DR. LESH (CONT)
Any movement out of those things?
Thereís been some ionization fluct. Iíd like to make sure theyíre not caused by humidity coming from structure leakage, but Iím not going up there to find out.
Lesh goes to the console TV and, assuming everyone is asleep, she turns it off. In a very small voice Diane leans on her elbow.
Please. Leave it on.
Dr. Lesh smiles, itís the first time weíve seen her do this and it reminds Diane at once of her favorite story-book grandma who bakes cookies and knits cornforters.
CLOSE - DIANE
She smiles back and motions for Dr. Lesh come over.
When things get. quiet like now I can imagine how all this must look from your end. Iím really embarrassed.
Oh, nonsense. Iíll tell you what is embarrassing. My being here with you nice people. Parapsychology isnít something you master in. There arc no certificates of graduation, no license to practice. Iím a professional psychologist who spends most of her time engaged in this ghostly hobby, which makes me, I suppose, the most irresponsible sixty-one-year old woman I know.
You were so funny. Your hands were shaking a mile a minute.
Diane starts to giggle. Itís a release and Dr. Lesh joins her.
It isnít over. Iím perfectly terrified. Itís all these things we donít understand. I feel like the proto-human, stepping out of the forest primeval and seeing the moon for the first time. Throwing rocks at it.
You mean someday weíll understand these things?
When it is recognized for what it is. As any science. Understanding and sponsorship seem always to be one hundred years behind ridicule and doubt. Out of this experience, should we capture a high resolution photograph of a genuine manifestation Time Magazine will still put President Reagan on its next cover.
If I got killed would I come back as a ghost and get stuck in the house like my sister?
Your sister isnít dead, Robbie.
If I got killed could I visit her and show her how to get back here if you tied a rope around me and held it tight? Then somebody could come get me and we could move somewhere else?
Some people believe that when you die your soul goes to heaven.
When Grampa was dead I looked at him on the hospital bed and I was watchiní , hut nothing went out of him.
His soul was invisible. You couldnít see it going to the sky.
How come then Grandpa isnĎt on television with Carol Anne?
Some people believe that when you die there is a wonderful light. As bright as the sun but it doesnít hurt to look into it. All the answers to all the questions you want to know are inside that light. And when you walk to it...you become a part of it forever. Now, some people die, but they donít know theyíre gone.
They think theyíre still alive?
Thatís right. Maybe they didnít; went to die. Maybe they werenít ready. Maybe they hadnít begun to live yet or lived a long, long time anyway, but wanted more life. They resist going into the light no matter how hard the light wants them. They hang around, watch TV, watch their friends grow up, feeling all unhappy or jealous and those feelings are bad, they hurt. And then some people just get lost on the way to the light. They need someone to lead them there.
So some people get angry end throw things around like in my bedroom?
Yes. Just like in school. There are people who are nice to you. And people who are mean.
I got beat up once by three kids. They took my lunch money. Maybe they got hit by a truck and are upstairs right now.
Letís get some shuteye, whadíya say, partner?
Goodnight, Mom. ĎNite, lady. ĎNite, Dad. ĎNite, E. Buzz.
Robbie puts his head down on the pillow and Diane and Dr. Lesh share a warm look over him. Robbie sits back up suddenly and looks at the TV set.
ĎNite, Carol Anne.
Flanked by four banks of monitors and oscilloscopes, Tak's stomach growls. He turns back looking over his shoulder at the kitchen.
ANGLE - TAK
He leans his chair back on its hind legs until his head reaches around the corner. Tak ďpffftsĒ to Ryan. Ryan looks up from a Penthouse Magazine that he is studying by penlight. Tak gestures for Ryan to relieve him for a few minutes.
FULL SHOT - BOTTOM OF STAIRCASE
Tak gets up and Ryan sits down, getting right back into his Penthouse after a cursory look at the monitors and readouts. Ryan puts a Walkman over his ears and pops a Herbie Hancock tape in the cassette.
The refrigerator is the perfect target for Takís housebreaking skills. He turns once, looking over his shoulder before opening the Amana.. The light inside bathes everything in white. Tak takes out a salad bowl and noshes from that, but his chewing is too loud so he opts for a beautiful New York steak wrapped in cellophane.
Placing the steak on the dark counter, Tak stuffs a chicken leg into his mouth and searches the kitchen for a steak knife. He pulls his flashlight from his hip pocket and begins pulling out drawers...
A new sound is added to his search. A CRAWLING GUSHY SOUND that bubbles and softly hisses. Tak turns and sees a shape moving along the counter where he put the steak. Approaching, Tak tilts his flashlight so the beam hits the object moving on the counter.
The New York Steak is alive with CANCER! It actually crawls over and over its own rampant cell growth.
He starts to gag looking at it and realizes the chicken is still in his mouth. He spits it onto the floor and shines his flashlight on top.
A thousand maggots crawl away from it into the dark corners of the kitchen. Tak starts to retch and flails into a small powder room.
Tak turns the light on and retches into the sink.
Ryan is reading the letters to Forum and hasnít noticed the activity on the first readout. Slowly, the equipment comes alive, purring softly, images vibrating. Ryan is too involved in Penthouse to notice the change. Herbie Hancock leaks from his headphones.
Tak is catching his breath, his head lowered in frame. He stands up suddenly checking his complexion in the mirror.
SMASH CUT TO:
HIS MIRRORED REFLECTION
His reflection is a ROTTING CORPSE, hair wild and streaming, his mouth open in a crazy way, teeth hanging by leathery threads, a funeral suit from the neck down.
The bulb over the mirror CHANGES HUE from white to yellow to orange to pink. In a burst of electricity it EXPLODES over the sink as Tak wheels around showing us his LIVE IMAGE, BACK TO NORMAL.
CLOSE - RYAN
Aware of nothing, reading, tapping his foot.
ANGLE - BEHIND RYAN
Something is aglow at the top of the stairs.
Something is starting to descend.
Something ectoplasrnic and blue-green.
The oscilloscopes are sine-waving like crazy. The remote cameras are triggered and click on. Tape machines roll automatically.
The substance is heading down.
Tak walks forward, his eyes riveted to the staircase. He feels in the dark until his hand touches Ryan's head. Ryan turns around to see whoís behind him and shines his flashlight up into Takís face.
CLOSE - TAK
Lit from below adds a demented aspect to Takís already terrified expression. Ryan looks immediately in the direction Tak is fixating...THE TOP OF THE STAIRS.
BEHIND BOTH TAK AND RYAN
The crawling mass coming down the stairs
resembles a giant hand
with long, searching fingers, flowing down the stairs and heading right
for the two technicians.
Ryan stands and backs away two steps.
He wants to scream out but cannot find the breath. The air in the room is suddenly thin and electrostatically charged.
It's manifesting! Itís manifesting! Look at the scope!
Watch the trip wires! Temperature's dropping.
Can you breathe?
Can you run? Iím workin' on it.
The fingers are almost to the bottom. The smoking fingertips suddenly rise straight up into the air like sky-writing. Rising right up to the ceiling. Another tentacle of ectoplasm seems to come forward. Larger and thicker than the rest and still growing, it studies the VTR and Panasonic camera, waltzing above it, hovering curiously close, then retracting suddenly like a King Cobra.
Dares to look at the monitor. His mouth drops open. He sees something we donít. His eyes shift back and forth between the manifestation and the monitor. He bears his teeth to scream and...
EXTREME - CLOSE SHOTS
Her eyes open and she immediately pulls out her glasses.
Falls between two chairs trying to stand.
Rising to her knees she looks out into the hall and hugs Robbie protectively.
Ectoplasmic mist wanders aimlessly, passing under tables, chairs, circling lamps.
Have you experienced this before?
At this moment every lightbulb in the room comes on. The brightness growing to blinding levels. Everyone covers their eyes.
Smells like a short!
Itís going to explode!
The hum of electrostatic charge races up the scales to what sounds like feedback Overload, then...
FLASH FLASH - FLASH
Everything is dark again. The episode ended. The room is very quiet.
Dr. Lesh breaks the silence.
Roll it back!
Tak hits the rewind switch on both VTRs.
Diane, Steve and Robbie all run to the display panel.
(like a kid)
I think it recorded. 1 think we got one on tape. Yes. Yes.. .we got it recorded!!!
WE MOVE from the faces of the Freelings and Lesh to:
We SEE the empty hallway and staircase in black and white on one screen. On the other a spectroscopic breakdown of color patterns in infrared.
The picture on the screen becomes grainy, smoky. A bright glowly substance begins to form into tendrils that move down the stairs and very close to the cameras. The black and white monitor shows what the human eye witnessed. The color infrared showed what the technology captured.
MOVE IN TO HER as she watches the color monitor.
The smoky substance twists and melts and forms what appears to be the shape of a manís back. The shape moves in front of the CAMERA and we see what could be an OLD MAN looking over his shoulder with a suspicious expression, and then walking past a little girl, not Carol Anne, holding a ball. She wanders through the living room as if lost. Suddenly, the living room is filled with manifestations. FOUR MEN in burlap type coats, floppy hats, denim and boots face away from the CAMERAS, a WOMAN dressed in the style of the 1920ís moves through the room, tears on her face--people of all ages and descriptions wander aimlessly, lost and sad through the living room.
No manifestation makes contact with any other. They donít even seem to be aware that others exist -- an OLD WOMAN g1ances at the CAMERAS disinterested1y--and a YOUNG BOY moves toward the CAMERA and evaporates.
The screen suddenly becomes BLACK, filled
by two glowing beams -- the beams pull back
and we realize that they are EYES of a scary
old man. It is the face of pure chaotic horror.
A vision of madness and murder.
96 ON DIANE AND ROBBIE - NIGHT
She covers Robbie's eyes and SCREAMS continuously, out of control, for this is the pit of her nightmare.
That thing is in there with my baby! That thing! That thing!
DR. LESH (O.C.)
My God! There are hundreds.
ANGLE - FULL
Steve is holding Diane now, stroking her hair until her SCREAMS turn into SOBS. Lesh and the technicians look on silently. Steve leads Diane and Robbie back into the living room. Dr. Lesh takes out the two tapes and puts them into a briefcase and locks it with a key.
CLOSE - DUST PAN
Crowded with a mixture of filled and decayed teeth from last eveningís hailstorm. Steve closes the trashcan and wipes his hands against his shirt. The portable TV is on, turned, as usual, to a static channel.
FULL SHOT - ROBBIE
Dressed to travel with little suitcase in hand. At his side is E. BUZZ on leash.
Tell Grandma to call the very second you walk in.
Donít be scared of the taxi man, heís a friend of Daddyís and mine.
(agitated at all this fussing)
I'm seven years old, gimme a break.
Thatís what I like to hear. Letís move out! ...Youíre about to have yourself a real adventure.
(acting grown up)
I donít need no more adventure. I need to get some sleep.
Diane and Steve watch Robbie and E. Buzz go out the door. Steve starts to follow, reaching out to help with the bag. Robbie waves him of f.
I can do it myself. Bye.
(tearful, but holding back)
Bye, sweetheart. Call us.
Robbie and E. Buzz climb into a taxi. It pulls away from the curb.
Dr. Lesh sorting through the brooches, stickpins, hail combs and cameos. Brass buttons, pocket watches and cufflinks.
This cameo. One hundred years old.
Diane returns from the door and cocks her head to examine the jewelry.
Some haul, huh?
Maybe they fear a lawsuit and want an out of court settlement.
Dr. Lesh holds up a twist-o-flex digital wristwatch.
And then this enigma...probably a couple years old and not your husbandís?
He said it wasnít.
Iíve heard about jewelry or perfume disappearing from a vanity in one room later to reappear in another, but...but this doesn't fit into any construct I've ever experienced.
Has anything lately?
[ back || 'first draft script' main page || next ]