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Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Movie Script

Writer(s) : Brian Helgeland

Genres : Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Thriller

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                               CIRQUE DU FREAK




                                  Written by

                               Brian Helgeland  


                         

                         

                         FADE IN:
          CLOSE ON a spectacular example of PEUCETIA VIRIDANS.
          Descending through mid-air on a silken thread. Neon green
          with black leopard spots on its legs. A Green Lynx Spider.
          As we follow it down, the threaded opening of a GLASS JAR
          appears from the bottom of frame.
          Just before the spider continues inside the jar, it stops,
          suspended. Something's not right. It waves a leg
          tentatively through the air...

                         DARREN'S VOICE
          Come on... Just a little lower...
          WIDEN TO REVEAL a Middle School TOILET STALL. Standing on
          the lid of the closed toilet, holding the glass jar up over
          his head, is DARREN SHAN.
          Darren is 14 and a well-liked kid. Tenacious. Diligent.
           The spider just hangs there.

                         DARREN
          Come on... I'll take good care of
          you. All the bugs you can eat.

          MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS ROOM
          The door bangs open and STEVE LEONARD enters. Unlike Darren,
          Steve's not so well-liked. In fact, he can be trouble.
          Maybe that's why they're friends.

                         STEVE
          Hey, Darren!
          No answer. Steve walks along the stall, scoots low so he can
          see any feet in front of the bowls.

                         STEVE
          Did you fall in? Darren!

                         DARREN'S VOICE
          Shhh...
          Steve looks to the last stall, sees the jar being held up.
          INTERCUT from in and outside of the stall.

                         DARREN
          You're gonna scare him away.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          2.

                         STEVE
          Man, we're getting killed out
          there. It's three to nothing.
          Darren is all concentration as the spider drops a little.

                         DARREN
          Your problem, Steve, not mine...
          Steve gets a waggish idea. Stepping to the sink, pressing
          his forefinger over the spigot, he turns the faucet.
          WATER SHOOTS out in a stream, which Steve directs into and
          then over the stall door. Reacting, the spider zips up its
          thread, is lost in the darkened ceiling.
          The stall door opens. Dripping water, Darren stares at Steve
          who flashes a wicked grin...

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. SCHOOL YARD - DAY

          Kids eat lunch, off in their groups. On the field: Darren
          has a SOCCER BALL practically glued to his foot. He dribbles
          through defenders, shoots, SCORES! Steve pumps a fist:

                         STEVE
          GOAL! Three to one!
          The other team regroups, starts back upfield with the ball.
          Darren steals it. A few strides and WHUMP!
          Darren catches the goalie too far out. The ball lofts just
          over the backpedaling goalie's head, bounces into the goal.

                         STEVE

                         (EXULTANT)
          Three to two!
          Angry at himself, the goalie KICKS the ball away. It veers
          off toward the street. Steve takes it as a personal insult.

                         STEVE
          What does that prove? Huh?
          The goalie blanches as Steve moves at him. Kids are nervous
          about Steve. He likes to fight. Darren gets between them.

                         DARREN
          Go get the ball. It's 3 to 2.
          Lunch's almost over.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          3.

                         STEVE
          That's why he kicked it. To kill
          time. Well, I still got time to
          kick your face.

                         DARREN

                         (BLOCKING HIM)
          Forget it. The ball.
          Steve decides, heads after it. The goalie gulps in relief.

                         GOALIE
          Thanks, Darren. He's crazy.
          Darren watches after Steve. He does have a vicious streak.

                         THE STREET
          Steve tracks down the ball which has rolled into the street.
          From seemingly out of nowhere...
          A gleaming black 1966 LINCOLN Continental. Its tires sucking
          at the asphalt as it rolls. The windows blacked out.
          It speeds up reaching the ball. Ba-Dump! The ball BURSTS.

                         STEVE
          You idiot!
          The car SCREECHES to a stop, idles ominously. Suddenly Steve
          doesn't seem so tough. He looks nervously back to Darren.
          But as a WIND picks up, the Lincoln suddenly tears off.
          A sheet of PAPER is kicked up by one of the car tires. The
          wind sends it sailing. It drifts down, until... Steve
          notices, snatches it out of the air.
          Darren steps up beside him, watches the Lincoln disappear
          down the street. Creepy...

                         STEVE
          Look at this.
          The paper is a FLYER. A startling, violent layout. Beneath
          a snarling WOLF'S HEAD: CIROUE DU FREAK - Human oddities and
          other living curiosities. Midnight. Zeiterion Theater. $20
          - Admission is at the discretion of the proprietor.

                         STEVE
          .Human oddities and other living
          curiosities...

                         (TO DARREN)
          Other. Does that mean not human?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          4.
          Darren shrugs, takes the flyer.

                         DARREN
          A freak show. Ever been to one?

                         STEVE

                         (GRINS)
          Just this school.
          Darren turns the flyer over. There are tire tracks on the
          back. They hear the sound of distant tire squeals, but the
          Lincoln is long out of view. Just an empty street now...

                         CUT TO:

          A BOA OCCIDENTALIS
          Probing the confines of its glass prison. A BOA CONSTRICTOR
          by any other name. It's a prison within a prison because
          we're inside...

          THE SCHOOL SCIENCE LAB - DAY
          The teacher, MR. DALTON, moves ponderously around the room.
          His voice like a metronome.

          MR. DALTON
          As you can see reptiles and
          amphibians are not one in the same.
          As Mr. Dalton continues, we see various PAIRS OF STUDENTS,
          their computer screens showing text or pictures of various
          FROGS, ALLIGATORS and LIZARDS...
          DARREN and STEVE sit together staring at a Komodo Dragon.
          After Mr. Dalton passes by, Steve switches screen views.
          He's done a WebSearch of Cirque du Freak. There are a dozen
          or so entries. He picks one: History of the Side Show.
          Under 1920's there's an older, much more 'Victorian' pamphlet
          for the Cirque du Freak. A more ornate version of the same
          Wolf Head. The same notice from the proprietor.
          Steve spreads the flyer out to compare. They whisper:

                         STEVE

          1923...

                         DARREN
          Must be a different one.
          Steve scrolls down through pictures:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          5.
          Sword swallower and glass eater: OHIO GRAY.
          Frog boy: AVERY CHILDS.
          Human skeleton: J.D. COMBS. .and then...
          Egyptian Soothsayer: LARTEN CREPSLEY. Crepsley's gaze is
          startling. Like he can see through the screen, even from
          1923. Steve looks like he's just seen a ghost.
          Suddenly, he hits print. As a PRINTER against the wall
          clicks to life, Steve looks back at Darren.

                         STEVE
          I gotta show you something...

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. THE SHAN HOUSE - DAY

          Picture perfect: two stories, dormers, trellises. 9-year-old
          ANNIE rides up on her bike, bookbag over her shoulder.
          Without stopping, she hops off, dumps it on the lawn by two
          other bikes. A few steps and she's through the door.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. DARREN'S ROOM - DAY

          Moody for the daytime. Only the light from the half-closed
          blinds streaking the floor where:
          Darren and Steve are huddled over several clippings and
          pictures that Steve has spread out. They all deal with
          VAMPIRES in some form or another. Steve pulls another stack
          from his backpack, spreads them out as well.

                         DARREN
          I don't get it.

                         STEVE
          Vampires. I've been studying them.
          Vampires? Darren looks at him a beat.

                         DARREN
          Right. You're failing half your
          classes at school, but you're
          studying vampires.

                         STEVE
          They been around 1000's of years.
          Two tribes. They even fight wars.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          6.

                         DARREN
          What? When?

                         STEVE
          Okay, sometimes, when humans fight?
          They fight at the same time. And
          no one knows it. Like at the
          Battle of Stalingrad they fought at
          the same time the Russians and
          Germans were fighting.
          Darren just looks at him, wonders if he's serious.

                         STEVE
          Some people know about it. There
          have even been books written.
          He pulls a frayed old yellow hardcover from his bag.

                         DARREN
          That's your proof? It smells.
          Steve's really trying to convince him now.

                         STEVE
          It's everywhere if you look. On
          the internet, in blogs, newspapers,
          weird places. But you can find it.
          The room starts to tighten a notch around them.

                         STEVE
          I chatted online with one of them.

                         DARREN
          Come on.

                         STEVE
          Serious.
          We become aware of...

          A SINISTER POV
          Someone watching Darren and Steve through the half open
          doorway. It moves in, starts coming up from behind.

                         DARREN
          What was his name? Mr. Dracula?
          Mad now, Steve opens the book, flips pages, finds an old 19th
          Century painting. He slaps down the science lab internet
          print-out of Larten Crepsley. It's the same guy! Maybe...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          7.

                         STEVE
          Here he is in 1923. And here 1855.
          Huh? Maybe he'll be there tonight.
          Would that make you believe?
          As Darren looks them over, the POV looms up behind them.
          Suddenly Darren spins...
          And ROARS at what's behind them: his sister Annie. She
          SCREAMS in response. Steve jumps a mile. Darren LAUGHS.

                         ANNIE
          How'd you know?

                         DARREN
          Saw your shadow on the floor.
          Gotta try harder, knucklehead.
          Steve snaps his book shut, shoves it in his backpack.

                         STEVE
          I'm gonna get a soda.

                         DARREN
          Get me one, too.
          Steve gets up, stomps out of the room.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. KITCHEN - SHAN HOUSE - DAY

          Steve opens the refrigerator, looks to see what's in there.
          At the same time Darren's MOTHER arrives home. Coming in
          through the kitchen door, she sees the refrigerator door
          open, two sneakered feet behind it.

                         MOM
          I know you want to fight global
          warming, Darren, but that's not the
          way to do it.
          Steve leans back to show his face.

                         STEVE
          Sorry, Mrs. Shan.

                         MOM
          Oh hi, Steve. I thought you were,
          Darren.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          8.

                         STEVE
          I wish I was.

                         (RE: FRIDGE)
          You guys got everything in here.

                         MOM
          Help yourself.
          She sets her PURSE down on the counter.

                         MOM
          How's your mother?

                         STEVE
          She's okay... She's been working a
          lot lately.
          A little frown of concern crosses Darren's mom. Something
          about Steve... His mom... He brings out a bottle of soda.

                         MOM

                         (POINTS)
          Glasses are up there.

                         STEVE
          I know.
          Darren's mom exits as Steve pulls down two glasses, starts to
          pour soda. As he waits for the foam to settle, he sees...
          The purse. Just there. A quick look around, it doesn't take
          him long to decide. Steve steps over, opens the purse.
          A quick rifling finds a wallet: $200 in $20's. He peels off
          three bills, shoves them in his pocket. BLLEEEP!
          A cell phone starts going off in the purse. Fumbling,
          frantic, Steve stuffs the rest of the money back in the
          wallet, the wallet back in the purse, closes the purse --
          Darren's Mom is back in. She's hurrying to get to her
          celiphone, so...

                         MOM

                         (INTO PHONE)
          Hello?
          .it takes her a second to realize something's up. Not
          listening to her call, she watches Steve grab the two glasses
          and hurry out, leaving the soda bottle on the counter and
          guilt in the air. As she looks over at her purse...

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          9.

          INT. HALLWAY - SHAN HOUSE - DAY

          Steve comes up off the stairs. He sets the glasses on a hall
          table, continues into...

                         DARREN'S ROOM
          Darren's looking through Steve's vampire memorabilia. Steve
          reaches past, starts packing it up.

                         STEVE
          I gotta go. See ya tonight.

                         DARREN
          Huh? Tonight where?
          He zips the bag, slings it over his shoulder.

                         STEVE
          Cirque du Freak.

                         DARREN
          I got no money right now.

                         STEVE
          Don't sweat it. I got money. Meet
          me ten to Midnight. The Zeiterion
          Theater.

                         DARREN
          That place is supposed to be
          haunted.
          Steve rolls his eyes, starts out...

                         DARREN
          What am I going to tell my parents?

                         STEVE
          Tell them you're sleeping over. We
          can meet early, walk over together.

                         DARREN
          I don't know, man...

                         STEVE
          D, it's Cirque du Freak. You wanna
          hear about it Monday? Or see it
          tonight?
          Steve lets his point sink in, then goes.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          10.

          INT. KITCHEN - SHAN HOUSE - NIGHT

          Darren and Annie and his mom and DAD eat dinner. Annie
          chatters away.

                         ANNIE
          And that's why we need a dog.
          She waits for an answer. Mom and Dad exchange a look.

                         DAD
          We'll have to think about it.

                         ANNIE
          How do you guys decide who's going
          to say no when you look at each
          other.

                         DAD
          Whoever's eyes are the widest. And
          I didn't say no. Yet.
          As she tries to think through a new approach...

                         DARREN
          Mom? I'm gonna sleep over Steve's
          tonight? Okay?

                         MOM
          (emphatic; no hesitation)
          No.

                         DARREN
          What? Why not?

                         MOM
          Because I said so, Darren.

                         DARREN
          I'm fourteen. I shouldn't even
          have to ask stuff like this.

                         MOM
          The answer is no. And I'm not sure
          I want you hanging around with
          Steve anymore.

                         DARREN
          I've known him since I was five
          years old!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          11.

                         MOM
          People change and I don't like the
          way Steve's changing.

                         DARREN
          But -- That's not fair!

                         DAD
          Stop arguing with her, Darren.
          Furious at his treatment, Darren gets up, stomps out. As
          Annie wonders if she should ask what's up...

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. DARREN'S ROOM - NIGHT

          The moonlight glinting off Darren's spider terrarium.
          Darren, under the covers, gets out of bed. Fully dressed.
          Going to his door, he listens. Then he crosses to the
          window. Pulling out the screen, he starts to climb out.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. TRELLIS - SHAN HOUSE - NIGHT

          Darren out his second floor bedroom window, starts to climb
          down via the trellis. CRACK! A section of the trellis
          BREAKS under his feet. Darren almost falls, catches hold.
          He pulls himself over, starts down again.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. UNION STREET - NIGHT

          Part of a dilapidated, mostly abandoned downtown. Noirish.
          Darren and Steve hurry around a corner.

                         STEVE
          I came here after your house.
          There was a van there, guy selling
          tickets.
          (holds up tickets)
          Rest is history.
          They cross toward the ornate, albeit crumbling facade of the
          ZEITERION THEATER. Deserted, except for a few CANDLES
          burning on the sidewalk by a door. The wind moans.

                         DARREN
          You know why they closed it, right?
          Years ago a kid fell out of the
          balcony and died. It's haunted.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          12.
          Steve catches himself getting spooked. He shoves Darren.

                         STEVE
          Get inside.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. ZEITERION LOBBY - NIGHT

          Paint peeling. The walls scribbled on. Most of all - it's
          dark. Darren and Steve head toward a glow coming from...

                         A HALLWAY
          They move toward a light at the end. Darren pauses at a
          darkened staircase. Headed up. He points it out to Steve...

                         DARREN
          The balcony. Where he fell...

                         VOICE
          May I help you?
          They wheel around, react to the sight behind them. MR. TALL.
          Gaunt, but oozing an elegant toughness.

                         STEVE
          We're here to see the show.
          He takes an ominous step forward, then holds out a hand.

          MR. TALL
          Ticket.
          Steve hands it over. Mr. Tall pockets it, looks to Darren.

          MR. TALL
          Do you have your ticket? Darren.
          Darren starts to hand it over, hesitates. The guy knew his
          name. Mr. Tall reaches, takes it.

          MR. TALL
          This way. We're about to begin.
          Mr. Tall turns on his heel and strides off. As they follow:

                         DARREN

                         (LOW)
          He knew my name.

                         STEVE
          Maybe he heard me say it.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          13.
          Mr. Tall turns a corner, only steps ahead of them. But...

                         AROUND CORNER
          When they turn it, Mr. Tall is gone. Vanished. Ahead, a
          threadbare velvet CURTAIN. A low murmur on the other side.
          The boys exchange a last look, then push through into...

          THE ZEITERION THEATER
          Mouldings removed, cherubs gouged from the walls of a once
          proud theater. Rows of seats are missing as well. Those
          that remain are filled. The crowd seems nervous, watching
          the empty stage expectantly. Yearning for something special.
          No sign of Mr. Tall. Darren and Steve stand at the top of
          the aisle. The only kids here. Somewhere off stage a
          TRUMPET sounds and with it a stage light goes out.
          Steve nudges Darren, points out two empty seats halfway down.
          As they move for them, a second trumpet sounds and a second
          stage light goes out.
          And so on. By the time Darren and Steve take their seats,
          the theater has gone black. A final flourish from the
          trumpets and all is silent.
          Then, a dull green light glows across the stage. Before it
          was empty; now there is a CAGE, set on wheels, in the center.
          There's the scraping of chain. A low guttural sound.
          A white spot shines down, leaves the front half of the cage
          in light, the back half in shadow. A FIGURE moves in there..
          The AUDIENCE lean forward, hoping to see when there's a ROAR!
          Several people SCREAM as the figure CRASHES to the front of
          the cage. A WOLFMAN for lack of a better term, its body
          covered in thick, matted hair. It roars again, shakes the
          bars. Its half-canine teeth yellow, its eyes red. A chain
          hangs attached to an iron collar around its neck.
          Half the audience believe it's real. The other half are
          amazed at how real this 'performer' seems. As they buzz, Mr.
          Tall steps out on stage. Wearing red leather gloves and hat.

          MR. TALL
          Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to
          the Cirque du Freak. We are an
          ancient circus. We have toured for
          five hundred years...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          14.
          Darren and Steve exchange a look at this information.

          MR. TALL
          .Bringing the remarkable and
          grotesque to generations. Our
          freaks are not people in masks.
          They are not harmless misfits.
          What you see tonight is real. Each
          performer unique. None harmless.
          To prove this, the Wolfman lunges, reaches a claw through the
          bars to swipe just centimeters short of Mr. Tall who's non-
          reaction shows he knows exactly where he's standing.
          A ripple goes through the crowd as they become aware of
          TRUSKA. Startlingly beautiful. Dressed for the Moulin
          Rouge. Crossing the stage in a languid catwalk. Several MEN
          in the audience begin to cough and shift in their seats.
          Even the Wolfman takes notice.

          MR. TALL
          Beauty and the beast.
          Truska approaches the cage, makes soothing motions, her upper
          body swaying. The Wolfman lulls to a trance.
          Two stage hands - MIDGETS apparently, hidden by blue robes,
          step out and start to push the cage off stage.
          Truska steps toward the audience, moving in the same
          languorous rhythm. And then: she begins to grow a BEARD.
          Hairs creeping from above her lip, curling from her chin.
          Some in the audience recoil.
          Darren and Steve trade grins. This is great. Then...
          From either wing of the stage come twin contortionists: SIVE
          & SERSA. They walk on their hands, their legs pulled back
          with their ankles cinched behind there necks.
          As Truska exits, Sive and Sersa meet in the middle. Like
          Hindu wrestlers they take turns, climbing up and down each
          other, look like one person with two fronts. They twist like
          pretzels, getting huge LAUGHS when they pretend to be stuck.
          As it goes on, RHAMUS TWOBELLIES pads out to watch. The
          floorboards creak under his feet. He must weigh 600 pounds.
          After a moment, he turns, walks toward the audience. The
          light leaves the contortionists and focuses on Rhamus.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          15.

                         RHAMUS
          My name is Rhamus Twobellies. And
          I do have two.
          He TRIPS, stumbles toward the edge of the stage. PEOPLE in
          the front row jump back to keep from being crushed. Rhamus
          stops short, LAUGHS at them. He was pretending. He's
          practically doubled-over, resting his hands on his haunches.
          More blue-robed MIDGETS roll out a CART covered with food and
          lots of other stuff. Rhamus grabs a GLASS BOTTLE of soda.
          Instead of opening it, he bites off the glass top, chews it
          and swallows. Soon he's eating food almost as fast as he can
          grab it. Disgusting, but great fun at the same time.
          Next, he holds up a couple of nuts and bolts. Then swallows
          them whole. He swings his belly around. You can hear the
          sound of metal shifting inside.
          The crowd recoils as he starts to regurgitate, spitting out
          BOLTS, NAILS, BOTTLE CAPS, a JACKKNIFE. They clatter on
          stage. Finally, a METAL LINK appears between his teeth.
          He pinches hold of it and pulls. A CHAIN starts out of his
          mouth, up from his belly. One foot...two...six feet in all.
          With a shrug he starts off stage, dragging it behind him.
          Darren & Steve break into applause. So does the audience.
          As Rhamus' chain slides out of sight, a SNAKE slides in. An
          enormous BOA CONSTRICTOR. Impossibly huge. It slithers out
          to the center of the stage, its tongue flicking in and out.
          A SPOTLIGHT flicks down from above. The snake stops, raises
          itself several feet off the ground as it looks up, seemingly
          transfixed by the light. But in reality...
          The end of a thick ROPE drops down. And moving (headfirst!)
          down the rope is a BOY. Very thin, his blonde hair tinged
          with green. This is EVRA VON. He moves smoothly, twists
          over backwards to set his feet down on the stage.
          Evra wears a sort of cloak which he suddenly spins out of.
          The audience GASPS... Wearing only shorts, Evra's body
          SPARKLES. He's covered in gold, blue and green scales!
          He moves a vaguely webbed hand through the air, charming the
          snake which raises itself higher still. He slowly slides
          forward till he and the boa are nearly eye-to-eye.
          Then Evra leans forward and KISSES the snake on the nose.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          16.

                         DARREN & STEVE

                         DARREN
          He's as old as us.

                         STAGE
          Evra starts to make a HISSING sound. In response, the snake
          begins corkscrewing around him like the stripes on a barber
          shop pole. Finally, it slithers around his neck, pulls back
          to look him in the eye. And then...
          Evra bends at the knees, lays down and starts to roll. Like
          he was wrapped in a snake carpet, he disappears stage left.
          More applause from the audience.
          Then the stage goes dark except for a small focused spot at
          the center. Everyone waits, but nothing happens until...
          Appearing literally out of nowhere - one instant there's
          nothing under the spot and the next instant there is --

          LARTEN CREPSLEY!
          Motionless, looking past the crowd. The only difference from
          his pictures is he's a bit older and a SCAR runs down his
          left cheek. It stretches his mouth up on that side.

                         DARREN & STEVE
          Recognize him. Can't believe their eyes. Steve pulls the
          print-out from his pocket, compares.

                         DARREN
          It's him...

                         STAGE
          Crepsley disappears! The crowd mumble nervously. And just
          as suddenly he's back! On the edge of the stage, lit by the
          footlights. This time he holds a draped BIRDCAGE.

                         CREPSLEY
          It's not true. That all tarantulas
          are poisonous. Though some can
          kill a man. With one bite.
          Crepsley whisks off the covering. In the cage: a TARANTULA
          the size of a large man's hand. So big you can make out
          individual eyes. As deadly looking as it is beautiful.

                         DARREN
          Reacts. A spider!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          17.

                         STAGE
          Crepsley makes the introduction.

                         CREPSLEY
          Her name? Madam Octa. Pray that
          she never learns yours.
          Two of the blue-robed 'little people' lead a GOAT onto the
          stage. A ripple of worry runs through the crowd. Crepsley
          starts over. The goat BLEATS. The little people hold it.
          Mr. Crepsley flicks open the cage door with his finger. The
          spider sets its front legs on the bars, pulls itself through.
          A few gasps from the audience. The goat bucks.
          Madam Octa bares her fangs, poised to leap on her prey.
          Several audience members CRY OUT that this should stop.
          Crepsley looks out with mock-theatrical surprise.

                         CREPSLEY
          No...? Shall it be life?
          Chuckling to himself, he looks to the goat tenders. They
          release the goat which bee-lines its way off the stage.
          Crepsley faces the audience.

                         CREPSLEY
          I wonder if you would be as shocked
          to see the same fate for me?
          Madam Octa moves -- climbing the outside of the cage --
          taking a cautious step onto the hand holding the cage, then
          starting up Crepsley's arm. He stands dead still.

                         DARREN & STEVE
          Have a million questions, but right now the performance has
          their full edge-of-their-seat attention.

                         STAGE
          Madam Octa has nearly reached Crepsley's left shoulder.

                         CREPSLEY
          Though we have been together such a
          long time, she is no pet. I think
          she would quite enjoy killing me.
          Crepsley calmly raises his free hand. It holds a shiny TIN
          WHISTLE. Madam Octa has reaches his shoulder.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          18.

                         CREPSLEY
          For her bite there is no cure.
          Madam Octa bares her fangs, even longer now. Her malevolence
          about to be directed at her master.
          Crepsley carefully puts the whistle to his mouth and starts
          to play, as simple as it is evocative.
          Madam Octa hesitates. Then, she moves around his throat,
          starts to climb his face using his scar as her guide. She
          gets to the top of his head, stands in his shock of hair.
          She sways; she's dancing!
          Then she leaps, lands on the end of the whistle. Crepsley
          keeps playing as Madam Octa attaches a web, drops down about
          18 inches off the end. She starts to swing.
          Crepsley takes the whistle from his mouth and twirls it
          around. Octa does a few 360s and the thread breaks. She
          sails up high over Crepsley's head.
          He cranes back to watch as down she comes, legs splayed. She
          lands flat on his face. The whistle is in his hand.
          Crepsley looks out at the audience. Looking out between her
          hairy legs, his eyes are wide with horror.
          Without warning, the spotlight on him goes out. As the stage
          is plunged into darkness, we hear Crepsley SCREAM.
          A horrible, horrible sound. The audience wait, but nothing
          happens. Some of them rise from their seats, peer into the
          gloom. It's too dark.
          The sound of something being DRAGGED. Then nothing. A light
          comes up stage left as Mr. Tall steps out.

          MR. TALL
          Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
          That is the end of our show.

                         AUDIENCE MAN
          But... What happened to him?!

          MR. TALL
          Don't you know? What happens to us
          all, can happen to any of us.
          That said, there's a crack of thunder and an explosion
          seemingly at Mr. Tall's feet. He's nowhere to be seen.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          19.
          The houselights come up. The stage is empty. Some in the
          audience start to clap. Others are a bit dismayed.
          Darren and Steve sit there as people start for the exits.

                         DARREN
          Let's get outta here.

                         STEVE
          No, you go. I'm staying.
          Steve starts down toward the stage. Darren follows.

                         DARREN
          Wait. What're you doing?
          Steve reaches the stage, looks around. The audience is
          mostly exited; no one from the Cirque is in sight.
          As Steve starts up onto the stage, Darren grabs his shoulder.
          Steve wheels, shoves Darren who stumbles back into a seat.

                         STEVE
          This is my destiny. Don't ruin it.
          Steve looks dangerous as he looms. Darren raises his hands
          in surrender. Steve eases off, but he's still intense.

                         STEVE
          That car today. It was a sign.
          Sending me here. I was told
          there'd be a sign.
          Too friggin' weird.

                         DARREN
          Told by who? The guy in the chat
          room? The internet guy?

                         STEVE
          I'll tell you later. If I can.
          Steve scrambles onto the stage and disappears into the back.
          Darren stands, whispers into the dark.

                         DARREN
          Steve...
          Decision time. Darren climbs up, starts after his friend.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          20.

          INT. ZEITERION THEATER - BACKSTAGE - NIGHT

          Darren moves back into the gloom. Deserted, the junk casts
          sinister shadows. Then, a sound at his feet. Darren stops
          short. Sees that he's almost walked into an open stage DOOR
          IN THE FLOOR. The sound is someone moving below.

                         DARREN
          Steve...?
          No answer. Darren decides, starts down steep, rickety steps.

                         CUT TO:

          STEVE - UNDERSTAGE STORAGE AREA
          He moves past a dilapidated stage elevator. Stumbles. As he
          heads further into the dark.

                         DARREN
          Coming down the creaky stairs. Spooky.

                         DARREN
          Steve...

                         CUT TO:

                         STEVE
          Turning a corner, is startled by what turns out to be a
          costume mannequin. But beyond: a LONG BOX set on two
          sawhorses. Coffin-sized. Empty, its lid propped up by it.
          The dust is tracked with footsteps. A mini-FRIDGE hums in a
          corner. Steve steps over, sees an EXTENSION CORD which runs
          up the wall, disappears into a hole punched in the ceiling.

                         DARREN
          Stops short as a LIGHT suddenly cuts through the gloom to his
          left. Darren steps over low behind a CREDENZA. He sees...

                         STEVE
          He's opened the door to the fridge. The little bulb inside
          pushes through the gloom, lighting the area up.

                         DARREN
          Reacts as MADAM OCTA tries to jump on his face! The bars of
          her CAGE stop her. It rests on the credenza he crouches
          behind. The whistle is there too. Darren looks over as...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          21.

                         STEVE
          Reaches in the fridge, takes out a glass jar that looks to be
          filled with BLOOD. Steve raises it, swirls it around inside.

                         CREPSLEY'S VOICE
          Are you looking for me?
          Steve whirls -- drops the bottle -- SMASH!
          Standing behind him - dead still - CREPSLEY.

                         DARREN
          Rooted to the spot. Watching...

                         STEVE & CREPSLEY
          Crespley sniffs the air - the spilled blood to be exact.

                         STEVE
          I -- I know who you are.

                         CREPSLEY
          Tell me, boy. Who am I?

                         STEVE
          You're a vampire.

                         CREPSLEY
          Too broad a definition. Do you
          introduce yourself as a human? Who
          I am is Larten Crepsley.

                         DARREN
          Moving slightly to get a clearer view.

                         STEVE & CREPSLEY
          Crepsley suddenly DISAPPEARS, REAPPEARS much closer. Steve
          jumps, twists around. Unnerved.

                         CREPSLEY
          Who sent you and what do they want?

                         STEVE
          Nothing. No one.
          Crepsley takes a moment to decide if he believes him.

                         CREPSLEY
          Then what do you want?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          22.

                         STEVE
          I want to join you.

                         CREPSLEY
          Join me? I don't understand.

                         STEVE
          I want you to make me a vampire.
          Not what Crepsley (or Darren) expected. Steve stands there
          trying to look resolved. Crepsley is surprised, intrigued.

                         CREPSLEY
          Is it because you want to live
          forever? Because we don't.

                         STEVE
          I don't care about living forever.
          But you do seem to live a long
          time.

                         CREPSLEY
          A long time alone. Do you want to
          live alone?

                         STEVE
          I already do.

                         CREPSLEY
          Are you an orphan?

                         STEVE
          My father's gone; my mother doesn't
          care about me.

                         CREPSLEY
          Nor mine. You're friendless also?

                         STEVE
          I have a friend, but he doesn't
          understand. He's got too much to
          know what it's like to be alone.
          As Darren reacts to this...

                         STEVE
          When you're alone you feel weak.
          Useless. But I know there must be
          something strong about it, too. I
          want to feel the power of being
          alone. I want to be a vampire.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          23.

                         CREPSLEY
          The power of being alone will never
          be greater than the weakness of it.

                         STEVE
          I don't care.
          Crepsley's actually impressed, but after a moment he waves a
          dismissive hand.

                         CREPSLEY
          It makes no matter. We do not
          blood children. I'm sorry.
          Steve pulls a JACKKNIFE from his pocket, flips open the 2-
          inch blade. Crepsley laughs out loud.

                         CREPSLEY
          Do you intend to use that on me?
          And we feel it more than see it, but Steve cuts into his own
          palm. He holds it up, moist and red in Crepsley's face.

                         STEVE
          Do it. Make me a vampire.

                         CREPSLEY
          Do not tempt me.

                         DARREN
          Can't believe what he's watching. He sees Crepsley suddenly
          get 'scent' of something. Something to do with Steve's
          blood. Not quite a clear view as Crepsley grabs Steve's
          wrist, dabs a finger into his palm and then tastes it.

                         CREPSLEY
          Crepsley shoves Steve down to the ground and immediately
          begins spitting onto the floor. Like it was poison.

                         STEVE
          What's wrong?

                         CREPSLEY
          You have bad blood.

                         STEVE
          What do you mean?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          24.

                         CREPSLEY
          I can taste the menace in your
          blood. You can never be a vampire.
          You're evil.
          Steve scrambles to his feet.

                         STEVE
          That's a lie. You take that back!
          Crepsley draws himself full, his voice deadly.

                         CREPSLEY
          Go home.
          Suddenly cowed, Steve just stands there blinking.

                         CREPSLEY

          GO!
          Steve runs, disappears into the gloom. After a moment, we
          can hear him scurrying up the stairs. Then he's gone.

                         DARREN
          Frozen to his spot, watches as Crepsley, seemingly ill, holds
          his head and spits again onto the floor. Then he steps over
          and kicks the fridge door closed.
          And in the blink of an eye, he's gone. Disappeared.
          Darren is alone. He starts out, then stops. Looks back.
          That beautiful spider. And Darren takes Madam Octa's cage
          and the whistle and makes a run for it. Just like that.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. STREETS - DARREN'S NEIGHBORHOOD - NIGHT

          3 AM. Dead quiet. Darren hurries home, cage in hand.
          Looking over his shoulder. So far so good. He nearly trips
          over an untied shoelace. He sets down the cage, to tie it.
          Madam Octa lunges across her cage at a WORM on the sidewalk.

                         DARREN
          Oh. You want that?
          Darren picks up the worm, lowers it between the bars. A beat
          and then Madam Octa snatches it away from him. Dinner.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          25.

                         DARREN
          See? I'm your friend... You're so
          beautiful I stopped thinking.
          The wind rustles. Darren grabs the cage, continues.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. THE SHAN HOUSE - NIGHT

          The house dark. Holding the cage with one hand, Darren
          starts climbing the side of the house using the other. He
          avoids the broken section, but as he reaches the window:
          His Dad is standing there looking out. Busted.

                         DAD
          Get inside.
          From his angle, Darren's Dad can't see the cage in his son's
          hand. Darren hooks it over the end piece of part of the
          trellis and climbs in. Leaving the cage hanging behind.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. DARREN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

          Darren stands across from his Dad.

                         DAD
          A freak show? Are you kidding me?

                         DARREN
          It was down at the old Zeiterion
          Theater. Look, dad, I'm sorry.
          It's just, I couldn't resist. I --

                         DAD
          You told me the other day you were
          broke. You were looking for a job
          to do around the house this
          weekend.

                         DARREN
          Yeah? So?

                         DAD
          Where'd you get money for the show?

                         DARREN
          Steve had money.
          Darren's Dad's suspicion is confirmed.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          26.

                         DAD
          Steve... We weren't going to tell
          you, but we think Steve stole money
          from your Mom's purse yesterday.

                         DARREN
          He wouldn't do that.

                         DAD
          Mom's pretty sure about it.

                         DARREN
          Man, what is this? You don't want
          me hanging around with him. Now
          you say you think he stole money?
          Do you know for sure?

                         DAD
          No.

                         DARREN
          Steve's had some bad times lately.
          I'm trying to be a good friend.

                         DAD
          Being a good friend and sneaking
          out are two different things.

                         DARREN
          I have to sneak out! You treat me
          like a kid!
          A moment as Darren's raised voice rings out of the room.

                         DAD
          Then act like an adult if that's
          how you want to be treated. This
          world is crossed by fences --
          Darren interrupts. He's heard it a million times.

                         DARKEN
          I know, I know. And you gotta
          decide which side you stand on.
          And you can't sit on it either.
          His Dad doesn't enjoy hearing his words thrown back at him.
          He starts for the door, looks back before exiting.

                         DAD
          A freak show. What do they do, put
          people in cages for everyone to
          laugh at?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          27.
          Darren feels bad, like a kid. He looks down at the floor.

                         DARREN
          It wasn't like that.
          A beat. Darren's Dad goes, closing the door. Darren sighs.
          He goes to the window, pulls up the cage. He scans a look
          outside. Except for his Dad, the coast is clear.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. CLOSET - DARREN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

          Darren sets the cage on a shelf, shuts the door. Black.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. KITCHEN - SHAN HOUSE - MORNING

          Darren's Mom making omelettes. Darren's DAD helping, dicing
          up some ham. Annie sits at the table awaiting the results.

                         ANNIE
          Is he in a lot of trouble?

                         DAD
          Nothing a few years in prison won't
          take care of.

                         ANNIE
          I don't see what the big deal is...

                         DAD

                         (TO MOM)
          Did you talk to Steve's mom yet?

                         MOM
          Get this. She said she couldn't
          comment because she didn't make it
          home last night herself.

                         ANNIE
          Where was she?

                         MOM
          Go tell Darren it's breakfast.

                         CUT TO:

          MADAM OCTA - VIDEO VIEW
          Seen through the bars of her cage. FREEZE FRAME.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          28.

                         DARREN'S ROOM
          Darren's just snapped her photo with his DIGITAL CAMERA.
          As the door bursts open and Annie enters... Darren scrambles
          to block the cage from view.

                         DARREN
          Annie, you gotta learn to knock.

                         ANNIE
          Mom said to come eat. What's that?
          As Annie tries to look, Darren stays in front of her.

                         DARREN
          Out.
          Annie sighs, heads out. Darren puts the cage in the closet.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. KITCHEN - SHAN HOUSE - DAY

          Darren arrives, sits as everyone pretends not to notice. His
          mom slides his omelette off the pan into his plate. Annie
          watches everyone's every move. Darren eats a bite.

                         DARREN
          Mom, this is the best omelette I
          ever had.
          His Dad can't help but smile. Good move. Mom is pleased,
          but knows she's being manipulated. As Annie stifles a laugh,
          Darren shoots her a look.
          A KNOCK at the kitchen door. Annie gets up, opens the door
          to reveal: Steve. From his angle he can only sees Annie.

                         STEVE
          Hey, midget, where's the idiot?
          Annie motions Steve in. He stops short when he see everyone
          else. He recovers, does his best Eddie Haskell...

                         STEVE
          Hi, Mr. Shan, Mrs. Shan. It's nice
          to see ya.
          As Steve gets several less than welcoming looks...

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          29.

          INT. DARREN'S ROOM - DAY

          Darren and Steve enter his bedroom.

                         STEVE
          What was that? Everyone acting
          like they don't know me. Did I
          walk in on something?
          Darren closes the door. Gets to the point.

                         DARREN
          What happened last night?

                         STEVE
          Nothing. I hung out in the theater
          for awhile, but no one was around.
          The lie hangs in the air a moment.

                         STEVE
          Sorry about the way I acted. I'm
          sorry I pushed you.

                         DARREN
          Don't worry. There's, you know, no
          bad blood or anything like that.

                         STEVE
          What?

                         DARREN
          I said don't worry.

                         STEVE
          You said bad blood. I never heard
          you say something like that before.

                         DARREN
          What are you, the word police?
          Steve gives him a look. A weird tension in the air. Darren
          glances at the bandage on Steve's palm, changes the topic.

                         DARREN
          Wanna see that new game I got?

                         STEVE
          Sure...
          Darren steps over, starts his computer up. While waiting,
          Steve sees the digital camera on the dresser, picks it up.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          30.

                         STEVE
          I gotta get one of these.
          Steve switches it on. Something occurs to Darren too late...

                         DARREN
          Let me see that --
          On the screen: the PHOTO OF MADAM OCTA. Steve twists around
          to keep the camera out of Darren's reach.

                         STEVE
          It's Madam Octa.

                         DARREN
          I took it at the show.

                         STEVE
          Liar. Look at the background.
          This got taken right on your desk.
          Darren's caught. As they just stare at each other.

                         CUT TO:

                         MADAM OCTA
          In her cage, on the desk. Darren and Steve looking her over.

                         STEVE
          How'd you do it?

                         DARREN
          They were loading a van outside.
          I, I just took her.

                         STEVE
          Just like that...
          (after a look)
          You stole from a vampire you know?

                         DARREN
          Just because he had a coffin
          doesn't mean he's really a...
          Darren trails off. Steve realizes Darren saw the coffin.

                         STEVE
          You were there, weren't you?

                         (NO ANSWER)
          You heard what he said to me? That
          I was evil?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          31.

                         DARREN
          I didn't believe it.
          Steve studies Darren, hopes that's true.

                         DARREN
          I heard what you said to him, too.
          That you wanted to be a vampire.
          Steve doesn't want to talk about it. He looks at Madam Octa.

                         STEVE
          How do you think he made her do
          what he wanted?
          Darren opens his desk drawer, pulls out the flute.

                         DARREN
          I wish I knew how to play it.

                         STEVE
          I think that was just for show. I
          think he used something else. Some
          kind of mind control.

                         DARREN
          You mean telepathy?

                         STEVE
          I bet anyone with a brain could do
          it. Which leaves you out.
          Steve smiles, gives Darren a little punch in the arm. The
          tension is loosening. They react to a KNOCK on the door.

                         ANNIE'S VOICE
          Can I come in?
          Darren goes to the door. Opens it a few inches.

                         DARREN
          I swear to God, Annie...

                         ANNIE
          What? I knocked.
          As they talk, Steve opens the cage door. Madam Octa sets her
          arms on the edge, pulls herself out.

                         LEAPS --
          Lands on Steve's shoulder. Her fangs, wet with poison, glint
          just before she sinks them into Steve's throat. She BITES!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          32.
          Steve surges upward, his shout dying in his throat. He
          stiffens, eyes snapped wide, and then crumples to the floor.
          Darren and Annie react as --
          Madam Octa scurries off, disappears behind the curtain.

                         DARREN

                         (TO ANNIE)
          Don't move.
          Annie freezes. Darren grabs a BASEBALL BAT which leans in
          the corner. He reaches out, pokes at the curtain with it.
          Madam Octa drops down onto the window sill -- WHAM! Wood
          cracks as Darren brings down the bat, but Madam Octa is too
          quick. She disappears, leaping out the open window!
          Darren pulls it shut. He rushes back to Steve, turns him
          over. Steve's skin is already a deathly pale.

                         DARREN
          Steve...
          Annie reaches out, takes Steve's hand.

                         ANNIE
          Darren, he's freezing.

                         DARREN
          Get dad. Go.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. EMERGENCY ROOM - DAY

          Hospital doors BANG OPEN as a gurney bearing Steve is rushed
          through. Darren and his Dad follow with a DOCTOR.

                         DOCTOR
          What kind of spider was it?

                         DARREN
          I think some kind of a tarantula.

                         DOCTOR
          Where is it?

                         DARREN
          It got away.
          Darren's Dad holds up the camera.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          33.

                         DAD
          We have a picture of it.
          The doctor takes it as a NURSE meets the gurney.

                         DOCTOR
          Anaphylactic shock. Get Doctor
          Lund. And we need to download a
          photo to poison control.
          This is as far as Darren goes. Steve is wheeled in,
          surrounded. Syringes are drawn, handed in. All we can see
          of Steve is one skinny arm hanging out.
          PUSH IN ON DARREN. Sick for Steve. Scared. Unaware that
          his world has only just started to crash down around him.

                         CUT TO:

          DR. LUND - HOSPITAL CORRIDOR
          Tough, no nonsense. Marching along, carrying a print-out,
          coming to a stop where Darren sits on a plastic chair. He
          sticks the print-out into his face. The PHOTO of Madam Octa.

          DR. LUND
          How did you make this and why would
          you make this?
          Darren's Mom and Dad start over from down the corridor.

          DR. LUND
          Poison control couldn't ID it. In
          fact, the department of Entomology
          at Harvard couldn't find it in
          their data base. So either it's a
          new species or it's a fake photo.

                         DAD
          If my son said he took that photo,
          then that's the truth.
          Dr. Lund just stares at Darren. Then:

                         WOMAN'S VOICE
          What have you done to him?!
          STEVE'S MOM approaches, her eyes on Darren. Disheveled,
          cheap looking, she hasn't quite started her hangover yet.
          She lunges past Darren's dad, grabs Darren by the shoulder.

                         STEVE'S MOM
          Did you hurt Stevie?! Did you?!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          34.
          She shakes Darren hard. Darren's Dad gets between them. She
          breaks down, sobbing. Darren's mom tries to soothe her as
          she moans about what a bad mother she is.

          DR. LUND
          Your friend's going to die unless
          we find out what's in him.
          On Darren. He looks down to where light spills out from
          Steve's room. His friend is going to die in there.

          MATCH CUT TO:

          INT. DARREN'S ROOM - NIGHT

          Darren as he lays in bed, staring at the ceiling. His clock
          switches to 2:58 AM. Deciding, Darren gets out of bed.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. SHAN HOUSE - NIGHT

          Dressed, Darren climbs out the window, starts down.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. ZEITERION THEATER - NIGHT

          Dead lonely as Darren approaches, steps up to the glass door.
          As he leans in to look into the lobby, the door gives a
          little. It's unlocked. Darren pushes it open with a finger.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. UNDERSTAGE STORAGE AREA - ZEITERION - NIGHT

          Darren's by the credenza where he hid. The coffin is gone.

                         DARREN
          Hello?

                         CUT TO:

          INT. BACKSTAGE AREA - NIGHT

          MOVE WITH DARREN who comes up from below and crosses. Stay
          with him as he parts the curtains and comes out on the...

                         ZEITERION STAGE
          Where he stops short, sees in the center of the stage --
          Crepsley's COFFIN. A beat and Darren steps up. He grips the
          lid, starts sliding it back. He looks inside to see --

                         

                         

                         

                         

          35.
          Madam Octa perched on the side, staring back at him!
          Darren stumbles back. The coffin lid SLAMS to the stage as
          Darren loses his footing, lands on his butt. And then --
          APPLAUSE. One pair of hands create a hollow echo.
          Crepsley sits alone in the middle of the theater. Clapping.
          And then he's gone! Only to reappear over Darren, offering a
          hand up. Darren scrambles to his feet. A beat.

                         CREPSLEY
          What have you come for this time?
          Darren pulls out a CRUCIFIX, holds it in Crepsley's face.
          The vampire takes it, looks it over. It has no effect.

                         DARREN
          Crosses don't hurt you?

                         CREPSLEY
          Why should they?

                         DARREN
          Because... you're evil.

                         CREPSLEY
          Am I? Are vampire bats evil when
          they drink the blood of cows?

                         DARREN
          That's different. Bats are animals.

                         CREPSLEY
          So am I. So are you. Our
          appetites don't make us evil.
          (as Darren ponders...)
          Why are you here?

                         DARREN
          Your spider bit my friend Steve.
          Crepsley shrugs, tosses Darren back his crucifix.

                         DARREN
          He's dying.

                         CREPSLEY
          Yes, well, boys who play with
          things they do not understand can
          hardly complain if --

                         

                         

                         

                         

          36.

                         DARREN
          You have to help him!

                         CREPSLEY
          The antidote to her poison is rare.
          Expensive. Why should someone as
          evil as I am waste it on Steve?

                         DARREN
          I'll pay you back. If it takes 50
          years. Whatever it costs.

                         CREPSLEY
          Money doesn't interest me.

                         DARREN
          There's something you want. That's
          why you're here waiting for me.
          Right?
          Crepsley's surprised and pleased by Darren's intuitiveness.

                         CREPSLEY
          The night Steve came below to speak
          to me, you were there. Did you
          hear what we talked about?

                         DARREN
          He wanted to... become like you.

                         CREPSLEY
          You don't just 'become' a vampire.
          The change is too extreme. And if
          the shock didn't kill you, your
          inexperience would. So you become
          one in stages. A half-vampire at
          first. With greater strength than
          a human, but still able to go out
          in sunlight. You learn from a full
          vampire. Do you understand?

                         DARREN
          I think so...

                         CREPSLEY
          But your friend has bad blood.
          He's no good. There's no telling
          what he'll become as he matures.

                         DARREN
          I don't believe that someone can
          have bad blood.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          37.

                         CREPSLEY
          And yesterday you didn't believe in
          vampires. Regardless, I've left
          the Cirque. Left my protection. I
          need someone to protect me while I
          sleep. I need an apprentice.

                         DARREN

                         (SUDDENLY REALIZES)
          Me?
          Crepsley nods.

                         DARREN
          You're crazy. There's no way.

                         CREPSLEY
          Then your friend will die.
          The words hang in the air. Crepsley smiles.

                         CREPSLEY
          You hardly have a choice. It's
          your destiny.

                         DARREN
          Destiny? That doesn't make sense.

                         CREPSLEY
          Try this then. You're reckless
          enough to steal, responsible enough
          to come back for a friend. That's
          enough for me.

                         DARREN
          Not for me.

                         CREPSLEY
          Yes, well, destiny can't be
          explained. It must be lived. Now,
          you're wasting my time.

                         DARREN
          There's gotta be another way.

                         CREPSLEY
          There isn't.

                         DARREN
          Please... He's my friend.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          38.

                         CREPSLEY
          And he slips away while we argue.
          Life or death? Yes or no?

                         DARREN
          You'd never be able to trust me.
          If I got a chance for payback I'd
          take it.

                         CREPSLEY
          Yes or no?
          Thoughts rush, then stop. Darren finally just nods.
          Crepsley raises his right hand. The nails are not especially
          long, but they look thick and sharp.
          Crepsley takes Darren's hand, jabs at his forefinger, draws
          blood. He dabs off a drop, smells it, then tastes it.

                         CREPSLEY
          You have good blood.
          Crepsley lifts his own left hand. He presses the nails of
          his right into the fleshy tips of his left hand fingers.
          Then he uses the left nails to mark the right fingers in the
          same way. Blood drips down all ten fingers.

                         CREPSLEY
          Lift your hands.
          Darren does as he's told. Crepsley digs all ten nails into
          all ten of Darren's fingertips. Darren jerks back in pain.

                         CREPSLEY
          Get used to pain. More lies ahead.
          He motions to his hands. Darren raises them, fingers spread.
          Crepsley presses his fingertips to Darren's. Blood brothers.
          As their eyes lock, Darren frowns at an alien sensation.

                         CREPSLEY
          The blood flows into your left arm
          and out of your right. Do you feel
          it? Getting near your heart?
          Darren nods, shivers.

                         CREPSLEY
          Almost there.
          A force arcs through Darren's body. He screams, falls down.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          39.
          Crepsley turns away, starts to lick the blood from his
          fingertips. Tries to block out Darren's soft whimpering.
          Tries to block out any sympathy he feels.

                         CREPSLEY
          The world will start to slow down.
          You'll become a witness of time.
          (snaps out of it)
          Your friend's time is running out.
          He pulls Darren to his feet.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. ZEITERION THEATER - NIGHT

          They step out into the moonlight. Darren a little wobbly.

                         CREPSLEY
          Take my arm. Don't let go.
          Darren takes hold. Crepsley starts to move. Only it seems
          more like he's still and the ground is moving under his feet.
          Darren looks about as the building begin to streak past, the
          road a blurred ribbon. The night has a weird chromatic look.
          The world moving faster, Crepsley and Darren slipping past.
          A moment later and they're in the...

          HOSPITAL PARKING LOT
          Crepsley pulls loose Darren's hand. They're still bleeding.

                         CREPSLEY
          Lick your fingers. Vampire spit
          will stop wounds from bleeding.
          Darren looks at his fingers, then around the lot.

                         DARREN
          How'd we get here?

                         CREPSLEY
          It's called flitting. Which room
          is your friend in?

                         CUT TO:

          INT. HOSPITAL - STEVE'S ROOM - NIGHT

          Tubes run in and out of Steve. His breathing is labored.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          40.
          Crepsley leans over him, rolls up one of Steve's eyelids.
          Darren watches as Crespley looks into Steve's eye.

                         CREPSLEY
          We're in time. He still has a few
          minutes left.
          Crepsley takes a small AMBER VIAL from his pocket. He breaks
          a wax seal then pinches out a small blackened cork.
          He pulls the drip line out of the IV CATHETER and empties a
          drop of the vial's dark, viscous contents inside. It swirls
          murkily, coloring the liquid on its way into Steve's arm.
          A beat and then Steve seems to convulse, his arms and legs
          twitching. Is he dying?

                         DARREN
          What's happening?

                         CREPSLEY
          He was near death. The journey
          back is not pleasant. What do you
          know about him, this boy with bad
          blood?

                         DARREN
          He's my friend.

                         CREPSLEY
          Hmm... Who's his father?

                         DARREN
          Never met him. I don't think Steve
          ever did either. Why do you want
          to know?
          And then Steve comes around. He opens his eyes, focuses on
          Darren for a moment. He looks puzzled.

                         STEVE
          Darren?
          And then he drifts off, asleep. His breathing growing
          deeper, steadier. Darren realizing he's going to be okay.

                         CREPSLEY
          Will you come with me now or do you
          have things to set in order first?
          That's when it really hits home. He's agreed to leave every-
          thing and go off with a vampire. Without really thinking,
          Darren starts backing toward the door, his eyes on Crepsley.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          41.

                         CREPSLEY
          I see...
          Darren's almost to the door. Crepsley stays where he is.

                         CREPSLEY
          Run if you want. It won't help.
          You're a creature of the night now,
          Darren Shan.
          Darren turns and bolts leaving Crepsley alone. Chuckling,
          the vampire tucks Steve's covers up under his chin.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. HOSPITAL DOORS - NIGHT

          BURSTING OPEN as Darren charges out. Running for his life.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. DARREN'S ROOM - MORNING

          Darren asleep in his bed. The door opens and his mom enters.

                         MOM
          Darren... Wake up, honey.
          Darren wakes with a start as she gives him a little shake.
          As he looks about, wonders what reality he's in.

                         MOM
          I just got off the phone. Great
          news. Steve's going to be okay.

                         DARREN
          What?

                         MOM
          The hospital says it's a miracle.
          Was it a dream? Darren looks down at his hands. On the tip
          of each finger and two thumbs are small round WHITE SCARS.
          Darren instinctively hugs his mom. She thinks he's
          overjoyed, can't see his look of terror. She hugs him back.

                         MOM
          Yeah, it's great news. I know how
          you feel.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          42.

          EXT. THE SHAN HOUSE - DAY

          The door opens and Darren steps out. He takes a long look up
          and down the street. Nervous. Then he see the sun up in the
          sky. Relaxes a little. Right... Vampires... Sun.
          He takes a step down the stairs when... From out of the
          bushes... SOMEONE LEAPS!

                         ANNIE
          Boo!
          Darren nearly jumps out of his skin. Annie laughs.

                         ANNIE
          Got you! I finally got you! -
          Darren turns on her, looks like he could kill her.

                         DARREN
          Don't ever do that again.
          Annie's smile drops away. As Darren continues on...

                         CUT TO:

          INT. HALLWAY - SCHOOL - DAY

          Darren walking along, feeling isolated as he moves past the
          other students. Everything seems weird, off.
          A couple of KIDS RUSH past him going into a classroom. Then
          a COUPLE more coming the other way.

                         KID
          Hey, Shan, you gotta see this.
          They duck into the classroom. Darren follows.

                         SCIENCE LAB
          TWENTY or so KIDS all pressed around the Boa Constrictor
          tank. Steve holds court.

                         STEVE
          .Doctor said it was a miracle.
          They say I'm unique --
          Steve spots Darren as he steps up in the back.

                         STEVE
          Hey, Darren. I've been looking for
          you. We got a lot to talk about.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          43.

                         DARREN
          Yeah?

                         STEVE
          But first...
          Steve holds out a fist. A MOUSE pokes its head out through
          an opening in the hand. Its whiskers twitch. As Darren
          looks from the mouse to the snake...
          Steve addresses the kids does his best 'Mr. Tall'. He tries
          to be entertaining, but he comes off creepy.

                         STEVE
          Welcome to Cirque du Steve. What
          happens to us all can happen to any
          of us. If you watch, it's by your
          own free will. Say farewell...

                         HEFTS MOUSE
          .to Crepsley the mouse.
          Darren reacts to the name. Steve lowers his hand into the
          terrarium. Some kids already look away, others are intent.

                         DARREN

                         STOP --
          Steve hesitates. Darren pushes to the front.

                         DARREN
          It's cruel.

                         STEVE
          It's nature. Anyhow don't watch.

                         (TO KIDS)
          And don't blink; you might miss it.
          Steve sets the mouse in the terrarium.
          The MOUSE takes a few tentative steps. Moves toward a corner
          away from the... SNAKE who's suddenly alert. It raises its
          head, flicks its tongue. Coils back on itself.
          ZAP! The snake STRIKES...
          And Darren darts down his hand! CATCHES the snake just below
          its head, out of mid-air, out of mid-strike. Impossible!
          The snake twists in Darren's hand. The students are blown
          away. Steve's eyes narrow, his wheels are turning.
          The BELL RINGS. Moment over. Kids hurry out to class.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          44.
          Darren scoops up the mouse, drops the snake back in. As he
          starts out, Steve cuts him off.

                         STEVE
          What happened to the spider?

                         DARREN
          I killed it.
          Steve hesitates, processes, looks Darren over.

                         STEVE
          I had a dream. You and Crepsley
          were in my hospital room...

                         DARREN
          Tell me about it later.
          Darren starts away. Steve grabs him hard, spins him around.

                         STEVE
          I'll tell you now.
          Darren reacts instinctively, grabs Steve with his free hand
          and SLAMS him against the wall. Steve's nearly off the
          ground, only his left toe touching.

                         DARREN
          I said later.
          Darren lets go, heads off. Steve watches, wonders.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. STREETS - DARREN'S NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

          Darren walks home, hands in pockets. Annie comes up behind.

                         ANNIE
          Darren! Wait up!
          He looks over his shoulder, keep going.

                         ANNIE
          Can I walk home with you?
          He softens, slows down. After a few silent steps.

                         DARREN
          Got you something.
          Darren pulls the MOUSE from his pocket. Annie loves it, cups
          it in her hand.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          45.

                         ANNIE
          He's adorable.

          ANNIE & DARREN - A CREATURE'S POV
          Coming in low and fast.

                         STREET
          Annie SCREAMS as a GERMAN SHEPHERD charges, stops just short
          of them. GROWLING like it was rabid. Like it hates Darren.
          Darren steps between it and Annie. Darren's pupils dilate
          oddly; he curls his lip to show his own teeth. The dog
          starts to back off..

                         ANNIE
          Hey. That's King.

                         DARREN
          No it's not. King's my buddy.

                         ANNIE
          That's King, Darren. It is.
          Darren realizes it is King. As Darren realizes something's
          wrong with Darren.. Another growl. From down the street.
          Darren looks back as a black 1966 LINCOLN prowls through the
          intersection. The one seen at school. It slows, windows
          blacked out. As it continues, disappears from view...

                         DARREN
          Come on.
          As Darren hurries Annie along down the street...

                         CUT TO:

          INT. KITCHEN - SHAN HOUSE - NIGHT

          Darren at the kitchen table doing his math homework. His Mom
          makes dinner, chopping vegetables at the sink.

                         MOM
          How was school today?

                         DARREN
          The usual. Sometimes it was
          boring, sometimes really boring.
          Darren's mom laughs. Then...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          46.

                         MOM
          Ouch!
          She drops the knife on the cutting board. A thick drop of
          BLOOD runs down her finger.
          Darren flinches at the sight and in that moment we PUNCH INTO
          his eyes. The PUPILS swirl red; the IRISES flatten and
          narrow. A dark, ravenous look.

          MOM - DARREN'S POV
          Holding up her finger. Her skin tone receding back into
          gray, the blood pulsing with red vibrancy. Alive. A target.

                         DARREN
          Standing at the blood's seeming siren call. But as he
          suddenly moves forward, she turns away.
          Darren stops as she wraps her finger in a paper towel. She
          looks back at him: misunderstands his hunger for concern.

                         MOM
          It's okay, honey. I just need a
          band-aid.
          Darren looks at his mom's neck. His eyes zero in on a little
          blue VEIN PULSING away. She leaves the room to get a band-
          aid. As Darren's horror sinks in...

                         CUT TO:

          INT. BATHROOM - SHAN HOUSE - NIGHT

          Darren looks at his reflection in the MIRROR. Looking for
          reassurance. He curls his lip, checks his teeth. They look
          normal. He reaches out. Trying to reach himself.
          His hand comes to a stop against the glass. His nails CLICK
          hard against the surface. He scrapes the nail of his
          forefinger along the glass. It leaves a deep scratch.
          Darren starts to freak a little. His breath getting ragged.
          He tries to get a hold of himself, looks back in the mirror.

                         DARREN
          You're different...

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          47.

          INT. ZEITERION THEATER - STAGE - NIGHT

          Darren walks down an aisle, climbs up onto the empty stage.
          Dark, but Darren moves calmly, like it was noon.

                         DARREN
          Hello? Hey!
          Crepsley appears. Darren turns, sees him. A beat. Crepsley
          raises his hands to the gloom around them.

                         CREPSLEY
          The darkness isn't so scary
          anymore, is it?

                         DARREN
          I'm starting to think it's me
          that's scary.
          Crepsley waits to hear more.

                         DARREN
          It's only gonna get worse, isn't
          it? There's no way back, is there?
          No magic potion to make me human
          again?
          Crepsley shakes his head. Darren nods that he understands.

                         DARREN
          We made a deal. I won't run away
          again.

                         CREPSLEY
          It's neither here nor there, but, I
          do feel sorry for you.
          Darren waves it off, doesn't want to hear it.

                         CREPSLEY
          Are you ready then? The night is
          young. We can make many miles.

                         DARREN
          I can't just -- My family, I can't
          let them think I just left them.
          Or that something happened to me.
          My mother would... She couldn't...
          As Darren trails off, Crepsley really does look sympathetic.

                         CREPSLEY
          There's only one thing for it.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          48.

                         DARREN
          What?

                         CREPSLEY
          We'll have to kill you.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. LIVING ROOM - SHAN HOUSE - NIGHT

          Darren's parents watching CNN. Darren comes in.

                         DARREN
          I'm going to bed.
          They say 'good night' to him. Impulsively, Darren kisses his
          dad on the cheek, then does the same to his mom.

                         DARREN
          I love you both. I don't say it
          that much, but I do.
          Darren's Mom is caught off guard, but happy to hear it.

                         MOM
          We love you, too. Don't we, Tommy?

                         DAD
          Of course we do.
          Darren looks at them a beat, then smiles, satisfied.

                         DARREN
          Good night.
          They watch him go, then exchange looks.

                         DAD

                         (SHRUGS)
          Kids. Who knows how they think?

                         CUT TO:

          INT. ANNIE'S ROOM - NIGHT

          Annie asleep already. Darren enters, pulls his sister's
          blanket up, tucks it under her chin. He whispers:

                         DARREN
          Goodbye, knucklehead. If I can
          ever help you, I will.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          49.

          INT. DARREN'S ROOM - NIGHT

          Darren enters to find Crepsley sitting at his desk. He holds
          a small dark bottle between his fingers (different than the
          one he gave to Steve). As Crepsley's about to speak...

                         DARREN
          Shut up.
          Off Crepsley's reaction...

                         DARREN
          This is my home and I'm never gonna
          see it again, so don't rush me.
          Crepsley makes a motion to zip his lips. All the same, he
          stands, unscrews the bottle as Darren takes a last look
          around. He takes a PHOTO of his family off the dresser.

                         DARREN
          Hold onto this for me, okay?
          Crepsley takes the photo, offers Darren the bottle in return.
          Darren sniffs, recoils at the foul smell.

                         DARREN
          You're sure it will work?
          Crepsley opens the window.

                         CREPSLEY
          Your heart will slow down so
          drastically they won't find a
          pulse. With the fall from the
          window, they'll think you're dead.

                         DARREN
          What if I break bones?

                         CREPSLEY
          Even better. They'll mend in a few
          days. Vampires don't stay broken
          for long and it takes a very long
          fall to kill one.

                         DARREN
          And the funeral home? Won't they
          embalm me or something?

                         CREPSLEY
          Don't worry. I have ways of making
          my thoughts become the thoughts of
          others. They'll leave you alone.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          50.
          Crepsley gestures to the window. Knowing the plan, Darren
          climbs out, his foot resting on the trellis. He looks to the
          ground, back to Crepsley as an odd thought hits him.

                         DARREN
          My dad's allergic to grass. It's
          my job to cut the lawn.

                         CREPSLEY
          You have a new job now. Drink.
          Darren steels himself, gulps it down, hands the bottle back.

                         DARREN
          So this is destiny, huh? Tastes
          like crap.
          Darren body seizes up. He lets go, but Crepsley grabs him.

                         CREPSLEY
          Your breathing is slowing, your
          heart as well. Do you feel it?
          Darren can't answer. He blinks his eyes 'yes' instead.

                         CREPSLEY
          You may be aware of what's going on
          around you. Remember, the grief
          that you hear will be a release for
          those who express it.
          Darren's eyes drift shut. Crepsley lets him go.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. SHAN HOUSE - NIGHT

          Darren FALLS, crashes through the trellis and thumps into the
          lawn. Crepsley looks down from the window, then disappears.
          CLOSE ON Darren lying face down in the grass. CRICKETS
          chirp. Beyond, a NEIGHBOR walks his DOG. The dog suddenly
          turns in the direction of Darren, pulls on its leash.

                         NEIGHBOR
          No, no, come on --
          The Neighbor stops short as he sees the body.

                         NEIGHBOR
          Hey -- Hey, kid --
          He rolls Darren over, realizes something is very wrong.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          51.
          We stay on Darren, the dog sniffing at him as the neighbor
          disappears toward the front door. We hear his fist pound. A
          moment later, Darren's father is there. He looks at Darren,
          up to the open window, realizes he fell. An instant later,
          he's on his knees, cradling his son.

                         DAD
          Darren? Darren!
          A moment later his Mom...

                         MOM
          Darren! Oh my God!
          We're still on Darren's face, his eye open a slit.

                         DARREN'S POV
          His parents hovering over him in despair. The STARS TWINKLE.
          The neighbor leans in.

                         NEIGHBOR
          Is he dead?

                         CUT TO:

          INT. MORGUE - NIGHT

          Darren's body on a stainless steel table. The MEDICAL
          EXAMINER shakes his head sadly, looks to his ASSISTANT.

                         MEDICAL EXAMINER
          Cause of death is trauma from the
          impact of the fall. Poor kid.

                         ASSISTANT
          Are we doing an autopsy?

          A NEW ANGLE
          Reveals Crepsley watching from around a darkened corner.

                         CREPSLEY

                         (WHISPERS)
          Not on a child.
          Immediately...

                         MEDICAL EXAMINER
          I'm not going to cut open a kid.
          Not when I don't have to.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          52.

          INT. FUNERAL HOME - EARLY EVENING

          Darren in his coffin, wearing a suit. Aware as...
          Friends and family passing by. The sounds of people crying.
          TWO CUTE GIRLS from school lean in.

                         GIRL ONE
          He's still cute.

                         GIRL TWO
          I always had a crush on him.
          The Goalie from school soccer is next. He holds a little
          SOCCER BALL in his hand. Tucks it into the coffin.

                         GOALIE
          For the next life, Shan. Top right
          corner every time.
          Annie steps up, gently strokes her brother's cheek. Then
          suddenly overwhelmed, she buries her face in their Dad's
          chest. He leans in tenderly over his son. Choked up:

                         DAD
          I love you, Darren. You said it
          the other night; I didn't say it
          back.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. FUNERAL HOME - NIGHT

          PEOPLE leave. Visiting hours are over.

                         CUT TO:

          DARREN IN HIS COFFIN
          A hand reaches down, a thumb opens his eyelid.

                         DARREN'S POV
          Of the ceiling for a moment, then a blinding light flashing
          back and forth. Then glimpses of Steve's face!

                         VISITING ROOM
          Steve holds Darren's eye open, shines a PENLIGHT into it.
          The pupil doesn't dilate. Footsteps approach. Steve
          switches it off, pockets it as the FUNERAL DIRECTOR enters.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          53.

                         DIRECTOR
          I'm sorry. I know it's difficult,
          but visiting hours are over.
          Steve nods sadly, looks to Darren. He pats one of Darren's
          hands which are folded across his chest.
          In reality Steve checks Darren's fingertips. A WHITE SCAR at
          the end of each one. Steve's crazy idea may be confirmed.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. CEMETERY - DAY

          Darren's coffin is lowered into the ground.

                         MINISTER
          Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, in
          sure and certain hope of the
          resurrection to come...
          Darren's Dad tosses a handful of earth down onto the coffin.

                         CUT TO:

          DARREN INSIDE THE CLOSED COFFIN
          The lid an inch from his face. His eyelid twitching as we
          hear shovelfuls of dirt hit the lid. The sound growing
          duller at each turn. Then, as Darren's eye flickers open...

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. CEMETERY - NIGHT

          Moonless. The sound of digging continues. Only now, dirt is
          coming out of the hole rather than going in.
          Crepsley is digging the coffin back up. Effortlessly.
          Finally, he spreads his feet apart, pulls open the lid.
          Darren sputters as some of the dirt spills onto his face.
          Crepsley reaches down, pulls him up and out of the grave.
          Darren sits on the ground, coughing then moaning.

                         CREPSLEY
          On your feet.

                         DARREN
          My legs are asleep.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          54.
          Crepsley pulls him up anyhow. Darren stumbles a few steps,
          nearly falls before finding his balance.

                         CREPSLEY
          Walk it off. I'll fill this back
          in. Go. Breathe some air.
          Crepsley closes the coffin, begins to fill the hole as Darren
          ambles off. Not exactly the start of his best day.

          MOVE WITH DARREN
          Passing among the graves, stretching his arms, twisting.
          Really beat up. He looks about, the names and dates on the
          headstones popping into focus even from far away. Night
          vision. Suddenly he becomes aware of something:
          Steve. On the other side of a mausoleum. Ten feet away.

                         DARREN
          What are you doing here?

                         STEVE
          (smiles; closing in)
          Vampire hunting.
          Steve rushes the last step, a jagged WOODEN STAKE held high
          over his head. He knocks Darren back on the ground.
          Pouncing on top, he brings down the stake.
          Darren catches hold of Steve's wrist. Stops the point of the
          stake just over his heart. Steve puts his weight into it. A
          desperate moment of struggle, but Darren's strength is
          resurgent. He throws Steve off.
          Steve rolls to his feet, comes at him again. Darren catches
          his wrist with one hand, his throat with the other. He slams
          him up against the mausoleum, holds him there.

                         DARREN
          What do you have against vampires?
          You wanted to become one yourself.

                         STEVE
          Yeah, I wanted to, but you did.
          You stole my dream. You stole my
          destiny.

                         DARREN
          Are you crazy? I did it to save
          your life. That was the deal. Me
          for you.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          55.

                         STEVE

                         (UNHINGING)
          Liar. You told him I was evil.
          You planned this all along. And
          you'll pay! You'll pay --
          Darren jams the stake under Steve's throat. That stops him
          struggling. The points jabs him as he swallows.

                         DARREN
          I want you to leave...
          Steve is just beginning to realize how strong Darren is now.

                         DARREN
          I want you to leave and forget you
          ever saw me. Understand?
          Scared, he nods. Darren shoves him away, brakes the stake in
          two. Steve heads away, looks back over his shoulder.

                         STEVE
          I'm going to hunt you, Darren. You
          and the other one. Crepsley. I'll
          put a stake in you and burn you to
          ashes. I'll make sure you never
          come back from the grave again.
          WHAM. Steve walks right into Crepsley. He picks Steve up by
          the shoulders, pulls him close. With a voice like Death...

                         CREPSLEY
          If we ever meet again, I will show
          you loneliness you cannot imagine.
          Steve trembles in fear. Crepsley lets go. Steve takes off
          running. Crepsley looks to Darren.

                         CREPSLEY
          Do you still question his blood?
          Darrenthoughtful, doesn't know what to think.

                         DARREN
          Would a stake through the heart
          kill a vampire?

                         CREPSLEY
          Yes. But so would getting hit by a
          truck if it was going fast enough.
          Steve finally disappears from sight. Crepsley sighs.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          56.

                         CREPSLEY
          He'll be trouble before it's over.

                         DARREN
          Before what's over?

                         CREPSLEY
          This adventure we're on. Shall we
          start?
          Darren hesitates, looks to the twinkling lights of his city.

                         CREPSLEY
          You'll get used to it after awhile.
          Vampires are always saying goodbye.
          A beat, then Darren looks back at him.

                         DARREN
          Let's go.

                         CUT TO:

                         THE SUN
          As it blisters up into, then rises above the horizon.
          Sunrise. Ominous if you're a full vampire.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. RURAL OHIO MOTEL - SUNRISE

          On the edge of the highway. Silhouetted against the sun.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. MOTEL ROOM - SUNRISE

          Darren jams a rolled towel along the bottom of a closed door.

                         DARREN
          How's that? Dark enough?

                         CREPLEY'S VOICE
          (on the other side)
          Better.

                         DARREN
          It's sunrise.

                         CREPLEY'S VOICE
          I know the time. I know more about
          the sunrise than anyone alive.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          57.
          Crespley sounds irritated. Darren gets mischievous.

                         DARREN
          Maybe I'll wait until noon and then
          open every door and curtain in the
          place.
          A long tense silence as Darren awaits Crepsley's reply.

                         MOTEL BEDROOM
          Crepsley is a shadow among the shadows. He climbs into bed.

                         CREPSLEY
          Yes, sunlight would kill me. My
          electrons are different than a
          human's. But it would take several
          hours of exposure. I'd have plenty
          of time to kill you before I closed
          the curtains and went back to bed.
          Crepsley pulls the blanket up over his head.

          MOTEL LIVING ROOM
          As Darren considers this...

                         CUT TO:

          DOORWAY - LATER
          Darren doing pull-ups, a hand on either side of the top jamb.

                         DARREN

          242... 243... 244...
          It's almost effortless. Bored rather than tired, Darren
          drops to his feet. (He still wears his burial suit.)

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. MOTEL COURTYARD - AFTERNOON

          Darren watching the cars go by on the highway, spots...

                         DARREN
          Minnesota...
          Darren jots this state down on a LIST he's keeping. About
          twenty state license plates so far.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          58.

          INT. COUCH - MOTEL ROOM - SUNSET

          A TV droning. Darren asleep. Bathed in a golden glow that
          flickers out as the sun sets. The bedroom door opens.
          Crepsley steps over, looks down at his snoozing assistant.
          Crepsley CLAPS his hands together, nearly against Darren's
          ear. Crepsley smiles as Darren jolts awake.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. SHOPPING MALL PARKING LOT - NIGHT

          Getting late, stores closing. The parking lot nearly empty.
          Darren and Crepsley are on a walk and talk.

                         CREPSLEY
          We can die violently. Accidentally
          or otherwise. But we also grow
          old. A full vampire will age one
          year for every ten human years he's
          alive. A half-vampire like you:
          one for every five.

                         DARREN
          I don't understand.

                         CREPSLEY
          I was born in 1774. I became --
          Crepsley looks back to where Darren has stopped short.

                         DARREN

          1774?

                         CREPSLEY
          Should we do the math or not?
          Darren nods. Crepsley motions him to keep up.

                         CREPSLEY
          I became a vampire when I was 20
          years old. In 1794.

                         DARREN

          1794?

                         CREPSLEY
          In Paris. The days of the Terror.
          Heads in baskets. Guillotines up
          and down all day. Really when
          humans put their minds to it, we
          vampires can hardly compete.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          59.
          Darren's stare jogs him back from the good old days.

                         CREPSLEY
          Math. 1794. So I've been a
          vampire now for 211 years. Hmm?
          Darren nods again, still with him.

                         CREPSLEY
          I age 1 year for every 10, so, 211
          divided by 10, I've aged about 21
          years in that time. That 21 plus
          my first human 20 makes me look
          about 40.

                         DARREN
          But altogether you're 211 plus 20.
          You're really 231 years old.

                         CREPSLEY
          Exactly. You're going to be a
          teenager for a very long time.
          They walk on a few steps as Darren thinks this over.

                         DARREN
          Where do you keep your car anyhow?

                         CREPSLEY
          What car?

                         DARREN
          The one you were driving around my
          town in. The old black one.

                         CREPSLEY
          I've never owned a car, Darren. I
          don't need one.

                         DARREN
          It was near school one day. It
          followed me home a few days later.

                         CREPSLEY
          And you saw me behind the wheel?

                         DARREN
          I couldn't see who was driving.

                         CREPSLEY
          It wasn't me.
          As Darren considers this, Crepsley stops suddenly.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          60.

                         CREPSLEY
          There...
          Ahead: just more parking lot. A WOMAN exiting a BOOKSTORE.

                         DARREN
          What?

                         CREPSLEY
          Dinner.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT

          The woman nears her car. A chirp as she unlocks it with her
          remote. She opens the back door, sets the book bag on the
          seat. Suddenly she turns, like someone called her name.

                         WOMAN
          Yes?
          Only nobody's there. She shrugs it off, closes the back
          door. But hesitates at the driver's side door. Then she
          starts walking away, toward a back area of loading docks.

                         CUT TO:

                         DARREN & CREPSLEY
          Watch from a dumpster by the loading dock. She walks right
          toward them. One look at Crepsley's face and we know he must
          be willing her over. Darren looks terrified.
          But the air shimmers and Crepsley has disappeared.
          The woman steps up, stops across from Darren. As she frowns,
          tries to figure out who he is and how she got here...

                         DARREN
          Go. Run.
          But Crepsley appears beside her. He 'breathes' into his
          hand, 'guides' the air into her face. He catches her as she
          passes out. Darren is horrified.

                         DARREN
          Did you kill her?

                         CREPSLEY
          I put her to sleep. She'll be like
          this 15 minutes. When she wakes
          up, she won't remember a thing.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          61.
          Crepsley eases her to the ground, finds a vein on her wrist.

                         DARREN
          Will she become a vampire?

                         CREPSLEY
          No. She'd have to share y blood
          for that to happen.

                         DARREN
          Don't take too much.

                         CREPSLEY
          A vampire who feeds often can
          control himself. One who drinks
          only when he must can end up
          feeding wildly.
          He uses one of his fingernails to open the vein.

                         CREPSLEY
          The hunger inside us must be fed to
          be controlled. To be civilized.
          It's what separates us from... the
          others.

                         DARREN
          What others?
          But as blood oozes, he takes the woman's wrist td his mouth.
          Darren is repulsed, but can't look away. Crepsley takes a
          few deep swallows, then holds the wrist out to Darren.

                         CREPSLEY
          Your turn.

                         DARREN
          No. I won't.

                         CREPSLEY
          Darren...

                         DARREN
          I'll never do it.
          Crepsley runs his tongue over the cut, rubs the saliva in.

                         CREPSLEY
          You can lead a vampire to blood,
          but you can't make him drink.

                         DARREN
          I'm only half-vampire.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          62.

                         CREPSLEY
          No matter, you need blood to live
          now. You'll drink eventually.
          When you're hungry enough.
          The wrist is clean, the cut gone. A barely perceptible scar.

                         DARREN
          I'll die first.

                         CREPSLEY

                         (ANGER FLASHING)
          Don't be stupid. You may abstain
          tonight, but you must feed soon.
          Crepsley stands to go, then stops short. Tense, he looks
          about, more hunted animal than man. As he shrugs it off.

                         DARREN
          What is it?
          As the woman starts to stir...

                         CREPSLEY
          Nothing. Let's go.

                         DARREN
          Something out there scares you.
          What is it?

                         CREPSLEY
          The thought of spending another
          minute with you.
          Crepsley turns and walks, but Darren's right.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. HAMBURGER JOINT - NIGHT

          The WAITRESS sets a juicy BURGER down across from Darren.
          Crepsley sits across from him.

                         CREPSLEY
          We still need to eat food, too. I
          just don't need it tonight.
          Darren just sits there. Silently as tears begin to run down
          his cheeks. Crepsley is exasperated.

                         CREPSLEY
          Now what?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          63.

                         DARREN
          The blood... I wanted it. I
          wanted to drink it.

                         CREPSLEY
          Of course you did! You're a
          Crepsley catches himself. He is not without some compassion.

                         CREPSLEY
          I'm sorry. It was wrong of me to
          blood you. You're too young. But
          it's done. Like the entire history
          of the world up to this moment.
          Darren quietly cries. Crepsley pulls two paper napkins from
          the dispenser, hands them to him.

                         DARREN
          Thank you.
          Darren turns to face the window as he wipes his eyes, nose.
          Then he sees it: parked across and down the street...
          A black 1966 Lincoln Continental.
          Darren looks back at Crepsley.

                         CREPSLEY

                         (RE: HAMBURGER)
          Eat. Let's not waste anymore food
          tonight.

                         DARREN
          The car...
          Crepsley follows the finger as Darren points.
          DING DING! The bell over the diner door rings...

          CLOSE ON DARREN
          As he looks back over his shoulder at the door.

                         DARREN'S POV
          MR. TINY comes through the front door pimpin'. Peter Lorre
          on steroids. Scary, done up like a Las Vegas high roller.

                         TABLE
          Darren knows trouble when he sees it. He looks back at
          Crepsley, but the vampire is gone! Vanished.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          64.

          MR. TINY

                         (STEPPING UP)
          Darren Shan, we meet at last.
          Darren just looks up at him. The guy is practically leaking
          nastiness no matter how avuncular he tries to be.

          MR. TINY
          You're quite a boy. Sacrificed
          everything to save a friend.

                         DARREN
          Where'd you hear that?

          MR. TINY
          A little bat told me.
          Mr. Tiny takes a french fry off Darren's plate, eats it.
          Darren looks around. Where the hell did Crepsley go at a
          time like this? Mr. Tiny knows what he's thinking.

          MR. TINY
          Oh, he's still here.

                         DARREN
          Who is?

          MR. TINY
          Crepsley. Trying to stay alive.
          It's so quiet around them Darren can hear a clock TICKING.
          It's a heart shaped POCKET WATCH Mr. Tiny holds on a chain.

          MR. TINY
          Would you like to see?

                         DARREN
          See what?
          The air seems to buzz as something 'passes'.

          MR. TINY
          Why the fight of course. Boys like
          to watch fights, don't they?
          Mr. Tiny hefts his watch. It almost seems to melt into his
          palm. As he pulls the winding knob out with a CLICK...
          As Darren and Mr. Tiny blink out, disappear from the booth...

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          65.

          INT. HAMBURGER JOINT - NIGHT (IN THE FLITTING WORLD)

          Darren and Mr. Tiny reappear in the booth, but the
          restaurant's patrons are slowed to near motionlessness.A
          battle royal going on. Crepsley fighting three VAMPANEZE.
          All three are sinewy, whipcords with blotchy purple skin.
          Crepsley stands surrounded in the middle of the restaurant.
          Whirling, hand fighting. Blocking their thrusts and blows.
          Darren moves to stand. Mr. Tiny pushes him back to his seat.
          Crepsley takes one down with a violent leg whip. He drives
          the second one back into the third knocking both back.
          A look to Darren and then he's back on LEG WHIP who's getting
          to his feet. Crepsley drives his flat hand forward, his
          nails tearing into the vampaneze's throat.
          As leg whip's hand instinctively goes to his throat to stem
          the blood, Crepsley grabs his free hand, sends him airborne.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. HAMBURGER JOINT - NIGHT (REAL WORLD)

          As leg whip 'unflits'. The patrons react to him soaring over
          the counter, slamming into the wall --

                         CUT TO:

          INT. HAMBURGER JOINT - NIGHT (IN THE FLITTING WORLD)

          The patrons near frozen again. Leg whip sliding ever so
          slowly down the wall. Crepsley and Sinewy One & Two FIGHTING
          at full speed.
          Sinewy One pulls Crepsley's arm up behind his back. Crepsley
          HOWLING as we hear the bone BREAK.
          Mr. Tiny grabs Darren by the wrist, pulls him toward the
          door. Behind them...
          Crepsley drives the back of his head into Sinewy One's face
          at the same time as Sinewy Two swings in his open palm...
          Sinewy One releases Crepsley who disappears as Sinewy Two
          slices open Sinewy One's throat.
          As Mr. Tiny pulls Darren out the door...

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          66.

          INT. HAMBURGER JOINT - NIGHT (REAL WORLD)

          Crepsley appears. Leg Whip hits the floor. Blood splashes
          the wall as Sinewy One appears, dropping to his knees.
          As Leg Whip stands, Crepsley charges, 'shoulders' him halfway
          through the wall. Patrons SCREAM, react, scatter.
          As Crepsley grabs a knife...

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. HAMBURGER JOINT - PARKING LOT - NIGHT (FLITTING WORLD)

          Darren struggles as Mr. Tiny pulls him along. Behind,
          through the diner windows, WE SEE Patrons frozen in flight.
          Sinewy Two near frozen in fight with Crepsley who is in mid
          swing with the knife in his head.
          Mr. Tiny and Darren stop across from YOUNG MURLOUGH.
          Humanoid in shape, monstrous in visage. Bloated, his skin
          albino white with purplish mottling and red crisscrossing
          veins. He must weigh 300 pounds, but NFL nose tackle style.

                         MURLOUGH
          Smell the blood. The lovely blood.
          His eyes narrow at the sight of Crepsley, his mouth widening
          to show two rows of sharp filthy teeth.
          Darren needs to do something. He eyes the watch in Mr.
          Tiny's hand. He grabs it with his free hand, thumbs back in
          the winding knob. As Murlough disappears from view...
          The WINDOW EXPLODES as Sinewy Two hurtles out.
          Darren tosses the watch high in the air. Mr. Tiny releases
          him to move to catch it.
          Darren rushes back toward the restaurant.
          Mr. Tiny catches his watch.
          Crepsley meets Darren. Crepsley's broken arm hangs uselessly
          from his side.
          Murlough appears alongside. He grabs Crepsley by the throat,
          lifts him off the ground.
          Crepsley arcs the knife into Murlough's shoulder.
          Murlough staggers, lets go.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          67.
          Crepsley takes Darren's hand and they flit, disappearing.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. STREET - NIGHT (IN THE FLITTING WORLD)

          Beyond the hamburger joint. The world beginning to streak
          past them. The asphalt begins to blur beneath their feet,
          passing cars like they were standing still. But Crepsley
          heaves for breath. In pain.
          Darren looks back over his shoulder...

                         DARREN'S POV
          Murlough follows. Closing ground.

                         DARREN & CREPSLEY

                         DARREN
          It's behind us!
          Crepsley bears down, the buildings streaking by. But...

                         MURLOUGH
          Closes regardless, relentless, death in his eyes.

                         CREPSLEY
          Almost out of gas. But looking ahead. Clocks in an instant:
          a RED LIGHT AHEAD. Cars STOPPED. A CAR FROZEN having just
          crossed the INTERSECTION. HEADLIGHTS from a blind corner.
          Crepsley slows. Just as Murlough's about to catch him from
          behind... Crepsley comes out of flit mode, disappears.
          As Murlough FADES after him.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. INTERSECTION - NIGHT (REAL WORLD)

          Darren and Crepsley appear on the far side of the crossing.
          Murlough comes out of flit in the center.
          WHAM! The headlights Crepsley saw frozen, but coming from
          the blind corner, become a PICK-UP - broadsiding Murlough!
          He goes up over the hood, SMASHES against the windshield.
          As Darren and Murlough disappear again...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          68.
          The pick-up brakes. Murlough doesn't. He tumbles off the
          hood, sprawls hard into and skids along the street.
          A beat and he rolls to a sitting position, looks around. No
          Crepsley in sight. Blood runs out of one of his ears. As he
          wipes it, smearing it across his cheek...

                         PICK-UP DRIVER

                         (RUSHING OVER)
          Hey, man, are you okay?!
          He stops short when he sees Murlough's face. Murlough
          stands, SWATS the driver aside.
          The Lincoln screeches to a halt alongside him. Murlough
          climbs in. The Lincoln tearing away.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. STATE HIGHWAY - DAWN

          The sky getting lighter. A SIGN: Now Entering Pennsylvania.
          The air shimmers as something flits past... WHOOOSHH!

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. HUNTING CABIN - WOODS - DAWN

          Boarded up. Abandoned. Clutching his arm, Mr. Crepsley
          kicks at the door, splinters it. Opens"a gap. Darren
          reaches through, unlocks it. As they step inside, the first
          rays of the sun appear through the trees.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. ROOT CELLAR - DAWN

          Crepsley climbs down a few steps, closes the door behind him.
          Barely any light, but some.

                         CREPSLEY
          Find a blanket. A rug. Cover it.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. HUNTING CABIN - DAWN

          Darren drags a CARPET over the root cellar door in the floor.

                         ROOT CELLAR
          It goes black except for a glint in Crepsley's eyes. He
          sighs, settles down on the ground. Worn out.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          69.

                         DARREN'S VOICE
          Are you okay?

                         CREPSLEY
          My arm's broken. But it should be
          fine in a day or two.

          INTERCUT THE FOLLOWING:
          Sunlight fills the kitchen. Darren sits, exhausted.

                         DARREN
          Who were they? Vampires?

                         CREPSLEY
          No. The one with the watch was Mr.
          Tiny. Very dangerous.

                         DARREN
          How dangerous can a man named Mr.
          Tiny be?

                         CREPSLEY
          Who said he was a man?

                         DARREN
          Then what is he?

                         CREPSLEY
          Mr. Tiny can't be explained. He
          needs to be experienced.

                         DARREN

                         (FRUSTRATED)
          And the purple guy. What was he?

                         CREPSLEY
          A vampaneze.

                         DARREN
          Yeah? Keep talking.

                         CREPSLEY
          Long ago humans were looked upon as
          animals by some vampires. Cattle
          to be slaughtered. Laws were
          passed to forbid needless killing.
          It made it easier to pass unnoticed
          among humans if we didn't murder
          them. Most vampires obeyed...

                         DARREN
          But some didn't?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          70.

                         CREPSLEY
          Seventy vampires broke away,
          declared themselves a separate
          race. The Vampaneze. Over time
          their appearance changed, their
          numbers grew. They believe it's
          wrong to feed from a human without
          killing it.

                         DARREN
          What? That's crazy.

                         CREPSLEY
          They believe those of us who feed
          in small amounts live like leeches.
          In shame. It led to war.
          Crepsley touches the scar on his face, remembers.

                         CREPSLEY
          The last one nearly destroyed us
          all. There's been a truce for many
          years now.

                         (A BEAT)
          Will you be alright while I sleep?
          Darren looks around at the dilapidated crap heap he's in. As
          he tries to hold his heart together...

                         DARREN
          Oh yeah... This is so much better
          than where I used to be...
          Crepsley hears the strain in his voice. Knows what's best
          for both of them..

                         CREPSLEY
          What do you think of rejoining the
          Cirque du Freak? Until you get on
          your vampire feet so to speak.

                         DARREN
          Half vampire.

                         CREPSLEY
          Yes, yes. Three-eighths if you
          want. What do you think?
          As Darren thinks...

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          71.

          EXT. MR. TALL'S AIRSTREAM TRAILER - NIGHT

          The Cirque is camped by an ABANDONED FACTORY. Neo-Gothic in
          scale and mood. Lit up for a performance. Mr. Tall, pulls
          on his jacket, shouts orders.

          MR. TALL
          Show time in twenty minutes.
          Someone tell Rhamus to get his
          stomachs in gear!
          He's surprised to see Crepsley and Darren walk up the road.
          Crepsley's arm seems much better now.

          MR. TALL
          Larten'Crepsley! As I live and
          breathe. I thought it would be
          years before I saw you again.
          Mr. Tall looks to Darren, throws a surprised look to
          Crepsley. Crepsley nods. 'Yes'.

          MR. TALL
          Darren Shan. You've come a long
          way since the last time I saw you.

                         DARREN
          I liked it better where I was.

          MR. TALL
          I'm sure.

                         CREPSLEY
          Do you still have my coffin?

          MR. TALL
          Of course. You're really back?

                         (CREPSLEY NODS)
          Perhaps you could do the show
          tonight? A few of us are absent or
          ill this evening.

                         CREPSLEY
          I'd be delighted.

          MR. TALL
          Mr. Shan will have to pull his
          weight as well. I'll give him to
          Evra. Evra! EVRA!

                         (LOOKING ABOUT)
          I hope I haven't gone from one
          unreliable boy to two.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          72.
          Evra arrives. The snake boy from the first Cirque show.

          MR. TALL
          Evra, my industrious wonder. Here
          is Darren. Put him to work with
          you. Show him the snakey ropes.
          As the two boys consider each other...

          MR. TALL
          Off with you. Go!
          As the boys head off, Mr. Tall looks over at Crepsley.

          MR. TALL
          You blooded a child, Larten? What
          were you thinking?

                         CREPSLEY
          You don't approve?

          MR. TALL
          I don't matter. What will the
          vampire generals say when they hear
          about it?

                         CREPSLEY
          I'm no longer part of their domain.

          MR. TALL
          So you say. They may disagree.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. CIRQUE CAMP - NIGHT

          As Darren and Evra make their way through.

                         EVRA
          What do you do? Me? I'm a snake
          boy. I do a whole snake thing.
          Evra goes into a slithery snake walk for a few steps to
          illustrate. It's strange. Funny. Evra looks back over.

                         DARREN
          Do you eat mice?

                         EVRA
          Big Macs actually.
          They share a LAUGH. Evra 'high fives' Darren. Fast friends.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          73.
          As they continue, Darren looks at the palm of his hand. A
          few of Evra's SCALES have come off and are stuck there.

                         DARREN
          I caught your act in the last town.
          Pretty cool.

                         EVRA
          Thanks. I'm not doing it tonight.
          My snake caught a cold.

                         DARREN
          Snakes can catch cold?
          Evra nods, then SNEEZES himself.

                         EVRA
          Still gotta work the floor though.
          Ushers. We get the seats filled.
          They pass PEOPLE all hurriedly crossing the camp.

                         DARREN
          Who are they all?

                         EVRA
          The backbone of Cirque du Freak.
          They do the driving, the tent
          pitching, the potato peeling even.

                         DARREN
          How did they end up here?

                         EVRA
          Most wandered in. If Mr. Tall
          likes them, they stay.
          Darren's eye is caught by the WOLFMAN. He's being pushed
          toward the factory building by several of the blue-robed
          LITTLE PEOPLE. The wolfman's yellow eyes are on Darren as he
          rumbles a low, guttural growl.
          Darren is so taken that he almost walks into...
          Madam Truska. He stops short. In costume, beardless, even
          more beautiful than when we first saw her. She considers
          Darren, uses a finger to raise his chin. She shakes her
          head, smiles. As she continues...

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          74.

          INT. FACTORY SPACE - NIGHT

          An odd setting, but it works well. Stripped, ragged, weird.
          Feels like a rave. The lighting dramatic, the concrete walls
          ominous. PATRONS take their seat around a stage. A buzz in
          the air.

                         DEBBIE & SAM
          About the same age as Darren and Evra, they're here for the
          show. Debbie is self-assured. Sam is sarcastic to cover his
          insecurities. Right now it's hard to find a seat.
          And here are Darren and Evra. Evra looking cool in his green
          sharkskin, Darren still wearing his burial suit.

                         EVRA
          Can we help you find a seat?

                         DEBBIE
          Are there any left?

                         EVRA
          Only the best seats in the house.
          He leads them a few steps over toward a column.

                         DEBBIE
          You guys are with the Cirque?
          Darren nods. Sam's a little sarcastic and skeptical.

                         SAM
          Cirque is French, right? Are you
          guys French?

                         EVRA
          Oui. Vous etes observateur. Nous
          sommes les serpents frangais.
          That slows Sam a beat. Evra points out a small platform
          eight feet up the column. You have to climb a natural re-bar
          ladder to get there. Sam looks dubious, but Debbie smiles.

                         DEBBIE
          Cool... I'm Debbie, this is Sam.

                         EVRA
          Evra Von.
          She looks at Darren, waiting.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          75.

                         DARREN
          Oh, I'm Darren.

                         DEBBIE
          Is the show great? Say yes. We
          had to sneak out to see it.

                         DARREN
          I snuck out to see it once, too.
          And I'm still here.
          An odd, almost spooky moment. Is he serious?

                         SAM
          Good one, Darren. Hey. Debbie and
          Darren. Like Bonnie and Clyde.
          And their friend Evra Von what?
          That breaks the moment. Debbie starts climbing the re-bar.
          Sam looks Darren over a beat, picks a thread off his lapel.

                         SAM
          Dude, it looks like the kind of
          suit you'd wear to a funeral.

                         DARREN
          You have no idea...
          Evra smiles, sticks out his tongue. Pointy, narrow, Evra
          sends it up his own nostril. Sam tries to smile, then starts
          up after Debbie. Freaked out. As Darren and Evra laugh...

                         CUT TO:

          INT. THE STAGE - NIGHT

          Mr. Tall under a spotlight. Back in his red hat and gloves.

          MR. TALL
          Welcome to the Cirque du Freak. We
          are an ancient circus. Bringing
          the remarkable to generations...

                         BACK ROW
          Darren and Evra watch from the back, whisper to each other.

                         DARREN
          How long have you known Mr. Tall?

                         EVRA
          Five years.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          76.

                         DARREN
          How do you meet someone like him?

                         EVRA
          I was raised in a circus, but not a
          nice one like this. The owner used
          to beat me and keep me in a glass
          cage. I felt like a useless freak.
          One night I looked out of my cage
          and saw Mr. Tall just standing
          there. He watched me until the
          owner came over and asked if he
          could help him. Mr. Tall grabbed
          him by the throat and strangled him
          to death. Then he opened the cage
          and said, "Let's go, Evra." He
          named me that. I added the Von.
          I've been with him ever since.
          Darren looks back at Mr. Tall with a new set of eyes.

                         CREPSLEY'S VOICE
          Darren...
          Darren turns. Crepsley's back there in the shadows.

                         CREPSLEY
          How do you feel about show
          business?

                         CUT TO:

          INT. THE STAGE - NIGHT

          The audience reacts as Crepsley 'appears' on the empty stage.

                         CREPSLEY
          To be poisoned by a spider may be
          my fate.
          It's Darren's cue. Looking appropriate in his burial suit,
          he walks out carrying Madam Octa's cage at arm's length.

                         DEBBIE & SAM
          As she realizes it's Darren. Cool.

                         STAGE
          Darren sees Debbie who gives a little wave. As he smiles...

                         CREPSLEY
          Look glum... Miserable...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          77.
          Darren loses the grin. Crepsley opens the cage. Madam Octa
          steps to the opening. Crespley raises the flute, plays.
          Madam Octa walks out and up to Darren's shoulder where she
          attaches a web thread. The audience react as she leaps to
          Crepsley's shoulder and attaches the other end. She dances
          across to the music, spinning a web as she goes.
          Darren looks out, sees how much Debbie enjoys it.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. THE MOON - NIGHT

          Set against the black sky. Sparks rise up, their source
          unknown. All very mysterious until... LAUGHTER. Lots of
          it. Borderline raucous. We follow the sparks DOWN to...

                         A BONFIRE
          Blazing in the Cirque campgrounds. The freaks are eating,
          drinking wine, relaxing after the show. Like a gypsy camp.
          Mr. Tall sits with his long legs up on a box, really enjoying
          watching everyone else enjoy themselves.
          Evra munches on a sausage he grills on the end of a stick.
          Darren is all ears and eyes. He likes these people. And
          he's certainly never experienced anything like this.
          Someone starts to play a guitar, someone else beats a drum.
          Madam Truska starts to dance, the fire flickering against her
          as are all eyes. Then she reaches out, takes Crepsley by the
          hand. A few moments later, the two of them are engaged in a
          mad TANGO. It takes the camp's collective breath away.
          Even Darren can't help but enjoy it. Crepsley's arm gives
          him a twinge or two, but only Truska notices.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. AN OLD VAN - NIGHT

          A mattress on the floor inside. Using tape and cardboard,
          Darren 'blacks out' the windows. Crepsley steps over.

                         DARREN
          Almost done.
          Crepsley looks to the sky. Still dark. The moon setting.

                         CREPSLEY
          Darren...
          (Darren looks over)

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          78.

                         CREPSLEY (CONT'D)
          I'm not going to sleep here. We'll
          find a nook in the factory.
          Crepsley starts off. Darren starts to follow.

                         CRESPLEY
          Mattress.
          Darren sighs, goes back to the van to retrieve the mattress.
          He starts to pull it out, then stops, nearly doubled over.
          Concerned, Crepsley steps over. Darren waves him off,
          straightens as whatever it was passes.

                         DARREN
          I just felt sick for a second.

                         CREPSLEY
          You need blood.
          Darren gives him a dirty look, grabs the mattress. They
          start walking toward the factory.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. FACTORY - NIGHT

          The SHADOWS of a loading dock. Crepsley and Darren approach.

                         DARREN
          You think Mr. Tiny might come?
          Crepsley shrugs, doesn't answer.

                         DARREN
          Who is he? What does he want?

                         CREPSLEY
          What we want is who we are, don't
          you think?

                         DARREN
          Can't you give me a straight answer
          just once?!

                         CREPSLEY
          You won't learn by me telling you.
          You must live some things to know
          what they are.
          Darren sighs in deep frustration. Crepsley has a thought.

                         CREPSLEY
          Okay. Why do you like spiders?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          79.
          Darren tires to figure what he's getting at? Implying?

                         CREPSLEY
          Did you ever think there was a
          particular reason?
          It seems Crepsley knows the answer even if Darren doesn't.

                         DARREN
          No. I never thought about it.

                         CREPSLEY
          That's the trouble with children.
          They don't think about things.

                         DARREN
          I'm not a child.
          Theystop by the shadows.

                         CREPSLEY
          Are you a man? If you're not a
          man, you're a child.

                         DARREN
          I'm in between.

                         CREPSLEY
          In between does not exist!
          The words echo a moment. Darren no closer to understanding.

                         CREPSLEY
          I'll sleep in here tonight. But
          sit outside the van tomorrow and
          make it look like I'm there. It's
          just caution. Old habits die hard.

                         VOICE
          And old vampires?
          Without a sound, someone has reached around the two of them
          from behind, a RAZOR-KNIFE held to each of their throats.
          They stand dead still. We can make out the shape of a head
          as whoever it is leans in ever so slightly from the dark.

                         CREPSLEY
          Gavner Purl, as always I heard you
          coming from a mile away.
          CLICK! In his hand by his side, Mr. Crepsley holds a thin
          SWITCHBLADE. He presses the steel back ever so slightly.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          80.

                         VOICE
          We'll call it a draw then.
          The 'voice' pulls back his knives, steps out. It's GAVNER
          PURL. He was once handsome, but those days are long gone.
          His face is crossed with scars. They vary in size, thickness
          and color. Gavner is a warrior, carries himself so.

                         GAVNER PURL
          It's been too long, Larten.

                         CREPSLEY
          Decades now.
          They embrace. Darren's trying to catch up.

                         DARREN
          You guys are friends?

                         GAVNER PURL
          I suppose. We once shared a coffin
          together. For six months.

                         DARREN

                         (SARCASTIC)
          Like roommates? To save money?

                         GAVNER PURL
          We were being hunted.

                         DARREN
          Who was hunting you?

                         CREPSLEY
          Never mind. Darren, Gavner Purl.
          Gavner extends his hand to shake. Darren sees'the scars on
          Gavner Purl's fingertips. Darren raises his own hand so
          Gavner can see his scars. Gavner looks at Crepsley.

                         GAVNER PURL
          A half-vampire?

                         CREPSLEY
          Of course. We don't make full
          vampires of our assistants.
          Gavner Purl looks at Crepsley, stunned.

                         GAVNER PURL
          Nor do we make assistants of
          children.

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          81.
          GAVNER PURL (cont'd)

                         (LOSING IT)
          A child, Larten? Why?!

                         CREPSLEY
          I have my reasons.

                         GAVNER PURL
          And they are?

                         CREPSLEY
          I don't owe answers to vampires
          anymore. I'm exiled from our kind

                         GAVNER PURL
          Self-exiled. And I at least am
          owed an answer.
          There's a personal history being called upon here. Crepsley
          is well aware. Darren again is left out.

                         CREPSLEY
          All I care to say is a boy sought
          me out, knew who I was. He asked
          me to make him my assistant.
          Gavner looks to Darren, suspicious.

                         GAVNER PURL
          And how did you know --

                         CREPSLEY

                         (INTERRUPTS)
          It wasn't Darren. Another boy.
          His blood was bad. I should have
          killed him, but I didn't.
          Darren reacts. Gavner considers it all.

                         CREPSLEY
          I met Darren shortly after. His
          blood was good or I certainly would
          have killed him.
          Darren reacts again.

                         GAVNER PURL
          How could a boy find you?
          Crepsley shrugs. Of course he had help.

                         GAVNER PURL
          Tiny?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          82.

                         DARREN
          He tried to kill us.

                         CREPSLEY
          He tried to kill me. What he
          wanted with you wasn't determined.

                         GAVNER PURL
          Perhaps you chose the wrong boy.
          In Mr. Tiny's eyes.
          A moment as they consider the unspoken implications.

                         DARREN
          What are you guys talking about!?
          No answer as Crepsley and Gavner lock each other in a look.

                         CREPSLEY
          What's important enough to track
          down an exile? What is your news?

                         GAVNER PURL
          War.

                         CREPSLEY
          I'm not interested in your wars.

                         GAVNER PURL
          Well the other side is interested
          or they wouldn't be trying to get
          rid of you.
          Crepsley gets suddenly very angry.

                         CREPSLEY
          I've had enough killing! No more!
          You've come to the wrong place. I
          am the wrong place...
          Gavner raises his hands in surrender.

                         GAVNER PURL
          Even so, I'm glad you're alive.

                         CREPSLEY

                         (RELENTING)
          The sun is coming. Will you stay?

                         GAVNER PURL
          I can still make miles. The war
          won't wait. And neither will bad
          news. I have to go.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          83.

                         CREPSLEY
          Then travel safely.

                         GAVNER PURL
          Would you mind if I walk a bit with
          your assistant?

                         CREPSLEY
          Take him with you if you want.
          He's of little use to me.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. FIELD - NOT FAR OFF - NIGHT

          Darren and Gavner Purl walk. Gavner looks him over.

                         GAVNER PURL
          You look sick. Doesn't Larten feed
          you?

                         DARREN
          I won't drink blood if that's what
          you mean. I promised myself.

                         GAVNER PURL
          Why?

                         DARREN
          You'll get insulted.
          As Gavner waits for Darren to tell him...

                         DARREN
          I'm afraid if I drink blood, I'll
          become evil.
          Gavner LAUGHS out loud, catches himself.

                         GAVNER PURL
          The only thing drinking blood will
          do to you is keep you alive.

                         DARREN
          That's how it would start. I would
          swear it was just to stay alive.
          But what'll I turn into? You're on
          one side of the fence or the other.
          My father used to say that and now
          I know what he meant.
          The 'father part' chokes Darren up a bit.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          84.

                         GAVNER PURL
          You've already turned, Darren. You
          need to accept what you've already
          become. There's no going back.
          They walk in silence a moment. Then:

                         DARREN
          Why did Crepsley make himself an
          exile anyhow?

                         GAVNER PURL
          He was tired of all the killing.
          We were at war.

                         DARREN
          With the vampaneze?

                         GAVNER PURL
          Crepsley was once a Vampire
          General. One of our great leaders.
          He may seem reluctant, but I assure
          you, no one is as skilled at
          killing vampaneze than Crepsley is.
          I think that's why they'd like to
          get him out of the way. Kill him
          off before the new war starts.

                         DARREN
          You've known him a long time?

                         GAVNER PURL
          I was his assistant. He blooded
          me, as he blooded you.
          There's almost something comforting in this news. Gavner
          Purl so proud and strong looking. Darren wants to know...

                         DARREN
          Why'd he choose you?

                         GAVNER PURL
          To teach me to kill vampaneze. Up
          until now, it's the only reason he
          ever chooses anyone.

                         DARREN
          Is it why he chose me?
          Gavner hesitates, not sure.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          85.

                         GAVNER PURL
          That's for Crepsley to say. Not
          me.
          Another brick wall, but Darren accepts it.

                         GAVNER PURL
          Do you know what the biggest danger
          is to a vampire, Darren?

                         DARREN
          The vampaneze? Mr. Tiny?

                         GAVNER PURL
          No. It's that they live so long
          they no longer care. Everything
          they love is left behind until they
          finally have nothing left to live
          for. Except death. The fact that
          he's taken an apprentice seems, to
          me, a good sign. A sign that he's
          thinking of living not dying.

                         DARREN
          Lucky for me. Glad I could help.
          All the same Darren considers what he's heard. Gavner,
          meanwhile, considers the open countryside ahead.

                         GAVNER PURL
          A clear run. Good.
          Gavner gives Darren one last appraising look.

                         GAVNER PURL
          Stay by him, Darren. Stay by him.
          Gavner takes a deep breath. The air around him shimmers, his
          image bouncing in and out of phase like an electron heating
          up. And then he's gone.

                         DARREN
          That part is definitely cool.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. THE SUN - DAY

          High in the noon sky. PAN DOWN to where Darren stands under
          a tree by the old van. He concentrates, looks himself over.
          Nothing. He concentrates again. He's trying to flit.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          86.
          Very briefly -- the air shimmers around him -- then stops.
          He looks at his arms. Little WISPS of smoke come off them.

                         EVRA

                         (ARRIVING)
          What's up?

                         DARREN
          Nothing.

                         EVRA

                         (SNIFFS AIR)
          It's smells like burnt hair.

                         DARREN
          Don't know. I'm congested.

                         (SEES SOMETHING)
          Hey...
          Evra follows his gaze, turns just in time to see:

                         THEIR POV
          Debbie and Sam ducking inside the factory.

                         DARREN & EVRA
          Exchange a look. Start after them.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. FACTORY FLOOR - DAY

          Where the show was the night before. Light streams down from
          gaps in the decrepit roof. No sight of Debbie and Sam as
          Darren and Evra make their way in.- They pause at a CREAKING
          coming from somewhere overhead. As they move...

                         CUT TO:

          INT. UPPER FLOOR - FACTORY - DAY

          Darren and Evra come off a rickety staircase, pass through a
          half-rotted door. There are holes in the roof overhead and
          huge gaps on the floor where the boards have fallen through.
          They see Sam, his back to them, staring out a smashed window.

                         EVRA
          Let's scare the crap out of him...
          They begin to creep in, flanking the unsuspecting Sam. But
          as they get close, a SHAPE drops down behind them!

                         

                         

                         

                         

          87.

                         SHAPE

          ARRRGGGH!
          Darren and Evra are the ones who jump. The shape is Debbie!
          She almost falls over laughing. So does Sam.

                         DEBBIE
          You should see the look on your
          faces.
          But Evra and Darren are not laughing.

                         EVRA
          What're you doing here?

                         DEBBIE
          We could ask you the same thing.
          We come here all the time. My
          grandfather used to work here.

                         DARREN
          Must've been a long time ago.

                         DEBBIE
          He says now it's like one of those
          bombed out World War II cathedrals.
          Empty of what is used to be.
          An odd little moment till Sam breaks it.

                         SAM
          Hey, we loved the show, man. It
          was off the hook.

                         EVRA
          (messing with him)
          Off the hook, huh? I'll tell all
          the freaks you said so.

                         SAM
          Are you guys on your own? Just
          traveling. No parents or nothing?

                         DARREN
          No. No parents.
          He says it with a little twinge that Debbie picks up on.

                         SAM
          School?

                         EVRA
          No school either.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          88.

                         SAM
          You're the luckiest guys on earth.
          Wanna switch places?

                         DARREN
          You have to be different to be
          here.

                         DEBBIE
          Different how?
          Evra steps into a slash of sunlight and his skin flashes to
          life, the green of his scales catching the rays. Debbie's
          mouth drops. They couldn't see it in the dark last night.

                         EVRA
          Everyone has a place they belong.
          The Cirque du Freak is ours.

                         DEBBIE
          I think your skin is beautiful.
          That wins Evra over.

                         DEBBIE
          Can I touch it?
          Evra holds out his arm. Debbie traces a finger across it.

                         DEBBIE
          Wow. Has it always been this way?

                         DARREN
          He's a snake-boy.

                         DEBBIE
          You shouldn't call him names
          because he looks different.

                         EVRA
          It's okay. I am a snake boy.

                         SAM
          You could say you're
          dermatologically challenged.
          They all LAUGH. Debbie considers Evra a beat, then Darren.

                         DEBBIE
          What about you, Darren? How are
          you different?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          89.

                         DARREN
          I get scared easy.
          Darren looks up toward the rafters. From where she dropped.

                         DARREN
          How'd you get up there anyhow?

                         DEBBIE
          You mean, how did a girl get up
          there?

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. FACTORY ROOF - DAY

          A spot where the roofing is gone, several long RAFTERS
          stretch out. Darren, Evra and Sam watch Debbie walk out on
          one. Like a balance beam. The factory floor 70 feet below.

                         EVRA
          Hey, be careful.

                         SAM
          Don't worry. She's like a gymnast.
          Debbie moves slowly at first, her arms stretched out for
          balance. Then she does a hop, a skip. Darren and Evra gasp.
          She gets to the other side, turns and bows.

                         DARREN
          You're crazy!

                         DEBBIE
          How about you?

                         DARREN
          I got nothing to prove.

                         DEBBIE
          But it'd be easier for you than me.

                         DARREN
          Why's that?

                         DEBBIE
          Because chickens have wings.
          She starts chicken CLUCKING. Mad, Darren steps onto a
          rafter, starts across. He stops in the middle, spins around.
          Aided immeasurably by his half-vampire skills.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          90.
          Debbie is impressed.

                         ANGLE OVERHEAD
          The vertigo angle as Debbie walks back out on her rafter.
          Stops about 4-feet across from Darren.

                         DARREN & DEBBIE
          Darren crosses his arms across his chest. No big deal.

                         DEBBIE
          Let's play mirrors.

                         DARREN
          What's that?

                         DEBBIE
          I do something and you have to copy
          me. Like this.
          Debbie crosses her arms the same way Darren has. He
          uncrosses them as he realizes.
          Debbie reaches down, touches her toes. Darren sighs, then
          does the same, gets a good look at the floor below.
          Debbie takes one foot off the rafter, takes hold of the top
          of it with one hand, raising the other arm out for balance.
          Looks like a ballerina.
          Evra doesn't like this daredevil stuff.

                         EVRA
          Come on, guys...
          Darren hesitates. Not because he won't do it, but because
          maybe for the first time in his life, he's really fascinated
          by a girl. Debbie misreads, starts CLUCKING again.
          Darren smiles, repeats her move effortlessly.
          Without warning, Debbie leaps the gap, lands on the rafter
          alongside Darren. As she struggles a bit for balance, Darren
          reaches out and steadies her. As they come face to face.

                         DEBBIE
          There definitely something
          different about you. I just can't
          figure it out.

                         DARREN
          Is Sam your boyfriend?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          91.

                         DEBBIE
          He's my cousin.

                         DARREN
          Oh...
          A funny, awkward beat out on the rafter. Finally...

                         DARREN
          We should get off this.
          She nods, a bit smitten. Darren turns. As they start off...

                         DARREN
          Chalk it up to lack of blood, but everything starts spinning.

                         DARREN'S POV
          The area is like a big drain and he's whirling down it.

                         RAFTER
          Darren legs go out and he falls off. As Debbie screams...
          Darren CATCHES HOLD of the rafter just as he drops past it.

                         DEBBIE
          Hold on.
          Debbie grabs his arm. Evra starts out to help, but the
          rafter CREAKS OMINOUSLY. He stops. Sam states the obvious.

                         SAM
          I don't think it'll hold you, dude.

                         EVRA
          Thanks for the heads up... Bro.

                         DARREN
          (shakes it off)
          It's okay. I'm okay.
          Darren swings up a leg, hooks it over the rafter. A beat and
          he's back on top. Debbie relieved. Evra backs up the way he
          came and in a few seconds they're all safely off the rafter.

                         DEBBIE
          I don't know how you hung on. I
          couldn't have.

                         DARREN
          You wouldn't have fallen in the
          first place... I just got dizzy.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          92.

                         DEBBIE
          Maybe you need to eat something.
          Darren looks at her. She has no idea.

                         EVRA
          Well, the food's down on ground
          level. Let's get out of here.
          Sam and Debbie start off, Darren and Evra following. As Sam
          and Debbie start down a ladder, Darren hangs back a beat.

                         DARREN
          She's kind'of cool, huh? I mean,
          for a girl.

                         EVRA
          I like her. She asks a lot of
          questions though.

                         DARREN
          She's just curious.

                         EVRA
          There's no such thing as 'just'
          with a girl.

                         DARREN
          What makes you such an expert?

                         EVRA
          My snake's a girl.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. FACTORY - SUNSET

          The sun peeps below the horizon.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. FACTORY PASSAGE - NIGHT

          Darren walks along, flashlight in hand. Going somewhere. He
          suddenly stops, listens, not sure if he heard something. A
          following FOOTSTEP?
          MOVE WITH Darren as he continues. As he passes through a
          doorway, he ducks around the corner. Waits a few beats.
          Then he leaps out to see who's following. No one's there.
          Shaking his head, he continues on.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          93.

          INT. BOILER ROOM - FACTORY - NIGHT

          Darren knocks on a door, waits a beat before it opens and
          Crepsley emerges from his sleeping place.

                         CREPSLEY
          Good morning, Darren.

                         DARREN
          What's good about it?
          Crepsley looks him over, doesn't like what he sees.

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. CIRQUE CAMP - NIGHT

          Bustling with activity. Nearly show time. Crepsley stands
          by an open tent flap watching Darren cross camp. Not well.

                         DARREN
          He stops as Sam and Debbie catch up with him.

                         SAM DEBBIE
          Hey, Darren. Hi...
          Darren's happy to see them.

                         DARREN
          You guys are coming to the show
          again tonight?

                         DEBBIE
          Of course. Evra's doing his snake
          act tonight.

                         DARREN
          Oh, you came to see Evra.

                         DEBBIE
          And you...
          Darren smiles shyly at that.

                         SAM
          I was hoping for Amanda Bynes.
          Darren sees Crepsley watching him from the tent.

                         DARREN
          Hey, I'll catch up with you later.
          I got some stuff I gotta finish up.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          94.
          They watch as Darren heads off.

                         SAM
          He's gonna be gone in another day
          or two. Tonight's the last show.

                         DEBBIE
          I know that. So?

                         SAM
          So stop looking at him like you
          love him.

                         DEBBIE
          You're such an idiot, Sam.

                         TENT OPENING
          Darren joins Crepsley, a little unsteady.

                         CREPSLEY
          Look at you. You can barely stand.

                         DARREN
          I'm fine.

                         CREPSLEY
          You need to feed. You need blood..

                         DARREN
          No! I won't let you hunt some poor
          person down for me. I --
          Crepsley grabs hold of Darren, hauls him into...

                         THE TENT
          Dark, the inside walls richly embroidered. Medieval.

                         CREPSLEY
          No need to hunt. There's someone
          here willing to save you.
          From the shadows: Madam Truska. Startlingly beautiful. She
          steps up. Eyes on Darren, she offers Crepsley her wrist.

                         MADAM TRUSKA
          By my own free will, Darren Shan.
          As Crepsley's fingernail hovers, ready to open a vein.
          Darren shakes his head. 'No'.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          95.

                         CREPSLEY
          Drink or you'll die.

                         DARREN
          No. I can't. I'm human.
          Crepsley releases Truska's arm.

                         CREPSLEY
          You're not! And you'll be nothing!
          Darren stands there as noble and sad as a boy could be.

                         DARREN
          I am human. In my heart I am.
          A great big TEAR rolls down Truska's cheek. That's the last
          thing Crepsley needed to see. He's defeated.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. FACTORY SPACE - NIGHT

          People in their seats or taking them. Darren is back in his
          role as usher. He seats two people, wipes at the sweat
          beading on his forehead. He's getting sicker.
          He sees Debbie. She and Sam are already seated across the
          way. She smiles, waves. Darren forces a smile,, waves back.
          Looking for more patrons, Darren nearly walks into... A
          FIGURE. A hat pulled down obscures his face.

                         VOICE
          An usher in the house of usher.
          And I can't seem to find a seat.
          Darren frowns at the odd voice, but leads down the aisle.

                         DARREN
          This way.
          Darren brings him down to a handful of seats. The figure
          looks up from under the brim of his hat. It's Mr. Tiny.

          MR. TINY
          Join me.

                         DARREN
          I don't think so.
          As Darren moves to go, Mr. Tiny clamps a hand around his
          wrist. Like iron. He sits, pulling Darren down beside him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          96.

          MR. TINY
          It's time we had a few moments.
          Folks involved in epic struggles
          should get to know each other.
          Darren doesn't answer.

          MR. TINY
          Has Crepsley told you about me?
          Explained me?

                         DARREN
          He said you can't be explained.
          You need to be experienced.

          MR. TINY
          He gives me too much credit.

                         DEBBIE
          Hey, Darren.
          Darren looks up to see Debbie and Sam. Oh no...

                         DEBBIE
          We're gonna sit on this side.

                         SAM
          Cuz we miss you so much.
          She digs Sam with her elbow. They sit just a row in front.

          MR. TINY

                         (WHISPERS)
          Choosing sides can only lead to
          trouble. Never, ever choose sides
          unless it's your own.

                         DARREN
          You've chosen the vampaneze.
          Mr. Tiny laughs, slaps his knee even.

          MR. TINY
          Is that really what you think? A
          smart boy like you?
          And the lights drop. A trumpet blasts and all is silent.

          ON THE STAGE
          The little people wheel out a CAGE. There's a gurgled GROWL.
          The little people retreat. Several audience members lean in,
          then SCREAM as the wolfman CRASHES to the front of the cage.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          97.
          A white spot shines down on Mr. Tall.

          MR. TALL
          Ladies and Gentlemen...

          DARREN & MR. TINY

          MR. TINY
          .subjugators and saps...

          MR. TALL
          Welcome to the Cirque du Freak. We
          are an ancient circus...
          As Mr. Tall drones on...

          MR. TINY
          Oh, his speeches are impossible.
          Mr. Tiny opens his free hand. His pocket watch melts up into
          view from his palm. Time begins to speed up around them.
          Mr. Tall's voice speeds to a BUZZ as he 'keystone cops' off
          the stage and Rhamus 'keystones' on. The audience's small
          movements become rattles and shakes.
          Only Darren and Mr. Tiny are at normal speed.

          MR. TINY
          I'm not so complicated, Darren.
          During war there are those who
          profit. A war between vampires and
          vampaneze would have terrible
          consequences. Therefore...

                         DARREN
          Terrible profits.

          MR. TINY
          Excellent. I am a profiteer. I
          exact fees and gains. I'm simple.
          On stage, Madam Truska exits and Evra 'keystones' through his
          performance with his snake.

          MR. TINY
          Did Crepsley tell you of the
          prophesy?

                         DARREN
          What prophesy?

                         

                         

                         

                         

          98.

          MR. TINY
          They say the final battle between
          vampires and vampaneze will be
          decided by a child. That's why the
          vampires won't blood children. To
          avoid the end of the world.
          As these words are pondered by Darren...

          MR. TINY
          I think I underestimated you. I
          think you could be wonderful.

                         DARREN
          I think you're a creep. I think
          you suck.

          MR. TINY
          Too bad.
          Mr. Tiny closes his hand around the watch. Time returns to
          normal. The applause for Evra slowing down to normal speed.
          As he walks off the stage, Debbie looks back at Darren.

                         DEBBIE
          He was great!
          As she looks back to the stage someone sits on Darren's other
          side. Collar pulled up, head wrapped in a scarf. Murlough!

                         MURLOUGH
          (low; re: Debbie)
          Is it Dar-wren's girlfriend?

                         DARREN
          Forget about her --
          Murlough takes hold of Darren's other wrist. Still low:

                         MURLOUGH
          She has plenty of lovely blood
          inside. Inside, outside, hmmm?
          Darren struggles. Murlough pulls him close, HISSES in his
          ear, flashing those filthy teeth.

                         MURLOUGH
          I don't care about humans. I don't
          care about you. But the vampire -
          Larten Crepsley - him I care about.

                         (ALMOST SHY)
          Murlough is a vampire killer.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          99.
          On stage: the spotlight hits Crepsley.

                         DARREN
          You guys are in trouble. There's
          more than one vampire now. Gavner
          Purl is here.
          Murlough reacts to the name. Does not like it.

                         MURLOUGH
          Have you seen Purl Gavner's face?
          Young Murlough sliced it for him.

          MR. TINY
          Darren, you're a liar. He's a
          thousand miles gone by now. And
          master Crepsley is right there.
          As he points at Crepsley...

                         CREPSLEY
          Holding Madam Octa's cage. Aware something's 'in the air'.

                         MURLOUGH
          Shimmers, phases into flit mode. Disappears.

                         DARREN
          Crepsley! Look out!
          The audience LAUGHS. Like Darren's worried about Madam Octa.
          Debbie looks back, knows something is wrong. Sees Mr. Tiny's
          hand around Darren's wrist.

                         STAGE
          As Murlough 'appears' alongside Crepsley.
          Madam Octa's cage drops to the stage as Murlough knocks
          Crepsley fifteen feet through the air. He lands flat on his
          back. The audience CHEER! Think it's part of the show.
          Murlough reaches into his jacket, produces a razor-sharp LONG
          KNIFE in either hand.
          Crepsley pops to his feet. As his own single BLADE
          'switches' to life in his hand...

          DARREN & MR. TINY
          As Darren struggles, Mr. Tiny switches his grip to the back
          of the boy's neck. That holds him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          100.

                         STAGE
          CHEERS as Murlough charges forward, the long knives
          pinwheeling in his hands. His attack is brutal and blunt.
          Crepsley is driven back, parrying each thrust and attack as
          it comes. Sparks fly as the blades connect.
          From out of nowhere, Crepsley adds a BACKHAND to the mix. It
          catches Murlough hard across the chops.

                         OFF STAGE
          Mr. Tall and Evra watch. Not knowing what to do.

                         STAGE
          Murlough swings back wildly. Crepsley catches the blade in
          Murlough's left hand with the one in his right.
          Crepsley catches Murlough's left wrist, the second blade
          dangerously close to retracing the scar on Crepsley's face.
          Crepsley throws himself back, sending Murlough head over
          heels across the stage and SLAMMING into a concrete wall.

                         DARREN
          Concentrating. Trying to flit.

                         STAGE
          Murlough rolls to his feet, charges. It's brute force versus
          style. But as Crepsley moves to sidestep, Murlough's not so
          brutish after all. He matches the move --
          Buries one of his knives into Crepsley's stomach. Crepsley
          reacts, frozen in shock.

          DARREN & MR. TINY
          The audience around them unsure. Many shocked. It's part of
          the show, right? Darren sees Murlough raise the other knife
          to finish Crepsley off. Darren trembling, phasing.
          And Mr. Tiny's holding nothing but air. Darren is gone.

          DARREN (FLIT WORLD)
          Speeding down to the stage. The dagger descends in slo-
          motion, but it's only a centimeter or two from it's target.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          101.

                         STAGE
          Darren reappears, leaps onto Murlough's back, knocks him off
          target. As Murlough staggers right, Crepsley staggers left.
          Murlough regroups, charges after him. Badly hurt, stumbling,
          Crepsley falls off the edge of the stage. Disappears.
          ROARING, Murlough grabs Darren. They disappear as well.

          MR. TINY
          Sighs. This is not how it's supposed to go. Sam and Debbie
          leave their seats, head for the stage.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. FACTORY - NIGHT (FLIT WORLD)

          Murlough with Darren in tow, looking high and low for
          Crepsley. Moving past the barely moving Mr. Tall and Evra.

          CREPSLEY (FLIT WORLD)
          His back to a wall. Trying to hold it together. Frozen
          PATRONS facing the exit beyond. As he'loses his flit power,
          the patrons suddenly resume real speed for the exits.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. BOILER ROOM - NIGHT

          The old power plant. Pipes and catwalks. Murlough and
          Darren here. A chain hangs from the ceiling. Murlough lifts
          Darren, wraps it around his ankle. Hangs Darren upside down!

                         MURLOUGH

          CREPSLEY!

                         CUT TO:

                         CREPSLEY
          Reacting to Murlough's voice.

                         CUT TO:

          BOILER ROOM - FACTORY
          Murlough twists Darren's arm. Darren SCREAMS out in pain.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          102.

                         EVRA
          Reacting as Debbie and Sam arrive. They move toward it.

                         CUT TO:

                         CREPSLEY
          Listening as the scream fades off. Clutching his stomach,
          Crepsley moves.

                         CUT TO:

          BOILER ROOM - FACTORY
          Murlough pulls Darren a little higher. They're face-to-face,
          though Darren is upsidedown.

                         MURLOUGH
          Crepsley will come for his
          assistant.

                         DARREN
          He doesn't care about me.

                         MURLOUGH
          Murlough has an assistant, too. A
          smart one, smarter than you.
          As Murlough says this, Darren looks past as stepping up,
          grinning, is Murlough's assistant.

                         DARREN
          Steve?
          Steve! Steve holds up his hands so Darren can see the WHITE
          SCAR on the tip of each finger. He gets closer.

                         STEVE
          Mr. Tiny made my dream come true.
          Only better. I'm half vampaneze
          instead of a stupid half vampire.
          Mr. Tiny says I have a destiny. He
          says he's gonna make sure of it.

                         DARREN
          Is that who you talked to? Was
          that the internet guy? Mr. Tiny?

                         STEVE

                         (LAUGHS)
          Pretty funny, huh? He introduced
          himself after you left town.

                         (MORE)

                         

                         

                         

                         

          103.

                         STEVE (CONT'D)
          But, I think I've known him a long
          time in my head. In my bad, bad
          blood.
          Chilling. Maybe Steve is evil. He leans in even closer.

                         STEVE
          He gave me back the dream you
          stole.
          Murlough motions Steve quiet, slaps a hand over Darren's
          mouth. Listens. Smiles. Whispers.

                         MURLOUGH
          Crepsley comes.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. APPROACH PASSAGE - FACTORY - NIGHT

          Crepsley moving forward. Hurting. He slows, stops. As he
          looks back over his shoulder. Something's behind him.

          EVRA, DEBBIE & SAM
          Freeze as Crepsley looks back in the direction from which
          they follow. From their POV, Crepsley suddenly disappears.

                         SAM
          Where'd he go?
          They jump as Crepsley appears right in front of them.

                         CREPSLEY
          Evra... Get them out of here.

                         EVRA

                         BUT --
          Evra knows it's useless. As he nods, Crepsley turns and
          strides back toward where he had been.
          Sam and Debbie exchange a look. What the Hell?

                         EVRA
          You guys better go back.

                         SAM
          What are you gonna do?

                         EVRA
          Darren's my friend.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          104.

                         DEBBIE
          Ours too.
          Sam's not so sure, but he nods in agreement.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. BOILER ROOM - FACTORY - NIGHT

          Darren swings back and forth in long strokes like a pendulum,
          a rag stuffed in his mouth to silence him.

                         DARREN'S POV
          Sweeping the room. Wait! It fixes on a doorway. There's
          Crepsley. Looking about, everywhere but at Darren.

                         BOILER ROOM
          Crepsley speaks to 'the room'.

                         CREPSLEY
          I can smell it. Why does it hide?

                         (STEPPING UP)
          The vampire is here.
          WHUMP! Murlough drops from above. Lands ten feet in front
          of Crepsley. As they begin to arc around each other.

                         MURLOUGH
          The vampire will die.

                         STEVE'S VOICE

                         (FROM ABOVE)
          Let's get readyyyyy to rumble!
          Crepsley looks up, reacts.

                         CREPSLEY
          Even the creatures of the night
          watch too much TV.
          Darren swings past through the middle of it all.
          Murlough charges.
          Crepsley sidesteps Darren, decides to take the fight higher.
          He leaps up, swings himself up onto one of the catwalks.
          Murlough follows. They use the room steel as monkey bars as
          they climb, clash. Violent, quick attacks. Crepsley gaining
          a position, abandoning it as Murlough SLAMS in.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          105.

                         DARREN
          Has lost sight of them, he can only hear the battle now. He
          reacts as Evra, Debbie and Sam rush out. Evra takes hold,
          lifts, tries to lessen the load on the chain.

                         EVRA
          Sam, unhook his legs.
          As Sam struggles, Debbie pulls the rag from Darren's mouth.

                         DARREN
          Are you guys nuts? Get outta here!

                         EVRA
          It's against our code.
          Suddenly unhooked, Darren hits the ground. He looks up at
          Evra who grins down at him.

                         EVRA
          Never leave a freak behind.

                         CUT TO:

                         CEILING SUPERSTRUCTURE
          On the catwalks Murlough draws his knives. Crepsley jumps
          to the space he wants to defend, draws his own. Murlough
          counters. Two very serious predators'-at work. The animal
          kingdom at its killing best.
          A charge. Murlough a bull, Crepsley a matador. He redirects
          one of Murlough's arcing arms, smashing it against a metal
          housing. One of the vampaneze's knives clatters away.
          It's not graphic or bloody, but several times Crepsley's
          knife finds its way into Murlough's body. It enrages him,
          but Crepsley continues dealing out punishment.
          He's now like a brilliant counter-puncher, even as he
          inadvertently backs his way into a corner.
          But as quarters close in, Murlough's rage works to his
          advantage. He charges into Crepsley, his lowered shoulder
          sending Crepsley through the air and into...
          And through a BRICK WALL. Into the thin air outside! Still
          raging, Murlough nearly falls through himself. Instead, he
          slips, drops about twenty feet down inside the building!

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          106.

          EXT. ASPHALT - NIGHT

          Crepsley falls sixty feet, lands flat on his back, as brick
          and concrete rain on top of him...

                         CUT TO:

          INT. FACTORY - NIGHT

          As Evra pulls Darren along. Debbie and Sam riding shotgun.

                         EVRA
          Come on!

                         DARREN
          Evra. I think I'm dying.
          He looks horrible.

                         DEBBIE
          Let's carry him if we have to.
          Evra and Sam support him on either side. They continue,
          start across part of a darkened backstage area.
          A dark rectangular shape looms ahead. We hear a GUTTURAL
          GROWL, sees eyes glow in the gloom. They freeze.

                         EVRA
          It's okay. It's the wolfman. He's
          in his cage.
          They move forward again, the cage becomes visible. But
          another SHAPE beside it. Steve. He sets his hand on the
          cage's heavy latch. He's going to open it.

                         EVRA
          No don't!

                         STEVE
          Ooops...
          Steve lifts the latch. Even he doesn't expect the force the
          wolfman hits the door with. Whaanngg! It's out.
          Evra steps bravely forward. The wolfman sends him flying.
          Sam can't hold Darren up by himself. He doesn't even see the
          Wolfman leap over. As Darren sinks to the floor...
          The wolfman tears into Sam...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          107.

                         DEBBIE
          Reacts in horror.

                         STEVE
          He's more surprised than shocked. Until the wolfman looks
          his way. Then he heads for the hills, disappears into the
          dark. The wolfman turns back toward Debbie.
          She backs away, takes off up a rickety stairway. The wolfman
          HOWLS, then follows.
          Darren's too weak to follow, near tears in frustration and
          regret. He watches after them, then he looks over at Sam.
          Sam who is dying. Just a few feet away. His eyes flicker to
          Darren's. He tries to say something, but can't.

                         DARREN
          Oh Sam. Oh no...
          Darren crawls over, takes Sam's bloody hand.

                         SAM
          Go save Debbie, Darren...
          Sam manages the smallest smile. As his eyes drift shut...

                         SAM
          I think she loves you...
          From above, we hear Debbie SCREAM. Darren considers Sam's
          blood, knows what he has to do. Leave his humanity behind
          and cross the line. He needs to drink Sam's blood.

                         DARREN
          Forgive me, Sam, but I need
          strength. I need blood.
          As Darren extends his nails over Sam's wrist...

                         DARREN
          We're going to save her together.

                         CUT TO:

          INT. UPPER FLOOR - FACTORY - NIGHT

          Debbie backing into a corner. The wolfman almost on her...

                         

                         

                         

                         

          108.
          Murlough arrives! Pure animal action as he tears into
          wolfie, sends him retreating, licking his wounds into the
          darkness. Murlough heaves for breath, pretty beat up
          himself. And here comes Steve. Cautiously.

                         STEVE
          Is Crepsley dead?

                         MURLOUGH
          Who knows? Young Murlough lives,
          but he's hurt.

                         STEVE
          What can I do?

                         MURLOUGH
          What can Dar-wren's girlfriend do?
          We need to get the blood inside
          outside. Don't we?
          Then we hear it: a blood-curdling scream filters up. It's:

          DARREN! - BACKSTAGE AREA
          He's drunk Sam's blood. He rises. His sickness wicking off
          him. Strength descending. Empowered. Furious. He screams
          again, the sound taking shape into words.

                         DARREN

          FORGIVE ME!!!

          FACTORY STAGE SPACE
          The audience who haven't left react as the chilling sound
          reaches them.

          BACKSTAGE AREA - FACTORY
          Fully 1/2 vampire powered, he takes the stairs two at a time.

                         UPPER FLOOR
          Murlough, looming over Debbie, smiles as Darren arrives.

                         DARREN
          Let her go.

                         STEVE
          Stop being a big shot. This isn't
          like stopping some fight at school.

                         DARREN
          Shut up, Steve.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          109.
          Murlough's eyes go very, very dark. He attacks.
          Darren tries to meet the onslaught, but he's bowled over.
          Knocked in a heap.
          Debbie moves to go after Murlough from behind. She's going
          to go down fighting as well. But Steve intercepts her. He's
          pretty powerful himself.
          Murlough pulls Darren to his feet, stands him up. He swings
          his fist in a vicious arc.
          Darren just ducks it and Murlough's fist SMASHES right
          through the wall (an inside wall) alongside Darren's head.
          Murlough's getting tired of Darren.

                         MURLOUGH
          You need to stand still so you can
          die.
          But as he attempts to pull his arm back through, he can't.
          He frowns. Then his eyes widen in pain.
          Murlough jerks his arm back as hard as he can. The wall
          smashes open as Murlough brings his arm back through with
          Crepsley hanging onto the end of it.

                         FACTORY SPACE
          The audience who remain chanting: "Refund! Refund!" They
          react as debris falls from above, smashes to the stage.

          UPPER FLOOR - FACTORY
          Crepsley brings up his knife.
          Murlough catches him by the wrist with one hand.
          With the other he grips Crepsley by the throat, SLAMS him
          hard into an I-beam pillar. Again. Then he squeezes. We
          can hear the cartilage crunching in Crepsley's throat.
          But Crepsley covers his own right hand with his left. He
          drives the knife blade INTO MURLOUGH'S HEART!
          Murlough looks down at the handle of the knife, then back at
          Crepsley whose throat he still holds.
          Murlough gives him a lopsided grin and then pitches back,
          falling through one of the holes in the floor. Taking
          Crepsley with him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          110.

                         FACTORY SPACE
          SCREAMS from the audience as Murlough descends. Somewhere in
          mid-fall, Crepsley FLITS, disappears. When Murlough hits the
          center of the stage, he hits it alone. Dead.
          As people start for the exits, we see Mr. Tiny'is among them.

                         UPPER FLOOR
          But as Darren stands, it's not over. Steve grabs Debbie,
          pushes her to the edge where the rafters are.

                         STEVE
          Stay back! Or I'll throw her off!
          I mean it!
          It sounds like he does. Darren looks intently at Debbie.
          She looks back. Then, Darren makes CHICKEN CLUCK SOUNDS.
          Understanding, Debbie tears herself away. To the precipice.
          But instead of falling, she continues out on a rafter.
          Steve slides out after her. But as he reaches for her, she
          deftly skips across the rafters, jumps back to the floor.
          Before Steve can follow, Darren cuts him off. Below them:
          rows of jagged, rusty pipes. The remains of a pumping
          station. Shredded now, broken. Waiting to impale.

                         DARREN
          It's over, Steve.

                         STEVE
          Is it?
          Steve lunges. They come together, trading shots, stumbling
          but still having to make the rafters. A missed footfall will
          be their last. They separate, try to gain position.

                         STEVE
          You wanna hear something funny?
          After your funeral, I went to see
          your parents.
          They continue circling.

                         STEVE
          And they were fine. They acted
          like they barely remembered you.

                         DARREN
          Liar.

                         

                         

                         

                         
          Darren lunges, but Steve's ready. He CUFFS Darren in the
          head. Darren falls, ends up hanging. Steve looms, smiling.

                         STEVE

                         (SMILES)
          And your sister. She was moving
          into your room. They had a yard
          sale. I bought some of your stuff.
          Steve's foot on his hand. Darren about to die. Oddly:

                         DARREN
          Did you steal money from my mom's
          purse?

                         STEVE
          What?

                         DARREN
          Did you?
          Darren hanging there, dead grim. Steve's curious.

                         STEVE
          Why do you ask? Is knowing that
          gonna help you rest in peace?

                         DARREN
          No. It's just practically the last
          thing that ever happened between me
          and my dad was I was arguing with
          him.

                         STEVE

                         (FLIP)
          Least you had a dad to argue with.
          A fury building in Darren.

                         DARREN
          I was telling him he was wrong
          about you. That's the last time we
          had together. Fighting about you.

                         STEVE
          Hate to tell ya. Your dad was
          right. How do you think we got the
          money for the dumb tickets? I took
          it. Just like I'm gonna take you.
          Steve jams his foot down into Darren's face, but Darren hangs
          on. In fact, with a superhuman surge, he hauls himself up,
          no matter how many times Steve hits him.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          112.
          WHAM! Darren lets Steve have it.

                         DARREN
          I miss him.

          WHAM!

                         DARREN
          Do you understand?

          WHAM!

                         DARREN
          I miss him so much.
          WHAM! Steve's arm pinwheel for balance. He's going over.
          But just as he pitches off the end rafter...
          Darren catches him by his belt. Nearly bent backward, he
          hangs back over the abyss. If Darren lets go, Steve will
          fall into the spikes below.
          Crespley steps up beside Debbie, knows what Darren should do.

                         CREPSLEY
          Kill him, Darren. Do it now so you
          won't have to do it later.
          Darren looks at Steve. A moment they'll remember forever.

                         DARREN

                         (SOFTLY; SADLY)
          No. He used to be my friend.
          Darren flings Steve back the other way. To safety.

                         DARREN
          Start running. Don't ever stop.
          Steve hesitates. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Darren
          starts off the rafter toward him. One last look of hate.

                         STEVE
          Next time...
          And he's gone. Disappearing into the dark.
          Darren joins Debbie. Nothing left to hide.

                         DEBBIE
          Sam?
          Darren shakes his head. Sam didn't make it.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          113.
          She understands. Darren looks at Crepsley. He's a mess.

                         DARREN
          Are you gonna be okay?

                         CREPSLEY
          I just need to catch my breath.
          For a few days. Maybe a week.

                         DARREN
          You think I made a mistake, don't
          you?

                         CREPSLEY
          No. I think that you proved
          yourself human after all.
          Human. As Darren absorbs this kindness, smiles.

                         DARREN
          Half human. What now?

                         CREPSLEY
          What do you mean?

                         DARREN
          There's a war on, isn't there?
          Crepsley shrugs.

                         DARREN
          This world is crossed by fences.
          You have to decide which side you
          stand on.

                         CREPSLEY
          Yes, yes. Black and white fences
          crossing very gray fields.

                         DARREN
          It's not gray. I've met the bad
          guys. They need to be stopped.

                         CREPSLEY
          I'm not sure it's my fight.

                         DARREN
          But you said it. There's no in
          between. And the power of being
          alone is never going to be greater
          than the weakness. It's our fight.

                         CUT TO:

                         

                         

                         

                         

          114.

          EXT. FACTORY - NIGHT

          As PATRONS try to get as far as they can as quick as they
          can. We see Steve duck out, blending in.
          Mr. Tiny's Lincoln Continental pulls up. As Steve gets in...

                         CUT TO:

          EXT. FIELD - NEAR THE CAMPSITE - NIGHT

          Mr. Tall, Evra, Debbie, Darren and Crepsley. Crepsley sets
          Sam's body down in the grass. It's covered with one of Madam
          Truska's tent silks. As Crepsley's eyes meet Darren's...

                         DARREN

                         (A WHISPER)
          He was a good kid. It's weird, but
          I remember things about him even
          though I wasn't there when they
          happened. Even though it's
          impossible.
          A moment as Crepsley nods sadly at this most singular boy.

                         CREPSLEY
          His blood is in you.

          MR. TALL
          I'll deal with the police when they
          come. What I'll say, I don't know.

                         DEBBIE
          Say what happened. Some crazy guy
          showed up. Sam was in the wrong
          place at the wrong time.
          They're all quiet a moment.

                         EVRA
          He was brave.

                         DEBBIE

                         (SADLY)
          For the only time in his life.

                         DARREN
          He didn't die in vain.
          A beat.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          115.

          MR. TALL
          Time to fly or flit or whatever you
          call it. The sun won't wait all
          night.

                         CREPSLEY
          Actually, that's exactly what it
          does.
          Mr. Tall manages a smile, considers the sky a moment.

          MR. TALL
          Time will tell what this night has
          brought us.

                         CREPSLEY
          Yes. Keep my coffin ready, would
          you?

          MR. TALL
          Always.
          As they exchange farewells, Debbie turns to Darren.

                         DEBBIE
          Do you think we'll meet again?

                         DARREN
          You never know.
          As she hugs him tight, she whispers in his ear:

                         DEBBIE
          I hope so...

                         DARREN

                         (WHISPERS BACK)
          Hope is a good word. I hope so,
          too.
          And so goodbye. Darren and Crepsley start down the road.

                         DARREN
          Where are we going?

                         CREPSLEY
          To meet the Vampire Generals. War
          clouds are forming. A storm is
          coming. And I have a feeling
          you're needed much more than I am.

                         

                         

                         

                         

          116.

                         DARREN
          So what are we waiting for? Let's
          go.
          Crepsley offers his hand.

                         CREPSLEY
          Take my arm.
          Darren shakes his head, doesn't need it.
          He shimmers, flits into the night.
          Crepsley laughs to himself. As he follows...

          FADE TO BLACK.