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Drag Me To Hell Movie Script

Writer(s) : Ivan Raimi, Sam Raimi

Genres : Horror, Thriller

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                                  DRAG ME TO HELL



                                    Written by

                              Ivan Raimi & Sam Raimi

          

          

                                                       September, 2007


          INT. BEDROOM - BEFORE DAWN

          22 year old Stephanie Browne is jarred from a peaceful sleep
          as the alarm clock BUZZES. She hits the snooze button and
          plops back down onto the pillow. After a few seconds of pure
          sleeping bliss, she wills herself up.
          She moves through her Ikea furnished bedroom, past a "Hang in
          there, baby" poster and into the bathroom.

          INT. BATHROOM - A MOMENT LATER

          Stephanie turns on the shower. While waiting for the water to
          heat up, she looks into the mirror and with exaggerated
          pronunciation, recites:

          STEPHANIE
          There is no friction, with proper
          diction. Good sounds abound, when
          the mouth is round.
          She catches herself on the last word, a hint of "Missouri
          twang" slipping through.

          STEPHANIE
          Round.
          Yawn. She slips off her nightgown and lumbers into the
          steaming shower.

          INT. KITCHEN -- MORNING

          She opens the refrigerator: A half grapefruit sits next to an
          inviting slice of chocolate cake. She's tempted, but chooses
          the grapefruit.

          EXT. VENTURA BOULEVARD PARKING STRUCTURE - MORNING

          A sunny Southern California day. Commuters speed by.
          Stephanie's FORD FOCUS pulls into the PARKING STRUCTURE,
          across the street from the BANK OF CALIFORNIA. She steps from
          the car, smartly dressed for work and walks briskly toward
          the intersection. The traffic signal changes to "Don't Walk".
          A BUSINESS MAN next to her, sprints across the street.
          Stephanie almost follows but decides to obey the sign. She
          looks down to see a little KITTEN. It rubs against her ankles
          and PURRS.

          STEPHANIE
          Well, you're a little cutie.

          

          

          

          

          2.
          A car's HORN blares, spooking the kitten. It darts into the
          intersection and freezes at the sight of an oncoming VAN.
          Stephanie races into the intersection, snatches up the kitten
          and places it safely down on the other side of the street.

          STEPHANIE
          Hey! Slow down!
          The Van roars past. She pets the Kitten. It PURRS and licks
          Stephanie's face. She sets it down.

          STEPHANIE
          Go on home. Shoo now!
          She heads for the Bank. The kitten follows. She turns back,
          frowning.

          STEPHANIE
          Shoo!

          INT. BANK OF CALIFORNIA -- DAY

          Stephanie site at her desk, across from a young MEXICAN
          COUPLE. She studies their mortgage. application.

          MEXICAN MAN
          We keep getting the same thing.
          Because I'm not employed by an
          American company, they won't take
          my application until they get my
          solvency statement. And the Mexican
          Treasury Department says that's
          going to take at least four more
          weeks.

          MEXICAN WOMAN
          And the house will be gone by then.

          STEPHANIE
          It says, here your employed by
          Pemex?

          MEXICAN
          That's right.

          STEPHANIE
          Isn't Pemex a subsidiary of Union
          Oil?

          

          

          

          

          3.
          a MEXICAN MAN
           Yes. So? 0

          STEPHANIE
          So technically, your employer is an
          American company. I think we can
          make this work. I'll call you this
          afternoon and let you know.
          The happy couple shake Stephanie's hand and exit. ELLEN,
          Stephanie's pretty, twenty two year old, roommate, flops down
          into the seat across from her.

          ELLEN
          I need clarification on the shoe
          issue.

          STEPHANIE
          Okay...

          ELLEN
          First of all-- you know you've got
          the only perfect pair of black
          dress shoes in L.A. So was that a
          definite, irrevocable, "no way" or
          t just a rather not at this time, "no 
          way"?

          STEPHANIE
          It's an absolutely, positively,
          forget about the shoes already, "no
          way". They're my only good pair and
          I need them in good shape for
          tomorrow.

          ELLEN
          What's Up?

          STEPHANIE
          Dinner with Ray's parents.
          Ellen picks up a desktop photo: A shot of Stephanie and her
          handsome boyfriend, Ray, locked in an embrace, standing in
          the spray of a waterfall.

          ELLEN
          Ray's got a nice butt. Really tight

          AND---
          Stephanie takes back her photo.

          

          

          

          

          4.

          STEPHANIE
          1 --I know. Thanks.

          ELLEN
          He's a keeper. But I told you about
          his mom, she's another story. I
          used to waitress at her country
          club, and with her, it's all about
          what private school you went to and
          who you know. You still up for that
          promotion? That would help.
          Stephanie looks longingly to...

          THE VACANT OFFICE
          of the former Assistant Manager. The large oak desk. The
          executive chair. Waiting to be filled.
          Stephanie turns back, pushing the thought away.

          STEPHANIE
          I'm not putting on a show. She'll
          either accept me for who I am or
          not.

          4

          ELLEN
          Are you reading self help books
          again?
          The Kitten peers out through Stephanie's partially opened
          desk drawer.

          ELLEN
          Hello there!
          Ellen reaches for the Kitty but Stephanie waves her off.

          STEPHANIE
          --Shhhl I can't let my boss see
          him.
          Stephanie glances to her manager, MR. JACKS, a heavyset man
          sitting behind a large desk.

          ELLEN
          What about the shoes?

          STEPHANIE
          I told you. No. Now beat it.

          

          

          

          

          5.
          Mr. Jacks sneezes, rubs his nose. He looks suspiciously about
          the bank for the source of his allergy. 0

          STEPHANIE
          Uh Oh. You better bring the kitty
          home for me.

          ELLEN
          Sure. If I can take the shoes.

          STEPHANIE
          I told you, no.
          Mr. Jacks sneezes again, his eyes water. He turns to his

          SECRETARY.

          MR. JACKS
          Has someone brought a damned animal
          into my bank?!
          Mr. Jacks looks about the Bank, his twitching nose leading
          him toward Stephanie's desk.

          STEPHANIE
          Okay, fine! Take the shoes!

          
          Hidden from Mr. Jack's view, Ellen quickly scoops up the
          Kitten and places it into her purse.
          As Mr. Jacks arrives at Stephanie's desk, he overhears:

          ELLEN
          Just don't expect me to take care
          of it.
          This catches Mr. Jack's Attention. He turns to the ladies,
          wondering what they're talking about. Stephanie takes Ellen's
          hand and vigorously shakes it goodbye.

          STEPHANIE
          Of course not. I'll take care of
          everything. And thanks for choosing
          Bank of California.
          Ellen plays along.

          T

          

          

          

          

          6.

          ELLEN
          Okay. Then I'll see you later. I
          mean--- whenever the next time I'm
          in the bank. You know-- for a loan.

          OR--

          STEPHANIE
          Goodbye.
          As Ellen passes, Mr. Jacks sneezes again, harder.

          MR. JACKS
          Someone has definitely brought an
          animal in here.
          He eyes Ellen suspiciously as she exits.

          STEPHANIE
          I don't see any cats. Or any
          animals.

          MR. JACKS
          Hope to hell, not.

          STEPHANIE
          By the way, I put the paperwork for
          the Mcpherson loan on your desk.

          MR. JACKS
          Mcpherson?

          STEPHANIE
          That big corporate loan I've been
          trying to set up? It's just
          preliminary but--

          MR. JACKS
          Oh, right. I'll look it over when I
          get the chance.

          STEPHANIE
          Mr. Jacks, I was wondering it you
          had made any decision regarding the
          Assistant Manager's position yet?

          MR. JACKS
          I'm still deciding. Right now it's
          between Stu and yourself.

          4

          

          

          

          

          7.

          STEPHANIE 
          Stu? The trainee?
          Stephanie turns to see Stu, the balding loan officer who sits
          at his desk, watching, trying to figure out what Jacks is
          saying to her.

          MR. JACKS
          I know he's new but he's also quite
          aggressive and we like that. Don't
          get me wrong, you're well liked
          here, but we're also looking for
          someone who's not afraid to crunch
          the numbers and make the tough
          decisions.

          STEPHANIE
          Mr. Jacks, I feel that I'm
          perfectly capable of--

          MR. JACKS
          --I'll let you know as soon as,I
          decide. In the meantime, take him
          through our loan qualifying
          procedures... just in case.

          STEPHANIE
          Oh. okay.

          MR JACKS
          And would you mind taking your
          lunch now?

          STEPHANIE
          Sure.

          MR. JACKS
          And on your way back, maybe you
          could bring me a turkey club?
          Stu overhears them as he passes by.

          STU
          Turkey club. Excellent choice, J.J.
          Then to Stephanie:

          STU
          Mind picking one up for me?

          

          

          

          

          8.

          STEPHANIE
          No problem.
          Jacks heads back toward his desk. Stephanie grabs her purse
          and keys and as she heads out, Stu calls after her:

          STU
          On toasted rye! And spicy mustard!
          Stephanie doesn't like fetching lunch for the trainee but
          hides her displeasure.

          STEPHANIE
          Sure.

          EXT. UCLA - WESTWOOD CAMPUS - DAY

          Stephanie enters the Ivy-covered red bricked Department of
          Psychology Building.

          INT. UCLA LECTURE HALL - DAY

          RAY DALTON, a handsome twenty-nine year old man is lecturing
          before a class of UCLA students. They listen attentively.

          RAY
          The conscious mind abhors
          uncertainty. It seeks a pattern or
          reason for everything. When we
          can't find that pattern or reason,
          we sometimes ascribe it's cause to
          the world of the supernatural. The
          spiritual world is created by the
          human mind to conveniently explain
          everything we can't. So when does a
          belief in the supernatural cross
          into the field of abnormal
          behavior? Where do you, the
          Psychologist, come in? When these
          beliefs negatively affect our
          patients activities of daily
          living. Their jobs, their friends,
          their sense of well being--
          The class bell RINGS.

          RAY
          Tomorrow we'll be covering the
          clinical manifestations of
          psychosis. You'll find it all
          t referenced in the text.

          

          

          

          

          9.
          The students pack up their books. Ray smiles as he sees
          Stephanie enter the lecture hall, holding a bag of deli food.

          INT. RAY'S UNIVERSITY OFFICE - LATER

          Stephanie eats a salad as she goes over a financial statement
          of the Mcpherson Corporation.
          Ray grades papers.

          RAY
          How're things at the bank? How's
          that new position looking?

          STEPHANIE
          I don't know.

          RAY
          Really? You sounded so sure.

          STEPHANIE
          Well, now there's this new guy...
          they're considering him too.
          Ray sees how bummed out she is. He moves close, taking her in 
          his arms.

          RAY
          That job needs somebody with your
          experience. They know that.
          Stephanie nods.

          STEPHANIE
          Oh, I've got something for you.
          She rummages through her purse and hands Ray an envelope. He
          removes a coin. An old nickle.

          RAY
          A 1925 Indian head! Hey, good find.
          Where'd you get it?

          STEPHANIE
          One of the tellers found it for me.
          Ray puts the coin back into the envelope and tucks it into
          his pocket.

          

          

          

          

          10.

          RAY
          Thanks.

          STEPHANIE
          I'd better get back to work.
          She quickly gathers her things. Ray returns to grading his
          student's exams. The telephone RINGS. Ray hits the
          speakerphone.

          RAY.
          Doctor Dalton.
          It's the voice of an older woman, TRUDY.

          TRUDY ON SPEAKERPHONE
          Hello dear.

          RAY
          Hi Mom, can you hold on a sec?
          He turns from the phone, whispering to Stephanie:

          RAY
          I'll call you tonight.
          She kisses Ray and exits.

          INT. HALL OUTSIDE RAY'S OFFICE - DAY

          Stephanie stops at the water fountain for a drink.

          RAY'S VOICE
          Nothing much. Just had lunch with
          Stephanie. And trying to get these
          midterms graded--
          She halts as she hears her name mentioned on Ray's
          speakerphone. She moves closer to Ray's office to eavesdrop:

          TRUDY'S VOICE
          --Stephanie? The one from the farm?

          RAY'S VOICE
          You know who she is. She's coming
          over for dinner tomorrow night to
          meet you and dad.

          0

          

          

          

          

          11.

          TRUDY'S VOICE

          
          Ray, I'm sure she's sweet, but she
          doesn't sound...

          RAY'S VOICE
          What?

          TRUDY'S VOICE
          I mean she's just a teller at some
          bank right? Raymond there's a
          reason that your father and I
          raised you in a certain way. We
          have expectations.

          RAY'S VOICE
          Please, mom, not this again--

          TRUDY'S VOICE
          I heard that Julie Kulick is
          looking for someone to play tennis
          with. You know she graduated Yale
          law with honors. I'm told she's
          quite a successful attorney now. I
          gave you her number but her mother
          says you never called.

          

          RAY'S VOICE
          Because I'm with Stephanie. I'm
          not looking for anybody else.

          TRUDY'S VOICE
          Would it kill you to--

          RAY'S VOICE
          --Mom. I have to go. See you
          tomorrow night. Okay? Bye.
          A downhearted Stephanie quietly exits.

          INT. BANK OF CALIFORNIA - BREAK ROOM - DAY

          As Stephanie pours herself a cup of coffee, Stu and Mr. Jacks
          take the first bites of their sandwiches. Stu makes a face.
          He inspects the sandwich, shakes his head.

          STU
          (quietly to Mr. Jacks)
          She messed up my order.
          Stephanie heard that.

          

          

          

          

          12.

          STEPHANIE
          No I didn't, Stu.

          STU
          Steph, I said "no mayo".

          STEPHANIE
          You never said that.
          Stu rolls his eyes to Mr. Jacks.
          Stephanie caught Stu's look, but what can she do? She
          exits.

          INT. BANK OF CALIFORNIA - LATER

          Stephanie sits at her desk, entering data into her computer.
          She glances across the bank to see Stu and Mr. Jacks emerging
          from the break room. Stu is about to return to his desk when
          he remembers something: he's got two tickets to a Dodger game
          that he can't use. Mr. Jacks happily accepts the tickets.
          Stephanie looks to the vacant office of the Assistant
          Manager. She can feel her promotion slipping away.

          SCRATCH... SCRATCH...
          Stephanie looks to the source of the sound...
          A withered hand. An involuntary tremor causes it's yellowed
          fingernails to SCRATCH across the surface of Stephanie's
          desk...

          SCRATCH... SCRATCH...
          The hand belongs to MRS. SYLVIA GANUSH, the aged woman who
          site across from Stephanie. She wears a.formal dress and hat
          from another era. The outfit is threadbare in spots but great
          care has been taken to maintain it.

          MRS. GANUSH
          (Hungarian accent)
          Will you help me?

          STEPHANIE
          Of course. What can I do for you?
          Mrs. Ganush coughs up phlegm and spits it into a linen
          handkerchief, which she tucks back into her puree. She hands
          Stephanie a bunch of crumpled papers. Stephanie reviews them.

          

          

          

          

          13.

          STEPHANIE
          Mrs. "Ganush"?
          The old woman nods.

          STEPHANIE
          This is a delinquency notice... it
          says that the payment on your loan
          was due a number of months ago. And
          this other document... is a court
          order for repossession. The bank is
          informing you of their intent to
          repossess-your property at 325
          Brandon street, tomorrow.,

          MRS. GANUSH
          The trucks are there now. The men
          are packing all my things. Private
          things. Please, make them stop.
          This is my home for twenty years.
          And I make every payment until the
          sickness took my eye.
          Mrs. Ganush turns her head to reveal a milky white eye.
          Stephanie hides her revulsion.

          STEPHANIE
          Well... do you have the payment
          with you now?

          MRS. GANUSH
          I hope to get it soon. I just need
          a little more time.

          STEPHANIE
          I don't think my manager is going
          to extend you anymore credit. I'd
          like to help but...

          MRS. GANUSH
          Please. Won't you try?

          STEPHANIE
          Okay. Wait here.
          Stephanie stands and moves off. The Old Woman picks through a
          bowl of hard candies on Stephanie's desk.
          Stephanie stands before Mr. Jacks. He acknowledges her
          without looking up from his work.

          1B

          

          

          

          

          14.

          MR. JACKS
          What's up?

          STEPHANIE
          I've got an elderly woman asking
          for an extension on her mortgage
          payment.. They're in the process of
          repossessing her home. She's on a
          fixed income and she's had some
          medical problems. I was wondering
          if we could give her a break.
          Stephanie hands Mr. Jacks the loan file. He puts on his
          bifocals, studies it.
          Stephanie glances over her shoulder.

          STEPHANIE'S P.O.V. - HER DESK
          Mrs. Ganush looks around to. make sure no one's watching, then
          tips the bowl of hard candies into her purse. She reaches.
          into her mouth and removes a set of stained dentures that she
          wraps in her linen handkerchief.
          She places a piece of hard candy into her mouth and gums it
          with a wet SUCKING sound. The Old Woman's one good eye,
          wanders about in ecstacy as she sucks on the sugary treat.

          MR. JACKS
          Apparently, we've already granted
          her two extensions. And you know
          on this type of foreclosure, the
          bank makes a sizable amount in
          fees.
          He hands her back the file.

          STEPHANIE
          It would mean I'd have to throw her
          out of her house.

          MR. JACKS
          Tough decision. Your call.
          He leans back in his overstuffed leather chair and studies
          her. Stephanie glances to the vacant office of the Assistant
          Manager. The large oak desk. The thick carpet.
          She sees a calculating Stu Rubin eyeing her from his
          workstation.

          

          

          

          

          15.

          STEPHANIE
          I'll take care of it. 
          Stephanie returns to her desk.

          STEPHANIE
          Mrs. Ganush, another extension on
          the loan is out of the question.

          MRS. GANUSH
          What?

          STEPHANIE
          I'm sorry.

          MRS. GANUSH
          No. Please, it's my home... I'm
          begging you.

          STEPHANIE
          I tried to talk my boss into it but
          he just wouldn't approve.

          MRS. GANUSH
          But where will I live?

          
          Stephanie leafs through the loan documents. She finds a name.

          STEPHANIE
          Mrs. Ganush, you've given your
          granddaughter as a reference... It
          says here, she lives nearby...
          Wouldn't you be better off living
          with her?

          MRS. GANUSH
          I would not burden her.

          STEPHANIE
          Okay well, there's several fine
          "assisted living" facilities for
          the elderly.

          MRS GANUSH
          A nursing home? No. I will never
          live in one of those places1

          STEPHANIE
          Well, of course, that's your
          choice.

          

          

          

          

          

          16.

          MRS. GANUSH
          It's yours.

          STEPHANIE
          I'm sorry there's nothing I can do.
          Mrs. Ganush begins to sob.

          MRS. GANUSH
          I am proud woman, Miss Brown, and
          never have I begged for anything.
          But I will beg for you now. This
          one time. I humble myself before
          you.

          STEPHANIE
          That isn't necessary, please.
          Let's not make this personal. It's
          just the bank's policy. I'm really
          sorry Mrs. Ganush.
          Stephanie takes the loan documents and places them neatly
          into a manila folder. she glances up but Mrs. Ganush is gone..
          Stephanie turns in her chair and is startled to see the old
          woman, kneeling before her. She clutches Stephanie's leg with
          her gnarled hands.

          MRS. GANUSH
          Have mercy on me.
          Stephanie stands, tries to pull free, but the old woman will
          not release her leg.

          STEPHANIE
          Please, let go.
          Customers turn to look. Mr. Jacks glances up from his desk.

          MR. JACKS
          What the hell?

          MRS. GANUSH
          I, Sylvia Ganush, beg. On my
          mother's grave, I beg you.

          STEPHANIE
          Please, take your hands off me.
          But the old woman only clutches tighter.

          

          

          

          

          17.

          STEPHANIE
          t 
          I'm calling security.
          She picks up the phone and presses a button.

          STEPHANIE
          (into the phone)
          Could you please come over?
          Mrs. Ganush finally releases her grip and bows her head in
          humiliation.

          MRS. GANUSH
          You shame me.
          She composes herself. Then, slowly stands, puffing up her
          chest. Mu3tering her damaged pride.

          MRS. GANUSH
          I begged you...
          Her one. good eye fixes it's hardened gaze upon Stephanie.

          MRS. GANUSH
          .and you shame me.
          Mrs. Ganush suddenly grasps Stephanie's arm. Stephanie tries
          to pull away but the old lady's grip is strong. Mrs. Ganush
          reaches out to pluck the charm bracelet from Stephanie's
          wrist-- but the Security Guard intervenes.

          SECURITY GUARD
          I think your business here is
          finished, ma'am.
          The Guard escorts Mrs. Ganush from the bank. Through the
          banks's window, Stephanie watches the Guard lead Mrs. Ganush
          to a old, Chevy Cavalier on the street.
          Stephanie composes herself and when she again looks up, the
          old woman's car is gone.

          DISSOLVE TO:

          INT. BANK - LATER

          16 The bank is closing. Stephanie is finishing some paper work
           when Mr. Jacks stops by her desk. 0

          

          

          

          

          18.

          MR. JACKS
          That was one nutty old lady. You
          okay?
          Stephanie nods.

          MR. JACKS
          You handled that just right. And by
          the way, as far as the Assistant
          Manager's position... You're at the
          top of the list.

          STEPHANIE
          Thanks.
          Mr. Jacks nods, heads for home. Stephanie loads a pile of
          contracts, a ruler and a desk stapler into a cardboard box
          and exits the bank. The Security guard locks up behind her.

          EXT. BANK OF CALIFORNIA - PARKING STRUCTURE - DAY

          Stephanie waves as the last of her co-workers drive off. It's
          then that she notices the battered Chevy Caviler. It's parked
          in the structure.
          Stephanie looks closer. There's no one behind the wheel.
          She nervously glances about. No sign of Mrs. Ganush.
          Stephanie makes her way toward the safety of her car.
          Her FOOTSTEPS echo in the deserted structure, more loudly
          than she would like.
          She arrives at her car and quickly gets inside, locking the
          doors behind her. She places the box of contracts on the seat
          next to her. As she starts the engine, she notices a strange
          sight: something moving, skimming along the surface of the
          lot.
          It's Mrs. Ganush's linen handkerchief.
          It whisks about like a ghost, swirling closer and closer.
          Stephanie watches transfixed, as it flies right toward her
          car. It dips beneath her hood and is gone. It suddenly sweeps
          up into view, flittering up, over her windshield, and is
          carried off by the wind.
          Stephanie breathes a sigh of relief just as two wrinkled
          hands come up around her face! Mrs Ganush sits up in the
          back seat of her car! SHRIEKING with rage at Stephanie!

          4

          

          

          

          

          19.

          MRS. GANUSH 
          (In Hungarian)
          You bitch! I pluck out your fucking
          eyes!
          Mrs. Ganush's razor sharp fingernails lash out towards
          Stephanie's eyes. But Stephanie grabs the old woman's wrists,
          halting her.
          The withered hands drop down to wrap around Stephanie's
          throat. Stephanie fights for breath as she frantically
          searches for a weapon. Her hand finds the box on the seat
          next to her. She grabs a handful of colored push pins and
          jams them into the old woman's arm. Mrs. Ganush releases her
          grip. Stephanie has time for only a single gulp of air before
          Mrs. Ganush grabs two fistfuls of Stephanie's hair!. The old
          woman yanks upon it. Stephanie's head is pulled back, over
          the edge of the seat. Ganush braces her feet against the back
          of the front seat to pull even harder... Stephanie's neck is
          now bent so far back it's about to snap!
          Stephanie's hand finds the stapler, trips the release. It
          springs open. She swings it back over her shoulder!
          Ka-Thunk! Ka-Thunk! Ka-Thunk!
          With each blow, she delivers a staple into Mrs. Ganush's
          forehead.
          Ka-Thunk! A lucky shot-- the old lady's white eye is stapled
          shut.
          The old woman HOWLS, but her grip on Stephanie's hair only
          tightens.
          Stephanie, about to black out, throws the car into gear and
          hits the gas. As the car' accelerates, Stephanie fastens her
          shoulder harness with the last of her strength.
          The old woman's stapled eyelid POPS open just in time for her
          to see... an oncoming concrete column.
          Stephanie's car slams into it. Stephanie is held fast by her
          shoulder harness.
          But Mrs. Ganush's body hurtles forward over the front seat,
          impacting against the dashboard with tremendous force.
          Close shot of the old woman's head slamming into the dash. In
          a spray of broken teeth, her dentures eject from her mouth.

          

          

          

          

          20.
          Both women are dazed from the impact. Stephanie regains her
          wits first. She reaches across Mrs. Ganush and opens the
          passenger door.
          Mrs. Ganush stirs, but before she can come to, Stephanie's
          foot shoves her out. The old woman hits the ground hard but
          she sits up suddenly with a SNARL and starts to climb back
          in. Stephanie shifts the car into reverse. The opened
          passenger door knocks Mrs. Ganush back down to the pavement.
          The car's rear bumper slams into a concrete column. Stephanie
          is dazed.
          Mrs. Ganush crawls to her feet and begins limping toward the
          car.
          Stephanie tries to focus. A blurred image in the rear view
          mirror: Mrs. Ganush running closer,'SHRIEKING with old world
          rage!
          The Old Woman reaches for the opened passenger door but
          Stephanie closes it and locks it just in time! Mrs. Ganush
          furiously pulls on the door handle to no,avail.

          STEPHANIE
          I beat you, you old bitch! Next
          time take your Geretol!
          The old woman bends down, beneath Stephanie's view. Stephanie
          looks about. Where'd she go?
          The old woman pops up into view, raising a chunk of concrete
          and... CRASHI Stephanie SCREAMS as the window shatters.
          The old woman's head juts into the cart She clamps her
          toothless maw down upon Stephanie.'s chin. Suckling it,
          gumming. The old woman's good eye rolls about in ecstacy.
          Stephanie SHRIEKS as she pushes the slobbering head away.
          Strands of spittle form a bridge from the old woman's mouth
          to Ste
          phanie's jaw.
          The old woman's wrinkled hands grope about the front seat.
          She finds her dentures, now damaged from the fight. She
          GRUNTS as she jams them back into her mouth. She comes at
          Stephanie, mouth wide open and SHRIEKING!
          Stephanie grabs the wooden ruler from her cardboard box and
          shoves it down the old lady's throat. Mrs. Ganush gags,
          trying to retch up the ruler.

          

          

          

          

          21.
          Then Stephanie is suddenly screaming herself, as the old
          1 Woman has grabbed her legs and is dragging her from the car.
          Stephanie hits the pavement. She shields her face with her
          hands, waiting, but the blow never comes. The old woman
          standing above her, WHEEZING.

          MRS. GANUSH
          You shamed me.
          The Old Woman reaches down. Stephanie flinches. Mrs.'Ganush's
          gnarled hand plucks a thin brass button from the sleeve of
          Stephanie's coat. She waves the button through the air, and
          breathes out a single word:

          MRS. GANUSH
          Lamia...
          Clouds move past the setting Sun. A shadow falls over
          Stephanie. A cold wind makes her shiver.

          STEPHANIE
          What--? What are you doing?
          Stephanie sits up, reaching for her button. But the old woman
          1 moves it out of reach. 

          MRS. GANUSH
          You want it?
          Stephanie snatches the button back. Mrs. Ganush smiles
          cryptically as Stephanie stuffs the button into her coat
          pocket.

          MRS. GANUSH
          Soon it will be you, who comes
          begging to me. It begins tonight
          when you hear the cry.

          STEPHANIE
          What cry?

          MRS. GANUSH
          The Lamia. It's coming for you.
          A large black, BUZZING fly lands on Stephanie's face. She
          swats it away. Her vision blurs and she grows dizzy. She
          leans against the car for support. When she finally looks up,
          Mrs. Ganush is gone.

          

          

          

          

          

          22.

          INT. POLICE STATION - SARGENT'S DESK - NIGHT

          Stephanie and Ray have just finished filing a report with

          OFFICER NAIMARK.

          RAY
          What about a restraining order?

          OFFICER NAIMARK
          Well that's usually only something
          we do if there's a pattern of
          harassment. But like I said, we'll
          file a report and keep it on record
          in case you do have a continuing
          problem. But once we send an
          officer around to have a word with,
          her, I don't think she'll be
          bothering you again.

          STEPHANIE
          Thank you, you've been very
          helpful.

          EXT. VENTURA BLVD - LATER THAT NIGHT

          Stephanie and Ray eat ice cream cones as they walk past the
          shops.

          RAY
          I just thank God you're okay. You
          are okay, right?

          STEPHANIE
          I'm fine.
          Ray waits, sensing that there's more to it.

          RAY
          Your fine, but...

          STEPHANIE
          I-- It's just that I could have
          gotten her another extension. But I
          didn't.

          RAY
          Loo]. You said the bank had already
          granted her two extensions.

          (MORE)

          4

          

          

          

          

          23.
          RAY (cont'd)
          When you don't pay your mortgage
          you lose your house, what did she
          t expect? 

          STEPHANIE
          I guess.
          A breeze. She shivers. He wraps his arms around her
          protectively and after a moment, they walk on. Stephanie
          watches wistfully as a YOUNG COUPLE coo over their BABY.
          Behind the couple, Stephanie notices a neon sign in a
          storefront window. It reads: PSYCHIC.

          STEPHANIE
          Let's get our fortune's read!

          RAY
          You're kidding right?
          She cajoles a protesting Ray through the front door of the
          establishment.

          INT. STOREFRONT - NIGHT

          A tiny waiting room. A poster on the wall indicating the
          energy meridians of the human body. 

          RAY
          I just hope to God none of my
          students see me here. Five bucks
          says he's wearing a turban.
          A beaded curtain parts, revealing...
          Rham Jas, a small, dark skinned, fifty year old Indian man.
          He wears a plain black suit and a white turban. His
          inquisitive eyes evaluate the couple.

          RHAM JAS
          I am Rham Jas. Seer.

          STEPHANIE
          How do you do? I'm Stephanie Brown
          and this is Ray...

          RAY
          But you probably already knew that.
          Just kidding.
          Rham Jas gives Ray a tight smile.

          

          

          

          

          24.

          RHAM JAS
          How can I help you?

          STEPHANIE
          We'd like to have our fortunes
          read. Can you do that? Read the
          future?

          RHAM JAS
          I have the ability to see certain
          energies... Sometimes these '
          energies are a foretoken of things
          to come. Sometimes not. Sixty
          dollars, please.

          RAY
          Sixty dollars? Isn't that a little
          steep for this kind of thing?

          RHAM JAS
          Then go. There are many who would
          claim to be seers. But they are
          not. Although you would pay them
          little... you would receive
          nothing. If you.are not serious,
          go.
          Rham Jas turns to depart through the beaded curtain.

          STEPHANIE
          Wait.
          She removes some bills from her purse but Ray waves her off,
          handing Rham Jas a credit card.

          RHAM JAS
          Platinum card. Very good.
          He swipes Ray's card through the credit card machine.
          INT Rham Jas'S BACK ROOM - NIGHT
          A sparsely furnished, dimly lit room. The walls are lined
          with old books. Rham Jas stands before Stephanie and Ray, who
          sit at a card table. Stephanie giggles with excitement.

          STEPHANIE
          Sorry.
          Rham Jas smiles back.

          

          

          

          

          25.

          RHAM JAS
          That's quite all right. So, you
          wish to know something of your
          destiny. Very good. We shall see
          what the fates have in store.
          Rham Jas crosses to the window and closes the curtains.

          RAY
          Freud said destiny was not an act
          of fate but rather something
          created by our subconscious to
          control our conscious choices.

          RHAM JAS
          That is true. But... "We should not
          pretend to understand the world
          only by intellect."

          RAY
          Carl Jung...

          RHAM JAS
          Yes. From his treatise
          "Psychological types".

          
          Ray studies this strange man as he strikes a match and lights
          a candle. There's more to him than meets the eye. Ray brushes
          it off.

          RAY
          Jung-- the New Agers' favorite
          psychologist.

          RHAM JAS
          Because he wasn't afraid to bring
          God into the equation.
          Rham Jas takes a seat at the table, across from Stephanie.

          RHAM JAS
          Your hand, please.
          Stephanie extends her hand to Rham Jas. He closes his eyes
          and concentrates. Stephanie smiles excitedly to Ray, who
          raises a skeptical eyebrow.

          RHAM JAS
          You,work with money.

          TO

          

          

          

          

          26.

          STEPHANIE
          That's right! 4

          RHAM JAS
          But... you've lost something.

          STEPHANIE
          No. I don't think so.

          RHAM JAS
          No. No, you're right. Something's
          been taken from you.

          STEPHANIE
          No, I-
          Rham Jas grabs her arm and turns it, revealing the threads.
          that once held the button on her coat sleeve.

          RHAM JAS
          A button.

          STEPHANIE
          Well, yes! Some Old Woman...

          RAY
          Well anyone can see she lost a
          button. So what?

          STEPHANIE
          But Ray, it was very strange. At
          the bank today. The old woman...
          the one I told you about... she
          plucked the button right from my
          sleeve.

          RAY
          Why would she do that?

          RHAM JAS
          If you would please, both be quiet.
          Rham Jae concentrates, his eyelids flutter. Stephanie appears
          uneasy. The flame of the candle begins to flicker as a breeze
          sweeps through the room. The wind chimes TINKLE. Ray pulls
          his collar closed against the sudden chill in the air. Rham
          Jas's back stiffens.

          4

          

          

          

          

          27.
          He releases Stephanie's hand and stands. He moves away from
          the table, uncomfortable. With a handkerchief,' he dabs
          perspiration from his brow.

          RHAM JAS
          I think that is enough for now.

          STEPHANIE
          Wait. You saw something. What?

          RHAM JAS
          I'm sorry. I'm tired and I see it's
          become quite late. Of course I will
          refund your money.

          STEPHANIE
          Tell me. Please.
          Rham Jas hesitates, then...

          RHAM JAS
          A bad spirit has come upon you.

          STEPHANIE
          How?

          RHAM JAS
          Did you blaspheme the dead while
          visiting a grave site?

          STEPHANIE
          No.

          RHAM JAS
          Do you play with Ouija board or
          confer with those who practice the
          black arts?

          RAY
          What is this?!

          STEPHANIE
          No. No, I didn't.

          RHAM JAS
          Then perhaps someone has cursed
          you.

          STEPHANIE
          Who? 0

          

          

          

          

          28.
          Rham Jas turns her wrist, exposing the loose threads on her
          coat sleeve.

          CLOSE ON THE THREADS
          where the brass button once was.

          EXT. HILLS OF SILVER LAKE -- NIGHT

          Ray and Stephanie cruise along the dark, winding hills. Ray
          looks over at Stephanie.

          STEPHANIE
          How did he know all that?

          RAY
          Know what? That you lost,a button?1
          He makes some good guesses, stirs
          you up, leaving you with a lot of
          questions. And conveniently, his
          business card. C'mon, he's a scam
          artist.

          STEPHANIE
          He didn't want the money. He tried
          to give the money back.

          RAY
          In the end, he took it, didn't he?

          STEPHANIE
          I guess so.

          EXT. STEPHANIE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

          Ray and Stephanie step from the car. They open a rusting iron
          gate, and walk up the hilly path to Stephanie's slightly
          funky Silver Lake rental house.

          INT. STEPHANIE'S HOUSE - FOYER - NIGHT

          Ray and Stephanie step inside. The kitten PURRS around
          Stephanie's feet. Ray picks it up.

          RAY
          So this is him. Got a name?

          STEPHANIE
          Uh... just "Kitty" so far.

          

          

          

          

          29.
          She takes the cat from Ray, cuddles it.

          

          RAY
          Sure you don't want me to spend the
          night?

          STEPHANIE
          Don't tempt me. I've got to prep a
          presentation for the morning.

          RAY
          okay.
          Ray kisses her, opens the front door and exits. He calls back
          to her from his car:

          RAY
          Remember, dinner at my folk's
          house, tomorrow night. We're
          supposed to bring desert. I could
          pick something up?

          STEPHANIE
          No. I'm planning on baking my
          special cake.

          

          RAY
          Sounds good. Try not to stay up too
          late.
          Ray waves and steps into his car. Stephanie watches him drive
          off.

          INT. STEPHANIE'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

          Stephanie site at the kitchen table in her flannel pajamas,
          entering financial data into her laptop. An episode of
          "Desperate Housewives" plays in the background on TV. A
          baking timer CHIMES. Stephanie removes a beautifully browned
          cake from the oven and sets it on the counter to cool. Her
          roommate, ELLEN, comes down the stairs, snuggling the kitten.

          STEPHANIE
          Isn't he adorable?

          ELLEN
          Let's hope the landlord thinks so.
          She sets down,the kitten and picks up her overnight bag. 0

          

          

          

          

          30.

          ELLEN

          T
          What about you? You going to be
          okay? You know, I don't have to go
          out tonight.

          STEPHANIE
          No, I'm fine. Have a good time.

          ELLEN
          Do I look great? Be honest.

          STEPHANIE.
          You look great.
          Ellen smiles, grabs her car keys and heads for the door.

          STEPHANIE
          But... Isn't that Marci's dress?

          ELLEN
          Yeah. And if she calls, tell her
          not to go bi-polar on me, I'll'get
          it back to her by tomorrow. Or the
          next day. Bye!
          Ellen exits.
          Stephanie places butter into a mixer for the cake frosting.
          Through the kitchen window we can see Ellen walking down the
          path, toward the street. She steps through the iron gate,
          latching it closed behind her.

          EXT. STEPHANIE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

          Ellen's car pulls away. The wind kicks up, whisking leaves
          about, as though something where moving up the path and
          toward the front gate of the house.

          INT. STEPHANIE'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT

          An unsettling SHRIEK! what the hell was that? Stephanie sets
          down the measuring cup.
          She moves to the front door. Locks it.
          She looks out the kitchen window. The iron. gate is now open.
          It SHRIEKS as it swings back and forth in the wind.

          

          

          

          

          31.
          Suddenly, the latch gives way and the windows swing open!
          1 Wind sweeps through the kitchen, whipping dead leaves about.
          The hanging pans bang together! KLANG! KLANG!
          Stephanie forces the windows closed.
          The wind dies. The room grows eerily quiet.
          A car passes in the street below. It's headlights sweep
          across the house. The headlight beams throw moving shadows on
          the wall. Stephanie notices that one particular shadow is
          darker than the others. It becomes the silhouette of Mrs.
          Ganush, but there's no one in the room with her.
          The car passes and the shadows vanish.
          Sensing something, the Kitten arches it's back. Now Stephanie
          feels it. A presence. The light bulb begins to sputter.
          She holds her breath, listens.
          The floorboards CREAK. Something is walking towards her. She
          spins around, but there's nothing there. The SOUND of
          footsteps drawing closer.
          She backs against the wall, trembling.
          Suddenly Stephanie's face is struck by an invisible hand! She
          cries out. Her mouth is bleeding.
          She runs for the door. She's almost there. Her hand reaches
          for the knob, when something unseen picks her up. She SCREAMS
          as she is thrown against the wall. She falls to the floor.
          Lifting her head, she catches her own reflection in the

          WINDOW:
          In the reflection, as the light bulb flickers, we see a flash
          of ghostly hands that grope at her body. They reach up
          through the floor, and clutch at her legs, buttocks and
          breasts.

          STEPHANIE
          Get off me! Get off!
          The phantom hands vanish. Stephanie looks about, eyes wild.

          INT. RAY'S HOUSE - NIGHT


          

          

          

          

          

          32.
          Stephanie is wearing Ray's overcoat atop her pajamas. She
          nervously paces the room. Ray hurries in, handing her a pack
          of frozen peas that she presses against her bloody lip.

          RAY
          So she came to your house? This is
          crazy. I'm calling that police
          officer.
          He begins to dial but Stephanie stops him.

          STEPHANIE
          Ray, you're not listening. It
          wasn't her. It was something that
          she sicked on me...

          RAY
          I don't understand.

          STEPHANIE
          I didn't tell you the whole story.
          That old woman... after she knocked
          me down, and pulled the button from
          my coat, she told me that...

          RAY
          What?

          STEPHANIE
          She said that something was coming
          for me... and it did.
          Ray stares at her with concern.

          INT. RAY'S HOUSE - LATER

          DOCTOR RANGIVERTZ, wearing jeans and a UCLA basketball
          sweatshirt, concludes his interview with Stephanie. He
          carries a small black medical bag as he steps from the living
          room to speak with Ray.

          DOCTOR RANGAVERTZ
          Ray, you were right to call me.
          Never a good idea to be personally
          involved with your patient.

          RAY
          What do you think?

          4

          

          

          

          

          33.

          DOCTOR RANGAVERTZ
          1b Medically, she's fine. She's just 
          very distraught. She's displaying
          some paranoia and a sense of panic.
          Classic symptoms of a post
          traumatic stress disorder. Probably
          a result of being assaulted by that
          old woman.
          Doctor Rangavertz scribbles out a prescription and hands it
          to Ray.

          RAY
          How worried should I be?

          DOCTOR RANGAVERTZ
          We'll have to wait and see.

          INT. RAY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

          'Stephanie lays peacefully in bed, almost asleep. A bottle of
          sedatives on the bedside table. Ray pulls up the blanket
          around her exposed shoulder. Stephanie sighs, turns to him.

          RAY
          How you doing?

          

          STEPHANIE
          Better now. At the time it just
          seemed so real. I'm so embarrassed.

          RAY
          Don't be, you had a terrible day
          and you.got a little wigged out. It
          happens.

          STEPHANIE
          po, what now, Doc?

          RAY
          I was gonna surprise you, but what
          the hell. I've been planning a
          little trip for us this week end.
          Saturday morning we're taking a
          train to Santa Barbara.

          STEPHANIE
          Really?

          

          

          

          

          34.

          RAY
          My family owns a cabin up there. In,
          the hills. Overlooking this little
          river. We'll light a fire, drink
          some champagne and screw our brains
          out.

          STEPHANIE
          You sure know how to talk to a
          girl.

          RAY
          It's a chance to just be together.
          Undisturbed. There's a lot of stuff
          I want to talk to you abqut but it
          never seems to be the right time.

          STEPHANIE
          Sounds nice.
          She draws in a deep breath and for the first time that
          evening, she looks at peace. Ray watches, her as she closes
          her eyes and drifts off to sleep.

          FADE TO BLACK.

          INT. RAY'S BEDROOM - MORNING

          .Tweeting birds and filtered sunlight streaming in through the
          window, awaken Stephanie. She stretches and looks to the
          empty pillow next to her. Ray is gone.
          She tries to fall back asleep, but the sound of a dripping
          faucet keeps her awake. Frustrated, she gets out of bed and
          steps into the bathroom.
          WITHERED HANDS clamp around Stephanie's throat, violently
          SHAKING her!

          MRS GANUSH
          You shamed mel
          MATCH CUT to:
          Ray SHAKING her!

          RAY
          Steph! Wake Upl

          4

          

          

          

          

          35.
          She awakens in her bed, SCREAMING!

          10 40

          STEPHANIE
          Oh my God: Oh Godl

          RAY
          It was just a dream. It's okay.
          She gets control. Ray smooths out the tangled hair from her
          sweaty face. He looks deeply into her eyes, afraid of what's
          happening to her. The phone in the next room, RINGS.'Ray
          looks over, decides to ignore it. It keeps RINGING.

          STEPHANIE
          Go ahead.

          RAY
          I'll be right back.
          He steps into the next room and we hear him answer the phone.
          Stephanie sighs and lays back down... next to Mrs. Ganush!
          The Old Woman is covered in.a swarm of BLACK FLIES! Stephanie

          SHRIEKS!
          The Old Woman opens her maw, exposing sharp broken teeth. She
          lunges for Stephanie! 
          Stephanie grabs the old woman by her hair, halting the
          chomping teeth inches from her face. She tries to push Mrs.
          Ganush away.
          But the Old Woman's yellowed teeth SNAP and press ever
          closer.
          The muscles in Stephanie's arms are trembling. She is
          weakening. Mrs. Ganush, closes in, about to clamp her teeth
          down upon Stephanie's face when--
          Stephanie suddenly awakens with a GASP. It was all a dream
          within a dream.
          She bolts up out of bed. Takes her bearings. She's alone in
          Ray's bedroom. She checks the bathroom. Under the bed. All
          normal.
          Ray enters.

          RAY
          You, okay?

          0

          

          

          

          

          36.

          STEPHANIE
          No. No-- Oh my God. I had some 4
          dreams. Awful.

          RAY
          Want to tell me about them?

          STEPHANIE
          The old lady. She was here... I
          couldn't wake up.
          Stephanie shakes her head. She can't finish.
          Ray pulls back the drapes. Sunlight pours into the room.
          Stephanie tries to put the dream out of her mind. Ray sits
          next to her, strokes her hair.

          RAY
          Doctor Rangervertz said you could
          stop by his office during your
          lunch hour.
          Stephanie nods.

          EXT. BANK OF CALIFORNIA - MORNING

          Ray's car stops in front of the Bank.

          INT. RAY'S CAR

          Stephanie looks across the street to the parking structure.
          Her car is there. The window has been replaced.

          RAY
          I had them replace the window last
          night. Still needs some body work.

          STEPHANIE-
          Thank you, Ray.
          She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath.

          RAY
          We've got to be prepared that it
          might take some time for you to get
          over this.
          She nods.

          INT. BANK OF CALIFORNIA -- DAY 4


          

          

          

          

          37.
          Stephanie enters the bank. She guilty glancep to the clock.
          It's 9:40. She's late. She tries to be discreet as she
          moves to her desk, hoping Mr. Jacks won't notice. She's
          almost there when Stu Rubin "accidently" knocks a note book
          off his desk.
          Mr. Jacks glances up and notes Stephanie's tardiness.
          Stu approaches Stephanie's desk.

          STU RUBIN
          Hi Steph. Just getting here?

          STEPHANIE
          What are you, the hall monitor?

          STU RUBIN
          Ha ha! You're funny, Steph.

          STEPHANIE
          What do you want?

          STU RUBIN
          I need you to finish teaching me
          the loan procedures.

          T

          STEPHANIE
          I've got a lot on my mind. Let's do
          it tomorrow.

          STU RUBIN
          Sure. I'll just tell Mr. Jacks that
          you don't have the time right now.
          Maybe he can show me.
          She glances up. Mr. Jacks'is still watching her.

          STEPHANIE
          No, no, that's all right. I'll do
          it. Where were we?

          STU RUBIN
          We were going over the asset-based
          lending guidelines.

          STEPHANIE
          Right. Okay. Let's say your client
          is a company that can't get
          traditional bank financing but
          10 needs a secured loan. We offer-- 

          

          

          

          

          38.

          SCRATCH... SCRATCH...
          Stephanie looks around for the source of the sound, but can't
          find it.

          STU
          Yeah?

          STEPHANIE
          .uh, we offer several types of
          asset-based lending which consist
          of revolving lines of credit and
          term loans secured by accounts
          receivables, their inventory,
          machinery-- ,

          SCRATCH... SCRATCH...
          Stephanie sees...
          That Stu's hand has been replaced by MRS. GANUSH'S... it's
          yellowed fingernails SCRATCH across her desk. She looks again,
          and Stu's hand has returned to normal.

          STU
          ---and?

          STEPHANIE
          (in her full Missouri twang)
          --And get your filthy pig knuckle
          off my desk!
          Stu is taken aback by Stephanie's outburst. He retreats to
          his desk in confusion.
          Stephanie sits, rattled. A drop of blood falls onto a piece
          of paper on her desk. The blood is trickling from her nose.
          Stephanie grabs a tissue to halt the bleeding. She looks
          down to see a large black fly land upon the drop of blood.
          She gasps and stands, her mind racing. She knows what she
          must do. She finds Mrs. Ganush's loan documents. She stuffs
          them into a folder, grabs her purse and bolts for the exit.
          Mr. Jacks engaged with a customer, calls after her:

          MR. JACKS
          Stephanie? Where are you going?
          She moves quickly out the door, pretending not to hear him.

          4

          

          

          

          

          39.
          Stu watches Stephanie go and gets up from his desk. She's 
          left some files behind. He snoops around his desk. He notices
          a folder marked CONFIDENTIAL. It's the McPherson loan file.
          Interesting. He picks it up.

          EXT. MRS. GANUSH'S HOUSE - DAY

          An old, wood bungalow that has seen better days. A MOVING
          TRUCK in the driveway.
          Stephanie's car pulls up. she steps out, carrying Mrs.
          Ganush's loan documents.
          She passes the MOVING MEN who load the last of Mrs. Ganush's
          things.
          She arrives at the opened front door, gathers her courage and
          KNOCKS. No answer. She calls out:

          STEPHANIE
          Mrs. Ganush?
          No answer. She steps inside.

          5 5

          INT. MRS GANUSH'S FOYER - DAY

          It's dark and musty here. The place is barren but for some
          flattened cardboard boxes. Stephanie tries the light switch.
          No Power.

          STEPHANIE
          Mrs. Ganush? '
          She moves forward into the living room.

          INT. MRS. GANUSH'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

          Its too dark to see much of anything. Stephanie stumbles over
          something left on the floor. A voice:

          MRS. GANUSH
          I knew you'd come.
          Stephanie almost jumps out of her skin. As her eyes adjust
          she sees Mrs. Ganush sitting on a crate in the corner of the
          room. Her arthritic hands clutching a yellowed photograph.

          0

          

          

          

          

          40.

          STEPHANIE
          Hi. I'm here because I think I can
          help you. I can get your house back
          for you.

          MRS. GANUSH
          It's so empty now.

          STEPHANIE .
          I can arrange for all your
          furniture to be brought back. Would
          that be okay?
          Mrs Ganush does not look up from the photograph.

          STEPHANIE
          So... on behalf of the bank I just
          want to resolve this to your
          satisfaction. This whole thing got
          personal and there was really no
          reason for that. The bank made a
          mistake and I can fix it for you
          and in return I'd like you to-
          cancel or call off, whatever you...
          you know-- that thing you did to
          me. Okay? No hard feelings. So...

          STEPHANIE
          My mother was a proud woman.
          Dignity. That's what she had.
          Stephanie nods. Waits an appropriate moment, then: places the
          document gently down on the floor next to Mrs. Ganush.

          STEPHANIE
          All you need to do is. sign here...
          Stephanie offers her a pen.

          STEPHANIE
          .and I'll take care of the rest.
          Mrs. Ganush's hard eyes find Stephanie's. They bore in.

          MRS. GANUSH
          No.

          

          

          

          

          41.

          STEPHANIE

          1 
          No? But... I'm saying I'll make
          things right. Just sign this and
          you can keep the house. Isn't that
          what you wanted?

          MRS. GANUSH
          It was what I wanted before you
          shamed me. Now I want to see you
          suffer.

          STEPHANIE
          Please! I've suffered enough!

          MRS GANUSH
          Not yet!
          Mrs. Ganush suddenly erupts in a broken toothed CACKLE.

          STEPHANIE
          You're insane! Just... just a crazy
          old woman! I don't even know why I
          came here!

          1 MRS. GANUSH 
          You know why.
          Terrified, Stephanie runs from the place.

          EXT. MRS. GANUSH'S HOUSE - DAY

          The Old Woman's CACKLING can still be heard as Stephanie
          hurries to her car and drives off.

          EXT. SEVEN ELEVEN PARKING LOT - LATER

          Stephanie site in her parked car.

          INT. STEPHANIE'S CAR

          Stephanie is eating from a package of DOUBLE STUFF OREOS,
          joylessly jamming one after another into her mouth. Her eyes
          dart about: Who could help her? Then she remembers
          something. She sets down the cookies and rummages through
          her purse. She finds the business card of Rham Jas. She
          starts the car and drives off.

          EXT. INTERSECTION - DAY


          TO

          

          

          

          

          42.
          Stephanie halts at a red light. out of the corner of her eye
          she sees something odd.

          STEPHANIE'S POV - ON THE STREET
          Stu Rubin walking with two well dressed executives.

          STEPHANIE
          Stu?
          The men warmly escort into the First National Bank.

          STEPHANIE
          What's he doing at First National?
          The car behind her HONKS! She drives on.

          EXT. RHAM JAS' STOREFRONT - DAY

          Stephanie's car is parked in the street.

          INT. STOREFRONT - DAY

          Stephanie stands before a counter facing Rham Jas. He swipes
          her credit card through the machine.
          She signs the receipt. He motions for her to follow him
          through the beaded curtain.
          INT. BACK ROOM OF RHAM Jas'S STOREFRONT - DAY
          on a plain wooden table.a samovar brews a musty tea. Rham Jas
          is reading from an ancient text. He looks up from the book,-
          solemn.

          RHAM JAS
          What did it sound like.

          STEPHANIE
          Like... shrieking. It was awful.
          He nods. Closes the book.

          RHAM JAS
          That would be the Lamia. The "Black
          Goat".

          4

          

          

          

          

          43.

          STEPHANIE
          Lamia. Right. That's the word the 
          old woman used.

          RHAM JAS
          It is a nasty spirit. A taker of
          souls. A creature of misfortune for
          you and those around you. It is
          often summoned by the Gypsies for
          their dour deeds. On the third day
          the Lamia comes for the owner of
          the accursed object.

          STEPHANIE
          Accursed object? What object?

          RHAM JAS
          Something that the old woman took
          from you, cursed, then gave back.
          Now it dawns on Stephanie. She looks to the threads on her
          coat.

          STEPHANIE
          The button...

          
          Stephanie's hand slowly emerges from her coat pocket. The
          thin brass button in her palm.

          STEPHANIE
          .this?
          She holds the button up for him to inspect. But it's presence
          makes him uneasy..He wags his finger back and forth. She
          lowers it.

          STEPHANIE
          What if I just burn the thing?

          RHAM JAS
          No matter what condition the button
          is in, you would still be the
          owner. The Lamia would still come
          to take you.

          STEPHANIE
          Take me where?

          NO

          

          

          

          

          44.
          Rham Jas gives her a sad smile and closes the text. She
          knows where. Stymied, she tucks the button back into her coat
          pocket.

          STEPHANIE
          There's got to be something I can
          do.

          RHAM JAS
          Yes. There are many ways to appease
          a spirit. The simplest is a blood
          offering. An animal sacrifice. A
          small creature would do. You could
          sacrifice a chicken. It's all in
          here...
          Rham Jas produces a modern book on animal sacrifice which he
          sets before her.

          STEPHANIE
          No way. I'm a vegetarian. I'm a
          member of PETA, for Christ's sake.
          I don't go around killing animals.

          RHAM JAS
          You will be surprised what you will
          be willing to do when the Lamia
          comes for you.
          She considers his words, looks down to the book.
          CLOSE ON A DIAGRAM OF AN ANIMAL SACRIFICE - A creature's
          heart being cut from it's body.
          CAMERA pulls back to reveal that Stephanie now site at her
          kitchen table, reading the book. We see other diagrams: The
          heart being placed into a skillet over an open fire. The
          burial of the smoking heart. Stephanie's kitten PURRS, as it
          rubs against her leg.
          Stephanie closes the book, shutting out the disturbing
          images.
          She hears the SHRIEK of the rusty gate outside. She moves to
          the window and peers out. The rusting iron gate is open.
          Stephanie senses a change in the room... Shadows shift and
          grow deeper. The air is suddenly oppressive. Something is
          coming.

          

          

          

          

          45.
          She moves to the front door and puts her ear to it. Quiet.
          1b But then--

          SCRATCH... SCRATCH...
          She runs upstairs into her bedroom and locks the door.

          INT. STEPHANIE'S BEDROOM

          She can hear the sound of the SCRATCHING, even here.,
          She rushes to the phone picks it up: No dial tone, only high
          pitched static, the sounds of the Lamia buried within.
          She sets the phone down.
          For a moment all is quiet. Should she go back down? Then she
          hears a tiny SQUEAKING. The knob on the front door, turning.
          Then the CLICK of the lock, followed by the CREAKING of rusty
          hinges as the front door swings open. She calls through her
          bedroom door.

          STEPHANIE
          Ellen? !
          But it's not Ellen. 
          Stephanie puts her,ear to the door. The sound of an animal's
          hooves on wood. Something is climbing the stairs. It stops
          outside her bedroom door.
          Stephanie holds her breath, listening.
          She sees a shadow beneath the crack in the door.

          STEPHANIE
          I know that you're there!
          The window behind her explodes into the room with a deafening

          ROAR!
          She ducks for cover. Another window is blown inward and the
          glass sent her way. She SCREAMS and runs toward the bathroom
          door. It SLAMS shut in her face!
          BOOM! Another window is SHATTERED by the angry, unseen thing.
          The force knocks her to the bed. The blankets are torn from
          the mattress, throwing Stephanie to the floor. The bedsheets
          whisk around the room, flapping and twisting about like
          1b drunken ghosts. 

          

          

          

          

          46.
          She tries to run but they tangle around her legs and yank her
          into the air, suspending her upside down, taking her on a
          wild and harrowing ride about the room.
          Abruptly all the madness halts: She drops to the floor. The
          bedsheet wafts to the ground beside her. Whatever it was,
          .it's gone. It's quiet now. A terrified Stephanie sits,
          shaking, in the wreckage of her room.

          INT. STEPHANIE'S KITCHEN - LATER

          With a trembling hand, she jams a ZAGNUT BAR into her mouth,
          and drops the wrapper onto a pile of others on the floor.
          She chases it with a double shot of Maker's Mark Whiskey. She
          removes a knife from the butcher block and hefts. it's weight.
          She sings out, in a sweet but trembling voice.

          STEPHANIE
          Here kitty-kitty... Here, kitty-
          kitty-kitty...
          She moves closer until her face fills the screen.

          EXT. STEPHANIE'S HOUSE - DAY

          The distant SCREAM of the kitten is heard. We hear it again
          and again until it is finally silenced. 4

          INT. BATHROOM - DAY

          Stephanie having been sick, emerges from the bathroom, wiping
          her mouth.

          INT. STEPHANIE'S KITCHEN -DAY

          Stephanie throws something small and bloody inside the
          microwave oven and turns it on.

          STEPHANIE'S BACKYARD GARDEN AFTERNOON
          She buries the heart in a corner of her garden.
          She turns on the garden hose, washing the cat's blood from
          the knife.

          ELLEN'S VOICE
          Steph?
          Stephanie quickly tosses the knife into the bushes. Ellen
          appears.

          

          

          

          

          47.

          ELLEN
          t 
          Didn't you hear me calling? I was
          looking all over for you. Are you
          power eating Clark bars again?
          'Cause there's about ten thousand
          wrappers all over the-- Oh my God,
          is that blood?1
          Stephanie glances guiltily to the corner of the garden. But
          no blood shows.

          STEPHANIE
          No. Why would there be blood?

          ELLEN
          Right there, on your sleeve.
          Stephanie glances at the red spot on her sleeve.

          STEPHANIE
          That's just tomato juice. I was
          inside making a salad and... I cut
          a tomato and I must have gotten it
          on my sleeve.
          Ellen gives her roommate a worried look.

          ELLEN
          Look, Steph, we're friends so if
          something's wrong...

          STEPHANIE
          I had some problems. A situation.
          But I think everything is going to
          be good now.
          Ellen isn't so sure.

          INT. STEPHANIE'S BEDROOM - DAY

          Stephanie closes her bedroom door so Ellen can't see the
          damage. Stephanie cleans up the place. As she picks up some
          of her things, she comes across an old photograph.
          CLOSER: It's a photo of 16 year old Stephanie. She was
          obese. Her belly unflatteringly protrudes from beneath a "4-
          H" tee shirt. She stands before some barnyard animals, a
          bucket of feed in her hand.

          

          

          

          

          48.
          Stephanie looks distastefully down at her former self. She
          tears up the photo and dumps it in the waste basket.

          INT. KITCHEN -- AFTERNOON

          The music grows lighter as Stephanie models a couple of
          dresses in front of Ellen, who's helping decide on the
          evening's wardrobe.

          ELLEN
          Go with the short skirt.

          STEPHANIE
          What about this one?
          She hold up a longer, more formal dress.

          ELLEN
          Uh uh. That one's saying "I'm
          trying to impress you with my
          conservative taste."

          STEPHANIE
          But that's what I want it to say.
          Ellen shakes her head, no. Stephanie takes a last look in the
          mirror, decides to go with the short skirt.

          STEPHANIE
          Okay. This is it.

          ELLEN
          Tell me again... the exact words he
          used.

          STEPHANIE
          Just that this little cabin would
          be a great place for us to really
          connect and that there was
          something he'd been meaning to talk
          about with me.

          ELLEN
          Oh my god, you are so engaged!
          Ellen's smile fades. She shakes her head despondently.

          STEPHANIE
          What's wrong? I

          

          

          

          

          49.

          ELLEN
          t 
          I just know that Rob's never going
          to ask me.

          STEPHANIE
          But I thought you said that
          relationship was only physical.

          ELLEN
          Oh, I'd never marry a guy like
          that... but I'd still like him to
          ask me.

          STEPHANIE
          Huh.

          EXT. NICHOLAS CANYON - DUSK

          Stephanie's car pulling up in front of Ray's hillside house.
          The convertible top is down and Stephanie looks radiant in
          the golden sunlight.

          RAY'S VOICE
          Let's get a look at that dress.
          She steps from the car and models the dress. S

          STEPHANIE
          You like

          RAY
          I like.

          INT. STEPHANIE'S CAR - DUSK


          RAY AND STEPHANIE
          drive through the streets of Bel Air, Stephanie at the wheel.
          She tunes in a rock station and turns it up loud. She smiles
          at Ray and takes his hand.
          She hits the gas and her Ford Focus opens up, accelerating
          down a long, tree lined street, the wind blowing through
          their hair.

          EXT. DALTON HOUSE - DUSK

          Stephanie and Ray approach the front door. Stephanie carries
          her home made cake. They ring the bell. Stephanie suddenly
          seems apprehensive. 

          

          

          

          

          50.

          RAY
          Something wrong?

          STEPHANIE
          It's just that I'm not, some ivy
          leaguer with an impressive resume.
          I have a feeling that's what your
          folks really want.

          RAY
          Maybe. But in the end, it's about
          what you and I want.

          STEPHANIE
          Is that so?
          Ray gives her a reassuring nod.
          The front door opens revealing Ray's parents, GEORGE AND
          TRUDY DALTON. Behind them we glimpse an exquisitely furnished
          foyer.

          TRUDY

          RAYMONDL
          She kisses her son.

          RAY
          Stephanie, this is my mother,
          Trudy, and my Father, George.
          Trudy glances at Stephanie's revealing cocktail dress with
          thinly veiled disapproval. Stephanie self-consciously tugs it
          lower.

          TRUDY
          How do you do?

          GEORGE
          Nice tp meet you, Stephanie.

          STEPHANIE
          It's very nice to meet you, too.

          GEORGE
          Please, come in.

          STEPHANIE
          Thank you.

          A

          

          

          

          

          '51.
          She steps inside.

          1

          INT. DALTON'S HOUSE


          STEPHANIE
          You have a lovely home.

          GEORGE
          Thanks. I'll get us something to
          drink.
          As George exits, Stephanie presents her home made cake to
          Trudy.

          STEPHANIE
          I hope you don't mind. I baked
          something for you.
          Trudy hesitates, then takes the cake from Stephanie.

          TRUDY
          It's lovely. Homemade.

          STEPHANIE
          It's a harvest cake.

          

          TRUDY
          Harvest cake? Is'that some kind of
          cake you make on a... farm?

          STEPHANIE
          We used to, yeah, when you have a
          lot of extra duck eggs. Especially
          right before spring; that's when
          you get a real dense yolk. Makes
          for, rich cake.
          The mother forces a smile.

          TRUDY
          You must give me the recipe
          sometime.

          STEPHANIE
          Sure. It's easy. The real
          secret's in the milk. You want it
          unpasteurized.

          0

          

          

          

          

          52.

          TRUDY
          Unclean... Uh... I mean
          "unpasteurized"? Is that safe?

          STEPHANIE
          Uh huh. And you want that milk
          still warm. Straight from the cow.
          Trudy has to stifle her gag reflex. George returns and hands
          Ray and Stephanie a cocktail.

          TRUDY
          Excuse me while I go find someplace
          to put this.
          As Trudy takes away the cake, a cat rounds the corner. It
          HISSES at Stephanie. She takes a step back.

          GEORGE
          Never could understand that damned
          animal. Hate cats.
          Trudy returns from the kitchen.

          TRUDY
          That's strange. Hecuba's usually
          very sweet.

          STEPHANIE
          That's okay. I had a cat. I
          understand.

          RAY
          What do you mean "had a cat"? What
          happened to him?

          STEPHANIE
          How would I know what happened?
          Probably nothing. You know how cats
          are. They come and they go.
          Ray nods slowly. About to say something but let's it go.

          INT. DALTON HOUSE - DINNING ROOM - LATER

          Stephanie, Ray, George and Trudy are finishing dinner.

          

          

          

          

          53.

          GEORGE
           Still keeping up with your coin 
           collection, Ray?

           RAY
           I try to. In fact Stephanie just
          found me a 1925 Indian Head nickel
          at her bank.

          GEORGE
          Really? So, how long have you been
          working there, Stephanie?

          STEPHANIE
          Almost two years now.

          TRUDY
          The job of a bank teller must be so
          difficult. I'd think with all the
          counting and the repetition, it'd
          become so tedious.

          STEPHANIE
          Yes, you're right. But I'm not a
          teller.

          

          TRUDY
          Oh?

          RAY
          Stephanie's a loan officer in
          charge of small business and home
          loans. And she's on a fast track
          for a promotion. Right, Steph?

          STEPHANIE
          I'd like to think so... actually,
          It depends. If I could close this
          big account that I'm working on, it
          would really help.

          GEORGE
          Must be a very important loan.

          STEPHANIE
          It would be the biggest that my
          branch has ever handled.

          GEORGE
          How''d it come to you?

          

          

          

          

          

          54.

          STEPHANIE
          Well, I was reading the Wall Street
          Journal and found this innovative
          medical supply company that was
          interested in expanding but didn't
          have the liquidity. I met with
          their CFO and presented a formula
          for restructuring-some of their
          long term debt. It created an
          environment where I was able to
          offer them a rather attractive loan

          PACKAGE

          GEORGE
          You sure sound like you've got a
          lot going for you, Stephanie.

          TRUDY
          Your mother must be very proud.

          STEPHANIE
          I suppose. I don't see her much.

          TRUDY
          Why is that?

          STEPHANIE
          Well, ever since my dad died she
          doesn't talk much. She mostly stays
          on the farm and... keeps to
          herself. Because...
          There is an awkward silence.

          TRUDY
          Does your mother have a drinking
          problem?

          RAY
          Cut her some slack, mom, she--

          STEPHANIE
          Yes. I'm afraid she does.

          TRUDY
          I'm sorry. It's nothing to be
          ashamed of. And I find your honesty
          refreshing.

          STEPHANIE
          Thank you.

          

          

          

          

          5.5 .

          TRUDY
          t 
          You've got back bone. Not like that
          other girl Ray brought by... What
          was her name? Alicia? She was
          dreadful. So ill-mannered. And no
          ambition.

          RAY

          MOM-

          TRUDY
          (stage whisper to

          STEPHANIE)
          He found her through the,internet.

          RAY
          Mors, please.

          TRUDY
          Stephanie, am I being too tough on
          Ray?
          Stephanie, happy to be taken into the family circle, winks at
          Ray.

          STEPHANIE
          No. Not at all. That's what mom's
          are for.

          TRUDY
          Thank you, Stephanie. Maybe I will
          try that Harvest cake of yours,
          after all.
          Trudy cuts herself a piece. Stephanie tastes the cake and
          emits a tiny cough.

          STEPHANIE
          Excuse me.
          She clears her throat. But the cough returns, grows larger.

          STEPHANIE
          Just a little tickle in my--
          She stands and takes a few steps away from the table. Ray
          looks on concerned.

          RAY
          Are you okay?

          

          

          

          

          56.
          She waves him off, clearing her throat. Tries to smile
          demurely, but erupts with a harsh cough. She's choking on
          something and is trying to bring it up from deep within her
          throat. With all her might she emits a BARK and a large
          black fly buzzes out of her mouth.

          TRUDY
          Oh! OH MY GOD!
          The fly lazily BUZZES across the table, slowly circling
          Trudy's head.
          Trudy spits out a mouthful of harvest cake into her napkin.
          George lowers his fork and pushes away his plate of unclean
          farm cake.
          Ray is baffled, too stunned to speak.
          Stephanie's gaze shifts to the kitchen door. From The other
          side, she hears the sound of a hoofs.
          Ray tries to cover for Stephanie:

          RAY
          I'm so sorry, Stephanie. I don't
          know how that fly got. into your--

          STEPHANIE
          --Wait. What's that sound?

          TRUDY
          What sound-?

          STEPHANIE
          SHHH! Listen!
          Trudy listens along with the others. They can't hear
          anything. But Stephanie hears the FOOTSTEPS drawing closer.

          TRUDY
          I'm sorry, I can't hear anything.

          STEPHANIE
          (mutters under her breath)
          Must be deafer than a post!
          But Trudy heard that and takes offense. But before she can
          say anything, a SHADOW appears at the base of the door.
          Stephanie stands and shouts at it:

          

          

          

          

          57.

          STEPHANIE

          T
          Leave me alone! Just leave me the
          fuck alone!
          Stephanie grabs her dinner plate and hurls it just past
          Trudy's head. It shatters against the base of the door,
          spraying everyone with bits of broken china and fish. The
          shadow and FOOTSTEPS are gone.
          Ray rushes to her side.

          RAY
          Steph, it's okay! There's nothing
          there.
          She looks about. George and Trudy regard Stephanie as if she
          were mad.

          STEPHANIE
          I... I think I'd better go.

          TRUDY
          I think that's best, dear.
          She heads for the door. Ray starts to go after her but his

          
          mother stops him.

          TRUDY
          Let her go, Ray. She's a sick girl.

          RAY
          She needs me.
          Trudy grabs Ray's arm.

          TRUDY
          I'm telling you not to go after
          her.
          Ray gently pulls free of his mother's grasp and chases after
          Stephanie.

          EXT. DALTON HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER

          Ray rushes outside stopping Stephanie as she is about to get
          into her car.

          RAY
          What did you see in there?

          

          

          

          

          58.

          STEPHANIE

          4
          You don't want to know.
          Ray pulls her close.

          RAY
          Tell me!

          STEPHANIE
          The thing that's coming for me.
          What the old woman sent.

          RAY
          Listen to me. What you're going
          through right now-- It's like the
          doctor said, it's a stress reaction
          and --

          STEPHANIE
          No. I wanted to believe that-- but
          it's real, Ray. You just don't want
          to open your eyes to it because it
          threatens you. Because if I'm right
          and there is something out there,
          then you'd have to throw out
          everything you teach. And where'd
          that leave you? Like a plow without
          a mule.
          Ray just stares at her. A long moment passes as he wonders if
          maybe she isn't right.

          STEPHANIE
          Unless you're willing to take a
          chance and believe in me, I can't
          be with you any more.
          She steps into the car and drives off. Ray watches her tail
          lights, as they vanish into the night.

          EXT. ECHO PARK HOUSE - LATER THAT NIGHT

          An older home with bars on the front windows. Stephanie
          knocks at the front door.
          She turns toward a distant sound: A chilling, high-pitched
          SQUEAL. Was it just a bus's air brakes... or something more?
          When Stephanie turns back, the door has been opened a crack.
          An EYE peers out at her.

          

          

          

          

          59.

          VOICE OF THE EYE
          What is it?

          STEPHANIE
          Hi. Yes. I came to see Sylvia
          Ganush. Is she here?
          The door opens wider, revealing a sexy twenty-four year old
          Gypsy girl. ILENKA GANUSH. Bottle of beer in her hand, long
          black hair, earrings and a snake tatoo on'her neck. She
          wears a low cut shirt and tight shorts.
          EASTERN EUROPEAN HIP HOP and LAUGHTER are heard from within
          the house.

          ILENKA
          I'm Ilenka, Sylvia's granddaughter.
          Who are you?

          STEPHANIE
          Stephanie Brown. I'm... sort of...
          a friend of hers. Actually, I've
          been trying to help her with a loan

          THAT-

          ILENKA
          Wait. I know who you are. Grandma
          told me you'd come. You're the
          woman from the bank. The one who
          took her house.

          STEPHANIE
          It was really the bank that took
          the house. I just work there. In
          fact, I tried to help your grandma
          get-the house back, but my boss
          wouldn't let me.
          Ilenka knows she's lying. Stephanie knows that she knows.

          ILENKA
          That's not what happened, is it?
          Are you going to stand here on my
          porch and lie to my face?

          STEPHANIE
          . no.

          ILENKA
          You used to be a real fat girl,
          to didn't you?

          

          

          

          

          60.

          STEPHANIE
          Yes.

          ILENKA
          I can tell. You know, you caused my
          grandma a lot of pain. That house
          was her pride. When you took that
          from her, she had nothing left.
          You're not welcome here.
          She starts to close the door. Stephanie halts her. Desperate
          now, no where else to turn.

          STEPHANIE
          Okay! I did it. It was me who
          denied her the loan. I was trying,
          to get ahead at work and I
          shouldn't have done it. It was
          wrong.

          ILENKA
          Damn straight it was wrong.

          STEPHANIE
          And I'm ashamed about it. And I'm
          going to get down on my hands and
          knees and beg her to forgive me.
          She said-that I hadn't suffered
          enough. But now I think she'll see
          that I have and then maybe she'll
          let me...

          ILENKA
          .make everything all right for
          her, is that it?

          STEPHANIE
          Yes.
          Ilenka gives a bitter, cryptic smile. She motions for
          Stephanie to follow. They enter a room filled with young
          Gypsies drinking, smoking and talking loudly in a Slavic
          tongue.
          A WOMAN WITH A CANE shouts as she throws a pair of dice. A
          Hungarian man with a long, braided ponytail, curses his bad
          luck as he pays cash to the woman.

          ' STEPHANIE
          Where is she?

          

          

          

          

          61.
          Ilenka gestures to an area beyond the party goers. Stephanie
          t pushes her way through the crowd. She stumbles and falls atop 
          the Corpse of Mrs. Ganush!
          As per the custom of the Gypsy wake, there is no coffin, just
          her dead body that rests atop a coffee table.
          Stephanie has landed atop the corpse! The leg of the coffee
          table breaks under the weight of the two women. Stephanie
          tumbles to the ground, the corpse landing atop her. The crowd
          of mourners GASP.
          The dead woman's opened mouth bobs up and down upon
          Stephanie's chin, as through it were once again suckling it.
          Stephanie shoves the corpse off of her and backs away in
          revulsion.

          ILENKA
          Still going to make everything all
          right?
          The mourners replace the corpse atop the coffee table.
          Ilenka addresses the crowd in Hungarian. She tells them that
          it was this white trash farm girl that threw her grandmother
          t from her home and that she now bears the curse of Lamia. 
          A mother shields her daughter's eyes from the sight of
          Stephanie, the cursed one, then hurriedly kisses her
          .crucifix. A man spits at her feet then walks off.

          STEPHANIE
          No, please-- I needed her to take
          this thing off me.

          ILENKA
          It will never come off.

          STEPHANIE
          You know about it? Then, please
          help me. I'm begging you.

          ILENKA
          She said you'd come begging. I only
          wish she could have lived to see
          it.
          The blood drains from Stephanie's face.

          

          

          

          

          62.

          ILENKA
          .maybe she can...
          Stephanie glances down to the corpse. It's head is now
          facing her. It's dead eyes, OPEN!

          INT. RHAM JAS' HOUSE -- NIGHT

          Stephanie puts her foot through RHAM Jas' TV set. Shattering
          the tube, commanding his. attention.

          STEPHANIE
          Fuck that! I paid you a hundred and
          seventy nine dollars for that book!

          RHAM JAS
          It was a limited printing! Please
          control yourself!

          STEPHANIE
          I did what you said- that blood
          offering... I killed that little
          kitty deader than Hogan's goat.
          Lotta good that did me.

          RHAM JAS
          We are dealing with elusive and
          powerful forces. There are no
          guarantees.
          She wants to shout, but instead, closes her eyes and sits.

          STEPHANIE
          Just tell me what to do.
          Rham Jas considers. A dark look crosses his face. Stephanie
          tries to read his expression.

          CLOSE ON STEPHANIE'S MASTERCARD
          It's run through the carbon paper. Rham Jas hand her a
          receipt. She signs it. He sits.

          RHAM JAS
          We must somehow dissuade the spirit
          from taking your soul.

          STEPHANIE
          How?

          

          

          

          

          63.

          RHAM JAS
          1 A seance. And it should be soon. 
          For tomorrow will be the third
          night...

          STEPHANIE
          Have you done this before?

          RHAM JAS
          No. But I know someone. I can
          arrange what is necessary, but you
          must understand that everyone
          involved in this would be taking a
          great risk with their lives.

          STEPHANIE
          What would you need from me?
          Rham Jas thinks for a moment, weighing the dangers. He pulls
          out a pipe and packs it with tobacco. He tamps it down and
          lights up.

          RHAM JAS
          Twenty thousand dollars. Cash. By
          tomorrow. 5

          VA

          INT. STEPHANIE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

          Stephanie is hastily piling all her valuables atop her bed:
          sporting equipment, TV, VCR/DVD COMBO, CD player, IPOD, Etc.
          Ellen enters, rattled.

          ELLEN
          I need to talk to you.

          STEPHANIE
          Ellen. I'm sorry. This a bad time
          right now. I got a little emergency
          and... say you got any cash I can
          borrow?
          She starts stuffing the valuables into a large duffle bag.

          ELLEN
          No, I don't. But Steph I--

          STEPHANIE
          --what about your credit cards?
          What's your cash advance limit?

          (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          64.
          STEPHANIE (cont'd)
          I'll pay you back. You know I'm
          good for it.

          ELLEN
          Steph, we need to talk about the
          cat.

          STEPHANIE
          Where has that little rascal been?
          He's always running off, have you
          noticed that?

          ELLEN
          Stephanie. I was in the back yard
          and I saw where the ground was dug
          up. I started digging and... You
          buried that little kitty in our
          backyard. What happened?

          STEPHANIE
          I didn't want to tell you. It fell
          out the window and died. It's sad,

          BUT--

          ELLEN
          I found the bloody knife in the
          bushes.

          STEPHANIE
          What are you, a cat detective?

          ELLEN
          Steph? I'm going to tell you this
          as your friend. There is something
          seriously wrong with you.
          Stephanie looks up from,her frantic panting.

          STEPHANIE
          Uh... Duhi

          ELLEN
          I'm moving out. I can't live like
          this.

          STEPHANIE.
          Fine.
          Ellen exits. Stephanie angrily calls after her:

          

          

          

          

          65.

          STEPHANIE
          An' don't let the barn door hit you
          on your ass on yer way out!

          INT. STORE - LATER THAT NIGHT

          Stephanie is speaking into a pay phone.

          STEPHANIE
          I can't get the twenty thousand.
          You're gonna have to help me with
          what I've got.

          RHAM JAS' VOICE
          What do you have?
          She covers the mouthpiece, speaking to someone off camera.

          STEPHANIE
          How much?!
          CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal that we are'in a PAWN SHOP. Men
          haggle loudly in Arabic over the price of a gold chain. The
          PAWN BROKER stands before-all of Stephanie's worldly
          belongings: A toaster oven, computer, racing bike, stereo,
          microwave oven, necklaces, jewelry... 

          PAWN BROKER
          Thirty-eight hundred for
          everything.

          STEPHANIE
          Including my jewlery?

          PAWN BROKER
          Including.
          Stephanie curses under her breath, checks the balance on her
          checkbook, does the math, speaks into the phone;

          STEPHANIE
          Six thousand.

          RHAM JAS
          I'm sorry. Not possible.

          STEPHANIE
          Look, I'll give you six now and--

          

          

          

          

          

          66.

          RHAM JAS
          No. There will be others involved
          and I cannot-ask them to accept
          such a risk for less. Good night.
          He hangs up. The line goes dead. She tries to throw the phone
          but it's attached with a short metal cord. She turns to the
          Pawn Broker.

          STEPHANIE
          I'll take it!
          Stephanie thinks about how she'll get the extra cash. She
          hesitantly dials a number on the pay phone. It rings and
          rings as she glances to a picture buried deep in her wallet:
          A. photo of...
          The younger, obese Stephanie and her stern looking Mother.
          Both stand before a bleak snow covered, mid-western farm.

          STEPHANIE
          Mom? Hi, it's me. Did you get,the
          Christmas card? Yeah, I guess it
          has been a while. Listen, I'm in
          kind of a fix, here. I've been
          pretty sick and I need to borrow
          some money for an operation. I need
          fourteen thousand dollars right
          away. Now I know you still have
          that pension fund at the credit
          Union so-- yeah, but... okay. Okay,
          it's just that--- I understand.
          Okay, mom. Bye.
          The line goes dead. She slumps down against the pay phone.

          CLOSE SHOT - STEPHANIE
          She pouts her lips in the mirror, carefully applying
          lipstick. Looking good.

          PULL BACK
          To reveal we are in the employee bathroom at the bank. She
          fixes her hair so it's just right. She. straightens out a tiny
          wrinkle in her business suit, smiles her best upbeat smile
          and exits the bathroom.

          

          

          

          

          67.

          INT. BANK OF CALIFORNIA- DAY

          Stephanie approaches Mr. Jacks.

          STEPHANIE
          Mr. Jacks, this is kind of awkward
          for me... I know it's not official
          yet, but I was wondering if I could
          get a copy of the employment
          contract for the new position you
          offered me?

          MR. JACKS
          The assistant manager's position?

          STEPHANIE
          Yes. See, one of my family members
          is having a little emergency which
          requires me to get them an
          immediate loan--

          MR. JACKS
          --Stephanie... There's a problem.
          The McPherson deal was cancelled
          last night. 

          STEPHANIE
          What? 1

          MR. JACKS
          Yeah, right after I informed the
          main branch that we had this big
          loan pending,,I find out that they
          just made their deal over at First
          National. I got a call in to see,
          what exactly happened but right now
          this doesn't look too good for you
          or me. So this assistant manager
          promotion has been delayed. In
          fact, I think that with everything
          that's been happening, I'm gonna
          have to give that job to Stu.
          Stephanie is devastated.

          STEPHANIE
          Stu. I see.
          Mr. Jacks sees tears begin to well up in her eyes.

          

          

          

          

          68.

          MR. JACKS
          I'm sorry. Look. If you've got
          family problems. Maybe you should
          take the day off and sort them out.
          Stephanie node and exits the bank.

          INT. STEPHANIE'S KITCHEN - DAY


          CLOSE SHOT - THE WALL CLOCK
          As it TICKS away the seconds.
          CLOSE SHOT - THE Inadequate PILE OF CASH
          That site atop Stephanie's Kitchen table.

          CLOSE SHOT - A DESPONDENT STEPHANIE
          stares down at the cash. Her mouth mechanically opens to
          accept a large serving spoon of Rocky Road ice cream which
          she eats directly from the one gallon tub.
          The door bell rings. A moment later Ray walks in.. Stephanie
          stands, surprised.

          RAY.
          I paid Rham Jas

          STEPHAINE
          But I thought you didn't believe...

          RAY'
          I don't. But you do. I know this is
          important for, you .
          she embraces him.

          EXT. PASADENA HOUSE - DUSK

          An old Pasadena home site alone atop a hill. Ray's car drives
          up, parks.

          STEPHANIE
          Are you coming in?

          

          

          

          

          69.

          RAY

          T
          I wanted to but Rham Jas said non
          believers weren't welcome. I still
          don't like this.

          STEPHANIE
          I know how crazy this must seem.
          But it will all be over after this
          I swear to you.
          He nods. She kisses him.

          STEPHANIE
          I'll call you when it's done.

          RAY
          I'll be waiting.

          STEPHANIE
          We'll laugh about it on the train,
          tomorrow.

          RAY
          t Yeah. 
          Stephanie steps from the car. Ray drives off. She turns to
          face the old house.

          INT. OLD PASADENA HOUSE - STUDY - DUSK

          Milos, a thirty year old, Hungarian Man, leads Stephanie into
          a large room with-tall, teak bookshelves and Indian
          tapestries that adorn the walls. Rham Jas is seated in a
          wicker chair,' speaking with someone obscured by shadows...

          RHAM JAS
          Miss Brown. Allow me the pleasure
          of an introduction...
          A woman rises from the shadows.

          RHAM JAS
          .Shaun San Dena
          The eighty year old woman smiles a toothless smile to
          Stephanie.

          

          

          

          

          70.

          RHAM JAS
          Shaun San Dena is an experienced 41
          medium. Furthermore, she has a
          personal knowledge of the Lamia.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          I first encountered this spirit
          forty years ago in a small village
          outside of Bucharest.

          STEPHANIE
          And...?

          SHUAN SAN DENA
          I lost a young boy's soul to the
          beast.

          STEPHANIE
          That's reassuring.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          I was an. inexperienced seer then.
          I've learned much since that woeful
          day. I have waited these long years
          for a chance at redeeming myself. A
          chance to destroy the foul thing.
          Tonight my chance will come. But to
          summon it, I will need your help.

          STEPHANIE
          I'll do whatever it takes. And the
          sooner the better.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          Our business must wait till
          darkness falls. Enough time for
          tea.

          INT. GREAT ROOM - NIGHT

          A ceiling twenty feet high, with massive windows covered by
          dark burgundy drapes. An ornate crystal chandelier hangs
          above a round table in the room's center. Stephanie, Rham
          Jas, Shaun San Dena and Milos, are finishing their tea.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          My late husband, Sandor, was also a
          medium. He chose this site to build
          the'house upon because he sensed
          certain energies that intersected
          here...

          (MORE)

          

          

          

          

          71.
          SHAUN SAN DENA (cont'd)
          He knew I would sense his spirit
          in this place as I have sensed
          others. It was to be our way of 
          being together after he died. In
          earlier times it was a sacred place
          to the Tuanteteck indians. And
          their stories told that the place
          was a burial ground of the "old
          ones" that inhabited the earth
          before them. Here, there is a
          particular alignment of energies. A
          confluence, that allows doorways to
          be opened. Through which, we might
          pass.

          RHAM JAS '
          And through which, others might
          pass into our world.
          Milos removes the tea.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          It is time for us to begin.
          Shaun San Dena turns out the electric lights, leaving only
          the tables' candlelight for illumination.
          We hear the BLEATING of a goat. Stephanie startles. Milos
          reenters the room pulling a black goat along by a chain. The
          goat catches sight of Stephanie. It BLEATS in fear and
          attempts to run. But Milos holds it fast and tethers it to a
          post. He moves to the table and lifts a velvet cloth
          revealing a large cattle slaughtering blade.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          Lord Jesus bless this knife and
          allow it to do your holy work.
          She makes the sign of the cross. she pours a .vial of holy
          water over the blade. She turns to Stephanie.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          Once the spirit has entered me,
          place my hand upon the animal. Do
          you understand?

          STEPHANIE
          Yes.

          

          

          

          

          72.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          I will force the spirit of the
          Lamia into the goat. Milos, that's
          when you strike.
          Stephanie blanches but remains silent.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          We must all.be receptive.
          Shaun San Dena begins to intone a Romanian Gypsy chant.
          Stephanie leans close to speak quietly with Rham Jae.

          STEPHANIE
          What do I have to do?

          RHAM JAS
          You must allow the darkness in. You
          must invite the dead to co-mingle
          with your spirit..

          STEPHANIE
          I'm scared.

          RHAM JAS
          Yes. Now repeat these words... I
          welcome the dead into my soul...
          Rham Jae waits for Stephanie's response. She's shifts in her
          seat uncomfortably.

          STEPHANIE
          I welcome the dead into my soul...

          RHAM JAS
          You must believe it!
          Stephanie takes a deep breath and they begin the chant again.
          This time,, together.

          RAM JAAS STEPHANIE
          I welcome the dead into my I welcome the dead into my
          soul... soul...
          Stephanie looks around the darkened room. Shadows from the
          candles dance upon the walls.

          

          

          

          

          73.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          I sense something here with us.

          RHAM JAS
          Yes.
          The parlor's crystal chandeleir tinkles.
          A tea cup and saucer tremble for a moment. Stephanie's eyes
          search the room.

          SOMETHING UNSEEN
          emits a wheezing breath...
          We hear FOOTSTEPS as something walks on the ceiling above
          them.

          A MAN'S LOUD LAUGHTER
          echoes about the room.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          It is not the Lamia. It is the
          spirit of some unsettled soul from

          1 
          years ago... The unsettled ones
          wait near the door.

          THE PITCHER OF WATER
          upon the table is drained. Then the water is spat out in a
          stream at Milos' face.
          The MAN'S LAUGHTER again.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          Be gone, foolish spirit!
          There is a HOWLING OF WIND and the room is again quiet.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          Show yourself Lamia. We invite you
          into our circle.
          Quiet. Stephanie looks about. Nothing seems to be happening.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          He's coming...

          

          

          

          

          74.
          A faint sound.

          SCRATCH. SCRATCH.
          The SCRATCHING OF FINGERNAILS on wood. A sound that
          Stephanie's heard before. It grows louder, more distorted.

          SCRATCH SCRATCH!
          Stephanie grips the table.
          And just when the SCRATCHING SOUND is deafening... All
          becomes silent.
          Stephanie holds her breath.
          A wind whips up in the room sending papers whirling about,.
          yet all the windows are closed.
          Shaun San Dena's eyes roll up into her head. She emits a low
          and powerful MOAN. Her head slumps onto her shoulders. Then
          she straightens with a new vigor. Stephanie and Rham Jas
          watch as her lips move rapidly and a garbled sound comes out
          of her throat. she speaks in a strange and incomprehensible
          tongue.

          RHAM JAS
          Who now inhabits the body of Shaun
          San Dena?

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          (demonic voice)
          Lamia...
          Rham Jas nods discreetly to Milos who quietly uncovers the
          slaughtering blade.

          RHAM JAS.
          Lamia, what is it that you desire?
          Shaun San Dena's chair abruptly spins about to face
          Stephanie. The mouth jerks opened and closed as if controlled
          by a bad puppeteer. Then, out of.sync, the demonic voice is

          HEARD:

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          (demonic voice)
          The soul of Stephanie Brownl We
          will feast upon it, as she festers
          in the gravel

          4

          

          

          

          

          75.

          STEPHANIE
          It was my manager, Jim Jacks. 
          He was the one ! He--

          RHAM JAS
          Silence! Lamia, please, surely we
          can dissuade you from taking this
          insignificant woman? Surely she's
          not worthy of your greatness.
          The possessed Shaun San Dena laughs.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          (demonic voice)
          No! I will enjoy watching her skin
          blister and pop in hell's flame. I
          come for her!
          Stephanie quickly grabs Shaun San Derna's hand and places it
          on the goat's head.
          Shaun San Dena's eyes clear for a moment as she struggles to
          regain control.
          Now there are two spirits battling within her. She attempts
          t to force the spirit of the Lamia from her body and into the
          goat. The Goat BLEATS and bucks wildly as the spirit is
          transferred. Milos raises up the slaughtering blade.

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          (demonic voice)
          No! You--

          GOAT
          (demonic voice)
          --tricked me!
          The possessed goat emits a terrible cry! The bone chilling
          SHRIEK of Lamia! It's oval eye reflects the blade as it
          descends toward it. The possessed Goat jerks aside and the
          blade misses, slicing into the chair.
          As Milos raises the blade for another blow, the goat bites
          his hand. In that moment, the spirit of the Lamia is
          transferred to him.
          A Possessed Milos SCREAMS and spins toward Stephanie, glaring
          at her with black goat eyes. He SHOUTS at her in a gibberish
          of tongues! His body jerks up into the air. He dances a jig
          atop the table, now laughing uncontrollably.
          t 

          

          

          

          

          76.
          Stephanie watches in horror.

          RHAM JAS
          Lamial I command you to leave this--
          A chair sails through the air and shatters across Rham Jas'
          back, knocking him to the ground.
          Milos' body is hurled up against the chandelier, shattering
          it. Glass rains down upon Stephanie.
          on the ceiling, Milos is spun.about like a pin wheel.
          Stephanie races for the door but a
          .huge bureau lurches in
          front of her, blocking her path.
          Rham Jas rouses a stunned Shaun San Dena.

          RHAM JAS
          You must banish the spirit!
          Shaun San Dena places her hands on her ayes, then over her
          heart and chants an ancient Gypsy incantation up toward
          Milos.
          Milos SHRIEKS. A white vapor streams from his body as the
          Lamia is torn from him.

          MILOS
          (in his normal voice)
          Stop the chanting. I beg you!
          But Shaun San Dena only chants louder. Milos SCREAMS grow
          more intense as-his body spasms in pain. Stephanie grasps at
          Shaun San Dena.

          STEPHANIE
          For god's sake, stop the chanting,
          it's killing him!
          Rham Jas pushes her aside.

          RHAM JAS
          You must not stop!
          A withered pair of hands reach down from above and clutch at
          Stephanie's face! It is Mrs. Ganush that now floats above
          her! Her long yellowed fingernails scratching at Stephanie's
          skin.

          4

          

          

          

          

          77.

          MILOS/MRS. GANUSH 
          Make her stop, you dirty pork
          queen!

          STEPHANIE
          No! Get her off!
          Mrs. Ganush grabs at Stephanie's head. Stephanie pulls away
          but it costs her a clump of hair that Mrs. Ganush rips from
          her head.
          Mrs. Ganush opens her mouth... wide... wider still... she
          vomits out Stephanie's dead cat. It lands atop the table.
          Stephanie screams uncontrollably.
          Shaun San Dena, is trembling as her chanting comes to a
          climax.
          Mrs. Ganush changes back to the possessed Milo. The last of
          the white vapor is torn from Milos body as the spirit of the
          Lamia leaves him. Milos falls to the floor and all is quiet.
          An ashen faced Shaun San Dena halts her chant.

          10 STEPHANIE 
          Is it gone?
          Stephanie notices that the cat has vanished. Was it ever
          there?
          Rham Jae kneels at Milos' side. He's starting to come around.
          Milos stands, shaken. The Lamia is gone.
          Shaun San Dena grabs at her chest, struggles for breath.
          Stephanie rushes over to steady her.

          STEPHANIE
          Let me help you...

          SHAUN SAN DENA
          My heart.
          Shaun San Dena collapses into Stephanie's arms. Rham Jas
          moves to assist her. They lower Shaun San Dana to the floor.

          RHAM JAS
          Milos, call an ambulance!

          0

          

          

          

          

          78.
          Milos rushes from the room to call for help... Rham Jas
          checks for a pulse.

          RHAM JAS
          She's not breathing.
          Rham Jas attempts to administer CPR to no avail.

          STEPHANIE
          My God. My God...
          He checks her pulse one last time. The CPR is finally halted.
          Rham Jas closes her eyes, then touches her forehead, praying:

          RHAM JAS
          Gata, gata, para gata... bodhi
          suaha. Gone, gone, gone beyond.
          Gone beyond the beyond. Hail the
          goer.

          EXT. PASADENA HOUSE - NIGHT - LATER

          Stephanie and Rham Jas watch as PARAMEDICS load the covered
          body of Shaun San Dena into the ambulance. They close the
          doors and drive away.

          STEPHANIE
          It's sad:

          RHAM JAS
          Yes.

          STEPHANIE
          Strange how things work out. She
          waited years for another chance to
          overcome the lamia ..and finally
          she did.

          RHAM JAS
          No. I'm afraid you misunderstand.
          Rham Jas looks at her with pity.

          STEPHANIE
          What?

          RHAM JAS
          The,Lamia can not'be banished by a
          medium. This was our lesson
          tonight. I'm sorry.

          

          

          

          

          79.

          STEPHANIE

          0 
          But I saw her get rid of the
          thing...

          RHAM JAS
          No. You saw her drive the Lamia
          from the seance. That is all. It
          will be back.

          STEPHANIE
          But then, what am I supposed to do?
          Rham Jas shrugs. He fishes in his pocket for his car keys.

          RHAM JAS
          Perhaps on this final evening, you
          should finish up the business of
          this world. For before the night is
          through, the Lamia will come for
          the owner of the accursed object.

          STEPHANIE'S HAND
          Slowly emerges from her coat pocket. She studies the thin
          brass button in her palm. 0

          RHAM JAS
          Unless, of course... you were no
          longer the owner.

          STEPHANIE
          No longer the owner? I don't
          understand.
          Rham Jas reaches into his coat pocket and removes a blank
          envelope. He places the button within and seals it.

          RHAM JAS
          The Lamia comes for the owner of
          the accursed object. Just make a
          gift of it...
          To demonstrate, he hands the envelope to Stephanie.

          RHAM JAS
          .and you've given away the curse.

          

          

          

          

          80.

          STEPHANIE
          Why didn't you tell me this
          before?!

          RHAM JAS
          Because we are speaking of murder.
          Stephanie looks from the envelope containing the button to
          Rham Jas. She places the envelope carefully into the side
          'pocket of her purse. Rham Jas tries to conceal the sadness
          and fear he feels for her.

          RHAM JAS
          Whatever you decide, you have until
          sunrise.'
          She nods goodbye as Ray's car pulls up. Ray opens the door.
          for her and she gets in.

          INT. RAY'S BMW - NIGHT

          Ray and Stephanie drive through the quiet Pasadena
          neighborhood.

          RAY
          Is it over?
          Stephanie, stares at her envelope, thinks about telling him,
          then...

          STEPHANIE
          Yes. It's all over.
          Ray squeezes her hand. Appreciating the two of them now more
          than ever.
          Stephanie SCREAMS as...
          MRS. GANUSH.appears in the headlights, standing on the road
          before them! Ray hits the breaks. The car SCREECHES to a
          halt!
          Stephanie's purse with the envelope and.some of Ray's papers
          fall to the floor.

          RAY
          Are you okay?
          Stephanie nods, catching her breath.

          

          

          

          

          81.

          RAY

          R
          That guy came out of nowhere.
          Stephanie looks to the figure in the road. Mrs. Ganush is
          gone. In her place is an old man who mutters angrily at them
          and moves on.

          EXT. STEPHANIE'S HOUSE - NIGHT -- LATER

          RAY'S BMW pulls up and Stephanie gets out.

          RAY
          Are you'still okay about the Santa
          Barbara trip?

          STEPHANIE
          Yes, everything's fine.

          RAY
          Okay. Our train leaves tomorrow
          morning. Seven A.M. When do you
          want me to pick you up?

          STEPHANIE
          It's better if we meet at the
          D station. There's something I've got
          to do on the way.
          Stephanie suddenly' clutches at her purse. The envelope is
          gone!

          STEPHANIE
          Wait! Where's my envelope?

          RAY
          What envelope?
          She opens the car door and frantically rummages around the
          floor, through Ray's papers.

          STEPHANIE
          It's got to be here!
          Then, Stephanie comes upon something under the seat. She
          smiles and stands. A white envelope held tightly in her
          hand.

          STEPHANIE
          Got , it .

          0

          

          

          

          

          82.

          RAY
          Tomorrow's gonna be a new start for,
          us. Don't be late.
          They kiss and Ray drives off.

          INT. DENNY'S RESTAURANT - NIGHT


          A WALL CLOCK
          The time is 1:30 A.M.

          STEPHANIE
          drinks coffee and stares at the white envelope that's tucked
          into the side pocket of her purse. She scans the patrons and
          considers giving it to each of them, then one by one, rejects
          the idea.

          A WAITRESS
          Comes by, removes a dirty dish and refills her coffee.

          STEPHANIE
          Banana Boat Sundae.

          WAITRESS
          Another one?
          Stephanie nods absently. The waitress exits.

          THE WALL CLOCK
          The time is now 2:15 A.M.

          A WITHERED OLD MAN
          site alone at a table in a wheelchair. A portable oxygen
          cylinder, supplying him with air.

          STEPHANIE
          takes a deep breath, stands and walks to his table.

          STEPHANIE
          I wonder if you could help me out?
          The Old Man looks up, sees her desperation.

          

          

          

          

          83.

          OLD MAN 0
          Yeah?

          STEPHANIE
          I just need you to hang on to this
          envelope for me. Just until
          tomorrow.
          She extends the envelope to him. He hesitates.

          OLD MAN
          What's this all about?

          STEPHANIE
          Just take the envelope and I'll
          explain. Please.
          The Old Man considers. He reaches for the envelope when an
          OLD WOMAN, his wife, hobbles toward the table. The Old Man
          helps her sit and puts away her cane. They turn to Stephanie
          who withdraws the envelope.

          STEPHANIE
          Never mind.
          Stephanie returns to her seat, ashamed at what she almost 
          did.
          She returns the envelope to the purse pocket, racking her
          brains, trying to think of some way out of this. Her gaze
          lands upon a stack of newspapers on the next table. She
          grabs the paper and finds the OBITUARIES.

          CLOSE ON THE NEWSPAPER:
          MRS. GANUSH'S OBITUARY: A photo of the old woman. The
          location of the burial is listed: Oakwood Cemetary.
          Stephanie rips the listing from the paper and rushes from the
          restaurant.

          INT. RHAM JAS' HOUSE - BACK ROOM - NIGHT

          Stephanie, lit by a barren light bulb, paces the room. Rham
          Jas in his pajamas, studies an old leather bound text.

          STEPHANIE
          Well? Is it possible? 0

          FA

          

          

          

          

          84.
          He closes the book and gives it some thought.

          RHAM JAS
          There are Gypsy blessings that are
          bestowed upon the dead... And the
          Gypsies give gifts to their
          departed to curry favor with the
          deceased soul. Yes. I do believe
          you could give the curse to someone
          who has passed on... for truly, the
          soul never dies.

          INT. STEPHANIE'S CAR - NIGHT


          CLOSE ON STEPHANIE
          As she drives we hear the voice over from the preceding

          SCENE:

          RHAM JAS (V.0.)
          .but you must make a formal gift
          of the cursed object to the
          deceased.

           STEPHANIE (V.0.)
          Formal gift... ?
          Car headlights sweep over her grim face. She fingers the
          envelope, then glances to the seat next to her... a SHOVEL.

          RHAM JAS (V.0.)
          Give it to the corpse personally.
          Put it in their hand... their'
          pocket...

          STEPHANIE (V.0.)
          Oh, I'll do better than that...
          CAMERA moves in tight.

          STEPHANIE
          .I'll shove it down her goddamn
          throat.
          She zips up her raincoat. SOMETHING flits past the window.
          Too.quick to.see. Then it reappears. It's Mrs. Ganush's
          hankie. It.flies against Stephanie's windshield and gets
          caught on the wiper blade. Stephanie GASPS. It flaps in the
          wind, blocking her view. Stephanie hits the wiper button.
          The hankie is yanked-back and forth across the windshield.

          T

          

          

          

          

          85.
          She turns up the wiper speed. No sooner is it knocked loose
          than it's whisked into the driver's side window. It slaps
          over Stephanie's eyes, plastered there by the'wind! The car 
          swerves.
          Her car crashes into a tree.

          LONG SHOT - CRASHED CAR
          Stephanie pulls herself from the crash. She glances up to a
          flash of lightning. It illuminates:
          The wrought iron gates of the OAKWOOD CEMETERY. A hill of
          tombstones beyond.

          EXT. OAKWOOD CEMETERY - RAINY NIGHT

          A light drizzle falls as Stephanie'searches the graveyard for
          the burial place of Mrs. Ganush. She carries the shovel
          defensively, ready to swat at anything that might leap out at
          her.
          She stops before a freshly dug grave. A temporary marker
          reads the name. "Sylvia Ganush".
          She's scared now, not sure if she can really go through with
          it. A church bell TOLLS five times. There's no time to think 
          about it. Stephanie looks around to make sure no one is
          watching, then starts to dig.

          DISSOLVE TO:
          LATER - It's raining harder. The hole Stephanie digs is now
          several feet deep.
          CLUNK: The shovel has hit the buried coffin. The rain
          intensifies.

          DISSOLVE TO:
          LATER - Mud is pouring down the sides of the grave. In the
          bottom of the pit Stephanie has unearthed the simple pine
          casket. She jams the shovel blade between two boards and
          pries off the coffin's top and shoves it aside.
          A lightning flash illuminates the corpse. Mrs. Ganush's white
          eye is open and staring at Stephanie.
          Stephanie stows her fear and pulls the white envelope from
          her coat.

          16 40

          

          

          

          

          86.

          STEPHANIE
          I'm giving it back to you.
          She grabs Mrs. Ganush's hand and tries to get her clenched
          fist to open, but rigor morris has locked it shut. Stephanie
          pulls with all her might, causing...

          MRS. GANUSH'S CORPSE
          to lurch up and out of the coffin. Her dead arms, thrown
          forward from the momentum, wrap around Stephanie. Stephanie
          SCREAMS! The withered face leers! Stephanie pushes the corpse
          away from her and the lifeless body falls back into the mud.

          STEPHANIE
          You'll take it, all right...
          She picks up the shovel and jams the blade into the old
          woman's mouth, wedging it between her teeth. She pries the
          jaw open. Mud and rivulets of water begin pouring down into
          the grave from all sides. The body of Mrs. Ganush is quickly
          being re-buried.

          STEPHANIE
          I, Stephanie Brown, do hereby make
          a formal gift of this button to
          you, Sylvia Ganush.
          She jams the white envelope down the old woman's throat.

          STEPHANIE
          Choke on it, bitch.
          She kicks the old woman's jaw.. It SNAPS shut, trapping the
          envelope between her broken teeth.
          Muddy water cascades down into the grave, flowing over Mrs..
          Ganush's face. It covers everything, except the jutting
          envelope and a single, staring white eye.
          Stephanie tries to climb out but the walls are too slick.
          She grabs at a clump of sod at the top of the hole but it
          tears away, unleashing an avalanche of mud that buries her up
          to her armpits.

          THE HEAD OF MRS. GANUSH
          Bobs up, through the mud. The Old Woman is grinning, with the
          envelope still jammed between her teeth.

          

          

          

          

          87.

          LONG SHOT - THE GRAVE 
          Rivers of muddy water now pour in from every direction. It
          has become the drain hole of the cemetery.

          THE INFLUX OF MUD
          pushes the old woman corpse against Stephanie. Her grinning
          face led mashed against Stephanie's cheek. Stephanie's SCREAM
          is cut short as she and Mrs. Ganush disappear beneath the
          mud.
          The only sound is the PITTER-PATTER of rain. CAMERA STARTS TO
          PULL AWAY when...

          STEPHANIE'S HAND
          rips up through the mud, grasping the tree root.

          STEPHANIE'S HEAD
          Breaks the surface of the mud, sucking in air. She claws her
          way out, then staggers away, through the pouring rain.

           DISSOLVE TO: 

          INT. STEPHANIE'S HOUSE -- BATHROOM - PRE-DAWN

          STEPHANIE steps from the shower, quickly towels her hair. She
          stops for a moment and studies herself in the mirror. She
          has survived. The phone RINGS in the bedroom; the machine
          picks up.

          MR. JACKS' VOICE
          Stephanie. It's Jim. Jim Jacks.
          Sorry I'm calling so early-- but
          Last night I found some troubling
          information about our friend Stu
          Rubin...

          DISSOLVE TO:

          EXT. CITY STREET - PRE DAWN

          A cleaned up Stephanie, her hair still wet from the shower,
          drives the empty morning streets. A smile slowly comes to her
          face as we hear the rest of Mr. Jack's message:

          

          

          

          

          88.

          MR. JACKS' VOICE
          Apparently he stole your file on 4
          the Mcpherson loan and then tried
          to broker his own deal at First
          Federal. I guess he thought we
          wouldn't find out. When I
          confronted him he broke down crying
          and well, we won't be seeing him
          around anymore.

          EXT. TRAIN STATION - PARKING LOT - PRE DAWN

          The Eastern sky is growing brighter. Stephanie's car pulls
          into the lot. She removes a week end bag from her trunk and
          walks briskly toward the station.

          MR JACKS

          (V.O.)
          It looks like the loan's coming
          back to us. And I just wanted you
          to know that come Monday morning,
          that assistant manager's position
          will be waiting for you.

          INT. TRAIN STATION - GRAND ENTRANCE - PRE DAWN

          Stephanie is smiling as she enters the station.

          A MRS. FIELDS REPRESENTATIVE
          holds a platter of freshly baked cookies and offers free
          samples to passersby. One is offered to Stephanie.
          She politely declines as she walks past with a bounce in her
          step.

          INT. TRAIN STATION - CLOTHING BOUTIQUE

          She stops at the window, admiring a coat on display.
          She glances down at her own coat. Notes the missing button.
          with distaste.
          Inside, a SALESWOMAN is preparing to open the shop.
          Stephanie taps on the window, shouts through the glass:

          STEPHANIE
          Hey! Good morning.

          NO 4

          

          

          

          

          89.
          The Saleswoman opens the door a crack.
          t 

          SALESWOMAN
          I'm sorry, we're not open yet.

          STEPHANIE
          Please. I know what I want. That
          coat in the window.
          The Saleswoman considers.

          STEPHANIE
          My boyfriend and I are taking a
          very special trip this morning.
          Stephanie's smile is bright. Her joy is contagious. The
          Saleswoman relents and lets Stephanie in.

          EXT. TRAIN STATION - TRAIN PLATFORM - DAWN

          Moments before sunrise, the sky is streaked red.
          Ray waits on the train platform, clutching two tickets and a
          small garment bag. Behind him, other Passengers arrive. From
          his pocket, he removes a velvet case. He opens it and peeks
          t inside A diamond ring. He stows it back in his pocket.
          He looks for Stephanie.
          Then, his face brightens as Stephanie emerges from the crowd,
          radiant in her, new coat.

          STEPHANIE
          Ray!
          Ray embraces her and grabs her luggage. A TRAIN WHISTLE
          sounds as the train approaches.

          RAY
          Is everything okay?

          STEPHANIE
          Great.

          RAY
          I'm so glad you're here. There's so
          much I've been meaning to tell you.
          0 She takes his hand. 0

          

          

          

          

          90.

          STEPHANIE
          But let me say this first while I
          have it straight in my head. You
          never stopped believing in me. I'll
          try and live up to that.
          They share an intimate moment. A romantic kiss. He breaks off
          and smiles.

          RAY
          Did I tell you, you look great?

          STEPHANIE
          Thanks.
          Stephanie models her new coat.

          STEPHANIE
          You like it? It's brand new.

          RAY
          What'd you do with your old coat?
          Just the mention of it, makes her face darken.

          STEPHANIE
          I got rid of it. I never want to
          see it again.

          RAY
          Too bad,'cause I just found this.
          Ray produces the envelope. And from it, withdraws... THE

          CURSED BUTTON!
          CAMERA RACES INTO A HUGE CLOSE UP OF THE BUTTON with a
          terrible CLASHING of symbols!.
          Stephanie can't breathe.

          RAY
          Yeah, it was in my car. Hey, have
          you seen my Indian Head nickel? I
          put it in an envelope just like
          this one.
          Stephanie stares at the button, shaking her head in
          disbelief. The RUMBLING of the approaching train builds on
          the sound track.

          4

          

          

          

          

          91.

          RAY
          What? What is it?
          She backs away in horror, but Ray follows her with the button
          still in his hand.
          The RUMBLING grows louder. She's backing up toward the edge
          of the platform.

          RAY
          Stephanie. Stop!
          Ray steps forward, still holding out the button. Stephanie
          SHRIEKS as she falls backwards, off the platform and onto the
          tracks.
          In her last moment of life, she turns her head to see...

          THE ONCOMING TRAIN
          Racing at her!
          Through the swirling smoke, the engine's mechanical face,
          resembles the goat like face of the demon Lamia.
          It VOMITS STEAM as it angrily bares down upon her.

          THE TRAIN WHISTLE SHRIEKS!
          Stephanie recognizes the sound. It's a cry she's heard
          before. In every door creak... in every cold night wind... a
          haunting, soulless sound... the cry of Lamia.
          Ray races to the edge of the platform. The two lover's eyes
          find each other one last time.
          Stephanie SCREAMS as the Lamia swallows her and pulls her
          down into hell.

          THE PEOPLE ON THE PLATFORM
          Believe they have witnessed a train accident but Ray knows
          the truth. He looks to...

          THE BUTTON
          still in his hand.

          CAMERA MOVES CLOSER ON RAY
          

          92.
          A look of dread. Finally, he believes.

          


                                        THE END