ANGLE - STEVE
Looking around he sees chalk marks all over the kitchen floor. Arrows and squares and numbers in two colors.
Dianeís breathing quickens as she steadies herself. Skipping to the kitchen table she takes one of the colonial country chairs from the breakfast table and scrapes it along the floor to the center of the room where four circles have been described in chalk. Diane places each leg in one of the proscribed circles and looks up at Steve.
Okay...okay now, watch!! Watch!!
She removes her hands from the back of the chair and steps aside. Steve watches Diane as much as the chair. He starts to step forward when Diane throws both of her hands out to stop him.
The chair begins to tremble. It virtually jitterbugs in place...then begins to move forward picking up speed until it traverses the entire length of the kitchen ending up right in front of Steveís bullfrog eyes.
ANGLE - CAROL ANNE
CLOSE - DIANE
With hysterical victory in her eyes.
CLOSE - STEVE
Looking for the wires. He kneels and feels the chair legs, then immediately looks to Diane for the answer.
Itís okay. Itís okay. Look!
(to Carol Anne)
Sweetheart, show Daddy.
Carol Anne shrugs and puts on the football helmet. Diane runs over to Steveís side and pushes the chair out of the way. Carol Anne sits on the floor in a circle with her name on it in yellow chalk.
ANGLE - STEVE
Starts to run for her protectively. Diane restrains him.
LOW ANGLE - CAROL ANNE
She starts to tremble as if on a funhouse ride. Her little body begins to move forward, faster, and all the way across the kitchen floor right into Dianeís arms.
(rubbing her fanny)
Sorry, baby, floor needed more wax.
What the fuck!!
You canít believe the feeling.
Whatís the gag? There a magnet back there? He looks behind the door in the dining room. Nothing. Steve just stands for a long moment in hapless silence, then...
I hate Pizza Hut! Whereís supper? I donít understand, Diane. What the hellís going on around here?
Steve sidesteps the chalk marks, removing himself from the active area.
I figured Iíd never explain it to you. So I showed you instead, but donít ask me how or what. Just help me figure out what to do.
You mean thereís no gimmick?
Not from inside the house. Maybe Tuthill got himself a super remote from the Radio Shack.
Carol Anne adjusts her helmet and sits inside her launch circle. Diane and Steve are having the discussion across the room and arenít aware of her.
Maybe the shakeup and this thing...relate.
Daddy, look at me!!
They turn but itís too late. Carol Anne shoots across the room faster than before, and with no one to catch her.
At a sickening speed her helmet smashes into the wall. Diane SCREAMS Steve runs over. An eight-inch hole in the wall and the cracked plastic on the helmet testify to the force of impact. Carol Anne is dazed but unhurt.
You promised pizza.
The front door opens and Tuthill steps into the bug light. An obvious strain in this conversation.
The motives various, the feelings mutual. About a thousand rnosquitos chow down on the Freelings while they talk.
TVís off in here. If your setís acting up again...
No, no, uh-uh. Nothing like that. We were wondering...although this is going to sound strange coming from me.
1 doubt it.
(swatting the mosquitos)
These mosquitos.. .Jesus.
(so nonchalantly) They never bothered me. I never been bitten by one. Far as I know, no member of my familyís effected by Ďem.
(grabs his fourteen-year-old kid)
Mosquito ever suck on you, son?
Heck, I don't know, Dad.
Meanwhile Diane and Steve are being massacred.
He donít know.
Suddenly, there is a crash from somewhere inside the Tuthill home. Tuthill glances casually over his shoulder, turns back to Diane and removes wet piece of cigar tobacco from the tip of his tongue.
Mr. Tuthill, what my husband was wondering....
Yes. You see, Ben, something funny in our house...next door. Something..
You been having any disturbances lately?
What sort of disturbances?
(trying to be casual)
Oh, dishes or furniture moving -- around by themselves?
Diane is applying calamine lotion to Steve'sí neck and wrists.
I had to say something. I was losing a pint of blood every few seconds.
I think we should keep this thing in the family. In the morning Iíll call someone in.
Who for instance? Iíve already looked in the yellow pages. Furniture movers we got. Strange Phenomenon...thereís no listing.
Okay. I have a plan. I have a plan. Somethingís occurring here that we canít explain. If Carol Anne wasn't wearing that helmet...
Okay, stop it.
What if she wasnít? Jesus, Diane. Weíd be at County Emergency and not getting ready for bed.
Right. Okay. Letís wake the kids. No big deal! Letís wake them, spend tonight at the Travel Lodge in Broxton. And come back tomorrow with experts! Experts who can tell us what it is thatís happening and if itís safe to go home.
Now youíre scaring me. Donít try and scare me, Steve.
Robbie is wide awake. He is staring out the window from under the covers. There is a flash of lightning. Robbie begins nervously counting.
One.. .two...three. . .four...five...
The SOUND of rolling thunder. Robbie tenses and watches the tree.
ANGLE - WINDOW
A wind rustles the gnarled branches. The sky is a rolling mass of gray and black.
A second flash of lightning and Robbie whispers to himself.
CRACKLE! RUMBLE! The window pane vibrates as the shock wave from the thunder bears down and the wind begins to dance with the tree.
(getting her back up)
Iím the one who lived with this freaky thing all day.
And nothing bad happened. Itís like another side of nature. A side you and I are not qualified to comprehend. When you overreact like this it makes what happened much too important.
Nobody goes into the kitchen until we know whatís happening.
(looking through the stash box)
Weíre out of papers.
Robbie is watching the tree. Carol Anne is asleep but sheís tossing and moaning like the wind outside the window.
Another FLASH OF LIGHTNING. Robbie pulls the covers up over his nose and mouth. His little breath pushing the fabric up and down as he counts.
KA-BOOM! The room vibrates and Robbie takes his eyes off the window for just a moment, looking at the open bedroom door and the light down the hall from his parentís room. He could be out of bed and there in six seconds if he hurried.
A SAVAGE CRACK OF LIGHTNING. THE EXPLOSION OF THUNDER RIGHT ON TOP OF IT.
Robbie snaps a look at the window just in time to see it happen.
A hurricane BLAST of wind hits the monster oak. The two branches resembling arms fold forward aiming at the window. The disfigured crown with the horns and knotty eyes bends back before tipping forward.
The finger-twigs at the end of the arms reach out hungrily.
THE ENTIRE TREE CRASHES THROUGH ROBBIEíS WINDOW.
A FURNACE OF LIGHTNING accents the assault. Robbie starts SCREAMING. The finger-twigs wrap around him like skeleton hands and lift him right out of bed.
Carol Anne sits up and SCREAMS for Diane.
The tree seems to be exhaling. Its breath enveloping Robbie in a phantom haze. The arms begin to retract pulling Robbie toward the mouth and eyes.
Just then, Steve and Diane appear in the doorway. Diane SCREAMS as...
The tree pulls Robbie right out the window and into an eighty-mile-per-hour night. The ROAR of wind is almost unbearable...drowning Robbieís SCREAMS and those of his parents and Dana who suddenly appears in the doorway.
Carol Anne is suddenly forgotten as Dana, Diane and Steve hurl themselves downstairs and through kitchen, only to find the door blocked by several large branches. They scramble back through the kitchen, out the sliding glass door and into the raging storm.
The force from the shattered window shoves Carol Anne against the headboard of her bed where she hugs her clown doll with all her might, its broad smile suddenly disconcerting as it appears to be looking toward the closet in her room.
The closet door opens revealing the most feared and dreaded space in this five-year-oldís tiny, tiny world. Carol Anne looks where her doll is looking and SCREAMS horribly.
The storm lashes the tree. The tree lashes Robbie. RAIN and WIND and CONDENSATION make it difficult to see everything.
Sixty branches form briar prison that starts to tear and strangle. Steve races outside. A WALL of WIND makes his run SLOW MOTION.
ANGLE - THE CLOSET
The light inside grows to a supernatural intensity and a SOUND unlike anything anyone would ever want to hear blasts through the velocity of the storm. It is the closet, sucking the bedroom into its murderous glare. Anything not tied down is swallowed. Carol Anne grabs her covers, and SCREAMS. NO SOUND comes out.
She is lifted completely off the bed by the suction. Only her death-grip on the sheets keeps her away. Unbelievably, her clown doll is not affected by the vacuum pull. It just sits on the floor where Carol Anne dropped it and stares up at her, smiling.
ANGLE - TREE
Steve reaches the twisting trunk and starts to climb. Diane's SCREAMING from the patio is lost in the storm.
Steve reaches Robbie and the fight is defined only by the flare of stroboscopic lightning. Every time it appears as though Robbie will be freed, branches envelop him and wind him tighter.
CLOSE - CAROL ANNE'S TINY HANDS
The sheets start to peel back. The closet swallows toys and posters of Darth Vader and R2D2, then sucks harder, the NOISE something like a colossal straw pulling at the last drop from a deep, deep well. Only now does the bed give way, flipping into the air and flying across the room, slamming Carol Anne inside and blocking the opening with its frame and springs.
ANGLE - TREE
Steve tears at the branches, trying to free Robbie. A crimson fluid pumps thick from the branches that Steve destroys. As suddenly as it began, the final burst of wind passes the tree like the caboose at the end of a runaway train. He frees his son and they topple out of the tree. Robbie throws his arms around his Dad and the two hold on for their lives, gasping, hugging, choking on the rain and sap. The tree is uprooted before them and disappears into the storm.
Steve and Robbie lie on the ground. Both are numb and buzzing. Diane runs over and hugs them. Then Dana looks in the sky and points to the horizon.
Diane and Steve look off into the sky miles away.
A funnel cloud is moving away from Cuesta Verde Estates, breaking up as it hits the outlying hills.
A night twister!
It must of just skimmed us. There wouldnít be a house standing if...
STEVE + ROBBIE
(looking at the shattered upstairs window)
Everyone runs to the house.
Steve and Diane are first into the room. Their expressions say it all.
With the exception of the two beds blocking the closet, Robbie and Carol Anneís room is stripped clean. Diane lets out a muffled shriek and throws herself against the barricade, pulling back mattresses, boxsprings and blankets.
Steve joins her and together they work side by side, panting, crying and calling for Carol Anne.
ANGLE - ROBBIE
Still in a state of complete dislocation, Robbie walks back into his bedroom and looks at the window. The tree is there no longer. E. Buzz , the dog, joins Robbie, whimpering at his feet.
ANGLE - THE CLOSET
Over Diane, SCREAMING out Carol Anneí s name, Steve does the muscle work, pulling off end tables, Lone Ranger lamps, chest of drawers, toys and stuffed animals, working his way to the bottom of this innocent debris.
CAMERA STARTS TO MOVE IN. Going beyond Steve to his hands at work as he lifts the last layer of mayhem off Carol Anneís favorite pink blanket.
There is a folded lump beneath it. The lump doesnít stir. Diane covers her mouth and hyperventilates as Steve gently removes the fuzzy blanket and...
IT IS THE CLOWN DOLL, SMILING UP AT THEM OUTRAGEOUSLY.
She's not here!
(turning and calling)
Diane goes to the shattered window and calls out.
Iíll check the kitchen!
Donít go in there! Iíll check it. You look in our room.
Iíll go!! Look in the bathrooms!
CLOSE - ROBBIE
Robbieís expression never changes as everyone pushes past him on the run. He slowly walks to the closet and looks in.
Steve swings into the room. The television set is on but the local transmitter must be out. There is only static snow.
Dana opens the door.
Carol Anne! Carol!
She walks over to the shower stall and suddenly parts the curtains. There is nothing inside.
Diane passes the TV. Snow, but no transmission. She checks her bed, the closet, the bathroom, becoming more frantic with every dashed hope.
Oh Jesus Christ Almighty. Carol Anne!
This is crazy. Iíve looked everywhere.
Oh my God. Tthe swimming pool!
Everyone breaks running. Again passing Robbie in the hall. Robbie turns into his motherís room. The SOUND of TV STATIC and blue video glow growing stronger with every step.
Dana, Steve, and Diane race to the edge. The rain has softened the edges and Danaís feet slide out from under her. She starts to fall when Diane grabs her wrist, Dana simply dangles above the deep end, filled with two feet of rainwater and mud. Steve slides down the steep muddy shoot from three to nine feet and plunges his hands into the guagmire.
He finds nothing.
CLOSE ON ROBBIE
The blue TV light flattens Robbie's features, accentuating his lingering catatonia. The TV HISS is growing steadily and Robbie starts to register something. From the back of his eyes, awareness regains awareness that shifts to terror. Robbie opens his little mouth and produces a low MOAN that slides relentlessly to the upper registers of primal release.
CLOSE ON DIANE
She almost has Dana pulled out when the SOUND reaches her. A preferential instinct forces Diane to let go. Dana falls four feet into her fatherís arms.
Diane is already inside the house and heading down the hall.
Robbie is stationed not six inches from the nineteen-inch screen, hysterical, holding his hair in his fists. Diane grabs him up and locks her eyes to his.
What is it?! Oh my Christ, what is it?!!!
The STATIC HISS is almost unbearable. Through it all we can still make out "the voice".
Diane frantically searches the room.
Carol Anne! Where are you?!
Diane puts Robbie down and runs in a wide circle looking. The HISS is everywhere. E. Buzz growls at the TV.
Diane is hysterical now. The first time we've seen her lose control.
Iím here, baby! Oh God, baby, Iím here!
CLOSE - ROBBIE
Walking to the TV screen again.
Mommy. Here! Here!!
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