Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

coincidences - a pre-script (1 Viewer)

Seedy M.

Senior Member
This was written for X-files, but Mulder was gone before I submitted it so it's here because I kind of like it.
I have changed the names for this to avoid confrontation.
(As I picture it. I am not a script/screenwriter. It has appeared in a book of shorts and gained quite a lot of comment - all positive, I'm glad to be able to say.)

Scene: Seen through the eyes .
A group of five people, 3 male, 2 female, on a rocky hiking trail, seen from the side.
Caption: Rock Valley Mesa, Utah. Midday:
Still in eye-view, camera moves close to FEMALE HIKER #1, who says, This is a perfect day, don't you think? Will you be joining us?
Scene shifts to distance shot as group moves toward cleft in rocks. MALE VICTIM #1 in lead by about 20 feet. Indistinct figure of MAN wearing suede jacket is walking back in opposite direction and is quickly lost from view.
VICTIM #1 moves into cleft between large boulders. Other four follow less than thirty seconds later to step from rock to view large open EMPTY drop into sandy/rocky valley with rocky cliffs to either side. There is nowhere to hide.
1st MALE HIKER: Charlie? Where the hell is Charlie?
1st FEMALE HIKER: He was ten steps ahead of us (yells) Charlie?
2nd FEMALE HIKER: NOT another one of his stupid jokes (yells) Charlie No more flying saucers Get your skinny butt out here
1st FEMALE HIKER: There's nowhere for him to be
2nd MALE HIKER: This is spooky, even for Charlie (yells) Charlie? Joke's over
<2 min>
Scene 2: Seen through eyes
VICTIM #2 (female) is walking along a sidewalk early evening. Town is dusty old west. She turns into an alley between two two story buildings as FEMALE VOICE calls from side, Mae Wait up
Caption: Pulva Roja, New Mexico
Scene shifts to distance. VICTIM #2 is stepping into alley as FEMALE #3 approaches from 1/2 block away, moving quickly, but not quite running. She reaches the alley in about 15 seconds and looks in to see nothing.
The alley is clean, about 200 feet long and there are no doors or windows on the ground floor between buildings, though there are two railed walkways between the buildings on the second story. There is a closed rail gate on the far end with an unobstructed view to the backs of other buildings about 100 feet away.
FEMALE #3 runs to end of alley, calling, Mae? Wait up Where are you? Mae?
There is a closed corral at the end of the alley. There is no one there and no place for anyone to hide.
<1 min>
Scene 3: seen through eyes
A car with MALE DRIVER and male and two female passengers pulls to closed gate 1 carlength out on bridge over small stream. There are large, square cemented rock supports on either side of gate.
Car stops.
Caption: Cross Creek, Nevada
Scene from distance. Driver male (VICTIM #3) gets out of car, unlocks padlock on gate and in center of road and swings it around behind square rock bridge/gate support.
(Car is stopped a few feet back from the support, and the base is visible, but not the top, from the car front window.)
Scene from car. DRIVER swings gate behind support. The entire bridge can be seen from the car, except for a very few feet behind the supports. There is nothing on it.
(Twenty second wait and he does not re-appear. Passengers in car chat.)
FEMALE #4: Really, it was a bit much, Ellen sending us an invitation to a party that she isn't planning. I wonder who sent it, really? She says it wasn't her
FEMALE #5: That kind of joke is NOT funny If I find out who did that, they're OFF my list of friends
FEMALE #4 to MALE PASSENGER: Hank? Where did John go?
MALE #3: There's noplace he COULD go leans out window and yells, John?
FEMALE #5 gets out of passenger side front to walk out on bridge. There is no one there. She looks over the side behind the support, but the shallow water with the seawall sides is undisturbed. There is no sign of anyone. Anywhere. Just the bridge, car, and supports.
<2 min>
Scene four: Mildew'S OFFICE. He is lounging behind his desk, reading some computer printouts as Sulky enters, saying, What's up?
Mildew: A hoax, I suppose, but it sort of intrigues me – and I'm bored. Want to see the old west?
Sulky (sighs): Mildew ... okay. What? Really?
Mildew: I was looking over some of the UFO websites. There's something odd going on.
Sulky: Odd? And I thought we were past the flying saucer bit ... in that way.
Mildew (handing her the readouts): Look at these.
Sulky studies the pages, shrugs, and hands them back: I agree. A hoax. What's so odd?
Mildew: A hoax would have to have a connection. I mean, more than the fact all three claimed to have been abducted at some time or other. There isn't anything else – from this. Charles Feinberg, fifty one, divorced, skinny, tall, Jewish, hardware store clerk, liked hiking, and claimed to have been abducted in seventy four. Ann Mae Walker, thirty seven, single, small, Catholic, artist, under hypnosis claims abduction in eighty six. John Gary, semi-rich, married, inventor, nerd, agnostic, claimed to have been abducted in ninety one, but later said it was a joke, then said he wasn't sure if it was or not.
Sulky (Exasperated): Mildew, the only connection among these is in your head They were in three different places and were reported by three different sources You got it off the web, so call up more data.
Mildew: Such as? This is all there was.
Sulky moves to comp and types in instructions. The screen displays information about insurance of the three names. One didn't have any life insurance, the other two had small policies.: Hmmm. It's certainly not insurance fraud
Mildew: See?
Sulky: See WHAT? Mildew, there isn't anything HERE
Mildew: Yeah. Odd, isn't it?
<2 min>
Scene 5: Sulky driving car with Mildew in passenger seat, looking at map. Early morning. Approaching UTAH area.
Mildew: (pointing) It's right over there. We have to walk in about a quarter mile. I'm having the guys trace the victims back to the womb. There has to be a connection
Sulky: Uh-huh.
Sulky parks car beside camper/van. They get out and start along marked [ <-- Rock Valley ] trail, a wide, rocky path along a low cliff-like natural wall. They come to area where victim #1 disappeared, look around, and move to boulders on each side of trail through cleft, and on to view of valley.
Sulky: Well, Mildew?
Mildew: Well what? If he came through there ten steps ahead of the others, then wasn't here when they came through, there sure as hell wasn't anywhere for him to hide out HERE LOOK at it
Sulky: Then he didn't come out here.
Mildew: He went in between those two rocks, but didn't come out here? Time warp?
Sulky: When all else fails, try logic. He disappeared BETWEEN there and here.
Mildew: Then the earth swallowed him up, or SOMETHING was waiting for him. IT swallowed him up – or he climbed straight up those smooth thirty foot rocks LOOK at them, Sulky They're like GLASS
Sulky: Well, if you won't be serious....
Mildew: Getting interested, huh?
Sulky: Not really. I like the view, and can use the semi-vacation. Seen enough?
Mildew: What? You figured it that fast?
Sulky: Like I said. Try logic. I have to talk to one of those three with him.
Mildew: ONE of them?
Sulky smirks at him, and they head back toward the car.
Mildew: OK. What?
Sulky: He went in this side and didn't go out the other side. What's left?
Mildew: He disappeared in between. He couldn't climb those rocks.
Sulky: Oh? People climb those glass buildings. They get arrested for it all the time
Mildew: But he didn't have those suction cups with him, Sulky. Someone would have noticed, and he couldn't climb that fast, where they wouldn't have seen him. Using those things is slow going. Are you saying he had a ladder waiting for him? That would work
Sulky: That's one of the questions I have for whoever we see.
<5 min>
Scene six: Living room of 1st FEMALE HIKER (JAN) 2nd MALE HIKER (BILL) is there. The four are sitting on chairs (Mildew and Sulky) and a divan (HIKERS).
Sulky: Miss Carter, just relax and close your eyes. You are on the trail. Feinberg has just stepped between the rocks. Tell me, in real time, what is happening.
JAN: Call me Jan. Everybody does. (leans back and closes her eyes) Charlie is going between the rocks. I tell Millie it's a beautiful day. Bill and George are right behind me. I am looking at the veins in the rocks. It's smooth flint, and has lamina patterns of quartzite. Unusual. Lime and silica in the same stone. We are through. Charlie isn't there. George says that. I say he has to be – or something – because he was right in front of us all the time, then I yell for him.
Sulky: Half a minute to forty five seconds. Did he make any sound, Feinberg, from the time he went into the rocks until you went in?
BILL: Well, walking sounds. Little rocks crunching and grunting when your foot slips. That sort of thing.
Mildew: He didn't cry out in any way?
JAN: No. Nothing. It's like he just disappeared into thin air He DID disappear into thin air
Sulky: Did you see anyone else, either before or after Feinberg disappeared?
JAN: No. I don't think so – until the park ranger came when we started yelling so much. About five minutes later or so.
BILL: Millie said something to that editor. The one who writes those reviews and the travel section. Wears that phony suede vest. Paul somebody. Just before we went in there.
JAN: Oh. Right. Paul Johns. He's always around. She asked him if he was going hiking, and he said no and went back to the cars. I think he was just taking pictures for the paper or something. He's all over the place.
Mildew: Were there many cars at the entrance?
BILL: Well, our van. The Isuzu thing that editor drives. A motorcycle. That's the ranger's. Let's see (closes eyes. Waits a few seconds). There was an old truck, but it was parked just outside, at the road. Where you turn in. A Ford. About seventy or so, I'd guess. Rusty red.
Sulky: What do you know of his movements the day and night before you went on the hike?
BILL: He stayed at my place the night before. We went out there in my Jeep. He came to my place after work. We had dinner and watched Nova and Wild Kingdom on TV, then went to bed. We got up about five, loaded our stuff and picked up the others and went directly out there.
Sulky: Did he call anyone the night before or before you left in the morning?
BILL: Called? No.
Mildew: Did you see anyone there, other than Johns and the ranger? Anyone at all?
JAN: I didn't. The ranger was already there. He polices the area and checks everything before the place opens every morning.
BILL: There's been some grafiti painted on the rocks and that kind of thing, so they check it out every day.
Scene shifts. Mildew and Sulky are back at the trail, talking to MAN in ranger uniform.
Sulky: You checked that pass? There was nothing there? No grafiti on the faces to either side of the cleft?
RANGER: Clean, except for a heart with 'TS loves DB' about six feet high on the west side. I check that everyday a couple of times. Nice thing about that flint, paint doesn't stick. It'll strip right off. Took about two minutes.
Mildew: There was nothing else on either side of that cleft? Near the top?
RANGER: Not a thing I check every inch
Mildew smirks at Sulky.
<3 min>
Scene seven: In car. Mildew is driving. Sulky is using the laptop through the phone.
Mildew: What are you after?
Sulky: Just checking on Paul Johns. There doesn't seem to be much. An average small-town society page editor.
Mildew: You suspect him of something?
Sulky: Not ... really.
Mildew: Why the pause?
Sulky: He seems out of place. Why would a society page editor 'always be around' the hiking trails? Jan said he isn't a hiker.
Mildew: Taking pictures. She said that. He does a travel page, so he trades pictures with other places.
Sulky: I guess. How far is this Pulva Roja place?
Mildew: I'm stopping in Cross Creek, then going south to New Mexico. About another hour.
Sulky: Mildew, there is one thing that sort of intrigues me about this.
Mildew: Such as?
Sulky: Gary, the one we're going to, first said he and some others each had a piece of a puzzle from the aliens.
Mildew: Puzzle? One of those Leggo things? A word puzzle? A crossword? Jigsaw? What?
Sulky: Just a piece of a puzzle.
Mildew: I wonder ... what if they've sneaked off to put whatever it is together? You could be right about that.
Sulky: Then we'd have to find out where they went to do it. What if they've already put it together?
Mildew: You believe they actually were abducted? You?
Sulky: No. I believe they may be trying to make everyone think they were and that they have something.
Mildew: Why?
Sulky: How much advance would some publisher give them for the book?
Mildew grins and nods: So. Why don't you think they were abducted by someone else?
Sulky: No ransom note, no bodies.
<1 min>
Scene eight: A physics classroom at a small university. A middle-aged PROFESSOR is speaking to a class about the Big Bang.
PROF: pointing to chalkboard, on which there is a diagram of the big bang, the notation 20+ billion ltyr, lines from the center in several directions. One of the lines ends at a spot labelled Milky Way . A line extending on out from that is labelled 10 B ltyr.
PROF: ... you see the falacy inherent in such a rush to publish. You also see how like sheep scientists are. Most of the world accepts this silliness now. It's as much as dogma
STUDENT: Prof. Milton, I don't get what you're trying to say. What do you mean, unacceptable time sequence?
PROF: In simple terms, WE were at the point of origin, the so-called Big Bang, at the moment of explosion. Both we and the light from that event left in the same billionth of a microsecond.
STUDENT: But sir That explains nothing
PROF: It explains EXACTLY what I'm saying If we left at the same moment as the light, what are we supposed to be looking back TO with the Hubble? That light is twenty billion years PAST us
STUDENT: Oh. I see. We see it, but it couldn't be there if it happened in a single moment of time.
PROF: You might also consider that the universe is supposed to be twenty billion years old, yet we can look back across twelve billion years with a telescope, so we'd have to be moving at very nearly lightspeed for light to just now be arriving from that event and we'd have had to make a rather abrupt (a door to the side opens and a man pokes his head in) ... yes, Dr. Knight?
KNIGHT: Just wondering why you're still here. Last bell was twenty minutes ago. The place is empty except for you It's a quarter past eleven
PROF: Last ... there was no bell
KNIGHT: Damned thing's probably burned out again. Go home
KNIGHT withdraws and closes door. PROF yells Dr. Knight and runs to door, flinging it open and saying, I meant to ask you ... where the hell is he?
The long, wide hall is totally empty.
<2 min>
Scene nine: Sulky parks car at end of bridge where JOHN GARY disappeared. SHE and Mildew get out and go to gate. Mildew opens it and they walk onto the bridge. They look over the side and inspect the area.
Mildew: Well, he didn't go into the water. He would be in plain view anywhere down there.
Sulky: I want to get on top of that thing (pointing to the rock support). Give me a lift.
Mildew clasps his fingers and Sulky steps up. He lifts her to where she can reach the top lip of flat rock. He heaves and she slips up and over. The lip is about seven feet above the bridge road.
Sulky spends a minute as Mildew waits, examining bridge.
Sulky, leaning over the top: Come on up. You'll find this very interesting.
Mildew: Come up, Sulky? Fly?
Sulky drops rope ladder over lip. Mildew climbs up.
Scene shifts to top of structure. It is recessed about two feet deep a few inches from the lip, and is about six feet square. The rope ladder is tied to a ring in the concrete floor.
Sulky: This one is explained He came up behind the wall and hid here until everyone was gone
Mildew: “Why? It doesn't make any sense, Sulky He was the one without insurance – remember?
Sulky: Maybe he wanted to be away from the wife? Maybe he'll show up with another story? Maybe they'll show us some contraption the 'aliens' gave them each a piece of? Maybe they'll write a book about it and go on all the talk shows – for a price?
Mildew: It still doesn't make sense. Let's go talk with the wife.
They climb down as scene shifts to lavish room in house.
JEANNE GARY (FEMALE #5): Have a seat. Would you like some coffee?
Sulky nods. Mildew says Yes. Please.
Sulky and Mildew sit on divan. JEANNE takes chair, after pouring coffee into cups she gets from table in next room. Coffee and her cup is already there.
JEANNE: What is this about?
Mildew: We're investigating the disappearance of your husband. We think it may be connected to other similar disappearances.
JEANNE (shudders): I can't tell you anything. I've been through it a thousand times
SCULLLY How was your marital situation?
JEANNE: Better than most. We were planning a trip to Australia.
Mildew: Did he ever discuss his abduction with you?
JEANNE (sighing): He didn't know if anything actually happened or if it was some of his friends playing a prank on him. They were using LSD. He got a kick out of the attention his story got, then he said it was becoming a royal pain in the butt. It hurt his credibility in business.
Sulky: Did he ever mention anything about a piece of a puzzle?
JEANNE: He wasn't sure, but he thinks they made something. He vaguely remembers a meeting where they buried something, or one of them did, or something. It was never clear to him. They did meet somewhere once, but he wouldn't talk about it. There was some kind of trouble.
Mildew: Trouble?
JEANNE: Somebody got in a fight or some tabloid attacked them as a bunch of fruitcakes or something. He wouldn't talk about it. He said it would be different if he knew where it was, but he thinks it could be anywhere within a lot of miles of anywhere.
Sulky: Where it was?
JEANNE: He feels he could resolve what he seems to remember if he could go to the spot. He wouldn't talk about it much. He was using some kind of mushroom or something, and might have imagined the whole thing.
Mildew: He used a lot of drugs?
JEANNE: Then. Not for several years now. He thinks it was inordinately stupid to ever do it. He's not an addictive type, so he just quit. He quit cigarettes the same way. Just quit and that was it. He smoked for years and just quit. I thought I'd die when I quit and I only smoked for a year or so.
Sulky: Business was good?
JEANNE: Very. Before you ask, we don't have a lot of unpaid bills. We don't have ANY unpaid bills We also have a fairly large bank account that has NOT been touched We neither one consider money to be all that important and, quite frankly, we have more than we know what to do with. We have simple tastes. We want to travel, but we don't want a lot more THINGS. More him than me. I like some luxury, but I tend to feel guilty about it.
Mildew: He went out on the bridge, opened the gate and disappeared?
JEANNE: That's about it. He was right in front of us, then he wasn't.
Sulky: Do you know a Paul Johns?
JEANNE: Paul Johns? I don't think ... Is he that travel writer for the Sun Press? I think Gary wrote to him about the trip to Australia. If so, I have copies.
Sulky: Please?
JEANNE gets up and moves into next room (den), followed by Sulky and Mildew. She rummages around in a small file cabinet in the den to hand Sulky several sheets of paper. Sulky reads them over, says, Thanks, and hands them back. JEANNE asks if there is anything more, and Sulky says No.
JEANNE shows them to the door, where Sulky thanks her for cooperation. She closes the door after them as Sulky and Mildew go to car.
Mildew: What? You look like the proverbial cat
Sulky: Paul Johns asked if he was the one who had been aboard a UFO. He answered that was just a story he couldn't confirm or deny, but he personally doubted it.
Mildew: Sort of shoots down your publicity stunt theory, though, doesn't it?
Sulky: Oh?
Mildew: This one, at least, doesn't want or need any big advance from a publisher and he doesn't like the talk show route.
Sulky: According to her.
Mildew: She was lying?”
Sulky: No, damn it Now it doesn't fit again
Mildew nods and looks smug as Sulky gets behind wheel of car and Mildew gets into passenger side. The printer on the console has a sheet in it. Sulky tears it out and says, Hmmm. There's been another one.
Mildew: Who? When? Where?
Sulky: Donner University. A Dr. Claude Knight. Disappeared before the eyes of a roomful of students. Eleven PM.
Mildew: Donner?
Sulky: Southernest, Colorado.
Mildew: THAT one, we'll need a map
Sulky grins and starts the car. Mildew scowls at fax sheet and says, Well, they've found a connection
Sulky: Which is?
Mildew: It seems all the victims were once under suspicion of murder.
Sulky: All of them?
Mildew: One to go
<10 min>
Scene 10: Airfield counter, from eyes of buyer.
COUNTER CLERK (BETTY on nametag): Phoenix, Arizona. Coach. One way. Flight eight oh four. Nine ten AM. A-sixteen. You can board in ten minutes. Gate three. That'll be sixty eight forty.
A suede sleeve with tassles hanging shows as a man's hand gives her a fifty and a twenty. He waits for the change and ticket, and turns to sit on a bench and take an old tabloid from a briefcase. The headline reads:
Abducted Arizona Character
Stinky Jones, questioned in cult murder
(see pg. 13)
The hand puts the tabloid back into the briefcase.
<2 min>
Scene eleven: Pulva Roja, New Mexico. Sulky, Mildew, and FEMALE #3, LISA VICKS, are standing at the entrance to the alley where Ann Mae Walker disappeared. Sulky walks into the alley a ways, inspects the buildings to the sides, and studies the overhead walkways. The three then go to look at the corral behind. There is no way out of it. They go back to the entrance.
Sulky: She went in there. You were in front of the cafe, you called to her as she went into the alley, then ran to here, where you couldn't see her?
LISA: Yes. It was no more than ten or twelve seconds. I wasn't running fast, you know. Just sort of loping.
Mildew. Did you hear anything?
Sulky: You ran to the end of the alley and looked into the corral. Immediately?
LISA: Well, yeah Like, you know, she shouldn't have had time to get even halfway, you know? I ran then. Not loped.
Mildew: How long?
LISA looks down the alley, then runs to the far end to call, About like that
Sulky: Eight seconds?
Mildew: Fast worker
LISA comes back. Sulky asks: Was there anyone else on the street? Anyone at all?
LISA: I don't think so ... Oh Yeah Some guy was across over there (pointing). Some older guy in a suede jacket. I didn't see him too good, you know?
Mildew: Cars?
LISA: Well, nobody parks on this street, you know. There were cars in some of the side streets.
Mildew: Old trucks? Isuzu Jeeps? Motorcycles?
LISA: Yeah.”
Sulky: Which one?
LISA: All of them. Like, that's the kind of stuff people around here drive, you know?
<4 min>
Scene twelve: The classroom:
Mildew: You were here that late?
PROF: The bell's burned out and we had a lively discussion going. We didn't know it was that late until Claude stuck his head in the door.
Sulky: You say you dashed to the door and he wasn't there. How long?
PROF: Four to five seconds. No more.
Mildew: There's no door for him to have stepped into close enough for him to have reached it. What did you think happened?
PROF: I would have thought it a joke, but there wasn't time
Sulky: A joke?
PROF: He had some kind of experience with a spaceship, if you can believe him – I can, incidentally – and we rib him about it. I thought he might be playing a trick on us.
Mildew: You believe him? About a spaceship?
PROF: Well, I don't DISbelieve him, if you know what I mean. It's possible, I suppose. He said one day he would show us something that would prove it.
Sulky: An odd notion for a physics professor.
PROF: (smiling) Oh?
Sulky: We know there's no advanced life in the solar system – other than here. The limitations on velocity would mean a ship from somewhere else would take at least five years each way so it isn't likely they come here to abduct us for experiments their science would necessarily render unproductive.
PROF: There's that, but only if you accept Einsteinian limitations as being more than a situational factor. Even he postulated hyperspace as a means to allow interstellar travel – and if you accept they think as we do. You accept that there is intelligent life HERE?
Sulky (grinning): I often wonder
Mildew: About Dr. Knight?
PROF: WHAT about Dr. Knight? He was here. Five seconds later he was NOT here
Sulky moves outside the door to study the hallway, which now has several students moving in it. She moves to the center to look all around, as well as upward, notes the railing above and the view of clear sky, so calls for them to come out.
Sulky: Dr. Milton, what is up there?
PROF: The roof. There's no walk or anything such.
Mildew: He didn't climb the wall in five seconds
PROF: No, but it could have taken him quite a bit longer if he was quiet I certainly didn't look up there
Sulky: Thanks, Dr. Milton. I think this ties up what I think.
PROF: It WAS a trick
Sulky: No. Did you see anyone hanging around earlier?
PROF: Anyone?
Sulky: An older man in a suede jacket.
PROF: Well, I'd hardly ... come to think of it, I did A man with a camera?
Mildew: I'll be damned
Sulky: Thank you, Dr. Milton. She gives Mildew a smug look. Shall we ... Dr. Milton, where is the airport?
PROF: Airport? About three miles out Sunset.
Mildew: Airport?
<3 min>
Scene thirteen: Sulky and Mildew get out of car in airport parking lot – parked next to an Isuzu Scout overland vehicle. Sulky smirks at Mildew, who is looking around the lot. There is an early seventies Ford pickup, rusty red, in a spot on the next lane. They go inside to the air reservations/ticket counter.
Sulky, Mildew, sales clerk, BETTY .
Sulky to BETTY: Who worked the desk last night? Could we speak with him or her?
BETTY. Last night graveyard? Me. Midnight until eight this morning. I'm taking Harry's shift today so he can go to the hospital. His wife's having a baby.
Mildew: We're looking for a person or persons who bought a ticket between midnight and daylight.
Sulky: Late last night or early this morning. An older man wearing a suede jacket with tassles.
BETTY: That describes half our customers
Mildew: This one was carrying a camera, if that helps.
BETTY: Not really, unless you mean the guy ... it could be a man... She rummages through the ticket receipts. John Paul Jones? He made a joke about it.
Sulky: That would be him
BETTY: He booked to Phoenix.
Sulky: Thanks She turns and heads away, but Mildew looks thoughtful.
Mildew: Did someone else, a big man, also book for Phoenix. Earlier?
BETTY: Big? If you mean the guy who looked like an ox, yeah He said he was a linebacker for the Cowboys, but I know I never saw him – and I wouldn't miss one of their games
Mildew: Did he have a name? Describe him.
BETTY looks through the ticket receipts and says, Omar K. Muhammad. Great big. Black, but more like a Samoan or something than a regular black. Black, but not regular Afro-American. To look at. John Paul Jones was pretty big, but not like that
Mildew: Thanks Goes to Sulky, grins, and says, Let's see if we can stop the next one They head for the door.
Sulky: He's flying. Shouldn't we?
Mildew: Probably not.
<3 min>
Scene fourteen: Car. Sulky driving, Mildew on computer link.
Sulky: What?
Mildew: People in Phoenix who have been abducted.
Sulky: If we can find him we can stop this. I wonder what he does with them? I think I can accept something happened to them. Something they weren't doing themselves. It's pretty plain who's doing it, but why? – And what does he do with them?
Mildew: Kills them. Dumps the bodies somewhere. They'll turn up, eventually. Stinky Jones or Mrs. Besswell.
Sulky: Stinky? Let's try Besswell Mildew grins.
(Pause): Mildew: Stinky. He was a murder suspect. Cleared. Solid alibi.
Sulky (Nodding and looking grim): Why does he do it?
Mildew: Maybe a relative of the murder victim. Maybe something from his childhood. Maybe a nutcase. It's something we'll have to ask him if we catch him.
Sulky: He's not working alone, is he? You asked about a big man. What gives?
Mildew: If I have this figured right, he's always above them and drops a noose around their neck or something, then hauls them up out of sight. Johns isn't big enough. I think. I don't know how big he is Betty said he was pretty big.
Sulky: I saved it. Bring up PJOHNS.
Mildew types on the keyboard, then says, He weighs one eighty five. I guess he's big enough
Sulky: That would explain why no one cries out, but it wouldn't take too big a person. In each place, there was something to use as leverage and the excitement would make his strength enough that he could pull it off. He had a lot more time to do it than we first thought, because nobody looked UP – and none of them were particularly big.
Mildew: Muhammad?
Sulky: Coincidence. A big man booked a flight on the same day as Johns.
Mildew: Well, he'll go after Stinky, who weighs a hundred fifty, instead of Besswell, who weighs two thirty plus.
Sulky nods, still grim.
<3 min>
Scene fifteen: Seen through eyes. An alley with normal trash, etc. An old, grizzled man (JONES) is putting together a lot of odd parts, making some kind of Rube Goldberg contraption. There is a small balcony above him with wrought iron railings that are falling apart.
A man in a suede jacket (JOHNS) comes out on the balcony above the old man carrying a nylon rope. He leans over to call something just a Sulky and Mildew drive to the end of the alley and get out of the car.
Shift to normal scene view.
Sulky sees JOHNS above with the rope, draws her sidearm and yells, FBI Don't move
JOHNS jerks back, hits the rusty rail, which crumbles, causing him to fall to the pavement, striking headfirst. Sulky and Mildew run to him, but he is almost dead. Sulky cries, Mr. Johns, WHY?
JOHNS manages to pull at a tabloid in his jacket pocket, then dies. Sulky removes the tabloid to read the headline about the abduction of Stinky Jones.
Mildew: You're Stinky Jones?
JONES: Yeah. What were he yellin' 'bout? What's goin' on?
Sulky: He was going around killing people who had been abducted and who were suspects in a murder. You were next.
JONES: But he were yellin' about me havin' to get away. Why'd he want to kill ME?
Sulky waves the tabloid. JONES shrugs and says, It weren't nothin' ta do with me I didn't even know nothin' 'bout it until we done got back I ain't kilt nobody They done proved I were innercent
Sulky opens the tabloid to pg. 13, where the pictures of all the victims, plus Stinky, are in a row under the picture of a pretty dark Latina girl. The girl is described as the victim of a brutal beating murder. Johns was the author. The killing supposedly took place at a meeting of abductees in the desert.
Sulky: Maybe she was his wife or girl or something? Whatever, if you didn't do it he got the one who did before he fell off that balcony
Mildew: Somehow, I sort of doubt he was it.
Sulky: Doubt WHAT? You SAW him up there with a ROPE
Mildew: A rope. Not a noose. Maybe THAT's the coincidence in this case.
Sulky: Because?
Mildew: Johns was on the trail when Feinberg disappeared and Johns knew Stinky wasn't involved, Sulky If he was trying to kill off anyone who might have killed the girl, he would have KNOWN Stinky had no part in it.
JONES: Why'd everbody want thet there map?
Mildew: Map?
JONES: Map'a where ther meetin' was.
Sulky: Everybody?
JONES: He done yelled he wanted the map 'n I done yelled back it were at my place, not here. Sheriff wanted it. Couple other dudes. It were just a map on a napkin thet dead girl drawed fer me. Said to come an bring my part. Didn't make no sense, but I went. Ain't never had no part of nothin'. Didn't make no damned sense
Sulky looks thoughtful.
Scene shifts to eye-view and repeats the words of Mildew that Johns would have known Stinky had no part of it and Stinky's words, heard from a distance. Eye-view turns and moves away.
Back to scene.
Sulky: Well, if Johns didn't do it there will be more.
Mildew: Or not.
Sulky: Not? How do you figure?
Mildew: Maybe he'll know Stinky is innocent so there's no one to go after now. He definitely got the one who killed her.
Sulky: Which one?
Mildew: Johns. Isn't it obvious?
Sulky: JOHNS? But he wasn't even a suspect
Mildew: C'mon, Sulky He was someone who was always around the trails and he just watched while Muhammad killed the others? He took that much interest in the case after this time? He was THERE because he wrote it up for that tabloid How ELSE can you explain him?
Sulky: I ... guess that would explain a lot, but how do you figure Muhammad and the rest of it?
Mildew: When all else fails, try logic.
Sulky: Stick it I suppose we can close this one. Muhammad won't have a reason to kill anyone else, but we should go after him. He DID kill these
Mildew: There's more to it than we know. Johns obviously wanted the others dead, but not Stinky – and only Stinky was completely absolved. Johns somehow pulled the strings. He CAUSED it, Sulky
Sulky: Stinky? Does anything occur to you?
JONES (shrugging): Mebbe they were in on't? The whole lot were real chummy 'cept fer me. Too good fer my type trash That girl, she done said things what weren't much sense. Like I weren't s'posed t'be there nohow. Kept sayin' they was cuttin' her out'n she weren't havin' none of't Said I didn't even have my piece. Didn't make no sense.
Mildew: Like the UFO thing was an excuse for them to be there together and you weren't supposed to be invited?
JONES: Y'know, young feller, that were just 'xactly what it seemed t'me et the time I done know'd 'xactly where 'twere 'n that done got the lot of 'em riled fer some reason. So now I'm the only one what knows where 'twere? Thet's why the bother 'bout thet there map?
Mildew: But now nobody else wants to know, but be careful. There's one other who might know something dangerous to you. I'd appreciate if we could have a look at your map.
JONES: Don't see why not. 'Tain't far.
Sulky: Will we ever know what it was about?
Mildew: Somehow, I doubt it. C'mon, Sulky. Let's finish this up and go home ” He takes out his cell phone and dials 9-1-1.
Fade. <10 +- minutes>
Fade-in. Eye view. A rundown one room shack, inside. Clean, but messy. There is a diner napkin with a crude map on it on the wall, held with a thumbtack. A big black hand takes the map. Fade out.
Fade-in: A very large black man is digging in the desert a few feet from the rusty red truck seen earlier at the airport. He strikes something, works feverishly for a minute, then lifts something wrapped in foil from the hole as the camera fades.
Fade-in: Sulky, Mildew, and JONES are in the shack.
JONES: It were right there. Now 'tain't
Mildew looks thoughtful as camera fades to end credits.
<2 min>