Enter Your Name: and Email:
Actor Point >> Movie Scripts >> Beloved Film Script

Beloved Movie Script

Writer(s) : Richard LaGravenese, Toni Morrisson

Genres : Drama

Search IMDb : Beloved


  



                               BELOVED


                              Written by

                          Richard LaGravenese



                         Based on the Novel by

                             Toni Morrison





                                                October 11, 1996





     FADE IN...

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - DAWN.

     It is winter in Ohio. A house sits isolated beside a barren
     field. The field stretches beyond, until a line of distant
     woods stops it. Around the back of the house stands a rundown
     STORAGE SHED, a cold house, a privy and a water pump. A porch
     with a single door serves as the only entrance.

     Camera begins a slow move toward the house as we;

     SUPER - OHIO, 1865

     WE HEAR SOUNDS from inside the house - BUMPS, A CHAIR FALLING
     OVER...and FEET RUNNING on wooden floor boards.

                                                            CUT TO:

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - DAWN.

     C.U. - THE HANDS OF TWO BROTHERS HOLDING EACH OTHER AS THEY
     RUN DOWN THE STAIRS..

     BULGAR (13 yrs. old) and HOWARD (14 yrs. old) run down the
     steps from the second floor. They are fully dressed, carrying
     a small bag of belongings.

                         HOWARD
               We gonna need food. Wait here.

     Bulgar reluctantly lets go of Howard's hand as the latter
     runs into the kitchen. Alone, he edges towards the front
     door, when suddenly;

     THE DOOR SLOWLY CREAKS OPEN on it's own. Scared, he steps
     away slowly.

     INT. KITCHEN - DAWN.

     Howard is trying to toss some food into a bag. He spots A
     CAKE sitting on top the wooden table, with some pieces
     already eaten. He finds a knife and approaches the table.

     He is about to cut into the cake when he sees TWO TINY HAND
     PRINTS appear on the cake's surface. Howard stops cold -
     dropping the knife.

     INT. FRONT ENTRANCE - DAWN.

     Howard exits the kitchen and takes Bulgar's hand;

                         HOWARD
               Come on!

                         DENVER (OS)
               Bul?

     The boys look up the stairs and see their baby sister, nine
     year old DENVER.

                         DENVER
               Where you goin?

     The brothers are brokenhearted at the sight of her. They love
     their sister. But there are stronger forces here.

     A MIRROR on a wall beside Howard cracks down the middle.

                         HOWARD
               We gotta go!

     Bulgar looks up to Denver. They exchange a look of deep
     affection and pained longing. He wants to take her.

                         HOWARD
               Bye, Denver. You take care.

                         DENVER
               Bye? Bul?

     Bulgar is starting to cry. He rushes up the steps and hugs
     his sister. He kisses her hard then breaks away. Denver's
     outstretched hand misses his shirt and hangs mid-air.

                         DENVER
               No..Bul...

     Bulgar flies down the steps and disappears out of the house
     holding Howard's hand once more.

     Denver sits alone at the top of the stairs.  She sadly looks
     up and weeps, as if to the house itself:

                         DENVER
               Now what you go and do that for?

     EXT. ROAD TO THE TRAIN - DAWN.

     THE VOICE OF SETHE HUMMING A MELODY carries over the images
     of:

     The two boys running for their lives towards the train,
     holding hands all the way.  Howard is the first to reach it.
     As it passes by, he throws his bag upon it and jumps in.
     Bulgar races beside it as Howard reaches for him.

     C.U. - HOWARD'S HAND reaching for BULGAR's...They connect.

     WIDE SHOT - The boys are on the train as it leaves town.

     On it's route, the train passes a ramshackle GRAVEYARD.

     CAMERA MOVES SLOWLY INTO THE GRAVEYARD until it reaches A
     HEADSTONE, made with flecked pink stone. Upon the headstone
     is only one word:

     BELOVED.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - CONTINUOUS.

     Camera moves slowly towards the side exterior of 124, into a
     Close-Up of a WOMAN looking out of a second floor bedroom
     window. It is SETHE, mother of the two boys and Denver. She
     hums her melody, softly, sadly, with a resigned understanding
     of why her boys are running away...and a deep pain that is
     too constant to notice.

                                                          FADE OUT;

     FADE IN:

     INT. 124 - BABY SUGGS BEDROOM - LATER THAT DAY.

     BABY SUGGS, grandmother and mother-in-law to Sethe, sits in
     her bed fondling colored fabric of BRIGHT GREEN..It is the
     only vibrant color in an otherwise drab surrounding. Suggs is
     bed-ridden, exhausted to her bones - her face a mosaic of
     suffering and sacrifice and tested faith.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Ya know what I'd love to see? I loved to
               see me some lavender. You got any
               lavender? Or even pink - pink'll do.

     Sethe is placing folded laundry into a dresser. She stops and
     checks her pockets for rags or swatches...She looks around
     the room..

                         SETHE
               No. Sorry.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Ah, winter in Ohio is especially rough if
               you've got an appetite for color.

     Suggs goes back to contemplating her green until;

                         SETHE (OS)
               Oh wait...

     Suggs looks up to see Sethe sticking her pink tongue out at
     her. Suggs smiles.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Oh, that's fine. Fine.

     Sethe lets out a small laugh. She walks toward the window,
     stretching her body. Her expression changes as she thinks of
     her boys. Baby Suggs reads her like a book.

                         BABY SUGGS
               They'll be all right. I'm surprised they
               lasted here this long.

                         SETHE
               I don't know. Maybe we should have moved.

                         BABY SUGGS
               What'd be the point? Not a house in the
               country ain't packed to the rafters with
               some dead Negro's grief. We lucky our
               ghost is a baby. My husband spirit come
               back? Or yours? Don't talk to me! Ha..You
               lucky. You got one child left, still
               pullin at your skirts. Be thankful. I had
               eight. Eight with six fathers. Every one
               of them gone from me. Four taken, four
               chased and all, I expect, worrying
               somebody's house into evil. My first born
               - alls I can remember of her now is how
               she loved the burned bottom of bread. Her
               little hands..I wouldn't know'em if they
               slapped me. Can you beat that? Eight
               children and that's all I remember.
               
                         SETHE
                    (returning to her work)
               You remember Halle.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Oh, I remember bits and pieces of all
               of'em I guess..Halle, of course..I had
               Halle a lifetime. Almost twenty years...
               My two girls, sold and gone before I
               could even a heard about it, and them
               without their grown up teeth yet. My
               third child, my son after Halle...I let
               that straw boss have me for four months
               so's I could keep that boy. Next year, he
               had him traded for lumber anyway and me
               pregnant with his child. I couldn't love
               that child. I wouldn't. Not any of the
               rest either. God take what He
               would....and He did...

                         SETHE
               The boys wouldn't have left if Halle were
               here.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Those boys didn't even know him. You had
               six whole years of marriage to my Halle
               Fathered every one of your children. A
               blessing. I learned hard that a man's
               just a man, but a son like that...like
               Halle..now that's somebody.

     Sethe's mixed feelings show all over her face. Although she
     loved Halle, there is clearly something unresolved in her.

                         SETHE
               Just got a few more things to do, then
               I'll start supper.

     Sethe exits.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - LATE DAY.

     Denver is playing in the front yard by herself.

     Sethe is pumping water into a bucket for clothes washing. A
     gentle breeze carries a LEAF into the bucket. Sethe sees it
     floating atop the water for a moment, then picks it up.

     C.U. of SETHE as the image triggers a feeling - and the
     feeling a memory - from long ago.

     Sethe looks around her and finds she is no longer standing in
     the barren field of 124...but rather-

     MEMORY;

     EXT. SWEET HOME - LATE DAY.

     A stunning vista of the plantation SWEET HOME - sun beating
     down on groves and rows of gorgeous sycamores for as far as
     the eye can see. Sethe's figure dwarfed by the majestic
     landscape.

     Sethe looks frightened. Her breathing grows shallow. She
     hears something;

     THE SOUND OF A WAGON'S WHEELS - rolling over a road, growing
     louder, coming towards her

                                                          INTERCUT;

     C.U. OF A WAGON WHEEL MOVING RAPIDLY ON A ROAD. CAMERA PANS
     UP TO THE MAN DRIVING THE WAGON - A STERN WHITE MAN WEARING A
     DISTINCTIVE HAT...

     SETHE TURNS away from the sycamores towards the road to see;

     END OF MEMORY;

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE - LATE DAY.

     A MAN driving a horse and wagon with two children in the
     back, coming up Bluestone Road. He wears no hat.

     Sethe breathes easily. She looks around her -the reality of
     124's barren field has returned. The memory of Sweet Home's
     sycamores have vanished.

     Denver is playing near the road. As the wagon nears 124,
     Denver looks up and smiles. The Man whips the horse hard so
     as to ride past the house faster. The children stare at
     Denver and 124, with horror and curiosity.

     The stares of the children destroy Denver's smile. She
     watches them go, then turns to hide her upset and sees her
     mother watching her.

     Sethe looks to Denver with empathy and impotence: wanting to
     ease her daughter's pain and knowing full well she cannot.

     Hurt and angry, Denver runs past Sethe, towards the woods.

     EXT. WOODS - LATE DAY.

     Denver runs with a purpose, knowing exactly where she is
     going.

     She reaches FIVE BOXWOOD BUSHES planted in a ring. The tall
     bushes stretch toward each other four feet off the ground,
     forming a round, emerald room in the center, seven feet high,
     with walls fifty inches thick of murmuring leaves.

     This is Denver's private place. She bends low and crawls
     through the leaves into the center. Once there, this lonely
     child wipes away her tears and tries to pull herself
     together. She lays her face against the cool earth.

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - NIGHT.

     Denver walks to her room in her night dress. She passes the
     opened door of her mother's bedroom and peeks in:

     INT. SETHE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT.

     Sethe kneeling by her bed, as if praying...

     Beside Sethe, A WHITE DRESS KNEELS as well, with it's sleeve
     around Sethe's waist. Like two friendly grown-up women,
     comforting each other in prayer.

     Denver tip toes away.

     INT. DENVER'S ROOM - NIGHT.

     Sethe enters to check on Denver, whom she thinks is asleep.
     She leans over and kisses her forehead, only to discover she
     is awake;

                         DENVER
               Mama?

                         SETHE
               What is it baby?

                         DENVER
               You think maybe when daddy comes, he
               could talk to the baby ghost. Maybe make
               her behave and then people won't be
               scared of here no more.

                         SETHE
               I don't know.

                         DENVER
               Why won't she ever settle?

                         SETHE
               She's mad like a baby gets mad. You
               forgetting how little it is. She wasn't
               even two years old when she died. Too
               little to understand.

                         DENVER
               For a baby she throws a powerful spell.

                         SETHE
               No more powerful than the way I loved her.

     Hearing her mother say this, moves Denver.

                         DENVER
               What do you pray for Mama?

                         SETHE
               Oh, I don't really pray anymore. I just
               talk.

                         DENVER
               About what?

                         SETHE
               Oh, about time. How some things go. Pass
               on. Some things just stay.

                         DENVER
               What things?

                         SETHE
               Like, the place I was at before here -
               Sweet Home. Even if that whole farm and
               every tree and blade of grass on it died -
               it'll still be there. Waiting. And if you
               go and stand in the place where it was,
               what happened there once, will happen
               again.

                         DENVER
               If it's still there, waiting, that mean
               nothing ever dies?

                         SETHE
               Nothing ever does. That's why I had to
               get my children out. No matter what.
               That's why you can never go there.

                         DENVER
               You never tell me all what happened. Just
               that they whipped you and you run off
               pregnant with me.

                         SETHE
               You don't need to know nothing else.

                         DENVER
                    (nods)
               I saw a white dress kneeling next to you
               when you was praying.

                         SETHE
               White? Maybe it was my bedding dress.
               Describe it to me.

                         DENVER
               Had a high neck. Whole mess of buttons
               coming down the back.

                         SETHE
               Buttons. Well, that's not my bedding
               dress. I never had a button on nothing.
               What else?

                         DENVER
               A bunch at the back. On the sit down
               part.

                         SETHE
               A bustle?

                         DENVER
               I don't know what it's called.

                         SETHE
               You say it was holding on to me. How?

                         DENVER
               Kneeling next to you while you were
               praying. I mean, talking. It looked just
               like you.

                         SETHE
               Well, I'll be.

                         DENVER
               I think it was a sign. I think maybe
               baby's got plans.

                         SETHE
               What plans?

                         DENVER
               I don't know, but that dress holding onto
               you got to mean something.

                         SETHE
               Maybe. Maybe it does.

     Sethe smiles sympathetically for her lonely child. They hear
     a sound in the house - floor boards creaking.

                         DENVER
               She's crawling again.

     Sethe nods and holds her daughter's hand as they listen.

                                                          FADE OUT;

     SUPER: 1873.

                                                           FADE IN;

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - DAY.

     C.U. - PAUL D. GARNER.

     Paul stands on the road, gazing up at the house. Grateful
     he's arrived, cautious about what he'll find, he steps
     towards the porch. His clothes are ragged. His feet sore and 
     blistering in his shoes.

     EXT. THE PUMP - DAY.

     Off to the side of the house, Sethe washes her feet and legs
     at the pump. She looks up and sees Paul's figure walking
     towards the house. The sun blazes in her eyes. She can't make
     out who it is, or whether or not he's even real. As he
     reaches the porch, Paul disappears from view.

     Sethe walks towards the front of the house. When she is
     little more than forty feet away, she stops - still not
     certain Paul is a real man or an hallucination of the past.

                         SETHE
               Paul? Paul D.? Is that you?

                         PAUL
                    (smiles)
               What's left.
                    (He rises)
               How you been girl, besides barefoot?

     Sethe jams her balled up stockings into her pocket. She
     smiles like a little girl, not able to believe her eyes.

                         SETHE
               You looking good.

                         PAUL
               Devil's confusion. He lets me look good
               long as I feel bad.

                         SETHE
               How long has it been?

                         PAUL
               'Bout eighteen years, I figure.

                         SETHE
               Eighteen years.

                         PAUL
               And I swear I been walking every one of
               them. Mind if I join you?

     He begins taking off his shoes.

                         SETHE
               You want to soak them? Let me get you
               some water.

                         PAUL
               No, uh, uh. Can't baby feet. A whole more
               tramping they got to do yet.

                         SETHE
               You're not leaving right away, are you?
               You stay awhile.

                         PAUL
               Well, long enough to see Baby Suggs,
               you..Where is she?

                         SETHE
               Dead.

                         PAUL
               Aw no. When?

                         SETHE
               Eight years now. Almost nine.

                         PAUL
               Was it hard? I hope she didn't die hard.

                         SETHE
               Soft as cream. Being alive was the hard
               part. Sorry you missed her though. Is
               that what you came by for?

                         PAUL
               That's some of what I came for. The rest
               is you.

     Sethe doesn't know what to do with her eyes when he says
     this..she looks away instinctively. Paul realizes that may
     have sounded too intimate so he leans back and sighs:

                         PAUL
               The truth be known, I go anywhere these
               days. Anywhere they let me sit down.

                         SETHE
               Come on inside.

                         PAUL
               Porch is fine. Cool out here. Sit with
               me.

     Like a nervous little girl, Sethe takes a sit beside a man
     for the first time in years, folding her sweat stained skirt
     beneath her.

                         PAUL
               So Baby Suggs is gone. Somehow never
               thought death would find her.

                         SETHE
               It finds everyone.

                         PAUL
               We managed well enough without meeting
               it.

                         SETHE
               I suppose.

     Awkward pause. Sethe tries to find the words to a difficult
     question - but one that is foremost in her mind;

                         SETHE
               I wouldn't have to ask about him, would
               I?...You'd tell me if there was anything
               to tell, wouldn't you?

     Paul knows instantly she is asking about Halle.

                         PAUL
               You know I would. But I don't know any
               more about what happened to Halle now
               than I did then.

     Something about Paul's expression might suggest he's keeping
     something from her. He turns his gaze outward as he says;

                         PAUL
               You must think he's still alive.

                         SETHE
               No. I think he's dead. It's just not
               being sure that keeps him alive.

                         PAUL
               What did Baby Suggs think?

                         SETHE
               Same. Ha, listen to her, all her children
               dead and she felt each one go the very
               day and hour it happened.

                         PAUL
               When she say Halle went?

                         SETHE
               1855. Same day my baby was born.

                         PAUL
               You had that baby, did you? Damn, never
               thought you'd make it. Running off
               pregnant.

                         SETHE
               Had to. Couldn't be no waiting.

                         PAUL
               All by yourself too.

                         SETHE
               Almost. A white girl helped me.

                         PAUL
               Then she helped herself, God bless her.

     Awkward silence.

                         SETHE
               We got spare rooms. You could stay the
               night, if you had a mind to.

                         PAUL
               You don't sound too steady in the offer.

                         SETHE
               Oh it's..it's truly meant. I just hope
               you'll pardon my house.

     Paul smiles a warm, touched smile that after all that they've 
     survived, Sethe is worried about what he'll think of her
     home.

                         PAUL
               My house. I like the sound of that.

     Sethe smiles, then rises to escort him in.

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - DAY.

     Sethe opens the front door and enters, with Paul behind her,
     hanging his shoes by the laces over his shoulder. As he
     follows her in;

     A POOL OF RED, UNDULATING LIGHT forms around him. It worries
     him.

                         PAUL
               You got company?

                         SETHE
               On and off.

     The light undulates faster and faster, extending all the way
     to the kitchen at the end of the hall. Frightened, Paul steps
     back out the door.

                         PAUL
               Good God! What kind of evil you got in
               there?

                         SETHE
               It's not evil..It's just..just sad. Come
               on. Just step through.

     Sethe reaches out her hand. Paul tentatively takes it and is
     lead through the red light of the hallway, through to the
     kitchen where it ends.

     As he walks through, we can see Paul affected by the light.
     It is sad. A sadness that touches him, welling up inside
     until tears are brimming in his eyes. He reaches the normal
     light of the kitchen and steps out of it.

     INT. KITCHEN - DAY.

     Paul turns back to find the red light in the hall is gone.

                         PAUL
               I thought you said she died soft as cream.

                         SETHE
                    (busying herself in kitchen)
               Oh that's not Baby Suggs. That's my
               daughter. The one I sent ahead with the
               boys before I run off.

                         PAUL
               She didn't live?

                         SETHE
               No.

                         PAUL
               The boys too?

                         SETHE
               No, they alive - they run off before Baby
               Suggs died. The one I was carrying when I
               left Sweet Home is all I got left.

     Still affected by the light, Paul eases himself down at the
     table, finding something to say.

                         PAUL
               Well, probably best..If a Negro boy got
               legs he ought to use them. Sit down too
               long, somebody figure out a way to tie
               them up.......
                    (the image disturbs Sethe)
               You by yourself then?

                         SETHE
               Me and Denver... my daughter.

                         PAUL
               No man?
                    (Sethe shakes head "no")
               And that's all right by you?

                         SETHE
               It's all right by me...I cook at a
               restaurant in town. Sew a little on the
               sly....

     She places a bottle and a glass on the table before him. The
     light jarred him. He snatches the bottle to drink and calm
     himself down. She jokes.

                         SETHE
               You look more done in by a walk through
               my front hall than all those eighteen
               years of walking put together.

                         PAUL
               Got that right.

     INT. SECOND FLOOR OF 124 - MORNING.

     Denver, all of eighteen years old now, and beautiful, is
     buttoning up her dress when she hears the voice of a man down
     in the kitchen. She stops. Her face lights up.

                         DENVER
               Daddy?

     She runs down the white staircase.

     INT. KITCHEN - MORNING.

     As Denver runs into the kitchen, we hear:

                         SETHE (OS)
               Won't you stay a little while? Can't
               nobody catch up on eighteen years in a
               day.

     Denver appears expectantly, down the white staircase that
     leads from the second floor. She looks at Paul wide eyed.
     They turn to her with gentle smiles;

                         SETHE
               Baby, this here's Paul D. Garner...Paul,
               this is my Denver...Paul's the last of
               the Sweet Home men.

     Denver's heart sinks.

                         PAUL
               Good morning Miss Denver. It's a
               pleasure.

                         DENVER
               Good morning, Mr. D.

                         PAUL
               Garner, baby. Paul D. Garner.

                         DENVER
               Yes sir.

                         PAUL
               Glad to get a look at you. Last time I
               saw your mama, you were pushing out the
               front of her dress. She's a fine looking
               young lady, Sethe. Fine looking. Got her
               daddy's sweet face.

                         DENVER
               You knew my father?

                         PAUL
               Knew him. Knew him well.

                         SETHE
               Of course he did. I told you, he's from
               Sweet Home. Paul may stay with us a
               while. Won't that be nice, having an old
               friend stay a spell?

     But Denver reacts with surprise and dismay. Paul is not her
     friend. Paul, right now, is more of an intruder.

                         PAUL
               If that's all right with you, that is?

                         DENVER
               We have a ghost here, you know.

                         PAUL
               We met. But sad, your mama said. Not
               evil.

                         DENVER
               No sir, not evil. But not sad either.

                         PAUL
               What then?

                         DENVER
               Lonely.

                         SETHE
               I don't see how it could be lonely
               spending every minute with us like it
               does.

                         DENVER
               It's my sister. She was just a baby when
               she died in this house.

                         PAUL
               Reminds me of that headless bride back
               behind Sweet Home. Remember that Sethe?
               Used to roam them woods regular.

                         DENVER
                    (annoyed, resentful)
               Mama doesn't like talk about Sweet Home.
               Says it was never sweet and it sure
               wasn't home.

                         SETHE
               Girl, mind yourself!

                         PAUL
               Now, now, she got it right there, Sethe.

                         SETHE
               But it's where we were. All together.
               It's where I met your father. And it
               comes back on us whether we want it to or
               not....

                         DENVER
               Then why don't you ever tell me about it?

     Sethe pauses - unnerved and irritated by Denver's challenge.

                         SETHE
               Denver, start up the stove. Paul must be
               hungry.

                         PAUL
               Don't go to no trouble on my account.

                         SETHE
               Bread's no trouble. The rest I brought
               back from where I work. Least I can do,
               cooking dawn to noon, is bring dinner
               home. You got any objections to pike?

                         PAUL
               If he don't object to me I don't object
               to him.

     He addresses his humor to Denver who offers no response. She
     crosses to the stove and works on lighting it. She's mad.

                         DENVER
               Where's he going to sleep? Baby Sugg's
               room got no sheets or nothing.

                         SETHE
               We'll figure it out.

                         DENVER
               Maybe you should stay with mama, Mr.
               Garner. Then you two can talk about Sweet
               Home all night long.

                         SETHE
                    (explodes)
               What's the matter with you! I never knew
               you to behave like this!

                         PAUL
               Leave her be, Sethe. I'm a stranger to her.

                         SETHE
               That's just it. She got no cause to act
               up with a stranger.

     Denver collapses where she stands, sobbing out loud. Sethe
     moves to her.

                         SETHE
               Baby, what is it? Did something happen?

     Denver moves away. Sethe registers this rejection.

                         DENVER
               I can't no more! I can't no more!

                         SETHE
               Can't what? What can't you?

                         DENVER
               I can't live here! I don't know where to
               go or what to do but I can't live here.
               Nobody speaks to us. Nobody comes by.
               Nobody even knows I'm alive.

                         PAUL
               What she talking about 'nobody speaks to
               you'?

                         SETHE
               It's the house. People don't...

                         DENVER
               It's not! It's not the house! It's us!
               It's you!
                         SETHE
               Denver!

                         PAUL
               Leave off, Sethe. It's hard for a young
               girl living in a haunted place. That
               can't be easy.

                         SETHE
                    (growing irritated)
               It's easier than some other things. Come
               here, baby..

     Denver allows herself to be held.

                         PAUL
               I'm a grown man with nothing new left to
               see or do and I'm telling you it' ain't
               easy. Maybe you oughta move.

                         SETHE
               No!

                         PAUL
               Sethe!

                         SETHE
               No. No moving. No leaving. It's all right
               the way it is.

                         PAUL
               You going to tell me it's all right with
               this child half out of her mind.

                         SETHE
                    (holding Denver in her arms)
               I got a tree on my back and a haunt in my
               house and nothing in between but the
               daughter I'm holding in my arms. No more
               running - from nothing! I will never run
               from another thing on this earth, you
               hear! I took one journey and I paid the
               ticket but let me tell you something,
               Paul D. Garner; it cost too much! Do you
               hear me?! It cost too much! Now sit down
               and eat with us or leave us be!

     Sethe's sudden outburst startles Paul. He watches as Sethe
     ushers Denver out to the keeping room off the kitchen to
     quiet her down.

     Alone, Paul is disturbed by Sethe's words. He fishes out a
     pouch of tobacco and concentrates on it, searching for
     smoking papers he knows he doesn't have...waiting for Sethe
     to return.

     When she does, she heads straight for the stove. She spits on
     her finger and touches it to check it's heat. She then begins
     to make bread from flour, soda and salt - keeping her back to
     Paul throughout - as the scene continues;

                         PAUL
               What tree, Sethe?

                         SETHE
               Huh?

                         PAUL
               What tree on your back? I don't see
               nothing growing on your back.

                         SETHE
               It's there all the same.

                         PAUL
               Who told you that?

                         SETHE
               White girl. That's what she called it. I
               never seen it and never will. But she
               said that's what it looked like. A
               chokecherry tree. Leaves, branches. That
               was 18 years ago. Could have cherries by
               now for all I know...

                         PAUL
               I don't follow.

     Sethe pauses. Something in her decides to tell Paul D,
     although she keeps working on the bread to stay in control;

                         SETHE
               I had milk, see. I was pregnant with
               Denver but I had milk for my baby girl
               that I sent ahead with the boys. I hadn't
               stopped nursing her when I sent her and
               the boys ahead of me. Anybody could smell
               me long before they saw me. Nothing I
               could do about it. All I knew is I had to
               get my milk to my little girl. Nobody was
               going to nurse her like me. Nobody was
               going to get it to her fast enough or
               take it away when she had enough..nobody
               knew she couldn't pass her air if you
               held her up on your shoulder, only if she
               was lying on your knee..Nobody knew that
               but me...

     Paul listens, half dreading where he thinks this story's going.

                         PAUL
               We was talking about a tree, Sethe.

     Sethe works faster. It is the work, taking an action - any
     action - that allows her tell the story numbly, without the
     pain of reliving it...without the images attacking

                         SETHE
               Schoolteacher's boys drag me into the
               barn and took my milk...

     ....yet, the images come anyway.

     INTERCUT: FLASHES OF MEMORY attack as SETHE TELLS HER
     STORY...

                                                       JUMP CUT TO:

     INT. BARN - A NIGHT REMEMBERED.

     - Sethe being raped, beaten, held down by SCHOOLTEACHER'S
     BOYS in a barn with a loft...

                         SETHE (IN KITCHEN)
               ..Held me down in that barn and took it.

                                                       JUMP CUT TO:

     Sethe screams and is smacked across the face.

                         SETHE (IN KITCHEN)
               They were like boulders on me. Their
               hands over my mouth and on my shoulders
               and my legs.

                                                       JUMP CUT TO:

     One of the boys holds her face and mouth and head as the two
     others hold down her body and ravage her....

                         SETHE (IN KITCHEN)
               I couldn't move. Alls I could see was the
               loft above their heads.

                                                       JUMP CUT TO:

     Her mouth covered, her head immobile - she stares up at the
     loft.

     END OF MEMORY IMAGES.

                         PAUL
               The loft?

     INT. KITCHEN - PRESENT DAY.

     Sethe squeezes her eyes to erase the image and works harder
     on the biscuit dough...The flashes of IMAGES STOP...

                         SETHE
               I told Mrs. Garner on them. She had that
               lump on her neck and couldn't speak but
               her eyes rolled out tears, I remember.
               Them boys found out I told on 'em and
               Schoolteacher made one open up my back,
               and when it closed it made a tree.

                         PAUL
               They used cowhide on you?

                         SETHE
               And they took my milk.

                         PAUL
               They beat you and you was pregnant?

                         SETHE
               And they took my milk!

     Sethe has separated the dough into biscuits which she slips
     into the stove. As she rises, Paul steps gently behind her.
     He slowly caresses her breasts from behind, pressing his
     cheek against her back.. He rubs his cheek against it,
     feeling the scars beneath the dress. Raising his fingers to
     the hooks, as Sethe cries silently, he undoes her dress which
     slips down to her hips, exposing the sculpture her back has
     become.

                         PAUL
               Aw Lord, girl.

     Grateful to have her body be someone else's responsibility
     for the moment, Sethe closes her eyes as Paul touches every
     ridge and leaf of her tree with his mouth. The tenderness is
     almost unbearable.

     Suddenly, PAUL'S LEGS BEGIN TREMBLING. He pauses and looks
     down...He realizes it is not his legs that tremble, but
     rather;

     THE FLOORBOARDS THEMSELVES ARE PITCHING, GRINDING, SHOVING
     the house from side to side.

     Sethe slides to the floor, struggling with her dress.

     On all fours, Denver crawls in from the keeping room as if
     trying to keep the house together.

     Paul, falling, reaching for an anchor, begins to shout;

                         PAUL
               GOD DAMN IT! HUSH UP! Leave this place
               alone! Get the hell outta here!

     A table rushes at him but Paul grabs it's leg. Managing to
     stand at an angle as the house continues to pitch, he holds
     the table by two legs and bashes it about, wrecking
     everything, screaming at the house;

                         PAUL
               YOU WANT TO FIGHT, COME ON! GOD DAMN IT!
               SHE GOT ENOUGH WITHOUT YOU! SHE GOT ENOUGH!

     The quaking slows to an occasional lurch but Paul does not
     stop whipping the table around until everything it is
     absolutely still. He leans against the wall, panting.

     Sethe is crouched by the stove. A mixed expression of relief
     and guilt - the expression of a mother whose disobedient
     child has been sent away. But a child she loves nonetheless.

     Denver looks frightened. More alone than ever, now that her
     one companion is gone.

     All three are breathing together as if to the same beat, like
     one tired person.

                                                      LAP DISSOLVE:

     INT. KITCHEN - LATER THAT DAY..

     Denver walks through the broken furniture and dishes. At the
     stove, she ashes over the fire and pulls the pan of biscuits
     from the oven,

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - CONTINUOUS.

     A shirtless Paul D. is by the water pump washing himself.

     INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS.

     Denver lifts the fallen jelly cupboard, it's contents laying
     in a heap in the corner of the bottom shelf. She takes out a
     jar. She looks for a plate and finds half of one by the
     broken table. She picks it up as she hears Paul enter through
     the front door.

     INT. BABY SUGGS BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS.

     Sethe prepares a bed for Paul. Baby Suggs quilt is on the
     bed. She hesitates whether or not to leave it there.

     Paul stands by the door with his shoes in his bands, his
     shirt hanging open down the front.

     Sethe is surprised to see him there - she feels awkward.

                         SETHE
               Why don't you...take a rest..I'll call
               you when we're ready.

                         PAUL
               Sure you don't want me to help clean up?

                         SETHE
               No..you'd just get in my way. Denver and
               me'll do it.

     They stand in silence, looking at each other for a moment.
     The awkwardness they both feel strike them suddenly as funny.
     Paul starts smiling. Sethe covers her mouth to conceal it.

     And then, just as quickly, the urge to laugh subsides - and
     the fear they feel takes it's place.

     Paul slowly closes the door and places his shoes on the
     floor. Sethe watches him. Paul crosses to her. He moves in to
     kiss her. They approach each other's lips like two burn
     victims, trying desperately not to hurt the other with their
     touch.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - CONTINUOUS.

     Denver sits on the porch steps, alone once again. Miserably
     eating the biscuit and jelly off of a half broken plate.

     INT. BABY SUGGS BEDROOM - MINUTES LATER.

     Sethe and Paul lay in bed, after lovemaking. They are still
     fully clothed. The lovemaking was fast and finished quickly.
     Now, there is an awkwardness that is without humor or
     excitement - but sits like a chasm between them.

     As Sethe lays there, SHE REMEMBERS:

     MEMORY:

     EXT. THE CORN FIELDS OF SWEET HOME - A DAY REMEMBERED.

     A brilliant bright yellow and green corn stalks in a tiny
     corn field.

     Sethe and a slightly older HALLE - handsome, strong - run
     through the field until Halle stops them at an isolated spot.

                         HALLE
               How's this?

                         SETHE
               Here?! out in the open?!

                         HALLE
               Look around - can you see anybody?

     Sethe looks and can see nothing through the corn stalks. She
     shakes her head no.

                         HALLE
               Then nothing can see us neither.

     He takes off his shirt. Seethe giggles as she gets on the
     ground, keeping her ankles crossed.

     Halle lays her back and gently separates her legs. She
     giggles. Halle pauses before laying on top of her.

                         HALLE
               You are a beautiful sight.

                         SETHE
               Don't talk stupid.

                         HALLE
               You're my wife now! I can talk as stupid
               as I like about you!
                    (she giggles)
               I ain't never loved nothing like you
               before, Sethe.
                    (Sethe is moved)
               And after I get mama out...then I get us
               out too. And you'll see, baby girl...
                    (smiles)
               we're gonna have us a liiife..

     He sings the word "life", so that Sethe laughs. Then, Halle
     lowers himself slowly to her and they begin to make love. As
     camera pans up to a HILL above the field, we hear Sethe ask;

                         SETHE (O.S.)
               You sure nobody can see?

     We hear Halle grunt "uh-huh" as we arrive on the hill where a
     GREAT TREE sits.

     EXT. GREAT TREE ON THE HILL - DAY.

     Beneath the tree, PAUL D, SIXO and Paul's brothers Paul A.
     and Paul P. are pouring water over heads and watching;

     POV; Unbeknownst to Halle and Sethe, their lovemaking is in
     clear view to anyone on the hill...

                         PAUL A
               Damn. I don't get why she picked him.

                         PAUL D
               Halle's got that way about him. That way
               a woman feels he's doing it all for her,
               not for himself at all.

                         PAUL A
               I can't see nothing so special about Halle.

                         PAUL F
               What about what he's doing for his mama?

                         PAUL A
               Fool thing, if you ask me. By the time he
               buys it, freedom won't mean a thing to
               somebody that old and worn.

                         SIXO
               Freedom mean something anytime it come.

     The men watch the corn stalks swaying to the lovemaking.

     A YOUNG PAUL D., in particular, watches with tender yearning.

     INT. KITCHEN AT SWEET HOME - EARLY EVENING.

     MR. GARNER, the man who owns and runs Sweet Home. He offers
     cooked corn to the men.

                         MR. GARNER
               Raccoon must've got into my corn. Damaged
               a few so, no use throwing them out...

     The men looks to each other, suppressing a laugh.

                         MR. GARNER
               Sethe, get the butter there.

     Everyone looks at each other as they thank No. Garner and
     begin to smear butter on their corn and eat.

     A NEIGHBORING FARMER visiting the Garner's cautions him;

                         NEIGHBORING FARMER
               You spoil these nigger boys.

                         GARNER
               Maybe you got boys on your farm. My
               nigger's are men. Not a boy among'em.
               Bought 'em thataway, raised'em thataway.

                         NEIGHBORING FARMER
               Beg to differ Garner. Ain't no nigger men.

                         GARNER
               Not if you scared. But if you a man
               yourself, you'll want your niggers to be
               men too.

                         NEIGHBORING FARMER
               Wouldn't have no nigger men around my
               wife.

                         GARNER
               Neither would I..Neither would I.

     Sethe hides a smile as she hands a piece of corn to Halle.
     Paul A and Paul F hesitate as they think of eating the corn
     which the lovers consummated. But Sixo digs right in.

     Paul D eats slowly, his eyes never leaving Sethe as she moves
     Around the kitchen, her eyes never leaving Halle...Paul's
     Attraction and love for her are apparent.

     END OF MEMORY;

     INT. SETHE'S BEDROOM - EARLY EVENING.

     C.U. on PAUL, on his back, turned away from Sethe.

     What began as Sethe's memory, has blended into Paul's.

     Sethe rises off the bed, breaking the thick silence between them:

                         SETHE
               I'll call you when there's something to
               eat.

     She exits, leaving Paul alone on the bed.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - THE FOLLOWING DAY.

     We see the house now. No creaking or sounds of breaking
     furniture. Just the sound of Paul D. singing.

     INT. KITCHEN - DAY.

     Paul is singing as he fixes the table he broke while driving
     the baby ghost away.

     Denver is sweeping the floor - irritated by Paul's presence
     and voice.

     They both hear the front door open as Sethe arrives home from
     work.

     They look to each other to see which one will make a move for
     Sethe first. Paul knows enough to bide his time with Denver.
     He watches as she places the broom down and exits the
     kitchen.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - NIGHT.

     Paul and Sethe sit on the porch together. Sethe is sewing.
     Paul nervously gets up his nerve to ask:

                         PAUL
               Sethe.
                    (she stops and looks)
               I was thinking of looking for work around
               here. What do you think?

                         SETHE
               Ain't much. River mostly. And hogs.

                         PAUL
               Hogs is fine.

     Paul moves to where Sethe is sitting.

                         PAUL
               I don't need much, Sethe. Eat, sleep,
               sing a little when it strikes me. I don't
               ask for more to..to live somewhere.

     Sethe realizes what he is asking and tentatively responds:

                         SETHE
               All right. It's...it's fine with me.

                         PAUL
               Your girl Denver. Seems she's of a
               different mind.

                         SETHE
               Don't worry about her. She's a charmed
               child. Nothing ever touch her too bad.
               From the beginning. Everybody I knew dead
               or gone, but not her.
                    (pause)
               You got to know something, though - this
               here ain't no better life. It's just not
               that other one. What I do here - all I
               ever do - is keep Denver from that
               other..So if you stay, there's no more
               talk about Sweet Home or anything else. I
               won't let the past in my yard again.
               Getting me and Denver through this here
               life is all that matters. You understand?

                         PAUL
               Dangerous to love anything that much,
               Sethe. Best thing is to love everything
               just a little bit..that way, when it
               breaks or runs off or gets taken, well
               maybe you'd have a little love left over
               for the next one.

                         SETHE
               Don't be asking me to choose, Paul D.
               There ain't no choice here.

                         PAUL
               That's the whole point. I'm not asking
               you to choose. Just want to know if
               there's some space for me. Want to know
               if it's more than "you can stay", "it's
               fine"..more like, "I want you here Paul".

     Beat. Sethe is frightened by the prospect of feeling for him.

                         SETHE
               Maybe we should leave things the way they
               are.

     Sethe rises to enter the house when Paul's words stop her:

                         PAUL
               How are they?

                         SETHE
               We get along.

                         PAUL
               What about inside?

                         SETHE
               I don't go inside.

                         PAUL
               Sethe, if I'm here with you, with Denver,
               you can go anywhere you want. Jump, if
               you want to, 'cause I'll catch you. Go as
               far inside as you need - I'll hold your
               ankles. Make sure you get back out. I'm
               not saying this because I need a place to
               stay. I told you, I'm a walking man, but
               I been heading in this direction for
               seven years. When I got here and sat out
               there on the porch, waiting for you,
               well, I knew it wasn't the place I was
               heading toward. It was you. We can make a
               life girl. A life.

                         SETHE
                    (scared)
               I don't know. I don't know.

                         PAUL
               Leave it to me. See how it goes. No
               promises, if you don't want to make any.
               Just see how it goes, all right?

     Sethe's heart is twisted. She wants to cry...because she
     feels hope...and because she feels fear.

                         SETHE
               All right. We'll see how it goes.

                         PAUL
               You willing to leave it to me?

                         SETHE
               Well..some of it.

                         PAUL
                    (smiles)
               Some?...Well okay...some.

     Sethe manages a smile.

     INT. DENVER'S BEDROOM - NIGHT.

     Denver lies curled up in her bed. Alone.

     Sethe enters and crawls in unexpectedly. Denver looks up,
     surprised to see her.

                         DENVER
               What is it? What's wrong?

                         SETHE
               Nothing. Nothing's wrong. Lay back down.

     Denver obeys, unsure.

                         DENVER
               You think baby ghost's really gone?

                         SETHE
               Don't know.

                         DENVER
               I miss her.

     Sethe lets out a small laugh.

                         DENVER
               I do. Baby Suggs told me baby ghost would
               never hurt me. She was my sister. When I
               was little, after the boys left, I used
               to think that she and me both were
               waiting for daddy to come. And once he
               did, she wouldn't be mad no more.
                    (Sethe listens sadly)

     They hear Paul singing out on the porch. Denver grimaces.

                         DENVER
               Wish he'd shut-up...He's ruined
               everything.

                         SETHE
               No, he hasn't. He won't.
                    (hesitates)
               He..he wants to takes us to the
               carnival next Thursday...

     Denver's eyes light up with excitement then caution.

                         DENVER
               You mean, go out where they'll be other
               people?

                         SETHE
               Dress up a little bit. Wear our hats.
               What do you think?

                         DENVER
                    (downplaying her excitement)
               Maybe....

                         SETHE
               Maybe...All right...all right.
                    (difficult for her to say)
               Can I ask you something?
                    (Denver nods, her back to
                    Sethe)
               I was wondrin'..What you think about
               us...maybe... maybe thinking we could
               start...if we got an idea to, thinking we
               could start.. countin' on...
                    (she stops)

                         DENVER
               On what mama? Countin' on what?

     Sethe can barely bring herself to say. To hope. To imagine.
     Paul? But, for Denver, she forces herself and whispers;
                         SETHE
               Something.

     EXT. CARNIVAL - DAY.

     Paul and Sethe and Denver walk among the hundreds of black
     townspeople gathered for the carnival.

     A sign reads COLORED THURSDAY...TWO PENNIES ENTRANCE FEE.

     Paul is in high spirits. Saying hello to anyone whose eye he
     catches. Willing, eager to get anything for Denver she wants.
     Feeling a little more like a normal van in a normal life.

     Denver is excited but worried. She doesn't want to like Paul
     but can't help the thrill she's feeling. And when one or two
     passersby shout out;

                         VARIOUS PASSERS-
                         BY
               Hey Denver!...Hi there Denver!

     Denver heart almost weeps with joy.

     Sethe walks cautiously. Overdressed for the occasion, it is
     her first outing among neighborhood folk in many years.

     She catches the eyes of some of the women she knows...ELLA
     and LADY JONES..good Christian women who nod in their
     acknowledgement yet are holding back something. A judgement?
     A repulsion?

     Paul doesn't notice them and for this Sethe is glad.

     MONTAGE of SCENES...the various carnival acts, all performed
     by a WHITE TROUPE; magic, clowning, fire swallowing, spitting
     ribbons, acrobats forming pyramids...

     Our trio take it all in like water to the thirsty.

     At one point, A WHITE CARNIVAL BARKER shouts to the children;

                         CARNIVAL BARKER
               All Pickaninnies free!!

     The phrase stabs Sethe and Paul a bit. But Paul whispers;

                         PAUL
               Two pennies and an insult well spent in
               my opinion to see the spectacle of
               whitefolks making a spectacle of
               themselves.

     Sethe can't help but let out a small laugh - and with that
     laugh, a sudden sensation of relief...

     Paul buys Denver some licorice, peppermint and lemonade.
     Holding the lemonade for her, Paul asks;

                         PAUL
               Mind if I take a sip?

     Denver agrees. Paul takes some lemonade then wipes the rim
     where he sipped with a small napkin and gently hands it back
     to her. Denver, in spite of herself, is starting to like him.

     END MONTAGE.

     EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY.

     Our trio are leaving the carnival, walking three astride with
     distance in between each. The sunlight casts strong shadows.

     Sethe's eyes glance towards the ground behind them and sees;

     THEIR THREE SHADOWS ARE HOLDING HANDS.....as they walk home.

                                                          FADE OUT;

     FADE- IN.

     EXT. A STREAM AND THE BANK BESIDE IT - DAY.

     WIDE ANGLE of a BEAUTIFUL, WIDE STREAM (more like a small
     river) with a MULBERRY TREE standing tall on the bank before
     it. There is not a soul in sight as the stream moves
     gracefully beneath the sun.

     SUDDENLY;

     A FULLY DRESSED YOUNG BLACK WOMAN EMERGES FROM THE MIDDLE OF
     THE STREAM LIKE A GODDESS ARISING OUT OF SPIRITUAL WATERS...
     SHE WEARS A STRAW HATT A WHITE DRESS WITH BUTTONS, A LACE
     COLLAR AND NEW SHOES. SHE WALKS OUT OF THE WATER TO THE BANK.

     Exhausted, sopping wet and breathing heavily as if from
     asthma, she sits, leaning against the mulberry tree. She
     seems too tired to even hold her head upon her neck. Yet her
     skin is like new lineless and smooth. Glowing.

     Although racked with pain, SHE IS SMILING. Smiling the way
     travellers smile when they have finally arrived after a long
     and arduous journey.

     EXT. WOODS - DAY.

     The Young Black Woman makes her way through the woods. She
     passes by Denver's BOXWOOD BUSH secret place. Then continues
     forward, as if with a specific direction in mind.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - LATE AFTERNOON.

     Sethe, Paul and Denver approach 124. Denver is the first to
     see.

                         DENVER
               Look. What is that?

     All three look to see;

     THE YOUNG BLACK WOMAN sitting on a stump not far from the
     steps of 124.

     As the three approach, the Young Woman lifts her head and
     stares directly at Sethe.

     The two women exchange a moment in their eyes - Sethe,
     curious yet warm...The Young Woman, happy yet there is a
     hunger in her stare.

     INT. KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER.

     The Young Woman seated on a chair as Denver refills a tin cup
     of water. The Young Woman drinks greedily, cup after cup.

                         SETHE
               You from around here?

     The Young Woman shakes her head NO. She reaches down and
     takes off her shoes, which Sethe notices as new. Sethe bends
     down to pick them up. The Young Woman never lets her eyes
     leave Sethe.

                         PAUL
               Those shoes look brand new.

                         SETHE
               What might your name be?

     The Young Woman speaks in a low, rough voice;

                         BELOVED
               Beloved.

     Sethe drops the shoes. Denver sits down. Paul smiles;

                         PAUL
               Beloved. You use a last name, Beloved?

                         BELOVED
               Last. No..just Beloved..
                    (she spells it)
               B..E..L..O..V..E..D...

     As she spells it we see sethe's reaction; she is deeply
     touched. Then Denver's - who looks both amazed and curiously
     excited.

     Sethe hangs her own hat on a peg then approaches Beloved.

                         SETHE
               That's a pretty name Beloved. Take off
               your hat and I'll make us something. We
               just got back from the carnival over near
               Cincinnati-

     But Beloved has fallen asleep upright in the chair.

                         PAUL
               Miss...Miss, you want to lay down?

     Her eyes open to slits. Paul is about to help her when Denver
     rises;

                         DENVER
               I'll take her up. She can sleep in baby
               Suggs room - that all right Mama?

                         SETHE
               Course.

     Denver eases Beloved onto her feet, which Sethe and Paul
     notice do not have a line or sore on them.

                         PAUL
                    (whispers to Sethe)
               Look at her feet? They're not walking
               feet. More like she rode from somewhere
               all the way here.

     Yet, Beloved can barely stand upon them as Denver escorts her
     to the white staircase. Beloved starts coughing.

                         PAUL
               Sounds like the croup.

                         SETHE
               Is she feverish, Denver?

                         DENVER
               No. She's cold.

                         SETHE
               Then she is. Fever goes from hot to cold.

                         PAUL
               Could have the cholera.

                         DENVER
                    (adamant)
               She's not sick!

     Denver helps her up the stairs. Sethe and Paul register
     Denver's defensive reaction.

     INT. BABY SUGG'S ROOM - SAME TIME.

     Denver eases Beloved into the bed. Beloved falls asleep the
     second she hits the pillow. Denver gently - cautiously -
     strokes Beloved's forehead and cheek.

     INT. BABY SUGG'S ROOM - NIGHT.

     Denver stands vigil beside Beloved, wrapped beneath a quilt.

     INT. BABY SUGG'S ROOM - THE FOLLOWING DAY.

     Denver watches her sleep, wiping her hot forehead with cold
     cloths...

     INT. BABY'S SUGG'S ROOM - NIGHT.

     Denver washes out Beloved's underwear and stockings...She
     hears Beloved murmuring. She moves quickly to her side.

                         DENVER
               Beloved? Beloved I'm here...what is it?

                         BELOVED
               Heavy..this place is heavy.

                         DENVER
               Would you like to sit up?

     Beloved shakes her head no. She takes hold of Denver's arm
     and wraps it around her own body. Denver sits up against the
     pillow as Beloved snuggles her body into Denver's arms and
     falls back asleep. Denver holds her, lovingly.

     INT. BABY SUGGS ROOM - DAYS LATER.

     Denver has not left her bedside. She places another quilt
     upon her, tucking it in around the sides. As she does this,
     Beloved's eyes open for a brief moment, catching the sight of
     Denver over her. She smiles. Denver gratefully smiles back.

                         DENVER
               Can I get you anything? Are you hungry?

     Beloved looks over to a plate of half finished food -
     Denver's meal. Denver picks up a piece of sweet bread and
     feeds her. Denver is thrilled.

     THE FOLLOWING SCENES TAKE PLACE OVER SEVERAL WEEKS;

     INT. KITCHEN - THE NEXT DAY.

     Denver places sugar between two pieces of bread and gives the
     sandwich to Beloved, who, no longer feeling sickly, accepts
     it with a bright smile.

     EXT. HEN HOUSE - ANOTHER DAY.

     Denver explains how to pack mud in the cracks of the hen
     house as Beloved listens attentively, eating jelly out of a
     jar.

     INT. HEN HOUSE - ANOTHER DAY.

     Denver explains to Beloved how to warm the chicks with their
     skirts as the latter eats something sweet. They both giggle
     at the softness of the chicks.

     INT. DENVER & BELOVED'S BEDROOM - ANOTHER DAY.

     Denver is showing Beloved how to make her bed.

                         DENVER
               ..then you fold it over like this see.
               This here used to be where my brothers
               and me slept. I was always at the top.

                         BELOVED
               How you get so smart?

                         DENVER
               I ain't so smart.

                         BELOVED
               Yes you are!

                         DENVER
               Well, I used to go to Lady Jones. She'd
               teach us with songs how to spell and
               count.

                         BELOVED
               You don't go no more?

                         DENVER
               No I...I had to stop going.

                         BELOVED
               You so smart. Tell me about your
               brothers.

                         DENVER
               Well..they're names were Howard and..

     As Denver continues, Beloved steps towards her and begins to
     touch her face - examining her lips, her nose, her skin as if
     it were a rose to admire. Denver drinks in the attention, her
     heart expanding with love with every touch from this strange
     creature.

                         DENVER
               ..and....and Bulgar...At night, we used
               to..crawl into bed together..I'd lay down
               on Bul's lap and Howard would tell us die-
               witch stories. He said they would protect
               us...And if I learned them, they would
               protect me if ever they were gone...

     EXT. PORCH - EARLY EVENING.

     Everyone is sitting on the porch after dinner.

     Beloved, looking strong and fit, eats a cane stick - gnawing
     at it to the flax, keeping the strings in her mouth long
     after the syrup had been sucked off. It makes Denver laugh,
     as she licks her cane stick. It makes Sethe smile, to see
     them both happy.

     It makes Paul disgusted.

     INT. KEEPING ROOM - NIGHT.

     Paul confronts Sethe as she sews.

                         PAUL
               You gonna just feed her, from now on?

                         SETHE
               Denver likes her. She's no real trouble.

                         PAUL
               But don't she have a home? Some place to
               go?

                         SETHE
               Didn't mention one. I thought we'd wait
               until her breathing got better. She still
               sounds a little lumbar.

                         PAUL
               She breathe like she can eat, she could
               blow this whole house down. And all those
               sweets.

                         SETHE
               Sometimes the body needs that sugar for
               strength when it's trying to recover
               after an illness.

                         PAUL
               But that's just it. She don't seem sick.
               Something funny about her.

                         SETHE
               Funny? How?

                         PAUL
               Acts sick, sounds sick but she don't look
               sick. Good skin, bright hands and strong
               as a bull.

                         SETHE
               She can hardly walk without holding onto
               something.

                         PAUL
               That's what I mean. Can't walk but I
               passed by Baby Sugg's room this morning
               and saw her lifting the rocker with one
               hand.

                         SETHE
               You didn't?

                         PAUL
               Don't tell me. Ask Denver. She was right
               there.

     At that moment, Denver passes by on her way to the kitchen.

                         SETHE
               Denver. Come in here a minute.

     Denver enters the keeping room.

                         SETHE
               Paul says you saw Beloved pick up the
               rocking chair in Baby Suggs room with one
               hand. That so?

     Denver looks at Paul with a hard gaze;

                         DENVER
               I didn't see no such thing.

     From Paul's expression we can tell Denver is lying...and
     whatever fragile connection they were building, is swiftly
     destroyed.

     INT. SETHE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT.

     Sethe is getting ready for bed. Denver sticks her head in:

                         DENVER
               Have you seen her? I can't find her.

                         SETHE
               Who?

                         DENVER
               Beloved.

     Sethe shakes her head. Denver exits anxiously. The mentions
     of Beloved's name stir a MEMORY in Sethe:

     MEMORY:

     EXT. GRAVESTONE YARD - A DAY REMEMBERED.

     Sethe talks to the HEADSTONE ENGRAVER as he works in the hot
     sun. His YOUNG SON helps him.

                         SETHE
               She need a marker. Somethin' to tell me
               where she is. But I ain't got no money.

     The Engraver eyes her body.

                         ENGRAVER
               What you got then?

     Sethe is embarrassed by his lascivious tone, especially in
     front of the young boy.

     The Engraver rises, takes a step toward Sethe and touches her
     hip, curling his hand around to her back.

                         ENGRAVER
               What you want it to say?

                         SETHE
               I was thinking what the preacher say at
               the funeral. Dearly Beloved.

                         ENGRAVER
                    (touching her)
               For ten minutes I give you one word for
               free.

     His hand glides down to her buttocks. Sethe can't help but
     see the Young Boy watching the scene.

     END of MEMORY.

     INT. SETHE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT.

     As the memory starts to fade form her mind, Sethe suddenly
     feels someone else's presence. She looks up to find:

     Beloved standing by the door - watching her.

                         SETHE
               Oh!...I didn't know you were there.

                         BELOVED
               Can I help?

                         SETHE
               Help what, honey?

     Beloved kneels before her on the floor and finishes buttoning
     up Sethe's night dress.

                         BELOVED
               Where you go in the morning?

                         SETHE
               Work. I work in a restaurant.

                         BELOVED
               What time you go?

                         SETHE
               Little after the sun come up. I like to
               make a loaf of bread before I go. How you
               feelin'?

     Beloved nods, absorbing the information.

                         SETHE
               You remember your mother at all?

                         BELOVED
                    (scratching back of her head)
               I remember a woman who was mine and I
               remember bein snatched away from her.

     Sethe, nods, understanding such things. She cautiously
     reaches out to stroke Beloved's face. Beloved responds like a
     puppy, pressing her cheek against Sethe's hand. Sethe is
     moved.

     INT. KITCHEN - PRE DAWN.

     Sethe enters the kitchen to make bread before she leaves for
     work. She finds Beloved waiting for her, placing out her
     cooking things on the table. Beloved looks up and smiles.

                         BELOVED
               I'm helpin make your bread.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE - EARLY EVENING.

     Beloved waits anxiously at the window for the sight of Sethe
     coming home from work....

     When she sees her, she runs through the house, out the door
     to meet her.

     Denver appears at the door, upset by Beloved's loss of
     attention in her.

     EXT. PORCH - EVENING.

     C.U. - SETHE, as she leans her tired head against the porch,
     sitting on the step. She closes her eyes and is about to
     drift off, when;

     BELOVED'S HAND gently touches her shoulder, settling there.

     Sethe looks up and smiles, patting her hand. Beloved stands
     above her as Denver takes a seat on the step.

     Beloved searches Sethe's eyes and asks;

                         BELOVED
               Where your diamonds?

     The question surprises Sethe...and startles Denver.

                         SETHE
               Diamonds? What would I be doing with diamonds?

                         BELOVED
               On your ears.

                         SETHE
               Wish I did.
                    (beat)
               Hmm..come to think of it, I had some
               crystal once. A present from Mrs. Garner -
               woman I worked for at Sweet Home.

                         DENVER
               I never saw you with no earrings.

                         SETHE
               Gone. Long gone.

                         BELOVED
               Tell me...Tell me about your diamonds...

     Sethe hesitates. Beloved kneels at her feet.

                         DENVER
                    (to Beloved)
               Ma'am don't talk about Sweet Home.

                         BELOVED
                    (ignoring her)
               Tell me...Tell me about your diamonds.

     Denver awaits her mother's reaction with great interest.
     Sethe looks at Beloved sweet, innocent expression and
     something in her resistance, eases:

                         SETHE
               Well..this lady I worked for in Kentucky
               gave them to me when I got married..

     Denver is both interested and slightly hurt at her mother's 
     willingness to tell Beloved what she'd never tell her:

                         SETHE
               ..What they called married back then. I
               remember going up to her in the kitchen
               to tell her. I'd help her make ink for
               Mr. Garner in the kitchen. I was fool
               enough to think I was going have some
               kind of ceremony...maybe even a new
               dress..
                    (CONTINUES AS WE CUT TO;)

     Sethe's continues telling Beloved, an attentive audience...

     Denver, more attuned to Beloved's interest than the story, is 
     disturbed at her mother's telling of it.

     INT. KITCHEN - ANOTHER EVENING.

     Camera moves up from the mended legs of the table Paul broke
     to;

     A suspicious Paul glares at Beloved as they eat dinner.

     Beloved is ever ready to pass Sethe a bowl or napkin or
     whatever she needs. She is "shining" - for Sethe, and for
     Sethe alone.

     Denver notices it as well.

     It is raining outside. Both Denver and Beloved are wet from
     the rain. Denver's hair is all tangled.

                         SETHE
               Best unbraid that hair.

                         DENVER
               Tomorrow.

                         SETHE
               Today's always here. Tomorrow never.

                         DENVER
               It hurts.

                         SETHE
               Comb it everyday, it won't..

                         BELOVED
               Your woman never fixed up your hair?

     All three look to Beloved, puzzled by her question, which is
     clearly intended for Sethe. Paul's getting more annoyed.

                         PAUL
               What?

                         SETHE
               My woman?..You mean my mother?

     Beloved nods. Paul and Denver exchange a curious look.

                         SETHE
               If she did I don't remember. I don't
               think I saw her but a few times.

                         BELOVED
               Tell me 'bout her.

     Paul and Denver look to Sethe, waiting to see if she'll answer.

                         SETHE
               ..I remember once, she picked me up and
               carried me behind the smokehouse... The
               only thing I do remember in fact...

     Paul is disturbed by Sethe's carefree storytelling - how it 
     contradicts her words to him that first day and worried it
     will lead to no good...

     Once again, Denver is surprised to hear what she's never
     heard before. She looks to Paul and knows what he is
     thinking. Paul looks back and knows Denver realizes it. But
     Denver returns his glance with a defensive dismissal of the
     eyes.

                         SETHE
               ...She opened up her dress and right on
               her rib, right here, was a circle and a
               cross burnt right into the skin....

                         PAUL
                    (interrupts her)
               Sethe.

                         SETHE
               What?

     Paul doesn't want her to continue but doesn't want to say so.

                         PAUL
               Any more beans?

     Sethe rises to get him more food and she continues:

                         SETHE
               ...anyway, she points to this mark and
               says to me "This is your ma'am. I am the
               only one whose got this mark now. The
               rest all dead. If something happens to me
               and you can't tell me by my face, you can
               know me by this mark"..Scared me so...
               I couldn't think of anything to say so I
               said "Yes Ma'am..but how will you know
               us? Mark me too. Mark the mark on me
               too."

                         DENVER
               Did she?

                         SETHE
               No. She slapped my face. I didn't
               understand it then. Not until I had a
               mark of my own...

     Paul is disturbed. He can see Sethe getting upset. He is mad
     at Beloved for her damn questions..

                         BELOVED
               What happened to her?

     Something inside of Sethe stops, a wall erected. Something
     unwanted is coming into her consciousness. Paul notices it.
     She rises;

                         SETHE
               Don't know. Everybody done?

     Sethe collects a few dishes and crosses to the sink as Paul asks:

                         PAUL
               Well, as long as we're all asking
               questions, getting to know each other..
                    (to Beloved)
               Why don't you tell us a little bit about
               yourself?

     Camera follows Sethe as she arrives at the sink, placing the
     dish inside. We hear the others O.S.:

                         DENVER (O.S.)
                    (defensively)
               She don't remember nothing.

                         PAUL (O.S.)
               You be surprised what you start
               remembering once you start talking.

                         BELOVED (O.S.)
               Can I have some more pudding?

     Camera stays on Sethe as we drown out the voices at the
     kitchen table. She is staring out the window above the sink
     as if watching the MEMORY BEING RELIVED IN HER YARD;

     POV - OUT THE WINDOW;

     MEMORY:

     EXT. A LARGE TREE IN A FIELD - A DAY REMEMBERED.

     A CROWD of people surround a tree. SEVERAL WHITE MEN are
     preparing to hang a group of black men and women standing in
     line, awaiting their turn.

     Among the crowd is A CHILD (SETHE) holding the hand of an
     OLDER BLACK SLAVE WOMAN (NAN). Nan is pointing to a WOMAN
     (SETHE'S MOTHER), who is one of the people waiting in line to
     be hanged. Nan whispers to Sethe:

                         NAN
               That's your mama - right there.

     Little Sethe looks up and sees her mother - her face a mask
     of courage and rage and tears. She looks straight ahead - not
     at anyone in particular, especially not her daughter.

                         NAN
               ..I'm telling you, small girl Sethe...Me
               and your Mama was taken by the men many
               times..She threw them other babies
               away..the others from the whites, without
               names, she threw them away..But you she
               gave the name of the black man. She had
               her arms around him, child. The others,
               she did not put her arms around.
               Never...Never...

     The child Sethe listens, watching her mother move further
     down the line.

     END of MEMORY as WE CUT BACK TO:

     INT. KITCHEN -

     Sethe, the memory passing, hears the voices in her kitchen:

                         PAUL (O.S.)
               Ain't you got no brothers or sisters?

                         BELOVED (O.S.)
               I don't have nobody.

     She finds Paul interrogating Beloved who eats a second
     pudding. Denver tries to interfere.

                         DENVER
               She has us now!

                         PAUL
               You been here five weeks, we still don't
               know nothing bout you..

                         SETHE
               Paul, Stop it. Denver bring those dishes.

                         PAUL
               What was you looking for when you came here?

                         BELOVED
               This place. I was looking for this place
               I could be in.

                         PAUL
               Somebody tell you about this place?

     At the sink, both Sethe and Denver pause, obviously interested.

                         BELOVED
               She told me. When I was at the bridge,
               she told me.

     Paul looks quizzically at Sethe, who shrugs;

                         SETHE
               Must be somebody from the old days.

                         PAUL
               How'd you come? Who brought you?

                         BELOVED
               I walked here. A long, long, long, long
               way. Nobody bring me.

                         PAUL
               You had new shoes. If you walked so long
               why don't your shoes show it?

                         SETHE
               Paul D. stop picking on her.

                         PAUL
               I want to know! Where'd you get them
               shoes and that dress you had on?

                         BELOVED
               I take the shoes! (coughs) I take the
               dress! (coughs) The shoe strings don't
               fit! I...

     Suddenly, she begins to CHOKE on a raisin from the pudding
     and falls backward, off the chair.

     Denver and Sethe rush towards her. Beloved thrashes around
     until they help her turn over and spit up the raisin.

     She breathes in Sethe's arms as Denver wipes up the mess,
     glaring at Paul.

                         SETHE
               You all right?

                         BELOVED
                    (whispers)
               I want to go to sleep now.

                         DENVER
               Come to my room. I can watch out for you
               up there.

     Sethe gets Beloved to her feet. Denver takes her up the
     staircase to her room - glaring at Paul.

     When the girls have gone, Sethe turns on Paul as she cleans
     up.

                         SETHE
               What's the matter with you?

                         PAUL
               I don't understand what the hold is. It's
               clear why she holds onto you, but I just
               can't see why you holding on to her.

                         SETHE
               What you care who's holding on to who?
               Feeding her is no trouble. And she's nice
               company for Denver.

                         PAUL
               We was just starting to feel a little
               like a family ourselves.

                         SETHE
               Is that what's got your teeth on edge?

                         PAUL
               I can't place it. It's a feeling in me.

                         SETHE
               You wanna feel somethin!? ... Feel how it
               is to have a bed to sleep in and somebody
               there not worrying you to death about
               what you got to do each day to deserve
               it. And if that don't get it, feel how it
               feels to be a colored woman roaming the
               roads with anything God made liable to
               jump on you. Feel that!

                         PAUL
               I know every bit of that, Sethe. I wasn't
               born yesterday and I never mistreated a
               woman in my life!

                         SETHE
               Well, that makes one of you in this
               world.

                         PAUL
                    (surprised)
               One? Not two.

                         SETHE
               No. Not two!

                         PAUL
               What Halle ever do to you? Halle stood by
               you. He never left you.

                         SETHE
               Ha, what'd he leave then if not me, huh?

                         PAUL
               I don't know but it wasn't you. That's a
               fact.

                         SETHE
               Then he did worse - he left his children.

                         PAUL
               You don't know that.

                         SETHE
               HE WASN'T THERE! He wasn't where he said
               he would be! I had to pack my babies off
               ahead of me, on their own, so I could
               stay behind to look for him...Underground
               agent said by Sunday we had to leave..
               Sunday came and he wasn't there.

                         PAUL
               He couldn't get out of the loft, I expect.

     Forgetting himself, Paul let that slip out.

                         SETHE
               Loft? What loft?

                         PAUL
                    (hesitates)
               The one over your head... The one in the
               barn.

     Sethe stops dead cold. It's no use...

     The MEMORY TAKES OVER:

     INT. BARN - THE PAST.

     Violent, rapid images of Sethe being raped and beaten held
     down by SCHOOLTEACHER'S BOYS. Sethe, pinned down, stares up
     at the loft...Camera rises up...

     There, in the loft, hides HALLE...The expression on his face
     is that of a man broken in two...

     END of MEMORY.

     INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT.

     Sethe wraps her arms tightly around herself and asks;

                         SETHE
               He saw? He told you he saw?

                         PAUL
               You told me. The day I came here. You
               said they stole your milk. I never knew
               what messed Halle up. That was it, I
               guess. I seen him the day after you left.
               Says where you been Halle? All he says to
               me was "the loft". I asked him what he
               meant not going with you but he never
               answers me. But I knew was something
               broke him. Not one of them years of
               Saturdays, Sundays and nighttime extra
               never touched him. But whatever he saw go
               on in the barn that day broke him like a
               twig.

                         SETHE
               He saw them boys do that to me and let
               them keep on breathing?

                         PAUL
               A man ain't a Goddamn ax, Sethe.
               Chopping, hacking, busting every Goddamn
               minute of the day. Things get to him.
               Things he can't chop down cause they
               inside him. The last time I saw him, I
               knew he was broken for good...

                         SETHE
               What did he say?

                         PAUL
               Nothing.

                         SETHE
               What did you say? Didn't you say anything
               to him?

                         PAUL
               I couldn't.

                         SETHE
               Couldn't?! Why the hell not?!

     C.U. on PAUL who doesn't want to explain - or even remember -
     as we cut to:

     MEMORY:

     EXT. SWEET HOME - DAY.

     PAUL HAS A BIT IN HIS MOUTH CHAINED TO A WAGON.

     He is being lead away from Sweet Home with other black men,
     by Three white Men. The bit jerks his head back, saliva
     spills uncontrollably out of his mouth. His hands are chained
     behind him. His feet chained together at the
     ankles....Another chain is connected to an iron belt and
     stretches to a wagon. He is being lead away with forty five
     other prisoners...

                         PAUL (VO)
               I tried to kill Brandywine - man
               Schoolteacher sold me to. Don't know what
               possessed me...Me and about 45 other
               prisoners were being walked from Kentucky
               to Virginia...then on to Georgia. Two
               places I don't ever want to see again.

     He is lead past the milk shed, when he sees:

     HALLE, alone with a crazed faraway look in his eyes, sitting
     by the butter churn. HALLE'S FACE IS COVERED WITH BUTTER AND
     CLABBER. He sticks his hands in the churn and continues to
     cover his face with the sticky, slippery, white substance
     covering his face and head, squeezing it through his hands.

     The White Men laugh. Paul is aching to scream out to him but
     the iron bit holds down his tongue.

     As Paul is lead past Halle, A ROOSTER named MISTER is SITTING
     ON A TUB in the sun shrieks with an almost arrogant glee.

                         WHITE MAN
               Look at Mister there...
                    (referring to the rooster)
               You go tell these niggers where to go
               there Mister! Crow'em right outta here!

     Mister crows and the white men laugh.

     Tears of rage and humiliation stream down Paul's face. He
     struggles to keep a view of Halle, until he is out of sight.

     END OF MEMORY.

     EXT. PORCH. - EARLY EVENING.

     Paul approaches Sethe, touching her gently.

                         PAUL
               I didn't mean to tell you that.

                         SETHE
               I didn't plan on hearing it.

                         PAUL
               I can't take it back but I can leave it
               alone.

     Sethe, instead of collapsing from the information, she seems
     hardened.

                         PAUL
               Let's do that..let's leave it alone now.

                         SETHE
                    (more to herself)
               Let it alone. Just sit down and leave it
               be! Yeah that would be nice. Would be
               even nicer to lose it altogether - if I
               had my choice. Halle did. Other people's
               brains stopped, went crazy. How sweet
               that would have been. Me and Halle
               squatting by that churn, smashing cold
               lumpy butter in our faces, not a care in
               the world..

                         PAUL
               Sethe, don't do this..

                         SETHE
               What a relief to just stop it all right
               there, huh?!! Close it shut! Squeeze that
               butter...But I had three children on
               their way to Ohio and nothing would have
               changed that! And you tell me he didn't
               leave me!!

     Sethe exits O.S. Paul is left alone on the porch until
     Beloved runs out of the house giggling with Denver in
     pursuit. As Denver passes, Paul sarcastically remarks;

                         PAUL
               Guess she's feeling better, huh?

     Denver gives him a quick, disdainful look, then continues
     after Beloved.

     The two girls run towards the woods.

     EXT. BOXWOOD BUSH ROOM - NIGHT.

     Beloved is dancing beneath a bright moon. Denver is an
     attentive, grateful audience.

                         DENVER
               Where'd you learn to dance?

                         BELOVED
               Nowhere. Look at me do this!

     She puts her fists on her hips and skips.

                         BELOVED
               Now you! Come on! Come on!

     She takes Denver's hand and places another on her shoulder.
     As they dance, Denver laughs harder and harder - a giddiness
     from the dizziness and the gratitude she feels for Beloved's 
     attention.

     They spin and fall to the ground, like two lovers nestled.
     Beloved catches her breath as Denver asks;

                         DENVER
               Why you call yourself Beloved?

                         BELOVED
               In the dark my name is Beloved.

                         DENVER
               What's it like where you were before?

                         BELOVED
                    (a thoughtful expression)
               Dark. I'm small in that place. I'm like
               this here.

                         DENVER
               Were you cold?

                         BELOVED
               Hot. Nothing to breathe there. No room to
               move.

                         DENVER
               How did you get here?

                         BELOVED
               I wait; then I got on the bridge. I stay
               there in the dark, in the daytime, in the
               dark in the daytime. Long time.

                         DENVER
               All this time you were on the bridge?

                         BELOVED
               No. After. When I got out.

                         DENVER
               Why'd you come here?

                         BELOVED
               To see her face.

                         DENVER
               Ma'am's? Sethe's?

                         BELOVED
               Yes. Sethe.

     And with that, Denver takes a breath of courage to ask the
     question she's been longing to ask:

                         DENVER
               You my sister, ain't you? You really are.

     Beloved looks at her and smiles. They are so close she leans
     in curiously and - touching Denver's face - kisses her on the
     lips.

                         DENVER
               You won't leave us, will you?

                         BELOVED
               No. Never. This is where I am.

                         DENVER
               I knew it. I knew. First time I saw you
               and you said your name. And when you
               touched me - real gentle. And familiar.
               Like I'd felt that touch before.

     Smiling, Beloved moves to touch Denver's cheek when suddenly,
     Denver sits up cross legged and urges Beloved;

                         DENVER
               Don't tell mama. You musn't tell her who
               you really are. I don't know what she'd
               do! Please, you hear?

     Suddenly, Beloved's face turns to rage as she rises up as
     well;

                         BELOVED
               Don't tell me what to do? Don't never
               tell me what to do!?

                         DENVER
               But..but I'm on your side. I want to
               protect you...

                         BELOVED
                    (stands above Denver)
               She's the one! She's the one I need! You
               can go but she's the one I have to have!

     Beloved abruptly drops to her knees and crawls out the
     boxwood bush room as Denver's pleads;

                         DENVER
               No. Beloved please! Don't go! I didn't do
               nothing! We were dancing! Don't go!....

     INT. DENVER'S & BELOVED'S ROOM - DAWN THE FOLLOWING DAY.

     The room is still dark from the night but the sun is rising
     outside.

     Suddenly, Beloved awakens with a start. She senses something.
     She rises and looks out the window to see;

     POV;

     SETHE WALKING ACROSS THE FIELD.

     Beloved quickly grabs her clothes and exits to follow her, as
     Denver awakens just in time to see her go.

     EXT. WOODS EARLY MORNING.

     Sethe is dressed as if for church as she makes her way through
     the woods with a specific destination in mind.

     Soon, she comes upon;

     EXT. A CLEARING IN THE WOODS - EARLY MORNING.

     Sethe steps out of the woods and into an open clearing. A
     LARGE ROCK sits in the clearing like a pulpit above the pew's
     of grass and weeds.

     Sethe remembers the place as it was... She hears the VOICES
     OF A CROWD...a gathering of people though the clearing
     remains empty. She crosses to the rock and sits. Camera moves
     up to reveal -

     MEMORY:

     BABY SUGGS, vital and strong, standing on the rock,
     preaching:

                         BABY SUGGS
               I'm not here to tell you all to clean up
               your lives and sin no more....I'm not
               here to tell you we're the blessed meek
               and are glorybound!...I'm here to tell
               you that the only grace we can have, is
               the grace we can imagine...And if you
               cannot see it, then you shall not have
               it...

     END OF MEMORY.

     C.U. on SETHE as she remembers Baby Suggs words, sitting
     alone in the clearing - the images of the past gone.

     EXT. WOODS - SAME TIME.

     Beloved has found her and watches from a hidden place...

     Camera moves beyond her to find;

     Denver, having followed Beloved, watches her from a distance.

     EXT. A CLEARING IN THE WOODS - EARLY MORNING.

     Sethe remembers Baby Suggs advice:

                         BABY SUGGS (V.O.)
               ..God lead you home... So now, lay'em
               down, child. Sword and shield..Don't
               study war no more. Lay all that mess
               down. Sword and shield...

                         SETHE
               Lay'em down...sword and shield.

     Sethe weeps...She slides to the ground and holds her head to
     weep. She covers her head from God and cries AS SHE LETS THE
     MEMORIES COME..memories she can no longer fight from coming;

                                                            CUT TO:

     SETHE'S MEMORIES;

     EXT. SWEET HOME - A NIGHT REMEMBERED.

     SETHE IS IN THE SAME BENT OVER POSITION only here, her back
     is exposed and she is being beaten by the Schoolteacher's
     boys. The BOY BEATING SETHE never stops with the whip for a
     second as he rants;

                         BOY BEATING SETHE
               NIGGER TRASH..OPENING YOUR MOUTH...

                         SECOND BOY
               YOU GONNA KILL HER! YOU BETTER STOP!

                         BOY BEATING SETHE
               I'LL KILL HER ALL RIGHT...NEVER OPEN HER
               MOUTH 'BOUT ME AGIN....

     They beat her mercilessly.

     EXT. FIELD - NIGHT.

     Sethe, tear stained, bloody and very pregnant fights her way
     through a corn field as she makes her escape..

     Her dress hangs torn at the back - her wounds open and
     bleeding. Her feet already swollen and blistered. She is in
     agonizing pain. She moves like a figure in a nightmare.

                                                            CUT TO:

     A SERIES OF IMAGES IN WHICH WE SEE SETHE STRUGGLING THROUGH
     DAYS AND NIGHTS OF WALKING AND HIDING, IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS
     AS SHE MAKES HER WAY ACROSS THE STATE.

     THE FINAL IMAGE IS:

     EXT. ONION FIELD - DAY.

     Sethe falls to the ground unable to move - her contractions
     have started and the pain is unbearable.

     Her breasts are leaking on her sweat stained body. Her legs
     are scratched and bleeding from moving through broken twigs
     and rock. On her back, the tree is starting to form.

     She lays there waiting for death. Until a VOICE ASKS:

                         AMY (OS)
               WHO THAT BACK THERE!

     Sethe can not answer as she hears TWO FEET moving through the
     field. She clutches her pregnant stomach as if somehow she
     might hide it from whoever might be coming to harm her.

     A RAGGEDLY LOOKING WHITE GIRL with arms like cane stalks and
     enough hair for five heads steps through into view.

                         AMY
               Look there. A nigger. If that don't beat
               all...

     Sethe can not speak for fear.

                         AMY
               Man, you 'bout the scariest looking
               something I ever seen. What you doing
               back up here?

     Sethe manages to control her breath and push out the word;

                         SETHE
               Running.

     Amy looks at Sethe's swollen, bloody flesh at the end of her
     legs.

                         AMY
               Them the feet you running on? My Jesus
               my...

                         SETHE
                    (semi-delerious)
               Am I in Ohio?

                         AMY
               Ohio! Fool girl - you in Kentucky. You
               'bout a thousand miles from Ohio.

                         SETHE
                    (murmurs to herself)
               I'm still in Kentucky.

                         AMY
               You got anything on you, gal, pass for
               food?

                         SETHE
               No, ma'am.

                         AMY
               I like to die I'm so hungry. Thought
               there might be huckleberries. That's why
               I come up here. You having a baby?

                         SETHE
               I expect this baby ma'am is gonna die in
               these wild onions.

     Amy doesn't know what to do with that information. So..

                         AMY
               Well, I got to eat something.

     Any stands and looks as if she's about to leave when Sethe,
     feeling the girl is safe, stops her with a question.

                         SETHE
               Where you on your way to, miss?

                         AMY
                    (eager to tell)
               Boston. Get me some velvet. It's a store
               called Wilson. I seen pictures and they
               have the prettiest velvet.

                         SETHE
               Boston - is that far?

                         AMY
               Farther than Ohio.

                         SETHE
               Must be velvet closer by.

                         AMY
               Not like in Boston. Be so pretty on me.
               You ever touch velvet? Or even seen it?

                         SETHE
               If I did, I didn't know it. What's it like?

     Sethe desperately wants her to stay - to not be alone. Amy
     kneels back down to her, curious now;

                         AMY
               What they call you?

                         SETHE
                    (lies)
               Lu.

                         AMY
               What you gonna do, just lay there and
               foal?

                         SETHE
               I can't get up.

                         AMY
               What?

                         SETHE
               I can't get up.

     Amy wipes her nose and looks up beyond Sethe.

                         AMY
               There's a house back yonder. Well, not a
               house with people in it - more like a
               lean-to near the river.

                         SETHE
               How far?

                         AMY
               Make a difference, does it? You stay
               here, snake might get you.

                         SETHE
               Well, he may come but I can't stand up,
               let alone walk...and God help me, I can't
               crawl.

                         AMY
               Sure you can Lu..come on..

     Amy helps Sethe turn over onto all fours.

     EXT. ONION FIELD - DAY...MINUTES LATER.

     Amy walks beside Sethe as the latter painfully crawls, taking
     moments to stop and let the pain go through her.

                         AMY
               Come on Lu! You got to move faster than
               that. You won't get to Ohio til you
               ninety years old, you keep moving that
               ways.

     INT. LEAN-TO - EARLY EVENING.

     Amy makes a pile of leaves for Sethe to lay on and some rocks
     for her to put up her feet. She talks non-stop as she works.

                         AMY
               Never know it to look at me but I used to
               be a good size. Nice arms, everything.
               That was before they put me in the root
               cellar...

     She eases Sethe onto the leaves then lifts her feet onto the
     rocks.

                         AMY
               ...Mama worked for these people here to
               pay for her passage but then she had me
               and died right after so I had to work
               for'em.. I was fishing off the Beaver
               once and a nigger floated right by me. I
               don't like drowned people, do you? Your
               feet remind me of him. All swole like.

     Amy props Sethe up from behind when she notices

                         AMY
               You all bloody back here. Gal you a mess.
               Undo your dress - let me see.

     Sethe makes a tremendous effort just to turn to her side as
     Amy undoes her dress;

                         AMY
               Lord, I ain't never seen a poorer excuse
               for a-

     Amy sees Sethe's back and, for a moment, is speechless. Then:

                         AMY
               Jesus...It's a tree Lu..A chokecherry
               tree. I had me some whippings but I don't
               remember nothing like this. Glad I ain't
               you.. what God have in mind I wonder.
               ...You thank your Maker I come along.
               Spiderwebs all I can do for you. What's
               in here ain't enough. I'll look
               outside...Maybe I ought to break them
               blossoms open and let the pus run..
                    (rises)
                    (smiles)
               That you ain't dead yet Lu's a miracle.
               Make you a bet..You make it through the
               night, you make it all the way...

     INT. LEAN-TO - NIGHT.

     To Sethe's amazement, Amy begins to massage her feet and legs
     the pain of which causes Sethe to cry.

                         AMY
               It's gonna hurt now..Anything dead coming
               back to life hurts. Stop wiggling, girl.
                    (sings)
               "WHEN THE BUSY DAY IS DONE AND MY WEARY
               LITTLE ONE ROCKETH TO AND FRO; WHEN THE
               NIGHT WINDS SOFTLY BLOW AND CRICKETS
               CHIRP AGAIN; WHERE'PON THE HAUNTED GREEN
               FAIRIES DANCE AROUND THEIR QUEEN THEN
               FROM YONDER MISTY SKIES COMETH LADY
               BUTTON EYES..."
                    (talks)
               Don't up and die on me in the night, you
               hear me Lu? I don't want to see your ugly
               face hankering over me. If you do die,
               just go on off somewhere where I can't
               see you, hear?

                         SETHE
               I'll do what I can, miss.

     Amy continues singing.....

     EXT. PATH LEADING TO RIVER - DAY.

     Sethe is trying to walk, holding on to Amy at first, then a
     tree.

                         AMY
               Cause of me, you up and walking. See,
               Jesus - Lu made it through..I'm good at
               sick things, ain't I?

                         SETHE
               Yeah, you good...

                         AMY
               What's that all over your dress?

                         SETHE
               Milk..Got to get my milk to my baby girl.

                         AMY
               You got another baby waiting for you?

                         SETHE
                    (stops and touches belly)
               I think this one is dead.

     Amy doesn't know what to say, so she says:

                         AMY
               You hungry?

     Sethe keeps trying to walk;

                         SETHE
               I ain't nothing but in a hurry, miss. Got
               to meet someone...help bring me and my
               milk to my baby girl...

                         AMY
               You want shoes?

                         SETHE
               Say what?

                         AMY
               I figured how...

                                                            CUT TO:

     Amy cutting two pieces form Sethe shawl then filling them
     with leaves and tying them over her feet -

                                                            CUT TO:

     EXT. RIVERBANK - DAY.

     Sethe and Amy walk towards the river when then see:

     A SMALL, ABANDONED ROWBOAT with oars.

                         AMY
               Jesus looking at you, girl!

     Sethe can't believe her eyes. She walks right into the water
     when suddenly, her own water breaks and her labor begins...
     She doubles up in pain;

                         AMY
               What you doing that for!? Ain't you got a
               brain in your head? Stop that right now!
               I said stop it, Lu. You the dumbest thing
               on this here earth, LU!..LU!

     Sethe, on her knees, crawls into the boat and props her feet
     up. Water leaks in wherever it can, rising up as high as her
     waist. Amy takes her position to assist.

                         AMY
               Oh Jesus, I'm awful sorry 'bout the
               braggin...I need you here now..Come on
               Jesus...don't be getting lost on me now.

     Sethe screams in agony as the child pushes through. Amy curses;

                         AMY
               Damn daddies never around 'cept for the
               fun part. Biggest joke God made on woman
               was giving men the planters 'stead of the
               soil...!! PUSH!

                         SETHE
                    (gasping)
               PULL!!

     Amy's strong hands pull Denver's head out and up, to meet
     Sethe's eyes. Sethe cannot believe this creature made it
     through..Amy rinses it with water then, wrapping it in her
     skirt, holds it up to Sethe..

                         AMY
               My Lord...She's never gonna know who I
               am. You gonna tell her? Who brought her
               into this world. You better tell her, you
               hear! You say MISS AMY DENVER. Of Boston.

                         SETHE
               That's pretty. Denver. Real pretty.

     EXT. BANKS OF THE OHIO RIVER - DAY.

     Sethe awakens, mud-caked, on the banks of the river. Her baby
     girl crying beside her. Amy is gone. She rises, painfully,
     picks up her child and continues on her way.

                                                            CUT TO:

     MONTAGE - MORE DAYS AND NIGHTS OF SETHE, NOW WITHOUT AMY - A
     NEW BABY STRAPPED TO HER BODY - MAKING HER AWAY ALONG THE
     OHIO RIVER...THROUGH HOT SUNNY DAYS AND RAINY NIGHTS WITHOUT 
     PROTECTION...SEARCHING FOR FOOD AND SHELTER...

     FINAL IMAGE IS:

     EXT. RIVER BANK - OAK TREE - NIGHT.

     A thunderstorm cracks across the sky and floods the river.

     Sethe is sitting beneath the oak - the rain soaking her as
     she breast feeds her baby. She cries out loud - but her sobs
     and tears are lost in the rain and thunder.

     EXT. RIVERBANK - LATER THAT DAY.

     Sethe walks downriver with Denver tied to her chest. She
     stops when she sees:

     A FLATBED gliding down river. She can't make out if they're
     white people or not, so she hides behind a tree until it
     passes;

     Waiting behind the tree, we see that Sethe is sweating a
     fever. But Denver seems to be doing fine.

     She sees the flatbed pass her and continues on her way. She
     sees;

     THREE COLORED PEOPLE - AN OLDER MAN and two boys - fishing.

     She approaches cautiously.

     One of the boys is the first to see her. Sethe's bloody and
     torn clothes and her feverish face make her quite a sight to
     the young boy. He taps the Old Man on the shoulder and
     motions for him to turn around.

     The Old Man takes in Sethe and instantly knows where she's
     been and why she's there.

                         STAMP PAID
               Headin cross?

                         SETHE
               Yes sir.

                         STAMP PAID
               Anybody know you coming?

                         SETHE
               Yes sir. My mother-in-law over in...

     Stamp Paid raises his hand to stop her. He looks around to
     see that no one else is in sight, then motions for her to sit
     on a rock. As she does, he gets a water jug and hands it to
     her - she drinks like a madman in the desert. The Boys watch
     in fascination. Stamp Paid turns to one of them and says:

                         STAMP PAID
               Take off that coat?

                         BOY
               Why?

                         STAMP PAID
               You heard me?

     The Boy slips out of his jacket, complaining.

                         BOY
               What am I gonna wear?

                         STAMP PAID
               You want it back...

     He unties the baby from Sethe and wraps it in the coat.

                         STAMP PAID
               ..then you go head and take it off this
               baby. And if you can do that, then go
               'way somewhere and don't come back.

     EXT. RIVER - DAY.

     On a flatbed, Stamp Paid crosses the river with Sethe, her
     baby and the two boys.

     EXT. OPPOSITE RIVER BANK - DAY.

     Stamp Paid helps Sethe walk up a very steep bank while the
     Boy without a jacket, carries the baby who wears it.

     INT. BRUSH-COVERED HUTCH - DAY.

     Stamp Paid leads Sethe and the others into the hutch.

                         STAMP PAID
               Wait here. Somebody be here directly.
               Don't move. They'll find you.

                         SETHE
               Thank you. What's your name - so I can
               remember you right.

                         STAMP PAID
               Name's Stamp. Stamp Paid. Watch out for
               that baby, you hear?

     She nods as he and the boys exit.

                                                   LAP DISSOLVE:

     LATER - SAME LOCATION:

     Sethe is asleep with the baby when ELLA enters the hutch;

                         ELLLA
               Saw the sign a while ago but I couldn't
               get here no quicker.

                         SETHE
               What sign?

                         ELLA
               Stamp always leave the old sty open when
               there's a crossing. Knots a white rag on
               the post if it's a child too.
                    (kneels)
               My name's Ella..Where you headed?

     Ella empties a sack with a wool blanket, cotton cloth, two
     baked sweet potatoes and a pair of men's shoes.

                         SETHE
               My mother-in-law's. Name's Baby Suggs. She
               got my other three children I sent ahead.

                         ELLA
               When was this one born?

                         SETHE
               Yesterday. I hope she makes it.

                         ELLA
               Hard to say.
                    (gives her men's shoes)
               Let's try to get these on your feet.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - NIGHT.

     Baby Suggs rises off the bench on the porch when she sees
     Sethe coming up the walk. She runs to her and embraces Sethe
     and the baby, tears in her eyes.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Oh my Lord...My sweet Lord thank you.

     Baby Suggs welcomes Sethe into the house, kissing her hard on
     the lips....Sethe can't believe she's in her arms.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Where's Halle?

     Sethe looks at her with confusion and exhaustion.

                         SETHE
               He wasn't there.

     A flash of fear is quickly transformed into pragmatism.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Well, he be along presently, I'm sure.

                         SETHE
               Where are the children?

                         BABY SUGGS
               Not now. You too ugly looking to wake 'em
               up in the night. First we get you well..

     INT. KEEPING ROOM - NIGHT.

     Baby Suggs bathes Sethe - first her face, her body...hands,
     arms, legs...

     When she gets to her unrecognizable feet, she touches them.

                         BABY SUGGS
               You feel this?

                         SETHE
               Feel what?

                         BABY SUGGS
               Nothing..

     Baby Suggs notices roses of blood on Sethe's back...She looks
     and covers her mouth when she sees the remnants of the whipping.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Girl...

     INT. KEEPING ROOM - LATER THAT DAY.

     Baby Suggs with two other grown women attend to Sethe's back -
     greasing it and pinning double thicknesses of cloth to the
     inside of a newly stitched dress...

     INT. KEEPING ROOM - STILL LATER THAT DAY.

     Sethe, sitting in bed with her new dress and her wounds
     dressed waits for her children.

     Baby Suggs opens the door and the boys are ushered in. Sethe
     welcomes them to her arms...They run to her, jumping on the
     bed. The startle causes some pain but Sethe doesn't care.

     The Little Girl (Beloved) is crawling and ushered toward her
     mama.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Already crawling - ain't that somethin?
               ..Come on, baby girl..right this
               way..Mama's waiting..

     Sethe picks her up and the tears flow. She can't stop kissing
     them - their necks, their heads, their hands...The Boys
     inspect her strange looking feet and ask;

                         HOWARD
               Pappie come?

                         SETHE
               Soon.

     Baby Suggs seems doubtful but appreciates the lie for the
     children.

                         BABY SUGGS
               All right boys - mama's home now, you be
               seeing her all the time..Go downstairs
               and get your supper...Go on...

     Sethe hugs and kisses them as if for the last time - as if
     she still doesn't believe she can just get out of bed, walk
     downstairs and be with them. The Boys leave as Sethe cradles
     the Little Girl.

     Sethe anxiously undoes her dress and carefully guides her
     breast to the Little Girl. She winces with pain and smiles -
     she got her milk to her baby girl.

     Baby Suggs gathers the rags Sethe wore when she first arrived.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Nothing worth saving here.

                         SETHE
               Oh wait..Look and see if there's
               something knotted up in the petticoat.
               Wedding present. From Mrs. Garner.

     Baby Suggs finds TWO CRYSTAL EARRINGS.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Be nice if there was a groom to go with
               it. What do you think happened to him?

                         SETHE
               I don't know. He wasn't where he said to
               meet him at. I had to get out. I had to.
               He'll make it. if I made it, Halle sure
               can.

                         BABY SUGGS
                    (skeptical)
               Well put these on - maybe they'll light
               his way.

     As Sethe takes the earrings, the Little Baby Girl reaches for
     them.

     Through her eyes, we see them sparkle and shine - like
     diamonds.

     Baby Suggs hands gently massage Sethe's neck as she says;

                         BABY SUGGS
               Whatever happens now...God lead you home.
               So now lay'em down Sethe...Sword and
               shield..Don't study war no more. Lay all
               that mess down. Sword and shield...

     Sethe surrenders herself to Baby Suggs firm, safe hands -
     letting go of the "diamonds", one of which lands in the hands
     of the Little Girl...who plays with them in fascination...

     END OF MEMORY.

                                                       CUT BACK TO:

     PRESENT DAY;

     EXT. A CLEARING IN THE WOODS - DAY

     Sethe is remembering these last images, she eases her own
     hand up to her neck - rubbing herself the way Baby Suggs did.
     She realizes how much she misses her...and wonder who can
     touch her now and help her "lay it all down". And then, quite 
     suddenly;

     AN IMAGE FLASHES ACROSS HER MIND;

     - PAUL GENTLY EASING HIS HANDS AROUND SETHE FROM
     BEHIND...TENDERLY KISSING SETHE'S BACK

     Paul...There is Paul. Sethe realizes, as IMAGES FLASH ACROSS
     HER MIND'S EYE:

     - PAUL SITTING ON THE PORCH THE FIRST DAY HE ARRIVED.

     - PAUL BATTLING THE BABY GHOST.

     - PAUL SINGING AS HE FIXES THE KITCHEN TABLE.

     - SETHE WRAPPED IN PAUL'S BIG ARMS AS THEY LAY IN BED.

     Sethe rises from the ground, as if with a new realization.
     She begins to walk out of the clearing and into the woods,
     her pace increasing with each image....

     EXT. WOODS - DAY.

     Sethe walks through the woods, passing Beloved unawares - who
     has fallen asleep by a tree. Beloved is awakened as Sethe
     walks by, and gets to her feet to follow.

     Further on, Sethe passes a sleeping Denver, who also awakens
     upon hearing the footsteps of her mother, followed by
     Beloved. Sethe walks on, unaware of them following her.

     EXT. FIELD OF 124 BLUESTONE - DAY.

     Wide angle of Sethe walking well ahead of Beloved and Denver.

     Sethe is walking with great purpose and energy.

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - DAY.

     Sethe enters and runs through the house to the kitchen;

                         SETHE
               Paul? Paul, you home?...

     Paul sits in a tub under the white staircase. He smiles.

     Sethe is relieved...grateful to find him there, for her.

                         PAUL
               Where else would I be on a Sunday off?

     Sethe smiles, almost in tears.

                         PAUL
               Why don't you come on in here?

                         SETHE
               Paul D. What if the girls came in?

                         PAUL
               I don't hear nobody.

                         SETHE
               I have to cook.

     Paul D. stands up in the tub and holds Sethe against his wet,
     naked body.

                         PAUL
               What you gonna cook?

                         SETHE
                    (loving his body and his 
                    attention)
               I thought I'd make some snap beans.

                         PAUL
               Oh yeah.

                         SETHE
               Fry up a little corn?

                         PAUL
               Yeah.

     He kisses her - and that's exactly what she wanted.

                         SETHE
               Oh Paul...

                         PAUL
               I'm right here baby.

                         SETHE
               Thank you Lord.

     Camera slowly moves out of the kitchen as Sethe and Paul
     begin to make love, revealing;

     Beloved watching from the doorway, unknown to Sethe or Paul.
     She is disgusted, envious...and runs out..

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - DAY.

     Beloved runs out of the house and heads back for the woods.
     She passes Denver as if she weren't there.

     EXT. STREAM IN THE WOODS - DAY.

     Beloved reaches the stream and steps in. She begins to
     violently hit the water around her, then begins hitting her
     own face and head, clawing at it as if to escape from the
     boundaries of flesh. Suddenly she submerges herself
     underwater and holds herself there, as if to drown herself...

     She bursts out of the water, gasping for air...Slowly, her
     rage subsides, replaced with a calm, ruthless understanding

     EXT. THE FIELD OF 124 BLUESTONE RD.- DAY.

     Beloved is walking back toward the house. She stops.

     She looks back at the house to the kitchen window - knowing
     Paul and Sethe are in there. She approaches the kitchen
     window and looks in.

     POV - Sethe is drying off Paul's body and rebuttoning her
     dress.

     Camera moves slowly into a C.U. of Beloved, this time her
     focus is on Paul.

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - EVENING.

     The inhabitants eat dinner in silence.

     Denver awaits a look from Beloved. As Beloved passes her a
     bowl of peas with a smile, Denver is satisfied.

     Beloved then turns to Paul, offering him the bowl.

                         BELOVED
               You have brothers or sisters?

     Caught off guard, Paul looks to Sethe - whose expression asks
     him to be nice.

                         PAUL
               We don't talk about that.

     Beat.

                         BELOVED
               Sethe told us you been walking for
               eighteen years. Where you been all that
               time?

     Paul is about to get mad when he looks to Sethe again, reels
     it back in and answers curtly, but politely;

                         PAUL
               Lots of places. I don't remember them
               all. Don't remember much about anything.

                         BELOVED
               You be surprised what you start
               remembering once you start talking.

     Hearing his own words echoed back to him, annoys him.

                         PAUL
               Well not me. What's gone is gone. No good
               come from bringing it back.

     Pause. Paul focuses on his dinner, suddenly ill at ease. He
     can't help looking, covertly, at Beloved and finds Beloved
     staring right back at him...It makes him shiver.

     INT. SETHE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT.

     Sethe is asleep.

     Paul is restless - tossing and turning as we Intercut;

     Dream Images flashing across his mind...

     - RAIN POURING DOWN A TRENCH. A MUDDY POOL FORMING AROUND A
     BLACK MAN'S FEET.

     - IRON CHAINS FED INTO METAL ANKLE CUFFS.

     - PAUL D. ON HIS KNEES BEFORE A WHITE GUARD crotch.

                         WHITE GUARD (OS)
               YOU HUNGRY NIGGER?

     Paul awakens.

     INT. KITCHEN - DAWN.

     Sethe enters to find Paul asleep in the rocker by the stove.
     She stirs him.

                         SETHE
               Paul?..Paul?

                         PAUL
                    (waking up)
               Mmmm. What?...

                         SETHE
               I called you two or three times but I
               gave up round midnight. I thought maybe
               you went out somewhere.

                         PAUL
               Damn. I'm sorry honey...

                         SETHE
               I'll make some breakfast - you get
               yourself washed up.

     Sethe begins to make breakfast as Beloved enters the kitchen
     and sees Paul has slept in the rocker. She looks at him with
     a smile, as if she knows more than she's letting on. Paul
     registers the look.

     INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT.

     Paul is asleep in the rocker...He is restless...HE DREAMS:

     EXT. A ROAD IN VIRGINIA - DAY.

     Paul is chained by the ankles to forty-five other men. He
     hands are shackled. In his mouth, an iron bit...

     The men are being led by WHITE GUARDS with rifles.

     Camera follows them under a burning sun as they approach;

     A TRENCH. One thousand feet long. Five feet deep. Five feet
     wide.

     Camera tilts down to reveal, within the trench;

     WOODEN BOXES, with scrap limber roofs and a door of bars
     fitted on them like a cage that opens up to a wall of red
     dirt stretching two feet above the top of the bars themselves.

     INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT.

     Paul awakens...his face and body drenched in sweat.

     EXT. FIELD BETWEEN 124 AND THE STOREROOM - NIGHT.

     Paul D. walks across the field with a thin blanket over his 
     nightclothes - walking toward the storeroom.

     In the window of her bedroom, Sethe watches him - sensing he
     is moving further and further away from her.

     In the window of Denver's room, Beloved watches Paul as well -
     with a pleased expression.

                                                            CUT TO:

     PAUL'S MEMORIES;

     EXT. A FIELD IN GEORGIA - DAY.

     A RIFLE SHOT. A WHITE GUARD SHOUTS;

                         WHITE GUARD
               Hiiiiiii!

     EXT. TRENCH - DAY.

     Three white Men walk along the trench unlocking the cage
     doors one by one...

     One by one, the Black men emerge and stand in a line in the
     trench.

     When all are assembled, A SECOND RIFLE SHOT signals them to
     climb out of the trench to the ground above.

     Waiting for them above the trench, is one thousand feet of
     chain. Each Black Man bends over and waits as the First Man
     on line threads the chain through his leg iron, passing it to
     the second and so on...

     As they connect each other to the chain, Camera Pans down the
     line of men and while not a word is spoken, WE HEAR THEIR 
     THOUGHTS...thoughts to themselves, or, if possible, through
     their eyes to the man beside them:

                         BLACK MAN ONE
                         (VO)
               I'm a make it..

                         BLACK MAN TWO
                         (VO)
               New man. New man...

                         BLACK MAN THREE
                         (VO)
               Steady now, steady.

                         BLACK MAN FOUR
                         (VO)
               Help me... this mornin's bad.

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

     THE BLACK MEN ARE CHAINED AND KNEELING IN A STRAIGHT LINE.

     The White Guards walk passed them. one White Guard stops in
     front of the man beside Paul D. He turns to him.

                         WHITE GUARD
               Breakfast? Want some breakfast nigger?

                         BLACK MAN ONE
               Yes sir.

                         WHITE GUARD
               Hungry nigger?

                         BLACK MAN ONE
               Yes sir.

                         WHITE GUARD
               Here you go.

     The White Guard unzips his fly and undoes his pants and moves
     a step closer to the Black Man's mouth.

     Paul D. looks ahead, trembling...He vomits...The Guard steps
     away as another Guard steps in and hits Paul on the shoulder
     with a rifle..

     EXT. FIELD - DAY.

     The Black Men work...sledge hammers in hand...

     As they work, miraculously, THEY SING.."They sing about the
     women they knew, the children they had been...they sing of
     bosses and masters and misses...of mules and dogs and the 
     shamelessness of life...They sing of sisters long gone. They
     sing love songs to Death."

     INT. TRENCH - NIGHT.

     A torrential downpour. The men in the wooden cages watch the
     rain filling the trench, corroding the red dirt wall around
     them.

     Bugs and human debris swirl around their legs and feet. Mud
     covering them through the cracks of the scrap lumber roof.

     Some finds rest. other's minds are long gone.

     Camera finds Paul...HE IS SCREAMING. But there is no sound
     coming from his mouth. Tears flow down his face, but when he
     touches them, he realizes;

     They are tears of mud. He looks up and the wooden planked
     roof is breaking under the power of the rain..He looks down
     and the water is up to his thighs.

     Suddenly, the chain linking his feet is pulled and he is
     knocked down..He gets up, searches through the mud for the
     chain and notices it's slack..He pulls as well....

     One by one the men in the boxes realize the chain's end is
     being undone by the rain, as camera tracks down towards the
     last box to the dirt wall, into which the chain has been
     locked...It is giving way within the muddy wall.

     THE MEN BREAK THROUGH THE ROTTED WOOD ROOFS TO FREEDOM...

     WIDE ANGLE;

     AS THE MEN CLIMB OUT OF THE MUDDY COFFINS, GRASPING FOR A
     HOLD, CRAWLING WITH EVERY MUSCLE OF THEIR BODIES - TO GET OUT
     OF THE TRENCH before mud and water drown them....

     Paul climbs with the will of ten men, with every ounce of
     strength he has left...

     END of MEMORY.

                                                       CUT BACK TO:

     INT. COLD ROOM - A WINTER NIGHT.

     Paul D. is wide awake. The memories won't let him sleep.

     Winter has arrived and the night is cold. He lies underneath
     a thin blanket in yet another sleeping place, even further
     from the house. He adds newspapers under and around his body
     to stay warm.

     He looks as if he has given up on sleeping altogether. He
     hears the door to the cold room open. But he does not turn to
     look.

                         PAUL
               What do you want in here?

     Beloved enters the cold room.

                         BELOVED
               I want you to touch me on the inside part
               and call me my name.

     She hoists up her skirt and turns her head away.. Paul stares
     at a silver lard can so as not to look.

                         PAUL
               When good people take you in and treat
               you good, you ought to try to be good
               back. You don't....Sethe loves you. Much
               as her own daughter. You know that.

                         BELOVED
                    (drops her skirt)
               She don't love me like I love her. I
               don't love nobody but her.

                         PAUL
               Then what you come in here for?

                         BELOVED
               I want you to touch me on the inside
               part.

                         PAUL
               Ever since you come here - feel like I
               got a new devil to face.

                         BELOVED
               You have to touch me. On the inside part.
               And you have to call me my name.

                         PAUL
               Ain't no chains on me no more. I don't
               have to do nothing...Now, go back in that
               house and go to bed.

     Paul continues to stare at the lard can - like Lot's wife,
     he's fearful what turning to look will do.

                         BELOVED
               Call me my name.

     Beloved moves closer, right up behind him, entwining her arms
     around his body, like chains..

                         PAUL
               No. Ain't no chains on me...

                         BELOVED
               Call me.

                         PAUL
               ...Ain't no chains on me...

                         BELOVED
               I'll go if you say it.

     Tears well up in his eyes. Paul can feel her warmth. He
     surrenders.

                         PAUL
               Beloved.

     Beloved presses her body against his. He turns and grabs her,
     kissing her with a passion bordering on hatred.

     EXT. COLD HOUSE - NIGHT.

     Denver sits outside the cold house - and listens to the
     sounds of lovemaking. And cries.

     INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT.

     Sethe, Denver, Paul and Beloved eat dinner...in silence.

     INT. COLD HOUSE - ANOTHER NIGHT.

     Beloved is wrapping her body with a blanket as Paul lies on
     his bed of newspapers - their lovemaking finished. Beloved
     gives him a final look - no tenderness or affection or even 
     friendliness. Just a cold look, void of respect or even
     attraction.

     She exits the cold house, leaving Paul alone. He is on the
     verge of tears.

     INT. SETHE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT.

     Paul stands above the sleeping Sethe - his guilt driving him
     mad. He wants to touch her, to wake her, to ask for
     forgiveness and help. But he can not and buries his head in
     his hands.

     EXT. SAWYER RESTAURANT - LATE AFTERNOON.

     Paul waits outside in the cold, cupping his hands and
     breathing inside to keep them warm. He is rehearsing:

                         PAUL
               Look here Sethe..You ain't gonna like
               what I got to say but I got to say
               it...See, it's not the..a man
               can't...what I mean is, it ain't really
               me..see, it ain't weakness, the kind of
               weakness I can fight, that girl is doing
               it. I know you think I never liked her
               nohow, still don't, but she is doing it
               to me anyway. Fixing me, Sethe, she's
               fixed me and I can't break it...

     Sethe appears, exiting the back door of the restaurant with a
     scrap pan in the crook of her arm. To her surprise. she finds
     Paul waiting for her.

                         SETHE
               Man, you make me feel like a young girl,
               you coming by to pick me up after work.
               Nobody ever did that before. Better watch
               out, I might start looking forward to it.

     She tosses the bones and skins from the scrap pan into a heap
     before four dogs who wait there as if by appointment.

                         SETHE
               Got to rinse this out.

     She enters the restaurant. Paul watches the dogs eat -
     watching them getting what they wanted. Sethe re-appears with
     a cloth over her head.

                         SETHE
               You get off early or what?

                         PAUL
               I took off early.

                         SETHE
               Anything the matter?

                         PAUL
               In a way of speaking.

                         SETHE
               Not cut back?

                         PAUL
               No, no. They got plenty of work with them
               pigs..More they can handle. I just..
                    (Sethe waits)
               You ain't gonna like what I'm about to
               say, Sethe.

     Sethe steps forward to hear what Paul came to tell her. There
     is no apprehension or anger in her look. Instead, a calm
     resolve - as if she were already able to accept whatever he
     had to tell her without it being anyone's fault. As if she
     already knew he cane to say he was leaving her. She smiles.

                         SETHE
               Well say it, Paul D...whether I like it
               or not.

     Paul knows what she's expecting. And when he sees her
     diminished expectation, the melancholy without blame in her
     eyes....he can't tell her about Beloved. He is filled with
     respect and admiration for her in that moment. Something pops
     into his head and out of his mouth that wasn't planned;

                         PAUL
               I want you pregnant, Sethe. Would you do
               that for me?

     Sethe breaks up with laughter. Paul joins in.

                         SETHE
               You came by here to ask me that!? You are
               one crazy-headed man. You right; I don't
               like it!...Don't you think I'm a little
               too old to start that all over again?

     She slips her fingers into his.

                         PAUL
               Think about it.

     Paul lifts them, putting the tips of her fingers on his
     cheek. He smiles broadly;

     She laughs, shaking her head. A burden transformed into a
     gift, so suddenly. They begin walking.

     Sethe and Paul catch and snatch each other's fingers,
     stealing quick pats on the behind, joyfully. Paul throws his
     arm around Sethe and squeezes. She lets her head touch his
     chest. They stop and stay that way for a moment - not
     breathing. Sethe closes her eyes. Paul looks up to the trees
     lining the roadside like defending arms against attack.
     Softly, suddenly, it begins to snow. Sethe opens her eyes:

                         SETHE
               Mercy.

     EXT. BLUESTONE ROAD - EARLY EVENING.

     On the road towards 124, Paul and Sethe run hand in hand.
     Snow falling all around them.

                         SETHE
               I been on my feet all day, Paul D.

                         PAUL
               Where I been? Sitting down!?

                         SETHE
               Stop! I don't have the legs for this!

     They slow to a walk.

                         PAUL
               Then give'em to me.

     Before she can stop him, Paul hoists Sethe up over his
     shoulders.

                         SETHE
               You need some babies..somebody to play
               with in the snow.

                         PAUL
               I sure would like to give it a try. Need
               a willing partner though.

                         SETHE
               I'll say..Very, very willing.

     They continue laughing and moving down Bluestone Road when
     they are jolted by the appearance of;

     Beloved. Waiting in her usual place for Sethe. Her hands
     wrapped in a long shawl, waiting to be given to Sethe. Her
     eyes only on Sethe, not even acknowledging Paul's presence.

     Sethe gets herself down from Paul.

                         SETHE
               Crazy girl. You out here with nothing on.

     She takes the shawl from Beloved's hands and wraps it around
     her shoulders.

                         SETHE
               You got to learn more sense than that.

     She walks on ahead with Beloved. Paul, suddenly icy cold and
     filled with anger, walks behind.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - NIGHT.

     Denver waits on the porch. Sethe and Beloved walk by her.

                         SETHE
               Evening, girl.

     Sethe and Beloved enter the house. As Paul approaches, he
     stops before Denver. Their eyes meet. Paul stares at her, as
     if to ask - "Who's ally are you?"...Denver, unnerved by his
     look, runs into the house. Paul waits on the porch until, a
     moment later, Sethe re-appears.

                         SETHE
               Now I know you not sleeping out there
               tonight, are you Paul D.?
                    (Paul doesn't reply)
               You come upstairs tonight. Where you
               belong...and stay there.

     As if healed by her strength, Paul's face melts into relief.

     INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT.

     Denver is cleaning the dishes. Beloved sits like an angry,
     upset five year old with her fingers in her mouth.

                         BELOVED
               She likes him here...
                    (to Denver)
               Make him go away.

                         DENVER
               She'd be mad if he leaves.

     Beloved didn't consider that. Her fingers move violently in
     her mouth as if something were bothering her...until,
     finally, she pulls out a back tooth...her lips slightly
     bloody.

                         DENVER
               OOoo..didn't that hurt you?

                         BELOVED
               It's like my dreams...I get two dreams,
               see..One, I exploding...BUUOOGGG...The
               other I being swallowed. Sometimes it's
               hard to keep my head on my neck, or these
               legs connected to my hips...One day I
               think I might wake up and I'll be in
               pieces..
                    (Looks at tooth)
               Maybe it's starting.

                         DENVER
                    (cleans Beloved's mouth)
               Oh stop. It's just a tooth. Probably
               wisdom. Does it hurt?

                         BELOVED
               Yes.

                         DENVER
               Then why don't you cry?

                         BELOVED
               What?

                         DENVER
               If it hurts, why don't you cry?

     Beloved, eases herself into Denver's arms, and cries...

     EXT. WINDOW OF 124 - NIGHT.

     We see Sethe and Paul united as the snow begins to pile up.

     INT. SETHE'S BEDROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT.

     Sethe lies with Paul, in the dark, her face looking up to the
     ceiling. Paul is asleep.

     On her face are reservations. She rises, crossing to the
     window to look out.

     At the same time, Beloved appears silently at the doorway of
     the room, looking at Sethe - hurt and sad. She walks by
     without Sethe noticing her.

     Sethe takes a breath at the window, watching the snow fall.
     Then, as she moves back to the bed,...

     Camera moves ahead of her to:

     A DIFFERENT BED IN WHICH HALLE IS TRYING TO FALL ASLEEP. A
     YOUNGER SETHE CRAWLS IN BESIDE HIM.

     WE ARE IN MEMORY;

     INT. HALLE & SETHE'S SWEET HOME LIVING QUARTERS - NIGHT.

     Sethe, Halle and the baby girl (Beloved) sleep together by
     the wall. The boys sleep together under a window.  Halle is
     trying to sleep but Sethe is awake...

                         SETHE
               What you think about Schoolteacher?

                         HALLE
               He white, ain't he?

                         SETHE
               I mean, is he different like Mr. Garner
               was?

                         HALLE
               How was he different?

                         SETHE
               Well, he and Mrs. Garner - they ain't
               like other whites I seen before.
               Mr. Garner always spoke soft, for one.
               Mrs. Garner too.

                         HALLE
               Don't matter. Loud or soft, what they
               say is the same.

                         SETHE
               Mr. Garner let you buy out your mother.
               Found that house for her to live in from
               those friends of his in Ohio...

                         HALLE
               Yep. He did.

                         SETHE
               Well?

                         HALLE
               If he hadn't, she would have dropped in
               his cooking stove.

                         SETHE
               Still, he did it. Let you work off her
               fee, lending yourself out on Sundays. He
               could of said no. He didn't tell you no.

                         HALLE
               No, he didn't tell me no. She worked here
               ten years. If she worked another ten, ya
               think she would have made it? I pay him
               for her last years and in return he got
               you, me and three more coming..

                         SETHE
               He always treated you fair. Called you
               all men - said he never wanted niggers on
               his farm.

                         HALLE
               That's just it. We was men because he
               said so. We was men because we was on his
               land. You think he be calling us men if
               we ever walked off his land?

                         SETHE
               When we walk, don't matter what they call
               you. You'll be free.

                         HALLE
               Sethe..baby girl, that ain't gonna
               happen. Not by walking, anyway.

                         SETHE
               What you mean?

                         HALLE
               Schoolteacher in there told me to quit
               lending myself out.

     That phrase "..while the boys is small"..causes Sethe to look
     at her sleeping boys..

                         SETHE
               But..then..how you gonna buy yourself
               out? Or them?
                    (points to the children)
               Or me?

     Halle raises himself up to face her, to give her the final blow.

                         HALLE
               Ain't gonna be no buying us out, like I
               did with mama. Or them. As far as
               Schoolteacher concerned, ain't no other
               life ahead for any of us but this one.

     Sethe understands, looks to her sleeping children and is
     frightened.

                         SETHE
               Halle....what we going to do?

                         HALLE
                    (whispers)
               Sixo, ya know he creeps out at night..he
               says the way they took my ma'am..he says
               freedom is that way. He and Paul A. got a
               plan.  They heard of this man, what they
               call an underground agent...if we do what
               he says, don't need no buy out.

                         SETHE
               You mean...? But what if we caught?
               What'd they do to us? To the children?

                         HALLE
               Same thing they're doing now, honey -
               only quicker.

     EXT. SWEET HOME - A DAY REMEMBERED.

     Sethe carries a big basket of berries as young Howard and
     Bulgar run ahead of her. She turns in the opposite direction
     and walks along the side of the house to the back entrance of
     the kitchen.

     She passes the open window of the classroom and hears;

                         SCHOOLTEACHER
                         (OS)
               Which one are you doing?

                         BOY (OS)
               Sethe?

     Hearing her name, Sethe stops and peeks through the window.

     Schoolteacher is standing over the student, who has been
     writing in a notebook. Schoolteacher licks his finger and
     thumbs a couple of pages before saying;

                         SCHOOLTEACHER
               No, no. That's not the way. I told you to
               put her human characteristics on the
               left; her animal ones on the right. And
               don't forget to line them up.

     Although Sethe doesn't entirely understand, something about
     the words disturb her. She looks to her children.

     INT. MRS. GARNER'S BEDROOM - A DAY REMEMBERED.

     Mrs. Garner is sick in bed with a goiter. Sethe enters with
     some soup.

                         MRS. GARNER
               I don't think I can swallow that.
               Too thick. I'm sure it's too thick.

                         SETHE
               Want me to loosen it up with a little
               water?

                         MRS. GARNER
               No. Take it away. Bring me some cool
               water, that's all.

                         SETHE
               Yes ma'am...

     Sethe helps her drink a glass of cold water.

                         MRS. GARNER
               Yes, you can have quite a few.
                    (drinks)
               Mmmm. Thank you Sethe. Now tell me, I
               know Halle's no trouble but the others,
               the Pauls and Sixo - how's my brother-in-
               law handling them? All right?

                         SETHE
               Yes Ma'am. Look like it.

                         MRS. GARNER
               They do what he tells them?

                         SETHE
               They don't need telling.

                         MRS. GARNER
               Good. That's a mercy. I know he's no Mr.
               Garner. But after he died, I had no else
               to turn to. I would've had to sell one.
               It wasn't even enough selling Paul F. And
               in my condition. I needed help. People
               said I shouldn't be alone here with
               nothing but Negroes. And he is a learned
               man being a schoolteacher...

     As Sethe fills Mrs. Garner's basin with fresh water, she
     looks out the window and sees:

     SCHOOLTEACHER outside with his students, we notice HE WEARS A
     VERY DISTINCTIVE HAT as Mrs. Garners description continues;

                         MRS. GARNER
               ...I know his ways might be a little more
               strict but as long as the men do as
               they're told I'm sure it'll be fine. All
               right, I'm through.. Talking makes me
               tired.

                         SETHE
               Yes ma'am.

     INT. BARN - A NIGHT REMEMBERED.

     Sethe lies beaten and raped, her clothes torn, her body
     aching and sweaty. She struggles to get to her feet and exit
     the barn.

     INT. HALLE AND SETHE'S LIVING QUARTERS - NIGHT.

     Sethe opens the door to find her children asleep. She is
     about to wake them when;

     She notices Mrs. Garner's light is on in her bedroom window.

     Sethe, blind with rage, decides there's one thing she must do
     before she takes her children to the meeting place.

     INT. MRS. GARNER'S BEDROOM - NIGHT.

     Mrs. Garner lies ailing through a sleepless night when her
     bedroom door opens. Sethe enters - her appearance tells all.

                         MRS. GARNER
               My God Sethe..what happened to you?

     EXT. SWEET HOME - NIGHT.

     Sethe carried her baby girl in one arm, her two boys by the
     hand with the other...They move as fast as they can.

     EXT. CORN FIELD - NIGHT.

     They arrive at the meeting place where A WOMAN crouching in
     the field is waiting.

                         WOMAN
               Hurry up. You're late.

                         SETHE
                    (hands her the children)
               Here!

                         HOWARD
               But ma'am...

                         SETHE
               Just go with her! Do what I tell ya!

     Sethe carefully hands her baby girl to the woman.

                         SETHE
               Put sugar water on that cloth for her to
               suck so she won't forget me til I come.

                         WOMAN
               Where you going?

                         SETHE
               Halle wasn't there. I gotta go back.

                         WOMAN
               You crazy..

                         SETHE
               Take em out. Now! I'll get there myself.
               I got her milk...I'll get there...Don't
               worry.

     She kisses her baby girl, a little too hard perhaps, waking
     her...along with the boys...

                         SETHE
               Go..Go! Now!

     Sethe disappears back into the corn field leaving the Woman
     holding the baby girl... as Bulgar cries out.

                         BULGAR
               Mama?

     EXT. CORN FIELD CLOSER TO SWEET HOME HOUSE - NIGHT.

     Sethe exits the corn field and heads for her living quarters
     when suddenly;

     THE FOUR BOYS appears from out of nowhere..two restraining
     her, one holding a horsewhip....

                         BOY WITH HORSEWHIP
               You nigger bastard..

     Sethe struggles and is about to scream out when she is
     slapped and muffled and dragged into the corn field to be
     beaten.....

     END OF MEMORY;

     INT. SETHE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT.

     Sethe awakens, sweating from having fallen asleep and
     reliving her past nightmare. She sits up and realizes where
     she is. She looks beside her and sees Paul asleep. She lays
     down, pressing her body against his so that there is no space
     between - enfolding her arms around him.

     EXT. PIG SLAUGHTERHOUSE - DAY.

     Pigs are crying in the chute as Paul, Stamp Paid and twenty
     other workers push and prod them towards the slaughterhouse.

     Although steeped in pig shit on a wintry day - his hands numb
     from the cold - Paul D. is in high spirits. HE SINGS as he
     works much to the amusement of his fellow co-workers.

                         CO-WORKER 1
               Hey - you like this work so much maybe
               you best get in the chute with the
               others. You ain't got much more sense
               than they do.

     The men laugh. Paul smiles and brushes it off.

                         PAUL
               Ain't just a job reason to sing. Other
               things a man's got to look forward to
               that a job just a way to spend your day
               til the good times arrive.

                         CO-WORKER 2
               Good times? Ain't no such day.

                         STAMP PAID
               Now, now...it's all a state a mind, right
               Paul D. If you can think it, it can
               happen.

                         PAUL
               More than that. When a man can make plans
               then a man can make good times happen.

                         CO-WORKER 1
               Oh the man's got plans! You saving up for
               a gold mine, boy.
                    (more laughter)

                         PAUL
               Better then gold, my friend. Me and my
               woman's planning on starting a family.

     Stamp Paid's face registers sudden concern.

                         PAUL
               New life. Born free, hear! Now if that
               don't define a good tine, I don't know
               what does.

                         CO-WORKER 2
               Nothing born free ever again.

                         PAUL
               What you talkin? Nobody owns us no more.
               Nobody gonna own my children neither.

                         CO-WORKER 2
               Children inherit what come before'em.
               Just cause you can't see no chains, don't
               mean they not there. We're not free men.
               We're somewhere between freedom and
               chains. And as long as the world is
               white, that's where we're stayin.

     The truth of this causes the men to be silent as they
     continue working. Stamp Paid looks at Paul, confused by what
     he should do.

     EXT. PIG SLAUGHTERHOUSE - LATER THAT DAY.

     The men are on break. Paul sits alone enjoying a lunch packed
     by Sethe...Stamp Paid approaches and sits beside him.

                         STAMP PAID
               May I?

                         PAUL
               Free country. No matter what anybody says.

                         STAMP PAID
               I like the way you think, boy. Good. Good
               to think that way. Friend of mine, Baby
               Suggs was her name...sort of became a
               preacher in these parts..that was her way
               of thinking too. When she was at her
               best, that is.

                         PAUL
               You knew Baby Suggs?

                         STAMP PAID
               Oh yes...You're not one of her Sweet Home
               men, now are you?

                         PAUL
               Yes sir...Me and my brothers and her son.

                         STAMP PAID
               Oh, I see now.

                         PAUL
               Sethe told me she died soft as cream.

                         STAMP PAID
               Well...maybe on the outside.

                         PAUL
               Why is that?

     Stamp Paid looks at him with sympathetic, sudden
     understanding.

                         STAMP PAID
               You don't know, son, do you? See I had to
               figure that out first.

                         PAUL
               Know what?

     Stamp Paid pulls out AN OLD NEWSPAPER CLIPPING from a bag he
     carries with him all the time. He hands it to Paul who looks
     to see:

     A DRAWING OF A YOUNG BLACK WOMAN beneath a HEADLINE; MURDER!
     RUNAWAY SLAVE KILLS CHILD....

                         PAUL
               Who is it?

                         STAMP PAID
               That there's a picture of Sethe.

                         PAUL
               Sethe?
                    (studies it)
               Nah, that ain't her mouth. I can see
               where you might think it around the eyes
               but that there ain't her mouth. Besides,
               why would some black woman's picture be
               in the paper?

                         STAMP PAID
               You don't read son, do you?
                    (Paul shakes head NO)
               You want me to read to you?

     Paul senses something terribly wrong...and doesn't know
     whether to say yes or no.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - EARLY EVENING.

     Sethe is sweeping the porch.

     Paul appears on the road. When he sees Sethe on the porch in
     the distance, he stops.

     Sethe sees him and smiles - but something about his slow
     approach to the house sends off an alarm within her.

     Paul makes his way to the porch. He stops before her.

                         SETHE
               Already fed the girls. You eat?
                    (he shakes NO)
               Want something?

     Paul doesn't answer. Instead, he steps up to her as he
     removes the clipping from his pocket and hands it to her.

     Sethe's heart stops beating for a moment - not having seen
     this image for many years. But she's survived worse than the
     telling so she faces him.

                         SETHE
               Best you come inside.

     She rises and enters the house. Paul follows.

     INT. KITCHEN - EARLY EVENING.

     Paul sits at the table. Sethe begins her story seated before
     him.

                         SETHE
               I don't have to tell you about Sweet
               Home. What it was. But maybe you don't
               know what it was like for me to get away
               from there.

     She looks for a response but expects none.

                         SETHE
               I did it. I got us all out. Without Halle
               too. Up til then it was the only thing I
               ever did on my own. Decided. And it came
               off right like it was supposed to..

     She rises and begins to move about the room, circling Paul
     as she tries to find a way to explain it all;

                         SETHE
               We was here. Each and every one of my
               babies and me too. I birthed them and I
               got 'em out and it wasn't no accident. I
               did that! I had help, of course, lots of
               that, but still it was me doing it; me
               saying, "Go on" and "Now!". Me having to
               look out. Me using my own head. But it
               was more than that. It was a kind of
               ...'thinking-about-myself' I never knew
               nothing about before. It felt good. Good
               and right. I was big, Paul, and deep and
               wide and when I stretched out my arms all
               my children could get in between. I was
               that wide. Look like I loved them more
               after I got them here. Or maybe I
               couldn't love'em proper in Sweet Home
               'cause they wasn't mine to love. But when
               I got here, when I jumped off that wagon -
               there wasn't nobody in the world I
               couldn't love if I wanted to....

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

     MEMORY... as SETHE NARRATES:

                         SETHE (VO)
               I had 28 days...28 good days of free
               life.....

     INT. SETHE'S ROOM AT 124 - A DAWN REMEMBERED.

     Sethe, out of habit, is awake before the sun has risen. She
     is fully dressed.

                         SETHE (VO)
               ...of getting up like I always did,
               getting dressed before the sun came out,
               and then realizing I had to decide myself
               what to do with the day...

     She sits on the bed, watching the sun rise.

     INT. THE CHILDREN'S ROOM - CONTINUOUS.

     Sethe watches her children sleeping, safely.

                         SETHE (VO)
               ...Days of watching my children sleep
               away the morning...And taking care of my
               baby like it was the most important thing
               I had to do...

     Denver is asleep in a bassinet. Sethe reaches in and picks
     her up. She sits by a window and breast feeds her as she hums
     A MELODY. (This is the same melody we heard Sethe humming in
     the beginning of the film).

     Sethe's melody carries itself over the following images;

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE ; WATER PUMP - DAY.

     Sethe is carrying a bucket of water to the house. She sees:

     Bulgar and Howard running and playing. Howard tackles his
     brother and starts tickling him. The two boys laugh hard.

     Sethe watches, a moment of fear across her face;

                         SETHE (VO)
               I'd hear my boys laughing a laugh I ain't
               never heard. And for a second I'd get
               scared - scared someone might hear them
               and get mad...

     Sethe realizes, placing down the bucket:

                         SETHE (VO)
               Then I remembered...and if they laughed
               that hard til it hurt, that would be the
               only hurt they had all day....

     Sethe sobs, uncontrollably.

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     Ella teaches Sethe a new stitch as she chatters on.

                         SETHE (VO)
               We had us days of company...

     EXT. FIELD - DAY.

     Another woman teaches Sethe the alphabet, as Sethe cradles
     Denver and the Little Girl (Beloved) crawls around her feet.

     INT. KITCHEN - DAY.

     Baby Suggs and Sethe cook with a kitchen full of men and
     women who have come for a visit.

                         SETHE (VO)
               ...of ease and real talk. Talks about the
               Fugitive Bill, Dred Scott or book
               learning...Talks as quiet or as stormy as
               we wanted...

     Two men get into an argument to the amusement of the women.

     EXT. CLEARING IN THE WOODS - DAY.

     As folks gather to hear Baby Suggs preach, she introduces a
     smiling, shy Sethe to each one.

                         SETHE (VO)
               ...And when everyone would gather to hear
               Baby Suggs, I saw something I ain't never
               seen before in my whole life...

     Alone for a moment, Sethe looks around at the crowd of faces;

     Sethe's Melody stops as Baby Suggs stands on her rock and
     calls to the crowd:

                         BABY SUGGS
               Let the children come!

     FROM OUT OF THE WOODS, CHILDREN RUN INTO THE CLEARING.

     Camera follows the joyous exodus to reveal:

     THE CLEARING IS FILLED WITH ADULTS the entire black
     community of the days when Sethe first arrived. The children
     run to their respective families;

                         BABY SUGGS
                    (with joy)
               Let your mother's hear you laugh!!

     The children, loving the game, laugh hard. The adults get a
     kick out of it.

     Sethe watches her boys and hides her laughter.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Let the grown men come!!

     OUT OF THE WOODS, A GROUP OF GROWN MEN COME INTO THE CLEARING.

                         BABY SUGGS
               LET YOUR WIVES AND YOUR CHILDREN SEE YOU
               DANCE!

     The men form a circle and dance as the crowd supports them
     with a clapping rhythm. A SONG arises from the women to
     accompany to dance....

                         BABY SUGGS
               Now...you women...I want you to cry. For
               the living. For the dead....Just cry.

     Camera follows those women who are not singing as one by one,
     they remember and weep...

     Sethe watches...and weeps.

                         SETHE
               ....Something in me knew Halle was never
               gonna knock on our door. He was never
               gonna see what I saw that day. I saw what
               men look like...and I saw mothers, for
               the first time.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     Stamp Paid walks up to the porch carrying a TWO BIG BASKETS
     OF BLACKBERRIES ... his body dirty, scratched and bleeding.

                         SETHE (VO)
               I think it was Stamp Paid who started it.
               He walked six miles to the riverbank,
               slid into a ravine, reached through blood
               drawing thorns, suffered mosquitoes,
               wasps and the meanest lady spiders in the
               State just to bring us those berries.

     He places the baskets on the porch in front of Baby Suggs,
     Sethe who is holding Denver..and the Little Girl (Beloved).

                         BABY SUGGS
                    (laughs)
               What a sight you are, Stamp.

                         STAMP PAID
               Worth it though. Just one bite of these
               berries and you feel down right anointed.

     He puts one into Denver's mouth.

                         SETHE
               She's too little for that, Stamp. Her
               bowels be soup.

                         BABY SUGGS
               It'll sickify her stomach..Now go wash up
               round back...crazy fool..

     Stamp exits.

                         SETHE
               It was real nice of him.

                         BABY SUGGS
               He's a good one, no doubt of that. I can
               get three, maybe four pies out of this.
               Seems a shame just for us though. I'm
               gonna invite Ella and John over...

                         SETHE
               How 'bout if I make a couple of chickens
               to back it up?

                         SETHE (VO)
               And that's how it began...

     INT. KITCHEN - DAY.

     Sethe and Baby Suggs and Ella and several other women cook.

                         SETHE (VO)
               ...Three pies became twelve...two hens
               became five turkeys...

     EXT.THE FIELD/124 BLUESTONE RD. - EVENING.

     Various images of people gathered enjoying food and
     drink...laughing and singing...

                         SETHE (VO)
               ...and Ella and John turned into almost
               ninety others...

     - Women serving up the food...

     - Older men sitting and talking as they eat...

     - Younger men playing with the children. Chasing them with
     sheets on their backs, scaring them into laughter..

     - A Man with a guitar playing a blues song and singing.

     While Sethe enjoys her free life and, most of all, her
     children - the boys running around her..Denver in her
     arms..Her Little Girl (Beloved) by her side.. Baby Sugg's
     visits with various guests, serving up the food...

                         SETHE (VO)
               ... Everybody ate so well and laughed so
               much...

     INTERCUT; Images of whispers exchanged between some of the
     women:

                         SETHE (VO)
               ...it made them angry...

     Women head to head with a remark or an eye of disapproval
     towards Baby Suggs as she continues cooking and feeding....

                         SETHE (VO)
               The pies, the turkeys...the bread pudding
               and shortbread..the one whole block of
               ice brought all the way from Cincinnati -
               it made 'em mad...Loaves and fishes were
               Jesus's powers...they did not belong to
               an ex-slave who never had a white boy
               beat her, who had her freedom bought, who
               rented a house from white folks that
               hated slavery worse than they hated
               slaves...It made'em furious - her
               thoughtless generosity and un-called for
               pride...She had over stepped...offended
               them by giving too much...and they left
               their disapproval there so's you could
               smell in the air the whole next day...

     EXT. THE FIELD/ 124 BLUESTONE RD. - THE FOLLOWING DAY.

     Baby Suggs works the field, not far from Stamp Paid...

                         SETHE (VO)
               Later on I wondered why no one warned
               us...why no one saw them coming and ran
               to 124 to tell us...

     She chops at the soil over the roots of the pepper plants.
     She stops - sensing something is wrong. She looks up at a
     clear blue sky...She hears the birds and the stream way down
     beyond the woods..

     She looks around and sees Bulgar, Howard and the Little Girl
     (Beloved) playing with loud voices by the side of the house.

     She sees Sethe squatted in the pole beans with Denver in a
     bushel basket beside her.

     The clok, clok of wood being chopped causes her to look over
     to Stamp Paid, helping out with the axe...

     She returns to her work...but something is deeply wrong.

     And then she hears it;

     THE SOUND OF HORSES and A HORSE DRAWN WAGON coming from the
     distance. (The same sound Sethe heard in her first memory of
     the sycamores earlier on)

     She rises up and looks;

     POV;

     EXT. BLUESTONE ROAD - DAY.

     Far in the distance, FOUR HORSEMEN ARE RIDING TOWARD THEM.
     ONE DRIVES A WAGON and IS WEARING A DISTINCTIVE HAT - IT IS 
     SCHOOLTEACHER.....

                                                       CUT BACK TO:

     EXT. THE FIELD OF 124 BLUESTONE - DAY.

     Sethe continues working until she notices peripherally that
     Baby Suggs is standing stock still, staring at something.

     Sethe rises and looks in the same direction;

                                                       CUT BACK TO:

     EXT. BLUESTONE ROAD - DAY.

     The Four Horsemen are closer...

                                                       CUT BACK TO:

     EXT. THE FIELD OF 125 BLUESTONE - DAY.

     Sethe's face freezes in terror as ...

     Stamp Paid, in between chops, looks up and sees the two
     women..then turns his face to see the men.

     BUT IT IS SETHE'S FACE WE CONCENTRATE ON - AS WE INTERCUT THE
     ONCOMING APPROACH OF THE FOUR HORSEMEN and HEAR HER WORDS:

                         SETHE (VO)
               ...There's a Look whitefolks get..a Look
               every Negro learns to recognize along
               with his ma'am's tit..That righteous Look
               that's like a flag going up the pole..the
               righteousness that announces the whip,
               the fist, the burning, the lie...long
               before it happens in the open...

     Over the above speech, we see in Sethe's expression a death
     of soul - an instantaneous loss of hope for possibilities of
     joy and life. And with it, an insane rage.

     Sethe grabs Denver out of the basket, then scrambles after
     the crawling Little Girl (Beloved), scooping her under her
     free arm...

                         SETHE
               Howard!...Bulgar!

     The tone of her voice cause the boys to freeze. She runs
     towards them, grabbing one by the hand and ordering the other
     to run in front of them. She moves and speaks with efficient
     clarity.

                         SETHE
               The shed!...Get in the shed!...Run!

     Baby Suggs and Stamp Paid watch helplessly -

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE -

     The Four Horsemen - Schoolteacher, his Nephew, a Slave
     Catcher and a Sheriff - arrive at the house and dismount,
     tying their horses to the front gate (which is no longer
     there).

     The Nephew scampers to the front of the house and peers in
     the window - he listens. Hearing nothing he motions for them
     to go round the side of the house.

     Camera follows them as it reveals Baby Suggs and Stamp Paid
     standing exactly where we left them...Except;

     They are both staring at the shed - out of which strange
     noises, thuds and the FRIGHTENED CRIES OF CHILDREN are heard....

     Two Black Boys and several Woman are coming up the road. The
     Slave Catcher motions with his rifle for them to stop - and
     they do.

     The men move towards the shed, meeting up with the Nephew as
     he runs past Baby Suggs and Stamp Paid...

     POV;

     Camera moves closer towards the shed, the sounds coning from
     within more audible now...

     INT. THE SHED -

     The Nephew opens the door. The Four Men enter....

     Howard and Bulgar are bleeding in the sawdust, unconscious -
     a bloody shovel lays near them.

     Sethe is holding a blood-soaked Little Girl (Beloved) to her
     chest with one hand...and Denver by the heels of the other.
     She is swinging Denver toward the wall planks, misses then
     tries again...

     When out of nowhere, Stamp Paid rushes by the horrified white
     men and GRABS DENVER OUT OF SETHE'S HAND before she can swing
     her a second time...

     Stillness.

     Schoolteacher looks at the carnage...a bloody saw lies at
     Sethe's feet, the weapon she used on her own child's throat.
     The Nephew is paralyzed...horrified.

                         NEPHEW
               What she go and do that for?...What she
               go and do that for?

     Baby Suggs walks in. Whatever amount of God's grace she could
     imagine and will into being, vanishes with one look into that
     shed.

                         SHERIFF
               You all better go on.
                    (to Schoolteacher)
               Nothing here to claim, I guess.
               Look like your business is over. Mine's
               started.

     Schoolteacher beats his hat against his thigh and spits in
     the shed before exiting, followed by the catcher and the
     nephew.

     The Sheriff speaks to Sethe.

                         SHERIFF
               I'll have to take you in. No trouble now.
               You've done enough to last you....

     Sethe doesn't move.

                         SHERIFF
               You come quiet, here, and I won't have to
               tie you up.

     Meanwhile, Baby Suggs notices who breathes and who does not
     and moves straight to the boys....

     Stamp Paid extends his arm to Sethe.

                         STAMP PAID
               Sethe. You take my arm and gimme yours.

     Sethe turns to him, the first time she's looked into anyone's
     eyes and sees Denver in his arms...A sound escapes from her
     throat as though she'd made a mistake.

                         SHERIFF
               I'm going out here and send for a wagon.

     He exits. Baby Suggs rubs the boys' hands, tries to raise
     their eyelids, spits on her dress and wipes away the blood as
     they slowly regain a dazed consciousness..She whispers;

                         BABY SUGGS
               I beg you pardon..I beg your pardon..

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. -

     Sethe, clutching the dead baby to her chest, is led out of
     the shed by Stamp Paid,

     Outside, a throng of black faces have gathered who stop
     murmuring the second they see her. Among them are Ella and
     Lady Jones. They are shocked and pained.

     Sethe is led past them to a waiting cart - in total silence.

     Baby Suggs, at the same time, is getting the boys up the
     porch into the house. When Denver cries in Stamp Paid's arms,
     she stops..lets the boys sit and runs towards the cart.

     Sethe is seated in the cart beside the Sheriff. Baby Suggs
     takes the crying Denver from Stamp Paid..She tells the
     Sheriff.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Excuse me..but the child needs
               nursin..needs the mother's milk..

                         SHERIFF
               Then she's best come too.

     Baby Suggs approaches Sethe who sees Denver crying and
     reaches for her without letting the baby go. Baby Suggs
     resists;

                         BABY SUGGS
               One at a time!...And you gotta clean
               yourself up!

     But Sethe only wants her living child. The two women struggle
     as Stamp Paid does what he can..Finally, Sethe wins and takes
     Denver with her free hand, undoes her dress and nurse's her
     with a bloody breast..

     Baby Suggs breaks inside. Breaks right in two, although from
     outwards appearances, she looks merely numbed by shock.

     A WHITE BOY makes his way through the crowd with a pair of
     shoes and hands them to her..

                         WHITE BOY
               Mama says Wednesday. She says you got to
               have them fixed by Wednesday.

     Baby Suggs looks at him not understanding..

                         WHITE BOY
               You hear, Baby? She says Wednesday.

                         BABY SUGGS
                    (taking the shoes)
               I beg your pardon..Lord, I beg your
               pardon..I sure do....

                                                            CUT TO:

     PRESENT DAY (END OF MEMORY) :

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - NIGHT.

     Paul D. sits at the kitchen table. The story told. Sethe
     looks out the window...and waits..

                         PAUL
               Your love is too thick, Sethe.

                         SETHE
               Love is or it isn't. Thin love ain't love
               at all...I did stop him. I took and put
               my babies where they'd be safe...

                         PAUL
               Didn't work though, did it?

                         SETHE
               It worked.

                         PAUL
               How? Your boys gone, you don't know
               where. One girl dead, the other can't go
               farther than the yard. How did it work?

                         SETHE
               They ain't at Sweet Home! Schoolteacher
               ain't got'em!

                         PAUL
               Maybe there's worse.

                         SETHE
               It ain't my job to know what's worse.
               It's my job to know what is and keep them
               away from what I know is terrible. I did
               that.

                         PAUL
               What you did was wrong, Sethe.

                         SETHE
               I should have gone back there? Taken my
               babies back there?

                         PAUL
               There could have been a way. Some other
               way.

                         SETHE
               What way?

                         PAUL
               You got two feet, Sethe. Not four!

     That jumped out before he had a chance to choose saying it.
     Sethe has no response...The distance between these two people
     in this small room is suddenly vast.

     Paul rises, playing with his hat...not knowing how to leave.
     But desperately needing to. He moves to the exit and stops..

                         PAUL
               You can set aside supper for me... Might
               be late getting back...

     Unable to look at her, he turns to exit. When Sethe speaks in
     a soft, forgiving tone, he stops to listen;

                         SETHE
               After all I told you, Paul D. and after
               telling me how many feet I have, you
               think saying goodbye is gonna break me
               into pieces?

     Paul turns to look at her and realizes she saw right through
     him...

                         SETHE
               You're a sweet man.

     Unable to bear it, Paul turns and leaves...

     Sethe stands still, fighting tears, and whispers...

                         SETHE
               So long, Paul D.

     INT. KITCHEN - DAY.

     Sethe is scrubbing the floor, with Denver trailing by with
     dry rags.

     Beloved enters holding a pair of ice skates;

                         BELOVED
               What do these do?

     Sethe and Beloved look up. Sethe smiles;

                         SETHE
               My Lord...where'd you dig up those?

                         DENVER
               There for skating on the ice.
               We have another pair and half of another,
               I think.

                         BELOVED
               Can we try them?

     Sethe takes the skates and looks at them with a curious
     lightness:

                         SETHE
               Go ice skating? Ha...
                    (beat)
               Why not?

                         DENVER
               You sure mama?

                         SETHE
               Strikes me that after your man leaves, it
               might just be the wrong time to be
               scrubbing floors... might just be the
               perfect time to go ice skating.

     Denver and Beloved register hopefulness in the light of
     Sethe's attitude. Sethe speaks to Denver;

                         SETHE
               Go get the shawls..and find me an old
               shoe for that half a pair...

     The girls get excited. Sethe tosses the scrub brush into the
     pail.

     EXT. A FROZEN CREEK - DAY.

     A bright, cold winter day. Beloved wears a pair of old
     skates. Denver wears the second pair and Sethe has one skate
     and one shoe..The two girls giggle and fall as they try to
     skate on the ice... helping each other up. Their skirts 
     whirling...their laughter mingled with screams of delight.

     Sethe, wearing only shoes, watches them and laughs.

                         DENVER
               Come on, ma'am...try!

     Sethe steps onto the ice and takes a few strides and promptly
     falls on her rear. The girls scream with laughter. Sethe
     tries to get up and falls, their laughter infecting her as
     well. The girls try to help her and fall over each other in
     the trying.

     Denver rises and tries an independent glide. The tip of her
     skate hits a bump and she falls, flapping her arms wildly.
     All three laugh so hard, they start coughing. Beloved goes to
     Denver's aid.

     Sethe rises up on her hands and knees, her laughter shaking
     her chest and causing her eyes to tear in the cold air.

     Beloved helps Denver, and falls as well. The two girls see
     Sethe laughing and play it up even more, a few more times...

     Until, Denver notices something and motions Beloved to stop
     and look.

     The two glide back to Sethe. Her laughter has stopped, but
     her tears have not... They gently, comfortingly, touch her
     shoulder.

     INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT.

     It is a snowy night outside the windows.

     Sethe has laid out blankets and quilts in front of the fire
     in the stove. She has made sweet milk that she hands to the
     girls before taking her place in between them, on the floor,
     facing the fire; Denver, on her right, rests her head on her
     lap. Beloved sits on her left.

     She looks over to Beloved who is staring at the fire. The
     illumination highlights her beauty and her profile; the chin,
     mouth, forehead - all copied and exaggerated in a huge shadow
     the fire threw on the wall. Sethe can't help but stare as
     another thought occurs to her;

                         BABY SUGGS (V.O.)
               ...All I remember is how she loved the
               bottom of burned bread. Her little
               hands...I wouldn't know 'em if they
               slapped me".

                         SETHE (VO)
               ..."Here. Look here. See this mark? If
               you can't tell me by my face, look here."

     Beloved lifts her head towards the fire at the same time she
     leans back to rest on a propped-up pillow. In the flickering
     of the firelight, Sethe can see:

     A SMILE OF A SCAR BENEATH HER CHIN.

     Sethe knows before she's aware of it consciously. And just as
     it hits her, BELOVED BEGINS TO HUM A MELODY.

     Sethe recognizes it as her own melody.

                         SETHE
               I made that song up. I made it up and
               sang it to my children...

     Denver lifts her head from her mother's lap to look at Sethe,
     knowing what is happening....

                         SETHE
               ...Nobody knows that song but me and my
               children.

     Beloved turns to Sethe;

                         BELOVED
               I know it.

     A click. Sethe looks at her daughter, returned. "There is no
     gasp of astonishment - no exclaim for the miraculous. For
     what is truly miraculous is so, because the magic lies in the
     fact that you knew it was there for you all along."

                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

     MORNING;

     INT. KITCHEN - MORNING.

     It's snowy white outside. The girls are still asleep in front
     of the stove. But Denver awakens upon hearing her mother load
     the stove with dry wood and begin to cook breakfast. Sethe
     hears her wake up and turns, as she beats eggs in a bowl;

                         SETHE
               Back stiff?

                         DENVER
               OOh, yeah...Don't know if it's the floor
               or the skating.

                         SETHE
               Could be that fall you took.

                         DENVER
               That was fun.

     Beloved snores lightly beside her;

                         DENVER
               Should I wake her?

                         SETHE
               No, let her rest.

                         DENVER
               She likes to see you off in the morning.

                         SETHE
               I'll make sure she does. But first I'm
               going  make up a nice, big breakfast
               against that cold outside.

                         DENVER
               Won't you be late for work?

                         SETHE
               Don't matter. First time I'll be late in
               nine years. No great trouble..Whatever
               goes on out there goes on with or without
               me showing up on time... don't matter...
                    (looks at the girls)
               The world is in this room, baby. This is
               all there is and all there needs to be.

     Denver smiles - but it is a cautious smile. Something about
     her mother's statement both elates and disturbs her.

     EXT. BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     A conflicted and contrite Stamp Paid walks through the snow
     down Bluestone road towards 124.

     As he does, he remembers his last conversation with Baby
     Suggs;

     MEMORY:

     EXT. RICHMOND STREET - DAY.

     A fall day. Leaves ankle high. Stamp Paid is walking when he
     sees baby Suggs carrying a carpetbag full of repaired shoes.
     He crosses over to her as he gets her attention;

                         STAMP PAID
               You missed the Clearing meeting three
               Saturdays running.

     Baby Suggs turns to her old friend - but there is no sign of
     welcome or recognition. There is a noticeable change in her
     demeanor. She continues walking. He follows;

                         STAMP PAID
               Folks came.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Folks come. Folks go.

                         STAMP PAID
               Here, let me carry that.

     He reaches for the carpetbag but Baby Suggs pulls it away.

                         BABY SUGGS
               I got a delivery around here. Name of
               Tucker.

                         STAMP PAID
                    (points)
               Yonder. Twin chestnuts in the yard.

     They walk a bit, until;

                         STAMP PAID
               Well?

                         BABY SUGGS
               Well what?

                         STAMP PAID
               This Saturday - you coming to Call or
               what?

                         BABY SUGGS
               If I call them, and they come what on
               earth am I going to say to them.

                         STAMP PAID
               Say the Word!

     Two whitemen raking leaves look up at the sound of Stamp
     Paid's voice, which was too loud. So he whispers;

                         STAMP PAID
               The Word. What you was put here to speak.

                         BABY SUGGS
               That's the last thing they took from me.

                         STAMP PAID
               But you got to do it. You got to. Can't
               nobody Call like you. You have to be
               there.

                         BABY SUGGS
               What I have to do is get in my bed and
               lay down. I want to fix on something
               harmless in this world.

                         STAMP PAID
               What world are you talking about? Ain't
               nothing harmless down here.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Blue. That doesn't hurt nobody. Yellow
               neither.

                         STAMP PAID
               You getting into bed to think about
               yellow?

                         BABY SUGGS
               I likes yellow.

                         STAMP PAID
               Then what? When you get through with blue
               and yellow, then what?

                         BABY SUGGS
               Can't say. It's something can't be
               planned.

                         STAMP PAID
               You blaming God. That what you're doing?

                         BABY SUGGS
               No, Stamp. I ain't.

                         STAMP PAID
               You saying whitefolks won. That what you
               saying?

                         BABY SUGGS
               Those white things have taken all I had
               or dreamed. I'm saying ain't no bad luck
               in this world 'cept for white folks..They
               just don't know when to stop.

                         STAMP PAID
               You saying nothing counts?

                         BABY SUGGS
               I'm saying they came into my yard.

                         STAMP PAID
               You saying God give up? Nothing left for
               us but pour out our own blood?

                         BABY SUGGS
               I'm saying they came into my yard.

                         STAMP PAID
               You punishing Him, ain't you?

                         BABY SUGGS
               Not like He punished me.

                         STAMP PAID
               You can't do that, Baby. It ain't right.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Was a time I knew what was.

                         STAMP PAID
               You still know.

                         BABY SUGGS
               What I know is what I see: a nigger woman
               hauling shoes.

                         STAMP PAID
               Aw, Baby.

     He stops her, before the Twin Chestnuts of the Tucker house.

                         STAMP PAID
               We have to be steady. "These things too
               will pass". What you looking for? A
               miracle?

                         BABY SUGGS
               No. I'm looking for what I was put here
               to look for: the back door.

     They exchange a look of silence and finality. She turns and
     walks to the back door of the house and knocks. A moment
     later a White Woman appears, takes the carpetbag and keeps
     Baby waiting on the back steps while she goes in for a dime.
     Baby rests on the railing until the whitewoman returns.

     MEMORY END.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     Now, Stamp Paid feels the need to find out what's going on
     inside 124 since he caused Paul to leave. He approaches the
     porch, then the front door. He raises his hands to knock -
     but he can't bring himself to do it.

     He turns to walk away then stops. He turns back and with a
     force of will, KNOCKS LOUDLY upon the door. No answer. He
     KNOCKS AGAIN. Still no answer.

     He steps back, trying to sense if anyone's there. He turns to
     leave when he sees;

     TWO HEADS in the window. Denver and Beloved. Denver bolts
     away, but Beloved remains a moment longer - looking in Stamp
     Paid's eye, then disappearing into the house.

     Stamp Paid is unnerved by her look.

     INT. SAWYER'S RESTAURANT - LATE MORNING.

     Sethe enters late, putting on her apron as SAWYER yells;

                         SAWYER
               What the hell you thinking, girl?
               Strolling in here this late?

                         SETHE
               Don't talk to me, Mr. Sawyer. Don't say
               nothing to me this morning.

                         SAWYER
               What? What? You talking back to me?

                         SETHE
               I'm telling you don't say nothing to me.

     Sethe begins organizing her counter to make pies.

                         SAWYER
               You better get them pies made!

     Sethe ignores him as she begins. Sawyer is at a loss.

                         SAWYER
               Not too sweet! You make it too sweet they
               don't eat it.

                         SETHE
               Make it the way I always do.

                         SAWYER
               Yeah. Too sweet.
                    (he exits)

     INT. ELLA'S HOUSE - DAY.

     Ella opens the front door for Stamp Paid. He looks disturbed.

                         ELLA
               Where you been keeping yourself? I told
               John must be cold if Stamp stay inside.

                         STAMP PAID
               Oh I been out.

     Stamp takes off his hat and follows Ella, who is doing
     laundry in the kitchen.

                         ELLA
               Out where?

                         STAMP PAID
               Was over to Baby Suggs.

                         ELLA
               What you want there? Somebody invite you
               in?

                         STAMP PAID
               That's Baby's kin. I don't need no invite
               to look after her people.

     Ella shrugs and continues folding wet laundry on a line
     behind the stove. Stamp sits.

                         STAMP PAID
               Somebody new there. A woman. Thought you
               might know who she is.

                         ELLA
               Ain't no new Negroes in this town I don't
               know about. What she look like? You sure
               that wasn't Denver?

                         STAMP PAID
               I know Denver.

                         ELLA
               You sure?

                         STAMP PAID
               I know what I see.

                         ELLA
               Might see anything at all at 124.

                         STAMP PAID
               True.

                         ELLA
               Better ask Paul D.

                         STAMP PAID
               Can't locate him.

                         ELLA
               He's sleeping in the church.

                         STAMP PAID
               The church!

                         ELLA
               Yeah. Asked Rev. Pike if he could stay in
               the cellar.

                         STAMP PAID
               It's cold as charity in there! What he do
               that for? Any number'll take him in.

                         ELLA
               Can't nobody read minds long distance.
               All he have to do is ask somebody.

                         STAMP PAID
               Why? Why he have to ask? Can't nobody
               offer? What's going on? Since when a
               black man come to town have to sleep in
               the cellar like a dog?!

                         ELLA
               Unrile yourself, Stamp. It's only a few
               days he been there.

                         STAMP PAID
               NO! Shouldn't be no days! You know all
               about it and don't give him a hand? That
               don't sound like you, Ella. Me and you
               been pulling colored folk out the water
               more'n twenty years! Now you tell me you
               can't offer a man a bed?! A working man
               who can pay his own way?

                         ELLA
               He ask, I give him anything.

                         STAMP PAID
               Why's that necessary all of a sudden?

                         ELLA
               I don't know him that well.

                         STAMP PAID
               You know he's colored? What else there to
               know?

                         ELLA
               Stamp, don't tear me up this morning! I
               don't feel like it.

                         STAMP PAID
               It's her, ain't it?

                         ELLA
               Her who?

                         STAMP PAID
               Sethe. He took up with her and stayed in
               there and you don't want nothing to-

                         ELLA
               Hold on! Don't jump if you can't see
               bottom!

                         STAMP PAID
               Girl, give it up! We been friends too
               long to act like this.

     Beat. Ella knows he's right. She surrenders the truth.

                         ELLA
               Well, who can tell what went on in there?
               I never even knew who Sethe was or none
               of her people.

                         STAMP PAID
               You know she married Baby Suggs' boy.

                         ELLA
               I ain't sure I know that. Baby never laid
               eyes on her till she showed up here. And
               how'd she make it and her husband didn't?
               And where is he? And how she have that
               baby in the woods by herself? Said a
               whitewoman help her. Shoot. You believe
               that? Well, I know what kind of white
               that was.

                         STAMP PAID
               Aw, no, Ella.

                         ELLA
               Anything white floating around in the
               woods - if it don't got a shotgun, it's
               something the Lord tells me I don't want
               no part of.

                         STAMP PAID
               You was friends.

                         ELLA
               Till she showed herself.

                         STAMP PAID
               Ella.

                         ELLA
               I ain't got no friends take a handsaw to
               their own children.

                         STAMP PAID
               What's any of that got to do with Paul
               D.?

                         ELLA
               What run him off? Tell me that!

                         STAMP PAID
               I run him off.

                         ELLA
                    (surprised)
               You?

                         STAMP PAID
               I told him...Showed him the newspaper.
               About Sethe. Read it to him. He left that
               very day.

                         ELLA
               You didn't tell me that. I thought he
               already knew.

                         STAMP PAID
               He didn't know nothing. And nobody.
               Except her, from when they was at that
               place Baby Suggs was at.

                         ELLA
               He knew Baby Suggs?

                         STAMP PAID
               Sure he knew her. Her boy Halle, too.

                         ELLA
               And he left when he found out what Sethe
               did?
                    (Stamp sits)
               What you say casts a different light on
               it, I guess...I thought-

     Stamp knows what she thought.

                         ELLA
               But you didn't come here talking 'bout
               Paul. You came asking about a new girl.

                         STAMP PAID
               That's so.

                         ELLA
               Well, Paul D. must know who she is. Or
               what she is.

                         STAMP PAID
               You mind loaded with spirits. Everywhere
               you look you see one.

                         ELLA
               You know as well as I do, Stamp, that
               people who die bad don't stay in the
               ground.

     Stamp can not deny this.

     EXT. BLUESTONE ROAD - EARLY EVENING.

     Sethe is walking home to her daughters. There is a serene,
     introverted expression on her face...as if she were detached
     from the world around her, safe inside. We hear her thoughts:

                         SETHE (VO)
               Beloved, she my daughter...She mine. She
               come back to me of her own free will and
               I don't have to explain a thing.. She had
               to be safe and I put her where I knew she
               would be. But my love was tough and she
               back now. She come back to me in the
               flesh...I won't never let her go. I'll
               explain to her, even though I don't have
               to. Why I did it. How if I hadn't killed
               her she would have died and that is
               something I couldn't let happen to her.
               When I explain she'll understand, cause
               she understands everything already..And
               she ain't even mad...When I put that
               headstone up I wanted to lay in there
               with you, put your head on my shoulder
               and keep you warm and I would have if
               Bulgar and Howard and Denver didn't need
               me, because my mind was homeless then. I
               couldn't lay down with you then. No
               matter how much I wanted to. I couldn't
               lay down nowhere in peace, back then. Now
               I can. I can sleep like the drowned, have
               mercy. She come back to me, my daughter,

     DENVER'S VOICE OVER FADES IN OVER SETHE'S....

                       SETHE (VO)              DENVER
               my Beloved and she        Beloved is my
               is mine....               sister...

                         DENVER (VO)
               ..and she is mine...

                                                           FADE TO;

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE ROAD - EARLY EVENING.

     Denver is cleaning the kitchen, waiting for her mother. We
     hear her thoughts:

                         DENVER (VO)
               ..I swallowed her blood right along with
               my mother's milk. She played with me and
               always came to be with me whenever I
               needed her. Me and her waited for our
               daddy. I love her. I do. She never hurt
               me. I love my mother but I know she
               killed one of her own, and tender as she
               is with me, I'm scared of her because of
               it. All the time, I'm afraid the thing
               that happened that made it all right to
               kill her own, could happen again.
               Whatever it is, it comes from outside
               this house, outside the yard. So I never
               leave this house and I watch over the
               yard so it can't happen again ... I have
               to keep it away from my sister...I'll
               protect Beloved...'Cause She's mine...

     BELOVED'S VO FADES IN OVER DENVER'S...

                 DENVER (VO)               BELOVED (VO)
               Beloved..She's mine       I am Beloved

                         BELOVED (VO)
               and she is mine...

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - EARLY EVENING.

     Beloved, waiting for Sethe to come home, sees her
     approaching. We hear her thoughts:

                         BELOVED (VO)
               I am not separate from her. There is no
               place where I stop. Her face is my own
               and I want to be there in the place where
               her face is and to be looking at it
               too...a hot thing..In the beginning I
               could see her. I could not help her
               because the clouds were in the way. But I
               could see her. The shining in her ears. I
               look hard at her so she will know that
               the clouds are in the way..I cannot lose
               her again. I see her face which is mine.
               It is the face that was going to smile at
               me in the place where we crouched before
               I come up out of the blue water. Sethe's
               is the face that left me. Sethe's sees me
               in her and I see the smile. She is my
               face smiling at me. It is the face I
               lost. Now we can join..a hot thing.

     Sethe comes to the waiting Beloved and smiles. She offers her
     hand and Beloved rises. Denver exits to them and smiles. She
     extends her hand to Beloved's free hand. The three women
     stand astride each other, arms around each other's waist as
     they walk toward the porch...

     The dusk sunlight creates THREE SHADOWS - three figures
     holding each other the way Sethe saw the shadows at the
     carnival...Only they weren't Hers, Denver's and Paul's...They
     were Hers, Denver's and Beloved's....

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - EARLY EVENING.

     The girls rush into the house, and down the hall.

     Sethe enters. Then turns back to the door.

     C.U. ; OF SETHE'S HAND LOCKING THE FRONT DOOR AS WE HEAR;

            SETHE (VO)

     I AM BELOVED AND SHE IS MINE..     DENVER (VO)
                                      SHE IS MINE...

     OVER THE FOLLOWING CHORUS OF DIALOGUE, A MONTAGE OF
     IMAGES DEPICTING SETHE, BELOVED AND DENVER CLOSING UP
     THE HOUSE FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD - LOWERING SHADES,
     LOCKING WINDOWS, BARRING DOORS.....

          SETHE (VO)

     TELL ME THE TRUTH..              BELOVED (VO)
                                 CANNOT LOSE HER AGAIN.

                         SETHE (VO)
               DID YOU COME FROM THE OTHER SIDE.

                         BELOVED (VO)
               YES. I WAS ON THE OTHER SIDE.

                         SETHE (VO)
               YOU CAME BACK BECAUSE OF ME?

                         BELOVED (VO)
               YES.

                         SETHE (VO)
               YOU NEVER FORGOT ME?

                         BELOVED (VO)
               YOUR FACE IS MINE.

                         DENVER (VO)
               DON'T LOVE HER TOO MUCH.

                         SETHE (VO)
               DO YOU FORGIVE ME?

                         BELOVED (VO)
               YOU HURT ME.

                         DENVER (VO)
               I WILL PROTECT YOU.

                         SETHE (VO)
               WILL YOU STAY?

                         BELOVED (VO)
               WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME WHO AM YOU?

                         SETHE (VO)
               I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU AGAIN.

                         DENVER (VO)
               WATCH OUT FOR HER; SHE CAN GIVE YOU
               DREAMS.

                         BELOVED (VO)
               WHERE ARE THE MEN WITHOUT SKIN?

                         DENVER (VO)
               THE WHITEFOLK?

                         SETHE (VO)
               OUT THERE. WAY OFF.

                         DENVER (VO)
               DADDY IS COMING FOR US.

                         BELOVED (VO)
               CAN THEY GET IN HERE?

                         SETHE (VO)
               NO. THEY TRIED ONCE BUT I STOPPED THEM.
               THEY WON'T EVER COME BACK...YOU MY BEST
               THING.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - EARLY EVENING.

     CAMERA PULLS BACK FROM THE FRONT DOOR, NOW LOCKED AGAINST THE
     WORLD, IN A SLOW MOVE....AS WE HEAR A BLEND OF THE THREE
     WOMEN'S VOICES - THE OVERLAPPING, HAUNTED THOUGHTS OF THE
     LIVING...

                         THREE WOMAN (VO)
               BELOVED..YOU ARE MY SISTER..YOU ARE MY
               DAUGHTER. YOU ARE MY FACE..YOU ARE ME..I
               HAVE FOUND YOU AGAIN..I WAITED FOR
               YOU..YOU ARE MY BELOVED. DON'T LOVE HER
               TOO MUCH...YOU MY BEST THING.. YOU ARE
               MINE..YOU ARE MINE..YOU ARE MINE...

     BY THE TIME THE CAMERA REACHES BLUESTONE ROAD, THE VOICES ARE
     MIXED, UNDECIPHERABLE YET AUDIBLE...

     ...AUDIBLE TO STAMP PAID, WHO STANDS ON BLUESTONE RD.
     LISTENING TO THE HAUNTED VOICES OF 124.  HE IS FRIGHTENED.

                                                         FADE -OUT.

     FADE- IN:

     EXT. CHURCH - DAY.

     A cold day. Paul D. sits against the church drinking from a
     bottle when a voice causes him to look up;

                         STAMP PAID
               Howdy.

     Stamp has his hands in his pockets, moving about.

                         PAUL
               You got any more newspaper in that pocket
               for me, just a waste of time. Ain't
               interested.

     Stamp sits beside him.

                         STAMP PAID
               This is hard for me. But I got to do it.
               Two things I got to say to you. I'm a
               take the easy one first.

                         PAUL
                    (laughs)
               If it's hard for you, might kill me dead.
                    (he drinks)

                         STAMP PAID
               I come looking for you to ask your
               pardon. Apologize.

                         PAUL
               For what?

                         STAMP PAID
               You pick any house, any house where
               colored live. Pick any one and you
               welcome to stay there. I'm apologizing
               'cause they didn't offer to tell you. But
               you welcome anywhere you want to be. My
               house. John and Ella. Miss Lady
               Jones..anybody. You choose. You ain't got
               to sleep in no cellar and I apologize for
               each and every night.

                         PAUL
               Well I...I did get offered one place but
               I just wanted to be off by myself a
               spell.

                         STAMP PAID
               Oh yeah. Oh that's load off. I thought
               everybody gone crazy.

                         PAUL
               Just me.

                         STAMP PAID
               You planning to do anything about it?

                         PAUL
               Oh yeah. I got big plans.

     He drinks from the bottle like an angry, broken man. It stabs
     at Stamp's heart to see him like this.

     A WHITE MAN in a horse and wagon drives up the path leading
     to the church. He leans stops before them and leans forward;

                         WHITE MAN
               Hey!!

                         STAMP PAID
                    (on his feet)
               Yes sir.

                         WHITE MAN
               I'm looking for a gal name of Judy. Works
               over by the slaughterhouse. Said she
               lived on Plank Road.

                         STAMP PAID
               Plank Road. Yes sir. That's up a ways.
               Mile, maybe.

                         WHITE MAN
               You don't know her? Judy? Works in the
               slaughterhouse.

                         STAMP PAID
               No sir, I don't, but I know Plank Road.
               'Bout a mile up thataway.

     Paul drinks from the bottle. The White Man addresses him.

                         WHITE MAN
               Look here..There's a cross up there, so I
               guess this here's a church or used to be.
               Seems to me like you ought to show it
               some respect, you follow me?

                         STAMP PAID
               Yes sir..You right about that. That's
               just what I come over to talk to him
               about. Just that..

     Paul offers no response. The White Man clicks his tongue and
     drives off. Stamp breathes a sigh of relief.

                         PAUL
               You remember your price, Stamp?

                         STAMP PAID
               Never found out.

                         PAUL
               I did. Down to the cent.$900. Always
               wondered though what Mrs. Garner got for
               my brother Paul F. Must of been more than
               nine hundred dollars cause she use that
               money for Sweet Home for almost two
               years. But then they hung my other
               brother Paul A. up on a tree so I guess
               he wasn't worth the same..I wonder what
               was Baby Suggs worth? And Halle? I wasn't
               surprised when I found out they tracked
               down Sethe all the way to Cincinatti. Her
               price must have been higher than all of
               us - her being property that reproduced
               itself without cost. A breeder.

                         STAMP PAID
               No use thinking these things now.

                         PAUL
               Oh but we got to. How we gonna know our
               price in the future? How are children's
               children's children gonna know what they
               cost? Who's gonna tell them? What are
               they gonna pay for us, if we free?

                         STAMP PAID
               Children ain't gonna need to know that
               kind of thing.

                         PAUL
               They'll know. They'll know as soon as
               they born. Cause it's inside us,Stamp.
               It'll be inside them. We'll pass it down.
               Schoolteacher didn't just change the
               outside, he changed the mind..and the
               blood..and what it carries...and what
               it's worth..

                         STAMP PAID
               I don't believe that. I won't.

                         PAUL
               There was a rooster named Mister down at
               Sweet Home. Last time I saw Halle, with
               that butter all over his face and me with
               an iron bit in my mouth, I saw Mister -
               sitting on a tub. He loved that tub. Like
               king on a throne. He was a hateful thing.
               Bloody and evil..But he was better than
               me.  Mister was allowed to be and stay
               what he was. Even if you cooked him you'd
               be cooking a rooster named Mister. But
               wasn't no way I'd ever be Paul D.
               again..Schoolteacher changed me. Was
               never no beating under Mr. Garner.
               Schoolteacher changed that. Why wouldn't
               a man run from that? Why wouldn't a man
               not work, kill, starve, pull out his own
               heart to stop feeling 'stead of feeling
               that? And it strikes me, it's got to be
               cause we were something else. And that
               something was less than a chicken sitting
               in the sun on a tub.

     He drinks.

                         STAMP PAID
               I said I had two things to say to you. I
               only told you one. I have to tell you the
               other.

                         PAUL
               I don't want to know.

                         STAMP PAID
               I was there Paul D...There in the yard.
               When she did it.

                         PAUL
               What yard? When who-

     And then Paul realizes he's talking of Sethe.

                         PAUL
               Jesus.

                         STAMP PAID
               It ain't what you think.

                         PAUL
               You don't know what I think.

                         STAMP PAID
               She ain't crazy. She love those children.
               She was trying to outhurt the hurter's
               all.

                         PAUL
               Leave off..

                         STAMP PAID
               She was only-

                         PAUL
               Stamp, leave off I said! I knew her when
               she was a girl. She scares me and I knew
               her when she was a girl...

                         STAMP PAID
               You ain't scared of Sethe. I don't
               believe you.

                         PAUL
               She scares me. I scare me. And that girl
               in her house scares me.

                         STAMP PAID
               Who is she? Where she come from?

                         PAUL
               Don't know. Just shot up one day from a
               stump.

                         STAMP PAID
               She what run you off? Not what I told you
               'bout Sethe?

     Paul thinks a moment. Then, tears brimming in his eyes:

                         PAUL
               Tell me something, Stamp. Tell me this
               one thing. How much is a nigger supposed
               to take?

                         STAMP PAID
               All he can. All he can.

                         PAUL
               Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

                                                          FADE OUT;

     FADE IN;

     SPRING.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - MORNING.

     The sun shines on a warm April day..a day abundant with
     growth and renewed hope.

     But a shadow appears to be hovering over 124. It looks more
     worn than before...neglected, abused.

     A broken window...the front door off it's hinge...a front
     step splintered and dangerous.

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - MORNING.

     Camera opens on the front hall and moves through the house,
     revealing the same neglect inside;

     Broken furniture, dusty floors, mess and disorder...

     Camera enters;

     INT. KITCHEN - MORNING.

     Dirty pans, crusted food on the table, window curtains
     hanging askew...

     Sethe sits hunched over, asleep, in a chair against the wall.
     She wears a dirty, torn dress that hangs on her body - which
     seems withered, frailer since we last saw her...In her lap
     lies a clean pretty dress she was in the process of sewing
     when she fell asleep from fatigue.

     A LOUD CRASH wakes her up. Followed by a LOUD FRUSTRATED
     YELL. Her face registers fear. She realizes where she is,
     what time it is...and begins organizing breakfast...

     She places the dress neatly on the chair, then grabs a cloth
     and wipes away the crumbs and dirty plates from supper,
     placing them in the sink...

     She opens a pantry cupboard to reveal BARE SHELVES except for
     a SINGLE EGG and a bowl of HOMINY GRAINS about 1/4 full. She
     searches in a panic for more food - anywhere - opening 
     cabinets, doors - places that never stored food. She realizes
     there is none left.

     INT. DENVER'S ROOM - MORNING.

     Denver finished dressing. She has been able to maintain a
     semblance of order about her person and room..

     But as she steps out into the second floor hallway, we see
     the same disarray as downstairs...

     She passes by Baby Sugg's old room and discovers;

     BELOVED, sprawled across the bed, half naked. Her belly is
     huge, her body unwashed. She looks, and behaves, like a wild
     animal...

     A broken lamp lies on the fall - pushed over by her leg as
     she shifted in bed. Her feet, overhanging the bed, are still
     touching the bedside table where the lamp sat.

     She is awake now - making a small hole larger in Baby Sugg's
     old quilt.

                         DENVER
               You shouldn't be in here?

     Beloved jolts her head up to Denver. She doesn't like being
     looked at unawares...

                         BELOVED
               What do you know about it? I sleep where
               I want.

                         DENVER
               You best leave that quilt alone. That was
               grandma's quilt.

     Beloved looks at Denver, then at the quilt - then abruptly
     tears the hole apart with one strong pull.

     Triumphant, she gets out of bed and exits, passing Denver;

                         BELOVED
               Breakfast ready? I'm hungry!

     INT. KITCHEN - MORNING.

     Sethe has prepared all the food that was left and placed it
     on one plate which she sets on the table. She stands at the
     stove, with her back to us, picking crusted pieces of food
     off the bottom of the pan.

     Beloved moves straight to the chair in front of the place and
     begins to eat, shovelling the food into her mouth.

     Denver sees her mother covertly eating the burnt pan crumbs,
     as she pretends to wash the dishes.

                         SETHE
               Morning.

                         DENVER
               Morning, ma'am.

     Sethe turns, not realizing Denver was there as well. Their
     eyes meet. Sethe wonders if her daughter saw her eating the
     pan crumbs. She smiles;

                         SETHE
               You hungry?

     Knowing there must be nothing left, Denver answers;

                         DENVER
               No, ma'am.

     Sethe looks relieved.

                         DENVER
               I'll finish those. Why don't you sit
               down?

     Denver crosses to the dishes, taking the pan from her mother.
     Sethe nods and crosses to the table, to sit down.

     But as she sinks into the chair, Beloved kicks it away;

                         BELOVED
               You don't sit with me!!

                         SETHE
               Baby, don't be like that.

                         BELOVED
               You don't sit with me!! I don't sit with
               people who leave me!

                         SETHE
               Don't talk like that. Your mama loves
               you.

                         BELOVED
               I had another dream last night.
                    (as she eats)
               The dead man laying on top of me and I
               had nothing to eat. And the ghosts
               without skin stuck their fingers in me
               and said Beloved in the dark and bitch in
               the light..

                         SETHE
               Don't say those things. You forget about
               those dreams..

                         BELOVED
               You gave me the bad dreams. You left me
               behind...

                         SETHE
               Mama told you - I'd give up my own life,
               every minute, every hour of it to take
               back one of your tears baby...My children
               my best thing. You my best thing!

                         BELOVED
               You're weren't nice to me..you didn't
               smile at me..

                         SETHE
               That's not true. I told you, I had to get
               you out, make you safe...so's you and me
               could be together on the other side,
               forever..

                         DENVER
               Ma'am...

     No one pays attention to Denver.

                         BELOVED
               LIAR!

     Beloved flings her plate at Sethe, hitting her hard across
     the eye..the plate breaking...

                         DENVER
               MAMA!

                         SETHE
               Hold back Denver - I'm fine..You..you go
               on upstairs. I'll do the cleaning up.

                         DENVER
               But mama..

                         SETHE
               Go upstairs I said!!

     Sethe's harsh tone is only for Denver. Denver exits the
     kitchen, afraid to leave them alone...

     As she moves from the kitchen, she hears;

                         BELOVED (OS)
               I want somethin' sweet.

                         SETHE (OS)
               We don't have nothing sweet no more,
               baby.

                         BELOVED (OS)
               Not for me, you don't! You don't let me
               eat the pies...

                         SETHE (OS)
               No. Since mama lost her job, we don't
               have no more pies..

     Denver walks up the white stairs...

     INT. BABY SUGGS' ROOM - DAY.

     Denver has straightened up her grandmother's room. Cleaned
     away the broken pieces of the lamp. Gathered the remnants of
     the quilt..

     She holds the quilt as she sits on the bed, facing the
     headboard. SHE REMEMBERS:

     MEMORY:

     INT. BABY SUGGS' ROOM - A DAY REMEMBERED.

     Baby Suggs, near death, lying in her bed, chuckles and
     coughs;

                         BABY SUGGS
               You mean I never told you about your
               daddy? About the Bodwins who let me rent
               this here house while I do my shoe
               repairing? About your mother's feet, not
               to mention her back? I never told you all
               that?

     A NINE YEAR OLD DENVER shakes her head.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Is that why you can't walk down the steps
               and out yonder by yourself?

     Denver can't answer.

                         BABY SUGGS
               Why you never go back to Lady Jone's and
               learn your letters? You liked going there
               I remember. Seeing the other children.
               Then all a sudden, you stop.

                         DENVER
               There was a boy there...said mama was a
               jailbird...said he could prove it..

     Baby Suggs face registers the pain of her granddaughter, hurt
     by hurtful words.

                         BABY SUGGS
               My Jesus my...What people won't say. Why
               didn't you come and ask me?
                    (Denver shrugs)
               'Fraid I'll tell ya, huh?
                    (Denver looks at her)
               Come here, child..

     Denver crawls into her arms.

                         BABY SUGGS
               You got to go sometime. You got to go out
               there by yourself sometime.

                         DENVER
               But you said...you said out there, there
               ain't no...what was that word?..no..de-
               fense. No de-fense.

                         BABY SUGGS
               There ain't.

                         DENVER
               Then what do I do?

                         BABY SUGGS
               Know it, and go on out the yard. Go on.

     END OF MEMORY.

     INT. BABY SUGGS' ROOM - DAY.

     Denver has crawled up and snuggled against the pillow in the
     same position as when she was nine in her grandma's arms.

     INT. SECOND FLOOR LANDING - DAY.

     Denver has changed into a clean, pretty dress and is
     approaching the stairs when she passes Sethe's room. It's
     door is open. She looks in..

     Sethe stands with her back to the door, cleaned up, wearing
     her best dress and the hat she last wore to the carnival.

     Denver smiles, hopefully;

                         DENVER
               Mama?

     Sethe turns, startled, to reveal - it is BELOVED in Sethe's
     best clothes...When Beloved sees Denver, she smiles
     tauntingly and strikes a pose...

                         BELOVED
               I look just like her.

     Disgusted, Denver exits.

     INT. KITCHEN - DAY.

     Denver walks down the stairs, entering the kitchen;

     Sethe is on her knees, picking up pieces of broken plate. As
     she moves the skin on her knees bleeds as it scrapes against
     pieces too small to clean.

                         DENVER
               Mama let me help you.

                         SETHE
               NO!...She wanted me to do it.

     Sethe continues her work, without even looking at Denver.

     Denver pauses a moment, realizing she is of no use here - but
     knowing she needs to help her mother somehow.

     She looks up to the kitchen, where every cupboard door is
     open revealing empty shelves...SHE EXITS - HEADING FOR THE
     FRONT DOOR.

     INT. FRONT HALL - DAY.

     C.U. - FRONT DOOR.

     Denver's hands slowly reaches towards the door lock - and
     OPENS IT.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     Denver opens the door, then pushes the broken screen door off
     it's hinge. She closes the door behind her.

     She begins her walk from the porch to the road. The first
     time she's ever gone alone..not knowing what she will face
     beyond the perimeters of her home.

     She reaches Bluestone Road and stops. She looks in either
     direction and sees not a soul. She takes a breath.

     She begins to walk - to get help.

     A block from the house, TWO BLACK MEN turn a corner and walk
     towards her.

     Denver stops, frightened, not knowing what to do.

     The TWO BLACK MEN pass her, tipping their hats, saying;

                         TWO BLACK MAN
               Morning...Morning..

     And they walk by. Denver's eyes speak the gratitude she never
     got her mouth open in time to reply. Heartened by the
     encounter, she picks up speed.

     EXT. LADY JONES' HOUSE - DAY.

     LADY JONES - a light-skinned black woman with gray eyes and
     yellow woolly hair - opens the door to find Denver.

                         LADY JONES
               Why Denver..Look at you.

     Denver manages to smile.

                         LADY JONES
               It's been so long. It's so nice of you to
               come see me. What brings you?

     Unfortunately, Denver can't manage anything beyond the smile.

                         LADY JONES
               Well, never mind - nobody needs a reason
               to visit. Let me make us some tea. Come
               on.

     Lady Jones takes her by the hand and leads her inside.

     INT. LADY JONES' HOUSE - DAY.

     Tea things sit on a table between them. Denver eats whatever
     she can. Lady Jones watches with care and concern.

                         LADY JONES
               How's your family, honey?

     Denver swallows a bite of something with some tea, then;

                         DENVER
               I want to work, Miss Lady.

                         LADY JONES
               Work? Start learnin your letters again?

                         DENVER
               No. I mean work work.

                         LADY JONES
               Well, what can you do?

                         DENVER
               I can't do anything but I would learn it
               for you if you have a little extra.

                         LADY JONES
               Extra?

                         DENVER
               Food. My mama, she doesn't feel well. I
               couldn't stay away from her too long,
               cause of her condition but I could do
               chores in the mornings.

                         LADY JONES
               Oh baby...I don't know anyone could pay
               anybody anything for work they did
               themselves...But if you all need to eat
               until your mother's well, all you have to
               do is say so...We have a church committee
               invented so nobody had to go hungry.

                         DENVER
               No..No that won't do...

     Lady Jones can sense something far more serious is going on.

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE RD./ KITCHEN - DAY.

     Denver brings four eggs, some rice and some tea onto the
     kitchen table.

     Sethe's eyes well up. She looks at Denver as if for the first
     time. Her face an expression of gratitude. Suddenly;

                         BELOVED (OS)
               RAAAIN!!! RAAAAIN!

     Sethe and Denver rush out of the kitchen to see;

     beloved running through the rooms, clawing at her throat,
     causing it to bleed...

                         SETHE
               BABY!

     Sethe and Denver rush towards into the keeping room. Sethe
     stumbles over a chair to get to Beloved, kneeling on the
     floor, ripping at her own neck...

     Denver gets her from behind and Sethe grabs her from the
     front, pinning her down - trying to stop her from hurting
     herself. Beloved screams and strikes out at Sethe, pulling
     her hair, clawing at her as well...

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     Denver exits the house because she sees something unusual in
     the yard;

     POV - THE STUMP;

     On the same stump that Beloved first appeared, sits A BASKET
     OF EGGS. Denver crosses to it, lifts it and a PAPER flutters
     to the ground. She reads it;

     M. LUCILLE WILLIAMS...

     EXT. M. LUCILLE WILLIAMS HOUSE - DAY.

     Denver returns the empty basket to M. Lucille Williams.

                         DENVER
               Thank you.

                         M. LUCILLE
                         WILLIAMS
               Your welcome..

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     Beloved eats ravenously from a bowl of white beans. Sethe
     sits in the corner, as if waiting to serve her...

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - DAY

     Upon the stump, sits a plate of cold rabbit meat, which
     Denver brings inside.

     INT. GRACE'S HOUSE - DAY.

     Denver is returning a bowl to Grace, a friendly woman.

                         GRACE
               No, darling. That's not my bowl. Mine's
               got a blue ring around it..Would you like
               to come in a spell?

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     Beloved sleeps curled up on the kitchen floor after eating -
     her mouth still dirty from the meal...

     Sethe, unwashed, her hair uncombed, sits in her corner chair.
     She is trying to mend a torn dress.

     Denver eats a little from the latest neighborhood gift. She
     hears her mother mumbling to herself like a madwoman.

                         SETHE
               Nobody..no sir..that's right..nobody's
               going be doing that..nobody going be
               writing my daughter's characteristics on
               the animal side..no sir..I don't
               care..ain't laying that down..no sir. I
               refuse..that's right..that's right...

                         DENVER
               Mama...Mama she's asleep. Why don't you
               eat something.

                         SETHE
               She likes this dress...

                         DENVER
               But you'll hurt your eyes doin it there.
               Come sit at the table.

     Sethe considers this. She rises cautiously, then sits at the
     table. Denver rises and gets her some food, placing it before
     her.

                         DENVER
               Please mama, eat something...

     Sethe nods...Denver is getting more and more frightened of
     losing her mother completely...Instead of protecting Beloved
     from Sethe, she must protect her mother from Beloved.

     EXT. THE BODWIN'S HOUSE; BACK DOOR - DAY.

     A white family home in a white Ohio neighborhood.

     JANEY WAGON, a benevolent black servant woman, opens the back
     door for Denver.

                         JANEY
               Yes?

                         DENVER
               May I come in?

                         JANEY
               What you want?

                         DENVER
               I want to see Mr. and Mrs. Bodwin.

                         JANEY
               Miss Bodwin. They brother and sister,
               darlin.

                         DENVER
               Oh.

                         JANEY
               What you want'em for?

                         DENVER
               I'm looking for work. I was thinking they
               might know of some.

                         JANEY
                    (smiles)
               You Baby Sugg's kin, ain't you?

                         DENVER
               Yes ma'am.

                         JANEY
               I heard your mother took sick, that so?

                         DENVER
               Yes ma'am..

                         JANEY
               Well, come on in. You letting in flies.

     INT. THE BODWIN'S HOUSE - DAY.

     The house is filled with books and pearl white lamps and
     glass cases filled with glistening things.

     Denver pushes her feet into the soft blue carpet as she sits
     with Janey.

                         JANEY
               You know what? I've been here since I was
               fourteen and I remember like yesterday
               when Baby Suggs, holy, came here and sat
               right where you are. Whiteman name of
               Garner brought her. He and Mr. Bodwin
               were good friends. That's how she got
               that house you all live in. Other things
               too.

                         DENVER
               Yes ma'am.

                         JANEY
               I never went to those woodland services
               but she was always nice to me. Always.
               Never be another like her.

                         DENVER
               I miss her.

                         JANEY
               Bet you do. Everybody miss her. That was
               a good woman...Well, I don't know whether
               the Bodwins think it or not but they sure
               could use some extra help.

                         DENVER
                    (hopeful)
               Ya think?

                         JANEY
               They getting older now and I can't take
               care of 'em like I used to. More and more
               they keep asking me to sleep over night.
               Now, I don't want to quit these people
               but they can't have all my days and
               nights too. I got my own family needs me.
               It'll take some convincing but maybe you
               could come after supper - take care of
               your mama during the day, then earn a
               little something at night, how's that?

                         DENVER
               Fine. But what would I do at night?

                         JANEY
               Be here. In case.

                         DENVER
               In case of what?

                         JANEY
               In case the house burn down or bad
               weather slops the roads so bad I can't
               get here on time or late guests needed
               cleaning up after. Anything.
                    (laughs)
               Don't ask me what whitefolks need at
               night.

     During Janey's lines, Denver looks about the house imagining
     herself here at night...her eyes happen upon A STATUE OF A
     BLACK BOY on his knees, his head thrown back farther than a
     head could go, his mouth wide open like a cup and filled with
     money for delivery tips. On the pedestal are the words' AT YO
     SERVICE;

                         DENVER
               They good whitefolks?

                         JANEY
               Oh yeah. They good. Can't say they ain't
               good. I wouldn't trade them for another
               pair, tell you that. But you come back in
               a few days - give me a chance to lead'em
               to it. All right?

     Denver nods, beaming gratefully - so gratefully that no words
     come, only tears... Janey reaches for Denver's hand and holds
     it warmly;

                         JANEY
               What is it, child? What's the trouble
               with Sethe?

     Denver looks at her and we know she needs to tell someone.

     INT. ELLA'S HOUSE - DAY.

     Ella has gathered all the women of the town for a meeting
     including Lady Jones, Janey Wagon, M. Lucille Williams,
     Grace;

                         GRACE
               But is it really the daughter, Janey? The
               killed one?

                         JANEY
               That what she say.

                         M. LUCILLE
                         WILLIAMS
               How they know it's her?

                         ELLA
               It's sitting there. Sleeps, eats and
               raises hell. Whipping Sethe every day.

                         GRACE
               I'll be. A baby?

                         JANEY
               No. Grown now. The age it would have been
               had it lived.

                         GRACE
               In the flesh. And whipping her.

                         M. LUCILLE
                         WILLIAMS
               Guess she had it coming a little.

                         ELLA
               Nobody got that coming.

                         M. LUCILLE
                         WILLIAMS
               But Ella- you can't just up and kill your
               children.

                         ELLA
               No, and the children can't just up and
               kill the mama. What's fair ain't
               necessarily right...
                    (the women listen)
               Now you all know how I felt about the
               whole thing. I know the rage Sethe felt
               in that shed that day.  We all do. But
               what I could not understand, and still
               don't, was her reaction to it. Prideful.
               Too damn complicated for a black woman in
               her position before God. But whatever she
               done, I don't like the idea of past
               errors taking possession of the present.
               I don't cotton to sin moving in on a
               house, unleashed and sassy. Every day
               life takes enough, takes all a woman has.
               "Sufficient unto the day is evil thereof"
               and nobody needs more. Nobody needs a
               grown up evil sitting at a table with a
               grudge. As long as that ghost showed
               itself from a ghostly place, I respected
               it. But once it take on flesh and come
               into this world, well, the shoe's on the
               other foot now. I don't mind a little
               communication between worlds. But this
               here's an invasion.

     The women agree.

                         GRACE
               Should we pray?

                         ELLA
               Uh-huh. First. Then we got to get down to
               business.

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE RD.: KITCHEN - DAYS LATER.

     Denver comes down the stairs, entering the kitchen.

     Sethe, worn out, looking more beaten and ravaged than before,
     stands at the sink with an ICE PICK chopping up ice. Denver
     speaks to her, but she does not turn or acknowledge her.

                         DENVER
               Mama?....Mama I'm going out..
                    (no response)
               Mama, I got a job. Working over at the
               Bodwins at night. Mr. Bodwin coming over
               now to pick me up on his way back from
               town. I'll be staying there nights and
               coming back here for the daytime. We'll
               have some money, mama..Mama?

     Sethe continues her action as if hypnotized. Denver
     approaches her from behind and whispers softly;

                         DENVER
               I'm going help you, mama. Don't you give
               up yet.

     Denver touches her gently, but Sethe acts as if she hears and
     feels nothing. Denver exits.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - LATE THAT DAY.

     Denver is sitting on the stump waiting for Mr. Bodwin when
     she hears;

     THIRTY WOMEN, gathered together, walking up Bluestone Rd.
     towards 124, SINGING A HOLY SONG;

     Denver is amazed by the sight as the women position
     themselves right in front of 124 - armed with bibles,
     crucifixes and whatever other symbols of heavenly power they
     could find.

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE RD; THE KEEPING ROOM - DAY.

     Sethe is rubbing a naked Beloved's forehead with a cool cloth
     filled with ice, when the two women hear the singing.

     Beloved rises first and moves to the window to see.

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     The women continue singing.

                                                            CUT TO:

     EXT. FURTHER DOWN BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     MR. BODWIN, sitting on a wagon pulled by a horse, is riding
     toward 124 when he hears the singing as well.

     WE NOTICE THAT MR. BODWIN IS WEARING A HAT SIMILAR TO THE ONE
     SCHOOLTEACHER WORE on that fateful day.

                                                       CUT BACK TO:

     EXT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     The women continue singing as:

     Sethe and Beloved, her belly as big as a pregnant woman's,
     exit the house.

     The women are stunned by the sight and slightly confused by
     the lack of fear between the women.

     Sethe is holding Beloved's hand. Beloved is smiling brightly
     at the beautiful singing.

     Denver looks to her mother;

     Tears run down Sethe's face but she is not crying. The sound
     of the women's voices wash over her like a baptism. She looks
     to all the women, faces she remembers, faces she has missed
     although up until this moment was not conscious of missing.

     Then, Sethe looks beyond the women and sees:

     MR. BODWIN APPROACHING IN HIS WAGON. SHE SEES MR. BODWIN
     WEARING A HAT THAT LOOKS LIKE SCHOOLTEACHERS.

     Sethe's expression turns to fear, then rage. In her ravaged
     mind, she thinks it is Schoolteacher coming back...

                         SETHE
               No...No, he's not coming into my yard. He
               not taking my best thing...No..

     She releases Beloved's hand and moves forward...

                         SETHE
               No...no...no..

                         DENVER
               Mama?

     She passes Denver, feeling for the ICE PICK IN HER APRON.

                         SETHE
               No...NO..NO..NOOOOOOOOOOOO!

     As Mr. Bodwin reaches the thirty women who separate him from
     124. HIS EYES FOCUS IN WONDER ON THE NAKED BELOVED AS;

     SETHE RUNS TOWARDS HIM AND THE WOMEN, HER HAND EXTENDED
     HOLDING THE ICE PICK..

                         DENVER
               MAMA...NOOOOOOO!

     DENVER RUNS AFTER HER. SETHE REACHES THE WOMEN AND LUNGES FOR
     BODWIN BUT THE WOMEN SEIZE HER, CREATING A HILL OF BLACK
     PEOPLE. SETHE RISING TO THE TOP, HER HAND EXTENDED. DENVER
     REACHING HER FROM BEHIND, PULLING HER BACK AND PUNCHING HER
     OUT COLD AS THE BODIES FALL AROUND THEM....

     Beloved watches from the house - watches Sethe attack and
     defend with the ice pick.  And something within her is
     resolved. For a moment, we see a calm spirit instead of a
     wild animal. And a tear upon her face..

     Then, just as quickly, she sprints around the side of the
     house and disappears from view.

     The Women try to help Sethe as Denver cries for her mother.
     Mr. Bodwin looks on stunned.

     WIDE ANGLE - OF A NAKED BLACK WOMAN WITH A FULL BELLY RUNNING
     THROUGH AN OPEN FIELD, REACHING THE WOODS THEN DISAPPEARING
     INTO THE TREES......

                                                          FADE OUT;

     FADE IN:

     EXT. RICHMOND ST. - DAY. WEEKS LATER.

     Paul D. is on his way to work when he sees;

     A poised, confident Denver walking in the opposite direction.
     She spots him and smiles;

                         DENVER
               Good morning, Paul D.

     Paul is clearly impressed by the sight of her.

                         PAUL
               Well, is it now? How you getting along?

                         DENVER
               Don't pay to complain.

                         PAUL
               You on your way home?

                         DENVER
               No. Got me an afternoon job at the shirt
               factory. Figure between that and my night
               work at the Bodwins I might be able to
               put something away for me and mama.

                         PAUL
               They treating you right over at the
               Bodwins?

                         DENVER
               More than all right. Miss Bodwin, she
               teach me stuff..Book stuff. She says I
               might go to Oberlin. She's experimenting
               on me.

     Paul smiles - wanting to warn her but deciding not to spoil
     the possibilities that lay before her.

                         PAUL
               Your mother all right?

                         DENVER
               No. Not a bit all right. Hasn't gotten
               out of bed since that day.

                         PAUL
               You think I should stop by? Think she'd
               welcome it?

                         DENVER
               I don't know. I think I've lost my
               mother, Paul D.

     Silence.

                         PAUL
               That girl...You know, Beloved...

                         DENVER
               Yes?

                         PAUL
               She gone like they say?

                         DENVER
               Haven't seen her since that day. Ella
               thinks she might be waiting in the woods
               for another chance but..I don't think so.
               Mama thinks she's gone for good. Says she
               can feel it.

                         PAUL
               You think she sure 'nough your sister?

                         DENVER
               At times. At other times I think she
               was...more. But who would know that
               better than you. I mean, you sure 'nough
               you her.

     She levels her eyes at him and he knows what she means.

                         PAUL
               Well, if you want my opinion...

                         DENVER
               I don't. I have my own.

                         PAUL
               You grown.

                         DENVER
               Yes sir

                         PAUL
               Well, good luck with the job.

                         DENVER
               Thank you.

     They pass each other until Denver turns back;

                         DENVER
               And Paul D...you don't have to stay 'way,
               but be careful how you talk to my mama,
               hear?

                         PAUL
               I will.

     Paul watches her walk away. He watches as a YOUNG BLACK MAN
     runs towards her shouting;

                         YOUNG MAN
               Hey, Miss Denver..Wait up!

     He watches as the two young people, the future, walk
     together.

     INT. 124 BLUESTONE RD. - DAY.

     Paul enters the house and hears HUMMING. He walks towards the
     keeping room, whose door is ajar;

     INT. KEEPING ROOM - DAY.

     Sethe lies in bed with the remnants of Baby Sugg's quilt over
     her, as she hums her melody and looks out of the window.

                         PAUL
               Sethe?

                         SETHE
                    (turns to him)
               Paul D.

     She looks like she's dying.

                         PAUL
               Aw, Sethe.

     He approaches her.

                         SETHE
               You shaved.

                         PAUL
               Yeah. Look bad?

                         SETHE
               No, You looking good.

                         PAUL
               Devil's confusion. What's this I hear
               about you not getting out of bed?
                    (no response)
               I saw Denver. She tell you?

                         SETHE
               She comes in the daytime.  She still with
               me, my Denver.

                         PAUL
                    (nervous)
               You got to get up from here, girl.

                         SETHE
               I'm tired, Paul. So tired. I have to rest
               a while.

                         PAUL
                    (getting upset, shouts)
               Don't you die on me!! This is Baby Suggs
               quilt. Is that what you planning!?

                         SETHE
               Oh, I don't have no plans. No plans at
               all.

                         PAUL
               Look - Denver be here in the day. I be
               here in the night. I'm a take care of
               you, you hear? Starting now.

     Sethe looks at him - a long look - and sees in him that
     thing, that blessedness, "that makes him the kind of man who
     can walk into a house and make women cry, make women tell him
     things they could only tell each other".

                         PAUL
               What, baby?

                         SETHE
                    (cries)
               She left me. She's gone again.

                         PAUL
               Aw, girl. Don't cry...Me and you, we got
               more yesterday than anybody. We need some
               kind of tomorrow...

                         SETHE
               She was my best thing.

     Paul leans down and takes her hand, entwining his fingers
     into hers...

                         PAUL
               You your best thing, Sethe. You are.

     Sethe smiles, with tears in her eyes, looking almost
     surprised;

                         SETHE
               Me?...Me?

     EXT. THE CLEARING - A DAY OUT OF TIME.

     A beautiful, sunny day. The clearing is full. Everyone looks
     bright and hopeful. Dressed in bright, summer clothes...

     A robust Baby Suggs is on her rock giving her best Call, as
     camera pans the crowd of faces eager to believe ....

                         BABY SUGGS
               ..The only grace we can have, is the
               grace we can imagine. If you cannot see
               it, you will not have it...Here, in this
               place, we are flesh. Flesh that weeps,
               laughs, dances on bare feet in the grass.
               Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not
               love your flesh. They despise it. They
               flay it. O, my people, they do not love
               your hands. Those they only use, tie,
               bind, chop off and leave empty, Love your
               hands. Love them. Raise them up and kiss
               them. Touch others with them, put them
               together, stroke them on your face 'cause
               they don't love that either. You  got to
               love it. You. Yonder out there, they
               ain't in love with your moth. They will
               see it broken and break it again. What
               you say out of it, they will not heed.
               What you scream from it they do not hear.
               No, they don't love your mother. You got
               to love it. And the feet that need to
               rest and to dance. The backs that needs
               support. The shoulders that need arms,
               strong arms I'm telling you! O my people,
               out yonder they don't love your neck
               unnoosed and straight. So love your neck;
               put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and
               hold it up. Love all your inside parts,
               love 'em..and the beating heart, love
               that too. More than eyes or feet. More
               than lungs that have yet to draw free
               air, love your heart. For this is the
               prize.

     And with her twisted, broken old body BABY SUGGS BEGINS TO
     DANCE AND TWIRL UP ON HER ROCK.

     And the crowd gives her music, SINGING IN FOUR PART HARMONY.
     CAMERA PANS THE CROWD OF BEAUTIFUL FACES singing together.
     Among the crowd, we see FAMILIAR FACES...

     WE SEE THE WOMEN WHO SANG AT 124...

     WE STAMP PAID, ELLA, JOHN, and LADY JONES...

     AND WE SEE SETHE, SURROUNDED BY ALL HER CHILDREN.

                                                          FADE OUT.


                             THE END



<< previous script:
Being There
next script: >>
Benny & Joon
Quick Links:
MovieScripts :: Monlogues for Women :: Monologues for Men :: Monologue Tips :: Monologues