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All About Steve Movie Script

Writer(s) : Kim Barker

Genres : Comedy

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                                ALL ABOUT STEVE

                         
                                  Written by

                                  Kim Barker



                                                         November 2006
          

          

          TNT. KITCHEN - DAY
          A New York Times crossword puzzle. The hand of MARY HOROWITZ
          scratches the answers in ink without pausing even a second
          between each one.

          MARY (V.O.)
          Vita aenigma est. Life is a
          puzzle. It is. Specifically, life
          is most like a crossword puzzle.
          There are a million reasons why,
          not the least of which is that
          life, like crosswords, requires the
          use of your whole entire brain-
          Her writing hand knocks a glass of grape soda and it spills
          all over the puzzle.

                         MARY
          Crap.
          The puzzle answers all run together.

          INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY

          Ten plastic folding chairs line the hallway -- all empty
          except for one.
          In the last chair sits Mary Horowitz, 31, in her best
          synthetic cardigan, somebody's grandmother's skirt, her own
          red rubber boots. Genius meets retard. She mumbles to
          herself.

                         MARY
          Four letter word for... vomit.
          She takes a deep breath to calm her nerves. it doesn't help.

                         MARY
          Not "barf". For sure not "barf".
          That's too easy. "Puke" is okay,
          but maybe a bit pedestrian (that
          means boring)... I like "hurl". I
          do. I like the way it rolls off
          your tongue -- the word, I mean.
          But my all time favorite is none of
          those.
          She puts her head between her knees, tries to keep it
          together.

          

          

          

          

          2.

                         MARY
          Four letter word for vomit? S-P-E-
          W. Spew... Sp-ew.
          A door nearby opens but Mary doesn't budge. A POLICE OFFICER
          walks out.
          A 40ish female TEACHER pokes her head out the door, signals
          to Mary.

                         TEACHER
          We're ready for you now.
          (a plastic Kroger shopping
          Mary jumps up, grabs her purse
          bag).

                         MARY
          Jesus help me.

          INT. CLASSROOM - DAY

          Mary stands in front of the chalkboard, "CAREER DAY" written
          in huge letters behind her. She smiles with terror at the
          class of 10 year old KIDS.
          The Teacher reads from her notes.

                         TEACHER
          Here's a treat, students. Our
          final guest for Career Day, Miss
          Mary Horowitz, is the crossword
          constructor for the Atlanta
          Citizen. You know the crossword
          puzzles you see every week in the
          newspaper? It's her job to create
          them. Isn't that fun?
          Mary stares at the Teacher, whispers.

                         MARY
          You weren't supposed to tell them.

                         TEACHER
          Pardon me?

                         MARY
          I made a crossword puzzle to help
          them guess what my job is. You
          ruined it.

                         TEACHER
          Oh, I'm so sorry.

          

          

          

          

          3.
          Mary takes the crossword puzzles out of her bag, looks at
          them like lost puppies.

                         TEACHER
          Maybe you could tell them a bit
          about what your job is like?
           watche s hit

                          GARBAGE
          Mary drops thu p file out her
          the bottom She p lls
           u hearsed enthusiasm.
          bag, reads with re

                         MARY
          People do crossword puzzles all the
          time but they don't often think of
          the person who made all the words
          fit together, and who thought up
          the clues, and who made sure the
          little black squares at the top
          mirror the ones at the bottom.
          She pulls one of the crosswords out of the garbage can, holds
          it up, turns it upside down, forces a nervous smile.

                         MARY
          Crossword constructors usually have
          above average intelligence, with
          knowledge of just about every
          subject you can imagine. And it
          helps if they can spell.
          The card in Mary's hand reads "LAUGH". She laughs. Nobody
          else does. She looks at the cards again, instantly gets
          serious, sweeps her hand through the air.

                         MARY
          Imagine, for a moment, a world
          without crossword puzzles. A world-
          Mary notices one Kid with his hand up. It totally throws her
          off.

                         TEACHER
          Daniel, you have a question?

                         DANIEL
          You make a living doing that? Just
          making puzzles? The Atlanta
          Citizen only comes out on Fridays.
          One puzzle a week can't make you
          enough to live on.
          A LARGE KID in the front row pipes up.

          

          

          

          

          4.

          LARGE KID
          How do you pay your rent?

                         MARY
          My parents -

                         DANIEL
          You live with your parents?
          The Kids all laugh their asses off. Mary just stares at
          them.

          LARGE KID
          Oh my God, how old are you? Still
          living at home!
          The kids all laugh some more. Mary's on the verge of panic.

                         TEACHER
          Children!
          The Teacher shoots the Kids a warning look, then notices Mary
          hyperventilating.

                         TEACHER
          Are you okay?
          Mary grasps for breath, struggles to speak.

                         MARY
          Water.

                         TEACHER
          Water. Just hang on.
          The Teacher rushes out. The kids all stare at Mary.

                         MARY
          Yep, I live at home...
          She forces herself to get it together, totally faking it.

                         MARY
          But so do all of you, so there...
          And sure, I only create one
          crossword puzzle a week but I have
          deadlines, I have stress, I have
          demands on me so huge you would not
          believe. The newspaper business is
          hell. I mean it. Hell.
          Somebody's got to write about all
          the horrors that go on in this
          world.

                         (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          5.
          MARY (cont'd)
          And after people read about those
          horrors, somebody else has to bring
          them back from the brink of
          suicide. Who do you think that is?
          She leans in close to the front row, scares herself more than
          anybody.

                         MARY
          Me! My crossword puzzle is always
          good news. it enlightens.
          it r andma's
          entertains. It keeps your g
          mind alive so she remembers to send
          you five bucks on your birthday.
          Think about that as you lie in bed
          tonight picking your nose and crying
          yourself to sleep. I know I will.
          The Kids just stare at her. She leans against the teacher's
          desk, tries to look relaxed but fails miserably.

                         MARY
          My job matters, you know. In media
          circles I am, as the Dutch say,
          geliefd. That means I have plenty
          of friends. Hoards, in fact.
          Scads even.
          The kids aren't buying it.

          LARGE KID
          You're a freak.
          The kids all nod in agreement. Mary's frozen, devastated.
          The Teacher rushes back into the room with a cup of water,
          hands it over. Mary sips it like communion wine. Half of it
          runs down her chin.
          Mary looks at the Teacher, fakes a smile.

                         MARY
          That's a pretty blouse.
          The Teacher smiles back. Awkward.

          EXT. SCHOOL -- DAY

          The front doors of the school swing open and a visibly shaken
          Mary walks out. She takes a deep breath and embraces denial.

          

          

          

          

          6.

                         MARY
          Twelve letter phrase for smashing
          success!
          She heads down the walkway toward the bus stop.

                         MARY
          As one would say in old Paris...
          Coup de maitre!
           A CUSTODIAN cleaning the school yard looks up. Mary keeps on
          talking - now to him.

                         MARY
          It means "master stroke", even
          though the direct translation is
          actually "master blow"... Leave it
          to the French to pass off an
          unpleasant slave activity as an
          everyday expression.
          The Custodian doesn't know what the hell she's talking about.
          Mary continues on to the bus stop.

          INT. CITY BUS -- DAY

           The CITY BUS DRIVER watches as Mary pays her $1.75 one nickel
          at a time.

                         MARY
          I sometimes suffer from benign
          positional vertigo. Could you
          please not drive until I'm -
          f He ignores her, starts driving. Mary struggles toward the
          back o f the bus, grabbing g
          goes.

                         MARY
          Excuse me... pardonnez-moi...
          begnadiyen sie mich...
          She lurches for an empty seat and just about dislodges her
          shoulder on the center pole. Finally settled, she peeks
          under her sweater at the shoulder damage.

                         MARY
          Hello hematoma.
          She smiles at an angry ELDERLY LADY sitting across from her.
          The lady gives her the "don't talk to me" glare, then stares
          out the window. Mary fidgets in her seat.

          

          

          

          

          7.

          MARY (V.O.)
          In crosswords, as in life, some
          days are harder than others. It's
          true. In the New York Times, for
          example, the puzzles get harder as
          the week goes. So on Monday, a day
          that traditionally bites the big
          one, the crossword is super easy.
          It's comforting to know that
          although life can be difficult at
          times, crosswords let you off easy
          when you need it the most.
          Mary looks around for anybody to talk to. The other
          PASSENGERS avert their eyes. Mary starts biting her nails.

           EXT. NEWSSTAND - DAY

          A frail 80 year old man MR. TAKIHASHI works alongside his
          wspapers,
          40ish granddaughter BETTY selling magazines, ne
          smokes and Pocky.
          In the corner of the newsstand, a muted TV features CNN
          "Breaking News" coverage of a high speed car chase.
          BUSINESSMEN are glued to the images as they wait in line.
          Mary grabs a half a dozen different newspapers, yells to Mr.
          Takihashi like he's deaf.

                         MARY

          KONCHA, TAKIHASHI-SAN!
          He ignores her. Mary hands the papers to Betty.

                         MARY
          Hi Betty.
          Betty just rings up the papers.

                         MARY
          Did you see the review of
          "Hairspray" in the Journal
          yesterday? They used the word
          "spectacular" -- always a good
          sign. Maybe you'd like to go see
          it with rne? I have a coupon for
          five dollars off.
          Betty shoves the newspapers back across the counter, points
          at them, then speaks in barely recognizable English.

          

          

          

          

          S.

                         BETTY
          Nine dollar twenty.
          Mary fishes in her bag for money.

                         MARY
          We could bring your dad if you
          want. I don't think the show is
          ageist. That means he won't feel
          like a loser for being old.
          As she takes her time paying, Mr. Takihashi madly gestures
          about Mary holding up the line. Betty barks at her.

                         BETTY
          Pecha kucha! Do Itta!
          Betty takes Mary's money, waves her on and helps the next
          customer.

                         MARY
          So no then? That's a no?
          Betty ignores her. Mary waits, loads the newspapers into her
          bag.

          MARY (V.O.)
          Sometimes crosswords are even
          better than life. Here's how.
          They don't discriminate.
          Crosswords don't care if you're
          young or old; black or white; male,
          female or intersex. Crosswords
          only care if you're an idiot. And,
          really, that's okay, because if you
          have the IQ of a yam, finishing a
          crossword should be the least of
          your worries.
          Mary glances up at the TV news once more, then walks away.

          INT. CNN LOADING BAY - DAY

          A half dozen NEWS CREWS rush to load and unload CNN news ECHS --
          vans. JOURNALISTS, PHOTOGRAPHERS,
          PRODUCERS, SOUNDyT
          all in a mad rush to go get
          An unshaven and surprisingly calm STEVE balances camera
          equipment in one hand while he scratches a barely legible
          "Steve" onto a clipboard. A young PA takes the clipboard,
          hands Steve a bunch of gas masks.

          

          

          

          

          9.

                         50'S
          Steve heads to an open van where a disheveled, mid
          producer ANGUS MCCORMACK checks his watch.

                         ANGUS
          Where the hell is he?

                         STEVE
          Probably doing his nails.
           -- paper
          40ish reporter HARTMAN HUGHES rushes to the van on his face.
          napkin tucked in his shirt collar, bread crumbs

                         HARTMAN
          What do you mean "the big one"?
          Terrorists, natural disaster, what?

                         ANGUS
          Pandemic.
          Hartman's eyes light up.

                         ANGUS
          Half of the Midwest and spreading.
          Nobody's safe.
          Steve tries on a gas mask.

                         HARTMAN
          Please let it be the bird flu.

                         STEVE
          Bird flu is for pussies. This
          thing's unstoppable.

                         HARTMAN
          How's it spreading?
          Angus looks at Steve.

                         STEVE
          Squirrels.
          Hartman can barely contain his excitement.

                         HARTMAN
          Oh my God, they're everywhere!

                         STEVE
          Exactly.

                         HARTMAN
          Al Qaeda connection?

          

          

          

          

          10.

                         ANGUS
          Always a possibility.

                         STEVE
          Who wishes he was in Iraq now?

                         HARTMAN
          Not me!.
          Hartman grabs a gas mask and rushes to the van's side mirror.

                         HARTMAN
          I need blush. No, wait. I'll go
          pasty. It'll look like I could be
          the first media victim. "Hartman
          Hughes, no such thing as too close
          to the story".
          Hartman looks back at Steve and Angus. They're just standing
          there, unable to keep a straight face. Hartman deflates.

                         HARTMAN
          Assholes! I knew it was too good
          to be true.
          He throws his gas mask down, storms off.

                         ANGUS
          Hartman, come on.
          Hartman gets in the elevator, hollers out to them.

                         HARTMAN
          I had a perfectly good bologna
          sandwich going on upstairs.
          Wasted!
          Angus and Steve watch the elevator door close, shrug it off.

                         STEVE
          Next E-coli story breaks, he'll be
          fine.

          EXT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - DAY

          An 1890 Colonial Revival home surrounded by White Oaks.
          Oversized statue of the Blessed Virgin in the flower bed.
          Mezuzah on the door.
          Face still in the newspaper, Mary trips up the steps and
          skids onto the porch. Her knee starts to bleed.

          

          

          

          

          11.

                         MARY
          Crap.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - DAY

           It's house that's been lived in. Every inch cluttered with
           old newspapers, family photos, various objet d'art, and
          books, books and more books.
           Mary steps out of her boots and marches into the living room
          where her 50ish mother, MRS. HOROWITZ, sits reading with MR.
          HOROWITZ (late 50's, professorial head to toe, furrowed brow
          to worn loafers).

                         MARY
          "Brilliant" is what they said.
          Never in the history of St.
          Margaret's Career Day have the
          children's brains been so
          inordinately stimulated as they
          were today by my presentation.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Good for you, sweetie.
          Mary pulls the newspapers out of her bag, sorts through them,
          stacks them on top of the TV.

                         MARY
          "Inspired", the teacher told me.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          You get the Post?
          She hands him the paper.

                         MARY
          "Engrossing" one child exclaimed.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          A ten year old said that?

                         MARY
          I'm sure that's what he meant. And
          "ebullient"-

          MR. HOROWITZ
          What happened to your knee?
          Mary looks down at the blood dripping down from her knee onto
          her sock. She's completely annoyed - more at the question
          than the mess.

          

          

          

          

          12.

                         MARY
          Dad, some of the greatest orators
          of all time had their heads chopped
          off for their labors. I'm lucky to
          escape with a simple flesh wound.
          Mary hands over the last newspaper, heads out to the hallway.
          Her mother yells to her.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Change those socks before your
          date.

                         MARY
          I told you I'm not going.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Mrs. Alchessi says you'll like this
          one.

                         MARY
          Mrs. Alchessi has gliomatosis
          cerebri.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          What?

                         MARY
          A brain tumor characterized by,
          among other things, dementia.
          She's nuts.
          Mary walks up the stairs.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Mary, it's just a date. This is
          what normal girls your age do.
          Mary stops on the stairs.

                         MARY
          I'm normal.
          Silence from her parents. Mary marches back into the living
          room.

                         MARY
          In fact, I'm normalis extremes.
          That's the kind of normal that
          doesn't get more normal.

          MRS. HANCOCK
          Of course you are, sweetie.

          

          

          

          

          13.
          Mary looks at her obviously lying mother and uncomfortable
          father. Mary's mind reels, like her head is going to
          explode. Finally, a determination hits her.

                         MARY
          I'll go.
          Mary bolts up the stairs to her room.
          Mr. and Mrs. Horowitz look at each other, surprised, happy.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          You ever want to see grandchildren,
          you better burn the damn boots.
          She swats him with her book, tries not to laugh.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - MARY'S ROOM - NIGHT

           Storage room or bedroom? Boxes and books all over the place.
           In the middle of it all, a bed.
           On the dresser, a bunch of photos of Mary Tyler Moore in the - MTM in a
          1970's. Taped to the mirror, the chosen photo Horowitz
           smart blue sweater and skirt ensemble. An
           wears the exact same outfit. Oddly,
           surprisingly current and actually hot.
           She leans over the gerbil cage next to her desk, taps to wake
          up the :Lone, fat occupant.

                         MARY
          Carol, tonight I have a date. A
          blind one. Not the guy, I mean the
          situation. We are, as yet, unknown
          to one another... It's nerve
          wracking, I know. Try not to have
          a spontaneous epileptiform seizure.
          The doorbell rings. Mary freezes, listens for the muffled
          voices downstairs.
          She sits on the corner of her bed and breathes rapidly into a
          paper bag.
          There's a knock on her bedroom door. Mary folds up the bag,
          puts it in her pocket for later, then opens the door a crack.
          It's her mother.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Guess who's here.

          

          

          

          

          14.

                         MARY
          I'd rather not.
          Mrs. Horowitz opens the door wider, takes a look at Mary,
          looks like she's going to cry.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Look at you.

                         MARY
          i already did. Repeatedly.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          You're beautiful.

                         MARY
          Please don't mean on the inside.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Beautiful and smart. And fun. And
          interesting.
          Mary takes a deep breath, lets it out fast.

                         MARY
          Let's hope all that does it for
          him.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT

          A bored, CNN jacket wearing Steve looks up to see Mrs.
          Horowitz descending the stairs. Not far behind, Mary takes
          each step like her knees are fused together but still manages
          to look hot. Steve's pleasantly surprised.
          With one look at Steve, Mary's eyes glaze over as if a choir
          is screaming "hallelujah" in her brain.
          As Mary reaches the bottom step --

                         STEVE
          Mary, hi. I'm Steve.
          She puts up a finger - "just a second".
          She turns around and runs back upstairs. Steve looks at Mrs.
          Horowitz, confused.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          And how's your mother?

          

          

          

          

          15.

                         STEVE
          Great. Thanks.
          She just stares at him and smiles.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - MARY'S ROOM - NIGHT

          Mary runs into her room, kneels down in front of the mizrach
          and crucifix on the wall. Hands clasped in prayer.

                         MARY
          Gods. You may have noticed that
          I'm wearing clean socks.
          Translation: I'm really trying and
          thus should be amply rewarded.
          Thanks for your support.
          She gets up, has a second thought, gets back onto her knees.

                         MARY
          And by support I don't mean, you
          know -
          She hikes up her bra.

                         MARY
          I mean your assistance, your
          furtherance, your advocacy of my
          efforts to get out there and... do
          what I'm supposed to do.
          She concentrates hard, opens her eyes. Now she's ready.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT

          Steve waits as Mary walks down the stairs again, this time a
          bit more relaxed.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          There we go.
          Mary makes it to the bottom of the stairs, steps into her red
          boots. Her mother cringes. Steve's a bit surprised at the
          boots but who cares, Mary's still hot from the knee caps up.

                         STEVE
          Ready?
          Mary nods a bunch of times.

          

          

          

          

          16.

                         STEVE
          Mrs. Horowitz. Goodnight.
          (calling into living room)
          Sir.

          MR. HOROWITZ (O.S.)
          You kids have fun.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Be careful now. Don't forget your
          seatbelts.
          Mrs. Horowitz sees them out the door then heads into the
          living room. She waves to them out the window, trying to
          hide her worry but failing miserably.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          She'll be fine.
          They look at each other - a bit of hope, a bit of dread.

          EXT. STREET - NIGHT

          Steve unlocks the driver's side door of his SUV while Mary
          waits at her door, nervous but smiling.

                         STEVE
          Sorry about this blind date thing.
          My mother -

                         MARY
          I never went to kindergarten!
          He looks at her, totally confused.

                         MARY
          They skipped me to the forth grade.

                         STEVE
          Okay.
          She gets in the car, fastens her seatbelt. Steve hesitates
          then heads to the driver's side, gets in.

                         MARY
          I missed finger painting.
          He has no clue what to say.

                         STEVE
          Sorry?

          

          

          

          

          17.

                         MARY
          Me too.
          She lunges for his lips but the seatbelt snaps her back
          inches short.

                         STEVE
          Whoa!
          Undeterred by the whiplash, Mary undoes her seatbelt and
          tries again, this time making contact with Steve's lips.
          He's more than a little startled but kisses her back anyway,
          all the while straining to see the Horowitz house.

                         STEVE
          Mary... uh, what about your mother?
          She straddles him and keeps kissing.

                         MARY
          You're not her type. And she's
          married.

                         STEVE
          No, we're right in front of your
          house and...
          She undoes her sweater.

                         STEVE
          And I have no problem with that
          whatsoever.
          She kisses his neck. He looks up with a "thank you, God".

                         MARY
          Steve?

                         STEVE
          Mary.

                         MARY
          Is it Steven with a V or Stephen
          with a P-H?

                         STEVE

          V.
          She works over his face over like it's an ice cream cone.

          

          

          

          

          18.

                         MARY
          I thought so. There are almost a
          million Stevens with a V in the
          country, you know. It's much more
          popular than the P-H way, almost
          twice as popular in fact. I think
          it's the Brits who prefer the P-H.
          They love their P-H's over there.
          Not as much as they love their fish
          and chips but still, they love
          them. It was the media thing, you
          know, that's why our moms wanted us
          to get together. You work in the
          media, so do I. We really have to
          hand it to our moms, Steve, we do,
          and not just for raising us, or for
          thriving during a time when women
          painstakingly struggled for
          equality, but I mean we should hand
          it to them for being visionaries
          and predicting our all encompassing
          compatibility. We're
          professionally compatible, yes, but
          it's occurring to me at this
          particular moment that we're also
          sexually compatible, and I don't
          know if you noticed like I noticed
          but we're also both wearing blue.
          What are the chances of that?
          Actually, if I really think about
          it, the chances are probably pretty
          good. Blue is one of the most
          popular three colors, however,
          yours is-
          She leans forward and checks the fabric tag on the neck of
          his jacket. She can't quite read it. She reaches up and
          flips on the interior light. Steve's just about blinded.
          She grabs the tag, reads.

                         MARY
          Nylon. And mine...
          She grabs her own tag and reads it, just about elbowing Steve
          in the eye.

                         MARY
          Polyester! See? Both synthetic
          fibres! And the chances of that
          are much smaller than the chances
          of us just wearing blue.
          Steve looks at Mary - suddenly fully aware of her craziness.

          

          

          

          

          19.

                         MARY
          Do you like crosswords?

                         STEVE
          Sure.
          She just about jumps out of her pants with excitement.

                         MARY
          Me too! And semantics, the study
          of the meaning of words? You love
          words, right?

                         STEVE
          What's not to love.

                         MARY
          I know!
          She can hardly believe her good fortune. Her mind reels just
          as fast as her lips.

                         MARY
          Steve with a V, you know what we
          are? We're didymous. Two of a
          kind. Two rare earth elements
          brought together by Norns, that's
          Scandinavian for The Destinies.
          You want to make out for ten to
          fifteen minutes more then go get a
          six pack of Twinkies and Mountain
          Dew and stay up all night and talk?
          Steve is frozen. No escape - then it hits him. He jumps a
          bit, pulls out his cell phone.

                         STEVE
          Sorry. I have to get this.

                         MARY
          I didn't hear it ring.

                         STEVE
          Vibrate.

                         MARY
          I didn't feel it

                         STEVE
          You didn't?
          (into phone)
          This is Steve... What? Really?
          Now? If I don't have a choice...

          

          

          

          

          20.
          He hangs up, looks at Mary like he feels bad.

                         STEVE
          Work. I have to go to... Boston.
          This happens all the time. You
          know how it is. Wherever news
          happens...
          Mary gets off of him, slides back into her seat, buttons her
          sweater.

                         MARY
          It's okay. When you get back we
          can have plenty of quality time.

                         STEVE
          Sure. I'll call you.
          He leans over, opens her door.

                         MARY
          Steve, this has been a night to
          remember.

                         STEVE
          No kidding. You certainly are -
          He searches for any word that will do. Mary jumps in.

                         MARY
          Normal.

                         STEVE
          You read my mind.
          Never happier, she jumps out of the car.
          As he drives away, she pulls the paper bag out of her pocket,
          breathes into it.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - NIGHT

          Mary's parents hear the door open then Mary's footsteps hit
          the stairs. Mrs. Horowitz jumps up, rushes to meet her.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Sweetie, what's wrong? What
          happened? My God, you've barely
          been gone ten minutes.
          Mary stops on the stairs, turns back.

          

          

          

          

          21.

                         MARY
          Mom, sometimes that's all you need
          to know he's the one!
          Mary smiles big, takes the rest of the stairs up two at a
          time. Mrs. Horowitz is about to follow her.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          That girl makes up her mind the
          moon is green, it's green. Leave
          her be. It'll pass. Eventually.
          Mrs. Horowitz moves away from the stairs, no less worried.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - MARY'S ROOM - NIGHT

          Mary leaps from the doorway and lands on her bed in pencil
          pose, smiling up at the ceiling.

                         MARY
          Eleven letter word for serendipity.
          She screams into her pillow.

                         MARY
          The perfect answer: S-E-R-E-N-D-I-P-
          I-T-Y. Serendipity. Why would you
          ever need a better word than that?
          She sits up, grabs her notebook, starts to draw out a new
          crossword puzzle.

          - DAY

          INT. ATLANTA CITIZEN NEWSPAPER OFFICES

          A busy newspaper office. COURIERS make deliveries,
          JOURNALISTS talk at their desks, SECRETARIES count the
          minutes until they can go home.
          In the Editor's office, JIM SOLOMAN looks over the newspaper
          layout with an ASSISTANT.

                         SOLOMAN
          Let's split the gardening feature
          into two weeks. Keep them in
          suspense.
          He steps back, looks at the whole layout.

                         SOLOMAN
          Looks good. How are we doing here?

          

          

          

          

          22.
          He checks his watch.

                         SOLOMAN
          Five minutes to spare. Look at
          that.
          The Assistant points to a blank corner of page 26. Soloman's
          surprised, and not particularly impressed.

                         SOLOMAN
          Horowitz.

          INT. ATLANTA CITIZEN BUILDING - ELEVATOR - DAY

          Mary stands at the front of the full elevator, smiling, a
          piece of paper gripped in her hand.

          MARY (V.0.)
          When I was a fledgling (that means
          novice) crossword constructor, I
          would find comfort in the words of
          the learned crossword sages. Above
          all, my hero is Manny Nosowsky,
          frequent New York Times contributor
          and all around cruciverbial master.

          INT. ATLANTA CITIZEN NEWSPAPER OFFICES - DAY

          Mary walks out of the elevator and heads through the office.
          Nobody seems to notice her.

          MARY (V.O.)
          Manny says that a crossword
          puzzle's greatness can be
          determined by asking three simple
          questions.
          She marches in the direction of the Editor's office.

          MARY (V.0.)
          Is it solvable?
          She almost collides with a mail cart but keeps walking.

          MARY (V.0.)
          Is it entertaining?
          She arrives at the Editor's office, plants her feet in the
          doorway.

          

          

          

          

          23.

          MARY (V.O.)
          Does it s arkle?
          She looks down at the crossword puzzle in her hands, smiles,
          holds it out for Soloman.
          Soloman grabs the crossword and hands it right to the
          Assistant, who rushes it out the door.

          INT. HAIR SALON - DAY

          Two OLD LADIES sit under the hair dryers, each doing the
          Atlanta Citizen crossword puzzle. They're stumped. The
          first Old Lady hollers over the noise of the dryer.

          OLD LADY

          I CAN'T GET ANY OF THESE!
          The other Old Lady holds up her blank crossword, shrugs.

          INT. TAXI - DAY

          The TAXI DRIVER sits in the parked taxi doing the crossword.

          TAXI DRIVER
          This is bullshit.

          INT. STARBUCKS - DAY


                         A
          A long haired GUY gets up from his seat, puts his coat on.
          male EXECUTIVE sits down and spots the newspaper opened to
          the crossword puzzle.

                         GUY
          Don't even bother, man. I don't
          know what the deal is, but it looks
           like all the answers are --

          INT. ATLANTA CITIZEN - EDITOR'S OFFICE - DAY

          Soloman holds up the crossword page.

                         SOLOMAN
          Steve?
          Mary sits and smiles.

          

          

          

          

          24.

                         SOLOMAN
          Every single answer is "Steve"?
          Who the hell is Steve anyway? No
          wait, I don't care, but I do care
          that you pissed off our readers.
          Mary's smile falls a bit.

                         SOLOMAN
          I thought you knew better than to
          pull something like this. It's
           unprofessional, it's --
           to him.
          He's too frustrated, the words aren't coming

                          MARY
           Romantic?

                          SOLOMAN
           No!

                         MARY
          Creativo? That's Italian for
          "creative".

                         SOLOMAN
          No.

                         MARY
          How about -

                         SOLOMAN
          Mary. We're letting you go.

                         MARY
          Oh.
           up her Kroger
          She looks like she's going to cry. She picks
          bag, fidgets.

                         MARY
          Maybe I could make it up to you by
          doing a fishing themed crossword.
          I know how you love the
          piscatology.
          Soloman shakes his head -- it's done.
          Mary hesitates then finally gets up.

                         MARY
          Okay. I'll just give you some time
          then. We'll talk next week.

          

          

          

          

          25.
          He ignores that. She walks out, seemingly content, a bit of
          denial.
          A PAYROLL CLERK sees the elevator doors close behind Mary.

          PAYROLL CLERK
          She forgot her severance.

                         ASSISTANT
          Don't you mean "Steverance"?
          They both laugh.

          EXT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - DAY

           Mary walks up to the front steps where Mr. Horowitz sits

                          THE
          waiting for her. She sits down beside him. He holds up
          Atlanta Citizen crossword.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          Interesting way to go.

                         MARY
          Indeed.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          They like it?
          She points to the other newspaper in his lap.

                         MARY
          Finished with the Times?
          She goes to take the paper. He stops her.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          Neshama, the puzzle. How'd it go?
          She looks around. Nowhere to run.

                         MARY
          How do you think?
          She looks at him -- worry all over his face. She hesitates
          for a moment then sucks it up.

                         MARY
          Because if you're thinking that
          they loved it, that they thought it
          was imaginative and bold and
          evocative... you would be right.

          

          

          

          

          26.
          He's not sure how to take that.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          And Steve?

                         MARY
          He works a lot, you know. Travels
          all the time. 'Tis possible he has
          not yet espied it.
          She picks up the crossword, admires it.

                         MARY
          But when he does, I'm sure he'll
          say, "that Mary Horowitz... is a
          catch. Where oh where has she been
          all my empty life? From here
          onward my life will be divided into
          'before I met Mary' and 'after I
          met Mary' with the second part
          being far superior. I am lonely no
          more. The missing letter in my
          puzzle has at last been found."

          MR. HOROWITZ
          I don't want you getting your hopes
          up too much.

                         MARY
          I'm not.

          INT. CNN ATLANTA - DAY

          An exec office. Steve relaxes on the sofa next to Angus
          while Hartman noses around the office.

                         ANGUS
          We're going to hit rush. We'll
          have to take the second flight.
          Exec. Producer DAN CORBITT walks in, heads straight for his
          desk.

                         CORBITT
          You're set. KDFW's on site now.
          Angus and Steve start to get up.

                         CORBITT
          Hang on.
          They sit. Corbitt grabs the remote control, turns the TV on.

          

          

          

          

          27.

                         CORBITT
          Anybody want to tell me about this?
          He fast forwards through footage of Hartman reporting from a
          greenhouse. Corbitt slows it to normal speed, mutes it.
          They watch as Hartman interviews an attractive female
          BOTANIST holding a test tube with a seedling in it. Hartman
          keeps pointing to the seedling - which happens to be right in
          front of the Botanist's generous breasts.
          The camera gets closer and closer - each time it pulls away
          Hartman points to the seedling again to force the camera in
          close - basically turning the piece into a giant boob-fest.

                         ANGUS
          Take a look at those... plants.
          Corbitt pauses it on the worst shot, looks at Steve.

                         CORBITT
          We can't use this.
          Hartman fakes disgust.

                         HARTMAN
          Of course not. Nice camera work,
          Stevie.
          Steve glares at Hartman. Corbitt points at the frozen shot
          on the TV screen, looks at Steve.

                         CORBITT
          You want to go back to the Weather
          Channel, try that again.
          Corbitt checks his watch, points them out the door.

                         CORBITT
          Get out of here. Don't embarrass
          me in Dallas.
          Hartman, Angus and Steve walk out. Steve nods to Hartman -
          thanks asshole.
          In the hallway, Steve's cell phone rings. He answers it.

                         STEVE
          What?... Mom, let me call you
          back.

          

          

          

          

          28.
          He listens, signals to Angus he needs a minute, then stops at
          a reception area. He sorts through the newspapers, pulls out
          the Atlanta Citizen, flips through it.

                         STEVE
          What page?
          He finds Mary's crossword. He looks at it closely, totally
          confused. It takes him more than a second to get it.
          He laughs -- then suddenly reality sets in.

                         STEVE
          Jesus.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - BATHROOM - NIGHT

          Mary does a crossword while soaking in the bathtub. Without
          missing an answer, she reaches over the side of the tub,
          grabs the telephone on the floor. She checks the dial tone,
          hangs up quickly, continues with the puzzle.

                         MARY
          Four letter word for am I going to
          wait my whole life for Steve to
          call?
          She suddenly stops writing.

                         MARY
          Nope.
          She flails out of the tub like a salmon heading upstream,
          grabs a towel barely big enough to cover her. Without any
          effort to dry off, she runs out of the bathroom.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - HALLWAY / LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

          Towel wrapped around her but barely covering, Mary reaches
          the top of the stairs. Her wet feet sliding all over the
          place, she opts for the safety of a banister slide. She gets
          up on it, slides a few inches before realizing what a bad
          idea it was.

                         MARY
          Ow ow ouch.
          She gets off the banister, slops the rest of the way down the
          stairs, jumps into the doorway of the living room.

          

          

          

          

          29.

                         MARY
          The news is Steve's life! It's not
          just what he does, it's who he is,
          imbedded deep down in his polymer
          of nucleotides. I should be out
          there by his side. That's what
          girlfriends do, isn't it? Let him
          concentrate on his work. I'll
          concentrate on the relationship.
          It won't be easy, I know, but
          neither is quantum physics or...
          the Heisenberg Uncertainty
          Principle or... paper mache, but
          I've managed to do fine with those,
          haven't I?
          She looks at her parents. They sit at a table playing bridge
          with MR. and MRS. HANCOCK.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Mary, you remember the Hancocks.

                         MARY
          Top of the evening.
          Mr. Hancock checks out Mary's bare legs as she stands in a
          puddle of bath water. Mrs. Hancock lifts her husband's chin,
          snaps him out of it.

          MRS. HANCOCK
          Loved this week's puzzle, dear.
          Whoever Steve is, he must be a very
          lucky young man.
          Mr. Horowitz gives Mrs. Hancock a look - "don't encourage
          her".

                         MARY
          Exactly! And all I have to do is
          go to him, be near him, and do my
          best to radiate... me.
          Mr. Horowitz doesn't like the sound of this.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          And where exactly will this
          radiation take place?
          Mary rushes to the TV, turns it on, flips it to CNN.

          ON THE TV:

          

          

          

          

          30.
          A shot of the Medieval Times castle in Dallas, TX. The
          banner on the screen reads "WORKPLACE KILLING".

                         MARY
          Wherever news happens, Dad.
          Wherever news happens.

          EXT. GREYHOUND BUS STATION - ATLANTA - DAY

          PASSENGERS board the bus destined for Dallas. Way too
          excited in her red boots, Mary is the last in line. She hugs
          her mother then jumps up onto the first step of the bus. Mr.
          Horowitz holds Mary's knapsack and Kroger bag, shakes his
          head in disbelief.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          This is nuts.
          Mary takes the bags from him.

                         MARY
          Abe, Catherine, I'm off. I don't
          know where I'm going -
          The Greyhound Bus DRIVER hollers from behind her.

                         DRIVER
          Dallas.

                         MARY
          Geographically yes, I know.
          Figuratively, philosophically,
          spiritually, much less so. My
          entire life is before me. The
          world is my ostrea edulis... That
          means the edible kind of oyster.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          That's beautiful, sweetie. You
          sure you won't take mine instead?
          She tries to switch her leather bag for Mary's Kroger bag.
          Mary resists, points back and forth between the two bags.

                         MARY
          Mom, two handles, two handles, they
          both hold stuff, what's the
          difference?
          Mrs. Horowitz goes to explain, gives up.

          

          

          

          

          31.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          That Steve shows any disrespect,
          you're on the next bus back here.

                         MARY
          Disrespect. Do you mean
          unmannerly, tactless, vulgar?
          Because he's a straight man, Dad,
          and some things can't be helped.
          But if you mean inconsiderate to
          me, contemptuous toward me,
          insulting, irreverent, uncivil -

                         DRIVER
          Let's go already!
          She steps up one more step, yells out to her parents and the

                         WORLD:

                         MARY
          I don't know when I'll be back but
          I do know this-
          The door shuts in her face.

          INT. GREYHOUND BUS DAY

          Mary waves to her worried parents through the closed door.

                         MARY
          (to herself)
          I'm not coming back alone.

          EXT. MEDIEVAL TIMES - DALLAS - DAY

          Local and national NEWS CREWS are camped across the road from
          the Medieval Times castle. Among them, Steve holds the CNN
          camera on Hartman. A young audio tech JOSH hovers nearby.

                         HARTMAN
          Paula, what started out as a
          routine rehearsal here at the
          Dallas Medieval Times turned deadly
          when an employee allegedly turned
          on his fellow performers. Twenty-
          four hours later, at least thirty
          employees are still being held
          hostage by the assailant, their
          lives hanging in the balance.
          He listens to his earpiece, nods.

          

          

          

          

          32.

                         HARTMAN
          The castle you see behind me is one
          of eight medieval Times dinner
          theatre restaurants. Guests who
          cross the drawbridge enjoy a
          medieval style feast while watching
          the main attraction: knights
          engaging in a battle of strength
          and skill. The restaurant promises
          "fun, feasting and fighting" but it
          appears that this time, fun was in
          short supply.
          A few feet away, Angus frantically takes notes as he talks to
          a MAINTENANCE WORKER, then slips a piece of paper to Hartman.

                         HARTMAN
          Paula, devastating news just in.
          We have one confirmed death - an
          Andalusian - a purebred Spanish
          horse. One of many that perform in
          the show, and the first innocent
          victim of a rogue knight's rage...
          He takes a moment to fake compose himself, barely getting the
          words out.

                         HARTMAN
          At times like this, I like to think
          there's a heaven just for horses.
          A rolling meadow, lush grasses,
          unlimited supply of... those things
          horses like to lick - or is that
          cows? Nevertheless, a beautiful,
          peaceful place.
          He turns and looks toward to the Medieval Times.

                         HARTMAN
          May you long roam in that heaven,
          noble horse -
          Angus hands him another note. Hartman scans it, instantly
          kills the fake anguish.

                         HARTMAN
          But not quite yet. We're the first
          to report, the horse is not dead,
          Paula. Not dead. The horse is
          alive and well after having merely
          fainted, as it was trained to do
          for the show. One happy, blessed
          miracle...

                         (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          33.
          HARTMAN (cont'd)
          while a deranged madman continues
          to hold the lives of his coworkers
          in his depraved hands.
          And they're out. A pissed off Hartman pulls out his
          earpiece.

                         HARTMAN
          Dammit, Angus. Get it a bit closer
          to right before you hand it to me.
          Josh moves in, removes Hartman's mic.

                         STEVE
          But then we wouldn't have heard
          about horse heaven.
          Josh and Angus laugh.

                         HARTMAN
          It's that kind of genius that won
          me the Southeast Idaho Christian
          Family Coalition's Journalist of
          the Year award, you ingrates.

          INT. GREYHOUND BUS - NIGHT

          The bus is full. Most PASSENGERS sleep.
          Mary sits in the aisle seat of the first row, a BURLY MAN in
          his 60's beside her. The light above their seats illuminates
          the crossword puzzle he's working on. Mary looks over his
          shoulder, points to the blank spaces in his puzzle.

                         MARY
          Omaha... Einstein... cholera...
          grenade... Bach... oui...
          potbelly... Oreo.
          The man drops the crossword, glares at her.

                         MARY
          Sorry.
          She looks away, starts biting her nails, then spots a sign on
          the freeway, calls-out to the Driver and anybody else who
          will listen.

                         MARY
          Bessemer, Alabama! Named after Sir
          Henry Bessemer, a Brit. Guess what
          he did? Perfected the way steel is
          made, of course.

                         (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          34.
          MARY (cont'd)
          I won't bore you with the whole
          story, just the best parts, like
          how it involves molten pig iron
          which does not, as one might think,
          have anything to do with pigs.
          It's actually a raw iron made from
          iron ore, plus limestone, plus coke
          - and by coke I mean the
          carbonaceous residue, not the cola,
          or the booger sugar.
          Mary looks around for a response -- nothing.

                         MARY
          You know what else is in Bessemer?
          The city, I mean? Hitler's
          typewriter. It's crazy, I know.
          That guy was such an asshole.
           The Driver's eyes glaze over. Please let this and.

          EXT. REST STOP - NIGHT

          The bus pulls into the rundown rest stop.

          INT. GREYHOUND BUS - NIGHT

          The Driver looks at the passengers. Most of them are still
          sleeping.

                         DRIVER
          We'll just take five minutes here.
          He steps off the bus. Mary turns to the man next to her.

                         MARY
          Can you watch my stuff?
          He glares at her -- you have got to be kidding. Mary grabs
          her backpack and Kroger bag and steps off the bus.

          INT. REST STOP - NIGHT

          Mary walks into the restaurant, heads toward the ladies room.
          On her way, she spots a television behind the counter. A few
          DINERS watch. Mary joins them.
          On the TV: "MEDIEVAL TIMES HOSTAGE CRISIS".

          

          

          

          

          35.

                         HARTMAN
          (on TV)
          Perhaps the greatest obstacle the
          hostage negotiators face is the
          suspect's refusal to communicate
          using modern day technology. In
          keeping with his role as a medieval
          knight, he's insisting on an
          eleventh century messenger to
          deliver all communication.
          The screen splits with a female news ANCHOR.

                         ANCHOR
          What are we talking about here,
          Hartman? Carrier pigeons?

                         MARY
          Homing pigeons.
          A few of the Diners overhear.

                         HARTMAN
          Actually, homing pigeons.
          The Diners look at Mary.

                         MARY
          Carrier pigeons, despite their
          name, are more or less useless when
          it comes to actually carrying
          anything. Homing pigeons are
          better for messenger work...
          The Diners lose interest. Mary catches the eye of a WANDERER
          at the end of the counter. He's hanging on her every word.

                         MARY
          You know who used them all the
          time? Genghis Khan. Loved the
          pigeons, scared to death of pooches
          though.
          The Wanderer just stares at her.

                         MARY
          You know, dogs, canines, de honden?
          Still nothing. She looks back at the TV.

          

          

          

          

          36.

                         ANCHOR
          Have the negotiators located any
          homing pigeons? Where do you even
          get them in this day and age?

                         HARTMAN
          You can buy them on the internet
          for twenty-five bucks a pop.
          Mary looks at the Diners, smiles, points to the TV.

                         MARY
          My boyfriend is probably holding
          that camera right now.
          The Diners ignore her and just eat their pie. Mary realizes
          the time, runs out of the rest stop.

          EXT. REST STOP - NIGHT

          Mary runs out into the parking lot. The bus is gone.

                         MARY
          Crap! Crap, crap, crap!
          She looks down the road -- no sign of the bus anywhere. She
          takes her paper bag out of her pocket, breathes into it.
          A TRUCK DRIVER passes her with coffee in hand, on his way to
          his rig.

                         MARY
          Do you know when the next bus to
          Dallas goes through here?

          TRUCK DRIVER
          Can't say I do.

                         MARY
          I missed mine.
          She breathes double time into the paper bag. He takes pity
          on her.

          TRUCK DRIVER
          I'm headed that way.
          He points to his truck. Mary looks at the truck, looks at
          him, looks at the truck, thinks about it for a long time.

          

          

          

          

          37.
          With no sign of an answer forthcoming, the Truck Driver keeps
          walking to his rig. When he's just about there, Mary yells
          out to him.

                         MARY
          You ever killed animals?
          He looks at her, surprised but amused.

          TRUCK DRIVER
          Road kill?

                         MARY
          Set a garbage can full of kittens
          on fire or anything like that?
          Now he's disturbed.

          TRUCK DRIVER
          No.

                         MARY
          Humans?

          TRUCK DRIVER
          Would I tell you if I did?

                         MARY
          Touche, sir. Touche.
          Mary thinks some more.

          TRUCK DRIVER
          Wait for the next bus if that suits
          you.
          He climbs into the truck. Mary runs to catch up with him.

                         MARY
          Do you have a .light? Matches,
          Zippo, blow torch, et al?

          TRUCK DRIVER
          Afraid not.

                         MARY
          May I see your license?
          Why not. He pulls his license out of the visor, flashes it.
          Mary steps up and grabs it, looks at it closely.

                         MARY
          Norman James Durwood.

          

          

          

          

          38.
          She reaches up and shakes his hand.

                         MARY
          Mary Magdalene Horowitz.

          TRUCK DRIVER/NORM
          Good to meet you... I think.
          Still holding the license, she digs in her Kroger bag, pulls
          out a large black magic marker. She pushes up her sleeve and
          writes Norm's license number in huge print down her arm.

                         MARY
          Norm, if you're going to rape and
          murder me, you'll have to cut me up
          into a million chunks and scatter
           me all over four states, otherwise
          this appendage -
          She holds her arm up, shows him.

                         MARY
          Will lead homicide detectives right
          to you.
          She smiles at him warmly, puts the marker back in her bag.

                         MARY
          And you already told me you don't
          have a light to burn the flesh off.
          Norm can't believe this. Before he can say a word, Mary
          moves around to the passenger side, hops up into the truck.
          She notices some snacks on the dash.

                         MARY
          Moon Pies! Want to go halfsies?
          At a loss, Norm motions for Mary to help herself. As she
          unwraps a Pie, he reluctantly starts up the truck.

          EXT. MEDIEVAL TIMES - DALLAS - NIGHT

          Steve reloads his battery camera at the rental van. Angus
          looks over paperwork.

                         ANGUS
          Rebecca wants you to come for
          dinner when we're back home. Her
          cousin from Florida -

          

          

          

          

          39.

                         STEVE
          Forget it.

                         ANGUS
          What?

                         STEVE
          It's a set up.

                         ANGUS
          She's hot.

                         STEVE
          I don't care. Never again. My mom
          set me up with this chick -

                         ANGUS
          You let you mother set you up?
          What the hell is wrong with you?
          There's a commotion in the distance. Every photographer on
          the grounds focuses on the castle. Reporters jump into
          position.
          Hartman touches up his make-up, roots through his bag. He
          yells out to Steve, Angus and Josh.

                         HARTMAN
          Which one of you bastards hid my
          bronzing shimmer?
          The police surrounding the castle take aim.
          Dead silence as the Medieval Times drawbridge lowers.
          A KNIGHT walks out, arms raised as high as his squeaking
          armor will allow, which is not very high, but high enough to
          get the point across -- Surrender.

          INT. NORM'S TRUCK -- NIGHT

          Norm drives as Mary drones on while flipping through a truck
          repair manual.

                         MARY
          And my other rule about crossword
          puzzles is this. No pencils.
          Doing a crossword with a pencil is
          like screaming with your lips duct
          taped together. It's weak.

                         (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          40.
          MARY (cont'd)
          If you're going to do a crossword,
          you should do it fearlessly, with
          abandon, and with a pen. I prefer
          a medium tip, felt, blue -

                         NORM
          Quiet time might be good right
          about now.

                         MARY
          Oh.
          She thinks about it, whispers.

                         MARY
          Do you mean quiet as in softly
          hushed like this? Or do you mean
          quiet, as in silent?
          He nods. Mary squeezes her lips together, holds them. It
          lasts for about a second.

                         MARY
          Norm?

                         NORM
          What?

                         MARY
          Thanks for not raping me.

                         NORM
          My pleasure.

          EXT. ROUTE 20 - DAY

           As the sun comes up, Norm's truck drives into Dallas.

           EXT. MEDIEVAL TIMES - DALLAS - DAY

           Norm's truck drives away, leaving Mary standing on the side
          of Interstate 35. She looks across the road to the Medieval
          Times -- it's completely deserted.

                         MARY
          Eight letter word for "screwed".
          Mary crosses to the Medieval Times parking lot, steps over
          the police line blowing in the wind.

                         MARY
          F-A-S-T-E-N-E-D. Fastened.

          

          

          

          

          41.
          She looks around. There's nobody for miles.

          MARY (V.O.)
          That's what's great about
          crosswords, and life. Every once
          in a while, you get a surprise.
          She heads back to the interstate, starts walking.

          INT. BUS STATION - DAY

          Mary walks past TV in the bus station tuned to Fox News.
          On every screen - images of an upset WOMAN dodging press to
          get through the doors of Children's Hospital, Oklahoma City.
          The screen caption: "The Fight for Baby Peggy".

          EXT. CITY STREET -- DAY

          Mary talks on a pay phone.

                         MARY
          All roads lead to Oklahoma, Papa.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - DAY

          Mary's parents share the phone.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          Last time I checked, freeway 20
          still heads right back here.

          EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

          Mary continues on the phone.

                         MARY
          My road, dad. My road. You don't
          commit to a relationship and then
          give up because you'd rather be at
          home curled up in front of the
          fireplace with a thesaurus. This
          is what people are supposed to do -
          go out on a limb for love. My limb
          just happens to be in Oklahoma.
          It's only 850 miles away from home.
          No big deal.

                         (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          42.
          MARY (cont'd)
          Just think of this like the time I
          went to Girl Scout camp, except for
          the part where I got kicked out.
          This time, no unsupervised butane
          experiment is going to ruin the
          adventure, I swear.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - DAY

          Mrs. Horowitz hangs up the phone. Mr. Horowitz walks to the
          TV, turns it on, flips stations.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          Oklahoma.
          Images of the Oklahoma hospital vigil are everywhere.
          Captions like "Breaking News: Baby Peggy" flash across the
          screen.

          EXT. OKLAHOMA CITY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL - DAY

          Dozens of local and national news vans line the streets
          surrounding the hospital.
          A long line of news crews, views of the hospital's admitting
          entrance behind them. At one end of the line, a male KOCO
          (Oklahoma) REPORTER talks to camera.

          KOCO REPORTER
          Eleven months ago, the child we've
          come to know as Baby Peggy was born
          with an extremely rare birth
          defect, a third leg. Shortly after
          the birth, her parents Misty and
          Bill Dunlevy separated. Now with
          joint custody, one parent wants the
          baby to keep the third leg, the
          other wants it gone...
          A few feet away, a female FOX NEWS REPORTER is on camera.

          FOX NEWS REPORTER
          After months of legal wrangling, a
          judge has ordered in favor of the
          mother. Amputation surgery is
          scheduled for Wednesday but the
          father, Bill Dunlevy, isn't about
          to give up. As his lawyers work to
          secure an injunction, the devoted
          father rallies public support for
          the extra limb.

          

          

          

          

          43.
          At the end of the long line of news crews, Steve has the
          camera on Hartman.

                         HARTMAN

                         (READING)
          "God wouldn't have given my child
          the third leg if he didn't want her
          to keep it." But for now, the fate
          of that precious child's third leg
          is the hands of a judge... This is
          Hartman Hughes reporting, live from
          Oklahoma City.
          Steve signals they've cut, lowers his camera. Hartman calls
          out to Angus.

                         HARTMAN
          What if next time I say Baby Peggy
          is like the wishbone of her
          parents' dispute?
          Hartman acts out a wishbone pull. Steve's disgusted.

                         STEVE
          Yeah, go ahead and suggest that.
          Corbitt will love it.
          Steve turns and looks toward the edge of the fenced off
          hospital grounds. Dozens of PROTESTORS are camped out - a
          sorry assortment of oddballs standing at the fence, waving
          their signs: "SPARE THE LEG", and "HONOR THE FATHER". Many
          of them carry drawings of a three legged baby wearing a halo.
          Steve braces himself and heads for the crowd. Half way
          across, he spots a loner walking from the parking lot. He's
          35, chubby, his shirt buttoned one button off so it hangs
          lower on the left. This is HOWARD. In one hand: a pro-leg
          sign. In his other hand: a carton of chocolate milk.
          Howard stops to lick up the chocolate milk spilling all over
          his arm. Steve catches up with him.

                         STEVE
          Mind if I ask you a few questions
          on camera?

                         HOWARD
          Me?

                         STEVE
          How do you feel about what's going
          on here?

          

          

          

          

          44.
          Steve shoulders his camera, focuses in on Howard's sign.
          It's an impressively detailed drawing of a judge yanking a
          baby's third leg off.

                         HOWARD
          I haven't made up my mind yet.
          Both parties have valid arguments.

          EXT. 13TH STREET - DAY

          HOSPITAL STAFF, PROTESTORS and the curious PUBLIC approach
          the hospital grounds.
          A taxi inches through the crowd. It barely stops when Mary
          leaps out like she's late for a Yanni concert.

          EXT. OKLAHOMA CITY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL - DAY

          Mary steps onto the hospital grounds and looks all around her
          - NEWS CREWS circulate, PATIENTS and staff walk in and out of
          the hospital, protestors line the fence. Somewhere in the
          middle, she finds what she's hunting for -- Steve.
          Mary's face lights up and she starts running toward him - in
          her mind, no doubt in slow motion, with clouds parting to
          light her way.
          Steve's attention is drawn away from the interview with
          Howard. He spots Mary running toward him, arms outstretched.

                         STEVE
          Please God, no.
          He looks for a place to hide but she's running ridiculously
          fast. It's too late. She's only a few feet away.

                         MARY
          Steve!
          She jumps into his arms but he's only got one arm free and
          isn't about to use it to catch her. She slides down his leg
          to the ground but quickly picks herself up.

                         MARY
          I'm here! Surprised?

                         STEVE
          Surprised?

          

          

          

          

          45.

                         MARY
          Astounded, flabbergasted,
          bushwacked -
          He pulls Mary off to the side, away from everybody.

                         STEVE
          What are you doing?

                         MARY
          Talking to you. And noticing how
          the Oklahoma climate agrees with
          your complexion.

                         STEVE
          Tell me you didn't come all the way
          here just to see me.

                         MARY
          Of course not... I went to Dallas
          looking for you first. And you
          know why?
          Steve grabs his head. This is not happening.

                         MARY
          Because you're inimitable and I'm
          intransigent.

                         STEVE
          No, we're not. I don't know what
          that means but trust me. We're so
          not.

                         MARY
          It means you're awesome and I'm
          unstoppable.

                         STEVE
          Great. Listen, Mary, you seem like
          a nice girl, and the ten minutes we
          spent together were --

                         MARY
          Mind blowing.
          At a complete loss, he just goes along.

                         STEVE
          Sure, but I'm working here.
          Working.

          

          

          

          

          46.
          Mary points to the partially hidden side door of the
          hospital. A MAN with his face covered, in a nurse's uniform
          and dress shoes, sneaks out the door unnoticed.

                         MARY
          I know. I'm just here to support
          you, show you I care, and also ask
          why you aren't following that guy
          pretending to be a nurse but
          obviously not wearing sterilizable,
          non-slip footwear.
          Steve looks toward the hospital, spots the Man.

                         MARY
          If I was Baby Peggy's dad, that's
          how I'd avoid the press too.
          Steve takes off running. Mary yells out to him.

                         MARY
          I'll be right here in case you want
          to make out later on!
          Steve looks back, a bunch of people stare. Mary waves to him
          then watches until he's out of sight.
          A SECURITY GUARD approaches her.

          SECURITY GUARD
          Miss, if you want to be here,
          you're going to have to stay behind
          the fence.
          Mary turns to see what he's pointing at - the growing crowd
          of protestors off in the distance. They wave their signs
          around, cry, sing and sway together, their painful song
          barely audible from afar.

                         PROTESTORS
          Near, far, wherever you are, we
          believe that the leg should stay
          on...
          Mary watches, paralyzed with awe, like seeing herself in the
          mirror for the first time ever.
          At last, she has found her people.

          

          

          

          

          47.

          EXT. OKLAHOMA PROTESTORS CAMP - DAY

          An overweight 30ish woman ELIZABETH (who shouldn't be wearing
          those low rise pants and cropped tee) lights a bunch of
          candles in the grass behind the protestor fence. She reaches
          the last candle in line just as Mary walks up to join the
          group.
          Elizabeth looks up at Mary, smiles.

                         ELIZABETH
          I like your boots.

                         MARY
          Thanks. I found them in an alley.
          Elizabeth looks at the boots again, impressed. She stands
          up.

                         ELIZABETH
          Are you pro-leg or anti-leg?

                         MARY
          Neither really.

                         ELIZABETH
          This is the pro-leg group over
          here. We're supporting Baby
          Peggy's dad in his fight to save
          the baby's third leg.
          She points to the end of the fenced off area where only a few
           protestors hold anti-leg signs:"NORMAL LIFE FOR BABY PEGGY",

          "3 LEGS ARE NOT BETTER THAN 2".

                         ELIZABETH
          Those are the anti-leggers.
          They're all for the amputation.

                         MARY
          I'm just here because my boyfriend
          is working the story. He's with
          CNN, the world's news leader, the
          most trusted name in news, the
          place where more -

                         ELIZABETH
          The pro-leggers have better snacks.

                         MARY
          I'm definitely pro-leg.

          

          

          

          

          48.
          Elizabeth smiles, hands Mary a candle.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE -- NIGHT

          Mr. and Mrs. Horowitz watch TV and read at the same time.
          The TV is on mute --- CNN's Baby Peggy coverage.
          In the corner of the screen, "amputation countdown - 35
          hours". Shots of the protestors' candlelight vigil appear on
          the screen.
          Mrs. Horowitz spots Mary in the crowd, standing next to
          Elizabeth. She sings and waves her candle around, all the
          while straining to look for Steve.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          There she is! Abe, look! There
          she is right there.
          Mr. Horowitz glances up from his book.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          She's going to set her hair on fire
          with that candle.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Look, she's made friends.
          Mrs. Horowitz tries not to cry.

          EXT. OKLAHOMA MEDIA CAMP - NIGHT

          At the back doors of the rental van, Steve and Angus work on
          laptops. Steve confides in Angus, trying not to wake up
          Hartman sleeping on the back seat.

                         STEVE
          She's on me what, thirty seconds
          after meeting me, and the chick
          will not shut up the whole time. I
          had to fake a work call, gave her
          the -

                         ANGUS
          (imitating Steve)
          Wherever news goes...

          

          

          

          

          49.

                         STEVE
          I think I'm in the clear, then she
          does this crossword - she works for
          the Citizen - she does this
          crossword all about me, and as if
          that's not crazy enough, she shows
          up here.

                         ANGUS
          Here?

                         STEVE
          Over by the fence. Red boots.
          Can't miss her.

                         ANGUS
          Is she hot?

                         STEVE
          Jesus, Angus. When a psychotic
          chick's swinging a machete at your
          throat, who cares if she's hot?

                         ANGUS
          I've been married to the same woman
          for seventeen years. I care.

                         STEVE
          Crazy, man. The chick is cra-zy.
          Hartman sits up, totally awake and never happier. He points
          at Steve.

                         HARTMAN
          Priceless! This is priceless!
          Steve cringes.

                         STEVE
          Hughes, don't. Don't even.

          EXT. OKLAHOMA PROTESTORS CAMP - NIGHT

          A short, 60ish PROTESTOR and his PROTESTOR WIFE talk to an
          Oklahoma Journal Record NEWSPAPER REPORTER at the fence.

          PROTESTOR WIFE
          All we're saying is, wait until
          Baby Peggy can talk and ask her
          what she wants to do with the
          spare.

          

          

          

          

          50.
          Mary listens in while she dispenses a hot chocolate from
          another protestor's backpack thermos. She finishes pouring,
          taps the guy on the shoulder.

                         MARY
          Thanks, Bruno.
          He walks away. Mary takes a sip of the hot chocolate, burns
          her mouth.

                         MARY
          Crap.
          She grabs her tongue with her fingers. Hartman appears right
          in front of her.

                         HARTMAN
          M'lady.
          She's a bit stunned and star struck. He offers his hand.

                         HARTMAN
          Hartman Hughes.
          Mary lets go of her tongue, uses her saliva covered hand to
          shake his.

                         MARY
          Mary.

                         HARTMAN
          Mary'. Mary, Mary, Mary.
          He takes his hand back, discretely wipes it on his pants.

                         HARTMAN
          Steve told me you were beautiful.
          He was going on and on and on and
          on about it. I had to come see for
          myself. Great boots.

                         MARY
          Thank y-
          He puts an arm around her, pulls her away from the crowd.

                         HARTMAN
          Listen, Mary, I've been working
          with Steve for about a year now.
          The guy is like a brother to me.
          A YOUNG PROTESTOR recognizes Hartman.

          

          

          

          

          51.

          YOUNG PROTESTOR
          Hartman Hughes'.
          Without missing a step, Hartman grabs a pen from his pocket
          and autographs the guy's sign whether he wants it or not,
          then continues on with Mary.

                         HARTMAN
          Girls follow us around everywhere
          we go. Who do you think they're
          after?
          Hartman reflects on it, smiles.

                         HARTMAN
          Me, of course me, but every once in
          a while some of them try to land
          Steve. It's true. Sure he'll go
          for a few skanks here and there but
          it's all just a sad attempt to hide
          his fear. All he wants is to love
          but he's afraid of opening up,
          afraid of putting himself out
          there, afraid of somebody like you,
          Mary - yes you - afraid of you
          breaking his heart. Can you blame
          him?
          She's a bit stunned and confused by all of this.

                         MARY
          No?

                         HARTMAN
          No! Promise me this. Promise
          you'll stick around long enough to
          help him get over that fear. He
          tells you to go away, don't. He
          says he thinks you're crazy?
          You're not. He's crazy, Mary.
          Crazy not to let down his walls and
          tell you how he really feels. Can
          I count on you to hang in there no
          matter what?

                         MARY
          Of course. I don't want to
          interfere in his work but I just
          need to be here for him and -
          He grabs her, hugs her in so her words are all muffled - and
          yet she keeps talking.

          

          

          

          

          52.

                         HARTMAN
          Good girl.
          The SECURITY GUARD walks past, gestures that they should be
          behind the fence. Hartman holds up his press pass to get rid
          of the Guard, then lets go of Mary. He points her toward the
          protestors, starts backing away.

                         HARTMAN
          I'll tell Steve to come find you
          when we wrap for the day. What
          side are you on?

                         MARY
          Pro-leg.
          She shows him her button featuring a cartoon of a very happy
          three legged baby. Hartman laughs.

                         HARTMAN
          You might want to jump camps. No
          way they're going let that baby
          keep the third leg and live like a
          freak. Trust me.
          He waves and turns around, starts heading for the press camp.
          Mary calls out to him.

                         MARY
          She'd just be like the tree frogs.
          Hartman turns around. What?

                         MARY
          A trematode parasite causes
          polymely (that means extra limbs)
          in tree frogs. It happens all the
          time. In some ponds there's like a
          quarter of the tree frogs with
          extra legs. Totally natural.
          Hartman looks at her like she's a nutcase.

          EXT. OKLAHOMA MEDIA CAMP - NIGHT

          Angus is on his phone as Steve rushes to set up his
          equipment. Hartman arrives back at the van.

                         HARTMAN
          What's going on?
          Josh rushes to get the mic on Hartman.

          

          

          

          

          53.

                         JOSH
          The parents of the kid got back
          together. Surgery's cancelled.

                         HARTMAN
          No amputation?

                         STEVE
          Tell me you weren't talking to
          Mary.

                         HARTMAN
          Who?

                         STEVE
          Go to hell, Hughes.
          scans it
          Angus hands Hartman the press release. Hartman
          quickly.

                         HARTMAN
          It's over? The kid keeps the leg.

                         ANGUS
          For now.
          Hartman checks his teeth in a hand mirror.

                         HARTMAN
          'Til she gets it caught in a car
          door.

          EXT. OKLAHOMA PROTESTORS CAMP - NIGHT

          News spreads around the pro-leg protestors camp. They all
          start hollering with joy.
          The disappointed anti-leg protestors ditch their signs and
          storm off.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - NIGHT

          Mr. Horowitz is asleep in front of the TV. He wakes up as
          the amputation countdown clock on the news stops.

          EXT. OKLAHOMA CITY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL - NIGHT

          The news crews line the hospital entrance once again.

          

          

          

          

          54.

          KOCO REPORTER
          With mere hours to spare, the
          Dunlevys reconciled, agreeing to
          halt surgery until Baby Peggy is
          old enough to decide for herself.
          Further down the row of reporters:

          FOX NEWS REPORTER
          And while dozens of children fight
          for their lives behind these walls,
          Baby Peggy won't be one of them.
          With surgery cancelled, it's time
          for the Dunlevys to be a family
          once again.
          Past a few more news crews, at the end the line, Steve has
          the camera on Hartman.

                         HARTMAN
          And like the noble tree frog whose
          extra leg is nothing if not
          natural, so Baby Peggy begins the
          rest of her three legged life...
          This is Hartman Hughes reporting
          live from Oklahoma City.
          Hartman pulls out his ear piece. Angus, Josh and Steve all
          look at him, a bit surprised.

                         STEVE
          Tree frog? Where do you get this
          shit?
          Hartman taps the side of his head -- it's all up here.

                         HARTMAN
          A little thing called astutitude,
          my friends.
          Steve and Angus look at each other -- is that even a word?

          EXT. OKLAHOMA PROTESTORS CAMP - NIGHT

          Mary celebrates with the other protestors. The Protestor and
          his Protestor Wife cry tears of joy. Mary pulls a tissue out
          of her bag, hands it over. The husband takes it, turns away
          and wipes his eyes.

          

          

          

          

          55.

                         MARY
          There you go, George. Just a
          little nasolacrimal duct cleaning.
          Nothing to be ashamed of.
          Elizabeth runs up to Mary, hugs her.

                         ELIZABETH
          You see? When you sing loud enough
          and when your signs are big enough,
          people listen!
          Mary spots some of the news vans pulling away.

                         MARY
          Steve!

                         ELIZABETH
          Go, go on. I'll watch your stuff.
          Mary drops her bags, runs toward the media camp.

          EXT. OKLAHOMA MEDIA CAMP - NIGHT

          Josh pulls the back doors of the van shut.

          INT. RENTAL VAN - NIGHT

          Angus at the wheel, Hartman in the passenger seat. In the
          back, Steve nervously looks out the windows. Josh gets in
          next to him.
          Angus starts driving slowly across the grass behind other
          news vans. Steve finally relaxes.

          EXT. RENTAL VAN - NIGHT

          As the van drives, Mary runs to catch up.

                         MARY
          Steve! STEVE!

          INT. RENTAL VAN - NIGHT

          Hartman spots Mary in the rear view mirror.

                         HARTMAN
          Angus, hold up.

          

          

          

          

          56.
          Steve sees what Hartman's looking at.

                         STEVE
          No, go. Fast.
          Hartman rolls down his window.

                         STEVE
          Don't.
          Hartman sticks his head out the window.

                         STEVE
          Hughes, I swear I'll kill you.
          Hartman waves to Mary to catch up. Angus sees her in the
          mirror as he drives.

                         ANGUS
          Is that her? She's hot.

                         STEVE
          Angus, come on man, get me out of
          here.

                         ANGUS
          She's really hot.

                         STEVE
          Who cares? Jesus, you guys -
          Angus hits the brakes. Steve hides behind the seat just as
          Mary catches up with the van.

                         HARTMAN
          Hi beautiful.
          Mary tries to get a look at Steve but can only see part of
          his back hunched over behind the seat.

                         MARY
          Steve? Are you okay? Is he okay?
          Angus leans over to her window.

                         ANGUS
          I don't think we've met. Angus.
          Mary shakes Angus' hand. He can't take his eyes off her.

                         HARTMAN
          Steve's not feeling well.

          

          

          

          

          57.

                         MARY
          Oh no.

                         HARTMAN
          I'm sure he'll be fine by the time
          we get to New Mexico.

                         ANGUS
          Your eyes are striking.
          Steve punches him through the seat. Mary's oblivious.

                         MARY
          Thank you.

                         HARTMAN
          Steve really wants you to follow
          us. It would mean a lot to him.

                         STAYS
          Steve cringes, goes to speak up but stops himself and
          hidden.

                         HARTMAN
          He was going to go ask you himself
          but look at the poor bastard. So
          sick he can't even sit up straight.

                         MARY
          What if it's a viral zoonotic
          disease? He should see a doctor.

                         HARTMAN
          Exactly what I told him, but the
          only person he wants touching his
          infected flesh is you.
          Mary looks at Steve, worried.

                         MARY
          But wait, what if -
          up.
          Hartman grabs her face, squishes her lips to shut her

                         HARTMAN
          Hey now, we need you to be strong
          for him. Leachinan trial, Santa Fe,
          can you remember that?
          Mary nods, unable to speak.

                         HARTMAN
          We'll meet you there, God willing.

          

          

          

          

          58.
          He lets go of her face.

                         MARY
          Will you take care of him?

                         HARTMAN
          Like he's my own.
          She backs away from the window. Angus waves to her and
          starts driving.

                         ANGUS
          Nothing wrong with that one.

                         JOSH
          Except for those boots.

                         STEVE
          You're an asshole, Hughes.
          Hartman laughs.

          EXT. RENTAL VAN - NIGHT

          Mary watches the van drive away.

          EXT. OKLAHOMA PROTESTORS CAMP - NIGHT

          Only a few protestors remain. Abandoned signs and garbage
          cover the grass. Elizabeth gets autographs from other
          protestors like it's the last day of high school.
          Mary runs up, grabs her bags.

                         MARY
          Elizabeth! I have to meet Steve at
          his next job, in New Mexico. He's
          sick, not as in rad, although he is
          that too, but more like unwell,
          infirm, perhaps barfy. Hopefully
          nothing serious but you never can
          be too sure and besides, healthy or
          not, he needs me.

                         ELIZABETH
          Sign my book before you go?
          Elizabeth hands her the ratty hand decorated book and a pen.

          

          

          

          

          59.

                         MARY
          The trip's not too long, right
          through all kinds of interesting
          sites like, for example, El
          Santuario de Chimayo: The Lourdes
          of America. Know what that is? A
          sacred sand pit near a burrito
          stand. What could be better than
          that?
          Mary looks away from Elizabeth, fidgets a bit.

                         MARY
          Want to go? Unless you're busy, I
          mean. You probably have something
          better to do.
          Elizabeth thinks about it.

                         ELIZABETH
          Not really.
          Mary is stunned. She takes a minute to realize it's real,
          gets excited. From behind her:

          HOWARD (O.S.)
          I'll go too.
          Mary turns around and spots Howard.

                         ELIZABETH
          Mary, have you met Howard?
          Mary shakes her head. Howard offers his hand. It's got
          dried chocolate milk all over it. She takes it.

                         ELIZABETH
          Mary, Howard. Howard, Mary. Mary,
          Howard's got a car, you know. He
          can drive us.
          Mary looks at him, thinks about it.

                         MARY
          What kind of car do you have?

                         HOWARD
          Plymouth Colt.

                         MARY
          What year?

          

          

          

          

          60.

                         HOWARD
          Eighty-nine.
          Mary quickly scans her memory.

                         MARY
          Replace the recalled seat belts?

                         HOWARD
          Yes.
          Mary thinks about it, smiles.

                         MARY
          Let's grab souvenirs!
          Elizabeth and Howard each pick up a Baby Peggy sign off the
          ground. Mary grabs as many as she can hold -- way, way too
          many. A bunch of them slide off but she perseveres.

          MARY (V.0.)
          Here's something you never see in
          crosswords, two letter words, and
          thank goodness for that. The word
          "go": not fun. The word "vamoose":
          super fun. You see? crosswords
          are just like life in that way -
          they're only boring if you have no
          sense of adventure.

          INT. HOWARD'S CAR - NIGHT

          Howard starts the car. In the passenger seat, Elizabeth has
          a bunch of the protest signs crammed in at her feet.
          Mary gets settled in the back seat, spots a copy of
          Scientific American magazine, then finds an apple stuck
          behind the seat belt. She yanks the apple out, looks at it.
          Howard looks at her in the rear view mirror.

                         HOWARD
          You can have that. I have more.

                         MARY
          Thanks.
          Mary puts the apple in her Kroger bag.

                         MARY
          Howard, if you get sleepy and want
          to trade off driving for a while,
          just wake me up and I'll take over.

                         (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          61.
          MARY (cont'd)
          I'm a night owl, yes, but I'm also
          a day owl too, a burrowing owl,
          technically. They stay awake all
          day too. I'm pretty much alert
          24/7, always have been. No
          caffeine. Just sugar and my
          natural tendency to, you know,
          never fall asleep.
          Mary leans back, closes her eyes, and she's out.

          EXT. I-40 - NIGHT

          Howard's car merges onto the highway, westbound toward New
          Mexico and into the night. Mary sleep talks in the back.

                         MARY
          Persimmon. AKA, the mabolo, the
          date-plum, the velvet apple.
          Genus: Diospyros.

          EXT. SANTA FE FEDERAL COURT HOUSE - DAY

          A media extravaganza - local, national and this time,
          international news teams.
          A REPORTER for Inside Edition talks on camera.

          INSIDE EDITION REPORTER
          This tragedy began eight months ago
          in what was once paradise - the
          Elysium Sanctuary outside of Taos,
          New Mexico. For years, celebrities
          considered the five star meditation
          resort the only true place for
          spiritual purification, and with
          good reason. Nestled in the heart
          of reclaimed Pueblo Indian lands,
          the Elysium Sanctuary promised one
          thing - enlightenment.
          A COURT TV REPORTER is on camera a few feet away.

          COURT TV REPORTER
          But the Elysium Sanctuary would
          never be the same after tragedy
          struck last winter. Twenty-six
          year old resort masseuse Juan
          Carlos Velasquez found stabbed to
          death in the meditation villa of
          beloved star of stage and screen,
          Cloris Leachman.

          

          

          

          

          62.
          A bit further down the'line of reporters, an EXTRA! REPORTER
          is on camera.

          EXTRA! REPORTER
          Publicists for the eighty year old
          Leachman insist her relationship
          with the deceased Velasquez was no
          different than with the dozens of
          other resort personnel attending to
          Ms. Leachman during her solitude
          retreat.
          At the end of the row, Hartman reports.

                         HARTMAN
          But the octogenarian Leachman may
          not have been as innocent as her
          representatives claimed, at least
          according to the evidence found at
          the murder scene.
          Hartman reads from his notes.

                         HARTMAN
          Whips, hot wax, bamboo skewers, a
          spanking bench, and perhaps most
          damaging, a henna tattoo across Ms.
          Leachman's chest that read "Mrs.
          Juan Carlos Velasquez".

          EXT. SANTA FE FEDERAL COURT HOUSE - DAY

          Elizabeth, Mary and Howard step onto the curb and survey the
          crowd.
          On one side, an odd assortment of fans with signs like "FREE
          CLORIS", "JAIL REAL CRIMINALS, NOT OLD LADIES" and "OSCAR
          WINNERS DON'T KILL", with photos of Cloris Leachman through
          the years.
          On the other side of the crowd, a smaller group of MEXICAN
          MOURNERS with signs "JUSTICE FOR JUAN", "GUILTY", and "LET

          THE BITCH FRY".

                         HOWARD
          Guilty or not?
          They all think about it. A greasy haired Shaman CLYDE steps
          up behind them.

          

          

          

          

          63.

                         CLYDE
          Everybody deserves the benefit of
          the doubt.
          He looks at Mary, smiles.

                         CLYDE
          Everybody.
          As he joins the Leachman fans, Mary thinks about it.

                         MARY
          Be has a point.

                         ELIZABETH
          Yay! I love Cloris Leachman.

                         HOWARD
          Who doesn't?

          MEXICAN MOURNERS
          jMuerte! iMuerte! iMuerte!

                         MARY
          I have to go find Steve. How do I
          look?
          Unwashed hair, bed head, and there's a chunk of a Twinkie
          caked onto Mary's ear. Elizabeth picks the Twinkie off,
          smooths down Mary's hair.

                         ELIZABETH
          Perfect.

                         MARY
          I'll be back. Save me a sign! And
          if Cloris comes out, tell her I
          loved her in "My Little Pony: The
          Movie".
          Mary runs off as Howard and Elizabeth join the crowd of fans.

          EXT. SANTA FE FEDERAL COURT HOUSE - MEDIA CAMP - DAY

          Mary walks among the news vans. At the entrance to a nearby
          tent, Hartman spots her, waves her over.

                         HARTMAN
          Hi gorgeous. What'd you do to your
          hair?

          

          

          

          

          64.

                         MARY
          Slept on it in the car. Where's
          Steve? Is he okay?

                         HARTMAN
          Never better. Come in and wait.
          He'll be back soon.

          INT. MEDIA TENT - DAY

          A briefing area is set up - folding chairs, table, podium. A
          bunch of male journalists sit around the table playing poker -
          Vince (CNN), DOUG (CNN), the COURT TV REPORTER, a BBC NEWS
           PHOTOGRAPHER, a FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER, A SPANISH JOURNALIST and
          Angus.
          Hartman escorts Mary in. The guys perk up a bit.

                         HARTMAN
          You all know Mary? Steve's
          girlfriend?
          Mary shakes hands around the table, greets them all in their
          native tongues.

                         MARY
          Hello... Bonjour... Hola...
          Jolly afternoon...
          She gets to Angus. He kisses her hand.

                         ANGUS
          My dear, sit.
          He shoves the BBC guy out of the way to make room for Mary
          next to him. Vince shuffles the cards.

                         VINCE
          Mary, you in?

                         MARY
          Poker? Technically I'm familiar
          but I've never actually played.
          With people, I mean.

          SPANISH JOURNALIST
          She's in.
          Doug throws in some cash as Vince starts to deal.

          

          

          

          

          65.

          EXT. SANTA FE FEDERAL COURT HOUSE - SPECTATORS AREA - DAY

          Howard wanders through the crowd wearing an "I V Cloris" t-
          shirt over his own. He passes a VENDOR selling "Innocence
          Beads", "Acquittal Incense" and "autographed" Cloris Leachman
          photos.
          The crowd continues to grow. A Candles are lit, healing
          rituals performed, donuts passed around.

          INT. MEDIA TENT - DAY

          Mary holds her cards close to her.

                         MARY
          "There are few things that are so
          unpardonably neglected in our
          country as poker." Guess who said
          that one.
          She looks around the table. The guys, except Angus, are
          starting to lose their patience.

                         MARY
          Mark Twain. And you know what else-

          BBC NEWS PHOTOGRAPHER
          Darling, you in or not?

                         MARY
          Sorry.
          Mary looks at her cards, thinks about it for way too long,
          then grabs a handful of coins from her Kroger bag, slaps them
          on the table.

                         MARY
          Send it, ladies!
          Steve steps into the tent, spots Mary, turns to run back out.

                         HARTMAN
          Don't go, Steve! Look who's here.
          Mary jumps up - just about knocks the table over, then
          sustains a number of injuries trying to leap over chairs. At
          last she makes it to Steve, hugs him.

                         MARY
          Thank God you're okay!

          

          

          

          

          66.
          He looks over her shoulder and mouths "you're dead" to
          Hartman.

                         TO
          He holds her back at arm's length, looks at her, goes
          speak then stops himself, pulls her outside the tent.

          EXT. MEDIA TENT - DAY

          Steve tries to stay calm talking to Mary.

                         STEVE
          You have to stop stalking me.

                         MARY
          I'm not. It's more like picking
          travel destinations based on where
          you happen to be working.

                         STEVE
          Stalking.

                         MARY
          Hartman told me you wanted me here.
          Now that I am, what better
          opportunity for us to get to know
          each other better.

                         STEVE
          This is crazy.

                         MARY
          Hartman said you'd say that.

                         STEVE
          Go home, Mary.

                         MARY
          And he said you'd say that too.
          It's just your fear talking.
          Steve just about loses it.

                         STEVE
          He's not my friend, he's not your
          friend. He's just an asshole who
          thinks it's fun to string you along
          and make my life hell.
          He yells toward the tent.

                         STEVE
          Hughes! Get out here!

          

          

          

          

          67.
          Mary looks right at him.

                         MARY
          You know how sometimes you see a
          pinguid (that means fat and greasy)
          guy with an attractive girl and you
          think how the heck did he pull that
          off? People won't think that when
          they look at us. We're perfectly
          matched.
          She can hardly contain her excitement.

                         STEVE

          HUGHES!
          Hartman peeks out of the tent.

                         HARTMAN
          For the hundredth time, Steve, no,
          I am not interested in a threesome
          with you and your new girlfriend.
          Steve points to Mary.

                         STEVE
          Tell her the truth. About all the
          crap you told her.

                         HARTMAN
          Okay. Fine.
          Hartman goes to Mary, grabs her hand.

                         HARTMAN
          Everything I said about Steve,
          about his feelings for you, his
          hopes, his dreams, his fears, his
          unexplainable odor, forget about
          it. Forget everything I said.
          None of it was true.
          Mary's stunned, devastated. She looks like she's going to
          cry. Hartman and Steve look at each other - what now?
          Hartman shoves him forward. Steve reluctantly puts a
          comforting hand on her shoulder.

                         HARTMAN
          Because nothing I said comes close
          to the enormity of Steve's real
          feelings for you!

          

          

          

          

          68.
          Mary perks up. Steve yanks his hand off her shoulder like
          it's on fire.

                         HARTMAN
          It's a love that defies words!
          Steve jumps him. Hartman fights back. Mary's horrified.

                         MARY
          Stop it, you guys! Stop! "Victory
          attained by violence is tantamount
          to a defeat, for it is momentary."
          You know who said that? Gandhi.
          And me. Just now.
          The fight continues. Mary half covers her eyes.

          INT. MEDIA TENT - DAY

          At the poker table, the guys hear scuffling outside.

          BBC NEWS PHOTOGRAPHER
          Fight!
          They all jump up and run out of the tent.

          EXT. MEDIA TENT - DAY

          Steve gets a few jabs to Hartman as the rest of the guys
          calmly watch.

                         VINCE
          Nice one.

          BBC NEWS PHOTOGRAPHER
          Somebody's going to be crying in a
          minute.
          Angus hugs Mary to "console" her. Hartman gets Steve in a
          headlock. Mary can't even watch.

          SPANISH JOURNALIST
          I'm going to go with Hughes on this
          one.

                         VINCE
          Come on, the guy wears makeup.
          The guys all start pulling out cash to place bets. Mary
          spots the cash changing hands.

          

          

          

          

          69.

                         MARY
          No! This isn't about money! It's
          about courage, love, honor and all
          things virtuous and pure. Steve,
          kick him in the leberknoedel!
          Hartman looks up at her, hurt. The distraction costs him.
          Steve knees him then follows with a jab to his face.

                         JOURNALISTS
          Ohhhh!
          Hartman drops to his knees, tries to pull himself together.

                         STEVE
          Tell her!

                         HARTMAN
          Okay, alright.
          Hartman wipes his lip, looks up at Mary.

                         HARTMAN
          Mary, millions of people believe
          what I tell them every night. Why
          shouldn't you?
          Steve dives at him. Hartman swings and gets him right in the
          nose. One of their cell phones ring, then another, then all
          the guys' phones go off.

                         ANGUS
          Verdict's in.
          They all rush off to the court house, leaving a stunned Mary
          standing alone.

                         MARY
          He fought for me.
          Happiest moment of her life.

          EXT. SANTA FE FEDERAL COURT HOUSE - DAY

          The crowd cheers as CLORIS LEACHMAN is whisked out of the
          court house and into a police car. She waves to her fans as
          she goes.
          The Court TV Reporter is on camera.

          

          

          

          

          70.

          COURT TV REPORTER
          The end to a difficult and often
          emotional trial, the verdict
          finally in, Cloris Leachman found
          not guilty of the murder of her
          twenty-six year old lover Juan
          Carlos Velasquez.
          Down the row of journalists, the BBC CREW.

          BBC JOURNALIST
          After a devastating eight months,
          Leachman at last vindicated despite
          overwhelming evidence against her.
          Six more cameras down, the French Reporter.

          FRENCH REPORTER

                         (SUBTITLED)
          Eyewitness testimony, fingerprints
          on every inch of the body, the
          murder weapon still warm in her
          Chanel handbag -
          And finally at the end of the line, Hartman - his hair a
          mess, his lip cut, his mood sour.
          A few feet away filming, Steve's nose bleeds down his chin
          and shirt.

                         HARTMAN
          And as she left the court room
          today a free woman, the cheers of
          her devoted fans carrying her
          forward -

          MARY (O.S.)

          OH MY GOD, STEVE, YOU'RE BLEEDING!
          The camera is knocked out of position as Mary rushes Steve.
          Angus steps in and pulls her away. A COP grabs her.
          Mary looks back to Steve as she's dragged back to the fan
          area.

                         MARY
          Please! Somebody help him! Apply
          a vasoconstrictor, a nasal tampon,
          anything! At the absolute least,
          direct pressure and a clean tissue!
          Steve puts the camera back in place. Hartman recovers fast.

          

          

          

          

          71.

                         HARTMAN
          As you can see, Cloris Leachman's
          fans have become surprisingly
          violent despite her victory here
          today. Add this to the list of the
          most dangerous locations for
          journalists. Iraq, Somalia,
          Lebanon, Sri Lanka... and just
          about any place Cloris Leachman
          fans gather.
          Hartman wipes blood from his lip.

                         HARTMAN
          Hartman Hughes putting his life at
          risk to report live from Santa Fe,
          New Mexico.
          They cut. Hartman grabs a hand mirror, points to his face,
          yells out to Steve.

                         HARTMAN
          This is my gift, understand, my
          instrument. Makes no difference if
          you're walking around looking like
          Quasimodo.
          Ignoring Hartman, Steve walks over to Angus.

                         STEVE
          How long do you figure until -
          Steve's phone rings. He cringes, answers it.

          INT. CNN ATLANTA - DAY

          A furious Corbitt holds the phone and replays the live shot
          of Hartman at the court house.

          MARY (O.S., ON TV)

          OH MY GOD, STEVE, YOU'RE

          BLEEDING!... OH MY GOD, STEVE,

          YOU'RE BLEEDING!... OH MY GOD,

          STEVE, YOU'RE BLEEDING!

                         CORBITT
          Who the hell was that?

          EXT. SANTA FE FEDERAL COURT HOUSE - DAY

          Steve hesitates on the phone.

          

          

          

          

          72.

                         STEVE
          This girl. She's been following
          me... She's not my girlfriend...
          He listens, clenches his teeth, hands the phone to Angus. As
          Angus listens, Steve grabs his equipment, waits in dread.
          Angus hangs up the phone, hands it back to Steve.

                         STEVE
          I'm done?

                         ANGUS
          Consider yourself temporarily saved
          by the storm. It's worse than they
          thought. We've got to move.
          Steve grabs his equipment. They start walking.

                         ANGUS
          He'll probably fire you after.

                         STEVE
          Any luck, the storm will kill me
          first.

          EXT. SANTA FE FEDERAL COURT HOUSE - FAN CAMP - DAY

          Elizabeth runs around hugging other fans as Mary stands at
          the fence watching the press wrap up, worried.
          Clyde the Shaman joins her at the fence, looks right at her,
          raises a finger to his lips.

                         CLYDE
          Shhhh.

                         MARY
          What? I didn't -

                         CLYDE
          Shhhh.
          He puts his hands on the sides of her head. Mary's confused
          and a bit freaked out.

                         CLYDE
          In here. So loud. Always
          thinking, thinking, thinking.
          Mary goes to speak, stops herself. Clyde keeps his hands
          still on her head, looks into her eyes.

          

          

          

          

          73.

                         CLYDE
          You already found what you're
          looking for.
          Mary's eyes soften and she's suddenly calm. A moment of
          peace.
          Suddenly, Mary spots Hartman, Steve and Angus rush past. She
          breaks away from Clyde, rushes along the fence to catch up.

                         MARY
          Wait! Steve!
          Hartman spots her.

                         HARTMAN
          Sorry, darling, we're on to the
          next story.

                         MARY
          No, wait! Attendee!
          She runs to the end of the fence, jumps it, runs after them.

          EXT. SANTA FE MEDIA CAMP - DAY

          Mary runs to catch up with Steve, Angus and Hartman as they
          rush to the trucks.

                         MARY

          STEVE! STEVE!
          Angus and Hartman load up the truck as Steve turns back to
          Mary, seething.

                         STEVE
          Considering you probably just cost
          me my job, maybe you don't want to
          talk to me right now.

                         MARY
          But I do! If you're in trouble
          because of me I can fix it, I can
          explain to your boss. He or she
          probably just doesn't understand
          our relationship.

                         STEVE
          We don't have a relationship.

          

          

          

          

          74.

                         MARY
          Sure we do, it's just in the pupa
          stage right now.

                         STEVE
          Mary, go home!
          She looks at him, hurt.

                         STEVE
          Go home.
          He jumps in the CNN truck as Angus starts it up. Mary looks
          around, helpless.

          EXT. SANTA FE STREET - DAY

          Mary runs to the street behind the CNN truck, stops on the
          sidewalk. Behind her, a run down rep theater -- "All Above
          Eve" on the marquee.
          As she watches the truck drive away, her panic suddenly turns
          to resolve.

                         MARY
          Six letter word for "over my
          lifeless, rigormortic and maggot
          infested, i.e. dead, body am I
          giving up now"... D-O-G-G-
          motherfucking-E-D. Dogged.
          She gets out her Chapstick, liberally applies it, dabs a bit
          on her temples as well.

                         MARY
          Normally I don't condone swearing.
          I think it's something people do
          when they don't have the vocabulary
          to express themselves properly, but
          even I, with my plenitudinous
          vocab, must admit -- every once in
          a while, it's okay to get a bit
          peppery -

          INT. GREYHOUND BUS STATION - LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

          Mary talks on a pay phone. No pacing, no fidgeting. She
          means business.

          

          

          

          

          75.

                         MARY
          I got him in trouble, Dad. I have
          to go find him and make it right.
          There's three places they could be
          headed.
          She pulls a note pad out of her pocket, looks it over.

                         MARY
          For each story, I've worked out an
          equation of potential human
          casualties, estimated property
          damage, availability of endlessly
          repeatable images, with bonus
          points for anything involving
          reporters in galoshes. There's no
          doubt in my mind. They're heading
          to the storm in Galveston.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - NIGHT

          Mr. Horowitz talks on the living room phone, his wife on the
          hallway phone - they look at each other in exasperation.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          Enough is enough. You've got to
          get home, turn in your crossword
          for next week -

          MARY (O.S.)
          I can't think of work at a time
          like this!

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          You can't chase that boy any more.
          If he doesn't appreciate you it's
          ridiculous to -

          INT. GREYHOUND BUS STATION -- LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

          Mary screams into the phone.

                         MARY
          Ridiculous? Mom! How many times
          did you propose to dad?

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - NIGHT

          Mr. and Mrs. Horowitz think about it for a second.

          

          

          

          

          76.

          MRS. HOROWITZ MR. HOROWITZ
          Twice. Seven times.

          INT. GREYHOUND BUS STATION - LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

          Mary yells on the phone. PASSENGERS start to stare.

                         MARY
          I rest my case! If you gave up the
          first time dad said no then I
          wouldn't exist. Telling me to give
          up so soon on my potential husband-
          to-be, birth father of my twelve
          future children and adoptive father
          of my gerbil Carol -- you might as
          well be saying that you wish you
          had given up too and that you never
          married dad and that I'd never been
          born. Is that what you're saying?

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - NIGHT

          Mrs. Horowitz looks at her husband.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Give Steve my best.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          Be careful.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          And eat! A biscuit, anything. A
          V8 wouldn't kill you.

          EXT. GREYHOUND BUS STATION - LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

          Elizabeth stands at the bus to Oklahoma City, a pile of
          Leachman signs at her feet. Mary approaches.

                         MARY
          Sure you don't want to come along?

                         ELIZABETH
          I wish, but I only left enough cat
          food out for two days. I'll miss
          you guys!
          Elizabeth hugs them both, jumps on the bus. Howard and Mary
          watch as she struggles to her seat with all the signs.

          

          

          

          

          77.

          INT. HOWARD'S CAR - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

          Howard and Mary fasten their seat belts.

                         HOWARD
          This storm could be bad. Sure you
          want to drive into it?

                         MARY
          How bad could it be?

          TNT. CNN ATLANTA - NIGHT
          The CNN METEOROLOGIST points at the map, images swirling
          around the Gulf Coast.

          CNN METEOROLOGIST
          Hurricane Lorraine, currently rated
          category four, expected to hit
          landfall by tomorrow evening.
          Making the situation even more
          frightening, that area of Texas
          currently in the midst of its worst
          tornado season in history.
          Tornado images appear on the map.

          CNN METEOROLOGIST
          And here's where it gets
          interesting.
          A black swarm graphic appears as well.

          CNN METEOROLOGIST
          Add the looming cicada migration to
          the mix and no one knows just how
          devastating this storm could be.

          INT. WEATHER CHANNEL STAGE - DAY

          A WEATHER CHANNEL METEOROLOGIST talks on camera, completely
          calm.

          WEATHER CHANNEL METEOROLOGIST
          Category four hurricane, an F-3 or
          "severe" tornado, billions upon
          billions of cicadas -- collectively
          now being termed a "category
          fifteen winged tornadocane".

          

          

          

          

          78.

          INT. KTFT TELEFUTURA TV STATION - DAY

          The Hispanic KTFT METEOROLOGIST points to the green screen.

          KTFT METEOROLOGIST
          Tornadocane.

          INT. KPRC HOUSTON TV STATION - DAY

          The KPRC ANCHOR is on camera.

          KPRC ANCHOR
          Tornadocane.

          INT. KLUG HARLINGTON TX TV STATION - - DAY

          The KLUJ METEOROLOGIST looks at his notes, tries to keep it
          together, half talks to himself.

          KLUG METEOROLOGIST
          God really hates us now.

          EXT. 1-45 TO GALVESTON TX - DAY

          Torrential rain pelts the line of vehicles heading north.
          The only movement in the southbound lanes -- Howard's car.

          EXT. GALVESTON WATERFRONT - DAY

          In full rain gear, Hartman walks past rows of boarded up
          businesses. Steve follows him with the camera. Angus, Doug
          and Josh are close behind.
          The rain is deafening, the wind ridiculous. It's all Hartman
          can do to stay on his feet.

                         HARTMAN
          (yelling his head off)
          And this time, the warnings were
          hard to ignore. One Galvestonian
          told us "tornados, we can handle.
          Hurricanes we can handle. Bugs we
          can handle. Put 'em all together
          and that's a storm I don't need to
          see". A wise man indeed.
          Something off to the side catches Hartman's eye -- it's a
          picnic table blowing down the street.

          

          

          

          

          79.

                         HARTMAN
          Oooh! Get that!
          Steve gets the shot then pretends to make adjustments to his
          camera while he discretely scans the area, on the lookout for
          Mary.

          INT. HOWARD'S CAR ON 1-45 TO GALVESTON TX - DAY

          Howard and Mary can barely see out the window. The car
          inches along.
          Mary digs in a KFC bag, takes out a handy wipe, starts
          cleaning her body with it.

                         MARY
          And when I met Steve, I knew right
          away we had a lot in common. We're
          both in the media, we both love
          crosswords, we both love words. We
          both felt this unexplainable
          connection, no matter how much his
          instinct might be to fight it.
          That's okay. We just have to get
          to know each other better, that's
          all.
          She uses the wipe on her face, gets a bit on her lip and the
          taste is awful. She rolls down the window, closes her eyes
          and gently sticks her face out to rinse with rain water.
          The car hits a flooded patch of the road. A wave of mud
          washes up and smacks Mary right in the face.

                         MARY
          Crap.
          She starts the handy wipe bath all over again. A nervous
          Howard speaks up.

                         HOWARD
          I saw Steve talking to you... He
          wasn't very nice.
          Mary makes herself busy putting the handy wipe in her Kroger
          bag then looks out the window.

                         MARY
          If there's one thing I learned from
          crossword puzzles it's that you
          can't give up.

                         (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          80.
          MARY (cont'd)
          Sometimes you run into a doozy and
          you think you'll never be able to
          solve it in a million years. If
          you quit, you're right, but if you
          stick with it, you'll figure it
          out. Eventually.
          She looks at Howard.

                         MARY
          I have to give it one more try. I
          have to fix the mess I made with
          his work, then maybe he and I --
          For the first time, she doesn't seem so sure. Howard
          notices.

                         HOWARD
          You know what my favorite part of
          doing crosswords is? When you know
          something you didn't think you
          knew.
          Mary thinks about it, then turns back to looking out the
          window.

                         MARY
          Me too.

          EXT. GALVESTON PIER - DAY

          Hartman stands in the middle of a pier that looks moments
          away from being carried out to sea. Steve shoots from a spot
          on the pier a few feet closer to shore but not much safer.

                         HARTMAN
          Paula, this pier was closed to the
          public twenty-four hours ago, and
          for good reason.
          Steve inches a bit closer for the shot, his footing unstable.
          Josh moves in and hangs on to Steve to keep him steady.

                         HARTMAN
          As I stand here, I can actually
          feel the structure moving under my
          feet. The only thing between me
          and the limitless depths of the sea
          is this two-by-four railing that -
          The railing flies off. Hartman drops to his knees and crawls
          to the other railing then hangs on for dear life. Steve and
          Josh struggle to hang on to the camera and each other.

          

          

          

          

          81.
          Steve signals,to Hartman to wrap it up fast. Hartman talks
          slower than ever.

                         HARTMAN
          And Paula I have to tell you, not
          only has my hearing been
          permanently damaged by the sheer
          force of the rain hitting my
          eardrums, but at this point, I'm
          beginning to wonder if I'll even
          make it out alive.
          He raises his head up for the big finish, gets hammered by
          the wind and rain.

                         HARTMAN
          This is Hartman Hughes, reporting
          live from Galveston, Texas.
          Steve and Josh start backing up off the pier with Hartman
          crawling behind them. Steve yells back to him.

                         STEVE
          You had to get the pier shot. Had
          to. Just about got us all killed.
          Happy?
          Hartman points in the water, yells.

                         HARTMAN

          OH MY GOD! IT'S MARY!
          Steve jumps, looks to where Hartman is pointing -- it's a
          plastic bag floating by in the water.

                         STEVE
          You're such an asshole.
          Steve walks off the pier mad as hell.

                         HARTMAN
          Come on, that was funny. You have
          to admit... Stevie?

          EXT. HOWARD'S CAR ON 1-45 TO GALVESTON TX - DAY

          The northbound lanes now empty, Howard's car is the only one
          on the road.

          

          

          

          

          82.

          1-45 TO GALVESTON TX - DAY

          INT. HOWARD'S CAR ON

          Howard stares out the window, the first look of real fear on
          his face.

                         HOWARD
          Hang on.
          He hits the brakes, starts backing up as quickly as possible.
          Mary looks ahead -- sees what looks like a tornado up ahead.

                         MARY
          Oh my God.
          Howard backs under an overpass, points to a protected area up
          the cement embankment.

          EXT. 1-45 OVERPASS - DAY

          Mary and Howard run up the cement embankment as the rain and
          winds swirl all around them.

                         HOWARD
          We'll just have to wait for this to
          pass, then we'll keep going. It'll
          be okay.
          They look down to the road just in time to see Howard's car
          picked up and blown right through the underpass, landing on
          its side in a ditch fifty yards away.

                         MARY
          Crap!

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - NIGHT

          Mr. and Mrs. Horowitz watch images of the storm on TV, the
          captions read "BREAKING NEWS: KILLER STORM". Mrs. Horowitz
          crosses herself. Mr. Horowitz puts an arm around her.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          She's fine. She's fine.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          This is all your fault.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          I know.

          

          

          

          

          83.

          EXT. GALVESTON WATERFRONT - NIGHT

          Steve is asleep sitting upright in the back of the rental
          van. A hand caresses his cheek.

          GIRL'S VOICE
          Steve... Oh Steve...
          Steve awakens in panic.

                         STEVE

          GO AWAY, GO AWAY, GO AWAY!

          13
          Steve looks at the person in front of him -- it's a scared
          year old MEXICAN BOY.

                         STEVE
          Who the hell are you? What are you
          doing?

          MEXICAN BOY
          They pay me twenty dollar to wake
          you.
          Steve looks outside the van, sees Doug and Hartman laughing
          hard. The Kid scurries out of the van. Angus gets in, opens
          up his laptop.

                         STEVE
          You seen her?

                         ANGUS
          She's too smart to come here during
          this.
          Steve looks around like he's crazy.

                         STEVE
          No, she's here somewhere. I can
          feel it.

          EXT. 1--45 OVERPASS - NIGHT

          As the storm calms around them, Howard and an exhausted Mary
          crouch in the sheltered area. They use a little flashlight
          on Mary's keychain to watch debris blowing by.

                         MARY
          I spy with my little eye a chemical
          element from group two of the
          periodic table.

          

          

          

          

          84.
          Howard points to a discarded fireworks casing at their feet.

                         HOWARD
          Barium... I spy with my little

                         -
          eye... a transition metal
          She barely has the energy to get the word out.

                         MARY
          Cobalt.
          Mary points to a steel belted tire on the ground, lays back
          and shuts her eyes. Howard takes something out of his - it's a
          pocket, puts it in her hand. Mary looks at it
          shrivelled, sculpted apple head. She smiles, hardly able to
          keep her eyes open.

                         MARY
          Mother Teresa.

                         HOWARD
          My best seller. I'm an apple
          sculptor.
          She's quiet for once. Howard watches her drift off.

                         HOWARD
          I went to school for physics but got
          bored. Now I just make these and
          sell them on appleheadsrule.com. I
          was going to give that one to my
          girlfriend in Bangor but I can make
          her another one. She'd probably
          prefer a Stephen Hawking one anyway.
          Science is her life. Not like my
          girlfriend in Tacoma. She's really
          into Jesus. Same as my other
          girlfriend in Duluth.
          He waits for a response - nothing.

                         HOWARD
          Maybe I'll meet them in person one
          day. They're just so far away and
          I don't get out much, not farther
          than the apple orchard or the post
          office anyway.

                         MARY
          But you're out now.
          He's a bit surprised she was listening.

          

          

          

          

          85.

                         HOWARD
          I saw the people on TV fighting for
          Baby Peggy. It wasn't far from my
          house, and the people there looked
          nice enough, so I went. I thought
          I had everything I needed at home
          but then I thought, maybe there's
          more.

                         MARY
          Maybe there is.

                         HOWARD
          Can I tell you something?
          Mary nods.

                         HOWARD
          I like your eyeballs.

                         MARY
          They're fuscous, that means -

                         HOWARD
          Brownish gray. I know.
          They both smile.

          EXT. GALVESTON WATERFRONT - DAY

          Downed trees, flooded lawns, debris all over the place but
          all in all, not too bad.

          EXT. 1-45 TO GALVESTON TX - DAY

          The storm subsided, nothing but a light rain. Howard and
          Mary stand beside the car on its side in the shallow ditch.

                         MARY
          You know what I'd call this?

                         HOWARD
          Quagmire?

                         MARY
          Imbroglio, Howard. That means
          we're screwed.

          

          

          

          

          86.

          INT. CNN ATLANTA - DAY

          Dan Corbitt talks to another EXEC. at the water cooler.

                         CORBITT
          Storm's over. What else is
          happening?
          The Exec shrugs and yawns.

          EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

          A BUSINESSMAN picks up a newspaper, looks at the front page -
          it's a photo from the Westminster Garden Show.

                         BUSINESSMAN
          Sloooowww news day.

          INT. THE TIMES-PICAYUNE NEWSPAPER OFFICES - DAY

          A couple of bored REPORTERS sit tapping pens on their desks.

          FIRST REPORTER
          Fire, a car chase, anything?

          SECOND REPORTER
          There is nothing going on, man.
          Nada.

          EXT. PASTORAL FIELD NEAR EUNICE, LOUISIANA - DAY

          15 DEAF KIDS bounce up a small hill, followed by three female
           TEACHERS. When they finally reach the top, they all st op.
          Ahead of them, down the hill, the Tri-Parish Fair - complete
          with carnival rides, pie contests, music, dancing, rodeo and
          livestock shows.

                         TEACHER
          (speaking while signing to
          the kids)
          Who's ready for some fun?
          The deaf kids start running down the hill, straight for the
          petting zoo.

          

          

          

          

          87.
          Just when they're close enough to smell the goats, tground
          gives way from the back and the kids drop out of sight
          front of the Teachers - each kid taken tota off
           having heard the dropping behind them. A g lly i ant puf guard, not f
           dust settles to reveal a gaping hole in the earth.
          The Teachers drop their picnic baskets and scream their heads
          off.

          INT. RURAL HOME - DAY

          A messy living room, the TV on, nobody watching it.

          ON THE TV: "BREAKING NEWS - ABANDONED MINE DISASTER".

          CNN ANCHOR
          An abandoned mine shaft on the
          outskirts of Eunice, Louisiana.
          The children, apparently all
          hearing impaired, enjoying a trip'
          to the county fair, blissfully
          unaware of the danger that lay
          ahead.

          INT. FOX NEWS STAGE - DAY

          The FOX NEWS ANCHOR is on camera.

          FOX NEWS ANCHOR
          No word yet on injuries. No word
          on when, or if, rescuers will be
          able to reach the special needs
          children. Well continue to bring
          you news as this tragic story
          unfolds.

          EXT. 1-45 TO GALVESTON TX - DAY

          As Mary and Howard try to tip the car, Mary is distracted by
          a rental van barrelling down the interstate, northbound.

          INT. RENTAL VAN ON 1-45 - DAY

          Steve drives, Hartman is next to him. Angus is in the back
          with Doug and Josh.

          

          

          

          

          88.

                         HARTMAN
          Tornadocane my ass. Where the hell
          were the cicadas? Retards in a
          mine shaft, now that's a story.

                         STEVE
          They're deaf, asshole.
          They spot Mary and Howard up ahead in the ditch, next to the
          car on its side.

                         HARTMAN
          Look, it's your girlfriend.

                         STEVE
          We're not stopping.
          Hartman grabs a piece of paper, writes fast.

                         ANGUS
          We can't just leave them.

                         STEVE
          Highway patrol's down here every
          hour. It's not like they'll rot in
          the ditch.
          As they get closer, Hartman rolls down his window, folds up
          the piece of paper.

                         STEVE
          What the hell are you doing?

                         HARTMAN
          Getting some fresh air. It helps
          my pores.
          Steve tries to grab the paper.

                         STEVE
          Hughes!

                         HARTMAN
          Yes, Steven?

                         STEVE
          You're not telling her where we're
          going.

                         HARTMAN
          Aren't I?

          

          

          

          

          89.
          Hartman leans out the window with the paper, waves it around.
          Steve reaches for it, one hand on the wheel. As he grabs
          Hartman, the truck starts swerving.

                         ANGUS
          Christ, you two. You'll get us
          killed.
          Angus leans into the front seat, tries to steady the steering
          wheel.

          EXT. 1-45 TO GALVESTON TX - DAY

          Mary spots the rental van approaching, swerving - Hartman
          waving a piece of paper out the window. As the van passes
          by, Hartman lets the paper go.

          INT. RENTAL VAN ON 1-45 - DAY

          Hartman rolls up the window, happy with himself. Steve slugs
          him in the arm.

                         STEVE
          Asshole!
          Hartman laughs, rubs his arm in pain.

          EXT. 1-45 TO GALVESTON TX - DAY

          Mary rushes to the ditch, picks up the paper.

                         MARY
          "Eunice, Louisiana. Please..."
          She stops reading, looks a bit uneasy. Howard steps forward,
          grabs the note.

                         HOWARD
          "Please meet..."
          He looks at Mary, disgusted, continues reading.

                         HOWARD
          M-E-A-T. "Please meat me there.
          XO Steve".

                         MARY
          See? He needs me, if only to help
          with his spelling.

          

          

          

          

          90.

                         HOWARD
          No kidding.
          She rushes to the car, Howard joins her. They push the car ey
          with everything they have, it tips back onto its wheels. Th
          jump in the car and start it up.

          - DAY

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS

          SECURITY PERSONNEL guard the closed entrance and turn away
          pissed off FAIR PATRONS.
          At the edge of the fair grounds, the ferris wheel casts a
          shadow over the rescue site. The whole area has been
          overtaken by RESCUERS and their equipment. POLICE guard the
          tape to keep ONLOOKERS back. Local MEDIA circulates.
          Hartman kneels at the back of the ambulance, holding the hand
          of one of the Teachers. Steve gets it on camera, all the
          while looking around, a bit paranoid.

                         HARTMAN
          And what went through your mind
          when you realized they were gone?
          The Teacher just bawls. Hartman turns to the camera.

                         HARTMAN
          Grief too strong for words. That's
          the best way to describe this
          tragic, tragic scene. One minute,
          a merry day at the fair. The next
          minute, helpless babes savagely
          sucked into the menacing abyss.
          The Teacher bawls even harder. Hartman gives her a "there
          there" then continues talking to camera.

                         HARTMAN
          And here's how hopeless the rescue
          looks at this moment. The earth
          surrounding hole is far too
          perilous for anybody to approach on
          foot. Moving heavy rescue
          equipment in too close could mean
          death for the rescuers as well.
          Its cold down there, wet, dark,
          probably a few snakes and rats
          moving around.

                         (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          91.
          HARTMAN (cont'd)
          If the hearing impaired children
          even survived the fall, they're
          undoubtedly dealing with serious
          injuries, although some may have
          had their fall cushioned by their
          deaf brothers and sisters who
          dropped before them. Nevertheless,
          they've got to be in complete
          misery. Even if one them is
          telling the next "it'll be okay",
          it's not like he, or she, can hear
          a word of it.

          INT. MINE SHAFT - DAY

          The coal dust covered kids sit in the dark, totally unharmed.
          A few of them play rock, paper, scissors. Others braid each
          other's hair. An 8 year old boy signs to his friend.

          DEAF BOY

                         (SUBTITLED)
          I don't know what the hell happened
          but I smell a lawsuit.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - PUBLIC VIEWING AREA - DAY

          Behind the taped off area, a crowd is forming. A school bus
          pulls up and drops off a bunch more people. They place their
          stuffed animals, notes, flowers at the tape barrier. A bunch
          of them start crying. Among them, some familiar faces from
          the Oklahoma protestors.

          INT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - RESCUE SITE - DAY

          Rescuers keep a safe distance from the perilous hole. A
          RESCUE SUPERVISOR oversees the effort, watches as a bucket is
          attached to the old crane, barely big enough for one person.
          A FIREMAN gets in the bucket, doesn't fit. He gets out. A
          SKINNY FIREMAN is pushed forward. He gets in.
          The bucket is lowered into the ground. Hartman jumps in
          front of the scene. Steve follows with the camera.

                         HARTMAN
          To some, a simple crane. To the
          trapped, innocent, special children
          -- the answer to their prayers.
          The cable lowering the bucket jerks and stops. The crowd
          gasps. Hartman stays on camera.

          

          

          

          

          92.

                         HARTMAN
          Or is it?
          The cable jerks and begins moving again.

                         HARTMAN
          Only time will tell.
          Through the crowd, Steve sees a WOMAN who looks like Mary
          from the back. fie freezes, then realizes it's not her.
          Total relief.

          - PUBLIC VIEWING AREA - DAY

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS

          The crowd, now even larger, waits.

          - DAY

          INT. HOWARD'S CAR NEAR THE FAIR GROUNDS

          Howard searches for a space to park. Every inch of the place
          is packed with cars, trucks, buses. Mary prays.

                         MARY
          Please let those kids be okay.

          - RESCUE SITE - DAY

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS

          A line of cameras fixed on the opening to the hole.
          At the ambulances, the Teachers stand wrapped in blankets
          watching, crying.
          Steve steps a bit closer to the hole with his camera.

                         RESCUER
          Hey! Buddy! Back it up.
          Steve backs up, refocuses on the hole as the cable rises.
          - it's one of the Kids
          Finally, a smiling little face appears
          being carried up by the Fireman.

                         FIREMAN
          They're all okay!
          The rescuers cheer. The Teachers bawl.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - PUBLIC VIEWING AREA - DAY

          The crowd goes nuts.

          

          

          

          

          93.

          - RESCUE SITE - DAY

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS

          Hartman jumps in front of Steve's camera.

                         HARTMAN
          Elation here in Louisiana but the
          danger, far from over as rescuers
          bring these children up one grubby
          little face at a time.
          Hartman looks off to the side, holds up a finger like he's
          trying not to cry. He signals Steve to cut.

                         HARTMAN
          Remind me next time to mention
          Jesus.
          Still on the lookout for Mary, Steve's not even listening.

          --- PUBLIC VIEWING AREA - DAY

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS

          Mary and Howard run through the crowd. Mary spots George,
          the Protestor from Oklahoma and his Wife.

                         MARY
          George, Lydia! What's going on?
          Lydia hugs her.

          PROTESTOR WIFE / LYDIA
          They got eleven out. All fine,
          thank God. More coming up.

          - RESCUE SITE - DAY

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS

          Steve films as the rescued kids are wrapped in blankets, the
          Teachers hysterically crying.
          The Fireman brings up another one. As he's raised to ground
          level he calls out to the Rescue Supervisor.

                         FIREMAN
          That's the last of them!
          As he hands the kid to safety, the cable jerks. He gets out
          of the basket just in time before the whole thing - basket
          and cable -- snaps off and drops into the hole.

          

          

          

          

          94.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - PUBLIC VIEWING AREA - DAY

          Mary celebrates with the other onlookers as if she forgot why
          she's there.
          She glances toward the rescue site and spots Steve on the far
          side. She gets excited all over again, ducks under the tape
          and runs toward him.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - RESCUE SITE - DAY

          Steve films Hartman.

                         HARTMAN
          A happy ending that's left parents
          across this country wondering - how
          can I keep my family safe from
          abandoned mines? Are there
          abandoned mines in my backyard? Is
          my child's school built on top of
          an abandoned mine?
          Steve spots Mary, running toward him.

                         STEVE
          No, no, no.

                         HARTMAN
          And how, oh how, can these death
          traps be avoided?
          Mary drops right into the abandoned mine.

          INT. CNN ATLANTA - DAY

          A monitor displays the current broadcast: "Breaking News:
          Abandoned Mine Accident"

          CNN ANCHOR
          Mary Horowitz.
          A painful high school photo of Mary appears on the screen.
          Bad hair, bad make-up, ridiculously large smile, unfortunate
          frilly chemise.

          INT. OFFICE - DAY

          A GUY watches the news on his laptop.

          

          

          

          

          95.

          NEWS ANCHOR
          Mary Horowitz.

          - DAY

          INT. ATLANTA CITIZEN NEWSPAPER OFFICES

          Staff members huddle around the TV.

          ANOTHER NEWS ANCHOR
          Mary Horowitz.

          - MEDIA CAMP - DAY

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS

          As all the other Journalists scramble, Hartman and Steve are
          a bit stunned. Angus joins them, puts his phone on speaker.

          CORBITT (O.S.)
          Shame about your girlfriend in the
          pit, Steve, but we've got the
          inside advantage here so let's use
          it.
          Steve shakes his head, not impressed.
          Angus takes the phone off speaker, steps aside to talk to
          Corbitt. Steve's phone rings. He answers it, listens,
          cringes.

                         STEVE
          Mrs. Horowitz.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - DAY

          Mrs. Horowitz cries into the phone.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          We're coming! Tell her to hang on!
          Mr. Horowitz runs down the stairs with luggage and Carol the
          gerbil.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - MEDIA CAMP -- DAY

          Steve listens to the phone and glares at Hartman.

                         STEVE
          You and your husband stay put, Mrs.
          Horowitz.

                         (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          96.
          STEVE (cont'd)
          They'll have her out before you
          even make it to the airport...
          She'll be fine. I promise.
          He hangs up, looks at Hartman.

                         STEVE
          She better be.
          Hartman looks away, guilty.

          INT. MINE SHAFT - DAY

          Complete darkness. Mary's voice full of misery.

                         MARY
          Eight letter word for... my life
          has come to this.
          There's a bit of shuffling around in the dark.

                         MARY
          Not destiny, that's only seven
          letters. Not fortuity - that
          sounds more like when good things
          happen to people like finding a
          quarter in the sofa or something.
          I mean the not so great stuff
          that's bound to befall some people
          more than others. Fate's nasty
          cousin, I mean.
          Suddenly Mary's face lights up with her mini keychain
          flashlight.

                         MARY
          F-O-R-E-D-0-0-M. Foredoom.

                         A
          Mary shines the light on her knee. Her previous cut is now
          gaping wound, blood is all over the place.

                         MARY
          Crap.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - PUBLIC VIEWING AREA - DAY

          State Troopers hold back the growing crowd. Howard looks
          toward the rescue site, worried. He tries to sneak under the
          rope but a State Trooper points him back.

          

          

          

          

          97.

          - RESCUE SITE - DAY

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS

          Near the hole, the Rescue Supervisor consults with the other
          rescuers and a MINE SAFETY EXPERT.

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          The new equipment is going to take
          a while. Let's try and find out
          what kind of shape our victim's in.

                         RESCUER
          Can we lower a phone down in there?

          MINE SAFETY EXPERT
          Not at those depths, this whole
          area is bad enough above ground.
          We'll never get a signal down
          there.

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          Let's keep it simple. Get me a
          flashlight, a piece of paper and a
          pencil.
          An unenthusiastic Hartman steps in front of the camera, the
          Rescuers in the shot behind him. Doug films. Hartman goes
          to speak but can't seem to summon his on air personality.

                         HARTMAN
          Behind inc... Oh what's the point?
          Hartman walks away moping.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - MEDIA CAMP - DAY

          Steve paces. Angus hangs up the phone.

                         ANGUS
          Corbitt wants you to go on air to
          talk about Mary. An interview with
          the boyfriend.

                         STEVE
          I'm not her boyfriend!

                         ANGUS
          Close enough. Come on, we need
          this.
          Hartman steps up, listens in.

          

          

          

          

          98.

                         ANGUS
          Fox has already got their hands on
          everything but her panty size.

                         HARTMAN
          Fox scooped us? Our Mary? The
          bastards.
          Steve glares at him.

          INT. FOX NEWS - DAY

          A RETIRED MINE SUPERVISOR comments as a graphic shows the
          cross section of the mine. As he talks, the graphic animates
          with a female figure in red boots tumbling into the mine and
          bouncing off the walls all the way down -- and it plays over
          and over.

          RETIRED MINE SUPERVISOR
          That area was never reinforced up
          above, no need since the whole
          eastern tunnel was blocked off in
          the late Seventies. Of course that
          would also affect the air quality
          down there.

                         ANCHOR
          That has to be bad news for Mary
          Horowitz, wouldn't you say?

          RETIRED MINE SUPERVISOR
          Definitely not looking good.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - DAY

          Mr. Horowitz snaps the TV off, furious and worried.
          An upset Mrs. Horowitz cracks open the curtains, looks
          outside.

          MRS. HOROWITZ
          Who are these people?

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - DAY

          A slick, young JOURNALIST stands on the sidewalk in front of
          the Horowitz house.

          

          

          

          

          99.

          SLICK JOURNALIST
          Mary Horowitz, described by those
          who know her as smart, talkative,
          very much the girl next door, that
          is, if the girl next door has a
          genius level IQ. She's worked for
          eleven years as the crossword
          constructor for the Atlanta Citizen
          and lives right here with her
          parents.
          Mr. Horowitz opens the door an is swarmed by Reporters. The
          Slick Journalist gets right in there.

          MR. HOROWITZ
          No, Mary doesn't live with us. She
          just came over one day and won't
          leave, but she has her own place.

          SLICK JOURNALIST
          Can you comment on the rumors that
          Mary's fall into the mine was a
          suicide attempt?

          MR. HOROWITZ
          That's ridiculous. Not our Mary.
          The word depression isn't in her
          vocabulary. Well, it's in her
          vocabulary, obviously, but no,
          nothing ever gets her down. Steady
          as a rock, that one.

          INT. MINE SHAFT - DAY

          Mary shines her light around on the walls of the mine. Black
          soot everywhere, a mine track, abandoned equipment.

                         MARY
          I am not afraid. I am not fearful,
          pusillanimous, nor am I affrighted.
          Suddenly in the light - a face. Mary screams her head off.
          The face doesn't budge - it's a LITTLE DEAF GIRL.

                         MARY
          Oh my God, they forgot one! You
          scared the crap out of me.
          The girl just stares at her.

          

          

          

          

          100.

                         MARY
          I'm sorry, can you hear me, I mean
          at all? Do you have sensorineural
          hearing loss or conductive? "Deaf
          people can do anything except
          hear." You know who said that?
          Doctor Jordan, first deaf President
          of Gallaudet U. Maybe you'll go
          there one day. That is, unless we
          perish down here.
          Mary smiles. The Little Deaf Girl just stares back.

          - DAY

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - RESCUE SITE

          A YOUNG RESCUER arrives with the flashlight, pencil and
          paper.

          YOUNG RESCUER
          What should we say?

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          Tell her help is on the way. We
          just need her to confirm she's
          conscious -- here, give me that.
          The Supervisor grabs the paper and pencil, scribbles the
          note, ties it to the flashlight.
          They look up to the thin nylon rope now in place of the
          snapped cable. The Rescue Supervisor signals for them to
          drop it. He attaches the flashlight/note, waves to the crane
          op.
          The crane swings over, lowers the rope into the hole.

          INT. MINE SHAFT - DAY

          Mary talks to the little Girl.

                         MARY
          And then there's black lung
          disease, also a problem in coal
          mines. Chronic cough,
          breathlessness, cyanosis - that's
          where your skin turns purple --
          There's a CLINK behind Mary. She turns her light onto the
          area, sees the flashlight and note hanging from the thin
          rope. Mary grabs the flashlight, turns it on, reads the
          note.

          

          

          

          

          101.

          - RESCUE SITE - DAY

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS

          At the hole, the crane reels in the rope, swings it away from
          the hole. They see the note attached, flashlight gone.

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          That's a good sign right there.
          The Young Rescuer grabs the note.

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          What's it say?

                         UNFOLDS
          The rescue team gathers around. The Young Rescuer
          the note, reads it slowly and loudly.

          YOUNG RESCUER
          "I think you mean, am i conscious,
          not am I conscience."

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          Jesus Christ.

          YOUNG RESCUER
          "Conscious means alert and awake.
          Conscience is your inner morality
          gauge, you know, the thing that
          stops you from doing bad things,
          e.g. killing, stealing, harming
          helpless animals, and whatnot."

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          Can we leave her down there?
          He motions for the Rescuer to continue.

          YOUNG RESCUER
          "To answer your question, yes I am
          conscious. My leg is bleeding but
          I'll probably live."

           RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          Great.

          YOUNG RESCUER
          "Yours truly, Mary Horowitz."
          The other rescuers start to disperse.

                         RESCUER
          "P.S. Did anybody lose a little
          deaf girl?"

          

          

          

          

          102.
          The rescuers stop in their tracks.

                         RESCUER
          "I found one. She's fine... Other
          than not being able to hear, I
          mean."

          INT. FOX NEWS DESK - DAY

          "Alive!" splashes across the screen.

          FOX NEWS ANCHOR
          Breaking news from Louisiana, we've
          just received word that abandoned
          mine victim Mary Horowitz is alive.

          TNT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - DAY
          Mr. and Mrs. Horowitz watch the "Alive!" news coverage. Mrs.
          Horowitz cries. Mr. Horowitz comforts her.

          TNT. FOX NEWS DESK -- DAY
          The mine coverage continues.

          FOX NEWS ANCHOR
          Also in the mine, a hearing
          impaired child overlooked in the
          earlier rescue. Speculation now as
          to whether or not Mary Horowitz
          intentionally heaved herself into
          the mine to save the child after
          rescuers ignored her pleas.

          INT. CNN HEADLINE NEWS -- DAY

          NANCY GRACE is locked and loaded.

          NANCY GRACE
          They missed a child? They missed a
          child? Can't these people count?
          Thank goodness for this woman, this
          Mary Horowitz - let's bring up that
          picture of her again.
          The picture of Mary appears on the monitor.

          

          

          

          

          103.

          NANCY GRACE
          We're looking at an American hero,
          folks. It it wasn't for Mary
          Horowitz, the child would have
          never been found.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - MEDIA CAMP - DAY

          Steve, Hartman, Doug and Josh breathe a sigh of relief.

                         STEVE
          Thank Christ. Now if they can only
          get her out of there.
          Angus hangs up his phone.

                         ANGUS
          Corbitt wants you on in five.
          Steve sees he has no choice. He nods. Hartman puts an arm
          around him.

                         HARTMAN
          I'll be gentle.

          - DAY

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - RESCUE SITE

          The Rescue Supervisor talks to the Mine Safety Expert.

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          We've got the whole country
          watching now, can't afford any more
          mistakes. The crane from
          Shreveport is a wash. We're
          looking at as much as sixteen hours
          to bring the other one in.

          MINE SAFETY EXPERT
          Sixteen hours? If we've got carbon
          monoxide -

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          There's air coming in through the
          top.

          MINE SAFETY EXPERT
          Even at a concentration of 5ppm,
          they could suffocate... We do not
          have sixteen hours.

          

          

          

          

          104.
          The Rescue supervisor looks toward the hole, of the severity
          and hopelessness of their situation showing on his face.

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          Let's at least get some food and
          water down there. The rope we've
          got on there now will handle a
          small load -- if that damn crane
          holds.
          He looks up at the old crane, worried.

          MINE SAFETY EXPERT
          Gas masks, oxygen supply, how long?
          The Rescue Supervisor points around the area - look where we
          are.

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          As fast as we can get them here.

          MINE SAFETY EXPERT
          Might not be soon enough.

          INT. FOX NEWS - DAY

          - this
          The Retired Mine Supervisor is back with a new graphic
          time an image of adult and child sitting in the mine as gases
          swirl around them and they eventually slump down onto the
          mine floor. It plays on a loop.

          RETIRED MINE SUPERVISOR
          They're pretty much done.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - PUBLIC VIEWING AREA - NIGHT

          As night falls, the crowd at the fence starts lighting and
          candles, passing them around. Among them, George, Lydia,
          now Carlos, the backpack dispensing hot cocoa guy from
          Oklahoma. They all look on, worried.
          Howard stands at the barrier looking more worried than
          anybody. Elizabeth pushes through the crowd to him. She's
          wearing red rubber boots.

                         ELIZABETH
          Howard!
          She hugs him.

          

          

          

          

          105.

                         HOWARD
          She'll be okay. She will.
          Howard looks behind him at the ever growing crowd.

                         HOWARD
          All this. For her.
          He manages a sad smile.

          EXT. TIMES SQUARE - NIGHT

          The headline "Mary Watch" is broadcast on a mammoth screen
          over Times Square.

          INT. TRAIN STATION - NIGHT

           PASSENGERS are glued to a news ticker that reads "MARY WATCH,

          RESCUE UNCERTAIN".

          EXT. LOADING DOCK - NIGHT

           Evening edition newspapers are loaded onto a truck. On the
          front page - "Mary Watch".

          INT. 24 HOUR LAUNDROMAT - NIGHT

          A pair of LAUNDRY SORTERS are glued to the Mary Watch
          coverage on TV.

          FOX NEWS ANCHOR
          The question on everybody's mind
          tonight is, who is Mary Horowitz?
          Atlanta affiliate WAGA looks into
          the mind of an everyday hero.
          WAGA Reporter CINDY emotes like her life depends on it.

          WAGA CINDY
          No one will argue that the city of
          Atlanta has always been a breeding
          ground for heroes. Jimmy Carter,
          Hank Aaron, Ryan Seacrest and
          now... Mary Horowitz. As the
          country wonders about what would
          drive this woman to such an
          extraordinary act, we went straight
          to those closest to her.

          

          

          

          

          106.

          INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

          WAGA Cindy interviews a sweet but NERVOUS OLD LADY.

          NERVOUS OLD LADY
          Mary Horowitz was one of my second
          grade students. Brilliant girl...
          Darling. Always a smart dresser as
          I remember. And she once brought
          me soup when I wasn't well.

          EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

          WAGA Cindy reports.

          WAGA CINDY
          Mary Horowitz, a hero who's devoted
          her life to caring for the sick and
          elderly. Clearly a woman with a
          higher purpose.

          INT. WAL-MART - DAY

          A nervous WAL-MART MANAGER poses in the shoe department,
          holding a pair of red rubber boots. An excited FEMALE
          REPORTER points to the boots, talks on camera.

          FEMALE REPORTER
          Exactly like the boots worn by Mary
          Horowitz when she slipped into the
          mine. Were the boots responsible
          for the accident? The manufacturer
          refuses to comment. For now, the
          deadly footwear remains on store
          shelves, leaving consumers to pay
          the ultimate price.

          INT. TEENAGER'S ROOM - NIGHT

          Three FOURTEEN YEAR OLD GIRLS shop online. They click on
          "Mary Boots" - a picture of red rubber boots comes up. A

          STATES".
          banner underneath reads "NOW BANNED IN 4

          FOURTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL
          Oh my God, we so have to have them!

          

          

          

          

          107.

          INT. MINE SHAFT - NIGHT

          Mary talks to the Little Deaf Girl.

                         MARY
          Rhinolith, that's the real word.
          Rhino is nose, lithos means stone.
          Nose stone. You know what that is?
          Snot.

          INT. TV REPAIR SHOP - DAY

          WAGA Cindy interviews a 30ish male SCIENTIST.

                         SCIENTIST
          I knew Mary Horowitz in college.
          She caught me trying to cheat off
          her physics midterm, lectured me
          for an hour and when she finally
          stopped talking I asked her out.
          She said no, said it was because I
          was, get this - hebetudinous. Can
          you believe?
          He walks away, bitter, gets back to work on NASA rockets.

          INT. LIBRARY - DAY

          WAGA Cindy interviews an attractive male RESEARCHER as he
          puts away books. He talks as though it still stings:

                         RESEARCHER
          We dated for a while but she ended
          it. Said she couldn't stand this -
          He points around 'to the library - you could hear a pin drop.

                         RESEARCHER
          Whatever that means.

          EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

          WAGA Cindy continues her report.

          WAGA CINDY
          A heartbreaker, leaving behind a
          trail of devastation.

          

          

          

          

          108.

          INT. MINE SHAFT - NIGHT

          Mary still talks.

                         MARY
          And Archimedes, there's another
          one. He was into math, philosophy,
          all kinds of stuff, then one day he
          was working out an equation in the
          sand and somebody stabbed him.
          Crappy, I know.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - PUBLIC VIEWING AREA - NIGHT

          A bus pulls up behind other parked and unloading buses.
          PEOPLE OF ALL AGES file off the buses, holding handmade "SAVE
          MARY" signs, stuffed animals, flowers, rosary beads, Kleenex.
          They head toward the fence to join the others.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - RESCUE SITE - NIGHT

          Angus watches as Doug films Hartman interviewing Steve.

                         HARTMAN
          Steve, tell us about Mary, your
          fiance struggling for her life at
          the bottom of the abandoned mine as
          we speak.
          Steve glares at him. Hartman motions for him to go on.

                         STEVE
          Mary... she's smart, incredibly
          smart. She talks a lot. Never
          boring, I'll tell you that much.
          He thinks about her, gets lost in it.

                         STEVE
          Mary Horowitz doesn't pretend to be
          anything she's not. She's
          passionate, beautiful, real... and
          she definitely doesn't deserve to
          be where she is now.

          

          

          

          

          109.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - PUBLIC VIEWING AREA - NIGHT

          The spectators all gather, candles in hand, hands joined in
          silent prayer.
          An ELDERLY COUPLE hands Howard and Elizabeth candles. Howard
          looks around at the rest of the crowd - strangers watching,
          waiting, worried.

                         HOWARD
          They don't even know her.

          ELDERLY LADY
          No, but they know what it's like to
          be alone, to need a helping hand.
          That's a good enough reason to be
          here.

          EXT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - NIGHT

          NEIGHBORS hold a candlelight vigil on the lawn. The media
          catches every minute of it.

          INT. BAR - NIGHT

          Bar PATRONS are silent, glued to the "Mary Watch" coverage on
          the overhead TV.

          EXT. MINE SHAFT - NIGHT

          The old crane lowers the small rope into the hole, smoke
          seeping out of the motor.
          The Rescue Supervisor watches, anxious and helpless. The
          other Rescuers just watch. Nothing to do but wait.

          INT. MINE SHAFT - NIGHT

          Mary still talks.

                         MARY
          Happenstance, I love that word too.
          And you know what else -
          Mary coughs. Before she has a chance to catch her breath, a
          rope with a small bag attached quickly drops next to her, the
          bag hitting the floor. Mary unties the bag and looks inside
          to find water and sandwiches.

          

          

          

          

          110.

                         MARY
          No dessert. Crappy. Did you know
          that the word dessert comes from an
          old French word that means "clear
          the table"? Sometimes I feel like
          dinner is just doing time so I can
          get to the point, and of course the
          point always involves sugar. Who
          needs -
          The Little Deaf Girl covers her ears, vocalizes as much as
          she's able.

          LITTLE DEAF GIRL
          Shut up! I can't hear you but you
          talk a lot.
          Totally catches Mary off guard. She fully takes that in.
          Her demeanor completely shifts, a calm washes over her.,

                         MARY
          I know.
          She sits down.

                         MARY
          I know.
          She notices the Little Girl's shoes are soaked. Mary moves
          next to her, takes off her rubber boots and puts them on the
          Little Girl. Mary puts an arm around her, holds her close at
          - softly,
          her side, then speaks like she's a different person
          to herself, the Little Girl unable to read her lips.

                         MARY
          I'm not good at... silence. "Mary
          doesn't do quiet", that's how my
          grandmother always said it.
          "What's that hush?" she'd holler at
          a party. "It's Mary about to
          talk", then she'd laugh and laugh
          and laugh. Everybody would... But
          I knew something they didn't - that
          if you keep talking, if you keep on
          talking, you don't hear people
          telling you that you're different.
          You don't hear people saying they
          don't like you. And if you're
          talking, you just might not hear it
          when some kid... calls you a freak.
          Mary's eyes start to well.

          

          

          

          

                         MARY
          I just wanted to be normal, that's
          all. Steve said I was.
          She thinks about it, laughs a bit.

                         MARY
          I'm beginning to think newsmen
          can't entirely be trusted.
          She buttons up the Little Girl's sweater.

                         MARY
          The truth is normal is -- not me.
          She seems surprised she said it out loud. There's relief in
          it.

                         MARY
          My friends, the people I've met
          over the past week, they're not
          normal either. They're more
          interesting, more original, more
          real, more rare.
          She suddenly gets it, brightens up.

                         MARY
          That's where I fit.
          - and for
          She thinks about it, in silence. The sadness fades
          the first time, she's comfortably quiet.
          She smiles at the Little Deaf Girl. The Little Deaf Girl
          smiles back. And they sit -- Mary totally calm.
          Mary hears something in the distance - a gentle PLINK PLINK
          PLINK she couldn't have heard while talking.
          She picks up the flashlight, moves toward the noise. In a
          corner of the mine, a water drip hits on some old rusted
          mining tools, including two rusty vice grips.
          The Little Girl coughs. Mary looks back at her, concerned.

                         MARY
          Little Deaf Girl, it's time for us
          to go home.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - PUBLIC VIEWING AREA - NIGHT

          Howard, Elizabeth and Carlos watch from the fence.

          

          

          

          

          112.

                         ELIZABETH
          What's taking so long?

           INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - NIGHT

           Mr. and Mrs. Horowitz are glued to the TV.

           MRS. HOROWITZ
           Why aren't they doing anything?
           Mr. Horowitz grabs her hand.

          INT. 24 HOUR LAUNDROMAT - NIGHT

          The Laundry Sorters still glued to the Mary Watch coverage.

          INT. BAR - NIGHT

          Quiet tension in the bar as the patrons all watch CNN.

          CNN ANCHOR
          A tense night in Eunice, Louisiana.
          Hartman what can you tell us?

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - RESCUE SITE - NIGHT

          Doug films Hartman. In the shot behind him, smoke seeps out
          of the old crane.

                         HARTMAN
          They've lowered food and water into
          the depths of this abandoned mine.
          The last task of this archaic crane
          that finally blew its motor. We've
          been told the new rescue equipment
          won't make it until daybreak.
          Until then, all we can do is wait,
          hope, and of course pray.
          There's a commotion at the rescue site. Doug zooms in.

          AT THE HOLE:
          The rope hanging into the hole is moving. Rescuers get as
          close to the hole as possible.

          RESCUE SUPERVISOR
          Jesus Christ. Tell me she's not -

          

          

          

          

          113.

          INT. MINE SHAFT - NIGHT

          Mary cuts two pieces of excess rope off the bottom, attaches
          each it to the hanging rope using the vice grips as makeshift
          climbing ascenders.

                         MARY
          After I got kicked out of Girl
          Scouts, while the other girls were
          learning how to sell cookies, I was
          at home reading the biography of
          Sir Edmund Hillary.
          Mary motions for the Little Deaf Girl to jump on piggyback.
          She jumps up onto Mary's back, still in the red rubber boots.
          Mary starts jugging up the rope, the vice grips and rope
          pieces acting like ladder steps.
          They start rising up slowly. Not an easy task. Mary
          struggles every step.

          EXT. TIMES SQUARE - NIGHT

          A shot of the moving rope up above the hole is broadcast.
          People on the street stop and watch.

          INT. BAR - NIGHT

          The Guys at the bar stand up to watch to the shot of the
          moving rope on TV.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - DAY

          Mr. and Mrs. Horowitz on the edge of their seats in front of
          the Mary Watch TV coverage.

          INT. MINE SHAFT - DAY

          The Little Deaf Girl helps Mary move one of the vice grips up
          the rope.

          MARY (V.0.)
          If life is like a crossword puzzle
          then its worth, its greatness, its
          raison d'efre should be judged in
          the same way.

          

          

          

          

          114.
          Mary grasps the cable with everything she has, pulls up
          another step.

          MARY (V.O.)
          Is it solvable?
          One of the red boots drops down into the mine shaft.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - RESCUE SITE - NIGHT

          Every eye is on the moving rope.

          INT. MINE SHAFT - NIGHT

          Mary looks up as the lights above get closer and closer.

          MARY (V.0.)
          Is it entertaining?

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - RESCUE SITE - NIGHT

          As the Rescuers, Firemen, Troopers, Media and Public look on,
          Mary at last appears above ground, the little Girl in her
          arms.

          MARY (V.O.)
          Does it sparkle?
          The crowd goes nuts. Cameras flash. Rescuers rush to help
          them onto the ground.
          An Ambulance Attendant grabs the little Girl, wraps her in a
          blanket. Mary's eyes flutter in the blinding lights of the
          cameras pointed at her. She scans the entire crowd.

          MARY (V.0.)
          And does it fit?
          Her eyes fix on a spot in the crowd. She starts running.

          INT. HOROWITZ HOUSE - NIGHT

          Mrs. Horowitz hands her husband the box of Kleenex as they
          wail and watch Mary on TV, safely above ground.

          

          

          

          

          115.

          INT. REST STOP - NIGHT

          The customers eat pie while they're glued to images of Mary
          and the little Girl.

                         NORM
          Good for her. Good for her.

          INT. ATLANTA CITIZEN NEWSPAPER OFFICES - NIGHT

          The staff breathe a sigh of relief when they see Mary alive
          on TV. Jim Soloman stares at the images, happy, acquiescent.

          JIM SOLOMAN
          We're going to have to give her her
          job back.
          He shakes his head, laughs.

          INT. BAR - NIGHT

          Everybody in the bar celebrates. The BARTENDER rings the
          bell.

          INT. TINY APARTMENT - NIGHT

          The Career Day teacher watches Mary on TV, wipes her eyes.

          INT. 24 HOUR LAUNDROMAT - NIGHT

          The Laundry Sorters celebrate, then realize their laundry is
          all pink.

          INT. ATLANTA ROW HOUSE - NIGHT

          The Large Kid from the Career Day class walks into the living
          room where his DAD has Mary Watch on TV. The Kid holds up a
          crossword, half done, and he's not happy about it.

          LARGE KID
          Did you start this and not bother
          finishing it? Do you know how much
          work goes into making these things?
          Honestly, Dad.
          The Kid grabs a pencil to finish the puzzle.

          

          

          

          

          116.

          EXT. NEWSSTAND - NIGHT

          Mr. Takihashi watches Mary on TV, wipes his tears.

          EXT. TRI-PARISH FAIR GROUNDS - RESCUE SITE - NIGHT

          Mary adjusts her eyes to the flashing lights, looks around.
          An Ambulance Attendant tries to attend to her leg. She waves
          him off. In bare feet, blood running down her leg, limping,
          she starts running away from the site toward the media.
          Steve's watches, genuinely happy to see her. Hartman nudges
          Doug to get the camera on Steve.

                         HARTMAN
          First interview is ours. Here
          comes our girl. Steve, you ready?
          Grab her arid kiss her then let me
          start with the questions.
          Doug focuses in on Steve. Hartman holds the crowd back so
          Mary can get to him.
          Mary runs toward them -- and keeps on running, right past
          Steve's open arms.
          She heads for her friends at the fence - Howard, Elizabeth,
          Carlos, George, Lydia, all of the other Protestors. She swan
          dives right into them. They catch her.

                         HOWARD
          You're okay.

                         MARY
          I am.
          Cameras go off all around them.

          EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY

          A Greyhound bus travels.

          MARY (V.0.)
          My brain is full of all kinds of
          information, some of it useful,
          some of it not.

                         (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          117.
          MARY (V.0.) (cont'd)
          I've recently discovered, hiding in
          the back of my mind, somewhere
          between astrophysics and a catalog
          of candy bars of the Seventies, a
          previously hidden bit of knowledge
          more important than everything
          else. It is this...

          INT. GREYHOUND BUS - DAY

          Mary sits right at the front talking to the female BUS

          DRIVER.

                         MARY
          In solving the puzzle of life
          there's one thing you must do.
          She points to the side of the road. The bus pulls over.

                         MARY
          Find somebody just as normal as
          you.
          Mary stands up, gets off the bus.

                         MARY
          if not a whole bunch.
          Howard, Elizabeth, George, Lydia, Carlos, Clyde, a few old
          Ladies, a bunch of other Protestors file off the bus. Mary
          keeps talking to the bus driver.

                         MARY
          And don't be a slave to your loins.
          Trust me on that one.
          Mary taps the side of her head.

                         MARY
          You need to let this be the boss of
          you. Cornprende ?

          EXT. MARY'S NEIGHBORHOOD - ATLANTA - DAY

          A huge gated property. Mary opens the gate and walks up a
          tree covered path, Howard right behind her, all the other
          Protestors following. For once, Mary isn't doing all the
          talking.

                         HOWARD
          That bus driver looked like Francis
          Galton. Did you see that?

          

          

          

          

          118.

                         MARY
          He's my favorite behavioral
          geneticist in the world.
          They continue on through an open yard.

                         HOWARD
          In retrospect, and I say this with
          some hesitation because I don't
          like to have actual regrets so I'll
          just say I'm beginning to perpend -

                         MARY
          Good one.

                         HOWARD
          I'm beginning to perpend whether or
          not eating three bags of caramel
          corn for lunch was the smartest
          thing to do. Honestly I'm this
          close to spewing...
          Mary reaches the end of the path and stops, waits for
          everybody else to catch up. They're in complete awe of the
          monstrous Georgian estate before them.

                         MARY
          My grandma left it to me. My
          parents won't stay here. And for
          me it was always too... quiet.
          She looks at her new friends.

                         MARY
          Not anymore.
          They head toward the house.



                        THE END