          (TO BOY.) Don't hold his hand.

          BOY.
          He can't see.

          MAN.
          Don't.
          The trio walk into the woods.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          How old are you?

          OLD MAN.
          I'm ninety.

          MAN.
          Ninety my ass! Is that what you
          tell people? So they don't hurt
          you?

          OLD MAN.
          Uh-huh.

          MAN.
          Does it work?

          OLD MAN.
          Nope.

          MAN.
          What's your name?

          OLD MAN.
          Ely.

          MAN.
          Just "Ely?"

          OLD MAN.
          What's wrong with "Ely?"

          EXT. CLEARING/WOODS - (CAMP 14) - EVENING 

           There's a camp fire now. The OLD MAN sits wrapped in a quilt,
           eating with a spoon and-licking his plate clean. In the far 
           distance, the faint glow of fires. The orange light bounces 
          into the night sky eerily. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          75.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          How come you're still alive? What
          do you eat?

          OLD MAN.
          I don't know. People give you
          things.

          MAN.
          No they don't.

          OLD MAN.
          You did.

          MAN.
          I didn't. He did.
          The OLD MAN eyes the BOY, closely, half blind.

          OLD MAN.
          Are you a little boy?

          MAN.
          What does he look like?

          OLD MAN.
          I don't know. I can't see real
          good.

          MAN.
          Is that right? Can you see me?

          OLD MAN.
          No. But I can tell somebody's
          there.

          MAN (TO BOY.)
          Okay. You need to sleep. Come on.
          He gathers up the BOY and takes him a few feet away, settles
          him down in blankets while the OLD MAN stares into the fire.

          OLD MAN. 
          I had a little boy once. Gone... 
          all gone... 

          MAN. 
          What happened to him? 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          76.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          OLD MAN.
          I can't... I can't talk about
          that... leastways not with you I
          can't.
          When the MAN returns he has his gun which he surreptitiously
          places on the ground in full view of the OLD MAN.

          MAN.
          You can see that, right? Okay. Tell
          me now. You're not a shill for a
          pack of road agents?

          OLD MAN.
          I'm not anything. I'll go if you
          want me to. I can find the road.
          The MAN stares at the OLD MAN cynically but the OLD MAN just
          stares back blankly.

          OLD MAN. (CONT'D)
          I live like an animal. You don't
          want to know the things I've had to
          eat. When I saw that boy I thought
          I'd died and he was an angel. I
          never thought I'd see a child
          again. I never thought that would
          happen to me.

          MAN.
          He is an angel. To me he's a God.

          OLD MAN.
          Well I hope that's not true. To be
          on the road with the last surviving
          God would be a pretty frightening
          experience.

          MAN.
          Why do you say that?

          OLD MAN.
          Where men can't live, Gods can't
          either. The road gangs would tear
          you limb from limb, both of you.
          The low RUMBLE in the earth is heard again, an earthquake,
          this time in the distance. They listen a moment.

          OLD MAN. (CONT'D)
          I knew this was coming. This or
          something like it.

                         (MORE)

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          77.

                         CONTINUED: (3)

           OLD MAN. (CONT'D)
          There were warnings. People thought
          it was a con - I always believed in
          it.

          MAN.
          Did you try to get ready for it?

          OLD MAN.
          No. What would you do? Even if you
          knew what to do you wouldn't know
          what to do. Suppose you were the
          last man left alive?

          MAN.
          How would you know if you were the
          last man alive?

          OLD MAN.
          I don't guess you would know it.
          You'd just be it.

          MAN.
          Maybe God would know.

          OLD MAN.
          If there is a God up there he would
          have turned his back on us by now.
          Whoever made humanity will find no
          humanity here.
          The MAN pours hot water into mugs to make coffee, hands one
          to the OLD MAN. They drink.

          MAN.
          Do you ever wish you would die?

          OLD MAN.
          No. It's foolish to ask for
          luxuries in times like these.

          EXT. EDGE OF WOODS - (CAMP 14) - MORNING 

           The BOY and the OLD MAN are standing by the trolley. The MAN 
          is watching from further away. The OLD MAN is fitting another
          can of peaches the BOY has given him into his knapsack.

                         M
          You should thank him you know. I
          wouldn't have given you anything.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          78.

                         CONTINUED:

          OLD MAN.
          Maybe I should and maybe I
          shouldn't. I wouldn't have given
          you anything.
          The OLD MAN looks around, orientating himself, and goes,
          tapping his cane, without a glance back at the BOY or the
          MAN. The MAN gives the BOY a reproachful look and the BOY
          looks defiant for the first time, a new distance between
          them.

          BOY.
          He's going to die and you don't
          care.

          MAN.
          I care enough. Maybe when we're out
          of food you'll have more time to
          think about it.

          BOY.
          You always say watch out for bad
          guys but that old man wasn't a bad
          guy and you can't even tell
          anymore.

          INT. CHURCH - (CAMP 13) - DAWN 

          The MAN and the BOY are camped inside an old church, dusty,
          faded stained glass is the only colour, startling after all
          the monochrome. The MAN and BOY are wrapped up in blankets, a
          small fire going. The BOY is asleep but the MAN is awake,
          coughing. He sits up, still coughing. He gets up and walks
          outside, trying to stifle the coughing.

          INT. CHURCH - (CAMP 13) - DAWN

           He wanders into an antechamber, coughing uncontrollably, 
           falls to his knees in a shroud of morning mist flooding the 
           church - and coughs up a gob of something dark and nasty, 
           spits it into the misty ground. 
           POV MAN - the mist before him clears to reveal a spattering 
           of dark blood on the pale ash. He stares, shocked, knowing 
          what it signifies. 

          INT. CHURCH - (CAMP 13) - DAWN 

           The BOY opens his eyes, he hasn't been asleep, listening to 
           the MAN cough, worried. The MAN returns and eyes the worried 

          BOY. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          79.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          What's wrong? 

          BOY. 
          I had a bad dream. 

          MAN. 
          What about? 

          BOY. 
           I don't want to tell you. Just you. 

          MAN. 
          What happened to me? 
          The BOY's face crinkles up, he starts to sob.
           The MAN coughs again and the BOY shoots out a hand, puts it 
          over the MAN's mouth to staunch the coughing. 

          MAN. (V.0.) (CONT'D)
          I tell him: When you dream about
          bad things happening it shows
          you're still fighting. You're still
          alive. It's when you start to dream
          about good things you should start
          to worry.

          EXT. ROAD/RAILWAY LINE, BLACKENED LANDSCAPE - DAY 

          They are trudging along the blacktop adjacent to a railway
          line. There is a SHOTGUN blast in the distance and the MAN 
          and the BOY stop and look around. The MAN checks behind him 
          instinctively.
          POV MAN - a thin spike of smoke from a campfire rising up in
          the woods behind. The BOY notices and looks behind.

          BOY.
          Do you think they're still
          following us?

          MAN.
          I think they've been following us
          for a long time.

          BOY-.
          Maybe it's Ely - the old man?

          MAN.
          How? On a broom stick?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          80.

                         CONTINUED:
          The BOY thinks about this for a moment as they approach the
          railway line.

          EXT. RAILWAY BRIDGE, BLACKENED LANDSCAPE (CAMP 15) EVENING 

          The MAN and the BOY are swaddled in blankets up amongst the
          rocks with a birds eye view of the road and a railway bridge
          they can see along the road and the dead trees for half a
          mile. The BOY is nodding off, his head lolling as the MAN
          keeps watch, increasingly paranoid. 

          EXT. BLUFFS, BLACKENED LANDSCAPE (CAMP 16) MORNING 

          As they come down from the bluffs, the MAN is staring into
          the dead woods where another thin stem of SMOKE is rising.

          BOY.
          What is it?

          MAN.
          More smoke. I think we should take
          a look.

          BOY.
          I don't want to. Let's just keep
          going.

          MAN.
          Whoever it is I don't want them
          behind us.

          BOY.
          What if they're bad guys?

          MAN.
          What if they're good guys?
          They look at each other, a stalemate. The MAN stands and
          starts to pack up the tarp.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Look. Whoever it is out there, it's
          better to know about it than to not
          know.

          BOY.
          Why?

          MAN.
          Because we don't like surprises.
          Surprises are scary.

                         (MORE)

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          81.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          They could sneak up on us further
          down the road. You need to learn
          this.
          The MAN folds the tarp and sleeping blankets and starts
          heading down the slope to the trolley, the BOY following.

          EXT. CLEARING, BLACKENED LANDSCAPE - MORNING 

          A deserted campsite, a campfire, recently abandoned. The MAN 
          and the BOY look around, disappointed. 

          EXT. DUNES/COAST ROAD, BLACKENED LANDSCAPE - DAY 

          Open country now, completely blackened landscape under heavy 
          ash. They are stopped. The BOY unfolds the threadbare map on 
          the ground, a crayon in his hand.

          MAN.
          You know where we are?

          BOY.
          No.

          MAN.
          Where do you think?
          The BOY points to a place on the map.

           MAN. (CONT'D)
          More.

           BOY.
          Here?

          MAN.
          No. We're closer than you think.
          He takes the crayon and points on the map.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          This is us. This is all sea.

          BOY.
          Is it blue?

          MAN-.
          The sea? I don't know. It used to
          be.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          82.

                         CONTINUED:
          The MAN picks up a desiccated pine cone from the ground, and
          stares at it, hollow-eyed, hungry. He squeezes it and it
          crumbles to dust. He takes a few steps, sniffing the air.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Can you smell that?

          BOY.
          It smells different.

          MAN.
          Everything is going to be
          different.

          EXT. DUNES - DAY

          The landscape has changed, dead salt bush and sand at the
          side of the road and finally, as they come around a bend in
          the road: dead sea grass sloping up to sand dunes up ahead.
          They look at each other and head for the dunes excitedly. The
          MAN hides the trolley discretely, so the BOY doesn't see his
          concern, he takes their bags, tarps and blankets with them as
          they head off for the dunes.

          EXT. TOP OF SAND DUNE - DAY 

          POV BOY - Gray beach, lead gray sea and waves rolling in
          slowly with a distant ROAR. On the beach a tide mark of wet
          gray ashy sludge and a skirt of glistening bones, fish
          skeletons bleached white on the sand.
          They take their parka hoods down and just stand there staring
          at the beach, the wind HOWLING around them, dozens of 
          bleached WHALE and FISH BONES and SKELETONS OF HUMANS who 
          have made it this far only to die. The MAN looks at the BOY
          and sees the intense disappointment.

          MAN.
          I'm sorry it's not blue.

          EXT. DUNES/BEACH - DAY

           They sit on the beach wrapped in blankets staring at a 
          surreal wall of impenetrable smog not far beyond where the
          waves are breaking. The MAN eyes the silent BOY, buffeted by
          wind, wrapped in a blanket, staring at the empty ocean...
          there is nothing and nobody there. They keep staring out to
          sea, filled with disappointment. The BOY impassively surveys
          the wall of smog which is like an iron curtain.

          BOY.
          What's on the other side?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          83.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          Nothing.

          BOY.
          There must be something.

          MAN.
          Maybe there's a father and his
          little boy and they're sitting on
          the beach too.

          BOY.
          And they could be carrying the fire
          too?

          MAN.
          They could be, yes.
          The MAN sees the BOY's hopefulness reappearing and strokes
          his head, his heart breaking for him.

          EXT. WATER'S EDGE - DAY

          The MAN and the BOY stand with their shoes off, the black sea
          washes up the sand at their filthy, blistered feet.

          BOY.
          What are our long term goals?

          MAN.
          "What are our long term goals?"
          Where did you hear that?

          BOY.
          I don't know. You said it.

          MAN.
          When?

          BOY.
          A long time ago.

          MAN.
          When your mother was here?

          BOY.
          I guess.

          MAN.
          And what was the answer?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          84.

                         CONTINUED:

          BOY.
          I don't know.

          MAN.
          Well, I don't either.
          They stare at the water - charred, quotidian household
          objects rolling back and forth in the surf. 

          BOY.
          Can I go swimming?

          MAN.
          Swimming? You'll freeze your nuts
          off.

          BOY.
          I know.

          MAN.
          I don't want to have to come in
          after you.
          The BOY lets the blanket fall and strips out of his parka and
          clothes. He runs along the beach naked, skinny and white,
          leaping SCREAMING into the icy surf.
          The MAN watches until the BOY comes out of the water, gasping
          with cold, shuddering. He wraps the BOY in the blanket and
          dries him off.

          EXT. BEACH - (CAMP 16) - EVENING 

          The BOY is wrapped in blankets by the fire as LIGHTNING
          flickers in the distance, illuminating the empty beach. The
          MAN drapes another blanket over them. He puts his arms around
          the BOY who is shivering and sweating, looking a little wild
          eyed, babbling a little.

          BOY.
          How many people do you think are
          still alive?

          MAN.
          In the world? I don't know. Not
          very many.

          BOY.
          There could be people alive
          someplace else. Besides on earth?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          85.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          I don't think so. They couldn't
          live any place else.

          BOY.
          Not even if they could get there?
          If they had a-a-a spaceship?

          MAN.
          No. It's unlikely.
          The BOY stares, shivering, thinking.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Are you all right? What is it?
          He cups his hand to the babbling BOY's forehead.

          BOY.
          I don't feel so good.
          The BOY bends away and vomits and the MAN helps, rubbing his
          back and wiping the BOY's mouth when he's done.

          BOY. (CONT'D)
          I'm sorry.

          MAN.
          That's okay, you didn't do anything
          wrong.
          The MAN is very worried now.

          EXT. SAND DUNES - (CAMP 16) - LATER 

           The MAN covers the BOY in more blankets and constructs a 
           makeshift tent with the tarp as the rain falls all around. 

          MAN.
          It's okay. You're going to be okay.
          It'll pass.

          BOY.
          Don't leave me here, don't go away
          Papa. Not even for a minute.

          MAN.
          I won't go away. I'm right here.
          He sits holding the BOY tightly. He feels for the BOY's
          heart.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          86.

                         CONTINUED:
          He drops droplets of sugar water from a bowl into the BOY's
          mouth. As the BOY shuts his eyes and dozes he checks the
          pulse at his neck and wipes his mouth with the blanket.

          EXT. SAND DUNES - (CAMP 16) - NIGHT

          The BOY is sleeping fitfully across the MAN's lap - he is
          still awake, staring in horror as the BOY sweats and shakes
          in his sleep. He wipes the BOY's brow, looks up-to the

                         HEAVENS:

          MAN.
          Oh no. No no. Not this. Jesus
          Christ what have you done to us?
          What have you done?

          EXT. SAND DUNES - (CAMP 16) - MORNING 

          The BOY is fast asleep, motionless but for stertorous
          breathing through his mouth. The MAN lies beside him, just
          staring at him, watching him sleep. The BOY opens his eyes
          and focuses weakly.

          BOY.
          Hi Papa.

          MAN.
          I'm right here.

          BOY.
          I know.
          The BOY shuts his eyes and goes back to sleep. The MAN
          strokes the BOY's hair tenderly, takes the pistol from his
          belt and carefully hides the pistol under the blanket by the 
          boy's side. He stands, takes one last look and walks away... 

          EXT. SPIT/WATER - DAWN

          The MAN is alone now, staring at the hull of a wrecked boat
          keeled over in ten feet of gray water a few yards out from
          the spit - a sixty footer, twin masts. Closer to shore, in
          the shallows between the boat and the sand is a grey,
          lifeless form. The man steps closer and sees:
          POV MAN - bobbing about in the tide, the bloated, rotting
          cadaver of a giant squid, eyes like dinner plates,
          translucent grey skin like an old light bulb.
          The MAN eyes it uneasily, then starts stripping off his
          clothes. He stares anxiously into the darkly roiling water
          near the boat.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          87.

                         CONTINUED:
          He looks back along the beach to the distant figure of the
          BOY, sitting up wrapped in his blankets, looking around,
          confused and scared, enough to make the MAN wince. He
          collects himself and wades cautiously into the gray soupy
          water. He takes a breath and starts swimming to the boat.

          EXT. SAND DUNE - (CAMP 16) - DAY

           The BOY is confused as he watches:
           POV BOY - the MAN swimming away.

                          FADE TO:

          EXT. SAND DUNES - (CAMP 16) - EVENING 

           MYSTERY POV - over the shoulder of a mystery third person, 
           camera pushes in slightly on the BOY sleeping. 

          EXT. SAND DUNES - (CAMP 16) - EVENING 

           A FIGURE's feet enters the scene behind the boy, carefully 
           walks in close around the boy. The FIGURE's long KNIFE drops 
           into the scene, held at the figure's side. 
           The BOY senses the FIGURE and wakes up to see: 
           POV BOY - a dark, hunched FIGURE standing over him. 
           The BOY looks up at the FACE and, whatever it is, he's 
          terrified. 
           The BOY SHRIEKS, terrified, scrambling away, tripping over 
           pots and pans by the fire, he gets to his feet and runs. 

          EXT. SHORELINE - EVENING 

           The MAN struggles from the water and scans the beach, no sign 
           of the BOY. He dumps a medical kit and flare pistol he's 
           found on the boat and heads for the sand dunes. 

          EXT. SAND DUNES - (CAMP 16) - EVENING 

           The MAN runs over the sand and reaches the spot where he left 
           the BOY, the blue tarp blowing away across the beach, the 
           campsite and campfire disturbed. He runs up the dunes. 

          EXT. BEACH - EVENING 

           POV BOY - as he looks back he glimpses ragged FEET rushing 
           through the sand after him, a pair of hands reaching out... 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          88.

                         CONTINUED:
          POV MAN - he catches up with the BOY, grabs his shoulder with
          one hand and the gun with the other.
           REVERSE ANGLE - the BOY sees it's the MAN and stops, stares, 
           still frightened, feverish, wild-eyed, confused. 

           MAN. 
           It's okay - 

           BOY. 
           A man! There was a man! I saw a 
           man. 

           MAN. 
           It's okay, he's gone now, it's just 
           me. 
           The BOY collapses, exhausted, into the MAN's arms. 

          EXT. SAND DUNES - (CAMP 16) - NIGHT 

           The MAN and the BOY return to examine the disturbed campsite. 

           MAN. 
           Oh Christ. You stupid ass! You 
           stupid ass! 

           BOY. 
           What happened? 

           MAN. 
           He stole our shoes. He stole 
           everything. 
           The BOY goes quiet, forlorn, staring around at the desolation 
          in despair. 

           MAN. (CONT'D) 
           What's wrong? 

           BOY. 
           I don't know what we're doing. 

           MAN. 
           Come here. 

           BOY. 
           I don't know why we're doing this. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          89.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
           Look, there are... (HE TRAILS OFF,
           LOST FOR WORDS.) There are
           people... there are other people
           and we'll find them. You'll see.
           The BOY just shuts his eyes and slumps onto the sand in 
           despair. The MAN eyes him anxiously. 

           MAN. (CONT'D) 
           Please. Listen to me. Don't lose 
           heart. 
           The MAN seizes the FLARE GUN, takes it from its case 
           hurriedly, loads it with shells - the BOY now watches, wide- 
          eyed. 
          The MAN rushes a few paces up the DUNE and looks over to
          where the trolley was hidden - he fires a FLARE into the air.
          The FLARE arcs up into the murk with a long WHOOSH and breaks
          in a cloud of light, hanging there, hot tendrils of magnesium
          drifting down to the sand. The BOY watches, curious despite
          his despair.
          The MAN strains his eyes to see: the dunes bathed in pink
          light from the flare and the sand pock-marked with the
          footprints of the STRANGE MAN in a trail leading to the spot
          where the trolley. The trolley marks trail off into the
          distance.

          EXT. NEAR BEACH - NIGHT 

           MYSTERY POV - from a distance, a third party is watching the 
           MAN and BOY bathed in the light of the flare. 
           CAMERA pushes in on the FACE watching them - bearded and 
           scarred with a wandering eye and a crushed cheekbone, a 
          veteran of many skirmishes. 

          EXT. SAND DUNES - NIGHT 

           The MAN and the BOY stand in their bare feet. 

           MAN. 
           Come on. We have to get our shoes 
           back. 

           BOY. (FRIGHTENED, RELUCTANT.) 
           We don't need them! 

           MAN. 
           We won't get far without them. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          90.

                         CONTINUED:
          They set off hurriedly, in their bare feet.

          EXT. COAST ROAD, BLACKENED LANDSCAPE - NIGHT 

          On the road in the middle of a desolate landscape, the light
          is dying, the strange lattice of lightning flickering across
          the sky, the MAN and the BOY are barefoot on the tarmac.
          POV MAN - way up ahead is the hunched FIGURE seen earlier -
          the THIEF, his back to us, trundling the loaded trolley along
          the road.

          MAN.
          Come on.
          They take off after the thief, bare feet thudding on the
          tarmac, the MAN in front, the BOY trailing, trying to catch
          up. The THIEF looks back at them and speeds up, head bent
          down over the handle running for his life. When he looks back
          again the MAN has drawn his pistol and is aiming it directly
          at him.
          The THIEF stops the trolley, pulls a carving knife from his
          belt, and turns to face them, standing behind the trolley.
          His face is emaciated and twitchy, a mouth like a bombed
          grave yard - not the FACE of the man watching them in the
          sand dunes. The MAN trains his gun on him, stock still,
          holding the BOY's hand.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Get away from the cart and put the
          knife down.
          The MAN spits and brandishes the knife desperately, he's
          scrawny, sullen, bearded and filthy.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          If you don't put down the carving
          knife and get away from the godamn
          cart I'm going to blow your brains
          out.

          BOY.
          Papa?

          MAN.
          Be quiet.
          The MAN cocks the pistol and there's two loud CLICKS. 

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          God damn you.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          91.

                         CONTINUED:

          BOY.
          Papa please don't kill the man.

          THIEF.
          Come on man, I done what you said,
          listen to the boy.
          The BOY starts crying - the THIEF looks at the BOY and then
          the angry MAN, this seems to be sobering. He puts the knife
          in the trolley and steps away, hands in the air, his thumbs
          are missing.

          MAN.
          How long have you been following
          us?

          THIEF.
          I wasn't following you. I saw the
          cart on the sand an' I just took
          it.

          BOY.
          Please Papa.

          MAN.
          Take your clothes off. Take them
          off, every godamn stitch.

          THIEF.
          Come on man, don't do this.

          MAN.
          I'll kill you where you stand.

          THIEF.
          Don't do this, man.

          MAN.
          I won't tell you again.

          THIEF.
          All right, all right, just take it
          easy.
          The THIEF looks at the BOY who is now covering his ears and
          the MAN takes an intimidating step closer with the gun.
          The THIEF starts stripping and piling his rags in the road.

          MAN.
          The shoes.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         92

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          THIEF.
          Come on man.

          MAN.
          The shoes.
          He sits naked in the road and unlaces the rotting shoes.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Put them in the cart.
          The THIEF stands and drops the shoes in the trolley.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Put the clothes in.
          The MAN drops the clothes in and stands there covering
          himself, shivering.

          THIEF.
          Don't do me like this, man. You 
          don't need to do me like this. 

          MAN.
          You didn't mind doing it to us.

          THIEF.
          I'm begging you.

          BOY.
          Papa.

          THIEF.
          Come on, listen to the kid.

          MAN.
          You tried to kill us.

          THIEF.
          I'm starving man. You'd have done
          the same.

          MAN.
          You took everything.

          THIEF.
          I'll die out here.

          MAN.
          I'm going to leave you the way you
          left us.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         93

                         CONTINUED: (3)
          The MAN grabs the trolley by the handle, pulls it around,
          puts the pistol on top and holds his hand out for the BOY.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Let's go.
          The BOY doesn't take his hand but they set off along the
          blacktop, the BOY snivelling and crying, leaving the THIEF
          shivering and whimpering.

          BOY.
          Oh papa.

          MAN.
          Stop it.

          BOY.
          I can't stop it.

          MAN.
          What do you think would have
          happened to him if we hadn't caught
          him? You've got to learn.

          BOY.
          I don't want to learn!

          MAN.
          I won't be here forever. Sooner or
          later you'll have to look after
          yourself.
          The BOY just looks at him - and keeps crying.

          EXT. ROAD/COAST, BLACKENED LANDSCAPE - EVENING 

          Some distance away the BOY looks back at the THIEF, still
          crying.

          MAN.
          You have to stop crying.

          BOY.
          I can't.
          The BOY looks back one last time as the THIEF disappears from
          view - still just standing there, utterly lost.
          The MAN stops and puts his shoes on. He walks back up the
          road to the bend but the THIEF has gone.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          94.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          He's gone. Come on.

          BOY.
          He's not gone. He's not.
          The MAN looks helplessly at the tearful BOY as he fits his
          shoes on for him, the tears streaking the soot on his face.

          MAN.
          What do you want to do?

          BOY.
          Just help him, Papa. Just help him.
          The MAN looks back down the road, weighing it up.

          BOY. (CONT'D)
          He was just hungry Papa. He's going
          to die.

          MAN.
          He's going to die anyway.

          BOY.
          He's so scared.

          MAN.
          I'm scared. Do you understand? I'm
          scared.
          The MAN tries to look the BOY in the eye but he keeps his
          head bowed, sobbing.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          You're not the one who has to worry
          about everything.
          The BOY mumbles, tearful and snotty.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          What? What did you say?

          BOY.
          Yes I am. I am the one.
          The MAN stops and faces-the innocent BOY angrily, stares,
          then relenting, summons all his strength, turns the trolley
          around and they start wheeling it back the way they came.

          MAN.
          All right. Help me.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          95.

                         CONTINUED: (2)
          The MAN takes the BOY's hand and puts it on the trolley
          handle. 

          EXT. ROAD/COAST, BLACKENED LANDSCAPE - NIGHT 

          As the light fades to darkness they look for the THIEF to 
          give him his clothes back and call out "Hallo!" Etc. After a
          moment they stop.

          BOY.
          He's afraid to answer.

          MAN.
          Is this where we stopped?

          BOY.
          I don't know. I think so.
          They keep walking, hands cupped to mouths, hallooing
          mindlessly. The MAN stops to rest and watches the BOY a
          moment, he has stopped crying as he calls out for the thief.
          Finally the MAN piles the THIEF's shoes and clothes in the
          road. He puts a rock on top of them.

          MAN.
          Come on. We have to go.
          The BOY eyes the clothes sadly, silent now.

          EXT. ROADSIDE DUNES, BLACKENED LANDSCAPE - NIGHT 

          They find a spot to stop and sit, exhausted. The MAN opens
          the first aid kit he took from the boat, selects various
          pills, crushes them up, pours a cup of water from a ferry can
          in the trolley, and hands them to the BOY.

          BOY. 
          I don't want it. 

          MAN. 
          I have to get your temperature 
          down. 
          The BOY swallows the pills and the water, shivering. 

          BOY-. 
          Can I ask you something? 

          MAN. 
          Of course you can. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          96.

                         CONTINUED:

          BOY. 
          What would you do if I died? 

          MAN. 
          If you died I'd want to die too. 

          BOY. 
          So you could be with me? 

          MAN. 
          So I could be with you, yes. But 
          that's not going to happen. 
          They look at each other a moment, unsure, the BOY shivering
          and sick-looking. The BOY lies down and shuts his eyes. The
          MAN puts a blanket over him. The MAN walks away a few paces
          and coughs endlessly, a nagging cough that won't go.

          EXT. ORCHARD - DAY

          THE MAN'S DREAM - a dream and a memory of an early summer
          day, the MAN and the WOMAN are in an orchard, lying in the 
          sun on a picnic blanket, an array of food, bread, fruit and
          wine beside them. The MAN lies back and the WOMAN cradles his 
          head in her lap, stroking his brow. She brings her face down
          and gently plants a simple kiss on each of his eyelids, then
          on each of his lips.
          POV MAN - the WOMAN's face, smiling a dazzling, radiant 
          smile, framed by sunlight and the indistinct shapes of leaves
          and blossom and petals against the sky - to him she is
          angelic. Then he kisses her on each eye and on the lips too -
          their ritual caress.

          END OF DREAM SEQUENCE.

          EXT. ROADSIDE DUNES, BLACKENED LANDSCAPE - DAWN 

          The MAN awakes distressed, he wipes a tear, blinks in
          confusion. 
          POV MAN - the BOY is kneeling beside him, watching him 
          calmly, no longer sweating and shivering, recovered. 

          BOY. 
          Papa? 
          The MAN rouses himself, sits up and just stares at the BOY, 
          amazed, as if he has arisen from the grave 

          MAN.
          How are you feeling? 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          97.

                         CONTINUED:

           BOY. 
           I feel kind of weird. 

           MAN. 
           Are you hungry? 

           BOY. 
           Just thirsty. 
           The MAN gets up and fetches water from a ferry can in the 
           trolley, pours a cup, hands it to the BOY who drinks 
           thirstily. The MAN reaches out and strokes the BOY's hair as 
          he drinks. 

          EXT. RESORT TOWN, OUTSKIRTS - DAY

           The MAN and the BOY head towards a seaside town off in the 
          distance. 

          EXT. RESORT TOWN - DAY

          They enter a small beach resort with a faded "Welcome" sign 
          across the road, the BOY holding the MAN's hand now.

          EXT. RESORT TOWN/WATER'S EDGE - DAY

          They are down by the water. Small pleasure boats are half
          sunken in the grey water. Faded colored bunting and painted
          signs advertise ICE CREAMS, FOOD and a FUN FAIR. The BOY
          helps the man push the trolley through the sand until they 
          can go no further, they stop and drop onto the sand,
          exhausted.

          BOY.
          Can I tell you something?

          MAN.
          Yes.

          BOY.
          You tell me I shouldn't cry but
          I've heard you crying. I hear you
          coughing and crying to yourself in
          the night when you think I'm
          asleep.

          MAN.
          What of it?

          BOY.
          So if I shouldn't cry you shouldn't
          cry either.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          98.

                         CONTINUED:
          They look at each other.

          EXT. PORT - LATE AFTERNOON

          On the port side of town the MAN wheels the trolley through
          the deserted docks past rotten piers, a row of empty wooden
          warehouses and a rusty red tanker washed up. He is COUGHING
          and the sound echoes off the warehouse walls. The BOY is
          trailing a few paces behind, they're not speaking now.

          EXT. BACK STREET - EVENING

          As they pass the last of a row of deserted warehouses the MAN
          slows down to let the BOY catch up. But the BOY is now
          studying the ground intently. He bends down and picks up:
          POV BOY - an old cardboard match box, it's decals faded. He
          pushes the match box open to reveal a perfectly preserved
          Beetle. 

          BOY.
          What is it?

          MAN.
          It's a Beetle. 
          Suddenly the beetle twitches, then activates its wings and
          flies out of the box with a BUZZ and upwards into the sky...
          The BOY and the MAN stare up at the flying creature, amazed

                         AND:
          Without warning something WHISTLES over their heads very
          close and hits the wall beside them with a loud CLATTER. The
          MAN lunges at the BOY, landing on top of him to cover him and
          tries to grab the trolley which tips over, spilling 
          everything out.
          The MAN desperately tries to take cover while he looks over
          his shoulder and sees:
          POV MAN - in the upper window of a warehouse a man is drawing
          a bow and arrow aimed right at them.
          In desperation the MAN covers the BOY and tries to scrabble
          away but there's a DULL TWANG of bowstring and an arrow THUDS
          into his leg.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          Oh you bastard! You bastard!

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          99.

                         CONTINUED:
          The MAN claws the blankets from the upturned trolley aside 
          and scrabbles around for the pistol but it has fallen from
          his belt onto the cobbles and scattered out of reach. He
          spots the flare gun and seizes it, resting it on the trolley 
          and aiming carefully at the empty window. When the lone
          ARCHER appears again he squeezes off a shot and the flare
          goes rocketing up towards the window in a firey arc, ablaze
          with color, clean through the window. They can hear the
          ARCHER SCREAMING inside and see the colored light still
          flaring from the window.

          BOY.
          Oh Papa!

          MAN.
          Stay just like you are.
          He gets up and runs limping across the street, the arrow 
          still embedded in his leg.

          INT. WOODEN STAIRS - EVENING

          He limps up the stairs of the old warehouse as quickly as he
          can, flare gun at the ready, arrow in his leg.

          INT. WAREHOUSE FLOOR - EVENING

          He bursts into the main room and trains the gun. At the far
          end a WOMAN is sitting with the prone form of the ARCHER. The
          floor is burnt in a huge patch left by the flare and is still
          in flames.

          ARCHER'S WOMAN.
          You son of a bitch! 

          MAN.
          Who else is up here?

          ARCHER'S WOMAN.
          You fucking asshole! 
          The MAN looks down, his leg is bleeding heavily now and the
          arrow is still sticking out.

          MAN.
          Where's the bow?

          ARCHER'S WOMAN.
          I don't have it.

          MAN.
          Why are you following us?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          100.

                         CONTINUED:

          ARCHER'S WOMAN.
          We're not following anybody. You
          were following us!
          The MAN stares at the WOMAN, looking her up and down, she
          looks sick and thin and desperate. He looks at the ARCHER,
          lying there dead, his chest and one arm and his face burnt,
          still smoking. The WOMAN covers his face with the blanket and
          the MAN doesn't know what to say, ashamed. He goes.

          EXT. CAFE - DAY 

           POV - again from a distance, as if a third party is watching,
           we watch the BOY and the MAN hobble into a CAFE. 

          INT. CAFE - DAY 

          One wall of the CAFE is merely a pile of rubble, opening out
          to the sea. The opposite wall is a photographic mural of lush
          green woods. The MAN tries to pull the arrow out but just
          pulls the wooden stem out. He takes off his bloodied trousers
          and examines the gaping wound with a flap of flesh and the
          arrow head, made from a SPOON, buried inside.

          MAN.
          See if you can find the medical kit
          from the boat. Quickly.
          The BOY rummages in the trolley, finds the kit and hands it
          over. He stares as the MAN slowly extracts the spoon, wincing
          in agony. The MAN dowses the wound in antiseptic from the kit
          and searches through the kit for a needle. He finds a suture
          needle in a sterile envelope, rips it open with his teeth
          and, using the light coming in through the parlour windows he
          threads some silk thread into the needle. He starts to suture
          up the wound, grimacing in pain as the BOY watches in
          silence, until eventually offering:

                         BOY
          Does it hurt?
          The MAN just looks at him in disbelief - beat.

          MAN. 
          Yes! It hurts!

          BOY.
          What does it feel like?
          The MAN eyes the BOY, amazed at this inopportune chat. 

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          101.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          At least you're talking to me now.

          INT./EXT. CAFE - (CAMP 17) - NIGHT 

           They have a campfire in the cafe by the jetty and sit 
           overlooking the bay, through the missing wall, silent until: 

          MAN.
          Do you want me to tell you a story?

          BOY.
          No.

          MAN.
          Why not?

          BOY.
          Your stories aren't true.

          MAN.
          They don't have to be true. They're
          stories.

          BOY.
          In the stories we're always helping
          people. But we don't help people.
          We just shoot people. And in the
          stories good things happen but we
          just get sick.
          The MAN thinks about it - stuck for an answer. 

          MAN.
          We're still here aren't we? Doesn't
          that mean anything?

          EXT. BOAT LAUNCH - DAY 

          The MAN pulls the trolley slowly, finding it a great effort.
          The BOY helps pull, eying the MAN with concern. The MAN stops
          and rests on the trolley and the BOY pulls on a few more feet
          then stops and looks back as the MAN COUGHS for a long
          painful moment. He takes the bloodstained surgical mask from
          his face, his breath foggy in the cold, he wrings out the
          blood and saliva, puts his head between his knees and coughs
          until he can cough no more, gasping for breathe, bloody drool
          unspooling from his lips into the sand like scarlet twine
          while the BOY watches, weeping silently.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          102.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          We have to leave the cart. I can't
          push it anymore.

          EXT. BOAT LAUNCH - DAY

          They are trudging along a concrete boat ramp by the beach
          road, the beach below, the BOY carrying a small-suitcase now,
          the MAN carrying sacks and bags. They stop and the MAN leans,
          impossibly breathless, his lungs packing up. They stop at the
          water edge, where the road reaches the sea.
          The BOY takes his hand gently.

          BOY.
          What are we going to do Papa?
          The MAN can't answer for breathlessness.

          BOY. (CONT'D)
          Well, what are we?
          The MAN sits heavily on the ground, totters as the BOY stands 
          watching him, eyes welling with tears.

          BOY. (CONT'D)
          Oh no, Papa.

          EXT. BEACH/DUNES -(CAMP 18) - DAY 

          The MAN is drifting in and out of consciousness in the sand.
          The BOY comes over with a cup of water and holds it to the
          MAN's lips, he drinks. The BOY has also lit a fire. He
          spreads out blankets.

          MAN.
          Don't get comfortable. You need to
          keep going. You don't know what
          might be down the road.

          BOY.
          No.

          MAN.
          We were always lucky. You'll be
          lucky again. You'll see. Just go.

          BOY.
          No. I can't.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          103.

                         CONTINUED:

          MAN.
          It's all right. This has been a
          long time coming. Just keep going
          south. Do everything the way we did
          it.

          BOY.
          No. You're going to be okay Papa.
          You have to.

          MAN.
          Keep the gun with you at all times.
          Don't let anyone take it from you.
          You need to find the good guys but
          you can't take any chances. Do you
          hear me?

          BOY.
          I want to be with you.

          MAN.
          I want to be with you too but I
          can't.

          BOY.
          Please.

          MAN.
          You have to go off on your own now.
          You have to carry the fire.

          BOY.
          I don't know how to.

          MAN.
          Yes you do. You know everything
          about it.

          BOY.
          Is it real? The fire? Papa?

          MAN.
          Yes it is.

          BOY.
          Where is it? I don't know where it
          is.

          MAN.
          Yes you do.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          104.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          BOY.
          Where?

          MAN.
          It's inside you. It was always
          there. I can see it.
          The BOY stares at him, not sure what to believe.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          You have to let me go.

          BOY.
          Just take me with you please.
          Please, Papa! What should I do?

          MAN.
          Just hold my hand.
          The BOY grips the MAN's hand, bouncing up and down, agitated.

          BOY.
          You said you wouldn't ever leave
          me.

          MAN.
          I know. I'm sorry.
          The BOY falls on the MAN, hugging him tight, face pressed to
          his chest, sobbing.

          MAN. (CONT'D)
          My boy. You have my whole heart.
          You always did. You're the best
          guy. You can talk to me and I'll
          talk to you. You'll see.

          BOY.
          How will I hear you?

          MAN.
          You just will.

          BOY.
          How do you know?

          MAN-.
          You just have to practice. Just
          don't give up okay? You'll be okay.
          You're going to be lucky. I know
          you are.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          105.

                         CONTINUED: (3)
          The MAN closes his eyes and takes deep, rattling breaths.

          BOY.
          It's okay Papa. You don't have to
          talk anymore.
          Camera pulls back and the BOY is sitting with the MAN saying
          nothing. It's starting to grow dark. The BOY crouches down on
          the MAN's chest and goes to sleep there, rising and falling
          with his father's breathing.

          EXT. BEACH/DUNES (CAMP 18) - NIGHT

          Darkness all around, the BOY is lying across the MAN, his
          hand rising and falling on the MAN's chest slowly,
          irregularly as the MAN's breath rattles in his lungs.

          EXT. CAR/BEACH - DAWN 

          FLASHBACK - or the MAN'S last ever dream: The MAN and the
          WOMAN snooze in the car - an ordinary young couple nestled
          together in the early morning sun light. The MAN wakes and
          looks at his sleeping wife, smooths her hair tenderly, very
          much in love, as she sleeps.
           His hand on her wakes her, she looks at him surprised and 
          pleased, smiles. 

           WOMAN.
           Hello...
           She kisses him and they look at the blue ocean and the white 
           sand and green sea grass and she puts an arm around him. 

           MAN. (V.O.)
           If I were God I would have made the
           world just so and no different...
           And so I have you. .I have you.

          END OF FLASHBACK. 

          EXT. BEACH/DUNES - (CAMP 18) MORNING 

          The BOY is awake but doesn't move, his hand still on the
          MAN's chest, now motionless. He looks at the MAN who is cold
          and stiff now, long dead. The BOY gets up and holds the MAN's
          cold stiff hand. Tears course down his face silently.

          BOY.
          Oh Papa. Papa. Papa...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          106.

          EXT. BEACH/DUNES - (CAMP 18) NIGHT

          The BOY is building a campfire. He lights it and sits there
          watching the MAN's motionless body.

          EXT. BEACH/DUNES -(CAMP 19) MORNING 

          The BOY has slept beside the MAN, he wakes, blinks,
          bewildered.

          EXT. BEACH/DUNES - (CAMP 18) - DAY 

          The BOY is zipping up the MAN's parka carefully and heaping
          blankets on top, talking all the while.

          BOY.
          Can I tell you something? I had a
          bad dream. I had this penguin that
          you wound up and it would waddle
          and flap its flippers. And we were
          in that house we used to live in
          and it came around the corner but
          nobody had wound it up and it was
          really scary because-because-
          because...
          He goes quiet as he finishes tending to the body and puts his
          own parka on, zips it up.

          BOY. (CONT'D)
          The winder wasn't turning.
           He takes the gun, checks the magazine, shuts it and stands, 
          shoving the pistol in his belt.

          EXT. WATER'S EDGE, BOAT LAUNCH - DAY 

          The BOY is standing at the water's edge looking out at the
          smog and the emptiness. Out of nowhere a man in a gray and
          red ski parka with the hood up appears carrying a shotgun
          over his shoulder and a belt of shells.
          He goes over to the BOY, he is the same bearded and scarred 
          man seen earlier, watching them in the sand dunes. The BOY 
          doesn't flinch, but his hand goes to the gun at his side.
          When the man speaks he has some sort of speech defect,
          possibly caused by missing teeth.

          VETERAN.
          Where's the man you were with? (NO
          REPLY.) Was he your father?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          107.

                         CONTINUED:

          BOY.
          Yes. He was my Papa.

          VETERAN.
          I'm sorry.

          BOY.
          I don't know what to do.

          VETERAN.
          Well, I think maybe you should come
          with me.
          The BOY's finger tightens on the trigger of the GUN.

          BOY.
          Are you one of the good guys?

          VETERAN.
          Yeah. I'm one of the good guys. Why
          don't you put that pistol away?

          BOY.
          I'm not supposed to let anybody
          take the pistol. No matter what.

          VETERAN.
          I don't want your pistol. I just
          didn't want you pointing it at me.
          The BOY lowers the gun to his side and the VETERAN comes a
          few steps closer, causing the BOY to back up a step.

          VETERAN. (CONT'D)
          Where's your stuff?

          BOY.
          I don't have much stuff.

          VETERAN.
          What have you got? Blankets?

          BOY.
          My Papa's wrapped in them.

          MAN.
          Show me.
          The BOY doesn't move. The MAN holds out his hand for the BOY
          to take, the BOY sees he has a THUMB MISSING and hesitates,
          wary. The MAN squats, leaning on his shotgun.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          108.

                         CONTINUED: (2)

          VETERAN.
          Look. You got two choices here. You
          can stay here with your papa or you
          can go with me. If you stay you
          need to keep off the road.

          BOY.
          How do I know you're one of the
          good guys?

          VETERAN.
          You don't. You'll have to take a
          shot.
          The BOY weighs it up, eyeing the VETERAN.

          BOY.
          Do you have any kids?

          VETERAN.
          Yes we do.

          BOY.
          Do you have a little boy?

          VETERAN.
          We have a little boy and a little
          girl.

          BOY.
          How old is he?

          VETERAN.
          He's about your age. Maybe a little
          older.

          BOY.
          And you didn't eat them?

          VETERAN.
          No.

          BOY.
          You don't eat people?

          VETERAN.
          No. We don't eat people.

          BOY.
          Are you carrying the fire?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          109.

                         CONTINUED: (3)

          VETERAN.
          Am I what?

          BOY.
          Carrying the fire.

          VETERAN.
          You're kind of weirded out, aren't
          you, kid?

          BOY.
          Well, are you?

          VETERAN.
          Yeah. I am. I'm carrying the fire.

          BOY.
          And I can go with you?

          VETERAN.
          Yes, you can.
          The BOY hesitates.

          EXT. BEACH/DUNES - DAY

          They go over to where the MAN lies dead and the VETERAN
          squats and lifts a blanket to take a look.

          VETERAN.
          Are these all the blankets you
          have?

          BOY.
          Yes.

          VETERAN.
          Is that your suitcase?

          BOY.
          Yes.
          The VETERAN stands and studies the BOY.

          VETERAN.
          Why don't you go up onto the road
          and wait for me. I'll bring the
          blankets.

          BOY.
          What about my Papa?

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          110.

                         CONTINUED:

          VETERAN.
          What about him?

          BOY.
          We can't just leave him here.

          VETERAN.
          Yes we can.

          BOY.
          I don't want people to see him.

          VETERAN.
          There's nobody to see him.

          BOY.
          Can I cover him in leaves?

          VETERAN.
          The wind will blow them away.

          BOY.
          Could we cover him with one of the
          blankets?

          VETERAN.
          Okay. I'll do it. Go on now.

          EXT. BOAT LAUNCH, ROAD - DAY

          The BOY waits and in a moment the VETERAN emerges from the
          dunes carrying the suitcase with the blankets slung over his
          shoulder. He sorts through them and hands one to the BOY.

          VETERAN.
          Here. Wrap this around you. You're
          cold.
          The BOY eye the blanket uncertainly, holds out the pistol for
          the VETERAN to hold.

          VETERAN. (CONT'D)
          You hold onto that.

          BOY.
          Okay.

          VETERAN.
          Do you know how to shoot it?

          BOY.
          Yes.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         CONTINUED:

          VETERAN.
          Okay.

          BOY.
          What about my papa?

          VETERAN.
          There's nothing else to be done.

          BOY.
          I think I want to say goodbye to
          him.

          VETERAN.
          Will you be all right?

          BOY.
          Yes.

          VETERAN.
          Go ahead. I'll wait here for you.
          The BOY turns around and heads down to the beach.

          EXT. BEACH/DUNES - (CAMP 18) - DAY

          The BOY trudges through the sand over to the corpse of the
          MAN which is now neatly wrapped up in a blanket from head to
          toe. The BOY kneels beside him and starts to cry silently and
          whisper.

          BOY.
          I'll talk to you every day. And I
          won't forget. No matter what. No
          matter what, Papa.
          The BOY dries his eyes, takes a breath, gets up and walks
          back to the road...

          EXT. BOAT LAUNCH, ROAD- DAY 

          As the BOY walks out of the dunes holding the gun, a MOTHERLY
          WOMAN who is standing with the VETERAN comes towards him.

          MOTHERLY WOMAN.
          Oh. I am so glad to see you.
          The BOY just stares at her, bemused - a short distance away
          stands the rest of the family - a BOY his age and a GIRL. The
          BOY stares at the OTHER BOY and recognizes him - it's the
          same BOY he chased earlier.

                         (CONTINUED)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          112.

                         CONTINUED:
          Then the BOY notices a threadbare mongrel of a DOG, waiting
          with them.
          The MOTHERLY WOMAN goes over and puts her arms around him.

          MOTHERLY WOMAN. (CONT'D)
          We've been following you. Did you
          know that? We saw you with your
          Papa and we tried to catch up but
          you were too quick for us.

          VETERAN.
          There was some discussion about
          whether to even come after you at
          all.

          As she's chatting, the MOTHERLY WOMAN gently takes the gun
          from the BOY and hands it to the VETERAN.

          MOTHERLY WOMAN.
          We're so lucky. We were so worried
          about you. And now we don't have to
          worry about a thing.
          She kisses the BOY on the forehead and holds him at arm's
          length and looks at him.

          MOTHERLY WOMAN. (CONT'D)
          How does that sound? Is that okay?
          He stares but says nothing...



                               CLOSING CREDITS.



Road, The



Writers :   Joe Penhall
Genres :   Adventure  Drama  Thriller


User Comments


Internet Movie Script Database
Back to IMSDb





Index    |    Submit    |    Links    |    Link to us    |    RSS Feeds    |    Disclaimer    |    Privacy policy